magnificent 7

your answers have been tallied for which iconic photographers, previously listed, carry a camera during their "off hours", and which do not…now, since i did not set a deadline for this (big mistake), and since i am too lazy to figure out the international  time zones for when some knew about this contest, and since it is the holiday season , i will have to give out multiple awards…

out of 70 responses, 7 of you got it right.. and from david ukaleq b. , we know there was a mathematical probability of 70 (coincidence) possible combinations from these listed photographers (read his post and understand!!!)…in any case,   7 camera bags (my old ones), and 7 signed  copies of "Living Proof" (my new ones), will go out my door for the following responders…yes yes, that good ole’ number 7 !!!




winners are:




Salvadore Moreno



Tom Leininger


the winning combo was:

with camera….erwitt, davidson, blenkensop, koudelka

no camera…..rodero, greenfield, nachtwey, mccurry


so many of you were close…missed by one….but, two photographers threw most of you off…..most thought mccurry did (i have never seen steve with a camera "off duty") and davidson didn’t (bruce is always shooting)…some of you must have tried to figure it out by the kind of work done, which does not seem to reveal much in this context…now, i must say , this is totally based on my personal observations of these selected photographers…some disputes could arise….but, since this is all in good fun, i hope you will accept my conclusion….and for the "magnificent 7" who "won", please post an address for me to send your books and bags….


my personal mode with regard to "camera…no camera" (from a note i posted to bob black):

"i always have my camera with
me…but, i do not always photograph everything around me all the
time…like you, there are no pictures for me unless i am ready to make
them…i need to be in the mood….or moved…and no matter what i do
or how hard i try, i cannot "capture life"…i wish i could…but it
slips by anyway…frustrating….the camera does not help…but
sometimes i like to think that it will..that "recording" will somehow
preserve the moment…stop this "freight train" or slow it down…a
futile attempt …what it does do however, is allow me to savor a
situation just a bit more than i would have otherwise…because when i
am shooting, no matter how casually, i do "enter" the scene on a deeper
level than if i am just standing there with my hands in my pockets….i
notice more, feel more, become more….the resulting picture may only be
a reference… but as i sometimes go through the countless cardboard
boxes i have stacked around of un-catalogued pictures, what a joy it is
to discover some random snapshots of some "unimportant" event that just brings
a smile to my face and simply brings back a memory that i might
otherwise have forgotten…and if an old song from "yesterday" happens
to play at the same moment as  i am doing my archival rummaging,
then i feel "the power" of remembering and living as in no other way…"

63 Responses to “magnificent 7”

  • David! :)))))))))))

    You da man, no doubts ! :))))))))))))))

    7: great for them :))))…im gonna call u Santa Harvey :))): i like that idea of 1 winner turning into 7 :))))))))))…

    funny, i dont know why either, but i switched PHilip and McCurry and actually that’s cool to know McCurry puts his camera away ;)))))…

    and your note about why you carry a camera could hang about the Black Family mantle too :)))

    “…is allow me to savor a situation just a bit more than i would have otherwise…because when i am shooting, no matter how casually, i do “enter” the scene on a deeper level than if i am just standing there with my hands in my pockets..i notice more, feel more, become more…the resulting picture may only be a reference… but as i sometimes go through the countless cardboard boxes i have stacked around of un-catalogued pictures, what a joy it is to discover some random snapshots of some random event that just brings a smile to my face and simply brings back a memory that i might otherwise have forgotten…and if an old song from “yesterday” happens to play at the same moment as i am doing my archival rummaging, then i feel “the power” of remembering and living as in no other way…”–DAH

    that’s it, that’s it indeed :)))

    running :)




    Flashfirenze (fucking wicked name! :)) )


    Salvadore Moreno



    Tom Leininger




  • heeey, congrats too the winners ;-)

  • HEEEEEY! thats what I said too ! Then I say if I’m going to be part of the magnificent 7 I put dibs on being Yul Brynner!

    Erwitt – Has built a lifes work on carrying a camera everywhere!

    Koudelka – anyone who sleeps on David Hurn’s floor for months on end must be really into his pictures, hence camera.

    Davidson – I think I saw a photo of him from a magnum meeting with a camera in his hand.
    Blenkinsop – Saint Philip , the one who went before all us bastardised shooters from “the Australian” Newspaper, his antics were the stuff of legend when I was a young shooter operating out of Holt St.

    And I once saw Jim Nachtwey in a hotel without a camera !

    The rest were the ones left over! This is cool I am in the middle of putting together my world press entry and here I go winning a phototriva prize! Crossed fingers!
    Uncle Dave , something in a nice suede with some fringing would be lovely!
    The last time I won anything that meant this much to me was when I took out all 3 raffles at the Humpty Doo Hotel on skimpies night!
    I walked away with
    1 carton of beer
    1 bottle of scotch
    1 tray of T Bone steaks
    and 12 new friends.
    Glenn Campbell
    PO Box 3597
    Darwin, Northern Territory

  • What make/model of camera bag is that? It looks great!


  • BOB..

    you are a “winner” no matter what…besides amigo, you can get the same stuff by just showing up here at my place!!! and bring dima so he can get his watch!! better hurry..sometimes i get in a bad mood after Christmas…


    yea dude, i figured you for for a suede, fringy bag… i hate to give that one up though because it is a big hit when i carry it into “the pub” here in new york…good on you mate and good luck with World Press…and i like Yul Brynner too..bald is bold!!


    Dakine “station bag” (aussie, like the above winner)..40 bucks… (good for carrying expensive gear because it does not resemble a camera bag) …canvas…low key…needs a tenba 415 insert or something…no padding…

    cheers, david

  • TO ALL
    my hearty congratulations to all the winners. i am a late-comer here (discovered it very recently) but within this short time, i have become very involved mentally. it’s been great fun, this contest of david and i am happy that you guys won it.

    i can very well understand you when you say “there are no pictures for me unless i am ready to make them…i need to be in the mood….or moved…and no matter what i do or how hard i try, i cannot “capture life”…”.

    on this topic of ‘camera…no camera”, apart from the point that you have made, i would like to share my experience too on a different aapect. here in india (where i am based), i have seen that it is an important decision whether to keep my camera visible while i am out to shoot. i happen to own a camera which is somewhat big in size and i think most of the time it is disadvantageous to keep it visible when i am not actually shooting. people here are either very eager to be photographed (mostly) or they object (almost negligible percentage), but it is difficult to find a person here who is totally indifferent to camera. so i keep my camera inside my simple canvas bag (top chain opened) and first try to visulaize and frame the photo in my mind. this way people take me just as a casual passer-by. may be this is not a good approach to ‘people photography’ because things change very fast and the time it takes to bring the camera out may be the diffence between a ‘great photograph’ or ‘no photograph’, but i think this ‘framing in mind’ and ‘bringing the camera out when i am sure about the subject’ helps me somewhat in my own type of photography. people get conscious of the presence of a big-sized camera very easily (the typical question they ask: “from what TV channel you are coming?” as they almost always confuse still camera with video camera). so i don’t want them to get conscious of the camera at the first instance. i try to be in a position which is advantageous to me before bringing the camera out. spending time with them and if possible, striking a conversation surely helps a lot. i have also seen that photographers carrying small-sized equipments are mostly ignored and they are not asked any question, which i think is quite advantageous. however, in this process, i miss some, but i gain many (at least i think so). however, i had to adapt to this particular procedure of mine because of the typical situation i am in and i quite understand that it may not be acceptable to others.


    every situation and culture perhaps requires a different approach….i tend to keep my camera out all the time, feeling that if i pull it out later, then i am “surprising” my subjects too much..if it is a situation where i feel it is not quite “ready” yet for me to make photographs, then i just leave the camera hanging around my neck and do not touch it…this way they know my overall intent, but i will not actually shoot until i feel the time is right..

    now, when i did use a relatively large medium format camera on one project, i found that i actually was able to be more honest and somehow more candid by placing the camera on a tripod (very rare for me)..that way, my intent was clear and it gave the people in my field of view time to leave the scene if they did not want to be photographed…any who stayed , obviously did not mind….obviously, from my point of view, it is better to let people know that you are a serious photographer, but mean them no harm, and will not shoot unless it is the proper time…

    cheers, david

  • Bald is getting better! Uncle , make sure you put a return address in that fringed , sueded bag of tricks.
    I’m looking for a special something that won’t scream HANDBAG! when i walk into the pub.
    I’m off to hook up with the family tomorrow, anothher crazy , cross continental drive , Darwin to Emerald !
    I will be passing through your old stomping ground in Winton , want a postcard?
    Cheers Your Australian Nephew.

  • congratulations for the winners! :-)

  • glenn :)))…address sent :)))))…

    david: we’re all winners indeed :)))…sent u email, leaving on 21st for philly (which i guess means u’ll be with family out west), will be in the city probably on the 26 or 27th….but, as i said, will make a special trip down at end of jan or feb when u’ll be in nyc for longer than 24 hrs ;))))…send me a note when u have time and we’ll work out the details…incidentally, dima will turn any post-christmas blahs around, trust me: u’ll see :))



    many thanks david for your insightful reply and advice. in believe i need to reconsider my views in the light of your advice.

    many thanks david for your insightful reply and advice. in believe i need to reconsider my views in the light of your advice.

  • I am entirely miserable if I forget my camera, which is extremely rare of course. But sometimes under pressure of time and getting the youngsters into the car or whatever it may be, one can forget. I turn into a cantankerous old fucker if there’s no time for me to nip back to fetch it. I just sulk and there’s nothing I can do about it.

    Mind you, much of the time I do not use it but there’s always the possibility of magic happening and to not have the camera is just bad practice, in my book.

  • What!? No cigar for me? ;o)

    Congrats to the winners!

  • I like that bag up there but would the straps be strong enough for a Nikon kit?

  • Steve McCurry in Rennes, France:

    (Losing gracefully is not my strong point…)

  • Wow! I can’t believe it. Cool. Thanks David.

  • David – enjoy France and home time. I look forward to meeting in January!

    I don’t have your phone number or email – but if you want to send to me via email please do.

    Is there a way to send you my contact info without posting to all?

    All best,

  • Kudos to the mag7! I hope besides Glenn, the others will tell us how they got it down right.

    I definitely was convinced about Mc C and Nachtwey on the “no” side and Blinkensop (Bangkok is just happenstance city, 24/24) and Erwitt on the other. But wouldn’t have bet a finger nail (tip only) on the others.

    Keep them coming (trivias), David. Always fun to scratch our heads, eyes on the prize!

  • Woo hoo! I got six – now I wish I have copied off Tom!

  • I had 6/8. Didn’t get Rodero and Blenkensop.
    Congrats to the winners.
    How did you guys KNOW this?
    Or was it a good guess? :)

  • Congrats to the winners, enjoy the spoils!

    David, thanks for the fun.

  • J-E

    i knew there would be some dispute over this list…however, does steve taking photos at his own exhibition count?? well, maybe so…but, all i know is that i have never seen steve with a camera at many a social function and hanging out with him in general in new york for many years…he is an old and dear friend..obviously, the boy can shoot pictures!!! i just never saw him do it!!! oh wait, yes i did…check out steve’s little book of portraits…he has a picture of yours truly in it!! find and identify this picture and you too will get the same prizes..fair enough??? or, just stop by my place anytime…i gotta get rid of all these bags….

    cheers, david

  • Paul,

    A D200 (or D70 or D80!) a single 20mm lens (possibly a 17-35), an SB800, assorted batteries and cards, and hey….you’re good to go!

    A D2Xs or a D3 and a 70-200…maybe not so much! ;^}

  • Hi David.

    All this talk about photographers and cameras and to some extent, photographic philosophy…got me to thinking.

    Long before I even knew what you looked like, (hell, for that matter, long before I knew who you were!) I loved your style! I came to recognize it in the pages of NG. Started looking for it.

    Now years after all this I start to read or hear about your photographic philosophies…and was at first amazed that they coincided somewhat with mine. Things like “the camera is the least of the equation…” But I wonder now if that’s a given, that I shouldn’t have been surprised.

    Anyway –and this is for all others in here as well! –do you think they go together? If you are attracted to a particular style of photography–or I should say, a particular photographer’s style– will the photographic philosophies follow? I wonder did Cartier-Bresson’s philosophy coincide with yours? I wonder what Pinkassov’s philosophy is. I love him as well. Maybe I don’t want to know! Heh.

    OK, enough…I’m rambling.

  • Congratulations to the SEVEN winners!! That’s great!! And I’m happy as I was pretty close!! jejeje

  • one of the best commentaries on carrying a camera I’ve ever read.

  • I just ran in the door, grabbed the book and it’s got to be the Bejing portrait. Is that really you??? :)


    That’s it unless you’re in the background somewhere. Love it!!!

    It pays to be a McCurry fan. I had him sign this book the one time I met him.

  • Maybe now that you’ve brought McCurry up you could do a “friends” piece on him? He has been a great inspiration to me in the past. Now he’s even helped me to win a contest! :))

    I’d love to hear from you about his “authorship.” As I am trying to discover my own..
    His images are distinct but do you see “HIM” in them?
    What is the difference between a “great photograph” taken by someone else and a “McCurry?”

  • I feel sour… :-( Darn, darn, darn… *sigh*

  • Wellllll, I was just one off! Congrats to everyone who won! :-)

  • David, as always, thank you so much for all you do. And I’m not usually one who wins things, but I kinda thought I nailed that one. Anyway, if you don’t mind would you remove the address once you get it? You’re the best, amigo! And damn, when are you coming to Santa Barbara?

    Dylan Haley
    729 De La Vina St
    Santa Barbara, CA. 93101

    Thanks again! I sincerely hope some of us here are able to return some of the inspiration and generosity you have given us. Good on ya.


  • ALL…

    steve mccurry is on his way over to my apartment right this minute…i am having a little gathering of the Magnum tribe at my place tonight for holiday chat and wine and cold beer and…..mostly, this is my annual tribute to our hard working staff..the behind the scenes folks who make things HAPPEN in our helter skelter office…anyway,who wants to bet if steve has his camera tonight??…if he does it will only be because he has heard about the blog and wants to mess with my head!!!

    cheers, david


  • Just when I was feling like the only one here on the West coast with a Holiday party that doesn’t begin for another two hours, while all of you must be on the East Coast partying away…I see Diana, even East of me.

    David, gotta hear more about that portrait of you! How did it come about? Do you have a copy?

  • David,

    Before I go to my party (with images to share…it’s a “photo party” …

    How did I do with finding your McCurry portrait???

  • CATHY…

    nice find!! yes, that is (or was) really me!!

    cheers, david

  • David,

    I was just showing my husband that I won the “McCurry contest” and as I re-read your post offering the prize I see the comment was directed to Jonathan.

    Did you intend for this to be “open” to anyone who found the photo? Not sure if I misunderstood…but happy I found it nonetheless!

  • David/Jonathan.

    After reading all the comments about how difficult it was to be the first to give the correct answer in the camera/no camera contest I just saw your “find the portrait” comment and jumped on it without seeing the context of Jonathan’s McCurry photo and previous comment.

    MY BAD!

    David, you’ll have to come up with another contest question for Jonathan :((

  • Cathy,

    Haha.. I know how you feel. I’m waiting for our party to begin as well. I live in Hawaii. :-P 3 hours of waiting for me!


  • Congrats to the winners!
    David if you want to give bags away just do it!
    the bag freak :)

  • Hey David, Thanks!

    That’s fun! I’m at:

    51 MacDougal St., #237
    New York, NY 10012

    I can also swing by sometime though if that’s easier- I’m here in the city this weekend.

    Fun to read everyone’s interaction and feedback- what a great idea to have this contest! And so interesting to see all the perspectives on work vs. art vs. living vs. just seeing through this little box & everything we do with this tool called a camera.

    And thanks for the book and bag!! I can’t wait to check out your new work in detail.

    Best regards,

  • PS- I’m shooting a Leica M8 (are you using one of those these days?)… don’t know if one bag is more suited to that guy than another, but i’m generally just grooving on the idea of one of your bags and all the good karma and stories that baby must have in it’s thread and soul! Maybe I can add some more…


  • David, that bag looks nice… very close to what i have been looking for. Do you know the name of the manufacturer?

    Cheers, Guido

  • Congrats to the winners!!! :-))

  • Congrats to the winners!!! :-))
    Thanks for the nice idea, David!

    Greetings, Petra

  • GUIDO..

    Dakine “station bag”…about 35 dollars…discreet, nice..need to put a tenba 415 insert in there , or something padding…does not look like camera bag, so perfect for stashing expensive gear…

  • What a great christmas present!!!! I’m really happy.

    My adress:

    Salvador Moreno Rivas
    Ponce de león Nº15
    41710 Utrera (Sevilla)

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!

  • Thank you David for your quick response. I just found the bag in a German Online Shop (costs about 50 euros here) That’s for sure a nice price for the 7 winners, congratulations again.

  • I’m using quite similar bag named Galaxy Navy Bag “Heavyweight Classic Messenger Bag” for someone “Jack Bauer’s bag”.
    It’s cheep, big and not looking like photo bag at all of course.
    But it’s need to put something inside for protection. It’s pure… and very used now :)

    We had some conversations about equipment or leicas… maybe we will talking about bags? Who have biggest one? Ha ha


  • @Martin: I think i’ve got about 10 cameras + or so (mostly i only use the M6 & D200), but that’s not enough to fill all my camera bags ;-) My search for the ultimate “not-looking-like-camera-bag” camera bag has become a kind of obsession ;-) Cheers, Guido

  • Guido…

    mostly I use the m6 and d200 too…

    I use normal everyday bags always, but with protection inside… like tenba…

    but if you feel obsession… keep searching and buying :)



    i will ship all books n’ bags by december 20…

    let me know what type of bag you prefer…sport bag or more traditional camera bag….i will do my best…

    cheers, david

  • I prefer a traditional bag, a small bag better than a large bag. My english is not very good, so is difficult describe it. But I’m going to be very happy with anyone.

    Thank you again for your generosity.

    Salvador (not SalvadorE)

  • I’m very surprised to be among the winners. Traditionally, i don’t have very good ‘luck.’

    I looked at each photographer’s website, except for the fotogs with whom i was already very familiar. Then, i ‘guessed,’ based on the types of images i’ve seen from them, and the type of gear i thought they used.

    Thanks, David, for the contest. My bag preference? Whatever looks least like a camera bag, i suppose.

    Derek Stanton
    155 E 34th St / 18L
    NYC, NY 10016

  • David, thanks! The smaller, more tattered and worn, the better. I too subscribe to the “one camera, one lens, one film” philosophy…and I don’t like to draw attention to myself, which is hard because of my rugged good-looks (just kidding.)

    I previously posted my address above, and thank you again for being so generous. You are a gift to many and I hope to be able give something back to you one day.


  • Hey, David!

    Same as Dylan, one camera, one lens… I’m more traditional versus sports… But beggars can’t be choosers, now can we??

    Thanks again! This contest was a fun idea. Looking forward to adding some more good karma to the bag (do bags carry karma?), and maybe raising a cold one sometime!


  • Fantastic!!!

    I can’t believe my lucky guesses, though I guess they were somewhat educated guesses since I know their work!

    Daniel Nidel
    200 West 18th Street
    New York, NY 10011

    I, like probably everyone here, prefer a smaller bag that doesn’t look like a camera bag. But I will be very happy with whatever you’ve got!

    Thanks David!!!

  • Hey David,

    I’m fine with one that looks like a camera bag, since no one seems to want those :)

    Not sure if any of yours look like camera bags, but if that makes it any easier…


  • magnificent 7

    Bookmarked your post over at Blog!

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