self portrait…..

there is probably not a photographer alive who has not taken a stab at self portraiture…Cindy Sherman and Arno Minkkinen aside, most of us have at least “played” at taking our own photograph…

with our community here growing stronger by the day, i think it would just be fun to see what everyone “looks like”..some of us were able to put a “face with a name” at Look3…but not all of you could be there…and some of you have assignments right now, but not all of you…so, why not “kill two birds with one stone” and have everyone take a self portrait this week?? this way we “see” each other and this also becomes an egalitarian “assignment” for all…..

ok, to give you some incentive , i will give three “prizes” for the three “best” self portraits…

(1) signed open edition archival print (8×10) from me

(2) signed Cuba book

(3) signed used camera bag (the prize you really want!!)

self portraits must be made this week….you must post HERE and only here by midnight sunday june 22nd, New York time…please post ONE picture only…..i will only look at links with one picture and posted as a comment here..

so step away from your keyboard…take out your cellphone or your 8×10 and shoot a picture in your bathroom mirror or on the edge of the Grand Canyon or whatever…i will enlist one or two of my colleagues to help judge this little “for fun only contest”….

have you ever taken self portraiture seriously or is it something you have just done as “play” ???

476 Responses to “self portrait…..”

  • “gonzo” theories, or “love yourself”….

    Alfred Hitchcock,
    brought this new sense of humor, by adding self portraits,
    in his movies..
    Hunter S Thompson, perfected it and took it to another level…

    A self portrait is the higher form of portraiture…
    SELF SARCASM is the higher sense of humor…

    so if ONE is not “good” in self portraits, then that “ONE”
    is not good in portraits in general…
    if you cant relax and photograph yourself ,
    then how can you work with others…
    if you are not “loose”,
    how can you explain or ask for “looseness” from your subjects…?

    “gonzo” is self respect…
    if you put “yourself”, “into” the mix too, then you are honest…
    you are a good “player”, not just a pathetic, passive, observer
    with one eye closed and one behind a plastic hole….


  • BRAVO David great idea! Bringing the community yet closer together. Love it! Fun too! One question: Do we have to click that shutter ourselves or can we use a beautiful assistant? Can’t wait to put faces to the names.

    Don’t know if you caught my last post as it was just before you set up this new page? Not sure if this is bad blog etiquette to copy this trough?…

    DAVID McGowan:

    Thanks for posting the video of the presentation. I wish I could have attended, so it was really nice to feel a little more a part of it by seeing the presentation. Just like being there!—even straining for a view past old curly top! (only teasing ;)) Thank you.


    You post so much here I am often unable to keep up. The video was was the first time I have been able to see your work in a condensed form. Do you have a link to a tight edit of your stuff? Or even to the edit that was shown at the presentation? Cheers.


    Just wanted to check in and see where we stand with the “assignments” project. I seem to remember it should be in around this time?… Obviously didn’t want to bug you during Look3, and have been pretty slammed myself, so have waited until now to put new gallery up. (Will add link to the link page too).

    It includes all the images people have shown interest in after the last edit—around 26 I think. (Thanks again for your opinions folks!). Due to the general busyness all round I am sorry we haven’t been able to communicate in more detail regarding specific image choices and the tone and pace of the work in general. I hope there will be the opportunity to do so before this is finalised?…

    I have grouped the images in to similar types to try and make the process a little easier. I may have been pushing it hoping to cut this down to 13 images max, so am happy to expand a little if necessary.


    New post on my blog if anyone is interested… Just a small piece of work shot during a couple of days on the “holiday” part of this trip… No biggie, was not planned and invested little time and effort—we were trying to take a break!! But the plight of this little island moved us, so we spent a couple of afternoons putting this together.

    We had some technical issues with the blog at first (hence this little story being posted late). But we are up and running at last. We hope to be posting more regularly now with current work, so please drop by occasionally if you have the time.

    One question: I have split the blog into sections “main” Blog, Photos, and Video (coming soon). Do people think this works? I wanted to have a separate area for images, so viewers can just check out photos if this is their preference. You will see that the “main” blog is the standard type thing with images and pictures.

    Same applies to the video section (when it gets there) It will be a space purely dedicated to short video clips. All this means a bit of clicking around to see/read different stuff. Is this too much!?

    Still gutted to have missed Look3 and met some of you. Thanks for all the updates!


  • nice to see all this faces :)

    this is my self-portrait (with help of a friend of mine also photografpher). i create this self-portrait when i became photographer at full time and a quit my previous professional 10 years work in the end of 2005.



  • nice to see all this faces :)

    this is my self-portrait (with help of a friend of mine also photografpher). i create this self-portrait when i became photographer at full time and a quit my previous professional 10 years work in the end of 2005.



  • nice to see all this faces :)

    this is my self-portrait (with help of a friend of mine also photografpher). i create this self-portrait when i became photographer at full time and a quit my previous professional 10 years work in the end of 2005.



  • nice to see all this faces :)

    this is my self-portrait (with help of a friend of mine also photografpher). i create this self-portrait when i became photographer at full time and a quit my previous professional 10 years work in the end of 2005.



  • nice to see all this faces :)

    this is my self-portrait (with help of a friend of mine also photografpher). i create this self-portrait when i became photographer at full time and a quit my previous professional 10 years work in the end of 2005.



  • nice to see all this faces :)

    this is my self-portrait (with help of a friend of mine also photografpher). i create this self-portrait when i became photographer at full time and a quit my previous professional 10 years work in the end of 2005.



  • nice to see all this faces :)

    this is my self-portrait (with help of a friend of mine also photografpher). i create this self-portrait when i became photographer at full time and a quit my previous professional 10 years work in the end of 2005.



  • just to say that i’m going to try to make one self portrait updated of course :)

  • just to say that i’m going to try to make one self portrait updated of course :)

  • just to say that i’m going to try to make one self portrait updated of course :)

  • just to say that i’m going to try to make one self portrait updated of course :)

  • just to say that i’m going to try to make one self portrait updated of course :)

  • just to say that i’m going to try to make one self portrait updated of course :)

  • just to say that i’m going to try to make one self portrait updated of course :)

  • That’s me reflected on the mirror:

    I just scanned that two days ago but I shot it last month when I was in London. Should I go and get another one? ;o)


    great idea… regular self portraits should be part of anyone’s oeuvre… in my case they are captures of my state of mind at certain key points in my life. whenever i feel there are changes going on, somehow i fall back upon self-portraits to help me out… and they do. i’m usually not aware of any of this happening till some time afterwards…

    as you’ve probably noticed at the workshop. :))))

    but to stay true to the assignment, i’ll post a NEW one this week…


    just for reference, these are ‘old’ self portraits made last week during look3 while losing my mind in the middle of the night… the first one is titled (and i quote david) “i never want to see this picture again” :))))))


  • oh and by the way, i’m going for the bag!!!!!!

    off for a day now, driving, self-portraiting…



  • Question: do I need to hold the camera at the time of capture??
    or will a tripod w/ self timer count? [pun]


    David said he never wanted to see that first picture again! EVER!


  • I don’t really like mirrors and never take pictures of myself, HERE’S WHY

    I’m in the middle

  • David,

    a question: will you be in both Arles and Perpignan?

  • What a totally cool idea!!! I hope to see self portraits of even the lurkers here at DAH’s blog!

    I’ll take a new one specifically for this thread, but self portraits are what I’ve been doing for the past week. To give you some idea of what I mean, this is the intro I posted on Lightstalkers:

    “The galleries I’m posting here on Lightstalkers are from an ongoing project I call ‘From the Inside.’ For my first 45 years, I existed within a body that was exceptionally ‘able.’ I ran two 26.2 mile/42 km marathons and thought nothing of biking 200 miles/321.8 kms in a weekend. In 1988 I was diagnosed with chronic progressive multiple sclerosis. Thus began my transition from being able-bodied to being disabled. Twenty years later I’ve come to see that one is not better than the other, simply different. Hopefully this series of photos shows you ‘from the inside’ what I mean.”

    I’ve just added music to the slideshow–“Blackbird (Take 4)” by the Beatles–and am so excited about how it adds to the whole, at least in my opinion. This is just one of COUNTLESS things I’ve learned here–how a multi-media presentation can enhance a photo essay.


    I invite feedback/critiques/suggestions from anyone who has the time and inclination to check out my new work. It’s all about learning! The URL is

    Thanks so much!


  • hi david, hi all,

    i’ve been slaving over a hot laptop all day….i think my eyes have turned into lcd screens…..i don’t think i could make a picture now if i tried. i’ll have my self portrait done in the next few days…….its great to be able to put faces to names at last.

    david i sent you an email yesterday….could you have a look, a few wise worlds would be appreciated.

    thanks so much,


    ps: david, i think you should make a self portraits too.

  • Whoops, I did not see that bit at the end about the pic being du jour. If that’s the case, then I will have to forego the opportunity for a free book. Rats.

  • Hi David, everyone.

    Here’s a self portrait. I had to put it in a LS gallery as my website will not be live for a couple of weeks.

    I had no luck with comments for the previous post so thought I’d give it another shot….

    Here’s a link to my recent images from the IDP camps in East Timor.

    The original idea I talked to David about fell through (the Sister I was to follow had to go to Australia). This story is the beginning of a long term project I will be following in East Timor. I will be returning asap, (& funds allow of course!!).

    I will still be editing this selection down, but the first essay and article will be coming out in the Nov issue of Australian Photography.

    I will be putting up another link of other images that are not part of the IDP story this week.

    I’ve also put up a link to a cockfighting story (not essay) I shot over a couple of afternoons. I wanted to show document the atmosphere without showing the actual fighting. I will be cutting the images back to 6 or 8.Any comments are appreciated.

    I spent 3 weeks in Timor and spent nearly every day in the IDP camp opposite the Hotel Timor. In times of conflict (and after), it is usually the women and children who bear the brunt of the resulting living conditions.

    My focus evolved into coverage of the way life was affecting the women and children, (especially the younger girls who to me seemed the most affected).

    By spending day after day, and many hours at the camp I attempted to become accepted. I wanted to catch the moments when their eyes “spoke” of their sadness.

    As you will know everyone attempts to make the best of a bad situation. But when the people began to know and trust me they began to talk and show how they really felt about their life and situation. These were the moments I attempted to catch

    My trip also coincided with the repatriation of the people back to their homes. This caused many conflicting emotions, some were happy to return, others had great trepidation about returning.

    The images I have taken hopefully reflect their emotions, and the emotions they brought out in me. My work would be classed as “personal documentary” and I can not honestly say it is unbiased; I photographed what I was feeling at the time.

    Any critique is welcome.

    Cheers everyone.

  • I don’t post here much but that Cuba book is very tempting. Here goes nothing…

  • Hello,

    I have lurked for a while, but never really posted in the comments. For some reason, I felt this was a good time to start.

    Here is my self portrait:

  • DAVID- great idea!

    I just took this out on my porch:

    I didn’t realize that I look so serious!

  • Dear David,

    There is my contribution for this post. The picture was not taken this week but it tells a lot about me.

    Have a great day from Bermuda – Arie

  • Dear David,

    There is my contribution for this post. The picture was not taken this week but it tells a lot about me.

    Have a great day from Bermuda – Arie

  • David here is mine. Shot today.

    Also I wanted to thank you for a great workshop experience. We had a great class and there was a lot of really good work done. I think you have me moving in a good direction. I will keep you posted on new work that I think you may be interested in seeing.

  • …I forgot to mention,
    that apart from the bloggers and friends from this forum,
    that i recently met…
    there are many other interesting people out there…
    that they don’t write here…

    MARTIN GISBORNE, an amazing guy…
    thank you Martin for showing me what the setting ISO 25.000 !!!!!
    can do….,
    the cool guy, JOE DAVIS from Austin…

    and many many more…

  • Hi David,

    Here’s the link to a photo I took of myself. No, my husband Pete Marovich didn’t take it for me, but he is grumpy that it turned out so well :)

    It was great meeting you at Look3!

  • PATRICIA… again, great work..
    and COURAGE and STRENGTH… not just inner… by the way..
    you are STRONG…

    … i’m happy that i see mostly “NEW”!!! ( whatever that means ),
    sending self-portraits first… that require major set of balls…
    right on..

    … here that AKAKY???… and ALL..
    PLEASE DO NOT HIDE YOUR FACES… it’s about meeting each other, it’s NOT AN ESCORT SERVICE… please, relax..
    let’s meet each other… it’s also SAFER for ALL of us to know who
    is who… come on people… it’s fun..
    you dont have to be naked… just show some FACE…
    or something “extra”…( Pete Marovich , great work… that’s what i’m talking about…)

    Anyways… i’m sorry , maybe i’m the only one curious in here…

  • JENNY JONES, bravo..
    that’s exactly what i’m talking about…
    you see most of us ( photographers ), are always
    “behind” the camera… “we” have the right…
    we can order people when to smile, we can make them jump
    even cry…
    but how many of us do we really go to the “other side”…
    Why for most photogs being “in front” of a camera is still
    a TABOO…????

  • Hmmmm….

    You may consider this OVER exposure, but I made this just before the Abu Ghraib scandal broke-to justify it there is a definite political content, you just have to look past the obvious (hehehe…)

    I hope you guys are reasonably liberal thinking- and I will make another self portrait between now and Sunday- that may not be quite as revealing (or maybe more so, who knows?)

    Here goes…



    Just read your comment and had to laugh!

  • PS There is a ‘Blurb’ that goes with this one as well….



    BLURB (As Follows)

    The Fashion Meister at IDEA Style records an in-depth interview with E, for an insight into what she is buying for the new GI Autumn/Winter Season.

    FM: Can you tell me how you would describe your personal style?

    E: I’d like to think of it as politically challenged.

    FM: How do you incorporate this GI season’s look into your own environment?

    E: I like to keep everything down to its bare minimum only accessorising with a few well chosen pieces. That draws attention to the important, essential things.

    FM: Things you can’t live without?

    E: My Manolo Blahnik black suede pumps and my superbly crafted red IDEA pitchfork.

    FM: What are your wardrobe essentials?

    E: I have a fetish for the Burka. It narrows down my vision and prevents any expression of my personality. That combined with my killer heels makes me a complete target for the Christian Right.

    FM: What’s your fashion philosophy?

    E: If you look in the mirror and see only the clothes, that means they are overwhelming. You need to feel like you.”

  • Bravo LISA…
    i mean thank you …
    That’s the right direction… People feel free… get NAKED,…
    but if this is too much,
    then show at least some FACE…

    again, Lisa , “that’s hot”…!
    you just raised the bar…

    please, next photo go “MORE SO”

    “… you just have to look past the obvious (hehehe…)…”

    panos confesses…
    Sorry, Lisa , but impossible for me to pass the “obvious”…
    and also overexposure or underexposure,
    who cares…
    it’s still good photography…

  • ZAC G…
    great sequence,
    now take out the one with the camera
    and look again…
    see what i mean ?


    ok, so today i shot the first roll of color film (fuji CN-16/C-41, 120) that i’ve shot in more than 7 years…1 roll, 120, with Holga…was to have been the only roll of color for the Bones of Time assignment and everything was a mess…will process in next few days when i feel better and post 1 of the pics here for the Self-portrait win-the-goddamnbeautiful-bag contest….but, that will way until the weekend…

    i wanted to share with y’all the thing for me about self-portraits. I shoot at least 1 or 2 pics of myself for every roll that i shoot, regardless of time, place, light, project…often the 1st frame and always the last frame, or double expose the last frame if i’ve gotten to the end and not snapped myself…all kinds: 35mm, med format, holga, lomo, even Mac g-5camera, etc…i’ve written about this before here (long ago, in the blogs infancy) and at LS…it’s about my blindness and reconciliation with my face and “seeing”…in fact, i”ve made 100’s of self-portraits and had hoped to do an exhibition, filling an entire gallery, with the pics, large and small, all formats, without orientation, just echos and echos and echos…not like some narcissistic obsession but more like Echo…her response to Narcissus has always rung deeply (well-draft spring) with me, the ache of the hollow echo, her mute response to him and his lavish weakening…for, to me, photography is closer to Echo than to Narcissus…not ’cause photography mimics or echos what was seen, but the opposite, that it wails in it’s inability to speak and yet remains (palimpsest) of what there was and that is what penetrates…at least for me…

    i should tell you that i am obsessed with seeing, with my face, with blindness, with photography, with the ache of making photographs that i no longer wish to make…it is because it is my remedial act, a way to banish demons that fail to excorsize themselves..i was born with a genetic disease that first lead to a slowly atropying of my sight in my right eye and eventual blindness: it’s called Coats Disease…i’ve been writing an essay now for 1 1/2 about this, begun when in December of 2006 i almost lost my eye and almost decided to stop making photographs…

    so, i wanted to share some REAL self-portraits…not the usual weird bobblack selfportraits (of which i have littered LS over the last 3 years), but my real eye, as taken by the surgeon…here is me, maybe you shall understand:


    the inside of my left eye (the eye that can see): what your eyes look like too:

  • BOB, wrong room…
    BOB you are WAY TOO CLOSE….
    you will get misunderstood… laughing…
    please do me a favor… take your clothes of, then
    back 10 feet from the camera , then shoot…
    too close my brother, too close!

    .. just kidding..

    sorry people im just in a good mood tonight

  • and part of what i wrote about blindness and what happened and being a photographer…


    “What we see is not made up of what we are seeing but rather from what we are,” f. pessoa


    FACES: Faces gather time along their edges, sprockets of light pitched around thumb-bowed shadow, the way milk rims the lip and bottom-dip of a glass, the way bone sedimentizes sentiment pitched from the age and voice of the earth, the way glass and stone color from exposure. We speak of time, we speak of faces, we seldom speak of how these cauterizes and coalesces into some odd unknowing. How is it that we distinguish one face from all the others? How is it that we speak of others and ourselves through an algebra of memory, speak of the faces that we have seen or known distinguished into certainty. What else is there in our knowing, at the heart of the well of our remembrance? How is it that we can ever photograph a face, for is it not the deceit (we believe we know another and ourselves by passing through the threshold of the face) that engines our operative waking? Is it not the very illusion under which we, photographers and non-photographers alike, negotiate and arrive each day we awaken and categorize neatly the arrangement of those surrounding us? How else, initially (and over recollected time) do we begin to work out an understanding of someone, let alone ourselves, then by quickly drinking up the constellation of meaning and unmeaning of a face. Recall someone: face or action, which do you see initially? Can a person’s behaviour and character and life remain faceless? To the contrary, can we not picture and construct a face without action? Then what about the blind, what is etched upon their skull and lithe memorial imagery? You should know I am blind in one eye and struggled as a child with un-seeing. At at early age, and often to my horror, i learned that each face is navigable but not attainable. In fact, I have spent the better part of my life trying to decipher what it is that I see when I look into the mirror: how is it that this chimera, this insolvable jigsaw is possibly me. When I became a photographer this became an ethical question: if I could not understand this revenant shell as me (my face yes, but surely not the “I” that is “me.”), how then to photograph someone else, let alone their face? I have not yet solved this quandary. For several years now, I have been working on a long project about faces, a personal journey apart from my other work in pursuit of that reconciliation. The project is embarrassingly Narcissistic. You should know the truth about this project. Every other project I work on, every roll of film that I expose, involves taking a few photographs of the subject faces, stripped of their context, their environment, stripped of all the surrounding earth-gravel and light-dust that we normally associate with photography, even at the risk of subverting the intent of the original projection I am working on. I often (only after people are comfortable) take a few extreme, close-up photographs, trying to get as close to people as I can, as if digging into a mirror. Soon, the disorienting calculus sets in: closeness, infinitely halved. Long exposures, focused, out-of-focus, short exposures, variable depths of field, all jostling in an effort to see how much can be removed in order to still retain the face of the “I’ or the “You.” And, I should add that I always photograph myself at least once each time before I unspool the film from camera and often for the last frame. It is a diary of failure: how far away, how licked-over-distance in the print of a smudge of space: breath between a barracks of lens and light. These photographs are a water-drop nub from this series, which is hopelessly large and seemingly endless. On good days, I think it’s the rhyme around which the rest of my photography and projects revolve and are resolved. On poor days, I feel that again I have failed to understand or properly photograph those faces around me. Failure is nothing new to any of us, and that principle is the nexus around which these simple images should be fingered. In some sense, they are different from most of my work: less and more. I continue to photograph even when I have not yet understood how to begin. Bereft. Beating. Brook. Fall upon me.


    Everything is always unfinished, always, its in the swallowing of that, sometimes with joy sometimes with exhaustion, that sometimes it begins to make sense…

    the swerve and curve of witnessing…

    nothing is ever finished, but often we stop or it stops us, sometimes gently sometimes cold…..

    twists of braided sticks of time….

    I face I


    Mark the day, arc the time, remember the light: give word to that which you are unable to house: a beginning and an ending.


    Today, a part of me was wrenched, slow-coupled knot, tugged away and then died.

    I have waited for this moment since I was an eight-year old boy and it has, no matter how preposterous or pretentious as it may sound, been the starboard-port channel by which I have negotiated my entire life: defined, rhymed and aligned nearly everything I have done and thought. To imagine though that it would ever actually return, that fear, preparations and meanderings and glibness to the evidentiary contrary, I had actually never really believed. In fact, though I had told myself that I would one day have to adjudicate a mechanic and tact by which I would deal with this fear, I had never thoroughly believed that it would be necessary: the deceiver never really believes his deceit, does he? Instead, I’d crafted a remarkable drama (remarkable only in its ability to sustain itself and lengthen and widen over time), one that I’d become quite clever and good at perpetrating: the sensitive man torn by blindness as a way to acquire insight, achieving awareness (argued as acumen) from suffering. Bloody hell. So I traipsed around my life and others claiming such a profession, the sensitive, wizened man/writer/artist who’d in the crucible of blindness and childhood suffering somehow earned something keen, a cunning really nothing more. Funny, how those grandiose claims in the end addled anything I might have really learned from the childhood trauma, but that epiphany came much later, for now I can truthfully admit to myself, and now to you, that it was all a lie. My blindness altered me irrevocably when I was eight but the armor and bravado I pulled over my yoked shoulders was not only improperly fit but simply served to cloven the real from the imagined. I’d never believed my own “actualized strength” (a ridiculous statement if there ever was and yet something I remember once saying when I was in university, one drunken night though I doubt if I even fucking knew what “actualized” even meant or what i’d been trying to suggest: get fucked most likely). In truth, I was, and still am, an insecure and very frightened person, a palimpsest of that stronger, eight year old boy.

    It is what it is, as my wiser younger brother always says. Name that which things are. Speak simply about simple things. Okay, this: I’d not matured enough to accept, simply, the person I was and am. Today, all that seems like so much preening and pretense. Has it been swept aside? Well, the long-windedness has not yet left.

    I am frightened.

    I am frightened and no amount of verbal pyrotechnics or photographic illuminati will drape my clumsiness or alchemize into a more visually eloquent image. I am scared and everything begins, in the small, insipidly pasty-green corner of a hospital hallway, to cascade and fall away. I cry, alone, first in a small, silent-screen actor kind of way (acting also as my own audience as my wife and son are at home and I am by myself, beside the 8th floor elevator corridor of St. Michael’s Hospital, and I am crying, at first, for the audience that I have become and shaped over the last 30 years) turning toward the window and looking out over Toronto through tears and a soot-printed window and I think what a lovely photograph this would make, especially with my Holga, the iris of this man’s tears hollowing out the December-pale light and the rings of silhouette and I wouldn’t even over-develop the Tri-x and suddenly I realize that again I am thinking of photographs and I being to forget that I am performing and I forget photography and I am ashamed that I am thinking of photography and I am ashamed that I am thinking about my tears and I am ashamed that I am thinking about Holga or my Nikon and I am ashamed that I am not thinking of my wife and son and I am ashamed and I am frightened and then it all pours out and I cry harder than I have done in more than ten years and my body is trembling and all I can think is how scared I am and how I do not want to have my eye removed and that I do not want to think about this and that I am weak because I have constructed a lie around myself and my life and my loved ones and that I have been acting for so much of my life and that I have pretended to be an artist and that I have pretended to be strong and that I have pretended to see my small, insignificant eye disease as something important and that I am falling and that I am so ashamed and that I have not acted well and that I have and that I am and that I am still I am still I am still frightened and that I am not with my wife and my son and that I am preposterous at all the fear and tears and energy that I have sculpted my life with from this small thing and that I am scare and then I collapse and I am embarrassed and that and that and that and then my quivering stops and my shaking ends and I feel incredibly alone and selfish and lost and exhausted and I close my eyes and begin to breath and begin to talk to myself as I was a young boy and soon, like bubbles crystalline surfacing from a diver below, thoughts of my wife and son return and I realize that they are why i must let this all go and I must return to them undamaged and that I have them and calm soon comes and I turn away from the window and the sobbing and walk to the bathroom and look at my face and I, for the first time in my life, begin to recognize myself and I cannot yet explain to you about this and exhausted i take my pants off and sit down on the toile, close my eyes and sit there for what seems like an eternity.

    I breathe.

    Now, late into the cornice of the night, I am relieved by this and still there, crisp and unclean and finger-rolled in the corner of my tear-duct thought a quiet nibbling away: that I have not yet begun to reconcile myself to this bereavement. That I shall maybe never bury it or get over it as it was is will, never quite buried deep enough, is as a thinning, age’d man one of the truths that I have often hid, like a pea or lima bean a child has cast beneath the dinner table away from parents and down the corner pipe hole, and now begins to bloom and sprout and resurrect itself. The roots of that long-ago ginger-fear that I had once bottled away, now have become engorged with new life. This small fear, that which had been a part of me and to which I had held dearly (a clinging really, the hunger of the frightened child now grown to be the quivering narcissist), the fear that has been a part of me, one I have prayed would eventually be vanquished and rid of, the fear I remember telling myself the night before I was to marry (in my thinking the final threshold to manhood that I’d kept at bay for nearly 38 years) that I, beginning tomorrow, would have to expel that small, biting vanity, the mole on my psyche’s cheek that I wished, then, to have been laser’s away, that a 38 year old man about to embark upon matrimony and fatherhood should not and could not afford to be still concerned and obsessed with a small vanity, a vanity leashed since my childhood: that I would one day loose my eye, that I would anthropomorphize into the troll that my childhood memories fear’d, the names of poorer-imagining children, the delinquencies tossed at me when I was eight and nine, the dread that I would one day turn into those very names my school mates often threw, in their unknowing, upon my: cyclops. I clung to this fear (that I would swallow and take on blindness as my life’s nutrient nourishment, would accept and embrace it, would dig deep into self-pride (yes, world, i told myself as a child, I am blind and that is something you do not understand) making-over the fear (loss) into superficial and supercilious pride: my eye, my eye, my beautiful, damned blind eye. A hollow vanity and I knew exactly what all this about about: fear. Fear: the sanctuary of an eight year old boy. To be rid of fears. To be fearless. To be less of fears.

    This has come rushing back into my life in the last month for I have, once again, after many years, been told that there is the possibility that I shall loose my eye, blind as it may be, and this, once again, is untenable and unacceptable and my stubborn reluctance to accept this and to consider this simple truth (not really that great of a loss in the scheme of things) non-negotiable as testimony that I still am that small child and have still not relinquished my callow and prideful fear. But this is a digression. First, what happened today before what began 3 weeks ago and before what was born thirty years ago.

    Today, in the small corner of a slightly battered and damp hospital, a far-bent corner of the 8th floor wing of a teaching hospital, this particular corner of suites nearly forgotten and propped up beside the broom closet and restroom of the Urology and Dialysis wing of the hospital, I was being photographed. Photographed, by someone who was not a photographer. But that is not quite right. Rather, my eyes, specifically my blind, dead eye was being photographed: a perfunctory, case of documentation (the surgeon’s words); an entrance into the life of my eye as the doctors and residents and students “were only now just beginning to explore the resonance of what you have there…..” (the resident’s words); a clinical procedure in case it was decided that I would undergo an operation and finally, maybe incorporation into a textbook the retina specialist was writing (the technician’s words). In the end, they can take what they wish, I have what I’ve longed for: not to understand my disease, my blindness, but something much simpler, more fundamental: I wanted to see the eye, the inside of the eye that had been my life’s nemesis, but also the very thing which has made me the person I am.

    As boy, as a grown up, later as a photographer, i had long dreamed of that moment: the photographs, the image which would liberate me from the very thing which had haunted and defined nearly the entirety of my life: that which had set my entire understanding of what it meant to “see,”; the photographs i had always dreamed of (awake, asleep, broken) but would never be able to accomplish myself. When I became a photographer, the irony was a profound sore spot: that I could NOT photograph that which i most wished to photograph; that i could not photograph that which made me a photographer; that i could not photograph that by which i was a photographer: my eye and its milky, bloody blindness.

    Today, I sat in front of a high-intensity flash (Nikon camera bodies attached to a spidery apparatus connected to a large computer screen) armature and knifing lens, both excited and slightly uneasy and watched (as if from afar, as if a spectator at my own gladiatorial exhibition) and listened (listening with my eye) while the insides of my eye, as well as the landscape of the rest of my body, jump-prick lit up with a blinding flash of intensity, spreading quickly across the barren desert of the test-site that is my eye: a flash point, the radial arc of light as it leapt from a pinpoint in the middle (blue broken, then the red-spot of blood and life, like the umbilicus knot, the ball of red life in a chicken’s egg yoke) and which quickly radiated itself over the curve of my eye and heart. I shivered, unknowing what i knew i actually understood. And then came the falling away, slowly at first and then sped up in a velocity that is knowable only through the pace of dream. In a nick of time, I felt my eye (physicality of hot, white-white light: heat) and my fear radiate and evaporate in an explosion that I had not been yet prepared for. The atomic age watermarked, now, along the cornea of my memory and the tumorous, scar-tissue sea of the inside of my eye. Even after the first click, and sitting back, I continued to flinch from the exhaustion. How long had I waited for this: the age of eight.

    Today, after nearly 30 years of imagination, i saw the inside of my eye which has been deformed, den-uttered and de-numbed by a pediatric disease which has left me, not only blind, but has honed the person that I have become. I was born with a genetic, pediatric disease (Coates Disease) which, in rather remarkably short time left me blind (right eye), retina-detached and haunted, as the disease, still hungrily, left its mark, not only in the blindness of my right eye, but in the engorgement of a cataract which for most of my life clouded the pupil of my right lens and which has in the last year torn, shorn away the lens, in its gloated, bullying falling away: this year it fell off and away and took with it my lens, which anchored itself, embedded, into the side of my cornea and which, so the doctors now tell me, has been at the heart of all this grief in the last four weeks. But that is a story, to which I will eventually surface, but first this:

    If you asked me what kind of person am I, I would answer you this way: look at my eye……

    I am blind.

    Today, I saw, finally, the face of this blindness and how ironic that it was bequeathed me in the form of a photograph.

  • yep!…
    that’s the “BOB”… i used to know!!!

  • BOB,
    and now i’m not joking,
    i see in some weird way some,.. some… i dont know…
    some Witkin in your “eye-photos”


  • Bob B, I love you for many things that you are and for some that you are not, but tonight I love you for your unflinching sight into the eyeball of fear and pain. For what is blindness but the reluctance to see things as they are. You, my friend, will never be blind.


  • and again,
    tonight you were a little OVER exposed ( as Lisa said ),
    and again,
    VIVA OVER exposure…

    can i play a song , now?

  • LARA YOU HAVE A BEAGLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This is Mr Bigglesworth (after the WWI Flying Ace of course) who is my best friend ever!

    BoB Bruz- You are a great Artist- I love your ‘eyeballs’ and the fact you are standing quite naked as well!

    Could I just ask (again) when is the book coming out, I am having trouble reading your writing in this format.

  • My self portrait is titled “horse of a different color.”

    PASSWORD: patricia

  • Thats a great self portrait Patricia, well done!

    Like I said ‘you’re a braver man than I am Gungadin!’

  • Many thanks to Lisa and Panos for their encouraging words. Now I’ll sleep like a baby…


  • Well I am quite a narcissist. And I think, I do take self portraiture quite seriously. Here’s something I tried day before yesterday:

  • Here is the Chance mug…

    Love the sequence NELSON.

    Egads! LISA! Good for you!

    BOB: Thanks for sharing the images of your eye. Fascinating! I really enjoy scientific and medical photography. V interesting.


  • patricia – your work is beautifully understated.

  • Marcin Łuczkowski

    photo for contest made 2 minutes ago:

    photo for face share

  • Marcin Łuczkowski

    photo for contest made 2 minutes ago:

    photo for face share

  • PANOS :))

    hey, i got lots of nude self-portraits too ;))..and you shoulda seen how close the surgeon got to my eye with his camera: like press right up against by body’s “glass”..yea, maybe witkin: there are more, much more…seeing these color digi pics almost made me give up B/W ;))

    ASHER :)))..thanks, sent u an email :))) your jazzy self portrait:

    PATRICIA: great shot and thanks so much for the loving words: by the way, do you know the painter Susan Rothenberg? One of my and Marina’s favorite…your portrait reminds me of her paintings, especially of horses:


    SISTER LISA :))))..have always loved that Madahari portrait ;)))))…the book: who knows…I wanted to finish this year, but we’ll see…thinking now: maybe some of the prose will be for a photo book and some as a book book…we’ll see ;))

    EMILY: that’s the MOst BEAUTIFUL johnny D i’ve ever seen! :)))…GIVE HER A PRIZE RIGHT AWAY :)))…

    KATHARINA: Kat :))))…you look like a young poplar tree there :)))…poplars 9and birch, my favorite trees :)))..

    NELSON: :))))..great series :))) the transformation and love the face! especially sans cheveux :)))


    great to see ur faces…if i see anything interesting from yesterday’s film, i’ll post 1 for contest too..

    running for a few days away


  • david alan harvey


    so sorry if i missed this work the first time around…your East Timor work is going to be something quite special if you can keep it going….yes, as you said, you need to edit down down down…lots of repetition…but, your best is very good…

    the cock fighting story has too much repetition …you only need one photo of the money exchange for example…. why not the actual fighting??? the violence of this “sport” would, i think, be the whole reason you would take it on as a subject in the first place…the other pictures are “supporting shots”…they only have real meaning if we know what it is all about in the first place…maybe you have a reason for not shooting the actual fighting…if so, then you need to have pictures that at least imply what a blood sport this is….


    you really blew me away with your story and medical pictures ….you have written many words….i have none….

    Patricia said it best….”you will never be blind”….

    i assume you know that Antoine d’Agata is blind ….he has a glass eye that is both disconcerting and makes him attractively vulnerable at the same time…

    Steve McCurry also seems to do very well given that he qualifies legally to have a “handicapped” license plate on his car…

    once you have seen “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” we all must know there are no limits to what we can overcome…

    my admiration for those who must “overcome” physical boundaries knows no bounds…


    you have described your life in Bermuda like this…i keep wishing you would really “go for it” and document your whole surroundings…i mean, without even leaving the office….could be really great if you got into it….think about it….

    cheers, david

  • wow people,great portrait…

    My self portrait. inside soul…


  • @Panos: I do prefer to shoot what I can see, and I don’t see myself much unless there’s a mirror somewhere…

    I ended up going out last night and shooting. So embarrasing shooting yourself, at least for me. People stop to look what I do and ask, and stuff, which doesn’t happen that much if I shoot others. I’ll try to develop tonight, a lot of flash with selftimer in these. A few shots in the rain in the way back home with a guy with a rucksack looking at what I do. Gave the camera to a girl in T&A and told her where to stand for having a picture with fried chicken too.

    At least for me, it’s easier to be shot by others (or strangers) than shooting myself when I can’t see shit :-P

  • david alan harvey


    ok, my dear, you can do and should do a book….

    you are a long way from being finished or maybe even from being “started”, but you have all of the “tools” and “grist” for creating a body of work that will sing sing sing….

    it was interesting to me how the picture you submitted as a “self portrait” was quite different from all of your other self portraits in the form of “daily life”…hmmmmm…well, no matter….you are “on to something”..

    your big decision and question is this: do you want to have yourself in every picture or do you wrap in the “view from here” as part of the narrative??….

    in other words, do you need your specific circumstances in every picture?? for example, in a book layout, it could be really provocative for the viewer to go on for a long time not even realizing your “special place” on this planet…

    the sequencing, title, and overall feel will be so important..i would not make an attempt at editing just yet….not important now….

    this is something that will require lots of thinking…in any case, surely your book will be a continuous self portrait overall, but you might want to think how you would see “out” and “in” simultaneous….

    at some point we will need to meet…i cannot do online what i can do with you in person…do you live in Santa Fe?? for some reason that, or somewhere southwest, sticks in my head… but wherever you are, perhaps i can stop by on my cross country sojourn this summer…..

    now, i think you should do whatever you may want to do for your book as an assignment here….a good way to begin….try things…reject things….push push and push….i know you have faced many challenges…this will be another, but totally symbiotic with your life….

    ready to go to work???

    cheers, david

  • david alan harvey


    some very nice work coming in on these self portraits!!!

    BUT, c’mon boys, the girls are just way way out there compared to US…

    now, am i just saying this because i am a man or are the women really really just more loose, sensitive and provocative than the men??…

    i am not sure…but, i do know this…whenever i teach a class, i am always totally struck by the “fact” that the women in my classes are overall “better” photographers than men….usually the very best essays are coming from my women students…

    so guys, please prove me wrong…after all, i am one of you….so, if you disagree, don’t write about it…just show me!!!

    peace, david

    p.s. yes, Marcin, i did like your self portrait!!!

  • ALL

    A question: Why is it that we women seem more ready to bare all for the sake of art, as in Lisa’s powerful SP and Pete’s mood-filled self portrait/portrait of him & Jenny, than the men? Is it shyness or a cultural taboo?

    Patricia who has bared almost all for the world to see

  • david alan harvey


    you must have been posting simultaneous to me and i do not think you read what i wrote above…check it out…interesting combo considering neither of us knew what the other was writing!!!

    cheers, david

  • nice idea David! I love the assignment! :-).. i am IN!

    Self portraits are always a lot of fun for me.. and always make me feel better…
    i have to do funny faces to camera and it makes me feel better even i have bad day :-)

  • btw.. Katharina.. you are so pretty!

  • PANOS, those 2 pix are what I look like on the inside: dark, brooding, bearing the burden of having sold my children for cold cuts years ago and then finding out that my boy was not ground into kielbasa as I thought, but has grown up and plays a prominent part in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and that my oldest girl is the Playmate of the Month in the Saudi edition of Playboy. Now all that’s left is for the both of them to come back to the States and destroy me in the eyes of my fellow civil servants with the truth. I hear Hollywood’s already negotiating with the ghosts of Sophocles and Thomas Hardy to do the screenplay for this epic.

  • while i think of something for the contest, here’s one of mine from a couple of years ago…

  • btw.. Katharina.. you are so pretty!

    Posted by: Aga Luczakowska | June 19, 2008 at 09:44 AM

    Damn right Aga!

  • DAVID :)))

    thanks David…when i eventually finish the essay, will share it with you, since it’s long and it inlcudes pics…will try to submit it this year to CBC literary contest…we’ll see…

    As for the BOYS: dont worry, i’ll put something up by weekend…i have to develop the film i just shot ($$$$$$), since its color, gotta have lab develop..if negs are any good, i’ll give u something….my work aint nothin’ if not loose…

    and yea, i know about antoine: didnt know he had a glass eye, but knew he was blind: i thought that the first time i saw his work, and then Jukka told me he was blind too…

    for some of us, photography aint so much about photography, but really mechanics of the way we work ourselves through the world….


  • david alan harvey


    when it comes to “loose”, i am not worried about you!!!

    cheers, david

  • Dear David,

    these days I had a small exhibition “Menschenbilder” in my hometown: Pictures from people in Europe and Africa. One of these pictures was a selfportrait. I often make selfportraits. I wanted to take this one, but it was aslready one year old. So I put it on the wall of my studio and took my reflected image.

    Here is my double selfportrait.

  • david alan harvey


    i only came up with this “contest” so that YOU would do a self portrait….get on with it!!!

    cheers, david

  • david alan harvey


    where in hell have you been?? i thought we lost you….anyway, nice “old” self portrait….can you do a new one???


    same for you…where have you been?? i think your Turkish love has taken you away from us!!! that’s ok…there are SOME things more important than this blog!!!

    peace, david

  • Aga is the queen of self portraits. She should be posting something good.

  • DAH,
    totally disagree ..

  • I swear to fucking god…I did not see Joerg’s portrait until just now! AAAGH! I hate when that happens! David, can I get a do over?

    Nice shot Joerg! Great minds… eh?

  • AKAKY,
    again ,
    I demand to see your face..

  • Panos, Aga,
    …blush blush……cough cough

  • Hello David… no, i am back in Poland since almost 3 weeks.. I didn’t have much time to check internet because my sweet dog (14 years old Tajra) got ill (here are both of us, long time ago )

    and here is my self portrait…
    … I am not into awards because I already have your signed book and signed bad (jupppiii!!!!) :-) but I am publishing here my self non artistic portrait… i just thought it’s real me taking photographs.. two eyes open and smile


    Just now caught up with some of your work. The slideshow…hmmmm, well to call it “moving” is too understated. It touched me. I won’t go on about courageous this or full of strength that, that’s obvious. But damn!… what a nice body of work.



  • Also…just joking about the “do over” David. It is what it is.

  • …as a play :) but it is also really interesting to watch people taking their own photos in their mobiles. since i work at a place where i can watch many people most of the time, it has become a interesting pasttime for me (by elder brother is a greatest addict of this self-portraits :)). i think this self-portrait thing is more of a search ‘the way one wants to look’ rather than mere recording ‘the way he/she is looking’ at that particular time. while taking self-portraits, i have seen people making funny faces, making ‘mafia-style’ stern looks (this i do :P), making out a smile when there is no smile otherwise, but generally, they all try to look “cool” in their own way!

    cool assignment David. will try.


  • Patricia,

    photography is a powerfull way of comunication (learn and tell) and my english is not good enough to express my self to you and your work, except: Go for IT with Love.

    all the best,

  • Patricia,

    photography is a powerfull way of comunication (learn and tell) and my english is not good enough to express my self to you and your work, except: Go for IT with Love.

    all the best,

  • Patricia,

    photography is a powerfull way of comunication (learn and tell) and my english is not good enough to express my self to you and your work, except: Go for IT with Love.

    all the best,

  • Patricia,

    photography is a powerfull way of comunication (learn and tell) and my english is not good enough to express my self to you and your work, except: Go for IT with Love.

    all the best,

  • Patricia,

    photography is a powerfull way of comunication (learn and tell) and my english is not good enough to express my self to you and your work, except: Go for IT with Love.

    all the best,

  • Patricia,

    photography is a powerfull way of comunication (learn and tell) and my english is not good enough to express my self to you and your work, except: Go for IT with Love.

    all the best,

  • Patricia,

    photography is a powerfull way of comunication (learn and tell) and my english is not good enough to express my self to you and your work, except: Go for IT with Love.

    all the best,


  • David,


    ok, my dear, you can do and should do a book….”

    could you maybe talk more about that sooner or later ?

  • Bob,

    what a lovely surprise when i read Fernando Pessoa words in here!!!

    if i where in lisbon at this moment i would have gone to the down town to make a photo to you :)

    cheers with eye sparkles,

  • Bob,

    what a lovely surprise when i read Fernando Pessoa words in here!!!

    if i where in lisbon at this moment i would have gone to the down town to make a photo to you :)

    cheers with eye sparkles,

  • Bob,

    what a lovely surprise when i read Fernando Pessoa words in here!!!

    if i where in lisbon at this moment i would have gone to the down town to make a photo to you :)

    cheers with eye sparkles,

  • Bob,

    what a lovely surprise when i read Fernando Pessoa words in here!!!

    if i where in lisbon at this moment i would have gone to the down town to make a photo to you :)

    cheers with eye sparkles,

  • Bob,

    what a lovely surprise when i read Fernando Pessoa words in here!!!

    if i where in lisbon at this moment i would have gone to the down town to make a photo to you :)

    cheers with eye sparkles,

  • Bob,

    what a lovely surprise when i read Fernando Pessoa words in here!!!

    if i where in lisbon at this moment i would have gone to the down town to make a photo to you :)

    cheers with eye sparkles,

  • Bob,

    what a lovely surprise when i read Fernando Pessoa words in here!!!

    if i where in lisbon at this moment i would have gone to the down town to make a photo to you :)

    cheers with eye sparkles,


  • Good idea David, I am not particularly fond of being on pictures neither taking self portraits but why not for once… A quickly one made a few minutes ago…

  • Following the contest “rules” here is mine.

    And just to make a point about men not being able to be “over exposed”

  • I took it by my macbook’s photo booth


    Well. You could knock me over with a feather. Hell, I was just hoping for some feedback & an edit, and now you’re talking about a book. A BOOK??? Of course I’ll take on this challenge. Of course I’ll give it my all. Of course I’ll see it as an assignment.

    I like your suggestion about my finding ways to show the view both from the IN- & OUTside; not putting myself physically in every image. I very much like the idea that folks wouldn’t see what you call “my special place in the world” at first. Let them settle into seeing it as simply one woman’s view of life before we hit them with the scooter/shower chair/stair lift/etc. I probably already have a good number of possible photos for this project, but we won’t go there yet. I’ll start from scratch and make new stuff for the assignment.

    In terms of timing, I’ve just started a brand new photo essay project at a Senior Learning Center in Detroit. Actually it was THAT project that I’d considered might possibly become a book, but hey, no one says I can’t be working on two projects at the same time! Especially since one of them is simply the view from/of my life. But I can already tell which one will require the most thought/originality. Taking photos of amazing African-American elders is a piece of cake compared to creating something totally new, totally my own in the way of photographing my life. But, as you say, I’m used to challenges. I can do this.

    David, I live in metro Detroit and Ed and I would be happy for you to stay with us when you stop here on your cross-country journey. I’ve already got one Lebanese American Muslim family who have agreed to be part of your project, and currently have calls in to a lesbian family with two kids, and a single man who fosters refugee boys from countries like the Sudan, Iraq and Somalia. You and I can work face-to-face on my book project then.

    Here is the first image for this assignment. I took it as I read your message on the blog. I call it “paint me blue in wonder.”

    PASSWORD: patricia

    “Thank you” is too small to say what I want to say, but isn’t that exactly why we make images, to say what we can’t in words???


  • All right, since Panos is demanding that I show myself:

    There. Happy now?

  • Hi David;
    Thanks for the comments. The Timor Leste story was a rough first edit. I didn’t edit down any more because I was interested to see which images you think worked & which didn’t. This work was the most fulfilling work I have ever undertaken.

    I’m already planning my return. Actually, I tried to extend my stay, but my el cheapo airfares didn’t allow any change… There’s lots of dodgy stuff happening over there regarding the IDP repatriation that needs documenting. Not that the Timor Task Force Police were happy to see me there on a couple of the days……

    Once the IDP camps are gone the worry is that since such a highly visible problem has “disappeared” people will think that everything is ok there…..

    I am also undertaking a series of lectures to highlight the problems in Timor Leste, and have bank acct details for an orphanage (Dominican Sister’s Orphanage) in Dili where those attending the lectures can donate funds (if they wish to) to those that are providing direct aid. I am also donating a percentage of any money made through my articles, images etc.

    I may be a bit naive with these ideals but at least I can be certain that there will be some direct benefit received by those that need it most.

    Cheers everyone.

  • ross nolly: nice work in Timor !!

  • Robert.. i see you are following Lisa’s style ;-)

  • Robert;
    Thanks for the kind words, I can’t wait to get back there!!!


  • Michael K – that’s nice. Lisa Hogben – holy leggy!

    If I must cut through the smoke and step over the beer cans of the festival to admit learning something, its that shooting loosely isn’t so much about what you produce (that comes after) but more about how you behave and interact. If that’s the case, and if I get to shoot Panos, Sean, David, whoever again, I plan on breaking into dance when I’m ready to fire. I was nearly there.

    Anyway, this is “F22 And Waiting.” It’s a single exposure:

    (I realized I do care for prize … I don’t have Cuba book ;-) and I don’t have a signed print! :-) )

    Panos…i agree… VIVA OVER EXPOSURE!… and a question – when we will see your over exposured photo? ;-)

  • What is this genetic connection between beauty and an interest in photography? Nasha, Aga, Patricia, Cristina, Lisa, Lara, Sofia, Jenny, etc (if I missed any…) These women are all so attractive. I sense a new project coming on…

  • fliker and facebook are filtered here and I’m not able to see some of you posting your pictures there :(

    David I would like to know if it is possible to have your comment about rooms project I am working on

  • aga luczakowska: i suspect your beautiful, please a portrait of yourself straight on.. no more pieces of you..+

  • david McGowan: nice self partrait good picture

  • Ross, please forgive my delay in responding to your request for feedback on your East Timor project. I wanted to wait until I had a block of time to devote to it as I suspected this was going to touch me deeply. I was right.

    You have taken me, not only inside the lives of the people who live in this IDP camp, but inside their hearts as well. I’m sorry if that sounds like a cliche but I don’t know any other way to put it. Because you allowed yourself to feel their suffering in the deepest part of yourself, that is where you take your viewers. In a way I’m glad the nun had to go to Australia because it meant you were focusing where you should, on the people themselves. It is THEIR story that needs to be told, and tell it you are.

    Please continue with your work there. As you say, it will be even more important to show what life is like for the refugees AFTER they have been repatriated. That’s when they will become totally invisible, that is unless someone like you shines a light on their truth.

    Thank you for your compassionate, artistic eye. Thank you for going where you need to go and doing what you need to do.


    P.S. To me, the b&w are strongest. At least for this story. You are an excellent photographer.

  • nasha: are you from iran ? i really love your work project on iranian youth, super interesting. what camera do you use as i noticed some of the same pictures are both b/w and color ? also if your not familiar with the french photographer lise sarfati then check her out under photographers @ > her whole methodology revolves around teenagers from all over in their own personal landscapes. she really explores thoroughly themes involving identity and self in regards to youth. can hardly wait to see more of your work in the future preferably with text as well.

  • David McG…

    Cool shot. One of the best so far.

  • NASHA :)))

    do you know the great Iranian photographer Sadegh Tirafkan??….He is a friend of mine and my wifes…he is a great photographer…lives here in Toronto, but travels alot to Tehran and Berlin and Paris….he is a great photographer, great artist and kind and gentle man…

    you might want to look at his work

    enjoy! :)))


  • Thanks Nasha. I took a quick look at your project, then I went back to it later and read—wow, I think it’s a great story. Are there ever any problems with the authorities showing shots like that? I know very little about the culture in Iran…

  • AWE, THANKS McG :) :) :)


  • NELSON :))))

    I LOVE PESSOA! :))))…book of disquiet!!!!…and as a poet, of course, i adore him too:

    this is probably my belief in my own work/life as a photographer/writer:

    Não sou nada.
    Nunca serei nada.
    Não posso querer ser nada.
    À parte isso, tenho em mim todos os sonhos do mundo.


    Não tenho ambições nem desejos,
    Ser poeta não é a minha ambição,
    É apenas a minha maneira de estar só

    by the way, MY FAVORITE PORTUGESE WRITER IS MY BELOVED ANTONIO LOBO ANTUNES! :)))..i’ve read everything available in English…and i have a long essay (photos and poems) that i’ve done on portugal…and i love almost allt hings portugese (yes, even christiano renaldo ;)) )…on my my favorite photographers, my friend Idalina Pedrossa,…Pedro Costa, one of my favorite filmmakers…Porto, one of my favorite wines…if i could, i would live in portugal:

    the light, the silence, the dirt, the dust, the ocean, the insanity, the quiet, the melancholy…the orange dust on the hills of the Algarve, the sound of the ocean, the drip, everywhere, of time…


  • Nasha, yours is an inspired project! I know from having stayed for ten days with Muslim friends in Beirut that their teenage daughter, who chose to be TOTALLY covered when she’d leave the apartment, had a COMPLETELY different persona/lifestyle in her own space. As did her girlfriends.

    You are showing the world that young people are young people whatever their religion/culture/national origin. Please keep going with this, and get as intimate with your subjects as possible. We want to see ALL that you can manage to show us! I was particularly struck by the images of scarved mothers and uncovered girls. They are very strong.


  • DAD (AKAKY!0!!!!!!)…

    u look so ABSTRACT! :)))…now, i know where i got my style…u know the apple and the tree! ;))))..and all things rolling/falling…

    ok, for you: 2 old portraits, to show u i still look as abstract as you: i can see our familial similarities (nature or nurture?)

    ok: me…naked: 2006

    ok: me…naked, 2007 but only face:

    (old pics, not part of this competition ;)) )

  • in the meantime…
    portugal 1
    germany 3

  • GUIDO:

    watching it on line as i wait for my student…DO NOT RUB IT IN!!!! ;))))


  • ahhhh – DAH, you read my mind.
    i was really wanting to see everyone’s face after seeing the ones from LOOK3.
    i see most people here are posting older photos with recent photos and more than one, etc..
    so, even though i plan on making a new photo of myself by sunday, just in case i get too busy i did want to throw my image out there to this wonderful community that i feel so much a part of.
    this was made almost 3 years ago in portugal:

    my dreads are half past my butt now! haha. :))

    to all the ladies – you’re gorgeous!!!
    robert weidenfeld – vavaVOOM!! :)))

    DAH – if you saw the state of my camera bag, your tender heart would weep. maybe i’ll include it in my new self-portrait just to tug on your heartstrings a little. ;))

    Love ya!


  • DAVID:

    Is it possible to create a link or add a section under student work for people to post links to projects and have community critique? Or something for people doing assignments for each month?

  • Well, similar. I saw that but it seems to be links to peoples websites and not a forum geared toward discussion and critique on developing projects.

  • Michael K.
    You must have had a 20 sec timer and ran like hell to get into position outside for that double self portrait. LOL


  • Ok, so last night’s roll is in the fixer now. Going to the sink in a bit.

  • Jason! Yes…exactly 20 secs. Took several takes. My neighbors must have really wondered what the hell I was doing. I’d go out there and stand as if I was mowing, but not really mowing, leave, come back repeat! Funny now that I think about it.

    Yours is quite serene.

  • “ALL

    A question: Why is it that we women seem more ready to bare all for the sake of art, as in Lisa’s powerful SP and Pete’s mood-filled self portrait/portrait of him & Jenny, than the men? Is it shyness or a cultural taboo?”

    Did anyone try to give this any thought?

    My view is that it is many things. One thing I think is that a lot of times women define themselves by their physical attributes and therefore their physical body is very very important to them and their looks.

    While in general in this society, men define themselves by what they do, what they produce and basically look at their body and parts as tools to produce and do what they want to do.

    For the most part women “expose” themselves more often for many reasons. Men like it and women value that and value their own bodies and know their own bodies is a desirable object. even if not completely undressed, most women when dressing up even to go to very fancy places like restaurants or the opera, will show cleavage or something to hint at their nakedness, while men on average completely cover up when they dress up.

    Of course there are men that do the same, expose themselves and hint at their body’s nakedness like in music videos, etc or men who work on their bodies constantly and then like to show this to everyone.

    But women do it as the standard and as the average while the men who do it are the exceptions, here in this culture.
    The most place where one can see this standard is going to a place with formal wear. Women expose parts of their bodies while men cover up, because it is the standard here in this society that women are desired for their body and men are desired for what they do. So men’s clothes are sort of a uniform and showing of status while women’s clothing show off the body.

    Just look at awards ceremonies, Grammy’s etc, it is always about the women and what they are wearing and how they look. Sure there are some men who are the exception and dress totally out and their appearance gets judged, but basically it is when they break the uniform that it happens, but mostly it is the women who are judged on their appearance and men on their merit, and this is true still from what I observe.

  • Patricia;
    Thank you for your kind comments too. I don’t get the time to be on here too much, but have greatly enjoyed your series of images too. Where I live in (in rural New Zealand) I can’t get broadband which makes viewing images online a very lengthy task!!!

    The Sister in question is a fantastic person, who still does fantastic work. During the 3 weeks I was there I was able to catch up with her for a couple of afternoons, but not long enough to complete a project.

    She still has 2,500 refugees at her convent. (I hate the term IDP, it sounds so impersonal. Like something a consultant came up with…. Probably did actually..) At the height of the troubles in 2006 she looked after 25,000 (yes 25,000!) for 8 months. All in grounds that are about the size of 3 basketball courts.

    Patricia, I’m no rocket scientist, and certainly no expert in refugee repatriation, but let me paint a picture and see if you too can see the proverbial fly in the ointment….

    Scenario one: The government want to send the refugees home, but haven’t bothered to check whether their homes are still illegally occupied. No worries; send them home anyway and let them sort it out. Refugees turn up at home and have illegal squatters in their homes, the ones who originally violently forced them from their homes. Of course that will help end the violence…….

    Scenario two: the Timor Task Force Police – who lets just say are not known for their Ghandi-like non violent stance, are also telling the refugees as they board their homeward bound trucks that they aren’t wanted back home anyway….

    Scenario three: The money that the refugees have been promised to facilitate their move didn’t turn up in their accounts, so they believe that they’ve been tricked into moving….

    So to settle the refugee’s nerves they send in the Task Force Police as well as the Timor Police. Nothing like having 30 heavily body armoured (in riot gear) police wandering around the camp with weapons and tear gas guns at the ready to quell the IDPs nerves….. Especially when they tell them that they will “escort” them home, in other words, force them to leave….

    Coincidentally today is “World Refugee Day” (it’s the 20th here in NZ).

    I’ll be posting some new Timor images next week, but they are not part of the refugee project. Thanks for taking the time to view the images & sorry for the long post….


  • Ross, what you shared in this post is JUST what we need to know. I used to facilitate art therapy in a global refugee shelter here in Detroit and learned there that things are NEVER as you hear in the media. It takes going directly to the people to see/hear the truth. That’s what you’re doing and I commend you for it. Go well, my friend.


  • Lara, I think you’re spot-on. I just tend to not expose myself out of sympathy for my fellow man.

  • Patricia;
    When you get down to it , I’m not unbiased either… But I do attempt to be truthful to what I am witnessing…

  • On the other hand, I seldom let the truth get in the way of a good story. For example, Catholicism is certainly more competitive now than it was when I was a boy. Back then almost any warm body who wanted to become a Roman Catholic could do just that simply by showing up for a few lessons and maybe a baptism if you weren’t a Christian of some sort or other already. I remember when I was getting ready for my Confirmation there was a lot of talk about being a soldier in the Army of Christ now, but I’m pretty sure the nuns did not intend for any of us to act like John Wayne and go leaping on the stray Protestant tract left in the church by accident and absorb the shock of justification by faith alone before it went off inside the church. There were no kamikaze Catholics, as far as I knew; we just weren’t that sort of church.

    So it was with no small measure of dismay that I read about baptism rehearsals. I read this wondering just what there was to rehearse. Roman Catholics do not delay baptism; the earlier the baptism the better. We don’t like having children wandering around with the stain of original sin on their souls when we can get it washed away with holy water with bluing for extra whiteness. As the recipient of the sacrament is an infant, rehearsing is a bit onerous, as babies don’t often do what they are told and don’t like being held in uncomfortable positions for very long while the priest drones on and on about rejecting Satan, the prince of darkness and the father of lies. Rehearsing, therefore, is not something you want to spend a lot of time doing if you are a prospective godfather; you just want to get the whole thing over and done with before the kid decides to unload from either the front or the back on the suit you just had dry cleaned for the occasion. Just as a sidebar here, for those of you whose only experience with a Catholic baptism is that great intercut sequence of baptism and wholesale slaughter that occurs near the end of The Godfather, as a rule Catholics don’t usually assassinate each other at baptisms. There is often a party of some sort to mark the event, where there may or may not be a family fight, especially when your maiden aunt, who really should have gone into a convent, preferably one she couldn’t get out of on holidays, brings up that whole business about your cousin marrying that woman (she was a Methodist) outside the Church, but gunning, garroting, bombing, and otherwise doing away with your enemies in an operatic orgy of bloody violence is entirely optional.

    Looking into the matter a little further, I find that baptism rehearsals are becoming quite common these days, now that American Catholics have picked up the habit of total baptismal immersion from our Protestant brethren. Catholics didn’t used to do this, you see. For centuries it was enough for the priest to pour some water over the child’s head and say the necessary prayers and that was it, the child was baptized. There was no need for immersions, total, partial, or otherwise, although the idea of total immersion for infants is not something I can go along with. I stood godfather to one kid in my entire life and if I knew then what I know now, and had total immersion been available, I would have held the kid’s head under the water for ten minutes or so. At the time he was a very cute baby; at least that’s what everyone, including my mother, said—I’m the wrong person to ask because all babies look more or less the same to me; and I wouldn’t know better until much later. Perhaps adult baptism is the best way, after all; that way you know that the stinker is getting what’s coming to him when you hold his head under.

    But to return to the subject, things are much different now than they were when I went to parochial school, if what I read is anything to go by. Nowadays no child can become a baptized Roman Catholic without being able to do a backstroke over two hundred meters in the baptismal font. Infants who do not finish in the top ten positions in the competition get another chance when they reach their first birthday; if they fail to place again their parents are taken aside and advised that they really ought to consider becoming Presbyterians or Dutch Reformed, both of whom are notoriously bad swimmers. Something about Calvin’s doctrine of predestination prevents people from learning to swim properly. Why this should be so is a mystery to me, but the studies seem to indicate that this is in fact the case. Just when these changes came about I don’t really know, but I suspect it has something to do with the reforms promulgated by the Second Vatican Council. I don’t remember there being a lot of gym equipment in church prior to the 1970’s, but afterwards you couldn’t get to a pew without stepping over a gaggle of bodybuilders doing crunches in the church nave. Maybe it’s just me, but those guys always seemed way out of place during the Easter Vigil. They were very nice guys, all in all, I don’t mean to criticize them here, but you never knew when they yelled, three more, just three more, if they were talking about weightlifting or making a theological point about the Trinity. I’m not theologically modern enough for the times we live in, I guess.

  • Not sure if this one qualifies as it was taken this past Sunday, the 15th. My first and most likely my last self-portrait, for obvious reasons:)

  • ok, ALL, as to the idea of pics about ourselves….just an example of how men can be equally as open and equally ready to bare all! ;)))…i’ve shot myself lots of times, and shared, “baring all”…and once got posted a gloriously large and colorful pic of myself, close up, genitals and all, and do not have any problems about that: being photographed or photographing…if i didnt shoot with film, i’d do a digital pic right now for y’all :)))

    so, okay, here is one from MARINA:

    THIS PHOTO IS BY MARINA BLACK. It is from her series HOURS…a pic of me, or rather, lying in the morning sun on our bed…called “keyhole”…I’ve loved this picture and i love her series: by the way, she will post a self portrait herself by the weekend :)))

    here’s the keyhole:

  • ok and here is one of my own self=-portrais:

    prick, balls, my hand and an old Dictionary…

  • Man! What have you got against dictionaries? A bible I can understand…but dictionaries? ;^}

  • I have posted some images from LOOK3 on my blog. Nothing too exciting, just some frames I shot during the week.

  • DAD!!!!!!!!!!!

    Akaky, I don’t think I have laughed so much in a long time!

    Thats what you get for selling your children off to a meat market!

    All I can say is that even though we have been estranged for so many years before we found one another again on this blog- I am so proud of my Brother BoB and my Dad Akaky for their abilities as writing genii!

    I love the recent self-portrait of you Dad, its very ‘Citizen Cane’ Uncle Dave can you please give Dad your bag, I think he deserves it!

  • BOB B

    OK, you’ve got me convinced! No shyness or cultural taboo going on in YOUR house, but, to be honest, I’m having trouble finding the dictionary in your image not to mention a “prick, balls and hand”! But it’s a hell of a cool pic anyway!!!

    Now Marina’s portrait of you, on the other hand, lays things out very nicely thank you very much. LOVE her portrait of you BTW. Looking forward to seeing how she approaches her SP.


    Having grown up RC, your essay tickles the pie out of me. Do LOVE your quirky way of seeing/saying what comes into your life. Please share more…


    Look forward to seeing your pics from the workshop! And man, your SP/portrait is exceptional!!!


  • Pete, just looked at your LOOK3 pics. Your images gave me a real sense of what it was like. Thanks. I needed that.


  • okay…

    so just got back from querétero and san juan del rio, where i spent the time getting drunk on a far too many jose cuervo tradicional margaritas to get that “glazy” look in my eye :)))

    hmm first time mexico, i like…

    …and PANOS especially for you i threw in my smile :))))


  • Salut David.
    Just want to thank you for a great workshop, my first ever. I drove back to Montréal exhausted but energized, thinking about documenting “the being” instead of “the doing” as MaryAnne advised me. Here is a stab at self-portraiture. While I didn’t exactly step away from the keyboard, I turned my chair toward the window and let my hair down for once. Cheers!

  • ANTON, is a very sexy man…
    To my eyes… his is not cute,
    but the ladies LOVE him…???
    Look at him … but drives women crazy…!
    Can someone tell me why???
    what do you think?

    AGA ,
    asked me to OVER-EXPOSE my self…

    BOB, great work…
    especially MARINA’S PHOTO OF YOU…
    you look like a happy “toad”… ready to jump from happiness,
    oh… you guys must be CUTE TOGETHER!!!

    which is FAIR ENOUGH since i was the one
    that long time ago i asked everyone to go
    “NAKED”… i meant philosophically though..!!!
    So AGA, you are right,
    i should get “naked” here too…!
    but the kinda photo i would like to submit is
    a “masturbation” photo of mine…

    … but is this “legal” to post..? this is America 2008!
    Is this called “indecent exposure” kinda bullshit, or
    something like that???
    Is the fbi going to be at the door just by posting a photo,
    blah, blah…
    How “far” can someone go, without a particular licence,
    for a particular photoshoot…

    I’m not talking about WITKIN,
    that had all the appropriate licenses …
    Again, is it “legal”???
    to attach on your RESUME a self-masturbating photo ???

    i received this email this morning from SEAN GALLAGHER…
    but i missed it till now…. sorry, better late than never though…


    ” … Hey Panos, could you do me a favour. China has clamped down on the website I use to see David’s blog. Now it is nearly impossible for me to post. Could you post the words below for me? It is a thankyou to everyone I met at Look3. I’d appreciate this my friend.

    “Dear All,

    Well this is my first chance to get onto the blog since returning from Charlottesville and I’d just like to echo all the positive comments and thoughts about the festival. Even though a very long way from Beijing, I was so happy to have made the effort to get there, mainly to get the chance to meet so many fantastic people from this blog and elsewhere. The shows were inspirational,

    David’s hospitality

    in his after-show parties was tremendous and the level of camaraderie will live long with me. I met too many people to give shouts out to all of them but I’d like to give special shouts to Brendan, Erica, David, Michael, Eric and Lance. Was fantastic to hang-out with you guys!

    Also a special shout to Panos.

    This guy my friends, is one of a kind. I think we are two completely different people and personalities but this is what made us get on so well, drawn together by the love of the sheer beauty that is photography, for which we share the greatest passion. I have gained a great friend. Now back to real life. China is waiting to be photographed. I am planning a return trip to the desert very soon. I shall be using the inspiration gained from every person I met to fuel me through this trip!


  • LARA

    On a more serious note…

    I agree that women often define themselves by their physicality and appearance but I think it goes a lot deeper than just the idea of ‘status’. There is the whole theory of the ‘Gaze’ (Berger-Ways of Seeing) that ‘men act’ and ‘women appear’.

    The whole point of that argument is that Renaissance painters were often involved with wealthy patrons who wanted to ‘own’ the women in the paintings, like they were territories capable of ‘conquering’ and ‘exploitation’.

    Yet few if any images exist of naked pregnant Renaissance women. These images would be offensive to the patrons who would have considered the pregnancies as proof of an already ‘conquered’ body.

    Previous to this you have a similar situation arising with the opposing religious philosophies of Christianity and Islam and the need to cover the women from head to foot in shawls, headscarves and with horrors of horrors chastity belts.

    Fast forward 500 years into the ‘Digital Age’ and we find ourselves with full access to Britney Spears’ private parts in an era of feminism gone mad. Or ‘Girls Gone Wild’ (which I believe is a very successful soft porno chain in the US) Yet the battle of the Hajib was fought extremely ardently in France.

    Perhaps I was a victim of too much 70’s and 80’s Art School theory where the ‘personal is political’ but I believe that’s what women getting their kit off in public far more than blokes is about.

    Its taking the power over our bodies back for ourselves and not being what was essentially ‘goods or chattels’ to some overlord type.

    In this century some successes have been made about the control that women have over their bodies, things like female circumcision is frowned on in many more countries than before and being enforced decreasingly, abortion is far more available legally but if you WANT to wear a Burqa in many countries you are able to.

    Men don’t need to get their clothes off for any reason, they have generally traditionally, across most (but not all) cultures had the pure physical power to enforce their particular tendencies with or without sartorial adornment.

    Well thats my take on it anyway.

    Its really an interesting discussion for me, because that photo has been shown in far more exhibitions than most of my stuff and people never seem to get beyond the ‘nakedness’ to all of the other really obvious symbols in it. Yet no-one has ever bought a copy. Thats the bit that makes me happy though, because I really feel that the underpinning statement has then been successful. (Though as I am just about to be evicted anyone that would like to buy a copy, cheques and Paypal are happily accepted…)

    PS DISCLAIMER This shot was done as a really conscience choice on my part where I was fully aware that it would be seen by lots of different people on the Internet. I think that it is a really important statement to make in light of whats happening with Bill Henson’s work here in Australia.

  • “Dear All,

    Well this is my first chance to get onto the blog since returning from Charlottesville and I’d just like to echo all the positive comments and thoughts about the festival. Even though a very long way from Beijing, I was so happy to have made the effort to get there, mainly to get the chance to meet so many fantastic people from this blog and elsewhere. The shows were inspirational,

    David’s hospitality

    in his after-show parties was tremendous and the level of camaraderie will live long with me. I met too many people to give shouts out to all of them but I’d like to give special shouts to Brendan, Erica, David, Michael, Eric and Lance. Was fantastic to hang-out with you guys!

    Also a special shout to Panos.

    This guy my friends, is one of a kind. I think we are two completely different people and personalities but this is what made us get on so well, drawn together by the love of the sheer beauty that is photography, for which we share the greatest passion. I have gained a great friend. Now back to real life. China is waiting to be photographed. I am planning a return trip to the desert very soon. I shall be using the inspiration gained from every person I met to fuel me through this trip!


  • SEAN,

    David, said it long time ago… “first class act”..

    … so what do i know !!!?

  • Panos, your not going to cause David to have to start censoring posts are you? LOL

  • ok, Pete,
    i take your answer as a NO…
    no masturbation pic…i hear you

  • david alan harvey


    my opinion is that your “rooms project” is very interesting indeed….a bit of mystery in every photograph…not everything is “clear” , which makes these photographs so compelling…please tell me more about this project and where you want to go with it….


    loved loved your self portrait…who are you REALLY????? should Anthony Hopkins play you in the movie version of your life???? i now dare you to meet me in New York…i know you are not far away…maybe just down the hall????

    peace, david

  • Wow, I got this for the first time:

    “We’re sorry, your comment has not been published because TypePad’s antispam filter has flagged it as potential comment spam. It has been held for review by the blog’s author.”

  • PANOS my friend

    am i sexy? do the ladies love me?
    hey man, now i also want to know what’s going on! damn… you seem to know more about me than i do myself…

    BOB bro
    i love your words… they move me… really.


  • Re: self portraits… I hate having my photo taken, and have never been one of those photographers who makes numerous self portraits.

    Yet I photograph people, does that make me a complet hypocrite?

    Just wondering…..

  • Anton – sorry I missed you at the airport – I think the festival needs one day with nothing scheduled so new friends can hang out and talk! I didn’t have nearly enough time with you, Michael K, Linda O, etc, etc…

  • DAVID McG you are absolutely right man… one day more to hang out and… well… hang :)

    i’m sorry i missed you at the airport too, and sorry i couldn’t spend even more time with all at look3… but look3 definitely brought us closer, way closer, even though not all the way like we would have wished… physics and time haven’t been to our advantage this time… BUT a lot DID happen, and i am proud to have been a part of it all…

    and proud to still being a part of it

    i am sure we will get together again sometime soon

    cheers bro,

  • what a beautiful thing this forum is..
    we all still around.. still together..
    no complain … Good times…
    always the fire on..
    Even if we missed each other at the airport(s)…
    check this out…

    … hey ANTON..!!!
    what’s up!

    wait couple minutes and you’ll see!!

  • david alan harvey


    i have no explanation for this….i certainly have never tried to block anyone….

  • Ok, here comes the batch from last night…

    Started around 11pm, club. Trying to filter the flash of the xa
    through a double vodka because at that distance it would burn me on
    the neg. I probably forgot that my arm is actually shorter than 1.2m.
    Oh well. I don’t know what’s wrong with my face, but I have all these
    spots since recently. One of my flatmates was joking about AIDS.

  • This is quite a few (very bad) frames later. On my way home, raining
    as usual. Soaked. On the bridge by Cathay station. This is the one in
    which I don’t look drunk. A few doubles and pints after the previous

    I had two pieces of chicken and chips, and a can of seven up (or was
    it sprite?) at T&A. A random girl took this picture and although I
    think she nailed the composition, she shot a bit early. T&A is in
    Cathays, it’s a cool place. It’s ran by -if I remember well-
    kurdistani people, but we have only been talking about wrestling for
    years, so I don’t really remember.

  • This one is of my favourite dodgy alley in Roath. I’ve not hear of
    anybody stabbed there or similar, but it just looks pretty nasty, it’s
    dark, it has barbed wire and it’s really narrow. I look like an
    absolute wanker. I think the leg against the wall is for improved

    So, getting home, finally. Well, just a half an hour walk really. I
    remember setting this one for the XA to overexpose a step or two
    because of it taking too much the highlights in account. Way too sharp
    for my taste -excepting me- which is ok.


    (SORRY! Had to split the comment into three to pass the antispam filter…)

  • Dear DAH and distinguished selection committee,

    Please disregard my previous submission. I prefer this updated entry. It’s more me.

    Anna B.

  • Michael K,
    No need for a re-do. I like it a lot. One of my favorites in fact.
    Glad to see that there are still a few “straights” around here.

    Anna B,
    Second one is good but first was also very good!

  • Meaning what Anna, you’re more square? hee hee

    Nice design work, by the way. Design is my original profession.

  • Hi,
    Here is my self-portrait

    I am going to try to make more recent one before Sunday evening…

    kind regards,

  • Anna.. i prefer 1th one too… much better for me

  • Self portraits are such terribly difficult things to do.

  • G’Day David,

    Really good comment about women in your classes and how they tend to be better photographers than blokes. This has been my experience as well. How does this explain the lack of women in Magnum ?. I’m not suggesting it is a good or bad thing. It is just interesting the way things pan out. I also wonder if there is a whole lot of fantastic work out there that we never see.

    Now it’s not as warm down here as Sydney. So sorry mate I’m not going dacks down. It would do me no justice in this temperature and how many aussies running around nude does the world really . I reckon Lisa has that base covered anyway.
    So i have just done a pic for the crew that was in BKK. I didn’t have any time to find some entrails…..

  • hi…i like this…

  • David, I am thinking about photography in rooms with different sort of lives exist there….I want to tell the story of life exist in each room by a picture but every picture has a text story, which I write base on our conversion too

    for me rooms are like dresses when you back to your room and take off that uniform and became yourself. identity and dreams of the owner of the room are so attractive for me I am trying to capture a moment shows them together.

    pix I put in that gallery are just a selection base on what I photographed until now I am searching everyday for new things like yesterday I was in room’s of a left party activist with his love for Karl Marx, was interesting (I am going to put new pictures every week in that gallery maybe one or two each week)

    sometimes I am so sick of my pictures, they are all full of people! I love people I became a photographer because of that but I feel my eyes need to rest sometimes… I am taking pictures of elemans in rooms too it could be fun
    what are you thinking is it going to work?

  • Robert, I am working with a nikon f4 but one or two of them are taken by digital camera

    bob I’m familiar with Sadegh’s works thanks anyway

    Thanks Patricia, I am going to put new picture there every week. it is not going very fast I need to find new rooms and spend time to became close to people to receive to a good picture!

  • Anton: Panos is right: some of us ladies are intrigued. Not inspite of but because of your dark places…

  • Thanks Cathy. Where’s yours? And make it as “straight” as can be! ;^}

  • DAD/AKAKY: :))))))…god damned you and that frickin’ sled, for god’s sake, get over it already! ;)))))))))….and the RC is just balls brilliant!…no i understand my ex-communication post-deli trauma! ;))))…

    Laara/SizLisa :))))…ok, so im reading alexandra fuller’s Lets Not Go to the Dogs Tonight…would love to chime in (its a cool and interesting discussion), and having just finished a book on male depression (and the physciological/cultural/society/biological relationships with all that), i’d say it’s a pretty impot-ant discussion ;))…will try to offer something later…it’s always amazed me that we seldom, men or women, get its just a shell, to which were, like a middle age torture chamber, confined, …more later :))

    MICHAEL KIRCHER: I also love this “straight” portrait: genius and funny and i have such a great mindseye snap of you running in and out of the house, it’s brilliant and one of my favorite avto-portraits here :)))…and you quite the looker yourself too! :))

    PATRICIA: :))..the Black Family have few taboos, cause what is a taboo but the enslavement of self ;)): gulping always for life, that’s all we have

    PANOS: toad…i thought more like a turtle really ;)) once, long ago, i was considered a “beautiful” man (at least when i was a teen and in my 20’s) but now i think: who is it that once sang upon that tune…

    running away ’til sunday deadline


  • david alan harvey


    i think this is a great idea…..particularly given your culture and your time in history…

    so much of Iranian life, at least of contemporary cultural life, goes on in rooms…hidden…forbidden….private..expressive…etc etc…

    your rooms become a “mirror” of each persons life…you must keep this mysterious as you have…do not try to explain too much…

    we only need a “hint”….

    keep going….


    you are such a bright bright warm warm person…..the LIGHT!!! it was terrific having you in my class…and i know you were frustrated, but you need not be…your work will now fly i am sure….and your motives are solid….just “let it go” and i know we all will be seeing the most sensitive reports from Africa or wherever you decide to work next….

    but one question: since you are so LIGHT how do you connect with Anton so DARK??? opposites attract??? or is there a “light” side to Anton and a “dark” side to you???? ok, i am going for more coffee….this is too much to ponder so early in the morning…


    well, the bigger question is: how does our acknowledgment of the superiority of the “female aesthetic” explain the lack of women in the business generally??

    but, you asked specifically about Magnum…so here goes…Magnum takes in very very few photographers, but three of our newest are Alessandra Sanguinetti and Maya Goded and Cristina Garcia Rodero…we also have the Inge Morath Award every year which is out there specifically for women and to attract women into thinking about long term projects…we are painfully aware of fewer women than men in Magnum…yet, we must wait….i promise you that if a talented woman walks in our door she will have the same opportunity as a talented man….there is zero gender issue from our point of view…

    but, i am not sure why there are fewer women in the biz generally than men…or are there???

    almost all of the editors and picture editors at magazines i know are women..same with the book publishing world….both Div Soul and Living Proof had strong women as my producers…on the photog side, Sally Mann and Annie Leibowitz are two of the five top selling collectors print artists…

    i could go on and on with the history of photography with Diane Arbus, Margaret Bourke-White, Dorothea Lange , Immogine Cunningham, Eve Arnold etc etc etc …there is long long list of women icons in photography…

    perhaps in the world of editorial photography , there are fewer women…but , maybe that has to do with lifestyle more than anything else…running all over the world making photographs does not always fit the lifestyle of a woman who chooses to have a family ….even if a woman marries a solid “mr. mom”, she will still have many more responsibilities than most men can even imagine…perhaps because most women can “multitask” way way better than most men, i think their non linear thinking and sensitized imagination often makes women such very interesting photographers…

    now before i go too far into an area where i know very little, please know that this answer is going specifically from me to a question asked by Matthew…two guys talking….as i think women know, men often do not “get it”…so maybe i am way off base here….and if i am, i know my friends here will tell me!!!

    i can easily say this however….in the photo worlds that i know, the doors are wide open for both women and men…period.

    is this a topic for a new post???

    cheers, david

  • Regarding to women in photography… Cristina Garcia Rodero! She is sooo good! I just love her works!

    and regarding both of – female photographers and self portraits… do you know the portret (i think it’s self portrait) of pregnant Annie Leibovitz? I was trying to fing in google images but unfortunatelly I couldn’t find… it’s one of the best self portraits I have ever seen… she is standing naked (“over exposured” ;-)) on the right side of the frame next to bed in the bacground… and glasses on it

  • I think that this is quite easy to answer, I don’t know in the US but here in Europe women were always seen as housewives (tends to change but…), taking care of children, making food. That image was vehiculated everywhere in the society, from magazines(why recipes are most present in women magazines than men magazines) to families (who’s cooking at family gatherings ?)… So being a photo-journalist implies to travel, stay away from home for long periods, this is/was not compliant with raising children and cooking every day. Have famous women photographer a big family, many children ? Even if the new trend in the magazines is to tell woman that they have to do what they feel to, housemen taking care of children are still seen as fags… Hum you take care of the house and your wife’s working, interesting… I think that there is still a long way till it will be 100% accepted… This has nothing to do with capacities of course as we can see every day that the artistic skills of women usually overpass the ones of men… The other issue in Europe for other kind of businesses is that you have pretty good chances to loose your job once you get pregnant, this doesn’t help for a career if you wanna have children…

  • Ciao David and by to all of you guys,

    It’s been a pleasure met you at the LOOK3 and some of the Blog’s people like Sean, Panos, Anton..

    here my portrait

    ciao a tutti…


    I swear I spent about 20 minutes the other day trying to shoot the same kind of photo using my laptop with webcam and my camera. Couldn’t get it to work the way I wanted.

    Nice job!

  • just mistyped the link in the previous post…


    i don’t know what it is, but i definitely felt like i could connect with you joan too… so light and warm you are… as to my dark side… in fact i am very ‘light’ in my existence, people say i jump and play around and have the lightness and curiosity of a little kid all the time… cristina said the same to me last week… mother said long ago to me to NEVER lose that… under no circumstances… one of her 2 most important lessons to me…

    …maybe the dark nights that i go through are meant to compensate that… i am a gemini (turned 34 this week!) so i guess i have some kind of duality inside me…

    i am still very much discovering myself… and others… i love meeting people (like you!)… i almost always like what i see, sometimes i find some dark things, sometimes within myself, and during the workshop this happened as well… in fact i felt a bit uneasy bearing it to you guys at the workshop (people always make assumptions), but i felt like it had to be done…


  • Sorry David, I only realize that the selfpic must be take this week, I sent a very old one…
    can I send you a new one?

  • Matt “The Butcher” Newton! Love it. Hope you’re doing alright mate… surviving the bleak Aussie winter!

    “Young” Tom, where’s your happy hirsute face? Did I miss it!?…


  • david alan harvey


    please send a new one….you have a good subject with which to work!!


    Down the hall? You live in Brooklyn and I…dont. It would have to be the Great Hall of New York for me to down the hall.


    Self-masturbation? Isnt all masturbation self-masturbation, or have the bright people out there in California figured out how to put a new wrinkle in an old practice?


    I hadnt thought of the Citizen Kane analogy. I dont think I’d mind having the Kane millions, but I’d rather skip that whole wandering around Xanadu mumuring, “Kielbasa, Kielbasa” bit.

  • Hi Pete I did it while on my office, I actually don’t have my MAC, ’cause is off for repair and don’t even have connection at home for sending the pictures later, so the only thing that I could have done was immediately in my workstation pick up my Nokia and send it SOOoooonnnn

    bye friends


  • For me to live down the hall. I must learn to proofread these things before I hit Post

  • This is NOT my contest entry as I took it in January, but it is probably my favorite self-portrait to date.

    Hopefully I’ll pull something together by Sunday.

  • Can i post one more?
    from today

    I can not promise it’s last one ;-)

  • :-) from today’s morning … part of my friends call me TAJRAGA from TAJRA (my dog) +AGA (me)

  • I told you Aga was the queen of self portraits!

  • david alan harvey


    hey my friend , i hope you know i am only teasing…. you are not even slightly dark at all…only your pictures…you, in person, are totally “light”…

    i really enjoyed my conversations with you at the workshop…and you were “on it” from the beginning…

    from one gemini to another, THEY just don’t understand us!!!


    well i see that now everyone knows what i always knew….your true character and kindness….i cannot tell you how much it meant to me and to all of us for you to jump on a plane and show up for Look3…

    when your “Venice Beach” came up on the big screen and Snoop did his “Riders on the Storm”, well, yes, as Erica said, i was dancing on the sideline…i thought, wow, an online process turned into REALITY….amazing…my REASON for having mentoring as an itegral part of my life….

    you were so so helpful to me during those days in C’ were always making sure things went right…just taking care and appreciating everything…

    many many thanks my friend…we are bonded for life…


    speaking of getting on a plane and coming to Look3….you get the long distance travel award!!!

    i had totally planned to mention that during my presentation and i totally forgot…i always speak spontaneously and without notes, so i apologize for forgetting to say that to everyone in the audience..i was very nervous for my presentation and forgot to say several important things….

    i do wish we had more time to talk about what you will do of the problems with this kind of event is that i have very little time to talk to any one person…i end up having short conversations with many and few in depth conversations with any one person…except perhaps in the workshops…this is just the nature of the photo fest beast…

    please do not for one minute think that i am not “tracking” you at all times….maybe i do not write much and i wish you had some time on this trip to come to New York where i could have spent an afternoon with you…but i am solidly behind your work and your career….i wanted you to have the first EPF stipend for a reason….i know you will continue to live up to it and i fully expect you will grow in the context of this profession and art…you are at the center of this community….

    many many thanks for coming my friend….”class act” is the least i can say…wishing we will meet again soonest…


    i suppose you know that your essay closed my slide show at Look3….i never would have guessed when we met in Seoul that this would even be a possibility….

    your work has just “blown up” big time… you listen…and you learn…and you work…nice combo amigo…and of course the true beauty of your work is that it is of your family…sweet sweet….

    i will have Mike post the EPF show today….nothing beats having been there, but you will get an idea…

    i do hope i will get back to Seoul someday and meet your wife and son…in the meantime, keep showing them to us here…if you keep working as you are, then you will have book material soon…

    i think you might have been my first writer here on the blog…either you or Marcin or both…anyway, a lot has happened since then!!!

    please keep your good spirit and intensity…both will serve you well…and please come to see me in New York when you can….i will not come to Seoul for the Magnum show…i pulled three of my pictures out…i really did not like how it all ended up…anyway, enough of that!!!

    thanks Rafal for being so easy easy to work with online and getting your material to us fast and clear and clean..Mike loves you!!!

    peace, hugs, etc…david

  • David,

    Sorry it’s taken me several days to write…I got home and work got crazy (actually even before I left Charlottesville)…BUT just wanted to thank you for an awesome workshop experience.

    I learned so much even thought my work did not reflect it. However, the important thing is that I take what I learned and apply it.

    To all who were in the workshop with me…it was a pleasure spending the week with you. Hope to meet again.

    To all who may be contemplating a DAH workshop…do not think twice…DO IT. You will…work hard… laugh a lot…be allowed to be yourself…learn from someone who spends time trying to understand you, your work, your goals…receive very honest critique while never crushing your spirit…emerge a different and better photographer.

  • finally shot something, not so easy with rollei and no self timer, running to drop off the film, fingers crossed..


    I have an old one just like that, which i like too


    Love the series you posted. I tend to chop my hair off every ten (or so) years. Though I’ve come close, I’ve never taken it ALL off. How cathartic that must be!


    Thanks for your sweet words regarding my design work. I know you have a history
    in design as well. :) You know what? You are _the first one_ to look completely different than expected. My imagination had you with straight blond hair.


    I’ve been waiting for your picture! This is your opportunity to undo the blurrrr Ryan gave you at the Webb event! Thanks (AGA too) for balking at my decision to amend my initial portrait… :)

  • great portraits guys!
    Here my wife and myself with our few remaining and precious Polaroids!


  • david alan harvey


    i used to have hair…it was nice

    now, i have no hair…nice too

    but you??

    cathartic to shave your head??

    judging from your self portrait, i would vote, keep your hair…

    now i am confused…Aga and you have confused me…which portrait are you submitting??? number one or number two?? scratching my bald head….

    cheers, david

  • marcin łuczkowski

    new non contest selfportrait

  • Hokay! Self portrait up:

    Bit more about me than of me! I’m in there twice tho.

    And I’ve got the theme/arena/background of a project down, just need to find the subject/focus/narrative:

    I think I’m repeating myself when I ask, is anyone going to Visa Pour L’Image in Perpignan? If so when?

    Congrats to the folks who got on the big screen at Look, your hard work earned it!

  • Regarding self portraiture, its not something I’ve spent a lot of time on, but sometimes I want to try something and I’m the only person available. So that’d be play I guess.

    I wonder if more people would shoot self portraits seriously if it were easier to point a “serious” camera at oneself. In Edinburgh its common to see a tourist with a compact at arms length with the screen flipped out lining up the castle or cathedral or Arthur’s Seat. I tend to find setting up a self portrait tedious and difficult and lacking the fluidity of having the camera in your hands and viewfinder to your eye. Plus you sometimes have to use a tripod…ugh!

  • Anton…
    tought me a secret about belgian ale…
    nobody ever finished 5 DUVELL beers in an hour…
    but if you wanna do it… finish the first 4 beers in half an hour,
    and then work on the 5th(last one)… slow…
    take the whole half an hour if you have to…
    from a gemini to a gemini thank you for the tip…
    just in case i will enter a beer contest….

    For David, Anton , myself and any other tortured gemini out there…
    “we shall overcome”

  • David.. i posted 4 self portraits.. and now i have a problem which one to submit… let me think untill tomorrow…

    David (McGovan).. help me, help me.. which one i should choose!

  • David and group,
    I’ve reorganized the galleries of my project to show loose edits of individual stories with one comprehensive edit of the story overall. I’ll be adding to both all summer. I’m also including a bit of text to set the tone of what they are giving up.

    In very brief discussions with some folks at Look3, comments were that it didn’t look like these people were really suffering. This isn’t a story about poverty—it’s a story about people teetering in this economy who have to give things up. I did just get a pretty good comment from a friend:

    “I think you are right to avoid the easy out with your project. Especially when everyone is feeling economic strain I would imagine poverty pity is a less effective tool.”

    For example, I couldn’t get the Consignment girl to not smile, yet she can barely make enough stripping to make rent. So people say, “Why doesn’t she just go get a job?” Because they are really hard to find here.

    Now I don’t want to hear from the (Panos / Harvey) peanut gallery that this assignment is hard, seems hard, or is only going to get harder. Panos knows I mean no harm by this, because he told me, but his assignment was easy—mine is not. I’d much rather be shooting the Oakley girls surf team in Costa Rica like Christopher Wray-Mccann, but not every assignment, either from myself or from a publication, is going to be easy. I’m challenging myself, and I’m not going to bail on this just because I haven’t hit full-stride. I’m still convinced it’s a good story.

    David, respectfully, you can’t just mentor the stories that come easily to photographers. I know you don’t do that in you workshops. Some stories are just different monsters that take on a pace of their own. To my advantage, I have time, because the economy isn’t going to get better any time soon. What I’m looking for is a mix of criticism and direction. From that I’ll find encouragement.

    It’s important to know that I realize (I think) that what I’ve shot doesn’t really “move” people yet, but I’m looking for it. What I really want is to create something ordinary folks can identify with.

    To take a page from his book, the squeaky Panos got the grease—so can I! :)))))))))

    Stories coming up:

    Young Single Mom

    Family: A Day in the Life of a Yard Sale

    Party at the Boat Slip—Not on the Lake

    (hopefully) People Pray at Gas Pumps for Lower Prices

    Link to Garage Sale Culture:


    With what do you lather your head? Do you use a bar of soap, liquid soap or shampoo?? I’ve always wondered. (Not about you, but about bald head’s in general.)

    I have no opinion whether shaving one’s head is cathartic. Cutting it all off sure is… it’s an AMAZING loss. Current head of hair is safe for another 7-ish years…

    Regarding which picture I’ll submit… Good thing I have till Sunday night to decide. I’m losing my ability to discern. This happened in the last stretch of grad school;
    I never thought It’d happen again! I guess this happens when we try to bust out of our immediate shells! Question is: must I narrow the already narrow playing field
    (of two) to one?

    Anna B.

  • Aga, I really liked the last one, almost wish you couldn’t see the camera, but I have to look at the others again.


    you guys are gemini too???? of course david i should have realised your birthday was a couple of weeks ago (and yes i know you’re just teasing, you mean mean man :)))

    and panos you a gemini too? what are the odds to that??? i KNEW we connected, i knew!

    ok… right now, both go out and buy a DUVEL beer… then we drink it tonight at the same time, east coast west coast and mexico… feel the gemini connection… nothing to say… no explanation necessary… just a drink…

    david i just found out that back home something has changed in my life this week… seems that through a blessing i jumped the main hurdle to pursuing my dream… but i need your wisdom and guidance taking on this endeavour… i am scared i might lose myself otherwise… i’ll email you soonest once i get back to belgium and explain…

    now i’m off to the liquor store :)))


  • Hey David

    I was wondering how you manage to keep track off all of the submissions on a thread this long! LOL

    Actually I was thinking about that when I was trying to figure out an easy way to get to the most recent posts, or the ones I have not read when there are so many pages….

    Are most people using a web browser or some sort of reader?

  • I’ve been thinking about the question regarding women’s willingness to bare all for art.

    I think the simplest answer is that the female body is more visually appealing than the males. If you look as far back as ancient paintings and sculpture, the female form is depicted as artwork that is to be pondered and enjoyed for aesthetic reasons. Women are full of curves, sensuality and subtleties that are often replicated in other types of artwork and even architecture that is coveted as beautiful. The Roman arch, for example, is often awed for the Romantic sense it conjures. The same is true for the arch of a woman’s back, the curve of her hip and the roundness of her breats. Women, no matter the body type, are visually interesting.

    That’s not to say that nude photos of men are not interesting. Or that Michelangelo’s Statue of David is not an attractive depiction of the male form. (It’s all over Italy for goodness sakes.) But the point of the statue is not to present the male form as erotic or beautiful. Rather, as is the case with most male nudes, the Statue of David is meant to show the physical power of man and the action he is ready to take. I think this echoes Lara’s view that men (and women for that matter) look at the male form as a tool as opposed to a sensual being.

    Now, why is it that most of the men making these self-portraits are reluctant to bare all? I don’t know. I would imagine that when these guys picked up the camera for a self-portaite the thought of undressing never even crossed their minds. In society, we are constantly bombarded with images of women in the buff or practically in the buff. It’s not often that we see advertisements and other images of the male nude, so I don’t think men give their own nakedness much consideration. Culture definitely plays a role here.

    For myself, as the wife of a photographer, I enjoy being nude or dressed out of the ordinary (corsets, butterfly wing, whatever) in front of the camera. It is a chance to not only have fun with my husband but also do something that is a relaxing break from the norm and a fascinating exercise of creativity and emotion.

  • Hi..this is me and mykid, we were wearing traditional java outfit (have you seen java-indonesia, mr.Alan?)

  • From one of many Gemini’s to another…

    Don’t you think we “twin souls” should get to enter TWO self portraits??? One of our LIGHT side & the other of our DARK???


  • And here is me last night

  • Rossen, the bravest portrait so far!

  • Hi David,

    Here is my self portrait:

    To answer your question I think that self portraiture is definitely a legitimate form of ‘art’ and should be taken seriously. Many painters and sculptors have looked at themselves and struggled with ideas how they wanted to be portrayed. This is the main difference with ‘regular’ portraiture I think where you loose control when being the sitter subject. Self portraiture needs patience (like always) and a considerable amount of self knowledge in my opinion. I haven’t done it often so thank you for the idea and incentive.

    Best, Edward

  • JCHANCE :)) been working hard on several projects at various stages, some pay, some personal … nice mix and nice for a change, so it’s hard to keep up here if you miss it even for a day or two! I’ll do a self-portrait … too bad though, i just cut my hair, happened just the other day, gettin’ kind of long, you know it was in my way … hadn’t since BKK, total hippie.

    MATT NEWTON!!! HA, great self portrait! Now that’s a knife mate! How ya doin’ BKK compatriot? Think of you in Tasmania … opposite ends of the globe but similar climates and socioeconomic/environmental pressures. I appreciated your work on logging, knew some pilots for Lighthawk in the Northwest. A recent aerial shot in the Seattle Times of a huge landslide on a steep slope clearcut is changing policy … go fly Matt :))

  • Married to a Gemini … dear god in heaven …

  • anton…do u remember….gemini and acquarium….?
    ohhh perfectI
    …I love!



    yes i do remember!!! gemini e acquario… è perfetto!




    yes you’re right, i think us gemini should enter two self portraits… we are sooooo complex that we need two images to fully describe ourselves :))

    so yesterday morning i got stuck with my head in my shirt in my hotel room, really funny & embarrassing but nobody to witness… a little dark side cos you can see me being hugely hungover from the margaritas for my previous self portrait :)))


  • I wish my Aquarius EX WIFE
    could say the same about me..
    I’m sure the word “perfect”..
    is not in her vocabulary when
    she refers to me..
    oh well,
    I guess there are GEMINIS and
    Geminis out there..
    oh well , I’m a mess..
    driving away
    fucking marlboros..

  • hey PANOS…

    sorry to hear about your ex-aquarius… but to me, you are perfect!

    by the way, you still have to show me something… i’m still waiting, still curious

  • dont worry ANTON,
    my mom is an Aquarius ,
    so at least one water person
    loves me no matter what..
    and that’s enough..
    now my dad is a Gemini ..
    born the same day as me..
    you see now how fucked up and twisted
    my life is???

    Ps: can you remind me my promise to
    you? Please?
    dr greenthumb took my memory

  • Just started reading along, at the suggestion of a much better photographer than myself. So here I am, as much as I can figure for now:


  • hey PANOS :)

    i was curious because you were going to show me sth and i don’t know what :)))

    “… hey ANTON..!!!
    what’s up!

    wait couple minutes and you’ll see!!”


  • This one is me… self-constructing after moving from countryside to São Paulo city.


  • This one is me… self-constructing after moving from countryside to São Paulo city.


  • oh , i see…
    i meant that although we all had to split from look3…
    does not matter… we are still HERE…
    in this blog… in DAVID’S HOUSE… for free!!! no rent,
    free drinks, free advice, free … free… free…!

    so i shouted at you… ANTOOOON!!!
    and guess what… you responded…
    that’s what i was trying to say…

    thank you DAVID… for keeping the door open for ALL of us…
    ( hopefully this wont turn into some kinda religion and shit…)

    ANTON, i still CAN’T EXPLAIN IT, but it’s true…
    the ladies love you to the extend of making all other males envy..
    LOVE YOU man…
    i hope i meet you somewhere in europe at some point…
    and stop drinking too much, you making me jealous…!

    but i kinda loved the “KINDA BORED” self portrait in your sequence…

  • ERICA, that’s great! The grass looks like some kind of suburban crop circle. And SEAN, what an excellent letter. I’m not sure how the censors figured out the subversive nature of this blog, but hopefully they’ll let you back soon.


    This to me is far more revealing than the last self portrait and far more current- its less than 12 hours old. This is probably the most insight I could give to anyone about who I am, well who I was at that precise moment…

    This is also I think a bit of a start to another project that I am thinking of with a colleague, that well- sorry fella’s -but I would just like to get a whole bunch of women to participate in.

    I love being a woman, I think its far more fun than being a bloke, but I also think that maybe the reason there are less women at the ‘top end’ of photography is because of the general lack of confidence that we have and I am not sure that the present agencies really do a whole lot to encourage women to lose that feeling of intimidation when confronted with essentially patriarchal structures.

    I know of an incident where I believe a woman photographer was judged very harshly indeed and not given the right to response because of what I consider a very male and dominating viewpoint.

    If we had a lot more of DAH’s in this world then I think that we would have a lot more equal participation. All a lot of us girls need is a little bit of support and then just watch us all fly…

    ‘Eh ladies?

    Anyway this is my ‘Self Portrait +1’

  • LISA, as far as I’m concerned.
    you said it…”revealed”..!!!

    that’s what I “requested”,!!?
    and thais what you delivered…!!!



    we will meet again, nothing can stop that!

    opening the next bottle of wine now with my friends here in mexico… tomorrow i have to get up at 4am for my flight back… i think i will not go to sleep… that will be safer :))

    take care my man, i’ll see you when i get back!!!


  • LISA

    beautiful self+1portrait… really…

    have to go now, the wine is calling :)


  • david alan harvey


    i lament the example of your friend that you gave…i take your word for it and unfortunately there are surely even more and possibly worse examples out there….

    it does not even make good sense to me that there could be such a patriarchal organization that dealt with the sales and distribution of photography to a mass audience that would somehow limit ANY good work regardless of gender…i do see discrimination in the upper echelons of publications on the management side…but, i must say i really do not see it among the photographers..just because i do not see it, does not mean you might not see it…but, a talented photographer who can “do the job” is hard to find..male or female…it would just be “bad business” from a management standpoint to limit the input of fine work due to gender discrimination….why would anyone be so narrow minded??? i cannot walk a mile in your shoes no matter how hard i might try…but , as i said earlier, i am on the inside looking out at both Natgeo and Magnum and i know for sure both organizations are looking for talent…period…yes, there are fewer women than men coming in the door to even APPLY…and i also said before that in my classes i see so many talented women and then and then a few years later they somehow “disappear”…they do not even make it to the “front door”..i always wonder where they go..i do know many very sharp editors who hire photographers…these are both women and men (as i also mentioned earlier that in the picture editor category there are definitely more women…look at the mastheads of any magazine)…they are paid to hire the best photographers they can find…they literally cannot “afford” to play with gender discrimination…

    the editors who hire and publish photographers at The New York Times, Vanity Fair, New Yorker, New York Magazine, Time Magazine, GEO Magazine, Rolling Stone, Natgeo France, Traveler Magazine, Natgeo Books, Phaidon,Powerhouse, are all, i would imagine, i hope correctly, gender discrimination would not be a factor at any of those publications since women are doing the hiring…

    in any case Lisa, hold your head high, do good work, ignore the people you need to ignore…find good people with whom you want to work..they are there…do not let anyone get you down…trust…be trustworthy…keep your “eye on the prize”…

    ok, whew, that is my evening “pep talk”!!! sorry about that!!!

    by the way my dear, absolutely lovely self portrait…you look strong and soft at the same time…a truly nice combo for a woman of your caliber…

    peace, david

  • david alan harvey


    i take Herve’s advice…click on the page you want in the URL box…if there are 201 comments and want to go to the end fast, just delete the 2 and put in a it????? shoot a tequila first however!!!

  • One more. I really want that print.
    Hope I have time to make one more . My hands are full!!!!

  • I think I should stick with my original entry, but Aga had asked what else I had shot of myself, so I posted the series:

    You have to scroll down. Check these out, Aga!


  • David,

    I squeezed this frame off yesterday, among others, from the cab of my ’65 Chevy truck. The drivers side window no longer rolls, forcing me to sit shotgun for the “Portrait”. The light fades, time is precious, my thoughts are scattered…at least for the time being.

    I enjoyed this short, introspective assignment and the results… the varied perspectives, the dialogue! as usual there is always “something” to take away and mull over, an idea, a thought, another perspective…always another perspective! Keep the floodgates open Harvey!

    Nos Vemos…Jeremy

  • The moonlight coming through the window was so lovely–had to try something. So here it is:

    The photo took a lot less time than figuring how to put it on flickr

  • my two (euro)cents: selfportrait in the mirror (with pineapple)

    (shot two nights ago, too stressed even to think of taking the camera out of the bag but then this thing of a little assignment forced me to move my ass ;)

    and just to better show my face, here is an old series called “one man army”:


  • I forgot to say my selfportrait is not for conrest.

  • Jeremy.. really nice self portrait!

  • A friend of mine told me about this contest.It is the first time I am doing this..I am usually shy.So I hope you like it,I am a fond amateur.I am self taught.I took this image on my own, sitting on a little self -made ‘studio-box’ I found in …garbage!!!( I am also very…small in size hahaha).The light is from one small lamp.Photography has helped me more than once to enjoy life.

  • Jeremy!

    Just to echo Aga’s remarks…very good portrait!

  • Late to the party, as usual. AND with an old photograph. On the road right now – it’s the best I can do. Lotta great stuff here. BTW, I’m the cute one in the picture. Heh.

  • JOHN R. FULTON! :)))))))

    I have ALWAYS loved this shot :)))…i have something similar taken of me when i was 15, spending the summer in Daytona Beach with my grandparents (before Daytona changed) and on the shoulders of two Hawaiian Tropic girls (hand picked by ron rice)…and i wish i had that pick to show u…u look very very happy indeed! :)))))

    SISTER LISA! :)))))) love this portrait very much! :))))…that’s a gorgeous picture of both of you, tender and defiant, loved, loved, beloved :)))))..keeeeeper! :))) (the guy too ;)) )

    ALEX RESHUAN! :))))))))…THANKS IS FUCKING GORGEOUS (give this guy something, please David! ))) (but not the bag ;))), kidding)!….i love this portrait so much and i showed Marina this morning…the way your hold your child and the focal point makes me shimmer-shiver! :)))…just flat out breathtaking!…im sure u r gonna get something :)))))

    AGA! :))))…I am happy u have returned..queen of selfportrait indeed :))…did you see the new PRIVATE?: on Polish photographers??…lovely lovely :)))…and i love this shot with your beautiful puppy…delerium…another winner…

    so, lots and lots and lots of great self-portraits with Citizen Akaky and Alex R and Lisa and Aga and Michael K and Nelson and Panos dildo and Particia’s redhorseshoulder…and of course JOHNNY DEPP!..

    running to get my slide film to see what happened…we’ll see ;))

    running away now boys and girls…


  • ABELE :)))))…love that series of militaryabele very veyr much! :))))))…another winner…if u ask me…poor judges indeed

    david: you might need more bags? ;)))


  • Bob Black… what you mean “did you see the new PRIVATE?: on Polish photographers??” … what private and where?.. and.. i wish my dog is puppy, but it’s not :-( she is 14 years old and very ill last few weeks

  • Thank you BOBBLACK!

    but the One Man Army series is definitely out of contest here, since it was shot in 2005-2006. The pineapple is fresher, instead… ;)

  • Slightly different approach… Was made without using a camera (any guesses?)… No real use of photoshop either —only just to combine the rear face/hands and my own (face). Not strictly documentary or photo”j”… but thought I would throw this one in the mix anyway, variety is the spice of life right!!?…



    the first one in the slideshow,but there’s few other s-portraits in the beginning.


  • I want to say that there are many really inspired self portraits here, so happy to be seeing them and I am grateful that you asked us to do this, David. I always enjoyed shooting these when I was grappling with stuff, at age 18, 19, 20…but I haven’t done this in a long time and it was a good thing try to do from where I stand now. It was different; I feel like I photographed myself much as I would have if I had been with myself..meaning, as if there were 2 of me, 1 as the subject and the other the photographer. And there is something wonderful about that. Before, I had thought of self portraits from the perspective of the subject in relation to the camera, but now I see how you can think of them from the place of the photographer in relation to the subject.

  • Hi! I’m new here. What a great way to introduce myself… Here’s my self portrait:

  • I wanted to post one more, but It can’t really count for this contest because I actually did it a few months ago… but I really kind of like it…

  • Hi David,

    A change of perspective to my Self Portrait.

    I am over weight and do not like to take myself in the mirror as it is really not model material. But with a change of perspective, miracles do happen.

    KC Eng


    Thanks for your reply. Even coming from as far away as I do my experience of the photography world has been incredibly similar to yours. There where far more women studying photography when I was at University. I can only think of one photo editor that I deal with that is a bloke (a news editor at a national paper), and I have to say I was a little surprised and I guess in some what disappointed that there was so few women at the BKK workshop considering the size of the class. Where I live there are no female documentary or editorial photographers the only female photographers shoot weddings. I think this is a shame because I would really like to see their response on this place.


    It sounds like you have been really getting into it. I’m looking forward to seeing your new work. I have always loved Allard’s work and I cant wait to see what you come back with. “Go Fly Matt”
    How did you know Mate ?, I managed to score a couple of days in a chopper a few
    weeks ago, when they were burning off the clear cuts. I think I got some powerful images
    Atom bomb style mushroom clouds in the wilderness. I will post a few soon.


    Mate that is a bloody big knife, bloody sharp to. There is a very good reason you are supposed to hang on to the handle of a knife and not the blade!
    Winter down here has not been to bad this year. We celebrated the longest night last night with a bonfire and a few drinks. There is new snow on the mountains this morning. The sky is blue.
    Now, that latest portrait of yours is just freakn weird.

  • David :)

    I usually watch your blog and it’s my first time comment & participate on your blog.

    According to your question, I never take self portrait seriously. But I usually take it almost every last frame of my negatives, so I could develop the negative soon.

    Here’s mine:

    Thanks :)

  • bobblack – you’re too kind. Thanks for the good words.


    A big thankyou for the ‘pep’ talk!

    I really, really appreciate it- you are one hell of a generous human being, you know that!

    What a wonderful place is this blog- ERICA, BRUZ BOB, MATT N, LIL’ BRO ANTON, DADAKAKY, JAMES C, YOUNG MAJOR TOM, KAT, MK, PANOTOPIA, PATRICIA, CHRISTINA, AGA and the list goes on…

    Sometimes I forget how lucky I do have it….

  • Hehehehehe…..

    And now I know what you ALL look like

    Even from the inside out!

    Bruz BoB should definitely get a bag for that series of eyeballs I reckon!

  • I have always thought that I was the most boring subject that I could think of. Everyone else in the world fascinates me but myself? Meh! After looking at all your pix I found it interesting how many portray themselves in a brooding manner. Do you really think that is how you are as a person? Really. Wow. Not me. I’m having too much fun. So here’s my take on me and how I feel about myself:



    I took it Wednesday afternoon, on 35th street, on my way to B&H to buy the paper on which it was printed…

    I get a lot of funny looks on the street (I call it the “stink eye”) when I’m generally doing my thing, shooting… but that is NOTHING compared to the looks people were giving me as I walked down fifth avenue, shooting for this, camera in one hand, strobe in the other flashing my own self in the face!! Ha ha! I was cracking myself up!!

    New photos of C’ville, too…

  • I had hoped to use this self portrait assignment as an opportunity to show a better side of myself than the out of focus iphone shot taken at Alex Webb (no offense Ryan-thanks Anna!) but instead I may have learned something.

    1:30am in my bathroom (so as not to wake husband and bird) sweating my ass off (heat wave)…

    Each in focus shot I saw of myself seemed so one dimensional…it was me but it wasn’t ME… The only photo that seemed to REPRESENT was this one which doesn’t look as much like me but is more ME! Does that make sense? :)) Of course it does!

    I understand about capturing the essence of the subject but I somehow “got it” on a deeper level by being the subject myself.

    Now what I need to learn is how to post one image to its own webpage thru .mac….like Panos does.

    How do you do that Panos?

    Let’s see if this works…

  • Nick.. thank you for a link, I had no idea that magazine like that exist :-)


    Taken yesterday evening…..fantastic idea….after a month I finally held teh camera again and all questions in mind disappeared…..i look forward to photographing this month…..thank you



    please check this link…..for facebook one needs to log…..thank you

  • I suppose you know that your essay closed my slide show at Look3….i never would have guessed when we met in Seoul that this would even be a possibility…

    I know, I was saying to my wife..Id like to open or close…you know, as I kept waiting for my stuff to show I was getting happier and happier and yeah, I got to close it off which for me totally rocks because all of the great movies I love have all had great for me the ending is like the most important part..and if I got to be the ending, it made my day…

    When we first met I never knew this would be possible either, and it wouldnt have been had you not met me because who would set me straight? I remember mostly how you told me about unity of style, content, most of all emotional content…and it took me a while to really get on the road to showing what you wanted me to show. Not there yet but hopefully with time and work there will be something really good there when its all said and done

    your work has just “blown up” big time… you listen…and you learn…and you work…nice combo amigo…and of course the true beauty of your work is that it is of your family…sweet sweet….

    Well any wonder? A Magnum photog was speaking Id be a fool not to listen LOL.

    i will have Mike post the EPF show today….nothing beats having been there, but you will get an idea…

    It was great..I had to imagine it on a huge screen with all those people there….not the same at home but still really cool.

    i do hope i will get back to Seoul someday and meet your wife and son…in the meantime, keep showing them to us here…if you keep working as you are, then you will have book material soon…

    Thanks David, infact book is what Im thinking…as Ive been doing this Ive had time to crystalize my thoughts and plans and I think I have a concept for a wider series. I think I talked about it before, I want to create a project that would show not only my family at home but my wife’s side of the family as well as my side, in Poland, in Chicago…

    i think you might have been my first writer here on the blog…either you or Marcin or both…anyway, a lot has happened since then!!!

    One of them though I think marcin came a bit before me.

    please keep your good spirit and intensity…both will serve you well…and please come to see me in New York when you can….i will not come to Seoul for the Magnum show…i pulled three of my pictures out…i really did not like how it all ended up…anyway, enough of that!!!

    Im plannng to be in the US within 2 years..Im thinking of going to Poland first, I need to as my grandparents are getting really old and I want to see them, talk to them, show them my son, and also photograph them….it will be the last time…but then Id probably come to the US, to Chicago and also NYC.

    thanks Rafal for being so easy easy to work with online and getting your material to us fast and clear and clean..Mike loves you!!!

    I love Mike, too…he had a lot of suggestions on the music and I must thank him for changing my mind about a few songs that wouldnt have been good ideas.

  • David, you have made my sleepless night more than worth it. To see and read your self revelation as the dawn is slowly coloring the night sky is one of life’s jewels of a moment. Both your words and image will stay with me for life. Thank you for being willing to bare your skin & heart.


  • There’s one more of these AMAZING self portraits that has set up housekeeping in my heart and I suspect will stay forever. It is Alex Reshuan’s portrait of himself holding his baby. To me this is an iconic image. Bravo, Alex!

  • :o)
    very kind patricia.. i kind of didn’t want to get dressed again..

    sleep easy..

  • Happy to join in! Without any further ado:

    To bobblack and guido in reference to your exchange on June 19, so so sorry . . . but as of today I see Germany in the final and I’m not even a soccer aficionado . . .

  • Hi everyone!
    Nice to see your faces :)
    Down with anonymity!!
    This is me “in private”..

  • Great to see all of your faces…not been able to catch up on the posts yet, only most of the links. are currently in bergen, norway, where i am visiting a friend, and a family i stayed with in the US, will be arriving tomorrow.

    anyway, here is my self port…

  • Interesting to me that three of the very strong images (and there are others–these just came to me–) depict relationships in the portrait–the “self” is the “self” in part because of the “other”–Alex and his baby–Lisa and man–David and woman.
    These little vignettes we give are just part of the “book” we all are–glimpses we hope are honest as well as enlightening? enjoyable?

    Are they all about relationships in some way–relationship with the environment–or even loneliness?

    It is fun to see how others present themselves–how much they know about who they are and what they are willing to share.

    I have also found the commentary–for example David’s above–a very rich part of the “portrait.”

    I think photographs are amazing in their ability to enlighten or deceive. Searching for truth and beauty is universal and keeps us challenged.

    Good luck on this David. Choosing just three would be a challenge.

  • i think my portrait is very much of the moment – perhaps the way everyone here’s is?
    b is pregnant with our boy and for the past 4 or 5 months there has been no ‘i’ really.. more ‘us’.. not to say we are homogenized.. more to say we are content.
    6 month ahead the brief would produce a completely different photograph.. with a much more tidy hair-cut may be :o)

  • Went to a spa today and … here I am again:

  • DAVID BOWEN! :)))))))))))))))

    THAT IS MAJESTERIAL and the real fucking deal: humour from the skin of pain: i call that bloody life! :))))))….and the words too…that, to me, is what this contest was supposed to be about! :)))) (why i shared the eyeballs and essays)…

    that’s a gorgeous and joyeous and brilliant pick (love the orange bloom of your feet pads!) :))))…

    that’s another winner

    (david harvey, u gotta unload ur bags on this dude too!) ))



  • thanks bob – it was your eye and patricia photographing her life that introverted me somewhat in the first instance.

    B and i had a real giggle this morning which is lasting all day.

    warm regards

  • Thanks Panos!!! I like that one too but the one I’ve sent means much more what I was thinking at that time…
    But still thanks man

  • David Bowen,
    I like your self-portrait !

    I am a fan of all your portraits, I wanted to write you to say it to yourselves but I do not have to find your e-mail


  • Hi David,

    Here are two auto-portraits I took today (Sunday). This is in addition to the picture I posted few days back. I guess you see how motivated I am to get a signed bag !!


    Have a great day from Bermuda


  • HI ALL

    this is great that so many people who never write show faces here. I see we have so many great people here.
    I’m not host of this place, so I will say only for myself: welcome


    I’m great fan of your work, your sensitivity, your color, your vision…
    if you ever publish a book please give me a note I will buy it as a first person.

  • Dear David,

    There is my fourth and final auto-portrait taken today.


  • What a fun assignment to keep the creative flow going. Especially for those of us who had the good fortune to attend the LOOK3 gathering, it’s quite sobering to step back into a world where not everyone is obsessed with making photographs all the time. Thanks to david and everyone in the workshop and at the fest for such a wonderful, heartfelt time.

    I’m submitting a self portrait here just for the playful joy of it. I’m way too busy packing up my house in preparation for a big move to devote as much energy as I’d like on this one. Bravo to all who have shared such imaginative and beautiful images.

  • hi David and all, here’s a portrait just for fun (non-competition!):

    (inadvertently after Archiboldo, with the trees in my face)

    and this is the one I submit for the contest:

    please judge the photograph, not the aesthetic quality of my mug! :)

  • ok, i made a self-portrait an hour or so ago in one of my favorite places on earth – the seattle arboretum. i always think of that beautiful and natural sanctuary as my ‘true home’.
    (but, being a gemini – yes, another one! – i need my city life too.)
    so this is me, in my true State – reclusive, in nature and always turning toward the Light. ;))

    (btw, the photo album it’s in is old, hence the ‘thanksgiving’ in the title, but the photo is brand new as stated above.

  • My self portrait:

    For me self portraiture has always been for fun, usually to show-off my alter ego, Jimmy Boss!

    I think that doing it seriously is most difficult because you have to know yourself for the portrait to say something about yourself.

    To understand yourself is invaluable because it means understanding other humans as well. Gnothi Seauton…

    Thanks once again for the inspiration, David!!! It’s great to see everyone here ‘come to life’!

  • FOR PANOS … Self portrait taken … in the grass …

  • Okay, since the entries are supposed to be fresh fruit and not yesterday’s leftovers, here’s my official entry:

  • Please have a look at this one. I don’t post often but look in here almost daily.

  • Please have a look at this one. I don’t comment often but look in on the site almost daily.

    cheers Gabor

  • Friday was a long day.
    I was sick. And a tad short, apparently.


  • so here’s mine, even if I just posted it on flickr and not on my personal photolog, which you’ll find with my infos, however!

    I’m not looking for a prize, however, I posted it because it’s fun! will you make a gallery out of our self portraits? I’d like to see ’em all together!

  • Hi everyone,

    I was away and … came back too late.

    Just saw Davids assignment and went running to do SOMETHING, so I do not feel I let this one pass by.

    Well, it is not Sunday in Germany anymore, but in the US it is still weekend!!
    So maybe my quick&dirty from a minute ago is not completely useless…

    Best to everyone!


    i am choosing to go with number one (my original entry).


    could you post more of your drawings (and/or paintings) for us to see?


    Beautiful, beautiful gorgeous images…

    DAVID BOWEN, what can I say but that one is stuck in my head and when a picture is as unforgettable as that, well it will live forever. Its a great tribute to your burgeoning family!

    AUDREY that is such a fucking great photo- it is so quintessentially French- Jaques Tati and all that- I reckon we will hear lots about you in the future as well!

    ARIE I love the one with the dog and the one with your partner and baby also are gorgeous!


    As self portraits go I reckon you nailed it! Thats how I see you, contemplative, romantic and perhaps a little other worldly- perhaps you should call this one ‘Splendour With Some Grass’!

    Its a really great portrait Tom and I reckon DAH should send you the book!

    WOW This is great, I have seen loads of portrait competitions before here in Oz and they all get a little bit standard if you know what I mean, I think these are the most interesting I have seen for some time!

    Congrats and now off to view the slide show!


    Beautiful, beautiful gorgeous images…

    DAVID BOWEN, what can I say but that one is stuck in my head and when a picture is as unforgettable as that, well it will live forever. Its a great tribute to your burgeoning family!

    AUDREY that is such a fucking great photo- it is so quintessentially French- Jaques Tati and all that- I reckon we will hear lots about you in the future as well!

    ARIE I love the one with the dog and the one with your partner and baby also are gorgeous!


    As self portraits go I reckon you nailed it! Thats how I see you, contemplative, romantic and perhaps a little other worldly- perhaps you should call this one ‘Splendour With Some Grass’!

    Its a really great portrait Tom and I reckon DAH should send you the book!

    WOW This is great, I have seen loads of portrait competitions before here in Oz and they all get a little bit standard if you know what I mean, I think these are the most interesting I have seen for some time!

    Congrats and now off to view the slide show!

  • so glad i visited the page today! had enough time to make my own and post it.

    saludos! :)

    I was alone, falling free, trying my best not to forget.
    Baby did you forget to take your meds.
    I did just get my first camera bag at a garage sale yesterday for 2 dollars but some lucky soul is going to get a print, you can never have to many pieces of art around the house.

  • so glad i visited the blog today! had enough time to make my own and post it!

    saludos! :)


  • Here’s my self portrait in BKK (and a pic of what I look like as well)



    Self portrait for Lee Guthrie (trying again–Rosemary said it wasn’t working for her)


  • Self Portrait of Young Tom

    For outtakes and much cheese, click on my name :))



    Love the one with the good light- reminds of a publicity still for a ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ movie!

  • Self portrait in Brooklyn…..

  • No, no Lisa … i think the book is yours!!! :)))

  • this one was taken a couple weeks ago while having FUN with my nephews.. but ineligible i suppose due to the timing:

    this one, taken last night in a pinch.. more interpretive..

  • minutes to midnight and i guess i’ll be going for this one for the contest… jetlagged as hell lying on my bed not being able to sleep… looking at my tired feet which walk the earth we all live on and suddenly thinking about that more than is actually good for me…

    love to all

  • … laughing my ass off.. kelly is running around in a towel.. a few explitives flying.. camera and lights next to the tub on stands.. and she squeaked in at 12:00… with oooops the ‘wrong’ picture.. i love it. see what you’re doing here David!!! :)

  • david alan harvey


    5 minutes late!!!!! well, ok…but just this time!!!

    you guys in New York???

    cheers, david

  • You can count the one that made it at 12:00 if you want… rules are rules! I probably would have sent this one…

    …but it hadn’t downloading and my bath was calling.

    We’re back in Austin. When are you going to drive down to Texas. We have some pretty special American family’s down here.

  • Unofficial Self-Portrait Gallery:

    CTRL then “Open image in new window” will give you the name of the person in the file name.

  • ANNA

    I’m not painting last four years since I graduated Academy of fine art for two causes, I have one painter in my very small apartment, and this painter is better than me.
    My wife not agree for my activity as a painter in our house and I agree with her, I’m… I was not very good painter.
    I have my photography, she have her paintings.
    I’m drawing right now because my mind is one big chaos and I heve big problem to focus for more than 20 minutes on one stuff, and this drawings helps me to keep this mind focus… for 15 minutes ha ha…
    here you can see some my old paintings, mostly not egsist, I have only photos of this paintings.

    peace (for dead painters)

  • Geez, McGowan! …you’ve outdone yourself putting them all in one gallery

  • nada — the computer does all the work!

  • Amazing gallery work, David McG!!!! But but but…

    My official entry is the red SP not the blue one. Would it be too much trouble to delete the blue Patricia looking at her laptop? Don’t want to confuse the judge ;=)


    Patricia aka horse of a different color

  • McGowan – If we’re going unofficial, then my last one was my favorite… unofficially. :)

  • David McGowan,
    It is brilliant ! thank you,


    cool thing! thanks for doing this man


  • Thank you Cathy and Lisa…

  • Dear Marcin,

    Thank you very much for your concern.
    I’ve enjoyed your essys, too.
    Especially I love color and mood of your works. I often take a walk in the pictures of yours…

    And I’ve seen your painting right now.
    It’s like a popart.. mordern… It’s quite different from your photos. It’s very nice but I love your photos more.



    Dear DAVID McG,

    Amazing! ^^

    Cheers, Kyunghee

  • My favourites!:

    Audrey Bardou with her parents
    Jeremy Wade Shockley in chevy truck mirror
    Aga Luczakowska with dog

  • Hi !

    So many great portraits, here… And I have not found time to see them all yet… it’s so hard to keep up with all that is going on here…

    Here is a portrait that I made 3 days ago, but I couldn’t find time to upload it before. Anyway, it’s cool to be able to know who is who, here !!


  • too bad i missed this competition by a day..damn.
    anyhow,i’ll post a link for the sake of contribution to the women self portrature photography;)


  • Hello All.. do you remember my self portrait with Tajra… my dog…? She passed away two hours ago ;(… I decided for euthanasia after more than 2 weeks of treatment…

    it’s not so easy after 14 years together… i am sure some of you have dogs, so will understand me…

    my best friend is away.. but she had nice life at least…

    David… in some way i am happy to get that assignment becaause it was last photo which i have together with her…


  • Oh Aga, dear one, please know we are with you at this hard hard time. It is so difficult to make a decision like you just had to make, but if one loves as you loved Tajra, it must be done. She is no longer suffering. And the portraits of the two of you together will live forever. As will your love.

    a big warm hug

  • This is awsome!

    Just had a quick look at all of your portraits – so wonderful to finally see who is behind all these posts & thoughts.

    terribly, terribly, terribly sorry!!! I just saw your portrait right now (first entry!!!!) … Damn!
    Mea culpa. But yours is much better anyway.

    I am very glad I do not have to pick any winner – VERY GLAD! – so many great pictures here! It is definitively such a difference to have a picture to a name – adds substance. And sometimes it adds quite some interest too … some are so different than I had imagined.

    Maybe more people would have posted if it were not a contest?!

    At least it is fair now. We all now how David looks like, now he get’s to see our faces a little, too. At least from most of us. :)

    Btw, for me Audrey’s portrait with her parents really stands out! It simply stays in my mind. Really great!


  • Oh Aga,

    bad timing for my enthusiastic post. So terribly sorry to hear about Tajra!

    Hunter (my little one) and I sent our warmest thoughts over to you.

    It is hard to loose, but it is so good to have had …

    All the best to you,

  • Aga,

    I am very sorry to hear about the passing of Tajra. The self portrait with Tajra, is really amazing. Great that you were able to spend 14 years together, that is quite many. With my family’s first dog, we also had to go for euthanasia…so i know how you are feeling.

    All best, and hugs,

  • Aga,
    I am really sorry for you….

  • Thank you all for your thoughts. Hugs.
    (even i know i made good decision it hurts a lot to lost her)

    Lassal… you dog’s name is Hunter?
    I made name (female) TAJRA from the name TAJRAK (male)which means in some indian language “good hunter” and i have to say that she was very good hunter!

  • I am so sorry Aga. My old dog Lily also just died about ten days ago–and I miss her so much. Dogs are such a part of who we are–of our everyday life. I have so many photos of Lily because she was so beautiful and so sweet.However, I do not have any of us together. Such a treasure for you to have such a lovely one of you and your Tajra.

  • Aga, I’m sorry to hear about your dog. My family’s Irish Setter was also given a good death at 14. It was very difficult for me.

    One of the most touching things I have ever read about animals is in Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Alas, I don’t have the book with me right now so cannot quote directly.

    It is a passage about a dog named Karenin, and how putting him to sleep (and caring about animals in general) is one of the greatest examples of human love.

  • KIRA’S portrait so far my favorite…
    right on Kira!

  • Dear David,

    Went to sleep last night thinking the self-portrait was worked out. Found out by email from Anna (thanks Anna) this a.m. that it did not. First time to use Flickr and realized I had restricted viewing by accident. It is now changed (hopefully) so that it can be viewed.


  • I’m so sorry, Aga. I love dogs, and Tajra was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. Glad you had 14 years together.

  • Aga, what a nice coincidence!

    Yes, my little one is called Hunter. And he, too, is quite good at it! … Must be the names we choose (or the breeds?!)

    It took me almost 20 years to get him after our family-dog had to be put asleep. I should never ever have waited so long …

    In case you feel like having a look:

    By the way, how do you pronounce “Tajra”?


    Okay, I’ve updated this gallery to include the names. I think most importantly is making sure I didn’t miss anyone, then secondly deleting “unofficial” entries. Regardless, we probably have a pretty good honor system here.

    Please list the deletes by number and email the changes to me at (I just might miss the changes listed on the forum.)

  • thanks david – looks just brilliant to see em all together..

  • AGA…

    so sorry to hear about the passing of Tajra….losing a favorite pet is traumatic…i am still traumatized by the killing of my little favorite puppy by a car when i was 13..


    thanks David…looks terrific!!!

    ok, now i will get one or two of my colleagues in the biz to help “judge” this….i will list soonest who will be the decision makers…

  • David McG, I’ve just gone through & looked at every photo in the self portrait gallery and am blown away!!! Gawd, we are AWESOME!!!!
    Thank you SO MUCH for putting up this gallery for us. It’s an amazing gift.


  • David, there have been minor updates trickling in—I think they’ve settled, but would expect more later (but nothing major.) You can either go for it or wait until later this afternoon (for judging.)

  • Kyunghee

    Mostly my paintings have more common with german’s neoexpressionism and paiters like baselitz than popart. I’m always sad when people say that they prefer my photography because I’m very bad photographer… and I always prefer think about myself as a painter.
    but of course I have to agree with that.

    all the best

    dead painter

  • This is a self portrait in Brooklyn taken a few days ago that I posted before midnight last night but as a first time blogger the link was hidden so here it is again……

  • david….

    sorry for the delay on this. i know i am not with in the dead line to win anything. and that is ok. i just wanted to show you that i did do this but i have been busy with a new project… more on that later.

    here you go:


  • AGA – like so many here, i’m so sorry to hear about Tajra.. you obviously gave her a happy life… she was a lucky dog.. and you lucky and enriched with her life in yours. I love your portraits with her. HUGS from Austin, Texas. Lance

  • Aga,
    sorry to hear about your dog….

  • This is not a self portrait but I thought I would share this image of David working on an assignment in NYC at the sculpture garden at the MET….It’s the second photo on this web page with my self portrait. Enjoy!

  • totally not in time for the contest but so it goes for waiting on film to be processed and scanned…here it is …this is from a Holga…I’ve never shot with one before so it was fun…the funny thing was I set it for “16” exposures and thus it cropped them into verticals which I did not know it would do and just happened to crop right through the middle of my face : ) funny, I’m going to shoot more with this and film in general as there is something nice about letting go of the LCD and the constant need to check to see if you “got it”

  • drawn back to the gallery for a 4th time.. love it..

    pete marovich, les and emily wolfer..
    roll up, roll up, place your bets…

    a few multiple entries still..

  • chris – spot on.

    even when i have to shoot digital i resist the urge to look at the screen – i think it gets in the way of interacting with the subject before / after a shot.. can be a valuable moment to exchange a smiling glance with a subject rather than dismiss them..

    still on film when i can* here.

    (*most of the time)

  • David McGowan….

    As said by so many…the site you put together looks stellar! I was overlooking so many of these portraits, very nice to see them as a “presentation”! Thank you…


    We will out live our “Mascots”, there is no way around that…..but the memories will remain! My condolences….

    To all…..

    Excellent work here this week!

    Cheers -Jeremy

  • No problem everyone! Thanks for the heaping of praise—happy to help when I can.

  • Aga,

    I had two cats that had to be put to sleep. They were brothers and I had them since the day they were born. Finny lived to be 12 and Bill lived to 19! It’s an unbearable decision to have to make, but of course the right one. I still miss them both and am sorry for how I know you feel right now. But how lucky were we to have them for the time we did?!

  • Lassal… your dog is so cute! i love the second photo… it’s the only think which made me smile today… regarding to Tajra’s name… I will ask my sister and she will write me how to pronounce TAJRA in english (I am not so good in it)…

    Spencer… you are right.. we were very lucky… i was checking today Tajra’s photographs and we had really nice time together

    Everybody.. thank you for all warm words from you… also i see so many nice self portraits!

  • So many great ones:

    ALEKSANDER – nice monkey hands
    ANDREI – I don’t know what’s going on, but it looks like fun
    JONI – total movie star thug
    KATHARINA – that shot makes me want to move in with you and your cat
    KATIA – I think young tom shot his in the woods somewhere behind you
    PATRICIA – very stylish
    SOFIA – what a smile
    SOREN – nice film noir still
    ABELE – love the pineapple
    AGA – always does great things
    AUDREY – just classic
    MICHAEL MCG – lil’ bro working it out
    PANOS – do you smoke out of that thing or what?
    JOHN R – lucky bastard
    ANNA B – holy hair!
    LISA H – leggy!
    ANTON – lady killer
    MICHAEL K – okay, now your wife wants you to really mow the lawn
    BOB B – no end to the great work he does

    and so on, and so on, etc…

  • One left out…

    DAVID McG – going crazy in anticipation of organizing these portraits!

    Thanks again, David.

  • Aga,
    happy to hear it made you smile. I was hoping for it (even though I was afraid to cross the line)
    The moments on the fotos are gone. So I feel fortunate to have them for the future that comes.

    David McG,
    how great is that?! Wonderful to see it all together without having to search back and forth! Thank you for your time and effort.

  • ok, so 1 last portrait…not art shit, just the beginning of the roll of Fuji slide film (1st color roll in 7 years)…1st frame with holga last wednesday, processed film this weekend…aint nothin’ at all (sadly the self-portrait i was hoping would be interesting is way way too abstract (too long exposure, so any kind of definition is unseeable, and that’s unseeable to bobblack, so u know how fucked it is ;)) )…so, ok, just so you all can see more of me…walking to the dinosaur museum to shoot more of bones of time assignment…the rest of the color roll (pure crap)…(light was horrid, flat grey, and so holga just made mess, not even a pretty one at that ;)) )…anyway…

    fuji slide 120, cross processed to get negative film….

    here’s not so close up of your’s truly:

    blue bob…don’t i look like Akaky? ;)))

  • AGA :(((((…

    i am so sad and sorry to hear about your dog….my brother had to put his beauty to sleep as well, and it was the hardest choice he ever had to make…my heart and thoughts go out to you…


  • cristina…. wow…..!!!
    that might be my favorite.


    thank you for sharing! It’s a great image and a great self-portrait: it’s about skin but for sure it goes far deeper than the skin level. All the best to the three of you!

  • I can only recommend checking them organized by D McGowan. Good stuff there:

  • Joni.. looks nice organized like that… some treasures are there.. and it’s good to see you all… but some of that pics are old and some people have few pics… so maybe can somebody organized only photos which are submitted into competition…
    or we have new rules? I would love to submit more that one photo…

  • “self portraits must be made this week….you must post HERE and only here by midnight sunday june 22nd, New York time…please post ONE picture only…..i will only look at links with one picture and posted as a comment here..”

    AGA & ALL

    I’m assuming since DAH posted the above in his Self Portrait thread that he will indeed go through each comment and only look at shots taken this week. But if we want to make his life WAY easier, each of us could email David McGowan and tell him which of our images to delete (the old ones) and which ONE to keep (the new one). Again, David McG’s email addy is

    Come on, folks, let’s make life easier for our generous-spirited mentor!


  • Hi David,

    I very, very rarely do self-portraits, but often ‘play’ with the camera… and I was sitting with a tall glass in my hand, finishing off a drink at home in candlelight… I put the empty glass to my eye, and the camera lens to the bottom of the glass, and took some images of me looking through the glass. I liked the result – much like a symbol of me both looking inward and outward to and from my personal universe…

    and, perhaps akin to ‘Alice looking through the looking glass’, to my mind it somehow captures how I see this wonderous and mysterious universe with all its ‘good’ and ‘bad’…

    It’s now my LS profile pic – I hope you like it!



  • abele

    many thanks for the kind words..
    like your pineapple..

  • also – what patricia said :o)

  • The gallery I created is locked down for now, and I think David is familiar enough with people here to weed through the few multiples. If it’s an issue just post the number of your “official” entry here.

    What I’m going to do is after David and company has awarded his gifts, I’ll open the gallery back up to the few extras that came in here, or whoever wants to add a self-portrait or two. Sound good?

  • Sounds good, David. Thanks again for all your work. The gallery looks SO COOL!!!


  • Lassal.. you asked about Tajra’s name. in English it sounds like “TIE-RAH”




  • Sound good?

    Cool with me, I was unable to participate, being away.

    Some real cool stuff. Love the last one, Nick Yoon, and many others, save I forgot the names… Nick being last on the slideshow so far.

    The Dah :-) blogettes are, IMO, real babes!!! It needed to be said, and I might as well be the one saying it, and getting damned for it…

  • The gallery is awesome. Not that clicking on link after link isn’t fun too, but…

    And there are so many great shots! I love most of them, but I’m really getting a kick out of Les’!

  • Yeah.. it’s nice to see all of us together on photographs! :-)
    It was really nice idea!

  • Great song for David’s “Family” project:


    Oops. I soooo screwed up. Been running since LOOK3 and was only able to glance at your post between flights. Have been playing with self portraits for a month trying to figure out how “to keep it loose” as you said DAH. Somehow the pic Dave McG selected is not the pic that was intended for this — it was the pic of what I look like — since some people were wanting to know what we looked like as well. Egad. But in all fairness, the self portrait I had intended was the BKK portrait, but not shot last week. I didn’t realize that was criteria. Oh well, but I have posted the beginnings of a self portrait series. It’s a start only. Everyone’s fun self portraits have shown me the way so I plan to shoot and post more. Feedback welcome. :)


  • Aga–

    Great picture. Was sorry to hear about your poochie, but I feel your pain. Had to make the same decision for my lovely — Miss Lolita of the Valley, my companion for 17 years. Great homage to post that pic here. My vote goes for you. Lolita sometimes comes round in my dreams to visit, maybe yours will too.


  • I don’t know why, but I loose my nerves everytime when I try to take self-portraits…I mean when I have to work alone and don’t have someone assisting me. Focusing difficulties, composing difficulties, running back and forth between camera and the place where I should be in the picture, using tripod etc…wow, now when I think of it, only this thinking about taking self-portraits makes me a little bit mad! :) I would like to know why…

  • Petri… you just have to have fun with it!

  • Linda… thank you…
    it helps me a lot to talk about it and you all here helped me a lot, too…

    Petri… who said you have to put camera away from you? Have fun as Spencer said, it doesn’t have to be perfekt!

  • Tajra. What a beautiful name, Aga …
    Thank you for letting me know.

    And there is something about what Linda said…
    Vasco – our old family-dog – keeps visiting us too. Sometimes in situations where it is hard to think of coincidence. But … well … I guess he is just an eternal part of the family. As Tajra for you.

    Petri, I saw someone with a detachable live-view monitor to his camera. If you have a digital, it could be quite fun to use something like that in addition to a Fernauslöser… ähm … remote-control-shutter??
    Or just put a mirror in front of you below the camera. Or… use more cameras at the same time in very different positions, maybe taking a picture of you at the very same time. ;)))
    Just play!!! Actualy its really fun. More fun than my picture suggests ;)

  • Aga– I took about a year off sans poochie. People would ask when I was going to get another dog, but I just couldn’t even think about it. But a few months ago I started getting glimpses of this white dog with a lot of personality. It was bizarre, but cool. One day my neighbor and I decided to go to the local animal shelter. We just felt the need to goooooo, right then. Needless to say, Charlie was enroute to be dropped off as we headed there. He was a matted mess, completely neglected, skinny, smelled like a dead animal. When I saw him looking like a dirty mop in the cage he had just arrived and there was no paperwork showing he was available for adoption so I figured he was lost, and waiting to be picked up. But I couldn’t take my eyes off him. He lifted his paw, tilted his head and we both just knew. :) There can be a light at the end of this loss. Here’s Charlie Bucket. I added “Bucket” because I figured he and I were the winners of the golden ticket since we found each other — like the Willie Wonka movie. Keep an eye out in your dreams, your dog will visit. :)



    I keep forgetting (every time I sit at the computer, and remember every time I’m not) to THANK YOU for posting your paintings. I enjoyed seeing them AND your drawn self portrait very much.

    Anna B.

  • I’m sure I’m not alone in hoping all is well with DAH. I expect he is terribly busy trying to complete his NYC photo commission before he takes off in July for his cross-country American Families project. Not to mention all the other things that must be done too. It’s just that when he’s not posting it’s like a big hole is left behind. I say this not to put any pressure but merely to say I’m sending him all kinds of good pre-journey energy.


  • patricia – ”when he’s not posting it’s like a big hole is left behind”
    think you are right.
    to carry on lindas willy wonka theme
    ‘ shines a good deed in a weary world..’

  • @panos skoulidas

    Yeah I can see that. Those bottom two frames are kinda differently styled.

    Thanks for the insight.

  • Okay, since we’re all good sports and want more, more more!!!! I’ve added a few portraits that came trickling in. Not that I have ultimate power (or do I, hmmmm) but I think as far as the contest goes we have a pretty honest group here, and if you don’t qualify, please pass the prize on to someone else. Plus we don’t know when David is going to check back in, so we might as well see a few fresh faces.

    With that in mind, I’ve added Bernardo Gimenez, Chris Hinkle, Giampiero, Kira, Mike Berube, Ozzy Al, Sidney Atkins (who looked exactly as I expected!!), Herve Blandin, and Pierre Yves.

    Nasha, send me your portrait!

  • to david :

    thanks !

  • 440+340 and more item to be readed!

    But i’m going to read it.
    First it’s due to show up also if it’s late for the contest so here you are -self-portrait- very different stile (gemini self view), the first one was first for the contest but may be just to see something more than shadow or spirit…

    Taken today, sunday morning just wake up… trying to access the emerging photograper presentation (without succeed!!!)

    Now I go back to have a look at the Magnum party pic..

    … of course the last one is my favourite

  • Ok, David, thanks for adding, but I can do better than this pallid Friedlander imitation, for self-portrait! :-)))

    Unless they must still belong to the one week period David threw the project on, I will e-mail you one taken a just a few hours off. Not for the contest, just for evryone to see what I am looking like.

  • Dear all,

    Whew! Holed up in a 3rd floor room, looking out at a warehouse scene with truckers, male truckers, in my sights. Man. Or should I say Men? They are everywhere. I have fallen for each and every one of them. Who was it said something along the lines that in a week I’m saying ….I’ve fallin’ for the subject.

    No idea where you guys are in this gargantuan stream of talking. Went to the bottom of the first and started typing.

    Guess what? There is a fourth bachelor…

    This one I did not date; he was my neighbor and one of my best friends, gang all go to the bar or the woods guy. He is and was best friends with the first bachelor.

    I am compelled to continue down this line of old bachelors, all of them loved by me in one kine relationship or another. What the…? My five year old grandson says that all the time, making people hold their breath until it is obvious he isn’t going to complete the question.

    Each bachelor is introduced by this gentle prodding at the perfect moment when contact is guaranteed.

    They all have grey hair, beards and all bachelors and 53 years old, except for the pistol toting one who is older than me by 10 months.

    Spending this day quiet and holed up with Tom Petty’s “Highway Companion”, pulling the four boys together. There are also pictures of me with all of them by them. What did you say DAH about working on that personal barbie doll stuff in this summer’s road trip home?

    And even in the telling of the events of these past weeks I know that the final outcome in this series has yet to be glimpsed.

    My sister visited me–another historical moment in my life. Tomorrow I visit my mom’s best school friend and cousin. She is 76 and has invited me to coffee in the early morning. This is the woman I met last visit to Arkansas (9/11 time) who shared stories about my parent’s early relationship (school days and courtship and dad’s dalliances once married). Are there any among the human race that doesn’t have same and similar stories?

    Whew! So glad all I have to do today is look at truckers through my long lens.


    But I now know fairly well where I will live after this trip.

  • Seeing that Lee made a comment yesterday, I decided to come to this site again. I have a self-portrait that I took in February that I had some positive response from. Maybe because it is a little “edgy.”
    If anyone has time to compare this to my entry for the contest, I would appreciate comments to which you think works better. I am trying to be aware more of the “feelngs” and “mood” involved in the images. Thanks in advance for any advice. The flick’r site is different because I forgot how to get back into the first one. I need to develop a website if I’m going to be serious about this.

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