A door into the mosque at Bou Inania Madrasa, a lavishily-decorated Marinid building in the Medina of Fez.
Cat #5, Harar, Ethiopia, July 2009
I was really interested in the second version of this image, with the cat looking into the laundry, when I was shooting it. On reflection, I think the a version is stronger, but I couldn’t resist sharing both.
That’s all the cat photos for this week–next week, dogs (more cat photos in the future!).
Update (17 April 2011): Apparently this photo has been turned into a mixed-media painting elsewhere on the internet:
Cat #4, Harar, Ethiopia, July 2009
As previously mentioned, Harari houses exist around enclosed courtyards, hidden behind walls. This cat was cautiously watching the street from the safety of an only partly-open door. I was really indecisive today, so you have three variants to choose from!
All this week, I’ll be putting up photos from my series on the cats of Harar–stay tuned!
Cat #3, Harar, Ethiopia, July 2009
Old Man, Harar, Ethiopia, July 2009
An old man sits in front of a door with Egyptian-style ornaments in Harar. Harar was an independent Moslem Emirate until it was conquered, first by the Egyptians, in 1875, and then the Abyssinian monarchs, shortly after. There are still many remnants of both occupations in the city, and the latter conquest resulted in its decline, as it went from being a prosperous trading city to a remote outpost of a highland Christian empire.
Priest, Asheten Maryam Church, Lalibela, Ethiopia, june 2009
I have forgotten the name of this gentleman, but he is the priest at Asheten rock-hewn church, on the mountain above Lalibela. Here, he is shown just after locking the door to the church, which we had finished visiting.
When you photograph people in Ethiopia (and, I am told, third-world countries in general) they tend to pose very formally, as portrait-taking is a rare and formal affair for most of them. To get candid portraits, I usually spend a bit of time getting the formal-style portrait, then show them the result on the camera LCD screen, indicating that I got the photo, at which time they will usually get on with what they were doing, and I will attempt candid shots. If they start posing again (common), at this point, a hand gesture will usually be enough to indicate that they should go on with what they were doing; if not, I indulge them by taking another formal-ish shot, re-starting the process. I really like the pose and expression here, just as he turned around from the camera, just before he decided to pose again; I only wish the camera hadn’t ddecided to focus on the door, just behind him. . .