Experiments with Portraiture: Part 1- Cambodian Monastery

This week I discovered that there was a Cambodian Monastery less than 10 minutes from where I live, which is really cool. It seems there’s always more to learn about this city every day. This trip was part of my photography class. We spent a few hours taking photos of the monks and were asked to post our results along with our midterm partner.

I really liked taking these photos. I feel like they capture some important aspects of the monks’ culture. I loved the altar they had in the room. It was intricately designed and symmetrical. Every item on the altar is significant to these monks and I thought it was important to capture that as it is, in some ways, a reflection of the monks themselves. I also took a few photos of one of the monks with a birthday cake in front of him. It was the monk’s birthday when we went. I found the juxtaposition of a monk (a classic image of nonconformity and peace) and a birthday cake was interesting. I didn’t expect monks to celebrate birthdays the same way most people do.

I like the photos my partner, Kendall, took as well. She had a different vantage point from me and caught some great photos that really captured the personality of the monks.

I enjoyed this excursion and I learned a good bit from it. I learned that the culture of these monks is not entirely different from my own. I also learned that I need to check the settings of my camera before I shoot so that I don’t end up with dark and yellow photos!


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