Short blog note

Half of 2016 has flew by and I still have a backlog of photos to process, galleries to update, and zines to print. It’s not entirely bad though, since I’m working at my own pace and making sure I work on photos I truly enjoy—and that never gets old. If anything, it’s a good reminder that my photography continues to be a great source of happiness.

More to come, but here’s one for the weekend.

Muse, Singapore, 2015. © 2016 Callan Tham. All rights reserved.

Updating the website, bit by bit

I’ve been updating the galleries bit by bit and getting some feedback from folks I trust—it’s a slow process, and I’m glad it’s only needed every now and then (about 2 years or so is a good timeline)— and the Nudes gallery is probably the furthest along. Go ahead and have a gander, would love to hear what you lot think.

In the meantime, here’s one of Sara Scarlet from the first of our two shoots while she was in Singapore. Besides being a great person to work with, she’s also become a friend I appreciate, and I hope to be able to visit her in her neck of the woods soon. (Since the photo doesn’t expose anything it should be SFW.)

Sara Scarlet, Singapore, 2016. © 2016 Callan Tham. All rights reserved.

More to come soon, after I take a little breather outside of this country and up on a mountain.

[NSFW] Doing and sharing work is underrated

I’m busy with a week-long creative arts workshop this week, teaching bright-eyed and bushy-tailed students about photography. It’s pretty amazing to be in the same room with young people who are motivated, and even driven, soaking up every bit of knowledge I could send their way. I loved sharing my work, as well as showing them great photographs from great photographers—by way of photobooks—and seeing them soak in photography.

The energy level naturally waned after a long day, but there is an inexplicable satisfaction in seeing emails from them containing their initial edits come in long after their expected bedtime.

(I hope that last bit doesn’t get them into trouble.)

The workshop does not require my presence today, so I managed to meet up with a friend at my local coffeeshop, just catching up, exchanging stories, and of course, sharing work. He’s managed to radically change the direction of his work, and I have to say I was impressed with what he has been pushing himself to do. Also, congratulations on your album launch, Mingwei!

It’s a shame that a lot of photographers these days focus on things such as photo competitions (hah!), or how to achieve fame in the shortest time (double hah!), or even show their superiority by putting down other photographers. There is so much drama in the local photography scene that I’m glad I’m not that involved, even if I want to. I’m getting too old for this shit, and I’d rather be doing, and sharing, work. Isn’t that why we all get started in the first place? To explore our art, push our boundaries, working with others, and soaking in it all? 

I don’t have an answer. I can only keep on doing the work. And sharing them. So here you go, an art nude from a recent shoot with Ivory Flame. Not sure if it’ll go into the gallery, but it’s good enough (to me) to share. Have a gander.

Ivory Flame, Singapore, 2016. © 2016 Callan Tham. All rights reserved.

More soon. Meanwhile, back to work.

[NSFW] A long overdue update

Looks like it has been a long while since the last update, and to the (maybe) six of you who read my posts, I apologise. Obviously, lots have happened since then—I quit my job, found a new one, welcomed the birth of my second child (it’s a girl!), lost the job, and have been up to no good since then. And still managed to shoot some stuff.

It sounds exciting, but not really. I always tell people things could always be better and that I’m surviving, and even though that sounds pessimistic, it isn’t; that’s just how I view the world. Truth be told, I could hardly be happier in my personal life, despite the chronic sleep deprivation. So here’s something to end off on a happier note, in addition to more posts and updates in the near future—an art nude of the gorgeous Ivory Flame in our recent shoot together.

Ivory Flame, Singapore, 2016. © Callan Tham 2016. All rights reserved.

That’s gone straight into my Nudes gallery. More to come soon.

Bits and bobs

1. While I have certain issues with the phrasing of the premise, mostly because the overwhelmingly bourgeois self-perception of photographers in Singapore (especially prominent ones), there are some interesting and diverse opinions about Singaporean photographers and politics here, courtesy of Kevin at Invisible Photographer Asia:

Those who know me knows I believe the two (politics and photography) cannot be separated, as I believe everything in life is political. Some can separate their work from their beliefs, but I think that does both a great disservice and can lapse into the worst sorts of rationalisation with some impressive linguistic acrobatics. Better to work for oneself and let others come to their own conclusions, misguided or otherwise.

2. “Like many others, for example Harry Callahan and Elliott Erwitt, Josef Koudelka has steadfastly made a refusal to construct verbal scaffoldings around his photographs.”Mike Johnston

I work very much the same way, in complete understanding that most people prefer at least a small, interesting anecdote to go along with photographs. I personally enjoy such anecdotes when it accompanies good photographs, but those are rarities compared to the multitude of HONY-wannabes that might give you a great caption or story to elicit your warm-n-fuzzies in order to shore up weak photography.

Yeah, that’s what I think of HONY too. “Sorry, not sorry”, as the parlance goes.

3. For reading this far, here’s your reward: an art nude photo from my recent shoot with Mia. NSFW obviously.

Mia, Singapore, 2015. © 2015 Callan Tham. All rights reserved.

4. I responded to one of Format’s (which hosts my site and this blog) regular feedback surveys and asked about the RSS feature for the blog. This is their response:

“Sorry but our team have been busy with other projects and we haven’t been working on an RSS feed for our blogs.

I am unsure if this will be added as a feature in the future.”

That is disappointing. Format’s presentation for photographs is one of the best out there, and just a couple more features will make it a one-stop solution for people like me. Right now I’m wondering if I should continue to blog here, or move back to Tumblr, where it’s far easier to run a photo-diary/-blog deal compared to Format. Maybe I’ll just use their “blog” feature as “updates” or news”.

And yes, I know this isn’t the first time I’m talking about this. Big update post soon.

Using Format