April 17, 2020, Nakhon Nayok, Thailand –
I chose to do this project on 35mm film for several reasons. Even though shooting film has become popular again, that is not my major motivating factor. I want to create a project that will last. I have held in my hands an Ansel Adams negative made in the 1930s, I have visited Lacock Abbey and seen the first photographic negative made in 1835 by William Henry Fox Talbot. I have also experienced 3 hard drive failures in the last 10 years.
With digital images, there is always a process of multiple backups, continually updating equipment, transferring files to new storage locations, and uploading to new online storage platforms. This process works, but for how long? The usual life expectancy of online accounts after a photographer dies is 3 years. The images may last considerably longer, but where, and who will control them is anyone’s guess. How long will friends and family members take care of a deceased photographer’s computer and hard drives? Obviously, that will vary, but in most cases, not that long. I realize provisions must be made, and care must be taken to insure film negatives will survive over time, but the chances of negatives surviving in the long run, are far greater than digital files.
I started documenting life in rural Thailand, in 2010 and only recently switched to “Real Film” for my work. The changes I have witnessed in just 10 years have been enormous. When I arrived the fields were being plowed with a hand tractor, there were very few large shopping malls. Today modern machinery is used in the rice fields, and shopping malls are in every city of any size. This has convinced me of the importance of my project. The way of life that Thais live today in small communities is rapidly changing and soon will only be a memory. I will do my best to preserve this way of life on film.
I will be continually adding images / posts, as time goes on. There will be minimal (if any) captions. Most don’t need an explanation.
Prints of my work can be purchased at https://lee-craker.pixels.com/
Lee Craker, posting from Nakhon Nayok, Thailand.