A Photo a Day

January 26, 2008

Dance performance at Shamwari Game Reserve

Filed under: — www.travelphoto.net @ 10:53 am

dance performance, Shamwari Park

South African Dance Performance, Shamwari

dancer at Shamwari, South Africa

Dancer at Shamwari

This performance wass held in Shamwari Park, one of the many game parks along the Garden Route, South Africa.
Decidedly touristy, but a very nice photo opportunity and good fun.

January 20, 2008

Gamelan Music

Filed under: — site admin @ 10:41 am

Gamelan orchestra in Ubud, Bali
A Gamelan orchestra performing in Ubud, Bali.
For ears used to European classical music, this sounds very strange and noisy, but the atmosphere of such a performance is truly unique.

January 17, 2008

Japanese soldier guarding Kumamoto Castle

Filed under: — site admin @ 10:09 pm

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well maybe his distant offspring…

May 22, 2007

Suzhou Street

Filed under: — site admin @ 12:27 pm

Suzhou Street, Summer Palace, Beijing

An ancient picturesque “shopping mall” for the imperial household.
Today, you can see only tourists instead of the empress and the imperial concubines - but then who would have had the privilege to see this in the 18th century?
This is one of the major attractions of the Summer Palace where you can easily spend a whole day…

March 23, 2007

Nubian Museum at Night

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:23 am

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The Nubian museum in Aswan is one of the most interesting museums I have visited -much more inspiring than the famous, crammed Egyptian museum in Cairo.
Here, all items are shown in the best light - very similar to the equally beautiful Luxor museum.
Outside the museum itself, there are some traditional buildings to be seen, like the small mosque on the picture.
Wandering around the compounds at night is an almost magical experience.

January 28, 2007

Inner sanctuary, Abu Simbel

Filed under: — site admin @ 8:44 pm

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When I last visited Anu Simbel in 2004, it was imposible to take photos of the inner sanctuary.
Fortunately, I had already done so 12 years earlier.
In the sanctuary there four seated statues of Amun, Ra-Harakhty, Ptah, and Ramesses.
The temple was constructed in such a way that the sun shines directly on 3 of the statues during two days of the year only the statue of Ptah - the god of darkness - remains in the shadow.
More pictures from Abu Simbel.

January 13, 2007

Red, blue and black: evening in Marrakesh (Place Jemaa el Fna)

Filed under: — site admin @ 3:01 pm

Shortly after sunset, Place Jemaa el Fna, Marrakech

Blue hour over Place Jemaa el Fna

Night over Place Jemaa el Fna, Marrakesh
click on the pictures to see a larger version.

I was fortunate enough to get a table with an excellent view of Marrakesh’s main square on the evening before my flight back to Germany.
The sunset itself was not spectacular, but seeing the lively Place Jemaa el Fna and the spire of the Kotoubia Mosque under a rapidly changing sky was truly beautiful.
The square itself is already quite lively during day time and offers many attractions: there are many fruit stalls, musicians, magicians, tea vendors and artisans.
When night falls, however, it becomes even busier: there are long rows of food stall catering to tourists as well as the local population and Many people are passing through on their way to the extensive souks surrounding the square.
On the photos you can see the smoke rise from hundreds of grills.
Wikipedia told me that the name comes from the Arabic for “Assembly of the dead” and indeed, the heads of many executed people were on display here in ancient times.
Today, it is hard to imagine a livelier spot…

I very much enjoy looking at other people’s impressions of the same locations I visited, here are some I found interesting:

http://yourinnervagabond.com/blog//?p=122
http://www.evete.com/morocco2007/2006/09/djemaa_el_fna_s.html
http://blog.flickr.com/flickrblog/2006/08/oj_stand_on_jam.html
http://photosdumaroc.net/

January 7, 2007

Green tea in the Garden

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:33 pm

woman prepares tea in shinjuku gyoen chaya
Not a full-fledged tea-ceremony - but still a very meditative process: with her back to us, a woman prepares two cups of green macha tea in Tokyos Shinjuku Gyoen Park.
Her silhouette is reflected on the lacquer wood of the table.

More on Shinjuku Gyoen Park at Wikipedia.

August 24, 2006

Japanese Theatre: “Kyougen play”

Filed under: — laurenzb @ 12:07 am


Japanese Theatre, originally uploaded by laurenz.

This is a scene from a funny “Kyougen” play: distrusting his servants, the a master binds them before leaving the house.
However, even bound, they find a way to get to the master’s sake provisions and drink from it.

Gion Corner in Kyoto presents short snippets of Japanese arts including various styles of theatre, the tea ceremony and the art of flower arrangement.
All this is quite touristy, but still fun and a good way to get some fascinating shots (you can even use flash throghout the performance).

March 5, 2006

Carnival Procession in Santa Cruz

Filed under: — site admin @ 8:15 pm

An archbishop?
Due to bad weather the main carnival event had to be postponed.
So the procession in Santa Cruz took place in the evening which completely changed the atmosphere.
I had the chance to see the other big corso in Puerto de La Cruz today (in broad daylight) - photos from that event later…

December 26, 2004

Sillustani Chullpas

Filed under: — Laurenz @ 5:55 am

Chullpas in Sillustani
Sillustani is famous for its Chulpas - the ancient Indian burial towers.

December 5, 2004

Nazca lines - Colibri

Filed under: — Laurenz @ 10:44 pm

Nazca-lines: Colibri / humming bird
There are many theories regarding the purpose of these lines. Were they built for the gods to see? Or for shamans who “flew” over them in drug induced dreams?
Or did their creators already have means to actually leave the ground, such as balloons?
In any case, from the ground there hardly is anything to see: the area is mostly flat and the figures are of a size that makes it impossible to see them whole from this perspective.
From an airplane, however, they are clearly distinguishable. There are a monkey, a spider, a colibri, even a human figure (often called the “astronaut”).

Of course, over time, erosion must have taken a toll on the lines which are believed to be more than 2000 years old.

By the way, while the lines at Nazca are the most famous ones, there are others in South America, such as the Atacama Giant in Chile, which can be clearly seen from the ground.

According to a CNN report, many new, even bigger and older geoglyphs have been found near Paracas - actually quite close to the Nazca lines.

More:
National Geographic on the Nazca lines: “Ancient, Giant Images Found Carved Into Peru Desert“.
Here is an interesting account by someone who visited the Nazca lines several months before me.

A Spanish blog notes that the lines have now been recorded digitally - a way to preserve them for the foreseeable future and maybe the analysis of the data will yield further insights?!

December 4, 2004

Reed Boat, Uros Islands, Lago Titicaca (Peru)

Filed under: — Laurenz @ 8:32 pm

Uro-indian steering a boat on lake Titicaca
One of the “must sees” on Lago Titicaca are the artificial “islands of the Uros”, made of marsh reeds (totora).
The tradition of constructing such islands dates back to times well before the Inca empire.
The original inhabitants were believed to have black blood and other magical qualities.
When they started to mix with the neighbouring Aymara tribes, however, they were no longer regarded with awe.
Today, the inhabitants of the floating islands no longer are Uros but people from other Indian cultures who speak Aymara or Quechua.
The totora reeds are also used to produce boats such as the one sown on this picture.
The famous Norwegian adventurer/anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl asked Uros from Lago Titicaca to help him with the construction of his reed boat Ra II with which he eventually crossed the Atlantic Ocean.
Although many boats are obviously mainly constructed for the entertainment of the tourist crowds, you can still see many families use them as the traditional means of transport.

more Peru-photos

By the way: I also saw floating islands in Xochimilco, Mexico.

October 15, 2004

Kyoto Theatre

Filed under: — site admin @ 6:26 pm


And another photo from the same theatre performance in Kyoto (Japan)

October 9, 2004

A Kyoto Theatre

Filed under: — site admin @ 6:59 pm

The gold fish and the crane, - theatre performance in Kyoto
Visiting a theatre performance can be quite an experience - especially if this takes place in another culture.
I’ll never forget this performance in Kyoto - the colourful costumes, the light, the traditional music.
The short piece here is about a Koi (goldfish) and a crane.

September 27, 2004

Street scene in Guatemala

Filed under: — site admin @ 5:13 am


Maya culture still is very much alive around Lago Atitlan (Guatemala).

September 8, 2004

Atacama Giant

Filed under: — site admin @ 7:49 pm

In the Peruvian and Chilean desert, there are numerous, gigantic drawings made by carefully moving aside the dark pebbles thereby exposing the brighter soil underneath.
The most famous examples of this technique are the so-called “geoglyphs” in Nazca Peru.
As the area is mostly flat, these can only be appreciated from a plane!
Did their builders already have the technology to take to air either with a balloon as some believe or even using alien technology as others imply? Or were the images only supposed to be seen by the gods or shamans who could “leave their body” in a state of trance to “fly” over them?
(Personally, I wonder why the drawings are often very crude - if they were produced by aliens capable of interstella travel, it must have been their pre-school children who drew them!).
A slightly less famous (and less enigmatic) specimen is the so-called “Atacama Giant” in the Chilean Atacama desert: this figure is 115 m tall, but can be viewed quite well without leaving the ground as it takes up the slope of a hill.
If the photos fom my Peru travel turn out well, I may be able to post pictures of the Nazca lines as well, - which actually are quite different in style.
Atacama Giant, Atacam desert, Chile

July 24, 2004

Shinto Shrine

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:16 pm

Shinto Shrine
Shinto shrine in Miyajima. The ceremony performed there was solemn and impressive - although I didn’t understand it at all…

April 30, 2004

Andalusia: Lion yard

Filed under: — Laurenz @ 7:59 pm

Alhambra, Granada, Southern Spain
The famous lion yard in Granada

April 16, 2004

Honduras: Ruins in the Jungle.

Filed under: — Laurenz @ 7:14 pm

fascinating: Maya Ruins of Copn
The Maya temples of Copn are surrounded by jungle.

April 11, 2004

Thailand: Bounty and Wisdom

Filed under: — Laurenz @ 10:02 am

Buddha Statue, Bangkok, Thailand
Untouched by the splendour of the ornaments, a stone Buddha sits in Bangkok, Thailand.

February 29, 2004

Sicily: ruins in the evening light

Filed under: — Laurenz @ 3:38 pm

Greek columns in Agrigento, Sizilien, Italien
Seen in Agrigento, Sicily.

February 28, 2004

Palace of Fine Arts

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:45 am

Somewhat anachronistic - and one of the most romatic spots in San Francisco.

February 27, 2004

Indonesia: going to work on the fields

Filed under: — Laurenz @ 11:57 pm

Peasant on the way to his fields, photo: Laurenz Bobke
Seen near Ubud (Bali, Indonesia)

February 3, 2004

Japanese Tea Ceremony

Filed under: — Laurenz @ 10:00 pm

Geisha conducting a tea Ceremony Kyoto, Japan
What is the real purpose of the Tea Ceremony? Philosophy? Zen? The perfect cup of tea?
Well, I would guess that, today, the answer is simple: money.
The event no longer takes place in a small garden house but in theatre-style halls.
Even so, one shouldn’t miss the opportunity to attend such a ceremony. It’s beautiful.
And you even can take photographs, which would not exactly be compatible with the traditions of Cha-Do - the way of tea.

January 31, 2004

Images of Asia: Japan.

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:05 pm


I’m going to post some pictures from Japan in this Weblog, in addition to this, here’s my Japan photo gallery .

January 30, 2004

Malta: Dramatic Silhouettes

Actually, it is quite easy to take pictures of dramatic silhouettes: you shoot into the sun, metering on a lighter part of the sky. Consequently, the foreground will be dark or even black.
Getting the exposure right is pretty simple with spot metering (if your camera has this option).
Still bracketing (taking pictures with different exposures) is highly recommended, - at least when you are using slide film.
Sometimes, you want to have a nice silhouette in the centre or background, but would like to show the details in the foreground. In this case, it is advisable to use the above technique combined with a fill flash.
Here is an example, the Ggantija Temple on Gozo (Malta). The place is 6000 years old!
Other pictures I took showed much more detail but failed to capture the magic atmosphere.

Ggantija Tempel, Gozo, Malta

Other examples: Sunset in Glasgow or sunrise in the Himalayas.

More photo-tips.

January 25, 2004

China-Photos

Filed under: — site admin @ 7:58 am

Great Wall, China
Hundreds of photos from China at China.Travelphoto.Net
There are many pictures of Beijing, the Great wall, Xi’An and the famous three gorges.

January 24, 2004

Emirates: Mosque

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A stopover in Bahrain was a good opportunity to visit the city. This is a mosque in the blue hour.



    

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All photos on Travelphoto NET: Copyright Laurenz Bobke. Copyright for the photos on the Outstanding Travel Photos blog: the individual photographer
Republication only with my written permission, and only with proper credit (including a link back to this site if shown on the web).

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