changes in lattitude/attitude

tomorrow is the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere….dark ….spring seems a long way off…jimmy buffetland  is but a dream….and yet, cold bitter charles dickens winter does not really begin in my mind until after the holidays…because it seems we squeak through a good bit of winter with no problem because of so many family activities, gathering with friends etc etc…the "hammer" does not really come down until new years day…at least , this is how it works in my mind…

i am off in half an hour to see my mother and family in colorado…no work….just good cooking, get my laundry done, family games, and keep the fireplace going…relax….try try try to stay away from the computer, cell phone, and all the entrapments of "real life"….escape to home….the best trip of all….my "jetlag" time table is so mixed up now, that it does not make any difference….i can always sleep in my mother’s house…

at some point in the next day or so , i will catch up with all of your comments and respond…the bag/book winners should receive their "stash" before Christmas…everything is to be  fedexed out to the "magnificent seven" today….90% of what i am supposed to have done by now is done…there is always always that other 10%!!  but, mostly i will try to forget that undone 10%…chill out….pretend all is well all around….

i cannot resist one short question to you before stumbling down the stairs and step into the pre-dawn cold and waiting  airport bound taxi with a probably "too early morning grumpy driver" (i am in a good mood, so i will attempt cheerful conversation)…, does the holidays season somehow make you depressed because the year is "over", days are short and busy,  and you did not quite get everything done ??  or are you uplifted by family gatherings  etc. and  the chance to "start over" with the new year coming?? 

133 Responses to “changes in lattitude/attitude”

  • hi David,

    I love the Christmas season. I love the tradition, eating to much food and watching generally bad TV, indulging and knowing that everyone else is doing the same.

    There are always more things to do, so that doesn’t really bother me. For this they can wait. I never feel depressed at this time of year. The short winter days don’t bother me…for the last few weeks in London they have been beautifully bright and clear….not to mention cold…..buts thats perfect for this time of yeah. The five year old part of me wishes that it would snow though. I love snow.

    As for new year, for me its just another day……it has never really effected me. When you think about it its just another arbitrary line in the sand. Although I will say that new years seem to be coming around faster and faster these days. But, you what, life is good……how can I complain….I want to carry the momentum that has slowly been gathering in the second half of this year straight into the next one. And I never want it to stop.


  • The winter season is great here in Korea! It’s the end of the school term and it means a six week break!

  • the only depressing thing in winter in Poland is that there is less light… even at the evening on the streets, in the middle is empty and less light.. people are sitting at home and there is nothing to do…
    i wish to be in some more happy place during winter :-) it’s my only wish.. so i go to celebrate new year’s eve to istanbul :-)

  • I love this time of year! Sort of a time of renewal. Yes, it is arbitrary. But it works for me.

    So many different cultures celebrate some form of end of old year, begining of new. End of harvesting, begining of planting. Renewal.

    And of course it’s a time to catch up with family and friends.

    Have a great trip David. Merry Xmas and Happy New Year to all “DAHblog” denizens!

  • Christmas is fun with kids though it’s not my favourite time of year. Starting over in the New Year is always something I play with though I still start over again in September at the start of the new school year as well.

    Jason has it ever snowed in London?

    I hope every one has a happy Christmas.

  • I hate this time of year… depression huge as mont everest… the sky is grey since two weeks (or longer I manage to forget on time )… where is sun?… sombody saw the sun?… friends not helping… alkochol not helipng… photography not hel… ok… photography helping… sometimes… and sex always… for very short time…
    I need travel… I need sun… I need emotion… adventures… I need load B&W to my small camera and go somewhere without reason… I need damn sun…
    Merry Xmas and Happy New Year to all my happy friends and you David……


    Martin (positiv vibration)

  • My daughter is now three years old, so I am finally starting to appreciate that side of Christmas… It seemed I grew out of the spirit of things pretty fast when I was young, but through her eyes, it is all magic again.

    As to starting afresh… YES! For me, the New Year is usually a mad rush to clean off the last of the slate and look forward… though it can sometimes be hard to keep that focus, it usually gives me momentum well into March (and through the doldrums of February, at least).

    But enough of that… hope you are NOT reading this, getting time to your family and self; Merry Christmas and best of everything in the New Year.


  • Will,

    are you also in Korea?

    For me the holiday season is great. I dont see it as an end because I never thought of a year as having an end and a beginning…its too much a man made construct…time flows without stops and starts. But I do have resolutions for next year, only two:

    1. Get back to my former running shape before a foot injury sat me out for a long time

    2. Create as many stories and essays as possible on as many subjects as I can find.

    Only two to make sure I dont get in over my head. Ofcourse these are add ons to real responsibilities that dont need resolutions because they must be done, no options on the table (baby comes first).

    Would love to meet up again David when you are in Seoul.

  • my comments keep getting rejected…

    saying they are spam…o bewildered web world….

  • home…where sleep slipt inside like seeds in a softened earth….the only measure and twist…

    i too am traveling…to my mom’s, though my home is now only around the earth upon which my wife and son graze…

    running, adrift…


  • Christmas, seen as an iconic season, has always confused me. Where I live is actually spring, and today is very hot. That means that snow, Papa Noel, pine trees, and so on, is kind of ironical here. The second problem is that whe don´t have a long hollyday, except for Christmas day. That means everyone works until December 24. So there is really no time to rest, meditate, or be more time with your family. So sadly this is not a special season for me. It´s just a little break up at best.


  • Weird how a few thousand kilometers changes everything. Tommorow is the longest day of the year for us in Cape Town, South Africa and it seems the sun will shine. The only thing I miss about the winter is the ability to catch a sunrise without having to wake up at 4 in the morn. Anyway, I think any day is a good day to start the rest of your life so I’ll be spending this Festive Season just being thankfull for all the smiles around.

  • My comments too are getting repeatedly rejected by Type Pad’s spam filter… If it were just me, I’d take it on the chin, but seriously David, if the filter is rejecting Bob Black and other regular contributors, I’d say this blog is in serious technical trouble requiring a fix.


  • I love snow and the Christmas Season. It marks the beginning of winter when I’m all excited about playing in the snow which means, hiking, snowshoeing, winter camping, wood stove burning, sledding with kids and some skiing. It’s all good.

    After Christmas is also now my annual (my third year now) fasting. This to me signals a new beginning. It sounds weird but I’m looking forward to it.

    This time of the year also doesn’t skip the misery though. Less time to get things done, snow shoveling gets harder every year, on Monday I tried to open the hood of my frozen car to re-fill windshield washer and ripped off the front grill of my POS Chevy Minivan :-) oh what fun it is to frolic in the winter wonderland.

    By middle of March it will be: GET ME OUT OF HERE QUICK!

  • I never understood the depression people felt about Xmas, so often depicted to me when I came to the USA. Xmas may not happen to me (family far away, no Xmas tree in Bangkok, or whatever) as it did when i was a chile, but these memories are so happy, I have always kept the sense of marvel associated to them.

    Also, the last 20 years, Xmas and shorter days meant next winter trip starting soon after, in places where I discovered half of myself and left it there, in a way (Sout-East Asia).

    Except this year, I may have to shelf travel plans, as a dear old friend of mine may need my presence, due to a the passing away of his lifelong companion.

  • It appears I’ve joined the ranks of the SPAMMED. Damn it.

  • Or should that be SPAMMERS?

    Anyway, my feelings about this ridiculous season were best captured in a brilliant card I saw once that had a nice illustration on the front showing a little boy standing on the second to last step looking in at Santa placing the gifts about the tree and Santa saying to the boy, “Now that you’ve seen me, I’m going to have to kill you.”

  • hi harry,

    yeah it snowed here last year for a day or so. of course i was out in it. but there really wasn’t that much. it used to so more and regularly when i was a kid, i can remember some winters where are had a foot and a half or so.

    generally speaking, i suppose there is something of a renewal at new year, it does provide a fixed point of reference to look back over the past twelve months…….but then, so does a birthday. we do it at the wrong time of year! if we want to be truly traditional it should be in spring, when nature renews itself.


  • Filtered out again! I’ll give it a rest and try tomorrow.


  • Hey Rafal.

    I guess I’m trekearth Will, but i haven’t posted there for a while. Been following your stuff on photoholik though…some fine stuff appearing!


    I cannot believe it was just about a year ago that you began work on the blog. I am so impressed with community you have created!

    I am working on a way to accept and enjoy the New York winter (from California). I will let you know what I come up with.

  • christmas makes me happy. i love the happy-go-lucky and merry-making people on the streets. i live in a country (india) which has a small populace of christians. but in my city (calcutta) almost everybody takes part in the festivities of christmas, though i think it is nothing compared to your country. but still, if you are out on the street on the christmas eve in calcutta, you cannot judge where you are! however, for us bengalis (people of the state of west bengal), the family-meeting period is mainly durga puja time (sep-oct). christmas is THE HAPPY HOUR. after the christmas, i really look forward to the new year. i try to forget the failures of the past year and i dream to ‘start over’, as you say. new year brings hope and enthusiasm to do better than the last year. this ‘hope to do better’ is all that live for is most vital for my survival. january 1 serves that purpose.

  • Neither. The “holiday season” doesn’t affect my mood, unless I’m hearing that horrible “Feliz Navidad” song for the billionth time, or something like it.

    But Autumn and Winter, the cold and the night, all that definitely actually energizes me. It’ll be late at night and forty degrees outside, and I’ll have the window open and a thin sweater on, and the chill air coming up against my face and hands will have me getting more work done than I ever do at any time of day during the spring and summer.

    The only downside is that it gets too dark to photograph much earlier…

  • To those of you being filtered out…how is it we are seeing your posts saying you’re being filtered out?

    Is it length of post that’s doing it?

    If so…edit! ;^}

  • How long have you been “saving” your laundry for your Mom to do??? :) Nevermind, I don’t really want to hear the answer to that. :))

    Nothing like going home to Mom…mine has been deceased for 15 years now. Today would have been her birthday so I am fondly remembering her…and all the laundry done and meals cooked and great advice given.

    I am usually glad for the year to be over with in some respects and sad for it to be over in others. It’s always nice to begin a New Year. I hope 2008 is a wonderful year for all of us.

  • p.s. This blog has been a large part of what was great about 2007. Thanks to all!

  • All,

    Off topic but following up on Michael K’s comment…
    Is it more difficult to edit your writing or your photography…or just as hard for both?

  • I hate snow and cold.

    I grew up in Toronto and have lived in Boston for the past 12 years. Something is very wrong with this picture. But being with family is (almost) always uplifting, for a short while at least.

    Have a great holiday, David.

    Cathy- to answer your question: I find it much more difficult to edit my writing, scientific or otherwise. When I’m looking at my photographs, the good ones just seem to jump out at me, at least the ones that I think are good- maybe I’m a terrible photo editor as well… but at least I’m a happy idiot!

  • (Testing the length to see if that’s the problem with submissions getting blocked as spam):

    David and Everybody,

    Speaking of latitude, Bellingham WA is at 49 degrees North which is about the same latitude as Paris, Prague, or Kiev, which means that even when the sky is clear, which it rarely is at this time of year, there are only about 7 and 1/2 hours of daylight as we approach the solstice. Here on the Northwest Coast winters are normally dark, grey, blustery, and wet, and this year (a La Niña pattern) is even darker, wetter, and more blustery than usual. Forgive me, Martin in Poland, suffering because the sky has been grey for ‘two weeks or more’, but it has been grey skies and wind and rain, wind and rain, sometimes a little snow, then more wind and rain, since early October here, and will probably continue that way until May or June (although we sometimes get a nice partly-sunny reprieve of one week to ten days in February). So even the short ‘daylight’ hours are dark and gloomy. I don’t know how people who live even further north– in Alaska, Scotland, Norway, or Finland– put up with it, but they have my sympathy. So naturally you ask, why would anybody live here? The flip side is the glorious, paradise-like summer with clear skies, warm but not hot and never humid endless summer days, and delightful balmy summer evenings that seem to go on forever. And mountains, and forests, and sea, and islands…


  • (That last segment went through OK…???…so maybe this one will too…)

    Greetings to Rafal and Will in Korea, one of the other places close to my heart, and be sure and eat lots of ‘ttok’ during the winter season– especially ‘songpyeong’!

    In Japan, where I lived for two decades, a traditional name for December is ‘shiwasu’ or the ‘month of the running teacher’ and it was always a busy, exciting, and expectant time. Christmas was not a particularly big holiday, but the New Year festivities in Japan are a truly elaborate and spectacular series of rituals, feasts, pilgrimages, gatherings, gift-giving. Not to mention the ‘year-end cleaning’ which leaves the whole country and every household looking scrubbed and spanking-new. There are raucous ‘forget-the-last-year’ parties and ‘welcome-the-new-year’ parties, shrine visits in the millions, and ‘mochi’-(same as ‘ttok’ in Korea)-pounding parties. Although I was single and living alone for most of that time, with the few family I have on the other side of the world, I never felt lonely or homesick at that time of year. It was always a great spiritual renewal and the time of year when I felt closest to the deep animistic roots of Japanese culture.

    Christmas and New Year’s in North America for a single man with no children and no family nearby is another story. Over the years I’ve spent far more Christmases and New Years alone than I have in company or with family, and although I am used to it there is always something very lonely and depressing about this time of year for me. I feel a certain pagan affirmation by surviving through the winter solstice, but its a very low energy, introspective, and somewhat melancholic time for me. I hope that doesn’t spoil the seasonal enjoyment for the rest of you! We deal in light and shadows… and this time of year for me is more shadow than light. But a hidden blessing in this very wet part of the world is that spring comes very early- already there are pussy willows out, and by early January there will be camellias, plum blossoms, and crocuses springing up.


  • I LOVE the holiday season… Even though I didn’t have family get-togethers growing up, I still have great memories watching Christmas shows as a child. Funny when I think about it — little Korean girl sitting there in front of her 13 inch t.v. watching Full House Christmas episodes, cartoons, and A Christmas Story. Somehow I think I’ve really come to see myself as a banana! Yellow on the outside, white on the inside! *grins*

    We’re flying out to see my husband’s side of the family and I’m excited to see how my 15 month old son will react around snow for the first time. He already loves to shove sand in his mouth (doesn’t like it so much when it comes out the other end).

    I hope everyone has WONDERFUL holiday season!


  • Hi Folks,
    Just delurking momentarily… I took a peek at the typepad homepage, and it looks like this overaggressive spam filter is affecting lots of other blogs too. Fixing it is their “top priority” but a little search reveals they’ve been been having this problem for about a month ever since they “enhanced” their service. People are pissed. BTW, you guys, collectively, do awesome work. Looking forward to seeing the results of the contest. Regards, Mike

  • Sidey,

    One person need an hour of sun, the other needs all day of sun, like flower needs rain and light. I’m a person who need sun, and warm. I need it for my work…. for my mind… for my life.
    God bless all of peapole who don’t need a lighy and sun to be happy… all of who life in dark part of the eart and life without light make happy…
    I don’t care what need others, I need light… forgive me…please…
    I just need sun…

    Martin (try to be in good mood without sun)

  • Christmas is a nice break from the norm. Enforced break in routine! The same thing every year, similar rituals, time and space to chill. Plus family photos to update! in Northern Ireland…unending cups of tea.

    Have good holidays folks!

  • The holidays are all right, I guess…

    There are twelve days of Christmas, and I’m sure if you’ve somehow managed to forget that fact over the course of the year retailers from one end of this our Great Republic to the other will forcibly refresh your memory for the next few weeks. Whether you want to or not, you will hear in great detail about lords leaping and laying ladies while pipers pipe and voyeuristic geese pay five gold rings just to watch. I’ve always wondered why just about every picture of Times Square before its current incarnation as Disney World North had a goose or two in the background. There were just too many of them for this to be some sort of odd ornithological coincidence.

    But avian porn is not the subject of this screed, so let us move on before the police arrive. The subject of today’s lecture is the twelve days of Christmas and what they mean to me in five easy lessons. For the better part of the late and deeply unlamented twentieth century it was the fashion among a certain set of people to bemoan the commercialization of Christmas, that the demands of Mammon were stifling the essentially religious nature of the holiday, even to the point where that great philosopher and theologian Linus Van Pelt had to explain to Charlie Brown what Christmas was all about by quoting the Gospel according to Luke. Charlie Brown did not seem impressed by this argument, falling, as it did, between commercials for Benson & Hedges cigarettes and the new 1967 Ford Mustangs. The fact of the matter is that Christmas has always been a commercial bonanza, a state of affairs that began when the Roman Emperor Constantine decided that maybe Christianity wasn’t such a bad idea after all. Constantine came to this conclusion after he’d had a dream the night before the battle of the Milvian Bridge in which he saw a shield emblazoned with a Christian cross bearing the words IN HOC SIGNO VINCES (in this sign you shall conquer).

    After the alarm slave went off the next morning, clocks being fairly scarce in those days, Constantine put Christian crosses on his soldiers’ shields; as the enemy army outnumbered his by about four to one, Constantine figured any edge he could get was a good one; and then proceeded to march out and stomp on the competition big time. Having won the crown in a pretty convincing fashion—Constantine didn’t have to dangle Chad over a cliff or anything—the new emperor decided to return the favor God did him and make Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire. Once a faith exclusively practiced by the most rejected and despised elements of Roman society, the Christian faith became the most inclusive faith in the Mediterranean world since now everyone and their Uncle Bob had to join, everyone, that is, except Constantine himself. Unlike Marshal Feng, the twentieth century Chinese warlord who converted to Methodism and then decided that his troops needed Jesus as well, speeding the conversion process up by baptizing the assembled soldiery with water sprayed from a fire hose, Constantine chose to exempt himself from the revival, correctly figuring that if he stayed a pagan he could go on doing all the fun stuff that pagans got to do like murdering his political opponents, seizing their property, and selling their families into slavery without this sort of thing bothering his conscience all that much. If he was still a pagan, after all, who could blame him for acting like one?

    Our current holiday problem started when Constantine decided that a holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus would be just the thing to make himself look good on The O’Reilly Factor. There was, however, one small problem: no one knew when Jesus was born. The Gospels simply say that the birth occurred when Quirinius was the governor of Syria. This might have been enough information in the hands of a competent archivist to pinpoint a likely date, but competent archivists were hard to find in ancient Rome due to the Roman mob’s insatiable appetite for watching overweight, middle-aged clerical types with the wife, the 2.7 kids, the dog, and a thirty year mortgage on a house in the suburbs try to stab each other to death with quill pens in the Coliseum. Constantine, having no solid information to work with, asked the Senate and the people of Rome what they thought of July 15th as the date for Christmas. The Senate and the people of Rome, mindful of the fact that Constantine had the bad habit of feeding people who disagreed with him to lions and tigers and bears, oh my, for the edification of the people in the cheap seats, told Constantine that July 15th was a wonderful idea. Roman retailers, on the other hand, mindful of losing the 4th of July and Bastille Day sales, told him that while his idea was wonderful, it would be even more wonderful at some other time of the year. One clever gent who owned a shoe store on the Appian Way suggested, after giving the matter some thought, that the Emperor make December 25th the date for his new holiday.

    Now it was Constantine’s turn to object. At a meeting of the Imperial Chamber of Commerce, he quite rightly pointed out that December 25th was already a holiday, the feast of Invictus Sol and his brother Herschel, the inventors of the pneumatic chariot wheel, upon which the good fortune of the Roman Empire did not rely in the slightest. Then Constantine had the Pope read the relevant portions of the Gospel of Luke. The Pope stumbled through the text, His Holiness being unused to reading anything longer than an address; he had come to Rome to land a post office job in Gaul and wound up as Pope for lack of any other available employment; and after he finished reading Constantine asked the retailers how they proposed to get around the Gospel’s clearly pointing to a summer date for Christ’s birth. After all, first century Judean shepherds did not keep flocks of sheep out on barren hillsides by night in the middle of winter just on the off chance that a passing heavenly host with some free time on their hands would wander by belting out their rendition of Handel’s ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ in digitally remastered stereophonic sound. Clearly, December 25th did not meet the high burden of theological and historical proof required for such an august feast day.

    Then someone, possibly the shoemaker who first suggested the idea of the 25th, or maybe his twin brother—no one could really tell them apart—told the Emperor something that emperors, as a class, love to hear: he was emperor, therefore he could put the holiday anywhere he felt like putting it. And so he did, on the 25th day of December, the high burden of historical and theological proof bending slightly in deference to Constantine’s sudden need for campaign contributions; not everyone in the Roman Empire thought that Constantine’s being emperor was such a good idea and he needed money fast; armies, then and now, don’t come cheaply. Well, over the centuries more and more days got added to Christmas; travel was slow in those days and most people had to use oxcarts that only got twelve miles to the dry gallon of oats, despite the best efforts of the ruminant companies to meet new government mileage standards. The retailers, however, loved the ever-lengthening Christmas season and did their level best to stretch the season out even more.

    Matters came to a head in 800 A.D., when on the first day of Christmas the Pope crowned Charlemagne Holy Roman Emperor and Charlemagne discovered that he and his entourage were stuck in Rome until the end of Christmas, which occurred sometime in the middle of April. This was a major source of annoyance for Charlemagne, who wanted to go home for the holidays, and so in his third official act, the first two being an announcement that alternate side of the street parking rules were in effect and the world’s first pooper scooper law, Charlemagne decreed that Christmas would only last for twelve days. Retailers throughout Europe objected, which seems to be a theme here, saying that a twelve day Christmas season would drive them out of business; there wasn’t enough time for the scribes to pump out advertising copy in a twelve day season. Charlemagne said, tough luck, pal, in Latin and French, and doesn’t almost everything sound better in Latin and French, and then left town with the imperial crown in his luggage, as well as a couple of counterfeit Rolexes he’d bought from a Senegalese immigrant who’d set up his blanket in front of St. Peter’s Basilica.

    The retailers, of course, did not go down without a fight. They’ve been pushing the seasonal envelope ever since Charlemagne rode Out of Town for a second place finish in the fifth race at the Roman Aqueduct. This explains why today, in our modern postindustrial information society, the official Christmas season begins with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and why we still have an annoying carol about the twelve days of Christmas. The unofficial Christmas season, of course, begins near the end of August. This may be why everyone is so happy when Christmas finally arrives—it means that we won’t hear about the damn day again for at least another eight months, something for which we should all shout, Hallelujah and Happy Holidays to all and to all, a good night!

  • Dude, Akaky, are you snowed in or what?

  • I was, but I got over it.

  • I like the holidays except for one thing. 1st though, I like that things slow down, and people are taking it easy. town empty’s out, and its nice and quiet. so thats all good, but, the problem is that work slows down too and that sucks. I find myself in the same pickle every xmas season. stressing because the dilemma is that, sure I have some doll-hairs but what do I do? save it for next month, when I know I will be scrambling, or treat the season right, and buy buy buy. its a godamn nightmare. I know what I will do of course. that shit is burning a whole in my pocket, and I won’t be happy till its all gone…and then I will be looking around bewildered saying WTF.

  • I hate the winter, the short days, the cold… my back aches… but I’ve been griping enough about the winter already. So on a more positive note…

    2008! Bring it on can’t wait!… looking forward to grabbing it by the ears and shaking it around a bit. I fully intend to push myself hard… and harder. I will be focusing more on doing the work that interests me rather than paying the bills. It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day grind… so much so I was starting forget my I jumped head first into this wonderful game we play…

    We’re leaving the States, hitting the road, following our hearts, our guts and our passions… Who know what will happen… Can’t wait!!…

  • Cathy,

    Photography, much harder!

    As far as writing goes, it’s weird… but while I consider myself a pretty lousy writer I find editing fairly easy…especially the writing of others.

    I’m sure it’s because I’m a better reader than I am a writer.

  • DAVID and COMPANY! :))

    last post for a while as Marina, Dima and I are also off to my mom’s…philly and nyc and some quiet….

    so, sending you some pictures from the book of photographs I am making (and must finish by tomorrow) for my wife for christmas…too poor for gifts (little guy know in love with the expensive sport of skiing), so here is a small part of the book about home (us) giving to marina…

    yea, lazy ass, still using film….

    hugs all


  • Akaky:

    YOU F*CKING RULE OLD MAN…im tellin’ u, not Roth, but Markson, that’d be DAVID MARKSON…now, yea, i know who u are ;)))))))))))….

    that’s richer than J.K. O’Toole :)))))))))))))


  • I usually feel sad because I lost both parents very young so today, celebration is around me in the shape of my wife’s big family but it’s not the same for me….On the other side I feel very happy because I see my kids happy and excited….

    But….to be honest…what really depress me is the “locura” (madness) of buying, buyiing and buying around me…that presure of giving things…expensive things to prove I don’t know what… is not fun anymore,,,is an obligation….I simply don’t get it….

    Feliz Navidad!…I send hugs to everybody…they last a lot more and they are completely free!

  • Akaky,

    My Man, My Man, My Man!


  • I love the dark and cold desember, thats an intresting thing about the north, the differnece between winter, spring summer and autumn.
    I would thank this blog and wish you all a happy christmas.

  • And did you get what
    you wanted from this life, even so?
    I did.
    And what did you want?
    To call myself beloved, to feel myself
    beloved on the earth.

    – Raymond Carver


    @akaky..ur it.

  • Today is my 30th birthday so I don’t know if I’m uplifted or depressed. I’m now definitely never going to be a formula 1 racing driver, but on the other hand I still have all my own teeth. I love snow and cold though, last winter I was in the tropics and it was all wrong. Happy christmas David, thanks for the blog, A

  • Every year is different for me. Last year, dealing with a very difficult breakup, I was crazed, depressed, unable to focus, having to “fake” holiday cheer for the sake of family. Friends, however, helped me through.

    This year, with a number of fun projects and good prospects for the future, I’m sailing along merrily, but then again I’m not paying much attention to the holidays.

    I think a lot of whether you are happy or sad during the holidays depends on the status of your relationships. Something about all that coming together can make you warm and fuzzy if you have great family, great community, a great partner…It can make you crazed if your relationships are strained or fraught with pain and long-standing issues…or, if you are alone in your life, it will make you downright depressed, mainly because there is NOTHING to do on Christmas if you are alone because everybody else is with their family. That’s a lonely feeling…been there…

    Like others have said, I think I like the season more than the holiday. The air gets crisp and fresh, and where I live we get the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets around this time of year.

    This year may be bittersweet for my family because my grandmother is not well. She is a trooper, though, and may just live forever. At least that’s what I’ve always thought…

    Merry Christmas all–don’t forget your cameras–take photos of the people you love:)

    David, have fun in CO. Hope you get some good snow.

  • ALL….

    well, it is snowing here now and looks just like you might imagine colorado looking at Christmas…the perfect Christmas card…

    i just had morning coffee with my mother and am over at my sister pat’s house to say goodbye to her for a few days…she and her family are traveling up to utah before Christmas..

    anyway, i am trying to make another decision….should i or should i not publish the name of the stipend winner and list the photographers who will have featured essays on or before Christmas…if i do that, it will be names only and no pictures..i want the pictures to be large and on the new website which should be up and running by january 1…

    let me know what you think…..should i or shoudm’t i “leak” the names this week???

    in the meantime, i will drop into your work and do short critiques as much as i can…i have done this with some of you already…

    one thing that may surprise many of you, is that the bulk of the uploads are from photogs you do not know…most of our community here is actually invisible…we have a lot of writers, but we have so many photographers who never write…

    ok, please give me your opinions…it is always nice to know what is on your mind!!!!

  • You should at least show a few pictures from whoever wins, it would seem strange to me otherwise.

  • David

    My own personal view, for what it’s worth, is wait until you can show pictures along with the names…whenever that may be. The pictures are what this is about for most of us, I think.

    Enjoy your postcard Christmas in Colorado!


  • David,

    I don’t see an issue with any of the options you propose. Am I too easy?

    I was wondering however whether you’ve been looking at the pictures online or whether you’ve had a contact sheet or a small print at your discretion?

  • David,

    Tempting as it is to say — Go on, the names, now! — on balance I think you should stick with your original intention: an announcement when pictures are available.

    I know people are eager to know, but delaying an announcement until pix are available means that everyone — including those to whom this opportunity may genuinely be of the utmost, ball-breaking importance, means that everyone can enjoy Xmas in peace, their hopes still intact….

    That’s just my view, of course — but I believe you had a resolution to stay away from the computer…!!


  • Hey David, where’s our snowy Colorado picture?



  • hallo david,
    i’m one of those invisible-never-writers-always-readers. i also sent you my essay and as everybody else i cant wait to see the PICTURES. so i think you should name and show the pictures of the “winner” and others by january 1 !!!

  • I used to enter a state of remorse every year about this time. Why did I not accomplish x,y, and z. I finally stopped this: realizing life is on-going process. I feel I can no longer gauge the progress of my life by the calendar. We Americans (especially those of us in northern climates) really tend to compartmentalize our lives into about a six month window by which things happen. Spring and summer we get things done. Winter is for hibrenation.

    I have started instead to realize that each day is new. I reject that we must wait until each January 1 to start over. Oh, I also really hate winter.

    well… this is the time of the year when I have chance to travel… so I’ll go out to take pictures in two places here in my country…
    about publishing the name of the winner now… I buy your last proposition… and wait to January to know the name…
    but regarding the short critiques… it would be good if you can give me some feedback of my sent work (or even if you can take a look of my website… short look at least… it would be better)
    it will be very helpful to have some advice in mind before going to shoot…
    that could be a good Christmas gift! ;^)))

    un abrazo y Feliz Navidad a todos!!!

  • I’d say wait. Ring in the new year with the winner’s name. Better not to disappoint people before Christmas. Don’t you think?

    Unless it’s me, of course.

    Just kidding.

    Hold your horses, David. That’d be my suggestion.

    Best to you and yours.

  • Hello All

    Merry Christmas
    Happy Holidays in worm of people you love, and Happy New Year plenty of achievements, assignments, grants, awards, travels, adventures, new projects, new ways, new ideas, new friendships…
    health and love for all.

    Martin (running)


    Thanks for e-card!!! Wesołych Świąt!

  • I like the wait…kind of a New Year surprise for people to look forward to.

    This way we can simply focus on the Holidays and the visiting and the eating and the drinking and the being merry!

    Have fun! And as the immortal Frank Zappa once said: Don’t eat the yellow snow!

  • David: I am guilty of not providing the meta data ie. info with my photographic essay that i made in tijuana;mexico. Is there an e-mail
    address that i can send the proper information to or is it now to late in the game ?

    Regarding the announcement for the Winner. I think that it’s best to wait and then we can all view the photos as well. The anticipation is half the fun. Go be with your family and put the computer in the cupboard or lock it in the safe..

  • As for feeling low about the new year, remember that all January 1 marks is the passage of the earth through an arbitrary point in space and not everyone celebrates or has celebrated the new year in the same way or even on the same date. For the ancient Egyptians, New Year’s came in June, for the Celts on October 31, for the Romans in March, Jews in September, Chinese in February, and before the move to January 1st, March 25 was new year’s day in many European countries. Very few businesses begin their fiscal years on the first day of the calendar year either, so why should you be stuck with starting the year in the dead of winter? Pick the day of your choice and use that as the start of your own personal new year. In all dealing with the IRS, however, you might want to stick with the Gregorian calendar; those guys dont strike me as the type who’ll understand your personal need for a year of your very own-they want you to pay now.

  • Akay, midwinter sounds like a good time to party to me! Besides, whatever your philosophy, Hogmanay is’nt going away any time soon!

    I’m cool with seeing both names and pictures on the 1st. I want to see what people did to earn their stripes.

    Its not like there is nothing happening between now and then?

    I hope the winner has the decency to do their lap of victory on this blog (or somewhere) and tell us of their thoughts.

    Must hop! My camera is calling… Gran just fell asleep.

  • David: “the bulk of the uploads are from photogs you do not know…most of our community here is actually invisible…”

    Cathy: This makes me wonder about the definition of “community…”

    If we are to consider all who participated in the assignment as part of the “assignment community” or the “photographic community” as a whole then I understand what you are saying…You were looking for the best work you could find and it sounds like a wonderful thing, that you did indeed receive great work. Mission accomplished and I should say no more for fear of sounding unhappy with the outcome which believe me, I am not…I am as excited as anyone to “discover” these photographers and their work (in fact I used to work in the Entertainment Industry “discovering” comedians and other talent so the concept of finding new photographic talent is near and dear to my heart.)

    HOWEVER :))) there is another way to look at this…
    If I may be so bold as to mention…could it be possible that many of the uploads are not from members of the DAH blog “community” but rather photographers who heard about a stipend and just “dropped in” to upload their work? I’m not saying this is a bad thing but I’m just saying….

    Maybe it’s just a matter of semantics…any thoughts?

  • Hey Cathy…

    I’m afraid that was bound to happen. Word gets around and, well everyone and their mother quickly finds their way into this “community.”

    On the other hand, I believe David has said he will do his best to at least comment on, critique, make recommendations for his “original” crew…which is really what I would hope for.

    There is nothing as valuable as a thorough going over by the likes of David Alan Harvey. The 5 grand is nothing compared to it. That is my biggest hope regarding all of this!

  • Quick clarification!

    The above was not to suggest that the 5 grand is nothing! It is generous, wonderful and will probably be very helpful to whomever wins it. It’s just a different kind of helpful.

    Hope that was clear.


  • if you tell all now, you satisfy our instant cravings, and I am all for that, but if you wait maybe it makes more impact to review the work with the announcement. tough calls at your door step yet again.

  • Michael,

    Yes, I agree and I think we’ve all discussed the stipend and its repercussions ad nauseum.. It is what it is and as I said I have no problem with any of it.

    My comment was only questioning the concept of “community” put forth by David…and wondering if in fact there may be two communities…the blog community and those who participated in the assignment and that the “assignment community” may not necessarily be lurking silently on the blog in any regular fashion.

  • Yes you were clear Michael!

    Leave it to my husband to get me into trouble here! He got all worked up when I read him David’s comment about all the “invisible community members” who submitted work and inspired me to say something.

    Spouses are good for that :)))

  • how many photogs post up here in a regular way? 50-60 max.
    I dont think we should be surprised, after hearing that there were 250 submissions, that a majority are names that are unfamiliar. but to those unfamiliars who submitted I ask “speak up”

  • ps, kind of wish there was no doll-hair incentive. just because it screws me up to think that its just about the money.

  • I think that even for those of us who may not win, we all win in the end for having taken part. This is a new frontier in project development and community partnership and our man Harvey is a true pioneer.

    Your reward will be great in heaven Mr. Harvey. And I’m a bloody atheist.

  • For me the money was a motivator, I have to say. However, I was beginning to diversify on my project around the time that David challenged us. Ultimately, for me at least, it was the opportunity for a Magnum photographer to see my work. A photographer whom I once upon a time met and whose work I admire substantially. It was an opportunity for me to test my personal discipline which was something I was beginning to doubt somewhat. So, as far as I’m concerned I’ve already gotten a lot from this experience having produced a body of work that I’m extremely happy with. I surprised myself with some of the images that manifested themselves as I worked on this. And I will continue to work my subject.

    How many of you will continue on the project you shot for this? Were you already working on it before “The Pioneer” came along?

    Simply put, it was the caliber of the man himself and his work and the fact that he would be observing my work that was my ultimate motivation. I’m sure it was the same for most of us. Certainly those of us that frequent this blog and contribute.

  • Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all (lurkers and writers)

    Do as you wish. Having some comments from you or other photographers whith long experience is always good, whenever the time.

    Personally I’d love to see at the end some photos from everyone and a short comment by you regarding the entire work submited by each one. I don’t know if this is too much work for you, but I think like this I personally could have a larger view of what was submitted and learn how to improve from everybody’s work and comments.

    My two cents…

  • Hi Cathy,

    I agree, but wouldn’t you also guess there are others, like me, who didn’t submit even though they were here long before the announcement? Paul and Michael are spot on…its a free education from a very talented photographer, who most of us found because we have admired his work for so long that we periodically search him out to see what he’s up to, no? But now you, and several others, are part of the faculty! Everybody is learning (and teaching) and I am so amazed at some of the intellectual talent displayed from some of the entries here. As this crew knows, most photography/art blogs (damn I hate the sound of the word blog) seem to be overly technical or, well, Bob Blackless. I mean reading one post from Sidney alone will send you to the dictionary, world atlas, language thesaurus, local library, and various research oriented websites.

    Anyway, although I rarely find the time to contribute, and I’ve never felt compelled to anywhere else…I feel like I know most of the “community” by their written personalities. And I bet the ones who were here only for the contest rarely read any of the talented people, like you, who contribute here anyway. You all are great!

    Happy Holidays,


  • Dylan,

    Nice to hear from you :))

    You are right about what has drawn most of us to this blog…there were other good conversations about that back when David announced the “assignment.” Absolutely there must be many, many members of the active blog community like yourself who are “quieter.” I didn’t mean to imply otherwise.

    As far as assignment participants who were attracted here because of the stipend…or had some other reason for submitting work but are not interested in reading or writing about it…the funny thing is that even if they never read the blog they will soon become “active participants” because we will be seeing and discussing their work. So this will be their contribution.

    Good take on the various personalities and how we are all learning from each other.

    Let’s not forget Akaky in any discussion of “personalities” :))

    Happy Holidays to you too.

  • Paul,
    Like you, it was the opportunity to have my work viewed by David that was the motivator for me. I began an essay, that I had been contemplating for some time,especially for the project and yes, I am continuing with it. Initially I would have rather have been able to send some “portfolio” photographs instead of beginning-of-new-essay work that may-well be superseded as time goes by. But of course that was the whole point of the Project – to move us all forward, with a deadline and new challenges such as metadata and FTP. Anyone who has entered has already learned new skills and has therefore already won.
    So congratulations to all.


  • Cathy,

    I’m all for a Darwinian community, where the people who produce the most compelling photographs and/or writings are featured prominently. That is much more interesting to me than making distinctions between groups based on precedent or other seemingly arbitrary criteria.

    Speaking of which, has anyone seen the latest Am. Photo Images of the Year winners? It’s as if they held a battle of the bands, and the winners included the Stones, U2 and The Who! Boring!

    What David is doing here is bound to be much more interesting!

  • Wishing everyone a peaceful and safe and maybe even playful and joyful holiday..

    I’m all for waiting to hear; there is so much going on anyway over the next couple of weeks, and it would be great if we were all tuned in to hear the announcement, gathered ’round the radio as it were.

  • American Photo is a dreadful magazine. Utterly bland and uneventful, in my view. Same old shit time and again. It’s such a pity. Drivel entirely. It could be so, so much better. It takes the easy route. I wish it were braver. I wish they would push the envelope a bit more.

    What would I do if I were at helm? I have no idea.

  • Asher,

    I was planning to PM you today and let you know I JUST came across your response to my McCurry comment in my bulk mail. Thanks for that.

    Now to try and clarify the latest misunderstanding… :)
    As far as “making distinctions between groups based on precedent or other seemingly arbitrary criteria”

    I hope you don’t think I was trying to divide the group into two or suggest that the writers who are most active on the blog should be praised for their photography even if “silent” participants have better work…that is not at all the case. Or am I misunderstanding you?

    I was only discussing David’s comment that most of “our community” is invisible… based on the fact that all kinds of submissions came in for his assignment from people we’ve never seen on the blog and wondering if in fact these 200 or so are really frequent readers of the blog or just photographers who submitted work for the assignment/stipend. Either way it doesn’t diminish their work or make them less worthy of the stipend…just wondering how they fit into the “community” apart from the assignment, if we never see or hear from them again.

    Bottom line, I’m wondering who “the community” is…People who are readers and/or writers of the blog, all photographers, mankind??? It was meant as more of a question than an answer…and there have been some good responses.

    I’ve reposted this several times in various ways to make sure it’s not misinterpreted..Not sure how else I can say it…does it make sense?

  • @CATHY,

    And happy holidays to you as well, ma’am, but I do not have a personality. I am a civil servant, a profession where having a personality is a trait actively discouraged by one’s superiors, lest it make the other drones unhappy. All in all, I’m just another brick in the wall…

  • Brick,

    Whatever you say, just don’t call me Ma’am! :))

  • Makes sense all right.

    I think we should all encourage participation here. Let’s not allow language barriers to get in the way. If you are not entirely confident with your English skills, don’t worry about it. Post anyway. If for no other reason than comaraderie.

  • Cathy, I think we have crossed lines of communication (again!)! I was just adding my thoughts in response to your post that you ended with “any thoughts”… so, well, there are my thoughts. I apologize if my comments seemed in any way critical of you. That was not my intention.

    My point was simply that I personally prefer a more passive view towards the ever-changing makeup of this community, and I have more interest in seeing work that literally evolves from “survival of the fittest”. But, your mileage may vary.

    I suppose my perception of “debate” is a bit stilted from spending too much time in a competitive academic environment… my apologies.

    Your curiosity is an asset!

  • Asher,

    No need to apologize. Your comments are always appreciated and yes, I absolutely did ask for your thoughts. If anything I am very sensitive about not wanting to offend anyone and fear being misunderstood…too many times writing has led to interpretations that words would have made much clearer…but this being a blog…I try as best I can. :)

    Otherwise, as usual I agree with you. BTW, I noticed we even had the same choices in the “camera” contest (not that it did us any good :)

    I will refrain from allowing my husband to get me riled up about any future blog comments!

  • Last clarification,

    “too many times writing has led to interpretations that words would have made much clearer”

    I meant to say WORDS SPOKEN…

  • David – I would wait. Enjoy your Christmas. Warm wishes and Feliz Navidad from Texas.

  • In answer to David’s question, though I can see good reasons for the alternative, I would say it’s better to see the pictures with the names…the work and the images are the whole point, we can definitely wait!

    As for the other call for submissions from us hidden blog readers, I’ve only posted a couple times, but I’ve been reading since the day this thing started. I suppose I’ve always been a listener. I am an active participant, maybe just a little shy, but I have always listened first. The internet lets some people speak out, type things they might not say out loud. It has kind of the opposite effect on me. I feel even more shy posting things. I could run on about the psychology behind that, but don’t worry, I won’t!

    I do still come here, nearly daily, for the positive energy, the insight, the beautiful words, the support, new ideas, and to feel a part of the community. Which is indeed odd, since if I don’t post, no one knows I’m here….if a tree falls in the woods, or an anna reads a blog and doesn’t post, then….

    but as for the submissions, I did indeed submit. The project time period was a strange few months for me, and I put together a project very different from my normal documentaries. I suppose this one is much more esoteric…I was trying to hash out an emotion I felt towards a friend going through a very rough time. Aside from having my work looked at by very intelligent eyes, I wondered if I succeeded, if the feeling would make any sense to someone else. I am usually much more direct, issue oriented. But I decided this would be a good place to try on some new shoes.

    I really look forward to seeing the finished virtual gallery with everyone elses work!!

  • I find these times really odd. It´s when I return home once a year to spend christmas with my mother and I usually get the visit of the three ghosts a la Dickens. I´ve already met the ghost from the past (a big mistake from eleven years ago that I had to acknowledge, actually, that was really nice) and the present. Now, getting closer to new year the hardest one… of what goes next or what I should be doing is around the corner. Bloody hell, there´s no way to fool Dickens.


    Well,,,only to say to every body hello, and Marry Cristmas to all here… I think thats is better wait until you anonce the photos, in januar… but.. I would like that you tell me some thing about my work… I hope that you can find me and remember my work.
    muchos saludos espero disfrutes tu familia,
    muchos saludos..

  • TO ALL
    as i will be away on vacation with my family for about a week or so, i wish you all in advance a MERRY CHRISTMAS and a very HAPPY NEW YEAR 2008.

    will wait till 1st. want to see the photos though…dying to see, in fact :)


  • Happy days one and all. Hugs.

  • I hope I did it right with the link, an arresting sight driving around San Francisco, and as good a way to say:

    MERRY CHRISTMAS to “DAH Man” and all on the RT blog!

  • CATHY…

    rushing through the comments and have not read them all..yours caught my eye as yours usually do!!! there is a very viable community here, that has always been here, of people who choose not to write….

    i get many private emails from folks who just do not want to go “public” or who are just shy…i also meet many people in person tell me they are regular readers, but never comment…certainly these silent readers are just as much a part of the community as are those who choose to be more vociferous…

    of course, it is the “writers” who keep a forum like this alive…if nobody ever wrote , then we would have no sense of community….but, you will soon see, that many choose to express themselves very well as photographers and have never written a word on this forum…but, i can tell they have been reading all along….this will only add fodder for the writers….and the visuals will, in my view, build our community… the end, we are a community of photographers!!!

    cheers, david

  • Well…I think it can be asked then…what kind of community is it that doesn’t partake?

    The more “vociferous” folks have, for good or for ill, made this place. Were it not for the writers, the people who give, the people who put it out there, the folks willing to embarrass themselves with questions, the photographers who consistently asked if you’d be willing to do some sort of online portfolio or images review…these people created the atmosphere that made it possible for you to offer that stipend, I think.

    This is not to say that the lurkers are not entitled, that they are not worthy…they certainly are, in my view. But after re-reading Cathy’s posts and your response…these questions just began to buzz around in my head. I don’t think it should necessarily change anything, but I don’t know…food for thought maybe.

    David you’ve really done a great thing here and it is clearly appreciated by all. It’s going to be an interesting unveiling come January I suspect.

    Good luck and thanks again to all who’ve made this place what it is!

    Happy New Year!

  • Michael- you ask “what kind of community is it that doesn’t partake?” , but it appears that there are many as yet invisible members of this community who have in fact taken part, choosing to communicate solely via photography, the ribbon that binds us all together. I share your eagerness to see what they have to say in their photographs.

  • With regard to the previous “Biz Meeting” post by David, has anyone seen the “Right Brain – Left Brain” article by Beverly Spicer in the November issue of the Digital Journalist? Very interesting, see the Columns archive and choose Beverley Spicer. Which way does the dancer spin for you?



  • David; thank you for your generosity in starting off this blog, which is a tremendous learning experience for us all.

    And to everyone else; those who actively participate, others like myself who occasionally post, and those who are happy to read and learn, thank you for your input.

    David and everyone; Have a happy and safe Xmas. Take care.

  • mr.rawcliffe: i love your work; beautiful !!

  • Thanks Robert, I reciprocate the compliment with regard to your site too. It’s good to be able to visit other sites within the Community. You seem to be well-travelled, I love to travel and hope to visit several places in the new year.

    Your site has many good links: I’d not thought of that!

    Best wishes for Christmas and New Year,


  • Merry Christmas to you all!

    Glædelig Jul – Frohe Weinhachten – Juullimi pilluaritsi – Joyeux Noël


    your point is well taken….i can only say that i think that some of the so called “lurkers” are going to leap ahead very quickly with the photographs that they have produced for our forum…our future funding for the grants that i intend to give to many more photographers next year than the one i can give now, will depend on both the quality of the writing AND obviously the quality of the photography produced…the total package will sing i believe…so far, we have created this whole forum mostly with writing and with the majority of the visuals coming from students in my workshops…

    let us all hold our judgement on the “lurkers”…..i think you have certainly done your part michael to keep this community going strong….when you see all of the picture choices, you will have even more to write about than ever before!!!

    peace, david


    I agree with what you say, in part…

    I must say though, while you speak of the forum that exists here, for a long time it was just a blog for me.

    I cannot remember when I first started reading the blog, but it was certainly not from the start… I had quite a bit of catching up to do, I remember, and initially lost track reading “backwards” in time…

    Only occasionally would I dip into the comments to see the answers to some of David’s questions… and even then, it was quite a while before I started to comment myself; one thing that made me comfortable with commenting was the sense of community, the rapport between David and regular readers and posters, and indeed those that had attended his workshops…

    I now see it as a forum as much as I do David’s blog, but I think many of his readers are just that: “his readers”, that connect with the blog and may be lurkers in the context of the “forum”, but certainly do not see themselves as that… this from one who was certainly a lurker for a long time. ;-)


  • David, Asher, and Liam…(and others)

    Thank you for your thoughts. And for taking my comments in the proper spirit! I believe we are on the same page ultimately. For the good of the DAH community we are all contributing in different–not better, not worse, just different ways.

    David, I have no doubt the members who have been more shy are producing work that is outstanding. As I said above, I would never suggest they are not worthy. I am interested in learning from them as well…all of us can and do have much to teach, and learn.

    Also, when you say I will have more to write about when the “lurkers” show their work, that’s great…but to be honest I’d be happy to write less in the future now that your blog seems to have taken on a life of its own. It’s on cruise control now…it seems.

    I’d love to do nothing but shoot and submit for critique; shoot and submit, shoot and submit, have a beer with you and chat, learn, meet a few members here and there and compare notes, learn more, maybe even help…and ultimately, who knows…”live the dream!”

    In the end writing is not something I’m terribly comfortable with anyway. I’m simply trying to stay in touch with, and in that very small way contribute to, the DAH experience!

    Cheers to all!


    a big p.s. to the whole matter of “contributing”….i just realized that most of the readers who write to me in private do so because english is not their first language and some are just shy to write in english…i am sure this accounts for most of the “non-writers” here…

    cheers, david

  • i can only say that i think that some of the so called “lurkers” are going to leap ahead

    Why not, there is hardly any relation between being active with contributions on a blog and the quality of imagery one can achieve with a camera.
    Except that I can see that if photography was to be less of a hobby, but an activity involving me beyond shooting when I can and want, the blog would be less of a daily focus activity. Different levels of intensity in certain endeavours affect others.

  • To Mr. Harvey and everyone here, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year. I really mean that, even if, as the Christmas season goes on and on and on, and on…you get my point, I’m sure, I am starting to believe that Ebeneezer Scrooge was a deepy misunderstood man.

  • Best of Holiday wishes to all—Michigan is definitely having a white Christmas!

    Merry Christmas,
    David M

  • @Michael K.

    My deepest thanks to you for taking on the plight of the vociferous! Or since we are writing rather than talking would it be called having a “big hand?” :)

    In the case of my comments above, as far as I can recall this is the first time I have been “outspoken” here on the blog… (but then again my memory is limited) I wasn’t intending to be critical in any way…just responding here publicly to my husband’s private comment that it was not at all “surprising” that most of the assignment submissions came from people who we weren’t familiar with on the blog. I could say more at this point but will keep my hand closed. :))

    Anyhow, I’m not looking to rehash any point of view but just to let you know that I totally can appreciate where you are coming from regarding wanting to post less and “shoot and submit” more…I am hoping to be less visible here “for good or ill” in the days to come!

  • Warm & peaceful holidays to you, Cathy.


  • just going back to the editing process, I was at a blog called, a photo editor. he/she is an annonymous national magazine editor. they said when editing a story they basically go on the strength of the shots and the read the story after. although they probably already know the story to a certain degree, I thought this was an interesting approach. wonder if david has a simmilar approach.
    How important is it to know the story before editing?
    I think its tough to edit your own work, one gets attached to an image for various reasons, but how to find images that have universal appeal is beyond my comprehension.
    what are we looking for in an edit?
    a formula of shots? the good, the bad, the ugly, the obscure, the juxtapose, the emotional, the time? all of the above?
    how do you decide whats a good shot?
    is that instict, a shot that reminds you of something or shocks you, as cathy was mentioning previously. are papparazi good photographers, they get scrutinized and a bad rap, but we all look and talk about their pics.
    I remember at school one of the great teachers there was Prof S Santabinez, he was always really honest, esp at class critique. he had a bad reputation for being a little to blunt w/ his assesment. but it was real, you knew where you stood. if he liked the image it was the same kind of intensity. point is that the discussion was open, although at times painfull, you knew your bearings or position relative to things, it was helpfull.
    just a thought, but what if we put it to the whole group to decide the edit, and awardee of giant bundle of doll-hairs.
    by vote.
    that would extremly transparent and also inclusive. democratic.

  • CATHY…

    you are still interpreting it wrong!!! or rather, your husband is not exactly right…remember, now the stipend offer came AFTER most of the uploads were already in….i watched how it went…very few new people came in after the stipend offer….and, as i said, most of the non-writers are non-english speakers or are very uncomfortable writing in english…

    my worst fear is that after someone receives the stipend, that negative floodgates will open…if this does not happen, then i will continue raising funds for worthy photographers….if paranoia and neg vibes come in after all of this effort, then i will stop the forum immediately….

    in the meantime, i am going to assume the best…and i wish you and your husband and family a terrific holiday ….


  • Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays

    FWIW – The assignment peaked with my submission. David, You made me do things I enjoyed. Thank You.

  • DAVID,

    WOW!!! I am HORRIFIED and so sorry that anything I have written here could cause you such distress that you would make the leap in your mind to even consider ending the blog. I sincerely hope your fear of “paranoia and neg vibes” has nothing to do with me but I seriously have to wonder since you wrote it in a comment directed to me.

    Please re-read my last comment to Michael to make sure you are not misunderstanding. I received your comment and that was the end of it. Story over. In writing to Michael I was referring back to the chain of events previous to your last comment to me with NO additional interpretation. The part about my husband was only to explain what initiated my ORIGINAL comment…not to make any NEW comment, so I do not understand your getting upset that I am “STILL” not getting it. I GOT IT, believe me, I GOT IT!

    What I also get loud and clear is that much misunderstanding and confusion come from “spirited dialog” here. This is not my M.O. and I am very uncomfortable with what has transpired.

    I have been extremely positive in all my many postings since the inception of this blog. The comment on this thread was also not written to be “negative” in any way… I made sure to go back and re-comment several times to make sure no one was offended but it seems as though I offended you, or at the very least poked at an area that you are very sensitive about. Again, please accept my sincere apologies.

    Even before your last comment I told Michael that joining the ranks of the “quiet” seems like the way to go for me. The Observer was a nickname given to me long before I became serious about photography. Observing and reading what others have to say and keeping out of the line of fire seems like a better way to go than being one of (as Michael so well put it)

    “the people who put it out there, the folks willing to embarrass themselves with questions”

    There doesn’t seem to be anything gained by it.

    Happy Holidays David and All.

  • Herve: “Why not, there is hardly any relation between being active with contributions on a blog and the quality of imagery one can achieve with a camera. ”

    I´d add that the more time you spend commenting stuff online the less time you spend shooting (and I´m guilty to start with!). Merry christmas to all.

  • sorry David
    love your blog, I like the vibes here. its good positive stuff.
    just folding thoughts around in my head.

    seasons greetings to all

  • People should just relax…you guys are ruining a great thing. Remember, this is only the BEGINNING!

  • No, no…Rafal. Nobody’s ruining anything. This is just discussion. Nothing bad here. Birthing pains if you will.


  • Birthing pains…

    Being born on Christmas Day. My Mother says I ruined her Christmas dinner.

    On top of that, I was the middle child and left handed. Try looking through a camera with your left eye, focusing is not a
    problem but your nose gets in the way.

    Growing up my Grandmother thought it was funny to give me gifts that came in pairs, like a pair of socks. She would explain, “the left sock is for your Birthday and the right one is for Christmas”, bring down the house in laughter. Gloves were a better gift, I always knew which one was for which occasion.

    To this day someone will ask me if I felt cheated at Christmas time as a child, NO! Just loved by a great family.

    As tradition his Christmas Day, my 53 Birthday, I will receive a pair of socks for someone, don’t know who, it’s always someone
    different with my Grandmother’s joke to follow.

    I was really amused by the “Lurkers and Writers” thing. Very funny!

    Happy Christmas to all…

  • Ha!

    Well signed Lurker137…


    I am pleased to hear the stipend did not open the floodgates; should set many here at ease… I am a shameless procrastinator, and I think I was about to upload at the 11th hour when the extension came through… a blessing of time, rather than potential financial reward. As it was, it also allowed me the gap to approach the shoot differently, even though my tardiness lost me the opportunity to upload more images.

    Also, I think someone mentioned something about 250 photographers being attracted by the money, given that it was a large number? I find it very had to imagine that there are not at least 250 readers for every post, given the amount of comments… and your mentioning those that are shy to write makes perfect sense to someone who comes from a country of 11 official languages (and shudders to write in one that he actually speaks to his family, namely Afrikaans!)

    In any case, I doubt that there will be negative floodgates opening after the stipend is announced; there seems to be a consensus amongst many here that feedback is really what they are looking for, as well as a chance to see a variety of your top selections (and even then, more for the purpose of education than excelling).

    Anyway, I am off to my own family gathering… Merry Christmas all… Geseende Kerfees en ‘n voospoedige nuwe jaar!


  • David & all fellow readers…

    blessin’s to you and your family in this festive season. Have a wonderfull day surrounded by love & joy…

    ’bout all the “negative” stuff; we all learned more during this year from a respected professional Magnum photographer to whom we would never have had access to if it wasn’t for David’s generosity of spirit and enduring patience with us…and that’s the beauty of this forum; whosoever (don’t think that’s a word but I happen to live in the same country as Liam — 11 languages & isicamtho (tsotsitaal) –) receives the award and those that get published; whether regulars or not, certainly produced something worthy in a couple of months…and I, for one, really look forward to the criticism and review of the work (when published) in order to learn more..


  • David & all fellow readers…

    blessin’s to you and your family in this festive season. Have a wonderfull day surrounded by love & joy…

    ’bout all the “negative” stuff; we all learned more during this year from a respected Magnum professional photographer to whom we would never have had access to if it wasn’t for David’s generosity of spirit and enduring patience with us…and that’s the beauty of this forum; whosoever (don’t think that’s a word but I happen to stay in the same country as Liam — 11 languages & isicamtho) receives the award and those that get published; whether regulars or not, certainly produced something worthy in a couple of months..and I, for one, really look forward to the criticism and review of the work (when published) in order to learn more..


  • wow: 5 days away…so much ;)))

    first: merry christmas all! :))))

    2nd: on the issue of community (writer/lurker):

    a community is made up of all the members of that group, those who speak and who those who do not…this is above all, a blog/community born of and brought together by a singular act: phototgrpahy!…and dah’s mad energy for sparking thought and celebration…

    I feel inspired by the living and negotiation of this blog:sometimes that’s words sometimes that by the photography…the world is packed with 1,000,000’s of photogrpahers and if david received only (ONLY) 250 submissions, that pretty indicative to me that all the submissions were from DAH Blog members, otherwise he would have received 5,000 submissions…..

    i totally cant comprehend the concerns about writers vs lurkers…i mean, who has been here since January other than Martin and and some photographs who dont even show up anymore?…i personally know 1 lurker whose work is awesome but who doesnt feel comfortable “writing” anything here….

    bring and forward and swell and celebrate all, to celebrate all….that;’s what i say…

    again: fuck the stipend, instead what could be more extraordinary that to have your pics seen by so many people, photographers/editors/friends/strangers/community…ambition is an empty thing for all of our work shall diminish and disappear, but how bouyant the moments when we have, for a brief start-dust moment, to have some small work be seen by those, like ourselves, that cherish photography…

    I say: celebrate all who’ve contributed: be they lurkers or stalkers or those, like me, who runnethatthemouth :))

    as this holiday reminds: COME ONE AND ALL!!! :))

    RUNNING, GONE for 5 more days


  • Bob,

    I fully agree. Fuck the stipend, who was in it for the money? As I said before, Im shocked ONLY 250 people submitted stuff. I expected thousands to do so.

    People are treating this as the be all and end all when it is only the beginning, a test run of what can be expected from a community of amateurs of varying ability, time and access to subjects. Its a baby step in an exciting direction, lets not spoil it by bickering abiout who is and isnt a part of this community.

  • To DAH and all his elves, as well as all the comment contributors, thank you for all you do to further the discussion and evolution of photography. We are all truly fortunate to have a forum like this to participate in. For many of us, this is an absolute oasis within both the inter and outer nets.

    I will say, as a rightfully rarely posting reader, that we should count our blessings that not everyone submits comments. Less is more, correct? (what is your saying David, about only showing your good work?) We have no deficit of discussion here. Perhaps, too, the writers can take pride in understanding that often their words actually speak for many of us, who thus refrain from posting in an effort to avoid redundancy. redundancy.

    And so enough of that jibberish.

    I look forward to seeing all the work submitted. Thanks to all who are sharing their work, and to David for being the Sharer Supreme.

    Mostly Quiet Max

  • Many of you, I am sure, know about Bilal and the ordeal he is going thru, others maybe not, on this Christmas day, my thoughts go to him and his family. I think his case should be taken up more vocally by all press and war photographers.

  • hi folks,

    i hope everyone is having a fantastic christmas. for what is worth i’d like to add my support to what bob said in his most recent post. why make an issue out of something that doesn’t matter. lets keep this thing free a cynical judgement, there’s to much of that around and i’d rather it not creep in here.

    take care everyone, enjoy christmas and the new year.


  • Hmmmm…

    No matter how eloquently or poetically it is conveyed, “fuck the stipend” seems an unhelpful reaction. (Though, I can see the emotion that drives such a comment.)

    The stipend was offered by a great man for a great cause. As I mentioned before it will most likely be a big help to whomever receives it. It is not to be dismissed as something impure.

    Unfortunately, as often happens in online forums, a big misunderstanding has transpired over a discussion about what a “community” really is. David has cleared up the confusion quite well I believe and it really shouldn’t any longer be a big deal.

    Ambition in and of itself is not to be seen as a negative. Anything, of course, taken to extremes is foolish, but it is ambition that pushes us through life. It gets us up off our asses so that we might accomplish something. Sharing with a community of like-minded folks, no matter how that is defined, certainly can often lead to good things. However, this place is different. This isn’t Flickr groups. There is something more here…and isn’t that to be cherished?

    Learn, pass on, help, assist, lead, follow, explore, inspire…be! (Maybe I’m idealistic? Sue me.) ;^}

    I am ever hopeful that the back and forth in this thread, while a tad uncomfortable for a time, has ultimately strengthened this DAH community! Nothing has been ruined, nothing should be totally dismissed. I don’t believe anyone actually thinks this is the be all and end all. It is a small and very worthy step forward for all involved. It should be embraced. David should be embraced!

    Forgive me if I’ve dragged this on too long. I leave it be for now.

    Happy New Year!


    my oh my!!! see, now we are just like a “real family”!!! with all of the kinds of discussions families have…particularly when sitting around chatting by the fire or whatever…

    since i am now with my “real family” and have promised them i will not spend too much time on the computer, i will just respond quickly to some of the comments above….

    first of all, nothing is ruined…i am in good spirit…and i sincerely hope you are in good spirit….sometimes when i must rush read and rush write, i can be a bit too abrupt…and such was the case with my last comments…please please do not think anything other than the fact that i am having great fun with this forum, totally enjoy and learn so much from your comments and am so so proud to collaborate with this community….

    perhaps, because even some of you who i have never met, i feel like i “know” you and so a certain degree of familiarity has developed…this is only a good thing…it is good that we can be frank with each other and yet still show great respect….it is totally in this spirit that i come to visit you each day….

    cheers and peace and love, david

  • Thank you so much David. I truly appreciate your taking time away from holiday festivities with the family to make this comment.

  • nicely put Micheal, and thanks David.
    I have been roaming around, looking for some decent dialogue, but i am always returning here. it just keeps rolling along.
    I have to say though, regardless of the outcome of submitting work to this forum, weather my work is given consideration or not, i have to say that the idea of the cummunity participating in this massive show of work,
    man… that is genius!
    its totally an awesome thing of inclusiveness, and community. I am really honored to be a part of this group,

  • Well done Sean and happy new year:)

    “Let us go then you and I,
    When the evening is spread out
    against the sky
    Like a patient etherised upon a table”

    T.S Elliot

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