This Buddha head entwined within the roots of a tree is probably one of the most iconic in Thailand. It is located in Ayutthaya, the former capital of Siam, about 80km north of Bangkok.
The ancient temple of Wat Mahathat was built during the 14th century but reduced to ruins in 1767 when the Burmese army invaded Ayutthaya. The temple was destroyed and many statues were vandalised. The city was abandoned.
How this head ended up in the roots is a bit of a mystery.
It could've happened in the early 1900s when an area of the temple collapsed leading to treasure hunting and a thief may have placed the head on the side to pick it up at a later stage but never came back for it. Of course, it could also have happened during the Burmese invasion. The site remained abandoned until the early 1950s.
Learn Photography - Composition and Photo Technique:
Good photography doesn't have to be extraordinary. Yes it was in Thailand, it's exotic, it's far away, and one doesn't go to Thailand everyday! But here, the subject is simple though and the background is obvious and unchangeable. But what makes this photo a little better than others is that the head, our main subject, is off-centre. I also filled the frame with the main subject and the secondary subject only - the roots - and that's it. There are no other distractions. Trying a different angle (lower or higher) would have distorted the Buddha head. Walking back a few steps or zooming out would have included too much distraction in the photo.
Below you can see another image I took at the same time, with a different angle and including more information. Although it is a nice frame too that shows the surrounding and the area, it is more a snapshot - I wouldn't print it and put on my wall.
Instead, I decided that both the temple and the Buddha head deserved each their individual photo as main subjects, so I took a closer photo of the Buddha head (above) and a nice photo of the temple that I'll post soon. Remember that most of the time, less is more. Know your subject and fill the frame with it - and avoid any other distractions.