self-portrait selection…..








Suryo Wibowo

ok, we have the three best forum self-portraits as curated by Magnum photographer Chris Anderson….Chris said he chose these because of "their overall photographic quality, sense of humor, and the intelligence that went into them"…..there is  a link below to the 37 photographs from which he chose… these were from a "first edit" that i made yesterday….

for those three of you whose photographs are here, please confirm that you made these within the time frame i set up….honor system….and also, please give me your full name and address  so we may send out your "prizes" soonest….

Les gets an archival signed print, David a signed book, and Suryo the much coveted used camera bag!!

Chris made the same comment i made when he first saw all of the work…"impossible to judge…they are all very interesting"….but, a decision had to be made, so here you have it….

i will incorporate all of the self-portraits into a new slide show as soon as there is time…there were several others that i really think are very fine photographs, so i think it prudent to make an overall presentation of your work….

thanks again for participating….i seriously enjoyed looking at all of these portraits…the revelations were endless!!!

376 Responses to “self-portrait selection…..”

  • Congratulations to les, david, and suryo !!

    I was, too, deeply impressed by the overall quality of the gallery of portaits !!

  • Congrats to the winners!!!

    I would have loved to win the green bag that DAH had at the magnum meeting in Paris. David: can you tell me where I can buy it?



  • ARIE…

    how did you see that?? from Anton or Herve pictures i suppose….

    that is a Filson bag..they make hunting and fishing gear…not marketed as a camera bag, but it is a great camera bag….go to but look carefully…there are two which look similar…but this is the lighter one with the larger snaps…

  • Congrats Winners, those are great, as I am sure the other 37+ are as well.

    DAVID et all,
    I went out after harvesting some advice and shot again for my “assignment”. I think there is a noticeable shift in the imagery… some of the strongest imagery yet. comments welcome and appreciated.

  • Congratulations Les, David, and Suryo!!!


  • ALL…

    the link is now up on the post with all pictures which were curated…

  • Congratulations !!!!
    I love these pictures, specially LES one.



    great work!!!!! keep going….

    cheers, david


    i LOVED, LOVED BOTH LES AND DAVID’S SNAPS :)))…AND this is first time to see Suryo pics :)), all 3 funny, brilliant and absolutely memorable! :)))

    congrats all of u!


  • JONATHAN! :))))

    great great ! :)))…as i said yesterday, i really love what you are doing and how you’re accomplishing and cant wait to see where it goes, with shooting subjects away from cops…

    good on u!



  • Well done all!

    And congrats to Les, Suryo and David. Good stuff!

  • Congratulations for winners and for all!!!!
    The portrait are great!


  • i absolutely ADORE these winning 3 images!!
    chris could not have made a better pick.
    congrats to you three – les, david and suryo!! woop woop!! :confetti:

    i just saw the self-portrait slideshow. i’m so grateful and honored that my portrait was included.
    even though i’m not here as much as some, you guys do feel like my online family. :))

    Lisa H.– i wanted to tell you before. your portrait is exquisite. there’s something so rich and soul-Full about you. so ripe. so delicious. i’m guessing we’re close to the same age. i hope we can meet some day.


    i echo DAH’s ‘great work, keep going’!
    i esp. like the first and third photos.

    take good care all,


  • Jonathan

    the first one is my favorite.


    My personal favourite was that of Suryo’s and Yes!!! There he was in the chosen few! Congrats Suryo! And I am happy too…, never believed it though!

  • Siddhartha Hajra

    Great selection of work there …and ’twas such an interesting ‘competition’ …congratulations folks! :)

  • BIG CONGRATS to Les, David and Suyro!!! Three of my favorites from the start!

    David, HUGE thanks to you for initiating this amazing “contest,” making the first edit (tough to do!!!), arranging for Chris Anderson to judge, and already posting the first slideshow. I look forward to seeing ALL of us together in a slideshow on your blog.

    Now, speaking of BOOKS!! Wouldn’t this be fantastic in hardcover?????? I can see it now…

    Patricia who feels honored to be part of this amazing community

  • i couldn’t agree more with those three selections.

    David, the boy got leaps.

    other favorites: where’s young tom in the water?, arie, bob, lung, KYUNGHEE!, peter, EMILY, erica!, lisa, aga, alex!,…


    I am deeply moved by your images. #48 especially hit me where I lived. But really, ALL of them are strong. You are really onto something. Can’t wait to see how this develops…


  • OOps. Please forgive my typo, Suryo.


  • That first shot is hilarious.

  • I’ve been out of the loop for a while. But I’ll be back in August regularly.

  • Gave me a BIG smile on a shitty day! Wonderful!!!

    Had missed Suryo’s shot. Love it!

  • Hi David,

    I think I found the bag but not the green color (tan color which I doi not like).



  • Holy crap, I made the semi-finals!! How the hell did that happen?

    Les/Dave/Suryo, congratulations!

  • Congratulations.. and once again.. nice to see your faces!

  • i just wanted to share some excitement… i just now received some gorgeous prints from Marcin in Poland… this is fun as hell… THANK YOU MARCIN!

  • wow…
    b r e a t h

    i’m at a bar bq with my future in-laws.. stuffed on salmon, pork and aquavita.. a new flavour in alcohol which has me smiling for more..
    in a small community called florø in norway, one of the back gardens has just lit up, exploded with joy for seeing this post.

    thank you.
    so much.
    david, chris and more..
    bob and patricia for inspiring me to look deeper with their own work.. and beate for anchoring me so very beautifully and learning to love photography.

    heartiest congratulations to the other selected snappers.. it is really something to gain recognition with so many wonderful entries jostling for position.. such excellent piers.. a fat slice of culture pie..
    DAH – your idea for contributions was excellent, convieved with real love.. community building stuff to be proud of.. good man.. om shanti, boom-boom and all that warm stuff to you.

    the first ever competition i have entered..

    the prize is iceing on an already full cake, having seen so many great works produced by others..
    i love books. i love books with photos in them. i love them more when they say ‘to beate and david’..

    i’ve only recently begun to wander in these road trip pages and there is a hope in me for a greater prize still.. that is to participate more in what is happening here.
    i’m still playing catch up a little, reading up on the past posts, and as soon as i am done with that i shall begin to ‘put up..’, as it were.

    so many poets, strong minds, solid eyes and inspiring idea’s flowing here.. more over there is kindness, with the international shipping of ‘red cross’ velvia and people taking time to view each others visual mumblings.. superb stuff.
    i’ll do my best to keep up and contribute with thoughts, snaps and norsk styles in alcohol.
    the white russian wore thin..

    by way of an intro – bophoto has the words on ‘me’ for clients here…

    the less official version would be that at present i am editing down stories from an exhausting decade photographing electronic music as it has spun around the globe.. i spun with it.. sometimes span out.. spun upside down on occassion to be truthful.. and finally found a way to get off for a year and look at what i have achieved.
    the rush of the phonecall on a wednesday, ‘do you want to go to XXXX?’ and the comedown on a monday .. did that really happen? only to be reminded again on a wednesday..
    it’s over for a while as i withdraw from that life and move into another.. withdraw from the music industries thrashing floor and back home to snappers anonymous.. ‘for a better life’.
    i always prefered fusion-jazz anyway.

    mini projects within the greater project kept me sane, although due to client deadline trauma, oweing rent (and other bland excusses) the projects remain filed.. until this year.
    some gems are there, i hope.. some lost weekends.. a book, perhaps.

    i’m living in stavanger, european ‘city of culture 2008’ (‘they’ say), and gently documenting what the place is all about to a recent immigrant.. me.
    i also begin teaching photojournalism in august.. teaching and learning from the under-grads perhaps.

    david – my full entry is here – the photo was done early on the sunday morning. the words explain the idea a little more i hope.
    and thankyou again.
    just a brilliant bit of fun.

    hello everyone.
    a lurker i shall not be.

  • Just came across a video of a fantastic story being presented by (former?) photographer- picture editor Rick Smolan about an exceptional Amerasian girl from Korea. I got sucked into watching it because it was Korea-related, but I think many photogrpahers on this site would be very interested in what can happen when a photographer really gets involved in telling a story. Here’s the link:

  • apologies for any typo’s above.. cannot find spellcheck on this p.c., although it does have the rather exotic feeling ‘æ’ key.
    and ‘ø’
    ‘å’ too.

    did i say thanks?

  • address.. yes yes..

    it will have to go to beate, or it will be returned by the post office since i am not regestered.


    beate stavang
    brødrgate 21
    4012 stavanger

    (sorry for the postage..)

    heaps of thanks.. warm regards..
    pea’s n chips



    What a treat to get to know you better! But I had already loved you simply from seeing/reading your entry to DAH’s self portrait contest. I thought that was all I needed to know about David Bowen to feel close to you. And now I find yet ANOTHER reason–You’re into EM!!! Hell, man, they call me Grandma Techno! Check it out…

    I bet you’ve been to DEMF, maybe even when I was there. I’ve been going since 2005. Here are just a few of the pics I took this year:

    Guess you’re onto other things now–like becoming a daddy–but just know when I shake my bootie (as I’ll be doing to the DJs at Detroit’s CityFest this weekend), I’m doing it for you!

    LOVE that you and Beate are among the winners here! You deserve it!!!

    Patricia aka Grandma Techno

  • david b–

    after reading the words on your site (the 5 thoughts),
    now your photo is moving me deeply and i’m tearing up.
    (thank you!!)
    is that beate there ‘anchoring’ you then?
    how perfect.
    from DAH’s ‘gift’ to you,
    we are all gifted.



  • grandma techno–

    you are a hoot, girl!!! :))


    i just gotta love you guys!!! i mean really, i am amazed daily by what happens here…and, even more amazing, is how our “virtual world” has become such a “real world”…real shows, real reunions, real funding, most importantly real photographer growth!!!! what i mean is that it is not just a keyboard relationship..shit happens here!!!

    talk yes, action yes…

    but the talk is just as much a part of this as is the new work coming in daily…some truly brilliant writing has gone down right on this forum…edit this forum down to a nice tight whole and well, you know what i think…the book , the movie!!!

    now , just to make sure i have your attention, and i think you know all of my posting and writing comes right off the top of my head…no planning, no structure…just whatever happens that day, or that moment, that is something with which you might relate…

    so todays “thing” is this…something really really interesting happened to me yesterday because of this forum..a very interesting revelation…involving one of you…but, i cannot say who….someone i have never met…, can’t say….at least , not yet…it would ruin everything…i do not mean to tease, but i just can’t help myself!!

    believe me, it is not whatever you think it is!!!

    abrazos, david

  • Now, if that’s not a ‘teaser’, then I’m the president of Berzerkistan.

  • DAH!!

    you can’t say WHO but at least tell us the revelation!!!

    you bloody bloody tease you.



  • wow there’re just great! very creative…

    congratulations to all of the winners :)


    you just made me laugh out loud!!


    the revelation is way way more provocative than the who….

    playfully, david

  • LOVE all 3!! Congrats for the beauty..

    REALLY DAH, such good keeps spinning forth from what you have started here..but yes, give some insight as to your revelation..too mysterious and i can’t stand it… you are right, whatever I am thinking could not be right, my mind is really outlandish at times…

    Happy 4th..

    Just got my first go round of negs back from the scanning, looking, thinking, terribly excited about seeing how this will earth. I want to show you but maybe not quite yet, a couple of more days shooting first? If it doesn’t pour tomorrow Andrew is coming to help me, an angel..

  • Damn… the photo above ,
    reminds me of this!!!

    please ENJOY:

  • MWAHAHAHA!!!!!

    I did just need a good laugh today as well!!!

    They are great, great funny touching portraits- well done guys!

    I must say David B I really always loved your shot best, congrats to you on your lifestyle change and I think you and ‘Grandma Techno’ (hehehehehehe gotta love that moniker!) should get together and do a book, I reckon you got something happening here!


    Hmmmm… Curiouser and curiouser…


    Wish I was a bit richer! (hehehehehehe!) But hey thanks for that, I appreciate it.

  • DAVID…

    WOW…I am in the slideshow….Very surprising but I am glad to be included in such excellent company.

    Maybe the start of good things to come? :))
    I am looking forward to showing you my new work as soon as I have it edited and find a way to get it online.

    After reading your comment about the Venice workshop I guess you are saying you don’t recommend I take it. I was hoping you’d say that it WON’T be (format wise) anything like the Webb workshop etc but if it’s the same it doesn’t make sense financially for me to shell out $600+ a place to stay.

    Any chance I could see you while you’re there outside of the workshop?

    Can we organize something with Panos, Anna etc before or after?

    p.s. Bill Epperidge will be here for an Opening this weekend.

  • Damn… i feel so pissed … i’m not “included” in the slideshow!!!
    i put so much work in that “dildo”… photo..
    i even built the dildo myself, as WITKIN would find very natural..
    i hope..
    And i thought that “kissing ass” really pays off…
    Yeah right…
    The Judge said : “OUT”…

    no Duvel tonight, but J.WALKER yeeeees!

  • yes, yes….and Jonas is doing exactly what i would like so many of you to think about..where i am trying to push several of you with assignments now…and that is CONCEPT and AUTHORSHIP…that is totally 100% what he is all about..if you go in and look at this work, then no more explanation is needed..from just a tech or even aesthetic point of view , Jonas is probably no “better” than many photographers…but he “says something”, his work “means something”…he started with an idea, THEN picked up his camera…

    I think this is true of the top guys, not just Jonas ofcourse. They know what they want to do and they do it and by doing it they find a clear voice, maybe a style, but most importantly a message or something that their work means. Jonas ofcourse has found that and thats why he is successful and well known but most importantly interesting.

    all of us need to decide at some point in our pursuits whether we can “make a mark” or not…or whether that is even “important” or not….and try to understand that it is not about commercial “success”…i.e.,Patricia can make just as significant a “mark” as Jonas…i expect her to…

    Do you think we should be thinking about making a mark before we even start, David? Or do we make a mark when we stay true to our vision? For example Nan Goldin I think didnt start out trying to make a mark and thats why she did in the end: she stayed true to her work instead of gearing it to a wide audience. I think that shines true. In the process a lot of stuff like message, style, aesthetic, authorship emerged but would it happen if she was thinking about galleries and money and fame and books from the beginning? I think this goes mainly for emerging photographers, for professionals theres obviously a lot more to consider although maybe its different if the work is commissioned vs personal.

  • Congrats to the winners and runners-up. It was a great project. Thanks, David–and thanks to David McGowan for making it so easy to see the images. I saved the link to my desktop and tried to pick the winners. Too many really good ones.


    Man, I sure wish your visit to Detroit could coincide with one of our totally FABULOUS free music festivals!!! Believe it or not, Detroit is the free music festival capitol of the world.

    For five days & nights this 4th of July weekend we’re in the midst of CityFest, a street fest with four sound stages playing everything from jazz to soul to acid rock to electronic music and more…plus tons of booths with food from Detroit’s coolest restaurants. The weekend of July 18-20 is the Concert of Colors, North America’s largest free World Music festival. That one is mainly inside at Orchestra Hall & the Max Fisher Music Center.

    Anyway, just know you’re welcome here in Motown anytime that’s convenient for you (except when I’ll be out of town July 31-August 7). But hey, Grandma Techno sure would love to dance with Swivel-Hips Harvey!!! We’ll see if we can make that happen!


  • Thanks Panos, I did enjoy…

    It brought back quite a few memories…

    You are right… there is similarity in these…

  • Patricia,

    You make a remarkable work, only you can speak as well about your handicap, I had in no way to think of your vision of the world, from below, as a child who evolves in a world so big, who cannot reach(affect) things it is very poignant thank you for your courage and your sensibility…

    Kind regards, audrey

  • Jonathan,

    I like very much your images (except can be 52), they are so quiet and dramatic I wait impatiently for the continuation(suite)…

    Kind regards, audrey

  • I have to say that i never heard about such nice community as we have here…
    and the idea with selfportraits was one of the best on your blog David..
    I can not wait for some new ideas! and have fun again!

  • This isn’t just my childhood home, it’s a house my dad built the year I was born. He passed away a few years ago.

    The couple sitting at the laptop is looking at my photos for this project. I can go back and shoot more if I need to.


  • Congratualtions…..

    some fanatstic ideas here….



  • Oh guys! This is fabulous!! I just had time to see the selection of 37 photographs from the link and I was really shocked by all the creativity and intention I saw there…. Just great!
    I missed this ‘contest’ because I was working and working without time for anything else. I have many selfportraits but I had no time to do a new one within the time frame David asked…
    Congratulations to the winners, but also to the rest as there is a lot of good stuff there!
    ( Hope to get some free time and take a look to all the selfportraits and know a bit more from all of you ;-) )

  • so David, what about this revelation, not nice to tease when I’ll be off-line for the week-end and might not know what it is, if you ever plan to reveal it…

  • patricia

    superb – excellent.. detroit is one place i have yet to visit, and as the official home of house it needs to be done. you have some cracking photos.. particularly like the first one.. great layers and caught the moment.. right in the middle of it, which i know you will know is not so easy with elbows flying. i’d love to visit and …
    …SOLD on detroit. it’s one place i never managed to reach through commission – the event you describe sounds just my cup of tea and i’d love to have you lead me through the meandering shap-shifters.. you’re something of a revalation yourself and motown, home of house.. how to resist?
    as an aside – david + beate = D&B. hohoho


    that is indeed young beate anchoring me.. she’s a dream really.. and constantly suprizes me with her acceptance and happiness.. we both had such a giggle doing the photo.. stripping in the rain and dodging the church goers.. very funny.


    grandma tachno is now my grandma official.
    we call her GT at home.


    i think it’s probably just as important to have an idea to simply shoot where you are without concept as it is to shoot with a preconcieved idea. i’m finding more and more that there are common threads to my random mumblings which are as worthy when collected as when i have chased a project.
    of course i could be wrong and as yet still have to put-up..


    how strange a visit that must have been.. to see people selling their lives from the porch your father built.. must have evoked some memories for sure


    lets play ‘whats in the bag?’
    .. is it a sandwich?.. nooo
    .. is it a small kitten?.. nooo
    .. is it a speed-boat?.. it is,isn’t it..

  • RAFAL…

    in none of my discussions here am i ever talking about “professional career planning” per se…that is for another forum/blog …

    i have always encouraged you and others to just be organic…natural…whether or not your work turns into something “commercial” or not is another matter…the “teacher part of me” is only interested in your purest development…and that is a spin off of personal experience, a sense of what makes people “tick”, and mixed with the purest joy of photography…both the joy of doing it myself and the joy of seeing the work of others…

    sure, from time to time, i can help specific photographers find the right editor or send them to the most likely gallery for their work…but, this is the least important role i want to play…and this is such a “moveable feast” anyway, that who among us could ever predict anything with regard to how the “market” will react to your work??

    most artists in the early stages i think know they HAVE to do something, but i doubt most know exactly what it is or how it will “turn out”…whether it is Nan Goldin photographing her friends on the lower east side or Jonas exploring an obscure family connection in Russia, most just “do what they have to do” and the winds of fate take them where they may…

    if i go back and remember how many of the photographers in my generation were at the beginning, i remember us all being very motivated to do certain things, but none of us thinking that things were going to “work out” one way or the other nor imagining a “wide audience” at all…i knew Salgado, Richards, Mann, Leibowitz, Nachtwey etc. before they were SALGADO, RICHARDS, MANN, LEIBOWITZ OR NACHTWEY…all struggling photographers…but all with very strong ideas, work ethic, and the NEED (not the desire) to make a “mark” one way or the other…but you cannot plan to “make a mark”…as you may imagine there were dozens and dozens of other photographer friends who were also “in the mix” but so so many gradually “disappeared” over time….luck/fate/other motivations, i am sure all played their part…

    but, times are different…when we (the above) were starting out, there was no thought of the “fame game”(a newish phenomena)…zero…that just did not exist…or world travel….or publishing books…or any of the things that motivate photographers now right from the beginning..i suppose picture magazines were our main “goal”, but as soon as we had enough experience to work for those original picture magazines, they all went away!! maybe only Annie started with Rolling Stone and pretty much kept it her support system all along…

    my point is this: just do the work…period. many photographers just hate to hear this because they want a “formula for success”..there is no formula…but, i do know simple idea well executed will lead to another…do your family work, finish your family work, publish your family work and something else will happen that we cannot imagine…yes, look for a gallery…yes, find a publisher…but these are the minutiae of the biz…the cart, not the horse…i think some aspect of human nature wants to turn that around backwards…the trick is to always know what is important and what is not…”editing” your life, how you work, where you work etc etc is what needs to be “front and center” that and you might just “make a mark”…

    cheers, david

  • RAFAL…

    footnote: all of the aforementioned photographers in their minds are still struggling along the way they always did!! full of insecurity, trying to make it right, on to the “most important project” of their lives…seriously, nothing seems to have changed…funny or curious perhaps, but true…

  • wow sooo much to catch up again… :)) the time difference with europe is killing me to keep up…

    CONGRATS to the winners! truly strong stuff here!!!


    the suspense is killing…. tell tell pleeeeeeeaase!!

    on a lighter note: two funny things:

    ONE i went to the library yesterday for the first time in years and i borrowed a ton of photography books (w eugene smith, koudelka (exiles), nan golding, dekeyzer, alvarez branco, …) to LEARN LEARN LEARN and guess what? they had YOUR CUBA BOOK in DUTCH? now how cool is that? NOTHING EVER gets translated into dutch except the most most most most important stuff… so you know what theis means… you DA MAN here….

    and also, this is for me the first time to see these pictures in print, gotta say, you’re moving me man, you really are…

    TWO you’re not gonna believe this… you know you mentioned (or was it someone else here) that you’re continuously looking for ways to make little tripods out of beer bottles and stuff, and that you use any available means you can lay your hands on? well look what my brother brought me over from tokyo… a beer bottle tripod!!!
    i have never seen one of these before, so i fell of my chair with surprise (is this even an expression?) smiling all along. it’s sooo tiny and easy, i have it in my pocket from now on!! (i can find out details where to get them if you want)
    needless to say, a DUVEL bottle is the ideal vehicle for this tripod, it’s a bit wider than other beer bottles so much more possibilities (besides drinking it:))


    how are you my friend!!!! i thought of you THREE times yesterday… (Duvel truck, Panos sign and music festival) will put some images together today to show… i’m going to Rock Werchter since yesterday… great atmosphere, great great music… lots of beer & spice… and really hard to take pics but i’m trying… for you :))))


    oh, so there is conversation going on outside of this blog??? how the h*ll can anyone EVER keep up with this!!!!! i can’t even keep up with the blog here….
    no seriously… Lance, David, Bob… thanks for sharing the words, it gives me an amazing insight (yet again)… i’m learning here… yet again… like a sponge… and hoping i will be able to deliver someday too like you guys all here can… i feel so privileged to be able to look at all the work here and understand as well what’s behind it…


    the films are on their way, posted them in the mail yesterday…

    special note to DAVID B

    … i have psoriasis as well… your words are remarkably accurate as to what i feel and experience continuously day to day as well… since i was a little kid i was “different”…

    …for me, something has drastically changed the last five years, since i tried PUVA treatment under controlled supervision of my dermatologist… with great success… even though the treatment in itself is, i guess, quite invasive and not very healthy… and of course, it’s only a symptomatic treatment, it doesn’t “cure” in any way…

    PUVA is essentially a radiation treatment in that you get exposed to a very high dose of UVA rays under a special kind of sunbench, after you have downed mono Psoralene pills (hence the “P”) to make you even more sensitive to UVA rays. needless to say, these pills make you feel really sick and throw up and the UVA rays burn your skin… but this is the intention apparently… i have disovered that for me, after 15-20 sessions, my symptoms dissapear for 1,5 to 2 years… which, for me at least, is HUGE

    i mean… 2 years of nothing (the occasional spot pops up now and then, but i resist using the cortisone as much as possible) compared to twice daily cortisone or coaltar ointment on each and every one of hundreds of big and small spots all over your body, taking care of it, the time involved, the loved ones that need to help, the… i don’t wanna think about it anymore…

    what i’m trying to say, david, is that i feel you, really… thanks so much for sharing. and your strong words.

    and EM is on my list too :-)

    peace to all

  • DAH: “…most artists in the early stages i think know they HAVE to do something, but i doubt most know exactly what it is or how it will “turn out”…[…], most just “do what they have to do” and the winds of fate take them where they may…

    I like that one…

  • CATHY…

    the Venice Beach workshop will be good for some people…Julia Dean is a friend (and former student of mine) and she runs a great program…just knowing you here online, i suspect strongly that you need a “full on” one week shooting workshop with daily critique and editing…the weekend workshop programs are better for a portfolio review etc and are stimulating, but quite different than the more intense “one weekers”…

    now, my dear, you live in Santa Fe…why have you never taken one of their workshops??? or have you?? so many good people coming through town all the time…right at your front door..

    as of yesterday, fate brings me to Santa Fe later this month….i must be in Colorado for a family reunion (my own) and Reid Callanan has asked me to fill in for Joe McNally, at the NG workshop, who must run off to do an assignment somewhere…now this class is full and is another thing entirely, you cannot crash this class!!!…but, i will be in town, working on my family project and teaching simultaneous…

    so, a smart girl like you could probably figure out a way to help me find an interesting family or two and at least get some editing help etc. from me in return…yes, the old “barter system”..

    any interest???

    cheers, david

  • ok…something for a Friday…thinking sucking upon the bones of time work, thinking about Lance’s True Grit, the exchange with David, the dialog between david and rafal and patricia….and yesterday with Marina who is soon about to launch her website (david, i’ll send u the link later today)…

    maybe, one of the embodiments of what has driven me, what has defined my own life, as a photographer, as a writer, and much much much more important and long lasting, as a person (husband, father, son, brother, friend)…is this:

    “We only really face up to ourselves when we are afraid”–thomas bernhard.

  • ANTON…

    yes, i use beer bottles both for use as a tripod and for a flash filter…a half full bottle makes a great bar tripod and an empty one makes for a good filter…dark bottles work best…remove the label of course before firing your strobe through it..Guinness bottles work well, Heineken do not..Corona, when full, can work miracles when there is a lot of red neon in the background..and, of course, you already know how to use the bandaid over the strobe head to warm up the scene without ever having to go to photoshop…styrofoam coffee cups are pretty good strobe “softeners” too, but best used in conjunction with the bandaid…only “flesh colored” bandaids work well..well, we did try firing the strobe through a tortilla chip once…the look was terrific, but then the temptation was, of course, to the eat the filter!!! ok, no more “tech talk”…

    cheers, david

  • WOW


    Different continents but the same skin…

    Both so sensitive…

    Beautiful, beautiful…

  • BOB…

    yes, yes…i should have mentioned this long ago…the FEAR FACTOR…..i live in fear, angst and pain…facing all of these is just part of the deal…your Bernhard quote is eloquent…mine less so…”when you meet yourself coming around the corner, it is time to take a picture”


    your dildo picture was terrible…ass kissing only gets me to perhaps pick up the bar tab, but does not make me like pictures!!

    well, the problem with your “self portrait” was mostly just because when Marie and Mike and i looked at it, we could not figure out whether that “object” was a bong or a dildo…in your case, we figured it could be either…there was some discussion about this and we finally gave up and moved on to the next picture…



    welcome!! nice way to start with us!!!

    i think we chatted a bit on Lightstalkers about a year or so that correct?? but, i thought you lived in the UK…am i way way off???

    cheers, david

  • RAIN!!

    in the forecast for the next 6 days..I need a shooting solution..lots of umbrellas and bravado??

    Maybe today will just be a passing shower..I need to work, this is a bit maddening. Especially because I adore this light, my favorite, light a giant softbox from heaven..

  • inspiring on so many levels.. my first time visiting the site…

    bouncing around to get a handle on what is going on here.. very uplifting… and just makes me want to go grab my camera and run….but i think this is what most of us photographers want to do a large part of the time…

    wonderful self-portraits each in their own right.. they all made me smile..

    jonathan.. some nice images as well…. the way you framed the mother with her baby… and a few others.. my heart skipped a beat.

    love what is going on here.. the dialogue.. the comraderie…

    I will try to spend more time reading..getting a feel for the flavor of things…. and eventually hope to participate.. but i got to admit. i often shy away from things like this… group bulletin boards ..i tend to be more of a “voyeur”.. reading,viewing.. rather than posting. but truly the best way to get out… is also to put in.. what makes the community work here…so i will make an effort… in time.. lol

    kudos david.. for all that you do here. .and elsewhere.. your energy .. open heart shines…..

    can’t wait to see some of your images from being on the road.

    happy 4th all to those who will be looking up as the skies turn dark..

  • ERICA…

    yes, the perfect light for you unless it is just pouring down…

    can you please call me???


    welcome…please run through the “archives” a bit and you will get the idea…i know what you mean about the downside of online chat, bulletin boards etc etc…but what we try to do here is stay away from the “tech” talk and concentrate on “motive”…and after you scroll around for awhile , you will also see that even though we are often “here”, most of us are also all out shooting all the time…and, of course, when you are “ready” please link us to your work…there is actually a place to put your link where it will stay…go to the forum “student work/workshops” and you will see the post where everyone has their links…

    cheers, david

  • DAVID….

    the tortilla strobe filter! this one is bound to become a classic… they have an expiry date of “1”… hehe… “use once, then eat” :))) yes and the band-aid is GREAT…

    ok time to study some more great books now… have “americans” here from robert frank… with a coffee… humble and hoping to learn… need get much much much better myself… not much self-confidence nowadays (black doggy thingy)… see you later…

    PANOS king of the bongo bong :)))

    this is why my pictures of yesterday at rock werchter are pretty crappy: “pounding pounding techno music” :))) i’m a pretty lousy video maker (sound is awful), but you’ll catch the energy…


  • Congratulations to the winners!

    nice to have partecipated and waiting for the next “challenge” ;)

    and btw, happy 4th of July to you on the other side of the ocean…

  • DAVID ,
    the purple DILDO ( now confiscated by the EX )…
    was not a BONG… it could be… it should be…
    but honestly that dildo could NOT
    BE MY BONG!!!

    ok… let’s get serious for a sec…
    i just got an email from my great friend SEAN GALLAGHER…
    FROM BEIIJING.. f*****g CHINA…
    enjoy below:

    How are you my friend? I hope this email finds you well.

    Hey, I need you to post again for me on David’s blog if you don’t mind. It’s a message and link to a new story that I have recently shot.

    Thanks in advance mate!


    “Dear All,

    Many congrats to the finalists over the self-portrait competition! Many of the images are truly hilarious and brightened up my day immensely.

    I hope everyone has been well. I have been a little quiet as of late, since Look3, mainly because my Chinese server doesn’t allow me to post, only read the blog. Annoying, but easy to circumnavigate now with the help of my good friend Panos posting for me!

    Needless to say, I am still working hard. I have a new link that I’d like to share with you all. It’s a small project that I have been working on recently about air pollution in Beijing. Anyone who has visited Beijing will testify to the poor quality of the air here. I wanted to try and capture the problem in my own way.

    Please check out the link

    It’s a vitally important issue and serious problem, especially with the Olympics approaching.

    I’m going back to look at some of the self-portraits again!


  • DAVID ,
    the purple DILDO ( now confiscated by the EX )…
    was not a BONG… it could be… it should be…
    but honestly that dildo could NOT
    BE MY BONG!!!

    ok… let’s get serious for a sec…
    i just got an email from my great friend SEAN GALLAGHER…
    FROM BEIIJING.. f*****g CHINA…
    enjoy below:

    How are you my friend? I hope this email finds you well.

    Hey, I need you to post again for me on David’s blog if you don’t mind. It’s a message and link to a new story that I have recently shot.

    Thanks in advance mate!


    “Dear All,

    Many congrats to the finalists over the self-portrait competition! Many of the images are truly hilarious and brightened up my day immensely.

    I hope everyone has been well. I have been a little quiet as of late, since Look3, mainly because my Chinese server doesn’t allow me to post, only read the blog. Annoying, but easy to circumnavigate now with the help of my good friend Panos posting for me!

    Needless to say, I am still working hard. I have a new link that I’d like to share with you all. It’s a small project that I have been working on recently about air pollution in Beijing. Anyone who has visited Beijing will testify to the poor quality of the air here. I wanted to try and capture the problem in my own way.

    Please check out the link

    It’s a vitally important issue and serious problem, especially with the Olympics approaching.

    I’m going back to look at some of the self-portraits again!


  • or, let me repost it using Sean’s full name

    “Dear All,

    Many congrats to the finalists over the self-portrait competition! Many of the images are truly hilarious and brightened up my day immensely.

    I hope everyone has been well. I have been a little quiet as of late, since Look3, mainly because my Chinese server doesn’t allow me to post, only read the blog. Annoying, but easy to circumnavigate now with the help of my good friend Panos posting for me!

    Needless to say, I am still working hard. I have a new link that I’d like to share with you all. It’s a small project that I have been working on recently about air pollution in Beijing. Anyone who has visited Beijing will testify to the poor quality of the air here. I wanted to try and capture the problem in my own way.

    Please check out the link

    It’s a vitally important issue and serious problem, especially with the Olympics approaching.

    I’m going back to look at some of the self-portraits again!



    will call you now..

  • “…Well Papa go to bed now it’s getting late
    Nothing we can say is gonna change anything now
    I’ll be leaving in the morning from St. Mary’s Gate
    We wouldn’t change this thing even if we could somehow
    Cause the darkness of this house has got the best of us
    There’s a darkness in this town that’s got us too
    But they can’t touch me now
    And you can’t touch me now
    They ain’t gonna do to me
    What I watched them do to you

    So say goodbye it’s Independence Day
    It’s Independence Day
    All down the line
    Just say goodbye it’s Independence Day
    It’s Independence Day this time

    Now I don’t know what it always was with us
    We chose the words, and yeah, we drew the lines
    There was just no way this house could hold the two of us
    I guess that we were just too much of the same kind

    Well say goodbye it’s Independence Day
    It’s Independence Day all boys must run away
    So say goodbye it’s Independence Day
    All men must make their way come Independence Day

    Now the rooms are all empty down at Frankie’s joint
    And the highway she’s deserted clear down to Breaker’s Point
    There’s a lot of people leaving town now
    leaving their friends, their homes
    At night they walk that dark and dusty highway all alone

    Well Papa go to bed now, it’s getting late
    Nothing we can say can change anything now
    Because there’s just different people coming down here now
    And they see things in different ways
    And soon everything we’ve known will just be swept away

    So say goodbye it’s Independence Day
    Papa now I know the things you wanted that you could not say
    But won’t you just say goodbye it’s Independence Day
    I swear I never meant to take those things away…”

    is that PATRIOTIC enough or what???

  • ok… time to start posting AGAIN USING MY NAME…
    the last “SEAN GALLAGHER” comment about
    “INDEPENDENCE DAY” its of course mine..

    its just that i was posting his last comment through my laptop
    and i forgot to switch back to my “signature”..
    sorry.. the “patriotic thing” was for me ,
    not Sean…
    Sean is british ( you know what i mean???), would make no sense…

    ok.. one more from “THE BOSS”:

  • DAH

    gentle honesty.. great words made out of little letters.

    yes.. i was drunk on white russians and posted a picture.. magnum ice-creams and all that..
    i believe you had a moving dragon to play with.
    ireverant irrelivance which, one year later, brings me here..
    thanks for the welcome.
    i moved to norway on an instinct which has paid off handsomely.. it’s a fjord fiesta .. hohoho.
    i still intend to travel and will be in london at some point this year.. you, sir?


    puva, uvb, betnovate, dovonex, dovobet.. i’ve tried them all… 8th of green and 2 ltrs of water a day.. giving up red meat and dairy products.. as you will know, it’s tought to look after.
    there is a new drug (to europe at least) called raptiva which has a good rate of remission, although the best is still a month at the dead sea clinics, from what i gather. 97% rate of remission.. at 2000 GBP it’s well out of reach.

    i’ve only had it for 7 or 8 years.. it was a shock at first.. it must have been tough as a younger man.. respect to you for replying to me.. it means a chunk to share some darkness..

    still – with humour it is possible to cope.
    beate and i had a giggle last night.
    i’m her cadburies chocolate flake… ‘only the crumbliest, flakiest lover.. tastes like.. blahblahblah’.

  • SEAN…

    what an interesting , and unpredictable, way to show air pollution….anyone would get “choked up” just looking at those cars…

    ok, now i am thinking….for you….now i know you are interested in China’s environmental problems…everyone is…in the news daily…so, what can you do that is special??

    now, what would happen if you started thinking book…but truly non-traditional….say 5 parts…with say 10 “plates” each….10 desertification, 10 dirty cars, 10 smoking coal plants, 10 traffic jams, 10 people wearing masks etc etc etc….50 “plates” total….an art book that is also a journalistic book…perhaps a “rollout” accordian style book that is also a mini- exhibition that could be set up anywhere..the “repetitive” 10 of whatever would be powerful….everyone is doing the China environment….you could do it different…and if you got it well placed in museums or galleries or whatever it could really have an affect…i can also see another show…big experience…video too….art and journalism coming together….you may have better ideas already….i am just thinking out loud and off the top of my head…

    you are always working my friend…keep it up…you will make “your mark” one way or another…

    cheers, david

  • congratulazioni a tutti….
    grande david!


  • OK, confession time.

    Longtime readers and contributors to this blog may remember that until about 4 months ago I was a prolific (yeah, verbose) contributor, and then I stopped, except for the occasional short note. Partly this was due to very real pressures of ‘day-job’ work to pay bills, completely unrelated to photography. Partly it was my realization that I was ‘shooting off my mouth’ more than I was ‘shooting off frames’ in the camera. I figured I’d better come up with a current body of work, that I actually really cared about, to show (and not mediocre stuff from twenty years ago) or I’d lose credibility (especially with myself!). And for a while the forum seemed to me to become a little bit like Fox News (ALL PANOS!!! ALL THE TIME!!!) When the music got turned up loud, I started feeling my age (61) and knew it was already way past my bedtime. But everybody else seemed to be having fun at the party… and why not? I had some personal reservations, philosophical questions, and downright heretical views about some things that were being said on the forum, but had no desire to be a wet blanket or a spoiler- or worse, to become a troll.

    My ‘commitment’ to photography has always been less than total- more like chronic ambivalence. I didn’t start taking pictures at all until my late twenties and early thirties, and periodically I have laid the camera aside because it seemed to get in the way of what I was doing, because I couldn’t afford film or good equipment, or because I never seemed to be able to transfer my vision to the image effectively. And I’m still basically there, going “… in and out the window, like a moth before a flame.” So what I have to say may be, probably is, irrelevant to the many of you who are serious, committed photographers focused on building your careers.

    Now, all this time I have been lurking in the background, I have been shooting a bit, have thought a lot, and have developed several ‘screeds’ that I will attempt to unload here in several installments. This forum is now big enough and varied enough so I hope there’s room for the occasional heretic-curmudgeon such as myself. Nobody has to read my long-winded posts, after all- just skip down to the next one when you see my name! (I don’t necessarily read all the posts carefully all the time any more either).

    And I will have some recent photo work up and viewable soon, if only to verify that I am hopelessly old-fashioned, conventional, second (or third?) rate, and very much out of step with just about everybody here. No more hiding or dissembling!

    But first, before I get to all that- I want to start with a little book review. I just got my hands on the Nat Geo-published book ‘Inside China’ (though I see it was published in 2007) which I find very interesting. Now I know that if this forum has one single theme, it is “AUTHORSHIP!” above all else, and this book is a grab-bag compilation of work by a wide range of photographers, just the opposite of the personalized, developed vision David is always pushing, so it may seem beneath your attention. But I think it’s worth a good long look. For one thing, despite the fact that NGS have their own vast photo archives on China, this is mostly not a showcasing or recycling of work by NGS photographers. There are a few from their archive- (stuff by Mike Yamashita, Fritz Hoffman, and a few others)- but the editors (Rebecca Lescaze and Jane Menyawi, names I don’t know…David??) have heavily mined the Magnum archive, both older (HCB, Marc Riboud, Rene Burri, Hiroji Kubota) and younger (Raymond Depardon, Alex Majoli, Paullo Pelligrin, etc), and then a number of prominent current photographer ‘names’ associated with China like Ed Burtynsky, Marc Leong, Macduff Everton, James Whitlow Delano, Robert Glenn Ketchum, etc. There are a couple of shots by Nina Berman. And then some photographers whose names and work I didn’t know before (remember, I’m an amateur, over the hill, out of it, live deep in the provinces, and have borderline dementia) but whose names and work I will certainly pay attention to from now on: David Butow, Michael Wolf, Allessandro Digaetano, Gilles Sabrie.

    Over the years I’ve seen dozens of China picture books, and hundreds of ‘travel’ picture books, that were cobbled together from a range of photographers by picture editors. Often photographs are treated essentially as illustrations, but what impressed me about this book is that the pictures are meant to stand alone as photographs, and the layout and pacing seem to preserve the authorship, style, and individual vision of the separate photographers intact. Compared to most of the picture books that Nat Geo has put out over the years, this one is different in that regard and much better.

    At the same time, the book is about China, not about a particular photographer or style of photography. Having all these highly individualistic photographers’ work in the same place seems to me to advance that goal. I studied, and then taught, geography and area studies long, long before I got ‘serious’ about photography, and I have always been interested in how ‘places’ get represented, especially visually. With a place as old, huge, complicated, and rapidly changing as ‘China’ it becomes nearly impossible to ‘represent’ or ‘show’ the place with any accuracy, and usually what we get from the mass media are rehashes of the same old cliches which tend to reinforce the images we already have (and this is what 90% of travel picture books are all about). The blind men describing the elephant is a good metaphor for this process. Now, some may say, since all description and representation are ‘subjective’ anyway, why even try to be ‘objective’? Personally, I think the elusive goal of a wider, deeper, more rounded, but still nuanced vision of what is actually ‘there’ is always worth pursuing, even if it can never really be achieved.

    So this book offers, I think, a little insight into both ‘authorship’ in the individual styles and approaches of the many outstanding photographers it showcases, and at the same time it tries to show ‘China’ and not just ‘some photographs of China’. Why do I think that is worth thinking about? Because the ‘authorship’ and ‘personal vision’ which David pushes as being necessary for recognition and career as a photographer (and I’m sure he’s right) is not the whole story. Photography gets seen, used, ‘consumed’ by the wider public in a variety of contexts, for a variety of purposes, most of which are not about the individual photographers (however you may wish otherwise). Maybe it is helpful to see the place of photography from the outside, as well as the inside??? (Then again, for someone trying to establish their own identity and personal vision, maybe it’s a distraction. It seems to me sometimes that we spend the first half of our lives discovering all the ways in which we are different and unique, and the second half all the ways in which we are all the same).

    Ironically, the single image in this book which I think may be the strongest, was not taken by a professional photographer, but by a historian-scholar-print journalist (and later target of McCarthy blacklist wrath) with great access: Owen Lattimore’s portrait study of Zhou Enlai, Mao Zedong, and Bo Gu in Yanan in 1937.

  • CATHY…

    You sell out, you! I thought we were the true “straight” shooters in here! You switched up and went “loose” and voila! You’re in the slideshow! I’m sooo disappointed!

    (All of the above is just joking, of course! Or is it? ;^})

    Seriously, nice shot girl. And congrats!

  • .

    Dear David and all friends here

    I’m happy to read your posts. ^^
    It takes long time to read for me but i try and participate to be with you.

    Our work of self- portraits is very beatiful and joyfull. Whenever i enjoy self-portrait slide-show, i smile and i’m full of happiness.


    I have posted some works of ‘Re-Tour’.
    Would you please check it out and give some mentors?

    I always respect your mentor.
    Thank you very much.

    p.s. David,
    please send my hello to Chris Anderson. And send this , too….I was very impressed by ‘Capitolio’. It is very beutiful and sad and awesome.. i love the sounding space in his photos..


    Dear Sean,

    Your new works about air pollution in Beijing are like portraits of ghost of air-pollution… very interesting and strange.
    Thank you for your works.


  • Hey all,

    After being offline for a couple of weeks, while in Charlottesville and then Mexico City, I’ve finally returned to Barcelona.

    In the meantime I’ve got a new site redesign with some new projects up. One, Ancestral Calling, will hopefully be a long term project about the traditional lives two relatives of mine live in Southern Ireland. The second story is on urban tribes in Mexico City. This is a project I did in 48 hours. If anyone has any feedback on the site, I’d love to hear it, publically or privately (you can email me through the site). Oh and DAH, I did take your advice, all be it kicking and screaming, and dumped the travel stuff.

    It was great to meet/hang with you in C’ville! Sorry it was such a brief visit. In hind site, it was really stupid of me as I just tried to pack too much in to too little time. I got in Thursday night, spent all day Friday in the Project Critique and Saturday morning I was on my way to the airport to get to DF. I didn’t even get to see any of the exhibitions! On top of that was the nearly $300 taxi I had to take to get to Dulles on Saturday, while JN was speaking! C’ville is a great town, but if you don’t have a car in America, you are nothing. At least you can get to Perpignan by train!

    Next time I’ll organize myself a little better. Hell, next time we’ll be in Perpignan and since it’s practically a DC commute away from Barna, I’ll likely be there all week this year, so I’ll have no excuses!

    Thanks for the feedback on the Ancestors story. If you want to see what I went with, it’s now up on the site as well.

    Self-portrait stars:
    Deadly work;-)

    cheers all,


    Totally off topic, this morning I think I subconsciously shot the “Anti-Cuba”, vs. the cover photo of your Cuba book…

  • Aloha

    Settled into a nice hillside house, it’s raining, really cute guy singing on the TV keeping me moving, house to myself. The draw of this essay with the bachelors keeps me in one position in one place for long periods.

    My Mac laptop is saying it needs some TLC with backup and downloading and relieving its little head so although anxious to show you the gun toting bachelor right now I better be wise. On bachelor #1 I went back to my contact sheet and pulled out totally different ones, the ones that tell the story.

    I will post both under the special page for our work. Thanks guys for the fun posts. I will alert you all when I post the link.


  • SEAN…

    Haunting stuff. I do hope you’ve invested in a couple particulate respirators!

    This should be a real confidence booster to the athletes arriving soon!

    Also wanted to say that I’ll be first in line for that book David mentioned above! Hope that comes together for you someday. It’d be well deserved, my friend.



  • SIDNEY….

    welcome back!!!

    your views are just as welcomed here as anyone else’s…i always read what you write and try to respond accordingly..

    your point about the NG “China” book is well taken…i am sure it is a very good book..well researched and, yes, by many different photographers…personal vision is not a part of it, but i never said that “personal vision” is all that there is and surely there is a “wide audience” that has no clue about personal vision, does not want or need to have anything to do with personal vision or authorship etc etc…these readers and viewers of which you describe are, in fact, the audience of National Geographic!!!..not photography students, or purveyors of fine photography, just appreciators of what Natgeo does and does very well..yet the very individual photographers you mentioned who were published in this China anthology are very much personal vision photographers…there work may have been taken out of context of their original quest, but still can find another appreciative audience on the pages on Natgeo…

    but, i still submit that you can’t get those pictures on the pages of Natgeo in the first place without the photographers themselves believing and living and immersing themselves in the pursuit of something much much more than Natgeo…

    the photographers i know who had only Natgeo as a goal have totally disappeared from photoworld in general and even from the anthologies Natgeo themselves publish!!!!…

    none of them are even in the book you so described!!!

    so, the context in which pictures are created can be quite different from the context in which they are published…

    i doubt that a single photographer you mentioned in that China book has that book on his or her coffee table…i would bet on this…

    good book for the masses…yes, of course…but, of what value would it be for me to teach or mentor a photographer for the purpose of appealing to the popular status quo???…there are teachers who do that, but not me!!!

    without trying we get to the status quo mass market anyway…..we are all published in books and magazines who do just that..the NG China book is an example..the status quo is all around us…but should that be held up high!!!

    i think you have to differentiate between photographer “motive” and the “use” of pictures by picture buyers such as Natgeo…

    i am absolutely NOT suggesting some kind of photography elitism…the photographers i admire are humanistic by nature….and i know for sure that all of my colleagues want and expect their work to go “out there” to a mass audience…not just have their work hanging on the walls of the wealthy…

    but, photographers who are authors and who see themselves as such will automatically capture the “mass audience” and if they are careful will also appeal to a more select audience of decision makers and supporters of the arts..

    as i have said many times before, as time passes, and all turns into dust, it is only art/literature/music etc. that survives our time on this earth…

    by the way, i loved your self portrait …you flat out look like a really really nice man..i hope we will meet sometime soon….

    please stay with us this time!!!

    peace, hugs et al, david

  • KYUNGHEE said:

    I have posted some works of ‘Re-Tour’.
    Would you please check it out and give some mentors?
    Posted by: Kyunghee Lee in Busan, Korea | July 04, 2008 at 11:47 AM…”

    right on!
    peace ( for Tibet as my friend MARCIN keeps reminding!)

  • SEAN

    Your pollution essay has really opened my eyes to what it means when we read that the cities in China–and elsewhere–have terribly unsafe air. Somehow the photos of those cars and motorcycles made it real. I echo David’s idea for a book. Timely and necessary…and you, my friend, are the one to do it! In making your “mark”–which you are sure to do in any case–you will be helping our planet survive. We must first recognize the problem before we can change it, and that is where photojournalists come in. Thank you for your vision, heart and dedication. You’re making a difference already.


    I welcome your voice back to this blog. I wasn’t here when you were an active participant before but can already tell you are a man who thinks deeply, says it like you see it and has a delightfully quirky sense of humor. Besides, I like having another 60+ buddy here! We’re in the minority so that makes it all the more important that we speak up and share our perspective. Long life may suck in some ways (body stuff) but is a pure joy in others (being comfortable with oneself)!


  • David

    I anticipated much of your response, and of course I agree… how could I not?

    I realize who the majority of your community here on the forum are, and how you are trying to mentor them. My own situation is quite different, and I can only write and respond from where I am… ‘natch. Sometimes that may seem off-topic or counter to your main intent… when that happens, I hope it’s never seen as a criticism, only an additional dimension. And of course you are welcome to use me as a negative example or straw dog!

    In a freshman college English class (in 1964!), after the first writing assignment, the instructor read aloud to the class his pick for the ‘worst example of a paper he’d ever seen’ and tore it apart. It took about two paragraphs for me to realize it was my own paper. You can imagine how I squirmed, shrank down in my seat, my stomach churned, and my face turned crimson. However, I heard his criticisms out, took some (but not all) of them to heart… and even though I failed the class, I think it greatly improved my writing.



    well, i see this as nothing more than good discussion….and amigos, not one single negative vibe to it!!!

    Sidney, you are not a “straw dog”…you have good points all around…keep them coming…

    Patricia, i am not sure what you mean by having a “minority” voice and by needing to “share our perspective”

    after all, i am older than both of you!!!

    el viejo, david


    Hauntingly beautiful work. Your abstracted views, deep, rich colors and sense of motion give these underwater scenes a cosmic quality all their own.


    I can SO relate to your YouTube video!!! Wish I’d been there…


  • Giggling now too..

    But, dear David, I beg to differ. If your bio is correct, you were born in 1944. I got you by 2 years–1942. Besides, you are one of those ageless creatures, rather like a character in some fairy tale!


  • speaking of AGE…
    I use to believe the opposite but when i met DAH,
    up in C/Ville, i realized that ENERGY has no age..
    especially good energy…
    there were times that i was praying for a bed to crash and
    an empty restroom to throw up, but….
    but… DAVID was… ” ok… party’s over…! let’s all get in the car!!!..
    WAFFLE HOUSE…! let’s meet there, let’s go from there!!!… party’s ON”…!
    age ???? what age???


    laughing again..

    well, i was just guessing and trying to make a point as i am sure you know…

    i remember a lot of my friends getting really really old when they turned 30…lost every ounce of idealism etc….this was a wake up call to me…i was shocked….couldn’t believe it…i.e. the very best actor in our drama school was selling insurance by the time he was 31….

    point is, some people grow narrow early, some expand as they go along…

    viva expansionistas!!!!

    hugs, david

  • David,

    Now that I’ve got you here…can I re-ask that question again? The one before C’ville. You know about where or how or in what direction you’d push me at this point? Can be done in email or here if you like. Many thanks, brother.



    listen ….you love nature….consumes you…so i would not take you from where you are already…i would only suggest that you look at some of the work from non-nature photographers and incorporate this genre into your work…do you know “Last Place on Earth” by Michael Nichols?? he is consumed by nature too…yet , he manages to blend people with nature as well or better than anyone i know…and the aesthetic of Nick is the aesthetic of a European street photographer…so subject is not important, but approach is…what about James Balog and “Wildlife Requiem”…know him?? same thing…..Chris Johns, now NG editor, was the same…check out “Wild at Heart”…

    you should probably move in the direction of the photogs above…different from them in style, but with that kind of commitment and advanced thinking about “nature photography”…

    cheers, david

  • this one goes to DAH, SIDNEY, PATRICIA
    Hello from L.A… sunshine, sensitive subtle music…!
    Whats The Difference???
    What’s the difference between me and you… or fox and cnn???
    All the answers and more…
    click below

    happy 4th everyone from bloody L.A !


    An unsolicited opinion here- feel free to ignore me… just to tag on to David’s comment, I think you might find Freeman Patterson’s work (and books) helpful.

  • David,

    I hear you, man…Thanks. Very familiar with those photographers…not the books in particular but the photogs for sure. Will go get all three books. Sounds like a good place to start…or I should say, continue!

    Asher also! Thanks for taking the time. Not familiar with Patterson but will look him up. Always open to new styles, genres, personalities, etc.

    Thanks for everything David!

  • DAH:

    It seems that I may have caught you in a moment where you are actively responding. Not an easy task considering the 6 hour time difference.

    I’m curious as to the state of assignments, especially considering your pending cross country road trip. What’s the current status? Are people still working on last month’s assignments? Will there be a new round? Or has this evolved organically into something else?


  • SIDNEY :)))

    MISS YOUR LONG POSTS! :))))…and totally understand the strain of having or not having time to write long comments (let alone with any kind of eloquence or coherence, a problem you’ve never had to worry about here in my estimation :)) )…

    i also dont have time to respond, but i know the book :))))…have looked at it a bunch of times and know some of the photogs personally…it’s a great book…for sure, but like all books like this (about a place) left me hungering for more, or left me felt sadly empty…it’s the abyss of “characterization” of a place…having deeply personal ties to china (i lived in taiwan as a child, i have personal friends from china (doctors, artists, teachers, students), and china has played a key in my life (maybe as Korea has for you), and again i was left feeling slightly hunger for “interior” points of view as well…chinese artists, for example…but, the complexity of ALL place never allows for assimilation, of any kind, for place is still a cauldron of time and people and language and culture and spirituality and mind, mind, mind…which in the end, is why , for me, authorship (not to be confused with authority) is so critical…to me authorship aint about “style” or “imprint” or “theme” so much as authentic, actualized speech of opinion and reaction…and you are right, career and planning is the least in the slippage..

    we’re all torn, tossed particulates and the sucking down upon of those produce incredibly ambiguous things…how to speak of place (as a writer, a photographer, an artist, a historian, a politician, shit a person): there’s the rub, right? ;))…

    anyway, keep up coming please (the long comments)…all loving :))

    SEAN: great great…pin=-hole in the flashlight someone who has escaped armagedon and has begun to survey the wreckage…just delerium and wonderful and im scared for all y’all….

    Kyung-Hee :))))..U KNOW HOW I FEEL ALREADY about these colors and abstractions :))))…love love the additional pics and the self-portrait (for me) is key :))))…thinking of Bjork when i look at this…

    ok, going going gone….


    you definitely got all the tech stuff “down”…
    choose something from your “heart” now…
    make us care, and think about it at night..
    chooose something that will “haunt” us..
    i cant wait…
    you are great, but make us care about your vision, too!
    don’t let us outside!
    not fair!
    peace and love
    and thanks again!
    please say hi to R.


    Panos…man oh man, are you ever an ENCYCLOPEDIA of the right YouTube at the right time!!! how do you do it???

    now i am sure you can see what we have to do…go pick up Sidney wherever he lives and give that man a ride around the block!!!

    Sidney..if you meet Panos you will find a true gentleman…not joking…c’mon Sidney, ONE AMERICA!!!

    Patricia..relax!! we will not all descend on you at once!! but can’t you just see the movie where the character of Sidney hooks up with the character of Panos and they somehow end up best friends and in a car driving across the country robbing banks??? of course, the only way this works as a screenplay is if Sidney ends up wild and crazy and Panos ends up running as a Republican candidate for governor!!!

    as Sidney himself said “the first half of your life you see differences, the second half you see we are all the same”…

    ok, i am gone for the afternoon…gotta clean up my place…yup, folks coming over to my rooftop for the fireworks show which happens right here in front of my space….

    please all of you be of good cheer….forget photography for the rest of the day…that is, unless you see a good picture!!!

    abrazos, Happy July 4…david


    round one and round two are sort of blending…but i will have a total analysis of where the assignments all stand by next week…i was thinking about this earlier..just make sure i know what you want to do…

    ok, running now, but back soonest..

    cheers, david


    Beautiful link you provided describing Natasha, the Amerasian girl!
    Glad you’re back.

    Anna B

  • David;

    Just a short question to you and everyone… When you’ve come back from an important (to yourself) shoot, do you find it difficult to settle down and shoot other projects?

    I’ve been on plenty of photo trips, doing mostly travel work, but this is the first time where I can’t get enthused over projects at home after returning…

    Maybe it was because the last trip was so personal to me, I’m not sure….

    Also, if you have time, which 6-8 images would you pick from my recent trip? I will be posting another link soon of other images I’m still mulling over.

    The first edit was a rough one, mostly to get other’s opinions…

    Cheers everyone

  • Siddhartha Hajra

    “We only really face up to ourselves when we are afraid”–thomas bernhard
    wow thanks Bob! thanks for that quote…
    i have an exam coming up in two days time… and i know what it means…phew! :O

  • Bob B:

    Thanks, bro, for your sympathetic words aimed at me.

    “…i was left feeling slightly hunger for “interior” points of view as well…chinese artists, for example…but, the complexity of ALL place never allows for assimilation, of any kind, for place is still a cauldron of time and people and language and culture and spirituality and mind, mind, mind…”

    Yes! I couldn’t have possibly said this better, we are on the same wavelength here, and despite years and years of looking at and taking thousands of pictures of places… the hunger remains for a more ‘interior point of view…’ the nostalgia for place is only whetted by the image, the experience is so much more multi-sensory and so much more psychological… and even the most skillful and evocative of images are merely postcards that can trigger memories of place in people who have already experienced them, but how can they possibly do that in people who haven’t? So achieving that impossibility remains the challenge… How to put the sounds of the language and the smells of frying guotie, burning incense, and rotting fruit in the gutter water all into a still photo? (Yes, some masters do it, I know it can be done…)

    Fiction and cinema however seem to come much closer to doing this effectively, though I have to admit that still photography has always been one of my main doorways to the world. Incidentally, I have seen the film ‘Yi-Yi’ that you have been recommending a number of times and enjoy it greatly. I haven’t been to Taiwan, but the Taiwanese films I’ve seen, the things I’ve read, and the Taiwanese people I continue to meet all make me feel both a curiosity and a kinship for this place, with its mixed legacy of aboriginal, Fujianese, Japanese, and Kuomintang-Chinese influences. I hope to go there someday. Meanwhile, I spend time in Vancouver’s two Chinatowns, the old one on the downtown east side, and the newer one in Richmond.

    The trouble with a book on ‘China’ is of course that it’s just too big a subject. I’d love to see a book of the same size and visual sophistication done on just one town or village. Back in the mid 80s a Japanese photographer (Saito Yasuichi) did a whole book in b+w on the city of Suzhou (Soochow) that is still one of my favorite photo books, though sadly no longer in my possession.


    Don’t a have a broadband connection at the moment but will check out your YouTube link when I get the chance.


  • Hey, you folks from all over the globe, come on down and join me at Detroit’s CityFest!! And you don’t even have to leave your computer, just click on

    If you scroll down and read the text you’ll see where being disabled can bring the LIGHT of joy to others!!! Catch ya later…now I’m off to do some more “Dancing In the Streets” (OK Panos, bring it to us on YouTube!)

    Grandma Techno

  • ANNA B….

    there has been some kind of mixup…i looked again at the self portraits and yours was not there…did you submit twice?? i remember a picture of you in the mirror, white, flowing upside down…you right?? well, where is that picture??? i like that picture…Mike not here…maybe he has an explanation..or you??

    cheers, david

  • Sidney–

    thank you so much for the link to the video of photographer Rick Smolan and the Amerasian girl he befriended, Natasha.
    what an incredibly beautiful story.
    i often feel that this will happen with me and many of my street kids.
    that we will be together, in each other’s lives, for decades.
    and i’ll be documenting it all, the whole time. :))

    for those who missed the video earlier, here’s the link from Sidney:

  • Kyunghee Lee–

    beautiful and dreamlike work.
    you do this well.

  • ROSS…

    i usually only have one big thing going at a time…if i have to do something commercial (if that is what you mean), then i just go into “work mode”…i can usually get psyched up for whatever i have to do…and i rarely take on something that is not of interest anyway…

    a couple of weeks ago i was trying to shoot two things at project and an essay on New York …this was difficult because one was with med format film and the other was digi…i do not like to crossover like that, but honestly i needed the funding from the New York commission to finance the family work…so, i just did it..

    where is the new work you want me to see??

    cheers, david

  • Hey Panos, I hear Snoop Dogg is killin it at Rothbury right now. I found a ticket – going tomorrow!!

  • Hi David, thanks for the reply.

    The second gallery will be up in a few days. One of my mates does the web work for me (gratis too!) as I’m a complete ignoramus as far as web design is concerned….

    I was actually meaning the Timor gallery you originally looked at.

    I was interested in what you think are the 6-8 strongest. As you mentioned I will edit them way down, but was interested in your opinion.

    I think my problem at the moment is that I’ve had quite a bit of exposure here in the papers etc about my Timor work. And have also been doing quite a few lectures, so am still in “Timor mode”!!

    Time to give myself a swift uppercut and get stuck into the “normal” work. While that work is interesting (& financially neccessary!!) it’s not as meaningful to me. Just another thing to work around I suppose!

  • Hi David, Bobblack and All…

    I was taking a nap this afternoon and a question kept coming back in my had…I would appreciate your hindsight on this. Last week, I saw the short films that Herve had shot during the magnum meeting in Paris: we could see DAH dancing, Koudelka, and many other people…my issue is that I do not believe that pictures could show us what these movies showed us, with the sound, the movement (etc). The movie where you see Koudelka dancing is quite unique. In 50 years from now, when we look back at this meeting, I don’t think that pictures taken of this same event will have the same impact on the viewers. Is it possible that the value of photography (as a tool to register events…) will diminish and diminish until still pictures are not around anymore??

    Have a good day from Bermuda,



    the mirror, white, flowing upside down… Yes, that’s me!

    I submitted both versions, then opted for the first to be my final submission. David McG included the image in the gallery he made. Not sure what happened after that?? I still prefer the second option, though my editorial committee (Aga + Cathy) voted otherwise. Am curious which of the two you prefer.

    Anna B

  • ARIE

    I have thought about this as well..but it seems to me that the gesalt of a continuous flow has quite a different (not stronger per se) impact on the emotions/psyche than does a poignant still image. Just lions and tigers.. If the photographer ‘does his job’ and catches that which otherwise would be fleeting, even in a flow of motion-imagery, he succeeds in holding up a mirror to that which may not have been seen by most. Simply put, there are moments in time that once frozen leave an incredible and indelible mark on the heart and mind.

    That somewhat begs the question about creating video/film and then pulling still frames from that, but I think then it is more a game of chance, and for me, the fun/challenge is in actually seeing and feeling the moment.

    Assignment update..

    Andrew S and I were able to work until the skies threatened..good stuff I hope/think..he is a lovely fantastic help..

  • Good evening everyone,

    Ross, yes I feel a void settle over me when I return from an intense shoot or workshop. I think it is normal. One thing I notice is that when I download the photos from a shoot I am not favorably impressed right away. I have to let them set for a day or two before I can see them clearly.

    The discussions of the last two days have been very entertaining. Working on the bachelor project for a while then checking in with you guys keeps my interest really sharp.

    I’ve posted the links to the two bachelor essays on the student work page–the latest drafts. They are not finalized–two long, but hope with insights over the next few days I can bring it closer. Be sure and look at Bachelor of Campbell Lane #2 for the latest version of the Campbell Lane bachelor.

    Thanks DAH for looking and asking for them to look at.


  • Lee;

    Thanks for the comments. I’m exactly the same when shooting. The same thing used to happen when shooting slides too. When I first looked at my work I’d hate it all! Whereas a couple of days later when I’ not so “close” to them I can look at them more dispassionately…

    I have to be careful that when shooting digitally I don’t delete images too quickly. Sure I get rid of the crap, but be very careful with everything else.

    Another thing I noticed on my last trip which has never happened before; was that some days I absolutely hated everything I’d previously shot (even the images I had loved before). Whereas the next day or so, was back on an even keel again…Curiouser and curiouser as Alice in Wonderland said…

    I had a look at the first link (bloody dial-up internet is SO slow!). But will have a better look later today when I have more time. One thing I did think was how good they would look in B&W???


  • ARIE…

    if that were going to happen , it would have already happened…movies have been around quite awhile now, and stills are just booming in every possible way…folks have foresaken their video cameras in favor of still digi cameras..still, i know what you mean by a good video giving us a certain kind of presence and “what things really looked like” as opposed to stills…what i will do , but not today, is post my stills of Koudelka dancing and tell me what you think..can’t beat the video in one way, but might leave an indelible image in another way….

    by the way, i loved your self-portrait…i would like to see more work from you…


    does anybody think it strange that “LES” has not surfaced to claim “first place” in our self portrait judging???

    those in my “inner circle” are started to suspect a “dupe”…a “joke”…..does anybody ever remember a writer named Les??…this in and of itself does not mean anything , because i can “see” many regulars who never write…but, something is suspicious about this picture…should we know this picture??

    Bob,you are the man to research this photograph…we also need David McGowan to tell us where this picture came from….

    hopefully, Les will surface….i really hope so, because i love this picture…really grows on you…very very well thought out…anyway, let’s hope for the best..and if any of you know anything about Les or this picture, please let us know…

    cheers, david

  • David,

    very much what I was thinking too. I personally am not thinking at all about what im doing being commercially viable…Im doing it for myself and I think Im lucky I have a way to support myself financially which gives me freedom to be as non-commercial as I want, shooting for myself rather than any ideas about making money from it. Just “doing the work” is something that appeals to me very much.

  • Great choices!

    ARIE, I think the right bag is the medium field bag #232. It comes in green also.

    The other really nice choice, albeit a bit smaller is the Barbour thornproof.

    Speaking of equipment, who is going to trade M8 for new Nikon D700?

    Got to go book edit.

    DAVID, When you coming to the Cities? I hope not between 9th and 18th of July. How about after? I’ll give up my bed for you.



  • P.S. Eli Reed is in Korea today doing a talk about the Korea work you guys did, David. I wont be able to make it bu I will go there tonight to see the pictures. Hiroji Kubota is here too, but I dont know if he will be giving a talk.

  • david….

    funny, the pic from Les has been bugging me for last 2 weeks….:))))…the only photographer i know with name Les is of course Les Krims, but, what’s weird is that when i first saw the pic, i thought: that’s an hommage to…fuck, who?, it looks so familiar …and then let it go…so, i just got in from shoot, and saw your inquiry and started racking my brain where i saw an image that looks like this…i dont think it’s Krims, then i thought who: brandt, jeanloup sieff, araki,…and now (well, no words, cause my head is filled with images i just spend trying to make (who knows, maybe a disaster)…but….let me think, think….

    i hope we’re all wrong, but really, i know i’ve seen a photo that looks remarkably similar (if not the same)…sniffing in my books….


  • David Alan Harvey-
    As a newbie to your blog I am not sure if you have tried this before.. but I am just going to put it out there… What do you think about doing a crowd sourced assignment? Perhaps a project based on a universal theme? With all the talent scattered around the globe that calls this blog home I am sure we could come together and create a great body of work. It would be a great Social experiment if nothing else? Potential Potential..
    I am fascinated by what the internet has to offer us as a means to collectively share and create together. I am sure we (the entire community) could come up and agree on a project that we all could work on.
    I know we are all busy with our lives and personal projects, but you have to agree that the potential here is great..
    I am sure that there are a few of us out that would help out on the logistical ends of such a project. I have a ton of server space that is just waiting to be bombarded by images….
    Willing and able.
    Please Let me know what you think
    Thank you for all you do.

    Perhaps the Family of Man Part 2

    Douglas Titus

  • MICHAEL K. :))

    Honestly I did not jump ship…I just did not care for all the wrinkles in my “straight” self portrait :)) Half-kidding…it looked like me but just wasn’t “me” and at 1:45am it was a lot easier to come up with something I liked in a longer exposure.

    Don’t worry…I will be showing my new Rodeo images asap and it’s pretty straight but still is work I am not ashamed to show here!

  • Hi David,

    Thanks for your answer and I look forward looking at your pictures of Koudelka. I would like to show my work but it is so different in style and subject…
    Last April, I did a one on one worshop in Bermuda with Peter Turnley. He was kind enough to fly to Bermuda and stay at my house for three days. We discussed at length his Harpers essays (which I consider very highly, actually that is what I would liek to realize for myself). Maybe you coul give me an assigment (as you do with others) and I could try to design a story ?

    Thank you again for all that you do – it has been 2 years (almost) since I joined your blog, and it is quite sad that I have not met you yet. Next year I will be in Paris in June and if you agree, I could attend the magnum session (that Herve attended)…that would be incredible (that would be a WOW WOW WOW experience)!!

    Have a good day form Bermuda – Arie


    P.S. I still say your portrait was one of my favorites.

  • David, now that you mention it, I could swear I saw this picture before…by sieff I believe …let me look in my books and I will come back to you.


  • Or Helmut Newton Maybe??


  • Or maybe I am wrong and this picture is an original…I saw it so many times in the last few weeks that I am not sure if I saw it before (maybe it reminds me of something else)…in any case we have to be prudent as it would not be fair if there is a real Les that took this incredible picture…


  • DAVID!!!!

    Okay I guess I won’t be taking the LA workshop but I’ll see you here FOR SURE.

    The first thing I did after seeing your comment was look up the Joe McNally dates. I am going to CA at the end of the month and would skip the wedding I’m attending there if it meant I was going to miss out on seeing you here…Thankfully not the case. I KNEW you’d be back here one day…had no idea it would be so soon but GREAT!!!!! :))))

    I am still not “officially” living in Santa Fe…the house is STILL not finished but OF COURSE I have taken workshops at SF Workshops. That’s what brought me back to Santa Fe….made me want to live here.

    My first beginning workshop was with Wendy Walsh. I think we discussed this…Also took workshops with John Weiss and Arthur Meyerson…who was one of the first to direct me to you as an “appropriate” mentor. Also Anne Henning who was in my workshop with Arthur said you were someone I should study with. I signed up for a weeklong workshop in Santa Fe with Alex Webb but it didn’t happen…no interest!!! Also took a digital weekend workshop with Nevada Wier and Jerry Courvosier (Mike’s dad) Norman Mauskaupf teaches at the workshops too but I took his Santa Fe community college course instead.

    SO is there any way I can assist you with the NG workshop? ANY way I can be involved? I know Reid quite well and we talk about you every time I see him so he knows I’m one of your bloggers. Is it okay with you if I call him??? I’ll see him Monday night at the workshop slide shows so I’ll see what he says then.

    In any case…I will be around. July is a big month for shooting around here…many events… so I will also be busy but I’m thrilled you will be here!!!

    As far as finding families for you. Of course…I can think of a few right off the top of my head and will think more about it. I do not have email at my house so am not easily available but PM me with any questions and comments…If your time is really limited let me know when you are available to shoot families, etc…

    Good timing for me to get editing help because I have new work which I am beginning to edit right now and I am very interested in working with you on this!!!

    Great news.

  • still looking looking….i may be wrong, but i think it’s a Japanese pic (that’s why i thought at first Araki), but hunting hunting….pouring over my japanese books..

  • Hey I gotta feeling its a ring-in too!

    I kept thinking, wow, how’d that person get that really 50’s/60’s feel?

    I reckon it was shot on neg definitely- and I don’t know something about the wit of the thing, its pretty unique!

    Of course it does make me laugh though, regardless who ‘authored’ it!

  • All you readers with substantial photobook libraries:

    perhaps the “Les” photo is by, if not Les, then Ralph Gibson ??????
    Although possibly not graphic enough for RG but grain-wise, yes…

    An early Annie L, maybe????

    Thinking it’s not Japanese… sure does look familiar…

  • Regarding “LES”…

    I went back to his/her original post and checked the EXIF data on the uploaded photo: nada.

    BUT… the link from his/her name goes to a typepad, with a URL ending with “shikuro”.

    I googled a bit, and found out that there is a Les Shikuro who is a member of the Leica forum:


  • hmmm
    sounds like you’re onto something legit, asher

  • The shot of Les came from somewhere in the self portrait post, that’s for sure. And I think if you look on the gallery that I built there is more than one submission from Les, but I wasn’t really policing that. I do vaguely recall (but could be wrong) that the winning entry didn’t fall within the time frame given for the contest, but I think many didn’t. That’s all I know off the top of my head.

  • I hope I’ve transformed into an “expander” after all this time being a stay at home dad. I’ve learned so much. About human nature and photography. I think my best photo days are in front.

    I’ve been a bit of a stranger around here recently. Rather a lot of difficult stuff happening. And all the while trying to get off a few frames.

    I recently became a reluctant executor challenged with dividing the proceeds of a two family home in Queens between three. My cousin and next of kin to the decedent, has only just gotten out of prison having been there most all his adult life. I had to put on my old hack hat to track him down. Finally did through the NY State Police.

    He’s a nice guy but has no clue as to how the outside world operates in the 21st century. And he never got to see his mum before she passed.

    Anyways, I’ve got to sort all this shit out and pack my house at the same time ahead of our move to London. Movers come on Friday. Then we’re off to DC/Baltimore before returning to New York for our flight out on the 26th.

    And there’s so much yet for me to do. I’m also trying to finish a book for a July 14th deadline.

    On top of all this I had my first experience of a big medial scare. I went to the doctor to have some stuff removed from my skin only to be told I have high blood pressure. Fucking nightmare. I hardly drink much. I don’t smoke. And I walk everywhere very fast. I’m a frenetic guy.

    My wife says to wait until I’m settled in London before I test myself again when all this STUFF sorts itself out. Perhaps then my pulse will have slowed.

    I think the blood pressure scare is a result of my not making as many pictures as I’d like to be making. And worst of all is getting some major inspiration in the middle of all the crap and not being able to do anything about it. That’s the worst kind of stress. Wouldn’t you say?

    Here’s one I managed to make during the week. Not brilliant but not bad either.

    Looking forward to the “revelation”.

    I’m knackered. Dismantled loads of shelves today. I’m packing it in for the night.

    Good night world.

  • Now you got me intrigued too. Did a google image search of les shikur, photos and came up with an image that is also from (as was Les’s posted image link on the Self Portrait thread). The link to the image I found on the google search was

    Les’s link to his winning self portrait on Road Trips was

    The image that turned up on the google search was from this blog:

    I think we’ve found our man!

    Patricia who now needs to go to bed

  • Paul, holding you in good energy as you make your way through the next couple of weeks. May all go well. BTW your wife’s advice sounds good. What you’ve been experiencing of late would send anyone’s blood pressure through the roof! Once you get settled in London I’d guess your body will settle down too.

    Love your latest portrait of your son and his friend! Your photos are filled with such life!


  • PAUL

    I agree with your wife and Patricia- when my Mum died three years ago, well to put it bluntly it was a family free for all. Anyway long, long story in fifty words or less but I gave up my house, life etc and went to look after her (she was 24/7 care)

    As a result my blood pressure sky rocketed, facial tics the whole bit, but once I managed to establish some boundaries with my family (even though the fight between my siblings continues, I have just walked away) it dropped again and I am really very healthy (Apart from having had kidney stones at a really bad time!)

    Its the stress, you are doing two of the most stressful things in the world, dealing with a death and moving. Give yourself a break and just take time, NOTHING is worth jeopardizing your health for.

    BRUZ BoB, BIG SIS PAT, your search for Les has put me on to a whole bunch of Japanese Photographers I have never seen before!!!!

    Its fantastic to discover these guys, check ’em out!

    Ken Domon, Hiroshi Hamaya, Tadahiko Hayashi, Eikoh Hosoe, Yasuhiro Ishimoto, Kikuji Kawada, Ihee Kimura, Shigeichi Nagano, Ikko Narahara, Takeyoshi Tanuma, Shomei Tomatsu

    Some of there work is really great!

  • Patricia i think you should be a sleuth, nice work. seems as though the mystery man is revealed and that the picture is an original.

  • congratulations guys! :-)


  • uhhh… one and half day and new one hundred comments. When read it? How to keep up?
    hmmmmm… this is really great…


    No youtube… show me new photos… show me… :)


    I will work at “hometown” soon. If nothing change (my life is unpredictable) I will finish this essay during two-three weeks.


    one more thanks for help.

    peace, must run

  • Happy 4th … a wonderful day with family … a postcard from my family to yours …

    best to all,

  • Dear DAH,

    I’m still a bit overwhelmed discovering that my self portrait was featured as number four on the slideshow..DAMN!
    Considering the fact that i have only recently discovered your wonderful blog(s) and this great forum.
    i must be honest,my submission was made waaaay later the given and time,and still you were so kind to take it into consideration.
    this forum is definitely a place i’d love to spend some time on.

    Thank you so very much!

    Cheers from Israel!:)


    Thanks to you i’ve discovered the work of Laura El-Tantawy,her project “stay another day” pretty much broke my heart…

  • Hang in there Paul, all that stuff goes by and the feeling of inspiration will stay and help you find new things to do in a new land. I know, after my initial disappointment with the UK I now have the start of a long term project here which, unfortunately, I will have to work on during infrequent, short trips back because of returning to Japan with its attendent family and work pressures.
    But I am not complaining because this is a good place to come and get inspired and motivated even if I feel moving forward to sometimes be impossible I know it isn’t, actually. I really love the energy here: Mr Harvey of course who is the sun warming all our cold, leaden dreams of greatness, but Bob and Panos and Sidney and Marcin and Erica and Aga and…well just everyone. Everyone it seems at times has problems, fears and time pressures and still despite it all, a passion for this strange plastic art of ours. I have learnt much lurking, and occasionally commenting here and my shooting style has changed and I hope improved, I will post a link when I have time to sort new work, but it is the pressing need to do this, to be judged and helped, guided and pushed that I take from here and wish to be part of. It is humbling to know that the best among us still doesn’t always find it easy and yet all of you are still getting out and producing work. Mr Harvey, who I think is the wisest man i have never met, cleverly pushes us with what at first seem light requests and ideas. He also takes no excuses and that is as it should be, in reality there are none and when everyone believes that just look where these ideas go. Great things will come from this forum, of that I am sure and I feel motivated to be part of that. My current biggest influence is the Scottish photographer, Jeremy Sutton Hibbert, who said on his Tokyoland blog post here:
    something I think everyone will understand. He never takes excuses from me as to why I can’t do this or that, after all he’s done it. When I counter that he is a professional photographer and blah blah blah he just reminds me that he wasn’t born a professional photographer and then I ask how to be (and I am sure I have annoyed him to hell asking) he just says nothing and leaves me to read his words and look at his images and then I get it, like Mr Harvey, his energy and love of photography is the most motivating thing and it took me a while to get it. The wannabe herd is crowded these days and of course, like everyone, I was looking for some “secret” or “short-cut” to bring me success. The posts here and before about just working hard and doing it really hit home and I am determined even though I am truely busy with family life like Paul. I really feel there is no excuse now and Paul’s beautiful pics of his family prove that. Jeremy won’t let sit on my arse, Mr Harvey won’t let anyone sit on their arse, the message from these pro shooters living our dreams is “get off your arse and take pictures” (excuse the English English for international readers). To repeat, what I love about this place is there are no lazy people here, except me, so I’m off to use my camera if I can right now.
    Many thanks to Mr Harvey and all the great and good people here.

  • I’ve just been two days away and now I have 4 new pages to read and a lot of links to new works! this blog is like a river moves so fast
    I’m happy you back David
    I am going to read what I missed
    back soon again


    Just to reflect what Jeremy Sutton Hibbert said in that linked post, I agree you have to get off your backside and DO all the time.

    The reason I am online so much is ‘cos if I am not shooting I am applying for some fund/grant/prize all the time, plus trying to get editors to give me a job.

    I reckon the odds to be about one in ten to be considered for prizes with an exhibition component, (I am not talking world press here) about one in two hundred to win a grant or prize and one in five hundred to be funded for something.

    So really the odds are better than the lottery so you just have to get out and apply. I whinge and moan a lot but then something comes up and I am back on top and its all good again.

    Just need something right now, unfortunately, but hey I’ve got until the 18th before they forcibly remove me from my place!

    Gotta love this job!

  • Lisa;

    Keep ypur chin up, I’m sure something will come up for you… But like you say you do need to be out there all the time drumming up work.

    Have you ever thought of private sponsorship for a particular project? that’s another string I’m trying to work on at the moment…

    Also, I flicked you off an email yesterday with a few ideas, hopefully it may help..


  • wow!
    i couldn’t believe it that i’ll make it… cool! I have no words… (I’m well too excited with it)
    The picture from Les is awesome and David is very brave (for my sense) with the picture! both are amazing!

    and this is finally the first time I have ever won something. no kidding. thank you…

    uuhhmm yess… address…

    Suryo Wibowo / Christa Elim
    Tambakbayan TB-IV, Nr.7
    Babarsari, Yogyakarta, 55281



    Your comments make me reflect on my own path… I must say that photography has helped me a lot in order to EDIT my own life! but also to enjoy the “fugitive moments” that give us great joy…

    On another topic it seems that you are coming back to Europe next August… I missed you last time but I wont be around in August… grrrr…Im heading to South Africa in a couple of weeks so any chance that you go there this year? :)

    Ohhh and by the way I have been looking at Lee Friedlander “America by car” photos which reminded me of your project…


  • Nice work Patricia.

    So it seems that the mystery winner is probably Les Shikuro, who is based on Toronto, and is a member of the Leica forum.

    BOB: Can you check him out in your phone book??? I would do it myself but I won’t be in town for another 3 weeks!

  • Now, Asher, don’t give ME the credit! YOU were the one to ferret out our brother Les’s last name & that he’s part of the Leica forum. Congratulations go to YOU!!!!


  • Excellent!! I am very glad we found the author of the picture.



    well, i disappeared from the keyboard to host a small July 4th “see the fireworks” party and the “forum detectives” went to work!!!

    Patricia, i think it is you who actually went in there and found Les Shikuro…Many thanks to Asher, Bob and David as well…i had to skim the posts this morning, so i do not know the whole story yet…

    Please pardon my “paranoia” in the first place, but i did have a serious “joke” entry under the EPF where one of my Magnum photog buddies pulled a joke on us and submitted some of his work under a fake name just to see if we would catch it…it was either that or his assistant did it…in any case, ever since then, i have been on the “lookout”…

    the Les photograph did look referential to something, but i could not put my finger on it…anyway, all is well and Les Shikuro deserves full credit for making a truly remarkable image..

    step up Les and get your round of applause!!!


    i remember you telling me that Peter came to see you and work with you…and you mention his Harper’s work often…nice man, Peter…

    the Magnum annual meeting will be in London next summer…we rotate between the three offices… any case, you are invited as of right now!!

    you may recall many months ago that i was very interested in you…i even said that if i ever decided to make a film or do a screenplay , i could see basing it on you (or my imagination of you)…do you remember that?? based on how you described yourself…in your office….looking outside….but your computer being your “way out” so to speak…maybe i have it all wrong, but i think that is the gist of it…

    i think i also suggested at some point that you photograph your office…maybe that is exactly what you do not want to do…you need to tell me what interests you have, what your fantasies are, what you learned from Peter that would apply to you etc etc…let’s start thinking now about an assignment for you that would be fun and push you to your next level….up for it??


    no, you do not want the Filson med field bag…very heavy even when empty..looks cool, but the weight will kill you and besides you would need to put a different kind of strap on it anyway…the new lighter version, with the larger buckles and wide cotton strap (whatever the name is??) is very nice, although Arie said he did not like the color..color seems fine to me…anyway, color aside, this is the bag to have…waterproof, light, discreet, will age well….this is the one you saw me with in Paris..

    hey boys, just come to my loft and go bag shopping!! i mean, i have way way too too many bags…i am very economical when it comes to camera gear…totally minimalist… but bags!!

    cheers, david

  • SISTA LISA :)))))…

    yes, many of those japanese photographers have been the pulp-beat of my heart: of course moriyama and araki, but for sure also hosoe, Shomei Tomatsu, Domon, Hiroshi Hamaya (a book of his work was just recently published here and it’s gorgeous!),

    YOU (EVERYONE) should also see the work of beloved KIYOSHI SUZUKI…his book “SOUL AND SOUL” was just published and the work shown at Noderlicht…i posted a link to his work for Daivd and the Community a few months back here, take a look:


    as for Les’s self=portrait,…well, i give up…’s still a magnificent and hilariously brilliant selfportrait/snap :)))…and Les, nonetheless, is in Toronto!…small world indeed….hoping he comes forward, cause my brain is so withered now ;)))…like “false memory”, it drove me crazy (maybe it was the hours of night shooting too), that damn pic looks so familiar: Les, have you exhibited here in toronto??

    running away for the day…


  • ASHER:

    BELIEVE IT OR NOT, MARINA AND I DONT HAVE A PHONE BOOK! ;))))))…and no cell phone…..we really are a minimalist family…..not much furniture, not much on walls but art, not much food….but lots of books and lots of love (Tamara v can confirm!)….but, sadly, no phonebook….i saw Les blog and read the comments at Leica forum…(o my god, google is scary ;)) )…thank god i share the same name as an anarchist-lawyer/socialist from Seattle and some kind of street photographer (neither of whom is me) so i have a modicum of privacy ;)))….

    but, the photograph is brilliant and hats off to Les for not only humor and elan but also for doing a pic that alludes to another…maybe i saw this pic in some exhibition in Toronto…or maybe i’ve seen too many fricking photographs ;)))..

    ok, have to make breakfast and run…full day with mrs. b..


  • David,

    I was able to catch the Magnum Korea show today. Very interesting. What a LOT of photos!

    First, your photos were a special treat for me since I think I was there when you took most of them. Certainly the one of the girl descending the blue stairway or the one at the Dress Cafe I believe I was within a few feet of you when you took it.

    A lot of really interesting perspectives. Alex Majoli’s dyptychs were great, and generally his collection there stuck in my mind a lot. Also Lise Sarfati’s photos and Pinkhassov.

    Wish: I wish d’Agata was one of the guys shooting…

  • I left the Les with a blog a note..

    It’s late in the morning, 10:45 am.. normally doing my morning checking in with the blog a couple of hours before this, but DAH had a wonderful party in his new space last night, and kept us up past our bedtimes.

    The most amazing thing is how the community is real, and in the flesh. The fireworks were dazzling from the roof as a gentle but steady rain came on down, but the real beauty was the heart and joy that came from DAH’s expansive reach. I can’t help but think that David is doing something not only kind and pleasurable for the moment, but is making liaisons that will last in the future in significant ways.

  • ERICA :))

    did you hook up with Tamara??….and no more reports about Kibbutz and DAH parties without pics!!!!…since most of us have still not made it to the promised land….at least not yet ;)))….

    ok, running for real..


  • BOB…

    thanks for the link to Kiyushi Suzuki….i have seen some of this before, but i am always blown away by Japanese photographers…i mean, it makes me want to do a post on photography style and culture…surely, none of us who are from the West could take those pictures…really fascinating how different cultures quite literally “see” the world…same with Korean Kyunghee Lee here…nobody photographs like she does here on the forum..

    you have obviously been influenced most by the East…shows in your work….i “feel” influenced by Japanese culture, but it does not show up in the pictures themselves…it shows up more in certain aspects of my behavior, but not in the work…my college room mate and lifetime friend Masaaki Okada (designed “Tell It Like It Is) was a tremendous source of enlightenment for me…and i have spent many months in Japan…

    ok, i have to travel today, but please remind me at some point to go down this road a bit more…

    Mike and i driving down to Carolina OBX to shoot a couple of families…and i have perhaps fallen in love with an old beach house which i cannot afford, but we will check it out anyway…

    many thanks for your “detective work”…so funny we both had the same feeling about that picture….it is probably because we have seen so much Japanese and Korean photography, that it had a “familiar feel” to it…

    good day to you mi amigo…

    cheers, david

  • RAFAL…

    yes, you are the only one from this forum who has been with me when i was actually working…that rarely happens….and yes, you were right beside me when i took those pictures…

    i was very disappointed with the Korea book however…different from the exhibit…i saw the book proofs in Paris….originally we were each supposed to have our own section or essay and then the producers “backed off” and decided to do a “mix” which probably helps sell the book to a mass audience, but was not the first plan…go back and read my comments to Sidney on this topic…the Korea book ended up looking like one of those “Day in the Life…” anthologies which are never really rewarding from a photographer standpoint….

    anyway, many thanks again for all the aid you gave me in Seoul….you were a real resource….and you were the first person i “met” from this forum…and i am pleased with 4 or 5 of the photographs i made because of your help..

    cheers, david

  • DAVID :))))

    one hand typing, one hand eating oatmeal (is this a japanese Koan? ;)) )…yes, i couldnt agree more with you…japanese photographers and photography has so split my soul wide wide open and there is such a rich amazing tradition there, it still amazes me that so few photographers know about it other than the giants, like Moriayama, Araki, Hosoe and Tomatsu…but what i love about Japanese PHotographic tradition is that they celebrate the Photo Book like noone else in the world…and people BUY photo books there (maybe it’s the manga/imagery thing, i dont know)…no surprise that kYung Hee is being published in Japan (hoping the same happens with me and marina)…i actually do detect Japanese visual style in your work…actually david, your work is like a buddhist whose found himself in latin america: all the colors and bodies and joy is definitely Latin/Mediterrean/Brazilian, but the silence, the spaces, the sadness, the quiet eroticism, the meditative use of space in most of your work (divided soul, cuba) is very zen…and i dont mean zen in the way most people thing…marina and i meditate, and i feel it there….and you are right about my own work, which most likely stems from this broken life, child in asia, raised in america, torn under by the silence of collision…also why immediately gravitated to KyungHee’s work……maybe it’s why i told u long ago to show your Vietnamese work…it’s a brilliant contrast to LatinAmerican work…only the opposite…and i noticed when you speak, you speak with a very specific manner: like a surfer (me too), and surfer’s are reat zen monks whove gotten fucked more often in the good way (by the ocean, by the sun, by life, by love, by lovers, etc)…it shows…and u give back, large and small…that’s very meditative, believe me…surfing…water lay at the heart of that understanding, and it’s in ur blood, in ur pics…mine too….

    and send me a note when u get to OSX…i havent forgotten my promise to Chris B to write something for him, a memory, just need to finish the writing and shooting for bones of time…by the way, also, remember, if u need/think about charlotte: u gotta a place to crash, and families to shoot…



  • ps.


    Mike is a GREAT GUY…(he used to be my little brother for drinking, but not my little tea brother!)…Mike took 2 of David’s WORKSHOPS (Still raves about the experience)…AND David showed some of his Kenya work at FOP/LOOK3…it’s magnificent (i was there with Marina for his exhibition)…Mike is a great guy, thoughtful young man, great photographer and deeply loving…i am happy and proud to call him my friend!…enjoy


  • oop, i meant he’s NOW (not ‘not’) my TEA DRINKING BROTHER :))

    ok, not, im way behind…shooting, shopping and appointment..




    Thanks for the credit, but I love Emerson’s famous quote “There is no limit to what can be accomplished if it doesn’t matter who gets the credit.” It was a team effort! Also, let me use this opportunity to tell you that I think your photographs are very strong and unique. For what it’s worth, I agree with DAH’s comment that the “darker” photos have a more intriguing “brooding” feel (apologies if I misinterpreted your comments, David).

    BOB: Why am I not surprised you don’t have a phone book??? ;-)

    JULY 4: THE ANTI-CUBA (shot this yesterday).
    Does it remind you of a bad dream version of the cover shot of DAH’s CUBA???

    could this be the start of a wacky suburbia/Americana photo essay, like Bill Owens meets Martin Parr???


  • But I thought Snoop Dog was the President of Berzerkistan and Panos was his press secretary. However, I may have been misinformed.

  • It’s a bong? ………no, I am not going to ask the next question………

  • You know, I love those two old guys…

    …but the chef is still a foreigner, dammit!

  • BOB, thank you for posting the link on Mike Berube … simply incredible and Mike’s depth, commitment and light shines through in this darkness. He will have a great life i think.

    When i see such important work as this, and see it juxtaposed in my mind with the unconcious crap at the grocery store checkstand, and frankly nearly all the periodicals at the bookstore even, i suspect my feelings are just a small bitter taste of what Mike experienced when he returned home from this journey to listen to people talk about TV show plots in the local cafe.

    “Most” people, it would seem, do not want to see the world as it is in this age of entertainment news … and yet, i think there are many, many more who would look, think, given the chance. I keep coming back to this … when i had a small publication and published “real” stories on occassion, i was so surprised at the number of people who said “thank you,” people i never even suspected would even read it, or think about it, or have something to say about it.

    Here, with Mike’s work, with something so important as this, and with the many others out there putting it all out there and on the line to have something to say, to show the world, how will the world see it? It is great to get recognition from fellow photographers and even notice from editors et al, but it falls way, way short of enough …

    WHERE is the vehicle for this important work to be shown to the world???!!!????!!!???? A light is needed to focus on those pointing the light in the right directions. I believe, I have always believed, that publications/media CAN have both a profitable and fulfulling mission at the same time, that they do not give even close to enough credit to the general public, to people’s depth and intelligence and capacity to care and love …

    … not everyone wants to stroke themselves into Reagan-era unconcious mindlessness … and i see people, a lot of people here in America, wanting to wake up … someone just needs to point us toward the light …

    Who will hold the torch? The cycle has looped, now is the time. Please …

  • I did see the book and I wont buy it unless I get a MAJOR discount. It i as you say, a big mix of different styles…I do think that it will sell better because of it but I dont think its for me. I do have 90 bucks burning a hole in my poicket and I need to go and buy something..and theres a great little book store, more like a corner booth run by this old Korean guy, where he sells amazing photography books (Western and Japanese….New York by Klein, Americans by Frank, tons of Japenese stuff since you guys were talking about Japanese photographers), though as always in Korea, VERY VERY expensive. The Magnum Korea book is 100 dollars…thats why I wont be buying it. The exhibition was very good though..thats how the book should have been organized.

  • Hi everyone thank you for the selection, I’m stunned that i won. I’ve been traveling in Toronto and will be in NYC on Monday 7th. Will it pbe possibe to pick it up in person? :)

    Thank you David for this competition and to everyone who participated, and also to Erica McDonald who sent me an email informing me of this win.



    Panos…Thanks a lot for posting my message. Here’s another one when you get the chance mate.

    Thanks for the positive reaction to this new feature. I really wanted to tackle the subject of air pollution in a different way than has been done before. I like the repetition and I think with the music, a tight edit and a few facts thrown in, really helps to focus the message in a way that will be remembered.

    I like your idea of the book in a number of chapters. I’ve thought of something along those lines before. It’s a good idea. Okay, I’m happy with 2 of the chapters, desertification and air pollution…now what grabs me for the other 3? Will get thinking.

    I’m flattered that you want a copy of the book since it’s only 2/5 shot so far! Loved your story about your senior moment by the way.

    Post-apocalyptic is exactly how I saw the images too! Seriously, I thought that after I had only shot 2 or 3 photos. Without being melodramatic, climate change in the wrong way is an apocalyptic subject. I want people to feel a little scared looking at those pictures.

    Thanks for your kind words. I’m just trying to make small statements about what I’m seeing out here. I hope they find a voice and alert people to the challenges we are all facing.

    Thankyou for your kind words too. I saw some of your new aquarium pictures on LS. Really beautiful. Hope we see lots mores soon!

    A beautiful song that seems fairly apt for recent discussions.

    “People help the people” – Cherry Ghost

  • ok ok i’ve calmed myself down now and read through all the comments above, and you guys are truly wonderful! Thank you all for putting so much effort into tracking me down.

    I’m so sorry for not responding earlier, I’m currently back in Toronto for my wedding and will be going to NYC on Monday 7th July. If it is at all possible, I would love to pick it up in person and possibly shake David’s hand and thank him for this :). However if that’s not possible i’ll send you my address.

    Thank you thank you thank you!!! I’m so excited and happy for this win, especially within such a talent pool.


  • thank you ANNA…
    like I said I can’t copy and paste .. at this moment..
    Last night I “found”
    Jim Morrison’s reincarnation in Venice once
    more. I followed him…
    peyote , mushrooms and Xanax !!!
    “He” was messing with the light..
    he was following the light .
    until he got “burned” once again.
    no it wasn’t a dream…
    Not a fantasy either…
    I DID find JIM MORRISON and Pam..

    hopefully I’ll make it home at some point,
    so I can post my last adventure from Venice.
    I want you ALL to witness..
    its all on film.. No bullshit..
    Jim Morrison is STILL alive..

  • For those who found this picture familiar you may be on my contact list on Flickr or have browsed through my Flickr page as this is my icon.


    Thanks for the indication on the japanese photographers and the book. I’m researching a bit more right now. You are an encyclopedia man!


    What about the idea I’ve seen in a previous post of using Disqus (Blog manager) with your blog? Didn’t work or you couldn’t try it yet?

    Ari B.

  • Hi Lex,

    Congratulations on your picture!! You deserve the first prize and we look forward seeing you work on this blog.


  • LES :))

    CONGRATULATIONS again…that pics is so cool and i am happy you turned up…dont be shy, not that the bedsheets have been removed ;)))…MAYBE MAYBE MAYBE THAT’S WHERE I REMEMBER THE PIC, FROM FLICKR…my head is stuffed (too much) with images…we might have mutual friends…anyway, welcome aboard!…u familiar with IndexG gallery?…wondering if somehow our paths have crossed…

    ok, mrs. we’re late for shoot..happing shooting y’all


  • Sean G:

    Wo de pengyou ah, ni zuijin zenme yang? Hau jiu bu jian!

    Great work on the air pollution in Beijing and finding a new and distinctive- and yes, menacing- way to show it.

    Just two suggestions for your ‘remaining three’ chapters, after desertification and air pollution: I think the consensus among environmental scientists, geographers, and planners is that the single greatest long-range and large-scale environmental problem facing China is water- chiefly the lack of it, and water pollution, but also flooding, fair apportionment, etc. Both Chang Lee and Ruth Fremson of the NY Times, among others, have covered this extensively, but if you could come up with a different approach to showing China’s water problems as you did with the air pollution essay, that would be a significant topic.

    The other very big environmental topic in China is loss of prime farmland, not through desertification but through urbanization and industrialization and exploitive development that favors the rich. I’m sure you could find lots of creative ways to approach this one.

    (And I just thought of another- tainted food supply, which is of concern not only to the Chinese but also to countries they export to: the US, Japan, South Korea, etc.)

    Hope these ideas may prove helpful in stimulating your own thought processes. Really looking forward to seeing more of your work as you move forward on this project.

    Zai jian ba!



    I finished up my ride alongs with the Baltimore Police last night spending July 2nd-4th with them.

    July 3rd was a very violent night with 4 people SHOT in a half hour period all within a six block radius. I was there minutes after the first victim was shot and would love feed back from my edit… I need just one image of the three or four I posted… thanks for the feedback in advance.

  • DAVID,

    Hope you saw my previous post above re: Santa Fe.
    I’ve been putting the word out looking for families for you to shoot.
    I’ve got a bunch of good leads but will need some advance warning so they can be available for you.

    Would you like a description of some of the possibilities?

    P.S. “Young lady” was the best compliment I’ve received in quite a while!

  • bob, young tom:

    thank you both for your kind words.

    i think publications here have a major focus now on iraq and palestine now that they are all over the news but i do find that publications in italy and france and other parts europe publish allot of stories that deal with social issues that no one ever hears about.

    glad you like the work. and do not worry… i do not get mad at everyone when i am eating in a public place. what i felt and what they wrote about in the article… that is called culture shock… it goes away but you still never forget in the back of your mind. i just talk to bob about it now.


  • Oh my god. Jonathan. They are all powerful but #47 is the one I will NEVER forget. It kicked me in the stomach and brought me to tears. And I don’t cry easily. Excellent, excellent work.


    no 61 is my FAVORITE…

    MIKE B,
    again, GREAT WORK!

  • Excellent work Jonathan. Of the first 4 photos, I think #48 is the strongest, and I agree with Panos: #61 is my favorite.

  • Jonathan- I also really like #56 and 59.

  • Jonathan:
    #61 as it reveals more about #59 (the fact it does’nt appear to be a young woman)

    Way to not blink. You chose the right project for you. Please share your final edit with us?

    thank you.. i just received the photos in the mail….!!!
    i didnt know you are from SPARTA…

    ok.serious now!…
    you are a fast photographer….
    i believe you deserve to get involved in fasteer pacing projects…
    i thing that the “garage sale” thing is slowing you down…
    its not your style…
    DAVID pleaase give DAVID another assignment…
    something like…
    sorry….. dont know!!!

    but seriously, now, once more , i look at the photos you sent me DAVID Mc G,
    and… tears coming down…
    thank you bro, i owe you BIG TIME…

  • David McG,
    you look more like a “rock concert” NME ( england ),
    type of style… like slow speed action shots…
    DMG, am i wrong ???

  • JIM MORRISON appears in VENICE beach…

    following JIM MORRISON all around Venice… 4th of july 2008
    “Nobody ( around Venice Beach at least, believes that JIM MORRISON is dead )…
    I proved it…
    please click below…

    ALL THAT, last night……_4th_of_july.html

    MARCIN…thank you for “pushing”… peace!


    Would you be willing to post just a little preview/teaser/taste of your Family project????


  • Dear Arie and Bobblack thank you for your kind words.

    I am unfamiliar with IndexG gallery, infact I’ve been stationed in Singapore for the past two years hence I’ve been out of touch with the happenings in Toronto.

    By the way what’s the best way to contact DAH? Through the email address on his profile?

    buzzinfly AT gmail DOT com

  • Altough, i would like to see you ALL here…:( mainly because of the counter!!!)…_4th_of_july.html

    if for any reason you live in china click here:

    ( full screen slideshow )

  • Sidney,
    there’s something that struck me as bizarre
    in your post about photographers having photographed China ( just thinking loud…not meant as criticism) …..why is there NOT one single Chinese photographer mentioned ?
    How come Owen Lattimore pops up in relation with Mao ,but not- just one example- Mao’s offical photographer couple Xu Xiaobing & Huo Bo ( both legends over here ) ?
    Why have there been so little efforts to promote Chinese photographers in the West ?

    There’s been Jonathan Spence & Chin Anping’s awsome ” The Chinese Century ”
    (the end of Qing Dynasty up to 1995 shown through -mostly- the eyes of Chinese photographers with Spence’s introductions) …or Li Zhensheng’s private archive “Red Colour News Soldier” promoted by Robert Pledge…. it’s both great books that give unique insights … Spence is one of the world’s most renowned Sinologists , Pledge – among others things- a long term China watcher ….. but : shouldn’t be there much more ? ….especially since suddenly there’s been so much interest in all things Chinese ?

    How many people have heard of Aniu, Ling Fei,Han Lei, Lu Guang, Mao ( aka: Lu Nan )..3 shadows gallery , 798, Timezone8 etc etc etc the list is endless…… and that’s only a tiny handful….

  • Katherina,

    I think you should ask that of the Chinese. For example, I was recently in Shanghai and wanted to buy some Chinese photography books, as I was curious about contemporary Chinese photography. I found NOTHING to buy, mostly some random albums and photoshop tutorial books. Nothing about contemporary Chinese photography.


    How I wished you guys were with me tonight as I heard–experienced is more like it–Derrick May mix it up at Detroit’s City Fest street fair. Oh my god but this guy is good!!! Of course being an acknowledged king of the “Detroit sound” doesn’t hurt when it comes to electronic music! I was right behind the barricade just twenty feet from the Master as he sent the crowds into orbit around the moon. I thought of Bob B as I found myself transported into some sort of a Zen state. Amazing! Anyway I got to talk to Derrick briefly after his set and he kindly posed for this picture:

    I f***in’ LOVE this guy!!!

    Grandma Techno

  • Rafal,
    I have lived in China for about 15 years now and believe it or not : you find a lot if you look around…and this despite the potential censorship problem which in theory does not apply to a Western country …. There have been so many photo editors, editors , etc coming here to look at galleries , photo festivals ,taught in seminars etc….and therefore I find it bizzare that somehow we don’t see much translated into western publications … Chinese art( photography) has become pretty dominant outside China…why then not other genres ?

  • Katharina,

    Wie geht’s? Zenme yang? Nice to hear from you! Been thinking of you lately, and I loved your two self-portraits.

    First, I should mention that there are at least a few photos in this ‘Inside China’ book by Li Zhensheng, Wu Yinxian, and Shen Qilai. And quite a number of both historical and more recent photos by ‘Photographer Unknown’ who one suspects may have been Chinese photographers who sold photos to Western news agencies and no one kept track of their names (?) (Also, I know the ‘Chinese Century’ book you mentioned and enjoyed it very much. But that is a rather different kind of book, more historical. This book is more of a hybrid, a little bit historical, a little bit contemporary, and a little bit of a trendy photographic showcase for already known Western photographers).

    But still, you are quite justified in asking, where are the Chinese photographers in a photo book on China? I think there are a couple of answers. The first is, this book is for a Western marketplace, and the ‘name’ photographers are ones known in the West, or at least known to the editors of this book. Even though we live in a somewhat globalized world, there are still big walls separating regional cultural-linguistic blocks. Right now contemporary Chinese artists are all the rage in New York and other art market centers, so within a few years Chinese photographers may also be better known. If Chinese photographers in large numbers start showing up at Perpignan, Arles, Look3, or other Western photography-insider cocktail parties, then it may happen faster (?).

    Something else is, I think, also at work here. Language is a big barrier, of course. For many Westerners, Chinese, Korean, or Vietnamese names are hard to pronounce and hard to remember. We tend to read, listen to, watch, and rely on media, information, and entertainment in our own language, and somehow to trust it more. There is a racial, linguistic, and cultural bias, that we may be only partially aware of, that suggests that Western photographers or writers may be more ‘honest’ or more ‘accurate’ than Asians covering their own countries. And unfortunately, the Chinese photography that most people in the West see is stuff like ‘China Pictorial’ which is cliche’d, heavily over-saturated color, sentimentalized and posed propaganda. This reinforces our prejudice that ‘these people’ can’t be trusted to do ‘serious work’.

    Of course, if one takes the time and trouble to explore, one can find many treasures, as Bob Black has done with Japanese photographers, as you have done with Chinese photographers (or as I am doing with one of my own current passions, Korean films and soap operas). But most of us are lazy, and most of the people who put out photo books these days, in America at least, are conservative. Especially National Geographic!

    I don’t know if the Chinese photographers you mention have made an effort to be seen outside China or to publish their work in Western languages, but I can give an example from my own experience of a Japanese photographer friend, somebody I worked with in the environmental movement in Japan the 80s and 90s who is a very well-known (in Japan) photojournalist of social and environmental causes, Itoh Takashi. In addition to his many other projects around Asia, he has made numerous trips to North Korea and has had freedom of access there to everyday life that no Western photographer that I know of has. Mostly what you see in the Western press are the cliche photos of propaganda posters and monuments in Pyongyang and the ‘Arirang’ mass games. Recently there was a photo book called ‘Inside North Korea’ that I thought was a joke… aside from the usual tourist shots of downtown Pyongyang, most of the other photos were actually taken with big telephoto lenses from ‘outside North Korea’ (!!), on the Chinese bank of the Yalu or the southern side of the DMZ!!! Itoh, on the other hand, has visited farms, villages, schools, hospitals, factories, etc. in the countryside and on multiple repeat visits. But his work has only been published in Japanese language outlets, his web site is in Japanese, if you don’t read the Japanese media, you would never know this guy existed. Here’s a web address for some of his North Korean work:
    (All in Japanese, of course, but I know you can read Chinese characters so you may get something out of it). I don’t necessarily think that Itoh is a brilliant world-class photo artiste dripping with ‘authorship’, but he is a journeyman photojournalist whose work deserves to be seen more widely, especially by anyone interested in North Korea.

    I must confess that I too am ignorant about much of what is happening in photography in China these days. I was familiar with Li Zhensheng, but the other names you mention are new to me. Where can I see their work?

    Fahr wohl,


  • Panos Panos Panos

    I knew that you only need the time. Work hard and long and you will have great potrfolio soon.
    best for me:

    “Jim Morrison’s shadow follows” !!!!!!!!

    “Jim, reaching the light” !!!!!

    Jim running towards his “death”… Pam unable to stop him!! excellent!!!!

    Now you have better frames, better composition, you should work more at “right moment”. Look at David’s work.

    then work more at humans emotion.

    mood and color you have right now.

    Correct some things and then you will be really great photographer. It have to be your next nature. You should not think about how to do it, you should just do it. the Rest will give you your own life.

    Of course this is my point of view. I think you should not try to be next photojournalist. There is hundreds of great photojournalists in every country in the world. But there is not any signle next Panos. You have reporter’s heart. It is enouht.
    Look at Nan Goldin’s works, Araki’s, Parr’s.

    You are at the right direction.

    Photography is something very simple.

    This is what I think.


  • I can not belive… I just went away for one day (I was busy shooting some funny wedding).. and here are 150 more posts!!! You all will kill me! I have to be totaly jobless to read your blog David ;-) There is no other option :-)

  • AGA,

    With the dynamics here we always miss something…


    Thanks for your contribution on the expansion of our poor knowledge about the eastern culture and art. I found the books you’ve mentioned, at Amazon’s website and checked Timezone8, a valuable reference site about chinese art (lots about photography).


  • Marcin,

    its funny you say that because if you read Magnum Stories its surprising how many Magnum guys say that they arent photojournalists. Yet they tell stories. I dot think the world needs more does need interesting stories though.

  • grandma techno

    nice one – shake some for all of us.. wish i was there.. miss the feeling of base in my chest right now.. derek may is great.. good to have got a decent portrait of him.. gratulaira as they say in norsk-way-land.

    i saw a glacier for the first time this week.. also caught my first fish..
    day to day i am photographing life on the in-laws porch.. in the sun.. then home.. shipping over my negatives and books from the u.k. next.. 1800 usd which we cannot afford.. but i need them.. i need them..

    can everyone slow down the typing until i have finished reading the past posts? ah.. no.. of course.. time and tide..

    back soon.


    right on… keep on feelin’ the beats…
    am at Rock Werchter now, experiencing some great beats… and tonight is Underworld!!!! they are the total rulers when it comes to getting in a trance… no drugs, no booze, just juanita/kiteless and more…

    will try and make a short video for you… images will be near impossible… fingers crossed

    rock on

  • PANOS my man

    wow… “Jim-hangingvenice”… i love it, the color, the composition, the energy, the story i’d imagine…

    strong strong strong image for me


  • Sidney,
    o genki ?, Ni hao,

    ( DAH: sorry for kidnapping your blog here …just one more !)

    Will certainly check out your Japanese photographer friend….would love to see his photos from North Korea !
    As for the Chinese I mentioned : some you may find ( and order ) through or 3shadows gallery ( they have a website) … but seriously there’s so many more…if you are interested in just a general overview/introduction , try and find ” Humanism in China ” ( Chinese title: Zhongguo renben) .
    Some years ago there was a curator from XYZ museum in the US whose plan was to accumulate Chinese documentary photographers and do a book… hm somehow this didn’t happen …
    YOU:… There is a racial, linguistic, and cultural bias, that we may be only partially aware of, that suggests that Western photographers or writers may be more ‘honest’ or more ‘accurate’ than Asians covering their own countries….”

    True… and there’s been also some feeling of superiority from the West…. which at least is gradually changing over here…
    ( big topic..)

    Hm…not sure if the Chinese will show up en masse in Perpignan and elsewhere…. whereas in art there’s money, for everything else there’s very little sponsorship.
    bye-bye le !

  • Hello ALL,

    I have got an edit together of my recent work on HIV/AIDS and TB co-infection in Cambodia. I will need to trim it down slightly so any feedback is most welcome. I feel like it is 80% there though…

    The essay starts with three individuals: Chan Thea who is HIV+ and is also receiving treatment for TB in the MSF Clinic in Siem Reap. Tem Roeun (also HIV+), has developed extra-pulmonary TB in her spine which has caused paralysis in her legs.(extra-pulmonary TB is TB that manifests outside of the lungs), and Yong. Yong is a six-year-old child who was born with HIV.

    The second part of the piece was shot with MSF and CHC (NGOS’s) in Phnom Penh. The hospital in Phnom Pehn is currently treating patients with a drug resistent form of TB, of which cases are growing. Needless to say this is of great concern to the medical community. TB is the most common cause of death for those infected with HIV/AIDS. At 2.2 percent, Cambodia has one of the highest documented rates of HIV/AIDS infection in Southeast Asia, and also has a very high prevalence of TB: An estimated 65 percent of Cambodians carry the opportunistic infection.

    SEAN: Enjoyed your work form Beijing, thanks for posting. Maybe a little long for me but really enjoyed the concept and your style of shooting.

    Who is going to Perpignan this year? After missing Look3 would be great to meet some of you there!



  • Ari,
    I don’t consider myself that knowledgable….but it’s interesting and only fair to look beyond the perception of Westerners……Asia has so much to offer that we don’t get to see/ read/ hear ( or at best we scratch on the surface) because of cultural, linguistic,financial …..barriers.

  • I didn’t like all of it but I did love some of it. Great work everyone and congrats to the winners.

  • Katharina,
    I’ve heard about some famous chinese art photographers, but not much beyond that. There’s some guy doing large format landscapes I think and those prints sell for big money. Forgotten the name though..
    It’s sad that it’s all westeners and I’ve always thought it would be cool if photographers from other cultures like Africa or Asia would go to Europe or the US to shoot. To show another perspective, that WE probably don’t see..



    i’d love to get into japanese/asian photography too… have a few books here, the images are absolutely beautiful and the “seeing” is so refreshingly different to me… but i can’t even read who the photogs are :))))

    i’ll ask my brother to translate and post here…

    ps what i am totally amazed about is the book culture too… they seem to make such beautiful books, not only the physical book, but they have a totally different way of graphic design, mixing words and images,….

    i do learn a lot from it, even if i don’t understand one iota of the language….

    so i’ll be chacking the ones you listed, BOB, KATHARINA and SYDNEY… arigato gozaimas for that…




    “…Photography is something very simple.

    This is what I think.


    Posted by: macin luczkowski | July 06, 2008 at 02:49 AM…”

    ……………………..totally true MARCIN, totally true……………………


    “…I dont think the world needs more does need interesting stories though.

    Posted by: Rafal Pruszynski | July 06, 2008 at 04:14 AM…”

    …………………..totally true RAFAL,totally true……………………………

    ANTON , keep dancing on that euro beat…&
    in the meantime, for whoever missed Jim Morrison’s
    re- appearance last night somewhere in VENICE…
    here it is once again… ok time to go to bed .. 4:51am..…_4th_of_july.html

  • Time is short and written word is not a forte, therefore: Stream of thought ( ):

    No Status Quo. Doing your own thing and being happy with that. No need to please others, only yourself. That is how you do your best work. The small is the large. Change a small thing and it changes big things. So doing your own thing, being your own critic, is rejecting destructive things like nationalism and organized religion and organized thought. When you reject organized thought and reject the need to please someone else, you are yourself, and you do great things because you are doing what you love. You are free. The thinker is the thought. No more division.


    “i remember a lot of my friends getting really really old when they turned 30…lost every ounce of idealism etc….this was a wake up call to me…i was shocked….couldn’t believe it…i.e. the very best actor in our drama school was selling insurance by the time he was 31….

    point is, some people grow narrow early, some expand as they go along…”

    viva expansionistas!!!!”

    Yes, VIVA!!!

    Happy to appear in the Self Portraits gallery (number 30 for thirty years old and for my mum who, unlike me, believes in numbers! Still waiting for the lottery mum!)

    Also happy about winning a prize for photographs submitted to a photography event where photos were taken around one area and edited down to 20 submissions, all in a period of 34 hours ( ). I thank David for the advice of ‘just looking for good pictures’ when out photographing. It let me get loose and it let a story come out.

    Also happy to find out about Michael Nichols’ Last Place On Earth ( ).

    This forum is always an inspiration, and has been a catalyst. I enjoy looking at the great variety of (visual and written!) work here—thank you!

    I give my congratulations and appreciation to all who photograph themselves and the world around them. You make world better!

  • Mornin’ BOB & ALL

    Yes – Tamara and I met up and walked about the streets for a spell before settling in at my favorite Mexican place..the Corner/ La Esquiina..anyone been? Authentic, and 24 hours..a photo project itself, you should see the diversity of types that go there, from white dinner jackets and dancing heels to, well, everything else. T is a lovely soul sister, and we talked ‘girl talk’ all night, something I don’t get to do too often..and of course I got all kinds of insider notes about you, dear BOB and your generous Toronto hospitality!

    BTW, Marina’s site is beautiful (Bob’s ALL, check it out) and it is fantastic to see so many of her images in one place..mysterious, lyrical, fun..I just LOVE the animal shots..and how on earth did she put it together so fast? You weren’t kidding about getting it done..

  • PAUL T

    Try to cut yourself some can’t do everything at once, and you may as well try to enjoy your last bits of time here in the States. Moving is incredibly challenging..hope whatever you are doing in DC brings a bit of rest and relief before the next big push.

    peace to you and the family..

  • anton.. why no photos? not of underworld.. apart from their big stripy lightshow they are boring to look at.. would be great to see all of the other shape-shifting animals around you..

    email me if you have other festival plans.. you’re in europe right?
    could try to hook you up with magazines if you want to do that sort of thing.

    think i have a couple of norsk ones i’ll check out.. pretty firmly parked off-road for a while.. thats the idea though.

    okay – pappa is mowing the lawn.. it’s a big event here in patio-land so i must commit it to.. erm.. digital sensor.

  • KATHARINA :))))

    that was part of my point too about the NG book…by the way, CONTEMPORARY CHINESE PHOTOGRAPHERS ARE AVAILABLE IN THE WEST for those who want to see :)))…

    last year, as part of our projections, we did CONTEMPORARY CHINESE PHOTOGRAPHERS:

    It was curated by Xiao Yi Zhu…one of the photographers, Cao Fei, of course is incredibly famous now ;))…anyway…there was also an on-the-wall real exhibition of their work too at the gallery…almost no photographers went to either the projection or the exhibition last year…..some of my favorite photographers are from Hong Kong, China and Taiwan…but still not much known about them, though their counterparts in other areas are in the west…

    one of my favorite photographers from china, besides Rong Rong, is

    Xing Danwen…She is represented by our friends Holly and Lee Ka-sing (the owners of lee ka sing gallery and indexg)…we dont deal with the gallery anymore, but Xing is worth looking at…5 years ago she was unkown, now she is a superstar…funny, the art world…her website..


  • list of chinese photographers;

    Xing Danwen, Rong Rong, Cao Fei, Du YingNan, Maleonn, Hu JianWen, Huang Xi, Liu LiHong, Tang HaiTao, Wang YiShu, Yan Shi, Yang Fei, Zhang Jin, Zhou XuFan, Wang Zi, Patrick Lee and on and on and on…got lots of names…but no time, do the homework ;)))


  • ERICA :)))


    I am happy you met with Tamara :))..yea, she’s great and a black-family member indeed :)))

    im happy you guys got to talk! :)))

    running, running


  • PANOS :))))….

    LOVE lots of these Jim returns pics…BUT BUT BUT, since when the hell did you ever “CENSOR” YOURSELF???…what’s up with that old man? ;))))…u gonna show folk, wrestling in the venice tunnel, than bring it on, or dont show ;)))))…(i guess venice folk are still private as well)…anyway, love these strange, hallucinatory pics,…keep em coming….

    JAMES CHANCE! :))))…heartbreaking and powerful work…important essay and hoping david will use for assignment…keep us posted….would love to know even more about these specific people and their familiies…thanks james…

    ok, now off for the day..running and got deadlines..


  • GUYS

    I just checked out Marina’s site.

    Get yourself to it straight away, the work is breathtakingly beautiful!!!!

    It is indeed medicine for my eyes!!!!

    Gorgeous, gorgeous stuff!!!!

    That link is again

  • Great example of a consistent vision and a tight edit:

    hasselblad xpan camera, me thinks.

  • Martin,
    agree…what a thought !

    Anton, Bob, Sydney,
    a while ago I had the opportunity to look at some books by new Japanese women photographers ( hm.,will see where I put my list, sorry ) …does any of you have any insights about women photographers ? The photos took you on a journey beyond the ordinary….


    I just feel
    that I discovered a “classic”..
    a “legend”, a “teacher”,
    a “myth”..
    BOB you are so lucky..
    endless inspiration right next to you..
    actually I want to thank you BOTH..
    for your contributions..
    ( I also loved the story of how DIMA used the “family nikon”
    for the first time.. I loved the mood,
    the black and whites , the way you develop
    and expose the films..)
    MARINA great feeling, great work..
    bob , ( smiling ) you got a lot to learn from her..

  • JAMES,

    As usual, I very much like what you are shooting…you are an amazingly prolific photographer. Your HIV story is another powerful story even if this is a tough story on which to innovate as there has been so many on that topic. One of my “favourites” is the work done by Pep Bonet. He has covered this topic across several countries including Asia. I do not know if you are already familiar with his work but I have attached the link underneath if you want to check it out….


    I can tell that you are a B&W family….there is mot certainly a BLACK touch here that links the two of you….I think that you guys have found each other…Your photography seems symbiotic in many ways…Great to have Marina join us on the blog…


    I checked your new site. Looking very good and I liked the edit on your ancestors… Very close to what I had proposed so great to see. I will be at Perpignan…I hope we will meet there.


    Seems like you are progressing your story…I really cannot wait to see what you are up to. I have to say that I was very intrigued to see you starting this project with this old camera…Very curious to see the touch and feel of the protographs you are doing with this. When can we hope to see some initial work here?

    Well, later this week I hope to restart my boxing work…. The kids should be back around mid-week so hopefully I will be able to get this going. Several of you have been very kind to send me some links to past boxing work as well as some articles so I will try to learn from all this and try to add my personal touch and see where this goes….



  • KATHARINA: :)))

    KAT, i just wrote you and email :))…ok, as to Japanese women photographers. Yes, i know some :))…Marina and I know personally the great photographer Asako Narahashi. she is famous for her “water” photos…she was exhibited at the gallery that showed our work and she is a wonderful wonderful person! :))))

    other great female photographers from Japan: Rinko Kawauchi (i love love her work), Mikiko Hara, …just to name 3 :))


    PANOS: :))) Hey, Marina is ALSO LUCKY TOO ;))))))))))…we’ve learned together, side by side, over the last years..ironically, we both returned/turned to photography the moment we started dating (she was a painter too, and also writes)….our work is both very similar but also very different…im not sure WHO INFLUENCED WHO :)))……truth is that OUR SON’S PHOTOGRAPHY was the biggest influence…:)))…marina is not one for blogs (she will write emails though), but she will join our blog (she reads it :)) )…and will enter the EPF this year :))

    ERIC: :))…YES, the family that shoots/drinks/talks/runs/develops/prints/meditates/loves together…stays TOGETHER :)))))….thanks so much…

    ok, got my own work to do…




    “…YES, the family that shoots/drinks/talks/runs/develops/prints/meditates/loves together…stays TOGETHER :)))))….”

    please stop reminding me my SEVERE loneliness..
    ( not laughing and about to drive in search of sedatives,
    to forget )..

    bob, i also agree that MARINA is LUCKY TOO..
    YOU also said above that:
    “…our work is both very similar but also very different…im not sure WHO INFLUENCED WHO :)))…..”
    honestly i don’t see any similarity in your work and Marina’s…
    funny thing is that you write, you are embracing and helping everybody IN HERE and not only,
    BUT when it comes to your photos, you EXCLUDE most elements…
    not only being “outtafocus” but alswo you are “TELE”..
    piercing angles…
    MARINA, chooses wider view, LET US see , but through her own personal FILTER…INCLUDES
    ( the Marina filter )… so, BOB, i dont see influence, i see COMPLETION…

    just the “BLACK BOOK”…

    I wish Marina would write here from times to times… because i enjoy the way
    enough of the “western” way or the “eastern” way…!
    how about the “universal” way…?

  • Bob,
    thanks for the info…
    Rinko Kawauchi…was one of them… will check out the other names you mention…. there were 2 others I remeber…will let you know as soon as I found my list…

    PS: sent an e -mail to Marina this morning
    ( last night your time)..hope she received it.

  • AKAKY is a prestigious writer( next big thing in NY times ),
    BOB , is a magician with words,
    amazing poets and writers also..
    Not to forget RAFAL , and many more…

    Poetic language, great use of english…

    And on the other side, the “slow”, the “thirdworlders”( my word ),
    the misfits , the freaks, the ones that always in the wrong place
    at the wrong time…
    like me ( PANOS or my best friend MARCIN )…or

    you can even “read” our heavy accent…
    still using an ( X ) for a signature…

    (so… MARINA please join us , ONLY if your english is NOT AS GOOD
    AS bob’s..!!!)

  • PANOS :))))

    u r NOT alone! :)))…remember that…come visit toronto, u will see…unless we get to Cali first (next year?)….and marina loved what you wrote about:…very true my friend and perfectly put…her view is wider, let’s people see more, and yet in life she is much quieter…my work, shows much much less (u’ll see soon with bones of time assignment, weird shit :)) and deals probably among other things with NOT SEeing….but in life im totally open…the weird shit about art :))…family exhibition (we had one in december with Dima) rocked :))…so much joy and fun…black book, a project on the horizon, for sure :))…we try, very hard, as a couple to celebrate each other’s work, it feels like that, COMPLETION, as you say…alpha/omega…im just happy that people get to see her work here who arent familiar with her…but if she drinks, she talks alot ;)))…and she breaks men’s hearts ;)))…

    and her english: FUCKING GORGEOUS :)))))…..she prefers to talk in person than in blogs, so which means you’ll just have to visit :)))

    KATHARINA: :)))…she loved what you wrote her…we talked about you over lunch just now…:))))))

    ok, now im runnin away for the day…work to do…


  • Bob Black:

    Thanks for the lead to Xing Danwen. I love her ‘Urban Fiction’ series. I’ll check out the other Chinese names you mentioned as well when I can get a broadband connection. Cheers!

  • Jonathan –

    I’m so very far behind, still adjusting to life without internet at home – but finding more time available to shoot, go figure. I finally checked out your recent gallery of crime images — I have to chime in with the “be careful” advice, but WOW. Brings home that violent crime is a daily occurrence, part of the fabric of some lives. Looking forward to seeing more.


  • Joan, thanks for checking out the galleries…

    Dont forget to pick out a print!


  • Marina’s web site is a treasure not to be missed! Her vision is unique, her images haunting, her words poetic, and her world view all inclusive. What a duo she and Bob make!!! Trio I should say, as I gather their son Dima is also a gifted photographer. Be sure to read the “reviews” section to see what I’m talking about.

    a BIG BRAVA to Marina! Please keep ups posted whenever you update your site. I look forward to seeing/experiencing/feeling more of the wonders you create…


  • Dear Marina,

    What can I say?

    More, more, more!!!!


    lucky you!


    I have looked at your main website on my laptop, but it’s not working on opera browser. No scroling, no menu. Only black singer. Some tech mistake?



    Should anyone be interested;

    Top notch production values on this one and some new material.
    Preview shows only fist 15 pages.

    Sorry if this posting is inappropriate but I just finished it and wanted to shout out.

    I’ve much reading to do here to catch up so I’d best get on with it.


  • That should read

    f i r s t

    not fist. Woops!

  • Marcin, sounds like the screen res is to low and you are viewing the whole page because of its size. The menu is at the top of the page. I have had this happen before and that was the issue. It works on fire fox…

    Anyway, thanks for stopping in to check it out.

  • DAVID,

    Many time when you write your critic about someone’s works you say; “look at work this guy” “that guy did it before” “this magnum photographer did it that way”, “don’t try to be next Webb, we dont need next webb”, “Look how did it Rodero”, compare to this, compare to that, similar to this, similar to that.
    I can’t find Harold bloom’s quote about “Repeatablety” in english. I know only his words in polish. I hope you will know what I mean.

    there is always somone before. There is only few “genius”, who find quicky own unrepeatable stryle. But we all have someone’s breath on back.
    and time not work for ours benefits. every next generation gives us next barrier to overcoming.

    we all are eating by time and generations.

    we are only reflecyion at the someone’s mirror.

    what do you think about that?

    with who you had to fight when you had started?

    with who you have to fight right now?
    do you think about it?

    I know thinking it’s last thing we should do, but who not thinking about?

    am I Intelligible ?


  • PAUL

    Hardly inappropriate! I just ordered a copy of your book for my dear husband. He–and I–will LOVE it!!!!!! Congrats on getting the second edition completed. One less thing to do ;=)


  • PANOS, being a good writer on a photography blog sort of misses the point of the blog, I think. People ask me why I take pictures when I write like I can. The answer is that there are people who have actually paid me for my pictures; no one’s ever paid me a red cent for the words. Second, why would anyone write if they could do something else? Writing is a slow motion form of torture some people inflict on themselves for reasons I am sure I do fathom at the moment; writing in English is more than merely masochistic, it is just incredibly stupid, since no matter how hard you try, no one will ever believe that you are better than Shakespeare or Dickens. Even in the humbler pastures I plow, no one will ever believe that I could be as good as P.G Wodehouse, S.J. Perelman, or Robert Benchley. No, writing is something to be avoided if at all possible, although I am sure that the credit card companies will not accept my logophobia as an excuse for my not signing my checks to them. All things have a downside, I fear.


    Great pix. You might want to get someone to look at your autofocus, though. It doesnt seem to be working right.

    PAUL T,

    congrats on the 2nd edition, but you know, the one thing I really wonder about these days is why there are no first rate cookbooks for cannibals anymore. ;-)

  • That’s “for reasons that I do NOT fathom at the moment” Proofreading is a wonderful thing; I should do it more often.

  • AKAKY…why don’t you try ?

    BOB and PANOS , Thanks guys for dropping in on my efforts the other day.

    UNCLE …Thanks for your kind words , I will be back on deck with new pictures to show soon .. but was in the meantime going back to the olden days of this blog when you were talking about how you rationalised and compartmentalised the shooting on Divided Soul ,the reality that I have been photographing for a book only hit me a few months ago when my computer shat itself and I was unable to scan pictures ,only shoot!
    Looking at the trannies and realising that I’ve been going over a lot of subjects a bit more than I should , repetitive pictures , same thing going on, really forced me to have a look at what I wanted to do and where I wanted the work to take me. So thanks for that!
    Cheers Glenn

  • DAVID B…

    just got back from the festival… you’re right, i’ve seen underworld like a million times and it is nicer to NOT watch the stage & just dance :))

    don’t know if i fancy this kind of photography yet (new to it all), part of me says yes, but i’m not interested in the ‘stars’ on the stage, more in the people coming to watch… will try and put up a few pics this week

    i’ll be pretty maxed out from now on till september, autumn/winter fashion collections are ready and i have some websites to build (yes, the proverbial bread on the table…) so i don’t know if i will be able to do any more festivals… would love to hook up with you on the norsk gigs & magazine stuff though

    on another note… ALL… i’m trying to change my situation, thinking of giving up the websites (the dough) and going full on for the photography (instead of roughly half-half)… bit scared i will be putting myself “in poverty” again… (but it won’t hold me back, no sir)… but… i worked eight hard years to get myself where i am now, finally making a teeny weeny bit of money, and then i would leave it behind… everybody declares me insane if i would go through with this… and sometimes i think they are a bit right too… “why not reap the benefits right now and wait a couple of years to go full ahead with the photog stuff” they all say…

    the mind agrees, but the heart says noooooooo i cannot wait!

    what should i do? maybe a good question to ask you guys here… ask for some honest realistic advice here… might try to rephrase my question in the morning, too tired now, Justice, Underworld and dEUS ringing in my head…

    sorry ALL about the rant, just needed to let off some steam… some worries in my head… little black dogs chasing me sometimes trying to bite me…

    peace and love to all of you here… sucha wonderful community we all have… such support… such LIFE



    what else is there


  • Hey Everybody,

    After the highs of LOOK3, I felt a bit of the post-festival blues… But I had an experience the other day thanks to this community that snapped me back to that state you have when seeing things clearly, you realize that having a concept, committing to it and then fearlessly executing it opens the possibilities of creating something profound. You see something good and feel like anything’s possible.

    I helped Erica McDonald with her street portrait project in Brooklyn. First, the camaraderie we had, even though we had met only once briefly before, was forged here. We share a common ground, that of authoring photographic projects.

    She’s doing something special. I saw it immediately, as she found her first subject to photograph, Tommy, a 70-year-old man carrying his radio, who told us he was slow and couldn’t read or write, his signature like that of a student practicing cursive.

    Erica has a warm and sensitive demeanor, and she put a range of people at ease as she worked with her 4×5 camera. From our set-up on a wide sidewalk in Park Slope, she wrangled an ex-con with fierce eyes and a tattooed nose to sit for a portrait. He opened up to us in a way that I can only imagine will make a striking image.

    I don’t want this to get too long and really embarrass Erica, but I was inspired working with her. Anybody out there who’s in town should volunteer to carry this woman’s camera bag for a couple of hours (by the way, the bag is a canvas grocery bag, and you aren’t actually carrying the bag!), and see a really interesting way of making a portrait. ERICA, I don’t want to relinquish my spot as first assistant!

    To top off a fun day with a new friend, DAH invited us to his 4th of July party. Sorry y’all, no party pics from me, but when my fiancee and I got to the Kibbutz, there were 100 cops on the street, and I worried about the matzoh factory getting raided, but thankfully all was safe. Cold Coronas awaited us in David’s fridge. The man drives a hard bargain… You drink his beer, you’ve got to post a party report.

    SO, Erica, Chris Anderson, assorted Magnum staff, Marie Arago, Mike Courvoisier and his lovely gal Maya, Jen MacFarland, and my Jen and I all enjoyed good conversation overlooking Manhattan with our host DAH. Thank you David for inviting us to your fiesta. I appreciate your hospitality.

    My report is brief for we arrived late and saw the NYC fireworks from the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, but I believe the view of the show from David’s place was probably phenomenal. I have it on good authority that the man himself may have actually taken a few fireworks photos.

    Thanks again David and thank you Erica. I’ll see you soon.

    ANTON, Sounds like you’re in a good position to meld your web expertise with your photography. Or are you already doing that? I’ve had numerous clients ask me if I could do both photography and web design for them. Sadly, I have zero web skills, and I struggle enough with the pictures.

  • andrew

    thanks for the report! i can fully imagine the great atmosphere… and as usual: wishing i was there :-)

    yeah you’re right i do combine these things already, but i’m not happy with them living together like they are now… web design is a pretty demanding partner in this marriage… and that’s what i’m trying to change… i don’t need to forego on the web design all together, but i wouldn’t shed too many tears if it were so (so to speak :-)

    i don’t know if a divorce is in order, or marriage counselling… hereby comes also my mistress, miss graphic design, with whom i sometimes secretly want to run off with…

    the question is: do i divorce web design and her money which supports me, so i can pursue my photography more in depth, or do i keep on living under one roof and try counselling, knowing fully that i will have to add too much water to my wine…

    i guess i’m hoping all you guys and gals here will be my wise wise counsellors :-)



    Regarding projects about USA, I’ve recently seen an interesting one from Richard Pak, he’s working on a long term project about daily life in the US, don’t know if you’ve ever heard about him…


    it is true – the performers can be the least interesting aspect of events and looking towards the edges and periphery of an event normally gives a better indication of the kind of vibe going on. then for the party you can tell the part of the crowd that is kickin the most from the edges.. i’d always head for that area.
    i’d say that if you wanted to try it, people are generally cool about being photoed.. on the whole.. there are bad reactions on occasion – generally positive though and if yer quick people don’t even notice they have been snapped.. especially with the lights flashing.. lots of tips on camera set up to make life easy if you’re interested..

    giving up money for photography.. well .. quite :o)
    the way it worked for me was to take on a little commercial work to supplement the work which i loved.
    one food shoot a week for ‘the metro’ would pay my rent and bills..
    the music work payed badly – from 5 usd per photo for u.s. mag ‘urb’ to 300 usd per job (up to 4 or 5 days) for dj magazine. mostly broke even with it, sometimes lost.. my landlord was more understanding than my grumbling belly and my girlfriend of 7 years eventually lost patience with her absent lover and left me to my persuits

    the good thing about having a magazine association is that you can gain passes and even flights and accommodation if you get the right amount of page space and the festival needs press. working with tourist boards also gained funding for expenses.. it was very, very hard and creative work to even get to the point of shooting an event.
    spending 2 years living in my photo studio – (a condemned warehouse on short term lease) – also worked for me.. it depends what you want to do and what you are prepared to do to get there maybe..
    the universe provides, though, and things just kind of straighten out once in a while.. one large picture sale.. one extra special commission.. and it’s worth it.. carrot and donkey.. looking at the photos afterwards is rich reward.

    i’d say that if you had a current source of income – keep it. you can always reduce the amount you are working in that area and make it into a supplement for the work you really want to do. if you need more time for photog then take it while nurturing your business as well. maybe there is time for it all?
    your work is superb by the way. i love the crisp moments you catch with birgit and the quiet calm of the sikh mosque..

    point of interest – how do others here fund their photography?

  • AKAKY…

    you are going to force me into a new post….

    writing has been around awhile….everyone does it…

    writing and reading are “learned” at an early age….part of our early communications skills and, in fact, the very definition of language…

    photography is new…mostly viewed as a technical skill by most…but, alas, now everyone can do it…no longer a technical skill….also a language??

    if so, then doing “good work” with photography will become so status quo (as is writing) and only a “Wodehouse” will thrive..

    no “easy way out” my friend….

    getting paid for something??? best paying job(percentage wise) i ever had was being a golf caddy at the local country club when i was 15…

    we will chain you to your keyboard…you got it…..just because it is painful for you does not mean we are not waiting!!!

    cheers, david

  • ANDREW….

    bad reporting job!!!!

    you wrote that there were 100 policemen in front of my building, but you never said why!!!!

    this is how rumors start….no more cold corona for you…

    you do have a very nice fianceé however…so even with your bad reporting, you do have good taste, so all will eventually be forgiven…

    just go finish Harlem jazz!!!

    peace, david

  • ANTON….

    ok, you have had enough seminars, workshops, parties et al…you have been everywhere, all the time!!

    now go somewhere alone….just to work….somehow keep your “day job” if possible, but work on a personal project and see how it goes…work at least for awhile the way Eric Espinosa is working…i mean, he has a “real job”, raises his family, AND is out there concentrating on his photography…

    IF you are really serious about your life in photography, you cannot “wait til later”…later is now….

    but, that does not mean you have to necessarily “jump off the economic cliff” either…just do something now, over the next year let’s say, that is “easy” to do do logistically…get immersed….then see how it looks…self evaluate….lay this work “on the table”….THEN JUMP!!!!!

    peace, david

  • DAVID & ALL,

    Recently I’ve been shooting a lot and also thinking a lot about my photography. I’m shooting digital as many of you do. I’ve also been happy with many of my images allthough I slightly prefer the look and feel of film.
    However I’m feeling stressed. It almost like an addiction to shoot and it makes it hard to relax and think about other things. I guess the use of digital cameras makes this feeling stronger, because it’s so limitless. You can shoot how many frames you want every day of the week and you can view and edit the work directly after.
    Yes, it of course has a lot of advantages, especially for commercial work, but for my own work it stresses me out, but maybe worries about processing and scanning would do to?
    I have the feeling that film will edit a bit for me even before shooting though and will force me to be more patient and think more before. There’s soo many images, soo many photographers, soo many cameras..

    What’s your feeling about this? I’m thinking of switching to film and slow down my shooting for my own best..


  • DAVID & ALL,

    Recently I’ve been shooting a lot and also thinking a lot about my photography. I’m shooting digital as many of you do. I’ve also been happy with many of my images allthough I slightly prefer the look and feel of film.
    However I’m feeling stressed. It almost like an addiction to shoot and it makes it hard to relax and think about other things. I guess the use of digital cameras makes this feeling stronger, because it’s so limitless. You can shoot how many frames you want every day of the week and you can view and edit the work directly after.
    Yes, it of course has a lot of advantages, especially for commercial work, but for my own work it stresses me out, but maybe worries about processing and scanning would do to?
    I have the feeling that film will edit a bit for me even before shooting though and will force me to be more patient and think more before.

    What’s your feeling about this? I’m thinking of switching to film and slow down my shooting for my own best..



    It might “help” to think about the fact that digital is in fact NOT limitless, when you consider the archiving and storage requirements, i.e. backing up in at least 2 places (preferably 3, including one remote) and on at least 2 different types of media (hard disk, DVD), and considering that no media is “forever”, so at some point you’ll have to migrate etc etc. Check out The DAM Book (Digital Asset Management) by Peter Krogh. I’m also in the habit of shooting RAW and I never delete any files, because “you never know”…

    With all this in mind, I tend to be a bit more careful about when I trip the shutter and generate a 12 MB raw file, but still much more trigger happy than when I shot film.

    I hope that helps…

  • PANOS….

    you have some pretty amazing work with the Jim Morrison fantasy (or reality)….different from your usual “documentary”….but all of it is some kind of “docu/drama”….not sure what it all is yet, but it is something for sure…

    are you making small prints?? i mean, it is really hard for me to keep all of your work straight in my head…but sometime soon we need to have little prints spread all over the floor or tacked on a wall…

    do not stop shooting now..i mean, right now you are “in the zone”…stay there….these moments do not come back…hard to find…hard to “get there”…you may not even know it, but please just keep this going as long as you can…tired? bored?? ok fine, even more reason not to stop…

    yes, we will meet on the road soonest..but , between now and then, do not leave Venice…


    of course , i use references…because many photographers just do not have a good sense of what has “gone on before”….studying history is the best way to see the future…

    seeing the past great work done should not paralyze, but influence and stimulate….when i see great work, i am first humbled, mesmerized, followed by being overwhelmed, followed by “action”…

    being referential to another artist does not mean you either copy that artist nor “give up” because it has been “done before”…

    for some reason, doing what comes natural, does not come natural!!!! if you can figure out in your own personal life what is truly truly natural to you, and you can put it “down”with either words or pictures or paintings or with crayons or whatever, THEN you will be doing something that has never been done before!!

    hugs, david


    i am using medium format film on my current project , just to make things “harder”..a bit more “deliberate”….i need to struggle..i love to struggle….i could get “better pictures faster” with digi…but, i am willing to sacrifice “good pictures” for the kind of work that i do when i CAN’T QUITE GET THERE!!

    cheers, david

  • ASHER,
    I usually edit very tightly so I only keep about a 1/4 to a 1/5 of my images. And I may not shoot a lot when I go out to shoot but digital makes it possible to shoot whenever, at least for me and I both think it’s for good and bad..


    thanks for the insights… i guess you guys are right, it’s not “necessary” to jump the economic cliff (love the analogy:))) as a prerequisite to succeed…

    i didn’t realize eric espinosa juggles all three succesfully (well, at least the photography side we know for sure:)) … that IS impressive… and also gives me strength to try to combine… it must be doable…

    i love the idea of trying to do ‘logistically manageable projects’… never thought of it this way, i’ve been concentrating projects solely looking at my own heart & gut, and purposely refusing to look at the “practical” side because i’m scared it would pollute the purity of the idea (does this make sense?)

    while being good for the “idea stage”, i guess at a certain point you have to get your feet back on the ground again and think practical. what is your economical situation? what is doable short term, what long term? juggle or choose?

    LMP’s are popping into my head already…

    i will run the ideas by you, along with little mood boards, and then i will dive in alone and GET IMMERSED for a while… meet and surprise myself…

    better be here when i pop up again :))


    feel exactly the same!!! i cannot switch of my brain, i’m thinking photography all the time… i do worry about that too (yet again another worry:)) it feels to myself like i’m totally obsessed with photography, wanting to try a million things, preferrably all at the same time and with the same intensity… i’m like a loose canon firing off continuously in all directions.

    I do however regard this as a SMALL price to pay for the possibilities of digital… i replicated my tri-X in digital up to a point that you cannot see the difference anymore (well at least i can’t)… and as soon as i had that done, i knew i could start exploring… and i haven’t had a dull day since :)))

    in my case, it all comes down to focusing on your own work and not looking around too much (i find everything everybody else does always insanely interesting for some reason)… as long as i can do that i am ok… but it is very hard and i usually don’t succeed (even not when using film, i think this is a different discussion!! i am as deliberate digital as in film… i do EXPERIMENT and TRY /LEARN/PRACTISE more often than before, but when i shoot for real, i stay as deliberate)


  • KIRA….

    welcome….we all look forward to seeing more of your work…

    i am so please you like the work of Laura El Tantawy….have you gone to her website?? she is a very talented photographer and good and special friend….


    i should be in Santa Fe by next weekend…and there all week….is that enough “advance warning”??

    one really interesting family would be fine…Reid is helping me with some others…

    i want to do something really SANTA FE…i mean, all those folks who have come from California and New York etc who have become ENLIGHTENED…and hang out at A THOUSAND WAVES spa….know any couples who wouldn’t mind me shooting them getting out of bed in the morning with their Porsche slightly out of focus in the background?? do you know what i am looking for here???

    the other scene is , of course, the Española world, but i do not think that is your “thing”..

    by the way, what exactly is “your world”?? i guess i am about to find out!!!

    i look forward to meeting you Cathy….

    cheers and smiles, david


    I hear what you’re saying. I just think that “shooting to edit” is independent of the media. However I appreciate that that’s easier said than done.


    Would you be willing to post just little sneak preview of your Family photographs????

  • ASHER….

    several have asked me to post some of my American family work…i have thought about this quite a bit….i think it would be prudent to wait…not because i am not willing to show “work in progress”, i do it all the time..but because of some of the families with whom i am working…there is a relationship i have with these families and the work i am doing…i think it best to wait a bit longer, maybe by the end of the summer, when this work will be more contextual, and the families themselves can see exactly what is happening with the pictures they so graciously allow me to make…

    cheers, david

  • BOB:

    Appreciate your kind words and input. Thank you. I was unable to add captions to the images on the web gallery… dunno why?… So please check out our blog for more information on the people we worked with, and this issue in general. Jessica (the better half of Chance) has two blog posts on this story, so go back for the first one if you missed it.

    Talking of better halves, I enjoyed Marina’s work. You guys are birds of a feather! thanks for sharing.

    ERIC: Thanks for the link. Yes, I am aware of Pep Bonets work. Great Photographer. I look forward to seeing more boxing soon. How’s it all going?

    DAVID: If you get a chance can you give this one a quick butchers!?… Would love to hear your thoughs on this. (see link in message to Bob if you want more info on the piece.)


  • Thanks David- I understand- that makes perfect sense.

  • DAVID,

    Interesting! You’ve said that you virtually always bring your camera. Can you switch off your brain (off photography) ?


    Feels good that someone feels the same!
    Film vs digital is not about the quality or the technical aspect for me. It’s about the feeling that digital consumes my mind. I can’t switch off. I wish I could and stay more focused of what I’m doing. The world is spinning faster and faster and I think the digital camera is the same as the computer and mobile phone.
    Everything is moving quicker and quicker, but does photography and the world get better?

  • JAMES….

    this is some of your very best work….much much stronger , in my opinion, than the cemetery life photographs…you might be jumping around a bit too much, but i suppose this is just the nature of your current trip…if you could somehow just stay in one place long enough to really really “finish” all of these nice essays that you have “started”, i think you would be better off in the long run…

    peace, david



    cheers, david

  • Speaking of…

    “….when i see great work, i am first humbled, mesmerized, followed by being overwhelmed…”

    The July issue of The Digital Journalist is now up online and the extensive feature on John Moore is “humbling, mesmerizing, and overwhelming” and much ‘moore’ besides:

    Especially the Pakistan Gallery. And don’t miss the extensive written interview with JM.


    if i only tell you the story ( which i will, pretty soon ..)

    also , last night i met a guy that claims to be JIM MORRISON’S SON…
    i will post photos AS SOON AS I CAN…
    IN the meantime let’s get into…_4th_of_july.html

    the VENICE FANTASY WORLD once more…
    JIM MORRISON, SON’S PHOTOS hopefully tonight or tomorrow!!!

  • Since I’m going to be living on the edge of Crystal Palace Park in London I’ve decided that that will be the location for my next big project. I’m wait a while before starting my Thames project as the initial research will take a while as will adjusting to the inevitable culture shock after more than five years Stateside.

    Crystal Palace Park is a wacky place. I’m sure there will be characters to match. It’s in keeping with “my thing” too. This could be my settling in project. David, are you willing to guide me? Can I show you some images towards the end of August perhaps?

    Getting excited now. I can let off steam with this project. It’s decided.


  • DAH:

    Talking assignments, I’ve been thinking for awhile now about doing a story on Okupas in Barcelona. The Okupa movement is difficult to define, but in essence, it’s a movement with anarchistic and punk roots of mainly young people that ‘occupy’ abandoned buildings.

    If you’d like to read more, here’s a link to wikipedia en español:

    Going forward I want to focus on doing publishable work, but I have my doubts as to whether it would be something that could be of interest in Spain, one, because I think it’s been covered plenty in Spain and two, outside of Spain, because, well, it’s Spain.

    Also, I have a long term project that I’ve chatted with others about offline (namely Eric, James, Bob and Erica) which is about two relatives of mine in Ireland. They are two men, now around 80 years old who still actively manage a farm in Southern Ireland. Neither ever married and thus they’ve lived together all these years. I have aspirations for this story but don’t know where to take it next, so any feedback you or others might have would be greatly appreciated. The work that is up there was from four hours spent with them over two days.

    If you’d like to take a look at any of this work, you can find it at My site is now flash, so you’ll have to look for it under Portfolios, then click ‘Ancestral Calling.’

    I always seem to catch you at bad moments, so I hope you have a chance before you go Jack Kerouac on us. If not, let me know and I’ll remind you again down the line.

    Cheers and have a great journey,

  • Addendum to my brief report on DAH’s 4th of July fiesta…

    Every good reporter knows to safeguard the beer supply, so I must quash any impending rumors of why so many cops were loitering near the Kibbutz. NYC’s finest were parking their personal vehicles there while providing security for the fireworks show on the East River.

    Now off to finish Harlem jazz!



  • Dear DAH,

    Monday a.m. in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Wondering what the fuck I am doing here and knowing that it is becoming clear yet still out of focus.

    The pieces on the bachelors evolve faster and faster—I can’t even keep the new edits posted. The hardest part of the whole process is what is being revealed about myself.

    That’s the struggle of this piece—not just that there are four bachelors of similar ilk but that pieces of me are revealed in each of these essays of the individual bachelors—and that in the end they all roll together.

    I am beginning to understand the magic of photo stories. How staying with a project for as long as I have this one begins to totally reveal what the piece is supposed to show. The week-long essays in workshops showed me the how-to of the process; being immersed in life in this project is revealing the message of the process.

    The truth that is being revealed about myself makes me want to run screaming back to Paradise and shut the doors to this place. Yesterday, I recognized that just being back home sends me back to patterns in behavior I thought I had outgrown yet in reality just redecorated over the years. That is what is being revealed—the core me and how destructive that core has been in my life.

    Thank goodness for grace and second and third and fourth and fifth chances.


  • ANDREW..

    you’ve rendered me silent with your kindness and generous was a pleasure and an honor to be able to share the experience with you, and I am very much looking forward to doing it again soon. THANK YOU.

    ERIC / ALL

    Because of the slow (think snail crawling) nature of this assignment (shooting when it’s not bloody raining – in the forecast for another 5 days now, and if I can get help) I might shoot 4 – 6 people on a day, meaning maybe 1 or 2 good images if I am doing well) it’s going to take some time for it to take shape and make sense. I talked to DAH about this and think it is best to wait a bit before showing images.. I do want to share, but it’s sort of like a germination period, where everything is still very much in need of a gentle touch. I have to let the people guide the piece somewhat as well, and am in the early stages of listening to them to see who to focus on. Essentially this is about one neighborhood / community and how they are experiencing the changes that so many NYC hoods are going through. But of course, it has to be in their faces / their eyes.. I guess I am trying to see the essence of the community reflected in the faces and details of individuals.

    The medium format is turning out to be an important facet of the is the audio..

    It becomes quite a challenge for me, how to show face after face and not bore the viewer, to retain a strength in repetition by emphasizing the commonality/uniqueness in the individual /whole..

    But yes, please, if you have a day free, let me know and we will have fun and I will at least get you something to eat or drink..


    Les is wondering if you will be back in town before the 12th, and if so if he can hand pick up his print..

  • Panos and anyone/everyone,
    Glad you like the prints! I thought you would.

    I just got back this morning from camping with 40,000 to 50,000 people at the Rothbury Music Festival. I understand your feelings about the pace of the sale stuff, but I can guarantee I got some shots from the festival you’ll approve. I probably walked 30 miles at the festival, burned myself out, and finally got sick of shooting!! (Long enough to sleep.)

    The Garage Sale stuff is “mundane” (almost) on purpose—it’s a pace that forces me to think more deliberately and that’s good for me now. It’s also not a project I can shoot every day, so I’ll try to slip in some projects that are more your “speed!!!”

  • Akaky,

    Writing is wonderful! If someone loves to write, the idea that they’ll never be as good a writer as Shakespeare shouldn’t keep them from writing. It’s like anything else… use Shakespeare as inspiration. When I look at Mary Ellen Mark photos, I feel like I’ll never be able to do that, but instead of giving up, it makes me want to try harder…


    Don’t know if this will be helpful, but here’s my experience… I went to school for photography and worked for 11 years or so as a photographer. It was very difficult. The work that I got that I actually enjoyed, didn’t pay, and the work that payed was definitely not what I thought I would be doing when I was a young lad in photo school. In 97 I accidentally ended up with a job at a big company making webpages. It started out just a couple of days a week. I had no intentions of giving up the photography, but it eventually turned into a full time job. The steady paycheck was new to me and kind of exciting. And I never once had to call to bug them to pay me!!! Oh… and health insurance???!!!! So anyway, it’s almost 12 years later, I’m very frustrated sitting in a cubical doing work all day that I’m not interested in. But at the same time I do have some freedom. The steady paychecks give me the ability to buy film and so on, and now I can photograph only what I want to photograph without having to worry about the bills piling up! It would be lovely to be able to spend every day doing only what I love doing, but being past due on rent is very stressfull and depressing. It’s really a tough call. I think you just have to figure out what will bring you happiness… or less unhappiness. Shit… After writing this, I think I have to figure some things out for myself!

  • ANTON, SPENCER and others…

    I can see I’m not alone in this situation. Feeling like being in a crossroad… which one I choose?

    Your testimonies and David’s advices made me relax a bit, take a deep breath and think about it.

    “get immersed….then see how it looks…self evaluate….lay this work “on the table”….THEN JUMP!!!!!” (DAH’s words)

    All the best!


    oooowwwww now i made you think… sorry! :))))

    and yes your story too tells me to find a balance instead of throwing it all out and staring anew.

    “balancing” has always proven to be so very difficult for me, i’ve always been a one-track person (hey, i’m a guy), going one hundred percent for one thing at a time…

    and now it’s time to multitask… i realise that now… branch out… keep my job and submerge as well… if eric can do it, so can i… maybe i have been using this situation too much as an excuse NOT to push forward with my photography, as contradictory as that might sound?

    so no more hesitation, i’m going for the “keep job/submersion” thing…

    ideas will be posted soon, and opinions asked of you all… and maybe i should ask david for an assignment when he hands out his second round… up the pressure a bit…


  • ALL:

    Anyone else having problems trying to see the videos on DAH’s site?

    I normally don’t have any problems downloading and have a relatively fast ADSL connection, but in the Emerging video always stalls on me right at the end of Katherina Hesse’s story. In the Look3 video it stalls on me around the ambulance story. No idea why.


    This is the link for my project:

    Please, tell me what you think about. I did it more personnal than the previous and it is the only six I like, and I’m even not sure I’m in a the right way. I edited with a machete !(

    I was in Cuba last week for family vacation. I did not read the previous post. The last four week before have been hard. 3 jobs for pay the bills and the family vacation.


    The ‘multitasking’ of life has been troublesome for me, too. Once I took David’s advice to ‘just do it’ and WORK things got so much better.

    Before, I just spent too much time thinking instead of just STARTING somewhere and taking it from there and THEN keep thinking. I found that once I started working, with anything, even just writing notes on napkins, things HAPPENED—other ideas arrived, connections were made, fires were lit. It can still be a struggle, but at least now I know to KEEP GOING when the going gets tough.

    Paradoxically, I’ve also found that the more I have to do, the more I get done, though this doesn’t change the fact that I like and always aim for a very ‘chill’ lifestyle, and I ‘sacrifice’ large salaries, job security and the like for this more relaxed life.

  • DAH –
    I have spent much of the last week moving from a one-bedroom apartment in Montréal to a 165-acre farm in eastern Québec. A good place for a Look3 reunion one day! We just got connected to the internet yesterday, hence my delayed congratulations to the three portrait winners and all the runner-ups. Wonderful, wonderful stuff.

    Your July 3rd posting to Rafal has touched a cord deep within… what makes me “tick” is to marry my career in international public health with photography. I can not explain the need (or has it become an obsession?) to publish images which document how the other half of the planet lives, dies, eats, makes do with so much less than we; I can not explain this intense attraction to photographing poverty (hence the trailer park essay in Cville), broken health care systems, pollution and, increasingly, climate change.

    Up to this point in my life, public health has paid most of the bills, while photography has taken a back seat. I am obviously trying to change that. However, I do recognize that public health has effectively “subsidized” my so-called photographic career to date by bringing me to countries that I would not otherwise have visited, nor would have been able to afford to visit, e.g., living the last five years in Botswana while working for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Another way of saying this is that my photography has been profoundly affected by my international career.

    In an effort to move beyond AIDS photography, I am currently working with one of my professors from the Harvard School of Public Health to develop a proposal to document Chagas disease in Latin America (new continent, new disease). This disease is relatively unknown outside of Latin America, but what “attracts” me to photograph it is that it is a disease which, due to its unique vector, targets primarily the poorest of the poor. I realize that this kind of photography won’t “sell”, and it sure as hell won’t make me rich or famous, but it keeps pulling me, disturbing my sleep, makes me read scientific research articles in scholarly journals till all hours in the night and, to use your words, makes me “tick”. Now, don’t ask me why I have just bought a farm – I am surrounded by rolling hills and cows, and I don’t do cows. I want to photograph people! One of my new neighbors just told me that up the mountain behind our farm, there is … drum roll… a trailer park! So, maybe I will have to think of a way to expand my Look3 photo essay by documenting “the other side of the tracks” from both sides of the Americo-Canadian border, to show that we have much more in common that we think… That’s it for today – gotta go cord some wood for the winter! Hey, this is the first time I have ever participated in a blog…

    cheers, joan

  • david mc..

    look forward to seeing the party pix.. larger festivals are a difficult beast and empathy for the miles walked.. always worth the blosters.


    yer on fire.. like it.


    i’m going to post some snaps of my week with the in-laws i think. no biggie – strictly playing – and when i get back to stavanger it would be good to get some opinions from you all on how to go about editing a larger body of work.
    small chunks taken to slot into chapters seems to be the way forward.. and agreed with above about thoughts on photog.. when i drift away beate just looks at me and says

    keep on..


    where’s that schpelcheque?

  • Simon:

    I hear ya, brother. I think it’s a continual internal personal struggle to keep working.

    The other side to this is being in a comfortable place and DAH touched upon this once on a blog a ways back. I find that whenever I return to Barcelona, it’s harder for me to get focused as there are just too many things that I can easily find to distract myself, including this blog. When I’m somewhere else it’s easier to focus, but then the financial costs of travel restrict the amount of time I can stay in that given place and limits the time working on the story!

    In any event, it sounds like you’ve found a solution so hat’s off to you and keep it up!



    Hi, I will be in Toronto with my wife and daughter from the 8 of July (Tomorrow) to the 10 (Thursday) for an eye surgery and I wanted to meet you for a coffee (if you have time of course). It would be great to meet the guy that writes so many interesting here. Let me kmnow if that woudl be fine with you.

    take care for now, Arie


    Yes, definitely a continual struggle to keep working… There are days I just want to do something else other than photograph (though these are relatively rare), days I despise all my photographs, days I can’t stop thinking about photographing, days I’m inspired and doing and finding and moving… At any rate, I feel as if I’ve learned much recently, but am still (and always will be) an amateur, in the best sense of the word!

    I hear you on distractions—the internet is such a large one! These days I try to limit myself to frequenting two or three websites regularly, of which this is one. And I definitely agree that traveling is a great ‘focus aid’ and that there never is enough time or money!

    I like your Living in the Shadows work—keep it up yourself!


    Just now back from dropping of film, I sat down and watched a few moments of Charlie Rose, who was talking with the prolific Pulitzer Prize winning author David McCullough. He passed on a working method that was passed on to him when he was young, which he says was the best advice ever given to him. I find it interesting and will perhaps it will be of some help to someone regarding keeping a level of structure and discipline..

    McCullough does about 50% of his needed research on a project, and then at that point he commits to writing 4 typed pages a day, and at the same time keeps researching. When he is ‘done’, he goes back to the beginning and re-writes, which for the visual medium would mean looking at the gaps in the storytelling and filling them in.

    I can see how having a format to work within could be of tremendous benefit to some..

  • Erica,

    Your latest message is very interesting.

    Thanks for sharing


  • Erica,

    Your latest message is very interesting.

    Thanks for sharing


  • Erica!

    Link please or pm it to me.

    I posted an interview of Ron Haviv on Charlie Rose on my blog a little while back so I think David McCullough, would be just as appropriate. Plus I know David…ok, not really, I met him when he spoke at my high school in about 10th grade;-)

    I feel your pain! I think we all do, and thanks for the props.


  • ARIE: :))…

    WOW, eye surgery…right up my alley…i’ve got a major-major full plate..

    my schedule:

    tuesday: teach until 3:30, buy film, return home.

    wednesday: teach until 3:30, shooting until 7:00 pm.

    thursday: teach until 3:30, shooting util 7:00…

    i definitely cant meet wednesday cause im shooting (it’s also the night i cook dinner) and thursday, ditto….

    i can meet you for a coffee on tuesday (tomorrow)…i finish 3:30, and from there will by film at henry’s (queen east)…give me details about where you will be, and i’ll meet you after 4:00…


  • ARI :))

    i FORGOT TO ADD, tomorrow (Tuesdays) Marina and I meditate…at 7:00, so we can meet at 4:30?…you let me know where you want to meet and we’ll meet for a coffee (normally, i prefer wine, cognac, but not before meditation ;)) )…

    so, let’s say: 4:30?…tell me where you are staying and i’ll pick an accessible location…

    see u manyana…



    I wish I could share your opinion of writing, especially now that I am trapped in a hellacious dry spell in which nouns are so full of themselves they will not work with each other, verbs won’t do anything unless you hound them like teenagers with a dirty room, adjectives refuse to describe anything, and adverbs not only refuse to help out verbs, they are planning to go on strike for shorter hours. In such conditions, writing is not only not in any way fun, it is the psychic equivalent of kneeing yourself in the groin while starved rats gnaw on your toes. Why anyone would actually choose to write instead of playing the flugelhorn in a Dixieland jazz band is a Rosicrucian mystery to me.

  • BOBB,

    why dont you imbibe before meditation? You could sleep it off while you meditate and who’d know the difference?

  • Akakay… are you crazy? That one paragraph that you just wrote to me about why you can’t write was amazing! It was beautiful and funny and entertaining and visual and probably so many other things. It seems to me that writing comes very naturally to you, and I don’t believe for a second that you didn’t just have fun writing that little bit. It actually made me want to read more of your writing. Maybe whatever your working on right now is just not inspiring you?

  • Also another telling bit from McCullough..

    “It’s hard work..but I have never equated ease with happiness. I am often happier when i am working than doing anything else. I’m on vacation every day..I love it. And I want you to know what I love.”

  • I watched a special on David McCullough also and what I came out of it with was one quote:

    “You learn the arts by doing them. Children need to know this.”


  • AKAKY…


    what’s the percentage of TIME you consumed so far in your lifetime,
    what’s the percentage of TIME you spent

    i’m just trying to do a quick evaluation of your TALENT ( writing part only , not photography ) regarding its originality…

    in other words i love your stuff..
    and THE MORE i dont understand or get , the MORE i like it!!!!
    and if you really wanna go CRAZY…!!!
    now i know why Audrey and Laura love your writing!
    coz they “read” you through computer translators…
    the only problem is that still “apple computers” can’t figure out
    how to TRANSLATE the AKAKY dialect …
    either way , love you man…!


    so this is your first “blog experience”??….hmmmm, well mine too…i had never read or seen a blog (a word i despise) before i did my own FORUM!!!

    i am so pleased you are here and i read your story with great interest…you had such a terrific attitude in my workshop and even though i was giving you such a tough daily critique, you always kept smiling and going back out and giving it another “go around” and back smiling again…

    surely , it would be interesting to see you take on the trailer park…you have such a good head start and i think trailer parks are socially interesting.. it is so physically close to you so no real expense or logistical problems..perfect..concentrating on this will develop your skills as nothing else.. when you do return to Africa, at some point, you will be ready to take your medical work to an entirely new level….

    i do hope we meet again someday…truly nice to know you….

    cheers, david

  • Hi BobB,

    I think that it will be difficult to meet as we am arriving at the hotel around 5:30 on Tuesday. Wednesday afternoon is my procedure . Would it be possible to meet during the day maybe (Thursday)?




    You wrote “writing is not only not in any way fun, it is the psychic equivalent of kneeing yourself in the groin while starved rats gnaw on your toes.”

    Perchance have you ever written a government grant? You describe the experience perfectly.

    Also, “Why anyone would actually choose to write instead of playing the flugelhorn in a Dixieland jazz band is a Rosicrucian mystery to me”. BRAVO! you took the words write out of my mouth (and polished them up quite a bit- I must now go look up “Rosicrucian”).

  • ERICA….

    i will not be in New York when Les arrives….perhaps i could give his print to you and you to him??

    cheers, david

  • Rosicrurian, from Wikipedia:

    “a secret society of mystics, allegedly formed in late mediaeval Germany, holding a doctrine “built on esoteric truths of the ancient past”, which, “concealed from the average man, provide insight into nature, the physical universe and the spiritual realm.”

    You HAVE written a government grant!!! ;-))

  • hi Arie:

    just got in…ok…thursday, gonna shoot (friday is my last deadline, self-imposed, for bones of time stuff), but yea ok, cool…i teach until 3:30…i might have to meet with my private student from 3:30-4:30 (not sure yet), but, if not, let’s meet ~4:00 thursday….until 5:00??…if i have to meet my private student, i’ll change times…but, i’ll leave a note tomorrow morning…what is the procedure??…

    AKAKY: HMMMM,…but you see, meditation is already a serious intoxicant (and at 40, managing intoxicant’s is a priority, as a father and husband, now) and contrary to most notions meditation is the most waking part of my life….i drink enough already, im poor, so i have to manage the purchasing of liquor much more than the consumption, but it’s the same dragon, is it not…

    as to the writing ordeal…dont i know it too…but, i dont think it’s the writing that is problematic (Akaky, as a writer, you know damn well, that that aint the problem for a writer!!!!), it’s the GETTING STARTED, sitting your ass in the chair and writing, carving yourself and your head up to start, to think of something interesting to say and to hone into some kind of sentence that both embarrasses and surpasses anything your 10th grade english teacher asserted was a Stunk-thunk sentence…my aim aint shakespeare or benchley or any of those cats, nor even Beckett or Joyce (after shakespeare, the greatest magical fucker of english i know) nor agee or waugh, nor faulkner or anderson, nor whoever…my aim has been simpler Akaky: to outgun the sprectre of Mrs. D, my 10th grade and 12th grade AP English instructor, who once told me after my high school graduation that i “wasted my talents like no student i know”…that little beknighting that she conferred upon my Aqua-velva drizzled teen neck has stayed with me for the entirety of my life…i don’t know if my life and my life’s work has proven her wrong (most likely not), but i do know that I am much happier than she was, cause im not so embittered as to castigate poor, overly aftershaved 17 year old boys….the cruel irony: the first piece of writing i ever published was a poem i wrote about the shape and stature of her hair….

    it aint the writing, it’s the awful awful beginning and the terrible following day, hung over and bleached, when you re-read what you’ve written and realize that your english teachers, hounding your as if a miscreant waddling pup from Baskerville, was right all along…

    i know your pain Father Akaky…i know ur pain….


  • that should be “honed into some kind of sentence that both embarrasses and surpasses anything your 10th grade english teacher asserted was a Strunk-thunk sentence…” see i cant even spell Strunk properly…gotta go, daddy0

  • DAVID..

    I think Les leaves on the 12th, so as long as I got it from you before then, all would work out perfectly..

  • Hi BobB,

    Two years ago, I was in Toronto for a laser eye surgery. Few months ago, I noticed that I had a lot of difficulty to focus many of my pictures/a lot of headaches. I went to see he eye doctor and my vision has regressed quite a lot. I am back in Toronto to redo the laser procedure. I had been wearing glasses since a tender age, so when I heard that I could go without glasses I jumped on the opportunity.

    Since the day I joined our discussion group almost two years ago, I always found that you bring very interesting points of views on many topics. So to be in Toronto and not take this opportunity to meet you would be a sad thing. I am sure many members of our group have the same opinion of you…

    We are staying at the InterContinental (220 Bloor Street West; 444-0401; room under the name Arie & Nicole Haziza)….if you do not leave far from there that would be nice. Your time is good, I will be reading your post tomorrow evening for an update.

    By the way, what do you teach?


  • Akakay,

    So the real question is, why choose between writing and the flugelhorn? If you have a passion for writing and dig the sound of a brass horn, who says you can’t do both??? I write as well. When I get stuck, I walk away for a while. When I come back and read what I’ve written, the next sentence usually comes. I also play flute, clarinet and classical/spanish guitar (all badly), but i do these things because they bring me joy. Haven’t tried the flugelhorn though… hmmm…

    And DAH, this is also my first blog experience. Thanks for being here. What a great group…



    Thats so funny- I am writing several government grant applications at the moment for a doco I am trying to get up and running..

    Hope to do a book on this one as well.

    But the Government application forms, ARGH!

    30 pages and all about crossing ‘t’s and dotting ‘i’s Its good for me though because it does really FORCE you to be very precise about exactly what it is you want, never been my strong point…

    I am a bit of a ‘go with the flow’ and see what comes of it kind of person when it comes to work. (Probably why I am broke at the moment!)

    Its questions like ‘methodology’ which thankfully haven’t appeared in these ones, are the ones that really screw me up. What the hell is ‘methodology’ when you are shooting, except research and then doing?

    I do have a question for DAH if he has a chance, what does DAH think about the process of ‘concept, (idea, story)’ being the starting point as to allowing something to ‘lead’ you into it. And then if you are ‘led’ into something what if its just boring and crap?

    Or is it all about the commitment to the story?

    (Sounds a bit like a marriage doesn’t it. hehehehehe…..)

  • DAVID,

    I have a fun story for you about a couple of your buddies I met the other night. Will have to save it for tomorrow as I’m running off to a Bob Sacha presentation at the Workshops…and want to talk to Reid.

    Also hoping to post some photos tomorrow and hope you’ll have a chance to take a quick peek. I already am pretty sure I know what you’ll say but I may as well wait and hear it from you! :))

    As far as the Santa Fe Family for you…

    First of all I am TOTALLY the “Espanola type.” I have photographed one lowrider show there before moving here and have been working on car club contacts because that is a subject I plan on spending a LONG time on…Something that attracted me to living in this area in fact. I have attended lowrider shows in CA as well.

    LOVE that culture and LOVE all subcultures. That’s what I’m all about…whether it’s surfers, sikhs, ballerinas, lowriders, cowboys, b boys, you name it I love it ALL.

    I TOTALLY see the porsche image. GOT IT!! I don’t have that exactly but maybe something even better. The woman who actually LITERALLY wrote the book Santa Fe Style. Her husband has a folk art gallery and they live in an old mill a couple doors down from my house. Wooden snakes and coyotes everywhere! The epitome of Santa Fe style and best of all they have two unfortunately is on her honeymoon but the one that’s here has GIANT STARS TATTOOED ON HER CHEST. How great is that??? Also one dog.

    Best of all I asked them and they are interested. Sound good?
    Hope you don’t mind if I am there watching the shoot! :))

  • DAVID,

    P.S. Driving…just had to pull over and add this…Gee I feel a little bit like Panos!

    Thinking about the Porsche image…You’ll get that shot but not here.
    Save the Porsche for LA. Rolling out of bed with the Porsche has LA written all over it. It’s not really a Santa Fe thing. Santa Fe is more Prius or Range Rover.

    rolling along…

  • LISA

    What is a “doco”? A documentary?

    Writing scientific grants for NIH funding has become my life for about 9 years now, and only in the past year have I begun to understand how the process *really* works. I couldn’t possibly begin to understand how to write one for a photography project! I would wish you luck, but persistence is much more valuable!

  • ANTON,

    No wonder you did not realize that I juggle all three succesfully, I often wonder myself :):):)….One thing is for sure though, I do have a rather busy life…a very demanding job in a multinational company, the most marvellous kids I could ever have hoped for (I think Panos did fall in love with my 3 year old daughter in Charlottesville :):) and indeed, as often as I can, I try to get out there and shoot. Never seems often enough and frustration is always there…Just to give you an example, these kids that I am shooting for my boxing essay have left Cincinnati for the past 10 days to compete in some tournament in Florida…most of them had never left Ohio, for some, this was going to be the first time at the beach… a real expedition for these kids on the road…. I would have loved to jump in the car and follow them….Any full time dedicated photographer would have jumped onto the opportunity but f’…k I could not go….This was last minute, had some f’…king global meeting with suppliers that week and could not join….Now, in the mean time for the past days, I have been complaining…here I have David telling me to do something more personal, have a golden opportunity and I could not use it…So, let me tell you my friend, welcome to the club of the juggling group….Now, having said that, these kids will be back I believe tomorrow or the day after and, I still have time to work at this, at my own speed… The great thing about having no time is that this gives you a sense of urgency whenever you eventually go out to shoot….In most cases, I have 2-3 hours to shoot every week…one hour in the evening after work, I would stop on the way out from work to the boxing gym and let me tell you that for one hour, I make the most of it…. Not sure this is the most effective nor what I would necessarily recommend but this is my life so far and I cannot complain too much after all….maybe one day I will make the jump rather than the baby steps I have done so far but who knows….I am having fun in any case….


    I understand and will therefore be patient….I would love to stop by New York if I have the opportunity to see how you work… You know that your work is such an inspiration for me. I think I will need to exchange of few prints with you or purchase a couple before you become too famous and I no longer can afford these :):):)….This picture of the little girl at the end of your Look3 essay hunts me….might negociate a price here…..


    I think you are making many of us jealous here, having all these great photographers coming to Santa Fe…This must be such a stimulating environment for you to move to. What projects have you planned to start…You must be ready to share a proposal with our grandmaster if he plans to stop by your place…..



  • My favorite writer at the moment is the prolific Akaky. I just love how his zany brain just spills out all over the screen here. You have a dexterous wit. Writers block? I don’t believe it for a minute.

  • Talking about grant writing (Asher), any good resources for advice online for this? I know that Jon Anderson posted on LS about this. Perhaps I should find the link and post it here, if he doesn’t mind that is.

  • Some of you will wonder where I’ve been when you read this comment, but my only excuse is that I just discovered DAH and this forum in April, so I’m still playing catch up…

    David says “when i see great work, i am first humbled, mesmerized, followed by being overwhelmed, followed by “action”…”

    Well, I’m still in the humbled/mesmerized/overwhelmed phase of the cycle and I have DAH himself to blame. My copy of “Divided Soul” arrived today and I sat right down with it and practically wept.

    David, it is SO BEAUTIFUL, SO RICH, SO POWERFUL. And I’m not just talking about the images either. Your words add so much to the experience. The images and words in this book show just what you mean when you talk about AUTHORSHIP.

    Yes, “Divided Soul” is about cultures intersecting in the past & present, but it is also about this man we love and respect, a man who is authentic to his core. A true original.

    My task now is not to compare my work with his. That goes nowhere. I know that, but it’s still hard to avoid that trap. Any suggestions?



    I know what you mean, in 2006 I sold all of my digital and went back to film and felt totally free… but in 2007, I bought new digital gear and have not really gone back to film. I think its a mind set and the more comfortable you are with it the less concerned you may become… Is it the technical side that has you consumed? When I shoot digitally, I try to take advantage of it and really push it and take risks I normally would not have taken with film.

    Truly though, you know what the best tool is for the job so listen to your gut….

  • DAVID,

    I know a photo editor from French Vogue during the era of Avedon and the likes has a home and store in Santa Fe she shares with someone… might be an interesting family situation to photograph. If you are interested, let me know and I can dig out her contact info. Reid may know who she is as well.

  • Katia/ Sydney,

    I had missed the link you had posted of the photographer Rick Smolan and the Amerasian girl he befriended, Natasha. What a moving story! Thanks for sharing this.


  • Martin,

    I had almost completely stopped shooting for a couple of years. Then a friend at work introduced me to digital, which I had refused to explore before. I felt that if it wasn’t film, it wasn’t real. But he has some really beautiful digital photos, so I decided to give in. It got me shooting again. It really made it easy… no trips to the film store, lab etc. And yes, you can push the shutter release at anything and everything and know if it’s crap there’s always the delete button. But then I really started missing film! So I whipped out the F3 and loaded it with tri-x. The simple act of advancing the film with my thumb felt sooooo good. So now I’m walking around with my film camera and I’m much more selective when it comes to releasing my shutter. And I got so used to seeing my images immediately that the waiting for film to be processed is killing me. But I’m also really excited about photography again. I have to thank digital (and a couple of people in my life right now) for getting me shooting again… but… ahhhhhh film….

  • for me using film for the work i care about has always been the way forward.
    i have used a d1 mark II on occasion and that ‘felt’ like film in terms of latitude.. however
    working in dark conditions which needed flash most of the time, digital just didn’t do it for me in terms of trusting that what i want is what i am getting..
    i still use film, still use the lab and am even looking for a darkroom set up – 8 years after i closed my darkroom.
    the more that digital becomes established the more valuable the darkroom tradition becomes i think. it has aided my digital practice no end to understand the methods and technique of printing and there is something about the way an image ‘soaks’ into the printing paper which beats an ink-jet print hands down.

    the costs get soaked up in the fee’s.. i earn less, but i am a great deal happier to have the ‘hard copy’ back up of negatives.

    goodness – i wrote the words ‘i’ and ‘me’ too much in this must..

  • DAVID:

    Thanks for your reply re. my latest work, i’m very pleased to hear your positive words. Yes, jumping around a bit, but as you say it is the nature of this trip. Time, money and energy always play huge factors. I felt it was necessary to do it this way as I wanted a new injection into my portfolio (more than one piece), but also to build a new multimedia portfolio with Jessica. In this respect I feel the experiences to date have been successful. Yes, the sacrifice was only being able to spend a short time in locations. But I hope however as I look towards 2009, the work I/we have produced will help set up for a more settled future, and the ability to work for longer periods on specific pieces. One more step up the ladder maybe?… I hope also the interest generated in current work may present the possibility to revisit some of these stories. I would certainly like to do so.

    I don’t think there really is an answer to the question: Was this the right way to do it?… Should we maybe have slowed down and spent 3 months on one story?… I don’t know?… Everybody works in different ways. You for instance go for the “long haul” project. My experience to date has been producing stories in a week or so. And as I mentioned the multimedia was very important to us as we wanted to branch out into this growing area. I think in this respect having 3 pieces in the multimedia portfolio is a good thing.

    One thing that I do know is that I probably won’t do it this way again. Moving from one project straight into another while living out of a backpack in difficult locals has been taxing. There has been little time to breath and I feel that this may have been to the detriment of the later/current work. Just running out of juice you know!?… Which honestly leaves me baffled as to how you manage you work, travel, meetings, festivals, workshops and this blog! Dumbfounded!!!!….

    We are in Macau right now and starting a less literal piece which I hope will provide the opportunity to work a little more loosely and experiment a little more. Also, after much technical head banging our multimedia piece from the cemetery is now on my site, please drop by. Will announce this (with link) in next post.

    Thanks as always for your time and interest.


  • Greetings ALL! I have favour to ask…

    It is with great pleasure… and relief! To have the multimedia project from the cemetery story online. I hope it is still of interest. It feels like an eternity now since this was finished, but nightmares with Flash and actionscript (boorrrring) pushed things back rather. If you have a spare moment I would A: like to hear what you think, but B: know if the damn thing works for you!!!? (starts correctly streams OK etc. etc.)

    This is our first multimedia piece and we hope to produce more, so general feedback is greatly appreciated. I hope it will also serve to answer some of the questions originally raised about this community. (go to multimedia section)

    Thanks for taking the time!


  • JAMES,

    When looking at your Bangkok pictures I get a text about soldiers in Iraq…


    Thanks for your input! Interesting to hear your stories.
    For me it’s not about the technical side. It’s more the feeling that at the moment digital consumes me and gives me a hard time to relax and stay focused. Might just be a feeling though.
    What I’ve been doing lately with my color work is to shoot JPEG’s and not touch the files in the computer. It has helped me a little and I actually prefer the look to postprocessed files. It also makes me more concentrated when shooting.
    Also, as I like working with rangefinders, the options for film are preferable to the M8 for me which I worked with for almost a year.


  • James,

    I like the multimedia piece, is that a British accent? The scene setters and the last picture work very well and the audio work is good, its nice to hear your subjects speak and I’m impressed by their English. I especially like the interviews. The one with the caretaker especially. I did’nt 100% get how the exotic birds people fit in, but a second viewing should sort that out.

    The audio cut at the start just after the lady looking thru the cross is’nt quite right when I play it (Firefox 3 on PC) the voices start before the cut. Its also a bit long for my jaded instant gratification internet tastes.

    Its awesome to see geniunely good journalistic multimedia, audio backs up still images so well!

  • Incidentally I saw another good multimedia piece linked off sportsshooter today:

    What is it with black and white stills and multimedia?

  • ARIE:

    this will be quick…your hotel is right around the corner from the place we meditate, and across the street (ROM) where i’ve spent the last few weeks at various times shooting…

    how about we meet at 4:30??..i’ll meet you in front of your hotel and we’ll have a coffee in yorkville…


  • Bob,

    Excellent, I will see you on Thursday, 4:30 in front of my hotel.

    running to catch my plane



    I am sorry but I can’t access it!

    And I am desperate for good procrastination material at the moment. (Writing for government funding ARGH!!!!)

    I know I am hitch hiking on what is possibly my neighbors wireless connection, but its really pretty good (Thanx neighbors I owe you!) so I am not sure what the problem is.

    I know some people in USA have had trouble seeing my site, I wonder if its something to do with my ISP?


    I’m working like a madwoman on my self portrait assignment but have a question/need clarification. In one of your comments you mentioned that there were some technical things I needed to control. Do you recall what those might have been? It would really help me to work on those issues sooner rather than later.

    I ask ahead of time for your patience as you view my gallery. At present it is simply an unedited repository of images. And I still have more to process and post! Just trying to get things up so I can see them in one place.

    PASSWORD patricia

    Thanks so much for all your help.


  • BOB

    I would love to see your photographs from the Bloor-Avenue Rd area. When I was living downtown (Bay and Wellesley) I used to shoot around there with little, if any, success.


    After reading your comments on Divided Soul, I pulled out my copy and enjoyed it all over again. I, too, enjoy the writings as well as the photographs, particularly the description of the cowboys on the annual roundup, the woman who was being forced to leave the village she’d always known (and her husband’s original grave), and of course, Scooter!

    After that, I picked up Alex Webb’s “Istanbul”. I think Alex and DAH are both supreme masters at subtle yet at times complex compositions that put you right in the middle of the action, and are simply mesmerizing.

    With Istanbul, just last night I finally put together 2 observations: I’d always appreciated that Alex often incorporates something vertical in the center of his photographs. AND he’s been interested in “borders” for much of his photographic career… I’ve looked at that book so many times before and never made that connection- talk about authorship + content + context!

    I think your collective experience is quite common among photographers. I have my own similar story. But what I’ve really come to believe is that digital technology has reached a point where agonizing over “film vs. digital” is energy better spent on developing one’s vision and “authorship”. I think many of us agonize over “which medium”, which camera, which lens etc… I’m no professional, but for what it’s worth my personal best work comes when it comes, and it comes when I’m using the simplest setup that leaves me with minimal equipment-related decisions, so I’m not focusing on my gear. Just my 2 cents.

  • ARIE: :)))

    ok, im at school…so, i forgot: thursday, gotta meet an old student. so i guess it will have to be tomorrow (WEDNESDAY)…after i finish shooting…so, i’ll meet you at 5:45 in front of your hotel…can i bring Mike Berube?? supposed to meet Mike too…it will allow me to kill two birds with one tea/coffee…got so much goin on…let me, 5:45 in front of your hote…

    ASHER: :))..patience, my friend, patience..



    I will be in the city, midtown today and the next (tues/wed) from about 10 – 2 and then in brooklyn from about 3:30 – onward if you want to try to do a hand off of the print either in the city or in brooklyn. Thurs in brooklyn till 2..


    I’ll be in Cleve sometime in late August, maybe we can try to find a day together..but of course if you are ever here lets shoot and hang.. Yes, isn’t that Amerasian story gorgeous? Talk about being able to follow a piece as a photographer and see it through. Still, I’m amazed at how much you get done, and done so well.. I need to take a lesson from you in that. I am loving how some of the new boxing images remind me of dye transfer prints or something, the ones I said were ‘dirty’ in surface. Really evocative.. I keep thinking you should apply for a residency at the Lower East Side Printshop..I had one about 3 years ago, as a printmaker..but there is another type of residency that allows someone who works in a different medium to work with a printmaker (am not talking traditional photo prints, but fine art printmaking, like etching, seriography, lithography). Zana Briski did one with her Born into Brothels work..anyway, we can talk more via email if you want to know what on earth I am talking about.

    Re print trade…
    can you email me? I know what you really want is that Salgado, but I guess mine would do!!


    For what my opinion is worth, here’s a list of your photos that I think are the strongest:



    i am rushing out right now, so i will look at your multi-media piece this afternoon…

    there is no “right way ” to work…and i totally understand both the appeal and perhaps the necessity of “moving” from one thing to another fairly quickly…Martin Parr says he only has an attention span of two weeks for one place..

    i move too, but i do try to move within an overall “umbrella” of context…you might have that going if you piece it together right…thinking like that does require a whole different kind of editing…let’s look at all of your recent essays together when you return…


    the tech things i referred to with your work really involve just watching very carefully the light…you have beautiful light in some of your interior work and then you move out into the sun and the light fails you…we did chat a bit about this before in terms of editing out the so called “bad light” pictures so they did not spoil the others…when you go out, just try to match in mood and texture what you are doing inside…you must remember that not everything can be photographed…sometimes you just put the camera down….i.e.i work within about a 20 minute “window” for any outside work…this does not mean you have to do this, but based on the “look” of your overall work, the “outside” just needs to match the “inside” one way or can do this with either composition or use of light or both….

    cheers, david

  • Erica and DAH

    I will be in NYC till the 10th of July. I got it confused with my flight to Singapore, which is on the 12th of July. Thanks guys for trying to arrange a pick up, very much appreciated. Would love to see the print before i leave for work in Singapore.



  • Does someone here planning to be in Brasil for “Paraty em Foco” ?


    I am really thinking about enjoy Bruce Gilden’s workshop, I think it would be good learning for me even that I just got familiar with his job a couple of weeks ago. What do you tell me ?

  • SPENCER, am I crazy? The idea has been floated on more than one occasion, but I’ve always managed to stay one step ahead of the guys from the funny farm. They don’t appear to be terribly bright, but that may just be a dodge to help them get close to the reality challenged. As to the flugelhorn, my inability to play is based on two major factors: I don’t actually have a flugelhorn and even if I did have one, I dont know how to play it, being completely devoid of any form of musical ability; I can’t even hum a tune properly. And then there’s the question of whether any actual flugels were harmed in making these horns. I wouldnt want people to think that I was encouraging cruelty to defenseless flugels in any way.

    PANOS, I have spent way too much of my life reading books; I’ve been reading for so long that I dont actually remember learning how to read; it’s just something I did, like going to the bathroom or lying about who actually broke my brother’s nose with a 2 by 4.

    BOBB, I agree with most of what you wrote. Starting anything is almost always an epic pain in the ass, especially when you can’t think of anything to say. One of the things I like about photography is that you either got the picture or you didnt; there’s no going back to the beginning and starting all over again. Writing, editing, and rewriting are pernicious habits to fall into; I spend a fortune on Christmas cards every year because I rewrite them so much, a trait that drives my mother up the wall, as in “Will ye just write Merry Christmas and sign the damned thing already?!” I like Mom, but she gets on my nerves sometimes.

    ASHER, I’ve applied for government grants, or rather, I wrote the first drafts of the applications and then other people have actually done the applying. Successful grant writing is a delicate balance of high-mindedness and toadying that I’ve never been able to master. About half way through any grant application I’ve ever done, I stop to consider wouldnt this whole process be so much easier if I just went out and robbed a liquor store instead?

    PAUL T., unfortunately, I can’t tell myself that writer’s block doesnt exist, anymore than I can tell myself that the flashing red lights behind me dont exist when I blow through a red light. Reality has a way of forcing its attentions on all of us, I’m afraid. On the other hand, while thinking and commenting upon your brand spanking new edition (available at Blurb Books, everybody) I thought of the following:
    We live today in an age of ever-increasing market specialization, with niche markets pullulating like so many phony tax shelters on a millionaire’s quarterly return (not to get off the subject here, but can anyone tell me why Bill Gates, a man with a personal income larger than the gross national product of any seven Third World countries you could name off the top of your head, a man who makes more in the time it takes for him to go to the bathroom than I will make in my entire life, needs $600 from the United States government in order to stimulate the economy?). Where once consumers had to take what goods and services corporate America offered them or do without, in today’s Internet driven market more and more customers can indulge whatever taste or interest they may have, content in the knowledge that someone somewhere will have what they want to buy, no matter how strange that purchase may seem. Nowhere is that more true than in the market for sex toys, and if you are interested in this sort of thing then you should stop reading right now, because this is the last mention of sex toys in this particular bit of business.

    No, I am speaking today of the publishing industry, where the smaller, boutique publishers, the specialist presses that may only handle a few books every year, are challenging the industry’s giants for a share of the market. One need only go into bookstores and public libraries from one end of this our Great Republic to another to see the effect of these digital age Gutenbergs. Shelves strain today under the weight of new books, an odd phenomenon, given that vast numbers of the citizenry are now too illiterate to understand the pictures, much less the words, in what the trade nowadays refers to as graphic novels, which in another time and place were simply known as comic books. Cookbooks abound today as never before, with books on French and Italian cuisine growing more and more narrow in their focus. Where once Julia Child could produce a cookbook that contained all anyone would ever care to know about French cooking, today’s culinary scribes feel a constant pressure to come up with something new, something more cutting edge, something no one else has, the demand driving them to concentrate on smaller and smaller areas, to the more regional and village cuisines, going deeper and deeper into the countryside for their subject matter, until these harmless drudges of New Grub Street are describing in exquisite detail for the gastronomically deprived wretches of the New World just how the coq au vin of Madame Defarge differs in style, taste, and texture from the coq au vin of Madame Dubois, the grouchy old bat who lives two doors down from Madame Defarge in a Alpes de Haute-Provence village so remote the villagers spend a fair amount of time wondering what numeral the current Louis is up to. The discerning critic will note, however, even after a cursory examination of newly published cookbooks, that nowhere in this ever-expanding pile of culinary prose will he or she find a cookbook describing the best way to prepare and serve a missionary for the socially conscious savage who wants to impress their family and friends.

    This dearth of cannibal cookbooks seems a more than a little ethnocentric to me, if not culturally arrogant to an extreme degree, privileging Western gastronomic concepts over those of other cultures. How else will the environmentally concerned cannibal learn that Roman Catholic missionaries should be thoroughly washed and dried before eaten, as they may contain artificial preservatives known to cause cancer in laboratory rats? Or that the intelligent host should never serve Methodists, Episcopalians, or Mormons as the antipasto, reserving these denominations for the main course? Most up to date cannibals already know better than to consume Presbyterians or Dutch Reformed missionaries raw, as Calvin’s doctrine of predestination tends to give the flesh a slightly bitter aftertaste that the cook can remove by first marinating the missionary in beer (Heineken works the best; Bud Lite the worst—even the most ignorant and benighted of savages know enough to regard the vast majority of American beers as little more than slightly insipid imitations of the real thing) for several hours before cooking, but where is the anthrophagous Jacques Pepin who will tell today’s hip, with it upwardly mobile fine young cannibal that they can whip Pentecostals, Fundamentalists, and Southern Baptists into a fine frothy lemon meringue just by mentioning how much most cannibals support sex education in the schools? Alas, here is a niche market if ever there was one and apparently one that no publisher in the Western world wants to touch with a six foot Pole (Come on, admit it, you didn’t think I had the guts to use any pun that awful, did you?)

    All is not lost, though. Self-publishing has been around for a long while; Proust self-published the first volume of A la recherché du temps perdu, for example, and Whitman brought out the first edition of Leaves of Grass himself; but over time many people, perhaps influenced by the publishing industry itself, which stood to gain financially by such an attitude, came to look down on the practice, calling those publishers that still did it the vanity presses. This, today, is an antiquated attitude; modern digital self-publishing has made the process much more available for the common person who may not have access to the centers of bookmaking power in New York, Boston, or Churchill Downs. Today’s publishing software makes it possible for any budding Rachael Ray to tell the struggling young working mother the best way to juggle the often conflicting demands of demands of work, family, and how to get and prepare the best cut of Congregationalist they can afford quickly and easily. And it will not be long before she does, I think. The possibilities created in our digital age are endless and endlessly fascinating. Bon appetit, everybody!

    And now my brain hurts, so I am going to stop. That’s another thing photography has over scribbling: it very seldom gives me a headache.

  • Someone here posted a link to a boxing story that they were working on… I cant seem to find it again… I know it is a few hundred posts ago…

    Can someone send me the link?


  • David,

    I read more than I write here, and ultimately find answers/direction in your comments to others and through the “Conversation” in general. Granted many more questions are also raised..but that is the beauty of it!

    In Jackson you told me to take on a personal project, something close to home, something I could dedicate my self to. Looking through my work flow on the Mead Ranch essay you mentioned that my work was “all over the place” and that I should “draw focus” – stop jumping around. In the big picture…I am still “all over the place”…still jumping around. I feel as if I am shooting everything..and yet no one thing! Should it be so hard to find my own direction? I am not looking for a “formula” so much as an outside perspective. I have not forgotten your advice!

    Last winter I took some risks, spent money I did not have, and made my way back to Africa. I felt strongly about furthering my work in Lesotho and I wanted to come home with a “story”. I also think some part of me wanted closure and perhaps a sense of perspective to my own experiences there. I wanted to test my self as a “journalist”. I wanted to come back with images that were more complex, maybe even open the doors to future projects as I realize my work there has just begun. I still very much want to tell that Story…


    That is not my “personal project”. your were right David. My “personal project” must be in my own backyard. I am “home” now, in the four corners..sorting out my thoughts..ready to dedicate myself to “something”..searching my heart and weighing out my options.

    I have touched on topics from Chaco canyon to cattle branding, Native American culture to “western” landscapes, elk hunting and most recently the Narrow-Gauge Railroad. I am attracted to the “old ways” – I think I understand the “old west” and the “new west” equally- I prefer the old. I want to tell a story, it must involve people, a sense of culture and ultimatly I would like it to have an “Impact”.
    Do I weave these topics together to create a story..or do I need to single one idea out and develop it further? Should I consider starting from scratch? Do I ask myself ‘Will I eventually get paid for this?’ or do I just dedicate myself- keeping it Pure/Malleable like your own current “Family” endeavor….without any strings attached. great potential- no “definite” expectations?
    I have ideas, I could use some insight/direction. Any chance we could catch up in Durango around your reunion next week? are you seeking a “family project” in this area? something I could help you set up…. the old barter system! Let me know. 970.769.2939

    Cheers – Jeremy

    TO ALL: Self Portraits look STELLAR on the final slideshow! Enjoyed them very much……Congrats to all.


    i am headed for the southwest this weekend…first Santa Fe and then on up to four corners and Durango…so, since we have a good chance of meeting soonest, let’s just have this conversation in person..make sense???

    cheers, david

  • HEY DAVID (in case you missed my previous post…)

    in the mirror, white, flowing upside down… That would be me!

    I’d originally posted two options, then chose to go with my original entry, the first of the following two links. The picture was included in David McG’s gallery… Not sure what happened after that, though I am bummed the picture never landed in your court.

    Curious which of the two you preferred.

    Anna B.

  • LISA….

    perhaps staying involved with a story concept and seeing where it goes is a bit like getting married….although i have succeeded at the former and not at the latter!!!

    for sure , on any story, you will get bored…you just have to stay focused and get through it….

    as i have actually told you before “seeing there” is not at all like “being there”….

    the feeling of a final essay, when hanging on the wall or sitting there on the coffee table in book form, bears no relationship at all to what went into making it…in other words, the viewing experience is not likely to be the photographing or “production” experience..


    i would love a Española family..maybe a low rider family….

    in Santa Fe itself i am looking more for the Thousand Waves crowd…or, maybe those folks really are only in L.A….but i do like the tattoo on the daughters chest concept…

    but, if i had to choose one over the other, i would go for the descendants of the Spanish conquistadores in your area….i can always do hot tubs in Marin county or wherever…

    cheers, david

  • ANNA B.

    i do prefer the full frame, original, un-cropped un-manipulated photograph…not that i would mind either cropping or a photoshopped photo, but just not on that one…

    cheers, david


    likewise for me, going back to film feels so so good….digi is USEFUL…film is DELECTABLE….

    cheers, david


    Thanks so much for clarifying your technical concerns re: my project. Since we spoke last I’ve been doing my best to stay out of the bright sun–at least with my camera–and find some way to take outdoor pics that will sit more comfortably with my interior shots. Not easy, that. But I’ll keep at it.


    You guys are great! I can’t imagine anyone taking the time to go through that mishmash of 73 images, much less try to pick out the strongest! But you did it and I am eternally grateful.

    I’ve pulled together the favorites so far noted by you and some others here, and have posted them in a new gallery. It really helps me to see things more clearly this way. Thanks again.

    PASSWORD patricia



    ok, i watched your av piece on the cemetery….i still think your BKK work and your Cambodia Aids work is so so so much better…

    i think you are locked in on the cemetery story because of the obvious…yes, it is unusual for people to live in a cemetery…then what???

    your have 4 or 5 basic situations here in this cemetery…and you then proceed to repeat those situation so many times that they totally lose their power…i mean James, you lead off your slide show with 3 of the very same picture!!..that is 3 or is it 4 overall shots…one is enough….you repeat the woman with the glasses and the cross.. why? it will be seen as a mistake….and , well, just so so many examples of repeated scenes…

    out of the whole take, i finally came down to 5 pictures when i was trying to make the Emerging Photog slide show…i could not make it haven’t either!!! BKK, on the other hand, though not unusual like a cemetery, had so much more depth and many different pictures , each one saying something different…

    the other problem with the av show is that you do not need “talking heads” or at least not that many…if you go video you should try to show something that you cannot show with the stills…and the rapid sequence entering the cemetery does not work for me…

    the other thing is this….you telling a story of the “facts” of this cemetery just becomes tedious…just imagine if you had told the story of the cemetery through that one little person’s story…or at least something that goes beyond the oddity of life in a cemetery..

    James you are a fine photographer….you know i am a big fan of yours overall..i really like the Cambodia work…and i know many on this forum seemed to love the cemetery story…but, i am not sure why….however, just as they gave their opinion, i am giving mine…

    safe travels amigo and i look forward to a heavy editing session with you when you show up in New York…

    peace et al, david

  • AKAKY ;))))

    Now dont u go knocking Madame Dubois coq au vin….there’s a great deal of vin in her coq… how the hell do you think she ended up au provence?…or is that aix en provence? ;)))))))….

    by the way, you have almost as many links to blogs (on your blog) as the number of titles in the public library i once dwelled for too long upon before i charted my way up to toronto…by the way, im also majorly keen on rechere, of all kings and kings, not only the Proust, but the ditto on the dandies of 19th Russo Lit…imagine being a lover of 19th cent russo lit (not to be confused with 19th cent kitty lit) and married to a russian krasivaya, who happens to be a reader of great breath and writer and photographer to boot…u gotta get away from the vampire state my friend ;))))…and the quaint hamlet befor you do a hamlet notsoquaintly on yourself….:)))…brothers k or c&P??…why potaaaym but not u??, overcoat but not deadsouls or Taras Bulba, lermontov but not pushkin, sound&f or abs-abs? ;))…we gotta talk someday :)))

    now, im FRICKIN HUNGRY, your fault akaky,

    and for those who havent read it yet, here is Akaky’s hilarious and wonderful contribution to the blog-O-sphere! :))))…much here is priceless! :)))

    and i always loved your rants so much, im inclinded to think Dali had u in mind when he scibbled:

    “Democratic societies are unfit for the publication of such thunderous revelations as I am in the habit of making….”



  • For chrissakes, Bob, why are you telling everyone where to find my blog? Everyone here is going to find out that I’m a REPUBLICAN, dammit! No one will want to talk to me anymore and if they do deign to notice me, they’ll spend all their time demanding that I explain Dubya and his policies (no, I can’t, most of the time) or what part of the Constitution the vast right wing conspiracy is planning to undermine next (I dont know; meetings of the VRWC are long and boring and the lemon danish is usually stale. I stopped going after they started playing Jerry Vale records with the volume boosted way up so the older members could hear them). You know, I dont remember going around pointing you out to people, you know, except for the deli man, of course.

  • PETE

    the work you are looking for is by eric espinosa

  • ERIC

    too much reading to catch up on here, but just wanted to say this: found three bouncing balls today, labeled them “family” “bread” “photog”, and practising juggling them as we speak…. :)))

    thanks for the insights…



    Just quickly checking in…pulled over in front of some houses to catch their wireless signal. A car passed by and coincidentally it was the woman I was writing to tell you about…THE SAME WOMAN JONATHAN MENTIONED ABOVE…Nathalie…..French cowgirl…married to photographer Jim Arndt.. (Dennis Weaver type) .old chevy pickup truck. She is gorgeous, former French Vogue editor in her 50’s super long hair in a braid, covered in turquoise…cowboy hat and boots, etc…lives in a bohemian compound…owns store on canyon road.

    I told her I’d let her know if you were interested.

    10,000 waves crowd are pretty normal looking…yuppies more than hippies…don’t have a hit on that.

    The sikhs all live in Espanola too…not just lowriders.

    Reid last night said he’d put me on the “party list!”

  • Hi Bob,

    We have arrived in Toronto. Unfortunately, my eye surgery is at 4:00 PM tomorrow, so that I will not be able to meet you with Mike. Too bad, I was looking forward to a very good discussion with Mike and yourself. oh well, enjoy your meeting with Mike. Or maybe tomorrow lunch? I am trying I am trying :)



  • DAH – Not only is film delectable… it’s delightful, delicious and divine! Also, I have several friends who lived for many years in Sante Fe. One was a school teacher there. If you’re still searching, I could probably get you some contacts there.

    Patricia – I love several of these images, but I adore IMG_3182d.jpg. This for me has the most emotion.

    Akakay – I’m sick of you bleeding heart liberals. If god didn’t want us to make horns out of the flugels, he (or she) wouldn’t have made them sound so glorious once made into a horn. Oh, and the great thing about musical instruments is, you don’t have to be able to carry a tune. You just have to push the right keys or hit the right strings with your fingers on the right frets at the right time, and the instrument carries the tune for you. 6 months ago, I couldn’t play the flute, but now nobody can massacre Bach like me! It’s never too late to learn!

  • David,

    Perfect! Lookin’ forward to it. -Jeremy

  • ARI: OHHH, that’s too bad :((…problem with tomorrow (thursday) is that i have to meet a student at 3:30 pm….

    can you meet later today?? or is today (wednesday) off completely?…..i cant do lunch sadly ’cause i teach until 3:30…what time do you leave thursday, or do you leave friday?…would be such a shame to miss meeting…i can go later today (thursday) because my wife is eating dinner with a friend…as long as it’s not too late, cause i have to shoot later too and write…keep me posted…


    hope we connencts…


  • DAD (AKAKY): …well, that’s what you get for being such a genius…remember, we live in a confederacy of dunces, right left and center, and remember, we’re pinholed by google from the day we were tossed behind the deli stand ;)))))…besides, did the blog say you were an Elephant?…i mean i used to be an ass (well some still might think so), but now im an Orange (NDP in canada) with a milk-teet of green (GREENS), so, dont worry, by dad well all agaga and cause quite a hullbaloo when he mysteriously went Repub in the last years…still breaks my frickin heart, but he’s my dad, and just like you, i love him no watter what form of superbug infects his political (or your) thinking ;))))…

    and besides, you’ve got too much brilliant stuff on that blog to hide forever ;))))..

    hugs dad…

    remember the yiddish proverb:

    the son remembers what the father wishes to forget…



  • James Chance,

    I finally got a broadband connection working (I have to piggy-back on some neighbor’s wireless) so I could watch your Multimedia version of the cemetery story. I don’t have David’s authority, of course, and I haven’t worked with you as he has, but for what little it’s worth, I thought I’d offer a second (or sixth?) opinion.

    First, I really really like your b+w photography, you are a wonderful photographer. I’m not a b+w man myself, but your photos almost make me want to be one. There are many outstanding individual images in this essay. Second, I think this is a great topic for a story, both significant and interesting (maybe because a lot of the translating and editing I do as a day job relates to housing conditions of the poor in Asian cities- recently I translated a book comparing public and private policies for dealing with the homeless in South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Osaka). For me the story is already interesting enough, but maybe as David suggets you could make it even more interesting by telling it through the life story of one or a few residents.
    I have to agree with David on a couple of points… too many establishing shots, for one thing. The first one is fine, the next two are superfluous, not nearly as strong. In general there are altogether too many similar photographs as well throughout the piece. As David says, the weaker ones and the repetitive ones detract from the impact of the really good ones. I think you may need only half or even a third as many images in the show to make all the same points- just pace them a little more slowly.
    I think the video really distracts and detracts from the impact of the still photos in this particular presentation- you really don’t need it, I don’t see what it adds, in fact it subtracts from the mood created by your rich b+w photos. And if you want to do the still image ‘talking heads’ thing (which I also don’t think you really need) then it would be more effective to have them say more than just …”my name is…” and not to group them together in a clump like mug shots.
    About the cascading images along the streets approaching the cemetery… I am not quite as harshly critical as David… I think the idea is interesting, but for me it’s a little too long and repetitive and the sequencing is too fast. I think the similar ‘motion’ sequence of carrying the casket to the burial site works much better.

    I have to say I think the Gallery ‘slide show’ version of this story works better for me than the Multimedia show, although I saw a few images in the latter which I thought belonged in the former. The organization seems more cogent in the Gallery. In the Multimedia show, you start showing the social interaction of the kids before you show the actual housing conditions, which I think is backwards, and at times the commentary doesn’t seem to relate to the pictures or vice versa.

    Believe me, I can appreciate what an enormous job it must be to put something like this together and polish it, and I hope the criticism you’re getting from David (and from me and possibly others) doesn’t stop you from continuing. With the wonderful stock of photos you have (and what I maintain is a great story), it would be a shame to not bring this together in a really polished piece. I think you’ve got a lot of polishing and editing work to do, but I’m really, really looking forward to the further evolution of this piece.

    Good Luck!

  • ARIE: ????

    can you still meet today at 4:45??…or will you leave by then??…im wobbly after sipping on gin last night while writing, but if you havent left, i can meet you??…

    by the way, your hotel is really Ritz :))))..hope the surgery went well…



    Maybe you did not see the link of my new work in the last post about “mixed heritage”. So I post it again here what I posted there.



    This is the link for my project:

    Please, tell me what you think about. I did it more personnal than the previous and it is the only six I like, and I’m even not sure I’m in a the right way. I edited with a machete !(

    I was in Cuba last week for family vacation. I did not read the previous post. The last four week before have been hard. 3 jobs for pay the bills and the family vacation.

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