This week's photograph was captured at Wat Rong Khun in Chiang Rai.  I’ll cover this contemporary and unconventional Buddhist temple in-depth in a future outing section, but this week I wanted to share with you this particular image.  This was taken at the head of the small semi-circle before the bridge which stands for the human world.  Right before crossing over the bridge with fangs which is the mouth of Rahu, which is a representation of hell or suffering.  I think, this display is a visual representation of human suffering.  

This week's photograph was captured at Wat Rong Khun in Chiang Rai.  I’ll cover this contemporary and unconventional Buddhist temple in-depth in a future outing section, but this week I wanted to share with you this particular image.  This was taken at the head of the small semi-circle before the bridge which stands for the human world.  Right before crossing over the bridge with fangs which is the mouth of Rahu, which is a representation of hell or suffering.  I think, this display is a visual representation of human suffering.

This image is significant for what it represents.  Throughout South East Asia’s history there has been much suffering.  Everyone remembers the Vietnam War and the Killing Fields and the genocide committed by the Khmer Rouge during the “purging” which began in 1975.  And lets not forget the invasion(s) of Siam by Burma  in 1765-1767 or Siam’s invasion of Laos (1778 and 1792), Cambodia (1769 and 1782), or Vietnam (1784-1785).  There has been enough bloodshed in SEA to upset the Lord Buddha many times over.

The screaming skull and hands reaching up to drag him to hell represents a powerful image.  I like the way the skull is in critically sharp focus in the foreground and the hands slightly defocused in the background.  Anyone notice the red painted fingernail?

This is an interesting temple and although I did a terrible job of capturing its beauty I still plan on sharing it soon.

 

All around the temple is beautiful Chiang Rai countryside.  While I was very disappointed with my shooting of the temple, which is the reason I made this long journey, I was more than pleased with the landscape images I captured along the way.  Sometimes it works out like that.  When we arrived at the temple the sun was high overhead, the heat extreme, and the photographic opportunities of the temple weakened.  But along the long drive the sun played through the trees and fields providing many great opportunities for those willing to see, stop, and compose an image.

All around the temple is beautiful Chiang Rai countryside.  While I was very disappointed with my shooting of the temple, which is the reason I made this long journey, I was more than pleased with the landscape images I captured along the way.  Sometimes it works out like that.  When we arrived at the temple the sun was high overhead, the heat extreme, and the photographic opportunities of the temple weakened.  But along the long drive the sun played through the trees and fields providing many great opportunities for those willing to see, stop, and compose an image.

This image works a lot better when its bigger, but it’s still striking at any size.  The naturally deep saturation of the flowers on the tree, the varying side lighting coming through the trees, and the lake in the background.  The dynamic range of this image is more extreme than it looks.  I bracketed for six different exposures hoping to capture it this way and only one came close.