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Old Apr 19, 2006, 9:15 AM   #1
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I going to Egypt in a couple of weeks time, any advice out there for me?
Like what I should look out for? What not to do. Places I shouldn't bring a camera.
Best ways to shoot in a desert. Tips on minding the camera in the desert! :shock:

Thanks in advance…
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Old Apr 19, 2006, 8:55 PM   #2
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That's a great occasion, kefln. I think you have a fuji 9500 which is good for low light photography due to its advanced sensor technology, and because it's a compact camera it, will be free of dust issue.
Anyway, although many important Egyptian works are available at the British Museum in London, visiting the Egyptian Museum in Cairo is a must! Shoot as much as you can, there. For example the Nubian Archers, the model of a troop of Nubian mercenaries. Well, I should not even mention the pyramids of Giza; Cheops, Chepheren and Mycerinus. But try emphisizing their placement along a diagonal line. Each one of them has its own funerary temple, so try placing each pyramid into the frame accompanied by its funerary temple and the Chephren with its Sphinx also. Ah, you know the phrase; Everything fears time and time fears the Pyramids!
Make sure you also visit Sakkarah near Giza to see the first arhitectural structure constructed completely of stone the step pyramid of Djoserwhich is about 5000 year old and thus three centuries older than the Pyramids of Giza. This is, btw, the work of the first arhitect and also the first artist, history has ever recorded: Imhotep who was also a sculptor.
At Beni Hassan, do not miss the tomb of an important governer: Khnumhotep, where you can shoot a great colourful wall painting depicting many aspects of his life, along with other tombs.
In Memphis, the ground of Temple of Phtah would be worthy of shooting since, according to my researches, it is possibly the place where Radames bid 'Morir si pura et bella'='to die so pure and lovely' to Aida as they were buried alive in the famous opera written by Verdi:Aida.
In Upper Egypt, at Deir el Bahari, the temple of Queen Hatsepsut , the first great female ruler history has ever recorded and the temples in Luxor and Karnak with their secret lakes beside, would allow you great captures. Of course around there, on the western side of the Nile, at Thebes, is the famous Valley of the Kings , the rock cut-tombs of many renowned Pharaohs including Tutankhamun, but except for the great reformist Akhenaten who brought his monotheistic religion for the first time and is suspected to be Moses himself. After all, no pharaoh was buried in a pyramid after the Old Kingdom period (ca 2700-2100 BC, including the third to the sixth dynasties)
Ok, I don't mean to give you a hard time by having to read a long long post..Just my quick selections if I were to fly to Egypt the other day grabbing my camera
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Old Apr 24, 2006, 7:37 AM   #3
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Wow! That is amazing thanks for all the info, fantastic.

I think you've hit on a few of my worries though, how strict are the Museum's, the temples? I assume that you can't just walk in and start snapping? I'm slightly worried about the rules on photographing the wall paintings and the like – a confiscated camera won't make the holiday!


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Old Apr 24, 2006, 8:55 AM   #4
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Oh, nothing to worry about, kefl. Some students of mine were there during the mid term break last year and came back to show their many beautiful shots to me including the museum I mentioned. One very important thing is here perhaps bringing a cameara which would not require the use of flash. The less noticable is better for some further reasons. Fuji 9500 is good as I told before, but f11 since f30 has not been released, could serve the 'purpose' best.
Believe me, your success matters to me, also, since I'll require some fresh photos for the revised and enlarged edition of the textbook I wrote :G
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me for any further help I am capable of providing for your deed..
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Old Apr 24, 2006, 11:46 AM   #5
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You don't say whether you are on a tour or how you plan to travel. Or where you will start and end. Or how long the stay or what you want to see and do.

We traveled upper Egypt with a Swiss Egyptologist. The most valuable thing she showed us was where to buy frozen bottles of water. A 1.5 liter bottle lasted most of the day. It was great to get back to the car and have just enough ice cold water melted to quench your thirst. We were there in June and it was HOT – about 10 degrees f hotter than Cairo on average. Lower Egypt is reasonably pleasant in early to mid May, but the Luxor area and south is pretty hot. It shouldn't be too bad in May, but ask about frozen water.

You will want to bring a lightweight tripod if you intend getting decent photos inside the museum and especially the tombs. The Egyptians aren't the most disciplined people in the world – they won't even stop for red lights unless there is a policeman on all four corners of the intersection. I have no idea why they bother to paint lanes on the roads. Nobody is going to confiscate your camera if you violate some rule – tourism is a large part of their economy and they aren't out to cause you grief. You will find places where you can't use the flash though.

I've never been much for taking photos of standard tourist things I can buy a professional photo of on a postcard. My favorite photos from Egypt are of things like my wife on a horse with the pyramids in the background or friends on camels. There are great venues for people shots in front of the gates at Luxor, Abu Simbel, in front of Queen Hatsepsut's tomb and especially the giant room full of columns you see in so many movies. Use your flash for most people shots even in the sun.

You will want to take a photo home of your group with the pyramids lit up in the background at the sound and light show, so you would definitely need a tripod for that.. Try to get an angle where you aren't getting any of the nearby light colored dirt in the shot or it will overpower the pyramids lit in the background. I would experiment before leaving with night scenes with flash using both the camera night scene and full manual. And shots without people or flash can be excellent at the show too if you have a tripod.

There is no special camera care required for the desert. You won't find yourself in sand dunes but just hard dry dirt. I've never had concerns for a camera in Egypt. I would find a fanny pack for the camera. You will find yourself walking a lot and you don't want to be carrying a bag. I designed a Velcro setup to hold my lightweight travel tripod under my fanny pack for times when I want it.

If you are not in an organized tour be sure to rent one of the small sailboats – once in the daytime and once at night. You have to haggle for almost everything, but they are really cheap and come with the driver. Get a small one on an individual basis unless you are traveling with a large group.

I normally stayed at the Nile Hilton which is next to the Cairo Museum. I've been to the museum at least a dozen times and always see something new. If you are on a douche with a fire hose tour you don't have much choice, but if you are in Cairo on your own for a few days I would plan a couple of two hour visits at least. Check to make sure the main part of the collection isn't on tour though – it is still worthwhile when the main part is on tour, but you wouldn't want to go more than once.

Stay together crossing streets in the cities. If you stay together the cars will avoid you, but if one person bolts and another stays put, one or the other could get hit as the cars will not stop.

bahadir's suggestion to get a F11 or F30 is a good one. The F30 has a much better LCD for bright sun, and there is lots in Egypt. A camera in your shirt pocket with a light neck strap is handy compared to schlepping around a large camera all the time.

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Old Apr 25, 2006, 7:10 AM   #6
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Egypt is a risky place to holiday imo
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Old Apr 25, 2006, 11:31 AM   #7
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bahadir wrote:
Quote:
Oh, nothing to worry about, kefl. Some students of mine were there during the mid term break last year and came back to show their many beautiful shots to me including the museum I mentioned. One very important thing is here perhaps bringing a cameara which would not require the use of flash. The less noticable is better for some further reasons. Fuji 9500 is good as I told before, but f11 since f30 has not been released, could serve the 'purpose' best.
Believe me, your success matters to me, also, since I'll require some fresh photos for the revised and enlarged edition of the textbook I wrote :G
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me for any further help I am capable of providing for your deed..
Thanks very much for all your help and information - I'll see what I can come up with!


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Old Apr 25, 2006, 11:34 AM   #8
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audioedge wrote:
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Egypt is a risky place to holiday imo
Any country is risky; you can get mugged in your home town just as easily as abroad.

But Egypt is worth the risk IMHO. 7,000 years of history, it just has to be visited.




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Old Apr 25, 2006, 11:52 AM   #9
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Hi Slipe, thanks for the reply.

I'm going with my wife and she's well used to me on holidays. She has disowned me on several occasions! Once I get that funny look in my eye she just leaves me too it.

We are spending a few days in Luxor, then heading up to Cairo and back down again for a few more days. We are well aware that we will never see all that is to be seen, but we are used to hoofing it around the place and tend to walk till we drop when on holidays.

Looking at postcards is something that I always do, even at home. They always provide interesting ideas and perspectives, especially in areas that you are unfamiliar with.

I'm delighted to hear that they aren't hugely strict on cameras. I'd never break the local rules on flashes, but I really would hate to find myself in a position where I wasn't allowed into someplace simply because I carry a camera.

A small sailboat is a fantastic idea – I'll be on the look out for those.

Thanks again for your response.
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Old Apr 27, 2006, 12:22 PM   #10
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kefln wrote:
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audioedge wrote:
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Egypt is a risky place to holiday imo
Any country is risky; you can get mugged in your home town just as easily as abroad.

But Egypt is worth the risk IMHO. 7,000 years of history, it just has to be visited.




Each to there own, just fyi there are several EU countries advising not to travel there so I would say its very much more dangerous than me staying at home - anywayhope you enjoy your holiday.

But then again Im against holidaying in countries where westerners arent welcomed or which are almost 3rd world in conditions for local people. No matter what the history.
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