Ethiopia – Land of burnt faces

Ethiopia in greek means the “Land of burnt faces”.

I will be giving a talk of the same name to the Newton Abbot Photo Club on Tues 25th Oct at 7.30pm. See the clubs programme at

This shot was taken at a monastery on my first trip to northern Ethiopia in 2006. I was in a party of 8 travellers, and the only photographer in the group on the “Historic Route” trip. We had arrived at the monastery, got out of the bus and I had left my telephoto lens on the locked bus. I was standing next to a guard with a rifle and I saw this young woman appear on the top of the steps for a few seconds to look at the white “ferangies” (Amharic for foreigners). She was about 30 yards from me, had I walked towards her she would have move back inside meaning the shot would be lost.

This picture should have been taken with the 400mm lens locked in the bus. It was actually taken with a 105mm and huge crop from the centre of the frame. This rendition of the file was reprinted today. In my original interpretation in 2006 the stonework was alot darker making the girl alot more prominent.

See my website for more pictures of Ethiopia.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS

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