Do you ever feel as if you are the only person in your circle who truly understands what you are talking about when you mention shutter speeds and light sources? It’s as if you are all alone in the desert. However, when you happen to find yourself out there, be sure to carry some camera gear with you as those shifting sands of time are well worth photographing.
Here are some of our favorite desert photography tips to keep you occupied until you end up back here with the rest of us.
Table of Content
8 Useful Desert Photography Tips for Travelers
1 – Speaking of Light Sources
Okay, we didn’t mean to make fun of light because it can be your best friend in the desert. We’re not talking about the searing heat from the sun baking you to a crisp, either. It’s no secret that early morning or late afternoon presents a softer light made for photography. It also can be the best time for you to take desert photos.
The softer light actually helps you with depth in your photos and you don’t want every shot taken to look flat as a desert, do you?
2 – That Interesting Thing To Shoot
We admit it. Deserts are typically not the most exciting places. There’s just not a whole lot of anything going on and most of the objects you come across appear somewhat dull and uninteresting. However, if you use one of those as the main focal point in your photo, the world around it comes alive.
So, this means that even something as well, boring, as a shrub can become a star in your photo if it is surrounded by other interesting scenery in your photo.
3 – The Lines And Patterns of Sand
The wind in the desert can be a source of great photo inspiration. That’s because it creates amazing patterns and lines in the sand as it whistles across the desert surface. What does that mean?
Well, it’s a great place to shoot photos where shadows come into play. Plus, if you get down to the ground level yourself you will discover that these lines and patterns stand out more when you see them from their perspective and not by towering over them.
There’s a story everywhere. Even in the vast flatness of a desert. You just need to be creative and use your imagination. One of our best desert photography tips is just that. Look around and see what scenes and activities are taking place around, you can be strung together in a short series of storytelling photos.
Did we mention that the desert is much like being on the Moon? It’s a foreign land with all kinds of unusual things. The plant life is strange. The types of animals that roam around are unusual. There are unusual objects that get even more unusual the longer they bake in the sun.
The desert provides you with countless unusual subjects to shoot at. Maybe that’s one of the things we like the most about the desert, it’s unlike our normal settings, cities, parks, and scenes.
6 – Action
So, what kind of action do you think takes place in the desert? There are roadrunners, coyotes, snakes and a lot of other different kinds of movement. Especially when the wind picks up. But this is all part of the fun. The relatively flat and the constant color of the desert can act as a great contrast to the movement you can capture from animals to sandstorms moving across your field of vision.
There’s a lot going on and you just need to take a moment to soak it all in.
One of our desert photography tips is going to focus on macro photos. There is a whole different world taking place in the desert that you are going to miss if you don’t get on your knees or belly and take a closer look. There are tiny creatures, like sand crabs, that scurry about in the sand. There are several different colors in the sand. There’s plant life that only lives in the sand.
The best way to get to know these little things is to use macro photography in order to see it all.
8 – Sand Will Get Everywhere If You Aren’t Careful
You thought getting sand in your shorts was an issue. Wait until you discover bits of it inside your camera. Shooting in the harshness of the desert can be unkind to your camera gear. This is why we want to remind you to take care of your stuff when in the desert. This may mean extra bags, towels, and countless other coverings to wrap and protect your delicate cameras and accessories.
Sand can scratch things you do not want to get scratched so being prepared will prevent your camera gear from getting damaged.
There is nothing more amazing than being able to travel somewhere outside of your regular living space to take photos. One of the most amazing places to do this is in the harsh conditions that exist in the desert. The planet has several of these areas that all have unique traits to them related to their geographic locations.
What they all have in common are sand, heat and unusual landscapes. These are the things that many photographers find attractive and equally challenging. For an unusual setting for formal or casual photos, consider visiting a desert. You may be amazed to discover that the ever-changing scenes in a desert will keep you intrigued and will fuel your creative passion.
Our desert photography tips should give you something to work with as once you are there, you’ll likely improvise and create some of your most memorable images thanks to the sand and desolation of the desert.
Nermin Grahovic is a photography enthusiast and photography blogger based in Europe. His images are fun, creative and exciting and his love for travel makes its way into most of his images. Some of his favorite photography genres are portraits, street, landscape, and industrial photography.
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