The Sun Sets in the Sahara Desert

Hot vs. Cold places later in life

After growing up in Texas, I really love the cool climates of New Zealand. I like dressing in layers and never really getting hot! But I know people that are the opposite. I think it kind of depends on where you grow up and how you might be ready for a change later in life. I don’t know… But I know a lot of people that grew up in cold places that are so happy to be in hot places like Texas. It’s all so relative!

Daily Photo – The Sun Sets in the Sahara Desert

I have a lame confession to make about this photo. I was too tired to get to the top of the sand dune to take this photo from the top. I mean, it was absolutely huge. I set out with the best of intentions. It must have been 400 feet high. That may not sound high, but it is effectively almost 1000 feet because every step up makes your feet slide down just about as far as you just ascended! I went right up the spine of the dune so I could put a foot on each side, but the sand was so impossibly soft and fluid that it was almost useless. So I eventually just gave up and thought, “You know what? The sunset will be good enough from right here!”

The Sun Sets in the Sahara Desert

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture16
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

The Lines of the Sahara

Using Humans in Landscape Photos

Whenever I put a human or capture a human in a photo, I am reminded of how much it adds to the sense of scale. I’m a bit hard on myself, I suppose, because I lament that I don’t think of it more often. But then I recall that I should stop all that fretting about the past. Maybe I’ll remember to do it more in the future, maybe I won’t! It doesn’t matter.

Daily Photo – The Lines of the Sahara

One of the hardest types of photos I took while in the desert were fully zoomed in at 300mm while on camelback. The motion a camel makes is incongruous with good photo-taking. I would try to time my shutters to the strange apogees of the camel sways. I even thought about riding side-saddle. I think I saw someone do that in Lawrence of Arabia (which I've seen about 10 times), so it seemed like something that could be done. But I quickly analyzed the physics of that in relation to my torso and skeletal-photo-position and thought it would only add to chaos I was trying to abate.

The Lines of the Sahara

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture16
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length300.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Four Seasons Marrakech

More from Morocco

Don’t forget you can click on “Morocco” up just above this area to see all the photos from my recent 3-week trip to Morocco. I love that place so much! :)

Daily Photo – Four Seasons Marrakech

Isn't this a civilized place to have a glass of wine at the end of the day in Marrakech, Morocco? I certainly think so! I was still taking photos, processing, and watching the amazing evening. In fact, I was so excited about taking this photo, that I immediately moved it over to my laptop and processed it. What an amazing evening… I think one of the best things about this place is the lighting. It's sort of a little surprise that appears as soon as the sun goes down.

Four Seasons Marrakech

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time2
  • Aperture6.7
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

A Mosque in the Atlas Mountains

Up in the air during the daily call to prayer

One of the coolest things about being in Marrakech was being up high when the mosques call their faithful to come pray many times per day. From the top of every mosque you hear all kinds of sounds and songs… I have no idea what they are saying, but it does sound kind of awesome.

Daily Photo – A Mosque in the Atlas Mountains

It was a long and windy drive from Aït Benhaddou to Marrakech, but it was totally stunning. There were about ten other places I wanted to stop in the mountains, but I didn't have the time. But maybe this one mosque was just enough. I was surprised there was still snow on the mountains, and it made for the perfect background.

A Mosque in the Atlas Mountains

A Mosque in the Atlas Mountains

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture6.7
  • ISO320
  • Focal Length85.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Blue Door Number 6

Behind the Scenes at The Arcanum shoot

Here’s a bunch of relatively random clips that shows some behind-the-scenes stuff. We were shooting a new promo for The Arcanum and doing random other things!

Daily Photo – Blue Door Number 6

Every door in this little town is different. I took photos of about 50 different doors and I was thinking about making some kind of mosaic. But that's one of those “little” projects that sounds like it would take quite a bit of time, eh? Well, I should just buckle down and do it… I wish there were two of me! Anyway, this photo is a pretty good example of the kind of variety and uniqueness that comes around every corner in Chefchaouen.

Blue Door Number 6

Blue Door Number 6

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.3
  • Aperture11
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

Two Men in Jilabas in Morocco

Sweet Jilabas

I bought one of these Jilabas, and I love it so much! It keeps me super warm and the pointy hood is so quirky! I even had extra pockets sewn in, just like Kvothe. In my case, they hold everything from lenses to camera gadgets to snacks… what else do I need? :)

Daily Photo – Two Men in Jilabas in Morocco

While walking around this wonderful little town of Chefchaouen, I ended up down in the village square where all the restaurants were open and music and wine was flowing. I skirted around the edge and found a little quiet corner. Just after I turned it, I saw these two older men sitting and talking. I nodded a hello, squatted down to one knee, and snapped a quick photo.

Two Men in Jilabas in Morocco

Two Men in Jilabas in Morocco

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3000
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Shadowlights of Morocco

Moroccan Lights Update

I’m now contacting a local metalsmith to help me get all my 10 Moroccan lights hung up. Maybe at the next New Zealand workshop, I can show people my setup… or maybe I’ll make a special video… I’m absurdly excited about my little Moroccan lamp adventure on the way to my studio… I hope it works out the way it has in my mind! :)

Daily Photo – The Shadowlights of Morocco

I think it was at this little kasbah by the Sahara that I finally discovered one of the secrets of these Moroccan lamps — the shadows! It's all about the shadows, I think. Well, the colors too. And the design. Well I guess it's about many things, but I started to pay special attention to the shadows. I also noticed it was important to have a single (small) bright light in the middle to make all the shadows right. If it was a bigger light, like a fat lightbulb inside, the shadows would be much less defined and more gaussian, I suppose.

The Shadowlights of Morocco

The Shadowlights of Morocco

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time8
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

In the Mausoleum of Mohammed V

The New Commencement

I know we have thousands of people that have signed up to be in The Arcanum, and maybe this video will just make you feel even more anxious! I hope not… but this is a new video I just released and you can see more about what happens on the inside! :)

Daily Photo – In the Mausoleum of Mohammed V

What a beautiful Mausoleum this is! I arrived here to see it at sunrise, but it was closed, and I ended up waiting outside for an hour. I was excited because I was gonna be one of the first in line, but it turned out that no one even got there from the public! It was practically empty, so I was very lucky. There was a no-tripod rule, so I had to do this HDR handheld.

One of the cool things about this photo that you can see if you zoom into the large version is the man sitting on the bottom level, praying.

In the Mausoleum of Mohammed V

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/4
  • Aperture6.7
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length11.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Little girl on a long blue road

Storybird

Have you ever tried out this thing called “Storybird“? If you have kids, I think it is certainly worth a try!

Daily Photo – Little girl on a long blue road

I loved exploring this very old part of Rabat. In this one area, there were a lot of these sorts of amazing streets with blue trimmings. I set up here and waited for a child or something interesting to run down the street. And sure enough, it happened! It was actually bright enough that I was still able to freeze the quick movement even at a high ISO. That always makes the post-processing so much easier.

Little girl on a long blue road

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1500
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length13.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-2

The Safe Slums of Fes, Morocco

Safest Scary Place You’ve Been?

I know those words are kind of the opposite: Safe & Scary. But I suppose I mean where is a place you were really scared to go and then, after arriving, you found out it was totally awesome and safe?!? I find these kind of places all the time. I don’t know if I would say I was super “scared” — just kind of on high alert. Don’t get me wrong… I’m not going to walk around the bad parts of Rio or Detroit at night by myself with my camera, but you know what I mean.

Daily Photo – The Safe Slums of Fes, Morocco

I went through this dodgy area of Fes one night to try to climb up a hillside to get a view of the mountain. It was actually perfectly safe, and everyone was smiling and happy. I now know how to speak just a little bit of Arabic, at least enough to get by. I thought this run-down area was actually kind of beautiful in its own way, so I set up to take a photo…

The Safe Slums of Fes, Morocco

The Safe Slums of Fes, Morocco

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time8
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

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