In Focus, Bangkok Photography Blog December 26th, 2009

Merry Christmas

Japan Hotel Guide
Kirishima Royal Hotel
Urabandai Royal Hotel
Rakurakuso Ryokan Hotel
Aoshima Palm Beach Hotel

Bangkok Images will be taking their annual winter break with our next regularly scheduled weekly appearing on January 9th, 2010.

and Happy Holidays to those who don't celebrate Christmas

For many Christmas is the season of giving. It follows Thanksgiving which is a time to reflect and be thankful for what we have and what we've been given. I've always found it hard to separate the two holidays from the perspective of spirit. Receiving and giving go hand in hand, from heart to heart, as easily as we live and breath. I believe everyone is worthy of receiving, and capable of giving. It's all about opportunity.

This column has given me the opportunity to share my modest amount of photography know how along with my travels in Thailand and neighboring countries. In return readers have given me words of encouragement and occasional praise for my efforts and I find it humbling. More, many readers have given to this column in the form or Readers Questions, Readers Submissions, and some even taking a tremendous amount of time and effort to put together their own Outing and Technical sections. InFocus Weekly has grown and matured to reflect the spirit of the readership. InFocus Weekly has become a true community effort and its much better for it.

I'm going to try and take a brief paragraph to thank everyone who has contributed. First, to our new review team of Craig Lamson, Tom Tweedel, and Mason Hladun. We've turned out some great reviews and have many more planned for 2010. Then we have those who have contributed entire outing sections: Rob Martin from 1ds.com, Dr. Palazzolo, Akulka, Tom Parsons, KVW, Stick, Dave the Rave, and once again Tom Tweedel. And the dozens of individuals who have submitted questions and images to share in the readers submissions area. And to those who have submitted sections not yet published, JTG and MTS International. And of course to Stick himself who manages the main website and helps me get this column up and on-line each week. If I've missed anyone I apologize. There have been so many great people contributing that its hard to keep track. Thank you everyone. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Happy Holidays whatever faith may be yours. Thank you for giving.

On the subject of giving I'm still collecting images for our mosaics to benefit the Burma orphans and refugees. Slowly we're collecting some great images and I hope soon to finalize the set and get them into marketing. Thank you for your help.

This holiday special column will be different. I'll provide a single Feature Photograph, and the rest of the article will be readers submissions. A few weeks ago I mentioned the queue was empty and I had no readers submissions to publish and within hours I had images flooding in and the queue was more full than it had ever been. How great is that!

Feature Photograph

Canon 5d Mark II, 70-200mm F2.8 IS @F5.6

52 columns this year. Each column hopefully becoming more informative, more topical, more inclusive, and subsequently longer and much more work than when we first started. I was feeling the strain and frankly needed a good rest. I loaded up the truck with camera gear and headed up to Khao Yai National Park for a planned few days of R&R.

Unfortunately it didn't quite work out that way. I took some work with me which took much more time than I first anticipated, and I also didn't anticipate the four day Thai holiday weekend crowd. The park was FULL of happy campers and hikers having a great time, but who's presence prompted all the wildlife save for the hungry monkey's to retreat into the forest deeper than yours truly was prepared to trek. Every landscape, every vista, everywhere I looked there were people in the scene cluttering up nature!

Quickly I gave up on my plan for obtaining some great fall and wildlife imagery and presented myself with a new challenge. I wanted to take my time over these three days and take but a single exposure. Yes, just one exposure. This exposure was to represent my renewed spirit and Khai Yai National Park.

It took a lot of discipline to not shoot everything in sight. Instead I drove slowly through the park time after time, pulling over and letting others pass, and driving on again.. keeping my eyes peeled for that one shot. It was towards the end of the last day when I saw it. I stopped the truck in the middle of the road and watched this branch swaying out on it's own with red pods at the end. The sun backlit this branch making the pods almost translucent and lighting the branch in the way only natural backlight can do.

Taking my time I carefully framed and made this capture paying particular attention to my exposure to ensure I captured not only the feeling, but the delicate balance of light shining through the pods and on to the tines.

It's a simple shot, not even worth of mention in it's own right, but to me it represents an entire three day period of time during which I rested and renewed. It represents discipline, selection, and the very essence of my mood and feeling during this time. Light bouncing off the tines, light shining through, spirit renewed.

I hope this next year is better for everyone. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays..

Readers Submissions

Hi Steve,

You asked for some samples from “Popeye”, so here you go. All were taken with the Sigma, except for the one of the farmers. That was with the 70-300.

If you want to use them as submissions you can of course do so. Just need to resize them a little bit.

Rgds,

KVW

KVW –

Nice first pics with your Sigma 12-24mm. It certainly gives a wide view. I look forward to seeing more as you discover it's capabilities.

Steve

Steve

Chiang Mai area. Main train station BKK.

Rick

Rick

Thanks! Nice color pics! We look forward to more.

Steve

Steve,

Greetings my friend.

Over the past 2 weekends, spouse and I made road trips to the Amphawa and Bang Nam Phueng Floating Markets in Samut Songkhram and Samut Prakan provinces respectively. The trips themselves were enjoyable and provided me with photo opportunities that I welcomed. I've given my beloved spouse my point and click Sony digital camera so that she could also get engaged with the photo taking and enjoy and practice her photography as well. So, by getting her involved, that has proven to be helpful and rewarding in allowing me pursue my photo taking even more.

In any event the Amphawa Floating Market is at GPS coordinates N13°25.566' E099°57.256' and is a nice drive from my residence in Rayong Prov. As we neared the flatlands South of BKK on route 35, there were sea salt farms with many many road side stands selling the farmed sea salt and that proved to be rather interesting. Amphawa is by far the nicest and most enjoyable of all Floating Markets that I have visited in the Kingdom so far and I am becoming somewhat of an expert on the Floating Markets.

Amphawa is famous for the "fire flys" or "lightning bugs" that come out in the evening as well as for the famed boat gondolier who is the single non-motorized boat taxi that services the Amphawa Market klong. Unlike Bang Nam Phuent Floating Market which is described below, Amphawa is spread out on the navigable Klongs leading into the Mae Klong River. The food vendors are plentiful and it is more of a local Thai market environment rather than a tourist stop floating market. I've included a few pictures as follow:



Picture of some of the boat vendors from a bridge over the klong

Seafood bing grilled on one of the vendor's boat

A boat vendor departing the dock for the other side of the klong

Sea Salt Farm

Sea Salt being sold at roadside stand

Fruit vendor boat on the klong

View of sights from our boat ride on the klong

View of sights from our boat ride on the klong

View of sights from our boat ride on the klong

View of sights from our boat ride on the klong

Larger boat at the mouth of intersection of Amphawa Floating Market klong with the Mae Klong river

Floating Market Food

Floating Market Food

The famed Amphawa Floating Market gondolier




The Bang Nam Phueng Floating Market approximate coordinates are N13°40.653' E100°34.427'. This is a nice floating market as well but more limited in capacity that the Amphawa floating market. Not very commercial and plenty of free parking available. Most of the vendors have their boats that make noodles and sell food tied to the docks and do not move from day to day. We noticed plenty of wheel chairs being used by different people visiting the market so it is somewhat wheel chair accessible. Worth while going to and can be easily combined with a visit to the Wat Bang Phli Yai at GPS coordinates N13°36.274' E100°42.721'. Wat Bang Phli is noted that it now has a 5,000,000 baht bathroom. Very nice and clean temple. worth visiting. Attached are a few pictures and noted description.

The boats of the vendors at the market

Boats at the market available to rent

An antique vanity at the market rest area

Unused boats at the market

Entrance to a traditional Thai House along the market klong

More unused boats at the market

More unused boats at the market

Star fruit being sold at the market

Wat Bang Phli Yai

Wall fountain at famed 5,000,000 baht bathroom in Wat Bang Phli Yai

Klong at the Wat Bang Phli Yai


I will limit my comments to my own photo taking as being enjoyable and being a good excuse to get out and about. It seems that with a DSLR camera I look like I know what I'm doing if nothing else and people are less prone to restrict my entrance to some areas that might otherwise be off limits if I did not have the impressive looking equipment. I'm having a good time taking the pictures and in my case that is what is important. Moving on to more photo taking. Ciao for now my friend.

MTS International

MTS –

It's hard to believe you've only had this first DSLR such a short time. I really appreciate your images and enjoy viewing them. It's obvious you put a lot of thought into most of these. Great work!

Steve

"Steve,

Here are some pictures from a trip I took to Cuba (yeah I know, I'm not suppose to go there because I'm American) of the hot-rods stilling roaming the streets. It was like going to a car show everyday as all the 50's-era cars just made you feel like you were in a time warp. I only got to spend 8 days there and was on a guided tour the whole time, which wasn't great for doing my own thing photography wise but I think I got a couple good shots. My favorite is of the guy working on his car with the hood up on a coble stone street. This to me was classic Cuba."

If you could do me a favor and add a link tomy website at the top and bottom of the pictures I would appreciate it. Also, yeah I know I'm asking a lot but I'm trying to build readership, if you could include the below link as a hyper-link that says"To subscribe to FOGG Odyssey for his daily updates click here."

T-Roy

T-roy –

How great it must be to be on the other side of the fence in Cuba! I spent close to four years on the Guantanamo side of the fence and it wasn't much fun at all! Love the pics! And yes, I'd be happy to post a link to your site and Facebook. I really encourage the readers to correspond to each other and share their experiences.

Thank you!

Steve

Hi Steve,

I am back in Vienna. Freaking cold here! I have put some photos together from my temple visit in Chonburi last Wednesday. If you find them suitable feel free to use them as a Reader’s Submission in your Weekly. The introductory narrative is below!

Recently I went on a daytrip from Bangkok to Bang Saen in Chonburi province to visit Wat Saen Suk. At the temple one finds an incredible amount of statuary that depicts a wide range of topics. There is also a pond for the temple fish and turtles. While there may be other temples that have larger statues, this temple is striking because of its large range of subject matter. Of most interest to me were the many depictions of heaven and hell. The photos below give an impression on what the temple has to offer.

Akulka

Akulka –

Wow! What a wonderful set of imagery! Some of these are really wild, others simply shocking. For sure they'll get the viewers attention.

Thank you!

Steve

BKKSteve;

The Moon Eyes Annual Show 2009

Bart

Bart –

What a great collection from the Moon Eyes Show! It would be great to have some narrative to go with these as I'm sure readers are going to have some questions on the when, where, and why of these images. Either way they sure are fun!

Thank you!

Steve

Steve:

All taken with the Canon S90 on auto setting. Use as needed.

Did you see the article on the S90 in Monday's Bangkok Post Holiday section page 4?

Rick

Rick –

I'm glad you're still enjoying that new Canon S90. It certainly is one of the finest point and shoots available today. I'm looking forward to some low light shots with that F2.0 lens and bigger sensor. Bright, colorful, and interesting. Good work!

Steve

Final Words

Wow, what a nice collection of readers submissions. And I didn't use all that were in the queue. If you didn't see some of your images please know that I'm hanging on to a few for when the column goes back to the normal format on January 9th.

I encourage you to study each others images. Examine different styles, ask yourself how you would have taken each shot differently, study them for CA (purple fringing), poles growing out of peoples heads, soft focus, and other deficient areas where you can learn and help improve your own work. On the other side of the coin look for the well composed, sharply focused, well thought out images and see if you can work some of their techniques into your own style.

I do each of the above. I learn from you guys. No one knows everything and when it comes to art, and make no mistake, photography is art, but when it comes to art no one knows it all and there's always room for growth and improvement no matter who you are.

Further, study the types of cameras where listed. It would be helpful if you guys could include your exfil data so the readers can see what kind of camera you used, what mode you used it in, focal length, shutter speed, aperture, and more. I'll be doing an article in the near future on how to read and extract your exfil data so it will be easy for you to include this information.

Thank you. The input of great Readers Submissions recently has made be very happy, yet humbled. I think we have something good here and I'm willing to work putting it all together as long as there is reader participation. The more the better! Keep the images coming!

I also have a nice queue of readers questions and my answers to the questions. I enjoy answering your questions and will always take the time to give you my best answer. You don't have to agree with it, but know it's the best answer I know. Keep your questions coming and I'll do my best to give you prompt replies with good accurate information based on either my own experience, or another Pro with experience in that area. Our review team has a combined experience of over 100 years in photography. I'm sure we can come up with a decent answer to your question or at least lead you in the right direction to find it.

Thank you. Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. And great shooting at your events. We've having a big Christmas dinner here at Bangkok Image headquarters and I can hardly wait. I'll be taking pictures of our dinner and festivities and I'll be looking forward to seeing some of yours.

The season of giving is upon us.

Until next time..