Tonight I went to watch #1 son play indoor cricket. A quaint version of the "outdoor grassy" game, but fast paced and interesting nonetheless, and definitely minus the strict dress code of the usual version....
Trying to capture decent shots through the nets proved to be somewhat of a challenge too!
An uber high ISO so that I could snap some action makes for rather noisy images, but there was some great movement and fab expressions on the player's faces!
Today I headed out to the provinces of Thailand to visit the Summer Palace, Bang Pa-In. Quite the idyllic location and quite understandable that the Thai Kings would see fit to spend long sweet days at this Palace, roaming the grounds and enjoying the peace an quite beside the river.
I also visited some of the historic sites in Ayutthaya, including various temples, learning much about the history of Thailand and how it morphed from Siam into the country that it is now.
The top image is of the 4 main Stupas at Wat Pho, in the "modern city" of Bangkok, which I shot yesterday, and the second one is of a much more ancient version of a Stupa (which is structure that contains Buddist burial relics), the older one seen in Ayutthaya today.
In the three days that I have been out and about touring the local sites here in ThailandI have learned so much about this lovely country, it's heritage and it's people. I have used guides sourced through a website called Tours By Locals and I cannot recommend them highly enough.
I capped of my day today with one of the curious items on my bucket list - an Elephant Ride......
I'd probably have relaxed and got the hang of it if it had been about 20 minutes longer and I was not so busy figuring out how to set my camera to take pics inbetween elephant rolls and steps!!
You certainly get a bird's eye view of things and I can say from experience that the Elephant gets the right of way on the roundabout or when crossing the road!!
And now I'll share the pic and then tell the story of how it was taken.....
..... needless to say, this picture was not taken by me ..... but it WAS taken with my camera.
It goes like this..... You buy your elephant ride. Traipse off with the elephant driver dude. Hustle along (at elephant pace) for 15 mins or so and then come to a stop at a pre-appointed place to meet with some other riders. Whereupon the elephants get close enough so that the drivers can reach across and exchange cameras of the passengers. This sort of happens in the blink of an eye and before I know it, my trusty Canon - which is probably worth more than several elephants, is now clutched in the hands of another Thai elephant driver who jostles his lofty beast a bit further away to get a decent shot....
Meanwhile ALL I can think about is getting my camera back!!
Add the fact that not being in point and shoot mode, the nice Thai (other) elephant driver was having the devil of a job trying to get my camera to take a decent picture.....
Fortunately this is where Karma and Camera Raw seem to have come into their own and apart from being hot sweaty and sticky, you get the idea that I am on an elephant and I can now cross this item off my bucket list....
And.... the camera came back in one piece too..... and by hand, not by trunk! (And no, I have not quite figured out who or what the Elephant was laughing at, or about!)
Anyway, That's Thailand for now. I'm sure you will see some more pics when I have more time to sort though them.
For the last two days I have been squired around Bangkok and environs by a wonderful Local Guide. We have seen much together, the Railway Market, the Floating Markets and today we went to see Wat Pho, the Grand Palace and a few lesser known temples. We also took a canal "cruise" and checked out what is known as the "Venice of the East" and ended the day at the Flower Market.
I've loads of pictures to show for my hours of hither and thither in the high 90F' and nearly 90% humidity. Most of which will have to wait to be edited until I am back home and less "tuckered out"!!
Tomorrow I am off to old Siam and may even get to ride an elephant ..... there's a first time for everything I guess ?
A few quick pictures from today's jaunt around and about the hotel. Not much adventuring done as I was wiped from three plane rides and getting tossed through a few time zones to boot and slept a lot this afternoon.
I must confess I'd forgotten how hot and sticky this part of the world is and I was almost melting on the sidewalk as I gathered courage to cross streets and navigate the traffic without getting mown down!
It's wonderful though to absorb all the various sights, sounds and smells of a different part of the world.
This is a pic snapped of me almost 21 years ago to the day, close to 9 months pregnant and waiting for the arrival of #1 son.
Pertinent since I am about to hop on (yet another plane) to head down to Australia to celebrate said son's 21st Birthday on the 1st of June.
I've spent this evening going through photo albums and collecting the pre-digital assortment of fun, cute and embarassing photos that will be used for a slideshow on the night of his party. It's been a trip down memory lane and definitely brought lots of smiles, and the odd tear to my face.
Although I am not looking forward to more long plane rides, I am looking forward to seeing my tall "small" men again and I'm going to break my journey in Thailand on the way, so stay tuned for some pics of a different flavour!
I'm rather thrilled to say that this image recently won a Royal Photographic Society (of GB) Gold Medal at the Cheltenham International Salon of Photography for 2013, for Best Monochrome Creative. I'm even more thrilled to receive a note from them today to ask for a high res' copy of the image so that it can be featured on the back cover of their Exhibition Catalogue.
The image will also be on display at the gallery showing of images at the Queens Hotel in Cheltenham on June 3rd - if you happen to be in the vicinity to go see.
I've only been entering these International Photography competitions for less than a year and rather chuffed to have a tidy number of ribbons and medals already!
It's not only gratifying to see your work accepted on an international platform but it's also helped to push my photography and creative editing to another (and I hope better level) and I have to say I'm quite loving the challenge!
I've some 50GB of images that I shot whilst away over the last few weeks. Landscapy stuff in Germany and then a whole slew of art nudes from the workshop in the UK.
As each day goes by I fall more in love with my camera and find myself more comfortable with fiddling with it's settings, shooting in Manual mode more often than not.
I never really thought I would "get" the shoot in manual bit, but I do now ... finally figuring out how to make the camera take the picture that I WANT and not just leaving it on Auto and pressing the button.
Each one of these adventures leaves me invigorated, thirsty to try more and yes, finding a growing confidence.....
My name is Marie Otero. I'm a mixed media artist and spend my life hopping between my beloved Australia and the US. My current passion is digital art and photography, but I love to create new and fun stuff with almost anything I can lay my hands on.