Thursday, October 30, 2014

Printing Dad And Larry's Sacrifice

Started working on my first of 4 or 5 dad pictures for the coming show. The first photo is a tight blurry head shot with plenty of grain. This picture is a bit of a departure for me but a photo type I want to continue to work with in the future. I think the photograph communicates the sadness and desperation a person feels when they are diagnosed with a terminal disease. There is a fear and solemnity to the picture that I think tells a tiny bit of what my father is going through. I thought I had better start working on the dad prints now when dad is still in relatively good shape, later on it might be to hard to print these images, to emotional for me to spend all those hours alone with dad in the dark.

My friend Larry made a rather extraordinary sacrifice for me. Originally we had planned to show the dad photos in a separate back room of the gallery but after that room proved to be unsatisfactory to hang photographs Larry told me that I could have a space in the main gallery, space that was previously for Larry's work. He is giving me a great gift, sacrificing showing his work to allow my father to be seen. It is hard to find good friends many times petty jealousies, unknown grievances and silly grudges destroy friendships. Thank you Larry for allowing my fathers story to be told.

Link: Printing Young Boy Inside Mae Sot Garbage Dump Video

Here is a high quality YouTube version of the "Young inside Mae Sot garbage dump" video that I posted yesterday. I now have 33 subscribers to my YouTube channel, did not realize that, not great but OK. In the future if I travel to Thai for extended periods I will be posting more videos from in the field. I want to make vids of the actual areas I shoot in and then post them while I am overseas on the blog, in Vimeo and YouTube. Maybe some kind of weekly video diary of some kind. All you need now is a digital camera a laptop plus internet access and you do so many wonderful things, tell so many important stories.

I rarely show my face in the vids I make, most people seem a bit obsessed with showing their moniker, like they are showing off or something. I prefer to remain anonymous just like with the whole fake Gerry Yaum name thing, the work is what's important not Gerry. If I start doing more and more vids thou, hiding in the shadows might become a bit silly, I will see how it goes, maybe in tribute to the coming Halloween I can where a ski mask or something : )

Stumbling and Bumbling Along

One interesting new feature with blurb books is the ability to sell your book on, that might be something to look towards in the future. It would be great if I could sell the work in book or magazine form a bit and then be able to put that money back into making new photos. My friend Larry told me tonight he sold several photographs recently, he sells his work often. Gosh if I could sell just one print a year I would be happy. It has been several years since I sold any work.

Larry is helping me with this group show next February but it seems all other outlets I have tried over the last couple of years has met with rejections. I got another rejection letter yesterday, this one from a gallery in Medicine Hat Alberta (the capital of high art). Heck I can't make it in Medicine Hat, how the hell am I ever eventually going to be shown in New York, London or Paris?  Back to baby steps with my work. I need to continue to do what I feel is right, continue to work hard and let the cards fall where they may.

I know I will make photographs the rest of my life, that I will continue to create and tell my own  personal stories. The most important thing is to work hard and disregard the all the negative stuff. I have a show coming and will work towards that, after the show I will make more pictures and hope for another exhibition. "Doo-Aye" in the dump needs her story told, my father needs his, "Long" and the workers in the bars of Thai need theirs as do "Bong" and the Muay Thai  boxers and "Jang" and the other residents of slums in Bangkok and elsewhere. Photographing these forgotten people and groups is the most important thing I do, so I will continue to do it. Screw everything else!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ordered One Blurb Magazine

I ordered my exhibition magazine tonight from . The total cost was $15.73 CAD, most of that money was shipping related. Printing the mag cost $4.99, shipping was $9.99 and GST was .75. When you order 2, 3 or 5 mags the shipping cost is not that much more so your paying a premium on shipping for a single magazine. I only bought one today because I wanted to check the quality, see what it looks like. If everything is good I will order 4 or 5 for the exhibition.

There is a 12% discount if you order 20 or more magazines, thou I doubt I will do that. I might have 5 of them at the show marked at $15 a piece meaning I might make $6 or $7 dollar profit per magazine if any sold (doubtful). Larry will have nice printed catolog of images, so I wanted to have something to show people as well. One advantage of the mag is I can show non dump photos in it, to give people a flavour of the other photo series I am working on.

The magazine should arrive on or before November 14, when I see it I can decide what to do next. If the quality is crappy it might end there. What is more likely is that I will make changes and order a second single or possibly several next time around. I am not sure if the pics will be to dark (possibly), to contrasty or have some other issue, we will have to wait and see.

Quote: Gino Bartali (Cyclist)

"Good is something you do, not something you talk about, some medals are pinned to your soul, not to your jacket."

Dad The Cook

Dad has been doing better this week after having a minor procedure at the hospital the week before. Today he was chowing down on some A&W chubby chicken I bought him, he also ate part of a hamburger. The amazing thing I learned today was that dad made some cabbage rolls yesterday. For years dad was a cook at a farmers market here in Edmonton, making pyrogies, cabbage rolls 5 or 6 types of breads, pies, various deserts etc. Since he got cancer he was unable to do any cooking work but yesterday somehow he felt good enough to make some cabbage rolls (with moms help). When I went down to his house today he made sure mom gave me some cabbage rolls to take home. I joked with him about making pyrogies next, I was only joking but I think dad might give it a try. His appetite is much improved so that's a good sign, mom said he is eating lots of different types of food. Having him at home and eating all his favourites is helping dad, being around the family is also a positive for him. I think that if he was left in the hospital he would lost his will and his appetite and might already be gone. Pancreatic cancer is a devastating disease but dad is 8 months in, 82 years old and still fighting on. I am starting to have some hope that dad might be able to make it to our next birthday, we share the same April birthday. Its a lot to ask, and still a long way off, probably to much hope for but if dad can make it he would be 83 and I would be 51. Christmas is less than two months away, that is a more achievable goal, I hope we can spend this christmas together at the house.

Video: Printing Young Boy In Mae Sot Garbage Dump

Here is todays darkroom effort, the photo is for my coming group show with Larry Louie entitled "Life in the Margins".


Steps to make this 5th attempt print:

Durst 1200 condensor enlarger with 50mm El-Nikkor lens, Bergger glossy photo paper, Dectol developer 1/1 for 4 minutes.

- 70 second basic exposure at f4, filter 1/2.
- Dodge boys face -10 seconds. Round dodge tool.
- Dodge back family figures -30 seconds. Round dodge tool.
- Burn all for edges +50 seconds. Card.
- Burning mask #1 + 100 seconds
- Burning mask #1 top edge holes +60 seconds. Use card and mask to burn area.
- Burning mask #1 smart dirt area on top +40 seconds. Use hand plus mask to burn area,
- Burning mask #2, f 2.8 and filter -1 + 200 seconds, lower area of bag in burn gets 100 seconds only,
  burn bright highlight on top of bags the total 200 seconds.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Current Magazine Layout

Here are some captures of the magazine layout, there might be changes. There will be no type in the magazine except the "Gerry Yaum" on the cover. I was thinking of not including my fake name but then I thought visitors might not understand that the magazine was connected with the show, so I decided to put Mr. Yaum in. There will be a total of 22 images in this 20 page (plus cover) magazine, the final cost of printing should be $4.99 plus shipping.

A Few Of Dad

Here are a few scans of dad I might put in the exhibition magazine. I don't think I posted these before, they were shot around July/August 2014.

GR-21 Experimental Shots

Been feeling lousy the last week or so, balance problems, not sure why, dizzy and the like. I toughed it up a bit tonight on my first day off and developed a bunch of the GR-21 experimental footage. Here are a few scans. Tomorrow I need to start my weeks printing, I want to at least do up 3 negs. I am also working on the magazine tonight, doing up some scans of dad. Hopefully I can send that out for a test printing in the next few days. If everything works out I will make up al final exhibition version of 4 or 5 mags, might even put a price on them ($15?).

Here is the GR-21 stuff: