Bobby Davidson ( likes cutouts….representations… is not too hard to figure out what this Parson’s School of Design student is trying to say with the above created cardboard cutouts image….it pretty much says it all in our current landscape of everyone taking pictures of everything….does this symbolize the end of photography as we know it (or should i say knew it)??

not on your life…if young photographers do not see today/now/ this moment as offering them more than any previous generation’s wildest dreams, then they should just go back to bed….every generation has to re-invent something…whatever my generation had, they pretty much built themselves…it only looks now like perhaps it was handed to them, but alas life just ain’t like that…sure there are problems now and yes there were problems then…different problems,  but things needed to be revolutionized, changed, modified, re-worked, then as what is new??…

most problematic today is simply figuring out how to finance our passion….but, this will be done, this will be done….the smart ones, the positive thinkers, the doers, will figure it out…they already are….personally, i am so so pleased to just be able to lend a small helping hand to the next generation…what could be more worthy in life than the passing on of knowledge to the next in line??….leads to the big warm all around….give it away is what i say…please do it the first chance you get…this time may come sooner than you think….

Burn is almost one year old…a lot has happened since our original powwow in my loft just before Christmas last year….go back and search for the photos taken at the time….read what we were thinking…how we came up with our name, who said what to whom,  who took the lead, who gave the time , and who created this organism…who is the who? you is the who that’s who…

right now our repository of distributable content from Burn contributors would rival potential output of most medium sized agencies….young photographers have clearly chosen Burn as one of THE places they want to be published along with MediaStorm, 100 Eyes, NYT Lens blog, Aperture, Foto8 , PDN, Digital Journalist, etc etc…today’s online photo world is no longer a zero sum game….instead of competition it is co-opetition….like minded peer groups often supporting the other…an umbrella under which well meaning serious communicators in the arts and journalism can co-exist and thrive…it is about trust…it is about authenticity….this affirmation from the young generation gives me only one thing…a sense of responsibility….dammit, i have dug myself into a hole…i cannot quit now!

in the last few weeks i have been working to establish relationships with the established giants of the media as well as keeping things operating with stealth….for it will be stealth that will save us…the giants do not have stealth, but they know it when they see it….they may be welcoming partners after all….not necessarily out of altruism, but out of a combo of a sense of the right thing and practical production costs….we are in the right place at the right time , the right connections , the right content, and the ability to produce on demand…  a bridge to the future…..beyond those types of relationships, i have also now a grant writing team in place as well as other funding possibilities soon to be announced so that photographers published here receive a fee and commissioned work is well funded…both for the emerging and the established photographers…obviously my goal is to make the emerging, the established…and the established, keepers of the flame…

i may be asking a lot of you, but i surely plan to pay you back..with an on demand print magazine by the end of the year, with a possible Burn book imprint,  alternative gallery shows, $15k grant, international seminars, and with cold beer in my refrig for any of you who stop by…who doesn’t know that??

the other morning at 3am, i woke up out of a deep sleep and was wide awake instantly…sometimes, maybe always, my ideas come to me at the weirdest times and for no apparent reason…lightning bolt….always simple, nothing complicated, obvious, pretty straight forward ideas….i am not an intellectual, but i do think about things….esoteric and utilitarian concepts coming together….yes, a dreamer forever, but i do like to see product on the table so to speak…anyway, i woke up with an  idea and title for a new magazine(as if i needed more work! and Anton hates me for this!)….anyway, four hours after my “wake up call” we bought…

Circus …the online magazine for the REAL EMERGING PHOTOGRAPHERS…..

young photographers aged 15 and under…..not a kids magazine…the opposite….

an international magazine produced by the very young generation that would appeal to “adults” as well as to their own peer group..sophisticated…leading edge….

when you think about it for even a few seconds you can see it…killer…

yea, yea kids with cameras is nothing new….that is the point…we will  work with schools, aid organizations, inner city groups, NGO’s,  etc etc to create a child safe site and allow a real home for all this work which is being done worldwide….just as we know that the walls of grade schools are filled with great art , we know that the purity of the very young will manifest itself in something very very special….i will ask Burn photographers to help …with their ideas and with their time and with their curatorial efforts…so now i am digging a hole for you!! you can’t quit now…..told you.

with the combination of Burn and Circus we have nothing but interesting things to think about….and work to do….if you do not see it that way, i suggest you log off now….if you do stick around,  i plan to continue nurturing  this audience as much as i can…i can only do so many Skype calls in a day, or portfolio reviews in a day and your patience is appreciated… but, many of you know that i do give it a good try….

why would i do this?  simple…if i discover even one strong talent out of a thousand , then i will have done my bit…

if i can mentor one book, one show, one photographer who makes a mark, then all is well…and the work in progress nature of Burn allows all of us to see a cross section of what is being produced today…for better or worse…and the more good photographers who are inspired here, or developed here, will only lead to stronger content ,therefore making us more viable for support with each passing day…and Burn will pull Circus, and Circus will push Burn and, well,  you get it i am sure….smart crowd….

why i am writing this just before a 24 hr marathon flight is beyond me…avoiding packing and paying last minute bills could be a reason…not having written a Dialogue post in a long time could be another….or, more likely, i just have built up energy and it has come out somewhere…this is too damn long, but i do not have time to really edit…so this is raw… a contact sheet or whatever…please just remember the good parts…laughing.

oh by the way, remember the story from last july on my stray cat, now constant companion, Simone?

well,  Simone is pregnant…now what??

1526 Responses to “cutouts??”

  • and ANTON – for your sleepless morning..
    you are NOT 15peter20

    the thing is – you are doing it.. doing it without being obnoxious.. boastful.. judgmental.. verbose.. loud.. arrogant.. bombastic.. swaggering.. vainglorious.. abominable.. reprehensible.. repellent.. eminent.. odious.. or.. you know.. up-yer-sen.

    it’s all about play and you’re playing with what you’re doing.. quietly winding your way down the lane.. betraying talent.

    and, as a stranger to a stranger as we once were, you were above kind and generous of thought when we met and when our tor capa dropped out of beate… he has a viking mobile which has caused many giggles because of you.
    as our bob would say – be a good chap first, then lift the camera up.

    you would be nothing without burn?
    nah. ridiculous.
    alejandro chaskielburg would be struggling without you..

    spend your time giving others what they need, and what you need will just happen.
    (quote some blokme under a tree)
    look forward to your new work..
    whiskey waiting..
    all that jazz.
    be brave.. streatch that comfort zone..
    bea says ‘hello’.

  • DB. Did you get my email?
    Anton. They towed my car away and killed it man.


  • David, if that’s their first project, I’d love to see where they go next. Thanks for sharing.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    WE would BE nothing without ANTON

    Can we say we LOVE you???
    We miss you …
    Hugs to you,to your family,to your Japanese friends…
    skype me… to have your bed ready …yes, no more couches !!!

    P.S As DAVIDB said…whiskey waiting …

  • john big man – NO..
    NOOOOOOOOOO..not the merc.. the rust-bucket of love..
    i have had a quick glance, is all john.. i love the idea of speakers corner though and your approach is excellent.. going to drift though it more later – just been so busy ..
    lots of snaps grabbed me and i thoughht – are you shooting bnw film and scanning? from print or neg?
    very decent..

    actually – bjarte has been up our mountain with some snaps of a traveling dream, which he is going to exhibit..

  • civi – wine tonight.. infused in spaghetti sauce and sauce in general..
    red wine..
    big gulps..

    panos – how is the kid-os in mostach-os?
    fever is a panic..
    i did.
    now i just cuddle im.
    he laughs..
    as long as they are ‘themselves’, their tolerance is unbelievable.
    much better than us junkies.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    it seems that JOHNYG. had a problem with his car…you are the expert…flatbets, wheelifts,
    dolly wheels …hmmm

    makaronia, saltsa, wine,Beate…the night is all yours !!!

    BURNIANS…where are you ALL ??? I am so happy cause I am receiving so good energy from you
    and MR.HARVEY … wherever you are ,whatever you do…remember we ALL do it as YOU…
    Let’s dance …DoAsHarvey …

  • a civilian-mass audience

    and yes, CIRCUS will be a challenge …
    we will cry , we will celebrate, we will fall in LOVE , we will fart a lot,
    we will eat some buggers …BUT …we are fighters !!!

    P.S Street fighter…I am waiting …

  • Seems that the secret to getting really great kid photography, beyond kids that other photographers know, is to reach out to teachers. Every parent thinks their kid is the best, but teachers, at least in Iowa, have a knack for spotting really talented/motivated students. This could be great, but I’m nervous that overzealous parents could become enraged if someone does not get selected to be shown.

    Tread carefully.

  • it’ll be okay brian..
    storm in a teacup..
    agreed that good teachers see good talent, yet i also believe that a core of young snappers will always be pushing themselves outside of school.. systems.. parents.. just for the ‘whatever’..

    they’ll submit and they’ll have joiners.. montages.. multimedia.. over-laid text.. videos.. as well as that sometimes perceived dinosaur of sharply observed documentary..

    i don’t think there will be rage or overzealous parents..
    just envious burn commenters..

  • so..
    STOP CIRCUS>> parents and pedos will run riot..
    lawyers will wash hands in invisible soap..
    DOn’t (we) dare!!!
    i mean, like.. WTF>>
    like, yaknow?
    she said he said..


    know hope.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    “…yet i also believe that a core of young snappers will always be pushing themselves outside of school.. systems.. parents.. just for the ‘whatever’..” yeap

    and here in Greece…hmmm…photography at schools???…Speachless :(((
    where are you my Greek BURNIANS…???

    P.S oh, they are all in Athens …PET SHOP BOYS are in town…PANOS,THODORIS,ZISKAR,STELIOS,etc.etc
    Pet Shop Boys – Love Etc.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    to ALL

    “…I believe that we can achieve
    The love that we need
    I believe, call me naïve
    Love is for free…”

  • a friend and i built a darkroom in the art-room cupboard at school then taught the teeecha.
    of course –

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Where is WENDY??? hmmmm…

    VIVA DB !!! What not to THINK ???

  • a civilian-mass audience


    ETC…ETC…KATIE… we need update and your input…
    Where are you BURNIANS ???

  • what if ‘circus’ proves to be no more than a successful outlet for people producing innocuous yet interesting variations on a photographic theme?

  • Or goes nowhere because nobody has time to do anything with it?

  • a civilian-mass audience


    to be or not to be…

    what the heck…bring the beer, I am bringing kontosouvli…

  • One thing that comes to mind regarding Circus is the importance of finding a way to get past the screening programs that school systems run on their classroom computers. I volunteered from 2001-08 in the art classes in a K-5 school here in Michigan. During that time I was chagrined to find that all the photo blogs and websites I wanted to show the kids were not accessible on their classroom computers. We’ll need to find a way around that because we’ll definitely want teachers to be able to show to kids in the classroom.

    But I don’t see any of these challenges as insurmountable. I’ve been reading with great interest the responses that have been posted to DAH’s latest idea, and am seeing a great deal of excitement building up. Sure there are those like Jim who see things more critically than most, but we need that kind of feedback to keep our eyes open to potential problems. And yes, there WILL be hurtles to overcome. But hey, isn’t that true with anything new?

    To me our biggest challenge is to find a way to collaborate effectively in the set-up and running of Circus. We all know that Burn quickly spread from a tiny spark to a wildfire…and that put way more on DAH’s and Anton’s plates than they should have had to deal with. Before we go too far with Circus, we need to find a way to make Burn more collaborative behind the scenes. And then do the same with Circus.

    For now, let’s bring up all the pros and cons we can think of. Now is the time to examine this idea from all sides. But I personally think we’re really onto something…


  • a civilian-mass audience

    Midnight in Grecoland…

    I hope you all keep shooting …cause many Civilians are watching and waiting…

  • burn was/is a great idea.

    circus is a great idea too but sadly should stay as one until the day they clone Harvey or Anton
    and i mean no puppetry, and certainly not the cutout kind. the real working versions.

    * hi patricia
    * hi civi
    * hi kathee

  • And if you could get a school to unblock the website, you could not link to any other website and stay approved. Our district allows very limited access to the web for students.

  • But I don’t see any of these challenges as insurmountable…….it only takes one perceived offensive image and a parent and the site is blocked, the visual arts sites cop heaps. Some time ago a couple of kids I taught did a multimedia thing called “blocked site”
    Keep schools out until the circus establishes credibility within the www dot community and then the more conservative element in educational institutions won’t feel threatened. Though individual independent schools have greater say in their wants and needs,taking any educational institution head on will serve no benefit to circus the buggers love to dig their heels in if they are told what and how operate.

  • seems to be a lot of legal work or advise before harvey can go live.
    with everyone – ie anton and harvey heaps and loads of luck

  • Why would you even want to bring schools,teachers etc into the fray. The kids who are independent creative thinkers do not have a high regard for those types of institutions, it is the freedom from that drudgery they are after. It’s got to be about the individual and the carers/parents take some of the responsibility.

    ………….it’s the revenge,bullying style of photography that willa problem. Though most teenagers are aware of the illegalities etc few really understand or even bother to think about the consequences. Most of us no different as teens it was all about stuff the consequences and authority, except for goody two shoes down the road and his prissy sister, but she made my heart swim.

  • Lawsuit waiting to happen.

  • maybe there will be a couple, but that’s everywhere now

  • Harvey has too much to lose.

  • Jim it reads like you are making it your intent

  • Nah, “Circus” is a diversion for Harvey, a dead end road. Burn is a fledgling project that’s taking all of his and Anton’s free time (what little of that there is). For a lot of reasons, Circus is just a bad idea.

  • There will be others earmarked to run the site as there will/is be here………..I wouldn’t do it but then again I prefer to teach/tutor etc

  • First off, I must confess I haven’t read through most of the 2000 plus comments. Secondly, I think Circus is a great idea, though I wouldn’t get your hopes up about the quality of images you are likely to get. Lawsuits? I know nothing about those things. Artistic minded teenagers? I spend a lot of time with them. I think the best way to make it work would be to let teens, high school seniors or juniors at minimum, do most of the work. Finding motivated artistic kids like that here in Brooklyn is not that great a challenge. I can introduce you to some if you like, or their photography teachers. Though I generally agree with Imants about kids wanting to rebel against their schools and teachers, I haven’t seen that so much in photography programs. Those teachers tend to be cool and the students are more likely to worship them than rebel. And who cares if asinine administrators at repressive schools block the website? That mentality is a big reason that an online magazine like Circus would be worthwhile.

    I’d point you to some examples, but you you know how it is with kids and how they communicate (not) with the parental units. But here’s one piece I’m aware of, having helped minimally with the editing. I don’t know if it’s in anyway representative of what you might get from kids, but it is the real thing (albeit a video):

  • You can be as cool as you want but you still are not one of them. I still is great to have a circus style of site unblocked, Other than being a great educational tool it saves the “go home and check out such and such site and we will talk about it tomorrow” caper which is a pain. But hopefully all will emerge in time

  • Jared,
    You have anymore of those slap-o-optimism pills left? Jim needs a doze. I have fingernail growth ones to prevent typing and heavy-armenian-accent injector for screwing with speech to text software. But that’s extreme. He might get fired from texas for latter and forced to become a travel circusator.

    Happy friday night from los angeles nerve calming traffic


  • ALL…

    Suggestions please for a pre-photo shoot IPOD PLAYLIST for India.
    I’m looking to hear what you like to listen to in the car, train, bus, skateboard, rickshaw…
    before you go off to make pictures. Thanks!

    For example…corny perhaps but the other night in LA this came on. Seemed very appropriate.
    Listen to your Heart

  • “There will be others earmarked to run the site as there will/is be here………..I wouldn’t do it but then again I prefer to teach/tutor etc”

    Who is running the site here? DAH and Anton. And if anyone but DAH were hands on running Burn, there would be nobody here. And of course there’s the “I wouldn’t do it, but SOMEBODY will.”

  • There would be nobody here? running how? Developing? Before burn there was road trips with DAH only.

    Why are we here?


    wat about spanish gangsta rap ?

  • cathy

    lemme knw whn ur hittin india ….. m at

  • Vivek,

    Will do.

    Yes, any kind of music…

  • I have no doubt that young contributors to Circus will produce some strong content
    it irks me to come to somewhat the same conclusions as J.P.

    While I don’t see the potential legal issues as insurmountable as he does I agree, to the
    point, that to rush in and implement and execute the concept without at least some basic
    legal counsel is suicidal.

    Anything to do with minors,unreleased content, the internet, and the potential for misinterpretation
    of an image(s) is a minefield that requires a little more preparation than appears to be considered.

    With that out of the way, I do like the idea and it brings to mind a series of books of black
    and white images that were shot by mostly teens/tweens from India,Brazil,and South Africa themed around
    specific cities.
    The series name escapes me now as I gave gave the books away to a high school photo class but the
    content was, generally, as strong and personal, as many books in print by established veterans.

  • The idea of circus is born. The question now is: can we make this happen? Can we nurish the idea and make it work or are we going to kill it?

    The pros and cons as I see it. To educate people, to further their creative scope is the best and perhaps most rewarding thing you can do. I teach students of the age 20 and older and I only do it because it is fun for me to see them discover the secrets of a camera obscura or when the light bulb goes on in their heads and they understand the idea of a perspective or depth of field. Their joy and their curiosity and their work is what keeps me doing this.
    And in many ways I don’t only teach about technical aspects, but about attitudes. I try to show my students to be open, to be daring, to be courageous.

    Some of the most renowned photographers have parents who showed them the art of the black box. Andreas Gursky’s father was a photographer and Gursky himself was surrounded by photography at an early age. The same happened with Sam Abell or Ute Mahler and I guess there are many more examples.
    By the way there is a nice photo book published recently of the early work of Ute Mahler’s father. His name is Ludwig Schirmer and the book is called “zu hause” and it has images from the 50ies and 60ies of a rural village called Berka in the middle of Germany. A wonderful book, unfortunately little info on the web.
    David Alan Harvey’s “Off For A Family Drive” is one of his best works in my opinion and he did it as a teenager.
    The visual world will evolve, old paradigmas will die. When I look at the work of my students I see that there is a huge curiosity and yes, I feel a much greater freedom and more courage to experiment with images. This might be due to all the visual stimulation and availability and the easy use of new techniques. At the same time old masters are still appreciated.

    The biggest hurdle I see for circus is to handle legal issues. In Germany I would think parents are “quite” relaxed, whereas in England I noticed quite a hysteria about kids in public. To find the right balance is important. However when I take a picture of a child I always have to get the permission of the parent otherwise I cannot publish the image. Ignoring this can bring me in the devils kitchen and I am sure they will roast me until I am well done. So this is the most important aspect that circus has to take care of.
    A cooperation between parents, teachers and kids is vital.
    The web might give the ability to provide a platform and to link together over huge distances. This is what burn does. With circus I feel there has to be much more work on the ground. In workshops tutors and teachers have a great responsibilty and integrity is essential.
    As a teacher, a tutor or a guide to photography I feel the worst thing you can do to someone who starts out with photography is to kill the fun, the freedom and the joy to experiment. You can ruin the creativity of a person very easily. This is something I feel we should be aware of when we pass on our knowledge.
    Yes, there are rules and there are guidelines but one of the most important rules is to break the rules.
    I guess kids and teenagers like to do that a lot… As a teacher or tutor I have to get familiar with new ideas, new ways of thinking and that is a challenge for me as well. Killing an idea is always easy, to keep it growing and evolving is hard work.
    So, yes, the idea of circus is great, but it needs a dedicated and commited mind like David Alan Harvey to get this baby running.
    Count me in.

  • Haik, you are here because of DAH. If Haik (or anyone not of DAH’s standing in photography) had started a magazine of exactly the same name and exactly the same format and published exactly the same essays, who would care? It would have barely been noticed, much less won a Lucie. Most folks here would have still been cutting up over on Roadtrips. Get real. Who would be interested in essay’s selected by Haik?

    Harvey can’t hand off the work here to anyone.


    Fall is such a busy and beautiful time.
    Many pictures to be made.
    Many leaves to rake.
    Many fish to be caught.
    Great ribs from Anthonys One-Stop

    A little treat for you.

    No time for small talk while the fire is BURNing!!!

  • I don’t know the protocol: if there is “one comment per person” -rule in essays, where am I able to comment more? In dialogue, yes, but in what thread?

  • Petri, in this tread! In fact, whatever is the latest thing. Whatever DAH starts a new thread with quickly veers off into whatever folks want to chat about. :)

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