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Photo of the desert: when the seas of sand catch the eye

Desert photography is a photographic genre very popular with photographers andt picture lovers. The land stretching as far as the eye can see, the sky and the sun reflecting on the golden sand, all sprinkled with a hint of dust... The image of the desert captivates the eye when it is successful. If you like this type of landscape photo in the middle of nature, this article is for you!

Align by Olivia Van Dyke

The most beautiful seas of sand

Seas of sand are landscapes in which it is easy to gaze. Large expanses punctuated by the curves of the dunes, how not to find this striking view? Far from our daily life and difficult to explore, the deserts remain the stronghold of nomadic communities and experienced photographers who know their corners, especially where the water points are located. Those who manage to capture a unique image of the desert know its history, ecosystem and behavior.

Surrender by Olivia Van Dyke

The largest deserts in the world and their ecology

Sahara, Atacama, Kalahari, you certainly know these names associated with the most beautiful seas of sand. Here is an order of magnitude:

  • And the Sahara extends over more than 8.5 million square kilometers and dominates the others by its surface area and the imagination that accompanies it.
  • The Gobi Desert in Central Asia (1.3 million km²) mixes stretches of sand and rock.
  • The Atacama Desert in South America covers more than one million km².
  • The Kalahari Desert (900,000 km²), is located in southern Africa straddling Namibia, Botswana and South Africa.
  • Taklamakan desert, nicknamed “sea of death”, occupies 270,000 km² of the Chinese Uighur region.
Patterns in Nature by Mieke Boynton

You must know that arid and semi-arid zones cover a third of the surface of our planet. Seas of sand are found in hot, tropical and sometimes continental deserts. Their existence stems from atmospheric currents, whose wind sculpts the sand dunes. This is why we often speak of shifting sand landscapes.

Extension by Olivia Van Dyke

Perceived as very hostile terrain for humans, with no trace of life, deserts have their own ecosystem. In addition to the fact that it does not rain there or very rarely, the hot desert ecosystem includes these main elements:

  • And vent regular
  • A evaporation important
  • And sun poor
  • Little wildlife (insects, rodents, reptiles, antelopes and eagles) and flora (cactus, yucca, agave, etc)

Morocco, Mauritania, Abu Dhabi, many trips are organized to see these stretches of sand with your own eyes. However, let's not minimize the carbon footprint of these trips to photograph these majestic sand dunes, unless you plan to get there on camelback! note that the Sahara desert alone has increased by 10% in area in a century as a result of human activities. True, the deserts are gradually approaching our doors!

Metamorphosis by Mieke Boynton

How to take a desert photo?

If, however, you have the good fortune to practice desert photography, here are some tips. First of all, you have to pay attention to the light and have a clear sky, these two factors are particularly important for a successful desert photo. To start, you must look for places where there is a burst of color. The rule of times conducive to sunrise and sunset applies here!

Can you try black and white landscape photography for a graphic rendering produced by the shadow and light effects of sand dunes.

Try abstract compositions by playing with the angle of the shot (horizontal, vertical and diagonal) and the contrast between the sand and the sky. In his series “Immersion”, Olivia Van Dyke creates a link between the female body and the desert photo. The style of landscape photography in nature of this Canadian artist fascinates and questions us.

Note that while some recommend a windless period, it can also bring a natural effect to your photo and create a bit of movement, that's a matter of taste! The more time you spend experimenting with photographing this very special nature landscape, the better you will come to grasp its beauty.

Regarding the equipment, note these few tips to not miss a photo of the desert:

  • Buy a polarizing filter to screw on the lens (attenuate the rays of the sun and stronger color saturation)
  • As in any photo expedition in search of landscape in the middle of nature, fully charge your batteries.
  • Close the pockets of your camera bag tightly, under penalty of donating your equipment to the sea of sand.
  • Check sunrise and sunset times and put an alarm clock, the beautiful light is deserved!
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