(based on a true story)



So I took this picture about half an hour ago. In Rio. Well, Renata is in Rio and I am at home alone in Carolina talking to a black cat. Renata is a character in my book about to go to press in Italy which was shot in Rio. My not so secret fantasy night in Rio. (based on a true story). Yes the real title. Go figure. Presses roll in 20 days. Hmmm, maybe I put this in? Blending fact and fiction all the way.

What about you? If you are a documentary photographer, ever think about fiction? In photography fiction and non-fiction tend to be done by different photographers . Writers cross all the time. My work in Rio is all “real” but real only to my immediate surroundings. For this book I did not “go anywhere” to take a picture. Wherever I happened to be, was where I was going.

There will not be one word in this book. Zero text. Almost no title. That is why I want you to read it very very carefully.



408 Responses to “(based on a true story)”

  • “The Zen of Creativity by John Daido” ………another one of life’s disappointments

  • … and tumbleweeds spring from the coulee deceptively fast …

  • Panos Skoulidas… obviously you are not busy enough in this life… it looks weird but you enjoy so much digging and chasing someone who hasn’t done any harm for you in this life… you don’t know me but I am just a poor, homeless and miserable guy, what’s funny with that??.. Yes, with your personal attacks you did me a harm, but that was your intention wasn’t it?… David Alan Harvey told me he would write me back but after your attacks, as well as some other people on this site, of course he will not… everything comes back in this life… Panos, you might remember my words sooner or later… One thing that is very fortunately for me, in real life I can protect myself from people like you very effectively, and I am almost sure you would be scared to look at my eyes. While at the moment, here online, I have no other choice but just let you be a local internet hero.

    to All.. my pictures never been linked here on Burn by me.. you might have seen them in a different place or maybe someone linked them without me being aware of this.. doesn’t matter.. However, I am very glad that in general you liked my work.. this really inspired me to continue.. and now my good old friend in New York is going to ship me his spare camera so I have a tool for taking pictures..

    What is unfortunately that deep in yourself you aren’t able to tolerate people who think and live differently than you do… I am a very solitary person and I have only two friends in New York and in Bogota, I see them very rarely, and one of them doesn’t even use internet at all… I wanted to be your friend here… but it didn’t happen… and I love and admire DAH’s work and his insight on most things, but he obviously doesn’t want to be involved in this shit… well, I got attacked here even when I used a new nickname, way before you traced the site registrations…

    On the other hand, I can’t believe that you are such an insensitive people in real life.. maybe this is just internet forums that makes you to act this way, or maybe just the fact that someone isn’t able to reach you physically and smash your nose?? I don’t know, but I feel very sad…

  • mw
    Lovely shot.
    I actually love shooting landscape. Here’s a recent x100 shot. http://www.pbase.com/glafleur/image/139337591/large

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Good morning from beautiful, broken Grecolandia…

    this is my aisle and in my aisle…there are no sad feelings BUT I can take the smashed noses:)))

    RON,my BURNIAN…you sound sincere…and we do love TRUE BURNIANS…
    If you are a troll,a fly or a hero…makes no difference here in BURNLAND…
    and all these years that I am around in this dysfunctional but lovely family…
    this I have to say:
    We have to be strong,we have to be open…we have to be true to our vision and to our Intentions…!!!
    for the rest …we need to let go

    I strongly believe that MR.HARVEY and fellow BURNIANS deserve more credit…but I am Greek and I can’t talk about credit…oime:))))))

    I know, I make no sense, as usual but let’s forget our differences (we are all one) and let’s celebrate
    OUR LADIES who are next to US…

    OUZO on me…olives on PANOS…beer on RON…wine on MESSI…tumbleweeds on TOM…books on EVA…iparanoid on IMANTS…long posts on BOBBYB…everyday faces on THOMAS…APOEL on THODORIS…British laugh attacks on JOHNYG…
    oi,oi,oi…you are so many…

    I LOVE YOU ALLLLLLLLLLLLLL…keep BURNING…and AKAKY 200 is mine or else…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    wowwww…amazing shots…bring it on MY BURNIANS…!!!

    P.S…I am out of coffee but I will be back …
    don’t you dare to mess with my aisle:))))))))))))

  • ron there is no need to search pretty easy when you log onto eg my link country, place, ip, etc come up on stats counter( used to figure out if my sites are being looked at so I can tell if I am just pissing in the wind) ………you seem to be as judgmental of others just like rest of us your aronymous

  • RON

    i have been off this thread only because i am working 25 hours a day on my upcoming Rio book…i am sure you can appreciate this….so i am unfortunately lost on the thread, but not intentionally uncaring….i do all i can to be here as much as i can and answer as many questions as i can…but alas, i just can only do my best which is of course never enough…being here in the comments section is of course the secondary Burn job to just looking around for new work to show my readers here, run the EPF (a full time job) and do my assignments and now my Rio book…

    i just don’t know what you mean by i did not write you back after a Panos attack…??…really lost on this one…i am supposed to defend people here against Panos attacks? please please….and i am sure you can always communicate with Panos one way or another…i don’t know you, but i do know him , and the boy shoots pictures all the time, chats all the time,and reads all the time….he is aware i would say..smart…caring….hey he is Greek, so he is theatrical…fine!! but definitely not evil….this i guarantee….

    somehow , somewhere, i did click on your name and saw some photographs i like a lot and said so….as far as i can recall that is the extent of our communication…if i have missed something let me know…

  • David, it’s fine:).. seems that those “problems” are now over… I don’t go online photo forums too often but when I do I do it for my own relaxation, nice read, and a good time only. Of course, I understand you are busy with your Rio book which I am also waiting impatiently:).. You have already given me a lot of your attention and I really appreciate that. David, the fact that you say that you like my pictures a lot, to me means a lot a lot… and inspires me to continue this my hobby:) and now I am much more confident the way I photograph. Best wishes

  • Interesting photo, Gordon, beautiful place. Not how I would have chosen to shoot or develop it, but therein lies a lot of the interest. I should play around more with high ISO and small aperture. Usually when I contemplate 3200, I’m at f2 or thereabouts and the noise is too much. I’ve been thinking about selling my Canon crap to buy the new interchangeable lens fuji when it comes out, I love the x-100, but alas, have apparently waited too long. There were something like 1800 5d mkII’s for sale on ebay last I looked. In more realistic camera news, I ordered a new IPad yesterday so I guess I might find myself on the camera phone bandwagon before long. I can see how it could be useful for subway shots. Has anyone ever done a project where they took candid photos on the new york subway? Has anyone not?

  • MW,

    Stunning landscape shot!

    You asked:

    Has anyone ever done a project where they took candid photos on the new york subway? Has anyone not?

    I have seen people do it in instagram on and off…if that’s what you mean.

  • “All the words are not enough to get anything said.”
    Yannis Ritsos

    Paul, thank you for the quote…Yannis Ritsos (amazing poet- a very sensitive soul)

  • , and I am almost sure you would be scared to look at my eyes.
    or maybe just the fact that someone isn’t able to reach you physically and smash your nose??
    Ron or Anthony or whatever the name is (ive no problem with your work, the problem is that i dont know to “whom” exactly talking to..now thats the scary part: you know where i live, my name, everything, but i dont!!!??? see where the real threat lays?
    but hey,
    here i am: Lets give it a try outside this forum, you never know, we might end up being best friends in the end, but please please do not CONFUSE my ideas with Burn or Harvey..or Imants on anyone here.
    When i write i ONLY REPRESENT myself, not Burn, not America, not Greece nor Barcelona..
    So here i am, lets go out in the alley and lets talk in private:

    or Skype me at:

    lets keep it “outside” the Burn room

  • @ PANOS:
    I love that game! Pure pleasure! 7 – 1!!! Keep watching it, take a look to Napoli and the Cavani troop. That guy rocks.

    @ RON & PANOS:
    I don’t know you (both). What about if you have a Burnian skype??? Sure that you can manage that…

    @ ALL: -About Landscapes-
    Here is the direct link to some images of “Abandoned Patagonia”, B&W panoramic landscapes pictures of my (liitle) ongoing exhibition till April 4th, here in Lyon, FRANCE.



  • Patricio..
    Especially here in BURN, if “someone” wants/needs/demands immediate attention , what to do:!???
    Easy! Oldest trick in the book: just mess with that panos guy..(laughing….)
    Attention is a strange “animal”
    Wants to be petted all the time..
    And that was a funny accusation ( I can harm someone’s career ? … Laughing.. But let’s pretend it’s true, how can I harm a career of an “anonymous” person???
    Pure silliness !!!

    Anyway , Messi is a phenomenon that I “follow” couple years now…
    He inspires me so much that I like going shooting photos right after any of his performances..
    The kid is a pure inspiration and motivation..
    And believe me I’m
    Not the typical sports fan that pays CABLE TV ( 1000 sports channels- actually we do not have any form
    Of tv in the apartment except from a $10 Netflix subscription..
    For me at least to go out and shoot I don’t necessarily open
    a photo book to jump start me.. Sometimes one Messi’s goal will
    Do it or a great tattoo, or an antique car.. Doesn’t matter..
    Whatever motivates me is what I need!!!

  • mw,

    interesting.. actually I have started mobile phone camera series of NYC subway a year ago, when I stayed in New York for two months… unfortunately it isn’t so easy to get back to a Big Apple and continue my shooting which I actually enjoyed:).. I don’t have many pictures, and now I don’t have too much time to look at my archive and process them, but just quickly opened one more very little gallery to show how it looks like, maybe nothing special but it was just a start and I was getting used to photograph with my new phone:), if interesting you can take a look by clicking on my name…


    now you talk like a man, and I like you.. I also think we could become friends:) or maybe we are already friends:)… I understand you well and where you come from… unfair situation… but my background is a bit different and I am used to a bit more privacy:).. Ok my friend, it would be pleasure to talk with you, but I never used Skype in my life:)… now I am moving around Asia, tomorrow I will get back to Bangkok and I will think about that Skype:)… and I would have to get headphones:) etc… we will see:), but I am glad that our tone has changed, and I think that it’s already a big achievement! We might even meet one day in real life, somewhere in David’s loft in New York:)) Best wishes

  • Ron, like i said and i mean it..my info above..
    feel free to contact me if needed, and you wrote you feel sad..well i dont like sadness, i definitely do not want you to be sad and ive no problem help “fix” anything i broke, if i broke it and even replace it..
    Again definitely did not wanted to make you feel sad nor threatened or anything…plus i said numerous times, and Paul/DAH confirmed i (we) liked your work…
    anyway lets move on…or if still “bugs to fix” feel very free to contact me…

  • and good luck on your “whereabouts” in Asia and feel free to post links, photos…
    we all need more photos here and less of my rants (which i thought i was kinda doing ok/controlling it for a while…lol)
    anyway, you are part of BURN, as much as i am and its a privilege for both of us and ALL of us..lets use it right and benefit by expressing ourselves through photography coz the day that DAH will pull off the plug, we will all be “homeless” and trust me, i tried it for a while and its not fun at all…!!!!:))))))
    biggest hug

  • Panos,

    thanks, now you made me smile, and I am not sad at all:) biggest hug as well

  • Patricio
    I love your pano work. Way back in the seventies I played a lot with panoramic, most often shooting multiple frames with a half frame Olympus Pen EE.


    I also did a bunch of stuff then with an antique Kodak Panoram #1, which had a swinging lens and made 2 1/4x 7 in negs. I had a Russian Horizont for a while, but I liked using the Olympus the best.


  • I like to watch TCM [Turner Classic Movies, for those of you without basic cable], first, because I like Hollywood movies from a time when Hollywood knew how to make movies that people wanted to watch, and secondly, to indulge my habit of taking from one movie and stuffing them into the movie I’m watching at the moment. This is a vile habit, akin to cracking your knuckles in front of your mother or breaking wind during the more solemn parts of a funeral, and it is a habit that makes it difficult to remember movie trivia, since I’m never sure if the factoid I am trying to dredge from the noisome sinkhole of my memory is something that actually occurs in a movie or whether it is something I made up. On the other hand, such a habit can make life interesting at times, as when you watch The Right Stuff and you start to wonder how the movie would turn out if Michael Corleone broke the sound barrier instead of Chuck Yeager. Certainly, the change of characters would have improved the quality of the cinematic cuisine; Gordo Cooper’s burned hot dogs are simply no match for Mama Corleone’s lasagna.
    I suspect that the same guy who put a bullet through Moe Greene’s eye did the job on the sound barrier; no one else in The Godfather was anywhere near Edwards Air Force Base, and, let’s face it, the idea of Clemenza in the Bell X-1 rocket plane causes cognitive dissonance on a massive scale; there wouldn’t be enough room in that plane for Clemenza, the gun, or the cannoli. I also have a hard time imagining what the sound barrier could have done to the Corleone family that Michael would feel the need to have the barrier whacked in such a loud and grotesque manner; causing a sonic boom in front of a bunch of eyewitnesses, most of whom work for the government, is not particularly subtle, unless the lack of subtlety is the point of the exercise.
    The barrier’s loud demise must have had something to do with the narcotics business, which Don Corleone did not want to get involved with, but this is just speculation on my part; everything I know about the mob I learned from the New York Daily News; but it’s what makes the most sense to me. If the sound barrier got mixed up with dirty cops and the Tattaglia family in the drug trade, then the hit on the barrier may have been simple justice, an example of someone who should have known better becoming involved in a dirty business and then getting what was coming to them. That’s a terrific story, or at least Tom Wolfe thought so, but then again, what do I know?

  • Akaky,

    Half way reading that I switched to a Pesci accent ala “my cousin Vinny”….I swear…

  • @Paul Love the suggested titles; added to my reading list. Where you’re shooting sounds like such a promising place.

    @Imants A life disappointment?? Well, while I didn’t find all the content applicable, I’ve found that even one sentence or phrase can spark an idea or be developmentally helpful; finding just that is worth reading…Anyway, I have found two new spots for some landscape shots, and I’m off to see if I can strike up a conversation with them. ;)

  • Amelie…

    I’ve been living over here in Mallorca for the last twenty years and the landscape is pretty well unexplored when it comes to photography. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen any of Michael Kenna’s landscape work, but if you haven’t it’s worth looking at…

  • Patricio…

    Patagonia looks like a stunning place and I’d love to get in close to that abandoned ship with a camera. Hope you get to visit again I want to see more of your work. BTW I see you enjoy shooting panoramic, I think you’d of loved my Linfof 6×17.

  • Paul, lucky you! Kenna (who I hadn’t seen before) has some stunning work. After the discussion yesterday about landscapes changing, I just saw a scene this morning that will only work before the undergrowth and trees grow out. Rained out this afternoon, and now I’m worried that warm weather + rain will cause a lot of growth and hamper the view. Maybe not, but I’m impatient.

    @mw What I love most about your shot is how the tonality makes me think I’m looking at a paper image instead of a monitor. That’s the first I’ve seen a photo online that looks like a book page.

  • Amelie…….. I guess it all did ommmmn-ed me to sleep.

    I’ve found that even one sentence or phrase can spark an idea or be developmentally helpful; finding just that is worth reading………that is applicable to anything even an advertisement to toilet paper or the stats to how many beer cans of rain falls a year in the Gobi desert annually

  • “……that is applicable to anything even an advertisement to toilet paper or the stats to how many beer cans of rain falls a year in the Gobi desert annually”

    exactly! That’s why I try to be open-minded…

  • It has nothing to do with being open minded reading books that one finds irrelevant or trivial for that magic sentence is counterproductive and a waste of time. Three pages into the book the cliches and feel good schmaltz just didn’t stop…….

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Thank you ALL for not messing with this aisle…

    AKAKIOUS …200 is mine,you don’t you want a smashed nose,do you…?:)))

    ok,back to our regular program…EPF is almost here…and PSI too…!!!
    FOCUS my People,FOCUS…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    oime…I can’t even write a decent sentence in proper English…:)))

    oh,well…I leave that.. to MY ACADEMIANS…

    VIVA BURN !!!

  • Akaky

    Your mind must certainly churn along in strange and wonderful ways. Thanks for making us smile.

  • http://www.zougla.gr/webtv/general/527007/view?mid=5&pn=1

    (click on video)

    wow..Japan is the number one country in suicides as of today
    one of the reasons: Guilt from the tsunami survivors while other family members passed in last year’s killer tsunami:(

    Guilt, guilt , guilt…most religion institutions are feeding of that, built on that actually..
    Anyway sad news for Japan and the world in general…

  • “…how many beer cans of rain falls a year in the Gobi desert annually”


    This is an uninteresting statistic when compared to knowing how many beer cans full of beer fall on the Gobi desert annually, or to knowing that the people of Hawaii are number one in the United States when it comes to the consumption of Spam. You may not care one way or the other, but I’ll bet the people who make Spam care about that statistic big time.

  • Panos; “Japan is the number one country in suicides as of today”

    The scary thing is that NZ is right up there too; especially for 15-25-year old males…. A really sad indictment on our country….

  • Still fumbling with my landscapes, nowhere near what I see with my eyes closed…

  • Paul,

    Do you have a contact email on your blog?

  • Paul; I’ve been playing with a kids 1.7mp camera. Probably not much better than an early cell phone camera. I gave my ex’s grandkids one each for Xmas; and like the ad said “liked it so much I bought the company”; well maybe not the company but the $14.99 camera anyway… No LCD; only takes 25 images (each about 130kb). It has been an interesting “loosening up” experiment…

  • Saw this last night:


    WE ARE ALL RADIOACTIVE is a brand new online documentary film project created by TokyoMango blogger Lisa Katayama and TED film director Jason Wishnow. It’s about surfers rebuilding northern Japan after the earthquake and tsunami on 3.11.2011

  • Narrator: There was a demon that lived in the air. They said whoever challenged him would die. Their controls would freeze up, their planes would buffet wildly, and they would disintegrate. The demon lived at Mach 1 on the meter, seven hundred and fifty miles an hour, where the air could no longer move out of the way. He lived behind a barrier through which they said no man could ever pass. They called it the sound barrier.
    Tom Hagen: It would be like trying to kill the President; there’s no way we can get to him.
    Michael Corleone: Tom, you know you surprise me. If anything in this life is certain – if history has taught us anything – it’s that you can kill *anybody*.

    Okay, I think I’ve milked this for all it’s worth.

  • Sorry to go back off into tech stuff, but I got a new camera today and you know how that is… I’ve been interested, re-interested, in black and white lately and have been looking around for an additional black and white camera. I like my primary, but it only works in very bright sun, so I’ve been looking around for one that works in low light as a compliment, or something like that. Anyway, was working on the Bronx project today and got in a couple test shots. Kinda liked this one:


  • and what camera is this since you brought it up?
    nice shot btw:)

  • C’mon Michael, what’d you get?

  • Yes, what camera have you just purchased? BTW very nice image, is this perhaps the other new Fuji?

  • I’m another step closer to shooting some film again.

    I sold almost all my darkroom stuff several years ago, four 6×7 colour enlargers and an Omega D2v, plus tanks, reels, trays washers, etc etc. We took the 20″ colour paper processor to the dump. I did keep one colour enlarger and my lovely ancient Leitz Valoy 11.

    I sold most of my film cameras as well, a huge sack load of Medium format and 35mm cameras and lenses. I kept One 35 body with three lenses, and my lovely little Rolleicord Vb which I bought new in the late sixties.

    I keep buying 35mm cameras at our local thrift store, just can’t resist. They are usually priced from $5 to $20. This week I bought a nice Minolta X series and an Olympus OM1 for $5.99 ea. I mean, how can I pass that up? I did pass on a nice Chinon slr as well as a Ricoh slr for the same price. It’s getting out of hand. (anyone need a 35mm slr? I’ve got a cupboard full)

    At the same time as I got the Minolta, they also had a grain focuser, graduates, Paterson tank, dial thermometer etc for a couple of bucks. I’m just waiting for trays to show up now and I’ll be set. Eh, what the hell, keeps me out of the bars, and I’m having fun.

    cheers all

  • rad shot ……mw…..

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Good morning from BB Greece!!!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    MW…rock on!!!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    AKAKIUS…oh,yah, babeeee

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Here I am …200 going for 300 …Spartans…!!!

    ok,now back to our regular program…

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