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I recently won two First Prizes in the Travel Photographer of the Year Awards - one for a series of four night shots from Namibia, and one for a timelapse video that was also shot entirely at night in the same country.

You can watch the timelapse video here:

Namibian Nights (videoclip)

This image is basically a still from the video. For the TPOTY version we had to take this scene out though, because the maximum length for entries was only 1 minute.

Namibia is like our second home - we've been going there every year for almost 12 years now, often multiple times. This country is night photography heaven, which is why I love it even more. I was the first photographer to create an extensive night photography portfolio from Namibia in general and from Deadvlei in particular, and many photographers have been wanting to do the same thing ever since. As a result it was getting more and more difficult to create original material on my visits to Namibia, so in 2010 I decided to take it to the next level and make the first timelapse of Namibia, shot entirely at night. I shot all the material for the video on several visits to Namibia in 2011 and 2012 - over 16,000 shots in total. More info can be found on the vimeo page.

When I was at this location, I set up my dolly with two tripods. That meant that there were no tripods left, and those are pretty crucial for night photography. Knowing this would probably happen, I had bought some bags of rice that I had brought with me on location. I ended up balancing my D4 on one of those bags on a rock that was more or less at the right distance, and then put another bag on top to prevent it from falling off during the night. There are lots of rock hyrax running around here, and I didn't want one jumping on the camera. :-)

The exposure is probably 5 to 10 seconds too long, because some of the stars are getting a bit too elongated, but the funny thing is that for video it doesn't really matter.

If you're interested in joining me on this trip and learn more about night photography and composition, please check out my website for more information:

Squiver Photo Tours & Workshops

Hope to see you there!


©2013 Marsel van Oosten, All Rights Reserved. This image is not available for use on websites, blogs or other media without the explicit written permission of the photographer.

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