Words and photographs by Thomas Bradford, 28 February 2018
Wat Arun, or to use its full name, Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan, is an iconic landmark on the skyline of the Thai capital. Sometimes called the Temple Of The Dawn, this monument is, somewhat ironically, more often photographed at dusk with the Chao Phraya River in the foreground and the sun setting behind. I had taken many photos like that in the past. So, on this evening I decided to cross the river and visit the temple itself.
Location: Wat Arun, Bangkok, Thailand
Camera: Nikon D300s
Lens: Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 GII ED
Settings: 18mm | ISO100 | 8 seconds | f/8
Post Processing: Adobe Lightroom And Photoshop | Nik Collection
The ferry cost under 5 Baht, and it was about 50 Baht to enter the temple. The steps to the summit were steep, you can get an idea of how steep if you look at the angle of the handrails at the bottom of this picture. Those with vertigo may not enjoy the climb and, for me, going back down was far worse than going up.
With a long exposure of eight seconds I had to used my tripod to take this picture. I tried to make a layered composition, starting from the back with the opposite riverbank. It was difficult to frame the picture just the way I wanted with an 18mm lens (27mm equivalent), but it was all I had with me, so I had to make do.
In the end I just about manage to squeeze everything in and make a decent composition. I love the warm gold colours against the cooler background, and the intricate detail on the temple. I hope one day to return to Wat Arun and take this same picture with a 12mm lens.

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