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IN THE PICTURE #82: CONNY OLIN
In this feature called ‘In the Picture‘ we ask great photographers from all over the world to share their 10 most favorite Thailand photos with our readers. See Thailand through the lens of the photographer, read the background stories and learn more about the land of smiles.
This edition of In the Picture is exclusively about the small island of Koh Phayam on the west coast of Thailand. Koh Phayam is located in Ranong province and is (fortunately) not very well known to the general public. Because of this, Phayam has still managed to retain the old-fashioned Thai island vibe. We came across Conny’s beautiful photos when we were doing research after our own stay on Koh Phayam. Chances are we’ll be requesting some additional images from this fantastic photographer once we start working on the Phayam articles.
For now – nice to have you too In the Picture Conny, welcome!
Hi Conny, could you please introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Conny Olin. I’m 54 years old, born and raised on a small island, Öland, in Sweden. I have now lived in Sweden’s third largest city, Malmö, for 16 years.
I started taking pictures in 1988, back then with a Pentax DSLR. I experimented a lot with color films and also black and white, but have settled for color. I converted to digital DSLR 2003, with the Canon EOS 300D and prefer my iMac instead of the darkroom.
I enjoy the frozen moment in stills, video is not really my cup of tea.
I work as a retoucher, enhancing other photographers pictures. When it comes to my own pictures, I do most of the work when I develop the RAW files, if the shot is not good enough, I will try again some other time.
I enjoy to travel, of course, but also genealogy, now also with the help of DNA tests.
My wife and I wish you the very best from Sweden!
Katie is our friend and the owner/manager of Phayamas Private Beach Resort; our home away from home. She is really service minded, but also knows how to do Muay Thai. She could kick my ass in five seconds, if she wanted to. This is of course just stretching.
Thai food is amazing, but with really fresh ingredients, western food is also worth trying! My wife had to test out the hamburgers, this time at Phayamas Private Beach Resort. I believe she ordered it five times there.
What is your favorite destination in Thailand?
We have found Koh Phayam, outside Ranong, to be our perfect place in Thailand. The island don’t have any cars, but a lot of small resorts and restaurants. The nature is amazing and the food is the best we have had in Thailand
Which place / destination in Thailand is still on your wish list to visit?
At the moment we are focused on getting back to Koh Phayam.
Dog Pung is waiting for his sister, Darng. She is in Ranong with the veterinary. Fortunately she came back the next day, and he went back to being a carefree dog again.
Hornbills might not be the most beautiful birds, but they are masters at peeling bananas. Many resorts/restaurants in Koh Phayam make sure to treat them with bananas, and if the birds don’t get them in time, they will get very loud.
Which place / destination do you recommend our readers to visit and why?
Besides Koh Phayam, Railay Beach is an old favorite. When it’s not crowded it’s a fantastic place.
Where do you like to eat?
If you visit Koh Phayam, you have to go to Phayamas Private Beach Resort. The food is great, and they have their own beer; stout, IPA, APA and sour beer. And the Pina Colada is to die for!
This is my favorite dish for the moment, chicken with cashew nuts. On Koh Phayam this is a bit special, since they grow their own cashew nuts. They prepare it a bit different everywhere, but it’s always delicious. This picture is from Heaven Beach Resort.
Not all animal life is big or dangerous. Some are smaller, but still quite interesting. I had some fun taking pictures of these ”beast” while lying on the beach; Buffalo Bay. They are fighting, for what I don’t know.
Tip us a nice coffee shop or bar where our readers can drop by.
Rock Bar, close to Buffalo Bay (Koh Phayam) is an amazing place, built on the side of the rocks. Maybe not the best drinks, but the view is amazing, especially at sunset. We have also enjoyed the bar at Pathumwan Princess in Bangkok, but the last time it was closed, due to the pandemic.
What is your favorite Thai dish?
I have to say chicken with cashew nuts. There are variations, but it’s always good. If I don’t know what to order, almost every time it ends with that.
I’m not at all into surfing, but it’s a lot of action for taking nice pictures. At Long Beach there are a lot of surfers, this young boy stuck out, both with his looks and his skills.
Every time I travel to Thailand I have forgot how beautiful the moon is. It’s also ”rotated” 90 degrees, which makes it look like a smile, perfect for the ”Land of Smiles”. Lack of light pollution (and other pollution) makes it possible to take really sharp pictures. This is taken freehand with 500 mm + 1.4 extender.
What is your favorite accommodation in Thailand?
Our favorite resort is Phayamas Private Beach Resort on Koh Phayam. The location, food, drinks and service are amazing! We have been there two times and are planning for a third time.
Do you have a (travel) tip that might come in handy in Thailand?
Be nice to people, look them in the eye and smile. Everybody wants to be seen, but not all tourists show respect.
Is there a Thai phrase or word our readers need to learn?
Unfortunately I have not tried to learn any Thai. It would be fun to at least know the basics, but it never seems to happen.
Wat Koh Phayam is the only temple I have seen in Thailand that is located above water. It’s still under renovation, now it shines really white, but some parts you can’t reach. If you give a donation you might get a bracelet from one of the monks. A friend gave me the idea to take a picture at sunrise.
Sunsets may be a bit boring for pictures, but in reality they are often amazing, and never the same. This is the view from Marina Resort on Buffalo Bay. You only have a few minutes to get the perfect shot, then it’s gone.
What type / brand of camera do you use?
I use a Canon R5 with 24-120 and a 100-500 (sometimes with extender). An amazing camera, I love the eye tracking and the high resolution.
Where can our readers find your work / photos?
I’m just on Facebook, under my name. I like to share my pictures with family and friends, but so far one place is enough.
Last question, who should we also ask our ‘In the Picture’ feature?
Egbert Griebeling is a really good photographer, both with smartphone and his Canon. As far as I know he is only on Facebook. Also my wife, Elin Skogh Olin, same places of course, but different style. Also on Facebook.
This guy has a lot of attitude, which fits perfectly at a bar built on the side of the cliffs; Rock Bar. The light was perfect, just before sunset. I’ve had better mojitos, but the surroundings was unbeatable
This picture is taken in the village by the harbor in Koh Phayam. My wife and I have discussed what he is doing; bringing flowers for his wife, or maybe a grave or a spirit house. No matter what, I think it speaks to most of us.