[REPOST] This is a much better version of T-the-Great greeting the dawn than my original post; somehow I overlooked it in the initial selection. I think this gives an even clearer understanding of the nature of the thing.
I sharpened it, and also lightened the foreground a bit - but not too much, because then it gets very noisy (there's some noise there now), and besides, the foreground building was in shadow when I took the picture.
I don't normally take pictures from my hotel window, much less post them here, but this was too much to resist.
President Niyazov (who died of a heart attack in 2006) was an ultimate megalomaniac who renamed himself Turkmenbashi (Leader of the Turkmen) the Great, and built monuments of gold and marble to himself and his family all over the country. (He also renamed the Caspian port town of Krasnovodsk to Turkmenbashi.) Since Turkmenistan has huge oil reserves, he had the money.
One monument in particular, the Arch of Neutrality, dominates the capital city of Ashgabat. It was built to celebrate the country's unanimous endorsement of Niyazov's neutrality policy in 1998. The arch is 75 meters (245 feet) high, and on top of it there is a statue of the Great Himself, 12 meters (40 feet) high, covered in gold, arms outstretched. The statue rotates so that it always faces the sun during the day. At night, the arch is lit by floodlights that change color about every 10 seconds.
In May of this year, Niyzov's successor reportedly decided to have the tower moved to the outskirts of the city (no mention of made of whether the statue would go along with it), but so far this has not been done, so the arch sits in the middle of Independence Square across the street from the Presidential Palace, which also has a golden dome. You can see this in the workshop photos, which show the arch from different closeup angles.
PS: The US had an election last night (did you notice?) and we did NOT elect a megalomaniac. So this entry is submitted as an example of what we just avoided (not that McCain is that much of one, just a touch perhaps, but Palin - Oy!).
Technical: Perspective cropping. Noiseware reduction.
Critiques | Translate
mkamionka (39531) 2008-11-20 11:17
That is a very interesting shot.
Most of all from a country which is underrepresented here. I like the silhouettes of the cranes in the distance.
The noise level is pretty high though.
avene (12675) 2008-11-20 11:53
thanks for the message about this shot, I think is is quite an improvement over the previous post, and even the cranes do not look so disturbing any more :) I guess it's the vertical format that does the trick, the shape of the cranes seem to fit in better. the noise is quite visible, but that doesn't bother me too much. I like a lot the futuristic feel to the photo, the lights on the statue make it look a little like a space ship ready to take off :)
stego (24132) 2008-11-20 16:40
Despite its more than questionable aesthetics and the gloomy character it reminds, or maybe because (also) of that, it's a very interesting blue/orange hour view.
This version is much more pleasant to the eye than the original, because of the tidier and closer framing and the better light management.
Usually cranes are disturbing, but I almost like them here. Somehow they seem to enhance a certain industrial/soviet aesthetic mood that much evident in the megalomaniac monument.
danyy (0) 2008-11-24 13:50
dommage pour la présence de ces grues mais elles prouvent que cette ville est en continuelle développement. une maîtrise efficace des lumières noctures et un cadrage des plus judicieux avec le choix du format vertical
abulafia (4900) 2008-12-14 5:36
Great light Daniel, and a very special place, we don't see many pictures from there here on TE.
I heard some of the stories about this character, it sounds more like fiction what he got away with.
- Copyright: Daniel Kohanski (Wandering_Dan) (3449)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2008-11-02
- Categories: Architecture
- Camera: Nikon D-80, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF AF-S DX Nikkor, RAW
- Exposure: f/4.5, 1/25 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Final Version, Original Version, Workshop
- Travelogue: Five 'Stans 2008
- Theme(s): Exotic places II (stego) [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2008-11-20 8:40