davidgoldmanphoto

Archive for February, 2015|Monthly archive page

Two parts down, One big one to go!

In Documentary work, India, Migrant Sugarcane Workers on February 17, 2015 at 5:07 pm

It was my birthday last week, Feb 10. I turned 45! I know, I can’t believe it either. People say to me all the time, they say David you don’t look 45 and then I say but I am, I am 45 only I used to say 44 and before that 43. I think you get the point. I always kind of take it as a bit of a backhanded compliment. Like WOW 45 is totally old but at least you don’t look it. Maybe so but the numbers are the numbers and they don’t tell lies.

The point of me bringing up my birthday is simply that I’ve been home for about as long as I was away in India now. Just yesterday I finally finished going through all the stills, audio recordings and motion footage from the Migrant Sugarcane Project. It really does take a long time to do. Sure, I could have finished it up sooner but with the amount of files I came home with I just needed time to absorb it all. Fully absorbed in photos now I’m starting to consider the narrative. Truth be told I’ve been considering the narrative for some time. As I think I’ve mentioned before, when I first was made aware of these sugarcane workers I felt that they were being commoditized and exploited, underpaid and overworked. That view is not untrue however, it’s not as simple as coming in and making a sweeping statement like that. My hope is to point out some of the nuances of this kind of life and of the challenges and rewards that these very hard working people face on a daily basis.

I am so lucky to have been born in Canada, raised by a loving family and then when it was time for me to go in search of what inspired me I had the freedom to do it. I simply packed up my car, my dog and my mountain bike and headed to California. Nobody told me I couldn’t do it. It just seemed my right and I took it. It has not been lost on me that I won the lottery. I pretty much do what I want every day of my life. Certainly there are consequences if I don’t work but every day I wake up and face the day as if I’m capable of just about anything I set my mind to. WOW what a luxury!

Like many of you out there I take my coffee with sugar. Like many of you out there I had never really thought about where sugar came from beyond the most rudimentary perspective. I’m going to show you where that sugar comes from and tell you about the people that are harvesting the sugarcane then taking it to factories to be ground up, boiled down and spun around in order to turn into that yummy white sugar we are so addicted to. Helping to give us diabetes, cancer, obesity and who knows what else.

 A sign at a bus rest stop on the 12 hour ride back to Bangalore from Mudhol, India.

A sign at a bus rest stop on the 12 hour ride back to Bangalore from Mudhol, India.

Setting up camp.

Setting up camp.

A migrant sugarcane worker.

A migrant sugarcane worker.

A cart with tons of Sugarcane has flipped over.

A cart with tons of Sugarcane has flipped over because it was overpacked and broke an axel.

The story is coming soon, the images are getting pushed and pulled into different sizes, styles and other descriptive things that I can’t remember what are called. Video will soon be edited and words will be written. Don’t worry someone else will do the proof reading. I’m excited about switching gears from creating the work to curating it. Stand by and don’t forget to check out my Instagram link as well as my Facebook page for outtakes and images that I simply can’t wait for you to see.

David

 

 

 

 

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If it was not for you.

In 60 Minutes, Bob Simon, Documentary work on February 17, 2015 at 5:06 pm

Last week I came home from a really great first date (maybe I should’t say that so as to avoid jinxing it) and received a text from a friend who I have been on the outs with for around 7 months. He told me Bob Simon had been killed in a car crash in NYC.

I quickly turned on the computer and scavenged around looking for more information. It turned out to be true. Bob was riding in the back of a livery car on the west side highway (if I’m correct) his car sideswiped another car and then smashed into the medium between the oncoming lane. Bob died of a broken neck and internal injuries. I was devastated to hear this.

I had met Bob Simon a number of years back at an event based around the title of “Courage” Bob was talking about his time held as a hostage in 1991 during the first Gulf War. I didn’t know much about him prior to that event. I had seen 60 Minutes many times before and loved the show but felt no specific connection to anyone there. However, I went up to him after his talk and introduced myself and asked if he would be open to me photographing him for a portrait. He said sure and gave me his email.

A few weeks later I went up to the offices of 60 minutes to do a portrait. Bob was really generous with his time. Here I was a nobody to him and with no agenda whatsoever he is allowing me to do a portrait. I was not hired, I knew nobody at CBS and was totally unconnected but that didn’t matter to him.

I spent about 35 min with him and during that time we chatted about war and peace and the crazy times we were in. There was such a calm with him, he had seen it all from Viet Nam to 9-11 and so much more.

We finished up and a few weeks later I came by to give him a copy of some the prints. He really seemed to like the images. I asked him if he could introduce me to Morley Safer another original correspondent at 60 Minutes. Morley took my call and we arranged to do a portrait of him. In a few months I had photographed all the current correspondents and even Andy Rooney for what I think was probably his last real sitting for a portrait.

Bob Simon did that for me!

Later that night I sent a little note to Jeff Fager the executive producer at 60 Minutes to send my condolences and share a memory with him. I sent two of my favorite images from our session.

The following night at the end of the CBS nightly news they took a moment to remember Bob and in doing so they used my image of him. I’ve never had such mixed feelings in my life. I was so happy and blown away to see a photo that I had taken on the news but profoundly sad. I would prefer never to see that image for those reasons.

I will never forget what his generosity did for me.

Please wear your seatbelt, even in the back of a cab!!

You can see all of the portraits I took at the 60 minutes offices here

David

Bob Simon memorial image at the end of the nightly news. Feb, 12 2015

Bob Simon memorial image at the end of the nightly news. Feb, 12 2015

Bob Simon ©davidgoldmanphoto.com

Bob Simon ©davidgoldmanphoto.com

Bob Simon ©davidgoldmanphoto.com

Bob Simon ©davidgoldmanphoto.com