Friday, December 31, 2010

Bangkok's Chinatown 1900 & Today

The old section of Chinatown in Bangkok before it expanded east toward Yaowaraj road originally began at Sampaeng (Soi Winit 2) near where the memorial bridge connects the city with Thonburi. I came across an old photo taken at the turn of the last century and found that I had inadvertently taken a photograph from the exact same spot.

Bangkok  1902 vs 2008

Saphan Han just east of Pahurat lies at the Rob Krung Canal near Yaowaraj. I believe the original photo was taken in 1902.  This canal today is absolutely putrid.

Chinatown, Bangkok

Chinatown, Bangkok
Near Phahurat
The water is literally almost as black as oil.

You can see many homeless people defecate into the same water that their brothers and sisters will fish from.

 The large monitor lizards who rule these areas don't seem to mind.

Eric from Tour Bangkok Legacies has a great post with photos on this neighborhood and the market which also bears the bridge's name: Saphan Han the dragon's tail in Chinatown Bangkok.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tragedy of War

In order for us human beings to commit ourselves personally to the inhumanity of war, we find it necessary first to dehumanize our opponents, which is in itself a violation of the beliefs of all religions. Once we characterize our adversaries as beyond the scope of God's mercy and grace, their lives lose all value. We deny personal responsibility when we plant landmines and, days or years later, a stranger to us — often a child – is crippled or killed. From a great distance, we launch bombs or missiles with almost total impunity, and never want to know the number or identity of the victims.

JIMMY CARTER, Nobel Lecture, Dec. 10, 2002

Arlington, Virginia
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.    Dwight D. Eisenhower 

“War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; 
but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, 
nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. 
I love only that which they defend.” 

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

Tragedy of War
One of the greatest casualties of the war in Vietnam is the Great Society... shot down on the battlefield of Vietnam. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Tragedy of War
“War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” ― George Orwell, 1984

Tragedy of War

Vietnam was the first war ever fought without any censorship. Without censorship, things can get terribly confused in the public mind.   WILLIAM WESTMORELAND, Time magazine, Apr. 5, 1982

Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build the big bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks....
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul

BOB DYLAN, "Masters of War"

Tragedy of War

In war, truth is the first casualty.  AESCHYLUS

Beautiful that war and all its deeds of carnage must in time be utterly lost,
That the hands of the sisters Death and Night incessantly softly wash again, and ever again, this soil'd world;
For my enemy is dead, a man as divine as myself is dead,
I look where he lies white-faced and still in the coffin -- I draw near,
Bend down and touch lightly with my lips the white face in the coffin.

WALT WHITMAN, Reconciliation

Pattaya Beach

Pattaya Beach

Life goes on in "Somtam and Gomorrah" down on Thailand's eastern seaboard. This image is straight out of the camera.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Candle Procession at Putthamonton


Macha Bucha Day -  Nakorn Pathom - Thailand.

Phuttamonthon, Thailand

Faithful Thai Buddhists circle the large standing Buddha 3 times with lit candles in a bid to make merit.

Self-realisation (The burning intensifies)

Macha Bucha is a Buddhist holy day and marks a point in history when 1,250 of the Lord Buddha's followers gathered to hear his sermon. This type of ceremony is usually held at the local temple.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Siam Square & Phaya Thai Road

Phaya Thai Road

Looking South from the Rama I and Phayathai Intersection at Siam Square to where Si Phraya Intersects with Rama IV.

This is quite a popular tourist spot in Bangkok. The sky bridge where this was taken from connects MBK, Bangkok Art & Cultural Centre, Siam Discovery, Siam Center, Siam Paragon and other major malls together.

This photo was taken without a tripod.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Charlie the Cat

The following is a series of portraits I took of Charlie the Cat.

Charlie the Cat

He was plucked from the litter before he could even open his eyes.

Charlie the Cat

Our neighborhood is filled with several different feral cat populations who are often preyed upon by pythons and other large reptiles which inhabit Southeast Asia.

Charlie the Cat

 I have several friends who have witnessed their pet cats eaten by Burmese Pythons.

Charlie the Cat

Charlie is unaware of such things.

Charlie the Cat

Or is he?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Twas the Night Before Christmas


A couple of my wife's friends stopped by on Christmas Eve for a little holiday cheer.


My wife's friend (above) owns her own beauty salon in the same mall where my wife has her business.


Christmas in Asia just is not the same as it is in the west despite the many Thais who celebrate.


Merry Christmas

Friday, December 17, 2010

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Central World - เซ็นทรัลเวิลด์

Central World
Originally uploaded by Michael LaPalme
Recently re-opened after sections were torched to the ground during the mini civil war last April and May. This atrium survived relatively unscathed. Little except charred ashes and a gaping hole were left. 
The following image was inspired by the work of M.C. Escher and utilizes the "Droste Effect". It was created using the Mathmap plugin for The Gimp.  This image is part of my Bangkok Print Gallery.

More information can be found here: Applying mathematics to Escher's Print Gallery

Friday, December 3, 2010

Bang Phlat, Bangkok

Bang Phlat, Bangkok
Originally uploaded by Michael LaPalme
Just over the Krung Thon Bridge over the Chao Phraya River lies the district of Bangkok known as Bang Phlat.

There are countless vantage points such as this all over Bangkok and the greater BMA. I don't think I will ever come close to exploring them all in my lifetime.

I believe I had come here this evening in hopes of a dramatic sky but due to heavy clouds it was not to be. I was actually ordered by police to collect my camera gear and get off the bridge due to a royal convey scheduled to pass this point.

Click through the photo on the right to see where this place is located on a map.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Duncan Smiles...

Of all the photos I took the night of 10/27/2010 the images of baby Duncan have expectedly turned out to be the most rewarding.


A photo of baby Duncan and Wichai recently at our home in Bangkok. 


Strobe 1/16 shot through large softbox camera left.
Additional strobe behind baby Duncan at 1/32 lighting background.

The Shocker

The Shocker
Originally uploaded by Michael LaPalme

Cameron Cooper - Bangkok, Thailand 10/27/2010

Lighting Info:

580EXII shot through large soft-box camera left.

Daniel Cooper

Originally uploaded by Michael LaPalme
My wife celebrated her birthday this past weekend and we had a number of our friends visit the house. Long time Bangkok expat Daniel Cooper  along with his family came to celebrate the occasion with us.

Lighting Info:

580EXII shot through large soft-box camera left with an additional strobe behind Dan at 1/32 for background separation.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Monastery of the King

Ta Prohm - Angkor
Recently, My wife and I  had the opportunity to visit Siem Reap and some of the temples which lie in and around the Angkor Historical Park. I brought some of my lighting gear which allowed me to produce the series of images you see posted below.


 My first choice with regards to locations were already occupied by the large package tour groups so we found a quiet corner in the back and were able to create these photographs.


I had to carry the lighting gear all day long so I packed light only bringing a single stand and a white umbrella. I ended up walking several kilometers that day.


We spent about a half hour in one of the back corners of Ta Prohm shooting these images but both of us were tired from the activities of the day.


Ta Prohm is one of my favorite temples in all of Angkor and I look forward to visiting and shooting there again.
IMG_3008From Wikipedia 
Ta Prohm is the modern name of a temple at Angkor, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia, built in the Bayon style largely in the late 12th and early 13th centuries and originally called Rajavihara.

Located approximately one kilometre east of Angkor Thom and on the southern edge of the East Baray, it was founded by the Khmer King Jayavarman VII as a Mahayana Buddhist monastery and university. 

Unlike most Angkorian temples, Ta Prohm has been left in much the same condition in which it was found: the photogenic and atmospheric combination of trees growing out of the ruins and the jungle surroundings have made it one of Angkor's most popular temples with visitors.

Continue to browse the images in this photoset below or via Flickr

Welcome to the Bangkok Print Gallery

Tessellating Elephants Thailand  © 2012 Michael LaPalme
I have always been fascinated with the work and style of art created by M.C. Escher. Below you will find sample of my photography and art which were inspired by him. From impossible scenes, Droste images, plays on perspective and even Tessellations, his work continues to captivate the interest of millions of fans.

This gallery is a tribute to his genius.

Impossible Architecture

Bangkok Print Gallery © 2012 Michael LaPalme
Impossible Architecture

Bangkok Print Gallery © 2012 Michael LaPalme
Graphic Artw

Victory Monument, Bangkok
Victory Monument

Purple Lotus Bangkok Print Gallery © 2012 Michael LaPalme
Purple & Yellow Lotus Flower

Bangkok Print Gallery © 2012 Michael LaPalme
Tessellating Schools of Fish

Bangkok Print Gallery © 2012 Michael LaPalme
Reflections on the river

Bangkok Print Gallery © 2012 Michael LaPalme

Hualamphong Central Station

Bangkok Print Gallery © 2012 Michael LaPalme


Bangkok Print Gallery © 2012 Michael LaPalme

Samesen Canal

Tessellating Elephants © 2012 Michael LaPalme

Tessellating Elephants

Impossible Architecture © 2012 Michael LaPalme

Impossible Architecture

Still life & Patpong Bangkok Print Gallery © 2012 Michael LaPalme

Still life and Bangkok Street


Bangkok Streets

Bangkok Print Gallery © 2012 Michael LaPalme

Impossible Bangkok

Bangkok Print Gallery

This collection in a work in progress.

View this Set

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