• CategoriesPhotography

    Week 7: Love

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    We got there just in time and I was able to snap my Project52 picture of a young Thai couple who were clearly very much in love, but who were abiding by the Thai traditions of keeping overt displays of passion to a minimum. It is rather a more modern Thai tradition to take endless selfies, and they were certainly doing plenty of that.

  • CategoriesPhotography

    Week 6: Unbalanced

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    How can this be unbalanced? The creature clearly has perfect poise and control over its attitude. Well, the answer is that the picture is not properly white balanced. This is the constant problem with diving photography. I should take something white down with me to use as a reference for each shot, but that is just another thing to carry in what is already quite a complicated and overweighted rig. It is easier just to hope that there is something white in the shot I can use to set the balance, or else I can just try to do it manually by eye.

  • CategoriesPhotography

    Week 5: Morning

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    Being able to see that much of the solar system at one time was impressive. It gave a feeling of space and perspective – like I could feel how the whole thing works. Of course, it was about 5am at the time, so that could have been my imagination. Anyway, as the sun crept up over the horizon, I got my finest shots, including this one.

  • CategoriesPhotography

    Week 4: Shadows

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    I consider that this qualifies as a ‘shadow’ in two senses. Firstly, it is all in the deep shadow of a valley as the sun is setting. Secondly, the building itself is a shadow of what it should have been; a failed attempt at grandeur. Its a flimsy interpretation, but it is as good as it gets for now.

  • CategoriesPhotography

    Week 3: Out of Focus

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    Just about the most creative thing I did with this shot was to try my first attempt at basic HDR techniques. I created two copies of the shot; one with the terribly exciting (but in-focus) rock properly exposed and the other with the blurry boat properly exposed. I overlaid the two images in Photoshop and then smart selected the rock on the second shot and deleted it, so that the first shot showed through underneath. Voila! – Instant HDR. About as impressive as the rock, really.

  • CategoriesPhotography

    Week 2: Your Everyday

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    After a short drive, I found Bangrak Tourist Pier. There were some fishing boats tied up along the sandy shore, with locals making repairs to engines and nets. I quickly found an ideal angle, with the Big Buddha in the background, the fishermen’s huts along the shore on the right, a boat pulled onto shore in the foreground on the left and the sea still as a millpond, reflecting a vividly blue sky with a few fluffy clouds.

  • CategoriesPhotography

    Week 1: Time

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    As the waves were still washing in on a regular basis, I wasn’t able to get down to the coconut’s level. I had to effectively shoot blind (my old Canon 500D has live view, but the screen is fixed, making it difficult to use if the camera is a lot below or above my head), snapping a total of 20 shots, of which only a few really worked.

  • CategoriesOp-Ed

    “This is the Real Pattaya”

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    Saying “this is the real Pattaya” would be like me filming a two-minute video on Bangla Road and saying “this is the real Phuket”, or going down to Soi Green Mango and saying “this is the real Koh Samui”, or Patpong and saying “this is the real Bangkok”, or Soho and saying “this is the real London”, or the Reeperbahn and saying “this is the real Hamburg”. The list goes on. And on. And on. You can’t judge an entire city by its seediest part, is my point.

  • CategoriesPhotography

    Welcome to Project52 2016

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    Project52, in case you’re unaware, is simply publishing one photo every week. This forces you to take more pictures – at least 52 more per year, obviously – and that gives you practice. Photography is one of those arts where you noticeably improve the more you do it, which is why comparing my first ham-fisted flailings when I was first learning to the work I now get paid for is really quite embarrassing.

  • CategoriesHotel · Review

    Manathai Koh Samui

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    In the process of planning an inspection tour of Koh Samui, I needed to select three hotels – one each in Lamai, Bophut and Chaweng. I had a budget no other specifications. All I needed was for my accommodation to be in a location convenient for checking out the nearby town. So, I selected Manathai Koh Samui as the first one purely for its location and cost. That is exactly the story I told the staff there when they asked.