Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Human Waste Land
Who doesn't like to snoop around in old forgotten cemeteries. The clock just struck high noon and the sun was pressing down bright, hard and sharp on me and some other forgotten souls in the middle of Bangkok. A leftover flooded with broken tombs and generally neglected old Chinese graveyard. I saw it from one of the trains earlier this year and had time to take a closer look this time. I managed to find the entrance on a small backstreet. Generally you will be told by photographers that knows better that high noon is not the time to bring out a camera, not if the sun is blazing down on you from straight above. That shadows and the grades between highlight and dark tones will be too harsh to reflect a natural feel to the image. Well, to some degree I do agree, you will get a much better light for warmth and tones in the early morning or late afternoon hours…however, if it was high noon when you took the image you would want the image to look like it, wouldn't you? Hey, a graveyard is a graveyard is a graveyard. One could opt to put a mental reminder on the thinking cap and comeback another time (Might be an interesting place to come back to after dark) when optimal light conditions display the "right" angles of shadow and the temperature of light is cozier...Fuck that, it is what it is and that's exactly what you get, the essence of street photography and you'd better learn or like to deal with whatever is there in front of you. If it works it works, sometimes it doesn't. This timing was even more surreal due to the fact that it was a high noon on a very normal Tuesday with salarymen and office people pouring out for a quick lunch bowl of pork broth noodles just a block away from this forgotten "jewel" half sunken in mud, filth and human waste. There were small carp like bottom feeders in the bigger puddles, a pack of stray dogs guarding the entrance was easily broken down mentally by my dog whisperer techniques.