Royal Pagoda At Nongnooch Gardens

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.

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Buddha Mountain

I shot this last year when my Mom was visiting me here in Thailand. There is a real name for the place but the Thai name is brutal so we just call it Buddha Mountain.

I shot this on my Nikon D5500 with my Sigma 17-70 Lens. Honestly, if I want a travel camera and don’t want to hump one of my Sony’s around the D5500 with the 17-50 and the 55-200 is perfect. Lightweight, great battery life, and outstanding image quality.

This is in HDR but I like to think I do it subtle enough not to make it obvious. Dodging and burning as needed.

Enjoy.

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Under The Pier And Dreaming

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.

Enjoy

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Sunset Over The Pier

This is the fishing pier at Fort Myer’s beach. Shockingly enough this was my first trip ever to Fort Myer’s beach so I really had no idea that the pier even existed.

I set up my trip in the water as I took this photo. Some guy was behind me going what you shoot? I was like the sunset over the pier. He goes brilliant and busts out his cell phone for the same shot. He ended up following me and getting the same shots I was getting for about 15 minutes.

I did this one in subtle HDR. I didn’t see a need to go nuts about it. Plus I prefer the subtle versus the so damn obvious versus of HDR.

Anyways. Enjoy.

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The Long Walk

This image was taken at Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve in Fort Myers Florida. I took this in early January which in Southwest Florida means it’s still stupid hot and there was still leaves on trees.

While I normally like to do a series of images if I am going to get into the editing swing of things I’ll stick to one or two depending on the level of intensity required for me to do it. Not that this took a lot of effort.

This was the first time I used Aurora 2019 which was much improved and the first time I used it on a PC. The new interface and the speed of this laptop versus my old Mac are massive. Going from 16gb of RAM to 64gb makes a huge difference. Plus all my drives are SSD and my external drive is USB-C to it’s much more pleasant to work now.

As always click on the image and it will take you to my Flickr where you can download the full resolution if you like.

Enjoy.

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Monks Walking

I was outside the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh and saw these 2 monks walking by. I just waited for the shot and took several frames as they walked by.

I don’t pretend to understand the colours or monks robes. I know some are brighter than others. Older monks tend to have darker colours than younger ones. I’m sure it signifies rank but I don’t understand it enough to speculate and I’m too lazy to look it up on Google.

I liked the image, did a bit of a dodge and burn and ran a filter against it and called it done. I am suffering from a severe case of man flu right now so it’s all I can do to type this.

Enjoy.

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Off Shore

I snapped this while I was wandering along Walking St. I went into a beer bar complex that has a great view of Pattaya Bay. It was a private bar but I asked in Thai if I could and was told no problem since they weren’t busy.

With Bali Hai pier under construction and the authorities finally cracking down on illegal parking of boats on the road and walkways (only took a decade or more) you see more boats moored offshore now. Owners are too cheap to pay for docking space at the new area for boats.

I shot this at dusk so the camera had a fairly high ISO. Just did some cleaning up and in the end happy enough.

Enjoy.

Off Shore

Sunset On The Gulf Of Thailand

If you are thinking you are at the right site or not trust me you are. Things just look a wee bit different for a couple of reasons which I will get into shortly. As for the image it was taken on the Gulf Of Thailand. Which played a part in all this.

This site was hosted on WordPress.Com and it was fine hosting. I paid $299 a year for it and to be honest the set it and forget it nature was great. The problem is I have hosting that I pay for myself that is also $299 a year that runs various other projects I do. So it didn’t make sense to keep paying WordPress for something I could do myself.

I did a backup of the site and I restored to my server without issue. One of the problems was the theme itself isn’t on the free version of WordPress so I had to pick a new theme. I found one that did the trick for me and I called it done. Well, not really. I went through a few before I settled on this one and did some quick changes and then called it done.

If you attempted to get to the site over the weekend and got HTTPS errors it’s because I didn’t have a TLS certificate installed. That was a quick $9 fix and off to the races I went. If you are still getting weird errors refresh your cache.

Why does Thailand come into this? Well, I’m moving there. That’s right. Not just a brief holiday. Like, full time resident of the Kingdom of Thailand. My plane leaves the 12th of July and I will land in Thailand the 13th.

This has been a long time coming and with lots of planning. For this reason, it’s why I also gave up WordPress.Com hosting. I walked away from a very good job to do my own thing. While I have income coming in – I don’t have stupid amounts of income where $299 is just a blip on the radar or a good night out. In fact, it’s basically my monthly rent for the place I got in Thailand.

Coming in the near future will be another site where it won’t be solely photography focused. Look for that eventually. It’s in the design phase now. It will be my world through the eyes of an expat and traveler roaming South East Asia. Will be video and more. I’m sure there will be growing pains as I learn how to edit video. But it will be something to keep me occupied.

Eventually this site will redirect to that site. One day you will come here and be like WTF this isn’t the site I wanted. Don’t worry, it’s just me doing some DNS magic on the background. I was an IT guy for 25 years or so it’s not like I would be winging it.

I won’t write how I edited this photo. I just figured it was appropriate considering the nature of the post. Enjoy the Gulf of Thailand. I know I will be seeing it a whole lot more in my very near future.

Thanks for reading!

Gulf of Thailand Sunset

Road To Yonder

Title came from a comic I read as a kid. Guy walks up to two other guys and asks for directions. One of the men answers and and says ‘It’s yonder’. The man asking for direction leaves. The other man who didn’t talk then asks the man that gave directions if he actually knew where he sent the other man. He replied, ‘Always wondered where yonder is’.

This isn’t the most fabulous image I ever took in my life. In fact, it’s more of a Monday image and I was playing around so might as well publish it. There are lots of flaws with it but I’ll let it go. Part of this is me wanting to avoid Photoshop and Lightroom right now after having to reinstall them to fix the latest Adobe nightmare that somehow insists that my Camera Raw is not in sync between the two.

I do find it ironic that I raged against HDR and then I turned around and made a HDR image. In this case it worked as the source images were relatively static. There is some motion in the sky but it works so I didn’t bother with it.

This was taken at Antietam Battlefield at some watch tower thing. I climbed to the top and has it to myself so I setup my tripod and fired off a bunch of shots since I had the luxury of time. Was rather nice not to have to rush to try and get an image in what would normally be a busy spot.

As I indicated this was done in HDR. I only used the -2 and 0 images to create the file. I manually did the settings playing with sliders until I was happy. Then I brought it into freshly reinstalled Photoshop and started adding local adjustments via dodge and burn. Satisfied enough with the result I called it done and hit save.

Enjoy.

Road to Yonder

Twin Falls

I took this photo along the C&O Canal trail near Great Falls on the Maryland side of the falls.

I honestly don’t remember a whole lot about this photo. There was lots of water flowing due to recent rains and the river and various creeks were flowing due to the excess water. This was a runoff from some stream that was being drained into a canal lock.

I just liked the light in this which is why I took the image. It was later in the afternoon when I took this. I was hiking back to my car. The way the light fell on it just made for an interesting image so I took it.

This image is actually a composite blended together form 6 images I took. I was on a tripod so I didn’t have to worry about movement. I just applied my camera defaults and them open the images into Photoshop as layers. Did an align layers then a blend layers. Once I had the blended file I used Camera Raw to apply gradients and do my normal corrections. Then it was back into Photoshop to dodge and burn. The water is a bit hot on the falls but there was nothing I could do about it. Once I was done with a dodge and burn I brought it into Intensify CK to bring out some additional details in the water. Hit save and called it done.

Enjoy.

Twin Falls