righteous (as in bob marley def)….

(interview with Alec Soth , above, coming soon…..stuff you never knew)

I have had writers block for the last three weeks, yet I am not a writer. Which is no doubt  the whole of the problem. I can do ok with pictures on demand. Not so with  pen and paper. Surely it isn’t that I don’t  have much to tell you. I have too much to tell you, yet i need to be brief. I will get right to the point.

For those of you who have been readers here for awhile, you probably figured out a long time ago that this is a pretty humble operation here at Burn. While we are in popular terms a “wildly successful new brand” , we make no money and our staff is still an all voluntary army.  Now mind you we are not even trying to make money. Yea invest in us!  Smiling.  Seriously, all of us value independence and freedom more than money. So we are not looking for bosses. Yet we are looking for support. Sure, uh huh, right dude, who gets money without a boss?

In fact we are ninjalike action heroes because we have  generated some income from thoughtful donors to pay for our $15,000 Burn/Emerging Photographer Fund grant with funds donated through the not for profit Magnum Foundation. Subscription donations help to pay photographers for work published here. These are donors who simply believe in what we are doing.

Yet indeed, we are scrambling to make things work . There are two possible solutions. First , is to accept advertising. While I have zero aversion to advertising and have done ad photography, I think that for Burn right now we might just be able to survive without it and therefore have a really clean slate for just doing what we want to do and with a particular kind of unencumbered cred. This audience will basically make the decision for funding/donations  based on the steps we are making.

So you may ask, what steps?

We want to make more of what we did in the last two weeks. Financially and psychologically supporting an emerging photographer like Egyptian  Laura El Tantawy in Cairo and at the same time commissioning an exclusive for Burn essay by Paolo Pellegrin. Both photographers with unique styles and both looking at Cairo.

Both with equal pay, equal artistic control, and one time use only photo rights..

My stated initial goal of Burn was to combine the iconic with the emerging iconic. We have done it now with original photography from both and an exclusive here.

Next we go to firebrand Bruce Gilden who will be in Haiti during elections  and a soon to be assigned young  Haitian photographer to shoot a parallel story with Bruce.  Followed by Alec Soth (shown above during my interview this week)  and and an emerging photographer chosen by him. Our aesthetic interests will know no bounds and we will actively seek all individual styles of work.

Simultaneous with these projects sponsored by Burn and the readers of Burn will be a special corporate commission presented by BD who sponsored James Nachtwey with his TB essay published on Burn in 2010. BD will now sponsor in Russia both Nachtwey and emerging star of Russian descent,  Alisa Resnik. Frankly we would welcome this type of selected corporate sponsorship for any of the above projects as well. We feel we will get them , but I am willing to bet on it in the meantime with our readers support. BD was happy with Burn as a platform before, and have come back this time with additional support for a talented young photographer.  So this is a model. Again all of this original work both by Nachtwey and by Resnik will be featured first here on Burn with a proper drum roll preceding.

All of the above projects highlight four new emerging photographers as well as the established legends.

I think we have taken a large step forward today without losing any of our identity. We just want to do things here on Burn, and upcoming in print magazine  Burn 02,  that are simply cool.  Serious.  Fun. Imaginative,  and flat out informative as well. If it is  not rewarding to do and we are not giving you something unique, then we fold the tent and go have a beer. Already in our short history I think we have helped a few young photographers, respected a few icons, and made  a lot of new friends along the way.

Now one of the things I have noticed about creating space, funds, and a platform, is that while some receive , some feel left out. This is a conundrum with no real solution except  I can say that I will do my best to pass things around. I cannot support everyone. My honest hope here is only to set an example so that others better equipped to do this sort of thing than I , will take on the responsibility and the effort. I am as accessible as I can be to photographers with ideas. At the same time, I do have my own photography and books to do, so there are times when I disappear into my own shooting as I am about to do in Rio. So all patience is appreciated.

We are struggling in the good old fashioned way. Times when real things happen for the right reasons. Feels like such a time.


592 Responses to “righteous (as in bob marley def)….”

  • Eva, my favourite Salgado book is Workers. It is epic in scale and yet manages to keep the multiple subject matters a cohesive whole (e.g. he shows the raw materials for manufacture being extracted from the earth, then being turned into a ship and then a ship being dismantled to become raw material for something else). The photography is wonderful and his empathy for his human subjects shines through). I’ve not seen any work from him in quite some time though.


  • Mike.. I had ‘Workers’, ‘Africa’ and ‘Terra’ of his.. and got ‘Other Americas’ (got that wrong up there) which I didn’t know at all.. and if I had to pick only one of his books, it would be that one.. which is prior to the other books, if I remember correctly..

  • Jeff…
    I met Cristina Garcia Rodero last October. A marvelous charming and unassuming lady! She could be my Spanish mother-in law thats how normal she seems until you see her work. You then realize you in the presence of a whirlwind with a brilliant sense of humour! Shoots mostly BW film and digital for comercial stuff. She said she liked digital but prefered having film just in case. She told me on her last trip on her way back from South America she lost 75 rolls of Tri-X probably ruined at some local airport!



  • Paul,

    Just replied to your e-mail. Sorry I took so long to reply – I’ve been offline for a while.

  • john g
    viva jimmy p!!!
    sonrisa bien grandote…..

  • JOHN G! :))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

    g*&^%#!, you m*^#A%^! ;))))))))….i thought I was the burn house boy….i guess, i’m the cabin boy ;))))….i’m certain jim will love that (he does have a good sense of humor, though it rarely comes out here)……that is the funny thing….

    can u please do a weekly version….

    Panos-the-hot-tamale :))))…damn, bro…..take it easy dog, i though you were biking across america….is it the hot red ‘stang, or a rental?….glad to hear you and your companion are ok…but fro f*^# sake, be careful!…it’s like stephen wright’s novel ‘going native’ (btw, MANDATORY reading! ) :)))

    Michael :))…just being real, what else can we do but take the strain and stand up :)…thanks amigo…

    Akaky, Marcin, Paul, Eva, MW…thanks for the support :)))…\can’t keep a good man down :))

  • gladdy–

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH, frickin awesome.

    i thought it said john DAM gladdy, at first.
    i can totally imagine you introducing yourself that way. HAH.

  • John; Still giggling like a school girl I’m afraid… :-)

  • Spent the last couple of weeks working in the field… helping my uncle drastically trim a number of old almond and olive trees in order to revitalize them…

    the population of the village where my mother comes from has been steadily dropping for a long time now and today it counts only 25, plus a handful of domestic helpers from Vietnam (!!)…

    a few people from nearby villages gather each afternoon at the (only) coffee shop to play a quite complex card game called pilotta …

    the picture is a composite of three successive frames:

  • Thodoris, the left side of the pic could have been taken here.. and reading through your comment.. I see a story there..

  • Thodoris…
    Interesting idea this composite concept…perhaps you should keep on with the series and just see where it takes you and just as a way of having fun! BTW I love the overall colour/tone of the image, rather refreshing from all the usual digital over-saturated look.
    Keep all those branches you´ve trimmed for next years chimney :)

  • DAVID ..too much time on my hands??? I WISH. At the moment I am working on contract flat out 5 days a week. Three full time editing assistants to manage, bags of paperwork(god dont you just hate paperwork) , and right now I am at home cutting a funding trailer for a documentary for my brazilian producer as a favour.(deadline tomoro lunchtime) Oh and did I mention the tour posters and promo shots for the band I am going on tour with at the end of march??….back against the wall is the only way to go. So I snuck in 30 minutes break yesterday and made a little cartoon…So fire me already :)

    Talking of that, it struck me that while most people could see that this was firmly tongue in cheek, and GOT the humour of it; if I had just typed those comments in i think people may have been genuinely offended by some of it. Considered rude at the very least. Very difficult to convey a quirky sense of fun through just words on a blog. In a bar or around a dinner table( and , it seems, with animations), easy to get…but just type the words and people cant ‘read’ that its meant to be just poking a bit of fun. Go figure.


  • JOHN…
    i mean seriously “that” was brilliant….
    i mean YOU are brilliant!!!!!
    sense of humor at its best…Monty Pythons stuff…
    for me, that was the BEST ESSAY of the year, by far…so far…
    man u made my day!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    We,BURNIANS can take a tongue in our cheeks
    oime…what shall we do with these Brits?:)))

    pilotta for you…vida for me…I declare you …the dealer!

  • panos. you is the hot tamale! The only photographer giving him wood! gotta respect that :)

  • John, i know my brotha…I, is the beef tamale fo shizzle ;)

  • Just thought I would drop in to say a quick “hi” so you folks know that I have not forgotten. Sadly and blessedly, I am busy virtually minute of the day from the time I get up to the time I go to bed and as much as I want to, I cannot hang with this forum.

    Daylight is on the dramatic increase, spring is coming on and I suspect that I will stay in this extreme state of business at least until darkness sets in again late next fall.

    But I will try to get back here now and then and take a little time to see what you are all up to.

    Cheers – and Civi, keep everyone smiling!

    Thodoris – I am afraid your package never did arrive. It has been long enough now that I doubt it ever will. Somewhere, it got lost in the mail. I really wanted to see it, too.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWET3z8iVjE&NR=1&feature=fvwp

    LADIES AND GENTS I PRESENT one of my favorite bands (PIERCED ARROWS)

  • https://picasaweb.google.com/innerspacecowpanos/DEADMOONPIERCEDARROWS#slideshow/5410633363909790178

    AND THIS (above link) how i “saw” (photographed) them….

    (for those too young the PIERCED ARROWS are the ex DEAD MOON

  • David, Paul:

    Thanks for the background info on Rodero. She is a gem!

    John Gladdy:

    I’d happily come by and thrash you a good one for dissing on a Canadian boy, but luckily for you Mrs. Donkey feels – until the eruption settles – I should paint the walls instead. In Lascaux-style, perhaps?

    very funny…….


    i agree…seems to me that everyone here totally saw the cartoon as tongue in cheek..i thought the link extremely witty, said so sincerely, sent to some of my friends, and was being witty back…wit generally sets up wit in my case ..i wasn’t heaven forbid REALLY asking for your time accounting…but since you gave it anyway, i am pleased you are outrageously busy…this is good…you joining us Rio? that email was a no joke invitation…peace

    cheers, david

  • David..agree.. John “stole” the performance tonight!
    (dont even know if this expression even exists)

  • PANOS..

    it is pretty hard i think for anyone to steal your pure showmanship around here, but John did give it his best…i want to know how to do those cartoons…very cool…running out to dinner DC..back to skype with you and your bride a bit later…


    i originally fell in love with Cristina’s Rituals of Spain….can’t go wrong IF you can find that book…also try Rituals in Haiti… more likely to find this book and it is just amazing…Cristina sticks with the same theme…a woman to be admired for sure…

  • Slideshow of McCurry’s last roll of Kodachrome. Actually THE last roll of Kodachrome:


    32 shots – apparently a few were “duplicates”…but we all know what that means, right?

    Panos – Mr. Hot Tamale – you’ll be especially interested in slide #20.

  • Re: McCurry’s last roll…..

    Frame 32…. The self portrait…

    How did he find the cab? Kinda cool.

  • Jeff…u just converted me into a Steve McCurry fan….once again!;)

  • ok..last one Jeff…gotta admit…
    i so respect mr. Ara Guler… u brought tears in my eyes…
    He is one of the few and the last…

  • Pete

    Thanks for the link. Very cool. Kinda’ sobering.
    Digital has changed the way we approach making photographs. There are an un-limited number of frames. Seeing what McCurry did on this one roll is very impressive. However, I’m thinking, he likely had digital cameras along, and would whip out the one with the Kodachrome when he recognised the possibilities on the back of a digital camera. That is probably what I would do if faced with the same situation.

    Like many photographers, when first shooting digital in a paying situation, I shot film as well as digital.
    I remmember the last time that I shot film on a paying job, Jan. 2004. It was a group shot of about 30 people. I was perched on the top of a 50 gallon oil drum, Mamiya RZ precariously attatched to a tripod, and shot off a roll of film. Then I grabbed my then new 6mp Canon Rebel with a 24-70L lens, and took a flurry of shots hand-held. We ended up using the digital files which printed beautifully.

  • Gotta say I’m pretty underwhelmed by that last roll of Kodachrome series.
    Mostly nice,classic McCurry images but,as a project,’celebrating’ the last roll it didn’t seem like
    much thought was put into it. -3 images of DeNiro. Gimme a break

  • hmmmmnn ……….last roll rides on yesterday’s coat tails.

  • …..not much else that we can do

  • remember: a gun does NOT make you (me) a gangsta

  • remember: a camera does NOT make you a photographer

  • remember: a penis does NOT make you a lover

  • remember: money does NOT make you rich

  • I hope the last roll of analog film will be taken after I die. Especialy slide films. Still have to take some pics.

  • lack of a penis does NOT make you a rich photographer

  • …and i know she is mocking me but i dont mind…i still love her

  • David…

    Thanks.. went on a search and found the books, used french editions, cheaper than the english by quite a lot! And there’s a new book by Cristina Garcia Rodero coming out at the end of March, Transtempo..

    Thanks Jeff, for bringing it up, I had seen her work on screen, but never got a book, don’t really know why.. and to Justin Smith (I think it was him?) for the review on Christophe Agou’s book..

  • Oh my.. what did you say, Panos, a camera doesn’t make you a photogrpher? So what does this (not) make you:



  • Eva…
    I think I saw “Transtempo” the other day in local bookshop…Spanish version.

  • Paul.. yes, could be.. I see there’s been an exhibition in Santiageo de Compostela (here’s hoping the exhibit will tour Europe):


    and the book is out:


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