a24 February 2014

Where the Eagles Fly

Eagles in Chichen Itza

I have already mentioned pyramid of Chichen Itza, Temple of Kukulkan in this post. It's an enormous building that many of you are familiar with I guess (it's one of the New Seven Wonders of the World after all). However, Temple of Kukulkan is something more than just another ancient gem of architecture. It shows to what extent Mayas understood various optical and acoustical phenomena.

Probably almost everyone heard about Chichen Itza 21st "March magic" - every year on this very day (which is spring equinox what isn't accident but shows that Mayas had really great knowledge about astronomy) Kukulkan, one of the Mayan gods, makes its descent from heavens into the jungle. And yeah, I mean it literally. The feathered serpent deity crawls on the steps of a temple in a form of a shadow from temple on the top of the pyramid until it reaches ground. I bet it must be amazing thing to see, I'm yet to witness it. You can read more about it and see some photos, eg. here.

Another, less-known but in my opinion as impressive, illusion is sound one. Just stand in a right place in front of the pyramid, clasp your hands several times and wait. The sound of your clapping will travel the pyramid up, bounce off the temple on its top and come back to you... as a sound of an eagle! I was a bit sceptical about this until I tried that on my own. Yeah, it really sounded like an eagle! And why eagle? Well, eagles were one of the most important animals & symbols for Mayas. And they are even for modern Mexico - emblem of this country is an eagle eating a snake - symbol that comes directly from Aztec legends (Aztecs were another great ancient civilization that lived in the borders of Mexico).

Daily photo - Pyramid in Chichen Itza

As I already mentioned in this post you can't use tripods while in Chichen Itza. For this reason I took only 3 exposures at 2 EV spacing. I also decided to go with black & white conversion to show amazing contrast of this scene.

If you want to learn how to create such images yourself, make sure to read my free HDR tutorial. If you prefer to download it or print, I suggest you take a look at the PDF version.
Kukulkan pyramid in Chichen Itza

Finally some EXIF information:
Technical details:
Camera: Sony NEX-6
Lens: Sony 10-18 f/4
Focal length: 17 mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure time: 1/400 s ("middle" exposure)
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 3
E.V. Step: 2.0
Flash used: no
Tripod: no
Filters: circular polarizing filter
Technique: HDR, tone-mapping, luminosity masks, black & white
Software: Photomatix Pro 5 (Contrast Optimizer), Lightroom 5.0, Photoshop CC, Topaz Clarity, Topaz BW Effects

Where was this photo taken:

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