Saturday, August 22, 2009

More 2009 Scans

Boon 38, 2009

Da 22, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

Quote: Diane Arbus

"For me the subject of a picture is always more important than the picture. And more complicated. I do have a feeling for the print but I don't have a holy feeling for it. I really think that what it is, is what it's about. It has to be of something. And what it's of is always more remarkable than what it is."

Quote: Woody Allen

"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it by not dying."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Some Bananrama Tests

Been playing with the Bananrama (4x5 rangefinder conversion camera), experimented with some tripod mounted shots last week, technically ok (a bit of flaring, no lens shade used) photographs, kind of boring subject matter. I am learning with the camera thou which is good, it is the camera of choice for the "Khon Thai" project, need to be able to use it without thinking tech stuff.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Oew 33 Part 2, 2009

Da 22

The first thing that attracted my attention with Da was his hairstyle, but later I enjoyed making photographs with him because of his sensitive eyes. A nice man who worked the freelancer sex scene after leaving a gogo bar.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Found 5x7 Negative From 2007

Found this negative lying around the darkroom, kind of like the feel of it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Oew 33, 2009

Oew, Blah Photographs, 2009

Oew 33 and Bla 21, friends in the freelancer scene.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Quote: Joel Meyerowitz

"It is most important to find out what your essential self is. Authenticity will separate your work from the masses."

Monday, August 10, 2009

Nong 1999

Went through my negative archives looking for a neg to print tonight, found these 3 that I might give a try. The photographs were made in 1999 when I lived in Bangkok.

Ebay Print For Sale

Photograph of Mat Ladyboy Sex Worker, Thailand 2009 is now for sale on Ebay. Hopefully I can make a few print sales to pay for film costs for the upcoming "Khon Thai" project, this last group of sex worker on white photographs cost me over $10 000 too produce. I also plan on doing a box set portfolio of 10 images from the 2007 and 2009 studio white background sex worker photographs.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Quote: Alexander Lieberman

"The creative life of a photographer is like that of a butterfly-he must adjust-transform."

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Quote: Ben Maddow In His Book, Faces

"I believe, myself, truth of character is an absolute essential of great portraiture. It is dangerous, like any other truth; it may wound the sitter, splatter back on the photographer... or offend the average viewer."

Shoot One Camera For A Year?

Jock Sturges gave me some advice once, he recommended that I concentrate on using one camera and to sell the rest.

Been thinking tonight of only shooting my Bananarama 4x5 for 1 year, of just using that camera with color and b/w film. How much better would I be with this tool if I just concentrated on making photos with it and ignored the others? The Camera would become an extension of my hand/mind/heart, and then when I was in Asia again making portraits, everything would flow, no mistakes, no confusion, the pictures would be allowed to come forth.

I need more flow in my work, need to totally forget the technical side of things and concentrate on the emotional.

Will try this for the next few months and see how it goes, maybe I can keep it up till next year.

Friday, August 7, 2009

"Bangkok At Night"?

Been thinking about a possible project I had forgotten about again. The idea was to make photographs of Bangkok at night. Portraits of people on the street, photos of places after closing, photos of the feel of Bangkok at night.

Bangkok is such a action packed place filled with nightlife. Making photos of the city would be fun and I am also comfortable in that world, feel safe and at home. The photographs of people could also fit into my "Khon Thai" project.

Bananrama 4x5 Rangefinder
Vivitar 283 Flash
3 Grafmatic Film Holders (18 shots)
Large Grey Camera Bag
2 Mini Flashlights (for focusing and camera settings)
Box of unexposed 4x5 Tri-x
Box for holding exposed film
Changing Bag (incase I need to shoot more than 18 shots a night)

Fazal Sheikh Website

I was awestruck by the beauty, complexity and humanity of this mans photographs.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

O Zhang Artists Website

Found this wonderful artists work today, the project Horizon is especially good.,%20artwork.html

Learning Khmer

Am trying to learn some Khmer. Have taken on a project of learning a word or phrase a day. During my time in Poipet this last trip I really really enjoyed myself. There was a real beauty to the 30 or so people I met over the 2 days I visited. I want to try to go back and make more photos of the locals, there is an honesty to them that I think will translate well in my portraits. I have to learn to communicate thou, if I cannot talk to them I really limit myself, communication is a key. Back in 1999 I learned Thai this way little by little. I have to try to do the same now with Khmer (have studied the language before back in 2003), it will be difficult to learn without the help of any native speakers (doing it online) will have to try and find some local people here in my city that might be able to help.

There is some common vocabulary between Khmer and Thai and many Cambodians along the border can speak Thai so I have a bit of advantage there but damn learning khmer will be hard, step by step we will get there.

jim-ree-up-sooo = Hello
khyom mun-yohl-tay = I do not understand
khyom yohl = I understand

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Quote: August Sander

Speaking about photography.
"It can depict things in magnificent beauty, but also in terrible truth, and can also deceive enormously. We must be able to bear seeing the truth, but above all we should hand down the truth to our fellow human beings and to posterity, be it favourable to us or unfavourable.

Studying August

Spent the night looking at the work of August Sander. He records his subjects with such humanity, he communicates such a understanding of the people photographed, a master portraitist.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Goethe: German Writer

Writing in his travel journal about his visit to Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel in 1787.

"...until you have seen the Sistine Chapel, you have no adequate conception of what man is capable of accomplishing. One hears and reads of so many great and worthy people, but here, above one's head and before ones's eyes, is living evidence of what one man has done."

Style: You Shoot Like Avedon

Been thinking lately about style in photographs and following in the footsteps of photographers you admire.

I have been criticized in the past for the white background 8x10 work because it is very similar in style to Richard Avedon's work. There are differences in the photographs, lens used, lighting etc, the main difference thou is subject matter.

The people I photograph are completely unrelated to Avedon's subjects. I agree that the white background and film format are the same but the fact that the subjects are entirely different negates that argument that the work is a copy cat version of his. It would be a little like saying photographers could not shoot zone system large format in Yosemite National Park because Ansel Adams had done that already. Each photographer can find an independent vision even if the technique they use is similar. Different subject matter creates different work.

Chris The Barang

At a casino on the Cambodian (Poi Pet), Thailand border I met an interesting Western man (barang in Khmer) named Chris. Chris was playing Texas hold em at one of the tables and we had a little chat. He had traveled though out South Asia, previously in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and was now in Cambodia (with Vietnam on the horizon). The cool part of Chris's trip was he was doing it via motorbike, he would buy or rent a motorbike in each country then use it to travel at his own leisurely pace. The idea of spending months possibly even a year traveling on a motorcycle in Cambodia is intoxicating. To have the freedom to meet and photograph people, to eat the local food to speak the language (need to learn Khmer) would be a life changing experience. I have to look into going down this road in the future.

I got Chris's email address and will try writing him tonight, want to learn more about his travels and adventures as well as the more practical stuff.

August Sander Influence

This famous photograph by the German photographer August Sander has been a great influence on my coming "Khon Thai" project. The heroic nature and strength of this man is inspiring. There is such a rugged independence to him, a sense of finding his place in the world of accepting that place and thriving in it.

If I can give my Thai people photographs a similar feeling of place and belonging, if I can communicate who and what they are in Sander fashion then the project will be a success, I will have accomplished my goal.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday's 8x10 Sex Worker 2009 Scans

Long 27 Female Sex Worker, 2009

Mat 27 Ladyboy Sex Worker, 2009

VAAA Alberta Open Photo Show 2009

Went to see the VAAA Alberta Open Photo Show today at the Kaasa Gallery. In the interests of full disclosure 5 of my sex worker 2007 images were rejected by the jury curating this show.

After viewing the images today I felt sort of like I had just eaten a strawberry sundae at McDonald's. It was sweet and tasty at times but in the end it makes you feel empty and a bit nauseous. The photos in the show were a mixture of boring abstracts and cliches (haystacks, flower shots, pretty garden photos etc). Out of the 63 photographs on display I felt less than 10 deserved a place on the walls, 4 or 5 images were of quality. The rest of the work was all style with no substance, highly disappointing.

I counted 5 photos with people in them and of those five in four the people were used as stylish shapes, they were non people in the photographers eyes (a tree or mannequin would have done served the same purpose), the show lacked any kind of feeling or emotion, it lacked humanity.

Art should challenge us, make us ask questions, make the hair stand up on the back of our necks. MAKE US THINK!!! This show was sweet and simple and quickly forgotten. After viewing the photographs I felt the need to use mouthwash, the show left a bitter after taste.

Please judges/curators of next years show, show us some substance, give us some meat to chew on, enough of the cotton candy crap photography. Safe, boring, sweet forget full art is not what you should be promoting, CHALLENGE YOUR AUDIENCE!!

2 More Scans Tonight

Waves Hong Kong, 2008

Ladyboy Sex Worker, 2008

Tree Near Chiang Rai Thailand, 2003

Bargirl Series 2003

Finally got around to developing and scanning some transparency film shot for the bargirl series of 2003. Still have quite a bit of undeveloped film in the fridge from this series of photographs.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Couple More

Bla 21 Female Sex Worker, Thailand 2009

Mickey Ladyboy Sex Worker, Thailand 2009