The holidays are once again upon us and I would like to wish all of you a joyous season, filled with love of family and friends and the appreciation for all that we have. For those who are planning to travel, I wish you safe journeys and for those who are staying home, a peaceful and relaxing time. Exciting times are ahead and I am looking forward to seeing all of you refreshed and renewed for the new year.
With my best wishes,
Assoc. Prof. Chulathida Chomchai, M.D.
1. TRY USING DIFFERENT COMPOSITIONS. Compositions will allow the audience to focus on the subject. It defines what the subject is in that picture. When you look at your subject, try to look for something different, something that stands out.
2. KNOW YOUR GEAR AND EQUIPMENT. Your camera might not be a top-of-the-line model but it does not matter. Learning about your equipment allows you to capture better images. Combining your creativity with knowledge of your equipment will surely help you capture the picture you would want to see.
3. ALWAYS RESEARCH ABOUT THE LOCATIONS OF YOUR SHOOT. I love shooting outdoors. I spend more than 80 percent shooting outside. Spending time learning about it really helps you understand the situation of the shoot better. You don’t have to waste so much time making decisions. I sometimes look at the same location but at different times of the day. It gives me ideas of how the lighting would be. If you cannot go to the location beforehand, try using Google Maps or other photography website to get an insight on your shooting location.
4. KEEP SHOOTING, EVEN IF YOU DID NOT GET THE PERFECT SHOT. “In imperfection you’ll find perfection.” You would never know when it is perfect. Sometimes, I look at my camera screen and I see that one of the pictures looks bad. However, when I open it up on my computer, it’s a different story. Most of the time, I only use 15 percent out of all the pictures I had shot. It’s better than not taking those shots at all. You do not want to miss any opportunities for the perfect shot!
5. ALWAYS LOOK OUT FOR THE “HIDDEN GEM.” You should always look around you. Pay attention to the lights. Photography literally means light painting or using lights to paint. Lighting can sometimes show you an amazing world you have never seen before. You may not only be playing around with the lighting but you may also be trying different angles and perspectives.
6. TAKE YOUR TIME AND HAVE FUN!
Like I mentioned earlier, photography is all about creativity. Keep practicing. Practice makes perfect. The more pictures you take, the better you become. The more you gain experience, the more you learn. The goal would be translating the pictures in your head into reality. Photography is supposed to be fun. Don’t let that spark die out.
Travel photographer and blogger MR. THEERAT “TOUCH” WATTANAKIJRUNGROJ shared with MUIC 360 ํ some of his insights on two things close to his heart: travelling and taking pictures. The Communication Design alumnus (Class of 2016) who is also a freelance graphic designer, host of travel show “Bright TV” on YouTube, motivational speaker in English Summer Camps, and a self-described cactus farmer, has visited dozens of countries and chronicles his adventures on his Facebook page “Unless You Try” which now has 23,000 likes, and the number keeps rising.
TRAVELER OR TOURIST?
“I go to many places in order to learn. I see myself more as a traveler rather than as a tourist. I’m a
storyteller who happens to use photographic images to tell my stories. It’s different from being a tourist.”
“I prefer variety when it comes to composition. When you tell a story, you need different types of composition. Each one tells a different story, evokes a different feeling. For example, a close-up shot of a person’s eye would tell a different story, bring up a different emotion, compared to a shot of the entire person’s body.”
Photo credits: Mr. Theerat Wattanakijrungroj
ON THE BEST TIME TO TAKE A PHOTO
“Look for the ‘Golden Hour.’ Should the photo of that place be best taken during sunrise or sunset?”
ON CHOOSING THE PERFECT SPOT & TALKING TO THE LOCALS
“In choosing the perfect spot, sometimes it pays to talk to the locals. In Bagan, I found that many of the temples were overcrowded and there were a lot of noisy tourists, spoiling the mood. For such a holy place, I wanted to take a photo that would convey peace and tranquility. Good thing I was able to talk to the locals who then helped me by bringing me to an isolated pagoda, far from the crowd. I liked it better.”
ON PLANNING RISKY TRIPS
“Sometimes planning to take risks in your travels—bringing insufficient budget or going to places no one else you know wants to go—could lead to good stories and hence turn into good opportunities to take good photos.”
ON USING A FILM CAMERA
“I choose a film camera because I travel alone. It’s light, cheap, easier to carry, and safer because it won’t attract the attention of thieves. It has a smaller and lighter frame compared to DSLR and I don’t have to carry many accessories.
“Anything you take with a film camera is a good photo. I make sure every shot counts. I don’t have to waste time checking the photos on the LCD of a digital camera. For me, what’s important is the story that’s in your head as you take the shot.”
ON “LIKES” AND SOCIAL MEDIA
“There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get a lot of ‘likes’ for your posts. I post what I believe are good photos and videos and feel happy when I get many ‘likes.’ However, what I think is more important in social media is consistency. If you don’t post after, say, two months, people will forget about you. No one would remember you at all.”
Holidays always mean fun. Don’t let sickness or poor health spoil the occasion. Here are some basic tips you can use.
BURN THOSE CALORIES
The frantic days of the holiday season should not be an excuse for you to neglect doing exercises. Revise your workout regimen to fit your holiday schedule.
TAKE YOUR VITAMINS
With the tables groaning with the holiday’s tempting treats, don’t forget to boost your immune system. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables to prep your body for the season.
SELECT HEALTHIER SUBSTITUTES
Holiday food means additional weight. One good way around it is by choosing healthy substitutes. A mashed sweet potato can take the place of a mashed potato. Instead of cream-based soups, try broth-based ones.
Ironically, holidays can bring on a ton of stress. Usually, we get caught up in the middle of the holiday season’s numerous tasks that we forget that holidays are also the best time to relax. Make sure you take some time off and get some me-time.
CATCH SOME ZZZ’S
Your body mends itself when you sleep. You might be tempted to skip on your sleep during the holiday season because of the thousand and one things you have to do. But your body also needs a rest.
DRINK ENOUGH WATER
There might be a lot of clinking of wine glasses or mugs of beer or even just endless cups of hot coffee to ward off the chill, but don’t forget to drink water.
GERMS, GERMS, GO AWAY!
Holidays can also mean lots of travel. And you’re prone to pick up nasty germs while taking the bus, train, ship or plane. Before you settle in, use disinfectant wipes or alcohol-soaked tissue paper to wipe armrests, headrests, tray table, food tray, seat belt buckle, door knobs, escalator rails, elevator buttons, and ATM touch screens.
With advances in technology, the average person these days can now have his 15 minutes of fame—he wouldn’t anymore be relegated to the background while elites control the convo. His voice, long suppressed but now given free rein, can finally convey his feelings, frustrations, aspirations, fears and dreams.
It is no surprise then that among the 3,000 or so students of Mahidol University International College (MUIC) many of them would utilize their adeptness at social media and smartphones and digital cameras to give vent to their creative energy and come out with exuberant social media posts…or even chronicle online the lifestyle of his generation.
Such a student is Ms. Panawan Wanotayapitak, a 22-year-old 4th year International Business student. Known to friends as “Meen,” she came up with a series of videos and posted them on her YouTube channel called “Meenisery” (https://www.youtube.com/c/meenisery) more than a year ago. It started out as an award-winning video of her experiences in the Youth Ecosperity Dialogue Scholarship at the National University of Singapore in 2018, developed into a platform for discussing things around her or gushing about her Korean, Japanese, and Thai idols—something her classmates and peers are so into. Soon she started recording videos about events in MUIC. Not long after, the number of her subscribers reached the 12,000 mark and keeps on climbing. A modest figure, yes, but the fact that she’s relatively new and yet is already one of the growing number of MUIC students who are very active in social media circles makes it significant.
WHAT’S THE NICEST COMMENT OR MESSAGE YOU GOT FROM YOUR FANS?
My subscribers are really sweet. They always encourage me to make more videos. Some of them share their own story on my channel and also ask me for encouragement. It feels great to know that my positive energy in my videos has touched them.
HAVE YOU ENCOUNTERED NASTY COMMENTS IN YOUR VIDEOS? HOW DID YOU HANDLE THEM?
Yes, I have. Some were not only negative but rude and aggressive. I just delete those comments because they are unproductive.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE YOUR STUDIES AND BLOGGING?
I make sure that my video-making won’t affect my studies negatively. My sister does the editing while I do the shooting. I use a digital calendar as a tool to plan my study time and keep track of deadlines, appointments, and examination
WHAT LESSONS FROM YOUR BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION COURSES HAVE YOU APPLIED TO MAKE YOU VLOGGING MORE SUCCESSFUL?
My professors keep us updated with the latest in the world of business. They provide us with business case studies and give us practical recommendations to prepare us for the real world. Since I am majoring in International Business, there is a variety of courses helping me to think like a business owner, a marketer or a human resource manager. I learn about trends, consumer behavior and marketing, which I can apply to my vlogging.
DO YOU PLAN TO CONTINUE YOUR VLOGGING EVEN AFTER YOU GRADUATE? OR DO YOU PLAN TO BUILD A CAREER IN BUSINESS?
I plan to continue vlogging even after graduation but only as a hobby because I’m not sure if vlogging can be my full-time job. I vlog because I love doing it.
HOW LONG TO MAKE A VIDEO?
1. Planning – 2-3 days for reaction videos, 1 week for interview with personalities or covering university events
2. Shooting – A few weeks (even a month),
depending on the schedule of interviewee
3. Editing – A few days (even a week) “This is the hardest part because we have to reduce hours of video footage into a clip that’s just several minutes’ long. And we have to put in background music, sound effects and subtitles.”
MEENISERY’S MOST POPULAR VIDEO
“MUIC Reality: Ep. 7 Study Life of Cherprang BNK48 by her Classmates”
213,779 views 5,100 likes
“I think this video is popular because people want to know how P’Cherprang managed to work and study well at the same time.”
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a household term for decades now, thanks to thousands of sci-fi movies, video games and others. What remains a wonder, however, is the fact that AI is actually slowly becoming part of our everyday existence. Indeed, AI is present in many business transactions as companies use it to improve customer experience and enhance business operations. However, with the high cost of the technology, companies have to rely on cutting- edge service providers which in turn demand for premium prices. Nevertheless, it is expected that 2020 would see a wider adoption of AI services resulting in a growing pool of providers who are expected to offer more customized applications.
Although 2019 saw the introduction of 5G mobile data networks, popular adoption was restricted by issues of affordability and limited functioning. By 2020, however, with further improvements in technology, it is expected that there will be more affordable data plans and much enhanced coverage as leading companies will start using this service. By then, downloading and uploading speeds would be so much faster with more stable connections. Not only will gaming and movie streaming on your smartphone be a more pleasant experience, but 5G networks will also mean faster transfer of data that can greatly facilitate robots, drones, and autonomous or driverless cars.
Hold your horses! Autonomous driving or driverless vehicles has been included on this list, but don’t expect yet to see Bangkok’s traffic-congested roads to be crowded with cars sans human drivers.
Though such an idea has generated much excitement in the motoring community, this technology continues to mature as major companies like Tesla promise completing a truly driverless vehicle soon, Google’s sister company Waymo conducting trials on a fleet of autonomous taxis in California, and other exciting developments. There’s even a Thai company that’s working on an autonomous “tuk-tuk”!
Experts remind us, however, that more realistic gains in this area would be on a step-by-step process by next year like autonomous braking and lane-changing features. Still, these technological advances would be most welcome.
BLOCKCHAIN BOUNCES BACK
Blockchain for so long has been associated with Bitcoin, serving as a digital ledger that securely records transactions courtesy of its encrypted and decentralized nature. Though many pundits have considered blockchain as overhyped in the previous years, it is significant to note that several major companies like FedEx, IBM, Walmart and Mastercard have invested in it while several others like Samsung, Microsoft, IBM and China’s Alibaba are taking notice. Meanwhile, industry players are also looking at blockchain’s potential to provide more practical applications in the areas of asset management, intellectual property, and healthcare.
PRESCRIPTIVE ANALYTICS / ANALYTICS
Repeat after me: “The future is in data.” Or at least in rapidly processing and using them to chart your company’s next critical moves.
Huge and significant chunks of data from everyday technological transactions—once they are processed—can provide you with actionable information. This is where the value of analytics comes in. Not only does it tell you whether you’re succeeding or failing in your market, it also enables you to forecast what will happen in the market.
Intuition and gut feelings are not reliable anymore in today’s industry. With all the data collected from consumers, analytics helps you in identifying problems, solutions and even opportunities. Major companies have invested in analytics tools: Salesforce with Tableau, Microsoft with Power Platform, and many others. Analytics tools, until now, have been mostly performing descriptive and predictive functions. However, with the introduction of prescriptive analytics, users will be given options on how to take advantage of data gleaned from descriptive and predictive tools.
Analytics has proven to be such a vital tool in business as experts claim that companies which do not invest in analytics tools in 2020 won’t be around by 2021.
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” – Simon Sinek
At MUIC, we set our sights on a new vision. At MUIC, we believe that for most people, education is very personal, both in the way it is practiced and the way it is perceived. As a result, we are aiming to create learning experiences that resonate with all those involved.
ENRICHING LIVES speaks of how learning often elevates us to new heights by allowing us to see, hear, think and experience that which we have never done before. This can be learning a new computer skill, understanding a poem or simply talking to classmates who have come from across the globe and realizing that, as different as we all are, we are more alike than we have ever imagined. These experiences shape our understanding and cultivate our sense of belonging to our community, our country and our planet.
EXPANDING POTENTIALS speaks of the challenges from an ever-changing world that awaits all of us, staff, students and faculty members alike. As real practitioners of our disciplines, from marketing to molecular science, we are faced with tasks that test our limits of understanding and creativity every day. In turn, we use these and other real-life dilemmas to guide students in learning to solve problems with originality and creativity. Facing these challenges expands the understanding of both our current capability and our potential for growth.
SHAPING FUTURES is a mindset that is forward-looking and outward-oriented. When people from diverse academic and social backgrounds are immersed in an education ecosystem such as MUIC, solutions to problems and their deployment come naturally, from reducing single-use plastics on campus to finding a platform for gender equality to digital innovations in business and health. The interdisciplinary, individualized education environment at MUIC forms the basis for cultivating global citizens who can integrate and communicate their ideas effectively and authentically across disciplines and topics and ultimately become active participants in the global community.
Finally, as a teacher and MUIC’s Dean, I believe that this vision represents who we are as educators and as an educational institution. It represents our own exceptional contribution to society and one whose uniqueness will stand the test of time.
MUIC. Enriching lives. Expanding potentials. Shaping futures.
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