Bakheng sunrise

A 5am start for Bakheng to see the sun rise over Angkor Wat. A reasonable reward.

A beautiful morning. Sadly the temples are hugely overcrowded even with a dramatic drop in Chinese visitors because of the coronavirus. It was like conveyor belt tourism. Move. Stop. Here is where you take the picture. You have 20 seconds. Next. I gave up and left. Another reason why I loathe group tours. Bakheng isn’t (yet) commercialised and was very quiet. Except for us.

This is me flouncing out of Angkor Wat.

Return from Cambodia

I am back in Hong Kong. I slept like a log last night. The temperature is scarily high here and I pity those who have no air con. Because our house has so much glass the warming effect is magnified. I don’t think I shall go very far today.

My final 8 picks from the Southern leg of the trip were shown but there is no feedback on these. My stats show I have taken 3000 photos give or take a few (including North and South legs of the trip) but bear in mind many of these are duplicates as I shot RAW and jpegs simultaneously for much of the time – so maybe  1500 – 1800 would be a more accurate count. I will delete all the rejects once I have backed up all the files and only then will I format my cards. My final picks number 31 and I have a ‘success’ rate of around 1%.

Some of these are experimental and because of the speed at which I reviewed and processed it is quite possible that I will find hidden gems and grow tired of some of the 31.

Here are a few favourites:


Kidsgroupmono2 (1 of 1)The first 2 I like because they portray the kids of Cambodia as they are. A lot of grittiness in the images and not so many smiles. Probably that is because they are not sure how to react to the camera. Once they become used to our presence they hardly stop smiling. The sterner faces here, perhaps a touch bewildered by a group of 8 photographers roaming the streets of their village, are more in keeping with how we would see their lifestyle rather than how they see it. The group reminded me of the old poem,

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;

We are those Assyrians and our cameras and lenses gleam as we descend to take our images……

The next image I picked because it is so different from my normal output yet somehow for me it just works.

L1003198-2This is what we learned to call a detail shot. I love the colour, the bracelet the slight lack of confidence in the hands and no hint of what the child looks like – left to the imagination.

Hands-2Another abstract. A reflection on the left and an open window on the right with a mirror inside reflecting the curtain drapes. Frames within frames and reflections upon reflections. Lots of layers,  colour spilling out all over the scene. And like nothing I would normally shoot.

L1003145-2Another colour / abstract. The hull of a boat. Colour riot in a drab environment. The lowest section also shaped like the hull of a boat.  Does the blue tube spoil it? It reminded me of the literary concept Verfremdungseffekt. A bit of a push maybe but I found a definition of it as ” a technique used in theater and cinema that prevents the audience from losing itself completely in the narrative, instead making it a conscious critical observer.”  Maybe the tube jolts me out the ordinary and forces me to look at it differently.

BoatcolourabstractI’m sure there are others, such as the laughing muslim man, that might have made my half-dozen but at least for today these are my chosen few.

A big thank you to Gary Tyson and F8 Photography.

Time to rest this morning and then start a little work this afternoon.