For May 17th, 2011, National Geographic’s Photo of the Day was of camel thorn trees in Namibia by Frans Lanting. [Official caption: Tinted orange by the morning sun, a soaring dune is the backdrop for the hulks of camel thorn trees in Namib-Naukluft Park.]

I’ve become drawn to this photo, and no matter how hard I try, I cannot get my mind to wrap around it. At first glance, it looks like a simple, yet gorgeous painting. If you view it moving slowly from the bottom going up, the ground and the bottoms of the trees look real. As the trees start to curve in seemingly unnatural directions and the orange hue of the sun sets in, this is when my brain begins to misinterpret what my eyes are showing me. I JUST DON’T GET IT and yet, I think I am in love with it. Perhaps this is the beauty and essence of art. Simultaneously captivating and provoking. This is photography and nature at it’s absolute best.

I visited Frans Lanting’s website and found a plethora of his other work. I’ve selected a few to show here. If I’m ever in Santa Barbara, I will make it a point to visit his gallery.


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