Going to Party Like it's my Birthday! 
Friday, December 7, 2007, 11:29 - Events

Are you getting excited yet? My birthday is only a few days away! I know, it’s hard to imagine that I will soon be 29 but we must face the future with open arms, not fear!

Childhood Dreams. © Damaso Reyes

So if you happen to be in NYC next Tuesday let me know and we can have drinks. Otherwise feel free to visit my Amazon.com Wish List for gift ideas. You can be sure I will be thinking about you on my special day!

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Back in Brooklyn 
Wednesday, December 5, 2007, 14:18 - Travel, Commentary

It’s like slipping on a pair of old gloves, being back in New York. As I mentioned to a friend it’s nice to walk around a city where you don’t need a map to find your way. Seeing friends and family has been a lot of fun and I feel that I am right back into my comfort zone after spending the better part of a year as an “auslander.”

In living color. © Damaso Reyes

The night before I left I was describing New York to someone who has never been there.

Fast paced
Occasionally smelly
Self assured

After listing the various attributes of my home town I suddenly realized that many of these same adjectives apply to me. While it shouldn’t have been it was a little surprising but I really am a child of this city. My rough edges annoy many people; my directness is sometimes seen as being rude; my self assuredness is mistaken for arrogance. Much like the city most people have very strong feeling about me, usually love or hate, there is very little in between.

And like New York I am okay with all of this. This is me, this is who I am. Yeah, I have my faults but I don’t want my life to center around pleasing other people. I think it is important for us to be who we are, after all wasn’t it Shakespeare who wrote:

“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”

I remember first reading Hamlet in high school and how much my English teacher emphasized this line. The reason why we are still reading this more than four hundred years later is because the truth in it is so elemental. It’s not just that this is who I am; this is who I have to be. Like it or not I hope that you respect it.

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Photo Jobs & Opportunities #2 
Monday, December 3, 2007, 21:02 - Commentary

Still adjusting but it feels good to be back! More later but here are your Monday Photo Jobs & Opportunities!

German dreams... © Damaso Reyes


The AOL Photography Department
is seeking a Photo Editor to support the AOL News and AOL Sports websites. We are seeking a skilled expert who can provide AOL’s viewers with the best in visual content. The person selected for this job will be experienced in interactive storytelling and have an extensive knowledge of visual content on the web. The position is located at the AOL offices in New York City.
Job Description: This position for Photo Editor requires the applicant have the ability to procure, edit and publish compelling photography that will bring a larger audience to AOL’s News and Sports web sites. The photo editor coordinates the acquisition of images from vendors outside of AOL, including wire services, stock agencies, freelance photographers, royalty free corporations, partners and various other sources. The selected person will edit photography for use in daily promotional spots, photo features, photo galleries, news, sports and entertainment stories. This person must demonstrate the ability to articulate editing choices and be mature in their communications within the company. This person will meet regularly with programmers, designers and other photography editors throughout AOL and must have the ability to work in a fast-paced team environment. This is a full-time job, and will include some night and/or weekend hours. This person must understand the legal, ethical and aesthetic use of photographs across AOL in build, redesign and publishing. Photojournalism experience is necessary.
Years of Experience Required: 3 years minimum editorial photography experience
Computer Skills: Candidates should be familiar with both Mac and Windows operating systems and have strong skills with Adobe PhotoShop and all Microsoft Office applications. A general knowledge of HTML is preferred. Experience with Digital Asset Management systems is also a plus.
Email resume to: MLLausten@aol.com


The Alfa Fellowship Program is a high-level professional development exchange program placing 10 qualified American citizens per year in work assignments at leading Russian organizations in the fields of business, economics, journalism, law, public policy, and government. Key goals of the Alfa Fellowship Program are expanding networks of American and Russian professionals, developing greater intercultural understanding, and advancing US/Russian relations. The program includes language training, seminar programs, and extended professional experience. Fellows receive travel, free housing, monthly stipends, and insurance. Russian language proficiency is preferred though not required at the time of application.

Eligibility Requirements: -U.S. citizen between the ages of 25 and 35; -Graduate degree and professional experience in business, economics, journalism, mass communications, law, international relations, political science, government, or public policy. Candidates without a graduate degree must demonstrate extensive and equivalent professional experience in their field; - Outstanding professional achievement and academic qualifications; - Active involvement in community or public service; - At least two years of post-secondary Russian language or equivalent; - Evidence of leadership potential. Application Informaton: The application deadline for the Alfa Fellowship Program is December 15. Applications can be completed online. Program information and application forms can also be downloaded or requested by mail from the CDS website at: www.cdsintl.org/fromusa/alfa.htm.

For more information about the Alfa Fellowship Program or application process please contact: CDS International, Inc. Alfa Fellowship Program 871 United Nations Plaza, 15th Floor New York, NY 10017-1814
Tel. (212) 497-3510 Fax. (212) 497-3535 Email. alfa@cdsintl.org Web. www.cdsintl.org


The Islamic Republic of Iran’s Academy of Arts is about to hold The First International Biennial of Photography in the Islamic World, in line with its research and artistic programs for Contemporary Arts of Islamic World.

Organizer: The Islamic Republic of Iran’s Academy of Arts

Celebrators: Saba Cultural and Artistic Institute Palestine Contemporary Arts Museum Bonyad-e Shahid va Omur-e Isargaran

Contributors Visual Arts Center of the Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry Tehran Contemporary Arts Museum

Aims of the biennial - To identify and provide the characteristics of Islamic atmospheres; - To promote the basis of communications and the exchange of artistic experiences between the artists of the Islamic World; - To take notice of the artistic experiences of young photographers in Islamic communities; - To examine cultural and spiritual identity in Islamic societies; - To introduce contemporary photographers active across the Islamic World.
Subject of the exhibition The Muslim Family (in Islamic and non-Islamic countries). Works submitted to the biennial should be related to the Muslim family and deal with the following issues: - Living environment (architecture, rhythm…); - Daily life (leisure time, education, work, travel, immigration…); - Religion and traditions (ceremonies, poles of attraction…); - Resistance (dedication, martyrdom…); - Social issues and familial culture (interaction between tradition and modernity, impact of mass media, influence of worldwide ideas…); - Natural and man-made disasters (impact of floods, earthquakes, etc.)

Sections 1- Collection Photographs 2- Single Photographs

Calendar of the biennial - Works submission deadline: December 22nd, 2007 - Selection of works and judgment: December 31st, 2007 - Opening of the exhibition: May 5th, 2008 - Closure ceremony: June 11th, 2008

Prizes 1- A statuette and a plaque of honor of the Iranian Academy of Arts and 2000 euros (€) for 3 artists of distinguished works in the section of Collection Photographs. 2- A plaque of honor of the Iranian Academy of Arts, a statuette of the Saba Cultural and Artistic Institute and 1000 euros (€) for 3 artists of selected works in the Collection Photographs section; 3- A statuette and a plaque of honor of the Iranian Academy of Arts and 1500 euros (€) for 3 artists of distinguished works in the single photograph section; 4- A plaque of honor of the Iranian Academy of Arts, a statuette of the Saba Cultural and Artistic Institute and 800 euros (€) for 5 artists of selected works in the Single Photograph section.

Address :
Saba Cultural & Artistic Institute No 53, Mozafar St, Taleghani Ave, Felestin Square, Tehran, Iran Tel: 0098 21 66487534 Fax: 0098 21 66487534 artacademy@honar.ac.ir photo@caiw.ir Web Site: www.caiw.ir

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HCB Quote of the Week #13 
Saturday, December 1, 2007, 21:46 - Commentary

Wow, hard to believe I’m back but here I am. It’s been a long trip so we will have to catch up later but here’s your HCB Quote of the Week!

Tender Moments. Schömberg 2007. © Damaso Reyes

To photograph is to hold one's breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It's at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy. -Henri Cartier-Bresson

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Goodbye, So Long... 
Thursday, November 29, 2007, 11:38 - Commentary

My time here at Solitude and in Germany is quickly drawing to a close. It is hard to believe that it has come and gone so soon. I remember boarding that plane in January with little idea of what to expect. Who could have imagined all of the interesting people I’ve met, all the friends I’ve made and all of the images that I have taken. For me this was “The Year of Yes” and it truly has been. I’ve accomplished so much it’s hard to believe sometimes but I am grateful to the staff and fellows here for all of their support.

Good times, good friends... © Damaso Reyes

Having the opportunity to live and work in this unique community of artists has given me much more than I can express in words; I hope that you can see it in my images. I have found a process which I think will continue to serve me for years to come. In terms of The Europeans, I feel this year has been extremely productive and I have a firm foundation on which to proceed in 2008. I leave here reluctantly but knowing that I am a better artist and that I have done as much as I can with the time I have been given.

I am very much looking forward to being in New York; seeing my friends and families and doing a bit of recharging. If 2008 is anywhere close to as good as 2007 then I will be a very lucky man indeed. I look forward to writing you from the other side of the Atlantic, until Saturday: Aufwiedersehen !!!

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New Galleries! 
Tuesday, November 27, 2007, 13:31 - Project News

I know that you have been waiting patiently, in some cases for months, for me to upload some nice new galleries to my website. Well the wait is over! I have already posted some new galleries including of the Congregation of Hameln, Berlin, CERN and from Leipzig. I still have more coming but enjoy these images in the meantime.

Let us now praise famous men. Switzerland 2007. ©Damaso Reyes

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Photography Jobs & Opportunies #1 
Monday, November 26, 2007, 13:40 - Commentary

Well it has been a busy weekend but I am almost done editing and I will be posting new images online later today! Of course I still have a bunch of film still left to process and scan but that’s life!

In other news I have decided that Saturdays should not get to have all the fun and in addition to my weekly HCB quote I will start posting photography related jobs and opportunities every Monday. I have been doing this regularly on Lightstalkers.org but I figure why not do it here as well for those photographers who happen to visit my website. Good luck!

The Mayor of Stuttgart. © Damaso Reyes


Knight Fellowships at Stanford
Deadline for international applicants is: December 15, 2007

Eight international journalists win several Knight Fellowships at Stanford each year. The fellows get nine months of study, intellectual growth and professional change at one of the world’s great universities, right in the middle of Silicon Valley – in classes, independent study and research and special forums with academic and journalism leaders. At the end of the year they return to the rapidly changing journalism landscape with a renewed sense of purpose, deeper knowledge and tools to tackle the challenges ahead.

Fellows receive a stipend of $60,000 plus tuition, and supplements for health insurance, books, housing and childcare. All benefits and activities of the program are open to spouses and partners of Fellows. We’re looking for: – Reporters and editors and anchors – Photographers and producers and news directors – Editorial cartoonists and multimedia producers – and more We want journalists who have already accomplished a lot and are ambitious to do more. Candidates must have five years professional, full-time experience. To apply, go to: http://knight.stanford.edu/application/index.html and complete the application form. Applications must be postmarked by December 15, 2007 to be considered for the 2008-2009 academic year. For more information, please visit: http://knight.stanford.edu/ or email knight-info@lists.stanford.edu

The New Jersey Herald seeks Photojournalist

We’re preparing to expand our photography department for the third year in a row, and we’re seeking a journalism-minded photographer to help us capture life in Sussex County and uphold our high standards of photo reproduction.

There’s more to the position than simply shooting and toning photos. Our photojournalists are prized for their efficiency, versatility, and attention to accuracy. That work ethic is rewarded with interesting assignments, a generous newshole, abundant color positions, and the opportunity to explore individual projects and create photo essays.

The Herald provides a Canon Mark 2 and lenses, as well as a company vehicle for most assignments.

The New Jersey Herald is part of a privately held media company that has owned the newspaper for almost 40 years and just invested nearly $1 million in renovating the building and upgrading the newsroom computer system. Located in northwest New Jersey, The Herald has the Delaware Water Gap and the Appalachian Trail in the county and New York City entertainment an hour away.
We offer a competitive salary, medical, dental, and life insurance, profit-sharing and 401k plans, tuition reimbursement, and other benefits.

To apply, please e-mail a resume, references, and samples of your work to Anna Murphey, chief photographer, The New Jersey Herald, 2 Spring Street, Newton, N.J. 07860. Please indicate if you need your samples returned.

You may also e-mail your application to amurphey@njherald.com, but please send your photos as screen-quality attachments, not links.


Photographic Center Northwest seeking an Executive Director

The Photographic Center Northwest is a dynamic organization eager to offer ever-improving learning opportunities to a growing community of members. We are seeking an Executive Director who can lead us in the fulfillment of this mission.
PCNW Board Executive Director Search Committee Photographic Center Northwest
900 12th Av E Seattle WA 98122
206-720-7222 board@pcnw.org
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HCB Quote of the Week #12 
Saturday, November 24, 2007, 09:36 - Commentary

This time next week I will be back in New York, can you believe it? Of course I have more work than time but it will all be okay, even if I don’t finish everything I want to do. I am almost done with this batch of images, which feels good. Hopefully I will at least process, if not scan the rest of the film I shot this year. We shall see. As always, here is your HCB Quote of the Week, this time accompanied by a new photo. Enjoy!

Babylon System. © Damaso Reyes

As far as I am concerned, taking photographs is a means of understanding which cannot be separated from other means of visual expression. It is a way of shouting, of freeing oneself, not of proving or asserting one's own originality. It is a way of life.
-Henri Cartier-Bresson

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The One Percent Doctrine 
Tuesday, November 20, 2007, 13:13 - Project News, Commentary

It’s true, I hate editing.

Now you might wonder why, after all, this is the real first chance that I get to sit and look at my new images. Editing also takes a lot less time than scanning and is at least more interesting. So why do I hate it so much?

I blame the one percent rule.

More on that in a moment. The first reason is that when you look at a rough scan, or a rough print for that matter, you are basically looking at a naked photograph. No adjustments, contrast all out of whack and it doesn’t help that the editing program I use tends to make all my black and white images look super grainy. So even if I am looking at a good image they all too often look like some of our better known celebrities when they go to the store for some milk without makeup: ugly.

Of course I know all this but the one percent rule makes it damn hard to remember. The one percent rule is basically my own rough editing guide that I have developed over the years. It states that only about one percent of all the images that I shoot end up being really good and what I would consider usable. What does this mean? Well let’s do some simple math.

Say I go out on a shoot and take about 12 rolls of film, not uncommon for a day or two of shooting. Now each roll of film has 36 images so multiply that times 12.

12 rolls x 36 exposures = 432 images

Now when I process my film and then look at it on the light table I usually end up selecting roughly ten to fifteen percent of these images to scan, or if I have a darkroom to make test prints from to see how they look when they are enlarged. That equals about 45 images.

Now once I get them into the computer or for that matter have the test prints made, only about 10% of these images will have any interest for me. Often when an image is enlarged you see some small flaw or it turns out the photo just wasn’t as interesting as I thought it was.

So from the initial 432 images I would select 4-6 as being up to my own standards, roughly one percent.

This is the good photo. Berlin summer 2007. © Damaso Reyes

Let’s have a rare glimpse into my editing process! Here you can see that I scanned four frames of the same scene before deciding on this fifth frame as the one I liked the best. Of course there are several other images of this scene that I didn’t scan but this example gives you an idea of what I go through to deliver what you see on the screen.

Nope, not this one. © Damaso Reyes

Not this one either. © Damaso Reyes

Are you kidding me? © Damaso Reyes

Close but no cigar! © Damaso Reyes

Of course our friend Henri Cartier-Bresson once said that you need a lot of milk to make a little cream. Truer words have never been spoken!

Now I just got through editing nearly 700 “selects” from over sixty rolls of film. The vast majority of these images are crap and when you look at one bad image after another it does something to your pride. I am constantly seeing my mistakes, which of course is a very good thing since I can apply it to the next shoot but unlike shooting digital where you can instantly see if there is a problem, there are no “do overs” in film. Which makes it more challenging and more frustrating.

So this is what I did yesterday and today: wade through the crap to find the pearls. Now of course I have to tidy them up in Photoshop and put them online, which will take another few days.

And people ask me why I dislike post-production…

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HCB Quote of the Week #11 
Saturday, November 17, 2007, 14:02 - Commentary

Another week, another quote by HCB. Only 14 days until I land back in New York. Too much to do, too little time…

© Damaso Reyes

Thinking should be done before and after, not during photographing. Success depends on the extent of one's general culture, one's set of values, one's clarity of mind one's vivacity. The thing to be feared most is the artificially contrived, the contrary to life.
-Henri Cartier-Bresson

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Scanning in the snow 
Thursday, November 15, 2007, 12:45 - Project News

Almost done scanning, the end is in sight! By tonight I should be done, thank goodness. Tomorrow and over the weekend I will edit and start the process of putting some new images on my website, can you believe it?

Lovely, dark and deep... © Damaso Reyes

The snow has continued off and on, here is the view from my window…

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007, 15:17 - Project News

So after a nice relaxing day at the sauna, it is finally time to get down to work! I have started to scan my negatives, ten down, a whole bunch to go! Just so you know how exciting my upcoming days will be, here is a blow by blow of my day.

© Damaso Reyes

9:30 I woke up and decided that I needed to think a little more about my life.

10:10 I finally get myself up and down into the studio.

10:40 After emailing and chatting with some folks I start setting up the scanner.

11:15 First scans look good!

Start writing this blog entry!

Break for lunch, after all, man cannot live on scanning alone…

14:05 Back from lunch, back to scanning.

14:45 While scanning watched clips of Barack Obama’s speech last weekend on YouTube.

16:02 75th scan completed, God only knows how many left…

17:00 Scan number 100! Woohoo!

17:03 One of the other fellows has a birthday today so time to take a break for cake. Mmmm…cake….

18:37 Got sucked into a massive ping-pong game, of course I was victorious… back to scanning ;(

20:42 Time for a dinner break. On the menu tonight rice and Asian stir fry.

21:48 Ate dinner. It started snowing heavily and I had a snowball fight with some of the fellows. It was a draw. Going to do a little more scanning…

23:35 Calling it a day. I scanned 193 images. Sounds good but I have around 240 left to go. Pray for me…
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HCB Quote of the Week #10 
Saturday, November 10, 2007, 16:07 - Commentary

I know it seems like forever but here is your HCB Quote of the Week. Take it in…

Summer in Amsterdam. © Damaso Reyes

Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again. -Henri Cartier-Bresson

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Friday, November 9, 2007, 11:52 - Shooting, Commentary

One of the issues I struggle with the most is post production. It is so much fun to be out in the field, shooting roll after roll, enjoying the world around me that I rarely spend as much time as I should in the darkroom processing that same film or in front of the computer scanning and editing. So this week as supposed to be all about catching up on some much needed post production but alas, I have failed. I did manage to process the film from my trip to Hameln as well as some rolls from Paris. I even went through all 48 rolls of my processed film and edited them down to what I would like to scan, but after that things kind of stalled.

Sure the late night drinking and discussions with the other fellows in the house didn’t help, but I just have a hard time motivating myself to do repetitive work like scanning. Once I start I am okay with it but getting the motivation to begin in the first place is very difficult for me. So next week, I promise I will start scanning, editing and posting new work online!

Missed Connection. © Damaso Reyes

It didn’t help that I had a bit of a distraction the past two days: the sheep have returned! As you might remember this spring I met a local shepherd who was grazing his flock on the grounds of Solitude. Well I shot a roll or so and was all set to spend a day with him when our plans fell through. I did get at least one memorable image but I longed for more.

Traffic Jam. © Damaso Reyes

Two days ago I passed one of the other fellows in the hall who asked me “Have you seen the sheep?” I looked outside and lo and behold the sheep, and shepherd were back! I vowed not to miss my chance again and went out to do some more shooting and I ended up talking with Reinhold, who is a very nice guy by the way. Yesterday on my way back from the supermarket he was here again and motioned me to come over. In German he asked if I had some time today. Thinking about how little I actually wanted to sit in front of the computer I said yes. He told me that he would be taking his flock home in a little while and if I wanted to walk with him I was welcome. I had mentioned to him that I was interested in buying a sheepskin so I was eager to get the goods. Half an hour later we were walking down the road, blocking traffic with me as assistant shepherd bringing up the rear and making sure none of the baby lambs, one of which was just two days old, got lost.

Into the Woods. © Damaso Reyes

It was a lot of fun, playing shepherd and getting to see a little more of the countryside. We wound our way through the woods and a small town, everyone amazed to see so many sheep walking by. One of the things I have enjoyed about my time here is the chance to take a more in-depth approach and for me the shepherd is just one example. After spending most of the year here I have come to realize that this is the way that I want to work: at my own pace and on the topics that interest me. Now of course I have to figure out a way to pay for it all!

Our Friend Reinhold. © Damaso Reyes
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Monday, November 5, 2007, 11:36 - Shooting

So last week I returned to the German Cancer Research Center to photograph in the lab of Dr. Frank Rösl. It was a very interesting visit and all of the researchers and students welcomed me, even if they thought it was strange that I would come to photograph them doing what they think of as mundane tasks. Over and over again I was asked why I had come and I suppose you want to know that as well.

Hard Science. © Damaso Reyes

Well much like a scientist I suppose I am collecting data for a long term study of How Europe is changing. Still, you ask, how does this trip exemplify these so-called changes? Well first I would like to point out that change is often very subtle and not every shoot, let alone every photograph, is going to explicitly talk about this grand theme. Part of the goal of the project is also to photograph things as they are now so that when change does occur we have a reference point.

Looking for Gold. © Damaso Reyes

Results. © Damaso Reyes

But the Cancer Center is a great example of change itself, having grown more than tenfold in the last twenty years. More importantly is how international the researchers are coming not just from different parts of Germany, including the former East, but throughout Europe and the world. I had lunch with two Columbians and in the lab I visited there were a multitude of nationalities. Europe is becoming increasingly diverse and science is at the forefront of this trend.

The Queen. © Damaso Reyes

Knowledge=Freedom.© Damaso Reyes

What do you think of when you imagine what a German research lab must be like? Bearded men in long white coats nodding seriously perhaps? Well the long white coats are still there but the lab was filled with young people, the average age must have been well under thirty. As well there were many more young women than I expected.

Face of the Future. © Damaso Reyes

Given how much energy has been spent trying to get young girls interested in the natural sciences it seems like the work has begun to pay off. There were lots of smiles and joking around even as they conducted their experiments. Pop music played in the background as results were studied. The atmosphere was focused but relaxed and the communications between colleagues was cordial and open. While serious science was being conducted people were having, of all things, fun. Scientists even have a sense of humor.

© Damaso Reyes

E.coli, our servant. © Damaso Reyes

Can you believe it?

A Little Note. © Damaso Reyes

Daydreaming. © Damaso Reyes

Cleanliness is next to... © Damaso Reyes
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