Golden Temple and Wide Open Spaces of Cambodia

Cambodia held many surprises for me, one of them being how flat and wide open it is. I could not tell you why but I had in my mind mountains a la Laos but Cambodia is mostly home to some impressive completely flat wetlands and rice fields stretching to infinity. Another surprise was how stunningly gorgeous most of the Cambodian temples are. Naturally I knew of Angkor and the amazing temples, even they were more mindblowing than expected. But other temples in Cambodia can certainly hold their own, this golden temple (I forget where, somewhere around Pursat I think) is superb. The image is actually captured from another temple on the top of a hill, with Nathan Horton as my guide.

This is the golden temple and wide open plains of Cambodia:


This image has received a fair bit of processing and is very much an experiment. The golden temple was already bathed in the warm light of the setting sun but I directed the light in Photoshop, creating a light beam from the left corner to the temple by darkening the rest of the image. I also changed almost all of the colour tones. The biggest addition however is the texture. I have recently been immensely inspired by photographers Tony Hewitt and Jeremy Cowart and their use of textures to create illustrations. This is an experiment in creating a look of a textured faded old painting and all straight honest feedback is very much appreciated. Let me know your thoughts after you have taken in this image for a while.


PS. I am considering recording a few Photoshop tutorials for fun and to test the waters. Would you be interested in seeing how I process an image like the above?

16 Comments on “Golden Temple and Wide Open Spaces of Cambodia”

  1. Hi Flemming,

    Nice image. I haven't been to cambodia either, but like you I would have imagined a lot of highlands, so interesting to here that it is quite flat!

    I quite like the processing. My taste would be to back the texture off in the sky just a tad, more so the 'dark' parts of the texture.

    In terms of the overall feel/tone I like it, gives me the feel of an old textured painting that you are going for (not that I have seen many 🙂 )

    One other thing I would maybe do, would be to make it so the temple is the lightest part of the image. Since this is what you want us to look at, I think it should be lighter than the sky just above the horizon, at the moment my eye is drawn here.

    Oh yeh, and id be keen to see your processing in a video for sure, always like to see other people techniques 🙂

    See you Friday!!

    1. 😀 So good to see you back on my blog mate, my fellow ProFeedback'er 😉

      Btw it's really cool to create an image that can split the waters, that's what I want to do, create images that people either love or hate, not feel indifferent to.

      I think I'll do the video, that's two yup for the video!

  2. My images split the waters every time 🙂 🙂

    You can't please everyone as I think the Pro Feed back sites will show for those that use the service.

    Put the same image up to 3 different photographers and you will almost certainly get 3 different answers.

    The video is a good idea. Your an ideas man Flemming ……. 🙂

    1. Nor would you ever want to please everyone, that would be a dull boring image if no one hated it 🙂

      And yes I'm an ideas man, I'll look into setting up our goldmine of reviewing services. 25 bucks and you get a yup or nup and me telling you if the horizon is straight. Priceless!

  3. Hi Flemming,

    I like the effect, but not sure it goes far enough. It's still a photo with a hint of a texture; I might try taking it further to see where it no longer works, then back off a bit. A parchment with a photo on it is the other end of the spectrum to experiment with. Why not? To the extent that it is "painterly" might even sell better; who knows?

    1. Part of that is that it already has an "Old english illustration" kind of feel to it; like something out of an 18th century book that was published and presented to the Royal explorer's society.

    2. Hi Zane, thanks as always for your great inputs. Interesting idea, I shall try that, perhaps it works even better with more not less of the effect. I am also hoping by going more painterly and art it will have appeal to a different audience (the kind who pay 50 grand per image hehe).

  4. Hi Flemming, nice image, i think your work up really suits it too, looks like an old Polaroid transfer, where you peel the image membrane off the polaroid and stick it to another type of paper, like an art paper. the polaroid membrane is so thin the texture of the paper comes through… anyway, thats what it reminds me of. I'd like to see the video of how you work. Cheers

  5. I enjoyed the photo's of Cambodia. I was surprised also to learn it is not a mountainous region.Most sacred temples I have visited are sitting on a steep hill. Cambodia is on my list of places to visit as well as travel around Oz in due course. I found the video of the Kimberley's awesome. This would make a wonderful gift for overseas friends and an incentive to come to oz to view such wonderful scenery. LynB

I'd love to hear your comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.