A few weekends ago I went down the LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph in Charlottesville, Virginia. Saw some of my favorite photographers speak and nerded out with a bunch of photojournalists.
Mary Ellen Mark. Joel Peter Witkin. Jim Nachtwey. With the exception of Springsteen, it’s increasingly rare to find the names of my heros on a marquee like that. This was a comforting sight.
First order of business: go to the river. Maisie, Daryl and Ramsay are much better at shooting photos than doing handstands.
One night, they screened audio slideshows of new work in an abandoned warehouse. I think Andrea Bruce’s work about drug addiction in coal miners was my favorite.
After all the work was presented, the night became nothing but light.
Killing time between presentations.
On the last night Nachtwey spoke. It was in the form of a conversation with MaryAnne Golon, the picture editor for Time. She asked him questions while his photos, the most important record of war in the last 30 years, flickered behind them. Her last question was something to the effect of: after witnessing so much pain and so much sadness do you think you still have the capacity to love? Nachtwey answered that witnessing pain and sadness was an act of love. Tears and a standing ovation followed.
If you’re not familiar with his work, watch this talk from last year.
We rounded out the night with a party at David Alan Harvey‘s house.
National Geographic photographer William Albert Allard out partied all of us. He was still throwing back bottles and charming ladies when we left at 4am. Not bad for a 71 year old man in a blue sportscoat and porkpie hat.
Back to NY, humbled yet inspired.