Wall of Faces
I love the way the geometry of this sculpture fades off in to the distance. It gives a great perspective of the magnitude of the wall. If you look to the near face, you’ll notice that each row consists of faces carved into the stones. This wall was a tribute to all the warriors that fell at Chichen Itza during their ceremonial ball games. Just one corner of the structure, you can begin to gain an idea of the number of people who lost their lives in this brutal yet awe inspiring game.
I found myself at Chichen Itza apparently on the day that the locals are allowed to sell trinkets and items inside the grounds for free, rather than having to pay a fee to get in. The great thing about these vendors is that they are huge hagglers, and if you don’t show that you really have an eye for something, they can be talked down quite handily. I really had little interest in the face that this guy was carving, more in the process that he was actually doing it in, but I must have stood in front of him for long enough to give him the impression that I was interested in a purchase. It started out about ten times more expensive than the last price he gave me, and he even continued to shout more prices as I walked on to explore more areas.
Pillars of Chichen Itza
Oops, late today. Technically I’m still on track, at least for USA time.
Taking a look at this photo, I could imagine an immensely long, covered room. These pillars would have at one time been the columns that held up a ceiling for this room. I’m not completely sure what held these stones together for such a long time, but it seems to be working.
Late Afternoon Sun at El Caracol
El Caracol, or “The Observatory”, is said to have been constructed around AD906. An ancient Mayan observatory that the people used to observe changes in the sky. Of the 29 currently known possible recurring astronomical events, such as eclipses, equinoxes, solstices, etc, that were of interest to the residents of Chichen Itza, 20 had sight lines distinguished in the structure. Since part of the building has been lost, the total picture may never be known.
Late one summer day, with low hanging clouds reflecting colors of the sunset, the temple glows with warm colors on the flat land of the Yucatan peninsula.
A New Style
As many have heard, and a few shed a tear, the old Kodachrome has finally ceased production. After a great run dating back to 1935, the last roll was produced on the 18th of January. After doing some research about the different histories of film development, only a small amount I’ve ever experienced in an actual darkroom, I set out trying to find a look of processing that replicated the look of an old photo.
First processed as an HDR, seen in the previous post, I like the way the feel of the photo changed in this version.
The Magnitude of Chichen Itza
Nothing portrays scale like a tiny person in the foreground. So looking back into my Mexico photos, I found this set that nicely portrayed the immense proportions of the pyramid of Chichen Itza. This temple, often referred to as El Castillo, is actually a pyramid built on top of another pyramid. Even now, more is being learned about the ancient structure, as more tiers are currently being excavated, making the original structure even larger than what we’ve seen before.
The HDR really brings out the colors and textures of the stone steps, and that is a LOT of steps.