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 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..


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…


login: davidalanharvey-blog

password: upload


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!!!


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:….mike is there to help

378 Responses to “bold steps”

  • Jorge Prat Altuzarra


    Excelent news again! Thanks. I’ll consider submiting some more images to may essay (yes, I consider myself an original blogger), but I’ll try to resist the temptation of adding less powerful ones just for the purpose to make 40, since editing is aready something difficult to task.

    If you can give me some insights about the essay I already submitted, I’ll bery happy.

    Thanks in advance


  • wow. I had 3 projects completed for your upload and chosen 1. It is great to hear that I might be able to do one more. I hope I’m considered one of the few who were here before (whatever before means). I’ll start working on editing another batch…

    It’s very generous of you to keep us involved on such scale. I expect now the flood gates to truly give a way to the flood.

  • David…

    For me this is great news. If I have more time I will fell more comfortable. No more one day shooting :)
    But I will work like having short deadline time. I will shooting at all!! Ha!
    And to be sure; I can send two essays? One now, and one to November 15?
    I think I will send only one. best 15 pictures…


  • David……

    I am not sure what to say about you…….

    my son, instead:, when he was 9:

    Dima: dad, why is it that there so many people seem to be sad around here…..

    Bob: I dont know sweetheart. I am not. I have you and mommy.

    Dima: yea, me to……(pause, kicking snow). weird..

    Bob: what honey?

    Dima: how some people just seem to make people happy, like they had a magic finger or something….

    David: you have a magic, swelling heart….

    weird, i entered this only to show u pictures…

    I would never submit more, ’cause i want you to know personally, that those pics were for you, not cash…that other people will swallow them, is all the cash i need my friend, really….

    honestly: i’d take a good homecooked meal and 3 bottles of wine and a long long chat with you and my wife and son and friends, over this news….that’s what i see now: the meeting, :)))…

    distill this life and swing-sing it wide….

    that’s what you are doing….

    and that aint about grants, i know u know that: orchard keeping


    now run down to Magnum and pick up that CD i told u about Quest ;)))))…

  • ok.
    I’m not sure i understood everything, so I will send you my photos at end of weekend as I promised.


  • Bobblack

    I’m jealous about your yours words. I wish to operate english language like you do. I feel read you like child.
    My English is child speech.


  • bob…

    did you tell me something that was waiting for me at Magnum??? totally missed it, or forgot or ????

    anyway, will do….

    yes, sitting around a table with some fine wine, fire in the fireplace, friends, and home cooked meal sounds just perfect to me too….

    oh yes, the dates of my workshops at home are: sept 22-29 and another one (after a week of recovery) oct. 6-13

    if you are around then or anytime at all, please stop by….i am not sure that new york is quite ready for both of us in the same place at the same time, but what the hell??


    do not be confused….maybe i was not clear…you have until november 15…..and you can submit 40 photographs….one essay or more depending on what you like, but not to exceed 40 in all…if this is still not quite clear to you, just keep asking questions…and just keep taking pictures..

  • rene….

    yes, you are an “original”!!!

  • It’s clear now!!


  • David,

    now i understand even more why your Magnun colleagues gave to you the “title” ‘Magnum’s first “minister of education”‘ ;)


  • David,

    now i understand even more why your Magnun colleagues gave to you the “title” ‘Magnum’s first “minister of education”‘ ;)


  • David,

    now i understand even more why your Magnun colleagues gave to you the “title” ‘Magnum’s first “minister of education”‘ ;)


  • David,

    now i understand even more why your Magnun colleagues gave to you the “title” ‘Magnum’s first “minister of education”‘ ;)



  • David,

    now i understand even more why your Magnun colleagues gave to you the “title” ‘Magnum’s first “minister of education”‘ ;)



  • #1 thought: What an incredible person you are David and what a great thing you are doing. Groundbreaking. I’m thrilled to be involved in any way possible.

    #2 thought: (After realizing the chance I would be selected is slim to none) I wasn’t doing it for the money before so why should I care now? The opportunity for “personal feedback and guidance” from you is PRICELESS and all that I am learning thru this experience is icing on the cake.

    #3 thought: I am usually more motivated to shoot when traveling than at home. This is the first year since 1994 that I can’t go off to India or somewhere great to shoot but due to this assignment I am shooting more “at home” and enjoying it as much as any exotic destination. So I will continue to shoot and have fun and learn. All is well.

  • David,

    Well, what can one say? You’re just too much! Thanks.

    (Everything that follows is assuming I, too, fall into the “original” crowd.)

    If I may be so bold (it is the theme after all, yes?) I’d love to get some feedback from you when you find a free moment. (email would be fine.) I realize a lot of folks will ask this of you and you can do only as much as you can do…but I ask anyway, hopefully.

    I sent three small essays the other day. For this extension, I’d like to focus on the one ten image essay, the fisherman. Your brutally honest way of reviewing would help immeasurably. (I guess that really goes without saying!) Even if it is to say, “wrong direction altogether, make a real change!” Or something like that.

    Thanks for everything, and looking forward to the next couple months!


  • david; your far to kind many blessings to you & yours. i also fingers
    crossed hope that i’m an original participant ? Been reading and following your words since almost the inception of this blog. However i never commented as i was intimated to begin with. For me i like to dip my small toe in the water before jumping in.

  • intimadated is what i meant=apologies i pulled a bob black.

  • Well, it seems that between Bob Black’s profusion of eloquence :) and what everyone else has added, there not much left to say but a huge Thanks to you, David. I always feel awkward when paying someone a compliment, but in this case I have no qualms just openly bowing to your generosity and heart.

    I was ready to upload my set tonight — after a couple of late nights to edit (yeah, I need a LOT of time to edit well…) — and now this feels like a great gift, a break to pause, breathe, and have the time I like to really edit well.

    David, FYI, I will send you an email on the side about one specific question I have…

    Thanks again, and thanks to Michael C. for his untiring efforts to support all of us over the last few days.

    – Giancarlo

  • Well my shots are up to the blog address (as distinct to the septblog). I hope you enjoy them. Looking forward to whatever critique comes of this. A peg to bang in the rockface of photographic subjectivity.

    To check, I can now go shoot my ass off for a November 15th deadline?

    Well done with the first injection of cash, something to start a ball rolling, or make one roll faster.

    I like the image of sitting back and chilling with wine, food and friends, Bob, my image has a log fire somehow too.

    Its good we can all talk amongst ourselves here too. You fellow blog-commenters often say exactly (eerily) what I was about to. I guess its food for us to know we not alone!



  • I just hope Martin gets a raise by 15 Nov!? It looks like he’ll be very, very busy.
    Congratulations David, you are one of a kind… Seeing your work and reading your thoughts makes me wanna meet you and ring your bell next time I come to NY…
    And it is not about the money and exposure you are going to provide for some, I believe that whoever is exceptional photographer will sooner or later get the exposure deserved…but… I am impressed how you pushed loads of people to get out and work, that is something special, many are talented but only a few go and work hard, therefore your push is of a great significance… All the Best,

  • ok i’ll try to say somenthing in the right way. these grant it’s a new an unexpected gif. since the first time I discovered your space i’ve been wandering why; why you spend you’re time doing this, why you care about our doubts, fears…
    i don’t know yet why, i only know i’m gratefully.
    after been a reader for a while i decided to give myself a chance, start a new proyect, try to find my own photography. and believe me: i didn’t do that since a long long time. And the best was that i dind´t do it for you or for this “oportunity”, i did it because i realized the need of keep walking, keep learning, keep loving what i do and try to do at my best.
    i’m still shooting on the project i’ve submitted a few days, i like it and I hope upload some more pictures,hope you could someday give me some feedback; but even if you could’nt i feel now more a photographer than a few months….
    again, thanks.

  • David, thank you.
    Thank you for your passion, thank you for your heart, thank you for your time, maestro.

    Best regards,


  • Thank you David…now that I have some extra time I can plan a lot better what to do…thanks for this great opportunity.

    Carlos Rubin

  • Well, David, about this assignment, I am sure I am not the only one here who feels they would try their best (or worse!) at “authorship” for a bag of peanuts, probably all i’ll deserve anyway :-), but talk about walking the talk.

    Thanks for your selflessness and dedication. They are as great a lesson as any advice you could give us on photography proper.

  • Ciao David,

    I posted 20 pictures in the first submission, now is possible change the subject and posted other new subjekt?

    Ciao Igor

  • David old boy
    This truly an excellent thing you are doing, especially in vew of “our helter skelter world of diminishing financial returns for our work, and often Kmart style selling of photographs”
    I won’t be able to send you anything to see,nearly this whole years “extra”time has been spent building our house in rural Ireland…………… You and L had better come and stay[You see I wasn’t that drunk!]
    Well done and thanks………….

  • i’m glad simply as a witness of this process, seeing things take shape like this – what a manifesto.


  • David,
    Glad to have another chance, as I was not satisfied with what I had in cue for upload. LOL
    However… I found inspiration in creating a story out of some photos I took while traveling to Scotland with a Scottish BagPipe band last month.
    The strangest themes can reveal themselves when you least expect it.
    Oh joy!

  • David,
    Somewhere between high school and now I learned how to get my assignments in on time. Now I’m not sure whether I like having the extention or not. I’m torn between shooting more or editing what I have to create a more rounded story.

    Did I read correctly that you’d be advising to push us in a particular direction? If I knew what you were interested in seeing more of based on what’s been submitted so far, that would help a lot. Please advise when you have the time. Thanks!


  • David- your generousity of spirit is boundless!

  • igor…

    yes, you can change the subject, or take the extra time and make the first one even better….i will take a look and advise accordingly…


    my motive?? a fair question….


    your doubts and fears are the same as mine, or at least, were the same as mine…i can relate to all of you easily…


    i have been “teaching” since i was 22 and right after my first workshop as a student…watershed experience for me…i have, my whole working career, worked with emerging photographers..what i do online is just a natural extension of what i have always done anyway…no “invention” here, except the invention of the net…


    a belief in life “payback” and “payforward”….this is both….


    who cannot see that traditional print media are basically “over”?? but, there are so so so many exciting things going on with the net…

    print is , of course, the best way to see photographs…the computer screen is never going to be the same as a fine print hanging on a wall, or the same as a well printed book or even a quality magazine…so print is and always will be the best place to see good work…

    but , the net allows new communities to build…it takes the “mystery” of audience building away…we can get to print in a whole new way..


    this is fun!! doing something that is “fun” can lead to things out of our immediate imagination….

    cheers, david

  • Clive,
    I’ve found that things that strike us as common or uninteresting based on our personal geography can be completely intriguing to someone on the other side of the planet. I’d be totally interested in how they build houses in the Irish countryside. You should shoot that!

  • David,
    Would you take a look at my entry and tell me whether to trash it and go for something else?

    How strict is the start date of the project?


  • david…you know that i have been among the first to join your group (and that i will submit my work for our experience)….BUT could we please come back to our philosophical discussions about photography and how the creative process works? it would be sad to see this blog turn evolving around this group project only.

    to that end, i have a question (as always:) ): to me, photography is about the experience the photographer lives while shooting his/her project…when i looked at your book “divided soul”, it was hard for me to relate to the subjects in your pictures because i was not there, i did not live the experience as you did…you were there, you had the excitement of that experience, you talked to these people, you made friend with them, you maybe helped some of them is a very personal way…but I am supposed to be touched by another person pictures…to me photography is a very personal mission that is very hard to share with people. yes i can admire the technique or the originality of the approach (or of course be impacted by war pictures or famine pictures…), but what about the subject??

    i am not sure if i am clear in this question but i would love to hearback from you on this…


  • David :)))

    yes, i wrote you a few emails…they must have disappeared ;)))…it’s about John V and his Quest for land dvd….check you emails beginning today and last week (sent u 2 or 3): not about me…but there was a private thanks too :))))…i replied via the email you’d written at…but, im sure if you back…i’ll send again the email…..

    ny is big enough for u, me and this entire mad, brilliant forum and then some, hell, it’s newyork!..;p)))…

    will get back to you next week…i would love to jam…more words later….running


  • david – as an aussie friend of mine used say as he pondered with eyes staring into space, “it’s all happ’ning.”

    i’ve been prepping my images for this submission… and now today’s announcement.. i’m totally thrilled to witness the germination and flowering of this forum and community. “it’s all happ’ning.”

    abrazos amigo!

  • very cool david and very generous of you. Not so much for the money but for the time you’ve been investing in the collective “us”. Although I don’t comment frequently I check your blog almost every day eagerly anticipating a new post.

    I didn’t have time to make any pictures during your previous window of opportunity but I’m hitting the road next week to start a project so this extension will allow me to contribute some images. Even if I don’t ‘win’, being able to participate in this will surely be a great experience.


  • zim floored..thats great…

    Now, 2 questions

    1. I still havent uploaded my 20. Theres no time limit on that now, anymore, right? Because you say we have 20 + 20 more that we will be able to upload. Ill try uploading my 18 today.

    2. You said theres a bit of flexibility in terms of the July 18th date being the date of the uploads. How strict is this now since thers money involved. obviously a year or so before is too much, but how about a week or 3 weeks? As you know I started taking the TKD story about the time the idea of publishing began floating around here. So many are from June. However, if it is strictly July 18th and after I will abide by that ofcourse, happily, and get new work now that theres time and not upload anything now. Or I will work on something totally new:)

  • michael….

    i think we have to stick with mid-july….that is four months of shooting…that is a lot!! i know you are not working full time on it, but i have to draw the line somewhere otherwise there is no end to the “exeptions”

    but, i will take a look soonest and let you know what i think of your submission…i do not have access right now to the site…


    i was confused by your question…not sure exactly what the question is…do you mind please re-stating??? it seemed to go one way and then went another….ask me , ask me again!!

    i think we printed out about 1000 pages of this blog the other day…only about 8 pages of it have anything to do with this group project….it seems high profile at the moment because of the technicalities etc, but even as i look at my last 15 posts, only two have anything to do with this project…

    but, having said this , i agree that we cannot let the group project even dominate in anyone’s mind….

    i will keep writing about other subjects of interest, publishing student work, publishing the work of my established colleages, showing my own work in progress and answering any questions you have about the creative process or anything else you may want to discuss..

    cheers, david

  • David,
    Very briefly…I too have been a silent observer to this blog for so long I feel I know some of you a little too well. The main reason I don’t post more, is your group is so thoroughly educated and seem to hit all the points. But after reading your words here today, I must join the others in expressing how magical it has been. You truly are a gift to the profession. I don’t think you can hear it enough David, that is, thank you.

    Arie, I absolutely must agree with your latest post…the philosophical discussions and the creative process has been among the real magic of this site. I don’t think David would let that get away, but damn, everyone would understand…he’s got to get some rest!
    Good luck to all of you.


  • david…sorry i have not slept for 8 days now (anne-camille is one week old today and is particularly active during the nights)…

    before i ask my question again, i must tell you what i have done with some outputs of this blog: i printed all the pages and selected the best (my best) selection of sentences you wrote about various topics (and my questions to you as well)…i did some collages (putting some pictures of you and other photogs i admire)…

    back to my question: i wrote above that photography is a very personal experience…to me its value lies in the fact that i, as a photographer, was there with the subject, experienced the thrill, talked to the subject… i have some difficulty to understand how another person (the viewer of the photograph) can appreciate fully my pictures (or you pictures)…in other words, i take pictures not because i want to share them with other people but because i want to go through the experience of meeting my subject, getting excited…to live the experience…it is almost as photography is fork me a selfish act….

    Am I sick doctor harvey?


  • david:

    last post for tonight…just sent you an email: explaining my last 3 (lost?) about JV’s Quest for Land….:))

    sorry for off topic, sorry guys…

    have to call family…


  • noted:) Ill go back to my Harvey folder tonight and take out what was taken before July 15th:) Then keep shooting:) Sounds great David. Plus this gives me time to do the story I wanted to do which will be next week. Hopefully it will come out.

    Great news David!

  • I just want to say that I’ve been reading your blog since day one when you started it after san miguel last year and although I’ve mostly been a reader, (posted once, seoul girl 2), you’ve widened my world and vision. I feel as if all you people here have so much to offer and I look forward to reading what you have to say. When you don’t write for a few days I hope you are okay! Thank you for all you do. Your pace, David, is amazing.
    Maybe I’ll even upload some images if I feel I have anything worthy.

    this is fun!


  • Geez this is just what it would be like working on THE dream assignment,working heart and soul,day and night sending in the pics and the editor saying ,Nice!…..What else can you get me?
    I’ll raise you the 20 I’ve allready sent you and have annother 20 pictures by Nov 15.
    Man I would give anything to be in the room when you get together with brother Bob,He’s doing great work with his Toronto slide shows.He showed a few of the pics that I have also sent you ,Just happy that there is finally somewhere I can send this stuff.
    Do you think that photos taken between 2 longditudenal lines would be sufficient glue to bind together a theme?

  • No offense to anyone who has posted today for the first time…I’m sure there are many who have been here silently all along and haven’t felt the need to comment until today but that was a question I had initially… When you offered to work with the “oldtimers” and give them a break and an opportunity to submit more I wondered how would you know who has been around and who hasn’t…but then you said “I know who you are” so that was cool..but it does seem that there may be quite a few folks who you haven’t “met” yet here…both “new” and “old.”

    I have no answer or even a great suggestion as to how to deal with who is a newcomer and who is not but perhaps as you said…if someone has already submitted their twenty or have been discussing their twenty with you they would be “grant fathered” in…I’m sure you’ll come up with something appropriate.

  • David and all blog members,

    Though I’ve been reading this blog for some months I certainly am NOT one of the ‘original bloggers’ and will happily limit myself to 20 images for upload. I am naturally also happy to have the extra time to make the photo essay better. In any case, I’m pretty confident that I won’t, and shouldn’t, win. Somebody both younger and more talented and inspired than me should get it. But I have to add my own heartfelt praise to everyone else’s kudos for David’s vast generosity of spirit- not just for the stipend, but for organizing the whole project and giving so much of himself and his time to help other photographers.
    I think I wrote once before that my primary interest in participating is not to ‘win’ anything but to be part of the ongoing process, to have a stake in the group and where it is going. As a former college teacher (English, geography, and international studies) who is almost as old as David, I think I may have a little insight into some of his motives and satisfactions in conducting first this great blog and now this great project motivating so many photographers to really ‘focus’ on their own photographic work.
    An aside here- I probably should have spoken up a lot sooner when David was still in Seoul, but I really appreciated Bob Black’s lengthy comments here about the social and career pressure on young Koreans, especially women, to have ‘perfect’ physical appearances. Then I realized he was writing from Toronto, not Korea, and I was impressed that he had gained his insight there. I was reading the blog well before then, but it was David’s assignment in Seoul and Bob Black’s and others’ comments that really sucked me in, since I spent a good deal of time in South Korea in the 70s and 80s, I speak and read the language fairly well, and it was the first place that I really made a serious effort at journalistic and ‘street’ photography. I still keep up with events there, and the country and people have a very special place in my heart and dreams. David, I hope someday to get a chance to show you some of the pictures I took in Korea in the late 70s and early 80s.
    I also wanted to make a comment on editing and photo essays. My own background is probably a little different than many of you, since I was a geography teacher and not a professional photographer. I have put together dozens and dozens of slide shows over the years (in the days before Power Point!) to illustrate lecture content, using my own images but also other people’s, as well as maps, charts, etc. and so the criteria for image choice, sequencing, number of slides, content, etc. were very different than say for a magazine spread or a portfolio. I was looking for images that contained information, sometimes very specific information, and the graphic qualities of the images were secondary. This attitude, a priority on the information, is still with me to some extent though it has been modified a good deal as I’ve switched the focus of my interest more and more to photography. But for me personally, photography still tends to be more interesting and meaningful if it’s ‘subject driven’.
    The reason I bring this up now is because I think it’s an interesting topic to consider in putting together photo essays. I suspect that many contributors to this blog (?) see themselves as primarily photographers, and naturally they want to present their most striking, vivid, arresting images, as well as manifest ‘authorship’ which often means a highly developed and recognizable style. In a photo essay that is ‘subject driven’, I think sometimes that very graphic or stylized images can help and sometimes they can get in the way. The real challenge seems to me to be combining the recognizable authorship and attention-getting graphic quality with enough fidelity to the subject so that someone else who knows the subject well will say not only ‘Wow! Beautiful!” but also “Yes, that’s true! I recognize that as real.”
    There’s a famous ‘first-time visitor-to-Japan-syndrome’. Most people when they first go there don’t recognize it as the country they expected- somehow they were led by all they had seen before, in movies, magazines, even National Geographic, to expect something quite different than the reality. Generations of image makers, both Japanese and foreign, have followed certain traditions and mindsets, either consciuosly or unconsciously, in ‘representing’ the country visually. No one image is a lie, but the cumulative effect is a distortion. I lived in Kyoto for almost two decades, and I often saw photo essays on Japan that had me thinking, ‘Is this the same country I know?’ I’m very happy to say that David’s pictures of Tokyo in the November 1986 National Geographic (how’s that for ancient history??!!) are an exception- when I look at that spread, I can say, ‘Yes, this is the country I knew’. So there’s a little tension there, maybe, between style and content. Incidentally, I am no paragon in this matter. The pictures I took in Japan are probably even more of a cumulative distortion of experience than most! Maybe I am making this more complicated than it needs to be, but it’s something I think about in seeing and creating a photo essay. So how do you balance graphic quality and fidelity t6 the subject? Any ideas, reactions?

    Whew! What a long posting- apologies to all, but I’ve been wanting to bring this up.


  • So david, should I upload anything by this week or just wait till the November deadline?

  • woohoo…great news.


    i’ve been a follower of this forum since february…but, rarely leaves a comment. am i eligible to sudmit more than 20 images??…if not…20 images is better than nothing yeah??

    ozzy al

  • Last one for tonight for me too.

    I need to apologize. I immediately asked for more attention without even saying thank you for doing any and all of this. David, you have a big heart.


  • ozzy al…

    yes, no problem…


    this is always an interesting discussion…i think you are basically asking, which is more important, the rendering of the subject “true” or the artistic “interpretation” of the photograher…

    well, i do not think you can eliminate the subjectivity of the photographer…and the more “stylistic” the photogapher , perhaps the more “subjective”…but, another question arises and that is, is subjectivity a negative…i would say no..

    let’s look at alex webb… a terrific stylist, who just happens to also be a very good journalist…he knows the journalistic story and uses all the basic tenets of journalism i.e. honesty, integrity,knowledge of the issues and then uses his style to tell the story….

    bad , non-artistic pictures which are “true” to the story may not, in some other way, really “tell the story” because they have no texture or feeling and/or emotion…

    maybe the “way” you tell a story is equally important as the story itself …just like the “way” one singer delivers the lyrics could be so much more effective than another singer repeating the same lyrics but with a bad voice and no delivery style….is bad delivery even still a song???

    if we are talking about documentary, then i think you need both delivery style and message integrity to make a “whole”..


  • Dear friends,

    David, tell me if that sounds OK to you, but we all have the same level of excitement visiting, sharing this blog, we have David in common, yet I think the extended deadline could be an opportunity for us to share more with each other. The idea would be that we really work as a network of friends, contacting each other, throw some ideas about our assignment, some pix, and get feedback while offering some as well. Of course, it’s not about contacting everyone, pick a few, but eventually there will be something of tightening of the ties that bind us already logging in.

    it would become more and more natural (even after the assignment) to inter-act with each other, and share specific pictures, new ideas of essays. We’d get to know the person behind the name or the link.

    The greatest thing about the net for me, has been to make friends, not just acquaintances, with people I would have never had the chance to meet otherwise, even though we shared the same passion.

  • arie…

    no, no you are not sick…but, you do need a good night’s sleep…

    now, i understand…a little bit of what i wrote to sydney above might apply to at least part of your question….

    artists are , by nature, “selfish” in the eyes of some….bearing great gifts in the eyes of it’s purest form, only what you saw is important…you may hope that others will feel something of what you felt or saw…maybe they do and maybe they do not..but do not dwell on your “acceptance” or lack thereof….

    over time, some photographers are able to totally “be themselves” and yet are totally appreciated by a vast majority of others…sometimes, however, perhaps only a small audience might appreciate the work of a photographer and their work would never gain a large audience….

    at this point arie, do not worry about a large audience…you really will be sick if you start to over think this one…some photographers are funded to “see what the client wants them to see” and yet, other photographers are funded for their vision…other photographers are paid nothing and their vision is “unclear”, and other photographers are paid nothing and their vision is extraordinary….so, there are so many factors in this equation that the best thing you can do is to live it, feel it, immerse yourself in it, sweat, be afraid, be ecstatic, burn a hole with your eye in your viewfinder, relax and let the chips fall where they may…trying to quantify this process or trying to over please or trying to find a formula for letting the viewers of your work feel exactly as you felt, will make you lose more sleep than your crying new baby.does now…

    so, go wrap your arms around your wife and precious new child….that should be enough to keep you going forever…and , in between hugs, take some photographs, see some great films, peruse the best photo books, read a great novel and go to the opera house….all of those things together will at some point “click” your brain into holistic perspective….

    that and a good night’s sleep somewhere along the line will make you “see” the light….


  • ok, now i need sleep…there are some comments above that i really need to address, but whatever i might try to say now might make no sense….

    back in the morning..

    two coffees and i will be ready to roll

    cheers, david

  • David,

    Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I didn’t mean to pan highly developed style in documentary story-telling, and by the way I too am a big fan of Alex Webb who I agree has a VERY recognizable style. (The ‘All-Mexico’ issue of NG in Aug ’96 which featured yourself, Alex Webb, and Tomasz Tomaszewski may be photographically/thematically the most satisfying issue of NG ever published IMHO, and I loved his Istanbul work too). I realized when I re-read my post that I wasn’t being clear enough that I was talking more about the editing process than the shooting process. And I’m certainly not suggesting that ‘bad’ pictures help tell a story, or that there’s anything wrong with subjectivity either. I guess what I’m trying to suggest is that in some story edits the weight seems to be more on purely graphic impact than on conveying the range of complex textures and facets inherent in- and ‘representative’ of- the subject, and my own prejudice is to try to show a ‘fair’ view of the subject- which I realize is highly subjective, of course! It’s just that this is something I think about when either viewing other people’s photo essays or contemplating my own. Maybe another way to think about this is, however subjective and stylized the images may be, is the cumulative picture of the subject that is presented ‘honest’? (Another very loaded word, sorry!)



  • wow…you reply pretty quick…do you ever sleep david??


    do you feel its possible to take a completly objective photograph???

    you DONT have to reply now!…maybe tomorro!

    ozzy al

  • David,

    I’ve been lurking here irregularly for a few months. At the last minute I decided to go through the process of coming up with my personal best for the time frame allowed. It turned out to be just 7.

    Thanks to your kind generosity of extending the deadline and sweetening the deal with your time, money, and committment, with a bit of luck and hard work I may be able to add a bit more to my submission.

    Just by going through this process alone regardless of whatever happens, one of the things that will happen is I’ll think differently, edit differently, and photograph differently.

    The philosophy of pay back and pay forward is one of the great rewards that first attracted me to photography as a little kid in Sylvania, Ohio.

    I realize that is how most of us got started (someone else’s paying back and paying forward had some effect on us), but I also realize that that in and of itself does not make us better photographers. Being better people makes us become better photographers.

  • After reading your blog for a little while, I was thinking, is this guy for real? Does he really so freely give his time and expertise so easily without playing games? without pretension?

    And as I keep reading and seeing the comments and how so down to earth you just answer people’s questions, meeting with people and giving them help and advice I still am trying to find the catch; like thinking these all must be students that have paid a lot for workshops and classes from you or something prior. But then I keep reading and see that there is no catch and am too impressed.

    I can’t say enough how rare and unique you are and now with this last stipend/grant proposal out of your own pocket I am in awe of your commitment to the genre but most of all to you as a person. I don’t know what else to say except thank you for existing.

  • Hi David,
    I uploaded my initial 19 images yesterday. Now the option of adding extra images to the initial ’20’ is very tempting but like you said before, you can always edit down to your best of the best although it may be painful to drop others. I worked hard to be strict and stick to the 20 limit. I of course, have more (as this selection is part of a larger project I have begun), some of which were painful to drop, however I shall leave the selection alone. Better to have 20 (or in my case 19) strong images than 20 strong + 20 not so strong I think.

    Saying that, if you feel you’d like to see more David, once you get a chance to view my entry, just let me know!

    All the Best,

  • Thanks for the extra time on submitting David.
    I was doubtful to get it done in ten day, since I have so many negatives to scan, personally as well shot from before the 15th of July. This gives me extra time and even time to shoot some new stuff in Belgium as well.
    Hope it will work out.
    Thanks for the great opportunity!
    Great seeing you again in Perpignan by the way. Always nice to catch up.

  • Aloha Mr. Harvey,

    I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time now, but never felt bold enough to post a message. I figured you were much too busy to respond to little e-mails floating around from Hawaii. The “stipend” is very appealing to me — as to everyone else. I was wondering if the photos we upload need to be of the actual project we’re working on.

    Should I treat this as the 20 best (personal view) photos? Also, do you have any specifications on image size, dpi, etc. What about captions? I apologize if I seem to be asking questions with very obvious answers. I hope to hear from you.

    Diana L.

  • hi david,

    the stipend is great news, thank you for doing so much for us all. i have a question. my girl friend and i have both been shooting for this ‘assignment’ since you first announced it and were both intending to upload our completed set of pictures in the next few days. my girlfriend has not yet taken part in the blog, does that mean that the 40 picture november 15 rule does not apply to her. also, as i haven’t upload my pictures yet, am i eligible.

    many thanks


  • hi david,

    the stipend is great news, thank you for doing so much for us all. i have a question. my girl friend and i have both been shooting for this ‘assignment’ since you first announced it and were both intending to upload our completed set of pictures in the next few days. my girlfriend has not yet taken part in the blog, does that mean that the 40 picture november 15 rule does not apply to her. also, as i haven’t upload my pictures yet, am i eligible.

    many thanks


  • Hello David
    Just got back from an amazing trip to up state Maine.
    Really blown away by what your doing. Exceptional idea. Looking forward to participataion.

  • Hey David,

    first of all, I don’t consider myself as a longtime reader at all. I’ve been following this blog for some time but not long enough to justify myself as a “long time”.

    Anyway, I was really excited about this whole contest because the idea of a magnum member and some well-known publisher seeing your work is very charming.

    But frankly, I’m somewhat disappointed that there is money involved now. Sure thing, it attracts far more people. i mean, USD 5000 is “quite” a lot. in fact, it’s the highest prize money i’ve seen so far. Then again, I’m disappointed because the idea – as far as i got it – got lost. Now it’s bascially about making money and when there is money involved people get dishonest and greedy. Like, I doubt that all people are going to be honest about the date the frame was taken and such. Why not submit a very nice set of pictures that was taken in the last 6 months? I guess it’s hard to find out when a photo was taken as it’s easy to strip the exif data.

    Anyway, don’t get me wrong, it’s great to see that you put so much energy in this project. Hell, those USD 5000 is more than I made all summer (I’m a student). But still, I was hoping this “contest” is more about getting some feedback or recognition than figures.

    Greetings from Austria,


  • Bernhard,

    the essence that i read in this “assigment” is: “to help support their personal work”.

    yes, only the the chance to show is great! but, what the next step? complete that work to be more deep and powerful, and for beyond the talent, time/money are factores many times decisives. i see this iniciative as an understanding of the dificults begining (and by the way, the dificults never ends ;) )

    if we all are “honesty, integrity” who are always in the search of “knowledge of the issues”, then money is not a conscience problem.


  • Bernhard,

    the essence that i read in this “assigment” is: “to help support their personal work”.

    yes, only the the chance to show is great! but, what the next step? complete that work to be more deep and powerful, and for beyond the talent, time/money are factores many times decisives. i see this iniciative as an understanding of the dificults begining (and by the way, the dificults never ends ;) )

    if we all are “honesty, integrity” who are always in the search of “knowledge of the issues”, then money is not a conscience problem.


  • Bernhard,

    the essence that i read in this “assigment” is: “to help support their personal work”.

    yes, only the the chance to show is great! but, what the next step? complete that work to be more deep and powerful, and for beyond the talent, time/money are factores many times decisives. i see this iniciative as an understanding of the dificults begining (and by the way, the dificults never ends ;) )

    if we all are “honesty, integrity” who are always in the search of “knowledge of the issues”, then money is not a conscience problem.


  • Bernhard,

    the essence that i read in this “assigment” is: “to help support their personal work”.

    yes, only the the chance to show is great! but, what the next step? complete that work to be more deep and powerful, and for beyond the talent, time/money are factores many times decisives. i see this iniciative as an understanding of the dificults begining (and by the way, the dificults never ends ;) )

    if we all are “honesty, integrity” who are always in the search of “knowledge of the issues”, then money is not a conscience problem.



  • Bernhard,

    the essence that i read in this “assigment” is: “to help support their personal work”.

    yes, only the the chance to show is great! but, what the next step? complete that work to be more deep and powerful, and for beyond the talent, time/money are factores many times decisives. i see this iniciative as an understanding of the dificults begining (and by the way, the dificults never ends ;) )

    if we all are “honesty, integrity” who are always in the search of “knowledge of the issues”, then money is not a conscience problem.



  • Dear Mr. Harvey:

    How strict is the shooting dates for the work? I just completed a 10-year project, however, most of the 8,000 odd images were not taken in the time frame you specify. Am I ineligible?


    William Ash

  • Nelson,

    you seem to assueme that the rumor of what’s going on here is not spreading. I’ve witnessed myself that as soon as there is money loads of people appear and join. Whatever, I prefer the idea of a contest without prize money. But that might just be me (guess it’s also because I doubt that I’ll be competitve enough. ;)


  • Mate! they’re all comming out of the woodwork now!

  • the flood gates
    the flood GATES

  • I understand what Bernhard is saying, but maybe in different words. My perception of this project was for emerging photographers to give themselves a dream assignment, yet not go to an elaborate lengths (travel, etc.) to execute it. In other words, shoot it in your own back yard, and shoot it over the course of a month. Work as though you’re covering a story to be published, but don’t make any artistic compromises.

    The fear among those who have participated from the beginning (I’m making an assumption here) is that now that money has been introduced, it’s turned into a “contest” to be bombarded by photogs who know little about the original purpose, over an exercise that illustrates to a publisher how we might approach a subject. That’s the ultimate value in a project like this (if you’re pursuing publishing) is to judge your publishing potential, and to showcase your artistic vision within editorial purposes. But we are photographers—of course we need money!

    I’m sure all of this is being considered by David, though, and I would expect nothing but fairness from him. I’m really most anxious to see everyone else’s work and see the various approaches.

    David M

  • David,

    I second Bernhard’s concerns.

    I think there’d be less people interested in feedback than there now will be interested in the money. And with more people attracted (5000$ does attract a lot of people) the amount of photos submitted will be so huge that I doubt that the “jury” (all the people that might have a look at the photographs) will be able to provide feedback to every participant.

    Either ways, it’s definitely not easy to organize all this, I appreciate your effort and will gladly participate, curious about how this will develop.


  • i bernhard,

    i understand what you have write. in my case, i just want to see the others works of this “assigment”, and to see how the colors of this snow ball, nothing more :)

    best regards,

  • i bernhard,

    i understand what you have write. in my case, i just want to see the others works of this “assigment”, and to see how the colors of this snow ball, nothing more :)

    best regards,

  • i bernhard,

    i understand what you have write. in my case, i just want to see the others works of this “assigment”, and to see how the colors of this snow ball, nothing more :)

    best regards,

  • i bernhard,

    i understand what you have write. in my case, i just want to see the others works of this “assigment”, and to see how the colors of this snow ball, nothing more :)

    best regards,


  • i bernhard,

    i understand what you have write. in my case, i just want to see the others works of this “assigment”, and to see how the colors of this snow ball, nothing more :)

    best regards,


  • hello all…


    well, i was wrestling with this one because i realized so many of you had already completed your edits and had uploaded and then i sprung up with a whole new deal…

    so, the concept of some people entering 40 and others entering 20 might be a bit strange, but i think you see the thought behind it…

    this gives the advantage of time to my “original bloggers” who have known about this for awhile, but so be it…the so called advantage of the extra 20 is not much of an advantage, because 20 is really enough anyway…i will be really surprised if anyone has a tight edit of 40 pictures….but, many of you did upload 20 immediately, so that is the only way i could think of to give you any realistic way of dealing with the extra time…

    the other way, is just to have everybody start all over again with your edit..a whole new submission to be due by november 15..but, i think i can handle it this way…..

    now , exactly who is an “original blogger”? i know many of you read but do not write…you are , of course, still “an original”…if you tell me you are, then you are….i will believe you…honor system….

    the whole point of a limit is of course purely logistical….i actually have to be able to look at all of this material coming in…but, the way the site is set up makes it fairly easy for me to view a whole lot of work…it is not the problem some may have imagined

  • David,

    do you working at book about women?


  • forza David, bellissima idea… muy bueno…

  • martin…

    about 3 years ago i wrote a novella…a sad love story….at the same time , i had been doing some portraits or vignettes of women i know…not professional models….students, friends, girl friends of my sons and other friends , and my own girlfriend too…

    it all started to add up….so, yes, i plan a book…a book of fiction….a mysterious book…a question mark of a book..

    i will still do this book, but right now i have another book to do first…i am working on it now….more of a scrapbook or working living retro journal diary family album living history sort of book..also mysterious….”Off For a Family Drive”

    so the “You Made Me Leave” book (woman book) will just have to wait…it is actually “finished”, but the other book must come first….

    in my own mind, at least, i will have “Divided Soul”, “Off for a Family Drive” and then “You Made Me Leave” as a trilogy….who knows how others will see it…

  • david –

    wow, your generosity blows me away!

    Question – For two years now I have been photographing the homeless street youth in Seattle. I have come to know them well and love them well. This is a life-time project for me as I will follow many of these kids into adulthood and beyond. So my question (and concern) is this: am i only allowed to submit photos of the youth that were made after 7/15? This would sadden me greatly as there are very important photos made before this time that add to the growth and telling of their stories.

    also, i’m a bit confused about how many photos i can submit. i’ve been reading your blog daily for many months now. does this mean i can submit 40 photos total?

    you are truly Magnificent and Magnanimous.
    I hope you know that.

    with much gratitude,


  • I’m a mildly original blogger, I guess. I’ll upload the 20 of the project I have been shooting (if I manage to leave so many ‘in’) and 10 bonus of another that I shot and closed. The 15th of November is such a relief! I have plenty of documentation still to do.

  • A brief reflection about the concern with the recent upped-ante of $5,000 and the proverbial “flood gates.”….

    I guess, to elucidate my own thoughts about this, I should come clean about how and why I am interested in David’s program…..

    I “met” David sometime early this year at LS, an online community of photographers/writers/editors/pros/amateurs/students/enthusiasts/bloogers
    etc. Bruno Stevens, a PJ from Belgium posted to the community about David’s Blog when it was up and running and I immediately took a read and was bitten by the David Alan Harvey Bug. I too remained silent for most of that time (something, as many of you know is NOT in my nature) and just enjoyed swimming through his posts and the posts of commentators. I was drawn to David’s spirit and generosity, not by his name or the fact he was a Magnum/NG photographer. That work (Magnum/NG) couldnt be farther then my own and my personal aspirations as a photographer and writer have nothing to do with that world either. What attracted me and drew me into his world, here, was the character of his heart and words, the ease with which he gave of his time and energy to strangers, his humour, his facility with temperment, language and joy, his dictum of cattle-wrestling the best of people’s characters: challenging them intellectually, spiritually and humanely. I was so excited to “meet” him because, in truth, most of the people I meet in the Photographic community (particularly the rarefied world of the famed) leave me empty and sad and positively uninterested in spending any time near or around them. In fact, i prefer to spend time walking and swallowing salty air with my wife and son, to most of the photographers I deal with and know here in Toronto and around the globe….

    As a pretty vocal and active member of LS, i figured with time he and i would meet: for we seem to share the same energy and belief: that being a photographer, just as any activity or profession in life, entails a responsibility of giving, giving up, nurturing, sharing, divesting. We are nothing without one another and our work is nothing without others. I think very little, honestly, about my own work as a photographer and a writer. I love it sometimes and I loathe it sometimes: a continual disappointment, but as I expressed to my wife last night while she was lamenting her ordeal in Moscow, we must never lament ourselves,never. David’s generosity of vision and heart and drum-beat character is why, earlier this year i waded in here. Im not really into blogs, but David’s is a real community, and that is why I persist.

    We met when i wrote at ls that i “am not interested in being a magnum photographer”, but that is true…i am more interested in being a good husband and father and teacher and friend, and yes I hope my photographs and writing speak of something, but that is the least of my ambitions: we dissipate and vanish, and others around us as well, the same. The ambition toward the material is a Pyrrhic one…….

    my place in the world of photography is non-existent…i have friends, i exhibit at a gallery here (and ive been fortune to show in Hong Kong), but that’s the extent…i turned to photography (from painting) when I was 35, now i am 42. I have been often disheartened by the community and so have tried to build from the ashes of personal squalor and competition and the nomenclature of arrogance and mememememe….so, i’ve created a weekly projection here to showcase photographers from around the world: i do it all on my own, no help, no money, nothing, but like david, my hope is that it will set an example of something quite simple:

    people and the stories are their lives are more important than all the bullshit of clamouring photographers….

    i entered david’s assignment as a challenge, a joy really. I didnt do it to compete with others (there IS NO SUCH THING AS COMPETITION, PERIOD). I did it because I wanted to share a part of my work with him…not even as a mentor, but as a brother, a fellow photographer…that others would be part of that made it, at least for me, that much more rewarding…

    My work is not easy to love, in fact, I also hate it too. Only I dont know what to do: i shoot the way i live, i shoot the way i think about the sorrow and the celebratio that exists: how to express that disappearance, the joy and the wonder, the rage and the fortune. Magazines are not interested in my work, just as they are not interested in most people’s work, and I dont give a fuck either. I work hard to support myself and family and think of sharing my pics as just that: stories over wine and laughter…

    that others enter this is the real truth, the real collision, the real beauty of David’s design. I want my photographs next ot others, i want them to sing in chorus with others, i want them to complement and dance with others…i didnt become a photographer for the ego, but because i loved what pictures can accomplish, something words often fail at…

    the addition of %5,000 is a total irrelevancy for me and i hope it is for all of you. In fact, i’d prefer to see the money go to mainting David’s idea, but I also understand the nature of this world. I didnt get into it for that, and the news has done nothing to me different. I sent an imperfect and broken story and I wont change it to suit this new condition. I gave david what he asked for, that’s good enough for me: because it is what i am and who i am….

    so, let 1,000,000 photographers enter this, i dont care and i think no one should begrudge that: no one is removed from life, and either 10 photographers or 1,000,000 doesnt change anything (except for poor david and michael’s work load)….dont poison your work or your life because of the fact that others want to join in or see the money…it comes and goes and so what:

    the hard work is this: at the end, have you lived the best you can, done the most for the people around you, lived well and large, and swallow life as a part of you….

    if everyone comes, so what….the only other photographers that matter in this is the person inside you, the photographer you were and the photographer yuou will become….

    i am just happy to continue this dance….it’s lovely to know that people still recongize something simple…..

    we are all, in the end, scattering: let us celebrate that fact…

    nothing more


  • David,

    I wish to read your sad love story… I check in web but I can’t find it.

    Why sad love story?
    Ok. Too many questions. As always…
    But you have right, everything about woman is mysterious… ha, ha


  • bobblack,

    you hurt my mind


  • David –

    Thanks so much! This is a great opportunity…even greater than before I suppose. I really like the approach that you’ve taken on this and am looking forward to your feedback on my first 20.

    Thanks again –


  • bernhard….

    interesting point and well taken….but, i do not see this as a contest at all…this will be set up as a grant or a stipend to provide some small encouragement for emerging photographers ….

    you must remember that my idea all along was to set up the non-profit fund to do just that perhaps corporate or private donors would help support those that need support….and all of my readers were submitting work all along with no thought whatsover that there would be a stipend THIS TIME, but that it was an overall goal all along…this submission was to be just a “test” to see if the community would respond..i just showed up with a token grant a little early, seeing it as perhaps a pleasant surprise…

    from the beginning (if you go back and read) i always said that if everything worked out, that i would love to literally be able to give photographers production money…not just one stipend , but several…as a new way of building community and then turning it back into non-traditional print form….

    my whole thinking process on this has been written right here…..but, i would surely not want funding to ruin anything…do you feel this about all artistic grants??? what about the Guggenheim’s and the Eugene Smith grants etc that have providing so much funding and reward for personal non-commercial heart felt projects??…the work produced from these grants, in my mind, has given US immeasurable rewards in the form of very special work done…

    you are totally right about one thing…money can create has done that for hundreds of years….but, for example, money can also allow a young, developing country photographer, a chance to show his or her talent where absolutely no opportunity may exist…or support a photographer who is in despair over current publishing methods….

    this stipend was intended to encourage, not discourage…the photographers who submit here who do not receive a stipend will also be exposed to many viewers who might not otherwise see their work…and hopefully, this will also stimulate private and corporate funders to donate so that more photographers will have a chance to produce something of esoteric value…

    of course, there are dishonest people in the world who can cheat….try to pull one over on me….but, i consider people honest until they prove otherwise….

    i would not even have continued this blog past the first week if i had not felt the very good vibes from the audience i have here….i have zero “reason” to do a blog in the first place, nor even to step to the plate and provide funding for an emerging photographer…i actually need the money myself to be quite honest….ask any of my friends….they will tell you this reality..and whatever time i put into this forum without any advertising or compensation to me whatsoever is more “expensive” than my small contribution to a worthy photographer…

    but,as i mentioned in another post, i believe in the payback and payforward is a philosophical point of view, not a financial point of view…giving becomes receiving….

    some people can turn bad things into good things and others turn good things into bad things….the glass can be half full or half empty….

    i am an optimist….i do not expect to be cheated by someone who is lying to me about when they took the photographs…besides, anyone who stooped that low would, in the long run, only be cheating one person…themselves….

    this whole effort is experimental in nature….if this all turns out to be a big mistake, i will be the first to admit it….i have made many mistakes before….

    but, there seems to be just as good a chance that some real good can come out of this…and , as i also said before, if for whatever reason this does not somehow “work out” we all go back to where we were before and no harm done….we will all have had the pleasure of seeing some very nice new unpublished work…and that is the real and only reward….

    thanks for your comment…that is why i am here…

    cheers, david

  • oh…also, I liked your comment:

    “some photographers are funded to “see what the client wants them to see” and yet, other photographers are funded for their vision…other photographers are paid nothing and their vision is “unclear”, and other photographers are paid nothing and their vision is extraordinary….so, there are so many factors in this equation that the best thing you can do is to live it, feel it, immerse yourself in it, sweat, be afraid, be ecstatic, burn a hole with your eye in your viewfinder, relax and let the chips fall where they may…trying to quantify this process or trying to over please or trying to find a formula for letting the viewers of your work feel exactly as you felt, will make you lose more sleep”…

    this seems to be something that many struggle with…I was having a conversation with my girlfriend the other day, while on a hike, about how I’ve been asking myself lately “what the camera means to me?” as a way to focus myself in relation to these similar concerns…I have some friends who are adventure photographers and the camera to them is their way being out there in a lifestyle they enjoy, other friends are newspaper photographers whom do not want to “look” for work at all, they simply want to shoot everyday and get a steady paycheck, and yet others seem to enjoy the transaction of it all – banging out business portraits, event photography, weddings, etc., while pulling in the money…the question of who you are as a photographer and how you will make money or not make money as a photographer certainly can create much anxiety.

  • I think this is fantastic. Going to put some stuff together now..

  • David – maybe there’s no time for this, but I would love to see some sort of “teaser page” of one strong shot from each of the early entries. I guess I’m just dying to see some of the work.

  • David,

    Maybe it’s adding too many eyes on one’s work, resulting in confusion as David mentionned about editing, but let me know if there was something wrong in seeking encouragement to work more collectively (not taking shots or making choices for the essay, but sharing results as we go) to forge a network, and add the possibility at times to find a support system with the road trip “membership”.

    Nothing regulated or required of course.


  • Bob,

    If you are ever in Santa Barbara, I am going to buy you some beer! I’ve enjoyed reading your posts as much as David’s. Thank you (and David as always) for contributing some perspective.

    I also do not generally like online discussions, and I’ve never opined in a blog until this one, but this has been very special and earned the respect of many.

    Yes, life is fleeting: “We are all of us in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” Oscar Wilde, I think. You’ve reminded me of an old quote from an old friend: “So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.” Not to be taken out of context, it helps you in becoming who you are…maybe even in your own voice or authorship in the realm of photography. I truly believe weather he has read Nietzsche or not, that this is precisely what Koudelka does.

    Anyway, random thoughts after a very late night…and no coffee.


  • It’s getting very busy around here :)

    I was thinking about stuff related to the blog this morning on a hike and regarding the worry that has been expressed by a few here as to whether or not the blog will “suffer” because everyone is focused only on the essay “prize” and that the photography discussions will be somehow neglected…it seems to me that our essays are a reflection of the discussions and the two feed each other.

    This morning I read somewhere (under Tango I think) a comment from David responding to an editing question…
    He said that a common editing mistake is to include two images that are too similar. Those words hit me hard because I know about this and yet I must admit I did it in my essay. Images two and three are probably way too similar but I liked them both so much that I included them both. So now I really “got it” and (hopefully) will have the opportunity to correct my mistake. In other words I DEPEND on the discussions for my essay to improve and by working on the essay new questions come up which leads to more discussion. The circle of blog.

    There is a question here…
    David you already seem to be thinking about this…whether or not to ask for a whole new 40…If you go in and look at our work and give us feedback…and just as an example let’s say you tell me that two of my images are too similar…It seems like way way too much work for you to go in and take one out per my instructions and insert a new one that I send…How do we reedit the old work? Or do we just forget about what we’ve already submitted and send an additional 20? If the idea is to have a cohesive essay I’m not sure how we’re going to put the first and second group together without resubmitting the whole thing?

    Love everyone’s comments this morning…

  • katia…

    yes,as a longtime reader, you may submit 40 anytime between now and november 15…try sending in say 10 at a time or something so i can give some feedback… ….

    the intention here was to see how photographers could work within a given time frame…i pulled the trigger on the “starting gun” the minute i had the idea , which just happened to be when i was on vacation with my family, july 15…

    but, i also said that if i saw a story that i liked and there was more to it, that i would ask to see more…i think we should leave it like that for the moment….you can show me now work from this four month period…this , at least, gives me a framework from which i can then make other decisions….

  • David,

    I had mixed feelings about your extension, and the money – strange, surprising, why wouldn’t I want more time?

    Perhaps because the relatively tight deadline pushed me, and this project itself has pushed me to try to do something “worthy,” important … to push myself into uncomfortable areas, both within and without. This has been so incredibly frustrating, daunting, scary, and wonderful. It’s a great kick in the butt. I’ve just started making inroads on my “big project” for you and the community … trying to tell the story of a sovereign nation within a nation, long abused and neglected, mistrusting, closed, trying to find their way between past, present and future, on the edge of great hope or greater tragedy … a great story to be told but not in the obvious. Can I tell it, can I do it justice, can I gain their trust, can I honor them, is my vision clear, am I “good enough” … it is just starting, something wonderful I hope. Regardless, it has been good for me. I’m still trying to find my way, fearful of time closing in, an allegory perhaps for life at 40.

    This is scary. Like an author, I think you also have to be brave to be a great photographer, or perhaps not give a damn – to bare your soul to the risk of … indifference. I can handle derision but a shrug of the shoulders … I care too much about that … I want to be like Bob ;-)

    I have learned so much in just a few short months since being here, from you and from the community, so many wonderful people here, so many great links back to everyone’s inspiring work, so much generosity, so many muses. You have created something special; I jealously fear its success, aware of the selfishness of that.

    So, I will follow my original plan to submit my 20 this weekend to show my work within the time frame given, including several short stories and the genesis of my broader project for you (and me).

    David, perhaps you will look and say, “More.” I will leave it up to you. The work will continue regardless, you have spurred me onto a good path, not an easy one, but a rewarding one I hope. I can’t thank you enough for the opportunity and your generous soul.


  • cathy…

    even since i posted the stipend, i have written about 5 long comments having nothing to do with the stipend…this announcement has only been posted for 24 hours…things will calm down….i will make sure of it…there will be updated postings under my other three chapters soonest…there will never be any mention of the stipend except here under “road trips”

    well, i am never going to publish even 20 of your essay photographs..or it is highly unlikely…as i said somewhere else, the greatest photo essays of all time do not have 20 pictures in them (ok a few exceptions)…your work will be edited down to whatever seems coherent….you may do as you want….since you submitted your 20 already, just leave it alone…either add to that essay with another 20, or do another whole new one…your choice…

    perhaps by tomorrow i will go in , take a look, and try to give some feedback to you and to others….

  • tom…

    good clear thinking on your part…makes sense..perfect…thanks

  • Curiously missing from these discussions is Aga. Aga, where did you go?

  • herve…

    this was never intended as a photo sharing or group editing site of which there are several….there is great value to much of what happens on the photo sharing sites, but this is something entirely different….you could, of course, get a group critique on a photo sharing site and then submit your final, tightly edited essay here…

    for the chosen essays, i will of course , do a critique and comments…and i will also do feedback as much as i possibly can by viewing your submission…

    there is just no mechanism to have all of us looking at what everyone does all through the process…that is what i do at my “live” hands on workshops with 12 students who photograph intensely for a week on an essay of their choice and get a daily critique from me and other members of the class and outside editors as well…but, i do not see how i could do that here…

    there is only so much time in a day…as you may know, i am publishing my books, shooting magazine assignments, and giving a good bit of my time to one on one workshops….if i gave up shooting for full time blogging, that would kill the whole point…i am only of value to you i think as long as i am actually out there doing what either you do or are trying to do…as a working reference point for you…

    as always, i welcome your suggestions, constructive critique etc etc…i will do the best i can to do whatever i can…


  • David, just to clarify…to make sure you understood…I was responding to those who were worried that stipend news will take over the blog by saying that I am not worried…that it is all working well for me…one is helping the other in my case.

    But I appreciate the response.

  • cathy…

    i was reading so many comments so quickly, that i must have mis-understood or combined comments in my head…thanks for clarifying…

  • martin…

    the novella, the sad love story which i wrote is the main part of the photographic book which is to be published in the near future “You Made Me Leave”…even my best friends have not read it….

    why sad love story?? hmmmm, it was just the best story i had in my head when i woke up one morning , had 15 cups of coffee and wrote the damn thing in about 15 hours of feverish maniac style writing…must have been something that needed to “come out” i suppose…

  • Yes, something to come out…

    Looking at your photography I’m not surprised that you wrote about love. Maybe not about sadness…
    You always are full of joy in yours works, and in life too I suppose (I saw your family pictures).
    But I know, Nobody is happy all the time.

    Hmmm… me too… I guess…


  • does anyone know of any great documentary films besides the obvious about photographers ?

    i would like to see a documentary about dah (working behind the scenes) ie. family & friends interviews etc. David since your son does documentaries has he ever considered the topic of his father ?
    David what are some of your favorite films by photographers for photographers ?

  • Great stuff regarding the money… but i have to ask you, David, when will the reviews ‘come out’ and in what form: personal e-mail, comment on the blog, a separate post? I am very anxious to hear what someone like you (a ‘chosen one’ :) has to say about my photos. Thank you very much for all this.

    Andrei Spirache

  • Obviously I’m to shallow to not want 5000 grand but as my pictures are out of the time frame I’d me very interested in what you thought of the stuff I sent presuming that I managed to work the FTP program.

    David I’m really impressed by how you make things happen and the amount of time you’re putting into this, thanks


  • i am really enjoying the blog and all the support you and michael have given but is there anything we all can do to support you and your efforts in keeping this going ? this is an incredible lot of work and i do so appreciate it. i don’t know if others have expressed this sentiment but it does occur to me.

  • harry…

    not sure what you mean by your pictures are out of the time frame??…even from right this minute you have almost 7 weeks more to shoot

  • andrei…

    i will try very hard to go in and look all along from now until deadline date…and then, at the end, for final publication, i will write an essay on the chosen pieces…


    yes, i am overall happy…but, who among us has not had a sad love story or two???

  • robert….

    i will post soonest some links to good films on photographers…and by photographers too…

    i have three or so myself…and yes, my son bryan has done two broadcast films of me at work…one in cuba and one in puerto rico…

    i just have to figure out how to post these films..working on it….

  • David,

    you wrote: “woke up one morning , had 15 cups of coffee and wrote the damn thing in about 15 hours of feverish maniac style writing…must have been something that needed to “come out” i suppose…”

    and with that you made me remember Jack Kerouac when he wrote at once (i think im correct on this) his book “On the Road”!!!! if i’m not mistake he wrote it like he had a hot and fast fever, without never slept in days, lots of coffe, and other things… an intire text with paragraphs in a continuous roll of paper, like a road, the old 66!!

  • David,

    you wrote: “woke up one morning , had 15 cups of coffee and wrote the damn thing in about 15 hours of feverish maniac style writing…must have been something that needed to “come out” i suppose…”

    and with that you made me remember Jack Kerouac when he wrote at once (i think im correct on this) his book “On the Road”!!!! if i’m not mistake he wrote it like he had a hot and fast fever, without never slept in days, lots of coffe, and other things… an intire text with paragraphs in a continuous roll of paper, like a road, the old 66!!

  • David,

    you wrote: “woke up one morning , had 15 cups of coffee and wrote the damn thing in about 15 hours of feverish maniac style writing…must have been something that needed to “come out” i suppose…”

    and with that you made me remember Jack Kerouac when he wrote at once (i think im correct on this) his book “On the Road”!!!! if i’m not mistake he wrote it like he had a hot and fast fever, without never slept in days, lots of coffe, and other things… an intire text with paragraphs in a continuous roll of paper, like a road, the old 66!!

  • David,

    you wrote: “woke up one morning , had 15 cups of coffee and wrote the damn thing in about 15 hours of feverish maniac style writing…must have been something that needed to “come out” i suppose…”

    and with that you made me remember Jack Kerouac when he wrote at once (i think im correct on this) his book “On the Road”!!!! if i’m not mistake he wrote it like he had a hot and fast fever, without never slept in days, lots of coffe, and other things… an intire text with paragraphs in a continuous roll of paper, like a road, the old 66!!

  • David,

    you wrote: “woke up one morning , had 15 cups of coffee and wrote the damn thing in about 15 hours of feverish maniac style writing…must have been something that needed to “come out” i suppose…”

    and with that you made me remember Jack Kerouac when he wrote at once (i think im correct on this) his book “On the Road”!!!! if i’m not mistake he wrote it like he had a hot and fast fever, without never slept in days, lots of coffe, and other things… an intire text with paragraphs in a continuous roll of paper, like a road, the old 66!!

  • David,

    for video hosting i have a suggestion: in my opinion it’s much more powerfull than youtube, with more options to a better screening.

  • David,

    for video hosting i have a suggestion: in my opinion it’s much more powerfull than youtube, with more options to a better screening.

  • David,

    for video hosting i have a suggestion: in my opinion it’s much more powerfull than youtube, with more options to a better screening.

  • David,

    for video hosting i have a suggestion: in my opinion it’s much more powerfull than youtube, with more options to a better screening.

  • David,

    for video hosting i have a suggestion: in my opinion it’s much more powerfull than youtube, with more options to a better screening.

  • david mcgowan…

    yes, i have thought about all of this…but, i could have some surprises….i just do not see that any of us have anything to lose…

    my “original” readers remain the same….i will not stop writing to all of you as much as possible…and our original goals are the same…we always wanted some funding…i just sweetened the pot as a gesture and i think others will follow…

    for those “newcomers”, they will surely do some background reading to figure it all out….and , actually, there are even more “originals” than you may realize…there were a whole bunch of submitters who never write…few actually write as it turns out…and then there are some who do not write, nor submit…

    i suspect we will always have a relatively small audience here…it will grow a bit, but we have a very specific tone to this which will not change…if i wanted “traffic” i would turn to tech talk….that is where the majority of online folks are….

    please please do not anyone feel “threatened”…one of my jobs here is to prepare some of you for your “next step”..i will always do that…but, adding a little “heat” is realistic…no matter how much larger this audience gets, it will still be way way way smaller than any current publication in print or online publisher…

    my whole thing here is to keep it personal….i promise not to change…i would not know how to change anyway…

    the extra readers just gives us a better chance for non-profit funders…so if you do what i am encouraging you to do , everyone certainly will have a better chance for some funding than you had before…

    maybe nobody has noticed, but i am giving you total freedom to shoot any way and in any style that you want….no pre-conceived ideas from my end……this is a chance for you to show what you can really do….freedom….please use it….

  • david alan harvey is the patron saint of fotographie.

  • david…i followed your advice, kissed my bride and daughter and re-read your book “divided soul”…this book, each time i look at it, makes me want to go out and shoot…your use of light is incredible….ca i ask you if you pre-set your settings (speed and aperture) on your leica, because i am not sure how to achieve these effects on the with the action going…i am still using film leica cameras and am still trying to figure out how to use a rangefinder camera efficiently so that it does not interfere with my photography…any advice would be welcome…


    ps: sorry if it sounds like a technical question but really it is not…

  • arie…

    i always use the simplest of techniques no matter what system i am using…that is, with transparency film i read off of the highlight, focus and shoot….easy…..i almost always am working with the lens wide open, because my asa film speed is slow….so i just use whatever shutter speed matches the widest aperture…so,i am really only ever setting the shutter speed and rarely touch the aperture ring..

    doing this you must learn how to steady the camera at slow speeds…practice and bracing are the only way….become truly instinctive with whatever system you are using and do not switch from one system to the other unless both systems are just an extension of your eye and body…

    i rarely pre-focus because i am at the wide aperture and there is no margin for error…practice and practice and practice….the usual!!!

  • Robert wrote:
    “david alan harvey is the patron saint of fotographie.”

    …and the statue would have a beer in one hand and a camera in the other? Say amen, somebody!

    David, thanks for your generosity — and I don’t mean the stipend (though that is pretty amazing), but of spirit and time. It will be fun to learn how many people you have motivated to shoot a story.


  • hi david…

    i read some where…that, leica cameras was offering to provide all students with are leica M8…is that true??

    …oh yes, it was you…under, “bangkok workshop”.

    i guest, for students who uses a rangefinder to begin with, wouldn’t have are problem…but, for those who dont, would find it defficult to make the transition from SLR to rangefinder…

    it’s like driving an auto to driving are manual…speaking for myself…it took me awhile and alot of practice…about 10-20 rolls to use the camera efficiently…

    so…would changing gear affect the quality of work???

    hope you understand…im not much of a writer.

    double thumbs-up
    ozzy al

  • ozzy al…

    yes, any student coming to my new york loft workshop this coming week, may use the Leica M8 for the week…i have 10 M8’s sitting here on my kitchen table handed over to me today by Leica…

    As you say, not everyone will want to try the M8 because they are used to their slr’s and the transition can be tough for some…none of the students who signed up for the class knew they would have this opportunity…nice surprise…most are already professional photographers and have all of their favorite gear..but even most slr pros also use a Leica as their “personal” camera…

    any way you want to look at it, this is a very nice “gift”, in my opinion, from Leica….by the way, i asked Leica for nothing for this workshop …this was totally a voluntary effort on their part…

    cheers, david

  • Robert, mind if I jump in for a minute? I have a movie called “Photography Made Difficult.” I recommend it – about Eugene Smith. I’ve also seen one called “Henri Cartier-Bresson, the Impassioned Eye.” There are two discs comprising a series called “Contacts.” They’re about a bunch of great photographers. One of them might be about Robert Frank. If not, there is one about him alone.

    There’s one called something like “Stieglitz, the Eloquent (Elegant?) Eye.”

    I get all these on Netflix.

    Well, time for Jon Stewart.


  • As energy flows back in the direction of the giver..I believe you have the wisdom to be it’s ready steward, David…

    Q: regardinging the additional 20, just want to confirm that they can comprise an entirely separate story/collection of singles (from the first 20) if created within the time period..

    thanks ever so much…

    maybe see you at the powerHouse Brooklynites opening tomorrow?

  • thats very nice of Leica to help you and the guys out…

    it will be a “VERY NICE” surprise in deed…
    i’m even excited for them…

    good luck with the workshop…david!!

    nite, or afternoon ere,
    ozzy al

  • Actually, david, and thanks for your reply BTW, I meant not having you involved in that sharing. Just getting to know each other better, and show support

    The photo sharing sites have their good points, but the exchanges lack much substance, and it’s great that some friendships are made and people meet, but we are talking at mostly anonymous membership of many thousands, unlike here. Those vibes you talk about are special to your blog.

    Yet, most likely, if we all stick around, we will get to know each other, especially after the essays are seen online for all to see (will they be publicly online after Nov. 15 or Dec 15?).

    I actually think I am getting at the same thing Bob says, share, give to and take from people what they can offer to you. Over “wine and laughter”? yep, that would definitely be the ultimate idea too.

  • Herve,

    yes, some of the freindships stay online, so go offline. Thats the power of the internet. Places like TE, Flickr and here, although different, offer us all a chance to talk and maybe meet and get to know each other. So far the only person Ive met from here has been David, so thats not a bad start, though I hope its not the end either.

    The money is nice. 5 grand is a good chunk, but I dont think anyone should be in it for that. personally for me the best thing is to be able to participate and create work with a real goal in mind. Thats something Ive never experienced.

  • The pictures I sent finished a couple of weeks before july and at the moment my wifei s in the last month of finishing her Phd so when I’m not doing her field work I’m looking after the kids. My cameras are actually dusty. I could send pictures of my kids but I don’t think thaty would be a fair refection of what I do.

  • HA! This is blog! 123 comments! I’m not expert at all, maybe I’m wrong, but I’ve never seen so many comments in any site before!
    Congratulations David… you create something special I think.
    You had a quite big party at home last night, David.
    Was vine?

    Ok, work and cafe waiting for me… and shooting, but I still waiting for my camera :(
    Where is Aga?

    Peace my friend (universe peace)


  • Well, 123 comments, I will venture the excitement is not so much about David’s $$ allotment, but that he is giving us 2 extra months to work. I know people who’d do a triple saltow and back if their publisher told them their deadline has been extended by 8 weeks!


  • Before I heard there was a deadline I sent in 6 random images because I didn’t have a full story. But now that I know there is an extension I will be able to finish my story. I hope I can still upload another ten pics over and above my six? And David, thank you for being such an inspiration and a constant kick in the ass.

    Warren van Rensburg

  • Dear David,

    I sent you seven pictures. I will send another photos later.

    Thank You!

    Gabor Kalmanfi

  • herve…

    thank you so much for having this attitude…i totally appreciate it….and i will do everything i can to give you as much feedback as possible and yes , by the end, you will see so much new work in a sophisticated way …and i do hope all of you are checking out each other’s websites etc..i think most do…


    you are the original “original”…everybody loves your comments!! yes yes , where is aga?? working i hope….luckily i will see her in new york fairly soon i think….i am sure you are making some very nice photographs…..and please say hello to your very understanding and supportive wife…i hope you make her laugh too!!

    warren, gabor..

    i am sure everything is fine with your submissions…michael tracks everything very closely…i look forward to seeing everything soonest….


    yes, you and i are the most perfect example of the “community” actually getting together and going out to shoot together…i have had the pleasure of meeting many fellow bloggers in person in the last couple of months, but the korea experience was unique for both of us….

    i do hope we will meet again soonest….

    cheers, david

  • David……..I’ve been here all along! Can I submit more than twenty?

  • david….thanks as always for your answers to my questions….what i find great with my leica is that i can focus entirely on my subject…i tend to forget about aperture/shutter speed and just look in the eyes of my subject, sharing personal stories and as you say often get in the zone (i love this expression, its sounds very cool!! ia m in the zone…wow!!)….less is more, less is more, more is less (no, less is more….i always need to remember this)…

    thanks for this blog, i think that we have started an amazing sharing group experience…


    ps: no question from me today (i have few of them i want to ask, but it is resting day today!)

  • david…i forgot to mention that apparently Velvia 50 is back…i think i remenber you saying this was a film you enjoyed very much…does it mean you will be back to shooting film again? :)


  • Good question Arie!
    Will My dreams and wishes come thru?

    Martin with hope

  • hi Martin…i always enjoy reading your posts…


  • Thanks Arie, I always do my best.
    I think I’m funny because my English is catastrophe.

    And bobblack is my maestro… even if I’m not able to read his comment to end never…

  • My favorite writers at the moment seem all to be verbally dextrous photographers. Bob Black, Jon Anderson, The Man Himself Mr Harvey, Jeff Jocobson, Charley Harbutt, Sion Tounhig and many others. Colm McCann, a brilliant descriptive writer and wannabe photographer is also up there along with so many others. David, I’m intrigued you wrote a novella and would love to read it. I look forward to your books with renewed gusto.

  • I’m late with my upload as I’m prevaricating as to what to show you. My best Child’s Play material was made outside the required window and so I’ll most likely send you an eclectic mix of new, off kilter material made in just the last couple of weeks. It’s all unrelated, as far as I’m currently aware, but each image creates a strange little world that I’m enjoying being in. It has been a while since I’ve made interesting street photography. At least I think it’s interesting. Hmm.

    Anyway, I came here just now to say that the main reason I’m slow is that I’m in a mad rush to get as much of my better stock images uploaded to the new Photoshelter Collection. This seems like a hugely important development for us photographers and I’m wasting no time taking advantage. I’m in the process of re-emerging, if you like, and so have an awful lot of work to do. I will upload by the deadline, however, no doubt about that.

  • wayne….

    the primary purpose for allowing more than 20 was for those who had already submitted 20 and did not know about the deadline extension…

    however, if you feel that more than 20 helps you , then please feel free…

    i still emphasize however that probably 20 is the right amount no matter what…tight editing brings even lengthy long term projects down to almost that number for most photographers….

    BUT, i will not hold you back…just be judicious please…for your own good….

    too many photographers show too many pictures too much of the time…


  • paul…

    how can you be slow on your upload when the deadline is 7 weeks away???


  • I know. It’s just I previously mentioned I was about to upload on a particular evening but got distracted. And now that things have developed so much I’ll take full advantage of the added time.

    While I’m here, I’m about to post a question at Lightstalkers and will ask the same question of participants here. I’m a street shooter with a good body of work on New York and will one day publish a huge book of this material. However, I may only have about a year left here before possibly returning to Europe. In any case I’d like to do a lot more reading on New York and would appreciate any suggestions. Walt Whitman is on my list. I’ve read a lot of Paul Auster. Colmn McCann’s Thhis Side of Brightness is pure genius I think and I’ll re-read that first up. Any other ideas?
    Sorry to impose on this blog but I was already here anyway.

  • David
    USD 50k of Leica M8s in your apartment?
    Keep the doors WELL locked please?1?

  • David and Fellow DAH bloggers,

    Wow! The energy and enthusiasm of this community is truly inspiring. Professor Harvey (or should I call you The Godfather?) – you are making a huge impact in photographers’ lives. The original idea of asking for submissions was great on its own, but your gesture of financial AND emotional investment in our work really makes this event something special.

    Watching this community grow from the beginning when it was a pretty quiet site where you could ask an esoteric question and get a thoughtful and informative answer to now where we have the potential to create a new publishing venue has been such a powerful and educational experience. Best of all we still get our questions answered!

    So thanks to everyone. What’s next, hosting a festival a la Perpignan?

    Looking forward to the October workshop,


  • I’m with Herve in thinking that the opportunity and not the money is behind all this excitement.

    BTW, this enthusiasm says a lot about how people deal with each other when the environment is set for cooperation, honor, and fairness, rather than dog-eat-dog competition, does it?

    David, on a slightly different topic… I sent you a separate email a few days ago. Let me know whether you got it, when you have a moment…

    Cheers everyone!


  • HA! I got brand new camera! and beautiful evening! nothing more i need!
    Bye, Bye…

  • Hi David,
    (and Bob Black, Arie, Martin, Paul, Cathy, Robert, Herve, etc. and all other bloggers)

    I finally found a good broadband connection last night and went ahead and uploaded my twenty images. Even with the extra time now allotted, I agree with the other contributors who’ve said they think it’s better to go ahead with the original idea and project parameters and show what they came up with in the mid-July to early-Sept time frame before that lurid possibility of a stipend was dangled on the horizon. And although none of my twenty are what I would call ‘greatest hits’, nevertheless after I had lived with the edit for a few days, I felt like it was a pretty good, if maybe only partial, reflection of what I am and do as a photographer these days. And there is at least some stylistic continuity in each of the three ‘sub-essays’ that fit into a larger theme of ‘Summer in the City of Subdued Excitement’. But here in the Pacific Northwest the summer is definitely over, the leaves are turning, the rains are returning, the temperatures are dropping, and any more work on THAT theme will have to wait until next June anyway. Time to move on to other projects for now, and David is certainly right, 20 images is plenty!

    Yes, it’s that particular ‘community’ vibe of shared enthusiasm and shared concerns about the craft and art of photography, photographic story-telling, and the life of the photographer that makes this blog so attractive and addictive. In response to Herve’s expressed wish for more direct contact, yes, I noticed that many contributors have their names linked to their web sites or photo sharing sites, and I’ve already checked out a few of those links and will continue to do so, and will probably send off an email or two to other bloggers from time to time. (Paul Treacy- I love your photo of Nelson Mandela surrounded by British Grenadiers in scarlet). Unfortunately I use a slow dial-up connection most of the time so perusing photo web sites is often a painfully slow process, but I will persevere. (And I’ll put in another shameless plug for my own website which can be accessed by clicking my name below).

    As David says, traditional print media, especially as a market for quality photojournalism, is certainly on the way out. I also have feared that appreciation of still images themselves might be headed the same way- we are so surrounded by moving images these days, video technology is so accessible, and people growing up now are so accustomed to multi-media blitz. In the 1930s, 40s, 50s, even the 60s, the still photograph was THE mainstream medium for communicating information, style, emotion, and wonder around the world and across cultures. Then television took over, and now YouTube. Sometimes I fear that still-photo journalism will eventually become more of a hobby or fringe profession, like fly-fishing or hunting with falcons– a noble and respected art giving great satisfaction to its practitioners but not really important in mainstream society.

    But of course there remains a powerful magic in the still image. I’m so pleased to encounter people on this blog, most younger than me (I’m 60), who remain so enthralled by and committed to the still photograph as a means of expression, communication, and personal exploration. The Web really is the new canvas, the new photogravure magazine, the new museum gallery, and the possibilities for using still images on the Web as opposed to in print magazines are really only beginning to be explored. I’m so looking forward to seeing all of your work!


  • Hi,

    I just wanted to add my thanks to Mr. Harvey for presenting this great opportunity.

    I also wanted to invite this blog’s readers to take a look at my website, and give me some feedback if they so desire.

    Please keep in mind that I am still working on project statements and captions.

    Thanks again to Mr. Harvey and those who make up this community.

  • Sidney-
    I understand what you’re saying, and agree that the web is a great medium, but so far for me, looking at images electronically hasn’t replaced the look and feel of a printed photograph. Hopefully what inspires us online sends us out to find the book or exhibit.

    David M

  • Thank you for this Bob:
    “the hard work is this: at the end, have you lived the best you can, done the most for the people around you, lived well and large, and swallow life as a part of you….” (bobblack | September 19, 2007 at 12:33 PM).

    You have friends in Austin for “wine and laughter” if you ever make it down this way.

    Thank you David for this forum, your words and you work. I am a baby in this photo world, but I am giving myself assignements, learning everyday and trying to follow my path. You inspire, nurture and push… the best kind of coach.

    Cheers and thank you,

  • sidney…

    at the very beginning of my professional career, right out of grad school age 22 , i went to many a seminar where the “death of photojournalism” was predicted to happen within minutes…i then proceeded to have a full life and career in documentary photography!!!

    since then, magazines have indeed died or are dying , but i have never seen so much fine documentary photography in my life…and in museums, fine books and on gallery walls…sure looks a lot better than it ever did in any magazine…

    i predict more “boutique” magazines where fine documentary photography will take an even higher place on the artistic “food chain”…

    sure, CNN has replaced LIFE magazine…why?? because CNN delivers news and feature stories much much “better” and faster…do i miss the old LIFE essays?? sure i do, but i now find even more complete and compelling and sophisticated work in books than i ever saw in any magazine, which at the end of the day, is basically a “throw away” item….

    eugene smith’s great essays appear much better in finely reproduced books than they ever did in LIFE..

    the “mass appeal” of the essays in magazines will be lost….but, personally, i would rather “reach” 10 people with a quality production than 100 people with something with which i was not really pleased…

    my aim…quality publication first….circulation later…this is possible with the net…create an audience with whatever content you deem to be content…if others like it, then you have an audience…period…no questions asked

    traditional print magazines have tried recently to “over-cater” to their readers to keep them and the advertisers..tried to “psyche them out”…figure out “who they are”…trying to please everyone and then end up having no real “voice”….no personality… and THEN , ironically, ending up with nose diving circulation anyway!!

    however, still photographs are here to stay…they will pick up in their “power”…there will be new exciting media too…combos of stills and video…this will add…this will not subtract….collectors print sales are on the rise….and self-published books allow anyone with a good website to become a publisher..

    new technology always threatens the old….it changes the old, but rarely actually replaces the “old”…as i said once before, radio is still here..powerful….i.e. NPR cannot be beat…when television came out, there were the same dire predictions of the death of radio as there now are over the death of documentary photography…

    i must also say that few photographers have had as good a life in magazines as have i….National Geographic gave me an amazing life, a body of work and archive (43 stories), lifelong friends, and an education of the world for me and my family ..i had two stories published in NG magazine this year and just finished a story for Fortune…so i do not forsake magazines…how could i?? i just see an evolution away from them as they now stand….nobody’s fault, just evolution..

    peace, david

  • hello kelly

    a rich future will await you if you have the right attitude, learn everyday, and work very hard for the right reasons…..each generation has to re-invent the landscape…each generation may not have some of things advantageous to the previous, but a quick look around reveals revolutionary promise….


  • jorge…

    i will look soonest….


    i did not find an e-mail from you…will check again…

  • hi all,

    i just want to second what herve posted earlier:

    “I will venture the excitement is not so much about David’s $$ allotment, but that he is giving us 2 extra months to work. I know people who’d do a triple saltow and back if their publisher told them their deadline has been extended by 8 weeks!”

    i’ve been here since the beginning and think that people are genuinely in this for the opportunity to develop as photographers and grow as people. david has provided us all with a unique opportunity, for which we all should rightly be very excited about. as david stated at the beginning, this isn’t a competition, and i for one am certainly not in competition with anybody. there has always been the notion of a stipend or grant being introduced at some point. while i agree with herve in that most people, i think, are excited about the extra time; why shouldn’t there also be some excitement about the opportunity to receive money to pursue something we love? that money could really help someone to do something exciting, it could be an opportunity that may never come along again. yet there are some people who seem to pour scorn on others motives due to the fact that money has now been mentioned. yes, money should not be a motivating force to do what we do, but, whether we like it or not we all need money to do what we want to do. if this money allows someone to buy time or materials or what ever else they need to produce a body of work it is money that has been put to good use. it saddens me that some people can’t see this as an entirely positive thing. after all would any of us turn down a w. eugene smith award or any other grant of that type. i certainly wouldn’t.

    i think that one of the things that makes this forum so special is the positivity that fills it. i for one hope that it stays that way. lets look at this as a great experiment which has already produced so much, and can only go on to generate something even more special. cynicism can only drag us down. lets not let it do that!



  • I have two entirely separate comments here, assuming I remember to make them both. The first regards David’s comment about too many photogs showing too many photos too much of the time:
    While I’m trying to share and be instructive here, I am also talking to myself, because this is a battle I never completely win: IF the viewer thinks every photo is great and wants more, that’s the best scenario. If you put a photo in that you wish were good but isn’t quite as punchy as the rest, you suddenly find yourself with a wink link in a chain.

    So, when we look at our selections and feel in the pits of our stomachs that something isn’t quite as it should be, we must find the
    offending photos and pluck them out.

    As to whether to include a good photo that isn’t necessary to the story? I don’t know. I’m always looking for too many reasons to include too many photos too much of the time.

    2. David, I know this is your least favorite topic, but did you actually end up keeping an M8? If so, did you get a backup, or are you using Nikons for backup.

    Additionally, assuming you are using an M8, are you using the f2 or the f2.8? I ask because I’m not sure how much to allow myself to be bothered by intrusion into the framelines by the faster lenses or the slower one with a hood.



  • About editing, something that may help to distinguish journey from essay, and essay from journal, is to write the essay, the assignment. write it’s about, what you did(so after it’s shot is probably best, IMO).

    Just write something so people know what it will roughly be about without the pix yet, imagine it will be the next docu story for TIME or Nweek (even Majoli or nachtwey will not get 20 p0ix there, am I wrong? David’s on a Ntl geo , no sure, but 20 seems a max too).

    I think it should help you, writing down stuff from concrete experience always helps clearing the mind. And using another creative angle, you may get inside a corner of the story you had not thought about shuffling the 600+ shots in your mind, at work, in bed, or clicking “next” with the mouse.

    Again, IMO.

  • I meant write something as if people would know, I did not mean the final teaxt, if any.


  • hello all…

    i love you!!

    i just took a relatively fast spin through about 60 of the essays that came in BEFORE i announced the stipend….the stipend is irrelevant in terms of the power of this community…

    we are even more “on to something” than i thought….i was quite impressed with the work i saw..and just blown away by the overall efforts of all of you….some of it from people we all “know” here and some from people who have never identified themselves at all out here in the “open” forum…

    none of you can even know how amazing this community really is…only michael and i know….we will not keep it a secret forever, but the element of surprise, when it is all boiled down to the final selects is going to just rock rock rock!!!!!

    now, i will tell you what i tell myself when a project i am working on starts to look pretty good….go work even harder!!! do not let up…if we have really good now, we can have “greatness” if we push even more….

    many of you did not put in any contact information so that i may give some feedback….pls. send an email to so that we know how to respond to you for critique…

    my feedback will not be this week,because i have my workshop going on in my loft…but the week after should be fine for me…maybe i can sneak in a few critiques sooner…..

    my only criticism is that some of you are a bit too literal…get loose… is the time to do what nobody lets you do….pure raw interpretation…do not photograph what you think i would like…you have no idea what i will like…so do not worry what i will like…just go to the core of your being….intense, clear, chaotic, quiet, pure,in the mud, driven, seductive, what you love, what you hate, what makes you laugh, what makes you cry and an all out emotional outpouring of whatever drives you..

    you owe yourself nothing less….


  • michael…

    well, you have two totally unrelated questions…

    i did happen to see your entry…you have too many pictures…and too many choices of the same scene…you should edit tighter overall….i could cut your entry in half and make it much much stronger…but, not to worry…i see this all the time..but, try try to just cut cut cut..for editing start with your best picture…do not add any that do not come somewhere close to the level of the very best…this will eliminate all irrelevant photographs…

    i hope you do not mind me going “public” with this fast analysis…but many have the same problem…if you do not like this “open air” description, tell me quickly and i will delete….

    i use the m8 with the 28mm 2.8…i now have two, so i can go to work….


  • I too may fall into the category of having too much of the same—I’m not sure. I’ve really just presented 2 aspects of the story. While I feel like I’m a bit green as an editor, and I don’t exactly have a “dance partner” right now, what I and others in this situation may be doing not-so-consciously is maxing out our number of submissions—and hoping for a bit of help from David to create a concise story and make the best picks.

    Would that be the case, David? Should we be managing that process more ourselves?

  • Talk about a motivational speech! I read your “love letter” to all of us just now and I am jumping into the car to head down to the New Mexico State Fair in Albuquerque. How will I last an hour in the car as excited as I am to go shoot now???

    Before I read this I have been thinking all day how by far the most amazing thing about what is going on here is the ACCESS we all have to you. Access is crucial in photography…access to subjects, etc. but where and when does anyone have such access to a mentor, a teacher, a friend like you? I can’t think of one other photographer in your “league” (if you don’t mind that term) who does more than maybe, maybe keeping in touch with former students or occasionally answering an email from someone they don’t know. In the workshops I’ve taken you don’t even have that much access to the instructor because everyone has to get a turn and time is limited…there are only a few days for everyone to get all their questions answered and their work edited. Here we have the equivalent of a full time daily workshop!

    Way to go…

  • David,

    Thanks for the comments. No I don’t mind; you just proved my point.

    I can be ruthless with other people’s work, but not mine as easily.

    I know I was editing very loosely in this instance, partially because I wanted to see your choices. AND geez, I’m not even sure if the story is about her or about how I see her, maybe a little of both. Lack of definition has its downside.

    Have a great workshop.

  • David,

    Many thanks again for your very spirited answer to my last post on the possible future of still photojournalism. I loved your line ‘fine documentary photography will take an even higher place on the artistic “food chain”…’ Since I know you are right in the center of the cyclone on this, your optimism and excitement carry great authority with me.

    I am also going to take to heart your lines from your later post, not necessarily directed at me personally (?): ‘my only criticism is that some of you are a bit too literal…get loose… is the time to do what nobody lets you do….’

    Guilty! I know that in photography I have traditionally been a VERY literal guy compared to many. Some of this is just the way I tend to see the world. I had a workshop once with Sam Abell and when we had a little one-on-one chat I mentioned that ‘a lot of the people in this workshop seem to be working on poetry, and I’m doing prose…’ His reaction told me that he regarded ‘poetry’, visual poetry, that is, as a superior calling, when what I was trying to say was, ‘I LIKE prose’. Sure, I appreciate visual poetry, but I think there is also such a thing as good, really good, visual prose.

    Be that as it may- your words are such an inspirational spur to challenge myself that I will try to do something newer, better, and less rooted in my own deeply ingrained photographic habits and self-limitations over the next six weeks and see if I can’t come up with something stronger than I’ve already submitted. I said I would keep to the twenty limit, but Michael C. seems to think I’m eligible for another 20, so here’s what I’ll promise myself: If I can come up with something that I really feel is significantly different, better, stronger, truer to my own vision than the 20 I already sent in, then I will submit them. But if it’s more of the same, only slightly better or slightly different, and above all TOO LITERAL-and devoid of emotional content- then I won’t clutter up the Submissions folder further. Hope this is OK with all. And thanks again for the inspiring words!


  • michael shapiro- thank you for the feedback. i will definitely scan the horizons for a copy of the “Contact” dvd series sounds super.
    the Impassioned Eye with henri Cartier Bresson is astonishing.

  • David,

    No problem. My email was sent via the mail system at If you cannot find it I will send again.


    – Giancarlo

  • after the edition post and the new time deadline i don’t want to send you 40 pictures, i just would like to edit my 19 pictures,reduce it a lot, keep working until november and with a little bit luck maybe i’ll have between 10-15 pictures.
    Make sense??????

  • The feedback would be great but I already got your feedback on my TKD story which I will ofcourse heed as I shoot for this project. But Ill be shoting it till the very end so you wont see any of the stuff until then. But I certainly do not envision 4 photos on TKD, so you may see something from me on a totally different subject. Some ideas are bouncing in m head, hopefully to materialize in the next 7 weeks.

    As far as the money, I was excited about this opportunity before and am just as excited now. Much more about the 40 photos limit than the actual cash.

  • Hey Dave , I just read your post to Sidney, as a viual person living in a picture saturated world I am finding radio a respite for my eyes but not my head, we have Radio National in Oz ,our equivalent to NPR and I’ve lost count of the story Ideas that come to me from radio ,It’s the train of thought that a small snippet of information can provoke that I find to be the coolest thing – Imagination is not dead!

  • David, I will resend you my direct e-mail in case you get a chance to send me a critique. You may already have it but you never know….with all these bloggers…must be hard to keep track. I look forward to your thoughts on what I have sent. As I said in a previous post, I really did not have much time to shoot in the past weeks and tried my best to get out there in order to produce something rapidly and “contribute” as best as I could….I know the edit should be tighter but still hope that you like some of the shots. Interestingly, I might be going to one of your favorite places i.e Mexico at the end of October for a week. Father and son have agreed to travel together again….our annual photo contest together, having fun pushing each other…..If this happens, I should be able to send you another essay…. Thanks for taking the time to inspire us all and to push us to go out and shoot….Can’t wait to see what comes out of all this in the end. Cheers, Eric

  • michael…

    no problem amigo…i was just giving you a quickie appraisal…of course, you will see what i finally pick and i will edit for you…in this forum , we have to go back and forth a few times to do what i could do in a few minutes in person…but, this works…


    intelligent thinking on your part…good…


    of course, not everything has to be fine “poetry” and fine prose is just as fine…so, i do not want you to “re-invent” yourself as much as just taking the “next step” for you..not somebody else’s, but yours…i think you have exactly the right attitude and frame of mind…just have fun…really simple actually…if you are having “fun” , we will too when we see your work…


    a quick look at your work showed me one more time what a fine photographer you are…for someone who has another whole profession, you have an amazing eye…yes, you did have some “doubles”, but no problem…yours will be easy to edit….now, just fly like the wind….and give my warmest regards to your father….and watch over your back!!!

    cheers, david

  • damn!! :)))))))))…

    just checked in after being away all day, to discover that this thread it longer than Congress’ report on the CONTRA HEARINGS or that weirdo’s report on the CLINTON-LEWINSKY hearing….COMBINED ;)))))))))))…(including my book length contribution, ee-gads ;)) )….

    David: u might as well retire now as a photo: u’ve got a full time gig now :)))…

    u’re beautiful, blessed blue eyes must be raging’ green and red by now ;))))…


  • damn!! :)))))))))…

    just checked in after being away all day, to discover that this thread it longer than Congress’ report on the CONTRA HEARINGS or that weirdo’s report on the CLINTON-LEWINSKY hearing….COMBINED ;)))))))))))…(including my book length contribution, ee-gads ;)) )….

    David: u might as well retire now as a photo: u’ve got a full time gig now :)))…

    u’re beautiful, blessed blue eyes must be raging’ green and red by now ;))))…


  • ok: no, i am the idiot to lengthen this…how the hell did i just post 2…must be the Malbec…ok, im off to read…feel free to “redact” (is that the word used by Congress/CIA) to remove this and the 2nd post ;))


  • dylan…

    sorry, i missed your comment the first time around….thank you for your confidence…you are right, i will not let our warm and philosophical discussions slip away at all…

    as a matter of fact, with just a “little help from our friends”, things will get even better…


  • David, Michael C.,

    I just uploaded 15 images on the server according to Michael’s guidelines. Please confirm you have all 15 of them.

    David, also let me know whether you ever received that email I mentioned. Not urgent but I’d like you to have it in the next few days…



  • bob…

    do not even say that….i will always be a photographer…i love being a photographer and seek no more…this is a hobby, like fly fishing or something…are you kidding?? i am like all of you putting your sequences together….i just want to share the pain!!!

    you want to know something interesting??….it probably seems to some that i have shifted a bit from photographing to more writing/posting…actually, i have always put a lot of time into talking live to emerging photogs and looking at their work…since my early twenties in fact…so, this is nothing new really…i just added the keyboard as a new mechanism, but time-wise, not so different….

    however, if my girlfriend lived here instead of there, then i am sure the dynamic would change..that unfortunate long distance gives me a few more minutes here instead of a few more minutes there….but if she were here instead of there right now, there would be here a lot of blank space !!


  • David et company…last comment for the night…

    just finished reading the article “DARK PASSAGE” in October NG (just arrived today)….has anyone else read the mag today….?….

    i just want to offer a shout out for John Stanmeyer’s extraordinary photographs…especially the photo of the Muslim family bathing the body of the 5-year old child Karmila, who died of malaria…..

    christ…..a moment, as a father speaking, that tears the willowy muscle from the center of my chest….a moment, as a photographer, that breaks clean the the often wearied eyes…..

    pg. 142-143……

    the divesting in the womb of god…..

    i should sleep now: the small bandage of light along the arm, the grandmother clipping band bent, the father, stalwart, the child’s face fearful and alive though her body has departed….o, god,

    and that….

  • david :)))))…

    i get u 100%…marina has been in moscow since beg. Aug, and so, were she here, too, the white spot….

    i know u are photographer: but ++ more too, dont forget that ;)))



  • p.s. lynn johnson’s images for “deadly contact” (animal-human disease exchange) are also extraordinary…

    check out the image on the opening page (79) and 91 (painted and chained monkey)….

    the painted monkey photo is one for the ages…and will, im sure, end up in my skull tonight as a dream….

    …o, what we are capable of….


  • bob…

    yes yes…i saw that piece today…good on john…..and good on chris johns and NG for running it so well….


  • Bob,

    I am a father too and I know what you mean. I think no words can express that loss.

    For everyone… John Stanmeyer’s photos are on the NG website at:

    and the one of Kamila is almost a Renaissance painting of tragic and classic beauty. A real heartbreaker.

    Try to have a good night,


  • david: :)))…indeed…

    giancarlo :))))…thanks for posting…yes, as a photographer, it broke my heart…and I thought exactly the same, Renaissance….

    running to sleep, my son returns in 3 days….


  • Giancarlo: I meant to say “as a father it broke my heart…”,…well, as a photographer too…..

    my typing skills leave something to be desired….


  • It’s getting late for everyone, Bob. Don’t worry! :)


    – Giancarlo

  • diana l.

    i missed your comment first time around…apologies

    the answers to most of your questions are all here somewhere…please check the post again and the three previous…all tech data there too…

    i would love to see your work….the purpose of the “assignment” was to see how the members of this community could photograph a project of their choice within a given time frame july 15-november 15….photographs taken outside that time frame just do not work in this context….

    ciao, david

  • Thanks Bob and thanks Giancarlo for the linl. The field notes are delicious as well (“thank you mr G Bush”), and as a frequent journeyer to South East Asia, I could relate. These are incredible cultures, nothing that matters is on the surface, it’s onion layer after onion layer, truth is rarely spoken outright, it can often delivers itself by adding 3 or 4 “lies” together. The realm of the relative and relational. You usually find out later what it was all about, but that’s the bliss, you always find out. Sometimes in your dreams, which after all are lies that speak of truth too…

    OK, sorry, I took the liberty as David might be sound asleep in NYC (quand le chat n’ est pas la, les souris dansent), and it’s only 10PM in San Francisco. And it’s all Bob’s prose fault….

  • herve,
    so your in San Francisco too?

  • Herve,

    Those are great thoughts, you share. I know a little about Asia but what you say rings very true.

    It is also the same (Bob might confirm…) about Eastern Europe. It seems the trait of peoples with a long history of persecution, invasions, wars, colonization… The same is true in much of Africa, South America…

    In the West we tend to forget that life (and history) is a bit more complicated than how we know it. And a lot more dangerous. Thanks for reminding us!

    BTW, since you’re in SF and I in LA, we can run David’s site for a while, I guess… :)



  • David,

    If I’m not wrong, you mention you working at jpg with D200 not NEF?
    I’m asking because I have not time to print large format (and money now) and compare both and I’m working a lot now.
    Jpg in D200 have enough good quality?

    Martin go work

  • David..
    I have been a silent reader for a long time. I have taken a bold step and uploaded an edit of a project I’m working on.

    Thank you for sharing everything..


  • Martin,

    Allow me to respond your D200 question. since my D1x had broken, i have to ask for loaned cameras, and one friend of mine loaned to me a D200 for an assigment. this camera let you do NEF plus JPG, so if have doubs in the choice and you have cf cards, then i sugest you shoot in NEF+JPG mode. because as you know NEF is a RAW file and sometimes (not only to make bif prints) you want to correct a little more further information that NEF have and JPG don’t.

  • Martin,

    Allow me to respond your D200 question. since my D1x had broken, i have to ask for loaned cameras, and one friend of mine loaned to me a D200 for an assigment. this camera let you do NEF plus JPG, so if have doubs in the choice and you have cf cards, then i sugest you shoot in NEF+JPG mode. because as you know NEF is a RAW file and sometimes (not only to make bif prints) you want to correct a little more further information that NEF have and JPG don’t.

  • Martin,

    Allow me to respond your D200 question. since my D1x had broken, i have to ask for loaned cameras, and one friend of mine loaned to me a D200 for an assigment. this camera let you do NEF plus JPG, so if have doubs in the choice and you have cf cards, then i sugest you shoot in NEF+JPG mode. because as you know NEF is a RAW file and sometimes (not only to make bif prints) you want to correct a little more further information that NEF have and JPG don’t.

  • Martin,

    Allow me to respond your D200 question. since my D1x had broken, i have to ask for loaned cameras, and one friend of mine loaned to me a D200 for an assigment. this camera let you do NEF plus JPG, so if have doubs in the choice and you have cf cards, then i sugest you shoot in NEF+JPG mode. because as you know NEF is a RAW file and sometimes (not only to make bif prints) you want to correct a little more further information that NEF have and JPG don’t.



  • Martin,

    Allow me to respond your D200 question. since my D1x had broken, i have to ask for loaned cameras, and one friend of mine loaned to me a D200 for an assigment. this camera let you do NEF plus JPG, so if have doubs in the choice and you have cf cards, then i sugest you shoot in NEF+JPG mode. because as you know NEF is a RAW file and sometimes (not only to make bif prints) you want to correct a little more further information that NEF have and JPG don’t.



  • I also was very impressed by the ‘Dark Passage’ spread on the Strait of Malacca. There’s a lot of personal resonance there for me- I spent a good bit of time in Malacca (spelled Melaka by the Malaysian gov’t), Singapore, and Riau back in the mid 80’s. Great photos, of course, and I too was particularly arrested by the little girl’s family funeral photo- not just its visual qualities, but I can’t help wondering and being amazed about the process of trust-building that must have preceded John Stanmeyer’s getting the family’s permission to take this picture, which he obviously had. Reminded me also of Eugene Smith’s famous photo essay on a death and funeral in a Spanish village family.
    I also want to put in a word for the picture editor (!) of the story, Sarah Leen, who many of you will already know is a very strong and versatile photojournalist herself who has shot numerous stories for Nat Geo. We all know by now that editing is just as important as shooting in photo essays. For a long time I’ve felt the picture editor’s name should be publicly credited in Nat Geo stories, if not on the byline with the author and photographer, then at least somewhere easily visible. Remember, there was a time not so long ago when neither the wire services like AP or UPI nor the news magazines or many newspapers or stock houses gave credit lines to photographers- Thank God, these days most photographers at least get credit lines. I’d like to see credit lines for picture editors too in some cases, certainly on Nat Geo stories.


  • Hey Martin – When I first got my D200 I shot jpegs exclusively, mostly to save space and I had no raw processing software. The quality is fine, and shooting jpegs forced me to get my exposures and white balance correct up front. Now I shoot raw for the flexibility—I now have disk space and use Lightroom from raw conversion, but I don’t really have to retouch my images that much.

    David M

  • David,

    I submitted my 20 after a torturous editing process … now I’m second guessing myself, should I have presented more on one series instead of many series, etc.

    When you send off your work to the editors do you still do this? Are you ever completely satisfied with your work? Would you want to be? Do you kick yourself saying, I could have done better, I missed that one perfect shot. I know there is no point in doing this to yourself but …. I’m sure you have many stories on the greatest images you almost captured. That could be quite a thread.


  • Sorry, Giancarlo for quitting on you. I see David was still awake 20 minutes before I posted, and then…Maybe I put him to sleep with my aparte! :-)

    The west is a fine place, as sson as we finhd out the world is a total complementarity, almost like the 2 sides of the brain. Blessed are the ones given the opportunity to reconcile the 2 sides and their paradoxes into a whole…. A whole lotta love!

  • sidney…

    yes, i second that thought…sarah leen is a dear friend, fellow photographer, and totally deserves the credit you the way, in my loft workshops , i make sure picture editors get the credit they deserve..they are my primary “guest speakers”…gail fischer, new picture editor at natgeo shows up tomorrow; david griffin, director of photography NG shows up next week…i think i will try to get sarah leen up next week as well..we jammed a week ago in perpignan

    thanks for bringing this up..


    after a certain point, try not to second guess….move forward…do not look back…stand by your well thought out convictions….

    i push push and push some more, but i do not dwell at all on “missed shots”…. what is a missed shot?? i am missing shots as i write this note…no, i think when you have your act together and are in the “zone” you will do good work….it is only when YOU are “ready” that the possibility for a photograph exists anyway…that is, except for breaking news or one time events…but, even those are subjective experiences on some level..

    do not worry about what you do not have…only focus on what you do have…show me ten powerful photographs and i will not be thinking ” i wonder what he missed”


  • Hey, no worries Herve! We’ll hijack David’s blog some other time. :-)


  • David M and Nelson

    Thanks for advice.


  • Wow…. I have been out working for the past two days, came back and just find such amazing news…. That’s fantastic David!! You’re the best!!!
    I almost finished my “editing nightmare” (I’m terrible making decissions) and wanted to have all the 20 pictures ready for uploading this weekend. I already downloaded the Cyberduck program and opened it but no idea of how to use it… If I have problems, I will ask Mike in the tech questions’ mail…

    Now we have more time…. I will send the photos I already decided anyway. But now I have one more reason to go forward and try to excell myself. Thanks for the oportunity!!

    And the question is (Rafal Pruszynski asked something similar but I don’t find the response): should I wait to upload all the work together at the end or should I upload the 20 I already have now and the rest later, once I finish?

    Lots of smiles for everybody, specialy for David and Mike! :-)

  • Ana,

    I might be wrong but I don’t think you need cyberduck to ftp. If you use windows xp or vista you can simply click on START then RUN then type in the word EXPLORER and click on OK. It will open Windows explorer. In the top edit box type in and press ENTER

    It should pop up with login and password prompts. Type them in and press enter. That should connect you to the ftp location and you can then simply paste your work into the appropriate folder.

    If you don’t get prompt for login and password then under the FILE menu you should be able to find LOGIN AS selection. After clicking on it you will be prompted with username and password prompts.

    I hope that this information is helpful to you and others.

    good luck.

  • Ana, I do not wish to double-guess david’s answer, but I think he meant people who have been on this assignment since he threw the idea, could go up to 40 shots (in the shape of 2×20, summer assignment and fall now), so that the first uploaded essay or ready to upload, as yours, can get some feedback from him, all this tomprepare you better for your next and final Nov. installment.

    Apologies if I misunderstood and brought more confusion, David.

  • Hello David. Hello all. I found this blog in August and have been reading ever since. Certainly others have said it more eloquently, but Thank you David, for all you put into this. It really is tremendous.

  • Ana,

    I may be wrong but I think the 40 photo limit is a total, not 2×20. I may have a finished essay to upload by next week, Im aiming for max 10-15 shots and Im still going to work on my original story and Im also hoping to do a third one. But I guess the advantage to uploading earlier is as Herve says the feedback that can be used to improve your other essays.

  • I was hoping this string for “bold steps” would at 200 by the time I got home – somebody do the honors…

  • Rene… Thank you so much for explaining how to do it. The problem is that I do not use windows. I am a MAC user. And never had a ftp program. For uploading in the server of a friend I always used iDisk. So if it is not possible to do it that way, i will have to find out how to use cyberduck…. But thanks anyway. Sure your answer is very helpful for somebody!!! :-)

  • hey david mcgowan and every one…

    Wooohooo…200th posting.

    ozzy al

  • Herve and Rafal,

    Thanks! I already have my first 20 after several days of editing. I will send them this weekend as soon as I find out how to use the ftp program and will continue working from now on until the deadline. I don’t think is fair to start from the beginning now. I do have the work done in the date terms we all agreeded, and want to send that. But now we have that great opportunity to improve ourselfs and work even harder with more perspective because we already started, we already did it and… we are on it!

    Big smiles!

  • Hi David & all;

    so I, under doctor’s orders, had to take a week for R&R (no camera, no computer –bloody hell boring) ; (apparently you cannot live on black coffee, cigarettes and painkillers…contrary to the Gene Smith myth, your body shuts down) and to my great surprise I find you went and turned the world upside down…wow; and many thanks!!!!! your work changed my life 10 years ago, and now YOU’RE doin’ it…blessed be you.


    #1 David-editing: do you worry ’bout sequencing when submitting assignments to clients; or do you put only the best selects forward and ‘let them have their way’…?

    #2 for the other community members; I had an idea a couple of months ago; maybe now is the time to post I’m sure, many of us have “full-time day-jobs” (70-hour weeks, I know), how would everyone feel if we, as a community start a small “fund” in which we make some contribution if you feel like it, [non-compulsory] perhaps maybe a small gesture of our appreciation — and easily done through paypal actually –, that David could administer as he sees fit; hell; if it is enough he could offer a “COMMUNITY STIPEND”, or fly L. out for a visit, or even buy a couple of beers [he and mike’s gonna need it] or pay the blog fee…doesn’t really matter; just wondering how you guys would feel ’bout something like this???

    either way, best for the workshop David…



  • hello all…

    now that i have my house full of students i might not be able to post quite as much, but i will do the best i can….there should not be much conflict at all since most of my students here are members of this forum….

    all i can say it is that it is very cool indeed…we just met last night for a beer and pizza and to look at the music/slide show of my new york class held here last year…

    things are buzzing buzzing and we will spend the next 6 hours critiquing everyone’s portfolio, going over project ideas, nice lunch up on the roof, and then time to work…everyone will then go out and start to shoot on their projects…


    herve has it right….send some in now….some in for the final november 15 deadline….


    my non-profit fund will be totally set up within three weeks or so…maybe a bit longer…i am dependent on all the legal stuff i know nothing about…but, i have a lawyer/photographer/friend “on the case”…

    as you know, the first funding put in to this for the future stipend was my own….i have already had good indications that some private donors and corporations will follow….whatever donations that go into this fund are, of course, tax deductible contributions once my non-profit status is totally legalized and registered properly…

    i think it best to keep any donations which may come in, go straight to this non-profit fund for all kinds of tax and legal reasons…

    again, the only purpose of this fund is to provide some support for an emerging photographer or much more likely very soon, several photographers…

    if i happen to be in your community, and i have in the last few months met many of you while on a “road trip”, you can buy me a cup of coffee or whatever….

    on my last trip to korea, our forum friend rafal literally put me on to some good locations and situations to photograph..that kind of thing is always very helpful and i appreciate it..

    the door to my loft is generally open to forum readers whenever you are in town..some of you may even be able to help set up Magnum workshops in your communities or have good ideas for ways to help communicate with those in developing countries who have little access to the photography world…my door is open here, but many young photographers simply have no way to get to new york….

    in any case jakob, you have a good spirit…and it is in this good spirit that i want to keep this forum….

    many thanks, david

  • jakob…

    i did not answer your question about sequencing…so so so important..i have an answer, but no time…

    remind me again please please…..i have to go to my class now, but want very much to answer this one…it is a good front post all by itself…

    back soonest..david

  • David…understood; if you’re ever in the southern parts of Africa….


  • hi david and all….

    i have two questions, one for everybody on our blog and one for david:

    1- i hear often the expression “negative space” n a photograph…i would appreciate if members of the blog elaborate on what it means, how you achieve it…

    2-question for you david: i am sorry to come back again on the notion of “authorship” but i need additional insight – you went to seoul to photograph the youth…you wrote somewhere here that you cannot be a photographer if you don’t have an opinion….what was your opinion on the seoul youth? what did you try to say about it? Is the notion of style teh same as teh notion of authorship (i would say no myself)?

    i would appreciate answers from everybody here…


  • Hi Arie,

    Negative space is the space around your subject. It’s pretty much the space that surrounds your subject. If you’re talking about rules of composition (which you should learn, even if only to learn to break them!) you want to try to maintain some balance between positive space and negative space.

    There’s probably more to it than this but that’s the basic idea, I think. Balance, it’s all about balance.

  • David,
    I have been re-reading the past few days post from the blog and all the comments, while I was doing the final edit, of the things I shot from July 15.

    There is so much interesting information hidden (maybe it reveals itself when one is confronted with one’s own work), when I re-read the posts and comments, this had been a very valueable learning experience.

    Did you recieve my files over the FTP?


  • jakob,
    yes i agree with the second suggestion in your post and this is what i had in mind in my post of 9/19. For me this blog is like coming to a party everyday and i don’t want to show up empty handed… anyway it gives us an opportunity to give back and get some good karma in the process. hopefully it will catch on and i’ll just wait for the details. thanks for bringing it up and doing it so much better than i was able.

  • jakob,
    You have my support on the paypal plan!

  • you can buy me a cup of coffee or whatever….
    Cup of coffee! Damned, how you go, David, I can’t afford coffee in California, it’s all designer stuff over here.

    It will have to be beer, imported of course. Besides, you sure did not get f…up in Seoul over coffee! :-)

  • Arie:

    Negative…. space……! … … …? …?

    (Or, as they say about music, ‘it’s not the notes, it’s the spaces in between….’ Although personally, I think it’s BOTH the notes AND the spaces in between…)

    Everybody probably has a slightly different understanding of ‘negative space’ and will probably give you a slightly different answer. I know David is tied up with his workshop, so I’ll plunge in and give you my own personal take, for what it may be worth:

    As Michael Kircher says, the short answer is it’s the space around the subject. Remember the old black and white optical illusion where there’s something that looks like a white vase vase on a pedestal but it’s surrounded by black shapes that seem to be profiles of two faces whose lips are about to meet? Your eyes go back and forth, sometimes seeing the vase, sometimes seeing the faces in profile- it makes a tension that adds life and movement.

    In photographs the same principle can be seen of course in silhouettes, but in practice it’s usually a little more complicated. Some areas are meant to attract attention immediately, others to not attract attention to themselves, (at least not right away), but to ‘frame’ and set off the areas that ARE attracting attention. One way to do this is simple contrast- the subject may be dark, the area around it lighter (the sky, a wall, a cloud), or the reverse- the subject is lighter, the defining space that sets it off is darker. Another simple technique we all use for creating a perception of relative negative space is that some areas of high interest and attention are in focus, and the surrounding area (‘the background’) is out of focus. In a lot of cases, the negative space means broad areas of relatively flat, undifferentiated, gradually diffusing surface- either dark or light, but also could be both dark and light, just not with detailed texture or high-contrast edges compared to the center of attention.

    Now I’m basically a color photographer (I love good black and white of course, but my own sensitivity in creating is all tuned in to color photography and I’ve never felt competent working in b+w) and I think negative space can work out a little differently in color than in black and white. Some areas might be quite color-saturated and high contrast (they ‘pop’) and yet still act as negative space in a picture, if they’re used to surround, define, call attention to, provide a frame for the subject.

    I wonder if you have easy access to a copy of the July 2007 issue of National Geographic? There are some really outstanding examples in it of both very simple and very complex uses of negative space. I just happened to pick it up at random off the messy pile in my bookcase, and these caught my eye:
    pp. 16-17- (Frans Lanting- jellyfish) this is the simplest and most straightforward way to use negative space, which is pure black; p. 10- also very straightforward, a simple undifferentiated gradation of color- it’s almost the same color as the leaves, but it works well as negative space because the leaves have more texture and contrast than the background (lovely little haiku of a photo, by the way); pp.102-103 (Melissa Farlow, bear researcher)- very dramatic use of fairly simple negative space in a portrait that is much stronger and more evocative than if this picture were shot in traditional ‘portrait’ (i.e. vertical frame) composition with the subject in the center. Previous page- p.100-101, (Tim Laman, bird photo), this is similar to p.10 but less conventional framing- that lovely out-of-focus background creates a powerful space for the subject to perform in. Incidentally, photographers have widely adopted a word from Japanese, ‘bokeh’ to describe that kind of out-of-focus textured quality. (Strictly speaking, that’s a mistake- in Japanese, the word for that should be ‘bokashi’– my current ‘day-job’ is as a Japanese translator). These are examples of simple negative space- now for some more complex ones: In the same issue, in the malaria article ( all John Stanmeyer), there are three great spreads with complex use of negative space: pp. 34-35- the walls, the pillow, and the beadspread all act as negative space, even though some are light, some dark, and they have texture and a little contrast- still, they are RELATIVELY less contrasty, less textured, and less saturated so they act as negative space for the figures (what a fabulous, heart-rending photo!). Next page, pp.36-37- very tricky! the outline of the car’s windows make a set of frames for the obvious subject, the man and his neighborhood in the floodwaters, but then the car’s interior also has definition, contrast, and is in focus, yet the deep shadow areas still act very effectively as negative space. Next page spread, pp. 38-39- the greenish blue wall clearly functions as negative space, but what about the gauze pile? To some extent, it’s part of the center of interest, but then the lower parts of the pile start functioning as negative space. And don’t miss pp.56-57, more great, dramatic use of negative space, not only to create a dramatic photo but also to tell the story- that half-open hand surrounded by all that wall says ‘vulnerability, powerlessness, help me!’ much louder because of all the negative space around it. Okay, last example for now: pp. 88-89, Tim Laman’s New Guinea landscape with negative space created by two layers of mist, the background at top in light blue shadow, and the deep black shadow at the lower right corner. If you go thru this issue of Nat Geo, you can find other good examples of negative space- you can also find a number of photos with no or very little negative space, but I’ll bet the ones that stick in your mind will tend to be those with skillful use of negative space!

    Actually, I have a lot more to say related philosophically to this subject- what is negative space? what is the subject? is there really a distinction?, etc. but here on the West Coast it’s still pretty early in the day for that, and besides, I have a translation job due this afternoon.

    Also- I have to really thank Arie for asking the question, because in thinking about it and trying to answer, I realize that I myself need to pay a lot more attention to uses of negative space in my pictures!


  • Sidney,

    Thanks so very much for that learned response! And like you, I also now realize the need to pay far more attention to my use of negative space. Thanks again.


  • By the way it took me about 20 minutes to find that issue! All over the house I looked…oh, there’s the May 2007 issue, June 2007, AUGUST 2007! Always the one you most want to see that seems to hide from you. Funny.

  • thanks so much Sidney…i will try to find the July issue because i find your answer consisting of looking at actual pictures to explain negative spaces is excellent…

    thanks again, arie

  • Arie,

    More on negative space.. Perhaps Sidney covers that and I missed it (sorry Sidney, just quickly skimmed your post now but will fully read it soon…) but negative space is also characterized by everything being in focus or lit, while your subject is either out of focus or black, hence producing a silhouette in your image. David’s Seoul_girl_blue on the “Work in Progress” blog, right here on this site, is a good example of that.


    Second your idea of a fund as well. Great thought.


    I’m sure you have plenty of contacts in SoCal for your workshops, but if I can do anything to help with their organization in LA just call on me. I know a few people around. Or even just for coffee or a friendly place to stay when you’re in town…

    Running now,


  • hi david…we organized last year a workshop with Filp Nicklin in Bermuda…please let me know if you would be interested to lead a workshop in Bermuda, our photo community is great here…


  • Jakob,

    Absolutely great idea! I would be very happy to contribute. I think all of us feel we want to give something back to David, and we will.


    Same goes for me here in Santa Barbara as Giancarlo in LA…anything I can do to help in between working, I will. I also live in a really cool three-story house right downtown (think Kibbutz West-coast style, except our barbecues are held on the lawn or the beach) and the landlady has two really nice guest rooms on the top for family and friends. Anyway, you stay for free.


  • david:

    this must be quick…I am also willing to donate to a fund…just as I try to get folks to contribute to LS, Im 100% behind that idea too: fund to be used in which way you see fit….maintain blog, paying for extra blog pages to publish work, providing a drinking/eating stipend for Michael…

    you give me the world, and i’ll paypal something….

    just let me know and keep me up to speed, please…

    off to gallery…


  • Great everyone…David is busy teaching so we continue working together getting questions answered.

    I’m glad Jakob made his suggestion and certainly many of us can afford to contribute but what is really great that is happening here is that if someone has absolutely no money and could never afford a workshop with David they don’t have to come up with money to have access to him. Photography education should not just be for people with money and I know David is very sensitive to that.

  • As a “reformed painter” (meaning: gave it up for photography), I am THRILLED that Sidney has written wonderfully and pointedly about “negative space”…i was going chime in, but there’s nothing more for me to add that hasn’t been articulated and described above :)))))

    THANKS SIDNEY for saving me time ;))). That’s a great and thoughtful description !: the relationship between negative and positive space plays an important part in my own work, and was almost going to title my submission to David’ assignment: Song in Negative and Positive ;)))….

    Adding to Sidney’s terrific post, forum members might be interested in looking at the work of Moriyama Daido and Mario Giacomelli (to site 2 of my beloved heroes) who played magnificently with this, particularly in their printing techniques… in fact, if any one is familiar with many of the Japanese photographers who came to prominence in the 60’s will note the gorgeous play off neg/pos space: in fact: a complete questioning of this…

    can one flattened to create an alternative notion (visual, psychological) of space? ;))))…that’s one of my concerns as a photographer, and might explain some of the madness of my pics (particularly for David’s project)….

    wonderful description Sidney, Giancarlo, Arie :)))


  • Arie,

    I’m sure you already have, but just in case I have to add Josef Koudelka’s retrospective exhibit as further examples of Sidney’s.
    Its what I always think of first when hearing the words “negative space.” The guy’s amazing.


  • Sidney Atkins very keen ideas in regards to +//- space !!

  • Bob and Dylan are both right on the mark with their examples (Giacomelli’s compendious retrospective published by Phaidon is a fantastic book!, BTW, Bob).

    Two more examples that show how the concept can be taken in a lot of different directions: Ralph Gibson’s semiological use of negative shapes, and Trent Parke’s use of blacks in “Dream/Life” and “Minutes to Midnight” with his haunting/dreamy use of form and shadows.

    Sidney, re-reading your post you did touch on the point I was making. Anyway, great post indeed.

    – Giancarlo

  • david…
    i have been a silent reader for a long time, maybe i wrote once or twice…your blog is the best!!… i uploaded my pictures…

    thank you…

  • Hi again Arie and All,

    I don’t want to hog the subject, or beat a horse to death (mixed metaphors!), but the important thing I left out of my over-long post about negative space is the importance of the VOLUME of negative space relative to the subject(s), and what a difference that can make in how the subject is perceived- you can make the subject look dignified, or awkward, or inconsequential, or enormous- and lots of subtle other things too, by varying the volume of negative space. Those Koudelka pictures linked above are a great example.


  • Giancarlo :))))

    Indeed, i’ve got the Phaidon Retrospective of Giacommelli :))))…ink stains all over that miracle of a book :))) (incidentally, last year at the CONTACT festival, I had the extraordinary joy of seeing a Giacomelli print in reall life….and I spent the next 5 days going to see only that single photograph….(wrote about it last year at LS) ;)))….

    Parke too :))))…will be screening Oculi projection too, again, in 2 weeeks (the original founding members who are left and tonight I screened by friend Tamara Voninski’s METROPOLIS story: another gorgeous example :))))

    and great call on Jospeh K :))))))))))))))…for me, especially his pre-68 pics (and especially the theatre stuff :)) )…



  • Week was busy at work, but today saturday, i shot from 10.30 to 5PM. It felt great, and that’s why I start the post with this. I had to shre it. Downloading the shots, have not seen any yet.

    The negative space is a wonderful discussion (amongts hundreds of them). I think about 2 cases where the photographer co-opts the negative space so that I am not sure you’d say it’s coming out positive, but definitely acquire a potency that makes positive and negative in the sense we understand them here (not – and + of course) equal spaces, or new types of spaces. It’s when we titt the camera heavily and the scene, all spaces, are completely re-dynamised by the photographer. What do you think?

    The second case is more a question. For photographers like Webb and I think David in a large measure (Divided soul, Cuba), who “expose for the highlight”, creating shadowed spaces that invade both negative and positive spaces, become a creative syntax if you wish, then shall we say these shadows are neither negative, nor positive, just as verses in a poem do not fill positive or negative spaces? Here too, what is your POV?

  • Herve,

    That’s a great question and the natural segue way to the conversation about negative space!

    For me what you describe, that level of intersection of light and shadow, is what the counterpoint is in music: the interplay of two different voices, independent yet correlated. One supports the other and, although one can analytically separate them, their synthesis, their union, create much more than they – separate – do. It creates a mystery and a tension that vibrates through the entire image and transcends it as well…

    Anyway, much more to say, but it’s Saturday evening, and my wife is waiting for me, so “a bien tot” for now!


  • hello all….

    it is late and i must sleep…but i just wanted to say to everyone what a pleasure it is to see all of you talking over so many interesting things…i am totally burned out at the moment (first day of class the toughest), so i will not jump in with any missives right now…maybe morning coffee with allow a thought or two…

    peace, david

  • Herve-

    Excellent observation and description of what is going on in some of David’s and especially in Alex Webb’s work.


  • Giancarlo-

    I also like your description very much.

    One thing I thought about when I took a quick glance at your website, especially the color pictures, is that in fact sensitivity to and awareness of the visual qualities you’re talking about are in many ways a natural tendency in areas with a lot of bright sunlight and clear skies like Southern California, the Southwest in general, Mexico, the Mediterranean- if you look around you, that’s what you see. Up here on the Northwest Coast where it’s often gray and the light very diffuse, most of the time we’re not naturally seeing things that way- except for some very clear weather in our short summer. One of the things I’ve noticed again and again is that the light really IS different in different places. Of course, it changes from day to day and season to season, but the overall dominant light characterisitcs of a place are a big part of ‘sense of place’, as much as the trees and water, the people and their clothing, the architecture.


  • hello all…

    i am rushing to my class, but since you are discussing “negative space” etc. why not discuss it in terms of something besides just “composition”…

    composition is a vehicle…carries perhaps the emotional and can contribute to the emotional…but, somebody please discuss “emotion”…and where it comes from??? does it come from the subject or from the way the subject is presented or can emotion come from the light and composition alone???? maybe this is another whole new post, but i just have no time to write at the moment…

    you go at it….i will be back….as bob black always says…..


    cheers, david

  • hello all…

    i will add one little spark to the fire….

    i see my friend alex webb as intellectual rather than emotional….

    you can take it from here..


  • Hmmm, emotion, eh? OK, I’ll dive in.

    There’s a photograph by Jim Richardson in his Celtic Realm story in NG. (Can’t remember which issue…I’ll look it up.) The photo is a group of revelers dancing around at night with torches, nearly naked, all. Bodies painted red. One reveler, a woman, is forefront and her mouth is open wide…primal scream.

    Now, for me, if we were to take her out of that context…remove her from the whole group with the flaming torches and dancing bodies the “emotion” would change drastically.

    In this case I see the lighting, the composition, how the subject is presented, all contributing to the “emotion.”

    But as Sidney suggested in his earlier post, a photograph like that of the man’s hand in the Malaria story, while sparse, still strongly conveys ‘vulnerability, powerlessness, help me!’

    Looking forward to others comments.

  • Or Perhaps–
    emotion comes from the viewer of the photograph?

    How about archetypes? Symbols that make us connect with something viscerally? What about…

    first little group at top?

    Why do people like art? Say a picture of a kitten? A. I recognize it; it’s a kitten. B.It looks like my kitten. C. Isn’t it cute!

    Then what if it is dead cat, flat, run over?

    (There may be an additional photo at very top of blog…beware)


  • You know, this is probably the longest non political comment thread in the history of the blogosphere

  • Emotion is empathy swirling through memories.

  • emotion is what i felt when i saw my newborn baby for the first time…


  • but david, what does emotion has to do with negative space?


  • That sounds beautiful; I can see an image of it. What, though, if you have no empathy or no memories?

    Is it the photographer’s empathy? The viewer’s memories, or the other way around or both?

  • Sidney,

    Thanks for taking the time to look at my site! I appreciate it and if you have any thoughts (praise or critique) I’d love to hear it, whether here, or on my site, or email…


    It is true as Sindey suggests that cultures imbued with sun tend to have a deeper relationship with and sense of color, but then again Scandiavian cultures have an amazing tradition in the use of color, as well as Tibet and China; and some of the most amazing colors in painting have come from painters of the North (Van Gogh to mention the most obvious one). I personally see color as “dimension” (and here I starting to veer into David’s question…), almost in a physical sense (it’s my Science background kicking in, I suppose). But then there’s the classical use of color and the more Impressionistic use of it: I mean that the color “dimension” can be used to express a very different meaning and emotion, as David hints at.

    It is interesting that David suggests an intellectual penchant in Webb’s work (had not thought of it before but it makes much sense)… I think also of Meyerowitz’s color, or Sthepher Shore’s along the same lines; while from Saul Leiter’s color, or Louis Stettner’s, or Pinkhassov’s… or David Harvey’s, I get an much stronger emotional charge, an evocation, rather than representation of the “story” behind the image. It could be that the ever-changing balance between form and content gets skewed along metaphorical lines, archetypes as Michael suggests, that dig deeper into our soul rather than our brain.

    Could I explain it better than this? I’m not sure I have the words to do it… and I’m not sure I would want to explain it more… Right now I would only like add that there’s a deeper relationship between form and content than we, especially in the West, are led to believe: woodblock prints are great example of that (e.g. Hiroshige): total structure and incredible evocative strength. This seems to me the perfect analogue of the quantum particle/wave dichotomy… Neither wave nor particle, but wave AND particle… that is, form AND content.

    Not sure whether any of this makes sense… I guess what I mean can be boiled down to my personal belief that emotion comes from the subject AND its representation. Maybe we can’t even talk of subject outside of the picture space any more, that once the subject as been captured it’s not the subject any more, but an element existing in picture space that it’s different from what the actual subject really was, which having continued to evolve, does not even exist as such any more.


  • Michael,

    That’s it! Great point: I think (and didn’t do a good job expressing it above…) that it is the connection between the photographer’s emotions and the viewer’s emotions that make a picture charged.


    Maybe there is such a think as emotional negative space… If you wanted to represent death at a funeral and you focused on celebrations, and music, and dances…


  • A photographer attempts to convey an emotion with a photograph, hoping ultimately to stir that emotion in the viewer.

  • I will (forgive me if this post gets to be a riverrun-flood of words) if others will countenance speak about what “emotion has to do with negative space” and part of this has to do with authorship as well….

    but let me preempt this with a working: i vulnerable today and my body and heart are stretched wide, threshy-meaty wide, as if having been pegged by pins or quartered by a roman

    My son was to have flown back home to toronto today, but alas for complicated, and to my mind, draconian reasons was held at the border and was not allowed to board the plane: in effect, being held prisoner by Russian Custom/Immigration officials…

    let me sing about what this means and what this means, also, to me as a photographer…..

    one cannot begin to be a photographer, just as one cannot be a father, a husband, a friend, a teacher, a writer, an engineer, a banker, a social work, a postman, an agent, a n Immigrant Official in Moscow without some richer threading of the meaning of their life to what is the way they pass and perform the arching of their days and ways…sadly, most of us are bereft of this. Most people shuttle through their lives like a pair of skuttling raged claws along the weedy sea-floor, with no better, no more remarkable swallowing that the circular trump-dump of: awake, work, dissipate, sleep, return again. That most people have not reconciled their own unimportance and the ineluctable truth of their own disappearance and shadowy meaning is one of the most (morally?) discouraging aspects of our simplistic, narcissistic, shallow lives. The disappearance of things is the, for me at least, the compass tact around which EVERYTHING that I have ever tried to swallow and negotiate. Things are vanquished and dissolve. People die and the entirety of our lives our histories our loves our tepid passions, our intemperate meanderings, our vacuous pronouncements, out skin and body and pulpy hearts, our words, our tears, our addled hopes, our children, our parents: it all, each and every fibre, will disappear and we are bereft for this.

    It is because of this that it has always been important to me to sing of that loss, to struggle and swallow that fear and inevitability, to use what small, infintesmal gifts i might posses, or which were bequeathed to me by my parents, dna, life, encounter, to use my small, unimportant skill with words and with making of things (photography, if i possess at all that skill), with emotion: some strange ability to gather people and to speak of hope, not in an existential way, but to show that since all is vanquished and not rhyme or arithematic will stem this bleeding of life, it becomes even more important, more essential to embrace and speak upon that. there is an old belief (in the beginning there was the word, even before light), that to speak upon things, to foster one’s breath from the living into the unliving (objects, people, sky, sea, land, root, soil, stone, glass, bone) is to generate that small bulb-tube spark (our lives the photosynthesis of the waking) of what matters: to tie the thread between the living and the dead, the waking than the at rest….

    Let me speak, simply, of my own photography. I make abstract, strange b/w photographs. I continually try to forgo all that I have learned about photography (when i study briefly in college long ago, and later, not long ago at 35 when I decided to make photographs as part of my life), all that people speak about what is photography, what constitutes a good picture, what is necessary to do to accomplish to become a photographer (does anyone really become a photographer?: i doubt it at all). I always found most of the discussion about photography to be pretty insipid and empty: long, orgiastic chats about cameras and composition and technique: i’ve seen a circle=jerk been done just over the value of a leica (what about the children who snap pics who have no fucking idea what that german name means?), or the importance of the “decisive moment” (what does this mean, especially since photography and photographs are simply constructed material slips of something, drawn and categorized and re-alchemized from a river of time), when are not ALL moments decisive for they construct and pinpoint toward the erection of that kind of “singular” moment…pretty words for meaningless thoughts….and by the way, i love hcb, just not the conviction, and like most of us (myself absolutely included), make things more substantial (including our family and friends) than our pronouncements….

    as soon as you understand that, that the meaning, the reasoning, the movement of your life has a ethic, a spirituality, a questioning, a metaphysic, a loss, a loss, a sorrow and a joy, it becomes clear that photography (at least for me) is no different than that. While I have never considered my own work (brief as it is) or the work of any other photographer more important, let’s say than brushing teeth or talking or reading or holding the hand of a loved one (there is not a hierarchy of meaning or achievement in this world), one can begin to arrive at a point where photography is more than just snapping pictures of people, more than just “reporting,” more than just giving voice…for me, i photograph not only because i love it (and hate it too) but because I feel increasingly to offer my son something simple: that in the negotiation of this difficult and unjust life, a life squandered by poles of wealth and fortune (we, all of us here) and misfortune and grief and tragedy (those who are impoverish, war-torn, broken, frightened, alone), there is little that I can do but to accomplish in a small area something like this: let me words and photographs and actions bespeak upon the impossibility and the wonder of all this. I feel an obligation to make sure he is safe and loved and that he knows that his father tries to make, in small ways, a better place for him and for others: that’s at the heart of my commitment to foster photography and create positivity, to help those who are less fortunate and impoverished and broken, to use the little talent i have for words to speak about things (including politically), to feed people, to comfort them, to promote others, to teach, to share, to stem, if possible, others heart-ache, in which ever way i can…..

    and that is also part of how i shoot. David, maybe you shall see this when you look at all 36 pictures you now have, but I also use photography, the way i use words, to act as a world-less song, a howl sometimes, a scream, a quiet hum, a sadness, a laugh…this is true of the moments you capture, the people and the time you choose to pphotograph, the stories you choose to cover, the times when you decide to click and the times you choose, instead, to watch and just listen instead of putting up that black box to your eyes….

    the use of negative space, not as iconographic or compositional aspect (though I love that too) as a way to convey the feelings I feel as a photographer listening to people, what I see and feel about my subjects, about what they are conveying to me, about what i feel about them and this passing life. I wrote here and at LS that, in truth, my photographs are really always about me: that stupid, sad narcissism. but, I dont know any other way to express what I hear, what people tell me, what I feel listening to others: the sadness the joy, the dissolution, the fortune and the misfortune…..

    using negative space can show the emotional distance, the isolation we often feel, but also the swelling of our lives within a landscape. You can use arrangement, the use (im now speaking of B/W), the flattening of all this to convey extraordinary range of emotions: joy, sadness, isolation, absurdity, helplessness, connectivity, swelling…..

    I was told last year that my photographs are too “emotional” too subjective, too stylish (i dont know what any of this means, frankly), but I countered: well, fuck, I am an emotional person: i write, i laugh, alot, i listen, i cry, i fucking swallow life around and try to create from that some meaning for my wife and son and friends….

    one can use photography to speak, if not for those you are photographing (i dont believe photographs speak for anyone except the photographer), but as voice, as witness, the fulcrum around which each of our lives is swiveling: the breaching of this life upon which you shall vanish and around which the navigation is quite difficult and at times arbitrary. Voice, collective, that is all we fucking have…and even that doesnt stem the onslaught of life’s wave crashing: death and disappearnce and sadness. But we are born fit for this: we ARE OF THIS LIFE…our photographs can reflect that…

    photography for me is breathing….i do it not because it is important, but because i know i do it as one of the vehicles through which i can speak about what it is that, as just another insignificant person in the geological timethread (eternal?) of our species and planet, it felt like to be here, to experience that strange chemistry of the living…..

    one can use photography and how you use it can be as an expression, an expression that is both personal but also, if you listen well enough, more large….

    WE ALL HAVE MEMORIES…im not sure about empathy, for that is not, sadly, universal, but what we do have, which is universal, is the struggle to be held to be loved to make sense of things, and as soon as you have enought insight into that, it grants you lots of responsiblity, but also fortune….

    negative space: an arrangement, like all things material, one can express something larger than the mechanics of the mechanism….

    with all this long windedness aside, there are no rules, no hierarchies, no grand or grandiose claims to photography: they are simple photos, every photographer (no matter how extraordinary or famous), nothing: small, meaningless things…

    but, it is the gesture that has and contains meaning….

    i miss my son, held at the border by officials who do not understand this….

    that is why i continue, to show him that we, some of us, do not have to be like this…that we are all egged in the same hen-house cage…..

    i think of photographer Dima C who died this year in Iraq and Ajmal…

    if you have to ask yourself what does emotion have to do with negative space, i’d politely ask to thing: what, if anything, can be done with photography and what is the reason one shoots…..

    i miss my son terribly….

    for him and for marina…I continue…


  • You know, this is probably the longest non political comment thread in the history of the blogosphere

    I wll add: “and without Britney Spears being mentionned in it”…:-)

  • Bob,

    That’s horrible, but hopefully, of rapid and positive resolution. Big hugs of support from me and I’m sure all of us here. Just wish I could do more to help.

    Please let us know when your son is safely home again…

    Good luck,


  • thank you giancarlo….not much, unfortunately can be done…and i’ll know more when my wife goes to the officials tomorrow and to aeroflot…

    david and below forum members…i apologize for the long diatribe and i can re-read, as I will probably be embarrassed, but thank you for letting me get that out….i didnt know any way, after being on the phone for 4 hours, to deal with this….so sorry…

    now, i should go for a walk….

    having spent the last 3 days all abut photography, this has been a great truth: its small in the bigger picture…

    and this time, not running ;))


  • I meant i “can’t” re-read that mt.everest post….please forgive it for what it is: a father howling and frustrated and trying to turn that pain into goodness by offering some ideas…

    i’ll return later tonight….


  • Giancarlo, along the lines of your example of negative space, look in the New York Times at the slideshow of the new pictures given to the Holocaust Museum. They are pictures of the Nazis partying.

    I grew up with knowledge and images of the holocaust fed to me on a steady basis, so these photos are not surprising. But they still strike a terrible dischord.


  • Sorry, Bob, I would have reserved that joke for a later time, but was writing as you were telling us about your son’s and yours predicament. I hope this won’t last longer that need be.

    I am taking everyone’s thoughts with me as I shoot today, the subjects are ever-expanding, negative to emotion to intellect, then simply shooting as we breathe…. Damned you, Bob, I can’t use that line anymore, everyone will say I took it from you.

    Ok, better stick this one in now before one of you smartie comes up with it: photography is like dancing with the world without asking….
    (kind of tacky, sounded good as a middle of the night thought)

    Bob, my prayers are with you and your son.

  • Michael.

    That is a great and terrible example, you’re right. The strident contrast of the photos normalcy against the backdrop of what was going on around these people, between their evident being humans and perpetrators of such insane crimes, is a great metaphor of what we’ve been discussing on the editorial level. “The Graves” by Peress, does just the opposite but works for me on a similar plane.

    When the juxtaposition is represented within the same frame, I feel the poignancy of the photo achieves an even stronger level of impact. Paolo Pellegrin’s series on war amputees playing soccer somewhere in Africa (don’t have a link unfortunately) is a very beautiful example of that.

    Thanks for the link,


  • Bob,
    It sounds to me that you have great perspective in what matters in life, and you live your philosophy. That’s the greatest way to teach and give back, I believe.

    “Redemption through art.”

    Please let us know about your son, and good luck.


  • Hi All,

    First, sympathy with Bob Black’s predicament and sincere hopes that the situation gets cleared up soon. I abhor immigration officials in all countries- there may be a necessity for that role, and there may be decent individuals, but in general it always turns into the gutter of the bureaucracy, attracting the worst kinds of people and policies because the constituency they deal with is powerless. Also apologies to Bob for the ramble that follows, which I wrote before I read his post and became aware of his problem. It may seem pretty trivial in comparison, but I’ll post it anyway because there’s just a chance somebody will get something from it.
    Also, I want to assure you Bob, that a lot of what you said is, in fact, VERY relevant to what we’re trying to talk about here- where does emotion come from, and what does it mean in photography? Anyway, here’s my post:

    Hi All,

    ‘Where does emotion come from in a photograph…?’

    Let me come at this from three different directions, first offering this warning, that these are just speculations, I don’t think there’s one, or three, or a dozen answers that cover all situations. My short, honest answer should really be: ‘I don’t know, it’s a mystery…’ which I’ll return to after I sling a little Sunday morning bull over this question!

    First approach, a little half-baked generic ‘communications theory’: there’s a ‘source’ (emotions, or anyway things that seem to have emotional content, existing in the ‘real’ world, or maybe only in the mind of the photographer!); there’s an ‘encoding device’- the photographer sees and takes the picture (or maybe doesn’t actually see it when the picture is taken!- but recognizes it afterwards, or more likely, as we’ve all experienced many many times, sees it but does not succeed in encoding the message properly) and makes a slide, a print, or a jpg file- which becomes the ‘signal’; and then there’s a ‘receiver’- someone looks at the photo and feels something, ‘decoding’ the image. Some things can go right, and a lot of things can go wrong, at each stage of the process. When everything works at each stage, whether by luck or design (usually both working together), then ‘voila!’ There’s a magical psychological transference from the event or scene, through the photographer, who must apprehend, feel, or at least acknowledge the emotion (or maybe only semi-consciously feel it when taking the picture) to the image (which we hope adequately encodes the ‘signal’), to an observer who must succeed in ‘decoding’ the image enough to feel something- (I’m not suggesting this is an analytical or conscious process, though it sure seems to be for a lot of art critics).

    We could look at each part of this process. I agree with Michael K. that ‘context’ is very important- I think what he’s specifically talking about is somewhere in the ‘encoding’ process- framing the shot, focusing, exposure, etc., but of course context is important at each stage. And to some extent I agree with what I think Michael Shapiro is saying about certain archetypes being almost sure things in triggering emotions- babies, warm fuzzy animals, heavily wrinkled faces, pools of blood- of course, in very sophisticated, cynical, ‘ironic’ observers (like New Yorkers!) the impact of the cute kitty picture may not be the same as in less sophisticated or less hardened audiences- but the level of ‘visual sophistication’ of the audience as a whole is another, huge topic!

    Second approach- in order to recognize, feel, ‘see’ the emotion, and get close enough to it to make a photograph, the photographer herself must be emotionally open and attuned enough to both the subject AND her own emotions to be a ‘carrier’ of the signal- even if only for that moment! (I like to think this is true, anyway)- so the psychological transference takes place in the mind and heart of the photographer first, or simultaneously, with the signal being encoded on film or a digital chip. Composition, visual context, shutter speed, negative space, are all just the grammar and vocabulary used to write the sentence. But what is the sentence trying to say? The key here though for the photographer is getting close, and making herself vulnerable and open to the emotion before trying to encode it. Honestly, I’m not so good at this myself, I tend to be shy, detached, and cool with most strangers, a bit of a squeamish snob, and I have to work hard at it- but it is rewarding when it happens and I can see it in the pictures. Incidentally, most of I what I know about his I learned first from Annie Griffiths Belt, who has fabulous ‘people skills’.

    Third approach- it’s a Mystery! How many times have you (and I) gone through a whole series of similar shots looking for the one that seems to convey what we were feeling at the time, what we thought was the content of the scene we were trying to photograph, and maybe come up with a few selects that come close, and then Bingo! there’s an image we didn’t consciously see or feel at the time, totally unexpected, but it has more magic and depth and power than the ones we were trying to take. And what are the differences? Often, very subtle ones- a slightly different hand gesture, a slightly different arch to the eyebrow, a slight change in composition, the light changed just a little, something intruded on the edge of the frame- nothing we could have controlled or thought of at the time. So, to me, this is part of the Mystery.

    Plenty to ponder here…


  • Giancarlo,

    No offense intended, but I have been misquoted or misinterpreted! “It is true as Sidney suggests that cultures imbued with sun tend to have a deeper relationship with and sense of color…” Actually, I would never suggest such a thing! I meant a very specific type of color sense, bold black shadows with lots of very dark negative spaces and silhouettes framing hot oversaturated bold colors creating that vibrating tension you talk about. That is one type of color that I will forever associate in my mind with Mexico in particular, as well as the Southwest and Southern California. But there are many many other color palettes and color tastes. My own sense of color developed first in the northern Appalachians, then the Pacific Northwest (both east and west of the Cascades), and then in Japan and Korea, which have remarkably different color traditions and tastes even though they have similar climates and similar ethnic origins in the remote past. To your examples of people from the North with their own highly evolved distinct sense of color, I would add the Russian Impressionists and the Canadian Group of Seven painters.


  • Bob,

    You know we all love you, hang in there …

  • Hi David and all:

    Great question. I’d like to try to give my answer. I hope it’s not too philosophical.

    “somebody please discuss “emotion”…and where it comes from??? does it come from the subject or from the way the subject is presented or can emotion come from the light and composition alone????”

    I think emotional content in photographs first begins with the assumptions and sensibilites of the photographer. Feeling in photographs is both internal and external and to the degree that it exists in our work, depends on a variety of factors.

    We photographers should be asking what our influences are, drawing from personal experiences, what we are reading, our personal values, our views and interests, and our imagination, et. al.

    I don’t think that light and composition by itself can convey emotion. How can a picture resonate with the viewer if it doesn’t first resonate with the photographer? I don’t think it’s possible.

    We all have photos that don’t work for us, but we don’t show those and that’s another piece of the puzzle — knowing and deciding what pictures we have that best fits and explains our worldview.

    I’ve been a big fan of C.S. Lewis long before the Narnia movie came out. So much of what he says about literary criticism and about life applies to what we do as photographers. Especially, _Surprised by Joy_

    Here’s just one of many examples of what I mean:

    “Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.”

  • Hi Sidney,

    None taken. I believe I did misinterpret what you wrote originally.

    Thanks for clarifying! :)


  • logic vs emotion. Sebastio Salgado for me is a photographer that works from an emotional point of view. To me his series titled “Workers;” has emotion stamped all over it. Interestingly enough Salgado was an economist 1st.

  • So sorry Bob…I hope for a quick and happy resolution for you and your family.

    No need to apologize for ANYTHING…the topic of discussion is emotion and you are emotion personified….and that’s a great thing!

  • Some of my thoughts are of you and yours right now Bob.

  • At the risk of overstatement, here are a few more C.S. Lewis quotes that could be applied to photography:


    “As long as you notice, and have to count the steps you are not yet dancing, but only learning to dance.”



    I was standing today in the dark toolshed. The sun was shining outside and through the crack at the top of the door there came a sunbeam. From where I stood that beam of light, with the specks of dust floating in it, was the most striking thing in the place. Everything else was almost pitch-black. I was seeing the beam, not seeing things by it.

    Then I moved, so that the beam fell on my eyes. Instantly the whole previous picture vanished. I saw no toolshed, and (above all) no beam. Instead I saw, framed in the irregular cranny at the top of the door, green leaves moving on the branches of a tree outside and beyond that, 90 odd million miles away, the sun. Looking along the beam, and looking at the beam are very different experiences.

    But this is only a very simple example of the difference between looking at and looking along.



    One thing I am sure of. All my seven Narnian books, and my three science fiction books, began with seeing pictures in my head. At first they were not a story, just pictures. The Lion all began with a picture of a Faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood. The picture had been in my mind since I was about sixteen. Then one day, when I was about forty, I said to myself: ‘Let’s try to make a story about it.’

    At first I had very little idea how the story would go. But then suddenly Aslan came bounding into it. I think I had been having a good many dreams of lions about that time. Apart from that, I don’t know where the Lion came from or why He came. But once He was there He pulled the whole story together, and soon he pulled the six other Narnian stories in after Him.

    So, you see that, in a sense, I know very little about how this story was born. That is, I don’t know where the pictures came from. And I don’t believe anyone knows exactly how he ‘makes things up’. Making up is a very mysterious thing. When you ‘have an idea’ could you tell anyone exactly how you thought of it?

  • Paolo Pellegrin’s series on war amputees playing soccer somewhere in Africa

    Are sure you are not talking about Pep Bonet, Giancarlo? He covered such plight (and resilience) in Sierra Leone:

    Also, there are 3 vey interesting videos under the “documentary” section on that site. I think everone here will find them of much interest.

  • David, David, David—you’re understandably busy with your real students, while your virtual students are either feverishly shooting or waiting for your next post! I know you have a lot to comment on when you return here, from negative space, to emotion, to the relationship of the two, etc. I hope to return to something a little less romantic, yet important to those here who are treating this as an editorial assignment and seek experience working with editors.

    Jacob had posted this question which may have been answered privately but I was hoping to see it turn up here somewhere:

    “#1 David-editing: do you worry ’bout sequencing when submitting assignments to clients; or do you put only the best selects forward and ‘let them have their way’…?”

    This is a dilemma for me, although I’m not disappointed in what I’ve been shooting—I feel that I’ve been working loosely, having intimate (sometimes dangerous!) contact with my subjects, and getting shots that satisfy my artistic and less literal side—but I’m concerned that I’m just getting a number of good vignettes over a well rounded story.

    There’s also a related question that comes to mind that I had asked but I think it got lost in the shuffle. I like to rephrase it anyway. As you collect these bodies of work, are you observing from the position of editor or audience? If it’s editor, then someone like me, with little experience working with editors, will have a tendency to max out the submission number in hopes of getting some editing help. If it’s audience, then more of the editing and storytelling falls back on the photographer. Maybe it’s somewhere in between. It’s really interesting how too many shots can make you feel like you just don’t have it yet, while looking at your five best alone can feel really polished.

    David, (or really anyone who what’s to chime in) you could probably send me in a really good direction without even commenting specifically on my first submission. Of course that would be completely welcome too.

    I haven’t seen this on here yet so I’ll be brave—if anyone wants to see what I’ve been working on, email me at and I’ll send you a link.

    Best to all,
    David M

  • David:

    What makes Alex Webb intellectual rather than emotional? Is it the way he approaches his subjects? Is he more of a planner than a jump-in-and-see-what-happens kind of guy? Do his photographs make you see the world more than feel it?

    “If (what I’m taking a photograph of) was a feeling, what would it be?” The critique you gave me a while back makes me ask myself that question now, every time I put my camera in front of me. Feeling has made me see better. Thanks.


    Hang in there. Things will work themselves out.

  • Herve,

    I’m pretty sure they were by Pellegrin. In any event the ones I mentioned are not those on Bonnet’s web site. The one I have in mind are very constrasty, grany, photos with the soccer players in stark silhouette against the bright background, and I believe they were from Liberia. I’ll see if I can find them…

    In any event thanks for the link to the videos! I’ll watch them with interest.


  • Herve,

    I found the link to Pellegrin’s photos on the Magnum site:
    The specific photos I mentioned are 15 through 18. They are incredibly strong images in Pellegrin’s distinctive style.



  • About the emotions, I must say that i follow what has been said concerning the emotions projected or arisen in the viewer, but not sure what david meant with Webb being more intellect than emotion. maybe a quick sentence before joining his workshop.

    Every artist, save maybe some performance artists, has to rely on his/her intellect to create. Only children create from or with emotions only (even then, they use tools and then technique, lack of even, comes in).

    Look at Picasso’s Guernica. maybe born of an emotion, but as you look at it, that emotion has been deconstructed and reset on the canvas, by a great intellect. Then people are moved again, but that’s another story, as inversely to what I wrote first, few works of art are not shared with some level of emotion tied to it.

    Maybe David meant Webb is a cool mind at work, doesn’t throw patches of colors and shades on the film, shooting from the emotional hip, so to speak. Well, my photographic culture is only 2 years old, but what would be an example of an emotional before intellect photographer, akin to Van Gogh, who is probably as close we can get to have technique springing directly by emotions (and he is unique, no followers). Salgado for me works from intellect to re-instill emotion. You don’t make that kind of photography directly from a visceral feeling. IMO, of course.

  • Just an addition: I hope we agree that emotion is not the same thing as intuition. That which relates to the mystery Jay mentionned, ie. the birth of a work of art. You can have emotion, intellect, any balanace percentage you wish, but you won’t be an artist if you don’t intuit.

  • Bob, I do hope you will soon have more news on your son and that he’s ok and safe back with you or your wife.
    No worries or apologies about the post. Not necessary at all. It’s a fathers love for his son, and beautiful to read. And besides that again an amazing insight in how you work and how photography is a part of your life.

    For me photography is also such a big part of my life, that it’s like breathing. I would not know what to do without it.

    I still use film, because that is how i feel comfortable expressing myself. I hate these discussions nowadays on digi versus film, about leica, nikon or canon. That is not what really matters and it’s just tools you use to express yourself. So choose whatever makes you feel good.
    I often think about projects I want to do, but then somehow the projects seem to choose me once I start. I’ll automaticly drift into stories, lives of people on intuition. It’s a natural way of being and doing what I love.

    The biggest compliment a friend of mine once gave was on looking at my work. He said: ‘Well, this is Wendy” It’s not particular that it’s a certain style, but it’s the way I look at the world and the people in it.
    And that is what I love about photography. Everyone’s photography. It’s how you percieve what happens around you. How you look at it and how you deal with it. And then it doesn’t matter to me if it’s emotional or intellectual. It’s showing me the person behind the camera.

  • hello all…

    i am still a bit “out of it” on posting because of my commitment to my students now….

    but, when i speak of emotion i do not necessarily mean the literal emotion coming from the subject i.e. a photo of a woman crying…that may be part of it, but i am talking about the emotion a photographer may or may not create just with his or her own style…for example, a landscape photograph can have deep emotional value…


  • jeryc…

    alex is a planner…and where some photogs would take a step forward, he takes a step back…”involvement” literally with his subjects is not part of his “plan”…i.e. i do not see alex sitting down and having a beer with the people in his pictures…nor , henri cartier-bresson either…

    whereas, gene richards is “living it”….see the difference???

  • bob….

    family first….i will write you in your email…

    david m ….

    sequencing is a key to any photographic presentation…will post on it soonest…

  • Hey folks

    Getting off point here slightly but should anyone be interested, I started a Blog Directory thread at Lightstalkers where you can find loads of interesting photo related blogs.

    It’s here,


  • That’s very good news!!!
    Thanks for that David

  • Hi All,

    David wrote “…but i am talking about the emotion a photographer may or may not create just with his or her own style…for example, a landscape photograph can have deep emotional value…”

    I don’t have an answer to this, but here are a couple of examples. I actually started out as a landscape photographer (Yoichi Midorikawa was my first inspiration as a color landscape photog, J.M.W. Turner as a landscape painter) but when I moved to East Asia, almost every landscape I saw had people in it so I started including them, eventually focusing more and more on the people, but always very interested in the spaces they inhabit. Anyway, if you look at a lot of Chinese, Korean, and Japanese landscape painting, over almost a thousand years painters did very similar compositions and subjects over and over- especially in the long vertical hanging scrolls- rivers, mountains, pine trees, clouds. But their brushstrokes were all different, and so the moods they created varied a lot even though it was almost the same basic scene.

    Now, I can’t put the difference easily into words, but I see tremendous differences emotionally due to style in the landscapes of say Jim Brandenburg versus Art Wolfe, to mention two well-known examples that even people who aren’t real nature photogs are probably familiar with. To me anyway, there’s something very controlled, calculated, clinical in a lot of Art Wolfe’s landscapes- beautiful like an ice princess, but remote. He is a master, yes, but his ‘mastery’ gets in my face a lttle. Jim Brandenburg seems to have a very soft, vulnerable, nurturing side that he expresses thru landscape and nature photography. But if I had to describe in words the difference in style, I’d have to think for a long time and then use way too many words. Who would I rather go on a hike in the woods with? Do you have to ask?


  • When David originally mentioned Alex Webb & ‘intellectual’, I realized what he meant by just looking at Alex’s quote from his Magnum page:
    Quote: “I only know how to approach a place by walking. For what does a street photographer do but walk and watch and wait and talk, and then watch and wait some more, trying to remain confident that the unexpected, the unknown, or the secret heart of the known awaits just around the corner.”

    I think Emotion “mostly” comes from the way the subject is presented. [not just light and composition or subject matter.]

    My photos can be/are completely different if I:
    1. observe the creatively perfect situation unfold itself in front of me and I get light and composition creatively right.
    2. get in the middle of the scene, become a part of it.
    When I look at photos I’ve taken using the approach of #2… I notice the photo resonates more with me. [that’s the style I prefer]

    The subject doesn’t have to look at me and the lighting doesn’t have to be that good… its just different.
    Maybe I am able to relate to the subject better since the camera related to the subject more intimately.
    If the composition is creatively good… then the emotion is accentuated big time.

    for what its worth…

  • Funny how a simple fact of life, that makes us human, feeling emotion, becomes very complex, handled thru the medium of photographic expression.

    I was thinking of Cartier-Bresson indeed yesterday as an example of intellect and intuition versus (against?) emotion. Best example frankly, and why he may be God (that’s truly a loaded title, regarding our topic) to many photographers, he rarely comes in the first named when people are asked names of great photographers. Mind you, they do not know the names often, but can point at some series or pix. Doisneau, just to stick to gallic, elicits more emotion (and wall posters) than HCB. Yet, as Doisneau proceeded often, emotion was the least element he needed to make an image.

    I sincerely believe you cannot shoot your raw emotions, or this is performance art thru photography. Emotions don’t fit frames, visions can do. And with visions comes the fact of seeing and the tools, physical and mechanical to form that vision. Which then, may elicit emotion.

    maybe I need one more cup of coffee. Hope Imade sense anyway.

    Thanks for the link on Pellegrin, Giancarlo. A bit arty for me, these 4 one-legged pictures, I am abit rebellious to a certain stance of unassuming craftness (which it becomes right away, craft) while telling a story, especially humanitarian.

  • David,
    How can I have a beer with the landscape I am photographing to get emotion? LOL
    I just collapsed your last 2 posts to get this question.

    If I were to create emotion out of a landscape photo op without drinking beer…hmmmm
    If the landscape (subject) was not crying and the composition nor the lighting was the most important value for displaying emotion….

    I need to think some more about this…

  • If you are immersed in the middle of a situation, wheter humans or non-humans involved, it can be very ’emotional’.

    I have always been fascinated by certain situations and tried to capture them in a way so that something resonates in the photograph to convey my ’emotions’ to the viewer.

    On a more philosophical level, I found the interpretation by Manuel De Landa of the French Philospher Gilles Deleuzes ideas fascinating.

    One of the Deleuze’s points is that the idea of becoming is not exclusive to the human world, and is guided by underlying principles (he calls these principles ‘the virtual’) explaining complex mechanisms and dynamic systems.

    The past months I have been inspired by these ideas in my photographic work.

    For the interested in this series of lectures De Landa explains in a lucid way his reading of Deleuze…,

  • Thanks Joost. I am not sure i get the :becoming” thing, so definitelyt have to watch the link.

    Going back to david mentionning Webb stepping back, it is certainly as efficient as going in, to convey “what is happening”, the true emotion of the moment. Like a murder scene (thank you weegee!), stepping back and shooting the reaction of the crowd rather than the corpse. Or children faces at a marionnete show, and etc… of course. You need a clear mind, not singly strung out on the emotions to get the right perpective, or the chance to speak your vision…

  • Joost, your link comes out blank from youtube, I take the liberty to add this one, which I believe is about the same lecture:

  • Herve, you are right, this is the first one of the series, I tried to paste the playlist, but something went wrong..

  • If you want to talk about ‘fulsome French fotographes’, let me put in a word for MY favorite Frenchman, Marc Riboud. The work he did in China and Vietnam in the 60’s is monumental and it is packed with emotion, I don’t mean the primal scream or blood and gore variety, but the guy radiates empathy, human warmth and concern. And while he mostly does people, he’s fully capable of producing b+w landscapes with strong emotional qualities. A lot of his stuff is archived on his website, but to really see it try to get your hands on his book ‘Three Banners of China’ first published in 1966, it’s in a lot of libraries. (There’s a much more recent retrospective book on his China work, but it is nowhere near as good). This book changed my life when I was a callow youth, and though I’ve been taking pictures for many years I still can’t do what he does over and over again in this book. ‘The Face of North Vietnam’ (1970) also has many great, great photos but unfortunately the book is poorly laid out and not as well printed. Just the textural qualities of the black and white in ‘Three Banners’ need to be seen and appreciated, especially if you work in B+W. Marc Riboud! ‘Nuff said…


  • sf jason…

    look at the panoramic landscapes of joseph koudelka for example…emotionally powerful i think….


  • In case you haven’t seen…this blog, the assignment, the stipend and all the posts related to it have been posted on the front page of the Magnum blog along with a very nice story about David as an educator.

    Martin suggests to the Magnum blog readers that:

    “The “David Alan Harvey Blog Grant” aside, reading his posts, taking part in the very active communication with him, working on “your assignment” and trying to give your best in this collaboration effort provides a great chance for you that you shouldn’t miss.”

    Don’t we all know it!

  • Cathy-

    Thanks for the link!


  • I think color plays an important element in creating an emotional backgroud for a scene. in leica fotografie international 6/2007 august there is a discussion regarding color ie:
    green= peaceful
    blue = intamacy and relaxation as well as melancholy
    yellow = is the happiest color

    then of course there is expression, moment, subject matter, etc,

    but what of photos that have no color or a human element yet have emotion….
    in landscape it could be grandeur, lonliness or intmacy or even a sense of the divine like moonrise, hernandez, new mexico by Adams.

    perhaps the photo is the trigger that sparks the emotional response in the viewer, as was sugessted earlier but for me if a person has an emotional involvement with the subject then that seems to come through somehow

    it becomes more than the geometry and the color , shape and form …it seems to be animated by the emotional involvement of the photographer and for those who have that “frequency” on thier dial, they are able to pick up the signal.

  • You’re welcome Herve.

    We’ll have to agree to disagree on those pix. :) I love Paolo Pellegrin’s work.

    Take care.


    PS: Bob, any news from your son?

  • David:
    This is the first time I’m writing to you. I’m 20 years old and I’m mexican. i love your pictures and the news concerning your ‘contest’ excite very much. I’ve just saved a bunch of money and bought a leica, which, just yesterday, stopped working God knows why. Besides, today I was told that i wasn’t accepted to the cinema school to which I applied. So as you can see, I’m going through hard times. However, I’m not writing to you out of self-pity, on the other hand, your contest gives me a new aspiration and something to focus on. You’ll be hearing from me David. Thank you very much.
    Sincerely yours,

  • David,

    Got that. That’s what I thought you meant about being “intellectual.” Thanks. Regarding emotion in a photograph, that’s how I interpreted it as well. Show not just what you see, but also what you feel. Takes more work, but definitely worth it.



  • pablo…

    thank you for writing…if you have some way to post your pictures, i would love to take a look at your work before you even submit anything here officially….please let me know how to see your photographs…

    saludos, david

  • hi all,

    just to pick up on the subject of emotionally power landscapes. if there is anyone who hasn’t seen it i’d most definitely recommend Deep South by Sally Mann.


  • hi david…i would like to ask you for a big favor…could i fedex you my personal diary (notes on photography related to your blog and other photographers)…i would like to get autographs in it of you, natchwey, mcCurry, allard, peress, koudelka (i already have in it hcb and nicklin)…that would be huge to me if you coul help me getting these…iam not sure if you could get all of the autographs, but i woudl be very happy with any that i woudl get.



    ps: i hope i do not make you feel unease with my request but i feel i start to know you

  • arie….

    hcb signed your personal diary??? pretty amazing since he would rarely sign anything..

    if you had asked me this a couple of months ago, when all of the magnum photographers were gathered in new york, it might have been easy…now, everyone is all over the place…i do run into all of these photographers in various places, but carrying your diary around everywhere seems a bit impractical…

    let’s put our heads together and come up with a time or a way to do this that makes sense in a realistic way…

    cheers, david

  • Talking about bold steps, let’s have a prayer and a thought for the brave monks defying the dictators of Burma/Myanmar.

    It is hard to see at this point where will this all lead, and maybe not to stray away too much from your blog, David, do you know which photographers from Magnum who are there or most likely to pack up soon to bear witness to the situation?


  • Herve-

    I’m with you, praying for the monks of Burma.


    For anybody who’s interested, here’s a link to Marc Riboud’s site:

    It’s in French but easy enough to navigate for anybody who doesn’t parlez-vous. Click on ‘Archive’ on the top menu and choose your country of interest- the ones that resonate most with me personally are China, India, and Vietnam. Although it’s only a small portion of his work, see what he does with landscapes.


    Don’t be discouraged! Work hard, hope, trust that something great is waiting unexpectedly for you!


  • David,
    Just a heads up:

    I just uploaded a re-edit, cut from 17 to 8 plus a little text on its own slide. Don’t know what you will think, but I’m certainly happier with it.

    I wonder if you are able to view the description fields? That’s where I put my captions.


  • Herve,

    Yes! Bold Steps are what the monks are taking.
    I am a lover of Myanmar (the people and place, not the government)
    Have been reading how the Chinese are trying to keep a lid on military response so as not to affecct their upcoming Olympics and the takeover of Myanmar’s natural resources…Hope something good comes out of this…

    The one person I read about who is heading to Myanmar (should be there now) is James Nachtwey. Can’t wait to see the images.

  • that’s great david…regarding hcb, let me tell you the story: nicole and i got married in paris in august 2002 (we were already living in bermuda at the time)…we invited hcb and his wife martine for the wedding…on june 7 2002 (my birthday), i received an envelope from him with one of his pictures and he wrote a very kind note saying that he would have loved to attend the wedding but that he was going to be in his province house for the summer…he wished us long and happy life….

    after his death, we visited martine franck (also a magnum photog) at her apartment in paris and she kindly offered us a book of the first exhibition to be held in the hcb foundation….

    something that a lot of people do not know about hcb is that he loved to help young people…i think a lot of his “though” reputation has to do with the fact that many people did not forgive him for abandoning photography and going back to his first love (drawing and painting)…but as he often said, for him, the camera was just a tool…


  • Are we still talking about emotion in photography? I’ve never been able to get my mind around what people call emotion in any work of art. In photography, emotion is said to be the mood or the tone, a quality of mystery (or not), but all of this is really just the light.

    Is Alex Webb’s work not emotional? It has the same lighting effects as David’s work, but we would all probably say that David’s is more emotional than Webb’s.

    Somewhere in this equation is the photographer’s relationship to the subject. Webb’s work is more distant and detached; David’s is directly engaged. So is this the basis of the emotion?

    Lauren Greenfield’s work is as engaged as any photography out there (portraits of women and girls in their homes, schools, camps, tanning beds, surgical tables, etc.). But is her work emotional only in the sense that the stories she presents through photography are often heartbreaking, since the photographs themselves are usually bright and flatly lit?

    Or how about Antonin Kratochvil? Raw, grainy black and white–but oddly impersonal, since he shoots the same style for every subject or place he visits. Is the emotion in the Tri-X and the tilted horizons?

    I think emotion is best considered something that is part of a larger body of work, not just in individual photographs. It gets back to David’s notion of authorship. When you think of emotion and photography, you probably see a long sequence (or book), like “Divided Soul” or “Migrants” or “Inferno”–and many of the individual images resonate. But the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Such long sequences allow all the nuances of photography to work over time, in your repeated viewing. In one photo, the light might be particularly compelling; in another, the expression on a face, etc.

    With a longer work, you are dealing with a guiding intelligence (authorship). You begin to appreciate the photographer’s relationship to the subject, how he or she sets up your expectations as viewer (and then fulfills them or frustrates them). There is room for a range of expression in a long sequence–beauty, humor, irony, fear, awe, etc. The best photographers present their subjects from many different standpoints. The world is complex and nuanced. The best photography is, too, and this I think is what we mean by emotion.

  • preston….

    you asked a few rhetorical questions and then answered them perfectly…..nice


  • David (or Michael)

    You may want to delete the comments that have been made regarding who is or isn’t working in Myanmar and probably not answer the question asking who from Magnum is there.

    There is a lot of discussion about this subject on Lightstalkers. I posted a thread asking if anyone had seen any good work on this subject and two colleagues of the man I mentioned in my earlier post here (shhh) wrote and asked that his name be removed from the Lightstalker discussion. Since this is America I am assuming that it is so that this person can enter the Myanmar without being noticed or drawing attention to himself. I’m sure they are not exactly welcoming the press. Although it’s unlikely they are reading this blog!

  • Hi David….
    today I’m happy because I meet somebody that promised me to give me access to a “pelea de gallos” and all the process behind in mid-october…I’m just learning to approach people regarding this type of questions so I hope I’ll have something interesting to shoot very soon…

    I’m printing all my work about Puerto Rico in 8 x 10 (inkjet prints)I’ll love to send it to you sometime next year to have some feedback regarding the idea of a book of Puerto Rico….

    muchos saludos….this blog is becoming very big!!

    Carlos Rubin

  • More on Herve’s question about who is working in Myanmar:

    Yes, it appears that all discussion on this matter is being deleted from Lightstalkers. I deleted my thread, even though it was asking about work that has been published. As one man said…”No one that I know of is working there but tourism is way up.” So everyone is trying to sneak in and best of luck to them. In fact if anyone needs a phony “wife” to look more like a tourist, I am available!

    This is a story that needs as much coverage as it can get. Good luck to all who are trying to tell it.

  • carlos….

    you know i have always been interested in your book project…of course, i will take a look whenever you want….


    i do not know who is going to Myanmar from Magnum…i will find out

  • I was wondering how Jim N. could enter Myanmar on hos good name. Which would sound off the Junta’s radars in any consulate (or not). But yes, I am sure one day, off blog, we will learn how some of these guys with a name do it.

    I would give the thought to go, personally, but I have had a bad year work wise and October seems I will be busy.

    Going to Myanmar, at least if you dig a bit beyond the sights, is like visiting someone who is in jail and puts a good face to his or her predicament, so you don’t worry too much about them.

  • Hi david and all…

    For the last couple of days I’ve been running around taking pictures of Moon Festival and my subject, while editing at the same time…I’m very excited to be a part of this “community assignment”.

    I’m one of those quite kid in the back of the class, who listens but rarely speaks…so…please,please,do not stop. I really enjoy everyone’s comment. For me it’s a personal development every morning when login on.

    Ozzy al

  • hello y’all….

    thank you so much for the kind words and support. just got off phone with marina in moscow…..

    will know more on friday morning…fingers crossed…

    im writing something everyday at ls for my son, a way to keep him close to me and for him to read too….

    photography seems so remote to me at the moment…doing it to keep sane, now,nothing more…an exhibition on thursday here in toronto and feels like idiocy…but, well, whatever…

    but, thanks again for your wonderful, warm and loving words. we appreciate it a lot. i’ll let you know when i know.

    running, sluggishly though ;)


  • last night…..with all these wonderful discussions about photography, emotion, what constitutes a story, authorship, space, the workings of a picture….

    i wish to share my own approach, the way I see photography, not everyone’s, but certainly my own…i sort of alluded to it above (and many time’s here at dah’s world)…so, okay, a quote from Roth’s new novel….

    “Fiction for him was never representation…It was rumination in narrative form…”-Philip Roth, ‘Exit Ghost’

  • hey bob…

    praying for you and family…

    ozzy al

  • Dear Bob, your last post brought a smile, i know you little, but I can see with you, even if the worse day of your life, the spirit refuses to rest….

    PS: BTW, Alex, Moon festival….In SF? With jason, that would be 3 of us based there.

  • Hi Bob,

    I’m very happy to hear things could resolve very soon.

    Good luck, I for one will keep my fingers crossed! :)


  • David,
    I see what you mean about the emotional power of Chaos with Josef Koudelka. Thanks.
    For some reason this photo of a road in GB sticks in my mind repeatedly. Its just an asphalt road. But it grabs me. Crazy man…crazy.
    Didn’t we miss the Moon Fest in SF? I thought it was in Chinatown Last weekend?

  • Hi harve…

    The Moon Festival was last sunday. Every year the community celebrate moon fest which draws crowds in tens of thousands to cabramatta.

    Cabramatta is a suburb located in the south-western part of Sydney, Australia.

    Cabramatta is an Asian food capital of the greater Sydney. It features one of Australia’s largest multicultural restaurant and shopping precincts.

    There are a large number of restaurants with Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese cuisines.

    So if you ever and our forum friends do come to Australia…please let me know… i’ll be more than happy to show you guys around Cabra…

    cheers mate,
    ozzy al

  • Thanks Alex, it seems that the week-end corresponding to the end of summer is the universal date, as indeed it took place in SF last week-end.

    To jason, I think the lovefest this saturday is something not to miss. Very far from marching Monks in Burma, of course, yet, maybe street is street…

    Aside from personal politics, i tend to approach every subject in photography as equal to each other. The contrary of being aloof, but indeed being dragged in to the manifestation of life around me, which can veer off in talking about emotion vs intellect again.

  • Herve,
    LoveFest SF would easily be interesting subject matter…..
    however I am throwing a party for my son’s 1st birthday. Sorry dude but another street festival it will be.
    Last month I was at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh Scotland. Excellent stuff. I almost had enough material for a Fringe vs. Faith photo essay but I was there for business and couldn’t get enough time w/ camera. Next year we should go to the Fringe in SF.
    Unless I do a “biased” photo essay based on my belief system…. the camera is non judgmental. eh?

  • …or is the camera non-judgmental if emotion is captured by the photographer? you got me thinking herve

  • I have no idea what a camera thinks, Jason! Judgements are made by living beings, IMO. As soon as you raise the viewfinder and do the slightest orientation, you are making a judgement, and that’s only one judgement amongst many that came before and come after.

    Of course, we can think of intuitive thinking as the least judgemental part of creation, but that’s not for long, as soon as the intuition takes form, judgements are being made again.

  • Jason, are you imbuing the camera with magic powers? The camera, it seems to me, is merely an extension of your eye. Your brain does all the work. The camera is the least important part of the whole equation, and it really helps to keep it that way.

    That’s part of David’s one camera, one lens M.O. (Sorry David, if I overstep a boundary, here.)

    Hope this is on track.

  • I could be wrong, but I’m begining to think this conversation has jumped the metaphysically abstruse shark. ;^}

  • Michael K. you are correct. It is meant to be more metaphysical and abstruse. Nice choice of words.

    My follow-up comment was a playful statement that was not intended to be literal (camera centric).

  • Jason,

    Yeah, I was really just teasing a little. It has been an extremely interesting conversation overall!

  • let’s talk about Alex Webb & his masterful paintings.. i just viewed his portfolio on magnum; wow !! i guess logic vs emotion argument is unimportant as long as you collect your gifts..

  • “…i guess logic vs emotion argument is unimportant as long as you collect your gifts..”


  • bob…

    my apologies for being so “out of it” with your current family problems…i do hope you do not only feel strong support from this community , but from me personally as well…i think you know how i feel about family matters and the incumbent priorities…please let us know soonest when your life returns to it’s normal happy self..

    hugs, david

  • two different approaches to taking a picture depending upon the person. However most of us are a little bit of both//right brain//left brain>thinkers..the final result is the print which is a biproduct of either logic or emotion; no ?

  • David :)

    thank you so much for your kind and generous and tender words. Let me assure you that no one, LEAST of all you should apologize. I appreciate and take your words inside me like a gulp of cool and white air. I have turned to this blog, to you and its members, in a time a crisis and it has been comforting. When i was unable to talk to them or talk immediately to my friends here in TO and in NY and my family in the states, this blog served as a reminder, a comfort, a counter to all the shit that we’ve been dealing with. For that I am grateful and really appreciate.

    I have felt support for the community here and from you personally and that has meant alot to me and to my family. As i told you earlier, there will be a lovely bottle of Ice Wine coming your way after C. Anderson visits on the 16th for his talk here…(im looking forward to meeting him: and i’ll give him a hug too to send u)…

    will know more tomorrow evening…

    thank you David.

  • I would like to know if this stipend/grant is exclusive for US residents or as in my case (I am not US resident) I may apply also.


    Ricardo Baez-Duarte

  • ricardo….

    the grant being offered from this site is open to photographers everywhere..


  • David

    I just found you. I had searched on google the following key…which led me to Lightstalkers…which led me your post called “Road Trip Timing” which led me here…

    I am a humble newbie that has been bitten hard by the passionate bug of photography. I work full time..have three teenagers..a husband that works shifts. I decided to find my creative outlet and bought a camera in July 2006. I went out to play with it one day and BAM that was the beginning. I never owed and SLR before, no software and no formal training. Instead, I wake up at 5am and try to learn something new everyday before going to work. After work I often go shooting and then come home to try and learn some more. The kids have learned to cook and clean because I just can’t do it all! My weekends are now spent walking and meeting the people and places around me with my lens. Anyway….I keep searching for the path…the one that leads my camera and me to the rush of clicking the shutter and knowing immediately that the moment captured was “right”.

    Your post on road trip timing was perfectly timed for me to find. I will learn from you. Thank you.

  • NANCY…

    welcome!!! you sound like a full time hard working mom….most important job in the world!! do not leave your kids for your camera, but it does sound like you are experiencing a new “lease on life”….we are happy to have you here with us….

    cheers, david

  • I know there are 334 comments here already…I’m late for this…and I’ve been too involved in my own effort to improve the world to have seen your blog grow multifolds…

    But I want to say this nevertheless:
    “Thank you for being such a wonderful human being and feeling so strongly”

  • Are you still accepting submissions? I’ve been having trouble login in. The server says that the login information is not correct. I’ve emailed and not heard back yet. thanks

  • a little bit too much emotional overkill,isn’t it?

    all that i love you, you’re the best, never heard such great, and praying for this and that and everything.

    my guess: the most overemotionals bring in the worst pics.

    don’t shout so loud, watch silently, shoot’n pffff away you are.

    affection makes you blind for everything of real importance. don’t you know?

  • The password no longer works. I have emailed with no response. It seems others are having the same issue. Please advise.



    the deadline is not until November 15……

    michael, my main man for the tech stuff, has been busy with the workshop and just now returning to his duties with the forum upload…

    he will get to you soonest…be patient please…we will exclude no photographer who wants to submit…


    i feel your pain….and please send us a link to your work, so we will really know what you mean…

    cheers, david

  • I just uploaded my work to the digitalrailroad’s submissions folder. It was my first time using a ftp program and it was easy, fast and, looks like I did it successfully because now I can see my folder there, but, if you or Michael see something wrong, just let me know and will repeat it, ok?

    Thanks a lot for all your help and patience!!

    Ana Yturralde

  • No problems uploading here – any feedback you might have time for is definitely appreciated. I find editing my work difficult and sequencing damn near impossible!

  • Hi David,

    Thank so much for this opportunity. It’s really a dream to have you look at my work. This is very generous. There are so many photographers that inspire me and move me. The chance to take a bold step in this direction is priceless to me.

    I look forward to seeing your discoveries from this project. This blog is fascinating!

  • Ufffff!!!!!!!! This is so refreshing guys:)) I admire human beings who are generous with their thoughts and their time. Thank you David!

    (I am always grateful to Bob’s generosity and the sensorial quality of his poetry:))))))))))))))))), as well as the other LS members’, gracias gracias!)

    You all know the feeling right? Where was I? Why was I missing out on this? hehehe.

    Looking forward to mucho mas!

  • Just uploaded mine as well.
    Hope it went through all right.
    Just amazing that you created this forum David. Big thumbs up!!

  • Hi David, I’ve been a silent and what comes with it – also very shy reader of Your Blog for long time now.. Finally the time has come to make that bold step, with quivering legs, but I would regret if I wouldn’t post some of my photos and have this honour to get them judged by You. Thanks for a great opportunity for that.
    I’ve just uploaded them using FTP, hope everything’s OK, if something is wrong please let me know and I’ll sent it again.


  • I have joined as well.
    Thanks for possibility

  • I just uploaded some work. Hope it’s okay to add the contact information in the exif?



  • submitted 8 photos hope they got to you.

  • ok, just uploaded my 20…at the laaaast second. I hope they made it to you. thanks for doing this david, cant wait for the results…

  • I’m looking forward to seeing what catches your eye. Thanks for the opportunity.

  • Thank you David. Incredibly kind and generous of you to offer this.

  • Is there any way to know for sure that everything went through alright? I’ve created a folder and uploaded 15 images to it but I wasn’t able to see them on the server.

  • Hello David,

    My name is Denis Kopylenko and I am a photographer. I nearly accidentally came across this thread in your blog and has been really enlightened by this idea. I think my work can be of interest to you. Can you please tell me whether you continue this stipend tradition into the 2008 and whether the uploading rules are the same? What is the deadline?

    Denis Kopylenko

  • Nice David! I really appreciate what you’re doing. It’s really great that there are some people who are willing to help their countrymen. I hope you will receive more blessings and please continue your excellent doings. Keep up the good work!

    Post Courtesy of Personal Money Store
    Professional Blogging Team
    Feed Back: 1-866-641-3406

Comments are currently closed.