Songkran in Black and White

16 Photos of Thai New Year in Black and White

Black and White, Photo Essay, Street Photography, Thailand

If you have taken the time to read the other three posts I made about our Thai New Year trip to rural Isaan, then you know that all the people from the village spent four days drinking in a manner usually associated with celebrations after the end of long wars. On the final day of Songkran, the sun went down but the party continued, so I turned on my flash and used long exposure to capture the action. The combination of flash and long exposure blurred the action and captured the drunken vibe of the party.

Amazingly, due to my catlike reflexes – and pure luck – my camera never got soaked while taking photos of the water fight and party! Without further ado, here are the photos.

Songkran in Black and White Photo Gallery


Songkran in Black and White drummer


Songkran Black and White


Songkran in Black and White guitar


Songkran Black and White


Songkran Black and White


Songkran in Black and White


Songkran Black and White



Songkran Black and White


Songkran in Black and White


Songkran in Black and White


Songkran in Black and White


Songkran Black White Band


Songkran in Black and White


Songkran in Black and White


Songkran in Black and White


Songkran Isaan Black White

This is my last post from our experience of experience celebrating Thai New Year in rural Isaan. To see the other posts, click here.

I am on social media at Facebook and Instagram 


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Currently living in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. I travel, write, take photos, and stalk street cats. ~

22 thoughts on “16 Photos of Thai New Year in Black and White”

  1. Absolutely wonderful photos which truly capture the joy the movement and feeling of community. My favorites are numbers 1 and 15. The sequence is well thought out, flowing from one image to the next. Thanks for sharing.


  2. You are brave bringing your camera into this party, but so glad you did. Your photos are fabulous and take me right in the midst of the action. The blur is perfect for capturing the drunken reverie. Hard to select a favourite, #s 2, 5, 15, 16…Jeff, I’ve really enjoyed your Thai New Year series.

  3. The progression here looks kind of like the one our son’s recent wedding reception photos illustrated: people drinking nicely for a while and then a spiral into spirited dancing, crazy rap-hands motions, and hilarious facial expressions. My absolute favorite here is the little boy looking at his mother? aunt? neighbor? random lady? with a look of total calm and, perhaps, confusion.

    • Yes, it was very much like a wedding as everyone got progressively drunker. The boy was the grandson of the lady who invited us. I think he was over celebrating new year by then!

  4. Amazing photos Jeff. They make me feel almost like I’m there. You’ve really captured the energy. So impressed. Next time I’m at a drunken New Years party I’ll try the same thing. Except I don’t go to drunken NY parties. But these photos are almost enough to make me give it a try 🙂

  5. Jeff your photos make me believe I can almost hear the party going on. Loved the reference to drinking like a war had ended. It certainly appears that is how the celebration is going!
    I see you have done some reorganizing into categories on your blog. A clean and crisp look. Is there an easy way to tell which posts are most recent?

    • I still have the music ringing in my ears from the party and not sure I’m mentally and physically prepared to go back 🙂

      On the homepage are the most recent posts, also I think if you search they are in chronological order. Does that make sense? I always wonder what it is like to navigate my page as an outsider.

      • Jeff I had a look again this morning and I can see the most recent posts. Perhaps I had clicked on categories.

  6. Your #14 reminded me of the one time that as a child I went to see the Dodgers play in Ebbets Field before they moved to Los Angeles. That was decades before Thai restaurants became common in the United States.

  7. Oh my, I think any New Year’s bash you attend with family in the States will seem tame by comparison. I was waiting for blurred-motion shots like the ones here. Amazing how your camera survived all the water fights and drunken revelry. And I do love the T-shirt in the closing photo – game over!

    • Typically on New Years in the States I stay home. I don’t want to be out with the drunk drivers and crowds. Yes, game was over by that point – it was a long 4 days!

  8. Hi Jeff, I love this black and white series which accentuates the mood and joy of the revelers. Terrific use of monochrome.

    • Thank you Jane. I though the BnW added to the strange and busy feeling. I’m going back this year and hope to get better shots now that I’ve hopefully learned a few things.

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