26 September 2005

Pilgrims of Wat Tham Boya

Every year, at the occasion of the Khao Phansa festival in Thailand (the Buddhist Lent), anyone can go to meditate in a Pagoda. It can just be to get away from your daily routine, or make good on a vow like to quit smoking.
Usually people living in cities would take on that opportunity as a number of pagodas and revered places have basic infrastructures to welcome the devotees. A number of cave systems across the country are also popular and offer a safe refuge from the elements and mundane disturbances.
In this case the favored place is a large cave system in Central Thailand named Wat Tham Boya which measure about 120 meter in lengths and at part 20 meter's high and was discovered 50 years ago. It's entrance marked by a sacred tree, is halfway up the hill above a pagoda and can be access by a fight of a couple of hundred steps adorned with gilded statues and small shrines. Here, mostly women come to meditate as the facilities are rather good. A huge gilded Buddha statue, about ten meters in height sits near the entrance and there are another half dozen small shrines adorned with Indu gods at other corners of the cave. The place has been fitted with tents and it resemble a wild underground camping site.
People spend their time praying alone or in group at different small shrines, reading and sleeping. Since one of the main feature of the Khao Phansa festival is the making and setting of big candles at the places of worship, we can see the statues adorned with often more than a meter high candles which have been carried up there for the occasion.
The pictures are available at ONASIA.

22 September 2005

Happiness is a bath away...

Yeah, but shooting a pretty girl in a milky bath filled with flowers is just as hard a job as any. Just think of all those mirrors with 3 Broncolor lights in the bathroom, myself and another couple of people throwing the flowers and pampering the model...it's became a really tight space. The Plaza-Athenee Bangkok provided one of their suite for the shoot done for a new product: an all-in-one 'milky bath with orchids or roses specially dried petals'.

17 September 2005

[art to art] gallery shoot in Bangkok

Another day, another experience; this time shooting bronze sculpture from friend artist Valérie Andrianoff. A little more than 2 dozen pieces. The Nikon D2X has been very handy for that type of work in studio environment for catching all the contours and relief of the pieces. Valérie's art is beautiful and comes in many colors (from white to black bronze finish). This new permanent exhibition here in Bangkok at the 'art to art' gallery in the O.P. Place next to the Oriental hotel is worth the detour.

Luang Prabang trip

The "Capital" of North Laos, a unique small town, also a World Site Heritage always offer glimpses of beauty and serenity to the traveller. There for preparing a couple of exhibitions (one of the 'Watercolours' from Somboon and one of pictures from the book 'Laos: A Journey Beyond the Mekong' by Ben Davies) I found time to take a few snaps… and this is one on my favorites.

06 September 2005

Black Market book contribution

It maybe worth to mention that I was the Photo Editor for this book published by Earth Aware Editions in the US. It was an interesting experience to work with other photographer's images, Ben Davies (who researched and wrote the book) and Adam Oswell who produced it. Almost all the pictures I selected made it in the book, although the cover was not of my choice. And I must mention here that Paul Hilton (not a relative of Paris...) based in Hong Kong gave a real good performance on short notice. The book is unique and available at Amazon.com and we just had a launch here in Bangkok at the FCCT, on Tiger Day with the presence of Wild Aid.

02 September 2005

Stock images at OnAsia

Finally (that what Peter Charlesworth could say!) I have captioned almost one thousand pictures mostly archive stuff to put Online at Onasia. Also brought several hundred recent images from China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore (all ready and captioned!). I still have to go though thousands of stock images I got back from Getty/Gamma-Liaison last year, got to be patient there...