A Letter From David…


Photo ©Michael Loyd Young

Ahhh, after a whirlwind spring and early summer, I am finally at home for a bit.  Summertime is exactly that, and for sure we all need a break at times. In this summertime spirit, we are going to extend the deadline for the Emerging Photographer Fund grant of $10,000 to September 02, 2014.  Our original deadline for the EPF/Magnum Foundation Grant was July 31, 2014.

This is an extension of 4 weeks – all of August. We are receiving a lot of requests to extend it for one or two days, one week… No point to do that, so let’s have a real extension. The grant winner official announcement will be on October 7, 2014 , directly on BURN.
IF you have already entered and wish to add more to your essay or change your entry with this new deadline, then you may do so easily. Simply send an email to: anton@burnmagazine.org.
The next two weeks I will be at home. Working with my Burn team of Diego Orlando, Kaya Berne, Anton Kusters, Panos/Kim Skoulidas and Haik Mesropian to make BurnMagazine and BurnBooks as good as we can make them. Burn is an extension of my general mentoring. We produce workshops and books, yet Burn remains an independent entity. It is just us. We are not owned nor managed by any company nor beholding to anyone. This audience supports Burn through voluntary funding.  We pay back by publishing your work when appropriate and trying to give a good educational experience.  The EPF is only one part of it.
One of the incredible spinoffs from Burn is that I  have had the opportunity to meet so many people from this audience in person in various parts of the world. Matter of fact, wherever I travel, there you are!
In about three weeks I will go to Cologne, Germany where Markus Schaden’s Photobook Museum will open. One of the books featured in this spectacular showing of photo books will be BurnBooks (based on a true story) my book set in Rio. Many thanks for your support on this project from the beginning.
Then to our workshop in Venice, Italy in early September where my students will produce a small book printed by Antiga Press from their week of work .
Soon after that I go to Paraty Em Foco photo fest in Brazil where some of my Rio work will hang and I will have a chance to do a short workshop. And of course drink caipirinhas with my Brazilian amigos where my relationships run deep.
I will end my shooting year in Jeju Island , Korea with a one month intensive shoot on the lady shellfish divers of Korea, producing a b&w book on this soon to be extinct cultural phenomena.
So, if you are anywhere near any of these locations, come see me. I will take the time to meet you if at all possible. I always do.
Let us know please if you have any questions about the EPF, or submitting to Burn, or getting a week of BurnDiary or whatever. We will do our best to answer.
Please enjoy the rest of your summer. Take some time. Shoot some “lazy” pictures. Often the best. If you are around the Outer Banks, come sit on my porch and have a cold beer.  Good ideas pop , and real things get done when the vibe is right. That is the whole point of BURN.

207 Responses to “A Letter From David…”

  • That’s a reeaaaallllyyyyy nice rainbow!

    Thanks for the instructions.

    Right now, “lazy” is all I can muster.

  • Hello, hello, hello,,,
    Thank you for your encouragement!

    Please sleep early and take care of yourself in hot summer.
    And say hello to Burn team!

    I am looking forward to seeing you with pleasure. :)))
    Best wishes,

    Kyunghee Lee

  • I look forward to seeing the results of the EPF. Unfortunately, I will not be submitting this year. In previous years I’ve always submitted something, more as a donation than an attempt to win a prize, although to be fair, I also looked at it as an opportunity to show the burn crew what I was up to. This year, however, I suffer from a combination of being extremely broke and exceptionally busy, so even though I could manage to come up with the entrance fee, I simply cannot come up with the time.

    I mention that not to whine, but as prelude to a general offer. I was a victim of a series of accidents (as are we all), that found me taking a job as a sports photographer at a small town newspaper. Victimized by yet another series of accidents, I became managing editor of said newspaper. A Jim Powers, so to speak. Of course, it’s like totally uninteresting if you think of it as about me, but I am finding the experience very interesting in the larger context of the power of photography and its place in media. In short, it’s really fucking powerful and drives a helluva lot of traffic to publications that excel in it.

    Although my personal photography has suffered a bit, I get a lot of satisfaction out of creating an entire publication. I’ve realized that small town newspapers are a mostly un-commented upon part of the new media landscape. Whereas they have historically been very constrictive, nowadays they offer an incredible amount of freedom to go for international standards of quality. I’ve asked literally thousands of people if I could take their photographand I think a total of two have said no. It’s like people here think there’s some kind of law that requires them to allow a credentialed journalist to take their picture. Coming from New York, it’s like being in some kind of alternate universe.

    Anyway, I thought I’d offer this in the spirit of burn and the concept of paying it forward. I’d be happy to help out anyone looking to do a project on the midwest United States. We have all kinds of industry and farming; devastating drug problems, prostitutes to rival those of Iquitos and just about everything else that the United States has to offer. If you have a trust fund, or are a European with several months of vacation, or are simply willing to live poor; I can give you a lot of access, a publishing platform and maybe even a little beer money. Feel free to contact me if you are interested.


    I will look forward to seeing you again in Korea…as always!! Did you see the film we did in Busan?


    hey that’s pretty cool Michael…where are you? i worked on a midwest newspaper out of school and it was a great experience…and where i met of course “Jim Powers”….that’s why i like him….and i know well you will do a great job, and have a lot of fun doing it….congrats on the life change…it will be terrific for sure!!

    cheers, david

  • Sure! :))))
    Here you are.



    Have great days!
    Kyunghee lee


    it is those lady divers at the beginning of that film that i will spend a whole month shooting for a book….they are terrific women..so strong….family women…..doing something so unusual…and after they are gone, this craft will exist no more…so i am pleased to be doing this documentary, and very pleased to return to Korea…

    cheers, david

  • Four week extension? Woo hoo; was a bit broke and thought I was going to miss out! Think I’ll submit this year…. :-)

  • looking forward to seeing this years entries.

    ALL. Anyone around london on 9/11 are welcome to come to the opening of a small selection of the Dogmata, speakers corner exhibition @silverprint, london road. Lots of free booze, live speakers, video installation and some really gorgeous large wet prints. More details when invites/posters etc have been made. show runs for a month.
    Packing cameras and film now for a vintage 1970’s coach trip to Brighton with founding members of the sex pistols, the clash and the stray cats among others for a day of mayhem (well maybe they are a bit old for mayhem)
    Julian Temple will be on board with a small film crew to capture it all.

  • DAH, check your burn inbox. Enjoy your break.

  • David,
    I’d love to meet you when you are in Germany and maybe drink a “Kölsch” or two with you in Cologne.
    I live very close to Cologne and I plan to go to the opening of the Photobook Museum of course. I think you’ll meet some very interesting people there.
    Maybe I can help you with something while you’re in Germany, whatever it is. Just let me know.

    You can find my email in the blog about the “one year hiking” that my wife and I just finished:

    Man, meeting you at the Museum would be a great birthday gift for me ;-)

  • David,

    Jeju Island sounds great for B&W. Look forward to seeing the shots — any chance that there willl be a preliminary, “diary-type” series like CRAZED IN RIO?


  • I was in New Jersey once. I have nothing to add to that, I’m just putting it out there.

  • Yes, MW? Where are you? And how do we see your work? I am curious to see it.

    Strange summer for me.

    Oh, hell. Strange year.

    Strange two years, since my first surgery June 30, 2012, that the doc told me would put me out of action for three weeks and then I would be totally healed and it would soon be as though I had never had surgery at all. And then that surgery went awry and led to all these other hospitalizations and surgeries so here I am, in the midst of one of the greatest Alaska summers of all time, shooting nothing but snaps with my iPhone. One good contract sustaining me at the edge, but ironically it is about the past, just touching on the present, and mostly involves me sitting at my computer.

    Yet, I find I enjoy being home. Especially when grandkids come around. Which they often do.

    And my first iBook is nearing completion.

    It is about a cat.

    I fantasize that it will make me a million dollars and fund my work for the rest of my life and that I will be strong and healthy, fit for the Arctic at its toughest and able to dash off to Hawaii and New Zealand on the whim of the moment for sun and surf, but I suppose it’ll probably sell 10 to 200 copies.

    But making this iBook is a lot of fun.

    So, even though I complain, I have nothing to complain about.

    I don’t think I will worry about EPF this year. Kind of a joke for me to enter, given my age and experience, but who knows? David has given me a month to think about it and it is possible that at 1:00 AM, September 2, I might say, “what the hell, I will do my part to contribute to Burn” and throw together an entry on any one of who knows how many different possibilities and then send it in along with instructions not to ever post it on Burn EPF?

    Not that I would expect them to, but if by chance they ever did it would be an outrage and angry young photographers would say, “What the hell? That guy’s old!”

    I will quit rambling now.

  • There’s always a spare bed here in NZ…. :-)

  • I REALLY REALLY love life lately!!!
    Big hugs love to all :)

  • Ross, I will keep that in mind. Thank you. Same is true for Alaska :)

  • I’m glad, Panos. Me too.

  • Panos…

    I’m very glad you’re enjoying life!

  • :)))!!!…..happy to see this year’s nominees!…

    kyungheee/david :)…loved those films …great great stuff!


    so cool all the gathering around Dogmata….nice…so wish i could be there to drink you under the table …again!!

    love you bro….

    cheers, david


    you are forever young….and i consider myself emerging as do you….i will buy whatever book you do…hard copy or ebook…..looking forward and not at all surprised it is about a cat…they rule!!


    we all love you…and all happy for you…and we will all be happier when the tabloid DEATH IN VENICE hits the streets…stay tuned…

    cheers, david

  • Hey all, Currently, I haven’t shown a lot of work that is burn quality. Most of what I post on our Facebook is either of smiling people posing or action sports scenes. Basically, the kinds of photos most people want to see. My experience has been very interesting, however, in the larger discussion about the value of photography to publications these days. When I started posting to FB, our page hits went up over 3000 percent and we have steadily grown our page views since. And although pictures of popular people posing typically get far and away the most likes, and I have significantly brought up the technical quality of those kinds of photos, I think the better photos from an international Photography perspective; although they do not receive many likes, do a lot for the general reputation of the paper and draw a lot of people in. Of course it’s not just group shots. I have a few personal projects going on that I haven’t shown at all and I don’t always show my best photos of regular events. Most people here wouldn’t consider them my best photos anyway, they’d just consider them weird. But not everything I’ve shown is bad. I could probably make a superficially decent little essay out of them.

    But, like I said above, I don’t have much time for that. In addition to whatever photography I do, I have to write four or five stories, edit six or eight more, find more content to fill several pages, edit other people’s photographs, and then design and layout an entire newspaper. So I’m finding I appreciate the final product as a whole work of art itself. I’m trying to make a good publication, not just a good-for-a-small town newspaper. And quality photography is an integral part of it. Without good photographs, nothing else can possibly work. It’s an interesting challenge.

    Anyway, I’ll drop the people who have specifically asked where I’m at a Skype or an email. Anyone else is always welcome to contact me for whatever reason.

  • David,
    When a visit to Spain?
    Every June in Madrid there is an international photo festival called “PhotoEspaña”. Abbas, Antoine D’Agata, Chien-Chi Chang and Bruce Gilden were here in 2012 teaching at workshops.
    It would be great if you be here one year! Workshop or an exhibition, it doesn´t matter!

    To all Burn people, enjoy the summer and rest!



    i often teach at EFTI in Madrid….i did that every year up until about two years ago…i also had a really nice exhibition of my work on American Family at EFTI….so much of my overall body of work is from Spain of course….it is simply a matter of scheduling and of time…i cannot be everywhere, even though i have tried!!

    let’s hope we can meet in Spain…

    cheers, david


    i think we should meet for coffee at one of those rest stops on the Jersey pike…would seem fitting somehow…

  • David, they do and thank you.

  • Oh! I did´t know you were teaching there!. I took a course there many years ago, when digital didn´t exist…

    Sure there will be an opportunity to come to Spain!


  • David,

    I hope this message finds you well. Wanted to wish you and the Burn team a productive run-up to the EPF. Can’t quite believe it has been over 6 years since the first! It seems our paths unfortunately never seem to cross on our travels, but thought you’d like to see what I’ve been working on over the past few years: http://gallagher-photo.com/environmental-stories/ I am still in Asia and recently took on the biggest assignment of all, becoming a parent. Life has changed enormously. Question: How did you balance shooting with a young family?! I find it harder these days to leave home. Have to pick projects much more carefully. Anyway, sending greetings from sweltering Beijing. Please pass my best onto Diego, Anton, Panos et al!


  • David,

    I have a plan to visit New York City from Late August to Middle October, then am going to go to Oaxaca again.
    I thought I would meet you while I stay in/near the NYC. But your schedule looks very busy at that time.

    I am not sure I am able to back to Japan while you are in South Korea.
    When will you go to South Korea?
    Safe your trip.

    Eiji Ueda

  • EIJI

    i cannot even keep up with my own schedule….in early October though i should be in new york…by mid October i go to Korea for a whole month…..then back to new york from mid November on…..i hope we can meet somehow….

    cheers, david

  • Hi David,
    I’ve been following your great work here on BURN for the last years and I’d love to meet you in Cologne. Is that possible?
    If there is something I can do for you while you are in Germany, I’d be happy to help out.
    Safe travels and greetings from Germany,

  • DAVID.

    Just to be clear, the coach trip/rock and roll OAP’s thing I mentioned is not connected to the speakers corner exhibition. Just a check-in of whats been going on currently and that was one of the things…turned out very different than planned but had a real blast.

  • MARK

    sure , meet me in Cologne…the PhotoBook Museum bit is going to be quite amazing by all accounts…openings are the 18th and 19th…19th is i think the public opening…..and i do an artists talk at the Museum on Friday i think the 23rd…..i leave for Sicily on the 24th…..i do hope we meet…

    cheers, david


    ok,thanks for the clarification…..it sounds like a lot is going on with you….terrific!! i will be in London in December…any chance for a cold beer??

    cheers, david

  • Sean Gallagher

    you are certainly super prolific and with some really great stories in the mix…good work!!

    congratulations on parenthood!! that is THE biggie!! and yes also creates a bit less wanderlust…hard to be away…i lucked out in this regard and was able to take family with me so much of the time….yet now with a new grand daughter if i leave i leave and i miss so much…for 2015 i have vowed to myself to not travel as much as i have been doing..it gets too crazy….i have a hard time saying no to interesting projects or invitations, yet i must… i am sure you know what i mean…ironically travel was not why i became a photographer at all…i see myself as only shooting in my backyard, and i do, yet somehow travel got in there….however, in your case, very hard to get out of travel mode…for personal projects you can shoot at home, but most clients want you somewhere else…..

    thanks for checking in and saying hello…you have always been so gracious….i do hope we meet again at some point…..

    cheers, david

  • a civilian-mass audience

    love ,LOVE,LOVE TO ALL…

    and don’t forget to say Thank you …the Universe is working!

    chicken time for me …zzz

  • Michael Dean McDonald

    Man, I am excited about what is being posted and shown here on Burn. I am new to the site but have already gotten so much from the posts and even the comments. I’m have been shooting for years but feel like I’m a toddler just learning to walk. I am excited about the EPF (not necessarily for the money, although it wouldn’t hurt) but for the feedback and growth as an individual, story teller and photographer. Thanks so much for the community and I am already looking forward to next year.

    David, FYI my grandfather (passed away 10 years ago) is who got me into photography when I was 6. He subscribed to National Geographic and would point out your photos every time you were featured. I still have a September 1980 copy with an old picture of you in it! You were an inspiration in story telling to him (and me) so thanks for continuing in your work!

    Thanks everyone for this community.

    Im heading to Iraq and Nepal next week and then Brussels in December if any of you are around for a beer or Gluhwein :)

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Hello MY BURNIANS !!!

    I am waiting to hear from YOU…need reporting ASAP…my list is almost ready…
    Big hugs from Greece and yes,I am still alive and kicking…

    your civi
    reporting from Amfipolis…

  • a civilian-mass audience



    we are almost there…again

    Viva BURN !!!

  • PANOS…

    super cool…and i will have the great pleasure of seeing Kyunghee Lee in a few days …she is one of the great women on the planet…..

    and YOU my friend saddle up for New York….Death in Venice will FINALLY come to life…..

    cheers, david

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIEzGGfoMUo&list=UUKPacUnWB6yZrvMVqzfRBCQ

    a little tease for whoever gonna miss my live perfomance / slideshow tonight in texas


  • Btw. One of my “actors”/comrades on my movie is one of the GREATEST masters of photography of All times. Can u guess??? Winner gets a free hug from me ( no hidden charges ;)

  • PLZ contact me personally if u guess the Master.. Private emails only. Private hugs only ;)

  • Panos, reminds me of a Die Antwoord video. Beautiful ugliness. :-)


    i wake up in the middle of the night with I Fink You’re Freaky rocking around in my head….best video of all time (after Thriller)..it is even in the archive here on Burn..i think i am gonna front page it again here just to wake everybody up!!!

    cheers david

  • DAH

    That’s actually what I was thinking about when I wrote that. :-)

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