"Night In Bangkok" - Not my night

Well, for starters,
tonight just wasn’t my night…

Finally, weeks of waiting for a free night to myself, I decided to trek Bangkok to take more night shots in the city, hoping to get something to add for my “Night in Bangkok” photo collection. I also selected the “[RAW] + L” quality setting, which produces the CR2 file as well as the main JPG. This maybe the factor keeping me from producing high quality photos… :(

I chose the Victory Monument as my subject this night; the curvy skytrain tracks above and the road circulating the monument area makes it great for a panorama shot. I arrived on scene, well- too early; lights haven’t really lit up yet, the sun wasn’t low enough to produce the ultramarine dusk sky, and a gigantic thunderstorm cloud has already occupied the sky. Even though I was a bit annoyed of the thunderstorm blocking the day’s last bit of sunlight, I decided to stay and wait for the city to light up the night. I got my wish and I walked along the circular, elevated pathway, taking long exposures & a panorama off various locations.

It started to sprinkle and within minutes, it stopped. I still haven’t called it a night as I thought the wet roads producing reflections make a cool effect. And so I did, I stayed and did more long exposure stuff. Then, the rain came back again, but now, it was a real thundershower. I finally had to call it a night because I don’t have any equipment to allow me to shoot amidst rain. If I did, I would have gone down to the street and photographed people looking for shelter from the rain. That’s would have been epic!

Things got worse as I head back to the BTS skytrain station that I came from. There was a line of people walking. But why in a line? The platform had no rain protection of course! The gusting winds blew rain onto the lower platforms(the level that sells tickets and has food shops), and unless you have an umbrella or a raincoat, you’re screwed. I was one of them that had neither… (stupid me :( )

I finally arrived home, soaking wet. I dried myself, turned on my mac and imported the pics. To make matters worse, I can’t even open the RAW CR2 photos, even with the Camera raw plugins. So I resorted to using the jpeg’s, seeing if I could use them. Then, it all crashed down on me— the photos turned out blurry. I knew it must have been from the loads of pedestrians & the skytrains above that making the slightest vibrations. Even with my camera on my new tripod as well as the IS system in my lens didn’t do any good…

I was quite well upset & angry for blowing a night. Before I take every shot, I make sure nothing can go wrong. Nothing. I make sure that my tripod doesn’t get in the way too much. I make sure the horizon line perfectly level. . For me, these long ‘10 seconds +’ exposure shots require absolute perfection, and in many ways, I love it because I’m always eager to see the result. I’ve always felt like I’ve shot a masterpiece each time. Good feeling. But tonight wasn’t one of the good nights at all. I was hit hard by the lack of clarity & sharpness of the photos I’ve got tonight. Even my panorama was ruined; the layout was perfect(believe me, you’d see it, and you’d be amazed), but was too blurry, VERY blurry.

Lesson to other photographers here? Bad days (or in my case, nights) do happen! Even top notch guys may come back from an expedition with zero shots…

As Forrest Gump said: “**** happens”…