I thought I ‘d start June with a bang. An explosion of motion. Just a bunch of light, color and blur. The leading lines are fun, but that’s about all. I made this picture on the streets of Bangkok. Thailand. The content? Well, cars and buses and a bit of the surrounding buildings. But you have to look hard to see that. It’s a time exposure and a turning of the zoom function of a lens. Sort of F8 and be there kicked up a notch or two. One more thing. I’m thinking of change the design of this blog to something a little more contemporary. Thoughts?
Working is good for us. It’s what motivates us. it’s what gives us clarity. It’s what gives us fulfillment. So, “they” say. “They” may be right if the Buddhist monk is just doing the next thing that is front of him. In many ways, his work in this image just illustrates and old saying about doing the next thing. It goes something like this. A young monk has just finished his meal. He says to his elder, “Father, I have finished my porridge.” The elder replies, “well, you better wash your bowl.”
This image was made at Wat Pho in Bangkok, Thailand. Or, Wat Phra Chetuphon as most Thais know it. It is the largest and grandest of the wats in Thailand. I’ve photographed it a number times, so now when I go back I really work hard to look for moments like the one in this picture.
I had to laugh. I wanted to get the spelling for name as Thai people know it. So I Googled it. The first reference was for a cultural way of saying “what for?” The second reference was in answer to why you eat the Vietnamese soup, Pho. The third reference was for the soup. And, finally…
I enjoy traveling by train so much so that even when I’m not traveling, I sometimes visit interesting train stations. I really enjoy going to the main train station in Bangkok, Thailand. It is called Hua Lamphong and is in the Pathum Wan District of the city. It was built in and 1916 and serves over 130 trains a day that carry over 60,000 passengers. At least, that’s what Wiki says. But, that’s not the only reason I go there. It is one of the few large terminus stations that you can wander around freely and photograph whatever you wish. All you need do is smile. Since the station is wide open and has openings to the track so it is not air-conditioned. Either are the platforms where you board the trains. So, it is hot and very humid. Everywhere. I found this woman sitting on a bench on one of those boarding platforms. I asked her with gestures if I could photograph her. She didn’t care. Afterwards, I bought a couple of bottles of cold water and gave them to her. She cared about that.
Thai speed. I made this picture a few years ago on the streets of Bangkok. Thailand. I’ve always enjoyed photographing subjects in motion and making them look and feel like they are in motion. Generally, that means working at night for the drama and exposing at f 5.6 and letting the shutter speed fall where it may… as long as it is not open too long which turns the image into a mass of color and lines. Or, as long as it isn’t too short which freezes the subject and defeats the purpose of trying to capture the feel of motion. yes. I did some post production work as the frame indicates. But, not too much.
Sometimes, I feel like just darkening things up a bit things up a bit. This is another kind of experiment. It’s not very pretty and I’m not sure why I did it and, more to the point, kept it. I guess I’m attempting to do something more movie like. I’ve always been drawn to end of the world, apocalyptic kinds of films. If Bangkok traffic is apocalyptic, then I guess I nailed it. Thai traffic might not be quite that extreme, but to those experiencing it for the first time, it might seem like the end of the world.
An old friend mentioned an old song called MacArthur Park. Apparently, his brother never thought it made any sense. It made sense. To a few of us… and, I’ll leave it like that. Anyway. This is Hong Kong, made from my roof top. But, it could be any city which is the point of this heavy manipulation. For a while, I was messing around with a website that provided automatic tilts and swings for any picture that you cared to upload. I’d give you the link, but I’ve lost it. If anyone knows about this site, please send the link. I enjoy making my pictures go all MacArthur Parkish. One thing. I made the picture in late afternoon when everything gets golden and then added more color in post production.
Something like that, anyway. After all my poking around temples and wats in Asia I came to realize that Buddhist monks, especially the young ones, are pretty much just like any other person you might meet on the street. They go shopping. I run into them in the high-tech shopping malls looking a computers. The talk on cellphones. I guess that they even text and tweet. And, despite being vegetarians, they do like their Western soft drinks like Coke. After all, they do have to live in the world. But, they do keep it simple.
Once again, I’ve decided to publish a picture from Hong Kong. This image was made from the Hollywood Road entrance to the wet market in Central. It’s more of a scene setter which gives the viewer an idea of where the market is located among the skyscrapers of the city. In case you are wondering, it’s pretty much the color as the camera saw it. If anything, I turned it down a bit since it was really garish.
This is Cat Alley. Or Lascar’s Row, if you prefer. It has a very spotty reputation. At various times in history it was either a red light district, or a bunch of rooming houses for Indian sailors who made port in Hong Kong. Today, it ‘s sort of an arts and crafts center where tourists tend to shop for trinkets, antiques, collectables or very, very good art. The alley features a huge amount of knock off art and semi-collectible junk. But, if you take the time to wander around inside the stores that make up the core of the buildings you’ll find some pretty nice original work. Where is it located? For those who don’t know Hong Kong, it’s located sort of catty corner and down the stairs from Man Mo Temple, which is a huge tourist destination. That means it’s at the far end of Hollywood Road in Sheung Wan. Hollywood Road is sort of the art center of the city.