Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Out With The Old

People party like it's 1999, or at least 2013, at the Ratchaprasong New Year's Eve bash. 

The Ratchaprasong New Year's party is the biggest New Year's party in Thailand. The area, which is also home to Bangkok's swankiest shopping centers (Louis Vitton on one corner, Kate Spade on another) and some of the most spiritual places in Thailand (Erawan Shrine and Wat Pathum Wanaram). Dropping a giant party in the middle of the intersection is a guarantee for a dynamic evening. 

Thais visit temples and shrines as a normal part of their New Year's routine, so Erawan Shrine and Wat Pathum Wanaram see a steady flow of spiritual visitors. Free music and fireworks bring the teenagers and tourists come to the party because, well, it's a free party in Bangkok.


It's one of the most interesting evenings in Bangkok. I photographed it last year and had a good time so I went back this year. 

It's sort of become a tradition of mine that I work the party with my Micro 4:3 gear. It's too crowded to navigate with my Canon 5D series bodies. I'm on my feet at the party, or in the temples, from about 3.30PM until past midnight, so traveling light is important.

Last year I had some problems with weird highlights and reflections in my photos. In the process of troubleshooting the issue, I came to the conclusion that the UV filters I was using were at fault so this year I took the filters off and I was much happier with the photos. No issues at all with reflection or highlights. 

The only problem I had was with battery life. The batteries in the M4:3 cameras have about ½ to ⅓ the capacity of the batteries in the Canons. I can easily get through a 1,000 exposures with the batteries in my 5D Mark III but I can only get through a maximum of 350 photos with the M4:3. And the M4:3 uses a lot more power in the standby mode. I ended up going through three batteries in just over eight hours of photography on New Year's Eve. 

There are more photos from the party in my archive or available from ZUMA Press

Finally, most of the photos in my archive are available for editorial use or self fulfillment as prints. If you see something you'd like to use or just hang on the wall, click on the "Add to Cart" button and follow the onscreen prompts.