stray cat….

stray cat

i am not a cat person….never had a cat as a pet…never wanted a  cat…..i was always a dog man ….dogs were always happy to see me, followed me around…dogs responded to commands…..cats always just seemed aloof to me….now, i have a cat…..

on the fourth of july,  a hot summer night, little Simone just showed up….my son Bryan and his love Michelle and i were sitting on my porch having a glass of wine and  pretty much minding our own business ,  when along came little homeless Simone (sometimes Lulu) who just jumped into my lap….end of story…..or, should i say, beginning of story…..

now i am dealing with raccoon proof cat doors, dry food vs. wet food, auto feeding machines  and worse, yes, AFFECTION…damn!! ….the last thing i need in my life is a cat….i do not have time for a cat….i travel too much to have a cat or any pet….but, now i have a cat….or, rather she has me….she now owns the place….runs the show….wants affection sometimes, and shuns it other times….does what she wants when she wants to do it and my job is just making sure she is happy …and i now trip  all over myself to make sure this is so…..hmmmmm….

it is always the unexpected in our lives which seems to govern….all of us work so hard to plan plan plan and then , well, the “plan” becomes whatever “just happened” with perhaps a very slight twinge of the light of  original agenda….most of us i think then take whatever circumstances evolved and then turn it into our “plan” as if we had thought of it all along….pure justification or acceptance or , well, what else can we do???

certainly there must be adjustments in our creative spirit as well…if we all did what we started out to do, then i am sure that the results would be a whole lot less exciting then if serendipity rules…..yet, we also know from experience that not having any kind of plan in the beginning usually leads to no action at all…so, strange as it seems, we need a plan or a thought or an idea at the beginning that we know surely with change as we move forward…we should not be surprised that we become surprised with what actually happens , yet this is the ultimate surprise!!

perhaps we all have different proportions of planning vs. serendipity……and , of course, this is all related to being able to FINISH what we start out to do…i think many of us do not finish what we start because a Simone shows up….changes the equation….priorities get scrambled……what we want today, may not be what we want tomorrow….

i do spend a lot of time with young ambitious photographers or photographers who are trying to make a mark….the single biggest difference i see between those who “do it” and those who do not is simply the ability to finish what one starts….

yes, of course,  talent is a must…visual acuity, sensitivity, spacial awareness, timing, balance….but, given two equal talents, the one who can actually complete a body of work  is the one who will rise….sounds simple, but it is the most complex compound  of all things facing any creative person….i see it over and over with photographers i mentor…..i have fought this with myself all along….i suspect a solid 80% of what i start goes unfinished….folks know of the other 20%, but i coulda shoulda woulda done more….blame it on Simone??

what about you??  do you finish most things, or sooner rather than later give it up??  be honest…we are all in this together…

ok, while you take on this question, i have to go feed the cat… joke…she is an hour away , and i am going to go feed her instead of taking a picture….woe is me….

1253 Responses to “stray cat….”

  • I think I finish what I start. I have been doing several projects at the same time but they have been running for a while, well over a year and I still have no desire to give them up as I dont think they are finished. Pieces is coming along as is Marooned, which is actually growing. I have 2 years left in Korea, after which I will be done with the MBA course I am doing and I will try to land a job elsewhete, so thats 2 years to finish Marooned, one chapter of which I submitted here. To be honest I am relishing the whole process of a long term project, I love building, tearing down, building again. It is fun, challenging and educational. On top of my own shooting I am trying my hand at curating and editing the work of others, which is helping me understand editing which I can apply to my own work.

  • I often go on paths I don’t finish. Usually I learn something from them, think how an unfruitful project that was to pursue, and move on to the next one. Luckily I have long projects that I carry on shooting, and others that are sort of over arching, so every some time you go back to them. Now I’m going to start a project hoping it will all work out, as I spend plenty of time in its preparation too. Would be quite sad to get it wrong.

    On the cat. I got a stray cat about two months ago. What I didn’t know then was that it was pregnant. It’s like a double whammy, so now I have three cats. The pro is that they don’t need too much looking after (as dogs would). If I don’t finish a project I can always blame it on pregnant stray cats, I guess.

  • I have a folder called packaged works, heaps of stuff there including about 6 full exhibitions ready to go(printed proofs), about 3 installations, heaps of completed slide shows and the usual singles that I am happy with. The handmade photo books are sitting there one is ready to go, just a matter of printing and binding the single copy ……. other than that there is this stuff about 270 meters of images……. which is only completed when I become maggot food

  • I usually finish what I start, a side-effect I’m sure of working all my adult life with rigid deadlines that newspaper people live and die with. The newspaper always comes out, daily or weekly or whatever, and you finish. I need deadlines to function well, I guess. As James Taylor sang in Bartender’s Blues:

    “But I need four walls around me to hold my life
    To keep me from going a-stray”

    I prefer the sloppy love of dogs to the aloofness of cats. :)
    The dog in my life:

  • “Miaow, miaow…”

  • DAVID,
    Laughing! I’ve been through almost exactly the same thing with a cat, but today I’m grateful and like them (didn’t before though). This cat
    Regarding projects I’m the same. I probably finish less than 50% of what I start. I’m even insecure when I finish if I should finish or not or continue or if it isn’t good enough.
    Anyway, great story!


  • Thanks. This is just the kind of thing I need to hear. I’ve been learning about the importance of this the last year or so.

    Most of my life I’ve been terrible at finishing projects, when I’m in the middle of working on something I get so involved I just can’t step back anymore. I lose my ability to see the work from a distance. Then I get a negative comment or a rejection from somewhere and it all suddenly seems like crap. Often I find 6-12 months passes and I look back at the work and I really impress myself – it seems so obvious I shouldn’t have given up. I guess it’s about believeing in yourself and well…gritting your teeth and doing what needs to be done, the best you can, even if everything doesn’t go the way you hoped.

  • David, I had a Simone knock on my back door and wait for me to let her in about 8 years ago. Literally, her name is also Simone, and she is a cutie pie kitty that chose me. At the time, I was in no way shape or form ready to take on the responsibility of pet ownership, but there she was, hungry and cold, and she loved me unconditionally already. So, into my arms and life she came. It is a nice parallel to draw about the little surprises serendipity throws into our path…I believe that whatever we are currently experiencing, we are supposed to be experiencing. Sometimes these are good things, sometimes these are bad things, sometimes we cannot figure out why and may never know why certain things happen. Regardless of the why, however, remains the fact that we are a product of our experience. What we glean from that knowledge is up to each of us. Shall we learn and become wiser, and therefore stronger and better people? Or shall we misuse our precious energy by worrying about circumstances that are unexplained or beyond our control? Starting what you finish speaks volume about character…so does simply showing up and trying. I am trying like hell to start what I finish, and most of these things take way longer than I would like them to, but I have a pretty good track record of achieving what I seek to accomplish. So, that’s what I have to say about that. (And I know that your story was more directed so that we look inward and examine ourselves, but I just wanted to leave a little comment.)

  • Once you start reading the spam on the net and it finds its way into your work one will never finish as there is help online……..

  • CUBA with LOVE
    took 10 years to complete..
    I wanted to give up so many times…
    I wanted it to go away,
    this urge and desire and vision
    have it leave me alone….
    it wouldn’t…
    now a movie….
    and shes a

  • Good to see you writing again David…

    When doing my own personal work I usually finish what I start though it can take a long time, and I have to ‘force’ myself to ‘finish’. It’s usually hard to know when to stop…another picture, another thought, another idea…sometimes I spend a lot of time thinking things over again…second-guessing…

    One of the most important things I’ve discovered is the importance to START and to DO rather than think and read and theorize endlessly. Once you’ve written something on a page, put up some photographs on the wall, ideas start materializing and changing and developing…

    Deadlines help. The first photographic essay I ever attempted was the assignment to produce 20 pictures that David gave on the original Road Trips blog a couple of years ago. I ‘finished’ it for the deadline, but feel it is really a long-term project.

    We also had a pregnant cat give birth to four kittens in our place here in Bracciano, and we now have 5 kittens looking for a home…(the fifth kitten walked in the door one day seemingly out of nowhere, and became the ‘boss’…) Some cat pictures:

  • well… i haven’t visited Burn for a while now and the day i do, a new post from DAH. Serendipity indeed!

    when i left london behind to travel with my wife and daughter we had a very basic plan, to be open minded, follow our hearts, take our time and see where it leads us to. we were searching for something different to our familiar urban lifestyle, we had the notion that we would end up living some place else, in a different way, in touch with nature… some sort of romantic ideal… we went to India (again) traveled for a while, rented a cottage in the mountains, bought food at local markets etc. After about a year we flew to Darwin in Australia bought a campervan and drove around the west coast and stayed a while near a small town in the forests of the south west. Then my wife became pregnant, we didn’t plan that! what to do? our families expected we’d return home, have the baby, settle back into ‘normal’ life… nope, we went back to India, rented another cottage, by chance found a wonderful mid-wife Sister Priscilla and decided to stay in India and have our second child. A blissful time it was…

    Anyway after a few years between India and Australia we knew we’d found our ‘Shangri-la’ in the forests of Western Australia. We wanted to migrate, but that became a whole other mountain to climb. We were told the only way we would ‘get in’ is if i went to collage for two years and study something like cooking…

    So after being a pro-photographer for quite a few years, i’d have to go to collage full-time and study hospitality? for two years? and work as a cook 900 hours per year? would i finish what i started? could i?

    well, i’ve got 4 months left and i’m done with collage, cooking, hospitality… it’s probably been the most grueling bitter-sweet two years of my life. sometimes i think i must be crazy. sometimes others think i must be crazy. but when i have an end of term break and some sanity returns and i look at where we are living and how we live and how happy my two daughters are, it all makes beautiful sense…

    However, the thorn in my side that has tortured me so often is that my photography grinded to a total halt for well over a year. I couldn’t complete the editing of my travel project, i couldn’t shoot much new stuff, i didn’t have the mental space or energy. But thanks to Burn (and Road Trips) i’ve managed to kick my own butt and finish my travelogue edit and start new material… (many thanks!)

    So i guess i’d be saying that i do finish most things. Although my wife would probably disagree and list plenty from the washing up, changing the oil in the car, sorting those shelves……..

  • Never really got dogs. They rely on you, they need you. You cant just abandon them…They are like family.
    cats always seem to say ‘whatever’. Feed me and house me..or not, who cares? They survive, they can live large or go back to the streets with no looking back. They are Independent of my care and love. Thats good.
    I dont think I ‘dont finish’ stuff. I abandon things. Projects start, projects finish, projects get interupted, but when they are done..what then? Who were they for anyway but me?
    Again it really does come down to to “why do you shoot?” Look in the mirror and answer THAT one honestly, just to yourself if need be.
    There is nothing wrong about motive. Fame Money recognition salvation conscience career need guilt art[whatever the hell that means] …as long as we are honest about that motive. Lots of sheep dressed as wolves and wolves dressed as shepherds in the world.


  • Me? I’m a lifelong drop-out, and a shiftless, lazy bum. And stubborn enough about it to be proud of the fact. Being easily distracted and leaving projects ‘unfinished’ has been my basic operating procedure for so long that it’s become my only real ‘career’. It’s the biggest reason why I live far below the poverty line. I’ve pretty much always thought that modern societies place far too much emphasis on encouraging and rewarding people for being obsessively “goal directed”. Oh, I understand why, and I have no illusions it will ever change just because of me and a few other romantic rebels.

    So much trouble in the world is caused by people with ‘big plans’ and the single-minded zeal to carry them out. Most of the important encounters in my life have been serendipitous… most of the important events unexpected or beyond my control… and most of the revelatory understandings I’ve been blessed with have come as a result of being willing to admit that I was mistaken or misguided, and willing to change my mind and my direction. Having room in one’s life for these things to happen is very important to me, and I see far too little of such room or possibility in the lives of heavily ‘goal-directed’ people.

    I’m probably an extreme case. Maybe a balance between goals and openness to serendipity, between defined and directed projects versus pure whimsy and aimless curiosity, between over-achieving and under-achieving, would be the desirable ideal. But as I’ve looked around me, growing up, studying, working, and traveling the world a bit, a lot of the harm I’ve seen is the result of the over-achievers’ greed and ambition. The world- the real world- is so beautiful, so mysterious, and so abundant, so enchanting. And can be enjoyed, savored, investigated, accommodated, and surrendered to with such little need for harm, with such slender resources. But it is filled with swarms of noisy, bothersome, pushy, loud, aggressive people intent on making their piles, making their reputations, building their walled castles, creating their personal empires, and flaunting their wealth and power.

    I’m not trying to lead anybody astray into the poverty and idleness that is my voluntary lot, but just to offer a few words of encouragement to anyone who is constitutionally not so goal-directed or obsessed with ‘completing’ projects… No need at all for you to feel guilty or less adequate! Follow your heart and your own curiosity, indulge in whimsy, let yourself be distracted… maybe you will find something far more valuable and interesting that ‘success’.

    As for pets… I grew up in the same family with an older brother who was a serious naturalist, and have had the rich experience of living together with a wide range of amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals in addition to more conventional dogs and cats as pets. Some of the more interesting and amusing pets that stand out in my memory are raccoons, crows, flying squirrels, ferrets, and boa constrictors. I love a lot of dogs and tend to get along well with them, but have never wanted my own and have always felt heavily burdened when forced to take care of other people’s dogs for periods of time. Their needs for attention are too great, and their energy level too rambunctious. I feel much calmer and at ease with the energy and independence of cats. Of the thousands of cats I’ve encountered, there were only about five I really didn’t like and who didn’t like me. And that was always a flashing red warning signal to me about their owners!

  • For the moment, I didn’t abandon my projects, but I think it sometimes… I always work on my parents, I had few months when I saw nothing, but I believe that it is better now…

    me, I always had cats…

    Have a nice day,

  • I’m on the last leg of my canal project. It’s been 4 plus years. I do intend a self-published book. Lots to wade through, though. But, yes, I will finish it. Getting started is often more difficult for me. Need a new project! I’m open to ideas! ;^}


    P.S. Dogs tend to worship their owners. I always found that pretty damn annoying.

    Cats worship no one. They give what they receive. Love and affection and peace and quiet. This is why they rule.

  • Cats are trouble. Are you a closet cat person David?

    Good luck,


  • Dogs have families, cats have a staff, raccoons have to seize

  • I write this as I’m laying here with a cat nearby…

    Dear Mr. Harvey,
    I feel your pain, perhaps you are dealing with your delemma more light hearted than I have though. I was not picked by a cat, but instead a woman who has two cats. My dog passed away over the summer while I was out of town with the woman. Two days this week I couldn’t shoot because she wanted attention. It’s only built up resentment and I’ve been quite upset each time this has happened. I have to keep her happy, that unfortuneately might mean going out to dinner with friends or what ever it means. I haven’t had a realtionship like this for nearly ten years and I’ve gotten a lot done in that time… What now though? Break her heart and think only of myself to get it done more? Instead, it seems I must think nothing of myself, and hope I can get it all done in my spare time…

    Yes well anyway, I wish the best for you and Simone.

  • Very hard to know if I finish things, because I rarely have a definitive start for them..the way I work usually is organic, not project based until the project claims it’s own turf.

    That said, the book project that I started last June needs to have firm boundaries because of the volume I am shooting and the number of hours committed that make it nearly impossible for me to do other things or live in balance. Hence, and enforced deadline of end of October. I do hope I can stick to it, because there will always be more to add to this piece. I just can’t though, for money, for sanity…

    A cat! So happy for you. Someone is trying to get me to care for their 2 cats for 10 really on the fence. September will be the first time I will be without animals in the home, possibly ever..and am sort of excited about the freedom.

  • Hey DAH – McGowan here.

    Facing and fighting these demons head on. I’ve been thrust into the vagabond lifestyle, loveless, penniless, with little over a month to get Garage Sale ready to hang for It’s going to happen… it has to now, I signed the venue agreement. You can track my progress on if you’re interested.

    Sorry I haven’t been around in a while… it’s been that kind of life.

  • Sidney,

    Amen to all you (beautifully) said!


  • i can empathise..
    tor capa keeps filling his nappy..
    3 esteemable bowel movements today..
    it is a distraction..

    in the short term finishing is easier for me than the long term.. finishing commissions / exhibitions and the like are easy – a deadline forces an end.. goals and time-lines are in mind for pragmatic reasons.
    what i have more difficulty with is finishing personal projects over a long period of time.. and by personal projects i mainly mean my music work.. because it will never really finish..

    it has evolved though and so i guess the end of this stage is where i need to show people what i have been up to.

    the same goes for photographing my daily life.. meanderings and jusfodahelluvit stuff.. there is no end.. no end..
    perhaps having tor capa is an end of a certain life.. so maybe this more personal stuff needs to be sorted out..

    i wonder.. is an end bought about by marketing and commercial pressures?
    or is it more that an end has to be bought about for our own mental filing before we can move on?
    a little of both, along with the reward of an end?
    maybe it is passing through a portal of sorts.
    perhaps the ‘natural’ end of a project is when our lives change.. you know..
    the 4 or 5 lifetimes we live in one.

    photographing instinctively and growing a body of work organically – there is no end..
    i’m not even sure i can pinpoint the beginning.

    so i guess we have to recognize when current stages of a project have finished.. and that’s the time to collect what has come together and solidify what comes next..
    that’s okay.
    the tibetan work has been exhibited twice and the music work 2 or 3 times..
    i’m yet to air my more personal laundry, (some of it stinks), or create a book..

    what i need to do is present my conclusions at each stage of the longer project in the form of a book rather than wait longer, until the bitter end.. (which may well be my end).. in order to try and present something more epic.

    with music work – i wanted to photograph the uk scene over 10 years.. but ended up getting sent abroad.. bang goes the end of the uk project and so begins a more ‘epic’ project.. from nearly 600 uk commissions i could do a uk book.. or i could wait, (which i did), and try for a worldwide book..
    and now..
    trying for a world wide book i am thinking..
    there are many more countries i could do.. or, as with this summer, i could look at one country more closely..

    i remember reading once that people posing for portraits are nervous in part because of the impression of a portrait lasting beyond their lives.. standing to represent them and their image long after they are in the ground.. and that’s part of the thing with me and long term projects..
    the other part being that i want to do things properly.. not hit and run.. taking time.. learning as much as i can..
    although of course.. perhaps the deeper you live a life to photograph it, the more murky the waters become.. it takes a while to ingest what has gone before, and then i guess we know if a ‘time’ has ended.

    no amount of time is enough to cover things properly.. we can do our best though.

    anyway.. i have a handle on finishing.. know what it feels like to finish and am capable of calling an end to a stage of a project.. yes.

    the ultimate finishing will be the end of us..
    so we’d all best finish filing our negatives / RAWs before then.

    hope to chat tomorrow david, unless tor capa has another ‘epic’ nappy day or lulu simones claws find your archived prints..


  • “it is always the unexpected in our lives which seems to govern….all of us work so hard to plan plan plan and then , well, the “plan” becomes whatever “just happened” with perhaps a very slight twinge of the light of original agenda….most of us i think then take whatever circumstances evolved and then turn it into our “plan” as if we had thought of it all along….pure justification or acceptance or , well, what else can we do???” -DAH

    …I feel that there are few truer statements than this … something that inches so close to reality it can shatter personal foundations and induce poppy goosebumps. Is anything ever finished though? really, can anything ever be complete as long as the concept of time withers forth? I don’t know … I haven’t the damnedest foggiest – but I feel with photography and documentary and reportage this is especially true – how can anything ever be finished so long as the subject of interest keeps breathing and their family and ancestors keep breathing and so on … and even in death there’s a continuation of memories…. fuck.

    I am currently in New Mexico, and I came here on my own dime, for my own disillusioned assignment to cover navajo nation with a writer friend down here. And for the love of all that I ever held to be true, my “expectations” were so shot to shit that I had a meltdown … several, actually. The planning I had for this trip, well, whatever it was is no more. And the direction I have taken, well, seems like it could be endless … I can’t foreseeably see an out to the problems down here … and if anything coming to Gallup, New Mexico slapped this realization – this slice of wisdom that, coming from David mind somehow means more to me than any nascent experience I may have with it … well, its beleaguering and nauseating and if anything it gives me hope to see it written by another. It is one of the more difficult things – to see direction, realization, epiphany – by yourself, without a guide or mentor. We have books and collected wisdom in frames and motion and sound but really its all how it churns in you. I don’t know how anyone else feels, and if i’ve splayed out my innards via verbal evisceration I’m sorry.

    Expectation seems to be one of the worst things we do to ourselves as people. How to surgically remove expectation from documentary/reportage assignment is a struggle I think many of us contend with … but hopefully its just myself.


  • First get that cat neutered.

    I have a totally shit work ethic and finish everything I start. The problem I have is not starting something because I don’t think I’ll be able to finish it. I think I’d be more relaxed tipping into more things without out the self imposed pressure of finishing.

    I think Churchill might have said “dogs look up to you, cats look down on you and pigs treat you as equals”

  • All the cats I have ever owned have been strayed into my life. The current one I’ve had 9 years. I’ve learnt a lot from this one which came from a cat colony as a 2 month old kitten. Here’s one important point. If your cat is doing something you think is naughty, it’s not being naughty: it’s distressed or needing something. Find the cause and change the situation the naughty behaviour will stop. And cats are easy to train. Don’t buy silly toys like clawing posts. Let the cat outside near a tree. If the cat is sick, with something, take it to the vet, don’t just wait for it to get better. If you cat gets in a fight, it needs antibiotics to prevent abscesses from developing. Keep your cats in at night if you want to avoid your cat getting in a fight. Get it neutered. Clumping kitty litter is a cheap and less messy solution for indoor cat box seriously consider stopping the dry food. I could go on but a book on cats is a good thing. A happy cat carries its tail in the air. A really happy cat has a little bend at the tip of its upright tail. I have come to think that a tail on a dog and a cat is much like facial expression, although I can see facial expressions on my cat as well. Certainly he has a frown. Cats like affection. They get lonely without attention if they’ve gotten used to it. Introducing strange cats can cause terrible problems if the one who was there first is the weaker one. Nasty cats are only frightened cats. All cats can be tamed with patience.

    Do I finish things. Not often enough but I’ve reached a time of my life when I am tired of starting afresh. Photography is something I have picked up and put down a few times and now it’s time I picked it up for good. There’s a lot to be said for persistence. Certainly your post makes a very good point. What is that saying, “90% of success is persistence”. At least now I am sure of what I want to do, no longer care that much about other things, know that whatever hiccups come along, I can deal with them. I now have the self-belief that was sorely lacking as a 22 year old when I first took up photography. When you lack self-belief, persistence will get you through the rough patches, so long as you know enough about it to hold fast to that idea. By all means, take a break, change the pace, but don’t let go of your idea and you will finish it.

  • Oops, that was a bit long.

  • I swear I hear her purring! What a dear pussy cat. Simone chose well…

    “Patsy does not finish what she begins.” That was on every one of my elementary school report cards. So I’ve spent the last 60 years trying to prove them wrong!

    Actually, the greatest preparation I ever had for finishing this book project was my yearlong training to run the marathon. There are no shortcuts there. You either stick with it day-by-day or pay BIG TIME on the day of the race. I was determined to finish with a smile on my face so I did everything the experts said. I ran every day no matter what the weather, which in Detroit could be pretty heroic in February. I alternated long and short runs, did my longest (23 miles) three weeks before the race and then started tapering off. Ate carbs and got lots of sleep. And was a REAL BORE because all I could talk about was running. But I LOVED running my first marathon so much that I ran another the next year. In pretty good times at that.

    After seeing that I could set a longterm goal and achieve it, I knew I could do whatever I set my mind to. My Falling Into Place book project is a good example. It has been my obsession for 14 months now, and even though there are parts of the process that have excited me more than others–I LOVED taking the pics but am less thrilled about writing/rewriting the text–I’m on schedule and determined to present the best possible Blurb book I can create to the publisher in September. David’s encouragement, critiques, edits and belief in the project has sustained me when my energy flagged. And you folks here on Burn and on Road Trips before Burn have always given me the feeling of being carried along on waves of support.

    So, to me, finishing what one begins is not a solitary journey. It depends on the support and belief of those around you. For that I am so grateful to David and to every one of you.


  • Sam Harris, I love your story and find your “postcards from home” to be quite marvelous! Maybe you didn’t shoot for a year but you certainly didn’t lose your artist’s eye. Click on Sam’s name to see some of his photos. A real treat!


  • “No plan survives the first contact with the enemy.” Hemuth von Moltke (Prussian General Field Marshal)

    Please forgive me to quote a military guy, but I guess he simply put it very well. I am a pacifist with a bit of a dry sense of humor, so I hope everyone can cope with this quote.

    A quiet evening was scheduled tonight, but plans just changed. I have got to go. More later.

  • Harry
    August 11, 2009 at 12:45 pm
    First get that cat neutered.

    laughing…all the Cynics here must agree…:)))))

  • Well if she’s a femail – Spayed?

  • Well if she’s a female – Spayed?

  • Well isn’t that nice, my poor spelling made it through

  • yes, spayed, for females..or in the language of my midwestern childhood, “fixed”, as if there is something wrong with her natural abilities to have kittens, or worse, as in “that’ll fix her.”

  • “fixed” goes for LA too…:)

  • Perhaps fixed as in stationary, or unmoving, no change in status…

  • Isn’t this a wonderful thread??? David, you and Simone really hit on somthing special here. The stories are amazing! I just keep reading and re-reading them. Can’t wait to hear more…

    Thanks everybody for sharing so freely.


  • John Gladdy — I shoot because it’s something I did as a kid, years ago, and after a decade of trying to ruin my own life, picking up the camera again just felt right. That and I’m a bit obsessive.

    As far as projects go, I rarely think through what I’m going to shoot. Photography (especially street, whatever that means) for me is a balance, it keeps me excited to wake up, no matter where I am, there’s an area I haven’t fully explored. It keeps me engaged in society, meeting new people — my natural inclination is to be a hermit. So basically, it helps me survive.

    If projects come from it (and I suspect I’m starting to see some overarching themes), great.

    I do have a project planned for next year if that counts.

  • What? Not even one teary-eyed Adieu from anyone to the humonguouest section ever on BURN?

    EVERYONE, ALLTOGEHER NOW: Bye-bye, BUZZ… (to the sounds of Chopin’ funeral march)

    PS: busy, will be back later…

  • My RSS reader caught this cat image a few weeks ago — but it disappeared from the site instantaneously. I thought it was a glitch, or maybe I had had 1 too many… glad that’s all cleared up.

  • oh david. i see you with a cat. with that cat. i know the feeling. love strays.
    do i finish what i start? before i became a photographer, no and skipped along without a care.
    now i do. if it’s not working, i put it aside. otherwise, deeper and deeper i go. out on a limb. jump from branch to branch gathering. like not knowing the outcome, but do know there will be one because i care. love, anne

  • I actually have always liked cats for their very aloofness! Here in Bucharest dogs are given a very bad name because the strays are absolutely ferocious. So, whenever I see a stray cat it is a welcome site. At least your David gets to spend quality time with the 60th anniversary Magnum book. Thanks for this post. My long-term peasant project in rural Romania has been going on for 7 years and I think I just need to show it around to European publishers soon.

  • David,

    The EXACT same thing happened to me! With a bird I found in the backyard 7.5 years ago.
    Here’s my Eddie the Eagle:

    He runs the show…absolutely. We even bought the house in Santa Fe because we were traveling less and less, hating to leave him home and thought this would be a good place for us all to “nest” together. That makes him a VERY expensive bird!!!

    There are two ways to look at it. I could be bummed about what I gave up for him…months in India every year, freedom…all the money we spent buying the house which could have been used for travel…OR thank him for coming into my life and giving me Santa Fe, the photographic life I have here…I can’t imagine life without Eddie. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    I look forward to hearing about the gifts Simone brings into your life…and I don’t mean dead mice :))

  • For me; if procrastination was a full time job then I’d be a millionaire. It’s always been my biggest drawback.

    This site was prompted me to see the value in, and begin a project. Before that I’d had a few half-arsed ones, but never followed through. I’d always shot “single” images for stock and small “projects” for articles etc.

    The project can get a bit obsessive though which can be both a good and bad thing! My only problem is that I can tend to go a bit overboard with it and the paying work suffers…

    I think that one reason that many projects don’t come to fruition is that we pick localities/stories where the logistics of fulfilling them are too difficult/expensive. Conversely; those difficulties have probably resulted in a great deal of top work too!

    To be perfectly frank; I’ve probably fallen into the same trap with my Timor project. I don’t want to do a “once over lightly” one month project, which to my mind it wouldn’t perform any useful task.

    However, my youth project has evolved precisely out of not being able to get back to Timor for a while (finances etc.). So maybe that is a natural evolution? I don’t know.

    Even though I’m equally passionate about both projects, I can pretty much shoot the youth project every day, so the logistics are easy and simple. I’ve decided to return to Timor for two one-month trips per year while shooting the youth project here at home at every opportunity.

    But the basic truth to me is that shooting a personal project has been a revelation to me, and I know that this time I won’t be stopping until it’s finished.

  • As for cats; nearly every cat we’ve ever owned have been strays that have turned up at our front door. I live about 10 minutes out of town and people always seem to throw their unwanted cats out on our road.

    I hate to think of the amount of times we’ve nursed emaciated cats or kittens back to health again. All because some mongrel person won’t do the right thing and look after their animals properly.

    David; every stray we’ve ever had have been beautifully natured, Oh, they can usually win Olympic gold medals for their ability to eat too! They know a good thing when they find it!

  • Sidney….!!!! :))))



  • simone is amazing. a lover. a communicator. only slightly impatient. playful…with that bend at the tip of her tail she does seem happy. we seemed to have conjured her up somehow…serendipitously…as that is david’s gift. see, i desperately wanted a cat, but can’t bear the allergies. we have a yard full of rabbits and birds that would have their fragile balance disrupted by the presence of an outdoor kitty. then david moves in just a few doors down…and soon… simone appears. perfect. i get to enjoy and share my love with the most exquisite, mysterious, black-brown cat. david gets to philosophize about the similarities between cats and women (oh the lessons he’s learning). what else could be more fascinating?

    and as for finishing what i start…well…i’ll have to get back to you on that.

  • Ha! Classic! Simone meet Django…

    One half Boxer, one half Aussie Cattle Dog, one hundred percent perfect! We got him this weekend.

    As for the question, I guess i would be a finisher. Jess refers to me as “the bulldog” in those types of occasions as I will keep pushing at stuff until it is done… I don’t like loose ends! God knows you have to be persistent in this industry though. Anything less than “bulldog” and in my experience you fall back pretty quickly.

    DAVID: While on the subject of work and getting it done… Any interest in the last submission? ;)

  • The only cat I own is this feral one bought it for 42 dollars, it’s a donation helps this guy on Kangaoo island to get rid of the ferals. Though he is powerless against feral photo guys.

    Sidney that’s the way it usually happens but along the way I actually manage to put ideas to rest by completing stuff…….. lets me get on with Mr Next and friends

  • my second name is f not for farrah as in fawcett (rest in peace) but for Firm and Flighty. i can put my mind to something and finish it great as long as it is last minute. i live for the thrill of sleepless nights and scrambling, organized chaotic workspace and extreme exhaustion…

    hmm.. ive never liked cats, sorry. they scare the crap out of me when they rub against your leg and purr. im not sure if purring means they like you or they want to play with your wits before they jump.

    but as for finishing … what was your question again?

  • David, I’m jumping into the fire. Your cat adventure has brought out the Mujeres de Burnia, minus Gracie of course.

    Our journey has many twists and turns. Yours contains a plastic box with cat litter.

    Happy Travels,


  • Michelle, it sounds like Simone has found the purrfect people to cosy up to. Yes, cats offer lots of learning opportunities as well as lots of opportunities to give and receive love. I’ve always been partial to them myself. I like a cat’s strong sense of self. Dogs give unconditionally; cats on their own terms. I like that.

    It was an absolute delight to meet and spend some time with you and Bryan in C’ville. Look forward to the next time…


  • Imants:

    Have you been to Kangaroo Island? It was always one of the places I was keen to go to when I was doing nature photography. Never got there though, I had the money saved up but got the opportunity to sail to the Auckland Islands (Sub-Antarctic)on a sealion tagging trip instead.

  • patricia – so great meeting you at look also! i hadn’t known until i read your blog that your fall photo wasn’t planned…you’re another one with a gift for serendipity, aren’t you? looking forward to more….

    we have a dog too…the ultimate in unconditional love, yes, though duncan tends to spread his love around indiscriminately and would wander off with any stranger and not even miss us if they had more/better/any treats. simone actually appears to be more loyal than little duncan. funny.

  • Great place for car camping some great secluded spots on the south east coast off the tourist run saw no one for a few days, otherwise very civilised.

  • Well David, welcome to the fold. I must say, I don’t trust people that don’t share their lives with animals.

  • Can’t a body of work be actually made out as surely from the 100% images taken in one’s life as the already published ones, David?

    Which would include singles from the 80% unfinished, and even unfinished essays, ie. Extirped from the drawers/attic/archives (just an example: maybe by the P’s widow?), thought incomplete, but actually potent enough to show a side of the P. unknown to the public, or single shots it would be a loss not to publish at last…

    Likewise, unlike other arts (literature, music, painting, movies, maybe all save P.), very little photographic body of work requires to come to an “end”, for the viewer/public to totally appreciate it.

    Just to make my point, when you turn the last page of “The Americans”, it never quite comes to the “end”, as it does with a novel, a movie, or the last sound of a symphony.

    In the end, a photographer has much more leeway to conduct a finished or even an unfinished project. I’s as if you David, wrote a novel called DIVIDED SOUL over 15 or 20 years. It allows, and could actually DEMANDS for a lot of hesitation, giving-up, going back, breaks, un/no/new/-plannedness, etc….

    If we follow how the history of P. has been written and counted so far,it would seem that what is always considered finished, is the single image/print, and that when it is about a series, an essay, it usually comes down to very few, if not actually just one, for the highlighted photographer (Think Avedon, many essays, but in the end, AMERICAN WEST will overshadow the rest, save one or two). So that many finished projects are maybe worth mentionning, but not much more than the unfinished ones.

    Don’t worry about unfinishing is what I must be saying, as long as you finish the ONE that counts. And only if you are an essayist, at that!

  • Finished seems quite a uncertain word for me as far as anything creative goes as I’m sure your all as well aware as me.. but as far as working hard and completing as well as I can a body of work ,then Yes.
    I have been working on many photographic projects without any funding or financial support for years. This is easy enough at first but to keep it up ain’t as photography can be relatively expensive.
    My difficulty is getting the images I’ve put together seen.

    I’m just in the process of scanning the years of images I have on film. This is a very slow process but hopefully somebody will happen across my work and like it..see something in it worthwhile.

  • David, welcome to the feline world. My wife and I have two cats: neither of them actually ours; they just moved in from neighbouring homes. Let me tell you, cats move in and turn you into a servant; and you won’t mind in the least.

    As for finishing what you started, I think it’s more important to start. I’ve always been an admirer of the photographic essay but lately I find that it can be an obstacle to photography (the subject doesn’t fit the essay so I don’t take it or worse still, don’t even SEE it!). I’m beginning to like the label Photographer rather than Photojournalist. Perhaps we should photograph first and think later?

    Best whiskers, er, wishes,


  • None of us has responded to David’s other point. The one about being dropping our resistance to change. I nearly always respond automatically with a wall of resistance but nowadays (in that last 5 years or so) I am much better at pulling up a little while later and saying, hang on a minute…maybe there’s something here worth letting in. Maybe I should try this again with an open mind. Give it a second chance. Maybe its only my attitude that’s wrong while the formerly offensive thing is actually quite good if I just adjust my attitude to it or take a look from a different perspective.

  • None of us has responded to David’s other point. The one about being dropping our resistance to change. I nearly always respond automatically with a wall of resistance but nowadays (in that last 5 years or so) I am much better at pulling up a little while later and saying, hang on a minute…maybe there’s something here worth letting in. Maybe I should try this again with an open mind. Give it a second chance. Maybe its only my attitude that’s wrong while the formerly offensive thing is actually quite good if I just adjust my attitude to it or take a look from a different perspective.

  • HERVE…

    yes, of course a collection of the so called “unfinished work” might just indeed be a body of work all its own…what some think is incomplete, others would call complete and vice versa…and you are quite right, just the process itself can certainly have great value…however, i was not necessarily referring to finished essays anyway…i meant, just finishing as in making something out of what you have done period…in my case, finishing means a completed archive on whatever subject or process may have been attempted…this could be a book or exhibition or simply having a clear cut body of work archived as per its intent…

    my early family album from childhood which i did not see as anything “finished” at the time, is now considered by my colleagues at Magnum as my ultimate creation…several of my friends (Alec, Alessandra,Jonas, Chris, Trent, Jim G,) and i are over the next few months doing a project called “home” where we are quite literally just telling our stories like the one i just told about Simone…our self assigned deadline to “finish” will be in march…this is to become a series of hand made books…


    car camping is the best….and you live in one of the very best places for it…well, except for the bugs…i did car camp once somewhere south of Townsville and faced a plethora of beetles, which were quite harmless of course, but just annoying in their insistence on being just everywhere…crunch crunch with every step…

    MIKE R…

    i have never never liked the label “photojournalist”…always preferring simply “photographer”… pictures may have appeared in a journalistic medium, but my intent has never been photojournalistic per se…i do often defend photojournalists regarding their intent, but have never considered myself one of them….yes yes i think photographing instinctively is THE way to photograph…still , once you have all those photographs gathered which were made by “instinct”, you still have to make something “happen” with that work…well, you do not have to , but if you feel the work is of value , then you still must complete the linear task of bringing the work to “hard copy”….i do not plan pictures at all…even the work i have done on commission has not been planned…the plan i was referring to was the plan of making a book or show or of just coming up with some sort of outline for living, not regarding “plan” as part of the work created in the first place…


    i think what you just wrote is the key to everything…having an open mind….at some point, you do have to decide where you are going to spend most of your time in the short run, but i think it is more about the style of effort rather than a specific goal…in other words, i am NOT specific goal oriented at all, but i do have a “way” of working which i know works for me , so i hold myself to my own personal standards of working….again, the “work” is the aftermath of the creativity…the creation of the work itself is as per my description to Mike above…all instinct…

    cheers, david


    please do not confuse my desire to “finish” as having anything to do with being “goal oriented” as per your description of the results of goal orientation …at first glance it might seem the two are related…but there are subtle differences with the examples you gave…besides amigo, you only wrote about the negative aspects of folks who wanted to finish something….what about all the “greatness” in the arts that has come from people who were able to finish??

    i think you are quite correct in thinking about the balance between serendipity and “plan”….and you are also quite correct in offering to those who are not able to start/finish a photo project , that life is not over if you do not do a book…of course not, of course not…this is a larger life philosophy question…this particular online venue however is for folks who might just want to do something with their work…that’s all..nothing more , nothing less….

    and for all of my efforts at “making things happen” , i too struggle with the financial part of life…if i were goal oriented as per your description, i do not think that would be the case…serendipity definitely rules with me…i just want that serendipity “down”…and i am sure you would deem that fair enough as well..

    your writing here is always among the very best…so, in fact, you are in “hard copy”…Burn the book will have your work…just keep thinking, just keep writing….

    cheers, david

  • David;

    I suppose it basically boils down to the fact that everyone must find a way that works for themselves. A method of working that allows each individual to create meaningful work.

  • Sadly, not finishing projects often comes from a fear of failure. You can’t fail if you don’t finish is the thinking. I know photographers who have been working on the same “project” for over 20 years, and have never produced a single thing.

  • David you have to pick your times…… one never goes camping in summer, stay home and enjoy the comforts of the nest. Early spring and late autumn, the crowds are thin and the weather has that variety of fantastic to miserable without that “doi knia” same same feel. A couple of weeks of drifting around with no balance between serendipity and plan.

  • “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them-that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. ”

    Lao Tse

    This post is beautifull David!

    A familly album, even when we are dead, our sons or daughters will make it growing, it should never end… this is why a familly album, more and more today become the most important things in photography…the memory…and it is always in front of our doors…

    It just me think of what is the most important target in a year….endind a personnal photo project wich can make me famous or bringing my kids to the mountain, wich just can make them happy?

    I have my answer… thanks David!


    Just a brief (!) response because today some obligations and commitments are screaming at me. I don’t think I ever confused what you were saying, in a very eloquent and nuanced way, with the kind of goal-oriented obsession I was talking about… but after re-reading what I wrote I realized that maybe I created that impression, for which I apologize. Never intended to counter what you were saying, only to offer a tangential observation! Actually, the way you suggested adapting- not abandoning- the initial goals of one’s projects to the things that actually happen in life, so that the outcome is a collaboration or a dance between the intended and the serendipitous, is setting the perfect tone, and offers valuable clues to how things can indeed be ‘finished’ in a very organic way. I admittedly went off on a rant about something that is a bit of a hobby horse of mine. And Jim Powers also has a point here… fear of failure is behind a lot of unfinished projects. So is fear of success, I’ll bet, although probably not as much! What I was mostly cautioning against was a rigid idea of what constitutes success, and measuring the value of one’s time and efforts against society’s, or somebody else’s, achievement scorecard, and on that I’m confident we have little disagreement. Back for more after my obligations are met!


  • ALL

    Over at Massimo’s essay, someone who lives in Indonesia has written his/her views on the essay, seeing it as an unfair perspective, and said “There are many bad things happening here, but one must not neglect the good things.” Many of the other commenters report having “compassion fatigue.”

    Expanding beyond this specific essay or body of work, I’d be curious to hear your thoughts about what seems to be a growing desire for the photographer to focus not just on the negatives and show a more holistic and balanced picture of any given situation.

    But, as years of exposure to the medium have shown us, there is no objective truth in photography, and the strongest work often comes from the photographer who has something to say, a viewpoint beyond objective reporting. Is it possible that when it comes to this idea of equity in personal storytelling, there is no there, there?

    Or, given humanity’s current position and our exposure to the medium, is it now the “right” thing for photographers to approach their work in a way that accounts for both audience compassion fatigue and this idea of fairness? Do you agree that “one must not neglect the good things” ?


    well, yes i do love the idea of two or three weeks of just drifting with the wind….as a matter of fact, i think my whole psychological survival (if indeed i have survived) has been because i totally allow for a lot of time drifting…i will take your word for it on best time of year…seems like i also lost about 200 dollars at a small horse racing track nearby…i really thought i had the “inside track” on the most likely horse to win…i had never bet on horses before i went to OZ…it seemed so innocent and harmless in that country environment…following the spirit of Banjo Paterson led me down a lot of wrong trails as it turned out…but, i sure had a good time doing it….


    you are a finisher…you do change your mind quite a bit, but so what?? you finish….and with such a good spirit all the way…your eyes always sparkle with possibility….next to you, i am pessimistic by nature!!!


    what a conundrum ….do a positive essay and folks will ask you “why did you gloss everything over?” a reality edge essay and folks will ask “why do you only show the bad side?”…no winning on this one…a “balanced” coverage will most likely mean a boring coverage, so better to just say whatever you want to say about a particular subject and let the chips fall….

    as Patricia pointed out clearly, there is just a compassion overload for many viewers of a certain style of journalistic story…i agree totally…too many photographers see a success story like Nachtwey for example and then think they must go imitate him or others…unless they go further out on the edge than Jim, their efforts are wasted…

    i think our Alessandro with “The High Tide” won the EPF primarily because he was way outside the proverbial “box” of today’s often cliche form of storytelling…the jurors i felt were even more weary than Patricia of “same old, same old”….

    so so many photographers take what they see “winning” in contests and grants and then copy them the very next year…how many “new” versions do you think i will see of photography by moonlight for next year’s EPF??? even when i publish a particular type of picture here on Burn, in the very next hours i will receive a dozen copies of what i just published….i suppose this is just a function of how most people see “success” which is a copy success by rote method..that is how most people do learn most things…it just does not work with the creative experience…

    cheers, david

  • Erica,

    I disagree with the sentiment that “one must not neglect the good things.” As a photographer one must include or “neglect” whatever one wishes. Whatever one feels is relevant to the essay/story. I appreciate Nugi’s concern for how the country is represented in Massimo’s essay… it’d be like someone coming to DC and shooting only the worst parts of town. I might have a little resentment watching through something like that, but it’s the photographer’s choice.

    There is something about human suffering and conflict that turns some photogs on. They go into some deeply disturbing corners of the globe to reveal, bring to light the horrors within. The notion of beauty, peace and harmony does not inspire them to raise their cameras. It is the dark side of humanity that charges them. I’m not cut from that cloth. I’m glad there are some who are for those horrors do need to be revealed. But it does wear thin after a while. The number of essays here at Burn that fall into this category is not an insignificant number. Is it all really that compelling? No. Why are there so many? What’s the attraction? Is it possible to over-saturate? Yes. I think.

    At the Look3 festival of 2008 the final night of slide shows was overwhelmingly death and destruction, wretched humanity. Essay after essay of this… really did nothing but turn me off. Left early as a result. What was the point?

    This is not to say it should all be happy, happy, joy, joy shit. Not at all. But MAN! There is more than a fair share of it to be raked over.

    I’ve forgotten the original question, sorry. As I said above, no the photographer should shoot what he/she pleases. And the viewer should respond to the images honestly, without reservation. So good on Nugi and Massimo.


  • Erica…

    It depends on the subject one chooses to work on.
    If one titles his body of work say “India”, then he should probably treat it in a “a day in the life of…” kind of way and present as many different aspects of the country as possible. If on the other hand—and this is most often the case—one chooses to work on a more specific topic say “mass transportation in India” then the final result will most probably contain more concentrated “negative” or “positive” imagery, depending on the subject and the way the photographer felt about it while creating the work.

  • Yes absolutely. It may have even a more powerful affect on things than endless picturing of the Other as victim. I refer you to the work of Heide Smith who recently published a book on the Tiwi Islanders of Northern Australia. I believe you can see the pictures on the Time link but I have requested that Burn try to show some of her work. I particularly love the portraits. They speak volumes and the messages are profound and important.

  • “Is it possible that when it comes to this idea of equity in personal storytelling, there is no there, there?” What does this mean? I don’t get it.

  • Jim, you speak of some folks having a fear of failure. I would bring up another side of that coin: fear of success. My husband Ed often reminds me that every time I have met with success, especially with my art or writing, I have quickly moved on to something else. Let’s hope I’ve overcome that fear just in case “success” wants to knock on my door this time around…


  • One day I had to face it: I had a pot-belly growing, the couch was my favourite place, smoking a constant habit and a heart attack seemed to be imminent. That was in 2003 when I decided that I didn’t want to lead a life like this anymore and so I made a long term plan to change my life style. I had 3 major issues: eat healthier food, do more exercise and quit smoking. But how? It was clear to me that this would take years – I wanted a lasting change. Small steps were needed. The main problem was to overcome old habits and to cheat my innerer Schweinehund, my baser instincts. So I had to find a way to do sport which is fun, I had to find healthy food which is nice and tasty and easy to prepare. That took me a while to figure out and because I hardly saw any progress it required lots of patience and stubbornness. I never had a fixed plan or a clear roadmap, just the desire to live healthier. This desire stayed strong over the years.

    My last cigarette came very suddenly. I used to roll cigarettes, Van Nelle red. One Saturday evening the packet was empty and I was too lazy to drive to the gas station to get some new tobacco. The next day I somehow forgot about buying some smokes and then late in the evening I thought, ups I forgot to smoke today! I had hoped for such a day and once it was there my plan went into action: My plan was not to smoke for at least 10 days. I knew the addiction would be less after that. Since that day in 2007 I am very radical, like a former alcoholic, no more smokes, not even a puff. Today I have completely forgotten that I used to be a smoker.

    Over the years I have changed my diet which has some simple rules: an apple a day and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables if possible, hardly no sweets and no extra fat and only one espresso per day, no filter coffee, very little alcohol. Sounds boring, but it works for me. Of course every once in a while I eat junk food as well. Last Monday I was in Amsterdam with friends and a frikandel special and french fries with mayonnaise were inevitable. Delicious!
    During summer I am with Churchill: no sports. I hate gyms and that was one reason to move in a rural area where I can get out of my house in autumn and go jogging over the fields for hours and breath fresh air and no car fumes. No matter if it rains or snows – actually it is great fun to run in snow. To be consistent is the most difficult part and to simply get to the start: put on my traniners and get out off the door. So after nearly 6 years I see a change and a plan which has slowly turend into reality. However the main problem still remains to overcome the inner laziness plus to find the time to do some exercise.

    Patricia put it right. You need people who support you.
    Sometimes you need someone who whispers in your ear: you can do it! Once you have this little bug in your ear – nothing can really stop you. This gives you the confidence that everything is possible and you can grow wings and fly. Okay, this sounds like an Austrian advert, but I think this is absolutely true. Unfortunately there are only a very few people who have this deep inner believe that everything is possible and who perspire this attitude. Very rare. David is one of the few. I am not sure why people rather try to get you down rather than lift you up? Burn is an uplifting place to me. Viva burn!

    A good plan is one thing, to make it real, to put it into action is another thing – much more difficult.
    And there is nothing wrong in failure. I guess I failed more often than I succeded. Mistakes are an important ingredient for life, that is when you learn.
    With photo plans and projects I feel it is a lot easier and nicer to have an alliance with people who have a similar goal.

    In 2005 my main ambition was to photograph sailing events. My friends from university laughed at me and had little or hardly no understanding why I was doing it. And I can picture Panos rolling his eyes when he thinks of a lens over 50 mm. Yes, sailing is a special interest sport and the guys who do it are awfully rich business men and all they do is waste money for a hobby which brings fun, but nothing else. No noble deeds. No social responsibility.
    Still, I love the quiet elegance of sailboats, I love the sea!
    So I had hardly noone who encouraged me with my sailing photography ambitions, except my own vision. But I wanted it so I slowly made my way to some sailing events, borrowed some big glass and plastic containers and off I went. I love to be out at sea with waves shaking and wind blowing – this is when I feel at home. Surprisingly I had quite a bit of success at the beginning and some nice publications and sales, but unfortunately I didn’t manage to turn it into a fulltime commitment.
    Today I am glad I made the experience and I look at the sailing world with a more critical eye. The sea still remains home. Maybe I find some other action at sea which is worth photographing.

    Never mind my long explanation. Guess I drifted off the topic a bit…


    P.S. I am a dog person. But I guess you are lost when someone like Simone asks for attention ;-)

  • Hi Andrea..

    I was referencing Gertrude Stein’s quote about her hometown of Oakland, CA. She said her quote, “There is no there there,” after living thirty years in Paris…for Stein, Oakland had become absent of the signifiers that gave the place substance, ie for Stein it had no succession of places, people, or symbols that conveyed meaning..

    When I wrote “Is it possible that when it comes to this idea of equity in personal storytelling, there is no there, there?” I was suggesting that it may be impossible to create a neutral/fair story that has a personal perspective..that although the story could exist on some level, it would be devoid of the qualities that would make it significant in terms of connection/authorship/voice/vision, and would thereby be devoid of substantive meaning…

  • PAUL…

    no cat litter box…..Simone lives at the beach…lots and lots of sand…

    cheers, david


    in my experience, it seems to me that fear of failure and fear of success are one in the same….or, at least manifest themselves in exactly the same way…that is, the inability to MOVE forward at all based on either one of these fears…but, i am not an expert..this is just what i think i have seen over the years from a wide variety of individuals…

    cheers, david

  • I am not a professional photographer, I photograph in my spare time. As such I feel completely free to explore anything I want to with my photography, also as opposed to my professional environment that poses besides many levels of freedom and opportunities also restrictions, trade-offs and negotiations. In my photographic explorations I sometimes start projects or themes and abandon them, sometimes I start projects/themes and finish them. Sometimes a project/theme is just one photo. Most of the times projects/themes start by accident, and are then pursued further, or only discovered in hindsight (when going through the archives). And sometimes a project/theme just exists in my head (as do most of my best photographs). And the freedom I experience in my photography environment then feeds back into my professional environment (and personal environment) and makes me more creative and free there. Not sure if this makes sense, or whether this approach makes me a good/better photographer, but it’s why I photograph. It clears my mind of everything else, and at the same time gives me focus for everything else I do.

    PS: and yes, I have a cat that tolerates my existence.

  • All,

    This is why I stayed mum on Indonesia. Compassion fatigue like what everybody else was saying was also getting too old for me. Still, I understand things do not change in spite of all the PJ because the people – the exotic people – really do not know any other world than the world they live in, resistant to change even for the better because no one takes a leap or be the first one to leap.

    It is such an eye opener to be able to order a rack of ribs or say a lb burger with grilled onions and mushrooms and such without even halfway thinking that you’re going to have to sell your house to have the luxury of eating that. Or buy a colored TV on a whim without having to sell your only four cows that’s given you your daily milk.

    It is a no win situation – I think so too. Gloss over the good things and people say you’re looking through rose colored glasses, and then want the blood and gory, and call you names for being unreal. Show the misery, poverty and death, and people get tired of it, never appreciate your efforts or worse — turn the page. But I think the task is to be original, ownership and authorship, but I don’t know how one discovers that.

    There is always this human factor that is so sad – no matter how much success another has achieved, somebody else always would want you to fail because somehow, poverty and failure make somebody else feel fortunate about themselves that they are not the ones wallowing in the mud.

    IMHO, it all boils down to the photographer and his/her responsibility to the subject and mostly to his/herself to be truthful, by one self’s definition not anybody else’s, and stand by it, and sleep soundly at night.


    I too am not a photographer. But I photograph to keep sane so I can move on, bring justice and substance to what I do and even do better.

  • To ALL:

    Below I post a short passage of a great book of Jorge Luis Borges. SUR.
    An Argentian writer that I really love.
    The original in SPANISH

    En el hall de la estación advirtió que faltaban treinta minutos. Recordó bruscamente que en un café de la calle Brasil (a pocos metros de la casa de Yrigoyen) había un enorme gato que se dejaba acariciar por la gente, como una divinidad desdeñosa. Entró. Ahí estaba el gato, dormido. Pidió una taza de café, la endulzó lentamente, la probó (ese placer le había sido vedado en la clínica) y pensó, mientras alisaba el negro pelaje, que aquel contacto era ilusorio y que estaban como separados por un cristal, porque el hombre vive en el tiempo, en la sucesión, y el mágico animal, en la actualidad, en la eternidad del instante.

    and a translation in ENGLISH:

    In the hall of the station warned missing thirty minutes. Suddenly recalled that in a cafe in Brazil street (a few meters from the house of YRIGOYEN) is a huge cat that was left to cherish the people, as a divinity neglected. Entered. There was the cat, asleep. He requested a cup of coffee, sweetened slowly, tried it(that pleasure was denied him in the clinic) and thought, while smooths the black cat, which that contact was unrealistic and being separated by a glass, because man lives in time, in succession, and the magical animal, in the eternity of the moment.

    I said cheers with the last phrase:

    “…because man lives in time, in succession, and the magical animal, in the eternity of the moment.”

    WOW 100% true!!

  • To ALL:

    When startin a personal essay, the original idea, oftens swchit to another (better or not), but long term projects changes their own ways… can’t follow the same idea over a year… I think that’s a really good point. The result is pretty good.
    It’s follows your instinct, “give up thinking” is good point and shooting with yout heart, not planning at all. THen you plan/think when is necessery to edit.


  • This piece from the NY Times
    “Is it acceptable to make art out of human suffering?”

    Goes very well with the conversation about Massimo’s essay…

    Suffering and Art:

  • Cathy, what would you expect these people to say? They directly or indirectly benefit financially from this stuff. It all seems pretty self serving to me.

  • Cathy and all

    RE: the nytimes link posted above. The photographer Emilio Morenatti, who made the photograph of the child under the netting, has been injured in Afghanistan while on assignment. All the best to him and his family.

  • Patricia/David;

    Some of thar fear can also be a lack of confidence. The “why should i think I’m so special to be able to do something like that” feeling you get. I find that the only solution for that is to get out their shooting and see what develops…


  • Kenneth,

    Yes, SO sorry I forgot to mention this. Emilio is a great photographer and it’s a tragedy…he survived but lost a foot today.

    Once years ago an impostor was posting Emilio’s photos on a photo sharing website, saying they were his. I alerted the people in charge of the site and have been very interested in Emilio ever since.

    Panos asked how many more Nachtwey’s do we need.. Emilio is one we truly need. I hope he will be able to continue his work.

  • BTW, as far as people whose income is photography, doesn’t a mandatory deadline, or having to come up with the kids tuition or next rent/mortage do marvels for finishing a project?

    And doesn’t make it easier to have unfinished projects when the finished ones are timely delivered to the editor/publisher’s office, Monday morning no delay?

  • “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes……Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. ”

    Looks like Lao Tse never went thru a Tsunami! :-))))

  • Herve;

    It depends whether you mean “project” as in a magazine article that brings in the dollars straight away; or a long term personal project you’re working on in spare time around other work. The second costs you money and time, but you feel you have to do it no matter what.

    Two different beasts I think.


  • “Success” and “failure” are such personal terms anyway. I mean how do you define either one? Success and failure can be determined by how others view/respond to your work or by how you feel about it yourself. By what the work has cost you either emotionally or financially…or what it has brought you in material and/or personal satisfaction. Perhaps success and failure are best measured by what you learned or did not learn in the making of the work. Maybe it is all about what societal change your work might have triggered, either positive or negative. I think of Eddie Adams whom I’ve read always regretted taking and going public with his Pulitizer Prize winning photo of Nguyen Ngoc Loan, South Vietnam’s national police chief, executing the suspected Viet Cong prisoner in Saigon. I gather Adams felt Loan was a “hero” and that the photo, which certainly helped turn public opinion against the Vietnam War, had been misinterpreted.

    So how do YOU define success? And how do you define failure?


  • Patricia;

    “So how do YOU define success? And how do you define failure?”

    As for financial success; It depends on whether you’re trying to make a living out of photography. If so then yes, you need to pay the mortgage.

    But to me; success is the ability to undertake and hopefully complete a body of work that stretches your ability and is also respected by the peers you respect.


  • Success or failure is easy to define if you are talking about completing a project. Either you complete it or not. If the terms are interchangeable, then we can’t even talk.

  • CATHY….

    thanks for the Lens link on this particular topic….


    i read very carefully the comments on Lens…i know personally all of the editors and pro photographers quoted…to comment that all of these people are making their comments because they benefit financially from this type of photograph is one of the more shallow comments you have ever made here on Burn, particularly considering YOU ARE a newspaperman……

    you of all people, who benefits financially from everything your newspaper publishes and every ad dollar it raises, which if every story and picture of your very own newspaper came under the same scrutiny you offer here would surely Burn in hell forever….

    cheers, david

  • We were talking about serendipity before… As an aside; the story I’m working on at the moment demonstrates how serendipity can take a hand in life. The story is about a chance discovery of a heirloom apple that research is showing to have wonderful cancer preventative qualities.

    It was discovered by chance by an accountant called Mark Christensen when they were driving along a remote country road. The only reason they found it was because they stopped to stretch their legs. Following the research they have given away 8000 trees into the community. Just an example of how life can turn up surprising results…

  • I have been told, literally, I’m going to burn in hell forever for misspelling a name. What else is new.

  • ‘‘Our work is based on the hypothesis that for every disease affecting human health, there will be a plant with the necessary compounds to treat the disease,” Mr Christensen said.”

    The research is being done by a tree crops association. Hmmm.

  • I know where you’re coming from Jim, but let me nip it in the bud. For a change the research has been done in independent reputable studies (in France & in NZ). I do a lot of work in the organic/green field and don’t worry I often butt heads with those that can’t substantiate their claims :-)

    The tree crop association was set up after the research was undertaken as a means to fund the giving away of the trees into the public domain, not as a way of validating their beliefs.

    It’s not seen as a cure all for cancer, but as a tool that may potentially prevent cancers occurring. Actually, they’re not making any dollars off it; you’re not going to see it on a cable TV “snake oil” infomercial! Like I said they have already given away 8000 trees, hardly a moneymaking business model!

  • “If the terms are interchangeable, then we can’t even talk.”

    Jim, don’t know what you’re saying here. Who said that success and failure are interchangeable? Not I.


  • ERICA,

    about your question, I would quote Nina Berman: ““I don’t believe in the notion of the objective photographer, that somehow a photo is balanced and you’re dispassionate,” she said. “I don’t think that would have value. That’s like a security camera.” “That doesn’t mean I have an agenda,” she was quick to add. “But I do have areas of interest.”

    I basically agree with such position, I would even be more radical admitting that the photographer has a more or less expicit agenda while shooting.

    “Maybe I find some other action at sea which is worth photographing.”

    Jean Gaumy comes to mind…


    i would agree with Nina….objectivity , pure objectivity probably cannot exist…however, this does not preclude integrity…


    i am always surprised Jean Gaumy does not come into more conversations…his work on the high seas is so remarkable….


    funny…hey, i hope you know i like you…i keep seeing my old original newspaper boss in you….i liked him too, Joe Colognori, even though we did not agree for one second on anything to do with photography… on Burn we all wait for the Jimisms, albeit almost always negativity personified… ……however, even when i get seriously upset with you, i would still go out and have a beer with you in a heartbeat…still hoping that happens this fall…

    cheers, david

  • David, cynicism goes with the territory I guess. Better then old investigative reporters. They end up cringing under a desk certain that everyone they’ve outed is trying to hunt them down and change their gender. ;)

  • a civilian-mass audience

    I am a cat,dog,horse,snake,monkey,fly,lion…person.
    I like them all …

    I just blinked my eyes and we have new dialog…new essays, photos…new BURNIANS
    old BURNIANS …what a beautiful rainbow of “strays” :)))

    Is it time for a drink ??? Can I have beer with Jim too???

  • Civi, got some cold Sam Adams Boston Lager in the Fridge. You’re welcome to all you want. :)

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Is that you JIM???
    Am I dreaming???
    THANK YOU, I am still wearing your silver pan on my head ,facing west,
    and I am still traveling…Keep this beer cold in the fridge…I am bringing ouzo :)))


  • Patricia –

    I’ve never quite understood Eddie Adam’s issue with that photo, it’s always bugged me and I could never look at his pictures the same way again.

    It’s like he was telling people how to react to a photo most found horrifying, a pretty straightforward, truthful execution photo that people saw as repugnant…

  • I know what you’re saying, Jared. Adams’ public dismissal of that shot doesn’t sit well with me either. But I’m hardly objective about the Vietnam War. Man, I was for ANYTHING to get the U.S. out of that misguided war. And his photo helped, so it’s always been important to me.

    David and Burnians, I’ll be away from the internet until Monday night. Going to a writers’ retreat to work on my text for Falling Into Place. Happy to say, I’m feeling good about the draft I have now. I’m sure Anya and Demetria, the excellent authors who are facilitating, will help me tweak it but I think I’m almost there. Yippee!


  • as soon as i saw the kitty laying on the book. i knew it was your photograph. meow:)

  • Hello All – I’m sorry for the downer post I’m making now

    How many of you have photographed the act of or the aftermath of a suicide?

    I’ve done two in the last two years.
    Today at about noon, a student accessed the roof of the Cofrin library, the tallest building on my college campus at eight stories, and leaped off. I was notified by family that works in the library and headed over to get some photos – when I got there, no other news crews were there, however I guess some light news coverage had been there closer to noon.

    I did a couple of blogs about it first on my iPhone blog

  • On a slightly happier note

    JIM I was thinking about you when I took this shot

    (can be found farther down in my blog)

  • serendipity?.. what is?.. I wonder if its more a matter of simply , being aware.. the amount of incidences in one’s life is enormous , so surely if one remains aware then discovery happens.. Science is made up largely of staying being aware of the outside, the unforseen. Science is the same as the arts in this respect… Creativity.. having the imagination to go further with something up until then, undiscovered.

    David.. thinking further about your thoughts on why some people succeed and why others don’t, you suggesting it coming down to being able to complete a project… I think its also a matter of reward… One can feel a sense of reward purely by participating.. one may need reward from others.. or maybe our sense of reward changes..

  • How much pain do you associate with something versus how much pleasure you associate. how I understand it – Some people find a reason not to want to finish something, not to succeed, because they’re afraid of that next level. They would rather the immediate pleasure of playing a video game, or putzing on another project. Probably because they have never experienced that intense pleasure of having something completed, it seems too distant and too much work. If people associated enough pain – as in if they NEVER did finished, they would have wasted all that time, they would never succeed, they would never make their mark, and they associated intense pleasure to having it complete, they would get it done faster and better than anyone could imagine.

    Success – is it always completing everything a person starts? I don’t think so – When I worked on sculptures or paintings or what ever and it just wasn’t coming together the way I planned, either I modified my intentions, or I gave it up and moved on to something else. Eventually I might return to complete my prior project because I have a fresh mind, plus sometimes I’ve found a person just doesn’t have the skills to complete a project they begin and over time they gain those skills and that knowledge and return to complete their project.

    If completing a project is success then J.R.R. Tolkien’s Silmarillion was a failure as he died before he completed it, even though it was the first book he wrote. Yet it has been published due to his son’s efforts. It is terribly hard to read, but it is done.

  • David – I just sent you an Email – please read?

  • David, one of your wonderful gifts is the ability to ask such provocative questions.

    I was struck by your your comments about mentoring photographers who were trying to “make a mark”. It got me thinking about the difference between us. “Making a mark” is not something that interests me very much. Like you, I love mentoring young people, and I love our craft. Just in the past two days, two young women have come to my studio for advice and I have happily given them my time. Neither is intersted {I don’t think}, in becoming famous or “making a mark”. Both just love making photogaphs and are exploring the possibility of making photographyy a career.

    Yes, there will be those individuals who, through a combination of talent and timing, ego, luck, and yes, hard work, will become the superstars and “make a mark”. But there will also be the troops in the trenches, who just do their work, do it well, and will love what they do.
    I appreciate people who love what they do.

  • Erica, Thanks for explaining. “I was suggesting that it may be impossible to create a neutral/fair story that has a personal perspective..that although the story could exist on some level, it would be devoid of the qualities that would make it significant in terms of connection/authorship/voice/vision, and would thereby be devoid of substantive meaning…”

    If I understand you correctly, I believe Heide Smith does this. On the surface of it, her work looks like fairly standard photojournalism – no tricky sylistic stunts, authorship is in the background. But the humanity that shines through, the balance and fairness and her curiosity and interest in the people shows there is definitely a lot of Heide in those pictures. That’s my opinion anyway. That said, I don’t think she is highlighting anything that is not there. She is bringing out the best but that is because its her way. That’s what I think.

    If someone wants to focus on the gloomy side of things, they will find it. If someone wants to find fairness they will find it. In process, voice can be a process of selecting rather than stylistic choices. I tend to think that many photographers in Cartier Bresson’s ilk were of this kind.

    The inclination to use stylistic processes to emphasise authorship is probably a way of stressing the subjectivity inherent in the way pictures are made. But its worth asking how loud does one need to shout “look at me” to get the point across.

    For me, I just like it when the authorial signifiers underpin the concept and feel a bit annoyed when they seem to have little purpose except to shout “look at me”.

    re Gertrude Stein (no wonder I didn’t get it). I figure she meant when all the people she knows have left town and the buildings have been torn down and rebuilt, the old has been replaced with the new and different, then the place she holds dear in her memory no longer exists in reality. Its pretty hard to erase all the signifiers of a place though isn’t it.

  • DAH you must have been camping near a cane field south of
    Townsville ,We’ve no cats but have a 3 yr old who insists he is one so I guess that takes care of the pet thing for a while v, but recently FINISHED an exhibition/instalation and it feels pretty good to get a body of work up dosen’t give any sense of closure though , finishing something just gives you a taste for finishing some more?

  • Jason, nice shot from the playground.

    As for shooting suicides, I will not put a story or photo of a suicide in the newspaper. Suicides are personal tragedies for the individual and family, and unless a very well known figure, there is no public interest served in publishing it. I can’t think of many more exploitive things we can do as a newspaper than publish a suicide.


    i am with you 100% on this one…when i sit down to spend time with an emerging photographer, one of my main objectives is to find out how the photographer sees herself/himself in the context of the larger world of photography…i certainly do not push for anyone to be more than they want to be, or want to know, or beyond their ability…however, one of the joys of teaching, and i am sure you have seen this, is how so far beyond the original portfolio one can be taken by just mixing a tutorial cocktail of “relax and enjoy and think like hell”….

    for sure “making a mark” is in and of itself quite subjective, but most photographers i meet certainly want to grow….this of course means different things to different people…for whatever reasons, i did have a “fire in the belly” from a very early age…but, i also realized early on that not everyone felt the same nor should they feel the same…that was my particular bent, but not the intent of most photographers by any means…

    Maria Carusi is a very successful attorney showed me her work about 6 years ago…see had/has no intention of leaving her law profession…she did however find photography to be her “escape” her love her passion…we got her going on a project that lasted about three years and she subsequently published a modest book and had an opening of her work in the town where she lives and several shows followed in larger cities…as far as i am concerned, Maria “made a mark”….i have similar stories for Ann Henning, Kyunghee Lee and Michael Lloyd Young…all photographers with published books, photographers who are “making a mark”, yet have no intention of giving up their respective professions/businesses….

    yet, other emerging photographers are on fire to stake out a space among the legends and do so because of exactly the combination of elements you so suggest….these photographers are rare…naturally i owe whatever i can give to fuel their aspirations as well…

    most importantly, just as you wrote, the appreciation should be for those who love what they do….

    this alone is THE GIFT….

    cheers, david

  • David;

    Are you stil contemplating swinging past Aussie later this year?


  • —In Animals in Translation, Temple Grandin writes of driving two indoor cats crazy by flicking a laser pointer around the room. They wouldn’t stop stalking and pouncing on this ungraspable dot of light—their dopamine system pumping. She writes that no wild cat would indulge in such useless behavior: “A cat wants to catch the mouse, not chase it in circles forever.” She says “mindless chasing” makes an animal less likely to meet its real needs “because it short-circuits intelligent stalking behavior.” As we chase after flickering bits of information, it’s a salutary warning.– Emily Yoffe, Slate, 08/13/09

    Well it seems relevant.

  • Abele, David,
    thank you so much for directing me to Jean Gaumy! His work is absolutely remarkable indeed!
    Of course I have heard of him, but I wasn’t aware that his focus is on the maritime world. I certainly overlooked his work. Sometimes the obvious is so close and you just don’t see it.
    You definitely got my brain going. Thanks for that! I will try and find Jean Gaumy’s book about the fishermen somewhere in a library and perhaps I can get a hold of his film about submarines.
    Everybody, enjoy the day!

  • PETER…..

    yes, i think you are right…”reward” is subjective….


    your whole cell phone effort is quite interesting…i too have been photographing lately a lot with my cell phone…perhaps ironically because it balances the more methodical work i am doing with medium format film….i did skip your more graphic cell phone coverage of the campus suicide…

    however, one of my students, Kerry Payne, did an amazing essay on suicide at our Charlottesville workshop….she is the victim of a family suicide herself and photographed suicide survivors, the families who had to cope….very strong portraits…the whole story in her subjects eyes….she told us it was a catharsis for both herself and for the families she photographed, so i see this essay as quite different than photographing a suicide scene…


    when i worked for the Topeka Capital-Journal right out of college, i was assigned by the editor to cover a bridge jumping suicide…to this day, i am sorry i went…i did not see the point then or now… i applaud you for taking this stance at your newspaper…

    cheers, david

  • ROSS…

    i will be in Cambodia later in the fall…if i have time, i will make a move to Australia for a very short visit…lots of old friends to see….

    i do have your link, but cannot take a look until monday or tuesday…if you think i forgot, which is totally possible, please do not hesitate to send me the link again…


    yes, i owe you an edit…on the case this week…you have some amazing new work my friend….i would like to publish your essay in september if this is ok with you…

    cheers, david

  • DAH Jim, I suppose we are all suicide “survivors”. It becomes a bit personal for me for a few reasons but most recently I’ve lost two people in my life to suicide both within a month of the other. A cousin and a roommate. My roommate was the most… I can’t find a word. I had brought the police to the apt because I thought he might be suicidal, and as the police went into the apartment he pulled the trigger on his rifle, I was just outside the door in the hall.
    With my roommate, he only had one living relative left and she wasn’t even blood related.

    Jim, that’s very respectable of you not to publish. I admire it. However I feel too though, it’s not something society should turn its eye from. Somehow photos of the scene must be helpful, since suicide is often encountered with adolescence and college age groups.

    How we deal with a suicide and think about it seems very different from those in the middle and far east. So it’s a bit interesting to understand why and how people conclude this is the only way.

    DAH, the bridge … Each and every experience we encounter shapes us. Something about that experience may have motivated you to get out of daily news. And perhaps it goes deeper than that. I’m glad you’ve built Burn and attracted so many good people to it… It’s so nice to hear the point of views of others more experienced.

    Jim – play ground – thank you! It was a fun reminder of childhood. I spun on that thing for a while and took more photos. Everyone used to get sick of it before me as kids so it was fun to whirl around myself. :)

  • DAH – September , Great! I’m still getting my head around the whole sound thing at the moment so I should be right to put something together by then after we get an edit.
    Cambodia in the fall ? Not so far from Darwin ,Uncle?

  • Well, I think, until I can learn to understand these situations better, it’s best to just not do any photography of any sort of tragety. I’ve removed the posts from my site. Thank you all for your input and guidence.

  • Andrea..

    I see what you mean about Heide Smith’s perspective in each of her photos, but my point was more about the impossibility of having a sort of neutrality in the photo essay (as opposed to a collection of singles) and still being able to make a poignant personal piece that tell a story powerfully I think -maybe- you need a stance beyond showing what is..

  • Success and failure, apparently can go together. Especially when you are only as good as your next picture… And that you insist being the judge on that, not just the public acclaim.

    For an artist, the 2 sides of the same coin, IMO.

    Though, a photographer has no claim to how his/her pictures are interpretated. It is simply not the way the medium works (regarding Adams, but also, fortunately here, Atget, and so many).

    Ross, the point I was making yesterday is that a photographer can make a body of work, and a life achievement out of only unfinished, even shoddily planned projects, because of the “tyranny” of the single(s) shot(s), which is still the basis of how photography, and its history is seen, appreciated and written about.

    All the artists who have tried to voluntarily escape that tyranny (Franck, Man Ray) can almost be said to have shot (if they shot at all) denying, turning their back on, photography, single or essay/project.

    Or maybe in the case of Eugene Smith (And Winogrand, in a smaller measure), went into more compulsive tyrannies using a camera, than even the single shot would impose. With the sens of over-arching failure (to go round on my post) that often comes with compulsions that carry the sting of uncurable addiction, therefore unfinishedness. Then they die, and we pick up the pieces, that’s when unfinished becomes…Everlasting! ;-)

  • Dear David,

    Thanks to the help and advises of you and José Azel, eleven years ago I began to work for National Geographic. Now, after 18 years of experience (as a teacher and a photographer) let me tell you that, your words, are exactly the key behind the success.

    See you in Perpignan!

    All the best


  • Greatest Hits are usually singles that were originally a part of a project. When we see them collected in books and gallery shows later, we tend to forget this.

  • My point, Jim. In the end, save the raret exceptions like “Les Americains”, all people see (and want to see) are singles. Matters little if the project is finished or unfinished as long as it’s only the “idea of” that went, so to speak, to the trash, and the images are kept available.

    I just read Allard’s book “the photographic essay”. So telling when we come to him speaking of that “everlasting” shot of the kids running down the country road in France, and he says, roughly from memory: “if I shoot a picture half as good as this one in the next 5 years, I’d still consider myself blessed”…

  • “if I shoot a picture half as good as this one in the next 5 years, I’d still consider myself blessed”…

    interesting comment, understandable, but if I let myself think this way I don’t think I would keep shooting. must be some image..Herve, can you link to it?

    Singles..sometimes images that were taken as singles make the series later. Think of Arbus..each was a butterfly in her collection, but each was taken for itself and contained a full story within.

  • My copy of Allard’s “The Photographic Essay,” is extremely dog eared from the many times I’ve read through it. Excellent book.

  • can you link to it?

    I have been looking for it, Erica, for the last 15 minutes!!!!

    Of course, you understand that the point is that such things can be uttered by a photographer, moreover universally known as ZE essay/ptoject photographer (courtesy of Natl Geo), not that it is justified or indicates his only goal.

    I mean, since you mention it, do you really go out shooting to get that “great” picture? I know not. It sounds awful, really is. and see how just saying this makes photography a chore, not the epiphany that it is for all of us (shooting as when not shooting, rtemember the camera-less walk in your neighborood?))?

    Great photos are a by-product of something great already, which for being felt only in our heart/soul and not that of any other, is not less both magical and life-affirming.

  • sometimes images that were taken as singles make the series later

    Probably most photobooks are done in this fashion. The essay being done/planned after the images were shot, long after sometimes, not before.

  • “…which for being felt only in our heart/soul and not that of any other, is not less both magical and life-affirming.”

    thanks for that Herve, you just inspired me to go out and shoot for the project, which is saying something because I just yesterday dropped off 50 rolls of film for processing, am a bit worn out, and just finished the arduous editing of a 1,000 digital images from last weekend’s job…a mind and spirit numbing experience

  • Jim;

    I’ve got two copies of that book. I picked my second copy up at a library sale. They were getting rid of it because nobody read it, I couldn’t believe it. Picked it up for 50c!


    Thanks for that, but every time I remind you I feel bad for bugging you!


  • Erica;

    Just scored 26 rolls of 800 asa Portra on an auction to use in my new Holga. I’m planning to take a week off mag work and work specifically on my youth project, so the film cropped up just in time! I’ve got two more articles to get out by the 28th and then i should be able to take the week off.

    I uploaded 2 shots from my first Holga roll to the project edit. They’re numbers 75a & b. Just a couple of simple portraits, but I really like the images this Holga is putting out. Those two shots were meant to be square format, but dozy me had left the 645 mask in…

    I’m trying to save up enough film so I’ve got plenty for summer, only 4 months away, when all the kids will be out and about!

  • Ross :)) Just shot 10 rolls of chromes in a day in my beater rangefinder with no light meter (but a good lens) and I’m waiting for processing … my hands are shaky and sweating, afraid I got too cocky doing that on film with so little latitude … what the hell is shadow detail and who cares? ;-)) … or maybe it’s just digital crack withdrawal. But it’s good to be working on something focused cause I can’t be a singles dude forever, and serendipity just smiled big. It really is amazing what providence shines when you just do it, roll with it, and become part of the story … but lord almighty, I will never, never drink Seagram’s straight from the bottle again with Corona chaser.

  • Erica, a thousand digi’s? You? I feel your pain. I’m looking forward to seeing your latest work.

  • that sort of happened to me TOM when I was in China with my sort of first experience using a camera where the light meter stopped working in an old Minolta 101 with a bag full of chrome film, well, a dozen rolls was a bag full for me back then, and used the general principles illustrated on the film package. Yes about a third were off but still came back with some good images. Certainly they could of been better exposures but I was so naive about technique, still am, that I had no worries!
    These days I’d have much less confidence especially how expensive chrome film is these days.

  • Tom; “afraid I got too cocky doing that on film with so little latitude” But that is where the “happy accidents” often happen!

  • Panos;

    How about this? One of my favourite Stones song ever…

  • ok.. Ross…
    its hard for me to top that off …
    hmmm… gimme a sec…


    L.A TODAY…
    please “examine” the above video!
    i beg u!

  • Panos; no need to top it off, just enjoy! :-)

    Last one for me.

  • Ross: Tom; “afraid I got too cocky doing that on film with so little latitude” But that is where the “happy accidents” often happen!

    Ross, if it works, it won’t be an accident but pure skill … see, cocky ;-))

    Peter, I’m working under the principle that exposure and focus are greatly overrated.

    … don’t swing at that Jim, it’s too easy.

  • “if it works, it won’t be an accident but pure skill … see, cocky ;-))”

    Ain’t that the truth! :-)

  • Yes TOM, I also strongly agree. I’m undoubtedly in the camp that the moment is the essential element.. then focus and then exposure…. without the moment, as far as photo documentary, there is no insightful image.. the only thing i find about focus is that if the depth of field is very shallow and the focus is on the wrong plane then that detracts from the element , and the same goes for exposure but generally I totally agree.
    I lived by this philosophy for so many years..

  • Yes TOM, I also strongly agree. I’m undoubtedly in the camp that the moment is the essential element.. then focus and then exposure…. without the moment, as far as photo documentary, there is no insightful image.. the only thing i find about focus is that if the depth of field is very shallow and the focus is on the wrong plane then that detracts from the element , and the same goes for exposure but generally I totally agree.
    I lived by this philosophy for so many years..

  • Peter,

    not all documentary photography has to be about the moment. What about documentaries about places?

  • Thats a good, and I guess, obvious point. I’m personally very much intrigued by human culture, so my mind is often set on this thing of capturing , or trying to catch what I see as the essence of human nature.

  • Excuse me Rafal, didn’t mean to not include your name, as I was responding to your thought.

    thanks for that reminder Rafal.

  • ROSS…

    well, thanks for your courtesy, but you really do have to stay on my case…i do not ask people to keep reminding me of things if i do not mean it…for the next few days i will be with my family doing family things, but starting monday or tuesday, i will be back in full work mode…


    surely not all documentary photography needs to be about moment…and for the last 20-30 years there has even been an artistic movement to minimize the power of moment…a basic and natural reaction against the HCB school for many reasons…

    one reason of course is just the fact that there is even a “school” of any particular style…once there is a “school” , the newer artists MUST react against it…if one assumes this to be true or at least an observable movement, then i think in the next 20-30 years, or sooner, the “moment” will return in artistic popularity like a freight train…

    why do i think this?? because for sure it is the most RARE of photographic disciplines to successfully complete/imitate… many other “schools” can be easily duplicated or at least the imitators can come close to the “original”, but as i look at the thousands of uploaded images and the hundreds of new photographers and the myriad of shows and books, the MOMENT is rarely there…just cannot be copied…very hard to do successfully in the first place….the reaction against HCB or the paralyzing MOMA Steichen “Family of Man” show will surely run its course in the next decade…

    at some point there will just have to be an equal reaction against the banality “school” as there was against the moment “school” in the first place…now, i have way way oversimplified the course of photo history here….but, i think you get my drift….

    my point is this…by the time new emerging photographers decide to “place” themselves into a particular genre, that genre is most likely “over” or certainly owned by the originators…

    just like music, if the masses know about it, it is OVER for the serious creators..

    so all of us must just follow our hearts…do what comes natural…if your style happens to be “in” at the time, so be it…but, if not, do it anyway, because it will “come back” or, more importantly, a hybrid form of it will…

    the AUTHENTICITY of any serious creative effort will come through…and with the plethora of work out there now, authenticity will surely be the benchmark….

    i look forward to publishing Riverside which i think approaches the hybrid quite well….

    cheers, david

  • Common David conceptual art has always had a stranglehold on all things banal and boring ………. underexposed 50 ASA was our speciality, on really sunny days outdoors we used 400 ASA film to get that thin washed out look

  • Ross, Tom..good to hear of the fun with film :))..I almost wanted to smack someone the other day who saw me loading a roll of bw 35 and exclaimed in disbelief “Where did you get that?? Didn’t Kodak go under?” grrrr…

    Tom, thank you, and I am looking forward to seeing the new work too. My hope is that it looks like it felt. Some of it was with Andrew S’ old old 50 lens and Jim’s new new 35 lens, and I haven’t seen anything from either yet. A little nervous that I wasn’t able to test the lenses before bringing them into the fold and relying on them, alas. the digi stuff was all just work. Most of the burden comes from lack of workflow, which I really should learn as I shoot more work on digi. Have work this weekend tho which is mostly film, need to pack and go now, keep the fire burning for me here… Monday..

  • What a difference a cat can make to a place!

  • David Alan

    Just curious about the “paralyzing”’family of man show” I’m not sure what you meant by paralyzing.

    Regarding “schools” and “moments”, are schools legitimate movements, or just what is trendy?

    All photographs are moments. Sometimes very static ones, and sometimes as with HBC, amazing commpositions plucked from a quickly changing scene. Very organic. Sometimes, however, it can just seem like a clever trick.

  • just like music, if the masses know about it, it is OVER for the serious creators..

    You can say that again… the serious P creator is probably dead already, by then! :-)))

  • Gina Martin posted that on Facebook, about Don Weber:

  • Just a thought: if the moment is not in front of the camera, it is behind it, or waiting to be seen (ie. what is in the frame becomes a moment in time). Photos, for being the products of a recording mechanism, have a funny way to trump us and derail the certainty we so intently want to see LITERALLY, in them.

    It can take years for a moment to come about, in photography…

    Photos, for being the products of a recording mechanism, have an uncanny ability to trump and derail us from what we so, LITERALLY, want to see in them.

  • Herve :)))

    Don is a close, personal friend of mine and marina’s ……it’s lovely to see someone mention him here…and the work….which actually has matured since he did his work on Kiev mafia….


  • Sorry for the repeat, forgot to erase the first sentence…( I am becoming desperate why I send so fast after writing again and again, while I should know better by now).

  • Sitting on a train for the next few hours if anyone wants to chat photography here, ideas, questions…

  • Okay, will just ramble..

    Am reading Barthes’ Camera Lucida, and he remarks that he imagines that the photograph of the photographer and the photograph of the viewer are separated in that the photographer’s photo is linked to his vision of what he framed. The viewer’s photo comes from the chemical revelation of the object.

    This makes sense to me in that for me, the images on the 50 rolls I dropped off but remain unprocessed, exist for me as photos. Often as I an drifting to sleep, I see them as photos, not as moments, and I edit them in my mind assuming victories and failures with regard to the 2 dimensional print.

    Then again, Arbus said that all her images were either better or worse than she imagined. So maybe the photograph becomes the same for the photographer and the viewer once it is viewed in the physical, because the photographer becomes spectator. And maybe it is whenwe can’t step away fro
    the role of camera operator that we become poor editors, because we are poor spectators.

  • because we are poor spectators.

    Doesn’t this “poverty” disappear if we have no reason to select pictures (for professional or publishing, ie. public, use)?

  • erica, i deal with this by not getting my film developed for months after i have shot it. (for personal work anyway).

    by the time i finally get it processed, i’ve forgotten everything that i have photographed anyway (although i keep a record of times/places/names in a notebook)

  • That cat story takes me back to my childhood. I was never a cat fan either. I always liked the big clumsy dogs that seemed to smile as you greeted them and nearly knocked over by the strength of their tail-wagging.

    Growing up, my neighbor had a Siamese cat named “Bruiser”, after the wrestler Bruiser Brody. His favorite past time was napping on your shoulder, rump facing forward. If you were sitting down and not paying enough attention to him, he would simply hop up and lay on your head. Weirdest thing.

    Although I still prefer the big, goofy dogs, Bruiser taught me to respect the strange quirks that come with cats. Enjoy your status as adopted cat-owner.

  • I suspect Panos will dig this:

  • I am sure David wrote that here a long time ago but I think that selecting editing, sequencing must be part of the work and acquired knowledge of/for being a professional/publishingphotographer.

    Someone who can’t learn to, at some point or another, look objectively at what he/she is doing in their profession or art, will always be mired in wishful thinking-ness and amateurism.

  • unfinished things about 95%
    finished 5% or less

    Not only in photography… in painting and sculpture also or anything I do… no excuse of course :)
    I was this talented one.
    but who care.
    I do not.

    I have a dog. Black big crazy dog.
    But I have a cats nature.
    So be nice for yours cats please.
    Cats have the soul.

    peace for finishers.

  • Herve, I think you are right that the poverty disappears. What happens tho when we take self portraits and the ego rises in spectator mode though?

    Benr, in my case it isn’t a problem, I become spectator when the negatives arrive, but my point was to question if all photographers see the image as linked to the taking, or if some, like Arbus, are somehow different in their connection to what they saw. Maybe it is effected by emotion?

  • I mean in the mind, before the image is seen

  • Hey, since, we’re kind of on the topic of Cats and animals yet,
    I’m interning with the local animal shelter as they’re revamping their look. Basically, I’m helping redesign their identity. I’m currently working on their website and if anyone has some ideas I’d like to hear them.

    Heres a link to the current basic look I’ve come up with – its static however if you click it once, it’ll show you what the drop down menus will look like, double click and it returns to the original view…

    I’m going to be changing the background next… still trying to find a way to post feeds rather than full stories…

    any ideas? photography integration? We would like bigger better photos.

  • Please email me –
    If you don’t want to clog up the discussion here. :)


    well, it was 1955 when Edward Steichen rolled out Family of Man…that was certainly the end of a certain type of documentary photography to be exhibited at MOMA….some would say photojournalism itself died appropriately …when John Szarkowski took over soon thereafter as the photography curator at MOMA, he brought in a whole new style that has lasted henceforth …. so i think “trendy” would not be an appropriate term since this trend has held for 55 years…..i suppose Szarkowski sought to end “sentimentalism” in documentary…

    cheers, david

  • Erica;

    I work with an editor who actually didn’t know what a transpareny was until I explained it to her!

  • I think most people still look (and will always look) at photos with the same human touch/eye/approach that was behind Family Of Man. I do not think that the re-appreciation and critical appraising levelled at it from cognoscenti and intellectuals, ever entered the public discourse or even its mind.

    The most popular non-studio, non-conceptual photographers are still exponents of that “recognizing the basic humanity that we all share” stance. Very little post-modernism there.

    Certainly, when I open any daily paper, to speak of a daily way of seeing published pictures, and appraise what is routinely shown, pictures are for the most part, “family of man” material.

  • Many a photograph loses it’s relevance once it was taken………………. some images never have a role to pla.

  • “Grief is terrible if it is far away, if it is invisible or if it is approaching slowly, but when it comes up to you, when you put your arms around it and press your bones into it, it is not terrible but ordinary.”–Andrey Platonov

    The wind got up in
    the night and took our plans away.
    –Chinese Proverb

    I wish to tell you a story.

    From an absence that has crowned the last 10 days of my life, small knots of wind have entered the aging corners of my body and life and have begun to shutter about the dust and lamentably stubborn ideas and work and, up to this point, practice that has furnished the rails along which I’ve tried to transport some direction of meaning: of my life, of my photographic practice, of some kind of reconciliation to my childhood in Asia and all the terribly grandiose weight that those ridiculous words convey. I had, originally, hoped for a clean, small thing: to write, to photograph alot (which I have done), to read, to sit and think, to sit and breathe, to sit and allow silence to coat the space around my life. To simply have some time to breathe and to listen and to mediate and to look and to photograph and to finish. To be, simply, alive with something that has made me the person I am.

    All those plans, all our plans, how they go afar. And now, after having returned from a night when I arrogantly decided (is there anything else in truth but an arrogant decision) to finish a project by some silly and arbitrary timeline. Serendipity indeed. For now, much is, like small dust bowls accelerating vertically, aloft and scattering and drifting away. Strangely, rather than to reach out and pull it all back, as I’d always been inclined to do, I’ve decided, or rather something else has decided, to simply let it go, to watch it spiral away. Shorn, shorn, in reverse and away.

    On Tuesday evening, I called my father and told him to throw away everything that is in my small, cramped storage space in florida: more than 2,000 books, a box filled with writing, a collection of boxes, letters, tshirts, paintings, drawings, textbooks, an album of my life that my grandmother had made for me before she died, and all the negatives that I’d originally decided not to bring with me to Toronto when I married: the color work I shot when when I was trying to understand color, the black&white film that I didnt think was of any interest, all the prints that I had made that somehow didnt seem to make sense, and all the negatives that I developed but had never really examined. For nearly 6 1/2 years I kept that storage, like a sarcophogus, housing my entire material life prior to my life with my wife and son, ridiculously clinging to all those things which had nurtured me and protected me and sheltered me and ultimately deadened me. The books, without which I cannot imagine my life; the films without which I could not be the photographer I am now; the letters and the poems and the stories and the scribbling; the paintings which allowed me to move past pain and grief and reckoning; the boxes, like signposts, that marked out the highways and backroads of my life. All of them, I have jettisoned. All of those, now gone.

    That was then, this is now.

    Sometimes when I read or listen to people speak of projects, of wealth, of ‘accomplishing something’, of finishing, of producing something, of ambition and goals and desires of fame and of knowledge and of meaning and of growing and of becoming something of making ones way in the world of reaching some destination of making photographs of making books of garnering recognition, i feel bereft and sad. I feel, though I understand all those human desires, deeply sad, not because they do not bring joy and reward to some and pain and disillusionment to others, but because I weary of the discussion and the focus on such ephemeral and weightless things. We finish nothing though we are ourselves will be finished. Our need, our very real and necessary need to accomplish and mark and materialize our place here within the extraordinary short span of breath is a way (do we know another?) to stave off the fear and the suffering that we know we shall depart and fall away and it is a way for us to convince ourselves that we are bigger and more meaningful than others, more meaningful than that and those which came before us and which shall supplant us. And yet, even in our vanishing, we remain: do we not? Maybe in fact, though we are finished in our death, we beautifully and oddly continue, live on. Not within our work (that is a human illusion) but within our having been here to being with: we pass ourselves into the skin and lives of our children, we pass ourselves into the earth and air because we were once of this place, and though everything about us will be forgotten and vanquished, our names and our importance and our books and our work and our money and our bones and our foundations, but because were were here so too all that comes after us.

    I told my father to throw all of that stuff away not because i no longer need them (I am not buddha, I am not a saint, i still crave all those things that I had needed and accumulated) but because what I really need now, what I really need to live and to love and to make this life something substantial, what I really need to be a good husband and father, what I really need to be a good friend and teacher and son, what I really need to be a good photographer and writer and artist, what I really need, most importantly, to be a good person is not and cannot be measured in all those boxes and canisters sitting in the storage closet, but in the moment of now and being here, as much of me that is possible to be here now, for my wife and son and people and places around.

    And I have only gotten there because I have hungered for silence and I can’t find it now, because things mean something to me: people and places and books and photographs and breath, not for saving, but for living them.

    I wish to tell you a story.

    In absence, small knots of wind have entered the aging corners of my body and life and have begun to shutter about the dust and lamentably stubborn ideas of my own life and work and, up to this point, rails along which I’d tried to transport some direction of meaning. Much of those ideas, over the last two weeks, have been scattered, many of the words that skull-ticked my head now seem to be scattering there, over the sweet-lick of the horizon and thought not yet certain or comfort, I am here to say only that it is a fresh cleaning that was much too long in the waiting, but I am here, for a brief moment, to tell you a story.

    My wife and son are in Russia and I have spent the last two weeks trying to stitch together pockets of silence though much to my dismay my handwork doesn’t seem to be working. Surrounded by so much noise, new neighbors and friends and students calling, the squawk of emails pursuing the back of my silence (‘can u look at my work,’ ‘can we meet for a drink’ ‘can you help me’ ‘can you write something’ ‘can you send us some photographs for our”do you want company’) like a hunter,

    Over the last two weeks, many of those ideas have been scattered, many of the words that have always skull-ticked my head now seem there, over there not here, pointed finger rodding: there, over the sweet-lick of the horizon with a thought not yet certain or comforted– a fresh cleaning that was much too long in the waiting. But, I am here, for a brief moment, to tell you a story and even that story is getting away from me.

    My wife and son are in Russia and I have spent the last two weeks trying to stitch together pockets of silence, enough of a patchwork to produce something, to trap the shape of that thing which is swirling around, like a huge parachute: as a child, when i was 12, with classmates we played a game at school on May Day which involved the entire class running beneath a huge, white balloon-expanding tent of a parachute (held tied to the earth by our teachers), trying to switch our place by running from side-to-side, before the white bluff came crashing down upon our tiny thin shoulders. Nearly 30 years later, there I am again but rather than the warm green earth of a schoolyard in Pennsylvania, I am sitting on our front porch and trying to harness some kind of equalibrium from all that movement and billowy space and falling up and returning aside. I am trying to tell a story, and the words are scattering across my eyes like the shadow of the sun against that long-ago tarp…

    I wish to tell you a story.

    Much to my dismay none of the my handwork over the last two weeks seem seem to be working. Serendipity.

    10 days of being alone, hungering for silence and yet surrounded by so much noise: new neighbors on the porch debating the relationship between God and the garbage strike (yes, they were sucking upon water-bong ideas) with voices louder than teens on a friday night subway run; friends and students calling to talk or meet; the squawk of emails pursuing the backbone of my silence (‘can u look at my work,’ ‘can we meet for a drink’ ‘can you help me’ ‘can you write something’ ‘can you send us some photographs for our”do you want company’) like a hunter, and then the nights, and partial days, photographing to bring to rest my four-year project on Asians, which in truth is my four-year reconciliation of my own face and memories and brokered identity. And all is scattering, all is emptying, all is, like a jig-saw puzzle that begins to make sense only after your child has kicked a few pieces beneath the couch, all begins to crystalize, not from anything planned, no rather despite the planning and the hard work and all the hours photographing and all the years listening to stories and all the hours listening and asking questions and then a small sentence comes, when you least expected, when you least wished to hear it, when you thought, arrogant and opinionated and certain of your own ability to make sense of words and images, when you with callow joy thought you were onto something comes a small burst of words:

    “you are not really showing us, i dont think, but yourself”

    I wish to tell you a story.

    When my wife and son left, I hoped for 4 weeks of silence. Four weeks to photograph hard and as much as I could, to break all that now defines my life (silence and calm and small scribbles of words) and to try to bring closure to this project that has been one of the touchstones in my photographic life. I thought too, I would write alot. I thought I would write an essay for a fellow Burnian’s upcoming essay/book. I thought I would finish writing an essay for a Los Angeles blog that has asked to interview me. I thought I would stave off distracting sounds and voices and whatever I had thought would be a distraction. I was wrong.

    I have finished the project….the film (shot over the last 2 weeks) is sitting….I am changing the course….

    Photos dont teach about others, do not instruct us, do not avail ourselves of our illusions about others, but they may, if we are open, peak open some the veil that covers us, may afford us the chance to discover something about ourselves…both in the act of looking at pictures, thinking of them, taking them into ourselves, but also in our act of watching and listening and photographing……

    We do not really photograph others. In our stubborn and arrogant need to stem the tide against all, we hunger to believe we know something, we hunger to report, we traduce ourselves by believing that we are witnessing, that we are spelling out the rhyme and time of life of others, but in truth it really is our own selves that we are trying to surmount. We must be careful to understand this, otherwise we turn others into just that: the other, someone, something to be used up and billeted and marked on the board as something less important than ourselves. Is others that we really see, or are we really projecting our own needs, our own fears, our own determinations onto them? Most probably yes, and yet, strangely, does this not occassionally draw us closer, within our own honest reconciliation, toward others? For some, yes. For others, most likely not.

    My entire life, and whose life has not been, has been defined by chance and fortune and serendipity. I met my wife only because of that collision of moment and circumstance, none of which I had planned; every photography project that has ever come to me was just that, through a collision of fortune and circumstance, which probably reflected the each and every moment that had defined my life. I did not take myself, at 2, to Taiwan and yet, 40 years later, I am working on a project on Asian immigrants and students. I did not choose to marry a single, mother from Russia, and yet oddly when I was 14 I cried like a baffoon when Aloysha Karamasov gave his speech at the stone, when I was 17 I wrote letters to Phan Thị Kim Phúc (never sent) in my diary only to 35 years later become a photographer, when my parents divorced and I held my father in our garage as he howled about life only to hold my son in my arms when he was disconsolate 30 years later…..

    I am wearied of speaking about photography….for 2 years I fought in my head with Barthes (my dog-eared, stained copy of Lucida still next to my bed) while most of what i remember is Kafka’s understanding of photography and than his mothers photograph is never revealed, the wisest thing about that book, and than there we go….

    I wish to tell you a story….

    i photograph, i write, i read, i listen, i speak, i eat, i brush my teeth, i see, i remember, i hope, i miss, i fear, i love, i hold, i run away, i tear, i hate, i hunger, i ignore, i built, i tear away, i refuse, i accept, i witness and i forget, i mute and i holler, i dream and I teach, i take and i give, i sit and i run, i wait and i leave and i hope and i hope and i hope and



    and then i let it go not from fear but because what else can we do…..

    i miss my wife and son, i miss my parents, i miss my brothers, i miss all that came before and i miss all that i will never see…..

    i remain until i am gone

    and i let it breathe….

    and i wonder, am bewondered, am ticked and tricked and pricked and at peace…

    i miss my family and they live inside of me….

    and my stupid pictures are nothing, but they are who i am

    i am in love with the living of this life


    i am here and they are here and you are here


    they are who i am, they made me, not I them….and I try never to forget that….

    that is all….


  • Right Understanding.

    All that is subject to arising is subject to ceasing.

    Damn, Bob. Just damn. You made it.

  • jim :)))

    thanks so much…..but as i know u know , it’s only ’cause of my wife and son…they frickin’ taught me everything that my parents tried to teach…it all comes full circle doesnt it….and i miss them terribly…

    ok, gotta run….done enough blogging for one night…)))

    need a beer :)))

  • .alternativly, one can reclaim the objects/artwork of the past and intertwine it into the presentso all boundaries become blurred. Even the recent work is reclaimed altered and allowed to travel another journe until it wears itself out and scatters intself into a space unknown. The joys and sorrows are released to play in the decayed spaces of time and amid my dubious memories.

  • David – I haven’t read the comments above, but I did read your post. I have a Simone… his name is Henri. He’s 9 months old, black and white and came to me in April or May. Just walked up on the porch and never left. You can’t plan for Simone’s or Henri’s, but many of the best things in life were never planned. Right now I am in Mexico and Henri is in Austin and I miss him dearly. Another drop of serendipity brought me together with the woman house and cat sitting. (How do you travel an have a pet?!) I met her daughter only last week. But, when I opened my suitcase in Mexico, Henri’s favorite toy was there where he left it for me while playing in my open 1/2 packed suit case the night before.

    I usually finish what I start and I do everything I can to keep my word. Life throws many things at you and it all gets very tricky. But then life brings you Simone or Henri and reminds you that some of the best things are unplanned. Still hard work, but all worth it.


    P.S. Henri is really Henry to almost everyone… he’s more Texan than French.

  • just walked around the block (sans camera this time)…and thought of panos and his music….and after the long spray of thought and words, though, i owe brother panos some music.

    i mean who the fuck hasn’t been in the back of a cab (black or yellow) and thought there was plenty of room to do your shit and realized you’re hope was bigger than the back seat….

    and somehow, serendipity, the music still comes out from the back of the cab….

    right panos? ;))))))))))))))))))))

  • and before london cabs, there was this from this dudes…

  • That god damn pesky lizard is chilling the bones again

  • Bob, wow!
    You write so much and I am such a slow reader and even worse I am in a hurry. So only a quick note. I read most of your text and copied it into a word file so I can read it again when I have more time to contemplate what you have written. You are a such a great guy indeed! Good you are back home!
    I am so bad at throwing away things. Uhhh, awful! I animate objects and gather all that stuff – films, prints, negatives, books, all kinds of useless, sentimental nick nack. My mother is even worse, so I blame the genes. During this summer one of my main projects was to throw away all this old junk. And believe me I got rid of tons of stuff. This is very liberating and makes you feel a lot lighter and ready for something new. A good feeling indeed!
    The only lasting thing that will hopefully survive me are the trees I have planted. My deed for the future.
    This time I am running. Got to pack my stuff. I am off to Russia with an aid convoy to bring material goods to orphanages near Kaliningrad. Yes, I will bring a big smile for the kids as well!
    Hope I can handle all the booze… Back in a week.
    Be good!

  • HERVE…

    yes, you are quite right…what you see in the daily newspapers etc is still often Family of Man material….and the mass audience is , as you say, not concerned by the various “movements” in the world of photography…i was only speaking on the acceptance thereof by the curators at MOMA and the like minded gallery crowd, publishers etc…what you see in the daily grind is certainly not what you would see in the finer books and/or exhibitions which are often quite influenced by what is accepted by MOMA, the Whitney, Tate, etc ..

    cheers, david

  • BOB…

    brilliant post….thank you…certainly you have paraphrased in essence Shelley’s Ozymandias …

    you wrote…”Sometimes when I read or listen to people speak of projects, of wealth, of ‘accomplishing something’, of finishing, of producing something, of ambition and goals and desires of fame and of knowledge and of meaning and of growing and of becoming something of making ones way in the world of reaching some destination of making photographs of making books of garnering recognition, i feel bereft and sad.”

    just to set the record straight, none of these motives of which you speak are motives we have discussed here on Burn nor did i mention any of those things in my post…..there has been not one word ever from me about “fame, wealth, accomplishment, or recognition”….those may be words or thoughts in your head, but not in mine nor in any conversation i have started here…

    however, i do see your point if it is directed towards “false motivation” in general and would agree with it wholeheartedly….nevertheless, the act of creativity or specifically of creating a body of work which “holds” should not be made to seem somehow lessened because in fact someone finished what they started….

    just as you created the piece you just wrote, got it down on paper, and finished it with cerebral aplomb is all i have ever meant by “finishing”…

    your collected writing has value….

    if i were to take all of your pieces here and put them in one place, that would indeed be a body of work…of value….to have this work stitched together between two hard covers and to bring this process to fruition would not mean that you were seeking “fame , wealth, accomplishment, or recognition”…it would simply mean that you finalized the process…

    it would simply mean that your words, which will yes eventually blow away in the wind and covered with sand as per Shelley, will for some time have a value to those who read them…and they will represent knowledge passed on which is the heart of the human condition….but, if nobody reads them, in theory they never existed…

    i suspect that all truly creative people do not have an “end game” in mind when they are in the act of creation..however, in today’s heavy marketing of what we do as photographers, one can easily become lost in the vagaries of intention…hence the value in what you just wrote…i imagine that it is all a matter of perspective and in knowing what in our lives serves one purpose and what serves another and in keeping the lines clear…

    one cannot get in a car and drive down the street to buy a sandwich without crossing at least 3 “lines” of environmental abuse and succumb to an ad mans marketing campaign etc etc…so each day we justify so so many things that we have no choice but to do…but, my point is that i think photography and the essence of creation can indeed be uplifting and does not have to go down the dark path ….

    one cannot assume that because someone “finishes” that they have the negative motives which spurned your text and has left you “sad and bereft”….

    clearing your head psychologically of all that “stuff” you had in your storage locker in Florida sounds likes a catharsis for you…and yes yes it would all turn into dust someday anyway, but are you sure that at some point in your life one of those books or negatives or prints or whatever would not have served some value for either your wife and son or for some student of your son 40 years from now???

    well, that is a personal decision of course….just playing devil’s advocate a bit…Bob, you are an avid reader and student of every photographer who has ever done anything…simply put, had those writers and photographers you have studied so carefully not “finished” something, you would not have read their words nor seen their pictures…

    my dog eared copy of Roland Barthes (a finisher for sure) “Camera Lucida” is in a card board box in a storage locker right now waiting to be unpacked…my temptation is to do what you have done and just jettison the whole storage facility…it is so full of “stuff” i will never never deal with…but, maybe just maybe there is a nugget in there that will rise to top of the pile and will be of value to someone somehow someday….certainly a storage facility of past work does not necessarily mean it is a psychological weight that needs to be cleared….yet, if this was a catharsis for you , then so be it….

    again, many thanks for your story and for your thoughts…you always take us to new territory and into new ways of thinking about life and photography….i fully intend to work with you on getting your work , both photographic and literary, into print…it deserves a place….i am sure neither of us will be motivated by anything other than the desire to see something in print which you have created which is quite uniquely Bob Black…its net value may or may not be determined by others, but you Bob will have done all you can do and this is its own reward…and both of us will have to finish what we start….

    cheers, david

  • “clearing your head psychologically of all that “stuff” you had in your storage locker in Florida sounds likes a catharsis for you…and yes yes it would all turn into dust someday anyway, but are you sure that at some point in your life one of those books or negatives or prints or whatever would not have served some value for either your wife and son or for some student of your son 40 years from now???”

    That could happen, but all that baggage tends to prevent us from living in the present (which should be our goal), so we live in the past with a storage locker full of stuff we will never look at and in the future because “maybe” some of that stuff might have value to someone in another lifetime.

    We aren’t obligated by the past or to the future.

  • slightly off topic, but if anyone is interested i collaborate with some mates on a photography blog called i’ve just started a topic for discussion called “Has the era of the “iconic image” passed?” that might interest some of you.



  • bob,
    Wow! Long as usual, but so true.
    Regarding “success” I think we have to aim high. If we don’t we’ll never get anywhere. The danger is when goals becomes more important than the act of photographing. If a photographer think that the goals are more important then the act of photography I think that it becomes very obvious.


  • David

    You probably not agree with me but I think there is two most important things for people who want “make a mark”; firstly it is a talent as a base for everything what need creation and second it is relations with people. We are nothing without other people. It is not important how many things you finished but how you can cooperate with people around. I know many talented persons who are hardworking, patient and persevering but they don’t know how to find themself in social world… and they always disappear. They works hard and then works hard and they have nothing but hard work at last.
    If you don’t know how talk with people, how made them useful and helpful you will never get the mark.
    and of course a piece of good luck help.

    for me it’s all about relations.

    it is my oppinion.

  • DAVID :)))

    gotta run, and wont will up too much space now, but thanks so much for the words and reply…we are on the same page :)))…none of my thoughts were meant as antithesis to your post :)))…i’d wanted to write something for 1 week answering your questions to us, and then all this stuff happened this week, with finalizing the asian project, calling my dad to dump the storage, the silence, the nonstop shooting, the decision to not hold on to all those things and than last night shooting, and returning home, and just pouring out: serendipity :))))

    and by the way, no shit, last night after i’d written the post, i sat out on the front porch and a tabby walked up to me in the dark (at first i thought it was a raccoon at was startled shitless), and he jumped onto my lap, prrrrrrrrrrrrrr, tail perpendicular….weird…simone’s cousin?? ;)))

    more next week, thanks for your own long song :))


  • p.s. about finishing :)))….yes, i try try to finish stuff, though most of everything we finish never really gets finished, does it…it’s kinda of the same thing….just a different name….funny, cause it took me (actually until i was married) to be able to not finish a book…i used to finish, even if i hated or was board or couldnt get it, ’cause i felt guilty for being unable to finish reading someone else had written/sweated over…now, though i usually finish everything, i realize that it’s ok…(im sure most people never finish my writing or bones ;)) or invisible cities) ;)))…and im cool with that….i just realized that, and it took me 6 1/2 years to get to this place, that i dont need the books anymore, cause they are inside me, and they’re just paper, the books themselves are in my head and heart….and it is or rather has been important for me to let go of the old albums, the old negatives (remember the story i wrote here about my grandmother, after she had died, my father and brother had to go through 10’s of 1,000’s of her slides, and only kept a 4 boxes…and guess what, those slides are sitting in my father’s own storage ;)))…and when he dies, i’ll have to decide what to do (probably keep them and use them for something i have in mind)…but, for me, it is just so important to be clear in my head and in my life:

    to value the right thing….to continue to make work, to continue to live as well as i can, i have to be here, in the moment, of this moment, fully…and for me with photo projects, i think being able to finish means not that something is done (or perfected) but that it’s become time to shift tact….a lesson my dad taught about sailing, cant stay in the same line of wind, or you’ll end up in chains (meaning not moving forward or with wind in your sails) :))))…

    i’ll show u asian stuff in a few months, now i need to give it some time to breathe ;)))..


  • Bob — Thanks for writing this and sharing it here. It is so easy to be distracted by the ephemera of our daily lives it really takes practice, focus and mindfulness to be truly connect to the sublime in every moment.

    It’s always there, one just has to be willing to search…

    Reading your post I was reminded of a poem I love and think about often.



    The Vacation
    by Wendell Berry

    Once there was a man who filmed his vacation.
    He went flying down the river in his boat
    with his video camera to his eye, making
    a moving picture of the moving river
    upon which his sleek boat moved swiftly
    toward the end of his vacation. He showed
    his vacation to his camera, which pictured it,
    preserving it forever: the river, the trees,
    the sky, the light, the bow of his rushing boat
    behind which he stood with his camera
    preserving his vacation even as he was having it
    so that after he had had it he would still
    have it. It would be there. With a flick
    of a switch, there it would be. But he
    would not be in it. He would never be in it.

  • what you see in the daily grind is certainly not what you would see in the finer books and/or exhibitions which are often quite influenced by what is accepted by MOMA, the Whitney, Tate, etc ..

    I think one difference with trends and periods in other arts, that become irrelevant, or part of history, once the new styles/visions arrive, is that this stance in photography is still quite relevant, and its popularity is attested by living photographers, not just dead ones.

    Not to mention that daily/mass grind, in a medium as ubiquitous and ever actual, still speaks of Photography AS IT HAPPENS in the 21st century, as much as the newest phases. That too, is a bit different from other arts, though movie making and popular music might catch a berth on that train.

  • Oh yes: Trying to make a mark and making a mark are 2 different things. The biggest mark is not always done by the ones trying.

  • David, about movements.

    Maybe ask ourselves what are they moving? And what relevance in it? Or for how long?

    It is only fair that having come against, not along, and not just after, modernism and before, that we now start to apply to post-modernism (or whatever one wishes to call it) the same armory.

  • DAH – Sorry for my delayed response about the iPhone camera – how are you liking it? it has a different feel to it i think. Really simple actually…

    Here are some of the “tricks” I’ve been doing – When I need a super closeup for anything – I use a set of diaptor lenses I bought a while back for a few dollars from a discount tool store. depending how much needs to be focused – thats unusual though.

    to color edit – I use a free app called Mill colour its made by this company –
    It’s simple to use – you can incramentally adjust saturation, gamma, lift, and gain – they usually make software for movies I guess? so perhaps some of these terms (lift and gain) are from that?

    Also – there is a noticeable and sometimes irritating delay between pushing the shutter and the shot being taken – but it makes for a good moment to pop a little flash. I use my nikon SB800 and pop the manual button to fill in or to enhance some of the existing light since it doesn’t seem to have much latitude to work with…

    So what are you doing with the images you shoot? will you share some with us?
    I would like to see how others are using this! Panos?? anyone else?

  • Adam :)))

    I have always loved Berry’s poem: so simple and direct…and they always remind me of being a child and running with my brothers through the fields and corn field behind our home…and driving in the summer beneath light-tickled Georgian tree-held country roads….and he also, always reminds me of the last song from REM’s Fables of the Reconstruction…Wendell Gee….

    and i can’t wait to see ur Boxing essay here :)))….

    and a poem by Berry i always loved, :

    In a dream I meet
    my dead friend. He has,
    I know, gone long and far,
    and yet he is the same
    for the dead are changeless.
    They grow no older.
    It is I who have changed,
    grown strange to what I was.
    Yet I, the changed one,
    ask: “How you been?”
    He grins and looks at me.
    “I been eating peaches
    off some mighty fine trees.”

    and lastly, here is that song, for u…


  • That’s when Wendell Gee takes a tug
    Upon the string that held the line of trees
    Behind the house he lived in
    He was reared to give respect
    But somewhere down the line he chose
    To whistle as the wind blows
    Whistle as the wind blows with me

    He had a dream one night
    That the tree had lost its middle
    So he built a trunk of chicken wire
    To try to hold it up
    But the wire, the wire turned to lizard skin
    And when he climbed inside
    There wasn’t even time to say
    Goodbye to Wendell Gee
    So whistle as the wind blows
    Whistle as the wind blows with me

    There wasn’t even time to say
    Goodbye to Wendell Gee
    So whistle as the wind blows
    Whistle as the wind blows with me
    If the wind were colors
    And if the air could speak
    Then whistle as the wind blows
    Whistle as the wind blows

    Wendel Gee–rem

  • Another good video from The Canon Professional Network of Stephen Mayes managing director of VII:

  • this is THE most beautiful statement ever, to me. so many cats have jumped into my lap over the years. but, unlike you, i’ve always loved cats, especially strays. a kitten without a mother once caused me to stay an extra year in a country i’d intended to leave. if she and others had not found me, i would surely have moved on and, would perhaps have achieved one or two of the goals i set myself by now. but that IS the way it is, the way i am, just as you say… and i refuse to be hard on myself because i appear not to be achieving goals at the same pace as others or ‘keeping up’ with the insane pace of the 21st century… love interferes with my plans constantly – leads me into situations and locations unplanned. i’m not referring only to cats but to people and places i come across… and yet, i AM crying… for all the dreams and plans lost by falling in love with so many precious moments, people, places, as well as cats and dogs : )… thank you for this most beautiful statement. here’s to love, and life, and all the amazing different species on this planet in addition to cats, and dogs, and us (and, to hopefully achieving at least some of my goals in this lifetime!
    love to one and all,
    jenny : )


    of course, you are quite right….none of us live in a vacuum and without the help of others and interaction with others, our works can become quite isolated….some artists interact literally and others only touch the “outside” with the work itself..there is no one artistic personality…


    your questions are good…i cannot possibly answer them of course…deciding what is relevant and what is not is just as subjective as are all of the topics here…suffice it to say from an art business perspective, and art is a business, that gallery owners and print collectors/investors , take their cue from the top museum curators…


    i never thought you were writing the antithesis of the post, but would not mind at all even if you did…….i was just tweaking the thought…i knew exactly where you were coming from, and as i said i “agree wholeheartedly”….this is the beauty of our discussions here….and the point of discourse overall…addenda to an original thought does not take away from that thought ….

    peace, cheers, david

  • Davin,

    Try one of these gadgets, good for rabid dogs. Not sure about Taxi Drivers though….


  • ALL:

    A fellow photojournalist is in need. Please read the story here


  • Pete Davin could get himself a few cats, rub against them and hit the streets big time

  • As you well know, David, few of my questions ask for answers…

    Though if you could answer the mails I sent you, concerning your time in SF, for the September Family WS… ;-)

  • Imants, Think of the fun he could have with that !

    I find these gadgets to be real useful even for mad monkeys. I always carry one if I go to India it keeps them away. I’ve had problems with monkeys trying to take the glasses off my face in certain places. Crafty little blighters I don’t trust them !

  • BOB,

    that was deep, as is this:

  • That brings me back, Bob.

  • Pete,

    The Mega Sonic Cat & Dog Repeller is looking very appealing! I may have to get one of those.

  • BOBus

    hey .. found time and read your contribution..
    smacked the head of the nail, you did.

    d n family..

  • a civilian-mass audience


    Damnit,after I read your ” book” BOBus I felt that we as humans despite all our “differences”…
    we are so “ONE”…
    Tonight , I Am Davidb, jenny lynn walker,Akaky, Adam…Herve…Jason……………
    all of you…
    What not to love!!!

    P.S Dear Mr. Dellicson…you don’t need a repeller. You may need to “transform” into a more relaxed zone. If you want to come closer…You got to be assertive but relaxed….hmmmm…or maybe one Ursus in the berani can help :)))


  • Civi

    Well, getting back to “Familly of man”, that is what the Steichen was trying to tell us…after witnessing the horrors of WW11.

    I’m a sentimentalist at heart. Did a wedding yesterday, and shed a tear at the sincere declaration of love between two middle aged people.

    Still lovin’ my life, and Y’all.

  • I was just watching the Utube video of Mary-Ann Golon from Time magazine, talking about the magazine world, getting your stuff noticed, etc. It got me thinking about what it is we do.

    25 years ago, I opened a portrait studio, after doing commercial, editorial, and audio visual work for a number of years.

    In the portrait business, you have a very limited audience. It is restricted to the subjects friends and family. As opposed to an editorial audience, of tens, or hundreds of thousands of people. My clients will put their photograph on their wall, and look at it many times, every day. For many of them, especially older folks who have grown children and grandchildren, the portraits are un-believably precious. If their house catches fire, it will likely be one of the things they grab as they flee the flames.

    If you get published in Time magazine, thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of people will look at your photograph for a few seconds before turning the page. Then they will throw the magazine out when they are done with it. Maybe the photographs will have done their job and informed, changed attitudes, educated, entertainted, enriched.

    Not sure where I’m going with this, but I guess I’m just thinking how much I love what we all do. I do love what I do.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    And Mr.Gordon,

    I love that you love what you do.
    if you love what you do
    it will show…sooner or later…
    What not to love!!!

    P.S Say hi to your mom too :)))

  • BOB.. that was a really revealing metaphor about while sailing you learnt that one has to change tact otherwise you’ll get stuck in a rut. Its necessary.

    I also love the respect you feel about respecting another’s work and effort. And honouring your families heritage in the memories of film moments. But also, you know everythings an ebb and flow in moments and moods.


    Another thought about your question, or another perspective, is that maybe nothing is really finished but rather little moments are incrementally finished, built upon. Like one single photo is a finished image within itself, then they can be gathered and grouped together in an essay or a book , and then over one’s life. Changing over time and circumstance. As far as more concrete bodies of work for professional purposes maybe what was finished ten years before may not be finished now or what seemed unfinished those years before seems much more relevant now.

    I love this thought.. just going to read over some of older responses..

  • Gordon,

    Enjoying your sentiment. Just had guests for the weekend… said they love our “pictures on the walls.” That was very sweet. They provide comfort. Remembrances.

    (Though I wouldn’t mind being published in Time!)

  • (psssst…. civiiii!!)
    (pssst…. kathieeeee?!!!!)
    (i got me a magnetic wallllll!!)
    (i got to tell y’all, it’s super grrreat!!)

  • de’ja vue BOB

  • a civilian-mass audience

    My Gracie,

    I am so happy for your Success.
    I think Tom Hyde was happy with his project…???
    I put MAGNETIC PAINT but all the BURN photos are on my floor.
    WHYYY, WHY meeeeee???

    where are you???
    BURNIANS …anemic cinema from Panos !!! ( hmmm… where do you find these links? )

    Beautiful day, beautiful night… I WANNA HUG you ALL
    chika boom, boom, boom…
    I am drinking cold beer with JIM !!! VIVA !!!

  • DAVID..
    Just read your response to BOB and it seems you also think on the same line about finishing. It’s complexe and dynamic and subjective and never ever really done. But rather, its a process. A journey as BOB understands.

    You’ve certainly got everyone thinking.. Brilliant!


    yes, it is hard to beat a picture on a wall….the ultimate tribute for a photograph for whatever reason it hangs…either as a sentimental trigger or as a work of art….i think even the photographers who do make photographs for the mass media, where the original viewing of the photographs will be perhaps for a few seconds in a magazine, do not see that medium as the end game for their work…most are using the magazines as a way of earning a living and fully intend for the work aided by commission to have a life way beyond the flipping of a page…it is such a treasure to be fortunate enough to love what you do…and oftentimes it is more than love….most dedicated photographers i know need to do what they do…

    most people WANT…some NEED…..

    i always ask a photographer what they need to do rather than what they want to do….if they have no answer for this, then i must help them to dig deep for there is usually something buried inside which can be brought out with their work…this is no easy process for it involves uncovering all of the layers of getting through life sediment which holds many back..if the photographer is able to do this and get down down to the rich soil where creativity grows, then they will find what you already know…

    KELLEY …

    i have no idea how i will be able to travel and leave Simone unattended…i am about to find out this fall when i will be traveling a lot….friendly neighbors???


    of course there are little bits and pieces of unfinished essays or simply just the photographs one takes everyday for no particular purpose other than the pleasure of recording something which appealed at a particular moment…i.e. most of my work is totally random daily snapshooting… i was not writing about bodies of work for professional purposes…and you are quite right in thinking that what was important yesterday may not be important tomorrow and vice versa….the bits and pieces may in fact be the body of work in the long run…still the importance of these bits and pieces will not be realized unless the photographer decides these bits and pieces have a value and organizes them in such a way that shows the bits and pieces may have been more important all along then the long term intentional work….what i am awkwardly trying to say i suppose is that there is still no way around “finishing” as much as we all would love to figure out and justify otherwise…

    cheers, david

  • HERVE…

    sorry, i have not seen your emails….emailing me these days is just not a guarantee i will see it….it is a pain i know, but if you think i miss your email , please send twice…if i am away from email for a few days , i am lost forever….in any case, i will search now for yours and respond promptly….

    10 mins later….ok, searched and found nothing recent from you except two singles submissions…try sending to:…….my other boxes must be full….

    cheers, david

  • Hmmm, gallery news? Just thinking of it …


    Burn gallery show??

    we are working on it…

    i think i wrote before that we will have at least two gallery events for Burn photographers this fall in New York at the kibbutz and another one at Photo Fest in Washington in november….we have offers for several different spaces for Burn print shows around the U.S.for 2010…

    choosing the prints for these shows is our most formidable task ….Mike Courvoisier is with me all this week to discuss and plan for these Burn shows and our fall workshops, seminars, etc…

    stay tuned amigo…we will let you know soonest when and how you need to submit your work…

    cheers, david

  • Hi David,
    You are absolutely right………The true artist cannot be so much disciplined, so much good executor of what plan he makes…….he must have strong emotion,impulse……There may be some rare evidence but most of the creative persons cannot be a very good plan maker.
    Creation comes from breaking the rules and good plan making sometimes hinder to have some out track and outstanding shot.
    Personally I try to make empty my mind and do my job as I like.
    Though it is right a certain amount of discipline and plan making always helps, still it is hard to get a photographer who finishes all the job he started.
    Its all about potential,tenacity,dedication,love and a bit luck to be a successful photographer.

    Partha Pal
    from Birbhum


    Now I can breathe easy because I have FINALLY completed my text for Falling Into Place! I’ve just returned from a writers retreat out in the country where all I did for three days and nights–except for scoots in the meadows and woods–was work on my text. I feel good about how it turned out. The four-page text focuses on the project itself and will be at the back of the book. The images will be first and will be shown with no captions.

    I’d like for you to read the text and give me your feedback if possible. I’ve just emailed the Word document to you at under the subject heading “Patricia’s text.”

    I have also added four new pics (you’ve already seen two of the four) and removed two from our earlier edit. You can see my final edit of photos for Falling Into Place by going to my website at

    and clicking on Falling Into Place under the Portfolios. David, I’d love to talk with you by phone in the next day or two.


    If anyone is interested in reading my text for the Falling Into Place book, please email me and I’ll send you a copy. I’d appreciate receiving your feedback. My email is


  • DAVID..

    I think I get what your saying.. sometimes its good to finish, to let go and move on.?

    don’t need a reply as the thought has been well and truly good.

    if you see this thanks David.

  • Thanks David … yes, the Burn gallery. Looking forward to buying Dr. Joni’s #9 … and Panos’ Jim Morrison in the RV orgy … and a Bickford surfer … and more.

    Mmmmm, just fell back in love with chromes, and rangefinder, which was my first “real” camera at 10 (although I remember making the pinhole camera out of aluminum foil and a black and white 126 cartridge when I was younger). Damn, a “new” expensive addiction, a brick of provia on ice … everything i always wanted from my camera but could never quite get, like awful “perfect” digital was training wheels … funny, full circle, back to film. I was never into THE debate but seriously, cheers to wonderful glowing imperfection.

    Crap, do I have to get a Leica now? mmmmmmmmmm, leica … shit …

  • Needs and Wants.

    I have a need to make images. Even before I began to photograph I drew and painted, still do some drawing.

    I’m not sure it’s so much a need as it is a compulsion. I’m compelled to make images. If I’m not making photographs, I’m doodling. My notebooks are filled with little drawings. Curious, I never thought to question where that all comes from or why I do it.

    It seems to be a common affliction.

  • thank the heavens for this affliction GORDON.

    I also feel this compulsion to re-interpret.. re-cord.. re-compose.. re-mind…..

  • Good point Gordon. If I go a week without taking a picture I feel an overwhelming hunger to shoot. It does feel like a need, for sure. Its not that I want to take photos, I need to take them. No idea why.

  • Tom,

    Going retrograde is a blast. I’ve been getting reacquainted with my M2 and it is just so much fun. Haven’t figured out how to make cash with it, but that’s not the point.

    “The only advice I would have for a young still photographer would be to forget all advice and follow your passion with a passion. The Universe has a strange way of supporting lunatics like us that refuse to live inside the box.

    There is no box.” Louie Pishoyos, referenced at

    Stay Focused All

  • Since several here are working on a book project, I thought you guys might find this article interesting:

    “Are luxury photography books recession-proof?”

    (found on a post over at the Rangefinder Forum)

  • Good to see the Guardian still recognises the value of photography. Maybe they well be inspired enough to review their recent rights grab and pay their photographers properly.

  • There is a new site sort of like Burn in a way called The Black Snapper out of Amsterdam and it launched on 1 August. I don’t know if it has already been mentioned here or not:

  • I love my Leicas. But even DAH and Salgado know film is history. It’s funny reading so many folks on the internet who have abandoned digital, gone back to film, and “will never shoot anything else.” Film is a precarious commodity right now. It’s history.

  • “Film is history.” Should I duck now or will my health plan cover the cost of being hit on the head by flying brickbats (or bricks of Tri-X)?

  • Jim; I agree but…. I’m loving shooting with my Holga!! :-) In case anyone is interested in looking I’ve put a some new project work up on Lightstalkers.

    Actually; I’ve enjoyed seeing Joni’s essay up. We are both shooting a similar subject but at complete opposite ends of the spectrum! Both valid; but each the antithesis of the other!

  • Ross, Took a look. I really liked 9 & 12.

  • Thanks Brian. It’s a really loose edit at the moment, really just seeing where it goes. Cheers

  • You know I did an MA in Documentary and Photojournalism in 2006 in London and many of my fellow classmates mainly shoot film. Sure, for deadline editorial jobs they all have 5Ds, but many shoot with Mamiya 6x6s, 6x7s, Hasselblads, Holgas and canon film cameras. Lots of cool camera formats will never have a digital equivalent. The screen on digitals also throws everyone for a loop. Even if you turn it off, you invariably end up sneaking a peek and you are losing concentration in a way that was never the case with film.

  • What I have found harder to shoot with my project is that you are specifically shooting the “ordinary”. Kids having a good time, without being a pain in the arse to everyone. I’m enjoying the challenge of trying to make it work, and to hopefully blow away a few stereotypes.

    The young guys I photographed the other day work on an oil rig, 2 weeks work, 2 weeks off. But they said when they are having a few beers and playing hacky sack during the week people think they’re “dole bludgers”

    Davin; you should see the looks of confusion on the kids faces when I pull out the Holga after shooting with the D300! They look even more confused when they see a roll of 120 film :-)

  • For the record, I had no intent to start another discussion of film v digi … I am very, very sorry ;-))

  • As well you should be, sir! The idea!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    “The whole past is the procession of the present.”

    Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) British historian and essayist.

    We will be History, like the film,like the digital cameras,
    like your M2, Leicas,Holgas…
    but for now…
    WE NEED TO drink a cold beer and listen to some music…
    and you photopeople…you can shoot whatever you NEED to shoot !!!

    P.S Blame Mr.Hyde for my posting :)))

  • Civi… No beer for me today, have to settle for a cuppa instead. Here’s some music though til Panos arrives :-)

    Suzanne Vega

    Howlin’ Wolf

  • a civilian-mass audience


    you are involved with young people and I have the feeling that their “spirits”
    give you much energy… IMO :)))

    Let’s dance everybody…and breathe

    P.S I had a funny dream tonight… very funny…
    In the morning, I tried to put the broken pieces together…
    I was overwhelmed …
    Is that how you ALL feel when you
    are editing your essays??? hmmmm….

  • Civi;

    There’s been a few pretty tough personal times this year for me and to be perfectly honest, going out to shoot the clubs has often proved to be just the tonic needed…

    A few times I’ve had to force myself to go out and returned at about 4am, over the moon happy, just due to the acceptance and warmth of the kids. The restorative power of youth I suppose…

    Editing? I go through stages of liking work, and then a few days later hating everything, and a few days later back on a level equilibrium. I try not to look too much at the work when it’s too fresh, I tend to be too rash in my throw-outs. Mind you I’ve just looked back at some of the project work recects and said “How the hell did I miss that one?” :-)

  • a civilian-mass audience

    and ROSSY wrote:

    “The restorative power of youth I suppose…”

    No editing needed…:)))

    VIVA !!!

  • Ross: Jim is right that everything has shifted to digital but film will be around a while yet. There isn’t a digital Fuji 6×17 for Koudelka. . .

  • Davin; how are things going for you over there?

  • civilian..
    it’s like drooling over a series of flashbacks, vague memories and possible realities for me :o)

    want n need..
    we all know whether we need or only want photography in our lives .. i’m fascinated by what brings people to photography .. especially those who start young and continue to the exclusion of all else ..

    my favorite students are those that cannot see anything else.. see that there is nothing more interesting.. and wonder why on earth everybody is not absolutely besotted as they are.
    with those kind of students it is more of a guiding process than teaching.. because they teach themselves.. and with just the slightest hint of guidance they dissappear only to reappear with just what you hoped of them and more..
    students who go away and initiate things are tremendously exciting.

    i was lucky enough to have a few students like that last year.. one, bjarte, pops up here every so often, another, alex, david AH was kind enough to view the work off and the last, jan, is visiting my little family here in bergen in september..

    they are definatly the needing kind.. and i hope they never go hungry for the fact :o)

    no.. no..
    actually, hang on.. it was

    jeeeez.. i mean firefox doesn’t even have vynal in it’s spell checker..

    film is history only in the commercial sense..
    as long as some people enjoy printing and developing.. understanding everything that photography has to offer.. there will be film..

    i wished my last collage had darkrooms.. we used a little community one a couple of times and it barely satisfied the urge of some students to learn about it..

    tom – how very dare you bring this up :o)

  • Again … my most sincere apologies. BTW, vinyl has made a huge comeback here for audiophiles. How ’bout some Blue Haze from Miles? Quality lasts.

  • crackle…click…crackle…click…crackle…click…crackle…click…

    playing when lights are low right NOW.. it’s making tor capa sing..

  • hey tom.. just checking your site and it’s great.. must have been a long while since i looked..
    love the genesis of burn pages

    antons TG’s head and the light fitting.. funny as fuXk, eh anton :ø)

  • Tom; Number 10 in your 1st portfolio is absolutely kick-arse!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    THANK you Tom Hyde for the insight
    thank you Davidb for the link


    P.S I see the Adams where are the Evas for the Genesis …oime…
    they all look haunted :))) hmmmm…:)))

  • Yes, well, of course the light fixture is completely symbolic of Anton’s great ideas for Burn … ahem, yes of course it is …

    Ross, I’ve spent as much of this amazing Northwest U.S. summer we’ve had in the water as possible, above and below. I am gaining even more appreciation for Parke and Autio’s Seventh Wave … funny how my earliest work in the water produced the majority of the best photos and the longer I stay on it, the faster the percentage drops, like a stone to the bottom. This is the story of my unfinished life … not sure why … perhaps the magic fades along with the newness and mystery of it. But I haven’t stopped. Other projects around the farm remain unfinished … actually, having even a few acres of land means that nothing is ever finished and things pile up faster than you can move from one project to the next. And it can make it a bit difficult to photograph people when you live in the middle of nowhere. Trying not to be a hermit :)) I know I would be without my camera. Balance is a bugger. Hmmm, rambling, how did I get here? Same as it ever was.

  • tom.. i can empathize, although i live atop a mountain..
    it’s great.. sunny days i can see for miles from the balcony.. rainy days i sit inside the clouds..
    the temptation is to wander the hiking trails all day and see very few people..

    bergen is only 20 mins down on the bus and right now i’m dying to get there.. want to photograph tourists.. cruise ships are arriving daily and bringing lots of filth .. up to 8000 people getting off and wanting to do the same thing.. eat at the fish market.. take the exact same photos they have on the postcards they are sending home.. leave their rubbish in the same overflowing bins.. fight for the same antler skulls and reindeer skins at the over saturated harbor market.. drink till drunk and then vroooom.. back to the safely and reassurance of their floating, all inclusive hotel.
    the state of the harbor of an evening when they leave is a shame..

    maternity leave for a few more weeks makes it difficult.. i’m becoming a hermit who spends most of the day playing with building bricks and toy cars..

    a temptingly luxurious life to settle into..

  • David (Bowen That is)

    I’m hearing you. We have those floating affluent slums pulling in down hear as well.
    In the summer they wake me up win the Bing, Bong, Bung… followed by some banal message. Shortly after that there will be a group ( what is the collective noun for affluent american retirees with white shoes ) out the front of my place and before I can even get out of bed I’ll here “Maud, can ya see that… look sea kayaks hanging from that verandah, god that’s neat”.
    and I dream of winter….

  • Tom; “funny how my earliest work in the water produced the majority of the best photos”

    Sometimes I think the less you know about a particular way or method of shooting the better things turn out. I think I have a tendency to overthink sometimes instead of going with the flow.

    We’re right near the end of winter here in NZ, a few very early spring blossoms and daffodils in the paddock. I’m looking forward to summer because I’ll be able to pursue my project at high speed, because it’ll be warm, sunny (hopefully!) and school will be out for the summer.

    I’ve spent the last few weeks devising ways to shoot in the surf. Not surfing, just the kids having fun splashing about. Summer revolves around the sea and waterholes here too!! A common worldwide theme I suppose!

    I know what you mean about balance. I’m fortunate to have a few acres too and there’s always something to do. And being country bred it brasses you off if you don’t get the outside work done.

    When I get fed up with writing articles I go out for a walk around the property; see what birds are flitting around, how the fruit trees are growing, and go give an apple to each of my 3 old Jersey cows! The oldest around 26!


  • Ross: much better thank you! I find if I don’t compare Bucharest to other European cities I don’t get so bent out of shape. It would be great though if I could meet a Romanian woman and marry her. So many of the women are wearing wonderful sun dresses thee days.

  • Davin; That’s good, I’m pleased to hear that.

    Tom; Just picked up a mint Agfa Isoly to use in conjunction with the Holga. Just to complicate my choices :-)

  • JIM…

    film might be “history” for day to day working photographers, but i doubt the supply of film we go away anytime soon….i am shooting film for my family project and building a darkroom now as well…of course, i must admit that the darkroom is to be used very specifically for some hand made collectors books i am doing and film on the family project is largely a sentimental choice…still, the large prints i make from the medium format film cannot be duplicated in overall depth of tonality with digital…particularly black & white…but, yes, for all practical purposes, film is in the past…

    cheers, david


    Did you receive my emails with my book text attached? Don’t want to keep bugging you but would love to move towards getting the Blurb book completed so I can present it to Melissa Harris at Aperture. We’ll also want to talk about what date would work for us to meet with her in NY. I’m getting quite excited!

    Will try to call you either today or tomorrow. Any time that’s best for you?


  • How can my present be the past?

    Though this weekend for the job shot !!something like 1,500 digital images. And 200 on film. But just because it is easier (and fun, wow! look at that one, let me change it up a bit, wow! neat) to get a whole lot of pretty interesting images digitally doesn’t mean I – or the person paying – will prefer any of them to the ones on film.

  • p.s. Jim

    I think the 50 rolls from the dark light of this nothing go into the soup today..your lens has to be 15 of them or so..can’t wait to see the results..thanks again..

  • David, I’m with you. I still shoot film for personal stuff. I’ve used these Leicas for so many years that I think my hands actually changed shape to fit around them. :) But film with become more and more niche and more and more expensive, so digital is the new reality.

  • Davin wrote,

    “There isn’t a digital Fuji 6×17 for Koudelka. . .”

  • matthew

    yep – thats the way of it :o)

    i am in awe of their size, i have to say.. (the ships that is, not the tourists)
    over here, where the little wooden houses rise only 2 floors, the whole city looks like a childs play mat when 2 or 3 of the larger vessels dock..

    tasmania looks interesting.. some lovely work on your site..


  • mtomalty

    good grief.. what a beast.

    it’s not the pixels, it what you do with them that counts..

  • Horses and buggies will become more and more niche and more and more expensive, so automobiles are the new reality.

  • “good grief.. what a beast.”

    I agree.
    Just because you can; doesn’t mean you should !

  • Jesus! What a camera! But “D3”? They couldn’t think of anything else? ;^}

  • One guy can build buggies by hand in his garage with hand tools. You’ve got to have a sophisticated line to produce 35mm film. Once the sinking production tipping point is reached, it’s all over. :)

  • I want to do what Duckrabbit (above) does. That’s my plan. But I want to bring in more motion capture. In fact, I want to make the transition to DSLR hd movie capture. But I don’t even have such a camera. But that’s my PLAN.

    In fact, my plan is to “embed” myself in south London. I’m not interested in traveling at the moment and not for quite a while, in fact. I’ve done enough of that. I want to learn my patch here in south London. I want to seek out it’s stories. It’s characters. It’s enigmas. The lot. I want to make short films of just a few minutes each on the stories I find. And I’ve begun my research. My youngest starts school and so it’s time again for Paulyman to make work. To make films.

    Ever since my wife and I started our wee family, my plans have consistently disintegrated. I have not managed to stay the course on some interesting ideas and projects for the last 7 years. This frustrates me enormously. But come September I hope to be fully back on track of seeking out both paid assignments and my own little stories.

    I hope to mix stills, audio and video in my south London stories. I hope to have a regular blog that will chart my progress and seek opinion. Once I’ve gathered in some finished pieces, I’ll seek some sponsorship.

    The plan’s a good one. But given my record over the last several years, I’m worried that it’ll all fall apart. I’m determined but something always interrupted before. Hoping this time to handle familial complexities more efficiently.

    Since I’ve not been working full time for some time, I need to find a way to get some new gear. Initially, I may have to beg, steal or borrow. Or hire. But hiring is dead money. Two flash guns are down. My wide zoom is rattling. My D200 needs a serious overhaul. And I need to find a decent audio field recorder.

    I’m utterly determined to stay the course this time after so many years of misfiring.

    I have, however, managed to complete 4 big projects started before I became a father and I will roll these out throughout this year and next.

    One issue that has haunted me since taking a sabbatical from professional shooting to be a full-time carer, is my rattled self confidence. This is perhaps the biggest reason my failed projects have crashed. I’m a confident father and I’m good with kids but with regard to getting back in the frey of paid and self assignment photography and filmmaking, I’m more than a little wary. And I really need to get past that. Just the thought of having to build up my contacts and establish a few regulars and getting money moving, is rather frightening to me sometimes.

    Anyone else in a similar position out there?

    The thing that is really beginning to motivate me right now is the need to show my sons that a creative person can support themselves doing what they love to do. To this end I MUST succeed.

    Wish me luck. The game’s about to re-commence.

    Paul Treacy

  • good luck with all of this paul. it’s not easy.

  • Akaky
    August 19, 2009 at 4:14 pm
    300! Yes!

    Akaky yes… loved that movie too..
    made me proud..:)))))))

    My grandma was from Sparta…( although my grandpa was “gay”…)))))))\
    mixed up feelings , i know…
    but still.. proude..
    ( although pride is a Sin according to Buddhism …go figure..:))))))))

  • Panos,

    I can’t lie, guy: I HATED that movie. I wrote a review of it that scorched the earwax of everyone within hearing range.

  • Hey Panos;

    Have you ever seen the movie/doco “Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus”? I love it and thought it may appeal to you too?

    A couple of scenes;

  • Akaky..
    ok then..:)
    then im wrong..

  • FOUND IT! WOOHOO! I thought this sucker was lost on the hard drive.

    300: The thing of it is, of course, that it is almost always a mistake for me to go see a film based on a historical event. Before I got into the civil service, I planned to teach history to that class of mental ruminants known as the American teenager, for reasons I am pretty sure wouldn’t stand any prolonged examination if I looked at them now. I was young and idealistic then, as well as broke and foolish, and becoming a history teacher seemed an ideal way of combining my love of history, my otherwise useless degree in the subject, and my overwhelming need for gainful employment. I still love the subject, but
    my love of the subject, however, does come with this one drawback: historically based films tend to annoy me no end. It’s not that I have anything against the genre per se; I simply find that no matter how much I want to suspend my disbelief I can’t help noticing what the producers got wrong. Even such an innocuous film as the 1940 version of Pride and Prejudice annoys me when I watch it. There’s nothing wrong with the film, of course; with a screenplay by Aldous Huxley and starring Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier, this version of Jane Austen’s classic is one of the best cinematic adaptations of a great work of literature ever made. What annoys me is that while the novel is set at some unnamed point in the 1790’s and early 1800’s, the women in this adaptation are wearing clothing that wouldn’t be in style for another thirty or forty years. Pointing out this sort of thing tends to mark one as insufferably pedantic at best and as an unspeakable bore at worst, so I usually try to go to such films by myself, the better to gloat over the stupidity of the producers, who spent all of that money getting the facts wrong when they could have gotten the facts right and still have an excellent film.

    This leads, invariably, I think, to a discussion of 300, the new multimillion-dollar cartoon about the Spartan stand against the Persians at Thermopylae. This film is based on a graphic novel, a form of publication people my age still call comic books because calling them comic books annoys teenagers no end, and let’s face it, anything that can annoy a teenager no end can’t be all bad. The trouble is that the comic book and its sensibility, if you want to call them that, damage this film from start to finish. There are so many problems with this flick that the mind boggles at where to start, so let’s start with the basics: the script bites the big one.

    At this point in my movie going career, I know the drill when it comes to historical epics: the dialogue is always stilted, stiff, and altogether dopey, and does not, in any way, shape, or form, resemble human speech as such speech is known to occur in all human societies at all periods since the Paleolithic Age. The further back in history you go, the worse this problem gets. The 1964 movie version of this battle, The 300 Spartans, starring Richard Egan and a host of other people whose names escape me at the moment, has the same problem, although it has one great line that somehow managed to get into the script: “the gods give us beautiful girls to marry, and then they turn them into wives.” This sort of heavy wooden dialogue is simply part of the genre package. Ten-ton dialogue is especially prevalent in almost any movie based on the Bible. In The Ten Commandments, for example, Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner could have raised a couple of pyramids using the words in the script alone, and I would be willing to bet good money that the reason Heston and Brynner got those roles is that they were the only two actors in Hollywood who could say those lines and one, make them sound even vaguely credible, and two, not collapse in hysterical fits of laughter on a regular basis while trying to say them.

    Most people, however, other than the usual suspects, do not speak as if they thought the FBI had a bug in the room and they didn’t want get caught saying something incriminating. Even people in 480 BC didn’t talk that way. 300’s dialogue problem occurs because no one should be saying this stuff out loud in the first place; you should be reading it in a balloon over the character’s head, and now, freed from the space limitations of the printed page, you can listen to more of it than you really want to. The dialogue feels like someone’s pumped it full of steroids and couldn’t care less if the actors can’t pass the drug test. The actors aren’t really delivering their lines, they’re bloviating on camera, and their inexperience shows; only politicians can really bloviate well, and why would you spend ten bucks to see actors bloviate badly on a movie screen when you can, in the comfort of your own home, watch Congress bloviate for free on C-Span?

    The battle scenes are suitably gory, as befits a war film, but even here, where the film should be on solid footing, the whoppers accumulate like crabgrass. If the producers of 300 had taken the trouble to consult a book about Sparta other than the comic book they based the film on, they would have quickly learned that the Spartans, like the Prussians, were not a country with an army; they were an army with a country. The Spartans were, without a doubt, the premier soldiers of ancient Greece, the individual Spartan soldier being the final and finest product of a militaristic society that brutally trained men from childhood to withstand any hardship an enemy power could throw at them. War and the preparations for war were the central focus of all Spartan society, subsuming every other field of intellecual, artistic, or commercial endeavor. Combat provided the Spartan state and the individual Spartan soldier with the very reason for their existence. In short, unlike the cinematic Spartans of 300, the real Spartans were probably the last group of men in ancient Greece to show up for a major battle wearing only their underwear.

    Yet, in the movies, as with the Almighty, all things are possible, and in 300, the Spartans fight while bare-chested and wearing leather underwear (I am assuming that it’s leather and not very dirty Fruit of the Looms). The producers let the cinematic Spartans keep their shields, swords, spears, and greaves; I suppose they did not want to strain the audience’s credulity too much, although I should point out that there were no elephants at Thermopylae, no cavalry charge at Thermopylae, and no armored rhinoceros at Thermopylae, either (I thought the rhino was pretty cool, though). If Xerxes really wanted to bring along an elephant or a rhinoceros he could have found someone to get him a pair, I guess; he was the king, after all, and as Mel Brooks says, it’s good to be king; but he didn’t. Neither did he order a cavalry charge; if had done something that stupid Herodotus would have mentioned it in his history of the war. No, Thermopylae was a straight up infantry battle that the Persians won because they found a way around the Spartan position; a man named Ephialtes told the Persians about the mountain track that led around the position, ratting his fellow Greeks out for money. Herodotus does not mention if this two-bit stool pigeon looked, as 300 would have it, like a Hellenic version of Gollum.

    As for the political intriguing in Sparta, the less said the better. Much as I like watching a good-looking woman eviscerate a crooked politician with a sword, this scene poses two immediate problems. First, why doesn’t this scheming pol have his money at home in the freezer like any good anti-war politician should, instead of carrying his boodle around in his wallet, and second, the Persians paid the man off in gold. The man was a Spartan. Where was he going to spend the money? The Spartans used iron bars tempered in vinegar for currency; they wanted to make sure no one spent a lot of time trying to get rich when they should be out training to fight someone. The Spartans had little use for commerce in general and none at all for luxury goods. They were a plainspoken, simple, agrarian society and the Spartans intended to stay that way.

    As for the Persians in 300, well, if I were an Iranian government official looking at this film, I wouldn’t be happy, either. Iranians regard this period, from the rise of Cyrus the Great to the toppling of the ancient monarchy by Alexander, as one of the greatest eras in their long national history, and watching Hollywood turn your culture into prolonged camp cannot be that easy to stomach. I mean, really, is it just me or does Xerxes and his travelling freak show look remarkably like they’re trying to find their way to San Francisco’s annual Gay Pride parade? The producers make Xerxes look like an epicene twit who’d have a monumental hissy fit if those nasty Spartans broke just one of his fingernails. And there were entirely too many shots, I thought, of bare-chested Spartans standing around looking buff in their leather briefs. Gay erotica is all very well and good if you like that sort of thing, but 300 is, ostensibly, a war movie, even a tragedy, and not, as the producers seem to believe, a celebration of beefcake.

    And I suppose in these politically correct times I should point out that, for all their talk of freedom, the Spartans weren’t exactly the most inclusively democratic people who ever lived, but that is anachronism in its purest form, and I had a history professor who warned all his students that engaging in anachronism, speculation, and the genetic fallacy were historical sins you should avoid at all costs. So, I will take his advice and skip the usual rant about the gross inequities of Spartan society, and just say that if you really want to know what happened read Herodotus’ The Histories. There is a great film in the epic Greek stand against the Persians in the mountain pass of Thermopylae. 300, unfortunately, is not it; in fact, 300 barely qualifies as the cartoon version.

  • Admin….!!!
    please erase Akaky’s last statement…

    loves it:)

  • Wow… how it is that a well educated and (seemingly) thoughtful fellow who also happens to be smart enough to be humorous (in an adult fashion) on a regular basis can be so enamored of a mindless dipshit, a willfully ignorant religious fanatic, an anti-intellectual mental deficient like Sarah Palin escapes me. But hey, to each his own, right? ;^}

    Genuinely enjoyed the review Akaky!

  • Hey Panos! As I mentioned on that other website… I’m about to become a proud owner of an iPhone. Will be needing some assistance, I expect. Are you there for me?

  • Michael…:)
    two years almost, ago…
    when i got one i lost my mind…
    two years later my mind is still lost…
    the “iphone” took it away…. stole it from me…:)
    of course im here and there for u…:)

  • Oh good! Like my mind wasn’t “gone” enough already! Heh-heh…

  • it was the same year … the same magical year that i was introduced to an iPhone and an M8…
    that was it……
    i lost it…….!:(

  • I just wish I got the same deal you did!
    If memory serves… you and your buddy got the thing for next to nothing?
    What’s up with that?

  • On wide angle now (PBS) – Eyes of the Storm, a doc about the situation after the storm floods in Burma

  • panos / akaky …….. stop motion spoof of 300 …….

  • a civilian-mass audience


    you are a “true” BURNIAN and I believe that you are a “true” Greek too.

    Akaky, Tom Hyde,Michael k,Eva,Panos,JohnG, AndrewB…and so many other BURNIANS …have shown us that
    there are no boarders, no limits in what we call … Respect …
    Thank yo all!!!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Mr.P TREACY,

    You will succeed:

    “The thing that is really beginning to motivate me right now is the need to show my sons that a creative person can support themselves doing what they love to do…”

  • a civilian-mass audience


    Did I say I love you ,Lately???

  • a civilian-mass audience

    MR. D.A. HARVEY,

    Thank you again!!!

  • a civilian-mass audience


    I have no time BUT I want to say To all of you:

    Thank you.

    P.S Mr.Davin can I be your bestman or bestwoman …
    I see a Romanian lady on the forecast :)))

  • a civilian-mass audience


    Where are you street fighter???

    My Gracie has magnetic walls and DavidB is on paternity leave …
    lost somewhere in the woods carrying a “precious load”…

    Shall I start singing ???

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY BURN !!! Almost 9 months BURN BABY !!! BABY BURN !!!

  • Cats are very similiar to women……….


    i think i have pointed out here that email for me these days is truly hit or miss….i am overwhelmed by email…i did not see your emails…once emails go beyond the first page for me , they are lost unless i know to search for something….sorry…i will search for yours now and hope to speak with you on the phone as well…i have not forgotten you…august is pretty much a dead month for business, but the next two months with be very busy indeed, and i have you as a top priority….

    cheers, david

  • SO HEY Uncle did you get to my edit?


    “Wow… how it is that a well educated and (seemingly) thoughtful fellow who also happens to be smart enough to be humorous (in an adult fashion) on a regular basis can be so enamored of a mindless dipshit, a willfully ignorant religious fanatic, an anti-intellectual mental deficient like Sarah Palin…”

    She has a nice ass. Yes, I am that shallow.

  • I once spent 2 of the wasted years of my life with a girl that had a nice ass! Arteries that would have brought blood to her brain were bypassed at her butt!

  • GLENN…

    no mate i have not done your edit….but, you are in the next group to be edited…anton and i try to edit about 10 stories at a time…get them all done at once and lined up to publish…makes our whole work flow so much easier…there are exceptions to this and we will plug in something new that requires little production time at the last minute…but, i want to be able to have the time to give your work a very close look…my overall impression is as i have told you..very positive…and representative of a project where the photographer really cares about the issue…i will let you know soonest when i have done an edit, then get your endorsement, and we can go back and forth a bit to the point where we are both pleased…make sense??

    cheers, david


    Thanks for responding. I realize your life is busy-busy-busy making it impossible for you to read or respond to the hundreds of emails you receive each day. I just tried to reach you by phone but your voicemail box is full. So can you just call me whenever you have a few minutes?

    Thanks for your assurance that we’ll be moving forward with my project in the autumn. The final edition of my Blurb book should be in my hands by the second week in September at the latest. And maybe earlier. I’m available to come to NY anytime after that. We can certainly plan for our meeting at Aperture to coincide with whenever you’ll already be in Brooklyn.

    Looking forward to hearing from you…


  • @jason houge,

    “It’s interesting to know what they know – They seem to be kept in the dark about everything – perhaps all of the people are treated as though they are in the military and on a need to know basis… very sad.”

    funny you say that… dont you think propaganda happens in the US too?

  • dont you think propaganda happens in the US too?

    That’s not what Jason wrote.

  • herve,

    this was not meant to attack jason’s sensitivity to other cultures…
    this is meant for me to sigh and whine. we here are also cloistered from what we need to see. the more borders we cross, the more we know the world and its people are the same, with the same needs and wants.
    unfortunately, some of our countrymen have never felt or seen other people’s sentiments beyond our shores closing their minds to the possibility of our country hurting others when we think we are just trying to help.

    whine whine
    sigh sigh
    g ;)

  • Paul, I’m in a similar position and it’s absolutely terrifying. I was hoping that if I pretend otherwise nobody else would notice. Have you thought of leasing equipment? I think you can buy stuff at the end for a nominal fee. Plus if you’re really stuffed for a flash I could lend you an SB28 for a few months.

    Glen I’m guessing you were just unlucky I know a girl with all the brains in the world and a lovely bum.

  • we here are also cloistered from what we need to see.


    See what you did, Gracie. Jason was merely commenting on the country the photo was featured from, so why mention USA? A bit centric, no?

  • Harry, I appreciate that enormously. I’ll have Fixation pop on a new hotshoe connection on my trusty SB28 and I should be good to go. My beloved SB600 seems to have given up the ghost. That’ll need replacing.

    The new D300s is out of my range at the moment but my need to learn hd video shooting may well be satisfied by the substantially less expensive D90 with external audio. I’ll figure something out.

    It is scary but I’m tremendously excited. I’ve gathered some maturity these last few years and a burning desire to make some money. Bring it on. It’s time to show the youngsters that the old-timers can still shake things up.

    Did I really just say that? I’m only 40!

    By the way, my wife has some serious brains. She’s the smartest person I know. And she has a gorgeous bum.

  • Paul; “Did I really just say that? I’m only 40!”

    Ah yes, but with age comes experience!


  • hi herve,

    so why can i not mention the US? i am here. arent my reactions to things or to photos a product of my own experiences? or should i just think and not say anything… note that this i wrote on stray cat… not on the photo itself because i wanted to comment on the photo and the writing itself but i will do that soon after i mull it over…

    thanks though for noticing my post.

    (still i am – sigh sighing, whine whining)

  • Ross, thanks for your email. That was a good article too, by the way.

    You have given me much to think about.


  • DAH, I submitted an image last evening. Mentioning only because previously there were technical issues.

  • Gracie, with all due respect, I give you much more credit than that. This was simply not a thought (as you wrote it), but an old PC tirade.

    I will leave you the last word, but kindly answer this question: can you give me instances of north Korean citizens, inside NK of course, publicly decrying their governemnet propaganda , as you did here, in total impunity?

  • Gracie,

    I think you really don’t have a clue about the US or North Korea. And you live in the US. Its remarkable that anyone would even try in an remote way to compare the US and North Korea. How can you be so clueless? Next time you criticize Barack Obama, his predecessor or his successor, remember that the same would land you in a hard labor camp for 15 years, and you would be dead within 2 either from overwork, murder or torture. That’s even if they bothered to even give you a “trial” and didn’t just execute you on the spot. Yes, you have propaganda in the US, but you have a variety of propaganda, and you can choose which propaganda to listen to. In North Korea there is one source, and one source only. And propaganda does not equal propaganda, not in frequency, intensity, message or variety of message. What you wrote is so beyond ludicrous, its just absurd.

  • @herve,

    i am so sorry if i offended you. i will answer your question shortly but dinner (to be prepared) awaits.
    thanks also for giving me chance for last say.


  • a civilian-mass audience

    FOCUS BURNIANS…cause it seems that your postings are coming down to the same point:

    There is everywhere propaganda…IMHO

    GRACIE = 100% correct
    “we here are also cloistered from what we need to see.”

    HERVE = 100% correct
    “Jason was merely commenting on the country the photo was featured from…”

    RAFAL = 100%
    “Yes, you have propaganda in the US, but you have a variety of propaganda, and you can choose which propaganda to listen to. In North Korea there is one source, and one source only…”…you would be dead within 2 either from overwork, murder or torture.”

    Therefore, on planet earth..
    propaganda =”Literally translated from the Latin gerundive as “things that must be disseminated”, in some cultures the term is neutral or even positive, while in others the term has acquired a strong negative connotation. The connotations of the term “propaganda” can also VARY over time.”

    You are ALL correct …even Akaky :)))
    I suggest to have a glass of red wine and start again :)))

    P.S I thought we were talking about gorgeous BUMS tonight…hmmm

  • @Rafal,
    In all your strong words, I find as I reread what I said and what you said it looks like you agreed with me. There is then propaganda here and that is just what I said or implied. But yes, to a different degree a much much different degree. And you are right, I am lucky that I am able to keep my head on my body despite of what I said and this democracy allows it. I hope I can say I am about as clueless as the next person. If I were such then I would not mention such a thing existing in the US.

    @ Herve, unfortunately if one is fed only apples and seen only apples, one would not be able to know how an orange tastes. I do not know much about how it is in North Korea but the photo-up implies per its transcript that the woman in so much was misinformed to say the least. Therefore, I cannot fault the North Koreans in this instance to feel what they feel against the Americans if this is all they know. We cannot feel sad for them or feel pity.

    Good! I am glad I got you guys to say strong stuff because what we need are people standing up for themselves and not just take what we all are being fed. Here you can talk, write, when in other places of the world they are afraid to speak. When they do, no one sheds a tear or even notices you are now missing.

  • a civilian-mass audience


    you can walk the walk and talk the talk

    P.S May I ask…what did you have for dinner???
    No need for immediate reply



    fuck North Korea……….
    ( sorry i meant to say Fuck JAY-Z )
    when Brooklyn attacks Manhattan…..

  • Jay-Z – Jigga What, Jigga Who

  • Paul;

    No worries. I just thought it may be a way of getting a few dollars in with the minimum of expense and outlay. All the best.


  • I agree with Panos’ sentiments to North Korea. 1000%


    I think your basic error is calling what they have in North Korea and what you have in the USA by the same name, an in effect making the two equal. There is nothing similar between American propaganda and North Korean brainwashing. Absolutely nothing. To even suggest it is a travesty.

  • A very good documentary that follows two families as the kids prepare to take part in the Mass Games in North Korea..

  • DAH

    am around in the morning if you are free

  • “There is nothing similar between American propaganda and North Korean brainwashing. Absolutely nothing. To even suggest it is a travesty.” myself, Noam Chomsky, and many others would beg to differ on that point.

  • and like Chomsky you would be an idiot. To deny the plainly obvious is just stupid, John. In the first place, you are free to choose your own poison, and free to sample from a variety of poisons. You are also free to have access to outside propaganda and are allowed to make up your own mind. None of this is afforded to north Koreans who have no access to anything but the official word, and can be killed for possession of outside information. Chomsky is a coward with zero credibility and a twisted agenda. When people make statements like yours that so plainly fly in the face of truth I suspect either chomskyism or simple ignorance. So, what do you know about North Korea, John, sitting comfortably in the US making lazy, uniformed comments on the internet?

  • one more thing, in the US you are free to tune out all the propaganda. In North Korea yoou would be forced to worship the government, be it through the personality cult of the Kims and events like the mass games which are basically slave labor for the glorification of a murderous regime that has hundreds of thousands of its own citizens locked away in hard labor camps because they are in some way a political threat to Kim and his evil clique. Chomsky would probably see nothing wrong with that, I hope you are more human than he is.

  • “There is nothing similar between American brainwashing and North Korean propaganda . Absolutely nothing.,,,,,,,,,,except Rafal being one of the brainwashed.

  • Anyone who dismisses Chomky’s sociopolitical analysis as idiotic is either braindead or part of the propaganda machine.

  • i meant Chomsky of course… :)

  • Yes Imants, North Korea and the US are so comparable. I can see you are on the ball.

  • gotta love people who dont have a clue about north korea playing the role of north korean experts.

  • So Rafal you have decided to become the resident expert on North Korea on this forum. You seem to be so right wing that you have taken up hovering in circles over North Korea, be careful they might blast you out of the sky

  • But don’t worry the armada of white duck boats will save you

  • No, I didnt decide to become any expert, Imants. Its unfortunate to have a neighbor like North Korea. Am I right wing? Well, for 8 years I have lived within artillery and scud missile range of a country that makes weekly war threats against the country I am living in. I have followed inter-Korean news daily, and I get my news from both left and right wing domestic media as well as international media. I have a family here, have invested my future in Korea and so for me, unlike you, this is much more than just another topic to spout your boring pseudo-intellectual hot air. Next you will move on to another topic. What is your level of exposure to North Korea and NK news?

  • Too much anger in your posts to keep continue with a worth while discussion, I’ll leave you to wallow in your misery

  • Rafal…

    No one here made the tiniest positive remark about the North Korean regime.

    You on the other hand jumped the gun exhibiting the textbook first generation American mentality by bashing anyone who criticizes the US in any form.

    Chomsky (just like Zinn) is by far more human (and even an America patriot) than most of the politicians who’ve roamed Washington in the past 50 years. Attaching him, his work and anyone who sees value in both was plain stupid on your part.

  • ALL….

    i have not had the opportunity to work in North Korea, but if they would allow me to do so, i would be there in a heartbeat…just as i jumped at the chance to work in North Vietnam before positive U.S. relations, Libya when declared a “terrorist” state, East Germany before the Wall came down, Chile under Pinochet and of course Cuba…having been “detained” at various times in all of those places and becoming very very alone in small airless rooms and my freedom at the mercy of a particular guard or set of guards, i certainly did not see much difference between the “right” secret police who grabbed me in Santiago and the “left” secret police who held me in Hanoi…a totalitarian regime is a totalitarian regime…propaganda is of course everywhere…enforcement of the dissemination and propagation of that propaganda varies with the power of the regime and perhaps their sense of “isolation”…freedom of speech seems to be the first thing to go in these regimes, yet the leaders always feel as if they are all alone and fighting for their freedom…

    i looked closely into the warm grandfatherly eyes of NVA General Giap who defeated both the French and the Americans in Vietnam and was Ho Chi Minh’s closest friend and warrior….i looked very very closely into the warm grandfatherly eyes of General Augusto Pinochet in Chile….same with Mohammar Kadafi and Fidel (respectful friends and the most charismatic of all)…i had time to study each of these men beyond seeing them on tv or read their interviews or their espoused propaganda…to the man, charming beyond all belief….dedicated beyond all belief…to the man, feeling they were fighting for “their people”…deep down sense of purpose….righteous and sense of duty…all with x amount of blood on their hands….all with one clear “enemy” (the U.S.) who they were also desperately trying to be friends with, had previously been friends with…and all of them at least allowing my presence in their country albeit closely monitored….i guess the point is , that all leaders feel they have a cause….all countries have an agenda and they will do whatever it takes to further that agenda…they are able to look past the blood they have spilled and somehow see the “light”…however, no country has justified their “expansion” or “policy” more than the U.S. and their allies in recent history….

    i am quite sure that Kim Jong-il is a very charming man as well….but i do not think he will let any of us come and take a close look anytime soon…he cannot afford the luxury of freedom of press and speech at this point….he will hold on to his “ideals” til death…he will always feel trapped , isolated, the underdog, and will do whatever it takes to build his “defense”….i also do not think there will be war with North Korea either unless somebody does something really stupid…

    some propaganda is just that, propaganda …some propaganda is enforced law….there is a difference…no North Korean photographers seem to be sending me their essays or singles….still, i am waiting for my visa to North Korea….i want to see firsthand…..

    cheers, david


    i have your prints….found!!!….many thanks….

    cheers, david

  • Happy to hear that!
    When you have some time please take a look at the link I sent you in the last email?

  • Im not even American. Ive never even lived there. I am Polish and Canadian. And I live in Korea. But thanks for that oh so accurate assessment of me Thodoris, care to amaze me with more of your Sherlock holmes impersonations? My defending of the US comes from having grown up under communism and my inability to understand how people can attack a country that allows them the freedoms to lead a life as they would want with all the comforts and luxuries they would ever need while supporting countries that deny their own people the basic human rights and dignities.

    The remarks that were made were about propaganda. You cannot separate the DPRK regime from its propaganda, it is how it stays alive, by brainwashing its own people into supporting them.

    Wise words:

    “some propaganda is just that, propaganda …some propaganda is enforced law….there is a difference…no North Korean photographers seem to be sending me their essays or singles….still, i am waiting for my visa to North Korea….i want to see firsthand…..”

    People like Chomsky get their jollies defending people like KJI while residing comfortably in a big home in a country they seem to hate. Chomsky could stop being a hypocrite and could defect to any of the countries he seems to love so much, Cuba, DPRK, whatever. But he wont because he is a cowardly bag of hot air. back to propaganda. In the US you have a choice to listen to whatever propaganda you want, left, right, centris, Rep or Dem, whatever you want. Or none at all. None of those choices will land you in a hard labor camp for 15 years to life. The posession of a radio capable of getting South Korean broadcasts will get you executed, and your family most likely as well.

  • ………. ahh the man still has reds sleeping under his bed.

  • Rafal,

    Are you even hearing your own thoughts?

    Who are you referring to as “… supporting countries that deny their own people the basic human rights and dignities.”?

    Also, among other things, Chomsky was openly against the Vietnam War from the beginning, at a time when it could have easily cost him his job and even land him in jail. Hearing you bashing the man… You sound just as an arrogant child.

    Also, one doesn’t NEED to be an American in order to exhibit the mentality I accused you of. Many neoconservatives in Cyprus would talk pretty much in the same line as well, for example.

    Freedom of speech is overrated as a shield against propaganda. Surely there is a world of difference between a totalitarian state like N.K. and what goes on in the States. But in order to seek out (and have access to) balanced information one needs also education, time, energy, and of course money. Do you suppose that the majority of the Americans have those things, or that maybe they get their information about local and international news from sources like Fox?

  • Also, please don’t try to make your point sound more credible by association by using David’s words. We can all scroll up a bit and read the post in its entirety. He said more than the part you pasted…

    And do make myself clear.
    I’m not trying to change your mind. We are all products of our experiences. You are who you are and I cannot force you to change no matter what I say.

    The only purpose of me posting this is for other people to read. People who might accidentally think that you know what you’re talking about, especially regarding Chomsky.

  • thodoris,

    you hit the head on the nail. big example: healthcare tort reform issue which has had so many facets. i am involved now in sponsoring/starting a debate that is sponsored by opposite views in 3 parts just to get information out. not that i think this can make a difference in the decision making of the politicians in my republican state but i feel there is the need to inform the public. i dont want good aspects of the bill to be diluted by the fact that obama won (people still think emotionally that way) or have the bad aspects of the bill be pushed into law because it is obama who is pushing it. even for me, i dont know where to look for good balanced information. and i am not the average, clueless, joe schmoe. it is such a big effort. i have my own thoughts since i shall bear the brunt of the impact of this bill being a part of the healthcare system here. but for me to disseminate such information, i am bound to myself to find accurate information.

    i never said the degrees of propaganda is the same everywhere. you were the one that pointed out my basic error of saying such when i never said it was the same. misinformation is wrong and it empowers the already very powerful people pushing for their own agenda. though there is a drastic difference when there are physical consequences. misinformation at a time like this though can affect my children’s children’s children and then physical consequences to them. degrees and extent might be different, i would be foolish to say that the consequences are the same as we perceive it in different countries.

    like you, i have had close family members be at risk for detention, some detained, some summarily executed for what they believed in. like you, i feel strongly about things and should say so much more and should do so much more. but unlike you, i will not post specifics on the internet and unlike you, i will not call you names.


    surely many Americans are among the most uninformed folks on the planet…oftentimes just plain embarrassing i must say considering what they should/could know…one must, as you say, make an effort to get past a “FOX” interpretation of the world…so, well rounded information is totally available, but it takes a desire to go get it…to find out as much as possible about any given issue…it is this desire for a true world vision that is lacking, not the preponderance of quality information…as you so correctly point out, we are all products of our experiences, and few minds are ever changed based on that experience…however, even the largely uninformed American citizens do eventually come to their senses on various issues often because of the free press, but it just seems to take forever and often way too late to save a particular policy decision from having gone all wrong….democracy is by its very nature unwieldy…slow…..full of idiosyncrasies, contradictions, corruptions , and flaws….personally, again based on my own experiences, i am going to choose the personal freedoms i have over supporting a dogmatic ideal, but i do not for a minute think that the system under which i live is not full of manipulative elements nor do i for a minute think that i must not constantly be aware of what is going on around me, and be aware to the best of my ability the points of view and the experiences of others which is part of my ongoing and incomplete education….in other words, i assume nothing…..

    cheers, david

  • I think it’s hard to get information even when you are interested. I’m trying to find out what’s going on in Afghanistan and even though it’s in the news at the moment I can’t seem to find a voice that I trust to give me the information I want. It really really worries me.

    Therefore, I cannot fault the North Koreans in this instance to feel what they feel against the Americans if this is all they know.

    But your comment did exactly that: find fault in americans for being cloistered and propagandized.

    PS: not a last word, just: ?!?!?!? :-)

  • The “preponderance of good information” is shrinking exponentially. I would argue that in the U.S. it peaked sometime around Watergate before advertisers began running the show and the insidious slow capitulation of newsrooms to the edict of offend as few as possible took firm hold as the proverbial nose under the tent to the point that in many places today the state of media has become completely vacuous and entertainment centric cesspools of mindless “happy” banality selling cheap plastic crap to television crack addicted masses whose lives are virtual in every sense of the word and who don’t want to know in a country where we are all truly free to sink into bottomless pits of self indulgence mired within castles of mucho stuff eating artificial genetically engineered perfectly tasteless crap while we wonder why so many are depressed and on Prozac and don’t care about the news anymore because they either don’t want to know and it’s full of junk or for those who do care, it’s full of mindless junk catering to the oblivious who could care less about the state of the state, or their own community, much less global affairs which only helps to feed a self perpetuating downward cycle until someone finally says enough!, I’m going to publish what others won’t anymore, because the mainstream traded their balls long ago for the SUV and the 401K only to discover that their job is tenuous or gone, their SUV is a hole into which to pour money and their 401K is as shriveled as the pride they once had to only discover that by offending as few as possible to cater to the advertisers they sealed their fate because no one wants to read their vacuous home decorating tips and even the home decorators won’t advertise there anymore, and damnit no one will say damn the torpedoes I’ll publish what the hell I got into this business to publish, so in the absence others take up the dull quill, whet it to a viscously fine point … and start a blog.

    Or to paraphrase, a wonderful U.S. newspaper editor I once knew came to the sad conclusion several years ago after a long successful career in the business that, “If you really want to know what it happening in the U.S., read a Canadian newspaper.”

  • love people who dont have a clue about north korea playing the role of north korean experts.

    Sadly so, Rafal. by the way, this whole idea that “cloistering” is something related to right wing networks (TV or otherwise) is one of the worse brainwashing.

    I am still waiting for someone to show me a case of a north korean going public about being brainwashed, inside NK, as you guys so courageously do here (it can only be courageous, since we are all brainwashed, controlled, and our liberties a sinister illusion. Viva PC!)

    Throwing names. Anyone interested in Chomsky better go back to the times when he and other apologists defended the Khmer rouges and Pol Pot, and to this day, refuse to admit to their mistake of doing so (after Stalin’s death camps, after Mao’s starved millions and cultural revolution, after the KR had been starting genocidal practices in provinces they ruled before taking over).

    Gracie, I am afraid you were right. the Cloisters are not just a medieval site to visit up the Hudson River… :-))))

  • Really? ’cause I for one can’t keep up..there’s MotherJones and Utne and The Economist and The Nation and Point of View and Charlie Rose and Wide Angle and Jim Lehrer and these are just some of the ones that are handed to us out in the open, and there is a ton of info from Witness and Human Rights Watch and all these journalists risking their well being to give us information…and these are all mainstream sources…

  • no country has justified their “expansion” or “policy” more than the U.S. and their allies in recent history

    Probably proof that they are lousy propagandists, if they can’t make a point once and for all!!!

    True propagandists never have to justify anything, even the worse genocidal crimes. In thrue NIKE wisdom: they just do it! :-)

  • @herve,

    i dont know why it becomes an ‘attack’ when all three of us are on the same side. all these strong words are not mine but i must admit i was the WD40 that got it going.

    the difference here is we have a choice to be informed but are we all making that choice? this is the freedom that we now enjoy but dont lift a finger to protect… are we just content to sit back and be self-indulgent and then complain when the decisions are already made?

    and that NK you are looking for might already be dead so dont hold your breath.

  • Erica!!! :-)))

    Actually, since I travel full seasons when I do, I am using thet REAL PLAYER software to record tons of Ytube and other video clips on the laptop for times when I am somewhere, waiting for a bus, a train, or in the train, or just back in my little abode in Thailand. Absolutely everything goes, Haendel’s oratorios, Cambodian history (now and before), Russia today docus, Battle of Alesia, life of Pablo Neruda, Deleuze lectures….. Absolutely everything, hours of stuff…

    Should keep me out of the bars…. (maybe!) :-)))))

  • are we just content to sit back and be self-indulgent and then complain when the decisions are already made?

    Gracie, one liners, PC soundbites and throwing names to show bona fide enlightened” knowledge don’t do, that is my only point.

    I see it every week, here, in ultra-liberal SF, people posing as wonderful progressists, blahblahblah, but not thinking twice about evicting a poor soul going thru hard times, who will most likely end up on the street. Happening right now, next to me, and no one is watching Fox here, within a radius of quite a few miles…

  • Beautiful evening here in Bucharest with many fine women in amazing dresses, I mean really outstanding dresses! Buzzing cafes, great light. Was shooting Leica throughout. There is an energy here that I have never experienced elsewhere. It’s all about the potential of what Romania and Romanians can be. Everyone wants to be noticed. Women lock eyes with you constantly. Beautiful Art Nouveaux facades are being restored. A Porsche drives by. It’s breezy and warm and the fashion is better than what you see in Paris. And then there’s me, the only American, the only foreigner around practically, to live it all and to capture everything in images!

  • @herve,

    “one liners, PC soundbites and throwing names to show bona fide enlightened” knowledge don’t do, that is my only point”

    i am not sure you are talking about me and what i did, seriously, ive looked up most of the words youve used here each time youve posted. i am simple minded and i am trying to know more about what’s going around me and asking others to do the same. and this is my only point.

    this debate which i am helping to get off the ground might help the local area. i wouldnt as much hope that it reaches san francisco but it is a start.

  • herve !!!

    life of pablo neruda??? where do you get that?

  • Gracie, any subject, just write the name or something related to it on the Ytube search window, and bingo! Though it’s also fun to find stuff having typed a different, but loosely related subject. Ytube is a bit like fishing, you know you will eat fish, not always sure which type.

    Part 1:

    usually, if a series, the following part shows up at the top of the “related videos” column.

  • this one is good (Pablo neruda):

  • just clicked on the links herve!!
    thank you!!

    his whimsical notes are pretty interesting and his love poems are HOT!!!
    thanks again.

  • Harve,

    Calling names?? Really??
    Rafal started calling people idiots, and of course that was one of the reasons I stop reading your posts altogether in the first place. Having read your last one though, I would appreciate it if you could provide a link to the text you referred to about “…Khmer rouges and Pol Pot…”

  • Yeah come on Herve, don’t just propagandize, link please, educate us….

  • young tom..

    the state of media has become completely vacuous and entertainment centric cesspools of mindless “happy” banality selling cheap plastic crap to television crack addicted masses whose lives are virtual in every sense of the word and who don’t want to know in a country where we are all truly free to sink into bottomless pits of self indulgence mired within castles of mucho stuff eating artificial genetically engineered perfectly tasteless crap while we wonder why so many are depressed and on Prozac and don’t care about the news anymore because they either don’t want to know and it’s full of junk or for those who do care, it’s full of mindless junk catering to the oblivious who could care less about the state of the state, or their own community, much less global affairs which only helps to feed a self perpetuating downward cycle until someone finally says enough!,

    it can’t be true !

  • ……..hey the duck armada did come to Rafal’s rescue. Thodoris you may have to wait until Herve digs it up from the Life according to Ytube the Buddhist version

  • a civilian-mass audience

    I am a BURN addicted masses

    Thank you for keeping the posts “decent”…
    I will be back :)))

    I miss my souvlakia:(((

  • civi dearest,

    i am right in the middle of it civi!!
    ps i had chicken and bacon and clam soup and cantaloupe

    we know the masses love burn
    but we love you more…

    (i miss katiecakes tho)

  • a civilian-mass audience


    “North Carolina was expecting flooding and beach erosion on the Outer Banks this weekend. The National Weather Service said Bill could cause water levels to rise three to four feet (0.9 to 1.2 meters) above normal and the ocean could spill over roads there”

    MR.HARVEY and all BURNIANS in the area if you need shelter … we are here…
    maybe Here and There…anyways…We love stray cats and dogs …

  • David B. … thankfully, it’s only a partial truth … not mine … Erica’s was a good list … I miss real Feta …

  • a civilian-mass audience


    Your words are music !!!
    I wish I can have what you have …one day :))) clams …how aphrodisiac
    please, don’t forget the ice-cream…you promised …

    KATIE…we are watching you…Come over
    DavidB …crackle…tickle tack…with Tor Capa
    night shift for My Gracie to carry on…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Wait for me TOMMY,

    real feta is my specialty…ask Thodori and Pano and AndrewB
    Imants will bring wild pork
    Herve a SF bay soup
    Rafael the fried rice and noodle compination
    Davidb a handmade pie from the B area…
    Pomara some BBQ ribs

    COME ON …help me out…
    WHAT’s ON THE table ???


  • a civilian-mass audience

    And Mr.Dellicson,

    bring some of your new friends over!!!

    P.S “Women lock eyes with you constantly.”
    Greece, Italy, Spain…Egypt…Brazil…and so many places..I wanna believe
    that HUMANS lock eyes with you like there is no tomorrow !!!

    LOVE is in the air…can you feel it??? Too much energy ready to explode
    Got to go

  • Civi,
    Hugs and kisses from Cyprus…

    ‘Night everyone…

  • Jason H..

    keep meaning to ask if you know about

  • Hey y’all…
    Good evening from San Diego..CA..
    ( actually Oceanside to be specific )..
    Long day today.. Shooting families…
    to pay bills..
    Miss you y’all.
    No laptop with me…
    Sooo our late night show resumes Tuesday night ..
    Big hug

  • Erica, Thank you, No I haven’t heard of that one. but they seem to review some apps so I’ll have to poke through and see what its all about! :)

    Speaking of, I have to blog tonight. I was too tired and missed my last night’s blog so I’ll have two up tonight.

    Tonight’s will be about Mike Peters’ other life. He’s a fellow burnian who is awaiting a computer upgrade to be able to post – (his computer is just awful and times out when he tries to submit posts.) He’s a freelancer for the local Gannett magazines but also does lawn care – He’s knows almost any plant he comes across and is quite an amazing guy. He also helps head the local camera club :) Mike if you read this, lets get that computer going!!!

    come back to the old country soon and we can chat in real time..

    this morning tor capa wanted to play at 6.30 am..
    little raskle..
    especially after pappas friday beers..
    and now he has worked out how to turn the volume up on the stereo..
    waking the neighbours with radio 4..
    anyway, must get baking that pie.. gonna fill it with bits and bobs.. or bits of bobus.. something to contemplate as with his post about his stray cat.. we can all get our teeth into that.


    yesyes – the real cheese is in ericas list..
    and of course on the internet, youtube or not.. it really doesn’t take too much effort to become well informed even if that means chipping to al jezeera after exposure to fox..
    actually – as with HERVE i’ve become quite a fan of youtube..
    documentary work of which there is some good stuff.. more pungent than feta..
    i really enjoyed your post there tom..


    thanks for the reply to your essay.. i omitted to say that i really enjoyed seeing many photos as well..
    it felt good to properly tuck into..
    as an antidote to pieces it works tremendously well, and the two bodies of work really need to be considered together i think.. without knowing ‘pieces’, the ‘riverside’ would seem a much colder and classically executed exercise in aesthetics.. spacial awareness..

    i think there is a narrative running through from one story to the other which has the possibility of chapters of your life, which i guess is your want.. i guess perhaps it is all of our wants to develop bodies of work which illustrate perfectly our stages of development or place in time.. it’s so much more interesting to get that feeling from work, rather than the dull and dry feeling of purely outward looking work.

  • PANOS – happy shooting..
    get them to say ‘feta’.. or
    ‘big smiles for grandma’..
    or for that moody look,
    ‘grandma died’..
    although that risks people crying..

    crackle.. click..
    the mac shop cannot repair my hard-drive.. and so the options for retrieval of my photo archive just became unaffordable for now…
    back up your files, people..
    back em up..

  • Mr Bowen, does he know how to plug in the stereo?

  • and..
    anyone who has tried to market themselves is a propagandist of sorts..
    albeit a gently ‘urging’ one,
    perhaps some have been dictatorial about it.. ya know.. they say she got 250 000 usd for a day fee..
    good grief..

    stay in the front of those commissioning editors minds..
    program, people.. program.. because lesser photographers surely do..

  • paul

    the little ‘klumpen’ does not.. yet..
    i guess you are up early on the same vibe ad me, no?
    childrens telly and strong coffee.. makes for the perfect morning..

    really though .. i respect you for managing 6 years.. i am 2 weeks in an utterly exhausted..
    little rascal..
    i read you want to do MM pieces.. i recommend getting slideshow pro and soundslides.. using garage band to blend sound.. it’s really easy.. the difficult bit will be when edityors expect us to photograph, record sound, record video and edit it all together for the same fee we used to get photographing :o)


  • Did you ask them to remove the hd for you? You might be able to remove it yourself.

    I once managed to get a broken hd to spin up one last time in an external casing and was able to retrieve most everything. And I know others who have managed to do the same. Only cost was the casing which is not expensive.

    Best to back up tough, of course.

  • I guess you’ll need a 3.5 casing.

  • catch a fish with every 4 casts from shore..
    catch a fish on the first cast with every 4 visits..
    feel like a fishing god..

  • already tried it paul, at HAIKs recommendation..
    then the mac shop tried more..
    now going to try to get a company in the uk to remove the actual disk and if needs be reconstruct the information.. i had a quote in norway of 2000 quid.. a company in england has quote 200, but think it will more likely be 5 or 600.. if they can do it..

    it’s just one of those annoying hic-cups, isn’t it? everything with my book is going so smooth .. and in print form at least i know exactly where it’s going..
    also want to do an edit for burn.. begin ‘programming’ my assault on the gallery / book world..

    just a hic-cup..

  • okay – running.. klumpen is dancing infront of telly and getting bored with pappa ignoring him..

  • ERICA…

    i am not trying to drive you so sorry…..for some reason i have been bombarded this week with all kinds of misc. things to do…today is definitely out , but if you send me a text sometime tomorrow and i promise promise we will do it late sunday or monday if your schedule permits…


    would you be kind enough to send me an email???

    DAVID B…

    ready to work with you again next week…skype me EARLY mornings…..

    Techserve on 23rd street in new york has a listing of several hard drive hospitals whenever they cannot retrieve information from hard drives…all very expensive and last resort hospitals….if you are still stuck by monday, i will do some detective work for you…

    cheers, david

  • DAH

    what’s the old joke about not being able to drive someone crazy if they’re already on the edge :) ?

    I may be hitting the road, not sure yet, but YES if I am around I will text tomorrow and we will seize the opportunity!

  • Stories that need to be told, that no one will publish … this drives me beyond nuts
    … a story from my old hometown Richmond …

    Lessons of Lindsay

    David Alan?


    Sorry I missed your call today. I know your time is precious so don’t worry about calling me back. Your emails answered my questions about the text and my final photo edit for Falling Into Place. I am now “done done” not “almost done,” so everything is cool.

    Just please let me know as soon as you’ve made the appointment with Melissa Harris at Aperture. As soon as I have the date, I can book my flight and make hotel reservations. I’m assuming we’ll meet with her at the Aperture gallery and offices in Chelsea. Is my assumption correct? If we’ll be meeting in Brooklyn, as in at your loft, that would mean I’d stay at a different hotel.

    Ah, the complexities of being disabled in New York. Sure wish the subway were wheelchair friendly!


  • I’m curious, David and Patricia, as to what kind of success you will have when pitching this book of Patricia’s.

    While the level of work attests to Patricia’s huge leap in visual growth over the past couple of years, and is consistent and life affirming and heartwarming and well-seen and feel-good and just wonderful in many ways, is it something anyone would buy? If you were Melissa Harris at Aperture would you be thinking, “do we want to spend x-thousand dollars designing, proofing, printing, distributing, and publicizing this project? Will we see any positive return?”

    I’m a long-time reader of this blog, back from the old days when David would give stuff away to the first person to respond to some query he put out, back when bob black would rant for pages on end, back before curmudgeonly jim set upon us… and I’m staying tuned (though less frequently) waiting for the resolution of this book-project pitch. I’m not saying DAH doesn’t know ’bout books, DAH does know books, but who is going to spend money on this? And will there be enough who do to make it worth Aperture’s or PowerHouse’s or whomever else/s while?

    And… while we’re at it, or that is, while I’m at it, throwing water on the burning initiatives, I think this burn gallery is a bad idea. People love photos, they’ll tell you that. Try getting them to peel off a stack of 50’s to put art in their house and you’ll soon find that they don’t love art quite THAT much… and David, you are going to find yourself and your supporters moving a lot of prints to and fro’ … a huge expense of time and energy… no way is this going to pay the rent on your loft, no way… as much as people love you man… now, that’s my opinion, and i’ll admit, i’m my own worst enemy when it comes to getting things done in my life, i don’t have 10% of your energy and optimism… and perhaps THAT is the problem…

    we’ll see


  • If you want to see images and read words that will open your heart and break it, click here

    Sally Mann has a gallery show opening at Gagosian gallery and a new book being released by Aperture this September. “Proud Flesh” contains Sally’s portraits of her husband of 40 years, Larry. This is a show I do not want to miss and a book I intend to own.

    When I see work like Sally Mann’s it makes me wonder how I could dare to imagine my efforts would ever be published.


  • Imants, Thodoris, Jared

    sorry, did not read your answers until this morning.

    Chomsky wrote a book back then (late 70’s), which I spotted, browzing thru a used bookstore some 20 years ago, but was stupid enough not to buy, because I was utterly dejected by the tenure of it. Really stupid of me. I even remember it was 6US$.

    Again, he clearly showed in “manufacturing consent”, the movie/docu about him, that the KR rouge genocide holds little interest to him (besides being propagandized by the West, of course), he prefers a right wing one, like East Timor, Indonesia being an ally of US administrations, his lifelong nemesis, against communism. To each his own….

    Anyway, fast forward to the internet, 15 or so years later. Unlike you guys, I have no heroes that I brandish as the ultimate proof that THIS is right and THAT is wrong. Case by case…. And facts.

    This is one of the better annotated, referenced articles I have ever seen posted on the internet. It is also keeping to facts, rather than intentions and inventions.

    I travel in South-Est Asia for over 20 years now, my interest in that region, books, lectures, culture, internet has always been sustained. I had this in my folders quite a few years already. Nothing special in that, for me.

    Here it is:

    BTW, Not sure why you sneer about Ytube, as if the container was more important than the content. A bit superficial, no? Likewise, my response was to you, Thodoris, nothing to do with Rafal, he is big enough and does not need me.

    And Imants, I still have not attacked you or insulted your intelligence, I will let people judge who seems closer to the quacking sounds of a duck, over and over again.

  • Was there a post from Herve …………. hmmn must have missed it, probably stoking his own ego again no great loss.

    Funny how the Rafal’s duck armada image found it’s way here after the hoo har about Nth Korea …….so if you want to know the future twitter me here

  • Harve,

    I will have to get back to you about Chomsky after I read the article you posted. It might take some time though since I’m dyslexic.

    You did come to the rescue of Rafal by displaying your support to his point of view.
    As for the “…throwing names…” part you accused me of, my words were far less offensive and malicious than the ones Rafal used (and to whom I was responding to) and nowhere near words YOU have used on this same forum.


    I apologize for calling you braindead.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    TODAY I would like to send good energy towards our old
    Wherever is your old town, Richmond, Glendale,in Alaska, in Costa Rica, in North Kora
    somewhere in Australia,Africa …

    and photographers …THANK you for telling us stories that need to be told
    Thanks Tom Hyde (once again)

    LOVE to All…

    P.S Tor Capa the Amazing BURN baby !!! LOVE
    LOVE to all the BURN babies (Felix,Dimas…Dark kids…)
    Katie …where the heck are you ???

  • a civilian-mass audience

    GREECE is BURNING :(((

    Civilians need me …I got to help…

    P.S May the spirit of FIRE be good with all the BURNing hometowns in the Universe
    and mine…OIME

  • DAVID ahhh

    that’s very kind my friend.. it’s all in hand though.
    sending it away to london on monday and will see.. they have offered me a free diagnostic and quote..

    yes – early morning your time is lunchtime here so i’ll leave skype open..
    be great to catch up..

    was going to ask – do you have any further european plans this year?
    speak to you soon :o)

  • In DAH’s phone message Saturday at noon EDT he said the waves from Hurricane Bill were 25 feet/7.62 meters high and he was going out to take photos of the surfers!!! Check out this video to get a taste of what that looked and sounded like:


  • Civilian

    I´m here..and well, there. Mostly there. But you and Gracie and others, you´re always here..*pointing to her heart*..always here with me. Wish we could go to a place that´s a little less crowded and talk but this is the stage you do your little dance, make your little asides, your sweeping gestures in pantomine, shadowbox, blow kisses and twitter your love to the masses. You come here and drink up the swill, mixing it with the vibes, drizzling in the laughter, stirring it around, down it in a gulp and then you´re gone till the next thirst is upon you. That´s nice. That´s good. As always, i call you mine. Mine friend. Mine rag doll brain stem friend. Love you Civilian. Besos y abrazos. Please tell Gracie too. La querida Graciekins.

    DAH, please don´t get swept into the eye. Unless that´s where the fun and the fotos happen to be. Best to you as always..


  • Kathleen, please come back and STAY with us. We need you here!!!


  • Long time lurker with a question, if I may… Quite a while ago, perhaps in the Road Trip days, DAH was pondering the modern situation where more photographs are being taken than ever before, and with internet distribution, and how some were saying that this glut was bad for some aspects of photography. He made some eloquent remarks about how he thought the opposite was true and the flood meant that this was as good a time as any for creativity in the field. I’ve been trying to find these comments again and struggling… I wonder if anyone could help me out please?
    Of course, a restatement and expansion of that philosophy from the same source would be even better..:), but there are way more important things.

    Many thanks and regards to all.


    welcome home!! so pleased you are here…i second Patricia’s sentiment…

    i always come close to getting swept into the eye….close but not lost..that is EXACTLY where all the fun and photos are…right there on the edge….almost tipping, but not over….

    cheers, david

  • Herve,

    Thanks for the link. Should have a chance to read it tonight.

    It’s kind of silly, though, to lambast a guy for pointing out inaccuracies in Western media coverage of an event, especially when that is the stated purpose of his analysis. Upfront. I highly doubt he said that the Khmer Rouge did no wrong — or apologized for them. Everything I’ve read on the era and from him regarding it has to do with reasons, underlying causes, lack of media coverage of anti-American things that went down, etc.

    Saying he’s an apologist for the Khmer is like saying you don’t support the troops if you question the validity of the the 2 wars being fought in the Middle East — overused, psuedo-patriotic, divisive nonsense. But maybe I’ll be proven wrong when I read it. I’ll let you know…

  • Hey DAH. I see the storm passed you by. Hope all is well.

    Did you get a chance to peek at the fair stuff?

  • Patricia and David A.H.

    well, gee, what does a girl say to either one of your comment, let alone both?! um, well, thanks (?)..pales by comparison to your sentiments but i will try, try to pop in at least once a day..Patricia, how is your book coming along, and David how is your rose bush faring?

    David, it´s a little ironic what i wrote to you today and now saw that little girl in Maine swept into the sea by a rogue wave. Very sad for her family. As far as negotiating eyes, the eye of the storm is a bit like a lens now that i think about it. Wherever there is a lens there is life swirling around it dancing to its own chaotic song and clamoring for photographic attention. When you´re behind the lens, no matter what else is happening, there is a center of calm absorption and a primal attraction at almost the cellular level to the serendipitous careening of teentsy atomic explosions, implosions, black holes, sink holes, man holes and blow holes. haha..well, i mean, it´s true, right? Forgive my silly blissed out gush here but i just got back from about 7 hours of shooting at a horse tope (aka drunken brawl that happens to also feature many horses) so i´m still a little dazed and confused.

    Actually, Patrica…*stretching out on the Stray Cat forum couch* feels pretty comfortable any beer in that fridge? I may wear out my welcome but for now, guess i´ll stick around for awhile.

    But really, all kidding aside. Thanks, Patrica and David. Thanks so much. :))


  • oh DAH, one more thing

    I just read your stray cat post up above, for the first time..i swear i just now saw all that stuff about THAT is REALLY funny to me!

    Congratulations on being chosen by Simone (sometimes Lulu) for ownership. I mean, do NOT get it into your head that you picked her because cats do their own picking thank you very much. I have three cats and actually i broke up with a guy recently who wanted me to move back to NJ to be with him. I asked him what i would do with my cats and he said, swear to god, ¨Give them away¨. NEXT???

    I had a conversation with a campesino peon last week. He lives at a little caretaker house on the property of a place i worked at for i dunno, 13 years or something. I had a cat there who, yes, picked me. She was also a stray and when the business closed i could not take her with me because my cats would have beaten her to a pulp. So i asked the peon to take care of her if i bought the food. He grudgingly accepted. Well, seems stray cat fever has struck him too because now he tells me that if i ever want that cat back i can just pound salt.

    hahaha, that´s a cat for ya..magical creatures that they are. I am absolutely thrilled for both you and Simone.


  • Kathleen, seems we’ve got a Corolla or two sitting around here someplace. Come on over and pull up a chair. You’re always welcome here. Whenever I read your posts, I am struck anew by how wonderfully you use the English language. I could ride the waves of your words.

    I’m sure everyone else is sick to death of hearing about my book, but I’m pretty much finished. If you click on my name and then go to “Falling Into Place” under Portfolios, you’ll see the final edit. To read the text–which will be at the end of the book–simply click on “info” when the cover photo appears. DAH and I hope to meet with Melissa Harris of Aperture in NYC in October. All my fingers and toes are crossed. Thanks for asking…


  • DAVID:

    just left u a voice message….time is of the essence….give me a call (if u can) before 11 tonight…or after 7pm tomorrow….


  • Patricia,

    You are no slouch in the writing department yourself..¨ride the waves of your words¨ indeed..beautifully said! ok, gonna go right now this minute without a pause or even taking the time to draw a breath and find the final edit of your book. And ohmygod, i will cross at least half of my fingers and toes for your Aperture meeting. GULP. YOU GO; GIRL!! I am blown away by what you´ve done and how far you have progressed. You are an inspiration to me to keep going, to just keep the f**k going! And now, since i am turning blue from refusing to draw a breath, i am off, *gasp, gasp* to the fridge for that beer…no, no, no! i am off to your portfolio to find your book edit!


  • Patricia the book is looking very good. It will be exciting to see it in print. And buy one, of course. ;)

  • Patricia

    I just clicked on your name and before i dig into your portfolio i have got to tell you that that is one hell of a killer photo you have on the first page. Blew me right the hell away. Now i am totally intimidated, haha, but since i am turning blue i better get to your book edit..but had to tell you what a knockout that photo is!


  • hi patricia,

    about a few weeks back i wrote here or on buzz some corolla-laced words to get you going…
    and no, i am not tired of you mentioning your book. definitely you are an inspiration to us all.

    tonight, i checked back to read your text primarily. i only had ten minutes of alone time which was cut short to about 4.5 minutes when my four year old son, zac peeked over my shoulder as usual. up on the screen was your cover photo.

    and he said, ‘oh thats so scwary (scary)’ thought he meant the mannequin in the background (no head, no legs). and so i asked him ‘why is this picture scary to you zac, which part of the picture is scary?’

    and he said, ‘oh thats so scwary’ and pointed to your face in the mirror. ‘she lookin like so sad it’s so scwary’.

    and like usual, i put my hand on his shoulder and again, didnt know what to say.

  • Jared, definitely, the article is definitely way above the type of zealot rants served on Ytube, day in and day out. I don’t look at that crap.

    Apologist? IMO: no in an activist pov, yes, on an ideological one (that which was behind US anti-imperialism). He was not alone like that back then, but he was privy to much more infos than most, with the brain to decipher it correctly.

    The article, as I recall (I do not read it often. It’s huge!) shows he took sides with real apologists of the regime (I do not think he had any personal enthusiasm about the KR. He never did anything on their behalf. By 1977, roughly, only psycopaths would have done so)

    We must also remember that Chomsky, is not a politician or an activist, not even a journalist. He is a linguist. His interest is in information, how it can be produced, consumed and used as a tool of power to defend or prop itself up.

  • Patricia;

    Congrats on the progress you’re making on your book. Actually, I’ve resisted looking at the links to the new pics/words etc. Why? Because I will definitely be buying your book and it would be like being told the plot and end of a movie right before you see it! I want to preserve the enjoyment!

    Welcome back Katie; hopefully the late nights here won’t be so empty!!

    What’s everyone been shooting? I’ve been staying at the folks place by the sea, so have been writing and when totally fed up with the laptop have gone out shooting down the coast.

    Went to shoot an abandoned section filled with lichen encrusted, rusty old vehicles. Have shot there a few times before but it’s right beside the road so usually think “will do it next time”.

    I got caught out a while ago with the “it’s been there for ages; it’ll always be there theory. There “was” an old abandoned freezing works (export meat killing plant) that I sneaked into to shoot once. Was going to do more work in there each time I passed, thinking “it’ll always be there” (it was abandoned in the early 80’s). Was always going to call in again, until it burned down….

    Moral of the story? Do it today, don’t put it off…

    Anyway have had a great time shooting with the D300, a Holga and an old Agfa Isoly. For some reason using the old beaters “loosened” my shooting with the digi? Must be a left brain, right brain thing? Who knows.

    Anyway, enough from me; what’s everyone been shooting?

  • Gracie; Isn’t it great that young kids shoot straight from the hip!

  • Gracie, as they say, out of the mouths of babes. I am deeply moved by Zac’s response to that photo. He’s seeing INTO it, not AT it. An intuitive young man methinks…much like his mother.

    Kathleen, I’m touched that you are taking the time to look at my work. Thank you so much for your interest. The support of this community has been invaluable to me. And I’m glad you like my home page pic–it is one of my favorites too. In April, as this project was winding down, I started another that I call Mirror Me. The young woman on my home page is part of that project. You can see a tight edit of it on my website.

    Jim, your encouragement means the world to me. Knowing that you always say it like you see it means your positive feedback is like gold in the hand. Thank you.


  • I understand your resistance to looking at my photos and text, Ross. Yes, let it be a surprise!

    And to answer your question, I haven’t been shooting much of anything these days. Hope to get back to it when my book project no longer needs so much attention. Hope I haven’t forgotten how to do what I love the best ;=0


  • Pat/Gracie;

    I remember reading Freeman Patterson when he said that when children draw they naturally abstract the most important elements. You ask them to draw their mum and they’ll draw a small body but a huge head with an oversize smile; naturally abstracting “their” view of their mum.

    Or ask them to draw a house and they’ll draw a rendition of their favourite, fantasy house. Soon it is “taught” out of them at school. Ask them to draw a house and it is a sguare house, triangle roof, square windows and a door, plain Jane style.

    I suppose we all need to photograph as a child would….

  • Patricia; I have just ordered Larry Towell’s ” The World from my Front Porch” from Amazon. So will be keenly checking my mailbox in a fortnight or so for Santa to bring me an early present…

  • Patricia

    love the peace sign on your well, what is that called exactly, a zoom buggy? a motor boater? a 4 wheel ATV? a Porsche? whatever, LOVE the peace sign..the pierced nose on the mask..haha…that cracked me up, your beautiful flowing clothes with colors of the sea, the sky, the hills beyond..beautiful are so pretty, beautiful in fact..loved that too! i love that you are neither too brave, too defeated, too optimistic, too blue, too strong, too melancholy. You are just right, all of the above, none of the above..sometimes one, sometimes another, sometimes more than the eye and heart can bear but in the next photo you´re back up again, your skirts lifting in the breeze, your toenails painted a randy revlon red, happy in a happy moment, tranquil in a tranquil moment but always lovely, feminine and a true lady. One thing always that made me think is the luck i have, the blessings and the treasures that your deeply personal photos made me reflect on as if for the first time..but then too, i noticed you have wealth and treasures i don´t have. Life is like that, nobody has it all. We all have a very great deficit of something or many somethings. And we have surfeits of other somethings. Your drive, creativity, spirit and depth of feeling are some things you have in surfeit. We could all wish for such passion, Pat.

    I wish you every success with your book and whether Aperture takes a nibble, a bite or the whole hook or whether you do it Blurb style, count me in for a copy. And i agree with your observation about what Gracie´s little Zac said. Obviously he is one of her very great treasures.


    Yes, i will try to pop in from more and it will most likely be at night so it will be great to keep late night company with you. Your words about not waiting too long to shoot what we think will always be there are so true. i let so many things/events/moments go by without shooting because i always think there´s plenty more where they came from. Maybe a moment doesn´t burn down but it sure does disappear and along with it a possible killer photo. Note to self–get back to carrying a camera EVERYWHERE.

    Ok, gnight, all..shot twelve rolls over 7 hours and walked my skinny legs off (one of my treasures..strong legs :) and tired like to take care and shoot much!

    Patricia, thanks for the invite to look at your book. Your work is an inspiration!

  • What’s everyone been shooting

    Chinatown, today….

  • Patricia,
    I love your writing and your pictures! You are such a great lady! So glad to know you!

    Just returned home yesterday from a week long trip to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.
    I guess this trip was all about plans that failed and unexpected joy and luck that came out of nowhere.
    A brief summary of events:
    Shortly after crossing the border into Russia my 5D made a bad noise and indicated Error 99. The shutter was gone and no chance to take any pictures. An early end to a photo trip?
    It was a nice sunny day when I arrived at my hotel near Gusew, 100 Kilometers east of Kaliningrad and so I went for a swim in the lake and decided to take this trip as a holiday. Luckily the owner of the hotel was so kind and gave me his little lumix camera and so I could keep shooting. The menu was in Russian and in order to read the memory card I had to use my digital voice recorder as a card reader. I was saved!
    The next big suprise came the next day when we learned that the truck got stuck at the border custom because of 2 tons of overload. No chance to get the aid goods for the kindergartens, orphanages and home for the elderly any time soon. We went to the places anyway.
    For me this was my first trip to Russia and I fell in love with the country and it’s people right away. Everyone was friendly and by 2 a.m. I usually had my first vodka and by midnight we were all drunk. Nicely drunk and no headache or anything the next morning. We had delicious shashlik, a kind of barbecue, every evening and I hugged many people and drank to health, friendship and the dead.
    This trip was also a journey back in time. It often seemed that the time stood still. One lady was with us who fled in 1944 as a young girl at the age of 10. Just when I did a recording of Renate’s story, a Russian fighter jet, a Sukhoi Su27 fighter plane went above us and made some incredible noise above our heads. So past and present are very close. With Renate I went to her home that she left as a child. Today nothing is left except a big tree that indicates the place. Renate has found her piece with history and she visits the people that live now in the homes of her ancesters. Tears from her and the Russians ran and it was very moving to witness all this. Yes, it is a place full of German and Russian history and I learned much about this part of the world which was very new to me. I hope I can get a little series of my lumix images together.
    So, many things on this trip didn’t work out the way I expected, but at the same time I am so grateful to have met so many nice and wonderful people there. What more can I ask for?
    On the journey back home we went through Lithuania and Poland and it was a great joy to see the beautiful scenery there. Great places! I have to go back soon.

  • I just posted this:
    what I shot over the weekend will be added to Guerras del Agua shortly

  • ROSS…

    i will try to get in and take a look at your work either today or tomorrow…thanks for your patience…


    i have been shooting from morning til dark the last three days on the storm, so i have not seen your fair link…i just must look at Ross’ work first…


    received your message too late to call you….tonight sounds fine…


    i hope you have pictures of all of the above to show us…however, you said “we usually had our first drink by 2am and by midnight we were drunk”……hmmmmmm……sounds like a very long day….

    cheers, david

  • Harve,

    I’ll give you that the article you posted offers a legitimate analysis—instead of the bushing and mud throwing that ignite the debate on this forum—but you’ll have to agree that is just that. An analysis. It is by far *not* the last word on the subject, and—to its credit—the article itself provides sources and links to counter analysis and counter arguments to be made, “and so on and so forth”…

    At the moment I have neither the time nor the energy to follow up on all the seemingly endless articles that make up this debate, so I’ll back down and will not attempt to prove you wrong. It seems that far more knowledgeable people than I on this subject are still debating over it.

    On a slightly different note:
    Having one heroes isn’t a bad thing—as per your suggestion. Idealizing people, and turning a blind eye to whatever objectionable they do or say, is.

    And I’m not talking about people who at the heat of the moment forgot about their own mortality and acted altruistically. I’m talking about people who live their lives day in and day out trying to make sense of this world through a conscious effort to find out how things really are and what forged things in becoming the way they are. And one the most prominent voices—for me—in this regard is that of Noam Chomsky’s. This guy is a living legend in his own field—that of linguistics—and could have easily chosen to lead a life of academia publishing papers that only a handful of other intellectuals would ever read but he didn’t. To that regard, yes, I consider him a hero.

    It is one thing to agree or disagree with his analysis. Quite another what Rafal did. I wonder, do you stand by him on the manner he expressed himself on this matter?

  • ALL….

    we are still working on the best system for taking in your prints for the Burn gallery shows this fall..

    one in New York in october, one in Washington during PhotoWeek in november….for the New York show, we can probably hang 40 prints to sell from our Burn audience…i think i will ask for about 5 prints from a few legendary photographers who live in New York, i.e. Elliott Erwitt or Bruce Davidson, who i will also ask to come to the event…i think this will create a mood and a crowd most likely to buy your prints…

    three other things keeping me away from daily chat here on the forum are: (a) seeing how it all goes with having Burn as part of the upcoming Magnum online channel system..(b) looking carefully into the possibility of a Burn book imprint so that we might publish say 4 books per year…(c) my own photography…i am shooting a lot right now and the only way i can survive with Burn is to have help all around….

    neither the gallery nor the book publishing venture are good businesses from a traditional business perspective…yet , they take up as much or more time as a “good business”…, i am totally in an exploratory stage….i have had incredible offers for help from many of you and i so so appreciate it…

    cheers, david

  • shooting beats printing and things are just a bit well not there

  • David; No worries, whenever suits…


  • Herve, John,

    Happy people who are able to take good pictures everyday.

    Pic from yesterday, today I just go outside, hope shots some nice images :).


    “no me saques sin razon” is exquisite. Is it available as a book in print? You, my friend, are a remarkable artist/seer/visionary. Thank you for sharing your work with us.


  • Thanks…….Patricia at the moment it is hovering winging it’s way around my mind…….. either I’m going to make a limited hand made version of 10 copies or print about 100-200. It’s about costs and having a market to sell to. I do know a good printer here and a publisher or two but a lot will have to be self funded.

  • Nice images Marcin and Imants…
    I am all about feet today :-)


    Please let us know what you decide. I doubt if I could afford a handmade book but if it were a limited edition of 100-200, hopefully I could purchase one. I am quite taken with it!


  • Patricia

    People keep mentioning your writing but i didn´t see any text..i went back to your ¨how to¨ instructions to see the final edit of your book and realized i missed the part about finding the text. Ok, well that will definitely fill in a lot of the blanks for me. I filled them in visually without your input and later today…much, much later, i will read your text. Hope my comments did not offend you.


    I really enjoyed your account of your Russian shooting experiences. You made the most of what ordinarily would have shortcircuited someone else´s shooting trip and it and all worked out so well. Sounds like the people you encountered made the trip a memory of a lifetime. That´s often how it is, the people i meet determine how my shooting goes. Yesterday shooting the horse tope (horse parade) in my small town which retains a country feel even though it is on the edge of exploding suburbia, the people were so wonderful, amazing, lovely, friendly, kind, open and warm. Shooting was joyous and abundant. Life gave me so much all through the afternoon. Then the tope ended and the fiestas filled up and that was a different feeling altogether; cold, alien, claustrophobic and vaguely ominous. The people came from another element altogether and that element is tough and poor and i´m not talking about just financially poor. Hardened young boys broke bottles and started fighting. The cops wrestled them apart and took them away. But more trouble was brewing in the air. Drunks from the tope were still drinking at the fiestas. Police were plentiful, edgy and watchful. i shot a final roll of 1600 and even though i had several rolls of 3200 film to take me into a possibly interesting dusk and evening i decided the atmosphere was too tense and my energy too low. i went home.

    The people and the energy of a place can make a tremendous difference. And to that you brought your own positive attitude and all turned out so happily. Congrats, Reimar!

    best to all


    Oh my goodness, how could I possible be offended by your comment? I was touched by what you have to say because I admire your critical eye and artistic sensibility. You are always honest and that is what I want/need to hear, especially now when changes can be made both to my photo edit and my text. Thank you so much for taking the time to look at and read what I hope will become a book. Your opinion matters to me.


    Thank you, my friend, for your positive comment about my work, but more importantly, thank you for sharing your amazing story. You take me into the heart of what you experience and enrich my life with your sharings. Looking forward to seeing your photos from Russia. Please post a link when they are ready. You live such an interesting life!



    I’ve been following your discussion with great interest. I am a long-time admirer of Noam Chomsky’s analyses of current events. He is quite the academic and a bit dry when speaking in public but perhaps it’s that dispassionate approach that sits well with me. I get a bit uneasy when reading/hearing writers and speakers whose passion seems to get in the way of their clearsighted analyses of governmental policies and practices. It can sound like the propaganda I’ve heard at all too many rallies and demonstrations. No, Noam Chomsky isn’t perfect, but who is? To my way of thinking his is a very important voice to be heard, especially in times like these when the mainstream media has been bought by their advertisers. We always need to have intelligent voices of dissent.


  • I’m a reader and lurker, and have been forever. I posted my first comment yesterday but due to the necessary first-comment moderation, it appeared long after the discussion had moved on.
    The comment said that I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of success david and patricia will have in pitching patricia’s book, for while she has shown amazing progress and has produced a body of life-affirming, wonderful work, i’m curious as to whether or not a publisher will risk the money on a project like this — designing, proofing, printing, distributing — you wonder what kind of a return a publisher is looking for, how big a print run they would make, etc, how many books are proposed to aperture each year, e.g. .. we’ll have to wait and see, i suppose… good luck patricia, we’re watching, waiting, and, yes, worrying…

    and since i’m fundamentally a negative person, i also yesterday poured some water on the flames for david’s burn gallery print exhibits… i just don’t think people are going to part with their money to bring art into their houses. people say they love art, they support it, but when it comes time to peel off the bills it’s not so easy… fact of life, imho… david and the folks who are involved in this gallery will be spending a ton of time and energy moving prints too and fro, hanging them, then returning them to the artists… you have to wonder if this particular effort is worth it… if i had half of dah’s energy and optimism i’d be way ahead of where i find myself now… and yet, you have to wonder if this gallery effort will move the market at all.

  • DQ..

    i am primarily a positive person, yet i have the same concerns as do you…all i can say is, we will see…

    in this particular economy and publishing market, i think Patricia still has a good chance…i am certainly about to find out…her story is a story about strength…it is well photographed…

    most of the best photo book publishers have always published “unmarketable” books (i.e.Aperture, Phaidon) …certainly never have been and never will be for the mass market…mostly, for photography lovers…Patricia’s book does cross over the line however into a potentially mainstream book…

    i think i said earlier today , i do not think that either a Burn imprint, nor a Burn gallery will be good businesses per se….i am going to set it up for the maximum chance to sell a few prints, but we all know there is no way to predict what will or will not happen…again, just giving it a try and if it does not work, then so be it…i am that way with everything i do….

    cheers, david

  • Quite another what Rafal did. I wonder, do you stand by him on the manner he expressed himself on this matter?

    No, Thodoris. I don’t. I just picked up on the Chomsky bit after you, that’s all.

    Patricia, I am not sure what you are talking about. Can you tell me (privately if you wish) where my “passion got in the way”?

    Too many people have read him as if they were drinking sweet milk, uncritically, and unthinkingly (on their own, that is). That is what I like in Europe (France at least), within the same political spectrum, there are many different views challenging each other. And weeklies, magazines can have such debate on their cover, not just page 27.

    The intellectual (and intelligent too) debate in the USA has a pitiful paucity. Dissent from the PC line is not tolerated,that is if it had a chance to express itself (How many people know who was the green party candidate AND what they had to say ?)?

    Actually, if people REALLY did their Chomsky homework, they might know…

  • Thank you Marcin. And John Vink, you guys are doing superb work at, covering the KR trial.

    The last entries were hard to read thru. I knew of the unlucky New Zealand guy taken to S21, off his boat, but to learn now the consequences of his atrocious death on his family….

  • Patricia,

    I agree.

    Dissent is a good thing. It has the *potential* to initiate healthy and well intentioned debate which is by far the best way to get exposed to other people’s ideas and to test the strength of our own.


    I’m burying the hatchet (for now :))

    Next time though, when you read something disturbing I wrote please check to see what might have set me off before responding to my post. Make sense?

  • David,
    ups, I got mixed up with the time. I was talking about 2 p.m. Drinking strated after lunch… I don’t want to recomend this procedure, I did this more because of politeness. And yes, the days were very long!

    glad you liked my short story. May I ask where your home is? Probably you have mentioned this before, but I can only guess – Spain or Mexico?
    Yes, it is always the people that make a difference. And this short trip to Russia was certainly a trip of a lifetime or a trip that I will never forget. It is the people that you meet that stay in your memory. Even language is no real barrier. Gestures, a smile, a hug, all that can mean so much. Much, much more than the biggest monuments or the most luxurious hotels.
    You know on this trip I lost all sense of time. I totally forgot about my home, never thought much about the future and simply lived in the present. This happens very rarely. I like this feeling of breathing the moment. But I didn’t forget about burn and when my camera died I thought of Panos who takes great pictures with an iphone. And I had the good spirit of burn with me. With a good and positive spirit life becomes much, much nicer, even in moments that are not so happy.
    Yes, I think you have to have a second sense to know when it is time to go. In strange situations I listen to my stomach. When it tells me it is time to go, I go and I trust my guts for this.
    Sometimes people are in such a bad mood, you have no chance to access them so it is better to leave and there is nothing wrong with that.

    yes, I will get some pictures on the web as soon as possible. Tomorrow is a busy day taking pictures so there is a bit of a delay.



    “Can you tell me (privately if you wish) where my “passion got in the way”?”

    Dear friend, I was not referring to you in any way, shape or form. I was specifically referring to countless speakers I’ve heard at rallies and demonstrations. If you re-read my post I think my meaning will be clear.


    I have no illusions about this publishing venture, especially as regards Aperture. We’re starting with my first choice of publisher, that’s all. I so respect Aperture the magazine and feel a deep kindredness with Minor White, its founding editor. His artistic aesthetic, mystical sensitivity and openness to photography as an innately expressive medium resonates with everything I feel about photography myself. For this reason, I would be incredibly honored to have my self portraits published by Aperture.

    That being said, if Melissa Harris chooses not to publish my work I’ll be disappointed, sure, but not crushed. We’ll just come up with another publishing house to approach. There are many fine ones out there, each of whom would do a wonderful job with my essay.

    DAH’s belief in Falling Into Place is success enough, to be honest. And I’ve heard from so many persons with disabilites who saw my work published last May in New Mobility magazine, persons who said it felt so good to have their story told “from the inside,” that I want this to become a book for their sakes. They deserve to be seen and heard. As does every individual in the world.

    Thank you, DQ, for your concern and well wishes. And thank you, David, for being at my side every step of the way. If Falling Into Place IS published in book form, it will be because of your support, edits and advocacy. There are no words large enough to express my gratitude to you.


  • Thanks Hervé… It’s really appreciated.

    Especially now that due to the crisis, an overly optimistic business plan (DAH beware of that on the www), and the impossibility to benefit of Paypal in Cambodia, we had to let go of the whole staff (luckily everyone found another job). Stéphanie Gée, writer, Ji-sook Lee, translator, Laurent Le Gouanvic, writer, and myself continue until the end of the Duch trial for free.

  • so patricia,

    i showed your cover photo to my other son, ethan who is six years old and asked him what he thought
    and he said:

    ‘well, im thinking… (pause) … how can a granma have both long and short hair?’

    har har har :)))
    must you sport a braid, to him deciding short or long is the issue ;)


    Please make reference to items directed to your palate.

    I live to serve. Smoked Ham Biscuits.

    Burn, Burn, Burn



    Tell Ethan a granma can have both long and short hair if she has a tail (that’s what I call my little braid). It is leftover from when I went from hair below my waist to a brush cut. That was in 2000, before Ethan was born. My tail just gets skinnier and skinnier, but I plan to keep it as long as there are three hairs to braid ;=)

    I do love your boys…



    Stéphanie Gée, writer, Ji-sook Lee, translator, Laurent Le Gouanvic, writer, and myself continue until the end of the Duch trial for free

    The 4 muskaseteers, then…. :-))))

    You guys are the ones to be thanked for, just fantastic and humbling, the work you are doing in times of trial (not Duch’s, l’ economie…).

  • a civilian-mass audience


    My autobiography is coming soon:

    the legendary journey and adventures of the mythical hero, king Civilian, who, leaving victoriously the battlefields at the Universe, attempted to return to his home, back to BURNing Athens.”

  • a civilian-mass audience


    I am just kidding…:))) no book of any kind from my side:)))

    I am back at home, Athens was on Fire …I got to help, I got to be back on my Greek mode too…:(((
    so many stuff to work on…BURN is running too…many photos,news,books,galleries…

    is back,LOVE you,XOXO,
    My Gracie and her boys,Pomara I love your BBQ/photo,check your blog,our Patricia…I am in awe,yours…Reimar,my man I wish there are 13 million people like you out there…,Herve,Velibor,Marcin,Imants,Rossy…shooting words,I see New Burnians,dq
    And MR.DAH the optimism is receiving a friendly advice from John…to be aware of some…www :)))

    P.S Thodori are you ok???
    other Greek BURNians are your homes O.k ???
    Where is Panos??? Stelios??? Anna???
    LOVE ,LOVE ,LOVE…all we need is love !!! maybe and some feta cheese and ouzo

  • a civilian-mass audience


  • a civilian-mass audience


    How can someone leave chance for forgiveness to the Dutch ???

    P.S thank you BURNians for the insight

  • Civilian

    ¨I am just kidding…:))) no book of any kind from my side:)))¨

    Now that is definitely bad news Civi…you YOU have so much dancing around in that brain of yours that i for one would love to see it put down in chapter and verse. Alas, you are kidding. But not about the fire. Is it out now? Are things getting back to normal? I feel very bad for anyone who lost home and property and i am very hopeful there was no loss of life though i can´t say for sure.

    Juliette went back to college today…boo-hoo, will miss her so much there are not words to say just how much. She turned me into a vegetarian this trip and i turned her into even more of an artist than she already was.

    Civi…thank you, thank you for keeping that little candle in your window for me, and the key under the pot in the garden. I hope it´s still there (?) good to see you still loving everybody and BURN-ing! (But not Athens style, please!)

    besos, babee


  • John Vink

    I will repeat after Herve, you guys doing great and important work, and i hope even with problems you will still keep your mission.

  • Dear David,

    Hello! …long time… :)))
    I have just sent e-mail to you.
    Please check it out.
    I contains my new portfolios.

    During July and Aug. I had left home… Sydney, China and Nephal…because of exhibition, photographing, NGO working…
    I would like to send my hello to all Burn friends… :)))

    Congratulations on your gallery!
    It looks very nice… especially the texture of gallery wall …I like it. :)))
    Hope to see it.


  • Heyyyyyyyy y’all……..
    just made it back to little Salvador……
    time to check on the last two essays………..
    hmmmmmmmm… lots i missed……….
    time to get (burn) it together…

    pretty quick…
    John Vink…
    Good Job..
    i second Marcin and Herve………

  • Marcin , nice portrait of the young man in your blog. The blacks are really black, nice contrast with his blonde hair and white shirt. I will keep the link to that blog handy.

  • Patricia;

    I’m sure your hard work will come to fruition. And yes; it will be with a quality publisher because that’s what it deserves (and I’ve only seen snippets of it!).

    Well I’ve had a weird sort of day. A mag that had 4 of my articles ready to publish has pulled the pin on them because the mag has “changed focus”. Translation; our advertisers have left in droves and we’re a bit in the crap. It’s a rural mag and has gone from profile stories to “equipment focussed”. So in other words trying to sell more advertising….

    Oh well; one door closes, another opens, managed to move one off to another mag and hopefully more to follow. So I suppose at the risk of sounding like a 3rd rate motivational speaker, look at any stumbling blocks as opportunities!!!

    What annoyed me was that they gave me short deadlines which meant I wasn’t able to get other pieces done that month for other mags. That always equates to a tight month in 2 months time…

    It’s funny how much pull advertisers have in the mag world; even amongst the bottom feeders. Recently I pitched a story about sabbatical fallowing (a way of farming without using artificial fertiliser) to a rural mag and the editor asked me to write it without mentioning the “no fertiliser” angle. She didn’t want to upset and lose any advertisers even though the mag is focussed on saving farmers money…

    It made me wonder what say advertisers have on the big mags etc. And whether editors had enough “testicular fortitude” to stand up to them or not….

    Anyway; off my soapbox now….

  • Panos, I agree with you that its got nothing to do with surrealism but why don’t you like the current photo essay. I mean why don’t you like that sort of thing? Don’t you think it shows imagination? Does every photo have to look like non-fiction.

    I also want to understand why several people think it shows great technique. I incline to think not. Clearly the photographer knows how to manipulate images in photoshop and the techniques of printing and toning but is it good technique to emulate the technical limitations of photography a century or more ago but still not look like the real thing? Surely photographers back then would have used better lenses if they had them. But for me its enough to use black and white or toned prints and a bit of softness to evoke the time. But if they make the images less beautiful than they could otherwise be, is that good technique? Also some images are awkwardly cropped/framed that I think they don’t look their best, unfortunately, eg the Rapunzal and the mother with the cot. But i just do want to see more lavish and lush tonality. More refined images technically.

    What is wrong my perspective?

  • Marcin,

    Had a look at your website you might like the work of

    Back to the subject of starting/finishing/getting distracted, it is often exciting staring new ventures the problem is sustaining the momentum whilst dealing with the general admin of undertaking projects. I have a few unfinished projects sitting on hard drives. I start out with an initial view of a project, it then changes as I undertake the project, I then have to re-evaluate what I am doing, reboot my own head to get into the new mode of things and basically edit to a different criteria. It can be difficult having the motivation to do this when it is just me working on a project.

    A well respected great artist friend (who I am completely humbled by) has said of his work, which has dramatically changed/evolved throughout his life “you have to have a golden thread to your work, like a golden line running through all your work from one to the next, linking them together and yet allowing you to depart from the original but still being able to hang your ideas on that golden thread.” For me this is the perfect metaphore and has helped when undertaking projects to ensure I retain my vision of the overall project and have complete ownership of it.

    There is truth in “there is a fear of success” which is why some people never finish projects, I sometimes suffer from this. My God what will happen if I succeed. Also having other people around to help sustain momentum is great, or working on collaborative projects, so the work is not just about yourself (navel gazing) can hep a huge amount. Certainly when trying to promote the finished project I find it really hard to get on the phone and say “Hey folks,Look at my great new project” I find it much easier when talking to people to promote the whole project as a collaborative project rather than concentrating on “me and my work”

    Happy shooting one and all


  • I have a problem (sorry for my English in advance), I never end my works because I never know when they are finished.

    I am working in a long time project in Cuba, but, how can I know it is finished?!!! I always need more pictures, more situations, etc…..


    You might want to re-read the photographers’ statement posted by Jeff and Eliza. They use no photoshop but instead “…shoot on large format or medium format film and manipulate the images using traditional darkroom techniques.”


  • Yes I misread the text. I wonder if its because I’ve been on photoshop all day. Anyway if that’s the case then its the softness of the lens that bothers me. And the contrast and composition.

  • Ross

    “It’s funny how much pull advertisers have in the mag world”

    The bottom line IS the bottom line. The storys job is only to fill in the spaces between the ads. Just as television programming is only to fill the spaces between commercials. No ads=no revenue. No revenue=no job.


    it might be a bit of an exaggeration that the “story’s only job is to fill in the spaces between the ads”, but it is certainly true that without advertising none of the great photography that has come from magazine and newspaper commissions would have been possible without it….

    advertisers do want to accompany strong editorial material and they do not dictate content of that material but would certainly pull their support if the publication went way off track in their mind over a long period of time…i doubt the advertisers in the New York Times for example approve of all the editorial content or even their editorial page stance on politics etc, but overall they have decided the NYT a good place to sell their wares…i think generally it is a pretty good trade out between art and commerce…and please let me know if you can figure out a better way to support cultural, fashion, news and sports photography…

    i am faced with it right here on our modest online Burn…i have rejected the concept of banner ads etc….because of this stance, i also have no money to support the photographers here who need support…so, no ads and no pictures on commission either….

    i have had to rely on private donations for EPF etc…to give a photographer a commission for Burn, i would have to have sponsorship…i still reject the banner ad concept , but would surely consider corporate sponsorship of specific projects…this is still advertising of a certain type of course…

    simply put , advertising has always been the engine that drove the production of all the great magazine essays you have ever seen with the exception of work produced from grants or from self producing photographers who had the funding to self produce…and , of course, shooting for the ads themselves has corrupted many and provided support for worthwhile projects for many others…

    we all love to hate advertising….but, like everything, there are two sides…

    cheers, david

  • I still say a good bag, designed and stamped by Mr. Harvey himself, could finance all of this with room to spare ;-)) Can’t think of anyone better to design the “perfect” camera bag (and perhaps the one camera, two lens bag as well). Might I suggest waxed canvas and a Seattle manufacturer we all know and love. The best bags out there are retrofitted, so what about a bag designed from the ground up that doesn’t scream, hey, rip me off, expensive camera stuff inside. Finding startup capital for this would be relatively easy I suspect …

    Hurry though, there are signs the end is near … news flash today: Russian ministry bans Winnie the Pooh as extremist …

  • DAH

    sent you an email


  • David; I’m not sure why the link didn’t work. But here it is again just in case;



    i love waxed canvas, but alas it does not work on a hot day at the beach…becomes literally a sand magnet which sticks to the wax…nightmare….ok, back to the drawing board….yes, i think i could design two or three versions of the “perfect bag”…but, it would be expensive because i would want super lightweight material and waterproofed seams etc that get expensive to produce…but, if money is no object, then i really do have the ideal camera bag in mind…yes, let’s get our Seattle friends to make it…

    cheers, david

  • Gordon;

    Thanks for the comments. I’ve never been under any illusions regarding the need for advertisers, but the articles attract the readership numbers which in turn attract the advertisers. The turnover earned by most mags is usually around 80% advertising and 20% sales.

    What I am seeing here in NZ is that mags are cutting back the quality of the writing/pics and doing more “advertorial” type articles. It can get a bit of a slippery slope, treat your readership like idiots and risk losing them. They also seem to be hiring an in-house writers to save money and to write those “advertorials”.

    I was just interested in how much sway advertisers get on the bigger mags.

    Cheers man

  • Howdy… McGowan here.

    I’m documenting the progress of my show “I’m one of those Americans” for ArtPrize here in Grand Rapids, MI. It opens September 23rd. This documentation is covered in the journal on my site. Here you go:

    and see the frames here:

    Best of luck,

  • David McGowan……….
    Dopeeeeeee slideshow

  • Thanks Panos… long time!

  • Hey D..:)))
    i knew you were “cooking” something…
    something good!!!!

  • DAH

    How´s this for the ideal camera bag material? A company called Cyclus in Bogota, Columbia make great looking and hugely practical bags out of recycled tire. I have used one of these bags for 2 years exclusively to shoot on the street. The rubber material has a very pleasing natural texture and feel; it´s waterproof, lightweight, highly resistant to, well, everything you can bump into, rub up against or scrape across, is very discreet, has well made strong closures, subtle detailing, zipper mesh pockets inside, cell phone pocket, unisex designs, and best of all, it´s GOOD FOR THE EARTH! Cyclus makes these in a multitude of shapes and sizes including some camera bags and might be willing to do custom. Here´s their website and catalog of products.



  • David, hadn’t thought of that tin cloth downside. Truly, you are the bagmaster, or would that be Bagwan?
    In all seriousness, I hope you are serious. Great opportunity, and a huge market since everyone is a photographer now. It’s similar to the small-scale gold mining equipment manufacturers who may be the only ones getting rich from the new weekend gold fever resurgence. There is at least one other similar example I can think of …

  • Kathleen … good timing … :))

  • DAH

    And no, haha, i don´t work for Cyclus! I first saw Rasta guys in Bocas del Toro, Panama making these bags and selling them on the street. Then i guess Cyclus saw the potential in this material and went all out. Kodak introduced them in their stores here in Costa Rica first. Now they´re hard to find here and when you do they´re in the hip boutiques. The bags are just totally cool and practical. Street thieves don´t give my bag a second look. Who would steal a bag made out of an old inner tube?

    ok, well that´s a little background…


  • Tom

    I didn´t even see all the posts about this..i was just passing by and caught a little bit about camera bags and thought i´d toss in a plug for the good old inner tube. Hope i wasn´t intruding!?!? Ok, well, will just butt out now and go back to work..take care, ok?


  • Kathleen … of course you were not intruding, it’s a big open dance floor here :)) I was just remarking that we posted simultaneously. It was a great addition and never, ever butt out, ok? :))

  • Kat..:)
    Actually those “rubber bags” look brilliant…
    i can barely afford napkins nowadays..

  • Tom…:)
    i just missed my train for Seattle…
    Haik is there right now , with another co-pilot..
    hey… i cant always get what i want… dang it


    all sounds good on the re-cycled tire bag, except i just cannot believe it is “lightweight”..rubber is heavy by nature…even the messenger bag i have that is lined with rubber is heavy….a few extra ounces multiplied by 12 hours on your shoulder does make a difference….anyway, i will check it out…i think it was before you joined us here that i used to give away camera bags here as prizes for the first reader to guess whatever i had posed as a puzzle or question…which means, i have way too many bags…yup, i stick to one camera, one lens…..and 100 bags!!! sick…

    cheers, david

  • DAVID.. It’s a real delema BURN is in. Like you suggest, its always a balancing act and if a great rag like NYT can juggle credibility with those opposing forces then, well, it can be seen as a model.

    BURN has become an important rejuvination to me..

  • maybe some of you guys are up for taking part in the stravaganza, this is the latest video, of the exhib in arles:

  • PETER….

    comments like yours make this all worthwhile…if we can do a little something here to make your photographic life a bit better or more challenging or whatever, then that is enough….

    cheers, david

  • DAH

    Swear to god their lightweight! I shoot film and carry at least 16 rolls with every ASA i could possibly need for a day that will go from brilliant sunshine to pouring rain. I have a hand held Seconic light meter, either a RF or a very light vintage Nikon SLR with one lens, cell phone, umbrella, light jacket and a small change purse, all in the same bag. (sometimes i use my MF yashicamat instead of 35mm) And because they´re not a rigid construction they bulge out to accomodate extra stuff and still close because the buckle is adjustable. Sunday i walked up and down hills for 7 hours straight and shot 12 rolls and then walked 1k back home again. I´m in reasonable shape but i´m not a teenager and i´m not superwoman! I never once felt overloaded. My Cyclus bag measures 13¨ x 14¨ and weighs 1 lb. 8 oz. My Lowepro weighs 2 lbs. Do the math.

    No, i wasn´t here when you were giving out camera bags. Very are ALL heart, David!


    Oh yeah, they are too cool but i hear ya! I bought a Cyclus wallet as a gift for my son who had been using his own handmade duct tape wallets for 3 or 4 years. haha. he loved the Cyclus! Hey, have you ever thought of duct taping garbage bags into a camera bag? hmmm…


  • a civilian-mass audience

    KATIE,( Kiss Juliette,you boy and mama)

    Can this Cyclus bag carry my bottle of ouzo and my olive oil???
    Until I hear from you I will use my grandma’s handmade …laughing like Crazy :)))

    When BURNIANS are united then not even the sky is the limit !!!
    (or something like that)

    P.S BAGS for photographers.PhotoBURN series M8,Holga…
    and perfumes…PhotoBURN the smell of the darkroom.
    Design by …

    Let’s drink to our Seatle friends tonight…or today !!!

  • David,

    I’ve just sent my e-mail again.
    Please check it. :)))

  • a civilian-mass audience


    Extravaganza !!! I love the magnetic pavement …

    David McGowan…September 23rd…lovely day !!!

  • Civi, it’s hard now to get news about Athens and the fires. Are they under control? Are you and your family and friends safe? We’ve been worried about you, dear friend. Take good care…


  • a civilian-mass audience

    Welcome back

    Kyunghee Lee !!!

    Come on BURNIANS…We Want You …or shall I say…We Need You !!!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Our Patricia,

    You are everywhere…my white eagle …love!!!

    Thank you Universe…all the Civilians are o.k
    beautiful, beautiful green oasis are gone…150 houses down…
    We should have done our homework…Greeks need to focus …cause we are all over…
    in our times…no mistakes are accepted…


    Your Greek house is fine and now it’s a shelter for other Civilians who lost everything.
    We shelter one family with 3 beautiful kids !!! You should be proud BURNIANS.

    You PATRICIA,MR.HARVEY and other BURNIANS are my role models of what life with values should be…
    ok, enough back to my olives …

  • Civi;

    I’m glad things are getting better over there. The fires reminded me of the horrific time our Aussie neibours suffered in February this year with 173 deaths.

    Take care

  • We’ve often talked here on Burn about whether or not taking photos of wars, human suffering, environmental abuses, natural disasters and other “unpleasant” topics makes any difference at all to the course of events. Some have expressed the opinion that such topics should be avoided because our photos have no power to change minds or policies…not in times such as these where everyone just tunes such things out. Others believe that if photographers don’t show all sides of life we are adding to the problems by sticking our heads in the sand. They resonate with James Nachtwey’s statement on the home page of his website,”I have been a witness, and these pictures are my testimony. The events I have recorded should not be forgotten and must not be repeated.”

    Today I was struck by an example of a photographer’s work touching a person who influences opinions. If you read Bob Herbert’s column in Tuesday’s NY Times, you will see what I mean. Be sure to click on the link to “2nd Tour, Hope I Don’t Die.”

    I’m not saying Bob Herbert’s column or Magnum photographer Peter van Agtmael’s photo book will change the course of events in Afghanistan, but I am saying that Peter’s photos are obviously making people think. And thinking can lead to action. Thank you, Peter.


  • Civi, I posted before I’d read your words about the fires and how you are sheltering a family in Athens. You, dear one, live what you preach and that is LOVE. Big hugs to you and all who are suffering in your beautiful country. May healing rains drench your land so the only BURNing will be here…


  • “but I am saying that Peter’s photos are obviously making people think. And thinking can lead to action” Well said Patricia.

  • “but I am saying that Peter’s photos are obviously making people think. And thinking can lead to action”

    This can only be true if it makes people think who were not thinking before, IMO, Patricia. And in large numbers enough. Obviously Herbert is not in that category, being a columnist, therefore a thinker, both by inkling and by profession.

    Then, having “thought”, what action can it be leading to? one of the very few concrete things Obama as candidate planned to do, and said repeatedly, was to switch a bigger part of the war effort from Irak to Afghanistan. Something that was rarely commented upon, even by the people who were “made to think” by Bush’s warmongering in Irak .

    David mentionned a few days ago the fact that american people often do get the point (and eventually think), but rather too late than too soon, ie. when much harm has been done.

    And so, it is again shown here (perhaps, maybe the hardening of the war is necessary, after all). But not just about the “american people”, from the supposedly more progressive americans amongst us, as well.

    To these progressive americans, I would ask:

    What is it that we must be made to think now that we couldn’t think of before, when we already had all the elements to think (namely, much graphic and horrific war reportage, as graphic as Peter’s, from Irak, and the avowed plan of a candidate to (re)deploy troops and extend combat).


    for all the good vibes and spirit you bring here to Burn, all of us now send our best back to you….i am trying now to think of a practical way we can help….perhaps donate the sales of one print to your family who has lost their home?? you take a really nice shot of this family and we auction it off?? i will bet that right here on Burn we could figure out a way to actually make photography do what so many say it can do…effect change…anything wrong with a small change?? as in helping this family??? you might just be the perfect person to make this happen…please give me some more details either here or by private email…


    Kat , you are now appointed the new buyer/marketing manager for Burn bags which will be a slight modification of the Cyclus bag and of course built by and sold by Cyclus…Young Tom you will be the distributor in the U.S…Civi can handle Europe…Vivek can open a store in Calcutta….and Kyunghee will have rubber bags flowing out her front door in Korea where we can REALLY sell them….my Korean friends are camera bag crazy…ok, corner offices for you both and generous stock options….no doubt we can sell bags easier than we can sell prints….ok, off on my bike…oh yes Kat i forgot to ask…any cross strap for bike riding?? gotta have a cross strap…..

    cheers, david

  • The opposition is better at this shootin and killing stuff than the so called allies, the silly buggers go to the middle east and find that it ain’t the fun and games they thought it was. Hard lesson for the young kids to learn…….


    let me see if i can get Peter in here to chat with us…he is a pretty regular Burn reader anyway….his new book is quite strong …i am sure you know he split from Columbia University when he was 24 to take a look at Iraq….


    yes, of course you are right…it was the same in Vietnam which should have been a lesson, but obviously wasn’t…….anybody fighting on their home turf and with a righteous cause in their minds can beat any foreign army where the troops often have no idea exactly where they are, the history, the politics, or why they are really there…..sadly, some soldiers do make “fun and games” out of it…i hear stories from my war photographer friends that i will not repeat here since i cannot substantiate….but , they are the same stories, more or less, that i heard from Vietnam correspondents…there is a very very dark side of human nature that i often pretend is not there…but, it is…

    cheers, david

  • The job pays better than driving trucks, plus there is room to really test the rules. Mind you the Afghans are pretty seasoned fighters like these guys It all adds for a pretty harsh life for all concerned


    i have searched every which way for your emails and find nothing for the last two months…something weird happening…again, please try: this box is fairly clear….so sorry for this inconvenience….

    cheers, david

  • David,

    I’ve just sent my e-mail again.
    Please check it.

    I pray for safe reception. :)))
    I don’t know why…

    If you don’t recive my mail this time… I will send CD by mail to you.

  • I have found a great use for redundant camera bags….. storing redundant camera equipment….


    nothing….i wrote you this morning…did you try to just reply on the email i sent you?? try that please…this does not make any sense at all…i have no email from you on any of my four accounts since may….

    cheers, david

  • David,

    I’ve just sent e-mail to you as you said (reply on the email you sent me).

    I tried 2 ways…
    One is … only my letter.
    The other is … my letter with my portfolios(zip file).

    I wonder if the file is too heavy to deliver.
    So I tried 2 ways.

    So sorry… ㅠㅠ

  • DAH… Have you received any of my emails? I’ve been trying to reach you ever since you mentioned a possible look at my work.


    yes, i have your emails and just wrote you a note…sorry for the delay…

  • Thanks… received and replied.

  • Anton
    I can’t seem to find the “older comments” link

  • David Alan

    “it might be a bit of an exaggeration that the “story’s only job is to fill in the spaces between the ads”,

    More than a bit of exaggertion, but I was just trying to make the point that if you get paid for being published in a commercial publication, the money in your pocket comes directly from the advirtisers.

    Money helps things happen. I fear Burn will burn out unless it gains some financial footing. I’m sure you have some ideas as to how that may happen, and if it can without commercial sponsorship that would be great. It is also clear that you have huge passion for this project, but it would be good to get paid to do it as well. A paid staff person would be very helpful. It would also be good if the photographers published here were compensated some way. Perhaps the gallery will be succesful in that regard.

    I would actually have no problem seeing banner ads on Burn, in fact I would encourage it. I’m sure there is a tasteful way it could be done.

  • I remember some earlier plans to sell T-shirts and the like with the Burn logo to assist with funding. Perhaps using a service such as Cafepress could be be used to streamline the process and prevent having to manage an inventory.


    you are correct on all counts…with just a few more people, we could really make Burn sing…i have also written many times that my plan is to have photographers compensated at better than current editorial rates IF we can get the sponsorship…we are going to make a big push this fall for just such sponsorship…we will most likely also partner with the new Magnum/Magnet online company to create an umbrella for several Magnum photographers to have individual “channels”….that way anyone published here on Burn will be seen on the Magnum channel…

    in any case, if there is money, it will go to the Burn photographers…so far, every dollar taken in has gone right back out to photographers here on Burn….

    please remember, what funding we have taken in has already gone to three photographers:Sean Gallagher $5,000. to finish his China book, Alejandro Chiekelsburg $10,000 to finish his High Tide book and Jen Ackerman $2,000 to work on her prisons book….all funding to create new work….Sean and Alejandro did it through the EPF, but i arbitrarily gave Jen her funding after she submitted to the Inge Morath award, but did not receive it…. the Inge Morath award and the EPF are both part of the Magnum Cultural Foundation , a non-profit subsidiary of Magnum…

    i have Burn funding in the bank from generous donors here to already sponsor equivalent projects for either later this year or early next…, we are doing something…we just need to do more…..and , yes, Anton and i need to at least be able to pay our rent….sponsorship could do it…the gallery idea is probably just a break even business game at best, but i think we will find out in the coming weeks….

    we do have some very tasteful design ideas for sponsors of Burn to be attached to specific projects and essays….using both legendary and emerging photographers….with a ratio of one legend, three emerging…..


    i think we set up with Cafepress way back when you first read about it…we just never put it here on the site…frankly, i forgot all about it because it started out as sort of a joke….but for sure, i have seen a few Burn t-shirts around….Anton is now in Japan, but when he returns next week maybe we should discuss getting that up officially…thanks for the reminder…

    cheers, david

  • a civilian-mass audience


    there is one and only one thing that this family asked from me.
    They want their photos albums…their memories…
    but there is no way to recover them…
    PHOTOGRAPHERS …pay attention…Civilians love their “photos”
    It’s quite painful…
    but we are optimistic…the government will respond (let’s see) as fast as they can.
    I have lot’s of olive oil and chicken ( for real).
    The kids love the BURN photos and we can all relate with the “wall of death”…
    I have seen that many times …and one day when you will visit me here in Greece, remind me to tell you
    about my traumatic experience …

    “…you take a really nice shot of this family and we auction it off?? …”
    they don’t feel to be photographed right now…I respect their wish…
    and I am hell of a good iphone photographer…
    laughing hysterically

    that’s from the family
    and THANK YOU from me…Your good energy is all we need …

  • a civilian-mass audience

    and before I go off to the chickens…

    MR. HARVEY, I need a favor…

    Can you please call Socrates and tell her Thank you…
    Love from C.

    Please, don’t forget. I would appreciate !!!

  • civilian the great.. really..
    good luck to them n you.



    i understand totally…well, let us know if there is anything else we can do for either the homeless family or for you….and of course i will call Socrates and give your special message…she would be the first person on the planet to figure out a way to aid your family if she knew of this conversation or their plight…

    cheers, david

  • DAH,

    Sweet! I found a link to the CafePress Burn store via one of Anton’s old posts:

    My initial search for Burn Magazine on CafePress turned up this gem :-)
    Gotta love that slogan on the back!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Dear MR.HARVEY,

    yes, I want to THANK Socrates for “producing ” a heart of gold…

    P.S We are doing great for now. Spirits are high …we even think to donate some chickens to BURN :)))

    Is our baby walking??? Give us an update…kiss Beate…put the baby photos in a safe…
    Life is full of surprises…LOVE

    BURNIANS ENJOY LIFE …LOVE YOUR FAMILY…tell them how much you care …
    Goodnight from Europe

  • a civilian-mass audience



    and goodnight

    Ellie Greenwich…

  • This is freakin awesome!!! Madonna is here in Bucharest for the first time ever giving a concert and I can hear her perfectly right out the window of my apartment! There’s something like 100,000 people over at the parc in front of Ceausescu’s palace less a half mile as the crow flies fro me! She’s singing “Get into The Groove” right now. I guess this is another good part about having moved to Bucharest! It’s been wall to wall coverage on tv here with video of her private Gulf Stream jet landing and her drive to the hotel from the airport. She received death threats in Serbia and has hired 400 elite Romanian private security guards here. Madonna symbolizes 80s America for me and growing up in that era, but it’s amazing how hip she is at 51. She just keeps innovating!

  • Davin; Enjoy, I think you deserve it!

  • Madonna 51? Hell; I’m still getting used to the thought that the ultimate rocker (and one of my heroes) Keith Richards is 65!

  • Justin, thanks for the BURN t-shirt link. Sure wish they were cheaper, but hey, BURN aint’t cheap.


  • Ross: Keith and the Stones rule!

  • Davin; I’m a huge Who fan too and got to see them for the first time this year, a real buzz to see Pete come on the stage with the opening lick of “Can’t Explain”! They hadn’t been here since 69, and me being 6 at the time, couldn’t attend!

    I can remember my mum getting annoyed when I put my sisters 45 of See me, Feel me on the record player (I was 7 or 8). She told me it was SUCH a disgusting song. Hmmm, times have changed & I still wind her up about it! :-))

  • Ross, yes, live concerts are pretty awesome. I had been gone abroad and had forgotten that Madonna was coming. But I really could hear the whole concert pretty well. It’s sort of amazing as her current tour was the highest grossing tour worldwide last year. She flies around from concert to concert on her private $50 million jet and 58 trucks carry the equipment and stage! After Sofia, Bulgaria where she gives a concert on Saturday, they will fly everything to Isreal for concerts next Tuesday and Wednesday! They use five 747 transports to do the job I have heard! Just amazing how long she has been at the top of her game.

  • And who can forget that Woodstock happened 40 years ago… It’s amazing how these things stick in your mind. I was 6 but can vividly remember it on TV, coming from a very conservative farming area Woodstock seemed like another world to me. The only thing that came close was staying up to watch the Sex Pistols on TV for the first time…

    My other burning memory of the time (I was 9) was the helicopters hovering over the US Embassy at the end of the Vietnam War…

  • Davin; Any chance she can loan you a few of those bodyguards? :-)

  • If you listen to concerts from just outside the arena here they say you are in the “Scotsman’s Stand”!!

  • dellicson,

    all right… all right… man it’s ok if you think madonna is HOT!
    but dont laugh at me if i think rick springfield’s ON FIRE at 59!!!

    (thx for the links)

  • PAUL…

    that price for the Burn t-shirts is set by Cafepress…

  • DAH,

    thanks so much for at least peeking at my email. i dont have another pairing at the moment but once i have more i will put them all in an email. i feel like i had to explain that last picture but i get it if it does not stand by itself without the text then the picture overall does not work.

    thanks again

  • Madonna is amazingly fit due to pilates.

  • David, did you say price set by congress? Laugh, laugh. I can most likely get a better deal out here in the boonies. Lots of deals to be made in the Great Recession. Let me know. I’m thinkin’ bumper stickers, camera bags, coaster, hats,CF cases, thumb-drives, don’t forget the umbrella’s. Hey, a buck is a buck.

  • DAH: Is there really a full frame digital Leica M coming out in a week?!

  • Ross, I don’t remember Woodstock but I do remember the Fall of Saigon. Strange how that is such a vivid childhood memory and little did I know that in just a few years one of those orphans handed up to the Marines in the helicopter perched on the embassy roof would become one of my best friends. Thanh Cao and I lost touch during the high school years but the last I heard he was himself was a U.S. Marine serving in Asia.

  • old man hyde! ))))

    seems like u and I have similar tales to tell…(but no time now to write about vietnam, childhood, memories, friends), but only this: 3 books for you to read….i read them all last year, all of the broke my heart:

    1) Catfish and Mandala: Andrew Pham (great great book)

    2) The Eaves of Heaven: Andrew Pham (one of the BEST books ever written about what vietnam meant (the country) and what it was like to grow up as a vietnamese and live and die through 3 wars (war with french, civil war and the war with americans)…the story of his father…..i read it in 2 days and wept often….extraordinary…i recommended it to John vink last year…dont know if he read it

    3) The Father of All Things: Tom Bissell: again, heart breaking…smart, funny, brilliant…not as great as Eaves, but…still wonderful…

    these are all ‘new’ books, and i wont mention all the other ‘old’ classics…but, please read Eaves and Catfish…especially considering your friendship with your friend Thanh Cao


  • Tom; Well we only had one tv channel in NZ in those days so there was really no way to miss what was going on! NZ was very “British” and conservative in those days, especially where I lived, a rural farming area.

    Also; I’m the second to youngest child in our family, the oldest 10 years older than me. So I tended to listen to the music they were listening to; CCR, Stones, Who, Beatles etc. so had an affinity for that 60’s and 70’s rock. And because of that, at high school we were SO disparaging to those that listened to the Bee Gees and Abba…

  • Tom; Sorry; forgot to mention, an amazing story about Thanh Cao.

  • DAVIN…

    i have been a bit of the loop the last few weeks, but i did get a wink from a high up Leica person that the full frame was coming soon…but, i did not know next week….i hope they give me one to test as they did with the M8…surely i cannot afford one….if it is fast and full frame , then i would really love to work with it…no other camera truly feels like an extension of my body as does a Leica…why wouldn’t it?? i started with a Leica at 14 (bought used with my paper route money) and so much of my most important work is with the M6….before the M6, i was married to the Nikon FE2 for many stories in color…the M6 with the built in meter allowed me to work in color for the first time with a Leica..prior , it had been just a black & white camera…i never talk tech here on Burn…but, a full frame digi Leica??? gotta have one….well, since i am talking brands as never before, i have to say that i am now working mostly with both the Fuji 6×9 and the Mamiya VII in both black & white and color neg and some work with the Nikon D700 (also a great camera)……just for the record, no camera company pays me to say anything about their wares, although i have done two Nikon ad campaigns as a straight up commission….i have done no ads for Leica, but they have consistently and kindly allowed me to test their newest offerings….i bought the Fuji and Mamiya….i have never used a Canon for any length of time, but i know they are terrific cameras….always wanted to give Olympus a try…ok, nuff nuff tech tech…oh yes yes, i must mention another true love…POLAROID…SX70….mucho work with this particularly during the era of a short lived sx70 black & white….now have an instant Fuji..kind of a toy camera, but i love toys….

    cheers, david

  • David;

    Do you think that yourself or a photographer like Bill Allard would have ended up with such distinctive styles if you/he had access to the crazy high iso’s that we have now? Mr Allard’s use of slow shutter speeds etc seems to have come directly from having to use low iso’s like 25 and 64 and fast lenses. Whereas now 1600 is no biggie.

    I’m not saying that it made anyone a better or worse photographer, just how it influenced style. And I am not tryong to start a film/digi debate…. :-) just how it was an influence on style


  • I just have to give a shout-out of joy that today I uploaded my final edition of Falling Into Place to and AM FINALLY FINISHED!!! At least with this phase of the book-making process. Fourteen and a half months have passed since I took my first self portrait for this project, and I must say it has been a truly amazing journey. Yes, it takes perseverance to take this path, but it’s deeply satisfying as well. I have learned so much about myself–shadow and light–and have been helped every step of the way by DAH and this community. You believed in me before I believed in myself, and helped me develop as a photographer. Seeing your work and hearing your discussions have opened me to new ways of seeing and thinking, not just about photography but about life. For this I will always be grateful.

    I feel as though I’ve now done what I can do with this project, and from here on out I’ll try to remain open to whatever comes. Life is such an adventure!!!


  • Ross … that and music in the late 70s and 80s for the most part … well … just sucked! So yeah, I listened to the music of the previous g-g-g-generation myself, and a lot of blues, a little bluegrass. Having older brothers didn’t hurt. Always a big Stones fan, and Little Feet, Dylan, Young and more obscure, etc …. Feel fortunate to have seen a lot of the greats up close, and skipped the awful trends. Glad it was easy to get into bars at a young age back then.

  • ROSS…

    yours is an intelligent tech question that does if fact relate to a way of working if not directly leading to a style…for many years both Bill and i worked with very slow asa transparency films…i used Kodachrome II, later 64 (my fast film) and finally Velvia 50 (Cuba work)…i did have a fast 1.2 35mm lens which allowed me to work in very dark situations just by learning to hand hold at even a quarter of a second…many of my pictures are actually “almost sharp”….ironically i never felt limited…actually felt empowered by the simplicity of it…limitations if viewed in the right way are freedoms….there is certainly a “look” to slow transparency film shot in “too dark” to work conditions…the color palate is something that cannot quite be duplicated with anything i do in digi with the almost unlimited high iso’s…i did sometimes introduce a small strobe (25 buck amateur flash) …certainly this is all a part of “style”…i have said this before , but it is always worth repeating…with film you always move FORWARD….with digi, there is a tendency to go BACK…easy to get satisfied when actually you should keep going going going….with digi i must force myself to not be happy with what i see on the back of the camera..that instant gratification is dangerous….film is by nature more deliberate….or maybe it is just sentimental …..hmmmmmm

    cheers, david

  • David;

    Provia 100 was my fast film, when really daring pushed it to 200… So much faster than Velvia shot at 40 :-) Mind you, i’m a boring old bugger; an old FM2 and a 35mm lens and I’d be as happy as a pig in the proverbial!

  • …….. one goes foreward onward, helter skelter all over the place….. with film there seems to be a physical presence and about photography/life as we know it, digital places image making on a new level of “about thinking”


    do you know the Edgewater Inn in Seattle?? used to be a pretty seedy “fish from your window” hotel favored by all the rock bands that came to town…once upon a time i stayed at the Edgewater for a couple of months..hung with David Bowie (Ziggy Stardust i should say) , Cat Stevens, and the Arrowsmith party on my floor was something to remember if i could remember it…..i got to some crazy point that if i was not back stage talking to Sting or Mick or Bob or whomever , i did not even want to go to the concert…press pass or nothing…yea, also lots of bad material then, and yet some of it lives on…i always wonder what Jim Morrison would be like now had he lived…but, then again, honestly, i guess he had to go young… point to be made here…just rambling…, do you know the Edgewater?? still there??

    cheers, david

  • PAUL: I agree that the Burn-branding could be extended to wide number of items. With each purchase we will be supporting Burn (with any profits above procurement costs) and building awareness, plus we get s acool item with the Burn logo :-)

    DAH: One of the most refreshing things I find about Burn is the lack of tech-talk and the concentration on work and the process, but I think it is relevant to discuss the craftsman’s tools if it is indeed an integral part of the process. I’ve always liked this passage from my beloved National Geographic Field Guide, which quoted you speaking of the advantages of using a Leica over large SLR’s: “I don’t look like a professional and that gives me greater access. When sitting with a group on the porch, I can shoot with one hand while drinking coffee and they barely realize I am working.”

  • david…
    your memories,
    your cameras of choice,
    the edgewater….
    thank you….


    i think Natgeo changed my words from “cold beer” to “coffee”..well, it is a family magazine…


    your statement is intelligent and provocative and i certainly see why you see digi as “about thinking” whereas, as you say, film is physical and might tend to have us see “life as we know it”…

    when i press the shutter, i am 90 percent done..when you press the shutter you have 90 percent of your work to do…your work involves a lot of post production, graphic design and music….surely “about thinking”….i am more “in the moment” and reactive as in intimacy…a lot goes on in my head in just a few milliseconds when actually shooting although my “thinking” has taken place prior….i do not know whether you conceptualize before or after shooting, but it does not matter….it works.

    anyway, yes i suppose one does go onward helter skelter…surely the beauty of it all….

    cheers, david

  • David,

    Hell yeah! I like “cold beer” all the much better.

  • DAH, All –
    I think I may have an excellent low-cost solution. For putting the name on Tshirts, sweat shirts, the bum of some sweat pants… Posters?

    solution – Silkscreen or even cooler – woodblock print.
    I have some people I can talk about it to – and I think if the clothes were supplied and maybe a bit of money to pay for supplies and maybe buy a big mac or two…

    Well to cut to the chase – At my university, there is an entire printmaking area to do this sort of thing and some students REALLY enjoy it and go off and start doing art posters and shirts for people having art shows in the area — there is even a group (not from here) called the Drive By Press – they’ve done band shirts for groups like Blue October and what have you… I interviewed them for a caption on a photo for a newspaper article when they visited Green Bay.

    Plus this would also involve other artists! what do you think? Should we talk in private about it?

  • I see it this way 100% of the image is done once I press the shutter and then it has the opportunity to have another role. Taking the photo is important and a process I enjoy, the thinking before, having a concept and watching it change, be destroyed, rebuilt discarded,grow, alter course, placed in limbo from shot to shot. Then they sit there (some I have never looked at) eventually the images get squeezed, prodded, choked set free as discards, imprisoned in a frame, sent to the wonders of the www, they make new friends retaliate against others………. they get to breathe. Sometimes I don’t shoot an image for months
    The book I am putting together starts with a 3 year old image followed by a 12 year old then a couple from last year, followed by something borrowed then on from a few weeks ago……… then something regurgitated etc

    here is a first draft taste from 6 months ago

  • David,

    I understand you don’t want to focus too much on tech issues but I’d be very curious to
    hear why the M8 didn’t work for you or fit your needs given that film M’s were such a key part
    of your working style.


  • David, yes the Edgewater is still there, next to the new cruise ship terminal, full of white tennies and Bermuda shorts. Not the same place at all. While I only caught glimpses of the last of it, the wonderful old funky Seattle is mostly gone I’m afraid, like the old Vegas, the old Venice! (and why I appreciate Panos work so much … he’s getting the last of it), etc … seems like we’ve embraced sterile shadows of real life, and gone to the condos. I could be wrong I suppose, Charles would know better than I since I get to the city infrequently, but it seems we’ve polished the grit and the sweat and the reality out of so many treasures that there is little left but empty shells of sameness with retro plastic facades so we can tell them apart. I do, however, know a wonderful tavern down by the docks where the crabbers hang and tell stories of crossing the bar in 30 ft. seas … but it ain’t in Seattle. There are still places on the fringes here that are still real …

    Hanging backstage talking to Mick and Bob? Bloody hell David, you have a good life. Always wanted to hang backstage with a camera, the real backstage before and after the show but I imagine with promoters and lawyers and all manner of the unmusical in the music Business oiling the treadmills today, those days are likely over as well. I always liked Graham Nash’ work backstage with the camera … real … hmmm, I think I was born at the wrong time …

    Now I’m rambling … ‘night …

  • Ross, I work with an old nikon F3 (my old FM2 is dead), a 35mm lens and a 50mm lens, i’m a boring girl too.

    Civil, hope all are well for you et your family…

  • “”Always wanted to hang backstage with a camera, the real backstage before and after the show but I imagine with promoters and lawyers and all manner of the unmusical in the music Business oiling the treadmills today, those days are likely over as well.”” ………..not quite, but you have to do it for yourself. No one is interested in publishing the stuff anymores. There is also a trust issue. Too many people have been burned by the dickhead with a cameraphone backstage taking the cocaine ‘money shot’ and selling it on. I still get invited to do quite a lot of backstage stuff because they know i do it for the ‘pictures’ and that i aint gonna take the cheap shot. if you look through my ‘backstaging’ set there is some nice moments there, and that is just a tiny part of the archive. Maybe a dozen of them have been used commercially (ie I got paid), all the rest are just for the love of doing it.(which means that they will remain in boxes in my darkroom :) )

    re cameras. 90% of the work i do for me is on a battered old r6.2 with a 24mm on. 90% of the work i do for pay is on state of the art canon dslrs with lots and lots of expensive glass on. One pays for the other.

  • DAVID…hi

    I’ve noticed you have an interest in Cambodia.. I’ve just scanned some pictures I photographed during the 98′ election when I was first trying to live in Asia as a stringer. Lasted for 1 year. 97 – 98 until i got kicked out of Indonesia a week before Suharto was ousted in 98. Went back to Sydney to try and earn some money.

    If you get time i have just loaded them on PHOTOSHELTER on my home page

    I’ve only just started really to dig out some of my images and get them scanned … trying to come up with something for Magnum expression award..

  • Picked a used copy of Cuba for £7 postage inclusive ;-)

  • Ah, the Edgewater. Back when I photographed small insignificant planes painted blue we would be there during Seafair. What a great place. Seem to remember someone there saying that the term skid row came from there, but I did smell lots of JP5 back then.


    how did you notice i had an interest in Cambodia??

    yes, i went into Kampuchea with the North Vietnamese Army in the early 80″s and held my breath as teams uncovered deep holes 150 feet wide with up to 400 rotting bodies in them…blindfolded and with crushed skulls having been bludgeoned to death (why waste a bullet?) often by their own children who were mesmerized by the policies of Pol Pot…yes, a double page spread and in depth story under the Natgeo editorship of W. E. Garrett….by going back later this year, i will try to get this smell from the mass graves out of my nostrils which does not seem to go away after all these years …


    well, yes then our back end process is the same in terms of the photographs taking on a new life after shooting…the way you are thinking about pictures taking on “a new role”, albeit not the only role, is exactly how i view it as well…i think we have all seen the link you just posted several times before and actually was thinking we were going to publish that one here instead of Mute….i too often have in the sequence of a book or show pictures which are many years apart…i think this is pretty much the same for many photographers….all that matters is the final print, or book, or show…how any of us “get there” is irrelevant to the viewer…


    well, then you got an incredible deal…and , laughing, it shows us once again that photography, books, prints, etc is all about “perceived value”…i do know that last month our agent in Tokyo sold a used signed copy of the same book for approximately $900…if we meet, i will sign it, and you may have made a very good investment….i will give you 10 pounds for it right now….deal??

    cheers, david

  • Precise dates about Cambodia?

    PS: The “why waste a bullet” is a chinese thing. The purpose of bludgeoning was discretion, not economics…

  • Oh and “mesmerized”? They had no real other choice…

  • It was all about fear…

  • And it is going on today…

  • But then some of todays leaders were former KR…

  • ……yea the link has been up for a while, though these are part of the final images, so there are changes from what was before.
    I made the mistake, well it turned out for the best of creating the book for the net thus small jpegs and not printable. Having to redo every image gave me the chance to take the book into a new direction, consolidate and it became really enjoyable time with the chance to befriend and savour the images as they unravelled. I guess that is the beauty of digital one no longer has to complete a project and a stray is always welcome………


    well, amigo you are THE expert…and i totally defer to your more complete knowledge…after all you live there, and i was but a brief visitor….i am quite sure it was all about fear and not just the “philosophy” of Pol Pot…i was told at the time that they simply did not want to waste the bullets, but i can imagine that some twisted form of discretion could have been it too…although killing hundreds at a time can hardly be considered “discreet”….hard for me to imagine that some of today’s leaders are former KR…i know it of course , but find it “hard to believe”…i look forward to talking to you later this fall (this time in Cambodia with a real visa and legal!!) and getting the whole so so complex story straight in my head….but for sure, the Cambodia of today is obviously still reeling from the events of 30 years ago…my dates there?? hmmmm, i will have to go look it up…will let you know soonest…

    5 mins later….google says i was there in 1981…story published in 1982 “Kampuchea Awakens from a Nightmare”

    cheers, david


    is this the handmade book you intend to make?? i could see it going as both a handmade version AND a published version….

  • Yes I am looking to do a handmade version of this, so far the trial prints have come up with the goods there is something about this one off version that a published version will not come near. Once all the images are all finalised, I will hawk it to a publisher/printer I know, still this costs. I am not interested in blurb lulu etc as I have a specific paper in mind plus a limited published version. Finances permitting here……. Then I just get on with the next one which is started ……. “Being paranoid”

    …..this one is about “finding a way as a child ….. reoccurring nightmares …….. and….. “lets not be too cynical”
    I do have this sea of books as well

  • DAH

    The precise dates question was only on your presence this fall…

  • we all look at the same thing i different way. For me Cambodia is a place of changing. I feel the same on Cuba and I know this feeling after 89′ in Poland. It’s some kind of magical hope, hope for changes, for bright future. It’s about how people behave. Mysterious time. Very value.
    But I know nothing about Cambodia.I am just visitor, a turist as always.
    Hope the changes will have a good directions.


    yes, i agree…surely Cambodia is in a time of change…although we just read from John Vink that some atrocities are still going on today….this i did not know….

    Cuba is a bit different….at least certainly in the sense of blood spilled…Castro’s revolution was relatively bloodless and not the deep cultural revolution of Pol Pot ….in Cuba, lots and lots of exiles and some opposition either executed or in jail for sure, but there was not a wholesale mass slaughter as in Kampuchea…

    you have to remember that Fidel FIRST tried to partner with the U.S…got some of his funding for his revolution from some of the wealthy who lived around Central Park in New York…Fidel lived at the Theresa Hotel in Harlem…..some of his most loyal followers still have U.S. passports like photographer Roberto Salas who had a New York studio before joining the revolution…it was only when Che nationalized the banks and other companies that the U.S. broke with Fidel…the first year of the revolution in Cuba was all friendly friendly with the U.S. government and probably the CIA helped him in some ways overthrow Batista…Fidel did come to Washington early on with open arms…wanted 400 tractors to be donated by the U.S. to get his agriculture program going…you must wait they said…he felt rebuffed, his machismo maligned…was told his English not so good…he went back to Cuba and looked again…he saw the open door the Soviet Union was offering…he needed funding…so, sometimes the juxtaposition of political philosophy and money are flexible to say the least…

    cheers, david

  • Oh, yes David, Cuba and Cambodia are incomparable but both have this hope. Cuba waiting for changes. They waiting for new world should will come soon. The same as Cambodia. I am sure Cuba waiting. All of them. Even communists.
    But of course it is my impression. And maybe only mine.


    ok,laughing…well, i will have to look that one up too!! i think either the second or third week of november…will you be there??


    of course a blurb style book does not make sense at all for your work.. you MUST have a Smithson sewn binding and the proper weight and paper surface and reproduction values etc etc…as you say, nothing will beat the handmade version, but i think we can find a good limited edition publisher for you…your “sea of books” is clearly an exhibition waiting to happen…

    cheers, david

  • And while perhaps you are in the region David… you did say to one of my compatriots you might swing past my part of the world as well…perhaps you would be able to indulge in a Mojita or two if you do?

    BTW I am not so sure atrocities can be regulated by timelines or the style in which they occur, I believe they happen because good men do little to prevent them… a moral viewpoint is often the hardest to defend…

  • civilian..

    tor capa has been walking about leaning on tables for about 6 weeks..
    today though he stood, arms by side and unaided for the first time.. watching ‘postman pat’

    he’s much better at standing and walking when something else is occupying him.. when he’s not thinking about it too much..

    a bit like taking photographs really :o)


  • dellicson …….many thnks…….. fr sharing the wing suit video ……. really intriguing stuff

  • if we meet, i will sign it, and you may have made a very good investment

    Which reminds me, David, to have you signed “VIRGINIA” (yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!) when you come next month in SF. It should be worth something, I have the feeling that’s the only copy you will ever sign….. If I wring your arm enough, in the name of friendship! :-)))

    I do not think John Vink means that children are coerced by fear, or else, to kill their parents nowadays. Just that there is still too many crimes from the powerful that never come close to being investigated seriously, let alone brought to justice (where $$ and connections rig the putcome).

    Karajan, the conductor, had a nazi membership, Kurt Waldheim too of course (head of the UN for a long time). Werner Von Braun was one of the many “nazi” engineers scooped up by the US at WW2’s, and one of the great architects of the moon landing/walking. His german WW2 activity include running armements factories using slave labors. That’s the way the world function, it does not have to mean that the societies where these people regain some power, some influence are genocidal, murderous ones.

    Hun Sen, Cambodia’s strongman was a KR commander, wo escaped the KR to flee to Vietnam (John, if I say that in many Cambodians mind, his vietnam connection is worse than having been a KR, am i wrong?), and was put in power by invading Viet forces.

    There are 2 ways to look at places like Cambodia: “Look what they come from, not perfect but better”, and “why shoudn’t they deserve better after all they went thru?”. Which is all talk. And a 3rd way. Do something. Work in one’s modest capacity to help one cambodian, one kid there, to get a better hold of its future, put the means in their head (not just their stomach or hands) to strive towards that.

    The big question (I have my idea…)is: why has there been so much help and $$ given, so much NGO presence, with a 20 year running record, moreover in a country with barely 15 million souls (more than half under 21, I think), and poverty still rhymes with endemic?

    Why when you put a lake into a pond, the result looks like a drop in the sea?

  • vivek: yeah, it’s amazing, I just think the margin for error is kind of slim. If the wall or terrain below doesn’t fall away fast enough as you drop diagonally at over 100 mph, you’d end up dead real quickly.

  • it does not have to mean that the societies where these people regain some power, some influence are genocidal, murderous ones.
    Sorry, the drift was more like:

    It does not mean that these societies ……are the worse for it.

  • Brent’s Essay is impressive – I find the lack of emotion interesting… an interesting story – not something I’ve ever seen before.

  • Dear David,

    I’ve made my galleries of new essays(6 pieces- Tokyo, Beijing, Paris, Oslo, New York, and Sydney) at Photoshelter. And invite you to that gallery in Photoshelter … So you can see it.

    Please check it.
    Many many thanks,

    Kyunghee Lee

  • DAH: November? Where else would/could I be?

    Hervé: you’re right about the vietnam vs. KR connection of Hun Sen.

    When I mentioned about fear: it was fear which made children spy upon their parents and have them killed during the KR regime. It is fear today which prevents people (luckily not all) of speaking up against mismanagement, corruption, injustice.

    Those in power at the time knew and those in power today know about the fear the cambodian people carry within.

    As to your final question: I don’t have an answer which would satisfy me and maybe you… But I don’t think it is guilt feelings which opens donors wallets.

  • @david: feel free to sign it, but it will take more than a pint and a tenner to get it out of my hands now ;-) and yes, the market price of books is amazingly varied… there always seem to be a few copies gathering dust in a small bookshop or warehouse, even when the price on abe or amazon might be going for hundreds (amazon lists now satellites at $180, when still a year ago you could get a copy at a reasonable price!)

  • Hi all –
    In case people were following my iPhone Photojournalist blog, I’ve just moved it –

    Ok, that’s all!

  • HERVE…

    you have a copy of Virginia?? how in the world did you even know about it?? my oh my….i think i told you that even HCB had a really bad commissioned book (color ,can you believe it?) on France….please do not look for any more of my skeletons in the closet…there are others….shhhhhhh….


    are you in OZ?? yes, i might swing by….if so, then yes a few indulgences would be just fine…

    cheers, david

  • DAH, What about “Tell it like it is” any copies of that floating around?

  • DAH, Should clarify my last post, not that I think by any means its a skeleton in the closet, just that I have been looking on ebay for over a year with no luck. I think it was your first well earned brake was it not?


    Batten down the hatches… looks like another one is headed your way.

  • KURT….

    Tell It Like It Is is not a skeleton, but a book of pride for me….not a commissioned book and my first personal project of any depth….there are only 4 copies in my possession and only 1 other copy that i know about….anybody who finds another one somewhere (there were i think only 500 printed) would do well to hang on to it, but i doubt any exist…the new darkroom i am building right now will be used primarily to print for 15-25 handmade copies of Off For a Family Drive and probably the same for Tell It…both will also be part of the mainstream version of Family Drive….

    cheers, david

  • John V..

    I’ve only spent a few months in Cambodia during 97′ and again during 98′, and what struck me most was the sweet fear the average Cambodian showed, almost, offered up, like a humble sacrifice.. Which struck me so much deeper realizing the violence that can come from such a soul.

  • Hi David..

    Sorry to hear you saw and experienced what you did.. Yes, I can imagine it must feel like a strange place in your memory. So extreme were the consequences of such ideology + place & time. don’t know how else to think about it??

  • Since it’s a bit quiet here tonight I thought I’d combine a bit of music with some shameless self promotion… Here’s the Who song that inspired my new youth project!!!

  • Some may be interested watching this, following Brent’s essay, some commentaries are provided by P. Blenkinsop. The video is linked in the opening post at:

    PS: David, VIRGINIA. As I mentionned before, the back flap picture of the photographer itself is worth the “price of admission”… :-)))

  • 2008 Don McCullin interview;

  • Thanks Ross.

    The last issue of APERTURE has a feature on him where he says about the same thing (in short: about self-questionning and ultimately seeing very little good come from one’s pictures) .

    I think the personal and ethical, human altogether, dilemma of shooting misery, execution and dying, should and can never have a precise and reliable “working” answer, it’s not just about pitting the positive against the negative. Both polarities may reside not that far from each other, and only pictures are “black and white”.

  • Yes Herve, but we can but try….

  • JKaranka

    there always seem to be a few copies gathering dust in a small bookshop or warehouse, even when the price on abe or amazon might be going for hundreds

    You’re not just saying!!!

    For some reason, we talk about Cambodia and the propagandists of the KR regime, and bingo! Today i find a used photo book made during that time, showing how brave and happy cambodians are under Pol Pot. It’s called THE NEW FACE OF CAMBODIA by some R Brown and D Kline, published by liberator press (sic). Bought it for 8 bucks.

    I just checked. There are 2 copies on AMAZON, 150 and 280+ dollars…

  • To DAH: Will you be at Perpignan this year? What about a ” Burnian cold beer” meeting with everyone that allows burn to live since last December?

    Abrazos a todos, Patricio

  • book prices are astonishing sometimes..
    to be able to afford info retrieval from my hard drive, i have been looking online to value some of mine..

    found that selling my 1st ed’s of waplingtons ‘living room’ and parrs ‘home and abroad’ would more than cover the hard drive invoice.. hundreds of pounds.. the trouble is.. i don’t really want to sell my books..

    funnily enough, while researching prices i completely lost focus and ‘accidently’ bought a 1st ed of PJGs vietnam inc..

    PATRICIA – are you going to perp this year?
    i know that AUDREY is going.. and probably ANTON TG..
    i really want to make it this year.. money is tight..
    best pull my finger out and find some work..

    have a better-than-usual lead to poss work right now .. so who knows.. :o)

  • okay – just checked dates..
    i’m not going to perp this year :o)

  • Herve: I buy that book from you. I give you 9$… OK?


    i do not think i can make it to Perpignan this year….as much as i would truly love sharing a cold beer with all of you who have supported Burn this year, i simply cannot justify the time nor the expense…i can better help you now by staying here close to the fires and moving towards some sponsorship for Burn photographers….if i were in Europe for some other reason, i would surely come down, but jumping on a plane from the U.S. to spend three days in France and fast turnaround would not be the best use of my time at this point…

    there is a time to celebrate, there is a time to work…now is the time for me to work….

    please enjoy Perpignan….and do also consider Arles for next summer…

    cheers, david

  • DAH

    sent you an email a couple of days ago with revised text. maybe we can set up a time to chat in the next couple of days?


  • What a pity Brent Lewin doesn’t want any comments on his essay. It’s such positive work in so many respects.

  • brents essay confused me a little.. on the one hand i felt i was looking at ambulance chasing snapper.. catching the chaos of the job and the banal routine of dealing with corpses day in day out, and on the other hand i was trying to get into the life of the people who do the job..

    i think the former was more successful as i still feel there is a lack of closeness to the workers with respect to documenting their lives.. the photo through the window.. the photo of the sticker.. a photo taken peeking round a corner.. it feels as though we are being told that brent has only just begun to scratch the surface of the subject and so some detail was lacking..

    he’s made a sweet begining although it feels incomplete.. and i guess it is.. a very interesting subject to get stuck into, regardless, and some excellent single images.

    clearly he’s doing the business with trying to gain awards and recognition, but i felt the same of other stories on his site.. there were a lot of ‘relection in mirror’ shots.. tricks…

    the best thing i think i saw on his site was the afghanistan work.. the main reason being that there was not a single ‘stormtrooper’ nor cliched embed shot.. it seems to be a folio of afghanistan life.. general day to day in the city which i think it’s important to see..
    it’s all too easy to see the place as a ‘war’ instead of a country.. i was pleasantly suprised to click the link..

    considering he’s only 3 or 4 years into snapping his site shows a good, progressive and solid foundation, even if some shots seem formulaic.


    BRENT – apologies for using the third person if you’re reading.. unsure whether you’ll drift into ‘stray cat’ or not..

  • herve – if you have a flatbed scanner i think it’s only fair to share the photo :ø)

  • patricio – not patricia.
    along with sending invoices without invoices attached, it’s not been my day …

  • ALL

    In connection with DAH’s question posed at the start of this thread — ie., “do you finish most things, or sooner rather than later give it up??” — how do you get going again after you HAVE finished a project? Do you experience a time of lowered enthusiasm/energy photographically-speaking, or do you jump right into something new?

    Even in the final months of completing my project, I found myself experiencing an uncharacteristic lack of interest in taking new photos. And this from a person who has been an everyday shooter since 2000. Even now, I go days and days without taking my camera out of its bag.

    Does this ever happen to you? It feels so strange. This morning I just started shooting something/anything just to be doing it.

    If this has happened to you, how did you get the creative juices flowing again? Any suggestions would be most welcome…


  • patricia –
    i know how you feel, not wanting to pick up the camera. sometimes it feels that all the pictures have been taken, or those that aren’t are being shot by someone else… but then one begins again… maybe, as you have, you just shoot anything — because sometimes that’s enough for a photographer — what will this look like as a photograph? oh, yeah, that’s pretty decent, i have an eye! sometimes for me it might be putting on a new lens, even a gimmick lens like a lensbaby… or concentrating on details, or tight portraits… whatever… even if the new direction takes a 180 degree turn, you’ve (i’ve) at least begun to look again.
    as an independent, freelance photographer who has done nothing else for 30 years, with kids in college and the whole noose of daily life around my neck, it can be troubling to be directionless. troubling and depressing… for a freelancer those new projects are often necessary to stay in tune or explore new techniques/approaches/directions. when one’s produced new work, it makes it easier to do marketing – you’ve got new stuff to show/share, always helpful in getting one to the keyboard/phone to smile and dial…

  • I tend to look back on single photos not part of the project I just completed. Things I shot offhand just because they were interesting at the moment. They often suggest a project that interests me. Something I didn’t think of at the time.

  • HERVE…

    whatever price you paid for the Va. book, i will double it back to you if you DO NOT take David Bowen’s suggestion and scan that picture!! now, if begging does not work, then maybe coercion will….

    i am coming to San Francisco at the end of september…short 4 day workshop with Momenta and some family picture shooting for American Family…there will be my usual slide show of student essays/work on the evening of the 28th…i always pump these events to be both educational and fun…i like that combo…

    i will of course invite all Burn readers who live anywhere near San Francisco to the Momenta workshop show and of course a fine fine fiesta to boot will follow …THE place to be in San Fran that evening…


    it would really really be a shame if you were not on the guest list would it not my good friend Herve???

    cheers, david

  • To Patricia: (and to all as well)

    This is a quote from a great Mathematician C.F. GAuss:

    “It is not knowledge, but the act of learning, not possession but the act of getting there, which grants the greatest enjoyment. When I have clarified and exhausted a subject, then I turn away from it, in order to go into darkness again; the never-satisfied man is so strange if he has completed a structure, then it is not in order to dwell in it peacefully,but in order to begin another. I imagine the world conqueror must feel thus, who, after one kingdom is scarcely conquered, stretches out his arms for others.”

    Letter to Bolyai, 1808.

    … THE ACT OF LEARNING…” That’s great!



  • That’s a deal, David. I will keep the photo for myself, and you sign the book!

    John Vink, who knows, one day, I may need the 9 bucks. I will remember your offer…


  • Herve.

    Not so fast. We are working behind the scenes to quadruple David’s offer. Real bidding war about to commence.

  • My name 4 times on Momenta’s party waiting list? :-))))

  • Here is a selection of images I took on my short trip to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad last week.
    The shutter of my Canon 5D died on me right at the beginning of this trip and so all pictures were taken with a little lumix point and shoot camera which had a Russian menu. This brings the extra fun ;-)
    Many things didn’t work out as planned, the truck with the aid goods got stuck at the border because of 2 tons overload. Yesterday I got the message that the truckload is free except for 2 tons of freight that still remain at the border control.
    So I hope you get a little insight into what I have experienced and what I have seen last week.


  • Reimar, maybe the 5D would have engaged you to deliver more “vision and drama”, but as it stands, “telling it like it is” works very nicely too.

    It does have its limit (tending on the touristic, though it’s not an insult for me), the snapshot quality of the images does deliver much intimacy, but also sympathy that seems reflected back to you by the people themselves, and the plain colors too.

  • Patricia; Just pick up the camera and go for it! :-)

    A couple of quotes that always work for me;

    Steve McCurry; “One thing that will happen is that you won’t always want to take pictures. Sometimes when travelling you can be in a good mood, but just not for photography. I don’t have that luxury on assignment, and for anyone interested in getting great photographs, they have to be out there taking pictures. Sometimes you just have to force yourself to get out and get started. One foot in front of the other, take a few frames to get started, then things will start to flow. You’ve got to go for it. Don’t hold back”

    Freeman Patterson. “Even when my feet are placed in footprints I made previously, and even if I stand there at precisely the same time I did the day before, the angle of light will have altered slightly and the sky will be deeper blue or paler with dust. And I will be a day older. So every time I gaze upon the whole, it will be from a unique perspective. And each of my unique perspectives will be different from each of yours”


  • If God rested on the 7th Day (and we all agree much was unfinished…), so can Patricia! :-)

  • Reimar; Are you going back?


    You prove the truth of Eve Arnold’s quote: “The instrument is not the camera but the photographer.” Your photos capture for me Renate’s mixed feelings as she visited her homeland after so many years. I see the faces of the Russian people and am touched by their warmth and welcome. The sky is huge and the fields vast. There is such a sense of dignity and pride at the hospital. And the little girl’s eyes sparkle as she holds her new stuffed animal. You take us both inside and outside the homes but hospitality is obviously everywhere. I especially loved looking through Musa’s lace curtains.

    I’m relieved to hear that most of the aid got through. Only two tons to go!!! Such good work you are documenting. Bravo to all concerned.



    Thank you so much for understanding and for throwing out a life preserver to this struggling swimmer. The quotes speak to me of the perseverance and fortitude we all know comes with the territory. Actually, I have a new project that I very much enjoy when I get out there and do it. But maybe Herve’s right — maybe I just need a little rest. But resting is never as much fun as going FULL OUT with a project that stirs your heart and absorbs your mind. I love PASSION not rest!!!

    It sure is wonderful to be part of a community like Burn…


  • “But resting is never as much fun as going FULL OUT with a project that stirs your heart and absorbs your mind. I love PASSION not rest!!!”

    All power to you Patricia!!!

  • Patricia:

    Is that a new edit of “Mirror Me” on your site? I’m sure they’re different pics to what I saw last time. They’re great!!!!!

  • ROSS

    I just keep adding to the Mirror Me edit on my website. Now I’m waiitng for us to have a warmer, non-rainy day here in Detroit so I can take my mirror to the Michigan State Fair. That will be a treasure trove of possible images!

    Thanks for your affirming response…


  • Bucharest update:

    A few weeks back I was going nuts getting ripped off by cap drivers, being attacked by vicious stray dogs and the like. Well, that’s still going on, but that’s not the point. To illustrate how oddball Romania is, here is a story in the NYT from yesterday of how Romanians at Wednesday night’s first ever Madonna concert booed her when she defended Roma (Gypsy) rights. I have read the commentary on a slew of websites and the hatred for Roma and for Madonna is simply astounding! I mean really awful, demeaning, sexual speech.

    On another note, I have begin a new project here. Just getting going:

  • Personally, after the Madonna concert the other night that I listened to from my window(!) I have been going down memory on Youtube. Growing up in 80s America with Madonna and Michael Jackson was frickin great. Much better than nowadays. I am so nostalgic!

  • for dellicson…

    This is what I was listening to in those days. If you’re into it, watch Simon Phillips (drummer) incredible!

  • PATRICIA (under Eve’s foreclosures essay):
    There are too many people who are suffering and need to have their losses seen by those of us who still have houses to live in. These are times where the divide between the so-called “haves” and “have-nots” is becoming unbridgeable.

    Patricia, just because people have kept their house to live in, or have been behaving soundly with their finances when buying one, does not mean they belong to the “haves”, and need be told they ignore the least fortunate (Mr O would not have been elected otherwise).

    Likewise, though it may not be a moment in one’s life to laugh about, not having a house anymore is not exactly being a “have-not”, which is an economic condition not just tied to a “crisis”.

    yet, Compared to 9/10th of the world, 9/10th of american “have nots’ are actually “haves”. We need in this country to stop whining and look at how so many in the rest of the world live.

    There was on CNN, a coverage on “have not” inner city kids going to South Africa, to see their “counterparts”. It was a heart-wrenching but learning experience, the US kids had no idea one could live in such abject poverty as the South-A kids did.

    One may disagree, but I believe it is high time not to look inward, but outward and compassionately at the world, for americans.

    Foreclosures and their consequences, on the human misery scale, rank nowhere close to the wretchedness of condition 1/3 of mankind lives in.

  • michael kircher. My apologies.I did not intend it to sound as if i were a lone wolf on this. It seems I am not entirely alone in not really getting the point of the essay.

  • Thanks for the reminder, Herve. You’re good at keeping us honest.



    well, with just a bit of an edit, you would have a nice little essay here..please begin your edit by taking out the looking at the map picture particularly as your lead photograph……it took me awhile to recover from that one, but then and then you had some compelling images indeed, photographed with simplicity and sincerity….your essay really starts with the portrait of “Musa and Renate”, rolls nicely into “shadows” and “full table” and really gets us with “Musa’s husband suffers from Alzheimers and “naptime” with a truly lovely portrait “Jura and Ljuba”, with a simple but warmly sentimental photograph “at the datscha” and has very nice closing energy with “next generation”…..hang on to those……many thanks for sharing….very nice….

    cheers, david

  • I know, don’t those inner city kids have it good! They just don’t know! Ignorant aren’t they?


    i think you were part of the majority , so far, of most not really “getting” the work of Eve….certainly fair enough and for heaven’s sake, i want strong opinions…yours was clearly stated….you must know that i knew that this would be the majority reaction….

    one thing that did surprise me however was that nobody picked up on the rather eerie and seemingly impossible task for Eve to have shot all those homes in EXACTLY the same flat light…as if they had all been shot at the same moment in time..i thought surely someone would notice that right away..that was the first thing i saw and i kept going back and forth trying to figure out how she did it…Eve was obviously being undramatic and unadorned on very clear purpose….not everyone’s cup of tea….but definitely shot with this flat result as her clear intent…

    cheers, david

  • As a follow-up to Herve’s comments about how good Americans have it over persons in other parts of the world… In Detroit there has been an ongoing problem with water being cut off to residences, many of them rentals where the landlord got in arrears in the payments. Back in 2003-4 I was part of demonstrations calling for a moratorium on water cut-offs, at least during the winter. At that time over 40,000 homes in Detroit had no running water. 40% of children attending Detroit public schools had no running water at home. Many of these homes also had no heat or electricity. Even last winter, there were deaths in homes where the heat and electricity had been cut off.

    Just to say, not everyone in the U.S. has it so easy.


  • DAH

    “one thing that did surprise me however was that nobody picked up on the rather eerie and seemingly impossible task for Eve to have shot all those homes in EXACTLY the same flat light…as if they had all been shot at the same moment in time”

    I did notice that actually, though didn’t think it was particularly significant. Perhaps they were all shot in one afternoon in one neighborhood, not completely unlikely, given the similar architecture and age of many of the buildings. Even if they weren’t, this kind of light is pretty easy to come by.

    Nothing really eerie or difficult about it. As an old commercial shooter I can tell you that we would choose these kind of days if we to make record shots of a lot of different buildings quickly without having to worry about the time of day/direction of light. The results were kind of boring and flat, with white skies, but it did the job. I would have got my wrists slapped if I had come back with un-corrected verticals however.

    As others have pointed out, these photos have seem to have little to do with the current foreclosure situation in your country.

    I trust your vision David, and you are obviously seeing something here that some of us are missing. I’m trying, help me out here.

  • Detroit’s Beautiful, Horrible Decline in Time HERE

  • Tom, do not be disingenuous and dishonest. I only mentionned inner city kids in relation to that CNN coverage I mentionned. So, I never said inner city kids have it all.

    Patricia, you were speaking about people reeling from foreclosure, since it was Eve’s essay, not 40 000 homes without electricity and 40% kids without water. The situation of inner cities and disenfranchised neighboroods is, as I said, not new, crisis or not. I said 9/10th, not 10/10th.

    Anyway, I was able to find part of the CNN essay on these kids going to South Africa. I think they do an even greater job of keeping us honest. Please, do watch it:

  • Can I take a sidetrack for a moment? … Got a nice compliment today, sort of, at least I thought it was at first, and now … well it’s an interesting thing. There is a mag where I have had a number of single black and whites published over the last few years, a literary journal of sorts, which is sent free to U.S. prisons. The editor forwarded a print request from a prisoner. He can’t afford to buy a print but he would like one for the 2 foot square piece of wall for his bulletin board. He cannot hang pages from a magazine but is allowed to hang actual prints. If your world is a cell and you have only two square feet … well that is a compliment and I’m inclined to send him a print. But then I did a little research and he is serving multiple consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole for horrendous violent crimes. Should that matter? And if you had only two square feet, what would you hang on the wall? It was an interesting surprise in the mail today …

  • “Tom, do not be disingenuous and dishonest.”

    Can’t wait till we finally meet Herve, I’m sure we’ll be fast friends.

  • I am sure too, Tom. It’s all virtual here. Somne good stuff is being shared though, we learn from each other!

    Just got back from outside. It’s been one of the hottest and muggy days in SF history. People hanging out by the dozens at each street corner, girls wearing very, very short skirts. Ouh lala!

    Anyway, back to work *and sharing!):

    DAH (on Eve’ s essay)

    EXACTLY the same flat light…as if they had all been shot at the same moment in time..i thought surely someone would notice that right away..

    Therein lies the problem, David. If we are non-plussed by the essay, there is little chance that such flat light (It’s a bit seasonal too, extending in time, no?), even the difficulty of capturing it day after day, redeems the essay for us. So, why mentionning it.

    I definitely think the ubiquitousness of looking at images on a screen often defeat the esthetic enjoyment of many a picture, or rather, of what enters into making that picture what it really is, its elements. the space within which a work of art is apprehended is also sometimes as important in photography.

    But if people are conquered by an essay, therein lies another problem on BURN. People should tell us what they see, what it is, not just what they feel, and project of themselves into the picture.

  • Patricia, Herve, Ross, David,
    thank you for your kind words and helpful critique!
    I will pass on the good wishes to everyone involved in the project. Helping is not as easy as it seems.
    Yes, I want to go back probably in October or April next year. I am very fascinated by this place.
    During summer everything still looks nice, but autumn or winter might bring a different mood. On this first trip I got a good overview of the place. We were always in a hurry, but next time I want to spend more time with one family or in a particular location.
    Everybody, enjoy the weekend!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Generosity a special form of energy

    sometimes visible …sometimes invisible…

    keep it hot
    keep it up
    keep it burning

    P.S I am watching in u.

  • The foreclosure essay touches close to home for me. A few years ago I remember reading about homes being stripped of copper pipe, wires, drywall, etc in Ohio after being foreclosed on.
    I thought, wow what a terrible place that must be.
    Now, earlier maybe even late last year, my parents home was declared in foreclosure. My parent had just gotten devorced and this week they just found a realitor to try to sell it before the bank claims it.
    Their house was once a beautiful ranch home surrounded by trees on a wooded acre. Today, the outside appears to be in good repair, but the inside is in pretty rough shape. Not so bad that pipes, wires and such have been removed. But the floors are horrible, white carpet ruined, bathrooms are nearly destroyed due to clumsiness and leaking pipes, the power was turned off months ago. It’s a wreck. My dad and brother still live there however. What holds the weather out can still be called a home I guess.
    I should really post this part on the essay it’s self, but I think shooting the buildings as if they would be for an ad found in one of those real estate magazines found in the entrances of gas stations and grocery stores is intriguing. It’s a pelculiar look. I think it’s the view of the shopper.

    I decided earlier this week it might be a good idea to work on a story about losing the home. And the tearing apart of the family. About a year ago the power was shut off on my family for about a month while they tried to find the money to pay off the bill. I wonder how this end happens to other families.
    Just a bit to the east and north of my current apt is an area where property is at a premium due to visitors from the Chicago area buying up land for summer cottages. Door CoUnty in Wisconsin has a whole bunch of homes that were abandoned back in the 70’s. A few friends of mine have photographed a few and inside they discovered it’s alsmost as though people just up and left. Like they were going to work and never returned. Perscription bottles sit on counters with pills still in them, stacks of old phone books sit near the telephone, ornaments an photos hang on walls. It’s amazing.

  • Man that was full of typos. I blame the phone…

  • This story has been floating around the internet and my mind the last couple of weeks. It makes the point better than I could, and says a lot about the PJ profession and its troubles at the same time — related to Detroit, and related to decay.

  • Hi all-
    Unfortunately I won’t be making it to Perpignan next week for Visa, but for any Burnians passing through Paris en route, it would be great to meet up for a drink…cu

  • patricia..

    it’s got to be a relatively common problem, you know.. after one big effort there is bound to be a void.
    the thing to do is kick back and relax i reckon.. just enjoy the contentment if you can.. get the book out and see what that throws up.. the change of perspective lent by completing a piece.. bound to throw up some organic leads concerning where to go next.

    it’s tough.. wondering what to do next is of course a motivator, while it can also grow into one of those ‘life stresses’.. which is why kicking back and relaxing for a short time is best.. so long as you keep photographing something, or at least keep editing something..

    i’ve been digging into my negatives again.. along side looking out at the books others have produced.. thinking about other edits .. other books..
    the daily shooting is taking care of itself.. and it’s a pleasure.. ‘wasted’ will come together.. in the meantime other opportunities are abound.

    it’s an amazing thing – working hard while also leaving room for outside influence to take our hands and lead us always provides a direction… sometimes stressing that the new direction is not coming along quick enough can stop us seeing clearly..

    last year when i began seriously editing my work i had these worries.. life worries.. had i wasted life.. would my work bring me where i wanted to go next.. so many thoughts that i bearly noticed i had already developed.. moved on.. and as this summer proved for me, opportunities were developing without my even knowing it.


    civilian mass goodness.. hows that little surrogate family of yours doing?
    very well i hope..


    i like the Tony Suau piece, but see no relationship to what he did and what Eve was trying to do…


    i totally understand everything you are saying except for your apparent anger that Eve is making a false claim to “bearing witness”…perhaps we have different definitions of what “bearing witness” means…to me, bearing witness is simply looking at a subject, shooting it as it stands, and no manipulation of any kind…what do you mean by “bearing witness”?? i am not suggesting that you should like these pictures, but surely they are pure documentary whether or not you appreciate the aesthetic…

    as you either know or can guess, i was not at all personally influenced by either Walker Evans nor Bernd and Hilla Becher, as was Eve….but, that does not mean i cannot appreciate the austere feel of Evans, the Becher’s, Polidori, Robert Adams, etc…this is the aesthetic that Eve wants(fyi, i have never met her, nor spoken with her..just going by her statement)…this is not what you want to do, nor me either …fine…but, why the rejection of a whole aesthetic as if it had no value because it is not what you do??

    please understand where i am coming from on this….i am not getting on “your case” Lisa…first, you are one of my favorite people on the planet, and i like the work you do….. however, you have brought up an interesting phenomena in my mind….of all the artists i know, photographers , for whatever reason, seem to be the most narrow minded within the discipline itself…for example, many photographers would listen to a wide variety of music, see action movies or comedy, read fiction, non-fiction, history, whatever, and yet confine themselves to only one style of photography appreciation….of course you can only DO one or maybe two things, but why does this so often lead to an actual “anger” towards another type or style?? a sincere question….

    cheers, david

  • HERVE…

    who said that flat light “redeems” the essay?? in my mind , that was an interesting aside, and obvious artistic intention, that i thought would be mentioned/noticed by this audience…certainly no small task on Eve’s part….in any case, my wish is that you would see what is published here as simply trying to show the wide variety of work being done by young photographer’s today and giving you a chance to express your views…

    well, you did of course:

    “But if people are conquered by an essay, therein lies another problem on BURN. People should tell us what they see, what it is, not just what they feel, and project of themselves into the picture.”

    sorry, but you lost me on that one…you said, “people should tell us what they see”…????? isn’t that why they took a picture?

    cheers, david

  • I am not sure david but i think herve may be referring to the viewer of essays /pictures rather than the author. (is this right herve??)

    David. your description of photographers being quite narrow in their scope is quite often true, but it is true also of many of the other mediums of which you speak. authors can be as guilty of it as can musicians…..and yet i suspect many of them have quite a far ranging appreciation for arts ouside their own too.

  • DAH says: “many photographers would listen to a wide variety of music, see action movies or comedy, read fiction, non-fiction, history, whatever, and yet confine themselves to only one style of photography appreciation…”

    I listen to a broad range of music, read a broad range of books, etc. because I like all of them. I am much narrower where photography is concerned because there are only a couple of styles I like. Perhaps photography is in some way different than music, books and movies that result in a much narrower interest in a particular style. Far fewer people buy photography (books, images, etc) than music, books or movies. Perhaps there is a connection, there.

  • JOHN…

    perhaps you are correct….maybe it is because i am so close to photographers that i feel a bit more “narrowness”…ah yes, i think i did read Herve wrong….but, let’s leave it and see what he says…yes, yes, you are right for sure….i honestly thought he was referring to the artist statement….


    far fewer people do buy photography books, for one reason because they cost 5-10 times more than an album or a movie…and they do not “entertain” easily either…however, folks are certainly exposed to still photography just as much or more as they are to the other media, in the papers, mags and advertising etc…

    here might be the difference…

    photography for most people is probably and simply utilitarian..

    descriptive of an object to be sold…..this is what this pair of running shoes look like, here is your hotel room, your pancakes will show up like this etc etc….music, books, films are generally for either entertainment, educational, or artistic pleasure…

    cheers, david

  • Not sure if this has been mentioned here but Antonin Kratochvil is featured in Outside Online:

  • DAH says: “an interesting phenomena in my mind….of all the artists i know, photographers , for whatever reason, seem to be the most narrow minded within the discipline itself…for example, many photographers would listen to a wide variety of music, see action movies or comedy, read fiction, non-fiction, history, whatever, and yet confine themselves to only one style of photography appreciation….of course you can only DO one or maybe two things, but why does this so often lead to an actual “anger” towards another type or style?? a sincere question….”

    I love to shoot with many different styles and looks because no every story or event can be told with the same look I feel… I think – when the photographer is more focused on it being an “art” then it’s all about restrictions…….

    I’ve also found in much of my readings that to be successful in photography, one must really focus on one look so editors can pick the right photographer for the job… Maybe this is why they’re so restricting in their appreciation… why they would hate another is unknown to me. I find when I’m pressured (in classes) to explore styles I’m not interested in shooting I start to feel animosity towards that style… because it’s not something I care to do nor care to learn much about… In painting, the artist is restricted only by their abilities and imagination… in photography – imagination, gear, and tech are the limiters. Tech can be learned by buying gear, gear is plentiful…
    Some people fear the unknown. and fear can be a very strong emotion – such as that is – I know many people who are afraid to use a flash. It’s so unthinkable how many factors that incorporates into the work… and again – “Raw? goodness why shoot with that? it takes up so much space and oh i don’t know how to use an editor… (I might have to LEARN something)”

    Fear is probably what causes that animosity David…
    Fear that perhaps this work is better at telling a story than the style “I” shoot… or worse – “I could do better than that! Thats’s just crap” Well, Photography is like any art – and the quality of the piece shouldn’t be judged so fast. Quality is locked up in so many aspects of the image, from the story, the lighting, the feel, and the viewer.

    With music, things are different – the parts that are techy are worked on by specialists behind a sound board. In TV and movies, you have sound techs, lighting, grips, cameramen, directors, etc etc.. and who gets the recognition in a movie? Not the cameraman, but the director!

    In photography, you’re all of these people all rolled up into one. and if your abilities aren’t as strong as the next person’s or you feel they’re matched and you want to be competitive, anger breaks out…

    It’s silly really….


  • “people should tell us what they see”…????? isn’t that why they took a picture?

    Just aout the 37 or 38th time you read me wrong, David, you busy man! :-)))))

    I meant: readers. Remember my post was about those who don’t like an essay and those who do….Duh!, or rather, dah! :-)))

    my wish is that you would see what is published here as simply trying to show the wide variety of work being done by young photographer’s

    Doing just that, David. 2 years on, and going…..

    I am squarely in the number of people who have never said what should be shown or not on BURN (while I do not hide that my fascination for photography is -still- definitely more about the moment the shot was taken, not the print or the processing, as important as they may be), and if I may, one of the few who can spends regularly an hour or more writing on an essay, or a shot, wether I “like them or not”.

    as a “young” P., if featured on BURN,I will take someone not liking what I do but spending time to tell me why, over someone not saying much while liking it, anytime.

    On “bearing witness”, I think we should give Lisa a wide berth. Bearing witness is not so much related to straight, cold, detached topophotogtrahpy as to “concerned photo-journalism”. Eventually, both of you are right. Even little snaps I take of my lttle nephew (going to France on Oct. 28th!) will bear witness to him at 6 or 7 yo, amd maybe to the style of tapestry and wall papert on my Mom’s walls, behind him.

    And I am a concerned uncle!


  • i only really get angry at work which is either directly derivative of XXX, rather than influenced-by XXX..
    or work which seems to lack sincerity.. appears superficially as though the photographer has done what they thought they ‘should’ do..
    normally i think people do things they feel they ‘should’ do in order to reap a reward they are probably not worthy of.. i sometimes wonder if there is now a generation of photographers for whom the goals are agencies and awards rather than the sheer pleasure of shooting their thing.

    these days there are a great deal of people with camera who copy a style / subject / technique .. something to do with the fascination of how to ‘make it’, perhaps..
    in any case.. i like photographers who do their own ‘thing’ and who’s life and practice supports that ‘thing’.. lends a foundation to what they are doing.

    having said that i cannot remember the last time i was angry at a photographers work.. pretty broad taste these days..
    i don’t like it when artists talk-up work with cross references which would blatantly be redundant were the work good enough.. from the heart.. in the first place..

    … and i guess i used to get angry when i lost a commission to someone who’s work did not stand up, and who no doubt took less money :o)

    blahblahblah.. rambling on red wine now..
    ahh.. why not.. a small one..


    you make total sense…and you always express what you do not like in a way that is never interpreted as “angry”…now, where in hell were you this morning on skype?? i was expecting you…no, i am not angry!! curious would be the proper term….smile


    thanks for the link…good… about that bag factory…

    cheers, david

  • hey.. i was there.. 11 am bergen time which i figure as 6am neu yawk time?
    my computer clicks on and off standby so we must have just missed..

    i hope i am honest.. and also use the right words.. i try to think about posts here, although not so much when drunk..
    now days, with being so busy, i really try to avoid writing if there is something which doesn’t turn me on.. different strokes for different folks.. and besides, who the hell am i anyway?

    actually – been reading about a collective which strand used to mentor within.. i think there are similarities within burn..

    chat soon.. wanna show you the view from the balcony..

  • I am falling in love with this woman from Bay City, Michigan! Wow she looks good!

  • Off (shooting a circus),

    but may i suggest one day a discussion on “liking” in photography, and why “the shot” nowadays seems to be receding behind the “idea behind it”. Eve’s essay is a perfect example.

    It’s like Photography is becoming more important than photos, and actually, I am not so sure it really is, was or will ever be.

  • the main thing as i see it is that on burn i cannot, of the top of my head, think of a single snapper who i have written off as derivative.. insincere..
    there have been an astonishing number of idiosyncratic voices which have stretched my visual appreciation as much as road trips stretched my artistic vocabulary.. all a great help with respect to my own work..

    and with my teaching..

    teaching.. one of the best ways in the world to learn about your own practice while soaking up a tolerance for other peoples..

  • davin.. she’s a donkey.

    (i think)

    i think using the words ‘i think’ are important on a forum like this, not only for peoples sensibilities, but also to prevent us seeming dictatorial..

    herve.. i have a greater appreciation for photography which needs no explanation, and would rather see photos than words.. that’s why i own very few books without pictures.

    i think some photographers are self-conscious about their place in photography, rather than just enjoying photography and seeing what happens.. the intention becomes as important as the work for some, whereas for others the intention becomes clear through the act of taking and displaying the work..

    i cannot like the text under a photo – i can only like the photo..
    and, again, who am i anyway?
    sometimes i find myself being too lofty in appraising peoples work here.. and i think we’re all a little guilty of that.

    off for dinner..

  • HERVE..

    so, please share your pictures of the circus….not the idea, just the pictures!! peace

  • How to critique. I have failed miserably on at least two occasions.

    What I think is going on in some cases is this… we walk into a gallery and find yourself in a room full of seriously bizarre and unimpressive works (Rothko, perhaps? ;^}) and you snicker and mock with whomever you’re with and you move on. Maybe you sit down with a nice glass of wine and open a brand new book that received a good review from someone you respect. About halfway through the first chapter you scream out “aaaggh!!” and *whooosh-BANG* across the room it flies! “I can’t believe I spent money on that piece of shit!”

    Artists are passionate folks to be sure… this is sometimes how they respond. In this place, however, there are people… real people on the other end. David Bowen is right, little words like “I think” can go a long way. I am learning this. Trying, anyway.

  • Unless they are quoting objective facts, I assume all comments are opinions. Why preface everything with a qualifier like “I think”? Obviously it’s what you think or you wouldn’t have said it. Good grief.

  • I think, therefore I am. I am, therefore I think. I think I am, therefore. Therefore, I think I am, unless I can get a second opinion, preferably from someone who knows more about CPR than I do.

  • For me; one of the greatest benefits of Burn has been my exposure to different styles of work. Whether it be from essays, or links provided by other posters. I am continually surprised as to how those differing styles show up in your own work. I’m not talking about directly copying another’s work, but subliminally absorbing the influences from a wide variety of sources.

  • So that’s Harvey’s plot. Subliminal messages! :)

  • DAH

    Cotton candy and carnival games…. (a subliminal message) Grin.


    oh my plots and schemes have no end…i figured you boys would have noticed that long long ago…now, on a more serious note, if i showed up in either of your towns, do you think i could shoot an assignment for your paper?? i mean, just the next one up on the hook…whatever it is…just for fun, but of course i would take it seriously…i liked working for a newspaper and it has been a long time since i shot a newspaper assignment…what do you think??

    cheers, david

  • JIM

    Who does it hurt if we choose to preface our comments with, “I think” or “in my opinion” or “it seems to me”? Certainly not the photographer we are critiquing, nor anyone who reads our critique. When we come in with a blunt declaration, it can sound like ours is the only opinion worth hearing. I suspect (see how I started this sentence?) the lack of such introductory phrases is what often makes your comments sound unneccessarily brusque and authoritarian. Try it, Jim, you might like it.


    Has anyone else noticed that DAH’s request that there be only one comment per person has been ignored by several posters to Eve’s photo essay? Isn’t that what Dialogue is supposed to be for? Come on folks, let’s respect David’s request. It’s been working well up till now.


  • Patricia, the thread has not gone ballistic, now if everyone spent their life only crossing the road at designated crossings then it would be one heck of a boring stroll

  • EVE

    Firstly my comments are not directed at you as a human being. There was a good deal of that post that went missing because of a dud internet connection which perhaps would have softened the actual delivery of what I said. Reading back over it as it came across I have to admit it is incredibly harsh. For that I do apologise, though I am not here to make friends I did not wish to make an enemy.

    Your essay has been presented on this forum in a way that it really does not benefit from, in my opinion. I am sure that 300 large format prints in one gallery space or a book devoted to the subject would be a far more powerful statement of the volume of the crisis and lend the project more gravitas for that depiction of the amount of homes sitting vacant.

    What my major objection about your essay is that I believe it fine to work within a conceptual structure when the artist is intent on delivering a philosphophical message, but your message is based on a reality and its the interpretation of that reality in a way that is conceptual and philosphophical that I find so disturbing.

    To me it looks like a case of someone making light of an awful dilemma for Americans, like the rich kid who wants to go ‘slumming’ rather than an indepth study of the forces in the lives of the people that led to this situation. Let me explain…

    Saying you are ‘bearing witness’ to me is a statement at complete odds with the work, IMO. I don’t believe that this is documentary work in anything other than the fact that you have many pictures of empty houses. To me ‘Bearing witness’ is recording events that are occurring in an empathetic and well researched manner rather than an observational, theorectical and distanced gaze. ‘bearing Witness’ to me signifies that the person in that position to be able to witness events is a conduit to present those events to the human audience with an emphasis on the human approach.

    This is not a conceptual approach- conceptual art- where the philosphophy is considered more important than the object produced is not able by its definition to be documentary. A document is a record, documentary photography is a photographic record of events. An object is produced. Perhaps the only other comparison I can make to this work is that of the photographer who systematically documented the people who were then immediately executed by the Khmer Rouge.

    Debate has raged about it as documentary work as well. His approach I believe was as observational and quite repugnant to most right thinking people. We know that the people he photographed died within minutes of these very images being produced. In the same way I know that some of those houses you have photographed in such a stand-offish manner had been dwelt in by people whose lives had probably taken a turn for the worse.

    But while some of them have that history not all of them do, so you surely can see why I don’t understand what you are trying to say.

    If not ‘liking’ someones work becomes an offense then I apologise. I simply do not like this work because I find it unclear in its intentions, though very ‘art school chic’ in its stylistic delivery.


    Are we at loggerheads again? Dear oh dear, I do seem to court controversy don’t I? If disliking work as it is presented on Burn is ‘narrow-minded’ or ‘angry’ then what venue should we voice our opinions in?

    Perhaps I was a little clumsy in expressing myself about Eve’s work BUT I think it does not fulfill (as it is presented here on Burn) the rather lofty and ambitious description it has presented as its ‘artist statement’

    I find it amusing that you think I am ‘narrow-minded’ I had a similiar reaction to the photos of homeless people that were presented as shapeless lumps on the ground. It did nothing for me except to turn a living breathing person into philosphical ponderings by someone that could afford the camera. Sorry but thats not what I am about.

    As for anger, perhaps I was a bit harsh with my words. However there are a lot of people making capital out of foreclosures and that does get my goat. Its not philosphical stuff in my world. Its real human tradgedy that can lead people to suicide and massacre.

    I have absolutely supported some of the stuff shown here that everyone else has categorically panned- computer generated imagery that used imagination and verve for instance but that still triggered empathy and led to intriguing thought, plus stuff that that was obviously in development and some of which had missed its mark a little but worked because of the bravery of the photographer.

    No I don’t believe I am narrow-minded. And I love Rothko, one of my favorite painters next to Hopper…

    I think that part of the problem with this essay as well is that it is unsuited to the medium of the internet. If its a conceptual piece (as it appears to me to be) then it would be well suited to a gallery presentation as emphemera on the walls to bring a kind of contemplative poise to it. Shown here it looks just lack lustre and does not resonate at all.

    I have given Eve my definition of ‘bearing witness’ in pretty clinical terms and I hope that explains things for you as well. I am not meaning to be anything but honest and truthful in my opinion of this work and I sincerely don’t want to hurt Eve’s feelings.

    The work just does not suceed in my opinion.

    Hehehehe…So David does this mean mojitas are off?

  • A clarification: Of course I was not speaking of Eve, the photographer, or DAH when I referred to people posting more than one comment on Eve’s essay. They have carte blanche…


  • Patricia, I think you are trying to be way too PC with all of this. If any photographer here thinks I am the absolute authority on anything just because I don’t qualify every sentence I post with a declaimer, they are fools and probably need to do something else other than post their photos on Burn. In my opinion, of course.


    I believe you may be referring to me?

    I hope not because it is fact the first time I have double dipped on the comments section.

    In my opinion, perhaps you should make it clear who you mean by naming names.

    Sort of eases the uncertaintity about to whom you refer.

  • And just to lighten things up a bit

    One from Oz for Lisa and a real oldie from NZ (ps; any Crowded House fans may spot a very young Neil Finn)

    Smile everyone… :-))

  • Patricia

    since u are referring to me….well, all i will say is that the 1 comment rule (and yes rules were meant to be broken) was implemented because discussions under the essays turned away from the discussion at hand. having a conversation with the photographer directly (as i was, for example) does not make sense here. When eve or david or any other photographer speaks directly with a commentator, i think it is not only fair but necessary that that conversation continue directly…..

    partricia, if david wishes that dialog not continue beneath an essay he has the authority to move it or to delete it. if burn is to engage in conversation beneath essays it should have flexibility….

    i am surprised with your reaction…if david is troubled, he can speak about this….

  • i should say you were not ONLY referring to me…i dont want to be bloated about that ;))….having discussion about an essay, or a conversation with a photographer, makes little if any sense here…the clubhouse…it needs and should be discussed beneath the essays….the idea of the 1 rule comments is as much about perspective as it is about writing 1 comment…even the people who hated the essay, i would love to have a conversation there, including with eve if she wished…i think the 1 rule tends to over-heat each comment, because most only go at it once….Stray conversation is just that, for the entirety of stray…but seems lost here…frankly….

  • Patricia it’s not like we are double dipping spring rolls in the szechuan based sauce ………it is the internet

  • Lisaaaa!!!
    whATS up ??
    long time….
    glad you’re around…:)

  • Hey y’all…
    Patricia was talking about me…
    im the one breaks the double posting…
    either way…
    i just came back from Fontana…
    i missed all comments and essays once again…
    but , i was trying to survive ( working ) so i hope im excused…
    let me go check the latest essay now…
    big hug y’all…)

  • Design concept #3: Any great bag should have a great strap, and one with an uncuttable cable sewn in …

    David, actually went so far as to email you a manufacturing link (as an example), maybe you are referring to that … I was surprised how “easy” it is to work with a company to design, engineer and manufacture a custom bag. Of course, this route would take a fair bit of capital up front in a go it alone approach, as opposed to a partnership with an established company, but I figured you would want total control of the product, marketing, etc …

    it’s a fun hypothetical exercise … and yes, initially at least, money should be no object if you are to create the world’s best bags for togs, however the integral Corona compartment with hydrogen cooling may be a bit over the top … I think … I don’t know, maybe it could double as a film fridge. Film, beer … the choices we must make! I’m all for the bottle opener though.

    Now the waterproofing … hmmm, internal diver’s bag? love those things … yeah, i know, too much weight, issues with quick access but conceptually intriguing for design and manufacturing concepts, seemless radio frequency welding, etc …

  • so, please share your pictures of the circus….not the idea, just the pictures!!

    David! :-)))

    A quick look at the few pictures I have sent you, or shared here off and on (plus a few thousand in my folders), do show that they only exist because I took them at the moment I took them. Their context, the event or happening within which (and never for which) they were taken are merely an excuse to get to that 1/125th, more or less, moment.

    This is exactly what I meant, when in the past, I wrote I am not really a photographer, I only take pictures. My only talent is for life, I have none worth mentionning otherwise… That’s the idea! ;-)

  • Again…
    in a foreclosure ,
    usually ( but not always )… families walk out their houses coz they
    cant afford the monthly mortgage payment… missed a payment?
    then your loan goes to “default”…blah…
    luxurious homes with swimming pools and jacuzzi’s and everything..
    Foreclosure didnt last enough to justify most of the photos that are reaaally old
    abandoned houses …or under construction etc…
    got confused at the end..
    but again,
    who cares….
    big hug
    keep shooting..

  • a civilian-mass audience


    Our Patricia::
    I think you are referring to me…:)))
    I think little respect …goes a long way.

    Update from the “surrogate ” family…oime…it’s not easy…
    What’s up with the donkey…???

    Fear …yes, you make me thinking about fear…

    Welcome back

    You have been missed…:)))

    Tom Hyde:
    I think about …first aid and bottle opener…

    you got it

    Life is full off surprises…

  • Yes DAH. I understand that Eve’s work serves more as a symbol of the foreclosure crisis compared to Suau’s essay…which is well, an essay. I guess I’m going back to what you told me a couple weeks ago about using U.S. style photojournalism as a base in finding one’s own direction…

    Eve’s photos are architectual and it just seems difficult to represent the various sides of a multi-layered, deep rooted social problem with flat, front on images.

    ok…Time for un pain au chocolate et un cafe.