Magnum Portrait


A one minute movie by Chien-Chi Chang

838 Responses to “Magnum Portrait”

  • JEFF…

    ahh yes, glass doors!! i do not know if i told the audience here the final outcome of my broken nose in Paris…i had been putting off a deviated septum (sp?) for many years…night time breathing problems..sinus problems, headaches etc etc….well , guess what? HEALED yes HEALED by the accidental broken nose..natural surgery !!! this is the second time i have had “natural surgery”…another time, having severe knee problems i fell off the steps (yes, i am clumsy obviously) of NatGeo and landed hard on my bad knee…instant HEALING….ok, i will not count on anymore of this…but the doorways of NG and Magnum both seems to have at least “fixed” a couple of physical ailments…the wrong way, but the right way..hmmmmmm

    cheers, david

    p.s. my old VW Beetle i had in college used to “heal itself” too…wait long enough and the the damn rough sputtering engine would start running better than ever…

  • Eva, here in the U.K. Metaxa is something the Chancellor of the Exchequer does to every citizen.

    Civi, a promise is a promise.

  • Civi
    I just got back from a week in Nova Scotia making music, singing, dancing.
    Yes, I do love my life.

  • check out my Facebook page…just published picture number two of a three picture story..yea, yea, too much time on my hands..laughing…on the other hand i might be inventing a form..ha ha

    only problem i am publishing in actual chronological order , and i shoulda published backwards…well, for people watching it happen , it works this way….don’t worry i will probably get over this

  • Harvey, where the hell are you and who is Lauren? ‘you been drinking?

    I love your life too.

  • Aw man…. what about us non-facebookers?


    i drink lots of water….and Lauren has been my assistant off and on for a year…she is a university student specializing in Latin America…just spent last semester in Chile…her parents friends of mine…she busts it, and can deal with me…no small feat…she gets a good recommendation from me for having intelligence and a terrific work ethic…and willing to have her picture taken with me saying something like “Lauren , stop what you are doing, for heavens sake , the light is great, and i NEED this picture”…like most people around me, she puts up…nice woman, Lauren…

    cheers, david

  • Oh wait, you mean the instagram shots on twitter feed? Cool.


    on Twitter too amigo…or, well, if i knew some way to make it technically possible here i would…hey wait, yes Twitter…you can click front page Burn and see the sequence on Twitter…you ARE connected dude, you are connected…smiling.

  • I am CONNECTED indeed… not a total luddite. ;^}

    Hey, when we cleaning out that garage full o’ bags up here?

  • David

    Yes, it’s all about the light, a fact my beautiful wife Martha repeats to vistors when ever I commandeer her for a photograph (which is often).


    you know damned well i am teasing and you also know damned well i am not connected!!

  • Re Facebook and twitter: I fell like the guy in Invasion of the Body Snatchers when he finds that yet another of his friends has succumbed to the evil pods. I guess it’s a good thing, I should quit resisting and join too… painless delivery of advertising, excellent way to monetize my reading habits, I should join too, painless… advertising… monetizing… I should join too… painless…


    you know damned well i am teasing and you also know damned well i am not connected!!


    beautiful photograph of your bride..yes, the light…the light, not the LIGHT

  • Oh hell yes… I knew that. Totally cool.

  • MW

    for me both are relatively new..and recommended by everyone..hated idea of either..but Twitter is good for one thing…its a diary for me..otherwise i would never totally remember…the photo part is like shooting for a newspaper…or you can make stuff up as did i…helping me w Amer Family…not all bad, but no real need for you to participate either…

  • Imants:
    My misgivings about Susie Linfield’s writings is her disregard for the rights of others and that the author dislikes others encroaching her space

    I have absolutely no idea who she is or what is her space to be encroached, Imants (save the little info on the cover flip). As the book is concerned, she covers a lot of ground, and the issues and positions are clearly defined and discussed, including the rights of others (I suppose you mean the victims photographied), in which so far(1) she lets Capa talk about rather than her.

    (1)I am a slow reader, haven’t finished it yet.

    How can you not get that?
    Easy…. H U M O U R, Bobby! ;-)

  • Inspired by a conversation on page #8

  • If I’m not mistaken this was a result of instagram:

  • Re; getting out and doing the work… That’s all that matters in the end. Trying to do good work that will please yourself as the intended audience; and hopefully if it’s good enough it may attract the attention of others. But I still think the audience of one (yourself) should be the one you most want to satisfy…..

    It’s a bit like fishing; it’s so easy to say I can’t go because it’s not high tide (etc etc). It’s so easy to procrastinate; but the thing is you don’t catch anything without a line in the water.

    Now just swap the word “fishing” for photography; and “high tide” for exotic location/perfect light/ nothing interesting round here to shoot; and you sorta get the gist… So; the first step (quite literally) is to pick up the camera and use it! Quite simple really! ;-)

    There’s nothing like getting home; downloading the pics, and seeing the (very) occasional one that smacks you between the eyes. Just have to learn how to do it more often!

  • Mind you I’d take my last comment with a grain of salt cos I could win a gold medal if procrastination was an Olympic sport…. ;-)

  • ALL,

    you can see instagram pictures via webstagram (no facebook nor twitter required)

  • As I said last weekend, David’s Instagram images are lovely and I’m enjoying every single one of them.
    BTW Lauren is beautiful I hope she’ll be included in “You made me leave” :)

  • a civilian-mass audience

    THOMAS…saved the day…

    I will be back to check you later…oime…

  • Mike.. somehow our way of metaxa-ing sounds like more fun ;))

    About Twitter.. can be a great source of information, headlines you can explore or not, depends on how you use and organize it..

  • “I was a Czechoslovakian, I was photographing in the country whose language I spoke, whose problems were my own problems. And I was working for myself. Too often people with some talent go where there is some money to be made. They begin to trade a bit of their talent for a bit of money, then a little more, and finally they have nothing left to themselves. In Czechoslovakia we didn’t have many freedoms, and particularly not the freedom to make money. But that led us to choose professions that we really loved. I always photographed with the idea that no one would be interested in my photos, that no one would pay me, that if I did something I only did it for myself.”
    Joseph Koudelka

  • “Actually, I’m naturally kind of shy. I’m not inclined to just walk up to someone and put a camera in his or her face. But to take photos of people, you have to get out on the street, out of the hotel room. You need to push yourself a bit. It’s kind of ballsy to walk up to people with a 50mm or wider lens. They see and acknowledge you”

    “One thing that will happen is that you won’t always want to take pictures. Sometimes when travelling you can be in a good mood, but just not for photography. I don’t have that luxury on assignment, and for anyone interested in getting great photographs, they have to be out there taking pictures. Sometimes you just have to force yourself to get out and get started. One foot in front of the other, take a few frames to get started, then things will start to flow. You’ve got to go for it. Don’t hold back”- Steve McCurry

  • “Forget about witnessing. Say to yourself that photography is a little everyday job. Stick to your curiosity, live it as a passion, nourish it by giving up as many ties as possible with your home place, because ties make you worry, and when you worry you don’t see so well – which is why children see better than grown-ups and why illiterate people have a better visual memory. I don’t think about witnessing.”
    Marc Riboud

  • “I have trouble with the idea of catching : people are not for catching. This was my big argument with Diane Arbus, and also with my (and her) teacher Lisette Model. They both thought they had the right to do anything, to anybody, for the sake of their “art”. I don’t believe that, it may be my particular bias, my reaction against certain people in my life, to whom their needs as “artists” took precedence over almost everything else, whatever the cost to others. To me human beings are more important than art. And what I know about Diane convinces me that when she photographed these people, dwarfs, nudists, freaks, she always took a little more from them than what they had offered her freely – a little pound of flesh more – and this gave her power.”
    Eva Rubinstein

  • I’m off to take photos and get a new smart phone, I dropped my old one while trying to bath my son and read David’s inspiring words!! :))

  • Multi-tasking will get you every time, Paul! ;^}

  • And, I don’t know where you dig up these quotes, but I’m glad that you do.

  • Easy for me, since I’m not a photographer, but this Koudelka bit has always been and is my thing:

    “I always photographed with the idea that no one would be interested in my photos, that no one would pay me, that if I did something I only did it for myself.”

  • Re facebook, don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticizing people who like it or use it for their business. There’s a lot that’s great about it, particularly the way it allows far flung family members to communicate when they otherwise wouldn’t. Virtual families included.

    But on a more critical level, I bemoan it as an atrocity for commoditizing and monetizing content and providing the delivery of advertising to a community that is something akin to fish in a barrel. I like to think that when every single salesperson at every single business executes a plan to capitalize on social media, then real people will move away from it in droves to some new thing that has yet to be so totally fucking exploited. Could be wrong about that, no doubt. But here’s hoping…

  • Michael? Connected? LOL Try and call him…. :)

    Now his voicemail IS connected!

  • MW

    sure , i get that sentiment…i mean NOBODY looks at FB or Twitter or the new Google deal as anything more than the way we used to view a good biz promo….it is what it is…i DO however think that, like any media, it can be trivialized or turned into something better than what it appears to be…no doubt of the impact of Twitter on recent world events, strange and odd as it may appear….it is all just conversation…chat that used to take place around a campfire now happens in other ways…all tribal drum gathering..nothing new in the human nature aspect of it..just a new “tool”….of course it will go away/ should go away…and just as surely replaced by some other “drum”…

  • Actually, I shouldn’t have included Twitter in the first comment. I like Twitter.

  • Sorry… that face with out-stuck tongue was for Marovich.

  • And as the Civilian would say, to be taken as a compliment! Haha…

  • EVA..

    just also know that Koudelka has very carefully “crafted” this image…i always heard the stories of him sleeping on floors, a sort of gypsy himself…well, let’s just keep it all in perspective by acknowledging whose floors exactly he slept on and careful marketing of his prints etc…Joseph has very carefully put his work “out there” all along..and great work it is….careful marketing in no way is being implied as not having the material most deserving of “marketing”…just know that the work was not sitting in the corner waiting “to be discovered”…simply put, you would not know him otherwise…or any artist…if you know them, then they put it out there one way or another….

  • MW…

    yes, for me too..Twitter seems the most useful of the “tools”

  • I’ve been reading the recent off-again on-again photography-related discussion about the difficulty finding projects and subject matter and debating whether to offer this humble comment. Perhaps it could be of help to some? Would be curious what you think as well, David, if you’re inclined to comment.

    When I’m not working on a project or assignment, I try to practice shooting solely for light, form and abstract composition. I’ve mentioned elsewhere all the hours I’ve put into working with dappled light on harsh sunny days… but I’ve also spent a lot of time photographing parking lots and empty fields and strip malls and woods and sidewalks and whatever else happens to be in front of me. Because just about no matter where you are, there is always light, form and elements ripe for composition. Few, if any, of those pictures are worth anything in and of themselves but they have a great value as practice. Now when I work on a project or assignment and actually have a subject, I deal with all that background stuff, the stuff that makes an interesting photo, pretty much unconsciously. So that’s my humble advice to those struggling with the big stuff. Practice the small stuff. That’s the only way you’ll ever get to Carnegie Hall.

  • David…

    yes, of course, he’s put it out there and I guess lived of it, but as I understand what he says is not that he’d not put it out or make money of it, but that money was not why he did/does photograph.. as opposed to someone taking assignements with the precise intention of getting paid for the work.. his idea more like do the work first and put it out later.. like your ‘American Family’.. or perhaps I just understood it wrong..

  • When it comes to showing / promoting my work I’m my own worst enemy. I shoot for myself and somehow don’t feel the need to show to others – but I’m going to send something to Burn in November. If you don’t see it then it didn’t make the grade and that is how it should be.

  • Michael I’m glad you like the quotes I also appreciate them. Why so many quotes? Well I’m an absolute expert in generally fucking my life up! When I’ve been pretty down and out for whatever the latest reason was, these little quotes I copied from books, podcasts, internet and people I’ve met, usually saved my butt and helped me believe there was another chance in screwing up; let alone recovering!!
    “When I travel, I don’t even know where I am going to sleep, I don’t think of the place where I will lie down until the moment I roll out my sleeping bag. It’s a rule that I’ve set for myself. Because I told myself that I must be able to sleep anywhere, since sleep is important. In the summer I often sleep outdoors. I stop working when there is no more light, and I start again in the early morning. I do not feel this to be a sacrifice, it would be a sacrifice to live otherwise.”

    “I am the slave of my mind. I travel alone, I sleep outdoors. Even when I get a lift in someone’s car, I separate myself from that person in the morning, and only join up again in the evening.”
    Joseph Koudelka

  • Mike.. basically same for me.. I do give away prints though.. and still happy about the swap we made!

Leave a Reply

You must login to post a comment.