Tag Archives: bangkok

Reprocessed Shots: Places of Worship

Since I’ve been lazy with the camera as of late, I decided to at least reprocess some photos I have backed up as NEF (“raw”) files. Some of these date 3-4 years.

While I’m not personally an overtly religious person, places of worship have always fascinated me – something people who have followed this blog will notice. In a way, they encapsulate a place’s culture. I think a perfect example is this first church, located in Hsinchu, Taiwan. Note the differences in architecture compared to the American churches below.

Something else that interests me is the difference between more rural and urban churches. In League City, Texas, a small farm town until it expanded recently due to suburban expansion, Saint Mary Church’s old building is now a historical site for the town. I found its humble stature interesting, especially compared to St. Paul, located in nearby Houston.

For good measure I included a few Buddhist temples which also show differences in geography. This is less evident however in these photos, but can be seen when visiting these temples in China/Taiwan/Hong Kong versus Thailand and Cambodia.

Above: a church located in Hsinchu, Taiwan.

A Buddhist temple located on the Chao Praya River in Bangkok, Thailand.

A Baptist church in Taipei, Taiwan.

The “Big Buddha” of Po Lin Monastery, Hong Kong.

  

Left: Wellington First Congregational Church in Wellington, Ohio. Right: Wellington First United Methodist Church in Wellington, Ohio.

  

Left: St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Houston, TX. Right: St. Mary (Old) Catholic Church, League City, TX.

Single Shot: Taiwanese Guerilla Art – in Thailand?

This was actually taken years ago while visiting Thailand. I did NOT do this, but thought it was photo-worthy when I noticed it by chance while out walking in Bangkok.

Ten Shots from 2011

I decided to put together ten shots from 2011, mostly based on popularity of posts, but also including shots that I really grew with as a photographer and just plain old like.

Let me know what you think. I’ve linked each image to the Flickr page and each description to the original post.

This guy was taking part in the annual Dragon Boat Festival (龍船節), a major Chinese holiday celebrated as a bank holiday in Taiwan. Cities all over the island hold races between dragon boats – large, colorful regatta boats powered by rowing teams. This particular race was in Hsinchu. 

These dancing San Tai Zi (三太子) gods were in Taichung during the annual Mazu Festival. The festival involves a large pilgrimage which takes days to complete and the size of which can only be explained as “massive.” See this for the original post.

Hsinchu’s East Gate is seen here at the “roundabout” in the city’s center. This photo was taken with my iPhone and the app Instagram. More shots can be seen here. 

Not long after the Mazu Festival was Spring Scream, a multi-day music festival held annually in Kenting, located on the southern tip of the island. This was a Japanese punk band called Samurai Attack, or SA.

In the days and weeks following the Fukushima incident, the international controversy surrounding nuclear power reached Taiwan. I took a look at a protest taking part in Taipei.

This was taken during my trip to Thailand last summer. Wat Arun is the tallest temple in the city of Bangkok and one of the most amazing places I’ve visited.

Another “touristy” shot from Southeast Asia, but one which I had in mind as soon as I got on the plane to Asia. Angkor Wat is a spot that everyone needs to see and its location in Cambodia is changing the face of the local town, Siem Reap.

This bear was at the Taipei Zoo, an extremely affordable and large zoo located in the country’s capital.

Also in the capital is the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial, home to one of many ceremonies showing the changing of the guard. Precision and solemnity highlight this ceremony.

And the last is a shot of a sushi joint called Sushi Express from a newer camera, the Nikon P7000. I wrote about my initial reactions and posted some shots around the time of Dragon Boat Festival weekend. It’s a nice camera, but the lack of a mechanical shutter kind of irritates me.

For anyone who follows my blog: thanks! To be honest, I mostly blog because it forces me to take pictures. The fact that I have a bit of an “audience” helps me get out the door with my camera in hand. Doing this has helped me develop my photography and force me to make the photos “good enough” for public consumption. In the future, I hope to add a little more as I delve into film photography and continue to explore “Ilha Formosa.”

More Golden Buddhas at Bangkok’s Wat Pho

While I’ve posted about Wat Pho before, I wanted to share some more of these golden Buddhas at the temple. I actually took a second chance to visit the temple and take photos as the complex itself is huge. The second time, I played around with depth of field and took my time in the hallways which connect the main buildings.

  

  

Single Shot: Fabric Market, Bangkok

This fabric market, which I believe is known as Pratunam Market, is located near Central World and offers a huge amount of clothing on the streets for tourists as well as wholesale fabric and tailors ready to create clothing.

I came across this man while carrying the P7000. I smiled, pointed at the camera, and asked him with the universal “is this OK?” look. After he nodded yes, I took the shot.

I had set the ISO to Auto-400, which is a nice feature for the camera as it will auto select an ISO in the 100-400 range. The VR and the camera’s small size helped as I had a slow shutter speed of 1/30 at f/2.8 – looking back, I should’ve had it dialed on my own, faster shutter speed. Regardless, I was happy how it turned out as the photo has some context even if he could be a little closer.

Bangkok Erawan Shrine

Bangkok’s Erawan shrine, located at a hotel that shares its namesake, is dedicated to Phra Phrom, known in Indian culture as the Hindu creation god Brahma. Since Thai Buddhism is very much connected to India, this shrine provides an interesting look at Thai religion as it sits amidst a shopping district. It is one of the most popular shrines in Bangkok, even though shrines like this are not uncommon in the city.

I shot these with the P7000 as I decided a day with the P7000 on RAW would be good for my back, which was aching as this was near the end of the trip.

A wide angle shot from the skytrain.

 

Left: a flower vendor. You can use these flowers to lay at the shrine. Also common are lottery ticket vendors, as I see very often in Taiwan.

These dancers were probably hired by a wealthy benefactor. In addition to laying flowers and incense at the statue, you can get performances to show your devotion.

 

 

Left: the four-faced Brahma. Right: adherents paying respects at the front of the altar.

The statue above is not the Erawan shrine, but is nearby. It is a representation of the Hindu elephant-headed god Ganesh. This located in front of the famous Central World shopping mall.

Bangkok Flower Market

On the banks of the Chao Phraya is the Bangkok Flower Market, a maze of smaller vendors, wholesalers, and artisans. This makes for a lively time for photography and is quite fascinating to see. I noticed early on that shutter-priority with a higher ISO than normal would be important as I tried my hardest to stop the action.

  

  

  

  

Bangkok Street Scenes

These street shots come from my day of running around Bangkok with the camera. This is only the first post in this series, as the city makes for endless opportunities.

Above and top: Two forms of public transportation. On the top is a common city bus, on bottom are monks on a Chao Phraya River Ferry.

  

These were taken in the side streets near Wat Pho, an area I returned to after wanting to explore the variety of life beyond what the tourists see. You don’t need to go far at all to escape the tourists.

These stores with eastern medicine supplies are common near Wat Pho, home of traditional Thai massage.

  

This sign was hanging on a vacant lot’s gate – I thought the crest for the city agency was interesting.

  

  

Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn

Wat Arun, known as the Temple of Dawn, is located across the Chao Phraya River from Wat Pho. It is the tallest temple in Bangkok, and visitors can climb to the top of the very high central tower for 50 baht, about $1.65 USD.

You’ll have to take a ferry to get to Maharaj Pier and then another to cross the river. The cost? 15 baht to the first pier, a whole 3 baht to the Wat Arun pier. Not bad at all, but it is a bit time consuming waiting for boats to come in.

  

  

  

  

A Tuk-Tuk Drive in Bangkok

While visiting southeast Asia, you’ll inevitably see tuk-tuks, or small taxis that resemble a mix between a scooter and a covered back. Some are combined so the driver is covered in the front as well and others just involve what amounts to a motorcycle pulling a trailer.

In Bangkok, while ordinary people use these regularly, tuk-tuk drivers do prey on innocent tourists, and it’s best to stay away from these in favor of metered taxis so you don’t get ripped off. However, if you can get a ride for, say 50 baht (about USD $1.65) they work well for short distances in crowded streets. Of course, we didn’t get this price until we asked not one, but two tuk-tuk drivers… the first wanted 100 baht.

Anyway, these shots are from that tuk-tuk ride. Since it is extremely hard to take shots out of a moving tuk-tuk even if I go into shutter-priority mode and bump my ISO up a little, I took a shot whenever our driver stopped, which was quite often because of the traffic. This was taking place near the markets along the Chao Phraya that are in walking distance from the Royal Palace and Wat Pho.