This a somewhat long post (30 shots) of a ceremony I came across in the streets of Hua Hin in Thailand during Christmas break. Getting of the main temple in the center of the city we came across the person above dancing of a building at the sound of loud reggae type music.
This happen to be in the honor of a your man turning 20, the one you can see with a shaved head in some shots after.
I am not a specialist, I believe this guy is going to become a monk for a certain time. Kids in Buddhist countries often spend some time in monasteries for their education but in Thailand they cannot spend any time as a monk until they reach 20 and it seems this is quite mandatory in a man’s life.
The parade involved a group of people walking the whole city center area around the temple. Carrying alms as above.
Dancing as the sound of a band, plating from the top of a lorry.
There i some support for the guy carrying alms or umbrellas, the pink bucket is for quench his thirst.
The birthday boy and the older lady below are paraded on cycle rickshaws.
More dancing …
The auntie had a lot of energy and good sense of rhythm.
I am not sure if they are strictly singers or also MC’s my command of Thai is very poor.
That was a very enjoyable moment, I really love shooting these events, and the lovely Thai people seemed not to matter my presence.
Color shots: Leica M262+Summicron 35mmF2
Black and White shots: Leica M6+Summicron 50mmF2 + kodak tri-x
A small follow up to y last post about this celebration
Above is mister Lee Kum Yuen, he is the current master and son of the master who brought this Kung Fu / Lion Dance style in Singapore. There is a very interesting video here https://youtu.be/kZq6iGxfWUo.
I shot a couple of rolls with the Leica M4 and either the Summaron 35mm F2.8 (the one with Goggles) or a Summicron 50mm v5.
Above is the typical Lion Dance troupe transport, a lorry used the rest of the week for hardware work.
Below the troupes gathering before climbing up the slope to the part of the temple where the celebration takes place. (Did I mention if the other post the temple is massive?)
The slope is tough, the sun is hot, and yes they drum up-hill
Below starts the celebration directed by a monk,
below the final parade and one minute drumming of all the troops together.
The color shots are Kodak Portra 400, the black and white are Ultrafine Extreme 400, hand-rolled.
Oh yes if you want to see more, come back soon, I also did a certain number of digital shots as well.
I felt very lucky last week when a friend of my wife told us a bout a fire dragon performance organized by a temple in Balestier area in Singapore. In 9 years here I have never seen such a thing and was very thrilled to see one.
The Fu De Gong temple is located in Kim keat lane, very easy to access by bus. I have been told by the friendly member of the temple that this is a taoist temple. I did not see the actual temple as we arrived at night fall and the premises were covered by the tent hosting the celebration.
There was maybe a couple of hundred people attending, on one side of the tent was a stage with a Cantonese opera (or wayang) on the other side a large shrine and in the middle an area for the performances.
When we arrived a very good quality lion dance was in process and we enjoyed for a good half hour until the riot begin. From the end of the road the Dragon was approaching; with music and flames; until it finally enters the tent (but that’s another story)…
I am still going through the pictures of Sri Lanka but at the same time rolls of films are pilling up (so to speak) in the hard drive, new cameras have arrives and lenses to try are expected and the next trip is just around the corner with plans for the second half of the year in the making. I have told too much already, haven’t I? Well, ok, the new camera’s are a Kiev 4 with a 35mm and a 50mm Jupiter lenses and I already done two rolls with it, the other one I’m not supposed to use as it’s my present for the upcoming Bday, it’s a beautiful Leica IIIC, but I’m having a test roll at the moment just to check you know. Ok and the upcoming holidays are 5 days in Taiwan, I plan to shoot on film only.
For those interested 1st of May will be the International Commie Camera Day 2013, take out your Zorki, Kiew, Praktika and more. Check here on flickr : International Commie Camera Day 2013
Ok and now back to Sri Lanka.
Nuwara Eliya is a hill station as it used to be called, close to 1800m above sea level, the center of a region of tea plantation. The city itself is very touristy (by local standards) and did not seem to be so interesting, but the countryside and the plantations are worth the visit.
The road from Kandi is about 2 hours, steep and tortuous.
The Tea museum is worth the visit, stopping by one of the tea factories in activity for a commercial tour (and buying tea on the exit) is also worth the stop.
For those like me who like markets the small food market in the center of town is also a valuable place to visit.
We stayed one night in the Langdale by Amaya, one of the boutique hotels on the other side of the city when coming from Kandy, something like 45 minutes drive. The hotel is built in a old tea estate and you can walk the plantations (if you have time). After NuwaraEliya, we drive directly to Gallle (see next post), which took us the best of 6 hours, not the best day of the trip.
Next stop on our trip was Kandy; another Royal city in the middle of the country, at the foot of the hilly region where tea grows. Kandy is quite a large town that unfortunately, due to the pace of our trip we did not have much leisure to visit. There are two main things to see in Kandy: the traditional dances and the Buddha Tooth relic temple.
We arrived in town from Dambulla just for the 17:30 show. The one our guide picked up was held inside the Red Cross Society building, the room was more looking like storage or workshop, but as there is a stage one must assume it is a actual show room.
We were given a paper explaining the various stages of the dance, but frankly I just let go, enjoyed the show and fired 200+ shots.
Shots were taken with the D700 and the 80-200F2.8D, trying to avoid the screens of cell phones and digital cameras in front of me.
Time to pull another friend from the dry box ! At least once a year let’s get together and have a walk around town. The Ftn finder uses the same batteries as the Minolta Hi-Matic so there was no problem to get started, just loading a fresh (and cold from the fridge) roll of Ilford Delta 400 and off we go. When I say off we go its a kind of shortcut, because it took me more than two weeks to complete the 36 exposures, but you know what I mean. Oh, and I have chosen the original 50mm 1.4 Auto-s; last year I was very pleased with the pictures I did with the more recent 50mm 1.4 AIS, so let’s try to see if there is an objective difference or if it was just chance.
Here are 3 shots make on Orchard Road, in rather dim light, so wider aperture (probably around 2.8) and slow speed (30 to 60).
Nobody was dancing in the street at the sound of the band that Sunday, but that’s a common sight. Too bad!
In term of dancing I was luckier withe the Line Dancing Fiesta and the two shots below.