Cambodia – Siem Reap.

The temples around Angkor Wat in Cambodia would have to be one of my favourite places to take other photographers, particularly those who have not been before. Even in such a heavily visited place the sense of discovery and wonder is still very real and it’s a place I wish I could go again ‘for the first time’.

We managed to side-step most of the busiest places by carefully planning our trip to take advantage of lulls in the visitor numbers – this is something I take great care over because it’s very hard to make good images in large crowds. The vast majority of visitors go to Angkor Wat at sunrise, therefore we don’t! We would be waiting at the gate of another temple for the local security guards to open the gate and so get a good hour or so before the visitor numbers picked up.

Over the course of the five days we rarely had any difficulty getting the images we wanted and wandering alone around a temple like, say, Preah Khan in the early morning light is an experience to be savoured.

It’s not all temples however, I think that people photography is where the most satisfying challenges lie. Good people photos are the hardest to get, but the most pleasing to view, in my opinion anyway. We used the services of an excellent local guide, Socheat Ly, who got us access to a few temples ‘back stage’ as it were. The best photos are always when you have time to consider what and how you are photographing by setting things up we all made some excellent images in this way. You can see some examples below.

Next year I am planning trips to Greece and Cuba, as well as the currently available New Zealand trip in April and the in-planning trip to Uluru in May.

Nick Rains
November 2017