Last november, I posted a photoessay called Faces of … Rajasthan, a series of portraits I took with the Fuji x-t1 and the 56mm f/1.2 (85mm equivalent) while visiting India. In october, I went to Thailand. I took the x-t2 and the 90mmf/2 lens (135mm equivalent).
I was easy to engage people to take portraits although I speak no Thaï and English is not widely spoken. In that respect, I enjoyed India more because I could chat with local people. I used sign language and got along fine.
The 90mm focal length is a different beast to the 56mm. I got mainly headshots standing at a couple of metres back. From a distance of conversation with the 56mm you have the choice to step back and get a head&shoulders or step forwards and get a headshot. With the 90mm, if you don’t move, you get a headshot. If you want a wider shot, you have to move back several step and I find this a bit awkward, it looks as though you are moving far away from the person you are shooting.
The shutter speed is much less forgiving than with the 56mm, at 1/125s, the eyes are not always tack sharp. A slight movement of the subject or the photographer is all it takes. At 1/250s I get more consistant results. I will know next time… live and learn!
I met some fabulous people, the two guys above are friends and were chatting in a park in Bangkok. I went up to ask them if and where the komodo dragons were (yes, they live freely in the park!).
The following pictures are from a tribe village in the north, near Chiang-Rai. A controversial visit to be sure, but the people were friendly to those who tried to communicate a little.
Next is a little girl I photographed in Chiang-Mai. She was with many others at the foot of a temple, dressed up in traditional costume to ask for money of tourists.
This lady was also at the temple, selling flowers. She was very friendly and has a great smile.
A kind man I met at a temple in Chiang-Mai who was keen to chat (he speaks good English) and give us all the best places to visit. He works at an Elephant sanctuary and was visiting Chiang-Mai himself.
A burmese monk visiting the golden triangle where the Mekong meets Laos and Burma. He was visiting with other monks, taking photos of everything and got a few selfies with our children!
The Thai are a great mixture between traditional and modern. As the county was in official mourning after the death of the king, most people were wearing black or dark clothes. A strange sight indeed.
We visited some small villages in the north of Thailand. The tourist trade helps bring some revenue to an otherwise poor region.
This lady was weaving at her house, a little of the main street. Her husband was peeling palm tree bark and chewing it. I went up to see and his made me taste. It is very bitter!
A labourer working to clean around a temple before a royal visit. He was using a large wooden tool to stamp the ground to make it firm. He let me try and had a good laugh!
This lady was sitting at a geyser pool in water nearly 70°C. Good for the joints apparently. It nearly burned the skin off me!