i am not always proud of my country…..well, let’s just say that i am not always pleased with the "official side" of things….but, of course, it is my right to not always approve of decisions made by those who have been elected to high office….so, i have my vote and i use my vote…but, the one thing of which i have always had a sincere appreciation for is  most of the folks who live here….the 99% who just want to take care of their personal lives, support their families, and live as good and simple a life as possible…

the Mississippi River Delta is flat country….not a hill in sight…often way too cold or way too hot….there is a beauty to it, but it is subtle…..large plantation owners used to rule this delta country…..having often hundreds of slaves to pick cotton which was barged down river to New Orleans and then shipped all over the world….people all over the world wore shirts made from the cotton coming from the fields all around the small house where i am now staying…sitting here, i can feel the history….my fantasy for "time travel" would be to go back in time…..i try to imagine now what it may have been like 100 years ago  in the spot where i now sit…..i can almost  "smell" the history  as a thunder storm rolls loud and black  across the flats, creating waves in the wheat fields resembling now a green tumultuous sea….

from these former cotton fields and cotton pickers came art….out of commerce, out of slavery, out of greed, out of necessity, out of Africa, came art…yes, the one pure contribution from my country of which i am very proud is the MUSIC….yes, the music; blues, jazz, rock n’roll and , yes, rap , came from these cotton fields… all of the arts , music, sculpture, painting, photography, filmmaking, opera, ballet etc. no one country or culture "owns" all of it….but, out of these cotton fields and out of these little one room churches came the voice of an enslaved people….and the voice of the music that came from the fields where i now write to you, is…yes,  the BLUES…. this art, this voice, is still heard around the world….and an art form no other country can claim…think Robert Johnson,  Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker….

i am here to photograph families on my cross country project…..and it is all about the "blues"….i almost feel like never leaving here….i would like to meet more families…the folks i have photographed this week have been so so gracious…way way beyond the cliché "southern hospitality"…..i will deliver quickie prints today to the family i photographed yesterday…the family of 84 yr. old blues singer  T Model Ford…my pictures have him in front of  his  humble home …but in this modest house is a photo gallery….T Model’s wife Stella has curated this "show" and has lined the walls with snapshots of his life and performing  travels bringing  these "cotton fields back home" to his international fans…

often here we  discuss a multitude of factors that make up  a "life in photography"….most of you are young ,and the rest  of you young at heart, but  every once in awhile someone on this forum  mentions their age…..says something like "well, at my age it is probably too late to start a career in photography"…….yesterday, T Model told his story… took another sip out of his ever present bottle of Jack Daniels…sang a bit…just for fun…he always has fun….grinning  he told me that he did not even pick up a guitar until he was 58 years old…T Model  said " yes, my  fifth  wife brought home a guitar one day and ordered , you gonna be a blues man…well, i was born in a ditch…i been shot, stabbed and poisoned…i cannot read or write… but i picked up that guitar she brought  and taught myself how to play"…, people from all over the world come to hear T Model……he is one of the most popular singers on the blues circuit …so, listen up…any live performance now by the likes of B.B.King, Jimmy Burns, Mississippi Slim ,Honey Boy Edwards, Willie King,  and T Model  should be savored….there ain’t gonna be any more comin’ quite like these boys….

so, my question to you today should be obvious…do you let your age (either "too young" or "too old") influence how you think about your work, or are you oblivious (as i am) to your "calendar age" and move forward  with gusto???


T Model photographed by Michael Lloyd Young

181 Responses to “blues…”

  • Well, I am 42, I have family, wife and two children… Just last year I gave up on my engineering career (after working for many years as an engineer in an aerospace company)and plunged into this, doing photography full time. Well, that answers your question, I guess… There is never back, only forward.

  • Hi David
    lovely photo. your experience their sounds really awesome. I love the blues and all the different branches that came from that old tree. Leadbelly to Coltrane.
    funny, I was listening to an early Chuck Berry album, a crackly first pressing of greatist hits on chess. I was hootin and hollerin cause its a pretty old record, but so on point today. I love that record.
    anyway, I wondered if you ever tried to figure out the age of the people who’s work you’ve looked at but never met. if its apparent by their work, if it looks youthfull or mature.
    sometimes I think my own work looks old, but I find some inspiration in old work. also I think that the guys back in the early days, pioneer days, those guys worked their asses off. they had to. and yet the imagery looks old. must have looked like science fiction back then though

  • David — I just found your blog recently and feel compelled to chime in… Why should how old we are or for that matter what sex we are or what color we are dictate what we can or can’t do in our lives?! Why limit ourselves? We should be soaking each day for every moment and opportunity and try to capture and document those magic moments to inspire others to do the same. I mean — isn’t it infectious when you see someone oozing life?! And when you get some peace and knowledge mixed in — well… Or when you see work or life showing fragility — wow, that makes you embrace your blessings. All of it can be gold. In answer to your question — the only thing getting older has done for me is make me braver and more thoughtful about making each day count as well as taking care of myself so I can keep going. The Aborigines think 60 is just middle age, so seems appropriate that T Model is going strong.

  • my birthday is Sunday…this moment Im the same young man as is my good friend from MontrealbywayofSarajevo Veba (that’d be Velibor)…im the same age i now as I was 35 years ago when i jumped off the 2nd story roof of our family’s barn into the arms of grassy tractor blow…i’ll be on sunday the same age i will be the day i pick up my hip from the rock of a chair and now that’ll be the last moment my hip scatters itself across the room…i’ve always been the same age, only othes dont see that, nor my body always pays that nuff mind, nor my friends nor wife nor parents nor son nor friends…

    it blue long ago in my life in blue for long time now comin and it will blue until it cant blow no more y’all…been dying and disappearing since the day i can remember and fuck if it aint happened none the yet and that can mean only one thing, im still younger than death and that’s pretty fucking young and im, even when wearied, happy bout all that…

    and the same for me about photography, there’s Ma Rainey:

    “They hear it come out, but they don’t know how it got there. They don’t understand that’s life’s way of talking. You don’t sing to feel better. You sing ’cause that’s a way of understanding life…”–Ma Rainey



  • great story david…could feel the inspiration of blues in your writing.
    with regards to age, i tell myself, and often tell other that are both younger and older than i, as probably many of us also feel, and famous ppl have also mentioned before – that you are never as old or young as you feel, and i think it certainly doesn’t help worrying about getting older…fair enough to reflect . i heard the other day, that a human being is capable of reaching the age of 120 or so (which according to Linda O.’s comment on the aborigines would make sence…thus, plenty of time left for all of us youngsters…


  • Bonsoir David, bonsoir à tous,

    My name is Julien, I’m 25 and I’m french. I’ve just finished a cinematography school in Brussel in Belgium. I’ve lived here for 4 years.
    This is the first time I write on this very intelligent blog. I love reading every comments of this blog because it’s so rare that people take time to think about what’s going on around the world, talking about various subjects from their point of view, listening to people. I have never seen that on the internet before.

    I love blues music, David, I didn’t know that you were working on a cross country projet. I would love to see one of your picture taking in that same place with this bluesman with your point of view.

    I love taking pictures in order to discover the world and i guess to discover a bit of myself too. It’s probably stupid, but i consider myself a little young to understand what i’m doing when i press the button, i need time. Taking pictures is a very important thing because of the people who are in front of you, you must respect them. I’ve just looked at the book of Paolo Pellegrin ” As I was dying”, p.24, “Serb women crying a death- Kosovo2000, this photo is so “strong” (correct word?), so interesting. I admire the place of the photograph here.

    I’m sorry for my english, this website helps me to improve it ;)
    Thank you again for this blog. David, if one day you come over here (brussel, paris, Normandie), please tell me.

  • Hey Bob Black– Your words “been dying and disappearing since the day I can remember” and “Am still younger than death” should be in a blues song. Good stuff.

    Hey Velibor– As a former test subject for NASA, glad you decided to follow your heart.

  • “well, at my age it is probably too late to start a career in photography”…….

  • David,
    Thanks so much for the story… I’m a huge T-Model Ford fan (also all his label-mates at Fat Possum Records)… I don’t think there is an iPod out there that wouldn’t want to have some T-Model on itself. Can’t wait for your book to come out!

  • Well, to quote a lyric from one of my favorite independent artists, Angie Aparo : “I was born at the end of time, in the beginning.”

    How old am I? They say I turned 47 on Sunday. But they also say that sometimes I act like I am 18.

    Course I feel like I have been around for a few hundred years. Not in the physical sense, I guess more the metaphysical.

    Anyway, to answer the question… What was the question?

    Oh yeah,

    No I don’t think so. Hopefully my “experience” that I have BECAUSE of my age is an influence, but otherwise, no.

    Hope that makes sense… or maybe dementia has set in.

  • “im still younger than death and that’s pretty fucking young ” (bobblack)

    I love this sentence ! It says exactly what I felt begining to read this story.

  • DAVID,

    I don’t think you’re ever too old, but it makes things harder, but that doesn’t mean that you can succeed anyway..
    In a way I think that all people, wether shooting or not are photographers. What are we drawn to? what do we see? Then of cours there’s technique, training and discipline in it too + the energy to bring the camera and aim it :)
    Regarding myself, I’m 23 years old and I wish I could do live of photography, but if things don’t start to happen within 1 or 2 years I have to give it up and find another way of supporting myself, of course still photographing though, but the “falior” will probably put me off a little. Don’t misunderstand me, photography is not only a way make money for me.


  • Dear Bob, happy B-day, Pete too… Mine is tomorrow actually, few May people here…

    Here is another Mississippi treasure…

  • LINDA O: :))))…merci beaux-cup! :))…i guess all poets are really singing and humming da blues, and i was howling-typin’ with 1 hand and waving to a friend with the other…if any blues guitar’s are here: they can use, but i keep the copyright of what i wrote..:))…unless y’all pass it down the line :))

    VEBa: OK, what that does it…will call u this weekend….knew we were more than kin: i guess its astrological, rather than geographical ;))…call u tomorrow…

    PETE: ditto dudE! :)))…any Taurus can come over to my neck of the woods and howl over juice any day any time…good god damn for u! :)))

    this goes out to you Veba:

  • and of course, from the young boy who returned Leadbelly to an ache-filled tossed generation…

  • Definitely, definitely OBLIVIOUS!

  • whew… inspirational … makes me feel like discovering more blues music… and wow to the leadbelly links too…

    and YES bobblack… MISTER bobblack, that IS the way to say it “im still younger than death and that’s pretty fucking young”…

    hear hear to that one

    maybe age is not relevant to start a career… i hope so, otherwise i’m going to feel very old very quickly… on the other hand i lately have a sense, a kind of URGENCY like “do it now, time is running out, you only live once,…” that kind of urgency, and i honestly don’t know where that came from.

    QUESTION: is this a good thing or not to have?????

    i guess, as long as the mosquitoes keep on stinging, there must be some “youngness” somewhere inside me.

    (actually i’m just saying this because i got stung an hour ago – and it itches like hell)

    so i must be still young then, no time to waste! career! hold on! here i come!

    any pointers for a 33 year old youngster like me?



  • Great day to be talking about birthdays as today is mine : ) I’m 36…I picked up the camera when I was 30 and shortly thereafter new that I wanted to be a photographer…its as if it was what I was searching for my whole life. My inspiration and motivation in starting so late was Galen Rowell whom also picked up the camera late in life and made some amazing landscape photography.

    Great story and photo of T Model. We live in such a place that we can do a complete 180 in our careers at any time in our life, its definitely something to take advantage of. Of course I still feel behind and probably always will as there is always way too much to learn and never enough time to learn it all but then again what good is it to know it all?

    ~ chris

  • First of all, David, I want to thank you for taking us down to that flat Delta land where cotton is king and the blues are as much a way of life as it is music, at least for some. Meeting T Model was a privilege. His story says it all.

    Your question touches me on many levels. In June I will be turning 66 so I guess that might seem old to some, but not to me. My experience of life has been that EVERYTHING is possible. As the late Yogi Berra said, it ain’t over till it’s over. And believe you me, I have just begun!

    Your question also taps into a project I will soon be undertaking, assuming my proposal is accepted, as I expect it to be.

    I will be photographing the women and men who take classes at a Senior Learning Center here in the middle of Detroit. I already hope to include the 93 year-old woman who gardens with the help of her walker, and the woman from India who wears her sari to dig in the dirt. I also want to capture these elders dancing the hustle at the center, and sharing their oral histories at a nearby senior residence. These are just a few of the many classes offered. I’m also hoping to build relationships with individuals so that I can take photos of them at home. I can’t wait to begin!

    So to answer your question, I expect to learn from these people that life is to be lived FULL OUT until your very last breath!!!

  • I am an old lady by some standards but I could drink whiskey til you fall under the table and I will still find the energy to dance to It’s Raining Men at four o’clock in the morning just like twenty years ago. No one can say that I lack passion…

    Since I have found photography somewhat late in life it almost seems like I have to make up for lost time.

  • Yes…oblivious. Have to be, otherwise NOTHING would get done!

  • David,

    great story! inspiring as always. age is never a concern if one is reasonably healthy and motivated. oblivious…



  • im still younger than death and that’s pretty fucking young”…

    Though, come to think of it…. Death is no end to a career, for so many deceased artists who found a bright young future as they crapped out. ;-)

    It’s not anymore how young or old are you, but how posthumous! So, keep shooting, everyone, death is not the end of a career, and might actually be the start of one…

    I was wrong quoting myself at 58, make it 150 and over! :-)

  • Age?

    What is that?

  • I watch THE HILLS, read Perez Hilton daily and am a HIP HOP dancer. :))
    That should say it all!!!
    Definitely ageless, even without botox :))

  • my pictures have him in front of his humble home

    Ok, David, how about his backyard? I mean, trust Youtube suscribers, they do cover all… Grounds!

    (I only wish they left him play and sing alone….)

  • I’d love to take a rip through the deep south Dave ,I reckon that it woud be a lot like the North of Oz , the smells ,the light , the thunder and lightning – But the people – there’s something about the closer to the equator a people get the more crazier they are ,I was musing on the age thing only Sunday when I woke up with a dog pissing on my swag – “Christ I’m doing the same thing I was doing 20 years ago” – Have I come full circle ,just to be back shooting Bush races and Rodeos after taking pictures for 20 years?
    Back from whence I came,
    I’m the oldest, young photographer I know!
    @BOB – Great words Brotherman !


  • And don’ forget Pinetop Perkins who I had the honor of meeting years ago. He’s still going strong at 95, and got his first Grammy at 94.

  • As a former test subject for NASA, glad you decided to follow your heart.

    Posted by: Linda O. | May 13, 2008 at 04:22 PM

    “test subject for NASA”…?
    I know …i’m curious, i know…

  • I’m 40 next month, single, no children, still get carded now and then (though not as much as say, two years ago) working on a second “career” and I’m nowhere near the photographer I hope to be. Not that I’ll ever stop shooting, but I was thinking recently, I can’t imagine I’ll ever be in a situation where I have a traditional retirement. No pension. No retirement fund. Nothing but negs and data.

    Somehow I’m not scared.

    Big day tomorrow. More later.

  • speaking of BLUES and Venice…
    ( shot 48 hours ago… in the “WherelseVenicelandia”)

  • Hi all

    I’m a spanish photographer based in Valencia..I knew David Alan here during a workshop last year.

    I’m an engineer, when I was 30 with my first children coming I decided to follow my own way.. I resign and began to learn photography, now I can earn a salary as a photographer, commercial work mostly of course…I’m happier and poorer, but I feel I’m in the correct way for me.
    When I comunicate this to my parents, friends, etc,..the look at me as a was crazy (I’ve a camera only from 28)
    Each person has problems and circumstance, sometimes is posible to do “the change” sometimes is too much dificcult, age is a mental barrier… work, children and mortgage are the most important barriers.

    Thanks a lot for the bolg

  • Watch a typical fight between “good” vendors and “bad” ones,
    on the boardwalk fighting for some “space” under the sun, to sell
    and survive…!

  • Hello,
    in 29 years, I resigned from my work and I set up my own business as photographer. I returned to live at my parent’s, I am 32 years old today and I am always at my parent’s (I don’t know if you know the French film Tanguy, it is me!)… and nevertheless, I am happier now without money to them to make my photography… I think that the age has no importance, it is the photos which we make who(which) are important, the age which we have in the head, we are all condemned persons to die as soon as we are born, I was very early conscious of it, then it is necessary to live the present moment, we don’t know that tomorrow what will be made… what I like in the photography, it is that a whole life is not enough to learn it…

  • David Mc Gowan: No pension. No retirement fund. Nothing but negs and data.

    That’s a beginning! Make sure you add a doggone no good woman leaving you for another man, and pick up a guitar, David, I see the making of a few good blues songs here! ;-)

  • There’s a the start of a song here courtesy of words from David, his T Model posse and you bloggers… and it goes like this…
    I woke up with a dog pissing on my swag, not a hill in sight, not a hill in sight, the Mississippi River Delta is flat country…. often way too cold or way too hot, sitting here, where I began reading Dah’s blog, sitting here,
    I can feel the Delta history……. there is a beauty to it, but it is subtle… as i was howling-typin’ with 1 hand and waving to a friend with the other, got stung ‘bout an hour ago – and it itches like hell… but i guess, as long as the mosquitoes keep on stinging, there must be some “youngness” somewhere inside me, sitting here with Dah’s bloggers, scratching, and sitting here,
    well, i was born in a ditch…i been shot, stabbed and poisoned…i cannot read or write… but i picked up that guitar my 5th wife brought and taught myself to play in the spot where i now sit, sitting here, picking on my guitar satisfied, sitting here,
    i can almost “smell” the history as a thunder storm rolls loud and black… across the flats, creating waves… in the wheat fields resembling now a green tumultuous sea, Aborigines think 60 is middle age so my fifth wife ordered me. she said –you’re only 58 and you gonna be a blues man… I said me? She said uh-huh…so, listen up, get a move on and listen up…
    just do what you do with your heart and mind open. If it’s strumming or shooting or howl-typin’… And believe you me maybe some raw truth will emerge… if you do it with your whole being.
    been dying and disappearing since the day I can remember, but I’m still younger than death and that’s pretty fucking young, sitting here, oblivious, making pictures with gusto , living, laughing, running… writing on Dah’s blog, sitting here.

  • Yeah Panos… sometimes a woman’s gotta do what a woman’s gotta do to stay behind a camera — even eat space food for a month and live on the shuttle for a week while they tested the scrubber. Some people are just not made for the corporate world…


    GREAT “lyrics”!!!!!!!!!!!!

    really sums it up… someone should actually put this to music :)


  • Hi everyone !

    We say, in, french :

    “je ne puis être que ce que les autres pensent de moi”

    which would translate into

    “I am nothing but what people think I am”.

    So my question is :

    Do you think that photographers are seen differently when they’re young (by the audience in general but also by photo editors, peer photographers, etc.) ?

    For instance, do you think that Donovan Wylie made it more easily into Magnum since he was very young when he did his trip round Ireland ?

    Since you know Magnum or Nat Geo very well now, can you tell more, as far as these institutions are concerned, David ?

    Cheeers !

  • hi david,

    that was a beautiful posting, i’m a big blues fan, so i wish i were there…..i was only listening to blind willie mctell the other day.

    as for age it means nothing to me. why should it? why should age determine what i do? i think that anyone who lets age get in the way of what they would really love to do is just finding a way to be conformist… play it safe. personally i’m planning on growing old disgracefully……


  • LINDA O! :))))))))))))))))))!!!!!….

    DAVID: You wanna push those lyrics, ones tuned up by Linda O, past Model T and see what he can do with ’em? :))))))))….and folks thought, long long ago, this blog be only about photography: shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiittt…it’s been about the livin from day 1! :)))

    GLEN: :)))…thanks bro, send u some words today…tree 2: shimmering dream beauty: twighlith of our idol’d selves ;)))


  • That’s brilliant Herve! I kind of walked right into that one.

  • I personify gusto. I’ll be 39 in 3 weeks and aside from my twitchy back, I have copious energy.

    Being as I am in the final stage of my thirties, I seem to have gathered in some experience and dare I say it, a little wisdom. Being a father and a husband and having traveled some I feel that I’m only beginning to hit my stride photographically. It takes a long time to learn to speak this language with eloquence. It’s certainly taking me a while. But I’m getting there. I’m finding my “voice”.

    I’m very much looking forward to my 40’s. I’m fortunate to have a youthful exuberance about me and an insatiable appetite for simple experiences. Last evening I went for a walk late with my three year old while his brother did his homework. I got in trouble for his being late for his bath but I just had to go to the playground to get a lungful of the pungent wisteria alongside. It was entirely delicious and it afforded me a kind of bliss. Connor too.

    Appreciating the simple pleasures in life comes with maturity I think. And to combine that with vitality and energy makes for a potent mix with which to fuel the photographic mind. This is a new revelation for me and powers me forward.

    I’m finishing my new interactive site today and for the next few days. Thereafter it’ll be all about selling my work and making thoughtful and compelling new photography. I just want to get to the core, photographically, of what boyhood is all about.

    Bring on summer, I say.

  • Wow! how I love all the brilliant brain stuff spilling out all over this blog place. This stuff of living. Of living a photographer’s life.

    David, your opening words are beautifully crafted. They ooze poetry. As do the words of so many here.


  • Good morning all and happy birthday May babies.

    I did not pick up a camera, seriously to shoot that is, until about 6 years ago. Prior to that I designed and supervised the building of my homes for resale. Prior to that I had opened up a consignment shop. Prior to that I had started my own typing service. Prior to that I gave birth!!!

    With each of them: I had never spent time with babies, I did not know how to type, I had never worked or owned a retail business, I didn’t know the words feng shui, and I got very confused trying to remember that the bigger the aperture the smaller the number.

    At 57 I am teaching a photo class in a private school (no training to be a teacher nor did I go to college except for classes that I liked) and find I have an ability to teach. Due to photography I now know about cultures and belief systems and windmill farms; all of these topics would not have become known to me if I had refused to take up a camera and become the official photographer for a group of whirling dervishes with the excuse that I didn’t even know how to set my white balance on my new camera. And even what was white balance?!?!?!?

    If a person allows it, life will build a series of careers and lifestyles to keep you interested and interesting until you die.

    Through those years of changing interests and work I never really recognized the collective until now when I can look back and see just how each phase and new skill developed and led into another.

    I am still wondering where this latest work will take me. But I know that in retrospect 10 years down the road it will be somewhere I never even imagined and I will be thankful that I didn’t refuse the gift because others might have thought me too old to begin a new work or believed it when I was told it was just a hobby to spend my money on.

    Never say no to new endeavors.


  • Yikes! Well I knew I had to grow up someday. I’m the photographer (exclusive?) to Obama’s small pre-rally fund raiser here tonight. I even saw the line “professional photographer on hand” and looked around like “are they talking about me?” Wish me luck.

  • Wish me luck
    yes, and to find the angle for a different approach than the usual podium and photo-op series.
    You are the most important person in the hall tonight. The creator!

    PS: Hi to Michelle!

  • That’s right Herve, no pressure at all. Although I am required to get the photo op stuff, I’ll try to make a story of it.

    I’m out!

  • ….. says something like “well, at my age it is probably too late to start a career in photography”

    I’m 31 and damn! I have no idea what the hell means “career”… especialy in photography!
    I understand that if I want (and I want usually) I put my camera to my eye and push the shutter release button…
    I even understand that somebody want to pay for that…
    I understand that some of photographers are damn good…
    and some even more than “damn good”…
    but “career” ???…

    probably that’s why I have not $$$$
    but I have a lot of fun…

    peace… & rythm & blues

  • Now Marcin’s running too.

  • I used to get caught up about the age factor. I am still young, 26, and I was focusing on what my peers were doing and sometimes it got me down because I felt, for my age, I am not where I should be. But competition is good and I have gotten over the age thing. This past year, as I am growing, I have realized, everyone develops at their own pace and age does not really matter. I think its the process, not the time. I plan on doing this the rest of my life, so I look forward to my later years because I am excited to see where photography takes me, and to witness the growth of my work. My biggest struggle right now is making a living. So maybe there is a give and take. The older folks who may have had steady pay checks and a nest egg have to fight just as hard as the less $$$ established youngsters who have “more” time… just a thought.

  • I hope we meet one day Marcin. You sound like someone I know.


  • Interesting how many of us come to photography later in life, after having tried one or two (or, for me, many) other things…I see it to be a vocation that you can do long into your life, while still maintaining a freedom and creative vision that most people unfortunately sacrifice for a good paycheck as they grow older.

    Youth has its advantages: the world is newer, you haven’t accumulated as many bites in the ass, it’s easier to shake off a hangover…A certain amount of stupidity and recklessness can go a long way towards getting you places you wouldn’t go if you had more sense.

    But starting something new later in life, you can be smarter about it. You can be a little more relaxed and be doing it for the right reasons. You’ve tried other things, so it’s easier to focus and not get distracted by the infinite possibilities that the world offers. You can hunker down and see your work as your “life’s work”, focus on the long road ahead rather than the bumps and turns of the next 100 yards…

    At least that’s what I’m hoping the second half of my life looks like:) Right now midlife is throwing out its share of bumps, but I can see that road ahead, and it looks like there will be some good scenic views along the way to stop and take it all in….

  • My goodness, Chris Bickford, your work sings.

    That’s all I want to say right now ’cause I’m going back to delve some more.

  • David and all…

    i forgot to mention that there is another personal/family connection in my family to the blues….my uncle (chet woodward, mom’s brother) was the drummer for years for Big Jack Johnson:

    in fact, my brother Sean took Big Jack out fishing, when he went to s.w. florida…(that’s a story in itself)…

    my uncle (he’s a white boy) was the drummer on this album (among others)

    …anyway, my uncle went around the world for years with Big Jack…alas, shit happened (family, women, a child) and that gig aint his gig no more…that man (my uncle) is a blues song in itself…

    blues aint about age or color, but about the water that’s still on the back, or the knots behind the palms….


  • DAVID-

    glad that you are enjoying the Mississipi River Delta…I was just commenting last week about getting old and turning….40..:):). I certainly do not let my age influence how I think about my work. However, having had now a bit more life experience, having had a good successful professional career in another field, I would say that I am now more relaxed in general, more ready to focus on what is truly important to me for the 2nd part of my life. More than ever, I feel that I want to continue to work on photography and as Chris says, for the right reasons, the passion, the sense of accomplishment that it provides and also, as a “Pringles” commercial says (sorry guys, not as poetic as Bob here but I work for the company making Pringles :), “once you pop, you can’s stop!!!”….Taking pictures is now part of my life, it is an evidence and I would not see myself anymore without it… I would also say that, as I grow older, I have a higher sense of urgency in doing what matters NOW!!!! Final point….I do not let age influence how I THINK about my work but I am sure that age and the life experiences I have had ARE influencing my work big time!!!!… Forgive me the cliche here but when I was 20, I was a nice guy (actually very nice guy:):)… but maybe too focused about being successful, too self centered…less paying attention to others’ feeling and emotions…In a way, I am still the same person at 40 but my sensibility has evolved, whatever “self-center” aspect of my personality I had left, was gone the minute I had kids….and hopefully my eye now at 40 is more able to capture others emotions…Although I was not doing much photography when I was 20, I am sure that my pictures would have been different at that time vs today…

    Cheers, Eric

    PS: if you get a chance, wonder if any of the proposals for assignment I sent you made any sense….

  • david alan harvey


    found a “hotspot” in front of a hotel yesterday to post the “blues” piece and now one in the airport, but the Mississippi Delta is no place for a guy traveling with a laptop…so what?? it has made me late for delivering some assignments, but i would not trade the last 5 days for anything…thanks for being patient…i am flying back to New York now and have a book signing and party tomorrow night, so realistically i will not really be back with you until friday…and i have so many of your questions to answer….

    i will answer one question quickly , from Pierre Yves…he asked about age and Magnum and Natgeo….i did start shooting for Natgeo at age 29 (too young) and i did join Magnum at age 52 (too old)….

    statistically , young is always good…but, there are so many exceptions to moving very far forward for artists who are “older” that i think it really comes down to ENERGY much much more than age…i have met many old at 30 and many young at 75…

    at Magnum , surely we are hoping to get as young a photographer as we can find…just makes sense….however, we took in Cristina Garcia Rodero and Bruce Gilden recently , both in their mid-fifties…

    interestingly, i think the Magnum “boost” was terrific for Donovan Wylie who joined at 23, but was perhaps an even larger “boost” for Rodero, Gilden and me who came in “late”…

    in short, i think age makes some difference to some people, but is perhaps the least important factor in the mix of things it takes to “make it”…

    i have also never seen any of my colleagues at Magnum “retire”…never….they always are doing their life’s work until they are gone….i cannot say that for some of my other professional colleagues, but a “born again” photographer is usually a born again photographer….

    ok, plane loading…back soonest…

    peace, david

  • Come to think of it, I think that it might be the professions in the crafts involved who put limits on us, or box us in for whatever our facade looks like (old, young, woman, black, asian, etc….).

    In a way, David, the way you went cannot be done inversely, ie. Magnum to Natl geo to newspaper P. staff, can it? The world kind of turns around the same direction, even though we’d pretend we pay no attention to it…

    And there is something more to say for a gutsy young guy/gal ready to starve with his/her camera, than for someone like me who sure loves photography but came into it more driven by my relationship to the world around me (at 50+) than by an early calling.

  • I’ll be honest and say that I do freak out sometimes. I’ve moved around a lot (It’s an “interest of mine”) and lived in a few different countries (still getting the question “when are you coming home” and I’m left with no answer as wherever i live right now is my “home”) But that does give me doubts sometimes…. but doubts(especially creative ones) are a fuel for me as it inevitably makes me want to make something, and make it better. New projects, new ideas… I guess like picking up a guitar for the first time and feeling that intense enthusiasm to learn…these silence my doubts. Hope this makes sense?

  • Shit Dave , The old guys when I was young were old at 30 , covered in grease , dust and acheing to get the hell away from their troubles in the front bar of the Hotel Boyd in Mt Isa.
    A few years ago ( 11 ) one of my dad’s mates and I connected at an outback road house , I had the arse hanging out of my pants , 50 bucks , a dozen rolls of film and an esky full of beer and this guy said to me getting old just means it’s all getting to you!
    He travelled with me for a week and then a few years later started painting landscapes , a few years later he left the mine because his kids were grown and his wife had left him ,built a shed on his son’s block of land outside of town and paints ….the guy is 61 , basically illiterate and just had a sell out exhibition.
    In the words of Winston Churchill ……Never,Never Give Up!

  • Age regarding ?
    Let me pull one more cliché out
    of my sleeve…
    Nikos Kazantzakis’s book :
    “zorba the greek”..
    The guy died STANDING,
    looking out of the window….
    never give up!

  • I started the whole photo thing when I was 45. As for the second part of the narrative, where everyone marvels at my pluck at trying something new in the depth of middle age, you’ve got the wrong person. My grandfather, who was 70 when I was born and 96 when he died, used to point at me and tell people that I was older than he was, so age is not so much chronology as it is psychology, at least up to a point. You can be a chronologically old man and still be a young person and you can, like me, be a little short on the chronology and still be a mean cranky old bastard.

    Now, in a related development, in the past few months thousands of people here and at LS haven’t bothered to ask me for any biographical information about myself and for all I know they intend to continue to not ask for biographical information about me well into the foreseeable future. Faced with this ongoing and, to my mind, completely understandable lack of interest, I have had to think long and hard about my long-time position on this sort of thing. I’ve long opposed releasing any information about my personal life in any forum; an artist’s reputation should rest on his work, not on his biography, but since I am not an artist my desire for anonymity has little to do with my work, such as it is, and everything to do with avoiding people who want to ask me for money. This is sometimes hard to do, as the majority of these people tend to be my relatives, most of whom already know where I live and have no compunctions about showing up on my doorstep at the most inopportune moments to borrow twenty bucks to tide them over until payday. You can always lie to the bill collectors, but getting rid of your family is an altogether much harder feat to accomplish.

    I also know that it is next to impossible to be objective about yourself. If, as the old saw has it, biography are the lies other people tell about you, it stands to reason that autobiography then must needs be the lies you tell about yourself. So, to assuage the undying lack of curiosity about me and my background, I thought I would just do a short autobiographical timeline, thereby editing out the most excruciatingly boring parts of my life and leaving the merely mind-numbingly boring parts that the reader is already not at all interested in. So, here goes:

    26th July 1958—I am born. I do not actually remember this, important as my arrival here in this our Great Republic was in terms of my long-term job prospects, and as strange as such an utter lack of empathy for my mother’s anguish might seem to the casual observer. The event occurred at approximately 7:30 in the morning, however, so I was in time for breakfast, unlike some other people I could mention here. I shuffled onto this mortal coil in the City of New York, during the administrations of the Honorable Robert Wagner, Mayor, the Honorable W. Averill Harriman, Governor, and the way more than a little dishonorable Vito Genovese, Boss, at the institution then known as Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. This has always seemed strange to me; you wouldn’t think there were enough Columbian Presbyterians in Bogotá, much less New York, for them to support a hospital that size. They must all be very wealthy or very unhealthy to afford that level of care. The hospital has a different name now, though what that different name might be escapes me at the moment.

    In any case, my links to a hitherto unpersecuted religious minority and its Calvinist heresies ended a few days after my birth when, at my mother’s insistence, I was baptized into the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church [hereafter, the Church and don’t you forget it, smart guy]. I do not remember this event, either, although I do remember thinking that this was a fairly strange bar, what with the bartender giving me salt but no lime or margarita, and then washing my hair without using shampoo or a blow dryer. I dislike this sort of occupational multitasking lest it breed it cause confusion among those consumers who think that going to a plumber for a kidney transplant is a reasonable idea. Needless to say, I did not tip the bartender.

    1958—1962: I am a prisoner. I am not sure what the charges were, but in some way—I may have been a victim of mistaken identity, like Cary Grant in North by Northwest—I became trapped in the labyrinthine snake pit of undercover Cold War politics. I was kept in a barbaric open air cell with no toilet facilities where people came to poke, prod, and make strange faces at me in an effort to make me talk. This does not happen; I made the determination early on that I wasn’t going to tell those no good Commie rat bastards anything, but I admit that on more than one occasion, I came perilously close to cracking under the strain of my captivity. To maintain my sanity, I translate the lyrics of Ira Gershwin into Bhutanese, no easy task when you don’t know Bhutanese, have no access to a Bhutanese dictionary, or even know where Bhutan is and if anyone actually lives there. The result, as you might imagine, was pure gibberish, comprehensible only to mentally deficient gibbers, who appreciate the true genius of the Gershwin brothers, and civil servants, who appreciate gibbering for the fine art that it is and wish that more people would take gibbering up as a hobby so the civil servants wouldn’t look so dumb when they gibber; one person gibbering is foolishness personified—five thousand people gibbering at the same time is our government at work. Sometimes I sang Sinatra songs backwards, too; it passes the time. I still miss Frank.

    During those first few years of my captivity, the filthy screws tossed another two prisoners into my cell. They are turncoats, Benedict Arnolds of the worst sort. They constantly tried to curry favor with the guards by betraying my escape plans. I had to abandon three tunnels, including one that had almost gotten to the wall; the risk of discovery was just too great with those rats around. I waited for the Red Cross to come, but they never did. I believe to this day that my captors held me incommunicado so I could not pass on what I knew to our government. What did I know? I don’t know what it was, and if I did, I’d have to kill myself to keep it secret. That’s how important it was.

    1963: The guards sent me to some sort of recreation facility. I spend my days plotting to bust out of there, but finger painting and Dr. Seuss keep me from going. There is deep philosophical meaning in Green Eggs and Ham, I think, and I am sure there was a coded message from HQ in there as well. I could not decode the message, however; my secret decoder ring broke after I got it out of the cereal box. This was not the brightest idea HQ ever had, but I took comfort in the fact that they knew I was stuck there and were planning assiduously to get me out of that awful place.

    1964—1965: My captors stop playing around with me. They mean to break me, once and for all. They ship me off to a re-education camp for brainwashing and dance lessons. The dancing does not work out; I am rhythm deprived. This makes no difference to the camp administrators, who are mostly women in strange uniforms. They attempt to break my will by beating me with multiplication tables. They fail at this, as do I on a consistent basis, and so they beat me regularly. On the other hand, the ice cream isn’t all that bad and I play well with others.

    1966—1967: I escape from the camp. Taking advantage of this opportunity, I join Magnum Photos as an associate wastepaper basket. I do not last long; the high-fiber/low protein diet all wastepaper baskets must endure sickens me and makes me unable to perform my duties. Worse yet, someone tosses a lit cigarette into my shoes after a long day at the office and I burst into flames, leaving me slightly singed around the edges. As there seems to be no future in wastepaper containment, I move on to other occupational opportunities. I decide to kill carp instead.

    1967—1968: I do not kill carp for a living, due to the general lack of suitable carp in the Bronx. There is, and was, of course, plenty of carping in the Bronx; there always is when the Yankees aren’t doing well; but most of this carping is already dead on arrival. This revelation crushes me and snaps the last tenuous hold I have on my ratty sneakers. I have to glue them shut now, as there are no shoelaces in a five-block radius. Sneakers aside, this news annoys the hell out of me. No other species of fish would do for the full expression of my icthyocidal urges. I had no interest in killing tuna, flounder, swordfish, or even the deluded Patagonian dogfish; I only wanted to kill carp and then I learn that I was not even going to get the opportunity to wound one slightly with a slingshot. The best laid schemes s o’ mice and men, the poet Robert Burns wrote, gang aft agley, and no man ever spoke truer words, even if I don’t know what the hell Burns was talking about after he stopped making sense. You have to expect this sort of thing from someone who thought eating haggis was a good idea.

    1969: My wife is born and immediately moves to Ohio with her entire family, where I will never see her again, thereby sparing me the cost of both marrying and divorcing her. I congratulate myself profusely when the news of her impending move reaches me; I know I’ve really ducked a bullet on that one. She took the kids too, I think, although I might have sold them to the neighborhood deli instead. The truth is I don’t remember what I did with the kids, and that’s the God’s honest truth of the matter, your Honor.

    June 1969: My captors move me from the city of my birth to the wilds of exurbia. I am ten years old at the time. Nothing interesting has happened to me since.

    I trust this satisfies the incessant lack of interest in my biographical particulars and I must hasten to point out that there will be no personal pictures available at any time in the near or distant future. I dislike pictures of myself intensely and I prefer the mental picture you have of me, as I am much thinner in your minds than I am in real life. Thank you and have a nice day.

  • Herve – photo op hell – don’t even ask.

  • David McG…

    Oh c’mon! Share a little something? I was really hoping to hear how it all went down.


    You mentioned about Donovan Wylie who joined to magnum group at 23.

    We have a good foreshadowing young photographer in Poland Rafal Milach who has won 1st prize in World Press Photo this year.

    I don’t know Him and I don’t know He will submit His portfolio to Magnum this year, but if He will, I would like to introduce you (or only remind) his work.
    you don’t have any polish photographer right now. So maybe Milach?


  • “…I dislike pictures of myself intensely and I prefer the mental picture you have of me, as I am much thinner in your minds than I am in real life. Thank you and have a nice day.

    Posted by: Akaky | May 15, 2008 at 11:31 AM….”

    Damn , AKAKY,
    All this time im reading your stuff, i thought you are a college
    student with high IQ or something… shy enough to share photos with us… with out of control philosophical tendencies…
    Your first 10 years of your life are even more interesting than
    all of the Magnum photographers lives combined all together…

  • Akaky, I was waiting for your comment on this topic… though my imagination is way too poor to predict what would come of it… storytelling, is there anything more admirable than that…

  • hello!

    few days ago when i was photographing my story about young girls in Istanbul i realized that i am not so young anymore…
    I am 27 and the girls I take photographs about are 20 years old… today I realized i could shoot such story few years ago and i will be more “into” the story.. but from other hand maybe i will not see some of the things which now i see… i see more what already passed in my life…

    I never thought i am too old to start taking photographs… even i was about 24 when i started which is not early

    but sometimes i am comparing.. i see some AMAZING photos made by 21 years old people and i am supriced… soon i will not be young photographer, and there will be no excuses :-) that photographs are not good enought :-)

    some of my friends says i am “free soul”, i am traveling, don’t care too much about regular job, not financial stabil at all, still on somebodys maintenance… and i am getting older .. they say i should start some regular job and start to think to get some insurance… but i think i am still young and there will be enought time in future to take care about such things :-)
    now i should use my time

    am i right? :-)

  • It is not a question of age, but of milage. You can be “old” and have little mileage. And you can be “young” and have it a lot. But contrary to a car, every mile improves you.

  • AKAKY, please do self-portraits for your assignment.

  • AKAKY….


    since it’s now confession time, let me be (reluctantly ?) frank:

    Im one of your lost sons that escaped to (and was terrorized by) Ohio….and now that i know your a governmentally employed gibber, im gonna ask that you send me (forthwith) said forms of childsupport owed, in arears and with interest, you owe me and my brothers!…you think life as a wastepaper can at Magnum was tough? Christ, imagine begin sold into Deli-slavery forcd to pick out the caraway seeds from bread for fans of the Cleveland Browns post-tailgate rush….

    u owe us bigtime!!!

    but i still LOVE you dad…and always will…

    (and you may have been the lousy dad ever, but your gibberish gibbers more deleciously than any ham and rye i know, and I fucking love ham and rye, dad!!!)


    gibbering away


  • david alan harvey


    for those of you in New York…book signing for “Living Proof” and a whole bunch of other books and authors at Powerhouse Arena 9pm…

    fiesta my place 10pm… portfolio reviews!!

    i do hope to see at least some of you….

    cheers, david

  • but i think i am still young and there will be enought time in future to take care about such things :-)
    am i right?

    Aga, 27, it’s a joke if you think it makes you older than 20. Think of these 20yo (that includes the ones who make amazing shots) and how many at 27, will lead a life quite settled or set by standards made by others.
    Not to speak of being tied down by a so-so marriage (if I follow divorce and domextic violence stats) and a kid or 2 already…

  • Powerhouse and fiestaing, if there is such a word, sounds like a wonderful idea, Mr. Harvey, but it’s not in the cards, I fear. I have to work tomorrow.

    As for my son Bob, well, my boy, I cannot tell a lie–when I sold you and your brothers to the deli man, he assured me that he had every intention of turning the lot of you into kielbasa and use what was left over for beef jerky. I regard your hitting me up for money I dont have as a violation of that contract. Consequently, I fear that I will not be paying for ears, rears, arrears, or any other body part the deli man may have removed to prove that he was keeping his end of this blatant attempt to defraud me. I know that this is difficult reading, my boy, but I will never lie to you. The other ten things I have never done and will never do are:

    10. I have never bought a commemorative plate. I don’t think I would buy a commemorative plate, not from any animus towards people who do, and I certainly do not think that any social or moral opprobrium should attach itself to the buying and collecting of commemorative plates as such; I just don’t understand why anyone would buy plates they won’t use to remember an event that probably wasn’t worth commemorating in the first place. Remember the big royal foofah with Charles and Diana? You may have the plates, but Diana is gone, may she rest in peace, and the marriage ran into the deer on life’s highway years before that, and now Charles is married to his horse, and you still have the commemorative plates from 1981. A word to the wise: you’ll save a fortune in paper plates if you use the commemoratives. Trust me on this.

    9. I have never coached a woman in childbirth. Over the course of many years I have noticed that as a general rule, and you really should avoid labeling some things as general rules, since general rules, as a general rule, tend to have more cracks in them than a fat man’s toilet seat, but as a general rule women will sit still and do their absolute level best to be polite at social gatherings while men yak away about sports, work, and all the other things that guys like to yak away about, something that men do not thank women enough for, I think, but that there’s no faster way for two women to clear a room of men than to talk about childbirth. Let one woman mention to another that Mrs. So-and-So from down the block spent twenty-two hours in labor with her third child and every guy in a ten block radius will vanish like a crooked accountant facing an audit from the home office, and just as quickly too. Even the guys who’ve coached their wives’ delivery disappear as though reliving the blessed event was just too much for their fragile male psyches to endure. And just as a sidebar here, why is the husband there at all and why is his not getting in everyone’s way called coaching? You take a look at any coach in baseball and what you see is a guy whose paid his dues and spent years playing and coaching teams at either the major or minor league levels; no one would think of hiring a guy who didn’t know a split fingered fastball from a slider to coach a baseball team, but men, who will never give birth, are there in the delivery room telling their wives/girlfriends/significant others how to go about their business as if they knew what in the hell they were talking about. Send the men back to the waiting room and let them stew like they used to.

    8. I have never dropped an atomic bomb on Fenway Park, although I would like to; in fact, eliminating the Red Sox once and for all is one of my life’s great ambitions, but one, and it gives me no pleasure to say this, that I will never achieve. One might ask, why the animus; after all, in terms of achievement the Red Sox and the Yankees are not even close. The New York Yankees have won more championships that any other team in the history of organized professional sports, all sports, mind you, not just baseball, whereas in 2004 the Boston Red Sox won their first championship since 1918. That’s right, 1918; only the Chicago Cubs, who last won the World Series in 1908, had a similar record of futility. I think that part of the problem is that the Red Sox are like that stupid fly that keeps dive-bombing your face on your wedding day. Here it is, the most important day of your life, you’re enjoying yourself tremendously, and yet you can’t fully enjoy it because this damn diabolic peske fly will not stop hounding you. It keeps coming at you, trying to get into your eyes, mouth, nose, and the rest of your face and in general trying to ruin the overall tenor of your championship day. The devil had more to do with the events of last year than anyone has let on so far, I think. No team had ever come back from a three game deficit to win in a championship series, and yet the Red Sox did it against the Yankees, and all the while there was a lunar eclipse going on, an astronomical event that blocked the proper working of the Curse. I’m sorry if this offends some people, but there’s no telling me that the city of Boston and all the inhabitants and denizens thereof didn’t collectively sell their soul to Satan for that championship.

    7. I have never married, something my mother reminds me of every time I see her. It’s not that I haven’t tried over the years, and no, Mom, I’m not gay, despite what your ex-daughter-in-law said about me; she’s nuts, remember, that’s why she’s your ex-daughter-in-law and not a current and in good standing member of our otherwise happy clan. It’s just that the relationships didn’t work out for one reason or another and now I have arrived at the age where I have to admit that the whole marriage thing has more or less passed me by, unless I import someone from somewhere who will love me for who I am, appreciate me for my many talents, and positively worship my astounding capacity to get them a green card. I like weddings, though, but then I think that most guys like weddings; it’s being married that guys would just as soon skip. After all, on your wedding day, you spend an hour or so in church saying things you don’t really mean (forsaking all others? I mean, really, is this guy kidding or what?) and then go to a great party where everyone except the bride’s mother tells you what a great guy you are and how lucky you are and then you go on vacation with a girl you like a lot and copulate freely with her with the full blessing of society and the church. Her mother will, of course, still think you’re not good enough for her little girl, but then you’re not marrying the mother, are you, and with any degree of luck the mother won’t be going on the honeymoon to watch you get conjugal with her precious little baby. The trouble starts, as near as I can tell, when the couple gets back from the honeymoon. Anyone who’s ever been to an airport knows that the departure lounges have all manner of amenities for the departing passengers, but that there’s next to nothing for the arriving passengers; the airport people want the arriving passengers to get the hell out of the airport forthwith and posthaste, with no loitering or stopping for a decent hamburger, please; you can do that anywhere else except here at the airport. It’s always seemed to me that a divorce lawyer could do a booming business in returning honeymooners right there in the arrivals area. The party’s over now, boy and girl, and if you want out now’s the time to say so, before the parents start hounding you for grandchildren, which will start just as soon as you get home.

    6. I have never, in the immortal words of Popeye Doyle in The French Connection, picked my feet in Poughkeepsie. I have picked a lot of things in Poughkeepsie, and I will spare you the gruesome details, but picking my feet is not one of them. I once scratched my ass in Scranton, but that’s hardly the same thing, I think. In any case, there are lots of things to do in Poughkeepsie that don’t require taking off your shoes and socks, but I really can’t think of what they might be right at the moment, but I’m positive that there are activities a-plenty for the well-shod family to indulge in, if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

    5. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Communist Party, and I am not saying this to hang on to my phony baloney job in Hollywood. I have never been to Hollywood, I don’t have a job there, and I do not ascribe to the theories of Karl Marx in any way. I don’t even know who Karl Marx is. He might have been Groucho’s father, for all I know about him. I did see a picture of him in Life magazine once, and I could tell immediately he was a dangerous un-American radical filled with all sorts of dangerous un-American radical ideas. You can tell that sort of thing from the man’s beard. It’s very clear that he supported putting mayonnaise on French fries and believed that putting ketchup on a hot dog was a sign of psychosexual immaturity, unless it was Sigmund Freud who believed that. I don’t know anything about Freud, either, except that he smoked cigars. Freud had a beard too, now that I think about it, and so does Fidel Castro, so maybe there is a connection between cigars, hot dogs, beards, and Communism that I haven’t heard of yet. Well, it doesn’t make any difference, I suppose; I don’t smoke and I’m not all that fond of hot dogs, either. I prefer pizza, preferably with sausage and pepperoni.

    4. I have never bought a lottery ticket. I know, as the commercials say, you’ve got to be in it to win it, but I’ve noticed that most of the people in it don’t win it, either. Maybe it’s just me, but the whole concept of gambling simply goes by me, leaving not a wrack of understanding or ribs behind. If I go to the store and I give them money, I get something in return; if I go to a casino and give them my money, they take it and then try to get me to give them more money, and I don’t get anything from them. My brother the racetrack tout says that they give me a good time while I give them my money, but I seem to be missing the good time; all I know is that I have less money now than I did before I placed the bet and I have nothing tangible to show for it. Then, of course, here in New York the proceeds of the lottery go to supporting education—at least that’s the official story—but if that’s the case, how come my school taxes never seem to go down? Millions of people play the lottery here every day of the week and the vast majority of them don’t win so much as a nickel for all the money they shell out playing the various games, so someone must be getting a hold of all that money and I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts, or I would if I were a betting man, that whoever’s getting that money sure as hell ain’t spending it on education.

    3. I have never eaten caviar. Look, I don’t like chicken eggs; when I was a kid my mother had to pour salt on the morning egg so I could get the thing down my throat without vomiting and now that I am an adult there’s no way in hell I am going to eat another chicken egg straight from the shell as long as I live; so the whole concept of eating fish eggs is, for me, up at whatever the level beyond utterly and mind-blowingly, if there is such a word, disgusting is. Second, let’s face it, caviar are sturgeon eggs and have you ever seen a sturgeon? You can hardly imagine a more ugly looking fish, even if you tried and swallowed a fifth of Scotch to help you. Nothing good can come from something so vile-looking, believe me. You can argue, naturally, that my niece is the product of my brother not the racetrack tout or the Navy lifer, and that this brother is not exactly the spitting image of the Apollo Belvedere, not by any stretch of the unaddled imagination, and that the niece is an altogether lovely blond young moppet who looks an awful lot like a recruiting poster for the Nazi Party when she isn’t busy dying her hair all the colors of the rainbow and several that are not. This otherwise excellent caveat falls short, I fear; the niece’s mother, the ex-sister-in-law, is a nice looking woman when she isn’t being completely stark raving nuts. In the case of the sturgeon, however, both the mother and the father are visually vile beyond the wildest imaginings of anyone with vision corrected by prescription eyeglasses to 20/40, and frankly, I am not sure I would want to deal with a fish that takes the prospect of tens of thousands of its relatives winding up on a cracker with such complete equanimity. Family feeling still counts for something, even in our postmodern world, I think.

    2. I have never read The Scarlet Letter all the way through, but then, who has? I think Nathaniel Hawthorne’s literary standing is the product of schoolteachers who would rather bore students to tears with this book than let them read Mark Twain, who is ten times better than Hawthorne could ever hope to be and who is actually funny to boot; The Scarlet Letter, to my mind, fits Twain’s definition of a classic—a book that everyone praises and no one reads—to a tee, and Hawthorne himself is pretty small beer next to Twain. I mean, everyone in the world knew and loved Twain; Ulysses S. Grant chose Twain to publish the old soldier’s Memoirs, a classic of American literature. Hawthorne’s best friend was Franklin Pierce, the fourteenth President of the United States, whose glorious military career came to a screeching end because of flatulence. So maybe Grant was not the best President in American history, but Pierce was the presidential equivalent of the man who wasn’t there in the Ogden Nash poem. And while your high school English teacher might not agree, Twain was, hands down, a much better writer than Hawthorne was, no two ways about it. If you don’t think so, compare Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown with Twain’s The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. If Hawthorne took himself any more seriously he’d have to take a laxative just to bend forward. Twain’s story is still great 140 years after the story first saw print. I just love that frog.

    1. I have never done the chicken dance at a Romanian Orthodox wedding reception in East Orange, New Jersey. Well, that almost goes without saying, doesn’t it?

  • exactly HERVE,
    exactement ….

  • Akaky,

    I think you have convinced me to give up photography altogether.

  • Akaky,

    I think you have convinced me to give up photography altogether.

  • BOB,

    Have a great birthday.

  • David,
    Fantastic that you photographed T Model Ford’s family! Your description of the thunderclouds makes me think of my own trip in the states a few summers ago. The amazing storms, shows of wind, water and light, rolling down those plains…in my case through Iowa and South Dakota…

    The blues is the music that speaks to me the most. Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Howling Wolf…they send chills down my spine…And you’re right—if you have the chance, see Buddy, BB, etc, NOW! I saw Buddy Guy in the Filmore in San Francisco a couple of years ago, and his energy at 70 was more than all these bands of 20 year olds put together!

    To answer the question, I’ve lived through 30 springs, but have only really began to notice the sheer beauty in the changing seasons recently, and I feel like I’m on the crest of a wave, so many risks with opportunities ahead, an no time for hesitation…life to be lived to the full, no looking back or looking too far ahead, just looking at right now and doing right now!

    I am not so sure that I’d like to work as a photo-journalist. All I know is that I want to photograph, and that things will take care of themselves, so I am going down the wave…it doesn’t last forever, so no sense in worrying!

  • David old boy, haven’t been here for a bit,good to see you are on form as ever and great to see the “on the road ” idea.
    Coincidentally I just bought a camper :-) having just sold the Harley :-( with a sort of Euro road trip in mind!
    Anyway to topic, at 57 I now feel qualified to say “the older you get the less you give a shit……………about the stuff that you THOUGHT really mattered and as result concentrate on the stuff that REALLY does”
    In terms of photography “the older I get the looser I get”
    Still have a way to go to get as loose as you Harvey but I’m working at it [not TOO hard though]!

  • DAD!!!! (ummm, I mean Akaky):

    Christ, Mom always told me you were a sod….BUT YOU ARE THE MOST BRILLIANT MAN I KNOW!!!!!!! :))))))))))…ok, so, i came here to post something for David, but well…ok, i need to just say this Dad…I’ll never fucking measure up….

    Now DAD, listen: I am also a writer (besides being a stupid photographer and a stupidly stained caraway-seed obsessive), and let me say only this:

    I CAN FORGIVE YOU, IF YOU LET ME GET YOU FUCKING PUBLISHED!!!!! (besides, as a child, i’ll eventually collect the royalties!!!!, at least that’s what my own son tells me)….

    You are a frickin’ genius dad….it kills me that you once thought of me as killbasa, but i can forgive, ’cause those f*cking nuns turned you into one of the most gorgeous writers i know…i spend my entire life, from point of servitude until teenage emancipation (behind the deli glass) reading…so i know about prose, and fucking caraway seeds…

    You are a Genius…!!!!…ok, i will let my son Dima (your grandson) now read this too!!!

    hugs dad, big fucking hugs!!!

    your son fielded afar,


  • CATHY, DAD(AKAKY), VEBA, ERICA and Immants (are you here??);

    THANK YOU FOR MY BIRTHDAY (though it’s not until Sunday) :)))))….but, as any good russian child or any good kid sold into deli servitude knows, one must always beat the devil and so, i’ve started already (that would be lovely lovely Port, sorry dad ;) )….


    ok, so originally Marina and I planned to come to NY this weekend (my fucking birthday) to see the NYPhotoFestival and then to go to Look3…and so, $$, $$, $$…and fuck all, tonight you’re celebrating at Powerhouse and at Kibbutz…so, ok, i give you something from afar….

    a tease, something for me…

    some pics from my NC trip…which is the prelude to the Dima/Dinosaur bones project….as u know i went to NC for my brothers wedding, alone (marina and dima remained in Toronto)…i hadnt seen my dad in more than 5 years….my nephew in 5 years…bones, tears, sadness, joy…all that shit…so, i decided to take:

    1) 1 roll: trix
    2) 1 camera (Lomo): leaving 35mm and med format at home
    3) shoot only on the day of wedding
    4) try to make nothing extraneous

    so, this is the tease of the next essay….it’s about my dad, me, my son…it’s about DAVID ALAN HARVEY TOO….

    1): my dad (after Akaky sold me into slavery) after the wedding, crying:

    2) my dad the morning of the wedding in hotel room, getting ready:

    3) my newphew before he had to walk my mother and father to the alter (they’re divorced and barely speak): he was scared, so i told him a story before he had to do it:

    4) Self-portrait: Triple Exposure: this is a triple exposure: my brothers bride (donna) and inside the house before wedding and then me in a window (my shadow is in the middle)…THE LAST PHOTOGRAPH I MADE…you can see me below the chandelier…also, my mom is with another man in the upper right…all that shit…

    ok, im sad (finally finding long-lost dad akaky) and thinking of this:

    all this photo celebration in NY, fuck it…all that matters is the light and shadow in our hearts and that dont mean shit by age of place or occupation or fame or nothing…

    im off, to walk with dima…


  • Young or old are meaningless really, unless you know the parameters of the trajectory of our own lives — which of course, we rarely do. So, pick up a guitar at 46 when you have 50 more years to go, brilliant. Pick up a camera at 14 when you have 8 years left, well, sorry, but those were a good 8 years. (Or, as my daughter laughs, with a shrug, at life’s great tragedies, “Oopsies.”)

    But who knows where the limits live? Even when we think we do, there’s always that proverbial bus to consider.

    Picking up the camera at all has always seemed such a death defying act — age defying too. Time stops in a photo. That’s the amazing power of it. It’s a powerful tool of understanding: even if the photo was taken many decades ago, by someone long gone, it still has the ability to reach out and stop my heart, for just one beat, for forever.

    When my son arrived in the US from Ethiopia as an adolescent, adults would constantly make conversation by asking, “how old are you?” He didn’t know. He would smile, then look at me, clueless. For his first birthday here, I made sure the big cookie for his classroom had a “Happy 13th Birthday” on it, so he wouldn’t have to remember. I thought the people I met in Ethiopia had it right — you’re a baby, then a child, then a kid, then an adult, and at some point, if you’re lucky, old, with many memories.

    I think Bob nailed this one — younger than death is pretty fucking young. Numbers…they are too small or too high or too even or too odd. Definitely too odd.


  • Was hoping to pop round this evening, David, but as it is I’m in front of my computer with the screen at minimum brightness, a box of hankies and a large glass with a generous dollop of honey, an even more generous splash of Bushmills, a lemon chunk pierced with 5 cloves and a sprinkle of grated ginger. I’m hoping to get one up and what appears to be a malevolent virus. This one has really taken the wind out of my sales. My Eoin has it too but he’ll be shot of it in a few hours whereas I’ll be miserable for some days yet, most likely.

    At least I’m having fun finishing my website, despite the dimmed screen. I just hope I don’t spay snots all over it.

  • David Alan Harvey, are you going to be around for the NY photo awards tomorrow night in DUMBO?

  • I gave birth to twins…that clears the men out of a room twice as fast…

  • some thoughts about time passing…

    I don’t care about time passing, like most of boys, I don’t care I will be wrinkle and ugly soon… I am ugly now, so I have nothing to loose.
    I don’t care about “career” in photography, like most of painters I always imagine that world will be charmed by my “hands talent” and intelect, that I will be next Caravaggio or Velasquez.
    Fames in photography is nothing for me if I compare to eternal glory in art.
    I don’t care that I’m 30 or 50 and I mean nothing in photography’s world. I even don’t care that I mean nothing in art’s world.
    I always work, because I thought it give me independents from people around and freedom.
    I always work for “my work”. Every day I spends in hard work give me half day or quarter for paint (or shoot at last).
    so I was worked I was strong .. and stupid.
    I work because I has not noticed that TIME is the BEAST which can’t be killed.
    When I chop off one head of the BEAST there grow two another.
    I thought that I’m strong and I had a control.
    That I am unique and I will overcome this BEAST.
    but we all loose if we try fight with BEAST, that’s the rules…
    don’t fight… you die… fight… you die also…
    we should not loose time to steal another time

    now I need place to work, I need workshop or atelie, little space for my paintings and little photo studio.
    my little space…
    I can’t life without paint…
    so I have to work more and harder… next little skirmish with time… some heads will fall…

    I go work…

    peace for hopless fighters

  • David,

    It was great to finally meet you in person tonight and shake the hand of DAH… sorry we were unable to attend the Kibbutz fiesta, after a full day of lectures, photos and celebration, we were spent… and the VII seminar starts early tomorrow. I hope there is another fiesta sometime in the future to which we will be extended an invitation.

    We had a fantastic conversation with Danny Power’s dad tonight… there’s a family suggestion for your project! But…. if I suggest someone you already know, do I still get a print???

  • david alan harvey


    pretty heavy stuff….makes me want to ask you a whole bunch of questions…but, i will save them for when we meet ….

    i am just thinking thinking about your work here…..what is most interesting to me is the sadness i see in these pictures…so compelling…so TRANSITIONAL…this workis exactly the opposite of the way you write…or not…

    if i did not have to catch a plane this morning to go down to Virginia to see my two sons, i would spend some time right now thinking out loud with you….i am feeling a great book to come from you soon….you must must come to New York when you can…i would like to get your work tacked up on my walls….think with you… with you…

    this will happen…

    sorry you were not here last night and, more importantly, will not be around for Look3…if i covered your air ticket, would that help??? let’s chat by email this weekend….

    by the way, a moment you would have so so appreciated last night was when Ruckus and Uptown were signing books…i mean, it just does not get any better than that!! truly moving as you may imagine….i would not even have left Mississippi for this book signing, except that i knew those two guys would be on hand..


    it was nice to meet you and your wife last night…and so sorry you did not have the energy to come to the “return to the Kibbutz” fiesta….in any case, you are welcome in my home anytime….

    ok, running…

    cheers, david

  • David

    I know you are swamped, but I was just wondering what if anything I need to bring to Look3. Andrew said that you would be letting the workshop participants know either by email from you or through him.

    I just wanted to get together what I need to before I get married and frolic in Italy for 2 weeks. I have no time after I get back before the workshop.

    Feel free to email me off the blog if you wish at

    Thanks! See you in a few weeks!

  • DAVID..

    you posted at 8:36 AM? Does that mean you never made it to bed? You have some serious staying power..

    Thank you for being such a gracious was 3am by the time I got home and I can imagine that there were many wonderful moments that followed once my eyes were shut. I was so tired, I actually dreamed that I was at the photo festival with you all, but I was sleeping..

    those new images are flat out beautiful, and what a wonderful gift of the wedding day.

  • the way I wrote it my dream doesn’t sound that interesting, but I mean I dreamed I was sleeping at the photo fest, and, in my dream, I was dreaming as I slept..not sure how that is even possible..

  • Marcin, right on!
    The world does not give a fuck about Photograph-y. Everyone takes photos. I think that’s what’s exciting about it.

    To be everyone, not somebody. Everyone and somebody. And you can be old too, or young, or old and young. young vs old: Textbook example of how in the West we so easily get marred in dualizing everything.

    The fact is, our inner lives are a lot more complex than young and old.

  • I scream/whisper this partially constructed thought from the state of Middle-Madness

    If you have a story, and you want to tell it. Or maybe you just can’t stop “seeing”, or “finding”. looking. searching.

    If you have passion. Not just energy, but passion. Energy might push the button, but passion gives it [ ?].

    The world would be a pretty dull place if all the seeing, all the stories, all the views, were from one age group.

  • Bob, I really struggle with your photography sometimes. When I shake my fever I’ll delve deeper. I’m smitten with your writing, however.

  • DAVID:

    :))))))…if there were a reason to return to NY and attend the PhotoFest and Powerhouse, I can imagine a better and more important reason, than for you to hang with those 2 hombres and watch them sign books…if anything, you must not only be proud of the 2 of them, for all that they have overcome, but also for your own work, perservance and what last night meant…i would have loved to have been there and have been with y’all at the Kibbutz…as i said that was my original plan 2 months ago, that marina and dima and i would come down to NYC for this long weekend (monday is a holiday here) to celebrate my birthday, our 5 yr anniverary and walk around hometown, and later talk and swap stories over a corncob pipe :)))…just talking is all, in the end, that matters to me…the sharing of our lives with others, the digging, the archeology, the howling and the humming, it’s all all about the story, the speaking upon and the drinking upon, and that’s all my entire life has ever really been for or about and in that sense, my life is no different…but trust me, im also a man of my word, and the 2 of us, and the 3 of us (w/marina) and the 4 of us (w/dima) will get together, sooner rather than later, and just share: be that over photographs pinned to walls or scattered on the floor (my preference), or stories or whiskey/ice wine, or nature’s remedy dancing from the end of a corn pipe, it will happen…it’s just about, for now, simple stupid things like money, nothing more than that, and since i dont really care about money other than to make sure marina and dima are well, im patient…

    thank you for the generous offer to go to look3, but in truth, it’s not just that…i couldnt, at least now, come alone anyway, and marina and i have to put dima first, and what little money i have left after tax bullshit goes to send him to Montreal for his class trip…next year will be look4, and soon will be manhattan/brooklyn, and all will work…besides, i’d rather you put that air fare into your own road trip project, or use it for the emerging photos stuff, or by yourself something…(i’ll write you tomorrow an email)…as i told Mike Berube last night at an opening, just lots of $$ problems came at once, and i have to see them for what they are, just accept…my spirit will be with y’all when you’re doing the projection and i’ll drink that night to, in my absence and in your community in charlottesville…

    as for the sadness, well yes…it’s not important to dwell into that now, but i imagine anyone that swallows and chews upon life with any kind of ferocity fields deep pivots of sadness, what can one do?..Im not a “depressive” character, in fact, quite the contrary, which tends to surprise people when they meet me in person (ask Mike or others in charlottesville who know me in person), but part of joy late the skeleton of grief…at a young age, i experienced grief in a way that has simply never left, and probably the stories inside all my pictures and in everything i have ever written are marked and tatood by this: this wonderous, sustaining, vanquishing life that disappears in front of us, not matter how we resist or gulp it down…like all families, my own is marked by tragedy and sorrow, reconciliation and hysteria, sadness that hasn’t abated, and as the oldest and as the “joiner” (my grandmother’s words) in the family, it’s left in mark: how to speak upon the sound of the breath of the loved ones whose lives ache and mark upon you, how to speak upon that which words have few or littel fortune shaping, how to express how much you love and live with others inside…it’s all there, that mighty murky river that keeps my body bent and my heart swollen…as we’ve talked about before: the work is often the alphabet of which we are able to express that which seems so nutered in our own language…sadness is a condition born of loving deeply, there’s more to the story of nc, there’s more to the work (with dinosaur bones), but that will wait fcr another time….

    we sing cause it’s the singing that gets things done, sometimes even more than the livin’ of it….hugs….

    ERICA: thank you so much…that means alot to me, as you know….

    PAUL: no worries Paul…i struggle with my own work too…you see, for me, photography has always been simply a tool, like words, like song, like dance, like sleep, like silence, to give shift and shape to this unknowable thing: the living of the way around i grow older, i become less and less enchanted or interested in being a “good photographer”, in other words, making “pretty” pictures, or using “good cameras”, and more and more interested in seeing if a camera and photographs can maintain the same relationship to the rest of my life as breathing, as singing, as reading, as drinking: in other words, yes im holding a camera, but can that camera express what and how it is that i saw or felt or heard something say and what impact…photographs not exclusively about “the moment” but about the abacus of the moment: an adding…can i photograph a moment that somehow contains (at least emotionally or iconographically) other moments in that person or places life that speak in a single picture…i have never believed in the decisive moment (as much as i love bresson or documentary work), but i’ve always been ensorcelled by what surrounds, the mess of things…and besides, it’s okay to “struggle” with my work or even to “hate” it or find it boring or poor or artificial or any of that…it’s totally cool…we can only be the photographer that we were meant to be, and i guess my photographs look pretty much like the way i write or think or feel life or well, whatever…i’m actually pretty funny guy in real life, and yet my pictures are always that weird collision…they all come from a moment in time, when the world seem lost in its entirety to me, long ago…my photography is very simple, not very important, just expression of people and places and moments that inspired or stuck inside me and i found them profound…the photos are worthless, but their failure, and im continually failing, remind me of what it is that i cannot shake: the speaking, even in muddy grain or sloppy grammar, of things raining down around…the scent of peacans roasting, the waves of white cotten pricked by brown stems, the sweat on my father’s neck driving when i was a child, his tears and age, as if he were my own child, in front of me, and nothing i can do to arrest the flooding of all those things….


  • ps. DAVID:



  • David

    Ditto Pete’s request…I have not heard anything from Andrew about what to bring either.



    I have completely nothing to show from morocco.


    I added a few photos to protfolio from morroco… but you have to find it in crowd…

    bad day… I’m going to drink with friends…

    peace for all

  • Hi to all of you, this is the first time I write in your blog and glad to do it….. and especially in a such interesting topic. I’m a 36 italian “photographer” (not for profession) who is a marketing manager to get money to live..

    Sometime I feel the feeling to switch from my job to a Photographer job life…, but always I thinks probably I’m too old to do such step and I had think about it ealier (I know some of you guys probably thought I’ ve some problem :-)) I always think, How could I live with no money for range time untill starting to get some by photographying… ?? that’s the big question I put myself in from of my…

    By the way a side of me is getting starting to made himself on the way to….

    That’s why David I’ll be one of your student at the workshop on June.. bye to you all guys nice to be here with you.


  • all…
    this wednesday “Blindness” opened the Cannes Festival. from José Saramago’s novel, the Fernando Meirelles (“City of God” and “The Constant Gardener”) movie is coming soon, but i encourage you to read this story about an epidemic of white blindness. in Jesse Berrett’s words ( “more frightening than Stephen King, as unrelenting as a bad dream, José Saramago’s “Blindness” politely rubs our faces in apocalypse.”
    Saramago was born in 1922, he abandoned high-school and trained as a mechanic. he worked in civil service, in a publishing company for twelve years and then in newspapers, where he became editor. between 1975 and 1980 he was a translator. he found is own “style” in 1980, already with 58 years old, with “Risen from the Ground”. his international breakthrough came two years later with “Baltasar and Blimunda”. only in the 1980s he has devoted himself to his own writing. Saramago’s oeuvre totals more than 30 books. he won the Nobel prize for literature in 1998.
    i want to share with you all – photographers – out there, “Blindness” opening quotation, “If you can see, look. If you can look, observe” and a dialogue near the end, “Do you want me to tell you what I think, Yes, do, I don’t think we did go blind, I think we are blind, Blind but seeing, Blind people who can see, but do not see.”

    and are you familiar with portuguese filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira? he was born in 1908 and is the oldest active film director in the world. he was an actor, competed in the pole vault, raced cars professionally and performed as a trapeze artist in his youth. he made his first documentary in 1931 and his first feature film in 1942. than he involved himself in the family vineyards. but since 1990, when he turned 82, he has made at least one film each year. his most recent film is “Christopher Columbus – the Enigma” (2007). he turns 100 in december and is now planning his next film, “The Strange Case of Angelica”.

    so… don’t worry… don’t hurry…

    when i first read that you were about to start a new project/journey that involved crossing the USA, i immediately remember Dean Karnazes 2006 “Endurance 50”, the greek(hi, Panos…)- american ultramarathoner who ran 50 marathons, in 50 states, in 50 consecutive days. in each day/run he was accompanied by lots of people running side by side a section (or every single one) of those daily 26 miles. perhaps something you could add (somewhere/sometime) to your personal road trip…
    and… boa viagem.

    how are you? hope you’re safe…
    i went back to your work on China after watching the news from the earthquake and seeing today, here in Lisbon, an exhibition with photos taken also in China by Pedro Azevedo. he won a grant and went to China in 2007 for a documental project with a middle format camera. it’s about a small town and an area close to the Yangtze river and the consequences of the Three Gorges dam.
    “Estrada de Água” (road of water) shows at kgaleria until may 31, and all 25 photos have the occurrence of (an odd and remarkable) mist, smog or smoke… but it was (only) an accident with a camera back leak…
    i wish you could see more, but there’s only one photo in this link, at

    and Panos…
    just to let you know that here, in Lisbon, opens tonight the third edition of a three day festival that links youth theatre and new writing. it’s called… PANOS, meaning “palcos novos, palavras novas” (new stages, new words), at like talking about your assignment… new mind, new work.

    um forte abraço para todos,
    Carlos Filipe

  • CARLOS :)))

    LOVE LOVE BLINDNESS!!…read it when was first published in the U.S……



    in fact, just this past 2 months i’ve re-read: south of nowhere, act of the damned, inquisitor’s manual and natural order of things (one of my favorite novels of the last 20 years)…read knowledge of hell, which was just published in n.america…and about to start farewell the caravels….

    also, while i was shooting for David’s Emerging Photographers project, i was carrying and swallowing fernando pessoa’s THE BOOK OF DISQUIET….:))))

    by the way, in the fall, i had a chance (and i wrote about him here too) to meet Pedro Costa…he had all his films screened at the Ontario Cinemateque…i went to every film, every night for 6 days straight…(marina was in Moscow with Dima)…i met him, gave him a bottle of wine and talked with him…he’s one of the world’s great filmmakers….

    by the way, i wonder if yu know the photography of my friend Idalina Pedrosa??…she now lives in france…but originally from Porto…she founded the art collective/photography group SMOKE…

    anyway, i love love love portugal…have a long photo and writing project on it…and someday hope to do a collaboration with her and my wife about portugal…

    ok, running…will be away off computer for a few days…celebrating my birth and un-birthdays…


  • Not That I have any judgement on your shots from Morocco, Marcin (they may not have escaped certain cliches, though for me, that is no criteria. After all, I like that in french, a photo is called a “cliche” too…), but I am interested how you (everyone of course too, Bob?) define failure, or rather failing, in photography, in your photography?

  • Bob, Happy Birthday. funny, now I know you are younger than me (years), but I must admit to you I always figured you exactly looking like that shot of your father… That’s old! :-)))))))))))))))

    Enjoy, and tell us what were the gifts!

  • BoB- Bruz! Happy Birthday to you (especially breathy Marilyn voice now just for you!) Happy Birthday day to you!!!!!!!!!

    BoB if you’re my bruz is Akaky my Dad?

    Then where’s Mum and how come I missed on the genius writing gene?

    Appropo to nothing There is a little known Oz film called ‘Proof’ about a blind photographer- we develop differently down here I think.

    Once I met a very wise man who knew people that had immigrated from Holland to Broome in North Western Australia. He defined the world in these terms, that in Europe people cultivated the land and that in America people shaped the land but in Australia the land shaped the people.

    But to respond to DAH’s post and BoB’s birthday I have to say that I think age is only the limit of your imagination…


  • Hey David,

    just saw some of the photos from the Magnum Korea book….from you I saw the one from the dress cafe and one from the water bar…..

    personally I last weekend I was in Jinju and took a lot of photos of my in-laws as part of my personal family project. As you may know I have two main projects running as an investigation of my family: Home Sweet Home and Family ties. If you have the chance and want to see the newest stuff just go to my flickr page they are the photos on page 1 and 2 of my photostream.

  • BOB

    i’m just getting into all this here… but i must and must and must

    and must


    your images touch me

    they really do

    peace man, really


  • Marcin….let it sit a bit….I had the same feelings about my 2 days in Shanghai but I am turning around on those feelings….

  • ALL,
    I thought that …
    Am i missing something… should i also say happy birthday,
    or should i wait till Sunday …!????
    …very frustrating…

    GREAT MOROCCO PHOTOS…( why so hard to folder them in one
    place, motherf*****r ???? )

    What’s uuuuuuuppppppp !!! bro…
    what are YOU shooting these days… that really comes from
    YOUR HEART ???? show us some cool stuff…
    I’m not trying to put you on the spot… but i would love to see …
    YOUR “VIEW” of this world…
    thanks again, bro…

    also GREAT WORK…!

  • Pretty content personally I guess… At thirty one i’m not sure if I’m either young or old anyway? Anyone?… Sure it would be nice to have a bit more time on my side, but then experience is so important in this game, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.


  • Marcin,

    no clue which are your new morocco pictures…I think you have to group your images now, too many to just have them shown in one sequence.

  • Zarathustra 18: Old and Young Women

    [Of course one can attempt to see deeper symbolism in this section, but I think that it shows mainly that Nietzsche, for all his fantastic insights, had one flaw in that he was misogynous. No wonder that Lou-Andrea didn’t accept his proposal for a “two year marriage.” Note though that in the famous picture with her and Ree, it is Lou who is holding the whip! I wonder if the bitterness after Lou’s departure could have aggravated Nietzsche’s misogyny which really explodes in the Zarathustra and in Beyond Good and Evil §238-239?
    “Why stealest thou along so furtively in the twilight, Zarathustra? And what hidest thou so carefully under thy mantle?
    Is it a treasure that hath been given thee? Or a child that hath been born thee? Or goest thou thyself on a thief’s errand, thou friend of the evil?”–
    Verily, my brother, said Zarathustra, it is a treasure that hath been given me: it is a little truth which I carry.
    But it is naughty, like a young child; and if I hold not its mouth, it screameth too loudly.
    As I went on my way alone to-day, at the hour when the sun declineth, there met me an old woman, and she spake thus unto my soul:
    “Much hath Zarathustra spoken also to us women, but never spake he unto us concerning woman.”
    And I answered her: “Concerning woman, one should only talk unto men.”
    “Talk also unto me of woman,” said she; “I am old enough to forget it presently.”
    And I obliged the old woman and spake thus unto her:
    Everything in woman is a riddle, and everything in woman hath one solution –it is called pregnancy.
    Man is for woman a means: the purpose is always the child. But what is woman for man?
    Two different things wanteth the true man: danger and diversion. Therefore wanteth he woman, as the most dangerous plaything.
    Man shall be trained for war, and woman for the recreation of the warrior: all else is folly.
    Too sweet fruits–these the warrior liketh not. Therefore liketh he woman;–bitter is even the sweetest woman.
    Better than man doth woman understand children, but man is more childish than woman.
    In the true man there is a child hidden: it wanteth to play. Up then, ye women, and discover the child in man!
    A plaything let woman be, pure and fine like the precious stone, illumined with the virtues of a world not yet come.
    Let the beam of a star shine in your love! Let your hope say: “May I bear the Superman!”
    In your love let there be valour! With your love shall ye assail him who inspireth you with fear!
    In your love be your honour! Little doth woman understand otherwise about honour. But let this be your honour: always to love more than ye are loved, and never be the second.
    Let man fear woman when she loveth: then maketh she every sacrifice, and everything else she regardeth as worthless.
    Let man fear woman when she hateth: for man in his innermost soul is merely evil; woman, however, is mean.
    Whom hateth woman most?–Thus spake the iron to the loadstone: “I hate thee most, because thou attractest, but art too weak to draw unto thee.”
    The happiness of man is, “I will.” The happiness of woman is, “He will.”
    “Lo! now hath the world become perfect!”–thus thinketh every woman when she obeyeth with all her love.
    Obey, must the woman, and find a depth for her surface. Surface, is woman’s soul, a mobile, stormy film on shallow water.
    Man’s soul, however, is deep, its current gusheth in subterranean caverns: woman surmiseth its force, but comprehendeth it not.–
    Then answered me the old woman: “Many fine things hath Zarathustra said, especially for those who are young enough for them.
    Strange! Zarathustra knoweth little about woman, and yet he is right about them! Doth this happen, because with women nothing is impossible?
    And now accept a little truth by way of thanks! I am old enough for it!
    Swaddle it up and hold its mouth: otherwise it will scream too loudly, the little truth.”
    “Give me, woman, thy little truth!” said I. And thus spake the old woman:
    “Thou goest to women? Do not forget thy whip!”–
    Thus spake Zarathustra.

    [The whip, Nietzsche had said later was of course a JOKE… (Conversations with Nietzsche, Sander Gilman)]

  • ALL,

    Some thoughts after a wine margarita !!
    Mucho Gusto restaurant only sells wine and beer but you have to give them credit for trying :))

    I’ve been completely consumed with remodeling my house for the past year (well really two) and haven’t photographed or traveled as I would have liked to. I’ve tried to at least shoot what’s in front of me and mostly it’s been construction/construction workers.

    Mostly I am not convinced that this is such a great idea:

    The house is something I’m passionate about but the walls are all white so it’s not the greatest “set” for one thing.

    The whole remodeling process is so stressful that to put more pressure on myself to “produce” while I’m trying to oversee the job isn’t a good thing either. I need a break from the construction, not necessarily ways to be more involved with it.

    Then there are the workers, great guys who don’t particularily want me around…watching over them or getting in the way.

    So I’ve had mixed emotions about the whole thing.

    Then tonight I attend a photography opening…at a gallery I’d like to show in… and one of the photographers is exhibiting…you guessed it… Construction Workers!!!!

    Evidently he didn’t think it was such a bad idea. Nor did the gallery.

    It got me thinking about COMMITMENT to one’s ideas…It’s one thing to HAVE the idea but it seems you really have to BELIEVE in your project for the work to move forward.

    True or not??? What do you think?

  • … sorry, but i’m just lost … in the memory of old friends…

  • Hi all

    I’v been in morocco to take “my” photos. Not “nice natgeo” photos, not “barbeys”, not “VU” photos… only deeply my photos. I have nothing to show you as a example what I mean even!
    in morocco I took 15 films but I have scanned only 30 frames without convince to them.
    there was not “next step” at all.
    I made a few experiments, but they not work. many frames I screw up completly just like that. I have not even one frame with I agree!!

    sorry for so many photos in portfolo and not folder morocco pictures but I have not possibilities to work as a pro photographer right now and I not show my website nobody (excluding you) I decided to use my website as a “place to think about my way”… I mean I am not satisfy from this photos and I will enforsed to do something with that very soon.

    so this is nothing to discuss about.

    I will try to make quick slide show this few photos from morocco especialy for you.


    I love the way you are going right now!! keep going!

  • Marcin,

    thanks! I suggest you join flickr….you dont need to choose one or the other but at the very least flickr is fun…join some good groups and you can have some fun.

  • “At seventy-three I learned a little about the real structure of animals, plants, birds, fishes and insects. Consequently when I am eighty I’ll have made more progress. At ninety I’ll have penetrated the mystery of things. At a hundred I shall have reached something marvellous, but when I am a hundred and ten everything I do, the smallest dot, will be alive.”

    (Hokusai-japanese artist 1760-1849)

  • Ok folks…

    I don’t want take too much your time so I made quick moroccan slideshow especialy for you.


  • Cathy

    in photography not exist “good” or “bad” ideas only “good” or “bad” results… and Courage…

  • Joan Gummels, nice one, I like the Ethiopian way: baby, child, kid, adult, old – although I stopped at kid many years ago.

    Akay says “I have never done the chicken dance at a Romanian Orthodox wedding reception in East Orange, New Jersey. Well, that almost goes without saying, doesn’t it?” – hey, don’t knock it ’till you’ve tried it!

    David, hardly anyone on the planet likes the U.S. “official side of things” but almost every one likes the people of the U.S. It is important to remember that people are generally the same, with similar hopes, dreams and aspirations wherever they happen to be from.

    As for me, I’m just about catching T Model up in the age stakes. Free at last, I’m looking forward to each photograph that comes my way.



  • Welcome Laredo! I love Italy: nobody paints anything and it still looks fantastic. Sometimes it’s best to earn money from something other than photography as it allows you to photograph what you want as opposed to what someone else wants.

    Good light,


  • Good day David (2.45 pm here),

    how about the assignments and all the discussions on topics and ideas we had on the previous thread?
    Did i miss something? is anyone already working on a given assignment?


  • Mike – I think it’s more that we are some combination of the stages at any given time, adult + kid. And don’t you know kids who have a lot of “old” in them too? Remembering to play with friends from time to time is a great thing, no matter the stage of life.


  • Bob… just before your b-day… many here recognize sadness in your pictures but be careful… here is a quote for you from Hemon’s The Lazarus Project:

    “I spotted a can in the corner whose red label read SADNESS. Was there so much of it they could can it and sell it? A bolt of pain went through my intestines before I realized that it was not SADNESS but SARDINES. It was too late for recovery…”


  • MARCIN :)))

    i would actually also take Veba’s, or more specifically Sasha Hemon’s admonishment to heart too ;))…i like the Morocco pictures actually very much….be patient, and i’ll tell u why…1) they are gorgeous and filled with lots and lots of empty sadness (ok, that might be empty or full Sardines, but Sardines have, frankly, always made me sad, especially when i’ve been “forced” to eat them at a dinner party)…lots of beautiful emptyness and silence, but more importantly, i like that the pictures raise questions…for me, i always respond to photographs that make me wonder about a place or moment or persons, not photographs that “tell” me something but that stir questions, compel me to want to learn more (read, google, whatever) about a place, trickle into my skull…i actually dislike work, generally, that “answer” things for me right away….there’s lots of strange collisions and mystery in the pics and it made me ask: what part of Morocco, who are these people, what the hell is that fire festival/celbration…i really love pics #1, #2,#3, #4, #5, #7 (great pic, this man looks like a god coming down from the sky or out of the fire, and I can’t “figure out” the pic visually, which to me is always a sign of success!), but each of the photographs contains mystery and i like the “foreground obfuscation”, i mean the objects in the foreground that block the mid and backgrounds…weirdly, it looks like one of the planets from Star Wars….

    is it ok if i offer some advice?…;))

    dont look at the negatives now!!!!….I never never look at negatives right after a project…for my own neg (1 roll) from NC, i waiting 5 weeks before i looked…because it is always always a disappointment and I am not convinced that a person can really “see” their pictures close to the act of shooting…cause our expectations are always always different….

    put them away (15 rolls is alot) and look at them in a month, when you’ve forgotten what you wanted/hoped for and then scan and see….if the first series is any indication, im sure once u scan the rest, you’ll find lots of great beauty and lots of great sardines! :))))…


    FAILURE: every time i develop negatives i get a sick feeling in my stomach, every time…and while sometimes i am happy with some pics, most of the time i feel disappointment…this is just normal: they fail because they will never be as strong or interesting or reflective as I’d hoped, or as i’d seen…in other words, photographs still dont yet speak strongly enough for me of the moment i felt…it’s partly about being “manufactured” in stead of being real, and this is perpetual, but it still stirs…

    failure to me, with regard to photography, is best illustrated by the brilliant Hemon quote Veba left above: i’d deluded hoped or thought i’d seen and expressed sadness, the eternal sadness that haunts our lives, and in truth it was nothing more than a small can of sardines…sadness and laughter are pretty much the same end around for me (crying and laughing sound exactly the same, exactly, only it’s our perception of what we thing: i make students “act” laughing or crying and others try and guess the emotion…what do you think most of the students (who dont know what the other students are tyring to act) say?….i wont say here, but it’s a pretty revealing thing about our wonderful fucked human nature;))…the beckett line about fail again, fail better says all for me more succinctly…failure doesn’t mean the opposite of “success” (i dont know or believe in that word at all) but only this:

    distance of travel…

    failure means i still havent made it home, and the night is still damp, but god damn, i still got miles to go before i sleep….

    and yea, who knows how old my face looks: you’ll have to ask Velibor that, since he has seen it in person….



    BIG KISSES AND BIG THANKS!!!…well, shiiiit…remember, you still got the fucking beach and sydney and i had to work behind the frickin glass counter…i mean who got the better escape route from Dad Akaky??? ;)))…and your writing aint nothing aint nothing to shake a wet songline stick at my dear, u know has well as i do that you’re a singer and a walker as much as I and siblings should compare only put together to augment, right?…and guess what I WATCHED PROOF!!!! :)))…I LOVE THAT FILM!!!…and it’s weird you say about it now, cause i was just talking about it last week…it’s closer to what i think of “australia” oddly enough that most films, but in truth it’s about my life too (u know im blind in my right eye)…i saw it when i just returned from Prague in ’92…anyway, we really really are twined at the hip my dear :))))…thank u for the birthday kiss and throaty marilynesque song :))))))…xoxox….

    ANTON: thanks amigo…appreciate that…in 3 weeks, or whatever, i’ll put more up once i’ve worked through the dinosaur bones/dima project…i appreciate much :))

    PANOS :))))…thanks dog…any of Zarathustra ALWAYS ALWAYS makes me feel young :)))))

    VEBA: :)))))

    WILL WILL WILL CALL U TONIGHT (PROMISE)….Sasha has said it better than anything i can conjure up…and i guess it takes 2 old-young sad Sarajevo boys like the 2 of u to guess exactly what is at the heart and matter of everything i write and shoot…but u know that already about me:

    it’s still too late to recover, so might as well open that fucking rusting can and swallow, eyes WIDE OPEN! :)))




    This is the kind of “loose” photography I can get behind! Good feel for your surroundings. Nice texture and most of the time a point of interest.

    My faves are:
    -3 *
    -5 *
    -11 ?

    3 and 5 are (for me) the standouts from that very impressive group.

    11 is close. I think I would have liked it more if the person was out from behind the palm tree.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • BOB, ALL
    Can we fail in our own eyes, but succeed in others?
    Also, the failure you mention processing or scanning does not seem to be related to, in one word, shortcomings (as Marcin’s), but more existential, and involving the process, the medium itself, maybe the whole wide world, as I read you sometimes. Which, still reading you, amounts to celebrate it all, success and failures. The Beckett quote would lead us to think one can thrive failing.


    I have to look at the slideshow, but from the few I watched yesterday, it is obvious ou have not lost that special language that is yours, which I perceive thru your color rendition. So maybe, one week was not enough, and that would make a lot of sense.

    I applaud you for stating straight you are unsatisfied not just with your shots, but with yourself, and won’t be distracted by nice comments. And I do think like you that photography has a lot to do with courage of a certain sort. the synonym being honesty, not just towards one’s craft, but oneself.

    Off my head: why is there a consensus against nice pictures, cliches, but evryone is being nice and clicheed talking to others about their link/project or galleries?

  • Bob, your looks: I thought I/we saw a pix of you lying, reading ona sofa, something you linked here or fFlickR, I can’t recall?

  • Bob, I hate to admit this, but I only sold you and your brothers to the deli man. I sold Lisa and your sisters to someone whose name escapes me at the moment who was conducting extensive scientific research into new forms of Velcro so that the inhabitants of the Antipodes wouldnt fall off the planet. I have to say that I was dubious about the whole idea; everyone knows that the people down under have to wear Velcro every minute of every day of their lives lest they fall into the sky and break it, and now with the hole over Antarctica there’s the definite danger of them sliding all the way down the sky and flying off into outer space, but the money was good and the deli man didnt want them, so I shipped them south of the Equator. Your mom’s still in Ohio, the last I heard, doing whatever it is they do in Ohio on a regular basis.

  • BOB-

    It makes so much sense that you would like the portuguese conscience…I will never understand how lobo antunes slipped under the radar, but the writing bears an intensity, a melancholoy….

    and for your birthday (from return of the caravels, as naus)

    Unemployed friends, penniless drunkards, and rummagers in trash cans helped me repair the walls with pieces of cardboard and remnants of tiles , stolen beds, toilets, and disemboweled mattresses from junk shops and carried them through the city at night in a procession of contraband to the disbelief of doormen at bars who were frightened by the fluttering flight of night tables.

    in advance of your birthday, I wish to thank you for the words and photos that have kept me up thinking at night…

    happy birthday!

  • David,
    What’s your take on Roger Ballen? I’ve been following his work for years, but I saw a film of his tonight, and my circuits are blown…


    1 ( HOW DID YOU DO THE VIGNETTE on thr left upper corner ? )
    8 ( THE END OF THE WORLD)… awesome… DAH like…
    12 ( MAGNUM feeling )
    14 ( of course )……

    and if you want me to go down to 5 only ( heavy edit- version),
    i also eliminate…, the 13 and 14..

    so , bottomline, awesome photos…
    It’s so funny that , YOU DELIVERED MORE THAN I ,-at least -anticipated…
    I’m proud of you…
    You can simply make great pictures, …
    you almost make it look so “EASY” and “simple”…
    You are a genius MARCIN… BRAVO

  • “…Federico Fellini

    Federico Fellini, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI[1] (January 20, 1920 – October 31, 1993) was an Italian film director. Known for a distinct style which meshes fantasy and baroque images, he is considered as one of the most influential and widely revered film-makers of the 20th century.
    Fellini’s works garnered numerous awards, including four Oscars, two Silver Lions, a Palme d’Or and a grand prize at the Moscow International Film Festival.

    Fellini’s father Urbano (1894-1956) was a traveling salesman and wholesale vendor. In August 1918, he married Ida Barbiani (1896-1984) in a civil ceremony (with the religious celebration the following January). After Fellini’s birth in 1920, two more children arrived: Riccardo (1921-1991) and Maria Maddalena (m. Fabbri; 1929-2002). Urbano Fellini was originally from Gambettola, where the young Federico vacationed at his grandparents’ house for several years.
    Born and raised in Rimini, Fellini’s childhood experiences would later play an important part in many of his films, in particular, I vitelloni (1953), 8½ (1963) and Amarcord (1973). It is misleading, however, to assume that all his films contain autobiographical anecdotes and fantasies. Intimate friends, such as screenwriters Tullio Pinelli and Bernardino Zapponi, cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno and set designer Dante Ferretti have insisted on how Fellini invented his own memories simply for the pleasure of narrating them in his films.[2]
    During Mussolini’s Fascist regime, Fellini and his brother, Riccardo, were part of the Avanguardista, the fascist youth group that every adolescent Italian male was obliged to join. After moving to Rome in the spring of 1939, Fellini landed a well-paid job writing articles for the hugely popular satirical weekly, Marc’Aurelio. It was at this time that he interviewed Aldo Fabrizi, inaugurating a friendship that would lead to professional collaboration and radio work. Of conscription age since 1939, Fellini had nonetheless managed to avoid being drafted through a suite of clever ruses. Commenting on this turbulent epoch, Fellini biographer Tullio Kezich notes that although “the Marc’Aurelio period was happy, the happiness masked a phase of shameless political apathy. Many living under the Mussolini dictatorship during its last years experienced the schizophrenic tug between official loyalty to the regime and the intrinsic freedom of humor.”

    In 1942, Fellini met Giulietta Masina, and a year later, on October 30, 1943, they were married. Thus began one of the great creative partnerships in world cinema. Several months after their marriage, Masina fell down the stairs and suffered a miscarriage. Then, on March 22, 1945, Pierfederico (nicknamed Federichino) was born but died a mere month later on April 24. These family tragedies affected the couple in profound ways, particularly in the conception of La strada (1954).
    The fascist regime fell on July 25, 1943, and the Allies liberated Rome on June 4, 1944. During that euphoric summer, Fellini set up the Funny-Face Shop with his friend De Seta, drawing caricatures of Allied soldiers for money. It was here that Roberto Rossellini came to see Fellini about his project, titled Rome, Open City (1945). Rossellini wanted the young man to introduce him to Aldo Fabrizi and collaborate on the script (with Suso Cecchi D’Amato, Piero Tellini, and Alberto Lattuada). Fellini accepted, contributing gags and dialogue.
    In 1993, Fellini received an Oscar “in recognition of his cinematic accomplishments that have thrilled and entertained audiences worldwide.” That same year, he died of a heart attack in Rome at the age of 73, a day after his fiftieth wedding anniversary on October 31st. His wife, Giulietta Masina, died six months later of lung cancer on March 23 1994. Fellini, Giulietta Masina and their son Pierfederico are buried in the same bronze tomb sculpted by Arnaldo Pomodoro. Shaped like a ship’s prow in the water, the tomb is located at the main entrance to the Cemetery of Rimini.
    The Federico Fellini International Airport in Rimini is named in his honor…”

    peace (what’s wrong with me today…? Oh, i know… just got back from … where else… hell Venice…!

  • Marcin,
    The images aren’t bad, but I think you can do better after having seen your previous images. When seeing these pictures I get this distinct feeling “If you’re not close enough…” and you know the rest. I like your work and to be honest your Cuba images are much better. I really get the feeling that you’re there and know the place when watching those.
    I don’t want to put you down in any way and hope you don’t take it that way, but you have huge potential.


  • Hi ALL

    thanks for comment of my works.

    The tru is that I have only one problem…. I belong to nowhere…
    I am not photojournalist, I am not Art photographer, I am not ” magnum” Photographer.

    I will loose my job soon and I have to find another job… so I have printed some my “photojournalistic” photos to profolio to show at newspapers. This pictures have no soul like one milion of news photos around the world. who need more photojournalist????
    I do not belong to photojournalist’s world.

    two weeks ago I was in art gallery at show of modern polish photography. This artists earn a lot of money for one prints, but mostly they are looks the same… empty places, architecture, home snapshots… I have to learn witch photo is who’s. there’s no matter, it is poland norway or us. Everybody do exactly the same photos.
    I’m do belong to art photographer’s world.

    Magnum is very famous photocolective now. Everybody can look at the pictures by net. many people discuss about them. Many learning form them. Me too.
    Many times I heard that I have “magnum” style. It’s mean that I try taking pictures like magnum photographers (Clumsy). 60 different photographers have something common??? probably they are. But I’m not. I am shadow.
    I do not belong to magnum imitaters… I hope

    when I had drove to morocco I thought I have a plan and ideas. How to take some good photos… not “photojournal”, not “art”, not “magnum” photos only mine. I thought that I have all puzzles on place. That I know how do some unique series of photos. but when we have landed I was knew it will not work, that i will screw up before I started.

    So… maybe it’s look like I compaine againe… or torture myself againe ;) or I am never and ever satisfy … but I’m just dissapinted.
    I thought I had good wind.
    I forgot when something go right in my photography.


  • tomorrow I will start my photo plan from begining… here in my town.
    I need only good light… I need sun!

  • MIKE

    just couldn’t stay for r. ballen’s short though I wanted to..was unable to take in another thing after Bug didn’t uh, bug you?


    When I look at the photos in your portfolio I see not a photojournalist, an art photographer or a Magnum photographer (whatever THAT is), I see the world, its people, places and things through the eyes of someone who looks not AT the world but INTO it. Deeply into it. Feelings stir inside me when I look at each image, feelings of wonder, sadness, surprise, recognition, joy, despair, comfort, loneliness, humor. As Bob said, your images bring forth questions not answers. They are the raw stuff of life. The real thing.

    We are often our own worst critics because we compare our finished photos to the unrealized dreams we had when we took them. But those who view our images carry none of that baggage. They come to our work with their own expectations, yes, but their eyes and judgments are often more clear-sighted than ours.

    You, Marcin, are an original. You have a unique voice that comes through in your work. Of course you will grow and develop. Hopefully we each will do that as long as we live. I wish you well…


  • Erica,
    Ha ha! Yes, Bug Crush did bug me… I thought it was tedious, self-consciously creepy and generally unnecessary. My comments last night were a: well, that was unpleasant and b: now I know why they gave us free rum before the event.

    The Ballen film, though, was incredibly beautiful and surreal… and the best example I’ve seen of a still photographer merging movement and sound with images…

  • tomorrow I will start my photo plan from begining… here in my town.


    Marcin, I am afraid few understand or wish to understand what you are trying to say. Surely, the comments seem to show that, as if it was just a matter of finding which shots are OK, a little bit better, better, and etc….

    Gee, this all sounds like a cocktail party where a lot is spoken and nothing is said.

    Marcin is pouring out his doubts, his heart, and we’d just pat him on the shoulder…Friends, we can do better, can’t we?

    Thanks for your honesty, again.

  • Marcin…

    Photojournalists? Art photographer? Magnum? Nat Geo? Whatever.

    You are a photographer. Simple as that. Moreover, you are a photographer with a distinctive voice. You may struggle, you may be mostly displeased with your work…most of us are! But that is what drives us. Don’t let it consume you, swallow you whole. Use that inner struggle to move it forward.

    I personally always look forward to seeing your new stuff. I only wish I looked forward to my new stuff! ;^}


  • Sorry Herve…hope that wasn’t too happy, happy! ;^}

  • Herve

    thanks amigo but I don’t need to be “pat on the shoulder”. I sometimes try to talk about doubts, problems, anger, ambition… not only how photography worderful is… because IT IS!!
    I love taking photos but sometimes it killing me!
    so who next??

  • …and Bob, a very happy birthday. You would have been a great kielbasa…

  • David is busy, I have boring awful rainy day… so who want to talk about struggles?

  • BOB,

    If I recall correctly, Sunday was your birthday so, HAPPY BIRHDAY MAN!!!! Hope this year that you will share a lot of pictures and words with us all and that you and David will eventually meet this year!!!! I cannot believe that the two of you have not got together yet….

    I have traveled to Marocco a couple of times. At first, going there I thought it would be a great place to photograph but actually I found it to be a very difficult place. Unless, you really know the people there, it is kind of difficult to get close to them for photography… What’s more, there are many great images that everyone has in mind and therefore it is tough to do something new and different. I am sure that you must have seen the Marocco book from Bruno Barbey… Net, do not be too harsh on yourself…it is really challenging to photograph there something really unique, staing there just a few days. I did have a quick look at your images and there are some very nice ones…the ones I prefered were more the ones that seem to be your “own” style/ vision, the beach with the red chair, the picture of the mean with reflection of his face…Some of the more “classical” Marrocan pictures are not my favourites as they remind me of Barbey…In a way this may be good but at the same time seems less “you”….

    I have gone back to you site several times this week. I really like your style, the humanity of your portraits…I love th last picture of the little girl in your 40 days essay. Some many great images also in your New York porttaits, the girl with the dress in front of the gaz station. I have been wondering how you work. Are these persons that you know or simply meet on the streets? In any case, great work Erica!

    While waiting to hear from you (you are rightly having some good time with your suns…), I decided to start taking a few more shots for this BUS stop idea that I shared. If anything, I find it amusing to try to produce an essay by staying in just one spot and not move more than 20-30 meters from that spot….May not be the best “diverse” topic but it is so easy to start so I did spend a couple of hours yesterday on the spot and did a few more pictures that I have posted.




    Concerning my project, I went to Balattou yesterday night. Without a bag, just my M6, and TRI-X full my pockets. Two and a half rollers at 1/15, 2 beers, and they friendly asked me to not photograph. Owner of the Ballatou is OK, but some customers, whom I did not even shooted, complained. I am going to process today. I do not hope to have more than 2 or 3 good photos. Just a bad day.

  • Marcin…

    I don’t think Herve was trying to “pat you on the back.” He was telling others they should stop “patting you on the back.” He wants us to offer better critiques.

    I hope you don’t think I was just making happy talk. Your images move me. There are good images and not so good images. Like most others in here.

    I don’t think you complain. I think you struggle and strive and shoot and shoot more. That will only make you/us a better photographer.

    If it’s a rainy gloomy day where you are, maybe you should go out and shoot! It might gives us more insight into your mind, your mood! ;^}


  • its sunday , at last…


    …and hmmmmmmm…..
    HERVE IS RIGHT…. we are not helping Marcin much this way..

    “…Marcin is pouring out his doubts, his heart, and we’d just pat him on the shoulder…Friends, we can do better, can’t we?…”

    Herve, of couse WE can do better…. soooooo,
    your question should be…
    “Where is the nearest CLIFF… to jump………………………..????? instead of if you qualify to be an art or whatever photographer…

    Thank you Herve for YOUR honesty…
    Herve , you liberated my soul by tearing down that hypocritical blanket…
    thank you…

    this one for both of you…
    happy Sunday..

  • Eric

    I had many opportunity to shoot pictures like Barbey, but then I even not put my camera to eye. and yes, morocco is very hard but I was focused not on place but on my vision of my images. Maybe it was main mistake.


    I am always full open for any hard critiques…
    I think I have to be shaken sometimes…
    if I get you wrong I’m sorry.


    We have in my towny not only rainy day buy first of all it is just “bad” or “evil” day. everyone fighing with others. Sometings depresser is in air. We don’t fight with my wife but we don’t speak also (ha, when I write that my wife yelled for me with some stiupid reason :)
    I just want to say that in day like today I should’nt breathe even.


    I love you… it is tru love… :)


    HAPPY BIRTHDAY my friend!!!…. but it was yesterday if I’m not wrong

  • Panos…it is pouring rain where I am (DC), I’m about to go move my niece from her dorm…in the rain! Yet, I’m in a suprisingly good mood! Do you have a youtube clip for this peculiar moment?

  • Efcharisto poli!

    You rock.

  • Parakalo, monsieur….

    …and now a song for ALL…

    in the memory of George…, from the Boss…

  • Hola David,
    I wrote a little article about “calle 25 de enero” in Ponce, Puerto Rico with some of my images….if you have a chance, please take a look..

    Carlos Rubín

  • Sorry…the name of the artcicle is “Magic Town”

    Carlos Rubín


    also, last night in Venice, i found the “Insider” Steven The Con Artist… with another lady…. check those two photos…
    and honestly… if you HAVE TO EDIT, down to 5 (five),
    how would you edit…?
    Anyways, kidding…!
    Two photos from last night-this morning….

    After my meeting with STEVEN THE CON MAN,and the “other” girl,
    I wanna ask everyone….

    anyways, click below:

  • ERIC..

    you are all ready off and running with Bus Stop? This is new new, right?

    thank you..Working ‘method’..these are people I don’t know, but it only takes a moment to get close..and there is something special in not knowing someone, but intuiting the common you say..the humanity..we are all one, it’s right there, it’s just a matter of openness/trust and connection. Maybe it comes down to being able to read who is willing to collaborate for a moment in time..which is all that most of these are, I shoot very little film/spend very little time with an individual. It becomes something different when you know ‘things’ or ‘facts’ about someone..what they do, what they think..that’s the stuff that can start to create the appearance of division, that then has to be worked through to come back to the place of oneness where we started..

  • BOB

    happy happy birthday man! hope the mosquitoes keep on stinging and finding lot of youngness and LIFE :))))

    i have the same feeling developing negs as you describe… just had it today as a matter of fact…. went to a play the day before yesterday… a bunch of young actors playing important stuff incredibly intensely… well it seemed that way to me at least…. it SWEPT me… so i went up to them after the show and asked if i could do some pics before the next show…

    …i mean, even WHILE i was doing the portraits of them preparing for their next performance i could FEEL the intensity through the lens, the electricity, the story that was going to be told… and i was so happy i captured that with ten portraits…. and then today i develop AND IT’S NOT THERE… where is it… i wonder if it’s me looking at my own images…

    …it’s like it always needs a lot of time… time as in getting my head cleared for a while… detaching myself and then re-attaching…

    and DESPITE ALL THAT i get up every morning acheing to make more and more

    and more

    and enjoying every second of it…

    so i’m a happy camper after all :))

    maybe we should all have an EMPTY camera without any TRI-X in it… and taking the best memories you can imagine…


  • “do you let your age (either “too young” or “too old”) influence how you think about your work, or are you oblivious (as i am) to your “calendar age” and move forward with gusto???”

    The older I get (still a young 41), the less I feel encumbered by my age.

    It’s partly psychological: with successful experiences comes increased self confidence. I know how I learn, I know how I tend to solve problems, and I know my work ethic. I know that if I believe in an idea, I can make it happen. I didn’t always feel that way.

    It’s partly practical: with time, comes some freedoms. I am essentially my own boss. If I’ve found that elusive inspiration, I can work all night if I want to. If I want to spend some of my “spare time” playing bass in a jazz group or expanding my photographic skills, I know if and when I can or cannot do it. Sometimes I’ll just do it anyway.

    That is, as long as my wife approves, of course…

  • Eric,

    I just spent a good deal of time on your site.

    In your “About Me” section you state “Clearly I am NOT a professional photographer….”

    I would like to say that in my opinion, THAT IS CRAP.

    I don’t think the definition of a professional photographer is dependent on the photographer earning a living from their work, or photography being their “Job”.

    You are talented, and there is a lot of wonderful work on your site. I think by any other professional photographer’s measure, you would most definitely be considered a professional.

    Nice work, and I love the bus stop images.

    I AM happy to say that i fixed the problem ( laziness ),
    and i started compressing the little “movie graphs” the correct H.264 way…

    so, enjoy below , my new little “recording”… around a Venice RESTROOM…

    Anyways… ( only 3 & something minutes from your life- thank you for your generous sacrifice of your precious time… I want to thank you in advance…)

    “Waiting for the restroom,
    in Venice Beach”

    … Safety and love rarely mix…
    but , purity and stupidity…
    always come and go together…
    vote for diversity… vote for Venice…

    please enjoy…,_BEER_OUT%22.html

  • does anyone have experience with leica m3 and 35mm goggle lens ?
    i’m experiencing difficulties attaining sharpness with this lens and the attachment ? any advice out there for clarity ? i never used a range finder before and to my knowledge you focus primarily by lining up the ghost images..

  • it’s HARD TO FIND a RESTROOM when you need it in Venice…!
    A political, cultural talk between VENICE INSIDERS….
    click that YouTube shit below:

  • I think I need a beer now!

    Panos…comin’ to Look3?

  • Hey it’s Sunday — a/k/a Bob Day. Happy birthday! You’ve given me a lot to ponder and appreciate, so thanks and I hope you had a great day.


  • ERICA,

    Off and running with BUS STOP may be an overstatement :):)… Let’s say that I am trying to establish some contacts/ links for the other two proposals (Boxing and Somalia Refugees) and it will take me a bit more time to get these stories going…so, I started with the easy one… Bus stop is indeed such an easy topic to at least get started….One place where you can easily stop for one hour during the week-end, or break from work…..Difficulty will be to do something that does not all look the same stuff at the end (this is how it looks a bit right now so I will need some creativity here to do different views and get different interesting characters into the story or, more likely I will stop and will move on to one of the other 2 ideas… Currently, half of the pictures are hot from the press (one hour shooting this week-end) and the others are somewhat older and were shot few months ago… If David likes the idea of such an essay in a single confined space, I might carry on although my guess is that he may want something more diverse…Having attended a workshop with him, I would guess that he would rather pick a single shot in this location and then do something somewhere else so that it is not too repititive..Anyway, just having fun really to see what I could do with this….


    Thanks for your kind comments and I am glad you have enjoyed the site. I guess professional or NOT, we are all going after getting a few interesting images…I happen to not do this for a living….By the way, I tried to connect to your own site and it would not allow it. You may want to check your link.

    Cheers, Eric


    No hard critique for you, also you did not tell us what you were after when you went to Morocco, and did not tell us where you think you failed. I do not think it’s about missing this or that shot, reading you, and I sense that your disappointment is not just about that trip.

    And I don’t say that we should exchange pats in the back with hard critique, just relate to what you are really saying.

    I’d be surprised if all of us do not have doubts and self-questionning about what we do. And should! So… We can relate ;-)


  • Not sure what is wrong with the link on typekey. The correct link is

    That is what in in the profile, For some reason the link is putting my name and a / in front.

    If anyone has any ideas why, please let me know.

  • Pete,

    On this page underneath “post a comment” there is a place for your name then email address then URL…in the URL space what do you have?

    Mine is simply No http:// or anything else. It takes you right to my web page. Doesn’t go to a Typepad page of any kind.

  • Pete,

    the reason your name and a “/” are still there is probably because you haven’t included a “http://” at the beginning of your website address (in your TypeKey account)

    Michael is correct if you’re NOT using TypeKey or TypePad… then there is no http:// necessary (but even so, it should not break anything if you do).

    maybe check if you did or did not include the “http://”… that’ll most likely be the culprit here…

    hope this helps

  • hello david,

    i’ll be 49 on june 1st and i feel just as youthful as i did when i was a teenager!
    i really think it has everything to do with having a positive outlook – an EXUBERANCE for life. whatever age i may be, i would never let that stop me for one second in pursuing whatever passion might ignite in me. age is really just a state of mind, yes?

    i read a quote from a photographer (can’t recall who) and he said, “the older i get, the more innocent i get.” and that’s exactly how i feel. i become MORE childlike as time passes. Life is miraculous to me.

    on a side-note, did you receive my enthusiastic reply to your suggested assignment for me? i’ll be free of school in one month (mid-june) and will be ready and oh-so-willing to tackle your assignment with gusto!


    oh, and will you be showing any of my work at look3? (wish i could be there!!) if you need anything in higher-res, let me know.

    be well you..

  • Hi David (and All),

    Speaking of the Blues and Mississippi Delta…Thought you might enjoy this site/project called American Diversity Project …(
    Last year, the group spent a week in the Delta area making a collective documentary. Every year we try and capture the heart and soul of a different rural area.


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