Wat Chedi Luang, Chaing Mai Thailand

Any visit to Thailand must include a tour of the Buddish temple of Wat Chedi Luang in historic Chaing Mai. Construction of the temple started in the 14th Century, and was not completed until the mid-15th Century. In 1545 an earthquake caused the collapse of the upper 30m of the 82m high structure. In the early 1990’s the Chedi was reconstructed financed by UNESCO and the Japanese government.

 

Yes – These are ‘typical’ tourist photos. There isn’t any human connection, just pictures of scenery. My only excuse is that this was at the start of a 10 month adventure, to Thailand, Cambodia, Australia, Nepal, Turkey, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.  The cultural differences between my native Canada and Thailand were, to say the least ….Enormous. At this stage in my adventure, I was simply overwhelmed – and did not have the courage (the ‘balls’) to interact with the local people. That did change – and within a few weeks I had the courage to photograph people on the street, and even to use hand signals – pointing at them, and then at my camera to indicate that I wanted to photograph them. Once I had this courage, my photographs improved, the image had life, had a personality.  

It just took a bit of courage…

 

All photographs taken using a Fujifilm X-E1 with XF14mm lens or XF55-200mm, and Fujifilm X-Pro1 with XF18-55mm

Chaing Mai Loy Krathong Lantern Festival

On the night of the full moon of the twelve-month of the Thai lunar calendar in Chaing Mai, is the Loy Krathong festival. Although the festival continues for three days, it is the evening events that are the most spectacular.

The night sky is filled with thousands of lanterns, fireworks, firecrackers, the streets packed with people, and parade of dancers and elaborately decorated floats pass through the city streets, and Krathong (small floats made from banana leaves and decorated with flowers and a candle), launched in the Mae Ping River on the full moon night to bring good luck.

 

 

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A young Monk helps launch this lantern.

 

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Some people say a prayer before letting go of the lantern, while others write message on their lantern.
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Tourists launching one of the thousands of sky lanterns.
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As the lanterns slowly rise into the night sky, they gradually get smaller and smaller and eventually just disappear into the darkness.

 

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Trails from lighted sky lanterns, floating Krathong on the Mae Ping River in Chaing Mai.

11,791 Photos – Now What ?

I’ve been in Thailand for three weeks, and already have 11,791 photos. That works out to 3930 photos per week….561 photos per day.  It is nuts. Really Nuts, though with a camera that can do 7 frames per second – it would only take 28 minutes to take that many photos.  I digress – it isn’t just about the numbers.

For me, photography can be compared to picking berries. You pick, and pick and pick while the picking is good and only stop when either your basket is full, or there are no more berries to pick.  Then the real works starts by making jam from all those berries. Simply, the more berries you have, the more time you have to spend making jam.

It is all about collecting.

So – assuming that there is an infinite supply of berries and baskets ?. In photography terms that would mean an infinite supply of things to photograph, and endless hard drive space. Really this is entirely possible: there is so much to photograph and hard drives are cheap.

At what point do you need to say  ….ENOUGH !.

11,791 photos. Not commenting on the quality of the photos, surely 11,791 is enough; what the heck am I going to do with all those photos anyway ?.

My basket is (at least temporarily) full, and it is time to do some thing with those images.  Step one is to categorize and rank them, and delete the obvious bad images, decide on which images to keep as-is, which images need additional post processing (touch-ups) and, which to keep for additional creative processing (stretch and pull, wring and squeeze post processing). The process of categorizing, ranking, and deciding on how to process these images can take days!.

How many Wat (Temples) photos is enough ?. How many photos of Buddha is enough ?. How many photos of the market stalls piles high with spices, fruit, or meat (?), do I really need ?. How many photos of Thai people is enough ?.

There is probably no easy answerer to these questions, no ‘Coles’ to give the short answer, and asking Buddha will not give you the right answer.

Oh – I miss the days of film. Each roll could only hold 36 exposures – so you were more selective before pressing the shutter.

 

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Sunset at Wat Chedi Luang in Chaing Mai, Thailand.
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Rice fields in northern Thailand.
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Elephant in black & white, in Chaing Mai, Thailand.
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Live fish in the baggie, market in Chaing Mai, Thailand.
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View from the train, from Bangkok to Chaing Mai.