From Battambang I boarded a bus heading south for the sleepy town of Kompong Chnang. This was a good base for exploring the floating villages on the Tonle sap Lake, and it was way off the tourist map – only a couple of hotels and one restaurant in the town! Made a nice change from Siem Reap. The only way to check out the floating communities that live on the lake was by boat, so I went down to lake shore and negotiated a price with a local boat.
Photographically I wanted to avoid just shooting everything with the long lens, peering in on peoples lives – so only took the 24-70 and 14-24. When you set off on these sort of explorations its such a novel world that you enter that you can end up snapping everything, looking back later I could see most of the pictures wouldn’t have any impact, it was usually the frames which had eye contact with a subject, or extraordinary lighting that would work. I’d chosen to only set off the boat ride a couple of hours before dusk – to make the most of the lower, warmer lighting, and I went out again the following morning at sunrise to finish the job – i knew there was a great shot to be had of the boat-woman paddling out into the low sun with the flare coming through but we hadn’t quite managed to get the shot the evening before (partly because I don’t speak Cambodian so was struggling to communicate my idea!).