Whether day or night, one would never have a problem buying ‘things’ at Chiang Mai. However, the night markets are a must do for any tourists dropping into the area. Whether you want to sample the huge variety of tasty food, look for goods, trinkets and gifts, or dip your feet in a vessel of fish to remove dead skin (I missed doing this – maybe next time) – the evening street markets have it all!
I mentioned yesterday that business really gets moving once sundown comes. The temperature, still fairly hot, becomes a lot more comfortable in the evening, and even in the crowds of people (in the central market areas) you don’t find yourself craving a drink of water every 5 minutes.
Wandering through you do see a lot of double ups of products on sale, but there is a lot of variety still also (as I found out when buying a gift and had to walk the entire market twice looking for the one and only stall that sold it).
Im not sure what stall owners did a decade or so ago, but one thing I noticed around stalls was the volume of smartphones being used to play games and watch tv shows whilst the vendors waited for customers. Some so engrossed in their shows, one could sift through all their merchandise and not even be given a single sales line. I certainly don’t blame them. Long hours – electronic devices help kill them. Perhaps (to me) it just felt like a odd combination for some reason. Actually, I do have an idea what some did 10+ years ago – a number of stalls brought along their 14″ TV’s plugged into power sockets on the power poles and sat watching them.
Bargaining and bartering of course is common place – many tourists aiming for perhaps too low prices, many stall holders obviously trying to take as much home as they can. The New Zealand Dollar converts pretty well in Thailand. Even with economies of scale, I really don’t see how some Thai survive. On some occasions their asking prices for goods just feels too low!
Being Northern, we also looked to do a bit of a tour out of the city. Some of that tomorrow probably!
I had bagged my Sony all up in waterproof gear, anticipating a late afternoon shoot, but neither that, or any rain of note happened. Strong winds and long exposures left for more camera shake than I would have liked, and less successful shots than usual (wind gusts are still very strong).
Back home, Lusi is knocking at the door, but I think the brunt for Auckland has past. Lots of electrical outs around the North Island, but no excitement for this shooter.
My last day of work before breaking for my holiday ended up being two hours longer than usual, and by the time I got home it was dark and cold (almost like winter again!) I took a stroll down to the jetty after dinner, Nex 5N and tripod in hand.
If one shoots cameras as a form of relaxation, shooting night images must be the ultimate in unwind. A single exposure might run into the minutes. All you can do is sit and wait, or count, breathing slow and relaxed as you take in the surrounding environment. I also like how you are gathering not just a split second of time into one image, but minutes of time, all frozen into one picture…a time capsule in a photographic sense.
Today’s image, ‘Rope by the Shore’ also happened to be my quickest exposure of the night at 52seconds @ 100iso. Breaking my usual practice of capturing the appealing light of the night, I converted today’s image to B&W with Gimp, pushing the contrast slightly, as I often do with my images. I cropped it, giving a wider aspect, and resized for the net.
Whilst I know my Sony Nex 5N is fine for taking long exposures, I had never tested out my GRD IV to see how it would cope. Being a much smaller sensor then a APS C (Ricoh is 1/1.7 inch) there is the general risk of noise and hot pixels more so then larger sensor cameras. I didnt have much time this evening, but headed out with the GRD and tripod in hand. Just out of the city, on the way to the suburb of Mission Bay I stopped on the corner of the road and clambered down the wall to the rock wave breakers. Setting the exposure to 60 seconds at 100asa, this was the result.Its motivated me to give it a bit more another evening and possibly invest in a remote shutter control.
I must say, the Ricoh never fails to impress me for the size and type of camera it is. It has full manual controls and a fast 1.9 lens. It fits into your pocket, focuses fast and is built tough, as far as digital cameras go. The menu system is one of the best I have used also. Built in filters and effect options are not for everyone, but I think Ricoh have done pretty good with theirs – plus virtually everything in the setting can be tweaked. For many of us camera fans out there, image sensor size is always a hot topic. I think there are pro’s and con’s to the various different sizes. At the end of the day, capturing the image one wants to convey is what its all about isn’t it?