This online shoebox contains random pictures, notes, whatever. I've been a professional writer-photographer for so many years now. It's a damn good excuse to carry a camera around.

Posted By Lester V Ledesma
Lit from the back by a huge bonfire, a Khmer shadow puppet play unfolds in a hospital courtyard at night:

Shadows 
and Fire

I was on my way to shoot this evening's Angkor Photo Festival slideshow when I got sidetracked by this moving performance. I'm back in Cambodia after a 2-year absence. Man I love this place.


 
Posted By Lester V Ledesma
#3 - The Bayon by Moonlight

Well past midnight, under glistening moonlight, the Bayon Temple forms an imposing sight. In the darkness I head inside one of Angkor's most celebrated temples, a tiny flashlight in my hand to illuminate the way. The atmosphere is eerie as I clamber over centuries of rubble, past empty halls populated by long-dead monks, and up towards the top gallery where my subject awaits.

Bayon

I find him with a wave of my torch. His smile is gentle, and his sheer size is truly humbling (and just a little bit terrifying under the current conditions). Under daylight he is a postcard and a landmark; a relic for tourists to gawk at. But tonight, spotlit against a brilliant pre-dawn sky, he becomes who he really is: Jayavarman VII, builder of the Bayon Temple. King of the Khmers.

 
Posted By Lester V Ledesma
Imagine going up the Bayon Temple late at night when its pitch-dark and there's nobody there. When you get to the top, imagine turning on your flashlight to see Jayavarman VII's massive face staring at you:

Jayavarman

When that happens, try to smile back :)

 
Posted By Lester V Ledesma
A half-finished statue of Buddha - perhaps left behind when Angkor was abandoned in the 1400's - becomes the centerpiece in a shrine inside the south gate of Angkor Wat:

Unfinished Buddha

Her head shaved by tradition, an elderly Cambodian lady pays a visit to Angkor Wat:

Khmer Grandma

A store on wheels makes its rounds outside Siem Reap:

Store on Wheels

An apsara dancer entertains tourists at the Temple Bar in Siem Reap:

Apsara

 
Posted By Lester V Ledesma
Just to show you how incredibly detailed the galleries of Angkor Wat are:

A woman mourns the death of a warrior (husband? son?) in a bas relief on the north side.

Tears of Stone

She's been crying for 900 years.

 


 
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