Desert Landscape Photos

Desert Landscape Photos

Black Rock Desert, Nevada Photograph by Jack Dykinga/Getty Images Minerals, algae, and cyanobacteria give this geyser in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert its brilliant colors. Quadbikes, Dumont Dunes, California Photograph by Kevin Morris/Getty Images Lacking virtually any wildlife that could be harmed with its patrons, the off-highway-vehicle recreation area in Dumont Dunes, California, offers big thrills for dune riders of all types. Ash Samat Sand Dunes Photograph by Stephen Alvarez The towering ridge of a sand dune in the Arabian Desert points to the afternoon sun. The Sahara, Arabian, Iranian, and Thar deserts all connect together to form a 6,000-mile (9,600-kilometer) expanse of drylands in North Africa. Dunes in Omani Interior Photograph by Stephen Alvarez This crescent-shaped ridge of sand dune in Oman was formed by strong trade winds that form a smooth hill facing the wind (left) and concave slipface on the back. Late Afternoon in Desert Photograph by James L. Stanfield Ergs are vast expanses of sand dunes like this area in Oman. Sometimes they are also called sand seas because the dunes look and act like very slowly moving ocean waves. Simpson Desert Photograph by Medford Taylor A rippled white dune glows under a blue sky in central Australia’s Simpson Desert. Rainfall in this desolate land is less than 7.8 inches (200 millimeters) per year.
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Desert Landscape Photos

I recently used this technique when I spent several days in the Namib Desert in Namibia last year. At first, being surrounded by these huge red sand dunes was overwhelming. What should I shoot first? As I explored the desert around me, I began to recognize several stories that this place had to tell.
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Desert Landscape Photos

Look for ways to show the rugged nature and the beauty of deserts. In the middle of the day, find waves caused by the heat. Using a long lens to compress them, you’ll get dramatic shots that really say “hot.” Deserts are also great places for pictures of stars. There is no humidity, and usually no terrestrial lights to interfere, so stars seem more numerous and are unusually brilliant. Watch the way the color of the sand changes throughout the day with the angle of the sun. Think about ways to capture the characteristics of the desert. A wide shot might best portray one desert, while a close-up of one plant struggling to survive on the side of a dune might best represent another.
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Desert Landscape Photos

Even the illusion of water can have a calm, soothing effect in a landscape design. The designer of this dry creek bed used the natural desert washes of Arizona’s mountains as inspiration. Dry creek beds can also be efficient ways to manage stormwater runoff To get the look, create a subtle grade change in your backyard with mounds of soil and low-lying areas to mimic a natural stream.
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Desert Landscape Photos

In order to offset the beautiful orange and red tones of the sand, I needed blue skies, giving my photos nice complimentary colors. Counter to most of my landscape photos, I opted to shoot in late morning or early afternoon (instead of sunrise or sunset, when the sky itself would be much warmer and closer in tonality to the sand). Had I not been thinking of how to convey the story of these ancient orange dunes, I likely would have kept my camera in the bag at this time of the day.
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Desert Landscape Photos

Design tip: Consider using artifical grass. Not only will you save water, but you’ll also save on lawn maintenance, which can be tough in a desert climate where turf grass is anything but natural.
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Desert Landscape Photos

When I first arrived in this vast desert, I was challenged by where to start with my photography. But by focusing on those stories that made this place so special, I could use them to direct my photographic effort. It even helped me develop a shot list to try to fill during my brief stay.
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Desert Landscape Photos

The towering ridge of a sand dune in the Arabian Desert points to the afternoon sun. The Sahara, Arabian, Iranian, and Thar deserts all connect together to form a 6,000-mile (9,600-kilometer) expanse of drylands in North Africa.
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Once you have thought about the character of the shore, look for elements you can use to reinforce the feeling you’re after. Palm trees make a good frame for a tropical beach; a spray of water shooting over rocks adds drama to a rugged coastal scene. As in the desert, be careful about sand. If it’s windy, be sure to protect your camera and lenses from blowing sand. Don’t open the camera back unless you are in an area that is well sheltered.
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Browse landscape pictures from around the world, including mountains, seascapes, forests, deserts and a lot more. This collection of beautiful and breathtaking photos is free for personal and commercial use. So don't hesitate to download your new wallpaper or next Facebook post.
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About the author: Hank Christensen is a freelance photographer specializing in bird, landscape, and adventure stock photography. His work has been published on the cover of Outdoor Photographer and Bay Nature, and you can see more of his photos on his website, blog, Instagram, and Facebook. This post was also published here.
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If you’ve got a small square spot to deal with, San Francisco landscape architect Rich Radford suggests turning paving in a lateral direction to your property line to create more hardscape space. For the 25-foot by 30-foot backyard seen here, he shifted the paving 45 degrees to get more surface area. 6. Pay attention to scale. If you’ve got a small backyard, the last thing you want to do is cram in a 10-person dining table.
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Photo of an expansive southwestern backyard landscape in Phoenix with a fountain. — HouzzSpread out/random but not drawing me in, in any way. Seems cluttered, even in it’s sparsity? — djtoze1 EmbedEmailQuestion
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When we look at a landscape, our eyes travel over it and selectively focus on the elements that we find appealing. Our field of vision encompasses a great deal of the scene, but our eyes and brains have the ability to ignore all except the most alluring details. Lenses and sensors or film cannot do this by themselves. They need help.

Time is the most important investment you can make in getting good landscape pictures. When you arrive in a place you’ve never visited before, spend time scouting—driving or hiking to different locations, finding different vantage points. Carry a compass to figure out where the sun will rise and set, and imagine how the place would look in different kinds of light. This can take some practice because you also have to look at where the light will not be falling. Photographing a canyon, for example, you might see that the west wall will be beautifully lit in the early morning, if the canyon is deep, however, the east wall will be in such complete shadow that your camera will be capable of rendering it only as a great black blob. Unless this is the effect you want, you’ll either have to modify your composition, shoot it later in the day, or plan to return on an overcast day when both sides will be photographable.

If a river or stream flows through the landscape you are shooting, think about the character of it and how to convey that character in the image. A big, slow river looks and feels different from a fast-moving mountain stream. The water can be the center of interest in the image, or it can serve as an element in your composition—as a diagonal or other leading line, as a horizontal line, or as a shape that complements other elements in the frame.