10 Jan 2013

The first photo walk: Khlong Saen Saeb

As soon as I charged the battery and experimented a bit with the basic settings at home, I was ready to hit the street and start shooting. Obviously, the easiest way was to stay in the neighborhood as an initial contact with the gear. But this, while safe, could potentially introduce the risk of  familiarity, that is, not being able to see the things that we are used to observe every day, in a light that could give them interest and new shape.

That's a very interesting topic that deserves a separate discussion altogether, but then, itchy as I was to stroll the streets and capture some stills, I didn't worry too much and just left my room and headed to the canal, the only place in my area (I live in eastern Bangkok) where you can walk without the roars of heavy traffic around.

Underbridge, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm

Walking the narrow paths on the side of the canal is, at once, a relaxing experience (not much happening around, specially in the sunny afternoon hours, except for occasional kids riding a bike, or a motorbike), and a risky one, as the regular boats that carry passengers across the city seem unconcerned about the safety of its customers, and march through the dirty waters as if they were competing in a speed race, splashing generously in all directions.

Dry season, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm

Today I decided to walk the left bank, the one I'm more familiar with, and just enjoyed the silent, peaceful stroll under a sun that was not specially insolent. As I advanced, I focused on small things, here and there. Khlong Saen Saeb has probably seen better times, as now the whole area is full of abandoned buildings, ruins, debris and decay.

The hole, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm

Moss, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm

My walk was quite lonely, as the only living things that I could see, from time to time, were grumpy cats, or sweaty birds, resting on the top of electric poles. If there is any fish alive under those black waters, I could not see it. But I befriended a small insect who was apparently having a nap on top of a stray flower and, as he seemed fearless enough, I tested the near-macro capabilities of my lens with it. Thanks pal!

Fearless, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm

Local people tend to avoid this sunny hours as much as they can, so I didn't have the change to encounter many folks, and have a few words with them with my very limited Thai; however, I was lucky enough to meet a couple of receptive people who were willing to be captured by my camera. Unsurprisingly, they were a kid, and an old man, as these are always the two groups of people that attract my attention inmediately.

The artisan, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm

Tie break, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm

Sunset was approaching, and I knew what that meant: the flow of people would increase dramatically, coming and going in those precarious walkways, and the frequency of the unhealthy boats would also speed up, raising the risk of undesired rain showers, so I hastened to the nearest soi (that's the name for alleyways in Thai) in order to return to usual suspect: busy Bangkok.

Abdication, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm

As I was going back home, I realized I was getting hungry. But then, that is the smallest problem someone can have in a city like this; in all property, that cannot be named as a problem, rather as a momentary inconvenience, for you have mountains of food, ready for you, within reach, anytime, anywhere. Specially when night falls, the sun fades, and all the vampires that were hiding away in their coves, come out and overflow the streets. Buen provecho, everybody!

Beginning of the shift, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm

Aroi!, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm

No comments:

Post a Comment