I had a little time for myself during my recent visit to Phnom Penh. Since I got quite severe back pain I didn't walk around as much as I wanted however, I stayed near very photogenic area. Kandal market in Phnom Penh is right next to riverside right in the midst of tourist area. There is a lot happening within few blocks. The place is always alive and especially early morning or just before sunset it offers numerous photographic opportunities in great light. All you need to do is just walk around and try to blend in as much as possible. With time and little patience you will be rewarded by some nice street and documentary shots.
It is important to be very respectful of local people. There are some situation when you simply don't take the shot or situations where you need to ask for permission. Like in this shot. I was walking around when I spotted this scene. There was a woman sitting just off frame, probably mom or other family member. Just quick look at her and pointing at camera. That all it took. I saw the grin on her face with a slight head movement and I knew I go the permission. And it turned out to be a nice shot. At least I like it :)
This may be example of situation where permission is not necessary. I am not breaking anybody's private space. I am just observer in public place, also fairly far away. What caught me in this setting was tonal contrast between mundane and fairly monochromatic background and bright orange monk robes.
When I came first time to these men they took a notice of me. I didn't bring my camera to my eye and start shooting immediately. Instead I was hanging around for a while and observing them. After a while they didn't pay attention to me at all and fully focused on their game. I was "in the club". At that moment I started to take pictures. It also payed off that I had small inconspicuous camera. (also due to my back pain i opted for much smaller cameras)
They are times I think, it is over, I am not going to get any more interesting shots. Usually I put my camera back in the bag. The moment I close it something happens worth photographing. That's Murphy's law in photographer's world. I took this shot on the way to airport. I think it was not far away from destination when yuk yuk stopped at red light and this motorbike with these three fellows stopped next to us. Luckily I had my camera ready. That is one good tip. Always be prepared and expect unexpected.
They say Mongol is a Mongol only on horse back. That is how they conquered the world. People of South East Asia, although less ambitious, they live big part of their life on motorbike. It is the most common vehicle for transportation, shopping, socialising etc. They often venture on motorbike to the narrowest and busiest streets.
Phnom Penh is one of my favourite places to go and photograph. It is also a city that is close to my heart because of my charitable activities and also numerous friends I have there. These photographs were captured in span of couple of hours and that alone shows how photogenic this city can be to a street or travel photographer. I hope you like them.