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Desert - Ancient and Modern

Desert - Ancient and Modern
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: 2007-04-03
Categories: Desert, Mountain
Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds MkII, Canon 24-70 mm f 2,8 L-USM
Exposure: f/5.0, 1/125 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): My favourite naturescapes [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2010-02-02 6:32
Viewed: 7362
Points: 50
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I took this shot in Libya in 2007. It shows part of the Acacus Mountain range - a large area covered with strange rock formations. I have called this ancient and modern because the sandstones here were formed in an ancient desert millions of years ago. How do I know this? If you look at the bedding planes they are not as regular as they would be if they had been deposited by a river, So, you can see today's Sahara (close to the borders of Niger and Algeria) and evidence of a much older desert. :)

NB The dark marks running down the rock are NOT bedding planes, they are desert varnish - under intense heat some of the silica in the sandstone 'melts' and runs down the rock surface - eventually turning black.

Acacus Mountains or Tadrart Acacus is a mountain range in the desert of western Libya, part of the Sahara. They are situated east of the Libyan city of Ghat. They streach north from the Libyan border about 100 km. Tadrart means 'mountain' in the native language of the area (Tamahaq language). The area has a particularly rich array of prehistoric rock art.

The Acacus Mountains have a large variation of landscapes, from differently coloured sanddunes to arches, gorges, isolated rocks and deep ravines (wadis). Major landmarks include the arches of Afzejare and Tin Khlega. Although this area is one of the most arid of the Sahara, there is vegetation, such as the medicinal Calotropis procera, and there are a number of springs and wells in the mountains.

The area is known for its rock-art and was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985 because of the importance of these paintings and carvings. The paintings date from 12,000 BC to 100 AD and reflect cultural and natural changes in the area. There are paintings and carvings of animals such as giraffes, elephants, ostriches and camels, but also of men and horses. Men are depicted in various daily life situations, for example while making music and dancing.

Recently, the search for petroleum has placed the rock art itself in danger. Seismic hammers are used to send shock waves underneath to locate oil deposits, and have noticeable effects on nearby rocks, including the ones that house the Tadrart Acacus rock art.

The Sahara is the world's largest hot desert. At over 9,000,000 square kilometres (3,500,000 sq mi), it covers most of Northern Africa, making it almost as large as the United States or the continent of Europe. The desert stretches from the Red Sea, including parts of the Mediterranean coasts, to the outskirts of the Atlantic Ocean. To the south, it is delimited by the Sahel: a belt of semi-arid tropical savanna that comprises the northern region of central and western Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Sahara has an intermittent history that may go back as much as 3 million years. Some of the sand dunes can reach 180 metres (600 ft) in height. The name comes from the Arabic word for desert.

fyapici, ramthakur, uleko, PeterZ, jhm, boreocypriensis, siggi, nglen, jaycee, Dis. Ac., anel, zulfu, anemone, matatur, CeltickRanger, Pitoncle, jusninasirun has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
Our Planetingridshaul 1 02-10 09:05
To nasokoun: !!!!!!!!!nasokoun 2 02-03 03:23
To nglen: InformationJamesp 1 02-02 13:01
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2010-02-02 6:45]
  • [+]

Hi James,

A nice landscape,well composed image with good details and contrasts despite the bit grey looking BG,well done and tfs this picture out from a country not that often shown on TN,


Hi James

Very interesting place and very artistic photo. You have taken it from the best POV. It must be very hot. Interesting... Bravo and TFS.


Amazing rock formations in the Sahara desert, James.
I am wonder-struck to notice the range of your travels all over the world and the very unique pictures that you share with us from these journeys.
This is a superb picture with great colours, contrasts and depth of view. Your note gives a fine insight into the history of these rocks. Our earth is truly rich in its myriad personas.
Thanks and regards.

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2010-02-02 7:45]

Hello James
Wonderful! I like it.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2010-02-02 7:49]

Hello James,
A fantastic view of these impressive rock formations surrounded by the smooth desert sand. Excellent DOF and the colours are so beautiful! Very well composed too and I read your note with interest!
Many thanks and regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-02-02 8:11]

Hello James,
Another fantastic landscape in superb colours and a perfect composition. Great sharpness, details, POV and DOF. Very informative note.

  • Great 
  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 893 W: 0 N: 507] (1853)
  • [2010-02-02 8:45]

Hello James,

Splendid how the reliefs in the rocks through the wind and sand.
Not easy for take through the white sky.
Good contrast and presentation.
Very well done.

Best regards,

Hi Bro James,

At least for me:) very inviting scene, such rich and warm colours. I am sure it rich in reptiles:).
TFS and have a nice night!


  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-02-02 11:49]

Hello James,
Excellent picture of this landscape. Very good composition. Beautiful rocks formations. Excellent sharpness, light and colours.
Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2010-02-02 12:20]
  • [+]

Hi James. At school i would have never of found any of this interesting but i must say i enjoy reading you notes which you always post with your pictures. Do you know all of this information yourself ?. With out the notes it would be a picture of some rock in the desert .But now i understand how and why they are there. Well taken TFs.

hello James,
wonderful place and composition, very good photo ouput!
keep photographing! TFS

amazing landscape, TFS Ori

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2010-02-02 15:10]

Hi James,

These rock formations on the almost orange sand is a fascinating sight. Even the colors of the sky are interesting. This is what I think of when I hear the word desert - not the strange ones we have in Arizona.


Debe de ser toda una aventura visitar esas zonas James, además es un País cercano a España pero desconocido para la gran mayoría de nosotros !.

Me encantan las tonalidades, la luz, las formas, el encuadre y la tranquilidad que inspira.

Un saludo: Josep Ignasi.

Hello James,

another great shot from you with good pov and details from this pice of the Sahara.
Fine colours.


  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2010-02-03 4:41]

Hello James,
A very beautiful view on the red desert and these rocks of Lybia.. I would like to see these regions and the antique Roman ruins in this country, but at the moment Swiss citizen are not welcome... Very beautiful view on the special shaped rocks and fine sharpness of the picture.
Thanks and kind regards

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2010-02-03 5:29]

Hello James,
A great title to a fine shot depicting desert sand and what it can become with the passage of time.
Beautiful composition with a 3-D effect between the sandstone ridges and pristine sand between.
Excellent informative note too.
Thanks and kind regards,

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2010-02-03 7:31]

Hello JUames, superb scene shot of this very special environment with nice rock shapes.
TFS and G's,

Hi james. splendid landscape caprujre with great colour, shapes and beautiful composition.
TFS. Kind regards,

Such a beautiful monochromatic desert scene in rich browns and whites James, captured from a nice viewpoint with good depth control and perfect exposure. TFS this fine scene my friend.

hello James

a beautiful photo of the desert scenery, very fine POV, DOF
and the way it is framed, excellent sharpness and details
to all the image, beautiful softness of the warm colour tones,



Dear James
After three weeks away, I was really looking forward to see your latest postings.

I chose this particular photo because the rock formations resemble an area in SW Africa, which we liked a lot! We actually have a documentary copy of a 35mm slide of a formation called "God's Finger" (south of Marienthal) from the seventies - documentary, because the upper part of the structure has since broken off.

The desert has a strange attraction, hasn't it? Wherever it is... whatever continent.

I very much appreciate to read YOUR notes instead of some of the dribble copied from Wikipedia!

I am wondering about the colour of the sky; was it sand in the air?

Have a nice evening
Take care

Bonjour James,
Très belle publication bien composée avec ses plans successifs, nettement identifiables par leur structure, donnant une image profonde.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

Hi James.

Excellent composition of this beautiful rock. The details exposure of fine texture is amazing. Nice display of erosion taking place over a very long period of time.

Thanks for sharing and best regards.

  • Great 
  • Marcos (46)
  • [2010-03-19 6:39]

Your work is wonderful, congratulations!!!
Greetings from Brazil!!
Marcos L. Britto.

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