Photographer's Note

In 1997 I was giving lectures on archaeology on the “Silver Wind,” a ship belonging to cruise line Silver Cruises. The cruise commenced in Mumbai (previously known as Bombay), visited Dubai and Aden, before entering the Red Sea. It would sail north through the Suez Canal, visit Alexandria and end in Haifa. While in the Red Sea, the ship docked in the Egyptian port of Safaga, and a surprise announcement was made on board of a “Silver Sea Experience:” a surprise shore excursion visit was offered to all of the passengers by the cruise line to the storied ruins of Luxor and Karnak.

The Temple of the Goddess of Joy, Hathor, in Dendera was built between 125 BC-65 BC, in the Ptolemaic Period, and more than a thousand years later than the nearby temple complexes in Luxor and Karnak. While exploring the cavernous temple of Dendera, I suddenly came face to face with the ghostly vision of a fellahin, who was standing at a strategic spot under a shaft of sunlight coming from a small hole near the roof. We did not have to communicate in words — my virtually non-existent Arabic or his broken English — he was allowing me to shoot a photo of him, in exchange for a small baksheesh. For the record, the word "fellahin" refers to an Egyptian farmer or peasant.

The camera I had with me was a Nikon-2020 with a 35-70 mm zoom lens, and I was shooting Kodachrome-64 slide film. Without the opportunity to set the proper aperture and shutter speed, to shoot with spot metering instead of average metering, the image created was blurry, a happenstance for which I apologize. But perhaps a ghostly figure should appear blurry!

I resisted cropping the image tighter, convinced that it was artistically more effective with abundant black backdrop.

1997 de bir deniz seyahatinde konferanslar veriryordum. Vapurla Hidistandan ayrildik, ve Dübay ile Yemen'e ugradiktan sonra, Kizil Deniz'e girdik. Süez Kanalini geçmeded evvel, vapur Misirin Safaga limanina ugradi, ve otobüslerle bütün yolculari ünlü Eski Misir harabeleri, Karnak ver Luxor'a, aktardilar. Orada 3000 yillik harabelerler beraber, bir de 2000 yillik Dendera harebeleri vardi. Iste, Dendera da tapinagi gezerken, birden önüme bir köylu çikti, hiç konusmadan bile bir anlas oldu. Adam bildigi bir yerde durdu, ve ben de ufak bir bahsis verdikten sonra adamin hayale benzer bir resmini çektim.

Eski bir Nikon 2020 kullaniyordum, ve "spot" isik ayarini yapamadim, ancak ortalama isikla resmi cekebildim. Bu yuzden, net bir resim olmadi.

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6781 W: 471 N: 12169] (41261)
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