Monday, October 25, 2010

'At Home' with David Alan Harvey, NY - Ch. 2

Every time someone tells me how sharp my photos are, I assume that it isn't a very interesting photograph.  If it were, they would have more to say. 

- Author Unknown

View more photos here and here.

And so the first day of the workshop...we gathered at the loft and each had our work critiqued by David Alan Harvey (DAH) himself, discussed where we each were in our photographic lives and ideas we had for our essays. We finished in mid afternoon but I was still lost as to what the hell I was going to focus my topic on. I had some ideas of what to do but just wasn't feelin' anything. I went back to talk to David and he brought some clarity. Surfing. It was always supposed to be. So I hopped the subway to Queens.

I didn't arrive til just before dark. But at least now I knew the way....take the L, to the A, to the S and you're there in 75 minutes or less...providing all trains are running, which they were not half the time, but always made for a new challenge or side adventure. I was a bit miffed at myself for not making the decision to do surfing right from the get-go but alas, better late than never!

Over the next 5 days, I went straight from the workshop (which ended anywhere from 1 to 3 in the afternoon) to pick up my gear and head to Rockaway. There were good days and bad days. I came back on the subway some nights properly salted from the sea...damp and deflated, and others, brimming with excitement for the morning so I could share what I shot with my workshop peeps.


The swell was, shall we say, non-existent and the surf shops closed half the time I was there but somehow, some way I always managed to happen upon at least one surfer. When I wasn't shooting a surfer, I was looking for evidence that Rockaway was in fact a surf town? Even some town folk I spoke to seemed baffled when I mentioned surfing. It certainly wasn't obvious at that time of year.

James Estrin, NY Time Lens Blog Editor
David Griffin, National Geographic (left) and Rob Clark, NG Photographer (right)
Meanwhile at the workshop, David Griffin, Director of Photo Editing at National Geographic; Rob Clark, National Geographic Photographer; James Estrin, NY Times Lens Blog Editor; and Scott Thode, Editor-in-Chief, VII Magazine (formerly of Fortune), visited the workshop and joined in on the photo critiques and 'jam sessions'.  Tim Hetherington came by to talk about his 'Sleeping Soldiers' project the ONE morning I was late (out shooting surfers til 2AM)! Bollocks! I saw his exhibition and lecture at the NY Photo Festival '09 earlier in the year and had no idea that he lived in the building and would pop in on our workshop (one must love NY for that kinda thing). Regardless, I was still overwhelmed and grateful for who I was able to meet to that point, along with everything I was taking in from the critiques, my peers and of course, DAH.

Time and time again I see how subjective photography is. How one image can stir up completely opposing emotions in people. There is always room for growth. My love for the medium expanded exponentially with the people I met, the amazing images I witnessed being created throughout the week and just simply being in the Mecca of photography, NYC.

But it wasn't over yet....

...just wait til you hear who was at our slideshow party (photo geeks will appreciate)!

While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see.
Dorothea Lange


Anonymous said...

Hi Tracey;
just to let you know I´m following your posts on David Alan Harvey. I´m a great a fan of his work, seems like it was one hell of an inspiring week. A workshop week with DAH is one of my biggest dreams!

Tracey Tomtene said...

That's great Paul - thx for letting me know..and I hope you get to do a workshop soon:)