on a roll..

we are on a roll…a rockin’ kick ass roll…..i know that times have changed when i leave the buzz of one of my own parties and sit down at my desktop to write to you…but, i just can’t help myself….

i have been looking at your work…you know, all the work you guys so faithfully uploaded BEFORE you even knew i had made the crazy wild decision to drop in some funding to support your efforts….let me tell you, we are on to something….for the longest time i was afraid to look at your work…afraid that i had created a rube….afraid that it just was not going to work out…the way i usually feel when i start a workshop class…some of you know what i mean..

but WE did it!!!  this is just going to go down good….4 months of work from 250 of you….not all of it good….most of you have no idea how to edit…but, i do not care…for what i saw made me feel as good about something as i have ever felt about anything…whatever happens after this makes no difference…we did something….something creative..something new…and new way of building an audience that turns around and creates it’s own online magazine…or book …or exhibit…or none of the above…or whatever…probably a "one shot deal", but we still DID something unique…tomorrow i am supposed to announce the recipient of the first David Alan Harvey Fund for Emerging Photographers, under the non-profit umbrella of the Magnum Cultural Foundation …you may imagine it feels pretty cool…i hope that you will all feel the same very soon……

let’s just hope i can make it by tomorrow….after all, there is a Magnum staff party going on in my apartment right now…these friends make Magnum "happen"…i try to give a party for them at least twice a year…however, now i am being rude to my very special guests…i should get back to being host….but, do not worry, i will get back to your work soonest…i will leave no stone unturned…..

thank you so much…

abrazos, david

31 Responses to “on a roll..”

  • What are you doing in your desktop? Just go back to the party and enjoy it please!

  • “most of you have no idea how to edit…”

    I know! That’s why I have two special guests to blame! (I love them to bits thought, they are by far harsher and clearer than I could be.)

  • This is just a beginning, David, you ain’t seen nothing yet from most of us, I am totally sure.

    Without ever giving one technical piece of advice, You have been an unforgettable inspiration to whatever we do with a camera, and a presence in our lives that is bound to make of us better persons, even before better photographers. That is the whole point about it all.

    Thanks you for the gift of yourself. I hope there will be times when we can pay you back.

  • David, you are the man. Thank you for putting so much time and effort in to this. I’m very much looking forward to seeing the images.

    Thanks again –


  • I had to post again because, “not all of it good….most of you have no idea how to edit”…this makes me laugh and smile and is exactly what made me want to submit images…because you opened yourself up to a can of worms and even if you were scared you didn’t let it be known and still took it on!

    thank you.

  • i wish i could be a microphone to your brain while you look at the photographs of 250 blogger-photographers!! ha! i’ll say it again, thanks for your energy and inspiration here david!

  • Thanks so much, David. A true inspiration you are.

    “…most of you have no idea how to edit…”

    Ugh! Pour moi, so true…so TRUE!

    Working on it though.


  • me two, I have never submitted any work for anything, yeh I know that could be lame, but I guess I am just shy. anyway, having participated in this…this..? I dont know what it is really, but it is cool though, definately getting good energy from your post about it. stoked to be part of this group.
    also liked the look of the stairwell in the previous post. are those the the stairs you walk up and down everyday? they are neat, old style, thats my favorite.
    you are the man D.

  • No idea how to edit, guilty as charged:) Before I met you I wasnt even thinking of shooting stories at all. Its a learning process and I have no teacher:) LOL. The website I emailed you is an attempt by a few of us to teach each other how to edit but its sort of the case of the blind leading the blind….its fun though.

  • Many thanks and good luck David. As much as congratulating and seeing the series of the recipient, I’m really anxious to see the body of work published as whole. Only good can come of this, and wait until you feel the energy of the next project. This is simply great company.

    David M

  • David,

    Am reading this crouched against a 4×4 in the middle of nowhere on the South African coast, my phone aimed between two mountains to download… all worth it.

    Your enthusiasm is infectious… and I agree with David M 100%.

    Thanks for all this…

  • David,

    Reading this makes me feeling so incridible good.
    Shame on me that i found your blog only since last week. BUT since that day i’m reading here every day.
    You give so much inspiration and even more energy to make constant new work. End to keep going for it.
    I’m curious for the result of this project.
    If there will be a new project in the future i’m in.

    SO, i’m writting here from europe, it’s now 10:36 in Belgium so i guess your party is finishd hehe. No doubt it was a good one.

    Regards & Have a nice weekend

  • David,

    i just hope that you post a few essays as they were sent to you and then post the same visual diary with your edits. Carefully explaining what is working and what’s not regarding the series. This to me would invaluable as i know that i would never have the chance to attend one of your seminars//workshops as they are far to expensive for me. Although i would love to it’s just not in my cards. Anyway any constructive criticism using our work as examples would be invaluable i think. For me this is a first for sending in work to anyone. Yes; nerve racking for sure being that your a working professional for the two most prestigious employers in the world. N.Geo-Magnum !! Gosh; that’s a serious accomplishment. Do you ever in your waking life pinch yourself to make sure that it’s not a dream ?

    Thank You David Alan Harvey for creating a space for us unknowns.

  • Hi David,

    Just a quick short post. But totally off-topic.
    I’m cleaning up my photo-atelier here and I just found my very very first National Geographic magazine what I bought. Guess wich one…it’s the june 1999 edition (vol.195, no.6) with your story about Cuba (with the cuban boy in the car on the cover). This was (and still is) for me a special collection piece.

  • Thankyou, David, for taking the time to go through our work. I’m looking forward to seeing some of the other work submitted.

    Its good to see your dedication to us up and coming photographers. It is a brave choice to face the world in this blog and I’m glad you find it rewarding. Hope the party was good too!

    Congrats to whoever David selects, you’ve done bloody well to take on 249 of your peers and show something different. The number of submissions is a bit of a suprise, this is quite the forum!

    Liam, that sounds like a proper photojournalists assignment! What are you up to?

  • Indeed, congrats in advance to whomever.

  • david:

    last night (yesterday) was Marina’s birthday (14th), so the 3 of us went out to a cozy restaurant and at some point the conversation about what makes things worthwhile came up (Dima was talking about what he wanted to do) and we mentioned to him about makes a person happy…he asked us, what makes someone decide on a specific job or, etc…and then he asked us “how do you know if u r happy”…and we said: its something only u can known when doing something that makes you feel like what you do and how u live is not alone….

    actually, i just wanted to see all the fucking pictures, frankly…picture junkie i am…

    i want to wish CONGRATULATIONS TO EVERYONE WHO SENT PICTURES, because those are your fucking stories of the stories of yourself and others and how to live and i think it is always brave to put your neck out for others to take a carve ’cause all that matters in this world is that we speak upon things and share and let them shine…..

    David, you and your generosity are a towering, bald, giant of bravery: your sloppy heart is as gorgeous as any i have known…as always, im simply happy to be a part of this community and this endeavor…something quite rare, and beyond all the cynicism that the web can muster, this is the kind of breadth and depth that the web is capable of constructing…..

    david, u are a teacher for many many reasons, amigo…and i personally thank you for all of that!

    “”Men exist for the sake of one another. Teach them then or bear with them.” – Marcus Aurelius

    abrazos indeed,



    p.s. bring on the pictures!! :)))

  • Might I ask how many people you are involving in the decision process? Or are you all by your lonesom? I can’t recall your saying. Anyway, I expect it’ll have been an exhausting process for you. Good luck. I hope you discover some delightful, till now unknown, super talents amongst us, whomever they may be. I’m beside myself with excitement to see others’ work.

  • Oh no, posting after the ever insightful Senor Negro…

    5,000 pictures (not even including those who submitted 40)…given by shiny hopeful eyes, with the hope of being seen by yours, yours which have seen so much, so many images, so many bad edits, so many gems. And that you will dutifully walk through them all….

    It’s an unbelievable thing to have created a community. As Bob said “to know that what you live and how u do is not alone”. And most of us in that head spinning stage of which way do I turn next, did I come from left or right?” Probably that feeling doesn’t ever go away. I rather hope not.

    Well, you’ve brought us here to create and speak and bounce off of one another, as well as to soak and marinate in your wisdom. And I am very thankful for that. Simply, it’s a beautiful thing to feel one belongs. And your arms are stretched so wide, I think we might actually all fit in here.

    I can’t wait to see the images that go with all these beautiful words and ideas!

  • Wow! 250 photographers were inspired to develop personal stories/projects! Even if the photos aren’t stellar… although I know many will be… to turn the key and start that kind of action is way too cool!

    I can’t wait to see the projects and photos. I know I will be inspired to go out and do more and do better!

    Even after 2 of your workshops, I know I am one of the ones in the don’t know how to edit pool! Oh well, you tried!

  • So happy you are feeling the joy, ..I gather we all wrapped ourselves into those images, and then the energy was stored, waiting for your eyes and then the potential energy has become kinetic energy under your guardianship..

    thank you!

  • “i just hope that you post a few essays as they were sent to you and then post the same visual diary with your edits. Carefully explaining what is working and what’s not regarding the series.”

    I second that, been reading along, would be a great learning experience I think..

  • we are on a roll…. we are on to something… and I really feel very lucky to be here, to be part of the roll. You made it happen, David. You’re encouraging us, giving us faith and energy. That’s really a big thing. I still have a lot to learn but I assure you I will work harder and harder to do my best because I really don’t want to disappoint you…

    Thanks!! and hope you enjoyed the party!!!!!


  • I agree with Jay…so amazing that you have inspired 250 photographers to get out and shoot this “assignment,” not to mention the countless others who have been inspired from seeing your work over the years.

    Something to be truly proud of.

    Glad to know I’m not alone with editing “issues!”

    I really hope you will mention here YOUR editing process in viewing and selecting our work. How you choose what you choose.

  • Haha the edits. After I sat down to compile my submission I realized that I neither have anything special to show nor editing skills. Frustrated me a bit but finally sure helped and movitated to work on those two things in the future.

  • David,

    Congratulations on this milestone, and congratulations to the recipient and all the participants.

    2007 marked a turning point for me. I had become one of those cynical, burned out photographers who I’d promised I’d never become. I was preparing to make a drastic, potentially self-destructive career change.

    When I found your blog one bored afternoon in January, flickers of hope lit up. Occasional dialogs here gave me new ideas and different ways of looking at photography and life. Applying what you taught was a revelation. I began to think maybe I shouldn’t quit photography after all, but I was still wary.

    Your class in Charlottesville inspired me more. You gave so much energy and care to your 25 students over those two days in that packed, tiny room. I walked away from class renewed thanks to you sharing your passion.

    But just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke, I had to attend one of your Loft workshops. That was such a profound experience on many levels that it’s hard to describe. It felt like what had been missing in me was filled in. The week was as much about life as it was about photography. “Use photography as a way to live your life” has really stuck with me, and it’s what I aspire to achieve.

    I’m really proud to be your student and to call you my teacher. It’s meant more than you can imagine to me and my family. For me 2007 will always be the “Year of the Bald Eagle” on my personal Chinese Zodiac.

    So thank you David.

    To quote Bob Black, “Abrazos indeed!”


  • “most of you have no idea how to edit…”

    you are correct……although, I didn’t actually submit to this event, you have my website URL via where I work.

    So, how does one sift through the thousands of pics one takes in a year, and unemotionally select the best of the best? I find myself constantly changing my mind.

  • thank you for being there listening and encouraging everyone… many, like me i suspect, with such passion but little polish. most pros, i’d bet, don’t have the time but you made the time and that is quite an unusual thing, a very very unusual thing, and everyone recognizes that and is grateful for it. to take an interest in so many when your life is so full…. you are racking up some serious karma.

    i stay tuned all the time but say little–in this case however i gotta say i think it’s extraordinary and it’s meant a lot to me and i thank you for it.

  • Hey David,

    I am still working on the last “assignment” of “no” camera “yes” camera. I gave no response because my familiarity with all the photographers is lacking. I am going to take my time looking…much the same as you.

    When in doubt….stall…

  • no idea how to edit, yes but I would love to know though… learning and learning, a long way to approach a fair edit, this is the thing which makes it interesting on an every day basis, learning… thanks for having a look at our pictures anyway…

  • On the subject of editing, I must say that a text is very important to me. Unless we speak of a series of photos spread out on a single or double page (as in a weekly like the old LIFE, or Newsweek/Times) or a museum exhibit, all essays, books, docus do have a text, often with further accentuation/situating by captions under the image.

    It’s like music, you can have melodies, counterpoints and harmonies, all sounding good in themselves, but what makes the music is the sense that the piece is going from point A to point B, and every single element is serving the whole.

    I can’t see how to do that with pictures whose totality is meant as a single entity/message/subject, without a text, captions, or a message/preface that doesn’t just introduce the subject but sets its tone.

Comments are currently closed.