The Lone Oryx in the Dunes

It is one of the classic Namibian photo compositions; The lone Oryx striding majestically in front of the massive orange sand dunes. It is not necessarily the easiest image to capture, you cannot just ask an Oryx to please stroll past one of the dunes in a pleasing photographic composition! Driving into Namib Naukluft National Park, we were lucky enough to spot several Oryx. My friend immediately asked if we should stop and as I was weighing the options of stopping vs driving further while we still had great light she adds “we have to stop, you won’t get this again”. She was of course right, always listen to your local experienced friend! I am very happy we stopped, we saw other oryx but nothing like this image of The Lone Oryx in the Dunes:

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Lone Oryx in the Dunes
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

This is just one of several versions, I have a hard time picking out my favourite. There is a panorama I shall post as well. I used my 70-200mm f/4 L lens for this and I ended up using this lens much in Namibia. Often in the Naukluft National Park (home of the 400 meter tall orange dunes) the dunes are quite far away or you want to zoom in on a pattern. I could easily have used a 400mm for some shots so a new zoom is on the shopping list for next Africa trip.

Cutting a long story short

You may have noticed my blog posts are slightly shorter. I love writing but presently I do not have the time to write long elaborate posts and tutorials, takes 4-5 hours to put together. So for a while you may see more images, and less text, a move I am sure favoured by many!

18 Comments on “The Lone Oryx in the Dunes”

  1. Dear Flemming,

    Never leave a good photo opportunity! The risk that you'll never capture such a tree in such a place again is always there.

    I'll miss your longer posts with text, but will stick to the photos in the meantime.

    I saw, that your flat is for sale – waugh! You are really up to something. I admire you for trying to fulfill your dreams. I am sure you will succeed.

    Best regards,

    1. Thanks Hanne! but hmmm, “Tree”…are you looking at another image Hanne? This is an oryx, a large antilope, not a tree 😀

      Problem is when you have many opportunities to choose from and you want them all. Like my favourite saying ‘I want patience and I want it now!’

      Yep, flat is for sale, into the wild, no shock absorbers, my home will be the road!

  2. Sorry! I was looking at the banner – as I am/was to studpid to know what an oryx is – or I did't think, or the positive way: I like the image with the tree so much.

  3. Great shadows in the dune above the oryx, and nice capture with the lone oryx.
    Having the oryx in the foreground really provides a sense of scale for the dunes.

    1. Thanks Martin. Yes the oryx helps showing the scale, most people cannot fathom how massive these dunes are (and this one in my shot is very small) until they see something in the foreground.

  4. Hello! I have two questions 🙂
    1. Do you know if the sky there is clear and blue in some certain season or it changes as it pleases.
    2. Do you use polarizing filters?

    1. Hello, thanks for your post!

      1. If you mean at the Naukluft sand dunes, it is desert climate meaning no humidity at all so the air is extremely clear and so is the sky usually. We were lucky and got beautiful clouds for 4 days in a row, the norm is a totally clear blue sky. There are two seasons, dry or "wet" even though it doesn't rain much in the desert of course! best time is probably either Aug-Nov or March-May as there will be fewer tourists and it is not so freezing cold camping at night. Mid Summer in Nov-Jan I would expect it to be extremely hot at day, but you may get a thunderstorm and beautiful clouds!

      2) I occasionally use polarizing filters, but did not use them in Namibia at all. I really only use polarizers to enhance the greens in for example a tropical jungle setting where the sun would normally bounce off all the palm trees and burn out the green colour. Or occasionally I would use it to bring out the colours on a sunlit rock like in a West Australian Gorge. I don't need the polariser to darken the sky, I find that is better done in post production, and it is easy to accidentally get an uneven sky with a polarizer.

  5. thank you for the answers.
    I just love the clear blue sky and red/orange/yellow desert 🙂 I hope if I'll be there one day I will be lucky to see clear blue sky with a couple of white clouds 🙂

    1. Yes they do look great together, blue and red/orange! I would say you have a great chance of blue sky as that what was we had most days. If you have clouds at sunrise, just wait till about 10am – the sun will torch all clouds and create a clear sky!

  6. Classic image Flem – one to saviour for sure ! I hope you have a print of this one at home…if not – get one !

    1. Thanks very much Tony! Very soon I won't have a home to put the print in – but I may do a large print of this anyway, just so I can stare at it the last few months I own a home, in preparations for takeoff!

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