In Chiang Mai

Posted on 29th October 2018 in adventure, architecture

For the winter of 2017-2018 I went to Thailand to… I guess find the cheapest rent and learn about a new culture. Truth be told, I really just wanted to be on the land of our farm building, but as it was, going to Thailand was an incredibly beautiful experience that I would not change for the world.

I spent about 5 months in Thailand, and most of my time was in Chiang Mai. I arrived in Bangkok and immediately met up with my friend Donovan. He invited me to join him on a train trip up to Chiang Mai where he was going to see about work. Most people take the sleeper train over night, but it was sold out so we took the day train. I actually really liked it since we were able to watch the city as we rolled on by.

I came to know Chiang Mai quite well. The caf├ęs I came across astounded me. The people I met blew me away with kindness and generosity. The landscape was as expected. And I had a scooter and motorcycle to cruise around on the whole time! I was, I guess, in heaven. My family is still now hearing stories I remember as we go about our daily, and each time the stories come to mind, I smile a deeply felt smile.

The next few posts will be devoted to the time I spent in Chiang Mai. Please say hello if you’d like to talk more about any of the photos and I will do my best to caption them.

Donovan renting a scooter

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comments: 0 » tags: chiang mai, thailand

Busy in Bangkok

Posted on 24th March 2018 in adventure, wandering

It seems like ages ago now when I was first in Bangkok. At the time, it was definitely a blur. I had just landed from Canada and in the process of trying to wrap my head around the fact that I was in Thailand. Do you know that feeling when you get to a new place by plane and realize that just the day before you were walking the streets of where you came from, likely a point a fair distance across the map from where you stand now? To regain my bearings, I usually try to lay low, just wandering the local streets trying to figure out where a good place to eat is.

I had a few friends in Bangkok that I met up with over the week I spent there, which is always good for me because they tend to have a list of things they want to do or see and I can just accompany with a smile. I left Bangkok in the same fashion, I had one friend, Alex, up there already for Loy Krathong, and another, Donovan, wanting to go up for work and to also catch Loy Krathong. When the latter asked me for the second time if I wanted to take the 12 hr train (turned into about 14 hrs) to catch the lantern festival (Loy Krathong), I decided to go on this journey.

So I ended up staying then in Bangkok for about 5 days. I wandered many streets and thoroughly enjoyed Chinatown. Such a busy area with vibrant storefronts and markets that I could walk through. I did a whole bunch of street photography with Donovan, since that’s his style of choice, which you’ll see soon in a photoblog of its own. Often, I’d find myself just wandering, wandering, wandering and running straight into a marvelously decorated temple or busy market. Each night, my sandals would come off, my dirty feet would be washed, and I’d collapse into my bed wondering how I’d get some relief from the humid and warm temperature I don’t think anybody ever can quite adjust to.

I resisted leaving because I didn’t feel I had explored the city as I had hoped. I think I’m learning that I never really feel like I’ve explored any place I’m at fully, and I think I’m ok with this. I think this is a great outlook for life to be on an adventure even in one’s own backyard.

Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

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Coast to Coast Part II

Posted on 26th September 2017 in adventure, nature

During the summer of 2017 my father and I traveled 20000 kms from Vancouver Island to Nova Scotia and back again. The crossing itself is about 7000 km, and we spent a considerable amount of time driving around in Nova Scotia, too. My initial plan before I left this summer was to go from Vancouver Island to Nova Scotia back to Vancouver Island and then back to Nova Scotia where I would move into our new house. Well, the second part of the journey across didn’t really happen since we ended up buying land without a house, so now I’m sitting here trying to decide what to do for the winter.

For the entire journey we stayed in Canada. Canada actually has quite beautiful roads – the trans-Canada for the most part has double lanes and smooth roads.

The order of these photographs are in the order that I took them, so you can kind of follow our path along as we went.

One of my challenges of this journey was to try and get some lifestyle photographs, which I really did fail at horribly. I am trying to train my eye to see casual settings to take photographs of, that I am a part of. I know it exists somewhere in remote triggering with my phone and setting the camera up on a tripod, but I still definitely haven’t come close to mastering that. Maybe I just need a sidekick with a camera…

Do you have any locations I should go to next spring when I’m doing the trip?

 

Canadian Rockies

Canadian Rockies

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The Strait of Georgia

Posted on 3rd December 2016 in adventure, nature

I cross the Strait of Georgia frequently. Back and forth, back and forth. I find that when I’m heading back to Vancouver Island I catch the best kind of sunset, if it’s not raining. On the way over, it’s usually around noon when I arrive – not so fine for them golden hour captures, but that’s all right. My trips over to the mainland are, for the most part, to do some photoshoots. If I’m lucky, I get to see a few friends.

There’s this funny thing I’m observing with myself, when I have photoshoots ahead of me, I tend to leave my camera in it’s bag and let the landscapes pass by with just my eyes watching, not my lens. I guess at the moment I’m ok with this, a focus of some sorts. But the idiom keeps popping up in my head: can’t see the forest for the tree.

This trip home I had just picked up a new to me 135mm lens from Russia, probably a 50 year old fully manual lens, so I was pretty eager to sit on top of the BC Ferry and catch some landscapes.

I’ve got to say, these are some of my favourite photographs of this crossing I’ve ever captured.

tech // Sony a7 / Jupiter 11A 135mm f4

Strait of Georgia from a BC Ferry by Ned Tobin
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Off To Nova Scotia

Posted on 13th September 2016 in adventure

My pops and I recently drove from Shawnigan Lake on Vancouver Island to Nova Scotia. That’s from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean and back again. The journey took us more like 50 days, not two months. I had everything theoretically set out in my calendar for two months before we left to make sure we had enough time to spend in every place that we wanted to spend time in, and at some point just as we were coming into Nova Scotia we jumped ahead about 10 days and could never really find a place to delay in again!

I think if there was one place I would have liked to spend more time exploring, it was PEI. Such a neat community I’ve become fascinated with. It’s a very small island compared to the large expanse of a province like BC that I’m used to, but because of that it’s quite a neat place. In some parts it’s mostly potato farms as far as the eye can see, but then in other parts that I’ve become more partial to, it’s smaller farms with the biggest gardens you’ve ever seen and more wild forests that haven’t been logged in at least 20 years.

On our way across we drove through the States. They have beautiful interstate highways that I kept wanting to go further and further south on to go through some of the big cities I’ve always wanted to visit, like Denver and Kansas City, but all my pops could see was the temperature on the thermometer rising the further South we went. He kept looking at the map and telling me I had a crooked eye and my line across the States wasn’t so straight.

Vermont was an absolutely eye catching state. Something about the history and attention to detail and craftsmanship there that just took my heart into a little basket. It could have just been the beauty of the forests, too.

We camped the whole way, drove all day. Everywhere we stopped there were earwigs, and the next day when we were unpacking our tent we counted how many we had transported. I didn’t like this for multiple reasons, but clearly there had been many people before us that had already contributed to the widespread of them. We only got rain a few times. It’s always a pain having to dry things out or pack things up when they’re wet. Then they start to smell and that’s just no good. When this would happen, we’d go out for pizza.

One thing I really like about being on the road is I get so many ideas of how successful operations run. Things like signage and a good choice in brand names and rather iconic storefronts, to name a few things. For my pops and I, this provided many hours of banter as we’re both chalked full of ideas that have a chance of success. We met with many farmers and agriculture specialists who also gave us much insight into our future.

tech // Sony a7 camera / SMC 50mm f1.4 / SMC 35mm / Jupiter 11A 135mm f4

From Vancouver Island to PEI by Ned Tobin

Winthrop, Washington

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