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Kingdom of Aksum

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Cycles of Life

Cycles of Life
Photograph by George Steinmetz

Winding its way past one of Lalibela’s rock churches—carved from the region’s soft volcanic tuff some 800 years ago—a funeral procession cuts a white swath across the denuded landscape. Once a rich agricultural region, these hills are now exhausted by overfarming. Lalibelans rarely terrace the hillsides, a system that farmers in other parts of the mountainous north use to reduce erosion. Compounding the problem: Long dry spells followed by heavy rains soak Ethiopia for months each summer.

Camera: Nikon 8008
Film Type: Fujichrome Velvia 50
Lens: 35mm
Speed and F-Stop: 1/25 @ f/4
Weather Conditions: Clear
Time of Day: Afternoon
Lighting Techniques: Natural light

Special Equipment or Comments:
It feels a little weird waiting to photograph a funeral procession when you don’t know the person who died. It can make you feel like an opportunist.

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