[UPDATE] I have posted another version of this view in a WS, and lightened it up this time.]
I don't normally take pictures from my hotel window, much less post them here, but this was too much to resist.
President Niyazov (who died of a heart attack in 2006) was an ultimate megalomaniac who renamed himself Turkmenbashi (Leader of the Turkmen) the Great, and built monuments of gold and marble to himself and his family all over the country. (He also renamed the Caspian port town of Krasnovodsk to Turkmenbashi.) Since Turkmenistan has huge oil reserves, he had the money.
One monument in particular, the Arch of Neutrality, dominates the capital city of Ashgabat. It was built to celebrate the country's unanimous endorsement of Niyazov's neutrality policy in 1998. The arch is 75 meters (245 feet) high, and on top of it there is a statue of the Great Himself, 12 meters (40 feet) high, covered in gold, arms outstretched. The statue rotates so that it always faces the sun during the day. At night, the arch is lit by floodlights that change color about every 10 seconds.
In May of this year, Niyzov's successor reportedly decided to have the tower moved to the outskirts of the city (no mention of made of whether the statue would go along with it), but so far this has not been done, so the arch sits in the middle of Independence Square across the street from the Presidential Palace, which also has a golden dome. You can see this in the workshop photos, which show the arch from different closeup angles.
PS: The US had an election last night (did you notice?) and we did NOT elect a megalomaniac. So this entry is submitted as an example of what we just avoided (not that McCain is that much of one, just a touch perhaps, but Palin - Oy!).
Technical: Perspective cropping. Noiseware reduction.
Critiques | Translate
Floydian (30970) 2008-11-05 2:24
You made a trip to a country not many people go, but therefor very interesting to see.
Balcony shots can sometimes very be very interesting, i have no problems with that. And although the view is nice, it lacks of light and detail. There is so much to see in the picture that i made a ws just for showing you.
Maybe next time a little tripiod and a much longer exposure can help you to show more light and detail.
Take care, Henk
avene (12675) 2008-11-05 7:03
another "great" Turkmenbashi's achievement was renaming the months in the calendar after himself and his family members.
I like a lot the pale dawn colours in the sky, their delicacy creates an interesting contrast with steel and concrete city. I like the WS Henk did, but I would still prefer tighter framing focusing on the statue, the cranes in the background are a bit distracting.
feather (51130) 2008-11-05 13:31
Looking at the WS we can see the arch is reminiscent of a space shuttle waiting to take off. It is amazing what can be seen from one's hotel window and worth photographing. Could be a bit dark.
PixelTerror (0) 2008-11-07 1:56
so you made it into the Turkmen eldorado, well Kudos for getting in there with a camera, I don't know if the situation has relaxed since the death of Turkmenbashi ?
The view shows the monuments to his glory and just to see that it must be a fscinating place to visit, however it is very dark and Henk's lightening improves greatly the visual impact. Still I see with the cranes the building fury continues...
Have a nice day JY
- Copyright: Daniel Kohanski (Wandering_Dan) (3449)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2008-11-02
- Categories: Architecture
- Camera: Nikon D-80, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF AF-S DX Nikkor, RAW
- Exposure: f/4.5, 1/25 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Final Version, Original Version, Workshop
- Travelogue: Five 'Stans 2008
- Date Submitted: 2008-11-05 1:46