Author Archives: Holly Barber

Photographing the Temples of Angkor

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat after the crowds have left

 With Siem Reap having been my home for nearly 18 months now I've had a pretty good bite of the cherry when it comes to photographing the Angkor temples. For the first time photo-enthusiast-visitor here are some of my personal suggestions for capturing the main temples... Continue reading »
Posted in Holly's Travel Blog

The View: Phou Phra, the Sacred Mountain

Phou Phra in Laos

There is this view. As views go it’s a pretty special one and I have been dreaming of photographing it for a long, long time… During the early noughties I worked as a Tour Leader in South East Asia, taking groups mostly through Laos and Thailand. The 7 hour journey from Luang Prabang (center of the Laotian tourism industry) to Vang Vieng (a beautiful area of karst scenery and overnight stopping point on the way to the capital Vientiane) is very scenic, but there is one stretch of road that is truly breathtaking in an otherworldly way. ‘The View’ regularly elicited such exclamations as ‘incredible’ or ‘awesome’ from my groups and on one occasion ‘like Mordor’(!?!), but for the landscape photographer in me the wonder of seeing that sublime vista was always tempered by the niggling irritation that we were inevitably there at midday when the light was at its worst.  I vowed to return at dawn or dusk, although at the time had no idea when, or how, that would be. Continue reading »
Posted in Holly's Travel Blog


Sri Pada, Sri LankaThe composition of an image, or the way in which the elements of a picture are arranged within the frame, is crucial to the success of any photo. What compositional rules can be applied (or ignored) to create the best travel photo’s possible… Continue reading »
Posted in Basic Photography Techniques

Explaining Basic Camera Settings

Angkor Wat, CambodiaWith today’s modern cameras, the sheer complexity of the available settings can seem overwhelming. In this blog I will attempt to explain three of the most important settings and how adjusting them can improve your travel photos… Continue reading »
Posted in Basic Photography Techniques

When Black and White Works

The Bayon, Cambodia Some black and white images are simply classics; Ansel Adams’ ‘Clearing Winter Storm’ or ‘West Gate – Angkor Thom’ by local Siem Reap-based photographer John McDermott are good examples. While certain pictures are well suited to the black and white (B&W) medium, others lose their impact once stripped of colour. What types of images naturally lend themselves to monochrome? Continue reading »
Posted in Basic Photography Techniques

Using shutter speed for creative effect

Monks receiving alms in Luang Prabang The world is in motion; more often than not there’s something moving, flowing or flapping! Expressing that motion brings pictures alive; transforming them from a static record to a dynamic image. Continue reading »
Posted in Basic Photography Techniques

Using aperture for creative effect

Angkor Thom North Gate, CambodiaThere are many advantages to using a Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera over the basic point-and-shoot variety; the versatility of being able to change the lens, shooting in RAW format and a larger sensor to name a few. One of the most fundamental advantages of investing in a DSLR is having control over shutter speed and aperture settings. Continue reading »
Posted in Basic Photography Techniques

Should we post-process images?

Ta Prohm, Cambodia Processing your images in Adobe Photoshop, or other photo editing software, can greatly improve your pictures but is it really necessary – or worse, is it cheating? Continue reading »
Posted in Basic Photography Techniques

Golden Hour

The Bayon, Cambodia Known as the ‘Golden Hour’, the first hour after sunrise and last hour before sunset are generally considered by photographers to be the best times of the day for capturing outdoor images. If you’ve ever been inspired by a wonderful landscape or travel shot the chances are it was taken either early morning or late afternoon. Continue reading »
Posted in Basic Photography Techniques

Travel Blog Part Fourteen: The Khumbu, Nepal

Last stop on our trip is the mighty Khumbu, home to Mount Everest, along with two other peaks in the world's top ten (Lhotse and Makaulu). It's cold, high and the very definition of bleak, with pretty basic accommodation. Iced over toilets are a new experience forus and most of the dhal bhats comes without popadoms for God's sake - but when you are making a pilgrimage to the top of the world there should be some hardship involved, no? Continue reading »
Posted in Holly's Travel Blog