What began as a curiosity and interest in nature has grown into a passion for wildlife photography for Wasu, a Middle School student at International School Bangkok (ISB). This passion has led him on a variety of adventures around Thailand and abroad that have won him awards and gained him recognition and now publication by National Geographic Thailand.
Discovering His Passion
Wasu first encountered wildlife photography while hiking with his family in the jungles of Thailand. One hike they stumbled upon a group of photographers - quiet and peaceful - perched ready and waiting to capture some shots of a rare bird. Wasu and his family sat and waited with them learning all about what the photographers were doing when suddenly, with a rush of excitement, everyone packed up and started running - the bird was on the move. One man called back to Wasu and his family, “Do you want to join us?”
From then on, Wasu was hooked. ISB’s school photographer, Nutdanai Pongnikorn, helped Wasu’s mom find and buy his very first camera for his birthday. Another famous photographer’s book inspired Wasu to read and start learning more about this art form. And the photographers he’s met in the jungle along the way have taken him under their wing, each one teaching him some new technique helping him discover his passion while honing his craft.
While Wasu loves photographing many types of wildlife, his true passion is photographing birds. In his own words, what Wasu likes the most about birds is “their behavior and their color…like their hunting…[for example] the Oriental Magpie Robin will startle the grasshopper or whatever insect it is, to make it easier to catch. I feel like that’s really interesting.”
Passion Produces Commitment & Creativity
What started as an interest had grown into a passion, but in order to build skill and ability, Wasu needed to apply some of ISB’s Values & Attributes, mainly commitment, adaptability, creativity, and global-mindedness.
Wasu had to commit to spending every weekend traveling and hiking through forests, creeks, jungles and more. He had to practice being adaptable when photographing the changing flight patterns of various birds while also being creative in the types of shots he gets. Lastly, Wasu had to become more globally-minded in respecting the surrounding environment, the wildlife, and his fellow photographers out in the wild.
Additionally, Wasu has spent countless hours practicing how to capture photos of specific birds. As you can imagine, different birds fly at different speeds and in different patterns making some quite difficult to photograph. When Wasu first started taking photographs of birds, he could not shoot the swallows and swifts in flight because they were too fast. Now, after a few years of dedication, commitment, and adaptability Wasu was able to capture some wonderful photos of those fast birds.
Wasu’s dedication to his craft, his creative eye, and skillful photographs have captured the attention of the likes of Canon, the Australia Zoo, and National Geographic. Canon Thailand has supported him with the equipment he needs. He won a photo competition called “Crikey! Magazine Photography Competition" by the Australia Zoo (made famous by Steve Irwin) and most recently he wrote an article for National Geographic Thailand about his trip to Indonesia. The article tells the story of his trip and details a variety of exotic wildlife. Read the full story "Wings of Indonesia" here.
We are so incredibly proud of Wasu for pursuing his passion so excellently while exemplifying ISB’s values and attributes so well. Please join us in congratulating him on his incredible accomplishments and in wishing him all the best in his future endeavors.