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Donnerstag, 18. April 2013

The Historical Park in Sukhothai

Rob came along on the Tour to the Sirkit Dam and since he hadn't seen the Historical Park yet, he wanted to use the opportunity to stay for another day.

At that time the land was very dry and so we focused on taking pictures in monochrome only.
We wanted to shoot in the morning light and spend the midday heat on the computer to work on the photographs.

There were only a few single tourists in the Park. A couple, which was immerged in to a lovely photo session, didn't bother us at all.

The sun rose quickly, so we focused on a few single subjects. It is important to already have a vision of the final photograph when preparing for the composition..

We implemented Rob´s vision consistend in the computer, by using software from Adobe and NIK combined.
Rob's return flight to Bangkok already left at 5 pm. But despite the tight schedule we had a lot of fun.

Donnerstag, 11. April 2013

The Queen Sirikit Dam in Uttaradit

After various interested parties requested that I move my Bhumibol Dam Tour in Tak to the weekend, I drove there a second time to plan the tour offside the weekend tourists.
It wasn't easy to get an appointment where all my customers from my Bangkok clientele could make time. We settled for the weekend on April 6/7th.
2 weeks beforehand I called the hotel on the EGAT (Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand) site to confirm my reservation. The friendly voice on the telephone informed me that the entire site including the streets and hotels would be closed from the 26.03.-08.04. due to the Thai military. Now that's what I call perfect timing!
Some of my clients had already booked their flights and so I had to find an equivalent alternative...

I drove to the Sirikit Dam close to Uttaradit. From the Sukthothai Airport it takes about the same amount of time as it would to get to the Bumibhol Dam.
The hotel offers an even higher standard but it takes another hour to get to the docks at the artificial lake. I made a new reservation and was saved.

On request of my clients, this tour was going to include a lesson on the post processing of the currently created photographs.
One week beforehand my Mac said farewell to his work life by killing the GPU. It seemed like this tour was really packed with complications. I went down town and bought a lottery ticked.

So instead of thoroughly preparing I was busy with configuring a temporary PC, installing the necessary programs and to make my Mac formatted hard drive readable.

Disregarding all problems we sat in a floating restaurant at the Sirikit Dam on a Saturday noon and dined exquisitely. The rented boat corresponded to its horrendous price and our captain was a terrific guy.

The cooler full of drinks we brought along and a nice breeze helped ease the extreme heat of 41°C during our boat tour. The water level was low and exposed islands which usually weren't visible. This year the temperatures in the dry season were extreme and even the Thais groaned. We docked at one of the islands, enjoyed the atmosphere and started taking photographs.

Before the opening of the dam in 1973 and the formation of the around 250 km/2 artificial lake, the area was populated and overgrown. The now dry islands are scattered with various giant roots. The desert like landscape and the hazy weather on the calm lake offered a surreal scenery and an endless grandiose subjects for photographers.

We visited a few more islands where we occupied ourselves by using artful image-building to expertly put roots and landscape into scene and make water dissolve to haze by using ND filters.

In the meantime our captain took out his rod and was happy.

While my guests pleased themselves with a sundowner, I demonstrated how you can create a fantastic atmosphere in the evening light by under exposure in combination with a Fill-in flash.

It was already dark when we stowed our equipment in the car. After an extensive dinner in the restaurant in our hotel, everyone went to sleep rather fast - It had been an exhausting day.
I set up the PC and Monitor and stayed up until 2 a.m.. preparing everything for the lesson on the next day.

The next morning we met in the lobby at 5 a.m. and drove to the lake again to use the morning mood for some more photographs. The rising sun generated a diffusing light and let us capture a special atmosphere.

After we returned to the hotel and had another extensive breakfast, I demonstrated how you can increase the impression and effect of your photography by using a bit of skillful post processing and combined software.