eXtensions - Tuesday 19 June 2018


Taking the Cameras out for Some Exercise (2): Results from Mahachai Edited in Photos

By Graham K. Rogers


A trip out of Bangkok to take photographs produced nearly 300 images that needed some culling and subsequent editing. I was indisposed and this was delayed for a few days. The photo essay is now available.

Last week, I outlined how I used the local railway to visit a vibrant town several kilometers from here and with the text included a small selection of images. I had intended to edit and upload more during the week, but was hospitalized for a couple of days. I am now back on my feet, more or less, and have edited the original selection. As I noted then, "On the Mac there were 279 images (I had already deleted a couple of road surface shots) and once imported I deleted more than half, leaving just under 120 photographs." My additional selection and detailed editing now leave me with 34 images for the trip, some of which I used last week.

I think that this reduction to about 10% of the original input is a fair cull. Some of the images trashed were duplicates (or near-duplicates); some had odd little faults I had not noticed before; while some I kept had little oddities that make them unique. In a browser display, this may be less noticeable. Perhaps it is time to print some more and see the images on paper.

Looking through Thaladphlu Station - Nikon D850, ISO 5600, 1/400, f/29

I find the process of editing (like manually coding HTML) therapeutic. Not in the way of easing away my troubles and pains, but as a form of relaxation. I try to grasp what drew me to the subject initially - fairly easy in some cases - and bring out the stronger features. All of the images have been edited in Apple Photos, which might sound odd, but I do not really like to over-manipulate the original input.

Unlike my preferred Aperture, Apple Photos handles the larger RAW files from the Nikon D850 I use and has some basic cleanup tools (often all that I want): crop, straighten and adjust. It does not have enough metadata and there are certain tools like brushes that would be useful.

With the widening range of extensions, I am able to carry out some more sophisticated editing if I think it is needed. I also make use of filtering, particularly from the Tonality Pro and Luminar extensions installed. I have perhaps painted myself into a corner with Photos, but the one thing that it provides that no other application can, is full integration between devices, using iCloud. As I use the iPhone for most work, this is essential. Even though I have 2TB of iCloud space, I offload as much data as I can, but keep almost all output from the DSLR on a separate SSD.

Mahachai Station Transport Options - Nikon D850, 100mm, ISO 400, 1/100, f/13

The trip out

Last week I put online a couple of shots from around the local station: Thaladphlu. This is a good area for food and widely known. Using the Sigma telephoto lens I took a couple of shots through the station towards Wongwianyai, with a misty Bangkok in the background. Both locals and those arriving always provide me with something of interest.

Thaladphlu Thaladphlu

Nikon D850: Left ISO 1000, 280mm, 1/320, f/27; Right ISO 720, 400mm, 1/400, f/29

Mahachai and the Market

Mahachai Station is a fairly busy terminus with 34 trains in and out each day: the first one leaves around 4:30am. It is also integrated with the market.

Looking through Mahachai Station - Nikon D850, 400mm, ISO 560, 1/400, f/13

As with the area around Thaladphlu, it is people in the street that often attract my attention the most.

Mahachai Mahachai

Nikon D850: Left ISO 1100, 400mm, 1/400, f/13; Right ISO 500, 400mm, 1/400, f/13

River Area

The river and its connection to the sea is what drives the economy here: the fishing and shipping industries, food sales in the market, and the large population, many of them from Myanmar.

Tha Chin River
Tha Chin River - Nikon D850, 400mm, ISO 360, 1/400, f/13

Tha Chin River
Tha Chin River - Nikon D850, 400mm, ISO 320, 1/400, f/13

One subject I was keen to photograph was the bird life, especially the egrets which gather here much of the year. While I have produced some good images from the Nikkor 85mm lens I have, I wanted to see how effective the telephoto lens was: there were a lot of duds.

Egrets Egrets

Left ISO 320, 400mm, 1/400, f/13; Right ISO 200, 400mm, 1/500, f/13

Tha Chaloem Side

Crossing the river gives a different perspective as the pace in Tha Chaloem is far slower, although there seems to be more concern for sea preparations. On a recent trip I took a number of photographs of net-mending; essential for the fishing industry. The view is also, of course different from the Mahachai side.

Tha Chaloem
Tha Chaloem Side - 400mm, ISO 360, 1/400, f/13

Tha Chaloem
Tha Chaloem Side - 400mm, ISO 200, 1/500, f/13

The environment is under attack all the time but this is nothing new: from the land the insidious water hyacinth clogs the waterways, while from the sea, salt attacks old wooden constructions.

Tha Chaloem
Tha Chaloem Side: Clearing Water Hyacinth - 340mm, ISO 360, 1/400, f/13

Tha Chaloem
Tha Chaloem Side: Ravaged Pier - 270mm, ISO 280, 1/320, f/13


I made my way back across the river as the rain was imminent and I was beginning to feel a little unwell: the first signs of my eventual trip to hospital. Because of that unexpected interruption, I have yet to drop off the rolls of film from the Hasselblad, so there may be more surprises - and pleasure - to come.

Tha Chaloem
Temple on Tha Chaloem Side - 150mm, ISO 200, 1/400, f/13

From the original 279 images, I have cut down this selection to include 16 of my favourites (with 11 more last week). A number have also been posted to Instagram (@extensions1). I posted a few to Twitter as well.

See also:

  • Taking the Cameras out for Some Exercise: Planning a Quick Run to Mahachai

  • Digital and Film Photography Themes Around Mahachai and the Railway (1): The Journey

  • Digital and Film Photography Themes Around Mahachai and the Railway (2): The River

  • Digital Photography and Self-Improvement Over Time

  • Photographic Essay - Cartoon Role-Playing Teenagers at Siam Paragon<>/a>

  • The Wednesday File (58): Nikon D850 - A Month with the Beast

  • Moving up to Nikon D850 (3): Explorations

  • Moving up to Nikon D850 (2): Practicalities

  • Moving up to Nikon D850 (1): Rationale

  • A Selection of RAW Photo Apps for the iPhone: The First Rank

  • A Selection of RAW Photo Apps for the iPhone: A Worthy Second Rank

  • Thonburi Steam: DSLR and iPhone RAW

    Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)

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