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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Visit to the Sphinx

While you are visiting the Giza Pyramids (as we were doing here) you will want to spend some time looking at the Sphinx. Like the pyramids nearby, the Great Sphinx of Giza dates from around 2500 B.C. It is about sixty-five feet tall and over two hundred feet long.

Of course you will want to include a pyramid in your picture of the Sphinx and that is easy to do. Either of two will fit right in.

Since the Sphinx faces due East, you will also want to try and get this picture in the early part of the day. Your tour will probably get you to this spot last, but try to get to this spot early. There is a second entrance to the area near the Sphinx if you come back to photograph it in the morning light.

One problem with photographing the Sphinx is that it is almost always surrounded with tourists:

But that is why we have Adobe Photoshop, right?

On the other hand, don't miss the opportunity to take pictures of people taking pictures. Sometimes those are interesting in themselves.

And not every picture of the Sphinx has to show his smiling face.

And if all you can capture is a very flat photo of the face of the Sphinx because of lighting conditions and haze, well, don't worry, Photoshop can fix that up too.

Now, if you think it is cheating to photoshop your pictures so they look a bit better, just consider what Jean-Leon Gerome did in this picture of Napoleon standing by the Sphinx in 1867.

The original painting hangs in the Hearst Castle at San Simeon.

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