He doesn’t drink wine. He doesn’t drink espresso. He doesn’t even flirt with a skirt. Yet he is Italian. I know this does not seem possible, but it’s true. He has been living in Cambodia for the past seven years, obviously expelled from his home country. Luckily, he loves pasta, pizza, and he absolutely loves photography. Loving pizza and pasta doesn’t matter to us (at least on this trip) but loving photography suits us just fine. His name is Alessandro Vannucci and as we will find out, one fine photographer.
We hired him for one of our two days in Siem Reap.
The day started at 4:45 am with a sunrise shoot at Angkor Wat, then followed the sun to Ta Prohm which looks like a scene from the original Indiana Jones. Tiring, hungry, and caffeine-deprived, we ate breakfast at a local eatery which serves the worst coffee on earth. It turns out that Cambodians add a lot of condensed milk to the coffee to make it palatable. It would have been nice if we were notified before we drank the vile swill. After breakfast, we did some shooting at Banteay Kdei which was beautiful but the light was getting harsh so we didn’t get the quality of photos we desired.
Exhausted, we all took a three hour siesta – not together. Then we were at it again. Stopping at the local “Rent a Monk”, we picked up a couple (that’s two, not a “couple”) to incorporate into our afternoon shoot. We photographed them in all sorts of positions and lighting conditions. We finished up our day at another temple, Bayon Temple, where there was an enormous Buddha face, carved into the rock, everywhere we turned. The day ended with sunset on the bridge to/from Bayon Temple. It was an amazing day of photography, thanks to our new friend, Alessandro. Here are a few shots from the day:
Do you think we got our money’s worth?
Alessandro told us something like, “bad light cannot make a great scene a great photograph. It is just ordinary. But great light can make an ordinary scene a great photo.” Kathryn and I already knew this! He is now our sweet light buddy.
It’s all about the light, Cambodian style!