Photography Articles

This article is published in "Creative Photography" Quarterly Magazine, No. 4, Fall 2005, Tehran.

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Masoud Soheili

Canada, 2005

Deserts, covered with powered sands, with the difference of the temperature of 55C (100F) between days and nights in the summer (15-70C, 29-129F) and almost the zero humidity, are covered most of the semi-equatorial zones, seldom some clouds. And, just where a fountain of water is found, a village or a city is located around it, of course, with desert’s khaki mono-color, and some green grass beside, too.

Most parts of the Middle East countries, and among them Iran, are covered with such deserts. Regions with not less inhabitants, which all had adapted with the climate and the special conditions of life.

Hot sunshine and dry climate have made sympathetic people; seasonal winds have made relax and conservative people, and soft lines and surfaces of the environment have made these people calm. People, who have accepted these conditions of life, with maxi-bright-colorful clothes that make better the mono-color of Kavir, and with dark thick skin, as a result of hot sun in the prolonged ages, have got habit to this weather. Thus, it’s to easy for photographers to take special portraits from desert’s people, even if they’re religious.

At the pick of the shining of the sun, noon to near evening, social life is dead. People escape and resort to their private houses. And naturally, night is longer, and also special historical interest to opium.

Slow rhythm of life, Leisure from the heat, and as a result, lower level of life, and antiquity of these regions that has resulted to attract tourists, caused handicrafts fixed itself in such regions, and at the best, a part of its tools has improved: Carpet weaving, Kilim, Zilu, Jajim, Shar-weaving, Textile, Pottery, Ceramic…

Kavir have been always the cradle of the religions, Zoroastrian, Hindu, Jewish, Christianity and Islam. Chak-Chak of the Zoroastrian is located near Yazd, the desert city in Iran, as Benares of Hindus in India, Mecca of Muslims in Saudi Arabia, and Jewish Jerusalem in Israel, all in deserts. These people are also so believed in the traditions and the ceremony of their ancestors, and also superstitions.

During the prolonged centuries and ages, hot sunshine has formed a suitable architecture in the desert regions. By using special materials from the soil of Kavir, the suitable structure is made. High and thick walls, high ceilings, basins, fountains and ventilations towers (Bad-guir), which make the suitable climate in houses to live in summer, with no modern conditioning system.

A group of the animals of this planet have verified themselves and live easily in such deserts: sleep at day and night life. Scorpion, a race of black wildcat… and camel, coach of the desert; and, surely, the human is safe at days. One of the best races of the cats in the world, with long soft hair, belongs to Yazd, the desert Iranian city.

Kavir has its special agriculture: Pistachio, pomegranate and poppy; special foods and confections, sweet, and sweet; and tulle cloth to get rid of insects at nights.

Light rush, soft lines and surfaces, mono-color and homogenous environment, in opposition with bright colorful human colors, make photography easier and more attractive, if the photographer bears the hard heat. Using 100 ASA daylight film results good photos: closed aperture, high shutter. To have a better blue sky, Konica film, which is produced with more blue color and polarized filter are proposed. Small green covering of the environment at the margin of the frame completes the khaki color of the desert and the blue of sky, and the colorful folklore clothes decorates it. The spread of Kavir mandates the use of wide and fish-eye lenses. And, Panorama photos are the best. And now, with such info, each photographer, with his/her personal ideas, could plan completely how to take photos in desert.