Free beer, no sorry, free portfolio reviews…

It is past midnight.. It is late and it smells late..I leave for France in the afternoon tomorrow…I have not packed, nor have I ever learned to pack for any trip in all these years. Always get it wrong. Working on it. I am headed for four days of Magnum meeting followed by four days of Les Rencontres d’Arles arguably one of the most important international photography assemblages. After days of biz meeting with Magnum I am sure many would cut both ears off instead of one as did VanGogh in this fair charming south of France town.

Yet I always go. Never missed an annual gathering of the tribe since 1993 when I became a Magnum nominee and forever changed my life. I have already been to two photo fests this spring, am burned out on the social scene, and would not go to one now were Magnum not meeting on this 65th year in this historic Arles. The vibes in Arles buzz in way as in no other place.

My little book from 1967, Tell It Like It Is,  gets its two minutes of fame along with 10 other Magnum photographers who are participating on a presentation called “First Time”. Addressing the evening audience on July 3 with their first work, their first important work. The work that took them forward. For me this is bracketed with my recent Rio novella (based on a true story) entering the prestigious Library Actes Sud and a book signing at Les Rencontres. So my “first time” and my most recent. All the while surrounded by terrific exhibitions and evening presentations.

Burn will also have a stand where we will do free (buy me a beer) portfolio reviews. “We” being the entire Burn staff: Anton Kusters, Diego Orlando, Eva-Maria Kunz, Candy Pilar Godoy and Claudia Paladini. I do not think we have EVER had all of us together in one place. We work by remote control. By Skype. By text message (should be illegal) and by brain debilitating email. Fate has brought us all together. We are electric. On fire. BurnMagazine, BurnBooks, and BurnUniversity are all happening. Details on all will follow after the Burn gang meets after the Magnum meeting.

It all blends anyway. Magnum’s new website may unleash a whole new Magnum. For sure exciting times. Times to reinvent, times to invent, times to push push the proverbial envelope just as far as we can without losing the thing Magnum members care about the most. A place in history. A seat at the table. Burn seeks to help find new talent and celebrate the icons who may be a beacon for those forging ahead with oftentimes a wrinkled map.

If you are anywhere near the south of France June 3-8 please stop by. If you are on the other side of the world and have a lot of miles to cash in, now is the time. Everyone in this Burn audience knows well they have input in what goes on around here. Either with their voice or their pictures. Burn eliminates a lot of excuses. If you have something to say, you can say it right here and you are reaching an impressive cross section of our craft. Both the photographers and the editors and a lot of well versed serious photographer who choose photography as an avocation, rather than as a business.

I only write tonight and rambled this long to avoid the inevitable packing I must do. So let me get to it. Wishing all of you a pleasant morning/evening and ask you to stay tuned as I report from Arles in the week upcoming to flow alongside our EPF finalists.



Williston, North Dakota, from the Magnum project Looking For America, May 2012


335 Responses to “Free beer, no sorry, free portfolio reviews…”

  • Travel Safe. What are these meetings like?


    intense…the first day all we do is look at new work…from those who are applying to Magnum…the screening process has already been going on for several weeks with discussions among all photographers to see if any will even be voted on…each office, New York, Paris, London, Tokyo can put up none, one, two, or three candidates who will then be discussed at length, their work viewed, and a closed vote taken…this is the heart of Magnum….the other three days are pretty much straight business…looking at archive sales, assignments, print sales and all the ways that Magnum might earn income to survive as the business that it is….they are exhausting meetings….some of the meetings are closed, with member photographers only, and others include our staff, those who work so hard in our behalf….all in all for sure damned important and fascinating..sometimes, as legend has it, feathers do get ruffled…strong willed photographers all, their can be clashes of opinion…but it is all democratic…nothing happens of significance without a democratic vote….and we all know how democracy works…slowly…so gotta love democracy for sure, yet efficiency is hardly a byproduct….yet our policies do come out of it…new group projects are started and a bad idea from the year before might get the axe…of course a great party is always the ender and everyone just tries to figure out how Koudelka can dance the night away……

    cheers, david

  • Travel safe, David and to all others, too.
    Always fun to see the videos of the party on youtube.
    Burnians, please report – I’d like to be there, too – but my work work here, is currently priority.

    I’ll follow Burn, Instagram, facebook and all else :)

  • Wow, thank you for the lengthy response David. That must be very trying. With so many various brilliant minds in the same room with a wide degree of backgrounds among them, one must be quite strong in opinion or will for their opinions to be heard and considered in such a democracy. Have a safe trip and thanks again!

  • It all sounds amazing. Electric, on fire, someone in the world shares my packing disabilities, free portfolio reviews. I’d definitely buy you a beer. Bon voyage, David!

  • If you are anywhere near the south of France June 3-8

    July 3-8!

    PS: Going anywhere near Paris, David?

  • HERVE…

    i am in Paris one night in and one night out…train to Arles….you?

  • I don’t think Metro-North gives frequent flyer miles and I haven’t been using them often enough to rate a frequent flyer mile if they did. I could drive, but I don’t think my car could handle that last left turn at Montauk, and I don’t swim. Ah well, such is life, I guess.

  • ahhh…if only the world was as small as it is in cyberspace….
    Safe travels!
    I’ll be tuning in to your and the others instagram feeds plus here too of course.

  • Not going to Arles, David. I assume the day in Paris will be all busy and work, but in case there is some kind of get together around a few beers, would love to bear-hug (it’s been a while). I’ll check again this page or send a quickie in my FB message box, or at the usual

    Safe flying!

  • Safe travels and constructive meetings, DAH (and BURN team!)

    I have been trying to meet up with Audrey in Arles since all of us went to Perpignan. Has not happened yet. Hopefully next year, though. With new work in tow!

    BTW, totally LOVE the Rio book.
    I think I’ll move back there.

  • Carlo, for those fortunate enough to have money or the right sponsors, the world is practically as small as cyberspace.

    Safe travels David and more fun. One day soon, you must settle down for a few weeks or you will drive me insane, if not yourself. What a highly charged, energetic, yet maddening pace you have been on! I don’t think I have ever witnessed anything quite like it before.

    It would help a lot if one of your cats could travel with you, but I know how cats tend to be about traveling, so I suppose this is out of the question. Yet, I understand there are plenty of good cats in France, so be certain to pause now and then, let one jump onto your lap, and give it a good tousle and scritch.

  • I want to participate, I’ll be there between 3 and 9! How can I guarantee to participate?
    Have a nice trip!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    First we take Charlotsville then we take Arles…

    Go BURNIANS…!!!

    Safe travels Amigo!…We are crossing waters and we will might
    meet again…terminal A sounds with me:)))

    What not to love! I will be back in my desk in few days,
    got to check my chickens ASAP…!

    May the party continues…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    FROSTY…Thank you for taking good care of my cat up there
    Thank you and all my people up there…!

    LASSAL…always a pleasure to see you around!

    I love you ALL…and thank you ALL!
    I guess beer on you:)

  • Regarding the above photo … of course his shirt was blue.

  • Civi – Your cat is purring, right now. Your Alaskans say, “you’re welcome and thank you!”

  • Maíra..

    The stand and reviews are the village, at the old factory where some of the exhibitions are:

    (based on a true story) signings and portfolio reviews at the BURN stand

    Please come by.. we also appreciate if some can volonteer an hour ir two if their time at the stand! :)

  • I think this is worth discussing further seeing as how it relates to the winner of the EPF. essay
    It seemed in danger of being quietly buried.

    June 26, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    This is but another sad example of a western photojournalist painting an entirely skewed picture of Serbia based on an education chock full of New York Times, BBC and CNN propaganda. The essay shows nothing of what Kosovo has become, a NATO military base. It shows nothing of the remnants of the NATO bombings, it shows nothing of the remnants of over a decade of internationally imposed sanctions.

    What appalled me the most is that Americans are still obsessed with these faux humanitarian crusades and that they continously send back skewed impressions of the world. Mr. Lutton is clearly concerned only with showing off that he went to a place off the beaten path for most Americans, and in turn painted it as a backwards hellhole to make his photos seem more important. The fact that the essay claims to tell story of Serbia in the wake of the the wars that broke apart Yugoslavia is laughable, laughable.

    As an aside, a little googling shows that 4 out of 6 of the jurors are AMERICAN and many with strong links to Nat Geo or Big M.
    Not sure if that is relevent or not , but it did strike me.

    Paul made a really astute comment also when he said
    ‘change the captions and it could be about any previous Eastern Block country.’

    Now does that mean that all east european countries look the same, or that OUR cultural stereotyping of them is?


  • Sorry Eva. Didnt see you there. …dont forget what you are not going to forget :)

  • John Gladdy:

    my reaction exactly to the winner/essay…left me totally disillusioned once again…even though matt is a good guy…and for me, much more revealing about the judges….and superficiality…especially as it applies to Eastern Europe (and the rest of the world) when the young globe trotting photographers carve up their ambition on the backs of their subjects….

    i’m not sure, frankly, journalistic work, generally (at least photographically) ever does more than reflect cliches…thats why i find most of it empty…pretty, but empty….i showed the work to a Kosovo photographer i know….hoped she’d commented, but she did not, alas…

    another reason all these competitions are just silly fodder….


  • John.. won’t stay long, but you, Tom Hyde and Thomas are on my checklist :)

  • John Gladdy…

    What did you think of Danny Wilox Frazier’s essay? Personally it turned out to be my favorite, but didn’t seem even to reach the finals. I wonder if Frazier is standing career wise in “No man’s land” too much experienced and work published to be emerging photographer and just missing that something extra to be one of the big guys?

    “my concerns do parallel yours however…i am more worried that photographers are just not really digging enough….not actually exploring…not actually working…not really living it…the notion that there are “too many photographers” is the most misleading and incorrect notion out there that i hear everyday.”
    Surely David’s word reflect in many ways Frazier’s passion and work…

  • John Gladdy…

    On regards to the EPF winner essay I now honestly can only really remember the intro photo which is so Paolo Pellegrin influenced it’s a bit shocking…

  • Thank you Eva,
    I’ll be there!

  • Yes John it didn’t go down unnoticed this way by a few of us…………….then again I have mentioned the stereotyping lets go out and show the misery of the Eastern Block photography fan boy mentality on several occasions.

  • Nothing wrtong with depicting the Eastern block but very few if any essays here get beyond the first line by the photographer “I want to take this ……” This is a pity or is it just an inability to tell stories. Most people have the act of taking photographs part covered……

  • Imants, I think it’s easy to look at the writing for its face value. However, it should be remembered, writing an artist statement can be a very difficult thing to do. You have to consider your audience; and the majority of the viewers here are photographers, so the natural path is to talk about the common element: Photography. “I am photographing…” “I photographed…” etc etc. Perhaps there needs to be a workshop or post about writing statements! I find it very difficult to write them especially when the work is still in progress. Often a statement is going to talk about the medium in some amount. Statements tend to be fairly short. The longer they get, the more BS they seem to contain. The way I understand them, a statement is not a full back story, so much as it is a brief about the significance of the subject and/or the artist’s agenda.

  • Maybe critiques should be directed towards conceptual understanding and its relation to world and audience rather than the photographic abilities of the essayist.

  • No writing an artists statement is no more difficult than the production of the work. Now if one doesn’t know what they did or were unsuccessful then it is a problem.
    Then maybe the problem is that burn places too much emphasis on work in progress and not enough on work completed

  • In the world that I teach the emphasis is on resolving a concept/subject/idea and completing an artwork musical, dance piece etc not a world of beta testing

    a statement is not a full back story but it has to be about the work

  • majority of the viewers here are photographers, I thought they were communicators as well

  • Should read “a statement is not a full back story, so much as it is a brief about the significance of the subject and/or the artist’s agena” …but it has to be about the work

  • Maybe critiques should be directed towards conceptual understanding and its relation to world and audience rather than the photographic abilities of the essayist.

    Agreed, though I’d say critiques should primarily be directed toward conceptual understanding and the success, or not, of communicating that understanding. Photographic abilities can certainly be used to communicate conceptual understanding and are in many cases relevant on that level, if nowhere else. And of course history/precedent plays a role as well.

    To John’s point, the few times I’ve seen journalists parachute in and do a story on something I’ve had very in depth knowledge about, they’ve botched it pretty badly. Nature of the job, in many ways, but the best manage and the very best transcend and someone doing a project over several years should be traveling on foot not hopping out of airplanes.

    About artist statements, I’ve come to the conclusion that someone else should write them. I’d consider writing one for someone else, but anything I’ve ever been able to write about my own work was twaddle.

  • “About artist statements, I’ve come to the conclusion that someone else should write them”…..thern it is no longer an artist’s statement
    Anyway who better to tell someone what the work is about than the creator, but writing is another learnt thing

  • Maybe the artist’s statement can be replaced with a interview via skype or a series of questions relevant to the essay/work presented

  • or if one is published on burn they are required to answer some commentator questions

  • Right, meant to say introduction. Seems the best work typically has one. I would agree that an interview, or Q&A would work better than an artist statement. I honestly see no good purpose in an artist statement unless it’s something the artist fervently wants to do, and even then it’s probably a mistake.

  • MW, you wrote:

    “To John’s point, the few times I’ve seen journalists parachute in and do a story on something I’ve had very in depth knowledge about, they’ve botched it pretty badly. Nature of the job, in many ways, but the best manage and the very best transcend and someone doing a project over several years should be traveling on foot not hopping out of airplanes.”

    While I don’t disagree with the broad generalization you are making, and clearly the best work is rarely in the “breaking news” genre, I fail to see how this relates to John’s statement. Perhaps I’m missing exactly the statement to which this pertains. If this is in context to the EPF winner, then clearly this does not apply. I’m not trying to be contrary, only to clarify since the implication is inaccurate when speaking of Lutton’s work. Am I missing the point?

  • Some people are photographers and some are wordsmiths, and some are both. I would not dare suggest that an artist statement is as easy as it is to make the work. They are seldom black and white since there is a WIDE range of grey where the writer can lose the reader. You could sound like a complete ass, presumptuous and pretentious. You could come across as naïve or even ignorant. you may know your work – but may not know how to verbalize it or write about it. Or you may just be modest and not want to tell too much and hope the viewer has some sense to discover what needs to be seen.

    As Michael mentioned – some people work a particular subject for a very long time and then out of nowhere another comes along and tries to tell a story from the same material – maybe they’re young or maybe they are just new to the area. For them to write with the same authority as the person with years of experience would be a tremendous task.

  • Tom, that was in reference to the statement by amarinovich that John referenced, which is about the EPF winner. I was, as you note, making broad generalizations, definitely not making any kind of fixed judgement about the Serbia/Kosovo work. I have no idea whether or not amarinovich’s statement makes legitimate points about Lutton’s work or not. I know next to nothing of the region. I think Gladdy’s point was that it merited further discussion. That’s one I’d like to see, but am not qualified to participate in.

  • Jason it is not that difficult to write about one’s work……..

    One should be at the very least be able to explain what it is about, what the intention is, whether it is successful in their eyes etc. These are just basic constructs when one is producing work.

    You would not accept a beta(work in progress) plumbers work and pay why should photography be different? If you want people to pay for your work then it has to be a completed task and the photographer able and willing to explain it to the consumer.
    So one makes mistakes verbalising then correct as them.

  • But the idea isn’t to spell out what the work is about. That’s for the view to discover. So in a sense it is indeed about the work – but minimally at that.

  • Who says spelling it out is a negative…….jeez the news does it everyday
    ….. anyway it is about giving the audience hooks of information to grab onto

  • Well are you looking for a caption or an artist statement then? They are different animals

  • I never mentioned captions I am a just referring to the artist’s statement

  • But in news they are captions. So I am confused. On a gallery wall, and here it seems they are statements.

  • It can be a simple as
    War photographer A.. I tried to capture the pain, the hurt the fear of a 15 year old soldier

    War photographer B.. T I tried to capture a tired old civil war that has been running for 37 years through the eyes of a 15 year old soldier

  • News is not a caption it is a statement long or short

  • MW, okay thanks for the clarification.

    Lutton has spent five years living and working in the region, studied Eastern Europe in college and clearly is a thoughtful and committed photographer, so I didn’t think it fair to lump him in with the “parachuters” and by the same token, I thought Bob’s “globe trotting” hyperbole a bit unfair for the same reason. It seems neither of these characterizations were directed right at Lutton but could be interpreted that way. As for the core of the criticism regarding Western perspectives imposed unfairly through, as Bob notes, the traps of photojournalistic cliche and cultural perspective, I can’t speak. I’ve never been to Eastern Europe.

    But I do question the need to be “fair.” That’s a little ironic since my news writing of old was once called “painfully objective.” But I got better. When I photograph my backyard I’m not trying to be fair. I’m pissed at the destruction needlessly wrought. I focus on the injustice in it, the conflicted feelings I have about it, and while I don’t call it photojournalism, it could be used that way, if not in a NPPA vein which in some ways can be the bigger lie. By the same token, was Martin Parr’s Brighton Beach work (The Last Resort) fair? Obviously not. But then, the photos didn’t lie either. In the work there was a greater truth than any depiction that tried to be “fair” could show. Hmm, likely not a good parallel … to be fair.

    Specifically, amrinovich opines, “The essay shows nothing of what Kosovo has become, a NATO military base. It shows nothing of the remnants of the NATO bombings, it shows nothing of the remnants of over a decade of internationally imposed sanctions.”

    Sounds like a photo essay to me, a real perspective, but I doubt anyone would call it fair, perhaps even “skewed.” I’d like to see it though. Sounds like he, or she, has something to say. Good.

    Further, amrinovich writes, “What appalled me the most is that Americans are still obsessed with these faux humanitarian crusades and that they continously send back skewed impressions of the world.”

    By definition, any personal perception of a place that is done with a voice is going to be skewed, isn’t it? Lutton doesn’t say he is presenting a photojournalistic overview of the region. In the first sentence he writes, “it is my personal response to the confounding atmosphere of the region.” Personal. Response. Atmosphere. That’s pretty up front. Okay, so is this about Lutton’s nation of birth then? Five years living and working in Serbia doesn’t count? Is Lutton on a crusade? I don’t see that. Is America on a crusade? Yeah, well, there’s some ugly truth in that including valid criticism of the religious overtones of “crusade” in American foreign policy and a recent President. But that’s just my opinion. Is amarinovich criticizing Lutton’s work, or the fact that he is American? Guilt by nationality?

    Are there valid criticisms of western perspectives, and American perspectives specifically, clouding the vision of photographers? I think so. Do western photographers fall into the trap of making photos they expect? Probably. And yet, this is great work with a personal perspective from someone who has studied it and lived it and actually seems to care. Not a parachuter, or a globe trotter, or a breaking news only kind of journalist.

    The anonymous poster amrinovich concludes, “Mr. Lutton is clearly concerned only with showing off that he went to a place off the beaten path for most Americans, and in turn painted it as a backwards hellhole to make his photos seem more important. The fact that the essay claims to tell story of Serbia in the wake of the the wars that broke apart Yugoslavia is laughable, laughable.”

    You know, I didn’t come away with the perspective after viewing the essay that Serbia is a “backwards hellhole.” While the visual style of the work is dark, the subject matter is certainly not all “hell.” Perhaps the reviewer of the work is confusing the dark visual tones with subject matter. And, the essay does not claim to tell THE story of Serbia in the wake of the wars following Yugoslavia’s collapse, it only claims to tell A story, and a personal one at that.

    Lutton wrote, “There are many elements that contribute to a hostile and sometimes desperate atmosphere in Serbia today. But there too are moments that show healing and a glimpse at a different future than many have seen for themselves in the last decade.”

    I did see both of those presented, actually.

    Too, there is the imperative to make interesting photos and that just doesn’t happen all the time. I mean, should there be more sunsets in the work? Pretty pictures? Gaping bomb craters, or as the reviewer wishes, should there be photos of “the remnants of the NATO bombings”? But wait, wouldn’t that just reinforce the “hell hole” vision for which he, or she, is criticizing the essay. That’s a bit contradictory, isn’t it? Even, propagandistic?

    I often have issues with criticisms like this which, more often than not, seem based on what the reviewer wants to see instead of a personal critique of the personal vision presented, or perhaps, are based on a projection and confusion of the questionable policies of a nation with the motives of its individual citizens. The next steps in this line of thinking start running toward the belief that only native photographers should photograph their own land, or that somehow, bizarrely, Larry Towell is somehow an asshole for wanting to bring his unique perspective to Afghanistan. But then, what the fuck do I know. I’m an American. Sorry. But I didn’t vote for that last asshole, I have serious disagreements with national policy, I hate corporate global hegemony, and I promise not to hate you because of your nationality if you won’t hate me because of mine (actually, I won’t hate you even if you hate me). Oh, and I am definitely not the same Thomas Hyde who was an executive at Walmart, or the dude on model mayhem. Really.

    Look, I’m not trying to “win” here. I’m not pointing at anyone and saying “you’re wrong.” I’m open to being wrong myself. I’m thinking out loud (at my peril), asking questions and, as I do more than anything else, chewing on it. The basic questions raised are good ones I think, especially in the context, at least for me, of the broader changes in journalism and photography.


    I think that may well be the single best… and I mean “best” in every way… comment I have ever read on BURN or Road Trips… thanks for your thoughtfulness, your eloquence, and your candor.


  • I was just about to write pretty much what Sydney has just written, but I will write it anyway; probably the most thought out, lucid and intelligent reply to a question I have read on Burn. Gives much to think over. I do hope that Amrinnovich will able to respond/rebut, and that others also have some constructive input to offer.

  • Will 3rd the nomination of Tom’s reply as one of the best/most lucid/well-balanced to grace the way it….:))))…Sidney: ‘the best ever’…THAT kind of hyperbole is starting to smack ridiculously close to the purple-haze hyperbole of one bob black ;))…

    my contention with Matt’s essay, in fact, is not about Matt’s work at all (like his work much) nore the specific essay (like it too, photographically, visually) as well. Moreover, Matt (from what i know from his background and encounters via this silly web world) is committed to the place and has both a historical interested and a studied education that was deepened by his committment and time spent there. So, yes my hyperbole wasn’t directed toward Matt/the specific of matt’s essay etc (though as usual, i jump in write and saunter off of late, oweing to time constraints and i havent had internet service had home now since my wife and i split up 5 months ago, so i only jump in occassionally now). My remark had to do with the tendency of a certain group of photographers (defined by the historical influence of NG and refined in the age of both the war reporter that extended to the class of world-traveling journalists)to define credibility and maturing as requiring a stint abroad, in a war zone, in a nation troubled, in a arena whose language/culture is alien, whose story seems hard hitting (war/sex/prostitution/drugs/addled youth/political revolution, the check list goes on) in order to offer a training ground for the ‘real’ documentary photographer. Those whove been around the block (and whove been to photofests) need not require more to udnerstand that this is not hyperbole but a truism of a certain generation of the profession that often does bestow that same philosophy upon younger photographers. This is NOT to say that going off to a corner of the world that excites and inspires and challenges is somehow much presumptuous than shooting in your neck of the woods or vice verse. Far be it from me to tell somehow what/where/how they should shoot, how they should gather their stories, how they should mark the days and ways of their lives. Seek out and chew upon the stories that inspire you and commit yourself to them, thats all that matters to me. Matt seems not only committed by inspired by the region and that’s a wonderful thing indeed.

    my mark is that, i (truthfully) long for stories that not reveal place but reveal the story teller’s relationship to that place, be it as other or be it as member. And I also tire too of stories by young westerners about, well, places other than their own lives/backyards. Look at Perpignan for example. The year that Sergie Maximishin book was published about his life work in russia, barely a beep, but how many other western photographers work on russia/post-soviet era were heralded? I’ve seen the same with former Yugoslavia…with africa…often with Asia too. To point now where i hunger and look for stories about N.America by photographers who are not from N.America…they’re out there…but so much harder to find. Isn’t there an oddity about this…it has nothing to do with what work is better/more authentic…but about not only an imbalance, but an imbalance in the stories that get shoveled up….that is all i’m saying…

    i remember what i loved about john gaddy’s work (and i had know idea who he was before he popped up here) was that it was committed to his life, to those around him…i found that not only honorable, but just simply rewarding (as a viewer)…even if not everything knocked me out, i felt that i was there with the story not as jaded viewer but as someone falling the rabbit down the hole….this isn’t to say shooting stories in other places don’t yied extraordinary results…jacob sobol’s book on tokyo is glorious, just to sight a magnum cat…same with Larry T’s work on middle east, central america…shit, susan m’s work on central america (the wars that politicized me) is my main visual reference……maybe its about what i feel seems to be what is expected….what is tossed aside as the right way to go….i struggled on this with michael brown’s essay on E. Russia, great great work, but it seemed way too empty and too much like NG done by a young photographer with a brilliant eye…

    maybe its simpler that this. Maybe it is about. Maybe i have just wearied of that part of my life that is defined by friends who go off around the world to make stories…y9oung photographers, often nyc-based, or paris-based….and go to the same festivals, are all swarming the same places and exchange skype chats and then apply for the same awards and same grants and it just has become tedious…the process…and the value…

    i’m waiting for the young girl who grew up in Iraq to show me her work/story….the boy’s in eastern europe who crew up both in the clubs and the craters….or the person, regardless of place or character, who is open enough to share their life with me instead of making pretty pictures of the lives of others….

    as i wrote Sidney long ago, it is never about what one does with their life (or where they are from) that matters but how one negiotates what life has done to them and through that expression and story comes the webwork that joins us all…

    and like tom, i don’t care where someone comes from, only about who they have become and how that enjoins….

    and tom, u sure you aint a inheritor from Arkansas ;)))))

    running to a photo show for Boreal as i type this…so, that’s just to clarify my quick comment…

    running, literally

    in photography that laudits the notion of telling stories elsewhere rather than focusing on stories

  • and i have not idea where that unfinished sentence under my initial ‘b’ came from…Araky IRL or deus ex machina?…:)

  • AKAKY IRL: What the hell is a laudit?
    AKAKY: Beats the hell out of me.
    AKAKY IRL: Have you been leaving spare sentences around?
    AKAKY: No, just the car keys.
    AKAKY IRL: And who the hell is deus ex machina?
    AKAKY: It’s either Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. I think it depends on who you talk to.

  • I’m going to go silent and disappear for awhile. In fact I’m going to try exactly 1 month totally isolated from all Internet, magazines and email. Been thinking this since I was in Paris sitting listening to John Gladdy’s wise words. I’ll include all photobooks and novels in this self imposed isolation, although I think I’ll finish Suttree- I’m enjoying it too much.
    I need to find myself photographically, something I’ve tried over and over again but I get easily distracted by this beautiful Burn and it’s daily residents photos and lovely words. I’m desperate to tell a story with my images and I know it’s somewhere standing right in front of my nose. I want something that’s mine, my voice, my story. Maybe it won’t work and I may miss a load of fun especially round here and probably on Instagram and a couple of other sites. But I’m going to give it a try. I realized last night that I’m not at all comfortable criticizing someone’s hard earned photo essay when I personally can’t gather two of my own photos into a story to save my life…
    So see you all very soon in August :))!!!!

  • Paul,

    Sounds like something WORTH pursuing.
    Wishing you all the best.

    And I have to agree with what some have said already….Tom Hyde…that post was amazing and so well written.
    I too hope to hear from amrinovich.

  • PAUL. If I did indeed utter any wise words(unlikely),my defense is that I was very gloriously drunk at the time and that any utterances I may have made under the influence should be taken with a pinch of salt (and a large Tequila ,obviously).

  • The biggest trap to these western so called photojournalists is their insistence of elevating the image above all else. When image becomes king the balanced perspective is skewered.
    Most unfortunately are lousy storytellers but great photographers, then again good visual storytellers are far and few between.

  • Paul don’t play the “I need to find myself photographically” game it spends too much time with”myself” and that becomes pretty non productive. Start and work at one project at a time have the pleasure of completing one and the excitement of starting a new one.

  • Damnit, Paul!

    I support you in your idea but you are going too soon. If you have not already gone, wait until Saturday, or late Friday. Tomorrow, I will need your mental support and good will, along with that of those others who come here and have proven themselves friends. I don’t want to say anything about it right now, but it will become clear tomorrow.

    If you are already gone or go before then, then good luck and I hope you succeed and do something great.

  • Tom Hyde – you think out loud very well.

  • “the photos didn’t lie either” Photographs do nothing they are just that photographs they are incapable of making breakfast let alone lie

  • Gotta hand it to Sergie he had a wicked sense of humor and knows how to visually keep a lid on it. Love those oddities coupled with everyday experiences he manages to combine in one image. He is the type of photographer one would love to hear as a bedtime storyteller……….. drifting off into a world of wonder

  • Bob; I love that work by Sergey. As usual you keep opening my eyes to new work. His work certainly makes a change from the dreaded: “man/woman/boy/girl sitting mournfully on the bed with a sad expression on the face” Eastern European stereotype images that proliferate nowadays….

  • Frostfrog…

    Just came in here quickly just a quick look around before starting my silent retreat and saw your comment… No worries I’ll wait till Sunday, sounds very interesting :)).

  • Sidney, John and Bob. Thanks. And Bob, good thoughts as always. I do understand, stuck here, as it were, in my own backyard. If I could, no doubt I’d be a jet setter, for awhile, until the emptiness consumed me and I returned. Here. Or maybe, there.

  • Imants…

    I’m dying to discover a story that will inspire me to begin and enjoy working on and if all goes well perhaps even finish. Not just go out searching for an interesting picture which has absolutely nothing to do with the previous image.

  • Paul…

    You know Anders Petersen, right? Yes, I know you do.. what do his pictures have to do one with the other? Except for Café Lehmitz?

  • Bursa Photo Fest: BOOK DUMMY CONTEST

    Deadline: September 15th, 2012

  • Hi David,

    I just booked a flight to France (am in Bucharest at the moment) but so far have had no luck finding a couch or floor to sleep on from monday through saturday nights, 2-7 July. I’ve sent out couch surfing requests, but any leads would come greatly appreciated. I can pay too, I just need to find a spot and they seem hard to come by in Arles no matter the price!

    Will surely take you up on the beer-portfolio review exchange!

    Best regards,


  • Bill get well soon – I know all too well that stress you’re in over money and medical procedures… I’m glad you found a place to seek peace. When you come back, we should talk!

  • Bill, I hope all went well with the procedure. Hard for too many people to believe our health care system is so horrendous for those 30 million or so without insurance, and many of the rest of us with crappy, expensive insurance that doesn’t cover much of anything. At least you can take heart in the fact that we have so many billionaires. Anyway, best wishes. I know you are loved by many so have to think odds are good that all will work out.

  • BILL

  • MW,
    Unfortunately you are correct!
    Dare to get sick here (US) and …
    Someone needs to write a survival book over here
    about how to survive ( after a visit / procedure to / from the doctor )

  • Bill, listen to Panos. Seriously, it’s an order. Get well soon.

  • Bill, get well soon. All the best to you.


    You are articulating a sentiment which is felt by many these days. It is so often said: “stick close to home and work on projects there.” But still photographers chase the stories far away. It is still the “thing” to do it seems. Getting up every day and falling out of your front (or back) door and photographing what you discover day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. Perhaps that is where a photographer discovers his or her true self in their work.

    Good to see you “around” again. But of course you have been somewhere…


    Justin P

  • This is all a very interesting discussion, but I fail to see why so many feel as if they have to place limiting blinkers on photographic interests. So many photographers make a religious faith of their differentiating approach to the pursuit. Why is that? If there is anything to learn from David’s emerging photographers and the essays published here, it is that there is possible an all-encompassing, all-embracing room to welcome everyone and their respective visions.

    Limiting yourself to the backyard, to colour, to film or natural lighting, can help learn craft quicker than otherwise, so that can be a good thing. Maintaining that limitation however throughout one’s creative voyage sounds dull – sort of like Sunday Service. Creativity comes through connections, and the ease in which we can make those connections. Linking to place, subject, people, metaphor, history…even the neural pathways of your brain set to a new order can give an “Aha” moment, an instant of inspiration.

    Ease up on those prejudicial limitations, and the creativity will enter. Its not a religion.

  • I don’t think there’s anything wrong with shooting outside one’s own back yard. I think it’s a good thing, actually. People should get out of their own back yards and travel the world. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with then showing what they see from the perspective of their own back yard. Often we see things the locals are blind to for having taken them for granted for so long.

    That said, if one is doing any kind of journalism or advocacy work or even semi-fictional type storytelling–pretty much anything outside of purely abstract visual work–then in order to be good it requires a significant amount of education and insight on the part of the photographer (writer, whatever). That’s why I’m always suspicious when a project form some far end of the earth comes back looking like I would expect it to look. Even more so when it conveniently tells the same story the government is telling.

    That’s why I’m open, perhaps too open, to amrinovich’s criticisms of Lutton’s Servia work. In retrospect, from just the fleeting images and news reports I’ve seen over the years, Lutton’s essay showed me pretty much what I expected to see. It did it in unexpectedly artful, visually compelling ways, but content-wise nothing surprised me. On the contrary, it reinforced my underlying, very superficial, prejudices. Of course it’s possible that that’s just the way it is in Serbia/Kosovo and that it would look the same from any cultural perspective. I’m not saying otherwise, just that the question does merit consideration.

    I agree that Tom Hyde does a most excellent job of responding to amrinovich’s points and that his comment is one of the better pieces of writing I’ve seen here. I am torn over the contention that it’s necessarily bad form to criticize an essay for what it’s not. Although I generally agree, I think that when a work could be considered propaganda, then it might be fair game for that kind of criticism. Like Tom, I too would like to see the essay amrinovich suggests about NATO jackboots and bomb craters. Does that have anything to do with Lutton’s essay? If amrinovich was suggesting that Lutton’s work was consistent with NATO propaganda, as I think he was, and if there is any truth to that assertion, then it might be a valid criticism. And of course a big part of it could be that Lutton is showing amrinovich things amrinovich would prefer not to see about his own back yard. I don’t know the answer to those questions. I just think it’s important to ask.

    Again, I think it’s great that people leave their back yards and show their homies what it’s like in some distant land, they just have a responsibility to bury their cultural prejudices and any residual government propaganda before they leave. And I wish more people from those distant lands would travel to our back yards to show what they see.

  • “If you’re your photos are not good enough your heart and soul ain’t good enough”
    Stanley Greene”

    Kapa was wrong .. It’s not about “close enough” it’s about open hearted enough..

    Also, MW..
    Backyard is not also the yard behind the house or one’s town.. We can always bring our own backyard
    and our mirror wherever we go wherever we shoot/ travel..

    We have a lot of GREAT PHOTOGRAPHERS/ a lot of GREAT CAMERA OPERATORS/ a lot of megapixels but what WE DON’T HAVE is enough Artists that have “something/ANYTHING to say”

    Most confuse ART with BEAUTYFICATION and folklor..
    In San Antonio Texas for example I found some of the most folklor Frida immitators self proclaimed artists
    that made the SA River look like a cheap version of Disneyland!!!
    Reason for this tackiness is that they confuse “cute” with “art” in Texas
    Too kitschyyyy

    feel better soon!!!!!!
    healing vibes coming your way from CALIforNIA……
    to you and yours…..

  • In fact Kapa wasn’t “wrong” at all… It’s just people thought he was talking literally about distance although poor Robert was talking about real “closeness”

  • PANOS:

    Good things you are saying. The confusion of “cute” with “art” is not just in Texas. It’s the same here in Norfolk, UK. Go to the coast where the “artsy” people live and there are galleries selling all manner of stuff – paintings, sculptures, photographs etc – all inspired by the local area. Amongst them is the very rare piece with integrity, honesty and passion – made by somebody who is “close enough.” But mostly it is just art for £££££’s sake. But the tourists and holiday home owners come along and buy that stuff up thick and fast.

    Of course there are the exception of photographers who travel to distant lands and do good work. DAH’s Rio book certainly shakes things up. Alex Webb too – he just took his way of seeing along to the lands of hot light. But alongside this there is also a trend in carbon copy photography from conflict zones and other “exotic” places. It is an expense business to go off and photograph places these days. If you are going to do it you might as well make it worthwhile.


  • “We have a lot of GREAT PHOTOGRAPHERS” —> I disagree! with the ‘a lot’ part..

    “a lot of GREAT CAMERA OPERATORS” —> I agree!.. but would even dare to leave out “great” if seen in proportion to how many camera owners are out there…

  • Panos if you think about Capa’s statement not as a physical distance but as a closeness in experiences… It seems to make more sense.

    ALL – This is a bit off topic and perhaps a welcomed break for some… I have a frustration and I’d like to work through it, perhaps some of you can help me.

    I have NO desire to be in business for myself. Yes, it’s supposed to be liberating, but it has also destroyed my family. I grew up with a family in business, and ultimately it ended with the children resenting their parents, the parents being divorced and a lot of hard feelings. I have tried on two separate occasions to run my own businesses, and both times have ended in failure. I have only been mildly successful in marketing toward the retail market – weddings and portraits – and for the most part, the state I live in is known to be fairly conservative. People here like to think photographers are merely pushing a button and not working hard enough to deserve payment. So, with that experience I’ve gone out of business for myself twice having finished few actual paying jobs. I feel as if I am not making art for myself, weddings and portraits are not of any interest to me. I AM only pushing a button – and working too hard to just be pushing a button.

    So that being said – I have a degree in design art and minored in fine art. I have learned how to submit my work to galleries and shows – however finding them is another matter entirely. What I have never learned is to successfully approach and work with NGOs, newspapers, magazines or other media outlets. I haven’t a clue! I have checked out books from the library and have some more on their way. What I see in them is I will spend 98% of my time marketing and being a business and 1% of my time will be shooting. That sounds absolutely awful to me.

    So I think, working with an agency might be my best option. I am very familiar with the reputation of Magnum and their history, but they are highly exclusive. Some of the best have tried and not been accepted in. Robert Frank for example, but perhaps that was due to his disagreement with HCB… I have applied for years, and each year I think my work is better but I generally get the feeling – its not good enough. Magnum shooters these days tend to have that highly polished, nearly commercial look to them. I’m not interested in that look for myself. I prefer the grit and grime of life, I prefer the feel and grace of film… Again – the argument of digital over film comes up in my daily life…
    To be speedy or not…

    I see folks who a year or two after graduating college are traveling the world and shooting in places all over, they may even be a member of some agency too. I feel like I’m light years behind – and trying to catch up and spending too much time doing that than perusing my photographic interests. I have never been graced with much money – Bill and I seem to be in the same boat as it were right now… I’ve had three visits to the ER two of which resulted in surgery and medications – all of which I never had the money for. I was thankful to discover the hospitals had “community care” help for me which eliminated about 99% of my bills. but in the mean time, it’s a G.D. nightmare stressing over these bills that no average person could ever pay out of pocket.

    So back to the topic… I have no business sense. I have limited attention for tax-talk and my mother is an accountant. She’s never had the time to help me understand any of it so I’m left with a creative mind and no sense to do something professionally with it. I am flat out tired of being so far behind all of the time. I have never known success, and I’d like to have one success once just to know I’ve figured it out at least once. Does anyone have any advice or suggestions they can help me with?

    Before I asked that I should disclaim, I live in Wisconsin. If you’re at all up on US news, you should know that Wisconsin is DEAD last, behind all the other 49 states and Washington DC for job growth. In fact it has been pretty much negative in growth this past year. I am currently unemployed, and seeking – almost desperately, to re-start working on a photography project that is in my own backyard: the changing face of U.S. poverty. My state is not very friendly toward small businesses or those looking to start their own businesses. Their taxes are harsh for those who are less fortunate – and they come calling quarterly, and sometimes monthly. I have been threatened with legal action while I was in business for not paying my “estimated tax” on business that the state estimated I should owe. In reality I never had enough business to have any money for them… It was generally at that point I would close the business because they were withholding my tax refunds and threatening steep fines unless I paid.

    Here is a list of things I know VERY little or next to nothing about:
    finding media outlets,
    finding funding to do my work, etc.

    All of these seem to be something an agency would take care of in my stead, and take their cut for. I would be most happiest with a set up like that… but until then, what are your suggestions?

  • Frosty, get better. Please.

  • Anyway, speaking of people named Bill, we have this from the archives. I do have something fresh, but I haven’t typed it up yet, so I fear that you guys are stuck with these leftovers.

    AKAKY IRL: Speaking of people named Bill? The guy’s gotta have a frigging expensive operation he can’t pay for and you’re doing schtick? What the hell kind of moron are you?

    AKAKY: I’m just trying to lighten the mood a little, that’s all.

    AKAKY IRL: With this piece? I don’t think so, bubba. This one ain’t gonna fly.

    It is a fundamental law of science that any relative you haven’t seen in twenty-five years will, and not through any spirit of ill will or personal maliciousness, either, although I’m starting to have my doubts about that, choose a holiday weekend you have plans for to drop dead on. This is as inevitable as the passing of time, the failure of socialism, and not knowing what you call those tips at the ends of your shoelaces. My father did this to our metropolitan relatives a few years ago; he died just before the Fourth of July weekend, thereby causing them all manner of psychic and entomological distress when they traveled here to our happy little burg for the funeral, as they tend to regard almost any form of insect life other than the cockroach as highly suspicious and probably criminal in its intentions—does anyone, after all, really know what those damn crickets are talking about all night long? I didn’t think so. For a group of people as urbanized as my relatives, the shock was almost too much to bear, and although they were very sorry my father was dead, they were nonetheless happy to get into their cars and begin the long trip back to the great metropolis.

    This time my slightly batty Aunt Cathleen was the reason for the trek southwards. Aunt Cathleen was my father’s oldest sister, and therefore you should not, in any way, shape, or form confuse her with my mother’s sister Aunt Cathleen, who died about a year and a half ago, or my other Aunt Cathleen, who is married to my father’s youngest brother Bill and has not died yet; Uncle Bill has suggested she shut up and drop dead on numerous occasions, but Aunt Cathleen appears uninterested in a sudden change in lifestyle at this time. My maternal Aunt Cathleen and my Aunt Cathleen by marriage are or were, my maternal Aunt Cathleen having died, both Irish, as is my mother, but I’ll bet you figured that out already, and were not batty, slightly or otherwise, except in those ways peculiar to the Irish condition. While I would rather my paternal Aunt Cathleen had not passed away at all, especially on a holiday weekend I had plans for, the fact of the matter is that death has done the family a favor of sorts by eliminating the longstanding familial confusion of which Aunt Cathleen we are talking about when we talk about Aunt Cathleen. Clearly, any reference to Aunt Cathleen in the present tense means my second Irish Aunt Cathleen, who is now my only Aunt Cathleen, the other two Aunt Cathleens having moved on to bigger and better things.

    Having solved the mystery of the decedent’s identity, we can move forward to the wake, which is the only part of the festivities I actually attended. I suppose I could have stayed on for the funeral Mass the next day, but that would entail two trips to the city in as many days and I would prefer not doing that; I do not travel well. The wake was very nice, if you can call wakes nice. I suppose some people do; it always seems to me that you can see the same set of old women at every wake you go to, always sitting off to the side and looking at the corpse and whispering to each other while everyone else in the room is studiously ignoring the guest of honor. I don’t know if those old women are there to gloat over outliving the deceased or whether they are there to judge how the undertaker did his job, with how well the deceased looks for someone in their former state of ill health being just one of the many criteria necessary for an absolutely superlative gold medal performance. I have not seen any of those old women hold up scorecards or appear on ESPN yet, but I am pretty sure they are angling for a contract.

    There was the usual polite chit—chat you always get at this sort of thing: how well you look, how was the trip down, how’s your mother doing, how’s everything going with you, it was nice of you to come on such short notice. I agreed modestly with that last point; it was nice of me to come, considering I could pass some of these very same people on the street and not realize that they are my relatives. I went over to the casket and paid my respects; Aunt Cathleen looked about as well as anyone in her condition could look, what with cosmetics slathered on like butter on an English muffin, veins full of embalming fluid, and that odd pink lighting undertakers seem to prefer. I am not sure why they have this type of lighting in funeral parlors at all; I imagine they believe it makes the deceased look more life-like, but it doesn’t really. Aunt Cathleen didn’t look like she was alive or asleep or whatever effect the undertaker was aiming for; she looked like she was auditioning for a spot in the Epcot Center’s American Adventure animatronics exhibition and about to learn that Anna Nicole Smith was getting the part instead.

    Things were going quite well up to this point; the younger generations of my father’s family didn’t know us, we didn’t know them, and so we were all on our best behavior. And then the other relatives showed up, which reminded me of why I usually go out of my way to avoid these people like the plague. Some people showed a certain consistency that you have to admire; my Uncle Paddy (yes, Irish people have uncles named Paddy—this is not a Hollywood invention) was an obnoxious jerk the last time I saw him twenty-five years ago and I am happy to report that time has not softened him in any way: he’s still an obnoxious jerk, the only change being that back in the day he would poke you over and over again with his forefinger to emphasize whatever nonsensical point he was making at the time. He doesn’t do that anymore; now he pokes you with his cane. Uncle Bill and my only Aunt Cathleen showed up as well, bickering about something or other. They used to bicker much more than they do now, and I am certain that anyone outside the family wouldn’t know the difference, but I’ve noticed the slacking off in their ongoing disagreement about everything under the sun. This is the inevitable result of age; sometimes you just can’t keep an argument going no matter how hard you try; and then my uncle is slowly going deaf, although he is not going deaf fast enough to suit him. He could afford a hearing aid, of course, but then he would have to listen to Aunt Cathleen morning, noon, and night, and why on earth would he want to spend good money to do something like that? This is a good question and one for which I could not provide an equally good answer, and even if I could, what good would it do? Uncle Bill couldn’t hear what I was saying anyway.

    In any case, the wake went well; I am not sure how wakes do not go well, as the guest of honor at these affairs is not likely to get drunk, do a striptease, or tell dirty jokes about the other guests, but I am sure it must happen. Not doing well is part of the human condition, as two of my Aunt Cathleens can now verify, as they are not doing very well at all these days. And for those of you interested in such trivia, those plastic or metal tips at the end of your shoelaces are aglets. No, I do not know if anyone from Texas A&M was involved in the discovery of the aglet or whether the word originally meant a coed at that august institution; I just know that’s what the dictionary calls those tips now. Argue with Noah Webster, if you feel the need. He’s dead, too.

  • a civilian-mass audience


    I am back…I was lost and I am found…

    FROSTY…yes,YOU are our BILL
    and you are a Spartian…that means that you are strong and whatever is in you that bothers you
    We cam all help you to kick it out…

    I have some extra virgin olive oil…it’s coming your way…
    Just eat it with whatever you like…
    I have your address.

    Love you FROSTY…whatever you want …feel free …
    Remember, you have my cat to take care and yes,as PANOS said…that’s an order…

    Spread the love BURNIANS…we are ALL ONE…
    I will be back to check you Out…I need a day to recover…
    What not to love!
    …the journey of life is priceless!!!

  • I don’t think it’s got anything to do with backyards or parachuting into Somalia. If you believe your next door neighbor is the horneiest woman alive and you’re obsessed day and night with her as you spy on her from your behind your backyard fence there’s no point in going to Somalia because you were slightly outraged by the latest CNN news clip. You somehow get that neighbor to pose for you whatever it takes and you will probably create the best work you’ve ever shot. That doesn’t mean it is going to be any good because if there ain’t talent it I’ll just be the best load of crap up till now. But t least it will be an honest of load of crap.
    Obsessions and more obsessions. Sacrifices which nobody close to you will probably believe in until you find successes…

  • Justin…

    Have you ever thought of getting just a boring 8 till 5 job? I studied photography 4 years at college but I’ve got a 8 till 5 job. I love live and die for photography, it’s my obsession. But I want to choose what subjects I want to shoot. I’m free, very free. Of course I’d love to be in Arles arguing about who I’m going to nominate as the next Magnum nominee. But first things come first and I will turn 40 next September and theirs a wife and two kids at home…
    Just look straight in the mirror or sit down very quietly on your own and be realistic about your plans, intentions and dreams. Be honest because all dreams can come true very true,but you’ve got to be crazy very crazy in love for that dream. If you believe in it absolutely it will happen.

  • Frostfrog…

    I left a message on your blog wishing you the very very best.
    Right now I’m sure you’re seeing dark black raining clouds floating over your life and that beautiful sunshine is somehow missing. But listen all dark clouds in the end move on and the sun always somehow manages to shine one way or another. However sad, worried and tired you may feel just remember the sun ALWAYS rises with or without us…just be patient.
    35 months ago I really damaged the ligaments in my left foot. 2 years off work,a huge limp, loads ofincreadible of pain, worries and frustration and constantly on crutches. I was told I’d never be able to walk without a limp again and obviously run was out of all my dreams.
    Well last April I began to wake up at 4:30 am as I used when I ran. I’m very stubborn I don’t accept certain things very well. I started trying to run 1 km, when I finally managed this after 5 weeks, all in secret and loads of pain I went for 2 km. Then 3 km, 4 km, 5km, etc, etc. Now I’m up to 10 km running very fast and I’m only 2 minutes off my best runs. I can’t walk properly to save my life I still walk with a very noticeable limp, but I can run with ease and without pain. Why? I don’t know and I don’t really care too much. I love running probably as much as photography because it makes me feel very free.
    So you see, everything which looks awfully bleak right now will probably turn out extremely well. But just think positive and close your eyes and imagine you’re feeling perfect and all is well. Our mind can create magic. It worked for me.

  • As Ted Nugent quite rightly said…

    “Do you want to feel good, or do you want to do good?”

  • AKAKY IRL: I thought we got rid of that asshole permanently.

    AKAKY: Obviously not, dude.

    AKAKY IRL: Damn.

  • Firecracker Photographic Grant

    Deadline: July 22nd, 2012

  • Jason, it is incredibly hard to make a living at photography. Very few people do it. And it gets harder every day. The level of commitment required borders on obsession. If you don’t get up every day thinking about photography and shooting, it’s not for you. You can make better money at just about anything else. The bottom line is, how much are you willing to sacrifice personally to take photos?

    Yes, you have to understand and take care of the business end, but that’s just part of it. You have to work incredibly hard at it. Much harder than most folks are willing to work.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    JIM…I am with YOU…!!!
    and I would love to say though…Whenever there is a vision,there is a way!

    Oime AKAKIUS,oime…did u have to hit the 100?…did u:)))))))))?

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Please,keep repoting…I am still reading older posts…

    you know me…it will take a week to go through everything BUT BUT I love you ALL
    and I want to see your input in regards of your philosophical views about LIFE…

    free beer ? I am in…and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the birthday BURNIANS!

    for our people in USA…be safe…fires and storms…and FROSTYYY…we are next to YOU!
    See PAUL,SIDNEY,JOHNYG and others came back stronger…
    cause once a BURNIAN always a BURNIAN…we are Unbeatable!

    P.S Spain and Italy…soccer is in my blood…VIVAAAAAAAAAA!!!

  • I don’t do this very ofter–actually, I don’t do this at all, now that I think of it–but since it was MW’s idea of it ain’t easy being green in the big city that gave me the idea for the following, it only seems appropriate to say thank you. So thank you, MW.





    Not the previous announcer’s voice: This is the city: Brooklyn, New York. It’s not easy being green here, not in the mean streets of the asphalt jungle. Some people don’t really care about green, some people just don’t care for it. It’s a free country and everyone gets to have an opinion. When the people who don’t like green start acting on their opinions, I go to work. I carry a badge.

    It was Tuesday, July 14th. It was hazy, hot, and humid in the city that never sleeps, primarily because of all the noise and stuff, so hot and humid that even the roaches in my apartment were sweating bullets and swearing at their neighbors. We were working the dayshift out of Brooklyn South Herbicide. The boss is Captain Dan DiLion. My partner’s Bill Burdock. My name’s Ragweed.

    Bill and I were eating our lunches at our desks. It had been a busy day for the Herbicide Squad and we needed to catch up with our paperwork. I had a ham sandwich and coffee. Bill had pizza.

    RAGWEED: Are you really going to eat all of that?

    BURDOCK: Sure thing, Joe. Why do you ask?

    RAGWEED: I don’t know. I was wondering if you could fit any more toppings on that slice, that’s all.

    BURDOCK: Joe, the toppings are what make the pizza so nutritious. Otherwise, all you’d have here is a lot of empty calories.

    RAGWEED: Is there a topping you’ve missed?

    BURDOCK: Not if I could help it. I’ve got green and red peppers, onions, garlic cloves, sausage, cheddar cheese, pepperoni, jalapenos, mortadella, stewed prunes, sagebrush, two hard-boiled eggs, fried gecko, roast beef, mayonnaise, a slice of haggis, and seven fresh anchovies. That’s a complete meal, Joe, no two ways about it.

    RAGWEED: If you say so, Bill.

    BURDOCK: I’m surprised at you, Joe. I’d have thought a bachelor like you would know about this sort of thing. Saves time and energy. You don’t have to waste time cooking an entire meal and dirtying your kitchen. It’s right there for you. Do you want a bite? I have plenty.

    RAGWEED: No thanks…did that anchovy just move?

    BURDOCK: I said the anchovies were fresh, Joe.

    RAGWEED: Yes, you did.

    BURDOCK: You don’t know what you’re missing, Joe, you really don’t.

    RAGWEED: I’ll just have to live with that.

    [A harried looking man comes into the squad room and goes directly to Ragweed’s and Burdock’s desk.]

    HARRIED LOOKING MAN: Bill, Joe, can I talk to you for a moment?

    RAGWEED: Sure, Sam, what can we do for you?

    [RAGWEED’S VOICE: Sergeant Sam Sumac was a fifteen-year veteran of the Herbicide Squad and in those fifteen years he’d seen the worst the city could throw at any cop. Sam was not easily shaken, but he was shaken now.]

    SUMAC: Joe, I’ve got an old woman in Interrogation #3. Pretty bad case.

    RAGWEED: Yeah?

    SUMAC: Yeah. She’s a tough old bird, as tough as they come.

    BURDOCK: What do you have her in for? 714PC?

    SUMAC: Exactly. Arboricide, botanicide, herbicide, it doesn’t get much worse than this. The thing of it is, I’m fifteen years on the job and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone so cold-blooded about it. No pity, no remorse, no nothing. A back yard full of evidence and she acts like there’s nothing wrong.

    RAGWEED: I’ve seen that type before. You’ve got your work cut out for you.

    SUMAC: I know. Joe, I was wondering—

    RAGWEED: Yes?

    SUMAC: Could you take over the questioning for a little while? I need to take a break.

    BURDOCK: She’s getting to you, isn’t she?

    SUMAC: Yeah, I guess so. I know it’s unprofessional but there it is.

    BURDOCK: Those old granny types always do. It makes you wonder how they can live with themselves after what they’ve done. Doesn’t seem to bother them, though.

    SUMAC: That’s about the size of it, Bill.

    RAGWEED: Okay, Sam. Give what you’ve got so far and we’ll see what we can do for you.

    SUMAC: Thanks a lot, Joe. I’ll bring the files right down. [frowns] Did that anchovy just move?

    BURDOCK: It’s fresh.

    SUMAC: I’ll say it is. I’ll be back in a minute. [leaves]

    [RAGWEED’S VOICE: While waiting for Sam to return with his case files, Bill and I finished our lunches. Afterwards, we played table tennis with a hard-boiled egg Bill couldn’t fit on his slice. Bill won the set, three games to two. Sam returned about five minutes later and Bill and I spent the next half hour familiarizing ourselves with the case. It wasn’t pretty; herbicide never is. Gloria Murphy was eighty-three years old and still active for her age. She was a widow and a native of County Galway, Ireland, and had come to this country sometime in the early 1950’s; the reason why she left Ireland was unclear. What was clear was her record. Since immigrating to the United States, Mrs. Murphy had racked up more than a dozen arrests for violating Penal Code Section 714—arboricide, botanicide, and herbicide. Sometime after her arrival in this country, she’d fallen in with garden clubs and other radical specieist organizations. The evidence of her beliefs was in the crime scene photos: pruned tree limbs and pulled up plants in heaps on the ground. And then there were all the sick instruments of specieist torture: hoes, rakes, trowels, and cultivators, among other things. Like I said, it wasn’t pretty.]

    BURDOCK: [shaking his head] I just don’t understand it, Joe, I really don’t. I don’t know how anybody in their right minds gets mixed up in this sort of thing. I just don’t see the attraction.

    RAGWEED: You start small, partner, that’s how it usually starts. Maybe you want to be one of the gang, you don’t want to be a square or a nerd or a goody two-shoes, so you go along with the rest of the kids when they go knocking the seeds off of dandelions. Little things like that, you know, and then it starts getting bigger with cutting hedges or mowing grass and if you don’t get out in time, then brother, you’re stuck. They’ve got you and they know it. Did you see the picture with the bags of potting soil?

    BURDOCK: Yeah. That’s bad stuff.

    RAGWEED: You bet it is. And once they’ve got their hooks into you, you’re in for it, you’re in for the whole, long, sordid trolley ride down to the bottom of the compost heap, and there’s no way to get out or get off, even if you are a nice old Irish lady like Mrs. Murphy.

    BURDOCK: I hear you, Joe, but she’ll be a tough nut to crack. She’s been at it for over fifty years now. She doesn’t think what she’s doing is wrong.

    RAGWEED: Then we’ll have to make her see it, won’t we? [Burdock nods in agreement] Okay, let’s go have a talk with her.

    [RAGWEED’S VOICE: Gloria Murphy was exactly what Bill had said she was: a nice old Irish lady. They’re the worst; they get away with almost anything they want to. It’s the accent, I think; it makes people think they really couldn’t be the monsters they are.]

    RAGWEED: Mrs. Murphy, this is my partner, Officer Burdock. My name’s Ragweed. We’ll be continuing the questioning for Sgt. Sumac.

    MRS. MURPHY: Ah, ‘tis that pleased I am to meet you, officers, but what happened to the other young fellow?

    BURDOCK: Sgt. Sumac had to attend to some personal business, ma’am. He’ll be back a little later.

    MRS. MURPHY: That’s grand, that’s grand, he’s such a nice young man, so he is. I noticed he was very upset when he left. I hope his troubles aren’t as bad as all that.

    RAGWEED: No, ma’am, they’re not. As my partner said, he’ll be back later. Now, Mrs. Murphy, did Sgt. Sumac explain why you are here today?

    MRS. MURPHY: He did, but I could make no sense of what he was saying. All I know for certain is that one of the neighbors came by while I was working in my garden and no sooner than you can say Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, here I am.

    RAGWEED: That’s right, ma’am. Your neighbor reported a 714PC was occurring at your house. We responded accordingly.

    MRS. MURPHY: Ah, she is the little tattletale, isn’t she? I knew that one was trouble from the moment she moved into two years ago. Saints preserve us, she’s a prodigious minder of other people’s business, so she is. I’m surprised you haven’t arrested her years ago, what with the way she invades other people’s privacy. She’s no right to do that, no right at all.

    BURDOCK: Maybe that’s so, Mrs. Murphy, but in this case, she was reporting a crime. That’s not invading anyone’s privacy, that’s a civic duty.

    MRS. MURPHY: Oh, go on with you now. Crime? What crime is that?

    RAGWEED: You know what crime we’re talking about: Section 714 of the Penal Code, the law that says killing plants because you just don’t like them is illegal in this state.

    MRS. MURPHY: [pleadingly] But I was only tending to my rose garden. I have such lovely roses, you know. Have you seen them, Officer Burdock?

    BURDOCK: Yes, ma’am, I’ve seen the pictures. They are lovely. But that doesn’t change anything, you know. You just can’t kill plants you don’t like to get the rose garden you want.

    MRS. MURPHY: But why not? How are you going to get a beautiful rose garden if you can’t get rid of the weeds? Where’s the crime in that?

    RAGWEED: [angrily] Okay, lady, you listen to me and you listen good. I’ve seen more than my share of you fanatical loons over the years and I’m sick of you and your specieist garbage. Tell me something, would you? Who died and elected you God? That’s what I want to know. Who gave you the right to decide which plants have value and get to live while other plants die because you have no use for them? Maybe once upon a time you could do as you please, lady, but that day is over. We live in a new world now, lady, and people like you are going to have to learn to live with it whether you like it or not.

    BURDOCK: Joe, calm down. There’s no need to jack your blood pressure up.

    [Mrs. Murphy starts to cry. She pulls a small afghan out of her pocket and began to dab her eyes with it.]

    RAGWEED: [shouts] Bill, watch out!

    [The small afghan jumps out of Mrs. Murphy’s hand and crashes into the door, exploding a moment later. Mrs. Murphy sprints out the door and down the hall. Captain DiLion rushes out of his office across the hall, his service pistil in his hand.]

    DiLION: [shouting] Check Burdock, Joe. Make sure he’s all right. I’ll get the suspect.[Runs down the hall after Mrs. Murphy.]

    RAGWEED’S VOICE: I went over behind the table. Bill was coughing and trying to get up. He wasn’t doing either one very well.

    RAGWEED: Bill, are you all right?

    BURDOCK: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m fine, Joe. Just some ringing in my ears, is all. Joe, I don’t get it. How did she get that afghan in here?

    RAGWEED: Beats me, partner, but I guess we’ll find out soon enough. She won’t get very far, not at her age.

    BURDOCK: I know. Say, Joe, I still have some of that pizza left. You want to split a slice?

    RAGWEED: No thanks. I’d rather not spend the night drinking bicarbonate of soda, if it’s all the same to you. Here, let me help you up.

    BURDOCK: You don’t know what you’re missing, Joe.

    RAGWEED: I guess I’ll just have to live with that.




    [Inane commercials for a variety of products you neither need nor want follows. Screen fades to a picture of Mrs. Murphy looking helpless and shifty at the same time.]


    [Titles superimpose on Murphy. The titles read:

    “Gloria Murphy is now serving her sentence in the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women.”



    [Credits roll.]

  • so quiet here today….

    started following her in instagram and currently reading her blog. I thought this article was spot on!

  • AKAKY,

    I really, really hope you wrote that extempore piece on herbicide while sitting in your office and on the public’s dime!

    (No need to confirm or deny… heh heh heh).

  • Sorry, Sidney, but something that long I definitely don’t do on the taxpayer’s dime. It would be fun, though. Unfortunately, unlike my unionized confreres in the government biz, the public actually expects me to do something while I am on the clock, even if it is only listening to a vaguely schizophrenic Puerto Rican tell me that he is a Christian and goes to church every Sunday and likes to watch women televangelists on the television at his group home. He also likes to masturbate while watching the lady preachers, which was news I could have lived without and is probably not the reaction the ladies are trying to elicit from the faithful while they preach the Word of God.

  • he is a Christian and goes to church every Sunday and likes to watch women televangelists on the television at his group home. He also likes to masturbate while watching the lady preachers, which was news I could have lived without

  • Panos, do I detect a certain hostility towards the spiritual realm?

  • Slightly, but it’ll pass as I’m getting older they told me…
    I truly believe that most folks eventually become a little “more spiritual” once in a hospital..
    Not joking… I personally got introduced to Buddhism ( back in the days of the movie “7 years in Tibet”)
    in a rehab… Sickness strengthens and “secures” faith…not?

  • It didn’t for me, beyond me praying that the next new drug they put me on would work. And so it does. Enbrel is made from rat protein and seems to work very well and without too many side effects, beyond a overwhelming desire to eat cheese all the time and get into the witness protection program.

  • Pretty cool short documentary about Anthony Vizzari. A vintage camera shop owner and collector:

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Happy 4th of July…

    yeeeew haaaaawwwwww!!!

    Here in Greece…everyday is 4th…oime,I need to have my blood pressure pill…
    tax return is around the corner…
    life is beautiful
    the Spirits are with US!!!

    I love you ALL MY BURNIANS…!!!

    P.S…AKAKY,which church is he going to…:)))….hihii…(to be perceived as a joke)


    Some beardy people who live in underground caves in switzerland said today that they have made the monumental discovery that a particle that is thought may exist, may exist.

    In a press release earlier a spokesperson for the beardies, sporting a lovely white goatee, said
    “It definitely looks like what we may have found might actually be very similar to the theoretical particle we think may, theoretically, be very important for a lot of stuff, even though we dont fully understand what that stuff is yet. So obviously we are very excited”


  • marcin luczkowski


    This is really great news. even if I do not understand anything from quantum physics (who does?) I am really excited. Will be the time when I will understand (hope).

  • The New York Times reports that this thing they may have found may be the Holy Grail. It’s last know whereabouts was in England, but it was in the possession of some bearded French speakers, so it’s not all that surprising it would turn up in Switzerland.

  • Well that’s the beauty of science… everything needs to be proven before accepted as fact… you know… the opposite of any and all faith based systems…

  • I dont know how to feel about all this:
    2 major revelations today. the found HIGGS, THE BOZON , THE most important “thing” in the world that will tell them everything…the crystal ball of the universe, everyone is cheering and i see fireworks outside, but i feel im the slowest person around… why dont i get it? why the Bozon did not change my life and understandings yet? maybe its too early?
    but if its too early why all those all folks outside the window waving flags waiting for the fireworks???
    Brisket and hot dogs and lone star beer everywhere …
    Hmmm its just like the 4th of July out there …
    Viva Bozon, Higgs paricle, future…happy 4th y’all;)

  • Congrats Bill on being Cancer free!!

  • Jason thank you for letting us know…
    Bill,congratulations and … more I can’t even put in words…!

  • Bill…
    We all here…this huge family who burns in admiration and affection to you …You can be sure we’re all happy celebrating this good news.A strong hug and many kisses on your way. Today is a happy day and my fireworks go to you!

  • Frosty, excellent news! Many congratulations to you and your colon. It’s always good knowing that your body isn’t out to get you.

  • Bill! Good to hear.
    As we in Germany say: Da ist mir ein Stein vom Herzen gefallen!
    All the best to you.

  • Thomas, so long as the stein vom Herzen gefallen doesn’t land on your foot, all is well.



  • Hey all…

    Our new website just went live!
    Take a look at the first issue of our literary magazine in matchbook form…
    all handmade and limited edition…

  • This may be a mistake, but I am now going to try to push my way through the blur and haze brought on by the intense pain and the Vicodin and the drug whose name I forget back into the bright if often dark world of Burn. “May be a mistake” because to write an email, post a comment, send a text or make a blog post has become a tortuously difficult thing to do. I would never have believed it, but it is: tortuous. I might just pass out mid-way through or hobble, screaming hoarsely or vomiting, away from my computer. But many of you have taken time to write and to say something encouraging and I want you to know I appreciate it and take courage from your words. If I leave anyone who did out, it is not by intent, but by blur of drug and pain.

    Eva, I will start with you and “Based On A True Story.” Just as I told you I would do, I had so much to try to clear up before I entered the hospital that I had decided to wait until I was on my recovery to open the book for the first time. Then, I thought, I could just take my sweet time and slowly ponder my way through it.

    On the surface, this was good logic, but only because I did not understand how truly miserable I would be and how impossible it is to properly examine a pull-a-part and reassemble book from the narrow confines of hospital bed when it hurts so much to just lay a couple of pages of it on your tummy. I had pages falling all over the place and the first person who came in to help was a very young woman a ways down on the nursing chain and when she first saw the cover and the sexy young bodies spilling out, she gave me a look of utter dismay and revulsion.

    Soon, however, the head nurse came in and immediately recognized it as a work of art right. She gathered it up and then asked if she could take it out to the nurses’ station and keep it there until she found enough quiet moments to give it a good look over. She did – and so did several of her colleagues. Afterward, she expressed her admiration and when she found out that I know Mr. Harvey personally, she raised me 52 notches up her esteem ladder just like that.

    Now I am home, with a King-sized bed. The pull-apart and put-back-together process is still very laborious and painful, but I am taking my time – a little bit here, a little bit there. It is an incredible piece of work, a masterpiece like no other. I hope you received the two defective prints I sent for you too chose from. It has been quite awhile since I mailed them now.

    Thodoris – thank you, and thank you again.

    Jason – We will, and I must get back to your facebook message that came in just as I was going out. I want to listen and see!

    MW – As you know by now, the procedure did go very well and no cancer was found. And yes, it is ludicrous that this should happen to anyone in the nation that boasts of having the best medical system in the world and the greatest wealth in the world. I am going to try to turn the situation around, though, and find a way to use it to bring myself out of it.

    Panos – I take your order seriously. I am doing my very best. This may sound strange, but several times as I lay in the dark and haze of my hospital room, I saw a little point of brightness. When I looked close, it was you! I believe everything you have said to me these past few weeks, both here and in private. It makes a difference.

    Tom, I am listening. I take your order seriously and feel good to receive it. I’ve got a long ways to go, but am on my way.

    Thanks Thomas. All the best to you, too.

    Wendy: Early this evening, I dreamed I was in California and it was warm, very warm. I was asleep at the edge of a 1000 foot cliff rising over a long beach.The cliff was made of sand and as I slept, I was aware that every now and then, a piece of it would break off and fall away, so I would scoot back a bit from the edge. Then it broke away too fast and was falling out directly from underneath me. Thinking I was about to fall 1000 feet to my death, I opened my eyes and discovered I was just on the edge of the bed – right here in my house on the outskirts of Wasilla, Alaska, my black cat upon my feet.

    Akaky – How pleased I am to see that I got to serve as an inspiration for one your characters – who got to eat Pizza, no less, just as I have been fantasizing about doing for a good ten days now. Really enjoyed the story. It made me laugh. It hurts to laugh. Oh, God, does it hurt to laugh! It hurts even worse to cough.

    Civi – I saw another point of light and it was you. Jimmy, the black cat, is taking very good care of me. He has figured out the wound and everything. Chicago cannot figure it out and would kill me with her love, so we must keep her separate from me for awhile.

    Paul, this was a case where I read the message on my blog from my hospital bed before I read you here. It meant a great deal to me to find it there. I didn’t respond, because it was just too hard. But I felt it.

    Roberta – I knew you would leave words to make me feel good. I missed the Fourth, so your personal fireworks were most appreciated.

    Well, I feel pretty done for, but even before I came here, I visited the new essays and Danny Wilcox posted a pic that hit damn close to home, even though I have not been on Pine Ridge since for decades now. I better see if I can go leave a comment.

    I might succeed. I might not.

  • Bill.
    Now that you dont have a colon how are you going to introduce us to the logical consequences of anything you state? I guess its also going to put a real crimp in your apositive independent clauses.
    And how earth are you ever going to state ratios from now on?

    But besides all of that…welcome back.

  • Oh, and you’re not to laugh. It really really hurts when you laugh. Seriously.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    What not to love…WHAT NOT TO LOVE…


    FROSTYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY…you are the light too! for so many of us…
    and a fighter!!!
    Again I see the SPIRIT of BURNIANS…
    I told you that together we can do miracles…YES,WE CAN!!!

    THODORIS…I am so proud of YOU…bravoooooooo!!!

    Spread the love…be strong…life is beautiful!
    hmmm…but let me tell you…it ain’t easy to be Greek now days…back to my desk!

  • Bill, yes, I was very happy to see that the procedure went well. And I’m still outraged about the costs. Most of us Americans have horrible personal stories to tell about the corporate healthcare tyranny under which we suffer, but yours is far worse than most. I wish I could help but there’s not even anyone to vote for (though plenty of people to vote against).

    As someone who is not a doctor but sometimes plays one in the privacy of his own home, I strongly recommend you insist on your doctor switching your pain meds from vicodin or the like to oxycodone. By “or the like” I mean pain medicine that contains dangerous levels of acetaminophen. No need to risk damaging your liver over one of the most egregious examples of medical immorality/stupidity.

    And maybe you are a bit cranky. I noticed your devastating critique of Danny Frazier’s work over in the other thread, which is not like you. I suspect, however, that it had more to do with your intimate knowledge of the subject than anything to do with pain and/or drugs. I noted in the discussion about a negative comment of the Serbian work about how all too often stories I read/see about subjects I know a lot about prove misleading, if not outright wrong.

    I thought about you while reading a new book I started the other day as it contains a few references to the Apache. The story in the link is one example. If possible, you may want to look up the April 2006 edition of Arizona Highways. It contains an article on the White Mountain reservation by the same author with photographs by Jack Dykinga.

    Anyway, I hope, and trust you will, feel better soon.

  • BILL,

    Let me also offer my sincere best wishes for your speedy recovery.
    I went through something a bit similar a year ago… was found unconscious lying in a pool of my own vomited up blood and taken by screaming ambulance to the emergency room and then intensive care unit of our only local hospital. For several days I was helpless and taken care of by people whose professionalism I really respect and am thankful for. First time in my life I spent a night in a hospital. I had no medical coverage and almost nothing in the bank… I became partially conscious when the firemen medics were shoving an IV into my arm and loading me into the ambulance, covered in blood and feces, and my first thought was, ‘how will I ever pay for this?’ But when the bills started coming in, they were so ridiculously higher than even my direst expectations that all I could do was roll my eyes in wonder.
    Without going into all the gory details, it is a year later, I am largely recovered, I still have a place to live and groceries in the fridge. There have been mountains of paper work and I am not totally off the hook, but things were not as hopeless as I had first imagined. I’m lucky to be living in Washington State.
    Best of luck to you, both for your physical recovery and also for your peace of mind and grappling with the financial problems.

  • Bill, I’m sorry that the piece hurt, although I’m glad it made you laugh instead of cough. I’d hate to have to go around our happy little burg wearing a sign saying that the Surgeon General warns that Akaky Akakyevich’s prose contains high levels of carbon monoxide and may cause birth defects and lung cancer. That’s pretty much a downer, no matter how you look at it.

  • Strange coincidence that I inadvertently began reading a book that often concerns the Apaches. Just came across an interesting speech by a chief named Gianatah from probably the late 1860’s. Might even have some bearing on the Bill/Gordon discussion in the other thread.

    Gianatah says, “You desire our children to learn from books and say that, because you have done so, you are able to build all those big houses, and sail over the sea, and talk with each other at any distance, and do many wonderful things; now, let me tell you what we think. You begin when you are little to work hard, and work until you are men in order to begin fresh work. You say that you work hard in order to learn how to work well. After you get to be men, then you say, the labor of life commences; then , too, you build big houses, big ships, big towns, and everything else in proportion. Then after you have got them all, you die and leave all behind. Now, we call that slavery. You are slaves from the time you begin to talk until you die; but we are free as air. We never work, but the Mexicans and others work for us. Our wants are few and easily supplied. The river, the wood and plain yield all we require, and we will not be slaves: nor will we send our children to your schools, where they will only learn to become like yourselves.”

    It will be at least 20 years before they are broken.

  • Thanks Mike. I will join back in later as I can. Gordon has taken all my comment energy.

  • BILL

    Obviously it has been way too long since I checked in to see what was going on here in Burn Land. So when I saw your recent posts I immediately went to your blog to get the scoop.

    Oh my dear friend, I am so sorry to hear of the living hell you have been experiencing these past few weeks. At the same time I feel immensely grateful that no cancer was found.

    Now it appears that you must make your way through dreadful pain while doing all that you can to help your body heal itself. And heal it will. Please hold that thought and trust its truth during these days and weeks when healing seems like an impossible dream.

    Bill, I will be holding you in the special corner of my heart where loving energy surrounds and permeates whomever is placed there. And I will keep up to date with your blog entries so I can know what is going on.

    with hugs so light your body will not feel them but your heart will,


  • Thanks Patricia. Set back now. Second emergency surgery today.deep pain. I disengage for awhile

  • Bill, you’re one of the most positive people and you’re loved by all for it… stay strong man…

    On a happier note, our little Matchbook stories were featured on Design*Sponge!!!

  • Thodoris – I meant to say way back that I like those little books.

    I am back home from my second, emergency, surgery now. Boy, I really went through something! I hope I don’t have to do anything like that again, but I still got some weeks convalescing ahead of me maybe months.

    There are things I have to do to get better, and I am doing pretty good at doing them. But I find I have little energy for much of anything else, even like reading posts and making comments. I knew this would be hard, but it has been harder than I thought it would be. I am going to pull back for awhile so you might not see me here for a few days. In the meantime have fun and debate lively.


    so so pleased you got through surgery in one pun intended….even small surgeries take forever to get over, and yours was major…private email to you soonest, i just wanted to say hello here…

    peace, love, david

  • Bill, thanks man…
    Hope that you’ll be up and running sooner than you think…

  • Bill, I’m so glad to hear you’re doing better after the second surgery. I spent a year hanging out with my uncle before he passed from esophageal cancer. Sadly, he was one of my teacher in college at the time he discovered he was sick. I haven’t uploaded that song yet for you… But I will very soon. I hope you have a nice weekend!

  • David – Thanks. I will be watching my inbox.

  • Bill!!

    Got finally home, to find your print(s)!! Looking great, nothing beats a print!

    My very best wishes for a fast and as painless as possible recovery! You’ll kick back, I know that!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    can I sing now?…Can I?

    I am reporting from Greece…I am back in my desk…


    My apologies for not being around lately BUT,BUT…you know, I love you ALLLLL…
    I am trying to find “shelter” for my chickens…

    Life is full of surprises!…keep reporting MY BURNIANS…
    I am watching YOU!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    When there is Vision…there is light…


    there is vision in the darkroom…therefore…there is “light” everywhere…

    oime…I need my ouzo ASAP…:) Good morning from Grecolandia !!!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    as EVA says…

    “… nothing beats a print!”

  • Eva – thanks – so good to hear from you!

  • Bill. A lot of people rooting for you around here.

    Eva. Great interview. Love what he says about doing the work because you love it…and love his work.

    DAVID. Back in the darkroom? Looking at those prints its like you never left. Although I hope the irony is not lost that you are showing your first wet prints in 35 years…….on instagram. Gotta love that.

  • The Making of the Leica M9-P »Edition Hermès« – Série Limitée Jean-Louis Dumas

  • Some walking around photos here. Though to be honest, I haven’t been walking around all that much. Most of it’s in my head.

  • ok Burnians….
    a little plug for me… :)
    Here is a photo I took of Donna Ferrato at LOOK3…..

  • Plug away, ma’am. Remember the words of the great Damon Runyon: He that tooteth not his own horn, the same shall not be tooted. Have at it.

  • Carlo, like the Lamborghini, just one more thing I’ll never be able to afford. Life is unfair.

  • or, go lost yourselves in Greece…somewhere by a Lighthouse, the day of a FUNERAL… click here:

  • FREE meditations lesson below:

  • bring the CHILD out from within otherwise you’ll be digging in memories;)

  • a civilian-mass audience

    It’s a hot,BURNING,busy summer here in Grecolandia…

    FROSTY, I know you are busy BUT you forgot my birthday cake…and yes JARED, happy birthday too!!!

    WENDY…this is a killer photo…

    MW…keep walking…we walk with you!

    wow,PANOS…after I checked your videos…I am about to call it a day…!

    I love YOU ALLLLLL…civilian is watching you…you have been warned…:)

  • Eva,

    Thanks for that link. Really interesting…reading reading….

  • Glückwünsche, Katharina !!!

  • ONE LIFE: International Photography Competition

    Deadline: July, 31st, 2012

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Are we going to Bangkok…???
    where are u my BURNIANS? I need reports…not to exceed 35 words:))))

    LOVE YOU ALL…I am just taking care of business here in Grecolandia…not an easy task…
    5 chickens left…I ate the rest…

    ouzo on me and some figs…!!!

    I will be back…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    KATHARINA …bravo!!!…maybe ouzo is on you today:)))))))))))))))

    FROSTY and ALL of you…I am sending best energy!

    I know,I missed some birthdays and some cakes BUT I will find a way to balance IMF and my vision!

    BURN is the place to be! I will sing later…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    and guess what I will have for lunch?

  • a civilian-mass audience

    chicken on the rocks!!!


    Deadline: August 15th, 2012

  • Thomas, Panos & Civi : besten Dank & ευχαριστώ πολύ :)

  • Andrew B., haven’t seen an email from you, please resend. Been crazy busy.

  • re-posting this one by Jim..well said

    Jim Powers
    July 1, 2012 at 8:53 am Edit
    Jason, it is incredibly hard to make a living at photography. Very few people do it. And it gets harder every day. The level of commitment required borders on obsession. If you don’t get up every day thinking about photography and shooting, it’s not for you. You can make better money at just about anything else. The bottom line is, how much are you willing to sacrifice personally to take photos?

    Yes, you have to understand and take care of the business end, but that’s just part of it. You have to work incredibly hard at it. Much harder than most folks are willing to work.


    john gladdy
    June 27, 2012 at 10:00 am Edit

    I think this is worth discussing further seeing as how it relates to the winner of the EPF. essay
    It seemed in danger of being quietly buried.

    June 26, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    This is but another sad example of a western photojournalist painting an entirely skewed picture of Serbia based on an education chock full of New York Times, BBC and CNN propaganda. The essay shows nothing of what Kosovo has become, a NATO military base. It shows nothing of the remnants of the NATO bombings, it shows nothing of the remnants of over a decade of internationally imposed sanctions.

    What appalled me the most is that Americans are still obsessed with these faux humanitarian crusades and that they continously send back skewed impressions of the world. Mr. Lutton is clearly concerned only with showing off that he went to a place off the beaten path for most Americans, and in turn painted it as a backwards hellhole to make his photos seem more important. The fact that the essay claims to tell story of Serbia in the wake of the the wars that broke apart Yugoslavia is laughable, laughable.

    As an aside, a little googling shows that 4 out of 6 of the jurors are AMERICAN and many with strong links to Nat Geo or Big M.
    Not sure if that is relevent or not , but it did strike me.

    Paul made a really astute comment also when he said
    ‘change the captions and it could be about any previous Eastern Block country.’

    Now does that mean that all east european countries look the same, or that OUR cultural stereotyping of them is?



    i am late getting to this party….sorry, totally missed your post…i cannot tell for sure which part of the post is yours and which part is amarinovitch..

    honestly i cannot comment at all on the condition of Serbia now and how Matt Lutton saw it…i just don’t know…for sure it sounds as if somebody should do the essay amarinovitch suggests showing Serbia as a NATO base , if in fact that is one aspect…

    yes the jury this year does appear a bit Americancentric….my fault…not my intent…i honestly do not look at nationalities when choosing a jury and surely would not choose a jury to somehow support American foreign policy which 99% of the time i am opposed to….and in my mind the big M and the NatGeo are in opposition to each other much of the time esthetically , so Alex Webb, the only juror from “big M”does happen to be American….for sure “big M” is NOT Americancentric so i was seeing Alex as M and not “American” in his judgments…

    in any case, these juries and these endings will always be a bit controversial no matter who receives the grant…you could take this set of comments and transpose them to last year or the year before etc etc etc…people will always disagree with the jury or with me for having chosen a jury of a particular makeup..however, for sure i will make sure there are no Americans on next year’s jury!!

    as you may imagine setting up the EPF, if you only read the comments, would of course be a thankless task…raising the money to give away, and all of the myriad of logistics it takes to make it happen would seem a total waste of my time if i only read the comments…few seem to appreciate that EPF actually supports a young photographer at a time when there is so little support…so the intention is one of those good ones, but with the same backlash as happens with many intended good deeds…

    that is just the way it is…

    by the way, Speakers Corner, is just around the corner

    cheers, david

  • DAVID. it was posted by aramovich. i just re-posted it with some additional questions as i thought it an interesting angle that was in danger of being buried prematurely. there were some very well thought out responses to the post as a result.
    as an aside, I dont think anyone seriously doubts the good that this award can do and the support it, and awards like it, offer to young photographers. i t may seem a thankless task, but im sure there are many giving thanks.


    oh yes i know…just a rainy morning musing….thanks for re posting this because i did miss it…and aramovich probably makes a good point…i only wish Matt Lutton had seen it and could respond…i have never met Matt (that i know of) and yet by sheer coincidence he texted me and wants to meet this week in New York…i will tell him to take a look at this comment…he may have a whole different perspective and reasoning…

    you and Diego in communication?

    cheers, David

  • i only wish Matt Lutton had seen it and could respond…

    If burn is going to be anything other than a ordinary site, each photographer that has a essay must be involved and participate in the dialogue. This is part of learning and sharing

  • “If burn is going to be anything other than a ordinary site, each photographer that has a essay must be involved and participate in the dialogue. This is part of learning and sharing”

    That would be a great thing, especially when there are questions like in this case.. not in dialogue, but right there under the essay, for record..

  • Ed Kashi and Julie Winokur on the Work-Home Balance… looking forward to get the book, stumbled over it here:

  • eva I stated dialogue not a noun but as a verb just as olde Bart (Shakespeare) used the word meaning discussing.

  • Imants.. yup, got that… (still a noun the way you used it, but quite clear what you meant.. where is Akaky when you need one???) :)

  • Got the Kashi app. I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. It’s more about home-work imbalance, though. His wife seems to have a very tightly controlled bitterness about the whole thing. Complicated.

  • Hi harvey and all.. Guess this is where the chatter is..

    For the past couple of years I’ve been shooting a new project, very quietly as it’s been without permission..
    Today I GOT PERMISSION and a first client to publish the work.
    so I can tell you I’ve been working / photographing life as a docker in the Norwegian oil industry.. 2 summers and 2 winters long.. Fierce.. At the largest oil rig supply base in n. Europe.. in a little town called florø.. The westernmost inhabited place in Scandinavia.
    Now I have permission I can
    A – talk about it and
    B – begin making dedicated trips to the oil rig supply base purely to photograph and fill in the blanks.. Starting next week when one of the enormous ships carrying drill pipe arrives from Japan.. Epic ships.. Epic job.. Straight outta the 50’s.

    I’ve also been scanning my music project archive, as I dropped my external HD in 2009 and did not have it backed up.. It is backed up now.. 60 000 + images scanned ready to pick up where I left off with editing for my book ..

    So.. Harvey :)
    Something to Skype about.
    Will try to catch you over the next couple of weeks if poss..


  • John g

    Great to hang out in London.. Rest of the trip worked out very well.. Much editing to do now.. Particularly of the work in Derry / Ireland, which I think is finished.

  • Sounds great David interested to see what transpires

  • Me too David… your project sounds very promising…

  • “It is the more like to be feigned: I pray you,
    keep it in. I heard you were saucy at my gates,
    and allowed your approach rather to wonder at you
    than to hear you. If you be not mad, be gone; if
    you have reason, be brief: ’tis not that time of
    moon with me to make one in so skipping a dialogue.”

    Twelfth Night, Act I, Scene 5

  • a civilian-mass audience

    DAVIDB…you are alive!!! hugs to BEATE and TOECAPA…!!!

    I need reports from so many of you…KATIE,MYGRACIE,REIMAR,BOBBY…CHARLES and FELIX and LEICA…and

    THODORIS…I missed your birthday…and AKAKYYYYYY you are next…Are YOU ready???

    VIVA EVAAAAAAAAAA…and where is PANOS …hmmm…?

    MR.HARVEY…rock the boat or should I say …BURN the tent:)))

    P.S…my two drachmas!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    oups,TORCAPA…my apologies…but hey,once a dyslexic always a visionary !!!

  • David Bowen. Any time. A fine english breakfast awaits. Glad you got the go ahead for the dockyard project.

  • :)
    Brief and mad.. Yes yes..
    It’s been a trip really, past couple of years since I stopped my useless ghost-town of a blog and re-focused.
    Was so difficult to get off the merry-go-round of my last life.. John g knows why it had to end and how I ended it .. Got too dark.
    Thrilled to have permission to show what I have been shooting for the past couple of years and more thrilled to be able to visit and photograph thoroughly without having to be a docker anymore..
    All about edits now..
    Ak, civ, im, joh, tho, pan – you fed me and many thanks.. And harv of course.. Bobus too.
    Once sustained I did neglect the community here.. Hope after edits and all I’ll be able to vindicate my descision to wander away from comments..
    More soon..

    p.s. I was a good docker.. Working with the best dockers in the world.. Viking breed..

  • David B…

    Sounds very very interesting and can’t wait to see it. I remember last year you kind of hinted on one of the dialogues you were working on something photographic at the your local dockyards.


    of course to do your work you had to leave..totally understood….yet now i would love to see what you have done…

    cheers, david


    i agree with you…yet there is no way to “make” a photographer jump into comments…some seem to enjoy it, others do not…for sure we will continue to run essays of interest and hope the photographer will join in the fray…

  • Am I ready for what, Civi? Being 54? Sure; being 53 sucked big time, except for meeting Audrey and Laura. Other than that, 53 was an unmitigated disaster with just this one bright spot towards the end-the tentative negative results have been confirmed. I got the call this morning-definitely no cancer. Having learned this I am eternally grateful for all the positive vibes everyone sent and I am now hoping that some smart doctor somewhere figures out how to anesthetize the marrow inside the bone. That damn needle hurts like hell.

  • The artist> audience> artist dialogue is something that gets integrated into “progressive visual arts departments” at schools here in oz starting with 11 12 year olds or younger. It is set up almost like a facebook style on a school intranet.The kids gain confidence in their work and learn the ability to talk about the work of others in relation to their own efforts.

    As they grow older the kids really begin to understand how to work within a conceptual framework and go beyond their initial reactions both as artists and audience.

    I really feel that the artist> audience> artist dialogue should be fostered here so we go beyond ” I like no 7 and 12 they are great”. They are adults here and as photographers that present their work they should also be accountable beyond “here is my work like it lump it but I will not talk about” it mentality

  • If you are around NY on the 28, stop by the Gowanus Loft for the Art from the Heart 2012 opening. Two of my photos will be included, and all artists get a portion of the proceeds whether their pieces sell or not! Looking through the gallery, there are some fine images there.

  • Hi Brian Frank …me too!
    I cannot attend unfortunately …but congrats to you.
    Kerry Payne has some prints up as well.
    Wish I was there, sounds like it is going to be a fun night …will be in Texas.

  • david bowen -looking forward to seeing your project.

  • Civi / all…
    greetings from a hot humid dusty noisy crazy Delhi… on my way home…
    and just the thought of the cool calm forest has never been so soothing…
    i started the workshop day 1 with a high fever, shaking hot and cold… but what to do…
    the show must go on, right! – i will do a blog post when i’m home and share a few highlights
    of students work…

    David Brando : )) glad to hear you got a green light… now about those pigeons on the rooftop ; )

  • Milli
    July 25, 2012 at 12:39 am
    david bowen -looking forward to seeing your project.

    perfectly said! me too!!!

  • another way of seeing minimize camera usage

  • a civilian-mass audience

    AKAKIEEEEEEEEEE…happy birthday…good news to be negative…we are stronger than we think…
    therefore the needle wont’t hurt that much…if you try to fart …:)
    love you AKAKY and IRL !!!

    SAMMY…BRAVOOOO…keep spreading the flames of photovision!!!

    BRIAN…BRAVOOOO too.We will be there…!!!

    DAVIDB,I am waiting to see…you had promised:)

    FROSTY…and others,I need reports…

    Let’s BURN this Universe!!!

    P.S My apologies to ALL my AFRICAN friends …may the spirit of the Olympics be with US…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    IMANTS…another way of seeing…

    THANK YOU ALL for sharing…


  • Thanks Panos, Civi and Milli. Wish I could be there. You’re going to have to spread the Burn love on my behalf.

  • Civi – here is my report. This morning, I had my first solid food in 5 days: scrambled eggs and potatoes. Last night, a black and white picture that I took long ago came into my head. I felt desperate – desperate, desperate, desperate! to chuck all else aside and just work on my books, get the damn things done before I die.

    The comment you left on my blog yesterday buoyed my spirits. I was amused over the confusion you expressed about whether the title character was Jim the black cat or Jim Powers.

  • 3 projects to edit.. Derry seems it’s not yet done.
    Rather, they’re not done. :/

  • Interesting article here:

    It’s not about the filters: context, photojournalism and Instagram

    Similarly, this photo (showing a woman walking along a beach in Rio de Janeiro) was uploaded by David Alan Harvey just after Kashi’s, jarred with users’ expectations. Many comments registered confusion as to why Nat Geo was posting the image (it was to promote Harvey’s new book about the city’s people and culture). Some found the image inappropriate or explicit, while more than a few posted salacious comments on the subject’s appearance, rather than engaging with Harvey’s wider topic (“Her ass = perfection” and “National Dat Ass Geographic”).

  • Regarding the article Carlo linked to about the kerfuffle over David’s photograph on the NatGeo blog, I can see how some regulars at that site might be a bit bothered by Ed Kashi’s photo. One would hazard that most of those who frequent the site expect beautiful nature pictures of the highest technical quality: Animals, big natures, exotic people dressed in traditional garb in exotic locations. Kashi’s photo is not that sort of thing.

    David’s photo, on the other hand, is quintessentially National Geographic. It’s a beautiful, technically perfect photo of an exotic native wearing traditional garb in an exotic location. It’s an accurate representation of reality. A girl on the beach in Ipanema. As real as any native Sudanese. David’s a long time NatGeop photographer and it’s consistent with his previous work. What else do you need to legitimize it on that blog? Anyone bothered by the image of a young woman at the beach enough to want to censor it has some deep, unfortunate personal issues, imo.

    In the context of the Instagram filter argument though, I think the filter effect was unfortunate. The image as shot was infinitely better. David’s ability to get the shot right in camera is truly phenomenal. Photo filters are sometimes handy in salvaging a less than perfect shot. But when applied to a perfectly lighted and composed shot by a top photographer with a vision, I find those ubiquitous filters subtract quality from the photo.

    It’s kind of funny in the context of the young woman at the beach photo that David is currently working on photography for a Magnum does nudes book. You know, when you think about it, you realize you’ve never seen any nude shots from DAH. So this is a first. He’s got some incredible photos so far. In some ways what you’d expect. In others just the opposite. Me, I’m just constantly blown away by the in-camera quality of the work. David is able to come up with a look in his mind, then transfer it to his camera, then take shot after shot that pretty much perfectly captures that vision. You can see it right there on the card. And learn from it as well.

  • I don’t care one way or the other about the kerfuffle. Let me just say that the young lady in question is doing wonders for my morale, an always important thing for those of us who are chronically ill.

    AKAKY IRL: You don’t expect anyone to believe that, do you?

    AKAKY: It’s the truth, dude.

    AKAKY IRL: You are so full of crap your eyes are turning brown.

  • 26 July, or the loneliness of the long distance New Yorker from Akaky on Vimeo.

    This is what I did for my birthday last year. This year I stayed at home, listened to the thunder, and watched Bunuel’s The exterminating angel, which I understand is not a comedy but I thought was as funny as hell.

  • As to 26 July, the last few pix are not from the eponymous date; NYC did not experience a cold snap on my birthday last year.

  • Forget the above; IRL deleted it. I’m not sure why; he was muttering something about Communists this morning.

  • PAUL. Fantastic.

    Gordon parks works have the ability to transcend any medium they appear on. Truly outstanding.
    Sudek I had never seen before. love the atelier window views. Will hunt more down.

    stephen Calipari the piano guy. This line got me. “you cant buy this, Time has to be spent.” That really struck a chord in this age of immediacy.

    …..and the musics funky too.
    All good.

  • John Gladdy…

    Speaking of Czech photographers, I trust you’ve come across the following man’s work. One of my photography teachers at college was obsessed with his work…

  • One of the greatest female photographers ever…

  • John Gladdy…

    I think you’ll like the photos in the Garcia Alix video

  • Strange isnt it how wrong we can be sometimes? I have almost no feeling for his work at all. does nothing for me at all. Julia margaret cameron was certainly an early pioneer, but thats about it. having seen a lot of her work in the flesh at her house I find it interesting academically only.(with the odd exception)
    And while kertesz has undoubtable brilliance, I am not so sure where I stand with saudek. Some very strong imagery, but ‘something’ keeps niggling at me with them. Hard to get right with them.

    Jack white is just unadulterated talent from any angle at all.

  • John Gladdy…

    I must admit I mainly appreciate Julia Margaret Cameron’s work when I keep in mind when they were created and by a woman at a time when sadly women usually didn’t have much say in society. I have the same problem with Ansel Adam’s work I also have no feeling whatsoever for his work. I’ve tried my hardest searching for what everyone else sees in his work and I always end up just seeing a great technician. I have to agree absolutely with your misgivings with Saudek there is something slightly wrong with some of the imagery, the fact that I get the impression woman are depicted as inferior or as “objects” ruins some very striking imagery.


    Instagram, for what it’s worth.

    (Actually… shot with iPhone camera, added filter in Camera Bag, posted to Instagram.)

  • “from shooting nudes on my rooftop to right now back home outer banks fishing pier Sunday afternoon live music”

    It takes so little to remind me of how pathetically boring my life is.

  • For Panos or of course for anyone who’s a fan of tattoos…

  • No award money, but work opportunity:

    Deadline: August 19th, 2012

  • This has to be the best Bruce Gilden video I’ve ever seen… So hilarious!


    article about freelance photography and Burn:
    “WE OWN THE FUTURE OF THE NEW” by Genevieve Belmaker

    the new issue of
    is out today, click link below and read
    DAVID ALAN HARVEY/DIMA GAVRYSH and yours truly interview online for free, by clicking PDF

    or click this link here(takes u straight to pdf):

    just scroll down to page 22 , article ends on page 28

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Back from the mountains…it’s a busy summer…oime…

    Fighting the demons…hardest thing!
    I didn’t know that I have so many…:)))

    I am making an effort to get along with them…”unorthodox all” as MR.HARVEY says…:)

    oh,well…COME ON BURNIANS…I need some reports…ASAP!

    may the wine be old
    and the chickens be hot
    may our souls be free
    and the spirits agree…


  • a civilian-mass audience

    hmm…MR.GILDEN…oime…he doesn’t like ouzo candies…:)

    what can you do…we live in a “free world” afterall…:)))))))))))


  • Experimenting with time lapse stuff and miniatures today …take a look here (full HD),
    25 min down to 3.

  • I like your time lapse video, Panos. And I have become a Vimeo fan:

    Eyes for You from Michael Webster on Vimeo.

  • MW thank you , here is a smaller on : CLOUDS OVER TEXAS i finished 10 minutes ago, music by Mozart

  • Nice link to Quill magazine Panos. Good read!
    Cool videos too. I have a thing for timelapse ;-)

    For some reason my mac cannot open the vimeo links.
    Will have to watch later….

    Following you guys (panos and mw) on vimeo.

  • Dunno if this has been posted here yet, but I just let people know in the DEVELOP facebook group that BURN.01 is part of this upcoming exhibit, so thought I should make sure you all know here as well – and also that Anton’s book is in the exhibit too:

    Gallery Carte Blanche in San Francisco will host the 3rd Indie Photobook Library feature-length exhibition curated by Darius Himes and Larissa Leclair. Photobooks selected include those of Alec Soth, Anton Kusters, BURN.01, Jessica Hines, Mathieu Asselin, Matt Eich, Simon Roberts, Tomas van H, Valerio Spada, Yann Gross and from the exhibit Uncommon Intimacy co-curated by Laura De Marco and myself featuring Amy Stein, Amy Touchette, Erica McDonald and Juliana Beasley. See the photo for the full list of names.

    Opening reception Friday, September 14, 2012 – 6-9pm with a weekend full of workshops, lectures, and a Photobook Club meet-up.

    Concurrently, an exhibition of photographs chosen from the selected photobooks (artists names coming soon) will be displayed in the gallery curated by Gwen Lafage. This component will explore the differences in experiencing photography in books versus on the wall.

  • Carlo i know you are a video expert so please…no harsh critique;)…just testing and learning,trial and error…
    big hug bro!

  • Panos,

    I think those clouds are too white ;-)

  • Joseph Koudelka contact sheets…

  • One of my favorite photographers…

  • “A lot of them think if they can apply all of the right filters, composite and change the lighting and exposure after the fact, that they can be great photographers. Photography has become so easy that a lot of students don’t realize how phenomenally difficult it is.”

  • point shoot and pp gotta love it

  • “Photography has become so easy that a lot of students don’t realize how phenomenally difficult it is.”

    I wouldn’t call those examples “Photography.” Photo Illustrations, perhaps. I’d call them “butt ugly tacky” for the most part.

    If you wanna see how a pro does it, check this out. It ain’t photography, but it ain’t easy either.

  • MW…

    I really found both the artist and the program absolutely amazing.

  • I have mentioned a number of times here that I do not own a cellphone nor do I intend to buy one any time soon, I will pass over the reasons for this ongoing personal Luddism, except to say that if you notice that my continued lack of a cellphone makes it impossible for you to call me whenever you feel like disturbing me with whatever niggling little problem you are having at the moment, and if you suspect that this unwillingness to listen to you chew my ear off morning, noon, and night might be deliberate, indeed may even be the point of my not having a cellphone in the first place, then in the interest of personal verisimilitude I should say that you might be right.

    I bring this tiresome subject up yet again because Ms. B., a knowledgeable young woman of my acquaintance, has evinced an interest in buying a new cellphone. This, in and of itself, is not terribly important; people buy new cellphones all the time—I suppose that suppressing the traffic in cellphones is impossible now, much as I would like to try—but this new cellphone is for those people who not only want to take their cellphones to the beach, but also take the pernicious little devices into the water with them as well. This marvel of aquatic telephony allows the lucky owner to call and annoy his friends and neighbors as he lays on the beach in the south of France, a prospect most vacationers look forward to whether they want to admit it or not, and it also comes equipped with an excellent camera and Internet capability. These amazing and, one assumes, very costly extras permit our peripatetic caller to indulge his hopefully temporary bouts of summertime sadism, wherein he tells his unfortunate acquaintances who are not lying on the beach in the south of France enjoying the fun and sun of their misfortune, and then further complicate matters by sending these same unfortunate wretches photographs of what they are missing. They will ooh and ahh and say isn’t the south of France beautiful this time of year and tell him that they hope he is having a wonderful time, and they will be calling him nine different kinds of rotten bastard after he hangs up; people are like that, you know. His friends, assuming that they are still his friends after he calls, do not want to have their noses rubbed in his good fortune.

    As for me, I don’t really see the point of taking a cellphone into the water with you, unless you want it nearby so you can call a lifeguard and let them know that you are drowning. The problem, as I see it here, is that by the time the lifeguard figures out what you are trying to say between the screams for help and the frantic gasps for air, you’ve already drowned and the whole exercise is therefore pointless, and to make matters worse, you’ve also lost your cellphone too. Assuming that you haven’t drowned, which is not always easy to do, especially if you are an alcoholic lepidopterist on vacation or a Red Sox fan, you are now stuck in a place you will now permanently associate with a near death experience and not in a positive manner either. This may or may not be a good thing; you will never go back to the beach, but your local ski lodge will appreciate your business, at least until you cause an avalanche and lose your cellphone there. Faced with this dilemma, you must ask yourself, what do I do now?

    Clearly, you will have to replace your cellphone, and having spent more than you really should have to get the first one, you may not feel the need or have the means to buy another waterproof wonder phone. You may just chalk this one up to experience and tell yourself to buy a new and cheaper cellphone that you won’t be tempted to take into the water. After all, you can’t lose your phone in the water if you don’t take it with you in the first place, but this, of course, requires that you learn from experience, which is something most people are loath to do unless it becomes absolutely necessary. And what of all those people you want to talk to and who have nothing better to do with their time than talk to you? Well, they will just have to wait, won’t they? You’ll be doing something more important with your time. What that something more important with your time might be is entirely up to you, but whatever this something more important is it had better not require my looking at any pictures of the south of France that don’t have me in them. Do something else with the damn thing.

    This, however, does not solve the problem of the missing cellphone, which, because it is waterproof, is still usable, even if Saint Anthony of Padua is the only person who knows exactly where it is. This could still be an expensive proposition, though. For example, you might open your telephone bill at the end of the month and find out that you have made phone calls to at least eighty-five people in Australia and twenty more to people in Astoria, Queens. Upon investigation, and you will investigate because you are not paying a two thousand dollar phone bill, no way no how not going to happen, as you maniacally screamed at the telephone company’s payment department’s somewhat English-speaking representative in Bangalore, you learn that a Greek fisherman slit a bluefin tuna’s belly open somewhere off the coast of Crete and out fell your now not lost cellphone, and he promptly used it to call all of his relations everywhere in the world. And then he looked at porn, a lot of porn, more Greek porn than you ever knew existed, which only proves that you don’t get around very much and that fishing is a very lonely business.

    And this is just the best-case scenario. What happens if something else uses your cellphone? Dolphins, for example, don’t have access to a phone most of the time, but when they do, they enjoy using their prehensile penises to make obscene phone calls to female police officers, especially in California; why California faces this problem more than other places is the subject of ongoing research, but early and very tentative results from a UCLA study suggest a linkage between obscenity and police pensions in that state. Most fish have no use for a phone, cell or landline, but hermit crabs will have no compunction about using your phone to call their realtors. The fight for better underwater housing is Darwinian in its intensity and the recent housing crisis doesn’t seem to have affected the hermits’ race for new and roomier homes; they want what they want and they’re going to get it no matter how far in debt they have to go, an attitude I’m sure the bankers loved just a few short years ago, but one that few people can afford nowadays. That the hermit crabs still act this way shows how economically unrealistic some species can be, no matter how awful the market is. As P.T. Barnum didn’t used to say, there’s a suckerfish born every minute.

  • a “fast night out for tacos” click link below

  • a civilian-mass audience

    AKAKY…oime…yes,fishing is a lonely business…oime,AKAKIE,oime:)))


    A big THANK YOU and safe travels to PRABUDDHA DASGUPTA…he is going Upstairs!

    May the Spirits be with US…

    I LOVE YOU AlllllllllllllllL…

    wine on KAYHLEEN FONSECA today…viva MY BURNIANS!!!

  • wow! lots of videos….but no time to watch right now.
    Will catch up later!

  • more great work.. by Aaron Huey…..
    photos + vision…..

  • “Today our book (based on a true story) was featured in a 5 page spread in the Sunday Times of London in the Magazine section..”

    “I head off soon on a dream road trip from New York to Los Angeles to continue my 3 yrs in the making ”

    Harvey, I dunno, you get to do all this cool stuff, hang out with beautiful young women, I’m feeling very inadequate here.

    You’re an inspiration to all us old photo dudes out here. Looking forward to American Family.

  • ALL

    apologies for my absence…a Harvey family reunion in Colorado (where computer time deemed illegal) and now off to Chile for my show opening has left me with no time to comment here…i will be in Santiago for about a week, but should have some time to write a new dialogue post…

    i just had to buy a not my preferred style warm jacket in a golf shop at the Dallas airport when i suddenly realized two hours before flight time i was indeed flying into winter….yup, that’s how i buy clothes all the time…and that’s why i also have never been accused of being “fashionable”…

    stay tuned for a John Gladdy essay up next..

    cheers, david

  • @ DAH
    Buen viaje al sur! and yep… beyond Equator season is the opposite as in northern hemisphere…

    Tell the cops, that there are some solutions before shooting to dead and stop someone who has a knife walking down the street… Taser, Lacrimo Gas, Rubber bullets, Geez!!!To much Call of Duty in America!! I CAN NOT BELIEVE THAT!!

    The shooting starts in this video at 3’20

    Angry Patricio

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Happy Birthday KIM SKOULIDAS!!!

    and Happy Birthday to All of YOU out there!

    Thank you EVA,VIVA for the report and yes, GORDON …London is calling!!!
    don’t forget to give a big kiss to MARTHA and MOM!

    MR.HARVEY…YES!!!…safe travels amigo…I bet,I have wished you at least 300 hundred times
    Safe travels…:)))
    yes,AKAKY…watch me…300 is coming up and it’s all mine:)))))))))))))))))))

  • a civilian-mass audience

    PATRICIOM…keep reporting!

  • Now, you may find this a little hard to believe, but gentrification has had some unusual effects here in our happy little burg. In the years since our economic turnaround began, we’ve had an influx of people from the metropolis to the south. Most of these folks are artists of one sort or another, the type of people who refer to well-known holes in the wall as spaces and who often wonder aloud why they can’t buy their favorite coffee here. Their favorite coffee often has a very long name, which causes no end of confusion hereabouts, as most of the indigenous population thinks of coffee as a beverage that either comes black or with cream and sugar. But what really sets the gentrifiers off from the gentrified is the worldview of the former. They are a well-traveled, cosmopolitan lot, on the whole, dropping the names of obscure Parisian restaurants in conversation in much the same way as our stout yeomanry drop dollar bills on the lottery and nodding knowingly at the mention of artists whose work is so obscure that their parents haven’t heard of it yet. With all of this sophistication, you may well wonder why these people would want to spend any amount of time with a provincial yutz like me. The answer, I’ve found, is that for all of their worldliness and sophistication, most of these people have never actually met a Republican.

    Yes, it is a good time to be a Republican here in our happy little burg; I know that my party registration has improved my social life immeasurably these past years and I am positive that being a Republican can do wonders for your social life as well. Rock-ribbed Republicanism will help you get girls and be the life of any party you attend. It won’t help you clear up your skin, of course, but in the main, you will be a more exciting, more fascinating person when you finally stop procrastinating and register in the GOP.

    You are probably asking yourself, but Akaky, how is this possible? I’ve tried everything I can think of to improve my social life, from using industrial strength Clearasil to going online to set up blind dates with transsexual Filipino lesbian dwarves. How will my being a Republican make me a more interesting person and help me score with chicks, which, as we all know, is the main purpose of any male’s social life, no matter what their party affiliation. Let me explain what happened to my social life.

    The vast majority of our gentrifying influx was, as mentioned, from the metropolis, a well-known one party state where Republican are few and far between, and when they do win elections, they have to compromise on vast swathes of the GOP agenda and pretend that they meant to register Democratic when they were filling out the voter registration form but that the form was confusing and the guy in front of them in line farted loudly and so they accidentally checked the wrong box. So most of our gentrifying influx has never actually met anyone who fundamentally disagrees with just about everything they hold near and dear to their hearts. Your average cosmopolitan knows that Republicans exist, of course, but they know that they will probably never meet one in the course of the day and so long as they remain ensconced in their island home our cosmopolitan need never think about such people. So they ignore them, and by them I mean people like me, in much the same way that a Cairene ignores the Great Pyramid of Giza or a hungry dieter ignores the food pyramid with pepperoni pizza with extra cheese. But when the siren song of modern art calls to the cosmopolite, they must follow, even if it leads to our happy little burg, which hasn’t gone Democratic in a presidential race since Zachary Taylor won handily here in 1848. This was an anomaly, of course, and one the local historical society usually attributes to Taylor’s enthusiastic support among local Mexican War veterans. Faced for the first time in their adult lives with the much dreaded Other, many a curious cosmopolitan will seek to grasp just why it is that the natives believe in the odd things they believe in and so they often ask me to explain the hows and the whys of what is going on here.

    I don’t mind, of course; many of these people are quite sincere in their curiosity, although I am also quite sure that many others invite me along merely to shock their friends and add a bit of a political frisson to their dinner parties. It seems a strange fate for any Republican to be a suces de scandale, but it seems I have managed this difficult task on more than one occasion. I am not sure how I managed to get the job as token Republican in the first place; I suppose that some of my Democratic friends recommended me as someone who was reasonably intelligent, reasonably knowledgeable about what’s going on in the world these days, and could be trusted not to blow my nose in the tablecloth between the soup and the main course.

    In some ways, of course, I am a bit of a disappointment. I am not, for example, a member of the National Rifle Association. In fact, I do not own any firearms at all—I am, however, like a good many other civil servants, a dangerous man with a rubber band and a paper clip—and I have experienced my share of crestfallen looks from people who thought that I must, like the Republicans they’ve seen on television, have several years’ worth of canned goods next to the arsenal I have stashed in my own personal bomb shelter. I don’t actually have a bomb shelter, either, and this and the fact that I believe that if you wish to possess a 155mm howitzer of your very own, then the government ought to take a polite interest in what you intend to do with the thing (you might, for example, be planning to overthrow the constitutionally elected government of our happy little burg, or worse, plan to do a little target practice on Saturday mornings when I am trying to get some sleep), has led more than a few people to believe that I am not really a Republican at all. Nor am I an evangelical Christian and I am not completely sure I could identify with any degree of certainty the significant theological points of contention and agreement between Fundamentalists and Pentecostals, except for a somewhat unfortunate taste in hair styling. I suppose I am not atavistic enough.

    Still, I’ve learned over the years that one mustn’t completely dash people’s illusions, and I have managed to epater les avant-garde on more than one occasion. There’s nothing quite like the reaction one gets from pointing out to some cosmopolite with a home in Vermont who has just spent an hour expounding on the racial problem here in AmeriKKKa that the reason many white liberals love living in Vermont is that it gives them the opportunity to decry AmeriKKKa’s racist treatment of African-Americans for hours on end without having to live anywhere near actual African-Americans. The sound made on one of these occasions is a sort of a low moan, similar, I think, to the sound one makes when you step out of a car wearing brand new shoes and step right into a pile of fresh dog crap. Your average host or hostess usually loves this sort of political spat; it livens up the conversation in what, in other circumstances, would have been yet one more dull dinner party. They’ll denounce my obvious idiocy—this simply goes without saying, naturally; they have to keep their Vermont friend happy too, you know—and it almost certainly means another dinner invitation in the not so near future so that I can politely mock the shibboleths that they and their friends hold most dear. Hearing someone praise Karl Rove can be a mind-altering experience for some people, however common such praise may be in some GOP quarters. I guess everything sounds a bit shocking if you’ve never heard it before.

    My perplexing adherence to what these folks often refer to as the Repugnicans, the Rethuglicans, etc. causes no end of cognitive dissonance among the cosmopolitan population—they think, of course, that by all rights, I ought to be a Democrat, the same as them, and they will often ask, in their confusion, if there is anything I wouldn’t do for the GOP? To comfort them I say, yes, there is: I will not give money to a candidate for political office, even to a Republican candidate. You may not have noticed this, but campaign contributions only encourage politicians, a particularly noxious breed of peculating parasite, to run for political office in order to do whatever it is they do on the public payroll, and to continue to run for office long after the rest of the population has gotten tired of listening to them and wishes that they would simply go away and leave the rest of us alone. Our Great Republic will only survive if and when vast numbers of American citizens treat running for public office in the same way that they treat jury duty: as an onerous task to be avoided whenever possible, and if political office becomes inevitable, to be gotten out of as soon as possible. I mean, really, would you want the leader of the Free World to be someone too dumb to get out of being President? I didn’t think so.

  • Of interest to photobook lovers…

    PhotoBook Show C opens at Create Studios in Brighton this Friday evening. It’ll be open all weekend and there’s a special panel discussion taking place on Saturday afternoon organized by MiniClick’s Jim Stephenson.

  • a civilian-mass audience




    geez,I just went to check my dinner…““““““““““““kalamari …
    my “300” is gone and AKAKIOUS is here with 1500 words…
    really???…really …:)))))))))))))))))))))))))))
    I know to be a “civilian” is a lonely business …what about “an academian”…?
    oh,well…I LOVE YOU AKAKIE!!!

    THODORIS…we will be there…Σου ευχομαι καλη επιτυχια!!!

  • So what’s in Santiago? Chile, Cuba, or somewhere else?

    Probably of no interest whatsoever to photobook lovers:

  • Welcome to the USA Patricio….
    Sorry u had to witness our everyday reality here…;)

  • “The 15th of August or ‘Dekapedavgoustos’ is one of the most famous holidays in Greece.
    This day is a national holiday, no one in the country works and all the people named ‘Maria’ and ‘Panagiotis celebrate their onomastic day.”

    so: congrats to Panos and his sister Maria!

    see the article in ‘Greek Diaries’

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Don’t we ALL Love THOMAS!!!

    Ouzo on PANOS and wine and souvlakia and kokoretsia and spanakopites and xtapodia and yeah…
    chickens on me!!!

    cause today we are celebrating the BURNING resolution !!!


  • a civilian-mass audience

    BURNING resolution?:)))…oime,what am I drinking?:))))

  • Just discovered The Candid Frame…

    Check out an amazing interview with William Albert Allard

  • @ EVA: Nice interview with an incredible photographer. Also, nice view of NYC from the roof of the Kibbutz. Wish someday have a guided visit of the building by someone who lives there…
    I absolutely need to plan to go there.


  • hello ALL,
    from Antoine D’Agata and myself …
    We are in the heart of Texas looking to finish and put a final chapter on
    Antoine’s NEW MOVIE coming out in couple months.
    Stay tuned in my instagram/FB page to follow the trip in the HOT American South…
    some teasers from last night


    Lola and Antoine D’Agata

    Jenna texting her boyfriend

    in tha night

    frank and kim


    Jenna’s legs

    myself, Angelique and Antoine D’Agata

    next stop should be san francisco for the MOVIE Grand Finale :)
    big hug

  • Angelique and Antoine

    (to be continued and to be soon done :)
    love you All!
    Antoine sends LOVE to ALL in Burn..
    ok, back to work ,
    see u tomorrow night y’all;)

  • Go Panos!

    Awesome, can’t wait to see the end result!

  • Carlo,
    It’ll be a THRILLING MOVIE..very close to the final scenes/end at this point.
    Hoping it’ll be “out” in less than two months
    ( if the god of Editing permits ;)
    stay very tuned;)

  • Panos,

    Looking forward to it!


    Sad news indeed…

  • David,

    I’m banging my head against a wall right now for skipping your post about your visit 2 chile and not being at the opening last night… i’m right back from gallery… i’m out of myself, i thought i’d never gonna see those prints of ‘Divided Soul’ just a few blocks from my place… great! fantastic! Is not a mirage product of cold!
    I’ve been stalking at fb and tweeter… i won’t forget myself for not having (‘based on true story’) signed!

  • Antoine D’Agata will arrive in San Francisco Aug 23rd- Sep 2nd. He will be finalizing a short video project that will accompany his latest book release in France 2013. Antoine is seeking contacts that can help locate willing participants to be interviewed and/or filmed for the project. Subject matter should be relevant to his latest project, Ice.

    Any help is greatly appreciated! If you have information, please contact Antoine via: (call me actually at 310-745-7005 or by responding to this post directly.

    Much Thanks!!!!!

  • eduardo…

    David has portfolio reviews starting at 11 am somewhere through 3 pm, I’m sure he’ll be happy to sign your copy..

  • a civilian-mass audience


    PANOS tell him his name is ANTONIS…therefore,he is 100% Greek!!! Is that right THOMAS?:))))

    EVA…hmmm…yes,she is going Upstairs…!

    Thank you ALL for Reporting…FROSTY…and others…I need Updates ASAP!

  • CIVI, of course he is. We ALL are Greek!
    and my name is Θωμᾶς

    BTW – I’ll be in Athens – this Tuesday until Thursday morning, short trip.
    Hope to return more often again.

    What not to love!

    Big Hug!!

  • Hey dear Panos…

    Just a quick thanks for the reports(writing and visuals)on your days,job and adventures with Mr.awesomeness D’Agata to Burn crew. D’Agata is lucky to have you! Blood, passion, and truth on your way!

  • Civi – sorry for my absence lately. I have been pre occupied (in part, hopefully on something I might be able to show you before long) but finally I have an excellent report to give you.

    I have not had a good, commissioned, paying project since I put out my final issue of Uiñiq Magazine last November. And, of course, I have had to deal with all this medical stuff, with its complications, set backs, multiple surgeries, multiple visits to the emergency room, multiple hospital stays and accumulating six figure debt – and all with very little income coming in.

    Yesterday, I got a new contract approved to do a great project – create an illustrated history book of the Alaska’s North Slope (Arctic Slope) ofor the North Slope Borough School District, beginning in Iñupiat antiquity right up to these crazy times of melting ice and Shell Oil out in the offshore seeking and, by the conclusion, almost surely producing oil amidst the whales, bears, seals, walrus and other natural sustenance of the Iñupiat. Once complete, it will in turn be a resource to be used to create curricula for the different grade levels. I will be working closely with a brilliant Iñupiat educator who has led the way in creating school curricula from an Iñupiat view point. We anticipate two years, although the contract is for one and then we plan to make another contract for next year.

    We plan to involve students and elders along the way, and to create some photo/writing workshops for the youth.

    Without the new medical expense, it would be enough to live and and work on. Even with the expense, it finally gives me some footing to stand on. I am excited. I see endless possibilities before me.

  • Thank’s Eva! i cheked tweeter and fb this morning but came here on Burn out of time… If you know of any other activities i’ll thank you more than a lot, and i’ll be reading here at first hour.

    Viva Burn!

  • Frostfrog

    Congratulations on the new gig. It sounds like an awesome project.

    Your medical expense thing is just too bizarre. I cannot fathom the resistance to universal health care in the US.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    BIG HUG ΘΩΜΑ !!! I hope to meet this season…Finally:)!


    Come on BURNIANS…ON THE EDGE …I need reports…or else…

  • Thanks Gordon. It is bizzare. Insane, in fact. But I’m going to get on top of it.

    You too, Civi – GO! GO! – but not away.

  • Hi Civi, Hi Harvey. Heading to Hoosierland and watching you. Harvey if you travel through my neck of the woods I expect contact. Civi, olives, lamb and love. Time to smoke.. don’t forget the butt-rub.

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