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21-28nov: Siem Reap & Angkor

November 25, 2011

Hi everyone!

I am in Siem Reap, in Cambodia since Monday 21st November. I am having an intense photography week, attending most of the events of the angkor-photo festival. It is truly an amazing photo festival. There are many photographers present here, talented people who have worked on various topics all over the world, strong people who can go somewhere alone for a few weeks or months, take pictures and tell a story with them. Photojournalists, mostly independant ones, so humble and so interesting at the same time. It is inspiring to be able to meet them. And every day almost you have an exhibition opening at 6pm and some slideshows of about 15 photojournalists work at 8.30pm then pub..Intense week! 🙂

It challenges me a lot! What am I? Just an amateur photographer who started taking pictures when I was 8 and loves to take pictures, especially street photography since a year. Someone who never worked on a real subject and never prepared a portfolio so far. This festival is kicking my ass in a word, it is making me think and question myself who am I as a photographer, where do I wanna go, what do I wann do with those pictures? Am I strong enough to cover a topic? And which subject would I pick up? I have no idea what. And what would I bring to the world? And am I enough good to take good photos that would interest people and express emotions and a story? How do you become a photojournalist? Or should I just carry on travelling with no purpose where the wind takes me and not bother. So many questions. I feel as an intruser, this community of incredible people is welcoming me as one of them when I am not. I don’t have anything to tell or to show. I am this amateur photographer just beginner and childish when talking to them who have incredible stories and seem to know where they are going and have accomplished great things! A bit depressing and challenging and at the same time an incredible experience to be here and be so lucky to meet this incredible bunch of people, the ones who try to tell you the world as it is and speak out for others who can’t. Oh well…An interesting week in any case.

On the other side of my week, I bought a 3-day pass for 40 dollars to visit Angkor temples. I rented a 2 dollars bike for the day and went on Tuesday to Angkor Wat, Baphuon and Bapon. (I need to check the names). And on Thursday I rented the bike again and went for sunrise at 5am to Angkor Wat, and then to Ta Prhom, and other temples around all day.

You guys have to visit them once in your life at least! These are the most incredible monuments I have seen until now. Pyramids are great and Taj Mahal is astonishing too. But what makes these specific Angkor temples special is the area it covers. You see one, and then there is another one, and another one, and another one. And they are huge themselves. Incredible stones and bas-reliefs and impressive architecture and story. You truly feel in admiration for the people who built that when walking inside and seeing the architecture.

One thing I really loved too in the temples is seeing how local people “inhabit” them, especially children hanging around there in those incredible places, and playing, probably children of parents working there.

Here is a mix of photos of Angkor temples and the angkor-photo festival on Flickr. I felt like putting them in black and white this time.

DSC_3075

I am now going to walk around and check a few more exhibitions I haven’t seen yet and then try to shoot the street also, I haven’t done much, so lazy week. Then I will attend the slideshow at 8.30pm and go to the pub afterwards.

Sorry I can’t tell you much about Cambodia yet. I am quite chilling out here this week and focusing on photography. I am not sure where I am going just after that, maybe Batttambang and probably Phnom Penh for another photo festival and if I can,I would like to check the city of Skuon…Apparently that’s where you can eat tarantulas..And I have bet a restaurant with a friend I can manage it…We will see if I really can, ahah, if I ever get there.

Hope you are all doing good. Please write comments! No one is telling me if the articles are too long or interesting enough, or what! Speak out! 🙂

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