Thursday, December 31, 2015

Links: First Submissions Sent

I sent out my first 4 digital email submission (yes 4! not 1)s for "Forgotten Laughter: The children of the Mae Sot garbage dump" tonight. One submission went to the "Lattitude 53 Gallery" here in Edmonton another went out to the "Platform Centre for Photographic and Digital Arts" in Winnepeg. The third to the "Art Gallery of Regina" in Regina. The last submission was to "Klondike Gallery of Art and Culture " in Dawson City. All 4 of these galleries pay CARFAC artist fees.

Here is hoping all four of these are accepted : ))
Latitude 53 Gallery
Platform Centre
Art Gallery of Regina
Klondike Gallery of Art and Culture 


Had an idea for a movie screen play on the way to work today. The story is based on my mother and her experiences after losing dad. Never wrote a screenplay before, have no idea how to do it. So what!! When has not knowing how to do something stopped me before! I will blunder forward and see how this goes. It should be fun.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Bought My Thai Air Ticket

Bought my air ticket to return to Thailand and the dump. The ticket was purchased for a record low price of $1052 CAD ($200 cheaper than last trip and $500 cheaper than in 2013). I should be back in the dump making photos and giving out those size 11 boots I owe the one family sometime in early April 2016!

First Submission "Latitude 53" In Edmonton

Am doing up my first submission for "Forgotten Laughter: The Children of the Dump" tonight. It is an email submission (love these) to a gallery in Edmonton called Latitude 53. One of the good parts about working nights in security is I have time between rounds to do up stuff like this. I am developing film from from this last trip but I believe I have enough quality images to make up a decent, competent submission. I have been rejected from this place before, here's hoping for some better luck this time. I should be able to send out this email submission tomorrow.

The 15 photos I am submitting are below. I plan on adding the names and ages for all these children, once I have time to go through all the name/age video I did up in the dump after most every portrait session.

Link: Haunting Historical Photograph

Found this extremely haunting portrait online today.
Photographs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Nuclear Bomb “Shadow” in Hiroshima, Japan 1945.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Link: The Art Of Photography On A W. Eugene Smith Biography

Ted Forbes on the YouTube "Art of Photography" channel did a wonderful biography on the great photojournalist and my personal inspiration W. Eugene Smith.

Here is the link, check it out, and join the channel. Lots of great stuff put out there by Ted.
THE WORLD OF W EUGENE SMITH "The Art of Photography"

November/December 2015 Trip Scans #11

Here are some 35mm shots. So far am rather unhappy with the results of my 35mm work (especially the chicken fighting stuff). Maybe I was distracted by the 2 other format sizes. You can only spread yourself so thin. Had a bit of a issue scanning these, the negs are mostly sharp but the bend in the film made scanning them sharp difficult. They should be easier to print than they were to scan.

$1052 Ticket?

I will be booking my next trip to Thai this week. Tonight I checked out a 7 week trip starting in March and ending in May, the price? $1052!! Wow, Wow! If true and if I do get that flight it would be my cheapest airplane ride to Asia ever. I have been to Thai around 14 times now, the first trip dating back to 1996. Even in 1996 I think I paid more than $1052, and that was in 1996 Canadian dollars.

Hope this works out, I have so many ideas, so many types of photos I still want to make. Having another 7 weeks in Asia would be a great opportunity to create and to tell the stories I need to tell. Updates to follow!

Shooting The Dump At Night?

Tonight a new photo idea popped into my mind while I was doing my security rounds. What if I spent a night in the dump making photos with flash? I could rig up my Plaubel Makina 67 camera or the Rolleiflex with a flash then shoot at night as the people worked the garbage. I am assuming at least one family works all night because back in 2013 and this last trip when I arrive in the morning at around 615am their bags are full, they have small lights on their heads and they finish up at around 7am. What if I spent a night, or several nights photographing that family's work with a flash?

Not sure how possible this is, it might even be a tad spooky and dangerous but if people, including young children can work digging through garbage all night in that environment I am sure I can photograph. Most importantly I think it will place this story in a new and important light. It would give an added to dimension to how much the families go through, how hard they work, just to survive.

Maybe I could first start coming in around 415am, then eventually earlier and earlier. Back when I first started shooting in Thailand in 1999, I would usually stay up all night photographing freelance workers with flash on the streets of Sukhumvit road in Bangkok. I was able to do that, so why not this? My only concern is that my flash might disturb the people working, blind them. I would have to shoot selectively, and at the lowest power and largest f-stop I could manage. I would also have to set up a flashlight of my own on my head, or on the camera (both?) to help with focusing and protect me from falling on my silly ass!

Note* Might have to pay Khun Noy more money to drive me to the dump at these very weird hours.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Dump Self Portraits

Here are some self portraits  made with the digi camera in the dump. I am not sure if these were shot on the same day (one shirt in all the photos). They were probably made on different days. I only had 2-3 shirts that I changed off each day of my 13 dump visits.

With dump children @1

With dump children #2
On top of the garbage shooting down on a section of older dump shacks
5x7 Linhof in the garbage dump

Video: Eating Fried Fish In The Dump

Here is a video I made back on December 5 of me eating fried fish in the dump with one of the families. The man holding the sauce in the video asked me 2 times to sit down with him and eat (he had just finished eating his fried fish-vegetable stick). My rule of thumb is when your offered food you eat regardless of the conditions. It is only showing proper respect to eat what is given to you, especially from generous and kind people who have so little. The food was quite good, the sauce was especially tasty, it gave a nice spicy kick to it all!
Blog: Original Eating Fried Fish In The Dump Blog

The Nobleness Of The Worker

After scanning and posting these 2 portraits yesterday and today, I decided I need to make more portraits along this same line. 

Father dump worker #1
Father dump worker #2

In the past I have wanted to do the work with view cameras in this way but it is a bit of a slow awkward process (your standing in garbage while photographing) . Also these people are working to survive asking them to POSE for a portrait is a bit much. I need to simplify and to speed things along. So I think I will try using the 6x6 Rolleiflex as in these 2 portraits or the 67 Plaubel Makina. I can make the pics on a larger pieces of film (compared to 35mm) and yet still be mobile, moving through the garbage without a tripod and work fastt. Doing photo making things quicker will allow the dump worker to keep working with only a momentary delay for my silly needs.

I will study Sebastiao Salgado's book "Workers" again which follows a similar theme. Salgado is the greatest teacher alive, I can learn so much from yet.

I want to pay tribute to the underlying goodness and hard work of most of those living at the dump. This last trip I focused more on the children because of my "Forgotten Laughter" project. Next trip I will continue work on "Forgotten Laughter" but also need to tell the story of the older workers, both the women and men.

I do not know if I photographed many woman at all last trip, mothers working the garbage are just as good, maybe better than the men in the field. There were several women over coming injury last trip, they were still working and trying to provide for their families, I need to photograph them as well. The stories of these older men and women are both very important to tell.

This next trip to Asia and to the dump will be my last for a while. When I return to Canada I will need to work my security night shifts for a least 1 year maybe longer. I cannot get any more holidays until 2017. I need to make the work on this next trip, in these coming 7 weeks strong! That is all there will be for quite a while.

The workers of the dump are allowing me into their lives, I have to do them right, I have to honor who they are, I owe them!

Snoring For 15 Hours 30 Minutes!!!

Decided to take a short nap yesterday afternoon to prepare for a return to my security night shifts tonight. Went to bed with some effort at 2pm and just woke up for the final time at 535am today. That is an astonishing 15 hours 30 minutes of sleeping! Dreamt of every thing from meeting Queen Elizabeth to actor Lee Marvin. In the last few dreams I was entering university at 60 years old. In between there were sexual dreams showcasing supposed current and supposed past lovers.

Not sure sleeping 15.5 hours is healthy but I feel good (a tiny headache). Will have some food and then develop some 35mm film. Will try for 2 runs of 5 films maybe 3 runs. Then I need to take a nap before my work night shift start!


Sunday, December 27, 2015

November/December 2015 Trip Scans #10

Young Muay Thai boxer, Klong Toey slum, Bangkok
Young daughter carrying the nights work, dump Mae Sot
Father carrying the nights work, dump Mae Sot
Gee with his champion cockfighting rooster, Pattaya
Shack, tree and road  construction equipment, dump Mae Sot (5x7 negative)
Father and hardest working man in the dump, Mae Sot
Here is a story I wrote about the father in the photograph above, about my last day in the dump.
Blog: Size 12 Laughter
Boy from dump in nearby field, Mae Sot (5x7 negative)
Another hard working family man, dump Mae Sot

Saturday, December 26, 2015

100 Rolls Of 120mm?

Latest camera-film next trip thoughts? Take 100 rolls of 120mm and two medium format cameras, leaving all my 35mm film and cameras at home! I would rake the Rolleiflex F and my never before used Plaubel Makina 67. Both cameras have outstanding bokeh at f 2.8.

I am getting my best results doing the medium format thingy, so why not go all in?

Note* I would still shoot the remainder of my 5x7 film from last trip. I could also possibly add in another 50 sheets.

November/December 2015 Trip Scans #9

Here are latest Rolleiflex scans:

Girl dump worker, Mae Sot
Crying baby girl, dump Mae Sot
Boy, dump Mae Sot
Baby girl, dump Mae Sot
Muay Thai boxer, Klong Toey slum Bangkok
Boy, dump Mae Sot
Khun Anapon, the man who lives under the freeway, Bangkok
Champion rooster, cockfighting Pattaya
Baby boy, dump Mae Sot
Baby girl, dump Mae Sot

Friday, December 25, 2015

November/December 2015 Trip Scans #8

I have been developing film at a high rate since my return from Thai.  Today I did 18 sheets of 5x7m 6 rolls of 120mm and 5 rolls of 35mm (one a blank!). Am down to less than 100 sheets of 5x7.  Here is another set of recent scans:

 Mother with two children, dump Mae Sot (5x7 negative, sharp enough?)
Aunt with child, dump Mae Sot (5x7 negative, sharp enough?)
Young worker, dump Mae Sot
Smiling boy, dump Mae Sot
Family home, dump Mae Sot (5x7 negative)
Dump workers, Mae Sot
Group working the garbage, dump Mae Sot (5x7 negative)
Dump laundry, Mae Sot (overdeveloped 5x7 negative)
The groom, dump Mae Sot (5x7 negative)
Three young children, dump Mae Sot (5x7 negative)