Tag Archives: negev desert

pillar wall 1 & 2

probably the most famous landmark of timna park, within the timna valley, is the cluster of sandstone cliffs featuring solomon’s pillars. the cliff structure itself is a natural formation caused by water erosion over the millennia.

there is no definitive backstory to their name. this wikipedia entry is as plausible as any: “American archaeologist Nelson Glueck caused a surge of attention for the pillars in the 1930s. He claimed that the pillars were related to King Solomon and gave them the name “Solomon’s Pillars”.[citation needed] Although his hypothesis lacked support and has not been accepted, the name stuck, and the claim gave the valley the attention that helped bring about the excavations and current national park.

the pillars are very accessible and climbing into the vertical cavities is not too strenuous. the images presented depict the texture of the sandstone walls within. again, because of the lighting at that time of day, i opted to photograph ‘out of the light’.

these photographs can be found in the following gallery: miscellaneous & still life



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continuing further into timna park, we come to the rock formation known as the sphinx. alas, because of lighting conditions and the realization that i was on a strict ‘time budget’, this was the only vantage point that made sense…

this photograph can be found in the following gallery: landscapes

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spiral rock

about 1/2 an hour north of eilat, in the very south of israel, is timna park. it is set in the beautifully magnificent timna valley of the negev desert. the area is rich in copper ore and has been mined for thousands of years. amongst the hiking trails, the various buildings and remnants of copper mines that make up the park, is a collection of natural land and rock formations: natural sculptures, if you will. for that day, that was my mission – to discover and photograph the major landmarks.

alas, once again lighting was not on my side: it was clear blue skies for as far as the eye could see; that and the dust which hung in the area as we looked due east. with that in mind, we took a cursory glance along all the roads of the park to get a sense of the majesty we had seen in pictures. by the latter half of the afternoon, as the sun was getting lower, i set out to photograph those natural sculptures: the first such stop is spiral rock.

this photograph can be found in the following gallery: landscapes

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the visitor centre

the futuristic looking visitor centre; set on the northern cliffs of the ramon crater, it proudly over-looks the world’s largest erosion crater. the splendour and grandiosity of this place is staggering! further back from the northern cliffs, is the small town of mitzpe ramon in the negev desert. the 40 winds its way into the crater and continues further into southern israel.

sometimes the light is with you; other times it’s just not… we made it to the ramon crater in good time, but the early morning light was starting to get dicey as we made our approach. what was a blanket of lovely clouds mere minutes before arriving, turned into a solar assault on the visual senses as they vanished within minutes. alas, this was the only salvageable image from the shoot.  we hung around and visited for a while hoping that the clouds would come back and shield the now late morning sun, but it just was not to be… next stop: eilat.

by the way, it is common to associate a crater as a landform created by an asteroid crashing in from space… this is not the case here, rather it is an erosion crater created by water erosion.

this photograph can be found in the following gallery: landscapes


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sharp left ahead

a few minutes further down highway 40 in the negev desert, still on our way to the mitzpe ramon crater, some lovely ribbon clouds in the morning sky…

this photograph can be found in the following gallery: roadscapes


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a patch of trees along the 40

having left the north of israel the day prior, we left for the south while it was still dark. our final destination would be eilat and the red sea, but there was at least one major stop to make at the town of mitzpe ramon and its incredible ramon crater. when leaving the metropolitan tel aviv area, you are essentially on the mediterranean coastline and most of the roads and highways due south pass near be’er sheva, the largest city in the negev desert. having bypassed the city, we opted to take highway 40 south instead of the main highway 6 that connects to the faster highway 90 along the dead sea. the scenery in the desert is beautiful and with the morning light how could we lose? this photo was taken in that beautiful light roughly halfway between be’er sheva and mitzpe ramon.

this photograph can be found in the following gallery: flowers, plants & trees

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