Rickster_thumb[56]Anyone who reads this column is familiar with the Rickster. Over the course of the last few years he’s been a frequent contributor in the Readers Submissions and especially the Readers Questions areas. I love his questions as they follow the typical progression of the people I’m writing this column for: People who aren’t professionals and just want to have fun photographing Thailand and are maybe looking for that ‘cut above’ image quality. Rick started with a limited knowledge set and a compact point and shoot, and has progressed over the years to a Sony NEX series mirrorless and a Nikon D5100 DSLR. I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t feel a certain level of pride watching his images incrementally improve as he asks questions and follows my advice. And finally he feels ready to submit a feature submission and I’m tickled to run it. A nicer guy you’ve never met. Enjoy!

This is a trip report covering the last 30 days spent in Thailand taking pictures and walking the streets of Bangkok.

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There were two reasons for our 11th trip to the land of smiles. The first was so wife could visit family, university friends, go shopping and eat at MK Suki.

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My plan was to take pictures, enjoy the hot weather and get more familiar with Bangkok. We have done much touring in the past so decided to stay in and around BKK.

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We took with us four cameras, two Sony DSC-HX7V point and shoot cameras, 1 Sony NEX-5 with 3 lenses and a Nikon D5100 with an 70-300 zoom lens.

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Upon arrival, I decided to purchase the Fujifilm X-S1 “bridge” camera. Why? Just because. After a lot of haggling at different shops in Fortune Town I was able to buy it for same price, after the 7% VAT deduction, as in USA. This included the International Warrantee, SD chip, battery, charger, carrying case and LCD cover.

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I am sure you know most cameras, computers and electronic devices are at least 10-20% more in Thailand than here in America and there is no sales tax.

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I systematically covered all the city parks that were near Sky Train and MRT stations, took ferry rides that stopped close to various temples in the search for good subjects to photograph.

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All areas offered good photo opportunities with different subject matter to work with. My favorite was the Butterfly Habitat in the area next to Chatuchak complex named Wachirabenchathat Park. It is a very large park with many different subjects to keep a person busy for many hours. Over the month I returned there at least 10 times trying to improve on pictures taken earlier.

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The cameras, while not high end, worked to my satisfaction and provided many hours of enjoyment and some fine pictures. Lots of time was spent in front of the laptop selecting and deleting many pictures. I estimate that at least 5000 pictures were taken reviewed then narrowed down to about 500 to work with.

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I really missed my 24” Samsung LED monitor that is here at home. It provides a real difference in knowing what you really have versus what is viewed on the laptop.

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For post processing of RAW files I used Adobe CS5 and Lightroom 4, jpegs were run thru Corel PaintShop Pro x4.

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Not much to say about the various cameras, lenses, and setting used in this report. I will leave that type of information to BKKSteve who knows far more about those subjects than I.

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A few travel hints:

The City Line that runs from Playa Thai Rd (by MBK) to Suvarnabhumi Airport is great at costs 45 Baht one-way, about 25 min travel time.

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Two places to visit for animal pictures are Safari World and the Tiger Temple in Kancanaburi province.

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Not sure, I like the way the animals are handled, but that is another subject for another time.

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Rickster