Tag Archives: Desert

Opals – Water and Time

You will  see a collection of my little friends together with some cataloged opals from the The Australian National Opal Collection.  Special motion graphics and animated motion sequences were added at the bottom of the screen to represent the passage of time and the leaching of water through the layers of soil which is what forms opals over a long time…

Across the world, precious opal occurs in very few locations because it required a very special series of geological, climate and possibly biological phenomena to coincide for opals to form. These special criteria occurred in what is now the great desert regions of central Australia, which produces around 90% of the world’s precious opal.

Opals are formed from a solution of silicon dioxide and water. As water runs down through the earth, it picks up silica from sandstone, and carries this silica-rich solution through cracks and voids caused by natural faults or decomposing fossils. As the water evaporates, it leaves behind a silica deposit. This cycle repeats over very long periods of time, and eventually opal is formed.
Music: Tibetan bell & Sounds from Outer Space Uranus V-2 06 – The real Horst (by special permission.) Remix by Leo Bar; The Ancients – Celestial Aeon Project – Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)
[sources: nationalopal.com/opals/precious-opal-formation.html – mindat.org/ ]

Blooming desert

After reviewing the more than 500 stills taken and crying over the unreadable memory card with more than 4 Gigs of video lost, here’s the second piece on the Arizona desert. I concentrated on showing the brief time during which the desert explodes in color. Every plant, cactus, tree and shrub blooms for a period varying from 7 to 15 days. And then goes into the process of creating its fruits and seeds to allow them to procreate and spread their species. Birds, rodents, bees, insects and wind aid the desert plants to spread their seed and pollen, while attempting to exist, live and grow in an extreme climate.

In this piece I paid special attention to show the contrast of color and nature of some very unusual flowers emanating from huge saguaro cacti and other times from puny shrubs. Every plant flaunts its own version of excitement and compete to attract the organism or element that will disseminate their species.

Split screens, animations, and paintings were included to create a multimedia sensory effect. All other credits can be found at the end of the video

When the desert blooms in May-June it's a spectacle like no other. Every plant and tree that appeared to be sleeping and shriveled, explodes in a multicolored palette as if in competition with each other. Stills and video were recorded in May-June, 2012 in the State of Arizona – Here are some of the locales: Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon, Scottsdale, Phoenix, Papago Park, Desert Botanical Gardens and Cave Creek.
Enjoy the flora (and fauna),


Sedona – Arizona

The scenes from this video were filmed over a period of 4 days while rambling through the Arizona desert. Sedona is one of the most beautiful settings in Arizona, if not the whole USA. I tried to capture the scenery, its art (known to be the home to many artists, sculptors and painters) and the breathtaking views of the famous red cliffs. As I watch the end product, I didn’t even come close to reflect the full beauty of this place – due to some unfortunate event… In the process of trying to edit a clip, I had one of my memory cards with 4 Gigabytes of video footage go totally bad on me. I tried for hours using software and different card readers (including toward the end a hammer) to recover its contents to no avail. Just bad luck!

The temperatures while shooting were in the high 90’s and many times exceeded 100 F. Not too much fun, despite having gotten out early and staying late in the day to avoid dehydration and sunstroke. Just too darn hot, especially when we were coming from Massachusetts where the temps were in the 40’s (ah!).

Scenery and art from National Parks and the region around Sedona, Arizona. Filmed and photographed in early May 2012. Sedona is known for its majestic red cliffs and mountains. Spectacular scenery surrounds an urban number of towns in the midst of nature, canyons and National Parks.

Music: Capriccio Arabo – Composer: Francisco de Asís Tárrega y Eixea (21 November 1852 – 15 December 1909) – Played by Maurizio Oddone – http://www.jamendo.com/en/track/797697/francisco-tarrega-capriccio-arabo – Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

Enjoy the trip,

Navajo Lights

Navajo Lights – Monument Valley, Arizona, part of the Navajo Nation

I have beeen experimenting over the last 3-4 videos with the intensity or lack of light. Since images are all about light and imagined textured, depth and contrast, one of the few ways to cause a major impact is through light manipulation.

HDR (pseudo) has been one of the tools used frequently. Also, I have been experimenting with (pseudo) time lapses showing sunrises and sunsets. While my techniques could improve, I am begininig to feel that light modulation is causing the difference on my stories. This production benefited from a wonderful set of photographs from Chris Luckhardt that I added to some older ones of mine. 

Ya’ At’ Eeh – Navajo Greeting
The Navajo Nation stretches from the Four Corners Monument landmark across the Colorado Plateau into Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico. Located within the Navajo Nation are Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Monument Valley, Rainbow Bridge National Monument, the Hopi Indian Reservation, and the Shiprock landmark. The seat of government is located at the town of Window Rock, Arizona.
Elements Used in this Production:

Photography: MotionBlur Studios – Chris Luckhardt; Leo Bar; Wikimedia
Art & Paintings: Yellowhair
Research: www.Navajo.org ; www.NavajoNationParks.org
Four Cardinal Light Phenomena
Time and space are defined by the four cardinal light phenomena: Dawn (white, east); Midday (blue, south); Evening Twilight (yellow, west), and Night (black, north).

The four cardinal light phenomena are results of the sun’s apparent daily motion. These phenomena are a composite of the four directions, the four times of day, and the four sacred colors linked with them.
– A Navajo thinks of the east, Dawn, and the white color of the sky at the beginning of the day. This is the thinking direction.
– At midday, the association is with the south which is usually “horizon blue” or “blue haze” in reference to the band of relatively darker blue that lies on the horizon at midday. This is the planning direction.
– Evening twilight is associated with the west and “around the area becomes yellow”. This is the evaluation direction.
– Darkness is associated with the north and with the blackness of the night sky. This is the direction of change.

I hope you enjoy this video,

Pix In Motion
Leo Bar
Creative Imagining

Antelope Canyon Magic

Creative Commons – Attribution – Non commercial – No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
I am always in love with the desert. As opposed to what most people envision, life thrives in deserts (seasonal), and the beauty is almost always hidden, but of dramatic proportions.
I always felt that this canyon was magical, so I surrounded this production with unique sounds to form the background music. It has influences of Navajo chanting and drums, surreal vibrations and deep throated flute sounds. Once the sound was constructed, I just let the superb beauty of this place guide me… 
 Antelope Canyon is located near Page, Arizona, Antelope Canyon is a unique formation known as a slot canyon full of vibrant colors, light and shades.
Elements used in this production:
Background and History:
Antelope Canyon is the most-visited and most-photographed slot canyon in the American Southwest.  It is located on Navajo land near Page, Arizona. Antelope Canyon includes two separate, photogenic slot canyon sections, referred to individually as Upper Antelope Canyon or The Crack; and Lower Antelope Canyon or The Corkscrew.
The Navajo name for Upper Antelope Canyon is Tse’ bighanilini, which means “the place where water runs through rocks.” Lower Antelope Canyon is Hasdestwazi, or “spiral rock arches.” Both are located within the LeChee Chapter of the Navajo Nation.
Antelope Canyon was formed by erosion of Navajo Sandstone, primarily due to flash flooding and secondarily due to other sub-aerial processes. Rainwater, especially during rainy season, runs into the extensive basin above the slot canyon sections, picking up speed and sand as it rushes into the narrow passageways. Over time the passageways are eroded away, making the corridors deeper and smoothing hard edges in such a way as to form characteristic ‘flowing’ shapes in the rock.
Flooding in the canyon still occurs. A flood occurred on October 30, 2006 that lasted 36 hours, and caused the Tribal Park Authorities to close Lower Antelope Canyon for five months.

Hope you enjoy it,

Pix In Motion
Leo Bar
Creative Imagining


The inspiration to make a video/photo montage of this area came a long time ago.I always loved mountains when combined with desert areas. So, after much digging, research, sourcing, and looking for some collaboration, I found Noam Fein who generously released some beautiful images to me, making this project possible. Some images are from an area north of the Atacama which has more lakes and some precipitation.Music: Precious by DJ Answer at http://www.jamendo.com/en/track/99776

Also included in this project, aerial images from the Japan Aerospace Agency (JAXA) taken from satellites above the earth, so as to get a “birds-eye” view of the area while animating it as if in real flight.. There are also some paintings and images by unknown indian artists.




Additional Background, History and Information

Ecodesert Region – The Atacama Desert is a virtually rainless plateau in South America, covering a 600-mile (1,000 km) strip of land on the Pacific coast of South America, west of the Andes mountains. The Atacama desert is, according to NASA, National Geographic and many other publications, the driest desert in the world. The rain shadow on the leeward side of the Chilean Coast Range, as well as a coastal inversion layer created by the cold offshore Humboldt Current, keep this over 20 million-year-old desert 50 times drier than California’s Death Valley.

The Atacama occupies 40,600 square miles (105,000 km2) in northern Chile, composed mostly of salt basins (salares), sand, and lava flows.

The Atacama Desert ecoregion, extends from a few kilometers south of the Chile-Peru border to about 30° south latitude. To the north lies the Sechura Desert ecoregion, in Peru, while to the south is the Chilean Matorral ecoregion. The National Geographic Society considers the coastal area of southern Peru to be part of the Atacama desert, including the deserts south of the Ica Region.

To the east lies the less arid Central Andean dry puna ecoregion. The drier portion of this ecoregion is located south of the Loa River between the parallel Sierra Vicuña Mackenna and Cordillera Domeyko. To the north of the mentioned river lies the Pampa del Tamarugal.

People – The Atacama is sparsely populated. In an oasis, in the middle of the desert, at about 2,000 metres (7,000 ft) elevation, lies the village of San Pedro de Atacama. Its church was built by the Spanish in 1577. In pre-Hispanic times, before the Inca empire, the extremely arid interior was inhabited mainly by the Atacameño tribe. The tribe is noted for the construction of fortified towns called pucara(s), one of which can be seen a few kilometers from San Pedro de Atacama.

History – During the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries under the Spanish Empire, towns grew along the coast as shipping ports for silver produced in Potosí and other mines.

During the 19th century the desert came under control of Bolivia, Chile and Peru and soon became a zone of conflict due to unclear borders and the discovery of nitrate there. After the War of the Pacific, in which Chile annexed most of the desert, cities along the coast developed into international ports, and many Chilean workers migrated there.

The Pan-American Highway runs through the Atacama in a north-south trajectory.


Pix In Motion

Creative Imagining

The Dead Sea – Lowest Point in the Planet

This one came to fruition after a long editing and re-editing period.

It was very cumbersome to build since it required 3 different rendering software tools, due to the complexity I chose to introduce into this video, the time to assemble, synch and splice tripled from my normal productions.
Luckily, I had the most beatiful images to work with, thanks to Nir B. Y. a professional photographer with a keen eye for the unique.

Dead Sea – Lowest Point in the Planet from Leo Bar PIX IN MOTION.

The Dead Sea is a combination of landscapes all the way from the desert, oases, waterfalls, a most saline lake (people float without trying) and the flora and fauna.
It was tough going and long hours, but in many viewers opinions it’s one of my best productions.

A Desert Landscape, New Video

I began constructing this Video after having sourced some of the most beautiful photographs taken by Avi Morag, a professional photographer who was generous enough to share his images of the desert for my production.

As I started, I had no idea of where to go with this, slowly it started taking on its own life and that’s when the decision to make it on HD came about. The sheer vastness of the images lent itself nicely to this format. Posted on Vimeo on August 22, 2009.

Arava from Leo Bar PIX IN MOTION.