Monday, November 23, 2015


I plan on taking the 5x7 back to Bangkok and shooting in Klong Toey slum and at the boxing gym. I brought 400 sheets of 5x7 film with me this trip and still have over 1/2 left. It is a good thing I did not bring over to Thai my original idea of 500 sheets. Next time I will bring over less sheet film. When your shooting in non studio situations with a view camera the film lasts a lot longer. Shooting is slow, carrying many film holders into the field is difficult etc.

Today I completed my last roll of 40-120mm Tri-x films. The twin lens Rolleiflex is now retired. I will now switch to the Leica 35s as my secondary cameras. I still have about 30 films of the original 75-35mm Tri-x rolls.

On The Way To Bangkok

Am on the way to Bangkok tonight. I am going back to do Loy Khratong festival and also the photo projection night. I expect to be back in Mae Sot for 4 or 5 days in early December before returning to Canada and my night time security gig.

Shooting The 5x7 View Camera

Am photographing more now with the Linhof 5x7. Getting the children to stand still long enough to compose, focus, do movements, set exposure and remove the dark slide is quite a challenge. They are used to to quicky quick digi photos not an ancient 1800s technology. It is at times a struggle to use the 5x7 in the field but printing the large negs later should be joyful.

So Rewardiing

It is rewarding to help people and to make them happy with your photography. I can still see the smile on the women/mother who I gave the b/w 2013 photo to yesterday morning. She was so excited when I gave her the photo she stopped what she was doing and ran off to show her friends the pic.

In Canada I printed this small photo up at Walmart when I was in Drumheller after the Rosebud show. I almost did not make up this particular print but am so glad I did now. I will try to make up some more for her on my return home. I have some closer smiling head shots of the little girl in my archives. In the photo I gave away the girl looks down and depressed but the mother still loves it. I am really wondering now if this small child is safe. Is she in the dump somewhere? Has she moved away? Is she dead? Maybe this little photo is all the mother has left of her.

Note* The Burmese woman I am writing about her is the same one who asked me to buy rice for the family back in 2013.

Photos #s 6,8 (young girl)and 15 (mother and her 2 children) on this link.


I have been told "Malaria is crazy in Thailand now." That famous actors and many others have contracted the disease. It is hard not to be bitten. The mosquitoes are small fast and slippery here in Asia not like in Canada where they are big slow and easy to kill. Recently l have been bitten in places-times I did not expect. In a hot restaurant mid day, walking in the sunshine and in my hotel room with the a/c blaring.

Malaria is painfull and a killer and stays in your body forever (I believe), it not something I want to get. I bought some anti mosquito lotion but am not sure how effective it is used in conjunction with sunscreen. Putting all that cream everyday on your face arms etc. is nasty and it burns the skin.

Dad Dream "I Lay Down Looked Up But Could Not see."

After I went to pray for my father at the Buddhist temple my sad dreams about him stopped and were replaced by happy dreams. Today the sad dreams returned. I just woke up, here is what I remember.

In the dream I visited dad and moms house. When I arrived I was surprised to see dad there looking normal. He was in good shape. He was young and healthy, strong and normal. He started talking to me about something normal, jumped up and sat on the kitchen counter then got down and continued to talk to me as he walked. He looked happy and was dressed in blue. I ran up to him and hugged him very hard and told him how much I missed him, I told him that over and over again. He said " I lay down looked up but could not see" Then as I continued to hug him and tell him how I thought of him every day and cried with joy at seeing him again he spoke sadly and said "A thousand summers ago you sat on my lap."

Then I woke up.
These dreams are tough, when will they end.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Eating In The Dump

Today I was offered some food by one of the dump families I have known the longest. My rule of thumb is that whenever a poor person offers you food, you take it, no matter what it is and eat away. It would  be insulting to them if you do not accept the food. Even if I am not hungry I gladly eat what is given me.

They gave me a deep fried wanton like vegetable called "Kup Bong Joh". I ate while standing outside their shack home.I also shared a sweet coffee with man of the shack (he is always extremely friendly with me, I need to learn his difficult Burmese name). I enjoyed this lfairly large snack, the Kup Bong Joh was quite good. It was filled with vegetables I did not know but the combination tasted like potato. During the meal they showed me an old colour photo I gave them back in 2013, which was carefully being taken care of.

They offered me some more food when I was done eating but I thanked them and told them no I needed to make some photos.  They also offered me a cloth to wipe my greasy fingers and asked me to come into their shack to eat and rest (I am too big for that!).

It is a bit dicey eating food in a dump site after you have been touching garbage of all types but I feel great. The fried vegetable wanton (spring roll like) was a nice treat from some kind people. People who have very little but still want to share their food and home with you. I can still see the father, mother and their young daughter smiling at me as we shared the food. They tried so hard to be hospitable and asked nothing in return. I will remember their smiling faces for a long time.

Another amazing moment, another great memory from this short 7 week trip. 

Working Well With The Linhof 5x7

I am working the 5x7 with more confidence now.. The wait is less daunting, the dark cloth less cumbersome. The speed I can work the camera has improved.I now believe shooting the 8x10 Deardorff (A gift from my father) is possible in Asia. If I use one lens, one camera and the lightweight film holders I bought several years back, 8x10 is possible here.

Old Ladyboy Sex Attempt!!

About as non sexy a situation as I have ever faced. A bit of a nightmare scenario actually, one of those situations that later haunt you in your sleep.

Shooting The 5x7 With More Confidence