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Photographer's Note

Click on the image for the full-size version.

Wadi Do'an is a branch of Wadi Hadramawt, rising up to the south. It's a wide and fertile valley, and farther to the south, where it's more humid, there are extensive date palm groves.

Here we see Al-Hajjarayn, a town which both has similarities to Shibam, and contrasts with it. The architecture is basically the same, high-rise family houses made of mud brick (though not as high as in Shibam); but unlike Shibam, sitting on a hill in the middle of the valley, and even unlike most Hadramawt towns built along the base of the mountain, Al-Hajjarayn hugs the cliff half-way up and even curves around it in a horse-shoe shape.

The view from the other side of the valley was spectacular, giving a feel for the wideness of the valley and how the town makes such an organic whole with the mountain - it almost disappears into it if it were not for the occasional whitewashed houses.

To capture this wideness with the town so intimately one with the mountain, I decided to try a panorama here. Hand-held, 7 shots covering just over 180 degrees; stitched together with Autostitch (my first attempt with that program). Unfortunately this process removes the EXIF data; shutter speed (middle exposure) and F-stop (fixed) were as indicated, @ ISO 100.

The map marker shows my position, with Al-Hajjarayn due East across the valley. If you zoom in on the map a little you can see the ramp going up into town also visible in the middle of the picture.

Tech note:
The quality of the full-size panorama is not perfect - Autostitch does not do any color correction and I set it at size 50% (hoping it would not run for hours to render the result) and JPEG quality 80%. Unfortunately this left quite a few artifacts which I then tried to limit with more PP. I also worked on it to remove a bit of the haze caused by all the dust in the air.

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Additional Photos by Marjolein Katsma (iamback) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 16 W: 2 N: 29] (50)
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