Monday, February 22, 2010

Petra in Motion

Petra in Motion
The entrance to, and the general location of, Petra Jordan is a wadi (dry watercourse).  As you proceed from entrance to the the far end of Petra (about 4km) you traverse a deep gorge portion of the wadi that gradually transitions to a broader and flatter dry bed.
I find these gorges very interesting; formed by thousands of years of water gradually eroding the softer portions of the stone, they are natural artwork and document the motion of water that created them.  This motion recorded in the walls of the gorge is the foundation of the featured photograph for this entry..  The motion of the water  is not difficult to imagine given the perspective and lighting in this photograph.
I intentionally set up this shot as a longer exposure to capture the motion of both the horse-buggy combination and the person walking away from the camera.   These little buggies regularly run up and down the wadi transporting tourists that don’t see walking through a wadi as good opportunity for exercise.
A fourth, less obvious element of motion are the channels on either side of walls.  These channels are man made and were designed to carry water through Petra…yes, the public water works.  These small canals that snake through Petra are a true engineering marvel.
Finally, I offer a second version of the same photograph.  This one in color.
Petra Jordan-5-2
As most of you know, I generally prefer black and white.  In this case, I prefer the black and white not for the many reasons I have mentioned before, but because the black and white version is more convincing in telling the story of motion.  As a color photograph, I am pleased; the orange shades of the rock walls provide an interesting background, and the green and red of the backpack and buggy canopy lead the eye through the photograph.  The simplicity helps as well; three subjects (walls, buggy, person walking) with three complimentary colors.  Although there is a great deal of shape and shadow, the photograph remains uncluttered.
There is a great deal more to come from my trip to Petra.  Please come back to see the rest.  Although I have to admit to being terribly behind on my photo processing and it may be quite some time before we have the chance to talk about the best from that trip.
Have fun, and go make some great photography!

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