THE OVERGROWN TEMPLE, TA PROHM

Many of Cambodia’s temples are overgrown, they say there are an unknown number hidden away – engulfed by nature. Ta Prohm is marked as one of the 3 temples you need to see because of the way that nature sprouts from the temple – that tree must have been 30 meters high (or higher) – a new roof for an ancient temple.

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The trees have taken root everywhere over hundreds of years.

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Made famous by the movie Tomb Raider (have not seen it), Ta Prohm is in the middle of restoration, in this case thanks to India.

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This picture shows an example of the before (the jumble of rocks) and the after (on the right above the scaffold). Like a giant jigsaw puzzle.

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A few more shots of a very beautiful and exotic temple.2013 11 24 Ta Prohm_-45

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A beautiful place. Of the 3 must see temples in Siem Reap, this was our favorite (yes, more than Angkor Wat). There is something mystical about the jungle intertwined through the temple.

NICE BOOTS, TSUKIJI MARKET

How the business man conducts business at Tsukiji market.

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How the tourist conducts themselves at the market, wandering in the crowds. A couple black and whites (Config: Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 28-70mm f/2.8)

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Welcome to the “Relax lounge”. Feel free to smoke away – because you are not allowed to smoke anywhere in public (nowhere – when the Japanese get it right, they really get it right!)

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A couple handheld HDRs. That is a great color for tuna.

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Japan is known for their knives .. amazing.

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Head anyone?

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I have yet to try it, but I hear it is quite the delicacy.

REVISITING SENSO-JI

With a friend from Canada, on a very busy weekend. Config: Canon 5D Mark III with my Canon 28-70mm f/2.8.

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Many were saying their prayers.

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A few HDRs.

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Many were selling their wares. If you ever see this chocolate coated banana – don’t stop. Opinion based on experience … more pleasing to the eye than the palate (by about 50 miles)

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I still find the swastikas as a temple symbol disconcerting.

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But the temples are spectacular.

A DOLLS LAST RITES, TOKYO

Last weekend Timeout Tokyo highlighted the ‘Thank-you dolls’ event at Meiji Shrine, a ritual where people bring in their dolls and monks bless them – driving out the spirits so that they are cleansed.

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A respectful way to eliminate the dolls from a family’s home.

Kobayashi explained that festivals such as this are rooted in ancient purification rites performed as the seasons change, and that long ago the dolls were votive symbols in human form. In fact, she pointed out, the word for “doll” (ningyo) actually means “human form” when it is written in kanjicharacters.

But in addition to respect for them being rooted in ritual and symbolism, Kobayashi said the dolls also “fulfill an educational purpose — teaching us to be nice to them because they are vulnerable.”

It is worth reading the whole story here.

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We arrived at the shrine to see row upon row of dolls being set up by white gloved, mask wearing volunteers in the whitest of clothes.

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A monk standing watch at one end.

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Covering half the square, a close look revealed some very interesting dolls. Config: Canon 5D Mark III with 70-200mm f/2.8.

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There were a lot of samurai dolls.

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More than a few sets of empty armor. Does empty armor have a spirit?

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And a lot of geishas.

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And last but not least, what looks like a North American set of dolls (there were lots). For some reason, these reminded me of a TV show from my childhood. I have no idea which one, but they look like they came from a 70’s puppet based show. No idea …

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Another interesting day in Tokyo.

WATERMARKS ACROSS BLOG PHOTOS

I have decided that I will not “like” or comment on any photograph that is posted with an obnoxious watermark. Why do people plaster a word right across their photos? I had one photographer respond that it is easy to crop our a watermark in the corner. I get that, but in today’s digital mad world and with 500px out there, I could find 1,000 amazing photos to download if I wanted. If I like your photo and want it on my wall, I will buy it and have it professionally mounted.

I don’t know why, but I find it irksome if it is right across the photo (but then again, that is the photographers prerogative).

Perhaps I am missing something or simply not a good enough photographer to worry about others taking my photos. I definitely do not make a living out of it!

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