Burning Through the Clouds – Angkor Wat in the Morning

Morning at Angkor Wat was a very cool experience. It was very muggy — the kind of muggy that makes you just give up and give in to being covered in sweat. I wasn’t going to any dinner parties, so I figured it was okay. Moving around the complex to get photos from many perspectives was a lot of fun… this place was a treat to compose.

In vaguely related news, a friend of mine in Shanghai just opened a new spa and used my images throughout. The one that is linked here at “Spa City 5.5” is another from this area of Cambodia. It’s not the highest quality photo of a high quality photo, but you kinda get the gist… If you want to see the original of that photo of the Angkor Wat Temple, just clicky click there!

Burning Through the Clouds - Angkor Wat in the Morning

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Documenting the Pilgrimage

The temples sprawl all around Cambodia. This is quite the holy spot for Buddhists who travel here from locations all around the world. You can tell what sect they are from based on their robes. I was able to sit with one for a few hours and we watched dozens of monks walk by and he could tell me exactly where each one was from based on the slight color variation in their robes and the way it was folded.

Also, if you all want to see some of the behind-the-scenes activity here and see the book-cover selection process for “A World in HDR“, visit the Stuck In Customs Facebook Fan Page, where we have a discussion forum. Once you are in there, just click on “Discussions”, and you can see the four images we were considering for the cover. Feel free to give your opinions in there… I put one of the other favorites here below!  These were all designed by the great Fabian Barral, who I feel very lucky to work with on the book.

That FB Fan Page is also a good place to have “General Discussions”. The only bad thing about the blog is that each discussion is tied to a single post. That’s great, and people always seem to have interesting ideas and experiences to share. But I wanted you to know that you are more than welcome to start up any discussion you wish inside the FB Fan Page Discussions area…

The Guardians of the Temple (by Stuck in Customs)

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The Ancient Library

This is an old library found in a remote temple complex in the wilds of Cambodia.

It’s hard for me to imagine what a library was like back then.  A library in the 12th century must have been very interesting.  Almost 1,000 years ago, I imagine it was probably filled with all sorts of fascinating scrolls and documents.  Without the Internet, it must have been the most interesting thing to do on a boring day.  I wonder what it would be like to rip back in time and show them the iPhone and then show them some ancient-scroll app from the App Store.  I’m pretty sure the AT&T connectivity would be about as good as it is in 2009.

The Ancient Library

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When a Temple is Forgotten

These are the kinds of places that are too cool to be true. I think these are called “banyan trees” (no doubt one of my smart readers will correct me if I’m wrong!), and their seeds fell centuries ago on top of these old tombs. Although not part of the main complex, the temple of Ta Prohm is still considered part of Angkor Wat. It’s a distance away, but, in many ways, cooler than the main temple.

Maybe I was lucky, the the days I spent there hardly had any tourists around. There were a few monks, but most of them were not Cambiodian and had traveled there from other monasteries all over the world.

Probably the coolest thing about the place was the ability to go anywhere and do anything. No little chamber, passageway, doorway, or underground mystery was off limits. It was definitely one of the best places for spontaneous adventure that I have ever been.

Note this was made with Lucis Pro 6.0… a few months ago, I did Lucis Tutorial, in case you want to know more.

When a Temple is Forgotten (by Stuck in Customs)

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Meditation

It’s sort of hard to find time to meditate nowadays, eh?  I mean, there is a lot of stuff going on.  I wonder if the old-school Buddhists would be as good at meditating if they had broadband.  It’s quite easy to distract yourself online.  By the way, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for distracting yourself with the blog!  I guess I’m happy to be a source of distraction for you.

And, should you find the inspiration to meditate a little, maybe this shot from Siem Reap, Cambodia will help.

Meditation (by Stuck in Customs)

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