Palace of the Governors

Likely the best surviving example of Puuc-style architecture, at the ancient Maya ruins of Uxmal, Mexico:

Palace of the Governors

Many Maya structures still bear the nicknames given whimsically to them by their re-discoverers in the 19th and 20th centuries. Whether by luck or prescience, the name of this structure fits it surprisingly well — archaeological work here indicates that it was once used by the rulers of Uxmal in its heyday.

Structure II, Calakmul

The largest (by volume) structure at Calakmul, Campeche, Mexico:

Structure II

From this spot, the pyramid actually looks much smaller than it really is. The part you see from the base here is actually a later addition (more accurately, collection of three additions) to the original pyramid, which then rises even further behind this bit in the front. In all, Structure II has a base covering 120 x 120 meters (394 x 394 feet), and stands 45 meters (148 feet) tall.

Make a lovely face, Roxanne

In spite of fitful weather, we headed downtown yesterday for the 2012 Denver Chalk Art Festival. This was one of our favorites (reminds me of our kiddo’s response to a camera):

Make a lovely face, Roxanne

Normally the weather’s pretty cooperative by this time of year — it’s generally hot, but dry. This year, for some reason, we’ve had alternating hot & dry / cool & wet weather for the past few weeks. Saturday night, we got nailed by some fast-moving thunderstorms.

So most of the chalk artists lost Saturday’s work (in full or in part), and had to do major repairs on Sunday. Pretty impressive for a day’s work, I’d say…

Been places, seen things

I saw this on my most-recent trip to New Orleans, and just had to capture the scene:

Been places, seen things

This is one of the horses employed in pulling tourists around the French Quarter in carriages. I took this shot early (for NOLA) in the morning, which seems to be the best time of day for non-crowded street photography there. The sidewalks and streets have been washed, most visitors are sleeping off the previous night’s revelries, traffic hasn’t really started — a great time for a stroll.

At any rate, I still can’t decide if this is the horse’s “world weary” look, if he’s pondering the upcoming day’s work, or if he’s just lost in horsey daydreams of grassy fields and running free. In any event, a fitting subject for an environmental portrait…

Leonine

When my dad passed away some years back, among other things I inherited an old Polaroid camera. It was buried in the middle of a bunch of boxes, and at the time I couldn’t see much use for it — but didn’t have the heart to give it away. During a recent clean-up, I ran across the thing again and decided I should either use it or chuck it.

Luckily for me, you can still get film for the thing — and clumsy as the camera is to use (manual focus w/o rangefinder, fixed aperture, etc.), it can still take a good picture:

Leonine

I made this diptych using (expired) Polaroid 100 Sepia Giambarba film from The Impossible Project. Sadly, the IP folks couldn’t save the old plant that made this kind of film — so when they run out of the old (but obviously well-preserved) stock of this stuff, it’s gone for good. But while it lasts, this is fantastic film for anything you’d like to give an antique touch — and as you can see, the (normally disposed of) negative can be art too!

The subject of the image is a Marzocco Lion (at the Museum of Outdoor Art in Englewood, Colorado), a carved replica of an original by Donatello. BTW, the camera is a Super Shooter Plus — you can get one just like it for $5 – $10 on eBay.

Fajada Butte — captured!

Coming to you from Chaco Canyon in New Mexico, it’s Fajada Butte:

Fajada Butte, captured!

Fajada Butte is the site of an ancient “Sun Dagger” solar clock that marks the occurrence of the solstices and equinoxes. It’s too delicate for visitors to see in person any more (it was damaged by tourism-induced erosion, and closed to the public in 1989), but still inspiring to look at from a distance.

Turtles all the way down

I haven’t antiqued any photos for months (if not years), so while I was playing around with black and white conversions I thought I should indulge myself and give a shot from Uxmal the full aging treatment:

Turtles all the way down

This is the House of Turtles, so named because of the little turtle figurines decorating the top of the walls.