12mm 1/2000th F4 ISO100
#1 El Castillo
El Castillo ("The Castle") is a pre-columbian structure found in the ancient Mayan city Chichen Itza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Situated in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, Chichen Itza is the second most visited archeological site in the country.
El Castillo was a temple of religious importance to the Mayan nobility. It was built between the 9th and 12th century AD and served as a platform for religious rites and rituals. It is special because it intertwines three to four architectural styles (toltec, olmecs and aztec)
It became the 7th Wonder of the World after a controversial world vote was organized by the Swiss corporation New7Wonders Foundation.
Another smaller and nearly identical structure can be found inside El Castillo. Though tourists used to be able to climb it, Mexico closed all access in 2006 to help preserve the site.
#2. The Ball Game Field.
The Mayan nobility that lived within Chichen Itza (the regular people lived in huts outside the city's walls) would organize games between their own people and neighboring cities.
Each team was composed of 7 players. The game resembled field hockey, but the ball was closer than a volleyball in size, and weighted between 9lbs and 12 lbs. The objective: pass the ball through one of the two elevated hoops on either side of the field. The crowd would observe the games from the top of the side walls.
The victors gained honor and the nods of their Gods...
#3. The Loser's Wall
...the losers' figures were immortalized in sculpture form and ended up on the wall of a nearby building... right after their heads were chopped off.
#4 Chichen Itza Cenote
The cenote was used to sacrifice virgins as gifts to the Gods. The inhabitants considered the place sacred and were afraid of it. Though most of the bones found at the bottom were those of young boys and girls, several bones belonging to grown adults led anthropologists to believe the site was probably used to dispose of bodies to hide crimes, such as murders.
#5 The Temple of Warriors
Close to a thousand columns circle the temple. It was a place of meeting, training and briefing for the military.
#6 The Columns
There used to be a stone ceiling that ran over the columns. It was destroyed well before Chichen Itza was discovered.
My goal was to capture the scenes as I was seeing them on that day, rather than paint an artistic point of view of the various site. There are very few occasions when I will rely on HDR to capture a scene. Architectural photography is one of those, in my opinion.
Thanks for looking!