Tiger Blood

© Stefanie Mueller from her essay in BURN 02


Who has tiger blood? Well, tigers have tiger blood. While drinking the blood of tigers and cobras and rhinos might be considered an aphrodisiac for some, it would seem to me that a bit of exercise, a good night’s sleep, a full moon, some good wine, and candle light might be a better way to go. My feeling is, leave wild animals alone. Reaching in vain for an elusive romantic notion has probably had everyone one of us make a mistake or two. Learning is of course the name of this game of life.

While I mostly feel I have so much to learn, I spend a whole lot of my time as a mentor. Not with huge quantities of knowledge. My only job as a mentor/teacher is to give those who seek it a solid dose of energy. Get ’em fired up. Make them THINK they drank some tiger blood. Drive them just a little bit crazy. Make sure they do their very best work..

If you think it, if you believe it, then you are 90% of the way to having it. Most of my mentoring I do gratis. One of my responsibilities on this planet. Self imposed and as pay back for being lucky. Some of my mentoring I do for a tuition. As altruistic as I tend to be, I too must face earning a living. I do not need much, but my workshops do have a tuition attached. Any astute person, and there are many here on Burn, can certainly over time get on Burn whatever I teach in a workshop.. for free. Send me a link and I am going to give a review, some thoughts,  and hopefully get you going on a project. Audrey Bardou, Panos Skoulidas, and Erica McDonald, all with significant essays published on Burn are just three examples of emerging photographers I mentor with no compensation expected.

Others here have guaranteed my time by taking a week long shooting workshop. In New York, in Thailand, in Mexico. Wherever. Education usually does cost. Books, college fees, etc. If most of us feel that education is one of our most valued commodities, then we should all be willing to consider education as worth the price, assuming the stuff that gets learned is worth it. I always try to make it worth it for those I mentor gratis just as much as to those who compensate.

So I think I will use this same model of give most away, and be compensated for the rest on my work now in RIO. I would like to take  this Burn audience vicariously with me to Rio. Yes as an educational exercise.  As reportage. This 4th trip to Rio in the last 2 years will finish my last chapter for my personal book.  I have already completed my National Geographic assignment.  I am taking you with me with daily updates as i  finish the book. How I how think about a book, and a fast paced walk on the wild side in RIO.

For it is this “behind the scenes” approach I am taking by presenting a subscribing audience with a real time real view of “this is how it is”. A  very personal look  at play that is work, and work that is play . A party, too much fun to be serious? The party, well , yes. But a serious effort? Absolutely. My whole reputation as a photographer will be on the line. The National Geographic piece will most likely be out in late spring of 2012 and my RIO book and exhibition opening in Sydney , Australia at around the same time.

The NatGeo piece will be one thing hopefully of great value for one demographic , and my personal book will be perhaps my very best work. We will see. I am feeling it. Deep down. Anyway the process , both  the physical and  the psychological,  will i think be educational for those who seek it here on Burn. We may also do a super limited  workshop experience. 2-3 students max. Details to follow.

Some of this will be regular programming here on Burn. Yet the deepest behind the scenes will be a daily updated subscriber section. For a month. Those who choose this option will get a serious discount on the book. I must work out the exact numbers formula , but the  one month subscription will be less than a cup of good coffee and the discount on an expensive book will be about 20%.

In other words for example  you invest 2 dollars for the WHOLE MONTH (that is like 6 cents per day)  for  daily how to do it updates …then later get say 20 dollars off the price of the book. Or 10 or 15 , depending on exactly how expensive a book i do..  The exact numbers are now in flux, but I will have it all locked down in about a week.

So you will  see what I am doing in Rio now for a nominal monthly fee, and save serious money if you want the book. A good deal for you and might just help me get the book done. OR don’t subscribe, don’t buy the book , and you will get much of it here anyway. No hard feelings. I am going anyway. This is going down no matter what. But of course I will try to make the behind the scenes so damned compelling, you will go for the subscription !!  Use your imagination.

My case in point, and my next big feature,  is to  see what is up in RIO through my daily picture/text postings and dialogue with you.  I am leaving in about two weeks for a month of free style rocking crazy serious shooting. Gonna be intense. Can you handle it?

Better drink some tiger blood first!! Smiling…




Everyone is trying to figure out ways for photographers to earn a living in the digi age. At Magnum we are working on this , as a member photographer I am doing the same. The main thing is to have original content. The model above , if it works, could be then used with many photographers. The readers in effect vote on content. In general, Burn in 2012 will have all content you will not have seen prior. We will pay for this of course. Hopefully with your donations which do keep us going already with EPF and original commissions as we did for Burn 02 with Paolo Pellegrin and Bruce Gilden. This is the model we want to use for everyone. This is our goal.

So our whole point, both with live “broadcasts” and with online and in print is original content. Seen first here. Perhaps a part of the new upcoming Magnum system of individual photographer “channels”. Stay tuned, more information later.

It is most likely to your personal advantage to give our small crew here at Burn your support. After all , we are only here to discover you. To find new work , from new photographers, and to light a candle as well to some icons who may lead the way for you. You will spend your earning on photography one way or another, and I can honestly say you will be doing yourself more good keeping the flames at Burn on blue hot level…We are photographers at Burn.  Not businessmen. Yes we need funds to keep going. Why wouldn’t we? We are not rich photographers. Burn struggles every month to survive. Mostly we want to be able to create fine objects. Fine books. Fine workshops. Give you good spirit.We want to stand for the high end of photographic pursuit and we intend to earn it.

You can easily see we have no advertising and our only sponsors are generous donors. We only owe you.

I am guessing that Burn 02 (available below) will be sold out or close to it by Christmas. I believe last year that 01 was gone by mid January. My friends at the traditional publishers of photo books tell me that Burn is rocking the boat. The few copies  of 01 we did hold back are now selling for double the original price. We did not hold back any for that reason, because this has been a total surprise. We expect 02 to be a collector item as well. Limited edition anything is always of best value.

Anyway, check us out. Hang out. All of you just being here helps us. Give us your ideas. Give us your pictures. No wait, SELL US your exclusive essay!! Photographer’s rights are my mainstay philosophy. Our whole constitution at Magnum is about photographer rights.

So  yes help out my staff with a bit of support if you possibly can. If you are a committed photographer this will come back to you in a very real way. Or if you simply enjoy looking at leading edge photography , then it will come back to you in a real way as well. Our donation button is in the right hand column. Buying 02 is another way to help all of US. Thank you.




USA, Canada, MexicoAdd to Cart Rest of WorldAdd to Cart (For volume puchases (over 10 copies), please contact
Diego Orlando directly at diego@burnmagazine.org)




475 Responses to “Tiger Blood”

  • Yes, Rio!!
    Never been there… but going south and escaping the boreal winter is a great idea…
    Like a NASCAR or F1 car just going out the Pit Stop. Tiger and Fresh new blood.

  • But sir. That’s a lion illustrating the tiger story :)

    Seriously. Sounds exciting and,perhaps, breaking new ground again.

    Pay to play is a good way to go.

  • Ggggrrrrrrrrrhhh!!!!

    Even I am excited!

    “Come on and dance nasty with me!” she begged (this was 30 years ago, you understand).
    Who can refuse an invitation like that?

  • Dragging out the suitcase.. going to Rio.. WOOOOHOOOOOO :)

    Been there, have family from there.. remember very well my feelings when there, the visuals, the sound, the smell.. the deepest feelings I have of Rio are sad ones.. very very curious and looking forward to see where you will take us.. thanks for doing this!

  • With vacation time from work and finances depleted on my NY, going to have to take a pass on this. Too bad. Sounds like fun.

  • Count me IN!!!
    It sounds groundbreaking and I don’t want to miss it! plus I get to learn…cannot ask for more.

  • Brian..

    I’ll lend you half of my suitcase.. ;) .. just sit down and enjoy the ride right here!

  • Akaky…

    Where’s the Burn wheelbarrow?

    We’re traveling to Rio with a Tiger…

  • DAH – You know I will be following and at double the price, because I will drink my own cup of coffee as I follow you. And I am counting on you at your age to make this your best, your Magnum opus, because I must do my own, and you are the one who reinforces my belief that it is possible, age be damned.

  • PS – Burn O2 arrived just yesterday – I’m a little frustrated, because I kept meaning to pick it up when I was at your place but kept forgetting and so I had to pay postage.

    And I can’t even take the time right now to open it up – but next week. Next week I will make myself comfy on the couch and get lost in Burn 02.

    Patricio – you also reinforce my belief.

  • Taking the NYC workshop was one of the game changers for me. Since then, I have been following up with #OccupyOakland and I know I get hits for my blog when people google “David Alan Harvey” and “Occupy Wall Street.” I have started working on the project we discussed in the cab.

    You do good work, and especially your mentoring us new photographers. All the Best in Rio!

  • DAH… you are a bad a** in the finest sense of the term.

  • That sounds really exciting, David. Following the “Rio Dairy” on-the-fly via an App is perfect for most, but – and excuse my ignorance here – aren’t these apps only available for IPhones and Blackberries? I have neither, just a Windows laptop at home; will I be able to connect onto this project? If that isn’t possible, how about a pay-for-view Luddite box here on BURN? Otherwise I’d happily wait for a costed diary after the project is over.

    Regardless, count me in on the frontline to witness this!

  • I’m excited to get a chance to see how you work. For one reason or another I always find myself in situations devoid of peers or experienced people to learn from. The internet has been a help in this regard, but even just an hour or two of watching someone else’s process does more for me than months of reading discussion or trying to reverse engineer someone’s process from what is available online and in books.

    Can’t wait!

  • ‘can you handle it?’
    oh yes!!!!!
    a privilege….
    oh yes….

  • DAH – This one goes out to you Mate….


    yes, i know…shhhhh …

  • SIDNEY..

    exactly!! you got it…..


    Alec Soth had a good conversation going on his blog about at what ages artists produce..check out my comment there….for sure between 25-45 is when most artists do their very best..makes sense of course….yet there are always exceptions…first i was producing some of my very best before that age range, and i plan to now do as you suggest…again, just thinking you are doing it is a good feeling all by itself…i am not working for the historians of course..that would be folly…but i am just working…happily and on the one thing in life i seem to know how to do…i don’t give classes in cooking or auto repair or gardening….


    i have re written the story to say what i meant…this Rio update/online workshop/diary/how i made this book will be a nominal subscription, not an app…that might come later…but for this round, just a simple click to a website with the new work and the new conversation with readers…


    i will try to make this really work for you…my students who have actually gone to the field with me on a committed shoot, all tell me they learn more from being out there with me shooting than all the class picture critique combined…normally this just is not practical , for the way i work , there simply cannot be a lot of people around also shooting…but this way, is the next best thing to being there…and we can adjust…i will be listening to those who have logged on for what they want to know..


    thanks for this…woke me up for my morning coffee…i hope you know i will be in Oz in May 2012…Sydney …RIO opening at ACP..i surely do hope we meet…


    sorry we missed on skype…i am shooting so much here at home, it is very difficult for me to give you an exact time when i will be near a computer…8 or 9 am my time is usually ok, but not guaranteed…you just have to stay on my case…


    it was a pleasure to have you in the New York loft class…you were the best of students with just the right energy…you listened , you went out and did it…for sure, i look forward to what you have done since…for those who do stay in touch and who do new work or need help with book projects of import, i do always pay attention…i cannot follow every single thing you do, but if you really get going on a good long term essay, i will be there for you…

    cheers, david

  • I’d be tempted, DAH, verrrrrrry tempted, to subscribe to the Rio Redux Daily Feed, or the Harvey Beach Report, but… I am wondering if you will be able to honor the commitment. Don’t flinch — I know you’ll try your David Alan Harvey best!

    But in the middle of a wild-on-the-edge-partyhard/workhard-live it – love it self-assigned assignment, how, oh how, are you going to find time to parse images and post updates? I mean, I assume you’ll be posting pictures, that would be, for me, the lure of the subscription… and pictures from you are oh-so-hard to come by as a general rule. Just a tantalizing trickle now and then. Can you go from a “back soonest” to a see-you-in-the-morning mantra? That’s a major commitment and potential distraction for you as you round the last turn.

    Being on the subscribing end could be great fun, I’m hoping you can pull this off. Maybe “daily updates” should be 5 days per week, promised, to give you some wiggle room?


    You say RIO for NG is finished. When will we see OBX? Ready to re-up by NatGeo subscription.


    Rock on, Maestro!

    — dq

  • EVA

    oh my, yes RIO is not all bikinis and volleyball…RIO is Shakespearean drama(s)..beautiful setting…all is hot and sexy and well yes lots of tragedy and a very dark side at times…but Brazilians are a pleasant and vibrant lot…i like them…we get along really really well…the hospitality i have received in Rio is second to none..did not know you had been…like to hear about it..


    i am coming to L.A. next week…you around?? i hope so…smiling already….


    well i do not think i will have any trouble keeping up…right now i already basically do daily instagrams and write for Burn etc on a very daily basis…during this month in Rio , i will do no other duties for Burn…all will go into this…how will i find time? my time will be to do only this…my work for myself will be my work for you….the same thing…what i do on a daily basis for Burn is way way harder than what i will have to do in RIO…it will not be an extra job, it will be THE JOB …i have spent my pro life producing on demand..newspaper and magazine and ad agency deadlines …david delivers!! besides this is my own baby…i have no commitments to any other magazines and will not take any…so DQ, you spend two bucks for a month and i promise you enough education and entertainment to last you awhile….any commentator here who wants their 2 dollars back at the end of the month, well i will happily return it… :)

    or better yet, any commentator who shows up in Rio will get a free caipirinha and become part of the story and heaven help you!!…now, what photo blog offers you that??

    i am right in the middle now of some heavy shooting on OBX….just before i sat down to answer the questions here, i was out running around chasing a morning rainbow….i love love shooting here..yes, even rainbows and landscapes which i might normally shun….OBX is the antithesis of RIO….but it too will be a book most likely..one thing at a time..one thing at a time…

    i think both stories are scheduled for NatGeo mid 2012…but there are many variables and this is something only Editor Chris Johns knows for sure….this reminds me, i want to do an interview with Chris…when i saw him at the Lucies he agreed…he is a great example of a photographer turning into an editor…he went from staff photographer to Editor of National Geographic…the first to do this…go check out his work in Africa…a formidable body of work…we will see it here soonest…Chris is one of the good guys in the biz…you will see

    stay tuned DQ, i will not disappoint….


    i always always like to see you…which has not happened much lately…i am behind in seeing your latest work…again, just stay on my case…i cannot be available to everybody all the time of course…but you hold a special place…show me, show me….

    cheers, david

  • Paul, we’re gonna have to figure out some other way of getting there; I don’t remember where the wheelbarrow’s wheel is. I had it last summer and I put the damn thing down and now….well, it’s somewhere, which isn’t saying a whole hell of a lot, given that everything is somewhere, even if it’s nowhere.

  • DAH
    yes, I’m around… when? :)
    any BuRNIANS going to be in Oakland this weekend?
    Mike C? Herve? kerry?

  • DAH,

    Must relieved to read that the subscription will be offered here and not as an iPad/iPhone app (was wondering how I could wrest my daughter’s iPhone out of her grip for daily Rio updates :-)

    I’m SO looking forward to this!

  • Wendy , Jared is in Oakland!..we talked yesterday…i urged him to return to venice asap , at 10th on november and meet / assist DAH.. Jared of course loved the idea!!!!!!!

  • Jared gave me some amazing info for whats up in Oakland! Cops cover their names/ badges and Occupiers , occupying foreclosed homes , refuse to return them back to the banks etc…crazy stuff…
    Oakland LEADS THE WAY AT THIS POINT ..im a little disappointed with NY and LA..but yes yes , Oakland is serious about it!!
    viva Californication …Cali once again leads !!!

  • Fair enough. Creative new income model. I’m in, looking forward to the trip.

  • “OBX is the antithesis of RIO….but it too will be a book most likely..one thing at a time..one thing at a time…”

    Copy and paste.. before someone.. cough.. can delete it.. ;)

    One thing at a time.. sort of.. yes…


    i arrive a week from today…just there over the weekend..Hollywood…Sheratan Universal….


    good point..and maybe it best your daughter not check out my updates from Rio…not exactly X rated maybe, but for mature audiences anyway!!

    cheers, david

  • DAVID,

    It’s nice to read, you are going to keep shooting in Rio. I was very impressed by last pictures I’ve seen in NatGeo movie. I hope this time (if it will be not a assignment :) you will post some pictures from time to time.

    And about first part of the post, I’ll be forever grateful for the teachings that you have given me.
    Learn a lot.
    From the best of the bests.


    ahhhh Marcin, here we are still…seems like it has been a long time..right? will try to skype you early next week

    as always, wishing you the best…

    cheers, david

  • DAVID,

    I’m looking forward to seeing your daily updates. Did I miss the link already?
    Have collected a few photos for “nine to five” since we met the last time, but not enough quality yet to take the next step…

  • Oakland (just a couple pages, read more, stay informed, knowledge will beat the beast, not excitement):


  • David…

    I’m finding the concept of the Rio/Burn project fascinating…Laughing…you seem to be one step ahead of all your Magnum associates and I’m sure you’ve got them scratching their heads in amazement…I bet many readers are worried or curious to see if you’ll be able to execute the five tucked turns of the quintuple Burn/Rio somersault with your essay surviving intact and also managing to create the greatest work of your career. I believe this is the best idea ever…YOU know and some of US who know YOU are absolutely sure there is NO way you’ll let this go wrong, even if this means spending three sleepless weeks in Rio because you LOVE the idea of a challenge and what better way of making sure you are forced to make the quintessential hat trick essay.

  • Akaky…

    Heads or tails?

    Heads pedals and tails sits on the saddle and carries the blood hungry tiger on his back…

  • Paul..

    It is the same system like on Kickstarter or Emphas.is, but way cheaper, there you need at least $ 10 if not $ 20 to be part of the behind the scene updates.. and there’s no guarantee either that you get them, not all photographers are the same, some post a lot, some nothing at all. With DAH we know he’ll do his bestest best to play all along.. as you say, rather not sleep.. :)

  • DAVID,

    If the singing didn’t wake you up that shirt sure as hell would !

    I will be in Sydney for your opening for sure. Really looking forward to it.

  • knowledge will beat the beast, not excitement
    Herve, totally true , knowledge! although Excitement and Passion is very welcomed and needed!
    but most important is common sense (and common sense is something that the authorities/cops lacking…)

  • Let me know when/where to push that subscribe button… dang I wish I’d gone through with my Pearl Jam in Rio expedition… next lifetime…:)

  • Eva…

    I sent you an email on Wednesday did it arrive OK?

  • This way I get to go somewhere :) Thanks for bringing us along, now and always.

  • Panos, nobody helped the movement take off that cops acting badly. Time for some gratefulness and in a way, think about it, they do occupy too (the more, the merrier)! :-)))

    PS: does Jared know if the cop hurt by a projectile is in the same hospital yard as Scott? Maybe they can play chess, go fishing together soon? Bike-riding? Exchange uniforms?

  • as cops acting badly…..

  • David –

    Take us to Rio! Let’s go! Vamanos! Andale!
    Looking forward to crossing paths soon.
    Until then… Thank you. Gracias. Obrigado.

    Que le vaya bien.

  • Vamanos! Andale!
    i like that!!!!!

  • Herve!
    yes! bike -ride is the way to go!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ALL

    it seems to me that this model i have for RIO could me a model for many in the future…the more i think about it , the more i like it…actually built on an old Magnum model…the concept? just friggin go..then tell the editors “hey i am already here, and i am already shooting, and my pictures will be on your desk tomorrow morning”…this my friends is for me , as both a photographer and an editor, way better than the Kickstarter fund raising style.,.

    this way takes the pressure off, is a minimal purchase for a super maximum result…the investor of say $1.99 (for 3o days worth of daily updates) would be able to see right away the photographer on location…not some promise to get going soon…the Magnum model…just go..pictures right now…stories..that spin off into other stories..there is always a way…if you think you are good, you will gamble…if you think your idea is really hot, you will gamble…purchaser helps to fund a worth project and ends up holding a collector book..the secret for this to work is lots of subscribers…right now a few fund a lot for Burn.. we would like the model where a whole bunch of people pay a tiny bit…and get a collector book at a low price…i can’t see any downside to this …

    again, i am going to Rio anyway…i was locked down on this trip before i even had the monthly mini comp idea…so for me it is just a test, almost a game..yes, i am playful about it, as i am in general and yet also very very serious…those who know me, know both sides which are perhaps oddly connected..well what ever works , right? .i will take this very seriously…because of pride…if there are 10 subscribers , those 10 will have the ride of their life..anyway, this is all cool for all of us i hope…there really are some win win situations in life..i want to be a part of as many as possible..

    i always encourage my students to do this…tell them to just one way or another give yourself the assignment you wish someone would give you…..afer all , you should be that someone…

    cheers, david

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