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Photographer's Note

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.

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Additional Photos by David Astley (banyanman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 108 N: 2568] (7789)
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