Tag: editorial

A Man of Few Words
A Man of Few Words

Pumping diesel for heavy machinery, sporting a hardhat and safety goggles, using a unique but most likely purposeful grip, and even providing shipping containers for a background: this is the kind of photo I throroughly enjoy finding. I see them a lot more than I have a chance to capture them.

Dead maybe, but not backwards.
Dead maybe, but not backwards.

A most excellent diversion…wait, no, this is work, right? In one of those rare moments when neither life or wife required me to return home, I had Temple’s MK&T rail depot all to myself at sundown.


So, here it is, the new, but totally unimproved, website. I have stuck with the ChinaCoop moniker for many years now, and I hate to leave it behind. “ChinaCoop.net” is not exactly a great way to market my services in the United States, though. Nothing against China, of course (I did live there for ten years, afterall), but clients back in Central Texas would pass right by the site thinking Google had gotten something wrong. So, as much as I hesitate to use my name, because is just feels conceited to do so, the name is the only choice I can see. And thus: CooperStrange.com is born.


I have finally moved back to Lilliput, as my Dad would say (well, I guess as Jonathan Swift would say). My family and I made it back to the little county of Sanjiang, tucked at the juncture of China’s Guangxi, Guizhou, and Hunan Provinces. It is not much, but having been mobile for two years (we left just before the birth of our oldest), it is nice to settle back in.

Some kind of photographic lightbulb has clicked on in my head; somehow this place just feels right. So much of my experience in China has been in the countryside in these parts, and my archive reflects that. For the past two years, I have been shooting big cities, different countries, portraits for friends, and just about everything but that main interest.

June 5, 1989 (AP Photo/Terril Jones)
June 5, 1989 (AP Photo/Terril Jones)

There are photos that capture a moment. Some of those capture very important moments. And some of those become icons of history. This photo is taken moments before one of the most famous and recognized photographs of the 20th century.


What is the difference between photojournalism, editorial photography, documentary photography, and telling a “photo story”? Well, I wish I knew. The last one seems to be an attempt to leave the terms behind and go with an obvious meaning which does not need defining. The other three seem to be interchangeable, if not, then quite close to it.

“Photojournalism” is probably the most well know of those terms. We think of news photographers, war photographers, and the like. That one, even if it does have some other definition, already has a practical definition in the minds of common man.


Most of the time, my wife lovingly tunes out when I talk about photography. Every once in a while, though, she shares her thoughts. I always value her comments highly because they do not come from a photographer or artist, but just a simple, everyday viewer. And, when it comes to my photography, she is more than willing to be a hard reviewer, so none of that, “oh, that’s great honey” jazz. Here were her thoughts, as best I can recall, for the photos in the recent Graveyard Shift gallery.

Feel free to leave your own comments below. And please, leave some negative comments. Positive comments are only good for buffering the hard stuff.


Just a few days ago, I did something I have not done in years: I added a new category to the photoblog. It may not be a big deal to many of you, and you certainly may not care about something so trivial, but for me, it reveals a further clarification of my approach to photography.

I have been thinking a lot about why I shoot. It could be the frequent reminders from my wonderful wife to keep my priorities in check (Wouldn’t it be horrible to have a wife who adored photography and did not ever question my over zealous investment of time in it?). That helps, but I do not think that is it. It is a long progression of thought, beginning a decade or so ago, and now leading me down this interesting new path.