After several years of losing my “Photography Mojo” heres my first post in as many years. During this time I ended up buying the small yet powerful Fuji Xt20 to keep my hand in. Its an absolute beast of a small camera and if ever I felt the urge to shoot it never disappointed .It uses interchangeable lenses to allow for alot of flexibility .
A few months ago I had to go to Phnom Penh, the Capital of Cambodia . I had to go for Visa reasons and was in two minds whether to take my camera or not. Luckily I did and for some reason I was in Black and White mode ALL the time . I dont Know Why but its all I was shooting in and was kind of how I was viewing life there. I was in Phnom Penh about 8 years ago and today in 2018 it is unrecognisable . Its inundated with fully stocked Lady Bars, street Urchins are running riot and the millions of Tuk Tuk drivers where quite simply a pain in the Arse. Its certainly a few decades behind Thailand yet it was still a friendly place and I always felt relatively safe . I didn’t do a lot of photography but enough to get me back in the zone for a few hours and it kept me out of the many Bars selling Hanoi Draft Beer for less than a $1
2 months later I was in Hanoi the Capital of Vietnam and didn’t have to think twice …the camera was packed before my Calvins. Same strange thing happened though “Black and White” was the setting AGAIN! . Fuji has an in Camera Acros filter that mimics the old Fuji black and white Acros film rolls and Photographers around the world are loving it . I spent several days wandering around the chaotic hustle and bustle hitting over 15km a day and was back in the zone like the old days . I would occasionally stop for my favourite Vietnamese iced coffee at one of the many welcoming coffee shops and never had a problem with decent food. They do love their Bread and noodles, so it was a good job I was on foot all day . Unfortunately there is a still a certain area where Dog is on the menu, but luckily its only a small area and I would think it would be easy to avoid dining there as you can clearly see whats for sale. Again I felt safe on the streets BUT you certainly need your wits about you. Chaotic is an understatement in the Old Quarter as the locals go about there day to day life .. I always stay in the Old Quarter to taste the true grit of Hanoi.
I guess in my mind the black and white better captures the grit and strength these characterful cities have to offer . I still have few more months left here in Thailand so will be getting the tripod out and getting some more of those epic sunsets (in colour ). Then its back to the UK to earn some more of that money stuff (again) and the first thing I will be buying is the Fuji XT3. Read a few online reviews and seen a few reviews on YouTube and its looking like a Phenomenal Camera with a great price point. A friend of mine here in Samui has just bought one and said its certainly punching above its weight and is nearly a match for his Canon 5Dmk4 ..WOW!
Been time rich whilst on my travels I love to take my time wandering around and soaking up the environment , the Camera allows me to do this and once I am in the zone its almost like meditation . I have amassed thousands of images from all over the place over the last 7 years so will always have plenty of interesting content to play with and will hopefully be tidying up my collection soon . Its a rather intimidating job at the moment but its always fascinating to relive where I have been when I dig into my old folders. I also have a few exciting trips in mind over the next 12 months ,New York , Iceland, Arizona and Cuba should all be heading my way and the Xt3 will be my tool of choice due to its compact power and Tech.
I will still be keeping this website Live, as I mentioned in my previous post SEVERAL years ago, as its a nice way for me to reminisce and look back at my journey. I have actually met quite a few people over the last couple of years that have checked out my website due to word of mouth , friends etc recommending they take a look . I must say its quite humbling and in a way kind of embarrassing as I haven’t put any fresh content on it for years ,so I need to raise my game a little and at least post a couple of times a year . I guess I was already contemplating posting again ( as if its a big deal )…BUT how can I after “The Last Post”?? Well ironically yesterday I received an email from my Smugmug account (this takes care of all printing and digital downloads) ..I had made another sale! I cleared $1 after tax for a digital download . As crazy as it sounds thats why I am prepared to lose money every year keeping “www.chrisbirds.com” live , I love the fact that somebody can buy and have bought my images . I am clearly never going to get rich with this mindset but it rocks my boat that I made $1 from my Art. The fact that it costs $200 a year to keep it live is another story and something I have to forget about , it usually takes around 24 to 36 hours after the annual automated payment has been taken for me to accept the loss .. lol .
So here we have some of the Black and White images I caught with the XT20 .Many have already been shared on my Facebook page but as this is a more permanent way for me to document my journey here they are . I will do a more vibrant post in the future …but it may take a while ..