Walkabout in Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh, Water Festival 2016

The festival seems to be off to a slow start, the boats are here and ready to race be not many visitors as yet, you could not move on the riverside in 2010 and 2014 was slow but maybe tomorrow, when the races actually begin, the crowds will come.

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Thanksgiving with CAMBO CRUISE

Attended the Thanksgiving cruise laid on by Cambo Cruise here in Phnom Penh and got just what I expected, great food, good service on a safe boat.

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The standard of service and safety on this boat are second to none. The food, which is excellent, in prepared in the boats own kitchen, unlike most of the other trip boats that ship it in from outside and reheat. I have been on this boat several times and have never, never had a bad trip.

Phnom Penh, Water Festival 2014

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The water festival was last held in 2014.

 

!mo camera straps highly recommended

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!mo straps are ideal for the modern photographer who likes something a little out of the ordinary.

They are very well made and I have been using them on the heaviest cameras (Canon 1D) for over 3 years now without any problems.

They are strong and do the job. These straps I have found comfortable and built to last. Prices are good too. Why not visit their store.

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Camera or Photographer

How many times have I heard ” you must have a great camera to take pictures like that ”. So one has to ask the question is a great or even good picture taken by the camera or does the photographer have more than a little to do with the outcome.XPRO3514-5617-EditIs the content of the image much more important than the camera with which it was taken. Does it really matter what camera was used or what lens. I have heard it said many times that a good photographer can make a decent image with any camera.0081The first two images seen here were taken with different cameras, one fairly new and one that I am sure many would consider obsolete, can you tell which image was taken with which camera ? The camera is an important tool, difficult to make pictures without one, but does it need to state of the art or can good pictures be taken with all cameras, including the one built into your phone. It therefore begs the question does the ”amateur or hobby photographer” need the same equipment as the ”professional”. Professional photographic tools, both cameras and lenses are expensive. They are built to be durable and stand the test of a hard working life in many different condition, taking hundreds of thousands of frames reliably and without fail. The professional depends on his/her gear to provide their bread and butter. If any photographer can afford to purchase this level of gear then I say go ahead, but it will not make you any better a photographer just because it cost $10,000 .. equally good pictures can be made using cameras and lenses that cost much less.IMG_5593So, if we accept, similar images can be taken with all kinds of camera lens combinations, is it the camera that matters or how the photographer uses whatever tool he chooses to make the image. I choose to buy the best cameras and lenses I can afford, not because they make better pictures or make me a better photographer but because they are made to last and I am not a follower of fads. Yes newer cameras have developed in areas older cameras could not, high ISO’s are now possible that were unthought of 10 years ago, yet some days I still use camera bodies that are older than that and are still capable picture takers.0077What camera brand or type a photographer chooses to use will not make a better photographer of he or she. Only thought, skill and knowing how to get the desired result from that equipment consistently will make a photographer. All the cash in the world to buy fancy gear cannot replace this. The photographer, not the camera makes the picture. The camera cannot see or think, the brain and eye of the photographer is irreplaceable.20141101-DSCF9984-Edit

Playing with Monochrome

Its the rainy season here in Cambodia right now giving lots of time for processing and re-processing of images so I have been playing around with Silver FX Pro 2 and turn some of my color images into Black and White.ikmm0143I have always loved BW images, I cut my teeth many years ago using Kodak Tri X and Silver FX Pro 2 is a piece of software, used from within LR4, that appears to be able to take me back to those times, but without the smelly chemicals and need for a darkroom.ikml8802It takes a little time, and patience, to learn the basics of how to use the program and decide how you want you images to look. Only certain images seem to work well in BW. A good tonal range within the color image seems to help. I am still experimenting trying to get the results I see in my minds eye.

ikml8593aSome images work better in BW than others. Using to software you can decide how you want your images to look but try, as I have found, not too push the image to far. Detail is great but to much detail can be unflattering and distracting. After some experimentation I have found (I like detail, too much sometimes), that if I back it down a couple of notches from what I would think was best it actually works for me.

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Faces

For me the face is the most important feature of a human being. The expressions are endless and make very interesting pictures.

x100-2225-editcanon-4696What can you see in a face that makes a picture so interesting. The human ability to display emotion by using the muscles of the face in almost limitless ways to express anger, happiness, hate, love, frustration, sadness is the reason I find a never ending supply of pictures to make.X100-2162-Edituntitled-545 untitled-548IMG_5710IMG_5593 X100-1688 JWI2015-3631IKML8712 1DMkIV-103BW16x20 Xpro1-18-12239 untitled-22008BW IKML0105-Edit Large Blog ImageIMG_9179-Edit IKM_0451-Edit IKM_0394-EditFusionAsia Photography ikm-6677 ikml8593 ikml8850 ikml9225-edit-2 ikmm0005

How To Photograph People And Places

Author: Dan Feildman

Nothing defines a place as much as the people who live there work there or visit. It is fascinating to observe them and their culture. They can also provide a rich source of photographic potential too.

0085Not everybody is comfortable taking candid shots when visiting a particular city or location.

It takes a certain amount of confidence, quick reactions and a real eye for a picture, but with a little courage and practise, candid photography can add a human touch to your pictures of places that you visit.XPRO3514-4922

A few simple rules
Here are a few simple rules when taking candid shots of people that you don’t know, often without their permission. As taking their picture has the potential to be fraught with difficulties, follow these simple rules to ensure that you won’t offend or upset the people that you photograph and you won’t have any problems:

Have respect for the people you are photographing and for any cultural differences that there may be when visiting far flung destinations. If you have any doubt, please do some research before you leave. It is very important that you don’t insult or offend the people whose country you are visiting.X100-1698A lot of people are very camera shy so if somebody spots you and indicates that they are not happy being photographed, please respect their feelings. Be sure to let them know that you understand. You won’t usually be breaking any laws by photographing people in public places but that does not give you the right to upset anyone.

If you have any doubt about whether or not they would be offended about having their photograph taken (such as if they are working on a market stall etc), ask! Most people in general will be more than happy to be photographed as long as you talk to them first. This takes some practise at first, especially if you are shy or don’t speak their language, but it is just good manners to do so. Learn to say please and thank you in the language of the country you are in it will go a long way. The first words I learned in Cambodian were ” Taught Rup Moi ” meaning one picture please, and occun chiran (thank you).IKMX100©-1204Taking photographs of children is especially sensitive. Please be very careful to get their parent’s permission, and explain what you are doing, if you are taking candid shots of children. Depending on where you are, anxiety about your motives might be so strong that it simple might be best to avoid photographing children.

Don’t be surprised if street performers, artisans, street sellers or beggars ask for payment for a picture. Never just take a snap and run.

When taking a photograph, try and take a picture of them doing something, such as laughing, talking or working. This will produce more interesting and more ‘human’ images.20141101-DSCF9984-Edit

Finally, never hesitate. If a shot doesn’t work, simply delete it. Don’t waste a few vital seconds deciding whether or not to take the picture. If you do the moment will be gone forever. Also, don’t worry about technical excellence and waste time trying to get your camera settings right. A little blurring or noise can add atmosphere to candid shots. Just concentrate on composing and taking the photograph.

As with any kind of photography, the more you do it, the better you will become at spotting and capturing those fleeting moments in time that say something meaningful and interesting about your subject.

HQ images with Fuji X cameras & lenses

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The HQ images that the X cameras and lens are able to produce have made it the perfect travel camera. The lightweight design has in no way compromised the image quality.

On many of my trips before I have carried, much to my aging backs dismay, 2 Pro DSLR’s with 3 or 4 lenses with a total weight of over 20Kg. Two heavy for carry on baggage (mostly sneaked through) but the danger of checking in (and the extra cost) set me looking for a lighter way to travel but without loosing any quality. I looked around for a long time, considering all my options, then a friend of mine offered me an X100 that he was selling so he could upgrade, the price was good and he assured me off the quality. On this he was right, the quality possible was excellent. I initially used the camera as an adjunct to my DSLR’s (which I still have and use but the way) but gradually began to use it more and more. It was so light and easy to use and the pictures were stunning, great color and sharpness from the fixed lens.20141105-DSCF0049

I actually started using the camera on a few jobs as my main camera and had no complaints about the images it produced.

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