A bronze screw such as this can weigh several tons.  Sigma 12-24mm @20mm.  Bangkok Images,  Samut Songkran Boat Yards

Canon 5d Mark II, Sigma 12-24mm F4-5.6 @F13 1/50th  20mm  ISO 100


I'm showing yet another feature of the boat yards in Samut Songkran because the boat yard is getting into it's busy season which makes it a great place to visit on our workshops.  The boats are always different and come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and the people especially are compelling.  Heavy machinery abounds making this a perfect place for a focused workshop utilizing either an ultra-wide angle lens, or a telephoto zoom.  Today I'm using an ultra-wide zoom.


It might appear that we're 20-30 feet away, but at 12m we're almost touching the hull and the perspective of the wide angle lens makes the bow loom large while the stern  fades smaller

Canon 5d Mark II, Sigma 12-24mm F4-5.6 @F13 1/60th  12mm  ISO 100


The bright new colors are typically Thai and very attractive.  I especially like the lines on this boat.  As it nears completion it will be outfitted for sea and relaunched down the ramp.


During a photography workshop we look for examples like this exploit the perspective distortoin of the ultra-wide angle lens

Canon 5d Mark II, Sigma 12-24mm F4-5.6 @F13 1/6th  13mm  ISO 100


There are interesting angles and comparisons everywhere you look and an ultra-wide really helps them stand out.  Here, a finished and unfinished boat are side by side showing their differences. 


A 12mm perspective from the Sigma 12-24mm lends itself powerfully to such scenes

Canon 5d Mark II, Sigma 12-24mm F4-5.6 @F13 1/50th  12mm  ISO 100


These boats are made of wood and an overall is very labor intensive.  Try an hour sanding the teak hull of a Thai fishing boat in the hot sun if you'd like some decent exercise.  Notice in the corner of the frame how the bamboo scaffolding is held together?


A worker is visible through this small opening it he hull of theThai fishing boat

Canon 5d Mark II, Sigma 12-24mm F4-5.6 @F13 1/15th  24mm  ISO 100


This cutout caught my eye because I could see a workman in the interior though the opening.  This is where a damaged area is removed and new material will be patched in.  Each screw hold and every seam is caulked and made watertight before being painted.


During our ultra-wide angle photography workshop we take advantage of lines and curves to show dimension

Canon 5d Mark II, Sigma 12-24mm F4-5.6 @F13 1/25th  24mm  ISO 100


A weathered hulk with a single painted board going down the side made for an interesting capture.


The screw shaft must be bored straight and true or vibrations will be felt throughout the entire ship

Canon 5d Mark II, Sigma 12-24mm F4-5.6 @F13 1/20th  12mm  ISO 100


No matter where you point the camera you'll find a ton of detail from the lines of caulking on the ships to the different woods uses to all the men and material.


A Thai welder works while in the background Cambodian immigrant workers inspet the screw shaft

Canon 5d Mark II, Sigma 12-24mm F4-5.6 @F13 1/80th  12mm  ISO 400


Another example of extreme detail in every frame.  Men working on the screw, others welding in the foreground, and lines everywhere.  The scaffolding looms into the frame as the ship looms out..


The tracks stretch across the boat yard from end to end allowing them to position the vessels just about anywhere

Canon 5d Mark II, Sigma 12-24mm F4-5.6 @F13 1/80th  12mm  ISO 100


Here we take a wide view of the parking lot.  Ships awaiting overall, others being refitted, and the tracks the use to dolly the ships out of the water and around the yard. 


Two ships await their turn to be refitted

Canon 5d Mark II, Sigma 12-24mm F4-5.6 @F13 1/60th  24mm  ISO 100


These two ships are owned by the same company and will be overhauled side by side and repainted with the factory colors. 


immigrant workers from Cambodia install a ships screw, bangkok images workshop

Canon 5d Mark II, Sigma 12-24mm F4-5.6 @F11 1/200th  24mm  ISO 400


A worker places a well aimed sledge hammer blow helping seat the screw onto the shaft.  After each swing movement is analyzed before another is driven home.


A large commercial diesel powers this large winch which pulls the boats along the tracks

Canon 5d Mark II, Sigma 12-24mm F4-5.6 @F11 1/50th  20mm  ISO 400


This large winch is what they used to move the ships along the tracks.  To the right is a commercial diesel engine that powers the winch.


Khmer immigrant workers child learns to walk

Canon 5d Mark II, Sigma 12-24mm F4-5.6 @F11 1/160th  22mm  ISO 400


Entire families cycle in and out of the boatyard as needed.  Clothes are washed and hung to dry, babies play, and men rest, all in conditions most of us would consider less than camping.


toxic chemicals?  Boat yards all have a jjunk area where they store such things

Canon 5d Mark II, Sigma 12-24mm F4-5.6 @F11 1/500th  14mm  ISO 400


Yes, I know this is nothing but a pile of junk but such an area is necessary to the function of a boat yard.  Scrap metals and scrap chemicals stored together.


anchor, samut songkran boat yards, ultra-wide angle photography

Canon 5d Mark II, Sigma 12-24mm F4-5.6 @F11 1/400th  12mm  ISO 400


I never tire of the ultra-wide perspective.  This newly painted bright blue anchor contrasts sharply with the old scrap pieces, and the motorsai scales the anchor perfectly.

The boat yards are the perfect place to learn wide angle photography, and a great opportunity to see skilled craftsman in action.  Right on the waters edge the temperatures can become very hot, but it's worth it.  Other interesting opportunities are in the same area which makes this a prime spot for a great workshop outing.