Next week members of the Alpha Imaging Collective will join Sony Artisan of Imagery Ira Block for a unique photographic experience in Thailand. Block’s work as a professional photographer has taken him to Thailand many times in the past, and his experience will help lead the group of creatives – equipped with their Sony Alpha mirrorless gear – to experience Thai festivals, explore the streets and temples of Bangkok, visit the elephants in Chiang Mai and much more.
“With all the traveling I do,” says Block, “returning to Thailand is always a wonderful experience. The country is a paradise for photography. In Bangkok I am drawn to the energy of the city, friendly people in the streets and the magnificent temples like Wat Arun and the Grand Palace along the Chao Phraya River. A bit outside of Bangkok are the fabulous markets where people sell local grown food. Either out of their small boats in a maze of canals at the floating market, or by the train tracks at the famous Maeklong Railway Market.”
“Thailand also has beautiful beaches where you can photograph fisherman at work or tourists at play. And of course, if you go north to Chiang Mai you can find elephants that have been rescued from the logging industry being fed and cared for. In the mountains are local hill tribes with their exquisite traditions and unique way of life. And did I mention food – the best food in the world can be found in Thailand, whether in restaurants or on the streets. I love coming back to the smells, sounds, tastes, and people of this invigorating Kingdom.”
Below, you can find out more about the Alpha Collective crew and the go-to Sony Alpha mirrorless lenses and cameras they’ll be using to capture their adventures while in Thailand. Also, follow #AICdoesThailand and @sonyalpha for updates and to see what they create throughout the trip.
Phil Nguyen (@philngyn)
Go-To Setup: Sony α7 III and the Sony 24mm f/1.4 G Master, Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro.
“This setup allows me to be versatile without sacrificing quality. The α7 III is my go-to hybrid camera, which allows me to capture both highly detailed photos at 24 megapixels as well as record stunningly sharp video in 4K. Both lenses are incredibly fast and are the perfect focal lengths for both landscape and street shots (24mm) and portraiture and macro (90mm).”
“For my first time in Thailand, I am most looking forward to experiencing the incredibly rich and inviting culture. Everything from the people and the architecture to the food and beyond, and capturing those stories along the way. I’m also excited to spend time with an amazingly talented crew and to learn from everyone’s diverse skill sets and life experiences.”
Mic-Anthony Hay (@micanthonyhay)
Go-To Setup: Sony α7R IV and the Sony 24mm f/1.4 G Master, Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master.
“I plan on traveling as light as possible, so I’m bringing a fast prime lens for my run-and-gun set up and a telephoto zoom lens for situations where I can’t get close enough to my subject. I use the APS-C mode frequently to get a little extra zoom out of my lenses and thanks to the Sony α7R IV’s 60 megapixel sensor, those images are now 26 megapixels!”
“Sony Artisan Ira Block is an absolute legend in this industry and I am beyond excited for the opportunity to document my first trip to Asia under his lead. I look forward to telling stories with photos and video from the trip that highlight Thailand’s culture.”
Jeremy Cohen (@jermcohen)
Go-To Setup: Sony α7R III and the Sony 35mm f/1.8.
“I like having a small setup so the camera doesn't seem intimidating when taking portraits of subjects. It also makes it easier to shoot in the street while staying more incognito. The f-stop at 1.8 allows me to shoot in low light scenarios with ease as well.”
“The people are always the most memorable parts of traveling for me. I'm looking forward to photographing and meeting locals, hearing their stories, and experiencing how similar but different the cultures can be. Also, tuk-tuks.”
Matthew Ferr (@matt.ferr)
Go-To Setup: Sony α7R IV and the Sony 24mm f/1.4 G Master, Sony α7R III and the Sony 85mm f/1.4 G Master.
“I love the versatility that Sony cameras offer me to shoot both photo and video content in one package. I usually do this with one camera but for this unique trip I'm bringing both the new α7R IV and the α7R III. I usually pair this with fast prime lenses as I'm a huge fan of wide open shots as well as the increased available light these lenses afford me. There will be numerous low light scenarios where I'll be putting these primes to the test. I'm also bringing two zoom lenses, the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master and Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master, to increase my focal range in certain scenarios.”
“This is my first trip to an Asian country and I couldn't have asked to go with a more unique collection of talented individuals. I'm feeling extra excited because we're going to Thailand's Yee Peng lantern festival which has always been a major bucket list experience for me. I'm also looking forward to diving into the local culture as well as spending time learning and observing the story behind rescued elephants.”
Jason Frankle (@worldpins)
Go-To Setup: Sony α7R IV and the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master, Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G.
“The 61-megapixel Sony α7R IV and Sony 70-300mm telephoto lens will help me focus on capturing small details in the surroundings with the incredible focal length and sharpness. The Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master wide angle lens will allow me to photograph the expansive landscape of Northern Thailand and capture low light scenes with its wide f/2.8 aperture.”
“I’m really looking forward to exploring Northern Thailand with friends and seeing how everyone captures the same environment in a unique and creative way. "
Jane Kim (@_janekim)
Go-To Setup: Sony α7R IV and Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master, Sony 85mm f/1.4 G Master.
“The 24-70mm is my go-to lens for travel because it allows me to get wide enough for landscape and street photography, but close enough to focus on the details of my subjects. I'm also looking forward to using the 85mm G Master for portraiture and meeting the people of Thailand! This will be my first time using the α7R IV so I'm excited to try out all the upgrades and new features from my current α7R III.”
“I'm so excited to experience the culture, history and food of Thailand with new and old Sony friends. Attending the Yi Peng lantern festival has also been on my bucket list forever, so I can't wait to see it in person.”
Dave Krugman (@dave.krugman)
Go-To Setup: Sony α7R IV and Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master, Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master, Sony 35mm f/1.8 and Sony 24mm f/1.4 G Master.
“I have the Sony α7R IV, and it’s an absolute workhorse of a camera. I'm taking a wide range of glass, from wide and telephoto G Master zooms to a pair of sharp, fast Sony primes to help me get coverage from varying perspectives.”
“In addition to working side-by-side with the other members of the Alpha Imaging Collective on the trip, I’m really looking forward to the lantern festival where I plan to use the fast 24mm GM to get photos in the low-light conditions.”
Dan Marker-Moore (@danorst)
Go-To Setup: Sony α7R III and the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master.
“My A cam will be the α7R III and the 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master. I will also be bringing the 135mm f/1.8 G Master which I'm excited to use to bring contrast to the wide angle shots. I'm also bringing a RX100 VII which will be a great B camera that covers a huge focal range.”
“I'm really excited to go to the lantern festival. I've tried to go to a couple in the past and weather has canceled the events, so this will be an awesome experience.”
Ananya Ray (@ananya.ray)
Go-To Setup: Sony α6000 and the Sony E 10-18mm f/4.
“I’m a fan of the mirrorless system, the interface is super easy on it so I’ve never changed it. Whenever I travel, I hike quite a bit so I try not to carry too much gear. This wide angle is perfect for any landscape I find. I also use the kit lens but I tend to gravitate toward the 10-18mm.”
“I’m most excited for the Loy Krathong and Yi Peng festivals. I have traveled to Thailand once before but it was just after the festivals so I missed them. I understand the importance of these festivals in Thai culture – they’re about letting go of the past and starting anew in a beautiful way.”