Sunrise at Angkor Wat...
...is very difficult to photograph. The sun comes up behind Angkor Wat so it’s already very bright by the time it gets above the building. Even using a filter it’s too contrasty and if the sun isn’t blown out, the temple is too dark. But I don’t regret getting up at 4.45am to go.
My friends didn’t want to get up that early so it was just me who took a tuk tuk at 5am to the temple. There was a long line of tuk tuks (and a few minibuses) heading along the dark road out of Siem Reap. All carrying foreigners going to see sunrise. I knew the spot where I wanted to be to try to get some good shots but even arriving at 5.30am for a 6.26am sunrise, I was almost too late to get my place. When I was here in 1998 my first glimpse of Angkor Wat was as it loomed out of the darkness before sunrise. There were maybe 20 or 30 other people there at the same time. This time it wasn’t a peaceful experience!
I was able to set up my gorillapod on a ledge next to the pool. There were a couple of guys with tripods nearby. There was a pig wandering round on the other side of the pool and as the sky started lightening it decided to go for a walk along the edge of the pool where most people were sitting causing shrieks as people rushed to get out of its way! It stopped for a wallow at a muddy area and everyone settled down again. The sun rose, I took a lot of photos, several people stood right in front of me to take their photos. And I felt very privileged to have seen it all those years ago when the few of us there had space and it was quiet!
The extras are an earlier shot taken before sunrise, the water lilies in the early morning light and some of the watching crowd.