© Stefanie Mueller from her essay in BURN 02
THINKING OUT LOUD:
Who has tiger blood? Well, tigers have tiger blood. While drinking the blood of tigers and cobras and rhinos might be considered an aphrodisiac for some, it would seem to me that a bit of exercise, a good night’s sleep, a full moon, some good wine, and candle light might be a better way to go. My feeling is, leave wild animals alone. Reaching in vain for an elusive romantic notion has probably had everyone one of us make a mistake or two. Learning is of course the name of this game of life.
While I mostly feel I have so much to learn, I spend a whole lot of my time as a mentor. Not with huge quantities of knowledge. My only job as a mentor/teacher is to give those who seek it a solid dose of energy. Get ‘em fired up. Make them THINK they drank some tiger blood. Drive them just a little bit crazy. Make sure they do their very best work..
If you think it, if you believe it, then you are 90% of the way to having it. Most of my mentoring I do gratis. One of my responsibilities on this planet. Self imposed and as pay back for being lucky. Some of my mentoring I do for a tuition. As altruistic as I tend to be, I too must face earning a living. I do not need much, but my workshops do have a tuition attached. Any astute person, and there are many here on Burn, can certainly over time get on Burn whatever I teach in a workshop.. for free. Send me a link and I am going to give a review, some thoughts, and hopefully get you going on a project. Audrey Bardou, Panos Skoulidas, and Erica McDonald, all with significant essays published on Burn are just three examples of emerging photographers I mentor with no compensation expected.
Others here have guaranteed my time by taking a week long shooting workshop. In New York, in Thailand, in Mexico. Wherever. Education usually does cost. Books, college fees, etc. If most of us feel that education is one of our most valued commodities, then we should all be willing to consider education as worth the price, assuming the stuff that gets learned is worth it. I always try to make it worth it for those I mentor gratis just as much as to those who compensate.
So I think I will use this same model of give most away, and be compensated for the rest on my work now in RIO. I would like to take this Burn audience vicariously with me to Rio. Yes as an educational exercise. As reportage. This 4th trip to Rio in the last 2 years will finish my last chapter for my personal book. I have already completed my National Geographic assignment. I am taking you with me with daily updates as i finish the book. How I how think about a book, and a fast paced walk on the wild side in RIO.
For it is this “behind the scenes” approach I am taking by presenting a subscribing audience with a real time real view of “this is how it is”. A very personal look at play that is work, and work that is play . A party, too much fun to be serious? The party, well , yes. But a serious effort? Absolutely. My whole reputation as a photographer will be on the line. The National Geographic piece will most likely be out in late spring of 2012 and my RIO book and exhibition opening in Sydney , Australia at around the same time.
The NatGeo piece will be one thing hopefully of great value for one demographic , and my personal book will be perhaps my very best work. We will see. I am feeling it. Deep down. Anyway the process , both the physical and the psychological, will i think be educational for those who seek it here on Burn. We may also do a super limited workshop experience. 2-3 students max. Details to follow.
Some of this will be regular programming here on Burn. Yet the deepest behind the scenes will be a daily updated subscriber section. For a month. Those who choose this option will get a serious discount on the book. I must work out the exact numbers formula , but the one month subscription will be less than a cup of good coffee and the discount on an expensive book will be about 20%.
In other words for example you invest 2 dollars for the WHOLE MONTH (that is like 6 cents per day) for daily how to do it updates …then later get say 20 dollars off the price of the book. Or 10 or 15 , depending on exactly how expensive a book i do.. The exact numbers are now in flux, but I will have it all locked down in about a week.
So you will see what I am doing in Rio now for a nominal monthly fee, and save serious money if you want the book. A good deal for you and might just help me get the book done. OR don’t subscribe, don’t buy the book , and you will get much of it here anyway. No hard feelings. I am going anyway. This is going down no matter what. But of course I will try to make the behind the scenes so damned compelling, you will go for the subscription !! Use your imagination.
My case in point, and my next big feature, is to see what is up in RIO through my daily picture/text postings and dialogue with you. I am leaving in about two weeks for a month of free style rocking crazy serious shooting. Gonna be intense. Can you handle it?
Better drink some tiger blood first!! Smiling…
BURN 02 and BURN ONLINE:
Everyone is trying to figure out ways for photographers to earn a living in the digi age. At Magnum we are working on this , as a member photographer I am doing the same. The main thing is to have original content. The model above , if it works, could be then used with many photographers. The readers in effect vote on content. In general, Burn in 2012 will have all content you will not have seen prior. We will pay for this of course. Hopefully with your donations which do keep us going already with EPF and original commissions as we did for Burn 02 with Paolo Pellegrin and Bruce Gilden. This is the model we want to use for everyone. This is our goal.
So our whole point, both with live “broadcasts” and with online and in print is original content. Seen first here. Perhaps a part of the new upcoming Magnum system of individual photographer “channels”. Stay tuned, more information later.
It is most likely to your personal advantage to give our small crew here at Burn your support. After all , we are only here to discover you. To find new work , from new photographers, and to light a candle as well to some icons who may lead the way for you. You will spend your earning on photography one way or another, and I can honestly say you will be doing yourself more good keeping the flames at Burn on blue hot level…We are photographers at Burn. Not businessmen. Yes we need funds to keep going. Why wouldn’t we? We are not rich photographers. Burn struggles every month to survive. Mostly we want to be able to create fine objects. Fine books. Fine workshops. Give you good spirit.We want to stand for the high end of photographic pursuit and we intend to earn it.
You can easily see we have no advertising and our only sponsors are generous donors. We only owe you.
I am guessing that Burn 02 (available below) will be sold out or close to it by Christmas. I believe last year that 01 was gone by mid January. My friends at the traditional publishers of photo books tell me that Burn is rocking the boat. The few copies of 01 we did hold back are now selling for double the original price. We did not hold back any for that reason, because this has been a total surprise. We expect 02 to be a collector item as well. Limited edition anything is always of best value.
Anyway, check us out. Hang out. All of you just being here helps us. Give us your ideas. Give us your pictures. No wait, SELL US your exclusive essay!! Photographer’s rights are my mainstay philosophy. Our whole constitution at Magnum is about photographer rights.
So yes help out my staff with a bit of support if you possibly can. If you are a committed photographer this will come back to you in a very real way. Or if you simply enjoy looking at leading edge photography , then it will come back to you in a real way as well. Our donation button is in the right hand column. Buying 02 is another way to help all of US. Thank you.
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RIO WEATHER REPORT: