January 6, 2007
We’ve spent three days in Cambodia shooting temples in Siem Reap Province. This particular shot was done at sunrise at one of the smaller ruins. We climbed for about 35 minutes up a hill to find this temple. Since I’ve already shot over one hundred images of this genre I wanted to get something a little different.
Climbing the stairs to the top of the temple is quite the task. The steps are narrow and quite high. I felt as If I was mounting climbing.
So it just so happens that as I came eye level with the last step, the temple in the back looked so iddy bitty small.
And that is how I thought of shooting something larger than life in a diferent perspective.
January 5, 2007
I was walking through a hallway lined with columns to my right. The space between the wall and the pillars was probably 8 feet wide. At about 7:30 in the morning, the sun was high enough and It’s light warm enough not to wash out the scriptures on the wall.
I’ve been trying a diferent approach with how I’m shooting lately. For the longest time I’ve tried capturing people in my frame in order to make the image. I don’t know what inspired me to start shooting more abstract images. I think it might be a challange to bring life to non living subjects.
December 24, 2006
These are the latest images I’ve edited and posted on my flickr account. They were shot on Christmas day.
Vietnam’s most famous photographer, who happens to be a friend of Doug’s took us on a day trip through some of Nha Trang rural villages. We began our day early to take advantage of the rising sun.
December 23, 2006
Trekking through the hills of Sapa, I encountered two local girls selling their handmade anklets and bracelets. I really didn’t want to buy anything. By this time I was getting accustomed to walking through large crowds of locals who tried in vain to get my attention. It just works best not to strike too much of a conversation because I know I don’t really need 20 post cards for the equivalence of a dollar, or one dozen bananas, blankets, baskets, custom fitted shoes, motorbikes, deep fried sweets, horn blowers, travel tours, guides; have I mentioned 20 postcards yet?
I know that some travelers feel guilty of walking through other people’s lands without contributing, but it depends on how you define charity. I choose to give to those who really are in need. They are often the ones who go out of their way to render me a service sincerely without asking anything in return.
In this particular case, I was trying a tactic I devised back at the Singapore Airport. Walking out of the customs booth, which served as the dividing line between us and the gangs of cab drivers, I was taken aback at the site of all the tropical greenery displayed behind them. My body which was reconditioned to breathing recycled air for over 36hours of planes and boarding lounges was craving to let the humidity trigger my sweat glands to perspire, and shower me thoughroughly, allowing me to feel the wind in it’s pure form one more time.
The tactic came as a mere coincidence that coincided with the timing in which I withdrew the camera from the bag and elevated it to my eye level. Pointing the camera in the direction of the gardens outside the airport caused all the cab drivers to turn away. It was as if I had brought out a secret weapon moments before we were devoured by the mob. I continued marching ahead, watching each driver spinning off to my right and to my left clearing the way for us to make a clean and safe exit out into the street.
At that point I thought, Hey just point the camera in their direction and just like that, they’re gone!
So that’s exactly what I tried with this young girl in the picture. The only thing is that she had a tactic all her own. She was diligently trained in the art of aggressive sentimental selling. “Plese sur bye me this.” “Plese sur u take dis frum me” over and over and over until you’re almost happy to give them the money just to get them to let you pass. But not this time, Carlos had it all figured out! With my secret weapon already out of its holster and ready to strike, I immediately pointed my camera at the little girl. Her reaction was to demand one dollar for the picture I had taken. I smiled and clicked away. Once she realized I wasn’t about to stop photographing her she began to contort her face and stick out her toungue yelling and screaming so that I would not have the pleasure of getting away with a proper post card shot out of her.
The thing was that I probably got one of my favorite images of the trip thus far.
Oh and for those with the guilty charity complex, you’d be happy to know that I upheld the honorable charity code.
December 23, 2006
This was one day where the weather proved to be the best for us to shoot these temples
December 15, 2006
Friday December 15th 2006
I’m Currently at the “Gold Dragon Hotel” in Hanoi. This is the capital city of Vietnam. We’re in the Old Quarter which combines the colonial Parisian and Asian architecture. It’s a very peaceful city. A nice place to begin our journey.
The plan for the next three days is the following:
Take the 8:30 train from the Hanoi Railway station to Sapa. It is an 8 hour trip from here.
Sapa is home to the H’mong and Dzao people. The largest ethnic groups in the region. Mostly they are very poor, but are rapidly learning spirit of free enterprise. This city lies in Northwest Vietnam . The site of a former hill railroad station built in 1922. Nestled in a valley close to the chinese border, the scenery includes rice terraces and a range of hilltops filled with lucious vegetation.
We should be here for two days. On Saturday the locals have their weekly market. It will be nice to see all hand made products sold by the those who actually make them.
We will then be hicking through some of the hills to photograph the surrounding this beautifull area.
We will depart from the Sapa on Sunday afternoon and take the overnight train back here to the Gold Dragon Hotel early Monday morning.*(note to self- take the second malaria pill!)*
There will be enough time for a shower and a nice breakfast. Then onto Halong Bay.
I’m looking forward to this part of the Journey as this area is one of the most breath taking sites. There are 3000 or more islands rising from the emerald wares of the Gulf of Tonkin. These tiny islands are dotted with beaches and groettoes created by wind and waves. “Halong” translates as where the dragon descends into the sea.
One of highlights of this trip will be the overnight boat that will take us along the bay to view these islands by night and at sunrise. If it rains there may be reduced visibility which will not allow us to see all the islands at once, but either way, I’m sure there will be lots to see.
On Tuesday, we will return to Hanoi and depart on an overnight train to Danang. From there we will take a bus or taxi to Hoian.
I will write more on Hoian as I need to research more about that port that apperantly has a lot of history.
December 15, 2006
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