Critters and creatures are all around us

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Critters and creatures in all their wonderful color and beauty are all around us; this was the message from Nature Photographer Ian Frame at the Sunday, August 5 meeting of the Pattaya City Expats Club. After being introduced by Donna Westendorf, Ian began by letting everyone know that although he has many interests, such as Chinese ink painting, Tai Chi, jogging, and composing funny verse, it is nature photography that is his true passion. He said that successful nature photography is not so much the camera equipment as it is the person behind the camera.

Ian, originally from Scotland, spent thirty years working in Brunei on the edge of a tropical rain forest.  Exotic wildlife such as monkeys and snakes were regularly found in his garden, and in the office car park. Even as a schoolboy, Ian was interested in photography. He developed and printed black and white photographs in his garden shed.  He progressed through all manner of cameras until the development of digital cameras, in the late 1990’s; these allowed him to experiment without having to consider printing costs. Ian purchased a number of early “point & shoot” digital cameras, but it was not until early 2006 that he finally obtained a digital Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera with macro lens. Today, that one camera and lens are the only two pieces of equipment in Ian’s photographer’s bag.

After being introduced by PCEC member Donna Westendorf, Scottish Nature Photographer Ian Frame began by letting everyone know that although he has many other interests, it is nature photography that is his true passion. Here Ian shows one of his pictures; a Long Tailed Macaque he encountered whilst living in Brunei.After being introduced by PCEC member Donna Westendorf, Scottish Nature Photographer Ian Frame began by letting everyone know that although he has many other interests, it is nature photography that is his true passion. Here Ian shows one of his pictures; a Long Tailed Macaque he encountered whilst living in Brunei.

The advent of digital photography allowed Ian to spend every weekend out photographing wildlife. Most weekends he would shoot in the order of a hundred wildlife photographs. The best of these he would forward to the local Natural History Society. He said that although he would get replies with Latin names for the creatures and critters, he really wasn’t interested in all that.  It was clear from his presentation that he enjoys taking photographs of them and sharing that beauty with others.  He has also held a number of Wildlife Photographic Exhibitions.

The pictures he shared with the Club were quite stunning and his narrative about the particular creature was interesting and informative, be it a monkey, snake, butterfly, beetle, praying mantis, and many more. Ian has a blog where he posts many of his photos at http://www.pattayadaze.wordpress.com. The photographs posted on this site are mostly of the wildlife found in the undergrowth adjacent to the pavement outside his Pattaya condo – each morning; he does his “blog walk” along Jomtien Beach 2nd Road. To quote Ian, “Many people walk along this pavement every day, yet I suspect that I am the only one who has noticed the praying mantises, snakes, lizards, millipedes, bugs and caterpillars that live there. I look at it as getting to know my neighbours!”

Ian shows off the tools of his trade - his main (only) camera is a Nikon Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera, with a macro lens. More of Ian’s pictures can be seen at www. pattayadaze.wordpress.com.Ian shows off the tools of his trade – his main (only) camera is a Nikon Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera, with a macro lens. More of Ian’s pictures can be seen at www.pattayadaze.wordpress.com

He said his favourite subjects were snakes, and he found lots of them; especially in Brunei.  He discovered that they were not the vicious venom spitting creatures depicted in Hollywood movies.

Instead, they most likely would slither off to avoid contact. He spoke of a particular snake that he encountered often on his walks in Brunei; he called him Arthur and after a time, he could approach and even stroke his tail. He pointed out that in a year, about 8 people are killed by a snake in Thailand, whereas 10,000 are killed in traffic accidents – so you are much safer around snakes than traveling on the roads.

Ian’s passion particularly relates to urban wildlife – this photogenic young lad was pictured right here in downtown Pattaya.

Ian’s passion particularly relates to urban wildlife - this photogenic young lad was pictured right here in downtown Pattaya.Ian’s passion particularly relates to urban wildlife – this photogenic young lad was pictured right here in downtown Pattaya.

He provided some tips for photographing wildlife. Take a camera with you when you go out.  You have to look, if you don’t you will never see much of the wildlife that is there. On his “blog walk,” there is an abundance of wildlife in the area; but you have to walk slowly, move in close, and pay attention. He suggests that you set your camera to manual focus; that way, you know what type of picture you will be getting. Adjust your speed for your subject and the setting.  Focus on the subject’s eyes if possible and use a flash.

After Ian answered several questions, MC Roy Albiston updated everyone on upcoming events and called on Lawrie McLoughlin to conduct the always interesting and lively Open Forum where questions are asked and answered about expat living in Thailand; Pattaya in particular.

Read more about the Club’s activities on their website at www.pattayacityexpatsclub.com.