SLOPES OF VESUVIUS
Scientists have long known the earth to be a dynamic system with magnetic fields, an extremely dense core of molten metals with a temperature of 6000°C; onion-like layers of strata with different densities; and continents that are rafted on continental plates that collide, separate, and just jostle each other. Some of these collisions can take place over millions of years, creating mountain ranges (and indeed the mighty Himalayan Range, crowned by Mt. Everest, is precisely this type of formation). The Alps are a similar creation of continental collision, as are the Andes of South America. The interfaces between continental plates represent fault lines, area of frequent seismic activity. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions take place along these lines.
Italy, has an unrivaled reputation for its artistic and architectural legacy, but it also has the dubious reputation of having the highest density of volcanoes in the world, and Mount Vesuvius on the outskirts of Naples is the most famous volcano in the world. It rises 1280 meters (4200 ft) above sea level, which in this case is the Bay of Naples, an inlet of the Mediterranean. A very much larger volcanic mountain is known to have existed at this site, and its catastrophic eruption between 300,000-400,000 years ago is known to have created the horseshoe shaped caldera, the bay.
Mt. Vesuvius is the active remnant of that prehistoric mountain. It was the August 24, 79 AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius that gained it eternal notoriety: It buried the cities of Pompeii, Stabiae, and Herculaneum, chronicled by the naturalist Pliny the Elder, whose account was reported by his nephew, the historian Pliny the Younger. But evidence exists of approximately fifty eruptions since the defining eruption of 79 AD, which had been. During the first millennium AD, serious eruptions were reported to have averaged once per century. Then in the mid 11th century, the volcano is known to have become dormant for about six centuries, waking up and becoming beligerent again in the 17th century. Major eruptions of Vesuvius are known to have taken place in 472 AD, when volcanic ash was recorded as having fallen on Constantinople (modern Istanbul) hundreds of kilometers away. The 1631 eruption killed close to 4,000 people and destroyed the villages/towns located on the slopes of Vesuvius. The last time Vesuvius erupted was during WW II (1944). In 1841 on the slopes of Mt. Vesuvius construction for the Osservatorio Vesuviano began. The Observatory officially opened in 1845 making it the oldest scientific institution devoted to studying volcanoes.
On August 3, 2005 the cruise ship, Crystal Serenity, on which I had been giving lectures, anchored off the coast of Sorrento in the Bay of Naples. I had seen Pompeii several times in the past, and Herculaneum just once before. This time, together with close friends, I took a train to Naples and walked the 1-km distance from the train station to see the ruins of Herculaneum. (Just two months ago I posted a photograph at TE, entitled, House of the Gem.
After returning to the train station from Herculaneum, we hired a taxi to take us to the parking area near the summit of Mt. Vesuvius. A 30-minute hike by foot is required to reach the summit and walk around the crescent-shaped footpath around the rim. The yawning crater, is the source of noxious vapors (when it is peaceful) and explosive lava, when it is not. The views from the summit, comparable to those from the top of 400-story high building, are nothing short of spectacular, especially on a clear day.
The present photo is a hand-held shot with a 4.4 MegaPixel Fuji 4700. The view reveals the slope of the mountain very near the peak, as well as the suburbs of Naples and the Bay of Naples.
In submitting it to TrekEarth, I cropped the image (excluding the frame) into an aspect ratio of 1.618-to-1.0 (800 x 494 pixels). It has long been known in art that this ratio defines the “golden rectangle,” that appeals to our aesthetic sensibilities more than any other shape. It is the shape of the west façade of the Parthenon and many other gems of world art and architecture. Artists appear to pick it up as subliminal messages from nature — from branches of trees, spirals in flowers, horns of rams, and myriad other creations.
Critiques | Translate
siolaw (38292) 2007-04-18 1:17
A nice POV with well saturated colors, mist adding to the atmospjhere, i would just have cropped the lower left corner...
pablominto (53744) 2007-04-18 3:27
This is a strong diagonal composition if I ever saw one!
The low hovering clouds giving only a glimpse of the city in the background, a few colourful wild flower up front...
An eye-catching presentation, well done!
kermit350 (9016) 2007-04-18 4:12
Merhaba Bulent, the note on the plates tectonics with in point of test card the slope of Vesuvius and the formation of the mountain is appreciable, it is a beautiful photograph with an extraordinary luminosity, l'image is quite made up and gives a good show of the force which can produce nature and masses involved, and the sky charged with dark clouds is perfectly to solidify, arkadasça selamlar ....................................Merhaba Bulent, la note sur les plaques tectonique avec en point de mire la pente du Vésuve et la formation des montagne est appréciable, c’est une belle photo avec une luminosité extraordinaire, l'image est bien composée et donne une bonne impression de la force que peut produire la nature et des masses en présence, et le ciel chargé de nuages sombres est parfaitement figer, arkadasça selamlar
Ertan (2988) 2007-04-18 5:10
Merhaba Bulent Abi
Cok guzel kadraj ve etkileyici manzara.Diyagonal kompozisyonu cok begendim.Ellerine saglik
Sekhmet73 (4149) 2007-04-18 6:09
Good composition, strong colours and atmosphere given by clouds!
jwmunro (286) 2007-04-18 10:37
Hello Bullent -
Even though this image is a bit soft I like it. I like how you have shown us the steepness of Vesuvius and the colorful flowers dotting it's slopes. The clouds shrouding the top of the mountain and the residences and the Bay of Napoli peaking underneath the clouds makes for a compelling composition. I don't like the fence intruding on the lower corner - trying cropping from the left and see if this improves the image, I think it does. Well seen!
Thank you for sharing.
feather (51130) 2007-04-18 16:55
The slope is incredible; if it wasn't for the view of Naples through the low cloud we would think you had tilted the horizon. I particularly like the splash of colour from the flowers and the way the whole image is divided into two parts.
adores (39179) 2007-04-18 17:39
I like this, this diagonal separating the slope with a few bushes and colourful flowers from the clouds and the city in the background.I like these colours and the atmosphere. Good capture!
salvator (19102) 2007-04-19 3:42
Hello Bulent Bey,
Very nice pov and superb composition. It must have been difficult to have stood straight. The colors, the misty background, the lone yellow flowers are absoltely superb. Elinize saglik. Selamlar. Salvator.
jhm (141921) 2007-04-19 7:02
Hi Dear Bulent,
I see two parts in this picture, the slope of the mountain together with the yellow flowers are attractive, the misty clouds with beneath the city care for a nice atmosphere, but many thanks for your interesting note again, I can always something learn through your note.
Thanks for sharing.
Warmest regards my friend,
saylan-cb (12738) 2007-04-19 8:25
Güzel bakış açısı ve diyagonal bir kompozisyon...Çok etkileciyici atmosfer.
ALIRIZA (16423) 2007-04-19 10:20
Merhaba Bulent Abi,
Etkileyici ve çok hoş bir diyagonal kompozisyon. Ellerinize sağlık...
Selam ve saygılarımla...
chinchini (31529) 2007-04-19 14:04
Une bonne image d'archives, mais d'actualité avec la toute récente éruption de l'Etna. Agréable de voir ces chétives et frêles fleus sur les pentes du volcan.
Et toujours ce bel effort de rédaction pour tes notes que je lis très volontiers.
meltemi (0) 2007-04-19 14:45
I have the same impression as John, reading your note so full of explanations, I was very fascinating by your well taken pictured as well as your very useful note, Waiting to see a read more from you. Regards. Stella
dokadak (11518) 2007-04-19 14:56
Harika kompozisyon, etkileyici bir paylasim...
papagolf21 (88095) 2007-04-19 17:26
Bonsoir, mon ami Bulent,
Quel plaisir de contempler cette photographie et lire la note. Si, seulement, sur les bancs des écoles communales l'enseignement avait été dispensé, de cette façon, la géographie, l'étude de la terre eût été une véritable passion.
Merci, Bulent, de nous faire vivre d'une autre façon l'histoire de la Terre.
stego (24030) 2007-04-19 19:28
It's an unusual compo, but very effective and curious. Perhaps not exactly beautiful, but attractive, for the contrast of both triangles with that stripe of clear sky separating them.
The flowers on the fg give a touch of life and beauty to that harsh environment.
dorte_s_t (2287) 2007-04-20 5:03
Hello , Bulent .
Very interesting photo and fantastic note !
I was surprised to see the beautiful vegetation on the slope - still , I think I once learned in school that the richest soil comes from the volcanoes...
Vry interesting indeed !
Have a nice weekend
jrj (34841) 2007-04-20 9:58
I think the mist here is really the detail that makes this shot Bulent. Together with the steep slope of the mountain and the distant background details of the town it makes for the best setting of the place. Of course the yellow flowers of the foreground signals some hope of the new life in the mountain side.
It could be a perfect illustration for the book Pompeii by Robert Harris even with the time span between the book and the photo.
Cretense (68691) 2007-04-20 14:34
Very impressive POV and composition. The clouds seem to be in a parallel line with the slopes of the volcano. Great note too! Congratulations!
amazon (12112) 2007-04-20 15:06
özellikle kadrajı ve diagonalliği çok beğendim,
keşke sol alttaki metal korkuluk kadraj dışında kalabilseymiş,
AROBN54 (11473) 2007-04-20 18:02
What a wonderfully balanced shot, Bulent! I love the diagonal and the wee bit of the city you can see beyond. The bright splash of color from the flowers on the slope give it added appeal. I like the bit of railing you can see in the corner, too, for added perspective. Well done!! Kind regards,
anesugur (18789) 2007-04-21 16:33
Merhaba Bulent Bey,
Çok ilginç ve bence insanı ürküten bir ortam.
Benim çözebildiğim kadarı bile dolu dolu bir not.
Teşekkürler. İyi bir hafta sonu dilerim. Uğur
HIRAKZ (168) 2007-04-22 14:36
I always like the angular tilt to showcase the landscape or cityscape because it suddenly makes a photograph more different than others. This one touched me like the way I want to be inside every photograph.
Hot (its 42 deg celcius here) Regards from New Delhi, India
singuanti (15250) 2007-04-24 22:47
Hello Bulent. I'm fascinated with volcanoes and one day I will see this place before too long. My father's side of my family actually lived at the base of Mount Vesuvius before coming to America. That's too bad it's so cloudy but we can see just fine. Again the note is excellent and thanks for that. Well done Bulent.
Yar (793) 2007-05-01 4:55
a very nice diagonal image with so many details adding some xharm to the composition. The smoke adds some sense keeping in mind the historical events.
Angshu (56406) 2007-05-06 7:21
Hello Professor "A"
The diagonal of the slope, the hanging clouds, the red ground & yet the colourful flowers grow on it...Naples in the far distance looks very good. I'm not too sure about the small bit (fence?) on the left corner...can be cloned out if not cropped. An excellent photo & note as always
emjleclercq (15780) 2007-05-10 16:51
Interesting view and very extensive note. The heavy smoke makes a strong contrast with the foreground. I just regret the small bit of something in the bottom left corner.
All the best,
MLINES (12516) 2007-06-08 19:39
Hi Bulent. Good to see just how steep this volcanic cone is. Excellent notes as always. You are a real educator and have the knack of making things so interesting. TFS. Murray.