"As they jumped out on to the track and picked flowers or took a short walk to stretch their legs, they felt as if the whole place had only been brought into being by the halt and that neither the squelchy marsh nor the broad river nor the fine house and church on the steep bank opposite would have existed except for the accident (stoppage of the train). Even the sun as it shone its evening light on the scene seemed to be a stage prop, a purely local manifestation." - Boris Pasternak, Dr. Zhivago. Over the past 10 or so years, one thought that has crossed my mind time and time again as I am in transit towards somewhere, is how if one were to simply 'stop', and step off, as we are not meant to, then what would become of us? That is to say if you were barreling along on an overnight train, and you threw your bag into the rail-side ditch, and made the leap from car-step to hardened earth below, rolling and coming to your senses in the silence as the light of the train became smaller and smaller on the horizon, is that where it would end? And in so many ways, I think this represents the biggest challenge of them all, when it comes to being Free; and a leap I may make or never make, even metaphorically. I mean, if we just decided in an instant, to rewrite it all, and throw away our contentedness in favor of our deepest curiosity, believing that worlds could come from nothing, and be more beautiful than we could ever see, when we close our eyes; I ask to you, if time would continue, and if we'd be pulled along, until we had no choice but to just Let Go. This thought goes deep, so I'll keep it going I think, but as for these photos they are of a farmer and his cows in the countryside of Bagan, away from the tourists and the cars, in a field marked by its irrelevance, and dotted with clay-red temples, all throughout. And in the same vain, it had taken a stopping of two wheels, and a walk down an overgrown dirt path and through a thicket, to happen upon it, and to then smile in silence as we had, as two worlds came together that were not meant to, in the summer months of our journeys and another passing year.
Bio: Tavepong Pratoomwong is an award-winning Street photography based in Bangkok.
He began his photography in University. After graduation, he and his friend followed the dream they had when they were in high school. That dream was to do a photo documentary and publish it in Thailand’s National Geographic magazine.
After he established his own company, he had to spend most of his time on the new born business. He took photos less and less as time went by but was still interested in camera equipment. He almost stopped and never thought to return to take photos anymore. That was until the end of 2013 when his wife surprised him with a wedding anniversary gift. It was a ticket to Varanasi, India. That ticket, that trip was the turning point for him to take pictures again.
After he went back to Thailand, he joined the Street Photo Thailand’s activities “365 days in 2014”. It let him go out and take photos every day since then. “Good day, Bad day, But Every day.” The result from the hard work won him many international street photography awards such as:
2014 : 1st Place Winner Miami Street Photography Festival
2014 : The winners EyeEm Awards (Street Photographer)
2015 : 1st prize Winner Street Shooting Around the World 2015 : The Los Angeles Center of Photography 2017 : 1st Place Winner Independent-Photo (Street Photography)
PHOTO: The Smooth Criminal
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I often wish I could go back, change where I was standing, how I held the camera, the composition, the way the subject interacted with me, the shadows, the imperfections in the scene, etc etc etc. This also applies to the rest of my life, not just photography. I’m a control freak, a self-doubter and a perfectionist all in one. Eternally fighting myself for choices, even those I haven’t yet made. My heart is open but my head is full of incertitude. Lost, deep within a world which no longer looks or feels familiar. I have no idea where to put my feet down and where the walls are. I am forever wondering, wishing I could fly, away.