Newly added to our program – Phnom Kulen Photography Tour

Newly added to our program – Phnom Kulen Photography Tour

Angkor Wat Photography Tours added a new tour to its program – The Phnom Kulen Photography Tour!

Phnom Kulen is the most important religious site in Cambodia. Apart from its religious significance it has a lot of subjects to be photographed. You can find great temples, the “River of the 1000 Lingas”, and you have a number of waterfalls that make really good subjects for long exposure photography. Thats why Angkor Wat Photography Tours added this great place to its program and created the “Phnom Kulen Photography Tour”! On our first Phnom Kulen Photography Tour we used a jeep to get there. Actually, the mountain is not accessible with a regular TukTuk. That is because Phnom Kulen is 60 kilometers away from Siem Reap and a TukTuk will not be able to drive up the mountain.

The first part of the tour is a visit at the sacred temples. The temples you find there are all active. That means that there are a lot of monks, nuns, and worshipers. With the use of your camera you really have to be careful because disturbing people when practicing their religion is some kind of rude. So I prefer to stay in the background taking pictures only when I am sure I dont disturb anyone’s prayer. The second part of the Phnom Kulen Photography Tour is the “River of the 1000 Lingas”. This is a very sacred river here in Cambodia. You can find the 1000 Lingas (phallus symbols) carved into the bottom of the river. And because the river comes out of the deep jungle it is a perfect place to take some really good pictures.

The ultimate place to be when visiting Phnom Kulen are of course the waterfalls. There are actually 3 falls in a row. 2 smaller ones and a pretty big one (20 meters high). When speaking about the big waterfall, it is very difficult to take a proper picture of it. That has 3 reasons. First, the basin of the waterfalls is used for swimming and a lot of people sit on the rocks surrounding the waterfall. Therefore it is difficult to get a picture without having people on it. Second, the waterfall is always in the shadow causing difficult light situations. And 3rd, there is always mist in the air making pictures usually look foggy. So the proper framing and knowing from where to take the picture is an important issue.

The smaller falls are much easier to photograph and long exposure up to 30 seconds can be applied without having too much difficulties. In order to reach that long exposure time so called ND filters are needed. Such filter reduces the light for a certain amount of F-stops and therefore allowing longer exposure times. The fine thing with 30 seconds exposure time is that the water really becomes like a veil of silk.

One thing to mention with regards to Phnom Kulen Photography Tour. Reaching the waterfalls is a kind of tricky. There are some very…. well, lets call them basic wooden stairs to get down to the falls and a lot of rocks to climb over. So if you are interested in this tour make sure you come with proper shoes. Flip Flops might no be the best choice.