Monday, 17 October 2011

Bangkok through experts' eyes

Unlike many of my colleagues, I don’t claim to be a ‘photographer’. Yes, I take photos that are publishable, many of them halfway decent. But while I love to seek out good subject matters and take pride in my framing, much of my visual success is due to luck and the egalitarian nature of digital cameras.

What I do know about my camera, however, I attribute to one person. As I stood behind the goal posts at the annual elephant polo tournament in northern Thailand several years ago, the event’s official photographer, Kris LeBoutillier, gave me a few simple tips and made some minor adjustments to my camera settings – and voila, my pics improved tenfold. In a 15 minute masterclass with an expert, I learnt more about the tools of my trade than I had from months of fumbling around on my own.

A professional photographer widely published around the world, Kris has now started his own photographic business, F8 Workshops, running week-long custom-designed seminars in some of Asia’s most exciting destinations. But not content with sharing his own considerable expertise, Kris has snared several legends in the photographic world to lead the workshops, jaw-dropping talents at the top of the mass media game.

Bringing their expertise to Bangkok from December 12-18 are Steve McCurry and Michael Yamashita, both veterans of National Geographic whose photographs have graced the pages of the magazine for decades. McCurry is responsible for arguably the most iconic NG cover of all time – the Afghan girl with piercing green eyes; while Yamashita is a specialist of Asia, best known for his coverage of the odyssey of Marco Polo.

With the visual splendour of Bangkok as a backdrop, McCurry and Yamashita’s workshops are a rare opportunity to learn from the best in the business, designed to challenge and improve your shooting technique and inspire you to take your passion to new levels. Suitable for all photographers from novice to semi-professional, these classes are restricted to just 20 participants to ensure you get personal attention from these incredible instructors.

The City of Angels, of course, is a photographer’s dream, rich in inspiration, colour and contrast. From its boxing arenas to Buddhist temples, Bangkok is the ideal backdrop to create a narrative photographic essay.

So if you want to sharpen your camera skills and see Thailand’s capital through the eyes of experts, check out further details at

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