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Thursday, April 28, 2005      
I have been terribly remiss in my posts.
I will *try* to fill you in soon.

7:48 PM

Friday, April 15, 2005      
USA Today, Page 15A = My photos about a Shanghai Private Investigator.
Eat it.

9:08 PM

Wednesday, March 02, 2005      
Picked up a friend of a friend at the airport last night. The pickup was Xavier Guardans, friends with my friend Rob Howard.

He is a Spanish native living in New York with a long photographic history in the tradional schools of lighting and printing. Very cool to hang out with him and get his perspectives on photography, life, composition, etc.

He is here in Shanghai for a month shooting a personal project so I am helping him with some contacts - assistants, cool places in the city, etc etc.

It is going to be a cool month. And next month, April, I am going to be featured in PDN as a 'Rising Star'. Should be pretty fun, and great advertising for me.

10:35 PM

Saturday, February 12, 2005      
Just finishing up my week-long workshop here in Siem Riep with some of the Agency VII guys - Gary Knight, Antonin, and James Natchwey (http://www.jamesnachtwey.com/) . James just yesterday won the 1st Place award in the World Press Photo Awards Commentary section for a shot from Darfur: Nachtwey.

It has been a week both of inspiration and humbling.

Inspiring to see the work of the other workshop participants, and humbling at the same time to see how GOOD some of them are. You re-evaluate your own work and realize all of the places where it falls down, or simply doesn't measure up.

And while photojournalism is not the type of work that I aspire to do I have certainly been able to learn a great deal.

A couple things stand out for me. The importance of a STORY. Not a series of images, but something that tells a story with the photos. Not just detail and context shots, but images that convey something greater than their single possibilities. Additionally, the importance of planning the story out. As most of you know I am abysmal when it comes to planning, so that is something that I am going to need to get better at for sure.

The story must have layers as well - not just with the composition of each frame, but the layers of people and places that you choose to include. This is something that my body Rob keeps stressing is LAYERS LAYERS LAYERS. It is something that I need to keep working at.

I had an opportunity to chat with Jim (James) for a bit and we talked about the philosophy of shooting. I have trouble taking great portraits, and we chatted about why that might be. We talked about the where our images come from, why we take them, what VALUE they have. He felt that once you yourself had answered the question of what VALUE your images have then and only then can you be comfortable with the people that you are photographing, and them with you. I think for me that is a question that I still need to answer.

Gary spoke of two different types of photographers - those who are 'Utility' photographers, and those who are 'Authors'. He didn't feel that one was necessarily better than the other, but it is just a choice that needs to be made.

Getting back to stories, and values. Relationships and empathy are hugely important. To gain peoples' trust, to gain access, you must CARE. Drive-by shootings lead to a very shallow portrayl of people and events. I need to ditch my robot-like nature and actually start empathizing.

Stories also take time to build, at least the ones that these guys have been working on. Jim showed a series of images from Jakarta with some street kids who had been huffing glue for many years.

He has been going to the same place for over 8 years. Slow, slow, slow.

Anyways, a week of ups and downs and intrigue.


PS - the temples are beautiful and OVER-RUN by tourists.

1:28 PM

Sunday, January 30, 2005      
Oh, and I have been shooting a bit of fashion lately too. Just so I can get used to shooting in a studio again. Here are a couple shots of two Brazilians who were, until recently, in Shanghai. One is now in Korea, and the other in Hong Kong.

6:39 PM

I have had some Radio Silence for awhile, and for that I apologize.
Things have been quite busy for me work-wise, which is excellent.

I have just finished shooting a 2-day job for the BC Government, surrounding the Forest Minister's visit to Shangahi. I also travelled to Suzhou, Hangzhou, and Nanjing to photograph a story for a magazine called Silk Road, which is the inflight magazine of Dragon Air. Dragon Air, in turn is owned by Cathay Pacific.

On deck I have a potential 3-day assignment in Harbin (northern China) for a magazine called Departures, out of New York City. Harbin is famous for its Ice Festival, so it would be pretty, uh, cool if I got to shoot that.

Following the Harbin potential I am then heading to Hong Kong to meet with some magazines before heading on to Cambodia for a week-long photography workshop (my birthay + Christmas present) with some world-renowed photojournalists, included James Natchwey.

Should be fantastic.

4:11 PM

Wednesday, January 19, 2005      
I have a new phone number: +1 (718) 576.1770.

It is a NYC phone number but works everywhere in the world thanks to Vonage, a VOIP company. I simply plug a normal phone into the Vonage Router, which attaches to my broadband connection, and off to the races I go. US$14.95/month for 500 minutes anywhere in North America (even if I am in Shanghai).

Pretty sweet.

And you can call me on it too!

5:40 PM

Monday, December 27, 2004      
Just a quick note to let everyone know two things:

1 - I am in Thailand
2 - I was not on the West coast that was so badly hit by the Tsunami.

I am safe and sound and en route back to Shanghai this (Monday) evening.

1:36 PM

Thursday, December 02, 2004      
Just to toot toot toot my horn you can pick up a copy of this week's Business Week, and see some of my photos in their China story.

Or if you are lazy, you can see some online here:

5:53 PM

Just to toot toot toot my horn you can pick up a copy of this week's Business Week, and see some of my photos in their China story.

Or if you are lazy, you can see some online here:

5:53 PM

Monday, November 22, 2004      
You know you have been in Canada too long when upon entering a Shanghai cab for the first time in over 4 months you automatically reach for the seat belt.

Seat belt?!

Yeah - good luck finding one in China.

2:28 AM

I have done a stop-gap measure of a re-launch at http://andrewrowat.com .

Check it out, while I affect a total re-design of the site.

2:18 AM

Monday, November 01, 2004      
At a friend's behest (Seņor Grant of Antiflux fame: http://log.antiflux.org/grant/) I have created an ATOM feed for this blog.

If you know what an ATOM feed is then I am sure you can figure out how to add me to your reader yourself. Fact is, I really have no idea how to tell you at this point. HA!

But, as I get better at this whole InterWeb thing I am sure to add functionality. Really.

In other news, this past week kicked ass. I ended up meeting with: Fortune; Fortune Small Business; Budget Travel; Travel + Leisure GOLF; ESPN The Magazine; Men's Journal; Rolling Stone; Departures; Food & Wine; Forbes; Newsweek; GEO; GEO Saison; INC.; and BusinessWeek.

Crazy hot I tell you. Crazy hot.

11:16 AM

Friday, October 29, 2004      
This video perfectly sums up George Bush's presidency:
Flippin' The Bird

7:05 AM

Thursday, October 28, 2004      
So it has been a very busy week.
And an excellent one at that.

For starters, I am now an American.
You heard me correctly. An American.
I have not renounced my Canadian citizenship, but being an American makes it very easy for me to work here in the USA.

What else has made up this here week of mine?

Last week I attended a 3-day Photography Expo/Convention here in NYC, which featured a wide breadth of speakers - some excellent, and some, well, a little less than excellent. But I did learn a tremendous amount - everything from billing practices for digital to Photoshop techniques to having my portrait taken my National Geographic legend Joe McNally.

I also met the International Photo Editor at Newsweek, Jamie Wellford, who told me I should stop by the office. So I did. And he was so very very positive on my work. He loved my interiors, and gathered several people around to look at my photos. He then passed on a few more names of people that I should go and see.

Earlier that day I had gone to see Budget Travel, and the Picture Editor there - Nakyung Han - was very enthusiastic about my work and took several minutes to colour photocopy a half-dozen shots. She then gave me names of people to see at Forbes and INC. So I went and saw them.

And on and on we go.

In all this week to date I have seen Budget Travel, Forbes, Fortune, Newsweek, and INC. I have dates with Business Week, Mens Journal, Rolling Stone, and am trying to rustle up several more before I leave.

Did I mention it has been a good week?

11:13 AM

Wednesday, October 20, 2004      
Gifted 5th Graders respond to the UK-base Guardian's write-a-letter-to-a-voter-in-the-swing-state-of-Ohio.


Guardian Article

10:36 AM

''Real faith, you see, leads us to deeper reflection and not -- not ever -- to the thing we as humans so very much want.'' And what is that? ''Easy certainty.''

That is an exerpt from a pretty scary article on Bush: NY Times Article - 10 pages

10:31 AM

Only in Canada

I was taking the TTC to Royal York Station the other day to take the subway downtown. However, before getting on the subway I wanted to run an errand right around the corner - but I did not want to have to use two tokens (bus > station; station > downtown) so I hatched a plan.

I approaced the ticket agent.

"Hey - I am just going to grab a coffee, and will be back in 15 mins. Will I be able to --"
"Are you going to go to Second Cup?" he asked excitedly.
"Would you mind picking up a double tall expresso for me?"
"Uh, sure, no problem."

And with that he pressed a fiver in my hand.

Only in Canada would a total stranger give you $5 to get them a coffee and KNOW that you would return with the coffee AND the change.

9:44 AM

Thursday, September 30, 2004      
Back from NYC.

In the last couple weeks I have had excellent confirmation of my abilities as a photographer, and some frustrations associated with said greatness. ;)

I hung out with my friends Rob and Lisa and got some great feedback from them. They were very excited by the work that I have done in the last year and some of the clients that I have had an opportunity to work with.

That being said they also had some great critiques.

They talked about the importance of layers in photos. Not just from a foreground to background sense, but in the layers that allow you to juxtapose a detail shot with one that is an open landscape or portrait. Having similar images facing eachother doesn't allow the eye any rest, or the chance to wander, it simply bores and moves on.

They also felt it was important for me to get more intimate with my subjects, to aggresively get in there and draw the viewer into the experience with me.

These are good tips.

What else?

Rob and Lisa put me in touch with the photo editor at National Geographic Adventure, so I met with her, and she was also very helpful. Again, she was very positive about what I was doing and liked the fact that my shots tended to strip out anything extraneous - photos were pruned to the most essentials. She found my style very contemplative. That being said, she felt that in some of the photos I was missing the 'pulse'. Again, this is an intimacy and vibrancy issue. She also felt that if I wanted to shoot for some of the 'big' travel magazines (Travel+Leisure; Conde Nast Traveller etc) that I would need more food and interiors shots.

So I have my work cut out for me.

So those were very confirming and exciting meetings.

Then this morning at 6am I got a call from the Reuters Staff photographer in Shanghai who was seeing if I was available to do a 3-day shoot for the NBA in Shanghai Oct 12-14. Of course I will be here in Toronto. DOH!

So again confirmation, and MASSIVE frustration.


1:11 PM

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