As the title suggests, the picture was taken from the air (another hot air balloon) whilst drifting over the landscape on the outskirts of Luxor, Egypt. Luxor is a major historic and tourist town on the Nile. It is the major town nearest to the Valley of the Kings historic area where many of the ancient pharaoh’s burial tombs are located and open to the public for viewing. The treasures once contained in the tombs are long removed, either in ancient times by thieves, or, as in the case of Tutankhamun's tomb, in modern times by archaeologists. Whilst mummies and associated artefacts and burial objects have been removed, some quite remarkable artwork/hieroglyphics can still be seen.
This image was captured shortly after sunrise on the 4th April, 2007. Ballooning appears to be a major business in the area with a steady flow of tourists supporting it. On the morning that I did it there must have been at least 15 balloons in the air.
The image was captured with a Canon 5D digital SLR camera fitted with a 24-105 mm zoom lens at 65 mm, aperture was f10 and shutter speed 1/125 sec with image stabilization employed, ISO was 200. The RAW file was processed through Adobe camera raw and Photoshop CS3 with minimal digital manipulation and is produced here without cropping.
There were a number of elements in this scene that appealed to me. The relationship between the Nile in the background and the irrigated fields in the foreground is not only of photographic interest, but is of historic, cultural and economic significance as well. It has often been said that without the Nile, Egypt wouldn’t exist. I also liked the atmospheric conditions that were present in the early morning with a mist over part of the landscape. The mist was partly due to fog that was rising off the fields and also to smoke from household fires. The balloon of course tells part of the story of the mornings activities, but also provides a colour contrast against the earth and vegetation tones. I placed the balloon off centre in what I felt was a pleasing composition.
*** Note *** Image reprocessed 14.10.14 in Lightroom 5. ~KD
2007? Really? Why?
Whilst looking back over some of the material on my website recently, it occurred to me that there were photographs tucked away in my archives which haven’t been “aired” for some time. Indeed recent arrivals to my blog may be completely unaware of this older stuff and if introduced to it, might find it of interest. I guess it’s the digital/internet equivalent of dragging out that old shoe box at the bottom of the wardrobe, blowing the dust off the lid, and taking a look inside.
In the weeks ahead I’ll post more from my India trip earlier this year, but I might make a point of dipping into the archive and revisiting some of the older material as well.