Sunday, February 28, 2010

More Leica Tests

A month or so I went out with a friend shooting at an old school house. I used the Leica with 21 and 28 mm lens, Tmax 3200 and Tri-x. I quite like working with this camera and the results so far have been positive. I am going to London and Paris for a short trip in May and will only shoot the Leica's, should be tons of fun shooting in places where Robert Frank and Henri Cartier0-Bresson shot.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Quote: Amedeo Modigliani

Reading a biography about the artist Modigliani written by Jeffery Meyers. A quote from Amedeo Modigilani from a letter he wrote to a friend.

"People like us (artists) have different rights, different values than do normal,ordinary people because we have different needs which put us--- above their moral standards. Your duty is never to waste yourself in sacrifice. Your real duty is to save your dream. Beauty herself makes painful demands; but these nevertheless bring forth the most supreme efforts of the soul. Every obstacle we overcome means an increase in will-power and provides the vital and progressive renewal of our inspiration."

My Father Series

Did a bit of work 2 days ago on the "My Father" series. The photo was shot the same way as the Thai color heads, a ring flash on a Hasselblad with a Hoya close up filter. Used Kodak Portra VC 220 and did a tiny bit of clean up work in photoshop.

I like the expression, it speaks to me of some of the things he has gone through in his life.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Going Back in TIme

Been developing some old film. The stuff was exposed years ago and then sat in my darkroom waiting for me to get around to working on it. This last week I developed some stuff that dates back to when I was 16 and in Germany. I had taken a school trip to Europe with my Social Studies class. Strange to be transported back in time, to see me in an old world I had long forgotten.

Might post one for fun, mostly pictures of castles and such. Another film I developed was of members of my family in younger days, kind of jarring.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Male Freelance Worker

Ti Male Gogo Worker

I photographed Ti in 2007 and was lucky enough to make photographs with him 2 times in 2009.

Ladyboy RIngflash Shot

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bla Color Headshot

Scanned these images this morning, minimal photoshop adjustments made. Will try to post some more later when I have time to work on them.

Monday, February 15, 2010

VAAA 2010 Photography Submission

Spent the day developing color 120mm film. I am trying to get 5 head shot ring-flash images for a submission to the VAAA (Anual Photography Competition). I think I will go with 2 female workers, Long and Bla along with 1 or 2 male and 1 or 2 ladyboy workers. I can only submit 5 photographs, so I will look for the 5 visually strongest faces.

Not sure this will lead to anything, 2 years ago I got in with some old b/w images from 1999. Last year I got rejected when I tried to enter some 2007 white background sex worker photographs. The accepted photographs for the 2009 VAAA Photography Show did not include portraits and the images that did include people did so in a very abstract visual sort of way (like they were there only for form).

I doubt the heads will make it in but heck you got to go with what you feel is your important work. I do not want to sell out and put in photographs I feel are second rate just because I want to be accepted. You got to go with your heart and put work out there that you think is important and needs to be seen.

2009 Blad Color Images

Am learning photoshop from a friend. These 2 images are from film shot in 2009 in Thailand. The head-shot of Long was done with a ring-flash and the full body shot of Bla was shot in room with a side mounted flash. I want to make a submission of the heads to a local gallery.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Email from a Thai Photographer

Got an email from a Thai photographer this last week, thought I would add it. It is encouraging that a Thai person is interested in the "Khon Thai" project, it gives me the hope that I am on the right track and that the project might lead to important photographs.

Hello, Mr. Yaum.

I am Thai who keep following your blog for a few months.Your blog is very interesting for others.I quite surprise about "thai sex worker project" and wonder how you approached to her/him.They are existed but hardly to deal.

And on your latest "Khon Thai Project Technique?",it is a big surprise for me because it is also in my heart.I was roughly planned to travel across country to take photographs concentrate in portrait and life.

I'm not good in english conversations but glad to write you a few words.

Best Regards.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New/Old Work

Been going through some of my old work which looks new to me because I have not worked with some of the negs. This photograph is part of the 2003 Bargirl Series.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Khon Thai Project Technique?

Been thinking how I will spend my 5 weeks in Thailand this coming year. I want to work on my "Khon Thai" photo series, the idea is to travel the country making potraits of people from all walks of Thai life.

How to use my 5 weeks best? I could just wander the streets of Bangkok looking for people to photograph, the population of Bangkok is over 10 million (maybe closer to 15 million) so I should be able to find a few souls willing to be photographed.

The other option is a bit more radical. I was thinking what about just going to a bus station and getting on the first bus I see! and getting off where ever it goes making photos then getting on another bus, get off make photos then another and another etc until my 5 weeks or up. I want to photograph the Thai people and all those buses are going to cities, towns and villages around the country why not just let fate take me where it may.

Karsh Aztec Arctifacts

Visiting the AGA Karsh exhibit was both fun and funny. I loved all the interactive displays of equipment and technique. There was a show of several cameras of lens, tripods and lighting equipment, they even had some of his brushes on display that he used in Bromoil printing techniques. There was a darkroom section with some retouched negatives and short explanations on techniques he used in his photography.

It was a bit much thou when they had his dodging tools (think mine are on the floor of my darkroom in a box) under glass sort of floating there, 6 different tools I think sort of floating like precious diamonds under glass, I kind of felt like I was expected bow to them!

The dodging tool thing was a bit funny as well as the way they treated his photography equipment, sort of like Ancient Aztec Artifacts. Heck there was tons of things on display that I still use, do not make me an Ancient Artifact just yet PLEASE : ) I own one of the Karsh lens, his tripod, several similar cameras and most of the darkroom equipment. Seeing all this stuff, my stuff, on display like that under glass was sort of unnerving, kind of made me feel old : )

They also had several of his best images. I found them a tad soft and dull to look at, he sort of made everyone look like a god, it is not the type of portraiture I feel is honest to the subject, they look great but heck they looked way to much like statues on mount Olympus.

I do love his photograph of Churchill thou because it showed the ferocity of spirit the man possessed.

You all know the story behind this picture don't you?

Karsh wanted to photograph Winston without his cigar and politely asked Churchill to remove it. Churchill being the tough old guy that he was wanted nothing to do with this little young Canadian photographer. Karsh seeing the cigar was going no where prepared his camera then walked up and PLUCKED THE CIGAR FROM CHURCHILLS MOUTH while apologizing softly. Karsh returned to his camera turned and made the photo, a photo that is one of the most famous portraits of all time, a portrait that had an influence on WWII.

The power of photography can truly be a great thing.

AGA: The Alberta Gallery of Art

Visited the wonderful new Alberta Art Gallery last week. It is a 4 story glass/metal and concrete jewel of a building. I loved the natural light that floods the place along with the wide open spaces/high ceilings and friendly staff.

There is currently a show of Degas Sculptures, Goya prints and a wonderful interactive exhibition of Yosuf Karshs working methods and photographs. I plan on taking several of the courses and lectures the AGA will be having int he coming months on both Karsh and Degas. It was a wonderful day visiting this new facility. The staff at the gallery had a real love for art, you could feel their enthusiasm, there love of what they did and their love of the work being shown. I talked to one member of the staff about the Degas sculpture "Little Dancer" and you could see the joy in his eyes as he described the work, a real love for art, how can I not like a facility that has this going for it? It is like being in a sort of creativity heaven.

One of my dreams is to one day have my work shown in this gallery and to have the work added to their permanent collection. I so want the photographs to be seen by a larger audience, to communicate the message of the work to others. I want the people I photograph to be seen, they are important, their stories are important and they deserve to be remembered.