Mali, West Africa somewhere in the Sahara Desert 2002
A veiled Touareg man stands near his camels which are loaded with slabs of salt from the Taodenni mines. We had stopped to get some photos and he came over to check us out and to cadge something to eat. You see him here examining a pack of Mentos. I had to convince him that they were good to eat by eating one myself.
He wears a robe of indigo. It is worn and tattered as anyone’s robe would be who chased camels through knee-high, dry, prickly grasses. His partner can be seen in front of the lead camel. He does not stop. Time is of the essence. There is only so much feed for the camels and they need to get to the wells on schedule as well. They are going to Timbuktu and beyond. Normally, they will be on the move for 6 months or so as they sell their salt to far-flung Saharan villages.
My husband video taped the caravans as they passed and when we watch, we can hear the cries of the Touareg as they urge the camels to keep going. It is a high pitched ‘yipping’ cry. I love the sound. It’s the real thing.
This photograph was shot on black and white film. So many of these shots lacked contrast that I tried to add interest by coloring them. I used Nik Color Efex, a bluish filter for the sky and robe and a yellow one for the sand. The blue and yellow combination gave a greenish cast to the grasses and I liked that. I also blurred the man to give more of a hand tinted look.