WORKING COMMUNITIES IN BANGKOK CHINATOWN

Mr Heng in Bangkok Chinatown is a most welcoming man. Not content with serving me home made juice and bottles of water, he took great care to brew and serve some reviving Oolong tea… perfectly timed at the point where I had grown weary and wandered down an enticing alleyway and towards his mechanic shop. He beckoned me inside, observing …

HOPE FOR THE ELDERLY IN THE BANGKOK SLUMS

Funny how you can see someone on a weekly basis for almost a year and have no idea what they do for a living. So it was with Linda Herrmann who I knew from choir, who is director of Project Life, a Bangkok slum charity in Thailand that seeks to help the poor and vulnerable of Thailand. As part of Project …

PATTAYA STREET WORKERS FIND NEW BEGINNINGS

The day Khun Nok (below right) gave birth to her second baby, she had a choice.  She could send him upcountry to the poverty and hardship she faced as a child and return to work on the streets of Pattaya. Or she could stop working on the streets and keep her son – and therefore sever all contact with her …

ART AND FLAMENCO IN SITGES, SPAIN

Some days unfold in a way you could never predict. So it was one sleepy Sunday morning as I strolled through the cobbled streets of Sitges, near Barcelona. I had ventured out to capture the stillness of the streets before the throngs descended for the spectacular Festa Major later in the day. The narrow Calle de la Carreta alleyway caught my eye …

VIOLIN MASTERCLASS WITH GYÖRGY PAUK

One afternoon this spring, I found myself in a small practice room at the Royal Academy of Music in London, photographing a private masterclass led by György Pauk, Violin Professor at the Royal Academy and one of the greatest violinists of our time. During the masterclass, I was hugely impressed by the performances of his students Kristine Balanas and Chieri Tomii, …

BHUTAN AND BEYOND

One of my favourite projects at the start of the year is planning travel for the coming months.   For those who like going off the beaten track, I can highly recommend Bhutan and the Bhutan dance festivals; and this is the perfect time to book a trip. Spectacular dance festivals run from February to April and September to October.  These are …

FESTA MAJOR SITGES, SPAIN

Festa Major Sitges, Spain The Catalans know how to party. My trip to Europe this summer was rounded off perfectly with festivities and a feast of fine foods in the beautiful seaside town of Sitges, near Barcelona in the Catalonia region of north eastern Spain. The Festa Major is the annual feast day celebration at the end of August each year, …

A SECOND CHANCE IN THE KLONGTOEY SLUMS

Young Phet is one of the lucky ones. Now 2 years old, he is being raised by his great-grandmother, and growing up with the stability and support of family. His great-grandmother, Yai Phat (below left) lost two of her sons when they were young. One drowned in the river by the temple at the age of eight. The second, Phet’s …

MUAY THAI KICKBOXING

Saenchai has the presence and charisma of Mohammed Ali. I met him in July 2010 when I photographed the international Muay Thai tournament in Nakhon Pathom Stadium, Thailand. Eight nations were represented: Thailand, Japan, Spain, UK, USA, Iran, France and Germany. The meticulous preparation had elements of the physical, spiritual and ceremonial. Physical in the oiling, massaging and knuckle-binding; spiritual …

THAILAND TATTOO FESTIVAL

Nothing can fully prepare you for the crazed and frenzied activity of the Thailand Tattoo Festival or Wai Khru (‘honour the teacher’) ceremony at Wat Bang Phra temple. This extraordinary event takes place 50kms west of Bangkok and draws thousands of people each year, most notably those who make a living as policemen, soldiers or members of Thailand’s criminal underworld. The sak …