Photographer's Note

Lalibela, in nothern Ethiopia, is famous for its dozen churches carved out of living rock, most likely during the XII and XIII centuries. Although they are a national monument and a UNESCO site, they are also working churches of Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, staffed with priests and monks. This priest was delighted to see us and insisted on playing the drums for us.

The churches are very dimly lit, and flash is almost never allowed. In this shot, almost all the light is coming from a high window. I shot this at ISO 1000 and 1/10 second, somehow managing to get a still shot except for the priest's hand blurring (which actually makes it more interesting). I haven't done much PP to the image: I decreased the shadows and darkened the highlights, then added a warming filter (81B). Finally, I selected a part of the headdress and lowered its brightness a little to cut down on the glare. (It looks like I need to do some more work there.)

By the way, should you visit the Lalibela churches, be sure to take along flea powder - the floors are covered with rugs that probably haven't been shaken out since the churches were built! My ankles itched for days afterward.

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Additional Photos by Daniel Kohanski (Wandering_Dan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 930 W: 150 N: 1023] (3449)
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