Author Archive for burn magazine

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Old pine


I am a big fan of trees. The old pine to the right is is one of my favorites. The photo is from Vikerfjell, 100 kilometres northwest of Oslo, Norway. It started snowing on my way home from Vikerfjell this afternoon – hopefully the winter will come to the lowlands too.@f2hammers for @burndiary


This orchard outside Hønefoss is a place I have photographed several times. Today I was back again to see the rows of bushes and the nice trees. @f2hammers for @burndiary

chris steele-perkins – a place in the country

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Chris Steele-Perkins

A Place in the Country

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For a long time I have been photographing England in a series of books and essays and for a long time I have wanted to photograph life in an English Country Estate. The country estate plays a huge part in the history of this country and is a staple of British fiction, both in novels and as film/TV productions. The latest being Downton Abbey, and probably the best known recent novel is Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day.

However, the focus is resolutely on the past, yet the estates continue into the 21st century. This medieval institution has legs. I have long thought that a photographic document, over a year, of the people and activities of one such estate, from the Lord of the Manor , the family , the servants, the tenants, the gamekeepers, the activities, sports, visitors, changing seasons, of an historic country estate, would be fascinating.

Covering 25,000 acres, Holkham, in north Norfolk, has been the home of the Earls of Leicester since it was built between 1734 and 1764  and still remains in the family and is a very successful estate, continuing the older traditions of shooting and farming while embracing the newer activities of running a caravan park and hosting pop festivals. There are numerous other businesses including a hotel and a pub, restaurants and selling specialist paints. The grounds of the Hall itself, surrounded by a 12 mile wall and home to herds of deer, is open to the public most of the year, though the Hall, which is the family home and custodian of a fine collect of art, is only open on certain days.

Tom and Polly Coke (pronounced Cook) are the current Lord and Lady of the Estate and I was allowed unprecedented access to the place and the family, to photograph “a year in the life”. I was not paid and was given editorial freedom as an Artist in Residence  producing a body of work that is unique in providing an in-depth picture of a modern, family run, Great Estate. I am unaware of any other such work.


The book, A Place in the Country, was published on October 27th 2014 by Dewi Lewis Publishing Selling for £25 hardback



British, b. Burma 1947 Chris Steele-Perkins  moved to England with his father at the age of two. He went to school at Christ’s Hospital. At the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, he studied psychology and worked for the student newspaper, graduating with honors in 1970 when he started working as a freelance photographer, moving to London in 1971. Apart from a trip to Bangladesh in 1973 he worked mainly in Britain in areas concerned with urban poverty and also sub-cultures. In 1975 he worked with EXIT, a collective dealing with social problems in British cities. This work culminated in the book Survival Programmes in 1982.  He joined the Paris-based Viva agency in 1976. In 1979, he published his first solo book, The Teds. He also edited, and purchased the images for, The Arts Council of GB”s book, About 70 Photographs.

Steele-Perkins joined Magnum in 1979 and soon began working extensively in the developing world, in particular Africa, central America and Lebanon,  as well as continuing to document Britain. He published, The Pleasure Principle, a work exploring Britain in the 80′s. In 1992 he published Afghanistan, the result of four trips over four years. After marrying his second wife, Miyako Yamada, he embarked on a long term photographic exploration of Japan publishing his first book of that work, Fuji, in 2000.  A highly personal diary of 2001, Echoes, was published in 2003, and the second of his Japanese books, Tokyo Love Hello, was published in February 2007. In contrast a black and white study of English rural life, Northern Exposures, was published in summer 2007. He is publishing a 40 year perspective on England,  “England, my England,” at the end of 2009. A study of British centenarians “Fading Light” was published in 2012.


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At the Skating Rink

Adults often complain that young people spend too much time playing computer and video games. When I visited Nakkerud west of Oslo yesterday, I noticed that there were many children at the skating rink. So I dropped by again today to see if there were any skaters there now. This picture was taken about an hour ago, when the young skaters put ice hockey goals in place in a playful way. @f2hammers for @burndiary


Today I visited my friend Even Westby. We used to meet for coffee on Saturdays. But a few years ago he started horse riding. He fell in love with horses and soon afterwards bought a farm in rural Nakkerud, 20 kilometres from Hønefoss.Not much time for urban habits on Saturdays when you have horses, fields and forest to tend to. Here he is kissing seven-month-old Rosanna. She is enjoying the sun on the almost snow-free meadow. @f2hammers for @burndiary

Pine #112

Pine number 112 – Eggemoen, Norway. I love trees and am not fond of logging. But I also love books and newspapers, so I guess I really should not complain that pine number 112 probably will be cut down soon. I appreciate the beauty of the tree in today’s last hint of daylight.On a forest walk you often meet people who stop for a chat instead of going past. Today I met a woman who used to work in a bookstore where I bought the brilliant books by Arnaldur Indriðason on her recommendation. We had an interesting chat about photojournalism. Then I met a woman who told me that it might be aurora borealis around here one of the coming nights. We are too far south for really impressive aurora light – but it would be nice to see it. Anyway, a nice walk with interesting talk. May pine number 112 live to be much older. @f2hammers for @burndiary


I am a late riser on weekends. Today was no exception. Since @daffydil46 wanted to meet Louis – here he is. He has just eaten his first meal of the day and been out for a walk. Louis is a big Maine Coon with a tiny voice. Yet he is named after Louis Armstrong. A tear ran from his eyes just before I took this picture. The last few days he has had some problems with one eye, so we’ll watch and see if he needs a little help from the vet. @f2hammers for @burndiary

Hønefoss, Norway

Hello – I am Tor Hammerstad, from the small town Hønefoss in Norway. In the film and darkroom age I was a photographer for a small newspaper. Now I have a typical office job. But my camera bag still hangs on my shoulder and is with me everywhere. My images often show nature or my cat, Louis – but I want to thank for this opportunity to post photos on @burndiary the coming week by moving a little outside my comfort zone. I’m afraid I start in a typical Norwegian manner – by showing some pretty scenery. This picture is from a beach called Røsholmstranda – which was unusually warm today. Six degrees Celsius is very warm for a January day in Norway. It was comfortable, yet it reminds me of climate change – and that this fine day perhaps was due to global warming. @f2hammers for @burndiary

Wedding portrait

This is my last post for Burn Diary. I thought I’d end with my #grandparents’ framed wedding portrait that hangs on my grandmother’s wall, and my #reflection in the corner. They were the reason I came to call this town #home, and since I spent several formative years here with them, I believe that in many ways, I’m a reflection of them. Thank you all for visiting home with me, and thank you @davidalanharvey @diegorlando and all at Burn for inviting me to post for the past week. Have a beautiful rest of 2015, everyone @dianazeynebalhindawi for @burndiary #Moinesti #Romania #weddingportrait

Walnut Tree

This is the #walnut #tree in the #orchard at my grandparents’ home. Everything is closed today on January 1st in #Moinesti, so I took a walk to the edge of town to visit the place I called home until I was seven. When I was a child, we had fruits and nuts from the orchard, and vegetables from the garden. There were raspberry bushes and grape vines, and chickens, a rooster and a pig. Some of my favorite memories are in the garden or the orchard or helping my grandparents to make wine, cure meats, pickle vegetables, or crush the shells of the walnuts that fell from this tree. After my grandfather passed away 22 years ago, there was too much work for my grandmother to carry on by herself. She soon moved to a small apartment in the town’s center. This walnut tree still makes walnuts every fall, but a lot of the other trees no longer fruit. The rest of the garden and the cellar has been empty for years. In the winter it looked especially barren. The place was still full of my beautiful childhood #memories though. @dianazeynebalhindawi for @burndiary #romania

Happy 2015!

Happy 2015! So happy to have started my new year with my family at a lodge restaurant in #Comanești town… with lots of #food and #dancing! (I forgot just how much Romanians love both.) #Romania #NewYear2015 @dianazeynebalhindawi for @burndiary BURN invites you to hashtag your images over these 24 hours with #BurnNewYear2015

Gabi and Anca

These are my new friends, Gabi and Anca. Gabi is the #ringmaster and has been #bear dancing for ages. His grandfather, who passed in 1997, was a famous bear dancer in the area. Anca, his fiancé, took up bear dancing just this year. This was only the second time she’d been out with the bears. Here, at the end of the night, Anca waited for the others, enveloped in the warmth of the hanging bear skins. Gabi spotted her and snuck a #kiss. :) #love #romania #laloaia #winter #tradition @dianazeynebalhindawi for @burndiary

Door to door

When I was a child, bears would go from door to door, performing for anyone who welcomed them into their homes and could afford to pay them a tip. Nowadays, they only schedule visits to houses that invite them ahead of time. My grandmother said this is because most people no longer have money to tip the bears. Indeed, all but one of the homes we visited were large and appeared to have wealthy owners. This photo however was taken during a performance at the home of two bears — a married couple — that were in the troupe themselves. @dianazeynebalhindawi for @burndiary #Laloaia #village #Romania #winter #newyear #bear #tradition

Lady bears

Nice to see some lady bears in the mix too. Here they are taking a break by town park in Moinesti. #Romania #winter #beardance @dianazeynebalhindawi for @burndiary

Bear Parade

Moinesti had its annual Bear Parade today. Bear dances are part of a number of age old traditions specific to this part of #Romania between Christmas and the New Year. These traditions are the reason I am visiting during the cold #winter. They are some of the things I miss most about #Moinesti. To explain a bit, between Christmas and the New Year, bands of bears (locals wearing bear skins) tour the towns, performing traditional songs and dances. Today, #bear groups from all around the region gathered at the train station in Moinesti, to then sing and dance through the streets and lastly on a stage set up by the town park. It wasn’t just “bears” though. There were also “goat” dances, masked creatures, and other folk songs and dances in celebration of winter and the New Year. (For the animal activists: It’s very unlikely that any of these bear skins came from newly hunted bears. They are usually very old, passed down through generations.) @dianazeynebalhindawi for @burndiary


As you will see in the video above, Kathy Ryan, New York Times Magazine, and I are long time friends. We met teaching together at the Eddie Adams Workshop way back at the beginning.  Hmmm, maybe 25 years ago. I have no real sense of time. Anyway Kathy is a gem. Known forever as a picture editor, now turned photographer, now with a published book, and still Director of Photography at the NYTimes Magazine. Kathy became a photographer because of Instagram. Literally.

Instagram was Kathy’s  only platform. Changed her life by allowing her to shoot daily in her own office environment and that’s WHY I am showing her here on Burn now. Not because she is a friend, but because she has done what I tell all those I mentor to do..Shoot in your own backyard. This is quite literally the best example I have seen. I mean the woman is shooting in office cubicles…The least likely place most people would shoot. Many wannabe photographers are in their cubicles dreaming of McCurry’s India and won’t shoot til they get there…Anyway check out Kathy’s new Aperture book Office Romance produced by Chris Boot, the producer of so many great books over the years both at Phaidon and now at Aperture.

Take a page from Kathy’s book. Look at what is right around you. Everything is interesting if you have the right eye.

Happy New Year to all…



Buy Kathy’s book directly at Aperture:




Grama’s corner

Grama’s corner where she works on her #needlepoint. One of her creations hangs above the light fixture. A #Orthodox icon hangs in the middle and a portrait of her some 30 years ago is on the top left. I was mostly raised by my grandparents until I was 7 years old. I remember well when my grandmother looked like that. Photo by @dianazeynebalhindawi for @burndiary