Posts tagged ‘ilford delta 400’

August 30, 2011

le grand bazaar

by nicole

just another day on the mekong

the grand bazaar of cambodia is how henri mouhot, french naturalist and ‘discoverer’ of angkor, described phnom penh, the capital of cambodia in 1863. he wasn’t very complimentary about it really but this little phrase just so perfectly encapsulates for me the buzz and activity that still characterises the city today. the image above is one of the first sights i saw from our hotel balcony.

cyclo style

colonial splendour  hotel side

we came here after being in battambang for five days. chris had been sick and we just needed somewhere to chill for a week before our flight home. on our first night we stayed in an average hotel by the river. but after settling in and walking out on to the balcony in the late afternoon, we admired the beauty of the riverside and the people taking their evening stroll, we definitely chilled.

fast food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                lotus flower resting


phnom penh is probably not the first place you’d think of going if you want to chill but, from the second night, we holed ourselves up in a nice little boutique hotel with a pool and alternated lazing by it with walking up a storm in the city – despite the stomach bug i picked up on the third day.


bulk transport

we saw the royal palace; took twilight promenades along the mekong with hundreds of locals (a tradition left over from the french?); ate western food shamelessly in addition to local dishes; caught dozens of tuk tuks when we were too tired to walk; shopped at the markets; saw the crazy new developments by foreign speculators going up in some parts of the city; went to the museum; tried to drive a cyclo; checked out the backpacker area in boeung kak; had massages; hung out and drank cocktails in the colonial luxury of the foreign correspondants club; and  just generally enjoyed the sights and being lazy.

i don’t know why so many of my film images are of bikes. i must have been fixated. i promise that i did take digital shots of other things!


bright lights big city

heat of the day

August 27, 2011

down the river

by nicole



today some more black & white film shots from cambodia. i’m so enjoying reminiscing about this trip!

after 10 days in siem reap we dragged ourselves away from its amazing temples and decided to travel to battambang along the river. chris had done it before and told me it was a fascinating four hour journey along the sangker river, leaving from the famous tonle sap lake and has been rather nicely described thus:

an interesting and very scenic journey along small rivers, the boats thread their way through numerous charming floating villages and past dozens of towering cantilevered fishing net installations. 



wedding day

it was all this and more. as we sailed along it was beautiful to daily life go by.


river craft

now, we knew that sometimes it could take a bit longer … our guidebook said four to seven hours … which we though would be fine. but the water level was horrendously low, meaning that it was a very very very very … very slow trip.

we got bogged many a time (yes in a river) and the crew used poles to get us out, the wooden seats felt like rock after about 5 hours, the diesel engine smell got quite sickening and then the engine broke down … twice.

but our ingenious crew pulled half the boat apart, bailed out some of the bilgewater, took stuff out of the engine and tinkered for an hour or so and we were on our way.



fourteen hours after we left our siem reap hotel we arrived in battambang. we stood up (thank god!) jumped in an airconditioned cab, checked into our lovely new hotel room with giant bed, showered and then went out and had a well deserved dinner with cold beer in the balmy evening air.

but you know what? after all the getting stuck & engine fumes & hard seats & broken engines. it was a magical ride along the river just as billed, an adventure that i’m so glad that i got to embark upon. really, in my book, these things make the journey exciting and unpredictable and are what it’s all about in the end. who always wants to always be comfortable and know what’s around the corner?

happy feet

i’d definitely like to do it again … in wet season …

August 17, 2011


by nicole


i’ve been posting a lot of new photos lately … mainly polaroids as i’ve been sooooo busy starting the phd and all.  polaroids are so surprisingly easy to pop out and scan … truly instant gratification … kind of!

so i decided it was time to have a bit of a look backward at some of my older images. it was lovely rediscovering these from our trip to cambodia in february 2010. they were shot at preah khan, one of the amazing temples in the angkor complex near siem reap. while i loved the famous ta prohm, preah khan gave you a bit more of that overgrown abandoned tomb raider magic without the crowds. i had somewhat of an ethical problem with going to angkor so at least the less touristed sites like this abated my qualms somewhat – if only while i was there. i’m still internally divided on the heritage and social ethics of this type of tourism but i have to say it was such a magical place – with lovely warm people and amazing sites – that the minute i arrived, i was glad that i came.

while i do love shooting the amazing eye-popping colours of south-east asia in in colour, i wanted to explore the angkor’s temples on black & white film. i guess it was my attempt to evoke that old fashioned feel of the photography of yesteryear and reflect the mystery and magic of those amazing old black & white photographs of jungle temples. hope you enjoy, more on my flickr stream …





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