Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Wat Khun Chan -Thonburi

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A panoramic view of part of Thomburi area.  In the middle of the picture you can see the Wat Khun Chan, can you spot the Pagoda?  This photo was taken from a building near to King River.

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A close-up view of Wat Khun Chan
This picture was taken from the same point the above picture was taken.  I used a nikon lens at 300mm

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On the left handside of Phasricharoen canal is the Big White Pagonda which belongs to Wat Pak Naam.  On the right handside is located the Buddha Image turning his back to the canal.  This picture was taken two years ago as we took a canal tour here in Bangkok.

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Two Buddha's image: The biggest one is riding three Erawan elephant which is believed is a vehicle of Phra Indra or the Amarin God (a hindu God).  And the second one is an small reclining Buddha -around 8 meter long- facing to the canal.  This Buddha images lies in Wat Khun Chan.  

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Those are the main images of the Wat Khun Chan.  Buddha is surrounded on the left, by the Amarin (Hindu God in green) and on the right by a Naka with seven heads.
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In the picture, Rahu or Black Daemon is eating the moon. This is one of the  earliest answer to how and why happens the lunar eclipse.  Buddha is ridding three white elephants above him.
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On our way to the temple, just coming into it a local guy approaching us told us that this Rahu image is the biggest one in Thailand.
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My favorite model posing for my camera in front of the beautifully decorated reclining Buddha.
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Beneath  the reclining Buddha (see the above picture)  there is a holy tunnel.  It is believed that whoever walks through it, it will bring her/him the good luck. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G VRII

General Shooting Test
After testing the lens at home, I decided to go out to do a general shooting test. I went to a Bhuddist temple to shoot at higher ISO and large aperture. Then I went to the Golden Mount and Wat Arun to shoot at low ISO (200) and small aperture. From the top of the Golden Mount I took panoramic shots. Those three places are located here in Bangkok.
My general conclusion: The lens is an wonderful stuff, it performs greatly at both dark and bright scenarios and short and long focal lens. However, when the contrast is low (cloudy day and high buildings) the lens was unable to focus, so I had to walf-press the shooter botton twice or three times to focus the objective. In the same scenario the 18-55 and 55-200mm perform greatly without any problem to focus. However, when traveling the time it takes to switch the lens means I lost many great shots. So, this lens is what I was looking for!!!

The only negative thing about this lens is its WEIGHT. I am not sure if the structure of my D90 is strong enough to support the lens weight and to hold the camera for hours while it is mounted the 18-300mm lens. In my opinion, If I hold the camera mounted on the lens frequently and for many hours (I always do this when I am traveling, I grasp the camera the whole day), the lens mount of my D90 will be damaged. So I decided to grasp the camera through the lens, it was a little more comfortable. At the end of the day I got pain on my arm and my neck... so it is really heavy!

The pictures I show in this entry were scarcely retouched, only two of them were cropped.

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The VRII works amazingly, Although the low shooter speed, hang-holding the camera I was able to get a sharp photo
Focal leng 300mm
1/60 - f/5.6
ISO 640, AF-S 

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This lens can capture more natural colors and I think these colors looks like more real  than with my 2 previous cheap lens.  Although I was about 2 meters away from these candles and set up the lens aperture to 5.6, the DOF it is actually so shallow!!!

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Once againg, f/8.0 shooter speed 1/30s ISO 640 I hand-holding my D90  fired and got a sharp shot.  The VRII is quite stable, however, I noticed that  I sometimes need to walf-press the shotter twice or three times to activate it. 

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From the same point I took the previous shot I took this photo at  300mm focal lenght, ISO 640, Exposure 1/20s at f/8.  It is an amazing lens... but heavy!!

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From the top of the Golden Mount here an example of its powerful zoom: in the middle of the picture, focus on the bridge size.
1 of 2
18mm, 
1/400, f/11
ISO 200, 


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King Rama VIII bridge.  Click here and here to find out more about this nice bridge.
2 of 2
195 mm
1/400, f/11
ISO 200

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This lens is not a macro lens, however, it allows me to be very close to the flower to shoot.  The sharpness is sadly rather poor, I think it will be better if I mount the camera on a tripod. 
300mm, 1/100s, f/11
ISO 200

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It was around midday when I took this photo.  Although the sunshine was really strong, the lens was able to capture perfectly the color skin of this lady.  Based on this shot, I think this lens is quite suitable for portrait photography too.  I will test it in the close future.

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Here the example of its powerfull zoom: 18mm and 300mm.  If you want to know more about Wat Arun click here.
1 of 2
18mm, 
1/800, f/8
ISO 200

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2 of 2
300 mm
1/400, f/8
ISO 200

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If you are visiting Bangkok, and want to visit Wat Arun  by ferry.  So you have to get off at 'Tha Tien' pier, on King river.  From this pier you can go by walking to many touristic areas such as Grand Palace, Reclining Buddha, Golden Mount and so on.  

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Cropped

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Cropped

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The Golden Mount. To see more pictures click here, here and here

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

King Rama VIII Bridge and King Rama VIII Statue

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A group of local people pay respect to the King Ananda Mahidol Royal Monument at the foot of Rama VIII Bridge.  This royal statue is an enlarge replica, three times larger than life-size, of the original statue in Bangkok, Thailand.

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The 5.40 metre high state was crafted from the metal moulds is the largest ever to be erected in Bangkok.  The statue also has a symbolic connection with the Rama VIII Bridge that is situated nearby.  Photo taken from the King Rama VIII bridge.

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'This splendid bridge, the park and the royal monument are a conbined token of the Thai people's enduring appreaciation and memory of their dearly beloved monarch'.

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The pier connects to a nice restaurant to which my wife and I go from time to times for dinner.  Here a picture of the bridge at night taken from this restaurant
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