Product Photos, Marchi Leather, Bangkok.

January 13 was an auspicious day, as it was the date the repair job on my Fujifilm XE2 was due to be completed. The camera had got fried in the trunk of a black Mercedes, on the motorway out of Bangkok. The Fuji Service Centre in BKK reckoned the motherboard was gone. I was without body for 3 weeks, and my 5 lenses gathered humidity.

Marchi tools layout.

I went back to Fuji to got the camera, and then received a call from Chitra, asking me if I could go shoot a product job. Immediately! Jump on the train! I will text you the lady's name! She will pick you up at the train station!

Outside the station I groaned - she was driving a Mercedes, too. Thailand makes you superstitious after a while. I put such thoughts aside, and clutched my camera bag as I got in. Joy spoke very little English, but was friendly, I  was in safe hands.

At her showroom, I appraised the situation quickly. Leather products, wallets, bags. I was without lights and tripod, so it would be available light. Her assistant went across the road and bought a large white piece of card as a bounce board. I also decided the wooden table would make a good background.

As soon as I fired up the camera I realised it was still broken. The lcd screen and view finder were flashing on and off, and going white intermittently. I thought, "what the hell, I can cope, I used to shoot 'blind' with film."

It was tricky, but I got through it, and Joy drove me back to the station. As we said our farewells she gave me an envelope of cash. It was generous, but we are talking Thai Baht.

PS. I left that damn Fujifilm XE2 in Bangkok. Loved it, but it is not working. Looking at the Fujifilm X Pro 2 now..

Purple Marchi Handbag.

A New Job: Photographer, Art Gallery Of NSW

I am excited to be moving to Sydney this week to take up a position as photographer at the AGNSW. Some years back I was in the equivalent department at the State Library of NSW.

These departments shoot with the very best - Broncolor lighting and Medium Format digital, then down to SLRs. I was actually thrilled to see that the AGNSW also has a Fuji XT1 - what has happened to me, when that is my preferred camera these days!?

I will be shooting for catalogues/books, for online access of images and digitising of collection, and events. I also hope to do more video work, interviewing artists, as I was with my former online gallery, Artworldtv. 

The gallery has a Frida Kahlo exhibition coming up mid year, too. This is nice on a personal note, as my father took me to the opening of her first major retrospective at Bellas Artes, in Mexico City, in 1978, when I was 12. The show was beautiful and terrifying. Tom Kreisler remained a champion of her work, lobbying in New Zealand in the early 80's to bring a show of her paintings down under, but to no avail. In spite of this, Mexico was to be an enduring influence on his own paintings.

Pictured below is one of Tom Kreisler's final works, A Brush With Death:

Tom Kreisler, A Brush With Death, Acrylic On Canvas.

Portraits - 3 Emerging Thai Designers.

Sadly my Fujifilm XE2 is in the Fuji repair shop, after it got fried in the back of my friend's (beautiful) Mercedes SLK 200 sports car when I was driving out of Bangkok, to Rayong. Word of warning - NEVER put your black camera in a black Manfrotto bag in the trunk of a black Merc in the tropical sun! My other camera, a Fujifilm X100s, was in my L2 Tan Billingham, with the lenses, and it was cool as a cucumber, despite also being in the trunk. The little black Manfrotto bag acted as a heat trap, and became the coffin for the XE2.

Long story short, I have had to shoot everything since on the fixed lens X100s. This has been challenging in some cases, especially portraiture, where I would prefer to use my Fuji XF 56mm 1.2, a fantastic lens. Nevertheless, the X100s is no slouch to have when the other camera goes down, or as an everyday travel camera.

These images of Thai designers were shot at my partner Chitra's place, at Sunshine Court, in Bangkok, when she was having a mentoring session and instructing a crew of young talent on the weekend gone - Thai's only take a few days holiday at this time of year.

Forty Emerging Thai Fashion Designers.

I photographed the work of some very exciting designers yesterday for Silpakorn University, at the Centre For Culture, in Bangkok.

Really amazing clothes, a lot of talented designers.

The shooting was done in a large office, with available light - I used a white board as a bounce reflector. Still rocking the Fujifilm XE2 camera, and I did all the shots with the 56mm 1.2 lens.

The Jump. Designer: Siriyakorn Toonsuppawat. Model: Kamonluk Sawangsri.