BkkSteve ;

The last few years you've shared images from Loy Krathong.  Each year it appears you used different techniques.  I'm going out on Loy Krathong this year and I would very much enjoy impressing my girl friend (and justifying my expensive hobby) by turning out some high quality photos.  Can you give me some pointers?

Zifprint

 

Zifprint -

Loy Krathong is my favorite Thai holiday.  Festivities run the gamut from children's beauty pageants to loud roaring parties to individual reflection and meditation.  The venues are even more varied.  What this means is it's impossible to guess what you're going to run up against with the exception of one factor.  It's going to be darker than dark.

 

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

 

This means you'll need to make the decision to shoot at uber high ISOs (ISO 6400++) if you have a new DSLR with that kind of range, and you'll still need uber fast glass (F2 or lower) to match it.  OR, you'll need to light your subjects in some way and this can get very tricky.  The advantages of artificially lighting your subjects is that you can shoot at more reasonable ISOs and achieve much better image quality.

 

Canon 1ds Mark II, 70-200mm F2.8 IS  @F8  1/125th  ISO 400  Quantum Strobe

 

I've shot Loy Krathong both ways, and some interesting variations.  Over the years I've learned that a very high quality directional off-camera strobe outfit allows the most flexibility and highest image quality.  The tradeoff is that it takes a fair amount of skill to pull off without the "deer in the headlights" look, and it also requires an assistant to function as a walking light stand.

 

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

 

This is currently my favorite method, but I wouldn't hesitate to use a high ISO body and fast lens to keep things simple with faster handling.  I was out there last night making my own captures.  Did you see a sampan with a several farang/Thai couples out on the On-nut klong with a big strobe and an even bigger lens?

 

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

 

I hope this helps.  Good luck out there!

Steve

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