I haven’t done a monochrome image in a while and when I took this one I knew it was going to be monochrome. It just felt right.
I was shooting some place else when I saw this Buddha. Not really knowing where it was led to an adventure of getting attacked by dogs and crashing a motorbike but happy to report other than some scrapes on the bike and me it ended happily as I found the temple complex.
I like wandering the local temples more so than the tourist ones. You have the place to yourself. You see the occasional monk, or other people doing stuff about the complex and there is always the endless supply of cats, dogs, chickens, and roosters roaming around. Well the chickens and roosters roam, the cats and dogs are usually asleep.
This is one of the reasons I went to Bali Hai, the lighthouse at the end of the road. Well, not really end, more like before you take a sharp left hand turn and end up in Pratumnak but most people never make it that far down. You gotta weave through the docks with boats being moved about and roving packs of soi dogs. Rather intimidating unless you been down that way before.
There are double bonus points if you can spot where I removed the Honda Click out of the image. You can also see one of my CCTV installers making an appearance and a creepy old guys’s leg if you look close enough.
This was shot off Bali Hai. I have no idea what the structure is. In Thailand there are lots of incomplete public works that just sit there as monoliths to the unfinished. With this one, with the sun setting and Gulf of Thailand waters looking blue it seemed like a good time to take the picture.
The interesting thing about this one was I had a whole CCTV crew installing a new camera in the area I was shooting. I asked in crappy Thai if it was ok if I setup to take some shots and they were fine. They were more interested in me at that point as I setup to take my shots. Language barriers prevented any conversation but they were watching trying to figure out what I was shooting and why.
November 25th of Loy Krathong Day here in Thailand. It’s always a major festival with people releasing lanterns into the air and krathong’s out into the water. Click the link if you want to learn more. It’s spelled Loi on Wikipedia but in Thailand its spelled Loy. Considering there is no standard of translation of Thai words into English and like most things over here, just go with it.
So with that out of the way I figured I get some shots in early before it became crazy busy with people. So around 8 that night I pulled myself from the bar I was enjoying the aircon of and headed out to the beach.
Lots of vendors were selling krathongs (the floating flowers) and lots of vendors were selling the paper lanterns. The best part was the lanterns were banned because they are a fire hazard. This being Thailand meant that the ban was only enforced if you were caught. The amusing part was watching the vendors walking ahead of the police selling them as quickly as the police were confiscating them from the buyers.
I tried to avoid the more touristy shots and went documentary style. I needed a break from landscape editing. These are much simpler images to edit even though they required more dodge and burning and trying to get rid of the noise. I didn’t use a tripod and there is some blurring because of slow shutter speeds. For inquiring minds the Sony RX100M3 was the camera of choice for these shots.
Suffering a bit of editors block as I went through about 4 different images and just wasn’t happy with them. I finally settled on this. It’s a simple photo of a couple riding along the beach in Jomteim.
I have been processing so much HDR stuff and trying to make everything better that I just went back to something simple with the hope that I get my mojo back.
This is the side soi (street) that gets you Wongamat Beach since most of the access is blocked by large condo buildings and hotels. I guess to keep the riffraff like me out who aren’t interested in spending a lot of money for an oceanside view. I’ll take the workman like soi I am staying on any day of the week. I like nodding to the fried rice vendor or the pad thai guy or the small little restaurant setup on the street.
Today’s image was shot at the Sanctuary of Truth which is located in Naklua. I have fond memories of this place as it was the first ever location I shot RAW in many years ago. Up until that point I had been shooting jpeg and more or less in P Mode or Auto. Little did I know it was a sign of things to come.
The building is all wood and all hand carved. There are no nails or glue used to join everything. They use wooden dowels to hold it all together. You can see them carving the new pieces in another building located next to the main building.
Many people confuse the Sanctuary of Truth with a temple. It’s not. There are no monks. It’s a cultural area and for tourists. There are Buddhist relics located inside and you can pray to them if you like.
The building itself is a mashup of faiths mostly Hindu gods and Thai mythology. Which is why you see so many different faces and images represented even in this image.
It’s worth a jaunt out there if you are in the area. Save yourself the headache of paying for a tour like I did my first trip. Just hire a Baht Bus private and pay 200 Baht and tell them to take you there. If you want to bump it to around 400 the guy will likely wait for you and take you back. Its 500 Baht to get in. The tour package is like 1500 Baht and you are on their time schedule. Later in the day is better because said tours have already packed up and moved on. If you are like me and have a scooter to ride around on, then just jump on the bike and head down Beach Rd Naklua and turn left at Soi 12 and ride the road until you get there.
Not sure how I feel about one. The colors are nice but I think I lost some detail when I did the conversion into HDR. I am still playing with Aura HDR, the new tool from Macphun so learning how to use it at the same time I am creating images. It’s more powerful than Photomatix but there is always a learning curve when you switch software.
This was shot off of Wongamat Beach here in Thailand. The storms had passed quickly as they always do here in Thailand at this time of the year. So I got a really nice sunset shot.
The issue with this area is that its really not on the tourist trail area. There were some rough stretches and rougher people hanging around. I was happy to have someone with me in this case because I think as a lone photographer I would have made myself a target. Trust me, this was not an area lined with beach chairs and umbrellas. In fact, I spent a lot of time removing trash from the image that people just dumped on the beach.
I shot this from the back of my bike while I was riding through. It total its 6 images blended together. I really didn’t want to go too deep into the editing today but I have Aura HDR which is new HDR software I purchased while here in Thailand.
This wasn’t exactly a HDR shot, since I was handheld I just fired off 6 shots and said have at it. Seemed a fair test of the software.
One of the issues you have with landscapes is the blue channel which will show noise regardless of camera and how many megapixels you throw at it. So I spent a lot of time masking it out as best as I could.
For me the image was all about the beach umbrellas. I’m a sucker for them for some reason so I will always take a picture when I can. The sky and water were secondary and I’m not 100% satisfied with the image but then again, I rarely am.
For inquiring minds the image was shot at Jomteim Beach and the primary language being spoken under those umbrellas is Russian. They like to come and warm the hell up before freezing back home. Their numbers have fallen as their economy crashed but still, there is a large amount of them enjoying their holiday in Thailand.
If you don’t pay close attention it looks like she is meditating over the Gulf of Thailand. Reality is she was playing on her phone and oblivious to what was going on around her.
She was with 2 other guys who were fishing. Not sure if she was a sister or girlfriend of one of the guys but she was in her own world with the phone. She had no idea I was clearly taking photographs of her. It was rather obvious considering I was using a tripod and had to level it and everything else.
Couple interesting facts about this image. It is HDR but its not obvious because I really mask and blend stuff in anymore. The non-HDR just doesn’t have the pop that an HDR image would have.
The other fact was I was with someone when I took this picture. Has asked to tag along for his own interests and I had no problems with it until I saw that his pale legs made an appearance in the image. In my early editing days I would have had no idea how to fix it. Now, the healing brush is my friend. Bonus points if you an figure out where he was in the image.