Author Archives: Bob

Turkey Photography Adventure

Balloons over Cappadocia

Early morning hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia© 2013 Bob Harvey

Early morning hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia
© 2013 Bob Harvey

We’ve seen the fairy chimneys from the ground and from ridges.  We’ve photographed the entrances to the “cave” structures from the inside and out.  We’ve played with the soft light drifting into the cave rooms.  Now it’s time to get a perspective from above!  Up up and away!

Fairy Chimneys and balloons© 2013 Bob Harvey

Fairy Chimneys and balloons
© 2013 Bob Harvey

From above, one can more easily see the tall grace and the pointed capstones of the fairy chimneys!

We went very high sometimes, looking down on other balloons and the erosion patterns.© 2013 Bob Harvey

We went very high sometimes, looking down on other balloons and the erosion patterns.
© 2013 Bob Harvey

 

One can really get a sense of a deep layer of tuffa, of capstone layers, and of active erosion from the air.

Dancing with fairy chimneys© 2013 Bob Harvey

Dancing with fairy chimneys
© 2013 Bob Harvey

It’s also exciting to come down amongst the chimneys… to feel like you are dancing in and out and can almost reach out and touch the chimneys!

Chimneys and balloon© 2013 Bob Harvey

Chimneys and balloon
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Ballooning is about perspective!© 2013 Bob Harvey

Ballooning is about perspective!
© 2013 Bob Harvey

In retrospect, there was not one angle on the unique formations of Cappadocia that I was disappointed in!  From inside out, and outside in.  From down looking up and up looking down.  This is an amazing natural and cultural combo that is so much fun to design images with – and so interesting to learn about!

 

I’m having too much fun with Cappadocia – the next post will be?  Oh, I need to show you a few more places in this magical region before we move on to the Turquoise Coast!

 

 

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Turkey Photography Adventure

Cappadocia Part III

Looking through the doorway© 2013 Bob Harvey

Looking through the doorway
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Doorways and windows in the carved dwellings of Cappadocia look out to other structures – and to the fairy chimney formations.  The doorway above, is the same doorway pictured in the final image of the previous blog.

Challenging light© 2013 Bob Harvey

Challenging light
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Today’s photographic technology, with its wider dynamic range (both in camera and post-processing software) has created new opportunities to “see” both the sparsely lit interiors and the bright exteriors.  That opens the door to exciting compositions that simply weren’t possible just a few years ago.  And Cappadocia is an exciting place to compose with these new parameters!

Doorways and windows look across to more of the same.  The brick-like pattern out the door on the right is tuffa blocks used to build a mosque half in and half out of the hillside.© 2013 Bob Harvey

Doorways and windows look across to more of the same. The brick-like pattern out the door on the right is tuffa blocks used to build a mosque half in and half out of the hillside.
© 2013 Bob Harvey

The experience of finding a doorway, slipping inside, and then seeing the “solid” leftovers of life in a cave house is amazing.  Looking from the windows and seeing “the neighborhood” is really astounding.  Hopefully the images capture a little of the sense of how this magic place feels.

Doorways and windows everywhere.© 2013 Bob Harvey

Doorways and windows everywhere.
© 2013 Bob Harvey

So many dwellings, each with several photographic possibilities.© 2013 Bob Harvey

So many dwellings, each with several photographic possibilities.
© 2013 Bob Harvey

View into world of fairy chimneys.© 2013 Bob Harvey

View into world of fairy chimneys.
© 2013 Bob Harvey

There was no way that our research prepared us for how special Cappadocia is.  Nor for the amazing photographic possibilities that this magic place has to offer a photographer who takes the time to “work the scene” and use today’s technology!

Next post, Cappadocia by hot air balloon!

 

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Turkey Photography Adventure

Cappadocia Part II

Inside tuffa dwelling© 2013 Bob Harvey

Inside tuffa dwelling
© 2013 Bob Harvey

The tuffa-carved dwellings feature quite elaborate designs.  Today’s post focuses on the interiors of these amazing buildings – which have been built by a number of cultures over the past 2,000+ years!

Another interior view© 2013 Bob Harvey

Another interior view
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Alcoves were carved into walls© 2013 Bob Harvey

Alcoves were carved into walls
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Sometimes dwellings had several layers with stairways or stone ladders connecting them.  Some of these are exposed when the outside layers break off with time.

Stone ladder to an upper room© 2013 Bob Harvey

Stone ladder to an upper room
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Photography of these interior rooms is really enhanced by 14 bit capture and current generation processing and noise management© 2013 Bob Harvey

Photography of these interior rooms is really enhanced by 14 bit capture and current generation processing and noise management
© 2013 Bob Harvey

The next post will concentrate on windows and doorways, looking from the interior rooms to the greater scene.

 

 

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Turkey Photography Adventure

Cappadocia, Part I

Cappadocia© 2013 Bob Harvey

Cappadocia
© 2013 Bob Harvey

The Cappadocia region of Turkey sits between two volcanoes.  Over time, those volcanoes deposited a deep layer of volcanic tuffa in the region – in places up to a mile deep.  This soft rock was easily eroded.  In places a harder capstone slowed erosion, resulting in shapes that sometimes resemble inverted ice cream cones – called fairy chimneys.  Early inhabitants found that the rock was easy to abrade – and were able to carve shelters inside.

Fairy chimney with dwelling© 2013 Bob Harvey

Fairy chimney with dwelling
© 2013 Bob Harvey

In the early days of Christianity, whole valleys were devoted to monasteries.  The inhabitants could hide away in seclusion – and come out of the valley when it was time to interface the world.

Other places whole communities used the soft tuffa for dwellings, flour mills, churches, mosques, and centers of commerce.

Cappadocia© 2013 Bob Harvey

Cappadocia
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Collapsed fairy chimney© 2013 Bob Harvey

Collapsed fairy chimney
© 2013 Bob Harvey

The soft rock was easy to carve, but it was also weak.  Sometimes it collapsed or parts of it gave way.

Exposed parts of dwellings carved into tuffa.© 2013 Bob Harvey

Exposed parts of dwellings carved into tuffa.
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Cappadocia© 2013 Bob Harvey

Cappadocia
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Next post, we’ll look inside some of the carved dwellings.

 

 

 

 

 

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Turkey Photography Adventure

King Antiochus

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Antiochus shaking hands with Zeus/Hercules
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Out in what today is Central Turkey, in about 62 BC, King Antiochus built himself a tomb.  It lets us see a little bit about him – and about the gods of his neighborhood.  As was customary in those days, the king declared that he was half man/half god and, in conjunction with his tomb atop Mt. Nemrut, Antiochus showed himself consorting with the other gods (Greek, Roman, etc.)  Presenting himself as an equal (a little taller than Zeus), Antiochus built statues and relief carvings of a whole host of gods.

The heads of the gods, stood up in front of the bodies...© 2013 Bob Harvey

The heads of the gods, stood up in front of the bodies…
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Apparently, some time later, people who objected to the idea of several gods instead of one, knocked the heads off the whole lot of them.  The heads are now propped up (a little worse for the wear) below the bodies they once crowned.

Zeus© 2013 Bob Harvey

Zeus
© 2013 Bob Harvey

On our journey to photograph Antiochus and his godly pals, our first attempt was thwarted by an intense thunder snow storm.  It was a bit out of season (but that seems to be happening around here, too, these days) – and we were high enough on the mountain to see lightning below us as the sleet and snow swirled around us!  By the next morning, Antiochus and friends were artfully decorated by nature!

Snowscape© 2013 Bob Harvey

Snowscape
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Antiochus assumed (or led his followers to believe) that upon death he would become a full god.  I can’t speak to whether that really happened, but 2,100 years later we still know his name and Mt. Nemrut is a World Heritage Site.

Tunnel near Antiochus capital city© 2013 Bob Harvey

Tunnel near Antiochus capital city
© 2013 Bob Harvey

On the slopes below Mt. Nemrut, Antiochus had his capital city, overlooking the Euphrates Valley.  Among the fortifications of that city was the relief pictured in the first photo above, and some great tunnels leading down into the mountain.

Mrs. Antiochus tomb© 2013 Bob Harvey

Mrs. Antiochus tomb
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Down on a smaller hill, where Antiochus tomb can look down and see, Antiochus built a special tomb for his wife.  Surrounded by columns topped with gods (including Antiochus) the lady is buried under hundreds of tons of rocks.

The snowstorm and associated clouds gave us soft light to work with.  That helped show the details (lichens and cracks) in the carved heads.  The snow helped us separate the carved figures from the piles of loose rocks that cover Antiochus in his tomb – and gave us interesting lines to compose with!

Next… we’ll move to Cappadocia!

 

 

 

 

 

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Turkey Photography Adventure

Blue Mosque at night©2013 Bob Harvey

Blue Mosque at night
©2013 Bob Harvey

Turkey, at the crossroads where Europe and Asia meet, where the Black Sea pours through the Bosporus into the Sea of Marmara then through the Dardanelles into the Aegean Sea, is a photographer’s paradise.  This land saw the migration of many groups of people, over time, and was ruled by many different entities.  Over time, a number of religions were celebrated here, often choosing to build places of worship on the same sites where previous groups had worshiped in a different manner.  As a secular democracy, Turkey is careful to separate church and state, even as most of its citizens are Muslims.

Our photography visit began in Istanbul, once known as Constantinople, which itself straddles the Bosporus, with almost equal populations on both the Europe and Asia sides of the straits.

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Blue Mosque
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Istanbul is a city of incredible religious history.  It is the center of the Greek Orthodox Church and the home to many beautiful and active mosques.  The call for prayer reverberates through the streets, seemingly coming from every direction – as indeed there are mosques in almost every direction wherever you stand in Istanbul.

Bazaar© 2013 Bob Harvey

Bazaar
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Istanbul comes together in several exciting and colorful bazaars, where you can find almost everything you want or need – and many things you never dreamed existed!

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Bazaar
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Among the treasures in the bazaars one can find some of the fine ceramic pottery produced in Turkey, the famous “evil eyes”, and many of the spices that this part of the world is known for!

Next, we’ll leave Istanbul for the central highlands – and meet a king who declared himself a god!

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Iguazu Falls Photography Adventure

This is my last post, before beginning the long journey home from Iguazu Falls on the Argentina/Brazil border.  Tonight we will make one more visit to Devil’s Throat by full moonlight.  Then tomorrow morning we will transfer to our first flight.

Last night, under nearly clear skies, we made our way out to the very brink of one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world.  By moonlight it seems even more powerful – and certainly louder!  It is very clear that if one fell into this falls – there is no coming back!

Moonlight on Devil's Throat, Iguazu Falls© 2013 Bob Harvey

Moonlight on Devil’s Throat, Iguazu Falls
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Looking downstream along Devil's Throat from the brink under a full moon.© 2013 Bob Harvey

Looking downstream along Devil’s Throat from the brink under a full moon.
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Devi's Throat by full moon.© 2013 Bob Harvey

Devi’s Throat by full moon.
© 2013 Bob Harvey

The real problem with photographing for days at Iguazu Falls is NOT that you run out of things to photograph – it’s that you can only share a small percentage of the many compositions that you create.  Here are a last few – but know that for every image I have shared, there are 50 compositions that are equally exciting!  This is truly a photographer’s paradise!

Brink of falls in the mist.  Look carefully and find several other waterfalls!© 2013 Bob Harvey

Brink of falls in the mist. Look carefully and find several other waterfalls!
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Chico Falls plunging into a sunlit pool at 1/8000 of a second!© 2013 Bob Harvey

Chico Falls plunging into a sunlit pool at 1/8000 of a second!
© 2013 Bob Harvey

A vertical rainbow - with the shadow of the photographer.© 2013 Bob Harvey

A vertical rainbow – with the shadow of the photographer.
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Intense rainbow at the base of a falls.© 2013 Bob Harvey

Intense rainbow at the base of a falls.
© 2013 Bob Harvey

I could go on and on!  But this give you an idea of the fun we’ve been having.  I hope everyone gets a chance to photograph this set of falls someday.  We would love to be your guides when you do!  Thank you.  Bob

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Iguazu Falls Photography Adventure

One of the fun parts of waterfall photography is the brink itself.  Water throws itself over the edge – the behavior is much the same whether the falls is 15 feet or several hundred feet.  Here at Iguazu Falls, there are several opportunities to witness the brink – and sometimes to combine it with other falls or even rainbows!

There is amazing action at the brink - I wish everyone could see these images full sized to really appreciate the detail!© 2013 Bob Harvey

There is amazing action at the brink – I wish everyone could see these images full sized to really appreciate the detail!
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Looking down 100 feet to the next brink below!© 2013 Bob Harvey

Looking down 100 feet to the next brink below!
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Stop the action and it is quite dramatic!© 2013 Bob Harvey

Stop the action and it is quite dramatic!
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Maybe the water is afraid of the fall - and is doing everything it can to stay on top!© 2013 Bob Harvey

Maybe the water is afraid of the fall – and is doing everything it can to stay on top!
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Line up a rainbow, and it looks like another world!© 2013 Bob Harvey

Line up a rainbow, and it looks like another world!
© 2013 Bob Harvey

The rainbows even wrap around the brink!© 2013 Bob Harvey

The rainbows even wrap around the brink!
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Everything in this post was captured at a very high shutter speed.  Some of the exposures simply would not have been possible before the advent of 14 bit cameras that enabled better noise management.  This is an amazing time to be exploring the planet with a camera!  Bob

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Iguazu Falls Photography Adventure

Sunset from the Brazil side of Iguazu Falls© 2013 Bob Harvey

Sunset from the Brazil side of Iguazu Falls
© 2013 Bob Harvey

When the sun drops below the horizon, the exposure times get long, and the light changes colors.  Iguazu Falls takes on a completely different look!

Looking upstream along the Iguazu River after sunset.© 2013 Bob Harvey

Looking upstream along the Iguazu River after sunset.
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Power turns to grace.  The coffee color of the water contrasts with the white froth of the churning.  The falls take on an entirely different complexion.

Grace and beauty.© 2013 Bob Harvey

Grace and beauty.
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Last light, at least from the sun...© 2013 Bob Harvey

Last light, at least from the sun…
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Caramel colors and smooth lines.  Looking at this you can't even hear the thunder!© 2013 Bob Harvey

Caramel colors and smooth lines. Looking at this you can’t even hear the thunder!
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Whether you interpret these falls as having power or grace, this is an amazing place to visit and photograph.  There are so many waterfalls in this complex that would, elsewhere, constitute a reason for a national park on their own.  Here you can almost overlook falls that would steal your heart elsewhere.

 

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Iguazu Photography Adventure

We have been finding 360 degree rainbows - what a treat!© 2013 Bob Harvey

We have been finding 360 degree rainbows – what a treat!
© 2013 Bob Harvey

The drama continues.  Each of us now has special places we like to work – and techniques we want to push the limits on!  Here on the Brazil side, there is a spot that is “sort of” inside the Devil’s Throat, with falls above you and below and the huge field of mist generated by the massive volume of water.  In the morning the rainbows are out over the canyon below.  They can be 360 degrees – and double!

The power of the water pounding down into the Devil's Throat is amazing - a constant thunder.  A real sense of how small we are!© 2013 Bob Harvey

The power of the water pounding down into the Devil’s Throat is amazing – a constant thunder. A real sense of how small we are!
© 2013 Bob Harvey

As one moves around, and as the day progresses, the rainbows move with you.  They are always centered on you – and you can move them around your composition by moving yourself!  What a magic place!

Thundering waters, intense rainbows.© 2013 Bob Harvey

Thundering waters, intense rainbows.
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Water in sunlight, water in shadows.  Put those against each other and feel the drama!

Falls on two sides of the Devil's Throat - find the bird, for perspective!© 2013 Bob Harvey

Falls on two sides of the Devil’s Throat – find the bird, for perspective!
© 2013 Bob Harvey

Whatever the drama we put into images here – it is impossible to really understand these waterfalls until you experience the thunder, are overwhelmed by a stream of mist rising from a waterfall several hundred meters away, or are brought to awe as light plays on the waters!

These are a few – more to come – on a place that is dear to my heart and an inspiration I never grow tired of.  Bob

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