Namib Desert, Namibia, Africa

This desert landscape photograph shows rain patterns on an orange sand dune, which looks like a giant wave in a unique 3-D look. It seems like dark water would flow down the dune in several smaller waves.

copyright Anette Mossbacher, 20 October, 2020

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This photograph was captured with a X-H1 and a lens. The following settings were used:

  • Aperture: ƒ/11
  • Exposure time: 1/250s
  • ISO: 200
  • Focal Length: 55mm

The original photograph has the following dimensions: 6000 by 4000 pixels (WxH).

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During the night, the rain created these black patterns on the orange sand dune. The effect of a bit of rain causes this unique 3-D look in this desert photograph. It seems like dark water would flow down the dune in several smaller waves and patterns. So far, I have witnessed this only on the orange dunes in the Namib desert. The cause for this effect is the iron oxide layer, which covers the dunes. Iron oxide is basically rust. That rust causes the orange-reddish color of the dunes in certain areas in the Namib desert. The further you go inland, the darker gets the shade. In Sossusvlei, further inland, you will find the famous red dunes. But on the Skeleton coast, further inland, you also can discover sizeable reddish rock fields in which wildlife roams freely.

On the other side, a Namibian orange sand dune is as well the home of many smaller creatures. They are living in the sand, digging themselves in, and waiting patiently for their prey.

Explore our African desert photography collection for more breathtaking sceneries of the famous dunes. Discover as well our impressive photographs of animals. You can license nature photographs and purchase fine art prints on our website online.

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3 comments for Rain Patterns On An Orange Sand Dune

  1. Ruth Koprek

    Spectacular photograph.

    • Anette Mossbacher

      The glowing dunes, something you do not see every day.
      Thanks a lot, Ruth.

  2. Andrea

    Brilliant! Something very different!

    • Anette Mossbacher

      Indeed it is different. Thanks so much, Andrea.

  3. Johan Peijnenburg

    Well seen Anette! Very nice 🙂

    • Anette Mossbacher

      Well, my eyes got bigger and bigger as closer I came. 😃
      It looked so 3-D like. When I was finished with photographing the dune, I lay down on the dune to see how high these iron patterns were. But the sand was flat as a pancake! Even more I was astonished with the iron patterns in 3-D look.
      Thanks so much Johan.
      Cheers Anette

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