When is a demon not a demon?

When is a demon not a demon?

Sita, Ravana and Hanuman at Angkor Wat.

 

Apsara dancers are the traditional dancers of Cambodia. They are the “celestial dancers” that adorn the walls and hallways of Angkor Wat and the other temples of Siem Reap.  Apsara dancers often dance the Cambodian version or telling of the Ramayana, a Hindu story of Rama, whose wife Sita is taken captive by the demon king of Lanka, Ravana. Today, Gavin Gough and I wandered with the students from the Angkor Photo Workshop to the ruins of Bayon. Everyday, a troop of costumed apsara dancers arrive in Bayon to allow tourists to have their photos taken with Sita, Ravana, Hanuman the monkey god and others. Gavin and I bargained hard and managed to secure three dancers for models for the workshop. At 5:30pm they promptly arrived at Angkor Wat for the photo shoot. We divided the dancers between three instructors to direct and to coach the students with shooting. I was fortunate to have the terrible demon god Ravana, who in this case was portrayed by Rechana, a beautiful young Cambodian woman and was no threat to me at all. Below are some of the images from today.

 

The masked Ravana.

Ravana un-masked

The light coming in at this time of day was bouncing around and giving soft shadows.

 

The beautiful Rechana

 

FaceBook Comments

comments

About The Author

Matt Brandon

Matt is a Malaysia based humanitarian and travel photographer. Well known as a photographer and international workshop instructor, Matt’s images have been used by business and organizations around the globe. Matt also on the design board for Think Tank Photo, a camera bag manufacturer. In 2013 Matt founded the On Field Media Project to train the staff of non-profits to use appropriate technology to produce timely as well as quality images.

20 Comments

  1. Gavin

    Isn’t that just the best location in the world? And those dancers… that light… what more could we have asked for?

    Reply
    • Matt Brandon

      @c3e1d91ae87466a4e37720046fd9a94a:disqus, Not much!  Thanks for pursuing this originally.

      Reply
  2. Bernard Henin

    Really beautiful shots Matt… I wish I could be there with you guys!

    Reply
    • Matt Brandon

      Bernard and Cole, thanks. I was pleased, the light was really nice yesterday.

      Reply
  3. Cole Bennett

    Beautiful!

    Reply
  4. Marco Ryan

    Beautiful images, Matt

    Reply
    • Matt Brandon

      Thanks Marco. I am sure you will come up with even better stuff once return without the class. As nice as these are, being able to shoot and take your time would be much better.

      Reply
  5. Paul - Visions of Indochina

    the 80mm f1.2 works a treat in this situation.  Gorgeous bokeh and light.  Love them.

    Reply
    • Matt Brandon

      Paul, Thanks for commenting. Yeah the 85 not only give the images a great bokeh it also warms up the saturation when shot at 1.2. A great little extra with that lens.

      Reply
  6. Rad Deverala

    Breathtaking! your students are very fortunate.

    Reply
    • admin

      Yes and so were the instructors!

      Reply
  7. heimana

    It’s just WOW ! Great images, location, models, light, bokeh… !!!

    Reply
  8. Jordan Nielsen

    I really enjoy the depth of field and lighting in the first shot. Were all these shot with the 85MM? 

    Reply
    • admin

      Yep. I never even pull out my 50 1.2. I was so caught up in the great light and in trying to help student that I never got to my 50. In fact I didn’t even shoot a horizontal if you can believe it. A real beginners mistake. Oh well. Live and learn. Check out Gavin Gough’s site for more images. He has some stunning shots.

      Reply
  9. John Rialt

    Which lense are you using most on this trip?

    Reply
      • John Rialt

        Thanks! I am debating on getting 85mm 1.2 in addition to my 17-40. There are some complaints of low autofocus, do you see this as a problem in your line of work?

        Reply
  10. Rob Wilkins

    Lovely shots.  Wonderful lighting.  But, my god, what a subject!  She’s absolutely beautiful.  Elegant, supernatural, captivating in every way.  I was fortunate to capture a shot of her and the others as they approached Bayon the other morning.  It wasn’t until I returned home that I realized what an amazing shot of her I had.  But, alas, it was only one.  Nice job, and thanks.

    Reply
  11. Chris Ward

    What an awesome location. I love your choice of hallway for these shots as a background.

    Reply
  12. Nomadic Samuel

    These are stunning photos!  Well done 🙂

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 2012 Workshop Schedule – The Digital Trekker Blog - [...] Cambodia’s vibrant capitol city, Phnom Penh. Read previous posts on this years workshop here, here and the participants work…

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archives

Categories

Get my new ebook!

Signup and receive my newest ebook. You will learn how to travel light & efficient and up your photographic skills as well.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Registration to Begin Soon

Join our mailing list to be notified when registration for this amazing workshop goes live!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This