Monthly Archive for March, 2007

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off to washington

this morning i fly down to our federal village….our nations capitol… of the free and home of the brave…..bracing myself for the culture shock of going from new york to washington….in just a few hours i will walk through the doors of the National Geographic Society …..the smell of freshly polished brass awaits……

today and tomorrow i will be working with editor ken geiger on an edit for the cowboy pictures i shot down in mexico way back in january….speaking of cowboys, i will also be hanging with my old best friend william albert allard…i even heard a rumor he was bunking out with me at my little d.c.condo which will be sold this spring (i lived in washington for 15 yrs)…of course, bill will be the star subject of one of my posts soon, but maybe not this week….i am still gathering material on him…i only have 30 years worth so far….

stay tuned…..three days at National Geographic Magazine should give me enough material to do a post every hour or so!!!! 



a question

there is a question i would like to ask my loyal blogger friends…..i am totally a  "print guy"…i love powerful books and well done magazines….i like to hold them in my hand….feel the paper, smell the pictures… and never in my mind did i ever imagine myself "taking to the web"….my friends would not have figured it either…and i only see the web as a way to get to print…..a facilitator and friend…

i have found something really interesting and special here on the web…what i am doing on this "blog magazine"  is what i would be doing anyway…i did not "invent" the concept for  this …it already existed in my life …..i just "organized" it a bit differently…get  stuff  down before i forget it!!!

i have zero computer skills and know very little about blog world…, when i designed the format for this blog i was thinking i wanted it to look something like a print magazine…….you know, cover, then go inside, and look around….thus, i have four blogs all dealing with something different….chapters or sections…i wanted to make people feel like hanging out for awhile…just like i would really do at home…..thus , fitting with the "at home with dah" title, which was the name of my first workshop here in the "kibbutz"….

but my question is , should i consider going to just one blog??  do you enjoy going from one blog to another or would you prefer to go to just one with a variety of subject matter on it??…obviously, it is four times harder for me to handle four blogs!!!   but , no matter, i just want to present my online workshop, or whatever it is , in the most attractive , yet positively challenging  way for you to view…

i do now plan on adding two non-blog web pages….one gallery, one audio/video page for films, videos and music slide shows…

any thoughts you may have would be welcomed right now before i do my little additions and slight re-design….i leave for italy on april 2, so i have some time right now to make some changes…

many thanks in advance for giving it a thought….

peace, david

kim reierson


long haul truckers….we are close to them everyday….usually dangerously close….looming fast in the rear view mirror….who among us has not almost been killed by a long haul trucker??  and who can forget steven spielberg’s first movie "duel" ??….in that movie we never saw the driver of the renegade truck, but he definitely scared the hell out of us who watched  steven’s  USC student film..

now we get to meet him, or should i say, them……kim reierson takes us on a "long haul" in 150 pages of her recent work "eighteen" (b.olivia press)…no, that title is not her age, but the number of wheels on a long hauler….kim’s dad was a trucker…but, he took her nowhere with him….no details necessary, but the guy really didn’t have much to do with her…dad did buy her a first camera …mostly though he was a pretty busy dude ….however, "blood is thicker than water" and kim dedicated her book to "mom and dad and the truckers of america"

one of these good ole’ boys took kim ‘cross country for two weeks hauling 40,000 lbs. of oranges one day and chickens the next….kim says "these guys haul almost everything we consume" and for her, something else….."he became the father i never had"

catharsis can be the fuel for photographers who need to be long -haulers too…all artists have an empty spot….a well that needs to be filled…..but perky, dynamic kim has got her act together…she has blended art and life…..i am sure that her mom and dad are proud…




now a sweeter woman than eloisa you will never meet….trust me ……i suppose her photo students at "insituto allende" may feel the same…eloisa nisimura, 29, has also been a course assistant for the santa fe workshops in san miguel  for 6 years…when she smiles everybody smiles…

when i met eloisa , she was working in black & white….now, she prefers color most of the time…her project here on bullfighters  has been difficult for obvious reasons: it is a man’s world and a man’s world in mexico is a serious man’s world…but, remember that smile i mentioned???  works on bullfighters too….

when i go to san miguel i just expect eloisa to be there…she has always been there for me….i like her attention….but, something happened this last week right in front of my eyes….eloisa found a new boyfriend!!! …shhhhhhhh….can you imagine,this guy took her attention away from me??  i like this guy……but, one of these days eloisa will move on….i cannot be and must not be possessive….but this dude had better treat her right….if not,all of her other older "brothers"  and i will make sure he rides right on out of town…

yea, yea, ok i will shoot the wedding……hmmmm, see my big smile???




this is not a happy story…..but, it is a story of love and  loss and dealing with both..zaida sanchez, 22, is a photography student at the "instituto allende" in san miguel de allende……she used her love of photography to deal with personal tragedy….

zaida, unmarried and with the father en absentia, gave birth to a baby boy, paolo daniel….little paolo never left the hospital…..he died of intestinal complications 6 days after birth…..with no husband to lean on, and with a tragedy of the worst possible emotional consequences, zaida was psychologically destroyed…..

"my parents told me to use my talent and my photography as a catharsis…..i wanted to honor paolo….i was in pain, but i also wanted my work to be a very beautiful tribute to him…. my photographs here are little symbols of how i was feeling during the 6 months following the death of paolo"

zaida has been assisting in my class and we have become good friends along with her amigas, eloisa and christina ,both of  whom you will soon meet….zaida did not want me to publish anything that would make the father of paolo look bad…..i asked why….zaida told me that because his parents had been so nice to her…..that says more about the character of  zaida than anything i can imagine ..









mexican women photographers

i will post today or tomorrow a story about women photographers in mexico….the history of women in photography in mexico is quite interesting…you will meet three women who are students at the "instituto allende"  and are on a three year study program leading  to a degree in visual arts…meet them and see their work….and , yes, of course, later you will meet the men also…ladies first amigos, ladies first…..

fate and dreams

dear photographers/readers/friends…

i started this blog just a few weeks ago and i have learned a lot….first of all, the comments from you have been most welcome and the questions excellent….i will continue to respond as best i can….if i am just a bit late in response it is because i am on a “road trip” and cannot get to an internet cafe or find some wireless connection for my laptop or am just too busy shooting…but, once i start something, i do follow through, so i will ride this horse as long and as hard as i can….

now i only have my friend and assistant marie to help me with this….and we are often not in the same place… your patience is totally appreciated….we do have so so so much to post and i have so many friends in the business i want you to know about and hear from and so much student work to publish….right now, i just cannot do it all…but,

fate has brought me to an interesting point in my life…..i am a magnum photographer …..i want to introduce you to my colleagues even beyond what you may see on the magnum site…and meet photographers from all of the agencies..i have photographed over 40 stories for national geographic so i want you to meet those colleagues and editors as well..and the photo editors from all of the magazines….the publishers for my books are: “cuba” (national geographic); “divided soul” (phaidon) and the upcoming hip hop book with no title yet (powerhouse)…..i will do interviews with these publishers and publishers i do not yet know…..and we will meet the gallerists from around the world who set the tone for the often lucrative collectors print market……

it is time for me to share all of this experience…just feels right….i have been blessed….lucky… feeling has always been to pass on knowledge, which i have done since i was 22 and finished a university of missouri photo workshop where i told myself then ” david, if you succeed in this craft, this business, this art…you must must pass the torch”…it is to this end that i have taught workshops ever since….BUT i can only teach if i am also working, publishing, exhibiting, and to be comptempory….otherwise, what would i have to teach???

i am not difficult to work with….but, i also have always been a bit of a renegade…..i have always done “my own thing” ….but i always tried to keep the newspapers i worked for, the magazines i did stories for, and the ad agencies i occassionally shoot for, mostly happy….not always, but mostly….lots and lots and lots of mistakes i have made……i will tell you about those too….

but, of course, working alone, on your own, always produces the very best work…..photographers must ultimately “stand alone”….so, it is always tricky to do your own best work and be true to the magazine or source of funding…..i have been fortunate in this regard and i want to help emerging photographers learn how to think about being “professional” and being true to one’s self simultaneously…….

i am mostly blessed with terrific family and friends….my real “heartbeat”…many of these friends are well-known photographers, and some of them will be well- known photographers, and some of them could care less!!!….i love them all……my immediate family is my “soul” and they are spiritually with me always and sometimes quite literally also…..

the dream….and it is a new dream: to secure enough funding for one or more of the emerging photographers who cross my path to actually go out on a significant assignment….a commission, a stipend, a grant or whatever you want to call it……publish the work here…..publish in print….i will have soon a new web page for this work…..

ultimately, this site will be a hybrid….part blog, part “magazine” part something we do not even have a name for yet….fate has put me in a unique position…… few others……..organizations do these things, but photographers do not really “know” them…..and they rarely have a “vision”….i do have a vision…..this does not mean it is the only way to see …part of my “vision” is to let others have a “voice” including those with a different point of view from mine….. colleagues will speak, students will speak, gallerists will speak, publishers and editors will speak, book store owners will speak, and anyone else we can learn something from will speak….

please let me know what you think…..i welcome ideas, and i will then choose a route based on my “gut” and instincts… instincts got me to wherever this is, so i think i will just stay “on it”……..

certainly we have potential to be on the most adventurous “road trip” of all…..

peace, david

new posts from mexico

i am still in san miguel and will be  for another week ….doing this workshop has caused me to fall behind on new blog posts……it has taken all my spare time to just respond to comments…in any case, i have a one day break now and will try to get some work up soonest on all four blog sections today or tomorrow…..this is turning into a full-time job!!!     please stay tuned, i will do my best!!!!