Temple Animals of Southeast Asia - a Photographic Journey

Biochemist and photographer David Wooster has returned from photographing Buddhist temples in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar, focusing on the animals and the monks and nuns who care for them. Wooster has plans to publish over 300 amazing photos as a coffee-table book. He has started a Kickstarter campaign to help finance the book's publication.

IN 2007, David Wooster took a break from medical research and began traveling throughout Southeast Asia where he immediately became interested in the exotic beauty of the temples, the amazing animals, as well as the affection he saw in the faces of those who take care of these animals.  

THE BUDDHA instructed his followers over 2,500 years ago to avoid harming any living being, which is why the monks have taken vows to care for animals left at the temples”, Wooster says.   “In Southeast Asia, there are few animal shelters, such as the Humane Society, so when someone has a pet they can no longer take care of, they know they can leave them at the temples where the monks will look after them.”

WOOSTER BEGAN his trip by focusing mainly on the architecture and exotic locations of the temples using wide-angle lenses, but soon changed his focus onto the animals living at the temples after his first month on the road.    “When I first began showing my photos to other travelers, they seemed more interested in the temple cats, so I began focusing on them as I went along."  

"IT'S ALSO interesting that each country in Southeast Asia has its own take on Buddhism, and the temples in the countryside can be very different than temples in the cities.   Along with the affection on the faces of the people, I also wanted to convey as many of the differences in the temples throughout the region as I could.   All in all, it was an amazing experience and I believe it shows in my photographs.”

WOOSTER PLANS to return to Thailand and finish photographing the dogs, monkeys, birds, and other animals living in the temples since he focused mainly on the temple cats this last trip.    As one of the rewards offered for backers of his Kickstarter project, he has an E-book featuring over 300 of his best photos of the temples, monks, and cats.   He hopes to wrap things up by the end of next year by publishing a hard cover edition with all the animals he encountered along the way. 

A SCIENTIST with a Ph.D. in biochemistry, David Wooster has published research in medical journals in the areas of cystic fibrosis and meningitis.   Temple Animals of Southeast Asia – A Photographic Journey is his first photography project.   

KICKSTARTER PROJECT: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/82349696/temple-animals-of-southeast-asia

A BLOG With 18 Sample Photos:  http://templeanimals.blogspot.com/​

Youtube video TEMPLE CAT MORNING also has some amazing photos of the cats, nuns, and monks:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjMjbfSBEak

​David Wooster's E-mail: settingthewheelinmotion@gmail.com


Categories: Photography, Publishing and Printing, Travel, Personal Travel

Tags: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, photography, religion, Southeast Asia, temples, Thailand, travel


About Setting The Wheel In Motion

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An Internet startup with the goals of showcasing photography of Southeast Asia, as well as the preservation of the local cultures. Because of globalization, much of what makes Southeast Asia unique is being lost.

Setting The Wheel In Motion
228 Jefferson St
Vassar, MI 48768
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