Oaxaca, Mexico. For “Off For A Family Drive” book. Work in progress . Follow on IG Stories
Author Archive for david alan harvey
A shoutout for my local friends here in the Outer Banks NC. I sat down at home last week with the “Bokeh Bros”., Rich Coleman and Ryan Mosser, @bokeh_bros for an interview . See link in their profile to hear the podcast. They are both photographers here and do podcasts on photographers and other creatives. Thanks Rich and Ryan. Come back anytime. @bokeh_bros
Nairobi 2004. My photo essay about a new Africa for NatGeo Magazine. At a Nairobi party a 23-year-old lawyer, Khadija Hassan Kanyare, stands ready to make a difference. “My grandparents had to put up with colonialism,” says Hassan Kanyare. “Now we have to put up with with dictators who bully and berate people who have nothing. Hopefully, my generation can do something about it.”
Retro: From my photo essay on Nairobi in 2004. “I like school,” says 11-year-old Mary Akinya, smiling shyly in her Sunday best just after church in Kibera. “I like reading in Kiswahili [Swahili].” Chances are, Mary wouldn’t be attending school except that Kenya’s newly elected government introduced free primary school education in 2003. About 1.7 million children previously excluded from the system are now enrolled. “I am reading a story about a cheetah, elephant, zebra, and lion. They are fighting over who is strongest. But the zebra is the smartest and he wins.”
In 2004 I was sent to Nairobi. Unbelievably my first Africa assignment. I had done extensive work in SE Asia and in the Americas , yet Africa had escaped me. So I hit Nairobi a raw untried unschooled neophyte. Africa was a speciality for so many and I was pitching stories in the Spanish world anyway. Yet when I was offered Nairobi as part of an all Africa issue for NatGeo, I jumped. I always try to add a bit of adventure to anything , so I went to Nairobi as a street photographer BUT with 1500 wattseconds of strobe power and a 6 foot by 6 foot softbox. So with an assistant to help with the light I hit the streets. Nobody in their right mind would think they could “hang” in the bustle hustle muscle of Nairobi with that rig. Yet I did. I wanted to light up my portraits. Make them glow. This man was on his way to church. Preacher man. Sundays in Kibera a magic moment. Mud streets smoke filled air open sewers did not keep the locals from being well groomed and spotless on Sundays. Praise the Lord. I asked this one preacher to please wait for a few moments while I photographed him. Yet the railroad tracks are also a popular foot path. So many people entered the frame. Just what I hoped. 4-5 shots and my time was up. Pressure. No room for error no time and I loved this preacher man. In those moments you pray. 🙏🏻
Mr. Parks behind his screen door on Tangier Island, Va. my first big NatGeo Magazine assignment in 1972. Tangier sits in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay and is home for about 850 fishermen/crabbers and their families. I spent weeks trying to capture the daily life on Tangier. At that time Tangiermen weren’t really up for being photographed, so I had to very slowly gain their trust. I’m going through now many of my retro pictures for an upcoming book. I plan also to return to Tangier since they face a serious problem of island erosion and rising water levels and featured recently in a New York Times Magazine piece by Jon Gertner and photos by Andrew Moore. Long term projects always hold a special place in my heart. One cannot help but become emotionally invested. I look forward to returning soon.
My junior high school year end dance. In the gym of course. This is the last in my series of three IG pictures I shot at school as a young teenager. I’m going over a lot of retro work in preparation for one of my upcoming books. I’m debating whether to publish this as is with the drugstore date stamp or take the negative into my darkroom and make a really nice reprint. This was made before I could afford to buy an enlarger and it’s a bit over exposed. All of the dance pictures I shot were from a distance. I’m sure I was afraid to go closer. I know I didn’t couldn’t wouldn’t dance. I was of course in love with one of those girls, Cheryl Harvey (last name coincidental) , yet unable to actually talk to her. She did look at me twice though. As you can see the girls are dancing with the girls and all the boys stacked in the back trying to figure out what to do. Classic. I mean when you are 14 (almost 15) and wearing braces and dreaming of your drivers license, there really wasn’t much you could do even if you knew how to do it which I didn’t. So I took pictures. Cheryl Harvey from West Junior High School 1958 (Warren,Ohio), are you out there? I just wanted to say hello . #warrenohio
Retro. 1958 according to the drugstore print stamp. So I was 14 and testing flash (#6 flashbulbs). Yes one shot and then you had to change the bulb. My friends yes sipping cokes at our junior high school dance in the steel mill town of Warren, Ohio. My family had moved from the all white preppy/tourist/military Va. Beach, Va community seen in my previous post to a culturally mixed steel mill town in the rust belt. Bam! I was pretty much rejected by the white kids because I was a “new kid” and definitely not cool. Braces etc. My classmates included Poles, Italians, and blacks. It was the black boys who took me “in”. One of them, Wayne ( last name not remembered) was also interested in photography and we were the only two kids who used the school darkroom which was somehow part of shop class. I’m cruising through my retro pictures now for my second book project tentatively titled “Off For A Family Drive”. I hate the word “retrospective” and generally don’t like retrospectives nor “best of” books , so I will just try to turn this flash back flash forward book into a kind of photo novel. Not linear. Past and present mixed. That’s how I see life anyway. Why I’m working on BeachGames and this life novel simultaneous I have no idea. Nobody should try two books simultaneous. One of them will inevitably take over. This photo novel is a monumental task and BGames is simply a zine. Yet even a simple zine isn’t simple. Anyway, home alone no distractions no party and digging deep.