Webinar with Gary, July 31st

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Notes from today’s webinar with Gary, not necessarily in order of importance, and referring my last weekly reflections – Week 7 and Week 8.

Noting that I said that we had heavy humidity at Ta Prohm, the moisture affecting images from condensation could be interesting. Do I have such images, or did I keep ‘wiping the lens clean’?

The backgrounds in the pictures held by Sarath’s neighbours raises questions about how they were done – type of backcloth, location and so forth. Do I have the provenance and stories of such images?

In the rephotography example, at Kroursa Yates School, Gary noted that the same tree was featured. Always good to have such anchor points. Consider novel ways of using such images, rather than just side by side (eg collage).

Gary noted that this morning’s image on Instagram, of Sarath, Vanna and Mary surrounded by the video paraphernalia was reminiscent of my work with Andrew Mlangeni and the BBC crew. A story? A theme?

I explained that I had been experimenting with different ways of taking portraits for the stories. Gary thought that I should consider taking portable backdrops next time for portraits, to build a consistent look, as it’s clear (to Gary) I have no issue ‘setting up’ shots with the local people.

I have also been building a library of images for ‘traces’, and will shoot more in the next couple of days as my focus. I did note the image of the dog at Pol Pot’s Cremation Site, though hard to see its use.

Unfortunately, I did miss the opportunity to depict the kids interacting with old photos of our previous visits, though I do have images of teacher interaction.

The kids had however been told about us, hence the ‘selfies’, especially at Kroursa Yates School. There is a mutual history here, even with the young people, for the next trip.

Picture by Keo Sarath

I noted how helpful Lukas Birk had been in suggesting ways to ‘localise’ the project.

As we prepare the book to print in Phnom Penh, local visual literacy could be quite high – everyone takes pictures, even in the country. Re-read / re-look at John Berger’s ‘Ways of seeing’ to see how he handled this.

In any case, beware of becoming a book illustrator.

The involvement with the election, even its impact on the workshop (I had to drop it) is worthy of inclusion.

Consider writing on images, to sell the stories (Sarah Newton), in the style of this week’s Guest Lecturer, Welby Ings.

The other recent lecturer, Laura Nissinens use of the gallery in Finland might also be of interest. Will watch both recordings when back home.


Berger, John. 1972 (2008 Ed.). Ways Of Seeing. London: Penguin.

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