Shooting From The Hip In Bangkok

Chinatown, Bangkok, Thailand

My apologies for the distinct lack of new posts over the last two weeks, but I’ve been busy exploring Thailand! I was so excited for my first trip to Asia and it didn’t disappoint. Bangkok really felt like a living, breathing city more than any place I’ve ever been. I can’t think of many times I’ve felt more alive! I also spent time in Chiang Mai and Phuket as many first time visitors seem to do, and I’ll be posting plenty of shots from across the country over the coming weeks.

This shot was taken in the Chinatown of Bangkok, which was definitely one of my favourite areas of the city. Wandering the streets there was just so much going on in every direction, it was a hive of activity. So I decided to try my hand at some “shooting from the hip” street photography which I’ve not really done before. Most of the results were pretty bad, I found it so hard! Is it normal to have such a poor hit ratio with this kind of photography? I have no idea, but this one really stood out for me.

Have you ever visited Bangkok? How was your first experience visiting Asia? Are you a pro at street photography and have some tips to share? Please get in touch!

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17 thoughts on “Shooting From The Hip In Bangkok

  1. Heyjude

    Welcome back Ben! You couldn’t find much more of a contrast: Bangkok vs Geneva! I spent 3 days in Bangkok a ‘few’ years back, but didn’t enjoy the heat and humidity though I found the palaces fascinating. I look forward to your take on it. Can’t help with street photography it’s not something I am comfortable with, but I’m sure there are plenty of pros out there. You may be interested in this guy’s work
    Jude xx

    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks Jude! It’s good to be blogging again, and you’re right the two cities couldn’t be more different! It was great to be somewhere with a bit more energy if just for a few days.

      That’s a shame the humidity didn’t agree with you. I was expecting it to be really prohibitive, but only ever found it a problem for a few hours in the middle of the day in Bangkok. I think it can be much worse at other times of year though. Having said that further south in Phuket the humidity was much higher and just too much for me.

      Thanks for the link, I’m following on Flickr now. He has some great shots. In the past it’s not been an area of photography that’s interested me that much, but in Thailand I was just captivated by the street scenes all of the time.

  2. marcayresphoto

    I love shooting from the hip, keeps everything really natural. Keep at it, the more you do it the more you understand what your camera sees and your confidence grows. I tend to get pretty damn close to the people I photograph but I like the fact that you keep more of the environment in the shot. Great stuff, look forward to seeing more πŸ™‚

    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks! It’s definitely a style I’ll be experimenting more with in the future. For these shots I really wanted to show what the streets looked like as well since they are so different to what I’m used to in Europe.

      I can see that you get pretty close with the camera! I definitely need to improve my confidence on the street, I think I am still too concerned about people noticing and making a fuss which has a negative impact on the images I get.

    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks Angie, I really had a fantastic time. I will do, hoping to get back out there sooner rather than later but we’ll see how things pan out. It’s a long way from Europe! Whereabouts in Asia are you based?

        1. Ben Post author

          I was visiting on holiday for two weeks. I wish I could travel to places like Bangkok for business! That would be pretty awesome. South of Thailand must be a great place to live, although I think for me the humidity might be a bit much. I guess it’s not a problem for you though!

  3. lapoubelle1969

    I remember the city from a trip in 1994 (seems a long, long time ago now). It was always so crazy out on the streets, and the only way to get from A to B was on the back of a homicidal motorbike taxi. Fantastic food though and an energy most cities would die for – although it was the rainy season so a lot of my time was spent finding somewhere to shelter from the torrential rain. Looking forward to seeing more photos.

    1. Ben Post author

      Haha, well I can tell you it’s certainly still crazy! Although I didn’t take any motorbike taxis while I was there. I think it’s the energy that really grabs you, it’s pretty tiring actually. That’s a pity about the rainy season, but the weather changes how you see a city and I think it’s great to experience somewhere in a variety of conditions as it gives you a better idea what it might be like to live there. I hope you had a little bit of sunshine as well! I’d like to go back and see the rains some day.

    1. Ben Post author

      It certainly is! The food was fantastic, especially everything with coconut in. Although there was something that didn’t quite agree with me, and after a while I was looking forward to some simple western food with no spice!


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