I was taking photos of this beautiful mosque in the narrow streets of the old city of Ibb when one of the vendors asked if I wanted to go inside.
This doesn't always happen in Yemen (or elsewhere in the Middle East), where alot of mosques are off limits to non-muslims. So I said yes, quite excitedly...he closed his shop (i.e. shut the wooden doors of his little store) and walked me to the mosque. He showed me around the inside and other interesting things. He then pointed up to the minaret and asked if I wanted to go to the top.
I said sure, and he quickly ran off leaving me standing in the middle of the mosque, the only westerner. Five minutes later, he re-appeared with a young teenage boy who I guess was the key master. He took out this old fashioned key ring (with the huge brass rings) and unlocked the old door to the minaret. We climbed in and started walking up the spiral staircase. It was completely pitch-black, as we walked up the dark uneven stairs. We eventually got to the top of the minaret, and I could see right into the mosque.
It was an amazing view of the old city, and directly into the mosque where some people were praying. I spotted this man praying alone, and I liked the lines. Shortly after this, the call to prayer started blaring in my ear (as I was in the minaret right beside the loudspeaker). It was one of the coolest moments of my trip.
I will post more photos from this day, and this gorgeous mosque. Unfortunately I'm not sure the name of it, as there were probably 5 or 6 in the city.
I posted a workshop photo of the young teenage boy. Unfortunately it was bright mid-day lighting, so all kinds of shadows but wanted to show this friendly Yemeni.
Critiques | Translate
SergeMtl (290) 2007-11-11 20:44
It's wonderful to gain access to such dramatic vantage points. This is nicely framed, but I think that the texture of the stone floor commands one's attention more than the kneeling figure, so that becomes the subject of the photo.
gigiotta (453) 2007-11-11 23:03
Beautiful POV, with the powerful texture of the ground, regards, Donatella
bantonbuju (51815) 2007-11-12 0:15
intimate moment of the prayer captured into a graphical vision of the temple...smart work, good composition, patient action - waiting for the man being the only (or nearly) player in the mosque stage...
barrufeto_77 (28886) 2007-11-12 1:42
Nice idea. I like the patterned picture with the man praying breaking it.
vapours (8264) 2007-11-12 5:05
A cool shot David. The floor adds a good gritty background, with a great human story being told. Wouldn't mind the image to be cropped in a little closer however to give it a bit more impact.
Bruno40 (6658) 2007-11-13 0:02
Thanks to your POV, you got great patterns and excellent framing of is daily life photo.
Very well done, very interesting photo
Senk (2331) 2007-11-13 19:55
it good one and many feeling in the pictures , good done
lestans (17168) 2007-11-15 1:36
here I first noticed a fine strong composition looking the thumnail, then I read what happened htere, who yyou met, and i appreciate the photo also more!
stego (24132) 2007-11-20 11:38
It's a powerful compo, with the almost vertical POV and those white lines. And of course, there is the devotional pose of the man , the awkward presence of those shorts balancing him and the texture of the floor. As far as I remember, I only entered a mosque in my entire life: the Blue Mosque in Istambul.
Wanda1 (15142) 2007-11-24 21:28
I love this, things from above always look so different. I like that you were able to capture the single man praying in between the lines. A great graphic shot very well composed, and your vertical format has worked well here to emphasise the lines. Nice work, and nice story behind the image too
Angshu (56750) 2007-12-04 1:35
A fine compo. with your high POV and strong graphics created by the parallel white lines. The man placed well between two lines is the key here. I presume you might be aware that the parallel white lines painted across the entire square makes it easier for the large number of people, who congregate here for prayers, to arrange themselves facing west in an orderly fashion. Well done!
lostinsoft (51) 2008-01-26 15:43
Hmm, your story sounds familiar. In the book "Travel with Herodotus", the author (Kapucinski) remembers how he was taken to the top of a minaret in Egypt. Except that his host asks for his wallet at the end, under menace of pushing him over the edge. I was cringing as I read your note :)
Very nice picture, too. All the best!
bwiti (402) 2008-03-15 9:59
Je reviens un peu loin dans ta galerie, mais je trouve celle-ci vraiment forte ! J'aime ton cadrage et comme tu te joues des lignes, j'aime la texture de ce sol lépreux et les teintes ambiantes.... J'aime enfin le linge isolé en retrait ainsi que la petitesse du priant....
Une très belle et percutante photo, félicitations...
avene (12675) 2008-03-28 8:57
what can I say - lucky you! this is really a great point of view, and you had used the opportunity very well, I like the photo a lot. as others have noted, the strong lines add an interesting graphic element, while the lone figure of the praying man makes the shot very personal. excellent work!
with kind regards,
sahara82 (80) 2008-04-10 16:00
this is a great post, such wonderful textures on the ground make this shot, and the comical element of the pair of pants!!
- Copyright: David Grant (ViktorVaughn) (1521)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2007-08-26
- Categories: Daily Life
- Exposure: f/4.9, 1/500 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Theme(s): Hello, is there anybody out there? [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2007-11-11 20:30