Saturday, October 19, 2019

Best Friends + Brick Wall, Halim Ina, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2019


For those of us interested in supporting this school, and for those of us already on board, here are a few images from earlier this year. More than a dozen years ago I was introduced to this village thanks to Humana India. This house back then was home to a school for girls, and the older sisters of the girls presently were the students. The school for girls continues to this day with private support, and girls continue to attend classes daily. It's a magical space!


Para aquellos de nosotros interesados en apoyar a esta escuela, y para aquellos de nosotros que ya estamos, aquí hay algunas imágenes de principios de este año. Hace más de una docena de años, me presentaron a este pueblo gracias a Humana India. Esta casa en ese entonces era el hogar de una escuela para niñas, y las hermanas mayores de las niñas eran las estudiantes. La escuela para niñas continúa hasta el día de hoy con apoyo privado, y las niñas continúan asistiendo a clases diariamente. ¡Es un espacio mágico! 


Student + Classroom Entrance, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2019


The feeling of seeing your past for the very first time in the present is indescribable. Their school is a school we would like to support through the salaries of three teachers. Over 120 students attend daily and the view is beyond marvelous. It is a simple proposition and all those interested are welcome to send me a message.

This one very specific student LOVES to be photographed, her curiosity is palpable every time we meet. She changed several times, brought flowers to the room and just made me proud to know that we were accepted so in her school. I adore her and her spirit!


La sensación de ver tu pasado por primera vez en el presente es indescriptible. Su escuela es una escuela que nos gustaría apoyar con los salarios de tres maestros. Más de 120 estudiantes asisten diariamente y la vista es más que maravillosa. Es una propuesta simple y todos los interesados pueden enviarme un mensaje.


A esta estudiante muy específica le encanta ser fotografiada, su curiosidad es palpable cada vez que nos encontramos. Se cambió varias veces, trajo flores a la habitación y me enorgulleció saber que nos aceptaron en su escuela. ¡La adoro a ella y a su espíritu!


India + Scanner, Shamli District, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2019


The feeling of seeing your past for the very first time in the present is indescribable. Their school is a school we would like to support through the salaries of three teachers. Over 120 students attend daily and the view is beyond marvelous. It is a simple proposition and all those interested are welcome to send me a message!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Film + Syrians, Zahle, Lebanon, 2019


It feels good to have film once again, as these rolls were exposed last month near Zahle, Lebanon.

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Tamy + El Campo, Cuba, 2018


Cuando pienso en el verano pasado en Cuba, es fácil estar triste. Durante quince años visité la isla y cada año fue más productivo artísticamente que el año anterior. Por alguna razón este año, la aduana decidieron apoderarse de mis rollos.

Después de una semana de conversaciones imposibles con estas mismas personas, estaba claro para mí que tenía que ir a otro lugar por mi cordura y fotografía. Me dio una mejor comprensión de la vida diaria de mi familia cubana y, por lo tanto, me dio una perspectiva humilde.

Mirar estas docenas de imágenes me da la fuerza para intentarlo una vez más el próximo verano. Mi querida amiga y colaborador, Tamy Glez, es una razón suficiente para que confronte estas mismas caras de intolerancia en el aeropuerto. Superaremos la ignorancia y continuaremos caminando en este hermoso camino de crear imágenes de artistas sin igual. ¡Lo que sea que necesite hacer, lo haré!

¡Tamy, puedes confiar en mí para hacer todo lo posible por estar allí para ti!
 


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Jasmine + El Mirage, Southern California, 2019


I look forward to seeing the products of our collaborations at this beautiful spot soon, as the processed film will be sent my way hopefully this week!

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Saturday, October 5, 2019

Syrian Girls + Camp, Zahle, Lebanon, 2019


Last month these young girls were going about their day, perhaps playing with theur friends. I was also going about my day, driving around with a friend planning our next session.

We made our way to their camp and got permission from the leader to speak with the families. Only a few girls were present at that time, but we went ahead and set up. After 30 minutes, it was a gang of girls, then a real crowd which now included these two best friends.

At the end of our session the girls get to be spontaneous, and act as they wish rather than the usual. It was at this moment when these two best friends showed their love for each other. It is a rare view into this conservative society, but perhaps shows how similar they are to girls their age all over the world.

This is the magic of photography, once strangers then friends!


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El mes pasado, estas niñas estaban haciendo su día, tal vez jugando con sus amigos. También iba por mi día, conduciendo con un amigo planeando nuestra próxima sesión.

Nos dirigimos a su campamento y obtuvimos permiso del líder para hablar con las familias. Solo unas pocas niñas estaban presentes en ese momento, pero seguimos adelante y nos instalamos las cámaras. Después de 30 minutos, era una pandilla de niñas, luego una verdadera multitud que ahora incluía a estas dos mejores amigas.

Al final de nuestra sesión, las niñas se vuelven espontáneas y actúan como desean en lugar de lo habitual. Fue en este momento cuando estas dos mejores amigas mostraron su amor mutuo. Es una visión rara en esta sociedad conservadora, pero tal vez muestra cuán similares son a las niñas de su edad en todo el mundo. ¡Esta es la magia de la fotografía, una vez desconocidos y luego amigos!


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Cami and the Dry Lake, El Mirage, Los Angeles, California, 2019


Over the past two weeks, and two weeks before my summer in Lebanon, five incredible women allowed me to document their immeasurable talents. This Friday, the film will be taken to Dodge-Chrome, Inc. for processing.

What amazes me most about these young women is their kindness. Each accepted the distance involved in such a trip to the El Mirage area, and the time each session demanded. All did so without asking for anything in return, and all are considered by me as sisters to the young women in my portfolio. 

It is an honor to be considered your friend, and photographer.


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Note: This image was made with a Fuji X-T3.

Man from the Countryside, La Habana, Cuba, 2010


The magic of walking the streets of the city is finding such a person, and of being able to record his story. One day while walking the streets of Havana we came across him sitting in front of a door. He explained to us that he was from the countryside and was only visiting his daughter. We asked to make his photograph and he agreed immediately. He wondered what to do, but regardless did perfectly.

La magia de caminar por las calles de la ciudad es encontrar a esa persona y poder grabar su historia. Un día, mientras caminaba por las calles de La Habana, lo encontramos sentado frente de una puerta. Nos explicó que era del campo y que solo estaba visitando a su hija. Le pedimos que hiciera su fotografía y él accedió de inmediato. Se preguntó qué hacer, pero independientemente lo hizo perfectamente.
 


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Note: This series was made with a Hasselblad V system.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Young Student + Classroom, Shamli District, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2019

Here is a portrait of the young girl from the previous video. What gives me courage to present this work to all of you is nothing compared to the courage she had to get in front of her classmates. What was most incredible is that she did so without hesitation seemingly, and has my sincerest respect. 

What we are looking to do is establish four sewing centers, each supporting about 12 students. The students attend classes for two hours a day, and are supplied with fabric as well for their lessons. At the end of their course each will receive a sewing machine to take home.

A dozen people each putting $50 forward on a monthly basis is needed. Anyone interested in helping with this work may reach out to me directly. For those of us already supporting, this is our project and we are attempting to expand it. Your generosity is very much appreciated!


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ABCs + Classroom, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2019


Over the next few months I will once again be raising awareness and funds for a special project in Uttar Pradesh, India. We are beginning small with four sewing centers and one main school. Once these are established we can plan for more, including her school!

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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Young Student + Classroom, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2019


The headmaster of this young student's school is an incredible man, one who has given his life to the children of his region. He and his son, as well as a dedicated group of teachers, show up day after day to provide an education otherwise unavailable. 

The school building is very basic, yet large enough to hold classes for almost 100 children. She and her friends arrive early in the morning for Koranic lessons, then go home for lunch and return in the afternoon for additional lessons. The respect they show their teachers, as well as the visitors, has impressed me since my first visit.

For this portrait we arrived early in the morning, well before sunset. The students were just arriving and noticed us setting up the camera. Each smiled and walked over to their usual spots to wait for their turn. She and her friends love to be photographed, and walked quietly over to the camera when we asked for their permission. The backdrop was the wall of their classroom, at the time of the session consisting of bare bricks.

We visited their school at least 6 times and had constructive conversations with the headmaster. We wished to begin a formal relationship and were welcomed to do so. Our first endeavor was to provide an inverter for electricity, followed by the finishing of the large hall used for classes. Our headmaster accepted with humility and was so happy to see a team of six men beautifully finishing the room with cement. It just looked wonderful.

We hope to do more this year, perhaps finishing the other rooms in the school... and helping provide support for the salaries of the teachers. For those of us interested in doing so, a campaign has been started and will be shared on my social media.

On her behalf we are doing this, and hope for the best!


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Note: This image was made with a Hasselblad 503CW/180 mm combination.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Hands + Vintage Dress, Cleveland Heights, Ohio, 2018


For me, photography is a way to honor and to remember those who have walked the same path with me. The time on that path together is irrelevant, it is the content which matters most.

Thus such an image is important to me. It reminds me of this person's time in my life, of the places we visited and of the conversation we had just before this frame was exposed. It was an exciting moment because she finally agreed to be photographed and made the time to present her hands beautifully.

Over the next few weeks my intent is to photograph more of the friends in my life, and especially their hands. All are welcome to take part, to contribute their stories!
 


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Note: Image made with a Hasselblad V system.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Young Boy + Calf, Shamli District, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2018


Excerpt from a night of sleep on March 1, 2019:

As I sleep just 5 meters from where his portrait was made last year, I look forward to the images that 2019 promises. Over the past 12 days we have visited over 8 villages and reconnected with all madrasas within them thanks to my brother Imdadulla Nadvi and his trust in our collaboration, and also Javed for his tremendous help. Tomorrow we set out to visit two more schools and meet the beautiful students of this region.

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Note: Image made with a Hasselblad V system.

Clay Bowl, Rajasthan, India, 2018


Just happened that as I walked behind the tree in the previous post,  I found this beautiful artifact, and immediately was drawn to it. Now and then as I walk through the villages in my work I look for items to bring back home, and was beyond fortunate to have seen it.

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Temple + Tree, Rajasthan, India, 2018


This image was made as we were driving around Virat Nagar. My friend Mukesh allowed us to stop after this scene unfolded itself to our right. It was in the middle of a village. We parked to the right and I walked over with my camera.

As with most times we stopped, boys walked over to check out the visitors. They were most welcome to do so of course, for we were in their village. They were very sweet and watched in good humor as I set the camera up. After this image was made, I asked a few of them to walk into the frame and almost all of them did. These are the kind of moments photography allows me to experience.


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Note: Image made with a Hasselblad V system.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Omar + I, Syrian Camp, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, 2018


This happened to be the scene after the photography one afternoon, as the community invited me to celebrate a wedding. The leader's daughter married and the groom's family had a full week's worth of feasts to prepare for the camp. I have known this young man for 21 years, and it was an honor to be seated next to the leaders of the community, men who once were boys of my photography. So they refused to let me leave and we dug right in a few hours ago!

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Nada + Room, Refugee Camp, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, 2019


Last month I visited Lebanon once again and photographed the children of the children I used to photograph over two decades ago. The Syrians living in Lebanon back then were migrant searching for a better life. Now they have lost their homes back in Syria and are facing a hostile environment in their host country. 

We were so fortunate to have had this room for our session on this morning. In this room the woman of the house made sure that the boys remained outside, and out of the way! 

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Cuatro Bailarines + Museo, La Habana, Cuba, 2018


El verano pasado en Cuba fue especial gracias en parte a las cuatro personas en esta imagen, y gracias a Gysleda por presentarme a Luis Miguel. Esta imagen se hizo frente al museo, y me gusta pensar que el arte de estas personas increíbles debería estar en la colección del museo.

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Last summer in Cuba was special thanks in part to the four people in this image, and thanks to Gysleda for introducing me to Luis Miguel. This image was made in front of the museum, and I like to think that the art of these incredible people should be in the museum collection.
 


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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Cami + Abandoned Structure, El Mirage, California, 2017


Something was missing from my life this past year. Hopefully, after my work in India, Cami and I will reunite in Los Angeles for our third session! Over the past three years we made magical images on two occasions, thanks to her genuine spirit and creative mind. 

While she has helped create national and international works of art through musical videos, she is truly a humble person. She understands the lives of the people in my work from overseas and gives of herself to make the work that much more relevant.

Watching Cami move from one expression to another is like sitting down for a performance. There are times when it's necessary to remind myself that my job is to document the performance, while still enjoying it. To have been granted the opportunity is both an honor and a privilege; and my hope is that the images are a testament to her physical talents and spiritual kindness.


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

Iberodance + Malecón, La Habana, Cuba, 2018


El verano pasado tuve la gran oportunidad de trabajar con una compañía de bailarines, Iberodance. Gracias a Anays Diz Pe como siempre, y gracias a mis nuevos amigos de la compañía!

Last summer I had a great opportunity to work with a company of dancers, Iberodance. Thanks to Anays as always, and thanks to my new friends from the company!
 


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