Forgotten Film II

Really just some more of the same. I’ve been bogged down with boring assignments, but I’ve got the morning off so I’m thinking about taking a little walk around and getting some personal work started. We’ll see how that goes.

Forgotten Film

After two posts from my new small point & shoot digital camera, I’m taking a few steps back in time and putting up some frames from an old Holga. I found some exposed film hiding in a plastic bag behind some files in a drawer in my house. I developed it all this morning having absolutely no idea what was on them. Some of the images are almost two years old, with the most recent being from around eight months ago. What a great little surprise.

I tend to hold off on developing and scanning 120 film here, because, as you can see, the images get pretty distorted and screwy (even far beyond what a Holga will normally do to an image). But with my new “Don’t Get Mad, Get Creative” campaign, which I just made up, I’m kind of taking a liking to the little mishaps that happen along the way with things like this. One of my 20 New year’s resolutions was to shoot more film. This seems like as good of a kick in the ass as any.

How often do you shoot film these days? Or is everything digital?

Ha Long Bay Redux

Just a few new images from my latest trip to Ha Long Bay aboard the Bhaya Cruises, a highly recommended operation. Good times relaxing on the deck, drinking in the sunset and kayaking around the karsts. Though I still think, as this gentleman once pointed out, that boat companies should consider more tours tailored to expats living in the north, instead of just touting the same old tired vacationer vessels. No cave walks, no cooking lessons, no “authentic fishing villages” and no exercise on the deck at 6am. Just a cabin filled with Bia Ha Noi and some floaty tubes to tow behind the ship while it lazily cruises about for two days. And if they could figure out a way around the three-hour drive from Hanoi, that would be nice too. There are helicopters.

Ha Long Bay Diesel Fume Sonata

Fumes on the Bay

I’ve been busy looking through images from Ha Long Bay these past few days, both for the magazine and for possible singles I can use as stock. This one in particular I like, though not for either of the before-mentioned reasons. It’s eerie and strange and nothing but abstract shapes and colors, yet something about it drags me in. And isn’t that what blogs are for: small fleeting things that tickle your fancy?

We were out (the writer, a Dutch guy and I) on the back deck trying our hands at a bit of squid fishing after the sun set on the first night. Squid fishing basically consists of shining a really bright light into the water and waiting for the decidedly dumb animals to think, “Hey! Something shiny!” and make their way to the surface, at which point you, the fisherman, scoop them up with a large net or something similar. Not exactly ESPN Sport Fishing material, but it sounded fun nonetheless. Sounded. For the 30 minutes or so we were out there not a single squid showed tentacle one anywhere near the water’s surface. One of the crew members said it was because squid season was over, but I’m more of the school that the same chugging diesel engine responsible for the beautiful, other-worldly colors present in the photograph above was scaring any would-be dinner companions away from the vessel.

Anyway, the trip was fantastic and the personnel on the ship were more than hospitable at every turn. I’d highly recommend the company, Bhaya Cruises, to anyone wanting to travel to the bay in style. Me? Give me an inner tube and an ice chest filled with Halidas. And maybe a flash light for some squid fishing.

Scattered and Such / Ha Long Bay Blues


I leave tomorrow morning for a three-day luxury junk cruise in Ha Long Bay. It’s for work, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say it feels quite a bit like vacation as well. However you look at it, it should be a rollicking good time. Midnight karaoke, shuffleboard on the deck, really wide martini glasses and more. Though to be honest more likely it will be exactly the same as every other trip I’ve taken to the bay. Seafood lunch, a learn-how-to-make-springrolls tutorial, gawking from the safety of our rooms at small children trying to sell sea shells (by the sea shore), people on boats offering beer and crackers and other junk food (what else do tourists eat?), a trip to a “traditional” fishing village and as always that goddamn cave that everyone goes to that has rocks that look like pictures from your high school anatomy textbook. Lots of cellphone cameras, too.

I shouldn’t be this cynical; I’ve got a free, all-inclusive three-day ride ahead of me. The brochure even says there will be kayaking and a journey to a secret beach (then how do they know about it?). I really can’t think of a better way to spend the first three days of my week. I should stop my whining.