Monthly Archive for September, 2007

one two three

priorities…sequencing….what comes first, what comes second, what can wait for later….priorities in life and career and priorities in the  sequencing of photographs….what applies to one, may quite apply to the other…the decisions we all make are as important as the actions we take…and it is the decision making process and the prioritizing of actions in fluid sequence that often seems oh so painful to achieve…

as i work with my students at home now, it is quite easy to see that these factors are the single dominant hurdle towards the building of a photographic essay…and the single dominant hurdle for me in life  and in my work….maybe some of you feel the same….once the decisions are made and once the priorities are sequenced, then the "actions" are easy by comparison….

many of you have asked about the importance of sequencing the photographs in your essays….i will not judge you on this, because there are no rules….no formula…..nevertheless, the sequencing is so so important, as is the rhythm in a musical score or the juxtaposition of words in a poem…all a part of "visual literacy"….all a part of the "medium is the message"….however, in the case of your essays here, do not worry too much…i well know that few have confidence in sequencing….i will work with you on the final edit and sequencing, so when your work is shown it will be a collaboration between thee and me….

in the meantime, see how others do it….look carefully at the photographic books you admire most….watch carefully the editing in  fine films you enjoy ….listen to classical music and feel the "blues"…..be instinctive, be yourself….make small prints of your work and carry them around with you…spread them around…play with the sequence….tack them on a wall…play with the sequence…this is very difficult to do on a computer screen regardless of the program…be tactile with your work…touching your photographs makes a difference…

if you have specific questions, now is the time to ask….

Shadow_self_portrait

bold steps

i usually enjoy "burying the lead" to my stories here…putting the "key" to the story somewhere towards the end….to make you read the whole thing!!!  or simply to pique your sense of "discovery"…

not this time….

i announce now, to the readers of this forum, the offering of a $5,000. (u.s. dollars) stipend/grant for one exceptional photographer to help support their personal work…..this will be based on the photographs being sent to me now….

the deadline for sending work will now be extended to november 15, 2007….this will be based entirely on work produced between july 15, 2007 and the closing date…..the stipend will be awarded  by december 15, 2007…Merry Christmas!!

i have already been flooded with material….good material….but, i have decided to totally max out the influence of our new found collaboration…for my "original bloggers" (and i know who you are) who have already sent in their 20 picture limit, you will be allowed another 20 and this extra time ….but, the limit on essays or  singles  from  any  "newcomers"  to our  forum  will still be  20  photographs presented  as  an  essay  ( or combo of essays)  or  20  single  images…

so, for  my  steadfast loyal  readers with whom i have had the most amazing dialogue  for the last 6 months, you will be faced suddenly and surely with more  competition….but, for you also i  will go in, take a look at the work already submitted,  and provide you  as much personal  feedback and guidance as i possibly can….

as you know, i am in the process of creating a non-profit fund so that i can provide funding for some of you to go out and do the work you love….so, this symbolic stipend is coming backwards from the way i eventually want to work…this stipend is coming at the end for many of your projects, rather than at the beginning…but, i just wanted to do something now…it just feels right, that’s all…

many of you have in such good faith submitted work, that i just felt i wanted to do something in good faith back..besides, this extra time and maybe little incentive will make some of you do the best work of your life…if that happened to just a few of you, the "reward" to me would be immeasurable….

this grant is, at best, a token stipend….not enough funding to really go do something of major significance…so it is only  a gesture…my gesture alone….before the non-profit is actually up and running…while committees are meeting, i will just step out….to the limited extent that i can..

i hope this will be an  incentive for future funders to see what can be done with this  online collaboration and community which has been growing daily…for them to see what an amazing  creative community we now have..this is a bold step for me personally…but, if i am asking for others to take a bold step, i must take one myself…no, i am not a wealthy man with money to give away…my rent is late (among other things)….but, i am some sort of "risk taker"…i will take this risk alone…

please know that i am not "buying" your photographs or "using" your photographs or "selling" your photographs..as a member of the most powerful photographers rights agency in the world, Magnum, i will only try to set as much of an example as an online  "publisher" as i  do as a contemporary working photographer…i will treat all of you exactly as i expect to be treated…viva photographer copyrights!!   period….

in our helter skelter world of diminishing financial returns for our work,  and  often Kmart style  selling of photographs, and almost zero production monies available to many, i just  want to go on record  as  providing just  a little bit of light  and morality  and significance  to  the  journalistic and artistic merits  of so many of you out there hungry to  do  serious photographic work…this is just a tiny  "brick in the wall",  but this is what i stand for anyway..

ELIGIBILITY

there will  be no age,sex,cultural,racial, or religious discrimination of any kind for this stipend….i will be only "discriminate" with the work chosen based on its over all integrity, visual acuity, and authorship components…..lifelong personal friends are not eligible, nor are Magnum photographers or other established agency or magazine iconic photographers…i want to discover someone…by "discovering" one, i will expose many…

WHERE TO UPLOAD WORK

ftp.digitalrailroad.net

login: davidalanharvey-blog

password: upload

OUTCOME

quiene sabe…who knows??  it would be nice to think that some generous funders and/or corporate sponsors would become a part of our overall initiative here….as you know, my thought was to do at least one good annual magazine/book and traveling exhibition both from work presented here and from my workshop students production from around the world…at the very least, we will have a powerful online presentation and exhibition..

also , as most of you know, this has been an online work in progress from day one….our collaboration…and things may shift a bit from time to time just by the nature of this effort…please remember, only one person will receive this hopefully growing stipend this time around, but many of you will be exposed positively to a group of your peers and established editors, publishers, etc etc….

so,if all of us are having fun and all of us our learning, then we should  let everything evolve in a natural positive way…if not, we "cash in our chips" and go home…certainly there is nothing lost…. and the experience so far has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career..i want you to feel the same…

your thoughts and questions please….i am sure i forgot to mention something!!!

p.s.

from now on, any purely tech questions i think would be better dealt with by michael courvoisier and off of this site…just to avoid clogging up our more esoteric chat….so please go to: blogquestions@gmail.com….mike is there to help

tango

i probably lost all of my hair because i pulled it out while trying to edit photographs….this most anguishing process just goes with the territory of being a photographer…who among us has not suffered during the editing nightmare??

i am even writing this post right now to "delay" what i really should be doing … i am supposed to be editing my france fast train story….it is due tomorrow…i must walk into Fortune magazine with a "done deal" preliminary  edit first thing in the morning….so, what am i doing?….stalling…procrastinating….but, yes yes i must do it…like doing my homework in school…i just cannot face it right this minute, but it must be faced…coffee pot boiling, everything downloaded, organized, but the sun is shining and i would rather go ride my bike….or rather do anything but edit….

now, having said this, it is easy for me to edit someone else’s work….that i can do with clarity…my own, is another story….i suspect this may be true for many of you as well….let’s all agree to one thing…editing is at least as important as shooting….how you choose your photographs, which ones will rise to the top, is as important as anything you will do as a photographer….some photographers are better at it than others and some cannot do it at all…and editing is a talent,  just as "seeing" in the first place is a talent….

i have just as much  respect for fine photo editors as i do for fine photographers…and rarely are they the same person….collaboration with someone you truly respect as an editor is probably what most of you need as much as anything else in your photographic life….

when i look, as often as i do,  at the work of emerging photographers, and many established photographers as well, i usually see that i can "fix’ their portfolio or story in about ten minutes with a better edit or sequencing…it might "hurt" for a few minutes when i start throwing out pictures that were "hard to get", but when the dust settles, and a few minutes go by,  and the photographer no longer "misses" the ones in the "out stack" and sees that "less is more", then we start to move in the right direction…and believe me,  i always tell myself the same thing that i am telling you….

on all of my projects i collaborate with someone…it is often the picture editor of a magazine and we figuratively  "dance’ together… or a few days with an editor or designer of a book publisher with pictures tacked to the wall or spread out over the room…moving stuff around…thinking, sequencing….

we (editors and i) tend to "choose" each other…form a relationship that goes way way beyond the "official" relationship of the publication…a relationship of mutual respect….when it all goes "right", it is something that yields a pride in shared creativity  and can be one of the pure joys of our profession….

make friends with a good editor….stay friends with a good editor…..someone who understands you and your work , but who will also be brutally honest with you…for your own good….getting everyone’s opinion does not work…this will really confuse you….just get the critique  of one or two good people you totally respect and trust….and, of course, ultimately respect your own opinion….

if you do not have an opinion, you cannot be a serious photographer…..if you do not collaborate just a bit, you probably cannot be a serious photographer either….this is photographic tango ….choose your "partner" wisely…

ok, enough said….i must now do it….make a good "rough cut" from just a few days of work…i cannot worry about what the magazine will actually run…i just must show what i did…it is all about the story…it is all about the pride of good work…it is all about what we all live for….photographs which reflect the perfect combo of "story told" and "personal vision"….i hope that all of you are "dancing" right now….

tech stuff

most of you already know that  i have little, if any, knowledge about the tech world in general …that is why i have michael couvoursier on my side…mike answers all of my tech questions and is ready to answer yours….i just received word from mike that there are some small errors in the tech info we provided for photographic  submission on to Digital Railroad….please look into the comments of my last post for tech corrections on submissions….for one thing, the password "upload" should be in lower case…

in any case, mike will help you through this just as he helps me everyday in my studio….please just check the "comments"….and ask away….

i leave london now and will be back in new york late this afternoon…..i will post a story on editing over the weekend….editing i can write about, dpi i know nothing about!!!

flood gates

Girl_water_white

ok, the time has come…..please send now your work for this forum……20 picture limit please….within this framework you can submit 20 unrelated singles, or any combo of "essays" but not to exceed 20 pictures in all…in other words an "essay" could be five- 4 picture combos  or 20 coherent photographs or two essays of 10 each or whatever…

if you are new here, and  have no clue what i am talking about, then it is probably too late for you this time around anyway…but , a little research might be helpful for  you anyway…see posts june 2 "collaboration", july 12 "your work", july 18 "timing" and july 24 "psyched" and , oh yes, a piece i wrote titled "in flight reading" sometime back in the spring might be helpful too…

i am interested in any type of photography that speaks to your  "authorship"….so, you could submit black & white landscapes or conflict in iraq or the life of your dog on the back porch….subject matter does not matter….you matter….your perspective, your point of view on something with either journalistic relevance,  subjective interpretation  or purely artistic merit…….

we will have a 10 day window for submission….these are all supposed to be photographs you made since the july 15 announcement of this project…give or take just a little…they will be displayed on  a new page of this site…eventually hopefully to print….but honestly, how far we can take this totally depends on how good the material coming to me will be….we will soon find out….

my goal, as all of you know, is to create enough interest in this way of working and in this site to have corporate and private  funders  contribute to the non-profit fund i am setting up (about 3 wks away) , so that this financial support  would go directly back to you to finance one of your projects…sort of half stipend/half assignment….

the submission now has been basically a goodwill "test" for both of us…

ironically , but perfectly, a small corporate funding is moving quickly in our direction..this just happened since my last post…..this will be  deposited into the non-profit account for eventual  awarding to the  most talented of you…i am in a bit of a dilemma  because it comes at the end of our "deadline" rather than as an incentive at the beginning….

so, i honestly must just decide how to use it….but, since we are where we are anyway, let me just start looking at what comes in from you…before promising any awards..fair enough??   it may be more intelligent to let funding build….  i mean, we have done this whole thing without any thought to any of us for financial reward anyway…this whole exercise and forum has been a "work in progress" all along….i am also ready to answer any questions you may have…..

the "window" for submission is wide enough to give me time to think….and to see what you have done…

show me, show me….tell me , tell me

Submission Guidelines

1) Resize all images to be 2,000 pixels on the longest side
2) Input your copyright and description into the images metadata.
3) Save as a JPG with a quality of 10 or higher.  (Best Quality)
4) Name all images with your last name then first name and sequential number.  (Smith_John_001.jpg)
5) Put all images into a folder on your desktop with your first and last name on it.
6) Now you are ready to upload to Digital Railroad you will need an ftp client program.
    Here are 2 free ftp programs you can download and use if you do not have one.
    http://cyberduck.ch/ (for Mac users) http://filezilla-project.org/ (for PC or Mac users)
7) FTP info
    Host:        ftp.digitalrailroad.net
    Login:       davidalanharvey-septblog
    Password: Upload
8) Please upload your folder into the September Submissions Folder on the ftp site.

disconnected

there was no internet…at least not for me that is….i thought i would be able to report to you from perpignan,…..however,  i secured a nice little apartment on a charming street and in a perfect location, but no internet connection…

probably like most of you, if i go "off" the net even for a few days, when i come "back" i get hammered from every angle…..so, your patience is appreciated while i just must must catch up with my e-mail etc…plus, i must edit my recent assignments from both the korea youth story  and the french fast train story….so, i am just a bit overwhelmed as i reconnect after the disconnect….

i do have new stories for you…and new workshop plans….and, most importantly, details for you regarding uploading your pictures….but, i am in london and i am waiting for friends in  new york to wake up to give me the details i need to give to you!!! i will also today check and respond to whatever new "comments" i may have received in these last few days from you….

by wednesday, at the latest, i will have new stories and pictures up on all four sections of this site (perhaps one today under "family/friends")…thanks for your patience….i am just a "one man band", so i cannot have anyone else do this for me….i would if i could!!!

perpignan (again)

no joke….every year i say i will not be able to make it to perpignan (Visa P’our L’Image) and every year for the last ten years i have been on hand….my original visit to perpignan ( which i had not even heard of at the time) was when jean francois leroy invited me to show my spanish world work…i had also just become a member of Magnum…i have since had 4 or 5 shows or projections at this photo fest, but it does not take me having any kind of official presence for me to go…this year is no exception…

my Fortune Magazine assignment on the TGV trains in Paris allowed me to come this time…thank you Fortune….besides i do have one little obligation…and that is to take part in the three day Magnum gratis portfolio reviews open to all comers starting tomorrow….nine of us will look at as many portfolios as possibe…on hand will be jonas bendikson, abbas, paul fusco, dennis stock, chris anderson, paolo pellegrin, and i honestly cannot remember the other two at the moment….i just finished my train assignment today and will take the train down from paris to perpignan in the morning and arrive just in time to do our reviews….and maybe maybe make just one more photograph for my assignment …

Magnum used to throw a party at perpignan like so many others….we decided a few years ago to do seminars and portfolio reviews instead….when the party is over , the party is over…but with a seminar or review you just might help someone out a little…i remember having my work reviewed at a workshop as an emerging photographer….that was an experience that has lasted me a lifetime…so, if even one photographer walks away from perpignan with that kind of watershed experience as i had, from perhaps just a few well chosen words by one Magnum photographer, then that will be worth everything for us….

there is another wonderful thing waiting for me in perpignan….my extended family of friends in the business, former students, current students and i suspect a generous supply of my readers here…most importantly i will have my girlfriend with me…we have for the last three years had perpignan as a very special rendezvous…..i will also try to do a little “reporting” from perpignan depending on internet availability….

i usually hang out in the evenings after the projections at Cafe le Poste…. so if you are in town, please stop by and say hello…a good time will be had by all…..