HCB Quote of the Week #10 
Saturday, November 10, 2007, 16:07 - Commentary
Stuttgart

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

  |  0 trackbacks   |   ( 3 / 1230 )

Distractions... 
Friday, November 9, 2007, 11:52 - Shooting, Commentary
Stuttgart

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
  |  0 trackbacks   |   ( 3 / 1530 )

DKFZ 
Monday, November 5, 2007, 11:36 - Shooting
Stuttgart

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
  |  0 trackbacks   |   ( 3 / 1503 )

HCB Quote of the Week #9 
Saturday, November 3, 2007, 14:06 - Commentary
Stuttgart

My last month at Solitude has arrived, can you believe it? As I sit back and contemplate things, here is your HCB Quote of the Week…


© Damaso Reyes

I believe that, through the act of living, the discovery of oneself is made concurrently with the discovery of the world around us.
-Henri Cartier-Bresson

  |  0 trackbacks   |   ( 3 / 1266 )

EU Constitution 
Wednesday, October 31, 2007, 13:50 - Commentary
Stuttgart

Happy Halloween! I am sure that some of you reading from the States will be dressing up and have fun tonight. I was never much of a fan of Halloween myself but I always enjoyed seeing what costumes other people decided to wear.

We have been having a bit of trick or treating here in Europe as well. If you hadn’t noticed (don’t worry I didn’t either) apparently the European Union has a new constitution, or treaty, or something. As you might recall in 2005 Dutch and French voters rejected the 500 odd page constitution. EU heads of state decided not to risk a repeat of the fiasco two years ago and instead submitted a “treaty” for the approval of their parliaments.


The Hidden Hand. © Damaso Reyes


As The Economist notes in two good articles this so called treaty is in fact a constitution in sheep’s clothing! This is more or less a slap in the face to the various citizens of EU member states who have been insisting on a vote. Knowing they faced an uphill battle it seems that the leaders of Europe simply decided to skip the part where they consulted their populations.

As I have said many times the project of creating a more integrated Europe has for decades happened on the highest levels and in smoke filled back rooms. Treaties were hammered out and unpopular but necessary policies were put into place. The time for back room is over; if the EU is to become more than the sum of its parts then the people of Europe not only need to be consulted, they need to vote in its favor. More importantly, the leaders of Europe need to present their case to the people of Europe and encourage and participate in an open and frank discussion about the future of Europe. The reason why so many Europeans feel alienated and resentful of the EU is because they believe that they don’t have a real role in shaping it or its decisions.

This latest stunt will do little to reassure the Euroskeptics

  |  0 trackbacks   |   ( 3 / 1555 )

HCB Quote of the Week #8 
Saturday, October 27, 2007, 20:22 - Commentary
Stuttgart

Hello from the forest! Here is your HCB Quote of the week and it is a good one!


© Damaso Reyes

I'm not responsible for my photographs. Photography is not documentary, but intuition, a poetic experience. It's drowning yourself, dissolving yourself, and then sniff, sniff, sniff – being sensitive to coincidence. You can't go looking for it; you can't want it, or you want get it. First you must lose your self. Then it happens. -Henri Cartier-Bresson, September/October 1997, "American Photo" , page: 96

  |  0 trackbacks   |   ( 2.2 / 2494 )

Heidelberg 
Friday, October 26, 2007, 00:07 - Shooting
Heidelberg

So today, as promised, I went to the German Center Research Center. Today was more of an informal get to know you session. I only shot a few images but I got to take a bit of a tour of the place and I sat down and talked about my project with Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Frank Rösl, whose lab I will be photographing in next week. If you are familiar with my previous work you know that I did a whole series of articles on cancer survivors back in New York.


In the lab. © Damaso Reyes

His research is dealing with viral transformation mechanisms. From his webpage: “One major aim of our research is the identification of intracellular surveillance mechanisms, which control the expression of human pathogenic papillomaviruses (e. g. HPV16/18) in immortalized cells.”


Flags of many colors. © Damaso Reyes

My high school biology teacher would be very proud. So what does this have to do with how Europe is changing? Well do I really have to spell it out? Of course I do! For one thing the center is one of the largest of its kind in Europe, for another it is very international, hosting scientists and students not just from all over Europe but all over the world. Increasingly Germany, as well as Western Europe is becoming more diverse and international. With programs like Erasmus there is a tremendous amount of cross pollination going on, changing the culture of the continent.

So there!

I hope to have a few chances to visit the lab, but of course my time is growing short and the number of things that I want to photograph seems to be piling up. My goal is to have all of my post production work for the year done before I head back to New York for December but this may just be a dream.

But oh how I love to dream!

  |  0 trackbacks   |   ( 3 / 1448 )

Dollar Decline... 
Thursday, October 25, 2007, 02:11 - Project News, Commentary
Stuttgart

In case you were still wondering, the American dollar is still heading downward. Even the Indian Rupee is kicking our butt. Everyone is bailing on the Greenback. Not so bad if you are earning Euros and buying in dollars. Not so much fun if you make dollars and have to spend Euros. That’s why I have to change things from dollars to Euros on my contributions page, but don’t worry, you can still get the cheap dollar advantage at The Wish List.


Down, Down, Down...

Tomorrow I head off to the Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (German Cancer Research Center) to photograph. I certainly do love my science labs, don’t I? It should be an interesting experience to check out a little more of the pure research side of science, I look forward to sharing photos with you soon!

  |  0 trackbacks   |   ( 2.9 / 1390 )

The Congregation of Hameln 
Sunday, October 21, 2007, 14:44 - Shooting
Stuttgart

Well it certainly has been a long week! From Paris to Hameln in just five days, funny huh? As exciting as the life of an international photojournalist can be it can also get a little tiring, next week should be a bit quieter with only one shoot scheduled, but of course there is no shortage of editing, processing and research to do, I wonder how much of it I will actually get to?


My Israel is... © Damaso Reyes

So I arrived in Hameln, which is about 30 kilometers from Hannover, in the mid afternoon and made my way to the synagogue, which is housed in a non-descript building near the main train station. There I found Adrian, who was already hard at work tutoring a young boy who was preparing for his bar mitzvah. I quickly got down to work, photographing them as they worked together on reading and writing in Hebrew. Before too long members of the congregation began to trickle in, each one with a warm Shabbat Shalom on his or her lips.


Adrian. © Damaso Reyes


Teaching. © Damaso Reyes

When I returned to Solitude yesterday I was asked at least half a dozen times why I went all the way to Hameln to photograph. Well if there is anything which exemplifies the changes that Europe is experience perhaps it is the congregation here. Made up primarily of Russian Jews who came to Germany in the past decade after the country opened its doors the congregation embodies the issues of immigration and identity perfectly. Adrian, a convert to Judaism himself, is another great example of the changing face of Europe.


Candles. © Damaso Reyes


Father and Daughter. © Damaso Reyes

The service was filled with German, Hebrew and Russian, songs and fellowship. Afterwards the congregation came together and shared a meal. Yesterday morning found me there once again and I continued my work, some of which you see here. I also managed to record some of Friday night’s service, at some point I think I will experiment with creating an audio slideshow since song and music is such an important part of Shabbat.


Torah reading. © Damaso Reyes

I hope to have the chance to return next month and continue my work, the more time I spend with Adrian the more interesting I find his journey.


© Damaso Reyes
  |  0 trackbacks   |   ( 3 / 1479 )

HCB Quote of the Week #7 
Saturday, October 20, 2007, 13:52 - Commentary
Hameln

Greetings from Hameln, here is your HCB Quote of the week!

To take photographs means to recognize -- simultaneously and within a fraction of a second -- both the fact itself and the rigorous organization of visually perceived forms that give it meaning. It is putting one's head, one's eye and one's heart on the same axis. -Henri Cartier-Bresson



Holy hand© Damaso Reyes
  |  0 trackbacks   |   ( 2.7 / 3462 )

EPA Meeting 
Thursday, October 18, 2007, 14:50 - Project News
Frankfurt

Sorry I haven’t been around much, after recovering from my trip to Paris and hitting the sauna I had to prepare for a meeting I had today at the European Pressphoto Agency. I went there with Philippe, a former fellow here at solitude and expert in copyright issues who is an adviser to EPA. He mentioned my project once or twice and managed to set up a meeting. So we drove from Stuttgart to Frankfurt today for what could be a life changing meeting.


© Damaso Reyes

I met with the editor in chief and the managing editor for over an hour. I talked about the background of the project, what I was trying to accomplish and the potential for collaboration with the EPA. It was a very good meeting and they were both very receptive to the project. It went as well as I could have hoped, now of course the devil is and in the details and the next few months we will see if something can be worked out. But I am very positive; it is always refreshing to meet people in the industry who are actually forward thinking and who believe in the power of images to change the world.

Tomorrow I head to Hameln where I will photograph a small Jewish congregation there. The fun never stops!

  |  0 trackbacks   |   ( 3.1 / 1325 )

Goodbye Paris! 
Monday, October 15, 2007, 15:07 - Travel
Paris

Well my adventure here comes to an end! I am making my way back to Stuttgart this morning after an incredible six days here in Paris. I saw so much art, ate so much good food and yes, met so many nice people! Special thanks to Marie, Gregoire and Matthias for putting me up and showing me around town. I really feel a connection to this city and I am looking forward to coming back soon and often!









Cloud series. © Damaso Reyes
  |  0 trackbacks   |   ( 3.9 / 2238 )

HCB Quote of Week #6 
Saturday, October 13, 2007, 14:02 - Commentary
Paris

A greeting from Paris, here is your HCB Quote of the Week!


Paris at sunset. © Damaso Reyes

Photography appears to be an easy activity; in fact it is a varied and ambiguous process in which the only common denominator among its practitioners is in the instrument. -Henri Cartier-Bresson

  |  0 trackbacks   |   ( 3 / 1335 )

Paris Je t'aime 
Thursday, October 11, 2007, 14:58 - Travel
Paris


The River Seine. © Damaso Reyes

It’s hard to know where to start! First, I completely understand why so many American artists have fallen in love with this city, it truly is beautiful. You can tell the difference between Germany and France as soon as you step on board the TGV. A little nicer, a little more stylish, a little more comfortable, it was a smooth and pleasant three and a half hour ride. I was staying with some friends in the 13th Arrondissement, a very pleasant part of town. Yesterday the jury of the photo festival met and we spent much of the morning arguing about photos. We managed to narrow it down to about ten but we will come together again on Friday to pick the winners. This is the second jury I have been a part of an each time I feel like I understand the process a bit better. While it is great to have a diverse jury; on our panel we had photographers, gallerists and industry executives, it can also be frustrating. Most of the time the winners are more compromises than anything else although I think that we have agreed on the first place winner, which is very strong indeed.


Stained Glass. © Damaso Reyes


Cross. © Damaso Reyes


Candles. © Damaso Reyes


Brought to you by the letter H. © Damaso Reyes

I spent the rest of the day wandering about. I walked along the Seine, visited Notre Dame and just took in the place. One thing I love about Paris is that it truly is a walking city, much like New York.


Facade. © Damaso Reyes

Today I spent the day hitting several museums including the Louvre and the Pompidou, which left me exhausted. You could spend weeks just going to all the museums and galleries in this city. The more time I spend here the more I think it would be a nice place to live for a little while, assuming I could find a way to pay for it!

I also saw that big tower they have here…


© Damaso Reyes
  |  0 trackbacks   |   ( 3 / 1365 )

Paris Bound! 
Tuesday, October 9, 2007, 06:57 - Travel
Stuttgart

I am off to Paris for the first time this afternoon! I will be on the jury of the Aella Foto Latino festival as well as taking some time to explore and photograph the city. I look forward to telling you all about my adventures; have fun while I am gone!


  |  0 trackbacks   |   ( 3 / 1269 )


Back Next