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Temples of Bagan

Updated: Apr 20, 2022

Why a Wonder: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bagan hosts more than 2,000 Buddhist temples (some dating back to the 11th century).



Where: Myanmar.


When: The Dry Season (October to May). September can be very rainy.


Photography: From atop some of the temples you can photograph spectacular sunset scenes – sweeping landscapes dotted with age-old temples. Photographing with a wide-angle zoom and a telephoto zoom will offer creative composition options. You'll need to arrive well before sunset, as tourist flock to the tops of the temples for sunset shots.


When photographing at sunset or sunrise, remember that the sun does not always need to be in the photograph.



Atop the temples, you may be able to take some nice portraits of the local Buddhist monks who come to witness the end of the day.



Explore the interior of the temples, too. You may find Buddhist monks worshiping, or perhaps you can arrange to have some monks stand in for your photographs (as I did here). You’ll need a tripod or you’ll need to really boost your ISO, as the temples are very dark.



Learn More: Check out this KelbyOne class, Travel Photography: Making Portraits of Locals.


© Rick Sammon


This post sponsored by Platypod.

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