Smoke Break

Hanging. Supposed to be writing a piece for NatGeo on what goes on beyond this porch in OBX.  Yet this is about as far as I can get into the world of writing. Posting on Burn, which I doubt is considered writing. Chris Bickford and Jennifer Kolb take a smoke break after our pizza and beer. The sun flies through the sky down here. No sooner do I get up, than it is so quickly afternoon. That is just the way it is.

187 Responses to “Smoke Break”

  • Someone funnier than I once wrote, “the sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up.”

    Writing has always been a tough job for me as well. I always en up procrastinating until the last moment, and I am so tired, that the creative juices flow due to lack of sleep, meets up with the realization that I probably don’t have time to get my writing done on time. Probably why my posts on Burn are always so damned short.

  • It seems that you’re writing your piece in these snippets. Put them all together, and you have your piece – much like E.B. White’s One Man’s Meat. His descriptions of place were connected vignettes – much like a photo essay really.

  • Simple and beautiful.
    I’m almost at 1000 days but I still want one, esp when I see scenes like this:)

  • And I agree with Mr Frank. I’m wondering if once the pressure hits if there will be a flurry of pages. Wondering if it’s all on the the laptop? I still like pen to paper.

  • GORDON LAFLEUR. Have you seen this yet?

    It seems to answer all the questions that the x100 asked and I know you have an x100

  • a civilian-mass audience

    I wanna a break too…

    THOMAS HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!! I will give you your present in person:)!!!
    and be afraid…cause I am Greek …
    and you know …:)))))))))))))))

    Smoke break…oime,…I wish I was there…hmmm…or maybe,I am…


    P.S I am not gonna ask …what are they smoking?:)

  • John, yea, Gordon’s been all over that. Me too. I love the x100. I’m planning on selling all the humongous canon crap to get the new Fuji. Problem will most likely be wait time and price. I started watching B&H for the x-100 in July and it was not available until December. Fortunately, was able to pounce on a used one that came available. Point is, Fuji will be able to name their price for that camera.

  • What is OBX?

    But.. what I’d like to read, when I will have the June edition of NatGeo in my hands, would be not as much about OBX the place, but David in OBX.. but that’s just me..


    very astute observation….i will go back and collect…thanks

  • Eva, this will be David’s first non-roadtrip essay in decades…maybe since he was a child. That’s the angle that will drive my curiosity in June.

  • Ok. In my opinion writing especially yours comes from way down deep with lots of fibers takes time to surface sometimes those strays have lots to say it’s kind of coming up for air then diving down and bringing up the prize


    is this THE one? i am still happily married to the GF1, but cannot help but notice new cameras in the room….

  • David, I am starting to really enjoy the GF3 with the Summilux 25mm. It has a touch screen function on the back that works very well. You compose and touch where you want to focus and it focuses and takes the image. The focus is amazingly fast much faster than my D700 was.


    this essay is only personal…it is definitely not a compendium of OBX…simply a personal vignette…Jeff you are right…but it is funny i always shoot at home…and always have projects going at home , based on home…American Family for one..but nothing published from home for a long time….RIO is my last away from home essay i think…Family Drive will be the final at home….then? i join the circus or something….

  • ANNE…

    yes, you are right…and you would know..come back down when you can…your house has moved…four blocks south..yes, they saved it by moving it before the ocean moved it…

  • David. More likely to be an attempt at an M9 Killer..and since you have one of those but still seem to favour the GF then maybe not in your case…Although; you can compose and shoot using the lcd screen which, apparently, is a boon for you older folks :)))) and not something, I believe, that the M allows.

  • John, David

    Yes, I’ve been checking out the new Fuji, from the specs and the buzz it seems spectacular. Will wait and see. They seem to have listened to the criticisms of the x100 issues. The deal breakers for me would be auto-focus speed, turn on time.

    I probably won’t be buying one in any case, partly because the camera is about the same size as an M9..which is too big for a personal carry along camera for me.

  • Stir that OBX red sky which is are hundred times redder than red and love. Tell us about that continuous full moon and all the outlaws and misfits who dance under it’s mojo.

    Anyway I’m sure the lightning of inspiration will strike when you stop searching…

    I’m off! Got to keep working on my two essays I want to show you.

  • John
    Your are right about the lcd viewfinder, I actually bought the x100 because of the optical viewfinder, but find I use the electronic viewfinder most of the time.

    Curious why you don’t seem to get along with the M9?

  • Yeah..

    “… or something” is my bet.. :)

  • writing sucks…
    hmmm..especially if you’re good at it

  • its ok if you’re not, coz nobody will notice anyways..but if u have Akaky’s reputation then yeah it sucks coz u always have to keep up with the standards HE (Akaky) himself already set for the rest of us:)

  • I really like the GF’s for size and focusing speed, but when I was researching the purchase I saw that the x100 was much, much better for noise, pretty much across the iso range but especially at higher settings. It’s quite comparable to the 5D mkII. The x100 is a bit slow and clunky for focusing, but it’s better than most cameras were throughout most of the history of photography and I find I can muddle by. If the new one is anywhere near as good as the GF’s on focusing, it will be an SLR killer.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    AKAKYYYYYYYYYYYYY…you are home…u…yeah,babe…!!! 100 will be mine though:)
    and whatever PANOS said

    ANNIE…welcome home…!!!

    THOMAS where are you?…I want my birthday cake…

    EVA…you forgot to tell me…rain is here:(…BUT I know MYEVA…you are in the darkroom
    and I love you…

    GORDON…say hi to MARTHA and family

    PAUL…Viva Barcelona !!!…

    oime…you are so many…I’ll be back…chickens need me…

  • John, I think you are right about the Fuji targeting the M9. A thread on the Rangefinder Forum mentions that Fuji will be releasing an M-mount adapter for the X-Pro-1.

  • I think amelie’s observation/idea about vignettes a la (did I just really say that??) E.B White is an awesome idea for a narrative about OBX. Just seems….right, somehow.

    Spontaneous, fluid, multi-threaded.

  • like the surf…a pattern with no pattern….

  • andrew..

    agree.. and fit’s the Comic Book style where we’ve spent some time in OBX..

  • Civi.. no rain here, just freezing cold.. love ya too :)

  • “is this THE one? i am still happily married to the GF1, but cannot help but notice new cameras in the room”

    Seems to be a guy thing. Same goes for cars, technology, women…sigh.

  • Civi

    Martha and my mom both say hi. They are looking for a rhubarb relish recipe, yum.

  • If I had enough wonga I would treat myself to an M9. It would be the end of all my woes and camera gear faggot lust, although I don’t suffer too much from that affliction. I have no need for anything higher than 800 ISO, just nice and small enough to hang on my shoulder under a jacket.

  • Civi, btw, mom will be 82 on Sunday

  • Silence in music is easily overlooked. Is it the notes that you’re hearing, or is it the silence in between those notes that makes us fall in love with a tune? Of course I was wondering if this could be similar in photography? An ex girlfriend of mine is a highly talented painter and she once explained to me how if she was drawing a chair she never really saw or recognized the chair. All she could see was the spaces between the chair and her imaginary frame made by the sheet of paper or canvas.

  • PAUL,

    I agree… space is highly underrated. It seems that the older I get, the more I wish to simplify.

  • In the spirit of today’s tech-talk, and honouring the new girl on the block…

    Steve invited me to one of the newspapers he freelances for in order to get my cameras cleaned by the Nikon Professional Service technicians during one of their regular visits. I KNOW how to clean a sensor, but wanted to get my shutter speeds checked on a couple of old film cameras. There were four photographers present, with the same number of representatives from Nikon. It turned out they couldn’t assess my shutters as they didn’t bring the needed analyzer.

    No problem for me; it was a treat just to see how the pros clean a sensor. Using a sharp-pointed hemostat – simply a surgical set of pliers – they grabbed a piece of lens cleaning paper in the hemostat’s grip and then wound it slightly askew to build it up at the end. This stub, which looks a little like a spliff, was dipped in methyl hydrate and then swabbed on the sensor.

    Anyway, it turned out the main reason for the gathering was to give us a first-glance at the new flagship Nikon D4. Fantastic! We had two of the three in Canada in our midst; roll-out is set for mid-February. Quite an amazing body. I forget all of the bells and whistles (I don’t know much about the Nikons to begin with) but this shoots at 10 fps, with a buffer for about 200 RAW images. A new memory card has been designed. There is built-in wireless which allows for computer-directed focusing and shooting; automatic internet transfer. A Nikon manufactured microphone has in-body controls, including stereo volume adjustment. Dx lenses can be used, and new ergonomics allow focus points to shift as the body is moved from landscape to portrait position.

    There is one other thing: the reps claim the dynamic range has been improved, but surprisingly they think it still doesn’t match the DR of film. I thought digital had surpassed that fence-post awhile ago. The D4 has a +/- 3EV built-in HDR function, but that is separate from the processor’s DR capability.

    There was plenty more, but I forget much of it, and I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to get the numbers straight. After two hours the presentation was finished, and I asked Steve to take a grabshot of my M3 alongside the D4. As we were setting up, all four of the reps fairly well ran over to our side of the boardroom table, and I’m not overstating it in any way when I tell you they began to fondle the M3. Out came their V1’s and they began shooting macros. My M3 is early early vintage and they recorded all that differentiates it from the later versions. “See? No frameline indicator lever” Click, click. “Notice the old European shutter speeds?” Click, click. “It’s older than me.” Click, click.

    They even took photos of one another holding the M. You should realize that even though the reps were quite young, one of them was instrumental in the design/development of the D4; one of the pros of the Pros. Seeing him getting so excited over over a vintage body was a thrill. As Gordon says, maybe it’s a guy thing. Men do like “strange” for sure, but it doesn’t always have to be the new girl that grabs our interest; the ones with a little mileage can be just as much fun to chase, thank-you very much!

  • Jeff…

    Rest assured an old hen always makes the best chicken soup :)!

  • Paul..

    Yes.. the silence between notes.. and the dissonance solving itself into consonance.. or the opposite, building up.. I wonder if OBX baby has been born in the meantime..

  • a civilian-mass audience

    THOMAS…thanks for the B-cake…!!!…I am sending FB message;)


    GORDON…oh,GORDON,your LADIES are glowing…thank you for sharing!

    PAUL…yes,you got it chicken soup…!

    JEFF… “the ones with a little mileage can be just as much fun to chase”…how much mileage are we talking about?:))))))))))

    BURNIANS…Good morning from FROSTY Greece…FROSTFROG keep rolling!!!


  • David – You know I write and write – but believe it or not, I go through what you are going through now. One of the best writing experiences I ever had was my piece in NG. My editor made me rewrite and rewrite and rewrite until I got it right. He never changed one word. He pointed out where I needed to make changes and then let me do it.

    Civi – I am rolling – just posted the first of what will be the outtake series from my Times Square shoot. After I get up tomorrow, I will start posting and then I will keep it up until the day is over and that will finish up the outtake series. It will be rough as hell, but its a blog, so one cannot expect perfection.

  • Justin, Eva and Jeff…

    Space, silence and simplicity seem to me to be pretty equal. I also wish simplicity and actually I have always searched, reminds me of peace. Yes and dissonance and consonance the climax as one reaches the other is sublime and we all somehow yearn that feeling. Mr Nikon guys stop complicating things your biggest fans the ones who have always been round your yard yearn for simplicity. Ease of use, so please remember Jeff’s M3 next time you sit designing a new camera. Simplicity, easy, small nothing too hard to create or perhaps it is? Make it even easier just pull out an Fm3a and chuck in a digital sensor and I’m sure Fuji, Canon and Leica may begin to worry just a little.

  • Talkng of opinions (other thread)
    another underated american

  • Michael webster
    You might start at Erich lessing, travelling there via Jerome Liebling. You would certainly want to stop off at jean gaumy for a cup of tea and a slice of cake before continuing up cartier-bresson avenue, avoiding the verticals if you can. A little visit to mccullens bradford work and PJG’s welsh studies should set you up nicely for a little smith or strand. And round of with a little b roads jaunt around to J streit j polleross or heimo aga.
    These are all worthy benchmarks.

  • John, benchmarks for what? Dynamic composition? You know I don’t play that game. Although I agree it’s necessary to be aware of what others have done, I think sometimes people go too far down that road. I’m just looking at the photographs in front of me. The composition of any one of them is either dynamic or banal or it’s not. Doesn’t matter what someone else did in the past. Derivative (and I’m not saying these are derivative) is not the same as uninteresting or banal.

    Not talking about the subject, but the composition, do you really find #12 to be uninteresting or banal? Or #16? If so, why?

  • “Anyway, I’m curious about what you consider to be interesting composition?” Make your mind up michael.
    what game do you play??

  • Why the hostility, John? I’m not attacking you. Just thought you were open to conversation about composition since you’re the one who brought it up.

    But about the games, were we talking about, say, literature, I wouldn’t consider an answer like, “well, to know what I’m talking about you need to read Ulysses, War and Peace, Gravity’s Rainbow, and the collected works of Proust” to be a serious answer. I would consider that a game to avoid giving a serious answer. And I wouldn’t play that game by coming back with something like “well, I’ve read all of those but you need to read the Bible in the original Hebrew or Greek, the encyclopedia Britannica, and Shakespeare in it’s entirety to understand my point.” See what I mean?

    So talk about it or don’t. I would like to hear and consider your opinions on this subject, but I have plenty of other things to do if you’re not interested in sharing. And I’m certainly not looking for a fight. Maybe it’s the phase of the moon or something, but it seems everywhere I look on the internets these past few days, people with similar outlooks are viciously attacking each other over miniscule differences.

  • Hostile?? where??
    You asked for examples..I supplied some. Then you say you didnt want them
    This work is straight up bw docu. no contemporary spin or artistic bias. ‘Here is a story and here are the pictures to support it.’…cool. Nothing wrong with that. I just find them comparatively dull.

    All those people I mentioned have done work in the same vein. View them and then re-view this and tell me you do not see the difference. If not then this conversation is even more pointless than it already was.

  • John, actually, my question was why you found a particular composition uninteresting and/or banal. If you don’t want to talk about it, that’s okay.

    Feeling kinship with Bob right now I’ll add that it’s exchanges like this that really make me glad I can look at a photograph or a scene without immediately comparing it to the work of 20 other friggin photographers. At some point, if the pic is really good, then maybe.

  • Maybe it’s the phase of the moon or something,……. no it is you.

  • I am with John on this just basic photojournalist style photography……….the composition part is made up by a couple of viewers.

  • Gung Hay Fat Choy means “Best wishes and Congratulations. Have a prosperous and good year.” Chinese New Year

    (Bong is what u meat right?)

  • tortured soul, difficult to see authentic insensible footwear. i mean like groovy man.

  • Michael. So here’s the thing. Everybody loves that essay. What that means to me is not that you are all wrong, but that there IS something there I do not get. my original point I think. For the record though I am happy not getting it.

  • PAUL

    i am ready to see those two essays…i have a feeling you are on to something


    you have never heard me talk about “composition”…at least NOT as any kind of road map..i am an off road driver….

    everything i do here on Burn is only in the spirit of education….Burn is not a library of all the best pictures that have ever been taken throughout history…if Burn were anything other than an intent to educate and enlighten some, than of course i would not be here at all, but only doing my own work…

    we publish 150-200 essays per year here on Burn…that is way way too many essays if one were showing the very best essays that have been done throughout history, which is of course just a handful…i think one must assume that this audience grows and changes every day and therefore i do have some sense of needing to go back over some kinds of essays for those who are seeing Burn for the first time..and here i try to pace one style of essay with another…this one following Charlotte for example…

    please know John not everyone in this audience is as well grounded in the history of photography as are you ..young photographers not knowing from whence they came can be an instant hyper reaction lament of mine when i teach, yet something i have learned to use as an opportunity instead of just throwing up my hands and screaming at my students “you idiots, why don’t you know EVERYTHING ALREADY!”

    perhaps this 28 year old photographer knows the work of Smith, Loengard, and Lanker, but maybe not…or maybe he is just trying his hand in the game…either way, just because Smith or Lanker may have done this “better” does not seem like a very good reason not to look at what he has to say and perhaps giving him some constructive feedback rather than telling him “hey dude, your work does not match the masters, so fold up your tent and go home”..the fact is there is some nice imagery here and i think certainly worth a look even though yes very much in the classic tradition…is classic “out”?

    this was obviously an amazing event….some would have seen it “better” perhaps…for sure i would not judge Yurian as a photographer based on just this one essay…either for better or worse…like Liste in Brazil….any “visually loaded” event such as this is no way to judge the visual acuity of a photography…lots of powerful visuals right there…yet, with Yurian i felt he did go a bit beyond the most obvious and give us a bit of simple lyricism..

    on something like this one does not want to intrude with “super style” i don’t think…so when one shoots a powerful event like this “straight up”, well yes it is going to look most likely like pretty straightforward photoj…Charlotte has us asking questions, Yurian is simply presenting “facts”..fair enough either way i would submit…

    John, i would certainly not expect you to like every photographer i present here for perusal…and your honest opinion is all that we want…yet, i do feel quite sadly that as time goes on your critique is way more painfully reflective of your current state of mind than of anything presented here by the photographer..YOU is what i want..i want John Gladdy …

    yes, as critic, yet MOSTLY i would like to see John Gladdy photographer..after four years now of going back and forth, we have little to see from you and instead i am seeing bitterness (or so it often seems) replacing what i had hoped would be a brilliant essay…so while Yurian may not have gone as far as perhaps he will go, at least he is doing something right NOW with his talents…i would wish the same for all….

    i good rule of thumb is that if you are bored looking at the work of others, then please show us the way by logging off Burn and logging on to your own work long enough to get it done..edit wisely…be done with it and move on to another….make it sing, and we will follow….i will be the FIRST to buy a round, pop the cork, whatever in your honor…

    by the way, Doug Stanhope has it nailed down…thanks


  • OK David. I put my hands up to this. Very probably guilty as charged, although “painfully refelctive of your current state of mind” does make it sound like im about to drink a litre of clorox and take a dive of the balcony…..which had me giggling….plus I dont have a balcony :)

    In future I will restrain my pen hand until it has doodled at least twenty fluffy clouds and a puppy dog chasing in tail, in the margins. That should sort it out.


  • JOHN

    i would not write if i did not care…

    abrazos, david

  • a civilian-mass audience

    what about now?…Can I sing now?


    you MUST sing now….or , i will…and believe me, that you do not want..

  • While we wait for civi please give a big hand for the warm up act.

  • Hey everyone. No time to read comments now. Hope everyone’s doing good.

    Check out my coverage of the Bing Bar at Sundance. New gallery everyday. I’m wiped and still three days to go. Also other exclusive pics on the Bing Facebook page….

    Back next week….

  • Ohhhhhh to be at sundance……
    And with a few days to go,
    I think the party is just getting started! :)
    Great stuff Charles….

  • David
    De-constructing composition in a formal way, like de-constructing literature or music, is one of the ways we advance our own visual literacy. We seldom conciously are aware of the “rules” when making photographs, while writing, or while making music in a spontaneous way. After the fact, we can however to use this knowledge to give us clues as to why things work or not.

    Yurian is an immensly talented and skilled photographer. Anyone who doubts that should check out his website, which reveals an amazing range, from gritty edgy “invisibles”, to breath-takingly beautiful “lake”.
    His choice to employ a classic style for “Grabarka” is absolutely perfect. I am very moved by this essay. Thanks for bringing it to us.

    BTW, just wondering why all this is posted under smoke break rather than under the essay.

    Cheers all

  • Panos, here ya go…

  • Well Michael, trying to bring a bit more to it than what the other photogs are doing (stand here, flash, flash, flash), which might not be that much but is something (and a paycheck). Keep in mind these are 2am edits and Spin then chooses from that (I would lose the party pics – not my forte – but they want that). My personal edit would be a lot different, and one is quite constrained as to what one can actually do, and I am responsible to the client (again, I make my living with photography). Here’s a more personal edit from last year:

    Anyway, if you are interested you now know where to look and I’ll stop with the links. Now back to work for me…(Cobra Starship tonight)…


    Please don’t stop with the links… Cobra Starship is a bonding experience with my 13 year old….

  • a civilian-mass audience


    especially after watching CHARLESP…photos…!!!
    Devil In The Woodpile’


  • a civilian-mass audience

    and HAPPY NEW YEAR…again..and again…

  • Did I write that? Wow. Sorry. Long weekend. Again, sorry.

  • To elaborate, I’m very sorry about that quip to Charles. It was a terribly lame attempt at a little joke that came out horribly wrong. I’ve sent Charles a separate note and asked David to take it down. Hopefully Charles will accept my apology and keep linking to his work here at burn. I think it’s great that he got such a gig and trust the clients will be appropriately thrilled with the results. Charles has one of the best eyes on the planet for that kind of work and the linked photos are representative of his incredible aesthetic for the subject matter. Once again, apologies to all.

  • No worries Michael. Got your note, reply sent, apology accepted.

    And Cobra Starship rocked last night. Pics soon…


    all is good…no doubt in my mind that this audience, this writing audience, is honestly like a family…we often get irritated with each other, just like families do….we all make mistakes…we read fast , we write fast…i mess up all the time in this regard…

    you two have worked it out in the right way…much appreciated….

    cheers, david

  • David…

    Essays sent via Facebook as usual. Nothing urgent whatsover so remember no hurries, first things first and by that I mean the Rio wall and NatGeo.

  • For all. (and I do mean ALL!) ;^}

    It’s been a long time since I’ve done this, but I offer myself to the Burn Magazine group. Would love to hear thoughts about a few images being considered for a larger project on the District of Columbia. Very nascent. Not sure of ultimate direction yet, but still would be interested in honest feedback.

    Muchas gracias!

  • Michael Kircher…

    1, 7, and 8 are my favorites. But don’t go by my tastes, I tend to like the odd and slightly edgy.

  • Michael K,

    1 and 7 artistically.
    2 and 8 for your title of “miserable day”
    Is the title an important criteria here? Or is it just the name of the gallery?
    I would like to mention that I’m viewing these on my iPhone….I’m out of town at the moment.
    I love #7

  • Paul and Carlo…

    Thanks very much! Title is just for gallery. Mostly looking to see what these images do for the different types of photographers and personalities that come and go through Burn. I value the variety of opinions. Helps me to see things, especially my own work, with new eyes.

    Thanks again.

  • Michael; for me it’s the first one that works. But; I’d like to see it just about pushed into the Bob Black realms of darkness and contrast…. Well; maybe not quite as contrasty as that, but I’m sure you know what I mean.

    I would love to be able to borrow a new screw-in set of eyes so I could look at all my work freshly. To be able to see it from the perspective of someone who is viewing it for the first time. Cheers :-)

  • Michael
    Looking at your images I saw 2 bodies of work. Landscapes and then people. Beautiful imagery, but the title is… Well… I guess I just don’t like the word miserable. For the images did not speak to me of misery. Rather quiet or alone, or something… Love the black and white and your landscapes. There was something quiet and moody about them…. The reflection, water and trees… From a distance…..
    Words are always tricky for me.
    Hope this makes sense…

  • hi Michael
    since you asked…
    maybe one or two of these will stay with you as you move further into your project, and as you define what you are seeking…
    some images are quite lovely, yet some are the kind of thing you see when a newspaper photographer comes back from an assignment with art for the weather page. that is, beautiful but too easy.
    daring of you to reveal these for feedback from such random burn readers as myself… you obviously have a strong eye… please keep going. and sharing.

  • dq, wendy and Ross… thanks for the candid comments. Helps a lot.

    wendy, it was basically a miserably cold, wet day. Just the weather. My day was anything but miserable. But I get what you’re saying. Words matter. Thanks.

    Ross, Please let me know when you find those replacement eyes for “1st time” viewing! ;^}

  • a civilian-mass audience

    MICHAELK…Number 1 is mine
    Number 7
    Number 9

    “but don’t go for my taste”as PAUL says…cause I am a civilian;)
    and as WENDY says…”just don’t like the word miserable”…
    what about …”moire”

    “we all make mistakes…we read fast , we write fast…”
    Nope…I don’t read fast …BUT I make mistakes
    and that’s why you love me too…

    I will be out working…I am Greek afterall…:)))

    I will be back!

    P.S FROSTY…I will be home later…and CARLO,THOMAS and others…safe travels…


    Yup, I’m shouting.. you fly straight through the day today, you better do, or I gotta come and kick your butt.. ok?

  • Charles – hey, you are having fun at Sundance. Maybe my niece Shaela Cook is there. She usually is. If by chance you meet her, say hi. I enjoyed the whole look, but especially love the portrait of Neil Young.

    As for the dispute, I will have to back up and see what arguments have taken place and how much venom has been spewed. But it is late and I don’t want to go to bed angry, so I will wait for another day. Whatever, David is right. Burn is a family. Maybe a sometimes dysfunctional family, but a family.

    As for me, I just posted the final mini-story that I shot in Times Square for the Loft Workshop. My posts have been erratic, spread apart, but anyone who has followed knows that I tried and failed to shoot a Mormon Missionaries at Work essay in New York City, and then, trying to keep in the same vein, set out to shoot a street preacher essay, but failed to find any street preachers.

    Then, in the final 20 minutes or so of my shoot, the theme somehow jelled in the mini-story I posted tonight:

    As always, none of the pictures posted appeared in my part of the final night’s slide show. I have posted all this chaos I experienced that week and then at the end I will show the pictures that went into my show – as well as the whole show, with everybody’s work.

    So if you have wandered away, or never bothered to come in the first, please drop in on this post and then stick with me to the end, which will come soon. I promise.

    Now that my coverage of the shooting part is done, I will next take the blog to the final day of the workshop and follow it through to the evening slide show, and then quickly wrap up the series shortly afterward.

  • Thanks Civi! Your tastes do matter! Time for Ouzo?

  • Michael – I apologize for missing your request in my bleary state of mind.

    That’s a hard one. Fortunately, I am still up, proofreading too late:


  • My god, Bill…. go to bed! ;^}

    Thanks for taking the time!

  • Michael Kircher, I very much like #7, a bit of found beauty in an otherwise dreary landscape. It seems to me you have some good ideas for this project. Go for it, I say, though you’d better hurry because spring is approaching and all that sunshine and cherry blossums could possibly ruin your mood.


    i took a break from my world of trying to see how Rio all fits together and took a walk on the wild side on your blog….great stuff…funny as i would expect and educational, actually as i would also expect from you….i could only spend about 10 minutes there because the coffee is done and i have to get back to work, but i will get back to it soonest…funny but i do not see THIS PART of my own classes…very cool…

  • Michael Kircher…

    BTW which is your favorite image?

  • Hey Paul. Good question. I guess I’d have to say the geese and the wind-shield wiper are up there. #7, too. After looking for the last couple days, I’ve shifted a bit. Thought the bridge and the runner were pretty groovy. Not sure now.

  • Michael K., I’m a bit late to the party, but my favorites are 1, 5, 7, and 8. (Would like to see the bridge shot with just a bit more contrast.) For some reason, I can’t really like the runner shot and I wish I could tell you why.

    I would also like for #9 to have a bit more contrast.

  • ALL,

    Had a weird dream last night that all of the Burnians were gathered at DAH’s house for a party/informal workshop (plenty of beer), which is really strange because I’ve never met any of you in person. DAH had a small leather-bound maquette with “OBX” embossed on the front that everyone was passing around, and the shutter on Thodoris’s dSLR broke. Weird…

  • Michael

    Love the bridge shot.

  • Thanks Justin and Gordon! Appreciate your input.

    Justin, I’m feeling pretty much the same way about the runner. He’s definitely out!

    This is a great group here at Burn. Hard to say just how much I appreciate the thoughts and critiques, the generosity of spirit. But it’s a lot!


  • a civilian-mass audience

    Happy Birthday JUSTIN and PRESTON…I want a cake…can you bring and some wine cause THOMAS forgot it last time…

    and EVA…what is all about …JOHNYG…??? I need an update…I am lost…

    FROSTY …oh,FROSTY!!!

    and AKAKY,my apologies…I missed the 100 comment…hmmm…mass audience,my arss…oime:))))))

    I Love YOU ALLLL…I need reports…many,many BURNIANS are missing..hellooooo…

  • David; out of interest… What would you guess to be the percentage of old versus new (the last Rio shoot) images that will make the cut for the book? It will be interesting to see how much of the book was actually shot in the 1-month period… Cheers :-)

  • Thank you, CIVI. Birthday and wine sound like a good time :-)

    (although I may feel differently in the morning, whne I have to get up for work…)

    Is it Preston’s birthday, too?

  • see, no wine yet and I still misspelled “when”!

  • 200 is coming, Civi, all will be well

  • Michael Kircher…

    Been thinking and looking at your images a couple more times today. I honestly think you should not listen to any of us and just go for the images which you are a 100% sure of. No 70% or the nearly image just those which are 100%, don’t kid yourself so be ruthless. Remember the bird picture in your Burn essay? That’s the quality I’m writing about, the awe inspiring, the eyeball kick, the image which has a life of it’s own. Throw all the rules away and play about until you hear the “AHA” scream in your soul as you walk under the rain soaked to the bone.


    one of my best movie directors of all times dies today

    (i know Bob Black knows what im talking about…Theo-(doros) Angelopoulos died today… sad day for the Art Family


    Don’t know about you fellows, but it is one wet blustery day here in Northern Puget Sound. I hope your respective roofs are intact, and that they stay that way! Cheers,

  • Frostfog, our dear Bill..

    Im being a loyal reader of your photoblog , following each step of your loft workshop odyssey..Thanks Bill for the photos, words, for the commitment on bringing them so honest, exposed and intimate to us. Really inspiring you’re role inside it and your sharing

    Michael k
    just to leave my congrats for this work and for the opportunity to having us taking a look. And it’s hard to choose,pleasing task by the way, but Im more inclined also for #1, #7,#8,#9

    Justin and Preston,
    Making stronger civi’s happy birthday coro..Hope the day was well celebrated and brought more happiness, smiles, love(and wine) for the next days to come . All the best for both of you from this sunny part of the world

    It’s so damn good when you sing..

    Glad to see your name around..We miss you, so dont take so long to show up next time or you’ll need to hire the twins as your nurses ahaha

  • “you’ll need to hire the twins as your nurses ahaha”

    I’m feeling a little under the weather myself :)

  • “you’ll need to hire the twins as your nurses ahaha”

    What! Danny de Vito and Arnie? No thanks! ;-)

  • Sidney, yup, ‘been blowing and pissin’ rain here too. Mind you, my brother has been working in Tahsis, on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island. Their average rainfall is over 14 FEET of rain annually.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Good morning from Greece…oime,oime PANOS…we just lost THEODORO ANGELOPOULO…
    oime…he is going Upstairs…

    I will be back…

    for the cake and the wine(JUSTIN)!!!!…and for OUR ROBERTA…
    Don’t we ALL love Our RIO LADIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Be strong…Be YOU…never give UP…oime

  • a civilian-mass audience

    AKAKY…you DA MAN!!!

  • Civi..

    check your mail please.. greets to all from snowland:

  • a civilian-mass audience

    EVA…got it…!!!

    WE ARE FAMILY indeed…thank you MR.HARVEY …thank you Universe…

    I am sending best energy to ALL of YOU…and especially to YOU that you are fighting…
    together We Can Do Miracles

    be back in a heartbeat…hmmm…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    and what are you shooting today???…as EMCD would ask?:)

    DOMINICK …has a new baby girl and we have a new baby BURNIAN…
    yes…we are expanding!!! Congrats!


  • @ CIVI:
    After you last post and a new burnian on earth,I’ve have an funny idea:
    How about to create the e-burnian card… like Burnian ID. Like a driver License. Then we can print it… and have it in your wallet.

    You are the first one… BURN Card #000001 and of course VIP Member…


  • Paul,

    I get you, my man. That’s precisely what I try to do with each shoot. This was a kind of experiment. Wanted to try it publicly and honestly with the help of the many varied and unique eyes that scan these pages. Very pleased I did! And I’ve been out there since, soaked to the bone, with the comments of everyone echoing in my brain. Very cool.

  • ROSS

    a very high percentage will be RIO pictures from the one month…just because it is so personal…honestly i thought this would be the case even before i left…that is why i put so much into it emotionally..that one month was out there in “the zone” perhaps more than anything i have done…same thing happened with Div Soul…most of the best came at the end…yet, i NEEDED the earlier work in both cases…the early work might contain fewer images, yet they do anchor the later shooting….

    right now the book/portfolio is being formed just as much as when i was shooting ..for sure i will not be doing a traditional book…i am interested in something more tactile even than a normal book..looking unbound tabloid portfolio..super fine printing…..hand made box in Rio…large aluminum mounted prints in Sydney..maybe an exhibit of 10 super sized prints and then a working wall…i am really bored with traditional exhibits and books…Rio is the perfect breakout..


    i have no idea what people are seeing of yours…been crazy busy…send me a link or i will go back and look…


    all good vibes prayers and sentimental stuff you hate going in your direction…..hey man, i am for whatever works, for whatever gets you back in good health…

    cheers, david


    Thank you for the kind birthday wishes! I treated myself to the Diego Rivera mural show at MOMA and immersed myself in Mexican social realism from the Progressive era.


    Happy birthday to you!


    Thank you, and Happy Birthday to you, too! I hope that you had a great one!

  • John is like a nut, apparently hard, but crunchy and jummy inside.. you only gotta know how to reach that part.. and I’m pretty sure you, David, have succeeded with that..

  • David – Thank you. You are so busy, I do not know how you can find time to pay attention to anyone else, and yet you pay attention to everyone else.

    Roberta – You make me very happy with this news. Thank you for following!

    Justin, looks like I’m late, but happy birthday!

    Eva, you are right – John has a big, big heart. I will post some evidence to support this fact very shortly.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    PATRICIOM…BURNIAN ID???wow…!!!!!
    don’t forget ,I AM MASS……..:)))
    we better start NOW…!

    JUSTIN,PRESTON…and to all of you Birthday people…hope you enjoy…

    FROSTY…I am still reading…your home”website”, my daily escape…

    oh,I wish I had some weeee…
    JOHNYG we are sending love
    come back soon
    we know, you are strong
    to be continued…

    Spread the love…spread the news…
    I am spreading butter…
    I am out of booze…

    I’ll be back

  • a civilian-mass audience

    RENATA…ROBERTA…RIO PEOPLE…I need update…are you ok???

    “Two adjacent buildings collapsed Wednesday night in the historic center of Rio de Janeiro, injuring at least four people, Mayor Eduardo Paes told reporters.”

  • I just want to wish Happy Birthday to anyone whose birthday I missed these past few months. It’s not that I wanted to be rude; well, maybe IRL did, but I didn’t; it’s just that I had other things on my mind. I realize that this is a pretty pitiful excuse, but it’s the best I can think of on such short notice.

  • How are you, Akaky?
    It’s good to hear from you.

  • I am feeling much better than I was, Haik, although that really isn’t saying much; short of driving a red-hot fork into my left eye and twisting it around three times almost anything would have been an improvement. But I am improved so I shouldn’t complain. The medications appears to be working, even if they are all doing a number on my internal organs, but I am able to stand and walk after a fashion and one does appreciate the ability to go to the bathroom under one’s own power. It’s always the little things you miss the most. I am trying to put the past few months into a comic perspective, something that is fairly hard to do when the events are still fresh in one’s mind and you missed the comic potential of those events the first time around, but if Wordsworth is right and poetry is emotion reflected upon in tranquility [or something to that effect; I know I’m getting the quote wrong, but Wordsworth’s been dead since 1850 and I don’t think he cares at this point] then comedy is the bastard child of disaster and distance, and as soon as enough time passes I am sure that the events of the past few months will seem just too damn hilarious for words. Frankly, though, I doubt it. I can, like everyone else, bear with great equaminity the misfortunes of others; dealing with my own misfortunes is a pain in the ass [full disclosure: my ass is the one part of my body that doesn’t hurt now]. I have, however, lost a lot of weight. I’m down to about 200 pounds [90.7 kg for you metric people], which is a good thing, although I cannot recommend the diet. On the other hand, one of the reasons I’ve always given for not meeting my fellow Burnians was that I would be a disappointment, as I was much thinner in your imaginations than I was in reality. As this is no longer the case, I will have to think of another reason to avoid all of you. That most Burnians seem to more than a little left-wing in their politics might fit the bill, especially in an election year. And how are you doing, Haik? ;-)

  • Haik & Akaky in the same pub!!!!


  • Civi..
    really thoughtful your thoughts on us…But does it surprise me coming from you and your giant hear?
    We’re, fine and alive. And yes, that was a disaster , everyone was surprised and still trying to understand and still waiting answers from the city hall. I know exactly those buildings , cause I used to buy old lps and cds from a store there and also “natural herbs products” just in the next door . Now, they were vanished. It’s sad what happened… for so many people who worked there, who depended on that building and specially sorry for the four lives taken there.


    Physically and physiologically I’m sure there will be more improvement soon, and this combo; pain, the battle, the hardship making you a victim now will be converted in a sarcastic laugh in the future a la “ You gave me a hard time but now look at me…I won”
    Intelectually…you keep the same and being kind of medicine twisting our brains with your lines from comedy, drama, basically the real life.
    I’m also happy you’re around .That you know. I’m spoiling you now

    hope the cold streets of Switzerland (still 39 degrees here) are treating well and you manage to solve all your issues there in time. And as usual I agree with you…the few I know about John, I can say he is a gentleman and really considerate

    How are you doing?

  • Civi…I meant “giant heart”. Just to be sure and clear, but something tells me you’d get it right anyway

  • a civilian-mass audience

    AKAKYYYY,HAIK,PANOS,ROBERTA…what the heck are you drinking…wait for me…

    two bottles of wine and I think i had some ouzo too…I hear you ROBERT,me dyslexic,no problem…hiii…

    life is short…PLEASE,PLEASE…don’t forget YOUR journey…
    it’s only YOURS
    enjoy it…

    I will sing later…or maybe tomorrow…goodnight from beautiful Greece…THOMAS,VIVA!!!!!!

  • CIVI,

    I crossed the Alps already,

    and will return next week to Athens. VIVA!

  • It’s very nearly Friday round here and that’s my favorite day of the week. Already starting to psyche myself us with inspiring work from others to get into the groove with 3 days and nights all for my family and my photography.

  • Akaky – It sounds like you have been through hell – and I thought I had it bad with shingles.

    I’m glad you are recovering and are able to participate in the grand conversation.

  • Frosty, you probably had it worse than I do; my dad had shingles and I know it can be hell on earth. Shingles will go away eventually, though, God willing and the river don’t rise, whereas RA is something I’m stuck with, which is something I find really annoying.

  • Postcard From Texas: What Happens When One Photographer Goes Right, One Goes Left

  • Panos…

    I’m surprised because I’ve never paid much attention to “Postcards from America” and I really enjoyed the photos. Pity it’s a little too expensive for me because I would buy straight away!!
    BTW can’t wait to see your latest photos from Venice :))!!

  • thanks Paul…

    btw , one more time:

    Our very own BURNIAN , Michael A Shapiro started something cool…check here…


  • Akaky, Thank you for the comfort regarding my shingles. I hope that something comes along to reduce or eliminate the RA suffering that you are experiencing.

  • It took me much longer than I ancticipated, but I have put up my final post in the Loft Workshop series, including my portrait of David. I also recognize John Gladdy for his generous act that made my participation in the workshop possible:

  • Gladdy, what a hero! That was a great thing to do. In totally unrelated news, the wife and I were hoping to go to Belize this winter…

    Bill, I like your logbook entries, but the site could really benefit from an index or the like. It’s a bit hard to navigate.

  • Panos, Grecolandia looks so tempting my eyes, dimmed by a European winter. Hey John! Did I tell you that I have a poor aged granny who lives in Grecolandia? It’s a very sad tale; she pines for me, bless her. I’d love to see her, you know, on last time: if only I had $666.66 I could make her last days …… you know I’m joking here, right? Seriously, a good move; and Frostfrog, thanks for the blog posts, I read every day.


  • Oh, and Gladdy… Mike R. said he wanted me and my wife to come along to meet his granny! Right, Mike? Right? ;^}

  • any idea who is ahead in the republican race? i mean so far? anyone?

  • Michael, absolutely, we Michaels have got to stick together.

  • Frostfrog, great portrait of DAH on your blog, Bill. He does look tired: cool, but tired.

  • DAH, from Bill’s portrait of you, I see that you have a similar eyebrow problem to myself. When I go for a haircut I ask for a short back and eyebrows!


  • MW – I agree, 100 percent about the index. The problem is that since I started this site January 1, I have not found the time to work on the sidebar. I hope to do so soon, this week – before the movie Big Miracle is released nationwide Friday. Once that happens, I might, once again, have a hard time finding the time.

    I’m not sure. Maybe my lack of a good scanner will prevent me from doing anything with it.

    Thanks, Mike R … hmmm… I was a little worried about this… but still I felt it only right to thank the man…

  • another fun fun cliche here…lol

  • @ALL:
    Wish you a very nice week, starting tomorrow.
    I’m going to bed… enough computer for today, but, before leave I want to post something I read today from Magnum Blog.
    Advice to young photographers:
    “Get a good pair of walking shoes and… fall in love! Abbas.

    PS: LOve the Instagram picture of the girl in the elevator with the TREK Bike, the image is full of energy!
    PS1: One week in the loft is the next Instagram story…

  • Panos; the entire Postcard series looks quite good; but the Texas stuff (on the link you provided); hmmmm….. I didn’t really think it raised the bar very much at all….

  • ROSS

    honestly i thought the packaging was brilliant, the content less so….hey i will want to talk to you about a small selection of your work for HeadOn….better skype….

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Goodmorning from beautiful Grecolandia !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    BUT don’t believe everything you see…the truth is somewhere in the middle…right PANOS?:))))))))

    MIKER…come over…!!!…THOMAS is here too…oime…

    First we took RIO,then we took SYDNEY
    and yes…we are going for Greece too…
    VIVA MR.HARVEY…you don’t look tired…the truth is somewhere in the middle…

    I will be back…I need to “kill” a chicken…soup day!:)

  • a civilian-mass audience

    “who is JOHNYG…???”

    What not to LOVE !!!…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    MICHAEL SHAPIRO…I am out of euros…BUT I will support you somehow

    cause when there is a Vision …THERE is a Way!!!

    P.S…where did I put my knife…hmmm?:)

  • David; Yes; I thought the presentation was pretty innnovative. I thought the content showed the difference between a long term project and a short term one… No worries Skyping; I’m working from home all week.


    Sign here….
    Don’t listen to what IMF/Sarkozy/Merkel bullshit they feed u!
    Having such weak ass Euro leaders brings not only in Europe in the brink but also
    threatens Obama’s economy over here…
    Who would know that the german/French political axis would be such a fiasco?
    Pure impotence .. No wonder Cameron stepped out and slammed that Euro
    door! London obviously saw the through the euro bull long time ago..
    Don’t forget to shn above.. Someone forgot to pay their bar tab and it’s been a while since 1945..:(
    Achtung ! Achtung

  • @ PANOS:
    Thanks for the link, Euro zone is going slowly to hell…

    i send you another one:

    nothing to do with EuroZone and impotent leadership… much better!

    Heavy and virtous Metal is NOT dead!


  • a civilian-mass audience

    I am late…I know…I missed LASSAL’S birthday and today is KATHARINA’S…

    LADY BURNIANS…we love YOU…
    so many cakes…and tell me,please,tell me…how can one civilian eat them all?:)))))))))))))))))))))


    P.S THOMAS…extremely cold(FROSTY temps)…since you arrived in Athens…hmmm…
    no further comment:):))

  • @ ALL:

    Nice work of a Brazilian photojournalist, Luis Carlos Barreto in Lens Nytimes web site.

    Forget the light, shoot shadows!

    PS: Picture #4, of Milano Centrale train station is awesome!

  • Homai Vyarawalla – The First Lady of Indian Press Photography:

  • panos skoulidas
    February 2, 2012 at 10:42 pm
    ok ok ok ok ok ok
    im “convinced”….
    did someone said “historic times”???????????
    well…cant miss that right?
    wait for me…i’ll be in NYC (newark airport) this monday 4pm!
    Any good Samaritans wanna give a poor city boy a ride for a fee???
    and a kiss? maybe?
    keep it up ya’ll
    im all alone and heavily armed!

  • Panos, you certainly get around.

  • Gordon…im trying….
    Inspiration “points”/”centers”/mecca/kibbutz….places very hard, impossible to ignore…
    gotta be there even if i have to sell my soul ….to photography gods/devils…
    (wait a sec, deal arranged long time ago :)

  • Why are Europe’s leaders so determined to deny reality? Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, in particular, seem unable to admit that they got this wrong. They are still captivated by the illogical but seductive notion that every country can emulate Germany’s export-driven model without the decades of public investment and artificially low exchange rates that are crucial to Germany’s success.

  • Mrs. Merkel also seems determined to pander to the prejudices of German voters who believe that suffering is the only way to purge Greece and other southern European countries of their profligate ways.

  • With Greece rapidly approaching the day (probably next month) when it can no longer pay government salaries and foreign creditors, Europe still has not released needed bailout money. It is not clear whether Mrs. Merkel and Mr. Sarkozy and others are playing chicken with Athens or think they could withstand Greece defaulting and leaving the euro zone. The risks are enormous.

  • Smoke my cigarrete…..and try to join the conversation here….
    just need what you think on my work guys :

    appreciated for your input…….cheers….

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