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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Gallery Thirty Three: Using light and color to define and contrast textures > Sahara sunset, Erg Chebbi, Morocco, 2006
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Sahara sunset, Erg Chebbi, Morocco, 2006

Sahara sunset, Erg Chebbi, Morocco, 2006

Shooting a sand dune as a sand dune is not expressive. It is descriptive. To express the nature of the dune, we must either emphasize its scale, or else interpret its meaning through light, color, and texture. In this case, I use all of these factors to express the flavor of a Sahara sunset. I do not show the sun itself, but instead use the sun to reveal the textures in the sand created by the wind. Using a 28mm wideangle lens, I force the dunes to stretch to the horizon a field of textured red sand against a fading blue sky.

Leica D-Lux 3
1/100s f/3.6 at 6.3mm iso100 full exif

other sizes: small medium large original
Phil Douglis04-Apr-2007 07:07
Thanks, Daniel. I tried to give my viewers a sense of what it is like to be all alone in the Sahara. We hear not a sound, and see not a soul. We alone with nature.
daniel03-Apr-2007 20:32
What a beautiful shot...
How does it feels being at a crowded place such as Asia or the USA and then find yourself on such a vast emtyness such as the desert.... Powerful feeling...
Amazing world... Like it had been said.. Things are what we make of them. Empty or crowded... Awesome world.
Phil Douglis04-Feb-2007 03:19
Thanks, Chris -- sand is sand, and to make it say something, it is important to find rhythms and patterns of texture that can be illuminated in expressive color by the sun at a low angle. I also used the 28mm wideangle focal length to not only embrace a wide swath of desert and evening sky, but it also allows me to get very close to that sand to express detail in the texture without limiting the scope and scale of the scene itself. Everything must be working for us at once to make an image such as this, Chris -- rhythm, pattern, texture, light, color, detal and scale.
Chris Sofopoulos03-Feb-2007 21:23
The angle of the light shows so perfectly the rough texture of the sand as well as the mood and harsh and desolate environment of Sahara. Beautiful photo!
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