Nunnery Quadrangle

Nunnery Quadrangle
Nunnery Quadrangle, by Suprada on Flickr.
Nunnery Quadrangle, Uxmal, Mexico.

During my trip to Mexico during Christmas of 2009, we visited the Mayan ruins of Uxmal in the Yucatan peninsula. From \”The name Uxmal means \’thrice-built\’ in Mayan, referring to the construction of its highest structure, the Pyramid of the Magician. The Maya would often build a new temple over an existing one, and in this case five stages of construction have actually been found. Uxmal was one of the largest cities of the Yucatán peninsula, and at its height was home to about 25,000 Maya. Like the other Puuc sites, it flourished in the Late Classic period (around 600-900 AD). Indications are that its rulers also presided over the nearby settlements in Kabah, Labná and Sayil, and there are several sacbe\’s (white roads of the Maya) connecting the sites. The area is known as the Ruta Puuc, or Puuc route, from the nearby hills. With a population of about 25,000 Uxmal was one of the largest cities in the Yucatán.\”

This photograph here shows the highly carved western facade on the Nunnery Quadrangle, with the pattern echoing the serpentine pattern of the snake and decorated with the rain god Yuun Chaac\’s masks. From the Sacred Destinations website: \”The Nunnery Quadrangle was given its name by the 16th-century Spanish historian Fray Diego López de Cogullado because it reminded him of a Spanish convent. It may have been a military academy or a training school for Mayan princes, who would have lived in the 74 rooms. The rooms have no interior decoration and have mostly been taken over by swallows.
The buildings of the Nunnery Quadrangle were constructed at different times: first the northern; then the southern, eastern, and western buildings. The western building has the most richly decorated facade, featuring intertwined stone snakes and numerous masks of the hook-nosed rain god Chac. Above each
doorway in the the archway to the south of the Nunnery

Quadrangle features the motif of a Maya cottage, or nah, which is still seen throughout the Yucatán today.\”

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 two Lightroom develop presets available for free on the internet.

I first used the \”Wet Chrome” preset by Terry Johnston I found on Flickr. Search for \”Wet Chrome” in this page to download the preset.
I then followed it by using \”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 other lightroom controls 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: 1/180 at f/4.5
Focal Length: 22mm
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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