I recently went to Nongnooch Gardens expecting something like a botanical garden. Instead, I found a giant tourist trap that just was horrible. After 2 hours I finally gave up and left.
First off, the place is full of plastic animals be it dinosaurs or other animals. Everything is designed to maximize profit and keep you spending. Want to do this it costs more. Want to do that, additional charge. Plus the layout of the park is a nightmare to navigate.
What I found the most frustrating thing was the stupid plastic animals that were all over for no rhyme or reason. As you can see in this image there is a camel and pandas for no obvious freaking reason other than they could put them there.
Shot on a Sony A7ii, done in HDR by one pissed off photographer.
Wat Phra Yai is the real name for what everyone else in Pattaya calls Big Buddha.
Having seen Big Buddha more times than I care to admit I skip it now and head towards the Chinese Temple that most ignore. Meaning, it’s not jammed by a bunch of tourists being dropped off by the busloads.
If you are ever in Pattaya and are like I rather see the Chinese Temple, just pull in at the top of the parking area and make a left and start walking. The Chinese Temple is actually bigger than the Big Buddha area. Nice, calm, and the best part no tourists to be annoying. The biggest issue you have is the chickens and roosters walking about.
Shot on my Sony A7ii and yep, it’s HDR using Aurora 2019.
This is underneath the pier at Fort Myers Beach in Florida. Guess that’s why I called it Under The Pier And Dreaming. I’m original like that.
This was done in HDR using Aurora 2019. One image and done. I haven’t shot bracketed images in about forever when you can do HDR with one anymore. The program does a good job with just one image so why bother.
This is the view from the other side of my balcony away from the beach. The building is typical Thai construction type stuff and who the hell knows when it will be done.
This is another one of the sky shots I take as normal. When your shooting time is limited you take what you can get. Again, I used my Nikon D5500 and just walked out and took the shoot. I think the building just adds some visual details to it.
I used Aurora to punch some of this up but a lot of the work was done in Photoshop and I just masked in some bits from Aurora and called it done.
Behold! I took pictures while in Cambodia! I will admit the .65 cents (US) beer was also very tempting. There may be less photos and more been consumption than normal but at .65 who can complain? That’s cheap even compared to Thailand.
This is the entrance to the Royal Palace; well in theory. Real entrance is about 300 meters to the right but the nice guards pointed me to it. Then I got charged $10 to enter the place. I could have taken this shot and been done with it to be honest but I would have missed the Silver Pagoda which is more interesting than the palace itself which is sealed off for most areas.
I only took my Sony RX10 on this trip. I went light because Asian carriers are a pain in the ass about weight allowances on baggage. So with a 24-200mm lens on the camera it would do what I needed and then some.
This isn’t HDR I just did my normal routine and then started adding filters until it looked right. I didn’t even bother to blend the stuff. It just came out looking good and in the end I was happy. I also left the bird flying on purpose. Think it adds a bit of something.
First off this isn’t the jungles of Thailand. In fact, it’s just normal bushes and the stairs lead to a helicopter landing pad that I have never seen a helicopter on. It just sounds more dramatic to say jungle stairs.
Where I live is actually a beach town. When you get outside it, there are small hills but mostly flat, farming land. There isn’t really a jungle here without going further up North and then its all protected national forest. Not sure you could call it a jungle. I have been in a jungle in Panama, and haven’t really seen one in Thailand.
I wanted this image to pop a bit. I created two layer masks, one was HDR and the other was just run through Intensify. I then just went ahead and blended the two images together to get the effect I was looking for. In the end happy enough with it.
Took this while on a ramble around town. I just found it funny that this was a door painted like that. It makes it seem so inviting and friendly. I have no real idea if the door even works. Thai health and safety standards aren’t what you call the best in the world.
I’d write more but enjoy the photo for what it is. I do give the artist credit for making it an interesting door.
Super double extra bonus points if you figure out where I got the title from. I’ll give a hint, RIP Ronnie James Dio. You magnificent bastard.
I had to shoot a birthday party up near Walking St in Pattaya and I arrived early to get my gear set and then just locked it up and took a walk for a bite to eat.
For whatever reason it gets darker here in Thailand earlier than it did back in the United States. Usually by 7 PM it’s dusk. So a lot of the signs were lit up on one of the most famous streets in Thailand.
There are tons of overpriced seafood places up there. So when I saw this one I took the shot of the tourists walking through it the staff trying to lure customers in for the privilege of paying twice as much. I did it a few times when I first came to Thailand 10 years ago or so as a new tourist. After that never again.
So coming back from dinner at a normal priced place I know of I snapped this image.
So enjoy a bit of Walking St, Pattaya.
This was taken for friends of mine who are opening a new bar. They needed some interior images and I just really like this one.
Normally I don’t show off work I do for others but I really like the image. This was more of a test image but I ended up liking it a lot. There are two versions, this one I masked in from Intensify and the one we used for something else. Even with the minor issues it’s a cool image. The bar wasn’t open yet and I was just there doing some interior images for later.
This is just some of the stuff I am doing. What I can’t show and why I don’t have much time to shoot anymore.
Editing this was normal workflow and then I used Intensify to do bring out details. Nothing overly fancy going on here. Used my Sony A7R and a 16-35mm lens.
This tree is outside the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas. It’s from the archives and had remained unpublished for many reasons.
I was staying not too far away at the time so walked over to see the Alamo. The building that Ozzy Osbourne did not urinate on. I say that because it turns out Ozzy was so intoxicated on many things he could not have gotten in. He urinated on the statue outside of the Alamo which is where this picture was taken (see the connection?).
I have sat on this picture for a few years now. I shot it for HDR and had 7 exposures and no real clear idea what the hell I was doing in HDR. Now I know 7 exposures way too much. It creates too many artifacts and it turns an image into mushy mess.
With time and knowledge I went ahead and picked the normal exposure image. I went and did some perspective correction and then loaded my camera profile in. I really can’t tell you how much a proper camera profile is worth. It fixes a lot of stuff quickly.
Once I had the image fixed it was time for editing. I did a quick curves adjustment and then local dodging and burning. I wanted the tree to be more lifelike. So a quick load into Intensify and I picked a preset. Once happy back into Photoshop. I debated on masking in the more intense part but was happy so I left it as is.