good idea??

ok, i might have a good idea….but, i will leave it up to you to decide right here and now…

it is based on the premise that all of us on this forum are struggling with how best to showcase your work…yes, we do a lot of talking and there is some brilliant writing here always, but why not really "show our photographic hand" in the most provocative way…

this idea also does not conflict at all with my own photographic work which will flow right along with yours…that has always been the potential danger of this forum, that either i would "lose" myself to you by sacrificing my work to on-line time,  or you would get lost in the same way by not shooting because you were spending too much time here…..i think this idea solves both potential problems…it should also ramp up creative vibes for all..

so, here is my idea:

i give out short assignments or projects….on an individual basis …..maybe i choose two or three photographers per week or per month or whatever…at the end of the week or month (we can decide) each photographer presents this work right here for us all to see and critique…

for example, i ask Erica if she has time to shoot 5 portraits of people  next week that somehow reflect the election process in the U.S.; i suggest to Glenn that he give us whatever he can on a "ringer" bar life; find out if Katia can follow just one of her "lost" teenagers for a few days to see a parent; have Rafal do something very special with his wife and new son; see if Marcin can photograph his wife with her work; make Panos stay in one place for a week, like Venice Beach, and do self-portraits either literally or figuratively….

these are just examples, perhaps not viable ones, but i think you get the idea…and the photographer would either agree or modify or choose not to do it or whatever…but each assigned photographer would go out for several days, personal time permitting,  and do something as per announced to this group in advance..sure, the pressure would really be "on" because we would all be waiting and, more pressure still, we would all know the intent of the photographer in advance…….anybody up for this??

we would all be doing  this  just as an excercise…no dinero for any of us…an all volunteer army….my fund for emerging photographers is growing, but i want to figure out the best way to distribute these funds among the photographers who are members of this forum…this seems like a great way for you to get to know each other better and for me to see you produce in a relatively short period of time..but quantity of pictures would never be the yardstick…one truly fine photograph is always enough..

in the coming weeks i will be selecting members of my jury of peers to help me select future photographers to be funded here by EPF….this will be a way for all of us to get to know you  better and in a realistic way…this is not a contest…there will be no "winner"… ..all of you will see all of the work just as it is presented by the photographer…the only burden will be on the photographer personally….

any photographer who thinks i do not know their work can send me a web link….since i would only assign perhaps two or three photographers  at a time, i would have plenty of time to see incoming new links, as would all of you as well…

i can feel it in my bones already that some of you may suggest the old tried and true notion of giving everyone the same assignment…this is always a nice little "game" but does not really tell a curator or an editor what you can really do with a subject that really "fits" you individually… my inclination is not to go for the "group assignment" concept…

when the time comes for me to be  able to give funded projects here and also continue an annual Emerging Photographer grant , all of us  will have a very good idea of the "pool of resources" from which jurors chose…various details will need to be worked out later…now i just want to get your opinions on the basic concept…

i think this sounds like fun….i would want it to be fun for you…otherwise there is no point to do it at all….i cannot see any downside to it, but maybe you do…i will only go forward with a full fledged mandate from you….

please let me know….good idea??

326 Responses to “good idea??”

  • that sounds great David, sounds like a lot of fun. put me down on that roster!

  • So here is the post :-)
    I think It is a great Idea for us . I just hope it isn’t huge work load for you David

  • PANOS self-portraits first PLEEEEEASE !!!
    This will lots of fun indeed.

  • Sounds awesome David….very interesting. What strikes me here is how you sort of put your finger on what we should be doing. I would see this not as an assignment but as a suggestion or a guide from an outsider where we might need to go with our personal projects. Sort of like a mentor would tell you: “you arent dinf too badly but maybe we need to see more of this or that in your project”. Sometimes we need these inputs to find new directions in what we are doing.

    P.S. Its a son:)

    Anyway, Im off to Shanghai with my wife over the weekend.

  • …. i feel like i’m going back in TIME…
    NOTICE THAT I POSTED my comment 24 hours ago…


    Man, you are BRILLIANT…

    Posted by: Panos Skoulidas | April 30, 2008 at 01:31 AM….

    April 30th… last night…
    I was afraid that David took the post out…
    but i was wrong….
    i need to add though….
    that HIS idea makes this already ALIVE blog… even MORE ALIVE…
    God damn David…
    YOU ARE THE MAN…. thank you for letting us into your world…
    and WHAT A WORLD…!!!!!!!

  • yessir! good idea. we’ll see who can stand the heat (i will be sweatin).

    do we get to suggest story ideas or only you?

    one upside to there being no funds this time…there’s no tax on bragging rights

  • Brilliant? What’s brilliant about 3 glasses of Vodka !?!:-))))

    I was afraid to see my name in that paragraph, David, I’m game, David, but in no hurry!!!

    Seriously, I doubt few are not up to it, an offer we can’t refuse….

    I suggest a couple e-mails between you and photographer, to refine the assignment or change it, in case the member does not see it as so personal(ized) as you thought it could be.

    Also, you have to be one of the assignees too. Yes, yes, yes! if too difficult for us to assign in group, as we are so many, you get to choose the member who will give you the assignment.

  • ALEX… did you notice, that David, didn’t modify, change or refined anything… he kept it real, he keeps it real….
    Always ahead of the game… any game…

    I was just checking David Mc Gowan’s Look3 video from last year…
    DAH…ON THE FLOOR… looking up…
    I don’t know why… but i’m still staring at his SHOES…
    His shoes look so “experienced, travelled around,…”

    … even his fucking shoes have more stories to say than all the travels i’ve ever done in my life…
    I feel so lucky all of a sudden…


  • sorry… i meant to say “LUCKY”, instead of “happy”…
    but… “happy” is just as good….

    …why didn’t i discover HIS blog… let’s say 20 years ago ??????

  • Im feeling happy….going to Shanghai:) Never been there.
    Anyway, its spring and for the first time ever I sort of feel that im actually going in a direction…and Im really interested in any guidance David might have to refine my direction.

  • I’m down.

    Cheers to Panos and happiness!!

  • David;
    Great idea. By giving everyone different assignments it will be like a mini workshop. I think you know the strengths and weaknesses of most people here & will be able to give assignments that will stretch them.

    The critiques will be valuable for every other member too, and I’m sure will be inspirational for them.

    Take care everyone

  • David Mc Gowan, thanks for the look 3 video, really gets us inside. I was hoping for a shot of David dancing to the rythm of the William Allard band, but as Panos found out, he was in a squatting mood! ;-)


    “…The critiques will be valuable for every other member too,…”

    THAT’S EXACTLY IT… but not “mini”.. workshop…
    i would say “MEGA”…

    again… people click above… amazing movie…. and check on DAH’s shoes…

    “This boots (shoes) are meant for walking…!

  • What a great idea! Sounds like a hell of a lot of fun… of course I’d be up for participating… this is going to be interesting!!

  • Yes, Panos… happy and lucky.

  • was this post automatically triggered to appear at a pre-arranged place and at a specific time,
    or is David lurking in the shadows, watching, waiting ready to pounce, like a Bengal Tiger.

  • PANOS, I noticed. nothing changed. Except for one thing: he was going to send you to Venice Beach ! Ah.
    I think David needs some stronger coffee .Lets say Cuban coffee.
    BTW I am HAPPY ……….and Lucky……. and curious .Full of yearning.

  • Panos;
    Considering how many people use (& discretely watch) this site, you’re right about the mega!!!

  • MIKE,
    it was great to hear your voice… in L.A..

    I can’t wait for the 100th post in your blog… and to see what you’ve seen in L.A..
    and yes… you still owe me that SILVER PRINT…

    Bengal Tiger indeed…

    If HE is still sending me to VENICE BEACH…!??
    guess who i’m gonna “require” as an assistant…!!!

    HERVE… you’re absolutely right… about David McG’s video…podcast…
    I feel like i was there…AWESOME…
    I watched 5 times already…

  • Hello,
    I think that everybody on this forum will find your grand project! I’m new here and I don’t still too much dare to write but I think that it will allow us in all to advance a workshop by Web… I like your idea ! But I’m afraid that it gives you a lot of work…
    Kind regards,

  • Audrey, strong and humane work with your grandPa, about his wish to die in dignity, and you being there. Too many words from me already, so:

  • AUDREY…hi…
    nice blog… iCat and ibook

    iCat est une petite série photographique sur l’amour de mes chats pour les Mac !


  • HERVE…
    you totally miss France… dont’ya…?

  • Thank you, I like ibook as title!! Thank you Panos! I go can be reappointed my column portfolio…

  • Oh yes, David! Such a good idea! A way to put us into movement with a given assignment, to share, to learn from other’s opinions, to know each other’s work better… I’m going back to Africa soon but I can do it here or there, so please… count on me for this thing!!

    hmm by the way, are there already dates for submitting the work done in 2008 for the Emerging Photographers Fund? Did I miss it?

    Peace, Love and Photography!!

  • hi david,

    YES, YES, YES, YES, YES……..I’M IN. i think this is a great idea. lets get going as soon as we can.

    i hope everyone is well and happy.
    take care,


  • Sounds like a good idea to me. I think half the problem I, and possibly other, aspiring photographers have is generating your own ‘assignments’ is really difficult. If you are given an assignment you would think of nothing other than getting it done. If you’re thinking up your own you can’t help but allow all manner of doubts and potential problems to crowd your mind to prevent you from following the idea through. But as an ‘aspiring professional’ you don’t get given the assignments and they do have to be self-generated. So, speaking for myself, to have some direction and a deadline would be invaluable.

  • Sounds like a grand idea.

  • Very very very good idea. I’m volonteer. I’d like so much to participate. I’m in.

  • David!! Excellent idea!! As usual!! Count me in!

    Thanks for being such an inspiration!!


  • hey David and All,
    Yess, i’m also happy!!
    this assignment and exercise sounds great. Sign me up, please!!
    will be great to see the rest of your’s images, and be able to comment and get comments. like mentioned before, think this will benefit us all. cant want for this challenge…

    jarle :)

  • yes, great idea david indeed! great idea, im in. of course.

    have to run, no time, no time for a few days :))…



    off for a few days…yes, photo related…

  • Wonderful! I love the idea.

    Looking forward to “My Own Personal DAH Assigned Project.”

  • Awesome idea…
    Panos sent me the email this morning and I have to say this is a great way to get people active and see who really is |a photographer| and who is |full of hot-air|

    I also like the idea of maybe keeping the assignment a secret until the person has done the work rather than David assign it and then everyone expect whats coming up. Maybe a tease David would be cool.

    I obviously am not a regular member here so I don’t expect an assignment, but I am so excited to see work from Rafa, Kathy and Panos in particular. معسلامة بوستيس!

  • David,

    I can’t tell if it is a good idea or not, only the time will tell, as the process unfolds… But, for sure, it is an interesting idea…

  • Hey David,

    Sounds like a great idea. I’d love the challenge.

    Larry Towell was in Rochester for his “Front Porch” work on Sunday and I mentioned that you and I had met. He said, “Harvey, huh?” and smiled.

  • Dynamo Dave!

    Sounds like a great idea to me.

    Now I have to really put my skates on to get some work

    all the best


  • great, great, great, david :-) i’m game for this. and i really appreciate your considering even those you don’t know photographically. can’t wait to see what people will come up with


  • Great Idea!

    But since I am getting married in 24 days, have a full time job, and will be in Rome and Naples for my honeymoon for 10 days, followed by your workshop and the Look3 festival, I may have to pass for a while.

    But, if later in the year you would like to drop one on me, I would welcome the opportunity to be critiqued by the group here.

  • It must be good because it scares me..but of course, yes, a thousand times…

    David, today is Thursday, will call to see if you are around this afternoon or anytime tomorrow..

    Still trying to read the MEM posts, such a generative light is this forum..

  • DAH Please wander over to my neck of the web and take a look

  • Good idea.

    My work tends to the serendipitous, so not sure how it’d fit for me, but I’m up for a challenge. Once my kit dries out from last night of course.

    The concept looks sound to me. I like seeing the photos that come off this forum and I’d look forward to seeing what gets produced each week or so.

  • Love the idea, and am game to participate (though I’m certain you are not familiar with my work).

    David McGowan, thanks for that slideshow of Look3 — I’m even more excited to be going this year now.

    Rafal, congratulations!


  • DAVID,

    This is a brilliant idea and, like all others above, I would love to be assigned a project as well. I particularly like the concept of having this very short period of time to do an essay. As a matter of fact, I always face that challenge given my day work so I always feel I have to produce an essay during 2-3 week-ends or the constraint of a week of vacation time like I just did in Antigua. Bottom line, count me in, more than ever, but I may ask you if you decide to assign me a project to give me some heads up on when the time might be (no need to share the subject in advance) so that I can plan taking time off from work during these few days…..

    Thanks for always coming up with such great ideas to further build this community and get us all out there shooting.



  • Kelly Lynn James

    I think like Erica. It has to be good because anything that excites you and scares the pants off you at the same time is inevitably good.

  • DAVID,

    Another great gesture from our fearless leader.
    I’m IN for whatever you decide….
    Definitely agree there is no need for money.

    I do have a suggestion/comment though, a slight “tweak”… Since the point is to get us out shooting it would be great if everyone doesn’t have to wait their turn to get their assignment, if there were some way the assignments could all be handed out AT ONCE and then collected and shown over time (or MOST of them at least-I’m guessing you will continue to be asked to give out assignments over time) This would mean that some people would have much longer to shoot than the ones whose work is shown immediately but it would give everyone something to do while waiting. Some get work shown quickly, others have to wait to have work shown but have longer to shoot.

    What do you think?

  • Cathy,

    I think the point is to make it personalized. David would assign things based on the project we are already doing, as a way of pushing us further in our chosen directions.

  • Hell yes count me in. And I’d be happy to help out in any way.

  • Bravo David,

    To me this is a great way for individuals to
    evolve in their own way. Im sending the those
    links to you.

  • David, I’d be honored and delighted to accept an assignment from you. Your idea is splendid – a mini personalized absentee workshop. You were my instructor at the Photography At The Summit a few years back but please take a look at my work to understand how I see things now. I appreciate all you that you have done for us.

  • @DAH: force AnaY to do something in Valencia, I’d be very curious to see what she could do there with non-commercial work ;o)

  • I think its much better if we wait… cathy

  • Hey david, quite a good idea. I am ready for an assignment while im in Jordan.

    Hope all is well.


  • Hi David and everyone,

    I’m hardly a regular here and more like a “lurker”. This idea really got me exited enough to say something.
    The idea is fantastic! This forum will go beyond our views of photo taking and also toward taking photos. I think this completes this wonderful forum.
    I am very new to photography. Reading this forum, I’ve discovered quite a bit of wisdom and have been challenged to squeeze out a bit of my own thoughts. I must say that all this thinking has been good and bad. The good is that I am thinking more, and trying to grasp this elusive concept called authorship. The bad? I am more conscious while taking photos and my result have suffered.
    I think this “practical element” bridges a gap in our quest to become better through this forum. Dave assigns the topics, the members dig deep, carry a purpose and do something. I imagine the pressure will cure some hesitance, break the philosopher’s rut for many. The pressure alone is motivating enough, no competition needed. Combine that with individualized assignment, there’s little hinderance to individual expression. It’s brilliant

    I do like to make a suggestion regarding widening the participation.

    David, you’ve said you’ll hand pick a couple of people to go on assignment at a time. I think that’s good, but in addition, maybe create another side show (can be a simple picture blog) page for others (even lurkers) who found affinity for the assignment. Participation is voluntary. To participate, a member may need to sign up within say 24 hours of the post.
    The side show doesn’t interfere with the main show, and everyone has something to gain. The viewers, the multiplicity of approach can widen their range of discovery. For side showers, they are given a purpose to do, and then take-in what others did. There is really a higher level of discovery here. For the forum, there is the sense that we’re involved in the assignment collectively but using our individual approaches. I think there will be more eagerness, opinions, empathy… whatever, but just more good stuff from this atmosphere.

  • This is NICE!
    It reminds me of an Improv for Photographers instead of Comedians.

    Some will be able to get some very good material in a short period of time.
    But some will not! Thats the beauty of it.

    *What will be fun to see is if the photog who isn’t happy with the material they produced, is able to take what they have and make something out of it.
    *You could also impose challenging constraints on the photog. Like going to a NASCAR Race with only a Wide Angle Lens. Freak!

    Its endless…..

  • I’m IN! This is a fantastic idea!



    If you need, i am willing to be a guinea pig! As you know, 2 weeks ago I returned to the US to shoot at my brothers wedding. I did a bunch of self-impossed rules: 1 roll of film (yea, 1), 1 camera, 1 lens (in this case it was lomo w/fixes lens), 1 day (day of wedding)…film is still sitting in its cannister…i’ll try to develop this weekend…i have no idea about the success, ’cause it was a pretty emotional trip…i’d rather be “assigned” something (what happens in real world with editors), but just offering in case you need a trial person…i’m not just not sure what the stuff looks like yet (that’s part of the volunteer idea), cause i dont want to “know” i have good stuff…anyway…ok, will check back in the next few days…

    i’d LOVE TO SEE Kyung-Hee given an assignment :))) (i loved her pics from Oslo!!)

    running (for real)

  • Good, or really, an incredibly great idea … and agree that a general group essay assignment would be a very bad idea.

    BUT (I’m all about ‘buts’ ’cause i overthink too much, and i naturally rebel when everyone is saying ‘yes’) … you also have to be careful not to impose too much of who you think the photographer is, or should be or could be, since the point is for everyone to find their own voice, and what “gets them going” as you say (and many here are already or nearly there … and I am far from there). You of course are all about this, perhaps it’s silly to make this point here and you did mention a give and take dialogue with each … something to think about as this progresses …

    Actually, I think one of the greatest and most valuable outcomes of this may lie in the development of the assignment idea itself where you David discuss with each where you see strengths, opportunities to go further, and give each a kindly kick in the ass out the door … obviously this is an incredible gift of you.

    Final idea … to keep people moving and build community you might also consider a concurrent “group” project for everyone on a very, very broad theme at regular intervals … only ONE photo each … and see what happens (sorry Michael C., I know you must hate me now ;) Maybe you could pick one from each batch for discussion. This may also be helpful as you run through the pool for individual assignments … a DAH Photo of the (week, month, whatever) thing. Perhaps this is an idea too far :)))

    Hmmm, no rain here, all sunshine … just a couple of logs for the fire for thought ….

  • little bit to add to my 11:43 :)
    I think not all individual assignments lend themselves well to a side-show sibling. Some assignments are just too individual, personal, or limited by geographic location. In these instances, forget about the side show. Or consider having a side-show on variations of the same theme.


  • I love how we’re starting to discuss this in circus terms … i have this picture in my head of DAH tipping his big red hat in the center ring to start the show :))

    … and there’s a band-aid on my flash.

  • Awesome Idea! I especially like the idea of personalized assignments.

  • you totally miss France… dont’ya…?
    No, Panos, I never miss France…

  • Like Erica + Kelly, I feel a bit scared… in a really GOOD way! Let’s do it!

  • But France misses Herve :-p
    (mais oui)

  • Haha, Tom, good imagination… David has the looks to pull that off. The mustache is a good addition to the role. Don’t think it’s his style though. Cheers


    Yes, definitely personalize it…I’m not saying that David should give us all the same assignment. Personal assignments for sure, just like he has suggested but I can imagine the anticipation for everyone waiting their turns for “their” assignment to be given and am trying to think of a way we can ALL be out shooting while awaiting our turns.

    That’s why I suggested the assignments all be given out somewhat close together but have the “showings” or deadlines staggered.

    Anyone have a better suggestion how to accomplish this?

  • Hey, is that Panos juggling tarantulas in the foreground? I think I see Lance on the trapeze in the background, arms outstretched, Kelly flying through the air, their fingers almost touching … Marcin barely visible and mysterious in his receding darkness … only parts of Eric E. visible in harsh spots illuminated like a living Picasso … And bespeckled Bob in black and white, strangely on a typewriter with a 50 foot piece of paper trailing across the ring furiously typing, a blur of motion and energy … either this is a Cirque de Soleil dream, or Merry Pranksters, or … Moulin Rouge. Break out the Absynthe.

  • I’m new here, over from a few weeks back. I love this idea, especially as a newcomer to the field who has previously focused mainly on one type of photography. Sometimes I have trouble coming up with projects that don’t revolve around music, or just feel like there’s not enough time in the day to do both. So a nudge (or “homework”) in that direction is always appreciated.

    My photos are at and my blog is

  • I don’t miss France, either. To be honest, I’ve never missed France, strange as that may seem to all of you. I think my never having been there probably has a lot to do with this basic lack of nostalgia for the land I was not born in. I think the closest I’ve been to France, on both the empathetic and physical level, was a shopping expedition to Danbury, Connecticut, which does not look like France in the same way that grape Jell-O does not taste like chicken, despite the best efforts of the ladies down in the school cafeteria to convince you to the contrary. I think the thing that gave Danbury away as definitely not France was the appalling lack of circumflexes in the gyms. I find it astonishing that a gym can spend all that money on Nautilus machines and yet everywhere you look, there’s not a circumflex to be found for neither love nor money. Without the circumflex, what’s the point in going into one of those places, that’s what I want to know.



    enjoy life everybody… and remember…

    Motel 6…” we keep the light on for you”

  • Nota: I like france a lot, just don’t miss it. Given a choice, I’d rather go to Thailand (and around), by a very long shot. I probably would miss SF, but not the US.

    Hola Cathy! Remember what happened when we all submitted our essays en groupe…. Let’s give David some space.

    Now, of course, i probably just don’t understand! :-)))))))

  • AKAKY,
    (i’m smoking it without knowing why… just because…
    I know i can live without your comments… but here i am
    ordering one more pound…)..

    You are a P.I.M.P writer here…
    For Sure….

  • Akaky, obviously your question is a rhetorical one so let me respond. Without being diacritical about it, the answer is quite clear … and i quote … “We report a successful Percutaneous intervention of a proximal circumflex CTO using a retrograde approach via an epicardial collateral.”



    “.. either this is a Cirque de Soleil dream, or Merry Pranksters, or … Moulin Rouge. Break out the Absynthe…”

    TOM HYDE …and you know this…!

    enjoy life ALL…

  • “Shhhhhh, smell that?”
    – Bill Murray

  • Je manquer beaucoup France! (Or something like that. ;^} Please forgive me Herve for totally mangling the language!)

  • Hi David,

    I think this is a fantastic idea.
    I read, haunt, prowl (call it what you will) here almost every
    day. Although I must confess to often getting bogged down in the
    reading and running out of time to finish the posts. Which is not a bad problem to have. Although the sheer volume can be overwhelming. For me personally, having an image to digest or at least reference to would be often (not always) better that chewing my way through so many words. I have always preferred beer to granola. Yesterday I found
    which introduces a new photographer with a single image each day.
    All good things from the bottom of the world – Matt

  • Howdy,

    How does one enter photographs to apply for the Emerging Photographers Fund?

  • David –

    I think this sounds great! Sign me up…this is similar to something I’ve been thinking about in regards to journalists vs newspaper photographers vs photojournalists vs fine art photographers, etc, in that I have many friends who are happy with “getting assignments” in that they have no desire to photograph much outside of what someone is hiring them for whether they are on staff or freelance. Sometimes I think some people (myself included) need an “assignment” to get there ass out the door…and I am certainly guilty of this and have been thinking about how do I break this cycle? Anyhow it sounds like a great idea, I would love to participate, and can be available anytime.

    ~ Chris

  • No problem, Michael:

    It’s “la France me manque beaucoup”.

    PS: In SF, Museums free on the first of the month…Off to the Friedlander exhibit at the Modern art M (MOMA)

  • Modern art and Modern Lovers, Panos, dedicated to you. Panos was never called an anus….. ;-) (Just look)

  • 87 comments already? Wow! Fast.
    Please count me in. I’m in the field right now and so will have some hotel time on my hands later this evening (as I upload my cf cards) to read all the comments thus far.

    Mr. Harvey, that brain of yours sure is a busy one.

  • Fantastic idea!! I’m In!! Personally, i’m locked into my own little world of shooting right now, and i would really love to share some current work as it is building day by day. I always appreciate the views of others and would embrace the opportunity for open critique. Great idea!!

    Maybe the need for an email heads up though for those that are picked?… Can’t speak for others, but I personally don’t have the capacity to thoroughly check the blog as often as I would like due to limited online access…


  • I think that in order to alleviate DAH’s work load , each photographer should upload the pics in his/hers website or hosting website (flickr) .
    Just posting later in this blog the direct link to them.
    I am just brain storming

  • Tom, there are ladies present, so I will thank you to stop saying things like percutaneous. It is bad enough that cable tv is filled with that sort of vile language, but I think that we should all be adult enough here to say what we mean without resort to obscenities, especially something as vile as that

  • HERVE,
    super cool tune..
    pablo Picasso , was never called an asshole !!!
    right on..

  • I am new, I’m IN !
    lovely idea !
    I am the worst with words,
    working on a new project sounds better for me than write a line.
    it seems good for everyone.
    work work work !

  • HERVE,

    Actually, you DON’T understand! :))

    Maybe there is so much to read here that everyone is skimming too fast? :)

    What I proposed (in two different posts) was not that we SUBMIT our assignments together but that we find some way to all be SHOOTING them together. Some will have their work looked at and the rest can continue to shoot and work on theirs until the time that David is ready for it.

    HERVE (Continued) AND DAVID,

    The reason I am proposing this is not to create MORE work for David but as an attempt to avoid everyone bugging him for an assignment as well as to placate those in a hurry to have their work shown. If we are all busy shooting our assignments I don’t think anyone will mind having “extra time’ if David doesn’t get around to us for a while!

    This may not be THE perfect idea but I’m hoping it may inspire someone to come up with an even better idea.

  • Dirk Chesterfield

    I’m in!

  • How about let David pick, say: 3-5 people per month to submit 20 images. That’s still going to be 60-100 images for him to sort through. Over a year that could add up to 60 critiques that we all would learn from too.

    If he originally picks from the early participants to the blog, then nobody is bugging him. After all he still has to make a living! We don’t want it to become a chore for David, he’s already being generous enough to us..

    I think that way it’s fair for all the early participants to get first crack! All of us “Johnny Come Lately’s” will still learn heaps….

    Just a few thoughts….

    Cheers everyone

  • Anna Barry-Jester

    A wonderful idea, certainly can’t be anything but interesting. And a perfect way for everyone to view your editing process….and as above, the scary pressure can only do us good!

    I’m still swimming in the sea of responses to the one of a kind post…it’s been a great question for me to chew on the last few days…something I’ve thought about before, but to put it in writing…

  • “How about let David pick, say: 3-5 people per month to submit 20 images”. I was meaning from the assignments David picked. Sorry if that was unclear….


  • Akaky … you are of course correct and my comments as i helter skeltered around the quivy of the quo of the quay were grossly insidious and unbecoming to my nature. My most sincere apologies. Cholangiography.

  • David;
    It’s great that you’ll be able to move back to your old pad, wonderful news!!

  • david alan harvey


    i am still chewing on this one….but, no matter what , it looks like we have a mandate to go forward…and i am sure more thoughts will come forward from many of you…

    ok now, the main point of all of this is so that i, and whoever will be on my jury, can really know this audience..and unlike a contest or even juried show, we will get to know you over an extended period of time….the board or jury will be made up of respected editors or curators to be named certainly by the end of the summer…the EPF grant will not be given out until the end of the year, but there is a good possibility that we will have funding for several photographers outside of this grant before this..again, this is not a promise…this is just what i am working on…

    another thought , is that i may from time to time bring in a “guest editor” from one magazine or another to critique…but, let’s wait and see how you do first…i think you know that already there are quite a few “lurking editors” out there who read this forum…

    so, the way i think we should run this assignment program is to run it just like a real magazine works…with maybe a touch of how i run my workshops…if we do it this way, we will actually be a “real magazine”!! if we can raise enough funding we could actually print an annual…again my friends, not a promise…

    if i chose three photographers per month, that would be 36 photographers per year…that is way way more than what any print magazine can assign now or that any editor could or would manage…so, i think we should start with that number or something close to that number….how much of the process we should have here in the “open” and how much should be done by private e-mail, i do not know…but involvement by everyone here is part of the deal, so it may just depend on the individual photographer..let’s see how it goes and be ready to adjust as we go along…

    now, just like a “real magazine”, there is always room for someone to come up with an idea and pursue it on “spec”…if good pictures are coming in to me, i will publish them….just as any magazine editor would…so all of you should be thinking of good ideas whether you have an assignment or not…it is very easy for you to write up an idea, post it here with some preliminary linked pictures, and we can see where it goes…

    any good editor will run the best pictures sitting on the desk…some might be assigned stories or some might just come in out of nowhere…surprises…i like surprises…

    as all of you know, i cannot interrupt my current shooting project…but the very nature of my project now is not in conflict with this project for you…at least, that is how i see it now…if it does, then i might have to pull back a bit…you know i love you, but i also know you would not want me to forfeit one ounce of my energy in the wrong direction…i will not…but, as i see it, this idea has most of you so involved and so much a part of the critique, that i will not have to put in any more time than i do already..

    since i am working at “home” (U.S)with easy net access etc etc, this should not be a problem…for example i have been able to post easily in the last week and in the last week i think i photographed about 10 families in three different cities, towns, etc.,so we are good….

    in any case, i know that all of you totally “get it” and understand the nature of my involvement with my photographic work now and my commitment to this forum as well…so, let’s do it…

    i just want to say one more thing…i have used the word “magazine”…but, i did not say what type of magazine..certainly, we do not want to copy whatever is out there already…influenced by many, but with our own little touch…i would say it would be nice by the end of the year if we had a sophisticated collection of work that could include the best of “bearing witness” with the best of introspective freestyle seeing..i mean, the audience is us, so we do not have to pander to anyone!! beauty of the net amigos, beauty of the net…and i promise you right now, that even with corporate sponsorship (which does not exist.. yet) we will “do our own thing”…

    well, if Adobe drops two or three million bucks in my back pocket, then damn i guess i will abandon all ideals, build a house at the beach, have wild parties and we will shoot whatever the hell they want!!!

    back on a serious note, i hear photographers complaining everyday that the world , photoworld, is going to hell…maybe it is…but, damn, i have always heard that since forever!!! let’s just do something really nice here and let that be enough….just a good thing…a well crafted “object”…despite some rambling and a few rough edges here and there, we have actually already gotten off to a pretty good start..for those of you who will come to my presentation of your work at Look3, you will feel the same…..

    i refuse to sink into the morass of the sea of cynical bitter burned out photographers of which there are too damned many…some of them under 30!! what the hell!!

    in other news, i just found out i can move back into my beloved New York “kibbutz”!! no longer homeless..i also have a book signing at Powerhouse on May 15 (Living Proof)..

    now, shouldn’t we have a party at my place that night??? i mean, think of this party..a back to the building party, book party, etc etc…i mean i will have my South Bronx rappers/friends Uptown and Ruckus there to sign books and if some of you showed up for a cold beer and a celebration of life, then wouldn’t that be a shit kickin’ good way to “light off” the summer??

    in any case, you are invited….but, you might have to carry a box or two back into my apartment…pretty sneaky dude huh???

    damn, this was a long one..sorry for the ramble… and please keep throwing out ideas etc…this is a “work in progress”…

    give me a few days to think, and then i will start to decide who does what…fair enough???

    peace, abrazos, etc etc….david

    Posted by: david alan harvey |

  • David: As an aside, and completely off topic… After all the workshops etc you have been doing recently, have you had any difficulty getting back into the swing of shooting? I just thought I’d ask because I remember you telling me it takes a week or so for you to get your “eye in” after a lay off.


  • You said something interesting…let’s create our own magazine…..I think this is a great idea…i think it would be easy to find a good variety of approaches and with well known names attached in some capacity to it, what a vehicle for exposure and possibly revenue would it be?

    I mean theres no denying the POWER of the internet to make people. There are blogs out there that have literally launched careers. “Conscientious” comes to mind right away. Attach DAH’s name and the name of people he could bring to this project and it would be superb. best thing is with the net, theres almost no overhead. It woulldnt need to be printed until it starts rolling, or not at all even.

  • david alan harvey


    that is a good question…well, even in my workshops , i am shooting…i try to do workshops where i have an interest in shooting…for example, my whole Italian body of work comes from work i have done while teaching…and i shoot a bit almost everyday no matter where i am or what i am doing…

    but, i will say this…that even a few days of not shooting will take the “super edge” off of years and years of experience…not joking…why do you think Segovia “practiced” every day on his guitar for hours til the day he died…i mean, didn’t he already “know” how to play???

    the short answer to your question is “yes”…now,i am a bit clumsy…i do not have the same “flow” that i will have in a couple of is not the “eye” so much as the physical reaction with the “stuff” to keep up with the eye….the gear…in the way…and now i am loading 220 film which i have not done for awhile….”don’t use it, you lose it”, applies to many things…

    cheers, david

  • gee, Cathy, actually I understood. But asking David to make up dozens of assignments at the same time was exactly what I hinted at.

    Not sure why we should shoot at the same time? what is the rationale? I’d rather have mine hot the press, shoot it, show it, so we don’t run into these “was not my best work”, “I had to move and feed my neighbours cats that month”, and “Now I would do it differently” arguments.

    (aparte: I say no more excuses this time. in or out…)

    Plus if I read david well, the idea is still to have people to get their creative juices within a time period, since David always has editors requirements in mind.

  • “…Percutaneous

    In surgery, percutaneous pertains to any medical procedure where access to inner organs or other tissue is done via needle-puncture of the skin, rather than by using an “open” approach where inner organs or tissue are exposed (typically with the use of a scalpel).

    The percutaneous approach is commonly used in vascular procedures. This involves a needle catheter getting access to a blood vessel, followed by the introduction of a wire through the lumen of the needle. It is over this wire that other catheters can be placed into the blood vessel. This technique is known as the modified Seldinger technique…”

    why don’t you speak in english, so we can ALL understand ??

  • I’m new here but would very much like to be part of this very exciting photographic adventure. David, you are one generous, creative thinker/doer! And even though you don’t know my work at this point, I expect you’ll have some idea of what assignment would suit after the workshop in Charlottesville.


  • Thanks for that David. I’ve got an important trip coming up next week and want to put my heart and soul into it. I’ve been stuck behind the laptop writing for the last couple of weeks. I’m going to try and spend the entire of next week shooting to attempt to get into the zone a bit better.

    Also… When you mentioned putting “yourself” into your work (in your “one of a kind” comments), do you think that to achieve that you must not not over-think the shooting too much?

    Or is it a case of shooting via your own personality and let your that personality show through? I hope i explained that right…


  • david alan harvey


    thanks for backing me up on this one…i think you can see the problems i would have if i tried to create 200 or more “assignments” for everyone…then i would need a percutaneous procedure!!!

    what in hell are you and tom hyde smoking out there on the west coast??? i mean, i invited you to my party, but i think you guys have already started…

    ok, your place then….

    cheers, david

  • david alan harvey


    i look forward to meeting you….be prepared for a little frustration at the beginning..part of the deal…in any case, see you soonest…

    cheers, david

  • DAVID,

    More I read more I think it is a mega great idea. I think I’m gone dream of it tonight !!!!
    I can accept assignement in Montreal or in NYC.

  • I also dont see how we would shoot simultaneously. If David gives Panos an assaignment to shoot venice beach how would we shoot that simultaneously? The point is that this is supposed to be a personalized series of projects for people David chooses. Whoever they are based on work they have already been doing. The grat thing about it would be that David would look at work already there and perhaps nudge people in a direction that would improve their project. if we shot it all simultaneously it would be too vague and unhelpful to anyone. I think David has his taste of a big project and didnt quite like it:) Now its time for something he can manage more easily.

  • Merci Herve!

    David….Great to hear about the Kibbutz! Might try to get up there for stated party. I’d be more than happy to do more than move a box or two. Whatever you need. Seriously.



    I was hoping someone would come along and improve on my suggestion…rather than just trashing it completely. I KNOW that it’s too much for David to hand out personal assignments to all of us at once! Just wanted to find a way to include
    EVERYONE here…not only the “assignees.” Doesn’t anyone think there is value in that?

    David mentioned anyone can submit their own “independent’ work for him to see (at any time???)….this seems like it could create a huge amount of additional editing for him.

    How about THIS instead?

    What if we all work on our own projects during the time the various assignments are given out. (SO WE ARE ALL BUSY SHOOTING BUT DAVID HAS NOT BEEN GIVEN ANY ADDITIONAL WORKLOAD) Then, when it is someone’s turn to submit their assignment to David they also can show a few images from their “personal” project and it’s up to him whether or not he wants to see more. I suppose there could be the possibility then if he likes the personal project better than the assignment he could choose to publish that instead. Or whatever…

    But at least everyone is included and everyone is busy working on a project…that was my intention in suggesting this.

  • Trust me, David, I am expecting more than just a little frustration at the workshop, but that’s the whole point. Isn’t it supposed to stretch me into new shapes? That kind of growth always smarts a bit but it’s well worth it in the end. Hey, man, I’m leaving my ego at home. Yes, I’m feeling intimidated but I’m also excited as hell!

  • There are no assignees yet and nobody knows who they will be, Cathy.

    yes everyone can show David their work but that really doesnt mean editing for david. I got him to look at mine and all Iw as looking for was some feedback but I didnt press him for an edit, no way would I lay that kind of work on him whe i know there are probably dozns of people asking him to look at their work.

    As far as how this will be done, thats up to David and only David. But for me I think at this point its better for all concerned if the assignment was something to do with the personal project we are already doing. I mean we just did a huge assignment for David not so long ago.

  • David,

    Great news re the Kibbutz… I don’t think I’ve ever heard of the city letting artists move back after a loft eviction… you must be born under a lucky star…. or you have great lawyers!! In any case congratulations and welcome back to your home in beautiful Brooklyn.

    I’ll definitely make it out for your book signing, and always love a party. I’ll bring the absinthe… and I don’t have to be at work the next day, I just took it off for the ny photo festival!

    I’d like to ask your advice… I’m thinking about doing a portfolio review/seminar that week with VII… I think it’s somewhat premature, I have a bunch of work prints, no real cohesive portfolio, a germ of a project idea and lots of enthusiasm… should I go for it or wait till next year??

  • Cathy, you push hard :))) There’s been lots of ideas and it’s all good grist for the mill but at some point you just have to sit back, let go and see if it resonates, or germinates, and not take it personally if it doesn’t or even if you take a little flack for it. We’re all friends here, compatriots in the volunteer army, colleagues even … so here, have a beer on me and enjoy the show as it unfolds. Peace :)))

  • David, I think it is great idea assigning projects for people based on what they do best, although, assigning someone something different than what they are used could help as well. For example, if you assign someone who is not a sports photographer a sports project, it could yield interesting results. It could help get them out of the the traditional ideas of what sports photography is, especially in an essay format. Just an idea. Either way, I am excite participate in one way or another.

  • david alan harvey


    send me an idea of something you care about…really care….or something you dislike , but want to photograph….not just something that you think makes a “good picture”….think, think


    “everyone here” is of course potentially a candidate for an assignment…it just depends on your idea or a continuation of something you are already doing and obviously the quality of that work…

    and “everyone here” should be shooting and working all the time anyway…but, i do not see the value in somehow having all of you shooting simultaneously and specifically for this assignment project…that does not seem to make sense in the context of the “curatorial” modality…

    the burden of the editing will fall primarily on the photographer…this is the way it is at most magazines..the first “A” edit is by the photographer….and i will come in to co-edit for the final “layout” or slide show or whatever we decide to do…

    but there is no editor on this planet who would consider developing a story with 36 different photographers between now and the end of the year!!!

    just to put things in perspective, i probably take on about 40-50 workshop students in the whole year…and i am right there with them 14 hrs a day where verbal exchange is easier than here..daily critiques…late night sessions etc etc…

    i think you may either be thinking of something else or wanting/needing some other kind of exercise…i am not quite sure what exactly you are expecting or thinking..but rest assured that i am looking for the finest essays from the finest photographers just like any editor or curator would…and “everyone here” has an absolutely equal chance of putting their work forward…but the process cannot be “democratic” in the sense that everyone will be published…how could that be?? i am trying to set up circumstances to allow new talent to be seen and to provide a new outlet for photographers who now have few outlets…but i cannot possibly be all things to all people…or am i just not understanding your request???

    in any case Cathy, give me your me your newest work …i am listening..i am looking….


    it sounds to me like you are in exactly the right frame of mind….good….you will have the time of your life….


    yes, the best would be a continuation of something you are doing already…i may make suggestions, but only to get you thinking…i never tell photographers what to shoot…i just get them to tell me what they want to shoot and then surprise themselves by going beyond where they thought they could go…where do you think you stand now with your family work ?? do you feel fired up to do more??

    cheers, david

  • Hi David…I just read this update here now…only yesterday I was trying to streamline some of my work on a temporary basis(as a preview)….you’ve seen my work before but not on this site…would be great to have your feedback again…
    ..just have to click on the ‘navigate’ icon the right side of the web page once it opens…thanks!

  • why don’t you speak in english, so we can ALL understand ??
    Panos?!?!?…..We have never spoken with each other yet! :-)
    Only Katia Roberts knows my voice here.

    Yes, Cathy, personal “assignments”, I do that every week, pretty much, and of course, many here let us know with their name link, about some work they’ve just done. It’s fine, ever on-going, I am sure, but loose, compared to what David proposes.

    I have absolutely no idea yet, what I could shoot SERIOUSLY. I need that kick in the ass David will provide when and if it comes to my turn. BTW, I think you understood that david will give the assignement. it will not be exactly self-assigned, like last year.

    David, congrats on the kibbutz. Now, I know I can afford to visit New York again! Do I, David? ;-)

  • Rafal, Tom,

    No problems, no expectations and definitely it’s not personal. Just trying to help make this great idea of David’s a fun process for ALL. It usually takes a few posts for me to clarify what I’m trying to say and respond to personal comments from others. I’m done now!

  • david alan harvey


    let me re-phrase what i just wrote to you another way…

    i think this forum can be the beginning of a thinking process for some, a kind of an on-line workshop for others, and perhaps a serious career launch for a few…

    i have seen many photographers go rapidly from one of those “points” to the other…i would like nothing more than to have you lay down on the table a set of photographs that i had no choice but to publish…that should be a mutual goal…

    does that help???

    cheers, david

  • Well maybe I’m not done! :))
    While I was writing that last comment David and Herve posted so let me just reply to them…


    Yes, I realize that David will be giving personal one-on-one assignments to a few people, not everyone and that only a few will be published. Got that! :))

    I guess I will just have to wait and see if anyone else can do a better job of suggesting a way for others who are NOT working with David one-on-one to be involved.

  • DAVID,

    Just missed that last comment from you so here’s one more… :))


    Yes, DEFINITELY a mutual goal is to have images that can’t help but be published but perhaps I’m not understanding you clearly….Using the “magazine” concept….how does one “come in and lay photos down on the table?” You will only be seeing the work of the photographers you give assignments to, right?

  • David,

    yes, I feel great about it, let me say its the first piece of work that has mde me feel that.
    I guess what I think I would gain if I was chosen would be for someone to tell me how they see the directions I could go in. Im a bad editor because I dont think I can step back from what Im doing and it takes an outisde voice to give idea one would never get by themselves….I think thats not just me but a normal thing. Often we are best at solving problems by stepping away from them for a while and coming back to them later. The value of a different set of eyes cant be stated enough.

    P.S. Great news about the kibbutz. I always wanted to drop by and see it, now if Im in NYC again sometime Ill do just that LOL.

  • david alan harvey


    well, before i give an assignment, i will need to know a photographer’s work…i do know many of you here from our previous exercise…but, since then some photographers have evolved, gotten involved in new work…and there are new people here all the time who send links..

    all editors look at a photographer’s portfolio, listen to their idea, and then make a decision on whether to give that photographer an assignment..

    so, as i said in my original proposal, if you think i do not know your work, please let me see…or if you have done something new or are working on developing an idea, please let me know…

    i will give assignments based on a photographer’s past work and , more importantly, what they want to do next…either breaking new ground or continuing an ongoing theme…in some cases, i might just go for the “wild card” …sense something about someone…take a chance….sometimes i can “smell” a photographer whose portfolio may not be so “great” but who just has some kind of “snap” that may translate into unique work…

    cheers, david

  • david alan harvey


    you have actually done what i try to get many to do…you totally loosened up….you totally went from looking at something(taekwondo sp??) to feeling something (wife and son)…you have literally re-invented your photography..

    so, where would you “take” the family pictures now?? do you just need more, which could be fine, or is there another part of this exploration of what is right in front of you???

    cheers, david

  • David,

    its an interesting question….I was hoping to extend it past my immediate family to my in-laws, to my relatives in Poland or family in the US…a sort of trans-national, trans generational uber series. The other, Family Ties is in the folder next to it under personal book. Because of time reasons I have only put in a bit of time with that and the style differs but the style Ive been shooting this series on my family has changed over the time Ive been shooting it and Ill probably employ it when Im visitng my inlaws.

    Also I think the crucial thing is time…how much shooting? Nan Goldin shot her work over many took Billingham 5 years if Im right to shoot his story on his father, mother and brother…so for me I think its about both the breadth of people and the breadth of time. That will obviously mean hundreds of photos that will have to be editied, and thats where Im going to go up against a brick all..still debating how Ill do it but not seriously yet, its not time. Im already sensing different son, mother-son, sexuality, still lives…but we will see.

    One thing that struck me is that you too will be turning to families


    many people laugh at people like we are who participate with various “forums or blogs” this is new mode…
    but now we can do something special…
    always simple idea is begining of new value…
    one day four photographers had an idea to create a new agency…
    one day one guy had idea to change old religion and died for all people…
    one day two brothers had an idea to build wood wings and fly…
    and two other brothers take a pictures 12 frames per second and make motion photography…
    I want to say that if we have some guy like you with head full of ideas, and you have your “world wide army” we can do amazing thing…
    new value…
    I have no idea how I could I help, but if you want any I am for services…
    and I think we all (including you :) should make non profit assigments and also suggest our own work like in magazines…
    what we need?… new platform?… new website?…
    ok… last words
    LET’S DO THIS!!!


    ps. I’m waiting for your new (best) pictures…

  • Great idea David would love to participate. I will be taking the David Hurn Magnum Workshop next week in Toronto. Looking forward to it. The only concern I have is that I am a film shooter and will probably have to shoot digital for the workshop. Never felt comfortable to digital black and white.
    Having an exhibition also at the Arta Gallery during the Contact festival.


  • Great idea!

    I’m in.
    I think it’s just important to keep working on our own work no matter if we get the assignment or not. And like David said himself, nothing keeps us from telling him what we are up to right now and sollicit for that assignment.

    David, great that you can move back in to the Kibbutz!! Amazing news. I so wish I could come to the bookparty. Thanks again for the signed copy you gave me in London. Sadly I won’t make it.
    I’ll be in Cannes for shooting the filmfestival during that time. (Not bad either)
    Have fun and enjoy it heaps!


  • i heart david alan harvey = peace=+=


  • david,

    sounds like a great plan. more new work has been published on my website.

    i would love to be apart of this project and this “idea”

  • loveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveloveoneoneoneoneoneoneoneoneworldoneoneoneoneoneoneoneoneone

  • I love the idea, and I’d love some feedback. In my own photography, I’m at a bit of a standstill, I haven’t found a “project” worth pursuing in a while. So an assignment would be a good spur, too.

    As for starting a magazine, that’s what I’m trying to do right now, a web based magazine, at I’ve got editors lined up in different areas, I’ve got web space and bandwidth to last for a while, even delivering multimedia. I’m lacking content, though. Perhaps we could work something out? And if anyone here is looking for somewhere to publish, drop me a line too, part of my big idea is to be very open about who we’ll work with, so long as the work is good. the best way to get in touch with me is email. mail at or mail at later, Matt

  • This is the best idea that I ever heard about.You are a ‘ parrent’ in photography for many of us. I would love to give me a assigment to do.

  • robert wiedenfeld


  • I might have an idea, an idea that actually was triggered by you Mr. Harvey when you suddenly declared that you had a big project in mind that would involve some of this ‘community’ and then weeks later revealed that you were going to make a portrait of contemporary America, or United States I might say as others american countries are America too but not USA… Anyway, while I was thinking what this idea that you had might be, I thought ‘that’s it, he’a going to go around the world to photograph this new type of contemporary ‘community’, he’s going to reflect on these new social relations, virtual or non virtual social relations?? You guys decide. So, here’s my idea for your personnal project on USA and this ‘community’: each readers, writer, lurker takes a self-portrait of himself or his surroundings… there’s surely a link to be made with your personnal project as this is too, in part, contemporary USA, the opening of frontiers by technology, etc…

    Hope this is clear as english is not my first language.
    From a mostly lurker who’s written a few times (3, I think) under different nicknames.
    MartnB (my real name)


    Great to hear things are going ahead! Again, a brilliant idea!! Look forward to seeing the evolution of this totally new concept. V. exciting. I would love to take part, and as I mentioned earlier i’m dealing with a really interesting situation right now. Good luck to all! Can’t wait to see how things progress!


  • RAFAL…

    Finally got around to seeing what all the fuss was. Not that you need me to tell you, but…Holy Shit! Nice work!

    Very personal, intimate, powerful. Moving! This is really going to push me. Very envious of your eye. Your brain. Creativity. Nice. Nice. Nice.

    Thanks for giving us such a beautiful glimpse into your world. Lovely.


  • DAVIDç

    This will be fast….FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, let me say HOW HAPPY I AM THAT YOU ARE NO LONGER HOMELESS!!!!!!!! ç)))))))))))))…and i am thrilled for you that you can;will return to the Kibbutz…selfishly, this means marina, dima and i will be able to haunt that place as well Ç))…dont even get me started again about the 15th (cause this whole week has been pummeled to do the $600 tax bill i had to fork over on tuesday), but please lift something (glass, corn pipe for us)….

    Last night, Marina and I went to Mike berube opening (his first exhibition). YOU WOULD BE VERY PROUD OF HIM! Marina and I loved the work, the show and his wonderful talk (DONT BE SO SERIOUS NEXT TIME MIKE Ç) )…I am very proud of him and so should you be.

    for those members who do not know Mike (see his comment above), he is a young photographer who has taken 2 of david~s workshop and who has bloomed into a thoughtful, intelligent, committed photographer of witness. his show last night was on his work on the Kenya slums…the work too was gorgeous…and i would recommend member take a look at his site (above)…and yesÇ GIVE HIM AN ASSIGNMENT!…

    ok, nothing for me to add…following all thoughts above…now, disappearing again for a some time…



    ps. happy you have shot so many families…keep it up…


  • A quick follow up about all the thoughts…

    I think a photographer IS ALWAYS SHOOTING, regardless of whether they~re given an assignment or not–speaking personally, im am constantly thinking about people, projects, looking at negs, going out to shoot, talk with mrs. black, looking at her work, other work, walking, observing, etc…i dont need an assignment, ever, to get me going…in fact, one of the cool things about being given an ssignment (like the dah thing last year, or this new concept) is that it may CHALLENGE a photographer to either come up with something new or dig into an existing project…the pressures and consideration of time and ^newness^of idea are important to each of us…letting all members, all photographs shoot and then post over time just doesnt workÇ either practically, or aesthetically, or MOST IMPORTANTLY beneficially for us….

    it seems like the real thing is that photographers here (understandably) want (need) feedback-to show work to david and members….i undestand this humanly, but dont get it in terms of the entirety of one~s work…

    so, my minor contribution–i second what Herve has said. David chooses 3-4 people (i would mix it with new folk and old) and get them to do something specific in a limited period of time (1 week;2 weeks) etc. it always means reality–most photographers are constantly scrambling for work, for ideas…i know i am too…

    on this note, i VOLUNTEER to NOT DO AN ASSIGNMENT until those who really want to do it (cathy, rafal, newbies others) get their wack…im thrilled and happy to do this with David and yãll but i totally am not interested in any kind of squabbling or concern for î want my pics seen now….

    i~ll be ready whenever the ^call^comes to do a shoot, but not worried about shooting when others are choosen…got enough of that Ç))


  • david alan harvey


    you are the history of New York City evictions, nobody EVER gets back in the building..once everybody is out, the property gets sold off to whatever crooked deal was going on in the first place…and this property on the river, with the view etc etc..yes, this is some kind of miracle…we did have lawyers, but they did not have to do anything…i think they are disappointed…they would have preferred a long fight…i think it was more about all the press we got about the building…artists thrown out on the street etc etc..the New York Times really came out in our favor and did several stories..anyway, see you at the party!!

    cheers, david

  • david alan harvey


    you suggest ideas….send easy to see link


    might work…but, isn’t that what David McGowan is doing already?

  • If I say yes to this, I won’t have to sing Kumbaya, will I?

  • david alan harvey


    i had trouble getting around your site..must not have been working properly….liked the rodeo shot on your home page, but then could never see it or anything related to it…

  • david alan harvey


    i wish i could see more on your site…what you have is interesting, but more more please….


    no, you have missed nothing…the EPF grant does not come up until the end of the year…you have plenty of time to do some great work…..hope to see you in Valencia soonest….

    cheers, david

  • david alan harvey


    in addition to being a great writer, you are also just flat out a gentleman, in the best sense of the word…and your attitude is, well, just the best…always…

    you must have a dark side…and Marina probably knows it!! but who cares?? you bring an incredible amount of energy and “high end” thinking to this forum…i wrote you several weeks ago something that i truly had slid away from us for some personal ;reason i cannot remember now…but i said then,”i won’t do this forum without you”…”word” dude….

    the very nature of choosing one photographer and not another for whatever reason can create the obvious jealousies or whatever…pretty much the nature of the beast…i suppose no way around it, but if one contemplates actually doing something and not just philosophizing about it, then that will inevitably happen…

    however, if i choose you for one of these first assignments, i doubt there would be one single person on this forum who would object…and i will do that for three reasons: your mind, your heart, your loyalty…

    your work will manifest itself in a word and picture combination that will make us all proud..yes yes..words and pictures .. or pictures and words and music and live track and video…yes yes all of it…or none of it….one nice photograph just fine too…

    ok , running amigo..need more coffee..none here in the house….sun streams through window….give Marina a kiss….tell me what you would like to do….

    talk later….

    hugs, david

  • david alan harvey


    yes, of course, you must…i mean, don’t you just WANT to????

  • Wait a minute, what am I doing? (One thing is trying to catch up with this post!) I’ll have to comment later—must go trout fishing!

  • DAVID,

    Great to hear that you have a home and that you will be able to return to the Kibbutz! I hope this will not affect your plans to tour across the country…I am still counting on you to stop by Ohio….

    I continue to think about what you have proposed here to this community…this is exciting!!! It will be such an instructive experience for us all! Not just for the few chosen photographers that you will pick for an assignment but for us all to see what comes back, read your perspective on the work produced, hear everyone’s feedback. I have to say that just seeing the great work that some of your former students come back with is a constant push and drive to continue to push my own work…. Overall, being also selfish for one second, I have to say that what is most appealing for me if you were to give me a piece of work is the immediate boost/ pressure to produce good work, the sense of urgency to push yourself beyond what you would normally do because you know, you will have to expose yourself at the end… Always somewhat scary but so rewarding! I guess this is the same feeling that I have enjoyed so much in your workshops that I was fortunate to attend and this is how you always manage one way of another to get so much out of your students during this very intense week of coaching. Now, in the coming weeks, I might propose some ideas to you just in case… By the way, if you were interested to pilot how this may work, I would be more than happy of course to edit my week of work that I have just down in Antigua down to 15-20 images…I actually started to do this as I was intending to show you what may be my final edit (draft on my site already). Going forward, I have been asking myself what to focus on. As you know, I have talked to you about my desire to push my story on the Cincinnati over the Rhine ghetto…This is just one possibility that I will continue to work. Might have another idea for one of my longer term projects…. I have been so moved by the experiences I have had shooting the processions in Sicily and then Antigua that I am wondering if there is not something I want to pursue regarding Christian faith and manifestations and celebrations of faith across the world,and many civilizations…Might be over ambitious to produce something here but, could do something personal, with my own sensitivity…. As a start, I might be going to Oaxaca in Nov for the day of the “deads” (by the way I just realized that you will be there for a workshop), I have been talking about going to Jesusalem for Christmas, maybe then going to Ethiopia in mid-Jan to shoot the peligrims going to the “back-Jerusalem”… As I have told you before, I may get a 2-3 months sabbatical from my company so I am thinking hard about what could be a real project to take forward. I still need to reflect upon this, chew it over as you say, think more about what it is that I want to say about this topic of faith and religion…Might want to think about showing this through the eyes of children…Somehow, no matter what topic I start, I find myself always drawn to kids, their sensibility….Overall, while like Bob, I will be glad to first see the work of others on this forum, if there is anything that you think of value let me know and in any case, I would love to connect with you on my final edit from Antigua work when we get a chance.



  • david alan harvey


    laughing!! yes, go trout fishing…but, don’t you have a “sidebar” project going with this group?? i can’t keep up either!!!


    i forgot to answer your question about MEM and her alleged “detachment” from her subject because she had so many assistants..and regarding the German school of subject first, emotionless work i.e.Shore, Struth etc etc…

    i do not see MEM as being apart from her subjects just because she has a lot of tech people setting things up and she “only” presses the cable release…so what?? …that is just the “craft”…i do not have to build the house to design the house..maybe i cannot pound a nail, but that does not mean i cannot create a beautiful home..others know how to saw and pound nails and do the “heavy lifting”..

    in any case, MEM work is different from the “emotionless” work from the Germans..her “detachment” is just a physical detachment from the camera, but not from the subject…..and yes yes the “Germans” have received a lot of attention, recognition and are certainly “in vogue” at the moment..some of this work is monumental …this could last another year or another hundred years, but eventually i am sure that the photographer who is looking in the “mirror” will work back into the museum/gallery scene…and i like a lot of the “emotionless” work…you will notice that i chose a few photographers for EPF who are working in that style here….but,quite simply, that is just not what i do…that does not make it “right” or “wrong”…just not me…i cannot help myself….i could not be “emotionless” if i tried and if i “tried” it would be to blend to the trend and that would not be “real” for me personally…so yes, i do encourage some photographers to “look in the mirror”…but not all…and besides, if a photographer does do “reflective” work and then prefers to do more “objective” work and stays on course, then i would be most encouraging to that photographer as well…i push photographers in different ways for different reasons depending on what i “see” for them…and if they “tell” me something different and powerful than perhaps what i was thinking, then ….cool, the best, THE POINT!!!

    cheers, david

  • Brilliant idea David, whether I get any assignment or not, I will look into the subjects you give to others and then I’ll shoot those for myself. I hope someday, I will also be called …


  • DAVID :)))

    quick: running…THANKS A LOT AMIGO :)))…I am here 100% for you and the blog (even when im not here ;) )…as to the gentleman thing: we’ll that’d be my mom and dad: i try to be, well at least positive, supportive and nice…but, I guess you’ll have to check in with folk who’ve met me in real life ;)))…ask Chris A or Mike B or Bree…;))))…yea, im a nice guy: life is too fucking short ;))…as for the darness: yea, it’s there: i guess it’s channeled into the photographs and the writing…that’s usually what happens with art, right: we channel our sorrows and demons into work…people often say: “wow, you’re a nice guy, i thought you’d be darker cause of the work”…i dont know what that means, but i guess i understand what they mean ;))…the work is the place where the stories get told: in real life, im there for others, cause that’s all we have…

    and yea, whenever you need me for a shoot + writing, i’ll deliver :))…and i’ll also be here to give those other members lots of support and bobblack words for critique ;))) (as with the student section)…

    at 41, one learns patience, so im in no rush: let’s make this baby (new project) sing: that’s all i care about :))

    running (late late)


  • DAVID…

    Thank you to have answered me. It really help and is closely akin to my thoughts about what I have to do now.

    I have an idea for some time of what I want to photograph. Until today, I worked much on the “how”, the form, the esthetic part of the photography. It was for me like an exercise of the eye (very graphic, obsessed by composition). I think being ready to pass to the “what”, to tell something.

    I have a good idea of the topic which I care about the most. I must encircle what subject near where I live will be able to best express it in front of the lens.

    I will think about this all the week end and I come back to you with the idea next week.

  • david alan harvey


    yes, i will be pleased to see Antigua again anytime..your thinking and your work has always been right “on track”…and you would be high on my list for an assignment….

    you have a bunch of ideas rolling around in your head and need to solidify a bit..but that will come…what could you do right now in Ohio? something that would add to what you have already done and may flow into your longer term project with kids, Christianity etc etc???? give me something doable and tight that could be done NOW…

    cheers, david

  • Dear David,

    This sounds like a great idea for all those who get chosen to be involved! I think individual assignments is a good idea up until the second launch of the EPA.

    Have just returned, bleary-eyed and hot and sweaty from a brief trip back to the desert. Luckily I found a point of access that didn’t involve certain sensitive areas out here. Saying that, I did have a run-in with the local authorities asking what I was up to taking pictures (the Chinese are slightly paranoid, especially pre-olympics)…was tempted to play the ‘DAH grant’ card to get me out of trouble but opted for the ‘innocent/harmless tourist’ card instead…worked a treat, as ever!

    Needless to say, I have a few photos to edit which I hope to share with you and everyone as soon as possible.

    Best to you and everyone,

  • david alan harvey


    ok, good…i am waiting

  • david alan harvey


    hey, i am pleased you are here…are you still planning to come to C’ville?? when i mentioned to Nick that you might show up , he said they might at least be able to provide you with a room, hotel whatever…nobody had any money to buy your air ticket, but if you take that step, then they will do the best they can with other logistical aid…

    let me know soonest please…

    oh yes, if you have any good new pictures of the China desert get them to me soonest soonest soonest…also, if you have a preference for a music track for your work, i need that too…Mike is putting together the slide show for the Look3 now….


  • Hello,
    On the work of my grandfather, I have only 17 images, and then hewas allowed die in not feeding any more.
    For 3 years, I work on a prostitute called(mentioned) Rose and not long ago, a foreign person would have said to her that I had been made a maximum of moneybehind her, she does not want to speak to me any more, nor to see myself, she threatened me physically and legally (thus I have of the removed the images recently on my site) I got in touch with a lawyer on Paris, but even with an authorization, the right(law) for the image in France is very controversial… You can see a quite small part(party) on http: // y-bardou / column Arles 2008 and if you wish it, I would be delighted to send you the other images I am very touched by your comments, you are a person whom I admire for a very long time….
    Kind regards,

  • david alan harvey


    i did not see 17 images of your grandfather, so i must not have operated your site correctly….i will go back and give it another try….i am sort of a disaster when it comes to computers etc, so please forgive…

    i have no time right now, but i will go back soonest….will you be in Arles in july??

    cheers, david


    “…Saying that, I did have a run-in with the local authorities asking what I was up to taking pictures (the Chinese are slightly paranoid, especially pre-olympics)..”

    Hey Sean hi…
    Thanks for confirming my fears about the
    CHINESE LOCAL ( and not only ) AUTHORITIES…
    I don’t wanna see you “ACCIDENTALLY” dead somewhere in the chinese desert…
    Once again… I’m glad you were the very FIRST to get funded..
    Now, i know why…

  • Hey David,

    I am indeed still planning to come to Look3. I booked my flights a few weeks ago (think I sent a private email to you about this, you must of missed it…no worries!), so am definitely coming. I wasn’t sure about any other logistics so I went ahead and booked some accommodation, at the local University I think. I haven’t bought a festival pass or anything like that yet though.

    Re: the pictures, I stepped of the train about 3 hours ago so will get onto the new pics as soon as possible! I’ll also have a quick think about music…again, back to you asap!!!


  • No, it is I which(who) is not put all the images of my big father and I go of this step to rectify it I don’t know moreover why I did not put everything…

    Yes, I shall be in Arles in July, I do not live very far, just a little lower(more low), to Béziers…

    Ps: my English is very bad (I use the translators), I shall come with an interpreter!

  • David

    17-20th may I will have new photos from morroco. I will make many (my own) photo experiments so maybe I will have something special to show (I hope so)… if it is not too early… of course…

    and It is good to hear that you are homeless no more… :)

    peace for all

  • Hi David, what time is your book signing on May 15th? -Lara

  • Ok, I had not quite understood that not everyone would get in. Coffee does help!

    then, I understand that people who have shown a real desire to advance and share their work here, deserve a head on. In that number, David knows the ones who are ready for that push, that assignment. I think we all do.

    And David is open to others, like Cathy, who may have by now something to show, maybe ready too. But, yes, because one takes pictures all year long, does not quite qualify outright. You need that fire under your butt, and I don’t mean from the back burner.

    PS: Panos, is that english enough?

  • david alan harvey


    hey amigo, where do you stand now with car culture or Venice Beach culture??? where is your heart subject matter wise???


    tell me more about what you will do in Morocco?? are you going totally on your own??


    i have no clue, but i will find out…it is probably also on the Powerhouse web site…it is a group book signing..i think about 20 authors in all…honestly, i would not even come back for it except that i want to see Uptown and Ruckus signing books and also now for the return to the “kibbutz” party which will “flow” out of the book signing…i hope to see you at both places…

    cheers, david

  • I like the idea. Kind of like school for those of us who never went:)

    I think it would be cool as well to present it in some sort of online journal form, where the photographers would be encouraged not only to present their work, but to write some accompanying text as well. Not necessarily an explanation of the work, but some expounding on the subject matter, a poem, whatever. Each article can start with a leading photo, then have some text, followed by a well-sequenced photo set. Then as the body of work builds you can have a section of the larger DAH site that is basically an online photography magazine, with words and pictures, and links to the photographers’ websites, etc.

    And from there, who knows? Maybe you could direct some of the funds into putting out some kind of trade mag with the best of the work. Something like CA that just features really good photography, that could be sent out to art buyers, photo editors, gallery people, etc…

    Then you could also direct these people to the site, and maybe create some kind of forum on the site where you could get guests in the industry to contribute to the conversation, kind of like you did in your NYC workshops. Have, for instance, Sara Rosen write a little article on book publishing, and get her to commit to one week of answering responses. Et cetera…

    Of course, you might need to find a place to live so your “staff” has a place to work, David:)

  • David

    I’m sorry, you must ask more prcisely. What you mean “are you going totally on your own” ?
    I will be in morroco only one week (my wife is after backbone surgical operation, we can’t travel too much).
    It is not enough to run across whole country (we need a month!) so we are going to marrakech for 3-4 days and Ait Benhaddou (and countryside) for one or two and Tiznit for one and before departure laying on the beach in agadir (for my wife’s bones).

    I treat this week as a reconnoitring trip for future. I want to go to morroco for a whole month!

  • o.k…
    everybody here knows the ” PHOTO FRIDAY, submissions…
    introduced by DAVID MC GOWAN…
    So, today is friday… i submitted a photo…
    a photo ABOUT MY “LEFT FOOT”…
    I also posted an explanation thought…

    “…Walking towards the bathroom for the early morning “relief”… It took me 40 years to acknowledge the importance of my Left Foot ,especially…( although i always been kind and supportive at the Right one)…?
    For 40 years in a row, non stop, it takes me to the bathroom ( first thing every morning )…
    and i never said “thank you” once….
    So now, it’s time for me to change, humbly kneel in front of my Left Foot… and say : THANK YOU…!
    “Better late than never”…

    Then David Mc Gowan,
    emailed me back, asking me if this was a beginning for a “self portrait ” series….


    so i emailed David Mc Gowan back this note :
    I also forwarded this to Herve, who for some mysterious reason
    that i can’t explain, i always count on his insight… so anyways…
    the note was :

    “…David ( Herve ), ALL.. it’s so weird… I think i need to go to therapy soon ( not kidding this time )…
    I feel like doing a long project photographing each and every part of my ( not so appealing – maybe appalling ) body…
    I destroyed relationships because i took them for granted… part of suffering is taking myself for granted… im the biggest stranger…
    i dont know anything about me… i know more about Bob, DAH or YOU, or my girlfriend, than i know about me…
    How can i love you, if i avoid and neglect me ???
    I need to get my “health” back… need to respect my whole world but first i need to honor each and every part…
    Its a scary job.. i dont want to go that close to me… divide myself in pieces and honor them separately…
    I don’t know if i have the guts for this project…
    I probably not….
    Thank you for letting me talk about it…
    Sorry for being so “heavy”, for a weekend…

    stop avoiding it…. but these should be photographs…
    should be great, “one of a kind” photos…
    How can i fucking do that…??? how, how, how…

    Everybody loves the beach…
    I lived in Venice for 5 years… but i was always photographing or acting – behaving kinda like a “tourist”… never connected…
    always distant… who gives a shit… no connection…

    But ,… two Julys ago… everything changed… I fell in love…
    with AN INSIDER… a Venice persona… and that was it…
    I became AN INSIDER myself from July 2006 till july 07…
    My camera was not just tolerated… it was part of a requirement to be there..

    I have a lot of material… photos that i love … never posted … and im not in a hurry either… i photographed cups without snitching,
    i photographed drug dealers without selling, i photographed and even slept with whores BUT without touching… i photographed bloody fights without hurting noone…but NOT like a fly on the wall…not like HENRI C B… everyone KNEW I WAS THERE..
    i befriended homeless, without stealing from them…
    … and the list goes for ever… I almost lost myself there…

    I needed to clear my head…
    but now… im thinking of a second coming…
    “THEY” are killing Venice…
    “THE BIG MONEY” trying to “bridge up”, the Marina Del Rey.. money, with the Santa Monica MONEY…
    Venice…NO MONEY… bums and young people and poets and musicians and gang members and homeless… Jim Morrison , Bob Marley and ganja…
    So they are trying to “clean it up”… Blah blah…
    I wish i could “save” VENICE BEACH or TIBET…
    i’m not trying to do that though…

    Venice Beach, CA

    … the slow disintegration of the world famous venice beach. For many years Venice beach represented an antithesis of beautiful ideas and people with the grotesque. It is now through changes in policies and laws that the hybrid mix will be overtaken by the vapid everyday beach visualization. Come back to this page from time to time to see photos that will one day be just a memory of what is now the present… ( Ryan Sharif’s words from my website)..

    SO … a year later, i detoxed, let Venice ( and myself ) to move on..
    now i bought some new “eyes”… got cleansed by the desert…
    i’m scared.. but i think i’m ready to touch Venice again…
    because i love Venice…

    CARS, CARS, CARS… since last time we talked through emails ABOUT CAR CULTURE… DAVID…
    i EVEN got myself a CAR JOB… i needed to be an INSIDER AGAIN…
    SO I TRY TO DRIVE A LOT… befriend mechanics and gas station people… car washes… This project is way more complicated than i thought… I love it , it scares me, i need to do it for my
    LOS ANGELES SOUL… before i abandon this city FOREVER…


  • DAVID,
    for myself to be more specific , about VENICE…
    It’s not my job to show the world, how Venice or the pacific look like…
    I photographed groups of people, barfights, newspaper stuff…

    I’m seeking different approach this time…
    To portray… certain “characters… REAL VENICE INSIDERS…
    gang member family, homeless at home ??!, tatoo artist and his family at home…
    TONY… JIM MORISSON’s reincarnation of the new venice,
    rolling HARRY PERRY and his guitar… at his home if i could… etc,

    I wish to capture their “venice way” of life, their “venice” problems…
    I want to see who really lives in venice… that venice, that will soon be gone…

  • Hey David! Nice to hear you have your place back!!

    Regarding your incredible new idea… I was wondering, I have not been able to show you my latest work cause I have no webpage… mmmm… thats becoming a problem…

    what should i do then?

    Im still working on my long term project about globalization and would love to have an assignment related to this topic…


    PD coming to Europe any time soon?

  • I also forwarded this to Herve, who for some mysterious reason
    that i can’t explain, i always count on his insight

    Can’t explain it either, panos…:-)

    About the bit by bit,self-portrait, maybe zero in but think context too… Any. Help us with clues.

    If that sounds lousy, I thought first of you naming each body part with the name of a chinese Province. In chinese! ;-)

    So, back to context… Yes?

  • I think this is a great idea and one that we should all trust David to manage in his own inimitable way. David, as always, I’m happy to help in any way you need.

  • david,

    i am now working with a friend of mine who collects sounds and conversations : we plan to work on local fiestas around our hometown. A join project which I had already begun (pictures linked here).

    i will work on it anyway if you are interested and want to give an assignment… we’ll be just delighted !!

    thanks for your commitment to this blog, which has never been so interesting (and i’ve been reading since the very few days…)


  • Robert McCurley


    I’m new here (only a couple of posts) but would love to participate in this project.
    I am enrolled in your workshop in
    C’ville and look forward to meeting you and the workshop experience (my first).

  • How do I get in on the fun? Sounds like a
    great idea for a project.

  • PANOS…

    For some reason I see you crashing for a few weeks at some wealthy, elite, anglo-saxon mansion! Three little dogs…pomeranians! Kids with names like Austin and Aubry. Chad and Cheyenne. Big ass pool and adjoining hot-tub! Ten bedrooms!

    Do you Panos thing on them! Shoot them the way you want to shoot your body parts. Ingratiate yourself, adopt them. Wake with them every morning. Do what David did with Tell It Like It Is!

    Everybody is doing the gangs and thevdowntrodden and the rejects from society. I’d love to see you go the OTHER way!


  • congratulations on getting your house back, think your magazine idea sounds great Amy

  • DAVID, I checked it out on my end and it was functioning… I have had people say they have had problems with when they are working from a small screen, because the site comes up larger than the viewable screen dimensions or your web browser is not updated with the latest flash version. Either way, I posted a small portfolio on lightstalkers if you want to check it out… link below.

  • Sounds good. Might be interesting to compare what you’ve chosen for who (and why!) and what the photographers will make out of it.

  • sounds like a great idea, i’m ready for a new project. maybe i’ll head down to venice beach with an 85mm and shoot panos shooting his project…an appropriation project.


  • Is it the first day or the third day of a workshop experience when people start breaking down? I’m there already. David, since showing you my work last June, I have been working my butt off in order to secure funding (in the form of fellowships + grants) to further develop the AIDS orphan story I’ve begun. Now, 10 months later, no funds… though I do have a lovely pile of rejection letters.

    I went to sleep last night with your comments to Jean-Sébastien on my mind, “send me an idea of something you care about…really care…or something you dislike, but want to photograph…not just something that you think makes a ‘good picture…'” and woke up reading your words to Eric, “give me something doable and tight that could be done NOW…”

    I’m digging deep for something that would engage the attention of my heart… in LA.

    As a native, one of the things I love about LA is the ocean. When I was little, I would have easily traded in my human body for a dolphin body so that I could stay in the ocean all day AND NIGHT. I just took a trip to a marine center where orphan seals and sea lions are rehabbed, (thinking that I could perhaps approach these animals in a way that they’ve never been photographed). While there, I realized the potential for a much larger story. A friend recently spent the day in Malibu with her family and found it be a virtual graveyard… everything (birds, a whale…) was washing up on shore dead, and I get furious the more I learn about the Navy’s lackadaisical attitude towards underwater sonar testing which is wreaking havoc on these animals. No matter how interesting this germ of an idea is for me conceptually, I’m not convinced that I could make interesting pictures around it… I love shooting people!! I’m thinking this flat out lacks a humanitarian element. I mean, you’re not assigning Erica to photograph the dogs for whom she lovingly cares; You’re suggesting she continue her portraits.

    When I am in LA I am blind. I just see urban sprawl. David, you’re encouraging me to find something within it, and I feel a good stretch happening… I don’t want to take on anything that is going to pull my attention too far astray from the AIDS orphans. They’re still my priority. Additionally, I’ve worked with Calcutta’s street children, an orphan rhino and orphan chimps, so I do see a thread. :) Any ideas on how to further develop my Sub-Saharan Africa AIDS orphan story (from LA!) will be much appreciated.

  • David,

    I like your idea of assignments. Your first one helped me to learn a lot.

    I have trouble finding passion in a subject matter, but I think it is because I don’t look or work hard enough.

    Maybe I just don’t want it enough.

    This is why I don’t have a project on my website other than the stream of photos. Some are related to each other, but little attempt is made to tie them together during the act of photographing. And only recently have I begun to look back at past photographs I have taken to try to make a selection of them tell a story.

    The first free-for-all essay assignment you gave here in this site was a catalyst. It showed my a new way to work: go out and shoot, edit, sequence. The deadline helped, too.

    I went out and attempted my first essay about, I think, religion and free thinking. I say ‘I think’ because in the course of editing the pictures I thought about other potential meanings and got confused.

    I became interested in knowing what you mean by *authorship* when you speak of it.

    I’ve dealt with the question of what I believe to be authorship—of putting yourself into your work and having your ‘voice’ in it—when working as a designer. At first I did my best to put some of myself into the work, and I was proud of it.

    Then I listened to others about how you must work for the audience, for the client. About how you must be professional and that you must forget about your favorite features and embellishments.

    I was deluded for some time, and still find it confusing.

    Relating to photography, I think I am coming back to my original faith in authorship, but I am still trying to find a balance. I am thinking that a sort of a balance must be found between you and your subject matter, between the photographer and subject.

    Or not?

    Is it *your* story, the way *you* want to tell it, above all?

    I am glad that David Alan Harvey is online along with all the other wonderful characters here (Panos, loved your stream of consciousness about bodies, beaches, deserts…!)

    I’m glad I have photography, and I plan to pursue it. I will post what I have so far of my project on my website soonest and will continue following this experiment.

    2008 May 3
    Bracciano, Italy

  • Congrats on not being “homeless” anymore!

    I’ve mostly been hit or miss lately on catching up on the blog but came back to see this great idea developing. Hope I can get an “assignment” down the road!

    I sometimes have problems picking personal projects to focus on…too many choices maybe. I try to make my paid work meaningful but truthfully it’s get it done and turned around usually. One thing that I really enjoy is seeing the projects others photographers choose to do. It’s sometimes as refreshing to see how different people approach or develop bodies of work as it is to see the images they produce…at least for me.

    Anyway, look forward to seeing the assignments and the critiques and most importantly the work and how the overall “magazine” develops.


  • PANOS…

    For some reason I see you crashing for a few weeks at some wealthy, elite, anglo-saxon mansion! Three little dogs…pomeranians! Kids with names like Austin and Aubry. Chad and Cheyenne. Big ass pool and adjoining hot-tub! Ten bedrooms!

    Do you Panos thing on them!…
    Posted by: Michael Kircher | May 02, 2008 at 04:58 PM


  • YES!!! Go to Malibu!

    We humans are pretty much all the same…nobody has the market on being fucked up! I’d like to see the Panos treatment on JR Ewing et al…. (OK, now I’m showing my age!)

  • david alan harvey



    i just spent a friggin 45 minutes or more writing you a letter here, and i just lost the damn thing!! shit…..

    it was one of my best pieces…i was trying to “reach” on that piece and i did and it is gone!!!

    no way to re-create …at least not tonight…

    walked away from the computer for a few minutes(took another hit) and this site hibernated or something…anyway it just would not “go” and then i lost it…

    anyway, it all started with the Red Hot Chili Pepper piece,enhanced by the corn cob pipe and ended up at Venice Beach…

    no, no way could i ever say all of that stuff again…maybe in person….

    i mean do i really have to drive all the way to L.A. just to get you to BUSTASSNAILITTOTHEWALL (nobody will realize that you have changed) and you capture on film the tortured sensitive needy generous hurt man that is reflected in all of your words?????

    we will both be under a lot of pressure if i do that….but, i smell something good…unlikely scenario perhaps, but potentially great….

    my interest in you Panos is not because i think you are great photographer….potential yes….and i would never bullshit you online, offline, in person about your work…but, man do you have something to say!!! i just want to help you do the visual part of your literary part…and i know that you know that i have zero preconceived ideas on your style or lack of style that maybe should be your style…we will see…this will come down good..

    given your history here Panos and your evolution here Panos and given the campfire that you have built here Panos, for you i am ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work….

    “he ain’t heavy, he’s my brother”

    peace, david

  • David…

    I love the fact that you’ll start off a post with a big fat ol’ FUCK…but next sentence uses “friggin'”! Only you can get away with that! Very cool, you.


  • Great Idea David!!! Count me in.

    Here’s my link not as updated as I would like.

    Anyway I’d like to think that you know what I’m upon right now cause’ I told you in the mail I sent you;)

  • looks like another monster thread is developing….

    I wanna follow it but off to Shanghai tomorrow for three days….hopefully when I come back David will have some big news for us all:)

  • Holy crap, David, tell us you take better care of your photos than your replies here. It’s not the first time, for crissakes!!!

    Ok, I have a question for you (of course!), have you lost a cool pix, a creation due to your own distraction, or whatever that’s not really yopur fault but no one else, either. Film or digital? Anyone can answer actually, of course.

    I told already about my computer crash last summer, and of course, that fateful 2006 day in Bangkok when a burglar took whatever could be grabbed quickly in my room, which included a portable hard drive with 3 months worth of travel shots (or as Panos would say, vacation shots).

  • Hey PANOS…Thanks for your concern about my safety out here mate! I appreciate it!!! Everything is a little sensitive out here and people tend to be a little suspicious about what you are up to, especially in more rural places, away from tourists spots. The place I just returned from is only a few hours outside of Beijing but people looked at me like I had just stepped out of an alien spaceship! After speaking to them though, I was apparently the first foreigner they had ever seen in the flesh. Most people are just curious though and when they see you wandering around with the camera, they are just naturally curious about what you are doing. It’s just when officials get curious that I start to get nervous. Don’t worry though, I don’t think I’m going to get ‘knocked off’ just yet! It’s very safe for foreigners out here…I think it’s a lot more dangerous in your part of the world!!!


  • @Simon: authorship is an interesting question. Most people by authorship are gong to talk about personal photographic style, how the thing was shot. Not that many photographers are better known for their choice of very strange subject as being their main strong point (conceptual stuff, like Sofie Calle’s constant dealing with privacy and voyeurism). But yeah, who you’re as a shooter should sort of come out in both. I find it fair that people with a very strong style use it on any subject matter they choose no matter what it is (Bruce Gilden is immediately recognizable no matter if he shoots in Haiti, on the streets of his own NYC or horse races in Ireland). Being able to strongly adapt shooting and style to an individual project seems a bit of a rarity, more associated with general changes in style by the photographer that end up making some projects look different to another. I mean, since Martin Parr took into the ringflash, do we see any of his shots that resemble his 1980’s British work? No, now he’s closer, he chops more things. The humour is the same, but those saturated medium format sort of crappy tableau’s are not part of his work anymore. Seems more like a longterm change in style than a conscious per project choice.

    So, question, any photographer that completely adapts his style for each project? I can only think about Chris Anderson -I was very surprised of his beautiful colour work in Israel/Palestine in opposition to the stark cold flash of the candidate run-. Oh, and I just remembered, David Hurn discusses the point in On Being a Photographer, so he must be another.

  • Hello All,

    Today I am going old….can’t believe I am actually turning 40….Can’t stop thinking about this advice that David was giving to a young photographer (see link): “this girl was 31 and David was already saying: “You are 31….You have to make your mark RIGHT NOW…whatever it is that you re going to do, do it right now!…Now is the time…”
    Well, now I am 40…. Better hurry up…..

    DAVID, going back to your answer to my questions about potential interest into a potential longer term project…Your answer was : “Give me a tight proposal…something to do NOW!!!!!” I guess I am getting the concept that NOW is an important word!!!! Let’s live in the moment rather than project in the future….Well, bloody hell what can I do RIGHT NOW? Need some coffee!!!!


  • Btw, in case people didn’t know, the conservative vote for council elections went up to 44% and labour (24%) dropped to a third place in England and Wales. The new Major of London, Boris Johnson, sounds pretty, pretty conservative (against gay marriage and not very keen on islam). Italy also took a swing towards more conservative a month ago when the left wing disappeared completely from parlament.

  • david alan harvey



    yup 40 is a big one, but you are doing just fine…perhaps i do overemphasize the NOW, but procrastination is one of our big enemies…and i fight this every day of my life right along with all the rest of you…

    in any case, enjoy your birthday with your family and then and then, when all the candles have burned out, start thinking what you can do NOW…but, relaxed NOW….not panic NOW…

    cheers, hugs et al, david

    p.s. where did you come up with that little film clip?? i never saw that before…you guys are always coming up with interviews etc that i have never seen…hmmmm

  • HERVE,

    I tried to just skim over this and not respond but I must ask…WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT????

    “David knows the ones who are ready for that push, that assignment. I think we all do.
    And David is open to others, like Cathy, who may have by now something to show, maybe ready too.”

    I will keep this non-personal…It’s fine that you used me as an example but why wouldn’t ANYONE and EVERYONE who wants one be ready for an assignment??? Each photographer does the assignment from wherever they are, whoever they are. Not sure where you are drawing the line between ready and not ready.

  • david alan harvey


    i keep trying to make this clear, and i think Herve was trying to help, but obviously we are not doing a very good job…

    let me try again…

    one thing on this forum is the online workshop that goes on here everyday…most of what i say here and the nature of the conversation on this forum is pretty much the chat that goes on in my workshops..minus the practical side of going out and shooting…but, we did do that last fall on this forum…everybody shot…and we will do that again too at some point….

    in a workshop, yes everyone has an assignment…an assignment that is a project that each student comes up with on their own with a bit of nudging and critique from me…and the point of most workshops is to build in a photographer a sense of who they are and if they are truly “strong” will be able to go out and publish books, have exhibits, do assignments etc etc…

    but what i am trying to do with this assignment project now is a totally different thing….an extension of “workshop”, but bit more advanced than a workshop..

    i am trying to inject a note of “reality” in the sense that i think there are some photographers in this community who have a real shot at being seen in a positive light by editors and curators who either see this site now or will be in attendance at the various presentations i will be making with the work from some photographers here…and, IF, we in fact do create a publishable magazine here, then it would have to be of a caliber of the highest order….

    as i said in a comment earlier to you…for some this forum is the beginning of a conversation about photography (a springboard), for others it can be an online workshop and for others it may literally be a career “launch” or a serious “showcase”…i am looking at this new assignment process to serve two functions: (1) identify the audience here for future funding purposes…there is money in the EPF to be distributed (2) in concert with that, to showcase the best talent that has been gathered here for outside editors to see and who might very well do funding of there own for specific photographers…

    the simplest thing for you to keep in mind:

    (1) show me your newest work…

    (2) tell me what you want to shoot and why

    these two things are what any editor would request before giving an assignment…we can “develop” the idea together or if there is a truly strong idea coming in, then i just let the photographer “run with it”…make sense so far?? whoever sees what we do here will know clearly that the above are the parameters and can so judge accordingly..

    the door is totally wide open for everyone!!!

    please remember that even for those who do not now have an assignment, the chat back and forth which has already begun between photog and me , and the critique which will follow should be an invaluable educational experience for anyone…i will use everything that i have learned and practiced in the world of publishing in the conversations i will have with photographers and the critique and evaluation to follow…anyone here will have an “inside look” at how it goes..and anyone here should be able to take that and try to see how it fits it their own world and how to think about their work in the future…

    i hope this makes things clear for you..

    cheers, david

  • David, procrastination, that would be the least 2 words i’d put in the same sentence, unless I am in it!

    This just to pick up on Segovia whom you mentionned yesterday. I saw him in San Francisco, back in 80 or 81, I think. Here’s what he said:

    “if i do not practice one day, I notice it, if I do not practice 2 days, my wife notices it. 3 days, the world knows about it!”

    Which, back to procrastination, allows many of us, not to practice on that second day, since we are not married! ;-)

  • marcin luczkowski


    happppy birthday…

    you are young if you have young soul…

  • David,
    Kudos on getting back into your apartment. All you had to do was make the best of it by planning on a traveling project, right? Good for you to have your home base and neighbors back.

    Here is a link to the project I’ve been working on lately, to get some idea of my work:

    Take care,


  • david alan harvey


    great quote from Segovia, who i photographed extensively at about the same time you saw him in concert…


    by “on your own” i meant doing a project with no paid assignment…we often ask a photographer here, ” do you have an assignment or are you doing it on your own”..make sense??

    speaking of assignments, i am anxious to give you one…perhaps something you could do this month….it sounds like you are very busy , but perhaps your Morocco trip could have something in it that would work…what do you think??? or, are you still shooting the “Hometown” work???

    again Marcin, this does not have to be something “big”…your very best work is in totally nondescript situations…you do not “need much” in the way of dramatic subject matter to do your very best…

    please let me know what you are thinking…

    cheers, david

  • It’s really interesting, it seems most on the forum are right around 40 (myself included, next month) and we’re in the process of pursuing our second careers… kind of like a mid-life crisis for the poor, art crowd. (I hope that’s funny!)

    More Later,

  • There you go again mate , getting me all hot and sweaty – Count me in!

  • david alan harvey


    well, you have really “gotten in”, done your homework, and this is overall a very nice body of work and good story…how long have you worked on this church story???

    as usual, i would like to see a tighter edit…if you took these pictures down to the very best moments etc., you could have a very nice essay of about 20-30 pictures i think…that is just a rough estimate…i did not make any attempt to edit…

    i do not think you need any more pictures of the “process”….you need icons, rather than any more process…obviously you know this church and the people so well, that you are photographing it all..i understand that and the public relations aspect of that…good..make prints for everyone…keep everyone happy….stay inside as you are and go for ten icons that say “catholic” “conflict” etc etc…you definitely have it “covered” and this is no small task…but now think of it in the broader context of church and state and religion today….again, iconic rather than process or too specific for someone from the “outside” to understand the meaning….make the “meaning” obvious to all…

    good work Joan….thanks for sharing…i await more of your thoughts…

    cheers, david

  • marcin luczkowski


    This is not an assignment. I dreamed about big trip to morroco long time ago and my wife just told me one day: “a month from now we are going to morocco, what you think about… ha ha.. what i think???”
    we can’t go for long time so we are going for week.

    But for my work it is like most important assignment. I have mind full of images and ideas. I want make some experiments with images.
    now my photography going to more in art than photojournalism… or rather “bearning witness trought art’s eyes”
    so i will try discover something new… new for me and my photography of course…

    if you have any idea or assingnemt for me it will be pleasure to take some pictures only for you.
    I’ll do my best… no excuses… pure hard work…
    and you can give me any and always assignment…
    I will be in high level in morocco, so…
    what can i shoot for you :)

  • david alan harvey


    you may be right about the “mean age” group here…and i think many are much younger…the age average of most of my workshops is around 30..and i always have many students in their early twenties…who knows?? and i will not ask..


    what do you want to do??? i see you going “up close and personal”, but you tell me….could “ringer” life be good?? but, since you live in Sydney i think, that might be too tough…so, give me a good city story if that is easier…Australia, a Westernized country, is nowhere near the “rest of us”…you are physically closer to Southest Asia and must be influenced by such…certainly in Sydney…anything there for you to chew on?? or just get to the closest outback pub…tell me, tell me..

    cheers, david


    very exciting news about the home..will be there with bells on to carry boxes and re-warm the house..

    About losing long posts and letters..maybe if you have the sense they are going to be doosies you should type in a word document and then paste it in..I hate the thought of the vanishings

  • david alan harvey


    i have never been to Morocco, so i do not know anything other than the cliches i have seen so so many times from there…so, whatever you do, do not do the cliches!!!

    seriously, let me think on that one awhile…you need your own slant on this one…Morocco is “easy” which makes Morocco “hard”…when do you leave???


  • david alan harvey


    no, i can’t seem to get away from the Carolina beach and the outrageous nice weather……and i have some good families to shoot…do not worry, i have you first on my list of people to see when i return…and please be thinking of a good portrait project for me…in any case, we will talk soonest and just keep staying “on my case”..

    cheers, david

  • we start on wednesday.
    mostly i will shooting under and over exposure, so I hope i will do not the cliches… I really hope… :)

    and yes… for me morocco is vary “hard” i’m going to shooting colors and emotions… we’ll see…
    If i will show you “nice” photos it will mean that i screw up whole trip…
    we’ll see…
    next step…

  • DAVID..

    the project is roughly conceived, it’s a leap of sorts but something that has been biting at me for awhile and won’t let me be..can’t wait for your input..

    excellent about more families – I completely admire how you make ideas of manifest with what appears to be grace ..

    so I will wait to hear from you? I am guessing you won’t be home Sunday either..but will be making the good stuff in the good air..

  • David: great to know you have your home back and that you are having a party. Do I need an invitation?
    Here is a link to a project I have been working for some years. I am giving it a “rest” for a while. I will like to do an assignment (in color) about another kind of fishermen here in Ecuador who fish Blue Marlins ( an elite sport) with very rudimentary boats with sails (not elite ….just surviving !!) What do you think?

  • marcin luczkowski


    I like your “eye” and “raw” images…

  • marcin luczkowski

    I always dreamed about shooting sailors and see like Jean Guamy…
    Oh… I will die peacefull! if one day I will have big book about sea!
    If i will not die tomorrow or day after tomorrow i will do it!!!

    peace for all… and peacefull sea for sailors

  • marcin luczkowski

    I always dreamed about shooting sailors and sea not see… damn…

  • david alan harvey


    you have some very strong work in there…almost everyone needs to take some pictures out of their portfolio to make it even stronger, but it would be easy to edit your work down tight…the fishing and the boxing were particularly good…also that picture on the kid diving underwater just blew me away!!! however, the bullfighting was not so strong…i mean, compared to the best bullfighting pictures i have seen..

    do you have an idea for now??

    anyway, no invitation needed for the party…meet us at Powerhouse and we can all go over to my place together….i hope to see you then..

    cheers, david

  • David,

    great to see you are back in your old home, a true blessing indeed. wish very much i could be there for carrying boxes and having a few drinks etc etc…
    epic to see and read that this idea of yours is escalating to new levels and projects. shot the may fest, 1 may demonstration, here in berlin the other day, but as i left the scene, the cops arrived en mass…but unfortunately, thanks to bad planning, i was running low on battery, and even after editing, running low on space on my cf card…but was happy with the take i got! there will also be a carnival in about a weeks time, i hope to cover…
    i am however, keep trying to find/think of a project that is more me, more personal, to get more out of me…maybe i have to do something new…thinking thinking…


  • btw happy 40th Eric!!
    still a few yrs away myself…

  • MARCIN Thank you . you are must welcome to come here and do your fishermen book.

    DAVID “Less is more right?” I know the concept just can not be practical about it. When I am shooting I feel like I am digging a mine bringing tons of dirt mixed with a few precious things. Editing is ………a skill in itself. This reminds me of Michael Angelo when asked how could he sculpt the david from a piece of marble .”The idea is there locked inside. All you have to do is remove the excess stone.”…………WellI need to learn to remove my stones hoping I dont remove part of the idea.

    I ma flying next week to Miami and then to NY . See you there !

  • quick comments…

    ERIC: HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMIGO! :))))…40 is the beginning of all things! :)))…believe me…celebrate in style: i’ll toast a glass for u…

    ALEX: LOVE THE SERIES….I have always loved this fisherman work since I first saw some of it last year when I was helping to put together the edit/sequence for the LS projection for last year’s FOP Look2 :)))…many of the images have stayed with me: :)))…very happy u showed David and company


    QUICK QUOTE, im running to swallow light in the rain:, maybe now appropriate..from Mr. beckett:


    and my favorite s. beckett quote AND MY LIFE’S MANTRA:


  • DAVID…

    I just come to send you by e-mail my idea. I hope that you receive it.

  • Eric, happy birthday and stop complaining; wait till you’re 49 like I am and you can really get depressed about chronology. Come July I dont know if I ought to open an artery and just get it over with, check myself into the home, or be happy that my 50th birthday is the first day of what’s left of my life. I expect to be dining on several courses of antidepressants that day, and I may make an exception for the day and wash the meds down with several exceedingly large shots of tequila.

  • marcin luczkowski


    it should be
    ha ha ha

  • david alan harvey


    you have it exactly right…see you on the 15th

    cheers, david

  • Joni,

    Thanks for your insights about authorship.

    I think it might come down to copying what you like at first and then subconsciously assembling something that is your own. You can hear so many others in Stevie Ray Vaughan’s guitar playing…Albert King, Kenny Burrel, Buddy Guy, Freddy King, Albert Collin’s… But Stevie transformed all of these into Stevie Ray Vaughan.

    Maybe the question I have, that I struggle with, is not about authorship, but rather about the choice of your subject matter, and of having something meaningful, first to myself and (a close) second to others, to say about it.

    Back to work on putting a project online on my site here!

    2008 May 3
    Bracciano, Italy

  • just had to tell you a story…
    was at an exhibition yesterday by alexander rodin from minsk, belarus. really interesting and conceptual, part surrealistic art work. ended up buying a 8×10 / a4 copy of his traveling foot. this also got me thinking of your body parts project Panos. within and around this foot creation, there were detailed images various aspects of human life…where we travel, what we see, what we life and death…so basically “everyday” life…how this can relate to your project panos, i am not sure…but maybe something to think about…

    and of course when you meet a rodin, you gotta ask him the question: are you related to auguste rodin? and now i wish i had a voice recorder…but his reply was something like this…my grand grand mother…yes…during the war in belarus…yes…when the french came over…yes…some people met…so yes…

    gotta enjoy moments like this…

    unfortunately, the “travelling foot” is not on his web page, but if you are interested in some “metaphysics and the feeling of change”…

    all best,


  • Joni,

    I’m in your site enjoying reading your posts about editing—great stuff! I particularly like Editing and Horror Films.

  • One last thing: The internet can be a great procrastination tool. If you use a Mac, this could be useful:

  • David,

    Many thanks for taking the time to look at the project. I started shooting at the church last November (saw an ad for the “Polka Mass”, couldn’t pass that one up), being inspired by MPW to find a story I could follow long-term. I generally only shoot on weekends (FT job, single parent).

    I’d read about the place from time to time in the local news, but had not previously been there. I posted the gallery recently for the church members to see, but after a bit will remove many shots.

    I’ve felt that I’m definitely at a turning point in the project — but turning to where? Working in isolation is difficult — I know I need to reach past this wall I’m at, but…? So thanks for the kick toward a good direction to explore.


  • David,

    Many thanks for taking the time to look at the project. I started shooting at the church last November (saw an ad for the “Polka Mass”, couldn’t pass that one up), being inspired by MPW to find a story I could follow long-term. I generally only shoot on weekends (FT job, single parent).

    I’d read about the place from time to time in the local news, but had not previously been there. I posted the gallery recently for the church members to see, but after a bit will remove many shots.

    I’ve felt that I’m definitely at a turning point in the project — but turning to where? Working in isolation is difficult — I know I need to reach past this wall I’m at, but…? So thanks for the kick toward a good direction to explore.


  • Bob,

    “Fail better” — isn’t that the definition of parenting?! (or maybe everything that actually matters.)


  • Happy Birthday, Eric. Age means nothing, I know many people younger than me, and somehow, I always think of them as older. It al depends on the part you play, and accept to play, truly.

    I asked a friend, who was 81 at the time, going still strong, when was the time he felt that he reached “being old”, he told me never. you are alway merely one year older than the last. But then my Mom always complains about being old, but since she has been a great Mom, maybe she had to be old early on , even 40 years ago. I suppose parenthood is one part you cant be pretending to be age neutral.

    53 here, since April 16th.

  • hey david,

    so so totally new here… i signed up for the look3 workshop… prepared for a good shakin’ about… to inspect my foundations… to crumble them… to learn how to make good concrete and to build me up again… to learn learn learn… and drink good wine on the porch looking at the stars everyone telling stories and laughing and crying and… just being…

    …now i’m visiting this blog… man what a huge amount of positive energy here… i just ate a whole pineapple but its nothing compared to what i’m eating here… wow… i feel like i stumbled upon… i mean, i’ve been reading for hours now, i’m totally baffled… time time time how am i going to catch up on all of this… 200+ comments… the warmth, the intensity, the honesty, the life experience… i can’t stop to follow links to get to know all your names in the comments… it would take me days… panos, herve, bob… i’ve never met you guys and yet i feel a kind of affinity…

    man i feel like… like… like…. i’m totally at the beginning again, like… i have found like-minded-ness (is this an actual word?)

    but being new here, and being not at all in the same “league” as all you here (i admit i did follow *some* links)… is a bit intimidating… even though i feel this is not anyone’s intention of course…

    the idea is great david, i hope there is some way i can join in…….

    ….i’m on my way to charlottesville… and i bring to the table my humblest little me… my brightest wit… my openest mind… my keenest eye… my tellest story… my peace, my love, my photography…

    see you soon


  • Geez Uncle ,I really have to work on my web site , I live in Darwin at the Top End of the Northern Territory , closer to Jakarta than Sydney.
    I travel over seas a lot for my commissioned work ,so when I do my own thing , I tend to go back to whence I came , out back and as far away from away from city life as you can get.
    We’re comming up to the really social time of year when ringers travel for 1000 km to attend a rodeo / Bush Races / Piss up , theyre on nearly every weekend from now till September all accross Northern Australia – Ringers on the piss would be pretty great to do ,but I would need a bit of time – The biggest Tyranny for me is Time and distance -I’ts not uncommon to travel 2500 km over 3 days to do that sort of stuff.
    I could go on and on ut if any one is interested , I exhibited a set of pic’s at Foto Freo , Guys! have a quick gawk!
    Dave , I have an idea for something that would be a bit more local , but something thats been ticking away in my mind , how about “Crocodile Culture ” ?? The culture of the Crocodile , we can’t swim at the beach here beacause of the possibility of a croc attack , they are every where , on t – shirts , key rings and back yard pools , we raise them , kill them , skin them , eat them , make hand bags out of em , wrestle them , worship them , pet them , watch them ,the croc supports an economy of Millions – so yeah – I’d do that!

  • Glenn;
    You’d be surprised how many people don’t realise just how big Oz is! (David would because he’s worked there)

    I lived in Perth for a while (loved the place, especially Freo!), 8 hours flight from home (NZ).

    If you lived in Sydney it would be quicker to fly to NZ than Perth (or Darwin)… I’m always amazed when tourists fly to Oz and expect to see the place in two weeks! Hell, I spent 18 months in Perth and only just scratched the surface…



    Thanks to all for your kind words and thanks also CATHY for your warm personal e-mail! I am now officially 40 and one day older….I guess the worse part is over…I am NOW “over” it… Only regrets, if any, is that I did not have a chance to go back home in France and celebrate with all my friends and close family… Having said this, I had a very nice surprise in the mail today. My parents (my father is actually also an aspiring photographer) have actually sent me the most amazing family “album”…40 years of their son’s life, from birth until now, with collages, drawings from when I was a kid, pictures from school when I was 5, 10, through college, me playing all sorts of sports, letters that I had sent then when I was a child, me messing around with my father and mother…David is absolutely right…, nothing beats a family albium with all the love, the memories…I tell you guys…it made me somewhat nostalgic…I have to admit to you all…I am soft at heart and nothing could have touched me more…. In any case my friends, our dear guru David is showing me the way….Let’s cherish the memories but I promise that, by tomorrow, I will live for the NOW….I also promise to start drinking water from the fountain of youth that our dear host has been drinking for years extensively (only water???? maybe not…). NOW is the time… Assuming I live up to 75-80, this leaves me 35-40 to do some freaking good essays….The bad news is that I have no glue what to do in OHIO NOW for our dear master!!!! Tomorrow is another day as “they” say….

    Thanks to all again,



  • Eric, I add my best wishes for a grand & glorious ongoing celebration of this milestone! From the perspective of being the eldest (most likely) on this blog, I can say without reservation that in many ways my life BEGAN at 40. Maybe I was just a slow starter but I do know that was the most significant of all my birthdays. It was when I found my Self & began to live her to the full. I know it sounds trite as hell but each decade only gets better. And I agree with Herve—age is in the mind of each person. Heck, I’ll be 66 soon and I’m still dreaming abot what I want to be when I grow up!

  • Whew, I’m with Anton on this, being new and having spent the best portion of my last seven or so hours here at my laptop, reading this thread from beginning to end, clicking on every link of every dedicated photographer here, getting a sense of the group and their work/vision as a photographer, not to mention getting lost (and found) in the video archive that Eric supplied, very inspiring…big thanks to all and most to the host, David, gracias.

    Especially like Glenn’s ariel photos from the painted desert, bb’s (you know) words and stylized images, Panos’s humor and direct delivery, all of David McGowan’s work, Sean’s look on China, and the list goes on and on.

    Speaking of procrastination, this is one blog/workshop/discussion that you really want to stay on top of if your going to participate lest miss 200 thoughtful comments by missing a day or two.

    Anywho, I think its been covered that the assignments are a good idea, now I’d like to participate if all possible. Here you can find some of my most recent work:

    These are photos from a recent trip to Vietnam. The 18 you see is a selection from the first several weeks of a 6 week stay. The images of children you see are from working with a non-profit, the city shots and portraits are from wandering Saigon, and there are a couple from northern Vietnam, Sapa and Hanoi. Most of my work there is part of a long-term project and is self-assigned, documenting modern-day Vietnam as a peaceful country, with a rapidly growing economy and tourist industry, ignoring its war-torn history which it is most known for.

    Aware that I’m new here I have no expectations, but thought I’d share the work and hopefully get some feedback. Thanks for you time, energy, and shared experience(s).

    Btw, happy b-day Eric and I hope to meet some of you at LOOK3, I’ll be a volunteer there, please drop a line if you want to meet up.




    Late to the party as usual, but at least I was out shooting today…

    I think it’s a great idea and would love to be a part of it.

  • In the 3 weeks I’ve been reading this blog, I’ve found myself intrigued, amazed, intimidated, energized, stimulated, challenged, touched and surprised by your discussions. Your creative excellence, relentless honesty, humor, deep thinking and originality are exceptional. And I’m not just talking about David, either. It’s the entire community that is changing my ways of thinking about and doing photography.

    Because of you I tried something brand new—for me—this week. For only the second time in my life, I played with slow shutter speeds. It happened during a six-hour photo shoot I did on Thursday of the students at the K-5 school where I volunteer in the art classes. For 7 years I’ve taken photos of these kids but the results had always shown these energetically vibrational beings as if they were static, which they NEVER are. In using a slow shutter speed, my hope was to find a way of expressing the amazing energy these youngsters bring to everything they do.

    I would very much appreciate hearing your feedback—David & the community—about what I call my “vibrational series #1.” Any and all suggestions, constructive criticism, tips would be welcome. Thanks in advance. The gallery can be found at


  • Dear David,

    Just wanted to let you know I have just sent you some new desert pictures to your email account. I tried to upload them onto the old digital railroad ftp to make it easier for you, but I guessed that’s out of use now, so had to send them in a couple of emails.


  • Hope that party is going late on the 15th! I fly back into the city that evening, but I’d sure love to put some names and faces together!

    Very exciting about the kibbutz…I just got a “new home,” first proper apartment I’ve had in a little while… As much as I love being nomadic, there’s something to say for a strong base…

  • Hi Patricia,

    I looked at you “vibrational” series. Just a few points. IMO:

    One has to be careful to be too undiscriminate with such technique, IMO. Some pix work better than others (back to editing), and especially, your choice of subject/moment to take must already be thought of (or inutited) with that technique in mind. As you definitely do not want to give us the idea that it’s just a normal shot, but vibrated. I hope I am clear.

    Also, the colours may be in competition with that style. Or may not. But for example, here, the lively colors espouse the shapes so well (rather than convey energy) tend to force us to decipher the action as if it was not vibrated, rather than read it as you mean for us too. I sent you one shot quickly edited in monochrome.

    Again, IMO.

  • Hey Alex very nice pictures. I liked them very much!!


    Glad you enjoyed your birthday and looking forward for your final edition of Antigua!!


  • ALEX,

    I really like your essay on Balseros and your box story reminded me somewhat of “Miguel Rio Branco”. From your Balseros essays, really quite a few that really stand out. I particularly like the picture 13 but could pick up many others. Very good work! Hope we get to see many more from you.


  • david alan harvey


    i have a feeling the party will still be going when you arrive…welcome!!


    your expressed intent to show the motion in these children is a good one…but i think Herve’s critique is about right.. you do not want to fall into the trap of using technique for technique’s sake..and this is a very fine line…”fine lines” are always subjective by nature and are often the stumbling blocks for us in this art/craft…

    no matter what technique, you still need to capture the “moment” or the “emotion” in the kind of picture you are trying here…motion alone will not do it…

    when using slow shutter speeds all of us “lose” many pictures…percentages are low…i.e. almost all of my work in transparencies with asa 50 film was by definition shot at slow shutter speeds..usually hand held at 1/15 or 1/8 or even 1/4 sometimes…sometimes i would be looking for the motion , sometimes not..

    using a small strobe to stop the motion in the foreground and allowing the background to blur sometimes works as a technique to freeze the primary action yet giving the viewer a feeling of freedom or motion…

    however , i do not put a premium on “sharp” photographs or “not sharp” photographs…does not matter…look at the work of Bob Black or Kyung Lee..selective “sharpness” at best….but you can tell immediately that this is what they are trying to do..their style….just as you can see immediately what Natan Moss or Wrobert Angell are trying to do…just the opposite…both work..

    i do not know any of your previous work….we will be spending time together soon, so we can have this conversation in person..but, in the meantime, please study the masters..get a handle on the basic history of is a short history…also please study the work of the varied photographers here shown on the “home page” as well as the work under “workshops/student work”…maybe you have already done the above, so i do not mean to be condescending…but the more “homework” you can do before the workshop, the better…

    i look forward to meeting you soonest in C’ville…

    cheers, david

  • The late Bill Strode use to say, “Sometimes your best pictures aren’t always your sharpest pictures”. A good thought about technique.

    Speaking of good thoughts I think you’re onto something here, David. Your assignments in this venue is a great idea. Go for it. Let me know if I can help. JOHN FULTON

  • david alan harvey


    you are right about anyone’s “style” most likely being a combo of many “influences”…


    i have been wondering how you are doing….i do hope we will meet again soonest…i am still thinking about all of your rural Carolina work…more to come???

    cheers, david

  • david alan harvey

    MATT….(Australia Matt, the “Slasher”)

    you know who you are!!! and i am just drawing a total blank on your last name!!! i saw a message from you here and tried in vain to go back and find it…

    i remember you wanted more pictures to go with all the words…well, i think this new assignment process will be a real addition in that sense…but, i must say that the in-depth writing that comes in here has been something that i never expected but so so pleased has happened…

    what are you working on now??? your work in BKK was certainly provocative….anyway, i hope you see this and get back to me soonest…

    cheers, david

  • (monster post indeed..)

    ERIC re: OHIO, ’tis where I am from.. BIG Somalian influx, check with Catholic Charities..I’ve been wanting to get back there ad shoot this, but go forth if you can

    ANNA B : I so hear you..friends are always suggesting I photograph the ‘throw away’ dogs as a project or just any dogs, but I just don’t feel it in a photo way (tho I have gone to the westminster but that’s more for the people’s relationships to dogs, best in show indeed). I agree it’s rough when you are about shooting people but your heart cares about the animals, no solid advice about how to shoot your animal project and it certainly seems worthwhile, (we really need to talk, I worked with dolphins for a couple of years, I think you and I are on the same wavelength) but, regarding the orphans/AIDS (which I know has been done and line me up for wanting VERY much to do something on it too and by god I will), from LA, doable, how about US adoptions of African children? From the research I started, it seems that some lucky babes actually mature out of infant AIDS and make it to the adoption process..not sure how many land in LA, but it’s possible..

  • Also ANNA B..if you don’t have it, Children Of Ceausescu by the amazing Kent Klich is a must, it’s about orphans/AIDS in Romania (fricking infected by unsterilized needles and HIV-tainted blood transfusions given to them instead of food).

    It’s pull your heart out beautiful/painful/overwhelming.

  • marcin luczkowski


    we will start our trip on tuesday early morning (not wednesday… sorry)
    give me a note if you have any idea for me.

  • marcin luczkowski

    hmmmmm…. for you it will be tomorrow late in the evening….
    if you have not time or idea… it’s no problem.
    if you have one… :)

  • ERICA,

    Thanks for your suggestion…Was not awareof this Somalia connection…Will investigate…Will have to meet at some stage if you are aound here! Cheers, Eric

  • What helpful feedback! Thanks David and Herve for taking the time to look at my experiments with slow shutter speeds. My PBase community has also been giving me their suggestions and I’m learning a lot about a technique that was a total mystery to me until now. This is what I love about photography as an artistic medium; there are always new avenues to explore.

    David, I sometimes forget that you know nothing about me and my work. I now realize it was probably not a good idea to have your first look be at something that was totally unlike my usual way of working. If you have another free minute–and I’m sure there are not many of those left before you head back to your happily recovered home in Brooklyn–would you please check out this gallery of self portraits? The URL is

    This is much more reflective of how I use photography. Thanks.


  • Erica – you said it…”It must be good because it scares me”.

    Like you, David, I’ve been focused on finalizing the details for an upcoming long-term personal project, one I will be funding myself. At times, I find myself over-thinking the concept or the logistics or where the money will come from and not enough time exercising my eye.

    Sometimes I miss the newspaper staff job, were the story falls into your lap and you simply don’t have the time to ponder the details. It’s a great way to exercise the eye. So, your idea strikes me as a great way to do just that. Thanks!

  • david alan harvey


    i think the best “assignments” tend to start with the concept of the photographer and then tweaked and developed somewhat with the collaboration of an “editor”…

    i know what you mean by the “ease” of just having an assignment dropped in your lap…a real luxury of only having to “see” what someone else has already deemed “important”..

    but, i think in today’s super competitive world and with the markets changing by the minute, the only way to survive and thrive is to be very much the “concept person”..the idea guy…

    so, why don’t you tell me more or less what you have on your mind, and maybe we can work it out together…something clean, simple , obvious…the hardest ones to find!!!

    cheers, david


    i liked the “To Have and to Hold” series and the little town (i cannot remember the name and was not sure of the country), you know, the town with the kid on the swing…anyway many nice pictures….but if i were you i would take out the fox pictures…i mean, not even close to your other work…also some nice urban landscapes, one of which looks like shot from a rooftop very near my place..

  • DAVID…

    Did you received the email I’ve sent you yesterday?

  • Oh God… Two days off and impossible to follow up all the comments! But from here and there I just read some just to get an idea and a few questions :D

    David, you were saying this:

    “the simplest thing for you to keep in mind:
    (1) show me your newest work…
    (2) tell me what you want to shoot and why”

    And my question is how should we show you our newest work as well as telling you what we want to shoot and why. I do have a couple of ideas on mind that hope to start shooting in a few weeks. Quite interesting and I’m really excited to start on it! I also have some new series done…

    And more…

    no, you have missed nothing…the EPF grant does not come up until the end of the year…you have plenty of time to do some great work…..hope to see you in Valencia soonest….”
    Posted by: david alan harvey | May 02, 2008 at 10:05 AM

    Good news that I did not miss it, as I want to start a new work project soon…
    Are you still planning to come? When? Will be great to have you around :-)

    “Mike is putting together the slide show for the Look3 now….”
    Posted by: david alan harvey | May 02, 2008 at 11:32 AM

    Is there a way to upload it somewhere so we can take a look at it? I really would like to see it (well, I really would like to attend the Look3 and see it “live”…)

    “@DAH: force AnaY to do something in Valencia, I’d be very curious to see what she could do there with non-commercial work ;o)”
    Posted by: Joni Karanka | May 01, 2008 at 11:14 AM
    Jajaja you have seen some of my non-commercial work, Joni…

  • david alan harvey


    the simplest thing is just to do what several photographers have done already and post and idea and a link right here…the discussion would then be “public” i.e. right here on the forum…just as in my workshops…group critique, discussion…the whole assignment will be viewed here online, so why not the whole process leading up to it???

    however, if you are shy about your idea, just send me an email…i would prefer everything posted here…the problem for readers of this forum posting here and then sending me also private emails is that it just gets to be more than i can handle…but, for you my dear all is possible!!!!

    besos, david

  • After all, I was not able to wait for all the weekend. Further to your demand :

    “send me an idea of something you care about…really care….or something you dislike , but want to photograph….not just something that you think makes a “good picture”….think, think”

    here is what I would like to photograph:

    I want to photograph the cohabitation of the cultures in Montreal. Montreal is at the same moment a city of the North and a Latin city. It is French-speaking and English-speaking, European and American, Catholic and Protestant, but also Jew and Moslem. White, but get a strong proportion of haitians and Africans immigrants. It is a question of showing how the various cultures interact or do not interact, complement each other or oppose, and this in a country which do not have a strong identity national. The humanity entered in an era of multicultural civilization; all the question is to know if the relationship between the various cultures will be peaceful or conflicting. Furthermore, It is something I really care about because my own family is multicultural.

    My most recent work was made in New York ( ) during a three days trip. Certain photographs are a sketch of a bigger project on relationship between religions in the United States.

  • david alan harvey


    ok, good thinking…the only thing i am wondering is that isn’t that a whole lot to do?? is there any way to take it down to something more specific?? in other words, a microcosm of the whole…once you do something specific, then you can expand bit by bit….what about your own family??? is this something you could work on this month???

    by the way, the way you presented your idea and the link etc etc. is just perfect….everyone should follow suit….

    cheers, david

  • A challenge is always good.. I have been busy with family matters, but I was lurking all the time. Ready to join..

  • Hi David,
    Yes…I hope to make it back to C’ville for the Look Festival.

    I pulled back from the rural Carolina project for a bit…got sidetracked with my HIV/AIDS Portraits and have been studying photographic history…trying to build a better sense of what’s come before.

    I plan on return soon to the Carolina project…still trying to figure out “my twist” to make it come together.

    It’s funny… the more experience I get and the further I go in a project…the more that bar gets raised. Makes a lot of earlier “acceptable” work no longer up to snuff. How do others handle this moving goal line?

    On a different note…I have a question for you and others…many modern photographers are project or place oriented, especially ones working on an issue. Many are also concept oriented…less literal…thinking more of the “art” or “conceptual” photographers. I’ve been wondering how much of a place is there these days at the big table for photographers with a good eye for the unusual, the beautiful or the powerful but not a tight meaning to their body of work? Simply their view of the world. Off the top of my head I am thinking more of the earlier work of a “Keith Carter” or “Michael Kenna.”
    Are these two exceptions because simply because of their extroidinary eye and style?

    Has modern photography evolved to almost require a project or body of work to be “themed” rather than merely reflect a photographers “eye” and their way of viewing the world, but not necessarily cohesive in meaning.

    Hope my question makes sense but just something that has me wondering after looking at so many past photographers whose life work that we know them for was not necessarily about their projects or concepts but simply for their unusual way of seeing the world.

    Seems like acceptability to the art or journalism community requires more meaning now for recognition/acceptance/legitimacy.


  • “…but, for you my dear all is possible!!!!” David, you should see my big smile now after reading such a touching words…

    The “problem” is that my last work is not uploaded online yet, just one or two pictures but not the whole or the concept, as it is going to be showed in Dakar during the international biennial of art (DAK’ART OFF). It is a work involved in my artistic exchange project between Senegal and Spain. The aim of the project grows around the idea of mixing the power of two different cultures to fight against the same thing. There are three series of photographs taken in both countries under a same issue. The result shows us that, even our cultures and lifes are very different, the basics remain the same (difficult to explain in English, I wil try to write it better). And there is another series of photos taken in an old hospital in Dakar showing their lack of medical equipment, the hard conditions they face everyday, the malaria pacients…

    And my new assignment, the one I want to start in three weeks still depends on several formalities processing in Dakar (where I want to start shooting) as it is involved with a difficult issue that suffers the contempt and rejection of the society. Will write you about it, ok?

    Besos y más besos!

  • Now, reading Jay, I have to say that I do like to see through a photographer’s eye. I even prefer if there is not a “theme” or a cohesive meaning. I like to see the world and it is just fantastic to see it through the eyes of a great photographer and his/her point of view…

  • david alan harvey


    have you been to Morocco before?? will you have easy internet connect???

    thinking, thinking…


  • david alan harvey


    good post and qood questions…..actually good points about themes as opposed to just “seeing”…i could go on and on about that one..

    i would point out that often the two are not disparate…for example, Koudelka did not get up one morning and set out to do a book called “Exiles”…he just “explored” and later pulled a theme out of his wanderings which became the book…”Gypsies” on the other hand was a focused traditional photo essay..same photographer, different approaches to book making, but his eye and seeing quite the same all along…you do not want to confuse final product; book, exhibit, magazine piece, necessarily with what the photographer was seeing or doing…and certainly Carter just takes pictures and makes up his “theme” later for a book title…i mean “Blue Man” was only one picture in a book by the same title…

    my own “Divided Soul” title and theme evolved after i had been shooting quite awhile…and “theme” is something i think about over morning coffee or flying or driving…

    when i am out with a camera in my hand i am just seeing single pictures…one at a time…i talk a lot about essays and themes, but they are always intended to be nothing more than a string of strong single photographs…how the theme is born and evolves is totally a personal thing….


    i look forward to seeing you again at Look3…we can talk about your Carolina work…..

    cheers, david

  • david alan harvey


    of course!!! i think maybe you are confused and maybe others too about my suggesting themes and essays..sorry if i did not communicate properly or clearly…

    not for one minute does thinking about a theme exclude the purely photographic!!!

    i celebrate only the purely photographic!!

    it is always of course about the photographer’s eye!! i start with that, i assume this is the base of the pyramid…

    however, when you get in a particular mind set about who you are and what you want to do , themes will just naturally emerge…totally “random” shooting rarely leads to cohesion, but there are absolutely no shackles on at any time and how you evolve is a singular effort…

    abrazos, david

  • Hola David..
    long time without visiting you here…

    Un gran abrazo.
    Carlos Rubin

  • david alan harvey


    where have you been amigo??

    no matter….welcome back!!!

    quisiera conocer tus fotos nuevos…


  • DAVID,

    “when i am out with a camera in my hand i am just seeing single pictures…one at a time…i talk a lot about essays and themes, but they are always intended to be nothing more than a string of strong single photographs”

    THANK YOU! I have been waiting for these words for a long time. I feel a lot better now. :))

    Since you mentioned a preference for making our project ideas public, here’s where I am currently:

    Today I am looking to see what I have shot so far of our house remodel. There is potential here but I am not sure I will have enough opportunities (meaning enough workers in the house) to “make it work” before the remodel is finished. I will edit and get a few posted somewhere. There are other project opportunities coming along this summer which may be better.

    ANNA B. and ERICA, animal lovers…
    I am totally bummed about the horse that had to be put to sleep at the Kentucky Derby… I am inspired to do a story involving horses…thinking about it…

  • DAVID…

    Thank you. You reminded me something. I think I have found a microcosm. That is called “Le Ballattou”. It is a bar and a multi-ethnic discotheque with an orchestra. The Ballattou is frequented by African and Caribbean immigrants, and many canadian native women in search of romance, love and exoticism. Some there just searching someone for the night, some others looking for marriage and a legal means to stay in Canada. It is an history of love, meeting and misunderstandings. The background music are Samba and Merengue. I already have a title: ” A night at the Ballattou “. I could work on this month.

    What do you think of the idea?

  • Sorry. I mean a story, not an history.

  • Oh, no, I’m not confussed about that! I was just talking in general in response of Jay question. And I also liked your response too ;-)
    About your suggesting themes and essays, I totally agree. It will be an important exercise and a great challenge! And I really appreciate that you want to have an idea of what we are doing now or what we have in mind to give us the assignment. In fact, i’m really curiouse to know what you would propose me to shoot!

    Más besos :-)

  • David, sounds like a great idea. I vote yes for it.

    I am almost moved into my loft in an artist co-op in St. Paul. Spending time doing the “street dance.”

    Looks like congrats are in order regarding your move/non move. When is the housewarming party?



  • ANA…
    You said you “like to see the world and it is just fantastic to see it through the eyes of a great photographer and his/her point of view…”

    Exactly! While I love projects from photogs that are cohesive, I too like so much the simple beauty of seeing through anothers eyes and trying to understand what drew them to it. I have been veiwing so much of others work lately and often I am most attracted to what goes together only subconsciously not thematically.

    Yes, very helpful. Most of the time when I see a photographers work, it is through the end result and it’s where I start feeling like I have missed something in my own personal work…a strong sense of cohesiveness. It is reassuring to know that often that isn’t present until after the fact. I sometimes get “jealous” of photographers who choose such a strong meaningful project to follow while I end up just seeing the world around me and trying to make some simple meaning out of what I was inherently attracted to.

    Someone…maybe Milan Kundera said something to the effect that “Memory does not make films, it makes photographs.” Which is what feels more personal to me.

    One of the things I find most valuable about this ongoing workshop you have here is to be able to give myself a reality check occasonally. As photographers, we work in isolation so often and it can be easy to feel like you’re missing what others may have found.

    I look forward to seeing you at Look3.


  • DAVID…
    yes you always foremost “celebrate only the purely photographic!!”

    Didn’t mean to imply otherwise. What I think I have been struggling with is just my own learning and trying to become a better photographer. I am always asking myself if there is a better way…have I missed out something very basic since I am basically self-taught ( with some excellent help from you though!)

    What, on the backend, seems so evident in some photoraphers work, had me feeling like the theme or the concept was as important and that confused and concerned me.

    I feel better too! Funny little heads we live inside of… for me at least!


  • David;
    I remember you saying in an article that if you came back from a weeks shooting with one good picture you’d be happy. Do you still think the same? It’s just that I find that sometimes I hit a “purple patch” when shooting, and for some reason or other get a series of good images in a reasonably short time. Does this happen to you too?

    What do you think would be a reasonable number of keepers (book project or exhibition quality) from a 2-3 week shooting trip?

    Also, what is the definition of sharp anyway? I remember when shooting slides I’d be editing with a 10x loop, so was just looking at roughly A4 size. Now with digital there is the tendency to blow up to 100% and then grizzle if it’s not sharp!! I agree that content is more important than sharpness, but how sharp is sharp anyway….

    I’m off to East Timor on Sunday for three weeks to work on a personal project, so am interested to see what “you” would think was an acceptable “success” rate… A $64,000 question I suppose….

    Cheers everyone

  • David,

    when i am out with a camera in my hand i am just seeing single pictures…one at a time…i talk a lot about essays and themes, but they are always intended to be nothing more than a string of strong single photographs…how the theme is born and evolves is totally a personal thing….



    Yes!!! So very helpful!!! Thank you so very much, David (and Jay)!!!

    As Bob says, running, but will be back soon!


  • Hola de nuevo…wow this blog is huge now….
    felicitaciones por inspirar tanta gente!…there’s a couple of new ones in my website and in my blog but I have not shoot very much lately…my website is now a mix of things because I work free-lance now (no more agencies)

    I guess that you will not give the Santo Domingo Workshop because I didn’t see it in your site. I’ve printing all I have about Puerto Rico (8 1/2 x 11) because I still hoping to have your feedback sometime in NY one of these days…spend 1 hour with you and drinking un expreso negro cubano somewhere!!!

    Well…even I’m a little silent, I’m still around….coming back to this wonderful community that you have created…I hope Touzon is doing well…I will take one of your workshops sometimes…that’s a promise Imade to myself…

    Take care and if you come to Puerto Rico please let me know…It’s funny…I read about your road trip between NY and Calfornia and I was telling my wife the other day that I was thinking to celebrate my 50’s doing something like that….

    un abrazo…cuidae mucho!!

  • david alan harvey


    i read your proposal and liked it overall…so, ok, good….you have an assignment…

    your idea is now “on paper” and it sounds like a good one…you must go deep…i would say give us 20 photographs of which you are proud by the beginning of june…sound ok?? 20 max…if you do not have 20 , just show us your absolute best..edit tight…no other parameters, no limits….no excuses..

    we will develop as much of a relationship as possible for helping to move your work forward…i will stay in close touch with your progress…we all will….

    my very best wishes….

    cheers, david

  • @ ROSS NOLLY – Mate ,if you feel like dropping in or need a heads up before you hit Dili Give me a call – Numbers on my site!

  • DAVID…

    Thank you so much ! I’m so excited about this project. I begin to work on this right now.



  • @David: I got a surprise yesteraday. I guess you all think I’m a probably very cold photographer of sorts, but I’ve been about a year shooting teenagers around here. Like close by. I was surprised yesterday to find that one of them used one of my pics for her college assignment. There are two or three that are taking a-levels on photography, so it’s always fun to contribute. I’d link to an edit on that stuff but I’m still working on it, quite a lot. I made an early edit and now I know some of the things I’m missing. Once I’m done with that I might have about 20-25 pics to show. (Yes, I am that slow. A year for 20 pics is more than ok. A month for 4 pics is not bad. The longer you shoot, the harder it is to get pics in an edit.)

  • Glenn;
    Thanks for that but I get into Darwin at 12.35am and fly out to Dili at 8.15am. On the way back I get into Darwin at 11.15am and leave for Brisbane at 1.10am next morning so times are going to be a bit tight. But I really appreciate the offer; I might get the chance to call you on the way back.

    If I find any stories over there that you may be able to use I’ll drop you a line.

    One of the stories I will be working on is the work of Sister Guillermina. A link below to a story on her.

    I’ve managed to make some excellent local contacts over there through some kiwis that have worked there…. So hopefully everything should go ok. If so I’ll continue it as a long term project.

    Cheers for that.

  • david alan harvey


    so, what are you thinking? something specific in Darwin???


    your percentages are about my percentages..maybe yours a bit better…

    it is quite nice to hear how you feel about contributing to the teenager’s class…good for you…

    cheers, david

  • Around the top end , local means no more than a 4 hour drive – I’ve been thinking about crocodiles a lot lateley and how totemic they are up here – all sorts of relationships – Hunter = Prey ( the two are interchangable ) ,
    Farmer = product , Tourist=Attraction ,cept I don’t know how well that would fit with your original ideas of what I would do , But the expectations of the tribe may just be the cosmic kick in the pants neccesary to put thought into action in a more timely way.

  • David and all,
    It seems all of my projects are “sidebars” to something else and so on and so on. The “Tribe” project can’t happen until after Look3 because of cashflow and I’m about 7 hours drive from where I need to be; still not sure what I would be getting into there, but curious to find out.

    I’ve been trying to catch up with reading this post, and I have for the most part, but I apologize if I bring up something already discussed. Maybe you’ve revised this, but I don’t imagine you’re handing out “assignments” but rather entertaining proposals and perhaps steering them in a direction appropriate to the photographer, based on recent work. My early concern was that if this project is based on recent work, for example my club stuff, that that somehow makes me a nightlife photographer, and I should continue with a similar project, when I really have no interest in resurrecting that for now. I wasn’t really trying to convey nightlife, but rather a slice of the human experience, which I really should be able to bring to every story (at least where humans are involved.)

    The “terms” and the “better-offs.” Regarding that previous paragraph, is short-term and long-term simply a person preference to photographers? or is there an appropriate target to seek when following a course to published visual storytelling? I’m convinced that a good story can be made over the course of a single day, but that might not show all the dedication needed to catch an editors eye, or to be considered fully exhausted. Maybe it’s the difference between a short story and a novel.

    I think Bob Black made this point, and I’ll be no where near paraphrasing him, but it was that we should be out shooting anyway, creating and following stories, regardless of waiting for any “assignment.” I think that’s probably already true of this crowd, and even though I’ve shot for years and years, pursuing the sequence is finally sinking in—an important point to remember, especially for those of us seeking editorial assignments (and maybe even getting paid?)

    I’ve been seeking a story about the Michigan economy, and I think about an hour ago I finally found it. Totally stoked! DAH, I’ll emaIl it to you later, to see if it fits as you envision these assignments. Either way I think I have to do it.

    Oh David, congrats on getting your loft back. I just hope it doesn’t make you soft and lose track of your family album project, which seemed to hinge a lot on being homeless. Either way, I guess it’s nice to have a place to hang your hat.

    And David, you’ve got to start writing your posts in TextEdit before you plug it into Typepad! (Especially when writing something important to Panos!) Otherwise you end up with a 45 minute exercise in writing a really good summary. I know that sinking feeling.

    Alright I’m going to continue recklessly hyping my own work and indulging in the benefits. Here’s last Friday on the creek:

    And here’s a special shout out to my little bro, Michael, who starts his first day of school tomorrow, majoring in photography. He’s totally consumed with his D80, and I think he has a pretty good eye:

    Okay I’ve been long overdue a good ramble. Party on.



    I’v never been to morocco before.
    I’v just started traveling and I have never been twice in the same place.
    hmmm… maybe morroco will be first?

    I should have free access to internet in hostel in marrakech… and agadir because it is turistic zona like varadero.

    a week is too much short time for morroco, so I will learning this country very fast.
    I had idea about big long trip… whole month or longer… but I’m glad even for this one week.

    I have a few my own ideas so do not worry if you don’t have one.

    I will have only M6 and velvias so I will show you my photos 17-18th.


  • david –

    a road trip idea: fowler, colorado. weird, tiny little slice of the u.s…

    a one horse town. people hang out and listen to music in their cars outside of their trailers. people poison neighbors cats sometimes in the night. killer dogs chase you when you go for a jog… but the vibe isn’t all negative like that… go to the only rv park in town and talk to the owner, bob. he lives alone with his two pomeranian dogs and works in his toolshop all day. wears overalls, really nice old guy, talks with a thick, high pitched, southern accent…says “chebbil” instead of “shovel.” drove truck for miller all his life. settled down there with his wife before she died. he made us a “hillbilly flashlight,” which was a match attached to a long, thick piece of wood.

    you gotta check this place out! i stayed here probly three nights. on hwy 50, which is a great route thru kansas and co.

  • hey david,

    i may have missed it somewhere in the 300+ threads to this blog, but did you say when you will be showing slides at Look3? i have a trip to nyc coming up by way of ashville, NC…so it may work out that i could get to charlottesville for the show. oddly enough i worked on a movie there the entire spring and summer of 2006, so i know the town pretty well….

    also have a project in mind that’s been brewing for awhile which i would like to talk to you about, finding time for it in my schedule may be tough though for a little bit.


  • Hi Natan, how are you,

    David, you gave me something to mull over, I just rolled back in to town from Carmel, Weston Country, California. I tell you, that kicked the ass off any dishwashing job I’ve ever done.
    (and i done alot)
    (as previously mention, will do dishes for the right price)

  • Wrobert Angell we should combine our skills and open a restaurant. All we need is some investors and a manager to keep everything straight. Oh; perhaps an accountant to manage all the money we will make. With my experience as a waiter and your dishwashing skills i think we have a master plan in the making.

  • Looks like I am little late with over three hundred comments…

    Interesting idea and I think it works.

    Happy to say that this morning I am getting ready for a Magnum workshop with Chris Anderson and it seems it will be pretty much the same idea as the one you propose. Show your portfolio…do a shoot based on your work. Really doesn’t get much better than that…

    Happy Monday it will be a busy week…

  • @ Ross Nolly , while you are there go check out the KIWI outpost , just past PIG bridge and one block back on the way to JRH’S house,
    a couple of kiwi’s in a sandbagged Mg position in the middle of a chook pen – guaranteed, that pic will help pay for your trip!

  • david alan harvey


    you will enjoy your workshop with Chris…say hi…he and i will soon be next door neighbors i think…

    yes, show portfolio, get assignment, is pretty much the reality of workshops and the reality of reality….

    show us your week of work with Chris when you have it…i would love to feature some student work here as i always do when i have it in hand…

    cheers, david

  • Jay:

    wonderful comment and important questions….im also a fan of Carter’s work…and much of Kenna too…for me, it’s a pretty straight forward…at some point, that which lasts comes from photography into which and through which we sense a vision…this is a stupidly loaded word, but in the end photography and photographers whove meant the most to me, who sit inside by belly like a warm burn, are those who’ve had the ability and luck to harness some personal expression (and i dont just mean style, for style is really nothing more than a language of expression and on its own is never enough) of what this world or this place or whose people meant, or expressed or reflected, or better: what those places and moments and people brought forth from inside you…questions and hunger, above all…

    a particular “style” can shift given story/moments/time, but some elemental thing does not…i personally have never cared that much whether or not a photographer’s body of work is “coherent” (in the sense of theme, style, content) so much as it seems to suggest a questioning, a hunger to express or to attempt to understand or to reveal something that i had not thought of, encountered or seen before…

    it’s like Love: you know it, but who the fuck can express how to discovered it or describe it…

    the burn, the disappearance, the bewilderment and the wonder….

    look at Frank’s book Storyline (from his show at the Tate): it’s all there: madness, sadness, incoherence, and yet: it is all of the same….

    from Americans to this:



  • Just get busy for one week, come back and…. 307 comments since now!!!!! I’m really late.
    I’ve tried to read the most, from this morning. Wonderful idea, and I’m in as the 306 that preceded me.
    So I’m ready for 2012 spring assigment!
    In my web-page there is the previous work but…. I have no time now but before january 31, 2012 I’ll tell you all about my project (Restlessness, working on different aspect since 2001) and my most recent work… Be prepared. :)

    But most important, Nancy you’re lucky! I was in the last Chris Anderson workshop in Oslo. We learn and enjoy a lot. Give us a daily diary.

  • This sounds like a great idea! I am new here, but very interested (if a little intimidated).

  • I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to each and every one of you reading this now for not taking the opportunity to apologize to each and every one of you on a previous occasion. The opportunity to apologize does not come around often enough—the recent spike in gas prices may have something to do with that, what with most apologies getting more or less the same mileage they did back in the 1970’s—and it was a truly unconscionable lack of judgment on my part not to have apologized at that time. One cannot apologize often enough these days, I think, and so I wish to reiterate my apologies for not having apologized when I should have apologized. As apologies go, of course, this isn’t a very good one, and I apologize for that, but then again, I am not a professional apologist with an advanced degree in apologetics, for which lack I would like to apologize at this time. I am an entirely self-taught apologist and so my apologies tend to be a little rough around the edges, and so I would like to again apologize for my inexcusable apologetic autdidactism.

    I wanted to be an apologist when I was a boy; all of my childhood heroes were apologists and I would have collected apologist bubble gum cards had someone manufactured them in those days. No one did, the times being benighted as they were, and so I had to settle for collecting the baseball cards of players having bad years. If there was a pitcher on a last place team who couldn’t find the strike zone if he was standing ten feet in front of it with a half-blind umpire behind the plate, I had his card; if there was a hitter who couldn’t hit the broad side of a fat babe’s butt with a 2 x 4, I had his card as well. Sometimes I collected good players, but only if they were on the disabled list with a pulled hamstring or a torn rotator cuff. I kept all of my baseball cards in an old shoebox my father called the litany of woes, because everyone in the box had an excuse for why they weren’t playing as well as they might that season.

    As you’ve probably surmised by now, I did not get to be an apologist. My parents opposed the idea out of hand, pointing out that apologists, however well they did the job, got paid squat. This was true, of course; apologetics did not pay very well then. In addition to the poor pay, most people in those days regarded professional apologists as little better than sob sisters, PR men, and Red Sox fans. Mindful of these facts, my parents insisted that I find some more remunerative line of endeavor like dope peddling or swindling little old ladies out of their life savings. I apologized for not living up to their expectations, whereupon my father threw a fit and a Fig Newton at me and told me to shut up, he was sick of my apologies. He was like that sometimes. I remember one Christmas where he dressed up like Santa Claus (say what you will about him, Pop could do a mean Santa impression) and came down the stairs to his waiting children with a sack of toys thrown over his shoulder and then threw cans of string beans he’d gotten for half price at us. That was a wonderful Christmas, or so my brothers tell me; I had a pretty bad concussion so my memory of that day is a little fuzzy.

    Now, at this point you’re probably wondering why I’m apologizing for just about everything under the son and, I’m sorry to say this, I’m wondering why you’re wondering. Explanations are so last century, after all; there hasn’t been a truly reasonable explanation for anything ever since Calvin Coolidge’s press secretary, C. Bertram Slemp, invented the cardboard tube that toilet paper comes wrapped around in 1897, but this hasn’t stopped people from looking for them. The modern apology, unlike many other art forms, and definitely unlike the classical apology, is about nothing at all. It is, in short, Seinfeldian in its philosophical provenance. You do not need to have done something wrong in order to apologize for it in this our postmodern Great Republic. Politicians spend a lot of time apologizing for one thing or another, especially during an election year, where if pandering for votes won’t work, a pol will grovel for them. I’m especially fond of pols apologizing for events that occurred years, sometimes centuries, before any of us were born. Still, it’s nice to know that their hearts are in the right place, even if all that and a couple of bucks will buy you is a ride on the subway.

    In any case, I don’t think I would have made a very good professional apologist. In listening to my apologies on tape, I can tell that I lack the one great gift of the true apologist: sincerity. Yes, I can apologize all day long, and as a part of my work, I’ve often had to do just that, but the people I’m apologizing to can tell it’s all form and no substance. They can tell I am saying, I am terribly sorry for the inconvenience, sir, but that I’m thinking, buzz off, dumbass, and take your ugly wife with you. Sam Goldwyn had it right: if you can fake sincerity, you’ve got it made. I just don’t have that in me, I guess.

  • apologize… here in Italy there are two cases:
    – It doesn’t pay at all
    – It pays a lot….the risk is to became major or prime minister.

  • akaky–

    u know damn well, as a good catholic, you should have delivered that in Latin! ç)))))))….

    no, you~re allowed to have a lovely daliance with a high-priced lower-manhattan escort…since u got the apology out of the way…and i~d vote for u!


    p.s. u~~re gorgeous rants always remind me of this flickÇ rent it my friend–


  • Bob…

    Yes…style is not the correct word, vision is somewhat better. Even though I think style in its purest form, as opposed to an affectation, can be a very pure reflection of the vision.

    It’s good to hear that others are not as concerned with coherency.
    To me, photographers who have a strong vision and are able to let me see that, make me stand in awe. They stir in me a childlike quality of amazement or beauty or sense of rightness. It is such a magical quality that I want just a little of it…I want that too. This has been my personal quest lately, to better understand why some photographers’ work touches me and some, who others may praise, simply leave me unaffected.

    While there is no magic formula, there is magic that happens sometimes and that is what makes me keep trying…like some feel about golf…the one shot in a round that keeps them trying and trying amidst the frustrations. I go through so much mediocre work trying to get to those little keeper gems that it’s easy to question too much.

    I have to learn to listen more to what resonates in me and less about checking off an image for a project or story. I get into that mode so easily when shooting for pay…art director’s shot list, check em off…click click click. Just like it seems to take time to get back into the rythym of shooting after a layoff, it takes me time to get back into being looser and shooting from the heart after doing paid work…not that I don’t put my heart into it, but when you owe the client you have a responsibility to them as well as yourself.

    I am familiar with Frank’s The Americans but not Storyline. I look forward to seeing that work. Thanks!


  • Akaky, I’m so sorry …

  • Akakay,
    You said some bad words!

    An apology is in order as well as 10 Ave Maria’s for your penance.
    Please don’t call me “Father” for I am not… but I am a father of 2 small children.

    I have always wanted to be called “Father” but I missed that opportunity.

    Instead I am called daddy and I have very little patience with myself.

    Please forgive my ramblings.

    Non sum dignus,

  • david alan harvey


    you boys used the word “coherent” when i was using the word “cohesive” in describing photographs in essay form….don’t misquote me boys, don’t misquote me!!

    what i was trying to say is this: photographers should strive for coherent or incoherent photographs stitched collectively in a cohesive way which could in fact provide coherence to an otherwise incoherent assemblage of cohesive photographs in at least a more coherent way than this run on sentence with little or no cohesion….

    got it???

    peace, david


    I was touched by your response. Thank you! Your suggestions have inspired me to think of new ways to manifest the ideas I’d brought to the table. I have noticed (from previous posts over time) that we do share a lot in common + agree that it would be nice to have the opportunity to talk/meet sometime soon. And, a couple years working with dolphins ( ! ) … THAT must have been so soothing. Would love to hear more. I haven’t seen Children of Ceausescu, and will make it a priority to get my hands on a copy. One of my favorite visual narratives is Paul Fusco’s Chernobyl Legacy. Brutally painful to watch, but such an important/poignant story to share.

    Anna B.

  • Hi David.

    I would love to do one of your assignments. After joining James and you in Bangkok and experiencing the enthusiasm and insight you and James blessed us with I would love to experience that again.

    Just bring it on. I am ready for a challenge.

    Hope we can meet again some day.

    Best wishes

    Erik (The norwegian with some pics about thaiboxing kids)

  • david alan harvey


    yes, of course, i remember you and your work…do you have something specific in mind?? and how did we miss in Norway just a month or so ago???


  • I have been informed by the good people at the Slemp Foundation that Calvin Coolidge’s press secretary was not C. Bertram Slemp but C. Bascom Slemp, C. Bertram Slemp being the alias of one Marvin Perlstein of Poughkeepsie, NY, who is wanted in that city for his involvement in a plot to kidnap the Smith Brothers’ beards and hold them hostage until the brothers handed over the secret recipe for their world famous cough drops. I apologize for the error.

  • David,
    I have been a silent observer here for far too long, THIS is too exciting to pass up! THIS assignment proposal, THIS challenge; Embodies Excitement, Uncertainty and the Drive that keeps us searching within ourselves and our surroundings for “that one truly fine photograph”. I especially like the idea of a “tailored” assignment to help each photographer tap into their individual projects, passions and strengths! This IS Great! Count me in. -Jeremy

  • Yes, it’s a very good idea!

  • Hi David,

    I love your work, but I have to say that I don’t like the lighting you are using these days – that lighting that makes the foregound so bright that the background becomes underexposed. It’s not good. Sorry if that’s not what you want to hear.

    I have your book on Cuba, and it is a gem. Lovely images. It’s what made me want to go to Cuba too. I’m just starting out regarding portraits. Anyway, all the best – I think you are an inspiration, but please get rid of that lighting rig you are using. And please return to film as well. Digital looks so plastic compared to film.

    Regards, Bruce.

  • hello david.. :)

    you wrote:

    “find out if Katia can follow just one of her “lost” teenagers for a few days to see a parent;”

    david, this is an INCREDIBLE idea – i would truly love this as an assignment. i cannot believe i haven’t thought of this myself! it opens up a whole new world to me – to see a youth reunite with a parent – WOW!

    i’m in school until mid-june but am free for the summer. (did i tell you that the street kids have inspired me to return to school to pursue social work? that credential will also help me get ‘behind-the-scenes’ in many places that i now cannot access. great perk!)

    the best months for me to be assigned this would be july or august since i have those months completely to myself.

    thanks for lifting me UP with this idea.
    things have been so very sad around here since noel’s murder and XIII’s incarceration. this is the ‘lightest’ i’ve felt in at a month – THANK YOU!!

    big ((((hug)))) to you and
    be well, dear man.



  • Hi David.

    I have an idea.

    It is going to a bar where people at the lower end at the ladder of society hang out. I have a particular bar in mind, and at this place they hang out all the time. They drink for breakfast and they celebrate New Years eve there. The upcoming weekend we have our holiday where we celebrate the constitution and I guess these guys are going to celebrate it in the bar. If I can manage it would be nice to spend some time with them in advance, and celebrate with them on the 17. of may.

    Could this be an assignment you could give me??

    I would really try to make it happen during this week, but i might need some more time (busy schedule, blah, blah, blah….)

    Take care, Venice Beach sounds nice….


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