Sunday, July 31, 2011

"People Project" How To Capture Common Humanity?

Been thinking of the ways I can photograph to capture the common humanity in people when I start making pictures in Thai next month.

I want to show how people are the same, how we have a common thread than binds us all. I have to do this visually, through expression, dress, gesture and attitude. I have to reach into the subject and see that commonality and draw it out on to the film/print.

From a technical aspect I want to keep it as simple as I can. Jock Sturges told me to use one camera and one lens and that's what I want to try to do as much as I can. If I can use Tri-x, a 4x5 Linhof with the 150mm Nikon lens for most if not all the portraits then that's great. Simplification of technique should allow me to concentrate 100% on the subject and just let the tech stuff flow naturally. The more I shoot the easier it should get and the better the pictures will be.

I have to reach deep and push myself to make the pictures I feel in my heart, I need to show the dignity, the vulnerability, the humanity of all my subjects, no matter their country, culture or religion.

The largeness of this project is all a bit daunting, its intimidating but I feel I can do it, I just have to work hard and push forward through all obsticles. Push yourself Gerry, work hard, do not give up, do not be afraid, devote yourself to these photographs, the end goal is what matters. Plus it will be FUN!

Maybe these photographs can someday be shown in Bangkok and in Phnom Penh, who knows it might help educate and promote understanding and harmony.

Ain't photography grand!

Possible Important Visitor

Today I got an email from an important person at the Alberta Gallery of Art (AGA). This person might visit the "Fading Lives" show, here hoping they visit. Sometimes it pays off to send out invitations and newspaper reviews of your show to people you do not know. Will update the blog later if this visit happens.

It has always been a dream of mine to get some work shown at the AGA (thou I think Larry and Jonathan have better chances than I do). The dream of showing something at the AGA dates back to when the building was called the Edmonton Art Gallery.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Calgary Herald Story/Link

Behind In My Printing

I have to print 2 images for the Alberta Open and have them framed by August 20th. I also need to print as much of my October group show at the VAAA as I can (when I return from Thailand I will not have much time to put everything together). Problem is I am doing a stint of 10, 12 hour work shifts followed by another 7, 12 hour shifts and then departing to Thailand in September. When will I have time to print? Printing for "Fading Lives" sort of burnt me out and now I am right back into it with these 2 shows. I have 2 weeks in between all the work shifts to print as many photographs as I can. I also wanted to make up some RC prints to give away to the Klong Toey people I photographed last year.

This experience makes me admire photogs like Brett Weston and Ansel Adams who were so dedicated to both making new work and printing old work for shows (especially Weston). Making new work is hard enough but to also throw in printing-matting-framing for the shows is quite exhausting.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Newspaper Version Of "Fading Lives" Review

The Edmonton Journal newspaper hard copy version of the "Fading Lives" review came out today.  The title of the article is "Images of hidden, forbidden Asia open new photo gallery". It was a nice half page article, I was quite pleased with how it turned out.  Many thanks to Larry Louie and his wife Joanna for helping to get the article pubished. Thanks also to the writer Janice Ryan for the wonderful job she did.

The one thing that I was a bit disappointed with was the Journals choice of which of my photographs to use. The article several times refers to the sex trade worker aspect of my photography, it speaks about the dangerous environments I shoot in etc. What do they choose as an example to illustrate this work? A postage stamp size image of a young monk in a temple calmly sitting at peace.

Oh well nothings perfect, the online version which will reach a bigger audience has 6 photos linked (2 for each photographer) so that's great! We also have all our websites linked to the story so if the reader really want to see the dangerous more edgy work they can that way.

India Times Link

Leader-Post Story/Link (Regina Newspaper)

Photo Life Blog Link

Thanks "Fannie"

Art Culture And Fashion Story/Link

VAAA Blog "Fading Lives" Story/Link

The Visual Arts Association of Alberta has a link to the Journal story on the "Fading Lives" show. Here it is:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Journal Review Out

The review of the show was in the Edmonton Journal today, it is great article. Thanks Janice for writing a bit about the show, the gallery and the photographers.

Article and photograph links (more images):

Disappearing, hidden, forbidden Asia opens new photography gallery


Larry Louie provides venue for work that may be a bit more obscure, challenging or, in this case, edgy


A worker in Larry Louie’s Smoke Break takes a rest from packing onions in the market. (digital archival print)

Photograph by: Larry Louie,

EDMONTON - Edmonton optometrist and international award-winning humanitarian documentary photographer, Larry Louie, opens the new Louie Photography Gallery with an exceptional exhibition entitled “Fading Lives,” showcasing his latest work from Bangladesh, along with exotic images from the Far East by Jonathan Luckhurst and Gerry Yaum.
Louie’s honours include the International Photography Awards (IPA) Lucie Awards, National Geographic, Travel Photographer of the Year Award (London, England) and a Humanitarian Documentary Grant with the World Photography Gala Award (Spain); astounding for someone who runs a full-time professional practice.
“I feel an urgency to document people in areas of the world threatened by urbanization and globalization — places where traditional ways of life, ancient knowledge and customs, languages and identities are disappearing at an alarming rate,” Louie says, encircled by images from travels to Tibet, Tanzania, Indonesia and Mali. “People often talk about endangered species … some are finally beginning to notice the threat to the diversity of cultures.”
Louie’s images, shot in remote and often obscure parts of the world, are riveting with a strong narrative quality. It is hard to break focus and move to the next image.
Luckhurst’s photos have also received international attention through exhibitions, magazine publications and his first book, recently published in Italy. Next up is an exhibit at the prominent Buschlen Mowatt Gallery in Vancouver, renowned for showcasing fine talent.
Luckhurst’s “Silhouettes” documents the mass Hindu pilgrimage in North India with a series of haunting and ethereal images. His approach is “to be as passive as possible, often to the point where the subject is unaware of my presence.”
Yaum’s work hangs in several collections throughout North America, with one exhibition image, Young Monk Chiang Khong, recently added to the Alberta Foundation of the Arts permanent collection. Since 1996, Yaum has ventured to places most would never dare: Klong Toey, Bangkok’s largest slum; Cambodia’s Poi Pet Brothel; and to photograph a ladyboy sex worker in Pattaya, Thailand.
“The camera is my key to other worlds. It opens up doors to people and places I might never otherwise have seen,” says Yaum.
The Journal chatted with Louie about the exhibition and the new gallery.
J.R.: Why did you decide to open a photography gallery?
L.L.: In Edmonton there are a lot of clubs, and people who are great photographers, but no venues to show their photography. I am not talking about great, beautiful landscapes you can see in commercial galleries, but about photography that may be a little bit more obscure or challenging or, in this case, edgy.
J. R: Your images offer a photojournalistic element of authenticity, yet they emit such artistry.
L.L.: Thank you, I like photographs that tell a story. When you look at the work and are either very emotionally attached or affected by the picture, that’s because it is real; it is not contrived or put together. To me that’s what documentary photography is. But at the same time, it is not just a snapshot of the scene. I want to make sure that the image is beautifully balanced as a piece of art. That’s what I try to bring out with my pictures and I think the same is true for Jonathan and Gerry.
J.R.: What made you decide on this mix of photographers for “Fading Lives?”
L.L.: We are all documentary photographers with very different styles but with the same theme … showing some humanitarian side of Southeast Asia.
J.R.: Tell me about your Bangladesh series “A Working Day in Dhaka.”
L.L.: There 15 million people, 80 per cent are below the poverty line and many live in slums or are homeless. I wanted to do a snapshot of the people … their working and living conditions; issues, like safety. I went to a shipyard where they are working with big hammers, hitting metal. Sparks were flying, but they were not wearing eyewear.
All the funds generated from the sale of my books and photographs are donated to Seva Canada, a non-governmental organization which promotes eye-care health in third-world countries.
J.R.: There is a wonderful contrast with Jonathan Luckhurst’s work.
L.L.: Jonathan, to me, is almost an artist versus a photographer. He uses photography as a medium, but he is truly an artist. He documented religious processions in India, but he presents them in a way that they could be anywhere. There are no defining features that tell you where a person is from; it is very grainy, blurred and muted. There is a very soft, mysterious feel to his images which are very beautiful.
J.R.: What drew you to Gerald Yaum’s work?
L.L.: Gerry has been travelling and documenting sex-trade workers. The ladyboys are striking … the quality of the printing; stark black and white. These portraits are very powerful. His subject matter is controversial, very touchy for people to see, but I think it is also something we know about. It is gutsy … photographing sex is very dangerous
Visual Arts Preview
Fading Lives: Award- winning images by Larry Louie, Jonathan Luckhurst, Gerald Yaum
Where: Louie Photography Gallery, 2nd floor, 10634 124th St.
When: Until Aug. 31

Babbling Big Mouth, That's Me!

Had a 2 hour 30 minute meeting with Amie a beautiful talented Thai photographer and her partner Julien (also a photographer). Amie had seen the "Fading Lives" show and asked to meet.

We were talking photography and Thailand which are probably my two favourite subjects. I had a hard time reigning in my babbling, was running off at the mouth a bit. Hope I did not bore them with my excessive yapping but when it comes to those two subjects I sort of lose it.

It was nice to see her work and to learn about their lives. People are so cool, maybe that's why I am more into portraiture than other types of photography, talking to a rock you do not get much feedback, but when you get people like today talking back at you (when they can get a word in) its quite exciting. They want to see my darkroom so will probably bring them over at some future date and show them how to print.

Well off to bed got to get up early and help my father tomorrow do some moving. My dad is 79 years old and said he could move the heavy tables by himself, and he probably can but I need to get there and help him. Night folks!

Open Poster

I got a poster jpeg today from the Alberta Photo Open people. It looks like I am going to be lucky enough to get "Young Monk #2, Chiang Khong Thailand 2010" included in the poster. Not sure what the deal is but seems like all the photo stars are in alignment for me lately. The way things are going I kind of expect to get the Kaasa one man show and the Edmonton Art travel grant (famous last words, kick to the balls coming!).

Everyone is invited to this show please come on down and we can talk photos. The preview poster is very nicely done, have a look:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Article On Donald McCullin

World Socialist Web Site
Donald McCullin: An artist “shaped by war”
By Danny Richardson
14 June 2010

The renowned British photographer Donald McCullin’s exhibition Shaped by War, in collaboration with the Imperial War Museum (IWM), was recently on display at the IWM North in Manchester. It will now be shown in Bath from September and in London from October 2011.

Launched to mark his 75th birthday, it is the largest exhibition of McCullin’s work to date. Accompanying the 200 prints are various objects, magazines and personal memorabilia. On show are many of his easily recognisable photographs—indeed his photographs of almost every major conflict from the early 1960s until the Falklands War in 1982 are some of the most potent images of the 20th Century—as well as a few newer and some lesser known prints.

Although this allows the viewer to grasp the varied aspects of Donald McCullin’s career, as is obvious from the exhibition’s title, most of the display centres on the wars and conflicts he covered for a variety of newspapers and magazines.

McCullin was born on 9 October 1935 in Finsbury Park, London, into a working class family, who, like the majority in the 1930s, lived in poverty. His father was an invalid and after his death the 14-year-old McCullin left art school to work at odd jobs to keep the family from falling deeper into hardship. His last job before National Service was as a messenger for a cartoon animation studio in Mayfair.

He was conscripted into the Royal Air Force (RAF), serving in the photography service, developing prints from reconnaissance flights over the Canal Zone in Egypt, from Kenya and from Cyprus. He failed the written examination to become an aerial photographer—he was later to be diagnosed with dyslexia—but he did buy his first camera, a twin lens Rolleicord.

When he became a professional, he exchanged it for a single lens reflex Pentax, later taking up one of the photojournalists’ favourite cameras, the Nikon F7, which was developed in 1959. One such camera was to save his life in Cambodia in 1970 by stopping a bullet. This camera is on show in the exhibition. He was also shot in the groin during the same assignment. He suffered multiple fractures to his arm when he fell off a roof under crossfire in El Salvador in 1982.

The exhibition begins with the images that launched McCullin’s 50-year career as a photojournalist. His first photograph to appear in print was of a gang named “The Guv’nors” from Finsbury Park, London. As a 23-year-old, he occasionally hung around with them, taking photographs with his Rolleicord. He had pawned this camera after leaving the RAF, but his mother redeemed it. His shots of “The Guv’nors” were published by the Observer when the gang gained notoriety through the murder of a policeman by one of its members, Ronald Marwood, in February 1959. Marwood confessed to the killing and was hanged in May of that year.

The Observer photo editor thought McCullin had some raw talent and took him on as a freelancer for the paper. McCullin later moved to the Sunday Telegraph and then again, on the invitation of David King, to the Sunday Times, which in the 1960s developed the magazine format for photo coverage of the week’s major events. He became a valued member of the Sunday Times magazine staff, working under Editor Harold Evans and Arts Editor King. McCullin rates his years at the Times under Evans as the best of his career.

His career would see him move out of the tenement environment of North London and take him on a self-financed trip to Berlin to cover the building of the Berlin Wall. This brought him his first award, a British Press Award for a series of photos on the Wall.

Next came his first official assignment for the Observer, the civil war in Cyprus. It was followed rapidly by several assignments in Vietnam, Northern Ireland, Israel, Lebanon, South America and Africa.

Cyprus brought him his first international awards, the World Press Photo Award of 1964 and the Warsaw Gold Medal. The shot that won the awards shows a Turkish woman surrounded by her distressed family mourning her dead husband. This scene is mirrored in many similar photographs: different women separated by geography and time, but connected through their grief and despair. A dramatic shot of a Turkish fighter rushing out of a cinema into the sun-drenched street while gripping a machine gun is a classic early McCullin shot. This style is also evident in his work covering the British occupation of Northern Ireland.

Don McCullin had no formal training as a photographer. His early technical education came from books purchased with the money he received for “The Guv’nor” photographs. He developed his own compositional style.

The video facility at the exhibition is a welcome addition. With precise narration by McCullin himself, the viewer is brought ever closer to the action. You can sense the genuine emotion he still carries for the subjects in his photographs. The narration on a print of a skeletal albino boy in Biafra is particularly harrowing. He recalls his distress looking into the dying boy’s eyes.

As McCullin explains, “Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures”.

Walking through the exhibition you become aware that, for McCullin, conflict is about the impact it has on people, fighters or civilians. Their anguish and fear and the carnage are captured through his camera’s lens. They are never glorified, sentimentalised or commercialised for the benefit of a photo editor back in Fleet Street. Through these dramatic images, he brought the madness and misery created by the violence of war to the rest of the world.

In the book that accompanies the exhibition, also named Shaped by War, the photographer writes “I have my own code of conduct, I’ve kept it to this day. It’s about being a decent human being…. It’s about simple respect and common decency”.

He confesses to feeling like an interloper taking images of other people’s misery. He recalls being attacked and beaten ferociously by a Palestinian woman after capturing her distress with his camera. Listening to him recounting this incident many years later, his compassion and humanity are unmistakable. His quiet, almost apologetic voice makes you begin to understand how his work affected him. There are many such examples in the exhibition. They express the feelings of a human being who refused to be separated from what he was witnessing.

But for his work and that of other dedicated photographers, such as Phillip Jones Griffiths, Nik Ut and Eddie Adams, among many others, the horrors of the death and destruction meted out to the poor and oppressed people around the world during the latter part of the 20th Century would have remained hidden from view. Their work helped to bring home the terrible reality that tens of thousands of young men were being sent around the globe to kill and be killed, or to become mentally and physically damaged, not on some noble crusade as the politicians would have the world believe, but to satisfy the greed of the ruling classes. Millions of youth around the world were politicised by the Vietnam War and McCullin’s images played a part in that.

One cannot but be struck by the sharp contrast between McCullin’s work and that of today’s journalists and photojournalists embedded with US or NATO forces in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Western governments and military experts were quick to address their mistake in allowing certain freedoms for journalists. McCullin was barred from entering Vietnam after his coverage of the retreat by the South Vietnamese Army. In 1972 he was expelled from Uganda by Idi Amin. He was also denied a place on the selected list of journalists to cover the British-Argentinean war for the Falklands in 1982.

With the takeover of the Sunday Times by Rupert Murdoch, work began to dry up—but not by accident. As McCullin explained in his autobiography, a friend of his who went to a meeting with Andrew Neil, the editor, summed up the new modus operandi as: “No more starving Third World babies; more successful businessmen around their weekend barbecues”. “And that was the direction things took”, wrote McCullin, who left the Sunday Times after 18 years with the newspaper.

The starkest and most striking images are in McCullin’s favoured black and white format, although, he says “I can use colour very well too”. While he is better known as a war photographer, a title he detests, his work has varied from the Beatles and brilliant landscapes of Britain and India to social deprivation in 1970s Britain.

The exhibition ends with his prints from his latest project produced using large format photography. The images are published in Southern Frontiers: A Journey Across the Roman Empire. His turn to this format at a relatively late age only underlines his desire to keep learning his trade.

McCullin’s renowned photographic style is matched with an equal ability in the darkroom. This side of his talent is less known to the public. In the exhibition there is a raw print showing a close-up head shot of a shell-shocked US marine taken during the Hue offensive in Cambodia. It is covered with yellow sticky notes, denoting how much of this or that part of the print needed to be dodged or burnt in. The work done to expose clearly the look in the eyes of the marine makes the photograph outstanding.

Taking a shot was just the beginning for McCullin. In his day, it was not possible to review and edit on camera a finished photograph. Long hours sifting through contact sheets, then selecting and working with a few frames was an art in itself. Indeed, the ease of digital photography today makes McCullin’s art all the more impressive.

At 23, he had a budding gift. At 75, although he would be the last to say it, he is a master of his craft. In 1987, in an interview with Frank Hervat, he said, “I am tired of guilt, tired of saying to myself: ‘I didn’t kill that man on that photograph, I didn’t starve that child’. That’s why I want to photograph landscapes and flowers. I am sentencing myself to peace”.

Donald McCullin deserves any peace he can find. Reading through his autobiography, Unreasonable Behaviour, you are struck on each page by the harsh mental consequences his extraordinary career has had for him. If the outcome of a peaceful life for McCullin is more work of the calibre of his latest landscapes, all the better for the rest of us.

Shaped by War is at the Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, from September 11-November 21, 2010, and at the London Imperial War Museum from October 2011-January 2012.

Ugg! Had To Write An Artist Statement

Boy I hate writing artist statements, they always sound to me like a bunch of arty farty pompous nonsense. The Kaasa gallery requested it thou as all galleries do so I needed to write something up, this is the best I could come up with.

Artist Statement

In my portraiture I try to show the commonality in all of us, how we as human beings have a common connected humanity no matter our race, religion or culture. My photographs deal with the forgotten sections of our society, the creative goal of the work is to document these forgotten people and show the common characteristics we all share.

My influences include the great documentary/concerned photographers W. Eugene Smith, Donald McCullin and Sabastiao Salgado.

I have been involved in photography since I was 14 (am now 47), I work only with film cameras and process all the film and prints myself in a traditional wet darkroom.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

New Donation Link

I am scraping along trying to get money together for my "People Series" I thought I might get a few donations from people who thought the series was worthwhile. I was not sure I should do this but any money would go towards the photography so it cannot hurt to try this, maybe some important lasting photography will come out of the funds raised. If no one donates I am no worse off than I am now. This project is important it is worth a bit of begging on my part.

Series: The Peoples Project, Thailand/Cambodia 2010

The “People Series” is a new series of photographs I have recently started to work on. The hope is to do hundreds of portraits on both sides of the Thailand-Cambodia border. The Khmer (Cambodian) and Thai peoples have a long history of animosity and violence. I want to show the common traits the people of these two countries share, and by extension show how all human beings are connected. The goal of the series is to capture our common humanity in photographs and to promote harmony, understanding and peace between peoples.

Quote: Robert F Kennedy

"Some men see things as they are and say, Why? I dream things that never were and say, Why not?'"

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Grant and Submission

Did a submission via email this morning to the Kassa Gallery at the Jubilee Auditorium here in Edmonton. The submission is called "Portraits From Klong Toey Slum, Bangkok Thailand" all 10 portraits I submitted were of children who lived in the slum. In the past I have applied to show my sex worker photographs at this gallery and be rejected, so we will have to see how this submission works out.

I also am working on a Edmonton Arts Council Grant application. The grant is called a "Travel Grant", and would only be for a small amount of money but with multiple trips planned over the next year to work on the "Peoples Project" any money I can get will help greatly. I am very short of funds and grant money is a wonderful bonus opportunity that would help me create the body of work I need to create.

I also wanted to apply for a Project Grant For Individual Artists from the Edmonton Arts Council but unfortunately I missed the deadline by 3 weeks it was July 1. I will have to try for that grant next year.

I need to also look into provincial and national grants, working nights security pays the bills but leaves very little money for me to pursue my photography projects. Art grants could turn out a very important source of funding in the future.

For any Edmontonians interested in applying for art grants, here is the link.

Quote: Lucian Freud (Realist Portrait Painter)

"I paint people not because of what they are like, not exactly in spite of what they are like, but how they happen to be."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Quote: Paul Gauguin

"Pictures and writings are portraits of their authors."

Another Link On The Italian Website

Found another one of my photos on the same Italian website as earlier (many provocative photos on the site). I took this shot using a razzle 4x5 camera (Banarama, yellow camera)and flash, it was made in a shortime sex room that the ladyboy workers used with their clients. This camera was hard to compose with(maybe I just need more work with it) but allowed me a beautiful large 4x5 negative, hand held. I have another razzle on the way with a 90mm lens named Kermit (its green). I am hoping to make some good portraits with it in Asia in the future.

Here is the Italian site link:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Need To Make More Photographs

Gosh, I need to get out there and make more photographs but the next short Thai trip is over 6 weeks away yet. Feel like I am wasting my time here in Canada in search of money to do the thing I need to do. Got to get working on this people project soon, its a big commitment and I am unsure how it is all going to work out. Feel like Emily Carr in the earlier blog quote, time is running out got to get things done while I can still do them.

Monday, July 18, 2011

3 Post Show Developments

Heard about 3 people who visited the show after the opening from Larry. There was a Thai lady photographer who photographs abandoned buildings in Thailand, I wish I could have talked to her. Janice Ryan the arts writer for the Edmonton Journal is planning on writing a story on the show. A wonderful photographer and former photo extension course teacher a friend of Larry's also liked the show. She would like to arrange a session where the 3 photographers come in and answer questions from her current students, it would be sort of a show and tell followed by a question and answer session. Larry is an old hat at this sort of thing but I have never done it before and thought it might be fun. I was thinking of even bringing in my Masterview 8x10 with 300mm Nikon lens (equipment I used for the sex worker shots) to show the adult students. In this digital age that camera and the slower process might be interesting for them to see and play with. Not sure this will happen as I am going to Thailand soon and Larry is also traveling in the coming months but will see how it goes.

According to our calculations we had approximately 120 people at the opening, not bad at all! I was the low number in getting people to the opening night. I had about 8 people who said they would come but did not show up. I also expected a bigger turnout from photo club friends but for whatever reason most of them did not want to come and see a brand new photo gallery in Edmonton (one of the few in all of Canada) and see the photographs of 2 outstanding photographers in Larry Louie and Jonathan Luckhurst. I sometimes wonder about the commitment the club people have to photography but to each his own I guess, we all lead busy lives. I actually had a bigger turn out from a former club that I used to belong to than the current club I do belong to. Five current or former monochrome guild members showed up, thanks fellas.

Jobo A Fishy Solution

Had to do develop some 4x5 white background photos of Larry last night. Larry needed a portrait one for a British photography magazine story he is involved in. I decided to try something rather fishy to fix my Jobo heating element problem. I needed to heat up the water bath (this jobo has a working pump and motor but no working heating element) to 24C to develop the Tri-x 4x5. I placed a small fish tank heater on one side of the tank and waited several hours, the water heated up to 24C! I was able to develop the film over the next several hours.

When I was doing the final color RA-4 prints for the show I used another broken down Jobo for that. This machines heating and motor worked but not the pump. I put as much water as I could in the processor then heated it up to 35C (something I cannot do with the small fish heater in the other processor). I was able to make 3 large color prints using this processor, it worked out quite nicely.

There is a solution to every problem, sometimes you just need to calm down a bit and work through it.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Fading Lives Opening Night Photos

Thanks to Larry Wong, I have some wonderful opening night photos to post. (Rob you really look into that book!)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Got My Check

Got my $400 check last night from the Alberta Foundation For The Arts. The money went right into my bank account to pay for the upcoming "Peoples Project" photos I will make in September. I will submit 5 more images next year to the Foundation and ask for more than $400 a print. I tentatively have 3 short trips to Thailand/Cambodia in the next year. I will then have a long period of over 1 year of working nightshifts in Canada. All 3 of these trips will be short but I need to shoot lots of portraits for the series. I think I have more of a handle on large format in available light and with the Linhof 4x5 it should flow better, with less breakdowns. Am quite excited about returning to Thailand, the reception the work received at the opening 2 nights ago was encouraging.

I heard from Larry today that 3 people visited the gallery yesterday, one was a Thai lady, I would have loved to get her feedback on the photography, she might have blasted it or might have loved it, either way it I would have loved to hear what she had to say (I guess she was also a photographer). The second person of interest was a former night time photo teacher of mine, she liked the ladyboy sex worker white background stuff. I would have loved to talk to her as well! To get some feedback from a skilled photographer would have been beneficial. It is a pretty cool feeling to know your work is hanging on a gallery wall and people are responding to it, I guess today a friend of Larry's a former National Geographic photographer is going to check out the images.

Exciting times!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Show Night

Well the opening is over, its 1040pm and I am at home now, tired but happy. Everything went off well, you sort of feel like a little celebrity. I did not have to do a speech but ended up talking about the photos to several smaller groups of people over the couple of hours people were there. Larry had wonderful food, there was shrimp, sushi, miniature hot dogs and hamburgers, Vietnamese sandwiches and all kinds of deserts.

Not sure there how many people were at the opening but there was lots, at times it was hard to move around the gallery, people were eating and talking downstairs then looking at the photographs upstairs. I did manage to get my final print done on time and it was a hit with several people (Um portrait on white background), so glad I worked extra hard to complete it in time. Ended up printing till 5 a.m. this morning then final processing and washing till around 10 a.m. I had to hang the print in my film drying cabinet and blow cold air on it for about 5 hours for it to dry. I got the framed print into the gallery and on the wall at about 530 p.m., a good 1 hour and 30 minute before the show opening! woo! It made for a good story in the gallery, I would tell people, you see that photograph over there? This morning at 5 am in was still wet my darkroom tray.

Larry and his wife Joanna were great in all this they really worked their tales off to make this a success. I will always appreciate the effort they went through for this opening.

Sort of feel like I have nothing to do for the first time in a long time. I guess will take a couple of days off then move on and print the photos for the Alberta Open and also print the work for the October VAAA show.

Time to take a nap now, night.

Final Pre Show Thoughts

I feel nervous and excited, this thing is sort of a coming out party for me. I've had 4 photos on a wall in a gallery many years back, had 2 photos at the Alberta Open in 2008 but that's about it. In the show tomorrow I will have a total of 15 pictures on display, there should be upwards of 100 people including many photographers and artists as well as a writer from a the local newspaper. Larry has been shown in major cities around the world, Jonathan is represented by a gallery in Italy and has a new book, but me? This is a whole new league I am entering, something I have never experienced before. Its only Edmonton and its only a group show but heck for me its a huge event.

This whole thing is a bit intimidating but I can say one thing honestly I left everything on the walls, I worked as hard as I could and busted my butt on this show. I have nothing to be embarrassed about no mater how people view it, I did my best, gave all that I could give. Even now as I type this I am drying a test print in the darkroom, got to finish one last print and will place it in the gallery at 5pm, 2 hours before the show opens.

What I am most happy about is that 4 Cambodian brothel portraits will be shown. The girl workers in the photos which were made back in 2003 have most likely passed on from AIDS, these images might be the only thing that remains of them, possibly the only thing that proves they were alive and mattered. Having 100+ people looking into those girls eyes tomorrow is what I always wanted, its like I kept a pledge to the girls I made when I was sitting in that brothel all those years ago drinking my $5 coke. They were sitting opposite me, tired and worn down, it was night, the passing men stared and made rude comments as they passed, it was as sad a thing as I have ever seen, the waisted lives the daily heartache. I remember thinking, I have to tell these girls story, now I feel in a very small way I am living up to that pledge.

Hung Vietnamese Brothel Worker, Poi Pet Cambodia 2003

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Show Opening Tomorrow

Well spent 5 hours trying to make my frames and mounting look as nice as it can. I had big problems with dust behind the acrylic (plastic) in the frames, I wanted to get the non reflective museum glass but for all my frames (14 frames in the show) it might have cost me another $1000, just do not have that kind of money. My friend Rob who cut the frame sections for me gave me free sheets of the acrylic. The plastic transmits light very well, so that art of it is nice, it makes the photos glow thou there are reflections and the dust and scratches were hard to handle.

I feel like a multi tasker on this show project, I :

1) shot the photos
2) developed the film
3) printed the negatives
4) cut the mat boards (OK but not great quality)
5) put together all the frames (my friend Rob cut the frame sections for me in his shop)
6) wrote up all the information sheets, title sheets etc.

I have 1 more sex worker print to make tonight and then was dry and mount it in the frame and mat waiting for it. It will be exciting tomorrow to be at the opening where we expect over 100 people but gosh darn this is all tiring need to take a rest. I will make a video of the opening and try to post it online in the coming days. Now off to the darkroom and one more all night printing session for this show.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Not As Professional, But That's OK!

Took most of the photos down to the gallery and set them up. I have to go down and touch things up and add the color work but things are near set up now. My write ups, business cards and CV etc are not as professional as Larry and Jonathan's but in a way that can be a good thing. My photo series background stories have a more personal touch, stories about the people and the making of the photographs (see earlier blog entry). I am not really that polished as a person, I feel more comfortable in an isolated area getting to know strangers than in a group at a show doing art speak. I guess thats just the way I am, never felt quite right in the arty farty art world places and events. Hopefully this gallery presentation is not shabby looking and is professional enough to tell the story of my subjects. I want to keep that human connection, the background information about the people photographed and the feel of intimacy in my work.

I think that Larry is a better photographer than I am, and Jonathan's work is beautiful and extremely creative. My strongest work is a result of knowing my subject, and working with them several times (as in the sex worker photographs). I think my style is closer and more intimate, I do not tell stories with my photographs like Larry is so great at, I am not artistically creative like Jonathan, but I might have an intimacy with my subject that works sometimes. I think in the future I have to do more of that, keep photographing and photographing the same people over and over to get to that deeper level (something Jock Sturges told me to do).

Monday, July 11, 2011

2 Photos Accepted To The Alberta Open Competition

Well got a couple of photos into Alberta open competition. I got into this thing 3 or 4 years ago and ever since then my sex worker portraits were rejected. Every year at this competition maybe 1 portrait out of 40 or so photos are shown. I usually right a bitchy blog entry complaining about the lack of portraiture. Every year I submitted 5 sex worker portraits and every year I was rejected. This year I partially caved and in my submission of 5 pictures I included 2 landscapes. What do they select? 2 of my 3 portraits! Maybe the sex worker portraiture was to controversial for the forum the work is shown in.

It will be good to show the work, good to be in a crowd of photogs at the opening, good all around, now I can stop my bitchy no portraits in the Alberta Open blog entries.

These are the 2 photographs they selected, funny thing is I spent 5 weeks in Thailand in November/December 2010, worked my tail off, and the 2 they selected? They were shot about 30 minutes apart, the one of the deaf lady was shot with only 2 sheets of 4x5 film left.

Young Monk 2, Chiang Khong Thailand 2010

Deaf Lady, Chiang Khong Thailand 2010

This is a fun competition and a nice night out, I recommend all Alberta based photographers join in, come on lets promote photography in Alberta!. Here is the the acceptance letter with all the show information, come on down and see the work at the opening or later on.

Dear Gerry Yaum:


CONGRATULATIONS! On behalf the Visual Arts Alberta Association I would like to thank you for submitting your work for consideration in the VAAA Gallery’s 2011 Alberta-wide Open Photography Call for Submissions. I am pleased to advise you that you have been selected by the jury for the Juried Photography Exhibition scheduled to run from August 25 to October 02, 2011 in the Kaasa Gallery at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium located at 11455 – 87 Avenue, Edmonton.

Visual Arts Alberta had over 66 Alberta photographers respond to this call with 327 images. 57 photographs were selected by 39 artists to be shown in the Kaasa Gallery in OPEN PHOTO 2011. I am pleased to advise you that the jury selected the following image(s) from your submission:
1: Young Monk (close up)
2: Deaf Woman Chiang Kong Thialand (both images attached as jpeg files)
Once all the work juried into the exhibition is hung for the show in the Kaasa Gallery at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, our special guest juror will come and select the overall winner from the work presented plus the other award winners and honourable mentions. There will be prizes offered to the overall winner and the top four photographs, these will be announced the night of the Opening Reception, Thursday, August 25, 2011. The honourable mentions from this show in Edmonton will be travelling to the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium following the show in Edmonton.
In addition to ensuring a professional and consistent presentation of their work, artists are responsible for transportation to and from the VAAA Gallery, 3rd floor, 10215 – 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T5K 1M7. The artwork should be dropped off at the VAAA Gallery in Edmonton, on or before Saturday August 20th at 4pm. The VAAA Gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday from 10am – 4pm and Saturday from noon – 4pm

Pompous Ass?

I have been writing a intro for the various series I will show this Thursday. How do you write one of these things without coming across as a pompous ass? I have revised and edited so many times I am getting sick of the whole thing! I think putting the pictures into some kind of context and explaining things a bit for this Western Canadian audience is a must, but boy this is not easy to do, give me a camera instead please!

Here is the final cut, best I could manage:

Gerry Yaum Documentary Photographer

Series: Klong Toey Slum, Bangkok Thailand 2010
Photographs: #G1-G6

Klong Toey is the largest slum in Bangkok with a population of around 80 000, its shack homes, schools, restaurants and other businesses are built illegally on government land owned by the Port Authority of Thailand. The slum runs next to the Chao Phraya river, along a canal (Klong in Thai = canal) and on both sides of an in use railway track. Photograph #G1 shows the canal and slum shacks built under a freeway. Photograph #G4 shows local children on the railway track with their homes on each side. When I was making the photographs I would sometimes hear the cry of “Rot Fai Mar” which means “The train is coming”, everyone would get off the tracks and move to the safety of their shacks or onto nearby walkways and wait for the train to pass. The trains would run through the slum more than 20 times a day, some of the shack doorways were within 4 feet of the passing cars, it was quite dangerous but everyone seemed accustomed to it, even the children. One time as I was concentrating on making pictures a young child came up to me and said to me “The train is coming”, she took my hand and led me to a safe area.

Klong Toey can be dangerous at times, there is a striving drug trade as well as other criminal activity but the kindness of the people quickly made me feel at peace. Everywhere I went smiling Thais approached and spoke to me, the children were especially curious. The young boys and girls in photograph #G4 were learning English from me and acting up for the camera, they were fascinated by my skin color and large Western shaped nose. Another time as I was sitting and talking to an older Thai woman 2 young twin girls each around 6 years old came up to me, they stared at me closely eyes filled with wonder, then one leaned forward and gently pull on my nose (to see if it was real?). What I remember about Klong Toey now is the children, curious and smiling, they have so much promise and possibilities in them but will they get the chance to fulfill that promise?

Series: The Peoples Project, Thailand/Cambodia 2010
Photograph: #G7

The “Peoples Project” is a new series of photographs I have recently started to work on. The hope is to do hundreds of portraits on both sides of the Thailand-Cambodia border. The Khmer (Cambodian) and Thai peoples have a long history of animosity and violence. I want to show the common traits the people of these two countries share, and by extension show how all human beings are connected. The goal of the series is to capture our common humanity in photographs.

I was lucky enough to have the first photograph from this series “Young Monk, Chiang Khong Thailand” (photograph #G7) purchased by the Alberta Government through their Arts by Acquisition program, it was added to their permanent collection.

The boy novice monk in the photograph is following a tradition most Thai boys undergo. A Thai male usually becomes a Buddhist monk at least one time in his life. He might only be a monk for a short period of time or it might last several years, either way it is an important foundation for his future life and something his family will be very proud of.

Series: Brothel, Poi Pet Cambodia 2003
Photographs: #G8-G11

These photographs were made at a brothel in the Cambodian border town of Poi Pet, the brothel workers were women (girls) of Vietnamese heritage most likely smuggled across the border into Cambodia, the brothel customers were mostly Cambodian men. Poi Pet is a Wild West town of corruption and trade, many Cambodians from the town travel into Thailand on a daily basis to work or sell goods.

The brothel was run by a Cambodian family, an older man and his wife who lived there with their young daughter and grandchild. The portraits were made in closet sized short time sex rooms in almost complete darkness. The rooms held just a single mattress with a small standing space, these small crawlspace rooms would sometimes be dressed up by the girls with magazine pictures of Asian movie and pop stars or pictures of happy couples and families.

This brothel was probably the ugliest place I have ever made photographs. The girls were desperate and broken; they had the faces of old women, there was a quiet resignation in every movement they made. One girl Ly acted out for me how the mamason (the boss/owner of the brothel) beat the backs of her legs with a stick when she did not do as she was told, she showed me 3 long scars on the back of both her legs.

The young girls in these portraits were photographed in 2003, 8 years ago. Brothel workers in Cambodia have poor to no medical care and go with possibly 10 men a day, the likelihood that the girls in these photographs have since died of HIV/AIDs is high.

Series: Thai Sex Worker, Pattaya Thailand 2007-2009
Photographs: #G12-G14

These portraits were made on location in 2007-2009 with a large format 8x10 film camera. I photographed upwards of 50 workers from the bars and streets of Pattaya Thailand. The photographs #G12-13 show Mat a ladyboy who is a friend I have photographed 6 or 7 times through the years. In these two portraits you can see Mat before and after her breast surgery.

Pattaya city has the largest red light district in Thailand and probably the world. There are thousands of sex workers in a variety of venues, gogo bars, beer bars, massage parlors, short time sex bars and freelance workers. The customers of these bars and massage parlors are international sex tourists. The sex tourists are predominantly male both straight and gay, from every country around the globe. Different areas of the city are devoted to a different type of customer, Arab customers, Asian customers, Gay customers etc.

I originally started photographing sex workers in Thailand during my first trip to South East Asia in 1996, my goal has been to humanize the statistics, to put a human face to the ugly words, prostitute, hooker and whore. By giving those words a face and a name, I hoped I could help change attitudes. I tried to learn about the workers lives and then document them as the unique human beings they are, before they were used up, replaced and forgotten.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Talk

I am getting a bit excited about the opening, I think the little speech part should go OK. When I saw Edward Burtynsky at the AGA (Art Gallery of Alberta) he talked for over 1 hour about his photographs. I intend to follow Burtynsky's example, I will not be talking about the great Gerry Yaum's philosophies on life (who wants to listen to that crap). I'm going to just tell the story behind the making of the photos like Burtynsky did, some background history and a few short stories is what I'll do.

I have also been working on a write up for the show, I think it is near completion, the idea there is the same as the short show talk, the history of the photographs and stories behind their making.

I think by telling the stories and the first person background stuff it sort of personalizes things a bit for the viewer. I do not like influencing what they see and how they react to it, they should react in strickly visual impact terms but I think maybe they can learn more and understand more if I talk about my experiences making the photos. I guess its a bit like Fazal Sheikh's books where he writes the back stories behind the people he makes portraits of. Sheikh's technique gives a fuller understanding than the photograph alone.

Will post the show story write up here when its completed.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Things I Still Have To Do!

The show is in 7 days (3 of which I am working my night shifts). I still have lots to do but think if I do everything as planned I will complete it all on time. I got the box set done but I wanted to print a 4th Cambodian brothel portrait, the problems I am facing with my Jobo processors is making this more difficult than it need be. I also might try and reprint the first 2 photos I made in this series. Kodak discontinued their metallic photo paper in boxes so I had to buy a large machine roll and cut it up in my darkroom. Half the brothel prints are printed on the box stuff and have are printed from the roll metallic paper (designed for digital photographs), I am not sure they will look the same so might have to reprint them all on the roll stuff.

I also want to try and print one more sex worker shot on white background. I printed a diptych of the slum housing for the first photo of the show but I am not sure it is a dynamic enough photograph. I might try to print a photo I did of a ladyboy sex worker Um back back in 2007 as a replacement. I need something that will catch peoples eye and the slum shack shot thou informative is a bit boring visually. I would like to print and frame both the Um photo and the diptych then compare then in the gallery where I can make my final decision on what goes up on the wall.

So my schedule is as follows:

1) Do a final check of the prints I have made and framed already, possibly recut some mats, make sure all the prints are signed, titled and numbered (will do that on my night shifts).
2) Cut all the mats for the photographs I have to print yet, cut some mats for prints printed but not framed yet(will do that on my night shifts).
3) Monday, go to pick up some recut frames from my friend Rob, print the color work, 1 to 3 photos. Hopefully I can get the Jobo processor working well enough. Frame the color work. (my first night home from work).
4) Tuesday take most of the final framed prints to the gallery and hang them, along with the soft drinks/ water etc for the opening night.
5) Tuesday and Wednesday print the final Um photo. Frame the print and take it to the gallery.
6) Thursday show day!

Hope all that works out I should be able to get it all done in time. If I need to work 20 hours in the darkroom I will do that.

1st Box Set Completed.

Well finally finished the box set I hope to have on the gallery table next to the book/booklet of the other photographers. Putting this thing together took lots of man hours, its not perfect but it looks pretty good. I am not sure I want to make any more of these up thou! I will probably become faster at it in the future but this one was quite difficult to make. I am only asking $499.00 for it, not sure all the effort (lots of man hours) and expense (photo paper, archival box, matting etc) is worth doing for $499.

I wanted to display more of the sex worker photos at the show so these little versions of the prints will be seen by the opening night crowd, that is the main reason I went through the trouble of doing this thing. Here is the intro sheet I am including with the box.


Gerry Yaum Documentary Photographer
Limited Edition Box Set # 1: “Thai Sex Worker”
Edition of 40 of boxes
7 - Archival Silver Gelatin Darkroom Prints
Image Size 5 x 6 1/4”
Matted and Presented in a Archival Fine Art Box

1. Meow 28 Female Freelance Sex Worker, Thailand (2009)
2. Da 22 Male Freelance Sex Worker, Thailand (2009)
3. Natty 25 Ladyboy Shortime Bar Sex Worker, Thailand (2007)
4. Bla 21 Female Freelance Sex Worker, Thailand (2009)
5. Ti 27 Male Gogo Bar Sex Worker, Thailand (2007)
6. Apple 24 Ladyboy Shortime Bar Sex Worker, Thailand (2009)
7. Mat 24 Ladyboy Freelance Sex Worker, Thailand (2007)

These portraits were made on location in 2007-2009 with a large format 8x10 film camera. I photographed upwards of 50 workers from the bars and streets of Pattaya Thailand. Pattaya city has the largest red light district in Thailand and probably the world. There are thousands of sex workers in a variety of venues, gogo bars, beer bars, massage parlors, short time sex bars and freelance workers.

I originally started photographing sex workers in Thailand during my first trip to South East Asia in 1996, my goal has been to humanize the statistics, to put a human face to the ugly words, prostitute, hooker and whore. I wanted to learn about their lives and then document and remember these workers as the unique human beings they are, before they were used up, replaced and forgotten.

Note: I sell my work to fund photographic projects; any moneys earned will go towards film, travel expenses and printing my next series of photographs “The People’s Project”.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fazal Sheikh

Reading the Fazal Sheikh book "A Camel For The Son". The book contains both stunning b/w portraiture and heartbreaking written testimonials. The combination of the visual with the written doubles the power of the book.

In the future if I am able to do portraiture in brothels, refugee camps or slums I need to find a way to include the personal stories of the people I photograph. To have the back story of the subject helps round out the photograph, it gives added weight to the message your trying to tell.

How do I do this? My Thai is not good enough to get into the details of peoples lives, I need to either dramatically improve my Thai or get interpreters to help me. If I photograph in Cambodia or other places that presents a different language problem. I cannot become fluent in every language from every country, so getting help from a local who speaks English seems like the smartest move.

The problem is I enjoy doing everything myself, this coming show, I photographed, developed the film and prints, cut the mats and put together my own frames. I had a friend who cut the frame sections for me but everything else I did myself. To have an interpreter at the photo sessions seems intrusive, but if a greater more important story is told it is something I need to consider.

Box Set Work

Am working on my box set tonight during my nightshift, I decided to do 7 small sex worker white background prints for $499, an limited edition of 40. I will never sell 40 might not even sell 1 but I want to have the little photos seen at the opening. Who knows something might sell, if I even sell 1 box I can put the money towards "The Peoples Project".

3 Jobo Machines 3 Different Problems

I need these Jobo processors to do my work but they are very unreliable. I have 3 machines all with different problems.

Processor 1 - motor does not operate and spin tanks correctly (this machine was bought new, broke down was repaired and broke down again).
Processor 2 - pump does not work no water flow from lower tank to top of unit.
Processor 3 - processor does not heat up.

Processor number 3 is my backup emergency processor, I am sh-t out of luck. I have to buy another one of these machines again, but have no extra money to do so, this is depressing.

I also have to make 1 more color print for the show and need the Jobo processor to make the print, what do I do? The only thing that might be a possibility is to borrow a processor from my friend rob (he has 2) or to heat up the non pump processor and hope that works to do the print even without water flowing.

Every problem has a solution, I have to work my way through this.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

More Jobo Problems

9 days before the opening and I have more Jobo processor problems. My main machine that I was using to make color prints stopped working (the pump stopped circulating water). I had to dig out my backup Cibachrome process I bought 4 months back.

I do not have time to deal with equipment problems now, I am working 12 hour nightshifts and want to come home and print for 2 or 3 hour before going to bed and working another nightshift. Instead of doing printing today I spent my time moving around processors. At first I could not get the second processor working but it seems to be working now, for how long is anyones guess.

A few days ago I had problems with my enlarger as well. I had to replace the enlarger bulb then I lost my power regulator, luckily I had a second enlarger and power regulator I could scavenge and use.

Seems the darkroom gods do not want me to finish my color printing, I am into the backups of 2 different pieces of equipment. Luckily I planned for breakdowns with these backups. I will have to get new backups for the backups I am currently using. Money money money!

Will be glad when I am done printing for this show, the second show in October should be easier going. The 8x10 negatives are much easier to print and their will be no color work so no Jobo processor issues.


Just framed one of the sex worker on white background portraits. This is the first time I have framed any of the sex worker portraits, it looks wonderful! I am going to include 2 maybe 3 of these portraits in the "Fading Lives" show.

The frame is 28x32, mat white with a 1 inch front lip. The mat is off white, and the print is 20x24 with the 8x10 negative border included. When I made these photographs I always envisioned seeing the prints framed just as this one is, its feels wonderful to realize that pre-visualization tonight.

I have printed 2-20x24 portraits of ladyboy Mat shot in 2007 and 2009. both portraits will be in the show placed side by side. Between the 2 portrait sessions Mat had breast surgery, she looks definitively more feminine in the 2009 portrait.

Ain't photography grand!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Box Set

First day back at work, spent 14 hours in the darkroom last night, feel worn out.

Worked on doing a box set of white background sex worker photos. I am making up a very small print selection for a box set of 5 prints. The actual print size is around 6x8 inches, the print will be mounted in a 8x10 mat and over mat (window cut). I needed something to place on the gallery table beside Jonathan's book and Larry's booklet, so I made this box set up. I will have to cut the mats this week at work but I think I got the prints all done last night. Doubt I will sell any of the boxes but hopefuly one might sell which would help offset the cost of my coming flights to Thailand. I am not buying any more equipment and have enough film and darkroom supplies for now, but money is really short, I have to live cheaply my next few trips.

I initially was going to have only 10 photos in the show but that number has grown to 13 or 14 now. I also wanted to show some more of the white background stuff so this little set of 5 mini prints will do that. I am not sure how much to charge for the box, it will be a limited edition of 25 boxes (never make that many or sell that many but its a good marketing tool). There is lots of work involved in making this thing up so wanted to be compensated for that.

The big white background stuff I am going to list at $800, the smaller 35mm slum photos at $600, might have to list this one box set at $399. Hope hope something sells, if not thats ok, getting the work seen is where its at.

Friday, July 1, 2011


Been working hard the last 2 nights printing the last b/w work for the show. I am reprinting one photograph of children on the railway tracks of Klong Toey slum and printing two panoramic Xpan slum shack photos for a diptych piece. Had the children shot done and soaking but I left it to long in the water holding bath (an extra 7 hours) and when I gave the prints a final wash the emulsion just washed right off the paper. I have to reprint the photograph again, I should have not been lazy and hypo cleared/toned the work and given it a final wash earlier today instead of letting it soak that long, a stupid mistake.

I am getting better at using the bleach thou, I have invented a technique that seems to work well. When the print with bleach on it is placed back in the fixer bath it sort of activates it. I found the taking of the print in and out of the tray a bit cumbersome (especially with bigger prints) so I got a small hair dye bottle and placed fixer in it. I then squirt the fix on the print and bleach, or add bleach and wash it off with a squirt of fix, it works quite well and the bottle allows me to control the fix solution quite nicely. I also have a bottle that is filled with a dilute bleach that I can spray on the print instead of using the brush, I find this quite useful at times.

Anyway nuff typing, got to get back and finish the prints, want to do 1 or 2 more then the hypo clear, toning and I can put the prints to wash and relax for a bit.

I am reading the" Journal of Eugene Delacroix", it is quite interesting reading, he was a painter from the early 1800s who worked out of Paris. When I was at the Louvre I rembmer seeing one of his canvases.

Eugene Delacroix (Self Portrait)

Liberty Leading The People ( By Eugene Delacroix)