I’d been in Cambodia for around three weeks and one of the things I tend to do when I go abroad to take photographs is base myself in the same location for extended periods. In Cambodia’s instance, I based myself in Siem Reap for the entire time I was there even though it is so tempting to move around. Don't you feel the need to move and explore more locations? There is this fear that you’re not seeing enough, or that you may be missing a magic image that is only just around the corner, right? Wrong.
Well, I'm not really that black and white about things, but what may be a bland shot today, may not be tomorrow. Many things can change between two visits to the same location; the light may be magical one day and drab the other. On this day two girls decided to go fishing and I'd been patient enough to hang around for a while to see what might happen. It's all about anticipation.
The image was shot at a man made lake called Sra Sang. I'd been coming here on and off over the three weeks. On the morning of this shot, the sky had been thunderous and dark. Alongside this, there was not a breath of wind so I knew the lake would be completely still and the reflections of the thunderstorm would be nicely reflected in the lake. So I headed down here hoping to make some nice landscape shots. I never knew before hand that I was going to get a lovely 'people' image such as this.
Upon arrival, I had the usual greeting from the children there. 'Do you want to buy a bracelet?', 'Do you want to buy a postcard?'. The only thing that had been dropped from the conversation from previous outings was 'How long you you stay?' and 'Where you from?'. These two questions had been answered on my other visits to Sra Sang, and they were just trying their luck that I may buy yet another postcard or bracelet from them.
Anyway, after about a good hour, the children had pretty much got tired of me and I'd started to blend in as a semi-permanent fixture to their day. That's when the magic happened. Two of the girls in the group had gone back to fishing in the lake and because I was now semi-invisible, I was able to approach them and take this shot.
What gets me about it though, Is that I had no idea that I'd get anything like this before I'd turned up that morning. Each day brings it's pleasant surprises in life, and Photography is no exception. I'd gone to take some landscape shots and came back with a 'people' shot that was one of my own personal favourites of the trip......
I feel it works for a few reasons. The light is great, the composition is pleasing. Note how the subjects are leaning from the right into the frame, and they are on the right hand side of the frame. The reflection of the sky in the water makes it look as if they are actually on a ledge, hanging above the clouds. And that's happened because I've isolated the shot. There's nothing else at the sides and top of the frame to anchor the image. You have no reference point..... Plus, I think the rangefinder camera I used allowed me to be more subtle too. I really don't like SLR cameras for people shots because they are too noisy and it becomes hard for me to blend into the background.
But my point is; if I hadn't been repeatedly coming back to this location, I wouldn't have got this shot.
I'm glad I hung around.