This is a shot off of Wongnamat Beach in Naklua, Thailand. With the snow now falling for over 24 hours straight here on the East Coast and not due to stop till the very early hours of the morning. I am not a cold weather animal and I would much rather be sitting in the tropical climate of Thailand than sitting here watching the white stuff pile up.
I’d go into the technical details of the image but I just like the fact it looks warm and inviting.
This was taken off of Wongnamat Beach in Naklua as the sun was starting to set over the Gulf of Thailand with the city in the distance. You can see Pattaya, Pranumnak, and Jomtein in the distance. I also liked how the water and the rocks played off each other.
This was shot with my Olympus EM1 versus the Sony A7R which I use for most of my landscape stuff. Mainly because I am lazy and hate switching lenses and I can use the 24-200 I have for the A7R. Still, I can notice the lack of details between the two cameras if I pixel peep enough. The one thing I haven’t done with the Olympus is use a 2 stop bracket like I do with my Sony. The HDR was done with 7 images shifting 1/3 of a stop each direction. I might try it with 3 images with a 2 stop shift.
Lots of filters after the HDR conversion. Running it through Macphun’s Intensify CK and Nik’s Color Efx. Then masking everything back in at various levels.
This was taken at Mini Siam which I still stand by the statement should be called Crap Siam. I removed the more egregious damage to the wall behind the statue but trust me, its crap.
The statue itself is called a dvarapala or gate guardian. This was taken at the entrance to it makes sense that it would be there.
I really wanted the statue to pop versus the rest of the image so I made sure to mask in a clarity layer over the statue. It is the focal point of the image. I also wanted to make the tones a bit richer so I used another layer to add some saturation and vibrancy.
When doing HDR work, there is very little “HDR” and a lot more masks and layers. While I don’t go into the level of details the true masters of HDR do, one image can take you an hour or more depending on how you want it to look. It’s interesting that even my normal photography has started to take on more masks and layers as just learn to manipulate Photoshop to get the vision in my head onto the screen.
This is another shot from the Sanctuary of Truth here in Thailand. This is the back entrance stairs to gain access to the inside of the temple.
I just liked how the stairs looked with the wood tones changing between the natural, the orange, and the green. You must remember that all this is hand carved using traditional tools and there are no nails holding it together. It’s all done with wood dowels.
This is one from Wognamat Beach in Naklua, Thailand. The skies were threatening and I just liked how it works with the water and buildings.
One of the interesting things I have discovered while shooting here in Thailand is that sand and tripods aren’t the best of friends. Tripods tend to sink it the sand which can cause the image to shift from frame to frame.
Wognamat’s beach was better than Jomtien’s because it was course sand versus the finder sand in Jomtien’s which just basically sucked the tripod into it.
Well, not really but you do have to walk down a treacherous set of stairs that are in a leafy canopy to get this view of the Sanctuary of Truth. Trust me, lugging a camera on a tripod down and up these stairs is miserable.
I have no idea how long I have been coming to Thailand now. A good many years and this is my third trip to the temple. It’s been under construction the entire time. Since its all hand crafted, with no nails or anything modern being used in its construction the scaffolding around it has always been there. Still, its a cool place to visit.
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.
I guess these could be alien shores since I am not Thai and I am a legal alien in their country! Well, until my visa expires and I fly home.
This is still Wongamat Beach in Thailand, just my creative version of it. This is what happens when I go to Stuck In Customs. I get the urge to do a HDR image. To be honest, I shoot all my shots for HDR anymore and a lot get blended into some form of it but this one felt right to go towards the surreal versus the realistic version.
There are about 6 layers total in this image with me wanting to draw the focus to the sky and contrast it with the shore. Is it perfect? No. Do I like it? Yep!
Further proof I am in Thailand (and didn’t’ forget to upload the image)!
This was shot off Wongamat Beach in Thailand as the usual afternoon storms were starting to roll in over the Gulf of Thailand.
The story behind this one was that I had another person with me as he wanted to take some shots too. Normally I work alone and when in Thailand I just ride my scooter to where I want to go but we hired a private baht bus for the princely sum of 200 Baht to take us there. On a bike I can quickly get to where I want to go and bypass such things as security but when you hire a baht bus you are kinda conspicuous.
The recommendation from a restaurant owner to get to the beach was go to one of the private condos that line the beach and get access that way. So when we pulled up to the recommended condo there was that pesky security guard. We tried bluffing our way past him and usually, the language barrier works in your favor when you just exasperate the security guard by pretending you only speak Amish to the point they let you through. This time, I met a highly motivated Thai who seemed to take his job seriously. So I never got to see the “Jim” I made up on the spot since the guard demanded a room number.
No biggie, I saw the hidden access road on the way which was only about 500 meters back up the road.
For inquiring minds, shot on my Olympus EM1.