tango

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

99 Responses to “tango”


  • hi David,

    I must finish some non-photographic stuff now, but on Monday I will buy new digital camera d200 and I will try find two days for your assignment. If I have 10 days to end this assignment I think I can do something only for you. Some quick personal story. Of course if it will be worth to show you without shame. I’ll try full focus only on it. I hope I will…

    Martin

  • David, what you say about editing your own work is so true. It takes me just minutes to edit/ comment on the work that my father does but it takes me so long to do my own editing. I have been trying to get a tight edit for the submission that you have asked…By the way, it has been tough as I wanted to stick to the principles of photographs taken after July but this summer has been a summer of hard work at my company this year, no vacations time, stuck in Cincinnati with little time to shoot… Ideally, I would have loved to tavel to the Carribean and shoot there but, short of going there, I tried to shoot in Cinci as if I was in the Carribean with colours etc…Not easy trust me but hope you like what I have done. Now, going back to the editing question, I know that you usually try to select one only frame from a particular scene. Now, when you show the pictures to your photo editor friends, do you stick to that principle or show several frames/ pictures from the same scene and then decide together. Reason I ask is that, when you look at what I have sent you, in some cases, I kept 2-3 pictures of a particular “scene” that I like a lot, hoping to also see which one you would keep if any. I know that eventually I should just take one but, for now, I felt it might ne good to see how you would edit further down. Is this also how you do it with friends? Let me know. Cheers, Eric

  • when i saw beggining of your post… i started to think about H C Bresson…he used to say that he is interested in photography only as a moment when he is shooting :-) and he has people to take care about rest :-).. when i saw him talking that (on movie) i smilled.. and i thought – i am not alone :-)

    but editing has to be a “dance” as you say… it’s tango :-)

  • martin….

    as per promised, i took a good long look at your website….i spent about an hour looking at your work and some more time writing you a review which is now in your personal email…

    i hope you will find this helpful….

    david

  • eric…

    i basically do what you do…sometimes there are two or three really “close” and those i discuss with the “respected editor”…and then, you just have to make a decision….like the decision i must make with the blue woman in my own “works in progress”…that is a good example i think…and i think what you are talking about…

    i did not see your father in perpignan..too bad, i would love to have met with him…please send my warmest regards….

    cheers, david

  • Thanks for always showing us the human side of your photographic journey and career, David, the neurosis, agonies, procrastination is something I am sure most of us can relate to.

    What i need most now is someone to kick me literally and copiously in the ass, because distraction and clumsiness have cost me quite a few workable shots, to say the least.

    I think we also can all relate to finding the right person to help us decipher what we shoot towards a precise project. This is the main problem of photography, most people, including well intentionned photographer friends, look at (our) photos in terms of “like” it or not. Which is too superficial to help someone who may have the ambition to build a body of work, and is also one of the limits of participatory photo websites, btw.

    So far, my best editing, coaxing hekp, are people like you, achieved photographers with that body of work, by studying, reading a bit behind their images, what is being said, or alluded to, rather than what was merely seen and shot. Going beyond the “wow!” factor, the pretty or not so pretty image.

    this coming from someone yet quite unformed and at the beginning of the learning curve.

  • aga…

    yes, yes…some of the “greats” have just as hard a time as any of us….koudelka for example has a tough time…but, of course, he will deny it!!!

  • I’ve found that some of the shots you grow attached to but don’t make the final cut can find a fresh puropse when you ceate a slideshow set to music. It’s especially true if it’s a strong sequence that can touch your audience emotionally.

  • Hello Mr Harvey. I’m editing this summer work for this forum and damn, the limit of 20 plus the July15th limit!
    Fit the “authorship”, the feeling, the story I want to tell within these “borders” is really hard, and a challenge.
    So I return to pull my hear out but starting from my beard!
    :-))
    I will start to upload soon.
    Best wishes,

    Ken

  • once I had an experience to face an editor from the student magazine in my campus. he was a senior student and everyone admires his photographic works, but he was also known as a mean editor.
    as a junior I was affraid to face an editor like him. It was a small photo story about the non-prostitute proffesion/jobs of the transsexuals in my city. i had worked hard to get in the circle. but i was very affraid to give my works to him…because his critics are known to be hard and mean.
    anyway, i gave my works to him. and he started to look at it. he tore the first picture! and also the second and the third until the fifth. and that was the last. and he said to me to make and deliver him other photos within two days. the critic was all about composition, about the dodging/burning which was not so well done by me and other technical stuff…i was angry, hurt but I think in some points he was right.
    and I think all of us, who has done something and has to show it to someone has experienced to be critized.
    somehow people developing also their own excuses for not to be critized or to give a counter critic.
    finding someone with whom you can work comfortably and from whom you can get good critics and advices is an ideal. and that’s the “tango” as you said.
    sometimes i had difficulty to choose between a friend with whom i can work happily or a stranger from whom i can get a hard critic.
    sometimes i can’t choose.

    regards
    suryo

  • hi david…my little tresor anne-camille is sleeping with mother in the room next to me…i have pictures to show for our experience (iam sending 10 rolls of slides to ken lieberman in NYC for processing)…i am so so nervous that no picture will fit…or that i will not find my “signature” (=authorship) on them (by the way I am not sure i understand what authorship means in the photo area for a small project…i could see it over teh very long term of a photog career but on one small project? i ama not sure…)…iam also afraid you will not see on my pictures the pleasure i had for many hours with my two subjects of the main stories….

    what iam trying to say is damn it, it is time to stop hiding behind excuses and fear and just jump…

    arie

    ps: i would appreciate if you could ellaborate on authorship as it is not a clear (at all) notion to me…

  • David, you are of course correct that collaborating with a respected colleague brings a fresh, objective view.

    I think editing by looking at negatives makes things easier, at least for an unpublished amateur with attention deficit disorder (i.e. me). I think I pick stronger compositions when I’m not distracted by small details. But “stronger” is a relative term… 0.01 is more than 0!

    You’re not alone with your deadline: I have one too tomorrow, the culmination of 4 months worth of work on a grant proposal. I feel like bike riding today too! It’s beautiful here in Boston.

  • Hi David, I am already in NY and have to sit in my hotel room getting my portfolio together for our workshop next Saturday in your loft. So you are really not alone editing while the sun is shining. These are the pro and cons of digital photography and I myself still prefer to look at contact sheets though.

    Let’s go out for a couple of beers one of these days, Roberto is flying in on Tuesday….

  • david….

    if it were in my ability, i would pin plumed wings to your shoulders…..you deserve, as much as anyone i know, the lift of flight….

    i’ve spend the last 5.5 hrs doing the same for your assignment, trying to weed down to 20 pics, miserable, hate the process, hate the photographs now, hate the grain, the job, the failure, the light, the widdling, the exhaustion, the tired eyes, the joy, the doubt, the knock-of-the-wall, the words spilling out, like a tantrum…….there is never a best photo, never a best order, never a best hoped-for….and then, the sweet exhaustion of some numb buzz in my belly:

    that it doesnt matter, that the truth is that whatever photos chosen for a story means a loss, somewhere, a loss and a rebuilding…

    the most important truth about editing is that it is painful and it also burns away one’s ego…i, in sweet weariness, care now much less for my own story soon to send u then others voices and others work: it is, in the end, the hurtful and joyous and important truth of ending:

    that we need to squander our egos, for all photos, good and bad, mean an algebra….

    I’ve always hated editing/combing through my work, it’s grave work and I have always cherished someone’s else’s opinion….and, in the end, always relinquish…does the edit as a whole and the individual pics convey what you thought, heard, saw and tried to show…

    and the moment it feels, like it does each time, like total failure on the part of the work, the photographs, the hopes….

    but there is nothing more important to a photographer than this painful work….i hate it too, and i plow throw…and so today, since 11:30, in front o the computer and looking at negs….and all this without wine and after a week of photo shows and openings and drunkeness with photographes and my own projection project and i think: again, the failure…but that’s part of the importance of editing: its a re-seeing, a re-building….

    sad now….tired….

    but, david is right….

    in the throws of editing and tossing aside, one eventually comes up for breath more hungry than tattered….

    im tattered…

    uploading the pics soon…..

    b

  • Hi David,

    i’m here sitting on front of my laptop trying to winnow from my work some images to show at your workshop in NY and i’m feeling so frustrate: as ever, this is the hard part of my beeing a photographer. I haven’t lost all my hair – but am on the right way – and the few left remind me that am not more a young photograper…
    hear from you “who among us has not suffered during the editing nightmare??“ is heartwarming… i’m not alone. I knew i should made a portfolio to show at the worshop since i was accept… the plane is warming up, ready to leave and am still here in the middle of a big confusion…
    Sometime i think each picture we shot has a inner reason and only who made it knows… that’s why is hard to discard…
    and most of the time we do not shoot just with eyes but sometimes with the heart and i belive this haven’t learn the right slang yet…
    please, forgive my english… almost scholastic memory.
    ciao

  • the age old conundrum Doubt vs Astonishment. Usually doubt takes over even if at first I’m feeling astonishment//always second
    guessing everything//the woulda;shoulda;coulda etc. verse chorus verse..

  • the age old conundrum Doubt vs Astonishment. Usually doubt takes over even if at first I’m feeling astonishment//always second
    guessing everything//the woulda;shoulda;coulda etc. verse chorus verse..

  • Hello David,

    I’m a little concerned. I posted a comment this morning sometime. It showed up right then, but now I cannot see it. Did it get deleted from the site?
    Michael

  • I know tons of photographers but I know of no editors. How do you find one?

  • Hello David and fellow readers and contributors to this fascinating blog,

    I hope you don’t mind if I join the parade. I’ve been reading this blog with interest for about six months now, and although I’ve never met David in the flesh I feel like I know a good bit about him, having followed and been a big fan of his work for many years, and having heard many stories about him from some of his colleagues at National Geographic who are acquaintances of mine. I admire his energy and dedication and the great-hearted generosity that he clearly exudes. And since I am something of an ’emerging photographer’ and have been working on a little local project over just the last two months which may be pretty mundane but clearly shows what I regard as my own ‘authorship’ or point of view (for better or worse!) even if it doesn’t necessarily include many of my ‘greatest hits’, I’m thinking, why not send in my 20 pix and try to get some feedback from a man I respect enormously not just as a photographer but also as a teacher? Mostly I am eager and curious to see what the other contributors come up with and where the whole project leads, and I figure the best way to follow along and make it interesting is to participate. I suspect my work may seem a little too conventional, quiet, and detached to many Harvey fans, but that is maybe who I am, these days at least, and it also reflects the subject, summer in Bellingham, WA, a place that bills itself as ‘The City of Subdued Excitement’. So greetings to all of you, and many many thanks to David for providing this opportunity. David, you da man!

    P.S. I have a website for anybody that’s interested: http://www.telcomplus.net/satkins
    It’s not all photos but half-text, half-photos which is the essay format I most enjoy, both creating and viewing.

  • Hi David,

    If I could have one thing it would be someone I trusted and respected to edit my pictures. I’m with Rene were do you find them.

    David does time make any difference to how you see your pictures? If you did a retrospective would you pick the same pictures?

  • Well, shoot, I’ll just try this post again, though it will lack the wonderful spontaneity of the unthought out response of this AM.

    I seem to spend way more time editing than shooting. I have to edit for grants and submissions to curators and reviewers. I have pretty much gathered together a couple pretty strong portfolios which I keep with iView Media Pro, (now Microsoft Impressions I think).

    When a particular set of images is needed, I narrow it down as far as I can and with a copy of the requirements in hand, trundle down to the university, where the gallery director goes through and makes the final cut. Sometimes I argue, but he’s usually patient enough to explain his reasons for different choices.

    I did the cut for this little story for you by myself. I could have cut it even further, but I was trying to leave it loose.

    Usually, right after upload, I go through and mark all the obvious outtakes. Then I have to pretend that I’m looking at the work as a stranger and try to see what grabs me and what doesn’t. There are always a few that I can’t be detached about. That’s where the outside editor comes in.

    David, should I stay on your case about looking at my work?
    http://www.michaelashapiro.com

    MAS

  • This is really hard for me and takes up a lot of mental energy. I like to think I try to be objective and approach each image in a detached way, like I just found them in a box somewhere and they are not even mine. But that doesn’t really work. There is always that emotional and subjective pull.
    So lately, and thinking this was a rational and clever solution, I tried this. Create a score sheet and assign a numerical value to each category like 10 points per category or whatever. It goes something like this. Category I “The Image Stands on it’s own: light, moment, design”. Category II “The image contains an Emotional Component: intimate, genuine, funny, etc such that it triggers an emotional response in the viewer. Category III…you get the idea
    But really this is only partially helpful because a lot of this stuff I can’t articulate and this is where I just wish it were a math problem, even a really hard one, (and I’m not even good at math). At least it would at least have a single answer!
    What is also difficult is that I may feel one way about the image on one day and another way on another day. After a good bit of that it’s time to just get up and walk away or even run at times because my mental health is in jeopardy. (Psych people call this obsessive/compulsive and there is medication for this.)
    And so that’s what I’ll do now, just walk away …really fast (for a while) because thinking about this any longer is maddening.

  • You know, the more I linger in this profession, and there’s none other for me, the more I enjoy editing. I’m finding editing my own work is getting easier. I have always been very good at editing the work of others, particularly those photographers I know well, but, inexplicably, I find myself increasingly able to stand back from my personal involvement and edit my own work as though it were presented to me by some other photographer. It feels almost like I imagine astro projection might feel like. However, this might just be a phase. But it has lasted a while.

  • I may have found a way to deal with the editing process…not bike riding but soaking in lithium water! Just got back from Ojo Caliente Hot Springs…a pre-birthday (tomorrow) soak. The editing has been done for a couple of days now but I wanted to wait for David’s words of wisdom before sending the folder off. After Ojo I think the second guessing is minimized.

    Also a “shout out” to Michael C. from Jerry…who I ran into at Downtown Subscription this am. I heard him give a digital workflow lecture at the Workshops and have seen him around quite a bit but don’t really “know” him…I told him we had “met” thru this blog. He said to say HI.

  • Just pinching in again about the subject of editing. I think I would not have any problems editing if the final result mattered to me only.

    The problem starts when you are trying to see the pictures thru the eyes of someone else, a potential someone at that, not somneone you know too much. This is really tough. And probably tougher considering that someone is a publisher, a maker or breaker if you want.

    We all know the story of the Rolling Stone rejection by a record company with the underlined “no future” affixed to it. Ie. a publisher might see something in your shots that another might not, and of course, yourself may not grasp it so precisely either.

    But it is as hard if the publisher looks not a for a vision, but a serviceable and payable good shot. I have been contacted to sell some of my shots, since they were posted on websites. None of these images drew much response, not as much as others. Yet, someone found them good enough to pay a few hundred bucks for them. What if I had 100 shots of that subject, how do I double-guess which one will fit the command?

    So, David, when showing a portfolio or a complete essay (not with this project with you though) should we select the pictures as if it was just for ourselves, or try to look at them with an editor’s eye, as an outsider as much as possible?

  • michael shapiro….

    i have no idea what happened to your comment…i delete nothing…ever…well, one porno comment and site that somehow squeaked thru the “security system”…must have just been a tech glitch of some kind…

    ‘yes, stay on my case…the only mitigating factor right now is that i have two classes almost back to back in my loft starting end of this week…i am just swamped with work to do in preparation…

    so, again, be patient…i did look at your site, but oh so briefly…it takes me generally an hour to look at someone’s work and then another half hour or so to write up a review….i just literally do not have an hour and a half right now…

    but i will get to it…before Christmas!!!!

    rene and harry..

    well, the best way is to make friends with a professional editor…i do not know where you both live, so that may be impossible…the next best thing is to find a respected photographer to take you under her/his wing…that is a very very good way…a mentor of sorts….finally, good picture editors do not need any particular “background”..people either “see” pictures or they don’t….i have met people from all walks of life who can edit pictures…curious, but true…so , lacking everything else, find this person!!!!

    harry, to answer your question about retrospective editing…i would say i go by my original edits about 98% of the time….as time goes on i do throw out a few and i had a few, but that is about the percentage of untouched edit….

    cheers, david

  • Thanks David,
    so is your edit done for tomorrow?
    Michael

  • My photography is a personal journey so if I were looking at an editor he/she would have to be primarily aligned with my ‘artistic’ vision (don’t want to sound pompous here), and then take it further.

  • umm. I posted before I saw David’s reply. It sneaked it in between my typing. Thank you for the tips David. Best of luck tomorrow to you.

  • I think one secret – one of mine anyway – is to be present and quiet when you look at the negatives (files!) for the first time. Not that this ensures you will see everything as holistically as you will in the later stages of editing, but, it seems to me there is a moment of revelation and resonance when you see a keeper for the first time, and you can create a space in which to receive this.

  • Editing yourself is so difficult because we get attached to the photos, eliminating them is really hard. Plus you need a totally neutral perspective especially if you have no experience whatsoever editing a story. As is my problem, totally.

  • Hi David, I also have hard time when it comes to editing. But I think editing is all about making stories, like the way how novelists write their stories or film makers making their own style of movies – but photographers, they do with still images.

    Well this question just came into my mind that is there any particular difference or strategies in editing between still images and multimedia (audio slide show)? or even a difference between mulimedia and short documentary films?

  • “stalling…procrastinating….but, yes yes i must do it…like doing my homework in school…coffee pot boiling”

    Here I am procrastinating by drinking my morning coffee and reading your blog instead of writing my essay for university on eyewitness ethics and photojournalism, ha how ironic (I’ve been re-watching ‘War photographer’ just a few times for it)

    Anyway I should stop procrastinating and get back to it, but before I do I’d like to thank you for effort you put into your blogs, they have been of great benefit to me (a fine art photography student operating in a documentary mode, think Trent Parke or ‘Tour of Duty’ era Matthew Sleeth, or that is at least what I aspire to!)

    Kelvin Skewes, Melbourne Australia

  • David,

    “the only mitigating factor right now is that i have two classes almost back to back in my loft starting end of this week…i am just swamped with work to do in preparation…

    so, again, be patient….it takes me generally an hour to look at someone’s work and then another half hour or so to write up a review….i just literally do not have an hour and a half right now…

    but i will get to it…before Christmas!!!!”

    Does this go for our submissions as well? Curious to know when you will be viewing our work and what to expect in the way of feedback.

  • nasha lee..

    intelligent question….

    every medium requires certainly different sequencing and placement if not actually different pictures…a multi-media slide show is one thing, an exhibition is another and a book is another etc etc….

    and not all photographs or groups of photographs/edits are necessarily literally narrative or “storytelling” like the clean obvious narrative in a film or book…they can be, but they do not have to be…

    the editing of photographs can be much more abstract than either most film editing or writing…

    perhaps only with most magazines is the more literal storytelling aspect most obvious….photo books can, for example, be “freestyle” …perhaps a “message” but not necessarily edited for more literal storytelling..

    “visual literacy” is still being defined , explored, tested, pushed…photography is a “brand new” art form and “language”…no limits…..

    thanks again for all of your help in Korea…your uplifting good spirit stays with me….

    best, david

  • cathy….

    no….i am on the case with this forum submission process…the workshops will not slow this down at all….i probably cannot present your work before late october anyway…it depends on how much comes in…

    the statement where you quoted me was intended just for mr. shapiro who i had promised a personal look a long time ago…not for this special entry but for his general portfolio….and i was joking about “before Christmas!!”

    however, i am trying to figure out how to give some feedback to others, but it would literally be impossible for me to critique every entry for this project….i cannot do this as i would do in a workshop where i have 12 students for a week of shooting and critique..there are too many of you…

    besides, this was intended as a “real thing” shooting experience….as if you were presenting to a book publisher, magazine editor or gallerist….because those are some of the people who will see your work here…

    at least it will be so for those who are chosen to be shown…not everything that readers submit will be shown…what will be shown is a collection of the very best essays and the very best singles….i never intended to use this particular project as a workshop excercise, but as a real time , real hard look at what the “members” of this forum can do…

    however,if i do decide to give a stipend this time around, i will extend the deadline….word of even a small stipend would cause a rush to this site and make the whole thing even more competitive….in this case, i would seriously try to give an advantage to my “original” bloggers by reviewing their early entry, giving feedback and giving them even another advantage by the obvious time extension..anyway, this has not been decided yet, but the decision will come this week i am sure…

    david

  • arie…

    i thought i had written quite a bit already about “authorship” here, but maybe it was before you joined us….or maybe i did not write as much as i thought!!

    anyway, you check the archives, i will check the archives….or maybe it is time for a new “authorship” post anyway….it is totally 100% central to everything you should be thinking or doing….

  • hi sidney (from the city of subdued excitement)

    well, we are all happy you finally “showed yourself”….

    i look forward to seeing your work….

    rene…

    you do not sound pompous….personal journeys are the best journeys….i just need for your work to resonate…but, the method or the road you take to create powerful work can be way way “out there”…as i just said to my friend nasha lee, no limits….

    jay…

    do not even try to objectify subjectivity..go with your gut man!!! and relax….do not lose it!! sit down…have a cold beer or whatever….be at peace…..love thy neighbor and make some decisions!!!

    paul….

    astro projection while editing??? what are you smoking man??

    seriously, i know what you mean…i try to do that too….it takes time to “learn” how to do this, but it is very very possible…

    hey kelvin….

    i can identify with that scenario..i was a so called “fine art photographer operating in a documentary mode” in school too…never really got out of it as a matter of fact!!!

    anyway, i do not want to keep you from what you are supposed to be doing….so, get that done…then come back!! we will be waiting….and it is nice to have another aussie around…

    cheers, david

  • yes, editing it’s like tango. it always should be doing with somebody else, because something what we see in a story can be not visible for other people. It like every communication, we are not always understandable. Every word sounds different for another person. Because writing is something different than reading. When people reading they see what they want to see or hear. The same is with photos, poetry, novels, everything. That why other person should see and confirm our story.
    But I like do things alone, telling my stories.
    And I’m really bad dancer…

    Martin

  • I do wish I had somebody to “dance” with me while editing. I use to ask for the opinion of the people I have around, family and friends, but they don’t have that editing view that I need and I always end up more confused. But I just can’t edit by myself. I can be critical with somebody else’s work and know what I think will work or not, but with my photos… that is another thing. I just can’t do it.

    Besides, editing is very personal. Everybody has his own opinion and taste. What I may think is special, can be something difficult for another person. So I think we should trust the opinion of the “receivers” of what we are showing but always keeping the direction that comes from our inside…

    We all try to communicate through our pictures and we all want to be understood. Well….. at thi point one thing is for sure: I need a good editor.

    Ana

  • martin….

    i spent about two hours yesterday going over your work on your website…i wrote a long review….all as i promised you….

    when i did not hear back from you i went to my email server and checked “sent mail”….nothing…..i think i want to cry…what could have happened??

    i should have done it as a word document i know i know…but i cannot imagine what has happened…i never lose emails….i sent it as a “reply” to an email you sent me…

    of all the emails to lose, this was the worst possible…you were waiting and i worked hard to do it for you….

  • martin…

    i am going crazy…now, i went back and checked again…it is there!! you should have it in your normal email…

    maybe you just hate the review!!!!

  • David

    I was send you a emaile yesterday. I don’t know what have happened. I want to say something personal so i will try to send it again. give me a note if you have not it after hour from now.

    I’m very sorry if it my mistake.

    Martin

  • I love your review. It’s something what i need, i wrote it in my mail. I will send it until you will have it.

  • Ok, now I will sitting and waiting with nerves….

  • David,

    I have edited my work and uploaded it on the digitalrailroad website (subfolder: Schober_Uwe). (Hope it uploaded correctly since I did not see the files in the submission folder).

    Stupid question: wouldn’t you normally need a kind of description/context of what the project is about to do a proper edit and critique?

    In addition, isn’t also the style on how you photograph a project also dependent on the context? What I mean sometimes one uses ‘metaphorical ways’ of shooting a project (e.g. reflections, oversaturated colours, direct posed portraits, etc.). But probably one needs some context to ‘understand’ the images otherwise they just might become very hard to read.

    Or are the best images or series of images, images that tell a universal story without context?

    Uwe

  • Hi David,

    Funny to see this post as I am in the processing of re-doing my website and show more of my images. It’s difficult to edit a portfolio for a site since, in my opinion, it’s not just about showing perfect pictures, but pictures that I think produce a moment.

    Unfortunately I am not participating in this project but I look forward to seeing what others have done.

    Best of luck to yourself and all the others on this blog.

    -Sherman

  • uwe…

    yes, of course…i have always said that text should be included with any essays….perhaps very short explanatory text or captions at the beginning just to give me an idea of what you are doing…if i decide to publish your story, i could ask for more..

  • here it goes again my terrible english :)

    yesterday (sunday) i spent all day editing photos from an assigment that i did in this past week (just after i arrived from perpignan) in the Douro region (wines culture, and related). in three days i did 600 photos (more or less) and in the first edit i pick up about 100. and after that a did another edit for me (without thinking in the magazine.) the second one for me it was more “easier” because was based in my personal seeing and feeling, never the less, i had some doubts of course. the first one was more dificult because i know that the editor will pick up photos according the text of the reportage. and yes, during the assigment i was with the journalist and we allways exchange words about the focus of the reportage, this is very important issue: talking always with the writer. still, i sent an larger editing because i know how the magazine works, and my choices is not their choices, and in this kind of “soft” assigments i can deal well with this, first the story, me in the end. my very concern is always try to give photos and alternatives with the “factual” information of the story. yes, my vision isn’t in 100 photos, my vision maybe is in at 10 photos (note much more). , unfortunatly (yet) in assigments i didn’t have the time to make that 10 photos with all the aspects and essence of the story. to balance that i have my personal works.

  • here it goes again my terrible english :)

    yesterday (sunday) i spent all day editing photos from an assigment that i did in this past week (just after i arrived from perpignan) in the Douro region (wines culture, and related). in three days i did 600 photos (more or less) and in the first edit i pick up about 100. and after that a did another edit for me (without thinking in the magazine.) the second one for me it was more “easier” because was based in my personal seeing and feeling, never the less, i had some doubts of course. the first one was more dificult because i know that the editor will pick up photos according the text of the reportage. and yes, during the assigment i was with the journalist and we allways exchange words about the focus of the reportage, this is very important issue: talking always with the writer. still, i sent an larger editing because i know how the magazine works, and my choices is not their choices, and in this kind of “soft” assigments i can deal well with this, first the story, me in the end. my very concern is always try to give photos and alternatives with the “factual” information of the story. yes, my vision isn’t in 100 photos, my vision maybe is in at 10 photos (note much more). , unfortunatly (yet) in assigments i didn’t have the time to make that 10 photos with all the aspects and essence of the story. to balance that i have my personal works.

  • here it goes again my terrible english :)

    yesterday (sunday) i spent all day editing photos from an assigment that i did in this past week (just after i arrived from perpignan) in the Douro region (wines culture, and related). in three days i did 600 photos (more or less) and in the first edit i pick up about 100. and after that a did another edit for me (without thinking in the magazine.) the second one for me it was more “easier” because was based in my personal seeing and feeling, never the less, i had some doubts of course. the first one was more dificult because i know that the editor will pick up photos according the text of the reportage. and yes, during the assigment i was with the journalist and we allways exchange words about the focus of the reportage, this is very important issue: talking always with the writer. still, i sent an larger editing because i know how the magazine works, and my choices is not their choices, and in this kind of “soft” assigments i can deal well with this, first the story, me in the end. my very concern is always try to give photos and alternatives with the “factual” information of the story. yes, my vision isn’t in 100 photos, my vision maybe is in at 10 photos (note much more). , unfortunatly (yet) in assigments i didn’t have the time to make that 10 photos with all the aspects and essence of the story. to balance that i have my personal works.

  • here it goes again my terrible english :)

    yesterday (sunday) i spent all day editing photos from an assigment that i did in this past week (just after i arrived from perpignan) in the Douro region (wines culture, and related). in three days i did 600 photos (more or less) and in the first edit i pick up about 100. and after that a did another edit for me (without thinking in the magazine.) the second one for me it was more “easier” because was based in my personal seeing and feeling, never the less, i had some doubts of course. the first one was more dificult because i know that the editor will pick up photos according the text of the reportage. and yes, during the assigment i was with the journalist and we allways exchange words about the focus of the reportage, this is very important issue: talking always with the writer. still, i sent an larger editing because i know how the magazine works, and my choices is not their choices, and in this kind of “soft” assigments i can deal well with this, first the story, me in the end. my very concern is always try to give photos and alternatives with the “factual” information of the story. yes, my vision isn’t in 100 photos, my vision maybe is in at 10 photos (note much more). , unfortunatly (yet) in assigments i didn’t have the time to make that 10 photos with all the aspects and essence of the story. to balance that i have my personal works.

  • here it goes again my terrible english :)

    yesterday (sunday) i spent all day editing photos from an assigment that i did in this past week (just after i arrived from perpignan) in the Douro region (wines culture, and related). in three days i did 600 photos (more or less) and in the first edit i pick up about 100. and after that a did another edit for me (without thinking in the magazine.) the second one for me it was more “easier” because was based in my personal seeing and feeling, never the less, i had some doubts of course. the first one was more dificult because i know that the editor will pick up photos according the text of the reportage. and yes, during the assigment i was with the journalist and we allways exchange words about the focus of the reportage, this is very important issue: talking always with the writer. still, i sent an larger editing because i know how the magazine works, and my choices is not their choices, and in this kind of “soft” assigments i can deal well with this, first the story, me in the end. my very concern is always try to give photos and alternatives with the “factual” information of the story. yes, my vision isn’t in 100 photos, my vision maybe is in at 10 photos (note much more). , unfortunatly (yet) in assigments i didn’t have the time to make that 10 photos with all the aspects and essence of the story. to balance that i have my personal works.

  • i forget to say that the “10 ones” were sent also in the midle of the others, but that 10 are kind “highlighteds” with a better post production ;)

  • i forget to say that the “10 ones” were sent also in the midle of the others, but that 10 are kind “highlighteds” with a better post production ;)

  • i forget to say that the “10 ones” were sent also in the midle of the others, but that 10 are kind “highlighteds” with a better post production ;)

  • i forget to say that the “10 ones” were sent also in the midle of the others, but that 10 are kind “highlighteds” with a better post production ;)

  • i forget to say that the “10 ones” were sent also in the midle of the others, but that 10 are kind “highlighteds” with a better post production ;)

  • martin..

    ok now …all emails accounted for!!!!

    i think our little exchange will be good for a new post actually…to be/or not to be a “professional”

    peace (world peace), david

  • David…

    I’ll be waiting for new post.

    thanks

    world peace :)

  • ehm. I omitted to fill in the description, perhaps thinking that for stage 1 you did not want it. I suppose if I make it past round 1 then I can surely supply descriptions or a short essay. P.S. image001 and image020 are meant to be like ‘visual bookends’

  • I have funny story for all of you. Not about editing or photography but about art. Photography is art so I think I could tell it here.

    The story about true art.

    A month ago I was cleaning my apartment, and I had to throw away many things, because I need more place. One of this staff was my old drawings, from art school. There are about 500 drawings, fast sketch from exhibit . Nice but not important anymore. So I was throw out to garbage dustbin. It was raining windy day. At evening I was hurry for meeting, when I was go outside I saw all of my drawing everywhere around. Hundreds of drawings lying on whole my street, in water and mud, flying with wind. Everywhere. ‘it is most beautiful piece of art I ever see. This is true art!” I said myself. I wanted to shoot it but I was late and I was hurry. some children take them out i suppose.
    Yesterday we was cleaning our apartment with my wife again, we need more place. So she decided throw away her old paintings on boards. We put them near dustbin maybe someone will take it to home. Today morning I go outside with my dog. Her paintings lying on ground and covering a few holes. Some workers digging holes and they need something to put over it for security. I take my camera and I took some pictures. Beautiful piece of art, don’t you think?
    Conclusion; art could be funny sometimes. I hope photography too.

    Martin

  • I love editing. Am the only one?

  • Edit in a way that leaves them begging for more!!

  • I want to upload 6 more pictures to have 20th pictures on the ftp as you required but I can not connect more with the username davidalanharvey-septblog and the password upload.

  • If we can lets keep all of the uploading questions on the tech stuff blog so that we don’t interrupt the good conversations going on here.

    Thanks

    Michael

  • Please include me on the list of those interested in reading more about authorship. Since I’ve (unfortunately) never taken a workshop with you I missed out on the authorship “lecture.” Or as my husband and I joke with each other when we don’t know the answer to something we should have learned in 5th grade…”I must have been absent that day.” :)

    I have been here on the blog from day one and have tried to soak up every word that has been written about authorship. I get the message for sure but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded over and over again. I often wonder when editing whether or not an image really has my own “stamp” on it or if it’s just a fancy version of a snapshot. How to KNOW the difference? What would the average tourist have done standing in the same spot? What would HCB have done?

    This is also a bit confusing… I read a great interview with Mary Ellen Mark once where she talks about not wanting to “interfere” with the voice of her subject. I’m misquoting but it was something about her not wanting to have a voice…that it should be THEIR voice that is speaking. How to accomplish this and still have authorship? Hope to hear more about this if you do a piece on it oneday soon.

    Thanks.

  • Cathy, this authorship thing is a huge subject. It brings into play the self-imposed dichotomy between fine art and journalism. It address the matter of political correctness. But most, it is a matter of choice.

    How do you want to tell the story? What story do you want to tell? Do you want to tell any story? Some of this depends, of course, on whether you’re getting paid to tell a story or to react photographically to what you see.

    There are alot of questions, and I have no idea what David’s answers will be. I find the questions themselves fascinating.

    Look at an early draft of a story I shot but still haven’t really finalized.
    http://www.michaelashapiro.com/threestories

    You have to click on the first thumbnail to get it started.

  • Thanks for adding to the conversation Michael S. and sharing your story which I enjoyed…good job. Lots of hard work went into it I’m sure and a subject that is dear to my heart. When I met my husband he owned a Trading Post in Zuni so we know this story well.

  • authorship is the dictate by which our entire lives are defined….

    we are story telling, a species kept swung high-away from the abyss because of our ability to draw from around us a gathering: we tell stories and swallow them, we reckon this passing life and all its attendant sorrows and joys through the sharing and warning of all that. We are nothing if not for our speakers ans listeners: on the cave walls long ago we told of our fears and loves etched with blood and berry stain and they have not ceased. We need to speak, we need to listen, we need to speak out into the void, we need to open our ears as much as our eyes, unfold and foldup our tongues as much as spread out our insatiable skins…authorship: to speak out of that and those who have inhabited us and passed inside…but authorship also means to listen….

    MEM’s dictate about not wanting her voice to “intrude” on the subjects is a reasonable one, but a MEM photograph is authorial and transcendent, and I should add majesterial. I just went to a show this saturday, Mark’s first solo in Toronto, of her early work Ward 81 which broke my heart when I first saw in in a book while in university in the mid 80’s and now again, stunned and stunning….her subjects, of course, “speak”, or rather their stories speak because of her photographs…but, it is a bit of a ruse to suggest that Mark isnt “interferring”…what I would suggest she means is that she tries not to “impose” her own judgements and ideas upon her subjects, but capture them, their lives, their stories as She sees it…she’s still speaking, only she’s speaking OF THEM and not FOR THEM….she’s a hero too of mine, and I wouldnt say for a moment that Mark isn’t one of the most distinctive voices in photography of the last 30 years…she absolutely is: heroic, majeterial, heart-kniving….

    but authorship is not exclusive to Mark. Other photographers speak of their own experiences, the encounter with those around them, this fleeting life. that’s my take. It’s narcisstic, but then again is the false “objective” dictum too. I cannot speak for others, or people or places I am photographing, but I listen, listen alot and often (I spend more time talking and listening and thinking than I do photographing, and that has always worked for me). I love to listen to people’s stories and what has happened to them, and I like to think of myself as someone who makes others feel at ease and comfortable: im open (i hope, but my wife will have to verify;) to that….it’s what i cherish about David as well…my own photography is born of just: how people and their life and this passing life has entered me…the vanquishing, the vanishing, the loss and the wonder…..

    authorship to me, and maybe this is what David is suggesting, is that a photograph must come from a place, born not just of the world around. Authorship comes from the desire (desire first, and foremost) to want to reflect and speak of that which passed inside you. Ability to make a photograph is meaningless (that is easy to do and to learn, trust me: i personally am trying to unlearn all that) and tertiary. The desire and trust to allow life enter you and to let others penetrate you and then to be able to capture that through your whatever (photography, writing, art, music, conversations with others, emails, smiles, etc) is the key:

    authorship, to me, simply means this: one who has committed themselves to telling a story or to recounting a story that has been given to them, in the only way that they are capable of. I often lament that some many in the photogrpahy circles I meet talk about “i want to be like photographer x,y,z (you fill in the name, it pervades) instead of forgetting that and figuring out who they were meant to be as a photographer. It is not about style or subject, not about even what your photographs look like, but something more essential:

    does photography insight you, does it reflect your relationship with the waking and dying world around you….is it only a picture…or something that has a part of you in it….

    my photographs are constant failures, but I know they are mine, for good and ill…they’re a mess and they probably resemble me:….

    a photographer, for me at least, should have a reason for why she shot….they come from a place, an ethic, a philosophy, a spiritual side, an place inside….for photography is more important than any other part of a waking life (photograph, brushing my teeth, eating food, reading a book, talking with my wife and son and friends, walking, drinking, sleeping, laughing, crying, fucking, dreaming, silent: it all is the breathing)….

    authorship means that: invest in your work all that your life means to you, and failure or success will have much less importance….

    i write because it’s a part of me.
    i photograph because its a part of me.
    i live because i am alive.

    one can make great photographs without authorship and one can make shit photographs with real and authentic and gorgeous life-authorship. When someone can achieve both, that’s a rarity and a beauty.

    hunt down your own ideas and make them your own, this at least to me is more important than whether your photograph is brilliant or successful or loved or ignored….they can forget my photographs (who cares) but I still have my life and my living ;))))))

    hope that helps…

    David: sorry for the long hijack :)))))

    hugs
    bob
    ============================================

    Encounter

    We were riding through frozen fields in a wagon at dawn.
    A red wing rose in the darkness.

    And suddenly a hare ran across the road.
    One of us pointed to it with his hand.

    That was long ago. Today neither of them is alive,
    Not the hare, nor the man who made the gesture.

    O my love, where are they, where are they going
    The flash of a hand, streak of movement, rustle of pebbles.
    I ask not out of sorrow, but in wonder.
    –Czeslaw Milosz

  • ps. please forgive my many many typos: even as a writer, I’ve always been A HORRIBLE speller, much to my english teacher’s disappointment.. (go-figure) ;))))…see: authorship, fuck the spelling ;))))

  • “for photography is more important than any other part of a waking…”

    sorry, that is not what i meant: i meant:

    photography is NOT (!) more important than any other part of a waking…

    SORRY FOR BAD TYPING…ok, that’s it for a few days ;)))

    sorry david :))

    b

  • Bob- you said (among many other pearls) “my photographs are constant failures, but I know they are mine”.

    I often find solace in Garry Winogrand’s words ringing in my mind while I’m shooting: “The nature of the photographic process – it is about failure. Most everything I do doesn’t quite make it.”

    BTW- I love your photos on lightstalkers.

    Asher

  • martin…

    do not throw away your wife’s paintings!!!

    bob….

    you are the literary maestro….thanks for the “hijack”…..

    now, all of you can see how i really operate…i get all of you to do all of the work!!!

    cathy…

    i do not think “authorship” matters if the work is in the “first person” or in the “third person” i.e. mary ellen mark…that is just her way of dealing with her subject matter which is fair enough…

    and she is an author…but, so is gregory crewdson who is totally “manufacturing” his scenarios…or cindy sherman who only depicts herself…

    you can be an author of fiction or of non-fiction..and who is to say which is the “greater truth”?

    and you do not have to “like” the work of all authors…but, an appreciation of authorship at all gives credit to the rarest scrap of human endeavor….to do something that has never been done before…this is the nature of our being…

    to be an “author” you MUST have something “on your mind”, a “pain in your gut” that must be sated….you must have “something to say”….a voice….a point of view…

    whether you are looking out the window as a journalistic voyeur or looking in the mirror as an artistic narcissist, your “description” of either, or some carefully placed stance in between, must be a song from the heart…

    uwe…

    yes, yes..in every mention on this forum about our effort, i have mentioned the need for text if text is needed…

    amy…

    no, you are not the only one….but, like writers, some photographers go in kicking and screaming and others go with the flow…everybody “psychs up” in a different way….

    david

  • Wow! Bob and David…to come home this evening and read your inspirational words…thanks so much for a great ending to a wonderful birthday. A gift that will stay with me always.

    I’ve asked questions and been involved in discussions before on photography websites and workshops, with photo “buddies” and so forth but never have I encountered the caliber of conversations that take place on this blog. It’s a great group with a great leader.

  • cathy….

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

    and many thanks for your comments….it is the comments from all of you that make all of this work and worthwhile…

    cheers, david

  • Thanks Michael, for the link to the pine ridge essay.

    I agree with you, the questions are fascinating, I mean ever-fascinating. So, they don’t really need an answer.

    Authorship needs not to be selected determinated beforehand, I am not sure if this is what Cathy was wondering about though.

    I think in photography, if you are totally honest with yourself, then you are an author, and like Bob says, it migt be the crappiest style of authorship, yet have the unmistakable stamp only you can put on it.

    Compare this with all the “good” shots we may take, that someone else could have taken, telling a story someone else told before, and that if you are honest with yourself, you know you are re-telling only.

    As Bob pointed out, you unlearn more than you learn when it comes to speaking one’s voice in art, because when you do that, you can be sure it will soon lead you into unchartered territories, along a path that you alone can tread upon.

    As usual, easier said than done, because there are so many past references we can fall upon in photography.

  • Damned, you guys were having a birthday bash when I was writing all this above. Ok, let me catch the end of the party:

    Happy Birthay Cathy!

    PS: I am very proud because a friend here has entrusted me to be his editing eye for his assignment, for what it’s worth! So that’s what I am working at tonight.

  • bobblack,

    My English language is not sufficiently to understood your long stories, but I’m sure wise your words are.

    “i write because it’s a part of me.
    i photograph because its a part of me.
    i live because i am alive. “

    great words, you are not only good photographer!

    And you mention Czesław Miłosz’s poetry!

    Martin

  • David,

    If I have time to September 24 I will send my story as I promised. but I’ll do it in last day. I must leave today.

    Martin

  • Herve,

    yes I must say that your offer to edit my story was really more than I could have even THOUGHT of asking someone. I also think it will be invaluable to me, really for you to take time out of your life to do it is fantastic. Big Thanks.

  • Hey Dave and Michael,
    I have just uploaded 20 pics to you
    Campbell_Glenn001 – 20
    Salute

  • regarding photos as failures and the number that don’t seem to quite make it…it is a wonderful feeling to be satisfied with the images that i make but it the quest for those images, no matter how few and far between, that compells me to the next and the next image. For me (and it’s certainly not an original sentiment) it’s about the journey and the striving to see not just look..to see and understand and then translate that to an image that can resonate with others. it gives me a greater appreciation for life and what is going on around me.. photo is a tool to do just that. it is like seeing through a telescope or a microscope..with a camera you see things that you may otherwise overlook and it is facinating and addictive.

    like cathy said thanks for the site, i’m here often and i apprciate reading all the comments that people have taken the time to write. if i find just one thing everyday just imagine at the end of the month i’ve learned 30 new things!

  • David :)))…remember, please, when you not busy (like when Is THAT? ;) ), steal some time for John’s Quest for Land I wrote you about (better to pay attention to that than my own silly song)…and u are the real maestro here: he that allows the rest to sing :)))…

    Martin: :))..thanks amigo. indeed, i love Milosz, always have, but not only him, many many of the great Polish poets :))))) (filmamkers, writers, photographers too )

    Cathy: happy birthday :))…thanks for the wonderful words…

    Asher :))…thanks so much for your kind words, i really appreciate that, specially about the pics :)))

    Glenn C: yo, Im happy you are showing: I LOVE YOUR ESSAY BROTHER…as you know :))

    running to call Moscow :))

    off now for a few days :))

    hugs
    bob

  • Wow…Bob Black. Inspiring fellow you are! I read your stuff, see your work and all I can think is, hope I meet that guy someday!

    I am ever striving for something approximating “authorship.” And, Damn!, is it hard! Usually happens when I least expect it. When I don’t even know it. Kind of like being in the zone. Everything is fluid, smooth with emotion.

    I’m particularly happy with the recent submission to David…nothing may come from it, but I am happy. I approached things slightly differently…maybe I should have approached it “greatly” differently? Not sure. But I feel OK about it. But then, tomorrow I may not feel that way at all! Always happens. In fact I’m sure it will happen. Oh, christ, how could I have thought that was any good! Too late, now, eh? (But that’s tomorrow.)

    Anyway… constant failures, yes. Even more so on this end! But it’s getting there. It is mine. Struggling for less “constant failures.” Thanks for the inspiration.

    Must go shoot.

    MK

  • bob…

    are you going to be in new york any time in the next couple of weeks?? i would love to have you drop by and jam a bit with my students….

    like michael, i feel we must meet in person….

    what will that be like???

  • David: i would love to….i originally (as I mentioned) planned to come down in late sept/early oct, but plans have changed do to so much unforseen problems in Moscow with Mrs. Black…wearing. my son returns this sunday, and Im hoping to come down (my gift to Marina) when she gets back: just now all is up in the air until things are finalized there: she is supposed to return on 9 Oct, but might have to extend until late october…when are your workshops? (i know you’ll be in Thailand until Nov. for the Harvey Workshop)…it might have to wait until then: all depends on the russian judicial system…i should know more by next week’s end….

    ditto about meeting: i’ve got a nice hug and bottle of ice wine for you (which i might give to chris anderson to give you when he comes up for his WPP)…

    i’ll know more in next week….

    i feel the same about you, 100%

    meeting in person: im same as here: you’ll have to ask chris a after we meet then ;)))…im same spirit as here (only I snort when i laugh ;)) )

    running
    b

  • I’m doing hard editing on a set before trying to do the editing for the submission. Hopefully helps. Damn, David, it’s hard… and many of the pictures haven’t ‘rested’ for long enough to know their real value. Plus all the developing and scanning and processing. Argh :-D

  • of course; most of us pass througt edition suffering.But i have a question about it: does exists objective rules in this hard process? i mean, there are anything repeat: ANYTHING that I should know about it??. because i used to let me guide by my instinct, and usually i can´t explain exactly what is what i see in a pictures i’ve taken that makes me love or hate it, and this sensation of haven’t words to explain myself is a little bit frustrating.
    sorry, i’m not very good with words,and probably that is one of the reasons why i make photographs.
    thanks for your time.

  • David,
    …whether you are looking out the window as a journalistic voyeur or looking in the mirror as an artistic narcissist,…

    That’s a great description or set of descriptions. I’d have given you an A in any of my writing courses.

    et al

    I do have a blog, but no one ever sees it; maybe some of you could comment on something. I usually try some of my newer photos on it.

    I too (referring to some post of David’s somewhere) got started on blogging from looking Alec Soth’s work.

    http://www.michaelashapiro.com/blog

    Michael

  • lvm..

    good question….i think the “rules” for the way pictures should be edited change so much over time, that there really are no “rules”…

    every editor of every magazine, for example, has their own set of “rules” and if you are working for that person, then you we know what those rules are….every magazine has a “sensibility” and if you are a working professional you should definitely get a sense of their sensibility…BUT to not marry that sensibility, just be aware of it for practical reasons..

    when i am teaching and a group of photographs is laying out in front of me on a table, i can quickly move things around a bit, do some sequencing and “show” a student perhaps how to think about things…this is really hard to explain online….i can do a lot here, but that is one of the things i cannot really show you…and besides, the way i would do it, may not be the way someone else would do it…

    just do the best you can using your gut instinct…basically, it is not a good idea to repeat yourself in a sequence of pictures…if you have one really great picture of your dog sleeping on the porch, you probably do not need another one , no matter how good it is….

    the biggest mistake i see with portfolios is exactly that…repetition of an idea…3 pictures of something, where 1 would suffice…do not show anyone how many good pictures you have of exactly the same thing…for example, 10-15 strong visuals that are all related, but do not literally repeat, is probably a good place to start…

    we will keep talking about this subject here for awhile i think…it is very important..thanks for asking

    david

  • The Humans should be able to focus on hundreds of photos, not on several.
    So many beautiful pictures dying in millions dark archives.
    then we could have not problems with editing at all.

    Hmmm, very long stories… like life is…

    ;)

  • David…

    I think your post above pretty much tells me I need to rethink, indeed reshoot my entire project. Or maybe just do a better job of editing. Ugh! In either case, and as I said in a post elswhere on this site, I can’t believe I actually thought those were worthy. This happens far too much. I think really need help.

    MK

  • “Winogrand died of gall bladder cancer, in 1984 at age 56, leaving behind nearly 300,000 unedited images, as well as more than 2,500 undeveloped rolls of film” (Quote from an article about Garry Winogrand on Wikipedia).

    20 years ago, reading about the hundreds of thousands of shots that Winogrand left unedited or undeveloped, people found it bizarre and tragic. After the digital revolution, almost every passionate photographer will come to a point where they think: this is my situation too.

    We shoot ten times as much as in the film days, and if we, as most of us do, publish stuff on the net, we tend to ignore the art of editing our pictures (not to mention our words, because the same applies to all the -mostly unread – blogs on the web; they exist out there, in a limbo, like undeveloped rolls of text). Editing our own stuff is much harder than finding someone else who has that rare talent.

    Not all of us will suffer and die from gall bladder canser, but we will certainly die, and most of our pictures and images will disappear like Winogrands undeveloped rolls of film, not because all of us lack talent, but because we don´t know how to deal with the unexpected, and almost impossible task of being our own editors.

  • Michael:

    just send you 021-036….i had problems with my connection to transfer…sorry…i just re-uploaded #36…

    at your convenience (no rush), please confirm that you have Black_Bob_021 – Black_Bob_036

    cheers,
    running
    bob

  • “the biggest mistake i see with portfolios is exactly that…repetition of an idea”

    Ah! I read this now…I’ve learned a lot from the very process of submiting this project.

  • Excuse my English
    hello Mr david Alan harvey, I wanted to greet a young photographer Colombian even I already have some time doing photos think that would be much better if only a moment to speak with you, really would like to know and take a course though my economy is not very good , so we just talk to you via e serious enough for my soul.

  • Excuse my English
    hello Mr david Alan harvey, I wanted to greet a young photographer Colombian even I already have some time doing photos think that would be much better if only a moment to speak with you, really would like to know and take a course though my economy is not very good , so we just talk to you via e serious enough for my soul.

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