Mave On The Move - Week 1

Discussion in 'Locations' started by David M. Byrne, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. David M. Byrne

    David M. Byrne New Member

    Hello all,

    7 days in and it’s been an eventful trip thus far. As I type it’s 06:45am & I’m sitting on the veranda of my bamboo bungalow overlooking a valley in the mountains 23kms outside Chiang Rai in extreme Northern Thailand, not too far from the border with Burma (Myanmar). I’m surrounded by dense jungle vegetation, the sounds emanating from which leave me in no doubt as to how removed from normality I am. That is until I remind myself that I’m on a Wi-Fi connection & able to file to entry for RPF! Oh yes, the world definitely is a smaller place these days thanks to modern marvels like the internet & improved/increased access to same.

    Over the past 7 days I’ve sampled the Thai capital of Bangkok before heading north on a 16-hour, overnight train ride to the northern capital of Chiang Mai. That was followed by a 3-hour bus ride north again to the sleepier town of Chiang Rai, before going a little bit further north to my present mountain retreat - I’ve been going up, up, up all the while knowing that I’ll eventually have to go down, down, down (after I leave here I’ll be heading south towards the Thai beaches & Malaysia). It’s great to be on the road and be in fulltime photographer mode. It is something I’ve looked forward to for a long, long time and now that it’s happening it’s not disappointing… although I have to admit that constantly being on the lookout for a shot can get a little mentally draining (not that I’m complaining, of course). I’ve taken quite a few pictures over the last 7 days many of which I like & 8 of which I present here. As with all my pictures they are, if at all, very minimally post processed in Google Picasa (it’s simple & I’m a simple kind of guy) & emblazoned with my vanity-driven website logo!

    Picture 1, Day 2 – Wat Arun Buddha’s, Bangkok, Thailand. March 7th 2012.

    The repetition & colours meant this was such a photogenic part of this Wat, or Buddhist temple. I played around with this scene for quite a while and shot this with both my Tamron 28-75mm & Sigma 10-20mm. However, & while I liked the results from the wide-angle, I knew the repetitive row of statues fading off into the distance meant the depth of field abilities of the f/2.8 Tammy lens was always going to win the day.

    Picture 2, Day 2 - Wat Arun Stupa, Bangkok, Thailand. March 7th 2012.

    This was one of those moments when I was glad I had a wide-angle lens with me; if I didn't I probably wouldn't have even bothered to try photograph this, the massive central stupa of Wat Arun. The stupa is a massive, multi-tiered, wedding cake-esque tower decorated by - rather bizarrely - seashells & pieces of porcelain. The central stupa is surrounded by 4 smaller stupas, two of which appear here to be almost falling in on the central tower. It's a mighty impressive sight & this image really doesn't do it justice even though I made sure to include someone in the foreground to add a sense of scale to the image.

    Picture 3, Day 2 – River Boat, Bangkok, Thailand. March 7th 2012.

    A great way to avoid the chronic traffic on the streets of Bangkok is to use the public boats that ply the city’s Mae Nam Chao Phraya river. Another wide-angle shot, this one of people waiting on a boat pier to board the approaching boat. I like this because of the shadows and the detail of the sky.

    Picture 4, Day 2 – Tuk-Tuk & Driver, Bangkok, Thailand. March 7th 2012.

    If you can’t avoid the aforementioned traffic on the streets of Bangkok then you may as well throw yourself right into it & how better than in one of the city’s ubiquitous tuk-tuks. These are small, noisy 3-wheel transport options, the riding of which is a quintessential part of the Bangkok experience. But good luck negotiating a reasonable fare or even getting where you want to go; tuk-tuk drivers are notorious for taking both tourists & their wallets for a ride. I’ve taken many pictures of tuk-tuks, both inside & out (see following picture) but I like this one the best, taken with my point-and-shoot after a night on the town.

    Picture 5, Day 4 – Railway Station, Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. March 9th 2012.

    Chiang Mai is the capital of Northern Thailand, a cultural hotbed & a jumping-off point for many of the North’s attractions. I captured this image on an almost-deserted platform of Chiang Mai train station having just gotten off the overnight train from Bangkok. Taken at 200mm, I wanted to capture the striking reflections of the lone walker & the tracks tapering off into the distance. As I did so a pigeon entered the frame rom its perch in the overhanging platform roof which I find was a nice addition to the scene.

    Picture 6, Day 4 – Night Bazaar, Chiang Mai, Norther Thailand. March 9th 2012.

    It may be full of knockoffs & tourist tat but the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar is still a tourist favourite, which probably explains why I only saw tourists availing of this bazaar Bazaar attraction of having their feet cleaned/exfoliated by little fish. It wasn’t for me but at least it was photogenic. I spent quite a bit of time capturing this image with my 50mm prime and liked the results.

    Picture 7, Day 6 – Hands, Wat Rong Khun, Chiang Rai, Northern Thailand. March 11th 2012.

    This picture was taken in the compound of Wat Kong Phrun, aka The White Wat, in Chiang Rai. The modern-day Wat (construction only began in 1997), with its pure white exterior sparkling with mirrored chips, is obviously the main photographic attraction but I found it hard to get a good shot of the structure due to the poor lighting; it was mid-day & the smog affecting this part of the country right now had the sky an almost yellowish colour. However, I did like this picture I captured in the Wat complex, that of sculptured hands, with a lone fingernail painted red really standing out amongst all that grey.

    Picture 8, Day 6 – Tuk Tuk Ride, Chiang Rai, Northern Thailand. March 11th 2012.

    A picture taken from the inside of a moving tuk-tuk on the streets of Chiang Rai. The picture was taken at 10mm so I was right up behind the drivers head with the lens almost touching him. I was aiming to capture the whole scene, including the mirrors on both sides of his tut-tuk cabin. We were moving and my position in the tuk-tuk hunched behind the driver was precarious to say the least so I took this shot in ‘P’ mode, allowing the camera to do the dirty work. The image, captured at 1/50sec, is noticeably blurry so I then fired off a few more shots with a faster shutter speed in an attempt to reduce the blur. However, and while subsequent captures were less blurry, I liked this picture the most because of the motion effect given by the blurriness. It better encapsulates what a ride in a tut-tuk on the streets of Thailand is all about.

    So, there you have it, my first pictorial entry. I’ll be heading to southern Thailand en route to Malaysia over the coming week & I look forward to checking in with you all again in 1 weeks’ time. In the meantime I’d love any & all feedback/critiquing I receive as it will hopefully help me produce entries that are well received by you all on RPF.

    Regards from the jungle!
    David M

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  2. Rob MacKillop

    Rob MacKillop Edinburgh Correspondent

    Good post, David! Something to return to.
  3. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    Thanks David. An interesting read and some super shots. A few are missing by the way but I found the station one on your Flickr stream.
  4. David M. Byrne

    David M. Byrne New Member

    Yes Pete, I'm having a few teething/learning-as-I-go problems with the uploads and how best to get the pictures up there. I'm in communication with Hamish to try resolve them. Hopefully I'll be good to go by next weeks posting! :)
  5. Hamish Gill

    Hamish Gill Well-Known Member

    HI David
    Sorted your photos for you ... Ive had to upload the missing 3 to my photobucket temporarily
    I think the flickr route might be the best one ...
    Or you could set up a photobucket for photos just for showing to us ... ?
    something that allows you to host the photos else where seems the most sensible way to do it as that is what the massive majority of people here do and it allows non members to see the images
    the instructions for sharing images can be found here
    Sharing Images
    That all aside, wonderful first set of photos!
    I especially love the train station one with the two people dressed in red and the bird ... talk about right place right time!
    I have a strong feeling im going to enjoy reading about your travels ... maybe with a hint of envy ... but enjoy non the less!
    Great stuff!

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