Archive for the 'dialogue' Category

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A Conversation With Martin Parr

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David Alan Harvey: What I do on Burn is I will run a set of pictures and then have what I call a conversation, I don’t even call it an interview. You like beaches. I like beaches. You and I see different things at the beach but I am interested in this new take on Benidorm. Had you been to Benidorm before?

Martin Parr: Oh yeah, I did a little book on Benidorm before.

DAH: I didn’t see the book on Benidorm, how did I miss that?

MP: I don’t know, I did it about 15 years ago.

DAH: Somehow I missed that one. I have a pretty good collection of Martin Parr books but obviously I don’t have them all.

MP: It is more of a catalogue type, I’m sorry. I think of all this stuff as beach therapy, you see.

DAH: Explain beach therapy to me.

MP: When I try a new technique, I always do it first on the beach. There are about six phases of my photography career, black and white, then wide angle with medium format, etc., etc., but I always try them out on the beach first because it’s like an experimental laboratory for me. You have all these people, you can do different things, so this is no exception. It is really like the last chapter of exploration. So inevitably, therefor, I begin at the beach first.

DAH: Why do you think that is? How did that come to be your laboratory?

MP: Well I love beaches anyway, so it is always a good excuse to go to the beach and take more photographs and when you are trying out a new idea I always make it the place where I start.

DAH: What led to the long lens? Before you were always up in people’s faces, popping a flash with fairly close range with a wide angle or normal lens. Is it something that changed inside you that said “okay I want to pull back a little bit”, or you just like the look?

MP: In more recent times I have been using the digital on the beach, I have been pulling back anyway, but now I wanted to pull forward. This is all brought about because I had these big propaganda photography books that were from all over the place, but in particular they have very interesting, creative use of the telephoto lens and it just struck me that in the art photography business, which we are part of, the art photography / documentary business, this is a lens that is basically rejected and not used at all with the exception of Beat Streuli. It is very very occasional when you see it, but basically we all use wide angle as a standard.

DAH: Well I think you told me a couple of years ago in Arles, “David why don’t you go a little bit longer”, and you know I started out in photography with a 50mm lens, so I did, I went back since I had been shooting so much with the 35mm. So now I am in the 50-75mm range. I am not as long as you are – you are out there with the 200-300mm length it looks like.

MP: I think it is interesting to experiment and basically I am using this propaganda material as my starting point because they show me what is possible with the telephoto lens, because the art world hasn’t. As you know we turn a blind eye to it. We just blank it out. So it is very interesting to see if it can be made into something interesting. And you know I have had a few experiments now – I think those were the most successful.What I have done in Italy I haven’t edited very thoroughly yet, but you suddenly start to see a pattern emerge and it looks interesting.

DAH: Well that is great. So you will do another book on Benidorm?

MP: I will do a book eventually that will be called “beach therapy” where I’ll explain this process of experimentation and then illustrate it with the set of pictures done with the telephoto. If I do a book called “Life at the Beach” I have to set the whole thing back a bit.

DAH: Yeah, that’s right.

MP: There are different version of that. I did a deluxe version and and beach bag version. There is only so much power the world can take and there are only so many beach photographs that the world can take, but none-the-less you feel that you are onto something. That’s why I was quite happy to isolate the Benidorm pictures from one particular shoot that seemed to really work.

DAH: Well you have Argentina also.

MP: That was the start of the experiment and that showed me what was possible, and then I tried to build on it and since then I have done stuff in England and in Italy.

DAH: Also at the beach?

MP: Yes. It is more difficult though. I am shooting in Rome now and didn’t even bring the telephoto lens with me. What I am generally doing is having the foreground out of focus and focusing way beyond. That is the thing that to me looks more interesting. Now when I did my previous Benidorm book I was using the macro lens which is an insane lens to use on the beach. Macro with a ring flash. And there I was focusing on the foreground and letting everything else fall away. So now I am doing the entire opposite.

DAH: Is the woman with the glasses an original Benidorm picture?

MP: That was one of those things that inspired me, in fact. The out of focus there is very effective. It is an icon that you will remember and I am trying to replicate that feel and look, but that was done on the macro lens. So that was a 50mm lens compared to the 70-200mm lens which I am using now.

DAH: Right. Now this puts you into a completely different relationship with your subjects. Before, obviously at some point, you were so close to the people you had to engage with them probably some of the time. Now you are completely disengaged from the subject.

MP: In fact it works in my value because as you know it is getting more and more difficult to photograph on the beaches in particular when there are kids around because people go nutsy when you start photographing kids. I have been not quite arrested on the beach in Rio, but I have been apprehended to the police being called. Therefor, [the lens] does get rid of that problem. I had my phase of getting really close, and I still do get really close. For example this current session I am photographing in the Vatican Museum for the Museum here, and I am right on top of people so it is not like I am not doing that anymore. But the beach has become a particularly controversial place to photograph.

DAH: I think that is right. I always look around for mom and dad first if I see a kid because that can be an issue.

MP: Years ago when I was doing the last resort, which is the first big body of work I did, I shot on the beach, again as part of the beach therapy process, people didn’t even think about that. Now it is always in people’s minds.

DAH: At my beach here for some reason nobody minds. There are kids running all over the place. But in most beaches it has gotten like that. Well that’s great, thank you Martin.

MP: Thanks David.

 

Related Links

Martin Parr

BurnDiary

jeremy

Hot air balloons lift above the crowd in this time honored tradition. Drawing thousands of enthusiasts to Albuquerque annually since 1972. Photo © Jeremy Wade Shockley for BurnDiary

We have lost our original account for our BurnDiary Instagram account. The email associated with our account was accidentally changed by one of our users. Changed to something nobody knows.

So we are starting over. Appropriately I think we have re-started with Anton Kusters who helped Burn get rolling in the first place.
Unfortunately we lost all of our “followers”. However, I think in a few weeks we should be back where we were when we lost the account.
We sort of care about the followers being lost, yet on the other hand our primary goal for our BurnDiary is to over the next few months create enough content to produce our next Burn03 just from the work of the photographers on Burn Diary.
Anyone following BurnDiary will be seeing a book made in real time and being built by this audience. We will use some iconic photographers, yet most of the work for BurnDiary will be from lesser known emerging photographers. My usual formula for publishing work here on Burn.
While Instagram does not replace anything else in the world of photography, it has certainly changed the landscape of our craft more than anything I have seen in my career.
Photography is now a common language. Actually the world’s ONLY common language. Think about it.
Some lament this development. Some applaud it. I love it. Just fun for one thing.
Does not take away from anything else you may want to be doing with your work.
Let us know if you aspire to be the week long essayist for BurnDiary. We are choosing carefully, yet absolutely everyone has a shot at it.
Even if you go back right now and simply look at our archive of about two months of BurnDiary, you may be able to see how we might think we could get a book after several months of dedicated shooting. We will see.
-dah-

Message in a Bottle

NGS Picture ID:622552

 

Two of my photos left our solar system today and are now in interstellar space aboard Voyager. Two shots out of the 100 chosen to represent life on Earth. The only “message in a bottle” from our planet. I shot this picture of a father and his daughter in Malaysia while on assignment for NatGeo in 1976 and with my whole family in tow. The shot has been flying high for 35 years. Destination unknown!

ahhhh, Kodachrome!!!

 

NGS Picture ID:621257

Back Bay Wildlife Refuge, Va. Beach Va….my mother sort of “made me” go see what was up at this wildlife refuge…Not my thing really, but when your mother makes a suggestion and leans a bit , well you just do it!!  Walked right in to this. This was also a double spread in NatGeo for an article on Virginia where I lived at the time. Thanks Mom. That picture went a whole lot further than we thought….

Wet Hair

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Last days of summer in the Outer Banks, NC.

A surfer flips her hair after doing some long board surfing. The Outer Banks is one of the best surf spots on the East Coast and the locals hope for hurricane waves this time of year. Let’s just hope the hurricanes stay offshore…

Summer of 13

tonicoalex

I feel this morning just a wee twinge of fall in the air here in the Outer Banks of NC. Oh yes it is still summer, but I can feel and smell what’s coming. I won’t think winter yet of course but the change of seasons always makes one think things over a bit. Reflect.

The summer of 2013 was all reflection in my case. I took most of the summer “off”, stayed home, rode my bike, made prints in the darkroom, and had a summer I have not had since I can remember. Yup the summer of childhood. One of those summers we all tend to leave behind once “responsibility” strikes and we must all go to work leaving behind childhood fantasies and dreams.

Pretty funny I guess, yet I never bought totally into giving up the fantasy. For sure I did learn to accept at least some responsibility in life, yet I never could get those summer dreams out of my head. I have been hanging on to my summer dreams summer passion summer romance the whole damn time! I shouda coulda woulda followed all the rules I guess, but on the other hand the “authorities” have not yet come knocking on my door and arrested me for arrested development, ha ha.

Did I get away with the crime of never moving totally into adulthood? I think maybe I did. I am rolling down the highway of life and I don’t think they can catch me now, and I ain’t looking back.

Does this mean no reality at all? Of course not. I have had to deal with all the same realities as everyone else. Yet just keeping a piece of my bicycle dreams alive all along has allowed me to escape the doldrums of aging that I see so many people living. And I do not mean “old” people. I see “young” folks who lose the dream at 30. Or even before. Logically I suppose it is an age thing, yet I am not so sure.

What I see is that the dream can live or die at any age.

Photography for sure has saved me. With pictures I could always go somewhere all by myself and where nobody else could go or had ever been. A singular adventure. I discovered this at an early age, and well here I am with the same damned dream the same wonderment the same excitement of freezing a moment in time. So either I have gone nowhere all along or I am living in my imagination or maybe both. On the other hand, who cares or why the hell not?

Yesterday for example, I could not stop seeing pictures everywhere all the time. They seemed to be falling out of the sky and all I had to do was reach out and grab them. Nothing at all difficult to do. Gifts. So easy it was a little disconcerting actually. Now not everyday is like that, yet I do seem to have a lot of days like that. No idea why really. Oh no, I do not mean that everyone else is going to think I had a great day of shooting, but I don’t care about everybody else. It worked for me. And for sure that is the state of mind I try to get those I mentor to see and feel and believe and live.

After the success of (based on a true story) I had about 5 minutes of “job well done” pleasure, and then quickly moved into the space where one must be to move forward. We all need to move ahead in exactly the same way after success as we do with failure. “Failure” means you must get your act together and do something. “Success” means exactly the same damned thing. Actually it is even harder after success.

Now I am sketching all over the place. No rush. I am shooting some medium format b&w film, going crazy hourly with my iPhone, and playing with several different digi “serious real cameras”.. All work. While at some points in my occasional forays into “adult behavior” I did tend to lean linear, I am now thinking that a smorgasbord has every right to have a place at the table as a meat and potatoes dinner. Why would I let a camera or a technique or anything at all get in the way of just raw and fierce and passionate? Even if I am “wrong” it is all part of sketching. A process. And no way around it. This stuff cannot be “decided”.

I went off the straight documentary rails with (based on a true story). I hope nobody thought I could ever come back. How could I?

So now I am just a “boy on a bike”. Not a bad place to be.

As I sometimes do here on Burn, I ask a question of this audience.

My question this morning to you as I have my third coffee is: How do YOU set yourself free? You must have an answer.

-dah-

 

(photograph above shot on Pea Island in the Outer Banks NC of “Tonico” Monteiro and Alexandra Lettrich)

 

Tonico and Alex

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Changing clothes in the parking lot of a pier is just one of those things you end up doing sometimes down here Outer Banks way. Here my Brazilian bro Tonico changes his shoes and my friend Alex gets ready for a swim. Tonico a key character in my book set in Rio ( based on a true story) and i am shooting Alex for real.. so both my “models”…both super good people.

JR

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Photo by Candy Pilar Godoy

 

Artist JR in his studio in NYC. I interviewed and photographed JR for BURN yesterday. A hard man to catch is JR. Always on the move and always for a good cause. I have photographed my share of well known artists yet IMO this man is the real thing. Stay tuned.

 

Giulia

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Retro. Medium format film. Giulia Piolanti, ballerina Cirque du Soleil. Photographed in San Quirico d’Orcia, Tuscany, Italy. This fibre print fresh out of my darkroom. One of a kind.

I am now ONLY interested in medium format film. Totally set to process film and print at home. A luxury beyond all. At the same time I am shooting also with my iPhone and mixing retro with 5 minutes ago. I mean why not?

Who says things must be “boxed” and in “order”? Life does come in sequence, yet memory and perception are abstract.

This is what photography IS.

If you only wanted “reality”, then no need to pick up pen, or brush, or camera.

 

475 Kent

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The “Kibbutz”…from a book upcoming.

San Pietro



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The light inside St. Peter's Basilica has alway fascinated me. Rome, Italy. Photo by @giovannicoccophoto

BurnDiary

walking on water

© David Alan Harvey

Snapshots. Whatever is coming down around me at any moment. That is what I like about Instagram. For me a personal diary and I hope now for this audience as well. I think this is the best way for us to launch BurnDiary and for this audience to have a platform in real time.

Your best Instagrams, if you are the designated photographer for the week, will appear here on Burn.

Why Instagram?

Somehow Instagram just feels right. I started going to my Iphone for even serious shooting a couple of years ago and right at the same time wanted to do Instagram mostly just to stay in touch with my family. Then I simply liked it as a new creative and useful exercise.

I like shooting everyday and I vowed that my Instagrams would never be shot of any subject that was more than 20 feet away from wherever I  happened to be anyway,  as in the above picnic shot.  In other words I do not “go anywhere” to shoot an Instagram. That is my parameter, but does not have to be yours.

I just like the egalitarian nature of these little pictures on my phone. A level playing field for all. For sure it does not preclude serious shooting or books or anything else. It simply is what it is. Matter of fact, what it is may well be taken very seriously. I see more evidence of this everyday.

So now BurnDiary is a platform for you. A platform to be used any way you choose.

For those of you who are thinking of photography in a professional way, this is the time to “prove” you can do it. That is, producing on demand. So my friends here is your stage. Your time to show what you can do. If you can have a week of shooting and make a few really nice pictures, editors will notice. Almost everyone has a few stunning pictures in their portfolio.  Want to really make an impression? Show editors what you can do NOW.

OR simply relax, chill, and let the joy of photography as your personal diary become the imperative. It is all up to you.

You can do a mini essay or simply shoot random. Whatever suits your spirit. Whatever shows your authorship. Whatever is just fun for you.

We had been looking at a good way to do BurnDiary and for many reasons, technical and otherwise, Instagram seemed like the best way to let this audience shoot right before our eyes in real time. In the next 12 months, we will have 52 photographers that we will choose to let us see you “produce on demand” for a week. Give it a try. Let us know if you want to try it. This is sort of a trial run we are doing now starting with last year’s EPF winner Matt Lutton.

Here’s how it works:

Each week, a different photographer will be taking over BURN instagram, sharing and posting photos taken with their mobile device in real time. The contributing photographer will hold the reigns and take on the challenge, curating @burnmagazine to their own design and posting 1 or 2 photos a day.

The best of the best posted will be shared on BURN at this new page: BurnDiary

For those of you who don’t know much about Instagram, it is an application which can be accessed on your iPhone, Android, or tablet. The application is free – anyone can sign up.

Week 1 starts off with EPF 2012 winner Matt Lutton. He’ll be taking over BURN and Instagram for 1 whole week starting June 31.

Follow along with BURN on Instagram at this handle: @burnmagazine

Start fishing around and you will see many truly serious photographers using Instagram. I would like to see you be one of them.

-dah-

 

 

Summer

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Sunset. Yoga. Dog. Frisbee. Beach. Home. Friends. Sand. Now.

Spring

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I love taking family pictures… this shot of my 25 year old niece Hannah, left, waiting for a taxi after lunch is only one of dozens I hv shot of her since she was a tiny baby. She just got engaged while assisting in the loft workshop.

Friday Night Fiesta

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payback

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Photo © #1 Paprica Fotografia, #2, 3, 5 Candy Pilar Godoy, #4 Vinicius Matos, #6 Michelle Madden Smith
#1: subject from photo in book shows up for launch book signing in Rio, #2: magazines given away on soccer field in Cantagalo community in Rio, #3: young boy helps with a wall “pasting” of our book in Cantagalo, #4 and 5: neighborhood square in Tavares Bastos, #6: signing for Usain Bolt in Jamaica

 

PAYBACK

 

My schedule has been a bit crazy lately. Or maybe it always is. I have a really hard time saying “no” to stuff. Especially if it involves wide eyed youngsters who I can see are just craving some words of “wisdom”.

Of course this seems often strange to me, since I am craving words of wisdom myself!!

The recent marathon to Rio to giveaway a magazine version of (based on a true story) and then straight to Jamaica to work with Usain Bolt and 25 young photographers leaves me feeling like I just ran the 100 meter sprint and the mile on top of it. I was a long distance runner in my youth, so that mentality does come in handy for almost everything I do. You can always “kick it” just a little bit more even if you just can’t. Works.

My team of Eva-Maria Kunz, Roberta Tavares, Candy Pilar Godoy, Michelle Madden Smith, and Mike Courvoisier made it all work. Ever since I started Burn it has been the collaborative effort that rules. None of us can do much alone. Finding great collaborators will change your life if you have not already figured that out. I always tell my students, “find ONE person you trust” to help you with your work . To be a second set of eyes. To be an advisor. To kick you in the butt. Works.

Now I only do this post for one reason. As a story about inspiration. And inspiration is THE fuel for doing any damned thing. If you are not inspired, you might as well stay in bed. You need fire in the belly. Forget exotic places, the right camera. Without the “fire”, pasa nada.

Readers here know by now I come up with a lot of crazy ideas. Including the evolution of Burn in so many ways. Some (most) of my ideas do not work. Yet some do. Again, if you can complete one out of ten ideas you have, you are in the upper percentile of people who can FINISH something.

One of my crazy ideas was to giveaway half of the print run of (based on a true story) the magazine version. It was a crazy idea, it still is a crazy idea, and I did it and I “lost” financially and yet for me this was maybe the very coolest most successful thing I ever did. For sure the most rewarding. Sure I always “give” when I am shooting. Bringing back prints to people I have always done. Buying my subjects a cold beer or dinner or whatever I have always done.

Yet I have never been in a position to really really show the people where I was shooting exactly what I did. Most often they never knew. Never saw NatGeo or whatever magazine I was shooting for on a story. Yet this time I brought it back. As a thank you for allowing me to work in the Carioca community. Sure only a gesture or symbolic at best. Yet I could feel the vibe, the look in their eyes, the feeling of doing the right thing. After all (based on a true story) was not just a collaboration of my team but a collaboration with the subjects I photographed.

Segued right behind the Rio giveaway was a few days in Kingston, Jamaica with 25 young photographers aged 13-17 who belong to photo clubs around the island. The Usain Bolt Foundation and Samsung made this happen. These kids were amazing. Smart, focused, ready to learn, shooting well. We pulled an “all nighter” to get the prints made (thanks Mike, Michelle, Candy) for an on the spot exhibition of their work which was then viewed by Jamaica super hero Usain Bolt who also walked away with a signed free copy of (based on a true story)!!

Anyway, life is all one big circle. Yup, what goes around, comes around and a whole bunch of other cliches about paying back paying forward yada yada yada. Well all I can say, and I think my team would say, it is worth it, worth it, and worth it.

We are selling on Burn, and at Magnum, and at PhotoEye and possibly other venues the other half of the (based on a true story) print run…At the lowest price possible. The collector edition, now gone, was what it was and expensive by nature. Yet while I do like appealing to collectors my heart can never be elitist. The success of the collector edition paid for at least part of the giveaway and the sales of the second part of the print run should get us at break even point. Good biz? Nope. Yet the right thing all around.

And besides, “breaking even” if you are leading the life you love, and may help a few others to do so,  is a nice reward. What more to ask for?

So, I implore you to pick up your camera and do “your thing” and at the same time make it another person’s “thing” as well…Make it a two way street. Either with the pictures themselves. Or by passing on any knowledge you have to somebody else.

Give it away. Works.

 

~dah~

 

 

Rio

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Leme beach early morn.

Emerging Photographer Fund 2013

bieke depoorter © Bieke Depoorter

We are now officially announcing the Emerging Photographer Fund grant for 2013. We are awarding $15,000 to three winners and spreading the love. One top winner will receive $10,000 and two runner-ups will each take home $2,500.

Applications are now closed!

These grants are designed to support continuation of a photographer’s personal project. This body of work may be of either a journalistic mission or purely personal artistic imperative. It was initiated by David Alan Harvey in 2008 and is awarded by the Magnum Foundation. We offer this to support emerging photographers in our craft. All types of photographers. This is not a photojournalism grant, nor an art photographers grant, but could be garnered by either or both. We just want to support committed authored photography of any ilk. Please click here and see who has secured this grant in the past and who our jurors have been. 2013 jury will be announced shortly! Due to the fact that LOOK3 photo festival (where the EPF winners are traditionally announced at the opening of the festival) is happening 2 weeks later than last year, we decided to give young photographers as much time as possible to complete and submit, and

deadline extended accordingly to May 15, 2013 (6pm EST).

Over the next months, your essay will be reviewed by an independent panel of judges in the photographic industry. Past judges include Carol Nagar, Martin Parr, Gilles Peress, Eugene Richards, Maggie Steber, Fred Ritchin, Bruce Gilden, David Griffin, John Gossage, Susan Meiselas, and James Nachtwey. A maximum of 25 photos may be submitted. The submission fee is $25. All payments are final. Once your submission is complete, you will be unable to alter it. The winner will be announced in June 2013 on Burn and at this years LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph. The final selection essays will be featured on Burn. Past Burn finalists have been published in print via Burn 01 and Burn 02. Burn 03 is on the horizon and being cooked up as a limited edition magazine/book. Stay tuned.