Taste of Uruguay


For those of you wondering what happened to my Uruguay work, well, here is a little taste. This project is really fun, at least for me, and what I’ve done so far is ONLY the beginning. Different from most of my other work, this project is layered, textured and confusing to some degree. The elements are tied together with the thinnest of ideas and lines, but that is plenty for me. My first task was to edit the work down to about 200 color images and an equal amount of the black and white flavor. Then, I printed them all. In this case, 3.5×5 with the color square images printed small and centered on the 3.5×5 paper. Then I began to mix and match. I tried a little of this, a little of that. I started over. I put all the prints out on my living room floor and waited for the UPS guy. I waited for the Fedex guy. I waited for the kid selling chocolate bars. I waited for the Jehovah’s Witness people. I waited for the Mormon kids. I waited for the guy that paints the address on the curbs. I waited for the Girl Scouts. I waited for anyone who came near my house and past the three levels of “no soliciting” signs. I figured anyone with the cajones to come this far would be fair game for a little editing.


THEM: “Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior?”
ME: “How bad does he want me?” “Bad enough to sequence these 400 pictures?”

THEM: “Do you want to buy some cookies?”
ME: “Ya sure, come on in, let me find my wallet.” “Make yourself comfortable, and hey, have a look at those photos and put them in the order you think looks best.” “Your only six-years-old?”
“I don’t care, I’m looking for the youth vote too?”

THEM: “Will you sign here?”
ME: “Right after you figure out if I should put the black and white with the color or keep it separate.” “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.”


I’m still a long way from anywhere, but I did a book anyway. I want to stress this to you endearing public. Don’t be afraid. Making a “casual” book like this is an education in itself. After I loaded it, and ordered it, I made a realization about the work that I hadn’t been able to make before. But seeing it on the pages and in sequence allowed me to have an “Ahhhh….HA” moment about where the next edit will begin and what direction the work will follow. And, it’s entirely different from this book. Funny how that happens.

Ninety, savory, color, softcover pages. This will come down in page count. Plenty of fat to be trimmed off of this prime cut.

Someone asked me earlier today, “What is this going to be?” I haven’t a clue. A book? A show? Or just a reason to move my brain?

14 responses to “Taste of Uruguay”

  1. MarkusA says:

    As always, very strong & interesting work Dan. Great images mate!

  2. Smogranch says:

    Thanks Mark

    Just getting the blog back on it’s feet, thanks to Fleming, so I’m experimenting at the moment.

  3. I really like the final sequence of the Uruguay book. For me, that I saw it while it was being produced and know the topics very well, I apreciate the ability to link the work together in a way that feels flowing and gracious. I know I hve not been able to link my images together this way yet. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Smogranch says:


    I was sipping Mate as I put that together! Your favorite thing I know. I think my photos still need a lot of work. I think some pages work okay and others not so much. I want to create an eBook from this, as well as another book where I’m not using the image sets, but rather just a single image look at the work. Not sure there is enough there, but it might be fun trying.

  5. karen says:

    Oh man. I just read the entire “them/me” section out loud to my family and everyone is laughing hysterically. I’m sitting on the living room floor surrounded by 147 4x6s that showed up today and that I’m trying to sequence for a Blurb book. Wish me luck.

    • Smogranch says:


      Laughing is good, glad I could be of service. My mother used to leave fake snakes for the UPS guy, so it’s in my blood.

  6. Sean says:

    I’m definitely going to make a book from some of these Cambodian images I have after reading your post. It’ll take me couple of years to get them scanned though 🙁

    • Smogranch says:

      Yep, scanning can be a real issue but just take your time and realize that editing is the key. Scan what you need…only what you need and it will help you with your book.

  7. LionelB says:

    The need to do it is interesting. It is certainly about need rather than just a desire to do. There is a visual language for which there is no dictionary. The language itself is a work in progress but we still want proficiency in what there is of it because we know it is more eloquent than mere words.

  8. Larry says:

    Really nice to see this work in progress. Having been there it’s nice to see what you came up with. Like Martin, my work is coming along slowly and I’ve yet been able to cohesively put anything together beyond the first edit.

  9. I like this work muchly. It is strong, but also loose as in experimental, searching, different, free, not what’s expected, between the notes.

    If someone knocked on my door (well my sister’s door) I might ask them to help out with all these blogs I’m working on! Bring on Peru2013, thanks for having me!

  10. Mark says:

    Nice to see you out there shooting!

    • Smogranch says:

      El Mexicano,

      Yep, shooting all the time. Not showing all of it, but trying to figure a few things out. Getting a little feedback.

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