The Morning Market, Luang Prabang, Laos, its 7:20am and I’m crouching inches from this fish aiming a wideangle lens at its lifeless mouth, if only every day could commence in this fashion!
Nikon D800E, Nikon 14-24m Lens at 14mm, 1/100th at F4, ISO400
I always loved photographing markets, the traditional hub of community life, its a chance to photograph people and food together. It began for me in Bangalore, the beginning of a 2 month journey through India. I thought i was ready for India but a few of days in Delhi and Bangalore had left me wondering what I was doing so far from home, and why I’d booked a 2 month trip, my pile of memory cards had hardly been troubled and I’d hardly slept. That visit to Bangalore market kickstarted the trip, I was warmly welcomed by all the stallkeepers there and left with my camera bag stuffed full of clementines one stall had insisted I take as a gift, it gave me the confidence to start approaching people for their portraits.
Nikon D800E, Nikon 14-24m Lens at 14mm, 1/80th at F4.5, ISO400
I always try and buy something from the market I’ve been shooting, on this occassion it was the delicious deep fried snacks seen above.
I’ll often begin by working with a long lens, too shy to get in close in a new country and unfamiliar environment, but we’d be in Laos for over a week now and I felt at home. The Nikon 14-24mm F2.8 was the most recent acquisition to the arsenal, got it at Adorama in New York and it was a toss up between bringing this to South East Asia or the 135mm Prime. I’m glad I brought it – have fallen back in love with wideangle photography while away, there is a feeling of depth you can convey with one by getting in close to your subject, thats what I was trying to do here in the morning market..
Nikon D800E, Nikon 14-24m Lens at 23mm, 1/160th at F4.5, ISO400
There isn’t really time to fiddle around changing lens in busy environments like this so I’ll usually fit and lens and work with it for awhile and then perhaps do another sweep with a different focal length.
Nikon D800E, Nikon 14-24m Lens at 24mm, 1/250th at F4.5, ISO400
I’m working in Aperture priority mode (the mode I most commonly use when shooting handheld). Like every morning so far in Luang Prabang, the light was very flat, so easy for the camera meter to handle.
Nikon D800E, Nikon 24-70m Lens at 48mm, 1/500th at F3.2, ISO400
Sack of Rice – Nikon D800E, Nikon 24-70m Lens at 24mm, 1/1000th at F3.2, ISO400
Interior of The Satri House Hotel, Luang Prabang, Laos – Nikon D800E, Nikon 24-70m Lens at 27mm, 1/500th at F8, ISO400
Nikon D800E, Nikon 24-70m Lens at 70mm, 1/2000th at F2.8, ISO100
If you travel with me you might have to put up with me delaying the start of meals while I photograph the dish! Nikon D800E, Nikon 24-70m Lens at 50mm, 1/3200th at F4, ISO400
The Royal Palace Museum (Hay Kham) Nikon D800E, Nikon 24-70m Lens at 24mm, 1/320th at F8, ISO100
From our time so far in Luang Prabang i was aware this beautiful building was facing west, so was planning on timing a late afternoon visit where the warms rays of light would be hitting the front of the Royal Palace Museum.
Got a fresh lick of paint especially for the shoot…
Nikon D800E, 24-70mm lens, 1/15th at F13 (Panning) ISO50
Everyone gathers at That Chomsi, Phousi to watch the sunset in the centre of the old town of Luang Prabang, if you like sharing your sunset with 2000 other people then its a great experience!
My best shots were down by the river, amongst the fishermen the previous day.
When I travel to a country I aspire to shoot every aspect of life there, sport being no exception, this is pétanque or Boules as you might know it, these guys were incredible at it. I went with the wideangle 14-24mm to show the game and spectators. Loud and passionate matches would go on late into the Luang Prabang night.. Nikon D800E, 14-24mm at 14, 1/60th at F2.8, iSO3200
Kuang Si Waterfalls near Luang Prabang. Nikon D800E with 24-70mm, 1/160th at F11, ISO200. We took a day trip out to these beautiful falls, combined with a fascinating Bear Rescue centre
Stopped for some more stock shots on the way back..
Rice Paddies. Nikon D800E, 24-70mm, 1/100th at F6.3, ISO250. The Rice fields make a great photographic subject in asia, the trouble with travelling during February / march is that there aren’t many of them around as the monsoon approaches in the spring time.
And that was Laos. I’ll have to come back someday, it was such a wonderful, laid back place to be, and there is plenty more to shoot…