This is a photograph from my archives, the quality is not great and I would love to have the opportunity to shoot it again (I think most of us can relate to that). We were visiting the Angkor Complex and as we rounded a corner this beautiful Cambodian girl appeared standing in a doorway. I think she was taking a break from rehearsals as each evening during a short period each year there is a show performed by dancers. It tells the story of the 19th century ‘discovery’ of the complex and the history of the temples and the legends of the Khmer beginnings.
This dancer is dressed as an Apsara, over 1800 of which are depicted on the wall of Angkor Wat.
According to Hindu legend the “elixir of immortality” was lost in the mythological Ocean of Milk and the gods went looking for it. It is said that these Apsara goddesses were born from the ocean of milk; water nymphs that were pulled from the ocean by the Hindu Devas (gods); Visuki, the god of serpents and a group of morally corrupt demons, the Asuras.
The sultry adventures of the nymphs are recounted in the Mahabharata, in which they are described as having ultimate power over both mortal and immortal males due to their unsurpassed beauty and elegance.
These divine creatures are said to have the ability to change their forms and as the willing servants of Indra they used their seductive charms and beauty to seduce mortals, kings and wise men who may have threatened Indra’s power. The goddesses would appear to men with their torsos bare and their wrists and ankles adorned with gold.
This photograph is copyright of Rosemary Walden - © Rosemary Walden 2012. All rights reserved.
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Critiques | Translate
dkmurphys (52315) 2012-07-24 2:50
Very picturesque scene, a true traditional ancient subject. Well taken.
tyro (21818) 2012-07-24 2:59
What a fascinating note you have given us - I rather think I like the sound of those nymphs but I guess I'm a bit past it nowadays. And thank you for the inclusion of a map too - I had a good look around that as Cambodia is a place I have never visited - though should very much like to.
Make no apology for the quality of your picture: it is excellent. I agree that it might not be quite so intensely sharp and detailed as your more recent photographs taken with your newer camera, but every other feature of the photograph is just perfect - the wonderful contrasts between the brightly coloured attire of the girl and the drab and ancient stonework which surrounds her; the amazing lighting which also makes her stand out so vividly; the perfect exposure and the wonderfully vibrant colours.
annjackman (20753) 2012-07-24 3:17
I am looking forward to our trip there in the autumn. A very well caught moment and the yellow tones of her clothes contrast wonderfully with the ancient stonework. Very fine detail. I always enjoy going back to some of my old pictures. A fresh look at older work can find some hidden treasures such as the one you show us.
Best wishes, Ann
kathryn_weir (2056) 2012-07-24 3:56
Sorry , I have run out of smileys today however I still wanted to congratulate you on a very lovely composition. Those orange robes are beautifully rich compared to the almost monochromatic stonework facade and portal and your off centre framing is extremely effective. A very lucky capture indeed to just happen upon this scene , a great candid portrait
Thanks for "digging " it out of storage and giving it another lease of life
timecapturer (49288) 2012-07-24 4:05
like the contrast of elements and colours here they are so beautiful in their own right, but together they just look so captivating. Exquisite detail and that little air of mystery. Elegantly presented image.
Regards - Brian.
Sergiom (66377) 2012-07-24 5:19
J'aime beaucoup ce cadrage vertical qui situe bien la petite danseuse dans son environnement de pierres. Les couleurs de sa robe explosent sur ce mur gris.
Nicou (128994) 2012-07-24 5:52
Fantastique cpatage de cette dame tout en dorure qui sort du temple quel contraste de tons quelle iamge et captage grandisoe compo sueprbe le colonne et l'architecture.
Bravo et amitié
ACL1978 (7511) 2012-07-24 8:44
Rosemary, despite any issue you might find with the quality, I think it's a well taken shot - nicely framed, with a good contrast between the building and the subject. It looks like you caught her in a down moment, off stage or between performances, which I've always enjoyed when it comes to performer shots.
jjcordier (78390) 2012-07-24 13:47
Une très bonne photo de cette danseuse "en situation" dont le costume lumineux contraste superbement avec les pierres vieillies par le temps.
wolf38 (31284) 2012-07-24 21:33
Hi Rosemary. What a nice photo. Best composition. The dancer in traditional costume and the interesting architecture fit together perfectly. Lahr rich text. Overall, a good contribution to TE. Rgds, Wolfgang.
marabu61 (9391) 2012-07-25 14:39
What a perfect composition, you where just at the right place in the right time.
The contrasting colors of the girls costume compete beautifully with the colors of the temple.
clic (15924) 2012-07-28 14:09
The brightly-colored costume pops out of darker backdrop, which similarity to a set created for an Indiana Jones movie is quite stunning, showing the minute details of making and of course, creating an intensive exotic mood!
emka (85371) 2012-07-28 23:25
Hi Rosemary, I would like to go again to all the places I visited in predigital years, or rather the journeys without my two last cameras. But it is impossible and I want to go to the unknown places. Nice dancer, she really looks like one of the stone apsaras but covered with gold. Lovely shot. Warm regrads
- Copyright: Rosemary Walden (SnapRJW) (31625)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2008-12-21
- Categories: Castles, Architecture, Ruins, Decisive Moment
- Exposure: f/5.6, 1/125 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Map: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2012-07-24 2:41