“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add colour to my sunset sky.”
I couldn’t be much further from the ongoing political upheaval in Thailand this week, in many senses. I’ve come to Piha Beach in New Zealand, land of the Long White Cloud.
I’ve been photographing the beach, which is, quite simply, exquisite. Mary Woodward describes reactions to Piha very well in her book, “The Piha Story”.
What words can describe the moment of delighted surprise – a reaction to that first glimpse, from the top of the hill, of a long stretch of black sand below, held as in parenthesis between two rocky headlands north and south, punctuated by the great hump that is Lion Rock, standing sentinel on the beach below? A French tourist struggles for ‘le mot propre’, and opening up his hands can manage only “Magnaifique! Vraiment magnafique!”
As you’ll see from the selection of images below, I’ve been working with an infrared camera and a very big ladder. But not at the same time.
The infrared camera is a specially converted Canon EOS 60D with a 10-22mm lens, set-up for specific exposure and white balance settings, then blended with my very own secret Photoshop sauce.
The “big ladder” is actually a Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter with a 14 megapixel camera on board. The quadcopter is amazingly manoeuvrable, connects via GPS so always remembers and returns to the point from which it took off (useful when you fly it out-of-range of the controller) and is more fun than eating three packs of Jaffa Cakes on a roller-coaster on August Bank Holiday.
The weather has been great for testing the ‘copter, which has been coping with the strong on-shore winds impressively well. I’m here for a week, which might prove to be too brief, given how much fun I’m having.
The image below consists of 17 separate images, stitched into a panorama.
As a result of yesterday’s clashes between police and anti-government protesters, seventy people were injured and five people were killed. As is customary, funeral services were held within a day.
The Erawan Medical Centre has released the names of the deceased. They were identified as Jeerapong Chuaichai, 29; Srattha Sae San, 43; Suphot Boonrung, 52; Thanusak Rattanakoch, 29 and Police Senior Sargeant-Major Pienchai Parawat, 45.
Colleagues of the policeman attended his funeral at Wat Tri Thotsathep this morning. Each one poured holy, perfumed water onto his right hand. Two family members were seated at his feet.
Similar funerals will take place for all of the victims of yesterday’s violence.