on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

End Frame: Dune before Sunrise, Egypt (2010) by Stephan Furnrohr

Andy Holliman chooses one of his favourite images

Andy Holliman

I’ve been interested in photography for almost as long as I can remember, I think my first camera was a Kodak Brownie 127 roll-film – not new! My enthusiasm was rekindled by moving to Nikon DSLRs a few years ago.


I came across Stephan Fürnrohr’s image in the Travel Photographer of the Year 2017 exhibition earlier this year. The venue was on my doorstep in Greenwich so I had the opportunity to visit a few times and to join in some of the workshops and lectures arranged around the show.

There were many great photographs on display but this image stood out for me, and each time I saw it I liked it more.

It’s taken around dawn; the photographer is facing north, the warm light from the east catches the right-hand side of the dunes, the west-facing slopes reflect the cool blue from the sky.

I’m attracted to minimal images with strong shapes and compositions, ideally with a limited colour palette. This image clearly fits these criteria well.

The composition is built around a classic S-curve that leads the eye from top to bottom via a circuitous route around the centre of the image and divides the image into two balanced halves. These also form a stretched Yin and Yang symbol to emphasise the balance and opposition of the elements. The dominant curve is skilfully contained within the frame by bands of sand – pale at the bottom and blue at the top. My first thought was cloud at the top of the image but looking further I think this is probably more distant dunes, so all we can see in the image is desert coloured by the varying tones of the sky. 

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