Monthly Archive for September, 2008

sunday morning ramble…

this is just a quick hello and goodbye…i just have no free time
to be here with another workshop just started etc….this could be the
last workshop i do here in my New York space for any number of
reasons…in any case, and you know me by now, i will put everything i
have into this i do in everything i do connected with my
work…other matters are often  a disaster, but whatever i do regarding
photography, i am all in…whether it is my own work or my mentoring of
others…two different "bodies of work" but both equally important and
both with an equal piece of the "whole"

so, allow me please this brief break with our forum so that i may
focus on your colleagues who are here in my home…by the way, everyone
in my home right now is a reader of this forum…most silent non
writers, but they know all of you who write and can recite me various
incidents, paragraphs, and all kinds of things from right here…

point is, we are all having an impact on each other..yes, yes , the
power of the net etc etc etc…well, by fate, or whatever, our online
community has turned into reality so many times, from my first meeting
with Rafal in Seoul to hanging with Patricia in Detroit…and a whole
bunch of stuff going on in between at Look3 and Perpignan and just out there on the know who you are…you remember
the good times and the truly sweet reality of what it feels like to
know someone before you meet them and then take off on another whole
new side of the friendship..and, you must admit, it has turned into
real friendships…i am sure we all agree that our beleaguered world
can use every drop of good spirit we can squeeze into it..but all any
of us can do is just make your immediate environment as good a place as
you can make it…

my life set of rules for myself: set up good vibes within a 20 foot imaginary
space created around me….give everyone in that space as much room as they want….make whoever is
right next to me laugh..

this weekend upcoming will be another one of our "forum family reunions"….i hope there will be many more….in that spirit it might just be the right time for me to show just a piece of my Off for a Family Drive work at the finale fiesta this friday night..seems like maybe we should look at some of these American families i met cross country  just because of our times, not because i my pictures….i will think on it….Alessandra Sanguinetti and Paul Fusco will precede the student show, but i just might stick "family drive" in there somewhere….what do you think??

after all, it will be a family night…

graduation day….



the slide show for At Home workshop 2008 should be up now (under Movies home page) and loads in about 15 secs on my computer..we had it
down for awhile trying to get out the flicker, but it is such a big
file , i am not sure we can do better..but still trying..

anyway, i do hope you enjoy the show…these students did the impossible  to get this work done in just a few days…

most of you know, but not everyone, that this is all ORIGINAL WORK shot last week..could the final show be better?? of course… but this show is being produced right up until a half hour before show time…so, it is RAW, but reflects the sensitivity, timing, aesthetic and dedication of these emerging photographers..


some may not understand the workshop "ritual", so i will give you a little "brief"..

the whole point of this workshop is to allow emerging photographers a chance to totally develop artistically and realistically….i push each student in her/his personal direction based on THEM , not  me…..or maybe "stretch" is better than "push" any case, i  study
the portfolios even before they are accepted into the class….class
limit 12…as soon as possible, i spend an hour with each student
one on one to get "into their head" and figure out what they really
want to "say"….as you will  see most are quite conceptual while still bearing witness…

my daily critiques of the previous day’s shooting often leave
blood and tears on the floor…while this is definitely a philosophy
class perhaps more than  a photography class,  we do have REAL PRODUCTION in
mind…we knew at the beginning of last week we would be following the
shows of Gene Richards and Bruce Gilden and with a live audience of New York photo world…

do you think there is any pressure?? 

but, i find that by throwing people in water over their heads, they swim like hell….

do the photographers  have to be strong.. affirmative.. do they have to be tough??
absolutely… do they have to be more sensitive and open up their
hearts more than they have ever done in their lives?? necessarily…

i put just as much effort into the teaching of these workshops and into the final production as anything i  do …period….my class knows i am asking them to work no harder than i am working myself….

nobody actually shoots for all of the 6 shooting days
allowed…theoretically they can, but they…start
over…mucho time is spent researching, re-working ideas, tapping the
subconscious, and reaching out into new visual territory by just
"letting go" of all that "binds" ..i show my work, sometimes contact sheets, to help the photographers think about approach etc etc..

besides the obvious gratitude to Gene and Bruce who headlined the final show, i had "hands on" guests throughout the week…i want to thank Alex and Rebecca Webb for jamming with us
one morning and showing us their new book on Cuba…many many thanks to Melissa
Harris who gave us a personal tour through the Koudelka show, Invasion Prague 68, currently at
Aperture Gallery, Melissa gathered the students around her on the floor of the gallery and told  us of weeks of work to hang this
show….Melissa is the editor of Aperture Magazine and has been the editor of so many books…Song from Magnum advertising department told us about
the realities of shooting for ad agencies and selling stock..many
thanks Song…suffering a serious thug induced brain injury while a photographer for
the Sacramento Bee, and now a NY freelancer, John Trotter came by and
showed us his amazing new book on a treatment center for major head
trauma..he did it while being inside as a patient…silent room…gracias amigo..

my biggest thank you goes to  Michael Courvoisier who
really ran this workshop and will run the upcoming one in Mexico…. Oaxaca:Day of the Dead (see story under "student work/workshops")…Mike stays calm in a storm…handles both students and me with equal aplomb…we lost Marie temporarily  right before this workshop nor did we have an intern, so
Mike and i had to do everything ourselves…from  inner working organizing to making coffee and
getting the morning bagels to mopping the floor…i love  to mop…

intense week??  more than intense…. day and night and night and day we were shooting, editing, listening to
music , discussing directions to move and just flat out busting it… and when we weren’t doing that, we were seeing a
presentation from one of the above or showing my works.

party??? not until the last night my friends, not until the last
night..and by that time, all of the suffering over, and the room quiet
and the lights down and a buzz in the crowd from the Gilden/Richards
show comes, yes, my student show….so proud ..and can’t believe we
actually did it again "against all odds" from where we were even the
night before..

show over….credit slides…applause long and sweet….i introduce
each photographer to the crowd telling about their story..more
applause…warm tears this time…this time blood pumping warm and
flushing the faces…hugs, kisses, and ok one more hug….

now, finally, finally..time to PARTY DOWN……(and we did!!)