If you’ve ever been in Thailand on the King’s Birthday, then you will probably know what this picture is all about. If you haven’t, then you probably wouldn’t have a clue what all these people are doing, kneeling beside a red carpet stretching as far as the eye can see with baskets of rice, noodles, fruit, confectionery and other goodies. These are the people of Chiang Mai waiting for their local monks to begin a walk down this street to collect alms on the morning of the King’s Birthday, 2004. As the monks walk by, the food will be placed in their alms bowls, and then the soldiers in the blue tracksuits will transfer them to the plastic bags that they have in front of them so that the monks always have an empty alms bowl. Most of what the monks are given is too big for the alms bowl anyway (I noted that a carton of soft drinks definitely doesn’t fit into an alms bowl!) After the alms-giving ceremony the soldiers will take the food that has been donated back to the monks’ monasteries.
I took several shots from the side of the road trying to get the red carpet in a diagonal across the frame, but this didn’t work as there were too many heads in the way. So I took off my shoes, and jumped out into the middle of the road to take this shot, and then quickly returned to the side. Nobody seemed to mind.
Critiques | Translate
gringofil (0) 2005-07-01 10:55
Excellent. I've never seen something like this in my life so the shot is a surprise for sure. I really like the depth and the red carpet does an excellent job of guiding my eye from the foreground to the background. It's also nice to see that all the men are wearing the same type of clothes so the repetitive pattern they create enhances the image even more. Excellent photography, very informative.
RGatward (20060) 2005-07-01 11:00
That looks kind of fun, next time I go to Chiang Mai I'll have to make it in December. Good PoV and interesting note.
orme (7215) 2005-07-01 13:46
Fantastic shot, David, with excellent perspective. I think a number of people are smiling in the shot, because you had the nerve to take a photo on their lovely red carpet. This definitely has to be a one-of-a-kind photo. Thank you for the very informative note. Well done.
vojt (1466) 2005-07-01 14:00
very nice, no-speculative shot well used color of the carpet
NgocSon (282) 2005-07-01 14:05
Wow! A really long red carpet. Thank for sharing.
colinbrenchley (6431) 2005-07-02 5:32
To get this shot you certainly becane the centre of attention for 15 secs. Good compostion with red carpet disappearing into the distance.
magda_indigo (22) 2005-07-12 10:22
very interesting, thanx, (*_*)
Calimero76 (10953) 2005-08-16 16:17
bien belle image que celle ci avec cette magnifique perspective
j'aime également l'expression des visages de tous les personnages, et il y en a beaucoup...
rahul__rahul__ (2250) 2006-09-03 11:32
nice picture, I like the POV and symmetry on the path.
zips (1958) 2006-10-13 10:32
Having been to this ceremony myself, I feel you have captured it well. The chaos behind you should have been beyond belief.
Good photojournalistic shot in crowded conditions. Great story about the shoes.
Alco (6860) 2008-01-20 20:43
Nice picture with a good POV.What I like the most is your description of the King's Birthday.Very interesting note.Well done!
- Copyright: David Astley (banyanman) (7789)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2004-12-05
- Categories: Ceremony
- Camera: Nikon D100, Nikkor AF-S 24-120/3.5-5.6G ED
- Exposure: f/4.5, 1/80 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Date Submitted: 2005-07-01 10:46