Trading Domes and Madrassahs, Bukhara

Bukhara, Uzbekistan
30 September 2018.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.)

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You can see the mass of domes ahead and to the right.  There are five Trading Domes in Bukhara and for centuries these enclosed markets protected customers from wild swings in weather.  This is Toqi Telpak Furushon (or the Cap Makes’ Bazaar).

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This is looking up at the largest dome.  You could see one of the “dome windows” in the previous image.

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A closer look at the centre of the inside of the dome.

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A knife making workshop.

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Looking back at Toqi Tilpak Furushon, having walked through.

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We’ve walked through Toqi Telpak Furushon and probably around another Trading Dome we will get to soon.  To the right there are two madrassahs facing each other.  This is Ulugbek Madrassah.

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The inside of Ulugbek Madrassah.

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This is the top of the arch at the entrance to Abdulaziz-Khan Madrassah and the next twelve images are inside that madrassah.

The fractal profusion of connected objects under the central arch and the three smaller “window arches” are muqarnas.  In their simplest form they can be cubes and they have a function for corner bracing, paradoxically enhanced by their profusion.  They can also take many forms including stalactite and also have aesthetic and religious associations.  The stalactite structures lead the eye upwards and speak to the connections between heaven and earth.  Their geometric complexity is also an echo of the Pythagoreans who looked upon numbers as the fundamental element of the universe and numbers were thus to them divine.  Muqarnas are a fundamental element of Islamic architecture since the eleventh century.

The two madrassahs facing each other form a single ensemble called Kosh Madrassah.  They also represent the heritage of two different dynasties, the Timurids and the Ashturkhanids.  Ulugbek Madrassah was built by Timur the Great’s grandson Ulugbek in 1420, whereas Abdulazizkhan Madrassah was built by the Emir of  Bukhara, Abdulaziz Khan in 1652. 

(So Abdulazizkhan Madrassah was built in the same period as Nicolas Focquet built Vaux-le-Vicomte in France.  He was subsequently thrown in prison by Louis XIV and Vaux-le-Vicomte used as a model for building of Versailles.  If you study them carefully, you may find some differences in architectural style between Vaux-le-Vicomte and Abdulazizkhan Madrassah.)

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This was an attic for scholars, dating back hundreds of years. I believe we are looking at shelves for books and perhaps writing materials.

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We walked up some stairs to enter here.

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A wider view of the room.

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This image and the following eight are looking up at the ceilings within the madrassah. 

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Though they are different views of the same interior they nonetheless show great variety.

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Many other instances of muqarnas are on display.

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(I’ll just let you talk to the images for a while).

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Now back in the open, looking west and heading back to the nearby Trading Dome Toqi Zaragon.

There have probably been trading domes in Bukhara for as long as there has been the Silk Road but Bukhara itself has been wiped away from time to time.  For example, Genghis Kan, a hero in Mongolia but possibly the world’s most genocidal ruler, razed it to the ground in 1220.  So the five surviving trading domes are more recent than that.  Toqi Zaragon dates from 1570 while Toqi Tilpak Furushon, which we visited earlier, dates to the later sixteenth century.  Historically, the entrances to the trading domes were large enough for a fully-laden camel to pass through, though seemingly much larger these days.

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In the far background is the Kalon Mosque and the Kalon Minaret (next post).

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Inside the Trading Dome we see women weaving carpets by hand with incredible skill and meticulous attention to detail.

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You can of course buy carpets, with a huge array on offer.  You just need lots of money including for shipping it back home.

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Arrival, Bukhara

Bukhara, Uzbekistan
29-30 September 2018.

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A truck on the road between Khiva and Bokhara. Likely advice to any pedestrians on the right side of the road – run!

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The sign at the restaurant at the left says “ШАШЛИК СОМСА КЕПСИ ТОВУҚ ЖИЗ”, or as you might have guessed “Shashlik Somsa Kepsi Chicken Jiz”.

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A dome in the late afternoon light in Bukhara.

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This looks like a sunset but the sun is well above the horizon, so it’s an exposure directly into the sun which is shining through the window in the cupola. Rather than a low light exposure, it is actually 200 ISO, 1/8,000 sec, f11.
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A little later with a cloud of birds in the distance. These two were probably taken at dinner.
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An hour later, a wedding group on the streets.
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This is above the main portal of the Nadir Divan-begi Madrasa.

It was built as a caravanserai (prosaically, if you like, a motel with camels instead of cars) but either dedicated as or later converted to a madrassah (or school, often religious) and the architecture more resembles a caravanserai than a madrassah. It was built during the reign of Imam Quli Khan (1611 to 1642, a time of prosperity and peace) and built by his Vizier Nadir Divan-begi, after whom it is named. In the image above, the sun has a face as do the serpents below him. Traditionally, Islam strongly disapproved of depiction of humans and animals but this was relaxed in the Persian-influenced world in the early seventeenth century.

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This image and the next eight are also in the Nadir Divan-begi Madrassah.
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Wall and ceiling details…..
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A silk weaver.
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Discussion of potential purchases, perhaps.
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Looking up….
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A variety of textile wonders on offer…..
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This is the ancient Magoki-Attori Mosque.
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This southern entrance dates to the 12th century and you can see the trace of carved blue majolica tiles.
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There was originally a Zoroastrian fire temple and later a Buddhist temple. The Moslem religion arrived about 650AD but its takeover was gradual. At one time both Jews and Moslems were said to have worshiped here concurrently though this may have been at different times of the day. Bukhara burnt down in 927 and the mosque was built or rebuilt at this time. It was rebuilt in the 12th century using the design of the previous mosque and restored in the 14th and 17th centuries and the 1930s and 1970s. It had to be dug out in the 1930s because over the years it had sunk below rising levels of sand.
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It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the oldest mosques in central Asia.
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Carved doorway.
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Looking up in the top level, from the 1930s.
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Not far away is the foundations of an ancient structure but I can’t remember what our guide said and I can not find information on what it was.

(The edge of the Toqi Telpak Furushon Trading Dome is in the background at the far right. We go there in the next post.)
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Khiva at Night

Khiva, Uzbekistan
28 September 2018.

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For our dinner, we went to a roof-top restaurant with a good view.  Here are people waiting for the sunset on top of the Kuhkna Ark.
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In the other direction, the sun is setting directly behind this minaret.
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Back on the Kuhkna Ark, people are still observing the slowly mounting sunset.
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… and then, putting on a show for us…..
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Architecture, .
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We also had good views of the Kalta Minor and the Amin Khan Madrassah.
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A detail from the Amin Khan Madrassah.
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The Tura Murad Minaret in the background.
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Back to the small minaret behind the Kuhkna Ark, and the light has changed.
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Walking back after dark to our accommodation, behind the Kalta Minor.
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Similar view in landscape format.
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Looking up at Kalta Minor.

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Juma Mosque and Toshkhovli Palace, Khiva

Khiva, Uzbekistan
28 September 2018.

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We’ve just left the Kukhna Ark (previous two posts), and here is a most impressive door handle and knocker nearby.

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… also a cheerful dromedary camel, lying in sand.

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Wedding party on the road, as we walk towards Juma Mosque.  Probably Tura Murad minaret in the near background.

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We are now inside Juma (or Djuma or Friday) Mosque which has a single hall interior and was built in the late eighteenth century over the remains of the previous mosque, so that many of the pillars here are much older.  There are 213 pillars, each different.  The oldest four were salvaged in the tenth century from the declining city of Kath, which had been the capital of the Khwarezmian Empire.  Another seventeen were added a century later.  Other pillars date from the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries but most of them are from the eighteenth.  The acoustics of the hall are also impressive.

Kath (modern town: Beruniy) was the capital of Khwarazm under the Afrighids (a Persian dynasty) from 305 to 995AD.  They were Zoroastrian until the 8th century when there was a violent forced Moslem conversion.  The Ma’munids took over in 995.  The Ghaznavids (a Persian dynasty of Turkic Mamluk origin) then took over a couple of years later.

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I took quite a few macro shots of carvings on the pillars.  Unfortunately most failed but here are two.  (Technical note: I think I switched to manual for focus-bracketing the image of the hall above, and forgot to switch back to Auto ISO).

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Outside, a young bride-to-be on the street.

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… and we walked towards our next destination the Toshkhovli Palace.

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A ceiling detail from the palace.

Toshkhovli (or Tosh Hauli or Stone Courtyard) Palace was built from 1830 to 1838 by Allakuli-Khan as an updated dwelling from the Kukhna Ark.  Apparently some architects who refused to build it in two years were executed and it took eight years to build.  These days it also houses a Khorezm Handicrafts Museum.

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This is in the Harem area and the iwan we see (the recessed courtyard decorated with majolica tiles) is one of the four for each of the Khan’s wives.  Behind this exterior was her living quarters and a lounge room for her attendants.  Even courtiers were refused access here.

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A section of the ceiling of the iwan at the left or right.

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A section of the ceiling of the iwan in the middle.

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They’re clearly not wagon wheels.  Perhaps they were used for cattle to grind grain.

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This is the iwan of the Khan, and in front of it on the round platform is the framework of a yurt that would have been his summer residence.  Behind the iwan are corridors connecting to the iwans of the wives that only the Khan could use.

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An impressive door, possibly of greater antiquity than the palace.

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There are two sections to see of the palace, and you have to go outside and re-enter to see the second one.  That is the exterior of the palace behind the wall.

There is an old well in the Palace, which we did not see.  However there is a more important ancient well (which we also did not see) near the north wall of the old city, which is central to the story of Khiva.  It was the original reason for merchants stopping here along their Silk Road journeys.  It is said that on tasting the clear water they would exclaim “Khey Vakh!” (“How Wonderful”) so the locals named the well Kheyvak, which led in turn to Khiva getting its name.

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Another ceiling section.

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This is the Khan’s bedroom.

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Opposite the iwans of the Khan and the wives, this is the residence for the concubines and the household staff.

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Back outside the palace again.

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An array of textiles on an open courtyard.

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Shown from a different angle, this shows where we are.  Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum on the left and the base of Islam Khoja Minaret.

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Nearby, a selection of handicrafts.

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Remarkable wood carving.  Maybe a door, not sure.

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We are back near we were staying, cruising the markets for handicrafts.  Tura Murad Minaret is in the background.  The man sitting in the chair was waiting for prospective customers to don his coat and a hat and pose for a photograph.  The locals passing by don’t look that impressed.

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Markets and Kalta Minor in the background.  I did buy a hat like one of those on the right.

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The camel is still there a couple of hours later.  That must be the Muhammad Rahim-khan Madrasah in the background.  Perhaps that door is solely for camels from the madrassah.

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A young couple having wedding or engagement photos in the old city.

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Looking back at the top of the Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum and the Islam Khoja Minaret.

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Not sure exactly which buildings the last two images are from.

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That is Tura Murad Minaret again in the background though.

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Kukhna Ark, Khiva, Part 2

Khiva, Uzbekistan
28 September 2018.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.)

After the last post, I was expecting to move on to the Juma Mosque and views of Khiva at night.  However, I was using two cameras and it turned out that the date time settings for one of the cameras was eleven hours different to the other one.  So when I finished selecting images from the Kukhna Ark, these were just from the camera with the correct date time setting and the images from the same time with the second camera were mixed up with later and night images from the first camera.

Had I realised this, there still would have been two posts but I would have divided them up differently.  Still, it’s not so bad because the lenses on each camera were quite different so the images between each post are quite different.  The first six images here are street photography with a wide angle lens and the rest are long telephotos, many very long telephotos.

For the more technically focused, both cameras were Fujifilm X-T2s.  In the first post I used six different lenses but 40% of the images were from a 10-24mm f4 lens (15mm to 36mm full frame equivalent) and another 40% from an 80mm f2.8 macro (120mm equivalent), sometimes with a 1.4x teleconverter.  In this post, the first six images are with a 23mm f2 lens (35mm equivalent) and the rest were with a 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 lens (150mm to 600mm equivalent) and about half of those were with a 1.4x teleconverter.  Most of those were at the longer end of the zoom range so could be up to 840mm full frame equivalent.

There are brief comments on many of the images below but for more information on Khiva and its history, go back and view the previous post if you have not already done so.
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Street markets in the old city.  They must be somewhere near where we were staying but I can’t work out exactly where for the first two images.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
The car in the distance puzzles me because the map shows only three gates into the Old City and it’s not one of them.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
This is the Tura Murad Minaret.

.Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

We are now further in the distance from the previous image.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Now we have turned around and are heading back towards the Kalta Minor.  The young boy is riding a modern contraption that I believe is called a bicycle.  An early traveller in the nineteenth century rode through Uzbekistan en route from England to India.  Locals who saw this strange unnatural apparition were either convulsed with laughter or recoiled in fear.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
We are now on the roof of the Kukhna Ark.  See previous post for more info.  From left to right, Tura Murad Minaret, Islam Khoja Minaret & the Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum, Kalta Minor and Amin Khan Madrassah.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
Islam Khoja Minaret & the Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum.  (I mislabelled an image of this in the previous post, since corrected).

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
Ceramic tiles near the top of the Kalta Minor.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
The wooden structure is the Terrassa Restaurant, where we have dinner that night and I produce night images from there in the next post.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
Detail of Amin Khan Madrassah.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
A corner of the Muhammad Rahim-khan Madrasah, next door to the Tura Murad Minaret.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
No idea of the name of this minaret.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
I think we are looking south at the west wall of the Amin Khan Madrassah and the old city walls.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
Muhammad Rahim-khan Madrasah and the Tura Murad Minaret.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
Many of these images are not possible to place.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
However, this must be the dome of the Amin Khan Madrassah.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
Down below me, a workman was sawing away at something in a reconstruction area.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
I turned away to photograph this old madrassah (?).  You can see how many of the tiles have fallen off.  Then I heard a loud crash.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
The workman had sawn away a supporting beam and demolished a wall.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
With these long telephoto shots, I can’t identify exactly where it is….

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
Two young women below, maybe walking home after shopping, one wearing a dress with a wonderful traditional design.

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Kukhna Ark, Khiva

Khiva, Uzbekistan
28 September 2018.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.)
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Here we are arriving at the city walls of Khiva.

Khiva was built close to the Amu Darya River though the river now flows elsewhere.  It is also close to the border with Turkmenistan and on the other side of the border there is desert.  It is part of the Khorezm, a fertile area surrounded by deserts that has been a centre of civilisations for about four thousand years.  From 1077 until 1231 (when the Mongols turned up after their emissaries were executed) the Khorezm was the centre of the Kwarazmian Empire, including Persia, Afghanistan and much of central Asia.  The Amu Darya was known as the Oxus to the Greeks and Romans, for example in the time of Alexander the Great.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

There has been a settlement at Khiva, a depot on the silk road, for two thousand years or more and parts of the city walls are thought to date from the fifth century, but it has only been a significant city since the sixteenth century.  That century saw the foundation of the Khanate of Khorezm and the shift of the capital from Kunya Urgench (now in Turkmenistan) to Khiva.  For some centuries it was a regional powerhouse.
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

The Russians first turned up in 1717 with 4,000 troops who were welcomed, ushered to quarters and then slaughtered.  In 1839-40, another army of 5,000 (with 10,000 camels) set out to achieve revenge but perished in the desert.  The Russians finally turned up in 1873.  After the Revolution in 1920 there was briefly the Khorezm People’s Republic until it was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1924 and divided between the Uzbek and Turkmen SSRs.  Uzbekistan became independent in 1991.
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Street markets, on the other side of the West Gate.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Some goods in the street.

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A map of the old city.  We entered from the gate at the bottom.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

This is the door to our accommodation, the Mohammed Amin Khan Madrassah (or the Orient Star Khiva Hotel).

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

… and here is the interior courtyard.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

This is the top of the Kalta Minor (or Short Minaret).

It was commissioned by Mohammed Amin Khan (or Medamin) in 1852 and was intended to be 70 meters high but was abandoned at 26 metres after his death in 1856.
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

A couple of partly corrected views using a fisheye lens which remain distorted but show something of the sense of scale.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Across an open courtyard with the Kalta Minor in the distance.  The open doorway in the middle distance is I think the Information Centre, the small rectangular building at the right is the Zindan or jail and we are heading through the doorway at the right, into the Kuhkna Ark, or the Museum of Ancient Khorezm.
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

… and in we go,,,

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

This is not the main door to the Ark, it must be another one just inside.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

The Khans of Khiva had several residences but this is the original one and since it is fortified, it was a place of refuge in times of uncertainty.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

This is the Summer Mosque (1838) with tiles by Ibadullah and Abdullah Jin.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Here is a closeup of some of the tiles.  My partner Jools who graduated in ceramics, tells me the glazing shows a high level of proficiency.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan .
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan .
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

A section of the ceiling.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Opportunity missed.  These caps look more interesting than some of the ones I purchased in Bukhara and Samarkand.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

From the Summer Mosque, we move on through the doorway at the right.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

On the other side are a few guards or policemen.  Three different uniforms and the ones one the right say “Milliy Gvardia” on the back meaning Uzbekistan National Guard so they are soldiers.  Probably all of them are.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

This is the Khurinish Khana or Throne room. There used to be a wooden throne gilded in silver but that was carried off to St Petersberg by the Russians and never returned.  Receptions were either in the (open three-sided) iwan in summer or in a warm yurt in winter, erected where the circular stonework is.

Uzbekistan these days is very safe and friendly but in the nineteenth century Khiva wasn’t a democracy and there could be savage penalties for minor infractions of religious rules.
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

The top of a section of the walls.

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People from nearby areas come to the historic sites for wedding photos.  In this case a conjuring trick – the bride floating in the air.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Behind them we see the crenulated outer wall of Khiva, potentially giving covering fire from a variety of angles.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

A view to the south west.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Islam Khoja Minaret & the Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Kalta Minor and Amin Khan Madrassah (where we were staying).

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

The Chinese New Silk Road is arriving in Uzbekistan, it seems.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Crenulated city walls again.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Tower and walls in the Ark.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Part of an ancient door inside the Ark.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

… which we have now left.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Looking back at the entrance to the Ark.

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(More on Khiva in the next post).

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(Technical note:  I processed these images in both Lightroom and Capture One.  About half are from each and three were processed in Lightroom and Photoshop.  Capture One has an advantage over Lightroom with selections and masks (so for processing regions), where colour is an issue, or with clarity.  Most of these images just received overall processing though.  If anyone wants to see whether they can detect any difference, images 1, 5, 8, 9, 13, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29,32, 33 36 and 37 were processed in Capture One, while images 10, 11 and 30 were processed in Lightroom and Photoshop.)

Tashkent

27 September 2018.
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Andalusia, Athens, Barcelona, Crete, Greece, Istanbul, Oregon, Photography, Spain, Thira, Travel, USA, Uzbekistan, Uzbekistan Crete Spain and Oregon Itinerary, Washington .

This is the first of my final posts on my trip to Uzbekistan, Istanbul, Athens, Thira, Crete, Andalusia, Barcelona, Washington and Oregon in 2018.  I made a few temporary posts at the time with some images and no commentary.  I will update the list of posts in the Itinerary Post as I make new posts.

I have been slow in posting this due to moving office within my home and disk storage issues for backup.  My posts may be slow for a while.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan .

This is a map of our itinerary in Uzbekistan.  We were on a custom tour with Adventour, who we found to be an excellent tour company.  The first post is for Tashkent, where we flew in from Australia, via Kuala Lumpur.

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Tashkent is 2,000 years old it was sacked several times and not as much has survived as in some of the other cities of Uzbekistan.  However, we are in the Khast-Imam complex in the Old City part of Tashkent.  The complex is named after Khasrati Imam, one of the first imams of Taskent, born in 909.  Above is the ceramic decoration atop a huge doorway, but I’m not sure exactly which building in the complex.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

Based on the date-time on the images, this is the ancient ceiling of a cupola beyond that doorway.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

This is a wooden ceiling close by.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

Out again, a nearby dome though I can’t tell which building.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

Muyi Muborak Madrasah on the right and Abdulla Murodxo’jayev Mosque behind.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

The paintings show the derelict state of some of the mosques and madrassas in the nineteenth century, no doubt based on historic photographs.  These are not necessarily Tashkent, though.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

This is one of the domes of Barakh-khan Madrasah.  This houses one of the oldest Korans in the world, created for Caliph Osman.  He was assassinated in 656 in Medina and the Koran is said to be stained with his blood as he was reading it at the time.  We saw this Koran but photographs are not permitted. It is very large, with calligraphic Arabic script.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

Muyi Muborak Madrasah.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

Abdulla Murodxo’jayev Mosque.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan .

Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

This must be at the side of the Abdulla Murodxo’jayev Mosque.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

We are now at the nearby Chor-Su Bazaar.  The apricots look inviting.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

It is quite massive, as you can see, and the poster at the far left is for horse meat.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan .

Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

This is one of the stations of Tashkent’s metro, a heritage from the Soviet era.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan .

Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan .

Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

Our guide is waiting for use as we walk out of the destination metro station.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

The crane is the emblem of Uzbekistan.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

We are now in the Museum of Applied Arts, originally the home of Imperial Russian diplomat Alexander Polovtsev.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan .

Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan .

Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan .

Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan .

Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

I think we are out of the museum now, in just a kind of shopping arcade.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan .

Keeping quiet in Canberra

February 2020 to January 2021, Canberra, ACT

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My last local post in January 2020 was Australia Burning, which included images taken in Canberra on one of two days when bushfire smoke meant Canberra had the worst air quality of any city in the world.  Then COVID struck.

There was lockdown in Canberra for a month or two but there have been no local cases since last April, just a handful of incoming people in quarantine hotels.  There are currently no locally-sourced cases in Australia, just a few incoming travellers.  Though many criticisms can be made, State and Federal Governments did fairly well, supporting many people (though with glaring holes) and following medical advice.  State Governments have been prepared to engage lockdowns where necessary and from time to time closing off State borders and isolating localities.  People arriving from overseas have to stay for a fortnight in a quarantine hotel.

Unfortunately, while the Federal Government has been prepared to follow medical advice, it shows no signs of being willing to follow scientific advice on climate change.  Huge areas burned in January and a significant majority of the population want effective action on climate change. If nothing continues to be done, temperatures will continue to rise, fires will become larger and more prevalent, the ecology and wildlife of the country will be devastated and the capacity for agricultural production will greatly decline.

In the meantime though, I have made no overseas trips since 2019 due to COVID and have been keeping fairly quiet.

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Buoys in a small canal at Kingston Foreshore.

In March I joined a Fuji event that allowed you to use various new cameras and lenses. I tried some of these but this image and the next were taken with my X-T2 and 100-400mm lens.

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Reflections in the same canal.

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Roots of a bonsai tree at the National Arboretum.

In June I visited the Bonsai Garden at the Arboretum and took this photo with my Fuji 80mm macro lens.  It is focus-stacked, which means I have taken many images at different points of focus and later combined them with software.

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Succulent in the front garden.

In August I had purchased a Fuji 8-16mm zoom and took some test shots in the front garden, this one and the next one.  The succulents are quite small so it’s almost macro because the lens can focus quite close.  These are also focus-stacked but because I was using a very wide angle lens, that required only a few exposures.

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Small flowers in the front garden.

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Grevillea Macleayana.

I also visited the Australian National Botanic Gardens from time to time, this image and the next four.  The first three were taken in September and the last two in October.

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Telopea Speciosissima.

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Banksia Spinulosa.

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Pimilea Physodes and panorama near the Visitor’s Centrte.

I took this with a circular fisheye lens and it is also focus-stacked, with just two exposures.  The depth of field is amazing, but not quite enough to go from the stamens of the flower (0.1 metres) to infinity in one exposure.

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Grevillea Macleayana.

Another focus-stacked exposure with the Fuji 80mm macro lens.  This one took 70 exposures and I had to wait for it to be still and retake it several times when a breeze came up during the exposure.

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Archie Webb in the Top 12 Challenge.

I have also gone back to table tennis, both socially and competition and this is an image I took in October at the Top 12 Challenge, with the top 12 Canberra players competing for prizes.  Archie is the leading competition player but he did not win this challenge.  Here he is gearing up for a forehand loop.

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ACT Table Tennis Open.

I also took photographs at the ACT Open in November.  Table Tennis is remarkable in that players of very different ages can compete equally.  The far player is Faisal Pirwani and he is returning the ball with his backhand,  He is one of Canberra’s leading players; I do not know the name of the youngster but from his shirt he probably comes from Melbourne.  Some young players can be very good.  We had a couple of players as old as 93 in the Social Seniors Group prior to COVID though they have not returned since.

(The two table tennis shots were taken with a Nikon D850 and 85mm f1.4 and 50mm f1.4 lenses respectively).

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Malua Bay rock pool.

In early January we went for a trip “down the coast” (which means to the south coast of New South Wales, near Canberra).  This image and the next two were taken on that trip.

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Glasshouse Rocks, Narooma.

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At Glasshouse Rocks looking through to Montague Island Lighthouse.

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Kangaroos at an Ainslie pond.

I live backing on to a reserve and a week or so later, we had a long walk to a couple of ponds in that reserve.

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Architecture, Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Kangaroos, Landscape, Macro, Nature, New South Wales, Photography, seascape, Table Tennis, Travel, Wildlife

Pond reflections.

Since I am mentioning equipment in this post, the Malua Bay rock pool was taken with the Fuji 80mm macro and the last four with the Fuji 100-400mm.

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Jamaica Monochromes

26 to 30 September 2016, Jamaica.

Links go to colour posts (for more information and context). If an image does not have a link, the preceding one applies.

Click on any image to see it larger.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Arriving at Treasure Beach.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Appleton Rum Refinery.

Treasure Beach.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Early rum still.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Treasure Beach.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Sunrise at Treasure Beach.

Black River.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

From Treasure Beach to Black River.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Floyd’s Pelican Bar.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Undermined house at mouth of Black River.  Notice the front stairs as well as the angle of the house.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Passing boat.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Passing canoe.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Black River.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Crocodile.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Captain Ted, our skipper.

Floyd’s Pelican Bar

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Floyd’s Pelican Bar.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Continuing on…

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Treasure Beach.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

South West Coast.

Treasure Beach to Montego Bay

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Roadside refreshments and shells.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Yellow-faced Grasquit, female or immature male.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Jamaican Mango.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Bananaquit.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The red-billed streamertail (Trochilus polytmus), also known as the doctor bird, scissor-tail or scissors tail hummingbird, the national bird of Jamaica.

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Plymouth (Montserrat) Monochromes

22 to 25 September 2016, Montserrat

Plymouth has been described as “the Vesuvius of the Caribbean”. See this post . for a detailed account of the eruptions and the history of Montserrat.

Links go to colour posts (for more information and context). If an image does not have a link, the preceding one applies.

Click on any image to see it larger.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

Plymouth (Montserrat).

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano

Montserrat Springs Hotel.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, Street photography, Travel, Volcano .

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