Orupembe Shop No.1
Beyond the back of beyond lies a shop in the middle of nowhere. It serves cold beers and cokes to weary off roaders who happen to pass by, but sometimes days will pass with no sales made. For miles around there is no human influence and to see a shop in the middle of the desert certainly comes as a surprise. Orupembe lies in the far north west reaches of the Kunene region of Namibia and is well off the beaten tourist path. Devoid of any large towns or villages, there is no light pollution in the area and the region is a paradise for astrophotographers, once the logistics of getting there are overcome. I happened to pass by this shop back in May of 2023 and vowed to come back, putting it on my bucket list destinations then. September of 2023 saw me come back to this iconic location and I spent nearly a week in this area….
The Namibia night skies are possibly one of the best in the world with great seeing and transparency with very little turbulence. The jewels in the sky shine bright and one can see Orion, the Hyades and the Pleaides, along with fainter objects like the Witchhead and Horsehead Nebulae. Barnards Loop, the Boogeyman nebula and M78, along with the dust clouds of Taurus and the Rosette complex also resolve beautifully….
I used my Sony A7rvHa modded camera along with a Sony 35mm GM lens to shoot this scene. The foreground was shot using a long exposure of 8 minutes and then light painted with a Luxli Fiddle light at a very low setting. I then moved the tripod to about 200 mtrs away from the location to get a clear view of the horizon. Orion rises late at night at this time of the year so a long wait ensued and when Orion was sufficiently high in the sky, I imaged it using my Rainbow Astro tracker. All in all, it was a very satisfying night out under the great night skies that Namibia offers.
Camera = Sony A7rv H-alpha modded
Lens = Sony 35mm GM F1.4
Tracker = Rainbow Astro RST135e
Filters – Kani MC R640 red pass, Kani soft filter
Sky Exposure = 300secs F2.8 iso 800 tracked stack of 6
Ground Exposure = 480 secs F2.8 iso 800 LLL LENR
Software = PixInsight, Lightroom, Photoshop.