my friend bob sherman has a real gift. he will take off on a journey to the other side of the world, strike up a relationship with the people there and in turn they will open themselves up for a portrait. he has years and years of photographs so it is near impossible to choose.
bob was also lucky to spend a lot of time in the middle east and took amazing photographs of afghan nomads in the middle of nowhere afghanistan in the 1970's. the color and landscape there are so beautiful and otherworldly and the nomads are so expressive and decorated. they should really be together in a book.
Taken in Varanasi, India in 1997. This man is a Yogi. After I took this shot I spent considerable time with him for the next day. During this time we discussed the essential nature of loneliness on the spiritual path.
This was taken in Cambodia at the end of November 2007. This young girl was selling crafts at one of the temples in Angkor Wat. It was about 7:00 a.m. and there were no other people around. Cambodian children are very friendly and enjoy any opportunity to play. Cambodia appears to be a very poor country and the people appear to have not yet recovered from the atrocities of the Khymer Rouge.
This was taken in Rishikesh, India, during January 2003. The man is drinking a spiced tea called Chai. The beads around his neck are called a mala. They are made from the Rudrakshna seed and they are used to connect with Shiva (in the form of the masculine energy of the universe ).
This was taken in Rishikesh during January 2003. Indians make wonderful use of color. The blue background behind the man is a metal protection grate in front of a closed store.
This was taken in Rajija National Game Park near Chilla, India during January 2003. This family lives in the jungle and supports themselves by selling the milk from wild animals. The children are literate and don't attend school at all. This shot was taken about 1 month before we invaded Iraq. The family knew of the impending invasion. It was generally believed in India that the only reason we wanted to invade Iraq was to get control of their oil. The shadow behind the girl is her father. She would only allow me to take her picture with him present.
This was taken in Rishikesh, India, during January 2003. The eyes of Indian children are amazing. Their beauty is further enhanced by the black charcoal substance that parents use to protect the eyes.
Taken in Varanasi, India, in 1997. This man has 30 feet of hair under his turban. The horizontal lines on his forehead indicate that he is a worshipper of Shiva.
This was taken on a train in Vietnam going from Hanoi to Sapa, November 2007. The Vietnamese people are very friendly. There is an extraordinary absence of anger towards Americans all across Vietnam.
bob sends a daily dose every day that consists of a photograph and a quotes of wisdom and thought from all traditions and cultures. you can sign up on his website.
this is my favorite dose:
There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.
- Martha Graham to colleague Agnes DeMille