I know this twilight view of the Shwedagon Paya in Yangon will not be to everyone’s taste – especially those that do not like the uncorrected distortion of wide angle lenses! But I wanted to post a different view of this much photographed place, because other TrekEarthers have already posted all the ‘classic’ day and night views. This was taken just after the sun had gone down and as a storm was approaching the area. I liked the dark ‘mood’ that the fading light created.
For those of you who may not be familiar with this most famous landmark of Yangon, the golden dome on the right is 98 metres high and is plated with 8,688 solid gold slabs. The top of the stupa is encrusted with 5,488 diamonds and 2,317 rubies, sapphires and topaz.
The Lonely Planet guidebook introduces Shwedagon thus:
“Kipling called it ‘a golden mystery . . . a beautiful winkling wonder’. As the setting sun casts its last rays on the soft orange dome of the great Shwedagon Paya, you can feel the magic in the air. In the heat of the day, the stupa glitters bright gold. It can be quiet and contemplative, colourful and raucous. The Golden Dagon is the essence of Myanmar and a place that never fails to enchant”.
I have spent many hours at Shwedagon because, like other photographers, I have been captivated by the changing moods of Shwedagon as the light changes throughout the day. It’s a place that you can sit and watch the passing parade of devotees walking clockwise around the stupas, and feel at peace, even if you are not a Buddhist.
I hope some will like this different view.
PP: Scanned from a colour negative, noise removed with Neat Image, USM at 120%. Sorry I don’t have exposure details for this one. There is still a little noise in the photograph, but that is due to the negative being five years old and having deteriorated somewhat in the tropical heat.
Critiques | Translate
AiresSantos (56155) 2006-02-01 8:46
Hi David, Great capture this one !
I like the perspective and the people in this daily life shot.
Gorgeous composition with very good colors, light, sharpness and depth.
Thanks and have a nice days,
Aires dos Santos
rbcy1974 (20758) 2006-02-01 8:56
Beautiful view of shendagon,
nice evening light well composed
Svillegas (1169) 2006-02-01 8:59
Great perspective and point of view. Nice effect with the natural light.
DaveMacPhee (1140) 2006-02-01 10:20
Great shot. I love the wide angle distortion, and added with the low POV, I think it make a very effective photo. The colors and light are also great.
gaby (19819) 2006-02-01 10:30
David bonsoir - I like the effect of the wide angle, your low POV and the control of the stormy light (you are a master in light)
Great shot - splendid colors -
capthaddock (28790) 2006-02-01 10:37
Hi David - I don't mind the distorion at all, gives an interesting illusion of spires converging somewhere above the frame, and the image quality leaves nothing to be desired, great timing with the lights on and details remaining in the clouds.
Cormac (26565) 2006-02-01 10:37
Great shot David! The golden glow of the dome makes a nice contrast with the cool blue/grey tone of the sky. I like the inclusion of all the people in the foreground, which gives a sense of context and purpose. Great work!
don_narayan (2014) 2006-02-01 13:24
Hello David. Wonderful shot, the golden colors are really tremendous. I also like how the light is being reflected on the ground. nice work.
kensimage (8565) 2006-02-01 23:36
The light is great, David, perfect for a shrine. Makes it seem like a genuinely mystical place. Nice composition, and the POV and wide angle make the dark clouds feel like a heavy ceiling. Nice! Regards, Ken.
fireflyz (2097) 2006-02-02 11:54
The light and colors are lovely! I also like the low angle shot. I don't know why so many people don't like the distortion of wide-angle. I personally think it makes the shot more artistic and unusual, well.. most of the time. I like this! TFS..
ahmet54 (3271) 2006-02-02 12:57
great capture of Shwedagon. I like the light and the colours. The noise and the uncorrected distortion do not disturb the mood of your picture. Thanks for sharing it.
sarju (5324) 2006-02-02 23:38
BEATIFUL ... this is what this photo is.
Very good use of the blue hour of the evening ... and the light on this temple looks fabulous.
thanks for this excellent and beautiful share
cheers for now .... sarju
Stepan (27210) 2006-02-04 4:09
You were right to post that. The mood is strong and the light interesting. You had a good pov too.
Finally, a great uncommon compo about a multiple shot place.
PJE (20758) 2006-02-04 22:14
David thanks for explaining your approach to this photo. I love the storm background in this scene. Very nicely done and well seen with this wide angle. Nice capture indeed...very artistic!
PixelTerror (0) 2006-02-05 6:41
A superb subject shot just right in the early blue hour, I'm always impressed by the glow of these burmese pagodas, good PoV to have the biggest structure at the end of the reading.
I prepared a small WS for you.
Have a nice sunday,
jbweasle (9393) 2006-02-06 4:16
Hello David - I for one love this angle and perspective. I have seen many "conventional" pictures of this place that it's good to see something different for a change. I love the light and the inclusion of the people in the foreground.
devimeuxbe (58557) 2006-02-09 3:34
Excellent perspective in this temple. I also like the night atmosphere and the wild angle.
cessy (13647) 2006-02-10 13:00
wow, excellent low and wide angle
cool distortion, and the temple really fabulous
very well done, David
chaity (1539) 2006-02-15 20:22
Hi David, I like the twilight colors and view point of this place. Nice and sharp photo considering this is a scanned photo.
thebig_d81 (777) 2006-02-17 2:48
Love the wide angle point of view. Great colours and time of day to take this great photo.
Luan (12971) 2006-03-01 3:26
the wide angle give such a nice effect to this, I guess, wonderful place. The evening view over Shwedagon is splendid with all those stupa which are pointing to the stormy sky.
A nice one
david (3992) 2006-03-02 3:51
i think the distortion creates perspective ... and a nice one at that. the sunset colours are good, enhanced by the fact that many buildings have their own lights. as with your other shots of myanmar, i love the spires of the temples ... there are so many of them!
colinbrenchley (6431) 2006-03-04 7:35
Great use of ultra wide angle lens for eye catching impact. Great notes too.
rabani (9645) 2006-03-08 20:28
Thankfully, if there is anything to nitpick about a photo, usually the nits are around the subject; clouds, sky, environmental. But if the subject is well exposed, the colors and details like you have here, is expressive enough to bring total attention to it.
dHitman (0) 2006-03-10 21:25
Stunning shot! I think the low angle and distorted perspective makes this image even stronger. Great lights and exposure with plenty of details, even from a scan. TFS.
elmec (12210) 2006-03-16 15:31
I like the perspective and most of colours there!
arindam_thokder (3987) 2006-05-02 14:43
This is great shot; you really managed well in the low light situation. I also like the contrast of the gold and the dark sky.
donluicu (24724) 2006-05-28 15:34
this framing is excellent, the use of the wide angle is great!!
i love the colors too.
sergio1 (12152) 2006-08-21 4:36
Excellent shot and expossure control. I like the perspective and lights. The compo is good. Asia is beautiful.
Thanks for share
- Copyright: David Astley (banyanman) (7789)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2001-12-00
- Categories: Architecture
- Camera: Nikon F70, AF Nikkor 20mm f/2.8 D, Kodak Gold 400
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Theme(s): Blogger slideshow [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2006-02-01 6:39