Happy New Year! 
Thursday, December 31, 2009, 14:59 - Personal, Events
Happy New Year!


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Featured on leciashots.com 
Monday, December 14, 2009, 13:21 - Personal, Project News
Recently one of my images from The Europeans was featured on the leicashots.com website. Please check it out when you have a moment!



East bound train. Bratislava, Slovakia 2009.

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And the Walls Came Tumbling Down... 
Monday, November 9, 2009, 06:17 - Personal, Commentary
In order to know where we are going it is important to think about where we have been. Twenty years ago the wall between east and west Germany began to fall and a new chapter began. Now all we have are the remnants and our memories, not to mention our history, which follows us around like a shadow. Sometimes it’s good to stop and look at the shadow…


The end of the wall. Berlin 2006. © Damaso Reyes

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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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Equalibrium 
Wednesday, July 1, 2009, 11:22 - Personal, Commentary, Photo of the Day
The year is half over. The solstice was also a few days ago and now I have spent more time outside of Europe this year than inside it. The days are growing ever so slightly shorter and a return to Europe, like international communism during the Soviet era, is on the horizon but drawing no closer.


Freedom…. Berlin 2006 © Damaso Reyes

Even though it is at the heart of photography I have a distaste for waiting, especially when I don’t know how long I will be waiting. When will that next grant or fellowship appear? I have become comfortable with uncertainty and I suppose having everything mapped out would take a lot of the fun out of this project. We move forward but very slowly, which, if nothing else, gives us time to collect our thoughts. Certainly being back in New York has given me time to reflect on what I have done and how much more there is left to do.

I’d like to get started…

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Four Years On... 
Monday, April 20, 2009, 10:45 - Personal, Commentary
Last week I let the 4th anniversary of The Europeans pass without so much as a note. Personally I am not much of a birthday or anniversary type of person but it is important to recognize the passage of time. It is also a useful opportunity to think about where we’ve been and where we are going.


One photograph at a time. Vienna 2008 © Damaso Reyes


As I’ve said any number of times, when I first boarded that plane at JFK international Airport in New York I had no idea of what kind of images I would be taking. All I knew was that something was happening in Europe and I wanted to try to capture it. Back then it was a tall order and it still very much is. This project has challenged the way I see the world as well as the way in which I document it.


Waiting. Berlin 2006 © Damaso Reyes

The Europeans began without a clear plan and in many ways it is still quite open, something which I feel is an asset. Many of the images I have taken have been happy accidents, the kind that could never be planned. The more I work on the project the more I feel that the changes which are happening in Europe are so subtle that they deserve to be found not by research or planning but by organically experiencing life.


The beauty of Art. Paris 2007 © Damaso Reyes

Sometimes I feel that people expect too much form these images. I have always said that this project is not an academic exploration of history. Personally I hope these images raise far more questions than they answer since the real change that is happening in Europe is not one of economics or politics but a change in mindset and self perception. As an artist and documentarian I try to hold up the mirror as well as draw back the curtain in front of the window. My work is to simply begin a conversation or at least to make it more interesting.


Going home. Kosovo 2005 © Damaso Reyes

And where will the future take us? Of course I don’t have those kinds of answers but I will say that I hope to continue the work that I have begun and delve even more deeply in the waters in which I swim. I can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel but that light is still so very far away…


Utopia Planitia. Amsterdam 2005 © 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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February 2009 Isuue of Outdoor Photographer 
Tuesday, January 6, 2009, 12:38 - Personal, Project News
If you happen to stop by your local newsstand you can see my photograph advertising Kodak’s new Ektar 100 film on the back cover of Outdoor Photographer!




Special thanks to Audrey for making it possible!

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Damaso: 30 Death: 0 
Thursday, December 11, 2008, 13:08 - Personal, Commentary
Happy Birthday to ME!


Mmmmm…cake…. © Damaso Reyes


Today is my 30th birthday!
I know it is hard for some of you to believe, but it’s true! If you feel like giving me a present, feel free to consult my Amazon.com wish list. Even better, you can help my project by making a tax deductible donation.

It feels odd to no longer be the youngest person in the room. Of course this hasn’t been the case for a long time but psychologically turning 30 is a big deal for someone who has always thought of themselves as being very young. Of course I still am very young but I think people start to treat you differently one you start your third decade.

Fortunately all of my friends have told me that they enjoy their 30’s much more than their 20’s so I have something to look forward to! For me the next decade is really about finishing this project and reaching a level of success that allows me to do the work that is most important to me. I feel like I spent the last ten years trying to prove myself; the next ten will be about satisfying myself…

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In Memoriam: Mark Ferguson 1959-2008 
Monday, November 17, 2008, 14:17 - Personal, Commentary
Sorry that I haven’t been around for the past week but my very good friend Mark Ferguson died last week after a battle with cancer. He will be greatly missed and my thoughts are with his family.


Mark in Action! Wheaton Village 2006 © Damaso Reyes


We met ten years ago when I was still a student at NYU. Needing to complete some elective credits I decided to try my hand at glass blowing and fell in love. After taking a few classes I was offered the chance to become a teaching assistant and one of the instructors I helped was Mark. I helped teach a number of classes with him and we became good friends over the years. His sense of humor and endless curiosity about the world are the things I will miss the most. His kindness and humility are the traits I will most try to emulate.


Mark at Sleepy Hollow 2008 © Damaso Reyes


I have very few close friends and Mark was one of the oldest and dearest. I will miss going with him to the Russian and Turkish Baths on a cold Sunday morning. I will miss having Thai food with his wife and children. I will miss his smile and how he never failed to play Devil’s advocate. He was patient and kind, two qualities the world needs more of.


Hayden and Mark Brooklyn 2007 © Damaso Reyes


During his illness he never gave up; never complained about his lot in life and even accepted help, something difficult for such a strong and independent man. If we could all live the way that he died we would be remembered well.

During the past few months I had a chance to spend a lot of time with Mark. Every other week I would pick him up from chemotherapy and when he was feeling up to it we hung out watching movies or even going for a walk. I remember wandering very slowly through the Village looking for a store that sold walking sticks. We never found what we were looking for but I remember his determination even in the face of death. As hard as it was to see him weaken over the past few months I was so happy that I got to spend the time with him that I did. I only wish it had been more.


Mark, Leah, Eleanor and Hayden in Brooklyn 2008 © Damaso Reyes


Mark, I love you and will think about you often. Take care…

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Hard Times... 
Wednesday, October 29, 2008, 11:09 - Personal, Commentary
Yesterday I got yet another form letter in the mail thanking me for my application but due to the large numbers of excellent proposals mine was not selected. It’s not like I am new to this game but you get enough rejections in a row and you start to get frustrated, even discouraged.


The numbers don’t lie.

On my desk I keep a list of all the different grants, fellowships and residencies that I’ve applied for during the current year. As you can see, green is for ones which I’ve gotten, red for ones that I’ve been rejected and black are ones that I haven’t heard back from yet. Out o the seventeen that I have heard from I have been rejected by all but one. Those are some harsh odds.

I had hoped that the longer I do this and the better a body of work I produce the more success I would have but so far this year it seems not to be the case, which is really too bad since these grants and fellowships make up a large part of the funding for this project.

I try to keep it all in perspective and not let the rejections get to me but I have to say that lately it ain’t easy….

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Film is Dead! Long LIve Film! 
Monday, October 6, 2008, 11:22 - Personal, Commentary
People have been saying that film is dead since the start of the century. With each successive generation of digital camera the shouts grow louder. Now you digicam can shoot movies if you so choose. How long will it be before people are saying the still image is dead?


The king is dead, long live the king. Vienna 2008 © Damaso Reyes


All that having been said, Kodak just released another new film, the ultra fine grained Ektar 100, and is using one of my images to promote it! There is a reason I chose film when I decided to work on The Europeans. I liked the idea of consistency, of films archival properties and timelessness. Increasingly we see the world digitally but the job of a photographer is not to show us what we already see; it is to show us the world in a new way. Increasingly film is the tool that allows us to stand apart.

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A visit to the Brooklyn Navy Yard 
Sunday, October 5, 2008, 14:41 - Personal
I know today is the Sabbath and all but I just wanted to share some non-European images. Yesterday I took a trip over to the Brooklyn Navy Yard where many of the artists there were having open studios. While the Navy Yard has been transforming over the past decade from its shipbuilding past to a more diverse future there were still signs everywhere of its heritage. Enjoy the images!


Façade.



Through a window, darkly.



Out of context.



Remains of the day.



A closed door.



Up and down.


Power and nature.


Fast forward.

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Dinner with Madame Klots 
Thursday, September 18, 2008, 14:24 - Personal
Rochefort-en-Terre


All is well here in Western France and as my time here dwindles I am shooting more and more. But that does not mean that I do not have time to, as we say, have a good time. Last week Madam Isabel Klots invited several of the American artists in town for dinner and we had a great time. Mrs. Klots is the wife and daughter-in-law of Trafford and Alfred Klots, the American painters who brought the chateau here in Rochefort. Nineteen years ago Mrs. Klots, in cooperation with MICA, started the residency program here to honor the memory of her husband and father-in-law. She missed all the artists who used to stay here in Rochefort when her husband was alive and because of her generosity for nearly twenty years artists have had the opportunity to come here.


The Madame receives us. © Damaso Reyes


And what a reception it was! © Damaso Reyes


We had all we desired. © Damaso Reyes


And I mean everything! © Damaso Reyes


It was hard to keep up… © Damaso Reyes



But we tried our best! © Damaso Reyes



Dinner was excellent! © Damaso Reyes


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Photo of the Day #5 
Tuesday, June 17, 2008, 12:02 - Personal, Photo of the Day
Brooklyn

So when I was younger, much younger, I wanted to be an illustrator. More specifically I just wanted to be able to draw accurately. Sadly this was a skill that I never developed but fortunately I discovered photography which we all know is drawing with light. While I left behind my ambitions to draw, I am still interested in graphic representations of the world around me. Because I am a photojournalist I don’t have as many opportunities to indulge this proclivity as I would like but every once in a while I can.


Sign of the times. Berlin, 2007 © Damaso Reyes

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