A Smoky Dawn Breaks Over Bagan

This is our entry in Lost in Translation’s THURSDAY’S SPECIAL: PICK A WORD IN APRIL – Y3.  The word is dawning.

This is a view of dawn breaking over the thousands of temples in Bagan, Myanmar. The rays from the rising sun are accentuated by the smoke from burning grasses.

This photo was taken on February 10, 2017. Specs are:

Olympus TG-4, ISO 100, f/6.3, 1/320 sec, 18 mm

For a different view featuring hot air balloons, read our post Balloons over Bagan – Tuesday Photo Challenge – Morning.

Sunset over Bagan Pagodas

This is our entry in The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Rise/Set.

Sometimes we think that there are too many sunset photos. Then we find ourselves in a beautiful location with a magnificent sunset and we can’t resist capturing the image.  We climbed the steep, handrail-free, steps of the Shwesandaw Pagoda with several hundred very new friends (all of us in our bare feet) to take this shot. When we finally got back to the ground, we agreed the climb had been worth it.

This photo was taken from an upper level of the Shwesandaw Pagoda in Bagan, Myanmar, on February 9, 2017. Specs are:

Canon 100D, ISO 100, f/16, 1/100 sec, 135mm

The Buddha’s Silence

This is our entry in The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Silence.

This Buddha figure sits in a tall niche in the Pahatothamya Temple in Bagan, Myanmar.  As unenlightened visitors to the temple, we experienced the Buddha’s silence.

This photo was taken on February 10, 2017.  Specs are:

Canon SL1, ISO 3200, f/3.5, 1/125 sec, 18mm


Smoky Serenity in Bagan

This is our entry in The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Serene.

This post highlights another photo shoot in Bagan, Myanmar, with the international award-winning photographer Maung Maung Bagan.  (The first photo shoot is described at Bagan Photo Shoot 1: I need a map.)

This is a temple we visited in the late afternoon. It was locked, but Maung Maung had arranged for a “key man” to let us in for about $4 US.  He had also arranged for the novice Buddhist monk to be our model for another $4. 

We know that there must be particles in the air to capture sun rays in photos.  In the West, either a smoke machine or a can of spray smoke is used to illuminate the sunbeams. These normally come with strict warnings about allergies, safety, etc.  Gavin Hoey, one of our favorite presenters on YouTube, carefully describes these warnings each time smoke is used.  Maung Maung brought small bundles of some kind of dried grass, tossed them in the window behind the little monk, and lit them. The smoke was both photographically effective and choking.  After the shoot, we stood in the window where the monk is seen in the photo. We had difficulty breathing and our eyes watered.  Only then did we realize what we had just put the little novitiate through.

This photo was taken on February 8, 2017. Specs are:

Canon SL1, ISO 1600, f/7.1, 1/80 sec, focal length 18 mm

The Oxcart Models — Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: All Things Farm Related

This is our entry in Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: All Things Farm Related.

These are farmers that we met in Bagan, Myanmar, while traveling with local photographer Maung Maung Bagan. We were traveling down a dirt washboard road at (what seemed like) a high rate of speed leaving a quarter-mile dust plume behind the hot, un-air-conditioned car. Suddenly, Maung Maung turned down a path that was even worse and sped up. Apparently, he saw these farmers at a distance and chased them down to pose for us. The locals all seem to know that Maung Maung will arrange a tip for them if they pose. A lot of people were willing to pose and the tip seemed like a fair exchange to photograph interesting people going about their everyday lives.

This photo was taken on February 8, 2017. It was converted to black and white using Silver Efex Pro. Specs are:

Canon 100D, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec, 55mm.

Walking Home

This is our entry in The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Pedestrian.

In February 2017, we visited a makeshift village that had sprung up in the middle of the historic temples in Bagan, Myanmar. While there were occasional motorbikes, most of the villagers traveled as pedestrians to the more developed areas of Bagan where they work and purchase things needed to sustain their simple existence.

We were told that the inhabitants of this village had lived in a different village near the river, but it was completely destroyed by flooding several years ago.  (Possibly this was the heavy annual monsoon plus Cyclone Komen impacting the Irrawaddy River Delta in July 2015.) Fleeing by boat, they rebuilt here. While the villagers seem to be as settled as in any other village we saw, this is an unsanctioned settlement in an historic area. However, they are friendly and accepting, as are all Myanmar people we met.

This photo was taken on February 8, 2017. Specs are:

Canon 100D, ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/100 sec, 112 mm