On a week long trip through the Namib-Naukluft National Park in Namibia, Sossusvlei was one of highlights I was most looking forward to. Despite only having a couple nights in the area I made the most of it and was out and about shooting for two afternoon/evenings and two extremely early mornings (starting at 4am). Summer in the Namib desert is pretty brutal to anyone when the sun is high and Sossosvlei was no exception. One morning I woke at 4am and was on the road at 4:30 to reach Deadvlei by sunrise and by 8am I was packing it in for the morning. With not a cloud in sight most days the harsh lights gets harsher as the sun moves up so I choose wisely and decided to drive or lay around during hot hours.
The shot above was something I remember being extremely excited about at the time and even now looking back it was a perfect combination of light and subject. There isn't much wildlife in the desert (compared to the game parks) so when I set out my capture priorities wildlife wasn't even on the radar. I spent most of the days shooting landscapes and some creative graphic-type shots.
As the sun was just about touching the dunes in the west I decided to start making the 60km back to camp. This lone Oryx grazing came into vision off the road and was like a beacon against the dunes. Not seen was the shadows of the other dunes creeping into the landscape by the minute. Shooting at 400mm from the car I had to work quick, but the Oryx cooperated happily standing and grazing. What the Oryx was actually finding to eat in the sandveld is beyond me, but there is a reason the Oryx is the national animal of Namibia. They can pretty much survive in any habitat Namibia has to offer from sand dunes to overgrown thick thornbush.