Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Rainfall, BKK

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There had been heavy rain during the afternoon yesterday although it was not so cloudy.  After raining around the area I live, a sudden downpour hit the south of the city.
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After 20 minutes the rainfall went, the sunshine and dark clouds looming above Bangkok drew a wonderful view!!!  
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Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Rule of Third

In the photographic art there are some rules that anyone has to known to make compelling snapshots.  The rule I used to make the photography of this entry is called the rules of third.  It is one of the most popular 'rules' in photograph; it is also popular amongst artists as well. It works like this: Imaginary lines are drawn dividing the image into thirds both horizontally and vertically. You place important elements of your composition where these lines intersect.  This rule help the photographer to stress what he/she wants to stress on his/her photography. 
In this case an afternoon before downpour I wanted to stress the colors of clouds above Bangkok that made me feel for a while I am living in the Eden.  To do so, I allotted two-thirds of the image to the sky and one-third to the land.

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Glance at King River!!

It seems that the rainy season has already started here in Thailand. Dark clouds coming from the horizon loomed above the city the whole week. In fact, it rained during two afternoons and three nights. I saw many young children were terrified of thunderstorms, it seems that for these children those quiet and peaceful nights have already gone.
However, this afternoon is sunny, the atmosphere is so clean that I can see the King River from my balcony; It is a nice view!!  By the way, if you want to see photos of the King River click here, here and here.  Well, the weather forecast for this week is not so good; around 60% precipitation coverage the whole week, and Thunder during THE WHOLE WEEK : (  

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Golden Mount, BKK

Just days after my arrival in Thailand in 2010, the golden Mount is one of the first places I visited.  If you want to read a short description of this touristic place, please click here.  Last week I was close to it, that day was so hot, I think hot enough to melt the hell, so I decided to come into it again...  it was the best way to be protected from the infernal sunshine. While going up through the long and narrow stairs, I came across this small and artificial waterfall.  Just I wanted to make a creative picture!!! My goal was to show motion-filled scene, thus Handholding my camera, I set the shutter speed to 1.6 seconds and adjust the aperture until f/11 indicated a correct exposure and then fired away!!
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The picture is a little blur; to make this kind of photographic effect we need to mount the camera on a tripod to avoid -due to the slow shutter speed- any small shake spoils the snapshot.  ... but that day I left my tripod at home!
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Sunday, May 13, 2012

A costume made up of lottery tickets

The day of The Royal Ploughing Ceremony I came upon a Thai man wearing a costume made up of the lottery tickets which he bought during many years.  By wearing this costume, this man tries to warm people about the danger of falling into the vice of gambling.  He said that he spent more than USD 25,000 buying lottery tickets but he scarcely earned money... the times he was lucky we earned just a little amount of money.

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Royal Ploughing Ceremony, Thailand

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The Royal Ploughing Ceremony is an ancient royal rite held in Thailand to mark the traditional beginning of the rice-growing season.  In the ceremony, two sacred oxen are hitched to a wooden plough and they plough a furrow in some ceremonial ground, while rice seed is sown by court Brahmins, in this case by administrators from the Ministry of Agriculture.

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In both Cambodia and Thailand, the ceremony is typically presided over by the King or an appointee. In recent years in Thailand, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn has presided over the ceremony, which is held at Sanam Luang in Bangkok. Rice grown on the Chitralada Palace grounds, home of King Bhumibol Adulyadej is sown in the ceremony, and afterward, onlookers swarm the field to gather the seed, which is believed to be auspicious.  

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In Thailand, the rite dates back to the Sukhothai Kingdom 11th century and is held to bless Thai farmers and ensure a good harvest.  The date is usually in May, but varies as it is determined by Hora (astrology).

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Just after finishing this ceremony, people -most of them farmers- fell down the hedge and run into the area to pick up the rice seed  
After the ploughing, the oxen are offered plates of food, including rice, corn, green beans, sesame, fresh-cut grass, water and rice whisky.  Depending on what the oxen eat, court astrologers and Brahmins make a prediction on whether the coming growing season will be bountiful or not. The ceremony is rooted in Brahman belief, and is held to ensure a good harvest.

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Farmers in many provinces begin planting rice on the Royal Ploughing Day because they believe the ceremony will provide an auspicious beginning to the new planting season and bring them an abundance of crops.

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Farmers said the Royal Ploughing Ceremony Day presented an auspicious opportunity for them and others to start the new farming season and expressed belief that the rite will ensure a good harvest due to an abundance of rain and an absence of pestilence and floods.

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A nun patiently seeks after rice seed, she spent 
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According to some statistic agency, people in Asia eat between 100 -250 kilos of rice per person, a year. 
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Due to the crowd looking for the rice seed, it is quite hard to find it... I was not able to find any.... a farmer proudly showed me the ones he got!!!
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A woman carries two small plastic bags containing rice seed .
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However, for some people this ceremony is a good opportunity  to make business
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5 grains of rice seed costed 5 THB (USD 0.13)
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With such amount of 'blessed' rice seed, this woman is sure to secure some years of profitable harvest ; )!!!
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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Last day, Pattaya

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A handsome boy passes by us carrying his toys remind me that to have fun we don't need to spend a lot of money... it is good enough simple toys and good imagination!!

The last day in Pattaya -click here to see some pictures of  our last visit to this beach, and here to see more pictures and info about it- we went to the beach early in the morning to stroll along it.  Although it was so early to be at the beach (7.00am) there were already many guys offering  not only travelling program and packages  to the island located just in front of Pattaya -around 45 minutes by yacht-packets, but water sport such as water skiing, jet-skiing, banana boat and aerial sport such as paraglide as well. My wife proposed me to do parasailing, but I rejected it.  About the price... well you know that in touristic places everything is expensive.   Flying around 5 minutes on parasailing costs around TBH 800 (around USD 25) :0  I think it is rather expensive.  However, there were many tourists in a queue awaiting for his/her turn!!! 
  
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Early in the morning a group of tourists heading for Koh Larn island
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Can you see the crowd waiting for his/her turn!!!  
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A nice view of the Koh Larn island.  This island also called Coral Island is about 45 minutes by tourist boat away from Pattaya  or 15 minutes by speed boat, it is the largest of Pattaya's offshore islands.

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The banana boat lasts around 30 minutes... here just starting they were quiet.. but during the whole trip due to the adrenalin they could not keep  their mouth shut :DD!!!
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Just seconds before they fell down from the banana boat... 
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An the end, I realized that the yacht driver makes them fall down every 500 meters... his goal was  just to increase their breathtaking experience!!!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Super moon, BKK

Last week there were many articles on newspapers and magazines talking about the super moon, technically known as a perigee moon, and its special size.  Many folks from Nasa stated that the moon would be 15% bigger than its normal size during the Sunday 6th at 10.34PM (Thai time) due to the perigee (the closest point to the Earth in the orbit of the moon).  So, I prepared my photography gear!!! Since 9.00PM my wife and I stared the moon for almost two hours from our balcony, but to be honest the size of this super moon was the same to us :(  Any way, I took some pictures.  However, the moonlight was much more shining than other days that lighted the bedroom strongly, making a tough job to fall asleep ;)
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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pattaya, 2012

I am the one who loves very much the ocean and beaches.  Last week I spent some days in Pattaya.  It is the second time I visit this nice and overcrowded beach.  if you want to know how to get Pattaya from Bangkok click here.  The first time I visited it I  lodged in a hotel located on the top of a small hill, click here to see a panoramic view of the hotel.  To see a panoramic view of Pattaya city from Khao Phra Tamnak (the top of the hill) click here and here to see pictures taken at early morning as the sunshine has a special orange color.

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A young couple come into the scene
This time, I wanted to do something different.  If you see the pictures from my first visit to Pattaya you will notice soon that I used to spent the whole day with may camera shooting the whole day!!  This time a bit more experienced, I leaved the camera at my hotel room and went with my wife to the beach to walk barefoot along the beach for hours, to swim, to sit on the shore, looked at the sea and read a good book. However, at 5 Pm, I came back to the hotel to pick up my camera.
By this time, my wife, on the contrary, decided either to stroll along the promenade, by the way, during those days there was a rock festival so -as you can imagine- the walkway close to the beach was really crowded and noisy; or   to have a body massage.  Well, I decided to sit down on the shore and see the sunset! I mount the camera on the tripod, with my camera pointed to the sunset sky (just below the sun) I adjusted my aperture until the camera's light meter indicated correct exposure and then recomposed the escene and wait for something interesting to fire away!!!

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No sooner did I sit down on the shore than a couple come into the scene. They sundendly and magically started posing for my lens.  I know some people hate to be photographed, and after realizing there is someone with a camera they flee quickly!

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Just minutes before the sunset is a wonderful time to capture silhouettes.  I didn't ask people to pose for me, the only thing I did is to sit down on the shore, set up my tripod mount my camera on it, and shot!!!

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After a while, the couple -a Russian couple- gained confidence and approach me for a proposal.  The guy kindly told me that they wanted to have some memories from Pattaya and if I took their pictures he would pay me with money.  I denied it but I told him that I would love to take their photograph and that I will email them some of them.  He accepted and pictures above are some of them.  By the way, I have already email him those pictures!!!!

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