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Cambodia Photography Blog

Cambodia Ancient Temples Photo workshop is up

December 30th, 2014

Cambodia Ancient Temples Photo Workshop with Adam MonkIts taken longer than expected to arrange and finalise, but my Cambodia Ancient Temples Photo Workshop is finally up and ready for booking.  I’ve totally re-engineered the workshop this year, so it’s completely different to last years Vietnam and Cambodia Tour.  I found trying to see all of Vietnam and Cambodia in two weeks was too much and we couldn’t spend enough time in any location.  Plus there was lots of flying and changing hotels which eats up valuable time and is very tiring.  So this year I’ve focused (excuse the pun) on the part of last years tour that was my favourite, the few days we spent in Siem Reap and the Angkor ruins in Cambodia.

Angkor Temple Complex.

On last year’s tour we only spent a few days in this amazing place, and I found it was not enough.  So much so that after the completion of the tour I returned by myself to spend another two full weeks exploring Siem Reap and particularly the Angkor Temple complex and I loved it!  Angkor is over 400 square kilometres of  ancient cities and temples buried under the jungles of tropical Cambodia and is the most amazing lost city I have ever seen.  I love ancient ruins and lost civilisations and I have explored quite a few, from the jungles of Central and South America, and the desert plains of the Maya in Mexico to ancient Roman, Greek and Byzantine ruins in Europe.  Angkor beats them all! Read the rest of this entry »

More from Ta Prohm, Angkor

August 26th, 2013

Another image from my favourite temple in the Angkor complex…  Angkor is often misnamed Angkor Wat, when in fact Angkor Wat refers to the largest single temple within the Angkor temple complex (Wat means temple in Khmer).  As impressive as Angkor Wat is, due to sheer size and grandeur, it’s often hard to appreciate it due to the vast number of tourists pouring through it, often it feels more like Disney Land, with screaming and yelling and total chaos.

Ta Prohm Temple, Cambodia

Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm

When I go to places like Angkor, I like to wander quietly through the incredible ruins and wonder at the long dead builders of such a vast and elaborate work of art, and the culture that created it.  The temples of Angkor really are beyond compare, certainly to anything I have ever seen.  Every square centimetre is covered with detailed and intricate carvings, it’s almost impossible to comprehend the size and complexity of it all.

So the last thing I want is to be there with a bunch of screaming disrespectful idiots, that really breaks the spell and makes me want to leave.  Fortunately most of those idiots are on large organised tours that all follow the same itinerary, and they all arrive around the same time…  9.30 in the morning when it’s stinking hot and so humid you almost need to be a fish to breath!  Since I have been at the temples since 5am, thats a perfect time for me to head back to the air conditioned comfort of my hotel room in Siem Reap to download images and have a sleep until about 3pm  Then I head back to the temples just as those same dehydrated and exhausted tour groups are leaving… strangely quiet now.

Photo Workshop in Cambodia

The Temple of Ta Prohm doesn’t get anywhere near the numbers of Angkor Wat, but it is still a popular spot for the Disneyland tour groups, so you do have to get there early or late.  Fortunately that’s the best time to be there in every sense, light, temperature, humidity and quiet!  This image was shot early in the morning on my last Photographic tour to Cambodia and Vietnam on the Hasselblad H4D-60 with a 28mm f4 lens.

Cambodia Photo Workshop

I’ve been planning a photographic Workshop in Cambodia since returning in 2013, those plans have come to fruition and the page is up, you can view all the details here>>

Tomb Raider Temple of Ta Prohm

August 24th, 2013

Of all the ruins in the amazing Angkor complex, the ancient monastery of Ta Prohm would have to be my favourite.  Ta Prohm has been left in a semi ruined state with giant fig trees growing out of temples and huge roots clambering over roof tops and slowly pulling the buildings apart.  It is the most atmospheric of all the temples in the main Angkor complex of Cambodia, and I would guess thats why it featured so heavily in the film Tomb Raider…

Ta Prohm, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Photographic Tour Dates for 2014

I took this image on my last photographic tour to Cambodia and Vietnam in May this year, but I’ve only now got around to playing with it a bit.  We only spent 3 days in Cambodia on the last tour, something I regretted at the time and something I will be correcting on the Cambodia Photo workshop for 2015.  Then we will be spending more than a week in Cambodia, with a lot of it around the unique temple ruins of Angkor and beyond, including a couple of early mornings at Ta Prohm!  Details will be going up shortly for the 2014 dates for this tour, and also my 2014 Photography tour to Bhutan.

Image was shot on the Hasselblad H4D-60 with a 28mm f4 lens.

Another Fisherman of Hoi An redone

July 13th, 2013

The second instalment of me reworking already posted images, this one from the same day as the previous post.  Once again this was posted with about 5 minutes work in Lightroom on the laptop (not the best way to do images), and I have since worked it up on the Mac Pro with a bigger calibrated screen, still only in Lightroom though, there may be some more post processing in Photoshop .

Hoi An Fisherman 2, Central VietnamNormally for an image like this to print it, I would get to a certain point in Lightroom (when everything starts to slow down), then export the image out as a High Res Tiff or psd (or a smart object) and work on it further in Photoshop before printing.  Well, this image is at the stage of slowing down and not much more is possible in Lightroom (unless you like looking at the spinning beach ball), so the next step would be Export, maybe I’ll show it again later, post Photoshop.

Speaking of printing, I am about to run a photographic printing workshop in August this year, so if you have always wanted to get that desktop photographic printer behaving like the salesman told you it would, come along, you can read more details about that here.

Fisherman of Hoi An, Vietnam by Adam Monk 16Just like the image from the last post, I shot this from a boat in the Hoi An River on the Hasselblad H4D-60 handheld (at 6am in the morning) while on my last Photographic Tour of Vietnam and Cambodia back in May of this year.  The image on the left above has had about 1 hour in Lightroom, while the image on the right is the original I posted some time back, with about 5 minutes of Lightroom work.  Don’t forget to click the images to get a bigger version.

I’m currently working out a totally new itinerary for next years Vietnam and Cambodia photographic Tour, with a lot more focus on Cambodia and some more remote and Beautiful regions of Vietnam. Stay tuned to this blog for all the updates and book mark this page for all the information about this Photo Tour for 2014.

Fisherman of Hoi An Vietnam Part 1

May 13th, 2013

Well so much for regular entries whilst on my photographic tour of Vietnam and Cambodia!  There just never seemed to be any time with so much to see and do.  So here I am back in Cambodia again, post tour, researching next years tour… honestly, i’m working!

Hoi An Fisherman

Fisherman of Hoi An, Vietnam by Adam Monk
Sunrise on the Hoi An River

One of the Highlights of Vietnam for me was an early morning river trip we took with a local photographer I found whilst wandering the streets of Hoi An in Central Vietnam.  Thai Tuan Kiet was born in Hoi An and runs a photographic gallery on one of the main streets, that features his own photographic work shot over many years, he unfortunately doesn’t have a website (yet) but his work is beautiful.

Fisherman of Hoi An, Vietnam by Adam Monk 2

I got talking to him and it turns out he does day tours for Photographers in the countryside around Hoi An and particularly up the river to the fishing villages where no tourists go…  Luckily our tour has a lot of flexibility, and everyone was keen to get up at 4am to grab this opportunity… perhaps not keen, but certainly willing… Lucky for hotel wake up calls!

Fisherman of Hoi An, Vietnam by Adam Monk 3

We had a perfect morning for our boat trip, no wind and some beautifully shaped cloud that gave the sky some fantastic personality.  The fisherman were all very friendly and keen to show us their catch for the day so far.

I took the Hasselblad H4D-60 out on the boat and shot all morning with it hand-held, its just such a lovely camera to use I was loathe to put it down.  In fact the only time I used the canon 5D Mk II for the day was when we visited the fishing village and I needed something a bit more manoeuvrable.

All these images have just had a quick workup in Lightroom on the laptop, so when I get home to a nice big screen I’ll spend some more time and refine them further.

To see all the current photo tours I have running go directly to my Photo Tours page.

Temples of Angkor in Cambodia

May 3rd, 2013

Travelling through Vietnam right now on my Photographic tour of Cambodia and Vietnam.  We left Cambodia a few days ago and I have just a few minutes to put up a couple of images from some of the temples of Angkor.

Ta Prohm Temple in the Angkor ruins
Ta Prohm, The original Tomb Raider Temple. Angelina was unavailable

We spent 3 days in Siem Reap exploring some of the ancient site of Angkor which is over 400 square km, so we didn’t get to see all of it.

Angkor Wat temple carvings

Some of the temples in the complex are over 1500 years old and the amount and complexity of the carving is outrageous, the Khmer builders  decorated nearly every square cm with intricate bas relief carvings, so while the sheer size is impressive, its the level of detail that really captures my imagination.

Angkor was also a great place to play with the Hasselblad H4D-60, and here I finally put it on a tripod!

Photographic tour to Vietnam and Cambodia Information session Jan 24

January 10th, 2013
Cambodia Ancient Temples Photo Workshop with Adam Monk

I have a few places left on the photography tour to Vietnam and Cambodia I am leading later this year, departing Perth 27th April 2013 and arriving back in Perth 11th May 2013.  This tour will be a combination of fantastic photo opportunities, cultural experiences and culinary delights combined with lots of free time to explore these locations in your own time and to download images, To read more about this photographic tour (with the full itinerary) click HERE>

Bhutan Photo tour

Photo Tour of Bhutan 2013 dates released

We have also finalised the itinerary for the Bhutan Photography tour for 2013.  This photo tour will be a full 15 days in Bhutan from October 12-26 2013 with a completely re-designed itinerary specifically to enhance the photographic and cultural experience, you can read about the full Bhutan photographic tour for 2013 here, or you can call me for more information on (+61) 415 854 179, or email me at

Bhutan, the land of National Happiness

December 5th, 2012
Prayer Flags on a bridge in Bhutan.  Bhutan Photo tour with Adam monk
Prayer Flags and no Depth of Field

Im back from my first Bhutan photo tour.  What an amazing country full of lovely people and spectacular scenery, Bhutan really is a photographers paradise.  The problem is, I took 2000 photographs, well, that’s not actually the problem, the problem is choosing which image to put up first!  So i’ve begun pretty randomly with the first images that caught my eye when i was editing in Lightroom this morning.

Buddhist Monk in Trongsa Dzong Bhutan.  Bhutan Photo tour with Adam monk
The National Happiness Index

The image above is a detail of Prayer flags on a bridge over a river, shot with a 400mm lens wide open (f5.6) to create a very shallow depth of Field. The image to the left really typifies the Bhutanese people and the National Happiness Index, which really does exist.

I’ll just keep adding images here randomly, and I’m in the process of writing a page reviewing the whole of my first photographic tour of Bhutan.  If you were on the tour with me, please feel free to write feedback here on the Blog.  More to come, next is the photographic tour of Cambodia in March April next year, cant wait!

I will be running another Bhutan photo tour each year, click the link to see all the details.

Photographic Tour of Vietnam and Cambodia 2013

August 20th, 2012
Photographic tour of Vietnam and Cambodia with Adam Monk 2013

Exciting news!  I have just finalised the details for an amazing Photography tour of Vietnam and Cambodia for 2013.  Their will be a whole page going up about this with loads more details (very soon), but i wanted to get this up straight away.  The tour is 15 days/14 nights and leaves Perth 27th April 2013, includes just about everything and costs just $3950 (twin share) per person.

Information Night

We are having an information night this Thursday evening 23rd August in Leederville.  I know its short notice, but if you would like to come along Give Maxiema a call on (08)9382 5049 or you can email  Even if you cant come to the info night but you would like to know more Maxiema will be happy to send you some information.

Photographic Tour of Bhutan 2012 is full.

August 20th, 2012

Sorry folks, I’ve been off the air for ages, i’ve been doing a major renovation on my house and it seems I’ve barely had time to check my emails let alone make blog entries!  I could do a series of posts on why you should never renovate your house, but that would be a little off topic, lets just say it was a huge learning experience.  The biggest thing I learnt was never to do it again.  I hope somebody will remind me of that next time i decide to renovate…

Back on topic… My Photo tour of Bhutan for 2012 has fully booked!.

Bhutan Photo tour

Bhutan Photo Tour – 2013

The good news is if you really wanted to go to Bhutan but couldn’t make it, or just missed out due to this years tour filling up, I will be running this tour again in 2013 October 12 to 26th October.  You can read the full Bhutan photo tour Itinerary and information right here.  

If you would like some more information, or simply to book for my Bhutan photography tour call me on (+61) 415 854 179 or you can email me at or you can keep an eye on this site. Since now i’m not a full time builder, i will be posting more.  In fact, i am about to put up a whole new home page for the workshops and tours that will make finding the latest information really easy, you can find that page here>

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