Saturday, December 29, 2007

Weston's Heads

Interesting how this works, you come up with an idea then your mind is flooded with images, you remember old work that influences current work.

The latest images I have been thinking of are Weston's heroic heads. These photographs are almost like sculptures, you feel that he did them with a chisel and marble instead of a 5x7 camera.

The one of Nahui Olin is especially on the mark. The strength of the subject, the harsh light, the tight composition all create a very strong portrait. The eyes especially show the independence of this young woman.

If I could capture strength, sadness, vulnerability and loss in the same way with my upcoming heads then I have accomplished my goal.

Thomas Ruff Photo

I have been looking at some of Thomas Ruff's work lately. He did a series of head shots in color with average people, find the work kind of boring in nature but the idea is similar to the one I had recently. I think thou that a square format will make the composition more intimate and also the harsh lighting along with the metallic paper will add to the feel the image has. I also believe the subject matter (portraits of sex workers) will also have a deeper connection with the viewer.

I have to make sure this series of portraits is not exploitive but instead documents and pays proper respect to the sitters. To not use these people for my own goals is the most important consideration. I must photograph them in a way that honestly depicts them as individuals.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Photo Idea

Was driving home from work this morning and had a photo idea pop into my head. The photograph was a head and neck shot in color shot with the twin reflex. The photographs would be printed on Kodak Metallic and shot with harsh lighting and some kind of neutral background.

I would do a series of heads of sex workers, direct straight forward eye on eye harsh lighting portraits. I want to overpower the viewer with the intensity of the subjects gaze. The images would be printed large possibly 19x19 or at least 15x15.

I think I can do this series the next trip to Thai when I have only 3 weeks to get everything shot. I have no time to do 8x10 photography but can hit and run with the twin reflex finding many people and photographing them in the limited time available. I need to photograph about 30 people to have at least 20 heads for a submission.

Images would be displayed in my VAAA show (hehe) with large white frames and white mount board.


Read a qoute recently that was right on the mark.

"Do not let success go to your head or failure go to your heart."

I think the last while I have let my failure with the VAAA get to me a bit to much, need to get back on the horse!

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Got the sex worker submission rejected by the VAAA gallery today. Feel depressed about it, you create work that you think is important, work that is devoted to the subject, and the gallery people do not think it is worth showing. I feel like I let the people I photographed down, I was not able to make their voices heard.

Have to keep plugging away and not let the rejection get to me(this is my 3rd rejection 2nd from the VAAA).

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

6 foot 2 Vancouver Ladyboy

On my last night in Vancouver I was walking in the downtown area when a 6 foot 2 ladyboy walked across the street and past me. It was interesting to see the reaction of people as she travelled down the street in front of me, basically everyone watched with wide eyes and snickered and made a comment to the person they were with. Some stared rather rudely in total amazement, quite a different reaction that a ladyboy would get in Thailand where the people are much more accepting of such things.

I admire the courage it took this lady to walk the street and not care what other people thought. This person seemed free in a world where many of us conform to what is the accepted norm. I would love to have photographed her, think I would have tried to capture here independence and bravery.

Holga Plastic Camera

Weird camera and strange to use, it sort of feels like you got it out of a box of cracker jacks as a bonus gift! I now own 3 of these technical marvels, 2 flash versions and one old style non flash.

Shot some portraits last week with them as well as a few abstract detail compositions (thank you JG). Looking forward to what these out of focus shaky plastic lens images will look like, my guess is they will differ slight from the 8x10 negative portraiture.

The Beauty of a Cibachrome

Saw a show of Cibachromes when I was in Vancouver done by a Vancouver based photographer named Roy Arden. Loved the look of his small 7x7 inch Cibs, they had such wonderful color density and a intimacy as a result of there small size. His other work I was not the biggest fan of (except for 2 or 3 images, The Green House, Development) but the Cibs were exceptional.

I have some Cibachrome material left over and some donated to me by JC and AB, I might as well use it(without the masks) just so the material does not go to waste. I have several photogaphs from the Bargirl series of 2003 which would look quite nice with the high contrast and rich colors that a unmasked Cibachrome gives you. website

Well it looks like I am finally going to have a website for my photographs. It has taken me many years and many tries but I think I finally got things on the right track. I paid my 2 year fee to dotCanada and can now make up my website using their easy wizard software. I think the final turning point came when all the museum people told me that a website was a basic requirement for photographer/artists. Time to get my ass in gear and get the website made! Check it out in the construction phase at

Next step an actual name card!