Cropping in on a monk in a hammock

by George Mann

I am still in Siem Reap, Cambodia and I have to say that this experience has taught me that no matter how remote of an area I travel to from now on, I will never again travel without a laptop computer or Lightroom.

When I am not out taking pictures, I am at my hotel recovering from the heat and working on the days images. An added bonus in Lightroom is that it remembers everything you have done in your last session and it always returns to where you were last working. Making it easy to work for short periods throughout the day without losing your place.

The image I am going to work on today is of a young monk who I found relaxing in a hammock, in the fishing village of Kompong Phluk on the Tonle Sap lake near Siem Reap. The monk was having a mid day siesta in his hammock and I really liked the composition and the colours, but I knew that I had to shoot real fast before he started posing for me.

I did indicate that I would like to take pictures and he nodded in agreement but as I had predicted, he sat upright in the hammock and started posing almost immediately. Since I had very little time to get off that first shot, I could not pay very much attention to the background and had to hope that I could later fix it in my digital darkroom.


This is the original image with default Lightroom settings.


Rotation of the image with the crop tool to straighten the tree and column on the right, to me they are the most important vertical lines.


Slight adjustment of shadow Lightness and highlight Recovery. A large dose of Clarity and a slight Vibrance adjustment.


To get rid of the plates from the mid day meal and to focus more on the hammock and the monk, I changed to a panoramic 2:4 aspect ratio. I would love to get rid of the white board in the background too but that would be a major undertaking in Photoshop CS.


The final image.

More images from the same day of photography in Kompong Phluk can be found at