Sunset at Pigeon Rocks, Beirut. These two giant rocks are a major landmark, the turning point for walks along the Corniche from central Beirut. The cliffs nearby are a favourite spot for young men to test their bravery by diving off.
Lebanon – Photo Tip

Why sometimes, a photo needs context

Photo by Jurjen Drenth

Lebanon – Photo Tip Why sometimes, a photo needs context

It was a great surprise to find some really amazing scenery in busy Beirut: the Pigeon Rocks.

Jurjen Drenth
Jurjen Drenth Travel Photographer

Beirut is a cosmopolitan city, with over two million inhabitants. It’s bustling with activity, from street sellers to boys playing loud music or guys on motorbikes. And then there's the Pigeon Rocks, two giant rocks which you would expect off the coast of Australia, right in the middle of all the big city hustle.

The Pigeon Rocks are part of a rocky coastline bordered by the Corniche, which is very popular for evening strolls. Guys prove their bravery by jumping off the steep cliffs nearby, couples go there to enjoy the sunset and families set up picnics.

In other words: you will never find yourself alone there. Yet most photos I have seen show these rocks as if they are from another planet where no people live, totally detached from the mainland.

I wanted to do the opposite: include the coming and going of people in my photos, show the importance of the place in the daily lives of people, yet illustrate the park-like quality it is used for since Beirut has very few green spaces.

Around sunset I decided to include the sun in my frame to create more atmosphere. The right moment came when a small motor boat showed up and started circling the rocks. Creating great depth and showing the human scale. Just what I needed!

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Sunset at Pigeon Rocks, Beirut. These two giant rocks are a major landmark, the turning point for walks along the Corniche from central Beirut. The cliffs nearby are a favourite spot for young men to test their bravery by diving off. Photo by Jurjen Drenth

Jurjen Drenth

Jurjen Drenth

Nikon SUPER COOLSCAN 5000 ED

Sunset at Pigeon Rocks, Beirut. These two giant rocks are a major landmark, the turning point for walks along the Corniche from central Beirut. The cliffs nearby are a favourite spot for young men to test their bravery by diving off.

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