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Desert Vase - Rock Oasis

Desert Vase - Rock Oasis
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-11-02
Categories: Desert, Trees, Mountain
Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds MkII, Canon 24-70 mm f 2,8 L-USM
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/200 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-02-14 5:45
Viewed: 10237
Points: 60
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This will be my last posting for a few days, though I hope to get online to catch up with my critiques.

I rather like this shot as it looks rather like gigantic carnations or dahlias in a vase - or perhaps that is just me?

This Oasis is situated in Hamada, or rock desert -

A hamada is a type of desert landscape consisting of largely barren, hard, rocky plateaus, with very little sand. A hamada may sometimes also be called a reg, though this more properly refers to a stony plain rather than a highland.

Hamada's exist in contrast to ergs, which are large areas of shifting sand dunes.

The world's largest hamada is the Hamada du Draa, in the north-west Sahara desert, between Morocco, Algeria and Western Sahara. Hamada areas forms 70% of the Sahara desert.


An oasis (plural: oases) is an isolated area of vegetation in a desert, typically surrounding a spring or similar water source. Oases also provide habitat for animals and even humans if the area is big enough.

The location of oases has been of critical importance for trade and transportation routes in desert areas. Caravans must travel via oases so that supplies of water and food can be replenished. Thus, political or military control of an oasis has in many cases meant control of trade on a particular route. For example, the oases of Awjila, Ghadames and Kufra, situated in modern-day Libya, have at various times been vital to both North-South and East-West trade in the Sahara desert. The word oasis came into English via Greek ὄασις oasis, borrowed directly from Egyptian or Demotic.

Oases are formed from underground 'rivers' (I hate this term - it actually refers to water seeping through pores and fissures in rocks, rarely a river) or aquifers such as the Artesian aquifer, where water can reach the surface naturally by pressure or by man made wells. Occasional brief thunderstorms provide subterranean water to sustain natural oases,such as the Tuat. Substrata of impermeable rock and stone can trap water and retain it in pockets; or on long faulting subsurface ridges or volcanic dikes water can collect and percolate to the surface. Any incidence of water is then used by migrating birds who also pass seeds with their droppings which will grow at the waters edge forming an oasis.


The Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera) is a palm in the genus Phoenix, extensively cultivated for its edible fruit. Due to its long history of cultivation for fruit, its exact native distribution is unknown, but probably originated somewhere in the desert oases of northern Africa, and perhaps also southwest Asia. It is a medium-sized tree, 1525 m tall, often clumped with several trunks from a single root system, but often growing singly as well. The leaves are pinnate, 35 m long, with spines on the petiole and about 150 leaflets; the leaflets are 30 cm long and 2 cm broad. The full span of the crown ranges from 610 m.

boreocypriensis, haraprasan, jaycee, uleko, rousettus, eqshannon, warnzy, NinaM, albert, Necipp, Adanac, Heaven, Royaldevon, PaulH, JPlumb, Alex99, zulfu, bahadir has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To eqshannon: Get thereJamesp 1 02-15 14:52
To boreocypriensis: ThanksJamesp 1 02-14 06:57
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Critiques [Translate]

It is most intresting to see the palms growing up through the opening like that. Great shot and great note too.

A wonderful, perfect landscape friend James! TFS.

Hi James,
A lovely view of the Oasis with date palm. Excellent composition and well presented. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-02-14 7:43]

Hi James,

These palms are beautiful and it is amazing to see where they are growing. Excellent lighting to show them off. Lovely natural colors and good details of the rocks. Have a good trip - wherever you are headed for this time.


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  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3423 W: 173 N: 3309] (10940)
  • [2008-02-14 7:46]

Hello James,
What an exciting view of this deep oasis with Date palms stretching up to the light. Beautiful light and wonderful colours of the rocks. Excellent POV too and a fine composition.
Many thanks, Ulla

Hello James,
after New Zealand and Japan, you posted a great capture another part of the world. Nicely composed, great focus, POV, lighting. I saw similar scene only from Jordan, near Dead Sea. Thanks a lot for sharing, cheers

Without not4s and just guessing..it is a self canceling image.....or it doesn't make any sense to the untrained eye....now I read notes hold on....Wow! What a deal that is..I have never seen on all the TV shows I watch like Discovery and National Geo...You have some pretty fantastic things to share..I sure am glad you are around there guy! You are enlightening me and my wife!
*Added...my wife was blown away...she said..how in the heck do you get there?

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2700 W: 278 N: 4891] (19776)
  • [2008-02-14 20:22]

Great shot, nice contrasting scene of greenery thriving in such a dry barren looking area. Good lighting and sharp details. Good notes. TFS

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  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1785 W: 36 N: 5588] (18578)
  • [2008-02-14 23:11]

Hi James,
I will be back with a proper critique.

Hi James,

This is a very good shhot in what looks like very difficult lighting conditions, with harsh sun bouncing of the rocks and dark shadows. But you have managed the conditions very well. You have nicely captured the environment in which these palms grow, giving us all the information we need. In that sence it's both a great landscape but also a great natural history shot. Well done.


nice pic, amazing place, TFS Ori

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  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1001 W: 4 N: 3276] (14759)
  • [2008-02-15 9:10]

James, Simply amazing shot. The angle the valley and the look and view simply superb. The falling rocks and the landscape simply WOW Ganesh

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  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-02-15 15:47]

You are right, James, the sense of scale is particular in this shot, it seems to be normal size plants as it is huge blocks of rock where palm trees grow! It is a superb unusual picture, very interesting and beautiful. You framed it perfectly well. Interesting notes too! thank you,


Hi James
Nice compo and unusual view of this oasis, well done
Have a nice W-E

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  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-02-16 13:50]

Hello James

This is really interesting.
well focused with excellent sharpness and detail.
Very good POV,the vertical composition is a great choice here.
Lovely use of the lighting.


Hello James a fine composition with the trees against the lovely contrasty rocks, an interesting composition well spotted, great light. Details and focus is spot on. tfs rgds Necip.

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  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-02-16 16:24]

Hello James,
Talk about reaching for the sky, the palms search for sun after finding water to start growing with. Excellent image of something I will probably never get a chance to see in person, thank you James.

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  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5077 W: 260 N: 15590] (50614)
  • [2008-02-17 3:40]

Hello James,
The palms give this shot some idea of the scale, otherwise I agree this oasis could pass for a nook in a rock garden. Great lighting and a pleasing composition.
Thanks for sharing this one,

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  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-02-17 7:25]

Hello James, great composition! That place is beautiful and you did a fantastic job on this shot, well seen and well done, thanks!


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  • lizzie Gold Star Critiquer [C: 207 W: 0 N: 605] (2855)
  • [2008-02-17 12:12]

Hi James,

I love the tones on this image, very warm feelings even though it's solid rock!!. Looking at this image is a bit incredible for me, I can imagine how you felt when you saw this place in real!! Beautiful light over this landscape, nice natural colours. Very well done!


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  • Heaven Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 996 W: 123 N: 2341] (7912)
  • [2008-02-17 13:07]

Hi James!

The colors and the shapes are superb! The whole picture has a kind of surreal aspect: the palms in the middle of that desertic landscape in addition with the difficulty to estimate the real dimensions.


Kind regards


Hi James,
Beautiful oasis picture. The date palms seem to thrive in this Oasis. Thanks for your educative note. The image is sharp and well exposed. TFS,

Actually, James, I agree! These palms do resemble giant carnations ... that was my impression before I read your notes!

What a great, detailed shot! And what interesting and informative notes! I have enjoyed this visit!

Kind regards,
Bev :-)
Many thanks for your kind feedback on 'Is curiousity safe?'

pl :-)

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  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-02-18 6:02]

Hi James,
yep, i can definitely see the Vase here...nice arrangement too! Great detail in the rock and i love the desert tones, a well seen shot.

This is a cool composition James. I like it a lot. The colors and sharpness are good. The light was a bit harsh but mostly looks ok. I think that bit of OE foreground has enough detail in it that it could be adjusted with Photoshop.


Evelynn : )

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  • JPlumb Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 618 W: 158 N: 896] (2904)
  • [2008-02-19 21:32]

This is very cool James. It's not your "Hollywood" Oasis, it's better. Very excellent sharp detail on this shot, with great colour. Your exposure is bang on. Your position, looking down the hole, is unique, and more effective than any other postion you could have taken for a shot of this nature. You continue to amaze me with the diversity and quality of your work. Another great one.

Thanks, John

Hello James,
An amazing rock formation, and it is surprising to see how the palm trees grow right off the cliffs!
Excellent texture makes the rocks stand out very natural, fine colours...
A well framed capture!
Pablo -

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  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-02-24 5:53]

Hi, dear James.
I am amazed with subject and quality of the picture. Perfect balance between lights and shadows, extreme details and sharpness of the image, natural impressive rich colour palette and outstanding POV, framing and composition. Bravo and thanks a lot for this masterpiece.

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  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2008-03-02 16:16]

Hi James,
Another beautiful landscape capture. Perfect! TFS.

Hi James,
Great capture of this beautifully coloured landscape, nice colors and composition. TFS.
Regards, Bahadır

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