In my last post I mentioned “living a dream” and I would like to continue in that vain in this post.
While living for 15 days in the small village of Bhan Kamin in November 2012 I came up with this fun little idea on the spur of the moment. Maybe it has been done before, but I really did think of this on my own. Each morning I would awake about 5:00am and lazily come out of the house. My wife’s house is a very small one room house located very close to to the temple and the temple is the center of the village. So let me set the scene here. It is November, the rice harvest is in full swing. As I would come out each morning and walk next door to my brother-in-law’s house where I would sit and drink my morning coffee, there would be this flurry of activity in the village center. As the sun pushed through the morning haze of light fog and lingering thin layers of smoke from tiny rubbish piles that are being burnt at the street side and the smell of the smoke lightly tickling my nose. The smoke would soon give way to the smell of sticky rice steaming and coffee brewing.
People going to & fro, high schoolers on their way by motorbike, farmers with their two wheel tractors, workers on foot, ladies heading to the local market, the village beggar. It was all there to see and moving rather quickly, for as the morning moves on so do the people and village gets very quiet about 10:00am. Then all you hear is the occasional baby cry in the distance, roosters crowing and the ever so occasional pickup truck drive by. So… that is the scene. And on this particular day my driver was going to be late and I had some free time to get into the mix of all the activity. What can I shoot? I had no plan. I hate that. Each day I had a plan as to what & where to shoot so I could make the most of my trip. But here I am and I’m thinking what to shoot?
So given the flurry of activity at the street I had my 70-200mm mounted and I walked to the street. And again I had one of those moments where I stopped and just looked around and started to take it all in. Take in the fact that I was a long, long way from home, standing in the center of a small village that just made it onto Google maps about a year ago. Watching daily life of these hard working people and capturing these little moments for me to remember and share with others. Then I got this crazy little idea that I will just stand here and take a photograph of anything within 100 feet of where I’m standing in the middle of the street. So I would move up the street 50 feet, down the street 50 feet and side to side. So all the photos you see in this post were all shot from 7:43am to 8:19am on the morning of November 23, 2012. I wanted to shoot the faces mostly so that’s why the 70-200mm was used.
Nothing really spectacular just the faces I seen that morning all within a 100 foot circle. And the whole time I was having a blast and loving it, for I had found a plan for those times when you have no plan.
And as far as living the dream… at that time that was my dream. To travel to a foreign land, off the beaten path of tourists, and just see daily life. I didn’t want to see it on the Discovery Network, I didn’t want to read about it in Nat Geo, I wanted to see it and touch it and be part of it. To see the high school girls who kept riding by over & over so I could take their photo and hear them laugh and say “folung take my photo” was hysterical. To see the village beggar crawling along the side of the street. To see the look on the little boy’s face as he sees a caucasian man up close for maybe the first time in his life. To have someone offer fresh papaya to eat for breakfast, these were just part of what was going on while I was standing in the street for this short amount of time. To me it was flat out amazing. You did not have to be a photographer to do something like this. But how then would you capture these moments?