Here’s a shot from about 5 years ago, before everybody including myself went digital. This was taken on a stopover in Hoi An, Vietnam, on a cheap disposable camera on my solo travel expedition from Saigon to Hanoi. These were simpler times, nowadays It’s a whole different experience to travel with a decent camera whilst constantly on the look out for things to shoot. Back then, without photographic pursuits to keep me busy, I had to work a hell of a lot harder to find things to keep me entertained on the road. Though whatever I got up to, I always felt a tinge of regret about not having any record of my journey anywhere, other than what my head decided to retain for future reference.
Now mostly everybody walks around with some form of digital camera in their pockets, so that they won’t ever miss out on a chance to record anything interesting they ever chance upon. Personally, I can’t say that I’ve got a whole lot of time for grainy camera phone shots that only ever get published on somebody’s newsfeed on facebook, but they do seem to satiate an innate human desire to record transient moments of time for some kind of posterity.
Back when I invested 5 pounds in a disposable camera to record my trip, every exposure was valued. Each time that I took a shot, I could hardly wait till the roll of film was done so I could get it developed and see if I’d nailed any good pictures. Unfortunately, a lot of my photos came out in ink a whole lot different from how they looked in my mind’s eye when I released the shutter, but I find such discrepancies between how my camera perceived the world and how my eye saw things interesting. The value of having a digital slr is that its much easier to try to make sure that what your optic nerve and your camera sensor processes, actually correspond to one another.
Here’s a selction of shots that I got of Angkor Wat in Cambodia way back in the heady halcyon days of 2008. This was back when I first got my camera and this was my first proper photo expedition. Unfortunately back then, I didn’t quite know the sublteties of taking good photographs, such as not shooting at midday if you don’t want blown out areas of your shots, or not shooting in jpeg if you want a higher quality image that you can fiddle around with more effectively later.
Still though, it’s one hell of a place to take photographs of, with a fascinating history that I’d recommend one and all check out. One of these days I’ll make a return trip and really nail some good shots of the amazing sites that I was greeted with, but these will just have to do for now.