Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This blog has moved

This Web address, blog, forum that I have called home for about two and a half years is now coming to a close.

With the reconstruction of my Web site, came the need to consolidate my blog with the portfolio pages. You can now find my editorial blog and portfolio under one roof at johnpaulhenry.com/site/category/editorial/

E-Commerce is fully functional for the majority of my work in the portfolio galleries, simply click on an image and follow the PhotoShelter instructions.

If you are interested in commercial, wedding or portrait photography, this work can be found through my root domain at johnpaulhenry.com

So please, follow me over to the new address, feel free to comment and provide feedback. Your kind words over the years have been invaluable.

Thank you.

- John

Saturday, September 19, 2009

regarding hitchhiking

(the following is an exert from an email correspondence to a good friend directly following this hike)

it took about 48 hours to hitch from salem, mass. to columbus ohio

my first night out i made it to northern connecticut by a few short rides and was eventually picked up by an older woman, very christian, and very nice. gave me an umbrella as she dropped me in the rain at an on ramp. after about 30 minutes of standing there with no luck she pulls back up and offers to take me to a truck stop about 10 minutes south. i spend the night huddled in my sleeping bag on the wet ground behind a hotel, transitioning between sweating profusely in my 20 degree bag that doesn't 'breathe at all, and opening it up and being eaten alive by mosquitos. at five in the morning i decide to head back into the truck stop, just as a turrential downpour starts.

after four hours of waiting for another trucker to take me, some bloke had offered the night before, he doesn't show up so i head out to the gas station exit and start thumbing the corner where truckers take off. i get picked up by this 65 year old trucker with the most pure southern accent, a texas raised bloke who was a hippie to the 10th degree back in the 60s. we're cruising down through lower new york and into pennsylvania. and i'm laughing and snapping photos from the big rig along the way.

several moderate rides later, about an hour or so a piece, i'm in central pennsylvania and a young college/ army rotc kid sees me with my pack at a truck stop and yells out "hey you wanna ride?" so i get in with him and he takes me to this town equivalent of herrin illinois and drops me at about 9 pm on a friday at the local gas station where all the high school kids cruise town and hang out and drink soda.

i'm sitting out front of this gas station with my bags, smoking rollie cigarettes strung out on no sleep with my cardboard sign dictating "west" and my hopes are low as the locals roll in and out of this place buying slurpies and boxes of fags. despite low hope, lack of sleep i'm in real good humor and am resigned to stay up all night sitting there smiling and waiting. before long two high school girls offer to take me to the local denny's near the interstate where maybe some passers by might catch my sight. after a couple minutes i chat up a local kid who looks kinda rock and roll in a half hour he takes me to another truck stop about 30 minutes down the highway. the place is deserted. but i'm in the smokey mountains at this point, the sky is clear, the stars are shining and the air is crisp. i unroll my blanket and bag and snuggle in for 7 hours of the best sleep in my life. interrupted every hour by the sewage pump engine in the shack i'm sleeping next two, toxic fumes seeping out and clogging my nose but i don't care the ground is dry and i'm out of sight and am happy to have a place to sleep.

the next morning i get quick rides back to back to back and my luck is great and i'm on the road to columbus and out of the western virginia type desolate atmosphere and into the midwestern plains. no more steel mills and depressing tones and into the corn fields of my childhood. back in the midwest.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Sorry for the extended absence. 

After exploring Morocco I arrived in Spain a bit worn. Tired. 

Following a failed attempt to hitchhike through even a small part of Spain, I purchased an overnight ticket to Barcelona (eight hours working for a lift in the southern Spain sun, suck. Maybe next time with far, far, far less baggage.). 

I've been extremely busy thus far, with getting settled, meeting language intercambios, working with my hosts and the whole business side of things. 

Posts will be scarce for a short while longer I have feeling. Processing a lot of stuff mentally and physically. 

Thanks, as always, for looking, sharing your thoughts and your support. 

Hopefully we'll see each other again soon. 

Friday, May 22, 2009

hello from las palmas de gran canaria

I won't be accessing my blog much for the next month. I will be traveling and working in Morocco. 

So I'm saying goodbye. 

If you wish to reach me please e-mail me at johnhenryphoto@gmail.com

Until then,

much love. 

things i am learning

learning spanish is not easy

but when you find yourself talking to a beautiful spanish girl

it's much more easy

traveling can be scary

listen to your body

just relax

i like hitchhiking more than hiking

i prefer villages to camping

i'm ready to live in a city

i spend too much time in front of the computer

being a photographer is unfortunately not all about making pictures

i like the beach more than i thought

i can sit on the beach fully clothed and be perfectly content 

horses are beautiful

knowing a horse is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life

i love cats

i'm still allergic to them

i am more open than i used to be

i am not open as i want to be

i need to smile more

and now i actually remind myself of this

the days preceding a large travel, i still get nervous

and i feel stupid for saying that

it's okay to be dirty

you don't have to wash your hair for six weeks if you don't want

but it's important to be in the sun 

you can cut your own hair

it's super fun

i don't know what it feels like to photograph in black and white

carrying a computer around the world is stupid

i would trade it for a leica in a heartbeat

Saturday, May 16, 2009

be brave

for you have done the right thing

the best is yet to come


like pigeons scattering into the big blue
the residents of finca de jelica are flung back into the world
everyone following the crazy May winds
they blow our hair and ruffle our jackets
pushing us out the door 
and into the dusty streets
new paths
and new choices
be open and accept
what comes your way

thank you to everyone who has touched my life in these past two months
on this island or not
your love has been felt
and i will carry it with me

new shoes

my horse, giolla, getting new shoes Thursday

the smell, like perfume, bordering toxic. 

i say "my" horse with a sense of gratitude and pride. for the past month we have gone from strangers to friends. she is stubborn. an outcast among the other horses. but extremely fast. and strong. and, on a good day... a dream to ride. bursting through unbeaten fields and down rocky slopes with ears up and skies blue. 

i will miss her sweat, the way it permeates through my clothes. her calm stature. her broad

i will miss this horse more than i believe i know. 

on May 21 I leave La Palma.. I will spend three days in Gran Canaria having arrived by ferry and waiting for my plane. on May 24 I will land in Marrakech, Morocco and begin a month of travel, new experiences and photography. 

the journey will then take me north through the desert and back into Spain. in Barcelona another volunteer experience awaits me. i must first focus on the present. an increasingly crucial part of my life. such a simple task, yet so often overlooked... to soak up the beauty of every passing minute. a blind disregard for the flowing sands of time. 

may they burn my skin and shred my clothes 

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Fiesta y Romería, La Palma

An intense morning of hitching through the northwestern part of the island led me to La Valle de las Cruces. Green forests cover the soil, and are tucked in neatly below blanketed clouds. Occasional bursts of sun keeping everything warm, glossy. 

Romería is a party in the form of a pilgrimage, usually ending at a sanctuary. The Romería de Garafía celebrated more traditional La Palma music, culture and food. 

Drinking, food abound, classical guitars buzzing from every crevice. Smells of roasting meat wafting down the dirt road. Children in yellow dresses chase each other under the hot sun, waiting for the caravan to arrive. 

Everyday life here is so inundated with expats, not necessarily tourists, it was pleasant to escape to a more remote part of the island, to a people catering only to themselves and enjoying family and friends. Playing music not to draw a crowd but because they want to dance, smile. 

Thursday, May 7, 2009

nature II


scares me
it breathes
and shudders with me
as we watch the lights

what are you doing to save the world?

solamente una pregunta.. 

Saturday, May 2, 2009

friends and music

how hearing a certain band can bring you back to a person

the feelings flowing through your body when you were around her
some good
some bad
over the past few months i've been discovering amazing new music 
over the past few months i've been discovering amazing new people
right now it's mûm and i'm sitting in doolin soaking wet
stuck that afternoon in a massive cold shower 
wandering the foothills, lost. looking for a house that looks 
exactly like every other house
i wonder what music will trigger me back to la palma
after i have gone 

Thursday, April 30, 2009

my shack on the mountain

i feel very much at home in this simple concrete square. a dirt path cuts through cacti, down two terraces and leads to the noisy, wooden doors. a grey cat, Oliver, sometimes makes an appearance. we are slowly become friends. shoes rest on bamboo mat. a lizard freezes on the white wall, stalking some unseen spider. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

paintings by nathanial hone

these paintings i stumbled upon while roaming a gallery in downtown dublin a little over a month ago. the prominent horizon line is something i've noticed reoccurring in my work lately, and i think i might have been drawn to these paintings for that reason. i love the simplicity to these works, especially the first and last pieces. the formalism, geometry. the separation between the boats and that majestic cloud.. the artist's intention to step way back and let the scene breathe. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


checking out the banana plantations on the way down to the beach. hiked down and then back up the next day.. 700 meter drop then climb. this island is blanketed in these white, rectangular nets that protect the bananas. 

the beach

i couldn't help but to think of dali, standing behind these rocks 

Monday, April 13, 2009


helped out during a riding lesson today 

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Semana Santa, Santa Cruz de La Palma

Caught one day of processions Friday for Holy Week here in La Palma. Stepped off the bus in Santa Cruz and followed the music straight to the first procession. Shooting was cut short though to only one day because they do not have processions on Saturday and Sunday in that city. 

Thursday, April 9, 2009

new number

I will be in Santa Cruz de La Palma over the weekend photographing Semana Santa. My local Spanish number is 605325846. Use this number to contact me for assignment or to just catch up. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Stars rising

as night settles in over the mountain.
Warm light from below peaks in and smiles
to the hedges and cacti, a world onto themselves. 
Mysterious. Fantastic. Looming.

Monday, March 30, 2009

new friends

I was welcomed into this new household by a host of nationalities and experiences. The woman who owns the home and land, my wwoofing host, Marie Louise, is Sweedish. Also is Tuve, another wwoofer. A German family lives in the connected house, which is rented, and there is also a Canadian wwoofer. It seems Siri, Marie Louise's daughter, the child in the below pictures, took to Tuve right away as they speak Sweedish. Making friends has been easy so far. There must be something in the air. Or maybe the soil, as the locals attribute the island's energy to the volcano on which we are living. 

La Palma

I stepped off the plane Thursday wearing thermal boots and a backpack full of wool socks and three different types of jackets. While the weather in Ireland was looking up, the cold, damp and grey climate could chill you to shivers easily. A sea of green palm and banana trees waved to me as I made my way from the plane to the terminal. My first item of business in Spain was to buy a pair of flip flops. 

The language is coming back more each day. But, it's going to take some dedication and practice if I'm going to improve significantly, which is the goal. 

I had forgotten how pleasant this country really is. The people, language, the energy in the air. Everything seems to radiate, and maybe especially on this island. I'm living about 700 meters on the side of the mountain, which is the island. From the edge of the beach or even straight into the Atlantic, volcanic rock shoots straight up to an eventual height of 2,400 meters. A German tourist who picked me up yesterday said that the island, according to height and surface area, is the steepest island in the world. The only really flat space here is the beach, which is slightly rough, and black, coming from volcanic rock. Other spaces have been plowed flat and terraced off and are reserved for rows upon rows of banana orchards. 

The west half of the island seems less touristy than the east. What there are a lot of here is Germans. They seem to flock and relocate to this place as an escape from whatever there seems to be a need to escape from. They, and many other people, buy or rent space along the jagged mountainside, live off the land, which produces an abundance of produce, and trade or sell items at a farmers market in Los Llanos on Sundays. Afterwards you see many of the same faces enjoying the sun and a beer, maybe playing guitar along the beach boardwalk. The below snap I took while walking along that boardwalk in Tazacorte. 

Monday, March 23, 2009

seaside mornings

i drive myself to distraction
when i find the peace, i don't know how to handle it 
scared to put my words down on paper
because then they will be real, mine
and i will have to claim ownership 

the winds of

three months have passed and i find myself on the same couch, in the same flat of the same seedy Dublin neighborhood. i feel changed, refreshed, more established and with forward momentum embracing the future. 

looking back at how i felt when i first walked into this apartment i see gaps in differences in my personality, bravery, even accomplishments. and it's strange, and rewarding, to know that i'm not the same person i was three months ago when i sat here, something has changed. i have that vague feeling of having learned some visceral thing, so real i can smell it in my clothes, the funny sun-bleached color of my beard, the shunned feelings of exhaustion. 

i am beginning to wonder what will happen in the next three months, six, twelve. it's not advisable to speculate too much, after all. who will be sitting at this computer? uploading pictures and words to this forum? is the you of five years ago the you of today? 

it is nauseating, exciting, to think about. faint aromas of overwhelming carried in on the winds of adventure.  

Thursday, March 19, 2009


hey there people.. i'm still kicking it by the sea in county clare. not much internet availability but i should get some by monday and tuesday as i'll be back in dublin. spring is finally here and it really is beautiful. actually got a bit of a sunburn today, dirt still engraved in the wrinkles of my skin. i love it

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cliffs of Moher

Music of Doolin, Sunhild and the accordion

Sunhild hosted me for two days in Doolin where she was cat-sitting in a cottage overlooking the Aran Islands, the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren. 

Between farms still but enjoying my time living out of a couple rucksacks and using my thumb and feet as main modes of transportation. Sunhild introduced me to a farmer in Miltown Malbay, who she met through hitchhiking. I'll be headed to this new farm along the coast of County Clare in a couple days to live out the remaining time I have here in Ireland. 

It's amazing what can happen if you just stick your thumb in the air and smile. Who you'll meet. What conversations will come. The where's you'll see passing by the window. 

Starting March 26 I'll be located on the island Santa Cruz de las Palmas, of the Canary Islands. Again, I'll be WWOOFing. From there I have no plans as of yet, but they always formulate. I will continue to pursue stories and poems. And I will be available for assignment. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


dublin oldie

A snap from one of many aimless walks in the East Wall neighborhood of Dublin during my first week in Ireland. 

fog II

a throwback to the days at tullyboy farm 

reporting in

so there have been a few changes on this forum. 

the color: it might change again. i just felt like brightening it up, loosing up a little. 

the name: an exert from some seriously inspiring talks from a certain week in september. 

the general idea is the same, just aiming to keep things simple.

The snow is falling hard now in Galway. Big, fat, unexpected flakes heave from the grey sky. With my hoodie up and cup of tea at my side, I don't dare venture downtown just now. I have come and gone from a farm in County Clare since my last post. It was, in the end, a sour experience for everyone, but one that was better off to end sooner than later. I won't get into details, but sometimes personalities just don't work well together. And this was a big case of just that. 

I've got roughly three weeks left in this country and exactly no plans as of Monday. I think some heavy hitchhiking and couchsurfing are in store. The Cliffs of Moher and Cork are still on my to-do list. 

wtf? snowing in ireland?

Friday, February 20, 2009

building seaside momentum

blurred horizontal lines in a sea of lines. moving side to side. waning light as we pass over the flat earth. thumbing our way through the connemara space, each encounter, experience, more meaningful than the next, or less. all the same, 

each, resonating in the memory, occupying equal space. a beautiful day, staring out the back window of a stranger's car. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

county clare and the new farm

A quick snap of Lieke this morning at our new farm before setting off thumbing my way through the west coast. In Galway now for a couple days, then moving over to the Aran Islands for a little R&R, hostel style, and more work on the Irish Fishing story. And just maybe a traditional music festival in Doolin over the weekend. 

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Thursday, February 5, 2009

mobile pix 2, farm business

for those of you curious what exactly it is i do during my days on the farm, here's a little imagery. yesterday, for example, i tilled a garden and built a stone path.