Feb 052013

Welcome to 2013

Return from Thailand

Its been a few weeks since I have been at

the computer.  Holiday, work, and travel

merged into one.  But I am back and I 

wanted to let you know what I have been

up to at home and abroad. 

Hammock at the wet market. Bangkok [ T H A I L A N D ]. © Adam Marelli

Welcome Back

Better late than never right?  2013 is here.  It has taken me a month to get back to the computer.  The start of the year has been busy with work, travel, and workshop set up for the coming year.  All of which are looking great (and almost full.)  On Saturday I returned from two weeks in Thailand and my first workshop in Bangkok.  What an incredible experience.  Thailand is one of those destinations that everyone seems to love.  From frat boys to gentleman, there is a universal dr  The great food, the warm atmosphere or the lure of working girls and lady boys, depending on your preference.  While I was not there for places like P**** Palace (talk about marketing?!), I did get a guided tour of the city through some of my friends and the workshop participants.  We explored their local spots, both big and small.  For a photographer, Bangkok offers an interesting array of subjects and settings.  The streets range from five lane highways to almost medieval alleys ways.  This week I will share some of our images from the workshop and my impressions of the city.

A matter of contrasts. Bangkok [ T H A I L A N D ]. © Adam Marelli

Overnight Train

After a week in Bangkok, my girlfriend and I took the train north to Chiangmai and the former head of the Borneo Trading Company.  While a sensible person might opt for the one hour flight, Stacy had never taken an overnight train.  I have fond memories of overnight trains from my days in university.  After my study abroad ended I spent a month on trains around europe.  One particular morning from Barcelona to Cannes solidified my love of train travel.  As the sun cracked the horizon the Cote D’Azur came a live with color.  It was a sensuous pleasure for my hungover eyes.  The little cove beaches along the coast flutter by revealing a turquoise blue that vanished in the horizon.

La Cote D’Azur

The overnight trains were an eye opening experience for me.  The trip took a whopping 17 hours with stops and delays.  This was definitely not the Shinkansen, but it gave us a brilliant view of the countryside.  There is nothing better that watching the sunrise over a new landscape.  The train, even in first class was a little grimy, but it was all worth it when we arrived at the hotel.

137 Pillars House, Chiangmai Thailand © Matt Burns/South East Asia Images.

The Library Bar at 137 Pillars © Matt Burns/South East Asia Images.

137 Pillars House

I have a fascination with the left over pieces of colonial architecture around the globe.  And 137 Pillars House (our hotel) was a perfect fit.  The main building, named for its 137 supporting pillars was the seat of the Borneo Trading Company.  They were an English lumber outfit that exported teak until the country was nationalized and the English were kicked out.  Left behind was 137 Pillars House which was restored to its former glory with a few added features.  The smoking lounge and canopied beds were the perfect detox after a non stop week in Bangkok.   I spent the days after the workshop wandering around the city with a new friend of ours (thanks Tita!) and taking it easy.

Master Craftsmen x IMPOSSIBLE. © Adam Marelli

Upcoming Exhibition

Now I am back in NYC making preparations for an exhibition of the Master Craftsmen series at the Impossible Project in March.  In spite of Thailand being 12 hours time difference from NYC, I made it through yesterday without a nap.  Hopefully I can stay alert for another afternoon.

Adam Marelli by Rammy Narula. © Rammy Narula

2013 Goals

But enough about me, what is going on with you?  Many of you, I will be meeting for the first time at the upcoming workshops.  I would like to know, what are your photography goals and aspirations for this year?  Where are you looking to travel and where have you just been that we should check out.  Leave your comments below.

Wishing you all the best.





  15 Responses to “Where has Adam been?”

  1. What a coincidence. I was just in Thailand for 2 weeks as well. It was an amazing experience with, as you said, wonderful food and wonderful people. I hope to be able to return again some day.

    • Hey Kyle,

      Glad to hear that it treated you well too. If I could just do something about the flight time we would be in business. The jet lag back in NYC has been rough, but totally worth it.


  2. Darn. I was just a couple of days away from finishing my “Adam Marelli detox program”. It is a bittersweet reunion. The larger part of me is ecstatic to swim again in your deep river of knowledge, humor, and visual delights. The other part of me is screaming NO, NO he will just go off and destroy your bliss once again. No missives for a month and one half!?! I don’t think I can endure it again——Yes, we have missed you. Welcome back Sensei!

    • Hi John,

      Its time to fill up again. Hopefully I don’t do too much damage this year. 2012 was a lot of fun, but personally I am enjoying 2013 even more. There will be more articles on the way for your perusing pleasure.

      Keep in touch.


  3. I like that photograph of you Adam. I am in London and leaving for Reykjavik on Sat. morn. Get some rest. pb

    • Hey Penny,

      Yes I was happy that Rammy did such a nice job with it. I rarely get pictures of myself. And people who visit the site often think I am the old man in the header image. But that is Domenico, a farmer from Matera.

      Hope you enjoyed Iceland and I look forward to seeing your images when you get back.


  4. Hi Adam,

    really big thanks for your introduction to the visual language at B&H, which I`ve seen recently on youtube. That opened a new perspective for me and let me find your excellent blog, because I need more input concerning the visual language – and its grammar ;-)

    Since two years I rediscovered photography for me. And somehow it is the camera that takes me out to places where I presumably not have gone to.

    You opened a window to a language for me of which I`ve only known so far some parts of the grammar – without any vocabulary.

    So again big thanks, all the best to you and always good light!



    • Hi Jens,

      Yup, kick that door wide open. There is a whole world of design just waiting for you. The BH talk just grazes the surface to let people know that it is out there waiting for them. Turns out, as much as artists have complained about museums, they are actually gems with hidden secrets. There is just a small amount of decoding needed for the photographer. But once that happens, it becomes a whole new game.

      Good luck with it all and keep in touch.


      • Hi Adam,

        thanks for your kind answer. I will to try to get a better understanding step by step – taking the door, not the window. Just to have more fun with my own aproaches to photography.

        I almost forgot to mention that you`ve created an absolut fabulous blog with great picture sets and well written texts. It is really a joy to look around this place.

        I wonder if you would publish some books of your work or your tips…



        • Hi Jens,

          Really happy to hear you are enjoying the site. I thank all of you for being so patient with my slow publication.

          In terms of an actual book, so for nothing has come together. The offers have struck me as labour intensive and a loosing endeavor. But eventually something will line up properly. Until then the website will serve as the base.

          Keep in touch.


  5. Same as last year to cover Hare Krsna festival in Bali for whole year. And if my friend coming from Slovenia we’ll have journey to Sulawesi again, really wanna go to Toraja this time. And saving money for next year adventure to Mayapur and Jagannath Puri in India.

    Your video, introduction to the visual language at B&H really nice. Really helping me to apply the theory in the field. For me it proved that we cant learn something simply by reading, but need for personal guidance also. Hope someday I can join your workshop. Thank you.

    And congratulations on your exhibition of the Master Craftsmen series at the Impossible Project in March.


    • Hey Hari,

      Nice to see that you have your trips planned out and in the budgeting phase. I can almost feel the excitement through the keyboard. Wishing you the best with it all. Be sure to share some images when you return.

      Thank you for the kind words on the BH talk. I hoped it would open up some options for photographers that are rarely discussed. There are many, many design games that artists play under the surface of the images. My goal is to make the learning a bit more accessible to those who are interested. It is best to work with a person. Books are great, but they never seem to answer all the questions. In my personal development, I have always valued the time spent with a mentor. Its as if they are able to extract more information out of a book than I could have on my own.

      And I am looking forward to the exhibition. There will be images posted on the site in March for those of you who cant make the show.


  6. Adam in your last picture if only your head had been in front of that dark rectangle on the right, the figure to ground would have been stronger! You taught me lol

    • Hi Gary,

      Glad to see that you are looking differently. One thing to consider is that by landing my head [in all its melon glory : ) ] in that small passage, he played a dark against the light side of my face and the light against the dark side of my head. It is a crafty solution.


  7. I am really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on
    your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself?
    Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this one these days.

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