Leo Laksi’s Bangkok And Back

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

Posts Tagged ‘black & white

Rural Cambodian school near Steng Trung.

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Angel.

Angel.

One of the most fulfilling things one can do when visiting the rural areas of Cambodia is to set aside time to visit schools.  As some of the rural schools are extremely poor, you should think about buying school supplies to donate to the children.

This particular school, which is located south of Stung Treng, had no electricity, windows and other conveniences that we take for granted in other parts of the world.  In fact, the children had neither paper nor pencils.  Instead they were using planks of wood and chalk during class.   I purchased pencils, rulers and tablets for each of the 100 children in the three classes.  (And candy and cookies to please each student’s sweet tooth.)

The children were kindergartners to second graders and were extremely bright.  However as they were in a very poor rural area,  their future is a bit hazy.  Do what you can to help.  Not only will the children benefit, so will you.

Concentrating.

Concentrating.

What's the answer?

What's the answer?

Reciting the lesson.

Reciting the lesson.

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Written by leolaksi

May 23, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Put a little motion in your photos – prefocus and slow speed.

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Slow shutter speed gaurantees visible motion in street photos.

Slow shutter speed guarantees visible motion in street photos.

In the digital age, it’s much easier to experiment and develop your own style.  You take the shot and then you instantly review the results.  Nothing could be easier than that, right?  With super accurate autofocus and precise metering DSLRs, one is in a position to take that perfect shot.  And stopping motion.  Try your hand at something just a bit different.  Try taking a shot where motion is an element of the picture.  In other words, you want to see motion.  It seems unnatural in some ways but you may find yourself taking flawed but still interesting photographs.  And motion-oriented photos do convey a feeling.

These photos were taken a couple of months ago with a Leica M8 and Carl Zeiss Biogon 21mm f/2.8 lens.  I prefocused the camera and set the aperture speed at 1/45 and 1/60 sec.  I shot from the hip, through the viewfinder and then over head.  I can’t guarantee your results but you may find yourself taking photos that will be out of the ordinary.

The "hand-twirled" ice cream maker in motion.

The "hand-twirled" ice cream maker in motion.

Camera high overhead and prefocused.

Camera high overhead and prefocused.

Food on face.

Food on face.

Old school look.

Old school look.

Written by leolaksi

January 4, 2010 at 10:06 pm

People-watching at the Esplanade on the Singapore River

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Sitting at the outdoor theatre on the Esplanade

Sitting at the outdoor theatre on the Esplanade

The Esplanade at the mouth of the Singapore River is popular with both Singaporeans and visitors.  From those looking to just chill out and take in the views to lovers holding hands and walking along the wide sidewalks, a photographer can find many subjects to shoot.  It doesn’t matter if it’s night or day, there are plenty of visitors.  From this vantage point, you also have a great view of the Singapore skyline.  On this trip, we walked along the Singapore River from the Esplanade to Clarke Quay, a distance of about 5 kilometers.  Besides terrific opportunities to shoot people, there are seven bridges, numerous vintage buildings and skyscrapers.  And don’t forget the reflection of these sights on the waters of the river.

Photos were taken with a Nikon D700 and Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro lens.

Studying with the iPod.

Studying with the iPod.

Lost in the PSP world.

Lost in the PSP world.

Two in contact, one not.

Two in contact, one not.

And from the other side.

And from the other side.

Green, blue and orange.

Green, blue and orange. And red.

Written by leolaksi

October 8, 2009 at 7:00 pm

Too shy to photograph people on the street? – Step 2

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Look for people working.

Look for people working.

People are sometimes apprehensive to photograph people on the street.  To become more comfortable, aspiring photographers should consider different ways to overcome their shyness.  Several weeks ago, I recommended shooting food stalls in close proximity to people.  In doing so you can build up your confidence while shooting in public.

Another exercise calls for you to photograph people going about their work.  That’s what I’ve done in this series of photos.  Not only does this make for interesting shots, working people tend to be occupied going about their work and therefore they generally do not pay attention to you.   One word of caution.  Be careful when photographing police or military in some countries as levels of paranoia post 9/11 has created a bit of suspicion.

All photos taken in Hong Kong with a Nikon D700 and either a Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom or Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro lens.

Unloading beer

Unloading beer

Preoccupied to notice

Too preoccupied to notice

Three phones on the dash

Three phones on the dash

Ignored except by me

Ignored except by me

Written by leolaksi

October 5, 2009 at 7:00 pm

Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong train station for photographs

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Waiting for the train

Waiting for the train

One of the best venues for photographs is the main railway station, Hua Lamphong.  As you would expect, the station is bustling with passengers in various stages of travel.  Mainly they are waiting for their trains to depart and in this lack of activity, are occupied in their own worlds.  Some daydream, some sleep, while others pass the time communing with others.

I spent a few hours at the station over the last couple of days and found the personal side of humanity compelling.  Most people had no objections to taking their photos and those that did say no, did so politely.   Photos at this venue are completely different from photos taken uptown, mainly because rail travelers in Thailand are not focused on the latest trendy clothes or accessories but merely going home to loved ones.

Although, it’s a marvelous site for photos of trains, the station and the hustle-bustle of activity, I decided to photograph the human side of the station.

Photos taken with a Nikon D700 and Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro lens.

Looking up

Looking up

Three men getting haircuts

Three men getting haircuts

Girl power

Girl power

Passing the time

Passing the time

Written by leolaksi

September 1, 2009 at 7:02 pm

Music on Hong Kong Harbour – black and white

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Joyful saxophonist

Joyful saxophonist

Hong Kong is a wonderful place to wander and one is never quite sure what one will see.  On this day while walking along the waterfront on the Kowloon side, a friend and I stumbled upon a youth orchestra competition of sorts.  We stood around for around thirty minutes, snapping a photo here and there before finally moving on to other sights to see.

As noted in my posting a couple of days ago, I used only the Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 during my five day stay.  No zoom lenses or multiple lenses.  Just kept it plain and simple.  Try it.  It works.

Photos taken with Nikon D700 and 85mm f/1.4 lens.

Flutes

Flutes

Vibes

Vibes

Sax boy

Sax boy

Trumpet man

Trumpet man

Written by leolaksi

July 27, 2009 at 7:26 pm