The Hebrew word makhtesh is the word used for a geological formation that is unique to this area, formed when a river hollows out a mountain. This photo was shot from inside and shows the rim of the makhtesh where the river exits the mountain and the colored sandstone. The panorama shows more of the makhtesh but to really experience it you need to go the Negev.
The technical details – the photo above was taken with a Nikon 5300 digital SLR camera in February 2016 (ISO 400, 44mm, F11 at 1/400 sec). The panorama below shows more of the expanse of the makhtesh and was taken with my iPhone 6s, the exit is the dip on the left. I’ve printed this image as a large (40x150cm), high-quality inkjet print.
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Photographs on this website are © Shmuel Browns (unless marked otherwise) – if you are interested in buying or using one of my photos for your own project please contact me.
This geological feature in the Western Galilee is actually a large, natural stone arch that seems to divide heaven and earth. The arch is all that remains of the ceiling of a cave that collapsed, hence its name, keshet is the Hebrew for arch.
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The technical details – the photo was taken with a Nikon D70 digital SLR and 18-70mm lens in April (ISO 200, 18mm, F9 at 1/125 sec).
Photographs on this website are © Shmuel Browns (unless marked otherwise) – if you are interested in purchasing one of my photos or using one of my photos for your own project please contact me.
The Makhtesh HaKatan (Small Makhtesh) is the smallest (about 5km x 7km) of 3 makhteshim, a geological land formation in the Negev desert, known also as an erosion cirque. A makhtesh has steep walls of resistant rock surrounding a deep closed valley which is usually drained by a single wadi (stream bed). These walls were made of an outer layer of hard rock, limestone and dolomite, covering a softer layer of chalkstone and sandstone. Erosion washes away the softer layer and eventually the hard layer of rock collapses creating a crater-like valley. The layers of rock can still be seen in the walls of the makhtesh, the sandstone comes in many colors.
The following photos of the multicolored, textured sandstone were taken while hiking in the makhtesh, abstract paintings by the hand of God.