* The Missouri Photo Workshop 2008

Posted on September 27th, 2008 by Djordje. Filed under Photography.

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The Missouri Photo Workshop: 60 years of documenting small town life

The 2008 Missouri Photo Workshop is ending tonight. All stories are available online (Thanks to the best crew who worked day and night to help us participants during this week).

This year’s workshop was held in St James, a town of 3704 people. It’s been a tough week, filled with frustration, little sleep, 20-hour days, joy, fried chicken and beer. It’s over, and we all feel both happy and sad. Happy that we have learned a lot in less than a week, met some new and interesting people, and sad because now we don’t get to have our work critiqued by the amazing faculty we had this year; MaryAnne GolonRandy Olson, Kim Komenich David GriffinMelissa FarlowLaurie SkrivanAlan BernerPeggy PeattieRita Reed and Danny Wilcox Fraizer. And we no longer get to drink beer on a parking lot of our motel at 3 AM with them.

My story was on Jay Delano, third generation business owner of Delano Oil Company. It was an incredibly hard story to tell for a number of reasons. I have never shot a photo story, and my understanding of it was that a photo story was a collection of the best images from a shoot. Wrong. Very wrong. Secondly, my story was not about Jay the oilman, but rather how the family business affected his life. I was “warned” by my faculty that a story like this was very hard to shoot. I accepted the challenge. Check out the intro here or click on the image above. And here is the link to all the stories shot by 40 photographers from 11 countries.

More posts about my experience are coming in the following days. Stay tuned….

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* Port Townsend Shipyard

Posted on September 20th, 2008 by Djordje. Filed under Photography.

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Back in April I spent a few days in Port Townsend with my class, a regular thing that was part of our curriculum. Being interested in photojournalism and portraiture, I decided to combine both and spend time with some interesting people. So I’d gone to PT two weeks earlier with my wife, searching for an idea. Somehow we ended up at the shipyard, and in minutes I decided to spend those few days right there. Two weeks later I was hanging out with three welders, Eric Howe, Milton Bud Altom and Paul Purpura aboard Anna Marie, a fishing boat that was being repaired after a heavy accident that happened somewhere between Oregon and Washington (they are the first three people you’ll see in the gallery). Besides Eric, Bud and Paul, I spent some with with a few other people at the shipyard, although not as much as I would have liked. I might go back and complete this story, make it more than just a few photos of three welders as the shipyard is much, much more than just that.
Oh, did I mention that I’m writing this from America’s “heartland”? I’m sitting in a motel in St James, Missouri. Got here two days ago for the Missouri Photo Workshop. I’ll be posting my story (yet to be discovered) in a couple of weeks. Until then, stay well…

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* Southwest Airlines Torchlight Parade

Posted on July 28th, 2008 by Djordje. Filed under Photography.

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I’ve lived in Seattle since 2001 and this was the first time I took part in this annual event that is part of Seafair, Seattle’s summer festival celebration that lasts from June until August. Unexpectedly my wife and I spent a fun afternoon down on 4th avenue. The parade was a classic “family fun” event, which we still officially aren’t if you define a family as having at least one kid. But what we found the most interesting were the people who started lining up 4th avenue as early as 7.30 AM. I should mention that the parade kicked off at 7.30 PM. There was a group of 3 guys who built a one-bedroom apartment right on the sidewalk. Literally! The only thing that was missing was a bathroom. Luckily “Honey Bucket” saved the day. They had a full kitchen with pretty much anything you need, a living room with two sofas and a few armchairs, lamps, family pictures hung on the trees, and a room with a bunk bed for the kids. Just look at the photos and you’ll see what I’m talking about. A few blocks north we found a guy eating pizza and watching a movie in his sidewalk livingroom. In short, the most entertaining part of the whole parade was not he parade itself, but rather those who watched it. Can’t wait 2009….

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* The Dalai Lama in Seattle

Posted on June 9th, 2008 by Djordje. Filed under Photography.

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And after a decade (it feels that long) I’m back with a new post. The post is new, but the event is almost two months old. A lot has happened in the meantime. The Dalai Lama went back to India, last month’s cyclone killed tens of thousands in Myanmar, earthquake killed just as many people in China, Ana Ivanovic won Roland Garros (To Anci!), Hillary finally acknowledged defeat to Obama and someone in Hollywood is getting $20 million for a few snapshots of their still unborn baby (this is perhaps the most important news to half the nation). What else?…..Well, I’m graduating in a few days! Ha! A few words about this event; The Dalai Lama visited Seattle back in April for a 5-day gathering. It was a big event in the city with daily activities that drew huge crowds of people. Between the big events at Key Arena and Qwest Field, smaller events took place throughout city, from Phil Borges’ Bridges to Understanding event at Seattle Art Museum, concerts at McCaw Hall, to many workshops at Seattle Center. I was one of the photographers in the “public team” hired to cover the event by Seeds of Compassion, the organizer. It was a great experience for it allowed me to have access to places you normally can’t get close to without a press pass. I got to hang out with other photographers and shoot right next to them. I have to admit that a “Bigger IS Better” thought went through my mind many times. To get the Dalai Lama closer I used a 100-400mm lens with a 1.4 extender. That lens is big. Very big. But when I saw the gigantic lenses other photographers used I felt like a smart next to a Hummer. Now I have to leave. The thing I’ve been waiting for for two years is starting in an hour and a half….my portfolio show! See you there…

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* Barack Obama in Seattle

Posted on February 8th, 2008 by Djordje. Filed under Photography.

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So after months of not posting anything, I’m back! Who’s to blame? Dunno, blame it on Canada. That’s always an option. Or blame it on Barack Obama. So today I went to the home of the Greatest, The Sonics’. That was a joke. The “Greatest”, that is. As a woman who sat next to me said, “There haven’t been this many people at a Sonics game in a long time”. To that I added “Perhaps they need to start playing.”

Obama gathered 21.000 people at Key Arena. According to “well-informed” sources, at least 3000 people couldn’t get in. Most of the attendees were younger people, those who’ve kept Obama at the forefront of this race. It was refreshing to see them getting involved. It does seem that they really want to see a change in this country. And what a change that would be! I will look at the US with very different eyes once a non-white person enters the White House. And stays there for at least one term. Or a woman. Hell, I live in a “girly” state. Every position of any importance is held by a woman in Washington state. Personally, I doubt that America is ready for a non-caucasian president. Or a president in a skirt. I want to be proved wrong!

Traditionally it’s been students and younger generations who’ve brought big, historical changes. Unless they role up their sleeves, nothing will ever happen. Someone commented (intelligently) on NPR that Baby Boomers will win again unless younger generations don’t prevent them. I don’t need to explain what action we need to take.

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* Dead Links

Posted on November 7th, 2007 by Djordje. Filed under Photography.

From a few days ago my website is hosted by liveBooks, and since then I’ve had some issues with my galleries posted here. If you try to access them you’ll get the following message, The page you are looking for was not found on this server.” I’m working with liveBooks on this, and they should be up and running in a few days. In the meantime visit my brand new website, www.dzlatanovic.com.

UPDATE: I’ve started updating links (which required rebuilding galleries, thanks to StartLogic, soon my ex-host). A few are already active. The rest will come….eventually…


* Bainbridge Field Trip

Posted on July 25th, 2007 by Djordje. Filed under Photography.

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Hola my dearest friend who are yet to see this awesome blog…… I guess it’s time for me to start telling people that I, too, have a BLOG! So far I’ve kind of kept it for myself. And my wife. Hell, she’s told more people about it than I have. What a great marketer I am. Anyway, here is the newest series of images I shot on Monday. These, just as the previous batch, were shot on film. I hate film as much as I love it. And I love it a lot. Why is that? Because it takes an awful lot of time to scan it and color correct it! But I think it’s worth it. When I’m shooting film I never overshoot, yet I make better images than I do with my XT . Partially it’s the fact that lenses for my digi are cheap, “third-party” lenses. You know when you see a great image that’s missing a tiny bit of something but you can’t figure out what it is? It might be that it was shot with a cheap lens. Good lenses give you that something you just cannot get with a cheap lens. Hey, I’m saying that you need an expensive lens to make a good image. What I’m saying is that a good lens (expensive that is) can make a good image look better.Back to these images: On Monday I went to Bainbridge Island with the kids from the shelter for a field trip. My wife came with me, and she got to enjoy a day with 15 screaming children. An old lady who lives on Bainbridge, invited the kids to spend a day at her house. That was very kind of her, however, she seemed very annoyed by pretty much everything the kids were doing. Letting 15 kids roam through your house and yard is a courageous act, but common sense tells you that when you have that many kids in one place, kids can be somewhat “mischievous”. That many adults is even worse. It is expectable that kids would sometimes be loud and that the boys would bug the girls (more screaming). Every time one of the kids would raise the voice, she would come out of the kitchen and tell them to stop or go out. They started singing once, and she showed up and said: “No chanting in the house!” When they were roasting marshmallows, she repeated ten times that they better not burn the sticks. Robert grilled an oyster on the shovel and she yelled at him yet again. “You are going to burn my shovel, and I use it every day!” Damn it, ma’am, it’s a frickin’ metal shovel! I could go on and on but I don’t want to make it sound like a nightmare. Most importantly the kids had a good time. The weather could’ve been better, though, but they didn’t care. While I was on the beach in the sweater, they were in the water! Those of you not familiar with the waters of Pacific Northwest should know that in the winter time the whales go to Alaska because they are cold. Just kidding :). They stay here, but the water is extremely cold. I tried swimming three years ago. My brother and I decided to get in. It was very cold, but at first it seemed like we would get used to it after a few minutes of swimming. That’s true if you swim in the Adriatic Sea in December, but not in the Pacific (we swam in July). After a minute you start feeling pain, and it is getting worse by seconds, until you reach a point where your muscles hardly respond. At that moment, you better get the hell out before you brain stops responding. Where the kids were swimming wasn’t that cold, because we were in the bay. Nevertheless, it was cold, and some of them spent 8 hours in the water. I was in the water up to my knees for half an hour and I didn’t enjoy it. But I did enjoy taking photos, and so did the kids. I always give them my digital Canon XT and let them play with it. My invaluable Mamiya is off limits. They love taking photos. And some kids consistently make nice images. You’d say it’s accidental because they are just kids. That’s why I said “some kids consistently…..“. That’s not accidental. I hope some camera manufacturer rep will read this and decide to donate 20 of their cheapest digital cameras to these kids.

Until the next field trip….


* The New Vision

Posted on July 21st, 2007 by Djordje. Filed under Photography.

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The SUGM office sent me to their residential drug and alcohol recovery program, The New Vision, housed in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. It is a 9-month long program with the goal of helping men get out of the cycle of addiction. The men are usually referred by family members and friends, and some are referred through the court system.

The program provides:

* 12-Step involvement
* One-to-One counseling
* Group Therapy
* Drug and Alcohol Education
* Special retreats and recreational activities
* Biblical instruction
* Relationship counseling
* Work therapy
* Aftercare programs
* Life-skills training
* Relapse Prevention classes

After graduating, men can choose to stay and continue pursuing schooling and employment. As I found out during my short visit, many people don’t make it. When you consider that the maximum number of people in the program is 30, and that 67 of them “dropped out” last year, you get the picture. This is not to say that the program doesn’t help many. Greg, who is the kitchen manager today, has been there for four years. He is just one example. As a matter of fact, most of the staff completed the program, meaning they were once in the same position. I was quite surprised to see how well some people were doing. John was on meth for 15 years, and has been clean for 97 days. In addition to meth, he used pretty much any drug he could find, as well as alcohol. Today, John is everything-free, including cigarettes. At one point he was so “messed up” that he didn’t know how old he was. He thought he was 35 until his mother sent him a birthday card for his 32nd birthday. Once he lost his job, his home, his girlfriend left him, and he found himself living in his Camaro, he decided to give it a try. Hopefully he will make it.


* Pinky

Posted on July 6th, 2007 by Djordje. Filed under Photography.

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The other day I went to the shelter to take a few images of a woman who is completing her recovery program. As I was packing my equipment, children started coming back from the school, and I used that opportunity to give them the photos of them that I had taken on a previous visit. All of a sudden I hear this voice telling me “and where are my photos?”……. That was Nicole, better known as Pinky, Robert, Kenny and Wayne’s older sister. Then she asked me to take a picture of her. She took me a block away near some fountain that she liked. The light was bad and I didn’t have a small flash, so I asked her to let me take a few photos my way, then next time we would organize it her way.


* Children 1: Field Trip

Posted on July 3rd, 2007 by Djordje. Filed under Photography.

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As promised a few days ago, here are the film ones from the same field trip.