Thursday, September 25, 2008, 12:07 - Travel, ShootingRochefort-en-Terre
Yesterday I traveled to the Cote Sauvage or Savage Coast here in Brittany. The place lived up to its name with dramatic vistas of wave battered coastline. It really was amazing to stand at the very end of France and look over the distant horizon towards America, where I will be heading back on Saturday. It was a great trip to end my travels here in France and here are a few images!
You are here! © Damaso Reyes
Crash, bang! © Damaso Reyes
The Channel. © Damaso Reyes
Rocks and waves. © Damaso Reyes
Turbulence. © Damaso Reyes
Thinking. © Damaso Reyes
The castle in the distance. © Damaso Reyes
The lonely fisherman. © Damaso Reyes
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Wednesday, September 24, 2008, 11:40 - Travel, ShootingRochefort-en-Terre
On Saturday there was a traditional Fest-Noz in Elven, just a few kilometers away. An evening of music and dance the Fest-Noz provides an opportunity to both preserve and celebrate local culture. If you just wandered in one might have thought that one was in Scotland or Ireland what with the sounds of the pipes and drums ringing in the night air. But we were safely in Brittany enjoying another great evening.
And the band played on. © Damaso Reyes
We were dancing through the night. © Damaso Reyes
Playing in the shadows… © Damaso Reyes
Just you and I… © Damaso Reyes
Free Brittany! © Damaso Reyes
The pipes, the pipes are calling… © Damaso Reyes
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Tuesday, September 23, 2008, 11:35 - Travel, ShootingRochefort-en-Terre
It was a busy weekend. Once again the sun was shining and on Sunday several of us took the opportunity of visit an arts festival at Gorvello. There was some traditional dancing and music and well as lots of food and drink. I was pretty wiped out from the night before but I managed to get a few good pictures…
Let’s start from the beginning… © Damaso Reyes
Jesus says hello. © Damaso Reyes
Generations of tradition. © Damaso Reyes
Random moth. © Damaso Reyes
Shoes. © Damaso Reyes
The passion of the flower. © Damaso Reyes
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Monday, September 22, 2008, 11:25 - Travel, ShootingRochefort-en-Terre
One of the things I like most about spending time in small towns are the festivals and circuses one can find. Last week there was a small family circus in Pluherlin, a village within walking distance. So I packed my camera bag and went for a stroll down the road. It was a small tent but I got to spend a little time with the Bertrand family before the show. Here are a few images…
Big show, this way! © Damaso Reyes
Laetita, Christhophe, Leslie, Dannob and BoBoye. © Damaso Reyes
Send in the clowns. © Damaso Reyes
My kingdom for a llama. © Damaso Reyes
Brother and sister. © Damaso Reyes
Time for a show. © Damaso Reyes
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008, 08:29 - ShootingRochefort-en-Terre
On Sunday I had an opportunity to hear some traditional Breton singing at Café Gorvello, just a few towns over. Imagine American idol on a much smaller scale. The event was a local competition for a regional signing festival to be held later next month. Dozens of local residents came out on a lovely Sunday afternoon to sing traditional folk songs.
Keeper of the Flame. © Damaso Reyes
This kind of music is called Kan ha diskan or call and response. The singer will start with several verses and the audience will respond with what we might call the bridge. It was a really interesting experience, especially since almost all of the participants were over 50. As much as there has been a revival of Breton culture over the past thirty years, clearly many parts of this unique heritage are in peril as fewer and fewer young people choose to take on the traditions of their ancestors. Here are a few images!
Song of the shadows. © Damaso Reyes
Documentation. © Damaso Reyes
Noble song. © Damaso Reyes
Local color. © Damaso Reyes
The face of history. © Damaso Reyes
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Friday, September 12, 2008, 10:23 - Travel, ShootingRochefort-en-Terre
Earlier this week several of the artists here took a trip to the nearby island of Gavrinis which contains a megathic tomb which dates back to 3,500 B.C.E. Just a short ferry ride through the Gulf of Morbihan, Gavrinis is an interesting example of Europe’s wonderfully preserved history. Thousands of years ago humans were building complex societies complete with the kind of memorials that we are familiar with. Here are a few images!
Can you smell the salt air? © Damaso Reyes
You are here! © Damaso Reyes
Monument. © Damaso Reyes
Entrance. © Damaso Reyes
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Thursday, September 4, 2008, 11:37 - Travel, Shooting, CommentaryRochefort-en-Terre
I have spent the past few days exploring the lovely town that I will be staying at for the next three weeks. Most, if not all of the homes are at least a few hundred years old, a perfect example of how Europe’s history is literally embodied in its towns and cities.
Lost in time. © Damaso Reyes
As much as I like photographing landscapes I do plan on photographing more of the people who make this town and region so special! In the meantime, please enjoy some images…
Flora and fauna. © Damaso Reyes
Green and black. © Damaso Reyes
Home of God and home of man. © Damaso Reyes
Renew, Reuse & Recycle! © Damaso Reyes
Red and white. © Damaso Reyes
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Tuesday, September 2, 2008, 10:15 - Travel, Shooting, Commentary, Photo of the DayRochefort-en-Terre
Greetings from France! Sorry it has taken me so long to post, but it was a long flight and train ride to get here to Rochefort-en-Terre. Of course it was totally worth it. Brittany is amazing and I actually managed to get over to the coast and shoot a few images of the landscape and the oyster and mussel pickers. Whole families go out on the weekends to pick these bivalve delicacies!
The coast. © Damaso Reyes
Rochefort itself is a lovely small town straight out of the Middle Ages. I promise to grab some shots for you once the rain stops (it might take a while). In the meantime enjoy some images from the coast!
Picking oysters in Brittany. © Damaso Reyes
No sand, only shells. © Damaso Reyes
Low tide. © Damaso Reyes
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Saturday, March 22, 2008, 16:52 - Shooting, CommentaryStuttgart
Expanding the frontiers of knowledge. © Damaso Reyes
Sorry for the long absence, I have spent a few days this week photographing once again at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg. This time around I spent some time in several different departments including the Division of Medical Physics in Radiation Oncology, Division of Molecular Genetics and the High Resolution Optical Microscopy Research Group. Slowly but surely I am chipping away at the role of science and research in transforming Europe! Here are some photos for your viewing pleasure!
The Optical Microscopy group uses lasers to visualize the smallest parts of cells. © Damaso Reyes
Watch out! © Damaso Reyes
Different colors = different wavelengths of light and resolutions. © Damaso Reyes
Only the light of a computer monitor guides the scientists as they perform their experiments. © Damaso Reyes
A patient prepares to receive radiation therapy. © Damaso Reyes
A radiation treatment session is observed using television cameras. © Damaso Reyes
Fine German engineering at work. © Damaso Reyes
A nurse assists a patient after he receives his treatment. © Damaso Reyes
The machine shop creates many of the tools used by the radiology department. © Damaso Reyes
Boys will be boys. © Damaso Reyes
Next Friday I will leave all this behind for a few weeks and travel back to New York for some rest and relaxation. But fear not, I am plotting my return to Europe in mid-May so stay tuned for more details. In the meantime, enjoy your HCB Quote of the Week!
A lab assistant prepares genetic samples for analysis. © Damaso Reyes
Even a lab bench is a personal space. © Damaso Reyes
Just like mine at home. © Damaso Reyes
And no photographs taken with the aid of flash light, either, if only out of respect for the actual light - even when there isn't any of it. - Henri Cartier-Bresson
Thursday, February 28, 2008, 09:30 - Travel, Shooting, CommentaryVienna
It is my last day here in Wien and I am already missing it! Well I still have a few more hours but the weather has been spectacular during the past week and I have really been very productive, so much so that I still have to do some packing. But don’t worry, I will get it all done in time. I really hope I have a chance to come back soon to continue the work I started here. Time, as always, will tell.
In the meantime here are some images of asylum seeker, teacher and university graduate Alisa and her three daughters. She came here almost ten years ago from Chechnya and has been trying to make a life for herself, against all odds, ever since.
“I wish that just once I could feel like a human being.”
A strong woman.© Damaso Reyes
Still happy. © Damaso Reyes
A hidden truth. © Damaso Reyes
Edges. © Damaso Reyes
Living history. © Damaso Reyes
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Thursday, February 14, 2008, 16:18 - ShootingVienna
So every day this week I’ve been taking the train to the Ute Bock Center. It is a place where people seeking asylum can come for counseling, legal advice and even housing. The small staff there does wonders with the few resources they have available and they have opened their doors and allowed me to photograph at the center.
Everyone is a foreigner somewhere...
The first day I have to say I was pretty overwhelmed. Many of the asylum seekers come to the center because they are having a problem which can range from an upcoming legal procedure to being threatened with arrest or deportation. They often have to wait for hours before they can see someone and the sense of frustration with the asylum system is palpable.
I haven’t made too many photographs yet, much of the past few days has been about observing and getting comfortable but the more time I spend there the more I see and begin to understand. For the next two weeks I will probably work on this project exclusively, I hope I can do justice to the stories I encounter.
Karin, a staff member. © Damaso Reyes
Frau Bock herself. © Damaso Reyes
Looking for answers... © Damaso Reyes
Waiting for mail. © Damaso Reyes
Thinking. © Damaso Reyes
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Saturday, February 2, 2008, 15:36 - Shooting, CommentaryVienna
Another week, another ball! I know, it’s tough going from one formal ball to another but hey, I made a commitment to document the changing face of Europe! On Thursday I went to the TU Ball, which was conveniently located about five minutes from my door. It was a little more traditional than the Regenbogen Ball (I even had to buy a bow tie) but it was still fun. The Fulbright Commission got a table and we all went to a fun evening of dancing and music. The ball was held at the Hofburg, and it was lavish to say the least.
The name is Reyes, Damaso Reyes
Often while working on this project I feel like an anthropologist but instead of hacking through the jungles of New Guinea I get to don a jacket and tie and hunt the elusive Wiener. It is fun getting a chance to visit these other worlds. I suppose that is what I like most about the camera: it acts as a passport allowing me to enter places and see things that I would otherwise not be able to. With that, here is you HCB Quote of the Week and some photos. Enjoy!
One has to tiptoe lightly and steal up to one's quarry; you don't swish the water when you are fishing. - Henri Cartier-Bresson
Everybody dance now. © Damaso Reyes
One step forward... © Damaso Reyes
On the sunny side of the street. © Damaso Reyes
Folk music. © Damaso Reyes
Dancing cheek to cheek. © Damaso Reyes
Eye contact. © Damaso Reyes
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Sunday, January 27, 2008, 01:28 - Shooting, CommentaryVienna
Well I have indeed been a busy little bee! In addition to shooting again at the Vienna City Council it is ball season here in Austria. So I have been doing my waltzing lessons and trying to find some dress clothes. Today I attended my very first ball which was the Regenbogen Ball (Rainbow Ball) which is the largest gay and lesbian ball here in Vienna.
Absolutely Fabulous! © Damaso Reyes
Well my goal was to show how diverse this city is and I feel like I have made a good start. The evening was full of elegant men and women of all orientations dancing and celebrating life. While I am not overwhelmed by the results of my digital photographs I have much higher hopes for the black and white. In all honesty I haven’t been shooting much digitally (just for you and I hope you appreciate it!) because well I don’t have to. Sometimes I just take my two Leicas out when I shoot but I thought you might enjoy a quick snapshot of the night. So after your HCB Quote of the Week enjoy some more photographs of Viennese politics and my first ball!
The creative act lasts but a brief moment, a lightning instant of give-and-take, just long enough for you to level the camera and to trap the fleeting prey in your little box. - Henri Cartier-Bresson , Photography Year 1980, LIFE Library of Photography , Page: 22
Private Discussions. © Damaso Reyes
Dancing Cheek to Cheek
Working in the Shadows. © Damaso Reyes
Swirls. © Damaso Reyes
Stand and Deliver.
Grand Entrance. © Damaso Reyes
As I was Saying... © Damaso Reyes
Whispers. © Damaso Reyes
A Little Light Reading. © Damaso Reyes
Applause. © Damaso Reyes
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Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 14:54 - Shooting, CommentaryVienna
Politics Time! © Damaso Reyes
In the Halls... © Damaso Reyes
I spent the morning taking photographs at the Vienna City Council (special thanks to Green Party member Marco Schreuder for arranging the visit). Housed in a beautiful 19th century gothic building the City Hall is the nicest municipal building I have been in. The city council, which also serves as the state parliament since Vienna is a city and state, is also remarkably open. Unlike other parliaments or city halls, including New York’s, I didn’t have to be searched nor put my bag through an x-ray machine. It was only when I was actually photographing in the chamber itself did the occasional inquisitive public servant ask to see my credentials.
Overwatch. © Damaso Reyes
In the Shadows. © Damaso Reyes
As usual people were surprised to hear that I was from New York and found it strange that anyone from there would be interested in the Vienna City Council. It’s funny but almost no matter where I go in Europe, or for that matter the world, people are surprised that I would leave New York to come and photograph wherever I happen to be. I guess it must be the effect of all those movies and television shows that are shot in New York (Vienna has The Third Man but can you think of any other famous movies shot here?) which have made the city seem like the place to be. Granted I love New York but there is a big world out there and all of it is interesting it its own way.
Waiting His Turn. © Damaso Reyes
The Conversation. © Damaso Reyes
The only problem I had this morning was that since the council president was a bit of a stickler for protocol I was only allowed to shoot for a half hour during the question hour. As you know I hate working under pressure but all of those years of shooting press conferences and on deadline have at least come in handy. I wandered around the room, photographing the representatives as well as their aides and those supplicants who vie for a moment of their time.
Behind the Scenes. © Damaso Reyes
The more time I spend photographing in the halls of government the more that I realize that the real governing doesn’t happen during the question time or the vigorous back and forth debates that are shown on television or quoted in the newspapers. They happen off to the side, out of the view of the cameras (except for mine!) and the reporters. This is a little bit of what I want to show. Some would say that this is the problem with much of modern government. The U.K.’s parliament is expected to ratify the Lisbon treaty and the fact that the public will likely not get a chance to vote on what will more or less become the E.U. Constitution has sparked a great deal of outrage in that country.
Tomorrow I will return and I hope to spend most of the day photographing various members as they go about their day and give you a little bit of an impression of what political life here is like. Stay tuned…
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Friday, November 9, 2007, 11:52 - Shooting, CommentaryStuttgart
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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