This image is NOT a painting. Nor is it a Photoshop job or an artist’s rendering. It’s a photograph, taken by National Geographic’s Frans Lanting. The photograph is of some camel thorn trees in Namib-Naukluft Parkin the Namib Desert in Africa (considered the world’s oldest desert).
The trees and sand look real when viewed closely. The orange backdrop? That’s a dune reflecting Namibia’s rising sun. The white bits are plants growing on the dune, and the orange is the sand itself. If you go to the site and look at the larger version, it’s a lot more obvious.
It is hard to believe this has not been manipulated. The image is simply stunning.