perpignan (again)

no joke….every year i say i will not be able to make it to perpignan (Visa P’our L’Image) and every year for the last ten years i have been on hand….my original visit to perpignan ( which i had not even heard of at the time) was when jean francois leroy invited me to show my spanish world work…i had also just become a member of Magnum…i have since had 4 or 5 shows or projections at this photo fest, but it does not take me having any kind of official presence for me to go…this year is no exception…

my Fortune Magazine assignment on the TGV trains in Paris allowed me to come this time…thank you Fortune….besides i do have one little obligation…and that is to take part in the three day Magnum gratis portfolio reviews open to all comers starting tomorrow….nine of us will look at as many portfolios as possibe…on hand will be jonas bendikson, abbas, paul fusco, dennis stock, chris anderson, paolo pellegrin, and i honestly cannot remember the other two at the moment….i just finished my train assignment today and will take the train down from paris to perpignan in the morning and arrive just in time to do our reviews….and maybe maybe make just one more photograph for my assignment …

Magnum used to throw a party at perpignan like so many others….we decided a few years ago to do seminars and portfolio reviews instead….when the party is over , the party is over…but with a seminar or review you just might help someone out a little…i remember having my work reviewed at a workshop as an emerging photographer….that was an experience that has lasted me a lifetime…so, if even one photographer walks away from perpignan with that kind of watershed experience as i had, from perhaps just a few well chosen words by one Magnum photographer, then that will be worth everything for us….

there is another wonderful thing waiting for me in perpignan….my extended family of friends in the business, former students, current students and i suspect a generous supply of my readers here…most importantly i will have my girlfriend with me…we have for the last three years had perpignan as a very special rendezvous…..i will also try to do a little “reporting” from perpignan depending on internet availability….

i usually hang out in the evenings after the projections at Cafe le Poste…. so if you are in town, please stop by and say hello…a good time will be had by all…..

19 Responses to “perpignan (again)”

  • Flash Gordon………ummm, i mean David ;))…

    have fun at the circus :))))))))))…

    when you see Chris Anderson, tell him that I will invite Rita Leistner for the hectic drink he’ll get from me when he comes up for his WPP talk :)) drinking with Rita tomorrow, so, we’ll shanghai him for a quick one ;)))…

    enjoy P-town :))))…..i mean p-ville :)…


  • David, I wish I could also be over there…looking at the work of some great photographers and having a drink at Cafe la Poste with you….Actually, while unfortunately you may not see me there, I am sure that my father will bump into you as I know he is spending the next 3 days in town… Perpignan is certainly a great place to go to and I would love to go back there (I have only been there once before). I am not sure if they still organize that but for the non-professionals, there was also the Off-festival that was shown around town and I was fortunate to take part of this off-festival 4 years ago…happy to have been selected in the first place and also happy to be able to show the work that I had done in Madagascar back then…. This was the first time I was actually showing work in an expo…was great feeling but also stressful as well to expose yourself and get others to comment etc….I wonder if you yourself still feel that stress when you get your work shown? Do you still worry about what others will think and stress at the start of an expo? Were you nervous when you have shown the “Living Proof” work for the first time or do you usually know with confidence when you have “nailed” a topic? I presume that now you stop worrying about these things but maybe not…. Anyway, I hope my dear compatriotes will treat you well and that you have a great time in Perpigan. Cheers, Eric

  • Late again Harvey-we’re all here already!

  • hi david…

    for the last few days i’ve come down with the flu…or…some kind of a bug pretty much bed-ridden…
    i guess your wondering what the hell iam going on about??
    my Q to you is…have you ever been in a situation where you are on an assignment…and fell ill to the flu or anything that would have kept you out of work for a few days or even a week off in bed…and the dead line closing-in really fast…how do you deal with it???…if ever been in that situation!!

    “knock on wood”…that it will never happen…but, never say never!!!

    PS, are you shooting with an M8 for all assignments now, or just with your personal work???

    ozzy al

  • David,

    I’ll look forward to your Perpignan reports along with the others who can’t make it. As much as I love to travel I can’t complain about being home… it gives me time to get more images for the assignment! You, this blog and the “assignment” have really helped make this a great summer for me. Whether or not I am able to come up with the images I am “feeling,” there is something growing that is leading me in a direction I am very happy with. Thank you so much for your generosity.

  • Hi David,

    no way to come to Perpignan, no way to shoot properly a “self-assignment” for your mid September deadline: my marriage is ten days ahead (ok, breath and repeat: nopanic, nopanic…) and, of course, all my energies are directed to arrange everything at the best for that day and all the following ones.

    Let me show you an unfinished work about citizen-journalism I put up for an exhibition in Padua last April. In my eyes, it lays mid-way between a portfolio to be reviewed (but with too few photos in it) and something I would have submitted for your deadline (but, again, with too few photos… six shots only: I would like to shoot some more to better cover the multifaceted issue. Maybe I will do when spare time/energies are available again…)

    Here is the link (please skip the italian blurb on the first page. Quotes were added to make more understandable the images…sort of an handicap for a photographer, I know):

  • Hey Dave,
    One of these days I will get to Cafe Le Poste , Seems so bloody far away at the moment last time I was in France I got myself in all sorts of trouble I don’t know if they would have me back!
    One little query about the assignment though, I shoot off assignment all the time ,is the August – September time period gospel?

  • i’m here amigo.. look forward to seeing you..

  • David,

    I’m not sure you do remember all that was said during the party in Seoul, but we had a great time.

    However, to make sure you remember how good it was, and for sharing the fun to your readers, I just uploaded an audio record at

    I have more to come later whenever I feel like to edit it. But I don’t think you’ll want I share more than that after you listened to the first one :) Hehehe.


  • David,
    Another workshop being posted before you are ready to announce it? The India workshop is now online.

  • I’ll get to the shindig in France next year, damn it. One way or another.

  • David….

    im just finishing up a remarkable novel, Roberto Bolano’s “Savage Detectives,” and at the end of the novel there is a story about Iberia and a Magnum Photographer from Madrid…are there any Magnum photographers (or used to be) who lived in Madrid or were from Spain…i couldnt place any….

    i’ll share the story later…


  • i mean Liberia….not “iberia” ;))))…sorry….b

  • i have a feeling david received clear instructions from his girfriend Not to connect on his blog :) ….good for you david, enjoy some quality time with loved one…..


  • Hi,

    Feel like I’ve wasted a great opportunity by not dedicating time to David’s project. I work as a designer, with a passion for photography. I always dedicate myself entirely to what I am doing…and this is draining (but great). I’m really struggling to find my “own thing” with photography and i’ve almost stopped taking photo’s in frustration, and work (design) has take over (usually if i hit a wall I just keep at it)…Doesn’t help that i’m rarely satisfied with any of my work, design or photography. I’d love to know how other people deal with similar issues?? Is it really possible to focus on multiple disciplines?

    Really missed reading this site….just needed to release some frustration…


  • Here’s a photo of David outside Cafe La Poste doing an inpromptu review while sitting on a traffic bollard!

    More photos of the festival:

    David, it was great to see you again and to meet your girlfriend. Hope to see you again soon!

  • bob…

    since i did not have the net, i did not see you r comment until after i saw chris…anyway, i am sure you two will have a fine time….


    i would not say that i “worry” about showing new work, but there is always some kind of natural “apprehension”….sure , we all want some kind of peer approval…but, if a “pat on the back” does not come, i think most photographers know to just get back up on the horse and ride hard…


    six photos is certainly enough…i will check your site a bit later tomorrow…


    good recent work is gospel, but you do not have to be exactly within that time frame….i wanted photogs to work within a time frame to help them think clearly…but, good work is good work and i want to show the best that i can from my readers here….send your stuff in amigo…

    as for the “trouble ” you caused the last time you were in france, i have no comment really….i mean , i cannot imagine pure aussie culture mixed with pure french culture
    without some sort of humorous clash….hmmm, sorry i missed it!!!


    cannot think of anyone from spain…we have never had a spanish photog before cristina garcia rodero….


    yes, i am sure my girlfriend was quite pleased there was no net in the apartment!!! she certainly was not complaining about it….


    release all the frustration you want….i think it is difficult to be really good in “multiple disciplines” but not impossible and it depends on what they are….as a designer , i would imagine the two disciplines could actually work quite well….submit some work…let’s see…


    great to see you again….i loved seeing your cuba book…very well done..please stay in touch….

  • ozzy al…

    i have never been sick for a long period on assignment (and , as you say, knock on wood)..but, many of my friends have….there is no choice…you wait it out…deadlines do not mean much when you are really sick anyway….and in every case i have ever heard of, the editors were totally patient….editors can be tough, but editors are humans…they get sick too…

  • Lance.. you have been in Perpignian also??? wow… nice! See u in October :-) in Jeffersonville :-)

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