Bagan Photo Shoot 3: The Monk at Prayer

After our photo shoot at the colonnade, our photographer guide, Maung Maung Bagan, loaded us and the monk into his car and started driving down dirt paths. It was getting hot and we noticed that the only part of his air conditioner that still seemed to function was the ON light. On the other hand, we were zipping down roads at 40 miles per hour when other vehicles were crawling along at about 10 mph. We also left quite an impressive plume of dust.

We arrived at a temple and entered. At Maung Maung’s “suggestion”, we bought a pack of candles from a small shop inside the temple. We then went through an arched doorway which, to our surprise, led to a long cave containing only a large reclining Buddha. Placing the candles on stands and on the fingers of the Buddha, Maung Maung lit them and our little monk began to pray. The following photos show the  results.

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Praying Monk

Specs: Canon 100D, ISO 400, f/5.0, 1/6 sec, 37 mm

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Praying Monk

Specs: ISO 1600, f/5.6, 1/25 sec, 32 mm

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Reclining Buddha with Praying Monk

Specs: Canon 100D, ISO 6400, f/5.6, 1/125 sec, 43 mm

Both closeup photos of the monk were taken with tripod-mounted cameras. The long view of the Buddha was taken with a camera propped on a table.  For all the photos, the only illumination in the dark cave was the candelight seen in the photos.

For our earlier posts on our photo shoots that day, visit:

Bagan Photo Shoot 1: I need a map

Bagan Photo Shoot 2: The Firewood Seller

Fisheye Reclining Buddha

One of the steps in evolving from a snap-shooter to a photographer is planning what you would like to photograph rather than photographing whatever catches your eye while carrying a camera. We, sadly,  are still primarily snap-shooters but we did take a small step towards becoming photographers by planning to take a fish-eye image of the reclining Buddha at Wat Pho in Bangkok before traveling there from the US. We carried a fish-eye lens for five weeks waiting to take this photograph. We stood where we planned and waited for about 15 minutes for the hoard of tourist to briefly clear. In the end, we felt it was worth our effort.

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