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The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, October 12 2018 10:35 AM UTC +00:00
$1,606
pledged of $9,990pledged of $9,990 goal
21
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, October 12 2018 10:35 AM UTC +00:00

About

Your help could turn a dream into a reality.

It's time to get these unique photographs off my computer so they can be shared with the rest of the world. But it turns out I can't do it alone.

Nepal 482
Nepal 482
Thailand 402
Thailand 402

Originally, I planned on doing everything myself, from visiting the temples to distributing the finished book. It has taken me three long years to swallow my pride and accept the fact that I can't do it by myself.

Laos 202
Laos 202
Laos 028
Laos 028
Thailand 239
Thailand 239
Thailand 194
Thailand 194

One of this monk's cats didn't seem to like my camera. His temple is located on the Chao Phraya River, which runs through Bangkok after nourishing Thailand's agricultural heartland.

Cambodia 700
Cambodia 700
Cambodia 701
Cambodia 701

What I now hope to do is hand all these photographs over to a professional publisher and that is where I could really use some help. STWIM 

Thailand 622
Thailand 622
Thailand 393
Thailand 393
Thailand 633
Thailand 633

I recently finished sorting through the several thousand images I've taken since 2007 but I've never published a book of photographs before. This would be a first, and I want the quality to be as close to perfect as possible. That is my promise to you. STWIM

Thailand 385
Thailand 385

A 92-year old monk feeding his cats at a temple 12 miles outside of Bangkok

Thailand 820
Thailand 820
Laos 004
Laos 004

These subjects deserve to be shared with the world in their best possible light and I would rather not publish the photographs than have my name on some cheap book, you know, the kind of photo album anyone can order from one of those do-it-yourself kiosks in mall?

Laos 227
Laos 227
Thailand 902
Thailand 902
Thailand 439
Thailand 439

In Southeast Asia, when people are unable to care for their animals, they often leave them at the temples where they know the monks and nuns will look after them. It turns out that there are far fewer animal shelters in Asia than in most western countries.

I began photographing the animals at the temples in 2007, concentrating mainly on the temple cats. I have been back to Asia three times since then. STWIM

Laos 808
Laos 808

In Southeast Asia, a Buddhist temple can also be a school, a health clinic, a parking lot, a photogenic tourist attraction, a restaurant, a setting to take one's wedding vows, a day market, or simply a place to relax and escape the noises of everyday life in the city. 

Thailand 444
Thailand 444
Thailand 515
Thailand 515
Thailand 811
Thailand 811

This Buddhist nun in Krabi Province knew no English and my Thai was not much better, but without me asking she disappeared into her room and returned with two gorgeous cats for me to photograph. As I later reviewed the photos to make sure I got the shot, the pride I saw on her face made all the minor irritations I often put up with -- like barking, territorial, temple dogs, salty sweat mixed with sunscreen dripping off my forehead and stinging my eyes, or having to skip both breakfast and lunch on an empty stomach -- just a distant memory.

Thailand 555
Thailand 555
Laos 319
Laos 319
Thailand 016
Thailand 016

These are a sampling of the over 3500 high-resolution photographs I took while backpacking through Asia. As a backer, if you would like a personally signed print of any of them, please note the country and number just below the photograph and take your pick.

Thailand 338
Thailand 338
Thailand 346
Thailand 346
Laos 123
Laos 123

A H'mong family crossing a river at dusk just outside of Vang Vieng, Laos during the dry season. The hill tribes in this area of Central Laos make a living picking wild Chinese herbs growing on the mountains in the morning and then selling them at the market in town during the day. In the evening they return to their villages with empty baskets. 

Laos 344
Laos 344
Laos 325
Laos 325
Laos 678
Laos 678
Thailand 377
Thailand 377
Thailand 993
Thailand 993
Thailand 324
Thailand 324

I often came across temples in Thailand situated on the banks of rivers and canals because Buddhist monks traditionally needed boats to get to them. Southeast Asian culture is largely centered on water and Thailand even has its own 3-day water festival every April (5 days if it falls next to a weekend). STWIM 

Laos 299
Laos 299
Laos 294
Laos 294
Laos 219
Laos 219
Vietnam 402
Vietnam 402
Thailand 019
Thailand 019
Myanmar 912
Myanmar 912
Myanmar 495
Myanmar 495

 Jumping Cat Temple is on stilts perched above Inle Lake, the largest body of water in Myanmar. Several decades ago, a resident abbot of the temple trained his cats to perform tricks for treats. I had to hire a long-tail boat to get to this remote ancient wooden temple with a tin roof in the middle of a lake. But it was worth it. STWIM

Myanmar 283
Myanmar 283

For equipment I used a professional Nikon D300 DSLR camera and usually favored Nikon's 10mm fisheye lens, but I also used Nikon's popular 50mm portrait lens at some temples where the light was more favorable.

Thailand 401
Thailand 401
Thailand 545
Thailand 545

Your help could keep this project alive. By backing me, I will take your support as incentive to keep going and as a vote of confidence that my taking on this unique subject wasn't a waste of time after all. 

Thailand 632
Thailand 632
Laos 903
Laos 903
Thailand 739
Thailand 739
Thailand 717
Thailand 717
Thailand 808
Thailand 808

Another popular location for Buddhist temples is on the tops of mountains, which allows the "pilgrim" to experience a small reward after the "sacrifice" of making it all the way to the top. The most challenging temple for me was near Krabi, Thailand.

Thailand 935
Thailand 935

The 8x10 inch (20x25cm) softcover book will be at least 100 pages of premium matt (or better) paper featuring over 200 of my most inspiring photos of temples, people, and animals of Southeast Asia. 

I prefer natural light and almost never use a flash . . but the photographic opportunity above was just too difficult to pass up. These two calicos barely noticed the flash.

With your help, if I'm fortunate enough to surpass my funding goal, I plan to use any extra funds to purchase new lenses and a full-frame camera since one of the downsides of traveling is that my equipment takes an awful beating. Visit my website at STWIM for more photos as well as more information on any upcoming projects.

Risks and challenges

All the photographs for the book have already been taken, so that hurdle has been accomplished. My main challenge will probably be coordinating printing, and the distribution of rewards. Even though I believe each of the photos is ready to be published as is, any color correction the publisher feels are necessary will be done by the publisher with their own software.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Donation

    Thanks for your support. Everything helps.

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    Signed Print of Your Choice

    Your choice: a print of any photograph on this site, signed by me. Plus periodic updates on this and any future projects as well as your name in the book as a sponsor.

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    Temple Cats of Southeast Asia PDF Book

    A 200 page electronic PDF book of my best photos of cats, monks, nuns, and temples of Southeast Asia.

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    3 Signed Prints of Your Choice

    Choose any 3 photos from my project and the size you would like, either 5x7 inch or 8x10 inch .

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Set of Postcards: Temple Cats & Monks

    All will be 5"x7" postcards of my favorite temple cats with monks.

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    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    3 Prints & 10 Postcards

    3 signed prints of your choice (either 5x7" or 8x10") plus a set of my favorite temple cats with monks postcards (10 cards) (5x7").

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    The Book

    The printed book: Cats, Monks, & Temples: a Photographic Journey. You'll also receive via e-mail the PDF book (above). Plus periodic updates on this and any future projects. Also, your name will appear in the book as a sponsor.

    Includes:
    • One Copy of the Printed Book
    • 200 page PDF E-book
    • Your name will appear as a sponsor
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $110 or more About $110

    Book and Signed Print of Your Choice

    The book and your choice of any print here signed by me. You'll also receive via e-mail the 200 page PDF book of temple cats (above) Plus periodic updates on this and any future projects. Also, your name will appear in the book as a sponsor.

    Includes:
    • The Book
    • One Copy of the Printed Book
    • 200 page PDF E-book
    • Your name will appear as a sponsor
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Everything!

    The book signed by me thanking you for your support. Also, signed prints of any two photos here as well as the 200 page PDF book. And of course, periodic updates on this and any future projects. Also, your name will appear in the book as a top sponsor.

    Includes:
    • 1 signed copy of the book thanking you for your support
    • 200 page PDF E-book
    • 2 signed prints of any photos here
    • Your name will appear in the book as a top sponsor.
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Funding period

- (60 days)