Posted on May 12, 2016
Those who read my past post know that I recently had a stroke and I was flown to Bangkok for medical care. After a little more than a week in ICU I was released but I had to stick around Bangkok for a couple weeks until a follow up visit with my neurologist. I have no negative effects of the stroke and I feel just like I did before the stroke but now I find myself staying in Bangkok for a while.
All in all being stuck in Bangkok is not a bad thing – I mean it could be Peoria. But as a photographer the biggest problem for me is that my camera was not flown here with me when I left Siem Reap on a medical transport plane. Now I find myself in the wonderful city of Bangkok without my camera at my side. I feel alone. Naked. I won’t go as far as to say I am scared but now I must embark on a new adventure – two weeks of nothing but iPhoneography. I’m ready for the challenge.
My first day out of the hospital was spent buying a SIM card, clothes and some basic necessities I would need for my stay here. Day two took me to the Grand Palace where I had a chance viewing of the King of Thailand leaving the palace in his motorcade. I had a great view but no hats, sunglasses, or cameras were allowed. The subsequent days had me visiting many areas of Bangkok and walking many miles to see the sites, neighborhoods, do some shopping and eat some food.
Shooting with an iPhone
I try to keep my iPhone photography simple. My phone is always with me which gives me the opportunity to shoot whether or not I have my big boy camera. During this two weeks it became a lifesaver.
I don’t like to spend a lot of time processing images from my Nikon or my iPhone. To process my iPhone images I usually use only Snapseed and Dramatic B&W. In Snapseed I spend about fifteen seconds on an image usually only adjusting the structure and mid-tones. If needed I may brighten a bit and try to adjust white balance when dictated.
Quick and simple. That’s how I like it.
One thing I love to do is walk. When I lived in Hawaii I got to walk up mountains but now living in Cambodia there are no mountains within a reasonable distance so I resort to walking around town when I can.
Walking places you in a better position for making images. I can’t count how many times I drove by something in a car that I wanted to get a picture of only to miss the shot because I couldn’t stop or find a parking place in time before the scene was gone. When you walk you are there and you can stop in an instant and make the image.
Once I escaped from the hospital I was back to my old ways. I walk every day until my feet ache. I have done about eight to ten miles a day of walking while I wander around Bangkok. This gives me the opportunity to see a lot of things in Bangkok most visitors don’t get to see. Here are some of the images I made while strolling through Chinatown and other small neighborhoods around Bangkok with my trusty iPhone in hand.
Bangkok has more than its share of temples and pagodas.It is hard to walk through a neighborhood without walking past one or two. Here are a few images from some of my visits:
Chinatown turned out out to be one of my favorite places. At night the street food scene can’t be beat and during the day there are so many nooks and crannies to explore my feet ache just thinking about it.
The energy you feel walking through there is both invigorating and tiring. I read that Chinatown in Bangkok is the largest Chinatown in the world. I don’t have much to compare it to but after spending time there I am not going to argue.
Here are some of the images I captured during my walks through Chinatown:
Having spent the last eight months in Siem Reap I found Bangkok to be quite a contrast when it comes to shopping. Not only do they have small shops and street vendors all over the place but there are numerous high-end modern malls. In Siem Reap it is sometimes difficult to find what you want to buy as the number of stores and stock are severely limited. And of course my old standby – Amazon – is not available for my impulsive one-click purchases.