The Magician\’s Pyramid

The Magician\
The Magician\’s Pyramid, by Suprada on Flickr.

The Magician\’s Pyramid, Uxmal, Mexico

When we visited Mexico last December, I specifically wanted to visit some of the ancient Maya sites. Doing my research for the trip, I came across multiple reviews recommending Uxmal. Uxmal is supposed to be the most elegant of the Inca archeological sites with very elegant carvings. It is also supposed to be a lot less crowded -fewer visitors – nothing like the insanity of Chichen Itza.

I must report that all the above is true. When we landed in Cancun, we drove directly to Merida. On Christmas Day, we headed out to Uxmal – hoping for even fewer crowds. We were not disappointed. It was a great day – the billowy dark rain clouds were moving around the sky – a photographers dream. At Uxmal, we hired a guide to take us around and explain the excavated ruins. That was a very good move – it brought the ruins to life and we got to know about the Mayans in a very entertaining way. Highly recommended if you want the place to appear more than a bunch of buildings and experience the site. We also got to know that a very small part of Uxmal has been excavated and a lot of archaeological work is ongoing. Here\’s more about Uxmal on the internet –

The photo here shows the Pyramid of the magician, taken with a very wide angle lens. Note the horizon line band in the center of the frame…no rule of thirds for me here! Here is an entertaining < href="\">story about how the Pyramid of the magician came about from Wikipedia – \”nother tale holds that when a certain gong was to sound, the city of Uxmal was destined to fall to a boy “not born of woman”. The gong was struck, one day, by a dwarf that was born unto no mother, but rather hatched from an egg by a childless, old woman. The sound of the gong struck fear into the city’s ruler and the dwarf was ordered to be executed. The ruler reconsidered the death sentence, though, and promised that the dwarf’s life would be spared if he could perform three seemingly impossible tasks.One of the tasks was to build a massive pyramid, taller than any building

in the city, in a single night. The dwarf ultimately completed all the tasks, including the construction of the pyramid. The dwarf was hailed as the new ruler of Uxmal and the structure was dedicated to him\”

Before I go on to talk about my processing, I must say that I have been influenced Mitch Dobrowner\’s excellent Black and White photographs.

Post – Processing Notes:
I shot this image in RAW mode and used Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 for my post-processing. After importing the photos into Lightroom and keywording them, I used one develop preset available for free on the internet.

The preset I used was \”BW1″ from the set of BW presets from 640 pixels to convert to Black and White. Yes, this set of very high contrast and very good black and white conversions is free! I then tweaked the image using the adjustment brush and the basic exposures to get the image to my liking.
What do you think about the image and the post-processing?

Link to other posts from Uxmal
Link to other posts from Mexico

Technical Details:
Camera: Canon Rebel XT
Exposure: 1/750 at f/4.0
Focal Length: 10mm
ISO: 100
WB: Daylight
Lens: Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM SLR Lens for EOS Digital SLRs
Date: December 25, 2009
Filter: Singh-Ray Neutral LB Polarizer

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3 thoughts on “The Magician\’s Pyramid

  1. I must say, I was originally leaning towards the color picture while you were processing it but this looks mind-blowing (and a little intimidating). Awesome pic, babes!

  2. great contrast and the clouds add a lot of Drama .. will look great in print am sure : )

    were there talks about 2012 in the Mayan land? 😉

  3. Lovely texture, you have a great talent for making an fabulous image from a typical tourist shot. Bravo!

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