Crosscurrents

Picture 4

It is these crosscurrents that move the sand around and constantly change the shape of the barrier islands along the whole eastern U.S. seacoast. These currents along with surprise high winds and sandy shallow shoals have sunk at least 3,000 ships on Cape Hatteras alone. #outerbanks

10 Responses to “Crosscurrents”


  • I really like this photo. First, it compositionally stands on its own no matter what it’s about. Second, it’s about something. Third, there’s a bit of misdirection going on, at least it appears. At first glance I thought it was an aerial photo. Then I realized, or think I do, that it’s just a picture of the beach at the photographer’s feet that manages to communicate the 20,000 foot view. Great how all those elements work together to make the whole much greater than the individual parts.

    Regarding Imants’ obviously Festivus inspired airing of the grievances, have to say I generally agree. EPF went on way too long. If the choice is between more conventionally deserving essays and more problematic yet ambitious essays, I’d much rather see more of the latter. I know I have a history of bitching about that kind of thing in real time, but now I’m kind of remembering that era of deeply flawed yet ambitious work as the good old days. And lordy knows, I hope I’m not the only one still preferring ambitious essays to the Instagram stuff, which I still suspect is just a flavor-of-the-month fad where the combination of cheap cameras and ridiculous filters will shortly prove as historically embarrassing as the combination of bell bottom jeans and platform shoes did in the seventies. Some fine photographers making some interesting singles, no doubt, but I still find it trivial compared to the essays. Just sayin, you know. Of course reasonable people may reasonably disagree and who in real time ever knows what history will have to say about it. Maybe in 2184 everyone will be wearing bell bottom jeans and platform shoes and fake light leaking polaroids will be the only things allowed in galleries and museums forever ever after. Can’t really discount that possibility, can we?

  • MW

    i am looking now in the closet for my old bell bottoms!!

    seriously though, what we are doing now on Burn is both….long form essays and real time “on demand” essays…and for sure a few “real essays” have come and will come from the one week of Instagrams that of course could be shot with any camera…it is only the wifi that makes Instagram different and allows this “real time” viewing experience that of course “real” magazines and newspapers have been doing for years……and all cameras will have wifi within a year i am sure…so i don’t think this will be an “embarrassing fad”…many a “classic” essay has been shot in a few days or even a few hours….

    Instagram just cannot be ignored Michael….NatGeo now has almost 4 million Instagram “readers” which is getting damned close to the circulation of the “real” Magazine…by next year for sure this number will be double and with no end in sight….and if it is not Instagram it will be something else…now for sure Instagram does not replace the in depth coverage of the Magazine, but it does allow readers to simply look at a picture and enjoy it while they are on the subway….again, no subtraction here, only addition…

    now when i finish writing to you now, i will be mixing chemicals for my darkroom…..and making collector prints and fine books is my “real” craft and art form….yet i don’t see nor feel any conflict….Instagram is one thing, and holding a fine print or smelling the pages of a book is another…..

    for sure BurnDiary is for those who want to show what they can do “on demand”…..not for everyone of course…yet for those who actually want to get a job or work in professional photography i promise you any editor looking at Burn is going to be watching BurnDiary over all other things…

    as i told Imants, if we did not tell you that the EPF short list was the EPF shortlist then you would just be seeing a new essay….and for heavens sake why take the EPF for granted? we work hard to be able to give 15k for some photographers in this audience…with no sponsorship and no advertising…a straight up curation….any other photog blogs out there who do this?

    so these photographers who have managed to have an essay selected by a respected jury and end up in the top 30 out of over 1000, i think deserve to be shown….for sure if we see or receive an essay that is not part of this EPF top 30 then we publish that too…nothing is on the cutting room floor because of the EPF…..

    oh by the way, we are going to open the “submissions” section back up…yet with 100 per month close on it..a limit

    yet, t is a funny quirk of human nature that when we do something extra, like create actual cash out with the EPF or add BurnDiary for those who want an on demand experience, we catch more criticism than if we did nothing!!!

    i have known since i was a teenager that those who DO things catch more shit than those who sit…those who DO are targets….those who sit are invisible…..

    just the way it is…

    hey Michael , i know you are simply being a “devils advocate” and for sure i would not want that to stop either….so my response is just a response…what dialogue is all about…you always stimulate good dialogue…good

    i will be in new york jan 2, 3, 4…stop by and have a coffee or whatever….you know well you are always welcomed Michael…

    Happy New Year

    cheers david

  • Good points, especially about the EPF. And hey, I don’t mean to be too negatively critical. I very much appreciate how Burn Diary provides such a great opportunity for photographers. We need all the opportunities we can get. And as is not unusual, I was a bit sloppy dilineating the difference between the medium and the message. I don’t think that Instagram or similar media are faddish. I agree that it is a new way of enjoying visual content that won’t be going away any time soon. The filters, toy cameras and the like, however, I am guessing will go the way of bell bottoms and platform shoes. But maybe that’s just wishful thinking?

    Unfortunately, I’m out of town for the holidays and will miss you this time. Had to put off starting the big project I was telling you about until summer at the earliest, but am doing some interesting work in the meantime. Made a totally unexpected detour into sports photography. Who woulda thunk it?

  • MW

    sports? well cool…let’s see your sports….i would LOVE to see some great sports photography here….

    cheers, david

  • Well, I’d love to produce some great sports photography, but it’s not as easy as it looks. Here’s kinda where I’m at at the moment. Let’s see where I’m at in six months.

    The devil’s advocate nod, btw, was timely. I’ve been driving a lot cross country with my son and you’d think that “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by Charlie Daniels was the number one song in the land. The second time we heard it I started arguing that the Devil had easily won that hoedown, that his fiddling was much more innovative and evocative than his opponent’s who I thought produced fairly standard, almost clichéd stuff. By the fifth time we heard it, my son convinced. So you got me, not just figuratively, but literally.

  • David…
    “now when i finish writing to you now, i will be mixing chemicals for my darkroom…..and making collector prints”
    Are you a good printer? Are your prints usually pretty straight or do you go to great lengths to create your vision?
    Cheers Paul

  • PAUL

    i have no clue how to make color prints, but i am a really good b&w printer…..i mastered b&w printing at an early age….early on i loved the prints of Gene Smith…..so i love BLACK…both in b&w and color as well..you won’t see b&w or color from me without a good BLACK…and why i liked Kodachrome..and Velvia ..BLACK…

    in the darkroom i simply do normal dodging and burning..minimal..my only “photoshop”…..i always shot b&w film to be “perfect” and always overexposed slightly and underdeveloped slightly to give me a negative i could print on #3 paper….now of course i am more limited by paper stocks and developers….my old prints are still better than my new ones for this reason….i was an Agfa #3 person forever…developed PlusX in Microdol etc etc…now i am TriX and D76 1:1…also a very good combo…..now print on Ilford #3 single grade….it has a good black!!

    cheers, david

  • I had a complete dream based on this image…

  • problematic yet ambitious essays yep there is none here

  • Would love to see a picture of your darkroom setup, David…

Leave a Reply

You must login to post a comment.