Posts Tagged ‘D300s’
For the first time in ten years, I celebrated Songkhran, the Thai New Year, in Thailand. Usually I duck the holiday by travelling abroad for the first two weeks in April. This year I cancelled a trip to Japan and found myself spending this week in Bangkok.
Usually people in Bangkok celebrate on Silom or Khao San Road. It’s one big water fight with all manner of water weapons, from the smallest squirt gun to a shoulder weapon that is similar in size to a RPG launcher. Some celebrants resort to throwing ice cold water from buckets. And then there’s the fire hydrants. Quite a wet day. Nowadays, partiers also smear a water-soluble powder on faces as you can see from some of these photos.
Silom was closed to traffic for the day and there must have been fifty thousand “water babies” engaging in hand to hand combat at five paces with water guns. And the smeary powdery liquid. Although it sounds like the makings of a disaster, it was great fun.
For today’s raucous time, I used my Nikon D300s and the AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 VR zoom lens. I didn’t want to risk other more expensive lenses, knowing that the lens (and camera) would get a soaking. As a ready holster, I used my waterproof Ortlieb shoulder bag, unzipped. Although the camera came under some “attack” from the squirt guns, all in all, it survived with no problems. After I reached home, I thoroughly dried the camera and lens. Good as new.
At times, I thought I should have brought another lens or two (14-24 or 24-70 zoom lenses) but felt it was wiser to restrict potential disaster to one lens. Afterwards I realized that I should have used my AF-D 28-200mm f3.5-5.6 for its wider angle instead of the 70-300. Oh well, there’s always next year.
One of the best places to capture humanity in all its permutations is the area around the “Gateway to India” arch. This area, with the Taj Palace Hotel across the street, is probably the favorite of all the sightseeing destinations in Mumbai (referred to as Bombay by local inhabitants). Both foreign and Indian tourist like to walk this area spending equal times looking at the arch and the hotel.
From dawn to the wee hours of the morning, the plaza is visited by throes interested in taking photos of both sites. Many people stop and gawk at the Taj Palace Hotel. Some may do so because of the grandeur of the hundred year old building while others may have a more morbid interest as it was the locale of a 2008 terrorist attack that killed numerous guests.
Besides the sightseers, the area is frequented by vendors of every stripe, horse drawn elaborate carriages, and armies of photographers looking to make money by photographing tourists.
Photos were shot with a Nikon D700 with Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 AFS zoom lens and a Nikon D300s and Nikkor 70-300mm f/5.6 AFS VR zoom lens.
Life on the Mekong River in Cambodia and Laos hasn’t caught up with the 21st Century. Yet. There is still a connection to quieter times, a slower pace of living, that belies the dramatic changes that will occur on the Mekong. From China to southern Laos, there are plans for over a dozen dams that the authorities say will benefit all the people of the region. They come up with a myriad of benefits, from cheaper electricity to reduced flooding. In looking at this future, I have a hard time envisioning the simple life that exists there now. I recommend that you visit this area before it’s all gone.
Photos taken with a Nikon D700 and Nikkor AFS 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lens and a Nikon D300S and Nikkor AFS 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom lens.
One of the most rewarding things to do when you are in Cambodia has nothing to do with sightseeing at venues like Angkor Wat or visiting the Irawaddy dolphins at Kratie. I recommend you take some time out of your busy days to visit a rural school and donate school supplies. These students are not well to do and are always short of basic supplies like pencils, paper tablets and rulers. For less than $50 US you can easily supply every student with these supplies. And you never know how you might be impacting these students. For every child attending school, there is probably another that does not attend school for one reason or another and it is near impossible to make a difference in their lives. At least with the children in school they are learning the basics although there is no telling where they may be in ten more years. The five and six year olds in these photos may be working in the fields with their parents in another 6 or 7 years.
Photos were taken with a Nikon D700 and Nikkor AFS 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lens or a Nikon D300s and Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VRI zoom lens.
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.
You never know where your next decent photo will come from. While on a recent trip by boat up the Mekong from Cambodia to Laos, we passed this small hut on a remote island. This part of the island was beautiful with crystal clear water and a beach of sorts. Really didn’t it give it much mind as we were heading up the river to see a series of waterfalls that are hardly visited.
On the way back down the river, we were so dehydrated and exhausted by our visit to the falls that we decided to stop for drinks and a bit to eat. The hut was run by a young couple with three small chidren. It really wasn’t much but it was shady and the ice-cold drinks hit the spot. The kids were so photogenic that between big gulps of water and soda, I shoot off a few photos. They acted like they had never seen a camera before so I spent some time shooting and then showing the photos to the kids. This interaction became of source of fun for them and me. As it should be.
All photos were taken using either a Nikon D700 with a Nikkor AFS 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lens or a Nikon D300s with a Nikkor AFS 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom lens.
A Maiko is an apprentice Geisha, who undergoes five years of training in the arts before they are considered Geisha. Geishas are still seen with frequency walking the small streets of Kyoto to their next performance. Usually you can tell the difference between Maiko and Geisha by the younger age of the Maiko and the size of their obi. There are other differences that are explained in detail here.
On this day, these three Maiko came strolling into the Heian Shrine. They were inundated by tourists armed with DSLR’s, P&S’s and camera phones. It was quite a commotion. They simply maintained their composure, posed for a few photos and kept on walking.
Photos taken with a Nikon D300s and AFS Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII zoom lens.