This week we have been exploring the first in an upcoming series on our biz decision makers and the process of getting published . There are many ways of course, but seems best if I take you into my real world of publishing right now. Not to say “this is the way”. Merely to show you this is one way. Simply  an example of a certain kind of creativity. Not the only kind. Just one kind.

Anyway I have taken you with me where I was going anyway. To NatGeo where I had a story coming up for approval. So I had a conversation with NatGeo Editor Chris Johns, and later with Creative Director Bill Marr and yesterday with Senior Photo Editor Sarah Leen. I hope I got all those titles right!! Today Chris approved the layout that Bill, Sarah, and I had been working on all weekend. Nothing is real in my world til my mother has a copy on her coffee table. Yet things look good and things look as above so for those readers who voted for the lead picture, the fish won!! Yet neither the  wave shot  nor the surfboard picture “lost” for they conclude the piece which  makes it more poignant I think.

Yes, I am telling you that the readers of Burn actually had the ears of the editors of NatGeo. For real. How much influence? I will never tell, but you did matter. Anyway, for whatever it is worth , nothing like this ever happened before. NatGeo doing exclusives on another site? Burn Magazine? Not even on their own NatGeo site. So honestly we are honored.

This OBX essay is a very straightforward little slice of old fashioned Americana. Very uncomplicated unobtrusive photos. Probably a fantasy. All documentary photography, yet still a sort of  fantasy for me personally. This is NOT a photo essay of the whole outer banks of North Carolina. These pictures were taken just off my front porch. Almost literally. All of these pictures are no more than a 30 minute bike ride from my front door. One even taken FROM my front door!! How cool is that?

I think the appeal for NatGeo readers for a personal story is just that even for me it is interesting, having traveled all over the world with my camera as a brush or pen, that I came back to where I started. Honestly, I could literally live anywhere in the world I choose. I have looked at the menu. I have been to some of the very best countries and cities and places much “better” than OBX. Yet home just pulls. More than all of the other forces. I guess it’s the smells and specific bird songs and the wind and the ever dominant dangerous and peaceful sea.  Right now I look out now on a windy cold rainy miserable day. Seems perfect.

This picture above was just taken on my iPhone with lighting assistance from my friends Frank and Dawn (who were previous Comic Book characters, remember?)..Yes, I have left Washington and am at home. OBX. I am supposed to be writing the story to be integrated with the picture spreads above . Yet what am I doing?  Yup, avoiding writing. Yes,  drinking beer with my friends, sitting by the fire, and posting here on Burn. Is this just getting me in the mood?

See the problem?

dah at home working on OBX text ….photograph by Frank Overton Brown III

63 Responses to “THE FISH WON”


    where are you? squeaking sand is good..i am going to steal that one…i mean how could i not think of squeaking sand?…it is the MAIN THING

  • Yea, I know how you feel. I can pound out reams of not half bad copy off the top of my head in an online conversation, but when I sit down to write for publication, the words don’t come so easy and the prose tends to stiffen up. Fortunately, in your case you must be working with a world class editor so between the two of you it will no doubt come out comfortably within the highest standards.

  • MW..

    well, i hope so…

    by the way, i will be in nyc soonest…like in a few days…to work on the wall with rio…stop by…and somewhere in there we can go over your piece….make sense?


    does sand only squeak at certain temperatures? or is it types of sand? these are things to think about.

  • ALAN

    makes sense…will try…thanks

  • The exchange between DAH and Alan Mairson is the most interesting thing I’ve read on burn dialogues for a long time. Listening in to a spririted conversation between these two very bright people is fascinating and very stimulating.
    “society matters”, (click on Alan’s name) if you are interested to know where Alan is coming from.

    I’d love to hear more.

  • In the spirit of helping david…

    So David, why the hell did you move to the Outer Banks?


    i moved to OBX because i am just meant to be here…most likely because it was my favorite childhood home…i moved around a lot when i was a kid, but the beach (just north of here)just electrified my life immediately…just the sea…the smell of it, the sound of it, the feel of it tossing me around when i swam, the whole bit…the beginning and end of life seem to fit just right by the sea…


    i fit in…i can be the full on redneck fugitive from society that i really am!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    MRS.ETTA JAMES is going upstairs…safe travels my dear…

  • i can be the full on redneck fugitive from society that i really am!

    Perfect! ;^}

  • Where am I? Wishing I was on the great rolling deck of the Avalon, to be sure. At least the power is back on. Snow, ice storm, big thaw now, flooding next.

    What is that squeak anyway? That’s when being at the beach always become real for me. Those first footsteps on the fine upper sand.

  • Young Tom! Email me – regarding a print – really.

  • I’m happy that the fish won. Most powerful picture of that bunch.

    @ NACHO:
    Estoy contigo para traducir Burn. Que pasa con Google Translate?? Lo unico complicado es que esta comunidad estara distribuida en pedazos…


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