Monk, Luang Prabang, Laos_Sepia
I made the above image in the beautiful temple town of Luang Prabang, Laos. Classifies by UNESCO for its Cultural value the town has the potential to provide visitors with a quiet, picturesque and interesting travel experience. Well established for all manner of tourists, most of the major watts (temples) and other places of interest are within easy walking distance of the centre of town. I managed to visit almost all of the 30 plus watts. A local waterfall and a Buddhist Cave, filled with wonderful statues, make for relatively easy day trips.
I made the original image on a Leica M6 camera and Leica 35mm f2 Summicron ASPH lens with Kodak Ektachrome Elite 100 Extra Color film. I met the monk inside the watt where I asked for permission to photograph him. He seemed very happy to oblige so I asked him to move into the light at the edge of the watt’s front entrance. I’m now standing outside in the bright sunshine and the blackness behind him is simply the much darker temple interior. Wanting very much to produce a wistful image I asked him to turn his head towards the light, which was coming from his left hand side. As well as giving the image a more natural, candid appearance this allowed the light to wrap around over his nose and illuminate the shadow side of his face.
I recently decided to render the original color image into black-and-white. I’ve also employed Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop CS3 to add a sepia-like treatment and grain to provide a dreamlike, mystical mood to the image. It now very much meets with my original intentions and is one of my favorite images from Laos.
If you take a slow, calm approach to your travels in Laos I’m confident you’ll find it to be a beautiful and fascinating country. The people are extremely friendly with a very gentle disposition. I’ll certainly return within the next few years.
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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography