Big Al – Conversation

Alec Soth photographed in San Antonio , Texas by Panos Skoulidas , April 6, 2011


On Apr 6, 2011, at 3:04 PM, David Alan Harvey wrote: 

many thanks for the transcribe anna…pictures? d


On 4/6/11 2:49 PM, anna maria barry-jester wrote:

Here you go…
There seems to be a little missing in the middle of the interview…I think a sentence cut off between clips you sent me…you should be able to fill it in very easily from the original file….I noted in bold where I think something is missing below.

Here’s the transcript of the Soth interview….this is unedited…this is a FOR REAL CONVERSATION

DAH – Alec Soth Interview

Nat sound (ringing)

DAH: Let me start with the most recent thing that I found out about, and that is Big Al’s printing. The thing that’s always fascinated me about you, other than your photography which of course is how I knew you in the beginning, is your versatility. I mean I knew your work only with Mississippi of course, Sleeping by the Mississippi, before having met you in person. And then very quickly you became a very popular blog person and you’re involved in a lot of stuff- soft industries as I like to call it. And then we’ve got Big Al’s printing. Tell me about this multiplicity of ventures for you, besides your photography.

ALEC SOTH: Well first of all, I mean, I’m talking to you from Minnesota, and I have this sort of midwestern sensibility in which I think everything is always going to come to an end, and I’m gonna fail. And I feel a need for job security. So the most secure thing has been diversifying everything so I don’t have all my eggs in one basket. So that’s where Big Al’s comes in. But I’ll tell you what led up to that is that I was in Alex Majoli’s place in Italy, and he’s got this set up where he’s got a studio, and then there’s this Chesura lab, which is this group of people that use his equipment, but have their own little printing operation as well as all sorts of other stuff that they do. And I thought that was really fantastic, and so I came back home, and I thought, this has always been an issue, where we have all of this stuff, all of this equipment, um, but it just sits there a lot of the time when I’m not using it, so it just seemed like it makes sense. I mean, the people who work for me use it, but why not have them expand that and let other people, charge other people to use it, you know, make a little bit of money. But also there’s this one guy, his name’s Eric, who wanted to do some work with me or whatever, so he can run that thing, it’s not really my business, I’m not that involved with it, a little bit involved with it, but it just made sense. But I’m not like Mr. entrepreneur, you know.

DAH : Well, you’ve definitely diversified, and of course I’m going to copy you on every single thing. Of course I’ve hated every minute of copying you.

ALEC: But that’s what it is, I’m copying Alex. (laughter)

DAH: I know, I know, he’s got an empire there. But it’s a very interesting model for all of us. So you’re main person I guess who was your printer for your shows ended up sort of creating his business through Big Al’s operation.

ALEC: …A little bit, we had a printer that worked up to a certain size, and then we had to outsource a bigger size. and so, at a certain point, it’s just like “I’m going to buy that printer, it doesn’t make any more sense.” But if i’m going to buy the printer we might as well use it, you know, that kind of stuff.
But the thing is, it was being exposed to Majoli’s way of doing things, which isn’t for me, I mean, I’m not gonna have…it’s like a commune out there. You know, they’re all sleeping in rooms above the studio, I don’t want to do that. I just want to pool our resources. I mean, that’s what it’s about, and when you talk about Magnum, that’s what it’s about. It’s pooling resources.

DAH: Right, is that the modus operandi for Little Brown Mushroom as well, is that the same kind of thing?

ALEC: That’s a little bit different. I mean, Little Brown Mushroom is about having fun. So, and, Big Al’s is, well, who knows what it is, it’s about we’ve got some equipment lets use it. Little Brown Mushroom is about having fun, and making cool things. And it’s not about the art world, it’s not about getting caught up in that, it’s not about trying to make money, and if it makes money fine, if not that’s ok, you know, I just want to break even ideally. But it’s about that spirit of when you’re a teenager and you’re just making stuff because you love it. It’s just remembering that feeling you know. When you get caught up in the professionalism of everything, you can forget about it.

DAH: Oh yeah, it ruins everything, right?

ALEC: Well, it’s a danger, and that’s what I would say about the blog. You know, I started the blog as a retreat from the art world, as a place to just talk about issues, and then all of a sudden it turned into another business, and so I dropped it. Little Brown Mushroom hasn’t yet, it’s still, it’s like we’re just having a lot of fun with it.

DAH: Yeah, it looks like it. Yeah, it’s great. Who did the design work, did you do that or did you have a designer do that?

ALEC: It started off, I mean, I don’t know anything about design. You know, I don’t know cmyk from… I’m an RGB, photoshop, that’s all I know. But I wanted to make little things, so I just started making little zines. you know, the kind of thing where you go to Kinkos, you know, staple-bound little things. And then one thing led to another and I met a designer named Hans Sieger, who lives in Wisconsin, and uh, it all kind of came together in my head. Little Golden Books was something I was interested in, do you remember those children books? They were published out of Wisconsin, and it just felt like something that was meant to be. And so here’s this really cool designer, who happens to live there, you know, he does most of his work in New York, really high end, but he lives in Wisconsin. And here’s Little Golden Books, and merging these ideas. And he works unpaid, he just works just for the fun of it too, he’s just into it, and so we collaborate on it, we print it in Wisconsin which is great. It’s a little cottage industry.

DAH: Yeah, well, that really is cool. That’s interesting. You say that you’re, that this was one of the things, Big Al’s, and then just your mentality in general is kind of a midwestern job security thing, which you know, I understand that. And the other thing is just to have fun and a little bit of an escape from the art world. On the other hand, you’ve busted your ass to make it in the art world. So is it just because…you don’t really want to escape the art world do you? I mean, isn’t that your mainstay?

ALEC: Yeah, that’s how i make a living. Um, it’s not that I want to escape the art world, but I have to keep it fresh, and it’s kind of like, uh, to use a music analogy, it’s like. Ok. Maybe I’m not playing arenas now, but I’m playing big venues. And sometimes you have to just go down to the club, and just play, and play some new stuff for a real audience. That’s what I mean, it’s just like keeping it fresh, you know, and also keeping the experimentalism alive so that you can try things. So maybe you can screw up at the little club with 30 people, it’s not that big of a deal.

DAH: Yeah, everybody loves the garage band. The garage band stage of anybody’s career is THE stage.

ALEC: Absolutely, right. Its just keeping some of that alive is all.

DAH: I understand that completely. That’s a pretty good analogy.

ALEC: You know, I want to play arenas, I mean, don’t get me wrong I want the big audience still, I just want to keep it fresh.

DAH: Now, you’re in the art world, you’re selling prints, you played the arenas so to speak. At the same time, you’re doing some editorial work. That certainly isn’t for the money, that editorial work. So is that just part of the fun thing? Or keeping yourself fresh? Or where does that come in? That’s more of the, why would you be in Magnum in the first place since you’re so successful in the art world?

ALEC: (audio missing between clips???) one iota. And if you think about what that collective artist could be, it’s gigantic. The thing is, I started big al’s last week, and I email some people or whatever and it goes around the little blogosphere. But I ask Magnum to put it on their facebook, and to do a tweet about it, and that’s a lot of people. And, we can access just a much larger audience as a group.

DAH: So distribution is still important, it’s just a different kind of distribution. It’s a twitter, facebook fanclub thing. Plus we bring our own audiences in there too.

ALEC: Yeah, absolutely. And bringing our own audiences into that is something that we haven’t really done, or figured out how to do. Um, but we’re working towards it.

DAH: Yeah, well, that’s what you and I are supposed to do. We’re on the committee. I’m a little bit out of the loop. I saw the note from Jonas this morning, but it’s the first time I’ve heard from him, so. There are a lot of reasons for that. I do wish we were a little more coordinated with those kinds of ideas and thinking, cause I think that if we actually really did get you and jonas and chris and I in the same room, even for a short time, we might be able to come up with a bunch of good ideas that could push us forward. Unfortunately we don’t really have the mechanism for that because we’re all out in different places all the time. That’s the bad part about Magnum. The good part is that when we’re together there’s magic often times. But then we go off in separate directions, it’s very hard for us to stay coordinated.

ALEC: For me, I mean, and I talked about this, I don’t know what’s
(rambling about what part of this conversation will be used)

ALEC: This is a real taboo, but it’s something I wanted to talk about…it’s the club element of it. And I hate the word club, but, I think it’s a significant part of what it is for people. You have this brand, you’re attached to this thing, and these other people, and I think so much of the business stuff, which actually doesn’t work, just gets in the way of all that.

ALEC: The retreat was really successful. And it was like, wow.

DAH: Well, I can see, I mean I couldn’t even be there but I was all over that psychologically from the very beginning because I thought, if I can have the Magnum crowd down here like where I’m sitting right now. I mean, I’ve got dunes, I’ve got water, and I’ve got a great front porch. I’ll just show you (sounds of david picking up computer and walking away). This is where I want to hang out with you guys. I’d like to invite a bunch of you down here, you know (sound of creeky screen door opening), and uh sit on my porch right, and look out at the sand dunes over there.
(sound too faint to hear). I would love it if you guys were sitting down here by the fire, and it would be a great meeting of the minds. The truth is that when I do meet Magnum photographers, like one on one, and on assignment, we really do have a lot of good stuff in common, and I’m sure you found that out on the retreat.

ALEC: The business stuff comes out of it too. I mean, like I said, just going to Majoli’s place, suddenly Al’s opens up 3 weeks later just from that experience. And it’s that kind of pooling of resources, which we don’t even have time for, and that’s how the retreat came about is my frustration that the AGM (??), at least for the younger generation, cause we used to not have to be involved, and now we have to be involved, and it’s just ruined it, where we don’t get to hang out.

DAH: It’s a slug, you never get to go out and just have a beer, and somehow you don’t even end up talking about the business stuff. You end up getting into spreadsheets instead of the business, and there’s a difference. Now listen, I know you have to go, and I think we probably have enough…
…wait, but I have to show you my window, just to see where you don’t want to visit. Let’s see if we can get the exposure right (laughing).

ALEC: I have this feeling that Magnum’s just going to turn into BURN.

DAH; No! I don’t mean…

ALEC: No, I mean it in a good way.

DAH: No, to be honest with you, what I really really want to do is probably quit burn in June, or have it evolve into something else, or have somebody else run it or,

ALEC: I know what you mean, but it’s just that the spirit of it, it’s just like funding Paolo’s thing..No, but it’s just like, that’s the kind of energy that we so badly need.

DAH: I know it, but the thing is what I don’t want to do, and I’m sure that you of all people can totally appreciate this, I don’t want to get so involved in minutia and local politics that it just burns up all of the energy. There’s x amount of stuff that we’ve all gotta do in our lives, we’ve all gotta pay taxes, you need to get your kids off to school, you need to fix the garage door. We’ve already got lots of stuff. And I can’t take on a whole other thing with Magnum beyond a certain point. Anyway, many thanks amigo..

Postcards from America

Little Brown Mushroom

Big Al’s

Alec Soth


423 Responses to “Big Al – Conversation”

  • Yikes! Font!

    Cool photo, Panos! Very Soth-ish!

  • Great picture, Panos. congratulations!
    very interesting interview conversation, thanks for sharing.
    I need to read it several times to fully get it, however. :)

  • a civilian-mass audience

    that’s the kind of energy that we so badly need…yeap,I am copying ALEC:)
    Wooow…he looks Greek and his name Alec=Alekos…hmmm…well,

    Viva BIG AL
    Viva DAH
    Viva UNCLEP
    Viva BURN CREW

    the Universe is working…we are in the zoneeeeeee!!1

  • a civilian-mass audience

    and Viva ANNA MARIA BJ…

    What not to LOVE…!

  • Alec is posing so far, I thought this was a late additon to the US80 essay! :-))))

  • Yeah.. just blame the Italians ;)))

  • Technology and the Internet should have made it easier for these “meetups” to happen spontaneously with groups of creatives scattered around the world…but, even video conferencing isn’t the same as sitting around the living room with a beer for generating new ideas. Don’t know the real answer for that. But, interesting discussion between Harvey and Soth.

    I’ve said from the beginning of Burn that it was a diversion that DAH really didn’t need, so I’m glad he is moving away from it. But, I’m not sure Burn can survive without him at this point. Unless he has plans not yet revealed for the magazine, I’m not sure its future is very secure. Burn still seems half-formed, without a clear sense of what it really is. DAH’s influence on it and his choices of essays has really been the draw for Burn, so how does it proceed beyond him?

    Interesting interview, though. I like to hear creative people “thinking out loud.”

  • love this chat! :)))))))….so much to say David, Alec, but litteraly no time today to write….will try to write something for your discussion this weekend :)))))….so much i want to add :)))….but i’m happy the chat begins

    PANOS! :)))))))))))))…

    love your picture/portrait brother…and you know (maybe folks don’t know) this is not only a great shot that shows (to me) a big truth about Alec: that he is a down-to-earth, straight up, good guy and very ‘simple’ in the clarity of his thinking (intelligent, witty, precise) but in his gentle, nice person. Does it sound fuck up these days to say that someone is genuinely nice? Alec is. Love the way he is tilting his head (he always does when photographed) and the way he always stands with arched legs apart…Mountain Man ;))…and here is the exclusive: alec is NOT wearing a hat…that is like catching me without a vest….or a white tiger in siberia ;)))

    DAVID :))))…more words later :))))…you’ll have loomings soon….what u saw at FB was a pic from it :)))

    more comments on David/Alec discussion later

    enjoy y’all!

    running, literally

  • HERVE…

    well, of course, that is why i chose that picture AND changed the lead shot for U.S. 80 as well…mostly i try to connect the dots around here…plus, Alec and Chris and Susan and Jim are off from San Antonio to Oakland on Magnum’s first Postcards of America trip..this trip is already a big hit and it has not even started yet, so sequels to follow….there will be many interesting ways to cross America upcoming and by the end of it..a big book exhibit? you can be sure of it…


    yes, you have always taken that stance about me with Burn…you use the term “half formed” , and i have always used “evolving”, but i suppose those are pretty much the same thing if you compare Jimspeak with Davidspeak…smiling…and actually , ironically, is exactly what Alec and i are talking about….not a bad thing at all to start something, fire folks up one way or another, and then let it go…move on to another good idea…or even bad idea…just trying to do something WORKS…

    one way or another Jim , we have built a nice so called “brand” here with Burn and its imperative to try and give the next generation at least a brink in the wall of a boost during these hard times for our biz…and right now, in the coming weeks, you are about to see some of the very best examples of what Burn attempted, albeit “half formed” as you intone….Burn will publish, exhibit, and support from the sidelines various Magnum projects AND projects from other agencies and photographers as we have always always done…one of the most exciting things for me is the coming of Burn as print publisher…

    Burn01 was just the beginning…yes, now comes 02 and Yakuza and Rio and JUKE(being shot this week in blues country) and we will certainly be looking very very carefully at the work of our readers here in connection with publishing their work…for me this would be the most fun of all…to build a print library of Burn books…

    you have always been a very loyal Burn reader Jim….yea, you rub some the wrong way..sometimes me too…but i have always supported your voice whether i agreed with it or not…you are a good man with a big heart…no amount of “gruff” can cover that up…thanks for being here…..


    loved what i saw on FB from “loomings”…..don’t put it all THERE amigo….save some for HERE….waiting

    cheers, david

  • Thank you all…6am in Texas…i want to say a “few” things about my meeting with mr.Soth!
    but before i do this, anyone want to see more portraits of Alec? raise hands! i think David or Alec wont have any problem if i show some more portraits, right?
    Again, good morning all…

  • a big truth about Alec: that he is a down-to-earth, straight up, good guy and very ‘simple’ in the clarity of his thinking (intelligent, witty, precise) but in his gentle, nice person

    Bob, nooooooooooobody could have said it, stated it better than u…yes u summed it all up…!!!

  • ok….smiling..gimme 1 minute:)

  • Haha! Number four is great!

  • DAVID :)))

    no worries, you will get EVERYTHING, since that essay was started last summer for YOU/BURN, an exclusive…only put up 3 over the last few months (i think u saw the other 2 + last night) but as i told Marina last night, no more there, don’t worry…wanted to show oli what i’ve been toiling with…but, i’m afraid it’s a long essay again ;))…will write u tonight….

    off to teach :)


  • PANOS :)))))

    love the pics brother….but the one David has chosen here for the post IS THE ONE! :))))))))))…glad you guys are chilling and traveling :))

    big hugs :)))

    ok, now i’m late…gotta fly!


  • Thank god Alec convinced David to blog :))))).

  • the one David has chosen here for the post IS THE ONE! :))))))))))

    true, it represents (in a way) Alec’s new Roadtrip ….btw, that was the very photo i shot…Alec also liked that little street (next to a bike-shop, looking for bikes)…Alec had no problem to be photographed…the only thing he asked me was: “tell me how to pose my hands?”
    and all i said “I dont know, do’re the magnum the brotha out:)))))))

  • Panos: I like the shot very much, and think of it as a portrait of a teacher by his student, but also – given the cycling stuff – a portrait of a student by his teacher! (I’ll view your others later.) Two gunslingers at high noon, set on a challenge – yum!

    Wonderful interview, David; thanks. As Bob states it catches Alec. To me, he is an interesting set of contradictions – not sitting in opposition, more alongside one another. He is direct and laconic; desirous of stating his point, and wanting to be somewhere else all at the same the time. I had the pleasure of sitting in on two lectures of his in Toronto last year (Contact, Magenta – Toronto), and really appreciated his approach to time itself…if that makes any sense. I’ve learnt much at his knee, and believe he embodies large format!

    What a great dialogue going on in this conversation; a lot to ponder and consider. Must re-read later.

  • Two gunslingers at high noon, set on a challenge
    damn, amazing……… are right..Alec looks like a “far west” cowboy figure…Ready to pull the gun and shoot…challenge!…Jeff, you are brilliant!!!!

  • The pic up here is Soth.. pic number 7 is Skoulidas!

  • Nice one DAH, always good to hear informal snippets of conversations with professional photographers, it puts into light the problems, remedies and paths everyone faces in the photography world. Very reassuring for us all. Also reassuring that copying business models is not an issue but just a different business model that might work.

    On the subject of interviews there is a selection over at the Association of photographers



  • Panos ………. really good potrait //////////// although to be nonest i was expecting somethin in a restroom ……. or may b in parking lot shot @ lik 3 in mornin kinda stuff ……….

  • number 7? The ice cream lady turned the sign “OPEN” on for us…very hospitable the people of San Antonio, very warm, very nice….!

  • i was expecting somethin in a restroom …….
    damn, i should have called u ;)!

  • In the first of a series of trips around America, five Magnum photographers and one writer will be travelling from San Antonio to Oakland from May 12-26, 2011. Follow Christopher Anderson, Jim Goldberg, Susan Meiselas, Alec Soth, Mikhael Subotzky & Ginger Strand on this unique documentary experiment: Postcards From America.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    I like them all…
    BUT cause I am a happy civilian…I love N6…!
    I see …”Happy eyes”
    if you check …he looks real.
    I don’t know the guy BUT yes,yes,he looks “real”!
    I can connect…
    and according to MR.HARVEY…he is “kinda responsible” for BURN

    MR.ALEC SOTH…we Love you…!!!

  • Hmm, maybe I should buy a printer…on the other hand, no one is interested in my prints, so what would be the point? Having decided that, it’s off to buy granola bars and vodka.

  • on the other hand, no one is interested in my prints, so what would be the point?
    most “retarded” comment ever..(i love it;)

  • a civilian-mass audience

    AKAKY…let’s collaborate…
    I like your prints…but I like granola bars and vodka too…
    PANOS…did you eat ice-cream? did you?

  • i did, but way later…around midnight…

  • Akaky

    We’d love to see some of your pictures. I’m hoping they are as quirky as your humour.

    It has occured to me that I’m already copying Alec re: eggs in baskets. I’m sharing some of my studio space to another photog, and will be renting out the storage shed behind the studio to the coffee shop down the road for their bean roaster. Gotta make a buck where you can.

  • cheers for that..

    that really interesting..
    a simple good chat is a refreshing way to interact and interview..
    less of the “heros”
    more of the humans..
    how to get the rest of the photo industry down-to-earth… ?

    reminds me of meeting up in london on the AGM sunday, david, before i flew back to croatia..
    and makes me want to catch up on skype soon..


  • a civilian-mass audience

    hmmm…I think ALEC ( Alekos from Alexandros)is Greek…:)
    he looks like Pericles…

  • a civilian-mass audience
  • Yeah the biz side just ruins everything doesn’t it. I mean, I always got into things for the passion of them, and then it becomes maintenance. I hate maintenance. Sucks the wonder. Kills the spark. “To maintain” is the opposite of “to create.” So much of life is maintenance, but LIFE isn’t about maintenance, or is it, but regardless, why choose to do more? Which reminds me, mortgage is due today, last day. Shit.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    TOM HYDEEEEEEEEE…miss you bro!!!

  • a civilian-mass audience
  • Great post (interview)! and the picture thanks to Panos. You moved from LA to the lands of Ginobili… don’t missed the sunset and see???

    [it]That’s a little bit different. I mean, Little Brown Mushroom is about having fun. So, and, Big Al’s is, well, who knows what it is, it’s about we’ve got some equipment lets use it. Little Brown Mushroom is about having fun, and making cool things. And it’s not about the art world, it’s not about getting caught up in that, it’s not about trying to make money, and if it makes money fine, if not that’s ok, you know, I just want to break even ideally. But it’s about that spirit of when you’re a teenager and you’re just making stuff because you love it. It’s just remembering that feeling you know. When you get caught up in the professionalism of everything, you can forget about it. [/it]

    So DAH is leaving THE boat on June? Buah! Buah! (crying).

    Cheers to all! spring time is coming.

  • Oops

    Great post (interview)! and the picture thanks to Panos. You moved from LA to the lands of Ginobili… don’t missed the sunset and see???

    That’s a little bit different. I mean, Little Brown Mushroom is about having fun. So, and, Big Al’s is, well, who knows what it is, it’s about we’ve got some equipment lets use it. Little Brown Mushroom is about having fun, and making cool things. And it’s not about the art world, it’s not about getting caught up in that, it’s not about trying to make money, and if it makes money fine, if not that’s ok, you know, I just want to break even ideally. But it’s about that spirit of when you’re a teenager and you’re just making stuff because you love it. It’s just remembering that feeling you know. When you get caught up in the professionalism of everything, you can forget about it.

    About having fun and thinking beyond! That’s the core of photgraphy!

    So DAH is leaving THE boat on June? Buah! Buah! (crying).

    Cheers to all! spring time is coming.

    Viva Burn!

  • I just came here from LA and returning to LA after the weekend…and yes, i did get a Ginobili jersey;),
    but its too early for me to cheat on Kobe regardless if he cheated on Vanessa etc…thank u …big hug!

  • but honestly pAtRiCiO, i do like to be here permanently after the summer or something! the people here are very good, no traffic and many pretty girls too;)

  • a civilian-mass audience

    part of the ship
    part of the crew
    part of the ship
    part of the crew

    Pirate’s life for YOU…yo,ho,yoho!!!

  • DAH’s leaving in June? Yes.. but but but.. I see some booktitles up there.. Yakuza, Rio, JUKE.. and others to come.. so more than leaving leaving it’s shifting.. expanding.. evolving…exploding..

  • … to “play,” like a child, or a teenager, is to dream without limit, and without the “benefit” of experience that would tell us to do otherwise.

  • @PANOS: Forget about Kobe… Ginobili, Messi, Nalbandian, Tevez, all of them from Argentina are the best (or at least great ones, full of guts and they swear their T-shirt in the court). Kobe… to much Hollywood and paparazzis around him :-)

    Bueno, espero verte algun dia en un Burnian meeting, con una cerveza de por medio (Hope c u somewhere with a beer soon)

    Abrazo grande

  • Ginobili, Messi..
    yes, yes..i do have both their jerseys…no bullshit… the best…!

    but hey, there’s no such a thing as “too much Hollywood” if u lived in LA for 15 years and more;)
    abrazo grande back

  • and paparazzis
    speaking of paparazzis…there are some cool folks even amongst them.. i met a few here and there in LA…
    (one of them completely laughed at my little camera), but they know what they are doing…they are not “unconscious”…

  • Wow…
    absolutely enlightening…

    Alec – David

    Wow guys!
    I really wish the two of you had time to talk a bit more!!
    I have some big questions!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    We just evolving…

    EVOLUTION…Revolution…we need to learn how to let go in our lives…
    I just finished reading the interview (slow reader)and boom…here it comes
    to let go …is to start taking risks
    to let go is to evolve
    to let go is not to be safe
    to let go is to enter the unsafe
    to let go is to be nobody and start all over again
    to let go is to connect with our inner souls

    it’s all about the journey mates…
    and the journey is different for each of us…hmmm…
    what am I saying…I am a civilian…civilians never let go:))))))))))))))))))))

    LOVE YA ALLLLL…thanks MR.HARVEY,thanks ALEC,thanks BURNIANS…
    you make me squeeze my brain cells:)

  • a civilian-mass audience

    PATRICIO…come on now…I want a beer too…

    Abrazos,andios,give me five,hasta manan,hasta la vista…

    What not to Love !!!

  • David/Alex; Thanks for the interview! The great thing about thee internet is that even if you live in a relatively remote spot (in regards to the photography and art world) you can still access interviews and talks. Makes you feel a little less isolated! Thanks :-)

  • CIVI, neither the granola bars nor the vodka were for me, unfortunately. I will have to settle for a Diet Peach Snapple Iced Tea.

  • DAVID/ALEC :)))

    OK, here goes….i’m going to riff, ’cause i have no time, and i’ve spent the entire week finalizing some work from russia as well as working/re-working Loomings, meeting with 2 young photographers, a student from Japan who I haven’t seen in 6 1/2 years, writing, drinking, trying to finalize something major that Marinka and I are doing together and dima’s birthday in 5 days, and papa moving, and reading Enard’s ZONE ( and i’ve got like 10 minutes before Marina is home, and i’ve had wine (and 3 hr chat with another photographer) and i will usher this before I run to dinner with Marina and watch documentary about Patti Smith ‘dream of life’….

    but first, a story, this week:

    about failure and expectation and building homes and work and career from the volatile and shifting sands of being an artist…

    dropped off 16 rolls of tri-x and 1 roll of Velvia… …no time to cook them in my kitchen, time like Stephen Wright’s ‘Going Native,’ and so, 2 nights ago, i pick the rolls up at TIW (burtinsky’s lab, the only lab in TO i use if i don’t develop the film myself) with 4-base scans so i can look at what i have like contact sheets and to my horror and then dismay and then sadness, i realize that 4 rolls are blank….3 rolls of tri-x (from Moscow), gone…pale-blue like the veins of a junkie…..and the color: the burnt umber, the skin of sun-lashed orange….nothing…anger at first (what the f…) and that sadness….gone gone gone…..then last night, after scanning the negs, finalizing some of the pics, and then walking, alone, i sit down with Marina to figure it out…and then i realize that my Lomo, died in the cold of Moscow….4 years of using that camera and it failed me, rather, it just expired, and i hadn’t realized, even when i was struggling with the film in Red Square, and in the freezing New Years morning, when shooting some folk crawling along the ice-cantered street….the camera, had expired….and so too, all the film…all the pictures i’d believed in,. i the moments (my wife, her family, the old woman who i spoke with and who cried as she sold white gowns from the daughter who’d been killed, the drunk man selling a tree in the metro exit, the white night….all gone….as i’d taken only my lomo and my holga and diana…i did not want to use my rangefinder in russia in winter, i wanted physical, i wanted raw, i wanted pics that felt as i felt ….and then, it goes….

    and how does one entertain this…how does one ‘diversify’ when understanding that making pictures, making anything for that matter (paintings, books, pictures, a business) is really an abacus of so many variables….of sustained belief and sustained hunger to simply express and balance the living of that…

    my father was a businessman…a businessman who wrote poems and drew grandfather was a oil tanker captain, an oiltanker captain/sailor who wrote poems…i have grown up under their shade with the desire that to make things, to crawl around, means to diversify….means to follow all those nicks and knocks that make sense to make this life up, and in truth, surviving this life involves not only invention and selfinvention but in fact, means making lots of things up….re-imaginging…i learned that spirit from my papa who was an entrepreneur…

    what i love about LBM (little brown mushroom) is not its connection to Alec soth (that art-star) but to it’s belief and it’s inventiveness and its humor…it’s refusal to get caught up in all that pompous shit, but in the pure joy of both invention (see punk-skaters zines) and in the invention that comes from making facts out of business….what i always loved about LBM as a blog and Alec’s ideas were not that they aspired so much (or maybe they do) to shake and break and fuck the world up, but that they were born out of both joy and enthusiasm and the notion that, ‘damn, i can’t believe the rest of world is so stiff not to see the joy in this”….and it’s still hard…he’s raising a family, rather, he and his wonderful wife are raising a family and so, raising a family MEANS being inventive…it doesn’t mean, always, Venice biannale, it doesn’t always mean Look/Arles/Perp/Gagosian…it means, who the fuck is gonna get this shit done, especially in february when it’s damn cold and the young one is sick….that is the reality of inventiveness..

    i know, marina and i also try to make the life of a family from this….

    what i always cherished about David and ROAD TRIPS AND THEN BURN was that same damn beautiful inventiveness…off the cuff…the shit that must get done to live, that must get done to make things happen, but also, the tick tie of just making it happen…

    i never was interested in ‘making it’…but rather in ‘living it’…as a man, as a writer, a photographer and most importantly as a husband and father…and yet, all these miraculous things continue to re-invent…the people we meet, the times we spent with one another….

    the web and the belief to shake it wide and shake it loose creates all kind of magic…

    the ONE thing that i get asked all the time by photographers, by young photographers (am i old?) who i talk with and drink with and meet with is ‘how do i make it’….i feel sad when they ask that, and then i just try to make them smile and tell them that, they got nothing to worry about if that’s all, ,that they simply must see that it is about not making it, but dealing with the strange, sometimes joyous sometimes macabre dance of working this shit out and in……

    because the truth is that MAGNUM has no secrets…rather MAGNUM nor magnum photographers do not understand anything more than any one else….believe that, u can or u do get it as much as any of them all, …but one thing that many of these cats do have, or rather do get, is that: u gotta scramble, u gotta fever it, u gotta just make that shit happen…..aint about strategie…but is about something else…

    it is about diversity…not ‘diversity’ as we use that word….but about ‘diversity’ of surf….get those damn boards out into the surf and be enough, be enough to know that both the glide and the wipe creates things…that creates things in turn….

    and lastly:

    DAVID :)))…can we please, can you guys please do an interview with 2 of my favorite magnum folk who don’t get enough attention”:

    JOHN VINK: the most sustained and beautiful social documentary photographer out there without fanfare


    MARK POWER: the humblest and most brilliant poet out there without recognition……..and also one of the nicest guys to talk with over a beer! :)))))….

    and now marina is calling, so much for photo-philosophy shit, she needs dinner!

    …gotta fly


  • Bob; Re; Mark Power, I love the way “The Shipping Forecast” was inspired by a tea towel! It just goes to show how the obvious and “under your nose” is always worth a second look!

  • I’m absolutely fascinated by the tenor of the comments here. Weirdly positive. I’ve become so accustomed to cynicism and ankle biting in the land below that I barely bother to look anymore. Clearly David’s incredibly generous spirit is carried on here.

    And Panos, as my friend Bob Black would say, :)))))) LOVE YOU BROTHER !!!



  • Good read. Hugely inspirational.

    All these online endeavours, pairings and general collectiveness has spurred Richard Baker, Justin Sainsbury and me to form the UK STREET COLLECTIVE</a. where we encourage, edit and mentor each other in our street photography work.

    We’ve only just started but we plan on growing together for some time to come.

    Looking forward to more such interviews here. They’re hugely uplifting.


    Paul Treacy
    The X100 Files

  • “Weirdly positive” because we’re positively weird.

  • Mr. Soth, I had no idea you walked down this street!
    Bob, I agree to get through, you need to just do it. I see and hear a lot of “How do they do it, How come their successful and I’m not.” and then there’s the “It’s all who you know, or They know their stuff.”

    After working with David, I know he knows his tech, but like a well disciplined martial artist he only brings it to the floor when necessary. He doesn’t flash his gear like so many… I’ll just call them, Wannabes. It’s not who he knows that get his access into the situations he gets into – he first gets a paid gig to fly his self down to there – where ever there may be – and then he starts talking and working his charms.

    It’s the self inventiveness, the ability to be creative with what you’ve got – and not sit and day dream about what you ain’t got.

    Here we have Burn. Whats next? Burn is great, a nice platform. Does it evolve into an official organization that helps organize work, finds funding, and enriches the lives of those here? maybe. Is it destined to burn down? maybe. IT all depends on who’s here.

    David – you’re a very busy guy. I can’t even catch you for a moment when you’re sitting still. And somehow, among everything you’re able to tweet, facebook, post here, interview Mr. Soth, Shoot, Shoot Shoot! and still find time to teach a workshop here and there, meet with friends, sit on the beach and dream up the next big thing. You amaze me David!

    Well I must be off – I’ll be back in a few days.

  • Positive vibrations is the second name of burn :)

    Mr. Soth

    I hope I will see your prints someday, I am sure the power of your photography is in the prints.

    And sentence “painting-like picture” about your work force me to start thinking about my own work with large format photography. I regret 8×10 color photography is not avaiable for me. It must be the power.

    best regards

  • a civilian-mass audience

    We are all weird positive people…Here and There..!!!

    “And will you succeed?
    Yes! You will indeed!
    (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed)”
    Dr. Seuss
    and yes…we have succeeded and we keep going and going …cause it’s all about the journey!

    BOBBY…can you write my autobiography?!

    Today we drink peach ice tea…hmmm…viva!!!

    Goodmorning and goodnight …
    I am gonna do it like ALEC…check me out
    :-O from here to All of YOU :-0)

  • @ BOB: Yes inventiveness is one of the keys, as you mentioned it. It think is the hardest part, and sometimes people has or has not IT.

    […] raising a family MEANS being inventive…it doesn’t mean, always, Venice biannale, it doesn’t always mean Look/Arles/Perp/Gagosian…it means, who the fuck is gonna get this shit done, especially in february when it’s damn cold and the young one is sick….that is the reality of inventiveness..

    Burn father (DAH), I don’t know DAH personally, but he has IT (inventiveness) as well as all the folks/photographers who are published here. But he has also an immense energy/positiveness to do/create/communicate, simply TO LIVE and LOVE LIFE. That’s a major part of the “kit” of an artist!
    Burn folks look like the Energizer bunny…endless and boundless energy :-)

    Waitin’ for more interviews…

    Basta por hoy, sunny saturday.

  • a civilian-mass audience


    Easter is coming…and MR.VINK gave me the best idea-recipe
    Lapin A La Moutarde…Rabbit in Mustard

    where are you LASSAL?…recipe is on your way!!!

    Pasta por hoy !!!

  • Thinking of how Burn or David could diversify – and perhaps gain a few pennies in the process – and given Alec’s surprise at our benevolence in the face of lurking ankle-biters everywhere, I propose a Department of Webenfreude Assassins, a League of Extraordinary Gentle People. David will hire us out to deal with the elimination of aesthetic negativity everywhere, using his editorial skill to selectively pick the right man for the job.

    In particular, Civilian will smother nay-sayers with love; Imants will be the long-distance sniper specialist; Bob will sit in the rear turret and carpet bomb. Eva, Marcin and Roberta can be used as femme fatales, while Sara (Framers’ Intent) takes position as our “Q”, making sure technical inventiveness can be exploited in a maximal manner. Paul will kill with a series of relentless questions whose effect will be to turn the trolls around, either in retreat or understanding. I’ll take position as the Death Merchant of the Dialectic, holding people upside down so as to increase the blood flow to their brain with the expectation of enlightenment…or stroke. Panos will be the international shadow, with a License to Kill around the world – he would prefer the sunnier climes, keep in mind. Vissaria will make cookies.

    And, of course, David will take on the role of Godfather, turning our sandbox into a protected compound, a weirdly positive fortress in which we can take on other Families intent on muscling in, or attempting to strong arm democracies everywhere.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    JEFF…I am in tears…good tears:)
    and you DO write!!!
    Today we celebrate(as usual)!!!

    VIVA to the D.O.W.A…oime…I am switching back to ouzo!

    we can save the world…one person at a time !!!

  • Jeff

    I can be a fatal femme fatales. Very ugly femme fatale with Absinthe in hand

  • a civilian-mass audience

    with all due respect,JEFF, I believe MARCIN is a “deadly man”…
    he can really rip stones apart…
    am I wrong MARCIN…?

  • Hmmm…that may explain why I could never reconcile Marcin’s quiet writing voice with his/her brass-balled photographic style. Perhaps I should join Vissaria in the cookie kitchen for a while, and assassinate my asinine assumptions? ;)

  • Marcin ? definitely a macho guy from Poland…

    All, Jeff, Alec , Civi, ALL…big hug…turkish coffee rising

  • but…. Eva and Roberta ??? hell yeah can be used as “femme fatales”
    Go Italy
    Go Brazil…

  • Civi,

    not once, not once
    I worked as a stone mason for 13 years since I was 15.
    But I can be a fellow fatale if someting like that exist.
    I like idea od David as a Godfather.

    but, but what we talking about???

  • Ross :)))))…YUP! :)))))…shipping news is one of the great photographic books/projects out there….damn, if only more new about it…and mark is a totally great guy…2 years ago, when i met him, amid a room swarming with photographers, we sat over beers and talked about beer, russian beauties, poetry, teaching, and the price of a pint….just wonderful :)))

    Alec :)))…as David bowen said, we’re all positively weird ;))….but u know that already….:))))….and i do think it is in LARGE MEASURE to not only David’s huge generosity but his remarkable stamina for caring/loving/working….that cat must have 2 hearts, as i told him once long ago :))))….stick around :))….books in the mail next week :)))

    david :)))…indeed…

    Jason/patricio :)))))…that is it….to be able to make make and also shake shake…shit, i thing that best thing (and the toughest thing) to happen to me as a photographer/writer was when i had a family….forces you, good and ill, to make all kinds of decisions, it also gives you a lot of perspective on the importance/unimportance of what you make….or rather, it allows things to bloom in stranger light :)))…invent yourself, it’s a dance, and a surf….and while i’ll never be a famous/rich writer/artist, i still have my garden…my walks…my travels…and my family…and that work, is just the navigation….

    Jeff :))))…yup, my pop was a pilot too, so i can carpet bomb or turret the world with love and wine-licked words :))))….

    DIVI :))))))))))))….WOULD BE MY PLEASURE/HONOR…when i finish the book, this year, i can takle…actually, maybe i’ll put you in the first one anyway…..u r my favorite greek poet/surfer anyway!

    PANOS :))))))….to quote Soth, ‘LOVE YOU BROTHER!’ ))))))))))))

  • here is the book project ross and i were speaking of SHIPPING FORECAST (shipping news is an annie p novel)…..i love mark’s color work, a lot, but this is what started it for me, a revelation

  • without intending to put work on harveys plate.. more interviews would be great.

    actually – would be grand to see you, Alec, choose a magnum person to interview.. publish that.. then that chosen person choose another to interview.. and so on till we all fall over.

    failing that, bob.. why don’t you propose to interview vink?
    i mean john has been, i think, the only agency snapper to drop into the dialogue section consistently since the start, and you know each other well enough to cut through the ‘obvious’ and get into a nice little chat – as presented here..

    well.. the shipping forecast for north utsire – 50 meters from our door on this rock in the north sea – is rough.. becoming moderate.. it’s that moderation i need.. look forward to.


  • yes, yes, interview with John next time!

  • Bob…

    (thinking about your lost pictures from Moscow…)
    Walking around at dusk the other day, I came across this little long time closed-down photo studio with its display prints faded to oblivion speaking about the future of our own… no matter if put through a two bath fix and hypo clearing agent and washed meticulously, they will all end up like these in the end…

  • Heaven.. one can’t leave for an afternoon and becomes fatale.. ;)

    One of you lads has ever been a working mom of three? Talk about diversification and inventiveness..

  • Damn… Hey bob and all.. How many changes, good positive changes only a day can bring..
    I again apologize to all for my last week’s outburst.. I have no legal rights to be angry!

  • on the club element of magnum.. i’d like to hear more about the insiders perspective..
    is there a concern within the agency about it’s outward perception?
    from who – the public or the photo industry?
    is it that you perceive yourselves as part of a kind of club which has far too irregular and infrequent meetings?

    the greater ‘club’ of course does not actually have a name – it’s just a disparate group of unassociated yet like minded visual artists who one day people MAY look back at and say – “yeah.. they had it going-on”..

    we’re all relatively unaware of what we’re doing until after it’s done.

  • David B! ;))))))))))))))))))……

    i’m up for that totally….see what David things (i’ll see him in 3 weeks) and maybe if he wants, and John Wants, i’ll do an interview with John….would be a pleasure :)))…

    Thodoris! :)))))))…thanks for the earlier links….adn those pics, damn damn beautiful…love ur shot of those faded pics! :)))))…you know the work of Bevis Fusha?…he published a pic here, but he did an entire project on the faces of those ‘disappeared’ during war in the balkans, pictures of their faded pictures on walls, stores, studios….remarkable work, remarkable photography….and i love your pic alot too…yes, learning to loose is the most important lesson of all :)))))…by the way, faded/worn pictures have been, maybe, THE influence on my own aesthetic/sensibility….coming from my grandmother (herself a photographer) 10,000’s of worn pics and slides….

    PANOS :))…man, no worries…we’ll all together, in this together….will call u tomorrow, promise (last week, got sidetracked in family stuff)….good biking brother! :)))

    EVA! ;))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))…..YOU ARE THE TRUTH! :)))))))…..we folk got nothing on the moms, i know that, i’m married to a mom/photographer/inventor/diversifier! )))))…and a femme fatale is the best kind, ’cause they keep the boys on their toes!

  • that would be good bob.. indeed if david is backing off, it may in part be left to the residue of road-trips and the youngbloods of burn to maintain :o)

    as an aside – yet in relation to possible changes in june – i find it strange that more of the ice-cream agency have not joined in here..

    not for reasons of wanting to deconstruct familiar named photographers, nor indulge in some ego-inflating ‘association-by-internet-code’ with them.. simply because it is interesting, encouraging for some and generally positive to, (as has been mentioned), interact with the audience..

    there is a tool right here – kindly instigated by harvey – which could be used by all agency snappers.. i wonder if there has been some neglecting of davids hard work?

    was that too abrupt?

    okay – to put a positive spin on it, when ‘named’ snappers have dropped in it has always been a peak.. martin P, james N, and of course john vinks appreciated input.

    the case is that david H has set the playing field up.. the pitch is beautifully groomed by anton T.G., the stands are maintained and have a capacity crowd.. will more players field after june?

  • a civilian-mass audience

    NOBODY moves out…even MASTER DAH …without written permission by civilian…

    hiiii…just thinking out loud…hiii…just a joke… eraser anyone,ADMIN?:)


  • no, civi – you’re right..

    i had a note from my mum excusing me for a few months recently.. really though it was because my head way deep-fried.

    harvey has no excuses..

  • suggestion for next interviews (If I may):

    John Vink
    Lise Sarfati
    Alessandra Sanguinetti
    Harry Gruyaert
    Olivia Arthur

  • oh, this comment should be in “is paper hot, or not?”
    I apoilogize

  • Jeff…
    Very good! Laughing you’ve made my day :).
    Bob B sorry to hear about your films, you’re not the only one… I know it isn’t any consolation but Cristina Garcia Rodero told me she lost 75 rolls of Tri-X thanks to airport rays. Bob B good idea about the interviews perhaps you should try Ackermann as well.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    welcome back …no more fried DAVIDB…!!!

    MARCIN…no worries…we are all over the BURNLAND…that happens when we are over excited:)))

    and oime…we are over excited!

  • oh no – i am still fried..
    some things we do promote irreversible change ..

    david O

  • A real treat would be an interview, were it possible, with Trent Park. Does he actually make a living shooting street photography? Didn’t think that was possible. Good on him.

    I generally prefer colour work but Park’s monochrome Dream / Life work is sublime.

    Paul Treacy

  • I too had tri-x exposed to airport rays. I read somewhere to push process by at least a stop and you should be okay. My films were not badly affected. It was check through so the full blast. Some of the colour in the mix was ruined.

  • Talking of Trent Park and being an artist and having a family Trent’s wife is a very good photographer has a brilliant series on underwater photography…can’t remember her name.

  • Paul..

    Narelle Autio.. and not just underwater!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    DB…we are all in the same deep fryer,cassarole…
    we have been fried,we are getting fried or we will be fried…
    since we are all in BURN…we are fried either way!!!

    Let’s get toasted…To all of US…VIVAAAAAAA!!!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    “… it’s just like keeping it fresh, you know, and also keeping the experimentalism alive so that you can try things…”

    “… I’ve got dunes, I’ve got water, and I’ve got a great front porch.”

    don’t we all love them?

  • Damnit, Jeff Hladun!

    I saw the picture and thought “Gunslinger!” Saw Panos as the photog and thought two gunslingers.

    I was going to make a witty comment to that effect, but then you beat me to the draw and shot me off my feet.

    Enjoyed the interview. 98.99999 percent of the time, I feel all alone as a photographer – which is fine in some ways – and that is why I have enjoyed burn so much – besides the chance to look at so much excellent new photography – it’s given me a connection to so many other serious photographers – even if only a loose connection, because I simply cannot engage to the degree and depth that so many of you do.

    Still – I enjoy the connection and now I am connected not only to Alec’s but his ideas. I don’t know if I am clever enough or organized to also copy them, but I will ponder them, anyway.

    I don’t know how it can keep going as it has without David directly at the helm. But I completely believe him when he says it is time for him to go. I have been amazed at the degree to which he has connected with all those who post here, has helped them… even me.

    I don’t know how you do it, David.

    But thank you.

    May June be the start of good new things for you.

  • ..”I feel all alone as a photographer – which is fine in some ways – and that is why I have enjoyed burn so much ”

    yes bill.. one of my first posts on road trips, when i first emigrated to norway, was to that effect..

  • Narelle Autio is indeed a fine photographer.

  • Narelle has some stunnig work. From what I’ve heard, yes, Trent does make his living from street photography. I’ve yet to figure out how exactly, though. I’d buy his prints if I could afford them – I love his work.

    A Burn without DAH will be a very different Burn indeed. I don’t know if that will be a good thing or a bad one (not meant in any disparaging way – just that without that clear ‘leadership’ the group may evolve into something else). Do you think it’s time for Burn? Or just the right time for yourself? Either way, props for taking that decision, but I can’t help feeling the timing may be off for one of the two.

    And I got compared to Q?!? WTF?!? as I believe da yoof say. I’m flattered, haha.

    Yet more long days and nights ahead of me – I’m stoked I got my site up and out there, and I’ll be tweaking that as I go (and as Drupal 7 gets more updated plug-ins added and kinks worked out). But I have two projects for this summer, and I’m looking rather worriedly at how to finance them. One is in London, which is a trek from Liverpool on limited funds, so I’m gonna have to pull all my resources and Q-ness in arranging sofas to sleep on and the cheapest train/coach tickets, too. It’s a long-term project, and I suspect I’ll need to be able to sell some initial images as a story to newspapers to finance future stages of it. Gah! The other sees me flitting between Liverpool and Manchester all summer. I’m hoping to get a little funding behind me there, but it’s all about keeping on top of things. Fingers crossed! (Damn, now I can’t press the shutter properly…)

  • MEGABUS framers.. (sara?)..
    megabus and hostels.. or sofas.. or sleeping rough in russel square :o)
    love the kingfisher sign photo on clicking through to yer wickr page..
    made me miss home..


    on money..

    it’s a mystical and divine force, when the world turns and the universe provides and income for a photographer to do-what-they-want.

    really, a quite lovely and privileged position, where monday morning is looked forward to, the phone could ring any time with any request and 15 or 16 hour days blend seamlessly into life – it does not feel like work.

    ..and then, some days, it feels a bit like being a big-issue seller..
    please buy..
    please buy..
    please pay..

  • `cheers David, I’m trying to avoid sleeping rough, so I’m drawing up a list of people I know in London – starting with friends and close colleagues, working down to people I haven’t seen since my uni days. The idea being, each time I go down for 1/2 week-1 week, but only ever crash with one person for 2-3 nights or so. Try not to overstay my welcome! That’s the bit I’m thinking may be problematic – just arranging it all.

  • Something to share with you guys. A mate linked me to this guy late last night. Junku. He’s Japanese and this is his work on the Tsunami.


    both of you , by coincidence, have large projects in mind…good…love it…please just bear with me this week, because i will not get to either of you…for me to really think about your work, i will need to really pay attention and this week my mind is totally immersed in the Blues…one of the wonderful things that has come out of this community is the time many of us have spent in mulling over projects…

    many of you watched right here as Dark Light of This Nothing by Erica McDonald was born in this comment section…as was Falling Into Place by Patricia Lay Dorsey and Death in Venice by Panos Skoulidas and Brigitte and Bernard by Audrey Bardou and Fighters by Eric Espinosa and Blues, Booze and BBQ by Michael Loyd Young and i cannot remember them all without looking…i hope that our collaborations will meet a similar fate…something done…on the table…essay…book…exhibit…whatever….

    so getting involved closely with serious committed photographers is what i do in addition to yet in concert with my own work…i did that long before Burn and i will do it long after….what i want to do is not waste any time and get right to the heart of projects where i can really make a difference…right now i am going to try, i said try, to make a book out of only one week of shooting by 20 photographers…i will be a challenge…it could fail…but we will all learn something just trying …and surely it will be some kind of testament, some kind of document for this fast disappearing heart of the Blues country…

    so i will take this very very seriously as i do your work submitted to Burn , or if i take you on as someone i can mentor …many photographers need no mentoring and just need a showcase…obviously i try to provide that as well…and some need funding, and we do our best here to make that happen too…point is , please be patient and i will take the time to respond to you both properly…

    after all, this is a family of sorts i would say…somehow, here on the net, where most of us have never met in person, we got something going….a big high five to whatever that is and why it is…let’s not think about it too much, and just go live our passions and dreams…seems like a good way to start thinking about the day no matter what realities may jump in the way….

    last night i was having the time of my life with a few students in a juke joint in Clarksdale, Mississippi….not Rio….not a war….not Marrakesh….only a couple of pool tables, a bar, a Blues combo on stage and about 15 people dancing….not crowded…not empty…just right….we could move….for an hour or so we did a kind of ballet around the whole bit…everybody shooting, getting into the beat, getting into what was coming our way…class does not even start until tomorrow….never mind…we are rockin…gonna do this book…JUKE….

    point is, i was taking pictures last night as if i had just discovered photography…a new toy…seems like that to me….do not want to analyze it too much, but feels lucky….to have that feeling after all this time…in any case, if i can do anything to impart that spirit, that feeling to a few others , then my job as mentor is complete…

    so patience please…i will not forget you…

    cheers, david

  • I can just feel my eye-teeth growing listening to David recount last nights fun :))

  • a civilian-mass audience

    “…point is, i was taking pictures last night as if i had just discovered photography…”

    “that’s the kind of energy that we so badly need.”

    FROSTRFROG,FRAMERS…ALL…he will not forget you…
    ok..on a serious note …
    let’s focus now…
    so many projects up in the air…
    so much fun

    we are indeed lucky…you can’t find often that kind of souls wandering around in the universe…

    P.S…I have a sofa…and I can do British accent too:)!!
    LOVE back to you …

  • point is, i was taking pictures last night as if i had just discovered photography…a new toy…

    Ha, I had the exact same experience. I haven’t been showing any walking around photos for awhile, mostly because I haven’t been walking around very much, which is unfortunate because winter is normally when I’m most active. Been doing a lot of work on projects though, so it’s not been a total waste, but I try real hard not to show any of that serious stuff. Anyway, more like a normal person this year, spring rolled around and I started getting out again, so if anyone’s interested, here’s some photos.

  • DAH – understood, no worries. :-) Still want to see some of those Blues pics tho, once they’ve been edited and the workshop/adventure is over. ;-) And knowing I can ask you the questions I did, even just having that helps me to get closer to a point where I can answer them for myself, which surely has to be the long-term goal, right? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it all when you find a quiet moment, or a 25th hour in the day.

    CIVI – don’t make that offer! I might well take you up on it!

    Right, I’m off to pack – leaving Derby this afternoon to head back to the ‘pool for a little while. The To Do list is drawn up, and I’m looking forward to the next trip… ;-P

  • So, Bob, how do you make it?

    Civi, the granola bars were wonderful; I dont know about the vodka, but it went pretty quickly, so those who drink the stuff must have liked it.

    And the Yankees beat the Red Sox; all is as it should be.

    Has anyone seen the new documentary about Bill Cunningham yet? I doubt it will show its face in this neck of the woods and so I’m wondering if I ought to risk the judgement of the Lord and go down unto Sodom and Gomorrah, although I’m not sure what would be Gomorrah’s stand-in; I dont think the Lord has anything in particular against Jersey City, after all; and see the flick there. I just don’t know if I want to spend $30 just to get there and back, and then another fifteen [or whatever it costs nowadays-the last movie I saw in the city was Camelot back in 67] to see a movie that I’m not going to like. So I am soliciting opinions here, folks.

  • i was taking pictures last night as if i had just discovered photography….in any case, if i can do anything to impart that spirit, that feeling to a few others , then my job as mentor is complete…

    NO way Jose, that we’re gonna let you go off that easy on us, David. You must be dreamin’…. ;-))))

  • :) In three hours and fifteen minutes time it will be Monday round here…

  • Damn I forgot the earth is round;)
    Have a great week Paul, Europe.. It’s not all bout America .. I know.. We are too self centered over here I’m afraid.. Herve is right :)

  • MW…

    I find many times photos grow on me…don’t get them or don’t like them the first time I view them. Sort of happened with your images…Must admit I have problems in accepting walking around photos…I’ve done a lot and usually come away empty handed or despondent…I’ve over the years realized I’m the worst street photographer in the world, it’s a type of photography I struggle with, a mix of apprehension approaching strangers and some bad experiences have left me wary of walking around photos. I personally need a theme to work around and if possible without strangers. I marvel at Framers Intent bus images there is no way I could get away with these photos, physically I’m not the most inconspicuous person so I don’t even attempt to try that out either.

  • I even bet someplace it is already sure some insist it is.. ;))

  • Eva…

    Yes! Right now in Sydney Australia it’s 5:00am Monday morning :)

  • Well Paul, I use the term “walking around photos” pretty loosely — certainly not synonymous with “street photography.” Mostly means some combination of “not project related” and “interesting but probably not gonna hang on anyone’s wall.” But anyway, is it really so wrong to do singles?

    Funny story related to a few of those pics some of you will probably find interesting. The thing where I took them was apparently full of young, very wealthy people — I actually overheard more than one conversation about how their trust funds worked. Anyway, as I was standing in the Martini line, the smell of weed wafted through the room. The young man behind me asked “what’s that smell?” The girl he was with looked at him, like duh, and said it was weed (don’t remember the current slang she used). He said he’s never smelled any weed that smelled like that before. She, apparently not one of the trust fund kiddies, said it was like what her father and his friends smoked, that it was different from normal, that they grew it out in a field or something. The look on his face said ewwww. Wanting to be helpful, I told them that it’s normally referred to as “Mexican.”

    And as you can imagine, every other camera in the joint was a Canon 5D with an L lens, most of them zoom telephotos.

  • Panos.. you in NY?? (Paul ;) )

  • Panos…

    Thanks! I do my very best everyday to make every single day brilliant one way or another…you never know if it will be the last…
    Sorry for being so gloomy but that is the usual way people who at a very young age (I was eight) had the nasty experience of standing face to face with death… Every second counts so everyday is a victory and a party.

  • Mw…

    No nothing wrong with singles at all!! I’ve got to get out of this automatic way of reviewing photos as if there was thread going through them like an essay…I’ve always done this, I’m always looking for meanings and symbolism when a damn photo can just be damn good photo and that’s it.

  • Reading my two last posts I think I’ve just got to stop being so passionate and slow that all consuming desire over everything…it sure wears my wife out, but I’ve always been like this…in fact it’s great for teaching tends to inspire teenagers or freaks them out. :))))

  • David Bowen…
    Yes what? :))

  • no…im still in texas flying in two days back to the land of Courtney Love & the “Red Hot Chili Peppers”;)

  • a civilian-mass audience

    FRAMERS…I don’t do offers…I do exchanges! You play guitar ,I sing:)

    EVA is right…it’s Monday,bloody Mary Monday

    MW…nice to see …a darker side of you!

    AKAKY…give us an update…

    PAUL…don’t change…we like you …and since you cheated death once, you can do it again!
    “Every second counts so everyday is a victory and a party.”

    and as HERVE says…”You must be dreamin”!!!

    Safe travels MY BURNIANS…oime…we do love to travel!!!

    BIG AL is rocking…JUKE will be born in few days…
    What not to Love!!!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    PAUL…YES, from DAVIDB means YES…IMO:)))))))))))
    or maybe
    “I do my very best everyday to make every single day brilliant one way or another…you never know if it will be the last…”

    Yes…ouzo on me and granola bars on AKAKY!

  • yes to what civilian says.. civilian knows..
    it was intended under the first post – above the one it came out under.

    yes indeed.

  • am feeling dangerous..
    too much scanning.. too much editing.. too much time to think..
    one final slurp of single malt to tackle, and so another weekend draws to a close.

    there’s no high without a comedown.. yet the high has been so commonplace as to shift the balance..
    screw-up.. walnut..

    one more grey hair..
    vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv b vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv b
    that damn strip of plastic.. frozen slices of what my memory says once moved..
    two more grey hairs..
    vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv b vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv b

    2 months down.. too many to go.

    night all.

  • I just wrote this, in an email to a friend, about my website. The latter part, I realised right after typing, may edge towards what DAH feels about Burn, and/or what others have felt at certain points of their photographic wandering. So I thought I’d humbly share it here…

    If anything, I personally think it’s the street photography series on the site that contains the weakest images. And I am amazed by some of the comments I’ve received about the whole thing. Mostly the positive stuff. It’s a little bewildering. But the website building/maintaining/developing process is both a sobering one and a focussing one – it was necessary, to clear the path for where I walk next.

    CIVI – deal! Damn, that means also bringing my guitar on one of my London trips. Will have to think carefully about what I pack… ;-P

    Re shooting singles – I happen to think that’s great. I started off doing that, and I’d be more inclined to stick with it were it not for the fact that I am pretty much alone locally in terms of doing photography in a serious way. I don’t know many people I can discuss projects or development with, so working on projects helps me to stay focussed and stay critical. Partly, e.g. with some bits of the bus series, it comes in out-shooting myself the next time I go out. Other times it’s in how images can work together – I’m still very much learning that (and I love checking the essays on Burn in part for this reason). I suspect shooting singles is something I’ll return to doing more of as I grow and develop more. Particularly if I develop anything akin to having a “style” – right now, my single feel utterly disparate, and there isn’t so much feedback available from it, either personally or from others.

    PAUL – *FI blushes* Thank you. I shoot with a Nikon D40X, so it isn’t exactly done covertly. When I began, I felt nervous, and I got lots of bad shots and quite a lot of angry glares afterwards. The more I did it, the more comfortable I became. And the more obvious I became with it. And the less people seemed to notice. If it helps at all, the whole thing got kicked off with image 12 from here – I’d got on the bus and they sat opposite me, a couple, looking just like that. The impulse overtook any hesitation (it was the last bus home, I couldn’t afford a cab, and I made the image knowing if they kicked off I’d either have to walk home, placate them, or deal with aggro for a 30 minute bus journey). My camera was still set to the lower light outside settings and it was totally blown out. I realised as a I pressed the shutter. But they didn’t react at all. So I reset my camera, did a couple of test shots against the floor, then took another image. The one you see on the site. I swear, in all that time, they didn’t flinch, move, change expression, nothing. I was so amazed they hadn’t reacted to me that I almost felt I should point out to them what I’d just done. The image pulled at me and made me want o investigate the space but also, working the project, I realised just how easily people slip into their own worlds and don’t notice you if you seem comfortable, relaxed, and confident about what you’re doing. I think it’s when you look weak, or shady, or like you’re crossing a line – that’s when people think you’re crossing a line and step in on you for it. Mostly.

    Anyway, I hope that last ramble helps some.I don’t quite know how or why I work the way I do; it just feels right for that work. The project I’ve spoken to DAH about is different – a lot more ambitious and not least because it breaks with that anonymity. The group I’ll be photographing will know that I’m there photographing, and there to photograph them. That feels a little bit daunting. It’s a line I didn’t quite cross with my jazz photos and I feel the series is weaker for it. I know those guys well, and they knew I was shooting, but it’s all at gigs, where they are performing. It’s only in a couple of images that I feel I really grab at something that transcends being “a gig photo”, but I didn’t know how to start interacting with them socially and shoot it also. A strange one – we’re all friends, but we don’t really see each other outside of the gigs. The awkward thing would have been in sharing that non-gig space, as friends but also as photographer-photographed, when we never really shared that space as friends beforehand.

    I better shut up now, if I continue like this, I’ll be stealing Bob Black’s position as the Montaigne of Burn. ;-)

  • DAH – This is what so amazes me about you – that you can be wrapped in such an intense project as your blues/class book and still take the time to make meaningful response. I sent the “preliminary” book when I did only because I had just finished that phase of it. I doubt that I will be able to advance it any further until October or November, so even when you get back, there is no pressure. Take your time – and don’t waste any further time with wetransfer – I am resending it on CD. I am just grateful that you are willing to look at it all.

    I just wish I could be there taking part right now.

  • “am feeling dangerous..”

  • For anyone remotely interested, I’ve updated the slideshow and added music (warning, I couldn’t figure out how to control the volume, so you might have to turn it down real quick like).

    And since I’ve gone this far, might as well throw in a plug for Harvey. Every single one of these photos is a strobe shot on manual, the result of what I learned from David’s strobe class. Even if you’re horrified and thinks it sucks big time, the fact is that it looks like I wanted it to look, which is what I got out of that class. Before my strobe work was just a series of guesses. Now I have near total control. Thanks again, David.

  • A teensy bit loud, irrc (been a while since I listened to full vol music on my laptop and no time to cross-ref it properly) but not excessively.

    Strobe has me jealous – this is something I must learn this year! First step, actually buying a strobe! ;-P But what I would give to be able to go on one of DAH’s lighting workshops. Here’s to hoping he find himself in Blighty with a week or so to spare and can organise a class for us.

  • To submit, or not submit?

  • Michael Webster:

    I enjoyed your “walking around” quite a bit. That tends to be most of my photography… I recognize that fellow with the purple tie from the series “Oddities”. I don’t remember the network (TLC, maybe?), but I watched a marathon of episodes will laid up with acute bronchitis in late December. I rember that he made an exploded skull and located a stuffed sloth for a collector. Please forgive me that I don’t remember more details, but I was running a fever of over 103 degrees F that day. Speaking of oddities, my daughter and I went fishing yesterday, and our only catches were a hunk of petrified wood (that I found) and rib bone (I think from a coyote, that she found).


    As Civi said, don’t ever change. I don’t think that passion can be ever be taught, or cultivated. You either have it, or you don’t. Don’t apologize for it, or put out the flame. I’m sure that your wife saw it in you when she met you.

  • MW: sorry for the typos ;-)

  • Framer
    Likin’ your bus stuff a lot.

  • tom..

    no idea what you refer to, still though – SUBMIT..

    .. is easy enough.. keep it simple – one light is no more expensive than another.. it travels in straight lines.. find a technique that means it compliments rather than interferes with what you’re trying to do..

    simplify life and life becomes simpler.. it’s just having your own sunshine to command.

  • tom is looking great ..
    great base of talent..

  • Tom, submit! What do you gain in not doing so?

    Ok, off to court.. yikes.. nice day all, and good sleep :)

  • ”Desire, ask, believe, recieve.”
    Stella Terrill Mann

  • a civilian-mass audience

    JOHNG…they might need your inspiration:)

    according to KURT’S photos in the FB area(photos from the workshop)…I don’t know if the JUKE baby will come out BUT I know for sure …
    there is a circle of friends,
    beer on their hands,
    fire in the middle…

    and there is no other way…SUBMIT:)!!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    beer in…hmmm…what happened to proofread,oime?

  • a civilian-mass audience

    I feel like ALEC,the ALEC today…

    “I want to play arenas…”

    can I sing now?

  • mw: I appreciate the link to your flashwork and I share your excitement for strobes. Sometimes I think added light is half of photography; the extra illumination allows one to photograph anywhere, anything, anytime.

    You use it as a whisper rather than a breeze…still not freezing motion due to shutter lag…and I have to look hard to see proof of its presence. Seamless for sure. The picnic table shot is great, as is the seated woman with the black and white skirt. Personal preference would have had me add a few more lumens so as to freeze motion on the clarinetist’s head, but as you say this is how you desire your images to be rendered, so be it.


    Excuse me everyone, but has “Big Al” become our new dialogue and party centre? Has “Hot Paper” been deep-freezed? Just wondering…..

  • MW…

    As I wrote last night I’m liking more and more these photos, good to see some extra ones…can’t study them too well as I’m viewing them on my mobile at a local park…so you mentioned these images are shot on manual flash so I suppose you just play about with the power rating on the flash? I can’t see very well but this is ”on camera” flash isn’t it and some are direct and others bounced?

  • Framers Intent…
    Thanks for the explanation about the bus photo…you’re doing very well in your first year…don’t ever lose the sense of fun you’re having now…it’s easier to say than do and sometimes one doesn’t realize you’ve lost it until you well and truly bogged down.
    On the subject of your guitar shoulder injury try slowly playing in front of a mirror…i’m sure you will be surprised to see how tense you are when playing above your physical and technical ability…my guess! So the moment you notice the slightest change in your correct position you are starting problems…normally one tends to look odd and ugly but in you case I’m sure we can leave the ugly out :). I had been playing 25 years daily anf in the last 5 years round about a minimum of 6 hours when i gave up and never ever had the slightest injury…it’s all about not running before you can walk.

  • Justin, no I didn’t know that guy was the star of that show, but in retrospect it’s not at all surprising. The woman with her arms crossed next to the sarcophagus owns some kind of oddities shop on the lower east side. I was mainly there for the free buckets of gin, but after the fourth Martini or so, the people started looking interesting so I took a few photos. Kinda shows how I have it backwards from most people, that I have to be drunk before I find wealthy, beautiful people interesting. Still, I ended up spending most of the time viewing it through the fun house mirrors.

    Regarding the flash, yea, I wrote a bit overconfident last night. More accurately, I understand what I need to do to achieve much better control and have come a long, long way since attending David’s class. Can still use a lot of practice. I like the shutter lag though, the sense of motion it can give when done right. And Paul, some was bounce, most direct, none on camera.

  • MW…
    When I mean on camera I mean sticking a strobe on the camera…so that means you held camera in one hand flash in the other with a cable or some kind of radio or infrared on the camera right? Thats how I shoot flash…

  • Mw…
    Are you using one of the Canon strobes? Want to complicate it more? Start playing with zoom setting on the flash…it’s quite cool :)

  • Paul and Gordon – many thanks for the comments. I do hope to add to the series, but I’ve spent so much time away from Liverpool of late, travelling to Derby and London and whatnot, and I printed up a stack of work prints for it too, and am thinking about what it needs to make it “complete” as a project. So I’ve had a little bit of time-off. The weather has changed drastically, so I’m going to experiment with some new ideas, but it might just have to wait until next winter to finish off fully. I learned so much from doing it tho – all one lens, one space, and no place to hide. Great for growth. :-)

    Long-term, I hope to mix doing longer projects like that with regular one-day projects or other smaller sets. I was really pleased with my Roller Derby stuff for that reason – given the basic kit and the amount of other photogs around on that day, I felt my images came out much more interestingly composed than theirs (if that doesn’t sound arrogant, but the mix of basic kit and inexperience didn’t show through in my work, I felt – I got some unique images).

    I love working up new project ideas, and going out and shooting them, but I also love that process of making stuff work together well. It’s all just part of the process. I don’t think my enjoyment of that will go anywhere soon. ;-)

    Paul – my injury wasn’t guitar-related, I was just stupid about returning to playing standing up and carrying heavy stuff regularly and whatnot. Turns out my torn neck/shoulder muscles didn’t heal up properly and the knots in those muscles have caused a trapped nerve. :-( But I’ll definitely be following your tip when I can get back to playing, and will be careful not to jump straight in with long sessions straight away – work up to that instead!

    mw – overconfidence is sometimes for the best. Certainly a lot better than too much self-doubt, anyway. Without ambition, we’ll get nowhere. I only browsed your images briefly last night, but I could see it seemed more natural (not that the lighting was “natural light” but that it didn’t look forced, contrived, or over-powering) than a lot of strobe work. That’s great. Keep working on it. This is a fantastic foundation for your next shoot, and thre are some seriously cool images in there.

  • John Gladdy…

    Grinning! “Robert Petway – Catfish Blues”…Trust you to link some Blues guy I’ve never heard of!

  • London Burnians!
    Kurt Rosenwinkel, the mighty, the awesome, is playing Ronnie Scotts April 18th. I would go, were I able to, but I can’t. You, however, should not miss this night of harmonic amazingness! (Yes, that is a word).

  • A few more x100 pictures.
    These are full resolution. If you want to see them full size, click “original” underneath the photo.

    After a week of frustration with the quirks of this camera, Im loving it. The image quality is astounding.

    Also check out Paul Treacy’s “x100 files”

  • Gordon…

    The noise in the image of the lady playing the violin is beautiful reminds me of the kind of texture ancient oil paintings possess.

  • Hi Paul

    That image is a bit noisier than the other high ISO images because I brightened it a bunch with curves. Check out the noise in the church shot, which is ISO 3200.

    These images were all shot JPG. Fuji’s in cameral processors have a lovely way of dealing with noise. My little fuji f30 point and shoot produces delightful files at ISO 1600

  • Gordon, are you “the Gordon” quoted by Michael Reichmann in his X100 review on the Luminous Landscape? He seems to think that much of the interface problems with the camera can be fixed by a firmware update. Nice photos; glad you are enjoying the camera!


  • Jeff yes:)

    Gordon, Paul thank u for the Fuji camera files.. They seem as good as they can be:)

  • Gordon , u mentioned quirks… anything extraordinary?

  • Hey Gordon, anyone? Is that Fuji really any better than the competing small cameras from Panasonic and Sony? Where are Canon and Nikon in this?

    It’s weird, I’ve been in this happy place where I just don’t crave any new equipment. Though summer’s coming and I’m thinking I may need a strong ND filter. I re-watched the documentary about Leni Reifenstahl the other day and she said something that made me think that might be a good idea for my type of photography. So many photographers get discussed here yet no one ever mentions Reifenstahl. I’m a little curious why that is? She was a true pioneer in the field, in ways both good and bad, and her life is fascinating.

  • Meh. I was supposed to do organising work and laundry today. I have thus far done nothing. Meh.

    Gordon, Paul – I’m very interested in the x100, so do keep those reports coming!

  • GORDON tht looks pretty kool @ 3200 many thanks fr sharing

  • David B., thanks man, i’m lucky to be in with just a great group of folks.

  • Editing process. …
    day one: holy crap, that’s brilliant.
    day two: omg, what was I thinking, it’s crap.
    day three: I can’t look.
    day four: maybe
    Day five: no it’s crap. Suffering in silence.
    Day fifteen: no, no, it’s good.
    day thirty: I just don’t know, such a departure. Too far?
    day forty-four: derivative crap!
    Day fifty-five: cliche! That’s out.
    day seventy-five: well, at least there’s one from that batch, and one from that one …. Maybe.
    day three-hundred-and-sixty-five: to submit, or not to submit?
    day three-hundred-and-sixty-six: what the hell, submit. What’s a little humiliation between friends? Everything is about risk.

  • MW…

    There is a Spanish saying which says…

    “Dime con quíen vas y te diré quíen eres.”
    Pretty apt for Leni Reifenstahl.

  • Paper definitely IS HOT!!!

    Assisting as I speak.. ermm.. write to the last minutes of labour, tomorrow birth will be given to ‘AL CAMPO’, Ernesto Bazan’s colour book about Cuba.. I even have pics, but stupid phone won’t let me upload them.. you can watch a little presentation here, longer video in the making as well:

    and here:

    DAVID… if you’re reading, Ernesto says back hi to you too!

  • Oh, I dunno, is that your way of saying you haven’t seen the documentary? I wouldn’t say it’s apt at all. More like something counterproductive a bad parent would tell a child. You like movies about photography, you really should check it out.

  • tom hyde ……..

    day 367 u realize u need an artist statement …… repeat process from day 1 this time write it ……….. ;-)

  • Tom, Vivek..u guys stressing me out…i need to thing of something uplifting…like , a Brazilian beach or something like that ;)

  • panos u r only allowed to think of how to make it multimedia …………….. ;-|)

  • speaking of Brazil…

    “…With the seductive sounds of samba as their rallying cry, Rio’s residents, known as cariocas, have perfected the art of living well. From the world-famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema to the tops of scenic outlooks of Corcovado and Pão de Açúcar to the dance halls, bars and open-air cafes that proliferate the city, cariocas live for the moment without a care in the world…”

    have perfected the art of living well.
    have perfected the art of living well.
    have perfected the art of living well.

    I think Brazil should do some “Art of Living” Workshops for Americans….
    or a book (“Art of Living Well for Dummies!;)

  • “Dont be afraid of the rain , its just water…why being complicated?”
    as Alex Majoli’s Brazilian driver/assistant once quoted…:)

  • multimedia?
    Viky , u just served me another “panic attack”…;)

  • Thanks for the heads up, Panos; that’s what I figured. I visited last night – the lights were on, but nobody home. I tried to turn them off, but damned if the empties were piled shoulder high. Who’s gonna clean up that mess? It sure ain’t me!

    Does Big Al know what he got himself into, being host and all? RULE #1 at Al’s arena: No ankle-biting!!! (‘Nads Ok if you’re short, but please try to thrust and parry to the chin…unless made of glass. Who’d clean up that mess? It sure ain’t me.)

    Also, please spit olive pits up to the cheap seats; empties to gen admish. Rave pit must remain dry, and obstruction-free; we may be asked to rush the stage as back-up…does everyone know the lyrics to “We Are The World”?

  • MW,

    there is a direct link from Leni Riefenstahl (ie not ei) to Adolf Hitler. She perfected the “hero style”, in taking a low camera position to show specific people to be greater, higher. Her career was very much influenced by the Nazis, and since that, at least in Germany, nobody would really want to mention her.

  • Thomas, yet somehow a German made the documentary and it’s received almost universally powerful reviews.

    And you know what they say about those who fail to learn from history… Stick your head up your ass at your own peril.

  • Thomas…
    Thank you! She does everything she can to deny the direct links with the nazis but …
    Yes I’m sure it’s a great documetary but I’ve always disliked the woman and her work…sorry.

  • MW…
    We’re talking about someone who helped promote all the nazi propaganda for gods sake!!

  • Well Paul, that’s far from an accurate statement. It’s a great documentary on many levels. Photo wise, political, and the intersection of the two. Like I said to Thomas, those who fail to learn from history… and I see the Riefenstahlian repetitions every day on the photo wire, or at least every campaign season… Why fear knowledge?

  • does everyone know the lyrics to “We Are The World”?

    (unedited version-very rare;)

  • Helene Bertha Amalie “Leni” Riefenstahl (German pronunciation: [ˈʁiːfənʃtaːl]; 22 August 1902 – 8 September 2003) was a German film director, actress and dancer widely noted for her aesthetics and innovations as a filmmaker. Her most famous film was Triumph des Willens (Triumph of the Will), a propaganda film made at the 1934 Nuremberg congress of the Nazi Party. Riefenstahl’s prominence in the Third Reich along with her personal friendship with Adolf Hitler thwarted her film career following Germany’s defeat in World War II, after which she was arrested but released without any charges…

    After her death, the Associated Press described Riefenstahl as an “acclaimed pioneer of film and photographic techniques”. Der Tagesspiegel newspaper in Berlin noted, “Leni Riefenstahl conquered new ground in the cinema”. The BBC said her documentaries “were hailed as groundbreaking film-making, pioneering techniques involving cranes, tracking rails, and many cameras working at the same time”.

    (i dont want to get into the nazi-or not propaganda making, but (except from that) she sounds like a great tech-guru kinda person…not my cup of tea….i prefer artists than mechanics:)

  • …but who doesnt need a great mechanic ? from time s to times?

  • MW,

    I am German, and I guess we learned much from our history. And documentaries like the one you saw also help to understand that more and better. However to reference the person Leni Riefenstahl would imply for many people to give the Nazis a positive image. Her dealing in the way she did damaged her own reputation.
    I think the perception is – referencing her brings oneself closer to the Nazis. – I guess, this is why not many people reference her.

    I tried to explain why people are not referencing the person. There are other Germans who could be positively famous for their achievements, if they weren’t done in that context.

    I’m not sure, if I understand your quote with the learning from history completely, but I think I should not feel offended, should I?

  • In 1936, Hitler invited Riefenstahl to film the Olympic Games in Berlin, a film which Riefenstahl claimed had been commissioned by the International Olympic Committee. She also went to Greece to take footage of the games’ original site at Olympia, where she was aided

    by Greek photographer Nelly.

    This material became Olympia, a successful film which has since been widely noted for its technical and aesthetic achievements. She was one of the first filmmakers to use tracking shots in a documentary, placing a camera on rails to follow the athletes’ movement, and she is noted for the slow motion shots included in the film. Riefenstahl’s work on Olympia has been cited as a major influence in modern sports photography. Riefenstahl filmed competitors of all races, including African-American Jesse Owens in what would later become famous footage.

    (anyone heard of Nelly before? She is amazing imho)

  • Vivek, :)) Yes, on day 367 right now.

    Panos, so sorry, did not mean to depress. Did I mention we’ve had 120 inches of rain since Sept. 1? Cannot fear the rain, too true, must embrace it. Strange, that is what I am writing about right now.
    Quick, who said this?:

    Wandering, wandering in hopless night
    Out here in the perimeter there are no stars
    Out here we is stoned

  • taking the “mechanic” comment back..Obviously if Great Nelly “liked/helped” her , then she must have been way more than just a “mechanic”…An Artist!

  • Tom, ..wild guess..Bob Black?

  • Even in a controversial way like above i wanna thank you guys, Paul, MW, Thomas for making me search and find more about this ground breaking artist (although not easy to pronounce her name)…
    And not that i put all my faith in any court to be honest…but the truth that she was never “charged” with anything makes me wanna assume..that she is innocent till proven guilty (although i understand very well what Paul and Thomas , and MW trying to say!)

  • damn it Tom;) i thought i knew everything about Lizards and Kings..what the hell happened to me?

  • Maybe too much sunshine, and immaculate. :))

  • MW…
    I’ve no fear of knowledge quite the contrary. But these sort of subjects on the web are very delicate. I’m sure probably Thomas has family who just like mine found themselves stuck in the middle of a six year nightmare. I think the Germans have had enough stick in the last sixty years and it’s time to turn over a new page. The problem i have with LR is thd fact she got away scott-free without any punishment having fimed very well the nazi propaganda which invariably helped begin all that happened afterwards. So if she is sort of ignored i think it is a very just punishment…

  • ok Tom…im gonna watch the docu “when you’re strange” once again…back to Venice Beach in 48 hours..gotta be “prepared” ;)

  • i meant to say… a very fair punishment

  • But these sort of subjects on the web are very delicate
    Paul, true…!


    it’s time to turn over a new page.
    also very true…

  • Panos; “i prefer artists than mechanics”

    Depends… I’d rather sit down with a mechanic over a beer or two than a pretentious “artiste”…. ;-) A mechanic and a grounded artist? Yup that’s more like it; think the conversation would be way more interesting! :-)

  • Artist/mechanic, Strat/Telecaster? Throw me the work-a-day Tele ;-)

  • How many of you know that Jimmy Page who we usually associate with a Gibson Les paul actually nearly always recorded all his guitar parts in the studio with a telecaster. :)

  • Paul; Didn’t know that!

  • But anyway if anyone wants to learn from history and WW2 start by reading and understanding the Treaty of Versailles and how it crippled financially German causing the future unrest which Hitler took advantage of…so you see BW don’t exist it’s a matter of greys…and yes I know Panos I also hate greys

  • there is no bad weather – just the wrong clothes..
    was out working double-figure hour days when it reached double-figure minus temperatures in these parts over the winter.. and it’s true.

    as reality as also in metaphor..
    wear the right clothes people.

    nazis, nazis.. the space race, jet flight and the evolution of weaponry..
    at least the pope is pure.

  • Michael Webster…

    “…she said something that made me think that might be a good idea for my type of photography.”

    Did I miss where you said what that was? What did she say? What inspired you?

  • if anyone wants to learn about ww1 visit verdun,
    and stand in a trench on the meter thick layer of debris,
    in the driving rain,
    up to your ankles in mud.

    like.. thud.

    a grey card reflects the light perfectly.

  • It may shock you all to learn that it’s not only Riefenstahl, that there have actually been many documentaries (and books!) made about Hitler himself, and pretty much everyone else involved in Nazi Germany, and many millions — regular people, not Nazis — have viewed these documentaries without becoming Nazis. In fact, many believe that it’s necessary to understand these bad people and bad periods of history in order to help ensure that they don’t happen again. And apparently the guy that made the Riefenstahl documentary was one of them.

    Panos, seriously, check out the movie. I’m sure you would find it fascinating. And Riefenstahl was interesting well beyond the Nazi phase of her life. She spent several decades doing great photo work in Africa and then underwater photography for the final 30 years of her life. And Thomas above refers. I think, to Susan Sontag’s critique of her style as a fascist aesthetic. And maybe it was, but that’s an interesting conversation. Is there really such a thing as a fascist aesthetic?

    Personally, I think the world would probably be a better place if every journalist, if not every artist or just plain everybody, were forced to study the wonderful horrible life of Leni Riefenstahl. We can see her legacy just about every time you pick up a newspaper or watch the news on tv. Unfortunately, very few can recognize it.

  • Michael K, she said she liked to shoot wide open in bright sunlight for the weird atmospheric effects.

  • Thanks MW…

    I found it interesting that rather than just bring her up and discuss what inspired you or how she influenced todays videographers, you ask why she’s not discussed in here. (I believe she actually has been) So rather than a discussion of her influence you get a discussion of why she’s rarely talked about and now you can take the high road because you want to discuss her. Feeling particularly provocative today, are we? ;^}

  • “In fact, many believe that it’s necessary to understand these bad people and bad periods of history in order to help ensure that they don’t happen again.”

    .. and at least if they do happen again we can take 11th november as respite, take stock and say to ourselves that we believe it is necessary to understand these bad people and bad periods of history in order to help ensure that they don’t happen again.

    and then, feeling shaky as we stand from our sofa slumber, we’ll leave that room and close the door, knowing that the further we get from that closed door the further we feel from what was said in that room.

  • okay – think i am off topic..
    g’night :o)

  • Susan Sontag? Navel gazer extrordinaire….

  • I am not sure, even with all education and learning about history “it” would never happen again.
    Have you heard about “The Wave”? –

    However, it is good to understand the things others try to manipulate us.

  • Mike R
    Yes that was me that Reichman is quoting.

    Have a peek at Reichman’s review.
    then there is a follow-up review.

    No deal breakers Panos but some annoying stuff. I had an issue with the camera not waking from sleep mode, but have discovered that I have to HOLD the shutter button down, not just press it.
    The camera is slow to wake up, has some auto-focus issues, difficult menu system, the rear control wheel is too small finicky, and a few other glitches.
    My last major annoyance is that with the camera on, and the focus pre-set on manual, I cannot just swing the camera up and instantly take a picture, there can be a lag of about half a second in bright daylight, and curiously, there is almost no lag in lower light. This seems to be tied to the fact that the aperture is opening and closing during viewing, reacing to light. When pointed at bright light, the aperture is small. If you watch the lens when the shutter is released, it then quickly opens wide, then down to shooting aperture. In lower light, the aperture is already open, so has to do less to get ready to shoot, therefore takes less time. If you have your finger partially depressed on the shutter button before you shoot, there is no lag. It is annoying, but I can work with it. It is really a matter of being aware of these quirks and dealing with them.

    My love/hate relationship is now leaning more towards love than hate. As I said before, it is like a relationship with a woman/man. You learn to embrace and overlook the quirks.

    Thi image quality is amazing. I have not seen any tech stuff, but I swear the dynamic range is wider than any digital camera I’ve ever used. The resolution is very high, the lens seems flawless, sharp to the corners at any aperture.
    Not since I gave up my Leica M4-2 many years ago have I had the pleasure of shooting with an optical viewfinder. The X100 optical viewfinder is not as nice as an M Leica, but it is very good. The frame-line adjusts for parallax, at is at least as accurate as a Leica I suspect. One issue with the OVF is that the focus frame does not shift when the frame shifts for parallax, leaving the focus point a bit up and to the left. This could mean that you are not actually focussed where you thought at close distances. I have not found this to really be a issue in practical use. As Reichman points out, it is just something you need to be aware of.
    The electronic viewfinder appears instantly with a flick of the little lever on the front of the camera. It is a pretty good evf as far as evfs go, but a bit laggy.
    Then of course you can always just use the screen on the back of the camera as with the GF1 or Olympus. It is amazing to have the choice.

    Don’t go play with one unless you have a spare $1200 because you will want it.

  • Well, no, education and learning about history won’t ensure anything, but not learning about it sure will. The Riefenstahl movie, btw, is not any kind of whitewash. She is confronted with all of those questions and often the shallowness of her justifications is exposed.

    Michael K? What the fuck are you talking about? Never mind, I don’t even wanna know…

  • MW, I fully agree with what you are saying.

  • “One of the most exciting things for me is the coming of Burn as print publisher…for me this would be the most fun of all…to build a print library of Burn books…” – DAH

    Right on!

  • looking..

    i met 2 german school teachers in verdun.. out looking for the most shocking, short of death camp, field-trip for their students.. to insure that ‘it’ never happens again.

    well.. it does of course.. and will..

    so why is it the german empire onto which nations deflect their collective sins? i thought the teachers would be just as well placed in looking for a field trip venue in scotland, (pinned to the vikings), or the even U.S. where 60 million indigenous people are thought to have died.. hmm.. school budget cuts in europe.. nah..
    maybe tv and photo?

    we’re the roman empires atrocities.. or the british.. or the tibetans for that matter.. the first to be filmed and photoed, perhaps they would be the political crutch, the “i know better” expression of understanding/excusing/deflecting/atoning-for whatever contemporary disgust is going on.

    how many iraqi civilians dead so far?
    HRW say more than 700 000.. could it be over a million?
    1959 a 3rd of tibets people were wiped out – 2 million.. and that’s when the memory was still fresh..

    anyway.. looking before i am leaping.. documentary is on.. and i must follow subtitles..
    let not imagine though, that humans.. no.. ‘politicians’.. learn from their mistakes.
    nor that the intelligent ‘understanders’ are any less pawns than the majority.

    it makes me smart somewhat when i meet critically aware and sharp germans, saddled and carrying the weight of “least we forget” .. burden such as these teachers carried.. when it’s all of ours to share.


    it’s the shutter lag that would kill it for me.. utterly.. how did they evolve a visual art which astonished for being able to capture the moment into something which catches just after the moment?

    for all the latest technology, there are ways in which cameras seem to have stepped backwards.

  • to paraphrase:
    if anyone wants to know about Jesus, do NOT watch Mel Gibson’s aka “the Drunk from Malibu”, Passion of the Christ!;)

  • I’d rather sit down with a mechanic over a beer or two than a pretentious “artiste”…. ;-
    Ross, yes yes i agree!

  • seriously, check out the movie. I’m sure you would find it fascinating
    MW, yes i will…i was actually happily “confused” when i figured that Leni was Nelly’s friend…
    And yes yes, Paul i agree..i hate grey and sometimes i become a victim of grey myself and i “judge ” accordingly…
    (btw Paul you are the absolute guitar wiki…)

  • Have a peek at Reichman’s review.
    then there is a follow-up review.

    Thank you GORDON…i respect and totally trust Reichman…love “luminous landscape”..serious work

    i hope this one for me coz i deserve it ;)

  • of course.. panos.. it takes a BLASPHEMER !! to know one.
    i linked to the documentary which MW suggested above, (if you want to see a 91 year old scuba-diving)..

    reichman and gordon bring up points that would drive me absolutely nuts..

    i’ve read elsewhere that perhaps fuji illustrated a little insecurity about the marketability of the x100 by crapping out on some expenses.. thus the fixed lens.. bit’s n bobs.. and more..

    you know..

    i recently got an M3, a v600 film scanner, leitz 1.5, 50mm & 135mm lenses, MC meter and case – ALL for roughly £330 less.. 330 quid which i can spend on film..
    or soup
    or socks
    or Tor Capa.

  • As I said before, it is like a relationship with a woman/man. You learn to embrace and overlook the quirks.
    this little piece of information..if i only knew that long time ago, i would have been a better person damn it;)

  • Well, it is a three hour movie covering 70 years of a person’s life. Takes awhile to get going.

  • David Bowen

    Shutter lag is only an issue in manual focus mode, and only then if you want to pre-focus and be ready to shoot instantly. If the shutter button is partially depressed, the frame line shifts to compensate for parallax, and then the shutter released instantly when you depress further. If you are in auto-focus mode, there is no problem since you must partially depress the button to activate focus anyway.

    It is a pain in the ass, but I can work around it. The more time I spend with the camera, the more I am growing to like it. It is a very different animal from a dslr. Try one out if you get an opportunity.

  • .. sorry.. 230 less than an x100..
    still, 100 or so rolls of fuji colour neg at 23 quid for 10 on ebay..
    or 3600 or so photos,,

  • again Gordon , thank u again for review and test photos

  • NO.. 10 rolls of fujifilm..
    god my head is fried tonight.. and my hands are reporting as much..

    “Shutter lag is only an issue in manual focus mode, and only then if you want to pre-focus and be ready to shoot instantly. ”

    that’s the trouble.. i do want to, i do.. :o)

    i’d love to try one out.. there is something alluring about them, although how much is due to viewfinder-adoration and the x100s ground breaking ways..

    i’m looking forward to getting their hands on one, in my own sad little way..

  • no.. it is 100..
    bed time..
    i am exhausted when numbers are not adding up.

  • Geez MW…

    Lighten up! It was just poking at you a bit.

  • “In fact, many believe that it’s necessary to understand these bad people and bad periods of history in order to help ensure that they don’t happen again.”

    “so why is it the german empire onto which nations deflect their collective sins?”

    What many believe is wrong. Good people don’t want to understand the bad people and wish they would simply go away, but the bad people won’t go ever go away, not now, not ever, or as Trotsky, not merely a bad person but a complete and utter shit, put it, you may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you. And why war? War works. Ask any Nazi, American Indian, Algerian mujahid, Japanese imperialist, Viet Minh, or Robert E. Lee if war works. War solves a lot more issues than almost anything you can think of. The only way the good people keep the bad people in check is to make sure the bad people understand that the good people will stomp their evil asses into the ground if they get out of line. Sweet reasonableness can do wonders, but as Al Capone said, paraphrasing Teddy Roosevelt, you can farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with just a kind word.

    And why the Germans? Because then we can tell ourselves that we wouldn’t do that sort of thing, only the Germans would do something like that. The rest of us wouldn’t do anything as evil as the Holocaust. This, of course, is absolute rubbish. Put the right circumstances together and the monster will come out in all of us. Khmer Rouge ideology, Ottoman Turk wartime paranoia, Serbian nationalism, Hutu tribal consciousness [and how, I wonder, is that different from Serbian nationalism? Not much, I think, except that Hutus are Africans and the Serbians are not] Take your pick. Believe in the justice of your cause enough and there is no enormity you would not be willing to commit in order to advance it. And the Germans lost both wars. It’s always important to remember that losers commit atrocities; winners commit regrettable lapses in the heat of battle.

  • Ah David, You film burners just won’t give up.

    Yes, I agree, I wan’t to be ready in an instant as well. But this camera is just too cool to walk away from. I mean, if you are shooting with a Leica, how long does it take to take a light reading, focus, compose and shoot. We are quibbling about a fraction of a second. If I can train myself to partially depress the shutter button as I bring the camera to my eye, all will be well.

    Different cameras ask different things of us. I’m a huge fan of twin lens reflex cameras. I still have the Rolliecord Vb that I bought new in the late sixties, although I hav’nt put a roll of film in it for years. You have to get used to viewing head down, tilt the camera left the horizon tilts right, no light meter, difficult focus, especially in poor light, only 12 shots per roll. Yet, many of my all time favourite photos were taken with that camera, and other twin lens cameras.

    I spent many years under a dark cloth behind a 4×5 view camera. The image, laterally reversed, upside down, a very deliberate way of working.

    The explosion of 35mm slrs in the sixties gave us freedom to explore a much more spontaneous way of working. Digital slrs, autofocus, ability to shoot at very high ISOs (remmember Kodachrome 11, ISO 25), have changed the way we make photographs.

    Iphones, holgas, film, digital, polaroid

    All of these image making tools change the way we make images. Not better or worse, just different.

    The Fuji x100 is a whole new image making experience. Yes, there are glitches and problems, but at the same time, it offers a completely new (really) way of making photographs. And I have to re-inforce what I have state already, besides the whole new viewing experience, the image quality is a whole different ball of wax.

    Anyway, blah blah blah. Gotta go help my sweet woman with supper now. Love ya all. Go make some pictures with whatever camera you have in your hand right now.

  • Go make some pictures with whatever camera you have in your hand right now.
    thats exactly the “message”…thats exactly what/how it comes down to…

  • and although im pro-Obama , read this…since we gotta keep our eyes open..

  • The Bush/Cheney/Obama wars of naked aggression have bankrupted America. Joseph Stiglitz, former chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, concluded that the money wasted on the Iraq war could have been used to fix America’s Social Security problem for half a century.
    Instead, the money was used to boost the obscene profits of the armament industry.

  • Panos…

    Been having a bad Obama year or so, I must admit. The Bradley Manning and Anwar al-Awlaki crap is just too difficult to overlook. Unfortunately, the alternatives to Obama are significantly worse.

  • yea i hear u..we are all pretty much “trapped” at this point :(

  • Yes Gordon!! make pictures with whatever camera you’ve got…so very true.
    Think I’ll go out with my Pentax Me Super it’s been with me since I was born…first ever pictures taken of me by grandfather were probably shot with that camera…my adiction – neccesity of photography begun whilst using that camera at the age of 15…lovely 50mm lens.

  • Talking about evil…have any of you had the dubious pleasure of meeting someone who is really bad, evil? My ex neighbour is a certified psychopath, she is capable of absolutely anything…one afternoon before we knew the truth she came down with a baseball threatning to to hit my 3 month old son because he was ill with a fever…i might add it was 5:00pm and 5:00am…i could tell you one horror story after another we have indured 5 years of hell.

  • 5:00pm and not 5:00am..

  • I do so hope you have seen this.

    An english mans road trip to the south.

  • John; My favourite doco, have watched it soooooooooo many times :-) Have only one more Jim White CD to get! :-)

  • Hmmm…
    The Fuji X100 and having to adjust to a camera or work around it…
    just what I hate most about a camera and why I loved my M6 so intensely… it was designed with common sense. Same for all Leicas in general M, R and the new digital S so I’m told.

  • Please Canon will you please start designing a fixed lens camera a bit like a G10 with perhaps a Full Frame sensor or OK just the usual APS sized sensor…please don’t put the G10 viewfinder do something better and a nice fast lens.
    Well Nikon an Fm3a turned digital? Fm3d, I’m convinced it would sell like hot cakes.

  • Funny, my son keeps using my G10… it’s falling apart, the back cover is hanging and guess who makes the LCD screen?

  • Gordon, is it possible to pre-focus the X100? I seem to remember Michael reichmann’s review as saying that you can set the camera to auto focus via the AF button on the back of the camera i.e. the shutter release does not auto focus anymore. if so, can you pre-focus on a spot and then take photos via the shutter release without any further AF?



  • ^^^ Oh! Oh! Oh! I want to know that also.

  • Mike/Framer

    Yes, you can pre-focus using the af button or the focus ring. There is a very cool depth of field indicator on the distance scale which is also helpful.
    The issue is, even when pre-focused there can be a lag when you depress the shutter button as the lens and diaphram and viewfinder frame-line get themselves organized. Curiously this is most noticable in bright light. There is no lag if the shutter button is partially depressed before you actually take the shot.

  • Paul
    Canon execs stated in an indterview recently that they had no interest in producing a large sensor compact.
    Too bad, they would probably do a nice job. Canon is only interested in the mass market. Fuji have always produced interesting niche’ cameras. Remmember the 6×9 “texas leicas”?

  • The FujiFilm X100 is an absolute gem of a camera. It’s lightening fast and there has never been a camera so quiet. And the pictures stretch a very long way to make for gorgeous and huge prints.

    I spent many years longing for a camera such as this. I made much of my best work with the old fixed lens Konica Hexar and this Fuji unit approximates very closely indeed.

    I manually set focus at 3 meters when on the streets and it’s response is instantaneous. When needed, the auto focus is very quick just like the old Hexar was.

    There have been many complaints about this camera which are mostly rubbish. This camera can be set up in a multitude of ways to suit many styles of practice. Just read the manual and experiment.

    I also find the in-camera raw processing to be very capable while waiting for a decent raw processor for Aperture.

    I have finally found my dream camera. It’s the FujiFilm X100. See my new photo blog, The X100 Files.

    Paul Treacy.

  • Nice blog Paul, thanks.


  • Gordon…

    I remember very well the Texas Leicas! I’ve got a Fuji 6x7III sitting right next to me :))

  • texas leicas ………lol

  • @ PANOS thanks for the link.
    By the way: Who can imagine what a TRILLON USD is?
    I can’t, but some time ago an maths teacher said: Imagine that instead of $$$$ you have “time”,
    let’s say 1 month = 1000 USD (in the order of a monthly salary).

    3 Trillon USD = 3 Billion months = 250 Million years. Hence, to pay the war is like a “normal” human being, had work since Continents were glued till nowadays! That’s a lot (of time and money).
    …and remember George Orwell 1984… that guy was a visionary/realistic…unfortunately.

    Ok, basta por hoy. Pax. P.

  • I don’t know now! I popped into Jessops today and played around with the Panasonic Lumix GF2. Damn, that thing feels nice to play with, very intuitive and, for £720 for the camera, a 14-42mm and a 20mm f1.7 pancake lens, I’m very very tempted by that.

    I know Fuji has quite the rep for its sensors and optics, and I even have an old Fuji compact (dunno which, tbh) which I am quite pleased with for the occasional emergency camera, but the lack of availability to try one out before buying is an issue for me. Particularly so given the lens isn’t interchangeable – £1k for a small camera is a lot to put down, especially if there is no flexibility in changing lenses, or getting a lens/body upgrade at a later date without having to shell out for the whole system all over again.

    I just wish I could test drive one of them before deciding. The Lumix, being cheaper, available for in-store testing, and with the options for different lenses just seems like a more sensible option. But still, the x100 calls my name…

  • Sorry, I meant the Lumix G2. Damn these far too similar names…

  • Gf2 has better video than gf1, plus a little smaller body..other than that..samo..
    although i miss the gf1 dial button on top…gf2 also features touch screen but im not sure if thats a “good” thing or not!…best thing is that is $100 cheaper….$599 from B&H not bad of a deal

  • Framers Intent…
    Last week at had the last batch of GF1s on offer at special price with 20m lens.

  • Framers Intent.

    Just wait, dude. Believe me, you’ll be delighted.

    The fixed lens is actually very liberating. As is the silent shutter and the sumptuous files.

    I have an Olympus Pen Digital and though it’s a well put together little thing, it simply does not compare at all the the Fuji. The Fuji files are simply stunning, in my view.

    I’ve used Nikon primes on the Olympus and this produces substantially better photos than the Olympus lenses, believe it or not but still the Fuji just beats everything I have and I shoot Nikon pro bodies. Or used to. Haven’t used them for street photography or personal work since picking up the Fuji.

    I do love the Olympus for HD video and will continue to use it exclusively to that end for personal and pro work.

    Fuji are back to full production and the next batch of X100s are about to arrive so I’d suggest hanging in there. It’s worth the wait. I pre-ordered my ages ago without playing with one. It was a risk but it was the right decision. There’s really only one camera that compares to the X100 and that’s the Leica M9. I don’t factor the big Nikon and Canon pro bodies as they are completely different instruments but there are certain functions that these big cameras cannot touch where the M9 and X100 shine.

    I repeat, the Fuji files are very special. That little lens is special.

    THE X100 FILES

  • Paul i totally agree about Fuji…
    the main good thing about gf1 and gf2 , YOU CAN ACTUALLY USE LEICA Lenses or Zeiss (& nikon, canon of course )with a pretty cheap adopter mount (no glass in between)

  • Paul

    I’m surprised that you have an instantaneous response after a pre-focus

    In my experience, after pre-focusing in manual mode, optical or evf, camera on, there is an annoying lag between the shutter press and the shutter going off when shooting in bright daylight. In lower light levels, the lag is much less, and barely noticable. There is no lag at all if I have the shutter button partially depressed before making the exposure.

    If you look at the lens while releasing the shutter, you will see why. As the camera is pointed in different directions, or taken from bright light to low light, you will see that the iris diaphram is continually adjusting itself. I expect that this is for the benefit of the evf, even when you are using the ovf. When you release the shutter the camera has to do a bunch of stuff. I suspect the lens has to actually focus itself to the preset distance. At the same time, the aperture suddenly goes wide open, then down to shooting aperture, then the shutter closes, then opens and closes again to make the exposure, then opens again.
    I am guessing the reason that the lag is more prevelant out in bright light is that the aperture starts from a very closed position, then has to go wide open before it closes down to shooting aperture. In lower light, the aperture is wide open to begin with so only has to close to shooting aperture before the shutter closes and then makes the exposure.

    Anyone who has ever shot with a Hasselblad will identify with shutter lag. Hasselblads have a leaf shutter. When you are viewing through a Hasselblad, the lens is wide open, the shutter is open, the reflex mirror is down, and the auxillary shutter behind the mirror is closed. When you depress the shutter button, a bunch of stuff happens. First the shutter closes and the aperture closes to shooting aperture. The mirror swings up, and the auxillary shutter opens. Then the main shutter in the lens opens and closes to make the exposure. Thats a lot of stuff that needs to happen.

    Paul if your camera is set up in a way that eliminates the lag, I’d love to hear about it.

  • Framer/Panos

    The Panasonics and the Olys cannot be compared to the Fuji. Aside from a Leica, no other camera offers the viewfinder experience. Also keep in mind the sensor size difference, and the resulting difference in depth of field and the ability to achieve selective focus.

    Also, as Paul says, the lens, and the fuji files are very special. Fuji has always made superior sensors, in a whole lot different way than everyone elses. Thier pixels are octagonal, of two sizes, arranged in a honeycomb like pattern rather than a grid like all the others. One of the results is a higher resolution than it’s pixel count would have you expect. The other is an expanded dynamic range. Finally, there apparently is no anit-alias filter on this sensor, like Leica sensors and medium format sensors. This also results in better resolution and gradation.

    Despite my issues with the camera, you’d have to pry it from my cold dead hands like Charton Heston’s guns.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Happy New Year…JOHN VINK and to all who celebrate…rabbits!!!

    GORDON…BURNIANS…I love your lifes !!!

    Keep the tech talk…I follow slowly but steady…hmmm:)


  • Paul, I believe Framer is a dudette.

  • Gordon…
    One of the X100 images you uploaded was of some large tree, i don’t know maybe an a great oak? Anyway I noticed a lot of purple fringing in the branches…I was quite surprised, have you noticed this?

  • Dudette, but too chilled to be fussy about it. I call everyone “guys” so… ;-P

  • Paul
    That is a broadleaf Maple covered with moss. The trees all around are Alders, which this time of year produce redish catkins, which is producing that magenta/purple you are seeing.
    One of the remarkable thing about the images from this camera is the almost complete absence of colour fringing and remarkable sharpness edge to edge. Even my Canon L lenses, especially the zooms, produce abundant fringing.
    I’ve just printed a 16×24 in print from one of the tree files and it looks amazing.

  • gordon and paul..

    you do bring a very strong case for the x100.. and i can see whats good about it..
    for me though.. where i am and what i am shooting.. it’s not right.
    so it goes :o)

    enjoy as we all do.. and surely we who do, do.

    (ps to gordon.. one light reading every so often and i guess the rest.. the flash technique i use.. split second.. too fast for auto anything :o)


    YOU have it..
    you have it in regard to the damn bull that many a german friend of mine has to contemplate..

    and that paragraph of yours again –
    “And why the Germans? Because then we can tell ourselves that we wouldn’t do that sort of thing, only the Germans would do something like that. The rest of us wouldn’t do anything as evil as the Holocaust. This, of course, is absolute rubbish. Put the right circumstances together and the monster will come out in all of us. Khmer Rouge ideology, Ottoman Turk wartime paranoia, Serbian nationalism, Hutu tribal consciousness [and how, I wonder, is that different from Serbian nationalism? Not much, I think, except that Hutus are Africans and the Serbians are not] Take your pick. Believe in the justice of your cause enough and there is no enormity you would not be willing to commit in order to advance it. And the Germans lost both wars. It’s always important to remember that losers commit atrocities; winners commit regrettable lapses in the heat of battle.”

    could there be a direct relationship between “godwins law” and whatever nastiness the contemporary superpowers are indulging themselves in?

  • briefly, (and finally), on the x100..

    i want to like it..
    indulged in the pre-release fervor..
    all that jazz…
    and of course the picture quality is ‘good’ if you use high ISO.. which i tend not to..

    i just don’t need it..
    put another way..
    a friend was complaining about how long it takes to convert their raw files to jpg.. just waiting on the computer.
    i can have a roll of film.. 5 rolls of film.. with 16 base scans ready to email in an hour. (geographical location permitting)..
    so.. given that CF cards, or whatever you use, are the most secure storage.. and could be concluded as the modern ‘negative’, i’m not saving money shooting digital.. not if i archive my cf cards.. i’m not even saving time, given where i am living, when i can have film processed so swiftly..

    so today i thought – you know.. of course i use digital.. ‘have-digital’..
    yet, is there a ‘marketing-con’ of sorts going on concerning how ‘convenient’ or ‘cheap’ digital is?
    is that convenience worth the trade-off in resolution.. archival security.. quality of raw image data?

    i guess that depend upon us all..
    not for me right now..

    even shooting digital on location for ‘quick’ delivery to a client, i always tend to have a film camera somewhere within reach.. because i don’t need digital all the time, like ‘they’ want me to need digital all the time.

    my family and i already live a humble enough existence.. i’m completely unamused by the re-sale value of my digital kit and that kind of obsolescence has “profit’ written all over it..
    so yeah..
    i think the X100 has good potential..
    fresh viewfinder..
    “amazing” low light potential..

    really though, i don’t want anyone from fuji or anywhere else telling me it’s irresistible, because i just don’t buy it..
    although i probably will buy one 2nd-hand “as new” in 2 years when it is selling on ebay for just a couple of hundred bucks.. and for getting it a couple of years late, my photos will not have suffered :o)

  • and paulo – with respect, comparing the M9 with the x100 is like comparing flip flops with timberlands..

    the x100 does exist in it’s own space between high-end large-sensor compacts and the full frame M.. lets keep it real though..

    the fixed lens is tolerable.. cheap to manufacture, (as the x100 is a ‘test’ of sorts).. yet not desirable..

    okay.. kits boring again..

    x100../ yeah yeah.. i just spent a grand on a pair of woollen socks, so i have to tell you how amazing they are :o)

    (with respect)
    and on..


  • It’s just a tool. But a very, very good one. One I’ve been waiting a long time for. It hits ALL the marks for me. I could, and very likely will, stop at this camera. Certainly for quite some time.

    I’m just not interested in film anymore whatsoever. I love the immediacy of digital. And for my way of working, I can process the raw files in this thing is mere seconds.

    I just find the process of making pictures from film to be very wasteful. Wasteful of chemicals and wasteful of water. And most especially, wasteful of my time which is under so much pressure. That’s why I’m up late. I’m typing as my images upload to PhotoShelter.

  • I just posted some more test shots in tricky lighting at The X100 Files.

  • man – you ARE on a marketing drive.. how many hoit links is that now?

    wasteful can also be digital paulo..
    junkyard cameras after a couple of years.. think of the waste in terms of production, money, and physical detritus..

    honestly.. you’re one of the X100 religious – and that’s okay..
    but remember that easter and christmas are just tinsel pinned onto much older traditions..

  • .. and panos my good friend..
    obama is being hailed as worse than bush in some quarters..
    see chompsky from a thread or two ago..
    it’s horrible..
    dreams gone sour..
    who’d have thought it?
    guantanamo still open..
    military trials are go..
    a “surge” in afghanistan..
    and the village-idiot from texas is in good company.

  • David B

    You do good stuff, and am sure you would get good stuff no matter what gear you were using.

    Five rolls of film developed and scanned in an hour, whew!

    I of course really didn’t need the new Fuji for my , but am enjoying exploring the new possibilites it offers, the astounding image quality, and the new working method it offers. Wether or not I settle in to using it exclusivly for my personal stuff remains to be seen, I kinda miss shooting with my little Rebel with a 28mm lens, my previous personal kit. However I do shoot a lot in very low light, and there my older Rebel’s image quality falters above iso 800, so I was considering replacing it with one of the newer models.
    Expensive to keep replacing cameras? Naw. Just think of it as buying a camera with thousands of rolls of film and processing built in. When I was considering going digital in ’03 I had my bookeeper calculate my yearly film and processing costs. It was over $10,000 per year. I can buy a lot of gear for $10,000.

    Anyway, different srokes and all that. Borrow one of the fujis if you get an opportunity and give it a go. You may like it, or, horrors, even love it!


  • ..and panos.. skype soon.. the loft seems too remote these days and i’d love to ketchup..

  • gordon.. that made me smile..
    of course i would love it :o)
    no question..

    i just don’t need it.. none of us do unless we are in a position to..
    it’s the whole kit-or-photograph debate i guess..
    it’s really not the kit, as i know you know.

    money wise – since i lost 10 years worth of digital files a year or two ago, i’ve been astonishingly grateful for my negatives :o)
    real-raw.. highest believable resolution..
    and –
    cost wise.. since loosing my digital files and having to spend months contacts scanning… i would never again write over a cf card.. i would archive them.. and the cost of a cf card compared to film?

    damn gordon i like your input..
    the “different strokes” reference IS the killer.. and the leveler.. and the all-and-everything..

    here is a deal then – i’ll promise not to try and sell you on a 54 years old rangefinder if you please don’t try to sell me on a months-old one :o)


  • NB – 16 base scans, 3-5 rolls in an hour – or if i pushed the rolls through the letter box the night before.. ready by 10am monday.. regular as clockwork.

    “snappy-snaps”.. am. lab., nottingham, believe it or not…
    the best developing and scanning house i’ve ever used, (and i WASTED a fortune on the ‘metros’ of the world before i found them).. with the best maintained fuji machines in nottingham, BAR-NONE.. at the time..
    happy days. RIP. i moved.

    when my account turned over more than £200 a month film and smiles were free-and-plentiful..
    a relationship with a “good lab”, (that produced better results then a “pro-lab”), was unbelievably encouraging when i was back in U.K..

    the biggest downer for this little norsk island in the north sea where i work now, is the lack of a passionate lab..
    and the lack of more than one pub..
    and the lack of more than one street..

    film is plentiful.
    whats the rush… really.
    social democracy – works.
    fishing – a catch every 3 to 4 casts.

    we all just do what we enjoy.. different strokes..

  • I’ve been pretty frustrated lately – between hand-crafting with css (crap, sweat, and swears) my website, and then spending a week attending events and editing images for a commercial ‘tog, I’ve not been out shooting nearly as much as I’d like.

    Yet, strangely, during that time (okay, towards the tailend of it, well, okay, today mostly) I have brainstormed several potential (and potentially interesting) new projects. Probably enough, coupled with the two already planned, to keep me going well until the end of the year or start of next year. (Given my newness, so also my need to experiment a lot and take some time over this).

    No doubt, by tomorrow, I shall have declared all new ideas “utterly crap, contrived, and awfully basic” but, for tonight, I can sleep soundly on the comfort of dreams of the images to come.

    (sorry, I can only do grea-talk up to a point. Although internet investigations of that Lumix G2 do not bode brilliantly for it’s low light capabilities – apparently, the evf goes to crap, and I can see noise on web-samples of images at ISO 400…back to my bank robbing plans for the x100 it is, then…)

  • I can go both ways, but if I have to choose, I’m more with David Bowen. When it comes to cameras, best to love the one you’re with.

    I’m thinking I probably shouldn’t show this, but I think it’s interesting here because it’s a direct result of what I learned in David’s strobe class. Perhaps it’s not to your liking, but technically, at least lighting-wise, I did what I was trying to do with it. Fire and skin lit by fire have always been very difficult for me and all of a sudden I knew how to handle it. Sometimes this shit is just plain fun…

  • MW …………. u r thinking rite ………… u shldnt hav shown that ………. i dont wana c anything like tht again ……. laughing ………… :-) ;-) ;;;;;;;;;;;;; oh n yes kool technique

  • David B and Panos…

    I envy your faith in politicians as much as I envy those whose faith is religion and their excuse in life for failing is ”God wants it that way”. Makes life awfully simple with that attitude!
    I was very pleased to see Obama in the White House but always was quite sure this would go nowhere. Always felt these men are puppets and the strings are pulled from within the shadows.
    But I agree with David B. And his negatives and also prints, got pictures from the late 1800s must be great great grandparents I think…also a book of handwritten poems by some Parker early 1800. I doubt our Compact Flashes and Raw Files will survive as long…many will disagree but how many of you have family videos on VHS? Have you copied them to DVD i think not too many. So yes absolutely to David B. I like my 1dsII but Tri-X will still be around someway or another even if Kodak kicks the bucket.
    And on the subject of X100 it’s too early yet…lets wait to the furor dies away and the daily slog with a camera takes over, i remember people comparing G10 files with P45 diggy back… I’ve used both a lot the school where I teach has one, if you glance at the images maybe but once you stare things become aparent…and oh i wish my G10 DID look like P45 file, it’s good at 80 iso…comparing flip flops and Timberlands or Nke running shoes.

  • Obama’s getting into office was amazing. But it was bound to be a disappointment.

    He has achieved quite a lot but he’s held in check by the Legislature whose job it is to counter executive power.

    I got the impression watching all those fantastic episodes of the West Wing that the writers on the show were bemoaning the absence of a parliamentary system of governance.

    Having said that, he has failed to take the initiative on a number of occasions.

  • Harry crews.
    What he says about writing, especially at the beginning, ties up almost perfectly with my philosophy of making pictures.

  • John; We must have sioilar tstes, cos that particular clip is saved in my Favourites! :-)

  • Thanks for the Harry Crews link, John. I liked the way he states how metaphor is used to describe the two ‘biggies’ – love and beauty. Describing and expressing these (and sometimes incorporating them even by their absence), seems to be what the artistic process is all about. It has crossovers to documentary and photojournalistic work. Aren’t both of these pursuits about the “promise of future happiness”?

    But Crews bogs me down when he discusses the meaninglessness and failure to provide answers. His approach is shown to be faith-based, rather than fact-driven. I see this all the time when creative types discuss their work. Oddly, they have such an open attitude to the creative pursuit, but don’t seem to be able to incorporate the ways of other artists.

    This is something I’ve been thinking about lately. Eggleston began with the Democratic Forest; Soth comes along with the Democratic Jungle. (Isn’t Burn the Democratic Garden…where it all emerges? ;) The answers may just lie within the whole, universal work of all when we figure out the common that we share.

  • Harry Crew has a tattoo on his right arm that says…
    “How do you like your blue eyed boy Mr. Death”
    beneath a skull…
    extracted from e.e. cummings poem “Buffalo Bill’s.”

  • Ha, on sober morning reflection, changed my mind and removed the photo. Gotta look quick sometimes…

  • mw
    Hey, what better photo on Burn?

  • Paul Treacy

    I just spent some time viewing your galleries. I like what you do.
    Wonderful kid stuff in particular.

  • Gordon, sorry, don’t understand your question?

  • MW…

    Just guessing but, beautiful nude with flames. What better photo for Burn? ;^}

    Great shot btw.

  • Jeff…
    I don’t know if I’ve got the gist of what you’re saying (haven’t seen the video yet away from home on mobile) but I’m convinced many artists cannot ”cage” their creative process because they probably stumbled over this personal process which works for them…they don’t know how or why and have no desire to analyze it accurately as they are in fear of losing it. They just know how to summon it and ride the wave, their unique inspiration whilst it’s there. It’s not something they can tame, only follow.

  • Harry Crews was the eminence grise of the writing program at the University of Florida when I was there. At the time, he was recovering from a punch-up in a bar and had a detached retina. He didn’t remember the circumstances. As you can see in the video, he’s quite quotable and an obvious cult figure for young writers (and by extension, other creative types like photographers).

    My favorite bit of literary advice he would offer when the student’s story was flailing into boredom and predictability — “Put a midget in it.”

  • mw..what michael K said.


    Some recent pictures with my sweet now 81 year old mom and my little brother Bob. We did a short road trip together last month. It’s the first time just the three of us have spent a little time together. We told stories of old times, talked about life, sang along to the Sons of the Pioneers “ghost riders in the sky”, and laughed a lot. It was wonderful. Love my ma and my bro, love my life.

  • Ah, I figured only the Europeans would have seen it. You all most either stay up late or get up early. Or as is the case with me, both.

  • Magnum Foundation: 2011 Young Photographer in the Caucasus Award

    For those living in the Caucasus, deadline June 15th, 2011

  • a civilian-mass audience

    My apologies BURNIANS…situations at home keeps me out of the BURNING tent…

    I have an assignment for all of YOU…”LOVE MY MOM”
    idea came from MY GORDON(love your life)…credit where credit is due!

    you can submit photo of your mom,your grandmom…(if they are both “upstairs”
    submit a photo of any mom…)
    take your time…due date “Mother’s day”!
    have fun …be You!

    P.S…I hope MR.HARVEY won’t read this post…hii…:)shhh:)

  • Boarding in 15 minutes.. Arriving in LA around 3pm…
    I’ll be away from laptop till Monday although the phone is more than enough..
    So DavidB yes, skype after Monday for sure..
    In the meantime I enjoy the Fuji talk and waiting for Obama (live in airport TV) speech
    regarding social security..
    Actually Obama just started his speech..
    Let’s see what he is going to say although I suspect another fancy blah blah .. Etc..
    I’ll check on all comments .. after I land to the Silicon-Landia

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Safe travels PANOS…
    safe travels BURNIANS

    where is the MW…nude with flames…hmmm???
    I can’t step away from my desk for a day…and you find time to post BURNING links…!

  • Best thing about the Fuji X100… and the enthusiasm surrounding it:

    Other manufacturers will have little choice but to compete in that market. More GF1/X100 types to come… and “full-frame” will be offered as well. This is what I am looking forward to. So thanks Fuji (and Gordon and Paul T, and everyone else talking this bad boy up!) because I just know something to my liking is just around the corner! (I hope, anyway.)

  • Eva…
    I’m curious to hear about your Ernesto Bazan meeting…was it a workshop?

  • Some great news from Anton on his website

    hope you don’t mind me spreading the good news Anton.


  • Michael Kircher,
    Nikon and Canon have said that they have no plans for a non-mirror camera but you have to wonder what they look at considering the buzz about the X100. Photographers are sick of carrying big, heavy DSLS – can someone please make a digital rangefinder with a Leica lens mount to a) compete with the M9 and b) shock Leica into re-designing the pokey M viewfinder!


  • Mike R…

    My guess is folks like us are not a big enough market for N & C. Their numbers must suggest to them it’s a losing situation to do something like Leica or Fuji. Of course, I’ve no brand loyalty. If any manufacturer made a relatively affordable M9-like camera, I’d jump all over it. I still love my DSLRs, of course, but hey a quality walk-around that meets my specs? Don’t care who creates it!

  • Paul…

    No, not a workshop (he does have one starting Saturday lasting over Easter in Sicily, which I cannot attend though).. Ernesto is in Verona printing his book this week. You know what I think about books, so when he told me I could attend the making of, I could not skip that opportunity.

    Besides being an amazing photographer, he’s also an amazing person. I could not imagine two personalities more different than DAH and EB, apparentely, but they both share the same intense passion for photography, and they both deeply care about their students, share their knowledge.. with Ernesto being much tougher to please (picture wise)!

  • Michael Webster –

    I’ve been thinking about what you wrote: “I was mainly there for the free buckets of gin, but after the fourth Martini or so, the people started looking interesting so I took a few photos. Kinda shows how I have it backwards from most people, that I have to be drunk before I find wealthy, beautiful people interesting.”

    I find that after I’ve had a couple, I sometimes notice details that I missed before. Your comment made me think of a Malcolm Gladwell article in which he writes of the effect of alcohol in increased awareness (excerpt below):

    “Steele and his colleague Robert Josephs’s explanation is that we’ve misread the effects of alcohol on the brain. Its principal effect is to narrow our emotional and mental field of vision. It causes, they write, “a state of shortsightedness in which superficially understood, immediate aspects of experience have a disproportionate influence on behavior and emotion.”

    Alcohol makes the thing in the foreground even more salient and the thing in the background disappear. That’s why drinking makes you think you are attractive when the world thinks otherwise: the alcohol removes the little constraining voice from the outside world that normally keeps our self-assessments in check. Drinking relaxes the man watching football because the game is front and center, and alcohol makes every secondary consideration fade away. But in a quiet bar his problems are front and center—and every potentially comforting or mitigating thought recedes. Drunkenness is not disinhibition. Drunkenness is myopia.

    Myopia theory changes how we understand drunkenness. Disinhibition suggests that the drinker is increasingly insensitive to his environment—that he is in the grip of an autonomous physiological process. Myopia theory, on the contrary, says that the drinker is, in some respects, increasingly sensitive to his environment: he is at the mercy of whatever is in front of him.”

    (Link to full article: )

    Regardless, buckets of free gin is always a win in my book!

  • a civilian-mass audience


    What not to ANTON!
    Thank you MIKER…spread the news.I am a proud civilian…

    ok,after a brief research…I am switching back to red wine…
    one glass (full )of red wine next to my beans,roasted chicken,salad (full)with olive oil and olives
    will make my heart BURNING longer…

    P.S…keep shooting BURNIANS…one hand holding the camera,the other one …a glass of red wine.
    (don’t over do it though…cause I know you,you tend to over do stuff:))))

  • Congratulations Anton…;)

  • Justin…

    I owe you an Email I’ll try and stop for awhile tonight! Spending most of days trying to fix my injury :)

  • Mike R and Michael Kircher…
    There existed or exists an alpha prototype digital rangefinder built by one of the big two which was shelved because of the global crisis and some say it was Leica who begged them not to build it and the Japanese company acquiesced because Leica is revered in Japan.

  • John Gladdy…

    Brilliant Harry Crews video…
    I’m going to have to transcribe this and translate it into Spanish for my pupils…that is the real deal, that guy is so authentic. There is no way one can’t feel inspired by those words and if so you’ve got water running through your veins.
    It made me stop and think what are my photos are about…

  • “The reading public bothers me, though. They don’t want to read about the blood and bones and guts of an issue. They want to read about something they’re not going to have to think about, and if it does hurt them, as say “Love Story” does, it won’t last very long. What has happened in this country is a failure of the imagination.”
    Harry Crews.

  • “But I remained convinced in my belief that all anybody needed to develop as a writer was access to a good library and the willingness to play fast and loose with his life, because make no mistake about it, by the time a person even moderately masters any art form, it is almost too late to do anything else.”
    Harry Crews.
    Well we’ve got the Burn library…
    and yes we have the willingness to play fast and loose with our lives…
    We have no excuses left…

  • Paul, where did you read that? I can’t ever imagine a company not releasing a product because a rival company asks them not to. Japan does have a healthy film photography community and Leica are well represented: check out Tokyo Camera Style at this link

    and look in the archives section.

    I shoot Leica film and keep looking at the M9 but it’s really not worth the money. I still might buy one though!



  • Burnians in the Atlanta, GA area take note:

    Conversation with Martin Parr at 7pm April 14
    at the High Museum

  • Mike R…

    Smiling…I knew I shouldn’t of ever posted this, I’ve been wanting to post this so many times but I hate things that I can’t prove with facts, but anyway…
    My best friend he swears he met a guy whilst on holiday who was testing some new dslr for one of the big ones…he tried his best to see the dslr but no chance. Anyway the guy was friendly and they spoke a couple of times about photography in the hotel bar after dinner …he admitted he worked sometimes testing cameras. My friend is a Leica fanatic and somehow the guy admits he just finished testing last year a digital rangefinder for N or C and doesn’t care mentioning it because for some reason they’ve scrapped it. He said he had no idea why and thought it was an astounding camera… This conversation was about 3 4 or 5 years ago, I seriously can’t remember…I’ve been 17 months on crutches and time just flies.
    My best friend is not one for making up stories. But anyway the other guy, who knows what’s true or not?
    Anyway enough of this crap I hate talking about something I can’t prove and could be a hoax…I should of written “There is a rumour that existed or exists an alpha prototype digital rangefinder…”
    Mike just buy the M9 I’m sure you’ll love it :)

  • Paul:

    The 12 Stages of the Cross procession has finally been released for this year’s event in Toronto:

    It’ll be well attended – especially by the Italian and Portuguese faithful – and I’ll be shooting a couple of rolls to cover it for a workshop assignment. I hope you’ve found something similar for your project.

    Yes, I understand what you’re saying about Crews and others who find their voice and are happy with it. But I also enjoy witnessing the evolution of an artist’s journey, which admittedly doesn’t happen for all. Some photographers are known for a particular style…and others are known for the way in which their style has grown. Both are worthy of appreciation.

  • Jeff…

    I’m mentally preparing myself for next Thursday, starts at 19:00 and ends any time after midnight…still not sure if I’ll be using film or digital! Exactly the same camera the Eos 1vhs and the DsII… I’ll probably go the safe and cheap way and use digital. I know it sounds boring but I just don’t want screw it up, but knowing me I’ll probably take 10 rolls T-max3200 and the 1Vhs…
    This is the very famous gypsy procession in Granada, although in my area they are much more restrained and subdued…
    It is quite an experience even if you aren’t religious. The intensity of the whole situation is astounding, mesmerizing like all things of real faith. I’d love to hear DAH’s thoughts on the whole subject because he does seem to have done quite a lot of work on this subject.

  • Jeff…
    I also enjoy studying or witnessing the evolution of an artist. They don’t seem so daunting and you realize they struggle like the rest of us!
    BTW here is an example of faith…

  • …buckets of free gin is always a win…

    Yes, that’s what I learned in J-School. Important line in the artist’s credo as well.

    Thanks Justin, interesting insights. I think there’s a lot of truth in the direction of myopia theory as you describe it. But I’m not so sure about “superficially” part of the line “a state of shortsightedness in which superficially understood, immediate aspects of experience have a disproportionate influence on behavior and emotion.” Of course it’s not one way all the time, but often alcohol and the myopia that it brings opens a window, or maybe a shines a shaft of light into deeper understanding of a subject. And on a good day that translates into how to photograph that subject in a way that captures something beyond the superficial.

    And if you think about it, even the classic example probably contains more good truth than bad. To quote a favorite song by Ernest Tubbs from my childhood:

    “She’s looking better by the minute well I don’t know what’s in it
    That makes the drink turn a poor boy’s head
    She’s not much to look at a little old and a little fat
    But I’ll hang around and have a beer or two
    For I know if I’ll drink enough she won’t look quite so rough
    Now in the darkness of this bar she looks like a movie star
    That goes to show how wrong the guy can be
    I guess I’d better pick her up fore I start to sober up
    We’ll have a ball this movie star and me”

    Cause, you know, she probably is genuinely beautiful, just not in a movie star kinda way… Isn’t that a lot of what we do?

  • “Alcohol may be man’s worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy.”
    Frank Sinatra

  • a civilian-mass audience

    can I sing now?

  • a civilian-mass audience

    you BURNIAN artists…you are like my eggs…
    and like JEFF and PAUL and …many others…”I also enjoy studying or witnessing the evolution of an artist.”…or of an egg…hmmm:)!!

  • Paul, no worries; let’s hope someone brings out a little rangefinder competition. After the X100 going viral surely some camera manufacturer will notice – and good shooting (and light) next Thursday.

    I like the Frank Sinatra quote.


  • Civi

    My son Brian loves his “wine-juice”, alcoholic cider. He knows his limit however and only has one.

    I on the other hand, have a hard time finding the “off” switch once I’ve had a couple of glasses of wine. It is a problem. I’ve not had a any for a couple of days now.

    I do have to admit that I often make great photographs after a few glasses of wine, it does loosen me up.

  • Has anyone found the second part of the Harry Crews interview? I’ve been searching and it’s out there the problem is it is always private.
    Well I hardly drink any alcohol…Always a can beer on Saturday night and that is it. Why? I know very well my weaknesses, I’ve got enough on my plate as it is! I know damn well it would turn into a problem in my case…only saturdays special parties and of course if I’m ever invited to the Kibutz :) Apart from the fact if one wants to run 10km under 40 minutes it’s a no, no.

  • Paul; I’ve hunted high and low for it but have never tracked it down. My first Harry Crews book arrived a few weeks ago; I just haven’t had the chance to get stuck into it yet.

    Harry Crews from “Searching for the Wrong-eyed Jesus”

  • “There existed or exists an alpha prototype digital rangefinder built by one of the big two which was shelved because of the global crisis and some say it was Leica who begged them not to build it and the Japanese company acquiesced because Leica is revered in Japan.”

    Guys, if you’ve spent the gynormous amounts of money necessary to build the best mousetrap in the world, you don’t scrap the whole thing because the competition asks you not to hurt their business or because you may offend your competitor’s customer base. Capitalism doesn’t work this way. If you’ve got the better product, you go for the gusto and try to sell the thing like there’s no tomorrow.

  • Akaky…
    Remember were talking about the Japanese…
    Whole different culture to ours, honor and honesty is above life and death. Actually more prototype mousetraps are probably scrapped than you could imagine…it’s another way of experiment and developing.
    One of the reasons digital slrs have really advanced so little from the good old film cameras is because it is well known the Japanese as a society encourage unity between them and a groundbreaking innovation as a concept goes against this.
    But yes I also see your point perfectly.
    BTW still thinking over the wheel barrow issue…i don’t think it matters where we sit DaH…i’ve got a suspicion we’re going to have to tie him down…

  • Whoever it was that was waiting for the DXO report on the x100 sensor, here ya go.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    GORDON…”He knows his limit however and only has one.”…we better do as BRIAN !!!

    My Japanese friends didn’t arrive(we will find a way though)…BUT civilian’s house,your house is full with people…easter is coming,so many people to feed,so many smiles to receive…
    busy,busy,BURNING busy…
    keep shooting…
    I love you all…I will be back

  • Yikes Paul, judging from those links, you’ll be playing a much bigger “arena”! The Toronto procession is put on by Franciscan monks, and the crowds are much smaller. Here are some photos from the Church’s site:

    It looks like your march will be at night, whereas mine will be during mid-afternoon. You’ll be shooting @ 3200 or so – no flash? – I’ll be down in the ASA basement with a Vivitar 285HV. Our respective approaches are diverging already at the statement of intent stage; it will be interesting to see how each of us will interpret the day’s events. I’m thinking along the lines of capturing the collective emotional intensity of the crowd, presented as a contact sheet.

    Let’s do a “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” afterward…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    I wish I can play too…maybe I call all my Greek BURNIANS…our march in Grecolandia will be at mid-night…hey ya…let’s do it…!!!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    and yes…we have good news from the front lines…

    they are working hard…they bonded…
    may the spirits of inspiration be with you …with all of you !!!


  • Civi

    Love your LOVE MY MOM idea. Where do I send my picture?

    Everyone, go visit your mommies and photograph them! OK, Mothers day photo show and tell on burn!

    I’m actually in the middle of doing our 12th annual Mothers and Daughters show. We do an exhibit in the lobby of a local hotel, between the restaurant and their front desk. We hang the show the afternoon before mothers day. Then on mothers day the hotel has a big mothers day brunch and everyone walks around ohhing and awwing at the portraits.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    I was thinking that maybe all of you…you can bring your mothers,grandmothers in…(links)
    when it will be Mother’s day…Sunday, May 8 (for the Americans)hmmm…

    I don’t know,you gave me the idea…I am just a civilian:)You are the Pro !!!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Don’t we all love being …”in the spotlight?”:)

    don’t we all love BIG AL!!!

  • Civi… wide awake and thinking… do you Greeks have Easter bunnies?

  • Jeff…
    I’m on my mobile so I can’t see the Picassa gallery…
    Actually I’m not at all sure how I’m going to do this! The main problem is I’ll be out with a crutch, no way will I survive without. I would love to do this with off camera flash but I either stand still holding camera and flash or move about holding camera with one hand and limp about with crutch in the other…
    But anyway I’ll probably go with my light rucksack with film, digital, flash…and adapt to the situation.

  • John,that’s a poignant image. The bandage gum residue has left tattoos, and the two slivers of light between the finger and ring fixate my view. It sends me back to photographs of the concentration camps, and our fear of imprisonment and death.

    All the best to your Mum and you.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    what not to love!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    oime,so busy…I don’t want to miss any mom…hmmm…
    I will try check in…more people arrived in the house

    EVA…we do have Easter bunnies…hiii…I don’t.I used to:)

    (Thank you, in Iñupiaq)

    Love you alllllll

  • running behind…no time….pictures…a dew.due date….but well, crews can write blisterlingly…a real southern story teller, not in the cliche, but in the speed and winding of his tales….one should also check out Padgett Powell, my favorite writer at Univ of Florida….Preston: u meet Padgett?….

    and one thing…about the 2 ‘biggies’…well, i’d would tell beloved crews he has forgotten to mention THE ONLY BIG THING out there…and that be death….that is everything and defines everything and defines, at least for me, every picture/story i make/write….and he knows that too…from the moment he lost his son….


  • a civilian-mass audience

    oh…Happy Birthday CHRISB. and HERVE…

    LOVE you guys…where is the damnit wine…

    running like BOBBY but I will be back …I am gonna bring new BURNIANS…
    BIG AL…high fives

    P.S…you are saved by the bell…I am not gonna sing…nope

  • a civilian-mass audience

    where are you BURNIANS…broken spring…hmmm or spring break in the Potomac gorge !!!

  • John Gladdy…

    Your Mum’s photo really is David’s…
    “Don’t show me what you saw…Show me what you felt.”
    I admire the way you couldn’t give a shit about other’s preferences and how you just pull out all the stops and get what satisfies you. I applaud how you don’t preach and don’t pretend to have any answers, you just show it like it is. To some who are irrevocably wrong such as MY posh mother who is so class concious and practices as all her superficial friends a life which vacuous to the point of making me retch, you John will probably be the abrasive guy who manages to offend and glorify the vulgar.
    Thank you for taking up photography and thank you for giving a shit, showing HUMANITY and reminding us life isn’t as sweet as some of my mum’s breed successfully ignore.
    I just hope one day you manage to create an essay on one of the subjects you care about because I know it will be heart wrenching…


    last night, tried downloading the burn/slideroom page for the EPF submission for more than 1 hr…ditto the same this morning, and nothing….

    glitch…or a problem with macromedia?…

    please advise

    thanks :))

  • hey BOB,

    seems to work fine here in tokyo… try a different browser to rule that one out?

    if you’ve been able to access before, upgrading flash player should not be necessary, but it certainly won’t do you any harm :-)


  • hey anton :))

    thanks, will try tonight…running to see a play with marina….using mozilla…but will upgrade and see what happens tonight…

    waiting for the book :))


  • BOB:

    Padgett is a good friend. Have had many an adventure together.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    yeah,PAUL,thank you…

    ANTON, congrats…

    I will be back…

  • Civi: back in Phnom Penh… Was with the Rabbits in Kep:

  • a civilian-mass audience

    JOHNY VINK …welcome back!
    and the rabbits Do remember…because of you …and your camera!!!

    Goodnight from Beautiful,Broken,Grecolandia…

    keep shooting ya all…cause with your photos,we Do remember…
    merci amigos!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    “Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear”
    George Orwell

    therefore …I am going to sing now

    I will be back again and again,again…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Goodmorning from Europe…wake up …half BURNIANS…and

    goodnight for the other half…

    let’s make this day and night…amazing…

    P.S …JOHNG…my book has to be signed and signed…I am waiting!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    JUKE is coming
    BURN is BURNing
    you keep shooting
    I am still waiting

    Circle of life
    circle of friends
    we have occupied
    MR.BIG AL’S lens…

    Coffee with eggs…next to the potomac river?:)

  • British Wildlife Photography Awards 2011

    Deadline: June 2nd, 2011

  • Eva…

    Now that you’ve seen Ernesyo Bazan’s new book on Cuba in colour, which do yoi prefer the original book in BW or the latest?

  • Paul.. I can’t say I prefer one over the other.. I absolutely love some of the photographs of the new book, as I do with some of the black and white work. Many many great pictures, shot with colour in mind, definitely, you can see that he was thinking colour, not just making photographs with a colour film in the camera.. that was one thing I was most curious and interested about, how he’d handled this aspect. There is a loud and clear voice coming out of the work, a voice that digs deep in the soul of the people and the island, and himself..

  • Ross, John Gladdy, Jeff and anyone else who is into Harry Crews…

    Been searching everywhere for that damn second part video on writing…I will find it, because I never give up on anything…
    But for the moment here is a bit…,bf4d2dd3d4bf5ea703e9/Harry-Crews-on-writing-part-2.html

  • EVA,

    on the website, it says “login to like this picture” – I like this picture even without logging in. Great moment!

  • a civilian-mass audience


    “What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything? ”
    Vincent Van Gogh
    easy for him to say…

    I love you ALLLLLLLLLL…I am the highwayman…like BIG AL and like all of you my BURNIANS!

  • Paul; Thanks for that! I’ll have a look later on today.

    As an aside; I watched “Stones in Exile” yesterday, a doco on the making of the Stone’s Exile on Mainstreet” album. Pretty damn good. You look back on it and think “What an amazing period, wish I was there” Might not have escaped unscathed though….


    TASCHEN Books had published a big new book of Linda McCartney when she was a photographer!
    I saw it yesterday at the store! Amazing!!
    Number 6/8 with Paul over the fence in their farm in Scotland is gorgeous. What a great time for music, art and hippies living around… :-)

    Here is a link:


  • Patricio; Weren’t her Stones pics her “breakthrough” for Rolling Stone mag? If I remember they just gave her the camera at the lat minute and told her to “go for it and see what you get”?

  • i will never catch up with whatever is going on here…and too exhausted to try now….in any case, wishing all good tidings…will stay down in Mississippi a few more days to help son Bryan finish his blues film which will be incorporated into an iPad version of JUKE student book… and i will shoot a few families for my family book…will try to catch up a bit with comments tomorrow…now siesta time..

    cheers, david

  • I meant to post this on big Al instead of hot or not.

    x100 update.

    I’ve now spent a second week with the camera. After much initial sparring and getting to know each other, I’m in love this little camera.
    I’m busy doing a lot of shooting for my anuual tribute to mothers and daughters portrait exhibition. This past weekend I took the fuji along on several outdoor mother and daughter sessions just for fun. My regular kit for outdoor sessions is a Canon 5d11 and an 85mm lens, which I had along too.
    I ended up using the fuji more that I expected to, and loved the ability shoot in very low light, and the wide dynamic range gave me a very different rendering than the canon.

    I’ve posted a couple portrait shots on my fuji gallery. They are the last two. Like most of the other shots on the gallery, I’ve downloaded them full size. If you would like to change viewing size, click “original” underneath the photo.

  • federico agostini

    Hi DAH…

    this is Federico, assiduous Burn reader although I do not post often… did a couple of times though…

    I am an Italian classical violinist (and photographer, time permitting) living and teaching in the U.S. at Indiana University… maybe you remember a couple of posts of mine…
    From your last tweet, I understand you are going to be in Amsterdam on May 6… how long are you going to be staying there? I am arriving there on the 8th and have two concerts with my quartet (D’Amici String Quartet) at the Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw on the 11th and 13th…

    if you happen to be there that long and if you are not too busy, I would love to meet you, invite you to our concerts and, of course, to the ensuing social events (usually extremely informal and friendly)… let me know if you can…

    all the best, f


    Deadline: July 14th, 2011

  • Paul…

    I guess you are aware of Ferdinando Scianna’s ‘Feste Religiose in Sicilia’?

  • Eva…

    No I wasn’t aware of Ferdinando Scianna’s work! Thanks :)

    Last night as I left the hospital I bumped into this…
    it’s not the big Thursday procession but at least I got a chance to find out what equipment is necessary…Flash is obligatory!!

    Love to hear about your experiences with the Latin Easter festivities… I see on the Magnum site you are an expert

  • @ ROSS: Uhmm I don’t know, maybe yes, you’re right, but what I love is that being 24/24hs with Paul and Co. she took amazing moments!

    PS: I’ll write you this week. Have a few question about NZ…

  • DAVID,

    Congratulations on being tapped as speaker for the World Press Awards! Never been to the Netherlands??? A bit incredulous… Amsterdam is one of my favorite world cities, I love the Netherlands, I’m sure you’ll have a blast, and the beer is of course fabulous. Just be sure to dress warmly and pack rain gear… after Rio and Mississippi, you’re gonna freeze your butt, even in May …


  • I second Sidney!
    congratulations….no beer in Amsterdam…just “coffee” should be enough:)

  • *ffffftttt* Aaahhhhhh…. good “coffee!”

    Is there a Humbolt County in Amsterdam? ;^}

  • Anyone else planning a trip to Amsterdam on May 6th to hear and meet DAH?
    Possibly driving from Stuttgart to Amsterdam and back . . .


  • @ ALL: (About the DAH tweet)

    Amsterdam remembers me Tarantino dialogue… between Jules and Vincent speaking about the metric system and other stuffs… like “coffee shops”.

    Cheers, P.

  • Patricio; No problems! :-) If you want to Skype my name is “rossnolly”


    I think your ‘Mothers and Daughters’ show is a great idea…
    While I do a fair amount of informal portraiture, I’ve never specialized in Mothers and Daughters, but you have given me the impetus to think about that.
    Here are two that I do have (both shot in Vancouver):

    I also appreciate your hands-on report on the Fuji X100… I have been needing a serious but small, lightweight, and unobtrusive ‘walking around’ camera for a long time, and I have been waiting in hopes that the X100 would be the camera of my earnest longings.. from your description and others I’ve read I understand its merits, but given the price tag, the interface, the size and weight, and the limitation of a single focal length (admittedly the single most useful one, but still..) I have decided against it for now… not that there is anything better on the market at the moment… it’s clearly going in the right direction, but I think I will wait until the second or third improved generation before springing for the “poor man’s Leica.”


  • Paul:

    There was a link to an image here several months ago of a group of dancers with a flash at, or near, the floor, pointing upward into their faces and bodies. The result was pretty cool.

    Have you considered strapping a flash to the crutch? That way it would be off-camera, and if it was located below the hand grip, it might give a similar dramatic effect. Also, if you can swing the crutch up for a moment, you could get the normal effect…and you’d be out-tethering everyone else there. :)

    It would only work if you were at the front of the processional crowd; judging from the YouTubes you showed, that may be impossible. But it might be worth a think. Either way, all the best on Thursday!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Amsterdam…ah, Van Gogh,the Canals,the Delta works…coffeshops with weed menu…Heineken next to the Amstel river…BURNIANS in Amsterdam…Be ready …BURN van is on the way!!!!!!!!

    I will second SIDNEY…always my pleasure to second SIDNEY !!!

    AUDREY,ROSA…coffee and egg whites on me, come over…civilian’s house is full but there is always
    room for more!!!

    P.S…EVA…something about WinePhoto…you are Italian…you know better!


  • Civi…

    you mean WINEPHOTO 2011?? Everyone knows.. or do they not???

    Deadline: June 30th, 2011

    And of course everyone knows that the EPF deadline is approaching fast, May 1st, 2011.. to be found here:


  • a civilian-mass audience

    EVA…you make it Official…
    don’t we love our Italians…EVA,LAURA,ORLANDO,FEDERICO,the violinist photographer…!

    and yes…our EPF…tick,tock…we are almost there…SUBMIT now!
    EPF=Energy,Photography,Fire or Eximious,Parlous,fulgorous !!!

  • Went out after finishing at the hospital and found the Easter processions out on the street again. Great way to practice before Thursday…I was trying out my strobes and I remembered immediately how I hate my Canon 550 strobes, it doesn’t matter if I’m using TTL or on Manual they make an ugly harsh light. Total nightmare with the street lights, even if I stick on the DAH sticky plaster, useless unless I’m bouncing off something. Loads of people with their Canons and Nikons with on camera flash and there is me struggling away on crutches one hand holding the camera and the other holding a flash and a crutch. So sick and tired of the Canon strobes I pulled out my trusty Metz from my M6 days and suddenly I had lovely slick and smooth images with just the right amount of flash and goodbye garish looking colours thanks to DAH’s magic Band-Aids.

    Jeff thanks for the ideas… Justin Smith also gave me some very good tips for holding the flash, without any doubt it’s going to be quite fun on crutches.
    Smiling…anyway, something always happens round me, I seem to be rather accident prone, (Akaky will say I’m damned!!) which at least is quite funny once the embarrassment subsides… One of the penitents who was carrying a rather large candle managed to trip over one of my crutches which had quietly slid and turned into a perfect trap. Luckily the hoods are the only thing in common with the KKK!

  • Death comes for all men, something I really don’t want to believe because I keep hoping that I might somehow wangle an exception to the rule, but in order to cater to this unhappy need there are two funeral homes here in our happy little burg, the P. J. Hanrahan Funeral Home and P.J Hanrahan & Sons Funeral Home, and no, the P.J. Hanarahans involved here are not the same people. Paul James and Patrick Joseph Hanrahan were brothers who came to our happy little burg in the mid-1920’s and got into the funeral business by the simple expedient of starting off as gravediggers and then moving their way up the corporate ladder by marrying the boss’s daughter.

    The brothers came from Ireland, as you have no doubt surmised by now, from County Longford, to be exact, where they had fought together against the British in the Irish War of Independence and against each other in the Irish Civil War that immediately followed the War of Independence. The Irish Civil war was a particularly bitter civil war, as civil wars are wont to be—civility and good lemon danish being qualities lacking in almost any civil war you care to read about—with one side, the Free Staters, to which side Paul James Hanrahan belonged, claiming that the Irregulars were defying the legitimate government of the country, and the Irregulars, to which side Patrick Joseph Hanrahan belonged, claiming that the Free Staters had betrayed the Cause and sold out the Irish Republic declared in Dublin in 1916 to the British for a peace treaty that kept the Irish as British subjects in a sideways sort of manner. When the war was over the Free Staters had won. This tangent into modern Irish history need not concern the reader any longer, except to say that because of the war and their involvement in it the two Hanrahan brothers refused to speak to one another—ever. Their wives knew each other, their kids grew up together, but the two men never spoke to each other again for as long as they lived. If the brothers had something to say to each other, the brothers would tell their wives or the kids, who would then go and deliver the message to the other brother. I went to school with a couple of the brothers’ grandkids and they told me years ago that no matter what their political differences the brothers always loved each other the way brothers should, even if each regarded the other as traitorous scum.

    I bring this incongruous bit of history up because the past month has been equally incongruous, with me spending more time than I really wanted to at both Hanrahan funeral homes. I am not yet at that happy age where going to a late friend’s wake and funeral constitutes an enjoyable evening out on the town, so this glimpse into my near future was both a bit unsettling and a chance to network with people I hope will show up at whichever Hanrahan’s home I eventually wind up at. Like Yogi says, if you don’t go to their funerals, they won’t come to yours.

    The first funeral was for the mother of an old school friend I hadn’t seen in years. She looked well—the friend, not the mother—and she didn’t look that much different than she did in high school. I saw several other old school chums at the wake and the years have been about as unkind to them as they have been to me, but the one thing we can all agree on is that the former Concetta Paterno must either be a vampire or has a portrait up in the attic doing the aging for her. In either case, her refusal to age is scaring the rest of us no end. It’s not natural that this woman looks like her grandson could take her to the senior prom without someone immediately noticing the great discrepancy in their ages, not natural at all. I also don’t think it’s natural for someone I went to school with to have grandchildren, but people tell me that this is just one of my personal peeves and that I should get over it forthwith; people in my age cohort are not going to stop having kids and grandkids just because I find rugrats annoying.

    The wake itself was very nice, if you enjoy this sort of thing. I went in and nodded to the grandson of P.J. Hanrahan & Sons— Mr. Hanrahan and all of the original sons having patronized their own establishment with the passage of time—and went in to see Mrs. Paterno, who, just as an aside here, was really one of the nicest people you’d ever care to meet. She lay there, bathed in pink light and surrounded by flowers and sorrowing relatives, and I knelt at the side of the coffin and said an Our Father and an Ave Maria for the repose of her soul the way any good Catholic boy would, and then went on to see Concetta and her family. It was a nice Catholic wake, with a priest and a prayer service and the muffled sobs of women and children and grandchildren, which is about what you’d expect at P.J. Hanrahan & Sons. Paul James Hanrahan was always the more devout of the two brothers and after his father-in-law died and left him the business Paul moved the funeral home from its old location on Mill Street to a large white house just across the street from the Church of St. Thomas the Apostle, so that all of the faithful coming out Mass every Sunday would know that their religious duties to the holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church would not be complete without a wake, a Requiem Mass, and burial in consecrated ground in St. Thomas’ Cemetery, all under the direction of P. J. Hanrahan & Sons. This is not such a bad thing either, because for a lot of people here in our happy little burg wakes serve as impromptu family reunions and you can catch up with all the latest family gossip and find out how everyone has been doing since the last time someone in the family passed away.

    The P.J. Hanrahan Funeral Home, by contrast, is across the street from the flashing lights of Tony’s Premier Italian Pizza, a sign that contains four untruths in as many words, which may or may not be some sort of record. There is no Tony—an Albanian gentleman named Fatmir is the owner of this establishment—and his product is premier pizza only if you have no basis of comparison between what he sells and real pizza. To be blunt, calling what comes out of his oven pizza does violence to the word; burnt cardboard with hot ketchup and some melted cheddar cheese on top would bear a closer relationship to pizza than what Fatmir peddles to an unsuspecting public every day; it always amazes me what some people can get away with, although I know that at my age I shouldn’t be amazed. Patrick Joseph Hanrahan might have approved of Fatmir; I think he would have preferred Fatmir to a Catholic church any day of the week. For Patrick Joseph Hanrahan, the Catholic Church, along with every other institution of modern Irish life, was part of a British plot to crush the real Irish Republic and those who fought to establish it and he wanted as little to do with the Church as possible. Consequently, if all the good Catholics went to P.J. Hanrahan & Sons, the P.J. Hanrahan Funeral Home buried lapsed Catholics, Jews, Protestants, free thinkers, Masons, and such other benighted heathens who availed themselves of the opportunity to drop dead here in our happy little burg.

    The occasion of my visit was the wake of a city councilman who was a great patron of the egregious mold pit wherein I labor for my daily bread, and as the P.J. Hanrahan Funeral Home is on my way home, the powers that be here decided that I should be the one to represent our organization at the wake. I did not want to be a representative of any sort, but it seems I volunteered to go. I don’t remember volunteering—in fact, volunteering is not something I do a lot of; it’s not really in my nature—but the powers that be thanked me for volunteering after they told me that I was going, so I must have volunteered at some point, and the fact that the annual staff evaluations are coming up shortly had nothing to do with my decision, assuming that I made one in the first place.

    The city councilman did not want flowers at his funeral—he suffered from hay fever—and so there were none. I am not sure how the councilman expected to suffer from hay fever after death, especially since his cremation left him with no nasal passages to swell, but if a man cannot have what he wants or doesn’t want at his own funeral then what is the point of having the funeral in the first place? He did have several large photo boards surrounding his earthly remains, most of them dedicated to one or another aspect of his political career, which I assume is ongoing even as we speak—I had the strange sensation throughout the night that this wake was not at all the remembrance of a life, but the councilman’s announcement that he was now a candidate for sainthood. I do not know how exactly one polls such a race, but the crowd in the funeral home seemed enthusiastic about the idea and I am sure that the councilman will remain active in Democratic Party politics both here in our happy little burg and in the hereafter. Maybe it’s just me, but I am always fascinated with the way all dead people vote for the Democrats and I’ve often wondered why that should be the case, given that the Democrats do so little for dead people. Party loyalty trumps all, I guess.

    In any case, the councilman’s wake was a fairly upbeat affair as wakes go—his colleagues from the city council and from his previous post as a member of the board of education stood at the podium and told the relatively enthusiastic audience what a great guy the councilman was and what a great public servant he was and how everyone in our happy little burg would miss him and his willingness to fight for the little guy every election year. There was very little crying or carrying on; it’s hard, I think, to go all teary-eyed over a can of soot; but some people tried to stay somber right up to the point where the mayor started telling funny stories about the late city councilman, and let me just say for the record here that I think telling fat jokes about the deceased was pretty damn tacky, even if they were true.

    After the politicians had their say a minister from an interdenominational church got up and said a prayer that might have been Christian, but seemed to me to be thanking the Earth for the councilman’s presence. I am not sure what role the Earth had in the councilman’s presence here or anywhere else, other than being something he stuck a ceremonial shovel in every now and again to start a building project, but as Hamlet says, there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy, so what do I know? An excellent question and one for which I do not have an equally excellent answer. Really.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Sorry to interrupt…
    “There are reports that photographers Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros has have been killed in Libya.”
    niahhh…the one is the “Restrepo” and the other is Greek …too early to go upstairs…
    BUT…life is full of surprises…and the journey counts more than the destination…IMO

    ok,AKAKY…there are more things in earth…I am still reading…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    oh my EMCD is doing a report …in the other aisle…is paper hot or not…
    EMCD is reporting…she knows better…

    MICHAELC.BROWN…oime,the signal…did you forget the signal…hmmm

  • panos skoulidas
    April 20, 2011 at 4:42 pm



  • BENGHAZI, Libya — Tim Hetherington, the conflict photographer who was a director and producer of the film “Restrepo,” was killed in the besieged city of Misurata on Wednesday, and three photographers working beside him were wounded.

    The wounds to two of the photographers — Chris Hondros and Guy Martin — were severe, according to Andre Liohn, a colleague at the triage center where they were being treated Wednesday night.

    Mr. Hondros, an American working for the Getty photo agency, suffered a severe brain injury and was in extremely critical condition, according to Mr. Liohn. He had been revived and was clinging to life in the evening. A later update from Mr. Liohn said that Mr. Hondros was in a coma at the medical center, which is located near the front lines.

  • The fourth photographer, Michael Christopher Brown, suffered shrapnel injuries to his left shoulder, but his life was not in danger. He was resting Wednesday night.



    please lets treat each other with the ultimate respect..not take friends or life for granted..treat each other like its the last day…on earth..
    pick the phone and dont ignore or mistreat anyone anymore…today could be the last day for any of us:(
    Sad Day


  • I Think Continually Of Those Who Were Truly Great

    I think continually of those who were truly great.
    Who, from the womb, remembered the soul’s history
    Through corridors of light where the hours are suns
    Endless and singing. Whose lovely ambition
    Was that their lips, still touched with fire,
    Should tell of the Spirit clothed from head to foot in song.
    And who hoarded from the Spring branches
    The desires falling across their bodies like blossoms.

    What is precious is never to forget
    The essential delight of the blood drawn from ageless springs
    Breaking through rocks in worlds before our earth.
    Never to deny its pleasure in the morning simple light
    Nor its grave evening demand for love.
    Never to allow gradually the traffic to smother
    With noise and fog the flowering of the spirit.

    Near the snow, near the sun, in the highest fields
    See how these names are fŠted by the waving grass
    And by the streamers of white cloud
    And whispers of wind in the listening sky.
    The names of those who in their lives fought for life
    Who wore at their hearts the fire’s center.
    Born of the sun they traveled a short while towards the sun,
    And left the vivid air signed with their honor.
    –Stephen Spender

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Come on BURNIANS…spread the news…keep the spirit…you are all fighters…

    “People so seldom say I love you And then it’s either too late or love goes. So when I tell you I love you, It doesn’t mean I know you’ll never go, Only that I wish you didn’t have to.”

    for those upstairs …WE LOVE YOU…!!!

  • PAUL… did you ever get around to find Bruce Davidson’s triology? If not:

  • Eva…

    Yes I’ve found the Bruce Davidson Trilogy, I just can’t afford it at the moment, hoping copies will last until June, I may not be so skint by then.
    Right now I’m sitting in the local park, fingers crossed hoping it won’t rain this afternoon. I’ve taken probably the wrong book with me after hearing the awful news late last night. Pellegrin’s book is mesmerizing and currently with Ankerman’s ”End of time City” are becoming my favourite books. It’s just that I’m in a sombre mood especially after hearing the news in rehab whilst reading Sebastian Junger’s ”war”…

  • Eva and whoever else purchased ”Sightwalk”…

    Be careful this book is extremely delicate…mine fell apart last night, I ended up holding images in one hand and the beautiful cover in the other. Managed to glue back together again but one of the red cotton stitches is also starting to fall apart.

  • Justin Maxon, who had his essay featured here on Burn a while back:

    is now on, raising funds to take the work a step further:

  • ATTENTION:(5/5/11)

    Ok ALL, just had a phone conversation with ALEC SOTH on the phone about the POSTCARDS OF AMERICA project.. 5 Magnum photogs will be in San Antonio Texas the 12th of May.. I need to recruit 4 people to assist that day. Alec is in Minneapolis and I’m already here.. So I’m trying to co-ordinate all that from here..
    at 310 745 7005 for further instructions!

  • panos skoulidas
    May 11, 2011 at 2:52 pm


    Lance is arriving with all cameras shipped from europe, Alec Soth is here, picking up Jim Goldberg from airport at afternoon…Paolo & Susan arrive a little later and then briefing in the hotel…and off we go…
    STAY TUNED…or follow FB link above (POSTCARDS FROM AMERICA)

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