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Photographer's Note

TEMPLE OF HERA — PAESTUM

Around 650 BC the Dorians founded Paestum after having been expelled from the city of Sybaris, across the Ionian Sea on the mainland of Greece. Three beautifully preserved Doric Temples comprise the main features of the site in what is now Southern Italy. Paestum flourished for a little over a century, before it was severely damaged by attacks from the local Barbarians around 510 BC. Another 120 years later still it was dealt a fatal blow when the barbarians overran it again.

During the summer when the better known sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum are overrun by tourists, Paestum, off the beaten track, remains an unusually placid and compelling place to visit. I had been serving as a guest lecturer on the cruise ship, Crystal Serenity on a cruise that commenced in Venice, and visited the storied ports of Dubrovnik, Sorrento, Livorno (the port serving Pisa and Florence), Portofino, Monte Carlo among others. It was during the Sorrento visit that we rented an automobile, and drove first in the direction of Pompeii, and then south on the autobahn. The site is also accessible from Salerno only 40-km away.

The Temple of Hera is seen here from the southwest. It is a magnificently preserved architectural edifice, featuring fluted columns and Doric capitals — a combination evocative of the iconic temple, the Parthenon, built a century later in Athens. The irony of the site, is that although it is the oldest, and best preserved of Doric temple, these majestic ruins were unknown all through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. But perhaps that was fortuituous — it was never used as a rock quarry as had been the fates of many other pagan sites during the medieval ages. The site was discovered in 1740, and first accurately described in 1779.

A memorable event occurred to us earlier in the day of our visit when we met an elderly Japanese couple on the cruise. As I was taking a photo of the couple, the man seemed fascinated with my camera (a 4.4 Megapixel Fuji Cool-pix 4700). “My camera,” he announced. “Your camera?” I asked puzzled, fearing I might have picked up the wrong camera somewhere. “My camera. I make them,” he said. He was the founder of Fuji Filmworks.

I performed minimal cropping and increasing of the contrast with PhotoShop, where I also created the gold-beveled double mat. The outer mat was colored using a pigment selected from the temple facade. This is the manner in which local framers create mats for my works of art. I’ve tried various frames/mats in submitting images to Trekearth. I’ve concluded that it has to be done on a case by case basis — dark mats, light mats, no mats — with the main driving dictum being to complement and not to distract from the image.

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6057 W: 463 N: 10512] (35369)
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