Sunday, March 31, 2013

Toxic Thailand?

Found this video on youtube today, it deals with a region of Thailand with extreme industrial pollution. This might be the Thai version of Japan's Minamata, which Eugene Smith photographed so compassionately. A possible project? Maybe I could tell the story of one family, or multiple families affected by the polution. More thought and research required.

Geez, I have not finished multiple projects, I have not even started some and I am planning new ones!

Here is the Video:

25 Confirmed?

Gosh, I found out today that I have 25 people confirmed for my show opening, not sure they will all come but they say they will come. I belong to a meetup photography group and the RSVP yes list for the show opening is at 25. I have to email the head of the group to limit the number to 25 so that I will have some room for my personal invitations. I am allowed a max of 50 folks and there is a fair amount of interest from friends and family, got to save some space for those folks.

With these 25 confirmed attending the show I am happy and relieved, I will not be by myself on opening night sitting in the corner quietly weeping : )

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Dreaming In Thai

Just woke up  and got to get ready for work, last night I dreamed in Thai. Through the years I have occasionally dreamed in the Thai language, guess this is a sign I am thinking of Thailand a lot, the trip is not far off, its even entered my dreams.

In the dream I was arguing with a driver about how much I had to pay, he handed me a bill (never argued with a Thai driver before in real life!). I have to look up a word  I had trouble with in the the dream, the word BEHIND (me) which I struggled with.

Behind- ข้างหลัง - Kaung Lung - Got it right in the dream.
The word I was confusing it with was downstairs, which is almost the same but a bit different.
Downstairs - ข้างล่าง- Kaung Laung

Enough dreaming, got to go to work and make some money, did not get any art grants for this trip, it all is being paid for my "Gerry The Security Guard Grant Fund". It is important I make photos in Mae Sot of the families working the dump, I will do this on my own somehow, even if it puts me in debt. Paid for the air ticket ($1508) last week but more funds needed to get this done.

Off to work!

Blind Work Packages

I am going to try something different. Getting your work seen by the people who can show it to the widest audience is always difficult. Its sort of a catch 22, the big galleries will not show the work of unknown artists but to become known you have to get your work shown.

I decided to try something that will not be to expensive and still has a limited chance of possibly, maybe being successful (now that's confidence!). Every year I make a submission of 5 photographs to the Alberta Art Foundation Art by Acquisition program. Since I want to big wigs in all the big wig galleries/museums across the the country to see the work I decided to send them an unsolicited package with a dvd of the work and my CV ( I might include a few bonus pictures). Heck maybe they just throw it in the garbage or maybe around year 5 (I can be very annoying!) they start to remember Mr. Yaum and consider the work.

It should not cost to much to produce and send these Yaum photograph packages, what have I got to lose? A few dollars for packaging and shipping? A bit of time? Nothing to lose and a lot to gain!

The terrifying places I plan to send these yearly packages to are (drum roll please):

1) The Art Gallery Of Alberta
2) The Art Gallery Of Calgary
3) The Museum Of Contemporary Art Calgary
4) The Art Gallery Of Hamilton
5) The Winnipeg Art Gallery
6) The Vancouver Art Gallery
7) The Ottawa Art Gallery
8) The Montreal Museum Of Fine Arts
9) The Art Gallery Of Ontario
and the biggy of biggies (in Canada)
10) The National Gallery Of Canada

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Don McCullin Retrospective

What can I say about Don McCullin's work? The guy should be dead based on the places he shot and the risks he took. His work is filled with so much human emotion and he tries not to beautify it. I love Sebastiao Salgado's photographs but sometime I think the beautiful lighting, composition etc take away from some of the raw power of the works. McCullin is like a sledgehammer he bashes you into submission, he hits you with raw power, his human beings cry out and yell for attention, he tells his stories without romanticizing anything, he says to the viewer, BANG/SLAP- FEEL WHAT THEY FELT, that is McCullin.

Platinum Prints

For maybe I decade I have been some what interested in platinum prints and platinum printing. In the past I always felt the blacks looked to weak, it sort of put me off that type of print. This trip to view the retrospective on Don McCullin was a revelation, a jarring smack to the face! I loved the platinum work I saw, wonder large social documentary and landscape photograph, printed in subtle beautiful warm tones with nice deep blacks. The platinum work I saw in the show I gazed at with wonder for hours, I plan on learning this process and printing some of my own work using this ancient darkroom process (with a modern digi negative assistance).

The National Gallery

During my 3 days in Ottawa I visited the national gallery of Canada 3 times, 2 1/2 hours day one, 4 1/2 hours day 2 and 2 1/2 hours day 3. What a wonderful facility we have for our Canadian art, I loved walking around in the large sunlight spaces let to my own thoughts, absorbing what I had just seen or planning what I wanted to do with my photography, a glorious 3 days.

Now that I have visited the gallery, touched its walls, walled its shows, somehow it all seems a bit less intimidating. I can see one of my works or maybe a few hanging in this space someday, it is a possibility, less remote than it was before this trip, it all seems achievable now.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Submitting 5 Photos To the Alberta Arts Acquistion Program

Here are this years photos for the Alberta Foundation For The Arts Acquisition program, all were shot in Klong Toey slum, all are 35mm negs and all are in the "The Train Is Coming Show". Hopefully 1 or more will be bought by the province, it would help pay for some of my air tickets and expenses to photograph the "Mae Sot dump Families" project.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Non Photo Making Photography Goals

While I spent hours studying the work of Don McCullin recently I set several not photo making goals for myself that I need to finish in the coming year or so.

1) Improve my website, add all the new work and delete a lot of the crap.

2) Make up a 11x14 (print size) box set of b/w sex worker images, 10 of my favorites shot in 35mm to 8x10. I want to try to make up a limited edition set to sell on ebay, maybe a set of 10 boxes. I will make one box at a time if and when the previous box sells. Not sure on the price, I want to make it profitable but also affordable $1490.00? ($149 a print?).

3) Do a large blurb hardcover book (possibly 100-200 photographs). The book would be a comprehensive 30 year retrospective of the favorite photographs I have made. I will design the book with 1 picture for every 2 pages with a lot of white paper page to isolate the photograph.  The book would include color neg, transparency and b/w images from all the formats I have shot through the years. The photos would run from the years 1985 (my first photographic trip to the Western USA when I was 21) to 2015 (some work yet to be shot).

4) Learn platinum printing.

Quote: Henri Cartier-Bresson

About taking photographs:

"It is putting one's head, one's eye and one's heart on the same axis."

Monday, March 25, 2013

McMullen Submission

I made a submission to the McMullen Gallery (in the University Hospital, Walter Mackenzie Centre) this afternoon, its a bit more uplifting than my last submission to this space. Last year I submitted some work I had shot in a slum in Poipet Cambodia, this year its a more positive story, the Muay Thai gym in Bangkok's Klong Toey Slum.

The mandate for the McMullen is to show positive work that helps in the healing process for both patients and visitors, a positive creative gallery, a place for quiet contemplation. I hope the work I submitted fits into that mandate, I think it does, certainly better than my last submission.

I will see how it goes, it does not hurt to try. I would like to have the opportunity to tell the story of these brave young men, who are often orphans or come from poor families with economic and sometimes substance abuse house holds, I think seeing their smiling faces at the McMullen would be a positive for everyone involved.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

National Gallery Of Canada

I have been in Ottawa Canada the last 3 nights, I came here to see a retrospective exhibition on the great photographer Don McCullin. This trip has also allowed me to visit the premier museum/gallery in all of Canada. It has been a wonderful experience all around, I plan on writing in detail in the coming days about the McCullin show, and the National Gallery..

Jubilee Show Advertisement

Here is the Northern Jubilee Auditoriums advert for the show, it looks quite nice. I need to get the word out to print organizations in the city, Edmonton Journal ,Vue and Metro. I will also send emails to the top museums/galleries in Canada. The only way you can get your name out ther (in my case my fake name), is to try to get work seen by the big movers and shakers. If you can get the people at the top interested in the photographs, then the stories I need to tell will be told and the voices of my subject will be heard.

Here is the Jubilee link:

They also have a link on the Southern Jubilee Auditorium site in Calgary:

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Video: Gallery Walk Through Of "The Train Is Coming Show"

The gallery floodlights for the show were not on when I was there so the pics are a bit dark, but the video still gives you an idea on what to expect in the show. The show runs March through June 2013 in the Kaasa Gallery at the Northern Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton Alberta Canada.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

"Train Is Coming" Jubilee Auditorium, Kaasa Gallery Visit

Saw my"The Train Is Coming" Portraits From Klong Toey Slum, Bangkok Thailand show for the first today, Here are some photos from the gallery. The lights were not on so the photographs would be a bit lighter with the spots on them, I printed to be seen under the gallery lights.

Monday, March 18, 2013


The 36 framed photographs for the Kaasa (Northern Jubilee Auditorium) show are now as I type this in the gallery and being put on the walls by the professional installers, what a HUGE RELIEF! I can relax now, I have no more pressure to meet the show deadline. I just have to show up for the opening and smile, then pick up the prints in mid June. I am at peace, time to take a nap, night folks.

Installers starting to hang the prints.
Looking through the title cards.
Some of the photographs lined up like little soldiers.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pushing It, Hope The Prints Are Worth It!

I thought I would have about a 30 hour break between finishing my last darkroom session and delivering the prints on Monday. Yesterday when I looked at one important photograph next to some other finished work I decided I need to reprint it with more contrast. To do that I had to work my 6th night shift (had the pleasure of shoveling snow most of the night) then come home and go into the darkroom for about 2 and 1/2 hours. I was pretty efficient making the reprint as I had detailed printing instructions written out. I ended up  adding 1/2 a grade, I hope the prints are not to dark. I also re-bleached another important picture that lacked the proper face bleaching.

The 7 prints are in the wash now, I will go to bed and let them wash for 2 hours then take them out for drying before I leave for my 7th nigh shift. I will come home tomorrow to flatten (in a drymount press) and spot the print. The work has to be at the gallery tomorrow at 10am, thats 25 1/2 hours from now.

Off to bed now, am exhausted.

"The Train Is Coming" Opening Statement

 Here is the opening statement for my coming show. Whenever I go to art shows and read the artist statement they usually come across as pretentious artspeak gobbledygook. I wanted mine to be accessible to the reader and true to what I experienced without the high highfaluting art talk verbage crap. I wanted the statement to be about the people I photographed not about me.

Here is the opening statement:

"The Train Is Coming”: Portraits from Klong Toey Slum, Bangkok Thailand.
I chose a rather strange title for this show but it comes with an important story. In one area of Bangkok’s Klong Toey slum there is a railway track that runs straight down between the slum shacks. The trains comes through this area at regular intervals, upwards of 10 times a day, they pass so close to the crowded homes you can actually touch them as they go by. These slow moving trains are quite dangerous but locals are very aware of what’s happening and clear the track area before they come through.

I was photographing on the tracks one day and the train was coming, I was oblivious to this and concentrating on composing and shooting my pictures. Then something rather beautiful happened. A young girl maybe 7 or 8 years old came over to me, looked up at me with innocent eyes and said in a calm quiet voice the Thai words “Rot fai mar.” - "The train is coming." and then she took hold of my hand and walked me to a safe place (inside a nearby slum shack), we stayed in there with some others as the trained rumbled by, then she just smiled and left. I always thought this small act of concern and kindness for others shown by this young girl embodied the sentiment of most of the slum inhabitants. The character of the people I was photographing was symbolized by this simple gesture and that’s the reason I chose it for the show title.

Klong Toey is the largest slum in Bangkok with a population of around 100 000, its shack homes, schools, restaurants and other businesses are built illegally on government land owned by the Port Authority of Thailand. The slum has been in existence for roughly 50 years and is divided into different areas collectively known as Klong Toey, one part runs next to the Chao Phraya river another along a canal (Klong in Thai = canal) and on both sides of an in use railway track.
Even thou Klong Toey is a dangerous place filled with drugs and crime the friendliness of the people who live there quickly made me feel safe and welcome. Everywhere I went smiling Klong Toey residents approached and spoke to me, I was often offered food, water and asked to into people’s homes. The children were especially outgoing and curious. One time as I was sitting and talking to an older Thai woman 2 young twin girls who were around 6 years old came up to me, they stood to my left and right and looked at me closely their eyes filled with wonder, then one girl reached out with her hand and gently pulled on my nose and said “Jamook yai mak!” – “Your nose is so big!” For a young child in the slum who had never been up close to a tall white skinned Westerner with a big nose, seeing one for the first time can be quite an adventure.

Thank you for coming to the show and spending time with the people I met in Klong Toey.
                                                                                                                                              Gerry Yaum

Gerry Yaum was born and raised in Edmonton; He is a self-taught photographer and printer and has traveled extensively in South East Asia photographing a variety of subjects. Most notable amongst the projects he is working on is a series of portraits on “Sex Workers” and another series of portraits called “Common Lives”. His work has been exhibited in a variety of group shows and is scheduled to be part of the 2013 PhotoNOLA photography festival in New Orleans. His photography is also included in the provincial art collection of Alberta and has been collected internationally.

If you wish to donate funds or volunteer to help the people of Klong Toey, please visit Father Joseph Maier’s Mercy Centre.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Side Gallery, New Castle-Upon-Tyne, England

I found this wonderful gallery today they have a long history that dates back 40 years dedicated to documentary photography and film. Their submission process seems so friendly,so down to earth, lots of ways to submit, lots of polite words like thank you and please. I find so many gallery submission processes snobby and filled with countless rules, this gallery just wants to see good documentary photography and is open to multiple ways of viewing it.

Well worth a look, check it out here:


That Special Feeling

Tonight looking at some of the photographs from my coming show gave me a special feeling, a wonderful high. It is so rewarding spiritually and emotionally to create something out of nothing, to create work that tells the story of people that are often forgotten, to make photographs that might have an important impact on the viewer and might lead to positive change for the subject.

When I looked at the 2 prints I framed today (numbers 33 and 34 out of 36), I just felt so content, its a sense of peace, of happiness, of accomplishment, there is not a greater feeling.

Ain't Photography Grand!

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Story Behind Famous Viet Cong Execution Picture

This link is to a very interesting story about the Pulitzer prize winning photography by Eddy Adams, one of the most famous photographs ever made. It also speaks to how misleading a photograph can be and the responsibilities/ethics of a photographer making such photographs.

Quote: Eddy Adams

Adams speaking about his very famous Pulitzer prize winning picture, a picture that helped stop American involvement in Vietnam.

“The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera. Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world. People believe them; but photographs do lie, even without manipulation. They are only half-truths. … What the photograph didn’t say was, ‘What would you do if you were the general at that time and place on that hot day, and you caught the so-called bad guy after he blew away one, two or three American people?

1968 Execution In Saigon Vietnam, Eddy Adams

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Quote: Weegee (Authur Fellig)

"Be original and develop your own style, but don't forget above anything and everything human...think...feel. When you find yourself beginning to feel a bond between yourself and the people you photograph, when you laugh and cry with their laughter and tears, you will know your on the right track....Good luck."

Monday, March 11, 2013

Final Steps

Well the last group of 16x20 prints is in the wash, I believe I am now done all printing for "The Train Is Coming Show" If I have to do any more printing it will be to reprint an important image. Now to finish all the titles,  show intro and the spotting framing and matting on the final 6 prints.

 The finished photographs are due next Monday March 18th at 10am for hanging.

Thanks Court!

A club friend of mine was nice enough to give me a screen drying cabinet to help me dry my fiber prints. I have a system now that allows me to dry 9 16x20s at a time (more if I use my neg drying cabinet but that leaves small marks on the prints). With this unit I can now screen dry an additional 11, this gives me the capability to air dry on screens 20 16x20 prints at a time.

The cabinet is a nice little homemade job that someone obviously spent lots of time working on.  I do not have enough room to keep it in my darkroom 24/7 so will bring it in and out as needed. Today was the last big wash of work for my Kaasa gallery Klong Toey show so it was definitely be needed today. I am washing 19-16x20 prints, 6 at a time for 2 hours a wash, then using the new drying cabinet. I should be able to use this unit the rest of my life.

Thanks Court!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

VHS Tapes Brought Back To LIfe

For years my collection of VHS tapes has been sitting on a self gathering dust, but now with my new home theater darkroom system they have come back to life. Over the last 3 days I have listened to, Holiday, My Man Godfrey, The Commancheros, Bite The Bullet, It Happened One Night and Hard Times. Its like having friends in the darkroom talking to you as you work, its very relaxing and keeps my mind active, a nice change off from the music.

"My Man Godfrey" with Carole Lombard and William Powell 1936
I also did some nice printing tonight, the last new print made (out of time to find more). This is a new neg I discovered today and decided to print, it will probably make it into the show.

Its funny how my format/camera preferances change. When I work on a nice 4x5 neg I get all excited about shooting that camera and want to shoot it only on my trips, then I get a 35mm neg that I like and I want to only shoot the Leica's! Both camera systems offer such different types of shooting, I think I am best off just shooting both the rest of my life. But them again what about the wonderful square negs of the Blad and Mamiya 6 cameras! That's for another day. Why go digi when you have such wonderful well made world class tools to use in the film world.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Possible New, New Orleans Venue

Heard back from my friend in New Orleans today, there is a possibility of a new venue opening up. I will update the blog more later as things develop (not counting my chickens till they hatch this time!).

The new possible/maybe venue is Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center, it is primarily a theater so they might screen films related to sex workers during the shows run. I guess they have a long brick wall where they show artwork, this seems to be a larger venue that might be able to show more work than the earlier cancelled gallery.

Updated Kit

I feel that my best negs in the last while have been large format, so I am going to re-adjust my kit to focus on that. The current kit looks like this:

2 Leica M6s
50mm F 1.4
28mm F 2 (if its repaired in time)
Small Leica Flash

Linhof 4x5
75mm (?)
240mm (?)

Pentax Spot Meter
3 or 4 Grafmatic Film Holders
Light Weight Carbon Fiber Chinese Tripod
Changing Tent
2 small digi cameras (one for identity shots, one for youtube vids).  

I am also thinking of loading all my 35mm film in Canada. Since I am only going for 3 weeks I should be able to carry all my film loaded with me. It would save me some space not having to take the film cans and bulk loader (thou I would have to carry about 50-72 loaded cassettes) but more importantly it would save me film loading time in Thailand. I could go to bed earlier and rise earlier (to shoot!)if I do not have to stay up all night loading film. Unfortunately I will still have to load film in the 4x5 Grafmatic holders, but there is no way to avoid that.

This kit is smaller, lighter and would allow me more flexibility shooting with the Linhof.

New ever changing kit updates to follow : )

Seller Portraits?

I was just working on my title sheet for the Kaasa show and had an idea. Why not travel through out Bangkok and other areas of Thai and do a series of portraits of people selling their products on the streets? I am thinking mostly of people selling various cooked/prepared foods, I could do a series of portraits with the 4x5 of all these folks. The guy selling moo tod (fried pork) the som tam lady (spicy papaya salad) the list is endless, and many of the workers have strong expressive older faces. Something to think about, maybe I can do some of this in Mae Sot when I am there in May.


Am down after yesterdays bad news, I had time to digest what was told to me and its set in now. I guess I was counting chickens before they hatched with this show, a lesson learned for next time. It was such a nice little fantasy for a while, the work was finally going to be shown outside the burg of Edmonton. I have had these sex worker photographs  promoted by 3 different people, gallery owners in Victoria, in Bangkok and now in New Orleans. Promises were made by all of these galleries but  the work has yet to be shown in any of these places. Its frustrating to have the rug pulled out on my expectations  yet again but what can I do, such is life. I know the work is important, the lives shown are very important, this story will eventually be told somewhere outside of Edmonton, I feel it.

I need to keep working and double my photographic efforts, f-ck I need to triple my efforts in all areas. I think I might go ahead and prepare 15 large sex worker prints mounted on aluminum for when the show eventually does happen, somewhere sometime. It will be a good feel for me to have the work ready and in a shipping case waiting for its opportunity.

No need to feel down, I feel better after writing this. I was thinking today of a young single mother I met and photographed in Klong Toey slum, I was thinking of the smile this woman had and the love she showed for her baby. We all find happiness in different ways, thinking back to this woman (girl actually) it reminded me of how really lucky I am.

Life will work itself out, lets march forward with a smile on our face and a song in our heart.

Some of the work being shown in Edmonton:

Friday, March 8, 2013

Todays Printing

I spent 2 days working out a very difficult neg, one of the most difficult of the show. The photograph was shot in shadow with a very bright sunlit distant background. I had to use 3 burning masks, a low grade filter of 1 1/4, 1 1/2 and 1 3/4 (for the 3 separate prints) on the main subject, followed by 2 different filters of 0 and -1 during the mask burning. One burn was extensive, the longest I have ever done at 300 seconds at the widest lens aperture. The print also required some delicate dodging of the face, shorts and legs of the subject. It took lots of work but it is an important photo for the show.

Here is the shot, a man delivering a barrel of garbage to the garbage site at the Klong Toey slum market.

I also did 2 quicker prints with a 1 burn mask of a 35mm neg, this shot is the interior of a slum home (1 of 2 slum home interiors in the show), the home belonged to a motorcycle taxi driver who lived there with is wife and child, I think of this man often. When I offered the man who owned the home money for his sick child he refused, saying that he and his wife worked and they had enough money to pay for medicine.

I will go to sleep now and let this work dry, when I get up I will continue working on the interior shot then move on to another negative. I would like to finish this neg and 2 more to before the end of the week, then see exactly where I am so I can make up the final title list for the jubilee.

PhotoNOLA 2013 Show CANCELLED!

I heard back from my New Orleans contact today, guess I will not be in the the festival after all, which sucks big time, I was probably hoping to much for that. I am disappointed but such is life, I hope something good happens out if this, something better. What bothers me most is that I was hoping to take my parents down to see the show, it would have given them an excuse to travel and to see a new city, they would have really enjoyed themselves, sort of feel now like I let them down.
Here is the email:

I have some rather unfortunate news. I received an email from Scott Edwards and told me that he will not be able to host your work during PhotoNOLA this year. Below is an excerpt from the email:

"...also, i wanted to let you know that its doubtful for your friend to display in the studio during photonola.  im doing a bit of expanding of the studio to include custom framing, and hopefully platinum/palladium printing, so unfortunately i am running out of room on the walls and floor space.  so it probably wouldnt be a suitable location for an exhibition.  i will keep my ear to the ground, and if i hear about any other available space, i'll let you know.  sorry about that!"

Gerry, I am very sorry for this turn of events. I thought everything was set and I am extremely disappointed as I know you will be. It looks as though he is taking the studio space in another direction.

That being said, I will continue to look for a venue if you are still interested in exhibiting during this year's PhotoNOLA. What would your deadline be for planning the exhibit and your travel? I will work during that timeline to secure another space.

Again, I am so sorry to have to write this email. I'll be in touch.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

LensWork Extended Editions

Last night my friend Larry also gave me a Epson 4000 printer, a big high quality machine with extra ink cartridges and a box full of photography magazines. The main title in the box of magazines are all his back issues of LensWork which is a beautifully printed small photography magazine. Larry also was a subscriber for a while to the LensWork extended edition Cd's and DVDs, 16 of those disks he also included.  With each extended edition get a PDF presentation of wonderful photographs, video and audio files.

Last night I got to bed late because I got into a video file on Alan Ross (wonderful photographer and Ansel Adams official printer). In the vid there was an interview of Mr Ross as well as tour of his darkroom. At one point Alan spoke of using digital printer masks to do darkroom printing. I was able to find 2 of the 3 articles he wrote on this subject on this subject in Photo Techniques magazine, am still searching for the first story, fascination stuff. The masking this great printer does digitally sounds like a more sophisticated and precise version of what I currently do in the dark. I might try incorporating some of his digi masking techniques into my darkroom analog printing.

Tonight I need to concentrate on my own printing and not get distracted by the Lenswork extended edition disks and the mags, I will have time to go through all of them thoroughly when I am finished printing the show.

Darkroom Home Theater System

My friend Larry gave me a bunch of older but great quality audio visual equipment tonight. I set it
up in my darkroom with my older small screen TV. I need to figure out how to make a removable rubylith front so I can use it sometimes under safe light. The system is now set up to watch normally with outstanding sounds (before with the TV alone I had trouble hearing what was happening).

I can now watch or only listen to any of my VHS tapes and DVDs (have thousands). When I get the rubylith set up I should be able to have the picture on even under safe light.

What I really like is now I can play movies when I am doing boring stuff like using the Jobo or hand developing with a tank. I can also play any tape or DVD (sounds only) and listen to it while I print,  which is what I plan to do tonight. Gosh I love my darkroom, if I moved a fridge in there I could use it as my apartment!

New TV darkroom home theater system with a tape of "Hardtimes" (Charles Bronson) playing.

Update* Gosh looking at this photo I have 3 sets of different speakers hooked up to different amps in the darkroom, no wonder I have no room!

Quote: Mother Theresa

"People may not remember exactly what you did or what you said,
but they will always remember how you made them feel.”

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Compeung Art Grant

Well am trying for another art grant, this will be my second attempt at this particular grant. It is called the "Compeung (appropriate remarks) Grant ". The grant would pay most of my airfare, give me about $670 in spending money and free room and board for 1 month. If I got the grant I could do my large format portrait work in and around the Chiang Mai area of Thailand, it would allow me access to a part of Thailand I have not photographed yet. My small paychecks from my security job only allow me so much money to spend on my art, I need to get some art grants in the next few years to help support the work.

Here's hoping they accept me this time (only 2 spots), it would be an amazing opportunity.

Judges Are Good

If I can manage it I want to try to go to the March 18th club meeting. The club is bringing a exhibited abstract painter in to judge, a fellow I have never met. I am thinking I will bring in the sex worker photos, maybe all ladyboys. I want to get some feedback from this fellow, good or bad it does not matter.  I can use his thoughts to help with the selections for the PhotoNOLA show. Whatever his opinions are I am sure I can get some value out of them.

The problem is the 18th is my drop off day for my Kaasa show. I have to work the last of 7, 12 hour night shifts then stay awake till 10am and drop off my 36 prints, not sure how long I need to stay at the gallery, probably at least a hour. They have professional installers hang the work but I need to be there to make sure its what I want (you can call curating).

Then I need to get home, grab a few hours sleep and go to this club judge meeting outing. I will try to do it, thou I might not hear what the judge says about, I could be sleeping in the corner.

Latest Kit

Since I had some extra time tonight I decided to pack my gear for my May trip to photograph "The Families Of The Mae Sot Garbage Dump".

I keep changing my mind on this but since I have to take some rubber shoes with me I am sort of forced to take a very small check in bag. The plan is to take a shoulder bag, a small knapsack and the small check in. In the 2 carry on bags I will put all my film and camera gear in the check in the shoes, changing tent, film bulk loader, tripod, 3 or 4 Grafmatic backs, reflector and clothing.

The camera gear looks to be at least for now, might make cut some items later.

2 Leica M6 bodies
21mm F2.8
28mm F2 (if I can get back from the repair shop in time).
50mm F1.4
90mm F2.8 (not sure on this one but wanted to do shots of people on buses through in Bangkok so might need the longer lens for that).
Small Leica flash

Linhof 4x5
150mm Nikon
90mm Linhof (not sure on this lens but wanted to try 90mm portraits).

Pentax spot meter.

How much film? Not at all sure on this one.
Maybe 400 feet of Tri-x 35mm (72 rolls of 36).
Maybe 5 boxes of 4x5 Tri-x (250 sheets).
Possibly to much film but I would rather have to much then not enough.

My little digi camera to do youtube vids.
My tiny cheap digi camera to do name/age shots.

This might be to much gear, I need to find what works best for these short trips, I might be doing 3 of them this year, 3-3week trips.

Tonights Club Meeting

The club meeting was nice tonight, a bit same same, but what is done is done OK. I find thou with almost all of the photography done in clubs here in Edmonton, there is a lack of emotional content, the work is all style over substance, sort of cold and formal even when its done very well. I prefer work that has an emotional kick to it, maybe that is why I like to photograph people so much, with people you can tell a story with emotion more easily, because other humans are looking at the work and can identify with it more easily, it is sort of hard to identify with a rock or tree at the same personal level.

What is interesting about both clubs I belong to is that lack of emotion talk during the review sessions. The artist should FEEL his work he should feel it with all his heart, he should speak in terms of feelings and EMOTION, people that like the work should speak to how it makes them feel but instead what you get is people who are afraid to let go and open up. Jock Sturges spoke to me of that syndrome in one of our phone calls. People in meeting tend to put their work up and then resort to tech talk, and arty farty composition/color/shape talky talk. What should really be discussed is how the work makes the viewer FEEL, its all about emotion when it comes to art, not the tools of how the pic was made or some weird obscure rules of composition, who really gives a flying f-ck, its how the work makes you feel that matters. If you want to do the tech talk that's fine but it should only come out as a point that will help raise the emotional impact of the work. I guess it makes the artist to vulnerable to open up like that but I think you have to open up to get to the next level. When it comes to emotion and art,  if you can't speak it, feel it, how can you create it?

The other thing that's really annoying in clubs is not being able to be honest, some stuff is of poor quality and sugar coating things because you do not want to hurt peoples feelings is lame. I guess I am taking the club thing to seriously, most people just want some friends to hang with, they are not looking to revolutionize the art world : )

Anyway it was a nice evening out, with some nice joking and talk. I do the clubs to meet with friends and have some fun. When it comes right down to it, I need to just do it on my own and find my own way to my destination.

First Night Of The Last Week Of Printing

Based on tonight's darkroom work I kind of feel like a lazy bum. I put in 3 hours this morning (after my night shift) before sleeping and and another 4 or 5 tonight after my photo club meeting. I just did the secondary printing on all the the left over work from the last several weeks, I did the toning and bleaching. There were around 34 prints of 8 different negs, not sure how many of these I will use. I think I will use at least 3 of these prints in the show maybe 4.

I have 30 photographs completed and framed but I might pull a few of those and I need to reprint one neg for the 3rd time, a neg that's been giving me problems. If I pull a few and add 3 and replace the poorly printed shot that gives me 31 or 32 photographs. I want to do 36 shots in this show as I have 36 20x24 frames made. I doubt I will get a chance for another 36 picture exhibition for a LONG time so better use these suckers while I can!

With 31 or 32 completed, that means I need to do 4 or 5 new prints this week. I will concentrate on printing 35mm negatives which are as least twice as difficult to print compared to the 4x5 negs. I need to work hard the rest of this week, tonight I will slack off after 8 hours, and watch "Skyfall" :)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Quote: Roger Ballen (Photographer)

Speaking about the viewers understanding of his work.
".....that's an important thing for me in terms of an artist, that stuff sticks in peoples mind doesn't get out of the mind and is turned over in the mind and comes out in all sorts of ways, it actually extends the consciousness of the person, which to me is the purpose of art."

Friday, March 1, 2013

Early Ansel Adams Documentary

This Adams documentary was made way back in 1958, quite interesting to watch now.

Fitting 45 Pictures Into 36 Frames!

Well I have 28 pictures framed (one or two I will reprint) and I have 8 more empty frames. Now here is the problem, I have 3 more prints ready to frame and 8 more sitting in the darkroom waiting for the secondary processing (bleaching and toning). I also have 5-6 important negs I want to print in my last free printing week. So if I count on my fingers and toes I have 36 frames and will have 45 prints to put in them!

Looks like I need to do some cutting.