Living in Thailand, Edward sends us his words and images about his document of the fishing industry.
Hi, I’m Robert Edwards. 59 years old, based in Thailand. I am not a professional photographer, but a Physical Education
Teacher.I have been married for 38 years, have three children. The oldest two are teachers and the third is a school student. My wife is an art teacher, also working at the same international school as myself. We have lived in Thailand
for the last 19 years, arriving here in 1996.
An invitation from an international school to come over to Thailand from the UK, to assist with preparing their
students for a wellknown sports competition and from there the school offered me a full time position. So my
wife and I, with the middle daughter hopped on the plane. The plan was to stay for two years, obviously the
plan didn’t work and here we are still in the Land of Smiles.
I am what you may call a “Born again photographer” having in my younger years dabbled with the camera,
but nothing to serious. A few years ago I decided I wanted to start a sports web site to showcase the school’s
sports team. So I brought a camera and started to take pictures of the action. From starting out taking pictures
of the school’s teams, photography has developed into a passionate hobby. One may even call it an obsession.
Having no formal training in photography, I read, watch video’s and just go out and take pictures. Taking
anything that seems interesting. I took up street photography seriously, after watching the video “Everybody Street”.
A must view video for all street photographers. A lot of my work these days has moved to a documentary style
I wanted to find a project to find a way to compliment my street photography work. So I started working on a project
depicting the Fishing Industry in Thailand. Living very close to a number of commercial fishing ports, this has given
me the opportunity to visit most weekends and document the industry. Also the local town where I live there is a small
fishing operation on the coast, but not as big as the commercial ports. This is where the local restaurateurs go to buy
the fresh catch to serve up on their menus.
Reason for choosing the project subject? Seeing these fishermen return, their face and eyes tell a story. You can see
the relief that they have made it back and hopefully will make some money from the catch. Through the images I
want the world to see how hard it is for the fishermen in Thailand in their toil to make ends meet.
In Thailand, the people are not too concerned with photographers taking their pictures. But as with anywhere in
the world, when you see a shake of the head that means no and one should respect their request. At the port the
fishermen and the ladies, who, once the fish has been unloaded, work fearlessly to sort out the fish.
They really don’t mind me taking their picture. On a few occasions one or two of the fishermen turn their heads
away, so therefore don’t click the shutter. Talking to the head man at the port and explaining what I am doing
helps. Especially if this is the first time I have visited that particular port.
After visiting the same ports for some time now, the people are aware of my camera and just go about their business. It helps to speak Thai, it does break the ice, and then I can ask a few questions and find out more
about the fishing process and what they have been doing. One thing I have been doing lately is to have a
number of pictures printed, then giving them to the people, if I see them at the port.
The atmosphere once the boat arrives and starts to unload is amazing. The hustle and bustle, the ladies pace
at sorting the fish is unbelievable, the men loading the trucks with the fishing baskets. Then off to the market
to be sold. The adrenalin is pumping, it’s a rush to click the shutter not wanting to miss anything.
I use a Nikon D3200. Lenses: 55-300mm, 50mm Prime and the old faithful kit lens, 18-55mm. I am well pleased
with the camera. Would I like another camera? Yes I would, but the D3200 has been a faithful servant, so that would still stay.
As a closing comment, All I just want to “Keep Shooting” !!
About the photographer
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