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John Einar Sandvand

Photography in Myanmar: A quiet evening at Shwedagon Pagoda

shwedagon

PICSPIRATION SUNDAY: A late afternoon and evening at Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar´s capital Yangon is a most relaxing and inspiring photography experience.

It is beautiful. And calm. Colors are golden. People are relaxing. Monks pray. There is lots of time for reflection.

And never more than a few meters to walk before a new nice photo can be shot.

Shwedagon Pagoda is the main attraction for tourists visiting Yangon. With its 99 meter tall stupa it can be seen from much of the city – and in evening it can be a spectacular view.

According to legend, the history of Shwedagon goes back 2600 years.  The pagoda has been rebuilt and renovated several times.

I spent two evenings at Shwedagon during my recent visit to Myanmar. I found the best time was to come a couple of hours before sunset and stay until dark.

About these photos

Shwedagon is a great location for many different types of photos. Many photographers focus on getting great shots of the pagoda as such. As for myself I prioritized taking photos of people in different situations.

One important reason was the new lens I had bought in Bangkok a couple of days earlier, a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM.  Because of the wide aperture this lens is great for taking portraits of people.  I was eager to try it out as much as possible, and in fact most of my photos from Myanmar were taken with this lens.

Monks praying at Shwegadon after sunset. Taken with 3200 ISO and aperture f/2.8. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

Monks praying at Shwegadon after sunset. Taken with 3200 ISO and aperture f/2.8. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

Article 3 of 5 about photography in Myanmar

This article is part of a series of five about photography in Myanmar.

More photos from Shwedagon Pagoda

Monk at Shwedagon pagoda. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

Monk at Shwedagon pagoda. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

Making prayers at Shwedagon pagoda after sunset. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

Making prayers after sunset. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

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Praying monks at Shwedagon pagoda. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

Praying monks. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

A young monk at Shwedagon pagoda. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

A young monk at Shwedagon pagoda. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

Shwedagon pagoda - as seen from Kandawgyi Lake. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

Shwedagon pagoda – as seen from Kandawgyi Lake. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

Many people come to Shwedagon to pray. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

Many people come to Shwedagon to pray. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

Location of Shwedagon pagoda

About the author: Communications officer, journalist, author, digital strategist, photographer, traveller…and more.

7 comments… add one
  • Michael

    FYI, monks in yellowish-orange color are Thai monks who are taking a visit to Shawedagon. Burmese monks are usually in Red color.

  • Wow, great shots, I wandered around looking for good captures of people but it was hard to isolate them from the busy background without the lens you have and that narrow depth of field. I love the photo “Making prayers after sunset” too.

    Here’s my post on shooting at shwedagon – would love for you to check it out. Thanks!
    http://www.sidecarphoto.co/listing/shwedagon-pagoda/

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