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Egypt

The ancient Egyptian history has always fascinated me. Various TV programs have brought back various famous pharaohs, like Ramses II and Tutankhamen, the many gods and goddesses, mummies, pyramids, mysterious and newly discovered tombs, etc. to life for me. Finally, I had the chance to see those in real life. Well at least, I will be able to bring myself closer to the location where all those things actually took place.

Our travel in Egypt started in Cairo; our very first night in Cairo after arriving there from Paris was really short. After resting for only about two hours, we had to get up early the following morning to catch a 4:30AM flight to Abu Simbel, which is located in the southern part of Egypt at the Sudanese border. After a short and what I felt "rushed" visit to the temple, we flew back to Aswan and boarded a cruise ship, Radamis II, where we stayed for 3 nights and sailed to Luxor. Finally, on the cruise ship we could relax. In Aswan and along the Nile, we visited several temples, Philae, Kom Ombo, Edfu, Karnak, Luxor, Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, Hatshepsut temple and several other spots. After the cruise, we flew back to Cairo and spent 2 nights there and we visited the pyramids and sphinx at Giza, the Cairo museum, Coptic and old Cairo. By bus, we traced the Exodus route through the Sinai Desert, the home of the Bedouin tribes. After crossing Israel at Eilat, we arrived in Jordan and continued our journey to Petra. Please note that this gallery doesn't contain all images documenting the spots we visited.

Two famous temples, Abu Simbel and Philae, were "relocated" to a higher ground as the result of the construction of the Aswan dam. The Egyptian government in corroboration with UNESCO conducted year long salvage and relocation operations during which the two temples were dismantled with every block assigned a number and its position noted and reassembled at higher location.

In most cases, I put emphasis more on the artistic value of the images rather than for documentation purposes. There are images I took for those purposes, including people shots but they are more for personal usage and as such were not posted here on this gallery. Recording for travel documentation would not be really complete anyway since photography was strictly prohibited at some places.

While I understand that flash photography could potentially damage the valuable relics over a long term but not allowing any kind of photography, even without flash, was still a disappointment for me. At the most popular temples/spots, like in the Valley of the Kings, Cairo Museum where the golden mask of Tutankhamen was on display, any kind of photographic equipment has to be left in the bus to make sure that that won't happen. Inside Ben Ezra synagogue, where Moses was found as a baby and St Sergius church, where the Holy Family stayed, in Cairo, photography was also strictly prohibited and enforced. At ancient temples, where you can bring your camera gear although picture taking is not allowed, the guards, in uniform and unofficial, "patrol" the area and they have become shrewd business folks. For a fee they let you take pictures, even inside temples, which in itself is a win-win situation for both parties but there are outside sections, where clearly pictures are allowed, were "artificially" roped off. Again, for a fee, they would do you a favor and let you in.

Photography tidbits:
On this trip to Egypt, Israel http://www.pbase.com/ageojo/israel and Jordan http://www.pbase.com/ageojo/jordan__petra , I took 2 zoom and 2 prime lenses with a Canon full frame body. In total, I took approximately 3,500 images, including the stay in Paris. The most used lens was my 16-35mm f/2.8 Mark II with which I took more than 2,000 images. The other zoom lens, a 70-200mm f/2.8 Mark II, some in combination with a 1.4X TC, was used to take approximately 700 images. Out of the primes lenses, I used my 50mm f/1.2 for some 550 shots and the 24mm TS-E Mark II lens for slightly over 100 shots and mostly in Paris on the way over to the Middle East.

The temples and pyramids in Egypt are lit at night. The color temperature of lighting varies quite a bit and not only from temple to temple but in a lot of cases from one section to the other within the same temple. Adjusting the white balance in post processing could be tricky. Yes, you do need a tripod to take pictures at night.

Thank you for visiting my gallery. Please feel free to leave your comments on the gallery or images you see fit.

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Four Seated Collosal Statue of Ramses II
Four Seated Collosal Statue of Ramses II
Close-up of Ramses II and Falcon-headed  Re-Harakhte in a Niche Above the Entrance
Close-up of Ramses II and Falcon-headed Re-Harakhte in a Niche Above the Entrance
Close-up of Statue of Ramses II
Close-up of Statue of Ramses II
Statue of Ramses II and Nefertari
Statue of Ramses II and Nefertari
Statue of Ramses II and Nefertari from Low Perspective
Statue of Ramses II and Nefertari from Low Perspective
 Relief of Ramses II Defeating his Enemies at Battle of Kadesh
Relief of Ramses II Defeating his Enemies at Battle of Kadesh
Relief on Wall Inside
Relief on Wall Inside
Resting in the Shade
Resting in the Shade
Alternating Statues of Ramses II and Nefertari
Alternating Statues of Ramses II and Nefertari
Again, Ramses II
Again, Ramses II
Inscription
Inscription
Relief on Inside Wall
Relief on Inside Wall
Relief on Inside Wall
Relief on Inside Wall
Inside Nefertari Temple
Inside Nefertari Temple
Pillars at Philae Temple
Pillars at Philae Temple
Isis, the Goddess of Philae
Isis, the Goddess of Philae
Isis Boat Carried by Priest
Isis Boat Carried by Priest
Christianity Graffiti
Christianity Graffiti
Sequeantial Facades of Inside Chambers
Sequeantial Facades of Inside Chambers
Relief on Inside Wall Depicting Offering for Isis
Relief on Inside Wall Depicting Offering for Isis
Relief on Inside Wall Depicting Offering for Isis
Relief on Inside Wall Depicting Offering for Isis
Isis, the Goddess of Philae
Isis, the Goddess of Philae
Relief on Inside Wall
Relief on Inside Wall
A Pharaoh Was Given the Ankh, Symbol of Life, by Isis
A Pharaoh Was Given the Ankh, Symbol of Life, by Isis
Inside Section of Temple
Inside Section of Temple
Trajan's Kiosk at Low Setting Sun
Trajan's Kiosk at Low Setting Sun
Relief of Bes, Musical Deity
Relief of Bes, Musical Deity
Philae After Sunset
Philae After Sunset
Philae After Sunset
Philae After Sunset
Facade of Philae Temple
Facade of Philae Temple
Facade of Philae Temple
Facade of Philae Temple
Philae After Sunset
Philae After Sunset
Along the Nile River
Along the Nile River
Bridge Taken with the Sundeck of Radamis II
Bridge Taken with the Sundeck of Radamis II
Bridge of the Nile River
Bridge of the Nile River
Another Cruise Ship
Another Cruise Ship
Two Fishermen
Two Fishermen
Mobile Phone Breakthrough
Mobile Phone Breakthrough
Still Colorful Pillars
Still Colorful Pillars
Relief Depicting Offering to Gods
Relief Depicting Offering to Gods
Imagine How Vivid the Colors Were Back Then!
Imagine How Vivid the Colors Were Back Then!
Kom Ombo Temple
Kom Ombo Temple
Kom Ombo Temple
Kom Ombo Temple
More Pillars
More Pillars
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