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Sunrise in the Deep Sahara

Sunrise in the Deep Sahara
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-04-05
Categories: Desert
Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds MkII, Canon 24-70 mm f 2,8 L-USM
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/200 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Dunes [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-11-28 5:49
Viewed: 9190
Points: 62
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I took this shot earler this year. There was another large dune to the right of this one but I had ruined it by running over it several times during the night to the 'bush loo' - ok a trowel - our cook had given us some bore-hole water - it had a very high chemical content and had a rather drastic effect on my tummy! At least I was awake for sunrise!!

The Sahara covers huge parts of Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Western Sahara, Sudan and Tunisia.

The Sahara includes many landforms such as rivers (Nile River, Sénégal River), mountain ranges (Aïr Mountains, Ahaggar Mountains, Saharan Atlas, Tibesti Mountains), smaller deserts and ergs (Libyan Desert, Ténéré, Egyptian Sand Sea, Qattara Depression, Erg of Bilma, Erg Chebbi), lakes (Lake Chad) and oases (Bahariya, Ghardaïa, Timimoun).

According to a botanical criteria of Cap-Rey, the Sahara is comprised between the following:

at north: limits of the maturity of Phoenix dactylifera (date palm trees)

at south: southern limit of Cornucala monacantha (a Chenopodiaceae) or northern limit of the Cencrus biflorus (a Poaceae of the Sahel region).

According to climatic criteria:

at north: an isohyet of 100 mm annual precipitation.

at south: a limit described by an isohyet of 150 mm
annual precipitation (keeping in mind that
precipitation varies strongly from one year to
The climate of the Sahara has undergone enormous variation between wet and dry over the last few hundred thousand years. During the last ice age, the Sahara was bigger than it is today, extending south beyond its current boundaries. The end of the ice age brought better times to the Sahara, from about 8000 BC to 6000 BC, perhaps due to low pressure areas over the collapsing ice sheets to the north. Once the ice sheets were gone, the northern part of the Sahara dried out. However, not long after the end of the ice sheets, the monsoon which currently brings rain to the Sahara came further north and counteracted the drying trend in the southern Sahara. The monsoon in Africa (and elsewhere) is due to heating during the summer. Air over land becomes warmer and rises, pulling in cool wet air from the ocean. This causes rain. Paradoxically, the Sahara was wetter when it received more solar insolation in the summer. In turn, changes all in solar insolation are caused by changes in the Earth's orbital parameters.

By around 2500 BC, the monsoon retreated south to approximately where it is today, leading to the desertification of the Sahara. The Sahara is currently as dry as it was about 13,000 years ago. These conditions are responsible for what has been called the Sahara Pump Theory.

The Sahara is known to have one of the harshest climates in the world. The prevailing north-easterly wind can often cause the sand to form tornadoes. Precipitation, while rare is not unknown and occasionally on the border zones to the north and south, the desert will receive about 25 cm (10 in.) of rain a year. The rainfall happens very rarely, but when it does it is usually torrential when it occurs after long dry periods, which can last for years.

eqshannon, ramthakur, JoseMiguel, Aaltjie, earthtraveler, uleko, Alex99, nglen, jazdzurka, Juyona, gracious, rousettus, Bufo, angybone, Norte, haraprasan, vanderschelden, horia has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Argus: golfballJamesp 1 11-29 00:35
To Aaltjie: ThanksJamesp 1 11-28 22:46
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Critiques [Translate]

Truly awsome capture of the sand dunes of Libya, James.
Wonderful compo from a great perspective.
TFS and regards.

Lovely patterns in the sand. I have something similar in the Palouse grasses to which I have projected this type of image in my head. In a way I am real glad you posted this as it shows the one of a kind sand. Fantastic study in patterns in nature.

Hi James,
Outstanding capture!
I like very much the framing and well saturated colours got here, the time of shot was the right one.
It's so beautiful the shadows projected, like a sea of red sand.
Congratulations and thanks for share it.
My best regards,

  • Great 
  • jesst Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 368 W: 0 N: 172] (2441)
  • [2007-11-28 5:58]

Wonderful picture with amazing shadows and lights. Very good composition, detatil and POV

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2007-11-28 6:00]

Hi James,
good use of the grasses to add depth and lead the eye here, it really works..the patterns are just fantastic too. Beautiful coloured sand and excellent detail and clarity...what a view.

Good capture of this desert landscape. I like the interesting textures in the sand, as well as the cloudless sky. It is good to see something other than flowers, birds and butterflies. Thanks for the very informative notes. Really enjoyed it.
Warmest regards

Hello James,
Of course the colours are what first catch my attention!
But a more detailed study shows more... for instance the shapes and lines formed by the wind!
Beautiful light, great details... the dry grass is a nice addition!
Pablo -

Hi James
Fantastic shot. One the most beautiful desert photos that I have ever seen. Great exposure nice warm colors and very informative note. It must have been a great experience to see something like this ;_)
Best wishes

Hi James,
Love the rich color and shadowed releif of these dunes.
Beautifully composed
Well done, TFS

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-11-28 9:37]

Hello James,
Wonderful capture of the Sahara desert in striking colours. Fantastic light, wonderful lines and patterns too. Excellent composition from a nice point of view.
Many thanks, Ulla

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-11-28 10:01]

Hi James.
It is perfect. High-class art work. The best camera, the best lens (I know it from my Cacon-friends), amazing subject and outstanding its reproduction (I mean the best photographer). Bravo.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-11-28 11:40]

Hi James. What a compostion. fantastic colours and shadows . great patterns in the sand. very good alround. TFS. good notes to go with the picture.

Hi James
Beautiful picture of the desert. I like the composition of your picture.
Very nice colours too and excellent sharpness.
Very informative note as well.
Thanks for sharing

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-11-28 13:23]

Hola James,
perfecta postal colores sobresalientes y excelente pov,

Hello James,
this is a real beauty!
the magic colour of desert well captured by you in total sharpness and details
very useful notes to read indeed

Hi James,
You submit to us a fantastic landscape image from Saharan Desert which looks like empty. Superb colors, fine details and nice focus and composition. Your notes everytime nice to read.
Thanks a lot. Best wishes

hello james,
excellent ladscapes, the earthen colour tones look beautiful, nice effect of the falling sunlight, lovely colours, pleasing composition,
well done,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-11-28 23:50]
  • [+]

Hello James,
The light, colours perspective and composition make this a great shot from the Sahara, looking untouched by man and suitably barren.
The small round object, whatever it is, in the FG can suggest a golfball in a giant bunker! :))

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-11-29 0:28]

Hi James,
Outstanding shot with such lovely colours and details on the sand. You do take us to awesome locations and remote places where I know I cannot go or reach. The patterns on the FG sand and the swinging sand dunes look majestic and so natural. Excellent POV to present this fabulous scene and very nicely composed. Kudos.

  • Great 
  • Bufo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 404 W: 69 N: 951] (4247)
  • [2007-11-29 1:14]

Hello James,
these colours are just great to see. The warm red/browns contrast nice against the morning sky. It is indeed a shame to set footprints in such nice ripples. How are these tiny sand lines formed: by wind I suppose, but I wonder why they are formed in parallel lines.
Fantastic landscape image!
Regards, Jacob

Hey James, the colour and textures of this place, and in your shot are awesome. I think early morning I could really enjoy myself here (maybe not later in the afternoon). It's nicely composed with that "S" dune leading up to the bigger one. Is that a rock, 1/2" from the bottom of the shot in the dead centre? Funny how something small like that can catch your eye? Great notes.

Thanks, John

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-11-29 9:14]

Hello James

Awesome colour and clarity,National Geographic material.
The composition is well done,and the shadows and shades are beautiful.
I really like the textures of the sand and ther ripples created by the wind .
The sky is a nice contrast and this shot almost looks like it's from another planet,and I know that can't be.Even though you have travelled just about everywhere else.LOL.
Great job


This is amazing...what wonderful patterns and shadows...great shapes, amazing colors. WOW!

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-11-29 10:41]

Hello James,
Very beautiful patterns in the magnificent composition. Fantastic light and warm colours. Great DOF.

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2007-11-29 10:46]

Well done James on this great composition, I love the great light coming from the side, the warm tones and the sharpness. Thanks !


  • Great 
  • Norte Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 32 W: 0 N: 45] (184)
  • [2007-11-29 16:08]

Lovely view, and reminds me about the snowdrifts we see in our mountains. Just a little bit warmer in Sahara... :-)

Fine composition and colors.

Regards, Jon.

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2007-11-30 1:05]

Hi James,
fabulous image of this awesome landscape.
+++ The colours are amazingly rich and vibrent.
Perfect composition.
I love the harsh lighting and the stark shadows it produces.
Great foreground interest as well with those wavy patterns in the sand and tufts of grass.
--- Absolutely nothing ;)
Very well done,

Hi James,
A beautiful capture of this desert landscape. Excellent composition and nice colors. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Hello James,
Well composed. Very good light.
Drink bore-hole water and get up early in the morning:-)
Well done

I like the colors, the lights and shades of so attractive ondulantes dunes. But but the intesante thing is to observe the textures that are smoothed making a route from the ground to the sky. Congratulations and greetings. ((Mariana))

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-12-02 6:43]

Hi again my friend

I'm not going to attend to all of them, but i had to say something about this one :)
This is a splendid shot, one that contrasts what i see out of my window now 100% :)) There is simply nothing in common :)) I see here vivid colors, hot land, beautiful blue sky and some very aesthetic curvy lines that just make the composition. None of these are to be found in my view right now, which in fact makes this is a great post, not necessarily for me, but for all of us in the same situation - tied to their houses and apartments in the city, covered by grey clouds and saturated with bad weather.
The mood of the picture here is terrific and i really like the tranquility given by the nice shades of all the sand waves. A true beauty!

Bravo and TFS

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