Sunday, July 26, 2009

Thailand Family Photo

I'm sure that as you travel, be it to visit family or to visit some other part of the states or the world, you run into a problem that many photographer's experience...Having to ask other people to take pictures of you or your group as a whole.

Both Pae and I love to take pictures and both carry our cameras whenever we are out adventuring. Funny thing is when we get home and transfer all of the pictures to the computer, we notice that all photos from Pae's camera have mainly me in them and all of my pictures are of Pae.

It's pretty simple to beg some passerby to take a picture of the two of us, but what I get more often than not is either a giant thumb from Joe Blow in the top corner of the photo or a perfectly centered photo of a crystal clear background and an out of focus us! Never fails! Or like the picture below from our trip to Korea, where the nice person who took our picture was thoughtful enough to place us dead center of the photo, but missed the main part of the place we were attempting to record on film.I guess it's just as simple to buy a tripod, but we are out and about so often that it's just annoying to carry that big contraption along, up trails, in waterfalls, out on the farm, on buses. That takes up precious backpack space, space that is much better used to carry chips, candy, brownies, and basically any other snack I can fit in there!

There's the "put your heads close together and have the longer-armed person hold the camera at arm's length and try to fit both big heads in the picture while also trying to capture the background" method...but if you put all of those pictures in a folder on your computer, they would almost all look identical! I mean, your heads combined take up 70% of the photo, if you are able to your full head n the picture from so close! You know what I'm talking about.The method we employ most often is the auto timer photo. This does often involve a 15 meter dash into a group of waiting people, a quick turn and half smile then FLASH. 50/50 chance of getting a good photo. Half of them are from a lower vantage point that your picture would be taken normally, as the camera is often propped on a trash can, a bench, fence post or backpack. I think one of the coolest things about these pictures is the expressions on peoples' faces, it's almost a look of excitement, waiting for the shutter to go off, wondering if the photographer is gonna make it to pose in time.Here's another picture from Korea that shows this "lower angle" photographic "style"!! Hahaha...I guess this could be my niche...Low angle photography! I do love this picture though! We do end up with some fun self timer pictures though.We have very few pictures of us with the family here in Thailand. During our trip to a waterfall in Lopburi we took lots of group photos, but 99% of them are missing either me or Pae or P'Neung who always volunteers to take pics with the family that include both Pae and me. (Random tidbit, P'Neung called me "Pee Chai" yesterday, the term, I think, for "Big brother". The familial big brother...not the paranoid anarchist big brother. First time I think.)We did get this picture though, which in fact involved a rock and some twigs, a ten second timer, flying down a ten foot high rock bank to the flowing river water, running over to the posing group without splashing them all (wearing flip flops), the turn and the CHEESE! The top photo is cropped so it looks a little more tame. I also included the original photo in which the rock ledge in the foreground is all lit from the flash, definitely one disadvantage of the auto timer method!Out of the 200 pictures that weekend, it's the only one with all of us in it!

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