Beautiful Ordinary

The Old Luang Phabang Hospital Photo Challenge

The challenge: to find beauty in one of the most ordinary places in Luang Prabang, the old abandoned hospital.

Walk into the hospital with your camera, absorb the atmosphere and open your eyes. You might just see something extraordinary that surprises you, that compels you to want to take a photo; or maybe you see something very boring…challenge yourself to take a beautiful photograph of that object…you might just surprise yourself with what you shoot.

An @ My Library project
sponsored by Chi Too


1st place photograph looking through 2 tiled doorways


I liked it in every way. The composition is great… a wonderful use of color and perspective. The cumulative effect had the impact on me that I get from looking at a great Mark Rothko painting, serene and stimulating at the same time. An exquisite shot.
- Arts Aficionado

2nd place photograph of light on faded wooden doorway


This was my choice for overall achievement. It demonstrates the most important ability required of a photographer, the ability to see the image where most would not and the photographer has interpreted the wording of the competition perfectly. He has also made excellent use of color, shows a good understanding of depth of field and composition and out of something ordinary achieved something beautiful.
- Professional Photographer

3rd place photograph looking through green doorframe


I like this one the best because it works so well with so many different planes, uses color and line deftly, and frames the foreground grid at a magnificent angle. Exceptional…at least to my eye.
- Museum Curator


There were many other beautiful photographs not included here; the shortlist was selected to include something from each of the photographers who participated in the contest. See the other shortlisted photos at:


In 2009 renovations on the old hospital were completed and just before it reopened as an Aman Resort the photographers were invited back to retake their photos.  See this new collection from the Amantaka exhibition, "Then and Now" at: