*Monks in the Headlights*
Every morning in Luang Prabang around 5:30 AM, processions of monks walk down the streets as locals give them sticky rice for their day’s meals. It’s quite a sight, and of course in the summer it happens at dawn. But in December, it’s still night, which meant I had to expand my bag of tricks to get some interesting shots. I didn’t want to disrupt the scene, so I used a zoom lens. I cranked up the ISO to a whopping 25600, first time ever. I’m surprised at how good and usable the results are. This silhouette shot of a young monk backlit by the headlight of a motorcycle is my favourite.
*Oxford in the Sun*
Fuji TX2 (XPAN) + Ilford Pan F
Last summer I did a bit of mad traveling going from Bordeaux to Paris to Mâcon to Paris again, to Vienna to Lyon to Marseille to Bordeaux to London/Oxford and back to Bordeaux, most of it for work and in the space of two weeks. It was too much. When I arrived in Oxford it was brutally hot, very unusually so for Britain, but very clear as well. Just outside the train station, I saw this row of beautiful old British houses, took out the camera, and voila.
*Keep your Lantern Trimmed and Burning*
I took a lot of portraits of lantern bearers. I was looking for interesting subjects, but also interesting moments. Here, I liked how the lantern light was directly lighting the young man’s face. Of and yes, the title is a bit of a nod to an old, old song…
*The Dragon’s Head*
Getting a good shot of the Dragon’s head is devilishly hard. Since it’s made of rope with only the teeth and eyelamps to actually understand what it is, you need the right angle. Also, it’s nighttime, there’s incense smoke everywhere, and it’s constantly in movement. So I was quite pleased with this shot, and quite thankful I took my f/1.2 lens with me (this was shot at 1.4). The rest of the shot is blurred, but hey, you have to imagine that everything is in motion!
*A Dance with Dragons*
Last week-end was the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance (nothing to do with George RR Martin, despite my facetious title). I had attended last year, with only my trusted 35mm x100F in hand, and while I got a few good shots including this great portrait I felt the need to revisit the event (which is fun in its own right anyway) and try to capture more diverse shots. I carried both my 56mm 1.2 and my 50-140 2.8 and both were put to great use. This is a broad shot of the wonderfully lit lantern display at the top of Wun Sha Street where the Dragon is dressed with incense sticks.
*The Girl with the Goose*
XPAN + Kodak Ektar 100
Walking down one of Vienna’s main commercial arteries I stumbled upon this fountain with a statue on top, called « Gänsemädchenbrunnen », litterally the fountain of the girl with the goose (I think). I tried several different approached to capture both the statue and the perspective behind, and the width of the XPAN is what finally got me there. I wish the building at the back on the right hadn’t been wrapped, but what are you gonna do?
Fuji X-Pro 2
A couple of years back we decided to visit the Paris Catacombs (the public parts that can be anyway). We were a little worried doing it with a 5 year old, but strangely enough it felt respectful and not macabre. I took few photos because the lighting was really limited, but this one is probably the most interesting one both graphically and in terms of expressing what we saw.
One of the fun sights in Yaowarat in Bangkok was watching people eat on the streets, seated on these tiny stools with tiny tables in front of them. But that doesn’t mean you don’t get high quality service as this photo demonstrates !
*Durian Cooler Chat*
I know I write a lot about the smell of Durian, but those who have never been subjected to its sickly sweet odour just cannot understand how much Durian stinks for us non Asians. So sitting on a bench in front of a durian stand to chat, that seems just insane to me!
I love tuk-tuks. Sure, it can be a bit scary at times, but you experience the hustle and bustle of the city so much more vividly in a tuk-tuk. I often take photos from the side, most of them wasted because we’re moving too fast. I also try to frame the drivers in their mirrors, and last time I was in Bangkok I got a nice one (I thought) driving into the sunset.