Photos of a dried fish factory while on a work trip to Mui Ne.
One negative aspect of living in Southeast Asia is that you tend to miss out on certain pop-culture elements from your home country. I remember when I came back from living in Cambodia in 2005 after being away from Orange County, California for a couple of years and having my sisters tell me that Orange County was now cool.
Luckily, the world is a smaller place thanks to the internet. Which brings me to my obsession with AMC’s Breaking Bad. Crazy wide camera angles, ultra saturated colors, time-lapse makes it one of the most visually stunning TV shows out right now. I have linked a couple of greats interview with Michael Slovis, who is the Director of Photography, here and here.
One aspect of my obsession is constantly checking out websites on new information on the exploits of Walter and Jesse. Through these constant page clicks, I discovered the amazing photography of Frank Ockenfels, who has been the official promotional photographer for Season 5. His body of work is stunning and he is responsible for some of the most stunning publicity shots I have seen.
It’s not only his knowledge of photography that makes him an amazing photographer but how he manages to capture the moment that makes his images so great. So I end with another Breaking Bad image that makes inspires me in it’s simplicity and power.
All photos taken by Frank Ockenfels.
Around an hour ago, I received a very broad request for images and started looking through my image archives. While perusing through the photos, I started reminiscing about past events documented through my lens. I don’t really take many press photos anymore having diverted my focus to commercial and travel photography but working with the reporters and the camaraderie I felt with the other PJ’s working next to me is something I truly enjoy.
With that in mind, I have collated a few images that I have taken over the past 4 years.
First off is Mia Farrow’s failed attempt to place flowers in the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh. It was a complete media circus. About 30 or so photogs and equal amounts of journos. And in the middle of it all was Mrs. Chhay Channyda, working with the Cambodia Daily. Practically every shot I had was with her standing right next to Mia Farrow (she is to the right of Mia with a striped shirt on). Channyda is currently working with the Phnom Penh Post.
The second photo is of Mrs. Kuch Naren and James Welsh covering the 2008 National Elections. Both still kicking ass at the Cambodia Daily. Much love for Naren who quite possibly has the highest pitched voice in Cambodia and is also one of the best journalists I have had the opportunity to work with. As for James, well, he’s a dirty pirate hooker.
Third set of photos were taken during the first weeks of the border dispute at Preah Vihear temple between Cambodia and Thailand.
Below is Charles Fox, a UK based photographer that spends quite a bit of time in Cambodia. This trip was planned on a whim and took no less than 2 hours to prepare. On a side note, do not, never ever, go to Howies at 4 in the morning sober.
The third Preah Vihear photo is editor-in-chief of the Cambodia Daily Kevin Doyle, hanging out with some Cambodian soldiers.
The fourth set is another Preah Vihear themed set but taken 2 years later.
First is Rick Valenzuela aka Pretty Ricky. A former stills guy, he is now a full fledged video shooter working with the Phnom Penh Post.
The former photo editor of the Phnom Penh Post, Tracey Shelton is in the next shot, hamming it up for the camera. She is currently working in Iraq training photojournalists.
Heng Sinith is the focus of the next set of photos. A veteran agency shooter, Sinith has seen it all. He is also a bit eccentric which comes off in the photos.
Lastly are some various photos of different events and people.
I don’t envy this guy. On the way back from Kampot to Phnom Penh
One of the impacts Phnom Penh has seen from the global recession as been a decline in the housing boom. This is apparent when you look around the developments around Pochentong Airport.
Charles Fox did a great photo spread in the Cambodia Daily about it a couple of weeks ago. If you haven’t seen it, you should check it out.
But you can check out the great illustration of the model housing advertised on the side of the road.
Taken in Russian Market before shopping for the upcoming holiday. Possibly the best coffee in Phnom Penh. I am still wired after drinking it 4 hours ago.
Taken on a long day of errands in preparation for a trip to England and the Middle East in a week and a half. Took this snap with the Ricoh just outside the best coffee shop in Phnom Penh located just west of Psar Thmei.
I know that the dozen of you that follow this blog will call shenanigans on what I am about to use as a photo but bear with me.
Photographers are relying more and more on their computers as their digital darkroom. That being said, having your computer work for you as opposed to working against you is a must in this day and age.
I guess that’s why so many photographers use Apple products. They just work. Their single minded approach about form and function is unparalleled.
Along with the fact that OS X is as easy as chips to use, it is also extremely flexible in terms of usability. Which brings me to the photo I am about to show.
This is my desktop. As you notice, it isn’t your normal desktop as it is running several different programs that help me throughout the day.
On the left side of the desktop, you will see several shells that I have created with Geektool, a PrefPane (System Preferences module) for OS X.
I am also running Rainlendar, a desktop calendar that has made life alot easier for me.
So starting from top to bottom, you can see:
1) Geektool shell for the current time in Phnom Penh and various timezones that I need to know.
2) Rainlendar with a To Do list along with an Event Manager
3) Geektool shell for hard drive space on my OS X partition and my Windows partition
5) Geektool shell for RAM Usage
4) Geektool shell for Processor Usage
5) Geektool shell running a terminal command line Twitter update
That is only the tip of the iceberg of what Geektool is capable of.
Now take a look at the menu bar up top.
Starting in the middle, I have
1) My Geektool preferences
2) Google Notifier which runs a calendar and more importantly, Gmail.
3) Growl which notifies me whenever something happens on my computer. This is good for downloads.
4) Menumeters. This is a set of CPU, memory, disk, and network monitoring tools for Mac OS X. What I have running is my wireless network bandwidth.
Along with these running on the desktop, I also have a couple very important background applications that I couldn’t do without.
The first is AppTrap. One of the main problems I have with OS X is that when you delete a program, associated files usually aren’t which takes up hard drive space. AppTrap takes care of that problem.
The second is the aptly named Cameras. Cameras manages the connections of all the cameras related devices that I own. So instead of having Finder open up for all my cameras and Compact Flash cards, I can have Cameras select Finder for my Ricoh, open Photo Mechanic for my Canon 5D along with my Express Card Reader and open iPhoto for my iPod. Any photographer who owns multiple cameras should own this program.
I guess I have completely outted myself as the geek that I really am. But it has made my life alot easier as it aggregates everything I really need in front of me so I can spend more time getting on with my life.
Its a sound I hear every morning around 9 or so. “Eb Chhay…. Eb Chhay….”
Eb Chhay is a person (generally ethnic Vietnamese) who walks around town with a 2 wheeled cart and buy back pretty much anything that can be recycled. What doesn’t get bought by them gets sent to the notorious Stung Meanchey garbage dump.
Taken on Mao Tse Tung at a light near the Russian Market. A couple of kids hanging out in a cart goofing around.
Sue and I went to the Meta House last night to view a documentary in progress about Vann Molyvann, an architect who has built such iconic structures like the Independence Monument and the National Olympic Stadium.
Sadly, most of the buildings that he has designed are being left to decay or flat out destroyed in the name of progress.
So I am putting in another photo taken for the Cambodia Daily a year ago when the French Cultural Center organized a tour with the architect to view and talk about his lifes work.
Stuck trying to get back to the house.
I wonder who it was…