Daily Prompt: Ugly

I have been away from the computer for a few days, so this will be a day full of Daily Post Challenges. I initially had no idea what I would show for the prompt UGLY, so much so that I was going to skip it all together. Then I realised I had the perfect photos, from one of the saddest, ugliest places I have ever visited.

These photos were taken at the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum, Phnom Penh. This building was a high school before being transformed into a prison by members of the Khmer Rouge, under Pol Pot’s instruction. It is unknown how many Cambodian’s were tortured and killed in this prison during the Khmer Rouge Genocide, but it is believed to be between     17 000 and 20 000.

Even now, over 30 years later, the building seems to emit sadness and despair from its very walls. It is impossible to speak above a whisper, as I walked through the rooms I felt oppressed by the pain and suffering that had occurred here. I didn’t take very many photos because it felt almost sacrilegious, but these are some of the few I took.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATorture and interrogation rooms where the final 14 victims were found by Vietnamese soldiers OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMakeshift prison cells OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEach room was divided into crudely constructed prison cells by the Khmer Rouge.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA tiny amount of light was let into each cell through a window in the door.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABarbed wire to prevent escape and suicide attempts.


Graffiti and messages of love and hope left by visitors to the Genocide Museum.


Weekly Photo Challenge: In The Background.

Another day, another Daily Post Challenge. This one is awesome. It asks us to show photo’s with ourselves or others as the lesser part of the scene, a shadow or a reflection, essentially making the background the focus. I loved looking through my photos for examples of this, often pictures that have our shadow or reflection (accidently or on purpose) are cast aside as imperfect.

_MG_7747This photo was taken at Hunter’s Estate winery in New Zealand. It is a collection of antique wine tools, displayed in a glass cabinet. I became frustrated trying to get a good shot without my reflection, in this one you can see me, and my camera strap, quite clearly.  _MG_7839   In this photo taken at Cloudy Bay winery, I was deliberately aiming to include our reflections. I thought it made an interesting image, seeing the back of the winery but also seeing us enjoying our wine tasting.


I took this photograph during a shift in a restaurant I used to work in. (I may have been slacking off somewhat) It is stacks of upturned silver wine buckets, ready for service. You can see my reflection, and my awesome uniform, in the bucket on the left of frame.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the silhouettes of my sister and I in Koh Chang, Thailand. We are not the focus but rather a piece of the background, fitting into the jigsaw puzzle of silhouettes against the sunset.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI took these photographs in the Toul Sleng genocide museum, Cambodia. You can faintly make out my reflection in  the glass.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe reflection of myself and the background make a chilling juxtaposition to the endless sadness and horror portrayed in these images.     OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn the boardwalk in Melaka, Malaysia, again nothing but a silhouette against the colours of the background and the sunset.


This is one of my favourite photographs that I have ever taken. I took this on a timer on my little point and shoot Olympus, five years ago in Kep, Cambodia. I perched the camera on a wall across the road, set the timer and sprinted to the edge of the footpath to get the shot. I kept having to adjust the zoom and the position, constantly terrified that someone would walk past and grab my camera while my back was turned. But the end result was worth it.

A Word A Week Challenge: Faces

Another week, another awesome photo challenge from Sue over at A Word In Your Ear. Today, the dictionary has fallen open at ‘Face’. I for one can’t wait to see the variety of faces that everyone comes up with…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABaby face – mother and daughter in Siem Riep, Cambodia OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAncient face – Wat Bayon, Cambodia OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASisterly face – Siem Riep, Cambodia IMG_2266Silhouette face – Hayman Island, Queensland _MG_9539The Duchess face – Larnach Castle, New Zealand _MG_9548Adorable face – Larnach Castle, New Zealand IMG_2195Mad dog face – the farm, Western Australia IMG_2196Sleepy face – the farm, Western Australia

Weekly Photo Challenge: Escape

Yet another tricky challenge at The Daily Post…this week we have to post images that portray ESCAPE. This required much searching through old photographs, but finally I came up with something that depicts escape to me.

These photographs are from my 2008 trip through Cambodia. I decided to take a boat trip down the Tonlé Sap to get from Siem Riep to Battembang. On the way we passed through the floating villages, a unique and enchanting experience.

The lives of the fisherman and their families, living isolated in their floating or stilted houses, completely summarises escape for me. Escape from reality, escape from civilisation, escape from solid land.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFarmer rides the wake from our boat

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFriendly child waves hello

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFloating petrol station

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFloating general store

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACar, or rather, boat park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFloating chicken coop

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABeautiful floating villages

Travel Theme: The Four Elements

This weeks travel theme over at Where’s My Backpack is very intriguing…entitled The Four Elements, we have to come up with photographs representing Earth, Air, Fire and Water. This challenge has taken me on a trip through old photographs and old memories.


_MG_5798Moreton Bay Fig Tree – Sydney Botanical Gardens

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATree growing through the rocks – Rabbit Island, Cambodia



Tui resting on its favourite flax plant – Taupo, New Zealand

_MG_9090Hang-gliders – Queenstown, New Zealand



Up to 220,000 litres of water rushes through the Huka Falls every second – Taupo, New Zealand

_MG_7232The awesome power of Huka Falls as seen from our helicopter tour – Taupo, New Zealand

  FIREOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFire-twirlers on the beach – Ko Samet, Thailand

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA      Huge burst of flames caused by the boys throwing their fire sticks into the air – Ko Samet, Thailand.

Shades of Angkor

Inspired by a fellow blogger over at retireediary I decided to dig up some of my old photos of Cambodia. Despite having not been there in five years, Cambodia is still one of my favourite countries in the world. I loved everything about it, the scenery, the food, the simplicity, and especially the people. They were warm, welcoming and very accommodating. These photos were taken on my basic point-and-shoot that I had at the time, I have tried to enhance them where I could.

I am currently sponsoring a child over in Phnom Penh, and I can’t wait for the day when I have enough time and money to travel over there and meet her.

The above photograph is of sunrise at Angkor Wat. You can see the scaffolding where they were working on repairs to the temple.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Sunset at Phnom Bakheng


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFriendly monkey at Angkor Wat 


Wat Ta Phrom of Tomb Raider fame.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy favourite temple – Wat Bayon. This is the only temple of Angkor that was built as a Mahayana Buddhist shrine. It is suggested that the faces are representative of both Buddha and the king at the time, Jayavarman VII.