moonlight ramble…

Diego (Creative Director of Burn 02) and i are sitting on my front porch…sipping  a tequila, enjoying the total quiet…Burn of course comes up even though we have both agreed not to talk about Burn…but we have a question…for you..our question to all of you is this, and it is a serious question as we often think about in our comment section, which is always the topic of conversation when it comes to change…

anyway, the question is this: why are the numbers of comments often in direct inverse proportion to the quality of the essay? exceptions of course….yet think about it…go back and look…do some quick research…not a challenge, just a real interesting thing to think about…probably a simple answer…now, sure we all to give and take a bit on my tastes etc etc..but what i am talking about are stories over time of all tastes…

by the way, this magazine would be dead as a doornail if i actually set out to consciously please this audience…the more time goes on, the less i am interested in any kind of outside support…all the more reason for me not to try to over please….yes of course i want you to be happy…but that is another concept…whomever wants to be here will just be here….no advertising, no weird pressure… the bullet: i think in the very near future i can pull the top pro talents together to create a serious tour de force and still have Burn be an all important first step for an i really want to get there photographer….seems needed doesn’t it??

yes, as usual i have crazy ideas…but as you also know i make at least some of them come true…when i was a kid , i always wanted my imagination to be real….and so thus i have lived…..now i have an idea, actually easy to do, that if i laid it out right now, some might just steal it….maybe nobody can steal it…all of my ideas for Burn have always been transparent….and i am sure this will be too…just need to sit on it for a few days….anyway, all to good end is always my motive….i do not need any more stuff…my porch good enough forever….i just want to work to make cool things happen….squeeze the most out of talent and knock viewers between the eyes or spawn a subtle visual sensibility….

ok, back to the porch…

-dah-

641 Responses to “moonlight ramble…”


  • Panos it may be time to forget the fly and become the flea on the dog

  • Banks only lend umbrellas when the sun is shining.

  • I’ll probably dig my own grave saying this but I can’t wait to see Greece telling the Euro to fuck off like all the rest of the poor European countries should be doing.

  • “That’s democracy , The night and day co-exist!”

    I am on Capitol Hill almost every day… trust me they don’t co-exist that well.

  • I’ll probably dig my own grave saying this but I can’t wait to see Greece telling the Euro to fuck off like all the rest of the poor European countries should be doing.
    ———————

    same here!!!!!!!!!!!!
    amen

  • looooooooool!!!!!!!!!!

    MW
    i love love the “new” canon F4!!!!!

  • “The Rich get richer and the Poor stay poor”
    Leonard Cohen

  • PANOS,

    There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that, as far as you are concerned, you are IT, you ARE THE SUBJECT.

  • Sidney , thank u! im flattered…

    All,
    tonight its the last day in Burn-ed Garden (gallery in SA )
    This weekend i will have most probably all answers about what, who sold what, when which, blah blah etc..
    i will notify each and every seller (privately)
    hopefully beginning next week i will post a list with names of the lucky ones that sold , and my conclusions from that “experiment”..I mean i will share details and everything i think i learned from that experience..
    moneywise i will contack as i wrote above each photog personally and Privately and we will “go from there”..as u all remember deal was %30 gallery , %35 goes to photog, %35 donated to Burn..i will also give the photogs the gallery info and they can call and verify the “numbers” ..All clean, pure and crystal clear..
    ps : (the few prints that was presold on Burn prior to exhibition , Like “NIRVANA” from CP, K,Lee, etc, will not share that %30 with the gallery…It would not be fair since those few prints were sold here, prior to the exhibition)
    thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • names of the lucky ones that sold
    ———————————–
    what i mean by “lucky” is not an insult or anything..Great Prints were sold and some of the GREAT GREAT PRINTS DID NOT!…for many reasons like audience, demographics, blah blah u name it!
    Unfortunately in Art World its not the “best” that always “wins”
    (personal example, i sold Beyonce’s portrait – one of the most boring photos i ever shot in my life – and almost gave one of my favorite Venice prints, pretty much for free to a student that could not really afford the full price..im not complaining, id rather have my venice print in poor students apartment that i know at least he will cherish/love it and swallow my pride! but yes its a PARADOX: my most BORING print sold asap, and my favorite print didnt! see what i mean?????
    go figure!???

  • Panos..

    THANK YOU!!!

  • It’s so wonderful and interesting for me to read everyone’s thoughts on the Occupy photos that are coming out. I agree that it is without a doubt an incredible challenge to create something – I don’t even know which word I should use – authored, personal, real, worthy, representative, engaging, lasting – from the movement. The urge to follow the arc and try to give something of an overview is understandable and hard to ignore, and threatens to dominate in the face of the difficulty of showing something more focused/personal. My attempt is to try to do both, rendering me at least eligible for Tom Hyde’s “hungry, cold, uncomfortable, questioning, confused, elated, depressed” status. I feel like all I do is charge batteries and wash clothes. It’s the catch 22 that a high level of commitment/immersion might actually be detrimental to the visual essay.

    so…I have 2 essays going, one more wide in scope which I really need to edit and put out there – and another, which I want to go deeper into but which has some serious roadblocks for a handful of reasons, both for shooting further and for showing publicly at this moment. Tensions are rising in the park (see http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203804204577014420265539592.html?mod=googlenews_wsj) and also to some degree toward photographers, and I don’t want to add to them nor be caught in the middle of them. Though the movement is sure to continue, my sense is that the encampment’s presence may not, for much longer.

    mw no, I don’t think there is one ‘they’ – for sure I can think of 3 ‘factions’ right away – though I’d say there is a majority with a something of a cohesive voice.

    On a lighter note, after I photographed the OWS at the Village Halloween Parade, I had some fun and photographed the parade’s spectators: http://www.ericamcdonaldphoto.com/#/new-york-city/nyc-halloween-parade-2011/McDonald_Halloween-2737

  • Erica –

    I know your focused idea is spot on and is going to be one of those sets that engrosses viewers, now and in the future. I can’t wait to see more than what I saw in NY. Stay with it.

  • ERICA,

    Great Halloween party! Thanks for posting those photos.

  • Thanks Brian – I hope so, but the proof is in the pudding :)

    Sidney – absolutely – and thank you – I wish I had had more time there, but aside from a few angry people who didn’t appreciate being taken by surprise, it was great fun. I felt very naughty.

  • GORDON/PAUL:

    Was reading this Mick Jones interview today: http://www.gq.com/entertainment/music/201111/mick-jones-gq-music-issue, and this quote made me think of your prior conversation:

    “I honestly think the best thing I’m going to do is around the corner—I always look to the future. I don’t like to go on too much about the past, even though I know I’ve been going on about it. Honestly, I think, the best thing—I haven’t done it yet. I’m looking forward to it.”

  • @ PANOS:
    Thanks a lot, waiting your report for that experience. Spread that info. Share with the 99%… I’m with every Grecoland citizen! Rebelion is in the masses, as George Orwell said in that wonderful book called “1984″. He was absolutely right, the only mistake was the year… Wonder if every politician in the G20 have read it?

    P.

  • Erica, so you’ve been living it to some extent? I get you. I just don’t know if its possible to create something truly … hmmm, word?, lyrical, more than just news … out of all this but it most certainly has become “historical,” although whether a footnote or a fulcrum of course won’t be known for some time. The gen-x newspaper cynic in me suspects the former while a large part of me hopes for the latter. So next week I’m going to go live it for a time myself locally, in my extended backyard, and whether that turns out as something meaningful or just a self-assigned workshop in field multimedia work I don’t know but I figured I should get out of my comfortable armchair regardless. I appreciated Martin Parr’s words in the recent interview posted here about becoming more of a “community photographer”. While I’m not clear as to all the nuances of his meaning there, it would appear I’ve already been heading in that direction. I can certanly provide a record for my own local community. And since Sydney keeps telling me to combine my writing with my photography in a more meaningful way, I thought I would give that a shot as well and see how truly schizophrenic I can be serving all those masters at once. It’s been awhile since I truly journaled. I’ll certainly havehas the time. An interesting footnote is that the occupy site I’ll be occupying was once a true Hooverville, now part of the state capitol campus. Historical circles it would seem. Okay, TMI.

    Good luck on your own interpretation, I know you will make it your own. Don’t jump to show it soon :))

  • that should read “too soon.”

  • So many Burn photographers covering the Occupy movement. perhaps a joint essay would be worthwhile?

  • Mike..

    thanks for the info about Annie Leibovitz, will google her and educate myself…

  • Panos wrote,
    “but yes its a PARADOX: my most BORING print sold asap, and my favorite print didnt! see what i mean?????”

    Your statement is a pretty good summary of Western media. No ?

    There’s way more people wanting to catch a glimpse of Janet Jackson’s nipple than there are those interested
    in, say, Libya.

  • @ ALL: “Keep it discreet, compact cameras”

    This was posted on FB, for those who did not read, here is the link to PDN on line: http://www.pdnonline.com/pdn/features/Compact-Cameras-Kee-3921.shtml

    And I also read this quote: “A career champagne with a beer salary” don’t remember the origin, but so funny and true!

    P.

  • Without a true leader, one who pulls everyone together with an inspiring message this whole occupy movement campaign will be a lovely toast to the sky. The big cheese, those who have screwed or about to screw soon or later the middle and lower class into absolute abject poverty will not feel worried or uncomfortable with people spending the night at a local park protesting. The big cheese couldn’t give a flying fuck what all of us are accusing them of, they are holding the boiling frying pan by the handle and they are not in danger of being fried.
    Now I must admit, I truly hope I’m proved utterly wrong.

  • Justin…

    Where you’ve been? :))

    “I honestly think the best thing I’m going to do is around the corner—I always look to the future.

    Yes absolutely! It’s exactly the same reason I also love Fridays.

  • Patricio, I recall Tom Stoddart saying he was told that at the beginning of his career.

    http://tomstoddart.com/

    Eva, no worries.

    Mike.

  • AKAKY: I wonder why the pic of the Brazilian girl didn’t sell?

    AKAKY IRL: Maybe everyone in Austin is gay?

    AKAKY: I doubt it. It’s Texas, after all.

    AKAKY IRL: That’s true. Maybe they’re blind.

    AKAKY: That could be,

  • Akaky , All..

    i think i have some good news…for another show over here in an “alternative ” gallery that will not charge us the 30%..
    i already have people confirmed they wanna buy especially right when xmas bonus arrive..
    stay tuned!
    im afraid we are not done
    onle stage/phase 1 done this weekend!
    i have a feeling that i will sell the rest by xmas!
    no bull!
    no promises
    but we will try
    stay tuned please!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Your statement is a pretty good summary of Western media. No ?

    Mark ..yes yes absolutely true…

  • Tom – your Occupy plans sound perfect. Looking forward to hearing your experience, seeing the outcome.

    To say I have been living it may be an overstatement compared to those who truly Occupy, as I don’t sleep there, face those challenges that come with total commitment or have to deal with being the subject of intrigue. As far as I can tell, there is a real patchwork or degrees of ‘living it’ at OWS. I know 2 who have been there from day 1 who sleep there and are there at all times, but don’t march or participate in the GA – and another 3 who have slept there from day 5 who do the same. There are many organizer types who are there almost daily, though not all of them sleep at the park, but there must be some who do. Others come and go, have lives to attend to, others come for 2 or 3 days and then return home. For me, it is pretty much my 2nd life these days, but it cannot be my first. Whether or not it translates visually, I do feel I have a special perspective on a percentage of the place/people, and count the experience as personally meaningful. Last night I was entering into a convo about my photographic presence w someone who was being a bit protective about the park/people, when a tent unzipped, a man leaned out and said – that’s Erica, she’s my friend, leave her alone :)

  • Mike R – The idea of a joint Occupy story is interesting, but I think most powerful would be if someone dedicated a week’s space to it – 7 essays by 7 different photographers, one a day.

  • I don’t know. When I saw the empty living space essay from London it occurred to me that this thing has probably jumped the shark. What next? Toenails?

    Though I do very much look forward to seeing what you produce, Erica. Don’t know if the faction thing is what you’re after, or if it’s something that can be communicated visually without editorial content, but I’m pretty sure that nailing that would be far and away the most interesting perspective I will have seen on Zucotti. Otherwise, I fear mostly what we have to look forward to is violence. Police perpetrated here in New York. Who knows what all elsewhere?

  • Funny mw – I loved Ben Roberts work on London Occupy. If you didn’t like that work you may not take to my narrow story either, though I’ll still have a shot to make you happy with the more general one. Can’t, or wouldn’t, shoot the factions, they aren’t distinct outwardly, rather this is my personal gleaning from conversations and to delineate might be unfair.

  • Ha, well, I trust you won’t worry to much about what I might think. Nor should you since I’ll probably think something else tomorrow. I’m not opposed to narrow perspectives, or any other possible approach for that matter. I’m kind of intrigued by the idea that perhaps we can learn more about people by how they arrange their private spaces and applying that to the OWS protesters certainly has interesting possibilities. Today though, it just seems to me that that kind of thing, and certainly the London thing which obviously hadn’t been there that long, would be stronger with far fewer photos. A triptych might be nice. I’d love to see a killer single. Just imagine what Jeff Wall could do with that concept.

    Anyway, that’s an interesting visual difference between Zucotti and the other places I see in photos. Zucotti, visually, looks so much more lived in.

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