The Golden Scarf.

Hasselblad 500cm 80mmCF, Velvia 100
Wat Tham-Pra, Chaing Rai, Northern Thailand.

A title for this one could be “dam you x-ray machines” but more likely id go with “still at the end of rough”. This is the same day i awoke to get up before the sunrise and head out on my motorbike for a little exploration. Of course the day did bring its surprises but the plan to explore the hill country north of Chaing Rai, an area rich in tea growing heritage, came together well.

Having reached the summit of the northern hills, I explored, and then wound my way back down (a LOT of fun on a motorbike, I can assure you) with plans to take in some sites along the way back to town.

Having reached the river again near town towards the end of the day (with approximately 200 km under my belt already) I headed up stream in search of the Buddhist Image Cave.

Side note: I cant reiterate this enough that riding a motorbike (or scooter or bike for that matter) is really the only way to properly explore and get intimate with a country.

Winding my way up the river I eventually came to the site. It is a large cave set into limestone cliffs that jut prominently from the surrounding rice fields and river plains. I unloaded from the bike and wandered up the stairs, entering the horse shoe shaped temple. I was the only person there and felt a deep sense of stillness, magnified in contrast to my day on a loud, fast motorbike on dusty bumpy roads.

I sat for a moment and offered my time to the Buddha statues, lighting some incense and stopping my mind from racing on. The existence of something special here was heightened by the presence of the many cats, who spent their time lounging and sleeping, adding to the real sense of peace and calm.

Rounding a corner I came across this lone bright tangerine colored scarf hanging on the line and felt that it really captured the moment and feeling of the cave temple. Still, colorful, pure and true.

On a side note, all rolls of velvia i had developed came back with a magenta cast which I attribute to the cumulative affects of airport x-rays. They will tell you that there is no affect on film but I think if you are going to see a lot of x-rays then its not worth the risk. My b+w (acros) and color neg (portra 160) were both fine.

Ive done my best to color correct the slide above. It still shows some cast.


Posted on May 7, 2011, in Photography, Places and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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