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”

  • $2 for the month, not per day?

  • David; the updates sound a great idea! Especially as not all of us have or can afford an I-Phone (-$850+ here in NZ!)!

  • Ross that’s the apple/canon trick make photography and the wwwdot world slash computers accessible to all and then slowly up the price ante for access to current trends. They know photographers need change to survive so new carrots are offered.

  • $850+ here in NZ

    say whaaaaaaaaaaat?????

  • $199 here but with a poisonous 2 year contract and tons of hidden charges/fees…
    AT&T , the 1%…yikes

  • Panos; FROM NZ$850! An iPhone-4 (32GB) costs NZ$1300-1500! ;-)

  • David
    I think your idea is brilliant. I’m in.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    I am in…whatever is going on…I am in…

    how much? 2 euros= 4dollars= 2.000.000 drachmas?


    P.S Now,I have to read all the comments and see the pictures BUT I feel like a TIGER…
    yeah,babe…I am IN!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    I call all my civilians out there in the Universe…to help me out…

    I have only 5euros to donate but,but,but I am an optimist…
    my chickens have agreed to stand by me…
    together WE CAN DO IT !!!

    once a BURNIAN
    always a BURNIAN !

    yoho,yoho,the BURNIAN’S life for US…


  • CIVI:

    Jaja, 2Million Drachmas = 2 EUROS??!?!? How about donating Greece debt bonds… hope the situation get well after the G20.
    Just for info: Argentina is the country in the world that have the “saddest and biggest” banknote ever: 1.000.000 pesos.
    At that moment my father salary was of 130.000.000 pesos!!

    We are not 99%, here in burn we’re 110%

    Big hug to all

  • Big Idea (j’adore!!) I’m in too!!

    Hugs, audrey


    I like this way of thinking.

    I see this as being all part of the limited-edition philosophy that you regularly discuss here. And with so much content appearing on a daily basis these days, making the quality stuff exclusive seems right. Not only that, you are also setting the way for “paid for” digital content, something that many others are continuing to struggle with. I also like how you are reversing the model here with digital content coming first and the physical book coming later – which Burn of course has done from the beginning.

    The Kickstarter approach to funding seems to work for some, but as you note it adds pressure to a project and you get a sense that in some cases the project will only happen if it receives the funding. I always question that mentality – if a photographer is truly passionate and committed to their work they will just do it – get a project going no matter what, instead of sitting around waiting for the money to come. As you are advocating here – if you get on with it and do the work the support will come anyway.

    Will your daily paid for updates be viewable on a computer? I don’t have an iPhone or iPad.


    Justin P

  • @Wendy
    I have been shooting at Oakland on and off in the last two weeks. My latest photos here:

    Just search for #OccupyOakland for more photos on the blog if interested.

    If you do come by, send me an email through my site. I’d love to meet with another Burnian!

  • FROM NZ$850! An iPhone-4 (32GB) costs NZ$1300-1500!
    geez Ross..thats enough $$ to buy a foreclosed house in Detroit;)

  • I’ve always liked the limited edition philosophy, especially with Burn where 2$ is so democratic! I mean who finds 2$ expensive? What I do struggle with is the limited edition aspect of books. I’ve always liked the concept of limited edition in music, books, guitars, amps and racing bikes but I suppose that’s because once upon a time I could afford them. But the educational aspect of photography, learning your history can be extremely difficult for those in the future if all the best work is solely kept as limited, because all it does is makes prices soar. Antoine D’Agata’s “Mala Noche” – I’m not sure if it was limited but it’s virtually impossible to buy cheap and by cheap I mean 100$. Same goes with most of Koudelka’s work up until recently and don’t get me started with Bruce Davidson’s “Brooklyn Gangs”; I’ve rarely ever seen it go for less than 800$!! So maybe for the sake of the future generations, the concept “limited” in photography when it comes to books could take similar stance as in music. LPs and CDs where you can choose either the limited edition with a little extra something and the standard version. The standard would always be affordable in the second hand market and the limited would be as expensive as usual. But those hard up for cash can learn just as well and not miss out on anything.

  • David: Thanks for the clarification – I’m all in. I’d also be more than happy to cough up two bucks to read Roberta’s observations…and I’ll gladly carry Civilian’s fee for both. Please and thank-you.

  • “one way or another give yourself the assignment you wish someone would give you…..afer all , you should be that someone…” this stirs my tigger blood – I’m in, where do I sign up?
    Speaking of signing up, the support area should be more prominent: I for one keep intending to support Burn but just go straight to the essays and comments and then just … forget. But today I shall not forget; my tigger blood is stirred!


    exactly…as i said, Magnum has run their entire business for 60+ years by just doing it first, and selling it later…that way the buyer knows exactly what they are getting…some kinds of stories, mostly natural history stories requiring huge budgets, may not work with this model..but for most photographers who are working on either human stories or landscapes or art projects, they can get going with very little money…and do what every photographer i know does, take on a commercial project to pay for a personal one…if this model works however, then you maybe just maybe could finance a worthwhile project from the get go…anyway, we will find out something from this one…

    so sorry i am behind on all that you do…we have sort of lost touch…and i think you are too polite to stay on my case much…i appreciate that, but i am telling you to get on my case after my shoot in Rio..between now and then i really have zero time…but please know that i am interested….just not enough time in a day!!

    cheers, david

  • DQ

    yes, $1.99 per month…this gives you daily updates at a cost to you at i guess about 6 cents per update…i thought i wrote this clearly , but maybe not …some others were confused as well….anyway, we will set this up next week and i will write so that nobody can think it is more than 2 bucks FOR THE WHOLE MONTH..2 bucks for 30 days worth of updates…

  • Over and over again I keep watching this video on Alex Majoli…


    When will he get a book published showing most of the work on the video, there is just nothing!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    JEFFFFF…I have requested the assistance of the silent readers,civilians to help me out…
    hiii…I am the one who puts labels here…YOU are in the “ACADEMIANS circle”…therefore…
    you cannot cough up bucks for me…hiii…
    don’t we all love my English?:)))))))))))
    please, enjoy a black coffee 1.99 with our BOBBY BLACK…
    Viva and thank youuuuu ,JEFF!!!

    Italian friends…stay strong…and stay away from IMF!
    EVA,VIVA…November is here…my favorite month…I didn’t forget you…just I caught up with the
    rolling news…!

    MR.HARVEY…just remember…glass doors and people are tricky…oime…you already know that:)))

    PANOS…”you are the subject”…!

    I am looking for more updates…COME ON BURNIANS…I know you are all tigers!

  • David, Magnum has a well-deserved reputation for long-term photo essays and for staying on a story when the media circus moves on. This way of working gives rise to powerful photographs that stand the test of time i.e. they have a human and monetary value that can be counted in decades.

    That said, photographers and their families have expenses to meet and the work now get paid later model does have its problems as far as cash flow is concerned. You wrote earlier about the tremendous good-will that exists towards Nat Geo and how the reader numbers have held up over time. I believe that Magnum is missing something here because they are held in similar regard within the photographic community and many would be more than happy to see how Magnum and Magnum photographers work and to pay for the privilege. I read that Magnum are looking to benefit from their standing and reputation and rightly so.

    With regards the Magnum website; it needs a drastic overhaul (as you know). the last time I tried to buy a book from the site the shipping costs were almost as much as the book because it was being shipped from the USA even though Magnum has a U.K. office.

    I remember the BBC (many years ago) showing the “In Our Time” series of programmes over a three week period and I taped (remember video tape?) every programme and watched it repeatedly. Today’s television has multiple channels showing mainly repeats and drivel (sometimes repeated drivel). When was the last time you watched a serious T.V. programme about photography? I can’t remember the last one I saw. If I could pay to download quality programmes about photograpy I would in a heartbeat. Magnum could provide such programmes. Magnum photographers don’t have to become experts in multi-media but could have a third party produce the output. If I could go to the Magnum site, order a book, download a video and pay for a podcast to follow e.g. DAH in Rio I’d be a happy man.

    Apart from the above everything’s pretty o.k. (laughing).


  • a civilian-mass audience

    hiii…MICHAELK…that’s what I call reporting…

    everything’s pretty…messed up(laughing with MIKER)

    Where are YOU BURNING tigers?…show me what you got…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    I have a question?

    do we have to drink tiger’s blood in order to follow …cause I am allergic to blood:)))))))))

    damnit…I love BURN

  • I would love to see more of Miguel Rio Branco’s work; it’s very hard to find any new stuff. And the books are astronomically priced now.

  • dah — $2 = 2 little. don’t you think you could fairly ask for $5? or at least suggest $2 as a minimum?

  • @Panos Thanks!

    BTW, I am still looking for a copy of Burn.01. If you have one to spare. Please contact me.

  • dq, I agree.

  • Richard, I really like your panoramas of the Oakland thing. Very nice work. Thanks.


    I have a feeling that this model will work and look forward to seeing your results and perhaps figuring out a way to try it myself.

    I sort of have, to a point, with my recently launched limited edition book. But much more could be done.

    Although we haven’t had too much contact, I think you are a good judge of character and have it spot on. I’m not one to shout loudly and can only imagine the number of emails and skype messages you get are beyond my comprehension. But I appreciate your apology, which is certainly not necessary. As you say, there are just not enough hours in the day.

    But I’ll do my best to get on your case after Rio. Good luck with it all.



  • Richard..

    I have one, but I’m in Italy, postage more than from the US, if you still interested send me a mail..

  • Mike R and dq…

    $2 is the kind of price which will pull everyone in. It’s an easy safe price, it doesn’t hurt if one doesn’t like it and it will feel absolutely marvellous and utterly well spent when all goes to plan. Five dollars will make some stop and think, maybe not the three of us. But for many photography is just a hobby, or are cash-strapped enough to stop and consider.

  • even pussycats are of the tribe of the tiger

  • DQ

    actually selling stuff is hard for me…that is why Magnum has always been so good ..THEY ask for money, i do not..my hands are clean!! but here with Burn it is only me…my company only…so i guess i must be the one…still hard for me..anyway, others are telling me the same ..i am not so sure….lots at the low price might bring in more than a few at a higher price…i mean, who knows?? as long as i can make people feel they are getting more than their money’s worth..that is what i always try to do with everything…

    cheers, david

  • David..

    You’re doing this through paypal I assume? Are there fees to pay? At least make sure you get ghose in.. a coffee and a half? Cappuccino?

  • EVA

    i have never done this before…i have no idea about a lot of things…….i am going to be in California with Haik the unsung hero of Burn..Haik knows the inner workings, the way to make things happen….what fees you mean?

  • MIKE R

    Magnum’s website has been being overhauled the last year and a half…should be finished soon..complex compound issues to solve mostly having to do with the archive and having 35 individual photographer pages…it will be more than a website…you will see….

    i know nothing of the shipping procedure out of the Magnum online online bookstore…i do know just from the experience here on Burn that shipping becomes one of the most formidable obstacles to print publishing…sure Magnum could theoretically ship a bunch of books from New York to London and then the London office could ship it to you at lower cost than if you personally had it shipped from new york..but who is going to pay for a ton of books shipped from U.S. to UK? ..unless the book printed in UK or nearby, makes no sense to ship to UK…when we ship Burn to the U.S. from where it is printed in Italy we do so at a bit of a loss…we are always looking for creative shipping solutions….listening…

    cheers, david

  • Very interesting post about the authenticity of “”Faux-vintage photos”


    “Faux-vintage photos devalue and exhaust their own sense of authenticity, which portends their disappearance because, as I described in part II, authenticity is the very currency by which they have become popular; there is an inflation as a result of printing too much currency of the real. For instance, the faux-vintage photo will no longer be able to conjure the importance associated with physicality (another point made in part II) if the vintage look begins to be more closely associated with smartphones than old photos. The novelty begins to wear off and the nostalgia fades away.

    Most damming for Hipstamatic and Instagram is that these apps tend to make everyone’s photos look similar. In an attempt to make oneself look distinct and special through the application of vintage-producing filters, we are trending towards photos that look the same. The Hipstamatic photo was new and interesting, is currently a fad, and it will come to (or, already has?) look too posed, too obvious, and trying too hard (especially if the parents of the current users start to post faux-vintage photos themselves).”

    It is written by a guy working on his dissertation about self-documantation and social media. Good read.


  • A lot of users of the technique don’t think in terms of vintage, past etc they are making in terms of what is available now and it is about now not yesterday. Nathan is over theorizing and spends to much emphasis on “we”( which should be I) without the consultation of others.
    Then again we could taker Nathan’s stance
    Most damming multi linked blogs backed by a pseudo bio authenticity tend to make everyone’s philosophical blogs look similar. In an attempt to make oneself look distinct, learned and special through the application of linking blogs to the social media network. The blogging of social media was new and interesting, is currently a fad, and it will come to (or, already has?) look too contrived, too obvious, and trying too hard (especially if the parents of the current users start blogging the same sites themselves).”

  • Today was the kind of day we sometimes get in mid to late autumn in Puget Sound when, in between our usual seasonal storms, the sky is achingly clear and blue, the air is so clear and crisp, and the oblique northern latitude light so intense and rich that everything seems to be made of carved jewels. There was heavy frost in the morning and the daytime temperature never got above 46 degrees F. in the shade, but the sun was so warm and bright that it felt much warmer. When you see these two snapshots, you will think the saturation has been turned way, way up, but no, this is how it really looks on a day like today. (Right, Tom? Gordon?) On a day like this it is magic to be alive. In North America, we white folks call this kind of day “Indian Summer.”


  • Re: $2 vs $5 vs $10… people are paying how much for a workshop with you for a week? I don’t know the number, is it $1000? People are paying $1500 for 6 days at the Maine Media Workshops or $425 for three days somewhere else, or are buying $40 dvds that offer the secrets of lighting/posing/selling/upselling/photoshop/whatever — or taking $60 “seminars” at Photo Expo in NYC.

    People are paying $2 for a coffee, and $4.50 for a coffee with a flavor shot…

    I don’t know either — you might be right. I prefer the free apps on my iPhone to paying 99 cents…

    you might try tiered pricing —
    $2 for the whole month of insider views;
    $5 for the month plus the discount on the book;
    $50 for the month plus the book itself…
    $150 for the tips/book/5×7 inkjet print…

    or, you might try just throwing away this babble from me and going with your gut.

    that seems to work in most cases :-)

  • @ RICHARD:
    Great XPAN work, go ahead shooting with that kind of format. I’m also researching with XPAN Documentary photography, at the beginning it was not so good, need to fill the frame, but now I’m really happy.
    Here are some of my galleries if you want to take a look (both work in progress):

    PORTRAITS: http://www.patricio-michelin.com/portraits-ii
    TRANSHUMANCE: http://www.patricio-michelin.com/transhumance

    I was “touched” by Michael von Graffenried about his work in Algeria and Swiss nude.
    big “panoramic” hug

  • …and speaking/writing about XPAN Hasselblad: below I post a great work of another Argentinian photographer. He double exposed his films and this is the result:

    His method was simple: shoot a roll, throw it — unlabeled — into a bag of 20 or 30 rolls of Kodak Tri-X, shake the bag, grab a new roll at random and shoot again. He did not know which image would be superimposed on another, what ghosts might speak to each other in one frame.





  • “A lot of users of the technique don’t think in terms of vintage, past etc they are making in terms of what is available now and it is about now not yesterday.”

    I don’t know if he is thinking in terms of people who consider themselves professional or just the population in general. My guess is probably the latter.

    I don’t know if I agree with everything he is saying, but he does make some valid points.


    Many thanks for posting those links and calling my attention to Michael von Graffenried and Rodrigo Abd, both photographers I knew nothing about. Absolutely great stuff, especially Abd.

    I also really liked your panoramic photos of transhumance and hope to see more.

    I have always been a sucker for the panoramic format and used to lust after first a Widelux and then an X-Pan, but in those days I was usually broke and could never buy either. These days I shoot and print totally digitally so the panorama is either a stitch or a crop… but it really is a powerful format and for me anyway a more accurate reflection of how I actually see the world. You have inspired me to give it another serious attempt.

  • For someone that does not have an iPhone, how can one get the app?

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