Photographing Ayutthaya_Thailand

Leica M9 camera and Leica 35mm f2 Summicron ASPH lens. Exposure Details: 1/12 second @ f5.7 ISO 500Founded in 1350AD Ayutthaya was a major world city by the 1700's. Laid waste by an invading Burmese army in 1767 the ruins of the old city are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site providing a significant level of protection to the large number of historically important sites throughout this lovely island city.

There's a lot to see in Ayutthaya and one can only hope to touch the surface while exploring this fascinating location during a brief visit. I had visited the area once before, I think in 1989, so was keen to photograph some sites I had not seen on my previous visit.

Day trips out of Bangkok are tricky. The mini bus I was on had 9 passengers, me and 4 couples. I was the first to be picked up, at around 6:30am. But by the time we'd picked up the other customers and got to the outskirts of the city it was already 8:30am. If you're really keen on photographing with the early morning light it would be necessary to travel to your destination the day before and organise local transport for your shoot the next morning. For me this part of the trip is more about experiencing Thailand from a general tourist's point of view. I'II then be able to put together my own tours, with a great local guide and all the necessary knowledge and permission, aimed specially at the needs of photographers.

The above image features a small Buddha statue. I liked the way the markings on the background wall echoed the shape of the statue. This drew my attention and suggested horizontal framing/landscape orientation. Now the statue and the shape on the wall, which is kind of like a reverse shadow, complement each other.   

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105mm f4 L series lens @ 32mm. Exposure Details: 1/200 second @ f7.1 ISO 100The stupa is one of many structures within numerous compounds around the city. Said to encase the remains of important/holy people, stupa's are important Buddhist historical structures.

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105mm f4 L series lens @ 105mm. Exposure Details: 1/15 second @ f8 ISO 800Photographing upwards allowed me to emphasise the somewhat imposing nature of the above Buddha statue. I opted for a warm black-and-white rendering of the subject.

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105mm f4 L series lens @ 28mm. Exposure Details: 1/25 second F11 ISO 400The final image features the head of a Buddha statue seemingly encased within the exposed roots of a tree. I opted for a just off-centre composition to place emphasis on the subject and, at the same time, add a little tension to the scene.

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Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru