war photographers…..



we have read quite a bit in the "comments" about the "a good time was had by all" at this year’s Visa Pour L’Image (Perpignan)…and surely this was true….at least by most…however, this year’s photo fest, which celebrates conflict photography above all, was in fact, in itself, a scene of violence and death…

Jason P. Howe (above) author of "Columbia:Between the Lines" and veteran war photographer in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon, was beaten senseless by five men as he left an evening slide show … he  was heading to have a beer with us at the very Cafe Le Poste  in this picture…he said "they just kept yelling "money, money, money" ..i would have given them whatever i had…but they did not give me a chance..they just attacked…all they got was my cell phone..it was all i had on me"….Jason also told me that in all of his years being in and out of ridiculously dangerous situations, this was actually the worst thing that had happened to  him….

worse, 48 hrs before, and ironically  in the very spot where Jason stands for this picture, a local teenage woman took her own life by jumping from the top of the Castillet crashing to the ground in front of the merry festival goers sitting at this most popular "people watching" spot…

war photographer Bruno Stevens who has covered conflicts in Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon etc. said to me "i have seen everything doing my work…dismembered bodies, death all around, yet what i saw right here at Cafe le Poste was far and away the worst thing i have ever witnessed in my whole life..i cannot get over it..i am truly shaken"…..

by all accounts , Perpignan is a quiet, charming,  peaceful town in the south of France by the sea…friendly locals who will remember you from year to year….good food and wine…and home of surely the very best photojournalism festival in the world…i would recommend it to anyone who may want to have documentary photography in their life…and i will return and walk without fear in the streets day or night…

but this year was a grim reminder that LIFE HAPPENS everywhere, all the time…ironic and tragic that these events happened at this event, but none of us can be spared from the realities that surround us at all times…we cannot have the PROTECTION from life that we may fantasize…all of us try, all of us fail…

this is not the first irony for me involving life around Cafe le Poste…all of the best war photographers in the  world were gathered on this very same spot on September 9,2001…i remember "shooting" a couple of tequilas with the war photographer of all war photographers Jim Nachtwey and all of the VII crew since they had just "launched" their agency…laughter, hugs, merriment….48 hours later Jim watched the second tower of the World Trade Center come down on top of him and i watched it from 15 blocks away…the weather that day was perfect….

life is fragile…fleeting….never to be taken for granted…no matter how sunny the day or how good the wine….does this story sound pessimistic coming from me??  i hope not….i am always optimistic by nature….my optimism comes from knowing about the fragility of life….knowing that i should always enjoy every  moment given to me and that every moment is special…i do not live in fear….

what about you??   where does your "reality check" kick in??  do you "fear the worst" or do you "expect the best"???




408 Responses to “war photographers…..”

  • Was waiting for your new post, David :)

  • David:

    read about Jason’s encounter at Lightstalkers…Perp is totally a war zone ;)))…he had great spirits in the face of all that shit…

    anyway, i dont have time to write…but, as to your question, i tend to go by what Proust wrote:

    nothing ever happens as you hoped but also nothing is ever as you feared


    called u last night…(answering machine)…sent u a long letter with some pics ;)) (your email is filled, it was returned)…

    im now gone for camping trip…and much desired silence and time alone with marina and dima…

    we’re coming weekend of the 3rd/october


  • by the way, i (as you all know) watched a woman jump to her death (she flew right by my class room window and i raced outside to see if i could help) in october of 2006….i didnt couldnt photograph for 6 months…i will write bruno tonight….i completely understand his reaction


  • BOB…

    please get here as early as you can on the 3rd…this is the night of the student shoow with guest presenters as well..

    cheers, david

  • http://blog.melchersystem.com/2008/09/10/respectfully-yours/

    20 years is a long time for any event.. new events always have positive vibes.. older ones, certainly in music, bring other angles..

    my comfort zone was set a long while ago in respect to mortality.. what i want to see and the motivation for it was a teenage challenge..
    i’ll stretch it again that way at some point, although it is worth noting that the older i get the less i like climbing on high ladders..

  • bob – seeing suicide i a tough one.
    someone jumped of the roof of my studio a long while ago..

    the studio was in a disused factory..
    the old factory manager lost his job when it went bankrupt.. revisited the place to top himself.
    aside from the gore i had this overwhelmoing feeling that i wanted to help… but it was too late.

    a feeling i had again when giles – a collegue and music photographer – took his life last year.

    and then this year.. eric killed himself after a really cool night with friends.. 5 of us chilling at his.. playing games.. talking about music… to us a noirmal night and to him a farewell gesture.. no clues in his mannor, no indication of his plan.. we left at midnight.. he had a beer.. tied his jumper into a noose and his parter found him hours later..
    mid 20’s.. everything to look forward to .. good job.. beautiful girlfriend.. no drug history.. seemingly well balance..
    i’m still working through it.. reasons and the like.

    as i said though – alot of mortality seen by me in my late teens had me prepared for life maybe a little too young.
    when i first saw corpses it used to make me feel more alive.. it felt like tripping in a sense.. and then after a while you just think.. we are all the same.. wealth, skin colour, attitude.. we all become a shell.. empty in the end.

    i told a colleague at work one of my stories and she said ‘shit – that must screw up your dreams..’.. and it did for a while.. then the skin thickens.


    i love the t-shirt chosen to wear with his wounds.. and read on llightstalkers too..
    glad he is in good form.. tough stuff

  • to answer your point david – i hope to have overcome my own fears.. personal to me, they were there to protect and somehow prevented as an aside.
    expect the best – yes perhaps.

    the best in each moment that is.. because that is all we can hope for i think.. one good moment followed by another good moment..
    for all good minds i hope for a life without the extremes .. a calmness and reasonably balanced existance where the highs are not too ‘high’ and the lows not too low..
    i think i have unwittingly trained myself to live difficult circumstances easily.. or may be my parents taught me that..
    now to decided how best to use this talent, since i’ll not do what i’m being doing for the last chapter of life..

  • David,

    I lived in São Paulo for eight years and nothing bad ever happened to me on the streets.

    Then on a trip to my hometown in the south of Brazil a friend and myself stopped at a small town called Lajes for one night and got mugged and beaten by around 20 young men who appeared around a corner… Life, indeed!

    I usually am and always try to be optimistic and take the best out of any situation, to take it as a learning experience, to be aware and thankful, to remember that it could ‘all be over’ in a split second… This also has the effect of me not taking certain things too seriously, which also has its consequences…

    My ‘reality check’ certainly kicks in when I witness something bad happen to someone else, but also when I read Jiddu Krishnamurti and experience art which inspires me. I think above all one must DO and not only keep PLANNING and THINKING. Who knows how much time you have?

    I do my best to always expect the best though I admittedly have trouble with this sometimes. I believe that you make your own reality…that your ACTIONS define you and the world around you…

    HOPING FOR THE BEST to see you in NYC soon!!!


  • DAVID,

    It was 2001, but I think you already know that.
    I sure agree about this topic. I live in Sweden which is probably considered safe and problem free around the world. But in the last year one of my friends was attacked by two people who had stalked him and jumped out of a car. This was while walking home from a mutual friend and we walked the first bit together before splitting up in different directions. Also my parents home had an attempted break in while they were sleeping. Luckily my mother woke up and turned on the lamps. I don’t feel safe and I don’t like walking around in the night by myself. Wish I could, but I just don’t feel safe anymore, not even in my parents house. Several other things has happened as well..


  • and sept 11th..
    thoughts to all who were affected.

  • One of the most disturbing things I ever saw, was when I was doing some shopping at a popular department store in London.

    I was on the top floor, after just coming up the escalators that ran through a central courtyard of the store.

    All of a sudden I heard a blood curdling scream, followed by more screams. It turned out that a man had jumped from the fifth floor to his death and landed at the foot of shoppers in the department store eaterie. Very very disturbing.

  • When I worked on Rose, she had just made beat up by a band of young people from 11 to 15 years old. They had also affected a couple of old persons some days before, just the free violence, all this in height after noon, I admit to have been afraid one time( asking me if they would return… the life is sometimes inequitable…
    I think that the “man” can make the best as the worst, I am of optimistic nature, surement one accident which I had being adolescent, I take advantage of the present moment, we do not know that tomorrow will be made…

  • DAVID:

    3rd, yes i know…i thought that’s what you wanted from us (to come for your fiest and hang/talk with the workshop folks)??…we’ll most likely be arriving on early friday morning…and leaving on sunday…we can always talk on saturday too…whatever is fine with you…we dont want to bother your time…

    you’ll have enough with your students……

    so, we’ll bleed into the background…

    u want me to try calling again tonight? if yes, please advice…

    gotta run


  • david,

    i don’t know what people are thinking or what goes through someone’s mind to beat a man for money. i mean desperation sure… that plays a role. perhaps these men had no food, money, needed to may someone… lots of factors. but it can happen to any one of us at any time.

    you cant make sense out of non sense.

  • DAVID B:

    yes,…it’s hard to explain to others…it’s been in my life 4 times…1 stranger (the woman in 2006), 1 very close friend…and 2 family members (both survived)….

    it’s made me, for good and ill, the person i am today…

    like other forms of horror or trauma, it never really leaves your life or thoughts, does it…

    ok, gotta run


  • bob – that it exactally.

    when i think back on the moments which have most fed who i am today, more of them have to do with mortality and violence than happiness.. which perhaps the mind tries to take for granted.
    certainly – it’s made for a more humble me.. with more humility and compassion.. le ego.. more open.

  • my ‘s’ is not working..
    less ego.. not leg ego or let ego..


  • here is a thought i often have since loosing my father in 91.. and other things..

    it has never got easier when i think of these things – tears still come on occasion.. less though after time creeps on..

    maybe that is growing up.. learning to cope, rather than things becoming easier.. dealing with what, after all, effects us all.

    the video on ‘bohemians’ blog.. strange.. whenever i have seen violence it has been difficult to not step in.. in argentina when i got was bottled behind me.. in india.. and at home seeing a group fight.

    once on a bus in india out of the left window were two men savagly beating another man..
    the bus stopped.. the driver shouted and every man on the bus leapt off.. and beat up the two men because the fight was not fair.

    negative circles.

  • This thread reminds me of Mitch Robbins talking to the school class in City Slickers:

    “Value this time in your life kids, because this is the time in your life when you still have your choices, and it goes by so quickly. When you’re a teenager you think you can do anything, and you do. Your twenties are a blur. Your thirties, you raise your family, you make a little money and you think to yourself, “What happened to my twenties?” Your forties, you grow a little pot belly you grow another chin. The music starts to get too loud and one of your old girlfriends from high school becomes a grandmother. Your fifties you have a minor surgery. You’ll call it a procedure, but it’s a surgery. Your sixties you have a major surgery, the music is still loud but it doesn’t matter because you can’t hear it anyway. Seventies, you and the wife retire to Fort Lauderdale, you start eating dinner at two, lunch around ten, breakfast the night before. And you spend most of your time wandering around malls looking for the ultimate in soft yogurt and muttering “how come the kids don’t call?” By your eighties, you’ve had a major stroke, and you end up babbling to some Jamaican nurse who your wife can’t stand but who you call mama. Any questions?”

    I like Jason’s T-shirt.

    I recently saw someone in a T-shirt bearing the legend “Not Dead Yet”. I’d buy one but it may be a little optimistic.

    Shit happens; it’s all going to end in tears – but while there’s moonlight and music and love and romance – let’s face the music and dance!

    Watch your back ya’all,


  • in argentina – when a guy, that is.. not me..
    jesus – my typing this afternoon..

  • You can tell this fellow is optimistic by nature when you see the t-shirt he’s wearing. Ha, it’s wonderful that someone can make light of such an awful event. (I imagine that the fact it was completely out of his control would make it easier to accept.) Optimism seems to be one of those keys to a happy life, isn’t it? It seems people have different scales by which they judge life, what may seem an outrageously difficult series of obstacles to some may just seem like the normal way to go about living to others (i.e. the way you bounce around the globe must have a dizzying amount of logistics to manage!) I recently started running with a friend and trainer. I’m amazed that this person has taught me how to like running, I never expected to get there. But they tell me the next step is to really want to get out running. No quite there yet ;-) but you can see my point.

  • Yes life is fragile. I don’t think you are being pessamistic, just realistic. I do not go through life expecting the worst; however I try to be aware that it could happen. I got dropped off in the wrong part of Nairobi two years ago at night. The matatu driver said, “here is your stop.” The door slammed, it was dark, I looked around, and realized I had no idea where in the hell I was. It was pitch black, and we were forced to walk the streets of the city, camera bag, passport, money, all on our person. I was scared to tell you the truth. I was however optimistic that we would either find our hotel, or would flag down a cab that would get us back to safety. We made after almost being run over by a Land Rover in a roundabout. We were lucky that is was so dark, and that few people saw us. Had we needed to walk off the main road into the slums, I am convinced I would not be writing this today.
    Do I expect the worst? No. Do I think it is possible anywhere, anytime? Yes. From my worldview we live in a fallen, depraved planet, where things don’t operate like they were designed.So…bad stuff can happen.

  • “I must not fear.
    Fear is the mind-killer.
    Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
    I will face my fear.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
    Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
    Only I will remain.”

  • DAH & BOB – I will come up for the student show on the 3rd too! Thanks for the invite David and looking forward to meeting you Bob annd Erica (I hope). I will probably stay for the weekend…

    Yes, there was some crazy shit happening in Perpignan this year – but I do not think this was the norm. However, no place is 100% safe – no matter how many people and friends are there. You can not live in fear – you just need to be aware of your surroundings.

    Regarding Jason Howe – I met him one night and talked briefly. I bought his book as well – it is excellent. Lance had bought it the night before, so I tracked Jason down to purchase one. The book is beautifully made and SELF published! I am all for supporting photographers who self publish their own work – so check it out…



    yes, of course…i made the correction…


    i owe you an email..coming soonest

  • do you “fear the worst” or do you “expect the best”???

    And that was THE question for me today. As today I had to do “a tough call”. I prepared in my mind all the possible reactions, activated all my fears and all my best expectations…. and reality gave me the best answer: Life is easy and simple if you forget all those fears and go there just “naked” and with the heart on your sleeve.

    To fear the worst is definitely the worst actitude as we can provoke the negative result. The best option is to trust life in all senses. Everything occurs for something good. Even the worst.

    But a different thing is what happened to Jason P. Howe. That makes no sense at all. I don’t want to live with the fear that something like this can happen to me or anybody at the next corner, but we should be aware that in this crazy world senseless exist. Still, I will keep on walking feeling free and breathing as much fresh air as I can.

    Most of us in Perpignan where right there when David took this picture of Jason. He sat with us for a while, showed us his book and briefly talked about this attack. An anecdote that could have happened to any of us in any place in the world. Senseless.



  • war photographer Bruno Stevens who has covered conflicts in Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon etc. said to me “i have seen everything doing my work…dismembered bodies, death all around, yet what i saw right here at Cafe le Poste was far and away the worst thing i have ever witnessed in my whole life..i cannot get over it..i am truly shaken”…..

    Bob, since you will be in touch with him, can you ask him why? Does the cultural distance, a definite otherness, immune a P. more than if it happened in more congenial, familiar cultural surroundings?

    If not the otherness of far way locales and people, is the camera a shield?

    I’d really love to know why he was more affected by the teen suicide than seeing so much death, agony and suffereing in (seemingly) distant theaters of war.

  • errata: Immunize, not immune…

  • hmmm …

    I’ve knowingly narrowly escaped death so often now, that I kind of adapted to the thought. Sometimes now I am even a little careless … at least when it comes to myself only – somehow it is a concious decision to be able to let go at any time, but I know I should not be careless about it.

    Life is not fair and one simply does not have everything under control, so I try to see the positive parts that this implies … because it means it generates not only dangers but also chances out of nowhere … And one has to be looking out for those too.

    So if I am alone, I am completely fine with things. But I worry to death when I am responsible directly or indirectly for others.

    By the way… Knowing how fast things can be over made me a very restless person … There are just sooo many things I want to finish up to then … When I was younger I was the calm center of the family. This changed 100%.

  • GINA
    I bought Jason Howe’s book too. Amazing work. Very dedicated.

    He told me he spend 30.000$ to publish this book and was thus very happy for each one he could sell. Glad you bought one too.

    I even made a picture of DAH taking that picture of Jason … Unfortunately I cannot focus manually with what I had there and the camera went for the background which I only noticed later.
    Would have been a nice one otherwise.

  • GINA :)))

    great. looking forward to meeting you at the shindig…i expect it to be a wild night :)))…i’ll be the quiet one in the corner with the smart and funny and beautiful wife :)))) see u then….

    HERVE: :))..

    important and good question.

    yes, i’ll write Bruno tonight. I cant speak for him but i will ask. i dont have time to write at length (one leg out the door) but i know when i watched the woman fly by my window and ran outside only to hear a bomb (that’s the best way i can describe for you the sound of someone plummeting into the earth, it’s earth shattering and an unforgetable sound) and then to be confront by this and to be unable to do anything…something, oddly, about the “intimacy”, seeing that…i “talked” to this woman in my head for weeks and weeks (i didnt sleep for 4 days afterward)…maybe because in war, one “prepares” (sort of) themselves for this expectation and like a doctor in an ER room, disconnects or anesthetizes or comparmentalizes,…it’s a complicated thing, but for me, this event was in many ways even more traumatic for me than when my friend killed himself…it wasnt that i felt a bigger loss or felt more sad (no comparison to when i lost my friend) but i felt even more helpless with the stranger, plus i SAW it, i witnessed her dying (falling) and her death immediately and maybe because i didnt know her, it seemed, i dont know, more universal, or rather, i could “feel” her death and kept trying to understand the pain pain pain she was enduring (the emotion which caused her to leap, the falling (she never screamed), the crashing, the last breaths)….i still think of her everyday i walk into our building and re-live it in my mind…especially if i look up…but maybe in war, one decides to expect to see death and often one encounters it secondarily, when life has gone already…or rather, one thinks: someone did that to someone, instead of she/he did it to herself/himself…

    interestingly, all week i’ve be ready Jean Amery’s book (do you know him??) “the limits of the mind”…he was a survior of auschwitz, but he is also a philosopher…he has a lot to say about this…

    but i will ask bruno…i suspect the reason is that in that moment, he was not “disconnected” he was living when all of a sudden….maybe he’ll read this (he does) and answer….

    but i wish that on noone,not ever….

    ok, that’s it for me for now…disappearing into the woods…

    running (literally)

  • “do you “fear the worst” or do you “expect the best”???”

    I expect the worst and fear the best, the former because that’s what usually happens to me, and the latter because it usually involves a serious outlay of money I don’t have, thereby proving, in a sideways sort of fashion, that the best and worst are but two sides of the same wooden nickel.

  • ooops… the Typepad “swallowed” the rest of
    Akaky’s post…
    … i think…

  • I have a very positive outlook (almost unrealistic) I also have the knowledge that things can get fucked up quickly and always get worse.

    The important thing to remember is how totally amazing life is. To be alive now when you can go to the dentist, fuck how lucky is that.

    I wonder if that girl had thoughts of fame and immortality by killing herself at the feet of the worlds finest PJ’s. Surely it must have been a heavily documented death. I wonder if she will make it to a show next year?

  • Harry said:
    “…I wonder if that girl had thoughts of fame and immortality by killing herself at the feet of the worlds finest PJ’s…”

    … Harry,..
    the “real” tragic part of the story is ,
    that the FINEST PJ’S weren’t even there..
    they were sitting on a chair , watching slideshows…
    of other fine pj’s …,
    sitting on another chair on another room giving
    a fine lecture…
    All , have a fine day

  • For the 43 years I’ve lived in and around Detroit, people have been cautioning me not to travel around the city by myself at night. “It’s not safe,” they say. “People don’t care anymore. They’ll do anything!”

    Yes, I know Detroit is a violent city with lots of crime. Yes, I know a woman alone, especially a disabled white-haired woman scooting on the sidewalks by herself, is not safe. So why do I continue to drive down to the city at night alone, scoot from my parking place to a club, outdoor concert or wherever it is I’m going…and not be afraid?

    Am I a fool? Perhaps. But I’m going by 43 years of experience in this city I love, and in that time the worse thing that’s happened was one time some teenaged boys decided it would be cool to “rock” my car while I was stopped at a traffic light. No big deal. I just drove on when the light changed. Of course my doors were locked.

    Maybe someday my luck will run out, but if it does I would still say it was worth living a life without fear and expecting the best from everyone I meet. Because the best is what I receive from strangers and friends alike, and that is the energy I try to send forth wherever I go.

    Fear is the killer not a fist or a bullet.


  • thoughts of fame and immortality by killing herself at the feet of the worlds finest PJ’s.


    thats the thing.. perhaps why suicide is such a disturbing event.. we’ll never know.

    seeing death resulting from injustice.. accident.. nature.. these things can be comprehended..
    but why did my mate erick kill himself? giles? the guy from the roof of my studio?

    beate and i chatted on this the other day.. tough times.. we all have them.. what enters your head that makes a sunny day not worth living for.. a cold beer.. what can possibly make someone want to die so much that they make sure they do.. we’ll never know.

    for me – that is what disturbs me the most.. more than other instances i’ve witnessed. no where to direct the anger.. no means to understand… the crippleing guilt that we did not see it coming.. second guessing ourselves that we missed vital signals.

    we cannot ask those who were intent upon gaining their choice and speculation is useless.

    ‘So play the game “Existence” to the end
    Of the beginning, of the beginning
    Of the beginning, of the beginning
    Of the beginning, of the beginning
    Of the beginning, of the beginning’

    (tomorrow never knows.. beatles)

  • I expect the best (except when it comes to my in-laws) but wow this sounds like quite a disturbing series of events. It certainly makes one pause.

  • Nope, the comment really was that short, hard as that may be to believe

  • Good morning all,

    When I started taking road trips thousands of miles by myself my friends and family were so scared. How can you drive by yourself? What if something happens? Nothing did.

    On one occasion I had my knife ready in my purse when I came out of a bathroom at a rest stop. The guy standing in front of the kiosk made the hair on my neck stand up. In retrospect he was probably too obvious and was probably a sweetheart.

    When I was in NYC for DAH’s workshop I was staying in Washington Heights and one day while shooting on the street at 3:00 in the afternoon a boy runs by and throws a machete on the ground right next to me. Another young man, supported by his two friends came by next, his butt bleeding from an injury received from the man who had just raced by and thrown down the weapon.

    On the corner was the ambulance with another victim whose hand was badly chopped and bleeding profusely.

    The amazing thing to me was the acceptance of this violence. Not that the people on the streets and the shops condoned the violence but just accepted it as their life. Sure, everything was all a buzz for 20 minutes or so but after the ambulance left and the police had picked up the machete life picked up as if nothing had happened. And I wasn’t scared or worried and just kept shooting and taking video with my point and shoot. I uploaded some video and stills on this subject on Flickr.


    Early one morning (2:00 a.m. or so) I was awakened by a gang fight on the street below (I was staying on the 6th floor). The fighting started just out of view of the video camera but I could sort of see what was going on. A gang of men were beating the sh– out of some guy lying on the ground, with baseball bats. When the cops finally arrived baseball bats hit the ground as people ran off. You can hear it on the video, the bats hitting the ground. (Videos too large for Flickr) One of the things that amazed me was not so much that there was a fight going on but the individuals who were not involved that just continued to walk through the neighborhood, looking at what was happening but not even running or acting scared. Just accepting what was going on like it happened all the time.

    The woman I was staying with had lived in that apartment building for four years and said she had never witnessed anything like it nor had she been witness to a street fight. She felt very safe in the neighborhood, and I did too, even after witnessing the fight.

    One of the things DAH wanted me to shoot was a very old barbershop on Bedford Avenue because they were closing down and moving to a new and improved location off the avenue. I was shooting late evening and one of the men in the barbershop didn’t really like me taking his photo (I could tell from his looks but I did have permission). I left right away after seeing his look and felt like I was being followed and stayed around people and light and grabbed the first cab I found. Was it real? Who knows. But do you follow your instincts and intuition about these things. Absolutely.

    I think that fear is the killer of all things living. I have two acronyms for fear:

    False Evidence Appearing Real
    Fart Every Altered Reality (This is one I came up with about W)

    However, there is a reason for fear, it is to warn you of danger. Heed fear just don’t become a victim of fear, is what I have learned running these highways of life.



    I’m off for the weekend to sing with a circle of women on the shores of Crystal Lake in Northern Michigan. I’ll be home late Monday afternoon. Have a great weekend, and may David’s workshop be the grand experience everyone expects…


  • It really surprises me when i read a story like this in a place that is supposed to be sure.
    My hometown Caracas, is a very insecure place and you are used to look around always.
    A lot of my friends have left Venezuela and insecurity is a common word in their reasons to leave.
    But the most strange is that many of them have been assaulted or robed in the places they moved in Europe or the States.
    Maybe we think that the only place that problems happen is here, and when we go to other places we have for granted that nothing will happen. And as you said, life happens everywhere.
    By the other hand, insecurity here in increasing everyday and is very weird to see how we are used to hear tales about assaults and assassinations all the time and not to be surprised. Is like there is a false illusion that things won’t happen to you. And you continue living…
    un abrazo…

  • Hi David and all,
    I guess when I consider how tough some people have it, like famillies in crisis, abused kids, homes going into foreclosure, bankrupcy, pain and suffering, etc etc, and I reflect upon my own circumstances and station in life, compare and contrast, I have absolutely nothing to grumble about. you know I am not some high brow dude with all kinds of dollhairs stuffed into my wallet, far from it, I am what you might call in brittish terms, skint! and when I cross refernce my own woes, fears etc with some of the shit out there…no complaints from me!
    I think we can all suffer from anxiety, but thats human nature.
    anyway, things seem to work themselves out…generally…but I am an advocate for prayer, esp when overwhelmed with stress.

    also, on another note, started a new project of documenting a street in Los Angeles, all street portraits with the view camera, walking up to random folks, throwing the pitch and if a strike…taking the shots. its going well, but I have nothing posted yet, the material is starting to accumulate. I would love some critique when I got the shit ready to look at though!

    also, dropped one of our blog-ites, Robert, at the airport yesterday he is off to Argentina, should be there now…lucky bastard! we should be seeing some beautiful work from him at some point!

    thats it from me for now,
    best wishes to all!

  • I’m Sure that Jason will ( or allready has ) dust himself off , have a beer and move on , after all who has’nt been given a touch up every now and then?
    What I sense sometimes is the utter suprise and shock that some people feel when shit happens , But why me? Why Not?
    If you did’nt have the knocks and bruises ,how would you appreciate how fucking unbelievably precious life is the very fact that Bob and Bruno are still haunted by the suicide of strangers shows how utterly selfish the act is.
    As observers of humanity we have the privelige to witness the gammut of human existance , moments that others don,t get to see , private grief ,private joy and we responsibility to our loved ones to try and not bring it home with us.
    DAH in answer to your question “when did reality set in ? ”
    Hard to say – so much can have either a positive or negative effect on life and the way we live it, personally I’m a fighter by nature , a striver , a never say die sort of character , I find it the only way to cope.

  • whoooah.. now pages of comments.. just one column.. is that just me ?


    just got your email – going to read it.. and reply.
    have a great weekend

  • HERVE…

    good question…and i wish i had asked Bruno at the time why this suicide was, in effect, “worse than war” for him…

    i can only guess that it probably was, as you suggest, just the “context”…a peaceful , quiet, non-threatening scene, suddenly gripped by death…and the death of a young woman no less..16 i heard…a girl who had hopes and dreams and had somehow in that moment just not been able to COPE with life, or a fight with her parents or boyfriend or whatever….for Bruno, this certainly was not an event comparable to war , but watching the traumatic violent ending of a life would surely , i think, be just as psychologically devastating regardless of circumstances…

  • Not to be too trite here, but my biggest fears are mounting debt and loosing my dog. Other than that, I usually expect the best.

  • I was walking around the base of the Arc d’Triomphe when a man launched himself from the top of it and landed at my feet.

    I won’t forget that in a hurry.

    Its the 12th of Sept today.

    Three years since my Mum died.

    Shit just happens y’know…

  • Amigo,

    Long time. . .but I’ve been keeping up with you on the blog. I was on my back porch after an evening with some Austin photographers (including our friend Kelly, but we missed Lance) enjoying a cigar and reading with great admiration and appreciation the beautiful entry you wrote in the face of tragedy. It was some of the best and most thoughtful advice about life I’ve received in a long time.

    All’s well down south as I can see all is with you. I hope to make it to NYC before year’s end and you’ll be one of the very first to know.

    I hope to see you soon. Take care and keep in touch.

    Your amigo,

  • It’s the moments that fall on either end of the imaginable spectrum that come to mind. A small part of me teeters on the edge of that next overwhelming confusion, disaster, shared pain or experience. The chaos of the world overwhelms sometimes and how can you anticipate?

    But on this day of reflection, remembrance, quiet moments…in a city breathing in the unspoken, I am thankful for the unexpected friends that live down the hall, that call after we haven’t spoken in two years, that happen to be in the same place at the same time, that have stuck by for years, and that have popped up from this here blog.

    Best wishes to you all…

  • Akaky,
    I said …” i think…”,
    I should have said …” i’m afraid that…”,


    the amazing power of positive thinking…always in a “tight race” with all of the “overwhelming confusion”, but winning after all…


    i was starting to wonder what happened to you…any luck with the “neighborhood” book? i cannot remember the title,but i do remember your passion to do it..

    please please stop by whenever you are in town…

    cheers, david

  • BOB….

    well, you are welcomed any time…if you come on the 3rd, you will be joining us for our “last minute scramble” production mode..by then, the class will essentially be over in the sense that all student work will be finished and we will be organizing the final show..if you are interested in the shooting/editing/critique process, then you should come earlier…


    we are working very hard to come up with a good system for online editing and viewing of your various projects…your “work in progress” will have a permanent “place” so we do not have to search all over for your link etc etc..yes, Digital Railroad will be a part of it, but we are also working on a system so that it will be “seamless” from this site to the “editing room”…

    also, there will be permanently attached directions for how to submit work for editing and consideration for an EPF stipend, so that if someone misses a post, there will always be a reference…

    my inclination at the moment is to award stipends randomly rather than have a set date for “submissions”…after all, the photographers here who are eligible for funding are photographers whose work i have been following, critiquing,etc…

    i cannot remember exactly, but i think we have about 10-15 photographers on assignment right now…some started and then totally disappeared…some have completed essays…others have ongoing work to do..

    these tech changes always take longer than i think they should take, so please bear with me…but, if all goes as planned the final site should be easier for all of us…

    starting this afternoon, i must focus on my “at home” workshop class…but, i will still have time to be reading your comments etc., just not much time to comment myself..for those of you in the New York area , you are welcomed to pop in at various points and see what we are doing…just leave me a note here and i can give you appropriate times when this may work out for thee and for me…

    peace et al, david

  • DAVID:

    off to pick up the car, sent u a message email…if u have time, read….important..

    have a good workshop week…

    will be out of communication until next thursday…


  • Apropos to nothing, but perhaps to everything in life…


    wrote you an email … a very happy one.
    Just telling because it will probably be buried under all the others that will come while you are doing your workshop.

    Maybe I’d be possible to do an assignment about the one or the other … or the other … or the other. Please, please consider when you have time to breath again. Thanks in advance!

    Have fun doing your workshop,

  • David:

    I was wondering if there is any chance I can submit my on going proyect to Digital Railroad. Im not asking to be considered to EPF stipend, since I guess, it would be unfair. I just want as many critics I can get.

    Hope there is no problem.

    Many thanks


  • being on Perpignan, I already knew of Jason Howe, met him (and of course bought his book)
    I also saw some heavy fight on the night after in Cafe` de La Poste (between people living there) but I didn`t know about the girl…

    About the question: I`m always optimistic. Not only that I espect always the best but I try to see the best in every situation.
    Only few situation give no way out. For the other to see the pink side often give you the force to be support and help the others. It`s only that like this it`s easy to survive….no… it`s easier to live! :)
    Having lost both my parents when I was young, and my sister in heart just two years ago in a motorcycle accident (while I was on assignement in Burkina but, differently to what one war photographer told us he did while he was on Afganistan, I leave the assignement and come back home… but this is another topic) and having seen people suffering in many different situation and different country… I learn how to smile again from them. How to see the sun shining everywhere.

    Now I`m in Beirut, My wi-fi doesn`t work.
    I`ll read something from here in the next days… and study Digital Railroad … :).. in my time off from Photography and meeting.

    My english in this post is terrible!
    AUDREY can you tell me again what translator do you use (also in private email). So may be to read and write will be faster)

  • You know, now that I think about it, I dont even remember if I’m doing an assignment this time around. Sad but true; the memory is shot full of holes these days. In any case, amid all the doom and gloom, there’s always this:

  • LAURA, As for translators, I dont trust any of them. I once translated something I’d written into Italian and then translated the translation back into English. It made absolutely no sense whatsoever and was totally unreadable. Now, you can argue that most of what I write about most things makes no sense whatsoever, but I like to think that what I write is, at the very least, readable.

    Let’s do a scientific analysis of this phenomenon. First, something not written for the occasion and therefore the ideal test subject for this experiment:

    ” I read in the papers that an online casino recently bought, for reasons that surpasseth human understanding, I’m sure, a ten-year-old grilled cheese sandwich bearing the image of the Blessed Virgin for the sum of $28,000. I had to read the article twice, just to make sure my eyes were not deceiving me. But no, they weren’t; this is an actual news story carried in an actual newspaper on an actual day that is actually nowhere near the first of April. I suppose I could mock this event until the cows come home, making rude remarks about Jesus appearing in the cream cheese to change water into Diet Coke or Moses popping up on a Big Mac to divide the lettuce from the pickle and to let the Chosen People pass through the Red Sea of ketchup into the dessert of Sinai, but really, what would be the point? Sometimes reality is better than anything you can think up and this, I think, is one of those occasions.”

    And now, the same text, rendered into Italian and, for Audrey’s benefit, French:

    Ho letto sui giornali che un casinò online di recente acquistato, per motivi che surpasseth umana comprensione, sono sicuro che, a dieci anni, formaggio alla griglia “sandwich” che porta l’immagine della Beata Vergine per la somma di $ 28000. Ho dovuto leggere l’articolo due volte, solo per assicurarsi che i miei occhi non sono stati mi inganna. Ma no, non sono stati, questa è una vera notizia trasportate in un vero e proprio giornale a un vero e proprio giorno che è in realtà da nessuna parte vicino il primo di aprile. Suppongo che ho potuto deridere questo evento fino a quando le mucche tornare a casa, facendo rude commento su Gesù che figurano nella crema di formaggio di cambiare l’acqua in Diet Coke o che appaiono a Mosè su un Big Mac a dividere la lattuga dalla salamoia e di lasciare che il popolo eletto passare attraverso il Mar Rosso di ketchup nel dessert del Sinai, ma in realtà, quale sarebbe il punto? A volte la realtà è meglio di tutto ciò che potete immaginare e questo, a mio avviso, è una di quelle occasioni.

    J’ai lu dans les journaux que un casino en ligne récemment acheté, pour des raisons que surpasseth la compréhension entre les hommes, je suis sûr que, dix ans grillés sandwich au fromage portant l’image de la Sainte Vierge pour la somme de $ 28000. J’ai dû lire l’article deux fois, juste pour m’assurer que les yeux ne sont pas me tromper. Mais non, ils n’ont pas été, ce qui est un réel reportage transportés dans un journal sur la réalité un jour que la réalité est en fait très loin le premier avril. Je suppose que je pourrais fantaisie cet événement jusqu’à ce que les vaches reviennent à la maison, ce qui rend impoli remarques au sujet de Jésus figurant dans le fromage à la crème de changer l’eau en Diet Coke ou Moïse apparaît sur un Big Mac à diviser la laitue du décapage et de laisser le peuple élu passer à travers la mer Rouge de ketchup dans le dessert du Sinaï, mais vraiment, ce qui serait le point? Parfois, la réalité vaut mieux que tout ce que vous pouvez imaginer ce qui, je pense, est une de ces occasions.

    And now, from French into English:

    I have read in newspapers that an online casino recently purchased, for reasons that surpasseth understanding among men, I am sure that, ten years grilled cheese sandwich bearing the image of the Virgin Mary for $ 28000. I had read the article twice, just to make sure my eyes are not deceiving me. But no, they were not, which is a real news story carried in a newspaper on the reality that one day the truth is actually far the first of April. I suppose I could fancy that event until the cows come home, making rude remarks about Jesus in the cream cheese to change the water or Diet Coke Moses appears on a Big Mac divide lettuce, pickle and let the chosen people pass through the Red Sea of ketchup in the Sinai dessert, but really, what would be the point? Sometimes, reality is better than anything you can imagine what I think is one of those occasions.

    And from Italian into English:
    I read in the newspapers that a casino online recently purchased, for reasons that surpasseth understanding human, I am sure that, ten years, grilled cheese sandwich that bears the image of the Blessed Virgin for the sum of $ 28000. I had read the article twice, just to make sure that my eyes were not deceiving me. But no, were not, this is a true story carried in a real newspaper to a real day which is actually nowhere near the first of April. I suppose that I was able to mock this event until the cows come home, making rude remarks about Jesus appearing in the cream cheese to change the water in Diet Coke or appearing to Moses on a Big Mac to divide the lettuce from brine and let the people elect to go through the Red Sea of ketchup in the Sinai desert, but in reality, what would be the point? Sometimes the reality is better than anything you can imagine, and this, in my opinion, is one of those occasions.

    In both cases, I think, we can all agree that the original loses something, which is a polite way of saying that the original is taking quite a beating and probably deserves it no end. It’s not actually gibberish, but then I dont think there’s any actual gibbers here we can ask.

  • Actually the translations are pretty cool :)

    Thought they would come out worse. Guess I’ll use a translator now too :))


    Your English is fine, very understandable and even a lttle eloquent, so don’t worry about it! In fact, it is better than some of our “native speakers” here on the forum. Keep writing… I know it takes time and is not easy… but it will become easier if you practise!

    Instead of reading Akaky’s long ramble, here is a more concise example: When machine translation was first being developed for English to Chinese and C hinese to English, a visiting American Congressman was asked to say something for the machine to translate. So he said, “Out of sight, out of mind.” The machine translated it into Chinese, but the congressman couldn’t understand it, so he asked for a translation back into English. The answer was “Invisible idiot.”

  • Hey Sidney, I dont go around encouraging people not to read what you’ve posted ;-)

  • …although Sidney’s right about your English, Laura, it’s fine, don’t worry about it.

  • “…Instead of reading Akaky’s long ramble….”

    ( i hope Akaky wont see the above… i would get really pissed…)

    “… out of sight , out of mind…”, vs “… invisible idiot…”
    ( thats hilarious , Sidney, you made me laugh… :-)))) )

  • “…Instead of reading Akaky’s long ramble….”

    LOL…he has seen it already, as I think we all have ;)

    I believe I shall do lots of caffeine today. Lots.

    (off to fill the bialetti stovetop expresso machine and set it on the burner, back soon)

  • LAURA,
    did you say you are in Beirut…???

    … and worry about perfect english????
    i would say… look at me..
    i survive in hel(L.A) and i dont speak “anything”,
    at all… neither spanish ( official language ) nor english…
    dont worry too much , just watch out for bullets..”

  • No, Andrew, nobody seen anything as long as we keep it quiet…!
    yes, coffee should be the answer to all my problems too…

  • coffe? at this time of the evening?

    i’m breaking out the beers here, living in the future..

    mornin’all.. time for dinner


    Abject, obsequious apologies for this lapse in courtesy…

    In an Age less couth, mine would be the torso-less head rolling on the sand, still begging considerations, beneath Fate’s dripping scimitar…

  • Well, it’s actually noon-ish here….I’ve just decided extra caffeine may be called for today….

    Saw this last night on a bumper sticker stuck to a paper box…somewhat appropos to our thread topic, I think:

    “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to slide in sideways, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, screaming “HOLY CRAP what a ride!”

    Variations of that are attributed to Bill McKenna, motorcycle racer….

  • thank goodness for that andrew..

  • “Abject, obsequious apologies for this lapse in courtesy…

    In an Age less couth, mine would be the torso-less head rolling on the sand, still begging considerations, beneath Fate’s dripping scimitar…”

    Sidney, that made me think of this:

  • DAVID…

    Expect the worst and then be pleasantly surprised when it doesn’t happen is the way I operate :))

    As far as “normal” death… Sure, it’s painful…I had all my Aunts and Uncles and both parents die within a few years of each other and took care of all of them…HORRIBLE but it certainly got the message across that life is brief. As Richard says “We’re all only one doctor’s appointment away from a life ending diagnosis.” Is that morbid? I don’t think so. I think it’s TRUE and the truth sets you free…As my teachers in India said…Life is missed out on because everyone is so busy trying to avoid death….which is unavoidable!

    On another note…I have new work to show. Editing while waiting for Digital Railroad to be set up.

  • Hola David, All
    i am from Mexico City and for those who do not know the violence its terrible at this moment kidnap bands, narco violence make us feel constantly fear. at the same time the ¨mexicanos¨ we are a bery kind people thats why the people made a march and let me tell you that was huge a lot of people in peace asking for no ¨violencia¨ that why i have hope, thats why i expect the best always.
    i put few pictures if you want to see thisis the link


  • Life is missed out on because everyone is so busy trying to avoid death

    Are you sure that’s the way they said it? And from India, where Death and dying (to one’s self, for ex., if not real death)) are sanctified, expounded ad nauseam, ten fold more than life?

  • “Abject, obsequious apologies for this lapse in courtesy…

    In an Age less couth, mine would be the torso-less head rolling on the sand, still begging considerations, beneath Fate’s dripping scimitar…”

    But we live in a couthful age, sir, and I accept your apology in the spirit in which it was intended, and I extend to you the hand of friendship and reconciliation…but what if you dont accept it? Then wouldn’t I look like a first class schmuck, standing there with my hand out and an egg on my face, that would make me look good, wouldnt it?


    Mexico is one of my favorite countries, yet i so deplore all the violence which seems to have gotten so bad, particularly in Mexico City.

    unfortunately, your link did not open for me…


    your work is most welcomed..anyone posting here is eligible for an EPF stipend..

    cheers, david


    you’re are right
    the italian translation makes no sense at all…
    but it made me laugh though…

  • HERVE…

    I wasn’t sure if the readers here were interested in a discussion of Self Realization so I was trying to keep it simple….but since you asked, and you brought up dying “to oneself’ YES, fear of death in Advaita Vedanta, is based on the (mistaken) idea that one is an individual. Here in the words of the great Saint (and my teacher) Ramana Maharshi:

    “If a man considers he is born he cannot avoid the fear of death. Let him find out if he has been born or if the Self has any birth. He will discover that the Self always exists, that the body which is born resolves itself into thought and that the emergence of thought is the root of all mischief. Find where from thoughts emerge. Then you will abide in the ever-present inmost Self and be free from the idea of birth or the fear of death.”

    Ramana’s modern day disciples who talk primarily to Westerners say it more like this…

    “the fear of death will always exist in us until we truly decide to free ourself from our self-created illusion that we are a mortal body. Because we imagine ourself to be this body, we are unavoidably attached to it, and therefore we fear to lose it…”

    (-Michael James…who I just found by googling fear of death)

    I’ve got lots more if anyone is interested! :)))

  • HOLA ALL….

    heading to the yucatan tomorrow morning for a long weekend (back tuesday night). will not be online at all. talk with you all next week!

    adios amigos…

    I’M editing reaL HARD , right now…
    i have 4 ( four ) NEW LINKS FROM VENICE BEACH…

    i will start posting in a couple of hours…
    and this time i will be generous…
    not just 10- 20 photos per link…

    give me some time….
    go buy some beer …. WE ARE GOING to “VENICE BEACH”..
    for the weekend…

    if you are eager to vist Venice , NOW,
    no problem, just click on my name below…
    new work, coming up , hopefully in couple hours….

    THIS WEEKEND IS ALL ABOUT motherfucking Venice……
    ok, by to work…

  • DAH – love the new opening image!

  • … and whoever that doesnt wanna go Venice that early…

    the latest ” xxx ” sensation…
    over here…



  • ALL

    do not remember if I told you about my little chat with an editor from ANI at Visa … So maybe I will be repeating myself (sorry if this is the case) but I am just not in the mood to go through all the comments to check (sorry).
    Well, as I think I have mentioned, I had the wrong material with me in Perp. But we were there early and it was quiet and empty. So while Tony and Sean were outside having a coke, I sat there with the relaxed editor and we chattet a little about this and that. The main thing that came across in this conversation – and she said she was speaking for all of the ANI editors – is that she thinks there is a huge missinformation out there as to black&white photography (she was really rolling her eyes when she said this).

    She told me that if photographers wanted to sell to magazines, they definitvely should shoot in colour! Only the top names can afford to shoot in b&w and still sell stuff to mags – their name then kind of makes up for the lack of colour.

    But, as she said, many photojournalists come to ANI and show b&w photos and this is just a “waste of time and money”. If they want b&w they should try to make an exhibition or a book. If they want to sell to mags, they should use colour.

    Other than that she was complaining the poor portfolio quality of some people and the excuses that came with it – more or less the same complaint we have already heard from DAH.

    After this conversation I sat outside with Sean and mentioned it. He nodded and replied that he had thankfully found that one out at the very beginning and was therefore just shooting in colour.

    Hmmm … A lot of people here are shooting in b&w. Are you aware of this issue?

    ANI is french. And of course there are all sorts of mags in a lot of more countries. And for sure there are mags that also take b&w photos. But one should adapt to the circumstances and the needs & plans one has.


    Another thing. All the photos at Perp were framed more or less the same way. I did not really like the assymetrie that came with it, when there was a long caption on the passepartout under the photo, but … I guess that is the price one pays if one wants an overall look&feel. I think it is a question of money too …

    There were small varieties in the colour of the passepartout … and while some photographers opted for long captions, others did not have any at all.

    I included some photos with the Visa frames in the slideshow if anyone wishes to have another look at it.

    Cheers, Lassal

  • I am off now for the next 2 days. Have to concentrate on finishing a job.


    Wish you all a perfect WE!


  • Lassal or anybody…

    What is ANI??

    You said it was french, so using google.fr, we get Association des Nettoyeurs Industriels…
    (Industrial Cleaners Association)

    Je doute fortement que ça soit cela dont tu parles…

    Thanks for the answer

    ANI = Association Nationale des Iconographes

    good night,

  • David, all
    i do not know what hapen but this is the other way to see my pics


    i hope all of you can see and if you have something to comment, please.

    thank you david for your time maestro

  • i always go to the people…
    but, this time i had to avoid them..
    good light is hard to find…
    Sometimes the light is healing, sometimes annoying and blinding…

    sometimes you need to stay away from people to capture the light.

    ( now, why would anyone wanna capture the light..??? thats another story ! )


  • and for greece and china…
    and all the big screen tv’s try this link below…
    the rest of the links that are following , do involve people,
    but this one … i, .. just stayed away…;-)

    MobileMe Gallery – INTENSE VENICE COLORS


    VENICE, can turn you on, Excite you… drive you crazy… Wake you up sick… broken,

    miserable… touching yourself in the darkness of an early morning hangover…

    I came closer to people… i asked for help… see what happened and how i woke up the next morning !

    Venice Excites….


  • DAVID,

    life is fragile indeed… I would say that I never used to live in fear myself… I actually used to do some pretty risky things in the past, jumping off air-planes, adventure raids etc… I certainly did adhere to the concept of living the moment and not worrying about anything… be health, danger or whatever…

    But I wonder if it is still as true now that I have two marvellous kids… The fear I would have now would be to not be present or be there for them when needed… Bottom-line, I am not sure I would do the exact same things now… All of a sudden, I have started to worry about things I never once worried about before…. Just seems difficult for me to have little ones that depend on you and be totally fearless… Back to one of your previous post David about babies and your friend Chris Anderson who is a war photographer yet now has a little baby to watch after…this HAS to be tough….In a way, I sort of understand better someone like Jim who goes to all these dangerous places but has made many very tough sacrifices in his personal life, has no kids etc….


    Cool to see you are still going strong with your Venice essay…This perseverence will payoff… I have been back from vacations for a week now and trying to get back some energy to restart shooting for my boxing essay…kind of hard to get back into it after a few weeks break…. I admire your commitment to get going…. I will give me a kick in the butt next week and get back there… Overall, how do you see your essay going? Clearly you had a very strong start but do you find you are able to still shoot really new stuff….David often says that it is easy to take 20 very good images but to go from the 20 to 30 or 40 is the toughest part…we end up shooting more of the same and one picture replaces another but we stay stuck at 20 images…. I personally like many of the new pictures you have been shooting but I am not sure these are stronger to some of the previous ones you previously shared with us… I tell you…I face the same thing…Tough to carry on…Anyway, there is no doubt though that you will have a nice body of work about Venice… I will have to go to this place sometimes just to see it…I feel I have seen it with your eyes and wonder what I would actually find there if I was going there myself.

    TO ALL-

    I am sure that most of you will have already seen this but just in case…I went back to the Magnum in-motion site to see the essay on “access to life”. If you have not seen it, check it out…there are some very moving pieces. I particularly like the essay from Paolo Pelligrin in Mali (see attached link). Some of the last images about the little kid who is regaining strength and can play again with his brothers are particularly moving…. Was David not saying that life is fragile….in this part of the world even more….




  • I’ve been alert all my life…I have eyes around my head…some people say I’m a little paranoic but with that “radar” I’ve managed to keep myself and my family out of trouble…I see life like I see the sea…I’m not afraid of it but I surely respect how volatile and dangerous can turn in second.

    I live in a “macho” island where people kill each other so often that we just turn the page of the paper to see what else is new…sad, very sad…

    As a documentary photographer (not professional) I find harder every day to point my camera to somebody…people is more hostile than ever…we’re linving in a “survival mode”, a result of stress, economic problems, drugs, wars, poverty…

    I saw a man attack a 16 years old girl with a “machete” because he throw a kiss to her in the air and she answer “cabron”… a very, very ugly word in spanish…the man was a gardener and just attack her as a reaction to that word…I see that scene in my mind almost every night when I go to sleep.

    I think that humans are like animals…if they smell our fear….they will bite us to death…so I try not to show fear….even if I’m feel death scare.

    I also think that “projection” is the best shield to protect ourselves from danger…body language….you can be 8 feet tall and without that projection or body language you’ll get into trouble easily.

  • Thanks Cathy.

    Just replying in a down to earth manner:

    I witness constantly around me (which includes when travelling) that missing the possible meaning of what being alive means ultimately or philosophically, ie. missing out on it (the meaning of life), is not quite equal to missing out on it (life). I would add that is indeed why all things, unawares and awares, minerals, vegetal, animal not just mankind, participate of that journey.

    I think, upon reading everyone on this thread, about the last part of Rossellini’s ROMA: OPEN CITY, when the priest is led to be shot by the fascists, and the confessing abbott asks him to be courageous, facing death, and the freedom fighting priest answers these unforgettable words, quoted right hopefully: “it’s life that asks for us to be courageous, not death”.

  • LINK 3
    LINK 3
    LINK 3


    and for those with the big fat screen monitors… in greece or CHINA..
    please click below:


  • Lassal and All,

    Yes, I know about this commercial reality (in France at least, later I do not know) 3 years ago, I had presented my black and white work to the leader photo of AFP Paris, which had answered me the same thing, if you do not make of the color, it will not be sold…
    Until now, I have never begun a subject by saying to me that he can be sold, but I did not still live of the photography, I have maybe twists, I do not know, I make my subjects because I want it and not because he will be a salesman I would all the same like to live on the photography, while to make?
    I was thrown(planned) to the festival Voies off, maybe with the festival of nude 2009 in Arles, I am very flattering but I shall not be paid, while to make?
    I want this year to make a color picture library of my region and to try to sell it, but nothing is sure…
    Kind regards, audrey

  • GINA,

    Have a great trip down in Yucatan!! Sure you will enjoy it wherever you go there. Some years ago I rented a car (a nice old beatle) and drove around the peninsula. Really incredible places and some of them looked like the end of the world!. Enjoy it!


    I do love the Mali work from Pellegrin. I’ve seen it several times and do not get tired of looking at it. Touching, sensitive and the images and color just perfect. Wish my pictures could have those colors! Then I would not be scared of shooting in color…


    Thanks for sharing that conversation with the ANI editor. I was already aware of this thing. Usually for my personal work I use b&w because I just love its rawness, the power of transmitting feelings or emotions. I always thought that color disperses the main sensations…. (but seeing Pellegrin’s work in Mali, obviously I was wrong) In the other hand, I work for a magazine and, although I always present my work with one or two photos in b&w, they always choose the color ones…
    When I started my edition for Perpignan, my boyfriend told me that I should choose color. His opinion was similar to the one you gave us from the ANI editor, but Juan also added that if you really want to transmit something, then color is more rich, more powerful. But you have to do it better than with b&w, as the use of color is not easy. He told me that I should try to get the same intensity I like from b&w but in color. He pushed me to prepare my last essay in color and…. I’m happy I did it :-). I will keep the b&w photos for exhibitions or books, but definitely will present it in color to the magazines (or maybe a mixture of both which is something I do not rule out.

    Un abrazo!


  • hey all..

    took a snap yesterday which i think suits this thread just right.. it is a pun, so forgive me.


    i am editing down the last years work.. ‘new home’ is all about my emigrating and having a baby.. in 3 weeks that part of life will end as another begins.. will show it then.

  • …and…
    3 weeks till the my negs and slides arrive in norway.. then a drive to have decade finished with editing before christmas..

  • ERIC….

    you are right…one of the great secrets of life is the concept of caring more about someone else than you care about yourself…certainly having children is the ultimate manifestation of this…yes, i would imagine too that Chris Anderson would have a much harder time going into a conflict/war situation now that he has a new baby…no new fear for him personally, but a fear for the security of his son…


    yes, i agree….project fear or weakness and you will become a victim…

    i am often in potentially very dangerous neighborhoods and environments…including the toughest barios in Puerto Rico where i witnessed so much violence…

    i am usually afraid going in to a “tough” neighborhood and i am aware of the danger even more after i come out…but, while i am actually “inside”, i act as if everything is just fine…i am not too aggressive, not to meek…non-threatening, yet confident..twice i have been robbed in tough neighborhoods and twice i have had everything (yes, Leicas) returned when they decided later that i was “ok”…and , of course, the fact is that most of the people in the toughest “hoods” are just people trying to live their lives without violence…they put up this invisible shield you describe and just move on…it also really helps to stay alive in the so called worst neighborhoods if you are not involved in the drug trade…most of the violence i see is related to this…

    i always look forward to working in your country….i do have some pretty scary memories, but i also have even more memories of terrific times with Puerto Ricans who shared their lives and culture with me in the most positive way…

    cheers, david

  • project fear or weakness and you will become a victim…

    a writer i worked with years ago said he thought i was excellent at controlling my facial expression.. i thought this weird.. yet a poker face.. with a smile as a natural expression.. has got me a long way.

    been hit, bottle thrown at me.. as yet i’ve avoided being robbed.. by the skin on my teeth on occasion.

  • PANOS…

    after looking at your most recent work from Venice Beach, i am trying to figure out how i will survive the dangers of your “hood” when i show up in just a few weeks…hmmmmm, well like i told CarloS, i am afraid going in, but i will try to act fearless when i am actually THERE…..

    peace, david

  • ANA,

    It is funny you commented about the colors that Paolo is able to create in his color pictures…I would describe myself more as a color photographer but I looked at that essay thinking like you, how does he do this….how is he able to get those color palettes…the light is unbelievable almost unreal in some shots…I wish I could ask him… Interestingly, couple of weeks ago, Audrey did share a link of an interview he gave in Perpignan about the color work that he presented there (will try to find it back). Paolo explained that he was just starting in colour, still learning (seems to me he has learned fast :):)) He also mentioned that he was one of the last PRO photographers to move to digitial as he feared that he could not create what he was able to do with B&W film and development of film… but eventually, he decided to immerse himself into Photoshop, the technique etc and now moved fully to digital…. Reason I say this is that I also wonder with some of the color pictures whether these were shot close to the way these look at the end or if there is heavy work afterwards with Photoshop to get these colors etc…. I am of the pov that it does not matter at the end of the day as I love the pctures Paolo creates but at least this would help me to know…. I somehow feel that I will need one day to also immerse myself into the technique of Digital photography…I am totally useless when it comes to photoshop….an embarassement really for someone who is an engineer…. but it becomes clear to me that not learning this might limit what I could do in color…although I remember David once saying to me that he is also totally useless in Photoshop etc so there is hope….


  • Lived about 11 years in Brazil and was never robbed. Nor anything else. First time I got into something critical was here in Germany, when I stumbled over a corpse in an underground station once. Went to learn Taekwon Do afterwards … just a psychological thing … Probably would not have helped me in a critical situation but for me acting more selfconfidently. Although we learned these potentially deadly “one-steps” … Creepy stuff. But you have to come really close to use them and I still hope I’ll never get into such a situation.

    A friend of mine in Brazil once – for his birthday – got one of these ridiculously expensive watches. As it was his B-day and he was with friends, they went out to party. Friends left but 2 or 3 and as they went back to his place together, there was this lurking gang of young men … And you just notice when things are building up and they exchange these glances … Alex just knew right away – even having had 3 or 4 beer – that it was going to get tough … expecially with this shiny, brilliant watch exposed on his wrist. What did he do?
    Pretending not to notice the gang he openly looked at his new watch, once, twice, shaking his head, started to swear and then he WENT UP TO THE LEADER OF THE GANG and asked for the time, because “these stupid, cheap replicas never seem to last more than 10 minutes.”
    The gang was so perplex, as they obviously had not expected that, that they stopped whatever they were planning to do and left shortly after. Oh, yes … They told Alex what time it was, too.

    I thought that was a pretty brilliant move. :)

    Ok. Back to work.
    Should not be looking in here today.


    your link does not open for me no matter what i do….

  • ANA, ERIC,

    Paolo said in an interview that he photoshops his pics to get this color palette …
    If I remember which interview it was, I’ll get the link.


  • ERIC…

    just a quick comment because i must go to class…

    i love the work of Paolo…BUT, i do think his work relies very heavily on Photoshop…when i saw those prints, i immediately thought heavy Photoshop..he has one woman who processes is digital files and he directs “the look”…but, when the light is obviously impossible “to be” natural, then i do have some reservations…of course, Gene Smith did this in the darkroom with black & white…

    i suppose it is just a personal taste issue…certainly not an ethical one…

    cheers, david

  • ERIC,

    Please, share that link of Pellegrin’s interview when you find it, as I’m really curious about it. The first time I saw those pictures I had the feeling that he worked with photoshop. Even though, I’m incapable of getting those colors even with PS…

    For me it is fine to get advantage of some uses of Ps when you are shooting in digital. It is something like using different types of film. You choose the texture you want, contrast or just the mood as some films give. So for me that use of color does not discredit Pellegrin’s photos. Those photographs are awesome!

    While in Perpignan I only could attend one of the night projections. And it was one of the best things I did in this festival. It was exceptional! And there where also many color pictures. I have to admitt that after the color pictures some of the b&w lost impact for me (even if those where excelent too). I just wish I could see that projection again and carefully.

    Definitely color is more difficult but have much more options!



  • Thanks Audrey :-))))

    I’m going to take a look right now!

  • Pellegrin Interview
    “The color you get it in the postproduction”
    “yeah …

  • ANA…

    with Photoshop and digi files, color is not quite as difficult technically as it used to be…with color slide film you had to wait for exactly the right light and be “right on” with exposure etc. or you simply “lost” the picture…with digi/Photoshop many of these concerns are gone..

    of course, this tech combo also produces some pretty sloppy photography at times…and when i see work that is over Photoshopped, i tend to SEE the Photoshop more than i see the “intent”..

    good seeing is good seeing…you cannot Photoshop your way into a good picture… unless of course manipulation is part of the intent, part of the art…

    i think all would do well to study light in it’s natural way….then limited use of Photoshop will enhance rather than detract…

    besos, david

  • DAVID,

    Of course you are right, and Ps makes the use of color easier but most of the times unreal. Because I do want to remain faithful to nature colors my only intention using Ps is just to enhance intensity, power or rawness to feel closer to the feelings b&w gives me. But in its right measurement without losing reality. That is why I do not manipulate photos too much with Ps, just a little bit.

    I’m totally with you when you say that looking at an over photoshopped picture you just see photoshop rather than the intent. It may be acceptable for other purposes as publicity but not for real/classic photography (which I love).
    But I still think that working with digital (where you can not choose from one film to the other, and we all know that films where so different and gave so different textures or color palettes), it is a good option to work a little bit the picture with Ps.

    And definitely the best option is to study light in it’s natural way and that is what we all should do first :-)



  • hmmmm ….
    I am very insecure if I should argue about this now or not. At the end B&W is not the “real colour” either. It is totally unreal. None of us sees in B&W. But historically we are used to it. So it feels real in a way.

    At the moment, without reflecting further (which I maybe should do before posting), I would say that certain types (maybe not the completely crazy ones that become something in itself) of colour manipulations are not more or less unreal than b&w.

    Whish I had more time for this now but will absolutely turn my browser off now, as I have to get my assignment finishe for tomorrow and going on lurking in here will not help me at all…


    But be glad to go on with this discussion someday! I could not do without PS while using the S10. I have to get rid of the very, very colorful noise it generates.

  • Ähmm…

    pls do not get me wrong!!!
    Studying light etcetcetc. is important! Also for B&W as I see it.

    What I am talking about is JUST to manipulate the color on an otherwise untouched picture.

    Even dodging and burning is another discussion, but I tend to think similarly there. With my S10 I do have to increase the contrasts etc to get some real blacks. Too much detail in there otherwise.

    But I am not talking about “constructing” a picture …
    Just to not start the “wrong” discussion in my absence here now.

  • I do not “see” so much color. At least not normally. So when I look at pictures I have taken I am often shocked when I see the colors as I do not have them in mind like this. The way I work with my colors – which goes a little bit beyond of what would be necessary with my S10 – is to get the pictures the way I see them … The way I remember them. To make them MY pictures. Otherwise, even knowing I have taken them, they feel strange and “unreal” (yes) for me.

    So at the end, the pictures I present are the pictures I recall… Thus they are per se very personal …
    I hope this does not sound completely strange.

    I just wish I had a camera where I could do these adjustments in the software. So the camera would “see” as I do…

  • definitely, finally, absolutely

    Have a nice Saturday, everyone!



  • Well, that’s it, Lassal. I do like b&w because of the feelings it produces in me. But that, most of the times, is not real at all. Three months ago I took some pictures in an orphanage in Africa. It was a quite pleasant place, very sunny, very clean, very white, very tidy and with a happy atmosphere… but the b&w pictures transmit a more harsh sensation and the place looks more sad, more touching… So in that case b&w was not real at all.

    But regarding to color and the moderate use of Ps, I also agree with you. I’m not talking about changing the complete color palette. I just think that working in digital most of the times some adjustments will improve the image quite a lot (just increase contrast is what I most do and I don’t think that is manipulation)

    Hope you finish your assignment on time, Lassal!!


  • (ufff… me too)

  • LASSAL said:

    “…is to get the pictures the way I see them … The way I remember them. To make them MY pictures. Otherwise, even knowing I have taken them, they feel strange and “unreal” (yes) for me.

    So at the end, the pictures I present are the pictures I recall… Thus they are per se very personal …
    I hope this does not sound completely strange.

    I just wish I had a camera where I could do these adjustments in the software. So the camera would “see” as I do… ”

    Yes, that’s the point, isn’t it?

    Although I only got a digital SLR and stopped using film 2 and 1/2 years ago, I was an ‘early adopter’ of digital imaging technology. I started using Photoshop in 1993 (Version 2!) and have done all my own scanning of film and slides and all my own printing since 1997 when I also bought the first wide format ‘consumer’ inkjet printer available, the Epson 3000. So I am very familiar with what Photoshop can do. But for me the challenge was always to get the images to reflect what I saw, not to ‘pimp them up’. That is actually harder and takes more finesse than creating bizarre or striking effects.
    I am completely in sympathy with what Lassal is doing. And I see a great consistency (authorship??) in the look of her work and admire it. The difference between us (and between me and many photographers) is that I have never ‘seen’ in B&W, and much as I enjoy and appreciate good B&W, I have never wanted to shoot in anything but color.
    For decades, there was a prejudice against color among many ‘serious’ photographers… I used to think this was partly because most people who shot in color didn’t do their own developing and printing and had little control over the final images. There was also the ‘postcard’ and ‘red bandanna’ syndrome. But of course, people like Ernst Haas, David Muench, Raghubir Singh, and Midorikawa Yoichi were doing very subtle and sophisticated work with color even in the 1950s and early 1960s. But the prejudice against color was deep and didn’t really start eroding until the major news magazines and then finally the New York Times started regularly publishing color photography.
    I think there is still a prejudice in some ‘art photography’ circles against color work. But clearly something else is also at work here. Some people just don’t ‘see’ much color and are not comfortable working with it. And the classic photojournalism that we all grew up with, admired, and some of us wanted to emulate, was largely in B&W. But I hope we have finally reached the stage where no one is making value judgments about the ‘superiority’ of B&W to color in photography (or vice versa), because that is frankly ridiculous.

  • B&W vs color, it’s a bit like dig vs film, no? I can see that on one single picture, keeping (or channel-mixing to…) B&W might be the good choice sometimes, but as we talk so often in terms of multiple photo essays here, I rarely think that B&W is the perfect choice.

    If feeling SINCERELY, VISCERALLY and NATURALLY that B&W serves your vision best, yes, but IMO, if you choose B&W because “it” is more, or it is “less”, ie. traditionally recognized opinions/truth about the medium, that won’t hold the distance.

    I see few B&W essay from all of you that would not carry their ounce of gold in color as well (like Anton’s last link), and actually, we, as viewers, often end up with photos in B&W, not B&W photography.

    I see where the editors professionally (commercially too) stand, between photos in B&W and photos in color.

  • I mean Anton’s last link about Birgit, not from Perpignan…


    Well… MOST people afraid of “nothing”..
    they choose “anything” than “nothing”..
    they even call it “GOD”…

    Sometimes i get in the car very early….
    and i go to “venice”…
    to whatever “venice” it works for that day….
    i try hard and hard and hard,… and “NOTHING” occurs…
    can i present it to you?
    Does anyone cares…
    still though… i do… because it is “part” of my life…
    yes ladies and gents…
    because my “unexcitement” is as part of me as my “excitement”…

    so , NEW VENICE LINK , below:…:



  • David Bowen,

    Totally off of the subject but noticing you live in Norway and I just finished an excellent book by an author from there, Per Petterson, “Out Stealing Horses.” It gave me my first real taste of what is is like to actually live in Norway. He is an excellent writer and I intend to read more of his work. Have you read any of his books?


  • Panos,

    I like your Driving Around Venice story very much—it gave the feeling of loneliness, detachment… When photographing from within cars I find that sometimes you can feel a feeling of claustrophobia when looking at the pictures afterwards, a feeling of wanting to get out and yet the world outside so uninviting…

    At any rate, I think I completely understand what you say about ‘unexcitement’ becoming ‘excitement’…through photography…

  • “life is fragile…fleeting….never to be taken for granted…no matter how sunny the day or how good the wine….does this story sound pessimistic coming from me?? i hope not….i am always optimistic by nature….my optimism comes from knowing about the fragility of life….knowing that i should always enjoy every moment given to me and that every moment is special…i do not live in fear….”

    Oh life!?….

    After visiting my Grandmother, (dear old) Doris Aitken, who will reach the grand age of 90 next year and is still as sharp as a tack—yesterday I attended the funeral of a friend who life was taken far too early. Emma a (circus) aerial artist was tragically killed during practice for a performance in Ireland. It is sadly this kind of event that truly affirms to us how important it is to live for every day and try and do the things we love. In such tragic circumstances it is difficult to be positive, but it is important to recognize that Emma was doing what she loved.

    I am personally very happy and grateful to be able to do what I love. Few things are as important in life. At I time where I have been wavering slightly (in my darker moments) as to whether it will be possible to continue to make a go of it in this industry, all this has made me realize a little more, how important it is to me. LIfe can be so desperately short.

    It’s also my birthday today…. so another year older another year wiser (maybe not the latter! ;)). I am certainly very happy to able to be able to spend this time with my family and friends in England. Few drinks down the pub tonight. Loverly! Hope everyone out there is well.


  • JAMES,

    Happy birthday!!! Enjoy this day as much as you enjoy Life ;-)



  • JAMES,

    Happy birthday and sorry to hear about the funeral of your friend….


    I checked your link and actually saw a few previous Venice sections that I had never seen. I particularly like two shots from the “Orgy in Venice”. Picture 6 “25 minutes left before the 2nd set appearance” is brilliant. Like the shot, like the perspective. One of the very best shots you have taken for me. I also like the picture 14 from that set “wandering”… You do have many many shots now….Seems like a fun editing session at the very end…



  • lee

    will look it up for certain.. great..

    for now i’ve been getting into the local music.. some great artists.. jazzy electronic.. heartfelt folk.. people who DO NOT KNOW HOW GOOD THEY ARE since there is no such thing as a music media here to put them on a pedestal.. some real talent.

    thomas dybdahl is one of the most talented of neighbours.. check him playing these silences perfectly.

  • and the old boy – celebrated philosopher – talking over the track above is saying this;

    ‘Næss- “hvorledes kan min, hva vi kaller for livskvalitet, beholdes eller bli høyere? Og livskvalitet går overhodet ikke på hva man har, men hvordan man føler man er og hvorledes det er; hva er det som gleder oss?”

    ‘how can my, what we call life quality, become higher? and life quality has nothing to do with what you have, more how you feel you are (in yourself) and how things are; what is it that makes us happy?’
    (arne naess)


  • David B,

    Like the connect to Thomas D. Will check him out in World Music section at Borders today. I am always on the look out for good music. BTW, I am really enjoying your photos of musicians. The collection of last ten years is quite good; I was a groupie for many years and I loved the atmosphere of concerts.


  • ERICA,

    Thanks for the link! So funny to see my good friend Luis picking up David at the airport! What a coincidence! and then all those pictures of moments and people I met there… seems like we all where at the same places all the time :-D
    Great to see Lance and Gina there too! Oh, I’m missing Perpignan…

  • ERICA…

    Thanks for the link to Casey’s blog.

    Am I imagining things or do all the photographers at Perpignan look very chic? The women are all beautiful and the men rugged and handsome, no?

  • ERIC…
    thank you for the feedback…
    I’m still in Venice , checking the blog through
    The phone..!!!? I saw both of the comments..
    You do make sense.. Thank you..
    Ok.. Back to Venice .. NOWWWW !
    Peace and love to ALL!

  • Has anyone seen Vicky Christina Barcelona? :))

    I JUST saw it…after my last comment.
    Surprised no one has commented here about the Scarlett Johansson photographer character.

    DAVID…I think you’ll enjoy this movie! :))

  • Casey did a spirited fun job to watch and read. Thanks Erica!

    If I am not in the Far East already, I hope to come down to Venice Beach and party with Panos, David and friends.

    Not sure what’s to be afraid of down there, but count me in for “being scared and looking cool at the same time” when needed, and anyway, we can always be each other’s bodyguards!!! :-)


    Shit happens as you all know, but its not always bad….

    Life is a constant re-invention, its like riding a roller coaster- I think of the extraordinary things that have occurred during my life time- from wars to the mapping of the human genome… the loss of family and friends, the finding of new ones…

    But for me, there is always hope if there is a collective effort to improve things…

    Friends of mine are involved in this, check it out…



    i agree…but, i do not think there is any prejudice left regarding color..not with Gursky and Soth among the highest priced print salesmen in the biz!!!

    black & white vintage prints are , of course, still commanding very high prices, but most of the contemporary work in the galleries is color…

    i like both….shoot both…will even mix both in the family project exhibition…


    you are right too…we do not “see” the world in black & white…and a photographer should be able to interpret as she or he sees fit…my only reservation on Photoshop, as in the case of Paolo, is when it appears that the natural light is coming in from two different directions or is just a light trajectory impossibility… it can throw you off a bit in this type of documentary work on subject matter that is intended to be representative of a “harsh reality”….this is quite different than your use of PS…

    cheers, david

  • lee

    thanks :o)
    looking forward to finishing the edit and banging them back into colour for the next stage.


    that perp link seems to tell more about the week than most.. reminiscent of the process for music conferences.. next year will be a blast.. looking forward.
    want to get with one of those agency things first may be.. get some expenses paid..

    lisa.. good looking link – not looked through it all as yet.. obviously where i live there is an amount of sustainable hunting.. and overfishing is a problem with dwindling stocks.. there is a photo story there, i know.

  • “as in the case of Paolo, is when it appears that the natural light is coming in from two different directions”

    Do you think that light comes from Ps? Maybe somebody was holding a flash from a different point of view… I will take a careful look to the pictures again and try to see what you are talking about…


    you “had me” with frames 3, 4, 5 and then “lost me” with all of the miscellaneous frames after…the bubble blowers could be an interesting short essay, but i think you need to keep it on the more abstract side…the ones that are good are magic..the others totally take away from the better ones and kill the feeling i think you want…again, editing works!!!

    cheers, david

  • JAMES…

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMIGO…great to see you in Perpignan….i do hope we meet again soonest upon your return to U.S.

    cheers, david

  • DAVID,
    When it comes to photojournalism and photoshop (or darkroom) there’s a really fine line. I absolutely love Pellegrin’s and Majoli’s work.
    Majoli seems to work with the same technique, but that’s with artificial light and more for portraits right? Makes it more ok for me. But again I love Paolos work, but back in my head I sometimes hear Erwitts and Griffiths voices in the back of my head about manipulation and photojournalism. Do they need to make it pretty? is that their mission? But then again they are two of my absolute favourite photographers along with Lars Tunbjörk in photojournalism whose work has really grown on me. I’m stunned at seeing how well he has captured a time that is now gone (without photoshop)..


  • Ana, Eric. Thanks Guys… Was a fun night!

    David. Cheers, good seeing you too! jeez! My feet barely touched the ground in Perpignan… I think I will try and give myself more time next year! With regard to catching up again at some point soon—we will be passing through New York on the way back from the UK. It would be great to see you. I have a lot I would like to talk with you about and could even try to get an edit done of the cemetery stuff for the assignment if you have the time.

    We will be looking at tickets later today, but am expecting it to be 23rd/24th. Are you likely to be around?


  • JAMES….

    i will be here…a tu servicio..

    look forward to seeing you…

    cheers, david


    they are two of my favorite photographers as well…not really a big deal for me how those guys get the effect they want…maybe it somehow seems more “natural” in b&w, but that could be just because i have worked so long with un-manipulated color…as i said before, certainly this is not an ethical issue…

    running to class..

    cheers, david

  • ..do you “fear the worst” or do you “expect the best”???

    I’ve been on the road for a few days, clearing my visual palate from the shooting part of the assignment, thought I’d come back with fresh eyes to begin the editing..I read this post the other night but didn’t have time to respond, but I realized that there is much I could say about my personal views on fear, but not sure if this is exactly the place for it. In an abbreviated way I will say that the words ‘fear not’ have had precedence in my life for some years now, they are words that were ‘divinely spoken’ directly to me in a meditation…

    My embodiment of those words, to the best of my ability, has lead me to believe that one gains nothing from negotiating with fear..that once you enter into relationship with fear you have already begun to give away your inherent right to and position of protection and strength.

    Instead of going on at length about this, I will tell you that after traveling yesterday I spent the day getting audio for the project from some neighbors during our block party until it was dark out and and I was quite tired..went out to a late dinner, and as I was walking home, thinking of bed and sleep, I walked by something going on in the basement of the church where I photographed 40 days..

    It was a Spanish Catholic gathering, I’ve noticed it before on occasion, never went to see what it was exactly, but last night despite my fatigue I was moved to go home, get the audio recorder, and come back..the first part was what I would have expected, Spanish Catholic Mass. The priest is a black man from Africa with excellent Spanish language skills..on the wall over his head, written in Spanish on poster board in magic marker was the verse:

    fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong.

    As midnight approached, all the women were called forward; I approached, digital recorder in hand, recording..I thought it was to be a simple blessing of the women, that we are strong, dutiful, etc.. But I was unprepared for what actually transpired; we closed our eyes, and the priest began to pray fervently that we release all fear, all darkness, all illness..soon the room was gone to me, in the back of my consciousness I heard such sounds that carried me further away, he was speaking in tongues. When I became aware again of my body I was on the floor along with the other women, ‘taken over by the holy spirit’..recorder still running, body shaking, but not with fear..

  • Herve,

    I initially chose b/w for my projects because I was on a b/w kick…Im now also shooting heavily for color so the way I see it, Im sticking to b/w for all of my personal, intimate work and going for color with everything else. Its a way of differentiating inner vs outer for me….

    well..except for this http://www.flickr.com/photos/jinju/sets/72157606921704323/show/

  • rafal

    funny stuff – that gave me a real smile.. you’re little one looks easy to look after :o)

  • Erica,
    The square works well for portraits; as your work certainly attests.

    Loved the Jinju set!

    With regards to the Jason Howe incident; did they catch the Perp?

    (sorry Jason – couldn’t resist – like the Tshirt.


  • PANOS bro

    you are putting the pedal to the metal… how can i keep up… i promised you feedback but in the meantime there are several new galleries on your site!! i just cannot keep up with you…

    but that’s great… you’re in the game… stay there bro…

    i saw it all and i loved it all


  • DAVID:

    Great! How does the afternoon of Tuesday 23rd sound?… I expect to be around for a couple of days so let me know if the 24th is better. Let me know on here and i’ll follow up with you nearer the time to confirm all is well. Look forward to seeing you… Corona right!?…



  • one gains nothing from negotiating with fear

    gee, Erica, I have no idea what you mean here. fear, any, is something we all have to come to terms to, and deal (negotisating?)with in a most personal manner. The time to be totally aware of oneself and one’s emotions.

    It is not a “negotiation” we should refute, and actually just like any other obstacle, we must also negotiate it!

    Maybe you meant negotiate as giving it to it, in caes that are not strictly fear of dying or getting hurt or maimed.


    late to the party, but: happy birthday dude… great to meet you and jessica in perpignan

    here, for you: http://www.antonkusters.com/jj


  • Simon yesssss…! i agree

    “…When photographing from within cars I find that sometimes you can feel a feeling of claustrophobia when looking at the pictures afterwards, a feeling of wanting to get out and yet the world outside so uninviting…

    Posted by: Simon Griffee | September 13, 2008 at 02:27 PM…”

    Herve , totally game in Venice… cant wait to meet you there!

    Anton……duvel !!!!!!!
    sunday morning over here… lets start with a beer !!!!!

  • Rafal…
    i loved the new photos… ( color photos )..
    I loved the sleeping baby…. it felt like a movie…
    i guess with a cool song around it it will make a great
    movie “feeling”…

  • James, happy birthday … negro modelo perhaps, same brewery, better beer :))

  • Dear James,
    a very happy birthday to you and a huge hug
    (so good to know now who I am hugging! :)

    Great to hear you’re on your way to NYC.
    I am having my passport renewed and will be over there next year too.

    My best whishes to you, enjoy the day and all those still ahead!

  • RAFAL…

    just took a quick look in-between my “one on one” sessions with my current class…

    nice little series…good thinking…funny…

    cheers, david

  • JAMES…all…

    Happy Birthday fellow Virgo…Hope it was a good one.
    My birthday is coming up on Wednesday Sept. 17th.
    Usually there are TONS of virgo photographers…anyone else having a birthday?

  • cathy!

    we’re a gemini… 17th of june…


  • ALL…

    a new chapter about “Birgit”… at the beach…


    herve, i chose to stay in color! hope you don’t mind :)))

    no, seriously: any comments appreciated :))

    been thinking… talking to david in perpignan… asking his eye and his opinion… i have quite some images about her now, over the next weeks i will be gathering them all together in one place, see how i could take this story a step further…

    the diabetes, sweet kiddo birgit, her family, the happiness, the sadness, little moments… thinking about a title and i need to write a short essay about this project…

    what do you guys think of the following ‘title slide’ or for the project? does it encompass the overall project? maybe another picture better? is there enough “meaning” in the title? essay will follow as soon as i can find the words…



  • sorry. of course i meant “gals & guys”…


  • ANTON,
    Some pretty good stuff! This is not only for you, but for many here on this forum. Why do you put up so many images? 25 images from the beach? I would be happy with just 5-10 of the best and a good variety. Just my honest opinion. Maybe you put up so many images to get help with the editing? In that case sorry for my comment..


  • DAVID,
    I agree with most of what you say. It don’t want to entirely dismiss what Erwitt and Philliphs said about manipulation though.
    Better in B&W I agree, allthough the Mali piece from Pellegrin was brilliant.. As you hear, I’m split…


  • Hello everybody! Hard to follow all the comments…

    Thanks for your comments on my website, I modified the title of the page, and the button to start the photos show. You were right about theses things…The blue photo is my favorite (i think the only good photo of the whole thing). According to your comment about too much floor, i’m very interested in your opinion, and next time i’ll try to shoot from low angle. But as I was with a 50mm and the stage is quite large, it was floor or ceil…maybe using a longer focal would solve the issue, as i can’t move of course…

    Thanks for the link Gérard Uféras! I love his photos, and his eye. I watched it in Réponses Photos sometime ago. The text about him was very interesting; i think he’s a true photographer.

    Merci encore! Si tu as 5 minutes, n’hésites pas à me dire ce que tu penses des quelques photos qui sont sur mon site…

    thanks for your comment about the photos! My website was ready since one year, but i only needed a good reason to put in online, so it was quite easy…if you need help to build your own, don’t hesitate to ask me help or advice.

  • martin

    exactly… need insights on possible edits… lots of repitition i know… sorry i should ‘ve mentioned that one :)

    but now i’m curious… which would you pick?

    for a really tight edit, i think i’d go for 1,2,4,5,6,7,8

    what do you think?


  • In memory of David Foster Wallace


    “It might just be that simple.”

  • BOB
    I heard an interview he gave not so long ago and was perplex when I heard today of how he died.
    What an incredible loss …

  • Vis a vis DFW, five will get ten that he was suffering from depression, whether diagnosed or undiagnosed. Nobody just decides out of the clear blue sky to just kill themselves. There’s always signs that something is wrong, but most people simply dont pick up on them.

  • ANTON,
    OK, I see. I think that you are the best editor for your own work. Not us at the forum :)
    I’d say 1,5 and 7 for an even tighter edit. To me no. 5 is the best. Nothing wrong with your colour, but sometimes I get a very commercial feel from it, sort of microstock. Don’t want to be harsh, but I don’t know if it works with the story. But on the other hand it can also be your signature. I don’t get that vibe in shot no. 5.
    WOW, I sound like the worst critic, but there’s really great potential in you work. Just work with tighter edits..


  • hey martin

    thanks for taking a look and the comments

    yes you are right the color in the images is still something i am looking for. these are basically unaltered out of the camera. i am not focusing on color right now, i keep telling myself it’s because i first want to get the edits right… but to be honest i have no clue what to do color-wise so i keep postponing it :)

    Herve hinted along the same direction as well, having a kind of a “color signature” of sorts…

    i’ll be looking into that one… thanks for the feedback!

    VENICE UPDATE…………………………… LINK no: 42……….

    well… i heard them say that you are what you think ..
    or you eventually become your thoughts…
    you are your thoughts… you also are what you eat…

    so, when i approached venice for the first time , i knew im gonna get burned but i didnt know to what degree…
    All those people that i met in venice,
    all those characters eventually became ME, even for a while,
    even for a night…
    A TRIBUTE TO ALL THOSE motherfuckers that helped me or stood in my way… to those who became one even for a second over a beer or a kiss…
    my mind is a collage of all those influences… those photos are also a collage,… A TRIBUTE TO THOSE VENICE DEMONS…


  • WOW PANOS! Impressed am I!



    ( if you have the big fat screen, click below… )


  • Gustavo Aragon Garcia

    Hola David
    yesssss thank you man you make my day ja ja ja you do not know but for me the fact that you see my pictures its something amazing ja yehaaaaaa sorry i never show my work because i feel fear about the reaction
    abouth the editing i agree with you but i did not know if the abstract images told you something thats why i tried to complement with the ¨others¨ just one thing more you sed 3,4,5, ¨had you¨ but what about 1 and 2.
    Gracias Maestro y salud

  • PANOS…

    some very nice portraits my man…yes, you know i am going to say you need to take quite a few out, but the good ones left over are many and add significantly to your overall body of work…looking forward to late november and an edit…if you really really bust it, i will bet we can find a book by then..or, at least, very damn close…stay stay in zone you are in..do not let up….captions killer….

    hugs, david


    for me , it is 3,4,5, …vision of life through the bubble…the others were just way too didactic or “straight” for my taste…who needs INFORMATION on the bubble blowers??? no, the BUBBLE floating through time and space, with such a short life span is IT….

    saludos, david

  • Hi David,
    long time now see….. are you going to be around in NY in October ?


    maybe early in october…later i will be on my road trip and on down to oaxaca, mexico for my last full on shooting workshop of the year..anyway, if i am around, my door is open..

    cheers, david

  • Hi everyone;

    I’ve had to become a lurker for the last month or so, I’ve been too busy to contribute. A magazine I work for folded and as it provided 50% of my income I’ve had to do a lot of scrambling about looking for new work… Things were pretty dire for a while but hopefully things are back on track now.

    Re the B&W debate; A hypothetical situation. I am about to put a gallery up on my website and I feel they are stronger in B&W. Do I put them up in colour because that’s what editors are saying they want? Or do I go with my gut feeling and leave them B&W and maybe lose sales.

    If you totally rely on image/article sales to pay the bills it’s actually quite a serious conundrum… Any thoughts?

    I’ve deleted and added some images to my Timor gallery on Lightstalkers so any comments would be appreciated…. The photo essay and article will be out in the December edition of Australian Photography (B&W and colour).

    It doesn’t look like I’ll get back to Timor for Xmas because of the magazine hassle, but should be able to by March/April.

    Cheers everyone.

  • Herve , totally game in Venice…

    Panos, I just checked the time David would be down there, very late November. Not sure I will be able to make it.

    Few know what my situation has been this year, responsibility wise and then work wise (abyssmal). I simply need to get the ball rolling again…

  • Herve ,
    do not worry … everything is “abysmall” right now..
    from love to money..

    thank you.!

    peace and ( of course ) , hugs !

  • panos

    good work… yet another view of venice… i feel you are building up a strong body of work… again i am impressed

    like david says you will need to edit eventually (but not yet now), and when you do all the jewels will rise and be together in one place and we will all see it come together… it will be cool to witness that moment

    peace bro and keep it up you are doing great…

  • and hugs to you too, herve… roll on…

  • abyssmal… sorry…
    i really meant “fucked up”…

  • Panos, I like very much your portraits, you realized a big work, I do not dare to imagine how many photos you have all in all!! You are so prolific!

    James, happy birthday, we shall meet next year, I know now what you look like!

    Anton, tu sais tout le bien que je pense de Brigit…

    Best regards, audrey

  • Anton… ;-) . love & hugs.

    Audrey…:-) . love & hugs.


    About Paolo’s work, I was also amazed by the exhibition that I have seen in PERP, the colors are amazing but the emotions popping out of his pictures are stronger than this I think. About colors I guess that the way he’s subtly using the flash light is also very helpfull to get an amazing unnatural light… Photoshop makes the things easier, but a crappy picture is a crappy picture, PS won’t help much in that case, this means that the better the picture is out of the memory card, the better it will be on the print…

  • David,

    thanks! I mean its just a lighthearted idea, I got struck by it and shot most of it in an hour or so. Its just a way of having fun with the camera when out shopping.

  • panos..

    you’ve got your game sorted – great..

    one large project has to be broken down into little projects.. weather the shoot is for one day or 2 months..
    you’re covering it all – personal life, outside life – from all distances.. overall, portrait and middle ground.. – and you’re looking for shapes, layers and moments..

    doing this repeatedly each time you shoot – and choosing what will be shot today – you are really breaking it into workable chunks..

    keep on.. it’s getting stronger by the week.. shoot your socks of.

  • rafal, all.

    colour or BnW.. these days of digital the option is much wider.
    shooting only colour film, as i have since 97, has given me the option.. there are some excellent papers for printing colour to b&w and as said earlier – magazines try hard to be colourful since it sells.
    i’m looking forward to getting a bulk film loader up and running again soon.. since i have a project which is not dependant upon colour – it’s about motives.. whats happening.

    i find editing in b&w simpler.. some photos need colour since that is the point of them.. others do not.
    if colour boosts the idea of a photo – go for it.. if colour distracts from the point then drop it.

    it’s not really been a conflict in my mind between the two.. it’s more like choosing which cheese to accompany a good bottle of wine.. where perhaps the wine is the point and the cheese the added bonus.

    actually, terrible analogy.. given the photo meaning of ‘cheese’.. wish i had used tea instead.. breakfast or earl grey..

  • rafal

    i love the quality of colour you have in riverside.. it’s at quite a contrast to the richness of the other set..
    is riverside digitally desaturated?
    it’s an effect i really like and can easily produce the mood and pensive quality of b&w while also giving hints and information about the colours.. a good middle-ground when the occassion suits it.

  • PANOS,

    Some good shots there, yes! But I agree that you need a tight edit to get the very best. My favourite one, the one that kept me nodding for a while: # 6, the King of all homless. Yeah! you got it, man! ;-)


    Yes, that is why I like that Mali work from Pellegrin. Emotions are really strong there! And I think the colors add strenght to the images. I do think he was using flash too, and probably not straight from the camera view. I really wish I could see him while shooting!

    But one thing is for sure: as you said, the better the picture is out of the camera, the better it will be on the print. And that is my goal, to get the best from the camera! By the way, I want to start a new project where I want to test exclusively with natural light. :-)

    Big smiles for this morning!


  • David,

    thats my dilemmma….keep them different or editi them to be the same in terms of color? My original idea was to keep them different as Riverside is much more detached whereas Parklife has a much closer quality for me with a lot of photos that include my family..Im still not sure which is the better opttion although I like how you picked up on that without me saying anything about it.

  • RAFAL…

    in your case, it is not whether you are shooting in b&w or color…it is whether you are going to be close or detached…when i see Riverside or Parklife i do not immediately think “oh Rafal has switched to color”..i think “oh Rafal has changed his style of shooting”..PART of the style change involves the color/b&w shift, but mostly it is a perspective change….if those two projects (Parklife, Riverside) were in b&w, they would still have a very different look, or rather emotional connection and feel, than the family at home work in b&w…

    cheers, david

  • all:

    as to the discussion of color vs. b/w, i would ask you a very simple question…how is it that you remember….how is that you dream, remember your dreams…how is that you you “see” the world…the answers to these questions are as disparate as the people who travel along the thread-strings of their lives…maybe one can make an argument for Photojournalism (then again, we’ve been down this road before and i dont see my hero PJG’s work as any more “objective” that Paolo’s work…when someone can point out to me the difference between lying on a belly at a particular angle to capture the particular expression of a woman crying over a prostrate body in a ditch (a pjg pic) and the photographs of a photographer shooting in a specific light condition and then swirling them with the darkness he perceives (pp pic) then i’ll recant ;)))…

    I oftent find the entire discussion of b/w vs. color pretty empty…not about the discussion itself but about what folk have to say (this is better than this, this is easier than that, this is more “real” this is more “classic” this is more “arty”, this is easier to do, this is more safe, etc etc…this conveys reality this conveys artifice, this is this is this this is this is ;))) )…

    it seems to me that we too easily make proclamations of what should and should be done rather than to embrace the gorgeous and heart-cut thump that is this magnificent craft of story telling we call photography…

    while i understand the the “practical” discussion the PE had with Lassal (i hear this all the time from friends of mine who are PE’s) the more far-reaching understanding is totally lost on that PE…and that’s why increasingly i find many of the discussion i have with the people who churn the livelihoods of photographers forlorn and depressing…

    then again what do i know…


  • David,

    yes in a way its different although with Park Life Im now working to make it more intimate and personal like Home Sweet Home…I would like Park Life and Riverside to integrate and Park Life might carry that intimacy that my black and white family and home work hopefully has. I think that a detached style can coexist happily with an intimate style and an intimate style might infuse intimact into a detached style.

  • I like that line: ‘life is fragile…fleeting….never to be taken for granted…no matter how sunny the day or how good the wine’.

    Well, that’s in part why we photograph, right?! To get closer to reality and life and beauty and really feel what it’s like to be alive. I am constantly aware of the fragility of life and the fleetingness of youth. . . God! I just love being alive! I am only 30 but will be sad to have to go one day. I love all the women in this world and red wine too. It is simply the best being on this earth.

    David: will you still be around in NYC the third week of September? I will be there then.

  • DAVIN!

    “I love all the women in this world and red wine too”

    priceless :))))))))

  • KYUNG-HEE :)))

    just got your note…have sent u a message :))))…

    yes, we WILL SEE YOU in nyc :))))


  • “I love all the women in this world and red wine too”

    now Davin will be known for this line all over the world! :D

  • Davin, you remind me of a letter Lenny Bernstein sent to Ned Rorem about love and life, a take on you women and wine quote:

    “Ned, you and I are the same. We want everyone to love us. But it’s impossible…. We just don’t have enough time for each!”.

    Panos, I liked your driving shots a lot. Somehow, they, and the whole Venice speak to me a damned lot more than your more personal projects (maybe because it’s California-personal, always a bit duller at the outset than on the onset, no idea truly).

    I hope the idea of the book sticks, the journey will really take flight in that format. We commented on that scene and its characters before. It’s overwhelming the idea that they are all ready to be swept away, annihilated by a slightly bigger tide. Metaphorically, and who knows, in real too.

    Do you ever get the feeling that you could one day, get there, and no one will be there, or actually, that forlorn as they may be, you see them but they are not there anymore, anyway, ghosts (not spirits) in a material world. yes, that’s the part I like the best in your photographic journey. The precious stubborness of claiming life when everything about you says dead, washed off, uncounted for, call absent.

    Strong coffee this morning…

    And so, I have a title for ZE book, one that will also bounce off from the other Venice, threatened as well:

    VENICE (waiting for the tide)

    If completely off, blame the coffee… ;-)

  • GINA

    excited to see you in NYC..

    MIKE R

    thanks :)


    oh, what a shame about DFW :(


    about not being willing to negotiate with fear..

    I agree with you that it is right to confront fear; fear is to be harnessed, named, recognized, used and released. But that is different than coming into negotiation with it, as in, “I will only fear a little”… It is the enemy, so to speak, insidious and all pervasive, especially so when it is mental fear, open the door to it and it will run amuck. I think it is helpful to see fear which wells up cognitively as a limited, isolated experience, one that transpires in the present and in time. I do think that facing fear like a warrior in combat will help to eliminate it, to put it down..we have the right to ownership over our own lives and it’s ok to be a hard ass about it. But also I feel it is possible to personalize the emotion of fear so that it becomes humanized and ones own instincts can surface – compassion perhaps; so that the fear can be replaced with more helpful emotions.

    I see all fear essentially as the fear of self injury – be it to the carnal.. death, or emotional, psychic, or to one’s position or stature. It is the threat of lessening or dissolution, that the inevitable will become the present; such as physical decay or the loss of what one holds dear. Yet there is nothing that can transpire that cannot be used for ones own eventual growth and gain, especially in the grander sense if you accept that even after death there is the possibility that the soul continues.

    Of course, when something physically threatening and awful is happening in the moment, the challenge to not let fear ‘in’ is huge, but it is not insurmountable, and not succumbing to fear may be the very thing that saves ones life. I was in a crazy car accident once, I was driving on a crowded highway going fast fast, my car essentially imploded and smashed into a semi truck, spun out across the lanes, and I think because I was in a calm place and was able to stay there without fear and didn’t react in any fearful way, that I lived. Of course I give in to fear in smaller ways all the time in my daily life, but I am trying not to..

    hope that isn’t too preachy, not intended as such, just my position..

  • DAVID:

    It was great to see you in Perpignan. It’s so easy to get a false sense of someone based on their online personality, so I have to say that it was a real pleasure to get to know you more in person. It gave me a new perspective and that was a good thing.

    I also saw the down side of celebrity status in Perpignan. I’m not one that likes too much attention and I got the sense that at times you don’t like it either, but you handle it quite well. I’m thinking freaky masks and hovering ex students, stalking wanabees and such;-)

    I also wanted to thank you and let you know that your feedback on my story on African refugees in Spain was spot on and really helpful.

    As you suggested I went out and added more images of Barcelona to the story. The magazine editor I had been communicating with originally was considering it for a small section of the magazine, but in Perpignan she told me she wants to pitch it as a feature to the editorial board, so I have to give you a big thanks. If it comes through it could be a nice break for me. I would have shared that with you on Friday night but I didn’t want to be an ass and brag in group conversation.

    Two more things, One, your “master” class that your loft, how can I get information on the next one? Two, so I have some new project ideas. I was originally waiting to work on it, because of the status of the never ending assignments, but I’ve got the itch now. So once the Digital Railroad page is set up, we just start uploading? I already am using DRR, although I don’t know if that matters.

    Thanks and all the best,


    Another happy birthday to you, man. I can’t, however, make any sense of your comment about not touching your feet to the ground in Perpignan. Every time I saw you, mate, you were sitting on your ass and usually with a beer in your hand;-)

    It was also really great to get to hang out with you. I hope it becomes an annual thing and look forward to seeing good things from you this year. All the best to you and your better half in Guatemala.

    un abrazo,

  • ANTON… and Anton.. :))

    My husband Richard was born on June 18th so believe me, I know the anton and anton syndrome very well! Although I use different names for Richie’s “characters”. I call his sensitive side “Ethan” for example… :))

    I was glad to read the editing conversation with Martin and Anton. It seemed to be honest and free from bullshit.

    I woke up this morning wondering what many are gaining from the recent feedback they are getting here. It seems that as everyone is getting to be “friends” the feedback is less truthful (for lack of a better word) and more ego-boosting in nature…which has its place…but…

    Some days all I read here is how GREAT everyone’s work is….Is it ALL that great? Maybe it is…but is that really what everyone is looking to hear? I’d seriously like to know…when posting work here are you looking for accolades or do you want to learn and grow? I sometimes hesitate to be honest now because it seems I would be the only one saying something other than “great work”

    I certainly get my share of criticism when I post work. Am I the only one whose work needs improvement :))

    Just thought it might be time for a little reality check!

  • Herve said:

    “… It’s overwhelming the idea that they are all ready to be swept away, annihilated by a slightly bigger tide. Metaphorically, and who knows, in real too….”

    Herve, you nailed it… i feel sad, very very sad…

    my VENICE BEACH “MICROCOSMOS”… will eventually die… its already DEAD…
    on life SUPPORT MACHINES….

    my little “VENICE SOAP OPERA”… is coming to an END…

    and, yes , my friend Herve, i do expect the TSUNAMI coming soon… i dont have too much time…
    Venice is dying…


    HORNY & left out…
    VENICE (waiting for the tide)……………………..

    Horny in Venice ( keep it together )
    so lets check a new LINK……. number 43…


    Venice Beach can reward you if know how to WAIT…

    but you can’t be acting DESPERATE in Venice…

    ( quick suggestion: try to masturbate and “release” yourself before you go down to venice)..

    never go to venice beach HORNY or HUNGRY…




  • and as always ,( for the “big, fat, screeners- the full rez. ones … click below )


    … being horny ands hungry in Venice Beach…

  • David B, thank you..

    Lassal… ;-)))))))))))))

    Bob. ( got your email… you really made me happy earlier… a promise is a promise… ;-) )

    and AGAIN…



    & for BIG SCREEN ( full res. )


    ok… im depleted now… i have a migraine…. i need to get it together , get in the car and drive those god damn 99 MILES
    from the DESERT to fucking Venice….
    ( but before i get in the car… Do not forget, : masturbate and then eat….. dont go there , horny or hungry…
    just dont…!

  • Thanks Cathy!
    Not easy being honest and I thought one or two times about what I said. If people are posting links here I suppose they want to be criticized, especially if they post 20-30 images from a day of shooting. It’s great getting help and suggestions from others, but you yourself really have to be your own worst critic..


  • cathy

    wow different names for our characters… there’s an idea! i’ve always thought friends called me different names randomly, but there just might be a reason for that… i’ll ask the other me’s and try to find out :)))

    yes and i really appreciate the ‘no-bullshit’ approach (like martin’s) a lot too… it is so incredibly helpful when people speak their minds free of fear for… whatever… but this is only an issue online i think… like when i met Audrey and Neil and James and Pierre Yves in person in perpignan and they looked through my images i got the most incredible feedback…

    here online, i seldom feel confident enough to comment myself (not being into photography for that long yet), maybe because i don’t have an “experienced” eye… i only seem able to “feel” things when i see images presented by people here, but i can’t translate that into words properly and comment accordingly…

    and i often feel bad that i’m more often asking for everyone’s advice than i can offer it… feel like i can’t give as much as i ask… but i hope eventually as i gain experience i might be able to turn this around…

    do i make sense?

  • martin yes please do keep doing this… and thanks for doing this…



    “you yourself really have to be your own worst critic..”

    You are absolutely correct.

    David tells me I take criticism very well…that’s because I have so much practice giving it to myself :))

  • anton…

    Glad to know that “in person” feedback is preferable to online. I’ll have to get to one of the photo “gatherings” next year. I would have thought it would be easier to be honest online but there is definitely a much greater possibility for taking things the wrong way when we are writing.

    I also feel that there is so much work being shown here and just do not have the time to be able to comment on all of it. I try to say a few words here and there whenever possible. BTW I looked at your beach shots earlier but any thoughts I had you already discussed with Martin.

    As far as feeling “not capable” of commenting…If you feel moved by work you see here, don’t hesitate to say something. I’m sure the photographer will be happy to read whatever words you come up with.

  • PANOS:

    yES, I always keep my promises…only sometimes it takes time for life to make it possible, but if u r patient enough, it will come true…and for that promise, yes, i WILL do it…whenever you are ready…that’s how “Ordinary Things” was born…i made a promise to Rene (who doesnt comment here any more) and gave him something for his work…and, well..im serious…when u and david make it happen for you, i will give you what i am able: some song :)))…but, you should know that i think this: YOU ARE THE BEST CAPTION WRITER i’ve ever read…i love love your captions…even when you’re sad, they’re filled with such fucking beautiful humour, i love that in people, and have little time for people who dont laugh, especially when then sad :)))…what else do we have if not our sense of humour about ourselves or lives. :)))…


    I can only speak for myself. I think much of the discussion here is wonderful and thoughtful and hugely nutritional. If it weren’t, i would have high-tailed it outta here long ago…not only the insight and friendship that David offers but from the membership…

    i can tell u this though: one person’s genuine feelings and reflections is another’s bullshit. i’ll give you an example: i wrote comments about others work here (sidney’s work on the Asian festivals this summer) only to get an email from someone saying this: “bob, person x wrote me that he/she thinks your comments about y were arrogant, pretentious and totally uninformed, as if you were already a Magnum photographer…”..yes, that’s what someone wrote when i offered some thoughts. I also am not a bullshitter and have made it a point of my life to support and praise and to point out strengths (at least when it’s in an environment that is large like the web), reserving more specific misgivings for either personal relationships (talking or emails). Hell, there have been times when i disagree with David and have written extensively about that too (and i’ve been criticized for that too), so i think the most “real” approach is when a person chooses to speak with comfort about their opinions and thoughts, keeping in mind that each person comes to photography with their own background, ideas, education and work aesthetic/experience. I enjoyed reading the conversation between Martin and Anton, just as i enjoyed speaking with Anton about the color/b-w issue with the essay on Brigit. I think the truth is that what is wonderful and great about the blog is that the blog is many many things to many many different people and that’s what is important. Questions about edit are critical and conversations are really important, but i don’t think it’s possible to decide when the blog is too “nice” or not “real” enough…

    again, i can only speak for myself, but i’ll share with you why i share pictures with the blog. It’s actually very simple. I shared some (the previews) of Bones of the last 2 weeks as i was nearing completion of the edit I want to send to David, as a way to share with the group what i was going through, what i had been working on and how this was coming to fruition. Especially, since sadly i tend to write alot here and show little (but that’ has nothing to do with the my photography, because i do have alot of work) because i enjoy chatting and i love the conversation that lives here, i thought it was important to share with members the work i’d spoken about. David will have my “final” (well, let’s say for now) edit at weeks’s end, as i dont want to trouble him during his workshop. I also do not show work here just for “praise.” In fact, quite the opposite. I show work because i dont know another way to communicate with some of the people here…we are spread out. increasingly, the blog is “home” for people to drop by to chat, argue, share, edit, say hello, ruminate, move on….I feel increasingly that what i can do best as a member here is to write something i’m thinking about or to share work that might be interesting…but even now, i feel that i take up too much of the blog’s time…too many comments, too long of a rift (even with my 1 hr a day limit)…and…as a photographer, i also feel that i dont david or any of the blog to fee burdened…

    this will be the last year i submit work for efp, cause i feel fortunate enough to have participated last year and this year by doing work, making a project that i expressedly did for this community: i mean, one inspired by the group, by david and by each of y’all…

    thus, i think the best criticism of “editing” or “color/bw” or “narrative” or “publication” or any of that is to allow for each contributor (when showing work) to look for what they, in their heart’s seek…

    i’ll be bald in my honesty: i will share bones with you because i’ve invested my entire life in the idea, in the shooting/scanning/developing/editing, and i want to share this not because i think it’s a great essay but because it shall stand for what i best love about this blog:

    members being who they are and bringing to the table of photography what it is that defines them as people and by extension what defines their work, their waking life…

    i really like the loose nature of the blog…but all the praise and all the criticism and arguments and ideas…i think if all the “praise” seems vacuous then i tend to think that’s because it is (imho) quite empty feeling to criticizing just by looking rather than offering a dialogue (like martin and anton did with one another, or what i hope i was able to do with Lance over True Grit (on the blog and in private emails))…

    more important than “honest” criticism is honest conversation :))))…that can be all good or all negative or a mix between the 2 :)))

    i know what you mean, but just know that some of us mean the praise we offer and hope that words, in the full sense of our thoughts, make sense ;))

    (but i know im rambling: im still thinking about the silence of our camping trip (beautiful) and return to the suicide of one of my beloved writers)…

    we know much much less than we ever imagine…


  • BOB…

    Thanks for SHARING. :))

    Yes, of course sharing is the essence of what we’re doing…here as everywhere. This is what I was looking for by posing my question…just checking to see where everyone is coming from.

    I agree… Dialog is much more valuable than merely “good job” or “bad job” without explanation. It is thru the dialog of this blog that we learn and grow. Interesting that your critique was “critiqued”. Other than DAH (whose opinion here matters most to me) all opinions given here should be equally welcome.

    On another note…What’s up with all the suicides lately? Tragic.

    Now I’M running!

  • Cathy,

    I couldnt agree more, and wanted to write it many times but feared to spoil the “party”. Mutual respect about everyone’s work is good but sometimes this leads to an excess of praising, IMO.
    I like a lot of work i see here, and i wrote it sometimes, but honestly i also see a lot of unimportant stuff, photographs seen thousands of times. But i dont like many established photographers either (a good professional is not necessarily an artist or a poet) so i’m very cautious before using the word “great”.

  • BOB

    I’m both surprised and quite chagrined to hear that you got such an email in even remote connection with the honest critique you offered (and which I asked for) in response to my tentative and hardly groundbreaking pictures. Have no idea who it might have been, and I don’t really want to know… When I post work and make it available for this forum’s readers to view, I know I’m “asking for it”… I am not, nor never will be, “with it” in the mainstream of DAH admirers and students, nor Magnum members or admirers… my stuff is way too ‘straight’, old-fashioned and pedestrian and ‘postcardy’. A lot of the work that gets shown here, and admired and encouraged (including by DAH himself) is stuff I quite frankly don’t “get”… as is also a lot of Magnum work (and consequently I don’t feel the need to comment on it much)… on the other hand, some of it I do “get”, and it certainly helps challenge me to be a little less of a middle-brow fossil… I have no illusions about the quality or ‘relevance’ of my own work… and am not particularly thin-skinned about it either, so if someone felt I didn’t deserve your ‘honest criticism”, then their concern was misplaced at least as far as I’m concerned. Sometimes I even feel a bit guilty about posting here because my views (and my pictures even more so!) are so out of step with DAH and most of the forum’s readers

    You wrote:

    “…members being who they are and bringing to the table of photography what it is that defines them as people and by extension what defines their work, their waking life…”

    and then again:

    “…more important than “honest” criticism is honest conversation :))))…that can be all good or all negative or a mix between the 2 :)))…”

    I’m totally in sympathy with those sentiments. You and I have very different styles of expression (with both words and images), very different tastes, and frequently different opinions… but in valuing the conversation and give and take among all of us, we are in complete agreement.


  • Sidney,

    we, more or less, wrote the same things, probably posting simultaneously.
    Time ago I also asked for some comments on a series of photos, but had zero of them (Marcin was the only one who bothered, to say the truth).
    So I also thought maybe my pictures were too old-fashioned to deserve any honest criticism….


    I was feeling anxious about bringing this subject up but it is leading to some good conversation which is nice.

    I often call myself “a photographer who doesn’t like photography” so I can relate to what both of you have said. Of course this is meant as a joke…there is much photography I LOVE but my love doesn’t come easy :)) Sidney my tastes also lean towards the more traditional so I join in your feeling of not “getting” a lot of what is praised here. I also agree with you that exposure to the work here has helped me to loosen up.

    Great that we can all be here together with our different ways of seeing and experiencing the world.

  • i come here for photographic companionship in all honesty.
    i’m extremely weary of critical approaches to viewing the work of people who are enjoying what they do, and i really believe that half the time – as charles pointed out with barcelona work – all that is needed is a nod in the right direction on occasion.. and on other occasions the motivation of time-frame and a showing of work.

    some negative crits can be more about inflation of ego just as some praise can be, although the recipient of the inflated ego is on the opposite side in each case.
    as bob says – honest conversation is more rewarding.

    one thing which surprises me about this forum is the lack of ego.. the lack of negative ego and sharp put downs.. its there in professional life and on other forums, and it’s refreshing here to not see that.

    ego – it’s not a bad thing to have.
    in norway there is a tradition of janteloven, where it is deemed wrong to exhibit your particular talent.. i used to think this was cool.. and then i thought, why not be proud?

    not too proud obviously.. i mean to say – bob.. his words and work are peculiar to him.. he does ‘himself’ extremely well.. and so why would i want to tackle that?
    panos.. is doing his thing with all the style and grace of someone looking for the edges.. the edges.. peripheral places and rare moments from everyday life.. it’s his life and i cannot direct that.. anton.. rafal.. david mc.. patricia..
    everyone here is doing here thing with various degrees of success.. and i don’t feel it is my place to comment on that which i am only learning myself, (despite the full career behind me already).
    there is someone else here who is much better at that.. the person themselves.. and someone much better to guide.. DAH.. and so i leave it to their grace to comment and adjust.

    i see this place much less like a classroom or collage crit, and more like an enabler and vehicle to encourage and nurture development.

    as to why i came here..
    i wish i had been here for the last decade.. or at least while i was still in the maelstrom of the recent pasts work life.. posting daily would be great.. it would have been fascinating.. it would not have changed my work though.. there may have been good pointers, but i would still have done my thing.. shot the same amount.. chased the same commissions..

    for me coming here is about staying connected with a good bunch of people, with a shared passion for photo-making and an open mind to all kinds of work.. variety.
    i came here to get away from the confidence game which needed to be played for the past years.. to be a little more vulnerable and to catch some intelligent thoughts on the day to day of editing..

    are we really here for appraisals?
    although they are always welcome, we can get those from editors if we call them or send work over.. which i shall be doing again soon..
    and we’re not all here to show work frequently.. many of us are in a different place photographically which doesn’t suit weekly posting yet..

    it is noteworthy that some of my favorite posters do not post photos.. then, perhaps, that is the nature of a forum where we cannot post photographs individually..

    of course i hope that in 6 months or so when i’m looking to get my book out i will need honest critique and i know and trust some of the minds here to do that with real talent – because giving critique is a real talent.. and not one i feel comfortable or willing to express here.. because i do that in collage for students.. and here among my peers i would rather kick back with chatter and opinion exchanging until i get onto one of the assignment trains..

    there is a lot to be learn’t here – and from my reading of the past forums it’s more about communication and the method than direct critique of photos.. more about.. more about understanding and encouragement than direction.. because i believe that everyone here has there thing, and will do there thing.. and frankly – i’m not confident enough to talk about other peoples thing since all i know is what i do.. and all i hope is that i do it well.

  • david b, sydney, guido, cathy

    hear hear.

    wisdom being told for sure

    don’t you love the way they didn’t edit out the gurgle during the intro of “wish you were here”…

  • http://www.aniboom.com/video/235299/Reckoner-v2/

    stick it on full screen and play loud with headphones..

    we’ll all face the reckoner..
    night all.

  • david b

    the BEST song for this moment… thanks for that link

    night night. going to bed too.

  • radiohead had a contest..
    click the spinning cube to see the winners.. :o)

  • ……..Harvey’s particular talents as a teacher.

    “The idea for the workshop came out of the blog I was starting to do about that time,” he says. Harvey’s blog, called Road Trips (go to davidalanharvey.com), has become one of the most enthusiastically read photo forums on the Web. More than a diary, the blog is an ongoing conversation that Harvey conducts with a wide audience of young photographers around the world.

    Harvey discusses specific techniques and broad philosophical issues on the blog, sometimes simply waxing poetic about his own images. (“i hear a sad song . . . i do not understand the words, but i can ‘feel’ it is sad . . . i wander São Paulo, with not a clue where i am, but i am told i am now in the heart of Samba.”) He also challenges his audience with photo assignments, while moderating and directing the comments and responses he receives to his posts. “If you want to know what my workshops are like, just read the blog,” he says.

    Harvey limits his workshop, which will be held for the third time this October, to ten students, whom he selects after reviewing their portfolios. He sends them on assignments throughout the city, and, at the end of the week, holds a high-pressure slide show in which they present their final projects to the likes of James Nachtwey and Eugene Richards. Throughout the week Harvey also brings people from the New York journalism, art, and publishing worlds to his loft to meet his students.

    “About 75 percent of the students are interested in photojournalism, but we also have people who consider themselves fine-art photographers,” he says. “We get mid-career people and people just starting out.”…….

    hmmmmm, never read this before…
    right on Harvey

  • I think there is not one critique that has been done here but in the spirit of conversation, ie. Just talking. That’s why we have misunderstanding sometimes, words come out too fast, across the room, not in private and the sorts. Frankly it’s my problem here, I am just talking typing words, and it probably looks like I am writing. Hell, no, just typed conversation.

    Bob, i’d be surprised if the rude e-mail you got came from one of us regulars. Cathy, you are privileged to be shown room for improvement, the worse criticism would indeed be unconditionnal praise or, of course, total indifference.

    Though Guido, not getting feedback as you asked, only shows the nature of the net, not indifference. Timing can be off, for any reason and personally, I think we should give an essay sometime before tackling any kind of crit… oops…. Conversation, to it. I think your “essay” on the elders shows great compassion, and talent for portraiture (which is maybe slightly more about timing than psychology), while being more a collection of photos than an essay, lacking environmental shots, hence, though hardly the only good one, my favorite shot is the first.

    I too differ from the friends here who go into lauding mode as soon as one or the other puts a link. We read, expediently that is, why they like it but never learn why others should like it (the definition of critiquing). My own love of photography has grown exponentially because I read what others had to say about a photographer, a picture, a book, that went beyond “great work!”.

  • Thanks for the birthday wishes!! Glad to have got that over for another year… phew!

    Hey ANTON, I checked through your images earlier. You have some nice stuff up there, I especially like the one you chose as a “cover” shot in the following link. It has a really nice atmosphere and feeling to it. It really stands out against a lot of the others… which, in some cases I feel are a bit “stocky” (I think somebody else made a similar comment)… Problem is my G4 Mac wont show the files right now, I’ll get hold of Jess’ later, and have another look. I’ll pass on my favs then. Thanks so much for the pic by the way, we love it!


  • Charlie!! Careful you will smear my clean livin’ reputation!!… Sippin’ on a nice Calvados right now ;) I hope to catch up with you before next year but if not at least i’ll have something to look forward to!!

    All the best mate!



    CATHY :))…totally understand and i didnt meant to criticize your request (hope you didnt see it at that) only that what i love about this place is 1) variety of thought,experience,passion,language,desire,nationality,personality, etc and 2) the totally “professionalism”…the supportive nature: it’s totally rare, as Dave B, points out…even when we scrap or disagree, there is no other “blog”/community so receptive to equality of personality and work…

    SIDNEY :))..yea, that email totally took the wind out of my desire to write anymore about others work, and please know that I totally love when you post…i mean, from the moment 1 1 1/3 years ago you first showed up and wrote about Korea/Asia i was smitten…and dont judge too harshly me by my mad-dash posts…i tend to reserve my “thoughtfulness” for when editing ;)))…here, it’s just lots of joyeous and wacko banter :))))…but, though yes we differ hugely in writing/photo, i respect you a great deal and love when you write :)))

    HERVE: :))) well, it wasnt one of the regular regulars…but, it was a person who comes…but hell, aint no big deal, right…i figured if we all judged one another on what we write, we’d all love only david and hate each other ;)))…fortunately our online persona aint totally who we are…i hope im much much less pretentious in real life: for that you’d have to ask people in the know, who i’ve talked to like Lance or know personally like Mike Berube, but yea, the emailer wasn’t one of the inner circel ;)))

    DAVID B :))))….you da man…

    now, im done…

    silencium :)))


  • What you can plan is too small for you to live…
    David Whyte


    listened to radiohead much today..am feeling a bit introspective and this was the song of choice..


    much respect for the honest dialogue about sharing and receiving..just want to add that sometimes a lack of feedback is due to not having enough time, or happens simply because the words aren’t accessible; not always because of a lack of appreciation.

  • DAVIN…

    yes, i will be here…please stop by and check all the activity going in my loft…lots of pictures being taken and shown…you are most welcomed any time….


    i do not think it is a matter of being honest…it is just that in person one can move pictures around, create juxtapositions, just edit easier…i promise you that an hour of editing in person just could not be matched on line in any amount of time..but , of course, i will still do the best i can!!

    cheers, david


    i do not think you are “out of step”..and the fact that you do not admire all that i may admire only reflects your individuality, which is something i admire!!

    you are here my friend…along with all the rest of us…all of us here read with relish any article you may write…you think things over…articulate well… speak your mind…as far as i am concerned that is what this forum is all about…


    cheers, david


    much respect for the honest dialogue about sharing and receiving..just want to add that sometimes a lack of feedback is due to not having enough time, or happens simply because the words aren’t accessible; not always because of a lack of appreciation.

    Posted by: erica mcdonald | September 15, 2008 at 09:10 PM

    Erica, ALL , i totally agree …
    Guido,… i was telling Pat the other day..
    why people just email me personally and not talk in public, in the open forum..( especially if its a “positive” comment..?
    i know the feeling of being “ignored”, because , this is the NATURE of every ARTIST…
    Guido, have faith … not only in DAH, or “us” here in this blog..
    but in yourself…
    trust me,.. WE ALL FEEL IGNORED or INSECURE from times to times or once in a while… trust me.. trust us… its in the nature
    of every “artist” i know… self doubt, insecurity…. you name it..

    (thank you ERICA , you totally covered me on this…!:-)

  • now… Cathy , you are really “funny” sometimes…

    you are “raising hell” for NOT following the (“harsh and constructive critique..”? ) command over here ….
    ( when i was “doing” it… in ones face… all year long , last year,
    you definitely did not “support” me on that……
    soooooo, what happens now …????

    and since you are dying for a hardcore “CRITIQUE SESSION”..?????
    then, why dont YOU , start with me…..????????????
    ( work critique i mean…)

    so… instead of just complaining, why dont you start working…???

    ( cathy , before you get really upset, you know i love you…,
    but you really, really bug me sometimes…:-))))))))))) )


    thanks amigos…you summed it up….


    to the best of my recollection (which is not always perfect) i have seen very few comments from you here over the last few months…some people write more than others, and many (most) do not write at all…

    i honestly do not recall seeing a link to your work…it is pretty easy to miss things these days, so it is always a good idea to put a link up twice or so…i remember missing one of Rafal’s links…he simply posted again, and i had time to look..

    in the very near future we will have a permanent place, Digital Railroad, for links and individual works of selected photographers…you may know that i have “assigned” about 15 photographers whose work i know well and regularly post and are critiqued by all readers and by me…i cannot possibly critique every link that everyone sends..i do see many more than i have time to write about…however, honestly, a really great link will make me write!!!…and like everything else in life , it does not hurt to keep asking….if i feel a photographer really really wants some feedback from me, i will figure out a way to do it….so, i guess my point is, you have to stay on top of it…make sure we all know what you are doing….suggest an assignment….keep us up to date…so many do this here and it seems to work…

    post your link again…if i have time to write this much to you, i have time to take a look!!!

    cheers, david


    ok.. let me make it “clear”…
    for all the “xxx” lovers out there… fuck you…!
    go to bed… i have “nothing” for you all…
    for the ones that expect the “revolution”,
    or the next “messiah”… fuck it , go to bed…
    but for the “simple”, the “open-minded”, just gimme 20 min…


  • CATHY…

    anyone who messes with Anton and Panos is my enemy!!!

    oh Cathy , you know i am teasing, but how did you get yourself in this mess??? you actually HAVE contradicted yourself….better go back to the archives and check it out!!!

    hasn’t the discussion over “traditional” vs. “leading edge” gone on for centuries??? “no accounting for taste” is an understatement, isn’t it??

    not all “traditional” is worthwhile…nor is all “nouveau verité”…

    one thing for sure about critique and the subsequent interpretation of the critique…usually the critiquer and the critiquee are not on the same page..if the two do not have the same REFERENCES (i.e.knowledge of what has gone on before), then the critique can be taken out of context or totally skewed in the mind of the critiquee and a total misinterpretation of the words of the critiquer…get it??

    hugs, love, david

  • DAH

    about what you just said re references..yes, yes..a thousand times yes..


    about fragility..someone just sent this to my inbox

    Walk around feeling like a leaf.
    Know you could tumble any second.
    Then decide what to do with your time.

  • David;
    I hope you don’t mind me re-posting this but am really interested in the b&w conundrum I mentioned above. Any thoughts? (If you have enough time)


    “I’ve had to become a lurker for the last month or so, I’ve been too busy to contribute. A magazine I work for folded and as it provided 50% of my income I’ve had to do a lot of scrambling about looking for new work… Things were pretty dire for a while but hopefully things are back on track now.

    Re the B&W debate; A hypothetical situation. I am about to put a gallery up on my website and I feel they are stronger in B&W. Do I put them up in colour because that’s what editors are saying they want? Or do I go with my gut feeling and leave them B&W and maybe lose sales.

    If you totally rely on image/article sales to pay the bills it’s actually quite a serious conundrum… Any thoughts?

    I’ve deleted and added some images to my Timor gallery on Lightstalkers so any comments would be appreciated…. Additions are #’s 14, 15,17,18, 27. The photo essay and article will be out in the December edition of Australian Photography (B&W and colour).

    It doesn’t look like I’ll get back to Timor for Xmas because of the magazine hassle, but should be able to by March/April.

    Cheers everyone.”

  • ROSS…


    i am surprised you even asked….

    OF COURSE, YOU PUT UP THE WORK IN BLACK AND WHITE…the way you feel it looks best…

    surely you want to make editors pleased with what you do…you want another job from them.

    but PLEASING editors and PANDERING to editors is two different things..besides, are you really SURE they would not be interested in you as a black & white photographer..do not listen to too many people..figure out who you respect…mostly, listen to yourself…create an interest in you as a photographer based on your talent, ability to get the job done, and a true knowledge of the story at hand..as i have said several time before, be the the smartest person in the room on any particular subject…editors respect that…

    on your site, it might be wise to show that you can shoot color IF you actually have some great color…not just because you CAN shoot color…

    walking the fine line of doing your “own thing” and still paying the bills is one of the main things this forum is all all about….

    cheers and welcome back, david

  • David;

    Thank you! Those were my thoughts too, but it’s good to be able to bounce ideas to solidify your own views. The changes I have made are both b&w and colour.

    I have only used colour when I thought a particular image screams colour…. I feel it comes down to integrity, and hopefully it shows in the resulting work.


  • walking the fine line of doing your “own thing” and still paying the bills is one of the main things this forum is all all about….

    cheers and welcome back, david

    Posted by: david alan harvey | September 15, 2008 at 10:26 PM

    sometimes … MANY MANY TIMES,… WALKING “UNDER” the “FINE”…Line…
    wayyyyyy under….!
    feel me..?
    ever lived in LA ????

  • PANOS….

    hey dude, i am with you and feel your pain…seriously…for one thing, i am totally trying to finance my family project by myself (so far)…nightmare…like why did i decide to shoot med format film and make double sets of contacts on a self-financed project??? digi would be one twentieth the cost overall…

    so, you are working the wire??? balancing act?? cutting it close??? living the dream , but teetering on the abyss?? welcome to the club…

    hey, you are doing the work..in your own way…do it well enough and it might just come back to you financially…selling books, prints, getting an assignment tailored to you…this should get you just enough money to go out and spend it doing yet another project that will get you even closer to that deep deep hole where you walk along the edge and feel the breeze knowing you could slip at any moment, but also realizing you can really LIVE no other way….

    breathe deep….enjoy….

    cheers, hugs, david

  • “where you walk along the edge and feel the breeze knowing you could slip at any moment”

    Well David, the wind has sure blown long and strong over the last month….. But couldn’t even begin to consider doing anything else!!


  • ok, ALL…. LINK 44…( HOW TO SURVIVE IN A BAD ECONOMY- if… you have the skills…!


    VENICE BEACH………….!

  • DAH

    sorry, but have to laugh in a joyful / mournful way..

    ‘why did i decide to shoot med format film and make double sets of contacts on a self-financed project???’

    the girl sitting here scanning her stacks of negatives feels your pain..in fact I want to buy you a beer more than ever now.

    I just hope the club that you are inviting Panos to join doesn’t have any dues that aren’t payable by credit card :)

  • b/w and color issue, that is also a bit of a tricky one for me too, I realized that I truly love the way large format renders color, but I also love shooting b/w, so I find myself taking 2 shots of the same subject unless there is no doubt that it would be better in one or the other. so generally I end up with two sheets of the same thing, it can be a little costly. but I do like the thought of an extra back up sheet just in case.
    I am really looking forward to presenting the new work I am shooting in Echo Park LA, David, when the work is up, in 1 or 2 weeks, would you all please take a look. I am shooting, as I said, color and b/w and the final edit will be a combination of both, but it would be pretty cool to get some feedback.
    best wishes to all

  • PANOS….

    nobody has more really bad pictures mixed in with some really GREAT pictures than you!!

    but, what the hell, it is part of your charm…

    do i get to meet this crowd when i show up at Venice or will you give me a sanitized tour??

    cheers, david


    I’ve just returned home after four days away and am doing my best to catch up on all that has happened here. Not an easy task. But I was struck by your comment posted earlier today in which you asked the question,

    “Some days all I read here is how GREAT everyone’s work is….Is it ALL that great? Maybe it is…but is that really what everyone is looking to hear?”

    I am one of those on the blog whose feedback is often positive. At the same time I am always honest. If I have a question of suggestion about someone’s work, I never hesitate to say it.

    Back in the mid-90s when I taught watercolor painting to adults, I learned to suggest not critique. Believe me, I’d had my share of confidence-destroying critiques in art school. From them I learned nothing. But when a professor brought forth new ideas and suggestions as to how I could improve my work, I lapped it up. I personally believe that encouragement is a more effective teaching tool than criticism.

    When I say “encouragement,” I do not mean patting someone on the head and saying their work is great when it isn’t. I mean finding the best in someone’s work and encouraging them to explore that direction. It means focusing on the positive not the negative.

    There are still ways to say that something is not working. But if I go hammering that point without bringing up what IS working, the listener is inclined to miss the point because their defense mechanisms get triggered and they can no longer hear what I have to say.

    I sense that most readers/participants of this blog want to grow, want to hear the truth, and are asking for feedback that will help them move forward. Each of us is at a different stage of growth; that’s what makes it especially important not to judge one the same as you’d judge another. A good number of our people are professional photographers who have been doing this work for years. Others are just starting out. Sometimes I know their history and sometimes not. That’s why I try to step gently so as not to be too harsh on tender souls.

    I have no idea if I have answered your questions or not. These are just a few thoughts that your post triggered in me. Thanks for introducing this most important discussion.


  • ERICA…

    yes, i guess am crying on the wrong shoulder with you out there with 4×5 film..

    please show up at my place this friday evening..invitations soonest…yup, my loft workshop show and fiesta…

    hope to see you soonest…


    yes, of course, i am anxious to see this work…

    cheers, david

  • ok… really…

    this a collage… a fake ” apotheosis ” of what a greek tragedy is…
    so ..



    you articulated so well…many thanks…

    hugs, david

  • PANOS….

    crashing hard..just can’t take it anymore….eurotime…class early..eastern standard time….a whimp…good night….

    peace, david

  • ….. laughing…… laughing…….. laughing !!!!!!!!

    peace y’allllll… tired ……. time to EAT SOMR REALLY GOOD………. ”


  • I’ll leave the (scanner) light on for you..


  • “but for the “simple”, the “open-minded”, just gimme 20 min…”

    Do you have anything for the “simple minded”?


    “anyone who messes with Anton and Panos is my enemy!!!
    oh Cathy , you know i am teasing, but how did you get yourself in this mess???”-DAH

    I DIDN’T MESS WITH ANTON OR PANOS! I think Anton will tell you we were all having a very nice conversation all day that everyone was enjoying…AND THEY WERE THANKING ME FOR BRINGING UP THE SUBJECT. What’s the problem???

    Please re-read…you will see that I have not messed with anyone or gotten myself into any mess :))) I swear! PEOPLE…PLEASE BACK ME UP ON THIS!!! I JUST came home from TAKING AN AFRICAN DANCE CLASS AND HAVING A GREAT DAY. You guys, David especially seem to have misunderstood something…although I can’t figure out what!

    DAVID PLEASE RE-READ! Then maybe you can tell me what you are talking about.

  • DAVID…

    Now that I have calmed down slightly…We were having a discussion throughout the day that took a bit of courage for me to initiate and I felt REALLY GOOD about how well it went….for all concerned. So good that I was inspired to take a dance class for the first time in a long while! So it was more than discouraging to come home to find you (and possibly Panos) had skimmed over the entire conversation and somehow misunderstood it and were saying things to me about being your enemy!!! That’s not very nice…joke or no joke and honestly I’m a bit pissed off at the moment. I’m going to try and forget about it and not let it ruin my day…but I really don’t get where you are coming from at all! NO JOKE!

  • Today was my favorite day of the year. The first cool day of fall to break the summer heat in Texas. It will no doubt be 98 again, but today we got a break. Everyone gets a break sometime. :)

    I’m in New York this weekend. Hope to see some of you there. ‘Night from Texas.

  • Gustavo Aragon Garcia


    ok i see thank you now i have to work on it


    Thanks so much for joining in on this conversation after you’ve just returned home. Your contribution was very valuable and yes, you definitely answered my question and then some…I mentioned earlier wanting to know where people were coming from regarding critiquing (and being critiqued) and you have shared valuable insight based on your experiences. Great!

  • BOB…

    To confirm…I definitely did not see your comment as criticism. I appreciated it. :))

  • I personally believe that encouragement is a more effective teaching tool than criticism.

    Frankly, Patricia, i do not see why criticism would not be also encouraging. Maybe the word in daily english has only negative connotations, with the likes of being “critical” (being negative).

    Between “great!” and “confidence-destroying”, surely there is space for what is commonly called a critique, which every art proposed to an audience is subject to.

  • DAVID,


    as hervè correctly pointed out, it’s not an essay but something more like a gallery of portraits.
    When you have time….
    thanks a lot

  • cathy

    DON’T WORRY… everything’s fine, no misunderstanding! as far as i “skimmed” just now, i could see the conversation you started going on, added by some friendly jabs… no-one thinks you were actually messing with me! or anybody else for that matter

    you are so sweet… and at the same time i am so smiling reading your panic :)))))


    omg i woke up to this whole conversation that happened while i was sleeping… true things said, funny things said, all makes me smile starting the day… what we all have here is really really good and every time moments like this make me realize that

    and patricia… very well said… thanks for that too… and i think Herve has a point too: criticism just too often has a negative connotation.. it definitely should be possible to give criticism without being confidence-destroying

    i guess a lot depends on the one *receiving* the criticism: how high does one value the criticism received and how does one act upon it… that all mixed together, if done right by the “giver” and the “receiver”, is the “good” kind of criticism that leads to higher grounds…

    yes it is purely a matter of moment and time… like in a regular conversation… if no-one reacts, just re-post… looking at your images now

    CATHY again

    ok now i’m rattling your chain, but i just can’t resist, forgive me, i gotta say:

    anyone who messes with my Panos and David gemini, is my enemy!!!


    love to all

  • Hi Guido,

    I remember myself very well your subject, I like very much your portraits treated with this color “aged” as these ageing persons, I am endowing more touched because it reminds me my grandfather who lived several months in an old people’s home and he was allowed die…
    I think that it is going to be a big problem in the future, the number increasing of person old, not enough places of accommodation, the high price and the staff not enough considered as old people’s homes, level of the pensions which decreases and the coC of the life which increases…
    Good continuation, audrey


    Interesting work at Timor! Some of the pictures really got me, #3, #10, #22, #25



  • guido

    the opening shot of your website really reminds me of some photographs of the benefit agencies in the u.k. when they needed renewing.. tired places.. was it paul graham?

    will look properly later on.. between classes now.. just came to say
    you dared me and so i have :o)
    shown your venice project in action to my photo class.. had them in stitches laughing in places.. split them into groups of three.. each chose a random title.. then had to look through.. choose a photo or two and talk about it.. why they liked it.
    the boys chose GIRLS GIRLS of course.
    will email later.


  • bob

    received giacomelli’s book today… i’m in for a treat tonight when i will open it…


  • WOW! What happened here? I thought what Cathy said was thoughtful, but it may have provoked some. It started with me critiqueing Anton’s work which Cathy commented on. As far as I see it she didn’t do anything wrong. What David said about references is true, but I think that most of us here are at the same page. We don’t have totally diversified styles. And also if David is going to be only one able to critique work I honestly don’t see any value in this forum.


  • something abou critique:

    I have not read most of last comments so maybe it will be not on subjest.

    For all photographers/artists critique should be like air. Works should be discussed… no… have to be discussed. There will be many people who will say awful words about what we do, how we do, and why we should not do it at all. There will be many people who will say ah! and Oh! and Wow! about ours works.
    That’s the rule.
    There’s is no way to recognize which critique is good and which is not.
    This is all subjective.
    There’s no rule.
    Bu you will feel that. Because this is your work. You are at the beginning and at the end of everything.

    My photography is one big shit.
    My work are; shallow, unsimilar, easy, unfounded. Buy mostly just shallow. There is nothing behind than easy naive coulorful images.

    I am after two art shool, and thousand hours of discussions and critique about every kind of art with hundret of artists. I know many things about art theoretically.
    But critique is also big responsibility, baeause most of critique must be about future. If you want say something about some works you should know what shud change for good. And mostly critique (in magazines for example) are stupid and useless.

    I am last one who will and is able to make critique of anybody work.
    Mostly because weakness of my own work and because I know this “responsibility”.

    I agree with Martin, This forum not exist without discussion and critique.

    really must run no time to write more.

    peace and good critiques for all

  • CATHY…

    well, i thought i was very very clearly teasing you…my intent was total “100% tongue in cheek”…i even went “over the top” in what i thought was the kind of way you would know for sure i was teasing…the kind of humor that you only do with friends who you are quite sure will understand…the whole chit chat between all of us who were “on” at the moment was playful, irreverent, silly even…

    my apologies for whatever i said that has you coming out so so upset..

    apologies, like editing, take longer on line than in person too….

    hugs, david

  • CATHY…

    ok, i went back and looked at everything AGAIN….

    it seems that you read “wrong” one rather playful thing i wrote and got upset and did not read at all the other thing about REFERENCING which preceded it to set up the whole chat about critique….

    now, do you really really think i would blast you on line??? why would i do that?? gentle “poking” is fair game and we all do it sometimes…but i am not prone to anything other than constructive criticism

    but, you seem to be a little more upset than you might need to be given the whole dialogue in context…

    but, my apology is still on the table..that table over in the corner with flowers…

    relax….love thy neighbor…have a good day…..

    peace, david

  • ROSS – Funny you should pipe up just when I rock into Nhulunbuy , I won’t get to see the perma culture mob you suggested this time around as I Have a 4 day assignment and have just spent the first day with my ass welded to the car seat driving from Darwin to get here , but thinking about your pain Re clients folding – I’m just comming up even 3 months after one long time client decided to give me the arse , The Personal work V Proffessional balance is one I’m living every day , every time I order 20 rolls of 220 colour trannie – can I afford this ? , got to make every roll count , no praying and spraying , everything about the stuff I do off on my own is a challenge , why clour trannie? Because it’s hard , why Med format? Because it’s hard, Sometimes I think I have bitten off more than I can chew in the work I started 4 years ago but I gotta keep chewing like crazy!
    15 hours in a car on the great Arnhem Highway is making me bloody crazy , out shooting all day tomorrow after I pick up the erstwhile scribe from the airport .
    DAH , BOB , SIDNEY , I’ll have some new stuff to show you guys as soon as I can slip in a little scanning time – Running , driving and soon sleeping !

  • marcin / martin

    i see a whole bunch of good stuff coming off of the forum which is other than critique of work – and it’s great.
    i’m not suggesting david AH be the only voice of reason here.. just saying i’m looking for other things from the forum..

    different strokes for different folks and all that business..
    the best thing i have gained is friendships which i believe will last.. connections to people i admire regardless of the edit.

    something i have also noticed is that people are beginning to form into units.. not exclusive nor a cliche’, just people who tend to comment on each others works.. and i think that is great as well.. positive subdivisions.. help rather than hinder..

    for what is a friend but your needs answered
    (paraphrased – kahil gibran)


    Just to clarify…

    When I post a link to my work on this blog, I often specifically ask for “constructive criticism.” That kind of critique implies that you are building upon (constructing) what is working rather than simply tearing down what is not. Yes, it is a form of criticism but one that IMHO encourages the artist/photographer/filmmaker/whomever to move forward in a constructive way. Mutual respect is its essence.

    This is the kind of critique I see happening all the time on this blog. May it ever be so.


  • panos.

    so.. my students liked your work.. saw the strong images straight away and completely understood why you are putting it all ‘out there’ to see.. as a collection of rough edits it worked wonders in helping them see what i am talking about with ‘initial edits’.. notes before writing the novel.
    i showed it in context with episode 4 of the bbc’s ‘genius of photography’

    which starts with a moderm road trip and wanders back to victorian beech photos, shot with a camers disguised in a paper bag.. genius stuff indeed and i think you’ll really enjoy that segment of the show.

    and so.. the classic theme you have settled upon within a context of the past worked out well for them.. and i hope for you.
    sorry – no time to ask permission to show.. ended up pondering jim, bob bullshitting, venice, and more.. i left the more personal aspects of your documented life to one side, (coward – me?), and concentrated on the volume.. shooting.. noticing something worth a shot..

    it’s made me look forward more to the final edit..
    one of the fav snaps was the film producer being introduced.. from memory.. the cross made of hands and arms.. foreground ‘rock’ hand gesture…. beer.. liked it.
    another was jim and his lover rocking the bells together in the empty swimming pool.

    muchas thanks and heaps of pea’s.


    we ALL da man (an da woman)


    i am not so sure that everyone is “referentially on the same page”…you might be, but not everyone…but, one of the things that so many do here with regard to “referencing” is to refer to books, shows, etc so that those who are not sure of the context of critique will become so as time goes on..

    the nature of this forum is totally educational..or , at least, that is MY intent..

    and yes yes, anyone posting work for critique, comment, should be expecting comments from everyone else on this forum…

    i try to spend as much time as possible helping those who have assignments or are involved in long term projects or are making very tough life/career decisions and moves..

    i do some of this on line…i do a lot of this at home with many who walk through my door spontaneously…and i do this “officially” and best at workshops as i am doing in my loft right now with 12 members of this forum…you will see the results of this week of shooting and critique soonest…

    the problem with the on line critique is that it takes forever to find out what a photographer has as intent, what photo/art historical references they may have, and the inability to actually edit (although this should become way way easier by next week with our DR deal)…i.e. saying “i like #4 and #5” is not editing…at least not in the way that i view editing, sequencing and balancing a body of work for publication or for a gallery presentation…

    now, case in point:


    please read the above and understand my dilemma…you have sent us a set of pictures from an old peoples home…i have no idea whether you are 20 years old and planning a career in photojournalism or whether you are one of the old folks in the home!! context matters!!

    i do not know why you chose this subject..knowing this would help…i have no idea of your overall intent nor your experience in photography prior… although it looks as though you are an “entry level” photographer or just have photography as a serious hobby…for a real critique, i need to know all of these things….or, i at least need to know these things so that i can best tell how i think you may want to proceed….

    from just a purely photographic standpoint, and just based on the pictures you are showing us, i think you have a lot of work to do to move up to your “next step”…

    your lighting, composition, and general ability to capture a moment need refining..

    tell me now…how long have you been a photographer?? what motivates you to be a photographer?? how do you earn a living? what previous work have you done??? what are your short term goals?? long term?? what do you love more than anything else?

    ok, running now…but, i do hope to hear from you…

    cheers, david

  • PANOS :)))

    just a quick note to make clear in case you need the artillery, since i write u alot “off-line”, it goes without saying that i love yur Venice work…it’s totally fucked, totally wacked, totally you, the good the bad and the motherfucking ugly and it sings. i sure aint crazy about all the images and who cares ’cause i can tell u straight up that i sure aint crazy about 1/2 the shit i do either and yet i stick it up together ’cause it is who i am and what i love so much about venice (much much more than the pics about foreclosures) is that it’s you, chaotic, dramatic, real, fake, punk, loving, weird, lost you. there are some priceless pics in the 1,000’s of pics u have on the site but i cant seperate them too from the “throw aways” cause what i love about this series is that it is without a doubt your commitment to the place (for whatever reason in all of LA-LA land) you feel connected too…all these frickin’ characters and the truth is that you are a character too and it shows in your work and i think the pics and captions and “personality” of the work simply rocks…and at least for me, i think some might confuse “refinement” for “good photography”…for me, there is only 1 criteria: is the work interesting and does the work reflect total downthethroat-upthewazzu commitment to it’s idea…and while venice is both total cliche and total reality of LA, it just seems to be your beat…really, i see it as a film, like all the once-brilliant films that LA once-upon-a-time was able to create in the 70-‘s…like hal ashby’s work…anyway…just so u dont think im coppin’ shit, im a big fan of venice live…the same way i love would LOve TO SEE MORE of that other LA Cat Wrobertangell’s work…who also is brilliant and at the opposite end of the spectrum…

    MARIN B: :))..cant speak for others, but i think what you and Anton did was totally what this blog is about: dialogue and discussion between phootgraphers :))…shit, Harvey has got enough on his place (that dude seriously must take a vacation, and get away from festivals, blogs, workshopts, etc, and get some serious one-on-one time (with himself) for rest and spirit, which im about to tell him in person in 2 1/2 weeks ;)) to comment on work, so i think it’s important that those who seek seek and those who wish to comment comment, all good my friend…my only small point was that just because people choose to praise or choose to remain silent doesnt mean its less real that “critiques”…often critiques (and in no way is this a reference to what you and brother Anton accomplished) are just as vapid and meanlingless as empty praise, only as Marcin points out, critique often “sounds” more enlightened/professional…(i’ve heard lots and lots of empty bullshit at portfolio reviews, it’s quite silly) :))…but all is good with what you 2 did :)))

    PATRICIA :)))) right on sister, right on…

    CATHY: :))..cool, no worries…

    BROTHER GLENN: CANT WAIT TO SEE IT :))))…send when you can :)))

    ANTON: :))))…I CANT WAIT TO HEAR YOUR REPORT ON GIACOMELLI :)))…seems like you got the book before Lassal!…prepare to be alone from the world for a few weeks ;)))


    on poverty…self-financing (god bless you dah ;)))…life…yea, totatLY get that shit…just wrote david before our trip about all that shit…hell, we’re trying to make ends meet with a teenage son on frickin artist salary living in an expensive (ridiculously so) n.american city…reality is that: to buy film is a real issue, to process film, to have (got to have time) to scan, edit etc…and to know that most of the world (and they shouldn’t) doesnt need, care, want you shit…but, well that’s the life ya’ll…i dont think there is one week that goes buy without Marina and i having the family chat about finances and how to make this life work as artists…but is this any different from the life that most people live around the world: how to put bread on the table, put a roof over the shoulders, how to have some free time to relax or dream or enjoy one another’s company…hell, often times the whole art world, photo world seems to me like a spoiled, pampered, rich clique of folk who dont have the slightest perspective (and I include myself in that narrow-minded mentality) about things…shit, being able to afford to be able to fucking photograph is a blessing in itself…and you’ll never hear be cry one bloody word of regret that what marina and i do as artist isnt “understood” or “accepted” ’cause like you do it because it’s in your blood, its the only stupid way we know how to live: to cherish and make shit and ruminate on this life…and all of us will disappear, all our work will have meant nothing in a year, 5 years, a generation, whatever, so it is just essential that if you have chosen to do this gig, that you love love to do it, cause i can tell you this, in my very limited experience, most people wont have a clue about why you do what you do, most of the editors wont give a fuck’s ass about you unless you are famous or know someone famous or go to the right schools or know the right people or whatever, most people swing around their expensive cameras and equipment and badges of honor (who they know, where they’ve been, what awards they’ve garnered, what mags have published them, who they cocktailed with, who they dovetailed next to on the swing flight, etc et cetc) and for what…for bloody hell what?….with that in mind, i’ve been a lucky man…i’ve made some excellent friends and have the great grace and wealth to count the times i’ve had wonderful chats and time with people who share this stupid, balls-frustrating obsession, and in truth, i dont really give a shit about the rest…i want to make work, i want to support my wife and son and see that they are peaceful and suffering-less and simply alive and at peace….the rest is just nonsense and pretense…

    ironically, i re-read Kafka’s The Hunger Artist last night, when i awoke in the middle of sleep and couldnt go back to bed…i recomment anyone to read it who has not or for those who’ve read it, to re-read it….a small smothing to ponder:

    “Many days went by once more, and this, too, came to an end. Finally the cage caught the attention of a supervisor, and he asked the attendant why they had left this perfectly useful cage standing here unused with rotting straw inside. Nobody knew, until one man, with the help of the table with the number on it, remembered the hunger artist. They pushed the straw around with a pole and found the hunger artist in there. “Are you still fasting?” the supervisor asked. “When are you finally going to stop?” “Forgive me everything,” whispered the hunger artist. Only the supervisor, who was pressing his ear up against the cage, understood him. “Certainly,” said the supervisor, tapping his forehead with his finger in order to indicate to the spectators the state the hunger artist was in, “we forgive you.” “I always wanted you to admire my fasting,” said the hunger artist. “But we do admire it,” said the supervisor obligingly. “But you shouldn’t admire it,” said the hunger artist. “Well then, we don’t admire it,” said the supervisor, “but why shouldn’t we admire it?” “Because I had to fast. I can’t do anything else,” said the hunger artist. “Just look at you,” said the supervisor, “why can’t you do anything else?” “Because,” said the hunger artist, lifting his head a little and, with his lips pursed as if for a kiss, speaking right into the supervisor’s ear so that he wouldn’t miss anything, “because I couldn’t find a food which I enjoyed. If had found that, believe me, I would not have made a spectacle of myself and would have eaten to my heart’s content, like you and everyone else.” Those were his last words, but in his failing eyes there was the firm, if no longer proud, conviction that he was continuing to fast…”

    the full text is available on line…


  • Panos:
    DAH:it’s you, chaotic, dramatic, real, fake, punk, loving, weird, lost you…
    yes, that’s the (almost) daily wake-up call we get from your updates….

    I hope I can show you ( or send you…let’s see) some new work soonest….am in BKK for the x’th time and looks like on each trip there’s been some new experience ….

  • “More than a diary, the blog is an ongoing conversation that Harvey conducts with a wide audience of young photographers around the world.”

    Well, it’s nice being young again, even if it’s only on the Internet…

  • Erica, “hope that isn’t too preachy, not intended as such, just my position..” not at all: well thought out intelligently presented. May I use the quote in my (incomplete) website (below, but replace “Recentwork” with “belief”)? Perhaps one day we can add a portrait?

    Cathy, with regards to critique: as long as it’s constructive and without malice then it should be welcomed. Of course we all have personal tastes – otherwise boredom would rule! I personally don’t like crooked photographs if it is crooked to add interest or drama i.e. intentionally crooked: the subject should be strong enough not to need the effect. On the other hand it drives me crazy when someone is shown a wonderful photograph and they say something like “the horizon is leaning” – yes, but look at the content!!!!!!

    I sure agree that the blog is much more than critique and I don’t usually critique work, but I’m not going to say it’s all good if someone asks my honest opinion.

    I did not say everyone, but I said most of us..
    But I agree, we should be careful if we do not know references, goals etc..
    With Anton’s work my point wasn’t that it was bad, my problem was the amount of images from very little time of shooting. But later I understood that he wanted help with the editing. I personally try to edit a lot before publishing anything though.
    There’s one image that’s still on my mind from Anton’s series on the beach and that’s the girl standing in the water and looking out in the ocean. That’s the one I think he should take with him in his large series of work on her.

    Thanks! I agree that critique should be real and not some picky bullshit only trying to find faults in work.

  • …300! Okay, it’s a stupid and entirely meaningless milestone to reach, but I’m sitting at work now, where each and everyone of us bureaucratic cogs in the machine and the public we serve here all have brand spanking new computers to work with, which is nice, given the alternative, but all the brand spanking new computers have brand spanking new glitches we know nothing about, as opposed to the old not so brand spanking new computers that had old not so brand spanking new glitches we knew how to either fix or work our way around, and while being a round number may mean absolutely nothing to you, let’s face it, my roundness here will almost certainly be my only good computer news of the day. Enjoy the rest of your day.

  • Bob, exactly… A Movie
    David Bowen…absolutely..your students

    FIRST, to agree with All..
    ( I am , by far the worst editor in the world-
    when it comes to my work , but it’s not this
    particular weekness you are witnessing
    on my links)… I like telling stories.. It’s not
    just showing off the five best PHOTOS out of the bunch..for critique..
    It’s not to impress for the first time.. Everyone
    knows about my Venice by now.. It’s just I wanna
    put everyone into that game.. Into that soap OPERA..
    I could write more and post less photos..
    But I’m LAZY and I use ( add) pics that helps “explain the plot” of my
    Funny-Tragic stories.. Again, not to necessarily IMPRESS you,
    but to let my story to roll faster.. Easier for me with less CAPTIONS..

    so All , when you look at my shit…
    I always feel the responsibility ( and nobody asked me too..)
    TO MAKE YOU LAUGH.. To entertain you.. SENSE OF HUMOR
    AS BOB SUGGESTS… I totally know that on all of my links I’m usually
    VERY HAPPY with 2-4 photos, if that… But I post 20, not to
    confuse you, not to be an arrogant , or as an optimistic ignorant..

    No, no, no… It’s not ALL about critique..
    I’m responsible to make you laugh..
    Like A RADIO SHOW.. Like any show..
    Show must go on…
    Bob, again the movie analogy makes so much sense..
    Not every frame in a movie is strong but the result
    could be extra strong…
    so if I made you smile, that to me, worths the
    extra hassle or the extra unnecessary photo…

    David B, again thank you for the feedback..
    Boys will be boys … I wish I was there to listen
    to the kids… To listen to their critiques, laughter,
    Critisism.. And all the good stuff that our
    Cathy is looking for…;-)
    Cathy,… Tongue in the cheek joking,
    Teasing and fucking around here…
    Chill, we love you … I do.. I was playing with
    You, but again all I was saying is don’t waste
    Your time “talking” about critique( and how the forum
    will get benefited by this, etc… just do it.. do it.. do it…
    Just like Martin and Anton…

    So… Let me rephrase .. Anyone that messes with Cathy
    Is my enemy…..!!!
    ( therefore I’m my own enemy);-)
    Coffee and peace for all….


    Thanks a lot for clarifying! Apology accepted David. Not a problem.

    I definitely “got” Anton’s teasing (he gave lots of warning and put it in context) but unfortunately the joke was not as clear when coming from David. I appreciate humor as much as anyone…in fact used to assist in managing comedians in LA, spending long hours in comedy clubs and have been told I’m as funny as anyone…but in this case it looked (to me) like Panos was “going off” on me for no reason and David was jumping in to agree with whatever Panos was saying without REFERENCING (I did read the part about referencing and agree with that comment!) :))

    The “joke” just seemed a bit out of line with the conversation that preceded it so it went over my head…maybe also the fact that you, Panos and Anton have partied together make it easier for you to be on the same page. In any case I’m glad to see all of you making jokes and have fun here. I’ll try to make sure I “get” it next time. :))

    I’m still enjoying the “critiquing” conversation…lots of great comments from everyone.

    Have a great day everyone!

  • PANOS…

    Just missed your comment while I was writing.
    Okay…we’re cool..

    more on the way…

  • PANOS…

    I have to run so quickly…
    Okay…I see what you were saying. Good point that I should DO IT and not just talk about it but this did start a good conversation IMHO…I wanted to involve everyone…NOW we can continue our critiquing (or constructively help each other or whatever we are doing) with a little more awareness of WHAT we are doing. :))

    Change of subject…I saw the movie MAMA MIA and if Obama does not win the election I may have to move to Greece :))
    It was filmed in the Sporades. gorgeous!!!!

  • PANOS…

    one more thing…you were right…I AM very funny. :))
    but maybe more so in person than online :)))

    Again, man.. I’m re- reading your post,
    regarding your students.
    Amazing.. I’m really touched..
    I will be more careful and responsible in what I write in my
    Captions from now on… Such an honor for me..
    I wish I could ask your students if they liked
    Color more Vs b&w or if they like underexposed or
    less saturated or this or that.. Or edit pictures out.
    Or edit the whole link out… or.. Anyways..
    David B, again.. Such a GREAT HONOR,
    even mention me and introducing my schizophrenia
    to your students.. I hope the kids felt
    The sense of humor more than the depression and
    sickness and decadence that comes out of my photos..
    I hope…


    yes, certainly you are welcome to the words, tho I am not fully understanding what you mean to do, but that’s okay with me anyway! :)

  • Dear All,

    With any luck, this post shall go out without the help of Panos who has kindly helped me post over the last few months. Katharina H has now come to my assistance and pointed me in the direction of a way around the great firewall of China.

    I just wanted to say it was a pleasure to see everyone it Perpignan the other week. I’m starting to realise that the draw of festivals such as this is not so much for the photography (which is undoubtably inspiring in quality) but for the chance to see and catch up with old friends and new friends who turn out to be the as much of an inspiration as the work on show.

    Eric, Lassal, Audrey, James C, Charlie H, Diego, Gina, Anton…was great to either see you again or meet you for the first time. Sorry to those I missed but you know who you are!

    Good luck with the ‘at home’ workshops David. We didn’t really get a chance to sit down at Perpignan to chat but I think you know which directions I’m heading in. My fluctuating visa situation here in China means that I think I will have another chance to get back to the desert soon. As ever though, I’m always trying to come up with new ideas to represent ‘the environment’.

    Panos…we missed you in Perpignan. Hope to see you again soon. Looks like you are producing interesting work…although I’d expect nothing less ;)

    As we talked about at the meeting David, if there is anyway I can help with the blog, just let me know.


  • MAMA MIA??
    Hmmm!! Sporades??
    I need to check that out..
    Thanks Cathy…
    ( and unfortunately, I’m afraid we will need
    to move to Greece together.. Obama regarding…
    unless, unless America does the right thing.. Ah soon will see..!)

  • Seaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnn !!!!

    I miss you toooooooooo!!!!
    have safe travels ..!!!
    You bet we will meet again!

  • ALL:

    forgot to add the MOST IMPORTANT THING, to my last long post (as i was running to catch the metro):

    one of the greatest and most important things to happen to me related to photography has been THIS BLOG: the REAL friendships that have come from it (just as what has happened with LS), the conversation, the support, the comraderie, the love, the help…David has meant alot to me and my family personally over the last 16 months (friendship beyond photography) and so have many of the friendships that have come from this place…the friendship, the work, the ideas, the chatter…in a world held often at bay by contempt and arrogance and cynicism and elitist attitudes, this place under Harvey’s stewardship is an inspiring and rewarding place…

    y’all have give my own life grace and reward, friendship and headaches, inspiration and challenge….ant that has often kept the wolves of my own life at bay…



  • BOB
    Have you had a look at this artwriter’s grant? Is it interesting?
    Just curious … :)

    I would like to write you an email… ähm. Where do I write it to? If you do not want to put it up here, could you sent me a note? Mine is info@lassal.de.
    It is about artwriting …

    A big hug,

  • … ohh , and one more thing for Cathy and ALL..
    regarding work-critique etc…
    ( and also Pat can verify this )
    There is a lot of critique and suggestions going on over here,
    but its HIDDEN… through personal emails…
    ( fucking Young Tom ), and also
    Tom Hyde who keeps pressuring me and pressuring me and pressuring to go better , bigger, stronger with no beating around the bush … to name a few of my “super-team of advice and
    constructive critisism… to give you an example when i fposted the first “xxx” link, a friend ( no name ) immediately emailed me and slapped me in the face… feedback is important otherwise you do not know “your effect” on others peoples life… its not such thing as an AUDIENCE…
    its just YOU and the rest of the world!!!

    David B, for example prefers to tell it like it is ,openly here…
    i always say, always here, always open, always naked…
    but , for example, two nights ago i spent 2 hours emailing with
    Patricia back and forth … very very very interesting and
    important things.. but, very personal too, im afraid…
    something like that could easily bore any reader here… so keep in mind…. there is a whole another HIDDEN WORLD HERE…
    that goes on with personal, emails, critiques, sorrys, love affairs,
    And look now what i am gonna end up saying…
    not “every info” is “important” …. even for the “loosest blog” of all blogs… some things could always stay a little personal…
    especially “negative” stuff , but the accolades… please bring it on..;-)))))
    because the soul of the artist is very sensitive and we all need encouragement…
    … someone just said: “hey, im not sensitive”…
    well , then my “someone” friend… then go ahead and throw the first stone….

  • PANOS…

    Skiathos and Skopelos was where they filmed Mama Mia.
    You know the movie, right? The music of ABBA!!! :))
    Meryl Streep, etc… Very campy and over the top but a GREAT escape from reality. Sing along!!! :))

    Take a quick musical trip to Greece…

  • More than a , the is an y s with a of young the world.”

    Well, it’s on the
    Posted by: Akaky | September 16, 2008 at 09:50 AM

    …the above text is from Akaky’s post…
    All im trying to prove is that EVEN ,
    THE GREAT MASTER AKAKY needs sometimes to use,
    ordinary words ( like i usually do), like “well”, “or”, ‘the”…etc,
    just to “support” and complete a longer sentence..
    to complete his “essay”….
    this what i do too sometimes with my little posts- links…
    even an ordinary photo belongs there as long as it tells the story..
    now if this ordinary photo , belongs in a book or in a Wall…
    or in tha garbage can … that is a whole another story my friends…

    but, yes… even AKAKY has to use “ordinary” words sometimes to keep it together…


  • oh Cathy youre killing me.. with that video…!
    my sister is in greece … keeps sending me photos…
    every day… from the water, from food, from this and that…
    no i never seen the movie,
    but ive seen greece , in the summer … so i know… i know…

  • DAVID,

    Not sure what email you owe me but I will be most happy to receive it :))


    I will try to send you photos, many, many, many unedited photos of Greece, to entertain … and just torture a little too :))



    What you say is true. Sometimes we communicate in the shadows of our private emails. But today I want to shout from the rooftops–MY MAN IS DOIN’ IT!!!!!

    Just traveled with you through lonely, funny, sad, sexy, tender, mean, messed up, beautiful Venice Beach…YOUR Venice Beach, no one else’s. OK, so your shots don’t always make it artistically-speaking. But you know that. And ART in caps is not the point. But LIFE in caps IS. Most definitely IS the point. Life as tragedy, comedy, love story, brutal reality, meditation, adventure yarn.

    I don’t know about anyone else but I really look forward to each installment of this story. I never know where you’re going next and that’s what’s so COOL about it all. I just hope when it comes time to edit you don”t lose the RAWNESS for that’s a lot of what I love.

    Sorry not to give you any kind of a critique, my friend. But I can’t. I love it too much…


  • panos

    you mess with those captions and you’ll be an anemone..


    hey.. i’m not saying ‘lie if you think it’s rubbish.. and say it’s good.’
    just to clarify..
    i crit for my stoodents..

  • Bob, thanks for the kind words.
    I am so excited about showing my new work. Echo Park is an awesome neighbor hood, and if this set turns out strong, I might start hitting up various pockets, various neighborhoods around central LA.
    the city has such a stong immigrant prescence that its clearly dominating the cultural landscape, china town, little tokyo, korea town, boyle hieghts, it goes on and on, little armenia. talk about a melting pot. a beautiful mixture.
    anyway, its going to be a couple of weeks before anything is ready to look at, the color sheets are piling up. so, and I hear you about the penny pinching prowess of the artist, when the next check arrives I will be spending it all at the lab.
    best wishes.

  • DAH man,
    thanks for taking time to look and write about my old people’s series.
    ok, i’ll try to give some more information about those photos. And myself.
    I was being born more or less when bob black was born, a july day when you DAH were probably dancing Janis Joplin during the Summer of Love, a beer in one hand, a camera in the other hand.
    Studied art and design and worked as a freelance illustrator from 1989 to 2007. When i turned 40 i decided i was fed up with art directors and assignments and deadlines and started to devote myself to painting, and uncommissioned art in general . That’s what i do now, though i can hardly say i’m earning a living from it. As to photography i started shooting 25 years ago with an olympus OM 2 i borrowed from my father. Since then i’ve been on and off many times, not taking pictures for years sometimes. The pictures you saw were taken about 15 years ago when i was on my civil service’s year (probably not the right word but it used to be a substitute of the military service). I worked in a home for the elderly and took those pictures for my personal purpose in my spare time.
    Again i had a borrowed camera, dont remember what, possibly a pentax with a single 50 mm lens, not much of an equipment. I think i shot no more than 6-7 rolls in all, dont know exactly how many because in the end i kept only 40 of those slides. Since then i’ve kept shooting only in my spare time or when traveling, always in b/w, until few months ago when i shot some color slides again following a new landscape project (I’ve mostly shot landscape in b/w as well). I know what you may think now, why i have shown you a project of 15 years ago of a kind of photography i havent done since? yes, it makes not much sense, i think i felt somewhat guilty every time i heard someone saying “show us your work instead of just talking”. Or maybe wanted to start from the beginning. And as i cant buy a scanner at the moment, that was the only series available to show. I share what you write about those photographs, and i dont think you have to know too much to formulate a criticism on their quality (or weakness). The only thing i can say to defend those pictures is that the original slides looked much better than the scanned images one can see on the website. And i did not do any photoshop enhancement to equal the original photos. And that what i liked was the tenderness that comes out from some of those people’s photographs (they obviously knew me very well and trusted me).
    So i dont know if i’m still an “entry level”, i hope i’ve moved some steps forward since, you’ll judge yourself when i’ll show you more
    (hopefully soon…).
    And lastly: what kind of a photographer i want to be. I think i’ll answer this question when you have seen my recent work, probably it makes not so much sense to talk about it now.
    Of course I’ll appreciate any other comments from the bloggers here.


  • Right on Wrobert… Echo Park…!!!
    you got me all excited already… cant wait to see it…

  • you mess with those captions and you’ll be an anemone..

    an anemone……….. damn you made me laugh…
    you reminded me of Einstein’s hair…! on LSD…!

  • Einstein’s hair…! on LSD…!

    KING OF THE CHIMPS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ALL

    sorry if I am falling in here now, completely off topic, but everything is a little hectic here right now and I just want to make an announcement.
    (Point is, I do not quite know where to make the announcement other than in this blog. So it is going to be here for a start)

    People from Tuscany know that I was a little unhappy with my small postcardproject. Why? Well. It was smallish. Nice thought but … well… you know.
    Thus I decided to keep it how it was (=small) and “reduce” it to the places my fellow workshopstudents were from.
    But that was annoying too. I kind of tried to just get it over with to do something I found a little deeper in thought. But … what I did not try to do was to change the project in order to get right, what I already had.

    Now in Perpignan I had to look into a questioning face from DAH who was wondering why the hell I was not using Perpignan to continue with the project… (My mind was on another project altogether already).

    Do not ask me how he does it (how do you do it, David?), but sometimes I just need the look ge gives me to sort things out …

    So that night it was about either killing the project or to get it to a level where I would like to go on with it. And so I did. I mean, I took the project somewhere else. It is still not anything that will change people’s lifes, but I really like it now!!! :)))

    And I opened it for submissions, or applications or whatever you might want to call it. Please have a look, if anybody has time, and tell me if you understand my written explanation …


    Obviously my website is not highly frequenced as it is quite new and I am not in a huge community. So not many people know about it. So… who would “apply”? Nobody probably. One could argue that it is not important if anyone actually applies, but it is all about the concept. True. BUT, I really like the idea of getting some postcards out of nowhere … I like it very much. Even probably having some weirdos amongst it … who cares?! :)
    Passing by, making an appointment in a café. I think that could work. Do you?

    I am very satisfied and calm with it now. It can just flow along with me from this time on and we will see where it leads.

    Meanwhile I am working on some completely new stuff… But difficult. Will take me forever probably to get to the first pictures. A lot of research ahead of me and a lot of persuation. Do not know if I am good in this but will eventually find it out.

    It is very, very tight here right now. Have to squeeze some assignments in. Will be in Ljubljana at the end of the month (anybody there??) and in Helsinki next month if the weather stays stable (anyone in Helsinki for a coffee??).

    If anybody cares to give me her/his thoughts on the new postcard project, I would be very glad.

    Sorry, I feel very bad jumping in here to ask for your oppinion without giving my handfull as to your projects. I promise I will get back to you asap! You guys do not know what a huge, HUGE favor you are doing me in showing so much and linking to all kind of things. When I first showed up here, I had no clue about photography, photographers etc. at all. So all of the discussions that go on here, and the namedropping (which I then eagerly look up) and the references … It is just amazingly helpful. And one can learn really fast. Thanks to the internet … Wonderful tool. This community would be nothing without it … But this blog would be nothing without David and you guys either.

    Thanks again! I appreciate it more than words can tell.

  • Ana:
    Thank you for the comments. I’m doing everything possible to get back asap.


    Thank you for the comments too! I’m pretty much in the same position that Lisa was a month or so ago, but everything should be sorted by Xmas.

    But I have to put it in perspective. The editor of the magazine (pretty much a one man band) pulled the pin on the mag because he had been diagnosed with a terminal disease. So all my worries pale into insignificance…….

    I work on the theory that if I wake up in the morning and can still feel my pulse, then it’s going to be a good day!!!

    I won’t be doing much in the way of personal work for a month or two, just trying to work locally for mags and not spend too much money until everything is back on an even keel again…

    I am going to have a play with some Holga work, but have to put it on hold for a while. I can’t justify spending money on film etc at the moment.

    Good luck for you assignment.

  • My Dear Lassal

    You are brilliant

    greetings from poland



    I am so glad you are continuing with this project.

    You may recall that I asked (tried to suggest) after the workshop if you would be continuing this work in Perpignan…so I have been wanting MORE.

    I couldn’t give a “look” but I’m glad David did!

  • Here it is! Thanks to you, Lassal. You know… I did not hear anything from your postcards project until the last day I was in Perpignan (and you were not there any more). It was David who told me about the project. I did not know about it and he told me that he thought non of us here knew about it yet but that it was a VERY interesting project. Now i just took a look to your web and understood how your project works and….. yes! it is a beautiful work! And for sure you will end up with a book from this. I’m sure! The idea is really nice and I also like the portraits very much…
    It’s gonna be a long road to finish this work. Maybe you never finish it… but sure it will take you to great places, people, situations… and a definitely good job.

    Go for it, Lassal. I’m very happy for you!


  • MARCIN …
    coming from you I bow my head. Thanks.

    I am so stubborn … Sometimes I just do not want to see things. To be stubborn can be very good if you really want something, you just manage to make it happen regardless of what comes in the way. Unfortunately it can work the other way around.
    David knew. He told me right away he was afraid of me not wanting the project to survive.
    I still do not think that is is an important project. But now it does have potential to surprise me. I hope it will surprise me.

    And maybe I get a card or two from here … After all … most of you I do not know. And there are all these unknown lurkers …


    But what I really wanted to know is if this idea of mine, the idea of opening the project up as I am doing, and as I find logical, is logical in your eyes too.

    So thank you SO MUCH, Cathy, Marcin, for your feedback. :)))))


  • Lassal,

    I think the postcard project is loads of fun, and while it might take a while to get a “body of work” built, it is something that you can continue to do while you follow other things….and when it gets to “critical mass”, enough pictures to publish, could be a very interesting look at people in all sorts of different places, both literally and figuratively.

    Can I send you a postcard?

  • Oh, and I forgot to say that of course I will like to send a postcard from somebody in my town! Will ask you some questions before, just to do it as you need it ;-)

  • Ana
    Thanks …
    I have not managed to say more to your photos. I am trying to remember where I saw the pictures. Maybe it was in one of the older portfolios of one of the photographers who showed their work at Visa?! If this is the case so someone else probably knows the name. I am still a little overwhelmed as to names. Too much new stuff in so short a time. I am just starting to sort things out.

    Oh yess… dear David. I was so mad at him!!! :)) I have about 20 projects in my mind and he pics out the one I want to let die and … gives me the impression all my credibility is attached to it. :)))
    What the postcardproj has is a nice visual concept. It is not too complicated in it’s form and sticks to your mind because of the combination postcards+portraits. The point is to find a suitable frame for the content. So much rather than to travel across to nice places and get some tourist cards I wanted to go to critical places and have critical content.

    I do have variants of this project which I still want to do. But, one thing is true, especially because they are somewhat critical, it would be good to be able to show work to explain what it is that I want to achieve.

    And the tuscany portraits are not that good. I maybe like two out of them. For most of them I had only 10 seconds to make. Thank god it was Italy and the people are easygoing. They probably thought I was completely mad but went along with it. I just did not want to strech my luck. I did two or three takes (people did not move, they were posing 100%, and so it was mainly to maybe get a better quality pic in the darkness of the rooms.

    But I think I told you about the odysee.

    Yes, it has a potential … That is the reason why I was dissatisfied. But with the open audition now I feel ok. As I said, now it could surprise me.


    Just saw new posts while doing a preview


    ANA, ANDREW,..

    yesss plezzzzzzz,
    I would be so sad if I could not fill this little concept with life. Ana, what a pity we are no strangers anymore. On the other hand side, it was so very, very nice to meet you in person. :)
    Quite different to write to you now — even here. And it would be great to visit your town. :)))

  • lassal

    think it’s a good idea to take it on like you feel you should… just stay open to the unexpected, don’t “lock” the project in the momentum you are envisioning now… leave the possibility open to change pace if you feel the project gains speed (or loses speed…)

    you might feel different in the future and i’m sure you would hit yourself over the head if you wouldn’t be able to pick up the project then… that said, i think it is an ideal way to keep this project “open” towards the future…

    hope it will “stay long” and that it’ll turn it into something beautiful…

    …and of course i will want to send a card too…

    ok going to bed now… dead tired… been thinking all day about my project, and i feel a bit stuck… might be asking for advice here soon (yet again :-)

  • thanks Panos,
    I tried to look at your sets but as before I could not see any photos. I think I need to up date my OS. 10.3.9, a little dated, its fucking me up cause I also cant use the blurb book smart download until I up grade or new puter.
    anyway Anna was supposed to round you up and roll over here, downtown, for relaxin times etc, whats up. I think it would be cool if you guys are still down,

  • Anton,

    you are so right about what you wrote … I guess there are projects that need to be rigid. And others not. I love a strong mix. Like in mathmatics, when you are after the dance of specific parameters you have to keep some others tight in place, or the effect gets mixed up and unclean. Ähm… hope you know what I am talking about :))

    Thanks for your thoughts. It is valuable to see in which directions they go!

    I was afraid I was running errand. Happens. ;)
    Good to have the impression I am not that crazy after all (because I hear that all the time).

    Curious to see your project. And glad if I could help…

    I cannot see your “normal” slideshows either. Have always to go and join the “rest of the world” links. Otherwise I do not seem to have problems with any sites …

    Have all my programs updated, new firefox and everything. Only point is that I still use tiger and have not switched yet to the new feline. Should not matter, though.

    I do not mind though, as long as you put the second link up, I do not care. Sorry I have not given any feedback to the last set of pictures… You are too fast. I fear I have been away for 2 days and missed 3 sets of Panos-Pictures.
    BTW, there were “Panos”-books all over Perpignan. You do know that there is a publishing company called this way???? :) I had to smile all the time.

    Good night everyone. A very small part of Germany is going to bed now.

    Good dreams. Great ideas (I always get mine when I fall asleep) and sleep tight!


  • sleep tight lassal

    i perfectly understand what you mean… same here…

  • Wrobert , we will totally hook up sooner or later…
    ( if i could only tell you what exactly happening in my personal life in this
    VERY MOMENT… you wouldnt even believe it… but lets leave this for later…)…

    goodnight and thank you about the info.. its not a matter of tiger
    or leopard…
    ( Wrobert, im not sure about Jaguar , but definitely the Tiger shouldnt have any problem to read it…)
    ..i can easily see the links through my “tiger older comp”,
    and also see them on the phone… hmm , i wonder if anybody else from europe has the same problem… opening any of my
    “apple links”…
    well , hopefully soon , all will be available on that digital railroad thing…

  • panos

    yes same here, sometimes one of the two links you post doesn’t work… can’t remember which one though. if you want i can keep an eye on it and troubleshoot. i’m on leopard.

    …DRR will be our light :))

    signing off for real now… sleep well bro

  • ok… QUESTION …ALL … please…
    no1 LINK below:


    no2 LINK below:


    WHICH LINK DOES NOT WORK…? or OPEN ??? in your computer?
    I know Sidney, Wrobert & couple more friends dont see anything, but WHICH LINK DOES NOT OPEN IN YOUR COMP…?????
    AGAIN, THANK YOU ALL FOR THAT TECHNICAL ( feedback) im asking…

  • you can email me too, if you dont want to mess up the blog…
    thank y’all..


  • If I can help,
    I have an old Powerbook running on 10.3.9 with Camino as a browser, and I can enjoy every one of Panos’links…

  • GUIDO…

    thank you for taking the time to write..this is what i love about photography/life, is just discovering new people…so, pleased to meet you!!

    please know that i only review work with the intent to help you move forward and enjoy photography in its many manifestations…to call you an “entry level” photographer was not meant to be degrading in any way…and you said, those pictures were 15 years old..so, by any estimation you were at that time more or less fairly new at making photographs…

    let’s see some of your newer work…


    now, can you please explain to me why in the world you do not have “Neighborhood” on your website??? certainly your very best work…

    i loved that story..so, did everyone….

    cheers, david

  • David;

    Thanks for the comments yesterday, a great help in clarifying the vision… If you have the time…. Would it be possible to get a quick critique on the new images I replaced some of the weaker images with? Again, only if you have the time…
    New images #’s 14,15, 17,18, 27. Thanks

  • DAH,

    Why indeed do I not have any of my stuff since over one year ago. Technical issues….My web guy went off the radar and I have finally managed to figure out how to update the web.

    I am working on that now. I hope to have it up in a few weeks.

    Thanks for the compliment.



    No problem with either link using Firefox 2. Link 1 opens in Safari 1.3 but no pictures appear; Link 2 doesn’t open but gives a message: “This website is incompatible with this browser.”

  • David,

    The Fault Line work has grown and is still alive and kicking. I’ve had a few shows with a few more to come and have had many discussions with interested audiences. It’s been a great experience. A book is still the planned end result. Thanks for checking in about it.

    I’ll be in touch as soon as I’m up your way with hopes to see you. In the meantime, take care.

    Your amigo,

  • JC!!!!!!

    Happy Birthday mate! MIne was the 27th August (I am a Virgo as well!)


    Love the portraits and the project!


    Still haven’t managed to catch up with Tamara yet!


    I am so not out of the woods… I am borrowing a substantial amount of money to pay off some debts and to finance some new work I am proposing for this summer, but I don’t know how I am going to pay it back… ARGH!!!! Banks just don’t understand photojournalism…


    I am going to come to Venice Beach one day, I want to meet these dudes for sure!


    How you doing… Can’t wait to see the new stuff…


    The ‘Whaledreamers’ is exactly what I have been crapping on about for years…And FISH and WATER are very much on my agenda at the moment…


    Will be updating my website with the newest installation of ‘Beautiful Music (The Odyssey)’ in the next couple of days…I hope to get some of the video cut soon as well for multi-media and also TV/Cinema release, but at the moment it will just be the stills… Interestingly enough I will be putting up the next section in colour- Not because I want to suck up to photo editors and the like, but because it just feels right… I think this is why I love digital so much, shooting B/W or Colour was a really psychological choice BEFORE I was shooting, with digi you do have this capability of thinking in both and then deciding LATER what works best…

    Hope everybody is well


    o, im so happy you saw that :))…when i read your note about work on Echo Park I was totally stoked. I mean, since the day i saw your triptych series, i’ve been hooked…and all your portraits from downtown LA…and i especially have always loved that you dont kiss ass and thumb-off that dude who owns the fashion shop and shoots all those girls like shitty 70’s porn ;))) (he’ll go nameless for fear of invoking the devil)…and i cant wait to see what you do with your big rigs around Echo (between you and Panos, i frickin’ miss LA-la land!)…when you’re ready please share share! :)))…i’ll be waiting :))

    LASSAL :)))..yes, thanks so much for the Warhol grant…it’s great and interesting…and i only read some of it (deadline is sept 22nd) so i will pass this year (im trying like fuck to finish my writing for Bones, and i’ve got another major deadline for something else NOv 1), but i will definitely look at it for next year :)))…and yes, you can write me at:

    bluewordsme@gmail.com (my email is public, i dont care about the private shit)…

    and yes, i will do a post-card for you :)))…just send me your address in the email…you ALREADY KNOW I LOVE THIS PROJECT VERY MUCH :)))))….how long before you photography me or marina???….


    Just a brief brief return to that question a few pages (days?) ago about color vs. B/W and the Editor at Perp who told Lassal about using only color….

    well, let me lay some shit on y’all! I just bought the most magnificent book of Photojournalism/Documentary work that i’ve laid my hands on in a while, published this August:

    Jason Eskenazi’s “Wonderland: a fairytale of the Soviet Monolith”….

    fucking AMAZING AMAZING BOOK: the design, the text, the size and of course the extraordinary extraordinary photographs…taken over 10 years, finishing in 2001….and the entire thing is B/W…and guess what? …some were published in New Yorker and Newsweek and other magazines (and THEY ARE BLACK AND WHITE!!!)….and they are MAGNIFICENT….

    David: im guessing you know Jason??…or the book??…

    either way, all of y’all interested in brilliant Documentary (Sidney, it’s “traditional” in a sort of way) and modern in it’s use of metaphor and design….and it’s another example of something very simple:

    you can choose to live what others tell you to do (editors) or choose to make work that is important to you ….

    this damn book is magnificent…


  • Bob!
    thanks again, your words put a smile on my face and I feel your energy! :0)
    funny you should mention the “nameless character”, I got a few things to say about him…but I…probably should’nt. I will say this, the 1st time I went to his house, 4th last year, barbie, he dropped in my lap a stack of 11×14 color contact enlargements from the movie set for Hardcore, 70’s movie about the porn industry with major actors etc, the work…my fucking god…beautiful god….amazing work, I perused those sheets for a long time, truly incredible work, when I handed the stack back over to him he drops them back into a ratty old dusty briefcase, to be put away and forgotten about. also the work made in the 80’s, sex objects, if you saw the prints, b/w I might add, absolutely incredible, extremely revealing deep deep work. he is an incredible talent. so…whatever.

    anyway, nice reading your thoughts! they energized me!


    just back from a quick trip to mexico and trying to catch up on all the postings….

    DAH – i am going to TRY to make it this Friday night – will check my calendar and let you know for sure. I will be there Oct 3rd though!!

    KELLY -will let you know if I come up this friday – hope you will still be there…

    BOB – looking forward to meeting you on the 3rd. liked what you said about this blog and the friendships built. i can kick myself for not “joining” this family earlier…

    ERICA – will be sure to let you know if i am in nyc this weekend and the 3rd.

    JAMES – happy belated birthday

    PATRICIA – i too like the way you articulated the question about critiquing…

    LASSAL – see you in Frankfurt next month!!

    good to be back on line with you all again….

  • Lisa;
    Good luck with everything. I know what you mean about bank managers, the word “freelance” sends shivers up their clammy spines!!

    I did the same when I started out last October, I got the money I needed but had to crawl through hoops to get it…



    OK, another attempt at posting pix, and another attempt to do justice to the Asian ambience in Vancouver:


    (If you have Safari, they look much better in that than in Firefox 2… they are tagged as AdobeRGB and are quite, quite saturated in Safari, but on my machine they look faded and sick in Firefox… don’t know why Firefox 2 isn’t reading the jpeg’s right…???)

  • hey sidney

    just a quick technical note: try to tag them as sRGB instead of AdobeRGB, if you are showing work on the web. i’m not 100% sure, but i think that is what most browsers default to. AbodeRGB is for print purposes, and while it is a “wider” gamut than sRGB, it has no extra value for showing your images on the web…

    now that you brought it up, i realize again that i keep on forgetting about this, but this is actually a major issue for anyone showing color work… i’ll look into it some more… whatever the case, i seem to remember that if you do ‘save for web’ in photoshop, you’ll be safe (safe in meaning you’ll be previewing the conversion to sRGB :)))


  • DAH,

    Well, what a motivator you are. I got brave and established a relationship with CuteFTP again and it was still intact, even after the lost hard drive. I decided it was now or never.

    I have posted the NY loft work of Neighbors. Hope you enjoy seeing it there.

    Also, for anyone who is interested, I have also posted the photos from December 2007 Sema. Sema is the formal prayer for the Whirling Dervishes, performed by the Mevlevi Order of America, Sufis. I have been photographing this group for over 5 years now and have quite a collection. I took the best of three performances (Maui, San Francisco and L.A.) and combined in sequence of a single Sema. Each venue was lighted differently and I had different vantage points.

    Hope you all like.

    Go to my web page by clicking on my name and click on Galleries and then Neighbors and/or Sema-2007.



    Thanks for the tip. Actually, I used to know to put images on the web in sRGB, but somehow because AdobeRGB looked good in Safari I tried that. Now I have gone back and changed them all to sRGB and they look slightly better in Firefox and Explorer than before… but still not as they should. In Safari, they look just as they should, at least on my iBook. I’m still trying to understand why they look so different in different browsers. But enough tech talk for tonight. Look at them in Safari if you can.


  • hey sidney

    send me an email anton@forksteel.com i’ll send you what to do as soon as i have some time to write it for you. will be friday or the weekend i’m guessing. i’ll make a sample page with different images so you can compare

    just let me know what software you’re using (photoshop, lightroom, the like), you mostlikely just have to change some settings and all things will work out fine

    you’re right, don’t want to post too much tech talk here :)))




    good morning! :)
    btw this is a huge issue for b&w photos too. They loose their blacks, become all “foggy”.

    If you use the PS-option “Save for web use” or whatever it is called in English, you should be able to see what happens to your picture. It is just like you see it later in the browser (Safari & Firefox look the same to me).
    So you can readjust or change color palettes before going into all the work of putting things online.
    But some of my online-pics really loose it too. they are soo tweaked to more or less look like the “real” picture, that it hurts my soul.


    I do see pictures in both links now. #2 gives me a slideshow of 64 and #1 a “list” of 23 photos…
    Is that correct?

    good to hear from you … :)))

    I am wondering.
    I really thought I had posted the link to the Tuscany project here before. Yeah and I did too, Bob has mentioned it.
    Ok. Back on trak. :))
    Anyone who wants to write me a postcard, go ahead! It will dilute anyway. I will be meeting a lot of non-photographers on my round trips now.
    BTW – my contact adress is on the website under CONTACT.
    Thanks so much! Hope to meet some of you through this.

    And now … I need 10 liters of coffee…

  • yes, yes… coffee, 10 litres will be fine…

  • panos…

    yes.. tripping chimp that i am – i used to keep a sheet of blotter until my friends took it away..
    being funny with a photograph is, i think, one of the most difficult things to do.
    i try and think i have got there on occasion.. and i think you have also. as a way of provoking feelings i wonder if photography lends itself more easily to thought provoking.. pondering and pensive feelings than laughter. to get someone laughing with a photo alone is a real challange and once achieved a little congratulation must be due.
    regarding other student comments.. no one commented on bnw vrs colour.. it was more about positive crit which i encourage.. by focusing on the work which is working and working out why it works it increases their understanding. that way when i look at their work they know that if i do not talk about a specific photo or pairing that it’s not working.. although i do quickly mention why something is not working on occasion.
    positive crits do it for me.
    will show a couple of the students projects once complete (with their okay).


    not far from helsinki in stavanger, but a flight costs will probably be prohibitive.
    where i live (stavanger norway) is the richest city in the richest country in europe – one of the richest parts of the world.
    a rough area here is more like an average area in nottingham where i used to live, (which had the highest violent / gun crime levels in the uk).
    will send you a postcard and if you’re ever wandering up here come say hello.
    is your address on your site? i may have not looked properly.. could not see it.

    beates last day of work today and then a 1 year maturity leave period.. 3 weeks till baby drops.. on the home stretch now.. loads of photos from the past year to show.. looking forward as always.


    any plans for springtime workshops or any in europe to come?
    hope NYC students are doing the do and looking forward to reading their reports.


    still here.. still here

  • ahh – lassal.. sorry will find your address.


    all links from you magically open on my computer now.. as of a week or two ago.. they never used no and so i have no idea why they do now.
    the interweb does baffle me sometimes.

  • on the web..

    i have found that my phots only ever look ‘right’ on my computer.. every other comp i have looked they are different..
    i work in sRGB BTW and treat all photos the same – aimed for print repro / print ready.. only adjustment for web i do is resizing.


    it was nice to see Vancouver…and whatever you are doing tech-wise is way better than what everyone else is doing with regard to making it easy to view your work…a breath of fresh air in a world of way too many clicks and hard to navigate sites…

    as you have always said, you are a “straight shooter”…no frills, no twists, no crooked horizons…and the photographers you admire fall into this category as well…pretty much non-interpretative, objective folks as you have described i believe…you have said many times that you do not “get” the so-called “non-traditional” vision..

    i might not be describing this exactly as you would, but i think i am somewhere in the right direction as far as your philosophy of photography goes…am i close??

    ok now, let’s just consider “straight”…like George Mobley, like Jim Stanfield..i believe you have mentioned both…and , yes, a newer “hipper” version of those two , Jonas Bendikson…

    i think that a critique of your work should fall well within the aesthetic parameters of those you admire…neither they nor you are going to be first in line at the Antoine D’Agata opening…

    so, this is not a comment about “straight” vs. “art” , it is a comment about STRAIGHT,TRADITIONAL…there is a whole world of critique within each of the spheres of photography….and having nothing to do with the critique of another sphere itself..

    in this context, which i do “get”, i still think you need to loosen up or at least concentrate more on making the elements in your pictures more fluid…i see what you are trying to photograph, i see all of the elements, and yet i see that you are struggling to make a “complete photograph” a la Stanfield, Jonas…a complete totally didactic information based photograph..

    but, i also see that you are really close..you are not far at all from making your work really sing, be full of emotion, capture a real moment, and be composed in the most natural organic way, yet POWERFUL..

    i must say it was fun to cruise with you through Vancouver…nice town for one thing…good subject matter for another…but, when we get the DR site set up, let’s dig in a bit on your work…i think with just a few little tweaks, if you are up for it, we can take you to a whole different level without spilling one drop of wine on the ground…

    cheers, david

  • hi all

    i send you a mail

    like your Venice portraits, and the comments, because it looks like a movie (more than photographs), and i think it’s coool!!! That’s my own feeling, maybe false but…

    i didn’t follow your projects, so i don’t know what is important to you at this time, but just to say you i read the text about ‘Meaning’ on your site, and i find it very interesting, and even if it’s something personnal, i think it can reach many people (or at least me!!)

  • DAH – earlier every morning..
    i wonder..
    late nights or early mornings?
    i’m still in pyjamas

  • DAVID B…

    still in my pyjamas too.
    doing accounting.
    perfect combination.

    need more coffee …

  • btw David B, thanks so much for the bbc4 links!! incredibly usefull!

    I will definitively look up your place on the tour-map. Would be a great thing if I could just “jump” over there after Helsinki …

    ANYBODY knows about a good source book about daguerrotype?

  • http://bp1.blogger.com/_D7BO-iIFIl0/SJgQ1otpECI/AAAAAAAAAks/-e5-k54xLtY/s1600-h/06340025.jpg
    over there.

    google, lassal…
    why you ask?

    the ‘genuis of photography’ series is pretty good.. all the programs are there on youtube or through google video..

  • Yeah David,
    it’s more about the flights anyway. :)

    Much cheaper to come directly from Frankfurt than via Helsinki as I just found out … I have a friend in Bergen whom I have not seen for a while (almost 20 years) … might be a wonderful thing to check if he is still there and combine this rather than combine it with Helsinki …
    Hmmm … I’d like to see little David so much once he shows up.
    Did I understand it correctly that you are taking a year off??? A year? Off from what?

  • Grand control to Major Tom…. Reporting from Spain,


    I can open both links from Leopard and using Safari. (I prefer the interface of the second one with the slideshow, hehe)




    Diego arrives in New York next week..as soon as he “touches down”, i will have him post our show from Tuscany…i think the slide show with your work in context of everything else will be interesting for the readers here…yes, yes , we should have done this before…but, where oh where is the time to do all that we should do???

    it was so great to see you in Perpignan and to meet Tony and your dog (lost his name this second)…can’t you guys get on a plane for New York??? the party is still going on!!!

    hugs, david

  • JEAN…

    you have some wonderful dance pictures…but, one question..why always from the back?? no faces…..

    cheers, david


    Now I’m just wondering how you will afford all that travelling around the world to take all the portraits from the postcards you’re going to receive! :-D (maybe I can hide in your suitcase hehe)

    And well, yes, it is a pity for this project that we are not strangers anymore but to tell the truth, I prefer to have met youuuu! :-))) That’s why I suggested to find you from my city somebody interesting that you don’t know that can send you the postcard instead of me….



  • lassal..

    the past 10 years i have been photographing electronic music internationally.. was taking a year off the week in, week out traveling, shooting, magazine work.. a year to edit the work for a book and to ease off – look back at past projects and see where i want to go next..
    6 months done, 6 months of editing to go then back onto the road, although not the same road as before. to complete the study i need to photo in detroit – home of house – and the far east.. smaller non-commercial events which magazines and tourist boards would not fund.
    also working for the past 5 years on covering music and culture events which are helping to heal following conflict.. n. ireland.. serbia.. croatis.

    teaching photography to undergraduates for now and earning more money than at any time during the past decade..

    bergen is amazing.. moving there next year..
    cheap to get between citys over here..

  • DAH,
    thank you! It’s great that you took time to look my pictures.

    As I don’t have an authorization of the dancers (there is dozens of dancers,and i don’t know them personally), i solve the problem by showing only back photos. I’am working on another dance solo where I know the dancer, so i’ll be more free.

    I put my site online after talking with you at Visa, and for now, it was just to introduce myself to other bloggers, and a starting point to build and share something more serious with everybody there (so…just the beginning…)


  • lassal

    not sure how long you’re in helsinki – it can be easily combined with sweden and estonis / baltic states cheapest by ferry.. i covered events in sweden, estonis, finland and norway over 2 or 3 weeks a few years ago..

    finland to tallin was only 40 or 50 USD if i remember right..

  • All,

    That of late comments already! And tomorrow, I leave to Paris until Monday, I am not sure to be able to catch up everything…
    I am going to visit the festival Photsoc http://www.photsoc.org/ à Sarcelles on the social photography…
    I shall tell you, goodbye, audrey

    Lassal, I liked a lot your work!

  • DAH:

    I think you might have missed this posting the mine the other day. If not and you just haven’t gotten to it, no worries.


    It was great to see you in Perpignan. It’s so easy to get a false sense of someone based on their online personality, so I have to say that it was a real pleasure to get to know you more in person. It gave me a new perspective and that was a good thing.

    I also saw the down side of celebrity status in Perpignan. I’m not one that likes too much attention and I got the sense that at times you don’t like it either, but you handle it quite well. I’m thinking freaky masks and hovering ex students, stalking wanabees girlfriends and such;-)

    I also wanted to thank you and let you know that your feedback on my story on African refugees in Spain was spot on and really helpful.

    As you suggested I went out and added more images of Barcelona to the story. The magazine editor I had been communicating with originally was considering it for a small section of the magazine, but in Perpignan she told me she wants to pitch it as a feature to the editorial board, so I have to give you a big thanks. If it comes through it could be a nice break for me. I would have shared that with you on Friday night but I didn’t want to be an ass and brag in group conversation.

    Two more things, One, your “master” class that you do in your loft, how can I get information on the next one? Two, so I have some new project ideas. I was originally waiting to work on it, because of the status of the never ending assignments, but I’ve got the itch now. So once the Digital Railroad page is set up, we just start uploading? I already am using DRR, although I don’t know if that matters.

    Thanks and all the best,

  • ALL / DAH
    I made a new dance photos presentation including more portraits:
    then go to ‘projects’, ‘dancers #2’

    Everybody comments are welcome!!!

    Bonne chance pour le festival…

  • dig this.. a photo editor found it..
    i love the fact it’s anon and updated only when the boss ain’t looking..

  • jean – lovely.

    i’m a little confused why you cannot use any photos you want.. is it not possible to make an arrangement with the director of the company to be allowed the right to show images on your website?
    i guess it’s a case of not wanting to burn bridges with the company concerned.. it just seems a shame that good work has to go unseen because of permissions..


    Many, many thanks for your reaction to my photos. Yes, you know where I am coming from and what I am aiming at… I agree that most of these particular photos aren’t there yet… maybe three or four are getting close.. Now that I’ve put them up, the thing I notice most in them is the emotional detachment and lack of engagement… I will be posting others soon that are possibly more fluid and also more ‘connected’. To some degree the emotional distance reflects who I am (at least part of the time)… and to some degree, it’s the result of my relationship to Vancouver which is a bit like a long distance romance. Even though it’s only 50 miles away, I can only get up there for a few days at a time every couple of months. This has been going on for more than ten years. I am not exactly a tourist there but not really a resident either. And it reminds me a lot of a number of long-distance romances I’ve been involved in in the past… in some ways, it keeps the relationship ever new and fresh, but each time you get together you have to become ‘reacquainted’ a bit, and the intimacy and interaction and mutual evolution get cut off just as they seem to be taking off. “To be continued…”

    Yes, the photographers I have admired and tried to emulate include George Mobley, Bruce Dale, Jim Blair, and Bill Allard among the NG crowd (and yes Stanfield too, but I think Allard is probably a better influence!); Marc Riboud; and within Magnum the people I seem to resonate most with are Burt Glynn, Bruno Barbey, Hiroji Kubota, Stuart Franklin, Alex Webb, and now Jonas Bendiksen. (There’s also a guy named Harvey… I like some of his stuff, too. Very colorful!).

    It’s not that I am consciously ‘trying’ to shoot or see like these people… it’s so ingrained, it’s not even something I think about when shooting or editing. But if I step back and take a comprehensive look and think about it… that is certainly where I am photographically.

    But, in a lot of the pictures I take, I know that ‘something’ is missing… emotional content, fluidity, ‘ephemerality’, impressionism, delicacy of mood, kinetic energy. Or all of the above. You can tell that I am congenitally hung up on formal composition and ‘information content’, and sometimes I think that gets in the way of some potentially momentary magic, or just a less rigid and predictable way of seeing the world. And believe it or not, I am at heart very shy, especially about photographing people. I have had to force myself to learn how to engage people enough so they are comfortable with me taking pictures, and it’s never easy.

    Anyway, I look forward with great relish to putting up more on the Digital Railroad site when it is up, and thrashing out with you a way forward. And I feel the need for the influences of the looseness, moodiness, and interpretation that so many of the other forum members are more tuned into than I am. Despite my frequent pontifications, that’s largely why I am here… to learn and be influenced.

    Thanks again mon ami,

  • Sidney, I am pretty much coming from where you are, taking pictures.

    Trad, non-trad, straight, loose, for me, it all comes down to being predictable (usually not good) or not. I often catch myself taking a picture that someone else has taken before, a hundred times and consciously strivng to do just that, even!

    This is puzzling to me, because I am not really leaning on conventionality in my life. But it may also be as simple as being function of the most natural synchronism with others, like breathing the same air, for ex. And by Gosh! Photography is conventions too, a lot of (think of frames/cadres, for once)!

    I remember HCB saying “most people do not see, they merely identify”. Now, that’s brilliant, the old guy put the finger on it, as far as I am concerned. Once I put this adage into use, editing becomes extremely easy! :-)


    Regarding ways to become looser photographically, this might be worth a try:

    Before I arrived at this blog I too was quite caught up with Composition with a capital C. I’d look through my viewfinder and consciously set things up in a way that satisfied my rather demanding artist’s eye. Golden Mean and all that. Maybe it came from decades of being a painter, I don’t know.

    Last May while at the Detroit Electronic Music Festival downtown, I found myself taking shots “blind,” with the camera sitting in my lap–I use a mobility scooter to get around–and the lens pointing up towards people’s faces. When I downloaded these shots I found a lot were totally off, but some were right on. And I liked them. They had an energy and life I’d never captured before. For examples, check out the close-up dance shots here:


    PASSWORD patricia

    The more I use this technique, the better I become at “guessing” where to point the camera, what focal length to set, etc. I’d say I now use this “lap shooting” technique at least 60% of the time. I particularly like using it when I want to get portraits of people as they’re talking to me. I can stay present to the conversation without shoving my camera up to my eye and losing eye contact with the person. Sometimes I get shit, but lots of times I get pure gold. I’m convinced that’s because my subjects are not feeling self conscious like when I point the camera in their faces. I also catch them in motion, when they’re excited about what they’re saying. An example:


    Sidney, this might work for you or maybe not. But even trying it might loosen things up a bit. Of course, this technique is cheaper for us digital folks, but even with film it can work. Think of Walker Evan’s Subway series. It sure worked for him!



    To see examples of my first lap shots, go here:


    PASSWORD patricia

  • good work patricia.. totally wonderful to see inside a venue.. not photoed a party for nearly a year.. looking forward to it again.. it’s been a long time..

    not looking through the viewfinder is fine i think.
    knowing the coverage of the lens and the focal distance it is somtimes a great deal easier to get the camer in position without yr eyes behind it.. imagining what it sees normally gets close to whats needed.
    in dark venues viewfinders can just make the job double difficult..

    how was your trip away?
    email maybe :o)

  • patricia —
    have you ever tried shooting with holga?


    Try taking a look at these and see if they are any closer to what you think I should be trying to do. The same general topic- Asian Vancouver. They were originally shot in February but are part of a huge batch that I am still editing. My own view is that it’s some of my best work to date (other than landscapes which have been my main thing for decades) but I’m curious to hear what you think:


    (Still best seen in Safari, but not so terrible in Firefox or Explorer)


    Many thanks for your offer of help with the “save for web” business… I think I’ve got it worked out a little better now… but all my pictures still look better in Safari… don’t ask me why.


    Very much appreciate your tip. Will take a look at leisure when I get a moment free. I actually have tried something like this on occasion. The real problem for me in loosening up is only partly in the shooting.. it’s as much in the editing, and that’s why I have learned to not edit heavily right after shooting a project, but to wait until I am no longer ‘expecting’ certain photos or compositions. If I go back weeks or months later, I always find something interesting that I overlooked when I was still focused on what the shots or compositions that I was consciously trying to get at the time.


    As is often the case, you put your finger on something profoundly true. How can someone like me who is ‘overly educated’ and too self-consciuos about their antecedents and expectations, get beyond ‘identifying’ photos and start ‘seeing’ photos? In my experience the thing that seems to work best is just to keep shooting, shooting, shooting, until all the ‘predictable’ pictures have been taken, keep looking thru the viewfinder, keep trying something just a little different… and then, if I’m lucky and persistent, I start ‘seeing’ something I hadn’t expected and never saw before… if I put the camera away for a few days or a week, then I have to learn all over again how to start ‘seeing’, I run thru a whole bunch of predictable pictures and static compositions, I must re-invent the wheel each time. So, yes, thank god for digital which allows this kind of high-volume shooting.

  • ….psssst…y’all….there is a new thread, with an invite, even….it’s over there ->>>>>>>


    Patricia, for you especially I seek feedback on the images in my link – see my rather lengthy post

  • oh….and to Pat’s “lap-cam” approach…I, too, find I get some surprisingly good captures when shooting from over my head or at waist level….started doign the waist-level thing with street photography….

  • Hello all,

    To answer David’s question, I think that in order to value life you have to understand how fragile it is. It seems to me that the unfortunate thing is that we can’t be told, we have to experience it. We all have our crosses, it is part of living life. Some are more fortunate then others.

    In my personal case it was only after a traumatic event that I fully appreciated life. It is a blessing to know life is fragile, learning to enjoy the simple things.
    My heart is open now and my eyes too. It is why I photograph.
    My son taught me all these things, just wish he was still here…

    peace, Edward

  • And of course, Loose may not always be about how the picture is taken, but how we move, approach places and people, while in the “zone”, as David says. I am sure HCB was loose, yet very conscious of composition and geometry, one inch off and The Photo is gone (now, to reconcile this with lap shooting….).

    Sidney, looking at the new link you ask David about, I wonder if you (me too, not bragging here) were not a bit shy (or voluntarily unobtrusive?), shooting too fast, or too slow, not making the definitive 1/100th choice (even intuitive) while having your subject (the compo, the scene not just the people) positively waiting for you.

    If I may, your kid shots lack a point of focus (usually one kid’s stare or some happenstance), and talking about focus, 2 or 3 shots are way off…

    About shyness, if any, watch that Gilden video I linked in david’s new entry….

    And by the way, there are very few “people up close” photographers on the blog, that I recall at least.

  • herve – as a ‘people up close’ photographer i know the risks and maybe why people stay away..

    THEY MIGHT TALK TO US>> become real people

    loose might also mean being yourself .. respectfully.. to everyone, even people you would not usually meet.

    opening up is a challenge on that scale.

  • loose might also mean being yourself .. respectfully.. to everyone, even people you would not usually meet.

    401 (just to turn the page!)

    Yeah, but being loose humanly is a bit different from being loose, taking a shot. Many great portraits were taken at an off moment between subject and P. (again, HCB as an example and his portrait of Pierre and Marie Curie. Before being introduced as they had just opened the door)

  • thats true..
    within my own work doing portraits it has often been the free moment which produce the work.

    i used to work hard at contriving a certain response from teh subject.. and then i worked hard at catching memorable moments which were either side of the shoot time..

    my fav is the beech portrait of danny rampling shot in itally – the last two frames of the film.. and undoubtedly one of the best portraits i’ve achieved..

    herve – do you have more of your work online? it’d be cool to see :o)

  • Hey All,

    I finally figured out how to negotiate DAH’s site! Don’t know why it took me so long to get to the meat of the melon.

    Anyway, great workshop/party last night David! There was some strong student work, lots of interesting folks and the contrast between Bruce Gilden’s presentation and Eugene Richards couldn’t have been starker- highlighting the breadth of possibilities out there.

    I actually have an update on Jason P. Howe. He just stayed with me here in NYC for three days. His face is almost completely healed, his spirits are high, and he’s up on a farm for two weeks working on an outline for an autobiography he has been asked to pitch. We’re having a book-signing party for him on Monday, September 29th, at my friend’s place in the Lower East Side, GalleryBar. It’s the same place Ashley Gilbertson did his book launch and incredible exhibition.

    Jason jokes that the beating was the best possible thing that could have happened in terms of getting the attention of photo editors.

    Anyway, for those who haven’t already seen it, I put up a pretty extensive post about Perpignan on the Slideluck Potshow Network site:


  • hi david, remember us from tailand..
    jason was just at our home for dinner around Aug 20th

    amazing that you guys meet and you post this…

    life is very fragile, we are constantly reminded here in SL.

    what to do? live in the moment, i guess.
    naz and dom

  • Nice article. Let me introduce you to the online fashion magazine that I run. Its called Fashionora.com. Would you be interested to visit and leave your valuable comments

  • To me, life on Earth – the one planet in the universe that supports it – has been ‘nothing short of a miracle’ in every moment from the start. The probability of it ever having happened is close to zero and each of us is lucky to be alive. It is precious in each moment and easily taken for granted.

    On the other hand, from the moment we are born, we are destined to die – it is only a matter of time – and the thought of another day can feel like an impossible burden at times.

    Thankfully, my ‘positive’ side continues to prevail and I’d like to see it out to the end, whenever and however, that moment may arrive.

    I wonder if all the war, destruction and suffering we experience – whether first hand or through newspapers or on TV – is causing a depression that is in a process of ‘going global’ and translating into ‘recession’… slightly ‘off the topic of this thread’ and yet related – if on ‘the global’ rather than the ‘individual’ level…

    Keep smiling all!

    Jenny :-)

  • I am not a frequent reader of this blog. But I find this blog post and the comments here are really enlightening. I aspire to be a documentary photographer but recently I am into severe trouble and this makes me feel frustrated. As if I would not be able to achieve my goal.

    However after reading all this I am feeling a renewed strength and will to fight it back.

    Thanks to you all!!


  • I am not a frequent reader of this blog. But I find this blog post and the comments here are really enlightening. I aspire to be a documentary photographer but recently I am into severe trouble and this makes me feel frustrated. As if I would not be able to achieve my goal.

    However after reading all this I am feeling a renewed strength and will to fight it back.

    Thanks to you all!!


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