Elizabeth Briel, Travel Artist

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Brutal and Beautiful

I’ve just backed up my laptop and rediscovered forgotten images.

Some Thai boxing photos from a week in Hua Hin, 2005:

Low light photos with no flash turn a brutal scene into a beautiful one.

Colors and highlights are painted onto a dark background.

The effect is rich like pastel on sandpaper.

Movements sketched onto the lens by slow exposures.

I looked at the fight through my lens, one round at a time.

The camera didn’t leave my eyes till the boxers had finished fighting.

There were boys who’d taken steroids then stopped, and men at their prime who still took them.

Any accomplishment demands intense physical and mental power.

Psych out your opponent and you’re halfway to victory.

Each win means there are more who wait to fight you.

And one day you’ll stop winning. What then?

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