(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)”

  • Sorry, Civi, but it is St. Patrick’s Day.

  • A video of Martin Parr at work in Finland…


  • OK this isn’t photography but it’s art and it’s new to me…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    why?…why?…tell me why AKAKIUS…why did you have to take my 300 away?
    BUT it was St.Patrick’s day…hmmm…well,I am Greek and I don’t know what u are talking about…:)))))))))
    therefore I will let go this time :))))))))

    Come on MY BURNIANS…please report and don’t forget to submit …
    cause BURNLAND is the place to be…
    I am going out to chase a chicken…
    ~~~”What will civi have for lunch?”

    P.S…the winner will receive a hug…hiiihiii…I am a happy civi today!!!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    “… I want it to be beguiling , mysterious and who did what to whom. Figure it out.”

    regarding RIO BOOK…

    oime…what did what to whom?…don’t we all love DAH…when he writes like the Delphic Oracle…!!!

    VIVA BURN!!!

  • ALL

    my sincere apologies to everyone for not being here!! i am caught in my own self made vortex of having built about three or four fires at once…Rio book, Sydney show,Burn show, and EPF all at once…who would think THAT was a good idea?? honestly most of the scramble is on the book…just the building of it…the manufacturing of it…like building a house…this time from the ground up and involved with every single piece…building the pieces and then putting the pieces together…learning so so so much …all of it will come back to this audience one way or another ..in terms of sharing knowledge (as soon as i get it) and in real terms of being a potentially better publisher for you….

    many thanks for your patience, and yes i still love you all..(mostly)

    cheers, abrazos, david

  • And it is the 18th of March, the feast day of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, who, through the effect of chronological propinquity with Saint Patrick, if nothing else, is the patron saint of hangovers. And I trust everyone is having a good day.

  • Digi or film?
    Is digi using pure enough to satisfy the purists??

    Here is what Bruce Springsteen had to say:

    “Mr. Springsteen gave the convention’s keynote speech, retelling his own musical evolution and rejecting any restrictive notions of authenticity. “We live in a post-authentic world,” he said, then added: “The elements of what you’re using don’t matter. Purity of human experience and expression is not confined to guitars, to tubes, to turntables, to microchips. There is no right way, no pure way of doing. There is just doing.”


  • My new RIO book coming in a few weeks feels to me like I did it like a musician walking out on the stage bla http://t.co/FDJ9dtmc 3 days ago

    All Eyes On You! We All Holding our breath…..:))))))))))
    Promising Spring coming up!!!
    good day y’all

  • @ DIEGO, DAH:
    How many prints?!?? I bet that it will not be enough… it will be sell out the first week, even better than Olympics game tickets! I’m in the list, por supuesto.
    It’s in english and portuguese or only English?

    Happy sprintime to everyone, Feliz primavera, boa primavera… oops, sorry, in Rio, autumn is coming, Joyeux printemps a tout le monde.


  • It was quiet on the ol’ burn site,…too quiet…suddenly…….

  • Bruce Gilden has a new fashion spread on Vice Magazine’s site), entitled “In Broad Daylight”:


    Can’t wait to read the comments on Vice as they come rolling in. So far, my favorite is: “How anyone can actually like this crap beats me. You must be as sick as the whacko doing it.”


  • Justin…

    Brilliant fashion spread and the comments are hilarious.

  • Paul,

    I agree! When done right, fashion shoots can really blow my mind.

  • Thanks for the link, Justin. At first glance, I’m wondering if Maestro Gilden decided the ultimate male fashion statement is the “Bad Boy” look taken to the extreme?

    “I loved Johnny when I first saw him. He looked so good in leather, dead.”

  • I’m sorry, but isn’t the point of fashion shoots to sell the clothing the models are wearing? I hardly think that looking good at my autopsy is a reason for shelling out money for a new wardrobe.

  • Akaky,

    I guess it depends on your priorities:

    “Live fast, die young, and have a beautiful looking corpse” – James Dean

    Of course, he was wearing a Porsche 550 spyder at the time of his departure…

  • Panos, a similar barter sytem was tried here for a while, until the gov’t tried to tax it.

  • Justin, as all three of those options are not available to me, I think I’ll just keeping wearing my dirty Dockers and sneakers.

  • Gordon,
    Same here (US) .. So far Greek
    Government “decided” not to tax..
    But we all know by now that the Greek government they are nothing but silly muppets ..
    They’re not actually making ANY decisions .. So let’s see what the Euro Central Bank/IMF
    will actually really decide..

  • Hi all,

    I’ve teamed up with Hungarian photographer Emese Benko to run an Orthodox Easter Documentary Photography Workshop in the village of Valeni, Maramures, Romania, 13-18 April. Come spend a few days in a fairytale with us witnessing the last peasants of Europe living a way of life forgotten in the rest of Europe more than a century ago. There will be plenty of celebrating with homemade plum brandy and delicious traditional Romanian food and pastries. Promises to be epic!


  • Went down to Sanson with John (from the farm) today to do a delivery. On the way back we came across a house with fire billowing from its windows. The Fire Service ute was at the gate and we were unsure whether it was an exercise or not. If not; we expected the trucks to be right behind the ute, so waited a few minutes just in case.

    Well; the officer got to the house and a person came from the rear of the building. So we both took off down the track to help in case anyone else was inside. Turned out the only occupant was an elderly lady; who we helped to the ute. Her hair singed, and pretty shaken up.

    I stayed to comfort her & John checked the water tanks; bone dry… Turned out the fire officer was passing when he saw the fire; so the engines were still at least 15 minutes away. They arrived and put what was left of the house out.

    The lady had lit a candle in the kitchen instead of turning on the lights. Well; she accidentally pushed the curtains against the candle, setting them alight. She tried to put the fire out with a pot of water; but the fire was by that stage too strong, and the smoke too thick. After feeling her hair on fire she decided to get out of the building… She was very lucky to get out unharmed… All in all a sobering day…

    And no; I didn’t take any pics…. Comforting an elderly lady who had lost everything was way more important….

  • The hands are still a bit shaky….

  • WOW! good to hear no one was harmed!

  • No pix? No matter. Doing good is its own reward, Ross, and you did good.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    VIVA BURN…!!!

    ROSSY…wow…wow…that’s what I call a true BURNIAN…

    I am back and furious…I got a new computer…yes,I will pay it back by 2022…
    BUT hey,this is life and we do LOVE our life!!!

    Come on BURNIANS…where are YOU…?

    tick,tock,tick,tock…I need reports…NOW!!!

  • a civilian-mass audience


    that’s how I feel …cause I am waiting for the RIO,RIO,RIOOOOOOOOOOOO book!!!

    I LOVE YOU ALL…be strong my BURNIANS…please submit!

  • As happenstance would have it, I ran into the remnants of Occupy Wall Street last night at Union Square just as the police were about to evict them.

    Sad. sad. sad… on so many levels.

  • Or if you want something a bit more meaty to look at, here’s a few outtakes from “Curious People.” Put on some music you like before clicking on that link, if you haven’t already.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    MW…yes, with music…it goes well with music…thanks for sharing…

    WAKE UP BURNIANSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS…geez, you do sleep a lot;)

    we are sending good energy to our Colorado people…MAMA HARVEY,our Socrates…
    all our love to you…be safe out there…

    and yes,I DO love you ALLLLLLLL….thank you BURN,thank you Universe!!!

  • Sleep?? What is SLEEP??????

  • ALL

    off this morning to Italy to print my book (based on a true story)…again sorry for my lack of participation here…

    we have a whole bunch of new stories and interviews to publish so your patience appreciated…the EPF is rocking…we will be presenting some amazing new photographers….

    i will make a new dialogue post from Italy….after i go to Paris and maybe London, so those of you nearby, let’s have a beer….

    cheers, david

  • Have a nice trip David… can’t wait to see your new book!

  • Civi –

    I will now report in. I’m back in Wasilla after my five week absence that took me to Arizona and India. Jet lag is really strange thing. I did not seem to have it that bad when I first got home, but now that I have been home for a couple of days I can hardly function.

    Vivek –

    sorry I did not get a chance to call. My phone did not work in India and I was totally dependent on other people to use a phone and so I almost didn’t use a phone, plus, I had little time left after I got to Mumbai and it went fast.

    David and Diego –

    Just before I left, you invited me to do a couple of things but I had no chance. I have thought about it a lot, though, and will follow up shortly, before this week is over. I will send you an email and will let you know after I do. Maybe sometime shortly after that, we can skype.

  • PS:

    David – looking forward to seeing the book.

  • Yes I need a new book, haven’t seen any photobook I’ve felt like to purchasing since Magnum’s Contact was published, so I can’t wait to see David’s latest.

  • I am a very proud owner of a brand new Panasonic GX1. I’ve been playing around with it for very nearly three weeks and in my opinion it’s a damn amazing camera. I owned a GF1 for about 48 hour and although I found the autofocus to be quick I don’t recall it being as lightning fast as this GX1. As much as I love my Canon 1ds II, it really is a relief to carry something so much lighter and probably the only weak point is the battery which doesn’t last very long.

  • “As much as I love my Canon 1ds II, it really is a relief to carry something so much lighter.”

    Oh boy, Paul! Having just drug my 1Ds III all across India, along with a 7D, I can second that. Originally, I was going to leave it home and take my 5D MII which is much lighter and I like it much better, but the damn thing got a few drops of water on it, is on the blink and Canon wanted $500 to fix it and I can’t handle that right now.

    Thanks for the info and I must look into the GX1. Trouble is, if the battery doesn’t last long under normal conditions, it probably really dies fast in cold weather and that’s not so good for me.

  • Paul.. all photobooks lovers..

    Steidl has republished some of Bruce Davidson’s work, a five volume thing.. cannot do a link, am on the road.. but as much as I love his work and was waiting for some of it, I’m saving up for David’s book.. trust me, this will just.. well.. let’s finish.. then you see…

  • i havent been here quite awhile. so howdy folks?
    reason im checking in is that i was flying out of philly
    and i saw someone an awful lot like frostfroggie.
    i was going to say hi but this one didnt look as nice as the one from BURN.
    and i wasnt so sure.

    looks like this gig is still rocking.
    and fire is still burning.
    hope everything is still topsy turvy.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    MR.HARVEY…in Italy,the Italy in Europe…oime…bravoooo,bravissimo…!!!

    and I thought I was a frequent flyer:))))))))))))))))
    be safe,be cool…stay away from the IMF:)))

    FROSTY or FROSTFROGGIE …oime…another frequent flyer

    MYGRACIE…you are right…the fire is still BURNING…!!!
    I hope you didn’t forget my ice-cream…

    LOVE YOU ALLLLL…bring it on…RIO BOOK IS SOLD (OUT) and ROCK ON !!!
    What not to love !!!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    AKAKIUS…where are you AKAKIUS???

    I am turning the page 350…yoho,yoho…400 will be mine:)))

Leave a Reply

You must login to post a comment.