I am showing my age here but this shot was taken on film with an Canon EOS 300 way back in Feb 2001! I had just seen in the new millennium in Istanbul having spent a couple of months in Turkey. I then headed down to Egypt and Jordan with my sister to take in some of the worlds most ancient sites. Back then travel seemed a lot more innocent. No doubt because I was only 20 at the time; however September 11 later that year dramatically changed the worlds perception of risk while traveling. I refer specifically to 'perception or risk' as while hot spots come and go, and hundreds of millions of unfortunate people are currently living though some terribly violent situations, statistically on average the world has been becoming much less violent(1) and travel a lot safer over the past two decades. Before I went to Egypt I remember having in the of back of my mind the '97 Luxor massacre where six gunmen killed 62 people (58 foreign nationals) at the Hatshepsut’s Temple (Djeser-Djeseru). Its just that the modern media cycle of fear and violence was only beginning to ramp up and phones with video cameras to capture and feed every global incident were still many years off so we were less aware of what was going on.
Looking back from the digital realm at my formative days shooting film it does seem like a particularly harsh teacher. As a relatively poor, travel obsessed, university engineering student I would have enough funds left over for a small allocation of film for a trip, perhaps 1 or 2 rolls per week (5-10 shots per day) depending on what I could afford. I then used to shoot 3-4 months worth of film while traveling over the summer break and have to go home to study and work until I could afford to get them developed. By the time you got the film back; it could be 4-6 months after taking the shot and all you had at best was some scrawled notes in your diary on the settings and locations to help you improve.
I had started putting my photos up on my own bulletin board era university sponsored website in 1998, however after this trip I started to take my photography a bit more seriously so I registered intrepidphotos.com and learned how to code in html . There were not many photo websites back in 2001; and the site was somehow deemed a significant enough part of the early internet to be archived by a US led non-profit with the aim of building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. The archive is maintained to this day so if you want to have a laugh at some old internet webpage formatting and some of my very early photos you can view my old site using their Internet Archive WayBack machine and see what the cover pages looked like any time it was updated since August 2001 when they first archived it ( https://web.archive.org/web/*/intrepidphotos.com ) . Its also fun to have a look at some of the other main sites on the internet in 2001 ; remembering MySpace did not arrive until 2003 and Facebook some time after.
The first built and last standing of the original wonders of the world, the Great Pyramids of Giza remained the tallest human structures for 3800 years. The Pyramid of Khafre (or Chephren) seen here was built around 2570 BC (4588 years ago) to a height of 143.5 m (471 ft). Originally covered by casing stones that formed a smooth polished white outer surface made of Tura limestone; what is seen today is the underlying core structure after the valuable outer stones were loosened by earthquakes and robbed reducing the height to 136.4 metres (448 ft). It is unknown when the casing stones were removed however they were still in place in 1646 AD when John Greaves, professor of Astronomy at Oxford University visited and wrote Pyramidographia. It was built as the tomb of the Fourth-Dynasty pharaoh Khafre (Chefren), who ruled from c. 2558 to 2532 BC.
Love Life, Love Photography
All images in this post were taken by and remain the Copyright of Robert Downie - http://www.robertdowniephotography.com