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Without perspective...a tribute

Without perspective...a tribute
Photo Information
Copyright: Hans Spruijt (GreenBaron) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3009 W: 919 N: 12213] (52777)
Genre: Places
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-11-12
Categories: Mood
Camera: Nikon D70s, Sigma 18-50 3.5-5.6 DC, Hitachi4GBMicrodrive, 58mm UV
Exposure: f/4.8, 1/90 seconds
Map: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Travelogue: My Trip Through south east Asia
Theme(s): TEXAS EXCELLENCE AWARD, Green Baron's most recent pictures on TL, Round trip through Indochina, My first 100 favorites [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-12-12 6:29
Viewed: 4089
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 110
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Without perspective...a tribute

Today not such a cheerful posting, a view in one of the cells of the former Tuol Sleng prison (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)used by the cruel Khmer Rouge. After my visit of the Killing Fields near the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh I visited also the Tuol Sleng S-21 prison, this former jail is now a museum. A museum which shows the terror fellable while walking through the building; I almost could smell the fear of the innocent prisoners kept in this house of horror before they were transported to the Killing Fields to be slaughtered.

What you see is a bed frame on which the last victim was found dead by the Vietnamese liberators. His feet still tightened in the feet cuffs attached to the frame, one empty plate (the victim died of starvation) and one empty ammunition box which was used as toilet.

A window without a view; a window without perspective...a tribute here on TL for the victims of the Khmer Rouge (1975-1979).

Let’s learn from the mistakes made in the past!

In workshop # 1 you find fifteen of the victims who died in the Killing Fields in workshop #2 you find a image of the center part of the prison, which is a museum now.

Tuol Sleng

The exterior of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Phnom Penh
The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum is a museum in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia. The site is a former high school which was used as the notorious Security Prison 21 (S-21) by the Khmer Rouge regime from its rise to power in 1975 to its fall in 1979. Tuol Sleng [ in Khmer; tuəl slaeŋ] means "Hill of the Poisonous Trees" or "Strychnine Hill".
Formerly the Chao Ponhea Yat High School,[1] named after a Royal ancestor of King Norodom Sihanouk, the five buildings of the complex were converted in 1975 into a prison and interrogation centre. The Khmer Rouge renamed the complex "Security Prison 21" (S-21) and construction began to adapt the prison to the inmates: the buildings were enclosed in electrified barbed wire, the classrooms converted into tiny prison and torture chambers, and all windows were covered with iron bars and barbed wire to prevent escapes.

From 1975 to 1979, an estimated 17,000 people were imprisoned at Tuol Sleng (some estimates suggest a number as high as 20,000, though the real number is unknown). The prisoners were selected from all around the country, and usually were former Khmer Rouge members and soldiers, accused of betraying the party or revolution. Those arrested included some of the highest ranking communist politicians such as Khoy Thoun, Vorn Vet and Hu Nim. Although the official reason for their arrest was "espionage," these men may have been viewed by Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot as potential leaders of a coup against him. Prisoners' families were often brought en masse to be interrogated and later murdered at the Choeung Ek extermination centre.
Even though the vast majority of the victims were Cambodian, foreigners were also imprisoned, including Vietnamese, Laotians, Indians, Pakistanis, Britons, Americans, New Zealanders and Australians.

Most non-Cambodians had been evacuated or expelled from the country and those who remained were seen as a security risk. A number of Western prisoners passed through S-21 between April 1976 and December 1978. Mostly these were picked up at sea by Khmer Rouge patrol boats. They included four Americans, three French, two Australians, a Briton and a New Zealander. One of the last prisoners to die was American Michael Scott Deeds, who was captured with his friend Chris De Lance while sailing from Thailand to Hawaii.

In 1979, the prison was uncovered by the invading Vietnamese army. In 1980, the prison was reopened as a historical museum memorializing the actions of the Khmer Rouge regime. The museum is open to the public, and receives an average of 500 visitors every day. (Source: Wikipedia.com)

dareco, thor68, shelbeesmom, machinelove, ls_photography, Beger, vandana2923, Silke, TasmaniaC, stery, salmi, musthaq, gnada, pozaru, Hendrika, Janice, Dpbours, MLINES, Tomek, eMBeer, Silvio2006, Dingo, janneman, deains, xvs1100, mortcdz, atomas59, daisydaisy, Fidy has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi friend!Nice shot and great idea.Greetings.

  • Great 
  • dareco Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1672 W: 16 N: 832] (15528)
  • [2007-12-12 6:39]

I shall post this to my favorites as my own tribute to these poor young people who suffered so badly. I had not heard of this place, so I thank you for the very informative note. You are right, we must remember and learn so as not to repeat these horrible crimes. Thank you.

very interesting and important tribute! we should never forget the victims of tyranny.
the khmer rouge killed almost 2 million people during their 4-year-regime...

nice and simple composition with a terrific natural light that reflects the dark mood and history this room has.
thanks & best wishes, thor.

Not only is the picture AAAA+++ the story is something to be remembered! How many people have died in the name of....what?? religion?? heritage??? ethnicity?? It's a crime!! Horrible what humans can do to each other! I can't get over how beautiful this photo is! Perfect my Hansie!

This is awesome Hans!! Really perfect lighting, great contrasts of textures and colors. Nice note and framing.

Great image and presentation.

  • Great 
  • Jan Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 451 W: 139 N: 813] (5358)
  • [2007-12-12 8:01]

A great photo of a terrible place. Beautiful composition and point of view!

Thanks for the note! "A window without perspective" is a great title for this photo!!
Well done!


hallo hans..
ganz tolle Bilder und..die POV ist sher interesant!

Hi Hans,

Interesante composición de esta perfectiva, me gusta mucho los tonos y colores, creando una atmósfera muy especial. Well Done.



  • NINIX Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 249 W: 128 N: 530] (6690)
  • [2007-12-12 9:34]

Ha Hans,

Dat is inderdaad indrukwekkend. Als je het niet zeker wist geloof je dit soort dingen toch niet.
Goed dat je het nog eens terug in de aandacht brengt.


wow.. sommige mensen daar zouden een moord doen voor zo'n kamer...
Maar ik moet zeggen het ziet er troosteloos uit en dat heb je goed in beeld gebracht.
Al met al een mooi perspectief... hoewel... without perspective! hahhaah


Hello Hans,

Very impressive photo and an interesting note as well. TFS.

Best regards,

  • Great 
  • korbee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1483 W: 0 N: 1852] (14495)
  • [2007-12-12 12:08]

Tja....volgens mij lopen de daders nog vrij rond....
Deze foto behoeft eigenlijk geen text Hans.

A moving shot, technically beautiful yet it is ugly.. mankind don't seem to learn from their past.. well captured and presented Hans, thanks.


  • Great 
  • stery Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 268 W: 20 N: 71] (2050)
  • [2007-12-12 13:50]

Lovely shot here Hans,
Really perfect lighting, great contrasts of textures and colors.
The title is brilliant!
Best regards


  • Great 
  • salmi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 752 W: 5 N: 428] (4755)
  • [2007-12-12 14:27]

Hello Hans,
Very interesting picture and a great note, thanks for both of them.
Excelent light, composition and a great tribute.

  • Great 
  • Beger Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3311 W: 1066 N: 5188] (23042)
  • [2007-12-12 17:28]

Hi Hans,
Your photo and note are a very interesting complement at the previous Ruudblok travelogue!
Excellent photo with a good control of light. The title is brilliant! Bravo and thanks for remember us this tragedy. We should never forget it.
History it is what prevents the future from being anything" said André Gide

Regards! Annie

hi hans

your picture and note are really touching, its hard to describe the emotions that come right now to my mind.

i salute for this series of yours.

the picture tell us thousands of untold mysteries what lied behind these terror of walls.

for sure this tribute is an extraordinary one.



  • Great 
  • jackal Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 790 W: 26 N: 808] (9654)
  • [2007-12-12 18:52]

Hi Hans,
You have captured the scene very well, the composition is simple and effective
well done

  • Great 
  • gnada Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2538 W: 70 N: 4788] (22221)
  • [2007-12-12 22:19]

Hi Hans...
Fantastic capture of the "A window without perspective"...
Thanks for the nice note! It's a great job!

Hello Hansie

Superb image here and very interesting notes, humans can be dreadful things but yet our spirit will always win over. Yes we could say a window and no perspective... or.. we could say where there is light there is hope... either way your image and notes are very moving my dear Hansie.

TFS kind regards Helen

Hello Hans,
This is a well done documentary!
Now the place gives a different impression through this artistic photograph, but a bit of imagination will make us remember...
Pablo -

  • Great 
  • Fons Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1165 W: 2 N: 215] (16615)
  • [2007-12-13 0:39]

Geeft een sterke indruk van eenzaamheid.Sober en mooi gegeven

  • Great 
  • pozaru Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3627 W: 881 N: 2607] (21386)
  • [2007-12-13 0:50]

Great tribute; well done !!!

thanks a lot,

No happy endings here I'm afraid - Humankind always will have the capability for the most horrendous acts and the echo of what was experienced here will be hanging in the air for eternity. You captured that as best you could and probably felt it under your skin and in your stomach. Hope you could balance this out with other more relaxing and cheerfull experiences you had during your trip.

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3204 W: 262 N: 7964] (34497)
  • [2007-12-13 1:21]

I know of this place. My daughter said she couldn't stay in the building, she was too upset... And she found the Cambodian people to be some of the best she met when touring in this area.
Very cruel place, and the Killing Fields is aptly named.
You show it well Hans

  • Great 
  • Silke Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2572 W: 237 N: 6132] (24044)
  • [2007-12-13 2:08]

This is a very powerful posting, Hans
Superb details, perfect composition, thought-provoking notes

Hello Hans,

Looking at this photo, reminds me the Andaman Jail from India.
Nice phto. Simple, good light and composition.


Hi Hans,

Great note and it comes together with the workshops. Nice work and you're right that we should never forget and hopefully learn... Hopefully.


  • Great 
  • ttreen Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1317 W: 129 N: 3792] (15759)
  • [2007-12-13 5:33]

Hello Hans...
Wow this is a very cold/moody shot! Then you add the notes and its just down right sad... Very emotional shot I guess I am trying to get across...


Lovely shot here Hans,
Well executed with great light management.
- Vincent

Hans ik vind dat in deze foto het licht mooi gevangen is. Nice colors and a well balanced comp.

Sad story though.

Grtz Pim

nice desolate atmosphere
one of your better pictures imo

  • Great 
  • MLINES Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1350 W: 102 N: 1081] (9125)
  • [2007-12-13 14:32]

Hi Hans, Having heard about, but not seeing as yet, this fills a gap. So dramatic and reflection of man's inhumanity to man. Well framed and excellent notes. TFS. Murray.

  • Great 
  • Tomek Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1264 W: 44 N: 3160] (18766)
  • [2007-12-13 15:26]

Great show Hans!!! - there is always two things about jails: -
good and bad. In case of regime we wish to lock in these animals from government and army...

Hi Hans,

this photo even without the context from your note makes impression. A scary, strongly speaking shot. Simplicity of this composition and use of high contrastling interior and exterior lights add a lot to this photo creating kind of symbollism translating the note's words ionto the picture. tfs


Hi Hans

Without any words I would still understand the past history of cambodian Khmer Rouge.... too bad.... TFS and this is truly touchmy heart

Amri HMS

  • Great 
  • k-2 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 605 W: 26 N: 503] (3638)
  • [2007-12-13 20:16]

Great composition with the various squares and rectangles. The arrangement leads the eye to explore the image. TFS. K2

perfect shot, Hans.. lines, forms, light.. everything is so good!! u did a great perform!!.. touching note!! excellent.. bravo!!
ciao Marco

Hi Hans, great tribute, splendid perspective from a place without perspective, very well done, have a nice week end, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • kitka Gold Star Critiquer [C: 172 W: 71 N: 184] (2196)
  • [2007-12-15 7:28]

Like a painting from van Gogh... I like this minimalistic photo. A have to find more time to read your note.
Thanks Hans, have a wonderful Advent

  • Great 
  • jacobo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 597 W: 28 N: 650] (4739)
  • [2007-12-15 12:50]


  • Great 
  • Dingo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2505 W: 368 N: 2626] (11966)
  • [2007-12-16 11:28]

A very bewildering series, Hans. The main pic is the strongest, with that empty bed...
When I saw 'the Killing Fields' by Roland Joffe I was extremely impressed by the atrocities people can inflict on each other. This post is a strong reminder too.

  • Great 
  • SofiG Silver Star Critiquer [C: 13 W: 0 N: 0] (230)
  • [2007-12-17 6:08]

:-) :-) :-)

Een pakkende foto !
Zelfs zonder je verhaal weet je : wie hier inkomt is van niks meer zeker - toch wel, ze gaan me hier ferm laten afzien !
Prachtige foto Hans

Tot later

Hallo Hans,
Ook ik heb hier gestaan.
Heel stil wordt je er van.
Mensen de vreselijkste beesten op aarde

  • Great 
  • deains Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 187 W: 33 N: 1169] (5051)
  • [2007-12-27 11:15]

A Great photo Hans & a reminder of some of the cruelty against mankind in the world. Don

Hallo Hans,

This is a masterful capture. The compo and POV is mastery.

The minimalist nature of the image is strangely attractive and the colours and saturation superb, despite the obviously difficult lighting with the window and darker foreground.

Where it concerns the history of the surroundings and the revolting nature of the room and its contents, you have captured perfectly, with the note and the image, the dark and distorted recesses of the human mind.




Hallo Hans,
Het soort foto's dat je naar de keel grijpt... Alhoewel alles er nu "netjes" uitziet, blijft er veel hangen van wat daar ooit is gebeurd. Je foto beklemtoont dat passend, al weet ik niet precies waarom. Er is de compositie, uiteraard, maar misschien nog het meest wordt de impact van je foto veroorzaakt door het contrast tussen het gedempte licht binnen en het schelle licht buiten. Een soort fata morgana van de vrijheid...
TFS & groeten,

Thought provoking picture - in itself great composition and use of the light. A very sombre picture.
Thanks for sharing

You've really capture the essence of that scene. My first impression looking at it was a sence of lonelyness...a real sad mood. Then looking at your note, i've learned more about it. Technicly, just a beautiful shot. Well done. But purely visually, so much more.

TFS Hans. A great shot from a cruel place! A lot of mood from a place far beyond imagination. Also great colours and framing.

greetz Perry

Will the world learn a lesson ?

With the highest hopes at Chrismas time...

Thanks, Hans.
Very valuable history pieces about the modern homo sapiens.


Hoi Hans

First, I must recognize the excellent and completed work here : photo + instructive note like a journaliste .
Respect to this tribute.

Second : this composition is clever with perfect pov and symmetry.
A very good light management , special atmosphere.
Exceptionnal result. Stunning impact.
My sincerely compliments
Best regards

  • Great 
  • lavan Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 710 W: 2 N: 153] (4208)
  • [2010-02-26 4:51]

excellent sharpness
good depth
well done

  • Great 
  • Fidy Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 112 W: 0 N: 79] (606)
  • [2011-06-15 0:31]

Through this picture I guess how horror was present in this place! when I see the ground tiles, I still try to imagine this place when it was formerly a school! thanks for sharing yur feelings!

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