The Great Sphinx with the pyramid of Khafre, Giza, Egypt, 1980
Followers of my blog will know that in addition to my art nude photography, I also like to travel and do travel photography. Almost all of what I have posted here has been from relatively recent trips in which I’ve used my medium format cameras with black & white film, but it wasn’t always that way.
Before I switched to photographing my travels in black & white, which was an outgrowth of my decision to photograph nudes in black & white, I used my medium format cameras in color with transparency film. In fact, the reason I bought a pair of medium format cameras in 1994 and 1995 – a Fuji 6×7 rangefinder followed by my Pentax 67 SLR system – was to get into the stock photography business, as I had read that medium format images sell better than the smaller 35 images.
Head of Ramses II at Luxor Temple, Luxor, Egypt, 1980
The reason I decided to try my hand at travel stock photography (which never did work out) was that people commented so positively on the 35mm slides that I had been taking until then, beginning with a 60 day trip away from home in the summer of 1980, between my junior and senior years at New York University.
Carving and inscriptions in the tomb of Ramses VI, Valley of Kings, Egypt, 1980
That trip was quite memorable: a week in London, five weeks in Israel (including three working on an excavation), a week in Greece and a week in Egypt. That trip was my first away from North America and the first of my true journeys with a camera, so those photos are what I consider to be my first travel photos.
Celestial ceiling in the tomb of Ramses VI, showing the sun traveling through the body of the sky goddess Nut (at top), Valley of Kings, Egypt, 1980
Lately I have been thinking of Egypt (for reasons I don’t have time to get into now), so I’ve looked at some of my old slides and scanned a few to post now, with more to come. These here includes photos from Giza in the north, across the Nile river from Cairo, and from Luxor and the Valley of Kings in the south.
Two of the photos were made in the tomb of the 20th Dynasty pharaoh Ramses VI. While the best known of Egypt’s royal tombs is that of Tutankhamun (aka King Tut), because the ancients involved in grave robbing (said to be the world’s second oldest profession) left it essentially intact, it is relatively small and close to the surface. The tomb of Ramses VI, however, is spectacular, with its great vaulted ceiling showing the sky goddess Nut and a host of other deities, and to get to it, one must walk down and down (and down and down and …..) into the bowels of the earth.
Still, I really need to dig out my projector from the back of the closet so I can see these slides better (and as intended), but for now, enjoy these.
The author in front of the Great Sphinx, Giza, Egypt, 1980. (Yes, folks, I really did look like that back then!)