Snap Shots: Harry and Howard.
The answers to the questions you were too afraid to ask!
by Harry Flashman
A few weeks ago, Howard Greene, a local photographer in
Pattaya, asked my opinion on the selection of images for a project he had
undertaken in which he had to photograph a number of the staff at the
Classroom (Soi Pattayaland 2). The brief was to come up with some
flattering artistic images, and two of the ‘outs’ are published here
to show what a hard job we had!
decided that a Question and Answer session might be of interest, so here
are some answers from a professional photographer.
Q (Harry): Let’s start with the basics. What type of
equipment do you use?
A (Howard): I use a 35 mm Nikon N90s body, plus a 35-70
mm zoom and another 70-210 zoom, so I can shoot anything from landscapes
to ‘fill the frame’ portraits. I know that you (Harry) do not like
zoom lenses, but one cannot underestimate the quality of a Nikon system.
In addition I use a compatible Nikon Speedlight flash, a sturdy Gitzo
tripod, a polarizing filter, plus a few other bits and pieces.
Q: Which film do you use?
A: It is my practice to always use the same film, so I
know what to expect under similar circumstances. After some
experimentation I have settled on Fuji 100, unless the entire shoot will
be in a darkened setting such as a nightclub. In those instances I can
pick up one stop by using Fuji 200.
by Howard Greene
Q: How do you work with Thai models, when you have a
limited knowledge of the language?
A: First of all, I try to put them at their ease.
Having one’s photograph taken is not root canal work, so if I am relaxed
that should transfer to the models. I show them how I want them to pose
and click-click we are finished in less than five minutes. There is never
a reason for me to touch any of the models. No Thai model ever posed with
an agenda to be difficult. Moreover, the models all go to the movies,
watch TV and look at fashion magazines, so they know how to strike a pose.
Q: What makes a shot easy for you?
A: I just follow my instincts when photographing Thai
models. When there is no budget for stylists, assistants, hair and nail
technicians, ad agency reps and so on, the final photograph is all up to
me without seeking consensus from a group of people as to what works best.
Q: What are your views on photo credits and copyright
as well as ‘theft’ of intellectual property?
A: Speaking personally, when I see my photographs
printed without a photo credit, my consent or reasonable compensation to
which I would normally be entitled to, I take it as a compliment so as not
to go crazy thinking about it. It is 2004, the Rolling Stones cannot stop
their music being downloaded, nor can the Disney company protect the image
of Mickey Mouse. I prefer to walk away from these issues rather than seek
relief. As the sole creator of a photograph anyone who prints one of my
images does not have a license to do so unless I transfer ownership by
Q: What has been the highlight of your taking
photographs in Thailand?
A: That is easy to answer. Meeting and photographing
Khun Anand Panyarachun, the former PM, who hosts a golf tournament for
UNICEF. You know that you are in the presence of a great man, who warmly
welcomes everyone he meets. Even me. That is the highlight. There isn’t
even a close second.
Q: I know that you have been involved in many charity
photography projects, covering differing assignments in Thailand, tell us
of the dynamics of these.
A: Sure, I can identify four immediately. Children are
the most fun. Models are the most challenging. Golf the most exhausting,
and finally, Special Events - you have to get it right as there is no
Modern Medicine: Long-term therapy - just how long should you take it?
by Dr. Iain Corness, Consultant
So you have just been diagnosed as having raised blood
pressure. Do you have to take drugs for the rest of your life just to save your
life? In actual fact, modification, reduction and even completely stopping
medication can be on the cards. However, before you take that last sentence as
the excuse you were looking for to stop taking your tablets, read on!
It is a well known medical fact that the need for higher
doses of many medications becomes less as we get older. There are many reasons
for this, the major ones being a reduction in the efficiency of the kidneys and
liver. You see, what happens is that these two organs break down the chemicals
in your medicines, and when they work a little slower (like all things as you
get older) then there can be a build up of the drugs in the blood, making for a
greater concentration than before. The way round this is to reduce the amount of
the drugs being taken, so it may be possible to go from 1,000 mg per day to only
500 mg, and still be in the ‘therapeutic blood level’ range.
There is also another factor that can influence just how much
of any particular medication that you might need, as time goes by. This is
called the pharmacodynamic effect, whereby we find that as you get older there
appears to be an increasing sensitivity to certain medications, especially pain
killers, anti-epilepsy drugs and antihistamines. Again the end result is that a
reduction is not only warranted, but is clinically indicated.
Medical science, despite being inexact, is advancing every
day. The research that is being done is not just into the life threatening
diseases such as HIV/AIDS, but into the more common problems as well. This can
produce a new way of treating an old ailment - stomach ulcers being a classic
example, where we used to give patients bottles of bismuth, then we changed that
to antacid tablets, and then to proton pump inhibitors and then to looking for a
little bug called Helicobacter pylori. Different medications in each case.
Finally, there comes the (vexed) question as to whether it is
appropriate to reduce or stop medication or not. My own personal philosophy has
always been that all drugs are ‘poisons’, but in small doses will not kill
you. But back to the problem in hand - are you on medications for life? I
believe that even if the pharmaceutical ‘poisons’ are ‘safe’ perhaps we
should review the situation regularly to see if you still need it. After all,
why take it if you can do without it? Do I hear a ‘Hooray’ out there? But do
not stop taking the medication yet! Keep reading!
If you were prescribed a drug, there was a good (medical)
reason for it. If we are to withdraw that drug, then there has to be a very good
medical review of the situation. That situation is dynamic - and all reductions
must be done under medical supervision and strictly controlled. With
anti-hypertensives, for example, you would begin by halving the dosage and
monitoring the BP regularly. If the BP has not gone up, then it is reasonable to
halve the dose again, and eventually you may be able to stop all treatment.
However, it does not mean that monitoring stops as well.
That is the key to all this - constant monitoring and
reviews. Do not neglect this side of medication reduction!
Heart to Heart with Hillary
An apology from Santa for the non-delivery of your choccy bars. Apparently,
ruddy-nosed Rudolph got stuck into them, there being a shortage of suitable
tundra in Thailand for the hungry, horny-headed beast. But now for the good
news! Santa is thinning out his herd and is offering you first pick for your
How nice to see that you made it through the New Year celebrations, my Petal. I
was a trifle worried that you might have tried your smooth talking ways on
people not as forgiving as Hillary, and come to a disastrous end. There is
always retribution, even for those with a seemingly limitless stock of excuses
such as yourself, you should realise. These days I neither believe in Santa,
nor in your protestations of having sent the many times promised chocolates and
champagne. Mistersingha, it is time to put up, or shut up.
Further to your not being able to find the anti-SPAM K9 program I advised you
to try, I apologize. The program is called K9 but the website for it is
http://keir.net/k9.html. Googling “K9” will get you the relevant site also.
FYI, I use Pegasus Mail and the SMTP service that my ISP provides. Sorry I
couldn’t be more humorous, but that is your field, not mine. However, I put
the phrase “googling” K9 in to provide you with more fodder. Or should that
be dog food?
You are forgiven, as opposed to the Mistersingha above, who is not. But FYI, I
am not into acronyms. They disrupt my SMTP something chronic, so that my ISP
goes into RS mode, I revert to drinking cheap champagne and getting done for
Valentines Day is coming up soon and I would like to show my affection for a
certain Thai lady I have met. She works in a department store and is always
very pleasant when I meet her, but I’ve been going slow as I don’t want her
to think that I am like all the other ‘kiss me quick’ foreigners. Do Thais
celebrate Valentines Day? I don’t want to miss out on this opportunity, but
at the same time, I want to try to continue to do things the “right way”.
Dear Valentine Vic,
There beats a romantic heart in the men in this town still! Of course Thai
women celebrate Valentine’s Day, Petal. However, you still have to tread
slowly. Your problem is that your lady may not even know of your dreams, she
may just be being polite. Valentine’s Day cards are also traditionally
unsigned, so you run the risk of her thinking it came from your arch rival
Police Constable Pisinurai. But be brave, a faint heart ne’er won a fair lady
(or even a dusky one). Put your mobile phone number in the card and see if you
really ring her bell. Lots of luck!
I have not been here very long, but have now got a steady girlfriend. She comes
from Udorn and her family still lives up there. She wants me to go up there to
meet the family, so I think she is pretty serious, and must like me. She wants
me to hire a car to go up there because she says her village is a little ways
out of town, so the bus isn’t any good and anyways we will have some
household items to take up for her folks. She says that we will stay with her
mother in her mother’s house, but I should bring some money up with me as I
will have to pay for my stay there. Since we are only planning on a couple of
days, I thought this a bit strange, but since I don’t know Thai customs, I
have just said yes, particularly since I’ve only known her for two weeks. Now
she is talking about buying a TV set for the folks, but I get the feeling it is
me who is going to buy this. Am I being played as a sucker? Advice please,
You certainly did come down in the last shower, didn’t you, my Petal. You are
talking about meeting the parents of your long-time Thai girlfriend of two
whole weeks! Three by the time you get the answer to your letter! This lovely
young thing is telling you to rent a car, buy a TV, pay for sleeping on the
board floor at Mum’s and goodness knows what else. Newbie, I want you to
stand in front of the mirror and look at yourself and go, Mooo! You are looking
at someone otherwise known as a cash cow, Newbie, nothing more, nothing less.
Thai ladies do not bring foreigners home after two weeks of sweaty evenings and
say, “Look what I’ve brought home, Mum.” This is your first trip to
Thailand too, isn’t it, Newbie? You are following a classic pattern that
makes you out to be one big sucker. While buying the TV set, why don’t you
just give her the credit card and tell her to empty the account. This way you
don’t have to waste money on a rental car or accommodation on the floor. If
you can, start running now!
A Slice of Thai History: Chartchai Chionoi: Thailand’s Second World Boxing Champion
by Duncan steam
On 28 September 1965, Chartchai
began his march to the world title by outpointing Michel Lamora over 10
rounds in Bangkok. In January 1966, he knocked out Pornchai Poppraingram
in the first round of their bout in Bangkok and then, a month later,
scored one of the most important victories of his career. Fighting
Salvatore Burruni, the man who had beaten Pone Kingpetch to take the
Flyweight title and who had already made a successful defence of the
crown, Chartchai scored a points win over 10 rounds in a non-title bout.
The victory over the world titleholder almost guaranteed Chartchai a shot
at the crown in the near future.
In March, Chartchai outpointed Ernesto Miranda over 10
rounds in Bangkok. Miranda had defeated Chartchai back in mid-1962. The
Thai then reeled off four successive knockout victories, in rounds four,
three, one and six respectively, and all on his home turf in Bangkok.
In the meantime, Salvatore Burruni had lost his title
to the Englishman Walter McGowan in June. McGowan chose to make his first
defence of the title in Bangkok, against Chartchai Chionoi on 30 December.
Before 16,000 fans and the King of Thailand, Chartchai
stopped McGowan (who had a severe cut on his nose) in the ninth round,
thus bringing the Flyweight title back to Thailand for the second time. It
was also the 24-year-old’s ninth consecutive win. Chartchai had fought
57 times for 44 wins, 11 losses and two draws, 29 of his victories coming
inside the distance, a solid 66 percent record. He was a much heavier and
harder puncher than Pone Kingpetch.
The new world champion began 1967 by winning two
non-title bouts, one in four rounds and the other on points. On 26 July,
he defended his title for the first time against Puntip Keosuriya, winning
by KO in just three rounds.
In September, Chartchai travelled outside of Asia for
the first time, going to London, England for a re-match with Walter
McGowan. This time the Thai champion knocked out McGowan in seven rounds.
McGowan was to retire in 1969 as the winner of 32 of his 40 bouts.
Back in Bangkok in early December, Chartchai knocked
out Mimoun Ben Ali in four rounds in a non-title contest and then, in
January 1968, he made his second trip out of Asia, going to Mexico City to
fight Efren Torres in a 15-round bout for the Flyweight crown.
In a tough contest, Chartchai finished strongly and
knocked out Torres in the 13th round to retain his title. He had now won
his last 15 consecutive contests to take his record to 50 wins in 63
bouts, 34 (or 68 percent) of them by the short route.
Personal Directions: See further by standing upon the shoulders of giants
by Christina Dodd
IFor those of you out there who have read any self-help
and inspirational literature, you will no doubt recognize the name W.
Clement Stone. Indeed you will also know two other names, that of William
James and Napoleon Hill. All three gentlemen were extraordinary seekers of
the secrets of success and believers in the amazing power of a Positive
Mental Attitude (PMA). I thought it might be an idea to give you a little
information about them and their tremendous involvement in this field of
study and way of life. Hopefully you will be inspired to read some of their
These “giants of men” (and many others) contributed
over the years to the development and refinement of the PMA concept. William
James (1842-1910), a Harvard Medical School graduate who stayed at the
university to teach anatomy, physiology, psychology, and philosophy, helped
to develop a system of thought called pragmatism. According to the
ideas of pragmatism, results are what count. Thought is a guide to action.
If a thought does not result in practical actions, it is not useful. James
wrote, “Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your
belief will create the fact.”
The people of James’s day respected his theories, and
he attracted many followers. He was convinced that life is a battle between
pessimism and optimism. James vehemently opposed negative thinking; “It
fills people with failure and doubt,” he said. The universe, according to
James, was full of possibilities. People could vastly improve
themselves if only they opened their eyes and looked for the mind power they
had within them. James believed that each of us decides what our future will
be and that, “We become what we think about most of the time. The greatest
revolution in our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing
the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their
Napoleon Hill (1883-1970) was another who carried the PMA
baton. Hill made it his life work to interview immensely successful people,
deriving seventeen principles from this study that he wove into the first
practical philosophy of personal achievement. Hill enumerated these
principles in various books including The Law of Success, Think
and Grow Rich, and many other self-help books. Hill always found that
the men he studied shared a Positive Mental Attitude. He noted about one,
Andrew Carnegie, who had an obsession. He believed that anything in life
worth having was worth working for. Carnegie said, “I believe that
anything in life worth having and working for is worth paying for. What
price are you willing to pay for your dreams?”
W. Clement Stone, born in 1902, who only recently passed
away, made his millions in the insurance industry in the USA. The chairman
emeritus of Aon Insurance Companies, he made it his business to use PMA in
every possible way, not only in business but in his personal and family
life, and in his charitable works. An outstanding contemporary author and a
man who accumulated his great wealth by using and mastering the principles
set down by Hill, made a profound discovery while co-authoring (with
Napoleon Hill) the book Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude.
The essence of his discovery was this: The basic
principles of success are effective in achieving worthwhile goals only to
the extent that they are constantly reinforced and replenished by a Positive
Mental Attitude. That principle became the cornerstone of Stone’s
philosophy and the theme that unified his writings. The stage was set, and
PMA dominated the spotlight. Stone put to work Hill’s ten-step formula for
developing and maintaining a Positive Mental Attitude and the rest his
Napoleon Hill’s ten steps are briefly explained here,
and in some of them I have made reference to the words of Clement Stone.
Step One: Take possession
of your own mind with conviction
Stone said of this, “I have long been an advocate of
selecting thoughts and sayings that can be immediately summoned into the
conscious mind to counter the negative influences we all encounter in
everyday life … Since I was a teenager I deliberately trained myself to
neutralize negative suggestions from others. If someone said to me, “It
can’t be done,” or “You can’t do that,” my subconscious mind would
instantly flash a message to my conscious mind the positive translation:
“He can’t, but I can. I practiced it so often that it became an
automatic, instantaneous response.”
Step Two: Keep your mind
on the things you want and off the things you don’t want
Every time you meet a setback, by staying in control of
your mental attitude, it’s like being able to do that extra push-up. You
are training your mind to do more than it has ever done before and just as
your muscles become strong and resilient through exercise and constant use,
so does your mind.
Step Three: Live the
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you –
it is that simple!
Step Four: Eliminate all
negative thoughts by self-inspection
Stone’s introduction to the insurance business that
would bring him success was not easy. The first day of business he sold just
two policies out of countless attempts. Although he improved steadily, he
found that he had to examine his ways thoroughly and daily and had to
overcome his fears. One of his greatest fears was that of knocking on doors.
But after some thinking he reasoned, “Success is achieved by those who
try. And where there is nothing to lose by trying, and a great deal to be
gained if successful, by all means, try!”
Step Five: Be happy! Make
Step Six: Form a habit of
Step Seven: Give yourself
Step Eight: Use your power
Step Nine: Set goals
Step Ten: Study, think and
These ten steps are worth thinking about and worth
embracing if you are considering changing your life!
There are so many excellent books out there and available
for you to find some inspiration. But something Clement Stone said is worth
remembering. He said, “The difference between a novel and a self-help book
is this: In a novel, the author writes the conclusion; in a self-help book,
the reader writes the conclusion by the action he takes.”
Until next time, have an inspiring week!
If you would like a presentation or more information on
our personal training or coaching services, or any of our business and
corporate skills programs, please don’t hesitate to contact me at
[email protected] asiatrainingassociates.com
Social Commentary by Khai Khem:
Conscience has not become obsolete
Is the old-fashioned sense of right and wrong disappearing in
our society? Some of Thailand’s present social problems - drug abuse, greed,
crime and corruption, lack of pity and self abortion seem to be permanent
afflictions of modern day life. SEEM to be. In fact, they are part of the human
condition and the antidote to the negative aspects of social interaction is in
part, a sense of conscience, which must be constantly renewed with each
Traditional societies in underdeveloped countries are no more
immune to creeping moral decay than their more sophisticated cousins in rich,
developed nations. But the sense of loss of innocence is perhaps harder to
accept because of the long held myth that somehow the simple farmer, weaver, or
‘noble savage’ has managed to keep his or her soul in tact and unpolluted
through isolation from the depravity and negative influences of the ‘outside
world’. Of course the idea of the ‘outside world’ is merely another myth.
So how do we keep faith and good conscience in a world that is sending us a
message that “anything goes” and blurs the lines between good and evil,
right and wrong?
Or is “conscience” even a useful word anymore, aside from
its role in folksy adages and expressions of disapproval and criticism?
This may be cold comfort to some, but I’ve been doing some
reading up on what modern writers and ethicists have to say about what
conscience is presently perceived to be in today’s modern world. I wanted to
know if conscience is out of vogue or still an important ingredient in
fashioning a successful society.
Douglas Langston thinks it is. He is a professor of
philosophy and religion at New College of Florida and the author of
“Conscience and Other Virtues,” a 2001 book that attempts to restore the
word’s place in the public dialogue.
Langston says, “Conscience has been ignored. Not in the
sense that we fail to use conscience to guide our actions. Not in the sense that
we do not discuss freedom of conscience. But in the last 25 years, little has
been written about conscience as a useful analytical concept.”
Langston explains that conscience became identified as a
distinct “emotional buzzer” in the brain - an infallible judge of right and
wrong, and that if we’d only listen, would guide us all down the same
righteous path. Aha! The old saw comes to mind: “Let your conscience be your
The author reminds us that in the past, writers saw
conscience as “upright and stainless” (Dante) “thoroughly well-bred”
(Samuel Butler) and “nagging, badgering, fault-finding and execrable” (Mark
Twain). But by the mid-1900s, philosophers and psychologists “didn’t take
that idea seriously anymore. They started favoring other terms to discuss the
reasoning process that helps us get in touch with the general ‘moral
culture’ and our individual ‘moral center’.”
After a few days of reading this academic ‘double-talk’ I
figured that what we really need to do is bring back the old fashion word
conscience, (which I am sure will has it’s equivalent in any of the world’s
languages) because it is still the best term for the habit of critical
reflection that, ideally, guides us to figure out what we should do in any given
circumstance. It doesn’t take book learning to acquire a conscience, and
although guidance helps, there are always going to be moral invalids who just
can’t develop one.
So how do we apply this to our everyday lives? Let’s take
the idea of conscience out of the ivory towers of philosophers and drop it down
to street level. How about our rising street crime rate that doesn’t include
the rich and powerful? Vicious and violent gangs, youthful monsters who would
kill for a few baht and sly sneaks who prey on the weak and innocent, are often
without conscience. We have somehow managed to grow another crop in agricultural
Thailand - a human crop of sociopaths who owe allegiance to nothing and no one.
Nature? Nurture? How do we account for our social misfits?
Family support and unity are immensely important. Can we teach conscience in the
family and in the schools? We can try. Conscience encompasses everything. You
can lack empathy or remorse about certain things, but that would be just a gap
in your conscience. Psychopaths are all gap - no conscience. They do things
simply without worrying about their impact on other people.
I researched some statistics on various government websites
in the USA which offer information on this subject. Psychopaths make up 1
percent of the general population and 15 percent of the prison population.
Psychologists and sociologists describe them as egocentric, grandiose, shallow,
and manipulative. In a word, they are clueless. They have absolutely no idea
what the rest of us are feeling. The ‘human’ parts of them are missing. This
group contains our senseless killers and slaughterers. Lock them up and throw
away the key.
So how do we deal with our youthful (and often part-time)
hoodlums who are not ‘throwaway people’ but can still be reached because
they do feel remorse and have conscience? We nurture that embryonic sense of
right and wrong with education and attention.
There have been some sniggers directed at what is termed the
“Family values brigade” which smugly imply that love and tenderness are
somehow invalid and morbidly sentimental in our advanced world of technological
advances and therefore a useless waste of emotional overkill. It’s true that
honorable intentions are often ‘hijacked’ for selfish and vested interests.
It is often difficult to determine just exactly when good ideas turn bad and
often ordinary people do not have total control over their lives. That’s when
we need to let our conscience be our guide.