As Covid 19 (coronavirus) starts to have an impact worldwide I hope you all take sensible precautions to stay safe.
I am following UK government guidelines and avoiding social gatherings, but I’m not entirely confining myself to the house. The dogs have to be walked, at least twice a day for a start. We do have a garden, it’s not massive but the dogs can wander and have a sniff amongst other things. But there’s no substitute for walking them and for my own sanity I will continue to do so unless we go into total lock-down.
Photography wise I have enough to keep me busy for a couple of weeks. The trip to Egypt was eventful and I shot loads of photographs, but there’s only so many temples, hieroglyphics, etc that I can show you in blogs posts before it gets boring, Which is why I tried to shoot some different types of photographs during my trip.
I’ve also been beta trialling a new piece of photography editing software so that will keep me busy as well.
Other than that I think the message we are getting, no matter where we are in the world is hunker down, stay safe and ride it out.
Right, last time I wrote I was just starting the cruise from Aswan, this is not our boat but it’s typical of Nile Cruise ships. Top deck is a sundeck, usually with a small pool and a shaded area for peely wally people like me who go red at the first sign of the golden orb. Next two decks, passenger cabins, lower deck dining room, shops and a bar. Yes, Egypt is a Muslim country but in some hotels and tourist ships you can get alcohol but let me stress, at a price way beyond what you would pay at home.
One of the great things about the Nile is all the activity takes place near it as do the photo opportunities, so the slow sail we were doing allowed me to capture these fishermen.
There are many varieties of fish to be found in the Nile, perch, they can achieve weights around 175lb, bolti, a type of tilapia, catfish to name a few.
If you go back and look at Day 2 – Aswan, the very first photograph shows a mosque with tall minarets in the background.
Compare that to this one seen further down the river. Not as ornate, but still a tall structure.
Our next destination was Kom Ombo, site of a double temple dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek and the falcon god Haroeris (Horus). The temple was built between 180-47 BCE, with additions made during the Roman period. An interesting point about the temple, everything is perfectly symmetrical along the main axis.
But we still have a good, meanwhile river life goes on as normal.
By the time we arrived at Kom Ombo it was night. The one thing I wasn’t looking forward to. The Panasonic camera is great in nice bright conditions, but because of it’s very small sensor size, extreme low light and night time conditions mean I have to push the ISO a good bit to get a photograph. With a small sensor, high ISO means lots of noise. And you can see it. Even Topaz Denoise AI, which normally works brilliantly, couldn’t eliminate the noise. Look in the shadow areas of the photograph below
Wandering around the temple I’m struck by the amount of hieroglyphics which still survive.
Some have been scratched away and I explained the reason for that in an earlier blog post, but all in all the level of detail is still there.
Like all of these tourists spots you just can’t get away from people, so I decided to use them and try and come up with some different photographs.
Now the next bit gets a little technical so I’m going to let Wikipedia explain all about the Ancient Egyptian Calendar.
The ancient Egyptian calendar – a civil calendar – was a solar calendar with a 365-day year. The year consisted of three seasons of 120 days each, plus an intercalary month of five epagomenal days treated as outside of the year proper. Each season was divided into four months of 30 days. These twelve months were initially numbered within each season but came to also be known by the names of their principal festivals. Each month was divided into three 10-day periods known as decans or decades. It has been suggested that during the Nineteenth Dynasty and the Twentieth Dynasty the last two days of each decan were usually treated as a kind of weekend for the royal craftsmen, with royal artisans free from work.
Look at the right hand side of the photograph above. You can see symbols such as upside down horseshoes (10) and vertical bars (1). So from where the horizontal crack is, reading down in each rectangular box, you can see two horseshoes & six bars (26), two horseshoes and seven bars (27) etc. If you want more info please read the Wikipedia article I have linked to.
Just to the left of the temple there is a deep well which served as a sort of measuring device for how good the Nile inundation would be. From the amount of water in the well priests could predict what the Nile flood would be like further up river.
I mentioned earlier that this temple was partly dedicated to Sobek the crocodile god, and just down from the temple is the crocodile museum which displays forty mummified crocodiles. There is a display case depicting a sandbank with mummified crocodiles lined up as they probably would in ancient times.
Well that’s just about it, so here’s my last photograph which is also from the museum. It depicts the mummification of a crocodile and once again was shot through a glass case.
Stay safe everyone – Mike