Fuji TX2 + Fuji Velvia 100
While seeing elephants was one of our goals going to Luang Prabang, we wanted to make sure these elephants were well cared for, which involved no rides. What you see here is the handler of each elephant riding them bareback (the harnesses are what harm the elephants) when crossing the river. Magnificent beasts, a very moving family moment and something memorable as well.
Fuji TX2 + Fuji Pro 400H
The smile of kids is a boon everywhere, and these kids in Luang Prabang seemed quite happy to be photographed, as kids often are (and more generally as people tend to be in South-East Asia.)
*Monks in the Headlights*
Every morning in Luang Prabang around 5:30 AM, processions of monks walk down the streets as locals give them sticky rice for their day’s meals. It’s quite a sight, and of course in the summer it happens at dawn. But in December, it’s still night, which meant I had to expand my bag of tricks to get some interesting shots. I didn’t want to disrupt the scene, so I used a zoom lens. I cranked up the ISO to a whopping 25600, first time ever. I’m surprised at how good and usable the results are. This silhouette shot of a young monk backlit by the headlight of a motorcycle is my favourite.
Fuji TX2 + Fuji Provia 100
There are many charming things about Luang Prabang in Laos, but one of the most exciting ones for me as a photographer was the prevalence of monks. They are everywhere, especially early in the morning and late afternoon, and I took many photos of the monks. This was one of the first ones, and I really like it because it shows many of the aspects I loved beyond the monks themselves : the colonial architecture, the omnipresent mopeds, and the harsh sun.
*The Lower Pool*
Fuji TX2 + Fuji Velvia 100
With the film camera of course, I did not have stabilization, and I didn’t have time and inclination to set up a tripod. So it was handheld, but on this shot, I think, the wide vista works well. Of course, there are tourists in the shot, but who am I to begrudge tourists? I am one myself…
With waterfalls there’s always a trade off between wide shots to try and capture the grandeur of it all, or closer focused shots to capture the flow. For this shot I chose the latter, and I like how it just feels peaceful.
The Kuang Si waterfalls had many levels of successive waterflows, including this natural stairwell with many tiny steps of water flowing on top of each other. The blue colour of the water is natural as well, the result of particles of limetone being carried by the flow from further up the river.
*Kuang Si Falls*
I’m a sucker for waterfalls, and it’s become a point of contention with my family since I’ll spend so much time trying to get the perfect shot on my tripod that they don’t get to spend time with me. This time, in the gorgeous Kuang Si Falls near Luang Prabang, I adopted a half-way strategy that has worked well: instead of using the tripod, in most instances I used the lens’ stabilization to shoot at around 1/15s. In my experience, with rushing water that’s what delivers the most pleasing yet natural looking results. And family saw more of me and was pleased as well. This huge waterfall park is by far the most impressive I’ve seen yet, and if you go to Laos I strongly recommend not missing out on it!