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In 2010 and 2011 I spent several months in the Sahara of northern Africa. Why the Sahara? A few reasons: 1) I wanted to search for landscapes that I hadn't already seen a kazillion times before, 2) I like the clean shapes and graphic lines you often find in the desert and I think it fits my photography style, and 3) I was looking for new workshop destinations that hadn't already been done to death.

The Sahara is the world's largest hot desert. At over 3,630,000 square miles (9,400,000 square kilometers), it covers most of northern Africa, making it almost as large as the US or Europe. Infrastructure is pretty much non-existent in the Sahara, so traveling is a real challenge. Driving in the dunes is not only very difficult, it is also quite dangerous - you can get lost very easily and when you get stuck in the middle of the desert, you're screwed. For this reason we traveled with two vehicles - if one would break down, we could get help with the second vehicle. Traveling in the Sahara also involves serious planning in terms of fuel and supplies. There are no gas stations or Wall Marts around, so our cars were packed with fuel and lots of water.

Probably the most interesting part of the whole expedition was the fact that most of the time there was no plan as to where to go and what to see. We basically just drove around, exploring each area, looking behind every dune, climbing every plateau, curious what we would find. This was very time-consuming, but also extremely rewarding whenever we found something interesting.

From all the countries we visited, Egypt is by far the most tourist-friendly. Putting a desert expedition together still takes a lot of planning, but it's easier to find experienced local people that know the area you want to visit in Egypt, then say in Algeria or Chad, and the infrastructure is a lot better too.

In Egypt I wanted to explore the Western Desert, which is part of the Libyan Desert. I have a strange preference for surreal landscapes (which explains my tours to Namibia and Turkey), and the Western Desert has some serious extraterrestrial landscapes to offer.

This shot features one of the many monoliths in the Western Desert. I had spotted it after climbing a high plateau and decided to set up camp close by. The shot was taken just before sunrise. Nice thing about many of the monoliths here is that they're made of very light, cream colored rock that changes color dramatically around sunrise and sunset. Erosion goes fast here, so the landscape will look completely different in just a couple of decades.

Discover more inspiring photos like this one.

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