December 25th, 1050

Merry Christmas!!!

สุขสันต์วันคริสต์มาสและปีใหม่

Happy Hanukkah!!!

kemashite Omedetou!!!

Feliz Navidad!!!

Nadolig Hapus!!!

Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon!!!

 

Sony NEX-5, 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OS, @F5.6  1/60th  25mm   ISO 200 (on camera direct flash)

 

Joyeux Noel!!!

Kellesmes Karacsonyi Unnepeket es Boldog!!!

Wesolych Swait Bozego Narodzenia!!!

Frohe Weinhnachten und einen guten Rutsch!!!

Al-Salaamu Aleikum!!

Selamat Natal!!!

Nollaig chridheil huibh!!!

Nadelik looan blethen noweth!!!

Shengdanjie kuaile!!!

Kala Hristouyenna!!!

 

Hopefully I covered most of you in wishing you the best holidays possible.

This has been an interesting year for Bangkok Images.  We’ve redefined the column, created a cool new website, incorporated lots of new camera equipment, our company logo was created, a new company vehicle was purchased, new imaging monitors and computers brought online, all of which will help us grow as we enter the new year. 

f I had to pick just one thing which pleases me above all else, it would be the contributions made to the column by the readers.  From great Features to fun image submissions to interesting questions you guys have went all out to make this column work and I couldn’t be more grateful.  Your contributions motivate me to continue improvements and growth and produce the best weekly photography column in Thailand!  Thank you.  

We’ll be back with a great column on January 8th and possibly a New Year’s message as well.

 

“At Christmas, all roads lead home.”

Steve

 

December 24th, 1120

Santa Claus just paid me a visit and delivered my Christmas present.  I must have been good this year!    I'm hoping it has a profound effect on my life.  Time will tell.  A report to follow in a month or so.

 

 

December 23rd, 1600

Let's face it.  We're now in the "Ipad Era" as far as the size of our computing devices go.  Deskstops which used to be a common household appliance have long since been supplanted by the ubiquitous laptop/notebook.  We've had this ever increasing desire to make our computers smaller and to blend in or disappear into our home and office decor, rather than to take center stage.  I often hear my clients say "I'd love to have a powerful image processing station, but my wife wouldn't allow it in our office/den/study.."  Or "I can barely get away with the big screen plasma.."   Perhaps the days of impressive looking electronic devices dominating our homes has long passed.

To this end I spent the last several weeks researching, measuring, and designing a very size and weight efficient no compromises imaging workstation.  A tough lightweight computer not much bigger than a breadbox.  And by no compromises I mean it will be equipped with the most powerful graphics processing unit (GPU) useful for imaging, and will even hold the biggest/longest video card desired by the most serious gamers.  It will even hold two of them. 

It will hold up to the most powerful 6 core Intel i7 CPU available with the more desirable 1366 socket, and with as much RAM as you desire.  No special power supply required, it will house a common ATX sized power supply.  It will be equipped with the fasted Sold State Disk (SSD) available anywhere with file transfer speeds exceeding 700mbps for both read and write operations which fits in a PCIe slot and not a slower SATA II or III interface. A 32-1 flash memory card reader, Blue-Ray optical drive, and eight available 3.5" drive bays for a total of 24 TERABYTES of storage.  It will even be able to pull double duty as a Home Theather PC (HTPC) with 7.1 channel optical and coaxial outputs, DTS, Dolby and THX certified. This is not your Father's PC!

All of this in a breadbox sized box with great style, totally silent operation, and available in three colors.  Red, Black, or Silver.  The necessary components are already in the capable hands of UPS and will arrive next week, at which time I'll assemble and test this system and when done it will become my new student workshop computer.  Look for it in a coming build special after the holidays.

 

 

December 22nd, 1745

The wife was at Chatuchuk (JJ) Market this week shopping for the parrots Christmas gifts when she ran across this guy.  The 'owner' didn't want her to take this picture but the wife was thinking it might make a good Christmas present for me and explained to him I'd have to see it first.  She was quoted 1500 baht, on a pound for pound basis much cheaper than my parrots.   At first she thought it was a hawk as I've had a desire to own a hawk at some point in my life, but to me it appears to be an owl.  Are these protected here?  I've never noticed owls in Thailand before.  Anyone know anything about them?  Anyone familiar with Chatuchuk Market knows that on almost any given day you'll find 3-4 different endangeroues (illegal to own and sell) species being hawked.  From small 3-4" tall monkeys to albino crocks.

 

Fuji F31 (5 year old compact) @F2.8  1/400th  8mm  ISO 200

 

December 21st, 1145

The holidays in Asia is always a time of visual and moral conflicts.  Everywhere, but especially in the commercial areas, we see Christmas decorations, Christmas music, and many of the locals getting into the "spirit."  Alas, the wrong spirit.  Ignorant of the actual Christmas Story, to them Christmas is all about pretty trees, lights, and gifts.  Are they merely copying the trend we've been setting in the West for decades?

Many of us will have nice dinners with more than enough fine foods than we can eat.  We'll eat, drink, reflect on our good fortunes, and bask in the company of family and friends.  In contrast we're just a few hours from where hundreds of thousands of refugees huddle in bamboo and leaf huts, in the coldest areas of Thailand, with their only food being the relief agencies meager portions of cooking oil, fish paste, and rice.  And most often these small portions must be shared with an almost equal number of unregistered refugees not eligible for their own portions.  The orphanages are full of children who lost their families and have little to no hope of ever escaping the camps.  Don't feel powerless.  This year my greatest gift was being taught I can help.  Thanks Gary.

 

Canon 1ds Mark II, 24-70mm F2.8L USM  F5.6  1/50th  64mm  ISO 800

 

December 19th, 2045

The final week before Christmas I'm sure most everyone is busy with their holiday plans, getting ready to leave town, shop for last minute gifts, and a myriad of other activities.  I wish you the best holidays possible.

This image is rich with memories.  Every image brings back the memories of when the capture was made, who you were with, and even what you were discussing.  Every image has a backstory.

I call this one "The Watchman" and I probably created over a dozen different renditions before settling on this one.

 

Canon 5d Mark II, 300mm F2.8L IS USM  @F4.5  1/320th  ISO 500