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Primal Sahara

by Editor Siarhei Mikhaliuk 
Published in June 2020

This journey began long before I became an adult.
Desert has always attracted me.
Sand, it is so soft, loose, and at the same time so strong and powerful.



For the millions of years, that people have lived on Earth, much has changed, but the desert remained the same. The desert has preserved its original appearance and its history.

I can’t stop admiring the flawless lines, shapes of the dunes and the drawings and structures in the sand repeating the most incredible patterns.


'Qi space'




In my youth I dreamed of travelling to the desert as an adventurer.
At age 30, as a seeker of myself.
Today I am almost 50, and I went to the desert as an observer of harmony, and as a photographer.

 I managed to organize a photo tour to the largest desert on our planet, the Sahara, which is, I heard and saw in photos, at its best in southern Algeria near the border with Libya and Nigeria.





For about two years I have been negotiating with local Algerian companies. I looked into matters as safety, the opportunity to visit photographically beautiful places and coordinating a nine days presence of a group of Europeans in the desert. 

A year and a half ago, I could start the project - Qi Space. It was the last step to fulfil my wish to discover the Sahara Desert.  I knew I would find there what photographers look for in living nature and in flawless lines.  I would be able to compare myself with an artist in front of a blank canvas, discovering and creating every day new images, helping my imagination to fly away to incredible distances.

On February 6, 2020, we finally were on our way and arrived in the Sahara.
Not too hot during the day, somewhere + 24 ° C, not too cold at night, about 0 ° C.
We were 4 photographers (2 Belarus and 2 Russian), and three local Algerians: a guide, an English translator and a cook.

In two jeeps loaded to the top with everything necessary for a comfortable stay in the desert, we moved from one beautiful place to another. We had well prepared this tour. Warm sleeping bag, tents, blankets and mattresses and the right clothes for day and night. It was important not to get sun burned during the day, and not to freeze at night. Therefore, we had to pack our luggage with summer and winter things. Lots of dressing and undressing ;-).

But all this did not prevent our group from focusing on the main thing: the extraordinary beauty of the pristine desert, and taking good photos.

As photographers, we love playing with the light, so we woke up early to get beautiful long shadows of the most interesting sand structures while the rising sun threw her first rays.







My work on the project 'Qi Space' resulted in seeing deeper, thinking how to focus on an idea, and the process of filming.  Finding a good frame became obvious to me and some images of this trip were already published on 1x.






It was great when coming back from a day shooting to see a welcoming small table and a meal waiting for us.  Our breakfast: white bread, butter, jam, coffee, tea, cheese, sometimes fruit.
Our lunch was generally more plentiful, mostly a large portion of salad, bread and vegetables. For dinner, traditional Arabic soup and hot vegetables, rice and meat, fruits. Everyone was comfortable both in food and in the overnight stay.

The desert helps to relax, to make good shots and for some even to lose weight ;-)
And what about cleaning yourself or taking a shower?
Easy, we used a bottle filled with water - a wonderful morning shower.  And this, despite the fact that Algerian guides had to replenish the water supplies in areas with rock formations, three times during the trip.  But we had water!

On our way, we met wild camels, shepherds and saw Tuareg settlements.
Their houses consist of small sticks covered with fabrics.  Inside as well as outside, sand... and shoes at the entrance.
Women avoid contact, do not allow being photographed. Flies crawl across their faces, and children are afraid of strangers.
Well, how not to be surprised by all this?









Once we met a young shepherd with an injured arm looking very swollen. He told us how he was suffering. We told him with the help of our translator, that medical assistance was needed. He only sighed and said that there was no way to go to the city.  They are used to live like that and have nothing to worry about.  But yet ..., I was not feeling well, because we could not help him.

Each new place was better than the previous one. And the most successful shots were the last ones we took, probably because immersing ourselves in the desert leads to such miracles.
We did not have Wi-Fi; our cell phones did not work.
Just the Sahara and our cameras …







Coming home from this amazing trip, my three children who I missed so much, were waiting for me. 
I wanted to hug them and tell them everything about this wonderful adventure.  But most of all I wish that once, they will visit that incredible world: the Sahara Desert.

Siarhei Mikhaliuk 


Amazing work! Congrats !!!!
3rd! Superb! Thanks dear Yvette, & Congratulations to everyone ♡