The aptly named Rub al Khali (Empty Quarter) desert on a cool winter morning. The rays of the early morning sun catching the ripples in the sand, highlighting the variety of patterns and textures on the dunes.
There is little sign of life for miles around, part from the small Zygophyllum bush in the distance growing in the cooler shade of the sixth dune ridge.
If you look carefully, you can see the gerbil tracks on the top of the first ridge, as well as a couple of what look to be scarab tracks on the first and second dune.
The early morning desert sun is always so beautiful, the way the soft light models the textures of the sand never fails to amaze. Unfortunately, it doesn't last long before becoming too flat as well as too hot; particularly in the summer when we've recorded temperatures of 56 degrees centigrade when doing wildlife surveys, my belt has melted to my clothes and the soles of my boots have peeled off, and the wind feels like a hot hair dryer up the nostrils.
Which, is why we tend to venture out in the winter (Nov-March), when it can get quite chilly at night and sometimes (if you're lucky) fog blankets the dunes, giving some great ethereal images.
Dust of course is an ever present danger, which is why we tend to stick to one lens only, the biggest decision of the day being is it the 24-70mm or the 70-200mm? Once it's on, it's staying on. Although, early morning, there is often only a light wind and the sand is damp from the dew, so we might be tempted to switch lenses if necessary.
The only other problem is condensation if stepping out from an ice cold air conditioned vehicle into the sometimes quite humid desert air, which is why we tend to roll the windows down to let the cabin equalise, and ourselves acclimatise.
To get the required depth of field we focus stacked a series of five images, the square crop was set in camera as I was trying to force myself to think inside the square.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor