Thick clouds to the east hid the rising moon stealing it from my evening agenda. To the west opportunity remained promising with the setting sun shining through. Seeing me focus on the northwestern bank the driver slowed the long tail boat to a crawl but the wake of passing craft made it difficult to maintain a level horizon in the viewfinder. Steadying myself at the bow I pressed the shutter release almost continuously and managed my best. Knowing I would have to adjust the alignment in post processing I braced and captured images of the suns reflection off the golden spires lining the bank of the river.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS @ 70mm f/2.8 1/500th ISO 1250 (handheld)

Thick clouds to the east hid the rising moon stealing it from my evening agenda. To the west opportunity remained promising with the setting sun shining through. Seeing me focus on the northwestern bank the driver slowed the long tail boat to a crawl but the wake of passing craft made it difficult to maintain a level horizon in the viewfinder. Steadying myself at the bow I pressed the shutter release almost continuously and managed my best. Knowing I would have to adjust the alignment in post processing I braced and captured images of the suns reflection off the golden spires lining the bank of the river.

 

The riverboats on the Choa Phraya are one of my favorite venues for shooting images of Bangkok. The variety of routes up or down the river and into the canals provide for many photographic opportunities. With a little pre planning you can calculate the times and angles of the sun or moon and use it to your advantage for optimal natural lighting.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS @ 70mm f/2.8 1/400th ISO 2000 (handheld)

The riverboats on the Choa Phraya are one of my favorite venues for shooting images of Bangkok. The variety of routes up or down the river and into the canals provide for many photographic opportunities. With a little pre planning you can calculate the times and angles of the sun or moon and use it to your advantage for optimal natural lighting.

 

A day earlier In the workshop at the Samut Songkhram boat yard we had shot the majority of our images in Aperture Priority (Av) mode. In this setting the aperture is locked in enabling the photographer to control the depth of field while the camera automatically adjusted shutter speeds and IOS settings.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L @ 16mm f/8 1/400th ISO 100 (handheld)

A day earlier In the workshop at the Samut Songkhram boat yard we had shot the majority of our images in Aperture Priority (Av) mode. In this setting the aperture is locked in enabling the photographer to control the depth of field while the camera automatically adjusted shutter speeds and IOS settings.

 

The rough ride on the river required a different approach so I set the camera to Shutter Priority (Tv) in order to dictate the camera maintain a minimum shutter speed in order to eliminate motion blur. Using a rule of thumb I have read in various articles I maintained a shutter speed of at least twice the focal length I was shooting. This proved to be enough to eliminate motion blur in all of my shots. Applying this minor adjustment to what I had learned in the previous days workshop enabled me to capture some of the best shots of my trip.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.5 L IS @ 120mm f/9 1/500th ISO 1250 (handheld)

The rough ride on the river required a different approach so I set the camera to Shutter Priority (Tv) in order to dictate the camera maintain a minimum shutter speed in order to eliminate motion blur. Using a rule of thumb I have read in various articles I maintained a shutter speed of at least twice the focal length I was shooting. This proved to be enough to eliminate motion blur in all of my shots. Applying this minor adjustment to what I had learned in the previous days workshop enabled me to capture some of the best shots of my trip.

 

The day of the workshop started with meeting Steve and his assistant in Bangkok and then proceeding in their vehicle to the Samut Songkhram boatyard and a few locations along the way for a day of photography. As agreed we returned that evening and conducted the post-processing tutorial the following day. On the way we discussed photography while he obtained a feel for my experience level. He then outlined a brief overview summing up years of experience on a note pad. Once at the site while setting up in a shady area we watched a colorful Thai fishing boat maneuver into the yards boat slip.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 EX @ 15mm f/8 1/320th ISO 100 (handheld)

The day of the workshop started with meeting Steve and his assistant in Bangkok and then proceeding in their vehicle to the Samut Songkhram boatyard and a few locations along the way for a day of photography. As agreed we returned that evening and conducted the post-processing tutorial the following day. On the way we discussed photography while he obtained a feel for my experience level. He then outlined a brief overview summing up years of experience on a note pad. Once at the site while setting up in a shady area we watched a colorful Thai fishing boat maneuver into the yards boat slip.

 

Intrigued by the activities unfolding at the waters edge we watched the workers prepare while I was introduced to the Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 lens. Our objective for the day was to get the most out of ultra wide-angle lenses, so I attached the lens to my 5DIII and maneuvered around the activity in the yard. The material we had covered during our trip to the yard was all but forgotten by this time, but not to worry as Steve was nearby with suggestions and advice the entire time. This along with the observation of where he went and what he did provided more than adequate demonstration to put theory into practice.    IMAGE7

Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 EX @ 12mm f/8 1/200th ISO 100 (handheld)

Intrigued by the activities unfolding at the waters edge we watched the workers prepare while I was introduced to the Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 lens. Our objective for the day was to get the most out of ultra wide-angle lenses, so I attached the lens to my 5DIII and maneuvered around the activity in the yard. The material we had covered during our trip to the yard was all but forgotten by this time, but not to worry as Steve was nearby with suggestions and advice the entire time. This along with the observation of where he went and what he did provided more than adequate demonstration to put theory into practice.

 

After the boat was pulled from the water, being careful not to get in the way of the workers, I got close in among the cables pulling the boat laden trolley in order to make good use of the wide angle lens. Steve suggestions urged even closer and with the shipyard workers looking on nervously I got within inches of the tip of the ship in order to get off a few shots.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 EX @ 12mm f/8 1/320th ISO 100 (handheld)

After the boat was pulled from the water, being careful not to get in the way of the workers, I got close in among the cables pulling the boat laden trolley in order to make good use of the wide angle lens. Steve suggestions urged even closer and with the shipyard workers looking on nervously I got within inches of the tip of the ship in order to get off a few shots.

 

Making the best of our time we circled our beached subject taking images of its fouled hull, keel and propeller before moving on to our next location. As always with highly varying levels of contrasting light it was difficult to obtain a good exposure without blowing out the highlights or under exposing the dark areas. Sacrificing one for the other is what I understand to be the recipe for success and during post processing Steve helped me find the balance of light and dark explaining what the cost of each would be in the final image.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 EX @ 12mm f/5 1/500th ISO 100 (handheld)

Making the best of our time we circled our beached subject taking images of its fouled hull, keel and propeller before moving on to our next location. As always with highly varying levels of contrasting light it was difficult to obtain a good exposure without blowing out the highlights or under exposing the dark areas. Sacrificing one for the other is what I understand to be the recipe for success and during post processing Steve helped me find the balance of light and dark explaining what the cost of each would be in the final image.

 

In search of more traditional Landscape subjects we departed the boatyard and traveled along the waterways towards the coast. During a somewhat silent drive I awaited further guidance while watching photographic opportunities pass by. It then became apparent that I was the one who was to be directing us to stop and shoot. Lesson learned, when you see it stop and shoot because lighting can change quickly making second chances a fleeting opportunity.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 EX @ 16mm f/8 1/200th ISO 100 (handheld)

In search of more traditional Landscape subjects we departed the boatyard and traveled along the waterways towards the coast. During a somewhat silent drive I awaited further guidance while watching photographic opportunities pass by. It then became apparent that I was the one who was to be directing us to stop and shoot. Lesson learned, when you see it stop and shoot because lighting can change quickly making second chances a fleeting opportunity.

 

I did, however, get my second chances when we ran out of road, stopped and discussed the missed opportunities and then hit them on the return trip.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 EX @ 12mm f/7.1 1/400th ISO 100 (handheld)

I did, however, get my second chances when we ran out of road, stopped and discussed the missed opportunities and then hit them on the return trip.

 

With lighting as topic we continued to drive stopping at various locations to shoot a few images before moving on. When we made our final stop at the salt flats between Samut Songkhram and Samut Sakhon Steve explained how looking away from where the masses are pointing their cameras could reveal more interesting compositions. This coupled with an earlier statement about how he looks for compositions that tell a story led me to this interpretation. Look for what others don’t see in a scene by not necessarily looking the other way but by stepping back and observing everything, finding the story and compose around the story.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 EX @ 12mm f/8 1/100th ISO 100 (handheld)

With lighting as topic we continued to drive stopping at various locations to shoot a few images before moving on. When we made our final stop at the salt flats between Samut Songkhram and Samut Sakhon Steve explained how looking away from where the masses are pointing their cameras could reveal more interesting compositions. This coupled with an earlier statement about how he looks for compositions that tell a story led me to this interpretation. Look for what others don’t see in a scene by not necessarily looking the other way but by stepping back and observing everything, finding the story and compose around the story.

 

Now, that all sounds good but putting it into application can be difficult as one may not perceive the scene to have much of a story. So, while at the salt flats I wandered around looking at the flat landscape trying to find a composition with a story. After all of the eye drawing activity at the boat yards I was finding the barren fields of water to hold little in comparison. I then noticed Steve had walked a short way down the road and was sitting on the ground by what we had labeled the Flintstone mobile. I composed around my perception of the story, which is simple but sums the point up nicely. I’ll call it “A photographers’ simple landscape”. I’m curious to see the images he captured while seated next to The Flintstone mobile.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 EX @ 13mm f/8 1/100th ISO 100 (handheld)

Now, that all sounds good but putting it into application can be difficult as one may not perceive the scene to have much of a story. So, while at the salt flats I wandered around looking at the flat landscape trying to find a composition with a story. After all of the eye drawing activity at the boat yards I was finding the barren fields of water to hold little in comparison. I then noticed Steve had walked a short way down the road and was sitting on the ground by what we had labeled the Flintstone mobile. I composed around my perception of the story, which is simple but sums the point up nicely. I’ll call it “A photographers’ simple landscape”. I’m curious to see the images he captured while seated next to The Flintstone mobile.

 

At the end of the day I returned to my hotel and enjoyed an evening on the town followed by an early morning outing to Banjakiti Park. Here I practiced techniques from the workshop and captured this image of a Buddhist statue just after a light rain. Later that day during the post-processing portion of the workshop it became a tutorial tool for using brushes in Adobe Lightroom to highlight portions of an image.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF 16-35mm f/3.2L @ 27mm f/8 0.3sec ISO 100 (On Tripod with remote)

At the end of the day I returned to my hotel and enjoyed an evening on the town followed by an early morning outing to Banjakiti Park. Here I practiced techniques from the workshop and captured this image of a Buddhist statue just after a light rain. Later that day during the post-processing portion of the workshop it became a tutorial tool for using brushes in Adobe Lightroom to highlight portions of an image.

 

Armed with the knowledge from the workshop and wanting to try out some techniques I had been reading up on I traveled south to finish up my vaca

Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L @ 16mm f/11 1/15th ISO 100 (On Tripod/with remote/no filter)

Armed with the knowledge from the workshop and wanting to try out some techniques I had been reading up on I traveled south to finish up my vacation in Krabi.

 

IMAGE16

Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L @ 16mm f/11 10sec ISO 50 (On Tripod/with remote/Polarizing filter)

To my dismay from the time the plane touched down until the day I boarded it to leave the rains were almost constant. It seemed my luck here during the monsoon season had run out with overcast skies dominating the landscape. I made the best of what was available and salvaged the rainy days by working with filters and long exposures on a tripod.

 

On the first evening I found an overhanging cliff, forming caves on the beach, at the western end of Ao Nang. Here I tried out my new ten-stop filter that reduces the amount of light reaching the sensor in order to reduce shutter speeds during daylight conditions. With this you can create the misty effect of the oceans waves as in the above image. These types of shots require a tripod and that the camera to be in bulb mode in order to control the exposure past 30 seconds if needed.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L @ 19mm f/5.6 20.1sec ISO 100 (On Tripod/with remote/10 stop filter)

On the first evening I found an overhanging cliff, forming caves on the beach, at the western end of Ao Nang. Here I tried out my new ten-stop filter that reduces the amount of light reaching the sensor in order to reduce shutter speeds during daylight conditions. With this you can create the misty effect of the oceans waves as in the above image. These types of shots require a tripod and that the camera to be in bulb mode in order to control the exposure past 30 seconds if needed.

 

I also rented a car and drove the coast to the north of Krabi, exploring where many of the small roads lead while looking for storytelling or just plain interesting compositions. The landscape here is diverse and provided me many opportunities to practice my newfound skills. Ultimately, I feel the measure of success lies in the eye of the beholder. To me this is especially true with photography. I have received many complements and even won a small online photo competition with this final image. Having said this, I can credit much of my development over the past two years to one constant source of instruction. Be it from his online tutorials or one on one instruction Steve has not steered me wrong.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L @ 16mm f/9 1/25th ISO 100 (handheld)

I also rented a car and drove the coast to the north of Krabi, exploring where many of the small roads lead while looking for storytelling or just plain interesting compositions. The landscape here is diverse and provided me many opportunities to practice my newfound skills. Ultimately, I feel the measure of success lies in the eye of the beholder. To me this is especially true with photography. I have received many complements and even won a small online photo competition with this final image. Having said this, I can credit much of my development over the past two years to one constant source of instruction. Be it from his online tutorials or one on one instruction Steve has not steered me wrong.

 

Thank you, Steve, for helping me bring the pictures into focus.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L @ 16mm f/11 1/320th ISO 100 (handheld)

Thank you, Steve, for helping me bring the pictures into focus.

Big Joe