Wat Intharawihan is a Buddhist temple in Bangkok, Thailand, and its centerpiece is a 105-foot-tall Buddha covered with glass mosaic and 24-carat gold that took more than 60 years to complete. The Buddha is an impressive sight to behold but its height usually leads to an awkward composition if you try to photograph its entirety. Many photographers choose to take a picture of just the huge feet, and wait for someone to come by and drop a flower between the toes. This has been done too many times, but it can be difficult to conceptualize a new idea here.
Photographer Susan Seubert faced this problem when she was on assignment in Bangkok shooting a story for the June/July issue of Traveler magazine. However, when she sent in her work I immediately noticed her photo was unlike any I’d seen before.
“I had no idea (the maintenance worker) would be there,” she said. “At first I was so bummed that they had cleared everyone out, but then he came out and started removing the banner. Suddenly it became clear that this was the shot to show scale in a different way. It only went on for a few minutes so it was pure luck!”
Photo tip: This is one of those scenes where it is necessary to have a very wide-angle lens. It’s shot with a 16-35mm zoom set at 16mm. Susan chose a medium aperture of f8 ensuring that the entire picture would be in focus.