Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Travel Shooting: Elephants in Thailand

Sad to read of further trouble in Bangkok today, and that the Foreign office is advising against travel to Thailand currently.

We had an excellent fortnight in Thailand only a couple of weeks ago - and the Elephants were certainly a highlight. Thailand is known for its' Elephants, and we didn't struggle to find them on our trip.

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Whether it was a case of seeing them trecking through the bush ...

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Or bathing with them ...

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In the river at Kanchanaburi ...

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and making a friend for life.

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Or joining in the fun on the Khao San Road, on the day before Songkran

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Where avoiding the spray and protecting your camera was the order of the day!

It was impossible to avoid the friendly beasts. Even when travelling away from them, reminders were everywhere. These are from the Erewan Waterfall (Erewan is Thai for Elephant). As a nation the Thai's are rightly proud of these gentle giants.

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Frendly fish wait for a foot to gently nibble - any volunteers (and no, I didn't dare!)

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Gatecrashing a fashion shoot!

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Risking a dunking as I balance the camera on some rocks for a slow (1/5sec) exposure using the self timer.

I hope you've enjoyed some of our travel shots - it was certainly interesting re-acquainting myself with some old kit and cheap lenses. I definitely appreciate my 5DII all the more now!

Friday, 23 April 2010

Travel Shooting: Abandoned Vehicle at the Jeath War Museum, Kancharaburi

I was intrigued by the long abandoned vehicle at the Jeath (Japan, England and THailand) war museum near to the rebuilt "Bridge over the" River Kwai at Kanchanaburi.

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I wonder just how many years of dust the car is covered with and what led it to be abandoned in such a state? Also, if you know what the make/model of the vehicle is, then please amaze me and let me know by leaving a comment below.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Travel Shooting: Thai Sunsets

I'm just back from a couple of weeks travelling around Thailand with the family and very glad to be back in the UK before the volcanic ash cloud hit (as no doubt, are my wedding clients!).

I couldn't resist the opportunity to take a "proper" camera on my travels, but didn't want to risk using any of my current kit - which is a good thing when I look at the sand ridden state of the kit I did take (and that's before we get to Songkran!).

So I packed an old Canon 350D with its 18-55 kit lens and purchased a variable aperture Canon 35-135 lens on eBay which gave me a good spread of lens lengths without taking up too much space or weight in my rucksac. The 35-135 lens will be back on eBay later this week!

I'll attempt to post a few interesting shots over the next week or so and avoid boring you with too many "holiday snaps". I thought I'd start off with a few pictures of various sunsets that I grabbed over the course of the break.

The long exposures that these need meant that I was often reliant on a combination of finding a flat, unmoving surface to balance the camera and the self timer to get sufficient sharpness from the shots, but nonetheless as someone who doesn't usually take much in the way of landscapes, I'm pleased with some of these:

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We start in Bangkok and a view over the Chao Phraya River & the Phra-Pin-klao Bridge.

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On to Kanchanaburi now and a longer exposure taken later in the sunset gave me this lovely image of the Maenam Khwae Yai river from our hotel restaurant.

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At Ao Nang on the coast near Krabi I employed a model* and artfully posed her removing sea water from her shoes to get this shot of the early stages of the setting sun.

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With my budget for live models exhausted I was forced to turn to a still life, with these discarded coconuts lit by the on camera flash whilst exposing the background for the ambient. I had to jump up to 200 ISO in order to get a little more coverage from the 350D's tiny flash (oh for a 580EX!).

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Shortly after sunset on the same night, and for literally a couple of minutes maximum - the sky turned a vivid red behind the clouds and I took the opportunity to grab this shot.

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Now on to Koh Lanta where I took the opportunity to combine my passion for long distance running with my passion for photography by sprinting through this shot(!) as the self timer elapsed.

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Typically the best sunset of our time on Koh Lanta came when I was relaxing in the pool you see reflecting the sunset here. Undeterred, this shot was taken with the camera precariously balanced on a sun lounger late in a sunset on the next night.

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Finally for today, a last sunset on a clear day at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok as we prepared to fly home and I burned the last space on my memory card.

Well I hope you enjoyed something a little different from me. Back to work properly tomorrow!

Dan Davies.

* - or possibly just took the opportunity to grab a shot of a passing traveller at the appropriate moment.