ok, please, no more phone calls or e-mails to Karen Mullarkey!!!  the woman is overwhelmed…Karen  says her e-mail is on total overload…her computer is smoking!!! she cannot handle any  more portfolios or inquiries from us  at this point…

from now on , if we get a request like this, i think i will have to select a few of you to submit…an "open call" will just create chaos…. this should now lead to a discussion on how to approach an editor, how many pictures to show, etc etc….actually, i know Karen’s frustration….most of you have websites with just way way too much to view…maybe this is terrific for your friends etc., but busy editors trying to see what a photographer can do, just is not going to "edit" for you…

there should be a big difference between your web presentation and your archive…two totally different animals….many fail to see the difference…..

rather than really seeing the good pictures you do have, many editors will just exit in frustration over just too too much miscellaneous material…they do not want to go on a treasure hunt…they want to see the really best work …fast, concise, clear…period…

this will lead me now to interview two or three professional editors for you, so you can hear it directly from them…

this is a topic that comes up from time to time…or maybe even all the time…EDITING, PRESENTATION….
do most of you feel that editing/presenting is your most formidable task???

273 Responses to “stop!!!!”

  • I feel I am much better at it than I once was, not very long ago. But yes it is still a formidable task! As I think you know. ;^}

  • editing is tough, there’s no doubt about it. it takes much time and experience to learn the art of a good edit. i’ve seen one editor edit a series of pictures completely differently than another editor standing right next to her, and they both were adamant in their choices.

    speaking of editing and karen, i sent her this little web-gallery (before ‘stop!’) that BEN KRAIN helped me with:

    ben saw things i didn’t see in my pictures.. it’s a joy to edit together like this. but ben would edit differently than you, or karen, etc. so.. was this the right edit to send??

    so yes, when putting together an edit to show editors, one has to think of the magic formula: what do i need to show, what does this editor want to see, do i make the edit universal or specific??? all of this and still maintaining your ‘voice’… this is not for the weak at heart. i think experience just pays huge dividends here.

    i look forward to hearing from editors you bring to the forum.

    cheers all,

  • Even as a director of photography and photo editor, I find it difficult to edit my own work. I think many do. I try to seek out others opinions I respect as often as I can to help weed out the excess. A pool of 3 or 4 friends that have the time to look is always good to have.

    On the subject of reviewing portfolios for prospective employees, my biggest issue is with photographers who fail to follow the directions in the job ad.

    The last time I looked for a photographer for our staff, I specifically requested that the photographers have at least 2 years experience with a paper and in addition to the 15 or 20 best portfolio images, I wanted to see clips from two consecutive weeks of the basic assignments that they shoot. My reason for this is to see what a photographer can come back with from the mundane boring assignment. Anybody that has worked for a while should have 20 great images. I wanted to see the level of the “average” work.

    Very few included this material.

  • Wow, I have an RSS feed for road trip. And I was about to say that next week I’m going to London for a few days with Maciej Dakowicz. If something is needed over there and it can be shot in a couple of days we can try to sort it out. I will not email Karen, but it sounds like this blog has quite a good appeal :o)

  • Hey how appropriate is this!

    They say everything is about timing and I just this second went live with the relaunch of my website.

    I was about to write a post about it and ask for everyone’s thoughts on content and animation.

    I have worked on it for a while and I guess what I wanted to do was to get the stories out there, but I can rearrange the content on the gallery pages quite easily, so come on folks be brutal I am sure I could stand to lose a few!

    Pity about Karen, even though I would have loved her to have a look at my work I certainly won’t harass her now!

    David about the stories, I am enthusiastic again now I have the website finished. It was really weighing me down. I like the ‘Block’ story best, though someone was murdered there last night. They were on ICE which is a bit scarier than heroin because people are just very violent. Never-the-less I should do a story on the impact on the kids of all this, one of my friends grand-daughters has been put in care but I don’t think that is the way to go. there are many issues out there least of all a system that is so incredibly bureaucratic that it buries people alive.

    I mean I am going to shoot it anyway eventually so I might as well do it now!

    Hope your friend Karen recovers from email burn-out!

  • Also, my portfolio site is in one place and my archive is on Digital Railroad. The portfolio site has a lot of material, but I think it is easily navigated.

    But I welcome comments from those who think it needs to be easier.

  • LOL I knoew this would happen…


    since we are now 2 or 3 posts past the one I asked you the question,
    could you please tell me exactly what you need for the Look 3 presentation? Size of files, soundtrack (christ, Ive never thought about music to my photos, so that will be he challenge), etc? How to submit?

  • DAVID,

    Editing is indeed a tough job…I was actually doing my best yesterday to come up with one to send you from the Antigua work. I do not know if you had a chance to see it but this is always a difficult task. I usually feel that over time, it becomes more self-evident…You eventually remember just a few pictures from your own work and often these turn out to be the only ones worth keeping.

    Beyond editing let me tell you a funny story that happened to me earlier today… Needless to say that I feel somewhat annoyed with myself that I may not have come up yet with an assignment idea that you really seemed to have liked so I was still thinking about this BUS STOP suggestion that I had made to you. At lunch time today, as I had a break at work, I took my camera, went downrtown in the ghetto to go in front of this BUS STOP and started to take a few pictures. I had previously been there on Saturday and as the stop is very near the central farmer market, it tends to be rather busy…Needless to say that today, this was not the case. I still waited to see if I could make a few shots and eventually I had this tall intimidating black “gentleman” who came to ask me :WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING HERE?” I tried to stay calm and told the guy that I was here to photograph the BUS STOP…Can you imagine the face he made…He looked as if I was insane and his answer was “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?”…I could tell this man was not sharing my excitement on this topic (he seems to share this with you David :) :)….With my best French accent, I started to diffuse the tension and crack a joke…but the man was not in a funny mood….eventually the last sentence he told me before leaving me alone was that I was either a “FUCKING GENIUS OR A FUCKING IDIOT”!!!! I actually laughed, thinking to myself that he was possibly right…what was I doing here….I went back to work…No great shots today…Maybe this is a indeed a fucking topic and I need to be more creative…



  • david alan harvey


    nice to have you back …i was just about to send out a search party!!

    yes, yes…you will get many opinions from editors and photographers alike….but, one thing right off the top i think is that almost everyone needs to just REDUCE the AMOUNT of work they show…sure you need the right pictures and there is no “right”….but, showing 100 pictures or more is going to be “wrong” even if the pictures are “right”…

    when will i see you amigo???

    cheers, david

  • david alan harvey


    i always check back two or three posts….i had not forgotten you…i just do not know the answer…but i will by tomorrow….actually if you e-mail mike , he can tell you fast…

    cheers, david

  • Hello David,

    I have posted some times but I think I have bad luck and my post rest buried in the previous pages…

    have you seen some of what i wrote about projects???

    please let me know…


  • david alan harvey


    no bad luck!!! yes i read your proposals, and i wrote you back today earlier…. you should always look under the post where you wrote to me….please look again….and sometimes i write to someone else first, because some proposals require more thinking on my part than others….tranquillo y paciencia por favor

    saludos, david

  • I didn’t email Karen, but I’m always down for a paying gig.

    As far as the web presentation goes, I have a free running slideshow that automatically plays 30 pics with my contact info at the bottom. (Is 30 too much?) The idea is there should be something there that catches an editor’s eye without much more effort. Of course it’s easy enough to move on to the journal and see entries linked to galleries that are a bit more loose, but not too redundant.

    I’m sure my editing could use refinement, though.

  • Ahhhh! David… sorry

    yes i did not see your post under my proposal…

    and yes… i know cristina garcia’s work and i met her in here this easter…

    her work is very spectacular in terms of the intensity of the scenes she selected to photograph…

    i have a different perspective about maria lionza’s cult… i do not want to emphasize only the most spectacular… but to show it like more normal religious practice… what in fact it is…

    there are summit moments in the year… but the cult is present along the whole year but less intense…

    you can see in my page what i have done until now:

    look in SORTE link…

    saludos y gracias!

  • It helps me to think of a website as a little work of art. Not so much meaning that it should be frilly, but that it should present a unified concept–a strong signature style. I still have a couple of shots in mine I need to take out; they are great shots, but they obstruct the “flow” of the presentation.

    An art teacher of mine told me once that sometimes you have to get rid of your favorite part of a painting in order to salvage the unity of the painting. I don’t know if that makes sense in a web portfolio, but if you have one lone killer shot that just doesn’t jibe with anything else in your portfolio, then maybe you should keep it hidden up your sleeve until you get some more photos that work alongside it. Yes? No?

    I don’t have a whole lot of experience with photo editors, but I think if you have a site that suggests a good sense of sequencing, storytelling, and conceptual cohesiveness, then the viewer already sees your ability to construct a story, set a mood, develop a project, etc.

  • David, I promise I did not call, or e-mailed anything to Karen! “not me” here… ;-)

    No problem with editing here, especially if under/overlined by a text, mine or another. I could easily edit, for example, my linked Olympic torch series to one (monk laughing while holding and looking at dalai lama’s portrait), or 3 or 4 more if needed to follow a reporter’s article.

    As you may remember, David my “emerging” project had only 15 or 16 shots, which was about OK (if too many regarding impact or quality).

    Well….I have the April issue of Natl Geo, with the Sahel as major feature article in front of me. Let me count…

    ….15 shots (by an africa specialist, Pascal Maitre). I was right! ;-)))

    Sharing is another thing. I am on a public site with 2000 shots on it so far. Travel, fairs, festivals, flowers etc…. It’s fun and rewarding to share with the WWW, without pretention, yet, trying one’s best to select and edit pictures to convey the fun of being here and there, relating to the world with a camera. No secret, rather easy to find, but I would never make a link of it here. A portfolio is not… a shoebox!

    I reiterate something I said before. Most of the great links I see here have one major sin. No text, no presentation, it’s supposed to be “pure” photography with a mere title/location, or something. And we end up looking at each shot for itself, which works only if you have 12 shots only on that site (like a portfolio).

    These days, few photo series, photo books, are not accompanied by a text, a poem, whatever. It just helps tremendously to drop the “exhibit” style presentation and have one’s pictures telling a A to B or Z story. If your great shot that day don’t fit, too bad. Its time will come, another day, another series. hey, maybe a major…Exhibit! :-))))

  • Hello,

    All my congratulations to Patricia and I hope that many of you will pick up(take down) a work!

    I still have difficulty choosing my images, only, but I have a new technique. Lors that I work on a new subject, I post(show) on a magnetized picture(board) my editions of current reading, and at the end of week to see 2, to see more, the images go out of the prize(lot), it also allows me to have a general view of my subject. Later, I appeal to a knowledge of the world of the photo, Alain Mingam, who helps me (when he has time!) to choose my final selection and my order of presentation for competitions, but I have few experiences, seen that I treated only 2 subjects!

    Kind regards,

  • hello all
    on this topic of edit and presentation, I find myself talking to my other self, all the time.
    I guess thats why I like my blog, its just really simple, easy to opperate, straight to the pictures, plus a little text if you want.
    man that shit is golden!
    I realise the importance of your book though, that has got to be solid.
    has anybody been selfpublishing there portfolios, I like the look of blurb. for that.
    looking forward to your editor dialogues.
    thanks David.

  • Funny, when I have read your previous post I somehow expected this reaction, your current post and the situation it describes.

    When I saw it today I had smile on my face.

    Wish you all nice day!

  • wrobertangell. Just had my portfolio printed by blurb. You get 40 pages as the satndard rate which is plenty enough for about 25 to 30 pictures (with title pages and introductions and white space to look good). Not bad price, nice quality. Boost the reds a little though as they print with a slight green cast makes everything look colder. I am hearing though (if you look over on lightstalkers you’ll read a lot of this) that the colour-cast you get, or not, is a bit of a lottery. Atthe end of the day it’s a cheap book but I am happy enough and am taking it around the local papers while I’m back in the UK.
    It is hard to edit of course. I like the friends route but friends can tend to like everything you do and can be unhelpful so I just try to be unemotional and put in only the best pics. For a portfolio this works okay, but for a story or photo essay it is much harder.

  • ALL:

    This is DEFINITELY the most difficult task. I, like others here, usually consult with professionals that I trust, but since photography is so subjective, I often find they just contradict one another. Photos that one throws out, others love, so I often decide to go with my own gut feeling.

    Case in point, the BBC story, I submitted about 25 photos, they selected 12 and of those twelve I was really surprised by their selection and the order, so go figure.


    prints exchange? witch size you want?
    email me.

  • Editing is certainly a formidable task for me.

    My editing difficulties, in descending order of difficulty:

    1. (Toughest) Having a story to tell in the first place.

    2. (Avoiding laziness and letting go) Admitting to myself that I have nothing good in the current take and letting go of the ‘almosts’.

    3. (Too many pictures) Digital makes it much easier to shoot a great number of photos, which makes editing them down more difficult. I think Cartier-Bresson was right when he said (in The World of Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1968 edition):

    “We must, however, refrain from snapping rapidly and mechanically, because in this way we only burden ourselves with useless shots that encumber the memory and cloud the clarity of the whole picture.”

    Recently I’ve been trying to take less shots while paying more attention. I almost never look at the LCD after taking a shot, especially when photographing people.

    4. (Sequencing) Putting the photos in a sequence that tells the story. This is closely related to number 1 above. I often find that I ‘invent’ the story while editing and change my mind about what I want to say, which shows that I fail at number 1 above…

    At any rate, I’ve come to realize that editing is as important as taking the pictures in the first place if your objective is a unified and coherent work such as a picture story, photo essay, etc.

    Regarding presentation, I’ve learned here that accompanying words and descriptions are very important if you want to help someone quickly understand what you are trying to say with your photographs.

    When I see elaborate, ‘flashy’ presentations I find that it usually detracts from the work, and is often a veil over lousy work (related to number 2 above).

    Your presentation must not take precedence over your work. The presentation plays a supporting role, not the main role. Simple is best (and simple is not easy!)

    Off to photograph, to edit, and to work on my site redesign!

  • david alan harvey


    you guys got it right…


    i have not actually published with Blurb, but if i were going to do one of those self published books, i would give them a try…all of those companies are, i believe, using the same type HP printing machine…so, i suppose “quality control” is not going to be perfect given the amount of material they must have…but, book publishing is never perfect anyway….in a book of 100 pictures, you will always find two or three “off”…


    i think at least one or two of you will get this job from Karen…i do hope it works out for you…

    on editing again…there are two things…choice of pictures and choice of how many pictures…generally speaking, most show too many pictures….

    you will go crazy asking too many opinions of your work…i remember watching the Pictures of the Year competition being judged (5 “judges”) when i was a college student at Missouri…i never wanted anyone’s “opinion” about my work from that day forward…i have since been one of those “judges”….that is not any better either…

    YOU need to know (just as you need to know when to take the picture in the first place) OR you need a good collaborator….but not 10 collaborators!!


    first, STUDY the visual classics (painting, sculpture, photography, film)…

    READ E.B.White and Japanese haikus…

    then GO WITH YOUR GUT, spinning out your own style either revolutionary or tangential…

    then YOU CHOOSE 10 pictures…show them…print them well….treat them with respect…

    then, FORGET those first 10…

    put them in the closet..AVOID falling in love with those first 10 good ones (the downfall of many)….

    be HONEST with yourself….look in the mirror and tell the truth to that person…

    then, go shoot 10 more!!…etc etc…

    if you are a passionate photographer, you will always have 10 more…

    if you think you are “done”, then you are…

    SOMEDAY you can go back and get those first 10 out of the closet!!!! but not yet!!!

    peace, david

  • didnt send an email, as i was going to tell Marina about Karen last night and then got sidetracked on a different conversation….


    for look3 i edited into 10 pics, keeping out my favorite pic (abstract photo of woman’s face), in hope that the story behind those photos might make sense….or not…

    by for now…


  • Chris Bickford…

    send you my email…


  • I agree with David.

    Everyone knows the saying… “opinions are like assholes….”

    I think it is good to get feedback from photographers whose work you respect and opinion you trust. But the bottom line is that it is YOUR work and YOUR vision. You HAVE to be the final judge and jury over what you present.

    It also helps to avoid blaming someone else when something doesn’t work. After all, no one looking at the image or images is going to say “damn, that guy who gave his opinion to this photographer was an idiot!”

    There are two kinds of people who look at photography, other photographers and everyone else. If you are shooting to impress your peers and value the impact your work has on them or on contest judges instead of the population that you are trying to tell a story to or bring awareness to then maybe your motivations are a bit misguided.

    We as photographers sometimes get too caught up in whether a photo is technically as good as it could be and a whole lot of other noise that can get in the way of what we are trying to accomplish.

    As William Hurt said in the Big Chill, “Sometimes you just need to let art flow over you.” (paraphrased)

    But lets face it… that is just my “opinion” (grin)

  • David,

    Thank you for the wonderful Quick Pocket Guide to Editing and Your Life in Photography!! So helpful as always!!!

  • Editing is constantly on my mind, often to the point of distraction. And there’s so much contradictory advice out there in the form of books, experts, etc… It seems that the best way to go is to use intuition in choosing pictures that best represent not only what I can shoot, but also what I want to shoot.

    What do you think of treating my web presence like this: have a main link where my 15 best images are, no matter where they’re from, and then indicate within the caption where on the site the complete story is located.

    David, your Quick Pocket Guide to Editing reminded me of something I think Hemingway said about writing a novel. Write the first 80 pages, then throw them out. That spot is where you should start your novel.

    It really is all about authorship, isn’t it?


  • DAVID.. if I get on the ball then I’ll see you (and everyone else here?) in c’ville.. Off to San Miguel in a few days.. Mezcal for b’fast!!

    MARCIN.. I just emailed you about the print.. A4 is good.. send me your address.. looking forward to it!

    ANDREW… let’s catch up my man..

    BOBB… ??????? :) :) :) :) !!!!!!!!!!

  • I still havent gotten down to editing to 10 pics for Look3 but I have an idea of which ones will make it. Still not sure if I should choose the 10 highest impact shots or try to vary speeds and moods…10 photos might be a bit too few to tell much of a story so I think I might go for the first option.

  • Editing is hard to do, and its something I struggle with but you have to look at as, “why put work in front of someone that will make them question what you can do.” Leave the viewer wanting more. I always try to put down my top 10 singles and then a picture story for a total of no more than 20 images. I also try to edit for my audience, i.e. no commercial work in a PJ portfolio etc. I try and get as much feed back from people as I can then go back and edit taking into consideration what I heard.

    What are you trying to say with your pics?
    What do you want to show?

  • david alan harvey


    for a slide show 10 is plenty….10 of you with 10 photographs each is 100 pictures which comes out to about a 10-15 minute slide show….trust me, we do not want it to be longer….i do many slide shows, i sit through many slide shows…20 mins is the absolute max max and shorter is better…an exhibit is a different thing….we are the lead off presentation for the day, so we have an amazing spot…i will also post this slide show here for all to see…if i were you i would go for the most intimate emotional pictures..thanks in advance for sending…i assume you are in touch with mike….

    cheers, david

  • DAVID..hi..

    about the slideshow, the images I was talking about are at
    then New York, then 40 Days

    I feel closer to the new work and would be more excited to have it seen, and I have some audio too I recorded.. but of course this is your call..

    thanks for looking..I’d be happy to swap out the older for the new…but would probably need to send Michael files today/tomorrow before I leave town till next week, unless that isn’t too late.

  • Editing my work; frankly, I don’t know how. Let me rephrase that: editing my pictures, I don’t know how, not really. When I edit what I write I know what I’m doing: no passive voice, not too many adjectives (I struggle with that one), stay in the same tense, make sure my spelling and punctuation are correct, and when the sentences are long, as they invariably are, make sure they can carry the load. I violate Strunk and White’s precepts on a more or less constant basis: I don’t omit needless words, not if they add to the effect I want to create, my sentences are almost always too long, and if the language police ticketed for semicolon use I’d be broke in a week. I could change my style, I suppose, but if everyone followed Strunk and White’s instructions, we’d all sound like Hemingway, and how boring would that be? Taken to the logical extreme, the people who think The Elements of Style is nothing less than the inspired Word of God vis-à-vis the use of written English would have to believe that Laurence Sterne and William Faulkner were lousy writers because they violated the Elements on just about every page of their work. Dr. Johnson thought that Tristram Shandy would not last, Hemingway mocked Faulkner’s “cornpone” style; I think history shows both men were way off the mark.

    I also try to avoid straining for an effect; I don’t always succeed with this, either, but I can usually tell when I reread what I’ve written that I’m pushing something too hard. I just dropped a piece about the worst opera ever written, La morta d’Ella, the tragic story of the love that made Bologna great, because the idea was just too flimsy to support a thousand or so words. I was hitting the reader over the head with a joke in every sentence, which you really can’t do; that sort of thing might have worked for Henny Youngman, but he’s the only one it worked for. So La morta d’Ella has gone the way of all flesh.

    As for editing pictures, this is something of a mystery to me. I did manage to weed my football action shots down from 399 to 17 or so. I was very scientific in how I selected the weeds: I took out the pics of the other team, except for one of them missing a field goal. If they’d made the extra point, I would’ve taken that out as well. As for sequencing to tell a story, I don’t usually tell stories with pictures; the pictures are just shots of people or events or things that struck me as interesting at the time. I’m not sure how you would sequence something like that. I am pretty sure, though, that I shouldn’t give up my day job for photography.

  • hey david,

    haven’t been on for a few days, did i miss something about the 10 slides at look3? i was planning on going, but never heard when the slide show was happening. should i email mike about those kind of questions?


  • hi david, hi folks,

    editing really can be a very tough business. sometimes i find harder than making the photos in the first place. couple it with sequencing pictures and you can have a real headache on your hands.

    i think its one of those processes where there are no right answers. why one editor would choose one selection of pictures, while another editor would choose a different selection is simply down to opinion. of course the purpose of the work is import…what is being said… the feeling to be conveyed…where it is to be seen; these surely are influencing factors. but ultimately its that thing of personal opinion.

    i think the important thing is to really know why you are choosing a particular picture, why you are putting it in that place in the sequence. if it comes to it you must be able to justify why it is there. if you whole heartedly believe that it is worthy, if it says something, then that is the reason to choose it.

    for me it is largely based on a feeling…..i just know. someone else may disagree, that is up to them…..but if i think i have made the right choice i will fight tooth an nail for that picture.

    anyway, i’m off for now.

    take care everyone.


  • DAVID…

    Thank you very much for this quick pocket guide. Regarding E.B.White, do you recommend “The Elements of Style” or his articles in the New Yorker magazine? Maybe both?

  • Oh come on… Surely he means Charlotte’s Web!


  • I’ve just spent way too long trying to catch up on this snapshot of what must be over 1,000 posts… assignments, new web-sites, new faces/voices, panos getting punked, david back in at kent avenue, it looks like rafal and panos get along now (maybe?), bob spewing gems, etc. etc. take note of this time, my friend, it is something to behold.

  • David,

    Great recommendations for editing! I was just about to take a look at Gombrichs “Story of Art” and was finally able to read Susan Sontags essay “On Photography” :)



  • david alan harvey


    i spoke with Karen briefly who said she got almost 40 portfolios from this group in just those few hours!!! said she would look at them all…this obviously means we have so so many folks here who never write, but certainly read…

    another quick note about editing and choosing your work….as i have pointed out many many times, you must be the primary person who chooses your work…this, of course, has nothing to do with the potential buyers of your work …you really cannot control what others will like anyway…

    so, naturally i always HOPE editors and various clients and print buyers will like my work enough to purchase either my time or my “inventory”, but i still do not edit for “them”…that is like a dog chasing his tale….”they” may edit differently for a magazine than might i, but that is fair enough….but, i always get way way involved in the choosing process even with clients..most clients appreciate good intelligent must do your best work, and hope for the best, but trying to “psyche out” what a buyer will like when you are shooting is, i think in the long run, a losing battle..having said that, you should of course seek out clients who are most likely to publish the style of work you like to shoot…and book publishing should be 100% you (ok, 99%)


    yes, this forum sometimes takes on the tone of theatrical drama .. lots happening always…i cannot even keep up…we are all pleased to have you back here and please try to come to c’ville…i mean dude, would you really want to miss whatever drama is most likely to occur in that normally sleepy quiet Virginia town??? so, put your spurs on and saddle up..

    cheers, david

  • BOB

    May I have ask to you, please?

    I will write essay about my hometown in english but I need correct it and you are the best for it.
    So if you will have some time maybe you could do this for me?
    Give me a note please.



    I hope you still have power to keep this blog foward. I really do.


  • Lisa,

    i just visited your website and it’s very well designed. but i think it will be better to put custom navigation in the tearsheets section, the actual “slideshow” don’t work for me, or, put the slide with less seconds between tearsheets. i’m not a regular user, so i know some web stuf and i know the system that powered up your gallery and tearsheets, and the navigation with keys works very nice, but the majoraty of users doens’t know that they can navigate with keyboard arrows navigation, unlsse you tell them :)

    have a nice work!

  • Lisa,

    i just visited your website and it’s very well designed. but i think it will be better to put custom navigation in the tearsheets section, the actual “slideshow” don’t work for me, or, put the slide with less seconds between tearsheets. i’m not a regular user, so i know some web stuf and i know the system that powered up your gallery and tearsheets, and the navigation with keys works very nice, but the majoraty of users doens’t know that they can navigate with keyboard arrows navigation, unlsse you tell them :)

    have a nice work!

  • Lisa,

    i just visited your website and it’s very well designed. but i think it will be better to put custom navigation in the tearsheets section, the actual “slideshow” don’t work for me, or, put the slide with less seconds between tearsheets. i’m not a regular user, so i know some web stuf and i know the system that powered up your gallery and tearsheets, and the navigation with keys works very nice, but the majoraty of users doens’t know that they can navigate with keyboard arrows navigation, unlsse you tell them :)

    have a nice work!

  • Lisa,

    i just visited your website and it’s very well designed. but i think it will be better to put custom navigation in the tearsheets section, the actual “slideshow” don’t work for me, or, put the slide with less seconds between tearsheets. i’m not a regular user, so i know some web stuf and i know the system that powered up your gallery and tearsheets, and the navigation with keys works very nice, but the majoraty of users doens’t know that they can navigate with keyboard arrows navigation, unlsse you tell them :)

    have a nice work!

  • Lisa,

    i just visited your website and it’s very well designed. but i think it will be better to put custom navigation in the tearsheets section, the actual “slideshow” don’t work for me, or, put the slide with less seconds between tearsheets. i’m not a regular user, so i know some web stuf and i know the system that powered up your gallery and tearsheets, and the navigation with keys works very nice, but the majoraty of users doens’t know that they can navigate with keyboard arrows navigation, unlsse you tell them :)

    have a nice work!

  • Lisa,

    i just visited your website and it’s very well designed. but i think it will be better to put custom navigation in the tearsheets section, the actual “slideshow” don’t work for me, or, put the slide with less seconds between tearsheets. i’m not a regular user, so i know some web stuf and i know the system that powered up your gallery and tearsheets, and the navigation with keys works very nice, but the majoraty of users doens’t know that they can navigate with keyboard arrows navigation, unlsse you tell them :)

    have a nice work!

  • Lisa,

    i just visited your website and it’s very well designed. but i think it will be better to put custom navigation in the tearsheets section, the actual “slideshow” don’t work for me, or, put the slide with less seconds between tearsheets. i’m not a regular user, so i know some web stuf and i know the system that powered up your gallery and tearsheets, and the navigation with keys works very nice, but the majoraty of users doens’t know that they can navigate with keyboard arrows navigation, unlsse you tell them :)

    have a nice work!


  • Marcin,
    If it would help at all, I’d be happy to assist with any Polish to English translation if needed…

  • what can i say, i love editing (well sometimes no :p ), because it compels me to see with big eyes the photos that i failed and with that i make some kind of mental notes to correct in the future if possible. but i need time to edited, i need to stay way a few days and only after that see the photos i made. i think it’s because of this that i don’t like to shoot with digital, i hate shoot i turn off the camera from the eye just to watch in the small monitor on the back of the camera! with this i feel i break some feelings in a certain situations. but as always there is some works that this digital thing is a plus.

    web presentation… i think having permalinks to individual features/gallerys (to send by email if is needed without the need to waste time to figured out how to get there) is important, and in part that’s why i “don’t like” the majoraty of flash sites…
    if is photography that you want to show try to keep clean design and let photos do the talk.
    i like very much to have a page/portfolio with the essence/mood of my work in 10/15 photos (more or less) like this for example that i use in kameraphoto:

    and sometimes i like to show my editing and for that i build this kind of presentaion (yes, i have learn how to make websites in my blank photographic periods):

    all the best,

  • what can i say, i love editing (well sometimes no :p ), because it compels me to see with big eyes the photos that i failed and with that i make some kind of mental notes to correct in the future if possible. but i need time to edited, i need to stay way a few days and only after that see the photos i made. i think it’s because of this that i don’t like to shoot with digital, i hate shoot i turn off the camera from the eye just to watch in the small monitor on the back of the camera! with this i feel i break some feelings in a certain situations. but as always there is some works that this digital thing is a plus.

    web presentation… i think having permalinks to individual features/gallerys (to send by email if is needed without the need to waste time to figured out how to get there) is important, and in part that’s why i “don’t like” the majoraty of flash sites…
    if is photography that you want to show try to keep clean design and let photos do the talk.
    i like very much to have a page/portfolio with the essence/mood of my work in 10/15 photos (more or less) like this for example that i use in kameraphoto:

    and sometimes i like to show my editing and for that i build this kind of presentaion (yes, i have learn how to make websites in my blank photographic periods):

    all the best,

  • what can i say, i love editing (well sometimes no :p ), because it compels me to see with big eyes the photos that i failed and with that i make some kind of mental notes to correct in the future if possible. but i need time to edited, i need to stay way a few days and only after that see the photos i made. i think it’s because of this that i don’t like to shoot with digital, i hate shoot i turn off the camera from the eye just to watch in the small monitor on the back of the camera! with this i feel i break some feelings in a certain situations. but as always there is some works that this digital thing is a plus.

    web presentation… i think having permalinks to individual features/gallerys (to send by email if is needed without the need to waste time to figured out how to get there) is important, and in part that’s why i “don’t like” the majoraty of flash sites…
    if is photography that you want to show try to keep clean design and let photos do the talk.
    i like very much to have a page/portfolio with the essence/mood of my work in 10/15 photos (more or less) like this for example that i use in kameraphoto:

    and sometimes i like to show my editing and for that i build this kind of presentaion (yes, i have learn how to make websites in my blank photographic periods):

    all the best,

  • what can i say, i love editing (well sometimes no :p ), because it compels me to see with big eyes the photos that i failed and with that i make some kind of mental notes to correct in the future if possible. but i need time to edited, i need to stay way a few days and only after that see the photos i made. i think it’s because of this that i don’t like to shoot with digital, i hate shoot i turn off the camera from the eye just to watch in the small monitor on the back of the camera! with this i feel i break some feelings in a certain situations. but as always there is some works that this digital thing is a plus.

    web presentation… i think having permalinks to individual features/gallerys (to send by email if is needed without the need to waste time to figured out how to get there) is important, and in part that’s why i “don’t like” the majoraty of flash sites…
    if is photography that you want to show try to keep clean design and let photos do the talk.
    i like very much to have a page/portfolio with the essence/mood of my work in 10/15 photos (more or less) like this for example that i use in kameraphoto:

    and sometimes i like to show my editing and for that i build this kind of presentaion (yes, i have learn how to make websites in my blank photographic periods):

    all the best,

  • what can i say, i love editing (well sometimes no :p ), because it compels me to see with big eyes the photos that i failed and with that i make some kind of mental notes to correct in the future if possible. but i need time to edited, i need to stay way a few days and only after that see the photos i made. i think it’s because of this that i don’t like to shoot with digital, i hate shoot i turn off the camera from the eye just to watch in the small monitor on the back of the camera! with this i feel i break some feelings in a certain situations. but as always there is some works that this digital thing is a plus.

    web presentation… i think having permalinks to individual features/gallerys (to send by email if is needed without the need to waste time to figured out how to get there) is important, and in part that’s why i “don’t like” the majoraty of flash sites…
    if is photography that you want to show try to keep clean design and let photos do the talk.
    i like very much to have a page/portfolio with the essence/mood of my work in 10/15 photos (more or less) like this for example that i use in kameraphoto:

    and sometimes i like to show my editing and for that i build this kind of presentaion (yes, i have learn how to make websites in my blank photographic periods):

    all the best,

  • what can i say, i love editing (well sometimes no :p ), because it compels me to see with big eyes the photos that i failed and with that i make some kind of mental notes to correct in the future if possible. but i need time to edited, i need to stay way a few days and only after that see the photos i made. i think it’s because of this that i don’t like to shoot with digital, i hate shoot i turn off the camera from the eye just to watch in the small monitor on the back of the camera! with this i feel i break some feelings in a certain situations. but as always there is some works that this digital thing is a plus.

    web presentation… i think having permalinks to individual features/gallerys (to send by email if is needed without the need to waste time to figured out how to get there) is important, and in part that’s why i “don’t like” the majoraty of flash sites…
    if is photography that you want to show try to keep clean design and let photos do the talk.
    i like very much to have a page/portfolio with the essence/mood of my work in 10/15 photos (more or less) like this for example that i use in kameraphoto:

    and sometimes i like to show my editing and for that i build this kind of presentaion (yes, i have learn how to make websites in my blank photographic periods):

    all the best,

  • what can i say, i love editing (well sometimes no :p ), because it compels me to see with big eyes the photos that i failed and with that i make some kind of mental notes to correct in the future if possible. but i need time to edited, i need to stay way a few days and only after that see the photos i made. i think it’s because of this that i don’t like to shoot with digital, i hate shoot i turn off the camera from the eye just to watch in the small monitor on the back of the camera! with this i feel i break some feelings in a certain situations. but as always there is some works that this digital thing is a plus.

    web presentation… i think having permalinks to individual features/gallerys (to send by email if is needed without the need to waste time to figured out how to get there) is important, and in part that’s why i “don’t like” the majoraty of flash sites…

    if is photography that you want to show try to keep clean design and let photos do the talk.

    i like very much to have a page/portfolio with the essence/mood of my work in 10/15 photos (more or less) like this for example that i use in kameraphoto:

    and sometimes i like to show my editing and for that i build this kind of presentaion (yes, i have learn how to make websites in my blank photographic periods):

    all the best,


  • Mike

    yes, yes, yes!!! your polish-to-nglish is great if you could help me I will be grateful!!!!
    I will gave you a note.
    many many many thanks.


  • “do most of you feel that editing/presenting is your most formidable task???”

    david, thanks for bringing up this subject once more! to me, “most formidable task” is also an understatement in this regard! hope to get shown the light at the end of the tunnel by this forum soon.

  • I’d like to offer another perspective to this discussion, particularly about web sites.

    At this time the only place where my photos can be seen online is a PBase web site much like the one Herve described. It has dozens of galleries with photos that reflect my broad range of interests and experiences. Yes, some of these galleries are dedicated to specific portfolios, but many are not. It’s a real mixed bag.

    But because of that variety, jobs have dropped into my lap through no effort of my own. One time a book publisher emailed me wanting to use one of my photos for the cover of a textbook she was publishing. A copy of that book is now on my shelves.

    Just last March, the LA documentary producer who had won an Oscar for Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth,” emailed and asked me to do a well-paying location shoot for her upcoming documentary about rock guitarists. She’d seen photos on my web site of the Detroit neighborhood where one of the guitarists had grown up. She wanted onsite photos to see if it would be worth their while to come to Detroit for a mini-production shoot. In working on that job I learned a lot about hard deadlines & professionals who knew exactly what they wanted. Besides it will be cool to see my name in the credits once this film is released.

    I share these stories not to brag but to say there is a place for all kinds of photographic web sites. Of course if you’re submitting a proposal to an editor like Karen, you’ll want a more focused site with only the best-of-your-best. But if you simply want to share your work with the wider world–which is more where I am, right now anyway–a photo sharing site like PBase or Flicker can do the job.

    There’s a time and place for everything.


  • david alan harvey

    Jean Sébastien….

    i was referring to E.B. White’s “Elements of Style”

  • david:

    i have been reading your blog(s) for a few weeks now and this is my first contribution. i really like the community you have set up, and even though there seem to be a ton of photo blogs out there, this place remains quite unique, imo.

    as for your question, to be honest, i don’t have trouble with editing/presenting, though i should say that i haven’t gotten any work yet so maybe i am doing something wrong (I am greener than green). if anything, i think i cut too much.

    btw, i wish i read your post about Karen before the STOP was announced :) anyway, maybe next time ill be more on my toes.


  • david alan harvey



    but, i think if you want to go to a “wider world” of the best types of clients and print buyers, surely Flickr will not do it….

    not just for editors like Karen, but any serious photography buyer…just go look at the sites of the photographers you respect who have the very best clients in mind…i am not saying you might not get lucky and have someone find you on Flickr, but is that really the image you want to have??? photo sharing is one thing and a good thing…but, setting yourself up as a serious photographer is another….why not photo share on Flickr, but still have your own sophisticated site???

    in this same vein, and i am sure you know this, but it never hurts to mention it again… since you are getting some good commissions, no matter how much someone pays you , be sure never to SELL your work…you should RENT your work…and you only should “rent” for ONE TIME USE out…in other words, be careful of all contracts and do not lose your copyright to one single picture…

    YOU MUST OWN all of your work and have ALL re-use is customary to have a client want 90 day use rights or sometimes one year for high paying advertising use, but all photographs should come back to you for your archive….remember your archive is everything…..

    again, congratulations for all the good commissions etc…

    this is a good discussion in any case….to be continued…..

    cheers, david

  • Dear David,
    you asked to see some work ages ago and I haven’t really looked in since, but here’s a website with some stuff, but no captions. I hope it works ok, there are some glitches I haven’t worked out, but if you’re on a mac it works just fine.

  • Yep 10 is plenty enough for sure, Im just wandering outloud how to edit the sequence of 10:) Never been good at editing things and this is a big challenge: big body of work and big event…..nervous as hell…to be honest the thing Im most worried about isnt the pictures, its the soundtrack…………

  • NELSON.. hey thanks for looking and you nailed it about the tearsheets. What I actually wanted was a tearsheets gallery that just had a single image that you could click on and then it would flow like the other galleries, but alas this would have meant another time delay and I just have to go with what I have at the moment. I don’t have a huge objection to the tearsheets being in slideshow as really they are not what I am interested in people seeing. They just lend credibility to me as a pro that can go out and come back with something every time. What I wanted was a really clean gallery that I could add and subtract things from when I felt the need and thats primarily what I have. I hate to say this but if people can’t figure out the navigation well I am not sure that they would enjoy the photos anyway. So that doesn’t bother me.

    PATRICIA… Congrats for the publication BTW but I agree with David. For years in the quest to make $’s I did a bit of everything and now here I am wishing I had paid more attention to the ‘Inner Artist’ ‘cos I reckon I would be doing better overall. Putting the new website together AFTER I did the workshop with David and James last year, made it really clear to me what the meaning of what I shoot is and how I visually respond, it gives me MY voice and it satisfies my soul. Now I am the most broke I have ever been in my life, but I feel happier as a photographer. I guess I am honest enough to admit that I only want to work with the best clients and that if I do what I do best then they will remember that and maybe sling some work my way. I hope so anyway.

    ALL… I agree about the editing process as well. At the end of the day it does become your voice only and while the very experienced editors that I have worked with sometimes see it differently, the great ones generally agree with me on what is a good shot. I think the trick with editing is not to get attached to an image ‘cos of the difficulty/location/people/lighting/relevance and just look to see whether it says what you want it to say about whatever it is that your saying something about.

    Sorry thats long winded, just my 2 pence!

  • I did not submit to Karen.

    If I had better editing skills perhaps I would have!
    Some helpful comments here…so perhaps there’s hope for me.

    Did you see my (surfer) comment recently under assignments?
    Nothing important, just thought you’d enjoy it.

  • I think Patricia did not mention her actual set-up as an alternative to a personal website, portfolio, or even get out of the house and knock on doors, just that the sharing on a grand scale these sites offer can bring rewards, and a bit more confidence about one’s abilities.

    On the other hand, IMO, no one (almost could bet on that) has ever stopped its day job and got a career (as a photographer, not a benevolent/volunteer or a teacher) out of being on these sites. As David intimates, it takes another kind of step for that.

    About editing again. I suppose editing down and editing/sequencing is a bit different. i kinda read david’s last entries on that subject as being a lot more about the first one than the second one, concerning what he sees from everyone’s links.

    I really think it’s part of a photographer’s job to be able to edit down, and without anyone’s help. It’s not a skill, IMO.

    The second type, may I guess that even David will consult a trusted collaborator, someone he trusts, which for many, can be one’s spouse, for example.


    Trying to get my X to look at photos is part of the reason he is my X!

    The only opinion I could go with in the end was my own, otherwise I was just trying to please him and really he didn’t have a finely tuned eye. In fact he really had no interest either and well he always picked the very suburban photos that did not engage or question. In the end it always is about the author of the work and while I am sure its different in many cases my X-spouse was certainly NOT able to make any kinds of informed decisions on photographs. And it was unfair of me to ask him.

    I mean if you need your car fixed, you go to a mechanic not a dentist right?

  • Just to clarify, friends, I was sharing some advantages I’ve experienced in having image-dense galleries on a site like PBase. This is not to say anything against having a more selective professional web site. I’m hoping to put one up myself in time. For me it’s a both/and not either/or. Another thing I’ve loved about PBase is the community we form there. Of course you do that here as well.

    Regarding retaining the copyright to ALL of my photos, that goes without saying. Never would I have dealings with anyone who wanted my copyright. Thirty years as a visual artist has certainly taught me that!


  • Unlike many people I dont have a website…just Flickr and I know that it might not be professional. As flickr goes, its basically a big collection of images, not an edited site. I know I should put together something that looks better but the thing I like about Flickr is that it is basically a big scrapbook.

    I used to be on PBase but I just didnt find it interesting as far as forming a community. I think Flick is far superior to it in that regard where the groups are basically p;laces where communities coalesce. Interesting groups on flickr, the discussion and sharing, back and forth, its really the reason Im there and not PBase which I always found dead.

  • to add to the tone of theatrical drama…

  • OK…
    LET’S GO…


    CLICK.. and feed… baccck… pleasse….
    “story” coming soon… I will “reveal” the “plot” as we go…

    Tell me please what you think… and then i will decide if i can show you the “rest”…


    your slideshow not working on my computer I just saw two pictures. This man with fuckfinger is just great! keep going!

    Ok. I’m running shooting.


  • I mean if you need your car fixed, you go to a mechanic not a dentist right?

    Well, If you photos need fixing, of course you need someone in the profession, but if you are choosing a car, the mechanic might not be helpful….;-)

    Not every spouse is good counsel, of course. But someone who is close to you, understands you, has an artistic education, and can look discerningly at pictures from that education, might prove to a be a good alter ego, hubbie or not.

    PS:I just watched PBS TV all evening. Great series underwritten by Bill Moyers about the history of chinese in America, subsequently chinese/asian americans. Maybe some of you on the US west coast caught it too.

  • Panos, I don’t know the “story”, but be aware of facility and the gratuitous shot parading as photographic docu. It’s a very fine line between hazard and hazradous, but maybe on top of trying to let your story say something, have some kind of happenstance, moment, double-layer…Serendipity in the shots itself.

    Mixed bag for me, then, and the first (chiropractor) is really good. IMO again.

  • david (and all),

    I’m now in the process of creating a website with my photos, so this discussion on editing comes at the right time for me.
    I agree that what most emerging photographers websites suffer from is showing too much. And, on the opposite, it’s true most established ones show no more than 30-50 pictures and that’s all.
    However…isn’t it that an established photographer, like you and everyone at Magnum, can “afford” to show only a small part and the best part of their work while not established ones can’t?
    I mean, is it enough, to get some attention from editors nowadays, to just show you can shoot, or you have to show something more, that you know what you want, that you know where you are going, that you have developed your own personal vision etc.
    In few words show that you have a “project” (this was in my opinion what put sean gallagher a step ahead for last year’s stipend).
    Is it possible to reach that goal by only showing 30 pictures?
    My case:
    I’ve photographed for years more or less the same subjects and i know it would make more sense to show 10-15 pictures for every group of photos if I want to give an idea of what my research on a particular subject has been . Maybe not all great shots (I’m not sure i have great shots at all….) but…is it more important to show great shots or a consistent small essay of 10-15 pictures where you show you had an idea of what you were doing?
    This way, including some singles it would be a website of 80 pictures or more… too many i’m afraid.
    The second option I’m considering is to just group my pictures in two sections (Landscapes/People) and show 20-25 pictures for each one. This second option would surely be enough to show what I can or can’t do but, again, what does an editor (or anyone else) want to see, that you’re good at taking pictures or that you have chosen a direction and know where you are going?
    An example: you had no hesitation to select Audrey by looking at her work on Rose and from the words you wrote her your enthusiasm was clear. Audrey certainly knows how to use her camera but what she primarily showed us was a project, and a very personal one. Would it be the same if she showed us only 5-6 pictures?
    So going back to where I started from: are we in the position, can we afford to show only a selection of our best pictures, or should we risk to show too much but communicate more clearly what our projects are?
    sorry for the too many questions….and thanks for your editing guide.


  • As Karen did not specify the nature of the assignment it would be difficult to target photographs that would show your level of expertise in a particular area (I didn’t submit as I shoot only in colour). All I have is a .Mac account and use Aperture to load Web albums. It’s pretty basic (no page names -just 1,2, etc. and no Home button) but it is very easy to post a mini site with a specific purpose. You won’t get any web traffic but It is ideal for contacting someone such as Karen with a proposal. If she wanted to see more you could add photos in minutes!

  • “we have so so many folks here who never write, but certainly read”… true :)

    I agree that editing is the hardest work. when i come back from some event, choosing the photos to publish to my own flickr space its hard. At the end of this “editing” work I have 40-50 photos on my set… that is too much :)
    Knowing that, some day ago I tried to make a serious job on editing (5-6 hours of work) started from 54 photos at the end of the day i rested with 7 photos (with caption and titles). It was soo hard, but I thing that is only way to make your job (for me is only a hobby) really interesting for other people.

    If somenone want’s to take a look… here is the result of the editing. (must click on “I” on the middle of the photo in order to see the captions)

    and here the first result of the editing (54 photos)

    The total shooted photos at this event was something like 250-300 photos :)


  • I like to get comments from two or three photographers/editors whose opinions I trust, then take their reactions as guides for my gut feeling about a photo. Often there are disagreements about some images, but when all reactions are the same-either good or bad-I find that (if I’m honest with myself) my gut feels the same way.
    Editing myself is something that I, like many others, find difficult to do well. I find that getting outside opinions can act as a kind of training for my own editing abilities, can help me figure out if my compass is more or less right.

  • David et all:

    I feel a bit guilty here as I think David’s comments about removing the cliché photos from my site provoked this discussion about the best way to present oneself online.

    OK, I’m lying. The great thing is that it has led to an interesting exchange here and demonstrates the collective confusion many photographers have regarding this issue.

    I’m struggling to balance having reportage and travel work on my site, so the question is: does having two styles on one site handicap you? AND if so, what is the solution? A ‘Features’ link and a ‘Travel’ link? Two different sites entirely? Or do I just bag travel entirely since it’s a secondary interest and lame anyway;-)

    I’m leading towards creating two navigational tabs and separating out the work because I think that travel and reportage can co-exist, but maybe I’m wrong, so I’m curious as to what others think.


  • Charlie-
    I think this can go back to comment made earlier, that the work on your website should follow a particular vision. It’s still you photographing, and so long as the work all sticks to showing how you see, it can all exist in the same site.
    I’d certainly suggest two different sections, like ‘photojournalism’ or ‘reportage’ and ‘travel’ or ‘personal work’–two easily distinguishable sections of your site.

    VENICE SOULS 1445…

  • DAH,
    I sent you an email with a handful of images and it got bounced back saying “mailbox full.” Do you have a second address? If not I can just build a gallery and post here.

  • Zanetta is a young girl… born with a rare condition…
    Her father … in a Venice street Band… real INSIDER…
    playing guitat in the streets to feed his daughter for over 10 years, now…
    She always has to wear a HELMET..
    She could HURT herself…


    “This is the place that most “Insider’s” meetings begin…”

    Insider’s point of reference…

  • david,

    i am not the best at editing my work at all. but i have confidence that people will know what my style is al about when seeing my site. as always it is helpful to have one person you trust more than anyone else to look at and edit your work. help you make that last step.

    i think when editing as well it is helpful to have a second pair of eyes so that you have a different perspective on it and as well to take a step back and see everything from afar to see how it will all look in the end.

    taking a step back i find helps e edit my images and make selects.

    this is a great discussion to have on this blog. hope to see you at fop.


  • david alan harvey


    i totally understand a certain appeal with the photo sharing sites….but i do not see them as any kind of tool for moving a serious career forward if that is a photographer’s intent…sometimes photographers think they can do one thing at the beginning and then somehow “later” they will re-establish themselves as something else….my feeling is that however you set yourself up at the beginning is how you will be viewed always…it is much easier to invent yourself than to re-invent yourself..


    my comment to Herve and Patricia also relates to your comment when you suggested that since i am in Magnum that i “can afford to just show a few pictures” on a web site….

    i hear comments like that a lot…but, of course, that concept totally defies logic…how do you think Magnum photographers became Magnum photographers?? certainly not born as i said above, you must DEFINE YOURSELF EARLY ON as a photographer…a photographer does not join Magnum and then somehow suddenly create his/her image and work…it is exactly the opposite!!!!…to get into Magnum you must have a strong point of view and a very tight edit among other things…i think my final portfolio for membership had no more than 40 photographs…Alex Majoli was nominated with 25 photographs….i do not think i have ever seen a strong portfolio with more than 50 pictures….

    my philosophy and approach about my work did NOT come AFTER i was accepted into Magnum….i am not doing much of anything different now than i did when i was 14….if you go to my “galleries” section here, you will see what i mean….i have held my basic “ideals” approach all along…long long long before either Natgeo or Magnum…

    spreading yourself out there with too many photographs, too many choices , will only make the discerning viewer think you have no point of view…

    this is fine for a commercial “generalist” or stock photographer…but i assume for the purposes for all of our discussions here that we are all looking for a more individualistic and personalized approach to our lives and our work…

    yes, yes of course you can change and should change..evolution and revolution are good..but changing every week or month and having a portfolio that shows you know how to do “everything” will lead to serious frustration eventually even if you get good jobs out of it at the beginning…

    i cannot tell you how many 45 yr. old photographers come to me who have big houses, 3 cars, and a boat and who have been very successful with commercializing their work…yes, they became all things to all people…and sacrificed the very thing they perhaps treasured most and now seek to regain….their own voice, their art, their visual personality…..

    “it is never too late to be the man you could have been”….this is true…but, why not start off at least moving in a direction that you can live with…

    be whoever you are going to be in the future,TODAY !!!!!

    cheers, david

  • Fantastic, David. When I worked in the UK I was a wire service shooter and I was good at it. However, it was primarily tabloid in nature and so I eventually left because I felt I had more to offer. However, I’ve not managed to make my mark just yet. Nor have I managed to completely separate myself from my photo past.

    Embracing is my attempt to solidify my ambition and my photographer identity.

    Your words above ring so true. But perhaps one can re-invent oneself as I plan to do. I certainly don’t want to sucked back into my old career. I want a new one. And I’m still trying to figure out what I’d like it to be. Suffice to say I almost had to leave it but simply couldn’t.

    My thinking now is to investigate establishing a collective of photographers who have similar interests to myself, perhaps calling it The Photohumourist Collective. We could pool our talents and go after the big projects together and publish our own projects on our own terms.

    Like you said, humour simply does not get the respect it deserves. Perhaps as a small group of visual wits we could mark some turf.

    Know anyone I should be speaking to? I’ve been thinking on this for some time now and would like to get cracking in the coming months.


  • david,

    i couldnt agree more with you but at the same time I think you took only an excerpt from my post (what we can or can’t afford).
    Besides I think not many of us are at a career point where they can imagine applying to enter magnum (some-like me- are not even pro photogs).
    We agree on showing few pictures but my concern, my main question was “is showing interesting, consistent projects more important than showing single great shots or not'”. I know the answer probably is “you need to have both”….
    So, how to show four or five different series of photograph and still keep your portfolio to 30-40 pictures?
    By the way: i recently bought Stephen’s Shore “Uncommon places- The complete works”. Then i read an interview where he said he had regrets he gave that title because he realized he left out a lot of pictures he liked very much. “I’ve never been a great editor of my own works” he concluded….

  • Paulyman,

    Paolo Woods was a fashion photographer in Florence. Now he’s shooting in Iraq, afghanistan and other dangerous places around the world. So I think one can re-invent oneself.

  • David and All,
    I don’t think I’m going to get in a habit of posting every story I shoot, but here’s a handful from what I shot yesterday:

    As far as a story goes, Al’s is perfect for what I hope to achieve. A caption for these could read something like this:

    “Al is unemployed, and having a yard sale to pay bills. He’s giving up his baby, a ’59 Ford F600, which was his 16th birthday present. It’s not in running condition, but holds much sentimental value.”

    The process for finding these kind of stories requires lot’s of patience—not everyone having a sale is in this bind. I’ll be happy if I can find one good story per week. I do have a good group of people here who are really interested in this project, so I think as I produce a few samples, it will snowball.

    I’m showing six here, but ultimately I’ll probably only show one or two per story—if it seems too simple, consider that a group of portraits will build on each other. Strengths or weaknesses? Please let me know what you think.

  • david,

    i agree with what you put and i could not agree more with it. it is important to define who you are as a artist and as a person and as you have said before as a photographer early on. this will define you not only through one body of work but will show this throughout.

    i know a few photographers who are in it to make money and that is it. sell stock images of flowers and pay rent for a year with it. this is all fine and good but when it comes down to it i could not nor ever could i live that life without ever having a deep personal connection not only with my photographs but as well my subjects also.

    “its never to late to be the man you could have been”

    very well put.

    “the best way to predict the future is to create it”


    Damn… I worked all day with my old 6×6 pentacon six, but with first frame something wrong happen with this camera. I hear that shutter mechanism work wrong. Now I have to wait until tuesday to see that I could or could not work with this camera. meadium format should be a half of my work…. bloody camera. fm2 not working well also. It could be I will work only on M6 and one 35 lens againe. I had different idea. Shit!
    tomorrow is “black march” in Kamienna Gora. Some drunk young mother with her partner have beaten to death 3 years old child. People organize march against it. I will talk with police about young people and about violance. This is not safe town beacuse youth are bored. I will also talk about my work because “guy with camera” is not what many young bored people want on their streets.
    But all going well.


  • God Bless Cornell Capa !!!! A true Concerned Photographer !!++

  • Photo-sites. It’s a good point, David. The fact that I never put my Pbase link here, attests to what you are saying. As well as that nobody i know has established his/herself thru a public site.

    On the other hand, I have made some good friends from these sites, so the sharing, away from “being viewed” and “career” intent, is really wonderful.

    Will it stifle how profession people “view” me? Gee, I’d have to be seen first… From where i stand, yes it will come, in another re-incarnation, let alone re-inventing! :-)))

    For some reason, saying all this, this poem comes to mind (better in french though):

    Jacques Prévert – The Dunce

    He says no with his head
    but he says yes with his heart
    he says yes to what he loves
    he says no to the teacher
    he stands
    he is questioned
    and all the problems are posed
    sudden laughter seizes him
    and he erases all
    the words and figures
    names and dates
    sentences and snares
    and despite the teacher’s threats
    to the jeers of infant prodigies
    with chalk of every colour
    on the blackboard of misfortune
    he draws the face of happiness.

  • ” the truth is the best picture, the best propaganda. ” ” the pictures are just there, and you take them.” Capa

  • “The idea that any photography can’t be personal is madness!… I see something: it goes throuht my eye, brain, heart, guts; I choose the subject. What could be more than that?”

    Great quote great man great life great photos

  • david,

    guido again. I wanted to add something because i read your 11.59 post again and, i may be wrong, but you sounded a little pissed off as if by saying you magnum photographers “can afford”, i meant you’re are where you are not because of your talent, hard work and strong vision but because of luck or whtaever.
    On the contrary, i have maximum respect and admiration for you,
    Alex Majoli (by the way, give my countryman my “saluti”, aren’t you living in the same building?) and many others, and i think i know what the story is like.
    I know sometimes i have difficulties to express my thoughts in English so i’m not sure I managed to communicate what i really wanted to.
    To clarify my thought what i really meant was: you established photogs probably dont even need to have a portfolio, your work is in every bookshops, but even more in editors’ and people who deal with photography’s memory. That’s why i said you “can afford”. No film director is asking george clooney to show how good he is before hiring him after all…


  • David
    just going back to editing down to a really strong set of 20-40 images.
    just wondering how you presented your portfolio in the early days.
    I remember when I lived in San Diego, I was next door to a major ad agency, almost ten years ago. just out of college, and bursting with confidence. so I was trying to dig up a job with this company, became freindly with the art dept there and was shown some portfolios. I was handed a beautiful clothbound coffee table book with slipcase, gorgeous print quality and a lot of pages. here I was standing with a photopaper box and a bunch of b/w’s that I had printed in school. that was some sorry shit. this was an ad agency, and not a magazine environment, (although they liked an editorial approach).
    however, today with so many people holding cameras, I mean do you think that 20-40 images is enough.
    if you have 70-90 really fine images, why not self publish and show them all. seems like most photobooks are 90-120 pages for established shooters.

    just going back to your comment. have you ever seen a conde naste contract? you’d be dreaming about your rights after signing one of those. plus you will need an army of lawyers to decipher.
    whats the word on that David, with all the heavy editorial pieces, and the major national and international mags. do they want to own at Nat Geo. and if so how does that make you feel.
    how about that Patricia, conde naste wants you to shoot a story for them, but they retain all rights, you are just vessel for their images, what do you do then, sign away your soul or shine the job.
    thoughts going out to your editor freind. she got tossed to the lions and torn appart.
    photographers, what a bunch of self important cooks. I am the best, no me, look at this, they suck I am better, blah blah blah.
    poor fucking editors. its got to be a ruff job

  • DAVID,

    I love the quote you shared with us today:

    “be whoever you are going to be in the future,TODAY !!!!!”

    This is what I love about you David, this desire for high standards, integrity and always pushing us to not project us into the future but act NOW!!!! I was joking about this “NOW” before….as I was trying to find a photo assignment for LATER….I know can add the concept of “TODAY” to “NOW”….

    Thanks always for pushing us David! This is the sort of “kick in the butt” that inpires me not just for photography but for life in general, trying to be the very best person you can be NOW, to love your family children father, mother NOW…to tell them TODAY…. I am getting the NOW/TODAY concept better and better but, as we so often forget about it, there is indeed nothing more refreshing to see those frequent reminders from you….



  • @DAH: I think the sub-communities on Flickr are great places to make contacts. It’s not good for selling your work or for getting known, but for sure my small network of photographers whose work I appreciate and with whom I collaborate is (or was) based around the site. I would never use it as a showcase of work… more of a storage site, a place to learn or a place to share. Maybe to show sketches of things you work on. Some of my friends pulled out of it, and nowadays they update every so often a small sketch in it. Maybe a dozen pictures. Then all of them are deleted a week after and a new showcase appears. Not that bad an idea for promotion and still being part of it.

    And, *good news*! I got confirmed yesterday for a slideshow in Rencontres d’Arles (thanks to Tango Photo collective for inviting me). They will be showing a few of the night shots during the night of the year of the festival. If I have time I’ll try to make it to Arles… it’s in July…

  • be whoever you are going to be in the future,TODAY !!!!!

    I did that all my life, David, and now we see the result….Not pretty!


  • DAVID,

    I was actually intrigued by your comment that to get nominated into Magnum, Alex Majoli was nominated with 25 photographs…. Presumably, you and other Magnum members knew of Alex and his work before he ever applied to Magnum or did you all “discover” him when he submitted his portfolio…Reason I ask is that, somehow, I would have thought that, if many of you knew of the photographer beforehand, were already familiar with his vision and point of view, than maybe just 25 pictures are plenty enough…but does this happen that you guys nominate someone who you never knew beforehand and actually discovered for the first time when seeing an “entry” portfolio ???? Would be great if this happens as I would have thought members may not want to take a gamble on someone they never heard of before…..


  • Eric,
    I’ll bet dollars to donuts that a photographer unknown to all members has ever been nominated into Magnum based on portfolio alone….

  • just discussing this with a freind, how could you really understand what a photogs really capable of based on 25-40 shots, I would think you would want to see a lot of material, including the fuck-ups. I mean if it was a really important job would’nt you want to know exactly what you are dealing with, as an editor. maybe to get in the door, 25 shots will get you to reception.
    my freind eric kroll, who was formarly the editor at taschen, here in LA, on sunset, when he first came over and was looking at my work he insisted on looking at my contacts. he wanted to see it all.
    I would think it important to see what kind of percentages a photographer has, of hits and misses.

  • DAVID,

    Just saw on the MAGNUM site that Cornell Capa passed away early on the morning of May 23rd at home in New York. I presume that it is another sad day for you all at MAGNUM. I do not know if he was your friend or not but wanted to share my condolences to you, his family and close friends. The past few months have been rather tragic with several of the legendary photographers of Magnum having gone away… Hope you all get a break for a while….


  • Rencontres d’Arles, Joni?
    Holy cow, great news for you!

  • Cornell Capa was not a big star, even his name was co-opted for fame by his brother. yet I must say I do relate a lot more to his photography than his kin. I remember our little quips about “peace photography” a while ago, and there it is, along with his “portfolio” page on the Magnum, him saying just that. That there was a war photographer in the family already, and he stuck photography of peace.

    That kind of message is harder to pass these days. Everyone seems to be convincd that to a be a photo-journalist worth its mettle, you need blood, conflict, pain and unrest. It’s a trend very difficult to escape. Panos, in Venice, you can show us that side, not just that it’s a dying world. Evrything changes, after all.

  • DAVID!

    I know you are swallowing the “glistening sea”…and this day, has been an extraordinary intense one…….but also today, i learned that my brother’s boat (he’s a fisherman) sank and, so all has been intense….so, after spending hours with marina and dima talking, i thought i would share this with you….maybe this is about this subject (editing/photgraphy), maybe it is not…who the fuck cares….

    I am sending this to you and your son…this is part of my essay/assignment about bones/family….today, i leave this here for you in part to thank you for understanding….

    this will be the only time i leave something else here about the essay/photo story ‘bones of time’ until you publish it….

    but tonight, with marina and dima, i send this to you in NC and for your son…a prelude…but, maybe also about “editing” and all that shit that plaques the world….

    for your david and your son….


    from the work in progress “bones of time”

    We fall into earth long before we begin our step into flight and we are transfigured. If we understand anything, anything at all, it might be this simple truth: we migrate, continually, inside and out. We are tempered and transposed and tampered with by land and sky and sea. It shifts and shapes and sifts inside us, sitting until it (the trees, the water, the dusty earth) becomes us: the metamorphosis. Though is it really us who are transformed or have we been, all along, the transformer. Maybe it is we who bewitch and beguile the land and sea and sky. Maybe we ensorcel that which is around us, shape and hex it so that it resembles us, is defined by us, elliptically wakes inside us because it, place, is of us. We stain the land. We scent it with our hopes and fears and memories; we carve out from this migratory and shifting path, something else. We mark place with our scent, bend light upon its slippery back until it alights. A sky is dampened with yellow because we dream it to life. A sea opens wide its hilly mouth, small dots of cyan and amber teeth, because we have instrumented its awaking. Do we sense this?

    This place about which we all speak, the yawing yawn of the sky, the tin earth, the coppery river, the tick and tour of our passing lives, is the country into which we move and mark and make. Water everywhere, inside and out, tiding with our internal tide. Is it not our mass which lens the shift and shape of the spate, the wax and wane of the river’s tongue, the lapping of the sea born of our own tongued-tied movement: we the shaper of tide and flux, not the moon. We are the bodies of water; we the effluvium; we the patterned, oxygenated blood upon which the earth travels. We the highway and the world the wearied and still fighting traveler. Can you hear the tock and spin of earth’s compass inside you?

    It is, migrating, is it not?

    If we carry, like small thimbles of cinnamon, the pollen dust of the land through which we have journeyed, what have we left behind: sprinkled shells of memory planted into the armor of trees like shelled cicadas, wet tin cans of voice tossed into the ocean at night, sweaters of our sweating selves torn slightly and untended along the caverns and valleys and underpasses of cities, clipped away parts of our salted our skin, songs and sights, later picked up by others. Yes, it is the landscape, the rural hills and shadows, the urban alleys and knobs, which are transfigured for we have in our passing entered them and begun to unravel.

    There, the metamorphosis: the small dry snap, not twig, not stone, not mineral, but bone. Can you hear it, in your passing?


  • just to clarify…my brother’s boat (his business, his love) sank…but he is ok….no case for hysterical worries. ;)))


  • There is a specific SPECIAL time in Venice… GOLDEN LIGHTS…
    It lasts about 25-40 minutes…
    Then the dark comes … The creatures of the NIGHT…

    milking, enjoying, drinking that GOLDEN LIGHT…

    please , click:


  • p.s….

    MAGNUM?….that really important?…

    i knew John vink and his work before I knew he was Magnum….I saw David’s book before i knew he was magnum…I fucking went wild on Jacob’s work (seen here in toronto) before 1/2 the world knew his name (before he was magnum)…

    make the life and sing it…all that matters….



    on the phone… with his “guilty” look in his eyes……_THE_GUY_THAT_KICKED_MY_ASS.html


  • Man….40 portfolios in a couple of hours. Maybe it’s easier for Karen because she’s editing other people’s work, but looking through that many portfolios makes me think of Sisyphus. It’s hard for photographers to get noticed among the hordes, but I bet it’s just as hard for the editors to keep their heads from spinning.

    Editing my own work is so difficult; I wish I could blame it on my digital camera, but even with film I shoot a ton. Shoot first, and edit (read: ask questions (of myself)) later. Part of the difficulty, as mentioned above, is that one falls in love with ones own pictures and the circumstances in which they were taken, but another aspect, which I think is different, is familiarity. By the time I’m editing, I’ve taken the picture, looked at the picture, dreamed about the picture, written a caption, applied some IPTC keywords (necessary for later finding), looked some more, tried it out in a layout, etc. Doesn’t matter whether I love the picture or not, and in fact this familiarity often breeds contempt as they say, but in the process it gets so I can’t see the forest through the endless, endless trees.

    An aside to David: I wish your website worked in China; so difficult to keep up and join in on the conversation when I have to get around the censors to do so…I think it has to do with typepad being blocked.

  • Hi David.
    I haven’t commented on anything here for a couple of weeks because am in East Timor at the moment. The internet has been patchy over the last week….

    I have put a rough edit up of a cock fighting essay on my Lightstalkers site. I’m interested in any thoughts etc.

    I was attempting to document the event, but not show any fighting. I have put up 12 images, but will whittle them down further.

    The project on Sister Guilhermina’s work with the IDPs turned to custard as she had to fly out to Australia, so I have spent the time in other the IDP camps here.

    I am attempting a project that mostly focuses on the women and children, those who seem most affeted by the troubles here.

    I will put the images up when I return to NZ.

  • So i’m sitting here trying to edit a 10 photo slideshow for Look3 for youDavid and Im paralyzed…I had Joni’s input as well as Herve’s and they were like night and day..totally different…so now Im trying to decide how to go about this edit…


    this is btw what I have so far…14 photos some of which repeat each other a bit so Im going to see how I feel about it tomorrow and which will go….Im leaning more to some than others….

  • david alan harvey


    this is often a great way to communicate, but often not..i was not in the slightest “pissed off” at you or your comment…and i did not at all think that you were inferring that “luck” was somehow a factor in the success of Magnum photographers or any other agency photographers…

    sometimes when i am writing very fast, as i often do here, i leave out certain statements or thoughts that might make everything more clear..i go straight to my point and this can lead to confusion, as in this case…my apologies for any mis-statement or confusion coming from my rapid fire words…

    my only point was that i think it is a mistake to think that somehow photographers who have achieved some iconic ranking are able to do certain things because of this ranking or after they achieved this ranking…my only point was that in order to make this “mark” they had to be doing whatever they were doing BEFORE they had been bestowed with some sort of “iconic rank”…you cannot put the proverbial “cart before the horse”…

    it is true that for some editors who know us well that perhaps we do not have to show our “porfolios” every time as in your George Clooney example…but we show our portfolios all the time for grants, curators, book publishers, advertising agents, print buyers etc…and i think that George Clooney did in fact do a reading for the Cohen brothers for the movie “Oh Brother Where Art Thou”…every picture “buyer” wants to see the work of a photographer, including the so called “iconic” photographers….

    i will say this…that the one thing that did change my professional career more than any other thing, was publishing a book….from that point forward i only showed my book instead of a traditional portfolio…and that is why i write the way i do for my audience here and try to push all of you to think BOOK…

    rest assured Guido, that my only intent here is to help all of you as much i can… mentoring has been in my blood since my early twenties….

    if sometimes i seem critical or am very “straightforward” it is because i am just trying to keep photographers from “making excuses” of any kind for their work…

    i do believe in “tough love” for my students and photographers i mentor and care about…why??? because it works!!

    i am a “results” person..and i know that perhaps i may frustrate an emerging photographer at some point, but then when i see this very same photographer go out the door and then come back with some brilliant work and the look on her/his face when this happens, then i know that honesty in critique is always the best policy…

    i clearly see that there is always a tendency for all of us to come up with some “reason” (and there are many) for not doing this or that…we must all “sail our own boat”…

    one last point….i do not think that you or anyone should determine your “sense of self” based on any picture “buyer”…i would rather work at McDonalds to earn my living and have my own “portfolio” than to change or alter my work for any client…yes, i do have editors who have “bought ” my work…and yes, of course, i want them to be happy and yes i do keep them happy so that i may work again…so this belief in my own work is not arrogance…it is just simple belief….and only i have to believe it….

    it is this fine balance between doing “your own thing” and still surviving as a professional or serious art photographer that is the very reason why i spend my time writing to all of you here….

    i always welcome comments from my audience here whether the writer agrees with me or not…healthy discourse is an art in itself….and, by the way, your English is perfect!!!!

    un abbraccio grande, david

  • Book…

    well I think thats everyone’s dream…Ive been thinking a lot recently on how I would like the layout of a book to be….dreams, eh?

  • david alan harvey


    wow, great!! a showing at ARLES!!! you should be very proud…

    let’s go back to Flickr for a second…i think Flickr and the other photo sharing sites are at times a terrific resource , have changed how people look at photography, and may do more to change the agency business than any other modern factor…i go to Flickr all the time, but mostly as a “location resource”… i just do not think that at this point in “history” that it should be the place where you establish yourself outside of the mass mainstream…but quien sabe?? the face of photography online is moving so quickly, changing so fast, that i do not think anyone can predict where it will all go….still, i like boutique shops rather than malls….i like handcrafted objects rather than assembly line products…but, i did catch myself buying a shirt at KMart the other day when i was desperate..not a bad shirt….shhhhhhhhh!!

    cheers et al, david

  • david alan harvey


    only two or three people at Magnum knew Alex Majoli and most of us had never heard of him or seen a single picture or had ever laid eyes on him …what difference does it make?? his work was terrific…period

    this is not so unusual…iconic “famous” photographers apply to Magnum all the time…rarely do they make it…unlike most other agencies, at Magnum we like to discover someone…let them build and grow inside the agency…provide them with room to expand and evolve…

    Cristina Garcia Rodero ,Bruce Gilden and yours truly were exceptions in that we all had well established careers prior to Magnum…

    do not confuse well established careers with being serious photographers with “authorship”

    but, some of you may not know how it works…being “nominated” does not mean you become a member of Magnum…you become a “nominee” for 2-3 years and then submit another portfolio based on the recent work at which point the photog is voted “out” or “in”…”in” the photog becomes an “associate member”, still not a Magnum member…THEN the photog must create even another portfolio based based on the next 2-3 years of work…75% of the members must vote to have you become a full member..yes, yes a grueling process that can take 4-10 years…some photogs are held in their nominee or associate status for some time and must re-apply…

    we are not trying to make photogs suffer, but all who try for Magnum do indeed suffer in the process…but Magnum has survived for 60 yrs. practicing exactly the “tough love” approach i take in my mentoring…again, it works!!!!

    cheers, david

  • ALL:

    about MAGNUM “UNKNOWNS” ;))…as i wrote last night drunkenly…let me offer another example of one of my fav. photographers who now happens to be in Magnum:

    Jacob Aue Sobol….

    2 (or was it 3) years ago, there was an “exhibition” of pictures from Jacob’s book SABINE at a bookstore (fucking bookstore of all places) during CONTACT…i went, fucking got my heart all pulped out and up….that night I wrote about Jacob at Lightstalkers, in a fever…no one new that young cowboy, fucking no one…got a letter of thanks from Jacob’s friend David H (at LS)…and swallowed everything he would show after taht (tokyo, c. america, etc)…

    last year, when he got in MAGNUM, I was silent for 2 days (no dah, no ls, no nothing)…’cause I met David after i had first started coming here last february (from a tip by belgian photographer) and then at LS wrote that “I DO NOT WANT TO JOIN MAGNUM” ;))…after, david (at LS) wrote me a long, thoughtful response and I wrote back, and our “love affair” ;))..was born…

    when Jacob got it, i started to re-think magnum…even though lots of young photographers whom i admire terribly for the originality of their vision (antoine, jonas, christina, soth, majoli, paolo etc) are there, somehow Jacob’s inclusion (coming after antoine) started to make sense to me…

    I still totally do not understand why so many photographers worry more about things like this (to be a magnum photographer, or be with a great gallery, or win an award, all that shit), but i have slowly (through my friendship with david and john vink, and knowing chris a) begun to understand, that the value of magnum is that is offers a family for a person working in a field that can often be incredibly lonely and frustrating…

    marina and dima are my magnum…but i understand more and more why i might change my mind about belonging to a place like Magnum: cause it still is the home of some big-soul people…


  • Bob B, I read your words out loud to myself so as to hear, taste, touch, see, feel them with my entire being. You, my friend, are what we call an Old Soul, a Seer, a Knower, a Wise One. Yes, your words are like music washing over me, but they are so much more than that. They are written on my heart. You say things I already knew but didn’t know I knew until I hear you say them. Do not let ANYTHING keep you from your work. You are essential to the Whole. Thank you.

  • I must say this has been a really interesting read, so much so I was inspired to go back to my carbonmade account and create two edits of my 2 main projects. I think I will be leaving it as the link under my name from now on.

  • this has been a very powerful list of posts indeed.

    i think bob hit the nail on the head when he speak of magnum not only being about photography but about being a community as well. sure photography is the main goal but community is hard to come by. especially when only so many people understand you as a person. it can be a quiet life not having anyone to share, bounce and or reflect certain ideas and passions with. having community i find certainly helps to recharge the batteries.

    community is precious.

  • hey Folks,

    been away for sometime, and just in the last couple of days, i have finally been able to catch up on the posts. lots of great stuff in here. congrats to those selected for this months assingments, best of luck!!

    editing…yes…something that has to be done, but like with so many of us, is dreaded…i find it so, especially, when i only photograph for myself, and then have nothing to do with them, apart from storing them on my hard drive. but when i do the edits, i like to get help from someone, who seems to “understand” photography, story telling, and myself. occasionally, i update my web page, but less and less. was in paris just before xmas, and was happy with the shots i made, and prob maybe should add some images up there…have started the editing process slowly…but at the same time, i really need to get myself a “proper” web page, with my own design.

    anyway, seems like i will be changing countries soon…will head back to the motherland, as i have been offered a freelance job with a friend; fashion/commercial photographer, in oslo, which i really look forward to. miss being in the milieu…but for staying in the milieu, this blog is great :-)
    and through, this, will make a portfolio, of not too many images ;) and then submit to magazines and news papers, and hopefully get some freelance work.

    anyway, wanted to add a couple of links here, which is kinda interesting, how something of the same, can be presented in two unique ways…enjoy.

    peace n’ love,

  • david alan harvey


    i am not sure you were here when i told Bob that i would not do this forum without him…what you write proves the point exactly…

    thank you…

    cheers, david

  • david alan harvey


    please let me point out that Magnum is a photographer’s coop, very important to me, a professional “family”, but not anywhere near as important as my immediate family and the friends i love….

    i do not put Magnum, or my photography itself, above my personal relationships…Bob, i think you know me well enough by now to know this is the case…

    you may also notice that i am never the one even to bring up Magnum on this forum…

    it is always one of you who mentions it, and then i merely answer the question asked…Magnum does indeed work for me, but were i not in Magnum i would be doing the same work…i went through 30 yrs of my professional career without Magnum and could have done 30 more…

    i do not try at all to “sell” Magnum to anyone…i do try however to make emerging photogs aware of the “Magnum concept” of authorship, photographers rights, personal projects, photographer agency ownership etc etc….

    joining any coop agency is nothing like getting a grant or receiving an award…those are “one time” sponsorships…joining an agency is more like getting married!! …long build up, long term commitment…

    coveting anything is never a good thing…you have your head in the right place as usual….

    abrazos, david

  • david alan harvey


    i think you may have mentioned once before that you had been a “surfing photographer”…cool…there are no waves today, but usually down here at Cape Hatteras we have either good waves or good wind for kite boarding…come on down!!!

    i am assuming your house building is going ok, although every time i am around someone building a house they seem to have a slightly insane look in their eye and not much good to say about their contractors!!!

    peace, david

  • david alan harvey


    my oh my man, you seem to be working harder than anyone on your assignment..rockin’…great….you are really creating some very provocative images..

    i mean, you are making some photographs way way above the level you were working just a few weeks ago…

    you surely must must feel good about this!!! i do!!

    all i can say to you is, keep it not stop!!!….accelerate……

    yes, yes you will need to edit down tight by the end, but do not even think about that right now..

    live it, breathe it…

    peace, david

  • First off, as someone who does not stand a snowball’s chance in hell of ever getting into Magnum, Gamma, or the YMCA, I’d just like to let all the 45 year old photographers here who have compromised their vision with houses, cars, boats, and big bank accounts and who’ve decided that they must change their lives around that I will gladly take all of these crass materialistic obstacles to the successful realignment of your photographic vision off your hands at no charge to you. If the wife’s nice looking, I’ll take her too. The kids are optional, but hey, you can never tell; BobB turned out very well for someone who was supposed wind up as kielbasa. Now that I’m thinking about this, I must also remind myself not to make offal puns regarding opera and cold cuts here; I was expecting at least a groan, but no, nary a peep out of any of you. Ah well.

  • david alan harvey


    i missed your “Bones of Time” text the first time around….classic Bob Black….

    i thought you were going to delay your project…?????????

    anyway, it seems as if you are “on” and i cannot wait to see the images to go with this….

    what a great book title….can’t we work on your book sometime soon????

    hugs, david

  • that (FlickR) should be the place where you establish yourself outside of the mass mainstream…
    That reminds me of my last “contact” on FlickR. A young adult trying to make a career and establsih himself, but probably from the way he chose to be “viewed”, signing on FlickR, this is why he is still struggling, and has to work even harder to convince. His name is …Barack Obama, maybe some you at FlickR know this young man.

    :-))))))) (sorry, david, I could not resist, you served it to me on a silver plate. Your violin is well tuned this morning!)

    About Magnum, it’s the conventional wisdom it’s a community, but having read that little monography on the agency (1999, by Russell Miller), it just seems anything but…. Brothers and sisters, yes, but feuding ones. That was a real surprise to me. That feeling of divas and prima donnas with a few cool heads, usually the oldest members.

    I sense that Magnum has maybe matured since then, the photographers within too, and that egos, rivalries NY/Paris feuds and tutti quanti may be a thing of the past, or at least, sideshows. Or is it becsause the lawyers and financiers, non-photographers, are part of the decision-making?

  • david alan harvey


    i just sold my only house, have no car, big bank account or boat and, judging from my first look at my contact sheets from my current project, my vision ain’t so great either!!!

    however, my two sons seem to have “learned” from their father and have all of the above and have produced some pretty decent films to boot…so materialism and creativity do not have to be mutually exclusive…

    by the way, i am still stinging from being rejected by the Washington D.C. YMCA back when i lived in our Federal Village…and i was kicked out of the Boy Scouts when i made an illegal (though not immoral) foray into the Girl Scout summer camp…

    so, you can see , i only tell part of my story here…selective storytelling…the whole “truth” would not be a pretty picture!!

    can i come hang out with you???

    cheers, david

  • DAVID :))

    I totally understand you 100%! :)) My comments weren’t directed at you (about Magnum) but at others posting here…and the great band of lurkers :))…..I know you dont sell magnum or ng, but illuminate your life for others (what i dig about u and why i think we get along so well)…my comments were about others who think about Magnum in “sterotypic” ways, both good and ill…my original reaction to magnum was more my frustration with lots of folk (who i meet in real life at photography gatherings) whose priorities seem odd: the goal above all, instead of what lay inside the act, for each of us, of being photographers, or rather, (fuck the “being photographers) the joy and sorrow and ecstatic act of shooting and connecting :))…i see magnum as no different than any “professional” family that does the best it can to promote its members and to embrace protect and inspire: that’s what i love about the group, much more than it’s iconic history or accomplishments……oh yea, there are great photographers there too ;))))…but that’s true with vii, and vu and noor and iris and eve and blackstar (ok, was true ;) ) and collectionne and BlackFamily agency :)))…

    .increasingly, i totally get Magnum as a professional “family” :))..believe you me, i know where David Alan Harvey’s priorities lay! :)))))..i was trying to point out to others here that unlike many comments or ideas people have about Magnum, that my experience has been that photographers, like Jacob for example, make magnum ’cause they are brilliant and substantial and THEY WERE UNKNOWN! :))…shit, I didnt even know you or john vink were Magnum photographers until reading this blog for more than 1 month i read your “bio”…same with vink, i was looking at his Quest for Land series for almost 2 months (discovered through LS 3 years ago) and i read his bio, and i thought: jesus, am i stupid! ;)))….i get tired easily (not with you) photographers obsessing over things like Magnum or awards or galleries (all all disappears, like my brothers boat/business), instead of talking about or focusing on the reason why they were bitten by the photo (any craft/art) bug: a feverish desire to contact, make contact with people, tell and share stories, etc…:)))…above all, stubborn Bob black, has even re-thought about the idea of being a member of a group like Magnum (i dont mean i will apply, or that my work would ever merit that kind of acceptance or value, i just mean, your example and john’s example and now jonas, antoine and jacob have convinced me that my reaction has always been wrong…just as my hero P. Jones Griffith was wrong about the genius and substantial brilliance/accomplishments of Martin Parr!! :))…we grow :)))

    as for the assignment: it’s still what we talked about privately…delayed!…but only for publication (replace with lisa or katarina or cathy…im working on Marina to do something too for you!), yes delay for here, BUT, as i said, that doesnt mean i am not working on it! :)))))….that would kill me..just now, putting off to give others a chance and to spend some necessary family R&R! :))))…but I havent stopped at all!!…not publishing immediately never means im not working ;))…same with Marina :))))…

    lastly, i sent u 2 emails (including a pic of my brothers sunk vessel) and i received them returned: seems your private email has crashed…i guess your account is now on overload like Karen’s! ;)))))))))….

    internet is such a shitting way to talk ;)))…

    the part of the essay above is also for ur son….
    hugs :)


    p.s. a book…let’s watch the ocean or ny skyline with marina first together :))

    running to the lake with mrs. black1

  • Akaky :)))

    yea, that’s the key: think Keilbasa and you end up a poor artist: but, im still alive ;))))…and i also do not have:

    1) house (nope, only dream of that)
    2) car (nope, and im happy without one, we rent when we need)
    3) big bank account (in 10 mintues we do our family weekly budget, and i have exactly $200 until my next paycheck)
    4) fame (well, my son things im cool and my wife likes my art and i love her art too)
    5) retirement: fuck…..

    But i do have:

    1) family i love and who loves me
    2) friends: used to have more than i needed (according to dima), but now keep it real and simple and concerned
    3) apartment near water (10 minutes to walk to Lake Ontario)
    4) dreams
    5) hunger for life
    6) 2 fathers: Robert Anthony Black II and Mr. Akaky
    7) being alive….

    i’ll hang with you akaky, i really want to too! :))

    running, family budget


  • david alan harvey


    Russell Miller was obviously trying to sell books…his job…but, if Magnum was in the turmoil that Russell describes, then i doubt we would be around at all…admittedly, he wrote that book, or at least interviewed for that book, before my time and surely there have been some “colorful” confrontations over the years, but i doubt that many photogs would be trying to get “in” if the Milleresque depiction was the “whole truth”..being the discerning man that you are, i am sure you pretty much figured that out already….

    peace, david

  • David,
    Not sure if you saw my post for the first portrait (or if I just got the sound of crickets) but I did hope to get an opinion. Aside from just dropping by a sale to shoot, I have 3 or 4 stories like this lined up. More will follow.

  • “the “Creatures of the Night” or Venice Vampires43


    Venice has it’s VAMPIRES…( Nothing really new here, but… still !!! )…
    It needs time to meet all of them…. they are very needy… unpredictable…
    but generally speaking good warm souls… just like yours…

    The “Creatures of the night” calling me…
    It’s hard for someone like me to resist… They can harm you, if they want… to defend…
    but they won’t attack… they have their own rules… trust me, not much different than yours…
    All they demand is respect… and maybe booze or drugs… or love… ( maybe ), just like you…


    ok… now im going BACK….
    I have some new “INSIDERS” TO VISIT…
    everyone is going nuts here as a cold memorial weekend…
    a very “promising” weekend… so much ENERGY… positive and NEGATIVE … I can feel it… smell it… smoke it…
    I’m taking a deep breath for couple of days…
    I’m going to “fit” in, “blend” in… I will be the “INSIDER” myself…
    I will “defend” them this time… not “expose” them…
    I also found this as a safer idea…in general..

  • david alan harvey

    AMY DE WIT..

    i looked at your website…do you want a critique here or in private???

    cheers, david

  • but i doubt that many photogs would be trying to get “in”

    Sincerely David, I think that is part of the appeal of Magnum. that maelstrom of tempers and flesh and blood . The romantic appeal is undeniable to would-be Magnum photo-journalists (or rather, never-will-be). Again, at least 10 years and some ago.

    The book is not undoing the myth, it does have some allure, this messy agency always on the brink, amidst corporate photographic giants (Getty etc..). And the legendary closed doors meetings…. Oh! To have a voice… ;-)

    Now of course, you’ve got to put 50 years of intense life and photography into 250 pages, so of couse the expression “not a boring moment” comes to mind. which makes for good reading too.

    Actually, I must say that only one photographer comes out as a prima donna, even an as…le. Others, we guess strong egos, not a bad thing, and which should not be far from the truth!

    Your words are interesting. was the Magnum membership inimical to the book when it came out?

  • BOB
    internet is such a shitting way to talk ;)))…

    But a great way for kindred spirits (of different writing styles!) to MEET! Imagine all these exchanges thru the real mail, or on the phone bills!!!!

    About Parr, wasn’t it more about “should he or not join” than his intrinsec talent, which PJG (and HBC?), recognized but may have been indifferent to, no?

  • DAVID,

    “i am assuming your house building is going ok, although every time i am around someone building a house they seem to have a slightly insane look in their eye and not much good to say about their contractors!!!’

    YOU NAILED IT! Could not be more true… If I can just survive the next month all will be well. :))

    I may have missed something…please if you could clarify…
    I just read a comment by Rafal saying he is trying to get 10 images together for a slideshow for look3…

    I’m not sure what his situation is, perhaps he is taking your workshop there and needs a portfolio to show? That would make sense.

    I know you have discussed showing some of the work that’s already on the site in your slideshow and I have read comments from some here (Erica?) asking to submit work for you to show INSTEAD of their work posted on the site but I hope no one is thinking they are supposed to be submitting work for you to take to look3.


    BTW, the one basketball image we discussed of mine that you asked Michael to post never made it to the site…and therefore I assume is not in the “running ” for look 3 either.

  • HERVE! :))))

    yes, shitty way to talk, but god the web has created lots of friendships for us :)))) (cant wait until we meet eventually), many of whom have become REAL: real part of our life, not just web: face to face :)))…

    as for Parr: yes, i agree 100%! I think they probably recognized that Martin was a “good” photographer, just not “great” or “important” (Magnum Lite as David once wrote, ascribed to PJG)…but, Martin’s genius was so visionary (imho) that his work (including it’s sense of moral vision, moral vision without being moralizing) was felt indifferently by hcb and pjg is probably an inherent problem for most of us: we are indifferent or oblivious to things that we only see ;))))…that Parr joined magnum, for me at least, was the first indication that in truth Magnum was “wiser” and more “generous” that the iconic sterotypes others paint of it :))…David’s insight and experience has only continued to feed me the idea that, like all great families, it is filled with value above all, dissension and craziness and wrong steps, but ultimately pushing itself…

    Byt the way Herve, you once asked or wrote about that picture of me reading on my couch (yea, it was my old portrait at LightStalkers): was reading Philip Roth and fell asleep and dima shot…

    will post a new one later :))


  • Bob, I am going to France in a little over 2 weeks time. One of the first things I do there, after kissing Mom, and before jetlag sets in (it’s a killer in that direction), is to go to my local library (which I once wrote here, put the mighty SFPL to shame as photography shelves go) in Antony.

    Then borrow Parr’s 2 sums on photobooks, as well as the main monography about him, and of course MANGNUM STORIES, then renew them until I leave France again. I am sure they will have a whole new series of books since last I went in December. I am already drooling!

    Oh, and I have an assigment, moi aussi!, during my time in France. Top secret…

    Looking forward to meet David, too, hopefully.

    How about South California, David, I lost track, was that Venice WS with your friend cancelled?

  • david,

    “how can i say thank you, i who can’t hold my liquor either,
    and don’t even know the places to fish?”
    (from a poem by Raymond Carver)



  • david alan harvey


    i do not remember ever hearing a single word one way or the other about the Miller book…we have so many articles written and we publish so many books, that something like the Miller book seemed to be just a “blip” on the radar screen…

    it is true that both PJG and HCB were very much against Martin….Martin made it in by just one vote i think..he then went on to become a major figure in the agency…i do not quite understand why HCB was so against him…i do know that Phillip felt that Martin satirized and poked fun the lower and middle class and thus made him not “humanistic” in the Magnum tradition..

    i think the point is this, and Bob describes the process well..we are democratic and Martin became a full fledged member despite the wishes of our founder and strong power HCB…period..


    the Julia Dean workshop in Venice Beach will be done in the fall…we just did not have enough time to pull it off two weeks after we thought of the idea..


    it is true that some photographers whose new work i have seen (and anyone here is eligible) will be shown at Look3…

    Rafal is one example of someone who was not even a finalist for last year’s grant, but has zoomed forward with a significant body of work…and before your very eyes, and to many people’s amazement, the ubiquitous Panos is totally cruising…please look at the work of both of these photographers who in the last few weeks have totally changed their “portfolios” and were even firing salvos at each other last winter!! interesting development to say the least…

    if you have something new that i am not aware of, please show me….right now, your work is not included in this show…but, nothing would make me happier than if you were included…

    i have to make a hard call on this one…if we are to have potential funders take us seriously, then i must present the best i have….i am sure you understand…and remember, i will always welcome your submissions, and try to help you as much as i can, so that next time you will be “up there”..please know and remember that i have probably written to you more than anyone on this forum, both here and in private..and i will continue to work with you

    the point of the presentation is to show the best of the best from our assembled audience will be about a 15 minute show featuring about 10 photographers…not even all of the finalists are in the show…i may or may not show some of the just might seem awkward….our little forum here has gone from an “exercise” to potential for “real world” assignments, more grants etc.. building a slide show requires a different kind of editing than what one might show in print or have available on the site as we have done here…by the way, i will have the finished slide show linked here..

    now, for the basketball shot….well, yes i did ask Mike to put it up as a favor to you…but, both he and Marie then turned on me!!! they are both much much tougher than am i…both Mike and Marie run my workshops and they both know good work from less good…they thought i was being weak, so there you have it..

    my suggestion is this…please work with me on an idea…i have spent so so so much time talking to you, that i have a personal stake in helping you to improve your work….please help me to help you…i promise you that i will work with you as much or more as i work with anyone…

    cheers, david

  • mmm that doesn’t sound good… but what the hell, the more the merrier, do it here. thanks, Amy

  • HERVE, DAVID :))

    Ok, I am going to sound TOTALLY stupid, but I have no idea about the Miller book on Magnum. Never heard about it, and never read anything about Magnum in my life. Here’s another confession: until about 7 years ago, I thought Magnum was a tiny tiny photography agency, founded by hcb and the capa bros and had a few members only…like i said, in 2000, i would have said “magnum? that’s that group hcb founded with capa. they still together?”…i shit you not!…i know a ton, a ton about images (seared in my skull like poems) but i couldnt tell u jack shit about folks bios or how many people there are in the agency…not until around 2006 (seriously) when i first looked at the webiste and it was a revelation…and i saw David’s work (Divided Soul, ’cause i saw the title and i thought: that’s a fucking great name for a book of photography!, and saw the pics and was stunned and jealous) and didnt know he was a magnum dude until 2 months of reading this blog early last year…im still very much a newbie…or rather, i just dont/or havent followed the “history” of photography agencies…just have swallowed tons and tones of books and photographs, looking, looking…

    As for Martin: weird that he was perceived as “mocking” the lower classes…’cause actually, i think Martin is one of the most humanistic photographers i know (just as David and John v are). Martin’s elevates them, by making them not effigies or symbols, but humans: with all their foibles and follies, but his eye is searing…and incredibly humourous…i think it takes even more genius to be a “funny” photographer, i mean a humourous one…im actually pretty funny in real life, but for some stupid reason my work always (writing and photos) turns out serious…who knows…

    and im jealous herve of your library and town in france…very jealous…

    ok, as promised, here is BOB BLACK…41 (2 YEARS AGO) at the beach here in toronto in winter…Marina shot it with an instant, disposable camera (we buy disposable cameras and shoot with them for our Family Books, instead of shooting as photographers: another skizophrenia ;))…

    anyway, yes, this is me, those are the sun glasses i wear, yes my hair is short and i wear too many vests…and yes, im happiest by the sea…

    : enjoy ;)_)))))

  • Bob you look surprisingly close to how I imagined you.

  • I’ve been arranging my book shelves ahead of an open house here next week and found my Miller book all dusty with two dead roaches on it just yesterday. Yuck! The boys thought it yuck too but funny.


    Here is the final edit I think Im going to go with for the slideshow David.

    Its a bit different from this edit

    and Im not sure which is better. Any opinions?


    You rock!

    Love the new work man- I think my fav’s are ‘dickface’ & the ‘actor’ dude! I like the color stuff better than the B/W too ‘cos it just seems so high key and I don’t know, sort of ‘off’ and really fits in with the images and the direction its going. Its a great palette which is something I have always had a struggle establishing for myself, but I am now just starting to get thanks to digital, believe it or not!

    DAVID, I know this isn’t about editing, but you’re one of the ‘great’ color guys, how important is it to get a handle on where your ‘palette’ is? Like I said I am only just finding one I like now and I think its ‘cos in the days of film I didn’t feel I had any control over what was outputted and thats why I always shot B/W. Or do you see the color expression as an enhancement to the idea or as a major part of the the idea?

    BoB as usual yours words go directly to my sensory nerve endings! To read your words is to come alive! Thankyou so much for them, it never fails me to be amazed by your generosity in giving them to us!


  • BOB…

    I’ve been very sick and in a stupor for some 24 see you in color..I don’t know, it’s like fairy dust was sprinkled in my eyes, and I believe that it may wear off at any moment…it’s a birthday gift from you to us on your birthday.


    I do not want to be that person who is grating against you, your time, your flow, but I do not know if you overlooked my request or if it just isn’t the right time for you to address it..but I am wondering about substituting a new group of images from 40 days (under New York at in place of the others for the slideshow..I won’t ask again and I deeply apologize if I am pressing this, or you..but I know there is a timeline for putting it all together..if yes, you could pick or I could, as you wish..

  • DAVID,

    I am not planning to submit new work for look3 and did not realize it was even a possibility. I’ll certainly enjoy seeing the slide show once it’s posted here.

    Your last message to me is something I think it’s best to respond to privately and I’ll do so as soon as I get some power into my laptop.

    IN THE MEANTIME… I do have some images to share.


    Thanks to PANOS I remembered I can create web pages with my .mac account and now have a way to show a sample of what I’ve been doing for the last 9 months. Jeez I could have had a kid! Instead I almost have brought a very very old adobe house back from rubble. Please check this out: Best way is to view the slideshow but you have to keep your mouse out of the screen so you don’t have arrows blocking the images.

    Yes, my photography has suffered as I’ve been CONSUMED with the house but I think ultimately it’s been worth taking the time away from photography.

  • Rafal,
    just had a look through both sets, I think your flicr set is stronger although I really like shots 2 and 12 on the second set.
    not sure if you have a 10 image limit, but I thought the sets looked pretty strong.
    good work.

  • CATHY I feel your pain, sista!

    I also am building a house, from scratch, have been from 2002.

    I am in all sorts of shit at the moment ‘cos well the builder is over 12 months behind and its complicated but yes it has consumed my life and just writing this makes me feel sick to the stomach as my frustration is overwhelming that financially its almost impossible now to finish the thing because of the builder being so overdue. Its my life savings at stake and well i was hoping that I would finally have a home. Just for once in my life.

    Anyway I love the photos, you at least have that, the bloody builders have been so rarely seen at my place I don’t have any photos of work being done!

    Don’t worry looks like you are nearly done and will back making great photos (of other things) soon enough!

  • LISA,

    I am SO sorry to hear about your contractor problems. :((

    I’ve heard stories like yours so many times now but somehow was foolish enough to believe it wouldn’t happen to me. It did.. but you are correct, we’re in the home stretch and it looks as though we will actually survive, marriage and health mostly intact.

    I hope you make it thru and get the house you have worked so hard for.

    Can’t believe there is another photographer out there who is sharing this “house journey.” It often seems to me as though every other photographer I know wouldn’t dream of getting of committing to a project like this when they could be free to travel the world and shoot great photos. I am exposed to their travel blogs and newsletters daily and it’s pretty disgusting to hear how much fun they are having while I am stressed out and sleepless!

    Thanks for looking at my link. I think your work is great…especially love the ballerinas as I am a dancer myself…(although not ballet anymore.)

    I’m hoping for less stress and more great images for us both in the days ahead.

  • this will be brief as Marina and just finished watching Inland Empire (for me, 2nd time!)…marina is curled up with a book of francesca woodman and so im leaving a quick note before we jump into bed…

    PANOS: the work continues, continues to rock. im dead serious…i think “MOON Before the storm” OR THE NOSE….. takes a decision…” is absolutely brilliant fucking photograph, so so brilliant…same ‘demon’s view”…like the 1st of the guy that punked you (on phone ordering drugs)…and so much…david takes 10 great pics from all these photos over the last few weeks and that damn projection is going to sing daddy, sing!!

    SIS LISA H :)))))…thanks so much…will always petal words to share, just like pics…what else can a poor boy do?…i’ll be sending you a letter tomorrow (have been looking at your website) with loving comments :)) (will leave comments at LS for u too!)…

    ERICA: I read your comment to Marina :))))))…yea, that’s me…Marina thinks im better looking in real life and I think I am uglier ;))…but i love the pic, cause im happy, at the beach (march) and marina (her shadow) and dima (off frame) with me :))))…hope it cured your stuper ;))

    DAVID :))…when people meet me in person, they always say the opposite: “i thought you would look “darker” or “more serious” ;)) i guess ’cause i laugh often…guess it’s the dark photos (which come more from memory and dreams) ;))…

    ok, off now


  • DAVID,

    My mail to you was returned from both addresses I have.
    I think your boxes may be full.

  • Wrobertangel,

    One other dimension Im wrestling with is to fit the photos to the siyndtrack, for which I chose “Obladi Oblada” by the Beatles….

  • DAVID,

    Hi, Just wanted to touch base as I’m usure as to how you want work with the asssignment process. I have completed shooting so am currently working on the editing and producing the multimedia piece.



  • marcin luczkowski


    how many pictures I could send, and how? By ftp?

  • Panos… just took a spin on your site… “pedro” is the best bird picture I’ve ever seen. The “venice healer” is epic, my friend… great great work…

  • BOB
    Martin Parr’s elevates them, by making them not effigies or symbols, but humans

    That he makes, or finds people too “human”, yes Bob, but elevating, no way. Nothing about his photographic stance, his inkling, and what he says about it, indicates he aims at elevating people, but rather, his approach is akin to a collector catching butterflies and pinning them down on a sheet, while still alive. he is one of the most detached photographers from his subjects. Not thru any feeling of superiority on his part,, but as a master of irony of the driest and pin-sharp type.

    I do think it is this treatment of people, of humans, as species/specimen, as objects (having become what they consume), that gives his critical eye on homo sapiens turned homo consumeriens (no elevation, no evolution, but only mutation), its unique stamp.

    Here is a “peace” photographer whom we can argue, proves to be even less indulgent towards the world he shoots/witnesses, than a war photographer towards the pain and conflict he wishes to and expose and denounce.

  • PHEW… so difficult to keep up here, the threads… thoughts on editing, panos’ on a roll, bob’s bro, lisa’s contracting trouble, the magnum views, the IMAGES…

    it’s like a delicious soukh you walk through, hundreds of little stands each offering the finest ingredients for you to take and use at your own wisdom… the only condition is…. you HAVE to open a stand yourself… no matter what, how unsure you are, how little you have to offer… as long as you believe and have the PASSION…

    …i sure like walking through this soukh…

    so… my thoughts on editing…

    i like editing my own images: it gives me the chance to remove the yucky pictures before anyone else sees them…

    really simple :))

    but of course…

    i’m just ALWAYS torn between two sides: should i edit for a story (the sense), or the one good pic which makes me feel happy that i made it – for whatever reason (the heart)

    i’m constantly trying to marry the two


    you DO look very happy on the beach :)
    i’m sorry to hear about your brother’s boat…


    i might be het umpteenth one asking you this… i joined the look3 workshop… is there anything i have to prepare? is there anything you need (to see) in advance? i heard about a portfolio with 20 images…

    ok i think i can do that…


  • Regarding Martin Parr I don’t think he’s mocking the middle/lower class more than he’s mocking the upper class and the rich. To me he’s not mocking society classes, he’s mocking some parts of the western lifestyle and consumption.

  • ok…i have a new project, my first so to speak…that i actually feel is more of a project, than me documenting the national day of norway, on may 17, covering a vernissage, or just shooting randomly around.

    i am shaking, been really thinking about this, must admit i had some herb, now, and are listening to some krankin’ new zealand reggae, katchafire – slow-burning.

    this project is something i have previously not done before, until i did a shoot some weeks ago, with a model. lost for words…too many things going through my mind at the moment…and i am fighting it…”skank it!”…the working title “raw” project, will deal with akt photography, in a documentary way…not sure about the details yet…my first model requested mask, which i was able to produce of a rag…with holes for the eyes. the person arrived at my place, wanting a shower, before the shoot…and i was able to document him having the shower…and then i had some other poses for him, at different locations of the apartment. i kinda liked the idea of the mask, making it less personal, and yet, very intimate. the next step now would be to find a female…and eventually also more models. what i want to say about all this…i am not sure, something i have to think more about….shit music stopped, need to change cd…any suggestions…since we are on the musical topic of burning…”i want burning with coleman barks” is next on my menu (can recommend…great poetry!!)

    anyway…if any of you have any suggestions/ideas to the project, i’d greatly appreciate this…

    also David, can i have seen you email here, is it possible for me to send you an email?

    breathing breathing breathing…


  • btw RAFAL…
    really enjoy your new series…nice inspiration!

    from a selection that i did…
    – 51, 12, 77 from flicker
    – 3, 5, 10, 12 from your web page.

    best of luck!


  • btw DAH…i tried anyway to send you an email…but like with some others here, it was sent in return…sorry, for also partaking in the filling your inbox ;)


  • ok 4:45am…
    I just grabbed couple of hours of sleep..
    I want to catch the early morning golden light
    but I think the clouds will prevent it.. Oh well..
    nor that it really really matters..

    Too much energy last night.. Wild energy…
    sex & drugs & rock n roll..
    I will post tonite… But , I’m really excited today..
    Because, hopefuly I’m meeting Anna V, today…
    David, Bob.. Really , got out of their way to help me
    the other night… My FIASCO night…
    Thank you all… I have a hard time feeling
    “alone” here… This community gives me
    “PURPOSE”… god damn…
    so I’m excited meeting ANNA this morning..
    Anna, I’ll be looking for breakfast in couple of hours…
    We’ll be photographing vampires waking up or who knows what else…
    Hard to get out of bed…
    but hey.. The Vampires can’t wait..
    good morning all..tonite I will post what happened last night..
    I was thinking “sexy”, “erotic”, “horny”…
    last night,… Hopefuly this will come up after the tonights edit..
    whatever… Will see..
    Anna, I will email you from the car.. Around 7:00am..
    or call me 310 425 9298…
    if anybody else wants to surprise and join in
    for our vampire workshop please email me at

    Hopefuly I’ll be checking the iPhone unless,
    Steven is “lurking” around… Again..
    but this time I’m not scared..
    I got a CROSS and some GARLIC in my left pocket..

  • Martin Parr is terrific. I don’t like everything he does, by any means, but in a hundred years or so his work will speak volumes.

  • Best of luck PANOS!!
    look forward to your stories with ANNA, Vampires, Venice and the Verdict.

    Enjoy the breakfast!!

    off biking to see a freind, have dinner and prob end up watching a movie.


  • david alan harvey


    you are not “grating against me” at all…and you and everyone else should make sure i have seen your work…the only problem is that i cannot open your link..i will go to another server and see if that helps…i am usually here thru Firefox..


    yes, please bring a portfolio of 20 images mas o menos…one or two essays best, but whatever you feel represents you….the focus will be on new work shot during the week, but i do like to have some idea of where you stand overall….


    where can i get some shades like those???


    i agree totally….obviously most Magnum members do as well…


    i sensed your enthusiasm ,but not totally clear about your idea…you said “i am not sure what i want to say about all this”…so, you are feeling something and something is triggered, but you are not sure what…that’s ok…projects often start in this way…it make take you more time…it is just fine , in fact perfect, if you shoot and think at the same time…thinking only can lock you up…so shoot some more, a few pictures…let’s see what happens…

    yea, my e-mail is clogged…i can’t get out…help!!! help!! i will clear off 20-30 messages and it fills right back up in an hour..i am getting approx 200 emails a day…i need someone to screen for me…

    oh yes, keep breathing!!!


    good comment….you are right, Martin does not “hang out” with his subjects…nor did HCB…ironic, but they are both equally detached…and your statement about Martin as a “peace” photog being less “indulgent” than many war photogs is right on…hmmmm, sounds like new post material to me!!!


    yes, so sorry….i am out shooting most of the time and if i come to the computer , i log on here…my email, as explained above, is a total nightmare…try again aol…..

    the presentation for Look3 is to be a sample of the work from photographers here on this forum….haven’t i always said that???? i am going to go back and re-read all of my comments, but obviously others here certainly thought the same…. i mean there is so much good work now buzzing around this site, it is quite amazing…even from this moment forward you have enough time to shoot what students in one of my workshops shoot…you would amazed at what you can come up with in a few days of concentration….please please divorce yourself from those few pictures from last summer….they are hanging you up i think…anyway, i do hope we can meet someday in person….i think a one on one chat would help….


    can you send a link here??? i think it would be fun for all to see your thinking process so far…and the feedback from the audience here and from me… guys are working so fast!!!

    cheers, david

  • I admire good editors…I feel like slamming my head into the wall by now LOL…..

  • david alan harvey


    relax…your work looks terrific!!

    you have great pics in both edits and a couple of weak ones in both…i would like to choose from the two edits…i am not counting, but your best 8-10 would be very strong….

    ok, now can you put them all in one place, with easy to identify numbers etc etc???…i can do an edit right here…we can go back and forth….i think you must go really esoteric here…i can see that you are tempted to put in some pictures of your wife and son which would be perfect for your family album..this is natural…nice family pictures…but a couple of the “nice family pictures” do not go “out there” the way some of the others do…

    in any case my friend, you have taken a flying leap!!!

    cheers, david

  • David, Ill put them all in the flickr folder, Ill number them with letters and you can just give me the letters: e.g. a,c,g,h…..

    Ill do it right now.

    Ill be back to give you the url…..


    I will show my photos when I finish. but how many I can show at the end? 10 or twenty? or I could show 30 and you will choose few only?

    today I’m not shooting.


  • Yeah, I think I was trying to cover the whole ground….esoteric and straight…I think that might not be the best idea…anyway I put the both edits together but there are more photos to choose from so Im really curious about your choices at

    and I just numbered them all so when you put your mouse over the picture the title (number) shows up.

    And yeah, this is a huge leap for me for sure..very excited by this

  • RAFAL: I’ll give it another go later. I see that I’m causing a headache, which should be the sign of a good brainstorm ;-)

  • DAVID,

    OK sure, v. happy to get a link up. It will probably be to my blog, which will have 2-3 sections of work from the cemetery, not so much a tight edit (its a blog after all) but a sampling of images from the project.

    One question: How do I hyperlink through this interface? Have failed in the past.



  • BOB, ERIC and HERVE:

    Thanks for your kind words about my immigration story here and on Lightstalkers. It’s always uplifting!

    Since I am relatively new here, I did take a moment to look at your portfolios on David’s site and really liked them both. Eric, you have a great eye for color, which doesn’t come easily to everyone and Bob your images having an amazing sense of mood. Really cool.

    Two things:

    1) I have to echo Erica’s thoughts. Since, I’m new to posting, I’m still trying to get a grasp on how best to follow the comments and how much to expect from this forum. I have enormous respect for the fact that you are volunteering your time and completely understand that you have other demands on your life. Now with that disclaimer, I too am wondering if you have overlooked my last couple of comments and questions.

    2) I saw in your comments to Cathy Scholl that anyone is eligible to participate in the Look3 presentation. I hope you will you consider my work on Living in the Shadows.

    That’s it. Looking forward to hearing from you.


  • DAVID,

    I re-sent the message to you and it looks like it may have gone thru.

    “the presentation for Look3 is to be a sample of the work from photographers here on this forum….haven’t i always said that????”

    Yes, you said that but what I read on the site in the beginning was that it was work selected from the Emerging Photographer essays (and maybe some singles) ALREADY posted to the site. I have not been around on a regular basis so perhaps that changed/evolved over time and I missed it…

    I have no problem with whatever it is…I just am not up for participating…unless you see some reason I should pursue more of the house project I posted about last night. The house is the major project deadline of my life and unfortunately it falls under the same time frame as look3. I have no desire or ability to add more pressure to myself on top of what I am already doing so I will have to wait for the next opportunity to participate…but thanks for providing the opportunity.

    Here’s the link again:

    Best way is to view the slideshow but you have to keep your mouse out of the screen so you don’t have arrows blocking the images.

  • HERVE:

    “Here is a “peace” photographer whom we can argue, proves to be even less indulgent towards the world he shoots/witnesses, than a war photographer towards the pain and conflict he wishes to and expose and denounce.”–HERVE

    Now THAT should be in a Parr monograph! That’s it exactly!!!!! and your totally right “elevate” isn’t the right word, that’s a word that an emotional/intellectual hierarchical judgment: thanks for catching me on that! :)) As much as I love many many “war photographers” i would love to write here about “peace” photographers…the War dudes/dudettes get the “press” (and often the braun and brunt of awards), but as with humour, it’s a more difficult endeavor to capture the essence of life (the pinpoint in the spine of the butterfly wriggling on the wall): the song of death inside the body of life and how each of us deals with that: love and humour and loss and time…Martin’s approach is one of the finest i know…So too David’s…I think Divided Soul is one of the most mysterious books that has been produced, the irony is that nearly all of the photographs in David’s book are experientially “undramatic” and yet they are fucking hot-hot with drama: i think the only photo i seem to remember that has “drama” is the brilliant photo of the matador pulling the blood stained sword from behind that brilliant red cape…but thing of all the others: the brilliant expression in the “bankers” (these dudes assasigns?), friends in Oaxaca, guying washing his head in PR, the disco shot in Lisbon, the white hand near the black bride’s face in Cuba, easter parade in PF, the village officials in Oaxaca with that slanted shadow/light, like from a Marquez NOvel (chronicle of a death foretold i would call that picture), girl with blue umbrella, the magnificent old woman with crucifix and my beloved horse on the porch, etc..the whol e book is one mystery after another (even the gorgeous men and women dancing!!)…

    we should run this topic for sure :))

    ANTON: thanks amigo…yea, i talked to my brother on Friday night…we both cried alot, but he’s a strong guy and will bounce back…just waiting to see what insurance company does and will his business/livelihood continue or start anew….

    PANOS: :)) worries, im just happy u r ok and still fleet-o-foot and shooting!

    DAVID: I’ll buy you a pair of these glasses in Chinatown :))..u got it! :))

    running, off for the day…


  • Erica, your text link does not work indeed, but the site remains accessible with the usual name/link signature.

    I thought the second half, roughly, of your NYC 40 days was much stronger than the first.

    Bob, your Alain Delon ;-) shoot on the beach…. And all along I thought you looked like Richard Attenborough, and wore only brown tweed pants, like any slef-respecting teacher!!! :-)))

  • DAVID, Herve..

    Ah, seems I typed a ) in it is

    the pics in question are at new york, 40 days


  • ALL,
    so far so great..
    I’m here with ANNA in Venice..
    right now we are shooting a BODY BUILDING CONTEST..
    lucky Anna got access in the Ladies dressing rooms..
    I can only imagine whats happening in there..
    I’ll ask her to post once she comes out…
    crazy shit so far.

  • OK..
    Posting from Panos’s iPhone..


  • I’m here with Anna in a rest stop..
    we are waiting to photograph a boxing match at 1:00 pm..

    we can’t wait..
    come on…


  • Panos Anna

    I’m painting now. No shooting. No projects. No showing.

  • marcin luczkowski

    only gin and good music…

  • Bruce Gilden, “I have no ethics…people talk about ethics, I mean c’mon, give me a break!”


  • Michael

    here is the answer about ethic

  • ANNA B,

    Since I was with you at the first (attempted) meeting with Panos I am interested in your report of the OFFICIAL meeting.

    Sounds like fun!

    I thought you were painting!!??
    leave YOUTUBE ALONE..
    we are anxiously waiting for a link..
    2nd beer now..

  • Thanks Marcin…

    Sounds like a typical bully or politician who gets called out on a particluar statement and for political expediency claims it was out of context or misconstrewed or claims he was just being sarcastic.

    He repeated his claim that he often gets so close to people that they think he’s shooting something behind them. Does this make it OK that he’s sticking his camera and flash in their faces like he does? Does the fact that people are so surprised and confused by this stranger’s bizarre behavior make it alright? I don’t know.

  • I remember DAH and Bill Allen talking about how national geographic is perceived around the world. How the writers and photographers comport themselves when out and about, doing their work, dealing with the cultures, with different people in a way that will reflect well on future photographers and writers when they find themselves in these places.

    Gilden’s approach looks to me more like “screw everybody else, I’m in it for me and i don’t care what others think about my technique/style/approach.”

    We are ethical animals, we humans. These ethics vary according to place, time and cultures, of course. What is perfectly fine in some cultures is reprehensible to others. But “personal space” seems to me a universal. Walking down a busy street and randomly jumping in front of people yelling “blah!” probably makes most people in most cultures around the word unnecessarily uncomfortable. Doing pretty much the same thing, only with a camera a flash unit somehow does not make it much better…in my opinion. Randomly popping a flash off in someone’s face to get a photo for your next book or gallery showing…for financial gain… stikes me as odd, to say the least. Bruce Gilden would disagree, I imagine. ;^}

  • and post #200 is…

  • mine! dont mind me, I am easily entertained

  • Hi David;

    I know you have been very busy, but was wondering if you get the chance you may be able to give a quick critique on a cock fighting essay.

    I have narowed it down to 12 images but will whittle it down even more, but am keen on anyone’s input.

    I have attempted to document the event, but not show any actual fighting, or gory content. I’d be interested if anybody thinks I have succeeded or not…

    I am still working on the IDP project every day while here, and may attempt to stay an extra week. The cock fighting was just a short break over a couple of afternoons. And no, I don’t agree with the sport, but it is part of Timor’s culture….

    Thanks for that

  • RAFAL..

    you are on a roll! and man, do you have a generous wife!

  • Hey David,

    I thought about it and maybe the best way for you to end me your edit idea would be by e-mail which I think you have but its

    Again, much appreciated!

  • Erica,

    yes for sure…the thing is that I also try to show as little as possible but hint at a lot..thats the reason for a lot of blurring, I also crop a photo if it shows too much….

  • Oh my god…..!



    ANNA today, found her own INSIDERS..IN VENICE BEACH…
    …but she will, hopefully tell you more about it…


    ps: I’m gonna host ( pressure Anna B. to send me at least )…5 photos of her work… in my blog… because… all i care is
    NOW not LATER…


    Every Pimp has their…. “merchandise”…
    Some “pimps”…, own buses to carry them in different parties around town…
    Here “Chris”, the Operator of this venice “crew”… performs somewhere in Valencia,CA…
    click below:


    (fucking insider-producer my ASS…)


    “COPS DON’T GIVE A SHIT… would YOU…?”
    2 PHOTOS

    1)”too close for the cops”

    2)” experienced officer”


    first of all… i’m not even sure…, there is such a thing…

  • Pool with the “perverts”

    Next episode… : “ WHO REALLY -IS( are ) – THE “pervert (s) …??????

  • Panos!

    Great job! You have natural talent!
    work hard, learn more and then…
    be freelancer and go somewhere to africa or middleeast and be next Larry Burrows.

  • Larry Burrows

    Larry Burrows (born May 29, 1926 in London – died February 10, 1971 in Laos) was an English photographer best known for his pictures of the American involvement in the Vietnam War.
    Burrows was born in London in 1926. He left school at age 16 and took a job in Life magazine’s London bureau, where he printed photographs. Some accounts blame Burrows for melting photographer Robert Capa’s D-Day pictures in the drying cabinet, but in fact it was another technician, according to John G. Morris.
    Burrows went on to become a photographer and covered the war in Vietnam from 1962 until his death in 1971. Burrows died with fellow photojournalists Henri Huet, Kent Potter and Keisaburo Shimamoto, when their helicopter was shot down over Laos. In 2002, Burrows’ posthumous book Vietnam was awarded the Prix Nadar award. At the time of the helicopter crash, the photographers were covering Operation Lam Son 719, a massive armored invasion of Laos by South Vietnamese forces.
    On April 03-04, 2008, the scant remains of Burrows and fellow photographers Heut, Potter and Shimamoto, were honored and interened at the Newseum in Washington D.C…

    thank you

    MARCIN… but


    Don Quixote

    El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha

    Cervantes created a fictional origin for the story based upon a manuscript by the invented Moorish historian, Cide Hamete Benengeli.

  • Hey David,

    Im trying to keep this word in mind – esoteric – and Ive gone back to edit a bit more…Some do repeat themelves so again, its a matter of chosing the better one….
    but take a look here and see how it strikes you.

    I just have a feeling the longer Im at it the worse its getting LOL.

  • RAFAL:

    Are you trying to get the edit down to 10?

    If so, I’d look at taking out some of the similar images. Also, the first part of this selection shows the dynamic of your family, which is more dimensional and thus the photos are more complex. In the later part your voice and the mood changes with a focusing on intimacy so you may need to bridge the two somehow.

    Just my two cents.

  • Hi all,

    I’ve been reading your comments the last couple of days, trying to catch up the subjects, the “mood” and was afraid of being an invader here…
    I’ve sent a message to David but, as he said his mailbox is overloaded, I decide to go on and post a message.
    I’d appreciate comments about the galleries I placed at Viewbook ( Two ongoing projects are there: Offshore and Catadores.
    Actually I’m in a crossroad regarding the aesthetics and language of my work and this will be showing signs soon in my portfolio. The fresh air I’ve received from your work (I could check only a few of your photos, but I can mention Chris Bickford, Ross Nolly, Carlos Martinez, Eric Espinosa and Erica McDonald – all with amazing stories and photos) and discussion here, along with some recent researches and deep dive on the web are responsible for that! I’m also preparing some pics for my account at Lightstalkers and struggling to have a website prepared.
    Hope this one will be the first of many other posts, if you allow me.

    All the best!

  • Hello DAVID & ALL:

    As requested I have put some work from the cemetery on line. You can go my website…

    (I couldn’t work out how to link, sorry! You’ll have to copy and paste)

    If you go to my blog you will find the images in the photo section. There are 20-or-so in a pretty rough edit, but I hope it will illustrate what this place is like. Battery is about so will have to cut this short… Back soon!



  • Charlie,

    yes…basically what you see there are two dits in one, I guess….initially I was going to show the former, the family dynamic but with intimacy as a spice in the mix, which is essentially what the whole body of work is because thats life…but David makes a good point that this is a 10 shot slideshow and maybe I should go for something more esoteric, which probably calls for more intimacy as thats something more private, secret, hidden….

    Anyway, I just did some editing and took it down to 10 again…this editing job is like a yoyo….I tried to find photos that are both intimate and more family oriented (wife and son together), but which still have an air of intimacy and secretitiveness

  • JAMES!

    Really excellent work! Great story idea. I loved the composition and the mood of the images.

    As far as edits go, not sure if the order on the blog is the edit order you wanted, but I would suggest moving the images around a bit and reduce the number of images overall. I’d take out the image of “Mary Jane and Jerry Juan,” “Rody’s portrait” and “Rody maintaining the grass.”

    I hope this helps. Great job, now go get that published!

  • Wow James..fascinating and going really really well!


    hopefully getting the new camera today for the assignment, they keep getting bought from under me (who knew 4×5’s were in such demand?)Send good prayers that this is the keeper…

  • Damn Panos! Just keeps getting better!

  • Rafal, for my 2 cents:

    b and f are the same for me as well as h and j… and I would add one of the Shanghai ones when your wife looks at the window (terrific one)…

  • Yan,

    I think I see what you mean….how about now?

  • Rafal…you too! Killer series! See you at Look3?


  • I wont be able to make it to Look3 this year…impossible…time and money problems as usual….

  • It looks better to me, as far as I can judge…

  • David et al.

    hope your email is working better…sent you one to your aol account…did not return, so believe it went through

    Did another shoot today, another of the male sex…tried to put online adds out there, but for some reason, i only get replies from men. anyway, with patience, someone representing the female sex will arrive :)

    thinking aloud…the project has to do with, “ordinary” human beings, doing their thing…where the only control, so to speak, that i have is the location, and the mask…what they do, how they act is purely up to them. i try and ask them to feel at home, and do what they usually do. then, i guess you get ppl doing what they do, however naked, while you get a jarle style of documenting this…

    i will post some of the images on my LS page, and will let you all know when they are up there…

    i also feel the project kinda deals with what we call “personal space”. as the subject and i, both cross our “personal spaces”…

    anyway, gotta find some more ppl to document…


  • david alan harvey


    the garage sale concept is going to be difficult, but i think eventually very interesting…right now, you have mostly pictures of the things for sale (one picture) and then the portraits of the sellers (another picture)…i would like to see more combos of the two..people with their “stuff”….you have some of this, but i think this could be expanded…i think your whole idea is to show consumerism run amok…too many people with too many “things”….hoarding things that cannot be thrown away and yet no space left in the garage and house to literally hold it all…you are going for this in black & white, which is fine, but maybe you would get a feeling of the eclectic nature of garages full of unwanted items by combining color and b&w..just a thought….

    you have picked one of those subjects where it is easier to describe in words than pictures…a common problem for many…

    but, i think you can pull this off…try writing on a piece of paper the five concepts or statements you want to show us…do not shoot from this list, but just have it in your head….then, be visual rather than descriptive…in any case, you have just started and perhaps you will have some new work by next week….oh yes, i was going to ask you if there was any value in getting some kind of large overall scene…from the roof of another house or ladder or whatever..something to show the “scene”…stay in touch…

    cheers, david

  • david alan harvey


    so many of you are trying to contact me by e-mail…and one of the reasons my e-mail is clogged, is because so many of you are writing me privately…

    this is becoming totally impractical for obvious reasons…i am carrying on one conversation with you here and then another one on e-mail…

    since the nature of blogland is to carry on community conversation, i think we are going to have to keep most conversations “public”…i am sure you can appreciate the overwhelming nature of chatting with you in both mediums…

    alec soth told me he gave up his blog for just this reason…he could handle the blog, but the “insider” e-mail got to be too too much…it is not about what i want to do or even my nature, but finally there is only so much time in the day…..

    if you have something really really important that i must must know about, go e-mail..but try try please please to keep our online discussions here on the forum….

    many thanks, david

  • JARLE…
    sounds mysterious , J.Saudek like,
    good luck..
    I can’t wait to see where are you going with this..
    masks, naked bodies..
    sounds awesome ..
    good luck..

    great cemetery work…
    great job.. Bravo.

    thanks man, I hope I can make it at LOOK3..
    David MG’s video from last year made me drool..

    I keep my fingers crossed so you receive your
    medium format camera..
    which one?? Now you made everyone envy..
    Once more thanks again for last week..
    You do care about people deeply.
    its obvious.. It will show at your work .

    and Anna B.) shot a bodybuilding competition
    and also a LADIE’s boxing game..
    editing today… I hope I will have 2 or 3 photos
    by later tonight.. to share.. Hilarious..

  • david alan harvey


    you have some truly powerful pictures in this cemetery series….very nice job on this assignment!!! did you say that you have moved on…finished???

    the one thing that most magazine editors would tell you however, is that they would need a strong overall shot to establish the cemetery…yes, you do have pictures which show us in a cemetery, but still you need that “killer” shot that really shows the juxtaposition , size, magnitude of the cemetery…not just a few graves..maybe even something that shows it’s relationship to Manila etc etc…the work you do have are , of course, the “best pictures” (you could take a few out that repeat themselves) but i am just talking pro editorial needs….

    very nice work James….i would like to use some of this for Look3…

    cheers, david

  • Thanks for the kind comments folks. Just wanted to stress that this is by no means the finished piece, really just a random selection of shots of the place and the people I have spent time with.

    I expect to edit it down to 10 (ish) images, I don’t usually go above that. I am also working on a multimedia piece and have a medium format portrait series too (also incorporated into the multimedia), so keeping busy for now.

    DAVID how to you propose to move forward with this assignment process? Not sure if there is a way you intend to work through this, or if you just want me to submit a tighter edit (finished in my view) and see if it needs more adjustment from there? I know the deadline is a way of, but just interested to hear what you think would benefit this process in the meantime?




    Well, if that’s the case you are off to a great start. Good luck with the multi-media piece. I look forward to seeing it.

  • david alan harvey


    stop editing!!! the link where you had EVERYTHING is where i want to be with you for the moment…in just a very short time, we can get that down…

    i just have other priorities for the next couple of days…but, i when i see your work, i see no problems, easy edit and truly fine work…

    so, please just put yourself on “hold” for a few days…


    i will go back to see what i missed…but i do have to totally prioritize the photographers who have assignments this month…i think i have ten photographers shooting, but even i am a bit confused because some are “holding” until next month…anyway, i will have a handle on this by wednesday and list exactly from whom we are going to expect work on this first round…i will go back and look now at Living in the Shadows…


    yes, you missed something somewhere along the line…

    i have said several times that what i show at Look3 would be the best work from the photographers here…period…

    work that is generated by this forum is the work that i want to show….

    all of which (including non-writing readers who many of you do not know) is eligible for future funding through the EPF ….

    in other words, photographers can make themselves known to me either by applying for EPF or by just linking me to their work here….

    as you can see right now we have several interesting assignments going, some even completed, in addition to some fine work from the original EPF…some of the best work that is here now is from photographers who were either not finalists in the EPF or we have gotten to know in more recent times…

    this is a living “organism”….and there has never never been a “plan”….i have said over and over and over that this forum is in and of itself a “work in progress”….there is not and never has been any obligation from either thee or me….

    that is the total beauty of it i think….

    we have financed Sean to do more work…i hope to finance several more this year….to do that, i must show the best we have to offer…make sense???

    cheers, david

  • PANOS et al.

    thanks for your comment Panos. don’t think it is as mystic as it sounds like.

    but i will try to explain some more…i was not aware of this when my first subject asked to use a masque, but now after the second shooting, things are starting to become clearer…a potential model asked me about the mask…and this is kinda the words i wrote him….the mask, is there to illustrate that we are all the same…since our faces show so much emotion, i feel showing the face can sometimes distract from the other parts of the body…thus the masque is what is common for each and every subject.

    hmmmm…need to think more about this…but are totally enjoying this blog so that i can think out loud…and it really helps to write things down…even though how bad i am at it…normally.

    Panos keep shooting and keep us updated with your shots!!

    JChance, just gotta join in with the rest, and congratulate you with the cemetery. i agree with David, in that an overview shot will be essential. best of luck with this…

    all best,

  • david alan harvey


    ok, i went back to Living in the Shadows…overall, it does look good….but, then i counted the pictures that i would really want to put up on the screen and came down to 4 or 5…that might not be enough…when did you shoot that story??? in any case, i will keep it in mind, but i think i would prefer you shoot something as an assignment here…

    you must remember, i am either showing or not showing for a photogs own good…there are going to be some major editors out there in the audience….i would rather hold a photogs work until they were really “ready” than to show something that would not be of the standard these editors might expect…

    i only mention that because of the nature of your work, which looks totally editorial in nature…i might not say that about someone like Kyunghee Lee or Bob Black who are totally conceptual in nature….

    cheers, david

  • david alan harvey


    so so cool you two hooked up..shooting together..very nice, i like that…i have not seen all the work….but i will look a bit later….

    chris bickford and i did the same over the weekend…by the way, that boy can play the guitar and sing ….

    peace, david

  • Thanks again for the kind words people. Much appreciated.


    We must have overlapped there!? Anyways… Yes, I have left Manila, so no chance to go back. The overall shot was an issue I was well aware of at the time, but just couldn’t nail. The place is soo big and there really isn’t anywhere above two stories. I just don’t know how I could have got an expansive shot without higher elevation.

    I will look back through the stuff and see if I have a shot that illustrates this in a less literal manner.

    Would love to share some work for Look3. Just let me know what you need me to do.



  • Medium format camera not working. All pictures high over exposure.
    I will begin from start tomorrow.
    ku…wa… ku…wa… ku…wa
    bedzie ok.


  • david alan harvey


    Panos as Larry Burrows?? i would not have thought in that direction…but interesting observation on your part….

    by the way, when i was a grad student and Larry Burrows was the Magazine Photographer of the Year, my job was to be his “student guide” at Univ of Missouri where the awardees were awarded…you know, to show him around campus, be his local assistant..make him comfortable with the students…a nicer man , a gentleman, you cannot imagine…a few weeks later he was killed….his daughter, Bobbie Baker Burrows was for many years an editor at Life Magazine and she has helped keep her father’s legacy alive…he was certainly one of a kind…

    cheers, david

  • DAVID:

    1) Living in the Shadows is a current project of mine. I began it this winter and have shot it off and on since then. When I initially responded about assignments for this month, I mentioned that I live in Barcelona but was prepping for a trip to Mexico City (now two & half weeks away), but since I am now tight on time (AND if I do anything at all right now), I’d like to continue improving the Living in Shadows story. When I get back in July, I’d be happy to start up a new assignment in Barcelona.

    2) When you responded to me last week you mentioned the following: “in some of the other essays you just need to please take out some of the cliche pictures to make your work really sing…in about 10 minutes with you in person i could edit your work down and make your whole presentation absolutely fly….”

    If there is anyway of getting that ten minutes from you, either here, by email, phone or chat, that would be ideal, but I understand you have time constraints. I’m also attending Look3 and was planning to try to get some meetings and show Living in the Shadows, but if I’m not ready, that could be a terrible mistake. Maybe I’m better off not worrying too much about printing this week and get out and shoot more of the African immigrants. Aiiiiii me han enterado las dudas!

    3) I’d also like to know which images were the 4 or 5 images that you liked in Living in the Shadows.

    4) Finally, you asked earlier “i am curious to know where you want to go with your work”. I’d like to do editorial work and some travel work with an edgy editorial style.

    I hope that all helps.

    all the best,

  • Hello David,

    Funny thing is that I’ve been looking at my site feeling that there is far too much work on there. I think I need to take out some projects that don’t relate to the kind of work I am doing right now.


  • Wow, Panos, really impressed at the microcosmos of life and characters, and activities in Venice Beach. Your distance is perfect, quite inside, but not too much, so spinning in and out, and that heightens the experience that there is still humonguous life in that dying (your words) microcosm.

    I am reminded of Pattaya in Thailand, but with the free-spiritedness added, and the American Freedom, that both graces and strikes the Venice denizens.

    Rafal, I hope David guides towards a selection that privileges one emotion, not too many. If we convey or awake one feeling, this will help your work stick with people better than an overall synopsis.

    From everything David tells us, Editors, looking for new talents, value emotion (I don’t mean sentiment or touchy-feely stuff), more than good coverage. It’s harder of course, but unmistakably ours.

  • James (Chance), Enjoyed that too, a lot, with one thought. Seeing your images, all the shadings, moisture, details,hourn of the day, etc… I crave to see them in color, and for many, caught myself adding hues.


    I have thinking that while I photograph my ” mixed heritage “, the others are already publishing or editing theirs assignements (and it looks good). Your are too fast for me. ;). I don’t even want to think about editing right now. Maybe I’m wrong. I just do my thing. But I feel a kind of good pressure.

  • Trying to catch up with all the posts and the forum dynamics…

    Congratulations to James and Panos work (the latest I could see)

    I couldn’t find the link to Jarle assignment photos yet (despite visiting his site)…


  • david alan harvey

    Jean Sébastien…

    NO, NO…do not worry about what others are doing!!!

    just do your thing…everyone works at their own pace……please do not feel under pressure….

    some photographers may not show us anything until the very end…maybe this will be your approach….fine.

    others will want a running critique and discussion…

    either way is fine from my point of view…

    i always tell photographers to work hard, but relax at the same time…seems contradictory , but it is not…you must concentrate, be “on the case” and yet be totally tranquil….

    if you get “uptight” you will not be able to do anything…turmoil and frustration of some sort are normal and good…but, do not “lock up”!!!

    enjoy, relax….

    peace, david

  • david alan harvey


    you are right on….

    cheers, david


    if you do want to give me a crit here, could you possibly email and tell me when you do? Otherwise I’ll probably miss it. That would be very nice and save me from the tenterhooks I’m on ’til I hear your worst. Thank you, Amy

  • David

    LOL Ill put things back in and wait hah

    Ok everythings back in the set. The first 10 is what i edited thanks to input from some others, after that its what was in there before.

  • JAMES CHANCE! :))))

    Wow, love the essay very much!…breaks my heart…that pic of people inside “room” with TV and gravestone is harrowing stuff…i’ve never heard of this play nor even apprehended such a place could be possible, even amid the squalor that exists around the world….

    great job…


  • ARI..
    thank you much..

    now you talking..!!!

    . I mean , now you talking Greek to me..
    thank you for your care and support..
    especially last week..
    are you going LOOK3??

  • Herve, yes….for sure…for me Im much better simply shooting in the moment…trying to later organize things is a challenge and tryong to organize things for the consumption of professionals even more so…theres a lot of pressure to hit the ball out of a park which might lead to a fly out to third base….

  • Formidable? Yes. But what part of photography isn’t formidable. Editing your own work is as important as shooting. No, it’s more important. (Well, except for the fact that you need to shoot before you can edit.)

  • david alan harvey

    PANOS, KAT…..


    i totally thought Katharina work was already in…my mistake…..again, not sure whether i will use both of you for Look3, but there is a good chance i will….

    when putting together a slide show , i like to have “balance”….you cannot go black if you do not go white…


  • david alan harvey


    still looking for your second page and a link with my first edit…please please…..we have one or two more rounds of editing to do….

    peace, david

    To get to the last page of comments you don’t have to be a math genius like Herve and Paul;-) Just pick a high number and it automatically defaults to the last page.

  • As this discussion has been so much about showcasing your photography for the purpose for being hired, I felt I should share some recent experiences.

    As some of you know I am starting a documentary photography “magazine” or website. As we have put out requests for photographers I have received hundreds of e-mails. Most of the photography isn’t even close to anything I could vaguely call “documentary”.

    As I saw another photo editor post above, follow the directions of the request, don’t waste the time of the editor with things they are not interested in, it only wastes YOUR time.

    When I do get a good photographer, there are a few things that seem always to be true:

    1. They have a personal website (not Flickr, Carbonmade, etc) that is easy to use.
    2. The website has galleries that are descriptive and I know quickly what it is I am interested in. I.e. “Documentary”, “Reportage”, “Art”. Often when I get into that gallery I am given options of their recent work, say an essay on the 2008 Presidential campaigns.
    3. The e-mail is short, it has a few links, and offers advice on how to view their work and usually, it tells me what I might be most interested in.
    4. They have full contact information included.

    Of course, when I get bad photographers, they usually have some things in common too:
    1. Flickr account or similar
    2. No contact information
    3. Attached images of weddings, children, pets, trees, or homeless.
    4. The message is something to the effect of “whats up? check out my links. let me know if you want to buy stuff. -xoxo”
    5. The e-mail was sent from an e-mail address like

    Essentially, the level of professionalism in their communication (whether it be via e-mail or on their website) often equals the professionalism of their work.

    Sorry for the long winded message but, I sometimes get a little worked up about it.

    As for editing, I am terrible at editing my own work. Never been able to. I like to think I am alright helping others with their work though.


  • Hi David,

    I’m not sure if this question has been discussed elsewhere in the forum. I have not seen it yet.

    You mentioned earlier that when editing you have two choices, how many and which photos. I understand all the comments about how many, I see the value in it, but I’m still working out the “which ones” part :-)

    When you are putting a story together do you include less strong photos because then are important for the story, or do you just stick to the best of the best? My guess is that you would answer to show only your best photos, but what if that doesn’t complete the story? Some documentary work must just happen as the story unfolds before you and once that moment is gone…

    thanks for your advice

  • I guess editing is a life-long process and I have to grow into my own anwsers.

    Matt Blalock, I like your site and found your advice useful. I hope I can produce photo essays as interesting one day.

  • I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

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