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Believe It Or Not, This Isn't a Painting -- It's a Photograph

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"It's beautiful, it's serene, it's surreal."

It may be hard to believe, but the picture below is NOT a painting. It's actually a National Geographic photo:

What you're seeing are camel thorn trees in Namibia's Namib-Naukluft Park. It's the incredible work of NatGeo photographer Frans Lanting.

Brian Barrett over at Gizmodo explains (and describes) the picture perfectly:

That orange backdrop? That's a dune reflecting Namibia's rising sun. And while the trees themselves look like etchings of a dream, they're a very real part of one of the country's largest national parks. It's beautiful, it's serene, it's surreal. And it's still almost impossible to believe that the only paintbrush used was nature's.

Lanting himself goes into more detail in a NatGeo blog post:

Here's a short summary about the making of the photo. It was made at dawn when the warm light of the morning sun was illuminating a huge red sand dune dotted with white grasses while the white floor of the clay pan was still in shade. It looks blue because it reflects the color of the sky above. Because of the contrast between the shady foreground and the sunlit background I used a two-stop graduated filter which reduced the contrast. The perfect moment came when the sun reached all the way down to the bottom of the sand dune just before it reached the desert floor. I used a long telephoto lens and stopped it all the way down to compress the perspective.

Click on the photo to enlarge it and get a better view. And then sit and stare in awe.

You can download it as your wallpaper here.

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