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Thread: Monochromes of Jerash & Petra, Jordan

  1. #1

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    Monochromes of Jerash & Petra, Jordan

    Petra had been on my wife's and my bucket list for years and we finally got there and to Jerash in 2010. Jerash is a fabulous set of partially restored Roman ruins very near Amman, the capitol and largest city in the country. These four photos were converted to monochrome a few days ago.

    C&C is encouraged as always about anything. Just one question: Is more detail needed in the shadow areas of the first photo or does the lack of detail help emphasize shape?


    Photo #1 - Hadrian's Arch - Jerash: While I was visiting with the stone carvers, one of them let me do a very little bit of carving of a stone that was to be installed on this arch. So, I'm thinking that someday it will be renamed Buckley's Arch.
    Monochromes of Jerash & Petra, Jordan


    Photo #2 - Cardo (the main street) - Jerash
    Monochromes of Jerash & Petra, Jordan


    Photo #3 - Entrance to Petra: If you have ever been to Zion Canyon National Park, Petra is like that though with huge buildings carved into the rock. I have done a lot of hiking and the entrance to Petra is clearly the best combination of sheer beauty and ease of walking that I have ever encountered. Or you can ride, as this photo shows.
    Monochromes of Jerash & Petra, Jordan


    Photo #4 - Treasury at Petra: Millions of people have viewed the famous Treasury from street level. I would wager that far less than 1% have viewed it from above. If it had not been for a guide who was waiting for people such as my wife and me who couldn't find the viewpoint on our own, I also probably would not have seen it from this angle. That's despite that my guidebook was attempting to point me to this viewing spot.
    Monochromes of Jerash & Petra, Jordan
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 13th February 2013 at 12:08 PM.

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    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Monochromes of Jerash & Petra, Jordan

    Great images... I especially like the last image because I have never seen the Petra Treasury from this angle and it really shows its size in comparison to the human figures....

    It looks like it might have been somewhat chancey getting in position for that last shot!

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    Re: Monochromes of Jerash & Petra, Jordan

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    It looks like it might have been somewhat chancey getting in position for that last shot!
    Only in the sense that if I had taken several really large false steps, I could have ended up on the street below. There were some people casually relaxing on a boulder above me that I would never have attempted to get to. In this type of situation, it comes down to knowing your capabilities and inabilities. I'm fully aware that I'm a total klutz. So, I was being very safe for me, and far safer than lots of people would need to be.

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    Re: Monochromes of Jerash & Petra, Jordan

    Great images! Personally, in the first photo, I would prefer some detail in the black of the lower two arches; something about like what you have in the main, central arch, or maybe a bit more than that on all three.
    The last one is unbelievable (the location, and the photo). A fantastic b/w.

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    Re: Monochromes of Jerash & Petra, Jordan

    Beautiful photos, especially fond of 3&4

  6. #6

    Re: Monochromes of Jerash & Petra, Jordan

    Wow, all of these are fantastic in monochrome. Photos 2 and 4 are my favorites with 2 taking a small lead.
    That last shot is brilliant, though.

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    Re: Monochromes of Jerash & Petra, Jordan

    Getting that particular shot on the last one really, really makes it. As you suggest, how many million images are there of this particular structure from street level. The location you got for the shot makes it a real 'stand out'. And you've dealt with harsh sunlight very well indeed.

    But I want to make a pitch for the 'Entrance to Petra' being an great image.

    The horse and carriage give us scale. The use of light on the rock face brings out all the texture and shape. The tones across the whole image are subtle, but rich. The composition, which gets the sides of the pathway providing the lines that take us into the picture, is excellent. Wonderful.

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    Re: Monochromes of Jerash & Petra, Jordan

    Thank you, everyone! It's especially nice to see that three of the photos so far are vying for being the best of the lot.

    Matt: I'll try your suggestions to bring out more detail in the shadow areas of the arches.

    Donald: Thanks for mentioning the harsh light on the Treasury. I could have hoped for more diffuse light but the skies barely had a cloud the entire time we were at Petra (three full days, despite that most people spend only part of a day). The canyon is so narrow and the walls are so high where the Treasury is built that we timed our hike for the sun to be in an ideal position.
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 13th February 2013 at 01:38 PM.

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    Re: Monochromes of Jerash & Petra, Jordan

    Hi Mike

    You want my honest opinion?
    You've got THE EYE.

    These pictures convey a sense of timelessness.
    Except for pic #1, no modern intrusions to distract from the classic beauty of the structures.
    (For nitpicking pixelpeeping toms:
    I did indeed notice the 21st century attire of the people as well as the rubber tyres of the carriage but they don't distract from the historical atmosphere)


    #1

    A nice example of architectural photography.

    Good framing, no crowds and your wife provides a sense of scale.
    It might benefit from a small perspective correction.
    (In my active days, photographing archaeological excavations, I was known as the keystone cop.
    Pshaw. Sour grapes. They were just envious of my 35mm TS lens)

    "Is more detail needed in the shadow areas of the first photo or does the lack of detail help emphasize shape?"

    I don't think so.
    This is exactly what the eye sees in bright sunlight.
    Monkeying around with the contrast would seem artificial to me.
    On the other hand, a judicial applicaction of the clone brush to get rid of the street light in the lower right arch (even if it follows nicely the curve of the arch) and toning it down a bit might yield another pic in it's own right.

    Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.

    #2
    My favorite.
    Perfect framing and a wonderful perspective.

    The line of columns leading leading the eye down to the North Tetrapylon and through it's arch to the North Gate conveys the scale of the site.
    I'm glad you manfully resisted the urge of planting yourself squarely in the middle of the road and providing us with another example of converging lines/vanishing point

    I especially like the early morning shadows of the eastern columns complementing the western row.
    The sun also gives nice texture to the clouds.

    And the presence of your wife breathes life into an otherwise rather static picture.
    A winner.

    #3
    Donald said it all.

    #4
    It pays to go the extra mile, horizontal or vertically.
    Stunning shot.

    Three cheers for B+W.

    Cheers
    Wolf

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    Re: Monochromes of Jerash & Petra, Jordan

    Thank you, Wolf, for such detailed commentary. Very, very helpful!

    About the rubber tires: I'm guessing that all of the carriages have them because there is a section of cobblestone that surely makes for a more comfortable ride using those tires.

    About the street lamp in Hadrian's Arch: Sometimes I feel as if it's best to remove articles such as that. Other times I feel like making the image a bit more documentary by showing the context of the restored ruins within a modern city.

    I could use your keystone-cop eyes more often. I already corrected the photo of Hadrian's arch, but sometimes I don't get it exactly right, especially when old buildings such as Hadrian's Arch are out-of-square so much.

    I'm surprised that you (and nobody) has mentioned that I should have positioned my wife just a little more to the left in the photo of Hadrian's arch. Shame on all of you!

    Your understanding of the context of the second photo makes me think you've probably been to Jerash. If so, I hope you enjoyed the area as much as my wife and I did. I don't remember whether Israeli and Jordanian citizens are allowed to cross the border these days.

    Quote Originally Posted by AgfaB2 View Post
    Three cheers for B+W.
    Indeed!

    Thanks again for your detailed comments!
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 13th February 2013 at 02:41 PM.

  11. #11
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    Re: Monochromes of Jerash & Petra, Jordan

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    Thank you, Wolf, for such detailed commentary. Very, very helpful!
    That's what this forum is all about.

    About the street lamp in Hadrian's Arch: Sometimes I feel as if it's best to remove articles such as that. Other times I feel like making the image a bit more documentary by showing the context of the restored ruins within a modern city.
    Quite. That's why I said, removing the lamp might lead to a different picture.

    I could use your keystone-cop eyes more often. I already corrected the photo of Hadrian's arch, but sometimes I don't get it exactly right, especially when old buildings such as Hadrian's Arch are out-of-square so much.
    What I found helpful with irregular structures is to look for the 'leading edge', the one which jumps right out at you and correct for it. The rest will fall into place. Or sometimes not. It's a judgment call.

    I'm surprised that you (and nobody) has mentioned that I should have positioned my wife just a little more to the left in the photo of Hadrian's arch. Shame on all of you!
    Perish the thought.
    Your wife is fine right where she is, at least in this pic.
    Unobstructively but there when your eyes need her to scale the structure.

    Your understanding of the context of the second photo makes me think you've probably been to Jerash. If so, I hope you enjoyed the area as much as my wife and I did. I don't remember whether Israeli and Jordanian citizens are allowed to cross the border these days.
    Yes, Israelis and Jordanians are allowed to visit each others country.
    And, no, I haven't had the opportunity to visit Jerash yet.
    But after working some 20 years in archaeology you get to know your field pretty well. I once had to give a lecture about roman architectural styles and had to read up on, among others, Jerash.
    Some of it just stuck.

    Cheers
    Wolf

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