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New Eyes on Oceans

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Amber Waves of the Namib
Photograph by Cary Wolinsky

Among Earth’s driest places, the dunes of the Namib are a harsh home. Snakes, spiders, beetles, termites, lizards, and moles can survive here only because fog delivers a wisp of vital moisture as it rolls in from the ocean every night.

Camera: Nikon N90
Film Type: Fujichrome Provia (100 speed transparency film)
Lens: 20mm-35mm Nikon zoom
Speed and F Stop: A frame from a series of images made as the sun came up: 1/250 - 1/500 bracketed f 5.6 through f/11 depending on light and fog cover. The fast shutter speed is to compensate for vibration from the aircraft.
Weather Conditions: Clear with light ground fog, dry.
Time of Day: Dawn
Lighting Techniques: Available light

It is clear in the movies Out of Africa and The English Patient that the camera operator fell in love with the aerial view of the desert. The Namib is one of those magic places—beautiful from the ground—but magnificent and sexy from the air. My Namib desert shots are made from a Cessna light aircraft. We took off just before dawn in search of fog rolling in from the sea. The air is so smooth at that time of day, it's like gliding though crystal water.

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