The Story

After a very long day of traveling from Battambang to Siem Reap, you’d think that sleep would be the first item of business. But how can you sleep when you know that a few miles from your hotel lies a complex of jaw-dropping temples that are thousands of years old? So, the plan was made to photograph sunset from atop Phnom Bakheng, a hilltop temple that overlooks the famed Angkor Wat.

What I didn’t come to expect was the throngs of other tourists there. It’s not that I was hopeful for anything different. I just didn’t think there would me so many others. In fact, if it wasn’t for our amazing guide, who knew to get to the Phnom Bakheng staircase early, we’d definitely not make it. Only a certain number of people are allowed to climb to the top each evening and we bore witness to that as we saw a stretch of people stranded at the base by the time we reached the top.

True to form, most everyone congregated on the corner of the temple that overlooked Angkor Wat and that was just fine with me. The first thing I did was grab a few shots of the temple from this distance knowing full well that I’d be there for sunrise the next morning. Instead, while everyone was preoccupied on that side of the temple, I made the most of having most of the other side to myself. I was able to get this wonderfully atmospheric shot of the jungle clearing as the fog rolled over the hills. For me, this was an pretty of a sunset as I could have hoped for.

In terms of processing

This image was processed using Perfect B&W by onOne Software. I applied a slight Ambrotype toner to give it this particular shade.

Final touches were applied in Lightroom 4.3 RC.

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