Burma Trip–Mong Yawng

Sawadee Khrap

On the second day we left Keng Tung and headed back to Mong Hpayak IMG_3700where the monks could get their lunch.  The tiny market there had all kinds of bugs for sale , but I opted just for some fried rice and cauliflower and then we went on to Mong Yawng where we would spend the next 2 nights.  This would be the most rugged part of out trip – and I mean rugged.  From Hpayak to Mong Yawng is 80 KM of which 1/3 was just single wide crushed rock roads – the rest was under some kind of construction.  Not too far up the road we lost the right IMG_3724mirror on our van  – hit by a passing truck on the narrow road it ripped off the mirror but did not damage the side of the van.   The dust and bumps were amazing – we had to cross over a mountain range where we came to a full stop because they were widening the road by cutting the hillside away –  but we did get through and ultimately got to IMG_3743our newly opened  “Nant Khat Guest House” in Mong Yawng.  Sparse but adequate.   The next morning, 5AM, we all headed to the local area market – still dark, but it was a full moon which was the biggest market day of the month – there must have been over 300 people there – go early get the best deals – all vendors were gone and the market was closed by 7:30.


 IMG_3926Next we headed to a temple high on a hill overlooking the valley, here as with all the temples we visited,  they did the usual blessing and chanting.   Back to town for lunch and then on to a temple which had a original India Bodhi Tree under which Buddha achieved enlightenment.  From here we headed to a “forest” temple and a dedication and then back that evening to deliver a full IMG_3779set of “Buddha Bibles” to the local Mong Yawng Temple.   All the roads we were on this day were just dirt and extremely bumpy making travel speed about 5-10 KM/hr.  Quite a day.   The next morning up again at 5AM for market – Here the lady offered IMG_3798to sell me some “Shwe le maw” very strong Shan alcohol.  then breakfast and on the road back.  Got hung-up once in a new rock road area – the roller crusher hadn’t gotten there yet – but we made it through that area and on to the the major construction site where we IMG_4250were stopped coming in.  It was passable but slow and then on to Hpayak for lunch.   Here is where we spotted the deer heads, I had never seen any wild animals in all my travels in Thailand so this was a great surprise – we did pass several Burmese with homemade long barrel rifles  but with my slow camera I couldn’t get a shot.  Next time.    Time to go home now. And I did get my passport back at the border crossing, all stamped and ready to go.


All in all great trip – meat is scarce and expensive so most Burmese meals are rice,fish and vegetables.  I am amazed that although I ate very little each time, how much better I felt when I got back, tired but much more energy – in addition, all the rough roads and bouncing around actually massaged my back and all my back pain was gone. I was also worried about having to use the squat toilets but at all our major stops there were western sit toilets so that worked out ok too.   Great group of people on the trip, although most spoke very limited English and I limited Thai, we did manage to communicate and actually they took special pains to see I was ok.  I am looking forward to the next trip and will bring my high speed camera and opt for a front seat in a van so I can get more specific images.

Ciao

CityLife Garden Fair 2017

Sawadee Khrap

Just got back from visiting the CityLife Garden Fair at JJ Markets this DSC02874morning. Kevin, Mike and myself went together and had a great time and good food.  There was a very large attendance and some great booths there – food , artist, clothing, hand made items, including some hand made pop-up birthday and occasion cards. I bought several.  And you know me I am always on the alert for photogenic guys. For me the highlight of the day was meeting “Latte” (hope I spelling right).DSC02888


Ciao

Problem with JPEG’s

Sawadee Khrap

Here is a excellent example of why to shoot in RAW mode.DSC02659-Pano    On the recent trip to Doi Angkhang, I had my camera set to shoot 42MB JPGs instead of RAW files.   Most of the photos are OK and Lightroom made sufficient modifications where necessary to make good images.  However this panorama at Chiang Dao shows what can go wrong.   The sky above is really blown out and cannot be restored.  Had I shot in RAW, each image could have been corrected using the full gamut of exposure to capture the full dynamics of the scene.

I now have my basic settings so the camera is always set on RAW and now custom settings 2 is set to allow (fine 42 MP) JPG’s.   This way I won’t have to remember to switch it unless I think I am running low on memory and need to shoot JPG for the smaller size.   Should have done this in the first place like I had always set my Canon.  The above shot would have been nice if I had set the camera right. Pity.

This is another landscape shot as JPG but it did allow some modification.DSC02661

Ciao

Extended Lightroom work on Angkhang photos

Sawadee Khrap

Here are several images processed strictly in Lightroom.DSC02315DSC02316DSC02333DSC02356DSC02376DSC02422

I am always amazed how far you can go in developing your images in Lightroom.    It is truly a great tool for any photographer. 

Wish I could find some young models again but the Internet has spoiled that with the instant “selfie” in that its easy to get images now and they have no need for so called professional photos.  – I’ll keep looking because I know you guys want some more eye candy to gaze at – I’d like it too.

Ciao