'Cribs'에 해당되는 글 39건

  1. 2014.01.23 Palahniuk on "thought" verbs
  2. 2014.01.20 Jep's soliloquy
  3. 2014.01.18 Evening walk scene
  4. 2012.10.14 What If Money Were No Object?
  5. 2008.11.20 Advice to young photographers (2)

Palahniuk on "thought" verbs

Cribs 2014.01.23 12:01

[. . .]

From this point forward – at least for the next half year – you may not use “thought” verbs. These include: Thinks, Knows, Understands, Realizes, Believes, Wants, Remembers, Imagines, Desires, and a hundred others you love to use. 

The list should also include: Loves and Hates.

And it should include: Is and Has, but we’ll get to those, later.

Until some time around Christmas, you can’t write: Kenny wondered if Monica didn't like him going out at night…”

Instead, you’ll have to Un-pack that to something like: “The mornings after Kenny had stayed out, beyond the last bus, until he’d had to bum a ride or pay for a cab and got home to find Monica faking sleep, faking because she never slept that quiet, those mornings, she’d only put her own cup of coffee in the microwave. Never his.”

Instead of characters knowing anything, you must now present the details that allow the reader to know them. Instead of a character wanting something, you must now describe the thing so that the reader wants it.

Instead of saying: “Adam knew Gwen liked him.”

You’ll have to say: “Between classes, Gwen was always leaned on his locker when he’d go to open it. She’d roll her eyes and shove off with one foot, leaving a black-heel mark on the painted metal, but she also left the smell of her perfume. The combination lock would still be warm from her ass. And the next break, Gwen would be leaned there, again.”

In short, no more short-cuts. Only specific sensory detail: action, smell, taste, sound, and feeling.

Typically, writers use these “thought” verbs at the beginning of a paragraph (In this form, you can call them “Thesis Statements” and I’ll rail against those, later) In a way, they state the intention of the paragraph. And what follows, illustrates them.

For example:

“Brenda knew she’d never make the deadline. Traffic was backed up from the bridge, past the first eight or nine exits. Her cell phone battery was dead. At home, the dogs would need to go out, or there would be a mess to clean up. Plus, she’d promised to water the plants for her neighbor…”

Do you see how the opening “thesis statement” steals the thunder of what follows? Don’t do it.

If nothing else, cut the opening sentence and place it after all the others. Better yet, transplant it and change it to: Brenda would never make the deadline.

Thinking is abstract. Knowing and believing are intangible. Your story will always be stronger if you just show the physical actions and details of your characters and allow your reader to do the thinking and knowing. And loving and hating.

Don’t tell your reader: “Lisa hated Tom.”

Instead, make your case like a lawyer in court, detail by detail. Present each piece of evidence. For example:

“During role call, in the breath after the teacher said Tom’s name, in that moment before he could answer, right then, Lisa would whisper-shout: ‘Butt Wipe,” just as Tom was saying, ‘Here’.”

One of the most-common mistakes that beginning writers make is leaving their characters alone.  Writing, you may be alone. Reading, your audience may be alone. But your character should spend very, very little time alone. Because a solitary character starts thinking or worrying or wondering.  

For example: Waiting for the bus, Mark started to worry about how long the trip would take..”

A better break-down might be: “The schedule said the bus would come by at noon, but Mark’s watch said it was already 11:57. You could see all the way down the road, as far as the Mall, and not see a bus. No doubt, the driver was parked at the turn-around, the far end of the line, taking a nap. The driver was kicked back, asleep, and Mark was going to be late. Or worse, the driver was drinking, and he’d pull up drunk and charge Mark seventy-five cents for death in a fiery traffic accident…”

A character alone must lapse into fantasy or memory, but even then you can’t use “thought” verbs or any of their abstract relatives.

Oh, and you can just forget about using the verbs forget and remember.

No more transitions such as: “Wanda remembered how Nelson used to brush her hair.”

Instead: “Back in their sophomore year, Nelson used to brush her hair with smooth, long strokes of his hand.”

Again, Un-pack. Don’t take short-cuts.

Better yet, get your character with another character, fast. Get them together and get the action started.  Let their actions and words show their thoughts. You -- stay out of their heads.

And while you’re avoiding “thought” verbs, be very wary about using the bland verbs “is” and “have.”

For example:

“Ann’s eyes are blue.”

“Ann has blue eyes.”


“Ann coughed and waved one hand past her face, clearing the cigarette smoke from her eyes, blue eyes, before she smiled…”

Instead of bland “is” and “has” statements, try burying your details of what a character has or is, in actions or gestures. At its most basic, this is showing your story instead of telling it.

And forever after, once you've learned to Un-pack your characters, you’ll hate the lazy writer who settles for:  Jim sat beside the telephone, wondering why Amanda didn't call.

Source: Nuts and Bolts: "Thought" Verbs

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Jep's soliloquy

Cribs 2014.01.20 14:11

"Finisce sempre così. Con la morte. Prima, però, c'è stata la vita, nascosta sotto il bla bla bla bla bla. È tutto sedimentato sotto il chiacchiericcio e il rumore. Il silenzio e il sentimento. L'emozione e la paura. Gli sparuti incostanti sprazzi di bellezza. E poi lo squallore disgraziato e l'uomo miserabile. Tutto sepolto dalla coperta dell'imbarazzo dello stare al mondo. Bla. Bla. Bla. Bla. Altrove, c'è l'altrove. Io non mi occupo dell'altrove. Dunque, che questo romanzo abbia inizio. In fondo, è solo un trucco. Sì, è solo un trucco."
- La grande bellezza

(This is how it always ends. With death. But first there was life. Hidden beneath the blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. It is all settled beneath the chatter and the noise. Silence and sentiment. Emotion and fear. The haggard, inconstant flashes of beauty. And then the wretched squalor and miserable humanity. All buried under the cover of the embarrassment of being in the world. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Beyond there is what lies beyond. I don't deal with what lies beyond. Therefore, let this novel begin. After all, it's just a trick. Yes, it's just a trick.)

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Evening walk scene

Cribs 2014.01.18 13:51

You know how I think I've changed the most?


When I was younger I just wanted time to speed up. You know?


Well. So I could be on my own. So I could be free from my parents and school and all that shit. You know? I just wanted to close my eyes and wake up and be an adult. And then I kind of feel like that all happened and I just want everything to slow down.

Hm... it's strange - I've always had this feeling, no matter where I am in my life, that it's either a memory or a dream.

I know, you've always thought that. And me too, it's like, is this really my life? Like, is it happening right now?

It is.

I know. Every year I just seem to get a little bit more humbled and more overwhelmed about all the things I'm never going to know or understand.

That's what I keep telling you. You know nothing!

Before Midnight

Source: Sony Pictures Classics

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What If Money Were No Object?

Cribs 2012.10.14 01:20

What do you desire? What makes you itch? What sort of a situation would you like?

Let’s suppose, I do this often in vocational guidance of students, they come to me and say: "Well, we’re getting out of college and we haven’t the faintest idea what we want to do." So I always ask the question: "What would you like to do if money were no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life?"

Well, it’s so amazing as a result of our kind of educational system, crowds of students say: “Well, we’d like to be painters,” “We’d like to be poets,” “We’d like to be writers, but as everybody knows you can’t earn any money that way.” Or another person says: “Well, I’d like to live an out-of-doors life and ride horses.” I said: “You want to teach in a riding school?”

Let’s go through with it. What do you want to do?

When we finally got down to something, which the individual says he really wants to do, I will say to him: “You do that and forget the money.” Because if you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living  that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing  which is stupid. Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.

And after all, if you do really like what you’re doing, it doesn't matter what it is, you can eventually turn it – you could eventually become a master of it. It’s the only way to become a master of something, to be really with it. And then you’ll be able to get a good fee for whatever it is. So don’t worry too much. That’s everybody is – somebody is interested in everything, anything you can be interested in, you will find others will. But it’s absolutely stupid to spend your time doing things you don’t like, in order to go on spending things you don’t like, doing things you don’t like and to teach our children to follow in the same track.

See what we are doing, is we’re bringing up children and educating to live the same sort of lives we are living. In order that they may justify themselves and find satisfaction in life by bringing up their children to bring up their children to do the same thing, so it’s all retch, and no vomit - it never gets there. And so, therefore, it’s so important to consider this question:

What do I desire?

 - Alan Watts

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Advice to young photographers

Cribs 2008.11.20 17:03

Source - http://blog.magnumphotos.com/2008/11/wear_good_shoes_advice_to_young_photographers.html#more
by Alec Soth

Today I’m in San Francisco giving a lecture to the Society for Photographic Education. After presenting my pictures and the story of how I became a photographer, I’ll likely be asked if I have any advice for young photographers. Instead of giving just my two cents, I thought it would be cool if I could also offer some advice from my fellow photographers at Magnum. I emailed my colleagues and received 35 different responses.

사용자 삽입 이미지
Austria. 1948. © David Seymour/Magnum Photos.


When did you first get excited about photography?
Upon birth

What advice would you give young photographers?
Get a good pair of walking shoes and...fall in love

Alec Soth

When did you first get excited about photography?
I spent most of my childhood playing with pretend friends in the forest. It wasn't called art, but it was awfully creative. Things were a little trickier outside of the forest. I was shy and awkward and started to lose my way as teenager. But in 10th grade I had and art teacher, Bill Hardy, who opened the door back on the forest. I started doing sculptures with found materials outdoors. I documented these sculptures with photography. After awhile I realized that the joy came more from finding pictures than making sculptures.

What advice would you give young photographers?
Try everything. Photojournalism, fashion, portraiture, nudes, whatever. You won't know what kind of photographer you are until you try it. During one summer vacation (in college) I worked for a born-again tabletop photographer. All day long we'd photograph socks and listen to Christian radio. That summer I learned I was neither a studio photographer nor a born-again Christian. Another year I worked for a small suburban newspaper chain and was surprised to learn that I enjoyed assignment photography. Fun is important. You should like the process and the subject. If you are bored or unhappy with your subject it will show up in the pictures. If in your heart of hearts you want to take pictures of kitties, take pictures of kitties.

Alex Majoli

When did you first get excited about photography?
I don't remember how I get exited but I definitely remember the first picture I took when I was 11 years old (the 2 men walking at Ravenna port). What I remember is that I was fascinated by the technical stuff of the camera my father lend me that day ... Kodak Retinette.

What advice would you give young photographers?
I would advise to read a lot of literature and look as little as possible other photographers. Work everyday even without assignments or money, work, work, work with discipline for yourself and not for editors or awards. And also collaborate with people not necessary photographers but people you admire. The key word to learn is participation!

Alex Webb

When did you first get excited about photography?
I didn't get truly excited about photography (though I actually learned photographic technique from my father much earlier) during my sophomore year in high school. I had played around with making little (extremely bad) movies, using friends and family as actors, and rapidly realized that I did not want to work with lots of other people. I wanted to work alone. I began photographing in the streets of Brattleboro, Vermont, near the school that I attended, and in Boston, where my family lived. I discovered photographing in the street. I've been doing it ever since.

What advice would you give young photographers?
Photograph because you love doing it, because you absolutely have to do it, because the chief reward is going to be the process of doing it. Other rewards -- recognition, financial remuneration -- come to so few and are so fleeting. And even if you are somewhat successful, there will almost inevitably be stretches of time when you will be ignored, have little income, or -- often -- both. Certainly there are many other easier ways to make a living in this society. Take photography on as a passion, not a career.

Alessandra Sanguinetti

When did you first get excited about photography?
I got into photography when I was around 9 or 10 years old because of a few books my mother had on the lower shelves of her bookcase. Books by Dorothea Lange, Chim, Lartigue, and also The Family of Man, The Best of Life (around 1978..?), and Wisconsin Death Trip. They all absorbed me intensely and I know I've carried those images with me all my life, kind of like Imprinting in ducks and geese: whatever you put next to it when it's born it'll assume forever that it's its mother. Chims' photo of the polish girl - probably the same age I was then- who had grown up in a concentration camp and her drawing of home; Dorothea Lange's Migrant mother; The Best of Life book had a big effect on me. I vividly remember in the Best of Life the pleasure I had looking over and over again at Avedon's photos of Marilyn posing as different actresses (I didn't know who Avedon or Marilyn Monroe were). The photographs of war, especially McCullin's photos of Vietnam were imprinted in my brain, without knowing the politics yet. There was
one page of photographs in Best of Life that I especially remember. The first row shows photography as a witness to time passing, change, the second row shows the effect of speed on a mans face - making the invisible visible and very strange...and the third row was pure fantasy and play. I think of that page as my first lesson in photography. Particularly that you're free with a camera - you can describe the world, you can invent it, there didn't seem to be any rules: a picture of a pineapple playing a cello was fine. Then Wisconsin Death Trip was responsible for my first realization of death and it's inevitability, and my defense reaction was very literal: to photograph everything I cared about so it wouldn't disappear forever and people 100 years hence would know us. That's when I asked for my first camera.

What advice would you give young photographers?
I could use some good advice myself…but first thing that springs to mind is Bob Dylan's': "keep a good head and always carry a light bulb."

Bruce Gilden

When did you first get excited about photography?
In 1966, when I printed my first picture and I saw it coming out, I got really hooked on photography... It was the picture of a cute little squirrel!

What advice would you give young photographers?
My advice: "Photograph who you are!"

Carl De Keyzer

When did you first get excited about photography?
At the age of 14 when I processed my first film and printed my first image on a 1922 Agfa enlarger of my uncle with the help of my friend next door who supplied the expertise and the chemicals needed (his uncle was a garage inventor - chemist who built rockets in his spare time). My first print showed my boxer dog named Blacky. It was one of my most magical moments of my life.

What advice would you give young photographers?
Give it all you got for at least 5 years and then decide if you got what it takes. Too many great talents give up at the very beginning; the great black hole looming after the comfortable academy or university years is the number one killer of future talent.

Christopher Anderson

When did you first get excited about photography?
My first memory of being excited about photography was seeing HCB's "decisive moment" picture in a magazine (the picture of a man in mid stride jumping over a puddle) when I was 9 or 10 years old. I had no idea who the photographer was and I don't think I even consciously thought about the presence of a photographer being linked to the image. I was just drawn to the image itself. I even remember asking myself why I was drawn to this image, and not really having an answer. I cut the image out and inserted into the cassette tape box as a cover for a mix tape I had made of my favorite songs.

There were some other key moments (finding a book by Leonard Freed in a garage sale, for example). In high school, I worked summer jobs and bought myself a camera when I graduated. During the next several years, photography became a hobby, but I did it in total isolation. I still had no concept of "Photographer." I had no concept of a photojournalist or art or anything like that. I just thought it was fun to make pictures. If I thought about the idea as a profession, it was as distant as saying; "I want to be a rock start when I grow up." It wasn't until I was actually a professional photographer (which happened very much by accident, and I will spare you the boring story here) that it dawned on me that some people make their living making pictures. I had never pondered the question of why I take pictures or what is the role of photography or what kind of photographer I wanted to be when suddenly, I was a Professional Photojournalist. It would be another 10 years of working in that capacity before I would begin to ask myself these questions

What advice would you give young photographers?
Forget about the profession of being a photographer. First be a photographer and maybe the profession will come after. Don't be in a rush to make pay your rent with your camera. Jimi Hendrix didn't decide on the career of professional musician before he learned to play guitar. No, he loved music and and created something beautiful and that THEN became a profession. Larry Towell, for instance, was not a "professional" photographer until he was already a "famous" photographer. Make the pictures you feel compelled to make and perhaps that will lead to a career. But if you try to make the career first, you will just make shitty pictures that you don't care about.

Chris Steele-Perkins

When did you first get excited about photography?
I never had an epiphany about photography. It crept up on me. It started off as a hobby while at school, developed at a technical lever working as a photographer for the university newspaper, and has always remained a hobby too. Something I can enjoy. Creative Camera magazine, edited by Bill Jay, (I am going back a while), Life magazine, and some of the few books available at the time by people like Bill Brandt, Ansel Adams, Richard Avedon, Cartier Bresson, and Andre Kertez, to name a few, really turned me on to the idea that you could say something with photography: that you could have your own take on the world and somehow start to express it by the kinds of photographs you took.

What advice would you give young photographers?
1) Never think photography is easy. It's like poetry in that it's easy enough to make a few rhymes, but that's not a good poem.
2) Study photography, see what people have achieved, but learn from it, don't try photographically to be one of those people
3) Photograph things you really care about, things that really interest you, not things you feel you ought to do.
4) Photograph them in the way you feel is right, not they way you think you ought to
5) Be open to criticism, it can be really helpful, but stick to you core values
6) Study and theory is useful but you learn most by doing. Take photographs, lots of them, be depressed by them, take more, hone your skills and get out there in the world and interact.

Constantine Manos

When did you first get excited about photography?
I first became excited about photography when I joined the junior high school camera club at the age of 13.

What advice would you give young photographers?
Try not to take pictures, which simply show what something looks like. By the way you put the elements of an image together in a frame show us something we have never seen before and will never see again. And remember that catching a moment makes the image even more unique in the stream of time. Also, try to do workshops with photographers whose work you admire, but first ask around to make sure they are good teachers as well as good photographers. Taking good pictures is easy. Making very good pictures is difficult. Making great pictures is almost impossible.

David Alan Harvey

When did you first get excited about photography?
"Lightning struck" when I was around 12. It hit me one day and I never looked back. I KNEW it. Total certainty. I was living in a small Virginia town and my "outside influences" came from books and from magazines. The early photo essays in Life and Look magazines struck a chord. The work of Robert Frank and HCB had the strongest impact because from them I could see that "ordinary life" was their "grist for the mill". I loved the work of many other photographers too, but war photographers needed a war, fashion photographers needed a model, sports photographers needed a game, and landscape photographers needed the Grand Canyon.....HCB and Frank just needed a street corner. Anywhere, anytime. I could relate to that, because I only had my neighborhood with not much "going on". I loved immediately the idea of transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary just by "seeing" and seeing alone. At the same time I got lost in the local library with the French Impressionists, Goya, and the light of Caravaggio. That was all I needed at the time to know beyond a shadow of a doubt what I wanted to do with my life.

What advice would you give young photographers?
You must have something to "say". You must be brutally honest with yourself about this. Think about history , politics, science, literature, music, film, and anthropology. What affects does one discipline have over another? What makes "man" tick? Today , with everyone being able to easily make technically perfect photographs with a cell phone, you need to be an "author". It is all about authorship, authorship and authorship. Many young photographers come to me and tell me their motivation for being a photographer is to "travel the world" or to "make a name" for themselves. Wrong answers in my opinion. Those are collateral incidentals or perhaps even the disadvantages of being a photographer. Without having tangible ideas , thoughts, feelings, and something almost "literary" to contribute to "the discussion", today's photographer will become lost in the sea of mediocrity. Photography is now clearly a language. As with any language, knowing how to spell and write a gramatically correct "sentence" is , of course, necessary. But, more importantly, today's emerging photographers now must be "visual wordsmiths" with either a clear didactic or an esoteric imperative. Be a poet, not a technical "writer". Perhaps more simply put, find a heartfelt personal project. Give yourself the "assignment" you might dream someone would give you. Please remember, you and only you will control your destiny. Believe it, know it, say it.

Donovan Wylie

When did you first get excited about photography?
I first became excited about photography as a boy.

What advice would you give young photographers?
Never stop enjoying it. Try and not "look" for pictures but keep yourself always open and allow yourself to be stimulated by whatever hits you. Work towards a goal…book, exhibition... but more importantly work towards finding your own voice, your subject and your application. Accept that your work is more about you than what you represent, try to bridge that balance, without resorting to photographing your feet! In other words try and translate personal experience into a collective one, it is very possible and I think the key quest of any art form...(study the book "Waffenruhe" by Michael Schmidt) - study all the great photographers and love doing it, start at the beginning, look at early American, and German, then French, then take a close look at artists using photography in the sixties, Rusha etc. Don't get bogged down in theory, but respect it, read Robert Adams on Photography, in fact embrace Robert Adams generally and you will learn a lot. Read literature, especially early Russian, French and modern American, (and Irish, Joyce), the journey literature has taken as an art form in terms of description and representation is very similar to photography. Don't rely on style for the sake of it, if you have your own subject, you can adopt other peoples styles if it helps, and visa versa, if you photograph something every one has, then adopt a style, execution, that can only be yours, eventually you will achieve both, your own voice will come through, but it can take time. Study the book 'How You Look at It'…Important essays there will help you. Always try and be honest with yourself... for example, is the idea of being a photographer more exciting to you than photography itself, if this is true think about becoming an actor.......................if you genuinely love photography don't give it up. Understand and enjoy the fact that photography is a unique medium. Respect and work within photography's limitations, you will go much further.

David Hurn

When did you first get excited about photography?
I first got excited by photography the first day I picked up a camera. However this was not until I was 20 years of age. I suddenly realized that I had an excuse to be anywhere and gaze in wonderment; the camera gave me something to hide my shyness behind. The act of pointing a camera at another human being is daunting - however clarifying what is unfolding in front of one can give one immense pleasure. I have had a blissful life.

What advice would you give young photographers?
Don't become a photographer unless its what you 'have' to do. It can't be the easy option. If you become a photographer you will do a lot of walking so buy good shoes.

Dennis Stock

When did you first get excited about photography?
I was drawn towards photography at the age of eighteen and under the GI bill I took a course with Bernice Abbott. She sent me to W. Eugene Smith, who suggested I seek a job with Gjon Mili. I apprenticed to Mili for four years. Won first prize in "Life magazine's Young Professionals contest." Thereafter left Mili and was invited by Robert Capa to join Magnum. Modeled for the very famous picture by Andreas Feininger, called the "Photojournalist."

What advice would you give young photographers?
Young photographers should learn their craft well and don't expect to make a constant living at taking pictures. But they should FOLLOW THEIR BLISS. Find time to pursue themes that indicate their concerns, big and small. Above all when shooting, MAKE AN ARTICULATE IMAGE.

Eli Reed

When did you first get excited about photography?
I first got excited about photography at the age of 10 years old when I saw the photograph of my mother in front of a Christmas tree that I had taken with a Kodak Brownie Camera. It was the first photo that I ever made. My mother died with a couple of years of making that photograph. I started looking through magazines such as Life Magazine and it was a beginning. I watched the Civil Rights movement through photographs that made me feel as if I were there.

What advice would you give young photographers?
Stop talking theory when a camera is in their your and do not over-think the image. Lose the ego and let the photograph find you. Observe the life moving like a river around you and realize that the images you make may become part of the collective history of the time that you are living in.

Elliott Erwitt

When did you first get excited about photography?
When I discovered the possibility of earning a living without steady employment; in a word, as a freelancer.

What advice would you give young photographers?
Learn the craft (which is not very hard). Carefully study past work of photographers and classic painters. Look and learn from movies. See where you can fit in as a "commercial" photographer. Commercial: meaning working for others and delivering a product on command. But most of all keep your personal photography as your separate hobby. If you are very good and diligent it just may pay off.

Lise Sarfati

When did you first get excited about photography?
I was thirteen. My sister Annie-Lou was taking pictures of me all the time while my father was doing films while my other sister Mona was painted me naked while my mother was writing all day long in her bed. I decided to steal the camera of Annie-lou and to go in apartments of very old ladies around 90 years old and make portraits of them and photograph their empty bedrooms...

What advice would you give young photographers?
Read a lot and create your own universe. Learn how to construct and create a series. Do not be impressed by other works. Try to innovate or simply to be yourself.

Martine Franck

When did you first get excited about photography?
I first got excited by photography when as a post graduate student I got a visa to China, this was my first visit to the far East and even though I knew nothing about photography I felt a need to show my family and friends what I had seen. I got hooked.

What advice would you give young photographers?
My advice to photographers is to get out there in the field and take photographs but also if they are students to finish their course, learn as many languages as possible, go to movies, read books visit museums, broaden your mind.

Harry Gruyaert

When did you first get excited about photography?
When I had my first Rolleiflex in my hand when I was 14.

What advice would you give young photographers?
Be yourself, Don't copy anybody.

Hiroji Kubota

When did you first get excited about photography?
Sometime in 1961 I did an assistant-like job for Elliott Erwitt. Then I was in college studying a political science. Elliott sent me a copy of Cartier-Bresson's decisive moment as a gift. I knew nothing of photography but this book changed my life.

What advice would you give young photographers?
Study the works of the greatest photographers like Henri Cartier-Bresson and Andre Kertesz. Try to travel to many parts of the world and understand what a diverse world we live in.

John Vink

When did you first get excited about photography?
At twelve when seeing the image appear in the developer: pure magic... It's the ONLY thing I miss with digital...

What advice would you give young photographers?
Don't stop questioning yourself (it'll make you less arrogant). Push. Push, scratch, dig... Push further... And stop when you don't enjoy it anymore... But most of all respect those you photograph...

Jonas Bendiksen

When did you first get excited about photography?
I first started in photography when I was about 14 or 15. I borrowed by father's SLR camera and very quickly I was taken by the process. Together with my father, I built a rudimentary BW darkroom in the bathroom at home. Over the years in high school, I ended up spending more and more time in there, photographing everything around me, developing the film, printing it, and back out photographing. By the time I finished high school I had to ask, Ok what do I do now? Find something else, or keep doing this, and give it a shot?

What advice would you give young photographers?'
Throw yourself off a cliff. Figuratively speaking, I mean. Photography is a language. Think about what you want to use it to talk about. What are you interested in? What questions do you want to ask? Then, go for it, and throw yourself into talking about that topic, using photography. Make a body of work about that.

Larry Towell

When did you first get excited about photography?

My mom gave me her old Brownie box camera when I was 13 years old. She'd bought it for $6 with her allowance when she was 13. I took pictures of my seven brothers and sisters because that was my world. Photography was not a passion yet. It was a tool. Then in university, I was given a Pentax 35 mm camera and taught how to process black and white film. There was nothing I wanted to do more than go home and photograph my family. I was in the city, but I wanted to remind myself that I belonged on farmland. It was still a tool. Photography did not really become a passion until I began meeting victims of human rights abuses in Central America during the Reagan years. The camera allowed me to share the lives of others, to walk around in their world, to view their horizons. That's when I got excited about photography.

What advice would you give young photographers?
Be yourself and look outside of yourself.

Mark Power

When did you first get excited about photography?
My Grandad exchanged some loyalty stamps for my first camera when I was just eight years old. Its first outing was on a school trip through Foxton Locks, part of the extravagant Grand Union Canal in Leicestershire, in the English Midlands. My first picture was of my teacher, Miss Allen, in 1967. This is not a particularly flattering picture, and nor does it suggest the dawn of any great talent.
This, however, is not the point...Perhaps choosing Miss Allen as my first subject was a cry for help, a pact between the two of us that she would look after me. But she didn't. Craig Smalley (the school bully) had spotted the camera. All the other pictures were to be of him, and him alone.

I wonder if he still has those pictures? Of course I had to hand them all over to him after I got them back from the local chemist, or wherever it was my parents took the film. I told my Grandad; I had to explain why I had only this one picture to show him. I assume he later said something to my parents because the 'Smalley' threat began to subside. But my plan of recounting the trip aided by twelve pictures came to nothing, and felt somehow 'less real' because of it.

So photography was immediately elusive, precious, challenging and desirable. I didn't take it for granted then, and I haven't since. During a nervous, painfully shy childhood I would painstakingly caption and catalogue all my pictures. Today I imagine they lie somewhere deep in my father's loft, to be re-discovered in some painful but inevitable future.

And then, many years later... I vividly remember, in 1980, seeing an exhibition by the war photographer Don McCullin at the V&A in London. His pictures touched me deeply - you'd have had to be made of stern stuff if they didn't - and they clearly moved others. Some people were in tears. At the time I was a third year painting student who had, as yet, shown very little inclination towards photography. But now, to a young man used to working everyday in the life room, trying to tease an emotional response from a stick of charcoal, a piece of cartridge paper, and a naked model, McCullin's work was a revelation. I knew Rothko could move people, if you were of the right frame of mind and you were prepared to give his paintings time, but this - these photographs - they were so powerful. They really did communicate. I liked this democracy.

I decided to be a photographer, though I had next to no idea how.

What advice would you give young photographers?
Although there are far more people trying to 'be photographers' than there were in those heady days of 1980, there are also far more opportunities. Gone are the days, thankfully, when a commercial assignment, or even a picture in a newspaper, can damage the chance of gallery representation.

Yet what is clear is that a number of 'good pictures' are no longer enough; today it has to be about ideas, and about the intent of the work. If you have something to say, and even better you have an innovative way of saying it then opportunities are out there.

I sense that photography is concerning itself with real issues again. For some time much of photography seemed to be about itself, and while this was fine, and interesting in some cases, it's not what photography is really good at. Understand this by familiarising yourself with the rich and wonderful history of our medium. Be proud of it, what it has, and what it can, achieve. Don't try and reinvent the wheel. Be inspired. Try and copy, if you like (because no one can).

Find a subject you care about. Something that moves you. Something which stirs your rawest emotions. And then have patience.

Martin Parr

When did you first get excited about photography?
When my Grandfather lent me a camera (he was a keen amateur) and we went out shooting together.

What advice would you give young photographers?
Find something you are passionate about, and shoot your way through this obsession with elegance and you will have potential great project.

Mikhael Subotzky

When did you first get excited about photography?
I first got excited about photography when I went traveling in South East Asia as an 18 year old. I bought a cheap Nikon SLR for the trip and thought that I had taken fantastic pictures. When I got back, I showed them all to my uncle (photographer Gideon Mendel), and he flipped through them quickly and nonchalantly as if they were amateur snaps (which they certainly were!) Despite this disappointment, the bug had bitten, and I was drawn to continue to photograph - I guess, in search of the kind of aliveness of interaction with the world that I started to feel through taking those early pictures.

What advice would you give young photographers?
Stick to one project for a long time. And keep working on it through many stages of learning, even if it might feel finished. Its the only way to break through what I think are some vital lessons that need to be learnt about story-telling and how to combine images.

Olivia Arthur

When did you first get excited about photography?
I first became excited about photography when I started working for my student newspaper. Though I was just excited by taking my own pictures and seeing them in print. It was quite a while before I made the jump to thinking about photography in the bigger picture and started looking at other photographers work.

What advice would you give young photographers?
My main piece of advice for young photographers who have just come out of college is to get away from the 'hubs' of photography like London and New York. There are so many photographers touting their portfolios round in places like this that people end up fighting to do jobs that are not what they really want, just to make ends meet. It's the kind of environment that doesn't fuel anyone's creativity (well mostly anyway...). My advice: go out and do the things they really want to before getting tied in...if they don't take the risk at the beginning they'll find it much harder to come back and take it later on.

Paolo Pellegrin

When did you first get excited about photography?

I was studying architecture in Rome and felt it wasn't right for me, so when a photography school opened in Rome that year I decided to give it a try. Quite immediately, and for the first time in my life, I realized that this medium could become the direction and expression that I had long struggled to find.

What advice would you give young photographers?
I believe photography - like many other things one does in life - is the exact expression of who one is at a given moment: every time you compose and release the shutter you give voice to your thoughts and opinions of the world around you. So other than the obvious patience (photography is a complex medium, a voice which requires time to develop) and perseverance and the necessary humility when dealing with others, I would recommend working to become a more developed and informed individual, a more knowledgeable and engaged citizen. This will translate into a deeper more complex understanding of the world around you, and ultimately into a richer and more meaningful photography.

Patrick Zachmann

When did you first get excited about photography?
When I was teenager my older brother who liked photography-an uncle coming from Algeria brought with him a handmade enlarger in wood called "Imperator" and a Rolleiflex and gave them to him- used to take me to a photographic club called les "30X40" (from the size of prints). Once a month, a bunch of fans of photography met in Paris to exchange their experiences, knowledge and love for photography. There was one guy, very old fashioned, living alone with his old mother who was historian in art and specialised in photography. Every month, he was preparing a lecture on a great photographer. That's the way I discovered the big names of photography-some of them were even invited. One day, he introduced to us Diane Arbus and I got a big emotion. That might be the first time I had been really excited-even "moved" would be more correct- about photography. Later, my brother gave up with photography-my parents didn't let him and wanted him to have a "real" work- while I became a photographer fighting against them.

What advice would you give young photographers?
You have to fight for beeing a photographer! More seriously, my advice for young poeple is to go to exhibitions, to see books and try to do a personal project which they feel they have a unique approach of it because they are close the subject and need to express and understand urgently things about it.
Photography has something to do for me, like with Diane Arbus, with oneself through the others and with unconsciousness (sorry for my English: I mean "l'inconscient") a psychoanalytic approach. I will answer to a third question because it's linked with above: why did you become a photographer? I became a photographer because I don't have memory. It took me quite a long time to understand that trough my personal researches ("Inquest of identity or a Jew in search of his memory", "Chile. The roads of the memory", "My father's memory," etc...), I was looking for the "missing" pictures. Making my book "Inquest of identity", I found out that my aunt-my father's sister who was a Nazi camp survivor- had at her home a picture of my grand-parents deported and killed in Auschwitz that my father never showed to us. Thanks photography, I met my father's parents that I never knew. That's what I like with photography. It helps me to understand myself and the past through the present.

Peter Marlow

When did you first get excited about photography?
At about nine years old I was given a makeshift horizontal enlarger which seemed to be made of old tin cans and large magnifying glass, I set it up with a friend in our cellar and we made our first prints, about 2 inches square, in the complete darkness as we did not have a safelight, the cellar contained my father's home-made wine store, so the longer we stayed down there in the damp and cold, the drunker we got! I met a young German travel photographer recently in Barcelona, talking to him, I realised he had never ever used film.

What advice would you give young photographers?
Be yourself, get up early, and don't try too hard, as whatever is trying to come out will come eventually without any effort, learn to trust your instincts and don't think about what others will think or about the process too much. Work hard but enjoy it.

Steve McCurry

When did you first get excited about photography?
While I was studying film in university I took a fine art photography class where I was introduced to the photography of Dorothea Lange, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Walker Evans. My interest shifted from filmmaking to still photography.

What advice would you give young photographers?
If you want to be a photographer, you have to photograph. If you look at the photographers' work you admire, you will find that they have found a particular place or subject, and then have dug deep into it, and carved out something that is special. That takes a lot of dedication, passion, and work.

Stuart Franklin

When did you first get excited about photography?
When I bought a second hand twin lens reflex camera in Victoria, BC and hitchhiked to Mexico and South America - aged 19.

What advice would you give young photographers?

Follow your heart and never give up.

Susan Meiselas

When did you first get excited about photography?
I think I became excited by photography when I connected with the Strippers and saw myself as a storyteller with a camera and recorder...

What advice would you give young photographers?
Dig in and follow your instincts and trust your curiosity

Thomas Dworzak

When did you first get excited about photogaphy?
As I kid when I tried to photograph grasshoppers, close-up. Later on, at 15, probably when I ran up to a cop arresting some activist who had chained himself to a newspaper building, and the same year when I ended up in a demonstration in Poland. Feeling the adrenalin; the camera was the excuse and the shield to hide behind.

What advice would you give young photographers?
Try live something intense, at home, abroad... it does not matter. It has to be passionate. And once you know the basics forget about photography.

Thomas Hoepker

When did you first get excited about photography?
My grandfather gave me his old 9x12 cm view camera when I was 14. I still have it. It has black bellows and a (broken) ground-glass. It was hard to work with but it had an aura of magic to it. Also it smelled nice. It took a tripod and a black cloth to focus the image and then a cassette had to be inserted with a light sensitive glass plate. It helped me to understand the basic elements of photography. Today I shoot with digital cameras like everybody else but in all their perfection they lack the magic and excitement of this old monster.

What advice would you give young photographers?
Avoid all photo schools and courses. Most will give you lofty ideas and twist your mind in one direction. Find your own way to photography, nobody will ask you later if you have a diploma. Visit as many museums as you possibly can. The images you see (painted, drawn, etched or photographed) will stay with you for the rest of your life. They will help you to discover good pictures in real life. Suppress any silly ambitions of becoming a great artist. Being a good photographer is difficult enough.

Trent Parke

When did you first get excited about photography?
The first time I saw an image magically appear in a developing tray in my parent's laundry (makeshift darkroom) when I was 12 years old.

What advice would you give young photographers?
To photograph what is closest to you and the things that you enjoy and have an interest in. Make the whole process as fun and least difficult as possible.

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