The 7 Stories by Tavepong Pratoomwong‎

in APF Interview/Best of street photography/Street Photography by

The 7 Stories is a new series we are starting today. We will invite photographers from all over the world to share seven of their favourite photographs and the back stories behind them. To kickstart this campaign we invited Tavepong Pratoomwong from Bangkok, Thailand.

Tavepong Pratoomwong was born in Chanthaburi , Thailand in 1981.
He has been interested in the art of photography for long time since he studied in Rangsit University. He almost stopped shooting until the end of 2013 when his wife surprised him with marriage anniversary gift. It was a ticket to Varanasi, India. That ticket , that trip was the turning point of him to take pictures again.
After he went back to Thailand he joined the Street Photo Thailand’s activities ”365 days in 2014” created by Noppadol Weerakitti. It let him go out and taking photos everyday since then.

Now He is a part of photographic collectives.
iN-PUBLiC , StreetPhotoThailand

He shared his top 7 photographs with us and here are the back stories.

1. Ant man / Bangkok , Thailand 2015 

I walked around in town recently. On the upper floor of a building I saw a man writing a note. The building itself looked clean and simple. For me, when I spot some activities on many different levels I always try to find some connection between them. 

I know the tiny man is quite cliché but I always try and find some way to make it special. Near that area there was a food cart with many dishes in front. So the first idea was make his legs dip into the dish. It didn’t work well but I continued shooting this composition. Suddenly he reached the upper beam to help him stand up. But in the photo it’s like he is jumping down to the dish below.

“ Sometimes you never know what result it will be. You have to believe in your own instincts, always concentration and keep the composition right ”

© Tavepong Pratoomwong
© Tavepong Pratoomwong

2. Share / Münster , Germany 2015

This is one of my favorite photos of 2015. In July I had a chance to join the Observe collective exhibition in Germany. After the event, I went with other photographers to the Peace Festival in Münster. It was a good day to meet many photographers from the internet whom I’d never met in person before. The Festival set up in a football-size park. When we reached it, we looked like kids running to a new playground. I saw an interesting group cutting watermelon. I thought I might get some nice action from this kind of scene, so I sat in front of them tilting my camera up to get some beautiful sky and kept shooting. 

A good thing about the festival atmosphere is people did not care much about a camera man. The shot I like the most has a rhythm of hands stacking up watermelon. The right side of the photo has a connection of many circles of hands. It’s far more than I expected in the first place.

© Tavepong Pratoomwong
© Tavepong Pratoomwong

3. The smooth criminal / Bangkok , Thailand 2016

When people realize they were a target of photography, some just ignor, some did not like and some really want to show off ! While I took photo of one man using dropper drug to his eyes. Someone jump in and try to steal his friend’s thunder. Normally I hate when a man show V sign or 
try to play with me but when I saw him do the Michael Jackson ‘s smooth criminal , I decided this guy is exception.

I got this photo when he try to do an anti-gravity lean and fall of.

© Tavepong Pratoomwong
© Tavepong Pratoomwong

4. The Horizon / Brighton , UK 2017

Last April I had an opportunity to attend the Sony world photography awards 2017 in England and then traveled to Brighton. I am very impressed with Brighton. It has a lot of beautiful light, nice people. I got one of my favorite photos this year from this city. It was a time when we were going back to the bus. While walked along the beach, I was looking for a scene to take photos. 

Suddenly, I noticed that the Brighton Old Pier’s are parallel with skyline, which only happens in a very specific perspective. I was very lucky, one of our fellow forgot his belongings at British Airways i360,  So I have the opportunity to wait for someone to fill in this frame. 

After a little wait, there was a child running to his mother. I pressed the shutter immediately. ” Some time it’s not about changing location but changing the point of view “

© Tavepong Pratoomwong
© Tavepong Pratoomwong

5. Headless Dog / Bangkok , Thailand 2014 

In 2014 I join the “365 Day in 2014” event of Street Photo Thailand. The point is to take photos every day and select the best one, then submit on their Facebook page. When I haven’t enough time I always trip around my home area. I discovered a small village where people came out to exercise after work at a playground. That day the rain had just stopped, so I had not met many interesting subjects until I found a dog chasing a cat and got some pictures. Near that dog and cat group, there was a cowardly looking dog standing in the middle of the street. I’m not interested in the dog, but the background with sphere shapes is fine. 

So I decided to take pictures of both of them but the dog suddenly turned its head back to bite something and I shot it 2-3 times. No idea of a headless dog came in my mind. I just wanted to shoot a dog and interesting background, that’s all.

“ I like dogs as Elliott Erwitt use to said They’re sympathetic. They’re nice. They don’t ask for prints. 

© Tavepong Pratoomwong
© Tavepong Pratoomwong

6. Tree man / Tokyo , Japan 2014

One day I was in Japan looking for a camera shop (Yes… if you visit Japan, your camera equipment maniac might relapse). I found a smoking area in front of a train station and a group of office workers smoking. My friend told me this is how they slake off. After taking photos for a while, I saw a little hole in a tree. What if the face of a man poked out through that hole? So I tried positioning the angle to achieve that idea. He did not realize that I was taking his photo (because I was behind the tree) and looked at the advertisements on the big LED monitor on the opposite side. That’s why he turned his face up. I took many photos vertically and horizontally. Finally, I got the best shot when I almost stopped doing it.

Treeman is one of my favorite photos and the one that changed my life. Many people know me from this photo because it was the 1st place winner in the Miami Street Photography Festival 2014.

© Tavepong Pratoomwong
© Tavepong Pratoomwong

7. Metropolis / Tokyo , Japan 2016

Last year I wanted to go and get some rare Pokemon in Ishinomaki city (They make event for help people who affected from tsunami in 2011) and going to take photo around Sendai next. 

Suddenly the earthquake in middle of the night and in the morning I got phone from my mom that my lovely dog died in Bangkok . I decided to change destination to Tokyo. I used the walk as meditation to forget those bad news, then I finally found this shot outside a coffee shop. I first shot a man and he aware of me. So I changed the subject to a woman who sitting next to him and when I try to composition framing I observe some connection.

“ Good day , Bad day , Anyway…The show must go on ”

© Tavepong Pratoomwong
© Tavepong Pratoomwong

We hope you enjoyed the back stories. If you would like to suggest names of photographers, who should be featured in “The 7 Stories”, please leave a comment.

You can follow Tavepong HERE

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