Travel Collection – 3 in Sri Racha

How i learnt about Sri Racha was back in 2007, i was still learning the rope of the photography industry, more interested in the commercial aspect. I was asked to assist a photographer who is going to have an assignment in Thailand. It was my first time going to Thailand, was very excited about it at that point of time. Later i learnt we were going to Sri Racha to work for a few days. Where the hell is that??? That was then my first intro to the subdistrict town in the eastern part of the country.

Many years later, back in 2011 (has it been so long already). I travelled back to the less crowded town to pay a visit to my local friend. I took the opportunity to wander around as a tourist, more chill not too focus on making pictures. I did later transformed into a photographer mode and start my ‘hunt’.

Portrait of a local kid

Portrait of a local boy

Portrait of a young girl

Even thought my three subjects are children, i still treat them with respectful manner, more funky approach as well. Bear in mind good manner will influence others to be courteous and polite as well.

I approached each of them with a friendly smile, and with my fascinating broken Thai language, hand gesture was more universal at that point of time. Trying to engage with the kid for a while before i try to take pictures. I usually visualise how i want the picture to turn out, rather than pondering about how to compose the picture. Because i am not in a controlled environment, i never know what is going to happen next, the kid can suddenly dash off , or the parent calling for them. Is better for me to do it asap than been draggy, if the child still hang around, i can continue to take more pictures.

One tips to get their smile, is  to show the children their pictures on the LCD screen, they love it, their smile will appear if they did not smile initially. This method never goes wrong for me so far. Once that smile break open, quickly capture more pictures while they are smiling from the heart. You got yourself some great pictures.

Feel free to check out other of my travel collection articles.

1 in Beijing

2 in Bangkok

Travel Collection – 1 in Beijing

Travel Collection is a group of photos from various travel trip i did in Asia countries.  I decided to select my favourite pictures, open up another folder in my website and put my favourite all together. Photoshelter function allows me to seamlessly handle large number of images in a breeze. The purpose for this blog is to share why do i make this particular image and how do i approach towards the subject during travel in other countries.

Portrait of an old lady 

I was exhausted after squeezing and exploring around the Temple of Heaven, Beijing. I headed to the park within the premises. Taking my time to rest and enjoy the lush of lighted greenery that embraced me. This old lady sat beside me, one bench away. Somehow we started chatting a bit through my mandarin language and their own Chinese dialect, i always love to have a conversation with a kind and good stranger. She was all smiling and laughing, you know the sunshine personality. I thought she would make a good portrait picture for my travel documentation,

She was already unreserve and relax, i asked her permission whether can i take her photograph? She agreed, wooohoooo! I took out my trusty long lens and started shooting. While am still making minor conversation to make it even more natural. I only asked her to look at the camera, and she was smiling all the way.

There was a generous depth in the background behind her. Technically is easier to isolate the background in order for the subject to stand out in it best. When people look at the picture, the focus is immediately on her, the greenery background became an aid to the overall composition.

I thought surrounded by greenery is a natural luxury.

‘Snap, Snap, Snap’

Check my LCD and was content with the outcome.

I really love that smile reflected on her facial expression, being positive and cheerful at her age. Is like an indication that her life is much peaceful. I showed her the picture and asked whether she likes it? We continued chatting a bit more before i headed for my next destination.

Camera setting
Focal length: 94mm
ISO: 800
Aperture: F/5
Shutter Speed: 1/250

Let me know if this is helpful, as i intend to write more (to improve my writing) of my experience to share with like minded photographers so that your can gain something as well.

Hope and Happiness

My trip to Kathmandu, Nepal was an eye opener. Use to travel around city in various countries. Nepal greatly lacks proper infrastructures and proper amenities. This would be the least pleasant place to visit if one hope for shopping spree or entertainment during the night. There is still a pure rawness in this country. Something primitive yet very slowly advancing. If you are interested in the mountain and landscape scenery, this is the perfect place to do days of trekking.

My trip to Nepal was rather impromptu as usual. Book an air ticket which is running on promotion, did some research (which is a must) for travel photography purposes. One of the day i was in an open flea market where traders were busy finalising business deal with interested parties. I came across this small pavilion where i saw a group of Nepalese children were having fun by themselves. I approached them to capture some images, i showed them the preview on my camera LCD screen. They seems delighted, suddenly the girls started to form up a line and started to sing. Somehow it becomes a private entertainment for me. I click for more pictures.

I was looking at my archive today, pondering which pictures to print. This image appear and a string of questions runs through my mind. Do they sing to break through poverty? Do they sing to have a happy face? Through their eye i recalled, i don’t see hardship in their character, perhaps they are hoping for a miracle of true happiness in life.

Happy International Women’s Day in Vietnam

International Women’s Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women’s Day, is marked on March 8 every year. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women’s economic, political and social achievements. Started as a Socialist political event, the holiday blended in the culture of many countries, primarily Eastern Europe, Russia, and the former Soviet bloc. In many regions, the day lost its political flavour, and became simply an occasion for men to express their love for women in a way somewhat similar to a mixture of Mother’s Day and St Valentine’s Day. In other regions, however, the original political and human rights theme designated by the United Nations runs strong, and political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide are brought out and examined in a hopeful manner.

I’ll learn about International Women’s Day when living in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam 1 year ago. I have never, ever hear about such special occasion. Learning from my friend that there is such celebration. I understand women or company female co workers would buy flowers, arrange it nicely to present it as a lovely gift. Well most women love flowers, aren’t they?

Abundance of flowers in the Flower Market.

7th March 2011, i followed my friends to the Flower Street in Saigon in the early evening. Soaking into the atmosphere of this warming celebration in Vietnam. Muscling my way carefully through the hard-pressed streets. Witnessing my Vietnamese’s friend deeply involved in buying beautiful and fresh flowers at the Flower Street in Saigon. Making sure she got the best price and the freshest flowers she wanted. Hence i took this opportunity to capture the vibrant street images there.

Congested road at flower street in Saigon, too many motorcycles going in 2 different directions.

A busy florist

Probably is one of those days where business are blooming for most of the florist vendors. Doing all their best to pull in more sales from the visiting customers. Of course not every stalls will be flood with customers. Some stalls are extremely crowded, maybe is the quality of flowers or the competitive pricing they are offering. Some stalls were were rather quiet, maybe is the location or visitors yet to venture deep inside the market.

The 2 flower sellers happen to be biting their fingers, or eating something. But looks like a nerve wrecking moment to me.

A vietnamese flower vendor trimming the flowers for customer.

A vietnamese lady doing her flowers shopping in the Flower Market.

Night scene of Flower Street market. Can witness many vietnamese women buying flowers to prepare for International Woman’s Day.

Lastly, wish all my female friends a very Happy International Women’s Day. *MUACKS*

What i hope for for a new camera comes true – Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Finally, the long anticipated Canon 5D Mark III was finally introduced world wide. Am pretty sure most photographers are equally excited as me, pondering what is the new improvement Canon is going to announce. As usual there are many rumors from various forums talking about the new “secretive” product, chatters are gossiping about what they want and expect from the camera manufacturer. Said is easier than done i suppose. Is all the cheap thrill that makes it dramatic.

Here is the showcase of the new EOS 5D Mark III by Canon.

I remembered getting my 5D Mark II about 1.5 years later after it released, There’s a need to upgrade the camera as i need new technologies to cope with the new client’s base. I manage to sold it at a good price to fund for the latter.

After using the 5D Mark II for 4 years. As a professional photographer that works with the camera intensively day-in day-out, shooting various subjects in different circumstances and environment. I’ll long desired certain features that would be incorporated in the next generation of Mark III. Here is what i hope..

My dream specs for 5D Mark III
Maintain the mega pixels
5fps
More autofocus point
Better weather sealing

When i read the specs from 5D Mark III i was really overwhelmed. Is like Canon heard my voice and make such a wonderful product for my needs!

Canon EOS 5D Mark III – Key features:
22.3 Megapixel full-frame sensor
61-point autofocus
Up to 6fps continuous shooting
Native ISO 100-25,600 sensitivity (H1-51,200; H2-102,400)
Full HD video with manual control
14-bit DIGIC 5+ processor
Enhanced Weather sealing
8.11cm (3.2-inch) 1,040,000-dot screen
HDR mode with presets

The specs are close to what i want and is a cut above. Am so glad the megapixel was not further push up to 25mp or 30mp, as 21mp from 5D Mark II is a quite demanding at times to shoot at RAW mode.

New layout of the 5D Mark III exterior, it wouldn’t be hard to adapt it soon.

Probably i will get this beast about a year later, as my 5D Mark II still have a lot more room for capturing images. I feel i have yet to fully maximize it’s capabilities, yet.