I have two friends travelling around in Thailand right now, one of them has a Flickr page and some great shots of Thailand found here. Naturally I am jealous, especially when I see shots of the Andaman Sea. I started going through my shots from our last trip to Thailand back in November/December of last year with the intent of putting together a tutorial on exactly how I throw together a lot of my DRI/HDR blended shots. I spent all morning on it, but I was not happy with the shot and scrapped the tutorial part. I cannot just delete the photo after all that work though! This first was taken in the city of Ayutthaya in one of the many, many shrines they have. The other is the 6 shot DRI that I worked on taken during the early morning sunrise at Railay Beach. If you could deport all of the tourists from the area except me and my wife, give me about 100 bags of sea salt and vinegar potato chips, a kayak and couple of years supply of sunscreen, it would be the ultimate beach paradise!
Looks seemingly normal, but what in the hell is going on with those poles on both sides? That is because this is a vertorama, aka 2 shots stitched together like a panorama, except they are stitched vertically. The picture is warped a bit to insure that every pixel in both shots are perfectly lined up. Also, both shots were comprised of 5 exposures each which were then HDR’d in Photomatix before stitching them together.
Another one from Ayutthaya. I took multiple shots of this scene with different statues in focus. This happened to be the first one I opened and I just started to work on it. I looked at the other version a day after posting this, really, I like the focus point to be on the statue second from the left side. I think that framing your subject with bokeh on both sides is usually a bit more pleasing than starting your DoF at the beginning of your foreground. That is my theory at least.
Since our international flights originated in Bangkok, we thought it would be interesting to head up to the city of Ayutthaya, which is about an hour away from the city center, maybe slightly longer if you get caught in the hellish traffic usually found in Bangkok. We flagged a taxi down in the morning and were able to get an all day tour from the most friendly cab driver I have ever met in my life–and only for 1,500 baht. His mother was born in the city, so he knew exactly where to take us. He knew of so many spots that we eventually became so wore out that we had to turn him around back to Bangkok… where he proceeded to take us to more places. So I have a lot of shots from that day since there is so much cool stuff to see. Thank you Mr. Bangkok cab driver.
School has started again for me and it is rudely encroaching on my free time to work on my photos.. Damned dirty school! What did you ever teach me about photography? Nothing!
Well this was the evening that I took about 60% of my shots for the entire trip to Thailand. The majority of shots taken here were mostly unremarkable highlighted by a huge series of vertical panorama multiple exposure shots I took of the entire 360 degrees of Railay Beach– that were unfortunately kind of overexposed since I was too good for my histogram or meter during the series. We’ll see if I can save it in the future.
Not your usual long tail-boat-on-a-nice-deserted-white-sand-paradise-beach picture. This was only about 15 yards from the edge of the beach so they were able to wait until low tide to remedy the situation. These long boats are really damn smoggy and noisy when operating and I secretly wouldn’t have missed this one if it was totally enveloped by the sea, but on the other hand there aren’t a lot of other options to get back and forth between Railay. Still, I have no idea why Thais utilize these slow, inefficient, and completely archaic long boats?
I used my little Photox Cleon remote to take this 141 second exposure of the west side of Railay, the area that we stayed in. The beaches there are amazing and the reason there are 2 sides is that the hotels are all on a very narrow peninsula that only takes about 5 minutes to walk from one side to the other. Both sides are dotted with restaurants right on the beach and the food is pretty damn good and not too prohibitively expensive at only about 600-800 baht for 2 people with more food than you can usually eat.
I notice a lot of blurriness from the trees on the rock face due to the long exposure, which I now see why most long exposures of the ocean or sea turn out better when you mostly focus on the glassy water and wicked skies that start to come out despite what looks like complete darkness to the human eye. I had a few other long exposures that had long tail boats in them and they were so blurry it kind of ruins the shot for me.
Today should really be spelled twoday for me right now. You see, my day began at 5am Thai time on Friday to see my lovely wife off to Bangkok International for her flight, marking the end of our 2-week tryst through paradise. Once the inevitable checkout time came, I too headed to the airport to sit and wait for 11 hours before boarding time, but this was a special 11 hours because I was sick for most of that time.
I eventually pilled myself up, snapped a few photos, and embarked on the rest of my journey back to Turkey and now about 48 hours since the start of my day, I am trying to post this HDR of my personal prison for a day that is about as heavily baked as my mind feels right now. I’ll be ready to travel again tomorrow, although, responsibility tells me no!
We took a trip to Krabi, Thailand back in Nov/Dec ’07 and let me tell you… That place is the real deal paradise if you are a fan of oceans, beautiful scenery, and warm weather. Krabi was the perfect hub to cheaply charter a long boat to many of the different islands and beaches, many of which were relatively devoid of crowds. Krabi seemed like a good alternative from the very crowded cities of Bangkok and Pataya, and we were never once bothered by lady boys or sex trade workers, which is always a plus in my book!
I finally earned my PADI diving certification so I could dive with wifey on future trips. I highly recommend Krabi Divers if you are in the area. Great price, very friendly staff, and brand new gear. The Andaman Sea had extremely clear water and plenty of diverse sea life to watch. It ended up being a lot more fun than I thought it would be.
This trip was the reason I purchased a DSLR and became really interested in photography as a hobby. My newer Panasonic DMC-FX01 was a noise factory and ended up getting a ton of dust in the sensor along the way. This was highly frustrating for me and after seeing pictures from a friends D80 at work in France, I was done with sub-par point and shoot cameras.
This is one of the few shots that came out okay; the rest need tons of work to repair, and I wasn’t really thinking beyond snapshots at the time anyways.