15 Apr 2011 498 views
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photoblog image Deadvlei floor
Deadvlei floor|

Deadvlei floor


Deadvlei itself. As previously explained, 'vlei' is the south african word for a wetlands. Only in the dessert, a vlei is seldom wet. This particular vlei does not have a dry or wet riverbed to feed it in time of good rains. The Deadvlei catchment area is limited to the vlei itself. It is not realistic to expect standing or running water in this vlei - hence the name of Deadvlei.


The tree skeletons are of camel thorn trees.


May you experience a weekend that is not so dry.


comments (29)

  • Bandoras
  • United States
  • 15 Apr 2011, 03:29
This is an awesome shot here Louis. Love the processing, reminds a little of David Nightingale's work.
Louis: Thank you Banderos. I have checked - David has some travel shots somewhat like these.
  • Chris
  • England
  • 15 Apr 2011, 06:06
Those stark trees have seen better days Louis
Louis: You are ever so right Chris. The only purpose they have now is to serve as nesting platforms for crows.
  • Ginnie
  • Netherlands
  • 15 Apr 2011, 06:30
Something about the 'deathly hallows' comes to mind, Louis!
Louis: It does indeed, Ginnie.
  • alex
  • United States
  • 15 Apr 2011, 07:01
Louis, this is excellent! the trees stand out nicely.
Louis: Thank you alex
  • Astrid
  • Netherlands
  • 15 Apr 2011, 07:56
This almost looks like a painting of Dali....
Just love it, great shadows, almost unbelievable that the trees would even start growing there, imagine the hot feet they have.
Louis: In that case, I hope this Dali guy is good smile
  • Chantal
  • Nederland
  • 15 Apr 2011, 08:06
almost IR photography
Louis: I think there is some similarity, thank you Chantal.
  • iris
  • hamburg
  • 15 Apr 2011, 09:24
Breathtaking, Louis.
Louis: Thank you iris
  • blackdog
  • United Kingdom
  • 15 Apr 2011, 09:27
God I would hate to be caught without water in the drylands then! This looks like a true wilderness and the uniformity of the trees just exaggerates that sense. (LOL - if there is a rest area and bar behind you - I do't want to know). It is almost as if a fireball had just rolled through and turned all in its path to ash. Excellent shot Louis.
Louis: I like the fireball idea; it sort of explains the burnt look of the trees. This is real wilderness - human exploration was only in the early part of the 20th century and not much developed.
OK, I will show what is behind me on Monday to belay the suspicion smile
Thanks for the comment blackdog.
Hi Louis... At first glance I thought it was like a 'fire & ice' photo until I noticed it was parched land up closer. (I've taken too many ice & tree pix this long Winter.) Your b/w is great!!
Louis: Thank you Jacquelyn. Ice and trees - I think I will come and have a look.
  • Chad Doveton
  • Where latitude and longitude meet.
  • 15 Apr 2011, 10:29
This is so white Louis.
Louis: That is the actual colour of the Deadvlei floor - quite white.
I love those dead trees. Would this area have a rainy season?
Louis: There rainy season is the southern summer. Rain is very sparse, but can lead to growth of grass that sets of the dunes quite prettily. Such years only happens after dry intervals of sometimes ten years, plus. Three weeks after we have been there it rained sufficiently for water to run in the Sossusvlei.
The dead trees stand out nicely in the b&w. A great capture would like to see it in colour also.
Louis: You can view a the colour version at http://louis.shutterchance.com/photoblog/Deadvlei_floor_in_technicolour_/
Thanks for the comment Laurette.
  • Ray
  • Surin,Thailand
  • 15 Apr 2011, 13:03
Gorgeous! Looks very like the salt pans in the desert area where I was born, Louis.
I like it in b&w.
Louis: Thanks Ray. Due to sedimentation there should be salts in that floor - so it would be a salt pan of some sorts.
superb Louis wish it was just around the corner could spend hours there so many great shots to be had i am sure, love itsmile
Louis: I am sure that someone of your considerable skills would have quite a time here in Sossusvlei. Given time, one could experiment with all types of equipment, including ND on windy days.
  • vintage
  • Australia
  • 15 Apr 2011, 13:58
Louis: Thanks vintage
A wonderful alien landscape. There must have been rain at some time for those trees to grow
Louis: Indications are that these trees are about 500 years old. It would mean that at that time there should have been a regular (as in annual) rainfall. The alternative is that there could have been a rich source of underground water. The acacia trees are known to survive on that only. The dunes are fossilised over many years and are much older by thousands, than the trees. The containment area would be more or less the same, but with a different water source than today.
  • remla
  • France
  • 15 Apr 2011, 18:53
c'est horriblent désertique et beau à la fois !
Louis: Merci pour le commentaire, remla. Il y a toujours quelques animaux et quelques oiseaux qui vivent ici. Les seuls humains sont des touristes.
Very good Louis...the silhouettes of the dead trees identifies it as Deadvlie....i like the texture in the ground....it reminds me of be salt flats with the treatment that you used....petersmile
Louis: Thank you peter, yes - the trees gave the place its name.
  • Glo
  • United States
  • 15 Apr 2011, 21:06
excellent shot!
Louis: Thank you Glo
  • Marcie
  • United States
  • 16 Apr 2011, 10:49
Exquisitely beautiful landscape. The trees look like singular sculptural forms. Wonderful in b&w!
Louis: Thank you Marcie. Those sculptural are special indeed.
It's a likey!!
Louis: Wow, that is special, thank you Frank
  • noel
  • France
  • 17 Apr 2011, 10:46
superb capture of this strage area far from civilization
Well done for this nice shot
Louis: Thank you noel. The place is a photographer's dream.
This is a terrific landscape image Louis. Hats off to you sir, wonderful work!
Louis: Thank you Doug. The austere landscape helps a lot.
Very nice Louis, I like the diagonal lines you have made using the shadows....The sky is also very facinating going from white to almost black. I like smile
Louis: Thank you Aksel, I am glad that you saw this one. When I prepared it for the upload, I was wondering about you and the shadows smile
I acknowledge your experiments with B&W, but the dessert has such unique colours and contrasts which can only be fully appreciated in colour.
another unique image, interesting info too
Louis: Thank you Ayush
  • Suzanne
  • Canada
  • 25 Apr 2011, 09:18
Fascinating image, Louis. The trees look like dancers anchored to the ground but nonetheless extremely expressive. smile
Louis: The do look like dancers. I believe this part of Sossusvlei is very much suited to b&w. Thanks for the comment Suzanne.
  • Magnus
  • Norway
  • 17 May 2011, 18:32
Fantastic shot again Louis.
A bit softer tones in this one.
Maybe a crop on the left side, the tree at the end and make the picture a bit more square format.But cropped or not this is a likey as the one before and after this photo
Louis: The tree on the left was a worrying item to me when I did the conversion. To crop or not to crop - in the end I didn't. So your recommendation is an acceptable alternative for me smile Thanks you Magnus.
  • Debb
  • United Kingdom
  • 20 Jul 2011, 15:57
Briljant soos altyd.
Louis: Dankie Debb

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camera Canon EOS 500D
exposure mode aperture priority
shutterspeed 1/4000s
aperture f/5.6
sensitivity ISO400
focal length 16.0mm
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