Posts Tagged ‘floating market’
Sometimes the difference between a successful street photographer and a not so successful photographer is a matter of finding a location from which you can observe other people and their activities. If you’re constantly in motion, walking aimlessly, then it can be difficult to settle on one image or scene that you wish to capture with your camera.
Look for a location that affords you a good vantage point, settle in, and take in the ebb and flow of the movement around you. Blend into the environment.
If you sit or stand long enough, you will begin to visualize images that could lead to a very successful shoot.
Several months ago, I was at the floating market at Amphawa, Thailand. Walking the boardwalk, I found a bench from which I could observe the people walking by. I sat for a few minutes, looked around and decided that the large pots in the foreground might be a good subject what with the late afternoon sunlight and strolling people. I sat there for about five minutes, took a handful of photos and then I moved on to another location where I did the same thing. And so on.
When I first sat down people noticed me taking photos including the vendor on the left side of some of the photos. After a minute or so, she paid me no mind. I had blended into the scene.
The above photo was taken with a Leica M8 and Carl Zeiss Biogon 21mm f/2.8 lens. The following photos were taken with a Noctilux 50mm f/1 lens.
I’ve written about the Amphawa Floating Market near Samut Songkhram south of Bangkok about 60 kilometers in several postings. I enjoy visiting this evening weekend market because its almost ideal for photographs. Bright sunshine descending into nighttime, boats, many different types of buildings and bridges and of course lots of people. And alot of other people also think this location is great for photos. I have never been to any venue anywhere in the world that has more cameras. These photos were taken with a Leica M8 and two lenses, a Noctilux 50mm f/1 and a Carl Zeiss Biogon 21mm f/2.8.
There are quiet moments at this floating market although the predominant theme is loud, chaotic and busy. And in the midst of sheer bedlam, solitude exists.
As I mentioned in my previous postings, the Amphawa floating market is a more rewarding floating market than Damroen Saduak. It’s laidback although a bit congested on the sidewalks as evening arrives. The best experience should include a stay at a local inn, referred to as a “home-stay” in Thailand. They are reasonably priced, often around 1000 baht a night, including breakfast.
Here are more scenes shot from my stay in Amphawa last weekend.
I am always asked what the difference is between the floating markets at Amphawa and Damroen Saduak. Beside the fact that the Amphawa floating market is held on the weekend only, Amphawa comes to life towards late afternoon and runs into the night whereas the floating market at Damroen Saduak is a morning event, petering out towards noon.
But it’s much more than time of the day. Whereas Amphawa is slightly chaotic, mainly relating to walking the klong (canal) on either side and competing with sidewalk space with lots of people doing the same thing you’re doing, vendors, and the occasional motorcycle, Damroen is on the high end of chaos, with it’s sheer size, lack of coordinated walkways to all parts of the market, and traffic-jammed klongs. Whereas Amphawa is a walking leisurely experience, Damnoen Saduak is best seen from a small oared boat. The problem is that you and your boat have to compete with lots of boat traffic, including vendors, gasoline powered boats that spew exhaust and noise in all direction.
Don’t get me wrong. Damnoen Saduak is very picturesque but is best experienced in two hours spurts. It’s not a place that one that wile the day away, watching time pass. It’s more like a five cups of coffee. Or at some times, a quick injection of adrenaline.
When you are traveling by non-motorized boat at the floating market, away from the hotspots, it is very relaxing, glimpsing life as it used to be in Thailand. Then suddenly this peace is disrupted by a motorboat passing within feet of your boat.
Photos were shot with a Leica M8 using Leica Noctilux 55mm f/1 and Carl Zeiss Biogon 21mm f/2.8 lenses.
People are always asking me about the main difference between the Amphawa floating market and the much larger one at Damnoen Saduak. It’s simple to answer. The Amphawa floating market is an evening floating market whereas the larger one is a morning floating market.
The Amphawa floating market doesn’t begin to wind up until around 300pm and is well in motion around 600pm. The main activity is eating and most people will wander the two sides of the klong, looking for food to eat. Of course, there are the requisite souvenir shops, but the main emphasis is food, food food.
There are also plenty of places to stay on or near the floating market. I happen to like staying on the klong because once you’re there, you don’t have to think about transportation. And if you pick the right place, you can people watch to your heart’s delight.
Once the sun sets, the atmosphere changes. Although very congested, the energy and the raucous commotion changes to a more subdued, although still overpopulated, ambience. You roam around looking for something to eat, then you settle in on the boardwalk and enjoy the company of your friends.
As the night gets late, the atmosphere changes to one of peace and quiet. It’s at this time, I like to wander the market and photograph. especially lights. All kinds of lights.
In the morning, you can rise early and watch the monk’s make their rounds, some in boats while others walk the klong. The early morning is very quiet, except for the occasional dog or rooster. But peace is more than the lack of sound. It’s a lack of noise in your life.
And then the sun rises and another day begins.