It took 3 attempts to capture this amazing sunrise and the first day ended up being the best one. I don't regret a single minute spent at this amazing temple. It's hard to wrap my head around the scale and the work that must have went into making it. And this is just one of many in this massive complex. I don't believe anything these days could stand the test of time like these temples have.
TAKEN: July 1, 2016
TECHNIQUE: This was a very simple 2 part image. One exposure was used for the sky and one was used for the temples to ensure there was detail still retained. With the sky exposure the temples were too dark and with the lighter exposure the sky was too bright. Using the sky exposure I created a layer mask for the sky and the reflection, then blended it with the lighter exposure. Alot of time was spent ensuring that the lighter exposure still retained the detail but also gave that silhouette look. Next Contrast and an selective Orton Effect was adding using Color Efex Pro. Color correction and some dodging and burning.
TIPS: Make sure that you make multiple attempts at your location. I went to Angkor Wat for 3 sunrises and the first day ended up being the best. But had I not went there could have been a potential that I got a better shot. Also making multiple trips helps you understand the location better, giving you a better idea of composition, best time of day, and how the light will react.