Namibian Nights by Marsel van Oosten
by Daniel Haim
It’s not a simple task coming up with new footage considering you’ve been visiting the same place every year for more than a decade. Over the years Marsel has created the most extensive & quite popular night photography portfolio of Namibia, and just about two years ago he decided it was time to take it up a notch.
His idea was to create a time-lapse video featuring his most popular subjects: the fairytale-like quiver trees and the eery, dead camelthorn trees in Deadvlei – something that has never been done before. But instead of going for static scenes, Marsel added movement to the scenes using a dolly system.
The scenes were shot during the night with Nikon D3, D3s and D4 cameras. The team used small headlights for selectively lighting trees and rocks, and sometimes used natural light, in other words – the moon. The brighter the scene, the more moon there was at the time.
For the arch scene, Marsel says they timed their shoot exactly with moon set, “which involved quite a bit of calculating and planning. But the hardest one of all was probably the mist scene in Deadvlei. Mist in Deadvlei only occurs around five times a year, so we had to keep a close eye on the weather predictions and many attempts were unsuccessful.”
When they finally got it right, the results far exceeded everyone’s expectations and show Deadvlei as no one has ever seen it before.
Each second of video consists of 30 photographs. In total, Marsel shot more than 16,000 images over a period of two years for this single project. As a reward, the video won First Prize in the 2012 Travel Photographer Of The Year Awards.
Director: Marsel van Oosten
Editor: Daniella Sibbing
Composer: Simon Wilkinson
Produced by: Squiver