Feature Article: The White Desert, Egypt.
Travel Photography by Daniel Pomfret
Since I was a small boy I had always wanted to visit the lands of the ancient Egyptians. In 2006 the goal was achieved. It was an experience I will never forget; so many temples, tombs and pyramids to tempt a shutter release. But these weren't the only great attractions the land had to offer, 500 kilometres southwest of Cairo, Sahara el Beida - The White Desert, is an awe-inspiring and beautiful location and an exceptional delight for landscape photographers like me, not to mention a truly surreal experience. The White desert is a vast area of Egypt, about 6,000 square kilometres, it borders the Baharia Oasis in the north and Al-Farafra to the south. Once an ancient sea full of prehistoric life, its tiny inhabits' dead bodies form the bed-rock of limestone.
It does get quite cold at night, staying close to the campfire is a must, especially when you know that there may be a scorpion or two wandering about! The night sky is amazing, the stars are so clear and bright. You may want to move away from the campsite and try out your night sky photography using a tripod and bulb release cable to capture star streaks or shooting stars.
An early start just before sunrise is also rewarding; the silence is astonishing, just the sound of your heart beating and the reverberation of the desert breeze in your ears are the only sounds you will hear. You also may catch a glimpse of a desert fox or mouse, hunting, eating or generally larking around. Sunrise is spectacular and some great images can be captured at this time.
The white desert was truly one of the most inspirational places I have visited to date. An emotional journey filled with images I will never forget. A place of beauty in constant change by the shifting of sand. A place that I will visit again and again.