Sifting through holiday snaps is generally a pleasure – all that sniggering at old men in questionable swimming trunks and cooing over exotic birdlife – but this enjoyment is at least 80% greater when the traveller is a photographer, and 10% more again when it’s Cait Oppermann. The Brooklyn-based image-maker has an observing eye which allows her to pick up on the details others might miss – like odd happenings at a US sex convention, for example, or a mirrored ceiling in a derelict shopping mall and she found Bangkok to be in no short supply of such interesting corners.
“Going to Bangkok was actually a surprise to me,” Cait explained to us. “About a month before I left, Thomas Prior asked me to assist him on a shoot in Thailand. So I went! I was immediately blown away by how friendly everyone was. People on the street, people we were working with – there was just this amazing sense of genuine kindness from every person I met.
“The thing I noticed right off the bat was the lighting. Here in New York all of our streetlights are sodium-vapour lamps, which emit this orange light on the street that is really ugly in my opinion. In Bangkok, everything is lit by bright white tubes of light that look like fluorescents but somehow don’t give off that terrible green light that gives you a headache. There’s a beautiful white lighting that makes everything look like you’re walking around a film set. Bangkok was dreamy to begin with and the lighting made it dreamier.
“Here in New York all of our streetlights are sodium-vapour lamps, which emit this orange light on the street that is really ugly in my opinion. In Bangkok, everything is lit by bright white tubes of light that look like fluorescents… There’s a beautiful white lighting that makes everything look like you’re walking around a film set.”
“Bangkok is hot during the day, so it seems to really come to life at night. I found myself spending a lot of evenings watching people play sports. I hung around the National Stadium train station where there’s a huge soccer field where people get together and play at night. On my last night, I wandered around by myself and found this building where I heard a crowd cheering. I walked in and found an older mens’ recreational soccer game and stayed for a while just watching them.
“I was very lucky to have stumbled upon something new and interesting every day, but it was especially nice to go back to a restaurant I’d already been to so that I could pick up a conversation I’d left off with the owner. Certain aspects of Bangkok gave it the feel of a small town, in that if you met someone once, they remembered you and treated you like an old friend.”
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