Making sense of Ta Nei

Making sense of Ta Nei

By |2014-07-12T12:58:29+00:00Nov 13th, 2012|

Yesterday, we shot two gorgeous temples, Ta Nei (pictured here) and the ‘Bad Omen’ temple, Ta Keo. Both offered oodles and oodles of targets to photograph. These were the sixth and seventh temples, respectively, that I’ve shot on this Cambodia trip thus far. What I’ve noticed is that it is very easy to get lost in the grandeur of these places. Between the visual stimulants to the mental ones (as you process just how enormous and old these structures are), it can become difficult to make sense out of it all.

As photographers, it is our responsibility to try and tell a story for the viewer. It is what we try to do every time we press the shutter button. We spend our lives constantly refining how we tell our stories frame by frame. So, when you’re presented with so much amazement in one sitting, how do you even begin to tell your story?

For me, the first thing I did was move away from the wide angled perspective. I felt that too much of what I wanted to share was lost by cramming a lot in. So, I decided to focus on detail. I wanted to showcase bits and pieces with the hops of giving you an idea of what the ancient Buddhists and Hindus experienced when they occupied these structures during the height of their civilization in the 10th, 11th, and 12th centuries.

I’ve got a lot of images like this one and I can’t wait to share my version of this story with all of you.

This is a seven exposure tone-mapped image using Photomatix Pro.

I stylized using Perfect Effects 4 by onOne Software. For this image, I globally applied Thermopylae, Tonal Contrast, and Charge More glow, as well as masked in Green Enhancer onto the moss.

Final touches were applied in Lightroom 4.3 RC1


  1. BJ Denenberg November 13, 2012 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    Wonderful detail and texture!

  2. Praful Sawant November 13, 2012 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    NIce I would like to put on my Wall

  3. Brian Bonham November 13, 2012 at 8:41 pm - Reply

    Love all the textures you've captured in this shot.

  4. Martin Guevara November 13, 2012 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    Lovely area for a photo shoot..the natural beauty is amazing…..

  5. Morgon Cannon November 13, 2012 at 8:44 pm - Reply

    I think how you captured the fallen pieces, yet the main infrastructure still standing is wonderful.

  6. Yousuf Umar November 13, 2012 at 8:44 pm - Reply

    nice place….

  7. laurie hansen November 13, 2012 at 8:46 pm - Reply

    nice pic

  8. ALReem ALahmed November 13, 2012 at 9:06 pm - Reply


  9. Tazein Mirza Saad November 13, 2012 at 9:06 pm - Reply

    Beautiful, +Brian Matiash

  10. geo fred November 13, 2012 at 9:18 pm - Reply


  11. Narath Heng November 13, 2012 at 9:38 pm - Reply

    The picture looks more beautiful than what I can see with my nake eyes.

  12. Careyann V November 13, 2012 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    I'm glad you went for detail allowing us the privilege to see the rock structure, where the moss grows, how tall, thick & massively awesome this temple is. Questions have been answered by seeing this. Thank you for such a great pic!

  13. Shireen Dan November 13, 2012 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    is this a temple or a haunted temple

  14. 전봉진 November 13, 2012 at 9:42 pm - Reply


  15. Shila Jalilian November 13, 2012 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    wish i were there too

  16. José Carlos Gargalhone November 13, 2012 at 10:11 pm - Reply

    Thanks +Brian Matiash for sharing , the photos of this place is always a surprise different of each of which registers their passage by him, I await the next posts, hugs!

  17. Paolo Kuslan November 13, 2012 at 10:44 pm - Reply

    Interesting place and great photo.
    Looks like a level of Unreal Tournament.

  18. Yaakov Shlisser November 13, 2012 at 11:00 pm - Reply

    Some ppl iteresting in higher resolution 4 wallpapper) can u drop some?) plz?)

  19. Hung Quang November 13, 2012 at 11:52 pm - Reply

    Great photo.

  20. Joe Hopfield November 13, 2012 at 11:58 pm - Reply

    What time of year was this taken?

  21. Damian Bere November 14, 2012 at 12:31 am - Reply

    Have you visited the Beng Mealea temple yet?  It is a short drive outside of the main angkor complex, but it was one of my faves after Angkor Wat.  If you do go, make sure you take the "difficult route" through the temple as the most interesting bits are amid the ruins at the centre of the temple.  It is a little less touristy, so going at the right time for the light will probably mean you have the place almost to yourselves.

  22. Hans Reurings November 14, 2012 at 12:37 am - Reply

    Beautiful details and I love the color and tone.

  23. rubi ahsan November 14, 2012 at 1:14 am - Reply

    Men and women equal rights in every aspect of life

  24. Heng Sokchea November 14, 2012 at 2:25 am - Reply

    I like the photo.

  25. Surya Tirtana November 14, 2012 at 3:37 am - Reply

    Nice one. Remind me of James Rollins novel.:))

  26. Patrick Madden November 14, 2012 at 3:57 am - Reply

    agree with +Damian Bere, the temple at Beng Mealea is definitely worth a visit if you have time. Although it has been a few years since I've been there, it is less developed and still fells like you are actually discovering a temple in the forest.

  27. Mengistu WGerima November 14, 2012 at 4:17 am - Reply

    Nice pic

  28. Chetra Vanna November 14, 2012 at 5:39 am - Reply

    Amazing Cambodia !
    The Kingdom of wonder.

  29. Michele Cooke November 14, 2012 at 11:52 am - Reply

    Wow so Beautiful! Wish I were there right now.

  30. idang kim November 14, 2012 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    Beautiful Cambodia.. more pics?

  31. Robert Forrister November 14, 2012 at 5:51 pm - Reply

    Awesome. Keep the photos coming.

  32. Christopher Germano November 15, 2012 at 12:41 am - Reply

    this is really nice

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