Film Photography | Daily Life

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I’ve been trying to keep a camera on me most days these days. Usually a small compact or something that fits snugly over my shoulder without adding too much weight or occupying too much thought while I’m out and about. More of a simple exercise in simply seeing the world. I’ve been trying to capture more movement, to see my surroundings more as a cinematographer might. Reading more film theory and editing concepts and trying to apply that to stills and street scenes from daily life. Studying rigid forms in an attempt to be a bit looser I guess, mostly with the belief that art is a kind of struggle in contrasts. Blah blah blah.┬áSo anyway, here are a few photographs from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Hong Kong. All shot on black & white film since the break of 2017.

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Hardcore Rehab at Tham Krabok Temple

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Rehab is murky and sweaty and crowded with strange smelling men and chanting monks and stray dogs and everyone is drinking foul liquid to make themselves vomit at least once a day… Or at least that’s how it is at Tham Krabok temple, a few hours outside of Bangkok, Thailand. Known for a bit of a take-no-prisoners approach to cleaning up, the temple has been brewing up a secret concoction for detoxing via the purifying beauty of, well, throwing your guts up. The patients imbibe the foul, swamp colored liquid and then heave noisily into buckets and drains for the during of their stay. Ideally, they leave Tham Krabok changed in mind and body and free from the bondage of illicit substances. Apparently it works. And work brings freedom. Here are some tearsheets from a story I photographed at the prison. The writer recounts things with much more elegance, so alas. For now, we’ll have to do with a few pretty pictures of grown men puking.

Back in Bangkok

For a few days at least. I’ve spent the past week working on an assignment around the city, narrowly avoiding heat stroke while trying to capture scenes from every far-flung locale in the capital. Someone told me the weather was lightening up, but I’m going to have to disagree. This year came and went too quickly. Still trying to get my head around it. I’ll try to get some kind of recap down in the next few weeks. Until next time, here’s a small image of a really big place.

Everything Went Black | Bangkok, Thailand

King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama IX, died a few days ago in his hospital bed in Bangkok, Thailand. I’d just arrived back in town and was immediately sent out by the news wires to cover the events. Crowds wore black and lined the streets to pay their last respects on Friday as a procession took the late monarch from Siriraj Hospital to the Grand Palace. I only managed to catch a small glimpse of the proceedings, which were overwhelming and emotional and grief filled. I don’t really have the words or knowledge to describe the king’s life and the current state of the Thai people, so here are two articles that do a better job than I ever could: an overview and obituary by The New York Times and a nice and thoughtful piece from The Straights Times as well. I’m posting these pics in black & white as a sign of respect and solidarity. Thailand isn’t my home, but it’s a beautiful and deep and complicated country, and I wish only the best for it moving forward.







A Few Days in Bangkok

Inside the Wat Pho complex in Bangkok, Thailand.
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A garland of flowers inside the Wat Pho complex in Bangkok, Thailand.
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After what feels like forever traveling around the region on countless amazing assignments, I have a few days to finally relax and kick back in Bangkok. So here are a few images from a magazine shoot a few months ago that took me traipsing around the capital. For now, I’m off to get lost in some alleyways and bowls of noodles. So until next time.

Child Boxing in Thailand

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This was a tough assignment, photographing child boxers in the poor outskirts of Bangkok. Not tough because of access or subject matter or anything like that. Tough in a different way. Tough showing what it was really like without falling into classic cliches of poor youths quite literally fighting to survive in a harsh unforgiving environment. Because while it was certainly that to a certain extent, it was also so much more. Muay Thai is for all intents and purposes a sacred sport and art in Thailand: graceful and disciplined and beautiful and savage, much like the country itself. It’s an honor to fight, and while it attracts poor youths much more so than those born with gilded golden spoons in their mouths, it isn’t only for their dreams of making it big and getting out and all those other big words and phrases that have captured the world’s imagination on more than just a few occasions. It’s also done out of the pure love, the sheer joy, the absolute simplicity of it all. Muay Thai is Thailand as much as anything else. From youths onwards. And so really, this is just the beginning.

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A portrait of Boonsong Samrong outside of his home and gym in Rayong, Thailand.
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The crowd and gamblers at Thepprasit Boxing Stadium in Pattaya, Thailand.
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