Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Walk Like an Egyptian

San Jose, California
We met the lovely Dianne and Dominik for The Day After portrait session at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum. I fell in love with the museum last year, and was happy to photograph here again.

We started at the house by the pond in the peace garden.

Dianne is simply gorgeous. I couldn't help but think of Cleopatra as we walked around the grounds which were adorned with Egyptian symbols like the ankh below.

All of the windows and doorways made for endless photo possibilities.

I can't decide which doorway photo I like the best.

I shot this one facing the sun which made an unusual lens flare.

Dominik has a strong, handsome profile.

I love this moment!

Leaving the garden...

Dianne's only photo request was that we take photos in the water. San Jose is far from the ocean, so we went to this fountain instead.

Dominik on the other hand, had absolutely no desire to go in the water.

But he ended up surprising his wife and going in anyway.

And we ended up with my favorite photo from the day.

It Is Her Love that Gives Me Strength

My sister's love is on the far side.
The river is between our bodies;
The waters are mighty at flood-time,
A crocodile waits in the shallows.
I enter the water and brave the waves,
My heart is strong on the deep;
The crocodile seems like a mouse to me,
The flood as land to my feet.
It is her love that gives me strength,
It makes a water-spell for me;
I gaze at my heart's desire,
As she stands facing me!
My sister has come, my heart exults,
My arms spread out to embrace her;
My heart bounds in its place,
Like the red fish in its pond.
O night, be mine forever,
Now that my queen has come!

~ from love poems found inscribed on The Cairo Vase,
a vase from the New Kingdom Period excavated at Deir el-Medina

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Mummy Dearest

San Jose, California
We went to Egypt! Well not exactly... But we did go the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum.

We were the only ones in the gardens that mid-morning. As we walked around the pond admiring the papyrus what struck me most was the quiet. It was so serene and peaceful.

The crisp white buildings with maroon and green accents stood out against the deep blue of the sky. I would love to photograph a bride here. Or an engagement shoot.

The museum houses an extensive collection of artifacts. After seeing the mummies on the first floor, visitors go inside a tomb, if they dare.

Past the statue is the sarcophagus chamber, decorated by brightly colored murals.

The museum also exhibits many cylinder seals and other Babylonian artifacts. Among these are figures of Ishtar, the goddess of love and fertility. Ishtar went by many names. The Greeks called her Demeter as well as Aphrodite and the Romans Venus. The figure on the right was found at Uruk.

One Babylonian myth tells of Ishtar descending into the underworld in order to rescue her lover. Now that's a really long-distance relationship!

Do you ever wonder how wedding traditions started? Today some grooms carry their brides over the threshold for good-luck. Don't know if newlyweds did that back in 1,000 BCE, but they did bury small statues of Ishtar, often broken into pieces, before their doorway.

All too soon we had to leave and start our long drive back to Los Angeles.

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