Once landed in Bangkok (after a heavily delayed flight) I had to travel to a small town in the depths of Thailand Roi et. A town that I was familiar with and becoming more so each visit. My initial plan was to capture certain landmarks (a couple in mind) in day time/night time at the exact same composition to create a visual contrast of mood, atmosphere and involvement with in the photo. These images would be displayed side by side to create a visual impact of change.
Like anywhere in Thailand, the roads are extremely busy. A lot of the areas tend to never sleep, especially near the centre, however when night time came in roi-et the busyness eventually would start to fade at best. I started off my plans by wanting to capture a local bewildering junction that which in day time was packed full of passing cars and bikes with no guidance but only the drivers intuition.
The first photos I took of the junction were at night time. At the time I did not possess a tripod due to not being able to fit it in my luggage and it didn’t occur to me that I would need one until heading out to take the shots. I had to push my camera to its limits, an ISO of 3000 and still it was struggling to keep up with the darkness. I was left with a grainy exposure which I think in some case can look ok, adding texture to a image, but in this case I wasn’t happy, I found the images to be uninteresting (maybe improved when next to the daylight version) and I knew the images were too dark to be recovered to a suitable standard even in editing.
(Un-edited images, Nikon D3000)
I continued into the town on the same night to an area that was even more quiet than the outskirts, a similar visual out come for the photographs was made, they were just took dark and I couldn’t drop my shutter speed anymore with out camera shake. I was definitely in need of a tripod but my time was limited here before my next travel.
It was a complete ghost town, silent, the only signs of life was the occasional bike, car or this dog chained up outside the owners shop. I had never seen such a quiet side of thailand before which is why I wanted to capture and display the contrasts between the two atmospheres so much.
It was this first experience that I would have to practice something that would be required if I am able to retract to the exact same spot in which the first of two photos have been taken. I did this by photographing the point where I had been standing to take the photograph…
I also continued the night time shots on a main long stretch of road, I was able catch a few seconds of free time to stand in the middle of the road, Although I am not sure how easy it would of been to do that in the day time.
I was more pleased with how these turned out due the the area being more lit up.
An enhanced one with less over baring warmth…
With all the day time to night time shoots I was confident that when the images are side by side they will have a lot more value to them, however, I did not return to this these roads or the quiet town in day time to finish the process for three reasons, due to the time restrains from my departure to bangkok, my overall dissatisfaction of how the night time shots turned out for the junction and that by the time I had to return, was more satisfied with the other shots I had taken for the work in progress portfolio so far..
(Single attempt at returned town shot)
The night time images in which I did return to complete…
I was lucky in the timing of which I was in Roi Et taking photos as Thailand was going through a very traditional and traditional stage, in the sense of, being that their king had just passed away, many decorations were being moved around into place and then quickly undone.
An example of this was the send off ceremony for their 9th king ‘Bhumibol Adulyadej’ in several towns and cities across Thailand, one of them being Roi Et. As sad as it was for the Thai people, it enabled me to capture some impactful visual changes in my day/night time images that will be displayed in their final forms via my work in progress portfolio hand in.
Night time ceremony and park (un-edited)
Again lighting conditions were difficult but I did have a lot more light to work with this time around, I patiently waited at the back centre of the ceremony upon a platform to engage with the switch of lighting made from artificial to candle lit.
Taking photographic notes of point of shooting was a procedure I had to continue through out, it could sometimes get confusing to keep up with each landmark and remember the exact spot and composition but logging my actions definitely helped.
Day time park (un-edited)
Whilst the photos look like they may lack value by themselves, placing next to their polar opposite is what gives them their purpose…
Edited Example (Final)
The real challenge in this process was pin pointing the exact locations, having to constantly check through the previous images taken on the lcd display, analyse the composition and take the second sets of images through visual memory when looking through the view finder.
I analysed the composition by referencing the 4 corners of the image and highlighting certain features the images possessed in my memory from the second my vision left the lcd display to the viewfinder and would try to remember the position of these features.
I would do my best to on the spot judge the distance from the featured objects to the outer edges of the frames, it was near impossible to get the exact same frame as the first time around, so editing was used to alter the positions of the images and crop for the best possible fit. After a while of attempting this by eye and the use of digital rulers on photoshop, I realised a useful tactic to line up the two images is by using a double exposure, layering the images over one another and lowing the opacity to move carefully the images into place.
I completed the day/night method on not only the ceremony but various other locations with in the time frame…
Basket Ball Court/Day
Basket Ball Court/Night
Outcome example (Final)…
Parking lots – Bikes/Cars (Day)
Parking lots – Bikes/Cars (Night)
Overall this was a very challenging experience in pre and post production. I had to pay close attention to the small visual details to do my best to replicate the first image taken. The night time shoots were definitely the hardest as it became difficult to pinpoint the featured objects I would use to line up with the LCD. If I were to do this again I could use an external display of some sort or print out the initial image to view from my free hand so that I could have a more quicker accessible way to glance back and forth to the initial image and the view finder to take the follow up shot as opposed to stopping the shot and looking back down to the LCD. This helped me to become more focused on the small details of whats in included in the window of a photograph, to build patience in repetition of attempts to get the shot as close to the initial shot as possible (testing my memory) before correcting though photoshop and my scouting/visualisation skills to find areas of interest that I think will create a substantial amount of visual impact through change when against its polar opposite. I am happy with the result, I feel when the two images are together it adds value to each image to make one whole image with a purpose, a purpose to display the contrast of ying and yang – night and day. Two elements of an environment delivering two elements of a reaction to the viewer blended into one.
I will run a quick survey to record peoples reactions to the initial image, the second image and then both together.