Saturday, February 25, 2017

3 Gallery Submissions

Did up three new gallery submissions tonight to the "Families of the Dump " series. All 3 galleries allow email submissions. If your interested give them a try, here are the submission links.
SNAP Gallery
Okotoks Art Gallery At The Station

Note* Think I might have tried the dump family work at some of these galleries before and been rejected, am not sure. Can't hurt to try again, maybe new juries will be looking at new photos.

Here are the 10 photos I am sending them, all were made in late 2015 or early 2016. SNAP-501 galleries allowed 20 images to be submitted so I included photos 11-20 for them.

 Added to the SNAP-501 gallery submissions:

Friday, February 24, 2017

Quote: Rasheed Ogunlaru (Life Coach)

“The human mind and what we've achieved with it is remarkable. But it does not come close to what we can do, be, see and heal with our hearts”

Meaningless Crap

This morning before sleeping I was reading a book on ancient Greek and Roman art. In the book the writer wrote of how compared to the Greeks the Roman art was derivative and second class. The Roman artists did not create create work that was original in anyway. They mostly just copied ancient Greek pieces that were then sold to Roman buyers. The Roman artists basically sold their artistic souls, they made art that people would buy, work that was pleasing and accepted but not challenging, unique or powerful in any new way.

Tonight I visited for the first time in a long time (18 months?) two photographers websites. I revisited the websites to update myself on their current photos. I was extremely disappointed, everything I saw was the same as before, pretty pictures of snow and gardens, mountains and trees etc, it all blends in my mind. Nothing had changed since my previous website visits and from the time I saw the work up close. Just like the writers critique of the Romans, the photos I saw were second class and derivative. The sad part in all is this is that these are two talented people who could  do great work if they decided to take some chances and pushed themselves to see in new ways. Instead they stay on the same boring course, their path most traveled. Year in, year out they make the same trite, commonplace, unchanging sludge pictures. Millions of people around the world  each and everyday do the same type stuff, maybe not quite as pretty or as well crafted but it is the same type meaningless visual crap. Why oh why spend your skills and talent making garbage?

What a waste of time and talent, it is so depressing. Veiwing the work, the same exact photographs again, again and yet again over the years is a form of torture, it is visual vomit, artistic poison!!

Whew! I needed to get that out, thanks for listening, it was boiling in me since I saw the work. I feel better now! :)

I need to strive to try and do original work, try to find new ways of saying what I want to say. I need to learn from the writings in this blog. It is easy to criticize but to learn and grow as a artist because of your awareness of what you do not like, of what you see as wrong is an entire other thing. I need to take my distaste for what these offensive second class derivative artists (the Romans of our time) are doing and force my own attempt at a unique ( or at least semi unique) vision forward. I need to learn from what I hate about their photographs!

Mido Holders For 8x10 Work In Asia?

I might use the Mido adaptor type 8x10 holders for the coming work with the camera in Asia. The holders will dramatically cut down on weight. There were some light leak issues with these cute devices, I will need to test them before deciding whether to use them or not. I own many of these light wait holder, bought them many years ago for my planned eventual work in the field in Asia with an 8x10 (saw this coming for over 10 years). Here is what the holders look like.
Mido Film Holders Blog 

Photo Idea: 8x10 Large Format Vertical Portraits In Thailand

Walking my rounds tonight I thought back to the beauty of working and making portraits with a large view camera. In available light I have taken pics with 4x5 and 5x7 cameras in Thailand, this next 6 month trip I plan to take my 8x10 camera with me. It is going to be so beautiful to make portraits with it. I am spending lots of time with all this film making stuff but my first love and true joy is still still film photography and I plan on doing lots of that next trip as well!

When dad was 81 I made the picture below of him. We were visiting the areas he grew up in as a boy. The picture was made in a cemetary where he went to see his fathers grave. Little did we know at the time but dad was less than 2 years away from dying himself. I would like to do similar images in Thailand.

Dad at 81, 250mm Fuji Lens, HP5 (200) at 1/15 and F 11.5
The idea will be to do standing vertical portraits of people in the dump, children, workers, the elderly. I could also photograph people I meet and know in Bangkok, and in the Muay Thai boxing gym, Monks, Workers, Police, Migrant Workers, Security Guards, Street Vendors, Ladyboys Sex Workers etc. Years ago I wanted to do a projected called "Khon Thai" (the Thai People). I always liked that idea but never went through with it because I did not think that limiting myself to only photographing Thais was right. Thailand is a mixed country, filled with Laotians, Burmese, Cambodians, Africans, world Tourists etc. Why just limit yourself to Thais? What if I called the project "Khon Nigh Thai" คนในไทย (People In Thailand). That way I could photograph all people, demonstrate not only nationalism but internationalism, express our shared humanity.

I will shoot the camera dad bought me, our 8x10 wooden Deardorff. His gift to me should be shot and used to create important work. His love for me allowed me to buy it, my love for him allows met o use it to remember my father through the use of his gift.
 The Story Of The Deardorff 8x10 Camera Dad Bought Me

I already have all the very expensive 8x10 Tri-x film I need in my freezers and will use only 1 lens (following Jock Sturges advice here), the Fujinon W-250mm F6.7. I would need to shoot it with a very shallow depth of field, F6.7 if possible in available difused light. I will need to very selective in who I choose to shoot and probably only 2-4 exposures per subject.

For years these 2 8x10 vertical portraits by Richard Avedon have inspired me. I want to try to emulate the same feel in the "People In Thailand" portrait project. I might have to think of a better name for the project, something simpler.

Update* Composition wise and technically I might follow Avedons lead on shooting this type of portrait. Less depth of field (better bokeh) helps isolate them and composing the subjects feet closer to the bottom of the frame. Sort of like they are standing on the bottom edge of the negative. People-portraits look better that way I think.

Lew Alcindor, (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) by Richared Avedon
Bob Dylan in Central Park by Richard Avedon

Thursday, February 23, 2017

500000 Page Views!

Gosh have not been paying attention to the page view numbers. They currently sit at 500162! WOW. Thanks everyone for visiting. The next big number to watch out for is 1 million! Maybe in another 10 years. Please keep reading, watching and thinking about the blogs folks. As long as I am alive I will keep writing here and making photographs. I will keep at it for the rest of my life. We started up in 2007, so this year marks 10 years online.

Photo Story: Migrant Baby

I changed up my link to my photo website (see left side of blog). I will rotate in and out different photos from the page periodically. I will then do up a photo story entry about the photograph. Here is the first of that bunch.

Photo Story: Migrant Baby

Burmese mother holding her baby boy in Migrant worker housing complex, Bangkok Thailand 2015
The Story:
Near my hotel in Klong Toey slum Bangkok Thailand there is a migrant housing complex. Not really a complex more like a 2 story set of rooms (40? 50? total?) that is made of plywood with small doors that can be locked (no windows). There is also a washing area where everyone can wash clothes and take baths. I have been photographing in this area since about 2013. Through the years probably visited there 5 or 6 times. I need to spend more time there, I want to go back sometime at night to photograph when everyone is home from work, maybe next trip! Maybe I can make friends with some of the people who live there.

Originally all the residents were either Burmese or Cambodia. They were migrants (mostly legal I think) who came in from their home countries to work doing construction and other jobs in Bangkok. Thai employers can pay these migrants less money than they have to pay Thais. Also many of the jobs the migrants do Thais do not want to do.

When visiting the area I practise the few words of Khmer and Burmese that I know. I count or say hello in their language, sort of a fun way to make friends with strangers. Sometime it is hard to figure out who is Burmese or Cambodian. Everyone gets a kick out of it when you try to speak their language, most are surprised to hear it. My last few trips to this housing area I have met more and more Thai folks, poor rural people who had come to the big city and had no where else to live. The workers (some children) in this very basic type of living pay rent of course to those that own the building-land.

In the photography the baby and mother were sitting in the shade hiding from the sun as I was leaving one day. I asked if I could make a photo and did. The mother was so proud and loved her child. Wonder what the little boy was thinking? Probably something like "Who is the big white guy? I am not impressed!"

Tech Stuff:
This photo was made on Tri-x using a Rolleiflex camera and close up attachment (Rolleinar). Developed in D-76 2/1 for 11 minutes 30 seconds at 20c. I have never printed the negative.

Update* One time when visiting the housing a Cambodian woman showed me her beat up wedding photos. She must have handled them over and over and over again as they were quite damaged, worn through from the touching. She gave them to me gently and with such pride. She had come to Bangkok for one reason to make money, money she could send home to help her children and parents. I can still remember her sadness,  she had such a longing to go home and be with her family again. Neighbors gathered round and looked at the pics with me. We spoke Thai to each other, she told me stories of her special day and her current life in Thailand. I wonder what happened to her? Is she still in Thailand, far from her family back in Cambodia? Or is she home again with them?

Link: Gerry Yaum VIDEO BAR

Check out my new VIDEO BAR, top left of the page. The bar I think chooses videos at random from my YouTube page, enjoy!

I also updated this blog with links to my new documentary film making blog and my FREE wix photo website (I closed to save money). I will try to update and improve the photo website before I leave for Thailand in the fall. I have so many photos I could add to it, and want to take some offline as well.

Update* Not sure the film making blog link is working. Here it is if your interested. The blog is a streamlined version of this "hoto Diary" with only video and film making write ups included, no still work, quotes, dreams, poetry or rants (well maybe minimal rants!).


Bought som more storage SD cards for the BMPCC bodies. The cards need to be super fast to keep up with the RAW data pouring in to them. The card that is recommended is the 64GB Extreme PRO SD SDXC Card 95MB/s Class 10. Last month I picked up 3 refurbished versions of these cards for $20 USD a piece plus shipping. After testing the cards in my cameras I found they were NOT dropping frames so today I bought another 4.

I now have 11 of these cards, 4 I got from the seller of my cameras off eBay, and 7 are these refurbished babies (guaranteed to be as good as new).

I was thinking of buying the 128GB version in fact I bought one online but the seller disappeared without sending me the card. I appealed to eBay who refunded my $41 USD (too good a deal to be true and it was). I rechecked the prices for the 129GB cards tonight and found them quite high. I am also not sure if the 128GB cards work in the BMPCC. Decided to play it safe and buy the smaller sized 64GB versions.

64GB is quite small for the amount of info I am recording. I will need to change cards quite often. If you are shooting RAW, I think each card will only old 20-25 minutes of footage. With 11 cards I should have enough storage space to record 3 hours and 40 minutes per day.

Hmm wonder if I should buy a few more cards?

Here is the eBay pricing for different versions of this SD card (I paid $20 USD each for my refurbished type cards)

NEW 95MB/S 64GB SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC Class 10 - $40.80 USD free shipping
NEW 95MB/S 128GB SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC Class 10 - $66.55 USD plus $2.29 shipping

Update: Bought another 5 cards. Thought I needed them just in case they break down, in case I lose them, in case I need them for a long days shooting, etc. I now have 16 cards, which is enough storage space to do 5 hours 20 minutes+ of video a day. Do not plan on doing that much recording but it is better to have backups to my backups than to be stranded and pissed off in Mae Sot trying to buy SD cards (very limited stores). I would also hate to have an important shooting day cut short because I ran out of storage space. I have run out of still film before and that always hurts! There will be times I plan on spending the night in the dump filming. When I am there all night I want to make sure I can film at will.

I will now shoot at ease, trying to get the good and important video I need for the movie. I still have to becareful I do not overshoot and be selective. Everything I shoot will have to eventually be stored on hard drives for later editing.  I can only buy so many 4TB hard drives for storage! 

Note* If I shoot in ProRes HQ instead of RAW I can store much more footage on a 64GB card, I think it is 40 minutes plus. Not sure of the exact numbers, depends on frame rates etc ...24 per second 30? Am still learning. Having too many cards is certainly better than not having enough! 16 should do me nicely.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Quote: Mahatma Gandhi

 "When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they alway fall. Think of it---always."