Atlantis – Lost City?

High altitude image of Atlantis?

When I saw the WordPress Daily Prompt of City today, the first thing that popped into my mind was the lost city/island/continent of Atlantis.

Atlantis (Ancient Greek: Ἀτλαντὶς νῆσος, “island of Atlas”) is a fictional island mentioned within an allegory on the hubris of nations in Plato’s works Timaeus and Critias, where it represents the antagonist naval power that besieges “Ancient Athens”, the pseudo-historic embodiment of Plato’s ideal state.

In the story, Athens repels the Atlantean attack, unlike any other nation of the (western) known world, supposedly giving testament to the superiority of Plato’s concept of a state. At the end of the story, Atlantis eventually falls out of favor with the gods and famously submerges into the Atlantic Ocean.

Frosts-of-Atlantis_MG_3457
Frosts of Atlantis

Despite its minor importance in Plato’s work, the Atlantis story has had a considerable impact on literature. The allegorical aspect of Atlantis was taken up in utopian works of several Renaissance writers, such as Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis and Thomas More’s Utopia.

On the other hand, 19th-century amateur scholars misinterpreted Plato’s account as historical tradition, most notably in Ignatius L. Donnelly’s Atlantis: The Antediluvian World. Plato’s vague indications of the time of the events — more than 9,000 years before his day  — and the alleged location of Atlantis — “beyond the Pillars of Hercules” — has led to much pseudoscientific speculation.  As a consequence, Atlantis has become a byword for any and all supposed advanced prehistoric lost civilizations and continues to inspire contemporary fiction, from comic books to films.

While present-day philologists and historians accept the story’s fictional character, there is still debate on what served as its inspiration. The fact that Plato borrowed some of his allegories and metaphors — most notably the story of Gyges — from older traditions has caused a number of scholars to investigate possible inspiration of Atlantis from Egyptian records of the Thera eruption, the Sea Peoples invasion, or the Trojan War.  Others have rejected this chain of tradition as implausible and insist that Plato designed the story from scratch, drawing loose inspiration from contemporary events like the failed Athenian invasion of Sicily in 415–413 BC or the destruction of Helike in 373 BC.

This leaves Atlantis as one of the ultimate mystery locations… and my photo does not help to reveal its coordinates!

Technical Details

The image was captured with a Canon EOS 5D Mk II using an EF 24-105mm f/4L lens.  Exposure settings were 1/100 second at f/6.3 and 400 ISO.

Author: jansenphoto

A Fresh Perspective Photography is more than just a vehicle for capturing the world around me; it provides me with a palette and a set of brushes, with which I paint not only what I see, but also look to express the emotions that are evoked by the scene in front of me in that moment. Growing up in the Netherlands exposed me to a wide cross-section of visual arts that laid the foundation of my photographic view of all that surrounds me. Early influences were the Dutch Masters of the 17th century, to whom I was introduced by my grandfather during museum explorations; favorites among them are the scenes of quotidian life depicted by Jan Steen and Frans Hals and the vivid landscapes of Jacob van Ruisdael. My classical high school education was supplemented by the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum, where I spent many a lunch hour exploring its great collection. Here I was introduced to surrealism with a particular love for the approach taken by Salvador Dali; Dali also rekindled my appreciation for the work of Hieronymus Bosch, who often showed the folly of us mortals. Universal Connections My approach to any photographic subject is to look for understanding first; in this I look to establish either a connection between the viewer and the subject or capture the connection of the subject with its surroundings. The captured image then aims to portray this connection from a perspective that is part of my personal interpretation. This interpretation is often a form of externalized introspection, which may alternately display the connection of isolated beings and items with their environment or highlight the whimsy of the profound world, in which we find ourselves. The universe is full of connections, many of which are waiting to be discovered; part of my journey as a photographer is to document these connections. Any assignment, be it an event, a product shoot or a portrait session is always approached through communication with the client; this is where the first connection is established. Ideas are exchanged and a collaborative plan of action forms, ultimately resulting in a set of images that aim to exceed the expectations of each client. And, lest we forget, it is important to have fun while practicing the serious business of photography!

6 thoughts on “Atlantis – Lost City?”

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