it is a sunny day with white puffy clouds….late afternoon light, people are smiling…i am getting pictures…..the neighborhood could be called tough by some, but everything seems to be fine….the  gang from compton in east los angeles wants a group shot….ok, perfect…can do….no problem….suddenly, out from absolutely nowhere, comes a tech 9 assault gun….expressions change a bit…mood changes a bit…eye glued to the viewfinder….afraid to take it away…but, flinching would be worse…take the picture???

as it turns out, no problem, but time to head on out….

if you have not already, please read the "comment" story  by robert under "soul and seoul"….this is a chilling example of what can happen when you are in the wrong place at the wrong time…or perhaps even, when you inadvertently make it the "wrong place"…

i am very often in situations that could "go wrong"….but, here is what i do to put the "odds in my favor"..

first, i do not go alone the first time "in"…i try to go with someone from the neighborhood….

second, i try to stay for a short time, take very few pictures, and bring those pictures back the next day or soon thereafter…

third, i do not try to "buy friends"…this is really dangerous…this sets you up on totally the wrong footing….and can create jealousy with others nearby…buying a beer or two or lunch or bringing back prints or giving them a signed book is the way to go….my "gifts" are personal and not money…

fourth, i try to make friends….eye contact…..demeanor..relaxed..most people are not "evil"…most people will take care of you if they instinctively like you and more importantly if you are showing "respect" that they sincerely "feel"….

the very men i spent so much time with in the south bronx  for my hip hop project, could have at some other time and place been tempted to rob me..they had both done serious jail time for armed robbery and attempted murder….and after all, i had cameras and money…easy, very easy target…..but they knew i trusted them, we became friends,  and i knew they would protect me as much as they possibly could…and they did…we are friends to this day…..

once upon a time, i decided to go into a brazilian favela during the carnival….figured this was safe enough …night crowds hustle and bustle and lively celebration ..suddenly a hard body bump…i was knocked to the side….a knife slashed the neck strap and camera, slick….well worn beat up leica….my favorite …..

one year later, i returned to the same favela to photograph some boxers….i came in daylight…i made friends with the local "top guy"..i brought him prints of his family….he saw me shooting with a leica….he said "do you always use a camera like that?"….i said "yes, i do"….he said "well, we "found" a camera like that last year during carnival"….i said "really…well, i would love to get that camera back"…..three days later, without saying any more, the camera came back to me….with the film still inside!!!   circumstances, always the circumstances..

please please be careful how you move and where you move….take heed to robert’s story….be smart …and be a human being first and a photographer second…



49 Responses to “trouble”

  • In not comfortable situations I always smile, and it always works :-)

  • aga…yes, did i forget to mention that??? best advice of all…thanks

  • yes; indeed smile. david- for example the fotos taken in compton//
    did you have an idea as to the exact location where the pictures were made or just a general idea. Also was someone with you when
    you arrived on the scene or just solo ? Either way you produced
    stunning images in which most would consider unchartable territory. excellent work david !! here is a link to a dear friend of mine whom is documenting the downtown area of los angeles with
    a 4×5 camera. His name is w robert angell & he is originally from

  • Excellent advice! I think one the best things about your blog here, David, is that you offer some insight into your working methods–which are far harder to learn than picture snapping. Most “photography” discussions center on some aesthetic or technical point, which is all fine, but most people who are interested in photography can already take a decent snap. The hard part is learning how to work and how to be smart about it.

  • Thanks very much for all that David. Very helpful.

    And while smiling can certainly be useful at times, at times it’s also best to hang on to that smile til later. In the more macho settings of the world a more stoic look at the begining is often met with more respect. I’m not talking about looking tough and trying to out macho the toughest looking guy in the room, but really just being a little reserved.

    Walking in with a big grin and a “Howdy do!” doesn’t work everywhere all the time. Working a little harder to draw out that smile might be necessary.

    Every situation is different of course, but I just wanted to throw that out there.

    Human nature really is fascinating, eh?

  • Hey Robert,

    Re: Cool stuff.

    I live in LA and have been doing some work in the Skid Row area of downtown (one of the most depressed…) If your friend Robert Angell is open to collaborations or even just idea exchanges I’d love to get in touch with him.


    – Giancarlo

  • Hi David,
    Roberts experience was really harrowing, I recieved Robs call from Tj just as this had started to go down, but I had called him about an hr earlier, he said ” I’m in Tj its cool, evrything is fine” then I get a call, ” bob its me, I NEED YOU TO……” the phone hung up. Imediately i started to worry, what could he need from me in LA when he is in Tj. Very disconcerting. I was pacing for about 15mins, then I called him back, and the methed out phsycho answers…at first I thought it was Rob. Then I realized this was no joke. Worst fears realized.
    The guy on the phone was out there, ranting on about how Robs been caught by the police and he is going to jail, the whole thing did not make any sense. I was really starting to feel sick. I had to get off the phone w/ this guy and try and figure out what to do.
    I started to call around Robs familly, and then spoke to his sister in Ncal, she was up to speed at this point and had been dealing w/ the FBI etc, but I was still really afraid for my bro, I did not really figure on what was capable.
    The hot thing is though, that if you know Rob, whats striking about his character is his non threatining and subdued personality. Its quite a strong character trait. The thug obviously thought he had an easy prey, (bastard) but little did he know that under Robs coating, is really quite a ferocious animal.
    I can just imagine there surprise, and shock.
    I am proud of you Rob, all in all that whole ordeal was a F- – – nightmare, but I am proud of the way you bailed out of there.

  • Hi David,
    I remember watching a documentary on you on Nat Geo, and I also remember it was while you were shooting in the carnival that you mention in this piece. I felt bad then when I learned your camera got stolen while shooting in the carnival(it was mentioned in the documentary) and you said something in the line of “I had some very good shots there”…I really felt bad about it then…but now that you mention you got back your camera with the film intact…I feel so very relieved! Thanks for this snippet of information…what a learning process this blog is…

  • David, have you ever got tricked by the man supposed to help you? How much trust do you have in these guys? Ever payed someone to protect/guide you?

  • Those are great tips. I learnt some with time and some from my mate Maciej. He’s the first guy I’ve seen bringing prints with him. Really useful things actually, they show how you work, what your intentions are, and in many cases they are great presents being the best pictures somebody has about their own life. Building confidence is a very strange thing. The beginning is the hardest bit… smile a lot, have just normal chat, shoot very rarely, enjoy. Later on you’ll have time to shoot the things you thought you would never be able to shoot. I started recently to also carry contact sheets, so people have more to look at and see the general tone of what you do. Having contacts is the most important thing. They can keep on introducing you to new places and people, and things can go wrong if you end up where you don’t know anyone.

    Uf, and Robert’s experience sounds horrible. But it’s just such a tempting occasion to try to ‘get in’…

  • David,

    I think the best part of your advice is not to be eager at first (aside being human). Patience is our ally, settling slowly in the rythm of the place. From the ‘hood guys, it is probably the same. they’re not going to like some guy who shoots as if off a tourist bus, especially white.

    Not to scold Robert, but you went in a bit as a tourist. 10 minutes introduction a place you had not researched that much about. Now, that’s eagerness.

    I’d say, unplanned as such, but you got the most of David’s assignment already, and i hope it was not at any physical costs. It’s bad enough to lose stuff.

  • wow….that is an extraordinary and harrowing experience. I am happy to hear that Robert is okay physically and appears to be strong spiritually and emotionally as well. Photography is always secondary to humanity (as well as safety: for the photographer, people around the photographer and others)…

    for me, its a fear i have for others: that the camera has become ubiquitous and the desire to “document” (especially places that appear dangerous or otherworldly or “foreign”) the world which is very different from one’s one has lead to the crossing of boundaries that not only incite but in the end further separate….photographs are not the same as understanding, a place or another….its the one delusion, that as a photographer, I grow increasingly frustrated by from others…..

    I am happy that Robert is well and I hope such incidents never happen to him or any other photographers…or others to begin with….

    David’ words are also ones that others should take carefully and specifically to heart…having had some mean-street/area experience as well, I can second the importance of his advice…

    happy Robert you are ok…


  • “they’re not going to like some guy who shoots as if off a tourist bus, especially white. Not to scold robert, but you went in as a bit of a tourist. 10 minutes introduction a place you had not researhed that much about. Now; that’s eagerness. I’d say unplanned as such.” Herve

    Firstly; anytime anyone say’s anything i always consider the source. Herve; you don’t have a link so the only thing i have to go on is your verbiage.

    tourist: n. 1. a person who makes a tour. esp. for pleasure 2. see tourist class..-adv. 3. in tourist-class conveyance: to travel tourist.

    I should be more clear and concise my fault. Let me please explain: I walked across the border by myself solo. Since i was a
    child i have taken many excursions into various parts of mexico ie. Baja California;Rosarita,Enseneda;Guayamas; & Mexico Citi etc. Furthermore; many of my friends are of latino descent and have enlightened me to the many different cultural aspects of mexican culture. Heck; i even know that California & Texas used to belong to Mexico.

    In addition by definition we are all tourists in the WORLD in a general context. As i feel that in the grand scheme of things life is rather short for all of us. The world is here for us to
    explore if we so desire. My main objective when traveling always
    is to be seamless as possible. This requires knowing something
    about the topography and local customs//traditions ie. ideology
    of where ever you chose to visit.

    At base we all require three basic needs food; water; and shelter.
    Also everyone intrinsically want’s to love & be loved !! People are
    product’s of their environments. Everything else falls under this
    umbrella as far as i can see.

    As for my situation I truly believe that I was a victim of circumstance it could of been anyone. Common sense tells me so. To avoid any more confusion please refer to my blog months
    april or may I hope that conveys more than a touristic eye by your definition. Herve i don’t mean to be abrasive or insulting i just wanted to share with you my own perspective as i see it.


    Bob Black- i truly appreciate your considerate words they are always thoughtful….

    ” photographs are not the same as understanding, a place or another …it’s the one delusion, that as a photographer, I grow increasingly frustrated by from others.” Bob Black

    Wow; this is a powerful statement one that warrants further introspection. okay; so just my personal opinion-

    I feel that the above statement entirely rides on what type of photograph. art//documentary//editorial etc..

    In theory for example National Geographic or Magnum Society ?
    does the above statement apply and if so how ?

    My opinion say’s absolutely no. It’s my belief that the above mentioned is perhaps the only venue for so many people to explore and learn about alternate realities that exist beyond their backyard. The reality is that a very small percentage of americans have passports.

    So National Geographic // Magnum does inform and inspire. Is it
    a true representation of reality. I believe so. How ? Well a camera with film or digital without manipulation is an objective mirror reflecting only what it sees. The camera is unbiased by nature as it’s inanimate and mechanical. A camera in the right hands like
    david alan harvey can be used as a vehicle for truth. Does anyone disagree or feel otherwise ? By truth i also mean understanding as National Geographic always has wonderful factoids to accompany the photography.

    When i look at sebastio salgados photography i truly feel that i understand more from the pictures than any text could furthermore provide.

    Also : ” the world which is very different from one’s own has lead to the crossing of boundaries that not only incite but in the end
    further seperate.” Bob Black

    How so ? I believe this is a bridge to understanding and respecting others differences. Differences being other ways of living or believing. To me their is no black and white. Only gray.
    Yes; dark is night and light is day. Everything else is in between
    somewhere. Like for a writer for example like Raymond Carver uses language to describe the in between rather than the literal.

    Anyway I’m digressing…. All i ask is to consider the works of
    Robert Capa, W. Eugene Smith, Natchwey, etc. to me they bring understanding to our living rooms not seperation. If it wasn’t for
    these heroes and many other’s we would all be in the dark about
    alot. Consider the news or the B.B.C. radio//N.P.R. etc…

  • I was involved in a very similar situation to Robert’s and ended up being raped.
    The thing is I had this gut feeling the whole time that I should not be trusting the guy. But I over-rode it with the idea that I wanted the guy to see that I trusted him.
    Make sense?
    Lesson learned: Always go with your gut feeling about something.
    If you sense you might be walking into a bad situation, get the hell away from it. Fast.
    I think, on some level, We Just Know.

  • hi david, good topic you wrote about…anyway, i was in NYC from Tuesday to this morning and i was hoping to get a copy of “divided soul”…went to ICP, to barnes & nobles, and to another big book store…not able to find your book…is it still in circulation, as i would love to get a signed copy if i meet you someday.

    BUT I found a book by Steve McCurry, i was very impressed (his used of light, colour, composition and strong content)…can you tell us more about him and your relationship with his work…



  • siddhartha…

    yes, that was pretty amazing that the theft in brazil was actually captured by the film crew that was with me…i think i said in the film that i did not mind losing the camera, hated to lose the pictures i had just taken with it..i was also very angry in the film with my two “bodyguards” who i had hired to protect me…but also in the film, i immediately felt bad that i was angry with them…one of them was even crying….i hugged him and apologized……too bad, the whole story was not told…but, since the “whole story” did not unfold for an entire year, that was impossible..

    i do think natgeo did run a small story later on describing this whole amazing development…

  • arie…

    there are not many “divided soul” books left out there..which has made it now very expensive…out of print color books can become quite the collector items….i have a small stash of “divided soul” which i now have to pass out very prudently….

    steve is a good friend…we will jam together in my worksop in september…we have been together on various projects around the world over the years….

    sorry to have missed you in new york…i leave, you show up!! bad timing, but another day will come i am sure….

  • katia…

    my heart goes out to you…this is the most horrible circumstance to come from being an involved photographer….

    this is something that no man, and even very few women, can comprehend..the ultimate violation….

    that is why i never never push my women students to go out to the edge…this also happened to a student of eli reed when he was teaching a class at ICP and after i heard about it, i never encouraged any woman to go into anything that could even closely result in such a dastardly outcome…

    i temporarily “lost” one of my women students once…she just disappeard….i was so panic stricken that i really considered never teaching again….

    as it turns out, she had just jumped in with a truck driver who was on a cross country run…there was no problem…but, she forgot to tell me what she was doing…a simple phone call???.

    i was calling the police and about to call her parents and trying to imagine what i was going to tell them… in my most distraught state, she showed up…needless to say i became for a few moments “the angry father” figure….

    yes, yes…you want to be able to trust…and when you give your trust to someone, you figure it will come back by them being trustworthy…that is what i do…but women have it much much tougher than men in so many ways, and this is one of the ways…unfortunately….

    thank you for being so forthright and honest…maybe your comment alone will help someone else…

    peace, david

  • Rob,
    well said, in total agreement.
    so sorry, that was shocking.
    in total agreement about gut feeling. that is key. I think in every moment of waking life.

  • andrei…

    i have not been betrayed by someone helping me….

    at various times i must hire assistants to translate and work as general “fixers”….i try to find someone local who can move in a wide variety of situations….

    in the brazil story i told, i had two “bodyguards” who i did hire for the nights of carnival where during this fiesta 30-40 people are killed every year in various forms of violence…that is the only time i have gone to those extremes….even with these two men, the knife wielding thief was able to slip in and get my camera…

  • Trouble….

    We all walk around just trying to freeze moments in life with our cameras, trusting people, giving smiles away and trying to feel the emotions that are around us. As we all love the instant, we all love moments, and we all love soul and feelings….

    Then you read about trouble and all the good spirit inside turns into worry. And with worry you can’t act spontaneously, you can’t give your heart and soul through your work as you didn’t feel free… And that is my worry now.

    In one month I will travel alone to Senegal. It is not a dangerous country, but I am a woman, will be alone and will carry a big camera. Nevertheless, I have a friend there that sure will take care of me. I’m going there in search of freedom, in search of soul and, in a way, in search of myself. Hope I’m able to transmit it through my pictures… but now my only fear is… fear. I now think I won’t be enough confident, I don’t want to bother people with my camera, and maybe my fear paralyses my spontaneity….

    Robert, Katia… after reading your experiences I will be more aware, always with that smile on my face, friendly and honest, but also looking inside the eyes. It does not matter if I lose one “good” picture. Safety is more important.

    Thanks for the advices!


  • David, one question: how do you go about finding assistants/fixers on various locations? I suppose you have a network of contacts in places you often visit, but if you go somewhere new, what do yo do?

  • robert :))…

    this will have to be quick as im about to take my wife to the airport for a 3 month trip to Russia….in a nut shell it is this:

    photography is a language, like music, which miraculously bridges the distance of understanding, not through “truth” or “context” but through something much more alchemetic: the alchemy of photography is just that: its strange ability to speak (in appearance) of place and people (photography is not real just a palimpsest of moment, not even real moment) that somehow allows for people to connect….honestly, photography does not teach us the truth of those we are photographing but what it does often do is foster thought, desire, opening to learn or unlearn…the problem with crossing boundaries is that the act is self often acts for the education itself: in other words, people who travel and photograph, or who shoot war, or who shoot poverty/prostitution/violence/drugs/death, etc do not necessarily understand it more and more problematic is that the audience and readership, even if they “believe that they understand” the others more, it isn’t true: not at all. if it were truth, photograhy would have fostered understanding longer and deeper that what occurs now…in fact, i might argue that often photography does the opposite: it fosters gaps, a chasm between the world: the western, developed world for years has chewed and dined upon the depiction of the third/developing world with misery and hope and yet many havent done anything, nor do they honestly understand more: what they do understand is that they “feel” something, some proximity to what is happening…maybe it is still the proximity that i believe in, otherwise i would have stopped long ago…

    let me give you an example: yesterday i showed a projection of my friend John vink (magnum photographer): his 7 year project on land quest/eviction in Cambodia: it is magisterial and important and remarkable and people were spellbound and ran away wanting to meet john and know more about cambodia (a world the world has forgotten)…but, will they?…did they see only beautiful photographs?….

    the truth Robert is that WE MUST NOT hold on to our delusions…photographing is a narcissistic act that I believe in because i value it as music, as a source of discussion and community, as a way to foster lives and tell stories, a way to reorient and hope that it creates dialogue and propinquity….

    and yes, it does distance too…i know a survivor of the Congo civil war who hates western photographers because she feels the world of PJ’s got her and her village totally wrong: either as victims or heros…people are more opaque and complex than this…and we must not allow ourselves to believe that photography is a society or spiritual or educational panacea: it is what it is:

    music around which, sometimes, people gather as a form of understanding or at least, as a form of witnessing….

    because a photographer goes to war or into the badlands or ghetto or pacific islands doesnt mean we’ve learned better…;))))))

    more fundamental than that: we must rid our self of belief in photographs but allow them to bridge our human collective breathing and nourishment, and destruction, of one another ;))))

    that’s what i meant: be careful of believing the hype, yourself or others ;))))))))

    i’m very happy your alive and doing well…

    running to airport

  • I think initially this a post about safety, and trouble on the shoot, in reference to Robs ordeal in Tj. Usefull tips and advice, and shared stories. I think Rob that you are on point in analysis and comment and I whole heartedly agree w/ you. But having said that, I would just like to make one point though, I think discriptive photography is around us everywhere, helping to explain and reaffirm. case in point, Steven Shore referencing “ebay” as an interesting source for real uncontrived photography, a bottle shown for sale looks like a bottle that you can buy.
    Pictorialism, on the other hand, is by definition, more painterly, graphic, illustrated, picturesque.
    So having looked at the wrk of Bob, (b/w group at link), to me it seems, Bob has a pictorialist sensibility.

  • Robert Angell! :)))…

    thanks for the input and that’s cool to share Robert’s thoughts and opinions :))))

    im not sure that’s what my work is about, but that’s ok. PHotography is the path through which our stories (real and unreal) harness the collective and individual imagination to, as an attempt, bridge the gaps. If i didnt believe in the essential connectivity of photography, i would have given up long ago (and Im 42, not a young shooter). I believe primary in the “advocacy” of the tale-teller: in other words, stories are all we share, collectively and individually. We have different understanding of photography that’s clear (i’ve also done documentary work for papers as well, so I also understand Robert’s orientation) but what is most important is that the truth is much simpler:

    words are simply anchors around which we all attempt to buoy are lives, nothing more. The magnificent thing about photography is that they still evoke and provoke, they still DOCUMENT the passing of this disappearing life…that doesnt mean we should couch our language about photography about its capability “to teach” others, for that’s placing too much importance on the photograph and not enough on the human song. The truth is the world is filled with photographers but the world is not filled enough with listeners: that’s a great irony ;)))))….

    i try to listen even more than i photograph or write, trying to tell my story through the lives and stories of others that i am photographing: for their story is what is important to me, for through their life and the tale’s theyve shared with me, im trying to grapple with the world inside me: that unknowable and ineluctable spinning place: my palpitating heart…

    if my post seemed cavalier (i hope it wasnt) it is that I care more about people and their stories than i do about photography (and that is the thing, photography, after my wife, son, family and friends, that i care the most about in my life), for photography is a language and a song, and our place is to share that song and to thrive under the arc of other’s singing….

    anyway, all that matters to me, frankly, is this:

    photographs, stories, sharing….the community of our lives….

    that’s why i am still a photographer ;))))…and why i dig David’s blog

    Also, your work on downtown la is beautiful and runs slow and deep :)))…i prowled those same streets from ’95-98 :)))….strong work, keep telling those stories and singing those street songs! :)))


  • Bob: Have you ever read anything by John Berger ? i really think
    you would appreciate this authors work. ” Ways of Seeing”

  • Robert :))))….

    indeed, yes, i have :)))…all of Berger’s books of essays, my favorite being “And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos “, in fact, that line is the line that most likely best describes my own “belief” about photography :))))….i also adore ways of seeing, between the eyes, and about looking…(in school, o god so long ago ;)), i adore his books with Jean Mohr…swallow Berger whenever i can :))….and adore his novels too :))))…

    a committed and thoughtful artist as well as a committed and thoughtful human being…:))

    I gave my wife (also a photographer) a copy of Berger’s “I Bring You Cadmium Red” when we were dating, as seduction gift ;)))))

    love berger very much :))

    keep following your instincts Robert and please be careful: it’s a fuck’d world, but I can also tell you that “connection” and friendship goes a long long way, especially when on the mean streets: David’s advice is spot on! :)))..

    ok, that’s it for a few days on the old Blog world (David’s relieved ;)))))) ), ’cause i got a project due for a magazine on thursday and my wife went to russia today and im feelin’ the blues….

    i’ll get back by weeks end :))


  • Thanks Bob.
    much appreciated.

  • I think in the end it comes down to inexperience. Im luky to be shooting in Korea, where its really safe to shoot pretty much anywhere, anytime. Theres no “hood” or “bad neighborhoods” you have to watch yourself in. And unless North Korea attacks, I fear nothing:) But the world is a crazy, dangerous place and for all those of us who dont have experience in such danger zones, we have to be triple safe. Make that quadruple.

  • ” i think in the end it comes down to experience.”
    Rafal Pruszynski (jinju) In context to what ? Just curious..
    would you care 2 elaborate ? By the way i have really learned so
    much from all of you here. thank u

  • ” i think in the end it comes down to experience.”
    Rafal Pruszynski (jinju) In context to what ? Just curious..
    would you care 2 elaborate ? By the way i have really learned so
    much from all of you here. thank u

  • David,
    Amazing images and excellent advice and I’m sure everyone here appreciates your honesty and you sharing your working methods. The rapport you have with your subjects really does shine though in your stunning images.
    I was just wondering if you received the magazine i left for you at your hotel. I am a teacher/photographer here and am good friends with Rafal. I’m really dying to meet you. I am going to graduate school next year to study photojournalism and would love to sit down and chat. I would also if possible like to interview you for our magazine if you have the time.

    We are a indie source magazine and cover arts, music, and lifestyle here in Korea and would love to have the chance to speak with you. We publish in English and Korean and would to try and assist you in any way we can on your interesting Korean project. I have tried calling your hotel and also left a message. I hope to hear from you soon.


  • peter..

    many thanks for the magazine and letter..very cool!! i will take you up on your advice…

    i will be shooting in hong dae friday night, so maybe we can meet…also , tonight (tues) is the wrap up party for my students at boda art center…6pm..check in with rafal and you will have the details….i will have cell phone starting wednesday….

  • I want to say more about the rape because I don’t want people to
    become distrustful. In some odd way I think the rape helped me become even
    more determined and fearless in my photography. It made me stronger.
    It really made me LESS afraid.
    Maybe it’s because when something like that happens you see that you can survive it. I go into a lot of potentially risky situations and now, more than ever, I feel better equipped to handle them. Much more confident.
    As I said earlier, I really think we have a ‘sense’ when something’s wrong. I Knew I should not trust that man but I did anyway. That was my mistake – dismissing my sense that this was a bad situation for me. Listen to that. Don’t ever stop listening to that – no matter how bad you want to make those frames. Listen to your own innate sense about things.


  • yes; if we abandon our internal compass we are the same as an
    abandoned boat or ship with no captain lost in the sea….

    thank you for your TRUTH katia roberts

  • Hi Katia,
    Thanks for weighing in w/ such personal stories, I was floored when I read your original comment, stopped me cold. I am a great believer in what you mentioned. Gut feeling, instinct. Intrinsic within the human condition, but i think we have to keep it tempered though, it seems like our instincts get fogged out with a constant barrage of sensory input, or bad diet or tv, or something.
    got to meditate somehow, so we can hear when the wind rushes through the trees.

  • to w_robert_angull –

    the kind of feeling i’m talking about is very immediate, very palpable and distinctly screaming at you to GET AWAY.
    There’s nothing subtle about it.
    And least that’s how it was in my case.
    Every fiber of my being knew that I should not
    go into that house and yet, I dismissed it.

    But I know what you mean.

  • hello all…

    terrific discussion from all of you….i truly hope that all of this will help “save” someone else from a similar fate….i am a believer in the “brick in the wall” concept…everything counts, everything helps…..

    please forgive my relatively brief contributions here, but i think all of you have summed up in the most articulate way anything i could possibly have said..

    ironically, i am now working in one of the few cultures in the world where everyone here says there is virtually no street crime of any kind…amazing if true…still, i will be “aware” just in case….

    ok, now…everybody back to work!!!

    with insight and compassion and both eyes open!!

  • Hey, Robert, you were not abrasive or insulting, not the least. I just related your misadventure to a few I have known about, traveling. All this while not knowing you, indeed.

  • i fully understand; Herve thank you.

  • i fully understand; Herve thank you.

  • My work with people has brought me into contact with lots of different folks. One of the most interesting and perhaps the most unpredictable ones are the ice addicts on the beach. (Ice is a drug made from household products that works like cheap speed and very addictive and extremely prevalent here.)

    Due to the very scary behavior and the very isolated terrain they hang in at the beach and in the alleys this project has never really taken off. You have to become part of the group to photograph them (as in any shoot) and that means being offered food, booze, drugs and be able to deal with racial and sexual comments and endure their need to draw you into their space.

    Probably one assignment I’ll never complete. A friend of mine in NY keeps telling me (after seeing one of my shots) that this is the kind of social commentary that can make a difference. Maybe so but it so far hasn’t drawn me in due to the fear factor which is very, very real.


  • lee..

    good decision…there are other stories for you to do….

  • late, but found this entry. who wants a film M in these days? ;)

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