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I don't claim that these excerpts are representative of email I get but, well, there's just something about some of these... judge for yourself. All spelling and grammar are strictly the ownership of the authors...

FANS

i came apon your wonderful website. read a little bit about your back ground, and looked at a bunch of your pictures which i thought were awesome by the way. reminded me of all the times "i wanted" to take pictures on the subway this past summer (cause i can't think of a better place), but never had the guts to just do it. so on that note, i just wanted you to know how great i think of you to do so.

Dave,
Through the ages, the greatest challenge, the greatest triumph and reward in the arts has been the depiction of the human figure. To put the problem into your own context, that means taking pictures of people on the streets of New York. Your greatest fear it seems is taking pictures of people. You have to overcome that somehow by confronting it and mastering it through regular confrontation. You have to take the camera out, stick it into their face and trip the shutter. Period. No hiding, no telephoto, no nonsense. And most important no denial, no apology. If shit happens afterward, so be it. Who cares? You're a New Yorker, can't you take a little abuse? The end result is worth it.

Dave,
You have several images as good as all but the most famous of HCB (Cartier-Bresson).
Your composition is excellent, doesn't require improving, but you need to edit much more vigorously. Most of your pictures are basically a lot of "Indecisive moments."

Dave,
After veiwing the entire selection of work posted on your website, I wonder, do you know what makes a good photograph? It is in your honest moments when your photographs become touching. It seems as if you bounce between salable images and truthful ones. Why not an edit? Sorry if I offend, however the strong ones will stay with me.

I really like the site that you created. I felt that it would be an honorable thing, to tell you how I was mesmerized by your images. My style is almost identical, trying to capture people as they are. Good luck to you in the future. I am sure that you will definitely leave your mark in the photographic industry.

I really enjoyed your photos, despite your listing Ansel Adams as an influence (I can't see it, thankfully).

Dave, your images in the "people" section are such a refreshing approach to capturing everyday life in documentary style. I loved them. They made me smile and even laugh!

THE CONSUMER

Sorry, I'm not interested in buying any, but youre awesome! Do you sell many of these?

HI I WAS ON YOUR INTERNET SITE TO ONLY VIEW A FEW IMAGES BUT MY FRIEND CLICKED THE (ADD TO SELECTION)I THINK IT WAS CALLED THAT . ANY WAY BACK TO THE POINT IF THIS SELECTION IS GOING TO COST ME COULD U PLEASE e-MAIL ME BACK AND TELL ME HOW TO DE SELECT IT . THANKS PS: I LIKE THE PICK OF THE GUY SPITTING OUT THE MOUTH WASH ,I THINK IT MUST HE MUST HAVE BEEN HARD TO FOLLOW IN A THICK CROWD & THEN TO CATCH HIM LIKE THAT ,ITS COOL.

I don't recall any photo-site, either from a well known, or little known photographer, that displayed such an 'in your face' approach to sales. My feeling on that is, if it works for you, and you are making money, great - go for it, but if you are not bringing 'em in, you might want to consider a little more subtle and classy approach.

ACADEMIA

Dave,
My friend has a science project that deals with taking black & white pictures of colored construction paper to test on dogs to see if they are colored blind.
We took the pictures of the colored constrution paper, but the didn't turn out. Any help on lighting or position would be greatly appreciated.

Dave, I would like to learn more about your style and techniques so I can attempt to emulate your stlye at the best of my capabilities... I was wondering how you approach strangers who you want to photograph or if you approach them at all...

Our task was to convey the image of 'Journey' through 28 camera shots. I have had one idea so far which consists of showing a journey through someone else's perspective (eg. Ant, Cat etc) using macro photography but i am finding this very diffulcult in practise, mainly due to bad weather...if you have any ideas which would be quite simple but effective or tips or anything that could possibly help me in any way shape or form would be greatly appreciated!

I am a British designer, university lecturer and Phd student in the UK.
I would like to use some of your photographs in digital format to illustrate a paper I am giving at a Digital Architecture conference...

Love your work - I'm really drawn to "Benches". Hope you don't mind if I refer my students to your site. I think it is great way of teaching what "seeing photographically" means.

TECHNICAL

May I ask you a technical question about the G2? Mine gives different distance readings for manual and autofocus. Is yours the same or does mine have a fault? If yours is the same, does it matter?

I was wondering if you could point me in the direction of focusing better with the G2 while actually looking through the viewfinder. Some of my pictures are in focus and some are not despite using the focusing brackets. With your experience with the G2, maybe you have discovered some "traits" of the system while focusing, e.g. shift of focus area due to focus distance.

...at first I used a really crumby point-and-shoot, which turned out extremely grainy pictures no matter what film I used. Recently I purchased a much better point-and-shoot with a great zoom, but now I have to work at the graininess...

OTHER

Have been messing with cameras for forty years...have yet to like much of what I've done.

Note there hasn't been any change on the web site for a while... Not mugged on the subway or anything bad?