Wednesday, May 31, 2017

First Photos Of HF3535 Build

Here are the first photos of the making of my new HF3535. Filip is making me the camera in the Czech Republic, it should be complete in about 2 months time maybe a bit longer. The camera will be able to make 35x35 inch wet plate images and should weigh in at around 100 lbs. With this wonderful and beautiful tool I hope to create a monumental and unique photographic project. I will try and make a series of mammoth ambrotypes unlike anything seen before in Canadian photographic history. If I fail, I fail, but nobody is going to be able to say I did not try.

The American walnut wood that will be used for the camera in its RAW form.
My HF3535 bellows which should be big/long enough to do 1:1 photographs

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Jack Lowe's Wet Plate Ambulance Darkroom

Here is wet plate photographer Jack Lowe's ambulance darkroom Neena. It seems to have a higher ceiling than the the ambulances I have found for sale here in Canada. I wonder if I an find a higher ceiling one here?

Jack Lowe's "Neena"

Ambulance For A Wet Plate Darkroom?

After reading and researching the work of Jack Lowe in Great Britain both online and in the new Black & White photography magazine, I found another wet plate darkroom option. Jack uses a adapted ambulance named "Neena" for all  his wet plate darkroom work.

Ambulance? They are available for sale? News to me!

I did a search found 3 for sale in Calgary. The one in the pictures below is from 1996 and is available for $5500 obo. There are also newer model 2007 and 2008 for sale for $12900. This might be a possibility. The only down side that I can see is that I would have less room for working and storage. The HF3535 will take up lots of room. I could not shoot out of the back of this baby like I could in a cube van either as written for in an earlier post. Also can I stand in these things? I am 6 foot 2.5 inches. If I cannot stand then this idea is a non starter.

The ambulance does have all those wonderful built in cabinets and the like that could be very useful. It is also a heavy duty professional quality vehicle. An option might be to try it for 4 or 5 years and then upgrade to a larger cube van if it does not work out. I wonder if these ambulances can haul a small camping trailer? Do they have some kind of ventilation system? Water? Electric? Having all those doors (2 on the back, one on the side) that would allow for easy access with plates, holders etc is a HUGE bonus as well. This units might be an ideal choice for wet plate photography.

What is the legal deal in owning one of these? Flashing the lights must be illegal. Might help get you through traffic jams thou :). You could get to that next shooting location very fast, just kidding!:)

Note* Kijiji Calgary also has a $9500 1996 and a  $13650 2009. There seem to be a ton of these things available. I probably could get something good at a reasonable price. There are another 6 available in the Edmonton area. They are EVERYWHERE!

Check out the video links below for  tours of a ambulances. Maybe storage is NOT a problem, these vehicles tend to have tons of lockable pro quality, heavy duty storage cabinets all over the place.

Note* From the video it looks like I will probably not be able to stand in the back which is a real downer. I wonder if there are higher roof/lower floor models?

Update* From what I have been able to find out online it seems that most if not all North American ambulances are 5 foot 6 to 6 feet inside. Too bad, not sure this will work for me, everything else seems pretty awesome. Can you do wet plate from a sitting and or tilted head position? That might be very uncomfortable on a long project. Maybe I can buy a cheaper ambulance (under $$6000 CAD) and give it a try. Later upgrading to a fully standable cube van. I really like the heavy duty build of these things, they seem so bullet proof.

Update** It seems some of these ambulances have an exhaust fan system which should be a health benfit when I am using it as a darkroom. Not sure how the exhaust fan runs, on battery? Does the engine have to be running?

Here is a link to all the buttons and gadgets in a partially converted ambulance.

1996 Ford E305 Ambulance $5500 obo, Calgary

Links: Lifeboat Station Ambrotype Project By Jack Lowe

Here is a link to a truly amazing and very human project done in Great Britain by Jack Lowe. Check out his wonderful website and work linked below. Truly amazing and very inspirational work. This type of beauty, dedication and hard work makes me think that my "Oh! Canada!" project can be more than a dream, that it become a living breathing reality.

LSP Hunstanton Crew 2015-01-20, Ambrotype by Jack Lowe

A Possible Lens For My HF3535, 1800mm Nikkor

Got contacted yesterday that this lens might be available for my HF3535 camera. Have no idea how expensive it will be, probably TOO expensive for me to buy. It is a 1800mm Nikkor. I believe this lens was originally used in aircraft (military?) for aerial (reconnaissance?) photography.

1800mm Nikkor Lens for ULTRA ULTRA large format cameras

Monday, May 29, 2017

Film Development Money Donation

A photo friend Jonathan asked me to develop some film for him. I agreed to do it for free. I will just throw his film in with some of mine. No big deal, it is easy to do. Jonathan thou insisted on paying. I said no problem, can do it free, Jonathan wanted to pay. After a back and forth with several emails we agreed on a compromise. He would pay whatever he felt the film development was worth then I would throw the money into the dump donation fund. Wins all round!

This will add just a bit to the fund but it will bring me closer to my $1000 goal. Every penny matters. I once saw a man working the garbage in the dump scream out with joy and do this sorta dance when he found 20 baht (75 cents) in a handbag. He was smiling from ear to ear. Small money to us, is big money for the families in the dump.

Update* Got the money today, another $20 for the families.

35x35 Camera Shot Inside The Cube Van? And J.M.W. Turner

Today in my bath was thinking of how to use my new HF3535 camera best. I would of course want to shoot it in the field but would it not also work at times to shoot safely from the confines of the rear of my proposed wetplate darkroom cube van darkroom?

Inside the back of the van I would be shooting from an slightly elevated viewpoint, the camera would be secure (set up on a table?) and the bellows would be protected from becoming a sail on nastier weather days. I would also of course have a built in roof to protect the camera from rain etc. The other advantage would be that it would be much easier to transport and set up, a big concern when your dealing a 100lb monster. The disadvantage would be that I would not be able to get the camera into remote locations or do lower to the ground compositions. For those shooting times I would need to haul the camera out into the field, probably with some kind of cart or wagon.

I got the shooting inside the cube van idea when reviewing the wonderful seascape work of artist J.M.W. Turner. His paintings fill my mind with ambrotype possibilities. Shooting the oceans during storms, creating strong images in rain and miserable weather, now seems possible. Making photos that are not so much reality but the inner workings of the imagination. I could create personal abstract sea and landscapes this way. The feel of what those places are more than a direct replication of reality, A FEELING! of what that world is. The long exposures inherent in wet plate photography along with the old swirly lens could add a real surreal effect to the imagery.

Note* I am also thinking of the possibility of climbing on top of the cube van to shoot with the 16x20 Chamonix, to get an even higher viewpoint. It probably would dangerous thing to do, especially for an old man so I would have to figure the safest way to do it.

Note** Another advantage of shooting the camera indoors (inside the van) would be discretion. I could make my pictures more quietly and attract less attention from people in general and people of authority (park rangers, police and the like). I could make my pictures somewhat undisturbed.

Paintings by J.M.W. Turner

Quote: J.M.W. Turner (Painter)

" is necessary to mark the greater from the lesser truth: namely the larger and more liberal idea from the comparatively narrow and confined: namely that which addresses it self to the imagination from that which is solely addressed to the eye."

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Am Printing The Dad On White Background Head Shot For "Healing Process"

Here is the second version of the dad on white background head shot. I need to lighten the left side shoulder in the image. I might also try an even more contrasty version of this print in the next versions. This photo was shot on my dad gifted 8x10 Deardorff (Eddie). It was made in my small home studio.

I set up this second studio copying the design-setup I used in Thailand for the sex workers portraits of 2007-09-12. This last portrait session of my father and the negs that resulted made the setting up of this studio (buying flash gear and soft boxes) well worth the extra expense. If I had not made the effort and paid out the doe, I would not now have these important negatives. (Note* part of my original flash gear is still in Thai).

I intend to use this head shot as the introductory image for the exhibition and for my artist talk. It was dads idea to change his hair, point it down, He did that mid session to get a different look, it worked, His collaboration helped the image.

The printing steps are pretty straight forward:
- 220 seconds f 11 with a 240mm in the Durst 8x10 enlarger. Magenta set at 105 on the color Durst head.
- Dodge left face/shoulder, jaw, mouth for 80 seconds (spread) wit large long handle round dodge tool.
- Mask # 1, added burn to the shoulders 90 seconds (also dodge area with hand movement).

2nd attempt at the opening shot of the dad "Healing Process" exhibition print.

My Endless Gabbing Needs To Be Controlled

When it comes to my photography and the adventures of making pictures  I tend to gab on forever in an excited and uncontrolled manner. I did that to a very nice couple yesterday at the Biennial 2017 opening at the AGA. I started on my gab fest when we I promoted my 2 up coming group exhibitions (complete with hand out paper work) and did not stop for over 30 minutes.

Gosh I can get over excited and quite a bore talking about the art, the stories behind the art, and my views on life in general when I get going. I have to learn how to control that better, shut it down sooner. When I have a captive audience I think might be interested I tend to lose control of myself. I need to stop hitting these groups with a constant barrage of Gerry empty headed babble.

I have 2 artist talks happening in the next bit. One for "Healing Process" at the AGSA, and another possible one with the Shutterbugs photo group. I need to be more concise, direct and focused in the way I explain things. I need to control my exuberance and excitement and stay on point. Just because you have people trapped in a room to listen to you does not mean you should be torturing them with every silly thought that enters your silly head!

I always feel so excited when I am in the moment telling those stories, explaining my creative and altruistic passions and hopes but later on (today) I feel that I went overboard and said too much. Later I feel guilty about speaking too long, saying too much and boring folks in general with my creative only semi interesting life experiences. Control Gerry, focus Gerry, simplify and shorten Gerry and most importantly listen to the other persons thoughts and feelings carefully, close your bloody mouth sometime.

Live and learn I guess. 

Friday, May 26, 2017

Fun Times At AGA Biennial 2017 Opening Night

Had a fun FREE for members night at the Art Gallery of Alberta opening night for the Biennial 2017. This is the first of these events that I have attended, and it was a blast. I met all kinds of cool folk, handed out 5 of my exhibition promotion sheets (for "Trumpet and "Healing Process") and had a I generally good time. I was able to visit the galleries again for the 8th time, thou I did not see the Biennial stuff as there was to long a line up to get into the space. I will view it at a later date, not my cup of tea I think. I even met the head boss of bosses of the  AGA gallery  a very friendly person (we talked food). I gave her and invite to the two shows hope she attends one or both shows.

These types are highly recommended!! Will go back again in the future. You should try one if you can.

Note* I ended up talking to and learning some tips from a documentary film maker at the event. He gave me a wonderful recommendation on how to protect my BMPCC's from humility condensation problems in Asia (plastic bags).

"Healing Process:" Artist Talk Confirmed For August 31

The artist talk at the AGSA for "Healling Process" has been confirmed. I will be speaking of my father, our relationship, our collaboration together on "My Fathers Last Days" and telling individual stories about the making of each of the 7 - 20x24 inch photographs in the exhibition.

The talk will be on August 31, 2017 at 6:30 pm at the Art Gallery of St. Albert (AGSA)

Art Gallery of St Albert
19 Perron Street
St Albert, AB T8N 1E5
P: 780-460-4310
F: 780-460-9537
Regular Hours:
Tuesday to Saturday: 10 am – 5 pm
Thursday: 10 am – 8 pm
Admission: Free

Rich Canadians, Too Selfish And Cheap To Help Children Living In Garbage?

Looks like I am only going to get 2 donaters out of 50 or so email attempts. Nor sure why Canadians living a life of luxury and leisure cannot spare $5 or an old hat to help those in need. Why would they not want to help babies, children, old folks who live in garbage? Why wouldn't you want to help improve those lives? Too selfish? Too cheap? Complete indifference? It is beyond me. We each have to live with the choices we make in life. We each need to follow our own hearts or lack of heart.

Nuff said on that ugly thought.

Thanks to the 2 who came forward, and offered to donate some money, you both showed compassion and humanity for those in need.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

If I am short of the $1000 dollar donation number I set for this trip, I will throw more of my guard salary into the cause. Right now I am at $550-$600 in money (from my artist exhibition and artist talk earnings) along with some donations of hats and toys promised. I also have the 2 who came forward to donate after my email call, not sure how much they will give.

If I have to add another $400 of my own dollars, so be it. Maybe I can sell some of my photo gear on eBay to pay for it. Too bad they do not buy blood in Canada, would do that if I could. There would be something very human and excitingly valuable and  real in giving your own blood to buy food for those in need, to help send children to school. Wish I could do that :). Will have to settle with giving my security guard wages and artist fee dollars, not as personal, but still a an important and proper way to use those funds.

Giving is so beautiful. When you help those in need it is not only beneficial to them, it helps the giver as much, maybe more. In a way I am selfishly giving to them to help myself. Doing this work allows me to become a better version of myself, a more rounded and good human being. I am often a crude/rude/arrogant/self centered bastard. I am selfishly in pursuit of becoming the best person I can be, and the people in the dump are helping me to chase down that goal.

New dump family 2013
Child crying in the garbage with found doll 2013

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Which Head Shot To Use?

I am making 11x14 inch prints to choose the best negative to make up as the lead photo of my father in the coming "Healing Process" show at the AGSA. It will be a head shot on white background but I have six or seven 8x10 negs to choose from, need to pick the one that communicates our message best.

Prints Dropped Off For The "Trumpet" Exhibition

I dropped off my 5 framed photographs and my exhibition magazine along with some cards at Latitude 53 this afternoon. All went well. It is a large gallery space with a kind and friendly staff. My only worry is that I printed too dark for the galleries lighting.

I also dropped off the Blurb exhibition magazine version #1 that I made up.  Hopefully it can be viewed by the gallery visitors during the "Trumpet" exhibitions run. Version #2 is still in production and will be a bit less contrasty with many more photos. especially from the series ?My Fathers Last Days"/

Note* I plan on using these same scanned jpegs for the PowerPoint artist talk presentation I am also working on. I found out today from a friend Joanna, who is an excellent computer design person, that they are more than large enough jpeg files to project.

Note** I offered to "fill spaces" at the gallery with extra 16x20 "Families of the Dump" black framed pictures. Doubt that offer will be accepted thou, it does not hurt to try. :)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Will Do A Talk To A Photography Group

I got offered the opportunity to give a presentation a artist talk a local photo group in my city called photobugs. The group is made up of amateur photobugs who love photography and making pictures together as a group. In past years I have invited their membership to several of my photography exhibits. I did that again recently when I invited them to "Trumpet" and "Healing Process". Tonight I was asked by one of the heads of the group to do a talk this winter at a boardroom somewhere for the group.

This is a non paying gig (shutterbug is non profit) so I would not be able to earn donation and or film money but I think it would serve 3 important functions. One it would allow me to tell the stories of the people in my photographs, that is one of my main motivations as a social documentary photographer. Two it would allow me to continue to grow as a artist and creative person. Talks like this will help me become better at what I do. Just like writing this blog does, jumping into the world of art speeches, talks, exhibitions allows for the artist to grow. Three it might inspire people in the photobug community, inspire them to make more photos, or inspire them help those in need (like in the Mae Sot dump),

I will have to make up a quality PowerPoint presentation which I still do not have. Larry and his wife Joanna I hope can help me a bit with that. I can also learn from people at work and online. I think it is about time I did up a high end PowerPoint "The Photographs of Gerry Yaum" presentation. In the future if I do talks for NAIT (as my friend Larry does) or for other photo groups or even at galleries like AGA, I will need a top end PowerPoint presentation to show the work. You can not hand out prints to a room of 50 or 100 people. I also need to get more experience at speaking in front of large groups of folks. This talk will be part of that learning curve, it should be a very positive step forward.

Plus it will be fun : )!!

Will Get The $100 Exhibition Shipping Fee!!, Donation Totals Growing

Found out today I will get the $100 shipping fee for taking my prints to Latitude 53 gallery and for picking them up later. You got to love that, $100 for driving my car about and dropping off some exhibition prints.

I now will earn $500 in donation money from this "Trumpet" exhibition. $400 for the artist fee and $100 for the shipping fee. With the artist talk dad gift fee for "Healing Process" ($50? $100?) I am over the $500 barrier for my "Families of the Dump" donation. I am also going to receive monetary donations from 2 of the people I emailed recently begging for help (2 from maybe 50 emails, not great but still better than nothing). These added donations from good kind people will pull the money numbers still higher. I was hoping to have $1000 before I left Canada, maybe I can reach that goal. I might have to throw in my second artist fee (from Healing Process) or some of my security guard salary to reach it. I was hoping to put the second artist fee towards my photo paper payments, I paid roughly $1300-1500 CAD in photo paper costs to B&H for the 2 shows. I will have some paper left over (30-40 20x24 sheets) but that still lots of money on paper.

I will also receive hats, and toys from people I work with. The company and people I work with at as a security guard have been VERY generous in the past so maybe some dollars will come from there again, hope so. If not the second hand hats and toys are greatly appreciated and more than enough.

My air ticket is bought (not paid for but bought!). The money, and donated goods are coming together. Things are rounding out nicely. I can return to the dump to photograph, film and help the people again soon. I am quite eager to see everyone. How have things change? It will be about 1 year 5 months since my last visit, many things no doubt will be different. Hope everyone is still alive and in reasonably good shape. Life in the dump can be extremely brutal, things can go bad quickly.

World Sleeping Record?

Set a land, air and sea sleep record today. Today I had perfect sleeping condition, drizzling rain, coolish temps (hiding under my quilt) and a warm purring cat on my arm. I went to bed around 10 pm last night, and finally woke up, just now, at 1:38 pm this afternoon. Whats that? 15 hours 38 minutes? Slept all that time with only a few bathroom breaks, FEEL GREAT!! Every now and again I tend to do one of these sleeping binges but those usually run around 12 hours, 15+ is rather remarkable.

Hmm wonder if I should take a nap now? Writing this blog got me sleepy! :)

Back In The Darkroom Printing The "Healing Process" Exhiibition-Artist Talk Idea

After a month of so of work in the "Trumpet" show, the printing is all completed and the photographs are framed with glass, matted and ready to deliver to the gallery (do that Friday). Today I return to printing show number 2, "Healing Process" for the AGSA.

I will work on a 8x10 white background head shot I made of dad early after his diagnosis with pancreatic cancer. I have this print in 16x20 but want to print a slightly harsher, more contrasty version to 20x24 for the exhibition. This will be my"Healing Process" lead in photograph, an introduction to my father before the disease took its full effect on him.

I will also use it as the opening photograph when I speak of his life and our shared lives together during the artist talk. I have a nice story about the making of this picture, which will help humanize dad and our relationship as father and son as well as our creative time together.

For my art talk I will need to get some kind of hand sized cards that I can use for my talking points during the session. I will write highlighted ideas on the card in felt pen, then when I when I speak I will use them as a reference. I need to make the talk as fluid as I can, filled with stories and some real honest emotion. I want the viewer to understand how dad felt about me, how we worked together on the photos, how important that process was to us (especially me) and also how much I love and miss dad now.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Bought My Air Ticket

Just bought my air ticket to Thailand. Bought it a bit earlier than normal, but now I got it all taken care of, no worries. Just have to pay for the darn thing!

I fly Mid October 2017, return Mid April 2018, price of the ticket, $1252 CAD. That price is about average for me, I have paid everywhere from 1080 to 1550 over the last 5 or 6 trips to Thailand.

2ND Donation! And Related Donation Thoughts

Got another positive monitory donation reply from a kind person in my current photo group, he wants to help!. Love the fact that others are joining in to help the families, love it love it love it. $5 or $500 every dollar helps, and provides for the families.

I got an email from work today that a lady I worked with for over 20 years and who got laid off last week had dropped off some hats for me to take to the dump and give to the families. You got to love that! Here this woman loses her job after 22 plus years and yet she has the compassion and goodness in her heart to worry about dropping off some hats for those less privileged.

Another woman I work with has offered to give me a box of toys for the dump children.

Also the first person who offered to help "Families of the Dump" has written me that instead of doing 1 bigger donation he and his wife are offering to do a regular contribution (not sure exactly what that means but it sounds VERY good).

Thank you D.T. and J.H. and G.B. and G&J.

People can awesome!

Monday, May 22, 2017

First Donation!!

I was unsure if sending the email begging for donations today was the right thing to do. I was filled with doubt after sending it and  again after waking up this afternoon. I do not like doing that sort of thing. I have changed my mind thou. I received the first offer of a monetary donation. A husband and wife that I know from the second Louie Gallery exhibition (they know and spoke to my mother at the show) will send me some money to use in the dump for the families. Ain't that beautiful! People helping people, and it is all connected to the photography, simply wonderful!



Am sending this email out tomorrow (do not have internet mail access at work now) to 30 or so of my photo related friends in Canada. I hope my somewhat impassioned begging will help earn some donations and money for the dump families. I will have $500 of my own money, if I can some how find another $500 somewhere, along with donated goods like childrens clothes, hats etc. I will be sitting pretty heading back to the dump. $1000 plus goods would be a  nice gift for the "Families of the Dump", my friends in Mae Sot Thailand.

In the email I also sent information on the 2 upcoming exhibitions and the artist talk. Hope this email does not piss people off, but sometimes you have to take a chance if you see it as an important opportunity to help others.
Hi everyone.
I thought I would send one final email with all the exhibition info I have along with a plea to PLEASE help those less fortunate than ourselves. I usually do not ask people for money-donations but the things I have seen in Asia have changed the way I feel about email etiquette. Some things are just too important and you have to push hard to help those in need. After seeing first hand in person,  bare foot children run in garbage, people hungry, 10 year olds digging in garbage to raise money for their families, you do not worry about hurting the feelings of rich Canadian friends by asking them for help. I feel radicalized on this subject. So here is my donation plea, I hope it has a positive effect and we can together help the families and the children working the Mae Sot Thailand garbage dump.

Video of my first trips to the dump back in 2013.
Video of some people playing with my view camera
Another old video from 2013
Another old video from 2013 with some photos
Video from 2015 I think
Another old 2013 video with photos and music

I return to the “Families of the Dump” in October of 2017, will stay there for 6 months making photographs and making my first documentary film (on the life of one of the extended families). I am going to be buying food, rubber boots, headlamps (for night work) and also donating to a local school as well as helping the dump children buy school uniforms and pay school tuitions.  The money and or donations (used toys, hats, children’s clothing) I take with me to Thailand will be given directly to the families by me, or I will transfer them through a group working directly with the families that I have grown to trust. They do good honest work there, have seen them helping people in the dump for the last 4 years. A bit of background: I have been visiting, photographing, donating by myself and with this group since 2013. I have probably done over 50 day long dump visits over that time, multiple trips over multiple years. I now have many friends there, have photographed extensively over a long period of time. The growth of babies to children, children to young teens, a wedding, family outings, the life experience of those living in the garbage.
I am asking for a donation from you of money-small toys-children’s clothing and hats. With $10 I can buy and give 2 pairs of boots (cheap Chinese made) to people who work the garbage. I can buy  rice that I leave with the mother of the dump shack to feed her family, I can help a child go to school with tuition fees or school uniforms.  The price of 1 dinner out in Canada can help 2 or 3 large families in the garbage dump. Please, please consider donating some goods or some money to help those in need. We can all make the world a better place if we join in and contribute to the lives of the forgotten. You do not have to give lots, a child’s toy, old baby clothes, $5, $10, $20 everything makes a difference, everything can help. I will take 2 – 50lb check in bags loaded with photographic and film making tools but any room I have left over I will used for donated goods. The money I will use to buy things in Mae Sot Thailand where the families live. I can strike the best deals after negotiating prices at the local markets.  I can speak a fair amount of Thai to negotiate, and I also have several contacts there to help deliver food etc. to the dump which is outside of the main town.

Here are a ton of links to donation stories I have written on my photo blog over the years. PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO READ SOME OF THEM. Giving can do so much good for the soul, over the years what I have done for the families has helped me 10 fold inside my own heart.
As for me, I plan on donating upwards of $500. I am getting a $400 artist fee for the “Trumpet” show listed below, and possibly a $100 shipping credit (am begging for that money now). I am also going to get money for an artist talk for the “Healing Process” exhibition, that money is being donated to the dump children as well as a gift from my father. I figure it should all add up to $500+  in help for the families. This is a great thing because it shows how photography, especially social documentary photography can do some real good. In the past several people (including some on this emails mailing list) have told me that photography does not matter, cannot help etc. I felt at the time that was wrong, and it was, the money from the showing of the photos is going to go back to the families in the photos, beautiful baby, so beautiful!!! Let’s show those naysayers that we as photographers and artists can make a positive difference in the lives of others. Let’s help the “Families of the Dump” together J.
Ok end of donation plea. I did my best..


Here is the information for the 2 exhibitions and the artist talk. I hope to see you there.
“TRUMPET EXHIBITION” Opening Night June 3 at 8pm. The show runs a month. The exhibition is at Latitude 53 gallery. I am the only Edmonton artist, the rest are from Calgary and Lethbridge. There are also CARFAC activities happening during the day and that weekend. Will be showing 5 20x24 fiber paper darkroom sized prints in 26x30 sized frames.

Here are directions to the Gallery

HOURS: Latitude 53 is open to the general public Tuesday to Friday 11am to 7pm, and Saturdays 11–5 pm.
Thanks to the support of our members, Latitude 53 admission is free.
ADDRESS: 10242 - 106 Street Edmonton, Alberta
DIRECTIONS: Latitude 53 Contemporary Visual Culture is located on 106 Street and between 102 Avenue and 103 Avenue on the West side of the street in downtown Edmonton; we are between NorQuest College and Metro Billiards. We are only two blocks north of the Corona LRT Station and two blocks west of the Bay (104 Street) Station and close to bus routes travelling to all parts of the city.
"With the pride of the artist, you must blow against the walls of every power that exists the small trumpet of your defiance."
Norman Mailer
The exhibition Trumpet is framed by defiance: a reaction to the political climate in which we find ourselves and our need to be heard. Each artist shown use their work as a megaphone: to give warning, to speak out, to increase the power of their message. 

Trumpet sought work by Alberta Artists who use their work to question new political realities, on a local, national, and international scale, and who may have a unique perspective that is under-represented or unrecognized within current exhibition and curatorial practices. The six selected artists - Barbara Amos, Lee Deranger, Kazumi Marthiensen, M.E.D.I.U.M., Alice Schoenberg and Gerry Yaum - question the world order in some way. Their art trumpets. It can be a loud lament about an issue, a call to action, a direct challenge to assumptions and oppressive power structures, a vehicle to further understanding or a way to redefine the world around us.
Barbara Amos raises questions, stimulates new conversations and possibly new actions; she offers a new way for people to engage with the world. Since establishing a studio in the Crowsnest Pass area of Alberta, Amos has sought out and engaged with the environmental groups that are fighting to preserve the trees on the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies  - an area experiencing the world’s highest rate of deforestation. Amos collaborates with others “in the field” to make political environmental statements. In the gallery, Amos use concepts of beauty (a moment of receptivity) to open us up to new connections and to an exchange of ideas.

Lee Deranger is a First Nations artist based out of Calgary, whose politics are at the heart of her creative practice. Deranger’s “Reconcile This” confronts a 268 year old “scalp law” that is still on the books in Nova Scotia. She offers the viewer three scalps: one for the British, one for Canada and one for Nova Scotia. Created after 2015’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission and exhibited here in the year of Canada’s 150th  birthday, Deranger’s “Reconcile This” challenges privileged narratives and assumptions, and reveals the many blind spots in the dominant cultural discourse regarding the relationship between Canada’s colonial history and First Nations and Metis lives and history. This work slaps the viewer across the face; the slap is totally justified.

Kazumi Marthiensen has been exploring and questioning the environmental destruction and crime arising from the establishment of the American military base in Okinawa, Japan. Marthiensen recognizes and addresses the lack of understanding of the post-war experience in Okinawa by offering us a written explanation, a didactic statement that is all the more poignant for its simplicity.  This simplicity and attention to detail extends to the work itself, and presents an arresting testament to what is (still) happening on this small island 755 kilometers south of Nagasaki.  This work has a stillness, a silence about it, that underscores this under-told story, and exposes the complexities surrounding the defeat of Japan in the Second World War and the resulting American colonialism.

M.E.D.I.U.M. (Metaphysical Explorations, Divination, and Investigations Utilizing Magic) is a Lethbridge-based quartet comprised of Frater Tham, Madame Symona, Char Latan, and Dr. I. M. Auftenhazie. The performative personas are adopted by the quartet to subvert the notion of artistic “ego,” and take “authority,” out of the equation when making art. The collective is very much engaged in the world’s political issues, and use allegory, symbolism and magic to explore (and subvert) notions of what real or concrete truth is. The video and artifacts “Reduce, Reuse, Re-psychic” present us with an alternative “ritual curse and healing narrative” to heal the planet and the creatures upon it, including humans. M.E.D.I.U.M. provides us with new ways to both relate and react to our current political reality, and seek lasting change for the better.

Alice Schoenberg uses her body to create art that attempts to simultaneously divert and analyze the male gaze. As a queer female artist, Schoenberg sexualizes the representation of her embodied self, but retains control of this sexualization.  “Miss Dressup,” employs a childlike aesthetic to both expose and subvert the common cultural narratives around sexualized female bodies. These versions of self are not her - they are fragments of version of stories about what it means to inhabit a queer female shape that wishes to define itself on its own terms. Schoenberg’s art provokes a conversation about power, identity, control, sexuality, and how these forces impact our bodies.

Gerry Yaum is a traditional documentary photographer who works outside his culture and his comfort zone. This place of discomfort allows Yaum to do more than observe his subject; he strives to see them on their own terms. By the second or third visit to a place, Yaum notes, the people he photographs “know you are no longer a tourist.”  Like the artists in M.E.D.I.U.M., Yaum has adopted a ‘persona’ in an attempt to focus greater attention on the issues and ideas conveyed through his images (Yaum is a pseudonym). As records of lived experience, “the Families of the Dump” series presents a deeply uncomfortable vision of the world, the intention of which Yaum describes as wanting to “slap [the viewer] out of their indifference.” People living in ‘first world’ countries will likely never experience the extreme poverty captured in these photographs. The intent here is to provoke a level of discomfort that will lead us to question not only the present world order, but our own complicity in it.
Trumpet player Christian Scott describes his instrument as a political weapon; "I don't just play the trumpet because it's something that resonates with me: I play the trumpet because it's a means to help free a lot of people that ain't free." Like Scott, to get their message out, the artists of Trumpet ask us to question what we hold to be true. They force us to listen. They are Advocates, Activists, and Artists.

Chris W. C.
May 2017

”Healing Process” Opening Night August 3 at 6pm. The show runs a month. The exhibition is at the AGSA, Art Gallery of St. Albert. I am the only Edmonton artist. One of the other people is from the USA, and the third of our group is from BC. Will be showing 7 20x24 fiber paper darkroom sized prints in 26x30 and 28x32 sized frames.

Art Gallery of St Albert
19 Perron Street
St Albert, AB T8N 1E5
P: 780-460-4310
F: 780-460-9537
Regular Hours:
Tuesday to Saturday: 10 am – 5 pm
Thursday: 10 am – 8 pm
Admission: Free
Healing Process
The creative process is a healer. Healing Process brings together three artists who each use their artistic practice to explore the illnesses of their loved ones, to shed light on treatment, pain and tragedy, and reconcile their own emotions and understanding of their experiences.

Social documentary photography Gerry Yaum, seeks to tell the stories of forgotten and marginalized people. His deeply personal series My Fathers Last Days documents the final 13 months of his father's battle with pancreatic cancer. Through a series of poignant black and white portraits, Yaum attempts to understand and capture his father's struggle and create a memorial for him.

British Columbia-based artist Sima Elizabeth Shefrin's innovative series the Embroided Cancer Comic Chronicles her journey with her husband following his prostate cancer diagnosis. The embroidered-fabric pieces focus on the couple's day-to-day and life changing events as acquiesce and experience the unexpected impacts of cancer treatment.

Darian Goldin Stahl's
intriguing installation, MRI IN USE includes a series of life-sized suspended hospital gown prints. These transparent forms seemingly hover between the gallery space and the viewer. The print-based installation emerged from an ongoing collaboration between the artist and her sister---a clinical bioethicist diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Stahl's work offers a glimpse into the experience of navigating a medical diagnosis and living chronic illness.


The Artist talk for the for “Healing Process” is going to happen on August 31. The date thou is not locked in and might change. If you want to attend please email me and I will give you the up to date info when I have it, or keep an eye on the blog, I will post it there as well.
Thanks for taking the time to read my very long email. Together we can work together to make this world a better place, let’s try to do that together as artists and people of good hearts and good conscience.
Best Wishes Gerry
PS…I opened up a second blog for my film work only. The idea being when I try to submit my documentary film (the life of a dump family) to film festivals etc. I will have a link I can send the committees, juries that details the process of making the movie. Please keep an eye on that blog as well. I will be doing daily updates of my life in Thailand making photos, the film and doing the donation work. If you give, you can see the people you helped, face to face and in person. I will give detailed accounts of how everything donated is used.

Links: Weplate Photographer Hatta Masaharu

Found a wonderful Japanese wet plate photographer on YouTube tonight. Check out his extremely beautiful and inspiring work.This it the type of extremely powerful ambrotypes/tintypes I hope to make someday.
Also check out his great wetplate proces video here:

All photos by photographer Hatta Masaharu

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Exhibitions Promotional Sheet

Did up a quick so so quality (about the best I can do) promotional sheet for my coming exhibitions. I I wanted to promote the work, the stories, and hopefully get a bigger turnout at the gallieres. Will try handing this out at the Art Gallery of Albert (AGA) this Friday. I am going to go to an opening night party at the gallery, the first of these I will attend. My hope is that I can give this sheet out to some of the AGA big wigs and some of the people in Edmonton who love art and support it. Sometimes you got to be a bit pushy to get what you feel is important recognized, and seen. To tell dads story, to tell the stories of the "Families of the Dump" I will be bit pushy. The end justifies the means! At least in this case.:))

Here are some screen captures of my little flier. It is printed on 1 sheet of paper, your seeing both sides of that sheet here.

Promotional Exibhition Sheet.

Quote: Nora Ephron (Writer-Director)

"Insane people are always sure that they are fine. It is only the sane people who are willing to admit that they are crazy."

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Partially Satisfied, But So Much More To Do, So Much More Owed!

I am quite happy I got these 2 group shows and artist talk before my 6 month adventure in Thailand. It sort of sets the right mood as I head into the unknown. The work gets seen, the stories get told (kinda) and I earn money that I can donate back to the families in the dump. Helping my subjects is what this is all about, telling who they are and then giving back.

Still with all this recent good news I feel unsatisfied, I feel a bit let down. I need to get solo shows in higher end galleries, I need to move up to the major galleries in the major Canadian cities. I need to have large solo exhibitions. Only then will I have lived up to the responsibilities my subjects have entrusted me with. They welcomed me into their lives, gave me the gift of their image. Part of my photo making bargain is to get the work seen in large important world class galleries and museums, major shows in major places. I have yet to do that. I must continue to push myself and work harder still. My subjects stories must be seen and told. I owe them.

The 5th And Last "TRUMPET" Exhibition Print Completed

Tonight at work did the spotting and faming of my inal 20x24 inch fiber print from the "Familles of the Dump" for the "TRUMPET" Exhibition. Glad this part of it is done, next week in the darkroom I will resume work on the last 2 "Healing Process" exhibition prints.

"Young Girl In The Garbage" the 5th 20x24 print for the "Trumpet" Exhibition

Tonights Two Finished "Trumpet" Exhibition Works, Side By Side

Here are the 2 finished prints for the "Trumpet" exhibition I did tonight. Will do the final one tomorrow, already cut its mat, just need to spot and frame it.

I have come to really love 35mm images enlarged to 20x24, the grain, the effect of bleach on Tri-x film/Ilford warm tone. Is something really special and beautiful. A unique look that in many ways tops large format film work and digital file reproductions. There is a wonderful harshness to these finished works, that speaks so well combined with social documentary photography.

Tonights 2 finished "Trumpet" exhibition photographs 2 of the 5 that will be shown.

Friday, May 19, 2017

2nd Final "TRUMPET" Exhibition Print Completed.

I managed to complete a 2nd final "TRUM,PET" exhibition print tonight. I like the rather harsh bleaching on this 35mm negative. Of the 4 versions of this print I have this one was by far the best, the exposure and bleaching on the babies face work best. This photo was mad in 2013, I photographed this same child numberous times in 2015 and 2016. We became friends, he would pretend to steal stuff from my camera bag and follow me about the dump.

"Baby Boy In Dump Shack" the 4th 20x24 print for the "Trumpet" Exhibition
Here he is on the left playing in a dump suitcase with his younger sister 2015
Here he is in in his dump shack 2016

Writing My Artist Talk For The "Healing Process" AGSA Show

Over the last week or so I have been working on my artist talk for the coming "Healing Process" exhibition in August. I want the talk to be a tribute to my beautiful father and to also show the collaboration we both committed to produce the photographs. This was the last long series of photographs we worked together on, my father allowed me access and posed for me in subliminal important ways that contributed so much to the the finished series.

I need to express in the talk who my dad was as a person and also how we worked together on this thing. Another important theme is how through the making of the photographs I was able to cope with the loss of dad a bit easier. Art allowed me an important outlet during that very difficult year. I was able to hide behind the camera, use it as a tool to express my families shared difficulty, grief and sadness.

I will not read my notes when I speak to the crowd (how many people?) but want to have some key points written on cards which I can refer to before launching into my stories. I will speak in the gallery in front of the work for 30-40 minutes I believe. I still have to go over this with Jenny the curator of the AGSA when she does a studio visit with me on June 20. Am really looking forward to this talk. As mentioned earlier I will donate the speaking fee to the children of the dump in Thailand on behalf of my father. This will be dads last gift, he can help some children in need, BEAUTIFUL!

Tonights Final "TRUMPET" Exhibition Print

I flattened all my dried prints today just before coming to work (in the morning they were still a bit wet). Here is the 3rd of 5 prints that will be exhibited in its glass front white metal frame. The frame measures 26x30 the photo is on 20x24 paper. It is printed on my favourite photographic paper, Ilfords warmtone fiber.

I did the spotting, matting and framing tonight at work tonight and will try to complete the last 2 "TRUMPET" show prints over my next 2 security nightshifts. It would be great if I could have everything finished by Sunday, then I would use next weeks off time to start printing the last 2 photos for the "Healing Process" AGSA exhibition in August.

"Working the Garbage" the 3rd 20x24 print for the "Trumpet" Exhibition
 Note* This is a replacement working photo for the non sharp image I intially mistakedly submitted.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Exhibition Magazine, Version #2

I am working on a still larger version of my exhibition magazine. The first version I will use for the quickly approaching "Trumpet" exhibition. This newer improved and larger magazine I will display at "Healing Process".  Because "Healing Process" is about my father and our photos I put dad on the front and back covers of this version of the mag. I have added many photos and tried to tone the contrast level of many of the exhisting shots. The blurb printing process for their magazines accentuates contrast, I needed to tone my scans-files down as much as I could to try to compensate for that.

Note* My new HP Elitebook computer is a joy to use for projects like this. I can bring it to the guardhouse along with a large external hard drive of photographs and work away during my shift between patrols and other duties. I hope it works as well for the video editing-film making I plan to do in Asia. So far I am lovin this computer, and am quite happy I bought it.

Possible cover for exhibition magazine 2