Thursday, August 25, 2005


resting, originally uploaded by birdcage.

As an early birthday gift to myself this year I recently picked up a decent scanner (finally!) and have been scanning like mad. It's like Christmas in August where you get presents you had forgotten you were getting. I started scanning in slides that I took literally a decade ago and that I've never seen any larger than the slide on a light table. I'd forgotten I'd even taken some of the images I found. I seem to have an extraordinarly number of slides from China, which I think I can chalk up to the instructor from the only color photography class I ever took (during my one overpriced and ill-fated semester at the School of Visual Arts in 1990. I ate nothing but ramen noodles for six months so that I could afford to take a class with an instructor who regularly ranted about my inability to shoot pictures of things that could be used for advertising). I have a vague recollection of him lecturing on the relative merits of ektachrome vs. print film (color saturation; saleability). I must have taken it to heart on some level.

So here it is, ten years later, and I'm seeing the fruits of my Ektachrome labors at last. While there are a whole lotta slides which bear witness to my regular (and continuing) forgetfulness about things like remembering to reset the ISO on the camera so that the light meter actually means something, some of these pictures are images I'm surprisingly happy with.

This was taken in a Hmong village outside of Sapa in northern Vietnam in late March or early April of 1995. Sapa had been officially opened to international tourists in late 1994, and hadn't yet become a standard stop on the backpacker circuit. It was freezing- dropping down to the low forties at night, getting up to the fifties during the day (high elevation). We were the only tourists there for four days. On the fifth day a French couple showed up. At the time there was one hotel and one restaurant. The last time I was there (in 2001) it was a boomtown with hotels popping up like mushrooms and even a four star resort on the hill. I doubt she'll be checking in.

Photo and text by Jennifer, Washington DC. - USA


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