I have very little time to write. I am shooting. In the mode. In the zone. After all of the day to day things we must do constantly just  to “maintain”,  it is those moments when we can actually feel and shoot and live and breathe the work that are the most rewarding. I am on it now in Rio. Again.

I cannot remember ever coming back to the same “well” twice. Yet Rio has me again. For a totally different essay than (based on a true story). Not only a switch to black & white, but a whole different storyline….In the back of my mind , I am wondering if Rio is all of it, or only part of it. This I do not know yet.  Beach Games has been on my mind for about a year. The double meaning will hopefully be obvious in the final result. Right now I am simply sketching and playing and absorbing “the games”….Doing little layouts and sequences in my mind, yet not quite ready to “go to the wall”with prints for another few weeks….And of course I could drop the whole idea entirely. I often drop projects where I have spent lots of time. I have no fear of rejecting weeks and weeks of work if I see it is not happening in the way I may have imagined.

I tell those I mentor and I tell myself, be ready to throw it all away at any time. Start over. I throw most of my work away. I only finish some thing , not everything. Never marry an idea until that point when you just know it is what you wanted to say.

Rio will be behind me in a few days. Ahhhh , the weather will be hard to leave!  Freezing New York is out there ahead of me.  Then off to Dubai to finished or not finish the essay I stared there last year at this time and was cut short because of the passing of my mother. The Burn team of Diego Orlando and Kaya Berne will be joining me in Dubai for a workshop associated with GPP and then I will shoot again for a couple of weeks and see IF Dubai becomes a tabloid/zine as is my intention for Beach Games.

Ok, that’s it. I must roll now into the one thing I know how to do. I must forget all else, and concentrate. A zen sort of concentration that is pure pleasure and somehow “work”at the same time.

THE place to be, whenever you can get there, and any way you can get there.


THE MAGAZINE of (based on a true story)


9 thoughts on “Beach Games Tabloid”

  1. Exciting stuff, David. I like the gist of the direction you’ve been showing from the beach. Of course if someone had asked me if I’d be interested in seeing sports pics from a beach in Rio, probably not, I would have thought. But like everything, it’s what you bring to it. And of course what you take away. When you bring insight and experimentation and ambition along with the requisite skills to do something with all that, the takeaway will no doubt be interesting, even if you do end up throwing most of it away.

    Strange coincidence that I started shooting a sports related project at about the same time you did. Seems I should be envious as you are on the beach in Rio and I am slip sliding over frozen roads to shoot in poorly lit gyms, but somehow I’ve actually been enjoying the cold. (I did a side story on the polar vortex. It touched down near here, I found it and I got some interesting pics). Coincidentally, I’ve been shooting mostly black and white as well. It was a practical matter at first as I’m shooting in the aforementioned dark and dingy gyms and the no doubt the many people responsible for their color schemes and those of the team colors had never heard of color theory and certainly had no feel for it, but after all these years I’m coming to appreciate the aesthetics of black and white photography. It’s been tough though. Just being able to do what everyone else does is not easy, especially since I’m using cameras that are good for more considered photography, but nightmarish for capturing action. But that’s a big part of the fun. Acquiring the necessary skills to get the typical shots is groundwork for being able to communicate a bigger picture. And I’ve learned a lot from you. At first the other guys with their giant cameras and long zooms thought I was crazy because I’d be shooting with my little Fujis and no matter what was going on in the game, I’d be manually focusing on a particular spot — often for three quarters. But now that they’ve seen some of the results, I notice they’re breaking out the wide angles, though they still haven’t figured out the composition part of it. Anyway, sorry to go on so long. Short of it is, sports can be fun and aesthetically rewarding. Even in Rio, eh.

  2. David, when you say that you throw most of your work away; do you mean literally destroy / deleted the photographs or just throw out the idea?
    Enjoy Rio and the sunshine! (What is sunshine?).


  3. I have huge respect for Nachtwey. But, you got to know when to hold ’em, and know when to fold ’em. What the hell is he doing back in a war zone? It’s a sickness.

  4. Concerning that zone – you are DEEP into it. Even though it is you, I have been amazed at the images you have posted lately. Brings knew meaning to so much of what you say about how you pursue a photograph.

  5. This is both and at the same time the type of work an established photographer can afford to do and the sort of work an emerging photographer should be doing to become established.
    Who in their right mind attempts to shoot beach games in black and white?
    That alone is enough to capture anybody’s attention.
    Then seeing the few shots you have posted here and in instagram and the level of curiosity intensifies.
    I have never seen the beach in this way. I am sure I am not the only one.

  6. I tell those I mentor and I tell myself, be ready to throw it all away at any time. Start over. I throw most of my work away. I only finish some thing , not everything. Never marry an idea until that point when you just know it is what you wanted to say.

    Let it be!! Let the idea flow!! Hard to maintain, hard to throw it away… though choice ;-)
    Shine. P.

  7. “About two weeks ago, three weeks ago, I threw away half a novel. Threw it away. Because I’d made a wrong turn, and man, you make a wrong turn and you just keep on that wrong turn and pretty soon you’ve got that much stuff that won’t work. The amateur, or the coward, or the non-writer, will try to keep it and make it work ’cause he doesn’t want to have to throw it away and do all of that over again, another way. The real artist, with no tear in his eye and no sadness in his heart, puts the pages in the fire, and does it again.”
    Harry Crews

  8. @ PAUL:

    Real artists must not dwell in the past!

    Always looking forward, even when I’m in the métro or bus, I’m sitting and looking the driver…


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