Camera NIKON D200, Lens Nikor VR 18-200mm
Manual mode, 1/125, F/9, WB Auto, ISO 160, Hand-held
This photo was taken early in the morning of June 5th 2008 outside the main church of the group of 11 rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, part of UNESCO World Heritage.
The small town of Lalibela in Ethiopia is home to one of the world’s most astounding sacred sites: 11 rock-hewn churches, each carved entirely out of a single block of rock with its roof at ground level. These churches were not constructed — they were excavated back in the 12th century. Each church was created by first carving out a wide trench on all four sides of the rock, then painstakingly chiseling out the interior. Beta Medhane Alem, the largest of the group and 40 feet high, is believed to be the largest monolithic church in the world. There are pathways and steps linking the churches, all at base level. It is quite dark, especially around Beta Medhane Alem, which is also covered by a huge protective shelter.
The best way to find light is to go early in the morning, before the sun is over the metallic roof. People praying gather even before 5 am and chants can be heard all over the village.
Being there is such a deep feeling, I cannot describe it. It is what I wanted to convey through my images.