Pseudo Soi Dog

Soi Dog’s Gotta Eat

So as mentioned before, some soi dogs enjoy a gray area; they don’t necessarily have a home, but they do have someone that looks after them — motorbike taxi drivers, various street food vendors, etc. One of the many benefits of being a stray dog in a Buddhist country, I suppose.

I’ve seen this hefty girl on Pattaya Second Road at all hours of the day and night, so I’m assuming she doesn’t have a permanent roof over her head. On the other hand, she has a collar and looks reasonably healthy. And  as you can see, she’s not hurting for eats.

Some soi dogs are looked after ... sometimes looked after too much.


Photo a Day: Fallen Idol?

Or Impromptu Buddhist Altar?

I was strolling through an overgrown vacant lot in Pattaya the other day on my way to the Friday afternoon market to buy a shirt — a garish red one, as it turns out — when I spotted this. Not sure what it’s all about, but it struck me as a … er, rather striking image.

A fallen idol on an impromptu Buddhist altar ...

The Slack Has Been Picked Up

And This Really Isn’t a an SEO Worthy Healine (Or Subhead)

But sometimes you just can’t be arsed. Been busy this past week, as I had my third and final test in level one of my Thai language class. This is actually the second time I’ve taken the test. The last time I took it, I got a borderline score; the instructor testing me said that she would pass me so I could move onto level two if I really wanted to, but she advised against it. I decided to give it a few months and try again.

This time, the result was satisfactory; passed with flying colors. Anyway, I neglected ye olde Photo a Day project for the past several days. I’m here to rectify that.

The view as I ascend the escalator to get on the skytrain outside my school in Phloen Chit (in Bangkok) has always struck me for its … perpendicularity, I guess we’ll say. Not sure if that’s a word, but it is now.

Gotta come clean: I actually had to merge two different thresholds to achieve the desired image:

A threshold version of an urban landscape of converging perpendicular lines at Phloen Chit BTS station, Bangkok

Tomorrow I’ll post the non-threshold version.

Remember the Thai gargoyle? It resides just out of the lower left-hand corner of the frame in this photo.

Soi Dogs? What About Cafe Cats?

Cat: The Definition of Nonchalance

A cat takes a bath on a sidewalk cafe table in  Pattaya, Thailand

So I was strolling down Pattaya Tai to catch the mini-van back to Bangkok this morning for a meeting when I spied this lovely creature perched atop a cafe table cleaning herself. It was such a non sequitur, that I stopped, continued on, thought to myself  “How am I not photographing that cat?” and went back and busted out the N8.

Now most stray cats are a bit skittish around humans, unless they have been fed frequently by them. Soi cats in particular. This one though did not give a tinker’s damn in the least little bit that I was standing only a few feet away with my phone pointed in its general direction. It continued to clean itself and then settled down for a nap.

A cat naps on a sidewalk cafe table in  Pattaya, Thailand

Judging by the collar and its overall healthy appearance — not to mention its feline nonchalance — that it is well looked after. But then notice its tail, or lack thereof. It may very well be an adopted soi cat; usually a busted up or otherwise missing tail is a sure sign of stray critters here in Thailand.

Are you a dog person? Then check out these soi dogs.

Time Lapse Photos and Video in Photoshop CS6

Playing Around with Video Editing Capabilities in the Latest Version of Photoshop

Just wanted to play with 1) time lapse photo function in Camera Pro on my Nokia N8 and 2) Photoshop CS6’s native video editing capabilities. I’ve never futzed around with video much, either taking or editing. Now that I have not one but three cameras capable of video, and editing software and a machine that doesn’t take hours to render video, I might have to do more.

Bear in mind, this was just a series of photos taken with my phone while I sipped my doppio on a cloudy, not-quite-rainy afternoon. Nothing exciting, but I’ll let my little experiment stand in for the Photo a Day project.

Oh, this is on Beach Road in Pattaya, Thailand, taken from inside the Starbucks at the corner of Soi Yamato. This comprises 32 frames, or photos with each taken about 5 seconds apart. In real time that would be a little more than 2 and a half minutes.


An (Old) Boy and His Dog

A Quiet Day On the Beach for a Man and His Best Friend

An old boy and his dog on Beach Road, Pattaya, Thailand

Spied this gentleman on Beach Road in Pattaya today with his wee lil’ pooch in his lap, and took a surreptitious photo with my phone. It’s rather silly of me, but when I’m out and about with my DSLR around my neck and a pack with lenses and whatnot, I don’t feel particularly shy about asking interesting folks to take their picture.

But when I don’t have the gear with me, just my phone, it seems kinda strange. I suppose when I have all my photography kit with me, I guess I feel it’s clear I’m a photographer of some sort, and taking pictures of people is my bag. But just my phone … then I’m some kinda weirdo. I know I’m a bit weirded out when random people want to take my picture.

It does happen sometimes though, especially if you are a foreigner in a place where foreigners are infrequent — the locals like to get a shot with the foreigner. That doesn’t particularly bother me anymore, to be honest.

But then other day some Russian guy and his girlfriend came up to me on the street in Bangkok and asked me to take their picture, to which I obliged. Then he wanted me to get a photo of me with his girlfriend. “Er, Why?” I couldn’t help but wonder. I was a bit nonplussed, but obliged just the same.

Anyway, didn’t want to pester this old boy relaxing this afternoon, so snapped off a surreptitious shot from a comfortable distance. The subject actually calls for a tighter crop, but as you can see, even the N8 ends up producing a bit of grain when cropped that tightly/viewed at 100 percent (click the images to see ’em full size). A proper camera/lens would have been best, of course, but then it would have been more difficult to shoot incognito — and get a shot where the subject is acting natural, and not looking at the camera.

An old boy and his dog on Beach Road, Pattaya, Thailand

Of course being a photographer, I snapped off several shots; here’s another one:

An old boy and his dog on Beach Road, Pattaya, Thailand

Photo a Day: Thai Gargoyle?

Is There Such a Thing as a Thai Gargoyle?

The Thai equivalent (presumably) of a western gargoyle, perched on a Bangkok building.

Various combinations of those terms put to Google have proved a fruitless search, so I have no idea. I would presume, however, that these sorts of things one sees on Thai buildings serve the same sort of similar function as that of the gargoyles one finds on older buildings in Europe?

I’ve been meaning to ask my Thai friends and colleagues about this, but I never think about it, except when I happen to see one. I’ve tried to decipher the script at the bottom, but it’s such a stylized font that I found it too difficult to read with my nascent language skill.

Anyway, I snapped this photo with my phone a while ago, but it’s one I see at least a few times a week. My Thai language school is located literally right outside of the Phloen Chit BTS Skytrain station. Every time I take the escalator up to the platform, I go past this guy keeping watch over the building next to the one my school resides in. There is also an archer, but unfortunately his photo turned out too blurry to post.

If you click the above photo and look at it full size, you’ll see that it’s not as sharp as it could be — but still pretty impressive when you factor in that I was moving (up the escalator) when I took it. Once again the N8 comes through.


It’s Not the Size of the Immigration Building …

But how you use it? Someone forgot to tell the Thai’s that.

The government building that houses the immigration office in Bangkok. It's kinda big.

This is the um, foyer, I guess, of the rather large government building that houses the immigration office designated for foreigners to deal with visa paper work. I have to report here every 90 days with paperwork from my school to show that I’ve been a diligent student.

I keep hoping when I show up here that there will be an ice skating rink or something equally fun — maybe a skate park or something.


Photo a Day: Um, What? Giant Skeleton?

Giant Skeleton With Blue Blockers Sunglasses? What?

Spied this at The Emporium Mall here in Bangkok the other day while taking in a film at the Swedish Film Festival. Turns out this was some sort of centerpiece for a local hospital’s production/exhibit on bone health — Bone Discovery 2013. I’m impressed with myself that I resisted to the urge to make any sort of erection-related joke; obliquely referring to it doesn’t count — no bone bon mot, as it were.

Discover Your Bone at Bumrungrad!  Meet Giant Skeleton! With Blue Blockers!

Discover Your Bone at Bumrungrad!  Meet Giant Skeleton! With Blue Blockers!

These photos are rather meh; they are taken with my phone. Perhaps with a real camera,  I might have gotten a more acceptable shot. But you get the idea. Giant skeleton wearing bike shorts and Blue Blockers. Wut?