Vichaya Pop is a Thai photographer who focuses on the subtle everyday realities of the South-Eastern Asia rural area. Even though information about the photographer are hard to get by, photographic enthusiasts like yourself might have already stumbled on his work.
Vichaya’s work consists of sets of photographs from West Java rural area, Seagulls of Bangpoo, Doi Mae Salong mountain area in Thailand, Floating Market, Myanmar, from the town of Sapa in Vietnam and many more. His work has been mentioned by Nikon France and Belgium, and by sites like Digital Photography School and 500px.
His take on photography is as follows “I believe that with today's sharing tools photography is just so much fun. By shooting and sharing my photos, I have made so many wonderful friends. Many people have come from far away countries to visit Asia and we met up and shared our knowledge. I value these friendships more than the sales of my photos. In short, photography for me is shoot, share, teach, and learn.”
Also, Mr Vichaya has shared with us a bit about his idol and mentor, a Thai photographer named Mr. Mailak: “He told me ‘if you decide to be a photographer then you try to shoot the best you can from the camera.’ ” This is the reason why Mr Vichaya does extensive camera setting and only minimal post processing. He continues “I have been told by others that I'm doing it the hard way. Its much easier to get it done in post. For me, thats not good because when I teach other people I have to be able to shoot and show them the final(or very close to final) image right there on location.”
This philosophy can be seen in his photographs from West Java. They were taken in 2013 and they have in common the act of making the onlooker linger and take in all the details of the work: an amazing foreground and a detailed background.
The foreground gives the onlooker a glimpse of the rural life in West Java. The colors and lighting leave a distinct impression regarding the joy of living. The subjects of his photographs must have been quite comfortable with him being there. Because otherwise you wouldn’t have such an accurate portrayal of everyday life, with it peacefulness, its surprises and its smiles.
The background is usually blurry enough to make the foreground stand out, but clear enough for you to make out additional information and hints that make the composition seem complete. It helps place into context the emotion or action portrayed in the foreground.
Reviewing Vichaya’s work has made me feel very grateful because he and the people of West Java have let me, an outsider from a different corner of the world, experience a bit of their daily life, in soft-spoken, heartfelt color. This experience has made me consider packing for a trip to Indonesia.
So, would you, our readers, come with? What’s your feel about Vichaya’s photographs? Share your opinion with us in the comment section below.