Ekman Garden resort is quite unique in this part of Thailand. Not only sporting a pool and many other relaxing facilities, but for the wonderful garden that was full of all the Thai favourite and indigenous flowers. Sichon is not far from Khanom and its stunningly long beach. If you want to escape from beaches and tourists this is a heavenly place to sit and read and smell the roses! Music free under creative commons licence from YouTube music library Song credits to: Emily A. Sprague and “floats”
Wat Donsak is a Buddhist temple located in the Donsak district of Surat Thani province in southern Thailand. The temple is known for its impressive architecture, beautiful gardens, and serene atmosphere.
The temple complex is home to several buildings, including a large main hall or ubosot, several chedis or stupas, and a meditation hall. The main hall is adorned with intricate carvings and gold leaf decorations and houses a statue of the Buddha.
The temple grounds are also home to a large garden, filled with lush greenery, colorful flowers, and serene ponds. The garden is a peaceful oasis, and visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll or find a quiet spot to meditate or reflect.
One of the unique features of Wat Donsak is its stunning view of the surrounding countryside and nearby islands. Visitors can climb to the top of the chedi for a panoramic view of the area, including the Gulf of Thailand and the nearby islands of Koh Samui, Koh Tao, and Koh Phangan.
Wat Khao Suvan Pradit (Wat Khao Suwan Pradit) It was founded by one of the respectable Buddhist clerics from Southern Thailand. The temple stands on top of a 45-meter hill. Driving up in the car wasn’t as bad as some temples I have driven too and even the car park(which is large) his a great viewpoint in itself.
You can see the pagoda with relics. Although during my visit the temple was closed.
The temple stands on a Cape crane, so that there are incredible views of the area and the Don Sak River, flowing into Samese Bay. And at nautical breadth, of course. The two stilted viewpoints one each side allow you to almost feel as though you are over the sea.
Again the views are spectacular and well worth the visit, I could’ve spent all day there….
Starting my visit to Cambodia in December 2022, just around the corner from my hotel was this beautiful and auspicious Wat, Wat Botum.
Wat Botum means “Temple of the Lotus Blossoms” is a colorful temple in the center of Phnom Penh. In Cambodian known as Preah Vihear Wat Botumvatey, the serene and peaceful temple has recently been restored.
Wat Botum is one of the oldest temples in Phnom Penh. King Ponhea Yat ordered construction of the temple during his reign in the first half of the 15th century.
The viharn, the assembly hall, has recently been restored.
Inside the viharn a golden Buddha in meditation pose is seated on a pedestal. In front of it is a Reclining Buddha. The wall behind the image is adorned with a painting of a forest and the Bodhi tree the Buddha meditated under when reaching enlightenment.
The ceiling is adorned with colorful paintings depicting Buddhist stories. Which you will throughout this slideshow.
During my December break in 2021, I was in Phang Nga on my road trip around the province.
I had seen there was this huge beautiful Limestone park and wanted to visit it. About mid morning was actually a good time to go and visit, still cool enough , but also busy enough. I say busy, but actually most of the visitors were locals doing their morning exercise and jogging.
As we walked around the main pathway through the park, it became apparent why the locals stayed within the main pathway. There, are we found out for ourselves, in due course, two very large troupes of Macaque monkeys. With the lack of tourists and people they have made larger areas of the park their home.
We did narrowly avoid a major skirmish between the two alpha males and their harems. Along with about 20 offspring. Nearly finding ourselves with our backs up against the locked railings at the other end of the park we stayed absolutely still and made no sudden movements or noise that might attract their attention.
Thankfully they all ran like a river of water towards the limestone cliffs and disappeared into the trees. We carefully made our way back , keeping to the main paths.
I did manage before that to get some interesting views of the cliffs, and the surrounding area, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Music free under creative commons licence from Youtube music library
Title: Anomalous Hedges by The Mini Vandals
Blue Elephant Phuket
From my recent visit two days ago. Every month we try and go and support our local businesses and community. This month was the turn of the Blue Elephant!
Amazing building, and lovely food.
Blue Elephant Phuket is not a casual Thai restaurant, but contrary to what most people think, it is not outrageously expensive (We didn’t say cheap though). Blue Elephant Phuket is perfect for a special occasion, a dining experience to share and remember. We wrote about this fantastic old mansion that used to be a governor’s house, abandoned for a long time in Phuket Town.
Seen from the street, it always had the majesty of a place with a long and mysterious history. They returned the mansion to its original grandeur, and you can now drive up the immense garden alley, leave your car under the trees and proudly climb the stairs like a celebrity to enter the famous Blue Elephant.
Dining in a hundred years old governor’s house adds a new dimension to the experience. The Blue Elephant is a long-established cooking school from Bangkok and a great place to invite your guests or for a romantic occasion. Take the time to walk around the park with your glass in hand and appreciate the majesty of the Sino-Portuguese architecture, shaded by immense trees that witnessed moments of Phuket fascinating history.
As you explore, it becomes easy to imagine how the held parties and ceremonies within these walls. Then climb the stairs to the second floor and walk through the several large rooms with their dark wooden floors and the many windows so typical of this era.
Then, it’s dinner time, and you will walk through the ‘Blue Elephant Gallery’ to the air-conditioned indoor or outdoor dining area. Service is as impeccable as you expect it to be, the restaurant and tables setting are beautiful.
Follow me on my journey into the Macro World. I am a total beginner when it comes to this Genre of Photography, so see the successes and the failures and fell better, and maybe you can help or learn along the way
So finally I have made myself two flash diffusers!
To help me on my journey into the land of Macro Photography,
The first one here in this post is actually a free bit of packing I got with my Xdobo USB mini speaker. The sides are layered foam, and as you will see from the video a bit loose, so I will have to glue that hole down. basically you just push it onto the front of the flash and hey presto! a diffuser.
What I found with this one, unlike the second post I will put up today, is that its better for short length lenses. I’m looking at getting a Raynox for my Canon 70-300mm IS USM, so this is all I had to test it on (close up wise). On the 300mm length images came out quite a bit darker than I had hoped for. Although so much better than without flash diffuser or flash at all.
Now I am still learning depth of field and focus planes here, so forgive my photo of my Vietnamese frog ornament (2cm wide) not being in total focus (I have focus stacking on my list of things to learn). This was taken on my Canon 77D, Canon 70-300mm IS USM, at 280mm, manual focus, ISO 1600, f/5.6, 1/60th, So yes a very high ISO, but this is where I have to start from. Any comments welcome…and yes it is tricky doing a video one handed whilst trying to put the diffuser on the flash!
Thanks for joining me on my Macro Journey, soon Iwill be posting about my experiences f Macro work in the real World, successes and failures!
I have been through some changes with my Camera Kit earlier this 2021. Moving back from my Canon Eos M5 to the Canon 77D which is my camera now, also meant I had to come back to buying EFS lenses for my 77D. As all my other ones were EFM, for the M5.
When I had my 70D I had long wanted the Canon 10-18mm stm lens. Although at the time I was very happy with my Tamron 10-24mm, and not being able to justify having two wide angle lenses I never got one. Now was my golden opportunity to get the 10-18mmm stm.
I had like many read and watched many many reviews of this fantastic little, lightweight ,lens. And sourcing it in mint condition from Facebook Marketplace for around £95 I was very pleased to get it.
The first day I got out with my 77D I had the 10-18mm fixed firmly on the front of it. This is one of my first shots I ever took with it.
So how has it been since I got it back in early March. Well I have not been disappointed with the wide angle lens. weighing in a a measly 8.4oz or 240g for those metric amongst us, I have not found it hard to carry this little gem around all day long. The 67mm filter thread is a bonus as this is also the same size as my Canon 18-135mm stm filter thread, which has the bonus of me also being able to swap the one lens hood I have between the two. It also makes polarisers and ND easier as I only have to buy one set at one size.
Like all the Efs Stm lenses it comes in black, with its usual tough, hardwearing plastic body. A plastic lens mount, and to be honest to the nay Sayers, I have never had any problems with plastic mounts in the last ten years of using them on my cameras. A nice tight fit and I’m good to go.
Yes it would be nice to have a wider aperture range(but what for? your going to be using this for mostly Landscape and Architecture. Do you really need Bokeh for either?) Not really a minus considering its primary use.
I particularly like photographing landscape with dramatic clouds, or Seascapes, and find it a perfect accompaniment and tool to my 77D and my style of photography.
I will let my photos below speak for themselves on the wideness, sharpness and creativeness you can get to using this fabulous lens!
From my latest collection on Photo4me, you can get a 10% discount too when you use this code: ADVENT2020. Still in time for Christmas!
Have a look at my Gallery and pick yourself a little bit of sunshine .
Living in the South of Phuket I get to visit some of the less touristy areas. Well maybe Chalong pier is not one of those, except just before the covid restrictions on movement came in in March 2020.
Which is when i had a chance to go and photograph this interesting and usually thriving /busy place.
Chalong Pier is located southeast of Phuket Island on the border with Rawai. This pier is more and more frequented: sailboats are not the most numerous but motorboats for offshore fishing trips, diving trips, canoe trips and finally many speedboats that take you to the islands a little further away in a short time.
It is also a very active area with shops, restaurants, and a breathtaking beach. The pier offers many boat trips around all the nearby islands, including Racha Island and Koh Hae. In Chalong Bay, there is also a dive site for underwater enthusiasts and many activities like sailing and cruising among other fun endeavors.
It was completed in about 2002 and is around 700 meters long. Before this new pier, which was built to serve the countless tourist boats that depart from Chalong, there was only a rickety wooden jetty, barely wide enough for 2 people to pass each other. Now shored up as a concrete version of its bigger brother, I walked that too!
Music free under creative commons licence from Yo Tube Music Library: Everything You wanted- by Dan Lebowitz
Second in my personal look at lenses I actually own and use is the native Canon Efm 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 stm A quite different lens to the previously looked at Efm 15-45mm stm
This lens came out before the 15-45mm,(in fact 2012) is made totally with a metal housing and mount. Slightly longer, actually quite noticeably longer than its “kit lens” sibling. This lens lets you know it’s there! Weighing in at 200g it is a whole 80g heavier than the 15-45mm plastic /lightweight/wider angle lens. My version is black, it also comes in silver. That isn’t the only difference, the filter thread also comes in at a larger 52mm (as opposed to the 49mm of the 15-45), so no swapping your filters here. Not a complete problem as I have step up rings for my filter, but this could get expensive for some if you have to keep buying different sized sets for different sized lenses. Just something to think about and I will be posting info on my sets ups soon.
Some people may say solid, I agree, it is, and feels quality, and a very nice sharp kit lens that Canon has seen fit to stop making. Who knows why as this is a great , sharp, handy 28mm-88mm, in full frame equivalent (18 x1.6 and 55 x 1.6) from the APSC sized sensor.
Why do I have this plus the 15-45mm? I hear some people say, am I not covering the same-ish focal lengths? Yes I am, but I had heard so much about this lenses sharp and pleasing imagery, that when I had the opportunity to secure one locally for £39 (1500thb) at the beginning of June 2020, it was too good a bargain to miss!
Of course as I have two M series Cameras it also makes a handy lens to have to pair with either of the two cameras. So I have the 18-55mm on one and the 15-45mm on the other, depending on what /where I am going. I use both these lenses for my more casual projects, and my Sigma 8-16mm for my more serious landscape work.
The other reason is to really see what the differences are between the two lenses. I actually have not had much time to test it out fully, that will be an ongoing activity over the next few weeks, but I did get a chance to stretch it out at one of the beaches that I visited last week and I will put the images below this post along with focal lengths.
I really liked it, the weight counterbalances the M5 perfectly, focuses quickly, and is fairly accurate on all settings. On the Eos M it was a little front heavy, but nothing like the efs lenses, and not so much that I would not use it. I liked the nice clarity I got from it, and found that in real World use you don’t see any fall off on sharpness. again on the Eos m quick and silent focusing made it a delight to use.
The weather was not so good as it is currently rainy season here in Phuket(where I currently live), and I am looking to stretch it when I get some brighter skies. Overall I think it is quite different , giving a narrower field of view, but actually more as you see it (or the eye sees it), and less stretched than its 15-45mm cousin. with a 3.5-5.6 aperture it has at least the same light abilities as its wider cousin, if not a little stunted at the long end.
Does the 55mm at the long end make any difference? not really as I would use it mostly for landscape, and city work when on walkabouts, which entails using it at the wide end of 18mm more often than not. A great kit lens, loved by many and rightly so. If you can get one for less than 60-70 quid, you are getting a great lens for the money. It is a shame that Canon stopped producing it, I guess costs of production against its plastic mounted counterparts are what did it.
Would I sell it now? Nope, I love its field of view, and for a native lens it is very very usable walkabout lens. Fitting the compactness of the Canon Eos M range of cameras, I would say that it is a worthy addition to your camera.