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Empty Quarter



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Digging for Dollars
Photograph by George Steinmetz

Workers find little shade in Yemen's Iyad salt mine, located near a defunct oil well. It's common to find salt and oil close together in the Empty Quarter. Over time large domes of salt—remnants of prehistoric inland seas—push their way up through layers of sediment. As they rise, the salt domes leave voids into which oil deposits seep. Yemen exports both salt and oil, with oil accounting for 70 percent of the nation's revenue.

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Nikon 8008
Film Type: Fujichrome Velvia
Lens: 17-35mm
Speed and F-Stop: 1/125 @ f/8
Weather Conditions: Too hot
Time of Day: 10 a.m.
Lighting Techniques: Natural light


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