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Always Pushing Yourself Photographically

June 27, 2010

By Danielle Lancaster

Another day in Cambodia has passed and let we say it has been an interesting one.
Filled with photographic, spiritual and emotional challenges, here’s a glimpse:A day with the nuns was challenging yet so very, very rewarding, mixed with a well deserved dunking and drying of sweat in the pool between downloads, lunch, 1 million litres of water (maybe a little exaggeration on the last one but it has been hot), then out again for the welcoming ceremony for Somnieng, at the temple of Wat Damnak (as mentioned in last Blog).

This three hour plus event sees all the ‘white nuns’ lined up in order of their level. Somnieng sees me a while after my arrival, and points and waves. A sea of shaved heads turns towards me. By now, second ‘grade white nuns’ have encouraged and welcomed my ‘move’ into their lines and soon after I am with the Don Chees, the highest of the nuns and for many the saviour of Cambodian Buddhism.

Danielle shooting portraits against a hand painted ceiling.Image by: Kelly McIlvenny’s

Jack and Will showed us a series dynamic photojournalistic slide shows and presentations of both their own work and that of students they have mentored/taught. It makes me now realise how far behind in this media I have become and that has to change, however I did record sound on the old D3 today of the chanting so am making a concerted effort.

Image by Danielle Lancaster

We receive great critique of our works in progress and Tim over dinner critiques another full card of mine and on the image above says: ‘Would have liked to see the third head to continue the curves’. Please note this is not word for word. Composition, we discuss, remains an important part of our image making and images require lead in’s to bring the viewer in and hold them. Can you believe it was due to a big whooping cement pylon not allowing me to get back, however as Jack says I could have got down even 3 inches, moved just a fraction and done more. I agree and even though shooting, when I can, frames from different perspectives this is all about pushing ourselves to another level in our photography.

Tim Page with Danielle at dinner.
Tim first visited Cambodia in 1964 and has seen many, many changes.

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