*(Remember to): “Always Look Both Ways…”

ASUNCION, PARAGUAY. Toddler known to be infected with congenital syphilis, peers into the entrance of the Asociacion Cultural Justicia y Verdad (Association of Cultural Justice and Truth) on Friday, March 10,  2006 in Asuncion, Paraguay. The shelter is run out of a renovated auto garage, where volunteers provide showers, administer health care, simple meals, and classroom activities to some of the hundreds of homeless street children that panhandle and clean windshields for money on the neighborhood streets of the capital city.

I have been a photographer for a long, long time. Probably 3/4’s of my life now. I “chase pictures” and will subject myself to an occasional hushed ridicule on the street to make an image in my mind’s eye a reality. I realized early on in my career that a good picture is a good picture. Particularly when a well respected and experienced photo editor or colleague tells you so. There is no wiggle room, nor should there be any. Doesn’t matter who shot it and with what brand-name, high-end equipment used to create it. What makes a good image and how can the image possibly elicit a reaction from the viewer? That’s it. There are no big secrets here. Countless working photojournalists bust their butts day-in and day-out to produce imagery that represents a subject matter in a truthful way. Photographs – especially editorial photographs aren’t solely produced to accompany the words on the printed page – and nowadays on a website or blog. Most, if not all imagery can stand on it’s own and appeal to viewers. An intelligent viewer or consumer of quality photography realizes it and so all this has got me thinking a lot of different ways lately. This is exactly why I’ve included the famous B/W image “Walk to Paradise Garden” (above left) by photographer W. Eugene Smith. An eloquent, yet simple image made in 1946 by a photographer who many consider to be the originator and master of the picture-essay. Since you can’t possibly see the faces of the two children walking away from the photographer, I’ve often wondered would such an image even be considered for publication by today’s picture selection thought process. When I saw this recent cover of Time Magazine (right) with three U.S. Presidents walking away from the camera, I started rethinking my own work. Certainly there had to be a serious discussion in the Time-Life building on their picture desk in running this photo, and particularly on the cover of the magazine:

Here are a few of my favorites throughout my career that aren’t necessarily about who the subject is, and definitely not what they look like. Some are taken from multiple image picture stories. These images are more about the feeling in the image, sort of an examining the flow of composition and such. Yea, that’s it. Composition. Light. Recognizing nice moments…  ~cg.


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