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Angkor Photography Tours - 5 Days ( From 799$)
Trip duration: 5 Days / 4 Nights
Tour Operates:
 Year Round
Trip price: Available up on request !
Prices vary frequently. 
Please contact us to get the best possible price based upon your travel period and specific tripping needs.
 
Additional Information:
- Bring a camera!
- Good footwear / sunscreen and bug spray are recommended on tour days.
 
Day 1: Arrival Siem Reap (D)

Transfer from Siem Reap airport to hotel. Orientation tour commences at 11.00am. We will visit one of the local markets, enjoy a lunch at a Khmer restaurant and then a two-hours tour of the locality, on foot and by tuk-tuk or minivan. Afterward, perhaps relax by the hotel roof-top swimming pool with a cocktail from the poolside bar?

We will all meet at the hotel at 6.30pm for our staff and guest introductions. Then we'll take the short journey together to our evening venue, for an excellent buffet style dinner and traditional Apsara Dance show. Overnight at City River Hotel

Day 2: Explore Angkor Complex (B)

It's an early start today because we're going to enjoy a breathtaking sunrise at Angkor Wat. Depending on the time of year the start time varies, but it's usually around 5am departure from the hotel. After Sunrise at Angkor Wat and Breakfast; we head to the Great city of Angkor Thom. Guarded by high walls and a moat we pass under the multi faced South Gate. We look first at the 350 meter Elephants Terrace and Leper King Terrace with Royal Palace complex and Phiminakas pyramid. At The Bayon we will see the many stone faces - these have become some of the defining images and memories of the ancient Khmer Kingdom.

We will enjoy lunch within the complex of the Angkor Archaeological Park and then visit the jungle-like temple of Ta Prohm. The high lichen covered walls are distorted by the movement of the earth beneath. 800 years of history lie twisted and broken, with sinister root systems of huge trees enveloping doors and windows in a strangle-hold. This amazing temple is a photographers dream! Overnight at City River Hotel

 Day 3: Visit the pinkish sandstone temple, Bamteay Srey (B)
Meet after breakfast at our hotel for a 7am departure. We take a drive of about 35 minutes to the beautiful lady temple 'Banteay Srey'. We'll probably stop along the way at one of the small villages - these always have great photo opportunities - especially in the morning sunlight. Leaving Banteay Srey, we'll take a short drive through the countryside to a nearby village. Here we will enjoy a lunch prepared by a local family. Feel free to get involved with the preparation and cooking!

After lunch, we'll take a leisurely ride around the village and surrounding countryside by ox-cart. This is a wonderful way to spend an hour taking in the sights and sounds of the locality.

Then we're back to our regular vehicle for the drive to the Rolous Group of temples. These are a favorite of ours, especially the pyramid Prasat Bakong . We'll stay here for sunset. It's much less crowded than some of the other temples! Overnight at City River hotel

 Day 4: Visit Kompong Kleang Village & Overgrown Beng Mealea (B)
Our 7.30 am departure will take us to visit the largest community on the Tonle Sap Lake at Kampong Khleang. On the way we'll make a couple of photo stops - especially at a village street market, which is a far cry from the main tourist markets. Depending on the time of year and lake water levels, we will approach Kampong Khleang by road or boat.

We'll take time to stroll through this undeveloped community, visiting local traders and the pagoda. Then it's time to take our places on our own motor-boat, to cruise along the estuary, passing unique tall stilt-houses and then onto the Tonle Sap Lake. Here we will see a whole floating village - including houses, a floating fish market and even a floating school. Lunch will be taken back in the village at the house of our boatman. Fresh fish from today's catch at the lake will be the main dish. We always have a vegetarian option though.

Then, with just a pleasant one-hour drive through local countryside - we'll arrive at what many people say is the highlight of the tour; the incredible jungle temple of Beng Mealea. This largely unrestored temple is in much the same condition when it was re-discovered. It is a wonderfully atmospheric temple with ample shade, vegetation and individual opportunity to explore it's hidden treasures and return to Siem Reap late afternoon. Overnight at City River hotel

Day 5: Siem Reap – Departure (B)
Tour concludes after breakfast. Depending on your departure time from Siem Reap, there are many places to bag some souvenirs at one of the local markets. There is also the opportunity to take a follow-on tour to other destinations in Cambodia.

Please kindly read carefully below with Trip Price Included & Trip Price Excluded.

Trip Price Included:
City Hotel with daily breakfast (01 twin sharing superior room)
All entrance fees throughout sightseeing sites
Qualified and experienced English speaking guide
Private transfer and transportation with air-conditioning round trip

01 Buffet dinner with Cultural Apsara Dance Show

Meals and Water as stated in itinerary

Boat cruising at Tonle Sap Lake

Daily Cold Mineral water during the tour

Trip Price Excluded:
International airfare
Domestic & International Airport taxes
Visa and visa fees
Meals not indicated
Personal expenses, such as laundry, telephone, drinks etc....
Tips and gratuities 
Personal Insurance
Photo Tour Leader
 
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                                                     Photography Advice

Cambodians are a very friendly people who are generally happy to be photographed. However there are a few things to remember when photographing this wonderful Country.

 Best Time to take photos

- Like almost everywhere; the mornings and late afternoons are the best. From 10 am to 3 or 4 pm the light can be harsh with the sun overhead at midday. If you are serious about photography and have more than a few days here; Take a rest; a long lunch and come back later.

- The Rainy Season is an excellent time to visit Cambodia. It does not usually rain for long but when it does everything stops! The rain is often followed by sunshine; so the sun reflecting off the stones and the saturated colours can be extremely photogenic.

·  Cloudy Conditions can be an advantage for some photography; people shots and details of the magnificent sculptures of Angkor can be a lot better under these conditions.

- People: If you want to take a photo of a person please ask first a smile and a point to the camera will usually give you a good response even if they do not speak English

- Khmers; especially older ones, tend to stiffen up when having their photos taken. Make them laugh. Looking like a pro and taking a shot with the lens cap on causes amusement. It works every time !
- If someone does not look happy about having a camera pointed at them; please respect them and don’t shoot; there will many other opportunities.
- Do not intrude on peoples personal space; I‘ve seen many people pointing long lenses at people washing etc on the floating villages. How would you feel about having a camera pointed at you by a total stranger while brushing your teeth?
- Do not give money for photos; You may think you are being generous; but giving cash to kids for photos just results in demands for payment for others in the future.
- People in rural areas do not have many photos of their families. If you can; try and get a photo to them by way of your tour guide. We at Peace of Angkor do this regularly for our guests and will print from email.
- Monks and nuns collecting offerings are often very happy to be photographed;  I always give a small donation to the Buddha and or Monastery but not directly to the Monks. There have been incidences of Buddhist monks not being what they appear;  so be warned.

 Temple photography

Photography in Monasteries is often allowed; please ask first.

 Respect those in prayer and do not photograph unless you have permission.

 The Temples of Angkor are not active places of worship, so there are few restrictions.

A separate photo permit is not needed for personal photography. A commercial photography permit is expensive and not easy to get. 

Only small tripods are allowed; be careful not to obstruct busy areas or you will have the attention of the guards.

Professional cameras are not officially permitted at Angkor. The definition of what is pro  and amateur gear  is  becoming very blurred  nowadays. Photographers  with professional SLRs, Medium format cameras and even large tripods are not usually troubled if you act with discretion.

We have had hundreds of photographers with professional type gear here. It is extremely rare for anyone to be questioned.

Just be a bit careful about using tripods in busy areas.

 Professional Photography at Angkor

We get a lot of professional and semi professional photographers staying with us. Most are here to take photos for personal purposes.

If you are intending to shoot or film at Angkor commercially;

We offer location finding, transport, advice and support for film crews working at Angkor. We can offer assistance if you are staying with us, or we are making transport and location finding for your crew.

Filming Permission

You will need to contact the  APSARA Authority  well in advance of your proposed shoot. we suggest 4 - 6 weeks.

We will do what we can to advise and assist to get the permission in a timely  manner. However it is your responsibility to provide the information required and negotiate with the authorities.

Please note: we cannot be held responsible for any delay; or financial loss arising out of any refusal of the APSARA Authority to give you permission to carry out your work.

 Photo Processing

·  There are an increasing number of digital photo labs in Cambodia who can do a decent job of printing from memory card It is cheap too; around $0.10c per print.

· Colour negative film processing is not recommended  as film  scratches are often found after  processing. If you do get prints done in Cambodia; get a CD done as well

· Colour transparency film processing; don’t even think about it! I have heard plenty of bad stories about firm being scratched, lost film and washed out slides due to poor chemical control. Take your slide film home for processing.

· CD Downloads; almost every internet café and photo shop does CD downloads from memory cards. Please be aware that standards of virus protection can be poor and there is a risk that your CD and or Memory Card could get infected!

 Cambodia is a hot humid country and condensation can be a problem if your camera is kept in a cool room or aircon car and taken into extremely hot conditions. A padded camera bag and silica gel can help to reduce the effect.

· Dust is a hazard especially if you are using a digital camera with interchangeable lenses. Always switch the camera off when changing lenses as the static charge on the chip attracts dust!

· Only buy film from photo shops; the kids selling film around the temples do not store the film correctly. Film shops sell stock quickly so it will be in good condition .

· Exposure can be tricky especially with digital and transparency film. Bright areas can easily become overexposed as most consumer digital cameras do not have the tonal range of print film or high end professional cameras.  If your camera has the facility; under expose by 1 F stop.

 Security
  • Cambodia is not a particularly theft prone country, but be careful to look after your gear.
  • Do not leave gear unattended on a tuk tuk . Some drivers will walk away and chat or find a hammock under a tree for a doze. Some tuk tuks have lockers so ask.
  • Some taxi drivers can be a bit lax about locking their vehicles. If you do need to lock valuable equipment away in the boot; explain this to the driver clearly; If you are not sure that the driver understands you keep valuables with you.
  • On tour with us; you can be assured of high standards of security!
 Digital Cameras

Many people are now using digital cameras which are good under normal photographic conditions. Just set to auto and let the camera do the work: and correct afterwards!

Well if things were that simple we would all be brilliant photographers. Experience counts for a lot and understanding how a camera works and the relationship between aperture and shutter speed etc is just as important with digital than film.

Resolution

Most digital cameras of 5 mega pixels or more can produce a decent A4 10x8" or even an A3 15x11" print. if you use the full resolution. Memory cards are getting cheaper all the time. If you use low resolution say 3 megapixels or less then you will get a decent 7x5" print but might get pixilation for anything much  larger

Beware of digital zooms; they work by enlarging the centre part of a picture; without increasing resolution  this means that if you zoom digitally to 200% you effectively cut your 5 megapixel image to 2.5 megapixels. you may as well just let the lens zoom and crop it on your computer when you get home.

Exposure problems with digital

A lot of people new to digital end up with washed out skies and white highlights even on what appear to be ideal days in tropical areas. Most people (and that includes me as well) underestimate the intensity of the sun here.

If you use print film, exposure is a lot less critical; but if you use slide film or digital; both media are not very forgiving or tolerant of over exposure.

Exposure Compensation

The simplest method of controlling exposure is to underexpose by at around 1 F-stop in bright sunny conditions. SLRs and some Compacts have this as a button. It’s easy to use and can make a huge difference once you understand how an when to use it!

Exposure compensation is even more important under trees; where the dark shadows and bright highlights are difficult to control.  Underexposure saturates colours and increases detail in clouds.

The downside is that it can increase image noise in shadow areas and black out shadows on slide film. I would rather have dark shadows than washed out skies; as the shadow detail can be improved using photo editing software.

Lenses

On small compact digital cameras the lenses are generally

Image Stabilization (VR or IS) is becoming increasingly common on consumer cameras. it is most valuable at longer focal lengths (telephoto) it can help prevent camera shake. It will not help much if you are using a slow shutter speed  and the subject is moving. Anything less than  1/60th second is likely to cause blurring if you are taking photos of moving people:  dancers and musicians for example.

If you are shooting wildlife, especially flying birds, you will need to keep your shutter speed over 1/500th second to freeze movement. If you are shooting in less than bright conditions you will need a fast (and expensive) telephoto lens to allow a fast enough shutter speed. A fast aperture lens is more important than image stabilisation under those conditions.

The use of filters on SLRs or more advanced prosumer digital cameras, will greatly improve your image.

polarizer is effective at reducing over exposure in highlights. and   can make skies dramatic. No Photoshop filter can ever bring back lost detail. You can lighten the shadow areas  a little in Photoshop before image noise sets in.  A graduated grey or neutral density filter can reduce over exposure in highlights and the sky.

The downside of these filters; is that they cut down the amount of light entering the camera. this Is OK in sunny conditions; but unless you have a fast lens you will need to remove the filter

RAW or JPEG there are many practical reasons for either format.

JPEGs are good for storage as they are relatively small files. Virtually every camera has that option. The main disadvantage is that JPEG files lose quality every time they are edited and saved. Always save a backup copy before any editing as even rotating the image in windows can reduce image quality.

RAW files are much bigger; require more time to process; but give higher quality and dynamic range than JPEGs. You can rotate, crop, change colour balance without degrading the original image.

You will need the specialist software to view them; as the images can not usually be viewed on Windows Explorer.

Some cameras have the option of saving RAW plus a preview JPEG. This is can be a good  best compromise for general use.

Many consumer processing labs will not be able to read RAW files; so you may need to convert to JPEG before printing.

Image editing

For those fortunate enough to have access to Photoshop CS3 the Highlight/shadow detail tool is a very useful and quick and controllable way of compensating for the dark shadows when you underexpose. The curves control in earlier Photoshop versions and Paint shop Pro is effective. I am always willing to give you a demo of how to enhance your Photoshop techniques.

Equipment

Most of the big and better known camera manufacturers are producing decent kit nowadays. The camera brand  is probably less important than what one sees through the lens. Usability is probably the most important factor and whether you are comfortable using it .

Compact digital cameras are sometimes over complex with a bewildering array of picture taking modes. There basic functions are often hidden within menus and sub menus.

SLR style Cameras are often more user friendly; as they resemble film cameras and have more space for logical control layout.  

There are a few main controls which should be easily available.

·  Shutter button /on off switch

·  Aperture and shutter speed selection

· Mode selection dial Program, Auto, Shutter priority; Aperture Priority, Manual

·  Exposure compensation button

· Optical Viewfinder (mostly better than LCD Electronics)

Memory Cards these are now relatively cheap; $25 for 1gb CF card in Siem Reap (Dec 07).

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