Laos is definitely one of the most beautiful places i’ve had the pleasure of visiting. During my month of backpacking through it’s vast landscape, I managed to get a few decent snaps along the way.

I focused on underexposing a lot of my photos in Laos. Since I always shoot in manual, I noticed from previous experience, I was forgetting to take the light into consideration when focusing on dark areas in high contrast scenes. This meant when I was editing the images in Camera Raw, the dark areas were evenly exposed, but the light areas were often blown out – sometimes causing unrepairable damage. I found, that when my camera was focused on a dark area in a high contrast scene. If I underexposed the image, the light areas were now at an editable exposure. All I had to do was ramp up the fill light or adjust the levels to brighten up the underexposed dark areas.

I also had some good practice shooting and editing photos under low light in Kong Lor Cave. Not having a tripod on hand, I had to practice using a steady hand with low shutter speeds. I even resorted to exhaling my breath while I took some photos – anything to get that shutter speed one step lower! I also had to practice ramping up the ISO to a point where there was a reasonable amount of exposure, without too much grain. Practically all the photos I took in the cave were heavily underexposed – to a point where you could barely make out the image on the camera’s playback LCD. Fortunately by shooting in RAW, I had array of editing options to play with to bring out the dark underexposed areas – creating some surprising and unexpected results.

The photos were taken in Don Det, Pakse, Savannakhet, Thakhek, Vang Vieng, Luang Prabang and Luang Namtha.

Watch the video and read my post about the trip here.