Making Of Dragonfly Angkul Sungthong
Interview with Angkul Sungthong about making his mysterious and award winning street photograph "Dragonfly" in Bangkok in 2017
Angkul Sungthong “Dragonfly” Bangkok 2017

About Angkul Sungthong

Angkul Sungthong is a “full time art director, sometime photographer” based in Bangkok, Thailand. His street photograph “Dragonfly” was awarded 2nd place in the Italian Street Photography Festival 2018 and nominated as finalist at StreetFoto San Francisco, the Brussels SPF and the Miami SPF in 2018. We interviewed Angkul to learn the making of story behind the surreal photograph.

Making Of Dragonfly

Dragonfly looks intriguing like it was made inside an art installation. Where and when did you make the photo, was it a familiar or new location to you?

This feels like i am going to reveal a trick of my magic but if this can be useful to others, I will.

Variously decorated outdoor beer parks pop up in Thailand all around the country from November to December. I made this shot at a decorated beer park entrance near my office in Bangkok in 2017.

What was happening in the situation and what inspired you to start photographing it?

As usual to every street photographer, when you see something new pop up near you, you’ll want to check it out, so do I. At first I just wanted to take a quick look around the place, but when I saw the light decoration inside. It was very dark with some spotlights which were moving randomly and I thought it had potential to make a good photo there.

Up until you finally pressed the shutter, what were your thoughts and actions?

Will anyone walk through this way? Am I standing here too long? Is the security guard going to kick me out? I tried to be invisible as much as possible and keep my camera ready all the time.

In case you made more than one exposure, could you please share some of them and describe how you ‘worked the scene’?

Making Of Angkul Sungthong Dragonfly Contact Sheet
Angkul Sungthong “Dragonfly” Contact Sheet

When I am shooting, I try to keep the composition and balance of the frame. I don’t really know what is going to happen in front of me. My subconsciousness takes care of the composition and my eyes hunt for interesting parts in the scene. I think this is my safe mode when I do a quick shooting at a new place.

It looks like you choose a longer shutter speed time. What exposure values did you set in your Fujifilm X70? Did you use a flash?

In this picture I needed to freeze the moment as long as I could. Flashlight would have destroyed the low key mood which I liked when I first saw this scene, so I did not use it. I always set my camera to Aperture Priority Mode so the camera takes care of the rest. I wanted a faster Shutter Speed and set the Aperture to f/5.6, ISO to 6400 and the Exposure Compensation to -1 stop.

Did the image come out as you imagined it to be?

The result was better than I thought. I could just roughly imagine how the scene is going to look like when I shot it. The rest was all about luck as Henri Cartier Bresson said.

Which post-processing work did you apply to the out of camera image, if any?

I only adjusted contrast, brightness and noise reduction

What did you take away from making this picture?

You must carry your gear with you all the time and a black shirt is the best outfit for shooting street photos.

Thank You for your time and this Interview Angkul.

Links to Angkul Sungthong

Website – http://angkul-sth.tumblr.com/

Flickr – https://www.flickr.com/photos/angkul_sth

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/angkul_sth/

Facebook –  https://www.facebook.com/oak.angkul

Twitter – https://twitter.com/angkul_sth

More Interviews with Angkul Sungthong

StreetRepeat – https://streetrepeat.org/interview-angkul

Bangkok Street Photographer – https://www.facebook.com/pg/bangkokstreetphotographer/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1539413052766574

P.S

This Interview was also published in the Flickr Street & Repeat Cafe Group.