Location 180 Photo Tour of South East Asia

After spending nearly 7 months in Southeast Asia, it’s safe to say that I took a LOT of photos.   Thousands.  Between being in a wide variety of unique places and wanting to explore my passion for photography, I spent a lot of my time in Asia first learning the basics of photography, and then exploring the technique of HDR photography.

The following is a photo tour of my time in Southeast Asia.  Starting with my very first day in Thailand, moving onto my month in the Philippines and finishing up with time in Bali and the Thai islands.  Enjoy

All of the photos in this article (except any that I’m in) were taken by me.  If you want to see more of my photography you can check out my personal photography project Daily HDR.


ayutthaya, buddha, bangkok, thailand

A Buddha at the Ayutthaya Ruins outside of Bangkok, Thailand.

On my very first day in Bangkok, Cody Mckibben offered to let me tag along with some of his friends to the Ayutthaya Ruins about an hour outside of Bangkok.

The sunsetting on Ton Sai Beach in Krabi, Thailand.

It only took a few days of being in Bangkok before we headed down to the beach in Krabi.  After leaving 8 degree weather in Portland last January, some time in 80 degree waters was a must.

bamboo bars, ao nang, krabi, thailand

Soi of bamboo bars in Ao Nang, Krabi, Thailand

Sean Ogle jumping through a burning ring of fire on Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

I fell in to a burning ring of fire...on Koh Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi is one of the biggest party islands (or places) I’ve ever been.  After two trips to the island I learned two very important lessons:

  1. You will NOT get any work done on Koh Phi Phi
  2. Don’t play with fire.
An HDR photo of koh phi phi, thailand as seen from the viewpoint

My first (semi) successful HDR photograph in Koh Phi Phi, Thailand.

In Koh Phi Phi I started delving into the art of HDR photography.  It didn’t take long to realize I really suck at it.  Slowly I started to get better though.

wakeboarding, kneeboarding, bangkok, thailand

I work a lot....but then there are the days like this. Kneeboarding with David Walsh

For a few weeks in February we made a point to go wakeboarding every Tuesday.  Wakeboarding in Thailand is nothing like what you’ve come to know back in the states.  It doesn’t involve a boat.  There is no wake.  And if you don’t learn how to take the corners, your arms will be ripped out of their sockets.

baiyoke sky tower as seen from a park in Victory Monument, Bangkok, Thailand

The Baiyoke Sky Tower as seen from the park by my house.

While I was learning HDR I spent a lot of time in the park near my house in Victory Monument.  The Baiyoke Sky Tower (tallest building in Thailand) was a short walk away, and it made for a great photographic subject.

monkey, ao nang, krabi, thailand

A monkey found near Ao Nang Beach in Krabi

There were monkeys everywhere in Southeast Asia.  They also make great photography subjects.

Rock climbing on East Railay Beach in Krabi, Thailand

This photo makes me look a lot cooler than I really am.  But seriously, climbing in Railay is one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.  I’d almost go as far to say that Railay is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been.  Almost.

asok, bangkok, sunset, bts

Sunset at the Asok BTS station in Bangkok, Thailand

This was taken at a sky train station in Bangkok, one of my first forays into night photography.

Viewpoint of Railay Beach

It’s a hell of a hike to get to the top of this view point, but it was well worth it.  I met another guy from Portland up here.  I swear I met more people from Oregon than any other state while I was abroad.  Who would’ve thought?

Dark and cloudy sky in Bangkok, Thailand

Stormy Day in Bangkok

Starting to get into the rainy season in Bangkok.  Although it never really did get as bad as I expected it to.


puerto galera, beach, hdr, philippines

HDR Photo of a Beach in Puerto Galera, Philippines

Aside from the halo-ing around the peninsula’s I really like this shot of a beach in Puerto Galera.  Dan and I spent a good three hours taking photos out here.

Three palm trees at sunset in Puerto Galera, Philippines

Three palm trees at sunset in Puerto Galera, Philippines

The Philippines had some ridiculous sunsets.

HDR photo of Puerto Galera Pier in the Philippines

HDR photo of Puerto Galera Pier in the Philippines

This may be my favorite photo I’ve ever taken.

Surreal sunset from Manila, Philippines

A surreal sunset from the helipad of the condo where I stayed in Manila, Philippines

I’ve received more compliments of this photo of a sunset in Manila than probably any other one I’ve taken.  As cool as it looks, I always thought it looked too surreal and the coloring was too fake.  However, the actual scene really did look very similar to this.  The cloud formations in the Philippines were pretty cool.

Back in Thailand…

Lightning in Bangkok

The first time I ever successfully captured a lightning bolt on camera.  Thought it turned out pretty cool.  This is actually an HDR photo based off of one RAW image.

An HDR photo of the king power building in Victory Monument, Bangkok

HDR photo of the King Power building in Bangkok, Thailand

I took a lot of photos in my neighborhood…

Baiyoke Sky Tower as seen from park in Victory Monument

Another photo of the Baiyoke Sky Tower

And another one…

Cloudy day in Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok looking a little ominous before a storm


View of Ubud from the Teba Guest house

View from Teba Guest House in Ubud, Bali

This was the first shot I ever took with my new tripod, and is one of my favorites from the trip.  The ominous jungle feeling you got when waking up early in the morning in Ubud, Bali was a pretty spectacular experience.

Kuta Beach sunset in Bali, Indonesia

Kuta Beach at sunset

Next to the beaches in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this was actually the most crowded beach I’ve ever been to.

Fire dancer on kuta beach

Fire dancing on Kuta Beach in Bali

I wonder what kind of burns this guy has got over the years..

sunset over Uluwatu temple in Bali, Indonesia

Sunset at Uluwatu Temple in Bali, Indonesia

Another one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.  I don’t think the throngs of tourists appreciated me spending 10 minutes with my tripod out blocking their view…totally worth it.

HDR photo of Koh Nang Yuan off the coast of Ko Tao, Thailand

HDR photo of Koh Nang Yuan off the coast of Ko Tao, Thailand

The site of my first ever foray into scuba diving.

Sunset on Sairee Beach in Ko Tao, Thailand

Sairee Beach sunset on Ko Tao, Thailand

Taken after a week in Ko Tao with friends.  A great way to end a fantastic time in Southeast Asia.

HDR photo of Victory Monument in Bangkok, Thailand

Victory Monument, taken on my last day in Thailand.

Over the 7 months I was in Asia, I walked past this monument more times than I could ever count.  I look forward to the day when I return and get to experience it all over again.  Bangkok treated me very well, and if you ever have the opportunity to visit, I can’t recommend it enough!

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Tom from Poland August 13, 2010 at 9:16 am

Lovely photos, I start with photography and I want learn how to take some HDR photos to be ready when I will go trek in Himalayas 🙂

Alan August 13, 2010 at 9:20 am

Need I say amazing? The first photo of Bali is my favorite, the fire dancers a close second.

Sean August 13, 2010 at 9:24 am

Thanks guys, this was a fun post to put together. I’d forgotten just how many photos I’ve taken over the last few months!

Josh August 13, 2010 at 10:12 am


Any chance you can post about how you made the HDR photos?

Zachary August 13, 2010 at 10:26 am

Awesome pictures Sean, you should definitely look into getting some prints done or some photo books made for friends and family.

Joel | Blog Of Impossible Things August 13, 2010 at 10:33 am

Sweet photo Sean. It’s sort of fun to see a recap of your trip & see the progression in your photos. Now just start taking some more at DailyHDR 🙂

Sean August 13, 2010 at 10:46 am

@Josh The best way for me to describe how I took them is by giving you a link to Trey Ratcliff’s HDR tutorial. He is the man when it comes to HDR and this tutorial is proabably the best out there: http://www.stuckincustoms.com/hdr-tutorial/

@Zachary Thanks man. I’d definitely like to get some prints done, really curious to see how they’d turn out. Looking forward to shooting soon!

@Joel I know I know! I think I bit off a bit more than I could chew with the whole “daily” aspect of it. Hoping to get more into it after I launch the new product in a couple weeks!

Mark Powers August 13, 2010 at 11:29 am

Wow- incredible photos, Sean! I look forward to connecting and hear more about your time over there!

Poul Stefansen August 13, 2010 at 11:33 am

Awesome awesome stuff! Rock climbing one is my favorite, but I may be biased

Matt August 13, 2010 at 11:57 am

Awesome images of your journeys Sean. This is a cool collection of unique images all in one place. Really enjoyed this post.

Nate August 13, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Dude, this is incredible stuff. Not really sure what else to say but I just looked over this post like 4 times it’s that good.

AdventureRob August 13, 2010 at 7:13 pm

What a great and varied selection of photos. I like the Bali guest house shot the most.

It’s certainly a skill to get the HDR shots right, some just never turn out right and some just fall into place easily. It’s such a new technique I don’t think anyone can claim to be an expert on getting it right all the time just yet. I’ve been generally happy with results I get from it, although some just don’t work out at all.

How much storage are you travelling with? I’ve just expanded into a second 500Gb HDD, photo’s add up to a lot of space! I took just over 8000 photos in a year of travel, crazy how it adds up!

Krista August 13, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Fantastic photos!! I’ve never been to Asia before, but your photos are compelling and the sunset ones are especially amazing. 🙂

Evan August 13, 2010 at 11:11 pm

stunning. really amazing pics Sean… it’s awesome to watch your progress with the art of HDR and how your skills evolved over your travels. nice work on the lightning shot! must have taken some patience, or some quick fingers 😉 my fav is the Teba Guest House in Ubud, Bali. thanks for sharing!

Financial Samurai August 14, 2010 at 2:12 am

Excellent pics Sean. Thanks for sharing!

Bessie August 15, 2010 at 9:24 am

Great pics! You passion shows in your work.

Can you explain the rock-climbing picture where you’re enormous compared to the people on the beach?

ami@40daystochange August 22, 2010 at 3:28 pm

fantastic photos Sean. I love the first one and all the low-light profiles and sunsets/sunrises. Wonderful colors and great framing – well done!

Lois October 7, 2010 at 4:48 am

Loved the sunset shots from the Philippines. Yes, that was a biased comment as it’s a view I get to see from my office building every day and I never get tired of it.

I’ve been wanting to dabble in HDR photography but it looks like a lot of work! I wonder how you are able to take the time to edit those fabulous photos?

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