manuel garcia – the georgia colors

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Manuel Garcia

The Georgia Colors

play this essay


I think that first and foremost I like to watch the world in all its complexity. I get dragged to places where, despite of the stories of misery and war, life still goes on. I like that blend of things. At the same time, it also has to do with the memory of my childhood images, and the fascination with the remains of ancient Europe. In the “Georgia Colors” project I want to explore the unknown of a country where horror and beauty go hand by hand. These pictures have never been published.



Manuel was born in Madrid in 1975. He left home to enroll the Army in 1995 and went to Bosnia for 6 months. He quit two years later to study Audiovisual Comunication and Photojournalism in Barcelona, and was drawn to photography for being able to live “adventures” and “experiences”. After he obtained his degree he went on to live in London in 2002, and started traveling to Central America and Eastern Europe, where he developed some personal photography projects.


Editor’s Note: Please only one comment per person under this essay.. Further discussions should take place under Dialogue..

Many thanks… david alan harvey

25 Responses to “manuel garcia – the georgia colors”

  • I like this series.

    Compelling images. Most of them. #9 and #12 don’t quite work for me. But I was thoroughly interested throughout!


  • There may be some personal and creative idiosyncracies at work, like cutting off people rather low, shooting into the sun, still, if I had only one guess, I’d say your camera and compositional work needs some work, Manuel, as well as getting a bit more control of the lighting, natural or inside. The result for now is rather impersonal, and there is no reason why it should be that way.

    Your choice of pictures is quite disparate, it is hard to figure what you want to say or show us. Very little complexity or horror you announce in your text are seen in the pictures.

    In sum, IMO, it seems you have not been too hard on yourself, when handling the camera, ie. making pictures.

    But it’s not really a shame, you seem to have very good access, a necessary skill in getting inside people’s lives, so there is always another day to get to work, and “make it better”.

  • I’m curious about the kind of film used?? I like some of the low light photos…

  • Doesn’t work well full screen for me. The photos look like they were shot with a low res digital camera. Don’t know if they started out digital or are badly scanned film, but they are not technically good. Like a lot of stuff these days, it just looks like a group of disparate photos strung together and called an essay. Nothing that knocks me out.

  • El primer de tot, felicitats per la publicació Manuel. Overall I like your essay. I find the topic interesting and fairly well approached. This said, I too struggle with the uneven quality of the photographs. Some of them look well composed and lit, while others look exactly the opposite. If I had been shown this essay without the corresponding introduction, I would have sworn there were two photographers…a novel one and a experienced one.
    In any case, I guess I would have to see the real prints to suppport my statement…

  • jpegs weren’t prepared so well. . .

  • If you are not aware of Beso Uznadze, he may interest you.

  • I see Lots single images. A variety of light and frame shape choices. Some of which i think have turned out well, others maybe not so well. Somewhat ‘loose’ as a body, but that can always be added to.I would say ‘keep shooting this’ and maybe try to find a more tangible ‘angle’ to give it some more direction.

  • A few really good photos in here, more than enough to hold the whole together. I love #12, #9 is the only one that didn’t work for me on any level. Enjoyed it, really like this view onto a place I’ve never been, much more than the super-polished, super-crisp photojournalism style you see.

  • My reaction is similar to some of the other commentators above. There are some great individual shots here, and lots of potential for a good essay, but there are also other shots mixed in that don’t measure up to the same level of skill or interest. I think sequencing is also a problem here and could be improved to give the essay more coherence or narrative structure. Obviously access is good. I’d say just go back and keep doing more, then think long and hard about sequencing.

  • First I agree that the images seem to be pixelated.

    I feel that most of these images are almost there. Something that Harvey speaks of a lot when looking at images in his workshops. Slightly different angle or position would have improves most of them. The access the photographer has is obviously excellent. I would keep at it and the pictures will come.

  • i wonder if the images are over-sharpened and have been worked on with a computer which has not been properly calibrated?

    some nice photographs therein, yet i’m also wondering about photoshop work.. like the first image.. the smoke looks unreal.. the fireside shot.. perhaps held back and burn’t in a little obviously.. i don’t know.. being pedantic.. could just be the monitor used to work on the phots.

    as people have said – the access seems to be there to carry on with what is an interesting project.. i’m certainly keen to see more work from georgia..


  • I too was a little thrown by the poor resolution of the images. What happened there?…

    David: In light of our conversation last week, i’m a little confused as to why you might have chosen this work?… I like others above, enjoy some of the single images, but do not see a full piece here.

  • Well, if it’s a portrait of the country Georgia, it looks a bit difficult doing it with only 15 pictures, as big as the country is. I think it looks half-finished at the moment, but I’m hoping the other half can get as good as the first half, because there’s lots of interesting moods you’ve captured.

    Especially #3 is interesting to place so early in the essay. It’s tense, but it gives a hint what the rest of the pictures will not be about. If that makes sense.

    Good luck with more work (if there will be)! Thanks for sharing.


  • Regardless of the technical short comings, I like this series. Yes it would be stronger with better technique though I can’t see any pixelation. Given there are no captions, I’ve had to supply my own interpretation of the situations depicted. The only image I can’t find a satisfactory explanation of what its about is #7. It’s a little bit sinister but given that the rest of the images are of people going about their daily lives, I expect this is just a pic of a dad and his kid or a man and someone else’s kid who just happens to be hanging about. It doesn’t look like a home but perhaps it is. I like 1,5,7,8,10,11,13,14,15. But they’ve all got something going for them as part of this series though some may have little going for them on their own.


    very few essays that are published here are completed works…most are works in progress as so stated….i too would be critical , even more critical than most of you, of much work that i do indeed publish on Burn…as a matter of fact, if i think of the 150 or so essays that we have published here on Burn in the last 8 months, i can think of only ONE of them that is totally unassailable…if, when, we do a printed version of Burn, then you will see a very tight edit of the best of the best…work is published here to stimulate discussion, help the photographer, and allow many to see work they might not otherwise have seen….with all of the photographers out there, and i see many many works, there is not enough finalized “great” work…most work that i see is “almost” but not quite…but, what i do want to do is let a photographer “fly” with what they think is their best and then see how the audience reacts…just as i did with your cemetery story which as you know i thought was “almost”….in this case with Manuel, i thought seeing rural Georgia was just simply a different vision of what i see in the news and with 2 or 3 fairly strong singles and the rest were “point pictures”…in any case, thanks for your comment….

    cheers, david

  • I really liked it!

    The first half, with the more urban environment work best for me. They are timely and well constructed. Not sure they pinpoint Georgia, or any other place for that matter, but they work for me. The second half is weaker and somehow not necessarily connected to the first.

    The quality of the jpegs is indeed poor but I can imagine reasons for that, forgivable for me. It’s a good story, congrats for your publication on burn, keep up the good work!

  • Hellow everyone,, buff… certainly its so hard to be exposed to criticism but at the same time its so healthy and in many ways a rewarding experience.Firts of all I want to thank David and Aston for allowing me to live it. Undoubtly it will help me to grow up. I agree with most of you and definetly this not a finished issue, although I think there is not such objective definition of what a finish issue is. Regarding the image quality well I worked with pushed slide films and that gives grain to the pictures but the scanned job it hasnt been really good so thats my fault. This not a justification at the end I think that when come to pictures or visual work, you just like it or not, for me it is the inmediate feeling what counts. I want to thank everyone for their comments.


    Beso Uznadze really good!!! thank you i recommend it to everyone that has some interest in Georgia

  • i hope two things: that you’ll go back, and that you’d consider to rescan the pictures! thanks for sharing :)

  • Diapo in C41? Impossible to scan (had the same problem).
    As a Work in progress I like it! (in a tighter edit).
    DAH: (on dialogue) which one is the ONE?

  • I agree with many of the comments here.

    Overall, a fascinating set of photographs. I appreciate the glimpse into another reality. Much potential here, both for the story, and for you Manuel.

    We do have some tech and compositional issues.

    You have a tendancy to bisect your frame horizontally,(breaking one of the “rules” of composition) with most of your picture on the bottom, and dead space above.
    Nothing wrong with breaking the “rules”. The rules after all do not exist out there in the universe, but are really conventions invented by artists over the years. Nor do we consciously apply these rules when we are photographing, not usually anyway. However we do need to be aware of these conventions, and if we choose to break the rules, do so deliberatly and for good reason.

    In your case, it almost starts to look like a visual theme, which could be an interesting path to explore. However I doubt that it is deliberate, and generally is not working for you.

    Lastly, with regard to some of your tech issues, this stuff would be so much better shot digitally. What is the point really of shooting film if we are just going to scan it anyway?

  • “La théorie photographique s’apprend en une heure ; les premières notions de pratique, en une journée… Ce qui ne s’apprend pas, je vais vous le dire : c’est le sentiment de la lumière, c’est l’appréciation artistique des effets produits par les jours divers et combinés… Ce qui s’apprend encore moins c’est l’intelligence morale de votre sujet (…)” Nadar

    I’m sorry, I can’t translate the quotation of nadar :(

    I like your work…
    all the best, audrey

  • “Photographic theory can be learned in an hour; the first practical concepts, in one day…What isn’t learned, I will tell you: it’s the feeling of the light, it’s the artistic appreciation of the effects produced by the various and combined days…What is learned even less is the moral intelligence of your subject (…)” Nadar

  • Thank you Erica :)

    For me, you should not worry about the technique, it learns “easily”… the rest much less…

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