Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Campesino + Perrito, Manzanillo, Grannma, Cuba, 2015



Last year we had the chance to travel to the other side of the island while, at the same time, taking one of our new families back home after their summer vacation. We stayed with the family for three days, photographed their children and then headed back through the countryside on our way home. The plan was to photograph in the mornings, continue onto another town to photograph in the afternoon.

This image was just one from our drive back, less than an hour away from the family. We had noticed an incredible set of homes, and stopped to speak with the families. The houses were constructed entirely from wood, in the most traditional style of the island. Alejandro decided to let me speak with the family on my own, and smiled as a young boy led me to the house.

The family was quite receptive and allowed me to begin photographing the houses. Their warm response gave me the confidence to ask for their portraits. They allowed me to photograph the young boy in various settings, and then the older man allowed me to photograph his hands holding a puppy. At first he resisted, thinking that perhaps his entire frame was going to be included. He was so sweet, but also a bit shy.

So I showed him the viewfinder, and stood in front of the lens so that he could see my hands and nothing else. He then allowed me to make this image, and held the puppy in the most gentle fashion while doing so. I was sincerely touched.


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

Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Magnificent One + 3 Frames, Racquetball Court, Santa Maria del Mar, Cuba, 2015


Today the scanning continued, the perfect task on this cold Spring day. It was like reliving last summer on the island, and these three images caught me by surprise.

While I remembered her making these gestures, their juxtaposition on this roll of film took my breath away and gave me even more inspiration to beginprinting multiple negatives at the same time.

Providing the young dancers an entire roll to express themselves has always seemed natural to me, even though only single frames have ever been printed in the darkroom. By showing multiple frames, the conversation will hopefully expand allowing a fuller expression of movements.

This young woman, a true inspiration in my work, was able to show more than her traditional dance training has provided her. She is something else, always coming up with new ways to express her imagination. It should be of little surprise to those familiar with her talents.

Earlier this afternoon my dear friend Tomcommented on an image with multiple frames, pulling me closer to this method with his insightful words. I look forward to ordering some 16 x 20 paper, and to getting back into the darkroom!


Note: This series was made with a Hasselblad 555 ELD/180 mm lens combination.

Four Frames in the Life of a Brick Laborer, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2015


Can any of us imagine a lifetime rather than four frames? Thousands of miles away from our homes? Our children being forced to come along and live in single rooms made from these very bricks?

Can we estimate how many times he has walked the path between the wall of bricks and the ones laid down on the ground beneath his feet? Does he get to eat three times a day, or perhaps once and only when food is available?

What does the family do after the sun sets? How and where do the children sleep? Is it a thin sheet separating them from the hard floor? What prevents them from being bitten all night long by the mosquitos raised in the water necessary for the making of the bricks?

Today, questions and only questions for the answers are lacking.


Note: These frames were exposed using a Fuji GA645i.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Two Cousins & Me, Rajasthan, India, 2016


In this snapshot two cousins sit to each side, representing the two families known to me for the past ten years. Two brothers are married to two sisters, and the daughters outnumber the boys by 8 to 2!

The mother from one family is the teacher of Nirvanavan Foundation's school, while the daughter from the other (seated to my right in this image) is the sewing instructor.

We made this at the end of our photography sessions, when the young women went inside and changed to formal outfits. They love color photographs, and really wanted to be photographed in their best!

Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Young Girl + Clips, La Habana, Cuba, 2008


This portrait was made the same week as the last one posted, and from the same neighborhood. It is almost eight years old, yet her expressive personality is etched in my memory. She is quite the star, and has grown up into a beautiful, young woman.

Everyone loves her, and she roams the streets freely without worry. She always allows herself to be photographed, and my hope this year is that we can go to a place of their choosing for a photographic session, since they are 'too old' to be photographed in the street.


Note: This image was made with a Contax G2 system.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Man + Doorway, La Habana, Cuba, 2008


Man + Doorway, La Habana, Cuba, 2008

The next couple of weeks will be spent scanning the negatives from last year in order to print albums for the families. Hopefully the task will be finished by the end of this month, giving me time enough to print them next month.

Scanning means a lot of time thinking, and so I started looking at some of my earlier images from the island. Here is a portrait from one of my favorite neighborhoods in La Habana. My photography until that moment consisted of disconnected portraits. The people of this neighborhood really took me in and allowed me to make portraits of their entire families. To this day we visit and, although the photography is minimal, the feeling is sublime.

When my Cuban friends learned about my walks through this area, they were a little concerned. They told me that this was a tough neighborhood, and that my eyes better keep track of my equipment during my walks. The reality has been however that trust has never been an issue, and there has never been a reason for me to be concerned. Walking around there feels as natural as it does here in my own neighborhood, but much warmer with the social interactions actually.

The expression on this man's face says it all, and I look forward to visiting the families in less than two months.


Note: This image was made with a Contax G2/45 mm combination.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Ballerina + Tree, West of Havana, Cuba, 2015


The next few weeks will be spent scanning the negatives in order to print the photographs for the families in Cuba. These frames are from a scan earlier this afternoon, and are just three of 200 frames scanned today.

Last year it seemed to rain almost every single afternoon, and always on top of Havana. So one day we decided to drive west where it seemed clearer, albeit from our perspective as novice meteorologists.

So we drove west and the clouds began to disappear right about when the first big town appeared. We made a note of our discovery and were about to turn around when we saw a young girl in a ballet outfit. This happened just after I had asked Alejandro if there was a ballet school in the town. He looked at me in a funny way, then immediately had to take it back as this dancer crossed our view.

The idea of photographing ballerinas in the countryside has already been done, but ballerinas from the countryside was something new to us. We stopped to talk, arranged a meeting later in the week and had our first session soon after.

This series is from our first session together, and this young girl performed wonderfully for the lens. Another dancer came along as well and her performance was as magnificent. All in all it was an incredible session, one born through happenstance!


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

Monday, May 23, 2016

Ballerina + Shore, Santa Maria del Mar, La Habana, Cuba, 2015


This week and the next two weeks will be spent scanning the negatives from last year's visit to the island. This frame is from tonight's scans, and is being seen for the first time since it was exposed last summer.

At the tender age of 12, she is a veteran of our work. While she had developed beautifully over the past three years, last year she took our collective breath with her performances. It was as if we were watching someone else, and the smile on her father's face said it all. He kept telling me, 'you see, you see!'

This image was made at one of our favorite spots, which we will certainly visit many, many times in two months's time. What is so special is that, after the photography, we immerse ourselves in the water and enjoy the rest of the morning under the sun. Then, on our way back home, we stop for ice cream and yum!

'Looking forward' to this summer is an understatement for sure, but what else can one say and remain calm at the same time?

I am certainly looking forward to seeing the dancers from my work on the island, and just hope that I can do justice to their incredible talents this summer. They are like sisters to me by now of course, and it gives me an immense sense of pride in seeing them develop through the years.


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

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Young Student, Humana India, Madhya Pradesh, India, 2016


This past year the chance was taken to visit a new state, and one quite a distance from my usual travels. The part of Madhya Pradesh which we were able to visit had the most surreal landscape. It looked like some god had created the most beautiful hills, raked them with a fine tool and then laid some trees and colors here and there.

The place looked like it was planned out, rather than a natural setting. It was the most beautiful setting my eyes had witnessed, while my mind knew that the lives of the people in this region was certainly made more difficult.

People lived far apart from each other, and the remoteness of the place made governmental services much less accessible. Agriculture was certainly a most difficult task, although the community did its best.

This girl was a student of a school sponsored by Humana India, as part of their Step Up Initiative. At that time she was attending classes in the program, and my hope is that she has now joined the government school system as planned from the beginning.


Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Migrants + Brick Factory, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2015


On our way up to Uttar Pradesh we decided to venture out on our own in search of communities. We had tried to document two brick factories in Haryana but had little luck doing so due to the suspicions of the owners.

We decided we'd try one more time and were met by a very interesting family, the owners of this factory. They welcomed us with smiles, served us tea and then gave us the freedom to do as we wished with our photography. We decided that we'd come back in the morning for the best light, and the owners left us in the hands of their capable managers.

When we arrived in the morning, the sun was just coming up and we slowly began making photographs of the factory itself… making sure that we were demonstrating our interest in their establishment. We then quickly walked to the end of the brick homes and walked in between them in search of families.

Immediately we ran across people working, and asked permission to photograph the families. There were of course many children, and we included them as well. Most of the families were migrants from the eastern states, traveling here in search of work. What is almost unimaginable is that life for them back home is that much harder.

Here they are, toiling under the hot sun and making bricks for an amount barely equal to their sustenance. Their children cannot attend schools in the area, and they lack the rights of residents as well. Once they begin working in these factories, there is a debt that they need to pay off as well. Their choices are very few since there are hundreds of thousands ready to take their places.

It was a truly heartbreaking setting, and on our way out we sat down to speak with a few of the families. These two beautiful spirits were there, watching as the conversations unfolded. Of course the desire to photograph both was mounting, and I began with the smaller one since that was an easier request. The bricks behind her are the work of her factory, used to build the humble home in which she lives.

The approach to photograph the second girl was more complex, since we needed to ask without seeming overjoyed. While she smiled at the request, she must have also known that approving would seem inappropriate due to her age, and the men looking on. The community however was supportive, even though they wondered why I would be interested in photographing a girl with an obvious physical defect, in their view that is.

This portrait was very important to me, both to show the community that her beauty is as significant as any other… and also to express my respect for this young girl who must endure so much difficulty in an already difficult life.

Can we ever imagine how her life must be?

Outside of the fact that she works in this brick factory, she must face societal pressures that the majority of us cannot even come close to imagining.

She is an inspiration to me, and I am honored that she allowed me to make this portrait of her.


Note: These portraits were made with a Hasselblad 555 ELD/180 mm combination, scanned for proofing only.

Friday, May 20, 2016

1 in 12, Guanabacoa, Cuba, 2015


A few friends, mostly photographers, have shared with me their view that going past 'the shot' goes against their gut instinct, paraphrased here for the sake of summarizing the collective. This opinion is to be respected in my humble opinion, but so is the possibility that the 'subject' has much more to say.

In this example, where perhaps should we have stopped?

My sincere belief is that such a spirit deserves the entire space of a medium-format roll in order to tell a segment of her story. The fact is that the entire morning was reserved specifically for her and her alone. Unlike my work in India when an entire class of young girls need to be photographed during one session, my work in Cuba allows the individuals to take the stage on their own.

This young dancer, known to most of us here, can stand her own in front of the lens for more than an hour. The fact is that it is the photographer who needs a break to reload, rather than her. Each roll tells a different chapter of her story for the day.

During our session on this day, we parked the car and walked the neighborhood at least half an hour before the sun was seen. We found four locations, and asked the families of the homes for their blessings. All agreed thanks to Alejandro's connections in this village.

So we walked from one spot to another, and she took on a different personality with each location. It was a marvel to watch, and an honor to document. As another dear friend told me once regarding the compromise between the priceless artifact and its purchase price, 'they're still printing money.'


Note: These exposures were made with a Hasselblad 555 ELD/100 mm lens scanned through the negative sleeves for proofing only.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Ballerina + Tree, West of Havana, Cuba, 2015


The next few weeks will be spent scanning the negatives in order to print the photographs for the families in Cuba. These frames are from a scan earlier this afternoon, and are just three of 200 frames scanned today.

Last year it seemed to rain almost every single afternoon, and always on top of Havana. So one day we decided to drive west where it seemed clearer, albeit from our perspective as novice meteorologists.

So we drove west and the clouds began to disappear right about when the first big town appeared. We made a note of our discovery and were about to turn around when we saw a young girl in a ballet outfit. This happened just after I had asked Alejandro if there was a ballet school in the town. He looked at me in a funny way, then immediately had to take it back as this dancer crossed our view.

The idea of photographing ballerinas in the countryside has already been done, but ballerinas from the countryside was something new to us. We stopped to talk, arranged a meeting later in the week and had our first session soon after.

This series is from our first session together, and this young girl performed wonderfully for the lens. Another dancer came along as well and her performance was as magnificent. All in all it was an incredible session, one born through happenstance!



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

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

3 Girls + 6 Portraits, Shamli District, Uttar Pradesh, 2015


These portraits were made on April 18 of last year, and represent my first sole visit to this beautiful area. Prior to this my trip included a driver and my wonderful friend, Asrar Ahmad. This time around my friend was unable to come, so we (me and my trusted driver) took the chance and headed to this contested area on our own.

To say that our hesitation was unfounded would be an understatement. Our hosts treated us like princes, and took us to some of the camps from the previous year, as well as some of the villages. We were able to photograph some of the most beautiful children in the world, including these three girls.

Sometimes I forget how difficult the lives of girls are in this part of the world. It takes a documentary at times placing girls such as them in the same footage as the Taliban for me to realize that they face some of the most difficult scenarios in the world.

I get enchanted by their exquisite expressions in front of the lens, and the isolation of their simple portraits. Once in front of the lens they are in a different world, it is theirs to possess. In this world they can communicate their feelings, smile when they want to and do so without repercussions.

It takes a stern man walking by to snap them back into their world, and for me to see the change. Such are the expressions in this series, as the girls are walking a thin line between two worlds… one in which they are nearly invisible and one in which they are revered as the highest forms of the girl spirit.

So here are three girls and six expressions, as they presented themselves to the camera over one year ago.



Note: These images were made with a Hasselblad 555 ELD/180 mm combination.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Potter Couple, Near Alwar, Rajasthan, India, 2015


During my time with Nirvana Bodhisattva and his team at NIrvanavan Foundation, I was able to venture into the surrounding villages thanks to the guidance of Mukesh Poswal and friends. Many of the young men working with the foundation are from the villages which are home to the students. So walking around with them is like walking around with family.

We happened across this couple at the entrance to one village, and they allowed us to photograph them while they were working. We only exposed a few frames, thanked them and then walked away. That simple moment has lasted however, and as we walked by many times this year they always nodded our way.

I wonder where the creation in his hand is by now, in which home it is being used to hold water. To me this is the magic of these vessels, that they are artifacts made by hand and then used daily within the same region usually.



Note: These frames were exposed with a Hasselblad 555 ELD/120 mm lens.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Sisters + Doorway, Virat Nagar, Rajasthan, India, 2015


These two sisters, among many beautiful spirits, continue to bring me back to this incredible village ten years after my introduction to the area throughHumana India. The closing of the school in this village in 2010 is what gave life to the initiative to support schools for girls. 

Of course these two girls were just born about that time, but their older sisters (four in all) were students in the previous school. All of them had been photographed by me, and all of them possess these exquisite features. There is one brother in the bunch, and he looks exactly like his sisters.

Here they stand in the doorway to their home, the most beautiful place to photograph in the village… and there are many incredible places. Last year they were some of the shyest in the village, but now they have blossomed into confident girls… taking me by surprise truly.

On honor of their courage this work will continue, for what they do is infinitely more difficult than whatever is done on my end. Unlike their mother and aunts, they know how to read and to write. They do not need a man to do so for them, for they can do so for themselves. When the time comes to have their own families, they will demand an education for their girls and in doing so will bring change into the world.

Nirvana Bodhisattva and his team at Nirvanavan Foundation have now taken these schools under their wings. The schools have prospered in the first year, with much more progress in store for the next year.

Last spring I put a challenge on FB for groups of six to support one school by donating $20 per month. Six amazing people came forward to fund this specific school and have made it clear to me that it is an ongoing project for them. As long as these girls want to study, this group of six individuals will continue to show their support.

So for those of you associated with this school, these are the faces which have benefited from your generosity. I congratulate you!


Note: These frames were exposed using a Hasselblad 555 ELD/100 mm combination, and scanned for proofing purposes only.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

La Profesora + Las Canchas, Santa Maria del Mar, Cuba, 2015


When we work with this magnificent woman the inspiration flows both ways. She knows what to do without exchanging words, the camera is there to document her movements rather than direct.

While we had photographed many of her models before, we had yet to have our own session. Thanks to the brilliance of Diz Pe Adrian Arturo, we reserved a morning towards the end of our summer last year just for her.

The experience was, to write the least, most enlightening. Her movements and expressions were of course magnificent. It was however the way in which she went about presenting herself that impressed me the most. She spoke very little, smiled often and always nodded when asked to do something specific.

Here she was, the highest in her trade in one of the most incredible cities, yet she maintained an immense sense of humility. She taught me a lot on that afternoon, and I for one look forward to more lessons in two months!



Note; This image was made with a decade old Kodak digital camera, when our trusted and newer Sony gave out. Even though the images on the camera's screen were almost impossible to see during our session, they turned out better than expected for sure! I must give it to Kodak for making something which lasted in the digital age!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

12 Frames of Laughter, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, 2015


This young girl lives in an impoverished section of Jaipur, far from the gleaming, pink walls for which this city is known. The entire slum is illegal yet the families do what they can to survive. They are migrants from the east and have come to Jaipur in search of work.

In the midst of this however the most beautiful spirits exist, such as this young girl. While we were photographing a few others in the neighborhood she walked over to take a look at the scene. Of course we invited her for a portrait.

She was unstoppable, and everyone enjoyed her energy. The proof from yesterday's scans says it all!


Note: This roll was exposed using a Hasselblad 555 ELD/180 mm combination.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Nathy + Tree, Guanabacoa, Cuba, Summer of 2015


Just a few minutes ago her mother sent this message to me: 'Nathy te espera para continuer este hermoso trabajo.'

When people ask me about Cuba, my words sometimes fail to demonstrate the true heart behind the people. The images are shown in beautiful galleries, the videos projected onto large screens. It has become clear to me that people need to visit a place to fully understand it, and even then it takes decades.

It has taken me a decade to begin to understand both Cuba and India, the keyword being 'begin.' Then it is times like this afternoon when a young woman reaches out to me via Facebook and makes it all so clear.

This young girl and her parents understand my work, and see it as their own. She expects to continue the beautiful work, she is the second half of this collaboration.

Of course she is much more than that to me, she IS the work.

People ask me all of the time, 'how do you get these images?' The answer is simple, it all starts with the people which, in this instance, is one of the most perfect ballerinas my eyes have yet to witness.

Talking about lenses, shutter speeds, aperture and film speed are all fine… but are well beneath the subject in front of the lens. When that subject is as Nathy presents, all else is rudimentary.

I look forward to Nathy and her beautiful parents this summer.



Note: These two frames are from a scan of last year's film, made with a Hasselblad 555 ELD/180 mm combination.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Evolution of a Smile, Near Alwar, Rajasthan, India, 2016


This young girl has been on my mind since last year, and fortunately we were able to photograph her once again this year. This is a scan of a few frames exposed just a month or so ago.

A friend of mine always asks me, 'why do you photograph the same person for so many frames?' While showing him this series might convince him, my gut instinct is that it will do very little to change his mind.

I however feel strongly that a person should be given the chance to express as many times as possible, on as many frames available. We searched and searched for her two months ago, and found her to still be living in her grandparents' home rather than with her parents, a place where she seemed to be quite happy.

All of the neighbors have noticed our recognition of this young girl's spirit, and her unmatched beauty. They could just as easily make it hard for us to collaborate, but lend their helping hand to make her feel as comfortable as possible under the circumstances.

This is what makes this series possible, the transition from a somewhat skeptical expression to pure joy!


Facebook

Note: This series was exposed using a Hasaselblad 555 ELD/180 mm combination and scanned for proofing just yesterday.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Two Boys + Mansarovar Park Metro Station, New Delhi, India, Halim Ina, 2015


Seeing these images one year after they were made is a feeling almost impossible to describe. This week is being spent finishing the scans of almost 1,200 rolls, from last year's visits to India and Cuba. Long story short, it took this long because of complications arising from the manufacturing process… and so to see the portraits of these two boys come out well is an incredible feeling.

The boys live in a slum located under a metro station, and belong to a population of migrants here to do what they can to survive. As one walks along the slum hundred of flies appear in response to one's footprints. These children endure the most difficult of existences on a daily basis, yet have the strength to wake up each day. Their parents work in the neighboring areas as rickshaw drivers, as workers in factories and housemaids. As the business class uses the metro station above them to head to their air-conditioned offices, these families face the very definition of a dystopia every hour of their lives.

Fortunately Humana India has been working in this neighborhood for many years and is making an impact. They have set up a vocational training center, help the migrant community secure its right in this new environment, run a homeless shelter and pick up as many people as possible off of the streets in order to bring them back to a hospitable place. They are doing the work which the state should be doing, and ask for nothing in return.

I am proud to be associated with the team in this project, and applaud Jayanta Bhakat for leading the efforts!


Note: These images were made with a Hasselblad 555 ELD/180 mm combination and scanned for proofing only.

Young Girl + Shawl, Rural India, March 21, 2015


Most of the times my memory serves me well but, now and then, it also lapses. On March 21 of 2015 this young girl stepped in front of my lens and produced this exquisite image. Seeing the scan for the first time today was bittersweet, bitter because my memory missed one and sweet because the silver particles recorded her spirit beautifully!


Note: This image was made with a Hasselblad 555 ELD/180 mm combination, scanned through the negative sleeve for proofing.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Young Student + Humana India, Madhya Pradesh, India, 2016


Can we imagine how difficult this young girl's life truly is? 

The region in which she lives is the most beautiful from my travels in India… but also one of the most extreme in which to live. Hundreds of meters separate the homes, and the only way to make a living is from the land itself.

Is it possible for us to understand her life even for only one day?

Some of the children in her community will walk over a mile just to make it to class, some well over two miles. Yet they do so day in and day out. The darker portion of the wall behind her also happens to be the chalkboard of her classroom.

How can we measure the courage it took for her to stand in front of strangers for her portrait?

While the children are almost without exception happy to be involved in something so different for them, it still takes a heck of a lot to stand in front of the entire class and be photographed so honestly. She and her friends were on my mind when I presented in front of my high school in Cleveland and my colleagues in Los Angeles two weeks ago. If she could do so with such calm and strength, I had little excuse to do otherwise.

This young student inspires me immensely, and helps this work to go forward. The hope is that the number of schools will triple over the next three years, and that more like her will have the chance to attend classes for the first time in their young lives.


Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Younger Sister + Shawl, Gurgaon, Haryana, India, 2016


From this very neighborhood comes yet another incredible face and beautiful spirit. This young girl is the sister to our star from last year. We photographed her sister last year in a hoodie, something quite rare from my experiences in India. We returned this year to find her sister, did so and walked down the alley to an open space to photograph the children.

Amazing face after amazing face walked over to see what was happening, including this young girl. One look at her, and I just knew that she was our star's younger sister. I communicated this to the team, and they then translated my thoughts to the girls. They of course smiled, and nodded in agreement.

She was exquisite, just like her sister from last year. Now keeping everyone around us calm took on more significance, since we were down to the girls with our photography. The boys had already been photographed, and chaos was taking its toll on me. Thanks however to the team, and to two young men from the neighborhood, we were able to maintain some calm until her portrait was finished.

We ended the visit by speaking to her and her sister, standing nearby with some friends. Instead of just packing our gear and walking away, we made the time to speak with them directly. Through my translator my thoughts were communicated. They heard that we returned just for them, that their faces were etched in my mind, and that we hoped they were attending the school funded by Humana Indiain a nearby temple.

They had never been spoken with directly by someone outside of their community, even less so by someone from another country. Their expressions made me truly appreciate the bond formed since last year, and the incredible trust they had placed in me. It is a truly humbling experience to be associated with these girls, to know that they give selflessly. It's time to step up this project, and to fund dozens rather than a dozen schools.



Note: This portrait was made with a Sony RX100M3.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Ancient Temple, Virat Nagar, Rajasthan, India, 2015


Having some fun scanning the negatives from my last visit to India, the first time seeing the negatives in over a year!

This timeless temple happens to be within walking distance of the two schools in Virat Nagar, Rajasthan. It sits exactly in between the two villages, a most magical place. It will remind me of the children in the schools, as well as the advances being made thanks to the wonderful teachers dedicated to the cause.


I am honored and privileged to have witnessed such change, and hope for much more on their behalf.


Facebook

Note: This frame was exposed with a Hasselblad 555 ELD/180 mm combination.

Elder, Humana India, Madhya Pradesh, India, 2016


With gratitude to Humana India, this image is being shared.

Perhaps the most beautiful landscape from my travels through India, this incredible region also had one of its kindest communities. We spent about one week documenting two dozen schools, and with each experience my impression of the communities was enhanced.

When we began our photography this morning a few elders gathered to watch. I looked their way a few times and saw this beautiful man wearing the most beautiful fabrics. Without translation we looked at each other and agreed on making his portrait. He walked over as a few of the children giggled, and stood poignantly for his photograph to be made.

The landscape was just as beautiful, and complimented the colors on his skin perfectly. He stood at this spot for less than a minute, then walked away quietly to sit alongside the other elders. I so look forward to seeing his portrait on film hopefully soon.




Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Campesino + Manos, El Campo, Cuba, Verano de 2015


Last year Alejandro was able to fix his car during our second month and we headed out to the countryside more frequently than our first four weeks. We would photograph our families in the morning and then head out to the countryside for the afternoon. We did this because our afternoons were never very predictable regarding the weather.

We ran across the most wonderful people, and slowed the process of photography down quite a bit. This was a relief actually, and allowed me to reflect much more so on my vision. It also allowed us to speak with the people much more, and select the moments when we wanted to photograph.

This wonderful man lived in a town east of the capital by at least one hour. We were on our way back from the far side of the island and decided to take an exit and explore. We saw a home and decided to photograph it. As we finished we noticed this handsome man sitting next door. We walked over and asked to make his portrait, and he responded most eloquently and positively.

We talked for some time while he enjoyed his cigar, then made our way to the back of the home for his portrait. His demeanor won my heart immediately, and I am overjoyed to see the success of his portrait in these two samples from the proof just scanned last week!




Note: This image was made with a Hasselblad 555 ELD/180 mm combination onto Kodak TMX film.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Landscape from Temple, Virat Nagar, Rajasthan, 2015


This weekend has been spent scanning the film from my l art trip to India. The recent film was dropped off to the lab in D.C. and the processed film from 2015 was picked up.

In this image we were visiting a temple near the three schools located in Virat Nagar, Rajasthan. This is the view from above, and is typical of the region. This is where my photography in India began, and where it continues to this day.

When the schools we had documented closed in 2010, we found the support to begin the rebuilding process. Now Nirvana Bodhisattva and his team at Nirvanavan Foundation have taken the lead and helped restore our initial three schools.

I look forward to more than just the three schools, and to restoring the faith these families had in us prior to the closure of the schools!



Note: This image was made with a Hasselblad 555 ELD/180 mm combination onto Kodak TMX film.