walking on water

© David Alan Harvey

Snapshots. Whatever is coming down around me at any moment. That is what I like about Instagram. For me a personal diary and I hope now for this audience as well. I think this is the best way for us to launch BurnDiary and for this audience to have a platform in real time.

Your best Instagrams, if you are the designated photographer for the week, will appear here on Burn.

Why Instagram?

Somehow Instagram just feels right. I started going to my Iphone for even serious shooting a couple of years ago and right at the same time wanted to do Instagram mostly just to stay in touch with my family. Then I simply liked it as a new creative and useful exercise.

I like shooting everyday and I vowed that my Instagrams would never be shot of any subject that was more than 20 feet away from wherever I  happened to be anyway,  as in the above picnic shot.  In other words I do not “go anywhere” to shoot an Instagram. That is my parameter, but does not have to be yours.

I just like the egalitarian nature of these little pictures on my phone. A level playing field for all. For sure it does not preclude serious shooting or books or anything else. It simply is what it is. Matter of fact, what it is may well be taken very seriously. I see more evidence of this everyday.

So now BurnDiary is a platform for you. A platform to be used any way you choose.

For those of you who are thinking of photography in a professional way, this is the time to “prove” you can do it. That is, producing on demand. So my friends here is your stage. Your time to show what you can do. If you can have a week of shooting and make a few really nice pictures, editors will notice. Almost everyone has a few stunning pictures in their portfolio.  Want to really make an impression? Show editors what you can do NOW.

OR simply relax, chill, and let the joy of photography as your personal diary become the imperative. It is all up to you.

You can do a mini essay or simply shoot random. Whatever suits your spirit. Whatever shows your authorship. Whatever is just fun for you.

We had been looking at a good way to do BurnDiary and for many reasons, technical and otherwise, Instagram seemed like the best way to let this audience shoot right before our eyes in real time. In the next 12 months, we will have 52 photographers that we will choose to let us see you “produce on demand” for a week. Give it a try. Let us know if you want to try it. This is sort of a trial run we are doing now starting with last year’s EPF winner Matt Lutton.

Here’s how it works:

Each week, a different photographer will be taking over BURN instagram, sharing and posting photos taken with their mobile device in real time. The contributing photographer will hold the reigns and take on the challenge, curating @burnmagazine to their own design and posting 1 or 2 photos a day.

The best of the best posted will be shared on BURN at this new page: BurnDiary

For those of you who don’t know much about Instagram, it is an application which can be accessed on your iPhone, Android, or tablet. The application is free – anyone can sign up.

Week 1 starts off with EPF 2012 winner Matt Lutton. He’ll be taking over BURN and Instagram for 1 whole week starting June 31.

Follow along with BURN on Instagram at this handle: @burnmagazine

Start fishing around and you will see many truly serious photographers using Instagram. I would like to see you be one of them.




62 Responses to “BurnDiary”

  • Snapshots or just photos? never mind, welldone dah !!!


    just photos of any kind…your choice….”snapshots” is simply a term i use to describe very loose freestyle shooting not done for commercial purposes….photography for the fun of it….

    cheers, david

  • Ok yes I want to do this. I find the whole idea extremely inspiring. I’ve always worked best under pressure…

  • marcin luczkowski

    Snapshots, best kind of photography. I hope there will be a lot of your own photos David.

  • Brave move posting that photo these days.

  • dah
    i agree with the term ”snapshots”. but i prefer the term ”jazz” photos. just photos for the fun of the soul not for the mind, like photo-stories do :) (different things of course).

  • I’m interested, but don’t know how else to let you know. Where should I write?


  • David,

    so so Happy and jolly play!
    I always admire your creativity and inspirations.

    Toast to enthusiasm!!!

  • Sign me up Harvey. Check my feed @paulomaraphoto

  • Awesome!
    Would love the chance to participate.
    Instagram for sure is a good fit for Burn Diary…good move!
    Looking forward to seeing how it will evolve.

  • sweet idea, expanding the realm of shooting for fun. if i’d like to put my name in the hat, how do i?

  • Very cool new chapter for burn! I’ve added you. I also love instagram and iphoneography for many of the same reasons you mentioned above. If my brand new iPhone 5 hadn’t been stolen at the Delhi rape protests I would have shot five weeks of the Kumbh Mela with it among many other things :( Bummer. Got a new phone a couple months ago after returning to America and I’m back at it. My feed is @cathyscholl

  • right about now I would probably be looking for feeds from inside egypt as it gets ready to deal with a possible millitary coup, and the muslim brotherhood stndoff, and the million person protest, and the helicopter gunships overhead……

  • of course an instagram diarist on the bolivian presidents plane in the last few hours would also be interesting.
    The forced grounding and search of the airplane of a head of state…..gotta love that. You yanks…big cojones

  • Excellent opening shot. No doubt, this will prove to be a very fun and popular feature and should bring in more readers and new life. So far, I have stayed away from Instagram. I went to sign up, once, but did not like the things they were asking me to agree to and so didn’t complete the process. I know its just formalities, nobody pays any attention, there have been no bad consequences that I know of and everybody from Google to Facebook to the NSA already has all our information anyway and everybody is Instagramming, but at the time it just seemed one more step too far to me.

    At the moment, I feel as though I am already spread too thin and so I think I will not join in all the fun, for now, anyway. Who knows about next month?

  • Nice! Despite the derision that Instagram gets by many people these days (all about effect, not the shot, etc.), I love it. I love that it got me thinking about photography ALL the time, whether I have a camera on me or not.

  • Would love to give it a shot.

  • did you guys get this on your side of the pond?


  • So yeah, how does this work if you want to be one of the 52?

    I gotta say I have avoided Instagram and have only used it to post portraits of famous people. I think I am up to four now, but it’s been awhile. I think it would be a fun challenge and I know I can rock it.

  • Oh yeah, and this is mandatory viewing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nn-dD-QKYN4 :P

  • you guys interested in a week’s of photographs from my Trip to Taiwan?….not instagram of course…

    but willing to give you a week’s worth of pics…of course, i imagine they’re intense ;))…

    all med-format madness…

    but if it’s only for iphone/instagram, i’m not sure i qualify

    any thoughts?

    skype u soonest


  • can give u 5 or 10…keep it straight, as most are for final chapter of Wan Li, but willing to share, if y’all want…as it gets going, etc


  • a civilian-mass audience

    Happy 4th of July !!!


    BURNIANS…are u ready to fly?:)))


  • Long interview by Jeff Dunas, but worth the read, imo, “Manfred Heiting, the most important photobooks collecter in the world”:



    good point…this little girl is the daughter of friends of our family and with express permission and in fact gratitude for the shot….i do not talk to or even look at kids unless mom and/or dad right there…sometimes at airports or at the beach or any public place kids will stare at me as kids do ..or even try to talk…i walk away or look away..i sorta feel bad about it sometimes, but that is the way it is…

    cheers, david


    do what you would do for any magazine…check the masthead and write to one of the editors….we are looking at all who inquire….


    Instagram does not mean iPhone or any mobile phone needs to be the SOURCE……just means gotta be sent to Instagram on a smart phone..

    easy to get any picture on to your phone…

    i do it by simply emailing a photo to myself and opening the email on my phone and saving the photo to the camera roll…there might be better ways …anyway all your gritty b&w easily set in Instagram….

    you do realize that i have no corporate stock in Instagram ..right? or any commercial connection…i am just a normal user….i WISH i had a connection!! no not really…my real pride here on Burn is that we have been able to run all this time, giving grants etc etc WITHOUT any advertising or anybody owning us…independence means you eat Cheerios but the feeling is way better…

    the one thing required here with Instagram feed is that the pictures are from NOW..no archive stuff…i guess somebody could cheat…anybody can cheat on anything…but our goal is to give a platform in real time…

    would love to see you take a shot at it by whatever means possible…

    cheers, david

  • David:

    hey amigo, sadly my phone isnt even THAT smart! hahahahahahah…i’ve got the lost-cost, Flinstone model…meaning, i cant email the pics to my phone as my phone doesnt even have an email app (as you know, my $$ is budget tight)…which i guess means no instagram for me, for now, …anyway, love the idea thought of BurnDiary…and i know you aren’t promoting corporate, shit instagram is, at this point, more a name for how one does things with instants stuff…no worries….

    i developed 1 roll from the trip already, pretty crazy stuff (all that emotion)..only shot 5 rolls of med format for 10 days…going back in october to shoot like crazy to complete, finally this long journey of the last 14 months…

    i’ll find an outlet for it

    sending you hugs, will try skype u after this week..



    well if we miss coverage on this particular Egyptian revolution i think we only have to wait a few months before there is another…seems to be no plan….who can run that country? or any country for that matter…

  • I think the Burn Diary is a great way to go. Maybe I’ve just missed it and others are doing the same thing, but it seems to me a great innovation in publishing. Life Magazine never did anything like that.

    My only concern is with the Instagram/Facebook part of it. The immediate concern is the square format. “Square” was a pejorative in the sixties for good reason. Photography-wise, it’s more difficult to compose for 1:1 than 3:2 or any landscape oriented rectangle for that matter. Of course one can take that as a challenge, study square compositions, and master the medium — not a bad thing. Or one can say “down with the squares, man” and subvert them by letterboxing the photos. So it’s not necessarily a drawback for any particular individual, but its very likely that because of its very nature, across a large sample of even burn level photographers, the square format will result in a dip in quality from what otherwise would have been.

    The second concern is that even if no advertising is showing up on Instagram feeds at the moment, I’ll bet the farm that won’t last. Nevertheless, nothing wrong with letting the think live for the moment and dealing with the future when the future comes.

    So congrats. I’m really looking forward to seeing where this thing goes.

  • Anyone in west london tonight
    there will be much boozery and schmoozery. Lots of graffiti and pop artists…….and for some reason some of my stuff including my first foray into screenprints.

  • This is an great idea.

    Unfortunately, I do not use a smart-phone. Can one post photos not taken with a mobile device on Instagram?

    I do make photographs every day and post them on facebook however.


  • MW…

    Having shot quite frequently with a hasselblad for many years I personally find the square format a piece of cake. Maybe I’m just the exception but I sometimes find it easier than other formats.

  • AKAKY: I hate spellchecker.

    AKAKY_IRL: Why do you hate spellchecker, or should I even bother to ask?

    AKAKY: Because it gives people the sense that they don’t have to check what they’ve written. For example, the contributing editor will hold the reigns, which is what Mr. Harvey wrote but doesn’t mean, does not mean the same thing as the contributing editor will hold the reins, which is what Mr. Harvey meant but didn’t write, given that reins and reigns are not the same word and do not mean the same thing. See what I mean?

    AKAKY_IRL: [Pregnant pause]

    [More pregnant pause]

    [Yet more pregnant pause]

    [The pregnant pause sends out for pizza, as this thing is apparently going to last for a while]

    AKAKY: You’re milking it way too long, dude; the dramatic tension is slipping away. It’ll be gone entirely by the time that pizza gets here.

    AKAKY_IRL: You really are a pedantic prick, aren’t you?

    AKAKY: So people keep telling me.

    AKAKY_IRL: Listen to them, guy; they’re right. Do something about it, too. No one likes a pedantic prick, take my word for it.

  • Paul; I haven’t shot much square, but love the format! Have to do more… :-)


    you are a “diary” man by nature….that is what you do anyway…in any case, we will wait for when you have time..

    honestly for me , in my busiest days, it seems the phone camera bit fits even the craziest possible schedules since no “effort” of process must be made…the phone is part of your hand, therefore also part of your body, part of your eye/hand coordination and thus the appeal for me anyway…


    please make sure you get your name in the hat with candy@burnmagazine.org…she is keeping things organized in a way so that we can then all review who would be best and when…a moveable feast ….

  • MW

    yours are all questions i have had as well…

    i have studied the whole rights bit with FB and Instagram..more importantly chats with our Magnum attorney who is like a hawk on this stuff…and remember i am for sure 100% a photographer rights maniac…publishers have always been the friend/enemy all along my career…and need careful scrutiny….

    however, so far i have heard of no transgressions or grievances in actual fact…only a lot of paranoid rhetoric with not one trespass that i know of..so on this point i would say chill….or, just don’t do it…personal decision…

    the square…there are several apps that allow for “full frame” shooting/publishing on Instagram…you have zero reason to crop or shoot square if you do not like…i use Squaready app but there are several others maybe better ….hell you know there is an app for everything in life!!!

    i use the full frame app sometimes but most often use the square because it gives a larger image size…and i shot square in college with Rollei etc so for me no big deal and i like square just fine anyway….

    we are only trying to provide an extra opportunity for some in this audience..no more no less….

  • dah :))

    i found out how to upload to Instagram w/out using a phone…involved dealing with Bluestack…so, in a week or so, i’ll open an account…and see how it works :))…

  • Hey David, I expressed no concerns about rights and have none, so I guess you were thinking of someone else. Good to bring it up though. I’m sure there are many that do have those questions.

    Regarding the square, and this is mostly off-topic, I’ve been giving it a lot of thought for awhile now, even before I noticed Instagram. But regarding Instagram, although I have yet to post anything to it, I’ve been watching, see the work of a lot of very good photographers, and have given considerable thought to how they handle the 1:1 ratio.

    Seems to me that, in general with the 1:1 aspect ratio, people are much more likely to center the subject in a static composition. Of course that’s not the case with most photographers we know in common. I’m looking at Instagrams by Kurt Lengfield right this moment that are very well composed. And the Gaijin essay that’s currently running is a great example of a photographer composing well for that format.

    So it can certainly be done. For me the question is more “why?” At this point in my thinking, I find the square to be very constricting and claustrophobic. Seems like the subjects are trapped or jailed in the composition much more often than not. Just taking the wonderful picture you took of the little girl at the top of this thread as an example, it looks like she’s about to run into the wall. But if you crop it to 3:2 just above the cloud that’s just above the horizon on the right, It completely changes the tone of the picture, making her appear the epitome of freedom rather than captivity. Of course neither is necessarily “right.” Aspect ratio is just another aesthetic choice one can make depending on what one wishes to communicate. Claustrophobic works, for example, in the Gaijin essay.

    But looking at the wider art world, it seems to me that something more like the 3:2 aspect ratio is much more popular. Almost certainly in more modern painting. Then of course there’s the cinema where the screens have long been wide. I think that’s because you can do much more compositionally on a wide canvas. That there are many more emotions you can convey. More stories you can tell. But who knows, maybe the incredible popularity of Instagram will turn the tide and in 20 years everyone will be buying square screen tv’s.

    Anyway, none of that is a negative criticism of Burn Diary or the choice to use Instagram. As you note, people can do with it what they will and I am really looking forward to seeing what they will.


    ha ha there was no doubt in my mind at any point that you would not find a way!! after all, you are Bob Black…..good on you

    cheers, david

  • a civilian-mass audience

    BURNIANS…are you ready to fly ?

  • FYI for those of you not that familiar with Instagram. If everyone participating tags their Instagram post with #burndiary you can just click on that hashtag and see all the images with that tag in the Instagram stream. Some folks are already doing it and I’ve seen some great/interesting shots by people I don’t know.

  • Great idea! I like to take pictures with my mobile!

  • MW

    well amigo, you might be obsessing a bit on the square format…as i said, zero reason for you to shoot square Instagrams since the apps out there allow you to shoot and publish any format…it ends up in a square template but the image can be anything

    if you really hate square go check out Larry Fink….Social Graces or Boxing for example….some see square as actually forcing one to think…is square claustrophobic or just harder to do? you are right about films and painting etc and i also prefer the horizontal formats, but there has been some great work done square…

    in any case, your call….

    cheers, david

    Okay photobook junkies i am listing on amazon 2 copies of trent parke bedknobs and broomsticks, unopened mint for £200 each
    Bruce Davidson Outside Inside 2009 FIRST EDITION, 2 sets, One completely unopened mint and one opened mint (with slight dent on corner of cardboard shipping crate- books and slipcase mint) £300 each set.
    Any burn readers who are interested email me and we can talk about a price.
    I also have one of my Haselblads for sale H1 full kit in aluminium flight case £1250 to burn readers (or we can talk)
    I need to get some motion picture grip/recording solutions and this is all stuff that just sits there doing very little.

  • Had to jump through a few hoops, but it’s doable.

    Not really obsessing about the 1:1 format, just thinking about it. Is the square claustrophobic or just harder to do? My guess is both. Certainly for me.

    Will definitely check out Fink’s work. Thanks.

  • MW…

    You’ll probably get used to the square format. The important thing is to get creative and loosen up with the 1:1. We don’t want to be a chef who’s worried more about cooking technique rather than the taste of the dish itself.

  • Maybe David. I’ve got to quit fooling around and focus on getting the enormous job and the smaller but still big jobs I have taken on done, but I can’t stop myself from thinking of some of the possibilities and how I might be able to pull it off.

  • Didn’t Huey Lewis already decide for us that it was hip to be square?

  • David, with regard to you not speaking to children unless with their parents: this happened to me.

    I was walking down an alley between shops and a car park when a little girl (about 4 – 5 years old) approached me and said “Can you help me find my mummy?”. I thought “NOOOOooooooo!” but said “Of course I will, hold my hand (HOLD MY HAND) and we will go and find her”. As we walked towards the shops I was waiting for the shout “Stop that man! He’s taking my little girl!”. To cut a long story short, we went into a large store and I told the tale to a member of staff – just to get a witness – and just as the little girl began to cry her mummy turned up and told her daughter off for getting lost! A bloody nightmare but I couldn’t just leave her.

    Instagram claims a right to use your photographs for free, I’ve seen you earlier post about this but I would have thought that you would have a concern here.

    Will we still be able to submit essays to Burn? I finally have something for your consideration but I can’t find how to submit.


  • all a great idea. how does one get one’s postings noticed? my monicker is @sblitz1

  • John Gladdy….
    I’m impressed! Just arrived home from work and found a parcel from Sorika! Now that’s speed and efficiency. Book looks great and love the photo included in with it. I’ll start reading tonight and I’ll be posting a review on Amazon once I’ve finished.

  • For those of us without smart phones, we can follow along here: http://statigr.am/tag/burnmagazine/

    Gonna have to try out that Bluestacks program now (thanks Bob!).

  • Sorry, wrong URL above. Follow along here: http://statigr.am/burnmagazine

  • PAUL.Thanks. Hope it does something for you. But even if you dont like it, please say so in the review. hagiography’s are only really useful for saints.

    New website layout from potatoshelter.
    First time I looked I thought ‘shit, I took all those?’
    Looks kinda funky.

  • John Gladdy…

    Oh I’m sure it will do something for me. My wife has already picked it up in awe as she went through the images – she used to paint very, very well and then asked me to translate the back cover…that’s a good sign.
    Don’t worry no worshiping reviews…although perhaps hagiography should be for the bad (but not evil)guys at least they are always true to their bent. Saints were just too worried repressing instincts.
    Anyway off to see your link… I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be a long, long night…

  • John Gladdy…

    That’s one snazzy website layout you’ve got their! I want more pictures can’t get enough of that honest grit you manage. Wouldn’t mind seeing you do some kind of intimate portrait essay on the life of one of your female models/friends…

    BTW Here’s a couple of my new street portraits… Thoughts John?

  • I’m sorry, but I did not understand. How do I submit my photos? I have to share photos on instagram with the tag @burnmagazine ?


  • Hi Max,

    Please tag the photos with #burndiary , thanks!

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