A lone man walks the On-nut khlong during Loy Krathong festivities

Canon 1ds Mark II, 70-200mm F2.8 IS  F4.5  1/125th  ISO 400  Quantum Strobe

 

Context.  The context of an image often makes the image much more significant.  This is why "photo journalism" works so well.  An image that won't draw interest on it's own, is suddenly very interesting when coupled with a story.  A story that might not draw much interest on its own, becomes a hit when illustrated with a powerful image.  Journalism and Imagery goes together like chocolate and peanut butter.  Photojournalism.

This image was captured during the Loy Krathong festivities when everyone was upbeat and happy.  Throngs of people together, laughing, music, launching krathongs, drinking, a great time for all.  Except this man.  I failed to catch his face but he wasn't at all happy.  He was walking away from the festivities with a look of sadness only a terrible tragedy could produce.  Neither drunk nor sober, he turned on his heel and strode away from the merry makers with purpose.  The scene, fading from light to darkness, a lonely path, and the bottles with candles lined up at attention like soldiers.

 

Loy Krathong 2009, Bangkok Thailand

Unprocessed

 

At first I didn't like this image as captured.  It didn't seem to have the proper life/impact.  It felt cold and had far too much detail for the subject matter.  Then I processed it with a product we'll  be reviewing soon, and it gives a sort of animated or oil paint(ish) look.  And to me, the image came to life.  This image is significant because it's chocolate and peanut butter, a lonely sad man and nearby festivities, a dull uninteresting "negative" and a warmer more 'life' image.  It's significant because as the artist we have that much control.  The worst looking images with no apparent life or purpose can tell a story and become warm and full of life.  It's up to you..

 

A Thai man swims in the On-nut khlong in search of baht coins in the Krathings.  Loy Krathong 2009

Canon 1ds Mark II, 70-200mm F2.8 IS  F5.6  1/125th  ISO 400  Quantum Strobe

 

I could have processed this next image, and the first, in Photoshop, but the product I've been reviewing will make this sort of thing possible without the Photoshop skills.  This is almost a "cartoonish" look.  The boat motor stands out against the dark night sky and the swimmer in the water collecting krathongs is lit to the same level.  I've never been a fan this sort of look, and maybe it's just because I've refined my techniques and therefore the look, but this look is starting to grow on me.  I can visualize these images on a nice textured matte paper mounted on the wall.

 

Loy Krathong 2009.  On-nut Khlong.  Thai family celebrates.

Canon 1ds Mark II, 70-200mm F2.8 IS  F4.5  1/125th  ISO 400  Quantum Strobe

 

The last two images have been dark, but the image above has a lot more color and depth and looks even more like a brushed painting.  I've still got a ways to go refining my technique, small differences in technique can affect the entire look.  This is fun and the resulting images appear to please many.  There is a lot to be said about stripping much of the detail from an image and leaving it with just the essential lines, shapes, colors and feeling.