Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Quote: Roger Ebert

Two days before his death at the end of his final blog post, Roger Ebert wrote.

"So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I'll see you at the movies."

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Joys Of Printing

I finally got back into the darkroom last night for a short 7 hour printing session. I have been having trouble getting back into the dark even thou I have dozens of negs I would like to work on, heck I probably have over 100 negs that need to be printed. All I can think of thou is dad so it just did not seem right to print. I solved that problem last night by printing one of the photos I took recently of my father.

Dad in bed, July 2014
After 7 hours in the dark I managed to do up a OK print but I think I can draw more out of this important negative. This exposure was an attempt to tell the story of dads life with cancer, how it has affected everything he enjoys in life. Dad told me "It has taken everything away from me." I wanted to show his vulnerability, despair and weakness. The pic was made with a 21mm, Leica M6 and Tri-x at 800 ASA. I feel because I am shooting only one film I am really starting to learn it now.

I need to continue working on the neg, trying some different photo papers and maybe add a 3rd burning mask. Today I used 2 masks plus some dodging and burning at different filters along with bleaching. I will wash then dry the prints and tone them in the coming days. The next time I print I will try a colder tone paper, and maybe more contrast. I might also play around a bit with the developer.

I am not sure how photogs can either get others to do their printing for them or do it digitally, the darkroom is such an essential part of the process for me. Tonight when when I was printing I was agitating and caressing the print of dad as it sat in the developer tray. I was trying to coax it to life, it all seemed so hands on, so personal. Some how to me getting others to do it for you or doing it on an computer just seems so wrong, so limiting, so lacking.

I always get told by those around me to take the easy why, to do things the fast way by using digital cameras and processes. Then I have a session like last night that is so beautiful, so pure that it puts all my doubts to rest. I know I am on the right path doing things in the traditional way with film and I will continue down this path for the rest of my life.

I was happy, very happy to spend 7 hours with my father tonight.I will get back into the dark and continue working on this neg as soon as I can. I want to show the matted fine print to dad.

Sunday, July 27, 2014


I have been thinking a lot about what I want to say with my photography, what message I want to communicate. What keeps coming back into my mind over and over again is this simple truth. I need to show the humanity of my subject. It should be that simple, the power of the photograph and the importance of the individual can be expressed in that single idea their "humanity".

Ot the man in this photograph died before I could give him his picture. When I returned to visit him in 2012 I was told by several people he had passed away.

Ot Klong Toey Slum, Bangkok 2011

Hector Pieterson

Doing some research tonight into the oppression that happened in South Africa under the racist apartheid governments of the 70s.  I am reading and larding about the life and death of Steve Biko and the Soweto uprisings that lead to the death of 700 school children. Hector Pieterson became a symbol of the children who died in the Soweta protests, uprising. The photo below told the story of his death, The description is provided by wikipedia. Once again the power of a single photograph helped raised awareness and contributed to positive change for a country and its people.

Hector Pieterson being carried by Mbuyisa Makhubo after being shot by South African police. His sister, Antoinette Sithole, runs beside them.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Photo Diary Of Gerry Yaum, THE BOOK

Started working on a new project just for the fun of it. It is a blurb book based on this blog. The inspiration was a wonderful Irving Penn book I love to browse through called "A Notebook At Random" which is sort of a scrap book of random Penn images. I thought I would do something similar, a combination of photos and writings from this 7 year blog. It should be fairly easy to put together as all the the words are just copy and paste stuff from the blog and I have access to most of the scanned images on my hard-drives. I will try to put together a 100 pages. A lot of these book idea project things just come and go as a fad when I get bored I stop working on them. Lets see how this one comes along, it might make it until completion.

No one is interested in this stuff but me, but it is still fun to design books and hope others might be interested. Imagine actually having a real book in a real book store! It would be cool to just watch a person flipping through the book and watching their face for reactions. I do that when I watch visitors at my shows, I am always curious how people react to the work.

Will try to make this project fun, scans of hand writin things, and travel related paper items along with writings pulled from the blog. I want to fill the book with imagery and thoughts.

Here are 2 possible covers, I have a third vertical nude of a ladyboy sex worker in a short time room that I like the best.

Bla freelance worker, Thailand 2009
Larry on the cover of the diary book.

My Phnom Penh Villa!

Continuing to look at some places to rent in Phnom Penh Cambodia. Here is my Phnom Penh VILLA. Imagine that a Villa, runs $285 USD a month plus water and power. Pretty cheap for the size of house, thou it's to big for me and probably to expensive when I get a single room at a much cheaper. Still wouldn't it be fun to stay in a place like this for 6 months or so making pics of the Cambodian people all day then returning to my Villa at night!

Not sure what kind of fruit that is growing in front of the Villa in the 3rd photo but I want to try it!

Dear the best Customer
I would to rent my house that have
1.The house side 7.5 m by 16.5 m
2.Have three bed room and each room have one bed and one mattress.
3.Have one big bathroom inside have hot and warm water.
4 Really nice good price just $285
5. Good to make NGO office or Company office have big land a round the house you can park many car and motor you want.
6. Have one nice big kitchen wood next to villa.
7. Have one washing machine, one refrigerator.
8. Have one big flat screen TV 32 inch have more than 200 Chanel
9. Electric charge the same price as what government charge.
10. In front or the Villa big tall wall and nice design.
11. Land side 30 by 64 matter 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Busy Week Off?

I want to do some printing this week off and also spend as much time with dad as I can. I have a confirmed workshop for Thursday so that will take a 3 or 4 hours but most of the rest of the week will be just normal day to day activities. I need to spend more time in the darkroom, ever since dads illness I have been thrown out of my darkroom routine. I have not had the drive to create in the dark. Dad was happy today so that makes me feel like working in the darkroom again. I will try to get back into the dark tomorrow sometime. I wanted to make a fine print of the neg from a few days ago.


Dad Had A Good Day

Visited dad tonight, no crocodiles in sight! Dad looked good, his colouring was very nice, he had eaten a bunch today and yesterday even made it out to a restaurant for the 2nd week in a row. Considering all he has been through dad looked good, weak, very thin but good.

I have a gift card from a high end restaurant I got for Christmas from work, before I wanted to use the card to take dad and mom out but then dad got ill. Now it looks like we still might be able to go out to dinner together as a family, maybe for the last time. I had thought that dad's restaurant days were behind him but since he went out 2 weeks in a row, he should also be able to handle this meal. When I asked dad today about going out together he seemed willing and eager to give it a try.

I can use the gift card ($100) to get dad a free lobster tail or two. Hopefully he will eat and enjoy it. We are 5 months into his diagnosis for advanced  untreatable cancer but dad is still fighting along, not giving up. Today was a good day, a fun day for me, I cut his lawn and spent time talking and joking with my father. Later in the week we will give the expensive dinner a try.

Dad said something today, something that surprised me,  I only half heard it because it sort of just snuck into the conversation. He said something to the effect that it was good I had plans to do the things I was doing. It was like dads way of saying he was happy and proud at what I was doing with my life. In the past he has supported me quietly giving me money, worrying about my safety etc, without saying to much about the photography, but today it was different. This might be the first time he actually told me he thought my making photos, spending my life that way was a good thing, a positive thing. It happened so fast and the 3 way conversation switched topics before I could really grasp things but I think that's what he meant.

Crazy Dream

Don't usually write about my dreams but this one was so  crazy I thought I would mention it. I just woke up  on my first day off after my 7-12 hour security night shifts, it is 5pm Monday.

I was in Thailand with dad and mom ( in real life they visited me there in 2003 and I took them on a 2 month tour), in the dream dad was very sick as he is now in real life but in the dream we were visiting  a crocodile farm. For some reason dad fell into the water and a large crocodile took him under water and swam away. I ran after him and could see dads white body in the crocodiles mouth underwater. Dad was not moving and limp, his arm loosely moving about,  it was terrifying to see dad that way, far underwater and being taken away.

Eventually the crocodile let him go and I reached in grabbed dads hand and lifted him out of the water. Dad was still alive but all cut up on his arm and back from the teeth of the crocodile, we talked, he was still breathing. I got him to the crowded busy street and carried him in my arms to a chair but he was having problems breathing, I could hear him struggling to breath. Dad was bleeding with a big tear in his arm and bite marks on his back, long open cuts.

I then started speaking in Thai to people nearby and asked a older lady on the street to call a ambulance for him. The lady was trying to call but could not get help for us, no one was coming. I felt desperate and did not know what to do. Just when I thought all was lost a real life friend of mine in Thai I have known for years was there she appeared almost by magic wearing a uniform and took over the situation, she called for help on her cell phone, she spoke to dad and cared for him. Everything seemed like it would be OK, it seemed dad might be live through this ordeal.

Then I woke up, a crazy violent dream mixing in a bunch of my fears and real life experiences. I hope I do not have any more dreams about dad and crocodiles (an animal I have always been afraid of).

I better go over to dads now I am supposed to cut his lawn tonight, it might rain.

Renting A Room In Phnom Penh Cambodia?

Thinking more and more of spending a long term trip in Phnom Penh Cambodia. Living in Cambodia is much more hardcore compared to Thailand plus the language would be a problem as I only speak a few words of Khmer. Still the photos might be better in Cambodia and the rooms might be cheaper, thou very very basic. To save money and to make better pics I do not mind roughing it a bit for 6 months. I know this place will be safe because it has a security guide.

Big New room discounts only $120 a month,  Phnom Penh City.
Cable TV
WIFI free with high speed in your room
24Hour security guide
24 Hour camera security
Room: Bathroom and Kitchen included
Parking Space