Photo of the Week: Fish Feeding in Bangkok

Bangkok Street Photo Fish Feeding

At a lake near my home in Bangkok locals often gather in the evening. On this night, there were several people around the lake feeding fish, but two children had translucent buckets that added an interesting element and drew my attention.

Before the Shot

I began taking photos of two kids exposing for the sky so I could capture the orange sunset and silhouette the kids. The boy and girl were laughing and playing and were oblivious to me. I got down low so their heads would be above the horizon and against the sky.

The boy took some feed from his bucket and tossed it with his hand which made an interesting shot, and then threw the contents of his bucket in the lake in a dramatic gesture. Neither of these photos worked very well because his silhouette blended in with the girl’s.

Bangkok fish feeding street photo1 Bangkok fish feeding street photo

The Decisive Moment

  • Focal Length – 18mm (27mm equivalent)
  • Shutter Speed – 1/250
  • Aperture – f/8
  • ISO 1250

Bangkok Street Photo Fish FeedingAfter the boy emptied his bucket he moved away leaving just the girl. I got a much cleaner image with the just the girl but still got the silhouette, sunset, and fish feed flying in the air.

After the Photo

I looked around for the parents to show them the photo just in case they were worried about me creeping on their kids. In Asia most people don’t care if you photograph their kids. If they see you doing it, they usually pose the child or tell them to smile. But still, I wanted to be open about what I was doing. I didn’t see any parents so I continued to shoot photos in the park.

The Takeaway: When you find a great scene, be patient and keep shooting. It would have been easy to get one or two shots and move on, but by hanging around a little longer I got a variety of compositions and one winning shot.

Having said that, I really wish the shot of the boy flinging the feed with the bucket would have worked. That photo is more dynamic, but the overlapping silhouettes ruin it. I guess I’ll have to go back and try again!


 

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16 Comments on “Photo of the Week: Fish Feeding in Bangkok

  1. Beautiful images, Jeff 🙂

    It’s always nice to hear the story behind the shots and thank you so much for sharing…

    Have a beautiful day 🙂

  2. Patience – maybe that’s my (photography) problem! I love these shots, and someday I aim to slow down enough to be able to patiently wait and capture scenes like these. Until then, baby steps are what I need, and the first one must be to actually stop moving before I snap!

    • I am still learning patience and I have a long ways to go. I took landscape photos for about 10 years so I’m really new to taking candid people shots. I still get nervous or embarrassed sometimes, but I am getting better at slowing down. And yes, stop moving is a big key!

  3. Absolutely true that one needs to be patient to get a good shot, especially when people are involved. Also, I find that “blending in” a little first before I start taking photos, helps to not draw too much attention to myself and hopefully that way get a better shot, also requires patience.I really like your final choice – that is a very dramatic shot against the sunset. I particularly like the luminous bucket and the feed.

    Peta

    • Good point on blending in. Sometimes, you can be there with a camera and people are aware that you are taking photos, but they forget about it and go back to what they are doing naturally. Steve McCurry called this the unguarded moment.

  4. Jeff I love sillouette photos and this has worked perfectly. At a first glance I thought the fish food were flying birds hahaha. Did you need to use a tripod for this photos?

    • No tripod for it. Since I was exposing for the sky with a relatively high ISO I didn’t need it. If I were taking a landscape photo in a similar situation I’d absolutely have wanted one.

    • Thanks Caroline. I like the action much better in those photos, but not the silhouette. Someone else may like them more. Thanks for the comments!

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