The Otherworldly Colors of Morocco’s Deserts

Aug 12, 2017 2 comments

It’s amazing what a little change in light can do to a landscape. Blue skies can turn red, orange sand can turn purple. In this photo series, Milanese photographer Luca Tombolini shows the sun’s extraordinarily ability to render a landscape almost unrecognizable and soften even the most harshest and blandest of environments such as a desert.

These images were taken during the summer of 2015 in Merzouga and Ouzina in Morocco. Tombolini would roam the desert looking for a place with just the right aesthetic. When he finds one, he would set up his camera and then wait for the light to change. Tombolini says he doesn’t have to wait for more than four hours.


“When I m there I m already in another kind of space and time, where I got the feeling of a different and more simple rhythm,” Tombolini told Wertn in an interview. “Four hours on a dune can pass by incredibly fast; the only breaks in this contemplative suspension of thoughts are the technical needs of photography (keeping track of exposure, films and which lens to use) and to eat or drink something at times. Apart from this, if I think back to that moment now, I only recall a vivid and ever changing light shift on dunes as if my mind could put together his own time lapse. In that flowing, at a certain point, I know I gotta decide to take the shot. Maybe a little change in tone or angle of the sun makes me, rather unconsciously I guess, decide to photograph.”

“When everything is over it’s just about packing things, headlight on, and back with GPS to the car. And it’s always amazing how different the place looks and feels in darkness compared to light.”










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