Where the Money is At 
Wednesday, December 9, 2009, 15:37 - Travel, Shooting
I recently stopped by Frankfurt for a few days on my way back to New York. One of the highlights of the trip was the chance to photograph the trading floor of the Stock Exchange. Far from the frenetic scene most of us think of the trading floor was fairly quiet and very well organized (insert your joke about German precision here). I spent a few hours lurking around and here are some of the results, enjoy!


Bird’s eye view.


Television reporter.


On hold.


Lonely at the top.


Strolling along.


The hidden power.


Bull and bear.


A reason why.


Hope.

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Freedom of Worship 
Tuesday, December 8, 2009, 09:30 - Travel, Shooting, Commentary
I had a chance to visit the Kephas church in Vienna during my stay in that fine city and here are some images. Unlike many other parts of Austria society the worshipers at Kephas really believe in a diverse society and the benefits that brings. The congregation is multinational and there are many mixed race couples there as well. It’s an interesting peek into what might be the future of Europe…


Praising His name.



The power and the glory.



Jesus is the rock.



Music plays an integral role in services.



Lost in prayer.



Dancing for Jesus.



Looking upwards.




Hand to God.

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New Galleries from Brittany 
Wednesday, November 11, 2009, 07:21 - Travel, Project News, Commentary
Vienna

But where are the photos? That is what people always ask. Working in film and in black and white means that I can’t just show someone the photo I’ve taken five seconds later. It takes time. Days, weeks even months later I produce the “results.” While I certainly do enjoy the end product as an artist it’s actually the action of taking the photograph, the experience of being in a place at a certain time that is even more interesting. The film will be there if I develop it the next day or the next year; it is the experience of living and working in a place that really makes this craft interesting, at least to me.


Foreign influences. © Damaso Reyes

The photograph is a document, a reminder of what has been but it is nothing but a shadow of what was, even if it is a lovely shadow. I would never trade the experience of making the photo for the actual photo itself because for me the act of creation is what is interesting. Walking down a city street, waiting in an office, simply being in a place or meeting a person you otherwise would never encounter is what appeals to me as a photographer. The camera imparts a freedom that as a young poor child in Brooklyn I could have scarcely imagined. Today the only limits I have are those I place upon myself, thanks to my camera cum passport.


Generations of song. © Damaso Reyes


To that end I make my images available (both to myself and others) when I damn well feel like it. The nice thing about not having a deadline is that you don’t have to rush; you can reflect, relax and actually think. But eventually you do want to see what you’ve done so here are links to images from Brittany that I took last year. While I rather like many of the images, of course I’d like to go back and do more work; such is life. But there are some real stars in these galleries so take a look


Circus performer. © Damaso Reyes

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Goodbye Barcelona, Hello Wien 
Wednesday, October 28, 2009, 10:28 - Travel, Commentary
Barcelona

It’s been an interesting month here in Barcelona. I have certainly gotten to know the city much better, which was one of my strategic aims. Often photography is not actually about taking photos; it is about laying the groundwork so you can take pictures. That having been said I did shoot a whole lot of film, mostly street photography but I managed some organized shoots as well.


Shadow and light. Barcelona 2009

I do feel like this is the city for me and I look forward to returning next spring to set up a base of operations. The town has a wonderful energy which is difficult to describe but I found the people warm and open, just the kind of place I want to live. Now it is upwards and eastwards towards Vienna!

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A Fortnight later... 
Thursday, October 15, 2009, 13:09 - Travel, Shooting, Personal
Barcelona

It’s been an interesting two weeks here in Barcelona. The city is as lovely as I remember it from four years ago. Here are a few images…










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Barcelona Bound! 
Tuesday, September 29, 2009, 09:01 - Travel, Project News
Well after a few months back in the States I am off to Barcelona for a month and then Vienna! Stay tuned for more info and maybe even some photos if you’re lucky!



Watching and waiting in Barcelona…

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Visiting the Suzuki Factory 
Friday, March 27, 2009, 08:42 - Travel, Shooting
Esztergom, Hungary

Recently I traveled across the river to Esztergom to photograph at the Suzuki Factory. Founded in 1991 Magyar Suzuki Corporation was one of the first examples of foreign direct investment after the end of the cold war. Today the plant turns out over 700 cars a day for the European market, and nice cars they are! Suzuki is the largest employer in Esztergom and an important part of the regional economy. Special thanks to Ruska Viktória for arranging the visit!


Stamping towards the future. © Damaso Reyes



Still essential. © Damaso Reyes



Step by step. © Damaso Reyes


Hidden in the background. © Damaso Reyes


Internal structure. © Damaso Reyes


Bright lights, big factory. © Damaso Reyes


At the end of the day. © Damaso Reyes

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Dancing and Drinking 
Monday, March 16, 2009, 10:34 - Travel, Shooting
Muzla, Slovakia

On Saturday I was lucky enough to be invited to a wine competition which featured some traditional folk dancing. Drinking wine and taking pictures is not a bad way to spend a Saturday night. Here are a few images, enjoy!


Movement. © Damaso Reyes


Heritage. © Damaso Reyes


Waiting. © Damaso Reyes


Pride. © Damaso Reyes


Listening. © Damaso Reyes


The Dance. © Damaso Reyes


The Truth. © Damaso Reyes

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A Winter Festival 
Wednesday, February 25, 2009, 10:42 - Travel, Shooting, Events
Sturovo. Slovakia

Over the weekend I went to an interesting festival (Maskarázás) in Chlaba, nearby town. As it was explained to me the purpose was to banish Winter (which we all hate don’t we?) so that our friend Spring can come along and make us happy. It seemed like a good reason to dress up in strange costumes, play with fire and drink on a Saturday morning. If you don’t believe me check it out for yourselves!


I shall scare you with my… what is that? © Damaso Reyes


Now we must jump over burning bails of hay. © Damaso Reyes


They are very hot! © Damaso Reyes


But they do not frighten me! © Damaso Reyes


Spectacle. © Damaso Reyes


And now we dance! © Damaso Reyes

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A Winter Walk 
Tuesday, February 24, 2009, 08:28 - Travel, Shooting, Personal
Esztergom, Hungary

Winter has been visiting us quite a bit here in Eastern Europe. Now those who know me well understand I am not really in favor of this whole business of cold and snow but sadly until I get that villa in southern Spain I will no doubt be seeing a lot more snow. In the best spirit of adventure I recently crossed the Danube and took a little walk around. Come along for the ride!


One moment. © Damaso Reyes



Footsteps. © Damaso Reyes



The dividing line. © Damaso Reyes


The shore. © Damaso Reyes


Trapped. © Damaso Reyes


A new path. © Damaso Reyes


Reflections. © Damaso Reyes


Sunset. © Damaso Reyes

Wasn’t that a lovely walk?


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Palinka Time! 
Tuesday, February 10, 2009, 12:49 - Travel, Shooting
Štúrovo, Slovakia

So last weekend was not just about dancing, let me tell you! I also got to do some relaxing, which in this part of the world invariably involves drinking, and lots of it. Well, when in Hungary, do as the Hungarians do, I always say!


Opening the taps! © Damaso Reyes

My friend Almos invited me to his hometown where his father makes his own wine, as well as Palinka, a local liquor which is very smooth even if it has an alcohol content “above 50%” as I was informed.


This ain’t just water! © Damaso Reyes

It seems like having a wine cellar is as much of a Hungarian tradition as having a backyard is in America. From what I was told making alcohol is the local pastime, one I can enthusiastically support.


Almos pours out a taste. © Damaso Reyes

I have to say that the wine was excellent, as it should be since it has won several local awards. And the Palinka was even better. Of course I can only sip a little at a time, after all, I would like to keep my insides intact, but it was exceedingly smooth and had a lovely subtle fruit flavor.


All in good fun. © Damaso Reyes

What I like about drinking in Europe, and in Hungary in particular, is that it is a family affair. That is to say that it isn’t stigmatized the way it is in America and children grow up understanding it is a part of life, rather than having adults try to hide it from them. This is a much healthier attitude.


Mmmmmm? © Damaso Reyes

Of course when you drink you must eat, another good thing about the European perspective. Of course when you are a stranger in a strange land you will sometimes encounter new things, as I did…


Mmmmmm! © Damaso Reyes

But fun was certainly had by all!

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Dancing in Budapest 
Monday, February 9, 2009, 12:40 - Travel, Shooting
Budapest

I don’t know about you but I had a pretty busy weekend! There’s so many photos to share that I will have to break it up into two posts. On Friday I went with some friends to Budapest to take in some traditional Hungarian folk dancing.


One moment. © Damaso Reyes

The music may have been traditional, but the crowd was mostly young people in jeans and dresses.


All together now. © Damaso Reyes

From what I was told traditional music and dancing was discouraged under Communism. Today there has been something of a renaissance of all things Hungarian.


Trio. © Damaso Reyes

I can’t tell you how nice it is to hear. Whenever I go into a supermarket, or any public space that has music, I am assaulted by American pop music. If I wanted to listen to Britney Spears I would have stayed in the United States. But here it was nothing but the sweet melodies of the violin that filled the room.


Slowly. © Damaso Reyes

For sure American and Western European influences abound, especially among the youth. But there is an intense pride in the Hungarian identity that is not chauvinistic but proud.


Watching and waiting. © Damaso Reyes

I recorded some music and will hopefully put together some kind of slideshow later in the week. It’s hard to get across the feeling without hearing the music which inspires the dancing.


Smile. © Damaso Reyes


Embrace. © Damaso Reyes


Circle. © Damaso Reyes


Pair. © Damaso Reyes


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First Impressions 
Monday, January 19, 2009, 00:48 - Travel, Project News
Štúrovo, Slovakia


Greetings from Slovakia! It took a while to get here but I had a smooth flight from New York. I spent the afternoon in Budapest getting a brief tour (thanks Imre!) before taking the train here.


Home… © Damaso Reyes


First impressions are always just that: an imperfect view of something you don’t know very well. That said, I think I am going to like it here a lot. The people open, warm and friendly. The town is quite small, only about 11,000 people live here. Being a big city boy it is certainly a change of pace. As I was telling one of the locals yesterday, spending time in a small town like this is important to my project. After all, not everyone lives in Berlin and Paris. Getting a different perspective is the only way I can hope to capture the richness of life in Europe.









Four Views. © Damaso Reyes


So here I am. The next two and a half months will certainly be interesting, hopefully they will be productive as well!


Lovely Sturovo! © Damaso Reyes
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Photo of the Day #92 
Tuesday, January 13, 2009, 14:20 - Travel, Project News, Photo of the Day

Flying away on a jet plane…

So I’m heading for Slovakia on Thursday and there are still a million and one things for me to do so I won’t be blogging much this week. Of course on Monday I will fill you in on some first impressions. Until then, stay well!

Damaso

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Reflections on France 
Tuesday, September 30, 2008, 12:52 - Travel, Commentary
Brooklyn

It feels good to be home again. I spent a good part of yesterday walking around, meeting friends and running errands and it was just another reminder of the powerful link I have to this great city. It will always be my home, of that there can be no question.


Leaving… © Damaso Reyes


But I also had an opportunity to reflect I bit on the past month. While I don’t feel like I captured any great narrative stories I do feel like I got many individual images that will serve as a window to that place and time that I inhabited. The more time I spend in France the more and more I like it. The French have a relaxed but passionate sensibility that I can very much relate to. I look forward to exploring the country more in the coming years.

But for now I am back but don’t think that I am not planning my return!

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