Monday, July 28, 2014

Eid Prayers

Men pray in front of the Songkhla Central Mosque near Hat Yai on Eid al-Fitr

I went to Songkhla for Eid al-Fitr, one of the most important holy days in the Muslim calendar. It marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. Ramadan is the most important month on the Muslim calendar. In the west, we think of it as the month of fasting - when Muslims don't eat or drink from sunrise to sunset. But it's really a lot more than that. It's a time of restraint and prayer, so there should be no gossip or backbiting (restraining the mouth), there should be no taking what's not yours (restraining the hands) or looking at inappropriate images (restraining the eyes). The idea of "fasting" goes well beyond eating or drinking. Drinking in this case refers to water, tea, juice etc since devout Muslims are not supposed to drink alcohol under any circumstances. 
Women walk to the Eid services at Songkhla's Central Mosque.

Prayers for Eid are usually offered in large halls or open fields. Because it's a time of coming together, many mosques aren't big enough to accommodate to crowds. In Songkhla, people gathered in the street in front of the mosque and spread out their prayer rugs. The muezzin makes the "call to prayer" and people pray. Men and women pray separately. In mosques, there are separate rooms (or a screened off area) for women. At the Songkhla mosque, the women also prayed in the street but behind the men. 
A man prays during Eid service in Songkhla

After the service children play games and are given small gifts, usually sweets and a small amount of cash (in Songkhla it was 20Baht, about .60¢ US).
Men greet each other after Eid prayers.

There are more photos from Eid in Songkhla in my archive or available from ZUMA Press

Finally, most of the photos in my archive are available for editorial use or self fulfillment as prints. If you see something you'd like to use or just hang on the wall, click on the "Add to Cart" button and follow the onscreen prompts. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Thai military students and a sailor participate in a sing-a-long during the party to restore happiness to the Thai people on Sanam Luang

It's party time in Bangkok. On the two month anniversary of the coup that overthrew the elected government, the ruling junta is throwing a series of parties meant to Win Hearts and Minds and restore happiness to the Thai people
Pictures with a military mascot

There were several "happiness" parties in Bangkok in the weeks after the coup and as the two month anniversary approached the NCPO announced plans for more parties this week. There were parties in the provinces but the big party was at Sanam Luang. 
Historic reenactors engage in some friendly sword play before their show

The party on Sanam Luang featured food from all corners of Thailand, music acts, free haircuts, historic pageants and movies. There was a sort of state fair atmosphere (without the midway rides) right down to the food, most of which was available on a stick. There were health checks from civilian and military medical organizations and government ministries set up tents and booths to do citizen outreach. 
Men line up for a patriotic parade

It seemed like the entertainment was carefully vetted. The junta made arrangements to show the King Naresuan 5, the fifth movie in an ongoing series of historic epics about King Naresuan, King of the Ayutthaya kingdom from 1590 until his death in 1605. He is one of the most revered kings in Thai history and credited with saving Thailand (then Siam) from Burmese conquest in the 1500s. 
A kite vendor sells a kite to a child

There are more happiness events scheduled through the weekend. Today the party moves from Sanam Luang up the road a bit to Ratchaprasong, where the Tourism Authority of Thailand has planned a happiness event of its own.

Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik said, “This event will be unmatched in the annals of Thai tourism," and went on to call it the "mother of all bounce back parties." There will be a "Happiness Activity" (free ice cream is the prize) and something called a "Happiness Surprise." With a build up like that, I feel like I pretty much have to cover today's party. 

There are more photos from Thursday's Happiness Party in my archive or available from ZUMA Press
Finally, most of the photos in my archive are available for editorial use or self fulfillment as prints. If you see something you'd like to use or just hang on the wall, click on the "Add to Cart" button and follow the onscreen prompts. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Things Fall Into Place

A girl sets out a meal for her family on the beach in Kao Seng, a village in Songkhla province.

One of the things I like photographing is the little incongruities of life. defines “Incongruous” as “out of keeping or place; inappropriate.” That’s certainly what I thought when I saw this living room set on a beach in Kao Seng, a little north of Hat Yai in Songkhla province. I was there photographing fishermen and walked past the furniture. I made a mental note of it but photographically it didn’t work without a human element.

I went down the beach and photographed the fisherfolk for a couple of hours. I was walking back to my car and the young lady was setting the table. This was the picture I was waiting for, the moment it clicked. Everything came together for a few seconds – the blue sky, the aquamarine ocean, the girl’s blue clothing all contrasted with the red furniture set and the girl’s warm complexion. Everything fell into place to create the photo I saw in my mind when I originally walked past the furniture.
Shoppers ask for directions on Orchard Road in Singapore.

A few months later I was on Orchard Road in Singapore. It was the Christmas season and seasonal decorations lined the busy thoroughfare. I was trying to photograph people walking between and around the statues of Mary and Joseph, Wise Men and donkeys. The photos were more like snapshots and not really working. Then lost shoppers and a Good Samaritan wandered into the frame. It was the moment that clicked, when everything fell into place.

Finally, on a road trip in northern Laos, I stumbled upon this scene.
Migrant workers from China in a bus in northern Laos.

This photo was a gift. There was no waiting for something to fall into place. I was headed up to the Lao-Chinese border. I saw this scene as we passed a bus full of Chinese migrant workers. I practically screamed at the driver to pull over and was out of the car before it came to a complete stop. I ran back down the highway to the bus and nothing had changed – the person on the lower bunk was still dangling his legs out the window while the person in the upper bunk was still framed by the window. I made a couple of frames before the person in the upper bunk moved out of the frame. This was the easiest of these three photos, there was no waiting, no hoping for something to happen.

As a photojournalist I can’t set up a photo. I rely on luck and timing to complete my photos. That doesn’t mean being purely reactive though. Only in the bottom photo was I completely reactive. In the photos from Kao Seng and Orchard Road I saw the pictures before they actually took place. I knew what I wanted and I essentially waited for things to fall into place.

Finally, most of the photos in my archive are available for editorial use or self fulfillment as prints. If you see something you'd like to use or just hang on the wall, click on the "Add to Cart" button and follow the onscreen prompts. 

Answering a Higher Calling

A monk watches from a doorway as men are ordained as monks and novices at Wat Phra Dhammakaya

I photographed an ordination this morning. Seventy-seven men, from 18 countries, were ordained at Buddhist monks and novices at Wat Phra Dhammakaya, in Pathum Thani, about an hour north of Bangkok. 

Ordination in Buddhism is different from ordination in a Christian faith. In Theravada Buddhism, becoming a monk and joining the Sangha is a right of passage. Many men enter the sangha to meditate and find inner peace. Joining the Sangha can be a lifelong commitment but many men become monks for just a few weeks or months.
A man being ordained as a novice (young monk) participates in a procession around the ordination hall. 

The Venerable Ronnapob Jotilabho, head of the The International Dhammadayada Ordination Program (IDOP), which organized the event said, “Being ordained as a monk or novice enables a person to devote time and attention to learn the art of inner peace and happiness skill, which is life’s most important knowledge.” 

Thai Buddhists are very tolerant of other faiths and welcome people of any religion into their temples. You don't have to be Buddhist to study meditation in a Thai temple (though it helps). 

Wat Phra Dhammakaya, seat of the Dhammakaya sect, though takes that tolerance to a very high level. Today's ordination ceremony was conducted in three languages: Thai, English and Chinese. The Dhammakaya sect has a very active outreach program and seems almost evangelical compared to traditional Thai Theravada Buddhism. 
Men being ordained file into the "ubosot," or ordination hall

There are more photos from the ordination in my archive or available from ZUMA Press
Finally, most of the photos in my archive are available for editorial use or self fulfillment as prints. If you see something you'd like to use or just hang on the wall, click on the "Add to Cart" button and follow the onscreen prompts. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Registering Migrant Workers

Cambodian migrant workers wait their turn to apply for temporary Thai ID cards at a "one stop service center" set up by Thai immigration authorities in Bangkok

It wasn't as much an invitation to return as it was admission to a club. Migrants were welcomed back if they met certain requirements, specifically they have to have jobs and their employers need to vouch for them. The first one stop centers were set up in Samut Sakhon, a fishing port and industrial city with a large migrant population. After that the government opened one stop centers in cities along the Thai-Cambodian border. Now they've opened centers in Bangkok proper. 
A Cambodian woman and her child wait to sign up for temporary ID cards and work permits.

The procedure at each of the centers is the same. Migrant workers, most of whom were undocumented, applied for temporary ID cards and work permits. They showed proof of employment to immigration authorities and went through a screening process. The migrants were photographed and fingerprinted and issued temporary ID cards. The last step in the process was a very brief and perfunctory health check. 
Immigration authorities set up a large processing center at the Bangkok Youth Center in the Din Daeng section of Bangkok.

An immigration police officer helps a Cambodian woman pose for her ID card "mug shot." 

I've been covering immigration for more than 20 years. I've always been struck by the similarities Thailand and the US share when it comes to immigration. 

Both countries have a complicated relationship with undocumented immigrants. Immigrants provide the low wage muscle that powers the economy (Thailand is the world's leading seafood exporter - most of the workers in the seafood industry are Burmese. Many of the construction workers in Bangkok are Cambodian. In the US, where Latin American immigrants make up most of the agricultural workers and construction workers.) 

Conservatives and nativists rail against immigrants in both countries, claiming they bring disease and crime and take jobs from, here, Thais and in the US, Americans. 
Immigration police check IDs as Cambodians leave the one stop center

There are also differences of course. Many in the Thai fishing industry, especially crews of trawlers, are held in slavery and human trafficking is more prevalent here than in the US. 

At the same time, you would never see Thai politicians leading demonstrations against Burmese refugee children the way we've seen American politicians leading demonstrations against Latin American refugee children.

As imperfect as the Thai system is, you have to give them credit for trying to deal with the issue of undocumented immigrants and guest workers in a way that recognizes the workers are an essential part of the economy. 
Finally, most of the photos in my archive are available for editorial use or self fulfillment as prints. If you see something you'd like to use or just hang on the wall, click on the "Add to Cart" button and follow the onscreen prompts. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Flowers for the Buddha

People place "Dancing Lady Ginger" flowers onto a float at a parade for Khao Phansa (the start of the rains retreat) at Wat Phra Phutthabat in Saraburi

This weekend is the start of the Buddhist Rains Retreat, one of the most important Buddhist holidays in Southeast Asia. Temples throughout Thailand were crowded with people making merit and offering prayers. 

The holiday marks the time, more than a millennia ago, that Buddhist holy men, who then traveled from village to village, stopped traveling and stayed in a community for the rainy season. These communities evolved into the first Buddhist monasteries.  
People wait at the side of a road in the district for the procession of monks to pass them
Monks line up before the procession.

The holiday is celebrated in different ways in different parts of Thailand. 

At Wat Phra Phutthabat, in Saraburi province, a couple of hours north of Bangkok, people gather by the thousands to present monks with "Dok Khao Pansa" (also known as "Dancing Lady Ginger") flowers which are only grown in Saraburi and bloom only around the time of the Rains Retreat. 
A procession of monks walks through the crowd, people line up and present them with flowers and wash the monks' feet as they pass

Wat Phra Phutthabat is one of the most important temples in Thailand. The left footprint of the Buddha is housed in a small chapel at the top of the temple. Buddhists from around the world come to the temple to pray in the chapel and to get their "teab" (a sort of Buddhist spiritual passport) stamped. 
A man releases caged birds as an act of compassion to make merit during the Tak Bat Dok Mai

The Tak Bat Dok Mai is just far enough from Bangkok that it's off the tourist path. Tens of thousands of Thais come though to make merit and enjoy the day. 

There are more photos from the Tak Bat Dok Mai in my archive or available from ZUMA Press
Finally, most of the photos in my archive are available for editorial use or self fulfillment as prints. If you see something you'd like to use or just hang on the wall, click on the "Add to Cart" button and follow the onscreen prompts. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Back to Thailand

A Thai immigration worker (right) helps a Cambodian migrant through the process of registering at the One Stop Service Center in Aranyaprathet

In June, hundreds of thousands of Cambodian migrant workers fled Thailand, fearing a crackdown by the Thai military junta against undocumented workers. By some estimates, more than 220,000 Cambodians flooded back into Cambodia in a one week period. 

No one seems to know exactly how many Cambodians live in Thailand, estimates range from 200,000 to 300,000. So depending on who you believe, that's every Cambodian in Thailand or most of the Cambodians living in Thailand. In any case it's a huge number. 

Most of the Cambodians crossed back through Poipet, a small (population 90,000) dusty town known for gambling and easy access to Angkor Wat. Poipet's population more than doubled during the access. 

In Thailand, businesses that rely on migrant workers went silent. Construction sites were idled. Garment factories shut down. Nannies and servants disappeared. Thai businessmen sounded the alarm and the junta responded. 
A Cambodian woman and her son arrive at the one stop service center in Aranyaphratet. Thai police were shuttling Cambodian migrants from the border to the immigration office, about one kilometer from the border. 

The junta told immigration to set up "one stop service centers" in provinces with large migrant populations. They also told immigration to speed up the return of Cambodian migrants to Thailand. 

I covered the Cambodian exodus in June and went back to Aranyaphrathet Wednesday to photograph the their return. 

In order to qualify for entry into Thailand, migrants had to show that they had a job waiting for them. They weren't being admitted to look for work. There are brokers on the Cambodian side of the border connecting job seekers with job providers.  
A Cambodian family leaves the one stop center after getting their temporary Thai ID card.

Thai immigration authorities put up shade structures in the parking lot of their office. Hundreds of Cambodians sat quietly in the shade, munching on snacks, waiting to be called in for an interview. 

In the office, Thai officials interviewed the migrants, verified that they had jobs waiting, fingerprinted and photographed them and then issued them temporary ID cards. The actual process to get a temporary ID only took a few minutes but there were so many people waiting that many people will spend the entire day waiting. 

The one stop center in Aranyaphratet is temporary. It opened on June 26 and will close on July 25. Officials said they see more people every day. The first week they opened in June, about 200 people a day came through. They expected more than 800 to come through Wednesday. As word spreads about the program in Cambodia and more Cambodians get travel documents and guaranteed jobs the center will become busier. 

There are more photos from Aranyaphratet in my archive or available from ZUMA Press
Finally, most of the photos in my archive are available for editorial use or self fulfillment as prints. If you see something you'd like to use or just hang on the wall, click on the "Add to Cart" button and follow the onscreen prompts. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Rice Inspections

Thai soldiers take samples of rice from a warehouse in Wang Nam Sap, Suphan Buri, Thailand

Rice is more than just a grain in Thailand. It's a way of life, a driver of the economy and one of the most contentious political issues in the country. For decades Thailand was the world's leading rice exporter, wholesalers and industry titans got rich when Thai rice fed the world. But at the same time, Thai rice farmers did not reap the rewards of the seeds they were sowing. 

The governments supported by Thaksin Shinawatra enacted populist policies that guaranteed a minimum price paid to rice farmers. Basically, the government bought rice at well above market prices and warehoused it, keeping it off the market and hoping the artificially created rice shortage would drive up the price. 

Things didn't work out according to plan. Farmers weren't paid on time for their rice, forcing some to insolvency and driving others to suicide. Just as the Thai government was holding rice off the market, India and Vietnam brought new rice to market and prices actually went down. 

Other farmers, especially rubber farmers who didn't support the Shinawatra clan, clamored for equal treatment, closing roads and paralyzing parts of southern Thailand. 

Ultimately, the rice crisis and alleged mismanagement of the rice pledging scheme (the government called the plan a "scheme," use of that word doesn't have the same negative connotation in Thailand that it does in the US) was one of the leading causes of the political paralysis that gripped Thailand in the last year and led to the coup that unseated the Pheu Thai government. 
Workers climb down a bag of rice sacks in a warehouse of government owned rice in Suphan Buri

After the coup the military started inspecting rice stocks, looking for evidence of corruption and determining the saleability of Thai rice. I went out to Suphan Buri Tuesday to photograph soldiers drawing rice samples and agricultural inspectors testing the rice. 
Finally, most of the photos in my archive are available for editorial use or self fulfillment as prints. If you see something you'd like to use or just hang on the wall, click on the "Add to Cart" button and follow the onscreen prompts. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A Morning in Bangkok

Dragon dancers perform on Soi Phum Chit in front of the 14-00 firehouse

Khao Phonsa, the start of the Buddhist Rains Retreat, is next week. The Rains Retreat is a three month period when monks and novices generally stay in the temple for intense meditation. 

It's origin is as much practical as it is spiritual. The Buddha's earliest followers were homeless ascetics and living as a homeless person, ascetic or not, during India's monsoons is difficult. Groups of the Buddha's followers would live together through the rainy season in a community. 

It's mistakenly called "Buddhist Lent" in the west because some Buddhists give up meat, smoking or alcohol for the period but in reality the rains retreat predates the Christian idea of Lent by at least 500 years. 
People make merit by donating money to a neighborhood temple.

Buddhist temples will be packed next weekend with people making merit and praying before the holiday. One of the most beautiful celebrations of the day is in Saraburi, a provincial town a couple of hours north of Bangkok. People line the road in front of the temple and present thousands of monks with flowers and wash their feet as the monks process through town and up to the hilltop temple. 

Saturday there was a parade in a residential part of Bangkok several kilometers from downtown. Groups of Lion and Dragon dancers walked a winding route, stopping in intersections to perform. They also stopped at random intervals to drink (water and juice) and eat. This is Thailand; there's always food available. 
Lion dancers perform in the parade. Lion dances are usually one or two people in a stylized lion. Dragon dances have five or six or many more people manipulating a stylized dragon with sticks, not unlike a puppet

This was the most unique Khao Phansa celebration I've seen. Lion and dragon dances are originally Chinese, and while they're not unusual here, they are unusual in Theravada holidays. 

There are two schools of Buddhism, Theravada and Mahayana. Theravada Buddhism is dominant in southern Asia (roughly Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and southern Vietnam). Mahayana Buddhism is dominant in northern Asia (China, Japan, Korea, northern Vietnam). 

The lion and dragon dances are common in Mahayana Buddhism, which doesn't observe the rains retreat
Spectators on the parade route

There are more photos from the parade in my archive or available from ZUMA Press
Finally, most of the photos in my archive are available for editorial use or self fulfillment as prints. If you see something you'd like to use or just hang on the wall, click on the "Add to Cart" button and follow the onscreen prompts. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

What's Your Plan B?

I manage my photo archive with Lightroom, currently at version 5.5

Apple's recent announcement that it is killing off Aperture, their professional level photo organizing and editing tool, is going to leave a lot of photographers scrambling to find a replacement. Apple is rolling out a new photo editing application in the latest iteration of its operating system, OS X Yosemite, aka 10.10 (due later this year).

The new application will be called Photos and will merge Apple's consumer app, iPhoto and professional app, Aperture, into one and will synchronize them to the photos on your iPhone or iPad via the cloud.

Apple has said Photos will import Aperture libraries but beyond that has not indicated whether or not Photos will be a feature rich replacement for Aperture or consumer level iPhoto with enhanced editing tools.

This is not the first time Apple has killed off a professional product and replaced it with one that, at first glance, is significantly less robust.

In 2011, Apple replaced Final Cut Pro (then at version 7) with Final Cut Pro X. At the time there was a great hue and cry that Apple was abandoning professional users (Final Cut 7 was used by some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including the Coen Brothers, who edited "True Grit" and others in Final Cut) and replacing it with what was panned as a beefed up version of iMovie. Users moved to Adobe's Premiere and Avid's Media Composer after trying Final Cut Pro X and finding it lacking.

Digitally speaking, 2011 was a long time ago and Apple has worked hard to improve Final Cut and the most current version of Final Cut Pro X is a more than worthy replacement for Final Cut 7 but the damage was done and Apple lost a chunk of the professional video editing community.

I don't use Aperture. I tried it when it was at version 1 (way back in 2005) judging it against Adobe's Lightroom, which was also at version 1. At that time both products were pretty immature but Aperture required high end video cards to run most efficiently and I was using Aperture in low end MacBooks. Low end MacBooks, in 2005, did not have high end video cards and my experience with Aperture was miserable so I moved my workflow from Bridge/Photoshop over to Lightroom.

Although Aperture was not right for me, I always liked that Aperture was there. The competition between Apple and Adobe was a good thing and although Lightroom was continuously improved while Aperture seemed to languish, Aperture provided a real alternative to Lightroom. I thought Aperture was my Plan B in the event Adobe somehow screwed up Lightroom.

The problem always was that Lightroom and Aperture are incompatible. Although the two applications are similar and do many of the same things, they do them in different ways. If I had moved my archive into Aperture, I would have lost all of my edits, collections etc. (The same thing happens if you move an archive from Aperture to LR.) That's a pretty unpleasant scenario.

Imagine you have a library of hundreds of thousands of raw files. (My catalog from just two years in Bangkok has about 150,000 raw files.) That's a lot of sorting and editing to lose.

My original idea, if I needed to use Plan B, was to have two archives. I would keep the last version of Lightroom with my past archive and going forward put all my new work into Aperture. It wouldn't have been perfect, but Plan B's seldom are.

The big question for Aperture users at this point is what to do? Do they migrate their archive to Lightroom? Depending on the size of your archive that can be a Herculean task. Or do they wait and see how things settle?

Apple is giving Aperture users a little advance warning and has promised to update Aperture to work with OS X Yosemite. That will be the last update to Aperture and likely not include any new features or compatibility for new cameras. They're also promising a path to migrate from Aperture to Photos.

For its part, Adobe has already taken advantage of the demise of Aperture and is marketing Lightroom to Aperture users. If you decided to migrate your archive over to Lightroom there are a couple of places to go for help.

The first thing to keep in mind, whether you're moving from Aperture to Lightroom or setting up a Lightroom archive for the first time, is to think about what you're doing and do it in an organized, logical way.

For that I strongly recommend Gavin Gough's excellent Lightroom book "The Photographer's Workflow." This e-book will help you set up and maintain your Lightroom library in a near bulletproof way.

John Beardsworth, on his Lightroom Solutions website, has step by step directions on moving your library from Aperture to Lightroom. After you've read Gavin's book about setting up your Lightroom catalog, you should read Beardsworth's article on migrating to Lightroom. Then read it again. You're about to embark on a grand digital adventure (I'm trying to make this sound fun), so if you're not 100% certain of what you're doing, read the Beardsworth piece a third time.

But do you need to migrate to Lightroom (or any of the other photo management applications like Phase One Media Pro)? That's a decision only you can make.

If Aperture is working for you now, it's not going to stop working for you just because Apple is pulling the plug on it. You can continue to use it, at least in the short term and probably for another year or two (with Apple's promised compatibility for Yosemite).

If you've been unhappy with Aperture and wondering what your options are, Apple's announcement should be the incentive you need to look at Lightroom and other choices.

If you're a low volume photographer who mostly photographs on weekends or in your spare time, you might be able to wait and see what Photos delivers when it's rolled out some time after Yosemite is released.

No one has really worked with Photos yet so we don't know what we're going to get. It's probably hoping for too much that it directly replaces Aperture and competes head to head with Lightroom but we should have an idea of its potential in pretty quick order after it's released.
My iPhoto library. Whatever iPhoto is, it's not a replacement for either Lightroom or Aperture. It too is being killed off in the transition to Yosemite and Photos.

Whether you use Aperture, Lightroom, Capture One or any of the other high and low end choices, Apple's announcement should serve as a wake up call. It's not practical to maintain two libraries in two applications but you owe it to yourself to think about your choices and how you would migrate your photo archive to a new application if you needed to. In my case, I need to think about what my Plan C is since Apple has taken Plan B off the table.

Finally, most of the photos in my archive are available for editorial use or self fulfillment as prints. If you see something you'd like to use or just hang on the wall, click on the "Add to Cart" button and follow the onscreen prompts. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Breaking the Fast

Men pray before the Iftar meal at Haroon Mosque (Masjid) in Bangkok

Iftar is the meal that breaks the day long fast during the holy month of Ramadan. For many of the world's 1.57 billion Muslims it's the first meal of the day. 

Thailand is predominantly Buddhist but there's a very large Muslim minority in Bangkok (and a Muslim majority in Thailand's deep south). I went to Haroon Mosque to photograph the Iftar meal. I like photographing at Haroon Mosque (mosques are called "masjids" in Thailand). 

It was established in the early 19th century by traders from Java (now Indonesia) and is one of the first mosques in Bangkok. It's also one of the most diverse in the city. People from around the world are welcomed to its services and celebrations.

I've photographed Iftar at several mosques in Thailand. Iftar at Haroon Mosque reflects its diversity. Last night the menu included somosas (from India), Burmese curries (from Burma/Myanmar), spring rolls (Thailand) and other dishes from Indonesia, Malaysia and India. All of it was outstanding. 
Curries at Haroon Mosque. 

Finally, most of the photos in my archive are available for editorial use or self fulfillment as prints. If you see something you'd like to use or just hang on the wall, click on the "Add to Cart" button and follow the onscreen prompts.