Candace Owens, Outer Banks artist/photographer, stopped by just now to get me to sign her copy of the June issue of NatGeo with my OBX story in it. I am right now so crazed busy, but how could I say no?

The mother of two of the cutest kids I have ever seen, Candace and her husband Randy are also part of my upcoming American Family series. So you will someday meet the whole family. One of Candy’s paintings (a mermaid) graces my wall. She also shoots weddings and family pictures for local photographer Brooke Mayo.

As you probably know I shoot all the time. Mostly casual snapshots like this. After all, lucky me, photography is very much my hobby. Occasionally I post here, but it always seems awkward. It interrupts the flow of the emerging photographers essays. So I mostly put my stuff on Instagram and share right along with everyone else waiting to see if I have any “likes”. Funny. Essay  in NatGeo, new book out, but looking for “likes” on Instagram. Well honestly I love to see how everyone shoots on a daily basis. What is happening now. I shoot these with my iPhone just to be totally amateurish in nature.

Fact is we all love to do this, so I have a new idea. BurnDiary.

Burn’s own Haik Mesropian has created now for us a new page where we can do this on Burn. Your Instagrams can come here. On a separate Burn “bulletin board” so we can interact for real with new pictures shot with any camera. Only one picture per person per day (yes, you too Panos). Let’s see how it works. Should be fun and it will keep our front page here clean only for essays OR for the the shot that YOU just took that we decide to bring to the front. So sharpen your eye, shoot what is around you in an interesting way, and fire it off to BurnDiary. Details coming soonest on how you will do this.

Thanks for stopping by Candace. Thanks for letting me take a picture of you as well. You are a model mom. My door is open to you and the family any time.


457 Responses to “BurnDiary”

  • PAUL

    we are trying to sort this out…there are a few ways we can go on this…one way is too choose the best each day…the other way is to have its own page and have many posted each day….i think the former is actually better, but we can try and see if many will send in…honestly we did not get much response to this idea in the first place…yet i still like it..not too complicated to do..anyway we should be able to start soon….i am off to France until July 5 or so…but we can work on it while i am there…maybe…i think this daily format would suit you to a tea…we will see…

    cheers, david

  • David I think the burn diary is a fantastic idea. I’m curious – maybe it’s somewhere in a post – but what will it be really? Sort of a blog of specific projects (like Postcard from America is) or will it be something else? Travel safe

  • DAVID:
    Wouldn’t having to pick the best each day create yet another curatorial job? Although, if it’s open, could see it quickly getting overwhelmed….kind of torn between the two.

    Either way, sounds like fun, and another avenue for folks to be involved.

  • David…

    i really love this Burn Diary idea, i hope it happens…
    one picture per person per day – honor system?

    anyway, in this spirit here’s a few i took the other day… http://wp.me/157qQ

    i don’t have an iphone or instagram so i’m still doing it the old fashioned way…

  • Congratulations to both Portugal and Germany teams for going to the semi finals…well deserved….. i see Spain vs Germany in the finals…lets be cool….politics and sports should never mix…
    Again big CONGRATS to both Germany and Portugal…peace please peace…love to ALL!

  • i have just been talking to Haik Mesropian our Burn tech genius….we are working on two things….

    first, a real archive for Burn…this place will seem and look totally different with an easy to view archive…our archive is impressive…very impressive….we all remember for sure that some things are better than others, but when you see the overall big picture as have i, you will be pleasantly amazed….

    secondly, the BurnDiary…where all of you can upload here your Instagrams (and maybe other things, not sure)..in any case a daily diary of the readers here…like comments except pictures instead….put your pictures where your keyboard now is….we have all kinds of ways to do this…so we will experiment with the best system…so get ready…this could be very cool…or a disaster…either way , we will find out….

    we decided tonight to prioritize the archive…Haik can only work on one thing at a time….so first BurnLibrary, one after BurnDiary….

    cannot give you dates yet….we just don’t know..Haik cannot start until next week….so everybody chill..we are working on it….

    cheers, david

  • I’m not sure it benefits anyone but Facebook for Burn to aggregate Instagram snaps on this site.

  • Would love to participate in the BurnDiary but don’t have an iphone… when the time comes for it to go live, will we be able to post other formats, like jpg?

  • Jim ,
    obviously the idea is to experiment..
    To see if it’s possible to “replace” words with photos.. Of course ( if I understand it well ) we will still be able to post our usual rants etc..
    But as the Eskimos said : “one picture is as good as 666 words”
    So imagine how much keybord time we could save by posting a photo!;))))

    Instagram is available to all Smartphones , not just iPhones .. Droids and all other stupid “smartphones”
    can also use it… I can’t talk for others but I’m not even sure that our Genius Haik owns an iPhone either.. But that is not the point.. Burn does NOT sell smartphones..
    Burn idea is to EMBRACE the new , not to exorcise it.
    Remember the old fears? film or digital? Instagram or typewriter? Gay or straight?
    Durant or LeBron? Fake dilemmas … Bi polarism …

    I know it’s harder to embrace the new.. I know the easier way is to stick with the past, the film, the typewriter, the manual car transmission etc..
    But Jim sometimes you remind me of my granpa that used to tell me that a car safety belt is evil and useless…
    I had this type of conversation with a Harley rider in Texas the other day..
    As a stereotypical MACHO TEXAN he told me: we do NOT wear helmets here.. We are real men.. Helmets are a government conspiracy against our freedom.. Viva Rick Perry.. Viva freedom he said.. Viva tradition..
    Modernism is communism he said.. Jesus will protect me he added..technology is for the “girls” he said obviously pointing at me…

    “GET YOUR COWGIRL ON” I said and I run away ( the Californian girl in me told me to run run run )
    Run Lola Run… I still have my head standing right above and between my shoulders.. Not so sure about his though..

    Moral of the story ( and that goes to impotent EURO LEADERS that raped Greece once again yesterday : DO NOT BE AFRAID OF THE NEW … embrace change.. Enough with the CONCENTRATION CAMPS and that old Christian teqniques of Austerity and severe punishment)
    Europe is slowly turning into China…
    No “need” for googles/doodles/poodles etc..
    Heil PAST!!!
    And as the NEO FASCIST leader told the press the other day:
    ΕΓΕΡΘΗΤΙ , that means ( stand up ) in front of the Flag and be quiet while the “national” anthem is playing..
    Tradition, flags, countries, patriotism, purity, cleanliness, fear of modernism ..
    Bullshit crap, nazi/Taliban/Christian way of thinking..
    Jim please put your helmet on while rising your Harley.. and don’t worry all that much about Instagram taking over the world…

  • Good post Panos!

    aaaannnnndddddd……looking forward to Burn Diary…I think it’s an awesome idea!

    Checking out all the cool links from Eva, Paul, Sam, MW and the rest…..thanks!

  • Recession and austerity fuel suicide in Italy—and the collection agency is exacerbating the situation.

    In late May, Marco Turrini reached his breaking point. Out of work for more than a year and under pressure from tax collectors, the 41-year-old publicity agent picked up his 4-year-old son, Samuele, and 14-month-old daughter, Benedetta, and threw them out of their sixth-floor window in Brescia, near Milan. He then struggled to push his wife to the same fate. She escaped, but he turned to the window and jumped. He died on impact, but his two young children lived for several long minutes while neighbors tried to save them. The story is tragic, but continues to repeat itself in scenes of desperation across Italy.

    Barbie Nadeau on Greece’s election results.

    On the afternoon of May 10, Arcangelo Arpino, a 63-year-old entrepreneur from the suburbs of Naples, walked into the mosaic-laden Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary in Pompeii and knelt to pray in front of a painting of a crowned Madonna and child. Then he walked out to the parking lot, sat on a short stone wall, and shot himself in the head with a 7.65 caliber pistol. In his pocket were three sealed envelopes. One was addressed to the Madonna, asking her to look over his wife and children. Another was a memo explaining the complicated economic state of his Euro Costruzioni construction business. The last was to Equitalia, Italy’s national tax-collection agency, blaming them for pushing him over the edge with repeated threats and relentless tax assessments. “This is a difficult moment for so many people,” said Claudio D’Alessio, the mayor of Pompeii. “The mark of blood on the grass is symbolic of the pain this community and country feel. But there are those responsible for killing him—the national government and the regional government helped kill this man. The citizens are at their limit.”

    Filippo Massellani / Emblema

    On March 28, Giuseppe Campaniello set himself on fire in front of the Equitalia office in Bologna after he received a final notice about the doubling of a fine he could not pay. He died in a burn ward nine days later. He never had the courage to tell his wife, Tiziana Marrone, about their dire financial straits because of a mix of pride and embarrassment, she says. Marrone found his poignant suicide note: “Dear love, I am here crying. This morning I left a bit early, I wanted to wake you, say goodbye, but you were sleeping so well I was afraid to wake you. Today is an ugly day. I ask forgiveness from everyone … A kiss to you all. I love you, Giuseppe.”

    Turrini, Arpino, and Campaniello are three of more than 80 Italians whose suicides and deaths can be linked to austerity measures since the beginning of the year. Marrone managed to form a group of the grieving widows of suicide victims dubbed “white widows” by the press. Their first march was in Bologna; they walked from the charred sidewalk where Campaniello set himself alight to the burn ward where he died. They waved white flags to symbolize their surrender and many carried their husbands’ suicide notes. Marrone plans to stage marches in Rome and in the poorer southern regions of the country as the situation gets worse. “There is no way to find closure when your husband takes his life because he can’t afford to support his family,” Marrone told Newsweek. “I cannot even bear to think how desperate he must have felt to end it that way.” Her aim is to build a network of suicide victims’ family members and to call attention to the plight of Italy’s new poor.

    Many more have killed themselves in Greece, which once boasted the lowest suicide rate in Europe. There, 1,727 people have killed themselves (or attempted to do so) following the financial strains of the austerity measures since 2009. The ghastly trend is on the rise in Spain, too, where the unemployment rate for people under 25 years old is now more than 50 percent, which helps explain why that age group has the fastest-growing suicide rate in that country. In Ireland, which has been in recession since 2009, deliberate self-harm rates have doubled since the crisis began. In the countries most affected by the euro-zone crisis, depression is on the rise and suicides are spreading.

  • Reading D’agata interview from the link here and read what seems very fitting for now:

    “… I don’t believe in photography as art or a job or anything. I think of photography as a language and I think a language should be used to speak, to say what you have to say. So the only things I have to say about my life and what I know about the world, is the way I see it. So, it’s not about photography … I think people should just use photography to say things and not just photography for the sake of photography … the world is full of talented photographers. The problem is just so many of them just don’t know what to say, they think life is one thing and photography is another but they don’t realise that photography is just a way to reflect what you are.”

    I remember Paul posting part of this quote before…it seems appropriate to post it again.

  • To ALL
    EURO “LEADERS” / technocrats / super thugs:

    “Cood morning” and a BIG , FAT F$$K YOU”
    Middle fingers up in the air.. YOU won this time, Fear tactics and blackmail the POOR , THE DESPERATE , the JOBLESS, the HOMELESS, but it’s temporary..
    FASCISM ON THE RISE AGAIN, this time the REAL FASCISTS/ TERRORISTS are wearing suits and ties getting elected, sitting in Parliaments all over Europe and USA of course..

    Obama worried about his re election.. Now that they shot Greece point blank he has another great chance to stay in that Casa Blanca… Of course he will need to tell us Anericans the TRUTH about the huge ANERICAN DEBT.. But not now.. Too early ..
    Only afterwards…
    People , ARTISTS .. Wake up please !
    Wake the f$$k up damn it…
    Art is our ONLY WEAPON AGAINST THE new world “banking” system..
    Art is what I “preach”

  • Carlo..
    Perfect D’Agata quote..
    I’ll rephrase it: it’s not about photography, it’s about HAVING “something” to say..
    We have enough BUTTON PUSHERS ( self called photogs, simply coz they can use a 5D or able to develop a tri-x in a darkroom they are self proclaimed “artists” )
    The world is full of them but what the art world and world in general lacking
    is real artists like D’Agata/DAH/Dali/Picasso etc..
    Camera operators everywhere, taxi drivers everywhere but only a dozen of those drivers can win or even handle a Formula 1 Grand Prix…
    Many Jo smoes but only one AYRTON SENNA ..

  • Panos, my problem with Instagram is not its “newness” or “cuttingedgeness” but the fact that photos published through Instagram benefit no one but Facebook. It’s hard for me to understand why someone like David who feels ownership of ones images is so critical would embrace Instagram, which is primarily a huge copyright grab, adding value to Facebook, but returning nothing to the photographer.

  • Although decisions like this are always subject to change, right now I have decided not to use Instagram, so if that is a requirement for Burn Diary, I won’t be participating. Although I appreciate Jim’s concern that Instagram users are functionally little more than shills (e.g. I’m told (many times a day) that Panos “Likes” Amazon) for a mega corporation, that has nothing to do with my reasons for opting out. After all, these days we’re all just carrying water for mega corporations one way or another. No, I just figure that if I see something that I want to photograph, I want to photograph it in such a way that it communicates something of my vision, and I don’t see Instagram doing that. What I see Instagram doing is making everyone look superficially interesting but pretty much the same, which is another reason I choose to keep processing my own photos. Taking throw-away pictures that look at least something like everyone else’s is fine for someone with David’s body of work, but from where I’m walking, that’s not something I want said about me.

  • Smiling to ALL…
    Funny how I ended up being the Insta/protector here..
    Really though I don’t know I still NOT feel threatened , at all..
    I don’t feel any paranoia either.. Why? Well maybe my photos suck so much that nobody will steal them..
    Maybe simply that’s what it is.. Whatever I “own” is in my heart and can’t be stolen.
    Im really naive, I just want to have fun, share with the world and friends too..
    And although IM NOT A LAWYER . I still know ( common
    Sense ) that the copyright is MINE anywhere and everywhere as long as I didn’t signed a waiver paper ..
    My photos are mine until I say so..
    Now THEFT, piracy happens.. It’s part of life..
    People can rob me anytime walking down the street..
    Jim and MW,
    If I follow your LEGIT (no sarcasm) FEARS, then I’ll never walk in the streets again,
    And guess what, LOLA ( my doggie ) will hate me for life..
    And nobody but nobody upsets Lola..
    See those fangs???

  • http://instagr.am/p/L8kmVLBrXE/

    Lola said ( don’t worry mr naive Greek panos , I’ll protect your copyright, now let’s go for a walk …she said )

    But what if thugs take my wallet I asked her back..
    Well your wallet is EMPTY anyways she responded…
    love you all..

    Buddha once said about fear of losing ones possessions that… Ahh forget it..
    Ahh forget what Buddha said , nobody is listening anyways
    All go out shoot photos , walk your dog and if u feel like locking your “valuables” in a closet so be it
    ( just make sure you walk that dog twice, daily )
    One love

  • Hey Panos, you can do what you like. I’m not judging you or anyone else in this matter. I just choose a different road. Fear has nothing to do with it. And I have it from a Tibetan monk that Buddha would approve.

  • What about the fact that most imstagramspam is just BANAL!
    OMG! theres someone at the door! snap
    LOOK! New shoes. snap
    LOL I just had a shit..bought some curtains…ran a cat over.took my fucking mutt out for a walk. snap snap snap snap…on and on and on.

    It like saying LOOK! LOOK! MY LIFE MATTERS!
    ISNT IT A GREAT LIFE? …Tell me its a great life…..please? please tell me It matters..that I matter……I must matter because i do things and show them to you…mustnt I?

  • And anyway, even if I was inclined to judge people using Instagram, why should I bother when Gladdy’s around to handle it?

  • except of course that you just judged me.

  • you just judged me.

    I don’t see how you got that from my little quip. It’s true though. I judged you funny. You’re writing anyway.

  • Pqnos,

    Try not to smother that “new” thing by embracing it too hard…
    (to be perceived as a joke… or not… up to you…)

    On a different note…
    having decided to do the pre-press for my second book by myself, i’ve been knee deep in duotone curves and the rest of the hoopla the last couple weeks… there’s a 50/50 chance I might screw the whole thing up… no real way to properly proof duotones, so will only find out at the printing press… a bit too late though… fingers crossed… and… boldly going where many have gone before… cheers

  • Thodoris. Have you found a press that knows how to handle duotones?
    Are you doing the dcs.2 channel seperations yourself?
    Interested as I have a project I wish to offset print as quadtones but am wary of taking to a press that is unfamiliar with it. scary stuff if it messes up.

    Michael. Its cool. We all judge all the time. Almost impossible not to. I just like to be upfront that I do.

  • Jim… All
    From Instagr.am’s terms:

    “Proprietary Rights in Content on Instagram
    Instagram does NOT claim ANY ownership rights in the text, files, images, photos, video, sounds, musical works, works of authorship, applications, or any other materials (collectively, “Content”) that you post on or through the Instagram Services.”

    That’s not a rights grab.

    And if you truely think about the images… Are any of them SO great they will ever be seen as iconic or world moving that anyone should worry about what it says next? I should think not. In times of importance – a real photographer (not the average street button pusher) will reach for their camera. A cellphone is last resort and I doubt they will use instagram to flub up the image and make it look “filmy.”

    “…By displaying or publishing (“posting”) any Content on or through the Instagram Services, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, worldwide, limited license to use, modify, delete from, add to, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and translate such Content, including without limitation distributing part or all of the Site in any media formats through any media channels, except Content not shared publicly (“private”) will not be distributed outside the Instagram Services.”

    I don’t think you have anything to worry about.

  • John,

    For the first book, I hired a firm in Athens with experience in duotones who were very cool in letting me in on the whole process (of course, observing how something is done does not make one an expert in doing it…)
    I only know (some of) the things those guys taught me, so for the separations I use a manual method in PS (not the image—mode—duotone)… know nothing about quadtones, nor dcs.2
    The way I’m doing it, I prepare the duotone files in PS, save them as psd, place them in Indesign, and export a pdf file from there…
    The printer I’ll use this time around (in vast contrast with the one who printed the first book) does not have experience with duotones, so everything is on me… hence the crossing of fingers… cheers

  • The thought of your first book still gives me agita, Thodoris. I know it shouldn’t but it does, anyway. When I think that the model I was looking for was on the lampstand at the head of my bed it makes me want to shoot someone else’s foot off with a shotgun.

  • Akaki,

    Sorry man, I didn’t get the reference… but then again I learnt what agita means, so all is good… and if you ever change your mind, there’s always a copy here with your name on…
    ok… back to the dungeons now… cheers all

  • Thodoris and John Gladdy…

    Is it true that quadtone printing creates better prints than doutone or are they just separate ways of printing.

  • Instagram is a way of practicing in my free time when I’m at work or just too busy with other dutys at home. Keeps my creative juices warm because if I take a day off without thinking or looking creatively I grow “stiff”.

  • Is it possible to post to Instagram without owning an iphone?

  • Gordon, you can use almost any smart phone… It’s a phone only software – Android and iOS only

  • After my little back and forth with Gladdy earlier, I went out on an errand and ended up shooting a photo project. I spent somewhere between 3 to 5 minutes on it, no more than if I were doing Instagram or the like. Then when I got home I spent about 10 minutes figuring out how I wanted to develop the photos. Then it took a few minutes to batch and upload. I’m pretty sure these are images I can sell if I get up the gumption. Had I just been goofing on the iPhone with Instagram, I’d have nothing. That’s what I don’t understand about Instagram and the like. If you’re carrying around a walk-about camera like a Fuji or micro four thirds or even an iPhone, why would’t you want to take any shot seriously and process it yourself? Don’t mean to be judgmental. I just don’t get it.

  • maybe I’m getting this completely wrong, but to my understanding BurnDiary is a thing of its own.
    No Instagram required.
    One picture per day per user. Simple. Easy. Like-Button to show, if you like a picture.
    you can upload your snaps or your complexly constructed pictures.
    loose or tight.
    just let go, speak with your pictures.


    is it a question of device, or mindset about a device, what you’ll create?

  • Thomas, the way I understand this discussion, it’s about processing. Programs like Instagram and Hipstamatic use templates to process photos. I prefer to process each image separately to represent what I saw when I took the picture. Or what I see when editing it. Bottom line, what I see. Not that devices aren’t important, but that’s not what I’m talking about in this thread.

  • It like saying LOOK! LOOK! MY LIFE MATTERS!
    John sorry to tell u but YES.. Yes indeed : MY LIFE DOES MATTER…
    Smiling.. Should I feel guilty on this one… Smiling…
    Hell yeah it does matter…!!!

  • The way I understand the diary is this will not be for everyone… Everyone can enjoy it, it’s something fun to get more interaction. I don’t know about you – but I’ll bet many of us have our own sites and they’re not getting as many hits a day that Burn is. This is a way to get your work, whether it be serious finished creations or the “sketches” made on a daily basis, seen by a wide range of sophisticated people. It’s nice to see how people think – unfortunately unless there is some sort of instructional base that accompanies it, those who are aiming for a deeper understanding and wish to continue reaching for the stars will just continue to make mediocre work…

    Thats the funny thing about instruction too – it gets you into a mindset where your work starts to look like someone else’s… It can be hard to find yourself again and take the knowledge you’ve learned to grow your eye and mind. It sometimes feels like you’re abandoning something, or betraying your teacher/mentor, when you let go of that “borrowed look” to find your own…

  • bugger ( a Kiwi expression) the intsagram/kissagram get a 808 and take real pitchas ………….ps all that copyright stuff is bullshit people pull all sorts of stuff from the net.

    If wwwdot citizen pulls one of your images there is a whinge or two but no real action ……. but if Coca Cola pulls the same image it is a new ball game suddenly!!!, for the creator it becomes a great photograph and tagged with $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. Yep greed comes into the frame and image content no longer matters

  • Jason
    Thanks for explaining.. Can’t u see though that nobody is listening…???
    Plus we had the exact same conversation a month ago.. Tired repeating myself but thanks for clarifying anyway.. It’s getting boring after a while…

  • Thomas you are right of course.. Another proof that (almost) nobody listening nor reading ..sad but I’m used to it by now .. Thanks again for re re re clarifying :$

  • Can’t u see though that nobody is listening…??? jeez I thought you were presenting your argument via text Panos…..maybe I will turn the sound up on on my computer amd listen carefully

  • Panos nobody is denying your privileges with intagrams etc some are just stating they are not interested. Personally I will pass on that daily photo stuff ………a daily morning crap is of greater benefit to my system

  • 100 years ago everyone hated Leica 35mm .. All the Ansel Adams purists were like ” oh my god who needs a tiny negative”

    100 years later same crap :”oh my god who needs a tiny phone?”

    naysayers will never change… It’s almost a profession and I’m glad some do it so professionally ..
    I’m amused by all that.. Go ahead, keep trashing all that stuff that your kids will soon be using ..

    “your sons and your daughters are beyond your command , coz the Times they are A Changing”
    bob dylan

    Keep on bashing on … but why so angry???

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