Archive for February, 2015

My life runs in circles. Books lead to planes. And then to cameras. Then back to books and found images. Long flights the past three days. Jacksonville to San Francisco. Then San Francisco to Salt Lake City to Paris. Then Paris to Beirut. The last absorbed in Lynsey Addario's fine new work, It's What I Do. I rolled off the plane at Charles DeGaulle Airport and was greeted with massive photographic prints by Henri Cartier-Bresson. Beirut_004 One of the first books I studied as a young artist was HCB's Decisive Moment, a seminal work in the annals of photojournalism. It was just reissued after decades of being virtually impossible to find -- I bought two instantly when I found out. DecisiveMoment For many Paris is the city of love, and I certainly understand that. The art, fashion, food and history are magnificent as well. For me, it's a place to make images, to appreciate photography, and a place of writers and journalists. I was in and out of Paris quickly, not enough coffee, not nearly enough food, no love and only a few photos. Such is life on the road sometimes. The good news is that I will return, hopefully sooner than later.

Up and out to Lebanon, another of my homes. Beirut_006 In Beirut, I was greeted by Joelle, Michel, Queen, and Aimine Khoury. The Khourys are family to me and with them every day is an exercise in grace. I am well travelled to be sure but this past 12 months I've felt an extra connection to my boyhood home of Nebraska. Driving in from the airport at night Michel told me that I would have an excellent view of the city from my room, unless the windows were too dirty. He continued that it had been raining and the day before and a dust storm had blown in from Eygypt. To a rural Midwestern kid, even though I've visited 138 countries or so, that still sounded very, ummm, out of the ordinary. Beirut_002 Beirut_003 Beirut is an incredible place, to make images Beirut_001

 
Taking back to the skies shortly headed home to cover 500 miles of cars turning left at the Daytona 500.
Circle continues unbroken.

The 2015 World Press Photo awards were announced yesterday. My thoughts though were heavily centered on two absent friends. Anja and Kerim. We lost them both last year, a matter of days apart. They were close friends, great competitors, and amazing people. I adored them both, the world misses their vision and spirit. They informed millions through their work. 10983429_10152748933536298_4390104610949497725_n 988942_10152748933051298_602559525454082871_n Our shared histories were long and rich with a very brief overlap at World Press Photo. Anja served on the 2013 jury with me. Kerim followed me as sports chair in 2014. World Press Photo competition is very dear to me. It is a contest I've judged twice, and it's one I've had good success in as a photographer. 001082988.JPG missy koch It is made even more special by the time spent there with these friends. They were both about commitment, dedication, integrity and community. We need much more of all of those things.


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