Still sitting in the Port of Aswan, Egypt …I know, part IV and not even out of Egypt yet, I’ll move this along. 5:00 PM now, we got here at 7:30 AM, scheduled to leave at 9:00 AM, just waiting on the Libyans now it seems. Looks like everything is wrapping up down below, the barges are just about full, the ferry is packed to the brim with people and supplies. Moving down the aisles of the lower decks means climbing over the rails, around the people and through all the boxes, cans, barrels and everything else needed to start the Wal-Mart, Wadi Halfa. Captain Ahab is growing restless. The Libyans bus pulls up …without the Libyans, it’s just a bus full of supplies. Another bus pulls up – this must be them – there’s no one in this one either, it’s full of boxes. The people must be just behind, or hiding amid the boxes, not really sure at this point. No wonder they’re eight hours late, they are carrying so much stuff that they can’t actually fit in their own bus… C’mon, you gotta be kidding me ↓ (x2 remember). Continue reading →
You see that bar that everyone is behind, or I should say, all the black men are behind, well, that’s because only whites are allowed past it. Sorry about the technically bad picture and all that, but I was going through pics for my next installment of the Sudan story and came across this one. …and PS: Sorry about the delay on the story, but have been really busy – coming soon though. Anyway, well, here it is. It amazes me really, in this day and age, that I can buy a slave, sit on the sidewalk and watch men argue over the price of an eight year old girl for the night, watch someone actually get whipped, that I can take a picture like this. Most Americans think this was stopped in the 60’s or 70’s. Most Americans think slavery was abolished. Most just don’t know, or are just blind to what is outside their boundaries, or don’t really care. I don’t know. Continue reading →
Taken from the esplanade of Dahab, on the southeast coast of the Sinai Peninsula, with the sun rising over Saudi Arabia across the Red Sea from early morning Egypt. Kind of surreal actually, standing in one country, looking at another, with so little separating the two. I not only have a huge list of countries that I’ve visited, but also a fairly big, and growing, amount of countries that I’ve seen and photographed yet not set foot on. Saudi Arabia is one of them, some others include Iraq, Chad, Israel, Central African Republic, Cote D’Ivoire, Gambia and Laos, to name a few.
As for Dahab, Egypt, “A Place to Rest the Soul” is appropriate, with one of the best diving spots in the world in the “Blue Hole”, a myriad of shops and restaurants, the mountains of Saudi Arabia in the distance set above the sparkling water of the Red Sea, camels all around. It can be relaxing or it can be exhilarating. It can be exotic or it can remind you of home. You can snorkel, scuba dive, hike or sail. Drink a beer or fine wine, or drink a fruit smoothie. Take a camel ride in the desert, end it with a swim in clear blue water surrounded by rainbow-colored fish. It can be anything that you make it or want it to be really, with a totally different feel and atmosphere from the rest of Egypt.
Bigger than the United States. More color than a box of Crayola’s.
A nighttime sky like you’ve never seen. Daytime heat like you’ve never felt.
The sun is not called the sun here. I call it the blazing ball of fiery hell.
…spend a few months under it, you probably will too.
It rises, and you feel it …and I mean feel it. It’s so hot that you can almost hear it.
It falls, and so does the temperature.
The desert, it’s almost alive. It moves. It changes. It slides, it slithers.
What was there one day is gone the next.
What wasn’t there last night is here now.
You camp in a flat plain one night and wake up in the morning between dunes of sand.
You wake up to multiple sets of animal tracks around your door.
You hear sounds you’ve never heard. See the sky like you’ve never seen.
People, cultures and tribes you never knew existed.
In the sky at night, nebulas and stars that you didn’t know one could see.
There are a countless number of other things also. The small things that combine to make it what it is.
The scorpions, the fenec foxes scampering around camp at night.
Turning the corner, only to run smack into the side of an ancient pyramid, a palm fringed oasis, a group of AK wielding rebels, a family of nomads. The Tuareg …ahhh, the Tuareg.
Maybe the toughest bunch of people I’ve ever seen. A very appropriate people for the place.
It may not be the sandiest, the hottest, the lowest or the …whatever.
But it definitely is “The” Desert of Deserts.
Below is a second in the life of it…
Once I received a comment on this photo that said:
“I hope everyone can see every child in the world in this photo, just beautiful.
A lovely fleeting moment.”
…maybe the best comment that I could possibly hear. My intention for almost any portrait type photo I take is the “instant” connection between the subject and viewer of that photo. …to have the viewer feel some kind of emotional contact with the picture, without me having to say anything. It usually, well almost never, doesn’t happen, but I keep trying. I keep trying because I believe that every child is worth it. If I can turn one person’s opinion around through my photos, than its worth it. People are people. Children are children. No matter what the country, the religion, the monetary situation, the political situation. Fundamentally, inside, everyone is the same. I could definitely do better with the post processing on this photo. I have learned quite a bit since this was taken. Technically, photographically speaking, the photo blows. The color is off. Could probably sharpen it a bit more. Maybe a bit of contrast, better color, etc, etc.
…but why? It’s the moment that counts, and I love this moment. It reminds me instantly of the children of Mut. This girl. This day. She was so shy. I showed her a photo of herself on my LCD. She looked away, she looked back, she closed her eyes, she laughed. I raised my camera for another shot. She knew what was coming, she didn’t know what to do, she wanted to hide, but she wanted to see her picture again. Click. She ran to me to see her face. She laughed again. This is the memory and I’m glad to have it and show it. A fleeting moment where I can see every child in the world in her face. I don’t want to change a thing about it. Isn’t that what photography is all about?
A smile with your monuments. One of my favorite pictures from my travels through Egypt. Cairo in the background, The Pyramids of Giza. The ubiquitous camels of Egypt in the foreground. The guy in front here is Michael Jackson, as most of the camels around the pyramids are named. A chappy fellow, for now, with a great view day after day. Maybe thats why he is smiling …or maybe he’s just thinking of how much he’s gonna scare this guy with the camera in front of him when he hops on for a ride.