A photograph of the the dancers at the Erewan Shrine is a given for anyone visiting Bangkok and on this day every performance was photographed and videoed by crowds of locals and tourists. I took a few shots as well but my favourite was this one, taken of the women during a rare break in their performance. I liked the contrast of the fabulous costumes and the graceful dancing on the one hand, and on the other the ‘everydayness’ of their activities and posture in this moment. Visitors to the shrine pay for the women to dance and sing prayers to accompany the worshippers’ own prayers and offerings, and on a busy day the women get little chance to take a break.
I’m too eclectic of a photographer to have a style, but there are certain practices that I return to regularly. Probably the most common of these is to find an interesting backdrop and take up a position nearby where I can photograph people as they enter into the frame. This brightly painted complex of electricity distribution boxes, overlaid with graffiti and old posters, worked well with the vivid red wall in the background. I took a few shots and this was the best of them.
I took this with my Panasonic Lumix LX5, my current representative of a camera range I’ve always liked ever since I picked up the earlier LX3 in 2009. Using it a lot over the last few days I have begun to wonder if I really need anything bigger. There are some constraints of course. Despite the little sensor performing well most of the time it is limited in difficult lighting situations (though Lightroom can compensate for a lot.) The biggest issue is speed – both the slow autofocus and shutter lag make it very challenging to take this kind of picture if the subject moving into the frame is moving at anything more than walking pace. I tried a few shots against this backdrop with cyclists, trams, and electric scooters moving into the frame but never got the timing right and ended up with the subject either too far into the frame or already leaving the frame.
It’s a shame Panasonic never consistently followed up the small sensor LX range. The LX10/15 looked like a potentially viable update at one point but it seems that Sony owns this market with the RX100. I did have one of the original RX100s but eventually sold it primarily because of the slow lens. I’m occasionally tempted by the RX100 Va but that near $1,000 price tag holds me back.