Being the biggest religious complex in the world and the main attraction in Cambodian tourism, Angkor Wat and Siem Reap town are definitely some of the most visited places in the world. But then you see the photos of travellers and they’re mostly the same, with no variations or creativity whatsoever. If you’re planning to visit, why not try something different and follow our little photography challenge as a way to have alternative pictures from your vacations?
The most important thing is not the final result, a bunch of pictures that will “collect dust” in your hard drive or trigger jealous feelings in your friends back home (seriously, not cool to share your travel photos in tropical locations while they are trapped in the office!). The most interesting thing about a photography challenge is the awareness that comes from it, the fact that you pay more attention to the environment around you while looking for the perfect pictures to take. It’s like meditation, a tool for being present in the moment!
(Another one, even more effective as a tool for paying more attention to details and truly appreciate what’s around us, is drawing instead of shooting… you don’t have to know how to draw, it’s just a way for keeping your mind focused on the same thing for a while to properly savour all its characteristics.)
So, shall we start the challenge? You can start by taking pictures of:
- local kids playing
- textures of temple’s walls
- some detail of a statue (e.g. their funny feet)
- a minimal portrait of a temple (e.g. focusing on a single object)
- a photo of a temple tower through another temple door
Here are some examples:
And now you can continue to another level…
- a picture that plays with light and shadow
- and one that plays with reflection
- different textures in the same scene (e.g. stone and tree)
- a silhouette (e.g. a dark tree trunk with light passing through its leaves)
- something that can stand as a metaphor for contrasts or opposites
- a photo that shows movement/action/gesture being made
- a detail of something or someone that represents the local culture
- a portrait of someone you don’t know
- a portrait of someone after connecting with him/her and collecting his/her story
For instance this happy fella from the Khmer sandwich was already chef on the Grand Angkor Hotel, even cooked for the King Norodom Sihanouk in the past! Now he quit his job to take over his wife food stall while she’s pregnant with their baby. Ming Tyn (his name) was born in a small village inside what is now the Angkor complex, but he and all the rest of the villagers were evicted from their homes by the Apsara Authority in order to make the touristic complex.
Anyway, about your photo challenge, what did you notice while looking for this kind of pictures? Did you get more present in the moment and felt paying more attention to your surroundings? What surprised you the most (in your photos, in the act of photographing, etc) while doing this?
Hope you had fun doing this photography challenge while visiting Angkor Wat temples and please, feel free to share your pictures with us! Or if you still didn’t have the chance to check out the temples and Siem Reap town, check out the best ways to get to Siem Reap on CamboTicket. See you there 🙂