Magnum Portrait


A one minute movie by Chien-Chi Chang

838 Responses to “Magnum Portrait”

  • “the profession in general is dominated by men in terms of numbers,”

    Certainly no longer true in the portrait business.

  • Eva…

    Now that is a very good point.

  • “Organized Religion is a web, very smartly built around fear and with guilt as ultimate weapon”

    Panos; I first thought you were talking about some of the crazed environmentalists and conservationists I’ve had the “pleasure” to meet. Not the ones who are actually out there doing it; but the ones who talk it only and then rush off overseas to convert the “un-godly” in third world countries etc…. They leave any fundamentalist missionary dead in their tracks! ;-)

  • Ah man, are we back on bashing religion again…?

    One cannot judge Christianity based upon what was spoken by an old lady in the street, any more than one can judge Islam based upon a suicidal-bomber jihadist. People are people – and there will always be some who intend well but do harm others, or abuse the power granted to them for personal gain, or murder in the name of X.

    Burn is a positive place; let us not stereotype.

  • Sorry guys, aint been around much – been working my project, been shooting street, and been going to various meetings (business) and events (happenings) – got some good plans coming up, we’ll see how they go. Met some wonderful new people bending my ear about things, love that.

    But know this, I’m down for my fellow Burnians who grind like me, holler and we’ll fix up something.

    Big love to all,
    Peace xxx

  • a civilian-mass audience

    I believe in the Spirits…I believe in my Gods…and I will second all of you…cause I do believe!

    EVA,VIVA…ANTON’S book is on the way…
    thank you,simply thank you!!!

    Be healthy,be safe,be confident
    BE YOU
    the rest is simply…BURNING history

    MR.HARVEY sending love and hugs to SOCRATES…

  • PANOS,

    Just back from a weekend of aya ceremonies so just now catching up.

    Re: Kurt and being famous: I think he totally wanted to be famous, but to be famous on his own terms, which was (one of) his downfall(s). It all got away from him. One has to be secure with their boundaries in order to survive the elevation of fame with a normal ego remaining intact. Important to be comfortable in saying no as much as yes. Kurt didn’t have the time/maturity to deal with the pain inside of him and the pressures of being famous didn’t help. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t want to reach where he did. Really, who doesn’t want to be well known and well paid for what they do best?


  • Charles, actually yes, exactly…”healthy” ego if theres such a thing is necessary…i call it “passion”.

  • Really, who doesn’t want to be well known and well paid for what they do best?

    Well, off the top of my head, I might have answered “Kurt Cobain” But thinking a little less superficially, I realize that my thought was always more that he didn’t want to be idolized by people he didn’t respect for reasons that weren’t what he was really about. Not that he didn’t want success but that he didn’t want success that was phony. But I suspect we all play our own little games of transference with celebrities? probably dead ones even more so. Still, it does seem he got a world class shit load of the kind of success that he normally associated with failure. Number one hits. Industry adoration… Or is that tale as totally ridiculous as most of the rest? Most likely, eh.

    BTW, since we’re on the subject, Charles, what do you think of the Van Sant film? I haven’t seen it, have kinda been savoring the wait cause I expect it to be great, figuring it must be in the same league with Elephant?, which is one of my favorites.

  • “What I’m searching for is two totally conflicting things: to be totally alone and content by myself, but loved and adored by millions of people. And I know it.”

    – Alec Soth

  • tom!!!!!!!

    yea, what Alec said!….

    had i simply written something that, i would have avoided all that mass and undue stress for everyone….that’s the basic truth (for me too)…but, i’ll be satisfied by less than millions…i guess i’ll take a couple of hundred, …and now, for 7 weeks, totally alone :))))))))))))))

  • a civilian-mass audience

    “I am totally alone and content by myself,BUT I love and adore millions of people.And I hope they know it”


    Thank you TOM for BIG AL’S quote …

    Love you ALLL…and Thank you
    I am out of coffee…why,why?…:)))

  • a civilian-mass audience

    BOBBY…you are loved by MARINA,DIMAS and MASS AUDIENCE…you better be satisfied:)
    I am coming over for coffee…

    You have been warned…

  • CIVI! :)))))))))

    I couldn’t ask for more :))))))…believe me!….that is all i need….but trying to be honest, i guess i crave love/attention more than just that, so not trying to lie….

    but, in the end, they are all i need :))

    just got home from the airport…

    hugs/kisses across the sea to greece!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    “hugs/kisses across the sea…”
    oime BOBBY…
    I need some coffee…hiiii…I am not trying to lie:)))

    safe travels if u aretraveling,safe sex if you “traveling”…
    risk it all…if you dare…

    i will be back…to check on you…may the journey resumes!

  • ‘risk it all’….well, for good and ill, i always do… sometimes, leads to wonder…on bad days, well to rocky bottoms….but, u’ll have to get a report from the other 2 to see what it yields….running, ;)))

  • Cobain was long dead by the time I really began to appreciate his music. Not that I wasn’t aware of it throughout his short career, quite the contrary, I was busy transcribing his music for my teenage pupils whilst watching the X-Files!. I remember being pretty surprised by ”smells like teenage spirit”, when one of the kids asked what I thought of it…so primal and raw…but there again I was busy inmersed in my heavy metal stuff. Smiling Cobain and the other grunge groups killed in one foul swoop all the hair metal groups and they’ve never recovered even though they are sort of ‘alive’ still. I probably also reacted slightly against it because it was the ”in thing”, as usual it had to all quieten down for me to really enjoy their stuff…

  • Hmm, to crop or not to crop your pictures…laughing always seems a prickly subject…looking through Robert Frank’s contact sheets he didn’t seem to have any problem at all with cropping… As Imants said the other day Frank was more interested in photos than being a photographer..

  • @ ALL:

    This canadian guy comes with a gorgeous idea to take his self-portrait.
    Take a look at the first video in his web site:

    04.13min to take the picture but with “pure happiness”! watch it in full screen. The idea is based in a Toyota advertising

    My respect to everyone that helped to make project possible.


  • Paul,

    IMHO, cropping is like exposure: it’s best to get it right in the camera, but no shame in adjusting in the darkroom or post-processing in order to make the image better.

    But, please – no HDR :-)

  • Patricio, thanks for the link – I’ll give that a watch later (looks fun).

    Speaking of difficult self-portraits, have you seen any articles on the fellow who photographed his own heart surgery?

  • Justin…

    I agree exactly with your view, it’s better to get it right in camera… always. But I’m not going to sacrifice something special by chucking it in the rubbish bin, just because it needs cropping either…

    BTW your Spanish is not at all rusty :)

  • “Mntn biking w young generation my fam 10k ft Colorado rockies.Lung sucking grueling mud blood, God proceeding to punish me for all my sins”
    dont worry, its a bike “thing” .its just hallucinations from dehydration plus colorado lack of oxygen/elevation…
    you’ll be fine in couple of hours!

  • DAVID…

    leave the lungs in the mountains, you don’t need them over here anyway, so darned hot you can’t breath… just bring a smile and a hug over here :)

  • ” “I am totally alone and content by myself,BUT I love and adore millions of people.And I hope they know it”

    ~Civi:) ”

    Yes.. fully agree with the first part, not capable to do the second part.. that’s why you, Civi, have my respect :)

  • @ Mountain Bike lovers:
    Two quotes of a great biker, Gary Klein, who made high quality bikes:

    “Anyone who rides a bicycle is a friend of mine”

    “Biking is about rhythm and flow. It’s the wind in you face and the challenge of hammering up along hill. It’s the reward at the top and the thrill of a high-speed descent. Biking lets you come alive in both body and spirit. After awhile the bike disappears beneath you and you feel as if you’re suspended in midair. ”


  • MW,

    Never saw it. Couldn’t really stomach it at the time despite being a Van Sant fan (yeah Elephant was great). Maybe I should check it out. A must see is “Kurt Cobain: About A Son”, which is a documentary of Kurts’ life in his own words (I have stills in the film). Really moving stuff and a nice respite from talking heads style docs (the footage is all contemporary NW landscape ala Baraka, etc). Beautifully shot.



  • Yeah, Kurt totally wanted to be a rockstar, just not an asshole one. He didn’t take into account the massive amount of responsibility that would come with stardom though. A real shame….

  • Charles…
    Have you ever wondered where Cobain would be musically if he had survived stardom?

  • Eva,
    “not capable to do the second part.. that’s why you, Civi, have my respect :)” yes, and the respect of millions of Civilians! Never alone!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    MIKER…I copy and paste
    I am stuck inside…

    EVA…yeaap,my respect and love…back to you,All of you!

    5 chickens dead(heat hit them)..neglect…what have I done?”punished for all my sins”…
    NO WAY…
    I will recover…cause I have YOU…ALL OF YOU
    never give up…
    never alone…THANK YOU

  • a civilian-mass audience

    “One had better die fighting against injustice than die like a dog or a rat in a trap.”

    never stop fighting…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    “Love is the only cement that can hold this broken community together.When I am commanded to love, I am commanded to restore community, to resist injustice, and to meet the needs fo my brothers.” (and my sisters)
    Martin Luther King, Jr.

    damnit…what was he smoking…?

    ok,enough said…RESPECT…and goodmorning from beautiful BURNING grecolandia!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    P.S…COBAIN is upstairs…he is playing guitar …so many friends up there too…

    damnit…what am I smoking?:))))))))))))))))

    life is is now…Be original,shoot whatever you feel like(even if you are on assignment)
    every minute is a miracle…
    let’s be the best we can be
    don’t settle for less

    cause it takes soul and sweat to be…MAGNUM !!!

  • More sun and heat for the next days.. get them chicken a kiddie pool filled with water.. no, wait, if they go in there you’ll get a pool full of chicken brew by tonight.. hmmm…

    Original? Best?.. don’t think so, but life, yes:

    Thingy got two teeth, working on more.. and a good day to all..

  • A little advice, please:

    One of my blog readers just informed me, with great pride, that a picture of mine appeared on the BBC website today.

    As much as I like the idea of being in the BBC, it greatly jarred, as the BBC did not seek my permission or contact me, period. By my reckoning, they have violated my copyright. I am very guarded about who I let use my whaling photos, and these guys didn’t even ask.

    Anybody have any experience with such matters? Any advice on how I might respond?

    As to the Magnum portrait, I originally missed this due to my very limited internet access on my last trip. Taking this photo could be very intimidating, but Rene Burri is not intimidated at all.

  • Bill…
    I don’t know much about copyright…but your photo is yours and without your permission I think at the very least it’s a little rude…perhaps you should contact the other photographer Craig George featured in the article and see if he’s in the same situation…the fact that they’ve added your name in the image does make them less guilty, however why not a link to your blog? Money wise I’vd no idea but I’m pretty sure the BBC and the gentleman who wrote the article don’t work for free all out of the kindness of their heart :)

  • Thanks, Paul. I will talk to Craig. He is a wildlife biologist who lives in Barrow and is a friend of mine for over a quarter century and he is attending the IWC meeting. I suspect that since they were at the same place, maybe the reporter got those photos directly from Craig, but I will ask. As to your other statements, you are right and more and more people who should know better think we photographers live so that they can publish our photos for free. Not so long ago, one of the more famed writers in the US who will shortly publish a book on Sarah Palin got ahold of the current mayor of Wasilla and told him to send a photo that I had taken of him to his publisher. The Mayor then got ahold of me to get the photo and I told him to have the author get ahold of me directly. Then, without every seeking permission, the author then sent me an email with instructions on where to send it and a form that he told me to sign that gave them unlimited rights to use the photo from now until forever for free.

    I refused to do it, of course, and he said his publisher – one of the world’s biggest publishing companies – said that if they had to pay for it then they would not use it. I responded that if my picture was of no value to them, then they were of no value to me.

    This all gets very aggravating. The author agreed that he, too, gets aggravated when people want to use his writing for free.

  • Bill; That’s pretty shoddy behaviour by the BBC!

  • Bill…

    The day my local bank doesn’t charge me interest when I pay late or forgive me a months pay on my mortgage, the same with my taxes and the local supermarket lets me take home food without paying I may give the idea of giving a photo free to someone. But until then they are mine and only mine. If the BBC do get silly with the whole subject all it takes is perhaps a couple of days of every Burn comment to begin with the same negative phrase on BBC and copyright and google analytics will get hold of it and everytime someone google the words BBC the negative comments will be at the top the google search…

    Bill… go into this subject of copyright infringement like the first Spanish bull who understood human speech in 2025 and who just before entering the bullring overheard someone in the public comment on the only reason all his ancestors died in that same bullring was because they got distracted from killing the matador and were too busy following the red cape keeping the public and matador entertained…
    If that gentleman on the BBC wants images of whales where you live either pays for them or starts saving up for a very warm anorak…

  • PANOS:
    organized religion: tons of cash to be made from offerings from the poor, the sick, the desperate…”

    Mmmm… Like organized drug dealing? 65 billion $$ business, just in the US. I have no idea, I’ll say I doubt organized religon makes a 4th of that in the US. Talk about a web smartly built around people. And priests did not kill 34 000 souls in the last 5 years in ultra catholic mexico. Less bothering than organized religion maybe. I suppose what’s a few dozen thousands deaths when drugs are so much more cool and fun than religion.

  • Bill, I’d use the “contact” link on the website and also contact the author of the article; Richard Black. I’ve just Googled him and he seems to work, primarily, for the BBC as an environment expert.
    I’m pretty sure that this is him

    With luck it may be the beginning of a beautiful (and lucrative) friendship. I noticed some of the comments from viewers of the article are anti-whale hunting: a pretty easy stance when your food is in a package at the supermarket just down the road. Perhaps you could offer Richard (and the BBC) further articles and photographs that illustrate the reality of living in such an extreme climate?

    Love your blog, Bill; I check it out every day.


  • Panos…

    Tour de France!!
    At some point today someone should crack or attack. Let’s see who really is bruised or just using it as race tactics…
    Contador can’t wait too long to start pulling back some time lost if he can with Schleck not having to attack or anything…

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