Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Young Student, Shamli District, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2016

Tomorrow morning, Indian time, we head to the Shamli District of Uttar Pradesh to meet our Muslim brethren and begin the work so many of you have supported. Two dozen from my FB circle, and a few from this very Google+ network, have come together, including entire classrooms of children, to help make this happen... and tomorrow we join Nirvana Bodhisattva and team in doing so!

Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Reunion with Young Girl, Rajasthan, India, 2017

Just an hour or so ago a portrait was made of an 'old' friend, although she was unknown to me at that very moment. We had arranged to stop by her house earlier this week, and make portraits of her and her sisters. As we walked to her home we gathered quite a following and decided to photograph them outside of her home, so as to allow her family some peace during their session.

So we began with the neighbors' children, and made portraits just outside of her home. About 20 minutes through the session a young girl walked into the scene from down the street, with a scarf covering the lower half of her face. There was something about her that made me feel that she knew me, and vice versa. I asked to photograph her and she agreed quickly. Everyone thought that she should uncover her face, but this look intrigued me immensely and she was photographed as she presented.

My curiosity got the best of me halfway through however, and I asked if she would allow a portrait without the scarf. She smiled with her eyes and slowly uncovered herself, revealing to me that she was the very girl we came to photograph. When she saw my reaction, she smiled even more so!

It was the most amazing moment of my visit so far, as we reminisced about our time four years ago, and six years ago when her first portrait was made. We quickly gathered our things and walked to her home so that we could make portraits of her and her sisters before the sun set. The rest of the evening was spent talking about our past experiences, and making photographs for the family and friends.

On our way out her father invited us back for dinner, and such was accepted of course. She never looked away from us as we walked down the street, covered as in this portrait the entire time. We continued to walk and she then caught up to us, passing us quickly all of a sudden. When we turned the corner, there she was with two pieces of candy in her little hands. She ran past us quickly to get to the store before we did, to share those sweet gifts with us.

What an amazing afternoon, and soon to be dinner with her and her family!

Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Three Students + School, Nirvanavan Foundation, Rajasthan, India, 2017

So the work has begun, and we have visited two schools thus far in Rajasthan. These are the very schools which a dozen of you have come forward to support, and these are three of the students. Two have been enrolled in the school for years, following in their sisters' footprints... and one is new. The smiles on their faces say it all!

Thank you Nirvana and the magical twelve!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

In Search of a Face + Spirit, Gurgaon, India, 2016

With my dear brother Bhaskar we will visit this young woman in a week or so, and photograph her once again. She transcends her reality, and truly is the face of the divine for me. While she words day to day separating plastic from metal from glass from fabric, her beauty is without compare.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Young Student + Nirvanavan Foundation, Rajasthan, India, 2010

This is the look of self-determination which pushes the work forward ever so gently. Given the opportunity, she and her friends in the villages devour the education placed in front of them. For those of us involved in the two schools of Rajasthan, I present her portrait for your review. 

She knows that no longer will she be denied an education. She knows that no longer will limitations be set for her. She knows that her path is just that, her path. She is aware of the world around her, for she can read and write. She no longer needs a man to read for her, no longer needs a man to sign her name for her. She can sign her own name, rather than leave a nameless fingerprint.

For the dozen people involved in these two schools, know that your generosity will once again support her school and the one in the adjacent village.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Young Student + Seat, Humana People to People, Rajasthan, India, 2009

Going through negatives is something familiar to me, especially a week before a trip. Next weekend India is on my horizon, and this image reminds me of my beginning in that beautiful country. Thanks to Humana India, this beautiful child attended a school in her village and was photographed here in her neighbor's courtyard.

There is something magical about the images from a decade ago, a bit of nostalgia mixed with the evolution of the photography. The work has come full circle, and now incorporates street photography once again. My hope is that we can visit the original dozen villages near Virat Nagar this year, and perhaps make the connections necessary to open the schools once again.

Presently we have two schools in this area thanks to Nirvana Bodhisattva and his team, while originally more than a dozen schools existed with Humana India. Let's hope that we can locate the original villages, and that the communities will be receptive to the education of their girls once again.

Note: This image was made with a Contax G2/90 mm combination onto Fuji Neopan Acros 100 ISO film. 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Man + Smoke, Rajasthan, India, 2009

As my trip to India nears the temptation to view older images is great, both to remember the past and to look forward to the future. Looking back gives me perspective, a reminder of how my work began. Now and then a frame comes into view, perhaps one which needs to be enlarged.

While the formal portratis get my attention most of the time, certain spontaneous 'snapshots' slip in once in a while. This is the first time my eyes have seen this exposure since it was made over eight years ago. It must have been made as we were leaving the village, for the sun had set.

For those of us supporting two schools in Rajasthan, this image was made in one of the two villages. In a little more than a week we will be visiting this village and perhaps even seeing this man once again. The men in the village are a kind group, and have fun with me in between the photography of the students. This is one such moment, for all like to be photographed!

I look forward to India next weekend, and to walking around with a point-and-shoot camera for such portraits. 


Note: This image was made with a Contax G2, on negative color film.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Teacher + Students, Nirvanavan Foundation, Rajasthan, India

The effect which Nirvana Bodhisattva and his team produce can be seen in this portrait of a teacher in front of her smiling students. Here she sits in her classroom, surrounded by the admiration of her students. We can see the love and joy on the students faces, as they enjoy the credit their teacher deserves.


Note: Image was made with a Sony RX100M3.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Cami + Sky, El Mirage Dry Lake Bed, California, 2016

Usually when returning from a long trip the camera lays dormant, until the next trip. After Cuba last year the chance to visit southern California once again presented itself and a casting call was put forth. This young woman thankfully answered and a most magical session at El Mirage was the result.

We met in front of her apartment and drove out to this familiar space one afternoon. One of her beautiful friends came along, and did more than her part to make the session that much more fulfilling. Came for her part brought the clothing she shared with me through messages previously.

She was more than prepared and performed in front of the lens as if she was performing at a grand stage. She gave it her all and we were blessed with a gorgeous day at El Mirage. She was able to change a few times and we moved around a bit to change up the backdrop as well. Even though the surface was very hard, she repeated the jump a few times for this frame.

I do hope that later this year we will meet up again, and continue our magical collaboration.


Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Young Girl + House, Crimea, Cuba, 2015

This small village is quite special to me ever since we made a turn from the highway three years ago. We were on our way back from the countryside and spotted nothing on the highway itself. Then my instinct told me to ask Alejandro to make that turn, and everything followed from that fortunate chance.

We made a photograph of a farmer next to his cart, and then purchased some avocado and bananas. He was a gentle man, and invited us to drive to his village a mile or so up the road. Following his lead is what led us to this row of houses.

While we were there to photograph some of the younger residents, this young woman caught our attention one afternoon. She was a cousin to some of the girls, and was only visiting for the summer from the east. This it seemed was our only chance to make her portrait so we asked. She was very shy in the beginning, even though she watched the entire time and seemed very content with the photography of her friends and cousins.

So we asked again, and with the cajoling of her friends she stepped in front of the lens. First we photographed her with her hair up, then she let her hair down for this portrait. She was a natural in front of the camera, truly magnificent.

I hope to visit her village this year of course, and hand her this portrait.


Note: This image was made with a Hasselblad 555 ELD/100 mm combination.