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Ethereal Angkor

Written by Jenny Bradley

I have to share with you a new book that is on my list of new favorite things. It’s John Mcdermott’s, Elegy: Reflections of Angkor (McDermott Gallery, hardcover, $75).

If you’ve been to Cambodia, it’s a must-have. If you haven’t, it will persuade you to get there. And soon. I’ve tried for years to describe to people what it is about Angkor that puts it smack dab at the top of my favorite places list. McDermott’s book communicates visually what I have not been able to communicate verbally.


Through the use of special black-and-white film that is sensitive to infrared light, McDermott’s collection of photographs of the temples of Angkor is not just dramatic, but ethereal.

He puts it best himself. “It is the intangible spirit of a place that is most elusive when one is trying to create a visual portrait," explains McDermott.

Not only do McDermott’s photographs capture Angkor’s physical beauty, but also that indefinable spirit that is so difficult to put into words.

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