Red/Cyan 3D glasses are needed to view the following photos.
To celebrate the autumn equinox, I thought I’d post some photos of Stonehenge. As many people know, Stonehenge seems to have been aligned with the Solstices. A solstice is kind of like an equinox, as they both involve the movement of the sun, and…
… and I’m reaching here. It’s STONEHENGE. I really don’t need to justify posting photos of it.
There is some debate on how much Stonehenge is aligned to the cosmos. From what I understand, it seems to be fairly well accepted that Stonehenge is oriented to the Summer Solstice. It seems likely that it also had an orientation towards the winter solstice. And the equinox? The moon? Eclipses(shameless plug for my previous post here)? Stars? The answer to that is a resounding “… maybe?”
There’s a lot of debate about the purpose of Stonehenge. The neolithic people who created Stonehenge had no written language; in fact, the first evidence of writing in the United Kingdom would be from the Roman occupiers over two millennia after the site was created.
Stonehenge was constructed in several phases, starting about 3000 BCE; earthen mounds were constructed on the site. The stones were erected about 500-800 years later. 5000 years is a long time, and that leads me to the second problem with trying to understand Stonehenge: only a part of it still survives. Some stones fell, some were taken away(likely in pieces) for other purposes. Archaeologists have reconstructed the layout, but who knows what might be missing.
I’m usually on a budget when I travel, but I spent the extra to take a tour inside the circle of stones. I figured that I have no idea when I’d get to see it again, so why not see it at its best. It didn’t hurt that the tour also stopped at the World Heritage Site of Bath(coming soon, or more likely whenever I feel like writing about it).
The tour into the centre of Stonehenge was worth it, in my opinion. A regular tour to Stonehenge is limited to walking on a path about 10 metres from the stones. You’d still get a good view from the pathway, but there is still that distance separating you from the site.
My tour allowed me to look at the stones in more detail, close up. No touching was allowed, though, and there was still a security guard watching us, so no copping a feel. Still, details of the stones could be distinguished; even with millennia of wear, some of the markings are still clear, as are the different types of stone.
I would have felt embarrassed if we had been lead into the circle while the other visitors were restricted to the perimeter. I didn’t have to worry; the interior of Stonehenge can only be accessed after the regular visiting hours are over. I had the choice of going in the early morning or at dusk. I chose the latter- that way I’d be awake to see the stones. Due to the time we visited(June 3rd), Our visit was close to sundown. It wasn’t the solstice, but there’s something magical about watching the sun set behind Stonehenge.
We had enough light during our time there to get a good look at the standing stones, though.
Look! My shadow! I hate posting photos of myself, but I’ll give that a pass.
With the sun so low, the best photos were taken with my back to the sun; of course, once I was inside Stonehenge, that meant that I’d have to put up with my shadow being in the photos.
The time we were scheduled to head out was the exact time that the sun set below the standing stones if seen from the path around the perimeter. That meant that I had to make a quick dash to catch the sunset from the right angle(2D photo).
While waiting for the bus, I took my only 3D infrared photo of Stonehenge(with a Zomei 760 nm filter).
It wasn’t perfect; I hadn’t experimented with 3D multi-spectral photos much before that trip. The security guard moved slightly between my taking my left and right photos. The sun was still above the horizon, so the stones were still brightly illuminated on this side.
I’m not going to talk too much about the infrared photo; I’ll post my 2D multi-spectral photos next week and analyze them in more detail.
Finally, as the tour bus started the return trip to London, I had one last view of the stones of Stonehenge in the setting sun.
I wasn’t too upset, though. have a feeling that it will still be around next time I visit.
The above photos were taken with dual Canon SX600 HS cameras. The infrared photo was taken with a modified Canon Rebel T3i camera