All photos by Isabella Tabacchi. Used with permission.
The night sky has always fascinated bright minds for the mystery and stunning imagery it brings, making it a popular subject among artists and photographers. Bologna-based landscape photographer Isabella Tabacchi, for example, found it her favorite part of everyday life and a potent source of inspiration for her work. If you are drawn to photographing landscapes against the night sky, you’ll definitely find her snaps in Namibia nothing short of surreal.
Many stars and galaxies are only visible from the Southern Hemisphere, so shooting this series was a dream for Tabacchi. For the specific location, she settled on Namibia for the incredible environments of the Namib Desert, the Damara region, and the Spitzkoppe. She also visited these spots with local guides out of respect for the natural park regulations and security reasons.
”One of my dreams has always been to visit and capture the natural scenery under the night sky of the Southern Hemisphere. Many stars and galaxies like the Magellanic Clouds are only visible in the south of the Equator and it’s possible to observe the other part of the Milky Way.”
The remote location gave her totally dark skies so she was able able to capture the grandeur of the Milky Way Galaxy, the Magellanic Clouds, and the surrounding stars. Set against the speckled skies are the otherworldly trees and sand dunes of the Namib Desert. These visual elements all come together to make a spectacular scene made possible only through skillful landscape photography.
“The night was really dark there! I had the sensation that I was able to touch the stars with my fingers and enjoyed to play with the various compositions I was able to create (the trees in the Deadvlei and the Magellanic Clouds).”
On shooting landscape photography at night, Tabacchi emphasized her love for chasing the light and wonder at the deeper inspiration provided by landscapes against the darkness. “For me, many landscapes in the dark hours are even more inspiring than in the day time.”