Archaeologist’s puzzle

Collected carved gravestones at Isa Bey Mosque, Selcuk, Turkey


Isa Bey Mosque, Selcuk, Turkey

I saw all these carved stones set out against a wall at the Isa Bey Mosque in Selcuk, Turkey. I’m not sure if they are gravestones or some other kind of marker, but they looked to me like they had been set up by some archaeologist, all collected together, so that he or she could ponder where in the puzzle of restoration each piece fitted. It was common sight at historic sites throughout Turkey.

It made me chuckle that this was the kind of puzzle that needed a crane to assemble. We actually saw a huge crane in use at one site with disgruntled looking workmen standing around while an archaeologist directed the crane to move a presumably several ton block of stone about. How about this way? Or this way? No, maybe this way …

This image is my first attempt at using the Photoshop luminance mask technique of Tony Kuyper. He has some excellent and fascinating tutorials on his website. On first read it’s terribly complex stuff, but with practice I think it will come to be a lot easier, and it looks (amongst other things) like a great alternative to doing HDR with specialist HDR software like Photomatix. The luminance mask technique is far more manual and allows superb control of the final image. It’s well worth a very slow and careful read on his site, and it’s also well worth downloading his photoshop actions so you can try it for yourself.

This particular photo is not HDR and was not bracketed. I did try a single exposure tone-mapping of it in Photomatix, but in this case I prefer the far more natural and contrasty look that came from using luminance masks.

I’m sure I’ll have a lot more to say on this technique later, but first I need many more late nights to fiddle on it.

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