Category Archives: Photography

All the Way to Memphis and Toledo

So.

I bought the album for some reason. Mott the Hoople Live. Probably, before I'd boughten it, I'd only heard one song from it on FM radio. Undoubtedly the front and back covers made an impression. Anyway, the first song on the first side was called All the Way to Memphis. It's great, with a tinkly, funky, sad, happy and powerful little piano riff on the front. The piano was played by Morgan Fisher. The song is about going to Memphis, obviously. That song was my favorite.

So, about 25 years later, I was in Tokyo and thrilled to be asked to photograph the American South, for a Japanese magazine. The same day I learned of my flight confirmation to Memphis... Morgan Fisher called! He lives in Tokyo and we had plans to meet, but it was still one of those synchronistic little events that make one wonder.

Anyhoo... I just saw this poster in Bangkok.

vintage rock posters

discovered in Bangkok, 2018

And, for what it's worth, the lead singer of Mott the Hoople once put on one of the best live shows I've ever seen. Ian Hunter. The opening act was John Cougar Mellencamp who performed with his head wrapped in bandages; the result of a mishap the night before. Toledo Sports Arena, 1977?

I am writing this in Chiang Mai Thailand at dawn, April 17, 2018.

Songkran 2

The original Songkran post is here.The photographs were taken with an iPhone 6s.

Songkran 1

The original Songkran post is here.

The following were taken with an iPhone during the 2018 Songkran Festival.Water Festival Thailand The conclusion to this series is here.

Two emails about Chiang Mai food from Any Way in a Way

The following emails are reprinted with permission. They contain information helpful to those visiting Chiang Mai. More than this, the professionalism and obvious joie de vivre of Olga's emails make them casual,little masterpieces of written communication.

Olga's stunning photographs of vanishing cultures can be seen at Any Way in a Way.

..................

Hi,

Enjoy Chiang Mai, I like this place. It’s touristy but special. The more I stayed, the more I liked.

We are now on Koh Phangan. It’s a beautiful island, rather quiet despite its reputation for Full Moon parties. It becomes very busy for 3 days for the party before becoming again a sleepy island. Sapphire-blue sea and white sandy beaches, exactly what I was looking for. The only downside is food – the food is almost twice expensive compared to the rest of Thailand, and local food stalls are not everywhere. We drive for 10 min to eat locally (but expensive compared to the prices we used to pay). But well, we have sea in return.

Sure, you can post my recommendations. I have a few more 🙂

Another specialty of Chiang Mai is Chiang Mai sausage. It’s unbelievably tasty, spicy, with a lot of ingredients inside such as lemon grass etc. One of the best is at Isan stall I recommended yesterday. The best sausages are in the places where are not many tourists. Otherwise, they don’t make it spicy as it should be.

· Hideya Ramen: surprisingly great Ramen. It’s a tiny place operated by one passionate man.

· Rosy Cheeks: tasty and very photogenic. A little Asian fusion restaurant.

· If you want to try Thai Chili Frog or other quite rare dishes - Loong Thai Khao Gaeng.

· Kanomjeen Khunnai Mae: very special rice noodle place.

· Rustic and Blue: delicious and beautifully presented western type dishes. All coming from their farm. But expensive.

But what I really miss is the quality coffee of Chiang Mai. There are many barista style coffee places, with the quality comparable to the coffee in Sydney, the best place for coffee in the world

My favourites are:

· Akha Ama: great coffee, and the prices are very reasonable. They have 2 locations. One is near the Old City.

· Ristr8 is absolutely the must. In Nimman.

· Ristr8to Lab: same owner as above but different in style. They are located close to each other. In Nimman.

· Cotton Tree: great coffee and great place to relax. Quiet compared to other busy places like Ristr8. Try their affogato – coffee with ice-cream, very special. In Nimman.

· Omnia: quality, great coffee with some unusual creations of the month. In a residential area of CM.

· Graph Cafe: stylish tiny place in the Old City with great coffee. Their speciality is Nitro and Cold Brew.

· Ponganes: long-established place in CM, great coffee. In the Old City.

· Pacamara: same as above, long-established place in CM, great coffee. In the Old City.

· Asama Cafe: outside Chiang Mai in a beautiful garden near the lake. Really great coffee in a peaceful setting.

There are also 2 places I find special:

· Begin Again: coffee is not the barista level coffee but the setting in amazing. If you feel like you are in the middle of a jungle. You can find photos on our website https://anywayinaway.com/coworking-spaces-cafes-chiang-mai/

Penguin Ghetto: nice place, quite special, odd I would say, and coffee is very good.

Enjoy!

Olga

.........................

Hi,

How do you find Chiang Mai? Have you been to Chiang Rai all this time? Was it good? We didn’t stay long time in Chiang Rai, just enough to explore the town and a couple of temples outside.

As for Chiang Mai, renting an apartment is much cheaper than staying in a guesthouse, however, they require at least 1 month stay.

If you want to stay in Old Town of Chiang Mai, we stayed in a few places. We like Nocky House, located very close to a local market with food and vegetables, in a very old traditional house, very charming.

Otherwise, just nearby, there is 9 Hostel – a very different style – very modern, cement walls etc. Quiet and clean. I liked, Errol found it impersonal.

There is also SK 1 – very good price for what they offer (swimming pool), near Somphat market.

If you like a modern area in Chiang Mai, it’s Nimman. We also stayed there but we rented an apartment on a few occasions.

For food:

· Chang Phuak Gate (North Gate) – local food market. You should try the “must” there – Cowboy Lady stall aselling Khao Kha Moo (pork legs that melt in you mouth). My mouth is watering just when I am typing…

· You should try a special chicken at SP Chicken.

· One of the best Khao Soi (specialty of Chiang Mai) is at Khao Soi Islam, Charoenprathet Road Soi 1. I tried – very good! People also recommend Khao Soi Lam Duan and Khao Soi Khun Yai.

· If you want a very creative vegetarian and organic - Pun Pun restaurant located at Suan Dok Temple.

South Gate Night Market: the most known market among farang. But the food is good, the prices are low, and the variety is unbeatable.

· Warorot Market: Chinatown of Chiang Mai. Interesting food that you won’t find everywhere.

· There is one local place called something Vegetable Organic. They have amazing food (non-vegetarian, their vegetables are supposed to be organic, hence, the name). The specialty of the house is different types of friend rice. I don’t like saying that but this is the best fried rice I have eaten. They are near Burmese Restaurant and Library (you can google to find). There is another restaurant a few step away – a small stall selling Isan food. Great food!

Olga

(SB: You can read about Olga and Errol here.)

Songkran!

สุขสันต์วันสงกรานต์

Happy New Year Thailand!

(photos taken on April 12, 2018) Chiang Mai Songkran

Stephen Black: Ipoh/Perak Artist in Residence 2018

A4 self-promotion document

when printed out on A4 paper, this explains Stephen Black's background, AR plans and network.

An artist-in-residency would enable Stephen Black's completed Ipoh projects, and new ones, to be shared internationally.

His research about Perak and Ipoh, his Ipoh/Perak multimedia projects and his international experiences as an artist and writer could be shared internationally. Although based on heritage, multiculturalism, natural wonders and food, the spirit of the artworks is forward thinking, especially in regards to technology.

In all cases, the artworks support the ideas of community, multiculturalism and the idea of "doing locally and thinking globally".

An artist-in-residency would allow the following existing projects to be publicized and further developed, in addition to new ones being created.

IPOH IDENTITY(PHOTOS + TEXT)

The first of several blog posts on the Ipoh branding project is here.

TT5 (AR DISCUSSIONS AND MORE)

Since opening in October 2017, TT5 is rapidly establishing itself as a destination for locals and foreign visitors.

woam tour guide in industrial area

The TT5 tin dredge in Ipoh, Malaysia is a popular tourist attraction. Here, a guide explains the workings of the dredge.

Crowd receiving a tour.

On the deck of the last remaining tin mining dredge in Malaysia, a guide gives an explanation

tours of industrial places

A tour entering the last remaining tin dredge in Malaysia.

tin dredge

brainstorming by Stephen Black on the idea of Ipoh identity

YASMIN AHMAD MUSEUM at KONG HENG

Featuring the works of filmmaker and poet Yasmin Hamda, this museum is planning a project that would use AR to connect scenes from Yasmin's movies with their actual locations in Ipoh, by using AR.here are many possibilities here...

Facebook screen capture

Screen capture of Facebook page for Yasmin at Kong Heng

HOTEL ABBY

An interesting hotel with an excellent reputation among international budget travelers, the Abby Hotel hosted the Ni Art Week in 2016. It was also the basis for Stephen Black's 72 hour Facebook Live event and the surrounding area is featured prominently in the IPHOh: 38 iPhone Photos by Bubiko Foodtour AR project. The hotel's rooftop terrace offers the best spot to admire the sun setting over Ipoh.

Ipoh, Malaysia

IPOH:38 iPhone Photographs by Bubiko Foodtour first test of beta, by Claire Monfray

SYMPHONY SUITES BOUTIQUE HOTEL

Located near some of Ipoh's most impressive limestone caves and literally across the street from pomelo vendors and the Nam Thean Tong Temple, Symphony Suites was the location for another experimental 60 hour Facebook live event. Pomelos in Ipoh

IPOH: 38 Photos by Bubiko Foodtour The world's first AR Photo Exhibition

Soon available on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

IPOH: 88 iPhone Photographs by Bubiko Foodtour Advertising and marketing to follow, as well as a print version. For now, the ebook version is available on Amazon.

IPOH SING!

This online photo and video exhibition was an unofficial part of the Singapore-Ipoh Causeway Exchange project.

NEW BOOK PROJECT

The author of eight books, Stephen Black is currently writing about the Ipoh area. The book combines research with personal observations and will be stylistically similar to i ate tiong bahru, which is a bestseller in Singapore.

Augmented Reality in Asia

Malay Mail article about Stephen Black in Ipoh

2018

This is a placeholder for now... not all of these links are live yet. Ask me if you have any questions...

3how

AR (Augmented Reality)

Beach Road 360 “VR” movie (+ screening at Singapore National Museum)

360 films

Stephen Black in Beach Road, the film he co-produced with Hiverlab

Stephen Black’s Book and ebooks

Bubiko Foodtour

David Severn

The Doughbots

The Dundercats

The Fierce Aunty’s No-nonsense Guide to the Perfect Laksa by Nazlina Hussin

Hotel Abby 72 hour Facebook Live Event

i ate tiong bahru

I ate where Orwell ate

Instagram Bubiko Foodtour

Ipoh’s Branding as a Tourist Destination

IPOH: 38 iPhone Photographs by Bubiko Foodtour AR app on Google Play and Apple’s App Store

IPOH: 88 iPhone Photographs by Bubiko Foodtour ebook on Amazon

SPOKEN virtual gallery

Symphony Suites 60 hour Facebook Live event

Thumb-shaped kueh artwork

Toyo photo and video art and book project

TT5!

Ipoh Identity Digital Sketches: Miscellanious

The first part of this three part series is here. tin dredge branding for destination cities

Ipoh Identity Digital Sketches: Food

More notes and ideas on the identity of Ipoh, Malaysia. Again, the tools used were an iPhone and Microsoft Paint. Am looking forward to getting feedback and developing these further. The first of this three part series is here.

Augmented Reality and Tourism

Augmented Reality and tourism are an ideal combination. Tourists want to learn things simply and quickly; AR is great at displaying data, maps and visual content. I have not yet tried the following apps, but from their descriptions and reviews, they seem to be  great examples of the future of Augmented Reality and tourism. Histars Available only for iPhones, this app enables user to see and learn about famous historical figures, in the locations where they lived. Metro AR Pro Find the nearest train/metro/subway/chikatetsu station almost anywhere in the world. Metro AR Pro automatically detects which city you are in, as well as your location and provides a list of the closest stations. Shake your phone and the app will guide you by putting an overlay over the view in your camera. Tel Aviv has a number of projects in which AR benefits DMOs (destination marketing organizations). https://destinationthink.com/tel-aviv-smart-tourism-initiative-collaboration-technology/ ViewRanger works with a mobile phone and allows users to instantly locate themselves, get directions and identify their surroundings. It can be used offline.
ViewRanger Skyline lets you explore the outdoors with augmented reality, using your phone or tablet's camera to label more than 9 million landscape features. It works offline anywhere in the world and is FREE to use.
Yelp/Monocle Yelp features a "More" tab at the bottom of the screen. Click that , select "Monocle" and an AR viewer will appear. Point it around you and business names, reviews and more will appear. When you hold your phone flat, map view appears. Hatsune Miku in a cafe. Augmented reality and tourismPokemon type events could attract fans to certian places to "meet" anime characters. Hatsune Miku recently made  a five day appearance at a cafe in northern Japan. Her event was connected with a phone launch.

AUDIO AR

Sound can also be effectively used in AR, though not many apps have emerged yet. One great example is VoiceMap. Combining GPS with stories recorded by locals or experts on a specific area, VoiceMap allows visitors to gain intimate and unique information about an area. AR will undoubtedly result in new ways for spoken language and translation to be utilized. The above uses are all for "outside", but even before travellers leave their home,  AR may be influencing their travel plans. Booking and planning AR apps are rolling out. AR can provide  information, education, translation and help with all kind of decision making, before during and after the travel experience.

Bubiko Foodtour

Bubiko Foodtour is a character made for augmented reality and tourism. She will debut in the AR world in 2018. Part Charlie Chaplin, part Anthony Bourdain and part Hello Kitty, she will entertain and inform food lovers all over the world. Bubiko is on Facebook and Instagram.

About Me

My name is Stephen Black and I am experienced with gaming, music, producing, and working on network TV productions (Cartoon Network, CNN, Fox, Fuji TV and France 2) i have a degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Photographic Illustration, and  a wide range of experiences as a professional artist. I have written eight books, including a national bestseller in Singapore.
paper doll grey boxing for AR

Bubiko test version