The trees of Angkor

The trees of Angkor

One of the most famous things when it comes to the Angkor temples are the trees. We all have seem them in several movies. The most famous one is “Lara Croft – Tomb Raider” featuring Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft. And if something is featured in high budget Hollywood movies, it is always worth to take some pictures. But where can the trees be found? Well, most of them are in a temple that is called Ta Prohm. Unfortunately, Ta Prohm is a must for each and every tourist coming to Cambodia. That is why taking a clear shot is almost impossible. At least when you dont know when to go there 😉 So if you are lucky and you read this post, let me tell you that the best time is in the morning. Right after sunrise.

Actually, taking pictures of this giant Angkor Trees is pretty difficult. Not only because of the huge number of people around them. It is also because of their size. If you use standard lenses you end up having a lot of other stuff on the picture, which you usually dont want. Thats why it would be good to have a wide angle lens available.  The pictures you find in this post are taken with a 10mm lens on an APS-C camera (making it 16mm in reality). A second point is that these trees are never ever full in sunlight. There is always a lot of shadow which makes it difficult to find the right exposure settings. While the shadows might be too dark, the sky might already be burned out and the clouds don’t have any texture.

So you have two possibilities to make them look good. First, you use HDR photography. This is a technique where you take at least 3 pictures with different exposure values from the exact same frame (need a tripod) and in special software you merge them together. The software will then take the right exposure for the dark areas as well as for the light areas. Alternatively, and this is how I did this pictures, you can use a photo editing software to balance the dark and the bright areas of the picture – darken the bright, brighten the dark.

 

So if you wanna learn more about how to shoot the Trees of Angkor, join one of our tours!