(Originally posted in 2017) We visited the Thailand/Myanmar border on a previous trip to Thailand in October of 2011, but were restricted from crossing over into Myanmar. However, a short four years later we spent a month (February 2015) in Myanmar. We visited in a girl’s school helping with the English language; we visited with Counselors, Teachers, and Professors; our interactions were about Marriage and Family Therapy. We were restricted to the city of Yangon for most of our time, but what a time it was. To be in a place that was cut off from most of the Western World for many years was challenging. The people were gracious. I learned for the first time to really use chop-sticks. We stayed in the local hotels and ate at the local restaurants. As we always do – we had a jar of Jif Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter as back-up.
Now, about the image. In our travels, mostly by taxi, I was always ready to “grab the shot” of anything interesting. The roads were crowded and traffic stopped frequently. (One of my other favorite images from that trip was a traffic jam of buses, cars, trucks, and Trishaws – but that’s another story.) For this image – we were going about 2 mph; the window is rolled down and my camera lens is sticking out of the window just to capture anything. Ahead of us I saw two Buddhist Monks cross the street. When the taxi got closer to them they were walking up some steps. I clicked the shutter, probably a couple of times. I didn’t see the full-sized image until we got home and I downloaded them onto my desktop. Amazing, I had caught a “Decisive Moment,” the term attributed to Henri Cartier-Bresson in images like this one. The monks were climbing the steps and each one had a foot up in the air. I recolored the image, in Lightroom, to keep the colorful saffron robes and desaturated (took the color out) the background. I wanted the Monks to be the focal point. A philosophical question arose from my colorization. Are they walking into darkness or bringing light?