Can Tho

February 8, 2010

Okay where to start? First Friday is a great art scene in the SE part of Portland. I was at the 23 Sandy for the artist reception. The place was packed. I got to see my friends and my teacher!
I stood near my image ‘Indian Point’ to answer questions. Near me stood Josh Hobson’s and his image “Coming, Going, Coming.”
I asked Josh where that was taken and when he said ‘Can Tho’, I could not believe my ears. That’s where I grew up I tell Josh this. Josh was listed as a non-portland artist because he was just a few weeks ago. His picture arrived in Portland before he did. Josh had travel with his wife in Vietnam and Korea (to teach English). Portland has welcomed Josh in a big way because his other image is showing at the same time at the NewSpace Center for photography. (The show is call Carnival.)

I had to show Chris Bennett’s picture: ‘View from Hart Mountain’. I thought it was quiet a coincident and thought I make a post of it. The show will be on until the end of February.

Nha Trang

December 7, 2009

Originally uploaded by Christian Lagat.

Christian’s been doing some very exciting work in Vietnam!  He uses a Ricoh GR digital camera that is compact and easy to travel with.  Christian captures the gentle pace of the country and beautiful compositions of the shores of Nha Trang,  a place that I was too young to visit when I lived in Vietnam.
Check out his collection of Vietnam.  This set is from Can Tho where I used to live.  I’ll have to ask him his reasons and perhaps conduct an interview.

Duc:  So how do you find the opportunity to travel to Vietnam for Pictures

Christian:  Hi !  Thanks a lot again for your interest in my pictures !  I’ve been only one time in Vietnam. This year, in spring, for 3 weeks. It was a tourism travel with my wife and my 2 boys (15 & 13).
We really enjoined the trip…people, landscapes, food, everything was perfect !  We’ve been only in south and central Vietnam, and we would like go to north in the future.

I wanted to go there for years, because for my generation, specialy for people like me interesting in politic and history, Vietnam was the terrible background of our youth. When I was a kid in the 60’s, I was very impregnated by all the vietnamese city names I heard on the radio.
Another reason, is the fact that these recent years we travelled four times in india, and I knew that it will be very much “restful” to go in Vietnam for my kids and wife…;-)  Cam on.

Duc:  Hi Christian,  You are right about the names which have also impregnated my mind as well.  Especially, Nha Trang because my oldest sister went there to visit.  It was a very popular destination even back then.  I was too young to visit but saw photographs she brought back which was taken by a professional photographer.   At first, I thought you were a photojournalist working on a project on Vietnam. Your work is very impressive. Have you been photographing long?  What is your advice on travel photography? I like the India series. There have been serious documentary work done on India and Vietnam. Michael Ackerman and Mitch Epstein come to mind. Which photographers do you look at?

Christian:  In fact, now, I’m not vey interested by Photography with a big P.
I was a little bit when I was young, 30 years ago, when I read a lot of magazine and books (I remember to be very impressed by the work of Raymond Depardon and Don Mc Cullin) , but now, I’m just traveling, or walking in my own town, shooting and shooting !…;-)

Have a nice week-end.

Related Link:  Diligam’s set on Flickr of Pulau Bidong.

Ricoh GXR

November 10, 2009

Well, I think it’s a brilliant idea. The sensor should be coupled with the lens. It makes sense if it’s going to be digital. The sensor won’t get dirty this way. The black and White back is a nice idea. The leading companies like Leica, Canon, and Nikon have their legendary lenses that seem to hold back camera designs. The Leica M9 is a good example. Ricoh has some heritage in older equipments but is not held back by it. In the future when sensors improves, the body still works and if you want to shoot with older sensor for a retro look that’s cool too. It’s like going back to the film cameras of the 80s or 70s.

In fact this should have been the very first design of the digital camera because the sensor technology has improved increasingly. This would have save us some money and let us upgrade only the lens and sensor and allow us to get used to the body and it’s menus and buttons. It seem a little bit too late in the game because sensors are so superb now. Ideally, the new camera should have interchangeable sensor separate from body and lens, like the medium format camera such as the Hasselblad. This is why it’s possible to shoot with a 50’s Hasselblad with the new digital back. It’s a good start to move away from film based camera of the SLR. But this move seems like it could harken back to the medium format cameras.

I would thought that the next progression is for an interchangeable sensor.  It doesn’t seem far fetch.  It makes sense to have the body separated because the digital technology has maxed out at 3 inch for the display screen.  Any bigger would be bulky and 3 inches seems the right size to view images.

The digital view finder also flips to 90 degrees which is like the medium format style of shooting at waist level.

Update:  Recently, Ricoh have added the module which allows the Leica M Mounts.  So the resurgence of the GXR is back.  The only reason I knew about the M mount module is through Tomas Van Houtryve.  National Geographic asked their photographer what’s in the bag.  Here is his gear.  His book on Lao is here:

Lunch Poems

September 25, 2008

Here’s a productivity tip that I found on 43 folders:  lunch-poems.

The story is that Frank worked at ArtNews in New York, and during his lunch time, he would walk into the Olivetti typewriter show room and type out a poem from his mind at that moment.  It is one of the reason that I own an Olivetti.  It had the immediacy which makes me think of blogs and emails.  I think that Frank would have been a great emailler, blogger, micro blogger texting in his updates through a Blackberry.  Sadly, he died at 40.  His death was even mythic.  I remember my friend from High School telling me about the Dune Buggy accident on Fire Island.  I learn about the New York art Scene and artists through Frank’s writings. 

Franks poems are genre crossing (to use a buzz word). They are also diaries, letters, dedications and notes to friends.  He made poetry accessible.  He had a philosphy about life and writing call Personism, A Manifesto.  Personism, I recall from a long ago reading of it is this:  Frank said that if some one is chasing you down the street, you don’t stop and pull out your diploma from Harvard and say I’m better then you, no you run and use your cunning to win over an opponent, you prove yourself at that moment instead of being defended by your past title etc.  This was inspiring.  His basic aesthetic meter was also less intellectual.  He had a metaphor of a pair of jean, is it sexy and tight and will it get you into bed?  I never heard of anyone spoke about poetry in that way.  He made it more appealing without letting the technical aspects of a poem get in the way of the enjoyment.  You can read about it here:

Frank with a typewriter

Gus Powell picked up on this idea of Lunch Poem in photography.  

Jen Bekman’s Blog call Personism.

20×200 jeffrey-krolick


April 9, 2008

There is a new trend in converting those one shot photographs into animations. provides music for up loads. One can use their library of tunes or up load one’s one audio file. It’s connected with flickr and photobucket. Animoto looks for sets in these account that one has to link. The shorts are free for 10 or so images but full length will cost a little more but affordable. For $30 will buy a year’s worth. Try it out first to see if you like it. I just did a quick one and the option to blog was irresistable.  You can also send it to YouTube video.

If you sign up mention this code:  iyqbzlro for $5 off.

Photobucket also provides slide shows of photos that are in sets.

Least Wanted

February 16, 2008

2/14/29Originally uploaded by Least Wanted.

I was just listening to Weekend America and heard about this exhibit of old mug shots. The collector, Mark Michaelson has put some of the best silver prints on flickr. With his permission, I wanted to share it in a post. Mark cull some of the best old silver prints from ebay.