So… technically, my Bangkok Personalities posts are about someone I find interesting and interact with. In this post, however, I found the situation interesting but the only interaction that happened was getting scowled at by an Indian holy man. And no, his name isn’t Bestu Varas…
That was Laotian, I’m Hindu. What part of that don’t you get?
I’ve finally taken time-lapse photography a little more seriously and recently had a good time shooting this in Bangkok. I got inspired by the design and people behind The Chronos Project. At one point I realized that the slower 32GB CF cards I’m using in my 5D MkII were a bottleneck (the Bangkok time-lapse is 600 raw photographs) that was causing the camera’s buffer not to empty as fast as necessary. So, I bought a much faster 64GB card, dragged my Magic Lantern files (including my ML preference file that is on each of my CF cards) to it, and poof, nothing.
Then I recalled something about formatting 64GB or larger cards in this manner. That’s when I recalled a little Java app called MacBoot. I love software like this. It’s small, fast, and does one thing exactly right. I’ve always been drawn to small, specialized pieces of software. And, over the last few years I’ve been making a concerted effort to donate to the people writing these types of apps. So, if you are using MacBoot or Magic Lantern, send the creators some cash. Small independent software creators need support to continue doing such great work.
If I understand it correctly, Valaikuppa is the formal name, and Poochutal is the informal name for a ceremony I attended in September. It’s a ceremony to bless a pregnant mother and her child and to ensure a safe birth. That mother would be half of a pair of Indian friends I have that I met in Costa Rica a few years back. Kartik and Rupa had bailed from NYC just about the time I had and are also now living in the Pacific Northwest.
I usually shoot black and white, and have seen some stunning monochrome work done in India by one of my photographic idols, Sebastiao Salgado. But this ceremony was just begging for color. I have to admit that I just love how the Canon 50mm/1.2 renders elements of the scene. It just has a way of making images look lush. The 5D MkII was good also and does a great job with color images, but the focusing system, well, it’s just lacking. But, since rapid shooting typically isn’t what I do with that camera, it hasn’t been much of an issue. I did miss focus on quite a few shots and think the focusing system in the MkIII would really have come in handy.
Back to the event. It involves only women, a black sari to ward off the evil eye, vermillion, rose petals, some oil, and a lot of bangles. Let’s take a look…
I’ve written my Plywerk update post for the supporting info for the last installment of my, um, longish how-to video. Take a look at the vid here: Working With Plywerk Bamboo Art Panels Part #6. I’ve listed links for the materials that I use for hanging my Plywerk-mounted prints in galleries and for clients’ homes. The tools are discussed in the video, but I thought I’d also put the list here.
Careful With That Drill!
These are the basic tools you might have around the house already:
My first Bangkok time-lapse! Actually, I’ve done a few time-lapse shots before, but this is my first time-lapse on a motion control rig from The Chronos Project. More about that piece of kit in a following post. There wasn’t anything close in the foreground, so you don’t get any parallax effect, but if you watch the sides of the frame, you will see that the camera was indeed moving. I letter boxed the 3:2 image because I liked the way the format looked for this shot. Here it is, but please change the Quality Setting (click on the little gear on the bottom right of the YouTube viewer) to 480P or higher. YouTube’s compression just destroys motion at anything below that.
Read on for the technical details… and maybe a peek at my setup, for the truly geeky: