26
Jul 17

Photographing Ankgor Wat

Everybody wants to travel to Cambodia and experience the beauty and grandeur of Ankgor Wat. The area is quite large and crowded so be prepared to do a fair amount of walking to explore the complex of lakes, moats, out buildings, and main temple.

Monk. Angkor Wat, Cambodia. 2017

Sunrise photography seems to be the thing to do. Guide books will tell you to arrive at the complex as early as 5AM in order to photograph the main temple complex. The problem is that everybody will be lined up in front of one of the lakes at the entrance and the sunrise will occur in the east, in your face, backlighting the all the buildings. There will be no beautiful morning glow, only silhouettes. Perhaps there will be clouds in the sky with an interesting orange patina, but honestly if you’re not prepared, it can be really disappointing.

Sunrise Crowd. Angkgor Wat, Cambodia. 2017

Christy and myself hadn’t realized we would be facing in to the rising sun when we got up at 4:30AM to take our tuk tuk over to Angor Wat. I had prepared as I typically do by ensuring that my gear was cleaned, batteries charged and everything was in order the night before. I even took the time to assemble my tripod and get out my 24mm landscape lens for the first time in months.

When we arrived at shortly after 5AM, there was already a large crowd, and looking at the sky I realized that the light would be all wrong for what I had envisioned. Perhaps some lovely silhouettes? If I were to prepare to photograph Ankgor Wat at sunrise again, I would do a time laspe.  Ultimately though, if you want to photograph the temple complex in beautiful light, late afternoon is the time to go.

Lacey White. Angkor Wat, Cambodia. 2017


29
Jun 17

Buddhist Monks of Laos

The saffron robes of buddhist monks are gorgeous, but even more beautiful are their serene faces.

Buddhist Monks. Laos, 2017.


23
Jun 17

Motor Scooter Monks, Cambodia

Buddhist Monk. Cambodia, 2017.


06
Mar 17

Travel in Bhutan

Bhutan is unique and special. The flight into Paro Airport is legendary and exciting. Nestled on the southern slope of the Himalayas, this small buddhist country has become famous for it’s “Gross National Happiness” in contrast to gross national product. Indeed it’s main sources of revenue are hydroelectric power and tourism. The people are lovely, their fabrics colorful and the yak tasty.

Monk twirling prayer beads, Bhutan. 2016.

As with many paces in Asia, the people don’t mind being photographed as long as it is done in a respectful manner. It is not acceptable to photograph inside a shrine or temple or to photograph monks during prayer.

Master Monk, Bhutan. 2016

The Bhutanese are master artisans and take pride in preserving their traditional arts and crafts.

Weaver, Bhutan, 2016

They have worked closely with the Japanese in developing their paper industry. Being a paper junky and collector I visited one of their paper making facilities and had a great time watching and photographing them at work. It is very similar to other handcrafted processes I’ve seen in other countries yet they manage to put their own unique stamp on it.

Papermaker, Bhutan. 2016.

While visiting one of the remote monasteries, a group of nomads arrived with their families to receive blessings from the monks and masters. It was a fortunate time for us to be there.

In the kitchen, Bhutan. 2016

 


08
Sep 12

China’s Earliest Buddhist Temple

In the ruins of the ancient city of Kashgar, we visited the Mor Pagoda. It was the first Buddhist Temple established in China and dates from the 2nd century AD. Ancient Kashgar was an important city along the Silk Road but was abandoned in the 10th century after internal strife and a war of succession led to the adoption of Islam as the official religion. When the city location was moved 30 km away, it continued to be an important Silk Road destination.

 


28
Aug 12

Across the Pamirs

We completed our three day crossing of the Pamir Mountians to China by way of the Torugart Pass. Two days were spent in high altitude yurt camps. I have a detailed account coming as well as more photos. There’s no youtube here so I won’t be able to upload more video for a while.

Yesterday we visited the first Buddhist temple in China, built in the 2nd century AD in the ancient pre-Islamic city of old Kashgar. I have video, in fact I have several vids and photos ready to go but I can’t seem to upload anything here. I’m going to see how it goes. More updates should be up soon.

Yikes! edited for typos.