How to Capture Gorgeous Desertscape Images – After all, I got some free time to write something you can’t find on the internet, That’s all about Desertscape Photography. We’re all fed up with this hibernation, and many of my fans were asking me to write something to read so I was actually forced to write this here. let’s see how well it goes…
At the beginning of my photography career, I had no intention to become a traveller or landscape as this part of the world has no much interest ( back in 2010 ). So, as usual, my ambition was to become a Wedding photographer and earn some money, I being honest you know 😉
However, things were changed over time and here I am today, read more from about me.
When it comes to desert-scape there are thing you should aware of
- Choose your Place
- Plan your trip
- Find the right light
- Create a composition
A Successful Photograph is a result of the above things, and I know Everyone will agree with that.
Choosing your Place
The Nature is Beautiful, but to make a beautiful photo it has to be photogenic. so It’s our role to capture and create it as a photographer.
In my personal point of view, a photo should have a mood and a style. we think different, so we need to create visually better images. For that, you need to find out a place, a great place to photograph.
It can be a place in the country you live in or another country you travel to. So since we talk about desert-scapes let’s pick a country from the middle east, UAE – the United Arab Emirates.
Plan Your Trip
As I mentioned before a Gorgeous Desertscape Images is always a result of a great plan unless it is your luck. So always make a plan before you travel. Do research about the place, there are some places you need special permission to enter, so better to know them earlier possible. I use Photopills to plan my journey
Be ready with right gear and accessories are also a part of planning. So always check your backpack. This is what I have in my Backpack
- Camera ( Sony A7RIII )
- Lenses ( Sony 16-35mm F2.8GM, 70-200mm 2.8GM )
- Tripod ( SIRUI 2204 Carbon Fiber tripod with head
- SIRUI 100mm Square Filter System
- Remote Shutter Release
- Cleaning kit
Apart from them always keep a water bottle, a towel, some snacks in your bag because you’re getting tired very easily when walking on the dunes. Especially in the summer, the desert is above 50°C, so don’t travel alone to the desert. it’s indeed better to be with someone in case if you fainted under the high temperature.
* Hire a 4×4 Vehicle with an experienced driver so you can go wherever you want in the desert. and don’t travel more than 50-70m away from the vehicle, stay in the range.
Find the right light
No matter what a successful landscape image always has good light, so desert-scapes are? If you would love to shoot images with nice warm tones always plan for Golden hour. As well as Blue hour also so magical in the desert. you can easily track the timing with Photopills app.
Create a Composition on Dunes
This is gonna be your signature, composition is something make your Photograph is unique. so when shooting desert-scapes always find something
I’m not a person who always follow rules like the rule of 3rds, The Golden Ratio etc. But I pay some attention to leading lines, Diagonals & Frames within frames. and I love to take photos with the sun star, visit my Instagram to see those images.
There’s also something you shouldn’t forget, we have drones now with amazing lenses attached to it. so why don’t you bash those dunes with a drone?
Above shots were shot with DJI Mavic Platinum 2
If you wish to take desert-scapes, I can recommend UAE as the best place as you once you cross Abu Dhabi you can Travel to Liwa Desert, till Saudi Arabian Border. The Liwa desert is pure desert as you’ll never find a single tree in the middle of the desert. But if you wish to capture some unique shots with lonely trees you better travel to Meliha Desert in Sharjah
- Unless it’s long exposure I always shoot underexposed, and my favourite aperture is F11 when shooting Desertscapes
How To Shoot –
The best thing you should do is finding a perfect spot to stand with your tripod and never forget always keep your backpack on top of a Dune unless you carrying it on your shoulders. Because Desert is windy, and never keep it open. if you kept it open all sands will fill into your baggage.
* careful when changing lenses always check the side of wind coming and cover it with something when switching.
so when shooting dunes my favourite aperture is between F11-16, and when shooting sun-star I go above like F22 while keeping the camera in the same frame on my tripod.
So it’s obvious you need to change your camera settings up to the moment and it also depends on the mood you wanted to create. Personally I shoot 2 stop underexposed and that’s how I do it in my own way.
Basically I fo stack a few images to get better details and when it is a long exposure with dramatic clouds I do blend.
One you capture images it’s your part make it dramatic, make it neat. To remove/ heal all unwanted object in the frame and add your unique style into the image.
I use CaptureOne Pro, Adobe Photoshop CC with DXO Nik Tools to Process my images. For the Luminosity Mask, I use InstaMask and RAYA Pro from Jimmy McIntyre.