Sydney Journal Four

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A light day. Both in mind and spirit. Tasks. Duties. Movement. The back of my throat moving toward the angry side of the spectrum as my mouth moves in these situations far more than a normal day. The booth for book talk. Friends and photographers come through to give the story behind the story. Each photographer is a puzzle. Why? Why do what they do? I’m talking about people who have ONE central focus. And that is focus. Get to the field. Make pictures. Repeat. Five years, twenty countries. Governments, passports, permits, permission and patience. It just doesn’t seem possible and yet here they are. Showing the fruit of labor.

Process is an interesting word. Ignore the images for a moment. Get the “BTS” as they say in Hollywood. The “Behind-the-scenes.” And this involves the brain waves of creatives. Short wave, long wave. You need the right kind of receiver to get it right. With others there is no explanation worthy of how they did what they did.

Equally fascinating are those who come to see the work. They are like the United Nations of humanity. The fact they are here. This is called hope.
A small meet up group who bring photobooks and then view and discuss. I love this idea but don’t have anything like it at home. Claudio Edinger, Araki, Magnum Tokyo, The Lost Rolls, Robert Frank’s Peru and a local photographer bring a magazine of his own work from Japan. The book selection is solid.

We hit the pub after, my first taste on this trip. I drink lemom/lime bitters. A strange concoction of sweet and sour. It makes me feel like I’m from LA. And I am. The room is noisy. I can’t hear most of the conversation. Head dipped low, hand near ear attempting to direct and focus the sound. Chips are eaten. Foam rings on glasses move lower and lower.
A Mercedes convertible ride back to CBD, then a train to the Opera House where a friend has an apartment. The city is so beautiful at night. The train is quiet and clean. I really do love this city. Dinner. Discussion of climbing, mountains, writing and photography.


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  1. Dan,
    The more jetlagged you seem to be the better I find the words and sentences I encounter in your posts. I loved your Sydney stories. Keep strong.

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      Strange thoughts for strange days. It’s a good thing when I get time to look around.

    2. To paraphrase a friend, narratives that we construct are distilled to their simplest when we: 1) don’t know the language or culture well; 2) are too exhausted to add fluff. There are times for complexity, but people seem to bond over simplicity.

      Keep it up.

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