Dippin’ in the travel stash

I like stashes.  I like keeping stashes.  Sometimes I purposely stash shit in places I know I’ll forget about only so I can stumble upon it again one day and surprise myself.

So what DO I stash…ha…chocolate, pharms, clove cigarettes, mementos from special occasions.  Oh yeah…foreign currency.

Today’s capture of the day is just me diggin thru a bunch of left over money from places I’ve visited trying to scrape up enough Thai Baht for a taxi from the airport to my hotel when I land in Bangkok.  And maybe enough Korean Won for a Starbucks when I transfer in Seoul.  Since I’m considering a side trip over to Cambodia it wouldn’t hurt to grab some Riel outta the stash either, huh?  Although USD is always the preferred method of payment in Cambodia.

On to digging…


Great idea. Now how am I going to pull this off?

Endearing Yourself

One week out from leaving and I’m still wrapping up loose odds and ends related to work I’m doing here.  I haven’t had the time to actually sit down and formulate a plan on how I’m going to execute the project I’m heading overseas to do.  I mean, I have a very developed idea, it’s not that.  It’s the part where I actually pull it off.  The project in and of itself is loosely centered around the theme of being “untouched by the hands of time”.  That’s open enough where it allows me creative liberty to explore a variety of interpretations.   Yet also so wide that without a focus it could just get all A.D.D leaving no connecting line between images therefore making for a choppy story.

It’s going to require that I interact with people.  It’s going to require that I make myself understood and endear myself to the people I’m working with. Fortunately I’ll have access to the cultural center all day and night during my stay.  Hoping to maybe start around there and see what type of connections I can make with the locals.

I guess most important is going to be my need to communicate that I’m working on an art project.  Just brushing up on some pre-flight vocabs.  To any of my Thai friends out there reading this….I apologize in advance for my poor spelling.  I’ve probably written something offensive somewhere.  ขอโทษนะขรับ

 


Technical Rambling

 

In my last post I was talking about what to pack for the trip.  There’s clothing and basics and then there’s technical stuff.  The technical stuff is perhaps the toughest part since a lot of stuff is fragile, valuable or both.  I don’t want to over pack and bring gear that I’m not going to use but then again I’d sure hate to be left in a situation where I’m damning myself for leaving behind a roll of special effects film for the ONE time I’m out in the bush and I feel like shooting color infrared.

Bringing the Bronica is a no-brainer.  But what to load it with?  I only have one back as of today although I may pick up another before I leave if I can find one at a decent price and that can get here in 6 days.

So here’s my arsenal of film, 2 rolls of Black and White Ilford XP2, 3 rolls of Fuji Velvia 50 for some really vivid max saturation work.  One roll of Lomo Purple which is supposed to mimic color infrared film.  On order… 3 rolls of Black and White Ilford HP5


2 weeks out from 6 weeks out. What would you bring?

Two weeks from today I leave for sabbatical.  There…I said it.  It’s real now and it’s getting more real as each day passes. I wanted to pickup on my travel blog in an effort to train myself to create at least one capture per day.  Since I’ll be working on a special project while I’m traveling this will ensure that I have a daily deadline to meet and that I stay focused on the project; or at least on photography.

I went and fished out my bags today and I’m here staring at them trying to figure out what to pack in which bags.  There’s necessities of course, and then there’s the valuables which you always wanna make sure are in your carry-on.

The current plan has me traveling for at least 6 weeks.  At the end of 6 weeks, I guess I’ll decide what comes next for me.  I’m keeping an open mind about this project and journey.  Inevitably, I’ll get lonely and miss the comforts of my home since I’ll be traveling alone.  So that being said, I’ll toss this question out in the open forum….


Apsara

 

Before I left for Asia the first time I had been communicating with a designer who was working on a project which was heavy in Eastern artwork.  I was assigned the task of coming back with some raw images which could be stylized for a lounge type environment with dim but very direct lighting on wall hangings.  I must have photographed near 30 temples in a span of 48 hours while I was in Chiang Mai.  They are literally everywhere so it’s not [too] hard to accomplish.  One temple I found particularly interesting had doors with gold leaf figures pressed onto them.  Thai artwork has always intrigued me.  The spindly shapes of the bodies and the delicate curvature of it’s limbs creates lines for my eyes to follow which feels like it draws me into a story.

The figure in this image is called an Apsara which is the rough western equivalent of an angel living between the heavens and the earth.  They are know for their beauty and are particularly well-versed in dance and song.

This is a highly stylized photograph of the temple door I described above.  As I worked with this image and added layer upon layer of digital color I began to notice that it was keeping most of it’s metallic properties.  When I created the print for the final I used metallic paper and covered it with sheet of acrylic.  Metallic paper combined with hard direct halogen lights from above gave this image a three dimensional effect.

 


Baan Thai Village :: Chiang Mai Thailand

 

TRAVEL_sRGB_BaanThaiVillage

 

On my first trip to Thailand I felt it was really important to try and get as much of a feel for all of the country in one trip.  After getting over jet-lag and acclimatizing  in Bangkok  for a few days I felt the need to venture out of the big city and out to somewhere less crowded.  I headed north to Chiang Mai.

Now Chiang Mai is not rural by any means however, it is a completely different environment than Bangkok.  It’s easy-going, quaint, and I found the locals very laid back.  The climate was wonderful being about 10-15 degrees cooler in temperature.  It felt easy to just meander the streets with my camera taking in all the touristy stuff and every so often feeling brave enough to test my newly learned phrases.  I stayed at a place called Baan Thai Village which in English translates to Thai House.  The design and decor was built to give the look and feel of a traditional Thai house in the northern region.  One night out in the courtyard before venturing out for the evening, I sat by the pool and captured the wonderfully intimate environment.