Wat Ounalom Monastery

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.

Enjoy.

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Wat Phnom

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

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Random Temple In Bangkok

I honestly have no idea what the name of this temple is in Bangkok. All I know is that it was off Khao San Road. In Thailand, a temple or a wat in Thai are a Baht a dozen.

To be fair, once you seen one wat you kinda of seen them all. There are only a few that stand out. The trick is to wander around the grounds until you find something different. Granted, I didn’t do that with this set but there was a Chinese Temple next to this one and I got a few shots.

Shot on a Nikon D5500 and a Sigma 17-50mm 2.0 – 4.0.

Enjoy.

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Palace Temple

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.

Enjoy.

Palace Temple

Stupa Steps

This is another from Thailand I never published. Unlike others, this one makes a glorious HDR so I’m going with it!

This image is from Wat Nong Yai which using my craptasitc Thai translates to Younger Big Temple. Nong means younger and yai means big. Thai being a tonal language I’m totally guessing since translation into English doesn’t always work cleanly unless you hear the words or can read Thai. My limited understanding means I miss tones a lot and I can’t read a word of Thai to save my life.

The story how I found this temple is interesting. I was at a local tourist trap that I’m not recommending. I could see a giant Buddha statue in the distance. So when I finished I headed that way. If you have been following long enough I have mentioned my awful sense of direction. So I was cutting down side streets looking for the temple entrance. On my second wrong turn I came into a vacant lot. I was immediately set on by a pack of dogs. Stray dogs in packs or solo are pretty common. Most are indifferent but you do get the occasional aggressive one.

Seeing how I didn’t want to get mauled to death I quickly gunned the bike and took off. The bad part was I was on a dirt path. This caused me to lose control of the bike and crash. Luckily the crash caused the dogs to panic as they weren’t sure what happened. I jumped to my feet, picked the bike up and hit the throttle to get the hell out of there. The minute the bike was moving the dogs were chasing me again until I hit the main road.

I was a bit shaken up but not horribly so. I continued my mission to find the temple. A temple being a community space would also be a nice place to check for damage on both me and the bike.

Found the correct turn and pulled into the temple. I had some scrapes on me and the bike from hitting the ground. Nothing serious. So got my gear and off for a wander on the grounds.

When I went to edit this I knew it was going to be HDR. Buildings and indoor stuff does well with HDR. So I ran the images through Aurora and just picked a preset. It looked good and I was happy. No need to start adding layers. Brought it into Photoshop and did some straightening (why I didn’t publish it before). Burned a bit here and there and called it done.

Enjoy.

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Reds and Golds

I have no idea what the temple is called. It’s located off of Sukhimvit Road. I was looking for it when I got into a motorbike accident while trying to escape a pack of dogs that were trying to attack me.

It was a very cool little local temple area. Not overflowing with tourists. To be honest, I was the only non-Thai there and there weren’t that many. No one had problems with me setting up for my shots and it was very quiet. After the near mauling from the dog pack it was what I needed to get back on the bike and ride back.

If you ever are in a Buddhist country always check out the local temples, far better then the tourist trap ones.

Enjoy.

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Little bit of Thailand in Virginia

I miss Thailand a lot.  It’s not a secret and with the weather being horrific around here I miss it even more.  There is a wat (temple) near me that serves the local Thai community so after a camera show where I picked up a 55mm 1.2 lens I headed out to Wat Yarnna Rangsee and shot these.  It was Noon so the light was horrible and the camera was still in jpeg mode which I realized AFTER this shoot but I liked the images.

Lit bit of Thailand in Virginia

Lit bit of Thailand in Virginia
At the feet of Buddha

Lit bit of Thailand in Virginia

Lit bit of Thailand in Virginia

Lit bit of Thailand in Virginia

Lit bit of Thailand in Virginia

Lit bit of Thailand in Virginia

Lit bit of Thailand in Virginia

Lit bit of Thailand in Virginia

Lit bit of Thailand in Virginia
Horrible light but this is an attempt to save Buddha.

 

 

Sala Roof

This was taken at the Bangkok Palace back in my heady days of not knowing what to do with a DSLR so walked around in “spray n pray” mode or full whack auto.  It seemed some shots were magical back then, this one wasn’t one of them but I really liked the color of the sala roof so I did what I could to get the image to pop and the sky went a bit grainy and while perfection is preferred sometimes you go with “slightly” off because it makes you happy.  Enjoy the color pop and my early days of photography.

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Canon XSi, 35mm, ISO 200, f/8.0, 1/125