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Photographer's Note

Hoa Khiem Palace, Tu Duc’s Mausoleum near Hue, Vietnam: sunlight streams through shutter doors onto the floor of a corridor.

Tu Duc, Nguyen emperor who ruled Vietnam from 1848-83, began planning his tomb long before his death. The major portions of the tomb complex were completed from 1864-67, along with future temple buildings that served as a palatial retreat for Tu Duc and his many wives during his lifetime. This shot is taken in the temple area, the particular building being called Hoa Khiem Palace: I found it rather morbid that he should want to spend most of his time at the site of his tomb. Construction of the tomb demanded so much labour and extra taxation that there was an abortive coup against Tu Duc in 1866. This was put down, and for the remainder of his life, Tu Duc continued to use the tomb's palace buildings as his place of residence.

Interestingly, despite the grandeur of the site and the amount of time Tu Duc spent here, he was actually buried in a different, secret location somewhere in Hue. To keep the secret safe the 200 laborers who buried the king were all beheaded after they returned from the secret route. To this day, the real tomb of Tu Duc remains hidden for future generations to discover.

Shutter speed: 1/100 sec
Aperture: f/8
ISO: 200
Focal length: 70mm
Exposure bias: -1/2 stop

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Additional Photos by Will Perrett (willperrett) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1046 W: 301 N: 2765] (12882)
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