Tuk Tuk in Mae Sot.  Photography Workshop image

Mae Sot Tuk-tuk


The ubiquitous tuk-tuk is almost as common in Thailand as umbrellas on a sunny day.  Their look, vintage, and style change from region to region.  I've never found them particularly interesting, but sometimes a change of perspective can make the ordinary into something new and perhaps even special.  Such is the case with this tuk-tuk.

You've probably noticed that we're doing more professional reviews of software and hardware than in previous months?  Our column is becoming popular enough so that software developers and hardware manufacturers have become interested in what we think of their products.  Recently a company called Topaz sent me a reviewer's package so I installed their software and sat down for an hour or so to give it a look and see where it might prove useful.  Because we are using a review "team" concept I was also curious if other members of the team might be interested in giving it a spin.

So, I needed an image to play with and out of pure chance my wheel of fortune landed on this image of the tuk-tuk.  I started tweaking and playing and generally having a good time seeing what was under the hood of Topaz.  Eventually I ended up with this image and I like it!  It has a painterly effect and a type of hard contrast and color combination that brings out bits and pieces of this tuk-tuk which previously blended in.  I started taking a closer look.

This image is significant because I looked at it from a different perspective and discovered elements of style and color and even utility that caught my interest.  Notice the three lights?  The center light turns and the two big ones are fixed.  How about the yellow iron supports on the side?  The yellow spoke wheels in the back?  The rear curtains?  Splash shields?  The driver?

I think I like this effect and plan to explore more with Topaz before writing a proper review.  This style is far from my normal workflow but this software has motivated me to explore.  I'm curious what I'll find!


Rice fields outside Mae Sot during a Bangkok Images Photography Workshop

Rice Field in Mae Sot


The above image was a second attempt.  Sure, it doesn't look real but what I like about this is that it took a relatively flat image where all the features of this landscape blended, and isolated them allowing me to better appreciate the elements of the composition.  Next week I'll read the instructions and see if I can turn it into a proper image.. ;o)