Posts Tagged ‘ruins’

Temple of Adonis, Faqra

January 27th, 2010

A while back, I began a mini-project to visit and explore the three surviving temples of Adonis in Lebanon. On the same day, I managed to visit the temple at Mashnaqa, and that at Afqa.

The temple at Faqra I had to reluctantly leave for another day. I finally managed to visit the site of these beautiful ruins just recently.

It was a heavily overcast day which softened the light and chased away strong shadows. And allowed for more than just an exploration of the temple itself.

One of the most striking features of the temple at Faqra is that it was partially cut and built into the living rock. The peculiar rock formations feature in clusters at the entry to Faqra and are commonly called the “Houses of Ghosts”. ¬†Time constraints meant that I couldn’t explore them for photo opportunities. But I guess that just means I’ll have to pay the region another visit. ūüėČ

Here is a tonemapped shot of the entrance to the temple proper. The tiny figure of my friend standing inside the temple should give you an idea of how impressive the structure is.

On the other side of the temple of Adonis lie what I understand are the remains of the smaller temple of Atargatis.

In front of the temple of Adonis sat an empty cube a few meters across. The cube had windows cut into it. I wonder what it was meant to be.

I had my gorillapod with me, which helped me to shoot multiple exposures for creation of HDR images. Unfortunately, it proved rather unwieldy to use here given the open spaces which limited my choice of positions and angles. It also meant that the camera often ended up being at less than 20cm from ground level. That led to a lot of uncomfortable crouching to look through the viewfinder…

And finally, my favourite image from the set. I’m particularly proud of this one as it proved particularly difficult to set up and shoot (thanks to the size limitations of the gorillapod – still MUCH better than with no tripod, so no complaints). I particularly like the backlight provided by the sun gently shining through the modest cloud cover.

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The Jerboa Has Landed!

October 27th, 2009

Right! I’ve returned from my trips to Lebanon and Bangalore, India with a sizeable wad of pictures.

I still have to sort through them all, but hopefully I will have lots and lots of great pictures to share with you in the coming weeks – including pictures of: abandoned hundred-plus-year-old Lebanese houses; ruins of age-old temples; the last day of the harvest and vintaging at a vineyard; a traditional Indian wedding (which totally blew my mind – probably the single most colorful and extraordinary wedding celebrations I have yet had the√ā¬†privilege√ā¬†to attend); and my other (non-wedding-related) impressions of the very beautiful, chaotic and noisy Bangalore.

With luck, I will have something substantial to share in the coming day or two. Meanwhile, I will leave you with a shot of the very first snake I have yet seen in Lebanon. In the wee hours one night I found this beautiful and colourful specimen lying in the middle of the road by my family house in Baabdat.

It was quite dead and being munched upon by a cute tar-black kitty, which unfortunately made a break for it as I approached. Oddly enough, try as I might, I couldn’t roll the snake over to take a better look at (and maybe picture of) it… Whatever I did, it invariably flopped back onto its back… It wasn’t too long, about 50cm in length, give or take, and 2cm or so at its widest point.

And no, no clue what type of snake it is.

Floppy

While you’re waiting for the coming posts, check out the first√ā¬†instalment√ā¬†of the awesome bullet-time-esque results of a very cool experiment undertaken by the one and only√ā¬†Trey Ratcliff.

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Dibba in the Morning

October 7th, 2009

So, going on from my previous post, I mentioned that the plan was to make merry on the beach until dawn.

That mostly held true. Particularly for the others. For my part, I collapsed in my chair in the wee (and I mean wee) hours, shortly before dawn, while serenaded by 5 brilliant singing musicians (including Birthday Boy – and you should hear him play the piano). On the plus side, I awoke shortly thereafter in the middle of that magical hour – dawn – to find that everybody else (except for Birthday Boy) had collapsed and was snoring happily away.

So: Dawn + Awake + Amazing Place = Picture Time!

I hurriedly got up, grabbed my camera from the other end of the camp after fighting my way through the giant wasps that always seem to invade a camp-site in the morning, and the results are here for you to see.

Dhow at Dawn (Moon Over Dibba (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 135mm, f5.6, ISO 200, 1/640 seconds)

I’ve realised that lately I’ve become much more partial to soft pastels, whereas before I had a strong penchant for strikingly vivid colours…

Take this picture for example:

Dhow with Fujeirah Mountiains Behind (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 135mm, f5.6, ISO 200, 1/100 seconds)

Or this one (in which you can see just how crystal-clear the water was):

Fujeirah at Dawn, seen from Dibba (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 24mm, f5.6, ISO 200, 1/100 seconds)

Ok, so this one is rather vivid, but still:

Sun Rising Over Dibba

I shot the picture below from some old ruined huts which are peppered along the foot of the mountain. When I went towards the huts, my aim was to make some good pictures in the soft light of morning. Unfortunately, nothing I saw really spoke to me, so instead I turned my attention to more interesting stuff – like our camp.

Below you can see Birthday Boy about to ready breakfast, tiptoeing over and around the party animals that lay sprawled all over the place, while√ā¬†in the background√ā¬†the mountains of Fujeirah rise up through the mist in the fragile light of dawn.

The Camp, seen from Ruins (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 85mm, f5.6, ISO 200, 1/125 seconds)

I probably could have gone off in search of different angles to shoot from, and different things to see, but to be honest – all I wanted to do was get in the water and snorkel (more on that in comping posts).

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