Photo of the Day (11.16.10)

This Sunday marked the beginning of the Hajj, the world’s largest annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. As the fifth pillar of Islam, the pilgrimage is a religious duty that must be carried out by every able-bodied Muslim that can do so. Saudi officials have reported that a record-breaking 3.4 million people are expected to come from all corners of the globe to perform the Hajj this year.

This astounding photo, titled “Headed to Mecca” was taken by Flickr user Theodore Kaye as a mother prepares to leave Osh, southern Kyrgyzstan for Mecca. I love that Theodore was able to be present for and capture the intimacy of this moment and took advantage of the lighting to make the image even more beautiful. The result of being in the right place at the right time, and knowing how to capture a great photograph.

If you want to see more of the Hajj, put up an amazing series of images of this year’s processions. Also worth checking out is’s short documentary of an inside look at the pilgrimage. What’s your personal Mecca? Share it with us by adding photos to our Flickr group and it could be our next Photo of the Day.

Photo of the Day (9/2/06)

Looking at a photo like this one might imagine that the large group of villagers dressed in their everyday attire have come together to watch a wrestling match or two goats brutally head-butt each other, but in this case both guesses would be so wrong. This shot of on-lookers was captured by teokaye at a Tajik wedding. The children look on so intensely it really makes you wonder. He notes that 85% of everyone doesn’t participate and isn’t even invited at most Tajik village weddings. In Tajik culture it’s pretty much a given that they’ll show up. Only family and friends dance. Now that’s how you crash a wedding party!