I have a saying I share with friends at the end of emails, “Keep on Shooting”. Many of the images you see on my blog and in my IMovies are the product of this notion because I have always felt that once you put your cameras down, “you loose them”.
The daily act of picking up the gear, looking through the viewfinder, adjusting exposures and lenses is all part of staying engaged. That of course leads to shooting. In the case of the three images shown:
A Buddhist monk cradles his begging bowl and flowers while waiting for the faithful outside Wat Bencha in Bangkok. “What was I Thinking” when I made this frame was part of a process called “Entire to Detail” shooting that was taught to me back in the mid 70’s by my good friend and mentor Frank Hoy. Frank was big on making sure you had a shot for what he called the “bag” that one image that when all else failed you had at least a record of the event. Then what he taught me was to go inside my mind and search out the details, the finer points. the silver begging bowl, the hands cradled over it and the lotus flowers all combine to form an image of peace and faith.Contrast this against the image of the novice Buddhist monk as he walks barefoot through Bangkok’s China town with his begging bowl slung over his shoulder like a school bookbag as he carries orchids and pamphlets. Shooting head-on does not really say much about the young novice however from behind and high you get a sense of urgency of mission ad he makes his rounds. The fact that it was dark adds to this, the fact that he looks very young and is ALONE. Wide lens, a Canon 24mm shot at f/4 or less, renders the background to just there.
The wrinkles, the white hair, the pushed down glasses, a beautiful portrait shot with a Canon 300mm f/4 at f/4. Faces to me either grab me or I move on. This one was a no brainer. Soft light and no backbround forces you the viewer to just look at this senior Buddhist monk. When I shot this I was thinking “nice older face, no background, soft light, it should pop right out and it does.
Be sure and check out the iMovie, “LayersofThailand” s1 to see how some of these moments were packaged into a show.