behind the scenes – the rio book edit

The cool little video clip above by maestro Pete Longworth really is the way it is around my loft right now. Creative juices flowing the way they SHOULD always flow but rarely do. Along with doing my own work, my number one priority, is  to mentor those who seek to marry art, craft, and daily life into one holistic experience. Check this clip out. It is where we are right now with my RIO edit and with the overall mood of Burn. Pete shot this straight up , no staging, fast edit. We are going to do more behind the scenes video to show you when it seems either entertaining or educational or both. Stay tuned.

Music By: Peter Goetz

My place right now. Saturday afternoon and Janet is cleaning for me. Steady stream of collaborators requires high maintenance, lots of cold beer and an open mind. Everybody here is helping me. Eva Kunz flew here from Italy to coordinate printing, Susan Welchman editor on RIO for NatGeo  came up to add some of my latest work to her mix, Chris Bradley, Creative Director of RGA who caught a cab here from across the river, and Kaya Berne one of my digital assistants came up from Virginia where she lives and our connections are on Skype. A few Burnians are dropping by. If you are in the hood come on over. Better bring some beer or wine though because honestly we are busy. We even forgot to eat for two days last week.





181 Responses to “behind the scenes – the rio book edit”

  • Eva,

    More more more!!!

    Panos is on his way according to his instagram reports :))))

  • And now, for something completely different:

  • I just read an article in a Spanish newspaper on Norman Mailer and there was a sentence that which really hit home and it sort went like this…
    “Write like you talk and don’t fall prisoner to the capricious will of style.”
    Norman Mailer
    Of course I’m thinking about photography…

  • Paul
    Mailer’s advice, translated, photograph how you see, and don’t fall prisoner to the capricious will of style.
    I’m thinking about this…still trying identify and have faith in my own vision.

  • Sergio Larrain has left. Only his photographs are with me. So much with me…

  • Gordon…

    I think it’s basically being totally honest and unpretentious. Accepting who we are for all the good and bad we can’t alter or just don’t damn well feel like changing and be totally honest with ourselves. Taking images without over thinking. Maybe even somehow “forget” we’ve got a camera in our hands, as if it was transparent.
    BTW maybe I’m utterly wrong by I believe you don’t need faith. Just desire, a necessity to create and capture your vision. Accepting what you see and generally not comparing your work to others is quite enough.

  • “Accepting what you see and generally not comparing your work to others is quite enough.”

    Very tough not to compare our photographs to others, or our lives for that matter. We immerse ourselves in photographs of others. Impossible not to be influenced, for better or worse.

  • You guys are really a dandy bunch!

    Thank you ever so much for ALL of the delightful comments on the little piece we created of the Rio Circus. I can honestly say that it is a fair description of the joyful antics that seem to orbit the world of Harvey! Might have to extend the project slightly to keep you all properly informed about the creative chaos here…

    Happy Daze,

  • @ PETE: I think I’ve seen the video five times in a row. The music is very funny, and after seeing a picture os you (with a beer in the roof) and Pete Goetz much more… ;-)

    Glad that you’re enjoying the edit.
    PS: To anyone below the Equator, Please, please send to the north, some warm weather!

  • @ ALL:
    Two quotes from Ansel Adams, that I really like:

    “No matter how sophisticated you may be, a large granite mountain cannot be denied – it speaks in silence to the very core of your being”

    “Tomorrow, I’m off for the High Mountains, back to my paradise for a good, long soul-building rest”

    Below some pictures of Yosemite Park, hope someday make a trek to the North Face Logo ;-),or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&cad=b


  • David:

    From the Loft posts missing here I’m assuming (as usual probably incorrectly), a number of possible scenarios:

    A: Since Panos has arrived, all activity within the Loft Creative Group has ceased for celebration.

    B: Lack of food has lead to mass hysteria, and ultimately mass starvation. Civilian’s mailed olives and Ouzo didn’t make it through the Greek postal system.

    C: The edit is finished.

    Let’s hope it’s a combination of A and C!

    There’s a great chance I’ll be in NYC 2nd week of April. A favour, por favor? Would it be possible for you to somehow handcuff Panos to the city and hide Eva’s passport from her, until then? It would be great to meet them in person. In return, I could grab Bob by his scruff, toss him in the trunk, and bring him with. Sound like a plan? :)

    Paul, Gordon:

    John Vink posted a link to the best of work of Sergio Larrain above. (Thanks, John.) Larrain’s quote in his portfolio may be his underpinning philosophy:

    “A good image is created by a state of grace. Grace expresses itself when it has been freed from conventions, free like a child in his early discovery of the reality. The game is then to organize the rectangle.”

    I like this for a number of reasons. Vasari talks about the presence of grace in great works of art. It’s a description that has always evaded me, but clears up some of my questioning. It arrived quite recently, so seeing it spelt out under Larrain is a delicious co-incidence. Secondly, the idea of child-like discovery is something we discuss here often. Francoise Gilot has a very interesting chapter in her book “Matisse and Picasso” concerning Jung’s concept of the Anima and the Animus, the male and female aspects of the individual. Jung believed childhood illness forced the opposite to develop, as there would be a rendering impotence of the Anima in the female child, the Animus in the male. Gilot supports that in both Matisse’s and Picasso’s childhood. Third, Larrain’s idea of organizing the rectangle tells me the form of the image of always of equal importance. I like the way he wraps all of this together so efficiently.


    I’m sure everyone has met (or been!) one of the characters in this cartoon.

    Don’t forget the rollover text!

  • I guess I’m the one with the car on fire. It actually happened to me once while I was moving and almost all my stuff burned up. I’d always kinda wanted to burn all my stuff in a Buddhist-ish way, but it didn’t turn out to be so great in practice. For years I’d wonder where something was and then remember. Clothes are way more expensive to replace than you’d think as well. Anyway, my camera burned up too so no photos. Had a Yachica rangefinder back then.

  • I know that I should not admit to such a thing, gas prices being what they are these days, but simply as in the interests of full disclosure I should mention here that I never took the SATs. I realize that this is a shocking admission for anyone to make in this day and age, when the SAT test scores more or less determines the future course of a young person’s life, separating the wheat from the chaff, the sheep from the goats, and franchisees from the flippers. I realize as well that making this admission now will cast a cloud over my family’s good name for uncounted generations to come, but sooner or later the unholy truth of the matter was bound to come out and I might as well get the whole unpleasant business over with in one fell swoop.

    For many years, I hid my shame; in our modern postindustrial information society there is no room for those people who do not take the SATs, unless you are an illegal immigrant or Amish, and I have no talent for picking crops or for raising the barns necessary to store those crops once I have picked them. This is, of course, a terrible thing for someone who comes from a long line of Irish agriculturalists to say, but the green thumb abandoned the family when we headed off to Liverpool in the mid-1840’s after a scrumptious farewell dinner of nettles, weeds, and Uncle Sean; it was not necessary to stew Uncle Sean, according to family lore, as he arrived for the festivities already fairly well-stewed. But that is a story for another day.

    I don’t remember why I didn’t take the SATs; I’ve always assumed it was a lack of interest on my part, or perhaps it was sheer ignorance. The basic intelligence of you average seventeen year old American male is usually pretty sound, all things considered, but you really can’t go wrong in underestimating how much they really know, especially if they went to public schools, where most kids major in socializing, with the occasional pop quiz thrown in to break up the monotony, and I was no different than any other seventeen year old, which is to say, I didn’t know squat. Perhaps I should say that I knew even less than squat, since every other guy in my class managed to take the SAT and I did not. I’ve tried over the years to find a good reason for why I didn’t bother with the test, why I simply chose to disregard the overwhelming tide of opinion from faculty and friends that I was throwing my life away before it even got started. There are any number of reasons, some more valid than others, as is always the case with life.

    It could have been that I did not want to pay for the test. This is my mother’s favorite explanation, because it allows her to revile me in public as a cheap and miserly sort who’d throw his own mother out into the snow to make a buck. This is not true, of course; I am among the most charitable people I know, my munificence a magnificent example to other, less charitable sorts, and I did not throw my mother out into the snow—she tripped on a shovel and fell into the bushes, and the snow broke her fall and kept her from breaking her hip. It was an accident and could have happened to anyone, even if they’d paid their rent on time and in full. And I should point out that at the time I did not have a job and that my parents would have paid for the test, and I’ve never had any aversion to spending other’s people’s money, which is why the civil service suits me so well. My father, on the other hand, always held that my failure to take the SATs was simply one more example of my exceedingly grand capacity for sloth, a mere episode in a life dominated by an unwillingness to get out of the bed in the morning. But I am not Oblomov, although this idea is certainly more attractive than my mother’s idea of me as miser. It’s hard to work up much sympathy for misers.

    Or, and this is my pet theory, I just forgot about them. I have forgotten a lot of things over the years, and most of the things I’ve forgotten were probably not worth knowing in the first place, except for the address of the girl I asked to the senior prom, and no, she still won’t speak to me, even though it’s been thirty years; some people, I’ve noticed, have a problem getting over this sort of silly stuff—it’s not good to dwell on the past too much, but that’s just my opinion.

    Why would I forget to take such an important test? Well, to begin with, I probably didn’t think it was all that important at the time. Everyone I knew told me the test was important, and I suppose I believed them up to a point, but that was the 1970’s, you know, and I am pretty sure that most of the people telling me that the SATs were important and that I should take them also had Pet Rocks in their rooms and wore platform shoes, and really, how much credence can you give to the opinion of someone who paid twenty dollars for a Pet Rock when they could get a perfectly good rock for free just by going outside? As for platform shoes, I am certain that owning a pair then is grounds for revoking one’s American citizenship now, and I would just as soon not get sucked into this controversy, thank you very much.

    But I can tell that some of you are appalled at my cavalier dismissal of a test that you sweat bullets in order to pass so you could get into a “good” college, or better yet, a “name” college. Perhaps I am being a little cynical here, a surprising thing in and of itself, as I am usually the most trusting and Pollyannaish of people, but if you take a look at who teaches at “name” universities, you’d be more than a little surprised. Prestigious professors at prestigious universities do not enhance their prestige by teaching teenagers; teaching assistants teach teenagers, and who are these teaching assistants? Graduate students only a few years older than your freshman; that’s right, the kids are teaching the kids, that’s what you’re paying big money for. Maybe it’s just my lack of a proper perspective about all of this, but I’ve noticed over the years that you can get to the same places in a Ford that you can in a Ferrari, and for a hell of a lot less money.

    The thing that’s the most fun about never taking the SATs is the awed reaction you get from kids when they find out I am testless. A strange look of awe passes over their faces, and then a look of disbelief: I have to be kidding when I say this. The schools have been telling their parents and them since kindergarten that modern life is not possible without getting good SAT scores, and there I am, complete with degrees and everything. Some kids refuse to believe that I am telling them the truth, this being so at odds with everything everyone’s ever told them all of their lives; I don’t press the issue—it’s good that kids have some illusions as they move forward with their lives. Still, life has a way of working itself out without the need to score well on the SATs, as many a predestined success story have found out for themselves; destiny, like so many other things in this our fallen world, ain’t everything it’s cracked up to be.

  • A, B and C.. in some ways.. I’m out in a very short bit, catching a plane, Diego’s in and has brought snow to NYC.

    Will write something once I’m home and get my two surviving braincells together.. all I can say for now, this has been SO SO GREAT!

  • Have a safe trip Eva!
    Looking forward to your write up!!!

  • Sergio Larraín was a mistery even to his family. I met one of his nieces during a very nice dinner a couple of years ago, Catalina Mena. That was was she told me as part of our conversation, then we talk about his pictures of Valparaíso and London.

    Very feelingly I translated this letter today for you Burnians, John Vink, Burn, his Magum colleagues, David, Rio Book, his family and everyone who can find some good vibes on it.

    Letter from Sergio Larraín to hi nephew Sebastián Donoso.

    -this is the original, it is all scratched by himself-

    Wednesday, the first thing of all is to have a machine (camera, photographic machine) that you like. The one you like the most, because it is about to be happy with your body, with what you have in your hands and the instrument is a key for making a craft and it has to be the minimum, the essentials and nothing more.
    Second… to have an enlarger of your taste, the coolest and simpler that is possible. For 35mm, the smallest made by LEITZ is the better, it lasts your whole life.

    The game is to depart to the adventure, like a sailboat, drop the sails, go to Valparaíso or Chiloé or go through the streets all day wandering and wandering through unknown places and sitting down a tree when you feel tired, buy a banana or some bread and so to take a train, go to somewhere you feel like going to and look, drawing too and look. Getting out of the known world, going into what you have never seen, letting yourself go to your taste. Much of going from one place to another, where you feel the whim. Of by little you go finding things and images are coming to you, like apparitions, you take them. Once you have come back to home, you develop, copy and start looking what you have fished, all the fishes, and you paste them with a tape to the wall, you copy them in little postcard-size sheets and you look at them. Then you start playing with the ‘ells’, looking for crops, framing and you go learning composition, geometry, you go framing perfect with the ‘ells’ and enlarge what you have framed and put it in the wall, so you go looking to go seeing. When it makes sure to you that a picture is bad, to the paper bin at once, the better you climb it a bit more in the wall. At the end you keep the good ones and nothing else. Keeping what is mediocre stucks you in mediocrity, on the top nothing more what you keep, all the rest is thrown because you carry in the psyche all what is retained. Then you make gymnastics, you entertain yourself in other things and you don´t care about it anymore. You start looking at other photographers work and finding all the good things you find in everything you find, books, magazines, etc. and you take the best, and if you can clip, take the good and paste it in the wall next to yours, and if you can´t clip, you open the book or the magazine in the page of the good things and you keep it open for exposure. Then you leave it like that weeks, months, as it can be. It takes a lot to see, but little by little the secret is going delivered to you and you go seeing what is good and the depth of each thing, you keep seeing quiet, you draw a little, you go for a walk, and never force going to take pictures, because it loses poetry, the life that it has, it gets sick. Is like forcing love or friendship, you can´t.

    When it arises again you can depart in another trip, another wandering. To Puerto Aguirre, you can down the Baker (river) on horseback to the snowdrift from Aysén. Valparaíso is always a wonder, is getting lost in the magic, getting lost some days turning around the hills and streets and sleeping in a sleeping bag somewhere in the night and very into reality, swimming under water. Don’t let anything distract you, nothing conventional, get yourself carry away by the espadrilles slowly, as if you were boozy, for the taste of looking, humming, and what goes appearing you, go photographing it already carefully. Something you have learned through composing and clipping, you already do it with the machine (camera) and so forth is filled the cart with fishes and you go back home, you learn focus, diaphragm, foreground, saturation, speed, etc., you learn to play with the machine and its possibilities and you go gathering poetry, yours and from others, take everything good that you find from others, make yourself a collection of little optimal things, a little museum in a folder, follow what is your own taste and nothing more (this is highlighted), don’t believe anything than your own taste, you are the life and the life is what you choose, what you don´t like don’t see it, it is useless, you are the only criteria, but see from everybody else, you go learning, when you have a really good picture you enlarge them and make a little exhibition or a little book, you send it to stopping and with that you go establishing a ground, when you show them you get what they are the way you see it in front the others, then you feel it. To do an exhibit is like giving something, is like giving food, is good for the others to show them something done with work and taste, is not to shine yourself, it does well, is healthy for everyone and it does well to you because it goes checking yourself.

    Well, with this you have for a beginning. It is lots of wandering, sitting under a tree anywhere, is walking alone through the universe, you begin to look again. Conventional world puts you a room divider, you got to get out of it during the photographic period.

    (AG hi always signed AG, Adoring God. Bye Keko , I write you more)

  • AKAKY,

    Nice to see you are back in fine form!

    While I didn’t totally avoid the SAT, I did avoid ever finishing high school. I dropped out after my junior year, and have been dropping out of things ever since: the army, colleges, jobs, marriages, countries, professions… so many I have lost count. It may have kept me from doing some things in life, but I can’t think of what they might actually be. Maybe running for the Senate? (I even once had a tenured position as a college lecturer without so much as a master’s degree). Had you ever taken the SAT, I have no doubt that your score on the verbal section at least would have been in the high 700s.


    With this orgy of productive activity and intense socialization once again blossoming in new serendipitous combinations at your loft apartment in Brooklyn, I can’t for the life of me understand how you ever thought you would be able to give this place up… do you still really entertain such thoughts?


  • Thodoris,

    Last year I started a series where I too wanted to explore the mythological and personified implications of a particular landscape. Inspired by Sally Mann’s Deep South, I decided to use a pinhole. I just edited what I have so far, but I’m still figuring out where I’m going with the series.

    I loved your images and am very interested to see your progress.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    I am reading…your comments…it’s gonna take a while:)))

    VIVA to ALL
    safe travels…I am back home BUT my soul is traveling…

    spread the news…spread the love…spread your vision…

    I will sing later…

  • Thanks Amelie, I’m very much looking forward to see where this little project will take me… I love the beginnings of projects the most, when you fall in love with an idea and jump with both feet into it, with that adrenaline rush which you know will subside but is so amazing while it lasts…

    Would love to see your pinhole work if you have them online…

  • Michael, this one has been on my wall for some time:

  • Eduardo,

    Thanks for posting that!

  • You’re welcome, Carlo.

  • Enjoyed your pinhole images, Thodoris. Look forward to seeing more.

    When browsing your blog noted the light painting tic-tac-toe group

    Thought you might like to see this. The accompanying movie is pretty interesting

  • Thodoris…

    That’s classic! Helps keep things in proper perspective. ;^}


    We needed a good drummer for the band,
    Diego lost his drumsticks but he delivered snow!!!

    Jeff, ALL!!!

    Something BIG, AMAZING, groundbreaking in the history of book designing IS HAPPENING or
    Just HAPPENED !!!
    Coming up soon .. YOU WILL
    LOVE IT!! I can’t wait to see/hear/read the reactions of whomever see/ touches the RIO BOOK!!
    It’s not that I can’t disclose more, it’s just I have a hard time to even DESCRIBE the design
    of THIS particular RIO
    Of course you all expect the BEST , HARVEY and he delivered, big time!!
    But the DESIGN? There’s “game” on this book, not the usual passive relationship between the “viewer”/audience and the Creator!!
    And DAH let’s you “play” and also co-create with him!!!
    This is Groundbreaking approach that DAH used this time..
    Nough said!
    Do I make sense? Of course not! Impossible to DESCRIBE this book!!!
    I’m speechless !!!
    Of course, more, way way more coming soonest!!!
    Ok enough said

  • Yup, I confirm what Panos says.. wanted to upload pics, write something, very intense week, but jet lag kicking in, having a very sweet 18 month old baby one row behind in the plane didn’t help with sleeping.. more tomorrow.. but yes yes, Panos is right.. zzzzZZZZzzzzZZZZzzzzzzz

  • What great fun you all appear to be having! What an amazing creative collaboration appears to be going on! I look forward to the book.

  • Should read…

    “I GREATLY look forward to the book!!!

  • Thanks for the link Mark, hadn’t seen his work… I experimented with light painting using cyalume sticks about a decade ago when I was free-camping with my friends but didn’t stick with it long enough to go beyond the initial wow factor… there are plenty of people doing very interesting things with the technique…

  • “I love the beginnings of projects the most, when you fall in love with an idea and jump with both feet into it, with that adrenaline rush which you know will subside but is so amazing while it lasts…”

    Exactly! That rush hasn’t totally subsided for this project because the pinhole is so different that each time I switch back, it’s new discoveries. I’m still in the beginning of my project since I’m trying to photograph a 444 mile stretch. I’ve covered about 25% of it, and I hope to cover another 25-50% this spring.

    I’m reworking my website and galleries, but I’ll try to gather some of my favorites. I’d appreciate some feedback.

  • “And DAH let’s you “play” and also co-create with him!!!
    This is Groundbreaking approach that DAH used this time..
    Nough said!”

    The suspense! Very exciting. Very curious now about the design of this book!

  • panos… That definitely looks like a band… a band that would break into “Long Train Running” at any moment! ;^}

  • Time to give up photography and become a piture taker

  • I can FEEL the energy…
    The passion..
    The inspiration..
    And it’s beautiful….
    Keep it comin’
    And David,
    YOU continue to
    What a gift…

  • Imants
    Great taking of the picture….

  • thanks for all the energy your sending out…
    picking up the vibes all the way down here in oz where it’s burning too,
    like 37… hotter than darwin today… hottest place on the continent today…
    the snow is hard to imagine, would love to step outside my door and feel some icy air bite my face,
    but i’m feeling you all through the burn channel
    and how many times have i sat here far away a wished i could swing by the loft
    that loft…
    show and tell
    but it’s all good, Panos is kicking the beats
    and soon enough the burn circus will arrive
    down here
    you see, patience…
    so until then (and Panos, you ARE coming, right?)
    i’m raising my glass to you all
    bring that beat back
    : ))

  • Imants

    Is that your front yard or back :)

  • Mountain view is the front the other is the back of the highlands lakes fishing hut

  • Despite that those little DP1 sigmas foveon sensors create a remarkable amount of detail. Makes on want to become a “landscape pictcha man” and create covers for chocolate boxes………. before I know it I will be taking pictures of still life with fruit………. done the still life with flowers job.


    very nice work indeed.


    For the visual impressions go here please:

    Now words.. what to do with words.. it’s been one amazing week. Like living with the minds put out there, tangling and melting and tearing and floating.. you could literally feel the room full of buzz going in all directions at once, chaos, good chaos all leading up to THAT moment of joy when another idea stands out there and IS IT, when you can say YES, we got it. Collaboration on all fronts, one thing kicking off the next.. great mood that lead to a great result.

    David being absolutely open to all of it, taking into consideration all the suggestions and ideas put out there, I think that’s been the greatest gift of this past week, to me.

    Meeting all the people at the loft, every day dropping by, checking out the wall, having a beer and a chat, looking at all the new projects, slideshows, upcoming books.. who says there’s no future to great quality photography is absolutely and completely wrong.. making photography more available has given a great push up to those doing great stuff, it forces everybody to think and go new ways, which is very exciting.

    Meeting Doug, Zun, Kaya, Pete, Mike, Erica, Preston, Panos.. people from/of Burn I had a chance to connect personally with and have a chat with, or in some cases spend several days with them, was great fun..

    Great to listen to James Nachtwey, Alec Soth, Susan Welchman, Chris Anderson, Alex Webb, Rebecca Norris Webb, Danny Wilcox Frazier, all sharing their thoughts and some their work, inspiring to say the least..

    My heartful thank you goes to David, for allowing me to drive him crazy :)

  • stay tuned for an announcement for the EPF very soon….also Burn show in Sydney……Diego and i are both in new york, so we can move many things forward…..many thanks to Eva for documenting and distilling the process going on here…anyone who wants an insight on process should meet with Eva or just collect all of her postings…

  • @ EVA:
    Thanks a lot for the images and the report. Indeed without doubt a magnific experience and energy flowing everywhere.
    Grazie 1000.

  • …anyone who wants an insight on process should meet with Eva ………

    LET me add one thing extra…EVA is as Great as i thought she was…
    but her talent, in putting things together, designing, brainstorming, ideas etc…is beyond any match…
    they say NYC never sleeps, i thought DAH never sleeps but now i know that also EVA never sleeps!!!!!!
    because she WORKS all the time….(of course i did my best to “slow” her down…take a break please….!!!!! )
    smiling!!!….but it was impossible …
    YOU/WE WILL all see soonest the “final product” and then my rant will make sense…!
    Yes, meet Eva …she deserves all the CREDIT in the world…and sorry Eva, i know u hate accolades and bullshit and u hate taking credit but i need to be very honest here…your HARD WORK alongside with DAH’s deserve CREDIT..i just needed to tell everyone that you werent simply a “tourist” in NYC…no no no…
    YOU worked harder than the whole NYC together, last week…no kidding!!!!!!!!!!!!
    THANK YOU EVA for all the things you taught me this week….not only about design but also about life…
    ok…time for me to zip it and see whats in my camera!!!!!!;)

  • These reports however brief get the blood pumping!
    Hard work, long hours, no sleep, ideas flowing, people in and out and the photos…great feeling!

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