Every now and then I look through some of our old photos and consider if I can do anything with them in order to make them presentable and worthy of a post on our blog. I have visited Libya twice, both times were during the reign/dictatorship of Colonel Gaddafi and prior to the Arab Spring of early 2011. Back then it would be fair to say that neither Kirsty nor I were as good at taking photos as we are now.
The right light, shooting in RAW and other photography-basics weren’t really on our radar and so photos taken around or prior to this time have never really featured heavily in our portfolio. But then we ‘discovered’ photo editing. We both use Apple Macs and to begin with we used Aperture, Apple’s in-house photo application. It was pretty good and easy to use but Apple stopped developing and updating it so we moved on to Adobe Lightroom, which is even easier to use and, simply put, brilliant! We should have made the switch years ago!
Not that we intentionally take an average shot these days (we put a lot more thought into our photography than we used to) but where Lightroom comes into its own is in the fact that you can turn a decidedly mediocre photograph into actually quite a good one with the click of a few buttons. I’m not flogging anything, you won’t find any link at the end of this post saying click here to purchase Lightroom etc, I’m simply saying that Lightroom is a superb piece of kit and for me personally, it means I can take some of our earlier photos and turn them into reasonably decent blog-worthy fodder for your viewing pleasure.
I think this is a worthwhile exercise when it comes to places such as Leptis Magna, i.e. places of architectural importance that have been affected by recent turmoil and events. Not many travellers/tourists are visiting Libya these days and, in my opinion, it is interesting to have a record of such places. I have a number of photos from Syria also, including Aleppo and Palmyra, two of the worst-hit places in the ongoing and devastating civil war. I visited Syria in September 2005 and I intend to look through my photos from there one day to see if any can be salvaged and also put into a blog.
One more point before I let the photos do the talking, I wasn’t very good at labelling pictures back then either. Pretty much every shot I took during both my visits to Libya are simply labelled Libya so I’m not in a position to tell you what’s what within the archeological site itself. But what I can tell you is that Leptis Magna is probably the most magical Roman ruins I have seen to date. Even back then Libya didn’t see many visitors and I had the entire site almost to myself and spent several peaceful hours wandering around with my local guide. I hope to return someday and keep my fingers crossed that normality will one day return to the region.
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