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Photographer's Note

Once in a while – just for fun – I like to post an image that when you see the thumbnail you say: “What the heck is that?” and then cannot resist opening the thumbnail ;)

Then when you open this I am sure you will say: “Of course, it is a giant replica of a Cycladic idol head from 2700 BC – so obvious!”

Actually I didn’t know that until I read Vagelis’ critique below, so that prompted me to rewrite the intro to this note (thanks Vagelis).

This was taken at the opening ceremony of the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens. Rather than posting the usual lighting-of-the-torch photograph or the athletes parade (both of which did made very colourful photographs), I thought it be a change to post this more unusual low-light composition from that part of the opening ceremony which depicted the development of Greek civilisation, which was one of the more unique parts of the ceremony. For those of you who may not have been there or seen this on television, I’ve posted two photographs to the workshop that were taken in the minutes after this one, the first one of which shows the Cycladic head breaking apart to reveal a replica of a Kouros statue from about 600 BC.

After Vagelis identified what this was, I did a Google search on Cycladic idols and came up with this interesting story from the Washington Post about an American TV viewer who had complained to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission about his TV network (NBC) showing ‘pornography’ during the opening ceremony.

He wrote: "How could NBC be allowed to show the male genitalia on national television. I am referring to when the giant white mask that broke apart into a statue of a nude. First we had to be subjected to the breast of Janet Jackson in the Superbowl and now an even more gratuitous display of pornography and indecency during what was supposed to be another family viewing event.”

I am tempted to add a witty comment about Americans who suffer statue-induced tumescence, but as there are many kind-hearted Americans who have given me green smileys on TrekEarth, I shall restrain myself ;) [but it did prompt me to change the title of this photograph]

There is quite a lot of noise in this because I used a very high ISO setting as it was quite dark, and flash would have been useless at this distance (I expect all the hundreds of people flashing away on the other side of the stadium wondered why their photographs came out black!) – I think it was ISO1600 or 3200. I’ve done no post processing to these images except to crop this one to a square format and to remove some of the noise with NeatImage (partly successful) and applying a modest USM.

Just something different for a change!

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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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