Farewell Thailand

farewell 1

So our time had come to an end. The Holiday was over. As mentioned yesterday, we got up before the crack of dawn and began our journey home. After the initial travels, we found ourselves on a plane to Thailand. I followed with interest as the plane made a 360 turn in the middle of the ocean, and then later was notified as we went further North to wait for our landing opening (they never mentioned the full circle!?)

farewell 2

With time to kill (3-4 hours) I endlessly wandered Bangkok airport. As far as airports go, its a pretty nice one. Stretching for seemingly miles, outside is decorated with various giant model/display areas. The architecture reminds me of the framing I made in old balsa planes (all skeleton like).

Farewell 3.5 Farewell 3 Farewell 4

And then we were in the air. Our last Thailand Sunset. We’d been up for around 14-15 hours at this point. Being I dont sleep on planes, and we had ~12 hours to go in the air (and a stop at Australia yet), I prepared for a long day.

Farewell 5

Landing back in Auckland, New Zealand was both a nice feeling, and a bump back to reality. I’d been awake about a day and a half, most of the time spent sitting in a plane, followed by sitting in a van, followed by sitting in airports. It took a few days to actually ‘land’. Here we are landing in NZ…The photo actually makes me look better than I felt!

byebye Holiday

And thats Thailand!

Ive got a few novelty pictures yet to post, but the travel novel’s over.

Catch you tomorrow.

Beginning of the Return Home


Our last day in Thailand was a long one. I forget exactly, but wakeup was something like 4.30 am to begin our escort from Ko Lanta to Phuket (and then from there to Bangkok to Australia to New Zealand). Our driver was a great host and put on some mostly English western music. The one issue being, it was a 3 hour van ride, and the music was no more than 40min long per repeat. Crossing over on a car ferry off Lanta we watched a glistening sunrise as our time away took its final leg.

Up in the plane it was a fairly clear day. I didnt have the window seat, and my 28mm lens is less than idea for capturing the awesome view down below, but I still captured a few images I am happy with:


Destination Chiang Mai

Off to Chiang Mai

Our next stop had us heading to Chiang Mai – the “New City” (replacing the old one Chiang Rai). Im sure pilots get used to the view from above the clouds, but I always enjoy looking at the whole ‘new’ world that appears when I’m in a plane. The perspective of mountain ranges, valleys and planes all formed in clouds are a view I can stare at for hours (with a window seat anyway).

Arriving in Chiang Mai is a bit of a shift in perspective for one just coming from Bangkok. Its the largest northern provence city, but pales in comparison.

Chiang Mai Sky 1 Chiang Mai Sky 2

But as above, thats simply a perspective thing. I think the whole trip, as future posts will show, was from big city to eventual small township/island sort of thing. Driving from the airport I observed both what looked to be new developments in the works, and old unfinished developments – an indication of previous economic ups and downs. The temperature was warmer and more humid.

Chiang Mai Sky 3

One thing, amongst many, to do in Chiang Mai as a tourist is to visit the night markets (more on that another day). They also offer numerous tours to the boarder, and animal based tours.

To be continued tomorrow.


Fo all those who recognise Easter – Good Friday to you!


Old Plane

One of my last Motat images I will post up for now I think – NZ4115. Outside the main hanger where a large number of restored planes sit, is the outside storage yard. Here sit a number of planes awaiting restoration, and until then, gradually weather away. Built in the 30’s, the Short S.25 Sunderland flying boat would have been used to patrol shorelines in wartime, and by the looks of this one, perhaps used as some form of transporter later in life. I believe plans are for it to be restored and stored undercover eventually.

Image wise I did a fair bit of playing around today. After straightening and cropping foreground I used the national geographic plug-in, added vignette and cross-processed with a brown tone. I then played with levels and colour balance.

Auckland (and wider New Zealand) got hit with some fairly fierce weather this afternoon, sadly with a few people loosing their lives to a tornado. Little known to myself at the time, but I must have been within a half km of the tornado as it struck. I didn’t really think much of it until a large number of emergency vehicles headed back in the direction I came from. Initial reports advised of about 150 homes damaged and widespread flooding. I’m sure a lot of thoughts go out to the families of all affected.

Planes of Past


A mobile post for today. As part of a team day with work, we visited Motat 2 – the aeroplane and train museum. For most of the afternoon I used my Sony, of which I will post some images in the next few days. For this shot however I used my samsung galaxy s2.

The image itself is of the entry to the new indoor section of Motat 2- prior to this, a number of the planes were outside. Some of the big ones still are, and awaiting desperate restoration. Its nothing like some of the large plane wreckers/graveyards, but a nice collection for our part of the world.

Editing wise, I used the app Afterfocus. In this I cropped the aspect, added a vintage style filter and some vignetting.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

A week on, reflecting on my trip to Fiji, I had a great time. The people were nice, the weather was great, and the food equally fantastic. I’m not sure when, but I’d like to go back again one day. I have a pile more shots, some which I will post at some stage, but for now, I’ll leave the series with today’s ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane’ – my last ‘on foot’ view of the country.

Using Gimp, I cropped, converted to B&W , sharpened and added a vignette. The image worked fairly well in colour also, but I like the changes so went with the monochrome final.

Into The Air

Taken on my Fed1 35mm rangefinder, I chose todays image because it really felt like it was taken on an old camera. This is the only shot I got when in the plane over the weekend, and with a estimated exposure in harsh lighting (above the white clouds) I do quite like it.

I did a bit of research into my Fed1 when I originally brought it. Its dated ~1951, making it pretty old. I gave it a quick CLA and am impressed how well it functions. Compared to many newer rangefinders and SLR film cameras, they are very compact cameras – especially with the collapsing lens – it literally can fit in a trouser pocket.  A soviet copy of the Leica II, they are in function close to identical. Its often regarded that they are not up to the same manufacturing quality, but to be honest, they are still pretty good if cared for, and dont have any plastic parts, so really are better then a host of later cameras anyway.

All that aside, I find it enjoyable to shoot with such an old piece of machinery that was precision built. In its ~60 years of life one would imagine a camera has seen a lot of sights and has its own story to tell. It also reminds me how easy we have it now – the Fed’s lack of lightmeter, dual composition windows, manual everything…

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