Posts Tagged ‘Bangkok’

Bangkok Flooded – Again!

January 6, 2010

Bangkok Rainy Afternoon from the Apartment

If it’s any consolation to the Europeans and North Americans freezing in snow and ice – we had a rain storm in Bangkok this afternoon. It poured like it was monsoon season. All the sois around my apartment are flooded and I can’t go and buy groceries until the water goes down. The storm drains in this neighbourhood cannot keep up and they’ve become clogged with stuff in the cool, dry season.

See also

Thai University Students Collecting for Charity

January 2, 2010

Collecting For Charity
It’s a common sight in Bangkok to see groups of university students collecting money for charity. They stand for hours in the hot sun beseeching passers-by for money. Some play musical instruments or perfect a chant to get attention. Like any city Bangkokians are always in a hurry so it’s hard to be noticed.

Today I met a small group collecting money outside Siam Skytrain Station. I asked them if they could tell me about the charity they were collecting for. Usually when I do this the students are embarrassed as they think their English isn’t good enough. Thai universities concentrate on reading and writing but often fall behind on teaching spoken English – much to the frustration of employers.

But in this case the young man in the middle spoke excellent English. He gave me a great summary of the charity they were collecting for. It is for children born to mothers with HIV. The charity is run in a temple in, I think, Pathum Thani.

I was impressed. That young man should go far!

His friends were highly relieved he spoke for them. They were happy to pose for a picture. I love this sort of shot. With so much sadness in the world this shows Thai people at their best.

All Questions Answered

December 28, 2009

Even dumb ones – by the Flickr community!

I photographed a car in Bangkok that I didn’t recognise. It had a badge on the boot (trunk) that I misread and became confused. I thought it was an Opel “Calera” or “Galera”. There’s no such thing.
Opel Calera or Galera?
I posted the photo to Flickr and within a couple of hours somebody told me what I should have known anyway: it’s an Opel Calibra. That’s why I like Flickr despite their misguided policies about “voyeurs” and so on. See here and especially here.

Bangkok Sunset from the Apartment

December 27, 2009

We had a good red sunset in Bangkok on the evening of Boxing Day, December 26th. I set up my Canon EOS-30D on a tripod and took a picture every minute for fifty minutes as the sun set and the city lights came on.

I shot in RAW and used aperture priority at F8 and 100ASA for the best picture the camera and lens could produce.

I did minimal processing in Lightroom. I used the “Camera Landscape” calibration profile. That did a good job of matching the colours as I saw them.

Then I used the Lightroom Slideshow module to create an Adobe PDF file of the presentation. I sized it at 1024×768 which produced a 3MB file.

I uploaded it to my account on Scribd. I embedded the document in this post after the jump.

I like the effect – you can see how quickly the sun sets in the tropics and the red sky is striking.

Download it and let me know what you think.

Haze, Low Clouds, Pollution?

December 26, 2009

I shouldn’t be so complacent about the good cool-season weather we are experiencing in Bangkok while my European and North American friends are freezing. This is the view from the apartment about 10am on Boxing Day morning.
Haze, Mist, Pollution?
I don’t know if it is just mist or pollution but it isn’t very attractive. The atmosphere feels heavier than it did a day ago.

Nevertheless I prefer this to freezing temperatures and snow.

Remember This Information

December 26, 2009
Bangkok Taxi Driver ID

Bangkok Taxi Driver ID

All licensed Bangkok taxis require the driver to post an identity card like this on the dashboard. It also shows the toll-free number of the Passenger Protection Centre – 1584.

It’s a good idea to remember (or take a picture of) this information in case of problems. If the driver sees you note it so much the better – he or she (yes there are a few women driving taxis in Bangkok but I estimate less than 1%) may decide it is not worth scamming you.

Most taxi drivers are honest but the few bad apples affect passengers’ perception negatively. See this post on the realities of taxis in Bangkok.

I Took the Printer to Canon

December 24, 2009

Yesterday, I took my failed Canon MP610 printer to the Canon (Thailand) Service Centre on Sathorn Road. It was a 200B taxi ride including a 45B toll. I rarely take taxis so I did not know the best route. Unfortunately the box was too big for me to take the Subway and Skytrain.

The centre was quiet and they served me almost immediately. They will contact me in a few days with a diagnosis and price. The actual service could take 15 days. My experience with camera repairs suggests it will be less.

Here’s a picture of the Service Centre.

Canon (Thailand) Service & Showroom
I felt self-conscious using a Nikon camera in the Canon office so I did not take many shots.

The district around the Canon office is full of high-rise offices. It is “international bland” and could be almost anywhere. It was lunch time when I finished at Canon. The streets were full of thousands of office workers heading for lunch as they would be almost anywhere. It was a lovely day so I had a cheap lunch people-watching.

A Slanted View

December 23, 2009

A Slanted View

Bangkok Apartments

A Slanted View

Waiting Tuk-Tuks

A Slanted View

Subway Passengers

A Slanted View

Subway Platform Leaning Right

A Slanted View

Subway Platform Leaning Left

A Slanted View

Visual Pollution on Sukhumvit Road

A Slanted View

Sukhumvit Road Traffic

A Slanted View

Sukhumvit Road Traffic

A Slanted View

Lunch Counter at Foodland

This post from Michael Willems’s Daily Photography Blog inspired me to consciously slant my camera when taking some pictures. I was out for a late lunch on the Sukhumvit Road in central Bangkok. I tried looking at the street scenes and people I see every day from a different perspective and took the six pictures above.

I posted them to Flickr. You can click on each of them to open a larger picture in a new window or tab.

I think some are more effective than others. I like the lunch counter and the colourful tuk-tuks the best. The latter may be polluting road hogs but they are photogenic.

Portrait mode does not work as well as landscape.

I did not crop or rotate the pictures in post-processing – they are framed as I shot them.

I won’t use this technique often – I find it is disorienting, especially when a number of slanted pictures are shown together. It’s interesting how the human eyes / brain need straight horizons for comfort. Maybe it is related to the causes of seasickness.

Let me know what you think.

Bangkok Subway Extended Hours

December 22, 2009
Extended Operating Hours

Extended Operating Hours

The Bangkok Subway will run until 2am on New Year’s Day 2010. That’s good news: the trains usually stop just before midnight.

They’ve just started posting signs like this on the trains and in the stations.

Photographing the Sunset

December 21, 2009

Red Bangkok Sunset
We are getting some beautiful sunsets in the cool season.

I fiddled with the camera settings a lot to persuade it to display what I saw. I don’t have time as the sun sets fast in the tropics and the shades of the sky change quickly. I found 2/3 of a stop under-exposure worked well with a minimum of post-processing in Lightroom.

I put the camera on my monopod to take this shot. I used the Canon EOS-30D’s highest ISO – 1600 and it selected 1/30 second at F3.5. I did not see any point at stopping the lens down to get a better depth-of-field (DOF) as there is not much detail available in this light.

I’d love to see what the Canon EOS-7D would make of this scene with its maximum ISO of 12800. That is three stops extra sensitivity so an equivalent exposure would be 1/125 second.