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Photo of the Month - exploring the Story behind the Image...

Baked Banana Seller at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Baked Banana Seller at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Year: 2012, Month: September

Thailand > Krung Thep > Bangkok

The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is located about 100 kms to the west of the Thai capital Bangkok, and despite its distance, it is a popular destination for visitors to the city. Featured in the James Bond movie 'The Man with The Golden Gun', the floating market provides an exotic mix of shops and stalls selling many types of souvenirs and foodstuffs. Boats crowd the banks, selling a range of colorful fruit and vegetables, plus many exciting snacks and tidbits for the foreign visitors who explore the canals from the banks or from their own hired canoe.

I photographed one of these food vendors for this month's Photo Of The Month image. It shows a lady on a boat, moored to the bank, wearing a traditional conical bamboo hat. She has a small stove on her boat for grilling bananas, that will then be sold as snacks to locals or tourists alike.

The image has little outside of the main points of interest to distract the eye. The yellowy-brown waters of the canal provide a neutral and un-cluttered background, and help to set the scene as the boat that we guess must be there does not itself feature in the photograph. The woman reaches out to make some alteration to her display of bananas, and in doing so, her two arms form a satisfying frame for her produce.

Just what is the subject of this image? Is it the woman, or is it her bananas? The human face, of course, is an irresistable draw to the eye of any viewer to a photograph, but in this case the face is in shadow, and the multitude of bananas are not just lighter, but are also visually interesting due to their numbers and their orientation, forming both line and pattern. The bright red piping that surrounds the woman's apron is also an attractive 'pull' to the viewer's eye, so the final effect is for the eye to move about the image in a triangular direction: right arm - bananas - left arm - apron - face.

This motion joins the softer pastel colors to create an interesting yet relaxing image - a worthy addition to my portfolio.

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