(based on a true story) SOLD OUT!

layout and design: Bryan Harvey
concept and producer: Eva-Maria Kunz
coordinator: Diego Orlando
production: Andrea Barbato, Michael Courvoisier, Candy Pilar Godoy


(based on a true story)


David Alan Harvey

Some of my friends have asked why I didn’t talk about my book here. I just cannot do that. The book is the book and I hope somebody likes it. But putting this video here by Bryan is as far as I can go. However, what I can do is I think legit. Published below is a letter from Sam Harris, (Postcards From Home), who managed to get a hold of the first signed copy. So he is, as far as I know, the only person here on Burn to have actually seen the book.

So Sam writes:


BASED ON A TRUE STORY… This book is simply amazing!!! AMAZING!! You have to hold it, feel it, pour over it, get inside it, take it apart, rebuild it, live it, smell it, caress it and then it all makes sense… FRESH, SENSUAL, SEXY, KILLER, DOPE… DAH leads by example, he could just sit back and talk about past glories, but that’s not David’s style… he’s out there doing it, living it. Now, right now… Ideas happen… ‘based on a true story’ is the living proof ; )) This book is an absolute classic. dah’s best yet! And the very best thing about ‘based on a true story’ IS the PHOTOGRAPHY.



Add to Cart     View Cart

for the “making of”, visit: www.theriobook.com


(more information here)


427 Responses to “(based on a true story) SOLD OUT!”

  • David: probably will not make it to Arles…

  • mtomalty: except that the Blurb printing quality is questionable…

  • SAM !!
    Your enthusiasm is contagious… Thank you!

  • “could ‘edit’ my own book with available images thereby allowing me to work to my budget while at the same time creating licensing revenues for photographer/agency”

    So the user is the editor not the photographer….. why bother with a book just create a file of images for people to play with. So you think that it is ok to take David’s Divided Soul for example and personally edit it to suit yourself and throw away all of David’s efforts in compiling the book? A book is a package with a conceptual framework, it is something that is resolved in a sophisticated manner so it may engage the audience. It has an individual’s signature a life of its own and it shouldn’t be sold of as some sort of discount supermarket produce on lay buy. Start pulling a book apart and you are challenging the integrity of the creator …..just to make it cheaper for the consumer.
    I doubt if burn or David are about revenue hunting otherwise there would be canon, nikon and soft porn ads on this site. Sure David and others are trying to figure ways that we can make some financial returns but not at the expense of the photographers vision in crafting books
    Now the book part

    budget products create budget mediocre results ……..now if you are willing to go down that path for the sake of a few dollars go for.

    I have tried about half a dozen of these so called book printers and at best the results are so so. I am using an Australian organisation that pumps out books that are very good to excellent if one uses high end papers and accesses proofs etc. The catch is that the costs go up considerably. eg a small book 170g paper 50 pages (8.5″x8.5″ 22cmx22cm) there is not much change out of 100 dollars. Sure bulk printing ( a run of 30)for that book will reduce the costs but only by a small percentile …… binding costs don’t change much. These costs will have to be borne by an individual not burn. Start printing in fine art paper and a larger book size is needed to accommodate the paper the costs run to over $500.

    Run of the mill binding takes up anywhere between 35% -45% of the costs with top end stuff you are looking at 60%+. Most manufacturers supply printer colour profile some better than others and this is the responsibility of the photographer to get colours tone etc correct not the printer.
    I know I spend a fair bit of time getting my images right for printing and they are very different in process to what is required on the net as are images for a slide show presentation at a seminar workshop etc. Now with all the effort is it really worthwhile sending your images off to someone where you have very limited input to quality control? Remember if there is an anomaly in printing the printer questions the quality of your files.
    Take David for an example he has gone to considerable cost to both manufacture and promote the book. He is in Sydney for 3 weeks has a show and runs a workshop to help cover those costs but it is hard work. It doesn’t stop there as he has to take it on the road for further promotion…….there is no free ride

  • When you guys see David’s book you will realise that it is a package not a bunch of photos hobbled together sure you can play with it pull it apart, reorganise, pin on a wall etc but this is a physical activity it is not a buy a print to order game.
    The book in the box well that is another new twist and experience………..

  • “So you think that it is ok to take David’s Divided Soul for example and personally edit it to suit yourself and throw away all of David’s efforts in compiling the book?”

    In a way,yes, though the idea would be more structured towards individuals creating new
    compilations and not re-doing a Divided Soul,for example.

    If I recall correctly the concept for ‘Based on a True Story’ could be attributed to Bryan and Eva
    and much of the editing results from Candy’s efforts in tracking down previously unconsidered images
    My impression is that the end result was achieved by after the fact collaboration and not a predefined
    vision that resulted in the final book.

    Anyhow Imants,you have more valid points in your post than mine but I was just throwing an idea out there.

    With that said,I start working on my edit of David’s images for Unified Soul starting tomorrow.

  • They would be re doing David’s Divided Soul text image sequence are all important to the

    ‘Based on a True Story’ it is David’s book he still holds the final say this is no different to a artist who gets a manufacturer to help design construct but the final aesthetic conceptual judgements are made by the artist.

  • With that said,I start working on my edit of David’s images for Unified Soul starting tomorrow……… then why not take it one step further and release it on the black market at as “Divided Soul the mtomalty version”…..then you can easily afford to buy all ‘Based on a True Story’ to your hearts content ………. after all your proposal is about getting a better deal for the consumer

  • There are no dramas one compiling 50 photos putting them up as a series selling as a compilation pick a box style

    ………..or buy a couple of Rembrants and cut and paste them with a Goya …….appropriation at its best but they are no longer Goyas nor Rembrants they are something else as you have changed the meaning…. ” The Night Watchman executes himself in front of a firing squad”

  • The carpet traders of the Central Asia went one better ….they cut up rare carpets sold off a few pieces to rich collectors and then slowly released the whereabouts of the missing pieces collectors went looking for them and paid overinflated prices ………. most of the pieces were held by the traders.

  • If the intent to make money overrides the work people will do most anything………if the intent from the outset was for a compilation buy as you go image bank no problems your model fits. But it probably wasn’t a book in the first place, that would be a waste of time and money

  • Panos …..”Broadus Jr” would be a good name for your book

  • IMANTS. While I agree with much of what you say above, I do find that, without exception, I do not have a single photographic book that I view as a linear narrative object.(except on first reading possibly)

    This is the norm for me with Photographic books, and pictures generally, so I can see where Mtomalty is coming from to a certain extent. Why buy a book with 100 images in it when you only really love five of them? And should the artistic intent of the creator be a dogma?
    I would say no to that.
    My love is images, not the contextual or conceptual framework they are presented in. These rarely hold any interest whatsoever for me.

    So the question arises: If I reject the narrative structures of the author but still derive satisfaction from the viewing experience, is that experience just as valid as the experience offered by the artists conceptual framework, or is it false?

  • I think whatever we buy is how the author wanted it to be, his interpretation of the work. That does not mean, however, that I as a viewer must stick to it. I can interpret a story, photographs, my way. That is what I do always.

    David’s book, this book, lets you do that not only in a one dimensional way, not only in your head, but you can do it physically, you can take it apart and rebuild it your own way, make your own story… put it together as a book, lay out all the spreads on the floor, pin them to the wall, keep some, throw some out, without ruining it as a book, no ripping apart, no cutting out pages.

    It is not a cheap book. But, considering the quality, most of all the photography, without which there would be no reason to even have a book in the first place, it is not an expensive book either. No one will become rich with it, that is for sure. Or better, perhaps one day, collectors might.

    Collaboration has played a big role, but without David’s vision, his skills as a photographer to get the images first and foremost, and then to put at work together the people, to push their limits big time (at least mine for sure), to melt both his roles as photographer and mentor in one to get the very best out of his work and themselves, this book would not exist, not in this way. It takes vision and courage to put oneself on the edge, he has both for sure.

  • Eva interpretation is very different to buying bits and pieces that is not interpretation it is personal editing.

    A book is not merely the sum of images that make up the whole…… books are conceptually.

    Anyway I would never participate in that mtomalty proposal, every image in my books is there for a reason and relates to the other images inclusive it is a single object.
    This is probably why I am not one who takes photographs so we will beg to differ ……………. you guys can pick and choose photography the itunes way and download them on your iphones.

  • Imants..

    Interpretation is of course different than buying bits and pieces, plus a Blurb version could never ever even come close, not with (based on a true story).. with normal built photo books one could try.. but for sure not with this.. or for example Anton’s Odo Yakuza either.

    With (based on a true story) you come closest to what mtomalty proposes, without having to go theough Blurb or anything else, you/everyone can interpret this very book their own way, no need for downloading anything. That does not solve the financial problem.. but then, I think for most it is a question of setting priorities. Not for all of course it is just that, I see where a student might have difficulties to come up with the money.. but I also think there is always a way.. and I have to say that Burn spirit of paying forward is alive here, there are people buying and passing to others who cannot afford it the book.

  • “My love is images, not the contextual or conceptual framework they are presented in. These rarely hold any interest whatsoever for me.”

    I’m just the opposite. I’m not particularly interested in “images” as isolated objects. That’s why I have primarily geometric abstract paintings on my walls, not photos. I’m interested in images as part of some context, particularly the context of the photographer’s decisions in selecting and sequencing the photos. Which is why I prefer photo books to photos as wall art. One of the things that appeals to me about books is that they are frozen in time and space. I’m not really interested in deconstructing and reconstructing the photographers vision.

  • I think too often we (many of us anyway) approach the work of others with how we would have done it, or how the artist “should” have done it, instead of letting how she or he actually did it wash over us unburdened by our little egotistical concerns. As someone who typically errs on the side of being overcritical I realize it is often easier advocated than done. It as someone who spends far more time working on sequencing than other aspects of production, be it photography or prose, I don’t care a wit how an audience might approach it. And although I respect the intentions of others and usually find it more satisfying to try to understand their vision, in the end I, and anyone else, will bring my own perspective to it.

  • Jim… mw..

    This book definitely IS meant to be deconstructed, the viewer is invited to become an active partecipant, the book’s interactivity is one of its intentions, the photographer wants you to play, to become part, to leave behind the old and normal way to look at a book. This is all but linear storytelling!

  • Yes Eva, I understand both how the book is structured and the author’s intent for how people can approach it. I think it’s a great idea incredibly well-executed. Careful you don’t start coming off as over-defensive.

  • Eva, I think the book is a success as an art object. Very creative and different. I completely “get” what DAH was trying to do here, and he succeeded.

  • That they know Eva what the conversation is about is books in general not just ‘Based on a True Story’. What is being discussed is the author’s intent in creating books etc.

    Eva there are all sorts of hand made books that are not traditional in form. have look at Hideki Naqkajima book , stuff by Segura Incorporated the world is full of all sorts of bizarre catalogs twisting folding reconstructing
    A lot of it stems from the days of Dada and Fluxus, have look at how the The Exquisite Book rose from the exquisite corpse game
    Spend some time in art schools and kids transcend the book format regularly, some of the most interesting hands on book formats etc are created by architects. They have a really great knack of seeing beyond the formal structure after all their job entails making a box interesting.

  • IMANTS. the Consumers intent also. That was mainly my point.

  • Well,the tribe has spoken and my idea has been voted off the island :)

    To clarify one point, the “mtomalty proposal” as Imants has coined it was not meant to
    replace a photographer author’s vision or execution of their book but rather to support that
    product with a,possibly,more accessible formula for the majority of those without the means nor
    access to a limited run pricey product.
    In David’s case, he spent portions of three years building a body of imagery from Rio with the
    net result,excluding the National Geographic edit, being that fewer than 600 people will be in a
    position to appreciate the work.
    Just seems like a lost opportunity for both the creator and endusers particularly in light of
    the immeasurable value and awareness garnered from promotion over the past couple of years.

  • Imants… great idea.. Thank u thank u!!!
    Thinking … thinking… scratching head…

  • eva

    I can’t find you e-mail address, where can I send you one.

  • Micaël.. eva at burnmagazine dot org

  • Jim..

    I’m looking very much forward to your review when you will actually have the book.. I know it will be honest.. am very curious..

  • First, somebody, big thanks, big hug… ‘nuf said.

    Second – To me, books are essential. This one breaks new ground, but I would hate to see a bunch of other photographers try to copy the style. I am sure some will, and some might do it very well, and if so, then that will be wonderful, but it is a unique thing, it is David’s and I suspect most who might try to emulate it will fail. The traditionally constructed book, well done, will always be vital.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Can I dance now?

  • Frost!
    Tell me about it….;)

  • Folks, love the video, love the book concept, but a book that runs more than a C-note? Fond as I am of Our Leader and the whole Burn crew, the only people I shell out that kind of money to these days are my mechanic, whose kids my car is putting through college, and a couple of guys with MD after their names. So I hope everyone will forgive me if I skip this one. Nice music in the video, though.

  • You tell’em, Frosty; Nooks and Kindles may come and go, but the codex will be with us forever. You know, those sound remarkably like famous last words.

  • I would have one concern with putting a book out like this, it almost under sells the work by making it appear formulaic and perhaps kitschy – meaning it really emphasizes the reoccurring relationships, frame by frame, perhaps over acknowledging it – detracting from the importance of the images them selves… It’s really a cool way to discuss relationships between objects and color theory within the frame. And really shows David’s strength in composition and use of color – but does the book hurt the work? Is the book the main work of art and are the photos secondary only useful to illustrate this style of book? Just the curious in me asking. I still LOVE the book.

  • At first I was a little perplexed why so many people felt the need to publicly announce that they wouldn’t be buying the book, whether because they didn’t like how it is constructed or for solely budgetary reasons. Although I trust that it was no one’s intent, I’ve noted it has been an effective way to get a free book. Personally, I like the concept and can’t plead quite that level of poverty, so I’ll just have to fork over the cash if it doesn’t sell out too fast. On a totally unrelated note, looking at the outer banks photos, I don’t like the way those beach houses are designed, feel they are overpriced, and can’t afford one anyway. Just sayin…

  • Michael, Those houses are just asking to be swept away in some hurricane aren’t they?

  • Thanks Akaky, for your sage words. Please stay alert for the release of my first iPad book, which, if possible at some point, I also hope to adapt to the Kindell, the Nook and whatever else blows through while I am still around.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    EVA and to All our Italian friends…

    Earthquake in N.Italy…please, report ASAP…I don’t have good Internet connection…

    I’ll be back

  • “President Obama for the first time gained widespread support for his argument that Europe, and the United States by extension, cannot afford Chancellor Angela Merkel’s one-size-fits-all approach emphasizing austerity.”

    hmmm someone got yelled today , and about to be fired..
    sorry Angela but you knew its coming…


  • To all European friends: “think Growth, no Austerity”,
    then cast your vote accordingly…
    Good morning y’all from the Butthole Surfers city ( aka the Military Town ), deep
    In the heart of good ol’ Mexico!!!

  • Civi..

    We were close enough to feel it, spent a bit of time in the street, but no damages where we were. Now arriving back home..

  • MW, I’ve noted that too, but sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

    To all European friends, if you think growth, no austerity, and cast your vote accordingly, then you will get no growth and the austerity anyway. There is no free lunch, no matter what the former junior senator from Illinois would have you believe. Sorry, guys, that’s just the way it is.

  • Eva glad to hear you are ok. Magnitude 6.1 and 5.4 are not small. Especially inland. Stay safe!

  • @ DAH
    Just to say that I borrow for a while the OBX fish image and I set it as wallpaper. Looks very good in the screen! Thanks

    PS: Last wallpaper from you, stayed more than seven months in a row soooome time ago… it was the lady cleaning the window at Battlo’s houses in Barcelona. Also nice

  • Akaky…

    Nothing against austerity, it’s just that it needs to be tailor-made to each European country’s idiosyncrasies. Spain is not Germany and neither is France nor is Greece.

  • Hmm Austerity, a very touchy subject especially for those involved with the Occupy movement – Does it work? Is it harmful? Is it both, like chemo-therapy?
    Where else can the “fat be trimmed” if not from needed programs? perhaps from people’s pay checks? whose to say what a job is worth though. Especially a job where only elite seem to gain the needed foot hold (speaking of here in the US).

    I have an idea – someone please steal it and try it in their government:
    So many countries have mandatory military service. Is stead of military service, what if it were Mandatory Civil Congressional/Senate service? Make the population do what they’re supposed to and teach them first hand what those jobs are for and why they’re so important. Perhaps it would stagnate laws or perhaps it would create new ideas and new visions. Who’s to say without trying.

  • “Sorry, guys, that’s just the way it is.”

    Funny, Akaky – that’s exactly what the voices of austerity preached when we entered the Great Depression. Austerity drove us deeper in. Then, thanks to the stimulus of World War II, we cast austerity aside and went all out. You might read up a bit on Keynesian economics, the basic theory that times like these are the worst to practice austerity – these are the times to stiumulate to the best of your ability and then, when things come back and people are working, have money and are generating a self-sustaining economy, you cut back.

    Also, read Paul Krugman, Nobel prize winning economist. He says the exact opposite of what you do and backs it up with history. He’s pretty smart, too.

  • Have you heard of the Elliott Wave principle? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elliott_Wave_Principle
    Most economies have endured at least one super cycle except the US… and with the global economy becoming the predominant economy… I suspect we can expect to see the wave occurring there as well… It will happen, how the people react will change how bad the affect is.

  • I think Akaky’s right. We need to ignore such things as facts and track records and put our faith in right wing propagandists on the payroll of sociopath billionaires. That’s what Jesus would do.

Leave a Reply

You must login to post a comment.