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5 Essential tips How to Take Photos in the Desert

5 Essential tips How to Take Photos in the Desert

There is something magical about taking photos of desert dunes. The combination of geometry, elegance and the colors makes it one of my favorite photo locations. During my career, I’ve taken photos in deserts of five continents and I try to shoot in deserts at least twice a year. Here are few of my tips how to enjoy desert photography and Take Photos in the Desert.


1. Right Timing for Take Photos in the Desert

It’s the key for desert photography. First step is choosing the right season – cooler months with bearable temperatures that allow longer period of time spent outside shooting. When you visit Death Valley in July, you can expect daytime temperatures approaching 120 ° F and night temperatures around 90 ° F. But when you go in January or February, you can enjoy the shoot with pleasant 70 ° F.

Furthermore, it always pays off to look for special occasions. I’ve experienced rain in the Namib desert, photographed the desert animal cubs in Atacama or blooming wildflowers in Death Valley.

Take photos at the Desert
Take Photos in the Desert, Photo: J Brezina

2. Perfect Light

Photography is a play of light and shadows which is very true when shooting in desert. If you want to capture the dunes lines or the structure of undulating sand, you need low light. The best time for that is usually about an hour after sunrise and about an hour before sunset.

In the morning, the air is cooler and usually cleaner, so the photos are sharper. I usually try to get up early and head out before sunrise and climb up the highest peak in the area. In the evening, the air is hot and often full of dust. The haze, shimmering air and dust reflect and refract light so the pictures are more colorful with more atmosphere, but are less sharp.

Take photos at Desert
Take Photos in the Desert, Photo: J Brezina

3. Finding Structures

When shooting in the deserts, I try to avoid taking pictures with the sun behind me. In such images, the shadows are not visible, so you lose both contours and structures. Side light and backlight are interesting options, the shadows are forming lines and underline structures.

Beware direct backlight as any contaminants can cause glares on the lens. It pays off to have brush ready to remove eventual dust from the lens.

Take photos at Desert
Take Photos in the Desert, Photo: J Brezina

4. Equipment Protection

Deserts are very dusty although it might not be apparent at first. Try to minimize interchanging lenses, memory cards and batteries as each opening of the camera means dust getting inside. My way to deal with this is to have two cameras ready, one with ultra wide angle lens for large landscapes and second one with telephoto lens for details. If you have to change the lens, then get inside a car and wait at least half an hour until the dust settles.

Take photos at Desert
Take Photos in the Desert, Photo: J Brezina

5. Protect Yourself As Well

It is very important not to underestimate the risks associated with overheating. This is true both for the photographer and equipment. Always have plenty of water, do not overestimate your strength ad try to use sun protective clothes and sunblock. Try to protect the equipment from overheating. It happened to me many times that overheated camera turned off automatically and overheated lens stopped focusing.

Take photos at Desert
Take Photos in the Desert, Photo: J Brezina

Shooting in the desert is beautiful and it truly is one of my favorites. If you are considering desert photography, find your inspiration in the guides available within Fripito app. Download Fripito travel photography guides for iOS or Android.

Discover Prague on 4 days photo workshop

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Would you like to visit Prague, the amazing city in heart of Europe?
We offer you the unique possibility to come to Prague and spend 4 days on photo workshop.

We will help you prepare the trip and make arrangements. The experience will include accommodation in a **** hotel and 4 full days of photography sessions guided by professional photographer, lecturer and founder of Fripito Jan Brezina.

What to do to take a part on the workshop?
Go to our campaign page on and choose the perk KING LION on top of the perk list. Support our campaign and we’ll arrange the rest for you.

The program will include the following:

Day 1

Morning: brief review of basic photo techniques and QA
Afternoon: Old Town photo tour followed by dinner and discussion about photography

Day 2

Morning: photo tour of Prague castle.
Afternoon: Portrait photography with models in professional photo studio
Evening: Photo shoot of Vltava river banks at dusk followed by dinner and discussion about photography

Day 3

Morning: The art of nude photography taught in a professional photo studio
Afternoon: Photography processing followed by dinner and discussion about photography

Day 4

Visit to Czech countryside including an historic castle and spa city followed by a dinner in an authentic Czech brewery.


Are you ready for summer holidays?

Shake the city dust off your shoulders, drop your everyday routines and head out towards summer adventures!

Imagine how relaxed you will be when the only thing to do is to shoot pictures, finish all those books that have been collecting dust on your bedside table, eat great food and listen to waves hitting the beach or water splashing against the side of the swimming pool.


All you have to do is to follow these five tips for traveling photographers to come home with breathtaking pictures of all of those great moments to share with your family and friends:

  1. Learn to handle your digital camera before you go on holidays. Check the manual and find all about the settings you would like to use and take some practice pictures. This way you will not be stressed out or miss any photo opportunity because you had to fiddle with your camera.
  2. Put everything you need to bring including accessories in one place (camera, spare batteries, charger, power adapters, memory cards, camera bag).
  3. Pack your camera in a way that will allow you to have it with you at all times ready for use.
  4. Use the work of others for inspiration. There is very little that cannot be found on Google.
  5. Plan to shoot at only one or two main locations per day. If you use a top of the line SLR, think about what lenses you will need to bring, that way you will not be tired from carrying a heavy bag around all day.

Next time we will bring you more tips on taking pictures on the road so make sure to come back soon.