EL TAJIN was the site of one of the largest and most important cities of the Classic era of Mesoamerica.
The city flourished from 600 to 1200 C.E. and during this time numerous temples, palaces, Mesoamerican ballcourts and pyramids.
It is unclear who built the city. Some argue in favor of the Totonacs and the Xapaneca; however, there is a significant amount of evidence that the area was populated by the Huastec at the time the settlement was founded. As with so many things in precolumbian history, we just don't know!
From the time the city fell in 1230 to near the end of the 18th century, no European seems to have known of its existence, until in 1785 a government inspector chanced upon the Pyramid of the Niches, the site's best-known monument.
This pyramid has seven stories. Each of these consists of a sloping base wall called a talud and a vertical wall called a tablero, which was fairly common in Mesoamerica. What is unusual about this construction and others in the city are the addition of decorative niches.
The niches on the original structure, not counting those on the later stairway, total 365, the solar year. The ritual function of the building is not primarily calendaric. The deep niches imitate caves, which long have been considered to be passageways to the underworld.
As last as the mid 20th century, remains of beeswax candles could be found left on the first level of this pyramid. There is a popular belief that each niche contained an idol or effigy.
The most important part of the structure was the temple that was on top of this pyramid; however, this was completely destroyed and little is known about what it might have looked like.
El Tajin lies in the north of Veracruz state near the pleasant town of Papantla, not far from the Gulf of Mexico. We spent a great afternoon just wandering around at the site.
Critiques | Translate
kiasari (62) 2010-09-15 5:35
I really like the high contrast of this photo. Well done!
quillo (11850) 2010-09-15 5:51
A daring and bold frame, with overexposure of the sky
(I think intentional)
and a good result contrast and definition,
I like the result .....
Saludos y hasta pronto.
baclama (16903) 2010-09-15 7:10
a wonderful black and white with a very big sky...it's very well made!!
cobra112 (15589) 2010-09-15 13:06
Ciao Benny. The best POV's choise. Perfect management of BW. Very well done.
BluSimo (9392) 2010-09-15 13:27
good evening Benny
important composition of graphical impact. the low Pov and the inclination create an amazing and surrealistic effect. optimal B/W. greats compliments.
Waylim (24482) 2010-09-15 14:07
Once again really great note explaining the photo.
As for the photo, graphically very strong impact in stark black and white, almost like old print making, and I appreciate that effect.
I know there must be explanation and intension behind your choice of POV and composition.
There is so big of a negative space in the washed out sky, which make the pyramid itself seem even darken than it actually is. The landscape itself seems to be more for a horizontal format than for a vertical format, and why such high ISO of 1400? Was it really dark?
iainsp (2626) 2010-09-16 4:39
A wonderful El Tajin shot - B&W (with a heavily overexposed sky) works really well on this site - with teh niches already adding an interesting contrast to the facade. regards and thanks, Iain
sayeed_rahman (5987) 2010-09-17 8:32
You have seen the Thiksey Monastry in Leh..ladakh, and it somewhat resembles this structure and the conversion makes it look amazing...good decision..i would like to see the side to give an idea of the third dimension..is this on a mountain ?
i have never known this side of Mexico and the history
Angshu (53980) 2010-09-19 6:25
Left me wondering after reading your note, 365 niches, 7 stories...are we talking years & weeks here? Were they not fomulated ages later?
I had the same questions as Way, specially about the use of the vertical frame...reading your thread kind of convinced me of your idea of showing it as an arrowhead against the bleached sky, which I thought quite unnatural at first. The desired effect is good & IMHO the conversion indeed works better for this picture!
hemantbuch (1649) 2011-02-13 11:44
Hi Benny, thanks for visiting and having a look at my black and white...I will put up a color version of that when i can...
In the meantime, I love this BW of yours. The white sky gives it a real oomph...very sharp and perfect tone...
- Copyright: Benny Verbercht (BennyV) (13378)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Black & White
- Date Taken: 2010-07-27
- Categories: Architecture
- Camera: Nikon D40
- Exposure: f/3.5, 1/4000 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Travelogue: Mexico 2010
- Date Submitted: 2010-09-15 5:22