I took this picture the day after Christmas . I was playing dominos with my mother, when I noticed the light hitting just right on her wedding day picture. A very small simply framed b&w shot from a random off the street commercial photographer in San Francisco where my parents were married without ceremony as my father went off to war. Not an unusual set of circumstances for a couple of Iowa farm kids who fell in love in high school and took what came their way. I was born in San Francisco two years after this 1942 picture.

For 59 years these two had the most amazing relationship. For real. Alan and Maryanna met at Moville High School. She fell in love with  him because he was tall, handsome AND he had a car she says.  Oh yes, their parents became friends too, lived nearby, had same life. So how many reasons do you need?

My father passed right in this house on Christmas day 2000, family gathered to say goodbye, about a year after my mom and I got into this now 12 year old super competitive dominos marathon. We keep score. In detail. She is 6 games up after all this time. We are a game playing family, with me losing most games most of the time. I travel the world. Lots of adventure. Yet hanging here, with family, is THE  place to be. I have never missed a Christmas at home,  often leaving “important” assignments to do so.

Right after I took this shot, my mom said “Oh David, you had better move that picture out of the light. It might fade”.

I don’t think so mom, I don’t think so.

164 Responses to “Archival…”

  • ROSS

    very little of the work i shot two years ago will hold….that was the same with Div Soul…i got on a new roll towards the end….i do not always see the road i want to take right away…i always see of course the obvious “story”, historic context, issues, etc…but finally i tend to see nuance…nothing so mysterious, but i guess it takes me forever to see it….

  • Yeah I met Greene briefly at David’s too (’cause it’s just that kind of place). I thought he was just real people, down to earth, cool guy. Made a point to introduce himself, shake hands all around, sit down, listen, hang for a minute. Like I said, just real.

  • DAVID…

    The New year’s eve venue is the Schank House at Vallecito Lake (Formerly the Buffalo Gap), but not before we have had a home cooked meal (family style) and plenty of tequila by the fire at my place – which is a stone throw from the saloon.

    Here are some images from previous “Schank House” celebrations…live music and plenty of local flavor are guaranteed on an evening like New Years!


    Good friends from North Dakota are spending the weekend with us, might be a nice addition to your “family” project.

  • “Pete it doesn’t matter where the success resides.”

    “ah, the song of the truly desperate.”

    It sounds quite the opposite to me, after all isn’t photography just an urge to shout, sing or whisper our thoughts. As long as you tell Pete’s story, Imants his story or my story, all is ok.

  • “When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.”
    Mark Twain

  • How many of us on here are working on a story that matters to them, not for the money, not for the glory, but because of the need to tell it?

    For those who are not, that is my wish for you for the new year!

    And I still would like to understand why the two last essays are classified one finished and the other in progress..

  • I haven’t seen this posted yet so I wanted to mention that Laura El Tantawy’s
    “I’ll Die for You,” which first appeared on Burn a year ago, is in Orion magazine’s current January/Februrary issue. It’s good to see this work in print, and I’m thankful there are still one or two mass publications here in the U.S. that would take the risk to publish this important work.

    Cheers to Burn, and Happy New Year.

  • Beats being the ego ridden like you Pete……. desperately chasing fame and eternity what a waste that is.

  • EVA

    sorry…that was simply a category mistake on my part..fixed


    thanks for the shout out for Laura El Tantawy….the Orion piece is quite nice indeed….perhaps readers here have forgotten that she is on assignment now for Burn in Egypt…..and has been in some rather frightening circumstances of late…we have feared for her safety recently and she did make a fast exit from Egypt a couple of weeks ago when it became apparent that she was indeed targeted by the secret police…however, i will let her tell the whole story here on Burn…again, thank you for the reminder…

    Stanley Greene is as you describe in a social gathering…he can, as i suppose we all mistakenly do from time to time, make pronouncements….one should never make pronouncements…it must be where the expression “eat your words” comes from….

    i am hoping to publish more of your work in 2012….you have always had a flair for strong imagery….looking forward to more…


    yes, Stanley is probably ranting more about the effect apps…but he should just shhhhhh. Black Passport is all he needs to say…..


    Moshe from HeadOn will contact you…and then we can decide exactly the best way to present the young photographers you mentor….


    photography works both ways…it can be a proactive desire to speak, to inform, to create, OR a passive experience of receiving the aforementioned….both are pleasurable IF the content/story/passion is just right….looking at pictures can be as exciting as taking pictures….hearing a good story by the campfire of the experience of another is its own “experience” and rivals with equality the adventures of the storyteller who just MUST tell others of his/her experience…all of us here pretty much do both…some here lean more in one way than the other, but essentially we all receive, we all create….sometimes the listener,sometimes the speaker…

    MOSTLY, if the time pie were to be divided, we are listeners…we crave the “passivity” of hearing a good story….none of us have enough good stories to tell to keep everyone listening….in an entire lifetime if one has two or three really powerful things to say, then i would say that is on the high side….

    the temptation is of course to tell more stories than one really has to tell…and this is where many error….actually all of us error to one degree or another…i think the best way to look at it is this.. IF it is your time to tell a story, make sure it is eloquent…

    i am not talking about day in and day out conversation (or photography)..that is something else and daily “chatter” is totally healthy….i am talking about what you as a speaker stand for..your statement….your story of stories…

    i always thought that the best way to write something, was to go read something…one runs out of breath in seconds in a vacuum….yet so many try to make that work…curious.


    thanks for bringing in McCullin….yes, a real gentleman AND he has so much stronger work than some of the shouters…..again, real man, real stories…

    cheers, david

  • David..

    Thanks.. now I can stop scratching my head ;)

  • Easy I will skype in a couple of days, Tassie is pretty full on clearing land, building, chasing snakes etc…….. I am asking a variety of educators to assist. I am pretty excited about the prospects and intend to make it an annual event if possible.


    terrific..i am sure our Sydney experience will lead to many things…..clearing land and chasing snakes sounds like fun…and a story to tell :) ..oh , i am going to be totally off the radar screen until about jan 6….i have to edit and write an outer banks piece…so i can tell/show you a story, a short story…


    merry Xmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (please also show some love to the ” not that cute ” this year too…be nice)

  • “Beats being the ego ridden like you Pete……. desperately chasing fame and eternity what a waste that is.”

    Once again going off about something you know nothing about. Should not be surprised.

  • Last time the sun went down.. this year.. a few minutes ago..

    Wishing everyone the best for 2012.. thanks for being here :)

  • Ας μπορούσα να περάσω όλο το ταξίδι τούτο αμίλητος!

    Μια κούρα πυθαγόρεια. Να καθαρίσω απ’ όλα τα λόγια που άκουσα και είπα,
    ν’ αφήσω τη σιωπή ν’ απλωθεί δροσάτη, καταπράσινη, σαν περιπλοκάδα στα σωθικά μου!

    Μα οι άνθρωποι είναι κοπάδι, δε σε αφήνουν.

    Ζητούν να πιαστούν ο ένας από τον άλλον, ν’ ακουμπήσουν σαν τα πρόβατα λαιμό με λαιμό.

    Φοβούνται τη σιωπή. Η φλυαρία μονάχα μπορεί να στερεώσει την καρδιά τους.

    Νίκου Καζαντζάκη, Ταξιδεύοντας: Ιαπωνία –Κίνα

    (laughing) from GOOGLE translation:

    Let us spend the whole trip so silent!

    A cure Pythagorean. I clean all the words that I heard and said,
    to let the silence n ‘spread fresh upon my soul (Drosato), green as a tree branch (periplokada) in my guts!

    But humans are herd, not to leave alone.

    They want to catch from (hold on to) each other, lean like sheep neck by neck.

    They are afraid of silence. The chatter alone can clinch/cure their hearts.

    Nikos Kazantzakis, Travelling: Japan-China

  • 4pm in london, 11am in new york…
    hmmm we are still back in 2011 here…always late to the party..ha ha..
    but we got the bombs ;)

  • Panos…

    Wishing you a very happy New Year!!
    and 5:00pm here in Spain

  • Burnians…

    Wishing you all a very very HAPPY NEW YEAR.

  • ok Paul..then..we will wait..we all still stuck in 2011…

  • its think its 2012 in must be 3:46am 2012 there!

  • Stanley Greene: awful (of himself)…. Even the imitation of Keith richards doesn’t stick. :-)

  • a civilian-mass audience

    I am in…just arrived back home…I am in Grecolandia…


    give me some time to recover…oime…I missed you all…
    hope you are ALL ok…
    I am the happiest civilian in the world…cause I found out that happiness is on the small details…
    and it can be achieved…
    trust me…ups and downs in the journey…we have to just focus on the UP’S…hiiii

    OUZO ON ME…VIVA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    your civi always…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    P.S…I have the secret to stamina…yeap…

    AUSSIES,NEW ZEALANDERS…2012…we are following…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    MAMA HARVEY…wow…you rock my LADY…wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Herve…

    Yes I agree, I didn’t even have the usual stamina, so I turned it off halfway through.

  • CIVI…

    Nice to see you round here!!
    A big hug and a very happy New Year!!!!

  • Welcome back CIVI!
    Hope you have had a good time.

    Cheers and a happy New Year to everybody!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    PAUL and THOMAS…thank you my people…
    give me some time to change my stinky socks…
    and to have a sip of ouzo and I will be …good to go or should I say …good to be back:)))


  • Civi..

    Good to have you back, wven with stinky socks.. I think.. ;)

  • Eva; I agree with your statement about doing the work whatever…I very nearly got sucked into doing a story (to run alongside the farm one) for the wrong reasons. I knew it would be controversial and I suppose thought it would be a good move. However; after thinking about it for a while I decided I was doing it for the wrong reasons. It was more a desire to shoot a controversial story than shooting a story I truly cared about.

    If my farm essay garners some sort of success, then great! But; that’s not the reason I’m shooting it. I’m shooting it because I believe in it. So much so that I’ve spent about 12-months living on practically dole (unemployment benefit) levels of income to shoot it; and plan to spend a busy next 12-months shooting it and 2 or 3 “backburner” ideas in the background whenever I’m in the right place at the right time.

    So; 2012 is all about amping up my self-sufficiency experiment. So far it’s working well alongside the photography/writing; a nice counterpoint. It also means I can live cheaper! Here’s a link to a few pics from the first month. Nothing arty; just a few snaps…

    David; So does that mean you’ve practically shot a book in the month you were in Rio?


    새해 복 많이 받으십시오!
    Glückliches Neues Jahr!

    Best wishes to all of you, leaders, lurkers, loudmouths, lounge lizards, lensbabies, the loquacious and the laconic, whether livid or lugubrious, luminous or lackluster, longtimer or latecomer, in this unique online community of BURN, for a healthy, productive, and happy New Year in 2012! May the Year of the Dragon bring you new horizons and discoveries, and the simple satisfactions of warmth and beauty in everyday life…

    Regards to all!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    can someone translate SIDNEY…wow…but he is an ACADEMIAN afterall…:)VIVA!

    EVA,VIVA…I crossed many waters…I passed from your home too…BUT YOU were out(as usual):))))
    sending love and best wishes…

    BURNIANS…Wake up…2012 is knocking my door…Europe can you feel it…?!!!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    10:00 p.m …in Greece…had a shower…ready for ouzo…

    THODORIS…family rocks!

    88 comment…AKAKY…100? is it mine? wake up…

  • Thinking in a happy new year, I inevitably come back to my 2011 and it is still hard to believe that 2012 has some chance to top it . In general, I carry the answers I was needing. Specifically about Burn, I have David and his influence and the turnarounds he provoked when I feel that 29 years were destinated to that Carnaval, a 2011 interception time, and everythings began to make more sense, to be funnier and simpler.Burn brought so much when all I had was a little and analysis, new ways to think and rethink on the field,to embrace it, to dig passion and give it the value deserved.And friends, and if not friends yet… people I already there is no turn back. Thanks for a happy 2011 Burnians , and like I mentioned before it’s hard to believe another year can beat that one, but the challenge is exciting enough to work on..So, let’s keep up! Let’s go for champagne and fireworks! A wonderful top surprising,amazing, killer 2012 for all of us!

  • Welcome to the year……like Ross been there done that………. I am hoping to find the canis lupus-headed stiped one here and that will make me “famous and eternal” …………….one thylacine is all one needs.

  • imants shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.. i hear steps….
    and don’t show that bag….
    is it camera bag at all??
    ……… no! no! no! foto bag, no foto let

  • Sounds all good David ………. edit and write an outer banks piece ………….should be interesting the old my backyard ……..lots of thinking, dreaming there

  • To hell with the new year, I say, I’m still in love with the old year. Just cause some young hussy comes traipsin round about midnight doesn’t mean I’ll go traipsin off with her. Isn’t there a song about that? Why yes, yes there is:

  • Imants; Re the thylacine; if you find one you’ll be set up for life! I hear they are easier to find after a few home brews… ;-)

  • Only 8:51 pm here Miami time.

    heading out but before I do that:


    Wishing everyone lots of inspiration and projects in 2012!
    All the best to all BURNIANS!

  • David, I don’t know how but this one slipped my me until now.

    Very nice.

    Well written, too.

    How fortunate you are.

  • Almost there… We made it!!!
    Happy New Year
    Now what?

  • Now what?…start counting again

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