22 Sep 2013

500px Worldwide Meetup Day @ Bangkok

When last January I bought my camera and committed myself to photography at a more serious level, apart from creating my blog, I also joined a photography webpage that seemed about right for what I was looking for: 500px. Ever since then, I have been using 500px as a sort of portfolio where I upload only the best shot or shots (if lucky) of each of my blog entries. But a few weeks ago I casually read a post in the web and, to my surprise, it was a call to organize a community photo walk in different cities across the globe on the same day. I wasted no time and contacted them, and so today, after a few e-mails, the creation of a Facebook group and some online chat, the day has arrived to go out and meet a few people to walk around the city taking pictures together.

The barrier, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
The meeting point was BACC (Bangkok's Art & Culture Centre) and the time, 15:30. However, the traffic was quite congested on my way there so, afraid of being late, I decided to get off the bus a few stops before my destination and continue walking (as contradictory as this might seem, walking is in Bangkok sometimes faster than going by bus/car/taxi). Luckily, this short, unexpected walk gave me the opportunity to grab a few shots that I had otherwise totally missed, so it worked as a brief warm up for what was to come shortly afterwards.

Work uniforms, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
Urban frame, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
We slowly grew to a number of about 10 and, after the customary introductions, off we went. But we didn't have to walk far to start our photo session, as right in front of BACC a generous group of Muslim girls were gathering with flags and posters to call for peace in the South of Thailand, where they had come from (an area that unfortunately has been suffering from some religious and political violence the last years). Almost accidentally, we found ourselves in the middle of the small demonstration, and so our photo walk got started a few minutes earlier than expected.

Holding hands, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
The umbrellas, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
Warning fingers, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
Convictions, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
After taking some pictures of them, we slowly headed towards the place we had agreed beforehand: Khlong Saen Saeb, a place I'm very familiar with as some of my first photowalks at thebeginning of the year were there, but this canal runs for a few kilometres and today we were going to explore an area I had never walked before. Familiar waters, but different grounds!

Mass Rapid Water Transport, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
Diagonals, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
Khlong Saen Saeb is a place full of life, color, movement, and people. The narrow alleyways that escort the canal or hide from it between the small huts are punctuated by countless homes that, more often than not, show their doors wide open, unashamed of living with one foot inside and another one outside, welcoming neighbors and embracing a sense of community. On our march through the neighborhood, we met many people along the way, and all of them showed us bright, friendly smiles and eyes full of healthy curiosity.

Seniority, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm 
Welcome home, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
Light spots I, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
Light spots II, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
But people is not all that inhabits these quarters, for we could see cats in almost every house, well attended, clean and tidy, sleeping comfortably outdoors or watching cautiously at the strangers passing in front of their dominions from the security of a window.

Siesta, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
Who's out there?, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm 
You are not allowed to ignore me, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
Walking along these lanes grants plenty of chances to see things, big and small, full of charm and uniqueness; in a word, we could say that this place is of a high level of photographibility, and observant eyes will find many things that will ask for a closer look, and of course will deserve a picture or more.

Chasing or escaping?, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
Blades, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
Letters or numbers?, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
As much as we were enjoying our walk, some people had other duties to perform during the evening, and we had reached a dead end in the canal, so we decided to call it a day and we promised to organize another photowalk as this one sooner rather than later. After swapping numbers and goodbyes, we parted ways, and each one of us followed our own path. I decided I would walk back on the other bank of the canal to the nearest pier to catch a boat to go back home, and during this short walk I could grab the last captures of a very interesting, yet short day. See you all soon again!

Urban landscape, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
Always open, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm
Grave-shaped puddle, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm