Tag Archives: architecture

Ta Prohm Temple

Ta Prohm is perhaps most famous for a movie I’ve never seen. It was featured in the original Tomb Raider film and is best known not for its history, but for the fact that centuries of neglect led to trees growing throughout the temple as the jungle retook the land.

  

  

The above face is either a king or a buddha, revealed only after a tree grew in around the rest of the statue. There is a more famous version of this in an ancient city in Thailand.

  

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Angkor Wat Sunrise

Today’s image is a standard scene taken by thousands of photographers before me. I woke poor Yuling up at about 4:00am to meet Thean, our tuk-tuk driver for the two days of exploring temples. We then hopped in the back of the tuk-tuk at about 4:40 and rushed in after buying our park passes.

I was startled and amazed at a few things after seeing this scene in person for the first time. The first is that the water in front of Angkor Wat is NOT the famous moat around the complex as I had thought before. It is a manmade pond on the northwest corner of the complex that looks east for the sunrise. It DOES work wonderful for reflections and the fact that there are some breakfast stands to the left doesn’t hurt, either.

The second thing that startled me is the huge mass of photographers and tourists who group up around this small lake for that one picture. In the future, when I see documentaries of Angkor Wat talking about this as a “remote jungle temple complex,” I will laugh. The site itself is in the hands of the tourists now, for better or for worse.

While I’m glad I woke up for the shot, part of me is startled by how little reward there is in getting an image like this – I think this is why I like the concept and practice of street photography, which is infinitely more interesting. With that said, I’m not complaining about my chance to get “the Angkor Wat shot” I was looking for.

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Colorful Joss Chimney, Nantou

This joss chimney – used for burning prayers and “ghost money” – was in Nantou last weekend. It’s much more colorful and intricate than these usually tend to be – especially on the sides near the door.

You might expect fewer posts this week. I’m not leaving photography – just quite busy. I hope to bring the post count up after next weekend.

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Vanishing Point

Few words today.  I think the title speaks for itself.  This was taken while getting the shots of the egrets and herons Saturday.  I made this black and white after turning it into an HDR to accentuate the lines disappearing into the “VP.”

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Hong Kong Skyline (HK Part 1)

While I included a photo of the Tian Tan Buddha in the last post, I’ve decided to just do this trip in chronological order, so that basically means starting with some city-scapes I took during the first night Yuling and I arrived in this massive city.

We ventured out on a few boatrides, and I had the chance to see a beautiful sunset along with a nice, partly cloudy night for getting photos of the city itself.  Of course, I had to be careful – these long exposures are not my thing and they are especially not my area of specialty on a moving boat.  The good news is that I did have a small tripod for night landscapes, so I did get some usable shots.

First, starting off early-evening with a shot of the famous Peninsula Hotel.  This is an HDR image, and I see why the only thing most people can afford is a hoity-toity tea party during the day:

…the photo above is what I’m sure is a hotel near the Peninsula – not sure on the name, but I liked it.

In the above, a ferry much like what we took is heading across the harbor.  I was happy to get the focus on the boat, but would’ve been happier to have my newly-purchased 70-300mm Nikkor lens with me to get some shots of the old-style Chinese “junks” also sailing in the harbor.

…as to why that building on the left is bending, you can blame my camera lens.  While there are special lenses for architecture shots, I’m not rich enough to worry about it – I almost like the slight fisheye effect we get at wide angles such as this.

…and on the other side, looking at Kowloon at sunset.  Our hotel was in Kowloon and was VERY nice compared to what we payed – located in the Tsim Sha Tsui district.

The Golden Bauhinia, a golden representation of the flower on Hong Kong’s flag, was a gift by the Chinese government to the city of Hong Kong as a result of the 1997 declaration of sovereignty from Britain.  I could tell the Chinese see this as a symbol of pride, as tourists were taking photos of it and paying for professional photos of the statue.  Along with this were some Beijing 2008 logos, interestingly enough… good marketing for a Communist country!

The above is an HDR of the HK convention center.  Overlooking the harbor, its area provides great views of the main island’s skyline AND Kowloon.

…which is where I got this shot.  I set up my tripod on a very convenient base for a floodlight.  I really need to get a bigger tripod though – I could have gotten more direct shots of the city itself.

…and the last was taken during our harbor boat ride.  Notice the glassy water – I had to take at a longer exposure and took a LOT of photos trying to get this to match a crisp-looking city.  Of course, the city isn’t perfect, but passable, and I got the colors I wanted.

More HK photos will be coming in the next few days.  As you can see, it’s a beautiful city… and I haven’t even included photos of mountains yet.  At the same time, Yuling and I are both glad to be back on Ilha Formosa – the Portuguese term for Taiwan… which perfectly translates to “beautiful island.”

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