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Uluru Glowing

Uluru Glowing
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: 2002-07
Categories: Desert
Camera: Canon EOS 1vHS, Canon 24-70 mm f 2,8 L-USM, Fuji Provia 100
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Earth from Above, TN Favourites [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-03-03 8:16
Viewed: 7174
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 50
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This is another posting for my 'Earth from Above' theme. It shows Uluru at sunset from a light aircraft. If you look carefully you can see the shadow of the rock behind it - to the top right of the rock. This flight was pretty neat as we flew quite high, saw the sunset, then dived down several thousand feet and saw it again!

This is a scanned slide.

The low red ridges are the active tops of sand dunes. If you look carefully you can see some small whiteish objects above the top of the nearest dune to the rock and below it to the left (more visible) these are sunset viewing areas and are cars and campervans (RVs).


The colour changes on Uluru result from the effects of the Earth's atmosphere on the sun's incoming rays. The ash, dust particles and water vapour present in the earth's atmosphere act as a filter which can remove the bluer light from the incoming rays of the sun, allowing the redder light through at different times of day. At midday when the sun is overhead, the sun's rays only have to pass through a small thickness of atmosphere, minimizing the filtering affect of the atmosphere. In the mornings and evenings when the sun is low in the sky the sun's rays have to travel through a large thickness of atmosphere to reach the earth's surface. The light reaching Uluru and Kata Tjuta near sunrise and sunset is mainly from the red end of the spectrum and its reflection from the rock and clouds in the sky cause the spectacular colours. The reddish-brown colour of the rocks and surrounding sand further enhances these effects.


Uluru and Kata Tjuta lie near the southern margin of an area geologists call the Amadeus Basin. This depression in the Earth's crust formed about 900 million years ago, and received layer upon layer of sediment over several hundred million years. This stopped about 300 million years ago.

At times the Amadeus Basin was a shallow sea collecting these sediments. Some of it was blocked off from the sea and the water evaporated leaving crusted salt. A cold period left deposits of glacial rock.

The older sediments in the Amadeus Basin were crumpled and buckled about 550 million years ago, and mountain ranges were uplifted in an event the geologists call the Petermann Ranges Orogeny (orogeny = mountain building period). At this time there were no trees or grasses covering the landscape. Bacteria and algae were the only life forms and they helped break down the jagged mountain ranges.

These bare mountains eroded easily. Huge amounts of sediment washed away when it rained and formed alluvial fans adjacent to the ranges. It is the remains of at least two of these alluvial fans that are seen today as Uluru and Kata Tjuta.

By about 500 million years ago a shallow sea again covered the region. The alluvial fans of arkose and conglomerate were at least 2.5km thick and were gradually covered by sand and mud and the remains of sea creatures.

The overlying sediment deposits compressed and cemented the Uluru arkosic sand into arkose and the coarse gravels of Kata Tjuta into conglomerate.
A broad valley developed between the two rocks at around 65 million years ago and was partly filled with river sands and swamp deposits, including thin layers of coal. At that time the climate was wet. Only during the past 500,000 years has the climate become drier and a thin blanket of wind blown sand covered the sediments.

From the National Park Guide

Bass, NinaM, jaycee, eqshannon, nglen, Necipp, zulfu, rousettus, nkasot, SkyF, Luis52, Evelynn, albert, Adanac, bobcat08, rcrick has marked this note useful
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To bahadir: ThanksJamesp 1 03-03 14:35
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-03-03 8:20]

Hello James, great shot of this very nicely lighted mountain, it is very striking, well seen and very well done! THanks!


Unreal picture James. It looks very foreign, almost like form another planet. Very nicely captured. TFS


  • Great 
  • Bass Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 173 W: 0 N: 233] (974)
  • [2008-03-03 8:36]

Hi James,
seems taken from an other planet or from a movie scene. I love that mix of colours,itīs really good. Nice POV and DOF also, very well done
have a nice day

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-03-03 9:09]

Hi James, this is fascinating! The shadow of the huge rock is very impressive, what a flight you had! The picture is fantastic as we are able to see the phenomenon perfectly. The scale is huge and you managed a fantastic picture. Thank you for showing it!


  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-03-03 10:19]

Hi James.

That flight must have been fantastic! The sunsets must have been amazing. Are you sure this was on Earth? It is a stunning shot and looks other worldly. Beautiful colors of Uluru and of the water. What an exciting life you lead. By the way, it is cold here today too - and the skies are also blue.


I am fascinated with this rock...ever since Midnight Oil came on the scene musically and it was in one of the 1980's music videos...that was the first I had seen it and of course it is featured in various magazines from time to time...none showing this particular angle of course which makes it all the more special..and what do you mean by light aircraft...not ultralight I hope....

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-03-03 11:52]

Hi James. Such a fine picture taken 6 years ago. This must have been some sight. fantastic colours which you have captured so well. TFS. the interesting notes too.

Hello James what an amazing view colours are superb. Amazing place. tfs rgds Necip.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-03-03 12:34]

Hello James,
Great shot of this remarkable famous rock, well worth scanning to show us this areal view with the shadow and fiery colours from the setting sun.
I think Uluru is a better name than the old Ayer's Rock. Thanks for sharing this and your good note.

Hi James,
Great capture of this beautifully coloured landscape, nice colors and composition. TFS.
Regards, Bahadır

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-03-03 12:47]

Hello James,
What a remarkable photo. Despite some noise in the air it's a very beautiful and unusual angle to see Uluru. Fascinating colours.

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2008-03-03 13:07]

Hello James,
Excellent landscape capture. Perfect composition. Great light and natural colours.

Hello James,
Up to now, I have seen Uluru - Ayers Rock mainy time in journals, documentary films etc. But your different, perfect capture. fascinating scene with wonderful composition from aircraft. Splendid colors, amazing beauty.
TFS, well done

Hi Joe,

A perfect image. All is perfect; composition colors details contrast, all is beautiful. TFS.

Hi James,
his looks great, what amazing colors in this landscape. Great composition with excellent division of space.

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-03-03 14:57]

Hola James.
Wow, What a nice photo You have here. Great colors of this mountain. Also Your note is very interesting.
TFS, and teach me.

This is an amazing photo James...so different that the usual images of this rock. It is really a quite spectacular. What do you do with all these photos. I hope they are being published somewhere. It's a lucky student who gets you for a teacher.

Evelynn ; )

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-03-04 1:28]

Wow! It looks so out of place there!
The red colour is so rich and vivid compared to the dark surroundings.
Superb detail.
Very original view of this famous rock.

Hi James
Amazing capture and great light on Uluru Glowing

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-03-04 8:20]

Hello James

Wow that is quite a sight.I love the colours.
The rock seems to glow.
Excellent POV.The shot is well composed.
Great job.


Hi James,
what a strange picture, I never see this one before your post
colours are splendid
very well done,

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-03-05 23:09]

James, Ultimate shot and excellent image. Lovely view and what a superb scenary. Great and TFS Ganesh

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-03-06 19:42]

Helo James, what a phenominal sight to see, truly amazing as is your capture of it, thank you for sharing.

Hello James,

Itīs unbelievable thats a mix on colors gives such an unreal picture. When I saw the thumbnail the first thing I though: this is a diamant. Just what MartinL said, must be taken from an another planet. I saw the red rocks and sand under me when we fly over the northern part of Australia to NZ. So this is real. Beautiful shot James. A great geologists lesson of Australia. Greetings and TFS BOB

Hi James,
Thanks for the feedback, mate apologies I've missed a few of your shots lately, but I guess better late then never, this is a terrific shot of Uluru, a place I must get to one day, excellent d.o.f wonderful colours, really nice work, all the best Cheers Rick :)

amazing magical landscape, TFS Ori

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