Sunday, January 31, 2016

Two More Email Submissions

Did two more quicky email submissions tonight for the dump "Forgotten Laughter" project.

The Art Gallery of Regina.

The MacKenzie Art Gallery. 

Khune Go, Gone But Still Remembered In Pictures

In 2013 I photographed 3 different people who lived under a freeway in Bangkok. Khune Ooh, Khune Anapon and Khune Go. When I returned in 2015 and visited the people under the freeway, I found out that Khune Go had passed away. He died on the street possibly of a heart attack in one of the places I had photographed him back in 2013. He was gone and now forgotten. The only parts of him that might remain of his life other than his children who abandoned him might be the photographs we made together.

Khune Go on Bangkok street near where he died, 2013

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Alphabet Soup Submissions

Making up a bunch of digital (no paper) submissions tonight. I plan on submitting this work to the alphabet soup level B art galleries in Alberta (they are one step below the biggest major Canadian galleries). I have been rejected multiple times by these these various places but I will keep plugging away and hopefully get in this time.

This group of submissions will all be mail ins. In the past I used to do up paper packages but the artist submission trend is definitely moving away from paper trail stuff to more environmentally favourable ways to submit work. I will put everything on a single CD- DVD and submit that, there will be no booklet or paper. This will be a more Eco friendly way to do things, and will be cheaper to make and mail. If the work is strong enough, and the gallery interested a CD-DVD should be enough, no bells and whistles necessary! Many places now ask for no paper, or to send in your work via e-mail. This CD-DVD version of submission is sort of a middle ground way of doing things. I like it!

I plan on also including extensive material in a "Additional Information" folder on each disk. This folder will contain 100 or so additional photographs from 2013 and 2015 as well as many videos from the dump and past exhibitions of the work. I hope that the inclusion of this material will show a level of commitment on my part as well as give a greater background for the jurors into life at the dump. The jury might not look at this additional material but if they do, its there for them to digest.

The galleries/museums I will be submitting to include:

SAAG, Southern Alberta Art Gallery (Lethbridge Alberta)

AGGP, Art Gallery of Grand Prairie

SAGA, Saint Albert Gallery of Art (part paper submission, they require print outs of images).

MAG, Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery

KIAC ODD Gallery, The Klondike Institute of Art and Culture

I will also submit to Strathcona County Art Gallery@501 in Sherword Park Alberta (doubt my chances here).

Will try for one larger city type A art gallery, WAG, Winnipeg Art Gallery.

I will resubmit to all these the alphabet soup galleries after I return and process the film from my April Thai trip.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Small Prints On eBay! Why Not!

I decided since I am going to make up a small 8x10 photo of the young dump girl for Paul in England, I would also go ahead and make 2 or 3 extras. I will then try to sell these extra prints for $49 USD on eBay. Not a lot of money but why not give it a try. If I sell one single print it would pay for approximately 3 nights in a Mae Sot hotel and 1 or 2 transports to the dump. I could also use the money to pay for more food bags to give out, more money means more rice etc for the "Families of the Dump".

I will be back in Mae Sot soon, need to make a bit of extra money to pay for things now. I might not sell anything but the cheap price and good cause might lure a few people in. It cannot hurt to try. Since I am printing for Paul, I will print a few possible eBay sales as well.

Print For Filters Deal

Had an unusual request today that I am going to take up. I was interested in 2 small 43mm filters on eBay from a seller named Paul in England (he lives near Manchester). Paul asked if instead of paying for the two filters if I would instead make him up a 8x10 print of the photograph below.

I decided to go ahead and do it. The filters with shipping are valued at only around $36 CAD. I would have to print up the photo and then ship it to him, he would ship me the filters. I will not make any money on this deal, heck might lose some but it just seems right.

Paul really likes the photo, I want to spread the word of the "Familes of the Dump" so it makes sense to do this. I gave Paul a bit of history on the girl in the picture, plus a video I made back in the dump in 2013. It also seems right to be getting the 2 filters for the photo, which I will take with me in April back to the dump to use. This picture is helping to spawn more important photographs.
2013 Mae Sot Garbage Dump Video

Young girl in dump garbage, Mae Sot 2015

Another Grant Try, Spinning My Wheels?

Was going to submit a "Travel Grant" request to the Edmonton Arts Council (EAC). I found out tonight I was not eligible so went in a different direction. I applies for a "Micro Grant". This grant request is for $1000. Maybe I can get it but I have serious doubts. To many NO WAYS, in the past 4 or 5 years grant wise I guess. Sort of feel beaten down by it all.

It seems not many people in the arts community care to much for my project "Forgotten Laughter: The Children of the Dump" If they say no to me yet again, I will just work more security shifts, extra hours to pay my own way. One way or the other these photos are going to be made, nothing is going to stop me. I need to tell this story, need to educate and communicate the lives of the children in the dump to others. Regardless of how the arty farty folks who run the galleries and give out the grants feel about these photographs, this work will be completed.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Quote: Sir Salman Rushdie

“What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist”

Monday, January 25, 2016

Tri-x 120mm Headcount

Tonight I went out to my freezing freezers (cold here in Canada!) and did a headcount. I counted all the Tri-x 120mm I have available in my upright freezer. The count worked out to 232 rolls, all fresh film or at worse a few years old.  Doubt I would take that much film even if I do not take any 35mm with me this trip. I could see taking 200 rolls and 2 Rolleiflex bodies.

I have a ton of Agfachrome available too, but not sure I want to go down that road. I still owe money on my last 2-120 Tri-x film buys, so need to pay off those credit card bills before I fly to Thai. It will be great to continue the work on "Forgotten Laughter" photos now that I am more fluent with my Rollies.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

200 Rolls Of 120mm Tri-x And 2 Rolleiflex's?

Thinking of going all in with the Rolleiflex and not taking 35mm gear or film with me next trip. I still have to shoot the 5x7, so that would give me 2 camera formats not 3.  I would shoot the 5x7 mostly with the 120mm lens and 2 Rolleiflex F bodies with 3 Rolleinar's for close up focusing. I might take as many as 200 rolls of 120mm Tri-x with me.

If I do go this way the fact I accidentally bought 2 Rollei Fs a while back could turn into a huge huge positive. Sometimes screw ups can turn out well! Who knew?
 Accidently Bought 2 Rollei Fs

Fine Art Print #5

Here is number 5. I chose it because of the intensity of this young boys expression. I photographed him and his family many times. Was making this picture or a picture near it when I stepped on my dump nail. : ((  Got the shot so that's all that matters.

Attempt #2, young boy, dump Mae Sot
Detail, young boy dump Mae Sot

Fine Art Print #4, Dump Girl Child

Am thinking of using this image as the opening shot in my"Forgotten Laughter: Children of the Dump" submission to galleries. The idea would be to include this image followed by a dumpscape of where the child lives, then another young child, and a second dumpscape home image. I want to counter point the vulnerability of the child with their appalling living conditions.

Here is the first attempt at this key project photograph. I need to lighten the arm, just made a dodging tool for that and possibly darken the face a bit.

- Dump child, Mae Sot Thailand. Part of "Forgotten Laughter: The Children of the Dump" photographic series.
- Ilford warmtone fiber paper.
- Dectol 1/1 for 3 minutes.
- Saunders LPL diffusion enlarger.
- Basic exposure  seconds 120 seconds at f8 (el Nikkor 80mm lens) at grade #4.5 (multigrade head)
- Dodge face hair -50 seconds with larger round tool.
- Dodge arm -50 seconds with larger round tool, spread.
- Dodge right hand -45s with larger round tool.
- Burn mask, whites on background and girls dress +50 seconds at grade #1.
- Tri-x negative made with a Rolleiflex and Rolleinar #1

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Fine Art Print #3, Dump Baby

Here is #3 of 30.

1st attempt, Baby, dump Mae Sot

Gerry Yaum - "Artist Statement"

After my recent "Inside Scoop" workshop at the AGSA gallery I have been reworking my "Artist Statement" and my, Forgotten Laughter: Children of the Dump "Exhibition Proposal".

Here is the latest version of the my Artist Statement. This thing will probably change many times yet, but for now, this is what I got!

Artist Statement

My name is Gerry Yaum, I am a social documentary photographer. I believe that the greatest achievement I can attain as an artist is to educate, inform and provoke discussion through my work. My goal in all of my photography is to tell the stories of forgotten people, those lives that might be ignored and marginalized by many in our society. My job as an artist is create work that shows the shared connection, the shared humanity all human beings have, regardless of race, religion, nationality or economic status.

My artistic influences include the humanist artists Lewis Hine, Dorothea Lange, Mary Ellen Mark, Walker Evans, Paul Strand, Eugene W. Smith, Edvard Munch, Weegee, Paul Gauguin, Fazel Sheikh, Sebastiao Salgado, Richard Avedon and Paolo Pellegrin.

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Great Social Documentary Photographer Lewis Hine

My photography has always been heavily influenced by Lewis Hine. The picture I am working on today flashed me back to the young girl child labor faces I saw in Hine photos from the past. I will continue to study his photography and try to work in a similar important way.

Here is a link to Mr. Hine:

Child laborer newberry south carolina 1908 by Lewis Hine 

Fine Art Print #2, 14 Year Old Dump Worker

Got up early and into the darkroom today. Am working on a head shot of a 14 year old girl worker. Everyday when I arrived at the dump at around 615am she would be finishing off her nights work with the other members of her family. What kind of future does this young lady have? In 2013 when she was around 12 I would see her working with her family in the garbage often, if I go back in 2 years it will no doubt be the same. She reminds me of the young children from the Lewis Hine child labor photographs of the early 1900s.

The entire family, the father, mother, grandmother, plus all the kids I have become quite close to. I think about them often, wonder how they are doing, what their future holds. Tough shit, tough lives, I have hard but good memories of them, including this one.

Here is the photo I am working on today in the dark. I will add her name and age to the final exhibition print after I review my video files.

1st attempt at the image, lower photo grade 2 1/2 upper test trip at grade 3

Update* This neg is proving problematic. If I use a grade 3 filter it seems too harsh, a grade 2 1/2 too soft. I will probably try printing the neg in my Saunders enlarger which has a multigrade head (dialed in contrast ranges). I will lose a bit in sharpness by going to the diffusion style enlarger from the Durst condenser, but it cannot be helped. This is an important photo for any future exhibition, I need to get it right.

Update** Been struggling through most of the night trying to get this print right in the Saunders LPL enlarger. I think I got it at between contrast grades 4- 4 1/8 - 4 1/4.  Will let the prints wash and dry and evaluate them later. On to the next neg!

Links: "Inside Scoop" Submission Workshop

Had a very nice free workshop last night. The event was given by a public art gallery in St. Albert near my home, the Art Gallery of St. Albert, AGSA (see link).

Art Gallery of St. Albert, AGSA
  The work shop was called "Inside Scoop" and dealt with the best ways to make submissions to galleries like the AGSA. Many tips and ideas were put forward by the gallery staff and curator, it was a wonderful and helpful learning experience. I will use many of their suggestions  in my future submissions, can't hurt me and it might help lots!!

I plan on submitting work from "Forgotten Laughter: The Children of the Dump" and possibly a second submission of "My Fathers Last Days" (dads fight with pancreatic cancer) to the AGSA.

Here is a link to their submission requirements for you out there also interested in submitting work. The gallery is quite large, very professional, and pays CARFAC artist fees. Highly recommended! The deadline for this years submission is March 12, try to get your work in early!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Video Link: New YouTube Video, Dump Child Print, FIne Art Print #1

Here is a HD YouTube video of my first print for "Forgotten Laughter: The Children of the Dump". I should have 30 of these printed and matted by the end of the summer, hope hope!
YouTube Link To "Dump Child Print"

- Dump child, Mae Sot Thailand. Part of "Forgotten Laughter: The Children of the Dump" photographic series.
- Ilford warmtone fiber paper
- Dectol 1/1 with some potassium bromide added for warmth
- Durst 1200 condenser enlarger
- Basic exposure 63 seconds at f 8 at grade #3
- Dodge top of head -38 seconds
- Burn with mask shirt +75 seconds
- Tri-x negative made with a Rolleiflex and Rolleinar #1

6th attempt, Dump Child, "Forgotten Laughter: The Children of the Dump"

VIdeo Link: New Vimeo Video "In Your Face: Bangkok Projection Night"

Here is a little HD quality VIMEO video I made of my part of the "In Your Face: Photo Projection Night" held at the Alliance Francaise de Bangkok back on November 27th, 2015.

See the links:
Vimeo Video
Original Projection Night Blog
Some Other "In Your Face" Projection Night Photographers And Photos

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

30 Matted Show Prints

Have set myself a printing goal. I want to make 30 11x14 prints matted to 16x20 and store in archival black boxes. I will use the prints when I go to DC3 Art Projects and possibly other galleries to promote the work. I believe I have 30 quality negs, so I think this is something that can be reasonably be achieved. All I need to do is bare down and do the work!

I have 200 sheets of 11x14 warm tone Ilford Fiber ready to use, if that is not enough To get the job done. I hope to complete the job by the end of the summer. Of course in a few months I will be in Thai again making photographs which will slow down this whole printing project, it is also bound to give me more good negs to print. Who knows maybe there will be 50 prints in 5 boxes. :))

November/December 2015 Trip Scans #22

Tong, Muay Thai boxer, Klong Toey slum gym, Bangkok
Girl, Klong Toey boxing gym, Bangkok
Man, dump Mae Sot
Man with his rooster, Gai Chon, Pattaya
Self portrait shampoo dyptic, Bangkok (1/2 frame camera)
Tong, Muay Thai boxer, Klong Toey slum gym, Bangkok
Young migrant girl, Bangkok
Muay Thai boxer, Klong Toey Slum gym
Tong, Muay Thai boxer, Klong Toey slum gym, Bangkok

All Film Developed!

All of the film from the November/December trip to Thailand is now developed. I did the last 5 rolls of STAND stuff tonight. There will be a few more scans in the coming weeks but for the most part the best images shot are now on the blog.

Now it is time to print the negs and plan and prepare for the next trip in April.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Bought A Rolleiflex Pistal Grip

Bought another accessory for the Rollies, a Rolleiflex pistol group. This item was not that expensive, in good condition I got it for $31 USD plus shipping and taxes. Hopefully this unit will allow me to hand hold tight head shots at 1/60th of a second. Last trip to be on the safe side I shot the 80mm lens with close up Rolleinar #1 attached at 1/125 because I was worried about camera shake. If I could shoot at 1/60 next time, it would help me a lot, I could expose the film at a slightly smaller aperture  allowing for more in depth of focus in the negs. A bit of a balancing act there, as I still want to maintain my bokeh (out of focus areas).

Rolleiflex pistol grip

Monday, January 18, 2016

November/December 2015 Trip Scans #21

Could the 5x7 vertical child portraits below be used for a "Forgotten Laughter" book dedicated to my father? These were the types of photos I thought of shooting when I was still in Canada. I think the book is more likely to be a combination of 5x7, 4x5 and Rolleiflex shots. I love these type verticals thou, maybe I need to stick to them.

It is great feeling to see your vision come to life, for your images to be more than just mere thoughts and hopes but instead to be real. First you have an idea in your mind in Canada then you dedicate yourself and work hard. You actually make the photographs and then you holding them in your hands. That has happened many times for me now, especially in the last 10 years of making pictures. it is a great feeling of accomplishment and purpose, a reward that brings inner peace and happiness.

These scans are the last of my 5x7 work from the trip, there ain't no more!

Group of children, dump Mae Sot (5x7 negative)
Two children, dump Mae Sot (5x7 negative)
Boy with apple, dump Mae Sot (5x7 negative)

Bought A Rolleinar #3 Close Up Lens For My Rolleiflex F2.8

Not sure how but I think I lost one of my Rolleinar (the #2) close up lens this week. Never shot one picture with the darn thing and now it's gone, must have fallen out of my camera bag some how. In Asia last trip I used the Rolleinar #1 extensively allowing me to get in closer and do some nice portraits. I loved this little add on piece to my Rollie and I was eager to give the #2 version a try next trip.

Today while looking to buy a replacement #2 I found a excellent + condition #3 close up Rolleinar at a sort of reasonable price of $200 USD. I bought it, so I can now can do super closeups with the Rolleiflex F2.8. Not sure how I will use this new piece of equipment. Possibly will shoot details of the garbage, extreme closeups of hands etc.

I will need to buy a replacement #2 Rolleinar if I cannot find the one I lost. Bonehead move on my part, I need to be more careful with my camera gear. One benefit of this fiasco, while looking for a replacement #2, I bought the binocular focusing device and a Rolleinar #3. Maybe the photo gods wanted me to go down this path, so forced my hand. I might be able to make some important negs with these new tools. Hope, Hope!

Rolleiflex Rolleinar #3, Bay 3 Closeup lens

Update* Found my Rolleinar #2!!!! It was in another camera bag, a bag I had taken earlier to work and then returned to the darkroom before taking a second bag. DUH!!! a stupid mistake. At least I did not lose the darn thing, it would have cost $225 USD plus shipping and taxes to replace. More importantly now I can make photos with it. I am very excited by those possibilities.

The weird result of all of this as mentioned earlier I got the Rolleinar #3 and the Binocular leather hood device as a result of the temporary #2 loss. Will I make better negs with these? Important negs? Regardless am quite relieved to have found my #2, now I can relax and happily print this week.

Another good thing to come out of this is that I will now be VERY VERY careful with my Rolleinar lens, all 3 of them. Ain't losing one of these things again!

Bought A Rollei Rolleiflex Leather Binocular Focusing Hood

I basically lost 2 out of every 3 shots last trip when doing the up close Rolleinar #1 focusing at around f2.8-4 with the Rolleiflex. I bought this rather weird looking item today with the hopes it can help me focus better. An expensive unit as most things Rolleiflex are at $199 USD but if it can help me get a highter percentage of sharp images it is definitely worth the cost.

Quote: Walker Evans

"It's as though there's a wonderful secret in a certain place and I can capture it. Only I can do it at this moment, only this moment and only me."

Printing Week!!!!!!!!!!!

Finally this off work week with almost all my film developed (only have to do some STAND development), I can start printing photographs! I have been waiting so long to see what these experiences, these negs look like printed, now this week I can finally start that process. I am super excited, on the high of highs!

"Ain't Photography Grand!!"

More Film

I remember once being criticized for choosing to buy film over going out partying but for me buying film has always been very rewarding. I love dreaming about what could be created with the latest film buy. What moments of time can be captured forever. What photographs can be made. How a piece might have a inspirational impact on others. The power and glory of art baby!

Today Since I have been so happy with the results of the Rolleiflex work I bought another 50 rolls of Tri-x 120mm. When this stuff arrives in a week or so, I will have 100 fresh rolls to take with me to Asia and another 50 or so frozen from before. Not sure how much film I will take this trip but it will be at least 100 rolls of 120mm Tri-x, maybe some Agfachrome as well.

With this buy I also picked up some archival corners and tape for the coming box set(s), and shows (hopefully will get those!). Total cost for everything was $326.25 USD (free shipping to Canada from B&H in New York).

I am expecting great things with the 100 rolls of Tri-x I take with me to Asia. I need to work hard, very hard, so I do not screw this up! Time to go for it!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Donation Money Raised With Box Set?

Been thinking of ways to make some money so I can make more donations to the families at the dump. The latest idea? A box set of 5 child dump portraits at a reasonable price ($399-499 USD?) that I would try selling on eBay, Kijiji etc.The box set would include 5 square format Rollie negs printed on fiber photographic paper to archival standards. I might try a size of 11x14 first, and have to get some kind of archival boxes to hold the prints. The photos would be mounted and matted to museum standards with a signed introduction letter.

I will start printing next week. Maybe I could print for 3 purposes. One this box set, two the 5 prints I might be selling to Chris and three creating a portfolio of work for the the DC3 Art Projects meeting with the curator. It should be a joyful week off in the darkroom. Freezing cold outside -27C in Edmonton last night, but warm and toasty in my beautiful darkroom that my father helped me build.

Here are some possible choices for the box set. I would choose 5 of these.

November/December 2015 Trip Scans #20

Young girl, dump Mae Sot 2015
Young baby girl, dump Mae Sot
Dumpscape Mae Sot (5x7 negative)
Group of children, dump Mae Sot (5x7 negative)
Dumpscape Mae Sot (5x7 negative)
Group of children, dump Mae Sot (5x7 negative)
Group of children, dump Mae Sot (5x7 negative)
Young baby boy, dump Mae Sot