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…”

  • Mark…It’s not the hairy ass but the red (bloody?) fingers that’s worrisome!

  • Justin…
    Laughing…Don’t get down on your knees when that Pitbull is very ‘friendly’!!

  • Patricio:
    Don’t understand why life is to drive a Lexus???!?!??!
    a joke…of course;)

    Michael K,,..awesome..i always wanted to do that “made in china” photo..damn it..too late now!:)

  • Mark!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    nice hairy butt!!!!!!!!!!!;)

  • Panos… Yeah, and the fact that it came from a nice conservative xtian Super Patriot is just too sweet! ;^}

  • Lexus is the the rich mans toyota!

  • Paul – Excellent point. I talked her this morning, and she sounded much better. Of course, daytime at the grandparents is much better than nighttime at your home that has been broken into.

    Going today to the hardware store to get a long-overdue motion detector light for the house exterior and an additional lock for the back door (placed in a location not easily accessible through a broken window). Then, I guess it’s quotes on a home security system this week. I do feel some guilt that I have not made things safer for my family. Admittedly, living in small town with a low amount of crime has led to me being a bit complacent…

  • Panos, we have a Ford – the poor man’s Lincoln?


  • ha…my neighbor got an infinity, you know, the middle class man’s nissan!;)

  • touche!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    geez…rocking links…

    let me tell you “what life is…”
    check this out…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    hiii…I got you,don’t I?:)))))))

    no links from me…I am the real link

    rock on my BURNIANS…rock on…

    4th …What not to fourth !!!

    raki and mythos beer on me…can you hear me IMF…
    the PARTYYYYYYY is on me

    P.S…please,don’t drink, don’t shoot and don’t check BURN …while you are driving…

  • Panos, great pictures, great story

    ALL – Happy 4th of July!

  • yeah Thomas gracias!… i can stuck in the dark side for days but i cant resist the any opportunity for a positive message …
    why really a straight individual could give a dime for a Gay Pride Parade????
    hmmm…its about EQUAL RIGHTS…acceptance etc…evolution..basic things that the World hasnt yet achieved etc..
    anyway we are the “yet” generation!

  • P
    GREAT shots….
    great energy….
    really nice….
    liked your shot too….

  • thank you Wendy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    (re-posting for whoever happened to turn on their tv right this minute:)


  • CIVI…

    driving up North.. get the chicken the swimwests and sunglasses out, lightning like crazy and pouring cats and dogs!

  • ok ok ok..
    before u all go to sleep…

  • i have a new link..
    just in…

  • ready????
    here is my interpretation of today as it happen so far (remember All, the day here is just started…so..hang on..but here is my first impression of America this morning! bare with me..more coverage later..in the meantime , eat this:


  • a civilian-mass audience

    PANOS…can you tell TOOMER to come over…I will be in the square
    NEVER GIVE UP…oime

    EVA,VIVA…raining??? …raining???
    be safe
    I am running back to my chickens…’
    I trust you…oime…

    POMARA…BBQ on you…oime

    BURNIANS…without YOU and your vision,your blah,blah and your spirit…
    ok,got to go
    I am missing many,many beloved friends…KATIE,DAVIDB,MYGRACIE,SPACECOWBOY,REIMAR,HAIK,LASSAL..
    I LOVE ALL OF YOU…each on of you = SPECIAL
    MR.HARVEY …aha, blah,blah:)

  • a civilian-mass audience

    I had beans today…hmmm…I feel like 4th…
    my belly full of fireworks
    IMANTS..can’t stay silent
    damnit…I am ready to EXPLODE…
    I will be back…

    BURN CREW…thank you

  • I’m doing the late-night-polite I’m just going to be very quiet rather than the thing mouthy opinionated git routine.

    Latter is possibly kind of sort of more appropriate. But I am far too tired,a nd feel if I must say something egregious, I should at least then stand around long enough to become belligerent or at least bellicose. Any less, and I’m ust throwing words like knives…

  • typos. I blame those entirely on the iPhone. I swear. Nothing to do with Tanqueray. See, it isn’t even like like I can spell the word. iPhone and mild dyslexia, that’s all it is….

    yeah, that.

  • typothetical dilemman – when I buzz you asking you to meet me in a London bar for drinks. and I do it in dingbats font.if helvetica, it means I am vaguely sober still.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    FRAMERS…you too dyslexic? mild:)…welcome home my LADY…
    to the land of the free
    to the land of the “WE”

    where we share them all…and we BURN them ALL…!!!

    P.S…easy with the liver;)

  • patricio

    yes yours is in there! how come you not a fb friend?? will look for you and add…



  • Anton…
    In the past month or so I’ve added Capitolio, one of Anders Petersens books, Alex Webb’s latest, DAH’s Living Colour and your Yakuza to my photography book collection and I can’t honestly choose which is my favourite. I find myself looking through Yakuza just as much as Capitolio or any of the previously mentioned. I think that is no mean feat on your behalf for a first book as an emerging photographer! So as far as I’m concerned Yakuza is up with the greats. Your book is the perfect example where the physical beauty is always above anything on a screen.
    Oh and BTW Yakuza is head and shoulders above those already mentioned when it comes printing, design and the whole experience as an object book wise.
    So congratulations ! :)

  • PAUL,

    Thanks… completely honored by you saying this… I mean this project is my very first step (after “Sugar”), and I’ve tried to combine all my experience from different places together, to bring this to be a decent book… and at the same time I feel like I’ve so much to learn on all fronts, especially photography, it’s like I’ve only just begun… wait a minute… i actually have only just begun! So much more to do… so exciting

    ps great meeting in paris!

    cheers, a

  • Anton…
    Yes Paris was great! I can honestly say without any exageration I’ve either ”Seen the light” or I’m a different person photography wise. There is no magic wand at Magnum offices or in DAH’s backpack or in John Gladdy’s raincoat but something clicked in my mind, sipping lovely champaigne whilst listening to John Gladdy’s wise words. All I know is all my truth, my voice was right in front of my nose and of course I couldn’t see it. Eva can testify I’ve been searching and racking my brains looking for something interesting to begin an essay, at least since I started commenting on Burn. I’m now happily juggling away shooting, thinking and working on 3 ideas very happily. Just taking day by day not putting myself under too much pressure and listening to my voice.

  • PANOS:
    Thanks a lot for the link about the documentary “Inside Job” and the other one: Debtocracy.
    I’ve seen both in a row yesterday night.
    Cant’ believe that the same polititians/economists that made the crisis are hired months later by Obama administration… got some flashback to the George Orwell book “Animal Farm”, because that’s the real truth(unfortunately) and to another book “The Prince” from Machiavello.
    The fact is that the last book was written in… 1519, and in 2011, same things happens!!
    Too long to discuss here and, not the aim of burn either.

    PS: At the beginning of “Debtocracy” from 06:43min till 07.50 min someone speaks and his name is David Harvey. Smiling alone in front of the movie.

  • Paul, “Just taking day by day not putting myself under too much pressure and listening to my voice.” good to hear – nice site too.


  • Mike R…
    Thanks! Did you manage how to figure out how to make Lightroom all white? I think I read somewhere it can all be customised.

  • Paul, Lightroom allows the user to change the background colour that outlines the selected photograph (in Preferences (background)) but this just changes the small area around the photo – leaving the two data panels dark grey. I personally prefer almost-white as it seems to separate the photograph from its surroundings, just like a white mount does for a print. In Aperture I can use Preferences to select the viewer and browser brightness – I have set both to “75”. This stops any white edges in a photograph from blending into the surround but still gives a bright, airy feel to the viewing experience.

    I’m going to follow Anton’s advice and try RPP.



  • RPP is strange – seems potentially really very good, but it doesn’t seem to let me view the changes I’m making until after I hit “apply” which is making it a nightmare to work with. And I haven’t even got as far as making it a Lightroom plug in yet…

    But it seems like it could be fantastic once I figure these things out.

  • RE: RPP, two pieces of advice: 1. forget the sliders, use the keyboard. 2. Pay the suggested fee so you can set defaults and copy/paste settings. No three pieces of advice… 3. damn, I forgot three.

  • Sara Raw Photo Plug In in PS is my favorite way to do things! It does let u PREVIEW all changes if I clicked on the preview little square… Unless I’m misunderstanding your question completely :)
    Big hug

    Patricio yes.. Yes .. There is another “David Harvey” in the docu “DEBTOCRACY”.. Thanks for watching ..
    I hope more folks could watch it especially here in the States before we so easily judge or send another child/soldier to afghanistan

  • Framers, yes, RPP is totally different to the usual photo management/development applications; I’d never heard of it until Anton mentioned it here. No sliders, no real-time update of the photo, no clue of how to proceed. Pretty daunting – but it is non-destructive so no worries there. The downloadable info looks like it has been made in iWeb and RPP is a free download or “make a donation”: totally opposite the usual “pay for a license”.

    Of course, being different does not make it bad: indeed the people involved seem to be very knowledgable. I would like to see a video tutorial that demonstrates a step by step workflow using the product. If they had just charged me £200 for a license I’d probably feel much better about using it (laughing).

  • Okay, 3. I guess, what’s good about it. Very good for getting detail in blacks without blowing out highlights. That’s why I started using it. Have one project for which I care deeply about the details in black. Quit it several times due to what seemed like steep learning curve and slow, pain-in-the-ass workflow but now think nothing of it. Depends on what you’re after though. For me it’s all about control, the closer to total, the better.

  • Mike R, Sara…hmmm you guys obviously are NOT referring to Photoshop Raw Plug In right?
    coz there is a “preview” button to click and see all changes…
    Either way, once you shoot DNG then u always have the “original” un harmed (again, sorry if u guys talking about another program etc..too early for tech talk for me;)
    big hug

  • Panos…

    So that’s how you do it :)))!
    I’ve been wondering many times how you managed to keep those blacks so open with detail and still have pretty strong saturation and contrast!!
    It’s funny and very interesting how we all approach are images – I always need big fat blacks without detail, suppose that comes from using good old Velvia.

  • Panos…

    Now I’ve just seen your comment! :)
    So you are using just the same as I am…laughing!!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    “Human beings will continue to deceive and overpower one another. Basically, everyone exists in the very nature of suffering, so to abuse or mistreat each other is futile. The foundation of all spiritual practice is love. That you practice this well is my only request.”
    who else… Dalai Lama

    back to our regular program…

    “I AM FREE”
    who else…civi:)))

  • Panos, I’m talking about Raw Photo Processor


    which I picked up from Anton writing here about his workflow.

    Hope all is well Panos,



    AKAKY IRL: It’s because they hate you.

    AKAKY: No they don’t. You’re being silly.

    AKAKY IRL: Dude, I am never silly. Ever.

    AKAKY: True enough, I guess. You always were a regular hard ass.

    AKAKY IRL: Thank you. I try. And they do hate you. Otherwise they would have told you, right?

    AKAKY: I suppose so.

    AKAKY IRL: There’s no supposing involved, bubba. They hate you.

    AKAKY: But why would they hate me? I’ve done nothing to any of them, I think.

    AKAKY IRL: Maybe they’re relatives.

    AKAKY: Hardly likely.

    AKAKY IRL: You never know, guy, not with the crew of cretins you’re related to.

    AKAKY: Still not very likely.

    AKAKY IRL: Or maybe they’re Democrats.

    AKAKY: I hadn’t thought of that.

    AKAKY IRL: Think of it, guy. It’s a definite possibility. Democrats don’t like to be told that the only way they’re getting your flush toilet is by prying it off your dead backside. They like to ease their way into things, like the way they’re replacing regular light bulbs with those annoying dim green thingees. I think it’s time for you started your own lobbying group, dude, something like the National Rifle Association, only with toilets. Modern plumbing is a right worth defending, like thirty minute pizza delivery or free Internet porn. It’s something to look into.

    AKAKY: Internet porn? I don’t think so, pal; that’s a quick way to lose my job.

    AKAKY IRL: You really are pathetic, aren’t you? Your friends should hate you. You’re eminently hateable.

    AKAKY: Thanks. I’ll say something nice about you some day.

    AKAKY: Don’t bother, bubba. I’d probably wind up hating myself.

  • Mike ok i see now, i got you…

    Paul,, yeah! i try to keep things simple…
    1) dng
    2) PS raw plug in
    4) see u later

  • I used to use just phtoshop..then i thought i should experiment..so i tried for a while to do everything on capture One, then i got the very first aperture for a while (slow for back then, im sure its faster nowadays), then i got Lightroom (easy-smart PS version), then i forgot about all that and 360 full circle i eventually returned back to where i started: to the classic photoshop (Raw plug in) and nothing else!

  • I dont see why teaching an old dog new tricks!;)
    i need to shoot shoot shoot shoot shoot more..thats all i care about…i wish i could afford someone to deal with all that, workflow, storage computer balloni..i just want to shoot dang it!

  • Anyway..last night i had a nice 4th of July dinner…

    a little slideshow here…i thought the light was good for a moment..and the barbecue and the wine..


  • Paul, the only thing in my “workflow” that i added recently, is that i intentionally try to “trick”/confuse two things: first my exposure meter..and second my focus..before i click of course..
    I also like symbols…as long as there are NO people in the photo i like the best seat in the house..i like symmetry:


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