Running Mirage in the Dead Vlei

Running Mirage in the Dead Vlei

January 1, 2011 By Joe Morahan

Running Mirage in the Dead Vlei

This shot shows a runner racing between two dead trees in a dry lake bedcalled “The Dead Vlei” located near Sossusvlei, Namibia. This particular dry lake bed in one of the most interesting places on earth. The trees you see are around 700-900 years old. I know that seems hard to believe but its true. There are three reasons why this dry lake bed as trees still standing after being dead for hundreds of years. Reason one, this is one of the driestplaces on earth. They get very little rain, in fact sometimes it goes years without any water other than the morning mist. Another reason for the trees still standing after being dead is the fact the they are full surrounded by massive dues, the most massive in the world. These dunes help protect the dead vlei from the wrath of the wind and shields it from mother nature. And the third reason is these dunes are the biggest in the world and there is tens of thousands of miles of sand dunes making life here almost impossible. There are no bugs and insects here to eat the trees. That is why these trees stand in the same place that they died hundreds of years ago.

***First Place Image***

 Shot details: f/14; 1/250 sec; ISO 100; 5616×3744 Pixels

Focal Length 148mm; EF70-200 f/2.8L IS USM
Camera Details: Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III

This shot is of a young women running through the dry lake bed. She splits the trees and she heads straight toward the camera. The lighting was camera left and was a 1 to 9 ratio. She is in great shape and is working out in one of the hottest places on earth.


Joe Morahan