Out to Space Year Four: The Explosions

April 2007March 2008

Halo
A partygoer at Sydney’s Mardi Gras Sleaze Ball dance party, September 2007

After some decent exposures in the year three, the blog exploded with number of works and some new directions. The milestones that contributed to it were not just in the blog but also in my personal life.

From the last’s year momentum, I was frustrated with the old content manage system. So I moved to WordPress. The first post rightly went to a photo gallery approach, which somehow reflected on my inner thoughts of a new beginning.

From then on it became the platform that I could write about other stuff such as food, politics, the Internet, and so on. But photography was still the main medium I blog the most.

Another ripple effect from the previous year was the photos for Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival. I won an awarded as the Best Use of the Medium. The prize was a license of Adobe Lightroom. It helped my production workflow tremendously. Most of all, it boosted my confidence to kept on pursuing on the photography.

After the high, I hunted down events in Sydney to photograph. And it was just astounding about the city’s multiculturalism. Starting with my own heritage—Thai New Year—followed by Cypriot, African, and Chinese and went to dance festival, an APEC meeting. And the year rounded up with Mardi Gras Festival for me as an official photographer for the second year. Sydney had these amazing subjects to work with, I found.

It was a challenge to shoot event photos for me as an introvert with social anxiety issue. Somehow I managed to isolate myself and get into the zone while being in big crowds. And they might not be in good behaviours. My brain and body got exhausted after each event but it was worth it because I pushed myself to get out there and capture people in the city. Skills and techniques improved. Most of all, I got good portfolio.

While I was enjoying event photos, street dump photo collections were piling up. The Nokia N90 made it so handy to capture them without carrying DSLR everywhere.

A selfie while writing a short film script at Brighton Hotel, June 2007
A selfie while writing a script at Brighton Hotel, June 2007

I didn’t know what to do with them until Metro Screen opened a workshop—Sydney Songlines. I send a proposal about the photo collection of abandoned chairs in the streets of Sydney and got selected. That practice was the start to use the blog as documentation of the process. It also was the beginning of my ambition to do more of videos that led me to apply for a Master degree at College of Fine Arts, which I got accepted but it was deferred to the following academic year.

Another major landmark was the Thailand visit. I was the first time in seven years in Australia. (It was good to show Stil what I was made of.) I though it would be good to tell stories about going back to your root after you were away in a different culture long enough to see your homeland in a different view. So the blog was, for the first time, the platform to document the travel. Primary, I take photos but also wrote about the place and combine photos and turn into videos. That added to huge collection of materials that was enough for me to work on until 2008.

Passenger terminal at Suvarnabhumi Airport, December 2007

It also the year I joined Twitter and Facebook. I had MySpace and Hi-5 (Thailand’s most popular social media back then) but they were engaged me as much as those two. The emergence of social media was very noteworthy because it would the landscape of how we connected and how I blog.

And by the beginning of 2008, back in Australia, the blog became an odd mixture of cultural events, trip to Thailand posts and photos of dumped furniture on the street.

Celebrating Australia Day, 26 January 2008
Celebrating Australia Day, 26 January 2008

The year ended up in March for me to be an Aussie officially. The key reason for that was to be able to get the Government loan for the Master degree. I was looking forward to the study. And it would shape the blog post later on.

Looking back, it was one of those very busy years photography. It was the most active year in photography. Many of my personal all-time favourites were from that year. And video works starts to get serious.