This was taken from a hot air balloon at 150 meter near the Beirut Marina looking to the south.
Beirut is the capitol of Lebanon and has a population of 2 million, this is half of the total population of Lebanon. The city is getting back on it's feet after the civil war ('75-'90). They are building big hotels and huge tower appartments near the coast to attract tourists and rich people from the Middle East to spend money. They are also rebuilding the entire downtown area and transforming it into a a big shopping district.
The balloon can be found next to the famous Phoenicia Hotel, near the Marina. The ride is about US$ 10 and will take you to 150m and back in 15min. The operator told me that it could go to 300m but the weather conditions must be right and he has to have permission from ATC.
Holiday Inn hotel
On the right bottom of the frame you see the Holiday Inn building that was build between '70-'75, just before the war started. It is made earthquake proof because Beirut is on the Arabian tectonic plate. The last big earthquake was in 551 AD. During the war the building was used by snipers and now by homeless people.
A good movie about the beginning of the war thru the eyes of a few teenages is West Beyrouth ('98).
This city is fantastic! If you have the opportunity, please go there and spend your money and help the country back on it's feet.
Critiques | Translate
sebinho342 (19317) 2006-05-14 7:31
Hello Gilbert, i'm fond of urban pictures, taken from high and this one is excellent, from a marvelous city that i would like so much to visit, beyrouth :))
Is it true that there are the most beautiful girls in the world in lebanon ? ;)
Have a great sunday
Andrzej_HHH (2480) 2006-05-14 7:38
Very nice panorama and interesting note. In my opinion a bit so many light in the left corner. Best regards! Andrzej
jujudum (192) 2006-05-14 22:55
Haa thoses high appartement building are still impressing me so much !!! Althoug I'm coming from North America where towers are common those ones have something really different. They are simply everywhere and all white !! Urban feeling can be so different depends of shapes, colors, environment, etc ... but the most important is still people ... and Lebaneses are very charming people !!
Great pictures !! Thank you
orme (7219) 2006-05-14 23:19
You have created an excellent map of the city here, Gilbert. The detail is wonderful; I especially like the fact that we can see the cars in the street at the bottom and the small red building.
I think this is the first photo from Beirut that I have ever critiqued. And when I viewed all the Beirut photos on TE, I could see why - there are only 2 pages! So I hope you will be posting more photos of Beirut, Gilbert.
s10001in (0) 2006-05-15 0:29
I will try workshop tonight!!
Very well done.
euryan (8440) 2006-05-15 1:42
Very interesting photo Gilbert. I like how you have included just a little of that shot out Holiday Inn Hotel in the bottom right of the frame. It really adds a lot to the picture. Showing the viewer that this is a city with a troubled past, but then we see hope with the new buildings being built.
Thanks for the post,
P.S. Your notes are always the best.
MIG13 (0) 2006-05-17 22:05
Hi, Gilbert! I like this kind of pic, which gives us an almost complete idea about a place, from the air. The scars of the war are still visible, but Beirut looks alive! Congratulations for this good work! Miguel.
gsimon (387) 2006-06-07 7:40
beautiful to see the a modern city full of large building, yet scary to see the mortar holes in the building. It could be any city in the world.....
Great composition and DOF
fserajian (2299) 2006-06-22 15:25
Nice capture, good POV and colours.
ChristineLe (59) 2006-07-19 14:54
Looking at this picture, I wonder how much the city has been damaged in the last few days, and how many people have been killed...
If you do have a most recent photo, please share with us. Thanks.
thor68 (5586) 2006-07-23 9:05
nice view over the city, that has been and is still going through so much "trouble", gilbert! :-)
it seems you´re going pretty low with the balloon, almost scratching the rooftops of the high buildings.
let´s hope the aggressions will soon be over...
well seen & captured, thorsten.
banyanman (7789) 2006-08-24 10:33
Hi Gilbert. I wonder what this scene would look like today and whether the tethered ballon is still there (I assume it must have been tethered to operate in the city). The comment in your note "The city is getting back on it's feet after the civil war ('75-'90)" takes on a different meaning today, but I hope it won't be long before the tourists return to Beirut. Re the photo: Shailendra commented above that it was a 'bit darkish' but I don't think you could have afforded to increase the exposure otherwise the ocean at the top would have been completely blown out. The only small criticism that I would make is that I would have preferred to see the horizon straightened. Cheers . . . David
rafid76 (0) 2006-11-08 16:24
great note, i did see the movie west beiurt, its funny.
you should that building that was bombed abd shot at. i rememebr going by there. nice view
trips (1602) 2006-11-13 10:05
I took the chance to view some of your photos and this one is impressive. And the note is very useful.
abakri (47) 2006-11-17 9:28
Great shot! The level of detail is impressive! Thanks for your comment!
amino (418) 2007-01-17 17:30
very nice picture gilbert. Your comments are quite informative. Thanks for sharing them. You are right about the Holliday Inn and I am not sure why no renovation efforts are taking place. Beirut is getting quite congested and land is becoming expensive. Even after the recent war, prices have not changed much. Many high rises now stretch continuously over the lebanese coast.
Thank you for your thoughtfulness in promoting the city to viewers. I will be there after 10 days and hope to provide TE with some nice pucs.
- Copyright: Gilbert Sopakuwa (startacked) (1355)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2005-11-10
- Categories: Daily Life, Architecture
- Camera: Canon PowerShot S1 IS
- Exposure: f/4.5, 1/400 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2006-05-14 6:59