Angkor Wat Photography Tips

Angkor Wat is a massive, enormous and the most famous temple in Cambodia. A lot of travelers visit the temple with a desire to take some of the best shots in their photo album. Acknowledge about that demand, I want to share with you guys – the taking-photo lovers some tips that can help you not to miss a single photogenic moment.
If you are looking for visiting Angkor Wat and discovering all the ancient vibe there, please check out our tours below to find out your suitable one.

Use a wide-angle lens

A wide-angle lens is a must for every photographer, especially for ones who want to take creative shots and catch all the scene into the photos. Unfortunately, a lot of visitors only realize after arriving to the temple. That would disappoint us so much if we couldn’t get a nice shot only because we didn’t bring a suitable camera lens, right?

For Angkor Wat photo shooting, I highly recommend using a 24mm lens at least on a full frame and 10mm on a crop sensor.

Taking some photos with fisheyes lens is also an exciting experience. Angkor Wat is covered with hundreds of statues and works, which would be main objects in some of your artistic photos.

Picture of Victory Gate, Angkor Wat, taken with wide angle lens

Bring some extra batteries for backup

You might never know how many photos you will take while visiting a tourist attraction, so don’t let the power be a problem. Bringing at least one extra battery with you and if it is possible, you can bring more. Don’t forget to charge all the batteries fully the night before.

If you don’t have an extra battery, you can bring your charger. There are some charging stations and restaurants around Angkor Wat, where you can recharge your devices while taking a break.

Bring a camera pod

For more stable shots, a monopod or tripod may be a good assistance. It is still possible to take Angkor Wat sunrise pictures without a camera pod by raising to higher ISO a bit. The light inside the temple is quite low even in the afternoon so in most cases, you will have to raise the ISO for decent pictures. In that case, a camera pod can help you to reduce the low light noise and focus easily.

But, since the Angkor is always crowded, a tripod might be too hard to carry and use. So, a monopod seems to be a wise choice, usable and easy to bring. Or if you only have a tripod and demand to use it, please follow the next tip: Early bird gets the worm.

Arrive early to catch the Angkor Wat sunrise

Angkor Wat is a prominent temple and the sunrise in there is, too. That’s why the temple is very crowded, especially when the sun rises. We all want to get the best position to set up our camera, so I highly recommend arriving early enough. You can enter the temple from 5 a.m. so leaving your hotel one hour earlier is ideal.

You could buy the entry pass the day before, from 5 p.m. Or you could get a 7-day pass at USD 72 which will allow you entry to the park 7 times for a period of 30 days

Pictures of the monks in Angkor Wat in the contrast

Manage the light and shadow

Inside the Angkor Wat, the light is somehow low and hard to master, but it also giving us a big chance to create dozens of pictures describing the contrast between the light and the dark.

The experienced photographers in Angkor Wat usually suggest taking your photography tour before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m., in that time, the light is good enough to take photos of corners and details inside the temple.

The contrary of dark and light

Highlight spots for photographing in Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is such a massive temple that you might find it hard to visit every single corner there. So, we want to suggest some main highlight spots of the temple that could give you tons of splendid photos to add in your album.

- Angkor Wat North and South Libraries
- Path leading to Angkor Wat
- Angkor Wat Terrace of Honor
- Angkor Wat Eastern Wall
- Angkor Wat Victory Gate
- Ta Prohm Temple
- Phnom Bakheng Temple
- Angkor Wat interior

Picture of the monks and Angkor Wat

Focus on details

The Angkor Wat itself is like a museum where maintains thousands of ancient statues, architects, ruins, … All of them are the works of art. Focus on the details is a great way to play with close-up shots. If you love macro photography, don’t forget to look up the ceiling in the hall of 1000 Buddhas.

The sculpture on the wall of the Angkor Complex

Get out of the beaten path

The Angkor Wat is prominent and iconic. That’s why a lot of people want to come visiting that temple. But there are still some hidden parts in the temple where not a lot of visitors know about. Not only in the small corner of the temple, even in the busiest temples of Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm and Bayon, you can always escape from the crowd by walking thru smaller corridors where you would be surprised by hidden treasures that most visitors haven’t known about.

Picture of Bantey Srei, Cambodia

Many travel websites have suggested you visiting Phnom Bakheng as the best sunset viewpoint. But every day, there are hundreds of visitors go there to view the sunset and only 300 people are allowed to come to the top of the temple. So, if you are looking for some decent photos of sunset in Angkor Wat and don’t mind staying out of the mainstream, you could find other spots from some other temples such as Pre Rup temple and Srah Srang, which are opened until 7 p.m. every day.


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