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Smurfy doesn't like big dogs but he is cool with chihuahuas, this is his first fact.
A genuinely good egg who is interested in others, when he is on Koh Phangan he stays at OK Bungalows and gets his inspiration by staying there.
Last time he was here he was already doing some photography and he’s back again so we had a chat with this lovely, character called Smurfy...
Hey so this is not your first time on Koh Phangan, what brings you back?
After travelling up and down Asia quite a bit and finding this one perfect paradise that has everything, who knew this island has absolutely everything, that is what brings me back.
Last time also, frankly I didn't have a good camera and I wanted to come back to get the spirit and the tranquility of koh phangan in photographs.
Most people see Phangan as a party place and I want to show and bring the tranquility and the serenity of the island.
How did you get name Smurf?
It’s a very long story, but the short is that when I was young and would talk on the phone I apparently sounded like a smurf and it stuck, I’m more likely to respond to Smurf than my real name.
What got you interested in photography?
Bad memory I guess haha.
Probably my wish of capturing the right moment, you may see something amazing nature wise, construction wise, and you capture the right moment of it and get to see the right moment that people see.
With a photograph it doesn’t matter who takes it, it's a memory of yesterday or a year ago which will never come back, and now you have a photo of that moment.
I don't think of myself as a professional photographer because then it becomes a job and I rather want it to still be a hobby so that the passion of going anywhere and taking a photo still remains.
What have you been exploring since being back on Koh Phangan?
Mainly landscape photos because of the mountains and hills around, you get this different depth.
It’s so natural that when you look around and see big ass rainforest that you don't see it everywhere in the world it's amazing.
People destroy the jungle because they think it is better for tourists but I think people want to see authentic time and landscapes rather than stuff built for restaurants.
So you are based on the West coast, and you were last time, what do you love about it there?
Sunsets in particular this time of the year, it's breathtaking.
The quietness of the nature, you can hear the crickets and all those funky little things you hear, sometimes it is a bit frightening when you don't know what it is but when you know then it’s ok. But mostly because on Phangan there are lots of parties and to be able to get a location where there is peace and quiet is worth everything.
So you never party…?
I’m up at 5.30am so you really think I’m gonna go partying till late…?!
I haven't been to any since last time I was here, not even slip n fly.
We try to also promote people coming not just for parties, although they are good, so what would you say to people….
The same reason why I come, if you want partying you go South, Haad Rin, Baan Tai etc but if you want peace and quiet you've got Coral Bay, Koh Ma and so on. Those are places that are quiet and amazing places to snorkel and swim.
Koh Phangan isn't just party and wildlife, it's quiet and peaceful.
If people actually look then it ‘has everything’ if you want to jet ski, kite surfing, whatever, you can do it in Koh Phangan.
So tell us about your new camera….
It's a no brainer, it's a compact camera so good for travelling.
I'm using a nikon coolpix p900, the specification of the lense is important for photographers and considering it's a compact camera the lense is a nikkor 83x wide optical zoom ed vr, 4.30 - 357mm (photographers will know…).
In a way dslr’s are better as you get the depth you can't get with a compact but I can do everything I want on a one lense compact camera, its an equivelant to a 24 - 2000 lense.
I can edit and trim photos on the camera without the use of a computer, then it has wifi so you can transfer the photos anywhere, to phone, computer, dropbox, facebook and so on.
So for a traveller it is probably the best camera you can get, if you don't want to travel with a lense camera.
So what do you do in your free time and where are your favourite places?
My hammock and bungalow and doing as little as possible, listening to nature, watching the Thai fishing boats.
Just sabai sabai.
And leave us with your ‘Smurf’ philosophy?
I have so many….
You only live once so why not make the most of it.