i hate to admit it sometimes, but i must be "results" oriented….i see myself as outrageously "freewheeling"….independent and free at all costs…reckless sometimes…loving loving the journey…..BUT, in seeming contradiction, i am also a "results" person…theorizing that no philosophic discussion at the end of the bar is worth much without "end results"….

so it was with my students last week….i let them know early on that we could hang, we could chat, we could bond, and perhaps become  friends, but that as a mentor i expected them to actually produce an essay of their own choosing in just a few days…change their portfolio???  yes, of course, but perhaps send them on a course to change their life….i try to get into their psyche one by one, pushing each  in a personal direction relating to where they want to go "next"…

at some point, early in the week when frustrations run high,  the students realize the class is more about philosophy than "photography"… however, the final student slide show and print exhibit will be presented to a group of their peers in a  "new york event" (about 100 invited guests) …since this particular class is geared to young emerging professionals, this is exactly what they bargained for…this is what they know will "happen"… result..

not incidentally, during the week, i got a lot of help  from my friends  Gail Fisher , Ilustrations Editor,National Geographic; Sara Rosen, Director at Powerhouse Publishing; Chris Anderson, Magnum; Mark Lubell,Director and Danielle Jackson, Cultural Dept, Magnum; Lorena Ros, Panos; and Rob Clark, National Geographic photographer….all of them generously gave their time for the students…thank you friends…

with friday night comes final presentation of a week of  hard hard work…to set the mood and establish a high level of cred for the evening,   i bring in a "warm up band"….last year it was Nachtwey, Anderson, Kashi and Appleton….

this time the lead-in presenters were,  Alessandra Sanguinetti showing her masterwork "On the Sixth Day" and Paul Fusco showing his heart wrenching "Chernobyl"…and as a surprise "jam", walked in Eugene Richards kicking off the whole evening with a moving new film "War is Close"…

yes, yes, of course there was a party!!  5am i think….but we lock the doors at 9pm to allow for a respectful showing of work by both iconic guest presenters  and the student show following….the no run out of beer what did i do with my purse  party is later..

now normally i would put this post over in the "student work/workshops" section, but i will reserve that space to show you some of the student work  (by tomorrow i think)…i will also do short stories on Sanguinetti and Fusco under "friends/family"….i put this short "results" description  of our loft workshop here now just to explain where i was last week!!

By now, all of you know me so so well, that you totally anticipate the question….right??  ok, yes, the question is:  are concrete "results" important for you or is the journey fulfilling in itself???

100 Responses to “showtime”

  • dah :))

    (no rhyming couplets here, but i’ll keep it less than 15 words):

    for me: the journey IS the result. Keeping that in mind, my hope is the end of something (a story, an essay, a project, a body of work for an exhibition, a lifetime of work (and Im just starting) will itself be the result….

    the result: thoughtful, interesting, hard-worked photography/stories…that, for me has to be enough,

    like a relationship with someone: the journey of the relationship is the hoped-for result: the deepening….

    it is disingenuous for me to say its only about the “journey” but in the end, i find that the “result” (what ive made, what ive learned what ive fucked up, what i’ve liked and what i’ve been disappointed by) is the ending of something…

    the real result: i hope which each thing and at the end when i decide to let the camera sit for the last time that I feel this: it was worth the struggle and that I am proud, not of the work, but to have been engaged and that it was a part of my life and that I did my best to value it and this passing life….

    fuck, i broke the 15 rule ;)))


  • you know, like the Pound Canto that that Sally Mann uses for her final part (pics of her children) from What Remains:

    “What thou lovest well remains,
    the rest is dross
    What thou lov’st well shall not be
    reft from thee”

    as she wrote, we’re all Matter Lent….


  • Yin and Yang. Chiaroscuro.

    Please credit me 11.

  • Results, results, results! And what is a result? Sometimes for me just the glimmer of better seeing…it doesn’t have to be the cover of NG. Baby steps… Subtle is fine. I’ll take anything…

    Thank goodness for the journey because sometimes there is ONLY the journey. Seeds are sewn but they can take a while to grow.

    As much as I LOVE and cherish the journey, it’s sure nice to have something to show for it. A souvenir.

    Like right now…(I’m not a baseball fan but…) my husband is watching the Padres lose to Colorado. Colorado is going crazy over the results (they won) and all the Padres have to show for their season is the journey…

    Better to be a photographer than a baseball player…More to photographic life than just winning and losing.

  • Gee David,

    You start the day with the first of the East Coasters and end it with the last of the West Coasters!

    The energizer bunny has nothing on you.

  • If the journey was the sole fulfillment, would there need to be film/memory in the camera? Or a camera at all?

  • CATHY…

    i said nothing about winning and losing, nor any mention at all of any other so called “achievement”…

    you are absolutely right, the journey is everything…i was only talking about doing something (anything) as opposed to theorizing…and the journey is certainly “doing something”…

    i am sure you know at least one person who rhapsodizes quite well and lays little on the table….and perhaps another who articulates and yet “produces” too…

    i love love your thought using “souvenir” as having something to “show”….yes yes, photographs are souvenirs at their best…touchstones for memory…..



  • Nothing like results, David, and i think more in terms of what people do to alleviate sufferings in the world, than artistic production.

    Yet, I have to say the journey is the most important, this is what sets the example for having obtained results, and if no result, then having lived in the “now” rather than yesterday or tomorrow, is the surest path/journey to any kind of happiness on earth. one

    I think this was the instant lesson I received as soon as I set foot in Asia: There is only now. Don’t plan too much, just make the next second following rightly the one before, if you can do that, your life will be a journey indeed. Not saying I am that good, though. But who knows, when all is said and done?

    From everything you tell us since you first wished to have a camera, I think you have done just that. The results only came, and will, because you journey unfolded not according to plans, but according to your heart first and foremost. I feel this is something many of your Magnum colleagues share with you.

  • I have to say I live for the journey but the results… I need to get results by the end of the day. Not every journey is the same… some are more contemplative and introspective than others, but some part of me expects that change will happen, inside or out. Maybe is a matter of definitions, but that change (whether in tangible form or not) is the result I seek to get, a transformative change that move me a few step further in knowledge. In the end it’s all memories, and shadows on the walls of the cave.


  • I have always been a ‘journey’ person..

    I noticed that I now have learned that the succes ratio after a good journey is higher..

    I also have learned to enjoy the ups and downs of a creative process..

    With experience the journeys become more interesting and I am more confident of a good result.

    David, have you ever gotten good results without a journey, or had a good journey and no results?


  • Obviously getting good pictures isn’t the most important thing in my life but it is the third most important thing in my life. I feel like I’ve been to the cross roads and done my deal this year and I have to say I’m actually happy with my work for the first time ever (not that it couldn’t be much better) For me trying to get those good results drives a lot of my journey.


  • I wish to understand every single word in english, so your question will be easier for me… unfortunatelly it’s not my firsth language…
    as far as i understand your question (after comments i understand it more :-)) the pictures are for me always the reason to do a journey (even it’s across the street, still it’s a journey)… and photographs are more “REASON” than “RESULT” probably… but if i will not go there to take pictures i will not see many things… looking as photographer is different than looking as average person… so the photography change a journey… makes it more “rich”
    i enjoy the journey as much as i can, and than i enjoy the result – the result and reason became memorys.. i can always go back to this journey having pictures in my hand…
    my favourite writer (Kapuscinski) was used to say that the journey begins before we go out from home, country ect (we make plans, we prepare ourselfs, we dream about journey) and it’s never finished, because even we are back it’s still in our mind, we came back to that places when we read a books, when we see pictures…
    what i want to say is… that for me results are same important as journay.. because for me “results” of journey are still part of journey :-)

  • Aga,

    That is very beautiful and very deep. Thank you!


  • For me the journey is important. I learn new things and do new things and meet new people.

    Only my results can show that journey to the outside world. The people who were’nt there can’t see what happened except through my results. So thats important too.

    The journey is mine, the results are for those who care to look.

  • the process of talking with new people, be in new places, look at life around me through my camera and save some moments is an endless journey which attract my soul completely.
    pictures have the feeling of people and places are more important for me or just being there?? you see I am in a less level of good pictures or showing time. sometimes just be in the follow of the life and taking pictures could give all my attention.
    I know my english is not enough good but I will right more here

  • David,

    For me it depends on whether you look at each journey as part of one bigger journey.

    If yes then the journey continues and the (concrete) results serve both to map the journeys course and modify its route.

    The journey can provide us with everything but the results can show us what we missed.


  • for me, results are the remains of the journey. while the journey is always amazing, difficult, exciting, hard, unexpected… i need some results; good or bad, but something to make me remember the journey and to give me some clues for the next journey.

  • hi everyone,

    i think that both are equally import, just in different ways. the experiences we have or journeys we, as individuals take, are ours alone. no-one can experience them in the same way. all of those nuances of character, that makes each of us unique act as a filter that the world is perceived through. this invariably shapes our work. whether the journey is a fulfilling one, is again, down to the individual. sometime the ideal day at the beach with blue sky and rolling surf, where life seems so good, can lead to complacency and bad work. then there are those days of high stress where all seems lost and life is hell, yet the work at the end is something special. those end results, when they are something special, are what allows us to share that experience with others. it allows others to share in our thoughts and dreams, our hopes and our fears. this is, ultimately, what makes us all human.


  • Thinking about a project then getting to work on it is the real rush. And there is a certain satisfaction that comes with a completed project, but that is always quickly followed by the desire for more. Kind of a dopamine high, then crash. Must have more!

  • david…an artist like alberto giacometti said that there are no results possible with he creation process….just failures….so the journey for him was all that counted, because he knew that no results was possible….he worked just to see if there was a possibility to express himself, not to actually express himself…the important word here is “possibility”…


  • The journey is what goes on in my head and is all I’m left with to take with me, much more than the photos. They go out into the world and other people have ideas about them and you just have to accept they have a life of their own. But to communicate and get a response is the second half of journey, so you can’t separate the two.

  • i think we should always do “next step” for selfs. if “journey” is easy or usual for us we should focus on “result” on doing something special, if “result” is something what we can do easy we should focus on “journey”. how to say it? braking walls. doing against nature, go higher, or deeper in this what we are doing. do what we can’t, learning what we don’t know, serching what we can’t find.
    always do best, not for others but selfish.
    i don’t know the word… supreme your self?

    ok, i have not my dictionary… my mind is usless
    conclusion: always do your best on 100%, life, love, work.
    even if after our death nobody will build a monument for us.

    ok. that all.


  • ARIE….

    the fact that you even KNOW alberto giacometti proves that he is a results man.

    he got up every morning and worked…period…got it on canvas ..did it …and the amazing physicality of his sculpture (my favorite art form) does not happen without hands on “work”

    giacometti may have “failed” in his own mind, as we all do….but his journey was the result….surely there are thousands of thinkers and potential sculptors out there that you do not know..maybe they even gave it a small effort and then quit for many reasons…giacometti gave it a pretty decent try !!

    cheers, david

  • In order for me to be whole and balanced, there must be some external result, some doing, because if not my creative being remains on the level of the concept. In many cases I would be content to live in the realm of the mind, and I often think about how my life may not vastly different if my physical body prohibited me from action.

    But I find that when it comes to the creative mind, there is a necessity for the concept to birth on the material plane, or the concept becomes like the snake eating it’s own tail. I have chosen to believe that it is important to move beyond the self pleasure of concept, and to make something earthen, manifest, as this is part of the gift of human incarnation in a physical form.

  • About that snake eating it’s tail, to clarify why the creative act saves me from this..from Plato..

    The living being had no need of eyes when there was nothing remaining outside him to be seen; nor of ears when there was nothing to be heard; and there was no surrounding atmosphere to be breathed; nor would there have been any use of organs by the help of which he might receive his food or get rid of what he had already digested, since there was nothing which went from him or came into him: for there was nothing beside him. Of design he was created thus, his own waste providing his own food, and all that he did or suffered taking place in and by himself.


    damn!! i just spent about an hour writing comments to each of you and lost the whole thing when i went to check on another page!!

    i do not think i can quite re-create what i said to each of you…this was like opening up the back of a film camera and losing all the pictures or accidentally re-formating a flash card…

    the writing journey i just took went up “up in smoke”…no results!! computer stupidity on my part!!!

    and worse, now i have to go to bank and deal with stuff i hate….bummer!!!

    maybe it was bad karma to write about results and then lose my very own results because now they are not results!!!

    while walking to the bank, i will try to calm myself….try to at least re-create some of my thoughts to you when i come back home…or, maybe they are lost forever..

    my intent was good..ideas good..i even put in the time…BUT i did not “make it”…maybe the best illustration of all of journey and result needing to be in harmony….


  • Hello. Mr. David
    How have you been?

    I’m Kyung hee Lee in Busan, Korea

    I smiled on a sudden memory of tiptoeing to look at you when we first met, you being twice as taller than I am.

    I guess you are taking pictures now somewhere in this world.
    I bet there’s no place you haven’t set your foot on.

    I began to study english after the Seoul workshop.
    I study 3times a week for 2hours each in a continueing ed program offered at a local university.
    I really want to beable to share my thoughts with different people from different cultures.

    I’ll send you my greetings time to time.
    Hope you have a nice time.

    Last weekend wass the Korean thanksgiving by the way.
    May God bless you.


    P.S. My daughter helps me to write this letter. ^^

  • David, maybe it’s there, somewhere. Are you certain you don’t have an auto save/draft feature? maybe ask Michael for help on this? so sorry for your woes, esp. in that you are doing a very dear thing here..

  • If you have a result, the journey would look better also. And the journey could be no fun, but the result could be ok, and the other way. I would be most happy with a bad journey and a decent result:) At least after a some time.

  • Cooking is fun but at the end savoring the meal provides an enhanced perception of achievement that justifies the effort.

    What ever the purpose, what ever the intent, in photography there is “that image/s” that closes the circle between looking for and achieving. How to get there depends on circumstances, character and approach to life but the end results are the necessary final critique of the value of our journey.

    Funny that most times in life we actually don’t know what we are looking for to achieve … we just follow the path searching, sometimes with the heart, sometimes with the brain … and the end results end up justifying the journey.


  • David,

    If you’re going back and re-reading the comments you weren’t able to respond to maybe you could look at mine again too…Glad you liked the souvenir part but (probably because the baseball game in the background was distracting and I did not express this clearly) what I said about winning and losing I think was misunderstood… I should have had this sentence earlier in the paragraph rather than at the end…

    “Better to be a photographer than a baseball player…More to
    photographic life than just winning and losing.”

    What I was TRYING to say was that regardless of how great their journey was, the Padres lost and (I’m guessing) for them that somewhat negated the journey because for the athlete results are all about “winning” whereas we as photographers don’t have to measure our lives in wins and losses. Hope that makes more sense…

  • We all seem very mature about the need to enjoy the journey and not to think the resultd override it all, but what happened to self-doubts, angst, sense of worthlessness, feelings that only very few artists (and others) can do away with, and which can help create from the edge they drive us to.

    Has expressing oneself in the post post-modern age changed. Are we all so perfectly zen-like about it all?

  • I am primarily a results person, a condition forced on me by my refusal to go anywhere. It is very hard to journey while standing still.

  • Makes me think of Cartier-Bresson. On 1931 he left for a year trip in Africa. When he returned to develop the film it was mostly all lost due to moisture. 1932 and 1933 in Europe were a masterpiece after another for him.

  • Kyung… wonderfull! i am sure soon you will speak english very good because you have big motivation! :-)

  • Hey Herve,

    All those feelings are part of the journey, aren’t they? There’s no real human journey without angst or without elation.


  • Kyong Hee ssi,

    I am so glad someone from David’s workshop in Seoul has written to this blog! Oso oseyo!
    I will try to write in Korean, but I don’t know if it will work on this blog, Let’s see…..


    이블록에는 어서 환영합니다! 데비드선생님이 가르치신 서울워크쇼프에 참가하던 한국사람이 이블록에문장을 써 보내 주신것에는 정말 반갑습니다. 나는 옛날에 한국에 많이 다녀 왔던 미국놈인데, 한국을 언제나 그립게 생각하는데요. 앞으로 사진촬영도, 영어공부도 힘 많이 내 주십시요!

    그럼, 이만… (안씨돈)


  • In editing, is’nt it neccessary to ‘forget’ the journey to analyse its results?

    The viewer was’nt there so misses out on the memories the photo evokes. They only get the imagery contained in the frame.


  • I’m fully engaged in my own new journey right now, simultaneously tired, excited, exhausted, curious and inspired every day, so I’ll be brief and rely on a quote from someone much more insightful than I: John Lennon: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

  • When I shot last year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, the journey…. nevermind.

  • it’s the journey and i think most here will agree. results…well very few have results like making a living off photo, i think. it’s like all those golfers out there on the weekend, very few are results oriented like making a living doing it’s about thier persoanl best and expressing themselves in ways that make them happy.

    photo is like that for me. i have a day job in public health but my passion is photo. i could do other stuff when i’m not working in in the day like getting more work doing my RN thing instead of photo and make more $ but not like it nearly as much. will i ever be the tiger woods of photo, like you and others probably NOT… actaully definetly NOT. but it’s about curiosity and discovery and seeking and… and that’s really good.

    i did some freelance for our local paper and was getting stuff published and making a small, really small fee and then was furloughed on that. that hurt, that was like the best job i ever had because it never felt like one and then i thought why am i doing this anyway. i love to make a living at this but there are other levels of satisfaction. just because that happened i don’t have to stop…actually i cant.

    so it was really great finding this forum, because it does give a goal on to climb on this life hike…let’s see if i can make it to this hut..

    winning, loosing, it’s about trying to do my persoal best, tell my life story…kids, family grandkids, etc and with that, well, “I can get some satisfaction!”

  • pour your heart into the journey, for the results will open the hearts of many.

    (aren’t we still on the 15 rule?) :)

  • Lance… it’s short and 100% true

  • I hope so. My heart is all poured out. I need a refill.

  • nevermind that heart business, I’m still busy refilling my sleep from last week. now I see why Dave always has a coffee cup in hand (until it gets replaced by a beer that is).

    dave, maybe try writing your posts/comment replies out in a text editor before putting them on here. then just copy-paste them over. no more lost ‘results’ and it’d be easier for you to review them before posting.

  • Yeah, yeah, the journey . . .

    But we all know that the journey is considerably improved if the results are spectacular,

    None of us would rate our photographic travels, experiences, relationships, adventures, love affairs, wanderings, musings, etc. very highly if, when all was said and done, the pictures weren’t very good.

  • Hi David & all of u, sorry to hijack for a little the topic, but to just concretize the final project for the grant to be ftp I need to know if you just need only the pictures or if it’s needed a word.file explaining the project and bio. thanks a lot x your answer

  • None of us would rate our photographic travels, experiences, etc….. if the pictures weren’t very good.

    Why not? Preston. They often are not very good, after all. I think definitely the pleasure is doubled (as Cathy mentionned about the memory aspect of photography) when reliving the trip thru the pictures, as you have 2 passions put together, travel, love, etc… and photography.

    It’s an interesting point. I must say that the pix I prefer from my trip have less and less to do with a special and personal emotion or moment I want for keeps. The influence of looking at so much photography from the masters of that art. It really sets you out to look beyond the personal.

  • Quíbole compadre David!

    To me, a journey won’t feel complete unless I get the results. I usually take good pictures accidentally, or without feeling they’re going to be as good as they result in paper. But this only happens whenever I feel connected to a place. The hardest thing to do is to actually be a part of what your photographing, the rest comes by itself. So whenever I begin an endeavour, my first aim is to enjoy being there, regardless of the camera. So then, I guess I’d have to change my answer: results won’t be satisfying, unless I enjoyed the journey on the first place. And if I DO enjoy the journey, everything else will come naturally, as if by magic.

    PS David, if you’re not too busy, I’d be flattered if you could take a peek to my pictures at

  • hi all,

    david, i’ve just discovered your blog, it’s fascinating and the tempo is truly exciting. it inspires me like a good book or a good movie or a night with good friends, lots of goodness. thank you.

    letting go… is what comes to mind. yes, yes, life is all about the journey, the experiences, the present moment and choices, how we choose to see things. following the heart. i think fear of ‘what if’ stops a lot of people from following their dreams.

    the moment passes, instant to instant, but with the photo, (the result?) it lives on for ever, or at least until the sunlight fades it – funny that, light creates and destroys the image… and yet this ‘result’ is also part of the journey, the experience of sharing, communicating, all our yesterdays…

    please allow me to tell a personal story that helps me put what i’m trying to say across, in a different way, i just wish i could write more concisely…

    photography is my joy and my frustration, it’s my self expression. i believe. i must follow my heart. i lalways have.

    so, to the journey:
    how we choose to live and to see (and then shoot). now that’s something interesting for me. my moods change, my taste is eclectic. i struggle with this like it’s a problem, but maybe it’s my strength too. i feel like i’m a product of an eclectic environment, an eclectic generation, like a mash-up tune or a hip-hop record that mixes styles (remember run dmc & areosmith)…

    as a photographer, for quite some years i worked in the london music scene and branched out through editorial. i’ve always loved travel too, too much. then on millennium eve, my first daughter, uma was born and i started asking myself where my life was going, bringing up children in london, my career…

    cutting it short, i was frustrated and unhappy with the increasingly commercial nature of the music biz, the higher the career ladder the more disappointed i felt. i had other dreams burning in my belly.

    for some years i’d been thinking about a different direction. i’d been shooting personal work too and the more i shot the more my mind felt the conflict in direction and my heart sang the joy of truth. i yearned to spend more time travelling, more time with my family, shooting my travel experiences, my own work.

    so, following my heart, believing in life’s journey, not just to refresh my photographic passion, to get back to the heart of things, but also for my family and our future. i convinced my brave wife, yael, (quite easily actually) that we should leave it all behind and travel, period. open minded free fall. only that way i felt i would arrive, but not knowing the destination.

    in ‘02 (sorry this is way longer than i expected) we packed our home into boxes and headed off with all our savings and one way tickets to the east. our only plan was to spend some time in india and maybe go to australia and get a campervan. and of course to shoot my project all along the way. i had made a decision to abandon my career, to let go and follow my heart. after all life is all about the journey, right!

    5 years later, too much to tell here and now, but two highlights would have to be the birth of our second daughter yali in a small village in southern india (04). and, a love affair with a small community in the magical forests of south western australia. .

    i pushed myself in new and different ways. my daughters grew, we all grew. i’m now on a very different path. away from my old ways, more spontaneous – into the diary reality.

    the last year or so has been more focused on results, editing, printing, sticking, changing my mind a totally, redoing, celebrating, going crazy, feeling numb and also trying to get a visa back to australia, to the small town in the forest and that very different lifestyle we tasted along the way.

    i’m truly grateful for all the experiences i’ve had since we made that desision, the highs and the lows, for the freedom i feel, the unknown became a good friend…

    later this month we’re going to london, i want to show my work around before we fly to australia. from everything i’ve read here i’d love to meet you somewhere, somehow, i’d love to show you my work and have a chat…

    and thanks for giving me an outlet for my blurb, i promise the next one will be much shorter.


  • At first I apologize for my pragmatic way of thinking… I will express my point in this way:
    let’s say we want to reach the summit of everest…
    and let’s say that we have enough money to pay the trip to a super-helicopter (that doesn’t exist yet… I think… non?) who leave us there in a half hour…
    that sounds good… we’ll enjoy a tremendous landscape for a couple of minutes and will say everybody we put a foot on the roof of the world…
    you can imagine that is not the same to simply step on the roof that to put each foot, step by step, from the base until the very summit of the mountain…
    you can be sure that we’ll regret not to have been there by our own effort… I mean…

    the journey is very important…

    now let’s say that we decide we’re going to climb the mountain… by our own effort… no tricks… we’ll going to train physically and mentally for years…
    and the time has come… we’re right there… at the base of everest… and we’ll commence our journey of courage and endurance… right to the summit…
    camp 1… camp 2… (I’m not feeling well)…camp 3…(uhmm… I’m ill my friend)… camp 4…
    no way…… I have to go back….
    in four or five days I’m in the base again… waiting for my friends to come back and tell me how the summit is like… I’m very happy for you… and I learned a lot in this fantastic journey… but… I can’t hide it… I look up and feel regret of not being there… I feel regret of not accomplish my purpose… so…

    the result is very important…

    what is more important?… well… I don’t see it so black and white… maybe it depends of the philosophy of each one… I personally see the importance of each as he same…

    saludos from Caracas,


    i will be back here with some comments on your comments soonest, but i am just now busy putting up pictures by my students from last week’s class…

    everything they did in last week’ class, was exactly what we have been talking about here on the forum…authorship, editing/sequencing and “results” …each essay was photographed in 4-5 days…i will post one new student each day for the next few days..take a look under “student work/workshops”..

    cheers, david

  • Herve (and Preston…since Herve’s comment was directed to Preston) and of course everyone else,

    Thanks for mentioning my “souvenir” comment.

    “As much as I LOVE and cherish the journey, it’s sure nice to have something to show for it. A souvenir.’

    I believe that David understood exactly what I meant but I want to clarify to you (Herve) that I was not talking about travel photography…I didn’t mean literally a souvenir from a vacation but rather that the images are what we have to show from our journey…they are the physical evidence that a journey has taken place…the journey of sitting on the sofa, a spiritual journey, ANY journey we are discussing here. Hope that makes sense.Thanks!

  • Hi Cathy,

    I know you meant more than travel photography. As really, photos have a lot to do with memories (think Aget). Much more than any other art, and pretty close to fashion as a craft. Just out on a limb, ok if i am wrong, but I think there are not too many pictures that you cannot roughly date. And I should add not too many print too. save some macro work, or close-up details that throw out any references. Photography has a lot to do with time. Just readind david’s intro for “Cuba”, he sets it in time first.

    BTW, I just got a book thru Amazon today, 4.99$, the poor photographer won’t make too much money off it! It’s called Virginia, by a certain Harvey, david Alan….

    Wow, David, that sleeve shot, worth the price of the book right there! I think you look a lot better now, like wine, getting better with age. It’s not just you, the way we looked and dressed in the 70s!!! Mamma mia…


  • HERVE…

    oh my…a book i would rather hide!! i never tell anyone about that book… my first color book and not worth the $4.95 you paid!! except for the fact that it might be some weird kind of collectors item someday..published before i knew any better…..

    i saw once a really really bad color book on france by none other than henri cartier-bresson..i am sure somebody must have tracked them down and burned them a long time ago..but i wish i had bought that book…everybody has a “lemon” out there somewhere….


  • SAM…

    welcome to our forum…long comments are common here!! do not worry, we are all used to it…if you stick around you will soon find a “family” of writers here…some post more often than others..some come and some go…but, mostly there is a group of “regulars” …kinda like hanging out at the local pub…all in all a very classy group…not complainers, not cynics, not gearheads… just thoughtful photographers (and writers) who are interested in moving their work forward and have a few thoughts to share……


    a short word document would be nice … but i will select some stories and then perhaps ask the author to add some do not go overboard with text…just a paragraph for a quick explanation..

  • KYUNG….

    i am so pleased to hear from you…and you seem to be learning english very well…i only hope that my unorthodox writing style and lack of proper punctuation does not confuse you totally!!

    as you know, i really appreciated your photography….i am wondering what projects you may be working on, please stay in touch with me here and when you are ready to have me look at your new work, i will be pleased to do so…

    it is too bad i never got to busan…everyone says busan is very interesting and very different from seoul…i will know someday…

    thank your daughter please for helping us communicate…i do hope we will meet again in either my country or yours…

    you have brought me now a very nice memory….


  • Aga,
    I just read your post above and clicked the link of your web page… I realized you have a new segment about Istanbul and started to see the photos.
    I was once in Istanbul for few days and seeing your photos has brought me back for a couple of minutes to the feeling of that place. I remembered a very nice place (like a café) that is on a hill, at the final of a cemetery. The view was so nice, so quiet. And remembering it just came out the taste of that apple tea they have everywhere…
    You have demonstrated your point on me so clearly…
    You are so right!!!
    The journey never ends… even when you are far away… back in home…
    I’ve never read Kapuscinski, I’ll try to find something from him soon…

  • Aga mentioned Kapuscinski and how appropriate when talking about a journey. I can’t resist but to share with you one of my all time favorite description…
    From his book ‘Imperium’, here is a part of his description of the old part of Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan:

    “It is not only tiny, but so tightly packed, so compressed, so cluttered, that when I walk into it I involuntarily take a deep breath to make sure I will have enough air to breath. If one were to stop here in the middle of the street and stretch out one’s arms, then one could with one hand stroke a child sleeping in a cradle in the apartment on the left and with the other treat oneself with the pear lying on the table in the apartment on the right.”

    I can’t help but to imagine this as a photograph (even if impossible)…

    Happy journey to you all…

  • Carlos.. i think you are native Spanish speaker, am i right? if yes, i am sure you will find a lot of his books in Spanish, he was even more popular writer in Spanish langueage countrys than in Poland… i really advice you to read his “Travels with Herodotus” and “Imperium” (all books are great but this two i love the most)

  • a suggestion to David. I don’t know if it is possible but perhaps your posts should have a different font color.

  • I was going to say something profound about the journey/results dichotomy, but someone brought up the 70’s and I had to lay down before I coughed up a polyester hairball. I mean, really, the lime green leisure suit, disco, and the Pet Rock? Can somebody explain just what in the hell we were thinking back then?

  • I want to say “”see you” for a one week.. some of you i will see really soon :-) (lance on Friday and David about one week later :-)) juppppiiii! :-)

  • Aga, enjoy the Catskills; they are always beautiful in the autumn.

  • RENE…

    that is a great idea…but i do not know if i can…i will give it a try…


    well, i think this is how is goes….

    cool style, turns into totally not cool style, turns into forgotten, turns into retro, turns back into cool style…


    i really look forward to meeting you….you are coming at a good time too….you and lance have fun up at eddie’s…i will be waiting here for you…

    safe trip….

    cheers, david

  • Lance/Aga:

    A young photographer from here will see u at the Adams workshop: David Parsons…so if you want to know about the “real” bobblack, ask….by the way, he saw the “box” of photos (one version) that i will be giving david when i get to nyc, ….he can clue you in :))



    i have always loved that lennon quote..


    your example is very pragmatic, but certainly the way many people would look at “result”…but “result” does not necessarily go hand in hand with “achievement” in the traditional sense you so described…

    one man’s success is another man’s failure etc etc…so “result” must be subjective…my result could be your “what the hell does he think he is doing?”

    by the way, i hope to see Caracas some day soon…it is in my plan….

    saludos, david


    i must go to washington tomorrow (thursday) and will not be able to post again until friday…i do not have high expectations from either the journey nor the result!!!


  • Talk about scary, showing your stuff to such people, yet ultimately how exciting. I have issues now deciding what to upload for the assignment as it all seems not good enough to me LOL. And this is going to be only David looking at it. Still, its exciting isnt it? The bst thing for me was to hear your opinion on my stuff I showed you. You were tough, but I recovered quick. To be honest I had fear about how I would pick myself up from a tough critique. The good thing about it was thay while you were tough it all made sense and I couldnt disagree. I think this is what is great for these people…to get tough analysis of what they are doing, and then to have the chance to really use it.

    As far as results or the journey, I think the journey is more fun, but the results is what its all about, right? I love going out to take photos but in the end I still want something to show for it. But me, I dont get out of Seoul, so I cant compare my feelings to those people who see the world. Like David or others.

    This blog is getting so big that its tough to get in on the discussion when you come late into it:)

  • RAFAL..

    the work you submit here will be seen by me at first, but then by many top editors, art directors etc etc…yes both daunting and exciting…

    actually, you might have missed my comment way back when i mentioned that i lost about 10 comments i had written to various readers here..with a slip on the keyboard…my mistake..

    now there are two discussions active..this one, and under “workshops” about my new student work…

    i read all comments carefully, and try to respond first to those with very specific questions…of course, sometimes, as today i will not be posting at all because i will be traveling…

    just make your work the best you can…this is about growth … you have already made some leaps forward with your work and that is the only real point…

    by the way, the seoul creative team is now here in new york working on the layout for the Magnum book….

    keep working….do not worry about anyone else….just make your story cohesive ….

    cheers, david

  • Time for a reread of “The Old Man and the Sea” if you want to know what;s important ,Results V Journey.
    Funny thing is I probably would have kept accumulating pictures if not for Brother Bob’s goadings and Dave’s project here, so I don’t really give a Rat’s wether there is a result to this project or not -Something is happening and thats all that matters!
    Cheers Uncle!

  • Ahhh I missed those stories. ill have a look at them at work tomorrow. I must say I prefer the cowboys buit the noemie story is interesting even if its not my cup of tea. Have you been looking at the stuff I put up on flickr?

    Cant wait for the Magnum book to come out.

  • Hello David,

    I was wondering if you could offer me a little feedback on a tentative set\essay I’ve put together.

    I did send an email to your account, but it appears to have bounced (the AOL one).

    Speak Soon,

    (formerly of Seoul; currently residing in Xi’an, China; the guy with the pimped out Bessa)

  • Hi David,

    The journey is everything for me, it’s the process, when it runs well till the end, I think the result should be at least an ‘OK’ one.


  • “well, i think this is how is goes….

    cool style, turns into totally not cool style, turns into forgotten, turns into retro, turns back into cool style…”

    this is true, and with any degree of luck by the time the 70’s are cool style again I’ll be dead and won’t have to look at them again.

  • picking after what Rafal wrote. A real tough, “best arrow” look at what we do is a Godsend, when coming from people whom we can trust they know what they are talking about and feel like sparing an ego is to give it a chance to crash even harder later.

    Maybe I am a bit older, but I have no fear of David’s judgement, much the contrary, what an opportunity and honor. Just 3 or 4 well chosen words and points will really help.

    Moreover, he is not the executionner-type that will say to someone to “go back to family and vacation shots, the journey is over for you”.

  • I enjoy this blog specially comments part, it is like being in a party, lestining and talking loadly. but telling you somthing made me feel respnsible about it, is it true really ? “sometimes just be in the follow of life and taking pictures could give all my attention” ( I wrote it in my comment here last day)
    if it was true I wasn’t worry about my pictures to tell a story not just being single pictures given from a same subject, yes? believe me I am really confused about this ” telling story”
    maybe fear of the resoults makes me to lie myself, to tell myself and you just taking pictures is enough for me.
    but this is why I take pictures to work on a subject that is important for me and document it and share it by others.
    crazy ha! Ok I am going to develope my new films
    Best wishes for all

  • I’m sorry…I know this is not the “tech” forum but I’ve been trying to upload some images using the information below and I can’t.

    I’m using the Cyberdog program for Mac. I guest that:

    Server = host (
    Username = Login (davidalanharvey-septblog)
    Password = password (upload)

    Plese help me if I’m making any mistake. I wrote yesterday. to the email gave us but I have no response.

    Thanks to everybody

  • Hola Carlos, i’m not the one who should answer that, but i think the loguin changed,try whith: (was posted by michael in and older comment somewhere…)

    login : davidalanharvey-blog
    password : upload

  • Hi David,
    I’m from Victoria, Australia.

    A group of us are setting up a website celebrating our rural culture and heritage in our beautiful state. A large part of this culture is the cattlemen of the high country and the poems they inspired such as The Man from Snowy River by Banjo Patterson. An article was published by National Geographic about these people and you were the photographer.
    We were wondering if we would be able to use any of these photos?
    We wish to preserve the dying culture of these people. Recently the Government outlawed the cattlemen from the High Country. We just happen to have the last “Man from Snowy River” as part of our team on the Great Divide. This year was his last time as a mountain cattleman in his beloved mountains. That man’s name is Phil Maguire. He is a proud and passionate battler who has fought this loss of our culture to the bitter end.
    I was not sure where to post this request but you can leave a comment via our email by just clicking on my name.

  • Sorry did not work!
    Try here

  • Hello David,

    The question;… your favorite (I think it’s your favorite), big, brown, world famous armchair… did it have some history? Some mysterious history? Funny story?

    And… what if more important for you, your works, pictures, “results of your life” or life you had? (and still have but I mean effecting). What you feel when you looking at your pictures after this years?

    What for you is more important, run to bunny or catch the bunny.
    You are proud when you looking at your work? (you should be), but maybe it mean nothing for you, only your life, journey, people, events? How you see it as famous photographer? What for you is your photography on wall?… Satisfaction?… memories? Good job? Power for ego? Your place on earth… in society? just job?….? …?

    Martin :)

  • David,

    I was thinking about you wrote:
    “…my result could be your “what the hell does he think he is doing?””
    and I wonder… do you face this with editors?… is it common?

    and about Caracas…
    or Venezuela in general… if you want to come here sometime, December could be a great time… no matter of this or the next… if your interest to come here is personal… think near Christmas time… you’ll love local food in December… and the environment in general

  • Hi LVM?
    thanks a lot for helping me whit this. I’ll try it again with your information.


  • GLENN…

    hemmingway is my man….and “Old Man and the Sea” i read over and over again as a teenager..the great thing about fishermen, and a great quality among photographers, is to be always hopeful…to get up every morning , like the old man, and be hopeful…enthusiastic…giving it your all…passionate…sticking with it until the end….if you do all those things, you will be a happy woman or man…fish or no fish…if there is no fish, you get right up the next morning hopeful…..


    my aol acct. seems to be working fine, but i did have one other person they their e-mail was bouncing back..but, hundreds seem to be coming through!!! do you have a web site or some other way that i could link to your work??? or just upload it to “Digital Railroad” site as an entry (see “tech stuff”)…


    my only motive is to help…only constructive critique coming from me….that does not mean that what i might say might not sting for a minute…but the intent is to push you forward, not backward….


    just relax…play….enjoy taking pictures….do not try “too hard”…”trying” does not work….getting “in the zone” works….total immersion works…but work does not work…


    i will check out your site in the next few days…i just got back home and have a few priorities…but i will look soonest….i loved loved working on Banjo Paterson and working in the outback….i am anxious to see the work you mentioned…


    my big armchair was a gift from my ex-wife when we were married….we are good friends now …even though we are “ex’ we share so much joy being with our two sons…so that chair has a lot of sentiment attached to it, even though the style is totally NOT new york loft!!!

    i never never let myself think that i am any different from any other photographer…i have seen some of my friends allow “fame” to make them no longer seriously working…i prefer the struggle….for me a struggling journey is productive…not being at the top of the mountain gives me a passion to get there…

    so even though i will never be at the top of the mountain (a self created mountain), i totally am in love with the journey…because each campsite on this journey has had a wonderful view…experiences untouchable… the best family life…. warm friendships…and a picture every now and then…i feel like a very rich man…not with money (i always struggle with that), but in the best asset of all…a true freedom…and an exhilaration with life around me…

    simply put…i have never “had to go to work”


    my overall experience with editors has been particularly positive….my “secret” is in always seeing things from their point of view..

    after all, i am showing them my point of view!!!

    they do not have to be “oversold” or “hammered” by me being arrogant or demanding… i work very hard to get involved in the whole process, by understanding the writer/text, the picture editor and the art director…this is the collaborative team that gets the work to the managing editor…

    editors are looking for great work…..they need great work…they are not there to “squash”, they are there to create a fine magazine…

    there have been times when i pushed “the envelope” a bit too far for an editors taste…but i have never had serious conflict….we work it out…if i have an assignment for a magazine, i want to make the editors pleased….they will be most pleased if i take them a little farther than they might have wanted to go, but did not make them “lose face”…the work that is way way too “far out” for publishing in a particular magazine goes right into another stack for a possible book….good work will always find a place….

    cheers, david

  • ERICA….

    nice Plato quote….didn’t Plato say everything about everything???

    by the way, we are having a student show fiesta friday october 12…please join us at my loft…

    cheers, david

  • Hola! como estas? Viva la revolution! Ha ha, viva la cuba!!


    I’m asked but I knew the answer. I really do.
    We have a quote “do what you love and you will not working no more” or something like that.
    I’m a person who have contradiction nature, because in one side I’m always must be the best, not for publicity but for my self, do something special (save the mind) , it is something what subscribe me, but simultaneously I’m person who think about life witch go on, or just past, and I not care about result or fame or all this stuff. Struggle it is word I don’t knew before but this is perfect word.
    Contradiction! Two natures. Ambitions and Consciousness. I spend too much time for result. Image before eyes!
    But I think result is important, because we are who we are. We are imperfect…
    And family… top of the mountain… and wall… who care about wall?

    I think you are not only free man, but happy man too….

    I’m going to drink a sea of gin tonight so… I salute you!

    Where you going now? If I may ask?



  • Terribly sad news –

    Photojournalist Alexandra Boulat, 45, of agency VII has died 10/5/07.

  • Thanks David,
    It early days yet. We have a lot of ideas and are working hard at developing the site. Currently chasing up copyrights to some very interesting photos and paintings. We also want to do feature articles every month one of which will be the cattlemen, and another on Banjo Patterson.
    We have had a lot of positive feed back and encouragement with much advice also being offered.
    Not bad for a couple of non technie girls!

  • Erica,

    That is terrible news! Alexandra Boulat was a great photographer and, from those who knew her, I know she was a great person!

    A loss for everyone.



    it is late….and i have found out in the last hour of the loss of my friend Alexandra Boulat..i cannot write now….too much to say and yet the keyboard does not work…

    tomorrow morning (rather later this morning) i will post a story on Alexandra under “family/friends”…i knew this was coming soon….i have not been looking forward to writing my next story….

    peace, david

  • I watched her pictures so many times… I learned from her… over and over… Alexandra Boulat was one of my favorite woman photographer… no, she is…
    Like Giancarlo said… A loss for everyone…


  • Alexandra

    I never met you, but your life and work touched me many times and I truly mourn your passing… and offer my thoughts for your many grieving friends… Je suis désolée…


  • I had no idea. yesterday, I had just been looking at her pictures in that bid WAR book the VII agency released, then these news. So young to die, she had so much more to give with such talents.

    In communion with everyone.

  • David – sorry for the loss of your friend. I wasn’t immediately familiar with her by name but I did recognize the work. She was obviously a strong voice who will be greatly missed.

    Speaking of Hemmingway (by someone earlier??) I was roped into touring the wine country of Northern Michigan today and observing mother-daughter-granddaughter. I represent son-brother-uncle in this relationship. Anyway, I’m in a sharing mood. Here’s what I shot today if anyone’s interested:

    David M


    thank you gentlemen for your heart felt comments … there are more to read, and a comment from me under “family/friends”…


  • David,
    sorry for the lost of your friend.

    un abrazo.
    Carlos Rubin

  • David sorry for your loss
    I think Sidney, David, Martin, Herve.. have written so nice word, I just follow them.
    Take care

Comments are currently closed.