Big Mama Dune, Sossusvlei, Namibia

DECEMBER 2006 – View of the ‘Big Mama’ dune at the Sossusvlei area in Namibia. © Mark Zanzig/

The story behind the image

The Big Mama dune is part of the Sossusvlei National Park in Nambia. You get to it after driving a long and rather straight tarred road from the only park entry for about 70 kilometers, then changing to a shuttle service and drive another 3 kilometers, and finally walk to the foot of the dune, or even to its top!

This is what we did in 2006. And we also (literally) ran down its western side and paused about halfway from the top. Which is where I shot this photo. The sun was almost straight ahead (and above) the frame, and the shadows were pretty long (and pretty at that). This is weird as you associate long shadows typically with early morning or late afternoon shots, making you think that “something is wrong” with this image. But no, the image is perfectly fine – it’s just the steepness of the sand dune that fools the brain here.

We had a lot of fun at the dune. If you have a chance to visit the area, don’t miss out the Big Mama dune!

The high resolution image

Capture Date & Time07-DEC-2006, 09:33
LocationSossusvlei, Namibia
CameraCanon EOS-1Ds Mark II
LensCanon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
Exposure1/200 sec at f/22
Digital Image Source FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, AdobeRGB
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Dimensions4992 x 3328 Pixels
Copyright© by Mark Zanzig/

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