Monthly Archive for January, 2009

mattias ormestad – psychedelic wrasse



Psychedelic Wrasse by Mattias Ormestad

jan sochor – hunger and rage

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Jan Sochor

Hunger And Rage

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Although the Caribbean islands are widely considered as a holiday paradise, Haiti a state lying on the Hispaniola island, in the Greater Antilles  evokes a hell and a disaster rather than anything else. The overall situation on Haiti gets worse every year and the extreme, hardly imaginable poverty hits more and more people. The Haitian economics is paralysed, there is no infrastructure, no food supplies, the population suffers from hunger, social and living conditions in Haitian slums (e.g. CitÈ Soleil) are a human tragedy. There seems to be no way out of this misery. Haitian administration is (and always has been) highly corrupted, misappropriation of public funds is common. MINUSTAH (Blue Helmets installed on Haiti by the UN in 2004) substitute the police therefore they are generally not welcomed by the Haitian population. The rage grows and the tension continues with undiminished strength.


Music: Manno Charlemagne (“Banm Youn Ti Limye”)


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Jan Sochor


charlotte whalen – rosa



Rosa   by   Charlotte Whalen


Related links

After La Violencia

amanda lucier – night butchering



Night Butchering by Amanda Lucier


Website: Amanda Lucier

anton kusters – soichiro



Meet Soichiro.

He has agreed to us getting to know each other. Through the barriers of different languages and cultures, we will be approaching each other with the broadest possible open mind. To learn, to tell our stories. To gain trust and to share views.

Soichiro and his family control Kabukicho, in the heart of Shinjuku, Tokyo. Not much happens in the streets without his approval.

After more than 10 months of preparation and ground work by my brother and our dear friend Taka-san, finally, for the first time, we all meet over dinner. At first, Soichiro lays down the rules. Tells us what we want to achieve is near impossible. He says that the things we want to document, no outsider has ever been allowed to bear witness to. We eat, drink, smoke, and exchange gifts.

He invites us to his office. we talk some more. I show previous work, I show prints of Oaxaca and I show prints of “Sugar”. He tells me I photograph with a Japanese eye. He laughs when we ask if it’s true that all family members have tattoos, and if it’s painful to get one.

Then he shows his.

Each tattoo is so personal, he says, full of meaning to the bearer and his family.  Only Sensei Horikyo tattoos for his family.

No rush. He understands and wants us to take time to get to know his family, time to develop our view. He believes in our way of working, and is confident we will bring this to a good end. He thinks in years, not days or weeks or months.

He does a lot of legwork in his family. Even though he is a boss, he still speaks to his bosses who in turn speak with their bosses. Within two days, we are invited to witness a closed meeting. Four members apologizing to the family for being in jail. My brother and I are nervous as hell going in.

No pictures allowed yet, but now we know. Soichiro walked the walk and committed. Our project has begun for the next couple of years. My brother and I… and Soichiro. Becoming friends, telling the story… I hope everything will work out.

Anton Kusters, january 2009


Editors Note:

This is a single picture that is soon to be part of an ongoing essay…An essay that could take several years..I am publishing this now to kick off our new section categorized as  “Work in Progress”. We are starting quite literally with just one picture. So this is a right before your eyes true beginning. You will be able to follow Anton’s thinking process, photographic process etc. , as he moves through the underworld of Japan.  I will take on four other photographers soon for this section as the work presents itself. You will be able to help Anton and others think about their shooting and their editing. You could be one of the photographers for whom this process would be most valuable.

-David Alan Harvey


mustafah abdulaziz – obama

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Mustafah Abdulaziz

The Inauguration Of Barack Obama

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On January 20, 2009, the world’s attention turned to Washington D.C.

Visitors, young and old, black and white, American and foreign, descended upon the nations capital en masse, braving the frigid cold to stand witness to history: Barack Obama, former junior senator of Illinois, inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States.

Related links

The Wall Street Journal on 01/20/09

Mustafah Abdulaziz



one month BURNing…

one of the worst ideas i have ever had was starting BURN three days before Christmas!!  what a bad idea….but, when i get passionate about something, it is hard to hold me back….so, thus it was that BURN was launched just as i was getting on an airplane and heading for Colorado to see my mother who has no internet modum…..hmmmm, and i am here to help emerging photographer’s think??  well, please know that i do not always do the right thing…however, here we are and i just want to take a minute to take stock….

first of all, i want to thank the readers here for submitting so much work for publication on BURN…some of you may not realize, but so far,  all of the work published on BURN has come from you….and this morning i was looking at what we have ready to roll and the next weeks and months are going to be exciting indeed….at first, i was really worried about having daily updates on BURN…i could not imagine it…now, i could do two posts per day easy !!  we have lots of content coming in and “the bar” is going to get higher and higher …

the internet audience is indeed a fickle one and an impatient one as well….you have so many choices out there and you want what you want NOW….i get that, but i also ask you to be a little bit patient with BURN…i was getting judged after 6 days, when i could see that to really “get” BURN ,in all of its manifestations, would take 6 months….one sentence is not a paragraph and one paragraph is not a book….i surely would not want to be judged on my first 6 days of anything… essays or relationships or anything!!  but, i will take the criticism because this  is fair enough…i have put myself “out there”, so that is just the way it goes…so expect more flaws, but expect some revelations as well…

i mean, BURN right now is just me editing, writing etc and Anton Kusters managing most of the tech stuff….i have been in about three locations since BURN started and Anton has been in either Belgium or Japan…so, neither of us can possibly get any sleep because of the time zones…and both of us are shooting as well…sitting by a computer editing is not what i envision for life…i am a working photographer and i will stay a working photographer….my number one priority photographically is my next book….and i hope you will see that this is important for me to be a photographer first and an editor second…but, my work is not published here on BURN…..yours is…..and that is the way it will be..

my choices for essays and singles are just that…my choices….choice comes from either something i really really like  OR  photographs that i think will invite discussion….and there is certainly no lack of discussion!!  i like photojournalism….i like conceptual photography….frankly, i like whatever is truly compelling….again, the work published here has come from the pool of submissions from you, or from photographers i have mentored online or in workshops…..i was thinking at first to cast a wider net and i will  do that  too, but things are coming in so fast and the essays are getting so good, that it is a full time job just to view it all….

plus, we will start soonest the “Work in Progress” section for  developing essays…i will take on 5 new photographers for this and work with them a month or so and then select 5 more…i predict many of you will be hanging around “Work in Progress” over all other sections…i will continue to profile  so called iconic photographers as a way of mixing it all up on the same pages…not only Magnum photographers as some would expect, but photographers from all agencies , galleries , etc etc…this is my nature…i do this in my workshops…my student show always follows the show of one of the greats…this honors say an Alessandra Sanguinetti or a Eugene Richards, but gives a special cred to the emerging photographers who will soon become the “greats”….this is my whole point of mentoring….to discover the next great photographer OR to provide a meaningful way of making photography an integral  part of your life…

your ideas and your work are BURN…..i am just a moderator….BURN may be likened to “talk radio”…participation is the message….as you know , i have ideas for funding beyond the Emerging Photographer Fund grant….to give some of you the funding you need to finish your projects and ideally to create from “scratch” content specific for  BURN…it would seem that  a financial recession would not be the ideal time to do this…i think the opposite…sponsors are looking to the net…content is king….for a fraction of what sponsors are spending now, we can give them THE place to be…..and photographers rights are always paramount in my mind and my life philosophy….

if you tap into your passion, if you create something special,  and if that appears here, then indeed the audience will become the producers……we have a chance for the ultimate collaboration…a chance to invent something…joining something can be terrific…inventing something is the ultimate…

your thoughts???

miguel ribeiro fernandes – HIV

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Miguel Ribeiro Fernandes

HIV In Portugal

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They were all caught by surprise. They never expected such a diagnosis, being the carriers of the HIV virus. Almost all thought being infected was impossible. In their minds they never had risk behavior. In general they have an idea that the responsibility of the infection isn’t theirs, but from the “other”. The “other” is a husband, boyfriend, a father, a mother and even doctors, responsible for blood transfusions. There are few that recognize the risk . But the big responsibility  for such a high rate of HIV infections in Portugal is the lack of prevention campaigns. This  would enter the world of the “other”, the common person, not only the usual group risk: drug addicts, gays and prostitutes. In fact it’s proved today that such HIV stereotypes  do not exist. We can only talk about risk behavior, not groups.

Portugal is the country with more infections per million (205) in the west of Europe, according to the latest studies of EuroHiv.

The “other” can be you and me.


Related links

Miguel Ribeiro Fernandes


Steve McCurry


there is probably no photographer alive with quite as recognizable a photograph as the Afghan Girl by Steve McCurry….maybe just maybe he is rivaled a bit by Dennis Stock’s image of James Dean walking through Times Square…i would have to think about that one, but both images can be seen hanging in the finest art museums as well as faded torn copies hanging just over the bartender’s shoulder all over the world…i wish i had taken pictures of all the places i have seen the Afghan Girl…and the paintings and sketches derived from it…EVERYBODY knows this picture….

originally published by National Geographic Magazine in 1985, Steve’s icon graced the cover …the most famous cover shot of all time….obviously it is the EYES that just kill us….stop us dead in our tracks….and even though i have seen this photograph thousands of times in the last 25 years, i still have to stop and take a look….photographically it is just a simple portrait…..taken straight on in just flat light (in a refugee tent)….there is nothing so remarkable about the picture, until her gaze simply bores a hole into your heart….

i meet many a young entry level photographer for whom Steve McCurry is certainly their favorite photographer….his work is clean, straightforward, features dramatic color , and has a clear journalistic sensibility…Steve says of the Afghan Girl, “not a day has gone by in the last 25 years when someone does not ask me about this picture”….

i asked Steve if his fame for this picture was any kind of artistic burden (in the way “Satisfaction” might be for Mick Jagger)…he said “absolutely not”……enough said….Steve continued ” I love what I am doing and just want to keep doing it”….and for those of us who know Steve , we know that nobody never stops working like Steve never stops working…..all of the photographers i know are pretty much fanatical workaholics, but all of us look lazy compared to Steve…..the guy does not stop….ever!!

i recently photographed Steve in Union Square (below) and he has the same impish chuckle that he has had all of the years i have known him … besides being one of the world’s great photographers, i count Steve as a good friend…long before i moved to New York, Steve allowed me the use of his apartment many times as a crash pad…..and i am sure many of you already know that Steve’s  cover shot for the Magnum book on 9/11 of the crumbling Trade Center tower was made from this very rooftop…..

there is no way to imagine where Steve will go next…..but, wherever it is, we can count on something uniquely McCurry…

Steve will be on line from time to time in the next 12 hours to answer your questions….


INDIA  1984




Steve McCurry                                                                                                                                           Union Square , New York City 12/08

jorg sundermann – finland



Finland  by Jorg Sundermann