Chatuchak 1

November 27, 2008


Chatuchak market, Bangkok   Aug ’08   Leica M6

I only had a few days in Bangkok at the end of a 5 week trip. Luckily I had a weekend there & got to visit Chatuchak market. It’s open 7 days but Mon-Fri is just a plant & pet market. It’s a big place, covers something like 17 acres. I went there to find street portrait artists & that worked out well but it was also a great place for people watching & photography. If I had more time in Bangkok I think Chatuchak would be a regular weekend hangout. I’ll have more shots to post later. I was struck by this young woman’s persona & also the doll she was carrying. She was with a couple of friends who made sure they kept well out of frame. One of them spent a minute arranging the doll’s hair before I took the shot.

Film was Kodak Tri-X 400 processed in Xtol. Camera was a Leica M6 with 35mm lens. I think the aperture was about f/5.6 and in retrospect I wish I’d opened up to 4 or 2.8 as I find the background a bit too sharp.

A strange dream I had last night ….. it’s afternoon & I walk into Hyde park, Sydney, intending to photograph people. As soon as I walk in a guy approaches & tells me that he is there to photograph people & will I pose for him. I don’t want to but feel obliged to say yes. He says that I can stand wherever I like. The sun is at a low angle & very contrasty as it comes through the tree branches & leaves. I decide to stand so I’m backlit with high contrast scene behind me. I want to make it difficult for him to see how he’ll deal with it. He sets up a tripod with thick legs, looks like the biggest industrial style Gitzo, then he starts fiddling about with a large format camera. People are standing about watching, waiting to see what happens when he takes the photo. I see him holding a 45 readyload packet & ask something like “Is that a Kodak quickload?” He doesn’t answer & slowly I become aware that he has moved off & has now become interested in photographing someone else, or at least has lost interest in photographing me. Perhaps I made it too difficult for him, but I think it could have made a nice photo.


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