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Photographing the ancient PDF Print E-mail
Ancient EgyptThis photographic ebook is aimed at the average holidaymaker who will be, or is thinking of taking a trip to Egypt and would like to know the best way of assuring they bring home some good photographs, from what may be a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ holiday. With this in mind, we have tried to keep the technical side of photography down to a bare minimum so that the vast majority of this ebook information will be of use to the majority of readers.

You do not have to be a ‘great photographer’ in order to achieve decent images – although many will try to convince you differently! The rapid advances in digital photography over the past few years means that a whole new world of possibilities has opened up to the ‘occasional photographer’, giving them the chance to experiment and produce some fantastic work with very reasonably priced cameras. The ability of the ‘digital shooter’ to instantaneously view their photos means they can now quickly learn from their mistakes and immediately improve their performance.

There is no great mystery to taking a good image. Photography is both an art and a science. The art is being able to recognise a good shot; subject, lighting, composure etc and the science is understand your equipment in order to capture the moment-in-time perfectly. Of the two, I would say the ‘art’ element of photography is the hardest to master, as instinct plays a large part in this. However, having said this, I still believe it is an art that can be encouraged and enhanced in most people through using simple technique and experimentation. If you would like to read more on this subject, we have various photographic articles on our website which you may wish to check out.

All the photographs in this ebook have been taken using either an Olympus 35mm film camera or Olympus digital camera and were chosen especially so our readers could easily recreate them.


Before we continue I think it’s best if I explain a little about the present situation regarding the use of cameras and videos around the ancient sites and museums of Egypt – which to be honest is in a bit of a mess! At present video cameras must be declared on entry into Egypt and a permit obtained for their use.

1 Some sites allow flash photography outside. (e.g. most temples)
2 Some sites do not allow flash at all. (e.g. Inside Tombs, Museums)
3 Some sites do not allow cameras at all. (e.g. Cairo Museum)
4 Some sites allow video, but surprisingly no stills-camera.
5 Some sites allow stills-camera, but not video.

And you will probably not find out the current situation until you visit a site or museum – as this seems to change regularly.


Cruising down the river on a Sunday afternoon...
Sounds idyllic? It was, especially as the river was the majestic Nile just before sunset on a balmy afternoon. I may have witnessed more colourful and dramatic sunsets but none had seemed quiet so ethereal. Shooting through my ‘non-too-clean’ cabin window helped to soften the image and intensify the colours whilst providing me with a ledge on which to lean.

In contrast, the early morning picture of the West Bank was taken on a felucca as I crossed the Nile on my way to the Valley of the Kings. A new bridge was opened in 1998 but I chose to cross to Antiquity in much the same way as the great Pharaohs had thousands of years before me.
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