25 Apr 2017

Sangkhlaburi 3.0

Last December I visited Sangkhlaburi for the third time but, unlike the previous two times, this was not a solitary trip since I was traveling with 3 friends. It was an interesting experience because the fact of having people with me made me focus more on the shared experiences than on my lonely observations of the place and its people. It was also a shorter trip, just one day, so my dedication to photography was therefore smaller. These are but a few glimpses and memories of that nice weekend spent with lovely people in such a wonderful, beautiful place.

Meta-Buddhism, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
The eye and the game, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Playful novices I, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Playful novices II, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Three novices, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
The cat and the water, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Monk watering, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Through the lens, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Afternoon colors, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Sunset colors, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Spike I, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Spike II, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Sailing in the sunset, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Night chat, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm

25 Mar 2017

Photoproject: 100 visits to Seri Huamark Market (days 81-90)

After returning to the Lumix 12-35mm the last 10 days, I wanted to keep using that same lens for a while longer so I kept it attached to my camera for another 10 days, which will make it the most used lens in this project alongside the prime PanaLeica 15mm (40 days each), both covering a wide/normal field of view, which I guess is totally natural in a project of this matter, as street photography (specially in tight spaces such as this market) has traditionally favored this perspective the most.

Day 81, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 81b, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
We are in the last stretches of the project, yet there are still things that have just happened to me for the first time since embarking on it. One such thing was me chasing people rather than waiting for them: one day I saw someone with a lot of potential for a very interesting image and, instead of waiting for that person to come into "my zone" (as that might never happen), I went discreetly after her trying to get lucky and get a chance, but in the end that did not happen and no interesting image was captured of her, but there were other scenes that grabbed my attention along the way, so all was not lost.

Day 82, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 82b, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 82c, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 82d, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 82e, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 82f, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 82g, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 82h, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
I mentioned in the last post that my motivation had been fading in the last weeks, and that I was fighting to bring back and renew my compromise and joy to finish the project on a high note; those things have, luckily, come back slowly for I have been fighting with my own dissatisfaction to keep myself engaged and happy, so I consider that as a victory, all consequence of perseverance.

Day 83, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 83b, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 83c, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 83d, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 83e, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
I have been shooting more at full manual settings (including manual ISO), and that has been a very interesting experience to say the least, for my images have turned out sometimes less technically proficient but, on the other hand, they might have gained a bit of character in return. However it is, it's important to be able to control all tools manually and understand a camera inside out to be able to use it to its full potential and not miss any shots due to lack of knowledge or experience.

Day 84, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 84b, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 84c, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 84d, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 84e, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 84f, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 84g, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 84h, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 84i, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Something that started a few weeks ago has continued and has probably intensified as days passed: I have become very picky about the days and specially the weather when I go to the market; furthermore I'm now much faster while at the market, since I know the place so well that searching time has decreased significantly and I can work around it more diligently.

Day 85, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 85b, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 85c, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Many sellers know about my project and have started asking me every time the see me around: "how many days today?" They have also been asking me where I have been whenever I have been absent for a few days (such as during my holidays or in long weekends outside of the city), and that has become a new bond between me, them, and the place itself.

Day 86, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 86b, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 86c, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 86d, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 86e, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 86f, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 86g, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
It has become a habit to pre-visualise and create mental images in advance, waiting for the scene to complete itself in front of me, but many times it does not happen or it develops in unexpected ways, which is always surprising and brings a bit of necessary unpredictability and discovery to the game. Street photography is all about studying the spontaneous flows of places and people, and grabbing your best chances out of them, not about taming subjects to fit pre-established criteria, so it's always exciting to walk this narrow line between pre-visualisation and unpredictability.

Day 87, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 87b, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 87c, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Surprisingly, the scenes that I have tried to create but that, for one reason or another, haven't worked out, stay with me the longest and never let me go; for that reason, every time I go back to the market I check those corners out instinctively to see if I find a difference that can make it work this time. Unfortunately, and talking from my own personal experience, the world travels faster that one's thoughts so, in most occasions, if something doesn't work the first time, it won't ever do (although that might not be the same for others, I'm just saying what has and has not worked for me).

Day 88, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 88b, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 88c, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 88d, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
In my last visits, whenever I found one scene, I worked it and, once satisfied with the results, left the market altogether to go back home rather than staying there longer to find other things to shoot, which has reduced the average length of my visits.

Day 89, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 89b, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 89c, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 89d, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 89e, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
The number of shots I grabbed the last 10 days was 979 (ranging between 22 and 233), among the highest, proving that the more I have been at the market, the more I have shot (and not the other way around). In total, I skipped 18 days, which means it took me almost a month to complete just 10 days, proof enough that I have become too picky with the conditions I want in each of my visits, for better or worse. There is only one more chapter to be written, and I'm not really sure how I feel about it (if happy, sad or perhaps relieved), but there is no denying that, at least, I'm about to accomplish the main goal that I set at the beginning of the project: being perseverant and being committed enough to bring it to an end, and that alone makes me very proud.

Day 90, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 90b, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Day 90c, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm