Skifa El Kahla or The Black Passage is a massive fortified gate, the only entrance and remaining part of the original Fatimid walled city of Mahdia. In the past, Mahdia was regarded as the piracy stronghold and this justifies the strong fortifications surrounding the city. This gate was one of the several gates within the huge walls surrounding the city and almost all of it was destroyed by the Spanish in 1554.
The passage is not only visually attractive, but also perhaps the best explanation to the patterns of Tunisian sea ports. Travelling around the country, we cannot avoid noticing that most sea ports are set in a hundred meters or so from the sea. Only very rarely are the towns built along the shore. The explanation for this is piracy and foreign navies. Each town was almost like a state and had to defend itself, and by placing the town inland from the shore, the seaborne invaders was stripped off the advantage of their ships. They had to leave their ships, and suddenly they were the weak ones standing in front of high city walls. Mahdia was not built like this, and was a piracy stronghold for centuries. Their defence was therefore city walls thicker than usual. Yet, this was not enough, and since the walls were brought down by the Spanish in the 16th century, Mahdia has mainly been a peaceful fishing port.
The magical air through this Black Passage rendered this elderly woman beggar invisible to the emerging visitors and tourists a like thereby avoiding any uncomfortable thoughts or embarrassment. Wherever we go we find hardship and poverty. This was the first of the Mahdia beggars I came across and I left her some coins following taking some pictures. I hesitated initially in both taking this picture and also uploading it to TE - feeling that in some way we photographers can make use of misery for photographic gain. However, I hope this picture communicates an important story in the hope that her voice is heard through this picture and her story is told, it will somehow relieve the only thing she appears to have left - her soul.
Critiques | Translate
corjan3 (1993) 2011-02-14 7:47
Very strong atmosphere and interesting and touching note.
Budapestman (82620) 2011-02-14 13:23
I remember this place too, the composition is superb, great details and light control, Tfs! Have a nice evening! Kellemes estét kívánok!
ciakgiak (30395) 2011-02-14 14:55
the image is composed with a great mastery, I like a lot the effect of the far tunnel that give light, but, of course, I like the great meaning of the image with the poor person on the right. This is a very exciting image.
AKITA (15125) 2011-02-14 22:07
an impressive picture of vast dark space and distant tiny lighted entrance or exit...
very suggestive image of actual our lives on the earth,
it mat be not the other side but main situation of our world indeed,
anyway light and shadow in the perspective is nice,
thank you for your excellent shot,
CLODO (27474) 2011-02-15 0:33
Impressive perspective with the lighted pavements, leading to the town in the background. A lady dressed in white, with a stick (I thought she was blind) is waiting. You don't make money with this picture, so don't be afraid to post it!
dkmurphys (44044) 2011-02-15 2:13
This is a masterpiece. Impressive atmosphere, so weird and mysterious. Great POV, you did it again:P.
Have a great day.
siamesa (27701) 2011-02-15 4:20
Bom dia Abmdsudi
A sad scene that we can find in whole world.Excellent capture of this place with an excellent management of lights and shadows.
yquem46 (37440) 2011-02-15 7:49
Definitely not an easy one but it's clear that it is composed according to your intention
Long perspective of the pavements in the dark, some kind of a tunnel going to the light. An strong and striking image full of symbolism
In a very different style makes me think to This one
have a nice evening
vasilpro (40685) 2011-02-15 8:37
Wonderful composition, smart title, lovely light and colors, very good contrast, excellent POV, I like the texture on the covered road and the presence of the old woman in white.
Have a nice evening, Vasilis.
holmertz (33461) 2011-02-15 11:25
This is a strong and touching and also aesthetically attractive picture, all at the same time. The woman in white with her stick sitting alone in the darkness has a very strong effect and a lot of symbolism can be read into this composition. I think you were right to take it and upload it here. I can see no unjust exploitation in this.
Nard (6915) 2011-02-15 11:38
Realy a nice shot, strong perspective, dark atmosphere, excellent light management and simplicity. I like the tunel effect and the lonely white person on the right. Go on to the light...
patdeph (35744) 2011-02-16 0:21
this is a sad and strong picture,and it's good that you have given her some money.Maybe you were the sun of her day,look how she is shining in the black!The light is excellently managed,and the picture is superb!
Elaine_Blath (8509) 2011-02-16 5:43
another title for this photo could be: I see the light at the end of the tunnel! ;-) But seriously, you managed the photo well and preserved details also in the dark parts of the photo, which is never easy.
Good work, Ivana
daddo (21228) 2011-02-16 17:30
Salam Abmdsudi.A moving image and equally moving notes about the beggar woman and the impasse a sensitive photographer faces when confronted by images of poverty and despair. The fact that one cannot see her face is a testimony that for most people such persons are mere shadows, without souls. At least with your photo, you have made us pause and reflect and maybe say, "There but for the Grace of God go I." Salam. Klaudio.
Silvio1953 (109205) 2011-02-17 12:54
Ciao Abmdsudi, fantastic atmosphere, splendid and original composition, wonderful light, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio
Cricri (95323) 2011-02-18 1:44
Une image touchante, triste, il ne faut pas avoir de remord de l'avoir poster vous n'avez pas eu d'argent en retour
Excellent le cadrage bas sue cette rue pavés, bonne gestion aussi bien de la lumière et des côtés sombre,avec la dame en blanc
bukitgolfb301 (33486) 2011-02-18 13:52
Hi my dear Bapak Abmdsudi
Astaga dan hebat juga!
So fantastic shot again!
You are so talented to use the light effect wisely, everytime I admire. Perfect light beamed atmospere you describe. Marvelous composition of each component is well melt and very sharp and clear presentation in the detail is so marvelous as usual. Thanks for sharing with your finest posting, have a good day and best regards,
Takero from Tokyo
nikkitta (10418) 2011-02-19 17:53
Interesting and emotive note, very well composed capture playig with light and darkness
But what fascinated me is the human figure of the right
It gives an special touch at the composition
delpeoples (50263) 2011-02-20 3:37
Wow what an evocative photo. The light is eerie and it suits your subject matter perfectly. I like the dark tones and you have done a magnificent job in obtain reasonably good exposure for the light at the end of thetunnel. A great shot, congratulations and I wish you a lovely Sunday.
npecanhuk (58170) 2011-02-20 11:48
That's another very interesting picture!
The note is also quite nice!
Special regards to the chosen pov, composition and management of light!
TFS - congrats,
Angshu (53659) 2011-02-21 4:29
I simply adore this type of shot where the photographer experiments...here you've done fantastic IMHO in terms of exposure & also drawing the perspective. You've shown details in the deep shadows, without blowing out the lit up area (good PP there). For me the best part is the old beggar sitting there, who brings an element of solemnity & poignancy to this shot.
Alas, such shots do not find wide acceptance in TE...which is sad, while shots which is technically easier but with more Wow value find more favour.
I find this picture really a result of some fine effort my friend!