Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Gone fishing

Will be away from Dublin for upwards to a week. Got invited to go on a large fishing boat for about a week. Will be stopping in Galway, then out west into the Atlantic and back. 

Monday, December 29, 2008

An Baile Bocht

Went for a stroll today through a neighborhood known as An Baile Bocht, in Irish. The English translation is the poor town. I was politely informed of this bar by a pub patron who caught site of my camera as I passed by. A good guy who tipped me towards a seaside town, Howth. I'll head that way by train tomorrow. The plan is to wake early. For now, signs and empty parks. 


Sunday, December 28, 2008

in flight

I opened my eyes this morning to a sunrise like never before. Irish mountains peaked in the distance. Golden clouds played below me. Looking out the window I saw my new home. 

Outside night falls on a city I do not know, but will spend time soon beating the streets. Youth clamor arm-in-arm down a narrow road, asking me for a cigarette. Painted doors. Accents. An urban bustle that is not familiar, nor is it foreign. 

I sat at the tourist central, O'Connell Sreet, surrounded by my bags, a green one, red one, camera, old guitar case. They spilled around me in ease as I stretched my legs. The anxiety left me. Ireland surrounded me. Though, the rush of past travels wasn't present. I wasn't in a hurry to drain drinks at the pub. See the sites. No pressure. That's the beauty of relocation, versus travel. 

Thursday, December 25, 2008

new web site

johnpaulhenry.com is back up and running. check it out. pass it along. will be updating regularly with projects once settled in Ireland. prints, images and rights can be bought by clicking on an image, which will take you to a photoshelter page. 


Much coffee at Waffle House tonight. 

What? Why isn't this post from Ireland, you say? Well I got terribly ill and decided it would be better to catch another flight. Ha ha. Anyway, I pocketed the loss and will be flying out of  KC on Saturday. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

last days

My time in this country is now very limited. I'm completely exhausted, will be leaving for Ireland in 12 hours and haven't started packing. I don't think I'll sleep much tonight. 

The stress level has been running kind of high lately, with saying all these goodbyes. The errands are constant and preparation is ongoing. Making promotion materials is balanced with trying to memorize a Tom Petty song. Or bettering a song by the Smiths. 

I've been constantly humbled by everyones love, well wishes and talks. I love you all, appreciate the hugs. You will be missed. 

Thank you. 

Monday, December 8, 2008

Hunting with my father

Spending time back in southern Illinois and western Kentucky with my family before the move. It's hunting season and, as always, my dad is spending his weekends in the Illinois woods. I was never much for hunting, but I was happy to spend some cold afternoons with my dad this week. I would call it quality time. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

on dreaming

Monday, December 1, 2008

new beginnings

these are always times of uncertainty. fear. joy. happiness. new beginnings are happening around us all the time, some to lesser degrees and some greater. i have a new beginning in a desire to learn a bon iver song as i drink this coffee and write for the first time in a long time. this music haunts me. 

my last day at the lawrence journal-world was friday. on dec. 17 i will board a plane in kansas city and in a matter of hours will be flying over the atlantic ocean to dublin, ireland, where i will begin a journey long-anticipated. to start off i will participate in an organic farming exchange program, www.wwoof.org. this is an excellent tool for those wanting to travel or relocate and who are willing to put in manual labor. i will couchsurf with people never met, live in the irish countryside, ride horses, make stories of my own and pursue a photography i have yet to discover. or build upon the photography brewing inside of me. and when the time is right, continue. elsewhere. 

my departure from the newspaper industry comes at an interesting time. a time when paid jobs are treasured, in the face of a faltering system. but i can no longer ignore the urge to make pictures that are my own and set out into the world again. 

Thursday, November 20, 2008


My string of portraits yesterday was capped off with the honor of sitting down with Lou Frydman, a Polish Holocaust survivor. He was first imprisoned at 12-years-old in April, 1943. Both his mother and father were murdered, along with the rest of his family numbering up to 40 people, save for one brother. Now, a retired KU professor, Lou continues to account his experiences in Germany to classrooms and lectures.

Oh Celia

How you make me long for the arid Andalucía coast. Celia Smith paints acrylic landscapes and interpretive scenes of her home region of Málaga, Spain.


No New Post November. Wow. Sorry everyone, I fell off the map for awhile. There are some major changes happening in my life. Most of you probably already know, but it's taking up a huge portion of my time in planning and preparation. As things unfold and solidify I'll continue to post and keep everyone updated.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Invisible Scars

a multimedia story published today about an Iraq veteran with PTSD.

Check it here, please.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Scary Larry

The start of a friend's fixie bike race on Friday.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Bjork - Pagan Poetry

Sunday, October 26, 2008

the salt mines



I always thought these photos were slightly ridiculous but strangely entertaining... so here is a detail of my ragtag equipment for spelunking on Thursday. My backpack now has guano on it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

the self

returning from a two day trip to southern kansas to work on a story involving a series of caves and and a salt mine. this is outside our vehicle after evaluating a cave and returning to equip with the necessary gear.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Seeing Gardens

"Often we are far from the garden of our dreams, but nearby may be a reminder of it, waiting to be seen." -- Sam Abell

Thursday, October 16, 2008

of friends and film 2

i made this frame of brian and his mother back in july. we were having dinner the day before he moved to springfield, missouri. as we took our seat i noticed a tension between them, or maybe a tension in brian. anyway, i felt compelled to take this photograph then.

of friends and film

on my last day in Missouri I didn't really have much to do shooting-wise, but I did spend a little time with Angie at her grape stand. ended up making a couple holga frames for myself. the second frame in this post is an idea proposed by my faculty to push me to try to approach the scene in different ways. this is her stand from the drivers seat of my jeep while driving. the idea seemed interested at the time, but the photo didn't really speak to me until tonight. it seems extremely sad.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Saturday, October 11, 2008

morning run

I enjoy shooting cross country because I feel like part of the action on some sort of level, running from location to location, zig-zagging across this runners' battlefield.

Friday, October 10, 2008

friday night lights

Thursday, October 9, 2008

more from mpw

Here are a few outtakes from my week in St. James. Maybe a couple more to come.. also have some 120 film to pick up..

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

thrift wars

so i've been unlawfully dragged into a thrift war with a fellow max bittle who resides in washington. the war started here.

basically the laws are this: has to be bought in either a thrift or vintage store, or free. and i think free is where i'm going to pull out the victor in this battle... because basically, free should be worth more points. and in the housing cooperative in which i live, there is a pile of stuff located in the commons area conveniently called "the free pile." a few days ago i found this umbrella in the free pile. i also got a haircut, which was, ahem, free.

Monday, October 6, 2008

something to celebrate

This is Sid, a 26-year-old Iraq war veteran who has served three tours. The most recent tour he volunteered to take the place of his close friend, who was expecting a child. Here, he greets his mother, Tammy, who threw a welcome home party for him at the VFW. Sid is now serving in Abilene, Texas, where my good friend Skyler served in the Air Force for several years. When Sid walked in the reception area, he gave out hugs and handshakes while working his way over to his mother and father. He walked right up to me and shook my hand. "Welcome back," is about all I could say while shaking his hand and looking him in the eye. I could have been anyone and he certainly didn't know me. But here I was, mixed in with his family, many of whom were seeing this man for the first time in years.

Welcome back, Sid.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


It's been a strange 10 days but I know my time at the Missouri Photo Workshop changed my life in ways I won't even realize for some time to come. I do know it has changed, or better yet, reaffirmed some of my beliefs about documentary photography. This belief being that, while pure storytelling images are important, another route to reach people exists. And this is poetry, or mood. This is the ability to reach people through the feeling of a photograph, rather than the tangible objects or people shown in the photograph. I'm not saying this story is a success in that realm... but I think the time I spent in St. James, with Angie, Eugene, Danny, Rita, Liz and others will prove as a road to deeper thinking and storytelling.

These 10 images are the end result of seven days of nonstop overstimulation, coffee, waking up early, talking, listening and more listening.

I met Angie on a whim after following a string of leads the first day of story hunting. I was driving a few miles east of St. James to a ranch to follow a lead about a mother and daughter who started a horse stables together. On the way out I saw Angie and Eugene's grape stand and clocked it away in the back of my mind. After meeting the stable owners and photographing for a short time I knew my heart wasn't in their story. They had a nice story but it just wasn't for me. On the way back by chance I didn't take the highway, but a small side road which runs along side highway 44. I passed by the grape stand a second time but this time something clicked and I pulled a u-turn and went back. After receiving a nasty look from a semi driver who almost broadsided me I walked up to Angie who was selling grapes and introduced myself. From that moment on I knew I wanted to photograph her. She exuded life, from her talkative attitude right down to her grape-stained fingernails and tanned skin. For about an hour I sat and listened to her story. At 81-years-old she runs a 3 acre vineyard by herself. Her husband, Eugene, can no longer help much because his kidneys are failing. The vineyard has been in her family since the 1920's, which was planted by her parents, who both immigrated to the states from Italy.

It really was the American dream fading away right in front of me. Yet, she was upbeat. She had a mission. And for five days she and Eugene let me into their lives and allowed me to photograph them. I am grateful to have met them. I hope they find suitable owners for the vineyard once it comes time to sell.

On the last day of the workshop I stopped by her grape stand for the last time. It was mid afternoon and I had just come from the gallery, which showcased the 40 photographers work on 20 inch prints. For most photographers there were a few extra prints which had small errors or didn't make the final edit. Those we were allowed to take. When I went to grab the prints to take to Angie who sat under the green canopy next to her stand, one print broke my heart. It was the 9th frame in this post, where she stood defiant over her grapes. I suddenly didn't want to give it to her. I aspire to be as strong as the person in that photograph. And I knew then I needed to give it to her, so I did. And said my goodbyes.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


or so it seems while laying on my back on the sandy concrete. fish splash in the cooling lake as autumn takes its first bite out of our summer. i see one shooting star fly by, so close, no need for another.


sitting around the house last night, relaxing a bit.. i've been on such an edge the past week having down time is strange