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”

  • @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!!!

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