Photo Posts

Under the brooding tree

Past the pond and brooding tree

cross the sand and clay muck

where oxen wander

boys hide

in brush caverns

and gather sticks

from a paddy, baked

lash bundled heaps and enter

water brown as skin

cool as coffee

on a long morning

and float under a brooding tree

and Cambodian sun

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Shadow puppets in action

Written by on November 28, 2011 in Photo Posts with 0 Comments

New shadow puppets in action for the first time at Sovanna Phum

I hardly took out my camera last month. I needed the break, and my other work takes priority. But a few days ago, I stopped by Sovanna Phum and learned they had a special event that evening–a ceremony and special performance to launch their new set of shadow puppets.  The event was attended by many of the regular artists plus people from the community, a couple of donors or their representatives, and others who straggled in like myself.

Eating in a quiet spot backstage

I’m interested in the families of performers. This boy’s father and mother are traditional arts performers. He is studying to become a drummer and his younger sister is studying dance.

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Two from Takeo

Written by on September 9, 2011 in Photo Posts, Photos and Stories in Progress with 0 Comments

I would love to chronicle a year of rural village life, tracing the lives of people through the seasons and rituals. But I live in Phnom Penh, and there is no end to what I can do here. I took these last week in Takeo. The villagers were planting rice, because the rains have finally settled in. Cows wander free during the dry season, but now they must be kept away from the freshly planted rice.

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Working at the Russian Market

Written by on August 15, 2011 in Photo Posts, Photos and Stories in Progress with 1 Comment

Workers building a new shop in the market pause for lunch

I’m continuing to photograph people and life inside the Russian Market (Psar Tuol Tom Pong). I hope to finish work by November, and we’ll see what comes next.

So far I’ve enjoyed the project. Every time I enter the market I get to practice speaking Khmer and meet new people, most of whom are friendly and enjoy having their pictures taken. This week I’m taking steps to make it official: writing a letter to the governor of Phnom Penh asking permission. I learned that I need permission if I’m not “taking tourist pictures.”

Preparing a fresh duck

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More photos for a Sovanna Phum story

Written by on July 25, 2011 in Photo Posts, Photos and Stories in Progress with 0 Comments

Sovanna Phum had Apsara dancers last night, so we all went to see. Sovanna Phum runs on a tight budget. They often have other kinds of contemporary and traditional dancers, but they only rarely have Apsara. Apsara dancers require intricate costumes and extensive training, so naturally they cost more. Backstage two or three young men, plus other performers, helped the dancers get dressed. Parts of their costumes had to be sewn on. Here are a few photographs. I’m starting to hold back the best photographs as I think about when and how to show them for the first time.  On a side note, I’m really enjoying getting to know the people at Sovanna Phum. I was able to help them get their website updated and teach them how to do it themselves. I’m looking forward to learning and telling some of the stories behind the scenes.

After the show the headgear is put in plastic and everything goes back into a metal chest

 

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Down by the river in Kouzu, Japan

Written by on July 12, 2011 in My Family Photos, Photo Posts with 0 Comments

Sometimes Japan surprises you. The cities have great parks, with carefully planted trees and occasional rivers coursing through nearly endless gray concrete neighborhoods. This park by the river in Kouzu has another surprise, an anomaly. An old man tends a shed filled with odd bicycles contrived (perhaps by him) and hand made: pandas, tandems, bicycles propelled by bouncing, and others, plus regular unicycles and ten speeds. And every afternoon he signs them out for free to whoever comes and asks. Kouzu is my wife’s home town. We often went walking and riding by the river when we stayed there.

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