The last time I filmed in Egypt was on the eve of the "Arab Spring". Now returning 4 years later the political landscape has changed radically. A transition in stark contrast to the singular, unchanging ancient landscape that the country is so famous for.
The literally 'awe' inspiring Karnak temple in Luxor is dedicated to the sun god Amon Ra. It is oriented so as to transmit the rising sun of the winter solstice through the temple. This architectural consideration of light extends through all of the art work, where the relief work is modelled through finely sculpted shadows... 'painting with light' on a monumental scale.
The structure is still as imposing as it was intented to be, designed to house the completeness of power that was once identified with the Pharoahs person. This is art and achitecture as a monumental narrative of Power...and its enormous presence is a joy to film.
We moved on via Cairo to Alexandria to float above the underwater city of Heraclion, now 7 miles off-shore, which once housed an even grander pharaonic landscape.
Heat, sand and salt water constantly conspired to kill the gear.
As ever with these light and heat levels the Hot Mirror ND's worked overtime. On a typical day I utilised both a Schneider Truepol and a 1.2 HMND, reducing the 800 ISO down to a more workeable 25 ISO... whilst the hot mirror blocked the 'heat' from polluting the sensor with 5 stops worth of infra red light.