GUEST POST: Susan - Cambodia Photography Workshop

Note:  This post is written and all photos by Susan Lim (less portraits of Susan) who travelled to Cambodia with us.  Susan shot with the Olympus OMD throughout the workshop.  This is her story. (Susan became 'at one' with her OMD shooting sometimes 12 hours a day, practice, practice, practice)

(Susan loved interacting with the kids and shooting in the rain with her new shooting buddy, Terese (far left)

When I first registered for the Cambodia workshop I told Gary that I wanted to explore this part of Cambodia, learn their cultures and practice my basic photography skills using my recently acquired Olympus OMD.

I was given a lot of opportunities to take photos in different locations such as Wat Phnom (Buddhist temple area in the city), the silk weaving villages on Mekong Island,  rice fields outside the city, street photography and environmental portraiture inside Pagodas and around other parts of Phnom Penh and the last day we visited an old temple complex about an hour away from Phnom Penh with some old ruins, great for landscape images and portraiture of the elderly temple minders.

(Inside a Pagoda, Olympus OMD, 20mm)

(Little girl on Mekong Island, Olympus OMD, 20mm)

(Monks at the Pagoda, Olympus OMD, 20mm)

(Intense portrait, Olympus 20mm)

In each location, people are willing to have their photographs taken and they were all full of smiles. I did notice a lot of poverty in Cambodia, which sometimes upset me as I am not used to seeing these things having travelled from Hong Kong. The results of my photographs are highly impacted by my emotions.

My thoughts on the the workshop training:

The workshop was very well organised, Gary from F8 Photography is a brilliant photographer.  He is knowledgable and well experienced. Without his guidance, I would never have learnt so much about how to see and take images in a way I had never done before.

I also benefited a lot from the other participants who are all highly motivated and engaging, Steve, Andrew, Ian and Terese.  Each of our session ended with critiques of photos which includes great suggestions for improving our photographs. I also learned to see results of different camera brands and the photography style of each participants.  I would highly recommend F8’s Cambodia workshop to anyone.

Note from Gary from F8 Photography:  Susan had a great workshop with outstanding results.  She had recently purchased the Olympus OMD and wanted to immerse herself somewhere away from the distractions of Hong Kong life to fast track her learning experience.  I think she did this without question, and anyone viewing her images here will agree I am quite sure.  For someone who has only been shooting a few months, her results were excellent, I was in fact quite envious of some the shots she 'saw' that I didn't see myself :-).  On this type of workshop the instructor always learns just as much from the clients I think, I love to see how others interpret a scene, I can always learn from that.  Susan was affected by some of the poverty she saw during the workshop, this is not a bad thing, this is a reality, we all react differently to what we see, and it is reflected in some images in her portfolio.  This reminded me of my early visits to Cambodia, it is easy to get overwhelmed by some of the sights, but I also think this makes us stronger photographers as being emotional about our work is a good thing, it means we care about what we are trying to say.  Good work Susan, well done.

(Rainy day, first shots...this was one of Gary's favourites that Susan produced on Day 1, Olympus OMD, 20mm)

(Cheeky children, Olympus OMD, 45mm)

We have other posts from the workshop attendees as well as behind the scenes shots and video coming soon.  Please stay tuned for that, you can now ‘search’ the blog on the left side of this post to find subject posts easily, try typing ‘cambodia’ to find all our posts from there if you wish to read more.

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F8 Photography provides commercial photography and photography and video training workshops, more details can be found via the ‘courses and workshops’ link and upcoming events via the front page of our website.