After returning from the India trip I had to stay for a couple of days in Bangkok to get new photographs for the publisher of a forthcoming book telling The Stories about the Foremost Elder Nuns. This book will be available within the next month, and I will update on its publication soon.
These stories, and the stories of the Foremost Lay Disciples, are illustrated on the walls of the Temple of the Reclining Buddha in Wat Pho. I had tried on a couple of occasions to get good photos of these murals, but it is difficult, because of very tall murals (maybe 20ft or more) and cramped space. Having a super-wide angle lens (equivalent to 16-50mm) on my new Sony A6000, and much better picture quality all round, I thought I would give it another try.
I managed to stay once more with my good friend Ajahn Thiab at Wat Pho, and straight after breakfast, before the Temple was officially open, I went along and entered through the cleaners’ entrance. Having just come from India I was a bit worried that I would be stopped, but Thailand, being a Buddhist country, is very, very different from India, and even the security guards started to help me get the required photos.
I managed in one shoot to photograph not just the required nuns’ stories, but also the murals depicting the lay disciples stories; and the following day I went back with a telephoto lens attached (equivalent to 105-315mm) and managed to get good close ups of many of the murals also. Nearly all of these photos were taken at a very high ISO 3200, which earlier cameras I have had could not match and the picture quality is excellent.
The results now replace the photographs I had published before, and can be found on the same page. I also have another 300+ photographs from Wat Pho on the Thailand page of the Photo Dharma website, which are worth checking out as this is one of the finest examples of Thai temple art in all its aspects in the country.
This work then concluded my photoshoot for this trip and in the afternoon I returned to IBC, very tired indeed, but with a fine collection of photographs to share in the coming weeks.
Mural showing Ven. Ānanda requesting the Buddha to allow women’s ordination