Well hello there!  I don’t know how your week has gone, but the latter part of mine has been spent staring at the ceiling while my body battles off the flu. :-/  After several days of being totally out of it, I’m finally happy to be vertical again, and of course, sharing an image with all of you.  Please do excuse me if my enthusiasm is a little more today than usual!

Like last week, this week’s Picture of the Week comes from Malaysia, but rather than being out in the jungles, this photo was taken on the bustling outskirts of the nation’s capital, Kuala Lumpur.  The site is known as the Batu Caves, a series of limestone caves, which are now a Hindu place of worship.  In our travels, Holly and I have had the opportunity to visit many different sacred locations for various religions around the world, but I have to say, this was one of the more visually interesting because of its setting inside this massive cave.  To get to where this photo was taken, you have to climb a massive staircase of 272 steps.  The climb takes you up the side of the mountain, through another giant room, and then finally into this room.  As you can tell from the photo, the ceiling in this room is open, allowing natural light to filter in through the trees above (check out the map to the right, if you look up and to the right of the pin, you can see the hole in the trees that is this opening).  The opening also allows monkeys to climb down the 300+ foot walls from the trees above, which was endlessly entertaining, as again you had to keep a close eye on your stuff, because the little boogers would steal things in hopes it was food (or contained food).  While I was visiting, there was a really funny moment when an Indian tourist was trying to coax a monkey into her selfie with fruit.  A half a second after she got her shot, a more dominant monkey entered the scene hoping to take the food, and the photogenic monkey used the girl’s body as its escape route!  After a few screams and lots of laughter, the group admired her photo and all was well with the world again, it seemed.

From a photographic standpoint, this was a bit of a challenging situation because of the sheer size of the subject. I mentioned in my 2017 year in summary post that my eye continues to like the really big scenes, and this is one of those cases.  The image above is actually 15 different images stacked together (2 rows of 7 images, plus an extra to insure the temple looked right), so it’s both taller and wider than you can see with your periphery.  I always enjoy doing shots like these because it gives you a chance to see what it would all look like if you could step way back from it all, which in this case wasn’t possible because there was a massive rock while directly behind me!

I wish you all a good (and healthy!) week.  Till next time!

–Dan Thompson

Batu Caves

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