Ancient steps overgrown with trees leading up to what was a residence. Canon EOS 7D EF-S 17-85 at 24mm f/9 1/160 ISO 100 −1ev
The voices of history whisper still in the rocks of ancient Tulum. Canon EOS 7D EF-S 17-85 at 20mm f/5 1/1250 ISO 100 −1ev
The people who built this wonderful place are no longer here. Only the tourists and tour guides wander these paths now. In the quiet moments as the day is ending and as the crowds have thinned you can still hear the voices whispering in the rocks. There is a presence in the ancient places that points forward through the mists of time and begs us to stop and look, to see the things that they have done. To hear the echoes of the stories told around fires one thousand years ago.
All of the places on the earth are the same age but there is something remarkable about visiting a place where the remnants of human activity have a kind of permanence. The ruins at Tulum, in Mexico are a beautiful example of that. We visited Tulum as the sun was starting to set and the sky was a dramatic blue but I knew that for many of my pictures there would be no better way to bring out the texture and structure of the rocks than with a black and white treatment. Changing your perspective can have such a significant change in your photographs. Simply sitting down on the ground, as I did for this photograph, can really change the way that we see it. The lower point of view makes the gives the building and imposing presence in the image. I simply cannot say enough about the ability of Nik Silver Efex Pro to help produce very interesting black and white images. The structure and contrast tools alone are worth the price of admission.
￼An Iguana suns itself on the rocks in Tulum, Mexico. Canon EOS XSi EF-S 70-300mm at 300mm f/7.1 1/400 ISO 250
The animal twitches in the sun. Flies have settled on it’s tail and it lazily flicks it against the rock to dislodge them. The heat from the rocks radiates up into it’s body and the lizard settles into the warmth.
I wanted this picture to be a study in composition. I saw the opportunity to divide the picture in two with the brightly lit rocks on the left and the dark background on the left. The line that separates the two areas is very sharp and clearly defined not just by differences in tone but also by the shift in focus. The background has been thrown out of focus and this makes the sharp edge of the light rocks even more distinct. However, the element that really makes the picture effective is the fact that the focal point, the Iguana, bridges these two areas. The viewers eye is drawn either up or down the the dividing line between the two areas and towards the lizard. It’s head points out into the negative space of the shadow and is clearly defined there.