Rural Ang Thong 90 minutes outside Bangkok Thailand

Canon 5d Mark II, Sigma 12-24mm F4 @F11  1/200th  24mm  ISO 100


A few weeks ago my client, a guest, my assistant, and I.. were cruising the Ang Thong countryside looking for interesting photo opportunities.  Have you ever driven around areas like these?  The main roads don't look like much and it seems all you can see are uninteresting flat fields of nothing.  I could feel the tension, everyone was thinking "is Steve crazy?"  "What are we doing here?"  I kept driving.

I've always told you 90% of photography is in being at the right place at the right time.  How can you ever be there and get the pictures no one else gets if you're not willing to suffer a bit and pay your dues by leaving the well trodden path and taking chances on your own?  Or in this case have a bit of faith in your local photo guy? (me)

Smiling I turned off the main road and headed down some dirt roads between rice fields.  No, I've never been here before but I've been to many places just like it.  It's farm land.  We'll find fields, workers, machines, water, trees, and much more.  It's just a matter of patience and the willingness to explore.  Do you have explorers blood flowing through your veins?  I think I might..

Bouncing along the dirt roads things started getting more interesting and I started pointing things out like the direction of light, natural contrast, the uniqueness of our location.  We kept bouncing.  Rounding a corner there it was.  The scene we'd driven all this way to photograph.  Does it surprise you no one saw it?

That's okay I'm a patient guy.  I pointed out the nice sky with clouds, the contrasting burned BLACK foreground, and the tree line with reds, yellows, greens, and someone was nice enough to put a dirt road in the perfect place to lead the viewers eye through the frame.  It only took seconds, 3, 2, 1..  Everyone saw it at once and piled out of the truck with cameras at the ready instantly evaluating the scene and trying to come up with the best composition in their minds eye.

These are the hot months in Thailand, everything is either dead or dying and turning brown.  A scene with this much natural contrast, an actual blue sky, colors, we were truly blessed.  I guided them through some thoughts for exposure and framing and picking up my own camera I couldn't resist taking my own.  This image is significant because it's a great example of getting a great landscape through shear determination and patience.  Not to mention exploring!


Rural Ang Thong 90 minutes outside Bangkok Thailand

Canon 5d Mark II, Sigma 12-24mm F4 @F11  1/125th  35mm  ISO 100


There were at least 10-15 different ways to photograph this scene, and more ways to process it.  With these samples I wanted to show the colors, the high level of detail, the shadows on the road, the outlaying field of green, and perhaps why using a polarizer in such circumstances might not be the best idea.. :)  You should know by now I like to share my mistakes right along with my successes.

It's a Sunday afternoon.  You have a choice.  Stay home and read a book.  Go down to the pub and watch football on the big screen and drink beer.  Eat at a nice restaurant.  Or get in the car, head to the Ang Thong countryside one hour outside of Bangkok and turn off on a dirt road and see if you can find the perfect landscape..