Travel Collection – 2 in Bangkok

Not sure had you read my Travel Collection – 1 in BeijingTravel Collection – 1 in Beijing

Now here goes another one of my picture story telling of why do i make this particular image and how do i approach towards the subject during travel in other countries.

As many of the pictures were taken years back. I may not remember all the small details anymore, but the scene still linger in my mind.

Portrait of a Monk

I was like a street hunter, with an eagle’s eye looking for picture opportunities in Bangkok. I can’t remember which temple i was at, there are so many temples everywhere in busy Bangkok. A Buddhism’s country that much devoted to the belief.

I wandered into this temple where i can see a row of golden Buddhas in line. I took the opportunity to rest myself from the heat of wave. While i was cooling down under the shelter, my eyes was scanning for my ‘prey’, not many visitors at that moment, kids were running around, a few monks making their way to the exit.  I capture some still life street photograph and that was about it. Something was lacking. But i don’t know what is that hollow point at that moment.

Often when i search hard for picture opportunity, that situation never appear. The moment i stopped seeking, the chance is presented and is up to you to grab it. Why do i say this? Is because much patience had already dry up while waiting or expecting for something to happen. If nothing occur as you visualise,  you may end up being frustrated, disappointed and even a waste of time.

What is the disparity between Waiting and Expecting?

Waiting – Not knowing what is going to happen next, unable to control the situation. (negative)

Expecting –  A desire to see a situation that is going to unfold. (positive)

Back to the temple. As i as was about to leave, i noticed a monk by himself standing in-front of the Buddha statue. Somehow that particular moment caught my attention. I  boosted up my confident, approached the religion man. Is a do or die moment, i don’t want to moan later why i did not even asked about it and regret for the rest of my life.

I can’t speak Thai, except for the basic “Sawadee kap”, palm together. I spoke in the most simplistic English and hand gesture to ask for a picture. Hoping he will understand. I was not nervous, but neither will i be disappointed if he rejects me.

The monk smiled, nob his head *throw fist on air*

I recalled having some difficulty in the composition, whether should he be standing at the side or the centre. I quickly made a few frames and concluded that standing in the centre would be better. Everything is all centralised from the background to the key subject. Is the the student being humble in-front of the Buddha’s teaching.

He did not smiled throughout, neither i want to control his expression. For street/environmental portrait. I decided to let the monk to be himself, and be respectful to him is important.

Personally i like this picture so much that i printed out 12 x 8 inch and hang it up on the wall.

Hope you enjoy this article, drop me a comment if you like it or how to further improve it.

Documentary Photography – Hidden Door

The first door i capture in Chinatown.

Hidden Door is over a year long term project of documenting door around Singapore back lane. These doors are “hidden” behind the shophouses where not many people likely to venture.

I was extremely fascinated and attracted by the vivid colors of the Hidden Door. Only able to shoot on weekend as most business are not operating. The back lane tends to be less rowdy, and most importantly the door is closed.

I find it serene whenever i look at this. A different point of view from the usual hectic environment in the city.

However, the temperate in the back lane was much higher as there is no shelter to shade me during the documentation process. The heat can gets really nasty as the space between the walls are not spacious at time. Sometimes i came across oil ventilation that blows downward, puffing a nasty smell around my torso.

Mops hanging on the gate.

What inspired me going was the creative design structure, the material of the door, and the various intriguing details of the overall surrounding.

A little cat could be sleeping at the door steps, clothes hanging at the door front, flower pot that is in-front of the door, words and numbers spray on the door, there are many exciting details for viewers to go in-depth if looks closely. Behind every anonymous door lurks possible myriad tales of childhood, romance and history.

One of my favorite image. The contrast of this images with the small details around. Was wondering is this cat sleeping or sun basking?

I have documented over 500 door images around this tiny island, and is still on-going. As time flies, business change hand, demolish of building, cement the back door. Change of color, replacement of another door. Nothing is forever. But these pictures will be the memory of the past, present and future.

Currently am still uploading Hidden Door images to my website. Feel free to check it out.

These doors will be available for limited edition prints, customers or corporate companies who are interested do let me know. As i need new funding for future projects.