Coming Over the Hill to Find Relief in the Sahara Desert

And here are the new city Photo Walk Rankings! Don’t miss the Photo Walk Tour Website for the latest.

#1 San Francisco
#2 New York (was in 3rd place!)
#3 Washington DC (slipped a notch)
#4 LA (BUT ONLY BY 1 person ahead of Chicago)
#5 Chicago (was #6, just passed the strong Philly group!)
#6 Philly (and I just watched a Sunny last night, and you slipped!)
#7 Miami (these numbers will go up when we find the party spot!)
#8 Dallas (my home town…)
#9 Atlanta
#10 Phoenix
#11 Nashville
#12 San Antonio

Those ranks are based on the number of people that have signed up for the FB events. From past experience, about 4x that many people actually show up… so it’s gonna be a great party!

We’re about to update all the city pages to point to Google Communities for photos to be shared for each city. Stay tuned for that.

Here’s the Facebook Groups below.

New York (Facebook Group Link)

Philadelphia (Facebook Group Link)

Washington DC (Facebook Group Link)

Chicago (Facebook Group Link)

Nashville (Facebook Group Link)

Atlanta (Facebook Group Link)

Miami (Facebook Group Link)

Dallas (Facebook Group Link)

San Antonio (Facebook Group Link)

Phoenix (Facebook Group Link)

Los Angeles (Facebook Group Link)

Burning Man (Facebook Group Link)

San Francisco (Facebook Group Link)

Daily Photo – Coming Over the Hill to Find Relief in the Sahara Desert

I can easily see how people can die in the desert. From movies and things, you kind of get the sense that you might be able to cross 50 or so sand dunes per day. But I think you’d be lucky to cross 5. And you can’t ever see anything coming… just and endless sea of sand. I came over the crest of this hill (luckily I was on a camel) and saw the edge of this welcoming-looking tent!

Coming Over the Hill to Find Relief in the Sahara Desert

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture10
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length85.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

My Camel Team

Category

If you click on the “Sahara Desert” link above, you’ll see a bunch more shots of my camel adventures in the Sahara! :)

Daily Photo – My Camel Team

What do I know about riding a camel? Nothing! Well, now I actually know a fair bit, but when I took this photo, I knew nothing. But these seemed like the kind of guys to help tell me what to do. Getting on the dang camel is not easy. Riding it is not easy. Getting down is not easy. Here's the best advice I can give you, and, pretty much the only advice they gave me: “Hold on.” There is a lot of herky-jerky activity, none of which is expected or enjoyed. But these two guys were nice and full of all kinds of awkward camel jokes.

My Camel Team

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture9
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.3

Conjuring Thoughts Deep in the Desert Berber Camp

Another Book Suggestion

Below I make a reference to The Alchemist, but I recently discovered a new book that I can highly recommend that is vaguely along the same lines. It’s quite different, though! It’s called Journey to Ixlan by Carlos Castaneda

Daily Photo – Conjuring Thoughts Deep in the Desert Berber Camp

I’ve always wanted to sleep deep in the desert after riding a camel. I think this is because I love that book The Alchemist so much.

I was so tired when I took this photo because of a very long day in the Sahara. After arriving at the camp in late afternoon, I decided to climb a huge sand dune by myself. It looked so easy! It was not. Halfway up that son of a gun I was wondering why I did not take that camel!

Conjuring Thoughts Deep in the Desert Berber Camp

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time5
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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 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

Crossing the Sahara

Mystery in your photos

Having little strange things in your photos is nice little touch, I think. For example, in this photo below, there is that one guy just walking off into the distance… it raises more questions than answers.

Daily Photo – Crossing the Sahara

I had an amazing and rather hot time in the Sahara. To get this photo, I had to go up a huge dune on foot. I gave my own camel a break and decided to walk up the dune. How hard could it be, I figured. I figured wrong. And that night, I got so dizzy and sick, then realized it was probably because I hardly had any water… even though I've seen thousands and thousands of shows and movies about people not drinking enough water in the desert, I was so excited that I forgot to drink water!

Crossing the Sahara

Crossing the Sahara

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/160
  • Aperture5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length70.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Amazing Castle on the edge of the Desert Gorge in Morocco

Comments Fixed!

We fixed all the comments… now no more comments will be lost! Yay team! :)

Renting Castles

I love staying in castles, and I’ve heard there are some where you can rent the whole castle for quite inexpensive. Apparently there are many castles all over the world that are mostly abandoned but can be rented for a shockingly small number. I need to look into these more, so if you have any hot connections, let me know!

Daily Photo – Amazing Castle on the edge of the Desert Gorge in Morocco

This is the amazing Auberge le Festival in the gorge just on the edge of the Sahara desert. After spending several nights out in the arid desert situations, I started to work my way back towards the Atlas mountains. This area is very near a fantasy (but real!) oasis, and it was absolutely perfect in every way. If you ever go to Morocco, be sure you look up this unbelievable place!

Amazing Castle on the edge of the Desert Gorge in Morocco

Amazing Castle on the edge of the Desert Gorge in Morocco

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time25
  • Aperture4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

On Camel, Across the Sahara Desert

Camel-Riding

I’ll tell you what… these camels are not smooth rides. It’s a like you are in a slow moving car and you keep manually readjusting your seat forwards and backwards — like 1,000 times. You know when you get into someone else’s car and you try to adjust the seat? Then you find out the lever is underneath you… then you lift it and rear back and forth violently until you find the spot? That’s exactly what riding a camel is like, except the lever is always being pulled.

Daily Photo – On Camel, Across the Sahara Desert

I absolutely loved my time in the Sahara. I did not expect the dunes to be as overpowering as they were. It was completely overwhelming, in an awesome way. Everything is so minimalist that it makes photography extra-fun and challenging. To move across this endless sea of sand — where do you aim your camera? This one I actually took while I was on a camel. Taking photos while riding a camel Is Not Easy — this I now can say with all certainty! :)

On Camel, Across the Sahara Desert

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length70.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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