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Tree roots, bas-reliefs, shadows, monochrome

Tree roots, Ta Prohm 2

I’m still working through the Siem Reap photos and finding that, tree roots, stone ruins, bas-reliefs and all their shadows, lend themselves beautifully to black and white. I’m not surprised, whilst some images look good in colour, the key elements in many of them relate to shape, form, texture and the direction and quality of light.

tree and seedling
Tree and seedling, Ta Prohm, Cambodia

In the above image, it may not be obvious but the tree (known as a Spung) and the seedling are growing on top of a sandstone wall.

The Celestial maiden
Apsara, the celestial maiden, Ta Prohm, Cambodia. Monochrome
Tree roots, Ta Prohm
Tree roots, Ta Prohm, Cambodia
Tree roots, Ta Prohm 2
Tree roots, Ta Prohm, Cambodia #2
Tree roots, Ta Prohm
Tree roots, Ta Prohm, Cambodia
Tree trunk and rocks, Ta Prohm
Tree trunk and rocks, Ta Prohm, Cambodia
Fractured Apsara, Ta Prohm
Fractured Apsara, Ta Prohm, Cambodia
Devata figure, Ta Prohm
Devata figure, Ta Prohm, Cambodia

Another study in light and deep shadows. Ta Prohm.  A fractured apsara.

Apsara carvings

Thousands of apsara carvings have been catalogued among the Angkorian temples in the region. They have dozens of different forms and interpretations.  Apsaras are generally seen as dancing maidens. The figure (above) is more correctly a Devata, or temple guardian.   In the first real detailed study and inventory of the Angkor Wat apsara and devata carvings,  the then 23-year-old Sappho Marchal wrote;
“The devatas seem to epitomize all the elements of a refined elegance,”  Sappho Marchal, (1927) Khmer Costumes and Ornaments of the Devatas of Angkor Wat.

The images presented here were processed using Silver Efex Pro, given the subtlest of sepia tonings, and are part of the Cambodia 2018 gallery. ~KD

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