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Pillar Arch

Pillar Arch
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
Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds MkII, Canon 24-70 mm f 2,8 L-USM
Exposure: f/8, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Nature's Oddities [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-09-09 7:19
Viewed: 7722
Points: 38
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I am staying in desert areas for today's posting - this time the Sahara. This rock arch was deep in the Sahara and is formed from very soft sandstones.

Tadrart Acacus is a desert area in western Libya and is part of the Sahara. It is situated close to the city Ghat and not far from the Algerian border. Tadrart means 'mountain' in the native language of the area (Tamahaq language). It has a particularly rich array of prehistoric rock art.

The Acacus has a large variation of landscapes, from differently coloured sanddunes to arches, gorges, rocks and mountains. Major landmarks are 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 callotropis plant.

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.[1] 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.

A natural arch or natural bridge is a natural formation (or landform) where a rock arch forms, with a natural passageway through underneath. Most natural arches form as a narrow ridge, walled by cliffs, become narrower from erosion, with a softer rock stratum under the cliff-forming stratum gradually eroding out until the rock shelters thus formed meet underneath the ridge, thus forming the arch. Natural arches commonly form where cliffs are subject to erosion from the sea, rivers or weathering (sub-aerial processes); the processes "find" weaknesses in rocks and work on them, making them bigger until they break through.

The Sahara (Arabic - ṣaḥrā al-kubra, "The Great Desert") is the world's largest hot desert and the world's second largest desert after Antarctica. At over 9,000,000 square kilometres (3,500,000 sq mi), it covers most parts of Northern Africa; an area stretching 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 separating the Sahara from Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Sahara is almost as large as the continental United States, and is larger than Australia. The Sahara has an intermittent history that may go back as much as 3 million years. Some of the sand dunes can reach 180 meters (600 ft) in height. Its name comes from the Tamajaq Tuareg language word Tenere, which means the desert, translated into the Arabic it gave Sahara "desert".

PaulH, cataclysta, nglen, gracious, eqshannon, jaycee, Alex99, haraprasan, zulfu, xTauruSx, bahadir, Heaven, uleko, SunToucher, Ingrid1 has marked this note useful
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To vanderschelden: VarnishJamesp 2 09-10 11:50
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-09-09 7:43]

Hi James,
what a great POV you chose here. Excellent detail and desert colours. It's a shame you can't show any of the rock art on TN, something i'm very interested in...

Hi James
You've captured interesting patches of light and shadows between the pillars of rock. The rock is such a nice shade of red. It must be a interesting but hot place to visit. Excellent notes A+ :)
TFS Janice

Hi James
It is monumental and unreal ;-0 Another fantastic place and great POV to take a very good photo.
Best wishes

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-09-09 8:06]

Hi James. You have been to so many places and seen wondeful things. And you can share them with us in your pictures. and inetersting notes. Great colours and shapes in the sand arches only nature could do this.TFS.

Hi James,
Great caprure of unusual nature creation in difficult light conditions. Well done!
Cheers, Andriy

Hello James,
True beauty of nature with this unique and impressive arch!
good image with sharpness, colour and details
many thanks for the sharing

You must have stayed overtime in college way back....to redo and extra credit in classes which had anything at all to do with perspective and framing. Your eye may be gifted...perhaps you did nothing of the sort and this comes naturally...It is a Japanese Monkey! Some will know..

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-09-09 9:54]

Hi James,

Where haven't you been and what haven't you seen? I am always amazed by what a fine architect nature is. This Arch is wonderful with a fantastic design. Nice pov so we can see the sky through the sandstone. Wonderful desert colors.


  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-09-09 10:01]

Hi James.
I am impressed with beautifulness of the scene and precise exposure. Terrific details of the shadowed rock. And wonderful reproduction of the light parts of the image. Excellent work of great photographer. My compliments and warm greetings.

Hi James,
A nice capture of this beautiful Saharan landscape. Very well composed with a nice POV. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Awesome content, James.
Really rock art. Well composed. I was thinking about the varnishing effect you explained some time ago (Evelynn's image) but probably that rock wasn't sandstone..?
Very interesting contribution.
Thanks for sharing

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2008-09-09 13:00]

Hello James, amazing natural building! Great shot.
TFS and regards,

Hello James, wonderful capture of this arch in desert. Great colours, details and composition.
TFS and regards,

Hi James..
Weel done..Shapes, colors and places very interesting. Your note's very informative...Excellent picture from you as usual...Thanks to share....
Kind regards,

Hello James, a Superb landscape capture of this arch and desert. Wonderful details and composition.
TFS and regards,

  • Great 
  • Heaven Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 996 W: 123 N: 2341] (7912)
  • [2008-09-09 22:48]

Hi James!

Natural shapes and patterns like this one are so fascinating. The picture and the very interesting and instructive notes make us feel like going to this place, the picture reflects the desert atmosphere very well.

Kind regards


  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-09-10 11:42]

Give it some time and sand and it's amazing what wind can whip up :-)
Superb composition.
Well exposed.
Very sharp.

Great work!


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-09-11 1:21]

Hello James,
Wow, what an impressive sand sculpture seen from a nice angle! Great DOF, excellent details and wonderful colours in this very fine composition. Very nice indeed!
TFS and kind regards, Ulla

Hi James,
The shapes of these pilars and arch are very beautiful. It is proof that nature creates the best art available and its free to see. I love the texture of the rock and the wonderful soft light. What's your guess, would it still be there today or in 10 years?

Dear James, than you very much for showing us this interesting Pillar arch and providing the informative notes. I have added your photo to my theme "Nature' s oddities.

Greetings from South Africa
Ingrid Shaul

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