Monday, 27 June 2011

Cambodia through the windows of a minibus

Guest Blog by Augustine Mathews

It is a few years since I was fortunate enough to have visited this amazing country. The last time I was here it was during the dry season and the fields were parched brown with no hint of greenery within the rice paddies and the water buffaloes stood almost motionless in the shade of trees in an effort to keep cool.

On this return visit, Cambodia is in it’s wet season and this has given me a new view of the countryside.

After some price negotiation we all loaded into a minivan and headed north along the eastern road from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap.

The contrast of rice paddies full of water rich green coloured rice plants and water buffaloes wallowing in the road side pools was a wonder to behold.

I discovered that photographing through the bus windows was quite a challenge so I set myself the task of perfecting this technique before the end of our two day journey.

I ended up having to push my ISO up to enable a high enough shutter speed to freeze the scenes as they unfolded. Using the “Active” vibration reduction on my 28-300mm Nikon lens also aided in keeping my shots crisp and blur free. It became a bit of a giggle to see if I could get the shot without a random tree in the foreground.

We did stop for roadside shoots but I think in the end I almost preferred the challenge of trying to compose and successfully shoot a moving scene. The element of surprise in each photo and the feeling of ‘the one that worked’ was worth the frustration of those that didn’t.

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