Photographer's Note

The Migjid Janraisig temple in Mongolia’s capital of Ulaanbaatar houses one of the largest Buddha statues in Asia. It is 25 metres high and was built in the 1990s to replace the original gold and bronze statue of Janraisig (the Compassionate Buddha) which was melted down by the communists in 1937 to make bullets. The new statue was consecrated by the Dalai Lama, who is considered to be a reincarnation of Janraisig.

The size of the statue can be gauged from the person in the bottom left hand corner of the picture. You may also notice the hundreds of small buddhas that are in the glass cases in the bottom left of the photograph.

This photograph was something of a challenge to take as I needed the widest angle lens that I had with me (12 mm) to get it all in; and it was very dark inside so I had use an ISO setting of 800 and a shutter speed of 1/8th of a second. I could not use a tripod as there were signs outside saying “No photos allowed”, so I had to hide behind one of the poles and then wait for a person to walk past on the other side (I had decided it was essential to include a person in the shot otherwise it would be impossible to judge the scale of the statue) and then as discretely as possible take the photograph. Frankly I didn’t expect it to come out this sharp and with minimal noise, so I can only assume that I had a steady hand that day! I make no apology for putting the statue slap bang in the middle of the frame. If I had positioned the statue more to the left, the light streaming in from the door behind the pillar where I was standing would have washed out the bottom right hand corner of the shot, so this was the best compromise. I have already cropped as hard as I could on the left without removing the person walking past.

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Additional Photos by David Astley (banyanman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 108 N: 2568] (7789)
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