In response to recent correspondence with another writer who expressed satisfaction with one of my favorite images:


Angkor Vat Cambodia main temple view


One of my favorites..  And there's a short story to go with this.  I showed up at this exact spot every morning at 0430, in the dark, to get there before the other tourists to make sure I secured this spot.  It was deathly quiet, and as the light would slowly appear you'd be surprised by the hundreds of other tourists who somehow took position all around you without your knowing.  Alas, the light was dreary and I snapped a few to say I was there and left.

Come sunset there I was back at this spot hoping for the right light that would light the temple as only God could.  But again, nothing.  This went on for nearly two weeks.  Then one afternoon I almost didn't go because of the rain storm, but putting on my Gortex I was soon out there with my camera on a tripod, shutter release in hand, temple framed, settings set.. praying for the light. All of a sudden from behind me I could feel the warmth, and then the crowd gasps, more warmth, and then a warm light rose from behind me shining on the temple as only nature can do a few times a year on her most revered treasures.  Perfect light, something I'd only seen once or maybe twice before.  My finger automatically went down on the shutter release as the crowds around me snapped away.  As quickly as it came, the light extinguished as the rain suddenly came down almost angrily.

Everyone around me packed up and left.  I was standing there alone. I wasn't thinking about the image in my camera.  I was thinking of all the LCD screens on $150 compact cameras I'd just seen with the temple bathed in a once in a life time perfect light.  But the tourists had no idea what they had, they didn't work for it.  They weren’t standing there with me morning and night for weeks.  And they didn't need the $12,000 in camera equipment I had.  It was true what I'd been saying, it's not about the gear . It's about being there.

I stayed there in the rain another 30 minutes hoping for an encore.  None came I packed up and trudged through the soggy fields back to the main road where my driver watched for me.   After two weeks I'm sure he thought I was crazy.  I'm not.  I'm just a photographer that had the picture I wanted, the picture I planned, in my head.  And was willing to do anything to get it

This one shot costs me two weeks of time, expenses, and patience. It would have cost me more had I failed.


Until next time..