CHIANG MAI – August 4 2012 – Australian Nick McGrath (above, r) has won the prestigious Golden Scarf Award for the 2012 Foundry workshop. Selected by the workshop faculty, and awarded at the closing slideshow of student work, held at the Art Museum of Chiang Mai University, it rewards the highest achievements in the workshop.
In nominating McGrath, instructor Ashley Gilbertson praised not only his photographic works but also his team spirit, which he described as “second to none.” “He’s bent over backwards.” Gilbertson said, “to assist every single other student in our workshop…”
McGrath currently works as a photographer and editor in Bangkok, Thailand. He entered photojournalism from a career in the corporate world.
One-year websites from co-sponsor liveBooks were awarded to students Min Zar, Guy Likasit, Maneenoot Boonrueng, Kaung Tet, and Barat Ali Batoor for their achievements.
The audience also saw a new installment of the cult video series “The Scarf Saga.” This underground work, only screened at Foundry, stars the Foundry faculty, and is produced and directed by fashion photographer Claire Rosen. The works present important commentary in dramatic form on that all-important photojournalism accoutrement – the neck scarf.
The Sexiest Instructor Awards went to Jared Moossy and Andrea Bruce, to the delight of many in the audience.
A new award was bestowed – to the youngest photographer attending. It went to 12-year-old Jemima Maycock of Banff, Canada (below with Eric Beecroft), who along with her 14-year-old sister Sadie, worked on the same basis as other students producing works on an orphanage in Chiang Mai (Jemima) and street dogs (Sadie). Yes, their mother was here with them, but they were on their own in creating their works with instructor Dave Storey.
The workshop ended with cheers for everybody, copious thanks to Eric Beecroft and the Foundry staff, and a group photo (below) taken by Foundry alum Mervyn Leong.
CHIANG MAI – 3 August 2012 – It was a day in which milestones were reached for some and others were sent back for still more images. Excellence was the byword, and everybody realized it. The pressure was building, but so was the excitement. Work continued on all fronts during the day.
During the evening program, instructors Adriana Zehbrauskas (above), Ashley Gilbertson, Michael Robinson Chavez, Maggie Steber, Jared Moossy and Henrick Kastenkov showed significant works from their career, and answered student questions about them.
Founder Eric Beecroft (below) introduced the evening program by bestowing copious thanks individually to the hard-working Foundry staff and the faculty.
Finally, besides tuk-tuks (three wheel taxis) and songteaus (pickup trucks with passenger seats and covers on the back, operated like a cross between a bus and a taxi), the most popular ride around Chiang Mai is the motorbike or motor scooter. Below, Foundry’s own Hell’s Angels gang of instructors and faculty leave Chiang Mai University on their two-wheelers after a long, hard day, following a songteau with me in the back using my iPhone camera to catch the fun. Gang members are (l-r) Walter Astrada, Tiffany Clark, Ron Haviv, Claire Rosen and Jared Moossy.
CHIANG MAI – 2 August 2012 - Instructor Suthep Kritsanavarin (above left) along with nearly all other instructors spent Thursday evening until after 11 pm at Documentary Arts Asia reviewing portfolios with students. Applying experience, objectivity and insight, they worked while students waited in the street outside, which had been blocked off for the night. DAA also provided a traditional Thai dinner for students to purchase, as well as a team of masseuses working in the street on the muscles of students and instructors (for a modest fee) to help dispel aches and pains resulting from carrying kit and being hunched over laptops for hours editing images.
Below instructor Ashley Gilbertson (l) meets with student James Monroe Adams IV to critique his portfolio.
CHIANG MAI – August 1, 2012 – Andrea Bruce (r) talks with students Rob Goodell (c), and Insiya Syed (l) on Goodell’s preliminary showing of his project work. By midweek students were scrambling to make sure their reportage was evolving properly and that they were producing the best possible stories. Many were sent back into the field to augment elements of their story. Some stories fell away completely, leaving student scrambling to replace them. But there was no shortage of story ideas.
CHIANG MAI – 31 July 2012 – This evening workshop participants heard a presentation by Dr. Paul Harper on psychological trauma associated with covering conflict and social issues, followed by a panel discussion by instructors on the effects they had observed in doing that work.
The panel discussion ranged far and wide, with participants noting the effect of conflict work and why they did it, and in some instances why they didn’t. All acknowledged that prolonged exposure to conflict takes its toll, but wise personal management can permit a photojournalist to cover conflict, perhaps even indefinitely (though there was disagreement on that topic).
Participants in the panel included (below l-r) Ron Haviv, Walter Astrada, Paula Bronstein, Adriana Zehbrauskas, Agnes Dherbeys, Andrea Bruce, Ashley Gilbertson and Dr. Paul Harper.