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Image 1 - Bagan is one of the world\\\'s many unique places. It stands on the banks of the Irrawaddy, the principal river of western Burma, a 14-hour mosquito-ridden journey by barge down-river from Madalay. Bagan is home to thousands of stupas and temples built in a golden two-century period between 1057 and 1287 AD. There are far more than anyone could possibly visit, but the large concentration of ruins in the central archaeological zone provides ample opportunities for exploration and sunsets.

This shot was taken with a 300mm f/4 Nikkor lens with the camera set up on a tripod at a raised viewpoint above the Irrawaddy. The telephoto lens has effectively isolated the area containing the most spectacular colours, so no filters were necessary. The disk of the sun is in the image, although slightly obscured by haze, so it was important that the lens was scrupulously clean. Any contamination of the front or rear elements would have made flare more likely. Exposure was set by making an automatic matrix measurement with the camera moved so that disk of the sun was just out of the image. This exposure was then locked and the image reframed before releasing the shutter.


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