Tuesday, 21 September 2010

FINAL PROJECT - The Spirit of Vietnam 2010
14 - 21 Sep 2010
The 2nd printed book has returned and is much improved on the 1st proof. The printing system doesn't like a blue sky and has a 'mottled' effect, otherwise the quality is reasonably good for the price. (I have seen this before on colour photocopying without being able to effect a solution.)
The Slideshow is complete excepting for the link to my website.
The exhibition images have all been hung and any comments prior to the exhibition would be welcome.
The written evaluation is completed and along with all of the work will be handed in tomorrow.

Monday, 13 September 2010

FINAL PROJECT - The Spirit of Vietnam 2010
5 - 13 Sep 2010
I finally received the book and whilst quite pleased with the product, there was a tendancy for the images to be a little on the dark side. In addition I have made changes to the content of the text and at Clems suggestion made the text size less intrusive. I have now uploaded for the final print. The book can be reviewed on http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1582811
The Slideshow is now virtually complete excepting for some layout issues which should be resolved this week.
I have now selected 12 images for the exhibition with three reserves. I am off to Lincoln today for framing with a view to making the final selection on Wednesday.
I am now well into the writen evaluation although the revised word count of 2500 is on the low side to cover the work flow and thought processes. This will be nearer 6000 by next week.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

FINAL PROJECT - The Spirit of Vietnam 2010

24 Aug - 4 Sep 2010

The book went away for 1st print on 26 August and this morning resides in Scunthorpe waiting for delivery. The tracking system showed it going to Paris three times so I'm not really sure where it is. Anyone printing a book should allow 12 days on a fast delivery.
The beginning of last week was taken up with the slide show production. It is still being tweaked but I would welcome anyones comments.
The slideshow takes images from the 1st Chapter of the book and is titled 'Remnants of War - Vietnam 2010' It deals with how Vietnam exhibits this period of their history both to the indigenous population and the visitor by covering three aspects of dark tourism: Adulation (Uncle Ho), Participation (Cu Chi Tunnels) and Commemoration (Son My/My Lai).
Sound has been added in the form of personal commentary and background recorded sounds. My voice sometimes has a 'warble' effect when played back and I would welcome comments on this if anyone experiences the same. (We have tested the master voice recording in a sound lab and it is OK) I don't think the BBC will be recruiting me as a David Attenborough replacement!
Ros is kindly working on the title/gallery layout as they have a top heavy location bias.
I have also began printing and selection work on the Exhibition images and am docusing on the dark tourism shots. 7x5 contact images are now stuck to my kitchen wall as I reflect upon the best selection.

Monday, 23 August 2010

FINAL PROJECT - The Spirit of Vietnam 2010

1 - 23 August 2010

My time since returning to the UK has been taken up in selecting through some 2200 images to a final selection of ca 110 for the proposed book. I have been working with Blurb software and am looking to produce on 13"x11" format. I have been using Ros as my prime mentor and communicating directly in Lincoln or via the web.
I am now on ver 6 of the book and am aiming to go to print on 26 Aug which will allow me to have time for a re-print if required. (I wont obviously be attending the print run.)

The book has been broken down into chapters which include; Ho Chi Minh and the Remnants of war, life on the Mekong Delta, Life in the cities, life on the land, life on the sea and rivers and finally 'Open for Business' which covers industry and tourism of a non-military interest. I found it useful once I had reached ver 3 to print a mock up book using a B&W laser printer. I have printed ver 6 in colour to achieve a better impression of the finished book albeit A4 size.

In addition to the book it is my intention to produce a Slideshow and obviously images for the exhibition. These will all be selected from the book images although the exhibition images will concentrate on Remnants of war and dark tourism.

FINAL PROJECT - The Spirit of Vietnam 2010
This is a blast update covering my time in Vietnam during July. There are a limited number of photographs because the site is clumsy and slow when attempting to upload lots of images and place them in the correct place. The site likes to put them where it wants which is not good for my humour.

Sunday 4 July
Fly Bangkok – Saigon arr mid morning. Weather hot, cloudy and humid. Travel by taxi to hotel. Acclimatise pm with a visit to the local market, walk the streets and visit the fine art museum. This is in a run down French colonial building. Many paintings and pen/pencil drawings from the 60’s. Met the group in the early evening and dined out at a restaurant overlooking the city. Rained hard all evening.

Monday 5 July
Weather as Sunday. Cyclo tour of the city visiting War Remnants, Post Office and Notre Dame Cathedral, HCM Museum (closed) the side of the Saigon River and the City Museum. A good way to see the city quickly and not too fast for photography. Unfortunately, the city authorities are looking to ban cyclo’s because they hold up traffic flow. This will be a shame for future tourists if it happens. It was noticeable from my first visit that the number of motor-scooters and more alarmingly motor cars has increased considerably’. Their road systems are 1960’s. How long before they have constant gridlock or kill tourists? Found the Remnants museum extremely moving and the quietness of the visitors became noticeable as they walked around. The exhibits pull no punches and are vividly explicit. It is run down for a major tourist attraction. How must an American visitor feel? Can I capture the mood of this place in my images without just showing artefacts of war?

Tuesday 6 July
Weather as Monday although blue skies as we travelled south. Temp in the mid 30’s! Travelled by mini-bus to Cai Be on the upper Mekong River. Took ca 2 hours to leave the city owing to traffic levels. This will only get worse. The style of architecture results in long narrow buildings with different heights. Explained as being due to land prices in the city, but I am not convinced as this continues into the countryside.
Once at Cai Be we moved to water transport. The waterways are extremely noisy from the huge unsilenced boat engines. The Cathedral at Cai Be (Roman Catholic) looked odd to my western eyes against the Vietnamese backdrop. Cai Be has a floating wholesale market with each boat literally strapping its wares to the mast for identification. Moved on into the motorways which seem to criss-cross one another and vary in width massively. They are a hive of activity with the traffic system only marginaly better than on the land. The rivers are bridged frequently. The hand crafted style seen in the Smolan collection no longer in evidence. It was noticeable that many had no handrails!
Visited several factories including rice paper manufacture, fish and soy sauce, sweets and bricks. They were all cottage industries except for the brick works although mechanisation as low. Wages we were told are ca $3 per day/6days per week/10 hours per day. The owners ‘luxury’ houses and cars were curiously pointed out to us. Capitalism is moving in.
Lunch was at a riverside restaurant with excellent quality local food and fruit. The night was spent in a communal home stay lodge by the noisy riverside. A trip on a small twin oared boat was also made. This was a quieter ride and allowed us to see the gentle side of river life.

Wednesday 7 July
Sunny. Left the Delta very early in the morning for a visit to the Cu Chi tunnels, which was a 4 hour journey. The journey was through rubber plantations and rice paddy.
The tunnels are a major tourist attraction which includes a communist wartime propaganda video, a verbal explanation of life in the tunnels, a walking tour of the area showing a captured tank, a crawl through a tunnel, bomb craters, booby traps and the opportunity to fire weapons. Are the Vietnamese selling the ordnance back to the Americans? Surely not.
Three hours back to rainy Saigon and KFC.

Thursday 8 & Friday 9 July
Saigon to Da Lat in the central highlands. (1500m above sea level) A 10 hour journey and distance of ca 150 miles. Road conditions getting out of Saigon as Tuesday. The journey is a hilly one and so very little rice paddy. Move into coffee, tea, fruit and veg landscapes with some greenhouse cultivation . Visited a minority village of the K’hor people, who do not have Vietnamese as their mother tong.
Da Lat is a romantic city for the Vietnamese. It is certainly cooler. It was the one time summer retreat of the last king who abdicated in 1945 and died in France in 1997. A visit to his 1930’s style estate was made. The city also has several tourist attractions which are curiously 1950’s style. It brought to me the odd thought that at one time these men who were managing silly rides, only 30 years ago would have been fighting men. This is one city whose development over the next 10 years will be of interest.
Other things seen are; Crazy House (Architecturally) Cable car, Culture Park, Embroidery museum and the old railway station including a redundant steam engine.

Saturday 10 July
This was a sunny day and entailed an 4 hour journey through a hilly terrain of the Ngoan Muc Pass down to Nha Trang on the coast. The city is developing as a tourist resort with western style hotels being erected. It was interesting to see part built hotels which had been part built on my last visit. My guide explained this as ‘the money doesn’t always go where it was intended’, which is polite for corruption. The afternoon was spent at a Cham Towers which is a mini version of the temples at Anchor Wat in Cambodia.

Sunday 11 July
A beautiful sunny hot day spent touring a local fishing island and seeing local life. This included the coracle boats, markets and village architecture. It also gave us a chance to relax. The evening meal was taken in a typical Vietnamese BBQ restaurant with the locals. A bit on the non too hygienic side foe me and I paid the price on the following day.

Monday 12 July
This was a travel day in gloomy weather along the coast to Quy Non of approx 6 hours. The afternoon was spent at a home for the deaf and blind. It is unfortunate in Vietnamese society that any debility in a child is hidden away. Only the enlightened will ask for help. The older children work on craft items which they sell. The home is run by charitable donation and staffed by Westerners and those who have passed through the home. It was chance for the children to sing and dance and practice their English. It was a bit cheesy but important to them so worthwhile.

Tuesday 13 July
A 7 hour journey in sunny weather to the Memorial Site at Son My (My Lai). The visit included a video of the opening of the memorial site with footage of those Americans who had attempted to stop the massacre. Is this a way of making visiting Americans feel better? This was followed by an explanation of the massacre from a lady, an accompanied tour of the museum which was primarily ordnance, photographs and newspaper reports. A marble stone with the name of those killed, their age and gender dominates the museum. The outside has several statues which have an aggression whilst at the same time great sadness about them. This part of the hamlet is laid out in plots depicting the houses. Each has a plaque of the names of those killed and mock remains of the houses and dead animals. Mass graves are also marked. The most touching sight is of concrete paths imprinted with the feet of fleeing villagers and the boots of the following attacking GI’s.
We arrived in Hoi An late afternoon.

Wednesday 14 July
Very Hot. The morning was spent looking around this 16/17th century town set on the coast. Hoi An was in the south and not bombed by the Americans. It has a thriving market selling local produce and fish as is common in Vietnam. Its shops are mainly tailors and the town is set up as the ‘made to measure tailoring’ centre of the country. The once thriving early morning fish landing quayside has been moved up river out of site of the tourists. A real shame. Went to a local show of dancing and singing which I recorded part of. I do find Vietnamese theatre a bit too expressive and long winded although very colourful.
Thursday 15 July
Cloudy today. Took a cycle tour of the local villages, lakes and coastline. Well off of the beaten track and able to see the everyday lives of the country people. This is prawn farming country for the locals and tourists. There is a beauty about his aspect of Vietnam which really needs to remain unspoiled.
The outskirts of Hoi An along the coast is being turned into tourist territory and people are being compulsorily moved away. How wrong is this and how far away from what they had fought for? Are the Vietnamese being deceived and are just too tired to protest? Have they been betrayed by their leaders as suggested by Gabriel Kolko in ‘Vietnam – Anatomy of Peace’?

Friday 16 July
A rainy day and I see our first amputee from the war. ‘Americans, Claymoor mines’ he explained. He sells English text newspapers on sunny days and umbrellas on rainy ones. We travel from Hoi An to Hue over the Hai Van Pass. The weather was unfortunate and spoiled our view.
Arrived in Hue, the one time capital and scene of extensive fighting and cruelty at the Tet Offensive. It rained heavily all day, although we made the tour of the Citadel. This was the one time seat of royalty and had had extensive and ornate palaces on a similar scale to the Forbidden City in Beijing. These had been extensively damaged during fighting with both the French and the Americans. It is gradually being restored under the auspices of the World Heritage authorities and the plan is to re-build the whole complex.
The evening was spent at a traditional Vietnamese banquet with entertainment. It Is intriguing to see and hear the sounds which can be extracted from single stringed instruments and teacups!

Saturday 17 July
Started gray and rainy but brightened up by late morning.
The morning was spent on a boat ride down the Perfume River, a visit to a Chinese style pagoda and to see the car which had taken the Buddhist monk to Saigon in 1962 for his act of self immolation.
Spent the rest of the day on the back of a motor scooter braving the conditions of town and country driving. The trick appears to be never to stop, regardless of other road users, lorries and road junctions. Visited rice paddy, local villages and markets, a covered bridge, roadside craft shops, a hill overlooking the Perfume River with the pill box and abandoned royal tombs.

Sunday 18 July
This was my favourite day as we took the 11 hour journey by rail from Hue to Dinh Binh and into the north. The countryside was a hive of activity as the people worked the rice paddy with water buffalo and bent backs. This part of the journey should be made on a bicycle and take three weeks to do. It is stunningly beautiful and has not changed since the days of the images taken by Jones -Griffith and others. Only now, the soldiers have gone.

Monday 19 July
Cloudy day. Travelled to the Cuc PhuongNational Park via more royal tombs near Ninh Bin. This was a real tourist trap with everyone wanting to sell memorabilia at the same time. The incessant sales talk is one area of tourism which needs discouraging.
The National Park has an endangered monkey sanctuary financed by the west. The monkeys are being re-introduced into the wild onto the uninhabited island of Ha Long Bay where they can be protected against poachers. The afternoon was spent walking in the forest but there was too much up hill for my liking.

Tuesday 20 July
An early start in good weather and a 7 hour drive to Ha Long bay along the coastal road. The journey went around the port city of Hai Phong which had been heavily bombed by the Americans. This part of the journey became progressively more industrialised mixing rice paddy with factories and tourism. Arrived in Ha Long two days after a typhoon had caused some flooding and boats to sink. Made the tourist overnight trip on an imitation junk which included excellent food, a trip to underground caves and a swim in the bay.

Wednesday 21 July
The last part of our journey by bus would take 4 hours on the journey to Hanoi along increasingly industrialised roads. Many Japanese high street names were in evidence. An afternoon cyclo tour of the old quarter (tourist quarter) was taken. This is a hive of markets and street sellers selling primarily counterfeit goods.
The evening was spent at the Water Puppet Theatre which thank goodness now has a little humour rather than telling long tales of love and tragedy.
Thursday 22 July
Cloudy and cooler. (It had been +40 in Hanoi the previous week)
Had an English breakfast in a restaurant run by street kids who had been rescued by an Australian one time tour guide,
Afterwards went to Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and Museum. There appeared to be a constant stream of both Vietnamese and tourists to see Uncle Ho. The V motives are understandable, but why do westerners do it? Need to re-read relevant section of ‘Dark Tourism’.

Friday 23 & Saturday 24 July
Last minute walking tours of the city and shopping. Enjoyed the hustle and bustle of city life, the chaotic traffic and the charm of these lovely people. The question of how did they become involved in so many wars continues to cloud my thoughts? I suppose the HCM comment of 2 Sep answers this plus the museum poster ‘Independence or Death’.

Sunday 25 July
Leave Hanoi mid –afternoon in rain for the journey via Bangkok to home.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Production 2 - Diary

Update 26 April 2010
I have moved on quite well over the last week with a selection of 40 photographs titled 'Behind the Barricade - The Bangkok Riots' being added to the Uni Image site. I have also done some sound editing and have commenced learning SlideShow Pro in readiness for adding images, sound and movies with Ros tomorrow. The Riot images will also be included as a separate project as it is not often a traveller becomes involved in such a violent and tragic event.

Pre-Production Diary

Update 26 April 2010
Now that the fun and games of Thailand are over, I can once put some time back into this project. This has been a reading week with me looking concurrently at the subject of Dark Tourism, the hard work 'Anatomy of Peace' which seems to just re-write each chapter in a different order to the previous one! I am also looking at the early work of Phillip Griffith-Jones in more detail and exploring how others saw his work both as a photograpoher and a journalist. I am moving on to researching 'Passage to Vietnam' which has been loaned to me as a CD by Ros. (Many Thanks)
I have also done a little research into post production looking at both Blurb and Loxleys as book printers.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Production 2 - Diary

Update 19 April 2010

I am back in the UK after experiencing the aftermath of the riots in Bangkok on Saturday 10 April. I have no images of the trouble because it simply was not safe and a photographer was killed. I do however have post riot images including death sites and the captured personel carriers. This 24 hours almost put my prime project into the shade. I will post these on the Uni site during the coming week.

However, I am now busily sorting through scores of images and carrying out post production. 40 or so image shave been posted on the Uni photography site for viewing.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Production 2 - Diary

Update 8 April 2010 - Thailand

I have made it to friends from Englandwho live in Pattaya after 8 days of quite tiring traveling on rail, road and ferry from Singapore to Bangkok. This involved 2 x 7 hours and 1 x 22 hours on the railway. I got lots of images of life associated with the railway, each a story in themselves but part of the plot of life of a railway. Most disturbing was the apparent commandeering of peoples homes to build the new railway in Malaysia. This would make for a series of documentary images in their own right. The slums as the train enters Bangkok are upsetting and in complete contrast to the quaint stations seen farther south.
Some technical issues when travelling by train in this part of the world:

1. Every time you get off of the train, the lens condensates up!

2. Two cameras with different lens are essential. (17-55 and 18-200) Don't try changing lens on a moving train.

3. Be prepared to be continually changing ASA values to match the speed of the train.

4. Be prepared to bribe the guard to clen the windows. Scratches you can do nothing about.

In addition to the still images I have been able to capture some video, sound and interviews with people. Am having a couple of days off without the camera before I begin image selection. Back in the UK on 14 April.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Production 2 - Diary

Update 29 March 2010
This week has been a 'get ready' week for the practical side of this project. Yes, I am going to take some images!! Kit is all checked, batteries fully charged, and all packed. Probably weighs about 50kg.
I carried out some sound recording try-outs using several methods and whilst the Marantz was by far the best in terms of sound quality, it's too bulky to be practical when also carrying a 1kg camera and lens.
I am taking two approaches using portraiture and landscape similarly to Martin Parr but with a documentary approach. I am shooting for 'Life on the Railway today' and 'The effects of the recession in South East Asia.' I will decide upon my return which to use for the project. The images of the effects of the recession could be held back and expanded to use the same approach in Vietnam as a combined series of pictures.
Next communication will be from Malaysia.

Pre-Production Diary

Update 29 March 2010

This weeks time was fully taken up on research. I have been looking at the work and career of Griffith-Jone's 'Peacetime', Tim Page's '10 Years after' and Tim Page's book 'Another Vietnam' showing images taken by photographers sympathetic to the North Vietnamese. The genre of images of the first two photographers depicted the struggle for recovery Vietnam faced after the war with the US. Both books hinted at disapproval for the way the single nation was left to fen for itself. They made use of what the Americans had left behind to kick start a devastated people and economy. No 'Marshall Aid' plan was available for them.
The book 'Another Vietnam' was primarily images used for propaganda purposes although other photographs had been added. The book was also accompanied by a TV documentary last year.
It is difficult to envisage war images as potentially sublime, but this book certainly contains several.
I have also been looking at Martin Parr's work on tourism. His tong in cheek approach to linking people to their surroundings when away from home with the use of garish colours is a consideration for the way I approach this project. My dilemma is one of being disparaging to the Vietnamese, which would be morally difficult for me.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Pre-Production Diary

Update 15 March 2010

PreProduction has had to take a bit of a back seat this week in favour of research required for the other three subjects. I continue to read the Kolko book 'Vietnam - Anatomy of Peace'. It is only thin but quite heavy reading. It deals primarily with economic reform, the communist regime, the need for covert capitalism and of course corruptive influences potentially negating sacrifices of the war with the US. I have also begun to research Phillip Griffith Jones's book 'Vietnam at Peace'. His series of images taken over 25 years since 1975 cover all aspects of life as it attempts to recover. He shows lots of early 'tourism' images and makes the point that the need for tourist Dong, especially from Americans, was beginning to see remnant museums and tourist sites being sanitised to avoid offending anyone!

Production 2 - Diary

Update 15 March 2010

This week has been one of those 'sort things out' weeks. I have finalised the travel plans internally in SE Asia. Two problems have arisen - I am unable to book rail tickets for the last leg of the journey from Butterworth into Thailand, so will have to do this in KL. Secondly, as can be seen in the news, they are 'handbags at dawn' in Thailand. If they have a 'sit in' at the airport again, problems for me. Fortunately Thailand is not my port of entry or exit back to Europe. My back up will be to travel as far as the Thai border and return to Singapore by the same route. After discussions with Rob, I am electing to slant the images and interviews to the railway today and the effect if any of the new budget airline 'AirAsia' and the road network. Who uses the railway and why? How do they cope with these long slow journeys? Are they an ordeal or an adventure to remember? Is it a vital artery for the Peninsular or has its day gone? Is the system busy or falling into disrepair as people potentially move to other forms of transport? Alternatively, is it a thriving community, engendering the same love and affection the Indians put on their system? Is the dream of linking Singapore to Budapest still alive in the view of the travellers?
Research has been around the importance of the railway to Malaysia/Thailand, some video practice with a compact camera. Bit wobbly, so I need to get out with camera and sound his week.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Production 2 - Diary

Update 5 March 2010

This week I have concentrated on finalising all of the logistics which are now all finally done.
I have been loking at sound re-cording and dug out my old minidisk player. (Yes I had one) The problem with these machines is that the player and disks are nice and small, fiiting into a pocket nicely. My problem is the transformer battery charger, it weighs about 2kg and is the size of a car battery. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

I have concentrated on research this week and have been looking at the history of Malaysia and a series of images taken by Craig Schuller along the Thai side of the track. To see his images go to:

Pre-Production Diary

Update 5 March 2010

It's been another really busy week on Pre-production with the presentations and Portfolio 1 all having to be ready and handed in this week. The presentations on Wednesday were all professionally presented and useful for picking up ideas. The logistics of my visit to Vietnam have come to the fore with the need to investigate Visa leadtimes and air fares etc. The Visa can waite until early June. Using an agency will require about 1 week to process. Air fares are at an affordable low with 16 weeks to departure and I was able to book from London via Bangkok to Saigon with Thai Airways. I am using Intrepid Guerba to travel with inside Vietnam, a company I know and trust.

The option 'Tourism of War' seems to be the preferred option as this could potentially capture a series of images which are different to conventional overseas photographs. I would be taking an ironical view of the country. Need to research Martin Parr travel images. The question I have to ask myself is that if I were to go down this humerous but poigniant route, will it in any way ridicule Vietnams history???

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Production 2 - Diary

Update 25 February 2010
I have had a complete change of mind about this project!!
It would be useful for me to get some sort of dress rehearsal for the Final Project and so have decided to take the rail journey from Singapore to Bangkok over the Easter period. I was intrigued in that in the 1960's we saw a decline in the use of the rrailways in the UK with the increase in the use of the motor car, the building of motorways and the increasing availibility of cheap air travel. Under the 'Beeching' report we scaled back the size of the network drastically.
The opposite was true in Asia and in the 1960's the 'Trans Asia Railway' was agreed to ling Singapore to Istanbul by conecting existing tracks and constructing new were required. The 'ASEAN and Indo-China sub region' has 12,600km of track in use with the section between Singapore and Bangkok in daily use, including part of the Burma -Siam railway built by POW's in WWII.
My project is to take this journey in three phases (8hrs SIN-KL; 6 hrs KL-BUTTERWORTH and 22 hrs BUTTERWORTH-BKK) I will look to capture images of life at the side of the track of those who travel, work or make a living from the railway. The images will be primarily 'active' portrait images accompanied by link images, text and sound.
Current Research includes travel images (Basil Pao, Lou Jones, Duncan Evans) Lonely Planet Guides, National Geographic, A History of Malaysia.
The logistics of the visit are now completed and will be included as part of the research document.

Pre-Production Diary

25 Feb 10
Starting to think about my MA final project in light of the various lectures. I had already been considering a documentary photography project in Vietnam as this is an area of interest to me. I had been fascinated with the politics of the country since 1945 until the late 70's and the departure of the Americans. I had seen images by Phillip Griffith-Jones, Tim Page (including his recent TV documentary and book 'Another Vietnam'), Don McCullen and others who had taken some of the iconic images of the war. Malcom Brown and his 1963 image showing the self immolation of the Buddhist Monk Quang Duc; Eddie Adams & his 1968 image of the street execution; Ronald Haeberles 1968 My Lai massacre and Nick Uts 1972 photograph of the 'Flight of Phan Thi Kim Phuc.
My interest is leaning to the plight of the population rather than straight war images. There are lots taken during the American conflict by both Griffith Jones in his books 'Vietnam Inc' (1971)and 'Vietnam at Peace' (2005) and Tim Page 'Another Vietnam' 2002. There are literally thousands of books about the Vietnamese war with the Americans and its narrowing them down to the pertinant ones which is my problem!
I decided to keep my options open (with the advice of Rob Coley) whilst carrying out the research. They are:-
  • To capture the feeling and mood of the people today through portraiture and/or going about their everyday lives.
  • To explore the degree to which the war with the Americans is being exploited by the Vietnamese to earn money through tourism and in particular Americans. ‘Tourism of War’.
  • Western influences on Vietnam, despite their rejection of ‘capitalism’ in 1954 (North) 1975 (South)

The areas for research I am undertaking are:-

  • The story and images behind Vietnams post-WWII situation (1945-2000)
  • Vietnam story today and images.
  • Logistics of the project.
  • Post Production and the exhibition.

Need to be careful this doesn't end up a holiday brochure journal, although if any images can be sold separately, why not?

17 - 25 Jan 10

I have been concentrating the rfesearch for and the drawing up Portfolio 1 + a presentation for the 1st pitch due on 3 March

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Production 2 - Initial Idea

The initial idea came to me when watching a TV advert for a Radio 4 programme. I know, how sad that is, but I was trying to get Loncoln out of my mind. The programme was to discuss a series of celebrity nominated items which they saw as influential in shaping the last 50 years. I.e Richard Attenborough – The Microchip. Tony Benn – The Blackberry. Other items included Breast Implants, GPS, The sun battery, The Twin Tower attack and plastic bottles. Some of you may think that I should have gone without the breast implants, but Andy Pipkin of 'Little Britain' obviously had a greater impact than I imagined!

I thought it would be challenging to look at similar events in my lifetime and to represent them as still images.
I began by making lists which broke down into three categories. They were:
  1. PERSONAL - this encompassed things like leaving home for the first time, (I was 5) living overseas, starting a career, getting married and starting a family, getting divorced, having grandchildren, special interests and hobbies, retirement and university and a tragedy. These would fit most peoples lives as a general heading, but the actual event is different emotionaly for us all. I.e some people are sad when a divorce happens, I sent out thank you cards!
  2. WORLD EVENTS - Death of Kennedy, Vietnam War images, the 3 day week, the Thatcher years with the Miners strikes, Lockerbie, the Twin Towers.
  3. INVENTIONS - The vernier guage, the calculator (yes, I remember log books and slide rules) Nylon shirts, the Sony Walkman, Television, commercial aircraft, the mobile phone, central heating.

The list is obviously by no means exhaustive and will continue to grow.
To say that there isn't much that hasn't been photographed may be stating the obvious, but some things have been photographed more than others. (Old Grimsby saying) I therefore need to find interesting images/concepts to capture my lists.
A touch of browsing gave the following 'different' views of well known subjects:-

Computing etc

Television & Satellite

Travel Images

Marriage/Divorce/Fekin Kids

This image really did bring a tear to my eyes as I have a Down'n Syndrome daughter.
This image captures the beauty that these children bring to the world.

Blogging so far
1. When I import from the web, it shoves the image at the top of the blog, meaning I have to drag it to where I want it to sit, at the same time losing the formatting.
2. The layout is not seen as it is in the edit mode.