There are a few real challenges being a photographer in Qatar. The most obvious is the harsh climate. It is virtually impossible to venture outside (let alone into the desert) during the roughly six months that we consider "high summer" due to temperatures that can routinely exceed 50 degrees Celsius. Thankfully "low summer" 2018/2019 has arrived, meaning desert exploration trips are again possible for the next few months.
Secondly, Qatar's desert is for the most part a featureless wasteland, save for a few isolated interesting areas where more visual interest can be found to photograph. This makes it quite hard to explore and become inspired as a photographer, especially after living in Qatar for an extended period of time.
Thirdly, the quality of light is generally extremely harsh. The sky is mostly clear, but a hazy white or light brown, hardly ever clear and blue. During the "low summer" rainy season (which has just started) we can find a few days with either clear blue skies or some cloud to create better light conditions and sky interest than normal.
This small selection is from my first desert trip for the 2018/2019 "low summer" season, taken around the geographic centre of Qatar using my Leica Q. Great to be able to explore again!
My drive also included a quick visit (my first) to the only known cave in Qatar. The mouth of this cave is just an unassuming hole behind a rickety chainlink fence in the flat desert landscape, but the huge single cavern extends about 100m down. The lowest floor (roughly where my photo is taken from) is also considered to be the lowest geographic level of Qatar, at about 50m under sea level. Certainly not too impressive compared to other caves in the world, but what the hell … it’s something interesting in this desert wasteland.
Looking forward to a few more trips soon!