I have worked for several years in the Sultanate of Oman, a country that is blessed with some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. From tall mountains to pristine beaches, there is an incredible variety of places to visit and photograph. To me, it was the desert that attracted me the most, especially that vast expanse of rolling sand dunes and salt flats that is called the Empty Quarter.
Explorers have written about this desert, perhaps the most notorious was Thesiger, that crossed it a few times with Bedouin parties. In his books he writes about the challenges and sufferings he faced in this harsh land, but he was fascinated by its beauty and uniqueness.
I had the good fortune of spending some time in this desert, and of course in these modern times, it is possible to access the region in the comfort of an air-conditioned 4WD vehicle; very different from walking and riding dromedaries, like Thesiger did. The constantly shifting sands, molded by the wind, display colors that vary from deep reds and ochres to luminous oranges and yellows.
This photo was made just after sunrise in February, as the winter months are the best to visit this place, thanks to the molder temperatures. The wind may be blowing during the day, but there is a lull just before sunrise, as if the landscape holds its breath to watch the sun cresting the dunes. From the top of this dune, I framed its crest leading the eye into the salty plain, using the shadows to trace the shape of the ripples in the foreground. Then it as a simple case of setting the camera and lens on my tripod and tripping the shutter.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor