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#05 David Alan Harvey

(based on a true story)

Available as interactive app for IOS

(based on a true story) is a photo novella, which can be told in many ways. The location is Rio de Janeiro, and the reader can follow the protagonist into the different worlds of an amazing city in which poor and rich live side by side together with sin, drugs, parties and beach life. The book comes in a pizza-box like container, has two hard covers containing loose pages which are held together by a single string. A post card with clues explains mysteriously how to read the book and suggests to mix the pages and see the different stories evolving from it.

The pages are printed full-bleed, one can only see combinations of half-pictures which merge together as a new picture. In addition to the book, a collector’s box and a magazine exists. The Magazine has the same content, but no box and hardcovers. It is, however, printed on larger pages.

The book leads through all areas of the city from the Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, to the Favelas and the parties. Some strange ceremonies can also be seen. It brings all facets of life together - colour, people, life, drugs, football and much more.

Making of:

Making of: Harvey spends two years working on and off a Rio de Janeiro on assignment for National Geographic Magazine. After the assignment, Harvey decides to come back but this time taking an online audience with him. Buck99 - for $1.99 one can attend the mixture of a weblog and an online workshop. Harvey posts pictures as he travels and explains his work, having in mind the creation of a book from the pictures he took in Rio. Viewers can see the day and night work of Harvey including the first edits on the wall in Harvey’s residence in Rio. They ask questions, which are answered the next day ... the live experience of an online workshop. Priceless.

After looking at Harvey’s body of work and knowing his love of the Hispanic culture, one could say that (based on a true story) brings it all together; it is an experience about a fascinating city and culture, and the book itself can be viewed two-fold .as a book, with a changeable and dynamic story which can be told differently each time, and as a teaching example to people who want to learn about reading/interpreting pictures, editing and sequencing a book.

Mentions / Awards for (based on a true story):

The Photographer:

David Alan Harvey was born on June 5th, 1944 in San Francisco, USA. He has published several books and essays, and is member of the agency Magnum Photos. In addition, Harvey is a teacher and publisher of Burn magazine, which supports the Emerging Photographers Fund.

At the age of 11 he starts to dive into the world of photography when he buys a used Leica from his newspaper route and starts documenting the life of his family. He created an album “Off For A Family Drive”, which he gave to his grandparents in 1958. The pictures tell a story and have captions describing the context. Later, while living with a family in Norfolk, Virginia, Harvey creates his first book “Tell It Like It Is” which shows the life of one family in very sensitive pictures. These two books build the foundation from which Harvey emerges.

After working as a news photographer, Harvey joins National Geographic where he eventually starts exploring the Hispanic culture. Further exploration led to the books “Cuba” and the book “Divided Soul” which compiles his 20 years photography of Spain and Hispanic culture in South America, Cuba and Europe. As well as being an award-winning photographer, Harvey supports emerging photographers through workshops and also curating and publishing in Burn Magazine, which supports the Emerging Photographer’s Fund every year.

Bibliography – Books:

Sem Presser Lecture at World Press Photo Awards 2011