There are not many excuses a married man could have for visiting Pattaya, particularly the notorious Soi 6 and Walking Street. However, I had a camera, and I guess that makes it alright. Photography is a passport that often opens up places that you would not go to otherwise. I headed to Pattaya to catch the neon-lit evenings, alight with bar girls and punters and to photo the extremes of the early morning. Cities that party till dawn offer some of my favourite opportunities for Street Photography, and Pattaya was no exception.
Here are a few things I learned from my trip:
• Photographing without permission often ends in abuse and hurled objects.
• Ladyboys are more likely to let you photograph them than the women.
• Bar Girls don’t mind you taking photos when you purchase a drink.
• People notice you less at 5 am.
• I still prefer color, but night time shooting can lend itself to B+W.
• Five AM. is a tough call when you keep shooting till one in the morning.
• Five-axis stabilisation is necessary when you are trying to frame a shot while being dragged aggressively into a bar.
I spent two nights in Pattaya, and during this time I managed to capture at least 30 publishable photos. As a location, Pattaya was tougher than Patong (in Phuket). Patong was a lot more laid back with more of a holiday atmosphere. Pattaya was edgier than Patong, and the people I photographed more aggressive. The exception to this was the ladyboys, who would often pull half a dozen poses before asking me if a would like to buy a drink. Purchasing drinks was an essential key to capturing images on the street. Most bar girls relaxed once I had a purchased a beer, and they relaxed even more with a drink in their own hands. Strangely, most guys were a little reticent to be captured on camera!
There is still something to be said for Black and White imagery. The shots below looked far too cluttered in colour. However, I think they work well in in monochrome. BTW, only one of the people below is a ‘real’ lady, it should be pretty obvious if you look hard enough.
In the next couple of days I will publish the full set of photos. In the meantime here is the link to the photos I took in Patong, most of which have already been published on G+ and on my Instagram account.
Thats all for now. Have fun and keep clicking, Chris