-- Past Photos of the Week -- 2008 (Part 1)

All Photographs © Sam Oppenheim 1997-2010

"Summer Day" - Nong Khiaw, Laos. -- (May 25th, 2008)
  • Looks like Memorial Day! These are some young kids playing on a hot day. Nam Ou River, 6 hours upstream from Luang Prabang. Photograph taken from bridge. Laos was so Idyllic! Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Monk Buddies" - Luang Prabang, Laos. -- (May 18th, 2008)
  • In the late afternoon I hung out with the playful monks at Wat Wisunalat (Wat means temple). Some of them were shy, while others posed. Spending time with monks was a part of my everyday experience in Luang Prabang, and many spoke some English! Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Vietnamese Women" - Vietnam. -- (May 11th, 2008)
  • Happy Mothers Day! Two of my best photos of Vietnamese women, I couldn't decide which one to share with you so I put both on even if that detracts from their individual splendor. The first one showcases a girl working at a beautful tea garden in Danang (Central Coastal Vietnam). The second is a woman piloting a boat in the Mekong Delta (South of Ho Chi Minh City - AKA Saigon, in Southern Vietnam). Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Golden Smile" - Hoi-An, Vietnam. -- (May 3rd, 2008)
  • Hoi-An, a charming Unesco World Heritage City, has many colorful locals plying the waterways. This boatman wanted to take me for a ride, but I asked for just a few photographs instead. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Chengdu Pandas" - China. -- (April 27th, 2008)
  • One thing Chengdu is famous for, other than spicy Sichuan food, is the panda research center. Here, tourists come to get very close to the baby and full grown pandas during feeding and play time. I have put together a montage of a few cute shots for you to enjoy!
    I don't know why they had signs up about wildlife not being food, it is NOT a mistranslation of "do not feed the wildlife" It DOES say not to eat wildlife! This actually makes sense in light of what an American businessman I met told me: he was served endangered fish as a welcoming dinner to honor his visit to china last week, and was proudly told that this delicacy was selected for him! Ugh! Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Guoliang Villager" - China. -- (April 20th, 2008)
  • On a gut feeling that it would be beautiful, memorable, and not too touristy, I spent 3 hours traveling by bus to the middle of nowhere. Completely off the tourist map I hired a taxi for the next leg up to the rim of a grand-canyonesque landscape made famous by chinese film and tv using it for sets. Although it had one bus of chinese tourists, I was the only foreiger there that day. The village population is under 500 people (Only one of whom consented to be photographed, and you see him here).
    Most of the people there were art students who go there for recreational study-holiday and learn charcoal, pencil, ink, or watercolor painting. They come to be inspired by the old stone architecture, stunning vistas, red-orange rocky cliffs, and gorgeous spring blossoms coming into their own on otherwise winter-naked branches. There are a few artists colonies with teachers who give tips and critiques, and old buildings housing three students to a room. Everywhere you go you find natural beauty, and a few college students under a tree painting or drawing it. It was wonderful! Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital jpeg

"Great Wall Portal" - China. -- (April 13th, 2008)
  • I traveled 3 hours outside of Beijing to see the Great Wall. I went from Jinshanling to Simatai, a popular 8 kilometer hike along a crumbling ruined section between the two restored sections. This is a shot through one of the guard tower windows, toward the wall climbing the mountains. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Peking Opera" - Beijing, China. -- (April 6th, 2008)
  • This week I'm sharing a striking pose I captured while viewing the acrobatic and heavily-costumed "Peking Opera" style of theatre in Beijing. The performance was excerpted from a longer piece for our enjoyment, and we watched both a comedy and a martial arts performance (separated by intermission). It was definitely an interesting and fun part of experiencing Chinese cultural traditions. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital jpeg

"Angkor Sunrise" - Angkor Wat, Cambodia. -- (March 30th, 2008)
  • Sunrise at Angkor Wat is the only time it is quiet, and has few tourists. Wake up at 4:30am and by 5:00 you ride on the back of a motorcycle taxi speeding through the city and the jungle into the park to walk in quiet magnificent temples with pink-hued skies. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Bayon Faces" - Angkor Wat, Cambodia. -- (March 22nd, 2008)
  • Here is a classical shot of the famous face-carved towers of Bayon Temple inside the Angkor Thom area of the greater Angkor Wat Temples area! Shot at sunset on my 3rd day visiting and enjoying the ancient temples Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Inside the Monastery" - Luang Prabang, Laos. -- (March 16th, 2008)
  • Spending a few hours in different monasteries, I found the monks very friendly. They are kind toward tourists, kids, and dogs. Unlike India, where many people kick dogs and consider them unclean, in Laos dogs are kept clean and as pets mostly- there are much fewer street dogs, and even those are better treated. (except where they are eaten by Tribals in the hills). Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital jpeg

"Prayers" - Sukhothai, Thailand. -- (March 9th, 2008)
  • On my last day in Thailand, I visited the ruins of Thailand's first Buddhist Kingdom, still visited and revered by monks. Here, I found some monks and laymen praying at the feet (and hands) of a restored giant seated buddha inside an open-air temple. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Elephant Driver" - Northern Thailand. -- (March 2nd, 2008)
  • During a two-day guided trek in the northern Thailand hills (2 hours north of Chiang Mai) we arrived at a riverside staging area for elephant rides as the locals were bathing the beasts and maneuvering them toward where they added howdahs for us to sit on. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Plugged-in Purohit" - Pushkar, Rajasthan, India. -- (February 23rd, 2008)
  • In Pushkar I encountered a common sight nowadays in India - the contrast of modern and traditional lifestyles. This Purohit, or priest, was going down the ghats, or steps, to do a prayer at the lakeside over the mobile phone to a client. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Cordillera Blanca Lagoon" - Peru. -- (February 16th, 2008)
  • From way back in July, I always wanted to share this image but didn't process the file until I was busy in India. High in the Andes, I felt so blessed to hike over a mountain pass on the Santa Cruz Trek and then see these glimmering Aquamarine waters below the trail. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Temple Bath" - Lonar, India. -- (February 9th, 2008)
  • During the hot summer, we went to a famous meteor crater (Lonar), that, like all spectacular natural settings in India, is a place for worship. The crater is ringed with temples, one of which has a natural spring shower people come to bathe in. It is odd to me, that in a country so obsessed with covering up their women and repressing sexuality, boys can bathe nude or in skimpy underwear while women must do so fully clothed. I suppose its just another example of Misogyny. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Proud Boatman" - Kashmir, India. -- (February 2nd, 2008)
  • One morning we boarded a shikara, or single-oared flat-bottomed boat, before sunrise and skimmed across our lake to see the traditional floating wholesale vegetable market. For some reason farmers' produce is divided and redistributed according to a complicated marketplace dance, acted out in boats by dealers every early morning. This man was coming to buy produce. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT - Digital RAW

"Elder Saffron Queen" - Kashmir, India. -- (January 26th, 2008)
  • Visiting a family that hand-processes saffron was a highlight of visiting Kashmir. The matriarch of the operation was a wonderful, if stoic, woman who tolerated our presence. Saffron blooms in the fall, multiple flowers from each perennial bulb. Flowers are harvested daily both to encourage re-growth and to prevent theft. Then the delcate stamens, worth more by weight than gold, are hand-plucked, dried, and packaged. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT - Digital RAW

"Threshing Grain" -Ziro Village, Arunachal, India. -- (January 19th, 2008)
  • I really love the primal feeling in the photograph. Amazingly, she still looked like this AFTER I asked her for permission to take a photograph of her threshing grain in the strong mid-day sun. I feel like it portrays her (and by implication her whole tribe) as quite wild, although that is not my intention - she is probably a sweet old grandmother. However, I think it is a beautiful, stunning portrait. For more information about the Apatani Tribals check out my travelogue or wikipedia.
    Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT - Digital RAW

"Rajasthani Dancer" -Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India. -- (January 12th, 2008)
  • Inside the fort a dance troupe brings joy to weary tourists.
    Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT - Digital RAW

"Rural Rajasthani Rancher" -Osiya, Rajasthan, India. -- (January 5th, 2008)
  • While driving home from visiting a rural Rajasthani village, I asked the driver to stop so that I could create a portrait of this man, who caught my eye.
    Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT - Digital RAW

All Photographs © Sam Oppenheim 1997-2010