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…”

  • 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…

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