Category Archives: Thailand

Liftoff! My new website is in orbit

website-200At times it seemed like a mountain too steep to climb, a rock too heavy to push. Five hundred hours of design, programming, developing, adding images, redeveloping old images, writing content, typing meta data, etc., have paid dividends and I am now very happy, relieved and proud to present and launch my entirely new website. FlemmingBoJensen.com Mk III is now live!
NB! If you get the old site, reboot your computer, try again.

I cannot convey how sweet it is to finally launch this ‘ship’ and I am very pleased with the result. Before you head over there, take a few minutes to read about the site.  I have so much to tell, I must try to be brief though.

Features

  • Innovative design by Jesse Speer of WideRange Galleries, read more below.
  • Programming and brilliant CMS by Jack Brauer of WideRange Galleries.
  • More than 300 of my very best fine art images have been carefully selected for the galleries.
  • Large preview images. I want my wide open spaces to really bring you to my world, so most images are 1000 pixels wide.
  • The much-fabled Southwest USA gallery is launched.
  • More than 75 new fine art images from USA, Laos, Thailand and Australia from my November 2009 to June 2010 life on the road have been developed and are launching today with the new site.
  • Nearly half of the existing images have been reworked and reprocessed in Photoshop to meet my current standards and processing techniques.
  • New profile, artist statement and bio on the About page.
  • Search index, browse images by search tags, location, themes, colours and still to come, moods.
  • Integrated shopping cart.
  • Still much to come in the following months: New images. Integrated WP blog (this blog will move), large stock image archive, wallpapers, calendars and if I can get 30 hours in the day, books!

Design

Jesse Speer of WideRange Galleries created the design. Jesse blew my mind with his draft one, he truly captured my vision. Here are some of the words I gave Jesse: Wide Open Space, minimalistic, uncluttered, otherworldly magic look, hyperreality, earth tones, red soil, blue sky, orange sunlight, desert, ocean, waves, dunes, grandscapes, view to infinity, elements that float free, weightless, no limits, no boxes, no lines.

Website-background blog His design and the background are created from my images and I love it much and feel it is a work of art in itself so I want to present it here for you to enjoy. This is the otherworldly view to infinity, to a horizon that is not there, to a world you float freely above that draws you in but has no borders, no confinements.

New company name, we "Escape in Landscapes"

FBJ logo

No, I did not change my name to Luke Skywalker. Rather, I have changed my company name to "Flemming Bo Jensen – Escape in Landscapes". The Escape in Landscapes slogan elegantly describes what I am all about and offer. My vision and my otherworldly boundless wide open spaces ensures there is nothing familiar to collapse the dream, allowing you to Escape in Landscapes. Thanks to a dear friend for the words.

Southwest USA gallery launched

USA thumb Yes, the wait is over. The much fabled, much hyped release is reality. Fifty new fine art images from the ethereally beautiful Southwest USA, and still a few to come. Possibly the best work I have ever done. Enjoy this 12,000 km ride through the magnificent southwest.

WideRange Galleries

My new website is a WideRange Galleries website using their custom built CMS for photographers. It has been a great, fruitful and creative project working with Jack and Jesse, and I highly recommend WideRange Galleries if you’re looking for a new website. My sincerest thanks to Jack and Jesse for building and designing such a superb website for me.

Enjoy!

I have gone on for far too long, switch your browser to full screen browsing, head over to FlemmingBoJensen.com and enjoy and escape. I hope you spend some time browsing, then come back here and let me know your thoughts. If you spot any problems, spelling errors, etc. I would also be much obliged if you would inform me. Enjoy!

All systems go. Liftoff. Approaching orbit. Escape in Landscapes.

www.FlemmingBoJensen.comwww.EscapeInLandscapes.com

FBJ-signature-black

Reflections of a Nomad Photographer Part I

nomad-edge-flemming-blog In November 2009 having sold my flat and most of my belongings I left Copenhagen and embarked on my present great journey as a Nomad Photographer. No home, no base, no strings, complete freedom. After six months, three continents, five countries, thousands of images and having been around the world I returned to Copenhagen for a Summer break. “I need sleep” was one of my first sentences.

I felt jetlagged for 4 weeks as I attempted to re-charge and archive thousands of experiences, images, people and emotions inside my messy head. I am now able to reflect on the first chapter of my life as a nomad photographer. If you are not familiar with the beginning of this tale I suggest reading my Dreams become reality post and perhaps my profile. To make sense, my reflections are intimate but of course I have chosen to leave many things out for my public blog.

So…what was it like?

Continue reading

No More Stories Are Told Today I’m Sorry They Washed Away

It is the latest album from one of my favourite bands, Mew. It is also somewhat fitting as I love to tell stories on this blog but I just don’t have a story today. Instead I have just a few images from my past weeks of work. Possibly not a bad trade, this is a photography blog after all.

What have I been up to? Well, I am saving all the images and stories for my new upcoming website. I am adding image files in the hundreds to my new site and typing in metadata till my fingers bleed. I am also processing all shots from the past 6 months of travel, including previously developed images from Thailand and Laos as I was unhappy with the stuff I developed on the road. Working 7-10 hours every day in Lightroom and Photoshop is a nice way to hone one’s post-processing skill. I have been toying with many new techniques and managed everything from awesome to plain weird results. Here’s a few images from Thailand and Laos, re-developed and different from my normal wide open spaces:

Thailand - Cosy Streetlife - copy - blog 

Laos Studying - web copy - blog

The street scenes in Thailand has awful colours from wildly different light sources at night. But once converted to duotone I felt the atmosphere come alive again. It is a great experience to eat at the street kitchens in the suburbs. Second image is from Laos, where I now have developed a lot more of the hmong children portraits. I re-discovered these images having not looked at them for long and am now loving them. Soft light blending of layers and high pass filtering with a healthy does of luminosity layers are Photoshop techniques that really shine on these sort of images I find.

That is all we have in the story book today. Much much more to come….launch approaching!

Good day and Good bye Chiang Mai – my impressions

My home, as much as I have one these days, has for the past two months been a condo in the city of Chiang Mai, Thailand. I have been living in the university area of Chiang Mai and it is one of Chiang Mai’s best. The area around Tae Pae Gate in old town is incredibly touristy and awful. Out here it is true Chiang Mai life, no one speaks English and there are no tourists. I am still an alien but they at least presume I am a resident alien! My 10th floor ridiculously cheap condo enjoys a rather nice view of the city from my balcony:

Chiang Mai sunset view - blog

Just a few minutes walk from here, there is a large collection of food stalls under one large roof. We call them the Uni kitchens and they serve brilliant Thai food all day long for no money! Meals are all either 25 or 30 bath – around half a Euro, a quarter of a dollar, 4 Danish Kroner! For a full meal with free drinking water. We shall miss the Uni Kitchens very much now that we’re moving on!

CM - uni kitchen

Good day and Goodbye Chiang Mai, Thailand – my impressions

As I prepare to move on from Chiang Mai to Kuala Lumpur and then Australia I would like to share some observations with you. To be enjoyed with a healthy amount of sarcasm and irony!

  • where the weather is just about perfect every day. Except there’s no coast and beach, nowhere to relax and enjoy this nice weather.
  • where traffic is absolutely insane and it is perfectly normal to drive 3-4 people on one motorbike, Mum on the phone steering with one hand, 3 year old holding on to the handlebars – no one wearing helmets!
  • where young people find it perfectly normal to wear weird furry hats in the form of a panda, mouse, tiger etc!
  • where wild dogs roam the street wearing T-shirts!
  • where strange Thai soap operas play 24/7 on every TV
  • where noise is no issue. Thai’s do not notice it, are oblivious to it. I on the other hand want to find the off switch in my ears before I go insane. There is so much noise here. PA systems from hell. Traffic making your ears bleed. Disco in the ZOO. Jam bands killing my ears every night from every pub in the area. Outdoor concerts making me want to nuke the area! Noise always noise! Drives me absolutely insane.
  • where you have a hard time walking anywhere. Sidewalks are not for walking. Thai’s do not walk. Sidewalk is for motorbikes to park on, for trees, for phone booths, traffic signs, anything but walking!
  • where dried fish on a stick is considered a lovely snack.
  • where NYE was one great outdoor party dancing in the street best ever!

…and in the best Monty Python tradition I end with:

The Sounds of Chiang Mai

  1. The Grinder. Always someone doing construction work.
  2. The Rooster. Not just at sunrise either.
  3. The Hammer. More construction.
  4. Never ending traffic.
  5. The Rooster. Again.
  6. There is no number 6!
  7. Kings of Leon and Red Hot Chili Peppers Jam bands. Play every bloody night at the pub next to my condo.

The Smells of Chiang Mai

  1. Fried Chili – and sewage
  2. Sewage!
  3. Deep fried banana pan cakes – and sewage
  4. Diesel exhaust!

Chiang Mai. Love weather and food. Noise and traffic have driven me insane. Well more than I already was. Going to Australia. Full stop. Happy for end of Report khrap!

Southern Thailand Bizarro Tropical Bliss

I do apologise for being a bit slack on blogging! My first excuse is the very much less than excellent internet here in Thailand (terrible in other words). Second excuse is I spent the last 8 days in a bizarro world!

Me and my friend spent 8 brilliant days on Koh Lanta, a tropical island outside of Krabi in the Andaman sea in Southern Thailand. It is an absolutely beautiful area of tropical islands, beaches and huge limestone cliffs. Boat rides here offer stunning views of islands such as Koh Phi Phi. It is a bizarro world however as everything is so constructed and fake, resorts, tourists, tour companies etc. Koh Phi Phi islands (of ‘The Beach’ fame) is now unfortunately one big backpacker hell of a tourist trap to be avoided at all cost!

Koh Lanta was brilliant for sunbaking and swimming, beach was quiet and our resort was almost empty. The beach was useless for photography though, but a speedboat trip to Phi Phi offered a few quick and nice opportunities for some snapshots. This is a limestone cliff outside of one of the Phi Phi islands. It is a cropped 17mm shot from a boat so I added a bit of gaussian and motion blur to the water.

Phi phi - blog

The next shot is a slice of tropical bliss from Bamboo Island:

bamboo - blog

The limestone cliffs are a spectacular sight but apart from that I fear the beaches of Australia have slightly spoiled me as Thailand does not quite compare in my eyes. However, being back in Chiang Mai I do miss the beach of Koh Lanta an awful lot!

Merry Christmas to all

Christmas comes in many different forms for many different people, cultures and religions. Whichever way you spend the upcoming holidays I want to extend my best wishes for a great and merry Christmas for you and your family and loved ones!

laos merry xmas I am posting the weirdest and most surreal Xmas decoration ever. This is from the entrance in a guesthouse in Phonsavan in Laos. Now; Laos being the most heavily bombed country in the world with a lot of unexploded ordnance still not cleared – you would think that bombs on display would be the last thing you would see. But no, they seem to display them as a sort of tourist attraction or…I don’t know. We all just stood there staring at this and just, it just does not compute. This is some large bomb with a lot of small cluster bombs (particularly evil) as decorations. And a Merry Xmas sign. So surreal!

My Christmas

I am spending Christmas in the tropics this year with dear friends, in my present home of Chiang Mai, Thailand. This being a buddhist country there is little in the way of Christmas decorations and I am quite thankful for that. Except in the large shopping mall where the "farrangs" (foreigners) get to enjoy a gigantic plastic tree and Thai versions of White Christmas so truly awful your ears bleed! I hate shopping malls with a passion but just when you think they could not get any worse! Copenhagen is covered in snow experiencing truly arctic temperatures, but we have a nice 30 degrees during the day and a big bright sun to go with it!

Bangkok Blade Runner

“I’ve…seen things you people wouldn’t believe”. Classic line, classic movie. And when you stand on the balcony of your friend’s flat on the 21nd floor and look out over Bangkok I instantly think about Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep – better known as Blade Runner.  All that is missing is Vangelis brilliant soundtrack and some rain.

“If only you could see what I have seen with your eyes!”. Well you can or at least you can see what my camera saw! This is a 9 image stitch at roughly 35mm, shot on my 17-40mm L lens. Stitched perfectly on PTgui and the detail in the original is amazing. I still need to work a bit on the sky before printing, it is so hazy here that the city lights up the haze and create banding. Adding noise actually helps defeat banding when printing. Oh, and in this blog version I could not resist adding in a few flying Blade Runner “spinners” via some crude Photoshop work!

Bangkok Blade Runner Spinners - blog

Bangkok defies description. Houses more people than all of Denmark. And when you walk the street it seems they are all on the same sidewalk as you. It is awful. And awfully fascinating for a day or two as everything reminds me of Blade Runner. Much too big for me though. Much too big for it’s own good, traffic can be impossible. So loud. So noisy. Then again, I endure cities, I love them not. I love nature. Cities are an evil necessity. Mother Nature will get revenge someday I hope!

“The light that burns twice as bright burns for half as long”

“All these moments. Lost. In time. Like Tears. In the rain!”

Ramkanphaeng Boat and Ticketeers

By far the easiest and funniest way to get around Bangkok from the Ramkanphaeng area is using the canal boats. Full throttle pedal to the medal they get you up and down the canal in no time! The boats run at great speed and as they pass each other up and down the canal remember to pull the cord to raise the blue striped plastic cover on the side of the boat – or you may find yourself soaked by a big wave. To keep the speed up the boats stop for just 3-4 seconds and hardly even stand still at every stop. You have to be quick and agile to jump on and off quickly and hopefully avoid a swim in the canal! The canal boats also offer an interesting very different view of Bangkok and the suburbs.

Ramkanphaeng canal boat

The boats are staffed by these incredibly skilled ‘Ticketeers’ (my word for lack of a better one). Wearing helmets they run and jump around the boat in perfect balance, collecting money, handing out tickets and helping people on and off in the 3-4 seconds where the boat lies reasonably still at the stops. They are a great fun to watch, I am a big Ticketeer fan!

Ramkanphaeng boat ticketeer

Ending with another street scene from where I lived. Notice the power lines, how they ever get these to work is mind boggling!

Ramkanphaeng street and power lines

When they actually have to repair these it is incredibly they ever find the right power line. Also; watch for hanging live wires – could give you a bit more energy than you would like!

Randomness

  • I am now based in Chiang Mai, have my flat and an outstanding 10th floor view from my balcony overlooking Chiang Mai and all the way to the hills where the sun rises every morning and the weather is perfect.
  • This means I am sorta taking it slowly, finding my feet, will be a bit before I get to landscapes (this is probably hardest on myself as I have little patience!) so for now it is just my average travel photography I post. Last 4 months = hectic. So my balcony is presently my favourite place in the world I must admit.

Bangkok.local

Once upon a time is how many adventures begins. This one starts now (or well it started Tuesday after many preparations). Day Zero. Time is reset as I leave Danish airspace destination Nomadic life, first stop Bangkok.

The flights are turbulent. First one to Amsterdam is physically turbulent as we pass through a major rain storm. Second one from ‘Dam to Bangkok is emotionally turbulent. This is huge. Hours earlier I said goodbye to my two best friends. Now raw electricity shoots through my veins. Goose bumps. Heart races. Into the Wild, the wild unknown. Leave it all behind. New life. Reset time.

Bangkok – alien in Ramkanphaeng

Immigration and luggage is a breeze and I find my good friend Kai – he worked with us on the Malaysia and Borneo expedition in June. We get a taxi to his suburb Ramkanphaeng. Part of the fun and challenge of travel is knowing nothing. This is at the extreme end of that scale! Ramkanphaeng is a large uni suburb, mostly students or people who work at the uni. Kai speaks very good English but no one else does and everything is written in Thai. For 3 days I do not meet any other tourists. Not a single whitefella actually. I cannot read and only Kai understands me. I eat at the street kitchens where I point to food and handover money not understanding the price (does not matter anyway is lunch is something like 30 bath = 1 US dollar). This is actual true Bangkok life, no touristy Khao San Road from hell and it is incredible fascinating to experience this. More Ramkanphaeng stories to come, here are a few snapshots from the streets and markets.

Main road of Ramkanphaeng, add some rain and this is Blade Runner! Very busy street, even more so at night.

Ramkanphaeng Road

Fresh food markets, a symphony of colours and smells:

Ramkanphaeng Fresh Food Market

A typical street kitchen on the small road where I stayed. This is away from the main road and a charming neighbourhood of real life. 

Ramkanphaeng street kitchen

My Hood – kitchens and shots on the street where I stayed.

Ramkanphaeng street scene

Randomness

  • As I am ordering lunch from a street kitchen using my special pointing technique a guy asks me in English “oh you know and like Thai food”. “Yes”, I say surprised, “Love it”. Turns out he is from the Philippines and when I reveal I am Danish he promptly speaks to me in Danish. He used to have a Danish girlfriend. Small world at times or weird coincidences surely!
  • I did spend a few hours in the city centre and saw Khao San Road which is hell on Earth. A disgusting terrible tourist trap backpackers from hell street of nothing but pubs, restaurants and shops pushing crap to tourists. Interesting to see, a completely different world to Ramkanphaeng.
  • Naturally as time is being reset some weird glitches occurs in the ‘Matrix’. In ‘Dam airport a young Brit two meters from me is arrested by the Police and he then promptly proceeds to regurgitate the drugs he is smuggling. On the plane to Bangkok I actually sit next to a couple from Finland named the Harkonens! (read Frank Herbert’s Dune).