Saturday, December 31, 2016

Rainy Season Anyone?

I might face some rain in Thai when I am there. Got these cheapo emergency bag set ups for that situation. Might use it with the DSLR or the Black Magic Cameras, maybe even the small point and shoot. These were quite cheap and yet way better than what I could manufacture on the spot in Mae Sot. Water and expensive electronic camera gear do not mix well. I bet thou my Leica range finders would work well even in a downpour.

I might also need these bags if I need to go down into water for any reason to get a shot. Maybe following dump kids fishing in dump slew water like I did the last trip.

Dump child fishing (feeling for fish in the mud) in the dump, Mae Soth Thailand 2016
 Gosh with trips and projects like I am planning, you got to think and prepare for pretty much everything.

DSLR Bag $21.99 USD
Camera baggy time, $3.21 USD
Camera sandwich bag $1.99 USD

Happy New Year!!!!

Happy New Year World!! Tonight I am at work here in Canada, in my security guardhouse watching the Montreal Canadians and Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL Hockey) on a live stream. Later on it will be snow shoveling, computer/sax practice and general security stuff including month end. Hope all of you out there are having a great night and will have a an important 2017.

Note* This is blog number 800 for the year, quite a bit less than last year (1047) but still a nice year of writing. :)

Bought Me A Cheapo Camera Stabilizer

Bought a  hand held "Stabilizer Camera Motion Steadicam" (quite a name) tonight. This unit is one of those cheapo things coming no doubt out of some sweat shop in China. It is supposedly designed for a DSLR but I will try to use it with the lighter and smaller Black Magic Pocket Camera. Not sure this thing is any good or will work at all but it was $29.50 CAD with free shipping. I don't have much to lose but it might turn into an important video shooting accessory.

I see a shot where I am following people as they walk through the dump garbage, carrying heavy bags or just general walking. Often the kids coming home from school walk through the garbage dump. This could turn into a very valuable tool (assuming it works) if I do a story that follows the lives of a dump family. Instead of having jerky video following and tracking family members it could be much smoother video and easier to watch.

I am hoping the lighter and smaller Black Magic Pocket Camera will be handled by this unit more easily. A lighter gear set up will also make it easier on my forearm as using these units for extended periods can be a real PAIN IN THE ARM.


Friday, December 30, 2016

Quote: The Bible

"What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul?"

B/W Movie?

What if I not only included my b/w photos in the movie but also shot the movie in color and then converted it to B/W in post! The entire film would be viewed in beautiful black and white. I could use colour selectively at certain key moments as Mr. Spielberg did in "Schindler's List" (of course am not comparing what he created, an all time masterpiece, and I am attemping to do). But using b/w then moving to colour at key times is a very effective visual technique. Here is a thought, an end shot of hope with laughing beautiful dump children smiling away. A fade from black and white to colour and their joy of youth. THE END.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Possible 6 Month Trip Gear List

Right now the 6 month trip looks like a real possibility. With the optimism I feel I thought I would make up my first projected gear list for a long 6 month trip. There is a lot of gear listed below, but 6 months is a LONG TIME.

Video Gear
- Canon 5D Mark 3, main video camera.
- Canon 5D Mark 2, backup camera and 2nd talking head interview camera.
- Black Magic Pocket Camera (still need to buy this) for general everyday, all the time RAW video shooting.
- Unknown C lens with adapter for the Black Magic camera.
- Rode boom mic.
- Rode stereo mic.
- Zoom F4 field sound recorder.
- HP EliteBook video editing computer.
- 2 external back up hard drives.
- Large Gitzo carbon fiber tripod.
- Small light weight generic Chinese carbon fibre tripod.
- Manfrotto video head.
- Leica R Metabone adapter.
- GoPro 2 camera with accessories.
-  Light source to shoot at night in the dump.
- P&C video rig with Zacuto viewfinder.
- SD and Compact Flash storage cards.
- Wireless Lav mic.
- Backup Zoom 1 Lav mic set up.
- A light cheap gryo steadycam device for the light Black Magic camera.
-A large collapsible reflector.
-Lighting of some kind to do the talking head interviews?
-Foldable grey card to get correct custom white balance.

Photography Gear
- 4x5 Speed Graphic with Aero-Ektar f2.5 (bokeh) lens.
- Banarama 4x5 with flash? (Bangkok at night series?)
- 2x Leica R 35mm bodies.
- 2 or 3 R 35mm Leica lens.Will use these lens for both 35mm film and for the Black Magic video camera.
- Rollieflex or Plaubel Makina medium format camera.
- 4x5, 120mm and 35mm Tri-x films.
- Small digi cameras, to create and hand out small freebie photos.

Idea: Documentary Film, "The Life Of One Dump Family"

I had a documentary film idea driving to work today. What if I follow the life of one family in the dump? I know of a large family group that I get along with very well. I know the mother, father, grand pa, aunts, and all the children. I have been photographing and helping out with money, food, boot gifts since 2013. This family could fit the build. They live on the edge of the dump in a house a bit seperated from the garbage, near the local school. There should be plenty of opportunities to join in with them, and I do not believe access would be an issue.

More thought needed.

The family mentioned in this blog, a cooking breakfast photo from 2013

Upgrading My Video Editing Computer

I decided to upgrade my HP EliteBook laptop. I bought 16GB of RAM, 2 x 8GB sticks, the cost was $96 USD including shipping. I also bought a metal hard drive caddy from China for a $2.58 USD with free shipping. I still need to buy a compatible 2 TB hard drive.

I upgraded the computer because of the heavy video editing work I will be using it for. With these upgrades (assuming I can install them correctly). I will have 3TB of hard drive space on the EliteBook (expandble to 5TB if I remove the DVD player and install a  2TB hardrive) along with 28GB of RAM (expandable to 32GB). I will also be taking 2 - 2TB external hard drives with me to Asia, to back up all my audio and video files to (2 backups). If I need more back up drives, which I no doubt will, I will buy them in Bangkok.

Update: I bought a 2TB internal hard drive to use with the EliteBook. I need to find a 2nd hard drive caddy that will fit my 8760w computer. The cost of the 2TB drive ws $118 USD including shipping. That should be it for the upgrades.

Bought Me A Metabones Speedbooster Leica R Adapter

I thought my spending was over for this movie project but as per usual I found something else to buy. I decided to get me a Black Magic Pocket Camera which is a high end pro level camera that is extremely small. The camera allows you to shoot in RAW format which can be worked on in post to create a 13 stop range type image.

I do not own one of those cameras yet but today I already bought an accessory for it. I got me a Metabones Leica R to micro four thirds mount speed booster adapter. This adapter will allow me to mount any of my 4 or 5 Lecia R lens to the Black Magic camera. With the Metabones Speedbooster you get a wider angle of view and about a stop increase in speed. My 35mm Leica R f2.8 lens will become a f2 when I mount it to the camera body-booster combo. I probably saved (depending on your point of view) over $160 USD on this buy, paying $220 (plus shipping and taxes).

I also plan to get some old style cheap C lens to use with the Black Magic Camera. Hope this is the right move! Basically I decided to buy this camera for 2 reasons. One, it shoots RAW video and, two, I can carry it 24/7. It is so small and so light I will have it always available in my pocket to shoot with. I can take it with me everytime I go out. I can even have it when I go to the dump with my film cameras and do not want to carry the heavy Canon 5D rig.

My Megagbones Booster Adapater for Lecia R lens

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

6 Month Leave Progress?

I am trying for a 6 month LEAVE from work to make the documentary dump film. Am not sure what will happen as of yet, mulitple people have to agree to it. I have 3 different bosses, my site boss, my security supervisor and my security company that I need to get an OK from. I contacted my site boss and he told me that he needs to check with his boss, the GM of the plant. So I will now need to get clearance from 4 different people.

I have emailed both my site boss and my site supervisor. My site boss will speak to the plants GM soon about my LEAVE request. I get along well with the GM of the plant I work Security for, he is a nice friendly guy so I am optimistic this actually might happen. If I can get a 6 months LEAVE it would allow me the time to make my film the right way. If I cannot get 6 months then 3 or 4 months might be a possibility.

I will have to work whatever time I do get off around my August 17th exhibition at the AGSA. This is all all so complicated!!!! Hope, Hope, it all works out!

Got My HP EliteBook 8760W Computer

I got my HP EliteBook computer today! With a ton of great software in it. The system is in near mint condition, it looks like it will be a wonderful tool to do my video/picture/sound editing on. I did not receive one part of the computer power cord so asked the seller to send me that part. I am currently using a cord I found at work, temporarily. I can use that cord here at work until I get my own sent to me.

I plan to spend the night learning Adobe Premiere and the computer in general. I will bring some video files/picture files tomorrow to work with me. When I have those files I can do some editing. I need to learn the Adoble Premiere and Adobe Audtion software program before I go back to Thai to make my film.

This is so exciting!

Dad Dream Again

Dreamt of dad again last night. I do not remember much of the dream. I do remember one part thou, in that section I told dad that I would die for him so that he could go on living. I offered my life to him, so he could go on, but he did not accept.

I have been dreaming more happy things about my father of late, hopefully will not head back into the sad nightmare stuff yet again. Dad death day is coming up, February 22, which will mark 2 years since his passing.

I think of my father multiple times everyday. It will probably be this way for the rest of my life.

Father Kolbe

I learned more about this amazing man yesterday, Father Maximilian Maria Kolbe. A man of honor and integrity who committed the ultimate selflesh act of sacrificing his life for another mans. The other man, Franciszek Gajowniczek, ended up living until 93 and never forgot the extraordinary gift Father Kolbe gave.

I learned more about Father Kolbe on watching the documentary film "The Labrynth" which is about the art work and life of Auschwitz survivor Marian Ko?odziej.

Father Kolbe, 1939
 The story of his death from his Wikipedia page.

Death at Auschwitz

At the end of July 1941, three prisoners disappeared from the camp, prompting SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer Karl Fritzsch, the deputy camp commander, to pick 10 men to be starved to death in an underground bunker to deter further escape attempts. When one of the selected men, Franciszek Gajowniczek, cried out, "My wife! My children!", Kolbe volunteered to take his place. According to an eye witness, an assistant janitor at that time, in his prison cell, Kolbe led the prisoners in prayer to Our Lady. Each time the guards checked on him, he was standing or kneeling in the middle of the cell and looking calmly at those who entered. After two weeks of dehydration and starvation, only Kolbe remained alive. “The guards wanted the bunker emptied, so they gave Kolbe a lethal injection of carbolic acid. Kolbe is said to have raised his left arm and calmly waited for the deadly injection.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Quote: From The Plaque Honoring 4 African American Children Killed In Birmingham.

Found this quote in the Spike Lee documentary "4 Little Girls". This documentary tells the stofy of 4 young children killed in Birmingham Alabama in 1963.
The IMDB listing for "4 Little Girls"

"May men learn to replace birtterness and violence with love and understanding."

Quote: T.S. Elliot (Poet)

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets
Section V.

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from. And every phrase
And sentence that is right (where every word is at home,
Taking its place to support the others,
The word neither diffident nor ostentatious,
An easy commerce of the old and the new,
The common word exact without vulgarity,
The formal word precise but not pedantic,
The complete consort dancing together)
Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,
Every poem an epitaph. And any action
Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea's throat
Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start.
We die with the dying:
See, they depart, and we go with them.
We are born with the dead:
See, they return, and bring us with them.
The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree
Are of equal duration. A people without history
Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern
Of timeless moments. So, while the light fails
On a winter's afternoon, in a secluded chapel
History is now and England.

With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple­tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half­heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always-
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in­folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

l not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
Read more at:

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Quote: Danny Kaye

"Life is a great big canvas; throw all the paint you can at it."

Quote: Robert McNamara (Former American Secretary of Defence)

[in 1991, on his position during the Vietnam Nam war] 
 "I was wrong! My God, I was wrong."

Quote: Sigmund Freid

“The first requisite of civilization is that of justice.”

Friday, December 23, 2016

Quote: Alfred Stieglitz

“In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.”

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Fuck The Rejections

Even thou the dump family and dump children photographs have been rejected at 10+ galleries/museums, I need to keep trying to get the work seen. Even thou all those curators and judges have said NO to the images and don't give a shit about telling their stories, I need to keep trying to get the children and the families of the Mae Sot dump story told. I will not give up, their important lives have to be recognized, fuck the curators and fuck the juries who turned them down.

The images will be seen!! 

I will continue to submit the work, continue to photograph in the dump and will soon make a doc film on their lives. Gallery, Jury, and Curator indifference is not going to stop me, fuck them all. They are all fuckin wrong for ignoring these lives. They may make me angry as this blog attests to, but they are not going to break my spirit or drive to get this done. What is happening in the dump is too important, these stories will be told, now or later but they will be told!

Here is a general google search on Gerry Yaum + Children + Mae Sot Dump, found these photos, all taken since 2013. Whenever I do these searches I find photos I had forgotten about. It is nice to post them again at the top of the blog.

Update* Seeing these photos once again is inspiring me to put aside the documentary film training for a while and get back into the darkroom to do some printing. That is basically the job of this blog, to keep me thinking, to get me finding new ways to express myself through the work and to allow me to see imagery that will inspire me to get off my lazy ass and work harder.

Maybe This Photo For Context

Maybe instead of including the slumscape shot shown earlier I should put this shot of the dump and children. The pic was made soon after they woke up, their parents had been working all night in the dump behind them.

10 Voices Picture Submission Choices?

Been thinking of what I can submit for the 10 Voices submission/exhibition I wrote about earlier. Am going to submit work from the dump, I am determined to get the work seen no matter how many rejections I receive.

I never know which images to select, I have so many to choose from, so many that I feel are worthy to be exhibited. Maybe these 6 will work, did some google searches online and found them, have no idea at all where any of the negs are, buried somewhere. I can submit 3-6 photos, to the VAA judges. I want to submit 66 but 6 will have to do :(.

I would also like to include this photo of a sleeping child, and maybe the crying boy Chimeeko photo. Not sure I should include the shack/dog/dumpscape (first photo in this sequence) but thought it might help with context for the judges.

Shooting Some Footage

Now that I have the lens I wanted mounted to the video rig I have started to shoot and experiment with the camera. So far so good, the image stabilizer seems to help the image shake somewhat and I like the longer focal length. I kind of miss shooting at f2.8, both for the extra light and for the shallower depth of field. I still have the option of using my 24-70 f2.8 lens if I want.

I decided to move the 5D camera body as far back on the P&C rig as I could manage. If the body is more centralized the overall weight on my forearms will be less. I wonder if I need to buy counter weights to help balance things a bit more. Not sure if it is worth the extra cost. For a simple round 1.5 kilo weight to hang of the back of the rig the cost is $88 CAD, what a ridiculously high price. Do I need it? Will it help? Give a steadier shot? Take some of the weight off my arms, distributing it better?

I have been trying not to buy anything else for this project. I need to save money. Not sure what to do.

Update: I played some footage shot tonight back on my 55 inch flat screen. I recorded everything in 1080p (cannot do 4K yet) and it looks damn good. The shake seems to be minimum and the clarity and sharpness pretty good. I am quite pleased.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Quote: Roger Ebert

This is the last paragraph from his 4 star review of the 2005 version of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice".
The IMDB Facts And Figures- "Pride And Prejudice"
The Full Roger Ebert Review
"When Lizzie and Darcy finally accept each other in "Pride & Prejudice," I felt an almost unreasonable happiness. Why was that? I am impervious to romance in most films, seeing it as a manifestation of box office requirements. Here is it different, because Darcy and Elizabeth are good and decent people who would rather do the right thing than convenience themselves. Anyone who will sacrifice their own happiness for higher considerations deserves to be happy. When they realize that about each other their hearts leap, and, reader, so did mine."

Emails To And From A Friend: Subject "Documentary Film Making"

 (Email from my friend, our discussion has helped me focus my thoughts on what and why I am trying to do this film.)

It's cool these days how average people have access to the technology
necessary to make first rate docs or films of their own.  You can post
it up on Youtube and it can find an audience all by itself.

(My long winded replies)

Yes documentary film making is undergoing a real revolution. That has been happening for 10 years plus. Now you can actually shoot 1080p HD video and high end sound on your own run and gun, then edit it yourself and make a movie. All of this I am doing. 4K video is still a bit expensive but is not to far off from all of us as well.

Of course, no mater the tech part, making movies is a rather difficult to do, you need the drive to do it, many average folks (not all of course) when they reach a certain age lose that drive and become complacent. They sit on their asses living life as normal, the days they have left bleeding away to nothing. Many of the people I work with and know have no idea how difficult it is to do this, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I think in some small ways I might suffer PTSD. A very mild version compared to most folks who live with it but I think it is still there, in my dreams, in my daily thoughts, in my strange obsessions. My past memories and feelings have pushed me forward to try the crazy shit I try. Sometimes I wake up shockingly in the night with visions of something I have photographed, and those lives I have shared. When you do documentary work you can become rather close to your subjects, those feelings and memories as a result inhabit you.

Moving making what is that exactly? The trick of course is to get beyond the tech/gear stuff which anyone can master and tell a compelling story in an exciting and interesting way. I know I can do the tech stuff, I know I can buy good gear (already did that part). But how do you tell stories? How do you communicate in movie style ways. I get stills, I understand that, have been doing that for almost 40 years now, so biggy there. But movies? Movie story telling? That is a mystery that I need to figure out and fast. My guess is it will be like everything else, the more I do it the better I will get at it.

Fred (one of the subjects of my film) says that we have a great story and that's the most important thing. I think he is probably right, but many a great story has been fucked up by lousy movie making/story telling. Will see how it all goes down.

My plan is to work on several film ideas. If I have the time I might work on several things, some possibles include:

- Fred's work in the dump along with the people family life footage.
- The story of one single child in the dump.
- The story of one family in the dump.
- //// sex tourist story (have not spoken to him about it yet but could happen)maybe his perspective as well as a sex workers perspective, inter cut, their different lives.
- blowjob bar worker story
- Bkk gogo bar story, the stories of all the girls in a single bar
- life's of homeless people (I am close to 2 friends in that world living in Bkk). Showing who they are and why they matter so much..
- Boxers (know of a good place that I have shot slum boxers before, have connections there)

So lots of potential stories there, all pretty good. The dumps stories will take precedence. Will probably think of another 10 by tomorrow :)).

I will first submit the work to various film festivals (there are tons) and see where that goes before placing it on YouTube/Vimeo and donating a free film to Fred's charity to help raise money and to educate.

Who knows where this may lead, I might be writing my Oscar speech soon....:)))
Of course I should not get too down on how difficult these types of things are. You are also rewarded in countless ways. For example the donations and smiles. The joys of the children in the dump have more than paid up for any nails I stepped on or cockroaches that crawled on me. The goodness I have dealt with there has  out weighed the blackness.

I can still remember this young girl I gave 2 dolls to, 5 or 6, barefoot, living in abject poverty in a garbage dump. Yet when I gave her one doll she was so happy and eyed the other I had in my camera bag. She kept watching that doll, watching it rather covertly, but said nothing to me about wanting it (this went on for several minutes, maybe 5 total). Later I gave her the second small used toy doll and she was so pleased. I still can see her smile in my minds eye, such sheer joy on her face! She had a doll and now a friend for her doll and she went off to play with them, smiling from ear to ear.

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Canon 24-105mm Lens Has Arrived

I got my Canon 24-105mm F4 lens with image stabilizer today. The lens looks in mint condition. I got it for $56 cheaper than the lens Larry was going to sell me. This one thou does not have a filter or bag with it. I will have to scrounge up a 77mm Hoya UV filter for it somewhere.  I am probably better off buying this one, having saved the $56.

The lens is about the same weight as my 24-70mm F2.8 but is significantly smaller, both the lens and the lens hood looks 30% smaller. The main reason I bought this thing is to use the image stabilization feature which my other lens does not have. I can do run and gun shooting now on the rig. In the dump and following Fred S around I expect to be doing lots of running about.

I tried attaching the follow focus the lens existing focusing ring knob grip and it seems to work fine. That means I will have to use the accessory attachment knob grip ring thingy (how is that for a description!). With this lens on the camera and without the accessory knob grip, this whole gear set up looks more streamlined and less pro-large-expensive (potentially scary looking for my subjects). I am quite happy with it all. It was extra money spent yet again but the smallness, the image stabilization and the extra focal length (105mm) are all good things.

I will give the lens a test run this week when I do some talking head interviews with mom. I plan to use my Asian set up idea, 2 cameras with different head compositions, the Rode boom mic over the talent, a Lavalier mic on myself and the Zoom f4 sound recorder. Will edit everything in my HP Notebook and Premiere Pro when and if it arrives!! The damn thing is still stuck in Kentucky.

Starting To Become A Filmmaker

Am starting to shoot some video footage. Will also be doing up some audio this coming week. Alm learning Premiere Pro for  editing. Bit by bit this film maker thingy is coming together. Did some shots in security gear, 2 days ago,  might include it in the eventual documentary, not sure just yet.

It is all a bit intimidating yet rather exciting.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Had A Nice Dad Dream

I just had a nice dream of dad. He was still young and very strong (stronger than me). We were hiking this very very steep path, dad in front me behind. he was pulling away from me, I was asking him to wait for me, to slow down. I asked him "How could walk so fast up such a steep hill?". I then said "We should have done more things together like this." dad said "Yes we should have but we never had time." Then I woke up. It was strange we were talking in the past tense but in the dream we were living in the present, like it was really happening.

In real life I always wanted to spend more time with my father, always wanted to do more free time things with him. When I was a boy I asked many times to teach me to play the drums but that never happened (he and mom did pay for drum lessons for me). Dad played the drums in various wedding bands (with his father at first) throughout his life, he always had that ability, it made him special in my young eyes. I always just wanted to sit down with dad and get his instruction, get him to teach me, not some stranger. Maybe he did not feel comfortable teaching as he was self taught himself, maybe he thought he would not do a good job for me. The drum lessons from my father never happened. I feel bad about that.

We did do many work related things together but it was never enough. We never seemed to have enough time in the day. Some of my favorite memories of dad was when we would work together.  I would sometimes help him with his baking, cleaning the house or garage, snow shoveling, or we did his or my home yard work together. Dad worked with mom at a farmers market for over 20 years. I would often help him carry many, many market trays (loaded with baked goods) from the house to his truck, or from the truck to the farmers market. My father cooked all kinds of home made foods, he worked his own stall at the market called "Eddy's Ukrainian Foods".

I always worried that my father was working too hard. Whenever I would help him he would always give me a bit of money (usually too much for the work I did) , he would always do that, he would never forget. My main concern was not  the dollars I received. I would often try to refuse the money, but he would insist "You need it more than I do" he would say.  My main worry was that I did not want my father to have to do everything himself. I worried he would work himself to death. He kept working hard everyday until he was almost 80 years old. I worried it was all too much for him, so tried to do my best as a son to help out.  I would often go to his house or to the market after work to help out for an hour or two. We would talk as we worked. I miss those times very much now. I wish thou we could have just done more none work fun things together like the "hiking" in my dream.

Damn tearing up again, whenever I write these dad dream blog things, whenever I think back to dad, it is difficult, my eyes always fill up with tears and I have to blow my nose 2 or 3 times.

Dad was always such a hard worker, the hardest working person I ever knew. I remember when he was finally forced to quit working at 79 and half years old, how much he hated it. Dad felt very bad about it, he told me "I feel like a useless tit!" Work gave my father purpose, when he lost that he lost who he was. He died a few years later at 82 from pancreatic cancer. You all have seen those photos on this blog. He was so strong from all those years of work that the cancer which often kills younger men in a few months took 13 months to kill him.

 Sometimes I wonder if my father had kept working, would he have kept living?

10 Voices Exhibition-Submission Info From VAA At The Jubilee Auditorium

Found this tonight, looks to be an adapted form of the Open Alberta Photo competition. This time they are only accepting 10 people which probably means each person will show 2-4 images. Should be a more refined view of things than exhibitions with larger numbers of contitributers. You can submit 3-6 images at NO COST (I do not enter money grabbing submission processes). The VAA allows email submissions which are way easier, faster and just as effective to do, love them!

All of you out there who are interested, please join in.
VAA 10 Voices Submission Link
PDF Submission Form

Note* I think there is a typo in the VAAA listing. The exhibtion is listed as 2017, the exhibiton times being in August and October of 2017 but the deadline for submissions has a April 21 2016 (?) deadline. I will email them to confirm this is a mistake, the deadline must be April 2017 for the later in the year exhibitions. That makes more sense. The PDF submission form seems to have the right deadline date of April 21 2017.
Note** For you people worldwide who follow the blog, sorry this is only a Alberta, Canada thingy. 

From the VAA site:

Alberta | Call for Submissions: Ten Voices 2017 Photographic and Digital Works
Ten Albertan artists, working in photographic and digital media, will be selected to represent a cross-section of the approach that our Province’s artistic minds are taking as they embrace and usew these rapidly-evolving technologies. These works will be shown in Calgary and Edmonton.
We invite all Alberta artists to submit images for the opportunity to exhibit their work in a group  exhibition. All subject matter, styles and techniques are welcome.
Submission Deadline: Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 4 pm.
Exhibition Dates: in Calgary, from late August to mid October, 2017 and in Edmonton, from mid October to the end of November, 2017. Actual exhibition dates TBA. The work will be exhibited at the Jubilee Auditorium in Calgary (South) and Edmonton (North). Exhibiting artists will receive an artist fee.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Music For Documentary Idea

Having no budget and with such limited music options open to me, a thought occurred tonight. Movies like "It's a Wonderful Life" have no copyright on them, no payment need be given when that movie is shown on TV. Your not breaking any copyright laws to show that material. Are there similar songs out there? Old pieces of music that I can use in my doc without worrying about problems with the law.

It seems there are, found this site tonight.

If I can do my music this way, using some of these ancient songs might add a surreal-bizarre element to the documentary. It might actually be more effective in a weird sort of way. Some of this historical stuff sounds down right bizarre in today's world, as is being in a garbage dump filled with barefoot children.

Update: Some the music on this site cannot be used for commercial purposes. Doubt I am making a commercial film but I guess there is that possibility. It is smarter to not worry about copyright issues. I will probably use the links below my music, PUBLIC DOMAIN and CC (can be used for commercial use with attribution), CC Remixing allowed (can be used for commercial use with attribution). I feel quite happy I have all this sound material to work with. I will be able to play with it next week in my video editing programs Adobe Premiere Pro CS6, Adobe Audition (hopefully).
Public Doman Music (1644 Tracks)
Commerical Use Allowed (11344 Tracks)
Commercial Use And Remixing Of Tracks Allowed (10776 Tracks)

Note* Have started to shoot a bit of video, that I  MIGHT use in a doc.

Quote: Susan Hayward (Actor)

"You aim at all the things you have been told that stardom means--the rich life, the applause, the parties cluttered with celebrities. Then you find that you have it all. And it is nothing, really nothing. It is like a drug that lasts just a few hours, a sleeping pill. When it wears off, you have to live without its help."

Friday, December 16, 2016

Quote: Errol Morris

"Photography may just be a metaphor for how we all see the world in different ways. How we only see part of everything and we see it all in our own individual way. Part of what I do (as a film maker) is trying to reach beyond subjective experience to try to understand something about the world out there and I hope I have been in at least part successful."

Southern Computer

I have been educating myself online on how to use Premiere Pro. Everyday I take notes, watch how to vids on Lynda, YouTube and Vimeo. Seeing all these people using their programs has gotten me quite antsy waiting for my computer to arrive from the states. Gosh it is taking a long time! Did a a look see on its travels through the link provided on EBay. It seems my computer has Southern origins and is it making its way through Trump land (ick), the Southern USA. The computer started out in Greenville Mississippi, that sounds like "In Heat Of The Night" like.

Gosh it is in Kentucky, when is ut it even going to make it to Canada? Never mind Edmonton. Why would be in Louisville KY, then in Cincinnati OH, then be sent back to Kentucky? It seems I will not be able to practise with the real program for a while yet. Christmas mail is no doubt slowing things down.

Arrived at Global Shipping Center
2016-12-16, 10:00:00, ERLANGER, KY 41025
Out for delivery to Global Shipping Center
2016-12-16, 03:35:00, CINCINNATI, OH
2016-12-16, 02:18:00, CINCINNATI, OH
2016-12-16, 00:17:00, LOUISVILLE, KY
2016-12-15, 14:20:00, LOUISVILLE, KY
2016-12-15, 05:05:00, MEMPHIS, TN
2016-12-15, 00:27:00, MEMPHIS, TN
2016-12-14, 20:59:00, GREENVILLE, MS
2016-12-14, 18:20:00, GREENVILLE, MS

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Quote: Errol Morris (Documentary Film Maker)

Errol Morris is a truly great documentary film maker, this quote is from his 2008 doc "Standard Operating Procedure" (directors commentary). Which details the photographs, the people in the photographs and the Abu Graib (Iraq War) prisoner abuse scandal.
"Standard Operating Procedure" Link From IMDB

"One of the things I have been struck by-about photographs is all the things that we don't see, the things that haven't been photographed. Photographs are like island universes, we see the things in the photographs we don't see those things that have not been photographed."

Speaking of what pictures do.
" The important thing of course to remember about photography, is most things are not photographed, they just give us a  number of peepholes into history."

Trying For A 6 Month Leave From Work

Just sent out an email to my head boss here at work. I asked him for a 6 month leave to make the documentary film in the dump. If not 6 months then 3 or 4, would that be possible? I need to get permission from him as well as 2 more people so not sure this can happen, but the top guy is the most important hurdle to clear. We shall see how it goes. If I do not get a leave I will be faced with 2 options, trying to make the movie in about a 5 week period or quitting my job and doing it over 6 months to 2 year period. It will be hard to quit as I have been on this site for 20 years now.

Steps to my leave:
- Permission from my on site boss (boss of bosses).
- Permission from my on site security supervisor.
- Permission from the head of my security company.

Links: Artist And Holocaust Survivor Samual Willenburg And His Sculpture Of Ruth Dorfmann

I Learned of an amazing story tonight, the story of artist and holocaust survivor Samual Willenburg.
Mr Willenburg miraculously survived the death camp Treblinka in Poland and lived to the age of 93, dying in February of this year.
Here is a important link to a important documentary on Treblinka and Samual Willenberg's story:
Survivor Stories From Treblinka Death Camp Nazi Jewish Holocaust Documentary

Below is a sculpture he made of a a naked 19 (or younger) Warsaw girl before she was executed. The women in the the Treblinka camp were killed last so that their hair could be harvested. Samual Willenburg had a job as barber that day. He spoke her, she knew she was about to be killed, she asked how long it would take, he said 10 minutes. Her name was Ruth Dorfmann. An amazing poignant and extremely powerful sculpture was done of this young woman by Mr. Willlenburg.

Ruth Dorfmann before her execution by Samual Willenbeurg, 2001
Her story in Mr. Willenburg's words.
The International School for Holocaust Studies

Can you tell us the story of Ruth Dorfmann? I was not a frissiere (barber); there was a group of barbers but I was not one of them. Suddenly a big transport arrived, so Kiwe, the SS-man, grabbed some of us to help. I wore the white robe, and I had the scissors, in the “jupa” – the hut that the Germans built. I cut her hair cleanly, for a reason. I did more than I had to – I made it a clean haircut, because if I had just cut randomly here and there, they [the women] would have understood [that the haircut was not for purposes of disinfection, as the Germans told them, but that they were going to be killed. –Ed.] I cut cleanly, as though with a razor, to make it smooth. For a reason. And this girl started talking. She had come from the Warsaw ghetto. She was beautiful. She was naked. And in the background there was fog, like mist, that was rising from the ground, from the warm clothing left on the ground, from the body heat left in the clothing, and maybe also because the women had urinated. They had just come from the big room where all the women were forced to take off their clothing, into a smaller room, through some doors. So in the background there was mist rising from the clothing. And she started talking. She said, “I am Ruth Dorfmann.” I remember! She said, “I have a diploma.” She had learned in the ghetto. She was about 20, my age.

How old were you?
I was 19, turning 20. I turned 20 in Treblinka.
And she was talking. She asked, “How long will it take?” She knew [that she was about to be killed]! They all knew!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Bought Some More Storage Cards

Bought more storage cards.
- 3x32GB Mini SDHC cards for my Zoom H1 Audio Recorder.
- 1 64GB Compact Flash card for my Canon 5D (that makes 3 64Gb cards).

That is it for storage card buying. If I need more cards they are easy to find in Thailand. I also picked up a small LED Sunpack video light for the DSLR. I can easily use it to record work in the dump at night. I expect to be staying overnight many times as that is when most of the digging for recyclables goes on (more cool, more garbage trucks). Night time dump video shooting should be easier to handle, still shooting was very difficult, very hit and miss, mostly miss.

I cannot think of anything else I need to buy for this project. I think I have everything I need to get this documentary film done now. I just got to pay all the bills then book a ticket to Thailand to make a movie! What could be simpler! :))

Note* Online I read that 1-32GB compact flash card will record just over 1.5 hours of 1080p video. I have 3-64GB compact flash cards, so I believe I will be able to to record over 9 hours of HD video in a day, way more than enough. After each days work I plan to copy my raw footage both video and audio to 2 external hard drives (each 2TB). I will then reformat and reuse the same compact flash and SD cards the next day. If I need extra hard drives or other cards for more storage I will buy them in Thailand.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Zacuto Z-Finder Pro Has Arrived

I got my Zacuto Z-Finder Viewfinder Pro today in the mail. The unit is in great condition and with the diopter I get a nice sharp image off the LCD screen. The Gorilla Plate V2 gives a snug fit to the Canon 5Ds LCD, with a rubber seal. This thing should work great for me. I am very happy with the build of this unit and the way it firmly attaches to my camera.

I will need to make an adaption to my video camera rig. I will go to one bar on the shoulder rest and shift everything to the right about 2 inches. This will allow me unfettered access to the viewfinder without my cheek and face touching the rig. Because I am going down to one tube to support the entire shoulder rest it is putting more strain on that remaining tube resulting in some twisting (no matter how much I tighten it). I will drill and add a screw to the front part of the shoulder rest tubing which should make it rock solid, just like the adapted front handles I drilled earlier.

Anyway, the camera rig continues to be adapted into a solid working appliance. I think it should work out great for me. I will have all the gear I need mounted to it and yet it will not look to intimidating (hopefully) or be to heavy or cumbersome. I need to be as sleek as I can when working in such a difficult environment as a 30C+ extremely humid and sunny garbage dump.

Update* I drilled and placed the screw in the rig. Everything is nice and solid now. Things are looking good!

Artsy Email And Link

I got an email today from the Artsy website, please visit their site if you can. Lets all promote the arts.

"What beauty is, I know not, though it adheres to many things."
-Albrecht Durer

Quote: Polish Farmer

Am watching disk #1 of the epic 6 disk Holocaust documentary "Shoah". A Polish farmer worker is asked (they are speaking of the killing of Jews at Treblinka concentration camp) of his memories of how local people in the area around Treblinka camp acted at that time.

Question through translator: "While all this was happening before their eyes, normal life went on? They worked in the fields?"
Answer through translator: "Certainly they worked, but not as willingly as usual. They had to work, but when they saw all this, they thought, "What if our house is surrounded and we're arrested?"
Question through translator: "Were they afraid for the Jews, too?"
Answer through translator: The translator says, "Well, he says it's this way: If I cut my finger, it doesn't hurt him.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Email To Fred

Sent an email to Fred who works with the people in the dump. Fred is the fellow who does great work with the families and asked me in May to do a film. I have not spoken to him for over 4 months so decided to send him a note, here it is.

Hey Fred...

Gerry here in Canada, the fellow from MAY 2016. I spent a day together with you. We spoke of doing a documentary film. I thought I would update you on the progress. I am still in the process of arranging everything. I am trying to get some time off from work (a leave of 3+ months) so that I can stay in Thailand longer to get this done properly. I want to make a very good film and if I have more time we could do a better job together.

I am also getting together the gear needed to make good quality sound and video recordings as well as a editing program/computer to put it all together. I am following your advice and trying not to spend too much money as we have a great story to tell and that should be the focus. Anyway am getting stuff second hand so the costs of the gear are not be too high. I already own some of the needed tools so that also cuts way down on costs.

My hope is to come and spend lots of time, showing the work being done and telling an important story of the lives there and how the help is being given etc. We can discuss all the themes we need to tell in the film when I arrive back in Mae Sot.

I expect to return for an extended trip in 2017. I will give you all the details when I know them which should be within the next month or so.

Merry Christmas Fred, hope things are going good with you there.


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Bought Me A Used PC For Video Editing

I went all in on a PC laptop to do my video editing for the documentary film. The cost was $749 USD plus shipping-taxes. The HP Elitebook 8760w with a 1 TB hard drive and 20GB of RAM. I can upgrade at a reasonable cost (do the installing myself) of up to 2 more hard drives (2TB each for a total of 5TB over 3 hard drives) and 12GB more of RAM for a total of 32GB.

There are lots of tutorial videos of how to add RAM and change out or add hard drives online so I do not anticipate any problems there. This PC is loaded with software also, see the list. It has a 17 inch and Adobe Premiere CS6 included so I can immediately start editing. I will probably add one more hard drive  of 1 TB and might up the RAM to 32GB. I could keep all my video and audio files on this computer as well as the 2 back up 2TB hard drives I bought earlier from Best Buy.

So I could potentially be sitting in Thailand editing my movie with a very fast and powerful computer. I might have 32GB of RAM memory, 3 hard drives with 5TB of storage along with 2 external back up drives of 2TB each. That should get the job done!!! Or I could just go with this unit alone and no more upgrades to it.

The HP high end elitebooks are the top of the line pro level laptops coming out of Hewlett Packer. They HP line are very solidly made of metal and came out in 2012. Mine has a 17 inch screen which should make editing that much easier. I hope to get at least 4 years of use out of this computer. The 8760w weighs in at about 7.8lbs, which is heavy but still relatively light compared to other 17 inch laptops. I hope it suits my needs and I am in the market for a new used elitebook in about 5 years.

Here are the computers specs and the ton of software included on the drive:

HP 8760w Elitebook Laptop Computer
CPU..........................Intel Core i7 2820QM
CPU Speed..............2.30 GHz                                                                
Hard Drive..............1TB ( 1000GB - Brand New Enterprise Grade )
Memory...................20GB RAM DDR3
Battery.....................8 Cell Heavy Duty (Brand New and unused)
Display.....................17 inch / 1920 x 1080 HD resolution 
Video.......................Dedicated NVidia M3000 @ 2GB DDR5 Video Graphics Card 
Audio.......................Dedicated NVidia High Definition 24bit Audio
Optical Drive..........DVD/RW w/ LightScribe 
Internet...................WIFI Card installed
Wired Network.......Gigabit Ethernet Controller 
Webcam...................Built-in Webcam Camera included as standard feature
Genuine COA Licensed OS Windows 7 Pro x 64bit (Recovery / Repair Disc Included )
Firefox / Chrome / Waterfox / Opera
Kodi XBMC HDTV Multimedia Streaming
CS6 Master Collection includes - Photoshop-Illustrator-Dreamweaver-PremierPro-Fireworks-InDesign-FlashPro-SpeedGrade-Prelude-Audition-AfterEffects-AcrobatXI-Media Encoder-Encore
Entertainment Creation Suite Ult 2013 includes - Maya-3DS Max-Mudbox-MotionBuilder-SoftImage-SketchbookDesigner
Lightroom 6
Pagemaker 7
Quarkxpress 10
SketchupPro 2014
Sony Vegas Pro13
5000 Specialty Design Fonts
3000 Image Design Fonts
1500 Image/Photo Back Drops 
Building Design Suite Ult 2014 includes - Autocad-Inventor-Revit-Architecture-Sketchbook-MEP-Robot-Navisworks-Infrastructure
AutoCad 2015
Electrical 2015
Mechanical 2015
Civil 3D 2016
1500 Signs, Symbols, Blocks and Hatches (Autocad DWG files)
Office 2010
Roxio DVD/CD Creator
Fab9 DVD Ripper
Internet VPN Secure Online Communications Installed 
Glary Utilities
AVG Utilites
Power Cord................Genuine Original HP 230 Watt Power Adapter Included
Monitor/TV Cable.....VGA cable included 

Shopping For A Used PC

Am still shopping! Not sure where I am going to get all the money but am looking into buying a PC that I van totally devote to my documentary film project. I prefer Macs but they are so damn expensive, a new system with the standards I need might run upwards of $2000-3000 USD.  With a Mac I could use Final Cut Pro to edit video, a program I have used a bit before (dads funeral video) and prefer.

To save on costs I am looking to get a used PC with lots of RAM, a fast I7 quad processor and a big hard drive 750 GB to 2.5 TB (somewhere in that range). All this computer lingo gives me a headache!! If I can get a system for under $1000 CAD and then run Adobe Premiere in it (video editing software). It should work fine for me. Later on, in a few years I can buy another used unit to do 4K video. That is if I am still making movies then.

This sort of tech improves daily so buying state of the art is sort of a waste of money. I can buy used and good now, and make my movie then move on to other used computer systems and cameras later on.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Quote: Divine (Actor)

"If you believe in something and believe in yourself, do it!"

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Bought Me A 24-105mm Canon Lens

Finally!, unless I buy a laptop devoted to film editing my shopping for the documentary seems over. I bought the last piece today a MINT 24-105mm Canon F4 lens with "image stabilizer". After the sale with Larry fell through I searched on EBay for a while to find something comparable. I got a MINT lens with warranty from a seller (store) in Toronto, the cost was $644 CAD (including shipping and taxes). So it is basically Larry's lens minus the B&W filter (will have to settle for a Hoya). Without the filter I am saving $56 CAD, Larry wanted $700 for his.

So an OK decent deal, now I have the main lens I will use for the documentary. It might be the only lens I use to shoot the film. I chose this 24-105mm F4 because it is highly recommended online and has the image stabilization feature allowing for handheld work on my part. The combination of the video rig with this image stabilized lens should allow decent run and gun in the field. I might also try some post stabilizing effects for camera shake thou I am unsure how those will look (pixel-led?).

Canon 24-105mm F4 with image stabilizer