Annie by Marcus Burtenshaw

 Annie

Annie

I had an incredible time shooting the gorgeous Annie at the weekend, but before you rush off to take a look at the set, take a quick look around at some of the changes I have made to the site. 

I wanted a home page with a link to various galleries so I can try and work out which type of photography you guys like the most, and it's now much easier to buy my images

If you have ever wanted a beautiful cityscape picture for the wall of your home or office, or even for use in a publication, you can now buy prints or download any image on the website and via the magic of the web none of the images will be watermarked. 

So please let me know what you think of the new layout, and of course the gorgeous Annie, enjoy!

 

 

 

The 2016 Rocket Festival, Yasothon, Thailand by Marcus Burtenshaw

 Rocket Festival, Yasothon, Thailand 2016

I first heard about the Rocket Festival via some clips of the Bang Fai Festival on YouTube of enormous rockets (Bang Fai) being set off in a field to blaring music and the delight of an obviously very drunk crowd.

So when a good friend asked if I wanted to go, I jumped at the chance, after all who doesn't like whisky and explosions, and in the famous last words of adventurers, what's the worst that could happen? 

So we booked flights on Air Asia, from don Muang airport to Ubonratchathani Airport from where we would take a taxi (1500 THB) to our rooms at the Green Park Grand Hotel in Yasothon.  So with the logistics organised (or so we though) and with a few weeks to go until the second weekend in May (which is when the festival is held every year) we started planning. 

First of all we wanted to know what this Rocket / Bang Fai Festival was all about. There's not a great deal of information online and asking around most people would tell me that the rockets are set off to ask for the rains to come, but it turns out that isn't quite accurate.

  Phaya Khang Khod, The Toad King

 Phaya Khang Khod, The Toad King

The origin of the story lies in myth, more specifically the Legend of the Toad King. In one of his previous lives the Lord Buddha was incarnated as a toad. Following his incarnation all the creatures of the land flocked to hear his sermons which were proving more popular than the Lord of the Sky's.

This angered the Sky Lord, who in a fit of jealousy withheld the rains for seven years, seven months and seven days. 

 Rocket Festival, Yasothon, Thailand 2016

Despite being cautioned by the Toad King, Lord Naga took arms and went to war with the Sky Lord and lost. 

 Rocket Festival, Yasothon, Thailand 2016

The Toad King enlisted the aid of termites who built towering mounds to reach the sky and sent up centipedes, and scorpions to attack the Sky Lords feet, and asked the winged hornets to join the fray. Overwhelmed by the assault, the Sky Lord sued for peace and released the rain.

Each year the rockets are released to remind Phaya Thaen (The Lord of the Sky) of the terms he agreed with the Toad  King. The Lord Naga was rewarded for his efforts with the role of Honour Guard to the temples of Thailand and Laos.

 

 Rocket Festival, Yasothon, Thailand 2016

In present day Yasothon, the festival lasts three days on the second weekend of May every year. The celebrations begin on Friday but sadly I missed those, as we arrived on Saturday morning just in time for the parade (and the sweltering heat!). 

Saturday, 14th May 2016

  

 

 

 

Then on Sunday, the fun with rockets and whisky begins at 9 o'clock in the morning.

The noise was incredible. The largest rocket weighs 120 Kgs and can fly in the air for almost 5 minutes. The record is 320 seconds which of course teams from around the country compete to beat and perhaps have a friendly side bet on whose rocket will fly the longest. 

Rockets fall to the ground where they may, but usually over a large field behind the grounds, and hopefully gently swaying beneath a parachute, but that doesn't always work out quite to plan. 

There's lots of markets stalls selling all sorts of food and drink in a real party atmosphere with some of friendliest and most hospitable people you are ever likely to meet. 

The Bang Fai Festival ends on Sunday at about 4:30pm, so we left from there and went to straight to the airport. But here's the strange thing, just as we got into the taxi and started on our way back, the heavens opened and the rain began to fall.

 Rocket Festival, Yasothon, Thailand 2016

I had a truly great time and will certainly an experience that will stay with me forever, I highly recommend it.

 Rocket Festival, Yasothon, Thailand 2016

PS

Top travel tip!

Yasothon doesn't have much in the way of public transportation, no taxis,  no Tuks Tuks, no Sontahews or buses, not even a converted pickup truck. Bear this in mind when thinking about getting back to the airport, and be sure to take a few name cards of taxi services on offer at Ubon's airport, you'll need them!

Ayya by Marcus Burtenshaw

Last month I organised my very first fashion shoot. I sourced and secured the model, location and arranged all travel, accommodation and set up all the lighting etc conducting the shoot without an assistant. 

It was a challenge, and as expected not everything went to plan, but I think the shoot was a success.

I had the pleasure of working with a professional model who truly contributed and shared in my vision for the shoot. there are few things in life as truly satisfying as creating something that you are proud of. I am proud of this shoot, but am realistic enough to understand that I still have much more to learn. 

So after what seems like forever, here is the set, please let me know what you think:

 

 

 

 

 

MXGP 2016 , Suphanburi, Thailand by Marcus Burtenshaw

Today I was fortunate enough to shoot the Thailand stage of the 2016 MXGP World Championship. 

It was an incredible experience to be trackside shooting the world's best motocross riders  alongside the professionals. It's certainly a memory that will stay with me for a while., even though it was very, very, very hot. (I can only imagine how the riders felt). 

I knew I had this shoot coming up, so I borrowed a friend's Sigma 50-500mm, stuck it on a monopod, and that's it.

It was my first time ever shooting any type of sports, but I can tell you it won't be my last. Composition was a real challenge, heck even just getting the riders in focus proved tough at times, but I think I did okay, but you be the judge: 

 










.. is this thing still on? by Marcus Burtenshaw

Yeah... so.... I haven't posted in a while, the truth is the blog slipped in my priorities, but this little corner of the web is still important to me so today I have come back in and refreshed my portfolio. 

In the time since I last posted I've been on a few trips. I went to Sydney with work,  hit some beaches in and around Thailand, and have been doing more model shoots, including a  Clockwork Orange themed shoot which was great fun. 

In 2016 you can expect more citiscape work, but I also hope to do a lot more work with models because let's face it no subject is as fascinating as people.

I will also dabble with some more types of photography such as sports and macro and whilst these may not make it into my portfolio per se, you can expect to find those types of shots right here in my blog. 

That's it for now, but expect a little more life in the blog over the coming months.

In the meantime here's a selection of various images I have shot since I've been away, let me know what you think