A Night at Deadvlei, Namibia, 2014

A night under the stars at Deadvlei, in Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia. Deadvlei means “dead marsh.” The camelthorn trees are believed to be about 900 years old but have not decomposed because the environment is so dry.

This image is a single exposure taken a few hours after sunset, using the rising moon directly behind the camera as a light source. It was bright enough to illuminate the foreground and the sand dunes in the distance, but the skies were still dark enough to clearly see the Milky Way and Magellanic Clouds.

It was such a uniquely quiet and peaceful area that we easily could have slept under the trees in the basin. However, there is a strict curfew in the park and it is difficult to get permission to even stay out after sunset. We hiked back out through the sand using only the moonlight. On our return early the next morning for sunrise photos, there were fresh hyena tracks walking right into the basin.

Location: Deadvlei, Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia
Photograph Date: 2014
Medium: Chromogenic Print
Edition: 200
Available Sizes: 40cm

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About the Photographer

Beth McCarley

Beth has had an interest in photography as long as she can remember, though her passion grew considerably after taking a class in film photography and obtaining her first digital camera. While working towards her higher education in theater and filmmaking, she spent a great amount of time learning all she could about photography on the side.

Beth’s work is focused on the natural world of landscapes, wildlife, and weather. The forces of nature often drive where she shoots, especially since she aims for dramatic skies and stormy weather. Her passion for travel has also filled her portfolio with a variety of images from incredible locations all over the world. With her photography, she aims to preserve unique moments in time. These images spark curiosity, inspiration, and provide the viewer with a timeless sense of place on earth.

She has received a number of photography awards, including a Merit Award for top ten image of 18,000 in the very prestigious National Geographic Traveler international photo contest. Her work has also been published in Smithsonian and National Geographic books, and one of her tornado photos was the runner-up for cover image of the September 2012 issue of National Geographic.

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