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The Big Buddha

Over the next few posts I am going to use some of our favourite places – Beaches, Villages, Temples etc as a way of subdividing some of the images I have taken away from Koh Samui and of course to talk about some of the films I used.

As I knew the light was going to be much better than Hong Kong and obviously much less polluted; I decided to take some films I either haven’t used for a long time or have just never had much luck with and specifically I looked at the faster film options.

For the colour films on the Nikon, I used a polarizing filter – whether I was going to cross slide film of not and perhaps this helps explain the stunning blues.

I’m also going to add some faces and people into the images as during our time in Samui we had lots of time with other friends from Hong Kong and Singapore – but for the first installment I have to start with the first sight you will see before you have even landed at the airport and that is the 12m high golden statue of Buddha at the Phra Yai Temple complex.

This statue sits on a raised dais on the hill looking over the Island from less than 10 minutes from the airport.

In the evenings the Buddha has the sun setting behind and so obviously the morning brings great light and shots of Lord Buddha and the whole complex.

Built in 1972, the enormous sitting Buddha sits within  on a small island just off the northern shore and at night with the statue flood lit, it becomes the guardian of the island.

The next two shots are mid day and evening shots with the mid day on E100G Crossed (pushed +2 because of overhead light) with the 15mm Bessa L and the evening on Ektar with the Nikon F2a using a 24/2.8 and the polarizing filter.

The Buddha is surrounded by a covered walkway with prayer bells that are chimed as you walk circuits to pray. Like many of the temples all over Thailand, the use of concrete is rife as are the partially finished areas. The exposed steel work and rubble doesn’t detract from the beauty and tranquility of the temple nor of the importance to the local population, who probably don’t even notice half finished buildings any more.

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Posted by simon on July 25, 2011

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