This photo shows a group of people crossing the street. There are more people belonging to the same group, but they are out of camera range to the left. The people at the front are very happy: the woman to the right is conversing with the man in the dark suit, who is caught mid-sentence and mid-stride (if he were a little boy, he would be skipping). The man seems to be saying “We nailed it!” Or perhaps he is saying “I nailed it!” because only the people nearest him are smiling. The people still entering the frame are more subdued.
This photo was taken in downtown Washington D.C. near the Folklife Festival on June 29, 2016, with a Canon EOS Rebel SL1. Specs are ISO 100, f/13, 1/125 sec, 50mm (35 mm equivalent of 80 mm).
This photo shows flip-flops and sandals that have been abandoned on the beach in Fort Cochin in the state of Kerala in South India. To keep the beach clean for the many visitors, someone has collected the shoes into a large pile at the edge of the sand.
This photo was taken on March 17, 2013 with an Olympus TG-1. Specs are f/3.2, 1/640 sec, ISO 200, 9 mm (35 mm equivalent of 49 mm) focal length.
This photo was taken on October 23, 2016, in Green Spring Gardens, a public park in Alexandria, Virginia, with a Canon EOS Rebel SL1. Specs are ISO 100, f/8, 1/13 sec, 55 mm. This fallen tree appears to have the beak and eye of a large bird. The eye color is created by green leaves seen through a large knothole.
We have been planning future trips and one place we want to revisit is Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Angkor Wat is the largest temple complex in the world, built at about the same time as the great cathedrals were being constructed in Europe. The temples are a blend of Hindu and Buddhist sanctuaries.
We visited before in March 2013 and found it fascinating but VERY hot. We have learned more about photography since then and hope to have some interesting shots when the weather is a little nicer.
Our guide on the last visit was a former Buddhist monk and our driver (who spoke no English) turned out to be a moonlighting medical doctor who would drive us during the day and work at the clinic in the evenings. After seeing various signs telling us to follow the marked paths because there might be landmines in other places, we followed our guide closely. Our earlier visit to Angkor Wat is described in a blog post at this link.
The Angkor Wat complex is enormous and beautiful. When we were there in 2013, it was crowded with tourists and (did I mention?) HOT. The following photo is a polar panorama of one face of the main temple complex.
One highlight of most visits is seeing the temples during sunrise and sunset. We arranged to see both views with our guide. One evening, we and our guide trekked up a steep slope to see sunset. Unfortunately, the sky was cloudy. As our guide put it “Too bad it is cloudy; sometimes this is very nice.” (Sometimes tourism is less exciting.) The next morning, we got up very early to see sunrise, shown in the following photo.
The temples are made of sandstone blocks set in place without mortar. After the blocks were placed, their blank faces were ornately carved by skilled craftsmen.
The scale of the complex is amazing. The follow photo shows a small part of an inner courtyard.
The individual buildings are covered on the outside with aging but elaborate carvings.
The walls on the interior of the buildings are also covered with ornate relief carvings such as the dancing girls in the following photo. These are the Apsaras of Hindu mythology.
There has been an active Buddhist religious presence in the complex. This was true even after the temples were “lost” and before they were “discovered” by the French in the 1800’s. The following photo shows one of the giant Buddha heads that adorn the exterior of the Banyan Wat.
Here is one of several active Buddhist shrines within the complex.
By being early and quick, we managed to get photos without too many people. Angkor Wat is so popular that such photos are deceiving. The next photo is more representative of our visit. Our guide is one of the tiny figures below at ground level.