Cambodia colour splash

We are winding up (or down) in Kampot. Our stay at The Columns has been very pleasant – recommended. Today was a long stint, starting with a visit to a fishing village, a targeted stroll around town and finishing with a visit to another Muslim village. The village was incredible. Without exception the people are warmly welcoming and we spent maybe 90-120 minutes entertaining the children as Gary flew his GPS controlled helicopter. They had clearly never seen such a thing before. They went wild and the small group expanded faster than my waistline until we had maybe 30 or 40 children and teenagers screaming with excitement and joy. At the end we distributed woven bracelets that we had bought in Phnom Penh and a few candies (not too many). We also promised photos of the visit. Who benefited more from the afternoon I don’t know but Steve had them all chanting “I love Cambodia” by the time we left. The conditions in which these children live would scare us, I promise you. Yet they show no signs of greed, envy or sadness at their lot in life. Their clothing is spectacularly colourful too. If only we could see Islam through this lens a little more frequently our prejudices might change – and of course the reverse applies. The essentials of life are very few and basic and laughter is infectious.

We also had a few accidents as no less than 4 of the 8 of us dropped our cameras. I led with my M9 being saved by the aluminium lens hood. You get what you pay for. It functions perfectly still, with just a few dents on one corner of the hood. Gary was less fortunate as his Monochrom M went under water and is currently being dried out in the hope it might work again tomorrow. The other two cameras also survived their falls.

Kampot is not a busy town but what it lacks in energy it compensates with colour. I took these this morning:

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They are very different from my standard output. Here are a few others that are less colourful.

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14 thoughts on “Cambodia colour splash

  1. Your expedition sounds like a trip of a lifetime for me. Someday! Colourful village indeed, and the first photo looks like a fresco in Italy. You really have a nice collection of images so far Andrew!

    • Thanks Barry. We have to pick 8 to show for our final presentations today. Sometimes our personal favourites are not the ‘best’ photos. I am down to 9 now and still have to reject one before I submit my batch.

  2. The first photo of the blue window shutters is the winner for me today. The photo looks like a watercolor that was done by an exceptional artist. I also really like the fantastic yellow/orange color of the house. The color is gorgeous. If the people are so poor I am trying to understand how they can even afford to buy paint. I enjoyed reading about the children. That is an exprience that will remain with them for a life time. You and the group were able to bring a lot of joy to the chldren and that of itself is something that you will remember with fondness. It might even be better that grabbing photos for that day. I am glad that you camera survived and I am sure you are more than relieved. Do none of you have a strap that allows you to at least hold your camera besides carrying the camera as if it were a box in your hand?

    • Thanks Yvonne. The blue window shutters came out better than expected. We all have camera straps but don’t always use them. The accidents tend to happen when taking the camera off to shoot from a difficult angle, change to a different camera etc. I often just hold my camera by the grip as it is then out of sight and not hanging round my neck in full view. Lesson learned

  3. It’s amazing how resilient cameras are, the dent on the hood is a battle scar to remind you of the trip.
    I hope Gary’s camera dries out, hopefully it was fresh water and not salt water he decided to dunk it in 😮

  4. I don’t want your Cambodia trip to end. Can you stay on a bit longer? I’m really enjoying seeing the work that you are making there. It’s inspiring Mr Hardacre 😀

  5. What an amazing trip. It’s been wonderful seeing all the images and reading your commentaries.
    Good luck with eliminating poor number nine.

  6. I hope we get to see which eight you chose, and hear what sort of feedback you got. Is the child saying ‘Please don’t go Mr Photographer?’

    I used to drop out to a simple life even when I was in my teens in school. Polynesia was my choice of destination back then. While some of us do get as far as downsizing and leading a more simple life it’s all relative. For most of us the societal pressures and the greed and consumerism of western society precludes the majority of people from even considering a life shift. Which ironically often needs money to be able to do. There endeth Sunday’s philosophy lesson.

  7. Again, I very much prefer the two monochrome portraits. you are developing your own style and viewing and you have the eye for it! Great work, Andrew!

  8. loving all the images, Andrew, … whether it be life shots or colourful painted walls and Windows… views to another lifestyle… As Yvonne says, there’s ‘something’ special about the blue windows shutters.. as if they’ve got a story to tell. xPenx

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