Broken Stone of Beng Mealea
Fuji Xpro2, 30mm, f/8, 1/100s, ISO 1250
Besides the well known sites around Angkot Wat and Angkor Thom, there are dozens, possibly hundreds of other sites near Siem Reap in various states of disrepair. Beng Mealea was only recently opened to visitors and has not been restored at all. It’s fascinating both because it gives a sense of what the more famous temples must have looked like before restoration and because it truly feels abandoned.
Nature vs. Architecture
Fuji XPro-2, 30mm, f/7.1, 1/90s, ISO 6400
Perhaps the most striking sight in Cambodia, the sign of the passage of time, is these ruins completely overtaken by massive trees, the walls completely encased in roots. I couldn’t find any decent broad shot that would convey the strange majesty of it all, so I went the other way and looked for detailed views. This, ultimately, is a good way of highlighting the fight between nature and architecture.
The Faces of Angkor Thom
Fuji Xpro-2, 50mm, f/2, 1/1500s
The central temple at Angkor Thom is probably the most impressive thing I’ve seen in Cambodia. Other places may have been more majestic or made me feel more like an explorer, but Angkor Thom has a combination of awe-inspiring and mystical. It’s like these faces were universally relevant somehow.
Angkor on the Horizon
Fuji XPro-2, 80mm, f/4, 1/640s, ISO 200
Phnom Bakheng is a derelict temple at the top of a hill overlooking Angkor Wat. Seeing the famous three spires emerge through the foliage was something quite unique.
The Yellow Stone of Lo Lei
XPro-2, 27mm, f/4.5, 1/150s, ISO 200
It is with a bit of a heart wrench that I start this new series of photos from Cambodia. On the way back, my photo bag was stolen, and I discovered the hard way that it’s pointless to do three backups if you store them all in the same bag. The only trace left of the 1000+ shots is a couple of hundred low-res exports I did for my Family blog. It’s better than nothing, I guess, but the light was extraordinary, and the place was extraordinary. Still, I hope you’ll enjoy the remnants of a great photo opportunity gone slightly amiss.