Welcome back to the busy jungle of Manila. It’s a chaotic place. People are so busy surviving that cleanliness is the last thing in there minds. They spit, urinate and even defecate in the streets (Bums). Electric and telephone lines abound and is uncontrolled. Every street is filled with chaos and it reflects on my photo, It’s so busy that the subject gets drowned in the noise. I need to improve my composition so I challenge myself with a theme of minimalism for this roll of Agfa Vista. Enjoy!
Chaos. Beating the red light.
When I started using film I had this idea/dream that every photos I would take would be the “SHIT”. Oh how right was I when the first roll got developed and printed. 35 shots of crap (under, overexposed and out of focused shots) and 1 decent photo. I blamed everything less but me. Maybe the camera is broken it’s old, maybe the meter is fried, maybe my film stock wasn’t handled well being developed yeah that’s it bad developing. But deep down I know it was my fault. So I did what any normal person would do before running a film thru a new camera: Read the manual. Ha! so it’s center weighted metering, that’s good to know.
Next thing I did was browse through the works of Josef Koudelka and learn from him. Ofcourse I admired Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, Robert Frank and most of the greats but it’s with Josef Koudelka’s work I resonated with.
Great work takes time. Koudelka took around 5000 photos of the Prague 1968 invasion but used only a fraction of it. Only later when “Invasion 68:Prague” that other photos would be used, it featured 250 awe inducing photos most of them published for the first time. That’s 250 out 5000 photos! He had a tight body of work spanning all the years he was taking picture but the quality of it was absurd. So be patient and enjoy the learning process.
After shifting to film my compulsive behavior to shot 10 or more photo of the same thing completely disappeared and was replaced by extreme skimping. 1shot per 1 subject that’s all I gave myself. Only after looking at Koudelka’s contact sheet did I realized that if you feel there’s a “Shot”, you can work the scene out. Compose, recompose and shoot. Don’t skimp. Which made me think of this quote:
” In the end you only regret the the things you didn’t do”
Let’s rephrase this
” In the end you only regret the photos you didn’t take”
My favorite photo. Took me a bit of experimentation but I got it. When life seem dark always look to the light. I always look to you my light. I am grateful having you. Thank you and thanks for reading!
The dog is the perfect portrait subject. He doesn’t pose. He isn’t aware of the camera.
It’s amazing how photos can bring you back to a moment in your life. This is one of the reason why I am into photography. I visual anchor to the past charged with emotions and memories. Ahhh, Nostalgia.
Co-habitation towel. This one is meh at best but this is special to me. It reminds me of a happy, simplier and relatively stress free time. I can even remember the sound of the jack hammer pounding outside and making sleep impossible. So I decided to take some photo of the room as we we’re moving out soon. Looking back now I can tell you how glad I am wasting film and money on them. Reminiscing is priceless.
“Meditation by Marcus Aurelius” And “Letters from a Stoic by Seneca” two of my favorite books. Basically saying to me to stop my bitching and whining. Stop being a victim and to actively help myself because I’m the only one who can change my situation. The external forces you can’t control but you can control everything within you. You control your own narrative.
So let’s take more meaningful pictures. It doesn’t have to be world changing or a technical marvel. All it needs to do is please you. You’re the one with the emotional attachment to it. Take this white rose for an example. I should have lessen the clutter to make it a bit more bearable but this one signifies my girlfriends passing of her licensure exam. I’ll always remember buying it cause it’s all I can afford, a single measly piece. Well it’s the thought that counts.
The face of success.
I’m proud of you for passing the board exam. I’m sure you know that. CongratuFU*KINGlations!
“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”
– Will Rogers
Perfect weather for a roll of Ektar.
Entrance to the Grand Palace. The security is tight! Look at all those guns.
The Garuda and Naga. Garugas are like harpies, half man and half bird but of the opposite sex. He’s the steed of Lord Vishnu or something like that. The snake he’s ripping apart is the “Naga”. I don’t know which of them started this family fued as they’re “cousins” but it’s always ends with the Garuda winning. (kinda like the eagle eating the snake)
We enjoyed this fountain at first because the pigeons have been “pavloved” not be scared of humans and see them as vending machine of corns. Then a man gave us small packets of corn.
“How much?” we ask.
“It’s okay. It’s okay.” He said. Woah. This place is really great, people are very friendly and giving you free stuff. If only Philippines can step up it’s game then maybe the tourism would increase. Blah blah..
So we continued to play and feed the pigeons. After depleting our corn supply we decided to leave.
“Thank you for the corn.” I said or something like that.
“300 bhat. 100 bhat each packet. YOU PAY.” Kinda lost my temper here. We conceded to pay 100 bhat and decided to leave him. So please learn from our mistake. Visit but be wary of this kind of trick.
Elephant statue at the entrance of the Phra Thinang Chakri Maha Prasat.
Thotsakhirithon (Yaksha) is a kind of nature spirit that protects and guard treasures. It’s no wonder they’re placed in the entrance of the Wat Phra Kaew. It’s amazing to see the parallel between Thailand and Japan due to their culture and religion . Yasha in Japanese.
I think she’ll kill me if she sees this. Candid for her devouring a delicious local banana crepe.
This is the last of the Bangkok in Film. I really miss this place already. I miss the laid back atmosphere where most of the people don’t seem to be in a hurry. The people are very polite and would do everything to help you. Can’t wait to be back.
Thank you for reading!
Meet Hershey Zafra, a cute and playful puppy. But he lost half of his left ear due to an infected wound on the left pinna which was left untreated for weeks because the owner didn’t notice it due to Hershey long coat. So please check your pets daily while petting and caressing them, it could prevent some serious problem. ( Or atleast half an ear)
Day 2 of our Bangkok trip takes us to Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Pho temples. Both are mesmerizing and vibrantly colorful.
- Bring a wide angle lens! I only had my 50mm lens on this trip and I was sorely missing my 24mm as there was a lot of instances that would be better using a wide angle lens.
- Be aware about the dress codes in this temples. Act and dress respectfully.
- Stay clear of people giving you “free” corn for the pigeons as they will ask for 150 bhat per handful.
Grand temples, giant Buddha, mythical creatures and huge statues everywhere. Thailand is very rich in culture and symbolism.
“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”- Buddha
The Reclining Buddha.
I’m not sure if this is a lotus. Lotus represents purity of thought. It grows in muddy water rising and blooming above the murk, symbolizing enlightenment.
This is my favorite of the roll.
Thanks for viewing!
Up next is Ektar. 🙂
“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
Thailand was the first country I’ve been to except Philippines. Everybody should visit there. The people are very kind and will try their very best to understand your hand gestures. It’s relatively clean and safe compared to Philippines. We were there for less than a week and arrived on a sunday. This means that we have to visit and shop on Chatuchak weekend market on our first day. I quickly loaded my Nikon F3 with Ektar ( at-least that was the box of film I was holding but the film inside was the Fujicolor Superia 1600! I was gonna save this for some night time shooting at Khao san road. It was a mix up of different box and film due to the inspection in the airport. Luckily I realized that it was the superia before closing the back. Giving me a chance to rate it at 1600).
Chatuchak market is so big that it will take you the whole day to fully explore it. I would suggest you visit it on your last day so you can spend all your remaining money here. The food is amazing and the trinkets are cheap!
She’s been arranging and rearranging her cats for quite sometime giving me a chance to snap this.
Superia 1600 giving a great rendition of skin tones.
Superia 1600 actually is okay. If you need a high iso colored film I’d recommend this being not as pricey as other high iso film and is able to deliver great photo. Yes it’s a bit grainy but it’s normal at 1600. The Superia 1600 is definitely a must try!
Thanks for reading.