I was in Cambodia last month just to get out of Thailand for a bit. I generally try and disappear from Thailand periodically to have a holiday from my holiday as I call it. It’s not every person that can say they wake up to a view of the Gulf of Thailand as their daily view.
During my time in Phnom Penh this time it pissed down daily. We are talking torrential rains for several hours. When it wasn’t doing that it was threatening. The other joy was it was 1000 Degrees pick it in Celsius or Fahrenheit doesn’t matter. It was hot. I’m used to a breeze coming off the Gulf of Thailand so no breeze sucked.
Anyways, I saw Wat Ounalom on a previous visit to the city and this was the first chance I got to stop in. It also helped it wasn’t going to piss down immediately, of course, it was my last day in the country so go figure.
I didn’t bring any of the bigger cameras. Instead, I just used my trusty Sony RX100iii and it did what it handled the photos well.
For those wondering why the long absence. Part of it has been my laziness to edit. It’s tedious at times. The other issue is I switched from Mac to PC which is a bit of a learning curve remembering how to use a Windows keyboard for Windows again versus Mac.
If you did visit and ended up on some Japanese language page, well the site was hacked. Luckily in my previous life, I was an IT Director so with some Google searches I took control of the site and resolved the issue. Then it was a matter of watching to see who was trying to hack me again. Then shut them down on a permanent basis. That took a few weeks.
So my goal is a few photos a few times a week as I am sitting on one giant backlog of images.
I shot these last year when I was in Phnom Penh for a couple weeks. Wat Phnom is the main temple everyone goes to if they are in Phnom Penh. It’s a mixture of a tourist trap and a local temple. There is an entrance fee of $1 (Cambodia uses the US Dollar) but you can easily just step over the rope and avoid paying it. I saw a lot of cheap ass tourists doing this, it is a dollar and if you have money to fly into Cambodia or South East Asia you can afford a dollar to get into the temple. The dollar would just mean one less beer on the river during happy hour or just find a spot that offers the .50 cent beers instead. Yes, Cambodia does have .50 cent draft beers!
There isn’t a lot to say about Wat Phnom, to be honest, it’s run down and rather dirty. Cambodia doesn’t have the tourist income like Thailand does so their temples aren’t as lavish. When you factor in cheap asses avoiding the $1 fee you can see why the temple isn’t that great. Still, recommend a visit. There are monkeys running around but I could not get a shot. Just ignore the usual temple beggars and try not to let the trash that is a around distracts you from your visit.
All images shot on a Nikon D5500 with a Sigma 17-70mm 2.8 – 4.0
This is the second set of images from this series. These were shot all last October using my Sony RX10.
I’m back I guess!? I don’t know to be honest. To be perfectly clear, I do photography for other things other than fun. So now, it’s less of a hobby that paid me on the side and more of something else.
Do I know that living in Thailand versus the US my time is limited for personal work. Part of this is when you have to do portrait stuff constantly, the last thing you want to do is pick up a camera and go out. I don’t want to force it and just turn out crappy images, but I also find myself taking snaps that are for me only. Usually on my phone and I’m done and move on.
The reality is, I live a life some dream of. I live an exotic location (ok, it’s Pattaya and a crappy resort town), but the reality is I do live in an area not seen by a lot of people and my “commute” is something on the surreal side unless you live it daily and most in the West aren’t going to dodge soi dogs, food carts, taxi drivers, potholes the size of small South East Asian Countries, people, and see some of the stuff I take for granted.
Now these images were shot in Cambodia over 2 trips. Which you may be asking, why am I showing Cambodia images versus where I live? Easy, I shot in Cambodia. I wasn’t doing portrait stuff so I had the inclination to shoot and carry a camera. I was on holiday from my holiday. Like it or not, even retired, you get bored.
These images were shot in Phnom Penh over 2 trips. October of last year and February of this year. One set shot on a Sony RX10 and the other set shot on a Nikon D5500 with a Sigma 25-80 lens.
PS – If you notice some inconsistencies, I’ll freely admit it took me a bit to get back into the swing of editing these type of photos again. I do portrait work, whole other world of editing.
This is from the Silver Pagoda which is attached to the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh Cambodia. No idea whose tomb it is since I didn’t take the offer of the tour and just did my own thing.
This image is almost purely out of the camera. Beyond using a profile setting and doing some slider adjustments I was happy with it. I did use a gradient for the sky and dodging and burning but that was all. Sounds like a lot but trust, me the Sony RX10 did all the work.
I will confess to using a polarizing filter on the camera to get the sky that blue. Otherwise, more or less what I shot.
This is the actual temple for the Royal Palace in Cambodia. The thing is you can’t take any photos inside. I once got yelled at in the Bangkok Royal Palace because my tried to take one quietly, they know what shutter noise sounds like. With a mirrorless I could have done it but living over in South East Asia now I understand some things aren’t done so don’t push it.
I just like the roof of these temples, they are so intricate in their design. While this one isn’t the most elaborate it’s still a very cool roof. The inside is where the good stuff is but as I indicated, no photo zone.
Nothing but pure Photoshop on this since none of my plugins are working. So I’m going purist for thet time being until my schedule permits me the time to shift over to a PC and get things working.
No idea if this roof was part of the palace or the temple at the Royal Palace in Cambodia. There were so many parts sealed off and I was using a zoom lens that I can’t remember.
Based just on the architecture my guess is it’s a palace building roof. The temple used a slightly different style architecture but I’m not 100%. Still, the way royal and temple buildings are done in South East Asia are really elaborate. I could totally live in a house with a roof like that. Repairs may be a bit costly but I figure I can afford a roof like that repairs may not be an issue.
Editing this I went with a quick run through with Aurora HDR 2017 so it has a bit of HDR in it. Then I went ahead and did a bit of dodging and burning and called it a day.
I have no real idea if this is the grand entrance to the Royal Palace in Cambodia or not but it is in my world.
I have tried to edit this photo countless times. First time Photoshop kept crashing from one of my plug-ins. I gave up and walked away. Then I got got so sick I could barely get out of bed. I’m going to call it malaria or something exotic instead of the flu.
Today I finally got to edit this only for Photoshop to crash again. This time I went enough, it recovered to a state I was happy enough in so left it alone.
I’d tell you how I edited it but to be honest, I gave up after a bit because of the crashing. I think it may be time I move to a Windows Machine and give up some of my plugins.
One of the gates at the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. What is funny about these is that they are all along the palace walls but you can only get in at one place.
You can also make out some of the mural along the wall on the inside. This is standard I guess because the Royal Palace in Bangkok had the same thing when I visited there.
I did make this HDR out of a single image. For stuff like this HDR works well. So a single image HDR was done in Aurora and I called it done.
I freely admit that I may be guessing at this but I do believe this is a royal tomb at the Silver Pagoda which is attached to the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh. I know this simply by listening to the tour guide that was giving a tour. I generally skip the guides, not due to costs but I’m there for photos and I don’t think its fair for me to drag a guide around while I frame shots or look for different angles.
There are a few of these around the temple grounds, each for a different member of the royal family (again, based on what I heard). This was like one of the first ones I encountered when I walked into that area of the palace compound.
This is a bit HDR but I didn’t go overboard. I just used one exposure to make it. To keep the image from breaking down I didn’t push it too much. On the smaller sensor cameras the image quality can go to crap quickly if you start pushing pixels.