Wednesday, January 13, 2010

From the Archive: Pearl of Asia

From the Archive: Pearl of Asia

Sunrise over the Pearl of Asia
Canon EOS 1D-MkIIn | 1/1600s | f/11 | 200mm | ISO 100

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Phnom Pehn, Cambodia was known as the Pearl of Asia for its culture, business, and the classical French architecture that dominated the city. One hundred years later it is hard to imagine that this was ever the case. The destruction of World War II and the terror of the socialist agenda of the Khmer Rouge have turned a once beautiful city and nation into mere shadows of their former glory.

In September of 2007 I spent 4 days working with a Christian ministry that runs orphanages, seminaries, and training workshops to keep girls out of prostitution. My friend Caleb and I captured hundreds of images and trained the local man who handled their media and publications.

Sunrise comes early in Phnom Pehn. I think we were up before 5am to head into the center of town for this image. I was shocked at the number of people around at that early hour. Cleaning crews, yoga parties, badminton and soccer games, and people taking their morning bath in the polluted river were everywhere. That morning was also the only time I've ever been physically assaulted while on a shoot as a high bum took a swing at me while walking down the street. I suspect my lens hurt his hand more than he hurt me...

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Learn more about Phnom Penh at Wikipedia:

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See more of my Cambodia collection: (Click on Portfolio and then Galleries)


Sarah Bradshaw said...

No matter how many times I see this image, it never fails to take my breath away.

Nate and Robyn Copper said...

Rate this post, as in on a scale of 1-10? I'd have to give this one a 15. I was actually able to picture myself there at 5am with all the early risers, and see the sunrise over the beautiful architecture. Also, the settings you used are always of interest to me.

Thanks for sharing.