Tonico and Alex


Changing clothes in the parking lot of a pier is just one of those things you end up doing sometimes down here Outer Banks way. Here my Brazilian bro Tonico changes his shoes and my friend Alex gets ready for a swim. Tonico a key character in my book set in Rio ( based on a true story) and i am shooting Alex for real.. so both my “models”…both super good people.

42 Responses to “Tonico and Alex”

  • Nice prop, the bike, I mean.

  • Oh I love this. And the couple in the distance…just fabulous David.

  • Another damned masterpiece. It’s just too good to even think about…


    i figured you were talking about the bike…and for sure no picture without the bike….i am trying to get a new set of pictures where questions and mystery are a key…this sort of goes with my roof shot of the nude dude and candy on the rocking horse in new york i think…and i made even another more provocative shot which is upcoming….


    looking for more new work from you whenever you have it amigo….and please visit when you have a chance….


    i am shooting constantly…and on about three different projects, yet all of them flow together….i used to separate stuff out too much i think….now i am flowing with med format film, and iPhone (this shot) all simultaneous…totally freed from assignment thinking as much as possible, i find that the stuff that goes on all around me all the time is fodder for all….simply put, i am having a lot of fun with photography ha ha….a blessing unto itself

    cheers, david

  • You live in beautiful place David. I envy you the ocean, beach, light, the wind. So much energy.

  • Besides it is a terrific image, as a script narrative thread -i think- is really a cool thing that Candy and Tonico are not in BR but the US, or so to say playing visit instead of local now, and vice versa.


    yes, i have traveled many places but for sure the light the smells the sounds here suit me….you are invited to visit of course…i think you would be happy….


    yes i know what you mean….i am doing a lot of new work dealing with narratives within the picture rather than narrative built with a series of pictures…

    cheers, david

  • “i am doing a lot of new work dealing with narratives within the picture rather than narrative built with a series of pictures…”

    For some reason I’ve lately become a bit bored with the photo essay per se; I seem to be getting more interested in a series of images with no real connection. Especially for a gallery type display.

    As an aside; we went to an Andy Warhol exhibition a few weeks ago; blew me away. The thing that got me the most were the video/films. It still amazes me how a person sitting, looking at the camera for 20 or so minutes; no sound, black and white was so riveting!

    It reminded me of Eggleston’s kids in “Stranded in Canton”. I know Eggleston hung out with Warhol and wondered who influenced who regarding the videos?

    Also went to the French Impressionists exhibition that afternoon; Warhol and Monet in one day… Art overload… :-)

  • i am doing a lot of new work dealing with narratives within the picture rather than narrative built with a series of pictures…

    Maybe that explains burn’s seeming drift in emphasis from essays to singles?

    Speaking of things to complain about (Warning: gear talk ahead), my Fuji X-100 died an unfortunate death. The timing was horrible for a variety of reasons, yet with all the many reasons I had to become depressed over its untimely demise, I found myself elated at the prospect of buying a new camera.

    Currently, I use the X-100 for most stuff and a humongous Canon for shots that require sophisticated lighting or focal lengths other than 35mm. So my first thought was to get the XPro-1 and sell the Canon stuff. But of course I had to check out the competition so I looked at the Sony RX1R and Nex7 and then grudgingly figured I should give the X-100s a look. Turned out the X-100s significantly outperformed all of the more expensive models in areas I care about (mostly size and low light image quality), albeit without interchangeable lenses. I ordered one and will be picking it up Friday. So I ended up being bummed out after all. Out all that money and don’t even get much of a new camera to show for it.

  • MW

    is there a drift on Burn to singles? not sure what you mean….we run essays only …

    that is except for BurnDiary and my musings here on Road Trips where i experiment and basically simply show my daily take on whatever or wherever i happen to be…i am personally a singles guy….i do not care personally about “connective tissue” when i am shooting…for a layout for a book or a magazine story i may end up with supporting pictures, but i think singles for sure ..

    i like my X100s…files exceptional…however, it does not auto focus in low light as well as that old trusty GF1 which beats em all in this regard….

    cheers, david


    i understand…and mostly i think our respective interpretations of what we want to see in an essay have evolved away from tradition print magazine interpretations of what a group of pictures is supposed to say…

    it sounds like you are having an amazing artistic adventure!!

    cheers david

  • stand alone singles that have a close kinship with the 2nd last and preceding image

  • Imants;”stand alone singles that have a close kinship with the 2nd last and preceding image”

    yup! :-)

  • Sam Harris’s images are stand alone yet they sit so well as a group

  • however, it does not auto focus in low light…

    Yea, there are always trade-offs. Before the x-100 died, I’d gotten to the point I just left it on ISO 6400. Focusing in the dark could be a bit of a problem though. Supposedly the X-100s has a lot better auto focus and an interesting sounding rangefinder-like manual focusing options. We’ll see. I really wanted the Sigma DP Merrill, which I gather has image quality like a medium format but is absolutely horrendous in every other category, especially low light. Maybe someday.

    As for the singles drift, seems there’s a lot more energy going into your Road Trips singles and the burn diaries than into the essays. Certainly a lot more comments. Though I realize that us local folk may well be the only ones paying attention to what goes on on the sidebar and the great majority of burn visitors focus on the essays. But I can see how one might drift. As someone pointed out, three impressive photographers go to the Amazon and find the same unique vision an it’s not color accurate. And I think there have been about 100 essays with unique insights into how bleak and depressing photographers find eastern Europe. Then there’s dogs in cars and dogs in swimming pools and similar unique ideas that make us chuckle. And prostitutes. Lots of unique pictures of prostitutes. The singles come as something of a relief. Now if only the poor things could escape that square box in which they’re being tortured (;

  • my x100 is a tad slow at times I guess the new Panasonic will be faster the gx1 was a dud still low light I like the epson for black and white especially mornings

  • Mike, within the last two or three weeks I jumped onto the iPhone/Instagram band wagon (billhess) and I have been having a blast with it, square format and all. The thing that does irritate me is that I often do not want to apply a filter, but just want to stick with normal and maybe punch it up with the contrast button, but once I Instagram the image I post it to my blog from my phone and for whatever reason, Instagram does not save a copy in the normal mode, so I am left with nothing for to post. So I am forced to use a filter every time.

    Please let me know how the low light auto-focus works on the new 100s. You’ve got me thinking about picking one up myself.

    Imants, that’s a stand-alone single of a series of images, kind of a photoessay in one single image collage. Interesting, too, and pretty damn deep – an image only Imants could create. And before you get all offended, that’s a complement. Of course, you might find a compliment offensive. I don’t know.

  • Hey Bill, I did the Instagram thing for a few weeks (mweb202). Really went into it with an open mind. Had some fun with it, but then realized I’m better off spending my time on other things. Maybe part of it is that I gave up my new IPhone (getting it back soon, long story), but I was mostly using the X-100 and transferring to the IPhone to upload in Instagram anyway. Even if it’s not for me, I don’t think badly of people who like it. Whatever turns you on, man. It’s certainly not harming anything since photos feel no pain, especially digital ones, even when garishly painted and confined to a tiny square box.

    Regarding the X-100 and low light, I’ve been in a phase all summer where I just about only photograph at night and I get by just fine with the focusing. It’s not great and I don’t doubt there’s better, but one uses the X-100 in low light for the file quality, not the focusing. Check out the camera comparisons at dpreview and you’ll see that at high iso’s, the X-100 blows the competition away. It’s not even close. Though somewhat surprisingly, I found the video to be something of a tipping point when comparing the cameras. The X-100s does 60 fps, which I think I’ll find very useful. Anyway, will let you know. Am very interested to see how the new manual focusing works, too.

    And if anyone feels like it, check out my new website and let me know if you have any comments or suggestions on the design. I decided to move on from PhotoShelter and built my own from scratch. It’s not done, either for functionality or content, but you can get the general idea.

  • David, thank you my friend. Would love to meet up again some time. I do have new work I’d like to share. New…but old. Out of the old comes the new. Something like that.

    Michael, I love my x100s. The auto focus is not ideal as David said….but measurable better than the x100. On the other hand, by zone focusing in manual mode it is instant. No measurable lag at all. I’m sure you will be pleased. It will feel like a new camera compared to the x100. And low light is no limitation.

  • I’m sure many of you don’t have a clue who I am, but I see several familiar names here so to you all I say “Hi, hope life is treating you well.”

    Today I was searching for something in an old external HD and happened upon this comment that DAH posted back on the original Road Trips blog in July 2008:

    “working on a long term project goes something like this:

    (a) initial burst of energy and enthusiasm..first pictures…this is the easiest part

    (b) a slow down….second guessing, tortured thinking…wondering if it will work out…this is the hardest part

(c) second wind….another burst of energy from out of nowhere..more good work comes…you start to see something really developing

(d) another slowdown…but not as bad as the first….because by this time you will have a pretty good body of work…and this time you must tell yourself you cannot quit..too much at stake by now!!!

    (e) your final burst!!! like a runner at the end of a race…last kick!!!! squeeze squeeze squeeze…

    (f) knowing you are done…just absolutely done….

(g) time to edit….and then that whole process all over again with editing!!

    (h) time to pursue a layout…time to study typography, design, paper, binding…which publishers will work best??

    (i) time to “make it happen”…do it..find the publisher, organize an exhibition, seek gallery space…

    (j) stay on top of the printing and distribution..make sure it comes off

    the press as you intended….

(k) opening night….all your friends and family are there…pop a bottle of champaigne!!! make a speech…sign books..enjoy enjoy enjoy!!!

    you MUST believe this is all worth it..and i can tell you that it is….but, you must know that this process is totally agonizing as well…you will suffer…you will be elated…you will suffer again and again…you must be happy with the percentages of pain/pleasure….90% pain, 10% pleasure…but that 10% is rare air…a place where very few go…
    YOU should go there!!!!

fondly, david

    Posted by: david alan harvey | July 12, 2008 at 05:02 PM”

    David had written this comment in response to a discussion we were having about a project I had started one month earlier but was planning on pursuing long term. In fact, he was kind enough to be mentoring me on it. Well, I am here 5 years later to say that everything DAH said about working on a long term project is true. I guess what I didn’t realize back then was just how long this roller coaster ride might go on. But I’m one of the lucky ones because it HAS moved forward and I am close to Step “j” with plans to go on press in Antwerp with my publisher in October, and, all going according to plan, will celebrate the book release in November. In relation to how I managed to find a book publisher and get solo exhibits (Step “i”), it all happened for me at the FotoFest 2012 portfolio reviews in Houston. What an amazing resource!

    I just want to say a big thank you to DAH and the original Road Trips blog community. You were the ones who saw something special in my project from the start and helped me over the early rough patches. They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, I say it takes a community to create a book. Thank you for being my community…


  • Hi Patricia,

    great to know that “Falling into place” is hitting the press. Congratulations! And nice to see you here around again.

  • Patricia, I don’t know you but just checked your website. Beautiful, moving and powerful work. Congratulations and I look forward to your book.

  • MW

    well i shoot singles every day…some of those singles are part of an essay..yet as i said earlier, i shoot singles mentally and the essay follows…..and the BurnDiary is of course singles, and yet most of what i see there could certainly be a one week “essay”….we still put way more effort into the essays on Burn….nobody on the Burn crew said “hey let’s emphasize singles”….i think that right hand column simply lends itself to singles….


    hey amigo , go into the archive of Burn…all the way back to the beginning and you will see how we published Patricia Lay-Dorsey’s essay Falling Into Place…

    cheers, david


    only one thing to say…i am so so proud of you!!

    this will be a magnificent book i am sure…and i want to do an interview with you here please please…and our book store will be open soon and i hope we can have your book there…

    yes, i am sure it seemed like it took “forever” to get that book published…yet considering you had to learn everything from scratch and had little knowledge of the biz, you moved on it….just like the long distance runner that you will always be….

    5 years is a long time but my dear that is 5 years faster than it took me to do my first book, ha ha!! and both of us way way slower than Martin Parr who probably did 15 books in the last 5 years…but who is counting? this is not a numbers game…all that counts is that you did it…with courage with perseverance with your eye on the prize….

    yours is a moving story for all of us…well, YOU are moving for all of us….

    you indeed looked in the mirror and made it a window….a reflection, and yet a laser beam…..

    good on you Patricia…i salute you….

    big hugs, big love, david

  • Patricia!!
    What wonderful news! I can’t wait to see the final product.

  • David, thanks for the tip. Unfortunately for some reason Patricia’s essay wont play…despite upgrading flashplayer…but judging by the comments I see I am missing a jewel of an essay.

  • Virgil,

    Can you try this link:

    and scroll down to Patricia’s essay? Looks like with this work around it plays.. but we’ll fix it, HAIK will fix it that is, he’s the man!

  • Patricia – good to see you here again. Congratulations! To write in complete but honest cliche, your persistence, patience and hard work has born fruit. I must have your book…

  • Eva, thanks much. It worked.
    Patricia, I sent you an email.

  • Well, welcome back, stranger! Nice to hear from you again. And glad to hear that the news is all good.

  • Hi friends, old and new! It’s so good to reconnect. I always see David and other Burn folks at LOOK3 but, with the packed schedule there, we never have enough time for a good visit.

    Regarding David’s invitation to be interviewed for Burn, I would be honored. I’ve still got 2-3 months before my book will be in hand so let’s wait till then. Don’t want to tempt the gods. I must say this has been, and continues to be a real adventure…not to mention a steep learning curve. As DAH said, I started from scratch so every step has had its surprises. But I’ve only been met with kindness and respect along the way. Even those with critiques have always given them with respect. Maybe I’m lucky but I think my experience simply reflects the wonderful openness of the global photography community.

    Speaking of global, after the on-press work is completed in Antwerp, I’ll be spending the weekend with our Burn brother Reimar Ott and his wife Andrea. Reimar and I have been Skype buddies for years, having met originally on Road Trips. This will be the first time we’ve met in person, but, as many of you already know, the so-called virtual friends we meet here are more real than we can imagine.

    Thanks to all who responded to my comment posted above, especially David who knows from the inside how this all started. Trust me, this project would never have gotten off the ground without his mentoring.


  • Patricia…

    I first saw the beginning of your work on RoadTrips, although in those days I wasn’t commenting. Congratulations!


    well mentoring is ONLY a matter of turning on the light so to speak….it was ALL inside YOU all along…

    i just looked at the original essay again…had not played it for awhile….it stands the test of time my friend…cannot wait to have the book in my hands…..

    cheers, david

  • One of my first pics from above mentioned x100s, which after a little drama, I was able to pick up this afternoon.

    That’s F2 at 1/18 at ISO 2500 for those keeping score. And I don’t have the steadiest hand.

    “stand alone singles that have a close kinship with the 2nd last and preceding image”

    Love this. reminds me of the first time I got to interact a bit with you, david, at the coffeeshop in C’Ville. You probably don’t remember, but you took the 20 photos I had brought (advice from the original road trips, either someone else or you) and edited it down to 4 – all unrelated scenes, places, people, times….and then you sequenced them and said “there. shoot like this and you are on to something”. I was able to see then they all had the same voice…feel, they flowed…even though they were all very different.

    That inspired me much then, and still does. Words seemed and still seem an inadequate thank you for the time and insight and inspiration you provided and still provide.

    So nice to see you back in these parts. I wish we had been able to chat more at LOOK3 this year, but I do look forward to having your book in my hand.

    I use the manual focus on the X100S sometimes. When I do, I usually get best results using my thumb on the AE/AF button to get force an auto focus, and then fine tuning with the ring. I can’t use the split image focus aid, it’s too dark and I can’t see it well enough. But I really like using the focus peak option.

  • Patricia, Virgil.. all..

    The essay is fixed and should now play properly:

    Also, here’s an additional post by Patricia:


  • Congrats Patricia!
    Well deserved…

  • a civilian-mass audience


    as MR.HARVEY said :” .it was ALL inside YOU all along…”

    What not to love !!!

    time for partyyy, BURN is the place to be !!!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    and don’t forget …to report ASAP to your nearest BURNing aisle.

    …requesting ALL BURNIANS for immediate response.

    Thank you in advance …( I have a list,you have been warned)

  • a civilian-mass audience


    happy and labor …go figure,oh,well, happy day my BURNIANS !!!

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