ahh, Paris in spring…

Joseph Koudelka gives a winsome Martin Parr a pat on the back after the Paris portraits session

John Gladdy emerges from his Paris hotel executive suite, only to be met by the dreaded Burn paparazzi


Like most photographers, I have a bunch of ideas about half cooked….Only some very few of my many on going projects actually get finished…I write about finishing often on Burn because it is the one single element most holding most photographers back..They just do not finish..I have often described a one in ten “finish rate”, which sounds low, but might actually be high….In any case the above two pictures, along with hundreds of others will fit into my now 4th book in progress tentatively titled:   PHOTOGRAPHERS (I have known)..

You will have to use your imagination on the typography and layout, but you can probably imagine the scrapbook look that would contain all the pictures I have made of my colleagues over the last 40+ years. No not just now as in Paris with the Magnum crowd and a piece of the Burn crowd, but all the way back to my college days, newspaper days, NatGeo days and 15 yrs worth of Magnum days and from seminars and photo fests world wide and all of my students and on and on and on…

Yup, I have pictures of probably everyone reading this text right now…Right? Or pretty damned close to it. Everybody shoots these “extended family ” pictures , but I might just have been doing it longer and over a wider demographic of our photographic community than most…

This is not so unusual , for photographers seems to love taking pictures of each other. I saw it at Look3 and I see it at the Magnum meetings like the one we just had now in Paris.  Photographers will often say “don’t take my picture, I belong on the other side of the camera”,  then give a silly grin into the camera just like everyone else getting their picture made. C’mon let’s face it, we all like being in a “memory picture” …Not a good picture. Not an intentional picture. Just a snapshot for the memory book. Well, this memory book might just be a real book. So unselfconscious and so not “trying” that it might just have an authenticity to it that would give it some lasting value. A little piece of history. And of course I will sell a copy to all the photographers who are in the book! Hot sales figures right there. :)

Of course, the cynical response could be, and will be, “who cares about a bunch of pictures of photographers?”…. a fair question of course…Well, I would sure buy a copy if someone else did it..Assuming it was done in a really interesting way…Just a bit of text, a few identifying captions, and well ..done…

Above are just two of the many I took around the Magnum annual gathering of the tribe. The first is of an unusual moment when Martin Parr arrived at the HCB Foundation cocktail party after photographing dozens of Parisians who had been lined up around the block to have a Parr Portrait as part of a Paris office fundraiser. Who could be more different than Parr? Koudelka, that’s who…Yet this is classic..Two photographers who see the world so so differently, and who might disagree on some issues, yet blend in a family way in the long run of our cooperative..This is the extended family of photography that I have always seen since my youngest days. Here played out on the same time stage with a late night Burn crowd reunion in the room of John Gladdy who decided to show us work at 3:30am after a diet of champagne, red wine, and tequila…All of this is part of my photo mix. What I have seen since starting to shoot this sort of thing during my grad school days.

That old famous line “if you remember the 60’s you were not there” is pretty much true. Same for a lot of these gatherings. I sure would not remember 90% of the stuff I see in my contact sheets. So good thing I made a few snaps to trigger the memories. Good ones, great ones,  to be sure..

Next time you see me, smile..You just might end up in the book…

337 Responses to “ahh, Paris in spring…”


    see for yourselves


  • COPS , keeping one of the metro entrances blocked so the doctors could not reach the wounded people inside the subway after tons of tear gas


  • That should read: thanks both, David and Paul, and Framers too.. and IMANTS as well..

  • Well I’m not too mad on self help books and films laughing and I’ve read an seen most if them, but the ‘Peaceful Warrior’ film is especially good and full of good ideas. I can’t recomend the book it really gets a little absurd half way through, supposedly was one of the first self help books of it’s kind from the late 60’s and apparently it’s a true story with a little extra fiction.


    do not worry, wouldn’t do the book without you

  • a civilian-mass audience

    BURNIANS…wherever you are in the Universe…
    take action…
    do something…I don’t know what it might work in your country
    BUT do something,anything…better than nothing…
    you don’t want to end up like my country…
    looking for heroes…

    cause when one country is looking for heroes…then, this country is already fucked up…
    take ACTION…Action-reaction…

    I am out fighting…you all keep BURNING…I follow you:)))

    P.S ADMIN,ALL…excuse my language…I am in a survival mode…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    PANOS…tell it like it is…
    the chemicals,teargas…most of them expired…
    damnit …and all these years…I worried about pesticides

    BUT I have good news…my chickens are rocking…eggs,many eggs…I am blessed:)))

    VIVA…I LOVE YOU ALLL…keep shooting

    P.S…MR.HARVEY…I smile all the time…just in case:))))))))))))))

  • a civilian-mass audience

    yoho,yoho…the pirate’s life…for me!!!

    I’ll be back

  • marcin luczkowski

    This post is 2 days old? And I didn’t see it? Something wrong is with my head…. or my eyes.

  • DAVID/ALL: :)))

    first of all, sorry for the silence….it’s been an intense 2 weeks…no time to write….anyway, i just wrote 3 long posts, so i don’t have much energy here…so just a quick hug

    first, David:

    :))))))…love the nose bandaid….:)))…and the book idea sounds cool…BUT ONLY IF you publish You Left Me first…if that book doesn’t get published, i’m going to ride your ass forever,…and i know you don’t like when i do that! ;)))))…..John vink has made a great series of shooting photogrpahers (unknown) shooting people…great stuff…my friend anya chibisova (you might have met her at one of your parties at kibbutz) has done a cool series on artists too…i’ll find you the link later….so, anyway…so so happy you had fun in paris…i’m jealous :))))…looks even more fun than in toronto ;))))

    john g: :)))…you look so so so gentle and loving dude…i’m never going to fall for one of your angry posts again ;))))))…can’t wait to drink with you…

    sarah :)))))))…love your smile, love the pics….love the burn ;))))

    paul :)))))))))))))))))…pics just made me hungry and thirsty…so so happyyou made it….see, i told you david is the real deal and cool as shit: just a great guy…but do not take lessons from in on following women subtly ;)))….the glass door thing….

    preston! :))))))))))))))…fuck, that is a beautiful picture of david…i mean, was that the cover of Tiger Beat magazine?….

    DAVID :))))…listen, a friend in china, famous chinese photographer, once told me you haven’t made it until a website tries to rip off your images….so YOU’VE MADE IT AMIGO!….now, who the fuck would buy those pics from the killing grounds of cambodia….damn…..

    anyway, what i have loved love best about burn is actually meeting people here in person…in nyc, in toronto, in montreal, in the south…i consider some of the burn people real and deep friends….(david, marc, lance, panos, anton, velibor, erica, mike b, james dilano, katherine hesse, etc etc)….that’s it….what is special is that i love meetin burn people…just last week, i invited jeff h (a great great guy) to dom nahr’s private projection (one of the best guys on the planet)…that’s it…


    still waiting to meet/drink 7-up with my dad akaky


  • Thanks for the replies to my question. I was just interested in what works for different people. The farm story I’m shooting will go for 12-months; shooting about 3 days per week. At the moment I’m editing pretty loosely (about 150 images over 3-months shooting) I have my favourites; but think I’ll “sit on them” a bit just to see how everything evolves.

    This is the first story where I’ve been able to do so much day to day shooting (on one story; at one location) over a long period of time; rather than snippets here and there over time.

    Again; thanks! :-)

  • OK, I get that the rape case against Strauss Khan looks very weak. But some of the reports in the media make it sound like he’s a saint, now they’re talking about him as the presidential candidate. Wait, isn’t he married? There is no doubt that he had sex with the maid, he himself said so, stating it was consensual. So even if he didn’t rape her, he’s not exactly a role model. Or am I missing something??

  • PANOS – Putin is an interesting character and hard to define or reduce. That’s all I’ll say there…as ex-politico, I have lines I cannot cross, but let it be said that Putin is much more complex than western journos usually allow…

    Just got in. Past 4am. Went to penultimate night of a bar in town before it closes. Long history there. Famous actors, the theatre bar. I know the owner of 40 yrs very well, Paddy. We plan a Petersen-style exhib of my random photos there for when he opens the next place – small cheap 5×7 prints and whoever recognises themselves can keep the print kinda thing. Nothing major, no big edit, just a little fun. Just giving back to my fam. My friends are my fam and I love them dearly. That’s all it is. Takes a lot for me to call someone a friend. But, when I do, I mean that I love them as such. Anyway, I have over 800 frames from tonight. I travel tomorrow AM. And I desperately need seep. Do I edit them now or sleep it off and do them later? After I go to London for a week? Stay tuned… ;-P

  • BOB BLACK – “sarah” ?!? was that to me? I am Sara. If so, we cool, smiles back. If someone else, ignore this, we still cool. :-D

    DAH – that book on photographers. If you don;t include me, it will either be a massive mistake or extremely fitting. It is up to you to decide which. Same goes for everyone else. OOHHH, I’m in tautologous mode or mood tonight…hahaha, that’s also fitting.

    FRAMERS – go edit them fucking photos already!! Or at least sleep!!! You need one, or either, or both. My dear…*cigarette loosely dangling from uberlong fingers and gesturing gently while this is being uttered*

    Train. 9am. Must. Not Forget. 4 hours from now. Damn.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    FRAMERS…800 frames…wow,you need to rest this finger…:)))
    I can have my rooster…give u a wake up call;)

    book on photographers?:)…damnit…am I out again?:)))))))))))))

    Smile my BURNIANS,smile…partyyyyyyyyyy

  • Okay, first and rough edit, down to 15. Just some fun thing. Just playing and saying goodbye to my home in Liverpool, the Everyman. The final day has started. I will not be there. In 4 hours, I travel back to London. More Russki work awaits me. Grime, baby, grime.

    I give you, The Death of the Everyman.

  • CIVI
    I love you, as a friend you have my love. Yes, 800 odd frames. 800-odd and 800, odd frames. ;-P I took word from my boy Richard Kalvar who said he shot 1000 a day in Italy. Big props to my occasional guides on this solitary path. (I think it worked out okay…let me know)

  • Framers…

    My humble opinion is you should not show your work everytime you come back from a shoot. This is meant to be an essay if you show all everytime people will lose interest. I understand your enthusiasm but show it privately for advice but not so publicly and till it’s finished.

  • Sara …………… frame no12

  • watched Inside Job last night… it should be watched back-to-back with The Corporation… a bottle of Jack or similar is recommended… also, lock away any razor blades and the like beforehand…

  • Paul, it wasn’t so much an essay as a diary piece, same as your Paris pictures. The Everyman is a pretty crucial spot in the history of Liverpool cultural life, and it closes later today. I won’t be there, I’ll be travelling back to London for my Russia project, but I was there last night. No waiting around on this, it’s now or never.

  • Framers…

    I thought it was work from your Russian project, that’s why wrote my comment. I agree with Imants N12.

  • Meh, I am inept and hit submit at the wrong time.

    But, yup, I’m not showing everything I shoot every time I shoot, this was just a farewell to a great place and deserved to be shared while still fresh and before it closes forever later tonight. Like a mixtape thing, not an album thing, you dig? Anyway, not really sure I get the criticism of timing – I’d probably pick the same images if I went through it again a year from now. The processing could be slicker, but that misses the point of the place entirely. It’s raw, improvised theatre, not airbrushed billboards of movie stars. If you don’t like the pictures, don’t like them and say so, that’s easy to do. But criticising the timing for putting them in a few low-key public spaces is a bit like saying to a writer that their poems would be so much stronger if only they took the time to type them out. I’m not really into slow turnarounds and sitting on images if those images are just the fun images, the images you do to remember being there. This one needed to get to the wire fast.

    Trust, my current project, my Russians thing, that isn’t public anywhere. Just sitting with a few people who I know can give useful feedback to me. The Russian project is a different beast though; that’s more of a novel while this is more a poem written on a napkin for the sake of Audenesque homage in honour of a place known and loved.

    Imants – yeah, I like the hands, too. Shooting in those weird lights was fun and hard, timing it was such an effort, so I’m pleased with it given the circumstances though I’d be looking to shoot it much better tonight were I there. The thing was supposed to feel a bit raw and improvised and freestyled overall, a bit loose. Not so sure about my self-portrait, but positive I should have been in it somehow and that was the only one I took. Silly of me, really. Hope it at least made you smile and made you think of some good times and the good places they happened in – that’s all it was for.

  • Paul – we cross-posted, sorry!

  • Ross…

    about editing long term projects.. so far this year I’m adding 3, perhaps 4 pics to the lot of around 50 pics I have.. feels like I’m moving in circles, I guess that happens when you’re way into the project, at first everything is new, then the digging starts..

    To have 12 months and being able to shoot every week sounds like heaven though.. must find myself something like that too, not event related.. :)

  • By the way, although not (as far as I know) in the BG of any shots I made last night, the owner of this bar Paddy bought and displayed the work of local photographers to support them back in the 80s and 90s, including Tom Wood and Peter Hagerty (founder of Open Eye Gallery), when they were broke and it made a big difference. They hang in the bar to this day (but not tomorrow!). He really supports photographers, and has always been good support for me and my work. Same thing with some painters and sketch artists. They had a DJ and live music from the local scene all week long (most of it I missed for being in London working my project). And the theatre is famous for bringing out guys like Pete Postlethwaite and David Morrissey. Morrissey worked the bar here for 2 years and came through the youth theatre. The bar bought the theatre out and kept it running when it nearly went bankrupt.

    All of Liverpool creative life over the last 40 years has some kind of link with this place. It’s that kind of special. Getting precious about my reputation and not putting these out there would be a pretty douche move, imo. And I try to be a strong person, and I suspect my photography will flow from that so, sometimes, I just have to follow my heart and do something without thinking through the minutiae of exactly how this might affect my reputation with some random picture editor who reads this site or my twitter stream.

    These images were just a tiny little thank you note for doing all of that for Liverpool creative life over 40 years. It was my way of writing in the memory books they had up around the place this week. And I wouldn’t judge a novelist by what they put in a guestbook.

  • About the Strauss-Kahn thing, from everything I’ve read, it appears that no new evidence has appeared to exonerate him, only that his accuser may have been less than truthful about her illegal drug-related history and that it may have occurred to her after the (alleged) incident to sue the rich guy that (allegedly) raped her. Unfortunately, for a violent rapist to be successfully prosecuted, particularly a very wealthy one, his victim must have led the life of a saint, never have had even a parking ticket, never having had sex outside of a marriage, and never having enjoyed it even in one.

    I have no idea what the truth is in this case but there are many truths that have or may be revealed, all of them very ugly. Probably the most important one is that in pretty much any scenario it will prove to be a major setback for rape victims who already have enough trouble getting justice.

    If the woman lied about the whole thing, then a prominent example like that would harm the believability of others, at least in the minds of too many.

    If he is guilty and gets away with it because the woman has a less than virginal background, that will further empower other such violent rapists.

    If it’s the result of espionage by the French, or any other government, then it’s a horrendous crime, not just in the big picture monetary policy or Greek crisis aspect which would be more than horrendous enough, but also for the way it would further erode the possibility of justice for victims of violent rape.

    No matter the outcome, it’s yet another monumental failure of journalists. From the public conviction without a trial and being sentenced to the nickname “Le Perv” to the fluff pieces on the saintliness of the alleged victim, which were either monumentally incompetent on the part of the journalists or a fantastic success for some scam artists or intelligence agency, our top journalists have once again failed us. Unfortunately, all too many of us are just eager tools for achieving other people’s agendas.

  • MW…
    being a rape victim is definitely NOT a “good thing”…
    but,,but,,but ..u gotta realize that being unfairly ACCUSED as a rapist is also a NOT “good thing” either…imho

  • remember even back in ancient athens , that was the same accusation that “killed”/executed SOCRATES…
    child molestation / youth corruption accusations…
    there two ways usually to destroy a political figure or PUBLIC figure…either with IRS/taxes or MORAL (rape/sodomy etc) accusations…
    that “moral card” has been pulled numerous times in history..

  • My kids and I have just finished enjoying a lovely afternoon destroying 82 rolls of 120 BW film which was full of blah, blah, blah. A marvelous feeling, it’s taken a big weight of my shoulders and now looking forward to perhaps create this year something with a little more meaning or authentic :)!

  • Yes Panos, of course you’re right. I mentioned that aspect but concentrated more on the victim aspect since it’s pretty certain that far more rapists get away with it than are wrongfully prosecuted, but your point remains valid. And I can relate personally as well. One summer when I was in college, a guy that looked like me and drove a car like mine was attacking women about 20 miles from where I lived. Fortunately, I was working at a place with a lot of security and it was easy to prove my whereabouts when the attacks occurred. But had that not been the case, it might have meant big trouble. I saw the police sketch and the description of the car and even I would have thought it was me.

    But my point remains that the DSK case is a disaster pretty much however it turns out. I simply can’t imagine a good outcome from anyone’s point of view, except perhaps some banksters and their political toadies.

  • mw,

    (DSK) what is most new and unsettling is that as facts came out finally (one can hope), her reaction to her rape, or “rape”, was that after the encounter, she went to tidy up a room, then went back to DSK’s room to fix it as well (with a torn shoulder ligament?!?), this contradicting her first statement that she hid prostrated in a corner of the 28th floor.

    The problem is not to discuss the powerness of powerful, crookedness of powerless (one must be fair), and vice versa, or that women have a hard times getting justice after a rape, that’s quite OK, the problem is to do it only because the medias tell us when to talk about it, as it sells ads and copies. So, it has more to do with people being Pavlov’s sheeps glued to a screen showing images, and poked around to regurgitate the same “copy and paste” opinions as the last time the subject came around, than tackling a societal ill.. IMO.

  • the problem is to do it only because the medias tell us when to talk about it, as it sells ads and copies. So, it has more to do with people being Pavlov’s sheeps glued to a screen showing images, and poked around to regurgitate the same “copy and paste” opinions as the last time the subject came around, than tackling a societal ill..


  • Didn’t want to further sully Bill Frakes great feature but I’m really surprised at the reaction by a few that the well established great photographers don’t belong on Burn, as if having emerging work posted alongside iconic is some kind of a bad thing. Weird, the logic completely escapes me. I mean, if your work was hanging in a group show in a gallery, would you walk up to an Erwitt and smash it on the floor, tell him he didn’t belong because he was too well know (good) and then throw a drink in the host’s face? Very strange. I just want to see great work from as many corners as possible, I want to be inspired, I could care less of what “station” the creator belongs. In the same way, I look at work lying honest in an open palm, not with a knife drawn ready to slice apart all the motives, full of self-righteous judgement, to unleash the sum of all my frustrations at not being the person I wanted to be upon the hapless soul who simply opened his palm like a child sharing his prize marbles, or perhaps a hamster, and who said, look.

  • Some make photography too hard.Some make too easy

    Speaking of too easy… I think I’ve previously mentioned my fascination with dappled light? Today was a great day for it. I hurt my knee about a month ago and have mostly been homebound since. It’s been horrible. I feel like I’ve gained ten pounds and have been going stir crazy. Today was the first day I’ve been able to get out and walk a couple miles without pain. So I get outside and it’s a bright summer day, harsh sun coming in low, glare everywhere, one of my favorite light situations, so I get it in my head to do a dappled light exercise, it’s been a long time, and I’ve got a trip coming up to continue work on my Rurality project, and I’ve arranged a little side assignment with an interesting magazine I like, and if I’m going to spend my time practicing something, I should be practicing strobe work since that’s what I’m gonna need in Rurality, but that’s hard and dappled light is easy so what the hell,I say, go for it, a dappled light exercise is not really serious work anymore since I pretty much know what I’m doing, but I enjoy it, so why not?

    Anyway, if you like nature photos, or pictures of Brooklyn, you may enjoy this… Or maybe not?

  • a civilian-mass audience

    for all of those …who stuck in Athens…

    please,check out JAMES…http://www.benaki.gr/index.asp?lang=en&id=202010001&sid=1056

    Viva Grecolandia!!!

  • Carsten..

    about role model thing in the Strauss-Kahn affair.. around minute 16-17 they go into the French point of view of this:


  • WINEPHOTO 2011

    Deadline: EXTENDED to July 10th, 2011 –> HURRY UP!


  • Well written Tom!
    Even if the ratio of emerging versus established photographers was round 5 to 1 favouring those emerging, Burn would still be totally unique in giving chances to those who are beginning.
    When one is beginning, what greater privilege can there be than being featured in the same magazine as some of the greatest…

  • Uhmm… seems there’ll be one more new possibility to invest/waste time online:


    Same like Facebook, but not same same..

    (PAUL!!! forgot to sign your prints, sheesh!!)

  • EVA,

    yeah, Google+ is a new social network. So, whoever wants to connect with me, here I am –

    if you are not yet there and I had your gmail address, I could send out invites, however it seems they are having capacity issues at the moment, you may face a delay in receiving and entering…

    However, at the moment I would prefer Facebook.

    For invites my gmail address is thomas dot bregulla at gmail dot com

  • Don’t know if anyone has posted this, but interesting essay on VII magazine…Antonin Kratochvil “In America”


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