Magician\’s Pyramid – another view

Magician\
Magician\’s Pyramid – another view, by Suprada on Flickr.
Magician\’s Pyramid – another view, Uxmal, Mexico

Another view of the Magician\’s pyramid in Uxmal. Excerpt from www.luxuriousmexico.com website: \”Sometimes called the “Temple of the Dwarf,” or “La Casa del Enano” (House of the Dwarf,) this structure is one of the key structures in Uxmal due to its size and religious significance. This is the most impressive structure and the tallest standing at 117 feet (38 m) high; this structure dominates your view as you enter the complex. Unusually built on an elliptical base, this pyramid is the result of five superimposed temples. Parts of the first temple can be seen when ascending the western staircase; the second and third are accessed by the eastern staircase, in an inner chamber at the second level. The fourth temple is clearly visible from the west side, a giant Chaac mask marks the entrance and Chaac’s mouth is the door. Note also the series of Chaac masks on the sides of the stairway. Climb to the top of the east stairs to reach the fifth temple and view the whole site.

Located on the eastern side of the city, with its western face overlooking The Nunnery Quadrangle, this is the first structure seen as visitors enter the city. Though it appears as a single structure, this pyramid has in fact been built and added to five times in the course of history, in the known Maya practice of building newer temples on top of older ones at 52 year cycles. At the base of the western stairs archeologists have discovered the original temple that started the complete construction (called “Temple One”) and its birth has been carbon dated to the year 569. Though the overall temple as it appears now was completed between 900 – 1000 AD.

Structure like “El Castillo” at Chichén-Itzá are known for their angled, stepped appearance, but The Pyramid of the Dwarf is different from any other structure built by the Maya in that it resembles a truncated cone, with an oval base and no corners other than those found on the stairs and on the temples found at the apex of those stairs.

The Eastern Stairs are the widest of the two sets, starting from the base of the structure to the upper temple. The roof of the temple at the top of the eastern stairs stands 45 meters from the ground. Near the top of the eastern stairs is a smaller inner temple that cuts into the stairway itself. Once used for ceremonial purposes, this dark two-room temple is now a home for bats.

The Western Stairs overlook The Nunnery Quadrangle, and perhaps by virtue of them facing this significant structure, are very richly decorated and carved compared to the eastern side. Along both sides of this narrower staircase, images of the hooked-nose rain god Chaac line the stairs meaning that as worshipers climbed the stairs to the upper temples they would be in effect climbing a \”Stairways of the Gods” towards the place where they would perform their ceremonies. The Upper Temple of the western stairs is in the Chenes style, where the open doorway to the inner temple is meant to resemble the jaws of a huge Cosmic Serpent in the visage of the Mayan god of the sky, Itzamna.\”

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: 1/250 at f/4.0
Focal Length: 19mm
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

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
Loading...

The Pigeon\’s Quadrangle

The Pigeon\
The Pigeon\’s Quadrangle, by Suprada on Flickr.
The Pigeon\’s Quadrangle, Uxmal, Mexico.

During my trip to Mexico during Christmas of 2009, we visited the Mayan ruins of Uxmal in the Yucatan peninsula. From Locogringo.com \”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.

This photograph here shows the remains of the Pigeon\’s Quadrangle. The guide told us that pigeons used to roost on the square holes of this structure, encouraged by the Maya who used to live here. From luxuriousmexico.com:\”The huge crests that are the hallmark of the Pigeons Quadrangle (and the corbelled archway in the center of the surviving building) are all that is left of this structure. It is located directly west of The Great Pyramid. Now in ruins that may never be completely reconstructed, what remains of this structure tell us it is similar in design to The Nunnery Quadrangle. In effect, four long rectangle buildings open at the corners, with numerous inner chambers and dwellings that marked it as a ceremonial center. Visible in this structure, and not in the Nunnery, are the large roof crests still visible 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: 1/3000 at f/4.0
Focal Length: 70mm
Lens: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens for Canon EOS SLR Cameras
ISO: 100
WB: Daylight
Date: December 25, 2009

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
Loading...

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 Locogringo.com \”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

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5)
Loading...

Yuan Chaac\’s Nose

Yuan Chaac\
Yuan Chaac\’s Nose, by Suprada on Flickr.

Yuan Chaac\’s Nose, Uxmal, Mexico.

Yuan Chaac (pronounced yuuuun chaaaaac) is the ancient Maya god of rain and lightning. He was one of the earliest and most worshipped gods among the all the people of mesoamerica. Chac was often depicted with a serpentine axe in his hand a metaphor for lightning, and his body was scaled and reptilian. He was worshipped at sacred wells or cenotes, and was associated with the life giving rain needed for agriculture. At the dawn of time Chac split apart a sacred stone with his axe, from which sprung the first ear of maize. When he was not among the clouds the god could be found near falling waters.

Uxmal doesn\’t have very many cenotes (the underground fresh water pools). The Maya here depended on the rains. Not surprisingly, they built Uxmal trying to draw the benevolent eye of their rain god. Chaac is always invoked with the long hooked nose, shown in the photo above. He was a reptilian god, and the architecture in Uxmal echoes, celebrates and worships snakes.

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/4.0
Focal Length: 15mm
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

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
Loading...

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 – http://www.locogringo.com/past_spotlights/nov2001.html

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="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_of_the_Magician\">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

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading...