This photo was taken during a recent camping trip to the top of one of the Jebel Akhdar mountains in northern Oman. During my first stay in Oman several years ago, this location was probably my favourite place to camp. It is within easy reach from Muscat until a turn-off into Wadi Bani Awf; from there, it is an adventurous 4WD journey along a dusty and twisty road, crossing several small villages and oases scattered along the valley.
After a while, the road inevitably starts to climb, in a succession of hairpin bends that finally end at the top of a 2,000 m high mountain. After pitching my tent, I walked along the cliff's edge, which overlooks the mountain range and the maze of deeply cut gorges and wadis below.
The only sounds came from the wind while the birds of prey flew overhead. The following day, I woke up early to photograph the landscape while it was starting to be lit by the first light of the day. I chose a point I had selected previously, set up my camera and wide-angle lens on the tripod, and started to take photos as the scene unfolded.
This one is one of my favourites because it shows the rugged mountains softened by the early light, covered by misty clouds, and reflecting the orange and pink hues. I stopped down the lens to f/11, resulting in a long exposure that suited the landscape's character better. The light kept changing every few minutes, so I had to work fast. I was thrilled to find out that, despite the advancements in tourism, this area has preserved its wild character.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor