Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Few More Dad Scans

Here are a few scans from some 3 films that were hanging in my drying cabinet, dad in May of this year. I think I should be able to do some good work with the blad, ring flash and extension tubes on the next Asia trip, whether attempting the "Lost Innocence" photographs or continuing the work at the muay thai gym and Mae Sot dump. In the first 2 shots the sharpness is a bit soft but I kind of like the look the extension tube with 80mm gives, almost a dreamy nostalgic feel.

Dad, blad, extension larger extension tube and 80mmm #1
Dad, blad, extension larger extension tube and 80mmm #2

Quote: Geoffery James (Photographer)

"I am really interested in the poetics of space."

Advantages Of Having A Bangkok Condo

I have been thinking a lot of the possible, eventual, maybe, could be, condo in Bangkok and what advantages it would give me to create. Here is what I came up with:

1) I could set up a film developing darkroom, either in a 2nd bathroom or an adapted second bedroom. This would allow me to develop film to prevent a second set of X-rays on the return trip to Canada and let me to judge how the work is progressing over a 4-6 month Thailand stay (almost digi photo like).

2) I could scan the developed on negs on my Thai home computer and add them on my blog and website earlier.

3) I could store camera gear and other large equipment in Thailand allowing me to travel back and forth from Canada to Thailand and back to Canada with only a carry on bag for film and a few small expensive items.

4) I would save on hotel costs and have the convenience of my own place waiting for me without the need to check in, book rooms, deal with hotel staff etc.

5) I would have a kitchen which would save food costs.

6) Having my own space, with a small darkroom, 24/7 Internet access, art books,  film only fridge etc should help my creativity and production.

7) I should be able to find something along the sky train and subway lines which would allow me to get from the airport to my room and bed in roughly 45 minutes. Airport link to Bangkok then either the sky train or the subway to the room, possibly no taxi or traffic problems. After a 24 hour, 3 plane around the world flight it would be great to be able to get into my own bed quickly and easily after arrival.

8) I would have a base of operations in South East Asia. I could photograph all over Bangkok, Thailand and countries like, Nepal, Laos, Burma, Cambodia and India then return to Bangkok to recover and process the film.

I think this whole condo thing could work out very well, it might be the ideal way to spend the last 15 years or so of my photo shooting life. Eventually I could sell the condo and use the funds in my last years or if I have enough money sell the condo and donate the dollars to a worthy charity/charities, somewhere in Asia. This could all lead to helping others through powerful documentary photography and secondary helping through a large financial donation.

Here are a few more condos:

$165000 CAD, 112 square meters, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, great central sky train location Bangkok.
$79000 CAD, 65 square meters, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, near sky train in Bangkok.
$66000 CAD, 60 square meters, 2 bedrooms, 1bath, near sky train in Bangkok.
$32000 CAD, 33 square meters, studio, 1 bath, OK location Bangkok.

AGA Visit

Today I took a trip down to the Alberta Gallery of Art today (AGA). Not much to see, a few photographs of note in one exhibition on flora and a few group of seven (again!) artist paintings but that's about it. Most of the exhibited work left me cold an not at all involved any any real emotional level.

The RBC Alberta New Works gallery had some more conceptual crap in it. This artists work was a bit of a curiosity but that's about it,  I had no connection to it. The work was a wig in a fish tank being pulled around by a fishing wire (line) device. It was kind of cool to watch the fake hair move about slowly, sort of like looking at fish in a fish tank (I have 3 fish tanks so like that stuff). Once again the gallery was empty while I was there, no one seemed to care to see the work.

They also had a show called 90x90 that will feature 90 Alberta artists to celebrate the 90 years the Edmonton Art Gallery/Alberta Gallery of Art has been in business. Part 1 this first selection of I guess 45 artists took up the whole 3rd floor, there were no photographers or photographs in the show, I guess Alberta does not have any photographers in its history, who knew! Part 2 opens in October with the second 45 artists, not sure if 1 or 2 photos made that cut, will have to wait and see. One of the 90x90 works stould-out for me, a large painting of a couple in an elevator from an artist who died in a car accident at 56.

Basically a pretty boring uninvolved day, with limited curiosities and no real emotional response to anything seen. Maybe this is why the AGA is having financial problems, they need to start show stuff that visitors can be involved with and care about, something that draws some emotion out-a them. If you put only conceptual far out, unrelatetable pseudo art in your galleries no one comes! See the link for a story on the AGA's money issues.

Friday, May 30, 2014

AFA Grant Rejection

Got the AFA grant rejection, am reposting my mistaken post from a few days ago.

The Alberta Foundation for the Arts  jury pissed on my hopes and dreams again today, I got my latest artist grant request rejected  today. They sent me the stock letter I have received 4 times now, with the generic no stuff. This is the 3rd time they have rejected the 'Families of the Dump", 4th time overall. Boy they will really love it when I make a request for "Lost Innocence", that rejection is already being prepared and I have not even wrote up the grant request yet. This is all so depressing. Same old same old letter so I will not bother retyping it just look up AFA rejection on the blog and you can read what they wrote the last 3 times.

To continue the "Families of the Dump"work I will have to do it 100% with my security money. It seems no one gives a flying f-ck about their story either, the galleries, the grant people all do not give a damn, my past work has failed to move them. I so want to take a positive yes letter from someone to read to dad before it's to late but that is just not going to happen, everything I try is coming back with no after no. Dad is going down, the people of the dump are forgotten, my submissions are failing, it's so hard to look at the world in a positive way right now.

Back to today's thoughts:

I need to buckle down, stop whining and work harder. I have to get in deeper, get closer to my subjects and make a larger more dedicated commitment. I also need to try to see things in new and exciting ways. It is easy to just do photography by the numbers, my friend Larry is teaching me to always be searching and questioning how I want to make your pictures. To often photography is boring we need to all reach out and make it unique and extroidinary. I should always be striving to create something new and to say it in a compelling powerful way.

If I end up getting a condo in Thai, and spend 4-6 months a year there starting in 3 or 4 years I will have no more excuses. I can get in very deep with my subject, whether it's Muay Thai boxers, slum portraits, families in a dump or sex worker stuff. I can spend months and months developing friendships and contacts, then I can live in that world and tell those stories at a deeper more personal level.

It looks like no grants are coming, no higher level shows are coming. I need to create, create and create some more. The best thing I can do is not let myself quit, not let myself get to down. Create for the sake of creating Gerry, forget everything else.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Wet Plate With Ring Flash Negs?

I did this photo of Melissa at my wet plate workshop at the Luz Studio Gallery workshop back in 2012. When I was in New Orleans I learned that you could do the wet plate process in the darkroom using a positive image in the enlarger. I am now thinking of possibly doing the "Lost Innocence" series this way, shoot  my portrait head shot subject (brothel sex workers, trafficked and forgotten people) on a blad with a ring flash then convert that negative into a positive before doing up a 8x10 tin type or ambrotype. That is a lot of work to go through but I believe it could lead to some stunning and important possibly haunting photographs.

Here is Melissa from 2012:

Melissa wet plate photography student, Canada 2012

Quote: Bruce Reynolds (From The BBC Mini Series, The Great Train Robbery)

Mr. Butler (chief detective policeman) "Why'd you do it? A job that big your never going to get away with it,  you must have known that?"

Bruce Reynolds (master mind behind the great train robbery)"You've got to dream big Mr Butler, what we here for hey, if we don't make our mark."

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Good Day With Dad

I went over to dads today and had a good day, cut the lawn at his house, got him some KFC and moved the furniture again. Dad did not like yesterdays set up, he thought it looked messy. It was great to be with him today, he looked better after a long sleep. He said the most sweet "Thank you Gerry" when I left. No pics today but a good day non the less. Maybe tomorrow or the next day I can try doing some more 5x7 film shots of Dad.

Dad Visit Makes My Day

I went on a mistaken rant yesterday (that blog will  might back later when the grant is eventually rejected). I removed the rant and added a story on what was really rejected my 5 print Art by Acquisition submission. After I received the letter made my mistake and wrote the rant I went to visit dad, and the below write up is the result of that.

Am in a bit of a better mood now, sorry about my rant. Spent some time with dad tonight, he was better than yesterday. I moved around furniture the way he wanted me to and spent some time talking to him about maybe in the future getting a cheaper condo in Bangkok. It was great to be with dad, the rest of the time I sat in the kitchen working on a iMac editing the video I we will show at his funeral. I told dad of all the things from his life we would be including, his growing up, his years with tour family (pics), videos of his wedding and other weddings (video and pics), his days playing the drums in a wedding band (video and pics), his years at the farmers market (video and pics), his 2 month trip to Thailand with mom (video and pics) and finally a video I am doing up of mom and dad dancing together though the years (married 57 years in July) to a Ann Murray song he loves (video). I want the whole video to run around 15 minutes long, no more than 20 minutes for sure. Dad was happy to hear about all the moments that will be included. It was a good night that cheered me and him up a bit.

Note* Dad always likes to rearrange the furniture in his house, every time I would visit over the years things had shifted and moved this way and that way, this is something that has gone on for decades. Now with dad being to weak to do that sort of thing it has become my job, he lays on the sofa and instructs me on what he wants where. It's something I used to joke about eventually happening many years ago, now it has. Now I am the mover, a sad thing but its also beautiful, I am glad it makes dad happy, the re-arangement will make the next few days for him better. Then we will re-arrange the furniture again and again and hopefully again.

Monday, May 26, 2014

AFA Grant Rejection Mistake, Art Acquisition Rejection Instead

Oops, turns out I was not refused a grant for the 4th time in my haste and sleepiness I went off fully cocked to early. I will re post that rant later when I am actually rejected (in a month?).

What the Alberta Foundation for the ARTS rejected was my 5 photos I submitted below for their art acquisition buy. This still sucks I could have used the money to make more photos and a purchase of images would have allowed the voices of those photographed to be heard and be seen by the people of Alberta. With no one willing to show or buy the work they will sit abandoned in my neg binders, the lives in the stories forgotten. It's frustrating when you throw everything you have into your work and people keep saying no. You struggle on, do your best, fight to create, you work and work and work some more, then another no and another no. I feel like I let all the folks in the pictures down, I was not able to tell their stories and show the world their lives.

I thought the photographs were as good as anything I have ever done. I do not know if I can do work stronger than this. What do you do if you gave it everything you got, if you do as good as you can do and they still say no? The expert panel did not think the work worthy, I wonder what qualifies you as an art "Expert".

I need to move on and keep trying, maybe someday the stories I try to tell, and the lives of the people that I photograph will be heard. I need to keep pushing myself, I owe it to the people that let me into their lives. I need to keep working to tell the story of the little girl in the hammock living in the dump, the old man suffering from leprosy, the drugged out and forgotten Nepalese street kids, the young mother bathing her refugee baby, and the forgotten migrant farm family living in a tin hut. Maybe the expert panel people do not think their stories are worthy of being seen, but I need to keep fighting to get those voices heard.

Maybe that's all a bit of a dream, all a delusion on my part, all a bunch of self righteous nonsense but f-ck it it's my blog and I can rant all I want! : ) Sometimes it's good to vent!

I will keep shooting, I will keep working, I will keep telling my stories, I will never give up, f-ck all the art "EXPERTS" who think otherwise! Nothing will stop me!

Here are the rejected images:

Young girl playing in garbage"Families of the Dump" series, Mae Sot Thailand, 2013
Man in leprosy colony"Leprosy" series, Nepal 2013
Young boys sleeping on street, Nepal 2013
Mother bathing her baby girl, Mae Sot Thailand 2013
Mother cooking for family, Nepal 2013

Quotes: Orson Welles

"A good artist should be isolated. If he isn't isolated, something is wrong."

"The only good artists are feminine. I don't believe an artist exists whose dominant characteristic is not feminine. It's nothing to do with homosexuality, but intellectually an artist must be a man with feminine aptitudes." 

"We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone."

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Dad's Decline

Dads health is continuing to decline, it is so sad, so frustrating. I would do anything for my father but there is nothing I can do, this all makes me feel so useless. I visited dad before work today, his legs are so thin, he has lost so much weight, it's all so hard to see. Dad was always such a strong man, he could carry fridges up and down a flight of stairs by himself, now he has trouble moving at all.

I have some roasted chestnuts here at work in my lunch, I will save them for dad and give it to him tomorrow. These things are nice and soft, maybe he will be able to eat them, today he ate almost nothing.

I wish I could be with him now instead of having to come to work. Tomorrow my week off starts, I plan on spending as much time as I can with him this week. I am not sure how much longer dad can stay at home, he might have to move to the paliative care hospital soon (dad calls it the dying hospital). This might be our last week together, I need to be with dad all week. It will be so hard to live without my beautiful father, life will seem so much smaller without him to share it with.

Quote: Sir Elton John

This is from an opinion piece Mr. John wrote for CNN on a new HBO film "The Normal Heart", check it out if you can. This would be part of the story of my "Lost Innocence" project if I can ever scrape enough money together to create it.

"We must speak out against injustice, act with compassion, and fight for equality."

Here is the opinion piece:

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Qoute: Bruce Barnbaum (Photographer)

I am reading a B&W Master Printing Class magazine by Bruce Barnbaum, he writes about the myth of placing shadows on zone 3 (when using the zone system) and also the difference between a photographer and a sensitometrist.

I understand where he is coming from I have photo acquaintances that are straight photographers and others that are more interested in testing and playing with densitometers. Sometimes the testing can get carried away and be quite riduclous, they do up charts, graphs and compute dozens of calculations with different film, camera, developer combinations. it never ends.  Some tech photogs get so carried away with it all, they forget to make pictures! They test and test year in and year out, never really getting anywhere, it almost becomes some sort of ritualistic numbers fetish. I think they enjoy the testing stuff more than the photography, more than creating.

In his article Barnbaum makes some interesting comments on the difference of these two types, the photographer artist and the sensitometrist numbers cruncher. Bruce B strongly believes shadows should be placed on zone 4 or even higher and that development of the highlights should be done by eye. You figure out your film development times by experience (with your chosen film and light) and by looking at the negative and the final prints, not by testing and using a densitometer. He believes the sensitometrist makes negs to thin that lead to weaker prints, he believes negs should have some backbone, some density to them.

"Sensitometrists work with step wedges and their exact tones. They are like people who study a single musical note, a musical tone. But, melodies, which are made up of many notes, create a musical texture. You cannot get the feel of a melody by examining a single note, just as you can't get the feeling of texture by examining a single visual tonality. Sensitometrists do not work with textures, photographs do. Sensitometrists work with densitometers and graph curves. Sensitometrists are like piano tuners. You need them to keep the piano tuned, but you need a composer and pianist to play the music. Photographers are like the composer and pianist"

"...photographs are not step wedges; they are art meant to be personally expressive, to be seen by others, and to move them emotionally. They communicate a thought, a mood, an experience, a moment in time, a fantasy or any other idea the artist has to the viewer. They should be imbued with light and life. Following exact curves and exact enlarging times won't do this. You have to deviate from densitometer readings and identical approaches from one print to the next if you want to say something. You can run the tests yourself and get perfect results, but when you're in the field, you have to make adjustments if you want good photographs with rich tonal separations, palpable dimensionality, and emotional power. I don't own a densitometer. Never have. Never will. They give me no useful information. All I do is expose and develop a few negatives to find out what I want to know about a film' s response to light, and how the film works with a particular developer....Looking at negatives, making a few prints from them, and understanding the relationship between the negative and the print gives you more pertinent information than a densitometer does."

"Students should not be taught to keep negatives thin. Negatives should be stout, in order to yield good tonal seperations from the blacks to the whites."

My friend Larry has a 16x20 version of the photograph below by Bruce B and it is stunning, as good as anything if not better than what I seen in Ansel Adams prints. He must know what he is talking about, his work shows it.

Bruce Barnbaum print

Thursday, May 22, 2014

$30000 For A Condo

Kinda liked this condo, liked the light of the room which is rather small (41 square meters) but would serve my purposes. I would have a place to sleep, could set up a small film developing darkroom and small kitchen. The place is quite cheap in a Thai area of Bangkok, it cost $300000 CAD. Not sure how good this location is, Bangkok traffic can be very tough. I like the windows in this room, it makes everything seem so much nicer, brighter and alive. The sliding doors allow you to isolate the a/c to a smaller area which saves on power bills.This condo could be a storage area, a cheap room to sleep in, and a small darkroom for me if I did extended Asian trips, all for $30000.

Of course I do not have the money for any of this stuff but its fun to dream sometime, fun to think what kind of photo work you could do if you had a home base in the city, to develop film, plan, research etc.

Dad Tight 35mm Heads And 35mm Kit Thoughts

These photos of dad were inspired by some work by the photojournalist Paolo Pellegrin, they were shot 2 days ago. The negs were made on Tri-x at 800 with a Leica R6 and a 60mm close focus lens.

I do not think I can leave this lens camera combo behind next trip, I love using it to much. I will probably continue to take my full 35mm pack with me all the time, maybe every trip the rest of my life. I should probably buy more Tri-x 35mm bulk with the workshop money, I have a ton of this stuff  (10 years worth?) but a little more would not hurt. If I take extended  (4-6 month) trips to Thai to do photos I will probably shoot up this film much faster, a 10 year supply is liable to become a 5 year supply.

My 35mm kit is as follows.

2 M6 bodies
1 R6 body
35mm F1.4 M
28mm F2 M
21mm F2.8 M
60mm F2.8 R
100-200 rolls of Tri-x

Here are dads close heads:

Back And Forth, To Buy Or Not To Buy?

I am going back and forth, back on forth on whether to buy a condo in Thailand. I hope to spend extended periods of time there in the coming years, maybe up to 6 months a year. A condo in Bangkok would allow me to store my equipment in the country and also to set up a small film developing darkroom which means I could develop all my film there and bring back the negs to Canada to do the fine printing (no xray machine worries). My latest go around on this has me buying an older fairly large and reasonably cheap place then eventually fixing it up. I found this one tonight, 2 bedrooms (one for gear storage), 2 bathrooms (one for a film developing darkroom) a small kithen, 69 square meters. Heck I might even be able to set up a small white background studio. The cost of this place is around $55000, plus lawyer, deed transfer fees etc. so probably somewhere under $60000. The advantage of buying older condos is that you can get them fixed up to look really good at a reasonable cost as renovating in Thai is much cheaper than here in Canada. I could go with something around $60000 or even something cheaper, there are smaller 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom options for around $30000-$35000. Here is the quite nice $60000 place:

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

New Workshop, Advanced Darkroom

After the good success of my individual workshops on basic darkroom and basic view camera I have decided to add another workshop to the mix. This workshop will cover advanced darkroom techniques and allow the student to make archival quality fiber prints worthy of hanging in a museum. I am charging more for this workshop because it will run at least 4 hours and also use fiber photographic paper, selenium toner, bleach etc so there are extra costs. The workshop will be priced at $180. I hope some of my basic workshop students will also decide to take the advanced course.

I have the 6th workshop of the year scheduled for June 1st, that makes a grand total of 10 workshops since I started these things back in early 2013. I will put the $100 (darkroom workshop) from next Sunday's class into a purchase of more film or photo paper.

Here is a link to the newest workshop, Advanced Darkroom Techiniques: 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Rejections Piling Up!

Got another rejection today, this one from the Mendel Art Gallery. They sent me back the entire package so I packed it up and will send it out to another gallery next week. Unfortunately all these reject letters contain the work Unfortunately! Soon as you see that word you know you are unfortunately screwed. Wouldn't it be cool someday to turn the tables, to get a request from a gallery to show your work (them asking you) and not be able to exhibit because of time, scheduling or other reasons and have to write back to the gallery and say UNFORTUNATELY I cannot show the work in your museum at the present time because of bla bla bla.

Hmm maybe someday!

Gerry Yaum

Thank you for taking the time to submit your proposal to the Mendel Art Gallery for consideration. We very much appreciated receiving it and have completed our review of recent submissions. Unfortunately in consideration of the existing requirements of the Gallery's exhibition program, we are declining the opportunity to pursue the project at this time.

We wish you every success for the project.

Best wished,

---- -------

Chief Curator

Dad 35mm Tri-x 200

Here are some shots of Dad from a Tri-x bulk roll I shot at my regular 200 ASA. Photos on the film were made from dads second time in the hospital until yesterday May 19th.

Monday, May 19, 2014

A New Look At Dad

One thing that happens when you photograph someone a lot like I have been doing with dad lately is you try to find a new way of looking at him and telling his story. These images were made with a Hasselblad, 80mm lens, 2 extension tubes and late evening available light. The camera was very close to dad as I was photographing as you can see. I might try this with my wide angle 55mm later if possible.

Update * After studying the work of photojournalist Paolo Pellegrin today I want to try doing some tight blurry head (face) shots of dad on 35mm probably with the R6 and 60mm lens. I will make those over the next few days. If these photos turn out I will take the camera with me to Thai next trip (5 cameras? 2 M6s, 1 R6, Blad, Linhof 5x7).

Dad close #1 May 18, 2014 Canada
Dad close #2 May 18, 2014 Canada
Dad close #3 May 18, 2014 Canada

Nobuyoshi Araki Show Link

With my recent re-interest in Nobuyoshi Araki and his work, I found this coming show of his in Tokyo (21st in this same gallery) of note. I guess Araki is going through several recent health issues, prostrate cancer and the possible permanent loss of eyesight in his right eye. His most recent work incorporates his real life problems.

Video Links

Here is a nice group of links to photography videos, they even included my "Train is Coming" Klong Toey portrait video #8. Check out the Pier 24 video #18 it's the wonderful gallery in San Francisco I visited last year numerous times. There is also a important video on the Japanese photographer Eikoh Hosoe #7, complete with interview.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Photo Story: Nit 48 Sex Worker, Thailand 2009

Khune Nit is a freelance worker in Bangkok I have photographed maybe a dozen times through years, dating back to 1999. I have not photographed here the last couple of years but will go and try to photograph her with the ringflash and blad again next trip. Nit started out in the late 70s as a 16-17 year old working the gogo bars of Patpong in Bangkok, as she has aged she is required to do more and more estreme types of sex and makes less and less money doing so. Nit is a  nice polite lady who has always been kind to me, everytime she sees me she asks if I want to make pictures. I have asked to photograph her at her home with her family (her brother drives a taxi) but have not been allowed into her personal world yet.

Tech stuff, Mamiya C330 twin reflect camera, 80mm lens, Tri-x rated 200, direct flash.

Nitt 48 freelance sex worker, Bangkok 2009

Photo Story: Muay Thai Boxer, Bangkok Thailand 2012

This photo was made in the Klong Toey boxing gym where I have photographed extensively since about 2012. I have sort of become a regular there and am now trying to arrange to help the trainers who are in search of foreign boxers (they make money if they train foreigners, they teach the Thais for free or almost free).

The gym is rather an intense place when the boxing starts but otherwise it's as friendly and open as most places in Thailand. I feel quite comfortable and welcome in the gym and plan to continue shooting there for many years to come. I also donate some money now and again to help out with the funding of the place as most boys there come from disadvantaged situations, drug use in the family, orphans etc.

The boxer in this photo was the son of one of the trainers, his uncle is the man training him here. What was a bit shocking was the intensity this man trained at, how hard he worked. The ironic part was I went to watch a match this boxer (Bon) fought in a few days after this photo was made. Bon 20 was punched out cold in the the 3rd round of his match, he was knocked completely senseless. You can see a photo I made of him in the recovery room. Check out the blog entry below, what was really strange was how the TV guys interviewed him when he was still semi unconscious.

Tech stuff: Leica M6, 28mm lens (?), Tri-x rated 800, stand development with Rodinal.

Muay Thai boxer in Klong Toey slum gym, Bangkok Thailand 2012
Blog about the knockout.

Photo Story: Laotian Workers, Chiang Rai Thailand 2011

I photographed these two workers on the bank of the Mekong river in Northern Thailand. They had just come across from the Laos side with some goods and were unloading them into a truck from one of the small boats behind them. It was amazing what they could carry across a big river in a tiny boat, cases and cased of food goods, refrigerators, large tables and chairs. Most of the larger items seemed to be going from the Thai side to the Laos side where they could sell used stuff at a premium price. Most new goods like motorcycles, appliances face big duties in Laos.

Tech stuff: Linhof 2000 4x5 camera with a 150mm lens and Tri-x rated 200.

Laotian workers on Thai side of the border,  Chiang Rai Thailand 2011

Photo Story: Long In Her Room, Thailand 2008

I first met Long in 2007 at a gogo bar, we became friends and she helped find me many people to photograph, she introduced and promoted me to others. Eventually on my one of my later trips I found her in another go go where she performed sex shows as well as went with customers. The shows were girl on girl type things in hot tubs. I think as she got older she had to do more and more risqué stuff to make money, that is the norm in the bars, the older women do the more explicit acts.

Long was a worker I photographed numerous times (8-12 times), mostly with the 8x10 and the white background set up but I also photographed her in short time sex rooms, this shoot which was in her own personal room. Long picked me up with her motorbike and took me to her room which was a ways off and in a Thai area of the city. Her apartment had bright pink walls and no a/c, she told me she did not need a/c but it was no doubt because of the cost, a fan room is much cheaper to keep. Long lived alone which is a bit strange as most girls from the bars share rooms to cut costs.

We made a series of photos in her room and she told me a lot about her life. Long talked and talked in Thai to me, it made me a bit dizzy trying to understand it all thou I did not get everything I probably understood 60 or 70% of what she told me. I heard about how she almost married a Japanese man but he died of a heart attack, she also told me of a baby she lost and had me read and translate several of her boyfriend letters. One older motorcycle riding bald man from England wrote how he would marry her and how the sex he had with other ladies during his last trip did not matter, the only one he cared for was Long etc. While I was reading and translating for her she grasped at every positive thing I said and asked me to try to contact this English guy because he had stopped writing her. After many promises including talking of love and marriage he had forgotten her and never wrote or phoned, she was desperate to get a hold of him again.

Later in 2010 when I returned to Thailand, I tried to contact her again to learn more about her life and make more photographs but she had left her bar. I did manage to talk to her on the telephone she had left the sex worker world and was working a regular job in the South of Thailand on the tourist island of Kho Samui. I hope she has a better life now than before, she is a sweet caring person that is just trying to survive, hopefully she has found love and family.

Tech stuff: Contax G2 with 28mm (?) lens, direct flash and Tri-x rated 200.

Long, Thailand 2008

Some Old Films

Threw in a couple of old films again with the recent dad developing. One is Tri-x shot in Japan back in 1999 and the other is an old Tmax 3200 given stand development. These photos make me want to return to Japan and make more pics, its easy to do street photos there, lots of polite folks that you can photograph freely and up close. The Tri-x Japan negs look surprisingly good considering it sad 15 years in my darkroom waiting to be developed! I had no idea what was on the film until I pulled it off the reel after the wash. Some of the folks below might have died since, this kind of late development photography is a window into a forgotten past.

Tokyo Street #1,  Japan 1999
Tokyo Street #2,  Japan 1999
Tokyo Street #3,  Japan 1999
Tokyo Street #4,  Japan 1999
Tokyo Street #5,  Japan 1999
Tokyo Street #6,  Japan 1999
Tokyo Street #7,  Japan 1999
Tokyo Street#8,  Japan 1999
Tokyo Street #9,  Japan 1999
Tokyo Street #10,  Japan 1999
Tokyo Street #11,  Japan 1999
Lisa T-Max 3200, Canada
Bewitched T-Max 3200, Canada