Long Exposure Black & White Photography

My day jobs consists of taking very very fast portraits. I am relying more on instinct than any kind of planning. To use the used parts of my photo-brain, I have taken up long exposure photography. This really slows me down and forces me to build up the shot bit by bit. Making instead of taking perhaps.
There are some necessary gear purchases for this - 24mm tilt shift lens, a better tripod and 16 stops of ND. (I used Lee Big and Little Stoppers.) This way I can get the eight minute exposures needed to smooth the water out completely.
This is my first result, the bamboo bridge at Kompong Cham, Cambodia. I hope to do more of these this year.

Bamboo Bridge at Kompong Cham

Canon 35mm f/1.4L

As a photographer I have some pet peeves for sure. One of them concerns "portrait" lenses.
For me a portrait lens is a lens I use to take a photo of a person. I have used 15mm and 200mm,  but prefer a couple of focal lengths in between those extremes.
My all time favourite is probably the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L. This is a perfect focal length for the type of environmental portraiture I do day to day. (That means showing the subject in their environment.) 35mm is just a bit wider then the eye sees, and the 1.4 aperture allows me to really blur the background as is my style (or schtick).
Which brings me to my peeve. In so many of these online photography forums you have people saying that 85mm is "the perfect portrait lens". Don't get me wrong, 85mm is one of my other go-to focal lengths, along with the 135mm. But to limit yourself to this kind of thinking hobbles your efforts before you even take a shot.
Don't worry about what others tell you to use. Use your eyes, then the gear. Don't worry about these ridiculous camera club rules.
Here are a few samples of my work with the 35L.

Canon 35L

ian taylor bangladesh
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L

Canon 35/1.4

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L

Canon 35L



Article on my Mondulkiri images in Thai paper "Daily News" (12/13)

When I lived in Phnom Penh from 1994 till 2000 I had a chance to see some parts of Cambodia long before the tourist hordes discovered the place. Camping at Angkor Wat, hanging out on empty beaches in Sihanoukville, or just enjoying Phnom Penh. Despite the lack of some basic things, it was still a great place to live and work.
One province I didn't get to till last year was Mondulkiri. I headed up for a week or so at the start of rainy season. It didn't disappoint. Beautiful rolling mountains, rivers and lots of great produce. I hired a local guide who is ethnic Bunong (or Pnong) and visited his village for a few days. (The last time they had seen westerners there was during UNTAC in 1992.)
Here are a few shots I took in Mondulkiri. As always, lots more on my site and FB page.


Bunong kid, Mondulkiri

Bunong kids, Mondulkiri

Bou Sra Waterfall, Mondulkiri

Tourist dresses as Bunong, Mondulkiri

Pnong man, Mondulkiri


Bunong Kids, Mondulkiri


Bou Sra Waterfall, Mondulkiri

FHI 360: The Fight Against HIV/AIDS in Asia

Ian Taylor
FHI 360 shot used for international conference on HIV/AIDS in Asia..

I have had the chance to shoot a couple of shorts projects for American NGO FHI 360, one in Dhaka, Bangladesh and one in Cambodia.
As an extreme counterpoint to my day job as a kids photographer I love going back to Cambodia, where I spent six years in 1990s, to photograph people at the other end of the spectrum. All images are used by FHI 360 promote it's work in some very tough places.
Targeting family planning, reproductive health and HIV/AIDS, mainly in urban areas, I have accompanied their staff to some intense locations. Photographing junkies shooting up in the back of a busy abattoir in Old Dhaka. Trying to sneak a shot in at a Siem Reap massage parlour while the owner told me I couldn't shoot. Into a slum in Phnom Penh's north end, where a smart 24 year old girl explained how she had been working the streets since she was 13 years old. And how she and her friends smoked meth every night after work. Or shooting hijra transgendered sex workers in the public parks of Dhaka, waiting for customers.
A few shots from those projects. More on my site.

Junkies, Old Dhaka (FHI 360)
fhi360 bangladesh
25 years a junkie, Old Dhaka

fhi360 cambodia
Waiting for methadone, Phnom Penh

Waiting for clients, Cambodia (FHI 360)

At 24, 11 years on the streets. Phnom Penh 
FHI360 =The Tight Against HIV/AIDS in Asia
Waiting for clients on the riverside, Phnom Penh

FHi360 Bangladesh
Hijra waiting for clients, Dhaka

FHI360 Cambodia
Peer educator, Phnom Penh

FHI 360: The Fight Against HIV/AIDS in Asia

Battambang (ក្រុងបាត់ដំបង)

I have been hanging out in Battambang since the late 1990s when I first went up there on the train. It has always been a very old school Khmer province, with lots of rice fields and a cool main town.
In the past few years it has been overrun with the typical channeled backpackers, in town for one or two nights, clutching their Lonely Planets and going where they are told to go. I know that 99.999% of them are going thisaway, so I just go thataway. You can still see the 'real Cambodia' only a few miles from town.
I just spent a bit of time there, wandering around the countryside. Here are a few images I took. You can see a lot more here.

Fisherman - going out to catch food for his family. (Battambang)

Man & his cow, or cow & his man. (Battambang)

Cool old monk.

Replanting rice. (Battambang)

Duck herding.

Off to the fields.

Transplanting rice.

Battambang - "The Rice Bowl of Cambodia"