B agan is one of the richest archaeological sites in Asia, it is located on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River. Once the capitol of the Myanmar Empire, Bagan covers an area of 42 sq. km containing over 2000 well-preserved pagodas and temples of the 11th – 13th century. At its height, in the early 11th century, Bagan was the world center of Therevada Buddhism, with more than 13,000 pagodas covering the plains bordered by two sides of the Ayeyarwady River.
One of our tour participant’s favorite photo shoots in Bagan is when we find some novice monks in one of the local temples to act as models for us. We usually photograph them running and walking through a beautiful corridor of light. After having a wonderful time interacting with and photographing the monks, we always make a small donation to the head-master at the monastery/school where they reside.
With the help of my local guide MM; the other favorite photo-shoot that we always organize, is to capture images of the local herders bringing livestock back to their villages after a day of grazing. We gotten to know a couple of key locations where the herders pass at certain times. The trick to getting the best photos is to know these specific locations, where the the setting sun back-lights the dust that the herds kick up. On the upside, this helps us create dramatic images, but it does leave all of us covered in dust from head to toe!
And finally, one of the things I look forward to during the Bagan portion of each trip, is finding “the watermelon girl”. I’ve photographed this particular girl for 7 years now. She’s got a great sense of color, and her choice of clothing always seems to perfectly compliment the green and red of the watermelon she sells. This year, she was wearing a pinkish-red t-shirt and was standing next to a yellow wall which was a nice complementary background, so I took the opportunity to create both vertical and horizontal compositions.