one two three

priorities…sequencing….what comes first, what comes second, what can wait for later….priorities in life and career and priorities in the  sequencing of photographs….what applies to one, may quite apply to the other…the decisions we all make are as important as the actions we take…and it is the decision making process and the prioritizing of actions in fluid sequence that often seems oh so painful to achieve…

as i work with my students at home now, it is quite easy to see that these factors are the single dominant hurdle towards the building of a photographic essay…and the single dominant hurdle for me in life  and in my work….maybe some of you feel the same….once the decisions are made and once the priorities are sequenced, then the "actions" are easy by comparison….

many of you have asked about the importance of sequencing the photographs in your essays….i will not judge you on this, because there are no rules….no formula…..nevertheless, the sequencing is so so important, as is the rhythm in a musical score or the juxtaposition of words in a poem…all a part of "visual literacy"….all a part of the "medium is the message"….however, in the case of your essays here, do not worry too much…i well know that few have confidence in sequencing….i will work with you on the final edit and sequencing, so when your work is shown it will be a collaboration between thee and me….

in the meantime, see how others do it….look carefully at the photographic books you admire most….watch carefully the editing in  fine films you enjoy ….listen to classical music and feel the "blues"… instinctive, be yourself….make small prints of your work and carry them around with you…spread them around…play with the sequence….tack them on a wall…play with the sequence…this is very difficult to do on a computer screen regardless of the program…be tactile with your work…touching your photographs makes a difference…

if you have specific questions, now is the time to ask….


247 Responses to “one two three”

  • Dave, I can’t help but go back to “The Americans” for inspiration – I read somewhere that Robert Frank had a check list of photographs he wanted to take ,themes he wanted to tackle , emotions he wanted to play out ,so that when he came accross a situation his subconcious recognised it and placed it in his world view as a photograph.
    or maybe thats my imagination.
    Cheers Glenn

  • So sequencing doesn’t necessarily have to be about the literal sequence of the story, but maybe more about creating a balanced visual read, a flow—and that can be created through sequences based on composition, color, mood, emotion, etc.—just finding the right balance.

    Am I warm here? Stong sequencing sounds a lot like strong design. My interest in this assignment has always been about the opportunity to show editors how I would approach a project, as well as see how like-minded peers approach the same as well. Maybe it’s premature, but I wonder how we factor design in?

  • David… Thanks for a new post, I was getting tired of scrolling down the comments of your previous one. A new beginning, lets see how far this one takes us.
    I somehow find editing harder, much harder then sequencing. Once you get through the pain of eliminating dear to the heart photographs and get to essentials of the story the sequencing seems easier (a good friend, a writer, told me once that sometimes you have to take out of the book, or the story, your favorite sentence and the narrative suddenly becomes cleaner, more balanced). This still doesn’t mean I am good at sequencing or that viewers will recognize my point but only means that I feel less pressure and the process gets easier.
    And Glenn, I think you mentioned a key word, imagination. That’s where the power is.
    BTW, David, are you planning to provide some kind of feedback for all submissions?


  • David,

    Thank you, I think I’ll take you up on your offer. On my website (, there is a gallery called “The Pier.” I’ve taken most of the pictures in that gallery since the inception of your contest, and plan to enter those photos in the contest.

    I was just wondering what you thought of the sequence I’ve chosen so far (the sequence on my website) ? For whatever reason (delerium?), I’ve sequenced starting with day shots and ending with night shots. I have a feeling this should not really be my approach, but I’m not sure what my approach should be. My only other guiding principle is to begin with shots that sort of introduce people to my subject while maintaining enough mystery to keep them wanting to see more. I could be way off, and would really appreciate your input.

    Also, please let me know if you see any images that you think aren’t working. I know you must be busy, so please take you time getting back to me. And thank you, thank you, thank you. I don’t have ANYONE to help me with editing, so this really means a lot to me.


    Brent Clark

  • Hi david and all…

    Not sure this is the right category, maybe a technique Q:

    In American Colour ( Constantine Manos )
    Said…”A really great photograph is like a poem, its a perfect thing within a frame. In a poem if you were to take out a comma, you distroy the poem, if you crop a good photo you’ll distroy it”.

    In all honesty i agree with him!!

    But i’m curious what opinions you have (and others have) on cropping images???

    ozzy al

  • Brent,

    I just noticed your comment and took a look at your site. I do pier shooting myself and was interested in seeing your series, which I enjoyed. I noticed your site uses a format that I’ve seen around quite a bit and like and I wonder if it comes as a template?


  • Hi All, I would like to try to help, though I may end up adding to confusion. This way I’ll either be right, or David will correct my misconceptions, and besides, I spent so many years as an educator, I can’t help it.

    First, as regards cropping, in the end it’s the final image that counts. There are of course issues, like the more you crop, the smaller is the image size potential, but if cropping turns a so-so image into a killer, then by all means, crop it.

    Sometimes we don’t have the luxury of putting on the perfect lens and getting into the exact position we want, so we crop. As a matter of good photographing and discipline, it is certainly nice to compose the shot before you shoot and not have to crop. But life is not perfect.

    Hope that all made sense.

    Now, sequencing: no rules, only considerations. About 30 years ago, my music composition professor told me that “once is an accident; twice is a coincidence, and three times is art.” To that I would add that four times is stretching it.

    Think about the viewer. Put yourself in the viewer’s place. Depending on the venue, changing orientation too often (portrait/landscape) breaks up the unity and is simply interruptive to the viewing experience. On the other hand, light to dark and back can break up monotony.

    I often get in trouble by shooting an entire series from the same direction, everyone looking in, or everyone looking out. That should be broken up, if possible. Speaking of direction, though, there’s the “looking out of/looking in toward” matter to consider.
    Which way do you want your first photo to face? What about the last one?
    Is it ok to flip an image horizontally?

    What about concept sequencing? I love it. It’s my favorite. Gradual dark to light, distant to close, or like in a recent blog post, a pregnant woman/mothers with babies/babies’ hands/ adult hands/adult arms, kind of like dominoes. This kind of sequencing is where you get to take seemingly random photographs and make them mean something, just to find out what that something is. For me, that’s what it’s about. Making order out of chaos.

    But what about the story line? It would be really nice if you could plan it out, get all the shots you want and lay out the shots as if you were filming a movie. In my experience, however, it hardly ever works that way. I find big holes where I didn’t get a shot good enough to use.

    This is as far as I can go. This is the point where I need help.

    Hope that added positive food to the meal.


  • If I were to make a guess, I’d say that I’ve cropped my photos less than 1% in my entire life—and it’s never been to change the composition but rather to get rid if a tangent. Even so, I’ve still felt guilty about it for some reason. Personally I feel quite strongly about framing with the camera rather than cropping—being satisfied with what you get at least relieves you of one more task. Plus much of the time I have to shoot without looking through the viewer, and if I allowed myself to crop I might end up disrupting the happy mistakes that have already created an interesting composition.

  • what opinions you have (and others have) on cropping images???
    I think when David mentionned that the use of photography may rely on just more than strict photography, because to be short, times are changing, so that the use of other medias along and with photos (music, text, movie) redefines what a photograph is for, well I think that’s where cropping comes in. I do not see it as destroying a compo, or trying to hide flaws (though it’s an ubiquitous use of cropping), but simply making use of it, as one would do cut-outs in a bigger image, for example.

    On the other hand, nothing as rewarding as seeing nothing superfluous in a full frame photo, and having simply improved in putting everything, plus a little bit of chance, within the frame.

    It always comes down to asking oneself: what is the purpose of what I am doing, what am I saying, what is the best way to say it.

    David, do you crop?

  • I do not crop because I do street photography for myself and therefore I have no agenda and no deadlines and if the photo doesn’t work I just trash it, I have no reason to try and make it work, I am not getting paid for it and I am never that attached to any photo I take to try and save it with a crop. The thing is though for me I always do compose in the camera, I have a 28mm lens but as of late, the last almost year I have been using a rangefinder camera solely and although I do think about that the lens not being exactly as the VF shows and try to make up for it, it is not like using an SLR and it is just not as exact. But again I am not the kind of person that really needs the composition to be “perfect”.

    But on the other hand when I look at other people’s photos I do not care whether they crop or not, I rarely ever even know if it is cropped unless it is a strange aspect ratio and it does not matter to me. If I like the photo, I like it, it doesn’t matter if I later learn it was cropped, that does not effect my view.

  • Cathy,

    My site was designed and is maintained by Neon Sky Creative Media ( It is a fantastic company that does lots of work for National Geographic, and designed Steve McCurray’s website. They give you over-the-phone training on how to use the site, and have been extremely friendly and helpful in my dealings with them. My site is a customizable template that they offer for a reasonable monthly fee. It’s awesome because I’m able to easily add or remove photos and text whenever I want.


  • One could also turn the images upside down. You can cut a lot that way. But that’s purely a balance exercise. Sometimes an off kilter image creates some tension that can be interesting. But at least it’s another tool. Turn them upside down or stand on your head. It gives a good perspective and removes you immediately from the personal involvement that can be so crippling.

  • Oh, another very important tool is a beer of two. It’s amazing how a nice cold drink can loosen one up. It can make one just that little bit braver in making that decision to rid the essay of an image that you know needs to go but you keep clinging onto. Have a drink. Get rid of it.

  • Hey David. Getting ready for your class next week. Very excited and have most everything ready. The portfolio went to the printer today and one of the things that became very obvious was sequencing and a portfolio isn’t even an essay.

    I have been so busy preparing for this trip (getting the cafe set up for me being gone, the portfolio ready, the equipment sorted) that I haven’t been commenting but I do check in on occasion.

    See you next week teacher. Lee

  • Hi All,

    First let me say with gratitude how much I have gotten from David and everyone else on this forum since I stopped being a passive reader and plunged in as a contributor to the dialogue a while back. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, everybody!… for your patience with a long-winded old fogie. This is really like an intensive workshop, and participating actively instead of just reading it passively from time to time makes a real difference, even if I may make a fool of myself sometimes. I did some shooting around town while running errands today, and my attitude and awarenes have really changed just in the last week towards what I’m looking for in the viewfinder, what I’m willing to try.

    I’ve been able to see a number of your websites and it has given me a real sense of humility to see some of the dramatic lighting effects and bold compositions that many of you are already comfortable working with that I am only beginning to challenge myself to try. And ditto for emotional content. It has made me excruciatingly aware that I am indeed ‘old-fashioned’ in many ways and a lot of my own tastes will probably seem irrelevant or anachronistic to many of you. And I need to shoot off pictures more and shoot off my mouth less.

    That said, maybe my sense of history can add a little something now and then.

    About sequencing, I think David’s advice, as usual, is pithy, succinct, and totally on target- once you’ve got those great single images that I see many of you producing, I think you should stop thinking like a still photographer and start thinking like a filmmaker, a short-story writer, a composer. Or a band arranging a set of songs in a concert. Or maybe a racontuer with a shaggy dog story? I could mention some of my favorite photo spreads, books, and films, but I’d probably only show you how much I live in the conservative past rather than your more dynamic present.

    Used to be a big issue with me: “I do my cropping in the viewfinder!” Naturally, the better you are at composing in the viewfinder, the better your photos will be. In the days when many of us shot color slides, and rarely did our own printing, cropping wasn’t really an option, and clicking that shutter meant casting the image in stone. Especially if you were poor like me. Every shot meant less grocery money. And it’s part of both the discipline of the craft and manifesting one’s intentionality in the image. But in the digital age it’s no longer a big issue for me. There’s nothing sacred in the 2:3 aspect ratio of the 35 mm camera. In lots of cases I think it’s still the ideal format, especially in horizontal, but to tell the truth I often find vertical 2:3 either too tall or sometimes not tall enough. For many decades in photography the standard format for prints was 8″x10″ anyway, not 8″x12″. East Asian art is filled with a wide variety of aspect ratio formats not common in the West until recently that I feel are better suited to some subjects. But I think the biggest reason to allow yourself to experiment with cropping is that when I do, I often see more and learn more than I did at the moment I took the picture.


  • Thanks Sidney, wonderful post. I count you as part of the “crop til’ you drop” crowd, then. :-)

    I would ask a question to the people who not only rarely crop, but are of the opinion that cropping should be done in the viewfinder, does this mean that a cropped photo can never be as good/strong/potent as an uncropped one?

    Would you consider somewhat unethical, not right, as classic rules of photography go, to find out that a photograph you like has been cropped? To be honest, I am a bit on both sides of the fence, yet this is why I often write art/craft when mentionning photography, the / being the fence, I guess.

  • Jan Karlsson, Finland

    Have you switched to the Leica M8?

  • herve-
    I’d have to say that I don’t feel obligated to find out if a photo has been cropped or not—cropping of course affects composition, and composition is just one aspect of a photo. I usually more interested in the moment caught.

    But personally, I feel that not relying on, or not allowing myself to crop has made me a better photographer. I’d rather throw photos out than try to salvage them. I’d rather get something I like up front than try to suit my needs later. I’d rather get close to a subject than zoom in with software.

    But saying it’s unethical is going a bit overboard for me. I have a page layout background and come from the world where most photos have to be cropped to meet design needs. Maybe that’s why in my photo world I have such an aversion to cropping. I’m even sitting here wishing that I could magically have a square format viewer for my D200, so that I don’t have to crop to square but can compose that way without investing in a medium format camera.

    That’s how uncomfortable I am with cropping, but that doesn’t mean I’m right. What I like about uncropped photos is that I feel closer to the photographer’s intent at the moment.

  • Thanks so much Brent. Believe it or not I may have met him recently…I’ll have to see if it’s the same guy.

    Now for the cropping conversation…

    Herve and others, I’m thinking about your question and hmmm…First of all I will say that my personal preference is to not crop and I wish I never needed to crop a shot but unfortunately it has not been the case thus far. I am always looking to take the “perfectly composed” image which needs no cropping.

    To me cropping is not as bad as “I’ll fix it in photoshop” but close….a weakness of sorts. In other words in my own work good “seeing” means being extremely vigilant at the time the shot is taken and not having the “net” of cropping to fall back on….(although again I will admit I do from time to time)…but this is just the standard I set for myself only. I don’t impose this on what someone else does in their own work…I’m not going to judge them and if they felt it was important for them and they think their image is stronger cropped then so be it.

  • All,

    Someone said it in an earlier post, but in an era in which editing, whether musical, video, web-based, editorial, etc. I have to say that I personally have nothing against cropping. I don’t personally practice it heavily (or try not to) but have no qualms with it. The opposite to me it’s like saying that Lorca diCorcia’s method of rigging a street intersection with lights strobes to take a street photo is wrong.

    I feel that needs, reality, circumstances, opportunities, now allow for a meta-editorial process that includes the image as raw material as a much as the act of shooting itself; in which effects can be added to the frame at any point during the workflow. Is that so much different, “mutatis mutandis”, from the classic darkroom effect of 20 years ago? “Authorship” is mutating to invest other tools simply not available (at least not as easily) even a short time ago.

    I personally believe the intended result must be the pursuit of a vision. Cinematography has taught us a lot about lens language and visual storytelling. I believe that has changed our perception of the frame space more than anything else. Well, it’s changed *mine* quite a bit.

    I have deep respect for anyone who is willing to uphold tradition and canon, to work within the traditional theories of composition and image making, as long as others’ freedom of expression is not affected by heavy questions of legitimacy.

    My 2 cents.


  • glenn…

    i did not know that about frank and “The Americans”…but, that is exactly what i did for “Divided Soul”…on a scrap paper one day by the side of the road out in the middle of nowhere spain, with a bottle of wine, a hunk of cheesee, and my vw “combi” i quickly, in a burst of magical energy, wrote down the words “passion…blood….cross…machismo….church….military…paganism…christianity….africa…black ….sweat…..forbidden…..pray…..hedonism….” those words and perhaps a few others were put into the hard drive in my brain and stored permanently so that when i was in a certain kind of situation my search engine would kick on in about a millisecond and find the key word and match with the subject in front of me…..basically, magic!!!

    david m…

    well, there is certainly structure in an essay, so i suppose that is by definition “design”…..but, there is brilliant design and over-design so naturally i would see the perfect sequence as not being over “designed”..


    sorry for not posting sooner, but i have a workshop class in my home this week, so my attention must be on students…i am sure you can appreciate that..besides, i was curious to see if those comments somehow went over 300!!!..natural curiosity…i was pretty amazed and mostly amazed that only about 20% of the chat had anything to do with the grant…everyone went philosophical, which was terrific in my mind..

    honestly, i do not see how i might give feedback to all submissions….they are easy enough to view, but the amount of writing involved in feedback for all entries would be literally impossible…at least impossible in any constructive way…

    i think what i should do is this…look for the best stories and singles i can find..give feedback to the photographers whose work is most likely to get published…give them mid-course corrections….

    if i go the other way for example and try take the least likely entry and “build from the bottom up” i would never leave my keyboard….

    i do “building” all the time with my students…i actually truly enjoy taking someone with a less than perfect portfolio and “building”…but this same activity which i can do in person would just take too much time back and forth chatting…

    the whole purpose of this forum is “educational” i suppose…this forum grew out of the very workshop i am teaching now last year at this time…i decided to blog just the way i teach my class..what i say here is what my students are totally tired of hearing me say in class..

    so, i will do my very best in the feedback department….most likely there is still a lot of “building” to be done even with the best posted photo essays…i am guessing very few will come in “done”…but i will cherish this essay when i see it….

    cheers, david

  • Sorry, it’s getting late and apparently I can read my on writing anymore…

    The first passage above should read: “Someone said it in an earlier post, but in an era in which editing, whether musical, video, web-based, editorial, etc. has become widespread, cropping is a natural development of the same tool.”

    Speaking of editing! I should learn how to proofread. And finish my own thoughts…



  • michael…

    i liked what you wrote about conceptual sequencing….i think the same (more or less) and try to get my students into this mentality..


    i do not crop….just old fashioned i guess….rightly or wrongly i grew up believing in artistic “intent”….besides, as a young man i believed everything hcb ever wrote about photography!!!

  • Dave,
    Maybe I will pull my truck over to the side of the track with a cask of rough red do that very thing myself!

  • i believed everything hcb ever wrote about photography!!!

    Aie!!!!! ;-)

  • David,
    One of the things I like if I use a computer for sequencing, is that I can view the slideshow. When viewing a slideshow I tend to notice much more the ‘actual’ differnces between two photo’s, and the effect of viewing one after the other, and the rhytm and tension in the sequence.


  • we are telling a story with pictures… and all stories have a beginning a middle and and end and that is the sequence.

    stories are everywhere so the act of choosing the story tells me something about myself… why did i choose this story and why does it interest or facinate me. after reflection then i may come up with the elements of the story that are intriguing to me and those elements are the essence of the story. ( i choose 2 stories, one on a religious order and the other on a farm…2 things i have experience with and an interest in…admitedly not very trendy and maybe a bit boring –

    on the surface it seems pretty easy, aim the camera and press the button and that is true but what is simple is not easy and so in some way it’s like solving a puzzle.

    i’m trying hard to observe and capture the elements of the story as they are revealed to me by the subject because the subject is what is important not me (for instance, what compells people to join an order and take vows of chastity, obedience and poverty…what would compell a person to do that when all around us is sexual indulgence, freedom of choice and materialism? interesting to me..probably related to my background and family ….and then farming…the basis on which this country was founded and so much hard work and vulnerabilty to the elements and the economy ). Anyway stuff, for me, to think about. everybody has their own stuff and their won stories.

    i’m trying hard to capture events without using cliches and in ways that work but i’m not sure i even know what that means so it’s tricky trying to avoid the cow plops when you don’t even know what they look like.

    what i found helpful is to read a small book by David hurn “on bieng a photographer” and it talks about some of tese very issues.

    perhaps a syllabus might be of interest to some. this book and the photo essay by allard has been helpful to me. Does anyone else have any sources that they have found helpful?

  • Hi all, i just remember somenthing that it’s a good point in the discussion right now.In the magnum portfolios reviews in perpignan someone asked abbas about cropping; and the answer was:”I do the cropping with the eyes while i’m shooting, i don’t cross because i don’t need it”.
    I use to crop frames when i need it but i hope not need it anymore sometime.

  • giancarlo…

    sure….i believe in everyone’s freedom to do as they please…personally i do not crop or use photoshop, but i respect the right of others to do so…setting up some kind of parameter, in my mind, actually sets me free…one less decision to make, one less shackle to bear…


    i am sure some can edit and sequence on a computer just fine…and i do it too for slideshows always…i am building a student show on the screen today…

    but when it comes to sequencing for a book, then i go “to the wall”..and having those little prints with me always in the bottom of my camera bag and pulling them out and feeling them and spreading them out on the hotel room bed while i am having a morning coffee, seems to bring in certain kinds of ideas , certain “connections” not seen otherwise….but again, i only am telling of my method and this is not a “rule”….my only suggestion is just to find YOUR “method”…your canvas on which to paint…this decision will set you free…


  • jay….

    all good thoughts on your part…and the allard and hurn books both good and full of interesting ways to think….


  • Hello David,
    thanks a lot for the post.
    You are right, sequencing is very hard. Infact for the “corpus” that I sent you, I almost took three days thinking, chaning, suffering but at the end I took a decision. I will try classical music next time, for this work I used Ryuichi Sakamoto and Imogen Heap, some times, samba is good too for me.
    Tell me what do you think when you’ll have time.
    About cropping… I hate cropping. You know, old school… I think it’s a way of training, educate the way of viewing, composition. If not I consider I did a mistake. So every time I press the shutter it become a challenge for me. Maybe in this digital era it is like do not “chimp”!
    Take care and have a nice workshop.
    All the best,


  • Lara and Joost, cool, hadn’t seen you before around here! ;-)

    On sequencing. Having the pictures printed helps. The only time I have really been amazed by sequencing was last night watching Lights in the Dusk by Aki Kaurismäki. Sometimes the scenes followed to advance the storyline, sometimes they followed in conceptual terms and sometimes they followed aesthetically (the windows of a prison with a strong diagonal resembled a lot two trees against a wall in the next sequence, but upside down and with opposite colours). Some of these would have worked out as a single image, some as pairs. Just beautifull.

  • I like this conversation about sequencing. It shows me thinking processes of others and ways to aproach the subject from another angle. I have, in the past, ordered from light to dark, or sequenced by story line and then also by pairing common elements in pictures.

    As far as cropping goes, I think everyone is probably proud if the picture comes out full frame and it comes out well. It works for majority of my shooting but I don’t let it hinder me. When there is a better shot by cropping, I crop.

    I like to present a tight frame. Sometimes even though a print is fine as is, I crop about 5% of it only to tighten the frame.

    There is also a part of me rebelling about too much focus on a subject. Lots of times I like to present items in the negative space that will give the viewer a feeling of ‘being there’. I like to think that those items either add to the story or let the viewer enjoy the subject matter a while longer by wandering their eyes into the background and corners of the image.

    Those are all hypotheticals, however, and only true for the subset of people who like my pictures.

  • Rene, I like what you have to say about composition and elements within the frame.

    I find that looking at painters’ work is really good for your eye. There was a whole show on last night on the Ovation Channel on Renoir. His paintings are so filled with people doing different things in different parts of the frame. The scene itself takes on life. I think what I’m getting at is the texture of the picture. I like texture.

  • “Be tactile with your work…”

    Here here! For sequencing, for editing, and for the sheer joy of going through images, nothing beats a pile of 4X6 (5X7? 8X10?) photographs!

    Cropping…I try not to. Want to do as much as possibnle “in-camera.” However, I’ve noticed many cameras (including mine!) don’t have 100% coverage in the viewfinder, which leads all too often to having little unwanted (unseen!) elements sticking out in some corner or edge of the frame! Ugh! In this case “chimping” is essential.

    But if you shoot a lot and can’t take the time to check the image after each shot you end up having to crop at least a small amount later.

    Any others find this to be a bother?

  • Hi David, and all,

    I think it isn’t a rule to crop or not. It is a personal choice.
    Personally I have learned to don’t crop my photos and at the same time I have learned to put more attention inside the viewfinder too.

    David, attending your workshop I have learned a lot about sequencing, and I have seen how you create a good sequence easily and how you discover good connections hard to see. But the sequence is still a hard question for me; I often do my sequences just see the harmony of colours (the “mood” of pictures), or the message inside any picture, or the different/same subjects, but I never “see” and consider all these elements together. And I believe that a good sequence is the result of a magic mix of all variations among pictures.
    It’s easier for me working on a sequence with printed photos and this method helps me a bit.


  • Personally I crop about 1% of my work. Sometimes the composition works better with things just a bit tighter than you could get at “the moment”. I’d rather have to crop it just a bit than to not have the photo. That said who says that the format of our camera is a holy thing that we can’t deviate from? What if you are shooting in 2×3 but the image looks better as a square or the other way around? Shouldn’t the image itself be the deciding factor?

    As for sequencing, I think that one of the weaknesses of still photographers seems to be be an inability to see more than a single frame/moment. Movie directors, video photographers, writers, music composers , dancers/choreographers , animators – heck even cartoon strip/graphic novel writers all see, think and feel sequences – often very very long and complicated sequences to get to the end of what they want to say. Just as with all those art forms there are no rules to how to sequence images so long as there is a coherent flow to the ideas presented.

    Scene transitions are critical to the narratives in all the above arts yet they are almost never used with still photographic sequences. “A guy walks into a bar. It’s cold and raining out on this graying November evening. He takes off his dripping coat and wearily slides into a booth. Meanwhile across town the pigeons are coming to roost on the top of the building where the little girl lives with her grandfather” …

    To me sequencing is just writing a narrative, often like a movie, with my still images. I often try to think of the way that the backing music would accent/support the mood of the images I’m flowing together. If the story reads well then the sequence works regardless of the techniques you used to craft it.

  • I hesitate to post this bit on sequencing for being too practical, too formulaic, simplistic but perhaps like “rules” of good composition, it is a place to start, then break. Personally in an assignment situation I find myself all over the place, disjointed, frustrated and confused if I don’t start grounded with exhaustive research, an idea, a sense of what I’m looking for first (in that order) … then it is easier to let go and flow within a basic framework that is almost subliminal at that point. I think, too, that sequencing can be different given the intended presentation or the intended “message” … there are many different ways to tell a story … but a few thoughts in one area (not books, or perhaps it can apply, I don’t know) … I’m sure David will correct my course if I wander.

    In many Nat Geo stories, for example, the photos often seem to follow a logical course. If there was a simplistic comparison to the written essay then it would be the five-paragraph essay – intro setting the background, sense of place and theme; 3 graphs in support which could include a conflict or crisis followed by denouement; and a conclusion wrapping it together and perhaps asking a question just beyond the theme to ponder.

    This can equate to an opening photo that is an aerial shot or otherwise sets up the sense of place and theme. I was just looking at the article “Sudden City” on Dubai (Nat Geo, Jan. 07) since my wife will be going there in the spring for a women’s leadership conference. It is rich in anachronisms. The article opens with 3 intro photos (old and new juxtaposed, followed by the new Dubai of expats, followed by the traditional). This is then followed by several explanatory aerials – a long intro by Nat Geo standards flipped on its head (it buries the traditional opening aerial) and an excellent sequence in and of itself.

    The intro is often followed by images that pull you in further, then perhaps an environmental portrait, a detail shot, then pull back out some for a conclusion. All of the images in the Dubai piece advance the theme set up in the intro. It’s not a fixed formula but there is some good basic storytelling logic in it.

    And regarding that story, I would have cut the photos by one ;-{)>


  • For those commenting on sequencing, from one who struggles with it, I’d like to hear who follows a strict time or story line, and from those who edits more loosely, and sequence based on compositional and emotional feel, rhythm, tone, etc. I know, I need to read Tom’s post again!

  • Choices: The Photographer makes them.

    Obtaining, sorting, and sequencing images. They are all choices that have to be made. For a person to even pick up a camera, raise it to their eye and take in the light is a choice. Cropping is a choice made every time one sets their eyes to the world. Who do we choose to love, befriend or respect and who do we choose to hate, ignore, or disdain?

    Reading earlier posts, I thought of a camera person in a bustling New York crowd. The person takes in the crowd with all of her senses. She waits, finds her subject matter and opens the shutter doors to the light bouncing off the shimmering sea of people. Inevitably it is impossible to capture all the light. Choices are made, people and things are admired, celebrated, exalted, envied, exploited, revered…and still others…excluded.


  • David,

    As a fan of your work, I’ll say that no doubts your method seems to work very well for you.

    BTW, I am very curious as for how you composed the image you posted here, on this very thread, where you clearly were holding the camera away from you. I would love to learn how you did it.



  • It’s one thing for people to make decisions about cropping themselves, but what about those situations where you work really hard to microcompose the picture in order for cropping to be unnecessary and somebody else makes the decision about cropping your photo?

    It’s a really bad feeling to have your photo cropped by somebody else. Although it may not be as bad as the feeling Sam Abell had when his Moscow Pears ran wrong reading in Harper’s.

  • Sometimes people have said me “you have strong pictures but you don´t have stories”… I thing this is my essential problem. Maybe I concentrate so much in doing good images that I lose be big picture… and the result is a bunch of photos very difficult to edit, to sequence, and make them tell me something… I try to invent myself a story with the images… normally I do it lonely but I recognize that maybe I’m too “Cartesian” guy… I should find someone to give all the photos to edit and wait what comes out…

    about cropping…
    I love so much that b&w photos that include the black frame of the film around the image… I don’t know… I thing is very elegant… and says a lot about a good photographer… is showing us exactly what he/she saw behind the camera…
    But there is also a lot of good photographer who use cropping as a normal practice… and it works very well… “good” cropping is not easy… is like an art by itself… is like to “see” the picture inside the picture… not easy job…


  • Jay,

    Speaking of Sam Abell, his book “A Photographic Life” is very much about most of what we’ve been discussing here: the story of a vision and the effort to achieve it through 40 of his best known photographs… A great book.

    BTW, in one of his video interviews (can’t remember where I saw it right now) Abell mentions that he believes most photo books are just flipped through more than perused, or studied, and I wonder if David, or any of us, has any thoughts on how that pattern affects his approach to sequencing and, more in general, to editing… Do you believe that a magazine is more prone to being used that way than a book? If so, is your editing process any different?


    – Giancarlo

  • Giancarlo, are you asking about all the things that went through David’s head when he took the picture or how he managed to take it with the camera held like that?

    If it is the second, I’ll bet that he held his camera up to his eye first to get the focus and all that and then he held the camera out and pushed the release.



  • Sequencing: Look at my blog to see about this conceptual sequencing.
    It’s the “How I Think” post.

    Maybe we could start a new movement called the conceptualists or sequenists.

  • thinking along the lines of choosing and sequencing…I was looking through Winogrand’s 1964 book a few days ago. Anyone slightly anoyed that the editors chose so many pictures from the Texas Fair? I would have been probably happier had I not known that.

  • what I mean by my previous comment is that the book titled 1964 is billed as a book about the state of the nation in 1964 where Gary travelled across the USA on a grant and tried to capture various US states. I thought that Texas got a disproportionate share of images. On one side I think it doesn’t matter as long as the content goes along with the story (and it probably does as his work is amazing) on another side I think that had this been an emerging photographer presenting his choices the editor would probably take more liberty in thinning out the overabundance of the shots from the Texas Fair.

  • “are you asking about all the things that went through David’s head when he took the picture or how he managed to take it with the camera held like that?”


    Michael S.

    Actually both. I know how rigorous David is with his framing so I’m wondering how he achieves minute control over the compo, not just how he can more or less frame the shot. I have tried similar shots and it’s pretty darn tough, at least for me…


  • Carlos, man can I relate to your statement about strong pictures versus story. Same problem. Rationally, I know that editing down a body of work and sequencing are not necessarily a linear process if you are storytelling. You MUST edit down to photos that advance your idea even if you toss some of what you feel are your “best” or strongest – in reality they are not your best or strongest if they do not advance your theme. Easy to say, hard to do – I love some of my photos too much, sometimes for the wrong reason (i.e. i had to hang from a yard arm in a gale to get it) – but there will be other places for those images someday, perhaps.

    All of that said, people will often remember you not for your strongest photo but for your weakest … i know this and it drives me nuts in edit and sequence … second guessing, second guessing … where did I read somewhere about a study of a guy who, do to injury, lost that part of the brain controlling emotion – he couldn’t make even the most basic of decisions, queen bed or king at a motel … all of this, for me, boiling back down to feeling more and thinking less throughout the entire process, i think there can be a natural intuitive flow. I like David’s method of carrying photos around, feeling them, forgetting them (or relegating them to the subconcious to ponder) then revisiting. I will try this.

    Off to research the Kingdom, crumpled 4 x 6’s in my back pocket … peace

  • Dear David:
    I just uploaded some of my pictures to my new website ( Recently I took some pictures at the children’s hospital here in Mexico City. That’s one of the proyects i’m working on. I’d very much appreciate if you would let me know your opinion. Just click on the album Hospital Infantil (Children’s Hospital). All this talk regarding editing has really confused me, so the order of my pictures was primarily based on my instinct. Anyway, thanks a bunch David, looking forward to your answer.


    p.d. Any comments, from anybody interested in taking a look at my pictures, will be equally appreciated.

  • I always do a story board when I’m planning a project. Dum arse pictures of all the stuff I want. Some of the pictures would be really important for the story I want to tell others not so. It focuses my mind on what I’m trying to do and even if it all goes out the window I think it helps.

    As to cropping it’s obviously better to get that perfect picture in the camera but then it’s not the end of the world if you have to crop. I’m quite happy to take pictures that I’ll sort out in Photoshop. It’s more about the end product than the process for me.

  • David,
    Hi, te recuerdas de mi?
    I see you went back home safely :)
    I wrote you the other day
    and I wonder if you got my mail.
    No hurries though!

    Have a great weekend.

    Cristina from Seoul.

  • just curious…
    how do people choose the subjects for thier essays… do you have a personal connection or interest in the subject and then what of the issue of a photo release? thanks.

  • if you know what you do, you dont have to crop…

    have fun, best Stefan

  • Messing with images: OK, apparently we’re all mostly in agreement on not liking to crop unless necessary, and many of us grew up photographically speaking on HCB, BUT

    if HCB hadn’t been the first, would we all be talking about him today?

    and whose pictures are more dramatic, HCB or Gene Smith? We know for certain that he did a lot of post camera work. The fires reflected in the goggles, the picture in the Schweitzer story, the lady’s eyes in the asylum… And he restaged the midwife picture. Are his pictures any less appealing than HCB’s?

    OR Steiglitz’s superimposition of the portrait on the leg? (I can’t remember it exactly at the moment.)

    Just questions…


  • Very good points, Michael S…

  • cristina…

    yes, i remember you, but i do not have an e-mail from you that i can recall…but, i will look again..i have two accounts and sometimes check one more than the other…

    in any case, many thanks for working so well with me in and your friends were such good company….


    yes, an interesting point…that is why i think everyone should do whatever they feel is “right”….

    smith’s photographs are more “dramatic” than hcb…probably due in large part to the printing…smith liked black…hcb liked gray….smith’s prints are dark, brooding, captivating…hcb liked flat prints….

    however, if you look at the iconic images of hcb, i think we would still be talking about him even if he were not the “first”….but, who can know for sure…and history , as written, is always very subjective like everything else..

    hcb has probably influenced many more photographers than smith….and smith’s manipulation cost him at least some potential “believers”…it will be interesting to see how time and history will judge both men….

  • michael and david….

    you may recall the number of articles that appeared in france, usa, england, india, russia and many other countries…after the death of hcb….

    this man has (for good or bad) influenced many generations of photographers to be….

    An interesting point is that in the “Magnum stories”, i think that hcb is the name that appears the most in the book…many many great living photographers referred to him…so no doubt he will be seen in history as a pioneer in his field…

    but as with all aspects of life, we always want to “kill” the father figure…we need to get on our own route…using the same route that hcb has used would be useless on a personal basis…


  • i forgot to add that hcb “left” photography in his sixties, died in his nineties!!!

    and we still talk about him…


  • David, I’m still more of an hcb man, though Smith really seems to be the father of the photo essay.

  • Hola David,
    a couple of comments about photography books and how I react to them….maybe I’m too literal or boring but I’ll like to have your opinion…

    I dont like to see horizontal and vertical images mixed together.

    I don’t like books that mix b/w with color.

    I don’t like to see mix formats (example 35mm and the next page a 6 x 6 picture)

    I like to see just one image per page, with very little caption (if any at all)

    I like to read a strong, well written prologue (like your book Cuba) but also something about the photographer….

    I don’t like to see a very saturated picture in one page and a very desaturated one on the next.

    What do you think…is there a formula for this or anything goes?…most of my feeling is about design and how it affects me.

    For example I love Annie Leibovitz but I dont like to see “bleed pages”…I need to see a small white area of paper…a frame that helps me to concentrate on the image….I love her images but the books are hard to handle (too big) and the images always bleed the page…

    What’s your opinion…just a matter of taste or there are some “rules” out therë?


  • Hola,
    regarding the “to crop or not to crop” theme here, I have to say that I was very dissapointed when I learned that Arnold Newman’s “Stravinsky” picture was cropped. To me, 95% of what makes that picture great is its composition…something that I though was a decision made by the photographer at the moment of the shoot…something that he saw before…thru the frame before the “clicK”

    just an opinion….I admire very much his work…

  • David,

    Re some of Carlos’s concerns expressed above about mixing formats, mixing vertical and horizontal, or mixing color and black and white in a sequence in a book, or photos that have obviously been cropped– aside from our aesthetic prejudices as photographers, how do picture editors tend to come down on this issue? I realize that many picture editors are also photographers themselves or started out that way, but their perspective is in fact professionally a bit different than ours. Do you discern some general consensus among the picture editors you know and have worked with on these issues in terms of what they want to be shown in a portfolio or essay or book proposal?
    Or are they all different?


  • Sorry for not adding on the sequencing debate, as I ama total virging at it.

    But no one picked up on David saying he does not do photoshop. I am not sure what you meant, David. shots are kept as is, straight from the camera? or someone else does it for you?

  • herve…

    straight from the camera….

    i do not know how to use photoshop…

    twice in 3 years i think, i have had someone else “burn in” a tiny area of a picture..but that is it…

    since i have for so many years been a color transparency photographer, i just automatically want to have it exactly the way i want it right in the camera…


  • michael…

    yes, very good point…hcb has singles….smith has essays


  • David, I have certainly done some documentary series, but I really tend toward the singles, albeit a series of them. What I am having trouble with is finding a niche.

    It seems that the HCB model doesn’t fit anymore.

    There are alot of questions involved in this dilemna.

    I uploaded a re-edit of the “story” with only about 8 or 9 images. I am also collecting my best singles for the prescribed period and am hoping to upload them into a new folder at the appropriate time.

    I’m kind of into looking at Erwitt and Winogrand these days. Both have excellent eyes, and I like Erwitt’s sense of humor. I try not to look to closely though, just enough for motivation.

    If you can manage to pick the questions out of that mess, I’d appreciate hearing your response.


  • Wow! Even with digital? Ok, this thread is for sequencing, I hope one day we have a big share-all on “processing” digital, as I would be very surprised if unanimously, like cropping, people say “me too, twice in 3 years”.

    Thanks for the answer David.

  • Access: Access is always a problem to work out, it seems. I’ve been denied it at times, usually because someone is mistakenly looking out for someone else’s supposed interest.(the zeitgeist, I guess) Tonight I watched Jon Stewart interview Ken Burns.

    Burns said that 10 years ago, the vets he interviewed about WWII wouldn’t have been forthcoming. He had to get them on their last legs before they were willing.

    Anybody care to lend justification to this post?

  • so many comments! it will take me forever to read everything… your blog is growing up so fast!
    regarding to your post David… i saw this huge difference between pictures on the screen and prints making my portfolio… pics on the screen are for me like “many pixels put together” and prints are totaly different thing…it’s easier to edit, to put pics together holding prints in hand… same with albums of photographers, to have it in hands is like to look at some treasure… i had once in my hands Towell’s Memonites (he put pictures with children playing in the field next to the birds flying on the sky.. it looks just perfekt together!)… how big difference is between Nachtway’s photos from Africa to see it on the screen of computer and to look at his pictures in album “inferno”… how big pleasure i had too look at your book Divided soul!
    you are right… listen to the music and feel the “blues”…
    i will add.. read a books and enojy every single word… look at the photographs and enjoy every single face on it, every single color on it, every single shadow on it…
    life is beautifull! :-)

  • I was wondering when Eugene Smith might get raised! Someone asked whether finding out about the extent of Smith’s post-camera darkroom manipulation made the pictures ‘less’ than, say, HCB’s. I’ll be honest, I think the realisation did do precisely that for me. Should it? I’ve no idea.

    But is this really a ‘darkroom/post-camera/cropping’ debate or a ‘what relation should one’s pictures have to the reality they depict’ debate?

    I have a strong instinctive feelng that the photographer’s vision or technique or available technologies (or whatever else comes to hand) shouldn’t seek to fundamentally alter the ‘reality’ of the photograph. I realise that that statement raises far more questions than it answers, but I suppose what I mean is that when I look at a photograph I want to know that what is depicted in the frame actually did in some shape or form *take place* in the frame. I just think the reaction one has to a photograph that didn’t actually ‘happen’ is profoundly different to a photograph that did actually ‘happen’.

    Having said all of that, I remember Stanley Greene writing in the forward to his Chechnya book, OPEN WOUND, that thanks to the editor it was a far more ‘lyrical’ book than it would otherwise have been. Now *that* is interesting — the way that a different eye will realise a different ‘vision’ from the same set of photographs….


  • I have a lot of experience in post-processing…

    One of the traps of post-processing is that you are relying on it. A good image can be made better, but a mediocre image never good.

    I don’t like to crop afterwards, so I compose in camera, and I after some hard work, I do almost no postprocessing, except for digital BW.


  • michael and david…not sure I agree with you that hcb had “singles”…look a his work on india (death of gandhi), russia, or europe….


  • wow. David, in these modern days that is an amazing statement and also a statement of your photographic know-how.

    I’m not great in photoshop but shooting raw I then crop, burn or dodge in photoshop for the final results. I shoot in black and white mode and sometimes decide to convert back to color when processing the RAW shots.

  • arie….

    yes, you are correct ….hcb did stories…but, we really remember his singles….whereas we tend to remember smith’s essays…both men had strong singles and both men had strong essays..

    best way to have a good “single” however, is to be thinking “essay” while you are working…


    good thoughts….and yes yes yes…that is why we are all having such a long and important conversation about editing and sequencing….like i told my class yesterday….”you do not really have to be a good photographer as long as you only show your really great work”!!!


  • joost…

    yes, so many things can become a “crutch”….and, of course, i should learn photoshop…and use it just as i printed in the darkroom…i just have not taken the time…i have zero ethical problem with is an amazing tool…


    the whole subject of “access” will be in an upcoming post…


    i will see you soonest in new york…have fun at eddie adams!!


    no rules and no accounting for taste…i have seen great all bleed books, mixed black & white with color well done, etc etc…..

    can you really imagine my upcoming hip hop book as pictures set in a “frame” as you describe??? somehow hip hop has to be “loose”, “freestyle” and without any mannerisms…at least this is what i thought when i did the layout….just seemed like it should not look like a book of “photographs” but a book of “snapshots” other words, not “pretentious”…

    everybody has their “thing”…i do not like verticals at all in my own work for example…only one in “Divided Soul” none in “Living Proof” and very very few verticals in all of my 40+ stories at NG…


  • brent…

    i have not had a chance to view your work…will do so soonest….

    giancarlo and michael

    for the shadow self portrait i just composed as best i could and then slowly pulled the camera away..shot about ten i think..some better than others of course…


  • David,
    I understand perfectly your point about design and de “hip-hop” example…thank you.

    I never shoot vertical…I don’t like it.


  • Hello everyone,
    I’m curious if there’s any interest among this group in starting an email list for the purpose of sharing one photo each per week, just for fun. We all have sites but it’s not always possible to be constantly updating them, so it seems like it would be a good idea to share one look at the world per week for community interest.

    No heavy critiques and it doesn’t have to be related to this online assignment—just something that shows our personalities as photographers in a “best single per week” forum. I know someone will probably suggest setting up a Flickr site for that, but I’m thinking an email list could be less formal and more personal.

    Any drawbacks? If not, send me something to and others that you know, and we’ll get started.

  • No worries David, I’m glad your even thinking about looking at my stuff!


  • David,

    It’s a great picture for my taste. Great mood and structure. Thanks for sharing.

    David McGowan,

    I like your idea. I’m in and am following up with an email…


    Within what context do you think it would be appropriate to discuss “reality and photography”? If photojournalism, I see the relevance; if photography, in general I’m sure the debate would become very “lively”, very quickly! :)

    Cheers everyone,

    – Giancarlo

  • David McG,

    That’s a *good* idea!! Will send a frame.


  • Good morning all,

    I read Arie’s take about HCB, and I am not sure, but in general, coverage of an event, over days possibly, is not exactly pursuing an essay, no?

    this is my little problem, actually now. I can easily think of something to cover in San Francisco (lovefest for example), tight edit it the best I can, and fine enough to propose to david, but is that really an essay?

    I just see some kind of psychology, targeted and projected, like a reflection done thru visual means that is less mandatory in documentary type photography.

    You just don’t get up the same way if you cover or essay. One has to present facts, the other some kind of purpose where lacking concrete facts is not detrimental at all.

    Michael’s pine ridge essay is an example.We get at the subject thru a personal stance and parti-pris in shooting, and sequencing I guess ultimately. probably better than documenting economic and psychological fall-outs, because it seems nothing happens, except personal events, who are presented thru their psychological reverberations.

    Lartigue’s, on a limb here, i say he has deone a life long essay. HCB, there is some kind of aloof stance, and he said it himself in a waytalking about the eagle eye. There are no essays with flying over a subject, even tho9ugh you may get the best view.

  • All this discussion is really educating me on how to approach certain subject matters. I’m now thinking for planned events I will make a story outline before I even go to the event and then try to shoot along the outline to support the story. Afterwards one can fill the outline with appropriate description or paragraphs about the event and support the story with the pictures. I have a shooting planned for next Friday. I think I will try the idea out then.

  • David McG, hoping to make you smile … you’ve got mail.

  • I wish to add that having an eagle eye is something wished in photography, at least the type we shoot most of us, just that virtuosity of vision (decisive moment) may make great coverage, and still no essay.

  • Excellent – there seems to be some interest in this photo sharing, so I’m going to let the list build a little before I send mine, then you all can forward your shots to others on the list, and so on. I don’t know how everyone else feels, but personally I’d love to see 50 emails on a Friday morning of everyone’s current work. What should we call it – “Friday Morning Coffee and Photo”?

  • giancarlo..

    yes, good idea…we have discussed it a bit somewhere awhile back, but it is a topic that everyone is interested in all the time….but everyone must read william james first…


    try it…but do not get locked into being overly analytical….try not to literally shoot from a “list”…i find that reading a good novel about a particular subject helps me the most…like “Hundred Years of Solitude” before heading to central/south america…


  • David McGowan, Tom Hyde, Brent, etc.

    I like your idea of sharing ‘photos of the week’ very much and have sent off my humble contribution to the three of you. However, in terms of the mechanics, as someone with limited dial-up bandwidth, if 50 photos were emailed to me all on a Friday morning with a long list of CC’s, my server would either reject them all outright, or crash, or the downloads would tie up my email system for two hours, which I can’t afford since I use it for both work and personal stuff. Either the mailings should be staggered so they don’t plug up the server, or better yet, post the photos anywhere on web space or in email storage space, don’t have to be linked to anything, and then just email out the list of URL’s for people to look at during their leisure.


  • Hey David,

    Yes William James, good call, and perhaps Ortega y Gasset.

    I like your suggestions to use literature as a source of ideas, and was wondering whether music plays a role in inspiring your work… Jazz, classical music, and some rock can really get me going! How does that work for everyone else here?


  • Sidney-
    That’s a good point that I didn’t think of (since I spoiled myself with high-speed!) I think I’d just ask everyone to keep their files small, like under 100 kb, and Rene did a good thing by sending me a link to a photo rather than attaching it. We’ll see how it goes and address problems if they come up.

    David M

  • David,

    Looking for ideas about sequencing I’ve been paging through past Geographics. I just came across the May 2004 issue with your Hanoi story. I’d forgotten how moving those images are. Really love them!

    In putting together that sequence, did you have a particular path you wanted to take and did it vary much from the final product? I assume you worked closely with an editor at the magazine?

  • Hi all,
    If somebody is interested we could start up an image critique group on flickr…

  • Hey all…

    We’ve got a pretty good list of contributers already conversing back and forth in email about sharing photos. Maybe, out of respect for “Da Man” we should keep that conversation there and leave this space for all things DAHBlog!

    Just a thought.


  • Perhaps at some point, David could/would ask for one or two volunteers at a time to post a single or a sequence here on the blog for review. It would be for David to do the reviewing, but we would all learn from the experience.

    Images would need to be 72 dpi, maybe between 280 and 320 on the longest side, and medium quality jpg.


  • Fascinating thread, folks.

    Sequencing: I think of sequencing as trying to write one of Hemingway’s short stories, something from In Our Time, for instance, in which you try to eliminate everything unnecessary. Decide on the essence of what you’re trying to say and eliminate everything else, no matter how good it is.

    Cropping: I dont have any great qualms about it. If you see a better picture inside the picture, go for it. Selection is at the hear of almost every artistic undertaking: selecting the right word, the right note, the right color or type of stone. Only photographers live in this world where the first draft is the only acceptable draft. So long as you’re not faking the picture and selling it as a newsphoto, then I dont see what the problem is with cropping; it’s the photographic equivalent of a writer’s editing a manuscript.

    3. Verticals: I like verticals, but that is just a matter of personal taste, I suppose.

  • Hello David… (as Peter’s Pan shadow)

    I see you have little crowd here. Good. Progress is good.
    No time for reading all comments… so I say hello and I must back to work.

    Martin (smaller Peter Pan)

    I started working at your assignment, but I took nothing enough good yet after week. It will be damn hard to do… we’ll see…

  • Hi David, Hi everyone,

    A purely technical – and maybe a little naive – question. Many Leica (or say rangefinder) photographers claim that they do not crop. But with a rangefinder, it’s not very accurate: you never quite get what was in the frame at the instant you pushed the button. I think that in general you get a little more. It is even more true with the M8, which captures much more than what the frame shows, unless the lens is set at the minimal focussing distance. So, do you instinctively compensate for the lack of precision of the frame, or do you shoot many pictures of the same scene and keep only the perfectly framed shots? Of course, for some pictures it does not matter too much, but sometimes you can have disturbing elements in the frame…

  • david ukaleq…

    at the distance from the subject where most people shoot with a leica, there is no problem…

    of course, no camera of any kind actually lets you see the picture accurately through the viewfinder…with any camera there is a little guess work involved…

    with an slr, you miss seeing the actual moment (this makes me crazy) …with a large format you cannot be seeing the actual photograph at the moment of exposure…and with a rangefinder, you do not see exactly the depth of field and maybe a slight parallax problem…


  • Hi everyone,

    somebody told me yesterday, that my new website (still being programmed) has a slight resemblance with the magnum site (on a much smaller scale, of course). I was curious and this let me to the magnum site and from there I got to this blog. ;-)


    I am doing a lot of photography lately myself, but I come from the illustration side. And from architecture. Mostly I draw storyboards for movies and commercials so I am quite familiar with storytelling, with rythm, with contrast, scale and repetition, with so much that comes together when you want to do a good sequence, regardless if there is an actual story behind it or not. I never tried to put it into words and I guess I’ll fail now as english is not the language I am fluent in.

    But in photography I usually do slideshows too when I want to find a good sequence for a book. I love it when the images just fly by and leave me the opportunity to swim with it. As soon as something comes along that does not fit – for what reasons ever – I trip over it and the magic is gone. Just like when you listen to music or poetry or good literature and someone misspronounces a word or gives it a wrong intonation. Or choses the wrong word altogether. You notice. And it annoyes extremely.
    I stop the slideshow, go back to where the problem was, have a look at what could be the cause, change the arrangement respectively and try the slideshow again. Over and over.

    Yes. I think sequences are very powerful. A good sequence underlines good work. Carries it on the top of a wave. A bad one … well.

    On the other hand side, I always find there is a risk of the sequence to get too sweet and shallow, people will remember it was nice but they won’t remember any specific images. Or maybe only a very few. You – like in a movie – need some contrasts! Something that keeps the audience awake, and lets them recall every individual picture.

    This is why I like a slideshow for a test. Maybe too, because with a slideshow I am not distracted by searching for this print or that print around me, I can just concentrate on the flow of the sequence. And it works very fine for me. Guess everyone has to find his own method there. As long as it works and gives you the desired results in an acceptable timespan, it is good. If you feel great doing it in your specific way, all the better! ;-)

    I knew someone who insisted he had to be taking a hot bath to get in the right mood to choose his picture sequences. I do not know HOW he did it but the results were quite impressing.

    I used to like having prints in my hands during the process of arrangement too. But … things change. And my schedule got so tight that the only way of being able to go on with a fair amount of photography, was to pay the price of working on the computer. And I got used to have everything digitally now during the process. I have to admit, I do not miss the prints anymore during the preparation time. But I just HAVE to have someting printed as a final result. I have to have something for my hands at some point.

    But I guess everybody is different here, and that is good. It can lead to very different results and none of them have to be bad.

    As to the cropping, I got an interesting remark from a photographer friend not so long ago here in Germany, who mentioned he would always crop his (digital) pictures before he publishes them (wherever he publishes them), so he could always proof that he has the original. I guess he has made some bad experiences on his way with people “stealing” his work. But just as he said that, I noticed that I could not crop from my pictures, without destroying them. Not because I am so great and do make the perfect pictures, but because I compose on the monitor of my digital camera. And looking at this monitor is just like looking at a finished image. So I normally get what I wanted (if nothing moves out or in or happens otherwise) and quite automatically there is nothing to crop.

    I cannot think “picture+crop” when I see “my” composition on the monitor. It would just be strange and unnatural to move away from what I wanted just in order to get the extra thing to crop. But then I have to say I do belong to those who tend to go in very close on their subject. I do not leave much room around.

    On the other hand side, I would not make a religion out of any of it. If there is a subject that DEMANDS a different aspect ration out of itself. I’ll comply. The subject/composition for me ist the most important thing. More important than I myself and the believes I might have. If a subject demands an exception from a way I usually work, I will normally listen to it. But later it will have to prove me that it was worth the deviation. And if not… well … there is always this little trash bin icon on my computer screen … ;-)

    Hope my post did not get too long. I got a little carried away.

    All the best,

  • so, tonight, i spend an even with a friend, dear friend, sifting over Metaxa…and, he is the first person I have had to visit since my wife and son left…and he, after long conversations, pours himself and his wearied bodied into my son’s bed like soft-wind and sand…..

    it has been interesting to read this post…..

    for now, as i have to sleep, i shall say only this:

    David, i shall bring a box for you of a story, of pictures, of, well, something….

    the arrangement of a story is not that different than the arrangement of a conversation (for me) only that we are addled and obsessed by a point: a then b then c. When in truth, it is easier to navigate and digest that, but what we really see in front of us is profoundly different. ….

    We talk as if a shelled-wave of moment, a collision of thoughts and ideas and points and time. We arrange imperfectly. We sit and begin to chat and think and this arranges itself like a a wearied man in Little Havana, thumbing the sooted dominoes between the stretch of the table and the point of his cigar, scribing for a meaning, but the meaning and the narrative and the making-sense-=of-it comes from just the opposite: the suture of conflation, the fact that thinks weirdly and beautifully fit, knuckle tight, together in some sequence of thought and word and beautiful ballet-buck touch…..

    why is it that we still sequence as if a program, instead of arranging (do people arrange conversation: no, those who listen and hunger and divine from it; yes: those who wish instead to arrange, their own placement, upon the face of that…..

    the oddity for me has always been this: we make and arrive-at and subscribe and circumspect and calculate in a matter that is often most foreign, most indifferent, from the way we all live and connect and touch and thrive….

    I sequence (even that sounds fucking ponderous and is in truth the example of what is wrong with that thought) in the way conversation becomes:

    listening and jolting and jockeying and, well,opening up and letting go…..

    David: i have a box for you….soon…..

    and this: so, the world and the lives around us pivot in ways we cannot be yet prepared for……how do i know this:

    because it is so….

    words and the definitions mean less than this:

    why is it that one part of your life is constricted and defined by one way of arrangement, but the other part is not…..

    a photographer/videographer felled in Burma…arrange that…..

    we’re all connected, that IS the tissue of arrangement….


    p.s. I am so happy there is a new member who writes more than I :)))))))))))))))))))….

    (i mean that lovingly ))…Sidney too….running to be

  • please x-over the above comment by mr. black: it makes now sense at all: the greek alcohol more articulate than he….it’s the gallerie’s fault…

    by the way: :)))))…yes, 10th, all is well and mrs. black and mr. black jr. return….

    ok, 17 hrs tomorrow in the gallery “guarding” a box of pictures for Nuit Blanche:


    one wonders…..


  • E-mail list. Count me in too, David McG. Not sure I understood how it will work, but definitely want to see all that is sent by others.
    Uhhh..isn’t saturday morning better than friday?

  • Thanks again everyone for these interesting comments.
    I’m not really a vertical fan, somehow I always intuitively shoot horizontal and see no problem in this.
    What I do wonder about is for editorial work or let’s say essays for NG, the (magazine)cover is always vertical, …David, do you shoot covers vertical or have the pictures cropped out of a horizontal?

  • ähm yes, well … sorry again for the extremely (!) long post.

    I usually do not write so much (in English)

    It was just this perfect night: work finished, rain outside, right musik, … and then I found this blog and then …

    But on the other hand side, this blog is like meeting a lot of friends – for the first time.
    A thrilling positive attitude here … and this “eagerness” to know how to make a work that quitens the voices and loudens the heartbeats.

    A wonderful weekend for you!

  • Wow, I must say David, your blog has exploded. This now has over 100 replies…I bet it will get to 200 if you give it time. I just returned from a long holiday at my in-laws’ home, it was the biggest Korean holiday thios week and so I had famly obligations. Shot a little something I might submit, 10 photos max, maybe less. I found that its easier to edit right away, as soon as possible before any attachment to individual photos forms. So this was quite easy for me to edit. Still shooting TKD, will have to edit a few photos from today. But sequencing, yeah, its tough, thats probably the harest thing to do when all is said and done. I see Bob Black is still writing novellas, which are fun to read, but I gotta get to work:)

  • Hi David

    I met you at Heathrow about 2 weeks ago and have been meaning to check out your website. I apologise for leaving a comment here but I couldn’t find your email and I thought it was most appropriate under ‘road trip’ It’s so interesting the work you do, such a breath of fresh air from all the psychologists, lawyers and accountants i associate with! Also, thank you for starting my journey home with a good vibe. Had a great visit home and am now back in the UK. I not only wanted to say Hi but was wondering if i could pass your website on to a good friend of mine who is starting his photography career. He’s trying to make ends meet with photojournalism at the moment, but I think he’d really benefit from networking with you, maybe attending one of your workshops. All the best for your future, do let me know if you have anything new coming out in NG!

  • ps I’ve just seen your first assignment was in Tangier Island… so funny. My dad and I used to fly down there all the time from NJ, he’s got a little 2 seater, small world!

  • Hi David,

    I have been reading your blog and waited for your next post. this is my first comment just to say I really feel what you are doing here and I appreciate it.

    I could remember days I was desperately searching for articles about photography, I found a tiny book at last ; five interviews with five photographers: cartie bresson, mary elen mark,… how I was glad and exited! and then there was internet and I was spending most of my time in faculty coffee-net instead being in classes searching in net and I found magnum photos website which I fallen in love with specially books sections then I started to translate articles or good interviews with photographers I found in net for a persian new founded website myself, my english was not enough but I just realized that no one would do it for me and I believed that it is important to look at the works of great photographers and learn from them how to use photography for documenting our lives…
    every thing change by net very fast, look you are here now
    mokhlesim David

    p.s. I have so much specific questions, you will see more comments of me here

  • So, Bob, the opening went well, I gather, and the troubles with the bureaucracy are over?

  • Lassal

    I found your storyboard illustration perspective interesting. Speaking as someone who studied and taught various languages for several decades, I think many native English speakers would envy your ability to express yourself!

    (Ihre Fähigkeit auf Englisch ist ausgezeichnet!)


  • on the horizontal vs. vertical issue–
    does it have anything to do with the lens used? wider angle lens seem to lend themselves more to “storytelling”–and we generally “read” across rather than up and down
    also, what about magazine covers–I had someone tell me once to shoot some verticals if I wanted a “cover” shot–
    some things seem to “want” to be shot vertical though no matter the lens
    I like them all–including square–
    hope my questions aren’t too “simple” to take up space

  • Hi David

    This is really good post, good theme. This is basic of photography technique. As important as good exposure, or composition, because great photo is like good poem or suite, novel, great essay is like good symphony, book or movie. Hmmm… good photographer should be like Alfred Hitchcock, Leo Tolstoy and Beethoven in one!

    I must confess I have problem with your blog now, maybe not with blog, but with my poor English. You have so many responders now and so many comments. This is good, great! But in half I have no idea what are you talking about. And I’m not sure I understood everything and always, I’m not sure what I’m reading and writing.
    So I’m out…

    And one question, I hope you don’t mind; you are thinking about your blog as a school now? Worldwide photography school?

    Martin (reader)

    Ps. My mind is on Cuba, I must wait whole month… ech…

  • Happy shooting, all—out for the night!

  • Martin- i just want to say that i hope that you continue to read as much or as little as you wish and respond as always to the topics. everytime i read a new posting i’m always scanning the horizon for your responses. my feeling is that because you are eastern european the insights that you breathe into this forum provide the average english speaker {american} with a unique perspective an alternate way of understanding something. you my friend are a poet and the way you interpret the world is a breath of fresh air.

    my belief is that if you continue to read and write in english undoubtedly your language comprehension will improve. so this is my feeble attempt at trying to keep a loyal and original reader of the (DAH) blog..please martin don’t disappear from this community we need you.. how is your new Nikon D200 ? i’m curious if the print quality is comparable to your leica m6 ?

  • hi martin…i enjoy very much this blog, i think you and i are among the first members here…i also thought this morning that this blog is becoming huge, and maybe will lack the intimacy we enjoyed to date…on the other ends, it just shows how great the blog is, how democratic this blog is, as it allows many people around teh world to read and give ideas and opinions….

    something i did not like few days ago is someone calling our project experience (november 15 deadline) a contest…that’s where i think we have to be careful…there is no contest, or maybe one against oneself…to grow as far as we can on personal basis…

    i am not sure david expected such a turnout…sometimes too much of a good thing is…a good thing!!!

    on a personal level, the participation to this blog has been an amazing experience, i can say honestly i am not the same photographer i was 8 months ago (if i can call myself a photog and that’s a long stretch…).


  • Martin,

    Podobać się czynić nie zostawiać … ten suma byłby być dużo najemca rezygnować ty. Twój język angielski jest zupełnie dobry. Mój Polski jednakże…


    Please do not leave … the sum would be much less without you. Your English is quite good. My Polish however …)

  • Arie…Nice of you putting things in perspective. Couldn’t agree more.


  • Martin,

    I’d like to echo what Robert, Arie, and Tom have said: don’t give up. I am Italian and English is my second language, so I can fully relate to your frustration. But don’t let this became the ultimate barrier between you and a cool community. Also this is an international community and a lot of us understand your challenge. It will get better, believe me.

    Here’s my pledge to you though: whenever you have troubles understanding a passage or difficulties expressing a concept, please ask me and I will do my best to help you. Even on the side, by email if you want. Just follow the link to my name at the bottom of this post and voila’!

    Don’t give up, amigo (as DAH would probably say!)


  • Writing about sequencing of photographs is like fighting for peace. (You know the one about chastity). Look at “Travelog” by Charles Harbutt. Published in 1974, it’s a wonderful book. Charlie’s book is one of the best sequenced book of photographs. Ever. Charlie’s a former Magnum photographer and a great teacher.

  • Amen, John F!

    And, perhaps this is a less known fact, C. Harbutt was a major influence in Alex Webb’s formative years. For me Harbutt is one of the great alas less known photographers alive.


  • Another example of what I think is great sequencing in a photo essay (especially if you work in color) is visible on the web in the ‘Anatomy of a Story’ segment of Nat Geo photographer Cary Wolinsky’s site:
    (Look in the menu on the left side for ‘Anatomy of a Story’). The accompanying text is fascinating. It walks you thru the whole process of conceiving, planning, researching, budgeting, shooting, and editing a major multi-country story for Nat Geo. Both humbling and inspiring. For the ‘Cotton’ story he shot 29,000 frames. They ran 25 in the story after the final edit.


  • martin….

    well, for sure you should be thinking about cuba….but, i do not understand the rest of your thinking in your last comment…

    first of all, you are one of my original writers…and i always like your writing and your “style” of english is just perfect…we all totally understand you perfectly…maybe even more than we understand each other supposedly speaking our native language…you are instinctively expressive…and that is what communication is about….

    it is an interesting question you ask “is this blog a school”…well, i never thought of it exactly that way although it did grow totally out of my original workshop class at home…hence the title “at home with dah”…”school” sounds too much like somebody standing up in front of a class and teaching/preaching….i would hope this would be more like sitting around a campfire with some good storytelling going on…food for thought…thoughts for tomorrow….

    certainly this forum is instinctively intended to be helpful in nature because that is, in fact, my real nature…and is exactly why i took the time to look at your work carefully and give you a personal review…and because i instinctively “liked you” even though i never met you face to face….from the time i started this forum, i always figured that someday we would meet in Poland….and i still hope that is true…

    yes, we have a few more writers now than we had originally, but the conversation is good and creative and packed full of charitable thoughts and ideas and helpful references and positive vibes between one writer and other words, the community has grown, but grown in a positive way…if i ever start to think or realize to the contrary , then i will be “out” too…

    growth is often controversial..usually bigger means worse….too many people in the room and you cannot have a real conversation with anyone…this room is full, but full of interesting people in my view..but not so full that i cannot see the other side or have the opportunity for more than just idle chat..

    i do not think i have ever not answered one of your questions or responded to one or more of your thoughts…that is, unless i was on an airplane or without internet service…am i right???

    so, like the others, i am totally baffled about why you would be “out”…if this community ever got so so big that i could not respond to most comments most of the time, then i might see your point…

    i only know one thing…this room full of like minded spirits would not be the same without you…many of us await your comments and your way of expression…and i personally await your new photographic work….i would be very disappointed if i was denied either….

    hugs, david

  • I’ve been so worried about doing sequencing correctly that I’ve forgotten that this is as much an exercise in doing it our way as it is anything else. But whatever that way is, it’s reasonable to think that it should not be without process—and figuring out that process is where I find myself. Think emerging.

    Maybe it goes like this—I have a story, so I shoot a lot. I find as many angles as the story needs, then I cut it down to the top 5, then maybe narrow it to 3. I pick 20 shots per story line and discover that agonizing over sequencing is fear of leaving something out, so you pick the shots and sequences that really introduce something new to the world. You do that by shuffling the prints around at a table or booth at 5am, whether you get up that early or stay up that late.

    And then you ask yourself “Am I brave enough to narrow this story down to my 5 best shots and show them in an editorial context, In a way that leaves my audience asking for the slideshow, book and gallery opening?”

    I am laughing as I write this. I hope you all are having fun.

  • “But in half I have no idea what are you talking about. And I’m not sure I understood everything and always, I’m not sure what I’m reading and writing.”

    Hey Martin, I’m kind of a newcomer to the blog, actually blogging, and especially this blog. Also, I think strangely, so I often do not know what is going on. But I learn things, here, anyway, and when I have something to contribute–perhaps help other people learn something, I try to that also.

    My suggestion is that you keep saying what you have to say. If someone doesn’t understand, he or she will simply ask you what you meant. That goes for you too. If you don’t understand, just ask. Heck, maybe you could teach all of us native English speakers some of your language.


  • Hey, I just got my first exhibit for 2008! I went to an opening, and the owner asked me to do a show in February. A couple sculptor friends of mine were there, and when I looked at how much white space there was in that room, I asked them to join me. Wow, it should be fun.

    Now I’m trying to figure out if I should hot mount the prints to cut down on framing costs, or pull an old show out of the frames and just matte the new ones. I’m thinking 10×15 to fit in 20×24 frames – lots of matte.

    The room is really nice – hardwood floors that go diagonally across a long room.

    Anyway, I’m happy about it.

    Good night

  • Hey David – I have the perfect venison stew for that campfire.

  • Congratulations, Michael. I hope to have such news someday.

  • Hi all…

    Bob – the greek alcohol seems just fine to me – what you are syaing is exactly what I’m interested in. We don’t live our lives as narratives; even though we might think so, i.e. day-planners/week-planners/schedules/goals for the year etc. We do not know what each day, nay, dare I say, each moment might bring, and when we are determining the self in the present we might find a disnarrated lifeworld but, perhaps, enlightenment as to the beauty of everyday life…very happy all is well with the Black-clan..I think you know our thoughts and prayers were with you.

    David McG – added self to the list–you’ve got mail, buddy…

    croppin’ – with one lens, I think you start perceiving your engagement with the world as the lens does…why I hate zooms; it doen’t mean its not sometime a necessary evil…think ‘Behind the Gare St. Lazare’ of hcd…sometimes you’re just not in the perfect place, I suppose

    On hcb’s photo-essays much could be said whether they are in the right mould; but I think we need to differentiate between a ‘photo-essay’ and a ‘picture story’…in my mind they are two very different things where the relationship in the essay is not literal but, perhaps, more tenuous and ephemeral…

    ciao..gotta go and make some pics…


  • what I’ve done! My wife laughing from me now! I must turn it back…

    You see?… poor English equal misunderstanding!

    I had to say that when are so many comments after half reading I must stop because I spend too much time, and I’m sure I don’t understood… how to say it… point, supreme meaning … this meaning is very important to me, because I like talking and I’m angry when I can’t! words have emotional and intellectual potential, who I missed, usually.
    My comment should be explanation my absent, not saying “good bye” because I prefer to know yours thought, my friends, that sharing my own. I’m not writing since week because I try understood yours conversation and probably it will be that way in feature. Maybe “I’m out” means stronger than I was thinking!
    I’m definitely not leavening this place… why should I? it make me pleasure!

    So I was right writing “I’m not sure what I’m reading and writing”. You have proof…
    I’m sorry if I make you wrong…
    From other side I’m surprised after yours words-thanks to all of you!


    I’m think enlarge this community is all and only good, I would like to see more people here, more writers, even if it my brain saying “enough! Don’t hurt me please…”. It will be fun. And don’t worry if you not answering for my comments, this is not what I mean at all, I’m not asking for more attention, I not need more attention, everything suits me perfectly here! you have always good word for me, so please don’t worry.
    I will be “loyal”, but maybe reader that writer. I really prefer listening that speaking.
    I read you mail when I almost finished this comment, because… your blog is first place where I go when I switch on my computer! I will write to you after I finish it.
    I mention about “school”, because I think I prefer “ this would be more like sitting around a campfire with some good storytelling going on…food for thought…thoughts for tomorrow…”
    I never like school even if I love to learning all the time.
    And I think you should do what your nature whisper you….

    Robert Wiedenfeld,

    I’m not “leicaman” at all, but I’m “picturefromleicaman”, so any camera will not comparable with my little m6…
    But d200 it’s great camera, and after yesterday (I was in country) I just love taking “family snapshoot” like Larry Towell did. I even thinking about little self made book for myself!


    The participation to this blog has been an amazing experience for me too, this is sole blog where I’m writing, because it’s unique, and it’s unique because we have amazing writers here!

    tom hyde,

    Your polish is like my German I suppose, ha, ha, ha

    Giancarlo Mori,

    What can I say… Thanks amigo!

    Michael A Shapiro,

    Now, if I will be confused I will ask… as you advice me…
    For start to learning polish;
    Dzięki (thanks)


    I’m really sorry for this mess…
    I writing since hour, I must stop! I’m hungry! I need coffee!

    For future… if I will write something like this… just don’t focus on this, please.

    My wife My wife laughing from me…


  • i heart Martin from Poland !! The above is LITERATURE from the heart always so authentically yourself. Bless you and your wife !!
    DOBRANOC.. please you must keep writing..etc.

  • david….i have a question, please feel free to respond or not….

    my question: are you afraid of death? Or do you think a lot about it? does it affect your photography (if yes how) or your way of living? I assume you are in your 60s, and you are still running and running…

    something I have noticed is that you photography is much more “smoother” or “free” that it was say 20 years ago…it seems you are at a point where you only start really feeling good about it…

    many great photographers were obsessed by death and it shows in their pictures.

    please let me know if it is too personal of a question…



    the very first story i did for NG turned out to be a “cover story”….the editors had to crop one of my horizontals to a vertical…this killed me, since i never had cropped a picture before in my life and particularly such a severe “crop” to vertical……yes, of course, i had several covers over the years with horizontals cropped vertical, including the cuba boy with the red towel (it is correctly horizontal on the “Cuba” book)…i think i have two covers where i actually shot them as verticals…since the cover is rarely thought out in advance at NG, i am sure many of those vertical covers come from horizontals…however, most NG photogs do shoot verticals for many reasons…of course, i love many vertical photographs, i just very rarely shoot vertical myself…

    ironically, my new book “Living Proof” is vertical choice ….with a horizontal photograph wrapped around front and back and being only full frame when the book is opened..of course, a vertical format book gives you perfect full frame horizontals when opened that are larger than if you did a horizontal format book straight up…


  • Folks,

    Found a squirrel skull in my backyard yesterday morning and have been shooting it on and off since. Shot it the shade with just a hint of fill flash, in the mid afternoon sun with a strong flash opposite the sun, this morning with the sun very low and throwing long shadows.

    Had been reading another photographer the other day…he was talking about being in a rut and how to get out of it. And though I wasn’t necessarily feeling in a rut myself, that great odd little subject I found did spark me.

    Never know what it’s going to be on any given day. Weird and wonderous things do reveal themselves occasionally…I’m just hopeful I’ll know how to take advantage of those occasions!

    So here’s to those quirky little moments in your future. Take advantage!



  • hi KELLY from heathrow…

    first of all, thanks for sending me to the proper terminal!! i am always the “lost traveler”

    tangier island stays strong in my mind after all these years…i want to go back sometime soon…i usually went there in a small plane from richmond, virginia…

    i should be back in the u.k. soon enough to visit my girlfriend, but i will bring a heavier jacket next time…

    yes, have your friends check in when they can and thanks for your comment…


    good point….picture stories are a different animal than photographic essays…see my comment to sidney below..


    congratulations on the show….feels good doesn’t it??

    i love all of the conversation going on, but i got a little lost on what you wanted to do with other essay postings for review beyond the essay submissions….my hands are pretty full already with the work being uploaded on the “Digital Railroad” site…however, all of you should do as you please…..maybe i could pop in once in awhile to see what is going on, but i am still a little confused by exactly what you want to do…explain again please!!


    i have never felt afraid of death since i faced it so squarely in the face as a polio victim at age 6…living life to the fullest has always been my “modus operendi” since then….

    i am sure time has made my work “smoother” as you describe…isn’t that what time should do?? but in many many ways i see the whole flow as a circle going back to my earliest days of totally unselfconscious photography…very difficult to totally get back to the innocence of childhood, but a good direction in which to move…


    man, you are a prolific writer!! i always enjoy your comments…

    however, honestly i am not sure that i would put the same value that you did on that link to cary wolinsky’s site as a guide for thinking about or shooting a photo essay….

    that is a 25 year old story and a very very specific way of thinking while shooting a commodity (cotton) for NG .. even then, cary was a very different type of story maker….his work, to my mind, is more in the “picture story” category than the photo essay category..cary did do this more “instructional” type of story better than anyone, but i do not think this more “super analyzed” type of picture story is what i mean when i say “essay”

    if you want to go back in time and think of the classic style essays etc., smith (Spanish Village) and brian brake (Monsoon) and allard (Hutterites) would seem to me to provide much more food for thought as a way of thinking “essay”…and for a contemporary essay it is pretty hard to beat luc delahaye’s “Wintereisse”

    cheers, david

  • Hello

    I Reread my last comment. Even after an hour writing and thinking I make so many mistakes and wrote not exactly what I was mean. It makes me uncomfortable…
    But I will try, and then I will try… maybe someday I will know what I’m writing.


    On Cuba people speaking in English or only Spanish? I know old people speaking in English but what with youth?
    Any advise about Cuba?



    mostly spanish is spoken in cuba (cuban spanish!!!) … in havana, trinidad, and other places with many tourists, you will hear english…

    no advice other than enjoy yourself…the cubans will welcome you and are among the most self-effacing people on the planet…AND the best dancers, both salsa and ballet!!!

    the only thing i do not know is the mood right now with fidel close to death (i think)…the mood on the streets can literally change from day to day depending on what is happening inside the government…one day can seem like the “don’t worry be happy” caribbean mentality and the next where the police are checking all i.d. cards..

    mostly, i think, you will totally enjoy cuba….there is no place quite like it…that will all change soon enough for better and for worse, so please go soak up a culture that is so so unique in our fast paced world….

    i am happy you are back!! now i can enjoy my morning coffee…


  • Hey David…

    Don’t now if it just got lost in the mix, but I was wondering if you saw my post above about your Hanoi story?

  • Hi David!

    I’m full focusing on this trip. I’m saving money, and buying films (no digital!!) and working for money at this trip. Now I’m going for bus to work. No internet connecting.
    And I’m not back, because I did not go anywhere… until now… I will writing in Wednesday I suppose.

    Enjoy your coffee! (like i do)


  • David,

    Thanks for setting me straight on the distinction between picture story and photo essay, which I admit has been fuzzy in my mind until now. Thanks to you and this blog, I think I’m beginning to see the difference a little, and will try to ‘loosen up’ and be less literal. Really appreciate the educational stimulus of this blog, and your patience!



  • david…it’s almost as now you have fully “incorpoated” the photography tools in new, you are now free to really express yourself…i am not sure you worry nowdays by technical aspects, you are beyond that…
    in my young photography trip (i am half your age), I am not sure i am out of the technical stuff…

    do you recall when you were in your early 30’s: what was your focus (technical, subject) then in regards to photography? what is different now?…you cannot say that you are the same man than you were 30 years ago, and this must show in your photography as well…I am interested by this transition…


  • Good morning,

    Is there a link to Wintereisse? What do you think of Kenneally’s “Upstate Girls?” (in terms of story or essay)

    Regarding my post about making more work for you, I was suggesting that one of us at a time email you (or?) a photo or sequence about which we have questions, to post here and have you comment on it. It would answer our own individual questions as well as provide information for the rest of the group at the same time. Like a workshop–

    It seems as if it would be a simple thing and oh so constructive.


  • sorry, my previous post with corrections for bad typing:

    david…it’s almost as now you have fully “incorporated” the photography tools in you, you are now free to really express yourself…i am not sure you worry nowadays by technical aspects, you are beyond that…
    in my young photography trip (i am half your age), I am not sure i am out of the technical stuff…

    do you recall when you were in your early 30’s: what was your focus (technical, subject) then in regards to photography? what is different now?…you cannot say that you are the same man than you were 30 years ago, and this must show in your photography as well…I am interested by this transition that you experienced…


  • ARIE…

    well, actually i am pretty darn close to what i was even much earlier than 30..same exact philosophy as today…from teenager on, i have stuck by a non-technical approach always using one camera, one lens and simplifying the whole tech side with film and with digi too..i like to think of myself as refining and evolving rather than changing radically at any point..radical changes in my photography in print (magazines) i think has more to do with the magazine editors than with me…if you look at my early work, i think you will see it clearly referential to my work today..go back and look at my first book (age 22) “Tell It Like It Is” in the archive under “work in progress” or my family snaps at 13.. i cannot be the judge of any of it…but certainly you will see the connection between then and now…color made a difference…and some projects worked out better than others….but, if you look at my newest “Living Proof” with my oldest mentioned above, you may see a circle rather than a line….


    yes, i did and thanks…i was right in the middle of my workshop when i saw your note and with not even seconds to reply…i have spent a lot of time in southeast asia…vietnam, thailand,malaysia, indonesia,and cambodia…however, i have never felt compelled to do a book with this material…i do not know why…i have pictures, but i do not think i have a book…that is another good post topic..anyway, i will chew on this thought for awhile…


    i cannot remember “Upstate Girls” but i will try to find it…but, generally speaking i think of kenneally as a classic photojournalist doing classic essays rather than conceptual essays….

    “Wintereise” is a Phaidon book, so i assume you can see some of it there on their site…i have never seen it excerpted anywhere, but i will look around…


    hmmm, i do not think of harbutt as less known…but maybe that is a generational thing….i guess he just has not done anything in recent years, but you are right about the best of his best and his influence on alex w…..


    a box?? curious…waiting..pondering…mystified…terrified!! is this pandora’s box or like the case in “Pulp Fiction” ????

    maybe i missed a post, but how is your son???

    cheers, david

  • RAFAL…

    the korea team is here in new york working on the layout for the book….

    i am pleased you are still working tkd…i look forward to new material…


    regarding your suggestion of emailing essays….hmmm, well it would be a simple thing if i were not already doing what i do on this blog, which is intended a bit of a virtual workshop in itself ..AND contemplating the 100 or so essays that came to me here even before i announced the grant…my viewing and critiquing of these selected essays is a full time job in and of itself…

    i do believe in a long day’s work…and i am a 14-16 hour a day man as it is…i also believe in not doing something unless i can do it right…besides, isn’t the work you want me to review the same work you will send in or have sent in anyway???

    i am totally 100% dedicated to you and to this forum and my individual workshops and trying to build the non-profit so some of you will have new funding….i am also 100% dedicated to photographing new work for myself…i am also 100% dedicated to producing new books (2 in the works)…300% may be all i have!!!!!

    cheers, david

  • David and group,

    Anyone familiar with Steve Schapiro? Life magazine photographer and great guy. Has really seen it ALL…Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King and on and on and on…

    I met him at the little local “market” (really hut) in a small town in India that I visit every year. I saw him walking around with the camera and knew he was “someone” but didn’t know who. It was fun meeting him in India and then last night attending an opening for his new book “Schapiro’s Heroes” and seeing him again. What that man has seen!

    To add my two cents worth about the new expanded blog…I have to say that it now reminds me of a huge dinner party whereas before it was a small intimate dinner party (supply your own food and drink and don’t get it on the keyboard) I definitely prefer the small party but hey, it’s still a party and I’m glad you’re still letting me in the door.

  • David, it sounds like I almost broke the camel’s back. I truly apologize.


  • Cathy, I’m one of the latest arrivals and should therefore be one of the first to back off to reduce the size. Besides, I take up a lot of room.

    This is a great experience.


  • Michael,

    I hope you’re kidding.
    You don’t need to leave…just bring the beer. :)

    BTW…you’re not a late arrival at all. You were here long before the flood gates opened.

  • Hey David,

    What I meant by “less known” is that his name would not come up (at least that’s my impression…) in a conversation amongst young photographers, today, as one of the greats. I’m sure his consideration in the world-class photo circles has not faded, or diminished, but his name (perhaps because he hasn’t done much lately, as you say) unfortunately doesn’t have the same “Q score” (recognizability, as hip marketers like to call it) has it did years ago.

    I, for one, love every shot in Travelog”.



  • Thanks Cathy. The weather is gray and heavy, and I am being overly sensitive.

  • CATHY…

    well, it seems to me that we have only added a few new writers and they are adding some interesting material and positive references for all of us…but, i think we are now at the right size for this type of forum…i was never trying to get larger anyway…but, i did want to see if we could get a fund for production and i still think it will all work out just fine…if you knew me in person, you would know that i love communities, but have no desire to get beyond anything other than the “personal touch”….our community here is international , but cozy and i want to keep it that way….

    yes, i know the work of steve schapiro..but, not the man personally…where did you just see him?? at an opening???


    do not think for a nanosecond that you broke my back at all!!! i know how to pace myself….i was just trying to explain that whatever i take on, i want to take it on in a manner in which i can actually do some good…your suggestions are always welcomed and most of what i do here is totally keyed off of the suggestions and the writings that come in from all of you…that is why i am here, so, as cathy says, just pick up some beer on the way in!!!!


    yes, that is just what i would imagine..

    charlie’s wife joan liftin is also an interesting photographer…check out her book “Drive-ins” published by Trolley …

    i remember charlie’s amazing picture of the blind kid touching the line of light on the wall….he was definitely an influence on me as a college student…and yet, i only met him in person two years ago….terrific man….

    cheers, david

  • LASSAL….

    interesting that you would use a slideshow to prepare the sequence for a book…i do not think i could do that, but whatever works for you works for you…as a matter of fact, my slideshows for lecture audiences etc. that are about my books, have different sequences than the books…for me, a slideshow is a totally different experience and has its own “story”…same with my exhibitions….paced different from the very books they represent…

    john fulton’s comment was funny but true..”writing about sequencing is like fighting for peace” …. visual literacy and authorship cannot be “taught”….for me, good teaching is about getting someone to figure out what they already know but did not know they knew it….some call that inspiration….

    when you come to new york, let’s look at your slideshows…i love love a good slideshow…

    peace, david

  • David,

    I didn’t know Joan Liftin was CH’s wife. I’ve seen a few of her pictures here and there but didn’t know “Drive-ins”. I’ll certainly take a look at it. Thanks for the hint!


  • David,

    Sorry forgot to mention where I had seen Steve Schapiro (yes, with a C) last night. Monroe Gallery in Santa Fe had an opening for him timed with his new book. I’m sure you know the gallery…showing photojournalism…mostly all black and white. They seem to be selling a fair amount of work which is pretty rare in galleries that exhibit photography. How about a show for you in Santa Fe???

  • david….you wrote: “well, actually i am pretty darn close to what i was even much earlier than 30..same exact philosophy as today…from teenager on, i have stuck by a non-technical approach always using one camera, one lens and simplifying the whole tech side with film and with digi too(…)”.

    yes but what about ideas on life, your maturity, the way you see people around you, the way you see relationships…

    somehow, i do not believe that you are the same man as in your 30’s…maybe it is difficult for you to see yourself…

    my whole point of my post is to understand how life, as it goes on, affects you and therefore your photography…not technically of course but in the way you now look at things…

    you must now think that i am asking too many question…but i am like that….i need to go beyond what seems obvious to see who is behind (who is really) behind the “lens”….


  • Arie, in what context are you trying to discover who is behind the lens?


  • Michael, thank you for your question…for me photography is all about personal views personal experiences, authorship, and about time that goes on in a man’s life…how i saw (meaning understood, felt, interacted with…) the world 10 years ago is very different as it is now…so i guess my photography (which should be the manifestation of these changes) should be different too….

    so to me, in order to understand a photographer’s work, i need to understand his/her evolution….why is it that david is photographing as he does now (which i believe is very different say from 30 years ago)…

    I am not sure i am clear enough but i would love to get your thoughts on this…


  • if anyone is in Portland Oregon they should check out the Polish Festival. i used to live in Portland; Or. for many years and my ex-girlfriend Anna is one of the organizers…lots of Vodka and Polka !!!! FUN+FUN

  • ARIE…

    well, sure, we probably all see ourselves in a different way than others see us…but, as i said, in my first response, i have exactly the same philosophy of life that i always did…

    sure, there were the twists and turns that life throws at all of us, but i never changed my original ways of working and overall demeanor…

    see if you can find online an old article that was written about me when i was 22, in a no longer existing magazine called “Photo Product News” (i think that was the name)..a piece by Jacob Deschin ,who has a photo column in the New York Times..i have a copy somewhere…but, when i moved to new york 3 yrs ago i found that magazine and read the piece….i thought then, “damn, i sure haven’t changed much”

    also a piece in Nikon World magazine when i was Photographer of the Year at age 33…i think you would imagine you are reading about exactly the same person as now..

    i think certainly the photographs could have evolved a bit without the “real me” changing at all…an artisitic evolution does not mean that you are “hard wired” any different at all…i am sure picasso went from his “blue period” to cubism to tapestry design without “changing” his outlook on life or his persona or his vision one single bit….

    also, i am not sure what you are looking at as a reference for what i did 30 yrs ago and what i do now…..if it is a magazine, then that would not be a good way to judge at all…the magazine might have changed, not me…

    now, certainly i do feel that i have grown…that is what i have tried to do anyway…but, that is all about levels of sophistication and slow little tweaks of artistic subtlety,… not the changes of a “different man” … i think most people do not change much at all after 21 or so…

    maybe the best thing for you to do is to ask someone who knew me then and knows me now…one of us would really be surprised!!!

    if you can access jodi cobb, or william albert allard, or sam abell or medford taylor or chris johns or rich clarkson (my first boss) i think you would get a fair picture….

    john fulton who writes here knew me back when i was about 23 i think..john and i worked together only a short time, but he has tracked me fairly well i think…john if you are reading this, what would your answer be??? i can hear john laughing now…

    i have no problem answering any questions (i just did) and i am here to help you…but, my question now back to you is this: how can this possibly be relevant to you and to your photography? when you read shakespeare would you become a better writer by knowing how HE had evolved as a person??? reading shakespeare is really all you need to know about shakespeare….how he evolved personally from “Macbeth” to “Romeo and Juliet” may or may not have had anything to do with his personal life or growth or being a “different man” from one play to the other..

    for the purpose of understanding writing style or becoming a playwrite, you just need to read william..period…soak it up and then sit down and WRITE , but only after you have tapped into YOU….that is all there is….



  • Arie, it seems like quite a leap from photography being personal for you to needing to know about someone else’s life to appreciate a photograph. Can we discuss this further?

    Have you heard of the confessional poets? How about “pathetic fallacy?” (a terrible sounding thing, I know)

    Home watching the rain-

  • “The world is a stage and each must play his or her part.”
    william shakespeare

  • Michael…in my own view (and I fully respect that someone could totally diverge with me on this), when I share ideas or experiences, or a moment of my life with another human being (through exchanges such as we having here), the boundaries are gone….in order to understand david’s photography, there are “personal” considerations to discuss as well (david graciously answered)…iam not asking about one’s love life or health issues or bank accounts for tax purposes :) i am asking about what a man is made off, how he evolves as a human being, where he comes from, how he got where he is now…my interest lies in a man who has an amazing career in a field I love, and try to understand…for me this is photography, getting to know (really know) someone…

    if i may add, one of my favorite artist is Alberto Giacometti…i felt the need to know the man behind “walking man”, i read james lord biography and then flew in paris, met with james lord at his appartment in paris (he was very kind to me), visited AG studio in paris (now an appartment,….so in short, i feel the need to go beyond the photograph or the artistic object…

    I find this discussion to be very interesting, please let me know how you see this…


  • Arie, the confessional poets spew forth their guts on the printed page. I would rather read William Carlos Williams. Does it help to know that the next door neighbor boy died when you read “The Red Wheelbarrow?”

    The Pathetic Fallacy involves connecting the meaning of a piece of art to the intentions of the artist.

    If the artist wants the piece to be accessible, that’s his job. I’m sure that no artist expects you to read his biography before you look at his/her work.

    This gets to be a problem when artists are asked for statements. People expect deep spiritual self exposures. To me it is insignifigancing the work.

    That’s my take on it. Any converts?

    Back to printing my cafe proofs.


  • Arie,

    I think I know what you mean. When I was a boy my heroes were always wandering poets and philosophers, especially Nietzsche and Schopenhauer. But I had to know how the philosophers lived their life and how they came to be who they were. My reason, however, is I’m always interested in the ones who “lived” their philosophy…they are the ones with the gold. Also I think it can help you to understand your own journey, can validate your own decisions, or simply give you another take on something that chews at your own soul.

    I think if you were a wounded-by-life philosopher, like Giacomo Leopardi,for instance, one can see why his philosophy is so pessimistic, yet rings true for many…

    Reading Camus can be very exciting when you know the circumstances he was forced to work under and the times he lived in. In his journals you get a great sense of tenderness, wonder and even thoughts of suicide. The same with the great Kerouac…you get to journey through someone else’s uncertainties and wonder, pain and joys…maybe come to the same conclusions of “its all love” and walk away with a head full of stars…or “redemption through art,” I don’t know…

    It would be very difficult for me to read “A Season in Hell” without wanting to know everything about Rimbaud. And by knowing, I think I appreciate it even more. I’m not saying its necessary, but I understand wanting to know what others did when they came to that fork in the road.


  • Dylan, thank you, you wrote much better that i could do myself what i wanted to say…i absolutely agree that an artist should not have to explain or defend or justify his/her creation…but it is so good in this blog that we have the ability to “search” in dah’s head :) to see if we can find the “how” of it (it=creative process)…iam sure david is very open to many many questions and that he would let us know if we go too far!


  • David,

    I am with Lassal…slideshows for editing and sequencing too.
    Not that this is better than prints. I just don’t own a printer!

    Since I switched to digital last year it’s been so easy…just drag in the files I’m interested in, add some music (to relax me while I edit) and watch it over and over and over till I can identify my favorites, …which can take days…deleting all along the ones that are “no’s.” It’s a heck of a lot better than moving slides around on a light table which is my previous


    this whole discussion is interesting for sure…but, i will wrap up my end with this:

    i cannot help but remember my college lit teacher telling me how unimportant the life of edgar allen poe was compared to just reading his poetry….he kept telling our class what i am telling arie….BUT, reading about poe’s marriage to his 16 yr old cousin i think did pique my curiosity a bit as a college student anxious to get out of class,”quoth the raven nevermore”!!!… and of course everybody knows the life of vincent van gogh to be quite a tale..and paul gauguin splitting from his bank job and heading for tahiti to paint nubile women on the beach becomes an interesting lesson in “never too late to be the man you could have been”…

    millions of dollars in advertising go every week to “Hollywood Insider” on tv so that we can find out the “behind the scenes” lifestyle of various celebrities many of whom would rather be just actors…i remember once when edward norton’s master work acting in “American History X” was seen by fewer viewers than his tv “expose” of his clandestine relationship with his latest girlfriend…

    and i am not immune to this natural human curiosity to find out what makes people “tick”….i made it a point to get to know personally every photographic influence i ever admired on a personal level…seeing how henri cartier-bresson had his house decorated and and what elliott erwitt has hanging on his walls and watching martin parr interact with his wife and playing super competitive ping pong with alex webb is all interesting stuff…

    BUT knowing the “inside” of these artists does not enlighten me one single bit about their work..and even if it did, it certainly has nothing to do with what i do or think or feel or photograph….in other words, it is interesting but not essential to understanding their photographs at all …why??

    because some artists reveal and others hide…it is their decision…and you just never know…..

    watching a good brain surgeon do his or her job could actually teach you something…a process…a is the very way one learns medicine.BUT..

    i remember once in naples, my class insisted they wanted to go watch me “work”, do “my thing”….i reluctantly took them down to the waterfront where it would not matter if i was being followed by 6 students who wanted to “learn”…after about 15 minutes they all looked bored…one of them asked…”ok, when are you going to work??” i said “i am working…i took a picture just a few seconds ago”…they seemed confused because they had seen nothing “happen”…when i later showed the picture i had taken virtually right before their very eyes they seemed totally shocked…

    any medical students watching the brain surgeon would have actually learned something useful about the procedure…my students only learned something by looking at the picture later back in class…the walk to the naples waterfront was of no practical use…

    arie, you say you “feel the need to go beyond the photograph or the artistic object”….fair enough i suppose….if you feel this need, then so be it…i am sure many people feel the same….

    however, i think it may simple a matter of priorities…..and i do not know how seriously you are thinking of becoming a photographer nor what you do professionally..i am not sure, but i do not think you earn your living as a that correct?? .whoops!! there i go…getting “behind your scene”..sorry, just curious….i do know you have a new baby girl and she should be your priority anyway….but, i am here because i welcome discussion and this is a valid one…

    michael, good luck with your proofs….i am curious to know if those people in those cafe pictures are your friends or strangers….

    cheers, david

  • DYLAN…

    i agree completely….but still, with all of that knowledge, and all of that understanding, when you come to the fork in the road, you have to choose..and your choice will be personal and unlike anything you have read about anyone else..

    you are so so right, it is interesting to find out who “lived it”….but, i cannot imagine that any artist or philosopher could have either created something or written anything significant without having “lived it”…

    AND at some point, in a flurry of creative energy, and filled with all that they knew and cared about, crying with the need to let it go, they sat down and hammered it out… got it on paper, DID IT, with blinders on to whatever anyone else was doing around them..focused, clear, selfish, insane with making it “happen”…


  • hi david…your last comment is very valid…good one…indeed i do not earn my life as a photographer….even calling myself a photographer is a long stretch…I would like to become a photographer, meaning for me using the camera as a tool to express myself/to explore around me/to have access to places and events and people I could not access otherwise because the camera gives me a reason, not to make a living out of it…in life, iam an actuary, i play with numbers and equations all day long…

    I have used a camera since my tender age, my father teaches photography in montreal…I am at an age where I feel (not sure why) the need to express untold feelings and I would like to use the camera to do so…

    for our photo experience project that you organized, i will provide you with a main story that I will call “Office Landscapes”….in my work, i can work 12, 13 or 15 hours a day, long hours behind a desk, and i wanted to explore this…how i feel about it….during teh week, i do not see a lot of nature (at least directly) but I have my own office “landscapes” which i can admire…

    I am not expecting to win a prize or to get published or to get recognized or….i just need to have this story/these feelings out of my system….i am not even sure that when you will those pictures you will be affected at all or that you will understand how I feel…the important thing for me is that it is necessary for me to do this story on a personal level…

    i asked you few montsh ago it i could do a story without people in it, you said absolutely….there is no people in my story …

    you said somewhere that during your workshops, you often met with people who were at a transition point in their life…I think I am there…

    good night from bermuda…


  • i am curious to know if those people in those cafe pictures are your friends or strangers

    Some of each.

    And-very nice explanation in that last long post. So, how is the Cartier-Bresson residence decorated? What has EE on his walls?


  • On occassion I participate in a group show at an island near the town where I live. One photographer always outsells all of us. His work is wonderful but the work of others is also good. One time he as a little embarassed about it and concluded that he thinks he outsells us because he lives on the island and the islanders know him as a person and respect him as an artist. In short they know what he’s made of and that familiarity helps him sell his work to them.

  • this will NOT be a novella ;)))))…(at least this time)….to wit:

    1. Martin: DO NOT STOP WRITING…can I tell you (do you trust me) that the beauty of language and the beauty and precision of thought has nothing to do with what language that has has been song from. You’re a singer brother, and I love your english and your thoughts and the life that your words, her in english, distill. that is not patronizing, that is the truth. trust me, i know a few small things about language and it doesnt matter: language is for expression and communication and connection and you dont have anything to apologize or defend or remove…except, if you are like me, you’ll have to apologize to your wife for spending too much time with Mr. Harvey’s blog ;))))…language is song and you sing and, trutfully, all those early comments and energy and honesty and pleasure with which you wrote totally kept me here when i jumped in, long before i started to write her….understand :)))…dont let me hear that again, or you’ll have to deal with my wife (who is from Moscow) ;))))))…

    Akaky: long exhausting weekend…im tired, but yea, i dont know about the exhibition:…words about that at ls, not here….:))))

    David: yes, a box. a box as part of work, with a book (essay i sent u) and the pics i sent u for this assignment: made it into a box with pics: the way to try to exhibit your assignment, thinking of the democracy of your blog, your assignment, etc…wait until i visit for that……i’ve made one for u too: pandora’s probably…:)))…you’ll have to be patient….:)))…

    and i will pass on a small pic (from the box) and a bottle of ice grape stuff…

    all: yes, mrs. b and mr.b jr return on 10th…….

    a week of reckoning…..

    more later….


  • one last thing about knowing “the life” of an artist and hoping/thinking this sheds insight into the work of the artist…..

    the thing is, at least for me, the life of making something (a poem, an essay, a painting (when i did that), a photo) comes from a place, a collision inside, that is not always accessible except through the process of making something. Art (by this, let’s say i mean the expression of something through language or material something, or even dreams) is a distillation, an alchemy, a churning/channeling, a regurgitation of so many things. Art is NOT always a map into which someone can understand the person and art IS NOT merely an expression of a person’s life, ideas, biography. In fact, it is much more strange, mysterious, ambivalent than that. Like dreams, art is an expression of an ocean of currents that has been churned and washed along the coast of our selves (both the understandable and the unknowable part of our lives). Knowing about my life, both the personal incidents and the philosophy, may or may not give you an inkling, a doorway into the expression of my photography or writing. This is true for everyone.

    It is, of course, a natural desire that we ALL have to want to “know” about another’s life, not only the people we admire (artists, writers, politicians, colleagues, friends, family, god, etc) but the people of whom we have dreamed of dining upon the most (our heros). What reader has desided to see the photograph of the writer’s face? And yet there couldnt be a more absurd correlation (face to what someone writes) and yet we crave that, do we not? why?…the same is true for the “facts” of one’s life….but in truth, we can never know the facts of anothers life, nor can we even begin to express that, all the threads and connections, the long highways and the cul-de-sac deadends…i often think: why do we even tell anything about ourselves for we can never put it in the proper context and cannot ever fully extend the proper connections and connotations, unless another were to live our lives, as we have done…right?….

    yes, there are parts of ourselves (the waking/material parts) in our work, not only artistic work but the work of our lives: our jobs, our relationships, our philosophies, our politics, etc…but, it is much more ambivalent, shadowy then that….

    art is a palimpsest…of one’s thoughts, one’s experiences, ones ideas, ones references and also things that game before us (our dna, our jungian(?) selves passed down, our subandun-conscious selves); right, the entire bag…..

    i try, at least in public and with others who i dont have an intimate relationship with (close friendship, etc), to simplify…let the work manifest itself, let it live the life that is both part of me (and who I am) and separately (it’s own life)….

    in truth, i’ve become much much less interested in the lives of people I dont know, only in the lives of people with whom my life is shared and connected. Wanting to know about an artist seems to be an affliction of a different sort….

    as for david (sorry dah), I am not interested in the facts of his life, only in the facts of the life of his work and, if fortune is kind and brings us together in real life, the facts of his life as a person that I can call a friend: that begins once the hug and contact happens….

    until then, let his work speak it’s life, let his work here and in his workshops and in the projects he creates and the help he offers speak for itself. I think I first was drawn to david because, like me, he has some weird need to share himself, including the “facts” of his life (my wife doesnt get this part of my personality/character either), and that was a connection i felt immediately with him, and the voice of his words and the behavior he exhibits here and elsewhere….

    but facts are often treacherous and slippery agents and I wouldnt rely too much on them…

    for me, knowing anything about David’s life has not been a sharper aperature by which i’ve more appreciated and enjoyed his work…not at all: i liked it long before i discovered this blog and the only thing that the “facts” as i’ve read them here about what has happened to him or the people and circumstances in his life have done has simply allowed me to embrace him from afar as a person….

    let those two things (the expression of one’s life and the experience of one’s life) not be conflated and easily digested and used as translation to understand either….

    let us simply embrace in the mystery of the way things unfold: the living of one’s life and the expression of that living….


  • sorry, i guess that was a novella ;))))

    dedicated to: Martin :))

  • RENE…

    yes, i understand this kind of “personal recognition” which might help sell prints in this case….i can think of many such instances, particularly in smaller communities…


    martin must be feeling the love!!! and both of you seem to have terrific wives which means you both must be good husbands or , at least, close close…

    when do you come to new york?? i am confused about your schedule…and mine too!!

    i await THE BOX….

    sleepy sleepy, no good to write….students did not let me sleep…ever

    eyes closing…..good night


  • David, very well put. What’s so interesting here is I agree with both views; it is absolutely not necessary to go behind the art and learn about the artist, the work still speaks for itself, especially with photography. Although I must say it makes me feel a little better, like reading Alex Majoli’s essay in Magnum Stories, really makes me cheer for him and eager to see his work. The same with this wonderful blog of yours. It can keep you going when you feel like giving up, no?

    Also, its nice to realize, they (whoever your heroes are) are like you, with similar problems, questions, fears…you generously show us that all the time. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    With all that said, I’m quite the hypocrite…I still belong to the private side.

    Bob, glad your family is back in your arms: 1+1=1



  • Thanks everyone for a great thread continuation. I have been out all week-end, shooting and truly, BEING. I do not know about you guys I think it’s a medium that fills both the gregarious and loner in me. Few good shots, but that’s where what Bob said a few days ago comes in. It was good breathing!

    So, I get home and go thru what everyone has written, and every day, something is written that helps me question what this is I am doing with a camera. And what is my path? Still shooting a blank there, but I have so much to unlearn.

    Arie, I think I understand what you meant. It seems to have to do with empathy, with reaching out, get a live feeling for the humanity of another, even if a dead musician or writer. It does enrich one’s life indeed, and can also bring timely pointers in one’s life to read about others (for me it was reading Mozart’s life back then). You writing to HCB about your wedding tends to tell me that. Apologies if I am stretching too far.

    Yet, David is right, for ex. we do not need to know Mozart’s life to enjoy his music. probably even more within photography. I am not very curious of HCB’s life as regards his photographic output (telling anecdotes yes, though, some are funny too), I am not sure it is emotionally parallelled with what he caught with his eye, as his life went on.

  • david: :)

    I hope Martin feels the love :))) i’m only a good husband (i think?) ’cause i’ve got a great partner and son, and that’s it in his most simple ding: i’ve been lucky, plain and simple: and that’s the rhyme of why to give back :))

    i will meet c.anderson when he comes to TO (and pass along some wine for u) and talk with him then…the schedule will depend what mrs. black says when she gets back…i’ll write u off after the 10th…my hope now, is maybe end of november?…when i come, i shall give u a box……

    herve: :)))…breathing…:)))…all we have, really, right?

    dylan: indeed indeed, :)))))…though i’d have to better tarkovsky, as in my life it would be 1+1+1(dima)=1 :))))…that has not been more true than the last 2 months of bs that my wife and son have endured while away…….

    lord, i was (too) born a rambling man ;))))

    off to bed…

    hugs, running

  • I’ve been reading all the posts here trying to understand each of them (I’m also one of those struggling with the english). Even if everybody says that I’m doing good with the english, I know (and people like me know) that we can’t not participate at a 100% level because it’s very hard to write what you have in your heart when you don’t master the language.

    This is a little bit frustating because this blog have become very complex, emotional, deep and fascinating. I’m not a professional photographer, but I’m an artist, and as an artist I can relate to many things written here but also I can’t participate at the same level of depth.

    So…I write here once in a while and keep it simple because that way I just participate and I keep myself close to a community that I respect and that have been very important to me since I discovered it.

    As a painter, I’ve been in a middle of my openning show, just walking around the gallery, saying hi to everybody and suddenly I hear the gallery owner inventing this amazing story about one of my paintings, and this guy, almost with the money in his hand, willing to buy it…

    I’ve been in shock because most of the time I paint because I just want to, just because I need to do it… no big story behind that, no justificatio…no more reason that just an impulse to do it… but the galerist needs the ‘marketing” to add value to the whole experience…. and that’s weird to me.

    When I discovered photography I quit painting because I found more fascinating to document the live and experiences of others that mine….photography was a constant observation and a opportunity for conversation and discovery, but painting was becoming a confrontation…literally with the canvas…so I changed my path because painting was leaving me exhausted and photography was giving me a lot of new energy.

    Painting is a lonely process where you never know when you’re done…but in photography you just have a split of a second to get the job done… many decisions to make, in real time, without the opportunity to go back and fix it….

    I’t hard to live in a place that don’t see photography in other terms yet because it’s very hard to contagiate other people with the same level of passion…that why this blog is so important to me….


  • Hey Everyone,

    I think David’s point back to Arie is a very good one.

    I, as everyone else, have had (and still have!) my heros: photographers, writers, poets, scientists, just ordinary people, that for their coherence, ideas, passions, life journey, I have felt kinship towards… you know, almost as if they were members of my same lost tribe. They give us courage when we’re missing it, they give us an example that our dreams can be achieved when our dreams are shattered…

    But then, at some point one has to chose whether to be a rock-n-roll artist or an Elvis impersonator. At some point everyone needs to be their own man or woman. If one never graduates to adulthood and achieves the independence to see theirs own heros as fellow human beings, with their wonderful gifts and their flaws, one can never be an original voice in any endeavor of life. “Kill your darlings” Ernest Hemingway used to say in a literary context. I believe it’s not that different in the context of life.

    Independence is standing alone. I know we all know that, but perhaps it is a good thing to repeat that to ourselves from time to time… :)

    Cheers guys,

    – Giancarlo

  • Carlos, I enjoyed looking at quite a few of your galleries on your site.

    Maybe we can try to write simpler sometimes for our friends who do not master english so easily. We all have a certain way to write that may be more fastidious to read than we think.

    Plus David is a cool teacher. The class seems to have a special subject, and soon enough, we take the liberty to ad lib or go on the tangent. The thread becomes like a hydra with dozens heads, all from the same body but not always talking to each other!

    Let’s remember that one language unites us, that of photography.

  • I’m curious what you all seek in influences. Not just appreciating an artist, but discovering what really moves you, and has motivated you to shoot. Without getting into my entire photo history, photography has always been this comet that visits from time to time—only now I’ve decided to take it for a long, wild ride. But over this bumpy course, I’ve never developed a strong connection to the history of the practice and it’s practitioners. I’ve only just wanted to shoot.

    So it is really interesting that there’s such a wide representation of artists here from various decades and backgrounds of work, yet a bit intimidating that I’m often not familiar with the names of the “big guns” that are tossed around on this site. I do enjoy looking them up now and then—they don’t mean as much to me as they do some of you (or at least I’m not in a position to “see it” quite yet) but I’m coming around.

    Not to be too gushing, but I think many of us are here because we truly are influenced by the work of DAH. For me it was seeing pieces like “Father shows off daughter’s new shoes” and “Boy in summer”. But before I knew who DAH was, I was intrigued and influenced by this kind of photography, the kind that made me ask, “what enabled this person to be in this unlikely situation, to capture a moment that would otherwise go unnoticed—and be able to share it with everyone else?”

    Influences I’m feeling most connected too really feel more like peers who are making great strides. Not really peers in a way that I’m comparing my work to theirs, but in a way that I’ve discovered their particular mindset, and I’m learning to relate. A couple of years ago I was hit by a train in the form of Pieter Hugo’s “Gadawan Kura: The Hyena Men”. ( Speaking to editing, I first saw this as a series of about 5 shots in a magazine, and it probably had more impact with me than this complete series—nevertheless I do enjoy seeing the rest of them. These images frighten me in a “I cannot resist going but am I gonna make it out alive” sort of way. And the cord is struck with me—I’m seeing something that I didn’t know existed, taken by someone who has some serious dedication and integrity. I’m happy to make the find.

    Any other tales of work that moved you?

  • David) correct; Pieter Hugo is Amazing !! Hyena Men is original.

  • Dear David, your blog’s gone nuts. Maybe you need a word limit, like a competition tie-breaker: Explain in no more than fifteen words how you sequence your photos. Preferably in rhyming couplets. Punning rhyming couplets. Breaking that rule myself

    1.Having previously stated how much I like editing,I’ll add that I hate editing without prints, good light and enough room to stand well back, which is asking quite a lot of usual work conditions.

    Also I’m being punished for my smugness and having the hell of a time with my most recent job. I find, usually and in this case, that if I’m having trouble sequencing it’s because the work’s not that great. It’s OK. It’s publishable, I’m not ashamed of it and everyone else seems to like it, but it’s just not…and you know, that HACK feeling is enough to make you give up now. It sounds stupid to say the work is professional, like that’s a dirty word, but I expect you can understand the perjorative into that word.

    So, any advice? How do you manage when you do work that looks good but doesn’t quite have the edge you’re after?

    (incidentally- the no-cropping crowd are like the kids in art class who said You’re using a ruler! That’s cheating! I’m telling on you!
    I don’t crop. But damn, I reserve my right to do so.)

  • and 2. Really don’t forget your coat. It’s freezing in London now and I don’t believe it’s ever going to get light today, or possibly ever again.


    well, well, well…i know something is really buzzing when i stop to read your comments even before the coffee is done and even before i sit in my nice chair by the window and read the “New York Times” and even before i get my bike tires pumped up to go for a ride and even before i pick up the phone to call my lifelong friend medford who i call early almost every morning because he is the only friend i have who gets up this early, besides my mother that is, but she is two hours behind new york, so i will have to wait a bit for her to rise…

    we are in the very act of creativity that we are all trying to analyze….we have something here, but i am not sure exactly what…YET…but, it is definitely SOMETHING and it is not about being a photography blog at all…actually, i never never thought i was doing a photo blog…that is just not something i would do…create community yes, use kinetic energy yes, “photo blog” no…..

    all i can see right now is arie sitting in his office down there in bermuda, looking at spreadsheets, trying to discover himself through photography and imagining his project on “Office Landscapes” and in the background, out the window, is a rolling green golf course and on his computer screen is US…

    everybody go back a read arie’s last letter here…arie usually only asks questions..last night he told us who he is….

    i never wanted to make a movie until now….


  • Amy :))…

    I love the notion of tub of 15
    Words, tickling an idea keen.

    So clean! :)

  • 15 Words: Sequencing:



  • BOB..AMY

    always quite helpful to be so so lean

    and to be the succinct scribe machine..


  • impressive, they
    bob black and david alan harvey
    by comparison I pale
    but fifteen words
    (oh, damn! I failed!)

  • All of us (me too) go off to these exciting – I mean ‘exciting’ – places and take photos. But Arie is looking at what’s in front of him, what’s in front of most people, and using that, which is much cleverer.

  • David :)))))):

    indeed, if this catches on nicely
    a delicious read for your blog and members, sufficely.

  • Always been rubbish at tiebreakers. And rhymes. 150 words or 1500 for choice. Prose.

  • amy’s new rule of 15

    should keep us busy in between

    work and photography seen
















    david alan harvey

  • AMY…

    yes, exactly….


  • photography:



  • still photographing the skull
    squirrel, what brought you death?
    the hawk or old age’s breath?

  • my oh my what have we all done..

    will i ever feel the morning sun?


  • Now the blog seems to resemble the work of Christian Morgenstern. Much better. :-) 15 words – done.

  • if a shrink sees this we will be analyzed,

    and this forum surely be prized!!


  • Im working TKD but also trying to line up other ideas. Ive got one idea to photograph a Korean opera tenor. One of my students is his cousin, so there might be hope to getting access to him. As far as tkd, Im pretty much starting from scratch due to the july 15th limit (all of it was shot before) but its forcing me to keep at it. So thats good. And dont be surprised if you see some dress cafe shots…havent decided to go there yet but I might.

  • Here comes the sun
    ol’ George did say
    and as for Paul
    sunshine, good day

    (OK, really…I’ve got to get moving. Thanks David! Truly love this place! Catch ya later.)

  • coffee, not a single cup
    shouldn’t attempt this ’til I fully wake up


  • Edge of a gaping maw
    Epistle stuck in my craw–
    (Whoops!….) Amy laid down the Law!

  • Am I funny, I have to wonder
    To hang her undies grouped by color? Michael

  • this blog has certainly suffered no attrition
    but will Harvey ever comment on my submission?

  • my oh my;
    what a line,
    Amy’s got us all to rhyme…

  • The apparition of faces in the crowd;
    Petals on a wet black bough.

    Ezra Pound


  • i know, only 12 – -damn–

    on the subject of influences, i’ve always liked the idea that photographers wear their’s on their coatsleeve so to speak..i’d love to think there’s some Evans, Eggleston, HCB, frank, Klein, DAH, Webb and Bill Allard all together stewing in me, like a good ol’ ‘potjiekos’… and the result is what comes forth…it’s important to find your own voice, but equally so to find solace in the work of kindred spirits..especially on those dark days when i think it’s all for naught and I just ‘push a button for a living’…

  • one of my fellow photographers who produces great work refuses to look at photography books. He doesn’t browse the net for other’s work. He does not want to think his own vision has been influenced by others. Once in a while he’ll go to an opening but that’s about it.

    I’m just throwing these out in the open … it does not mean I fully subscribe to this.

  • dang. I wanted to say Leicadot is red, my pee is yellow, why don’t I fix it with rapsberry jello?

  • Rene – not that I’m making excuses for not having a well rounded study of the masters, but I can relate to that somewhat—especially when I hear of people needing to “unlearn” certain things.

  • I agree, although I think it applies more in photography where one has control over their environment and not in street photography where a photograph is a result of a split second decision.

  • ah, rene; the tender subject of history and it’s impact on the construction of the self|identity and the ideology of a personal lifeworld…some embrace it and hope to learn and, as Alec Soth put it;

    “mine the same idiom”

    so that there are small but marked differences; I like the idea of being a small part of a tradition in photography — it took me a long time to find what that tradition could be described as — humanistic street reportage — but, once found, it fit like a glove made for my own self;

    other’s, on the other hand feel sullied by the mere thought of an influence — yet’– I do believe art as social discourse are the way in which I attempt to find my own place in this world I have been born into and through it, make sense and give it meaning — in this; it is important to me to learn from what has come before in order to understand what it is that they have all learned in this endeavor…

  • it’s cool, Jakob. I don’t dwell on understanding these things too much as I think I know where I want to go and where I want to improve and I know that there are many rudimentary improvements that I need to adress before I get overly technical. – I’ll probably never get to that stage. it’s just not my style. I tend to think that preoccupation with rules steers my mind away from the creative process and ‘seeing’.

    If I could focus that energy more on getting out there and shoot I would be probably better off.

  • Rafal, David, Anyone–

    Rafal in S. Korea keeps mentioning ‘TKD’ and its meaning is a mystery to me- ‘Taekwondo’ perhaps?

    Annyonghi kyesipsio.


  • rene :)


    the conceit of “original” is so hum-drum
    I’d tell that dude: yo, u r so autumn.


    couplet 2:

    what’s more cliched nowadays than lugging cameras,
    to “uninfluenced dude”:
    how about everyday camera-less arbaracadabra?

  • Photography is a way of shouting, of freeing oneself, not of proving or asserting one’s own originality. It’s a way of life.



  • michael: :))

    that’s it exactly,
    succinct, beautiful and abracadabra-tactly ;))

  • “Uninfluenced” have no need for allard, abell and harvey.
    Will they ever evolve beyond larvae?

  • On the other hand, art is the appreciation of the old with a little new added. There’s an Ezra Pound quotation about it somewhere.


  • We’re getting crazy! What’s next, a haiku contest?? A koan competition??? :)

  • Photography is a way of shouting, of freeing oneself, not of proving or asserting one’s own originality. It’s a way of life.
    Coule be applied to anything a free spirit does. Henri could shoot a blank sometimes, or as we say in France: defoncer une porte ouverte (force entry into an open door).

    I always had a problem with rhyme poetry. We had to learn so much of it at school (the great Prevert sometimes, but not enough), and I am always reminded the scolding the teacher gave us, asking us why did the poet choose these words. And of course, we answered “because it rhymed”, probably thinking about being done with it, looking out in the street and not in the class.

    The older I get, the more I think it was actually the right answer.

    Maybe the teacher eventually got the lesson too. I hope he did.

    So since that day, I do only prose, like Mr Jourdain.

  • roses are red
    violets are blue
    herve, we’re just having a little fun
    and you could…as well!

    (hey, at least it didn’t ryhm! rhym? rhyhm? Damn how do you spell that word?)

  • and you could…as well!

    stepping out of the class into the street, at this minute, Michael! ;-)

  • roses are red
    violets are blue
    herve, we’re just having a little fun
    and so should you!!!


  • BB.
    Bresson was nothing if not precise.


  • Tis a good Time for “cropping” long posts into thoughtful Rhyme.
    With arrangements of “vertical” as a substitute for level straight. This is looking GREAT!

    [I’m glad to see everyone joyfully practicing heavy cropping & vertical submissions today.] LOL

  • “Rhyme”! Whew. Note to self: R-H-Y-M-E!

    Thank you Jason. ;^}

  • Herve: the link that you provide is inactive. i like the ryhmes folks..

  • Workshop is over
    bloggers are waiting
    For David’s comments
    we’re anticipating.

  • CATHY…

    do not blame me!! i was in on this whole thing for awhile, but my comments are so so far back now….the only way to stop this madness is for me to make a new post…right??

    well, i cannot do it right now…i have to talk to lawyers etc… i would rather come out and play with everyone here, but i have no choice…

    back with post soonest…

    cheers, david


    the original rule was a 15 word rhyme….some of you slipped on that a bit…but it was not MY rule..just go back and read amy’s little epistle which triggered cowboy bob and then me at 7am this morning!!

    a little game playing is always good for the soul…enjoy…


  • Since David is probably going to start a new post soon, I thought I’d extend the offer to join “Photo Friday” if anyone missed that. Basically it’s an email list I’m building from this community for the purpose of everyone sharing one current photo per week—no major critiques, just a light-hearted and current look at our personalities as photographers.

    Since I’m keeping the list, I’ll start off sending my shot on Friday, then everyone will have the current list and you all likewise can share a shot with everyone else. A handful of us had a dry run last week and I thought it was really great.

    I don’t plan on compiling the shots for a Flickr site or anything like that—email just seems a little more personal for this community as long as it’s not a huge problem for anyone. For everyone benefit it’s best to keep the shots under 100kb or send a link to a shot.

    David, let me know if you’d like to be included in the list or if you’d prefer not—you might not want a flood of emails on Friday, but then again…???

    If you want to be added to the list, email me at

  • dizzy and blood stroking 102 here
    with a gasp, my portfolios arrived not so dear

    beware the sequencing on the screen
    for it may reveal in print quite mean


    for me to do a good job with all of the material coming into me already from all of you, i think i should stay off of this e-mail is daunting as it is…if there were some way i could sneak a peak whenever i had a break, that would be fine, but i know you do not want to go to a photo sharing site…if you can think of a way that i could slip in and out , then let me know…

    i am totally committed to the readers of this forum and because of this, i think i should stick with posting here as often as i can and reviewing all of the essays coming in…i am sure you understand…


  • Yeah I suspected that but wanted to extend the offer.

    Best o’ luck,
    David M

  • oops-missed the post that explained the rules;
    but the day’s so nice, crispy, cool.


  • ha, ha, ha…

    this is funny! ha!

    Martin :)

  • “john fulton who writes here knew me back when i was about 23 i think..john and i worked together only a short time, but he has tracked me fairly well i think…john if you are reading this, what would your answer be??? i can hear john laughing now…”

    Geez, I’m so far behind on this thread. Sorry.

    Dave and I worked together in Topeka in 1968 (I was a summer intern, he was on staff.). In Charlottesville I met Dave’s oldest son, Brian. I said to Brian that the last time I had seen him was when he was one year old. Lots of laughs. In the mid 80’s I ran into Ken Paik, who was working in Coffeeville, Kansas in 1968. First thing he did was start shouting about what a cheap sob harvey was for having a cookout at his apartment that summer of 1968 and making the summer intern bring his own steak. I’d forgotten about that. Heh.

    Uh, what was the question?

  • JOHN….

    is that true???


  • Ciao David,
    sorry but I do not succeed to upload the images on your serveur.
    It indicates to me that the pasword it is mistaken…
    I dont know why… I m terrible informatic! :)


  • Hi everybody,

    Sorry I have not managed to check the forum earlier, but I am busy preparing a little photo-exebition in Brussels. Never thought this could be so complicated, but it will be in the EU-Parliament and it is pure politics. Trying to save what is possible… including my nerves.

    thanks for your invitation to show you some slideshows in NY. I’ll be glad to respond to that. It could take me a while though, until I get a chance to get to NY again. Last time I was there it was to see Christo’s & Jeanne-Claude’s Gates in the Central Park. A quick over-the-weekend trip. Now my weekends are packed until spring 2008 … But after that I’ll be glad to come over. You just provided the reason and excuse for it. Thank you a lot for that.

    Many thanks for the compliment as to my English. Good to hear that and thankfully you cannot see how long I need for these few sentences ;-)
    Und ich gebe das Kompliment zurück – alleine schon wegen der Umlaute, die Sie sich heraussuchen mussten… ;-)
    My English is ok to transport facts & numbers. Unfortunately not good enough for the poetic aspects and depths of a language, that really make the difference and embed the meaning … So I understand perfectly what Martin was helpless about. A lot of posts here are way beyond my horizont, too.
    So please ask, if I write nonsense … I do not always have a dictionary at hand and sometimes start to make up my very own version of the English-language.

    the project you are developping ist wonderful! I am looking forward to see the probably overwhelming results! Thanks for the time you are investing… It means a lot.

    I’ll have to print this article out now in order to read it on my way to work and be up to date again.

    Until then …
    Bye from Germany,

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