For Tavepong Pratoomwong, street photography’s appeal doesn’t lie in its fleeting nature or its reliance on luck: a picture’s worth depends on whether or not it can make you smile. Through the intensely imaginative lens of this Thai photographer, Bangkok bursts with culture and life, and even the most ordinary streets reveal an absurd side brimming with stories.
泰国摄影师 Tavepong Pratoomwong 的快门下，街头摄影的趣味，不仅在于其偶然性和难以复现的场景画面。对他来说，照片的价值更体现在是否能让人会心一笑。通过充满奇趣想象的镜头，他展现了文化色彩浓郁的曼谷生活，再平常不过的街道，也能够现出荒诞又富有故事性的一面。
Like many of the street-photographer greats, Pratoomwong’s approach to photography is based largely on intuition. He roams the streets in search of interesting scenes: it’s a game of patience until he captures the decisive moment. “Street photography is meditative,” he explains. “As you walk around looking for subjects to shoot, the moment that compels you to press the shutter is a moment when you’re fully connected with yourself. It’s a state of deep focus.”
Pratoomwong doesn’t attempt to document reality with complete fidelity. He instead chooses to revel in the process of photo-making, enjoying the experience of walking about and applying his own creative twist to scenes he encounters. One of the techniques that makes him stand out is “forced perspective,” which makes elements in the foreground or background seem much bigger or smaller than they actually are. Yet everything he shoots is achieved in-camera and unaltered in post-production, save for minor color correction in Lightroom.
像许多街头摄影大师一样， Tavepong 的摄影方法很大程度上还是受直觉牵引。他在街上徘徊，寻找一个个有趣的场景，这是一种耐心的游戏，直至捕捉到那个决定性时刻。“街头摄影就像一种冥想，当一边走路一边寻找素材，或是决定按下快门的那一刻，就是自己与自己连结起来的时刻，会进入非常专注的状态。”对 Tavepong 而言，照片并不仅仅是对真实故事的记录。他更多的是享受整个拍照的过程，体验身在其中的感受。
Tavepong 并不旨在完全忠实地记录现实。相反，他选择去陶醉在拍摄过程里，去享受行走的经历，并把自己的创意揉杂进他遇到的场景中。让他的作品脱颖而出的，是他独有的“强迫透视法”，这会让相片中前景或背景中的元素看起来比实际情况下大得多，当然也可以小得多。他拍摄的每件事物，都完全仅靠相机实现的，后期过程不会有变化，除了在 Lightroom 里微调下色调。
Pratoomwong’s interest in photography began in college. For a while, he was obsessed with equipment, and this gear-head mentality practically kept him from shooting. Then in 2013, his wife gave him a ticket to Varanasi, India, for their anniversary, and that trip became a turning point for him as a photographer: he once again picked up his camera, seeking to use his own perspective to give scenes a new spin.
Tavepong 从大学开始便对摄影很感兴趣，也因此一度成为了纯粹的摄影器材控，当时仅仅沉迷于器材的他，几乎停止了拍摄。直到 2013 年，妻子送他一张飞往印度瓦拉纳西的机票，作为结婚纪念日礼物。而那趟印度之旅，即是他摄影人生的转折点：重新拾起手中的相机，试着用自己的独特视角赋予场景新的意义。
Returning home, Pratoomwong joined entered a photography competition called “365 Days in 2014,” organized by StreetPhotoThailand, which forced him to get in the habit of going out shooting every day. “It seemed like such a simple challenge, requiring only a little time each day to take a photo and upload it, but each day turned out to be harder than the last,” he recalls. “After all, you don’t want your latest photo to be worse than the one from the day before. You also don’t want to be repetitive with your shots, so you’ll naturally put in more effort for every new shot.”
回到泰国后，Tavepong 加入了摄影团体 StreetPhotoThailand 组织的活动“365 Days in 2014”，这也让他养成了每天出门拍照的习惯。“这个活动看起来很简单，只是每天抽些时间去拍照，接着从中选择一张，贴到平台就好，但实则行动起来一天比一天难，毕竟你不会希望今天拍的照片会低于昨天的标准。而且拍摄的角度也不能重复，所以每天都要更努力地去拍摄创作。”他说道。
As Pratoomwong got more and more involved in street photography, he started to get international attention. In 2014, a mere year after his trip, he took first prize at the prestigious Miami Street Photography Festival and was even invited onto the panel of judges in later years. His first photo book, GOOD DAY BAD DAY BUT EVERYDAY, was published in late 2018 and is available for purchase here.
随着 Tavepong 对街头摄影的日益深入，他也受到了国际摄影界的关注。2014年，仅仅一年之后，他就在著名的迈阿密街头摄影节（Miami Street Photography Festival）上获得了一等奖，甚至在后来的几年中被邀请参加评审委员会。他的第一本摄影书《GOOD DAY BAD DAY BUT EVERYDAY》于 2018 年问世。点击即可进入他的网站购买。