Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2003/07/17

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Subject: RE: [Leica] Re: Please critique Bangkok picture
From: "Phong" <>
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2003 22:45:12 -0400


Though the picture didn't work for me, it is interesting
to read the circumstances of the photo.  Thanks,

- - Phong

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf Of Mitch
> Alland
> Sent: Thursday, July 17, 2003 10:10 PM
> To: leica-users
> Subject: [Leica] Re: Please critique Bangkok picture
> Perhaps I can try to address the following comments by various people, 
> which I have found helpful:
> >  A more interesting pic might have been one without the
> > motorcycle and have been the Budda with the man crouched behind it.
> > To me, the focal point and point of interest in this picture is the
> > Buddha (?) statue and the two people working on it/by it.  I like the
> > humour of the juxtaposition, especially with one man half hiding (?)
> > behind it.  It's slightly surreal.
> >
> > That said, the motorcyclist adds nothing.  You would have needed to get
> > closer to the point of interest, leaving the street and the
> > motorcyclist out of it.  Shooting it as a vertical would have allowed
> > you to get close, while still retain the full statue.
> >  In this case,
> > you're using the 28 as though it were a 50, when the scene cries for 
> > you
> > to stick this lens virtually into the cyclist's face (to fill a
> > significant portion of the frame) or to move to longer focal length, 
> > if,
> > indeed, this is your subject.
> > This sure is not a cliche travel photo of Bangkok!
> > Perhaps you could say something about why this particular scene caught
> > your eye.
> I had just crossed the street perpendicular to the street of the 
> picture and saw the Buddha on the right in the middle of all the 
> vegetables when the biker pulled up and stopped for a few seconds 
> waiting to make a left turn. It looked surreal. I raised the camera to 
> my eye making sure the arch above the Buddha was within the frame. No 
> time to change aperture or shutter speed. It felt like a "Zen and the 
> Art of Archery" moment.
> What I saw in the scene was a metaphor for Thailand: impending 
> modernity (the bike) hitting a traditional culture (the Buddha) in a 
> chaotic situation (the vegetables); the gritty feeling of the street 
> and the light -- harsh because it was already 11:00 a.m. -- accentuated 
> the feeling of disorder. And against this the grace of the society 
> reflected perhaps in the arch. The print is of course a lot better than 
> jpeg, as the Buddha and the front of the bike have a glow that 
> accentuates the meaning of the picture. But I don't know whether it's a 
> Leica glow or Lagavulin glow.
> --Mitch/Bangkok
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