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Pueblo Indian Kiva | by Stephen Oachs (
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Pueblo Indian Kiva

This photograph will be on display at the Smithsonian "World View" Exhibit from July 1st, 2009 through January 17th, 2010 in the first floor of the Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall in Washington DC. This image was selected as 1 of 30 to feature out of 17,000 total entries.


There's a funny story behind this image...


This was taken in Mesa Verde National Park in the Spruce Tree was mid day and there were quite a few people cycling through. This Kiva is open for people to climb down into and it was a big draw for kids. I was down there for nearly 30 minutes waiting for it to clear out so I could capture the scene. It was dark so I knew I'd need a good 15-20 second exposure.


I decided to shoot it with a fisheye to capture the roudness of the room and get the great light beam that was piercing the darkness. I had my tripod down very low and I was plastered up against the wall as tight as I could to get my feet out of the field of view of the very wide 15mm fisheye lens.


As I waited, peoeple kept coming and going and I grew frustrated that I might not get the shot so I asked my wife, who was still up top, to ask people to wait about 30 seconds so I could get the shot. She felt wierd doing that and so, irritated, I crawled out and figured there was no way I was going to get the shot. She sensed my frustation and caved to become a human "hold up a moment" machine...I quickly climbed back down, temper tamtrum still in full swing, recomposed my camera, re-contorted body and took the shot.


I'm so glad I pulled a classic 5 year old stunt and got my way! LOL

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Taken on February 14, 2009