Temples in the Sky

Made my way to this spot under less than the best health conditions. It’s the view along the palace moat up at Mandalay Hill. A classic view in my opinion, but as with many of my opinions, one which I seem to hold alone. There are no other photographers or tourists on the scene. Zero.

Throughout my visit to Myanmar I’ve been struck by just how few foreigners there are. Except in very specifically tourist destinations, it’s usually only me. I kind of like it that way. To see a place as it really is.

The way it is around me here, are metal exercise stations, with numerous people of all kinds actually using them. They take notice of my presence, and by the looks on their faces, I imagine they are wondering, “What the heck is he taking a photo of?”

In the afternoon light, I admit it doesn’t look like much. But with a 200mm lens, when the dusk falls, when the water calms, when the temple lights come on, I expect it to improve substantially.

An old man lingers as I set up my tripod. He says, “You photo sunset?”

I smile and say, “No. I photo water.”

He looks at me like I’m insane – something I really ought to be used to – and then presses his face up to my camera to see what It’s pointed at – just a small part of the overall view – the good part. He studies it for a long time, like he’s committing it to memory.

As the sun sets and the sky changes color, from dusty blue, to pale orange and on through the spectrum, I snap a shot every minute or so. Just before the deep indigo of night took over, the horizon became a purple haze.

I hadn’t expected that. It didn’t last long. But I liked it. And I clicked it.

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