Novice monks gather in Bangkok for Visakha Bucha Day. Bangkok, T

Monday Memories: Monks En Masse in Bangkok Thailand

When there are 12,600 Buddhist monks from southern Thailand in one street of Bangkok at once, where, as a photographer, do you start trying to document the mass alms-giving that was Visakha Bucha Day?

Wide shot, mid shot, close-up. That’s what I was taught when studying filmmaking at university. And I think it holds true for photographically covering events as well. The problem can be trying to cover all three types of shots at once, which is why you’ll sometimes see professional photographers with two or three cameras slung around their necks.

If you look at the original post we wrote about Visakha Bucha Day, you’ll see two wide shots and a close-up, however, I made so many photographs that morning that there are several others in my ‘finals’ folder and this picture above is one of them.

I like the serene look on the first monk’s face, and the juxtaposition of the other two monks in the background, and the different expressions on their faces. The symmetry of the photo also appeals to me – but I’m always drawn back to the first monk’s face, and the sense of composure and contentment communicated through his eyes and his smile.

Details: Nikon D700, 85mm F1.4 @ F2.8 @ 1/1600th second @ ISO800. 

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