Films Not Dead

I tried to take as many film portraits as possible during the expedition- which wasn't always possible.

I finally managed to develop my rolls of 120 film. Not everything turned out well, and theres not a large selection of images. But Its beautiful to see the magic of analogue film come to life...

Heres a selection of my old film shots...


The Future of the Project

It was my original plan to work on this project as a shorter term project, for publication in the media, and in time prepare to create a photo book.

After all the research, and looking into topics of which nobody has previously looked into, I saw that there were a lot of untold stories by Cambodias indigenous groups throughout history. The Khmer Rouge had a deep impact on their culture, but also the presence of the French effected them- creating a direct link to colonialism, and the khmer rouge, and as to why many of the the indigenous people willingly joined the Khmer Rouge.

After finding an old french map, mapping an indigenous rebellion, I decided to travel to one of the towns, to try and collect old stories. These events and the conflict before the french, were before most village elders times (though some were young children and have some memories of the french).

Though the elders were still to young, there were still many stories that had been passed down to them from their parents and grandparents. Stories about the rebellion against the french, as well as the undocumented violations committed against them. 

This is something that has not been documented, so I am now looking to continue this project, following the old map. Stopping at every town, to speak to the village elders, and collect stories that have been passed down to them, and taking their portraits using Tintype / wet plate photography- a method that was traditionally used in the late 1800s and early 1900s- the time frame of which I will be looking into. 

I am hoping to continue this project later in the year, after securing funds. Working in partnership with DC-Cam (Documentation Center of Cambodia) Till then, heres the map I will be looking to follow, as well as some example tintype portraits I have shot...

The old french map of indigenous rebellion


FINISHED!

Its the end of April 2017, and almost May 2017... Almost exactly one-year since the National geographic Society contacted me to notify me I was being awarded the Explorer grant.

Today, the field work is finished, and all of my editing is finished and ready to submit, as well as all of the final reports for Nat Geo... The project is officially over!

Its been an amazing year, and hopefully the team at Nat Geo will be happy with the project.

Watch out for more blog updates here in the "NEWS", as I'll be looking to continue the project over time, to create an online database of indigenous stories throughout Cambodias history, adding as much as possible through time...

There will also be updates on publication- when and where this project will be published in the media.

Thanks for reading, and the support!


My Beautiful Untold Cambodia...

The Gear...

Traveling with so much photo gear, and backup gear has always been a challenge. But when traveling for so long, its important to minimize your gear and weight...

I decided to travel with three important cameras:

  • Sony A7- My trusted "go-to" main body, which I shoot all of my stories on. As a mirrorless system SLR its smaller, making it more discreet (as well as lighter!). I only use a fixed 35mm f/2.8, and a 55mm f/1.8 for those tricky low light situations.
  • Canon 5D- My back up emergency camera, though this was my first professional camera of which I used for years. Its big, bulky, and heavy in comparison, but its always been pretty indestructible, with great battery life (they last forever! in case theres nowhere to charge the A7 batteries.
  • Yashica MAT- In the last few years I started to get more and more into analogue photography, and wanted to try out 120 medium format photography. I picked this beauty up in Hong Kong, and try to use her as often as possible. I wanted to try and shoot as many portraits on this camera as possible throughout the problem- many times I forgot, as its difficult to juggle two mediums of photography, but I also managed to get some beautiful shots.

START / FINISH

In May 2016 I received the news from the National Geographic Society that my grant application had been approved, and I was going to be a National Geographic Explorer. Since then, the last year has proven to be one of the most beneficial, and important years of my life.

Its been almost a whole year of a lot of hard work, and a lot of research. 

This project started in May in Cambodia, working at the DC-Cam (Documentation Center of Cambodia) office, doing research before heading out into the field to take photos.

Now almost a year later, the photography field work is over, but I'm busy editing all my material. My "office" has changed, and I find myself taking a break and heading back to the UK to tackle all of the editing for the next six-weeks...


 

Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 2016

 Newcastle, United Kingdom, 2017

Newcastle, United Kingdom, 2017