c’mon baby light my fire…

Brazilian model Fernanda Brandao photographed for my YOU MADE ME LEAVE book project in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico


i am supposed to be quitting this Burn bit right now….sort of announced that i would a few weeks back…too much work and i need to devote all my time to my own photography…i am doing three different projects with my own work that need my full attention…this is no time to be thinking of others….damn…everything was set for a high five very honorable goodbye until i went to Amsterdam as a guest of World Press Photo…

ok, so i met some young Burn audience, they told me how much Burn meant to them, uh huh, and then to the Magnum education blast in Toronto where i felt the effect of Burn in a very palpable way from both students and my Magnum colleagues, and then finally the coup de grace  last week a 16 yr old kid with a camera literally skateboarded into my gallery show in Colorado and said out of breath and without shaking hands, “i love Burn”..

so, how do you walk away after that? i mean it was only three or four people who said those things to me, but it is not about how many, but about the glint in their eye…sincere, warm, authentic…while i feel as though i have tried to avoid responsibility for the better part of my life, right here in my moment of total life freedom i have somehow managed to get myself into some sort of position of responsibility…freedom backfired..flipped…where did i go wrong?

and just now, just today, just an hour ago, after a long net session with Anton Kusters, the two of us structuring the way we would play the Emerging Photographer Fund Grant finalists starting tomorrow, we both ended up laughing hysterically…Anton with his own Yakuza book almost hot off the press was with me in thinking we would let Burn go…pass it on to others, or just let it go….and yet the reason we were laughing so hard was because in a moment of artistic and personal clarity, we saw that Burn was not fading for us, but getting ready to take on a new life…

for sure, our ten finalists this year will be our benchmark for now and set a tone for the future….exciting yes, and for sure to be controversial as well…if you have everybody agreeing with you, or have any sort of dogma attached to photography,  in any direction, then  for sure it would be time to go home…light a few fires, and you might just be getting somewhere…

no, we will not keep playing the same song…we will always be looking for fresh vision…and this year all of our candidates have it …fresh, new vision..yes, some purely journalistic, and yes, some purely conceptual…are we the arbiters of a new age of photography? of course not…in this new age, the readers choose…on the other hand, we have taken it upon ourselves to have a birds eye view of who is doing what , where and why…i have young students from all over the world, see so much work coming into Magnum, all of us see thousands of entries here on Burn, and make sure we see what is going on at all the international photo fests and pay attention to all curated shows and most recent publications of all kinds…

do we miss some stuff? sure we do, but we feel we have a reasonable handle on  what is going on as well as anyone and with no attachments commercial or otherwise to lean anyone anywhere for any reason other than to celebrate pure creativity… and we personally see a world where the various worlds of photography blend…something i have tried to do my whole life never being satisfied with labels….for sure we will blend on the pages of Burn all styles and types of photography, both online and in print soonest with BURN02…

our greatest weakness, and yes greatest strength, is that none of us who work on Burn have a full time job with Burn…we all have to do it when we can and if we can…for one way or another, we all do other things…all of us are photographers first…struggling as are all….none of us are business types, and the raw commercialization of Burn becomes less likely day by day….we want to get better, but none of us want to get negatively bigger…so we may do some things which will bring us enough funding to get a new infrastructure web wise etc., to totally display the amazing archive of stories we have for example, but all of us on Burn care more about a clean initiative than about a real biz plan…

we might fantasize a benevolent patron, and all that we do finance here comes from these generous donors (readers here), but Burn will always represent our original core philosophy of celebrating  primarily the work of new young talent with just a few iconic candles on the cake from time to time to keep things credible and referenced….and even during the short life of Burn, we have seen our original emerging crowd turn into the established crowd right before your eyes…again, we will soonest make the archive easier to access , so if you do not remember, you will be able to more easily go in and have a peek…..

Every other day we’ll show you one of our ten finalists for the EPF… and on June 11, at 10am, one of these finalists will be announced at the LOOK3 Festival to receive our $15,000 grant….

three distinctive jurors (who will now go unidentified, so you cannot influence the vote by buying them a drink) will decide on the recipient over the next two weeks of discussion and voting….these jurors will be of course identified on the day of the award…

in the coming days, we will also reveal the “short list” of 200 special  candidates out of the around 1,000 entrants and the even “shorter list” of 30 or so who came very close and are all very good….all of these will be considered very likely for publication on Burn …

i wish we had enough financing to help more than we do…and maybe someday we can have the equivalent of five of these grants or perhaps more assignments….right now, we are doing the best that we can…it is pretty obvious we are a very small rogue operation ….yet hopefully we are at least setting some examples for the larger media companies who in theory could do what we are doing way way better….but to be the small garage band has an appeal second to none really…suits me for sure…i hope it works for all of you as well…


405 Responses to “c’mon baby light my fire…”

  • PAUL,
    and the rest of the guitar afficionados/players out there..question: i need to buy me an acoustic guitar ..my budget is “pawn shop” size, if u know what i mean..any suggestions? through the net? or any place in LA or even Texas? any secret website (i would prefer internet purchase) that i can buy a cheap guitar that can stay in tune for an hour? the only chords i use is C, F, Dm, G, A and sometimes Bm…thats all…laughing..
    not trying to be jimmy page nor hendrix…any suggestions?

  • Just said this under mary anne’s images. David has given us like a power and feeling of no one knows but me andI can create/take this idea(s) any direction i want-you can’t make/tell me a damn thing i have to do-child like. At 60 like dorothy, I had it all along-door is open-now dammit step through-evolve. if you have brain like mine, started 30 years ago, got forked in the road now AD (after david) can just do and have (godly) experience-NOT achievement leibovitz style or any others. Ref all James Thurber Carnivale.

  • Panos…

    I’ve never bought a guitar over the net, so I have no idea who is a safe purchase on the web. The sort of guitars I used to buy took months of quietly trying everything new that came into the local shops. I was always looking out for new guitars with pretty new wood with great sound qualities, not very usual in new guitars, but there are always freaks of nature.
    But anyway you’re living in LA and you can’t get much closer to the rock scene although I wouldn’t be surprised if in Texas there was some good second hand guitar shops… there’s a strong blues following round there. I know there are a couple of good shops in NY best friend who knew what I was searching for brought me back a lovely Yamaha electric.
    Just make sure the neck is pretty straight and no cracks throughout the body…shake it a little just in case something is amiss in the soundbox and try and look inside for any cracks or suspicious glue marks.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    BURN is HOT
    BURN is ON
    come on babe
    BURN us ALL…

    Happy B-day to All my BURNIANS…I am drunk…no comment…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    please,don’t drink and drive…

    don’t to as civilian…DoASHARVEY…


  • marcin luczkowski


    Paris is almost as good as amsterdam for meeting. Oh, I wish i could be there! But I am almost 100% sure I could not make it. June will be very bussy time for me. I trully regret I can’t be so mobile as many of burnians are.
    But The Day will come. Paris, Rome or New York.

  • Hey, I notice the site keeps looking better and better throughout the day. Just about perfect now with that well-lighted photo of the beautiful woman on the bed. Not so sure it’s going to work so well when you have pics with other color combinations though. The thing about grey is that although it’s not so interesting in itself, it works with everything. We’ll see, eh…

  • But man, men, whatever, I gotta emphasize, by my tastes as a designer, which are similar… It does look perfect right now. Incredible photo. Design built to enhance it.

    Great example of why it’s so great you all are free of commercial constraints. The effect would be like totally trashed if there were a blinking add for Adorama or B&H blinking in the sidebar.

  • Is there anyway I can make Burn automatically update comments or “refresh” itself a bit like Facebook? Baring in mind I’m not using a Mac :)

  • paul

    in firefox there should be a menu item somewhere called “refresh page every…”

  • Doris Day on photography…:)))))))

    “I’m wild again, beguiled again,
    a simpering, whimpering child again.
    Bewitched, bothered and bewildered am I.”

  • Wow…snow blindness in late May. I wonder what I didn with my shades…

  • AKAKY..

    if my memory serves me correctly, which it sometimes does, you were the one who advised us against black in the first place and made the case very clearly for going white…now surely someone with a whole lot more energy than i have right this minute can go back and find the Akaky comments to which i refer…but i do have my shades on at the moment…

    cheers, david

  • MW….

    i am curious…you say the site got better throughout today with the “addition of the photo of the woman on the bed”..hmmm, we posted the story with this photo in the first place…tech glitch, or you did not notice her the first time around?

  • Perhaps bad typing on my part? What I meant was that everything around the woman on the bed has been changing throughout the day. If that’s not been happening, well, I guess it’s just another flashback type experience. Shifting colors and all, you know. All good. Regardless, one of the best web pages I’ve ever seen. Someone should take a screenshot. And I need to step away from the computer… no doubt. Too much looking at my photos and websites causes some projection, I’m sure.

  • You’re not leaving???

    WOOOOOOO HOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Burning party over here, then!!!

    (my informal degree course – Burn, photobooks, working my own projects – remains intact. I am ecstatic)

  • …did not notice her the first time around?

    Just to be clear, ummm, yea, I did. I may be going blind, but I’m not there yet…

  • Of course, and no doubt due to some combination of old age and pathetic wonkishness, the first thing I noted about her was how she was lit. And my wife’s not looking over my shoulder as I type this, I swear.


    hmmm…know Thurber (a fan mostly) know Leibovitz(a fan of some) and know “others”(a fan depending) but lost on your translation..another try?

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Mike R
    November 30, 2010 at 8:27 am
    DAH, with the new design, is it possible to try photographs displayed on a white background as opposed to the current black? If the photograph contains dark areas in the outer area it currently tends to bleed into the black background at present – at least for me. This would probably mean that text would become black on white also. Worth a try?


    david alan harvey
    November 30, 2010 at 8:32 am
    MIKE R..

    sure, we will look at that of course…i know many prefer black on white…we looked at that over and over again on this design, and ended up with black…we could do that or anything in between…please note that a new dialogue post is up…you gotta keep up!! smiling…

    I’m Civi…with energy to BURN…don’t drink and post…I am looking for AKAKY?:))))))))))))))

    can I go now…?

  • Admin…

    Thank you :)

  • a civilian-mass audience

    No…I can’t go now…

    the Benchmark is coming…!!! Wake up BURNIANS…dam..dardam…

    BURN is HOT
    BURN is ON…
    Come on Babe
    lights Us ALLL…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    PAUL…we are not sleeping,amigo…VIVA …:)!

  • we’re ‘not posting’

  • a civilian-mass audience

    dam…daradam…two toenails left…damdara..dam

  • actually – i did just write a long post under an essey.. yet before i pushed ‘submit’ my son woek up..
    grateful pause..
    will re-read in the morning post-whiskey..

    two toenails left?
    you need a washburn steal strung electro-acustic, with the lovely action, narrow neck and a small pignose amp… ad a sure harp mic and you’re ready to busk..
    or was that panos?
    yep – panos – you need a washburn steal strung electro-acustic, with the lovely action, narrow neck and a small pignose amp… ad a sure harp mic and you’re ready to busk..

    civi – get a pedicure.

  • i accidentally gave away my washburn when i emigrated..
    although i do not think i actually “gave it away”.. my friend insists that i did..
    and they would..

  • a civilian-mass audience

    hmmm…I can’t keep my eyes open…I see white sheeps…
    and…no need for pedicure…all gone now…

    I will be back …when my rooster calls….

    LOVE YOU ALLLLL…don’t you dare change this BURNING dial

  • yesyes..
    have read a story
    dreamed a dream..
    sleeping soundly again

  • I hate this white background. Takes away from the photos displayed.

  • Panos,

    My one and only acoustic guitar is a Rogue (the house-brand of Musicians Friend). No, it’s not a Martin or Gibson, but is very playable at $79 with free shipping:
    My wife & daughter bought a guitar/mandolin combo for me at that price a few years ago.

    Mine is about 4 years old, and seems to get better as it ages. I really like the neck, although the sound is not as balanced and “mellow” as I would like. Hard to go wrong at the price, unless you find a lower-end Yamaha or Alvarez in a pawn shop.

  • I love this white background. Gives the photos a more elegant presentation.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Goodmorning MY BURNIANS…!!!

    the dance has started…with DARIA…

    and I am dancing…with no nails…at all:)))

    BURN is LOVE!!!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    BURN is Peace!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    BURN is photography!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    BURN is too white:)

  • marcin luczkowski

    White background is perfect!
    Only the audience names are too bright.

  • Love that “white turn” / I have been a long-time follower for light colors backgrounds …

    Can’t wait to see the rest of EPF 10.

    Bonne continuation to the BURN team (amazing work) & followers !

  • LOVE the new design!

    Happy hugs, audrey


    if we think you will hate it, then that is what we do….smiling

    cheers, david

  • I feel very proud of being one of Burnians… :))

    My heart is burning for photography, too.

    We are all cheering each other… very good motivation…

    David and Anton, Thank so much!!!

  • Love the new look.

    Morning coffee. Birds singing. New day.

    Great light!

  • Jim Powers hates something. Water is wet.

  • “I will pay back times ten in my efforts to create the best new leading edge photo driven magazine on the net.” – DAH

    Veni, Vidi, Vici Redux :)

  • David and Anton….Don’t let the fire burn out…Let it burn brighter…Burn rocks.

  • I’ve been all morning thinking about the comment I made yesterday on David’s photo of Fernanda and I think I must appologise for making such asinine and sexist comment…
    So especially Fernanda and course David, my sincerest apologies.

  • Has the white background got less bright? Or is it because I’m browsing in daylight and feeling refreshed, rather than late at night feeling tired? Last night, the whiteness was painful, now much less so. Hmmm.


    as with all things here, we are constantly evolving…sort of a nice symbiotic combo of “doing our own thing” and yet trying in the best sense of it to keep you guys happy and interested…but more in the same way i would try to do the same if invited over to my house for a gathering..a party? well, sort of..my parties always follow workshops, shows, openings etc…so as my guest i want you to be happy to be buzzed…

    but i will do it in a way that is natural for me as well…aren’t those the best gatherings? no pretense…some would prefer another type of gathering and that is where they should go..but some will like it here…

    of course always open discussion on better ways to do things…we are here ONLY to give a leg up for new into the biz photographers as you…to answer your specific question , yes the white is less white..we still have some programming to do to get it exactly where we want it…

    by the way, i know you had something for me to see and i have totally lost track of it…my schedule was just crazy there for awhile..can you re-send everything? please….sorry about that…i eventually get to it all, but sometimes it takes more time than originally planned…thanks for your patience..

    cheers, david

  • a civilian-mass audience

    yeah…and I am old…and I can’t see my name that clear…
    Am I fading…:)))))))))
    or it might be the ouzo…mixed with water…

    BURN is HOT and PAUL, no worries…FERNANDA is Hot too…

    What not to love !!!

    P.S EVA…big hugs to our boys…!

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