my imaginary title for this two picture essay is “Closing Time”….taken in Austin, Texas last week…both without me getting out of my seat….some of you probably imagine me running all over the place, but when i am shooting i usually do not move much…i do a lot of photography while sitting down…used the car window frame for a tripod on the car/train shot and i only got up to get the waitress’  name, Amanda,  so i could send her a picture….and i invented a story in my head to connect the two pictures….i started thinking American Graffitti, Paris Texas,  Last Picture Show, Five Easy Pieces..well, sometimes i get carried away…

point is i am always playing….particularly when i am supposed to be working…those who know me will tell you i do a pretty good job of combining work and play..oftentimes confusing the two….sometimes to my detriment, but often at the heart of it…and no doubt one of the reasons i have enjoyed every minute of being a photographer…i think i have taken pictures almost every day of my life since i was 12 or so…with gusto…one of these days i had better get that archive really organized…hmmm

however, the real photographers last week were my students…i do not show much student work here on Burn for fear of being accused of playing favorites with those i mentor…but, when i saw the last student show at the Austin Museum of Art after we had worked so hard on it, i realized that getting in on an essay from the ground up so to speak, definitely has its advantages…not to direct the photographer, but merely to stimulate the photographer…so i plan now to get in earlier with many young photographers and work with them the way most print magazines do with their work and in the same fashion as i do with my students……involvement early on….not as a necessary prerequisite…some essays come in done done…but, for those who would most benefit from an early “have you ever thought about it this way?” nudge……

while i will continue and encourage essays that are totally finished, i will now encourage also relevant ideas….literal or conceptual….ideas that can be developed…i will set up soonest a mechanism for idea submission along with our standard submission guidelines….one of the advantages of this is that out of this i think will develop a strong cadre of photographers who have chosen to publish original work on Burn…at the same time , i will be looking for sponsors to finance this work…

as most of you know we broke ground by getting the Nachtwey TB essay on Burn sponsored by BD..Jim was paid well and Burn was paid for production…i am now doing a new budget with BD to see if we can also get funding for some of you…so study what BD does…send me some ideas with a link to your work…and i think all of you know in general  that if Burn in any way receives sponsorship, the first thing that will happen with the funds is to pay for your photography published…all photographers whose work will appear in the upcoming print edition of Burn will receive royalties based on sales…this will be an on demand collector edition of Burn…

with the IPad coming we should position ourselves to be ready…yes, we need to go to an HTML platform and yes this is all new territory, but fate has put us in an interesting position….i am sure you can see it…sponsors might too….in addition, as president of Magnet, the new Magnum company designed to help reinvent content presentation on the net, i am working closely with Gilles Peress our online guru visionary, and Alex Webb, president of Magnum…while Burn is my baby, Magnum is my patron..and the two are not mutually exclusive..keep an eye on us….

in the meantime, i am going to sit down….reflect a bit….enjoy the evening…watch prints come off the printer …..it is not closing time around here just yet…


2,815 thoughts on “closing time…”

  1. love that fucking beautiful right side x-crossing light and the sun-burst skin’d-kiss of reflected light on the train’s body too……:))

    ok, so, this will be quick, as in a skype down about ideas….:))

    i think here, and elsewhere, honestly that this IS the critical shit about mentoriship and support and making things make sense…oriented toward real beautiful strange photography: to encourage and support and foster ideas…because some photographers graft stories upon their pictures…and some photographers graft pictures upon their stories/ideas…and damn, what a better way to convince….

    that Austin was both a revelation and a support, i aint surprised :)))…there some class cats there :)))….and that is the way to go…to elevate the idea about community of idea, more than picture, to get the juices flowing to hone and hunt whatever idea someone wants to pursue and to support it, for in the end, we are that:

    speakers of things, in word or picture or occupation, just hunters of things, of inspired ideas…

    and damn right…

    and is that rosenfield and steel’s camaro in front?? ;)))

    ok, back to skype with west coast :))


  2. BOB…

    Lance’s car?? no way…Lance drives an inauspicious Subaru Outback grey in color and not a cop target and the car in which i was riding shotgun and took this picture because there was nothing else to do…

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  4. DAVID

    “Lance drives an inauspicious Subaru Outback…” ??

    Are you sure you don’t mean “inconspicuous”?
    The last car I owned and drove before I gave up personal car ownership ten years ago was a Subaru Outback, and there was nothing ‘inauspicious’ about it… a great car, pleasure to drive, never had any trouble with it, and for a shorty like me, the fold-down back seat made a bed just long enough to sleep in… (undoubtedly too short for Lance, however).

    And while I’m remembering that, there’s something mighty familiar about that cafe, too… I guess it could be any of a hundred cafes just like that in central Texas or thousands in the West and South, but yeah, it feels like Austin, not so much the contemporary Austin, as the Austin I remember from when I lived there for a little under a year back in the early 70s when it was only beginning to become a music capital. So where exactly is that cafe, David?


    That was a only a digressive prelude to what I really wanted to offer as a response to the thrust of what I think you’re saying… which is that you want to immerse yourself even further and in new ways in the nurturing and mentoring process of young photographers using BURN as your vehicle..

    Maybe by now, having watched the outpourings of your energy and enthusiasm over the last few years I shouldn’t be surprised, but in all honesty I continue to be amazed by your ability to ‘reframe’ the picture and reinvent yourself and your projects, always opting for deeper involvement rather than stepping back or detaching yourself. So, if you can keep it up that way, I know it must be fun. And all I can say is, Rock On, Compadre…

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  7. SIDNEY…

    ok, yea you are right..let’s go with inconspicuous ..that was Artz’s Rib House and i have no idea where it is….but, even though i had never been to Austin before, i could tell this place was the old Austin…you just gotta love red and white cotton checkered table cloths, great ribs,live country music,cold beer and waitresses named Amanda….

    energy begets energy for me Sidney…taking things very seriously and having fun doing it….printing tonight American Family…actually the first time i have really seen these pictures…they have been contact sheets for two years…makes we want to get right back on the American trail soonest..yet, i have Rio to finish…and you guys to worry about….oh well, staying busy does seem to be keeping me out of trouble..sort of

    cheers, david

  8. DAVID,

    Being able to sit down instead of running around for the “best shot” and decide that the best photograph to take will be right where you are has been one of the very best insights I got from you…Somehow, something always happen if you carefully choose the spot and be patient… I also applaud the suggestion of submitting ideas that can be developed over time… I think this is how it all started back in the days of Road Trips when you asked us all to send you some “ideas” of what would be our ideal assignment, something we could do right where we live…and it produced Venice from Panos, Patricia’s essay, the The Dark Light of this Nothing of Erica, the cowboys of Lance, Bones…my own “Lords of the Ring” and some others that I am forgetting… Obviously, with the frequency of publications on BURN, you cannot rely on just these longer efforts that start from scratch but there is nothing more satisfying than to see an idea develop under your inspiration and push… so it is great to see you commited to this idea… when do we start? :):):)

    Separately, I wish I had known Lance back then but I used to go to Austin frequently when I studied in the US in the early 90s…I was “lost” for 3 years doing research in chemical engineering in Champaign Urbana (Illinois) in the middle of the corn fields while a very good French pal of mine was doing the same in Austin…. even though I was meant to study in the mid-west, it felt as if I have spent more time in Austin… working in Austin is THE challenge..all these bars, the music, the fun, the lovely waitresses… I used to ride horses there and go for the week-end in the green fields near the city…talk about “cliche” but the young French guy I was back then wanted to live the American dream…. Good memories!!!!



  9. a civilian-mass audience

    IT IS NOT CLOSING TIME…not yet…oime I spilled my ouzo …my heart is weak …oime…

    A BIG HUG to NACHTWEY and to BD…
    ouzo for G.PERESS and WEBB…
    wine for the SPONSORS


    P.S POMARA …the BBQ…!!!

  10. The restaurant scene reminds me of Cowgirls in Santa Fe. Remember that restaurant DAH?

  11. ohhh.Lee.. u are here? in this new virtual room?
    then this movie inspired from you:

    the sea does feel like a tigress. Strong, protective, nourishing.

    THE Pelagos…The Ionion Pelagos…

    2 days ago a relative died..The whole family had to go towards the cemetery up in the mountain towards the east…
    i went west towards the Sea…The Ionion Pelagos that connects Italy with Greece…I had to talk with the sea..
    “…the sea does feel like a tigress. Strong, protective, nourishing…”

    That is what i saw..
    plz click below , watch my new little “Movie”..:
    movie click here…
    best seat in the house..
    ALL..Enjoy my NEW movie…hot from the oven..

  12. American family is worth the wait!
    I saw a bit of it in Bangkok , I took a deep breath when I saw it, so damn simple, so damn hard… Uncle.. shame you can’t come round and shoot our clan.
    Subaru OutBack??? – sorry guys a good mate of mine from Alice Springs was in tears recently after his wife made him trade in his Landcruiser Ute for a more family friendly Subaru Outback…I had to pull him back from the edge, not so succesfully as it turned out ‘cos he joined the army (reserve) not long after.
    But there are no flies on the Subaru Outback .. please , It’s a perfect photographers car, roomy boot , a nice tight turning circle and capable of rapid acceleration … a wise choice!
    Hers a photo I took while sitting down.

  13. Hey David, I really like the waitress photo. It seems that the little ways in which it strikes me as not quite right somehow elevate it aesthetically. The softness. The abstraction in the peripheral diners. The way the waitress is centered. Funny thing is, if that were to become some kind of iconic photo, it would probably remind me of Salgado every time I see it. That’s just wrong, eh?

    Half joking aside, it’s also a great example of what you and Gladdy are always talking about concerning the superiority of prints. This jpeg does not do it justice. Though that said, I think it would benefit by a different kind of processing for the screen. A little more contrast. A little less yellow. Perhaps slightly deeper blacks. Of course the composition would carry it no matter the processing. You’ve captured something we normally see as banal and showed it to be art. Was she really giving you the finger? Was it just an accident? Or could it be an unconscious communication of how she really feels about her job and possibly life in that place?

  14. Of course by “peripheral designers” I meant peripheral diners. Do you think that was really just a typo or perhaps an unconscious communication about how I think photos are really made? Typo, I’m pretty sure.

  15. It’s a perfect photographers car….… a wise choice!

    yes the little car ..it is a wise choice..
    being A photographer isnt as wise …. :)

  16. David B’s “photos from a seated position” could be the title of a retrospective of my life’s work! Shooting from my scooter seat certainly gives me a unique perspective. Generally looking UP towards my subject. Everybody looks heroic to me!

    Yes, Eric, I too thought of Road Trips circa Spring 2008 when I read this post. “Assignments” we called them back then and that idea of DAH’s sure led to some fine work by fired-up emerging photogs like you and Bob and Erica and Lance and others whom I am temporarily forgetting. I know David’s encouragement and mentoring meant the difference between my self portraits being a short-term fling and a long-term commitment. So I’m delighted to hear that he’s offering to follow emerging (not always “young”, David!) photogs here on Burn from their first hint of an idea to their completed project. David’s generous spirit cannot be matched. I look forward to see what flames are ignited…


  17. MICHAEL…

    laughing..well, i do not think the waitress (Amanda) was giving me the finger, but i do like the symbolism implied therein in this accidental gesture…


    yes, you guys remember when i did give out about 10 assignments…i did get a bit discouraged when about 70% of those assigned just never came through…like remember Jonathan Hanson and the Baltimore cops?? really started strong, i spent a lot of time talking/editing with Jonathan, and then he just disappeared…and the guy who was working on racism in Pittsburgh i think..a French photographer…lost him…anyway, i am going to give it another try…you guys came through, as did Erica and Panos, so it was all worth it in the long run…


    yes, this place in Austin is the same type of place as Cowgirls in Santa Fe where you shot that essay….well, the Austin place is more about the ribs, whereas Cowgirls was more about the beer…but, same look and light


    i had only seen Amer Family in either contact sheets or as a slide show…seeing big prints changed even my view of the whole project…made it real….the med format film really shows in the larger prints….so, i am now anxious to get back on the road with that project…..and yes yes, i would love to do something similar in Australia….i know i owe you an email…flying home this morning and will get back to you soonest…

    cheers, david

  18. Of course! I forgot to mention Panos and his Venice Beach assignment. Man, did THAT one ever fly!!! But, yes, there were the ones that never made it past the starting gate. Seems to me, though, you had a pretty good percentage who followed through, David. Good memories…



    yes, the essayists that came through really came through….yes, good memories…and now time for some new ones as well….the difference now is that i will try to match good ideas with potential funding..no small task and the percentages will be low…but , in this current biz climate i think worth the effort…

    cheers, david

  20. MICHAEL…

    fixed your typo….by the way, i shot both pictures with the GF1 and at higher iso 800 than is really good for that camera..on the other had i could not have or would not have made the waitress picture with anything other than a point and shoot…it happened so so fast..literally a point and shoot picture…yes, we will tweak the color a bit in the final print…

  21. EVA…

    basically a written idea..but , if some work has been done, then all relevant pictures are important as well…a link to related work should be included…we will set up the mechanism to make this easy….i will look at your Palio work this weekend…ok, running..late for flight…

    cheers, david

  22. Ah yes, funding. Something I wasn’t even thinking of back then. And now? It has become a very big deal! It’s great to complete a project, even to make a book dummy of it, but getting it published in today’s economic environment? Harder than pulling teeth with tweezers.


  23. Love the idea, David!

    I had a wild idea a while ago, about a possible win-win partner for the European branch of BURN. It COULD generate more than one payed assignment for people here. I actually do not see why it should not work, but you know how it is with these things: very political. So better not to spill the beans here yet.
    But some people here know that I can be quite stubborn … so let’s pray that it works out.

    What I also want to say with that is, that I think we all here should not just lean back and wait until David comes up with something for us. But it might be the other way: someone has an idea, does some reseach as to who could be interested in sponsoring this idea (win-win) and then do a pitch.
    After talking to some people on skype I have the impression, that most do not know how to approach this step: doing an professional pitch to a company. So considering the importance of this, it might be helpful to get some general assistance for this – maybe even via the BURN organization. Know-how transfer.

    I think it would be much more fun for David too, if people came with a concept AND a sponsor … :) At least once in a while. At the end of the day, it is our own responsibility anyway, to find a way to do the things we want to do.

    Just a thought.

    And yessss … I was one of the people you were mentoring, David. The postcard project – part1. I decided that that one was done a while back. And I started with the concept of part 2, which uses a different approach (for the postcards). So it was either to close part 1 or not to be able to use it at all. I decided to close it. And I do now have some requests to publish it. One of the requests comes from China. Quite interesting. I think I menitoned it to you on Skype.

    I hope to be able to show you new work for the postcard project part 2. very soon. And I hope – as you liked the project – that you feel inclined to mentor that one too? :)

    I hope we meet again soon. Somewhere.

  24. DAH, thanks, whenever, no worries.. was asking ’cause usually I don’t have a clear idea of what I want, I get that only DURING the shooting, not before.. and even then it might change.. safe flight.. (I wish the ‘Amanda’ pic was a bit less soft, a bit more defined.. her face and/or hand more like the shoulder area.. not sure if that’s clear..)

    Patricia, getting published.. and the distribuited, that’ll be another tooth in line there..

  25. (sorry for the incorrect spelling in my last post) – I am on the road. Difficult.)

    do you know “The Independent Photo Book” from Jörg Colberg and Mrs Deane (Beierle + Keijser)?

    “The Independent Photo Book announces independently published and/or produced photography books or zines, which are not available via Amazon or other standard outlets.”

    It seems to be quite well known already, so it might be helpful to get the message out. Even it if it is not a distributer by itself.

  26. ahh yes, the roadtrips’ assignments – i remember mine well.
    for me, you offered up the idea of shooting one of the street kids going home for a visit and reuniting with family.
    i chose ghost, who was planning such a trip to see his dad after having no contact for 4-5 years.
    i drove him to tacoma, we went to his dad’s house, and they proceeded to sit and drink, on lawn chairs outside, for approx. 8 hours. yea, i took a bunch of photos but.. it was a bust, really. nothing to speak of, photographically. they just sat and drank and sat and drank until it got dark out and we left.
    couldn’t squeeze an essay out of it.

  27. DAH –

    you say look study what BD does – is that the idea, to submit ideas in line with their mission?

    and thanks for all the chatty chat chat – very helpful – we should make it a year in the texts of, and run it.

  28. never too late…to start or continue..
    I personally think i need to go back and re-start two projects again..
    first my unfinished story (of my life) of the DARK KIDS…( i know they are older now)..
    and second..
    to re-start Venice Beach again…but with a different “eye”..different perspective ..
    different approach…coz im different now…i detached my self from my initial “point of view”..

  29. Panos, that is so interesting…about your needing/wanting to go back to your two older projects with fresh eyes. And yes, you HAVE changed. This journey back to your roots has strengthened and grounded you in ways that your life in Southern California could never have done. I would LOVE to see how your vision has changed once you return to the States. Yours is certainly a fascinating life to follow…


  30. Patricia i hear u..
    i cant even imagine my life without Burn…
    that open window for expression…
    an opportunity not only to grow/share/develop…
    but mainly to let it out…
    a unique chance to come closer to ourselves..through others…
    turn the lens inside..inner…mirror…
    the motivation to continue…
    learn about the world through ourselves…
    sing our song..setting ourselves free..
    getting out of our little tiny closets..
    exorcise our demons even…
    ahhh, arent we lucky?

  31. Speaking of changing our point of view, I just stumbled on a most helpful way of seeing my work with fresh eyes.

    As I’ve said before, I’ve been obsessing over my multimedia edit of the gay married couple. Just couldn’t get it right. So I had an “AHA” moment two days ago that, instead of color, it should be in b&w. A more classical approach. Converted lots of the pics to b&w using my trusty Alien Skin software and started playing with the edit. I found I could see things with new eyes, almost as if going back to the fundamentals of form, shadow/light and structure helped me see more clearly. I was no longer seduced by color. After some playing around with these building blocks, I found an edit that sat well with me. And then I had another “AHA” moment: something had been lost in b&w, a burst of life and energy that I wanted was missing. So I went back to color using the same edit I’d made with the b&w images and it was like returning home and knowing it for the first time (to mangle TS Eliot’s quote). There it was. Just what I wanted.

    Has anyone else had this kind of experience? It’s a first for me.


  32. go back to your two older projects with fresh eyes.
    yes..reuniting with myself (in the name of the projects )…yes

  33. Oh yes, dear Panos. We are VERY lucky indeed!!!

    And now I’m off to enjoy this beautiful spring day here in Detroit. The earliest spring I’ve ever seen in my 45 years of living in this part of the world. I know it’s got to be global warming but it’s hard not to love purple crocii in bloom, birds singing as they build their nests, tender green shoots on bushes and everyone outside with smiles on their faces.

    May everyone enjoy their day/night wherever they are…


  34. DAVID/SIDNEY :))…

    NO FRICKIN’ WAY….inauspicious is way way more appropriate than inconspicuous :))))….cause an OUTBACK AINT INCONSPICUOUS IN TEXAS…it’d stick out like a shoutgun in an outhouse there, cause real inconspicuousness would be covered by a pickup truck (they’re everywhere there)…

    Lance, by the way, has totally stepped it up in the world, ’cause here is his former mode of transportation:


    DAVID (part 2)

    ok, funding for ideas….i’ll propose one…to complete my project on memory/faces/….part 3 of the work is what i’ll be sending to Burn :)))))…

    ok, gotta fly

  35. ok ALL..
    im proud to present the movie (ionion pelagos EPISODE 2)

    As i said earlier a (relatively distant) relative died couple days ago..
    So i took with me the Philosopher Dimitri and headed the opposite way..
    Everyone went up in the mountain (east) for the funeral except us two..
    we decided to go west..visit the Lighthouse…and mourn through philosophy
    and study of nature..
    here is the little Movie: The Day of the Funeral or (Ionion Pelagos EPISODE 2)

  36. ERICA…

    i think the challenge for the future is going to be matching sponsors with specific ideas and projects….i think it reasonable to assume that BD would most likely sponsor a project that was at least loosely related to what they do…something medical related , which includes a plethora of possibilities…


    i did the layout for Div Soul with b&w prints….but, of course, i already knew they worked in color, but wanted to make sure the picture itself was “there”..divorced of the color component…

  37. Good morning all. Interesting talk and nice to watch videos of friends. When talking of funding in these really tight economic times and having sponsors I wonder about the agendas attached to sponsored work. I may be out of the loop somewhat as the time difference between here and most of the rest of BURN is long. The original concept of BURN to get sponsors to support emerging photographers is still very sound. How do we expand the sponsorship so that there is money to expand the reach of support to photographers? DAH I know you are always full of ideas of how to get more work out there; at some point you will run totally out of time, I would think. If each of us reached into our pockets that would help. A board of directors usually would require the directors to be not just a volunteer on the board but also donate cash to really show their dedication to the project. And then looked around our neighborhood to see who is out there that feels strongly about getting photo work in the public eye that raises awareness. If all put in a little there would be a lot. We all may plead poverty but support begins at home.

  38. i think the challenge for the future is going to be matching sponsors with specific ideas and projects….i think it reasonable to assume that BD would most likely sponsor a project that was at least loosely related to what they do…something medical related , which includes a plethora of possibilities…


    i did the layout for Div Soul with b&w prints….but, of course, i already knew they worked in color, but wanted to make sure the picture itself was “there”..also spent a lot of time looking at them upside down, a la Henri….

  39. maybe this should be even more of an inspiration then funding

    DAH: out for the weekend now, last minutes edits…will call u after the piece gets published….

    for y;all

  40. Argh, Bob, saw this just the other day (read the book years ago).. makes my heart ache.. have a brother up there in the middle of the boonies in BC, doing just that..

  41. eva :))

    yea…read the book when it was first published…broke me too….the film is terrific too…and well…what can we do, but to live, burn back holes in dark memories and find our direction magnetically…

    wishing u brother big rivers and above all that’s he sharing it with someone…


  42. panos!!!

    that daisy part….and the wind….and the bee….

    the wind….the only thing one can do, but to get risen by the wind….

    loved ur film!!!

  43. and the taping on the metal (philosopher emptying his pipe?) at the end…..let me know when next installment comes…

    ok, gotta fly, behind behind…


  44. David,

    Thank you again for your assignment. Maybe I wouldn’t have made my essay on my parents, never, it is thanks to you! But the way, I have just sent you an email, I shall need your help :)))

    all the best, audrey

  45. Just think, a photo camping trip/workshop/hangout in the BC wilderness… you’ll never want to leave.

  46. BOB,

    Funny, Eddie called me to take some photos for that album. Real casual – go out to some local wooded park and pretend. Never happened alas. Cool film – even better book.



  47. DAH,

    Liking the GF-1 stuff, but just wondering what they would look like if white balance was a bit closer to norm. Not so much as to ruin the ambience but just not so glaringly orange.

    Printed a 24X36 inch print last night from the M9. Looks amazing.

    Teaching a 4 week long rock photography camp this summer to grades 9-12. Should be fun (I hope). Will try and push with some assignments – though with a gentle hand. A tricky sensitive age…


  48. CHARLES…

    yea, we shoulda tweaked out the color a bit…usually leave my digi on cloudy and when i get into very warm incandescent situations it gets too warm ..if i have time to think of course i change, but in both of these cases i was not thinking..both surprises..both grab and shoot….and we were too rushed around here yesterday to think anything abt changing the color on these files…printing for Madrid show…..takes all of our focus..particularly mike’s…maybe we will fix today…

  49. DAH,

    In the first one, you need to straighten the horizon a little and in the second you need to up the shutter speed a little and maybe try a black and white on it :-D LMAO, oh lord, but i’ve always wanted to do that. LMAO a second time. Well that’s certainly brought a smile to my face (hopefully yours too!).

    Hey, in seriousness – great plans get delivered by a mix of enthusiasm, time and circumstance. What we’ve heard thus far is both profound and exciting. Time will be your friend in delivering more of the evolving master plan. Can’t wait for the printed edition, and for GREAT works to be realised through this new age content development and delivery channel. I previously posted about the necessity for photographers to embrace new models of operation and delivery. THIS is it, THIS is Burn.

    With every best wish,


  50. TOMMY…

    you are quite correct in both instances and i am sure you share my amazement in how i have gotten by this far without even practicing the basics…i have tried to provide a light for those out there who know they just coulda shoulda woulda done better!!

    in all seriousness, many thanks for your supportive comment….promises cannot be made regarding sponsorship, but efforts will go forth nonetheless…it is not about the money per se…those of us who really care about our work will most likely survive but not thrive…. but i want to create a platform which is about photographers being respected enough in the business transactions of communication and arts to be fairly compensated when possible…

    your ideas will always be welcomed…

    cheers, david

  51. but i want to create a platform which is about photographers being respected enough in the business transactions of communication and arts to be fairly compensated when possible….. watch it!! the fine arts is chasing the same dollar as it transforms and takes up some of the photographers traditional domains………hot on the heels are the kids of today grabbing it all into one great jumble of fun………free to air and on the net and for ever engaging new audiences

  52. …as copyright looses its grip, the freedom of knowledge, ideas and interaction come to the top ………………and it is about time, too long have we been tethered to the those archaic laws instigated by the Statute of Anne. Bring on the jumble sale

  53. …..time to get out of the new www dot rut, here is a teaser NOW PAY UP IF YOU WANT TO FURTHER YOUR EXPERIENCES IN LIFE

    ………….worried about your photographic career, well you shouldn’t be as there will be no place for you to forge a life of luxury and photographiv excess,…… so have your garage sale now and disperse your precious copyright jumble

  54. ………ah that pesky closing down sale can be a disheartening experience but once those shackles are removes………..

  55. Thanks Tommy for clearing up the mystery, your jesting sent me back to look and then I saw the horizon. The photo of the train, when you look at the top of the photo–there is the same distance between the top of the train and the top of the photo all the way across. Absolutely perfect black space with this train whizzing by on the angle. The railroad sign so clear and sharp and the racy car waiting for it to pass.

    DAH, that is an excellent photo. Thanks for sharing so generously of your images and your time. I hope all who read this take my earlier advise and support that which they love with their wallets. It doesn’t have to be much, just a little from all of us. What we are learning and those that we are connecting with are priceless.

  56. IMANTS…

    so, you do not want to be the owner of your work? you do not want have control over how it is used? surely if we get your book to a fine art publisher, you will want to have the copyright on the material…or, am i totally misunderstanding you?

  57. …so have your garage sale now and disperse your precious copyright jumble

    Yea, and notice who profits from all your unpaid work. Cause profit ain’t going away. Profit’s going up. That’s what free content means. Just cause you ain’t getting paid for your work doesn’t mean someone isn’t. It just ain’t you, babe.

  58. imants, copyright is my ‘hot’ button, don’t know what you are saying in your five messages…yea or nay?..can’t tell…for me copyright is my protection, I use it and these days my biggest source of revenue…creative, I don’t know but as long as copyright is law I’m happy to enforce my rights…cheers…

  59. Yea, and notice who profits from all your unpaid work. Cause profit ain’t going away….now that is the problem,…………this simplistic way of looking at things based on the present status quo and smacks of good guy verses bad guy mentality. Very few in this world profit from copyright and it thwarts the gathering of knowledge by the masses.
    There has to be a revision in the way we use copyright to make it more equitable as a benefit to all not this…… I made it so you pay for all even though I used shared resources to create it. For example photographers use other peoples’ resources to benefit even up to using other people’s wars and misfortunes. The glory days of photography are gone, if you want to survive you will have to make concessions and the final result will not please.
    You guys oppose change because it effects you as an individual and your present lifestyle a bit like the northern hemisphere just went through a cold winter ..what global warming goes out the cry. We as the he first world nations making concessions to developing nations at their loss…not in my lifetime said the politician and those that voted for him/her.

  60. Until someone comes up to you Doug and says that is me in that photo where is my money…….will you answer, tough luck buddy you were in a public place and I can do anything I want/profit with that photo of you. Happy to see the subject squirm for your own profit?

  61. Imants,

    Put your hands ups and step back from the bong…

    No seriously, I think I know where your coming from but frankly it comes off as a lot of hippy speak. Big jump from protecting the worth and validity of one’s own art/material to the first world taking advantage of the developing world. C’mon man give us all a break…

    I know I’ve worked hard for what I’ve created and it upsets me when I see a company using my work with not even asking let alone paying. And it’s usually some dumb 20-something designer who thinks everything under the sun is up for grabs. Well, it is, in a way, for say the purpose of educating, but when you start putting a price tag on it and pocketing somebody else’s worth that’s just fucked.

    I know because of some dumb ass at Urban Outfitters they ended up paying Jim Marshall several million dollars (for using his Johnny Cash photo). Rightly so. Just what are people thinking sometimes? Latest example is that outdoor coat company using billborads of Obama (who just happened to be wearing their product) without asking. Stupid. Just where do you draw the line? Shouldn’t we at least have the law to uphold common sense.

    Okay Imants, hope you got your shit screen on. :)

  62. [converting color photos to b&w] I found I could see things with new eyes, almost as if going back to the fundamentals of form, shadow/light and structure helped me see more clearly.

    Patricia brings up some interesting questions, for me at least. From what I gather, work done in b&w greatly increases the likelihood of getting any kind of photojournalism published and/or sold in a gallery. Is that true as well for work that was conceived in color and converted to b&w? I don’t mean that as a rhetorical question. Well, maybe I do. Isn’t it pretty close to 100 percent dumb luck to get a great b&w photo without any consideration whatsoever for shades of grey? Does seeing in greyscale count for nothing? Or is the qualitative difference of seeing that way obvious in all great black and white photography? That’s what I’ve always thought, but I confess I’m not up on the latest evidence. Maybe things have changed? Still, I remember David commenting awhile back that he turns the color off when he wants to shoot b&w with a digital camera. And I don’t mean to put myself out there as any kind of expert, but I recently spent a year shooting almost exclusively black and white. I made every effort to see the zones. And it sure seemed seeing that way made a huge difference in my modest results. I’d think it would matter a helluva lot more in the work of the greats. They see things in black and white that are as yet invisible to me. That’s for sure. But then anyone can get lucky. 1000 monkeys typing nonstop until the end of time would never write The Brothers Karamazov, but give them all a nice SLR and they’d eventually produce some pretty nice photos. Though in photography’s defense, it is theoretically possible that enough monkeys actually could write The Brothers K by accident, but the physical laws of the universe preclude anyone, monkey or whatnot, from ever producing the same photo again. That moment has passed.

    Along vaguely related lines, I found Patricia’s discovery that it’s useful to use color photos converted to black and white solely for layout purposes interesting, though it strikes me as counter-intuitive. I can see how that might be be useful for geometrical relationships, but wouldn’t it mess up the color syntax? The relationship between the colors from one photo to the next might not be quite as important to a story’s effectiveness as the intellectual content and flow (though it might), but I’d think nailing them both would make a much better narrative. Or maybe I read that a little wrong? I can see David’s point that it would be a useful way to weed out problematic photos.

    Sorry if I’m going on too much. Just been thinking a lot about color for a long while and sometimes writing helps clarify the thinking.

  63. Imants, I think you’re confusing copyright with intellectual property. Sure. there’s some overlap, but they’re not the same thing. If that’s the case, then I’m in general agreement with most of what you write. Cause I don’t think paying for a photo or a Nick Cave tune or a Studio Ghibli movie or any artistic endeavor thwarts the information gathering rights of the masses. I don’t think there is a fundamental right to listen to Sergent Pepper’s or to watch Citizen Kane, much less the latest blockbuster. I’d be more likely to argue that not paying for art thwarts the information gathering capabilities of the masses. In either case, probably the best thing you can do is support your local library. Those things are designed to further the information gathering capabilities of the masses. Copyright doesn’t stop them from fulfilling that function.

    But not distributing AIDS vaccine? Not sharing any kind of knowledge that would save or significantly improve lives for the sake of profit, and obscene profit at that? That’s a different issue. There shouldn’t be a choice in the matter.

  64. No seriously, I think I know where your coming from but frankly it comes off as a lot of hippy speak……Charles what a nasty low remark so I won’t bother responding, you don’t know nor do you care.

  65. ….hmmn after re reading Chrle’s comment I would say he woke up and found a dick stapled to his head

    Wrong I am not confusing one or the other………

  66. Patricia

    An interesting exercise.

    In pre-digital days, all my personal work was black and white, now, it is mostly colour.

    It is true that black and white reduces a photograph to the bare bones, the graphics, the nitty gritty of the pure image. I have not tried it, but I suspect that many of my favourites from the past few years, if converted to b/w would still work.

    There are times when colour is a distraction, but I am feeling lately there are many more times when the lack of colour is a distraction.

    David has already commented on the colour balance of the closing time photos. I’ve noticed that David seems to favour un-corrected colour, as if he were shooting film. I was thinking that our expectations, our visual vocabulary, is film based. Really, this is not what we see, but what we expect photographs to look like.

    With digital of course it is easy to show the correct colour, which is closer to how we actually percieve it. Our eyes and brain choose a neutral, and all the other colours fall into place, pretty much like doing a custom white balance. While a neutral colour balance is more accurate, I still find it just looks more “right” to only partially correct colour in many situations, again I think this is because of the years of film based programming. I think our expectations, and what looks “right” will shift as corrected colour becomes more the norm in the digital age.

    Black and white? Will interest in it fade away?.
    I am in the middle of doing my annual Mothers and Daughters show. In film days, more than half of my clients chose black and white. If they wanted black and white, I shot on black and white film. The first year we were all digital, about half the clients requested black and white, but since the photos were shot digitally, they got to choose after the fact wether they really wanted black and white after the fact. Almost everyone who had requested black and white changed their mind when confronted with the difference side by side. Last year there were only four black and white prints out of more than forty in the show. http://www.pbase.com/glafleur/mothers_and_daughters_09&page=all

  67. DAH

    Funny but I liked the warm orange tone. This is what streetlight looks like to me. At 20,000 feet whole cities look orange and at street level everything is tinged orange as well through my own perception. To change the white balance would be to imply that we are being lit by the Sun at night. Esthetically there could be a reason for altering the white balance to allow the photo to become more color balanced but that would not reflect the reality of the situation. Nothing wrong with that either. Bottom line, these two photos conveyed for me an image that matched my own perceptual reality. That’s a good thing IMO. Bottom, bottom, line… I am feeling you.

    IMANTS et al

    I too think that copyright as it exists is set up to deter innovation, reward monopolies, and ensure market exclusivity. In a small example when trying to obtain copyright license for music to produce a photographic sideshow (that will likely not end up in a revenue stream) becomes a slow bureaucratic process. This kind of inefficiency does not stimulate innovation that I am aware of in any industry from pharmaceuticals to internet and technology companies. Why should artistic endeavor of any kind be limited, have barriers in place to slow or impede the the generation of new ideas, ways of perceiving the world, and ways of communicating our common experience. Most of these endeavors do not make money and are often not designed to. When one of these artistic endeavors start to make money, cut deals with the “owner/s” of copyright materials used. This would allow for the stimulation of new ideas, opening up of whole new media models, novel approaches to old problems, and an evolution of collective conspicuousness, and allow people to make a living, (i.e. put food on the table, pay the rent/mortgage) {dry sarcasm here}. If there is no flow of capital (i.e. money) then we would have to rely on the state to supply our needs. I think Russia and China have discovered it an impossible task. This approach and balance to the needs of users/creators provides the essential business model of the internet. Doesn’t it?

  68. This is the part so many miss …as copyright looses its grip, the freedom of knowledge, ideas and interaction come to the top …
    Frank I pretty much agree with what you state and it is time for a review unfortunately the way things are going it will only further benefit the very few monopolies entrenched into this system.

    When a artist/photographer/ designer dies the family or copyright owners benefit, for what? because they own the copyright, some sort of I have the right to make money from from even though I was not part of the the creative process? It becomes about the money not the work

  69. DAH:

    Is the loft open at all during the next two weeks? When will you be back in new york? I am flying in with Aga Luczakowska from Warsaw today.

  70. Charles what a nasty low remark so I won’t bother responding, you don’t know nor do you care.

    Sorry Imants. Not the best way to phrase it, and it was wrong of me. If we were on our second bottle of wine together it would have come out as funny – on the web not so much. I do care and that’s why I’m challenging you on this one. Your own particular brand of nastiness rubbed me the wrong way when you say things like “You guys oppose change because it effects you as an individual and your present lifestyle a bit like the northern hemisphere just went through a cold winter ..what global warming goes out the cry.” Most of us on here, including the owner of this site, have spent our lives dealing in change and you write us off just like that because we feel strongly about protecting our livelihoods, our art. Not really fair – ok?

    Anyway, I don’t want to get into a pissing match over this (though I guess I already have!). Reading on I do understand both sides of the coin. But then I’m an old fogey at 46 who still buys cds, licensed software, and sell my prints for what I feel they/I’m are worth. If you and others feel the need to give your stuff away in the name of idealism, fine with me. I understand what Frank Michael Hack is saying above, but it’s easier said then done that later on the parties “will cut a deal” but often that’s only the case if one finds out about it, and then it’s usually a real PITA. People can be greedy, or ignorant, or both, alas. Too easy for the more malicious powers in our midst to just take and take and take. Yes, with copyright laws there will be compromises. Like with anything.

    And, Imants, it may be I’m totally misunderstanding you altogether. You can be quite cryptic at times, not to mention contrarian for contrarian’s sake. Not a bad thing, just my trying to interpret.

    Okay, actually GOING to bed now with dick firmly stapled to head. Quite possibly sleep deprivation is catching up with me and making me ornery. Thanks Felix!

  71. Imants,

    You come across as very cynical and often bitter sometimes. What’s up ? I hear what you’re saying about copyright, but would you allow somebody else to copy a piece of your work and use it in a publication without paying you for the privilege ?

    If anybody wants to use work for a project they can easily go to a Library here in the UK and get a copy from any book or published material. Artists and Authors get small fees for such usage if you register your work. I think the system works very well so why alter it.

    The problem is the net, and the big players want to be able to use stuff without paying. Again why should they ?

  72. my quick take (without having the luxury of drinking in person) on copyright is this…

    for a long time, as a writer and photographer, i believed that the copyright is all i had, all i could bequeath to my son, since i cant give him much (in the way of material things)…and slowly, i shifted…

    in truth, all i have is what i accomplish now…the life lived…i dont want, any longer, to possess my work…i want to make work and send it out into the world for those, those few, who are interested in it…3 years ago i fought with Private ’cause they dont pay photographers, just as Eight didnt…and i argued about this with Jon (founder/editor of 8) and then i realized, im doing the wrong battles….so, now, it’s simple…

    i dont care about that any more…because i dont want to possess anything i make…i do want to earn something, a living, a livelihood, a future, from busting my ass, even at 4:14 in the morning, to provide for my wife and son and also to make work that maybe shall sing to someone other then my own head…but, if people pull up my shit and cast it in their own vein, so be it, period….all of us are composites of words and images and ideas and contact that came from others, all of that made us, and i never paid all those photographers and writer whose work made my own, my own head, my own body…so now, it’s simpler, how do i earn: write shit, sell some pics, get money teaching, maybe a grant and award a book contract…


    honestly, i’ve given all away…i post pictures at facebook, i give essays to magazines that dont pay, i spend most of my time helping without jack shit of pay (i spent 2 hrs on friday helping a young photographer i didnt even know)….why…because we’re all this…

    so, someone steals my work, well, that’s their life, their morality…i dont loose, because my life and my work aint defined by that…

    i agree with imants on the fundamental basic idea, now….we must see our work as a medium, period….medium and medium’s cant be really stollen….in one sense, though i signed the protest of orphan works and wrote congress, i feel it’s a nibble….we must be ahead of the curve, not behind it….

    cathy acker was a thief and a brilliant writer from that….

    i dont want, any more that….i want now, cause i always believed any of my work or any others, aint about retaining ownership/control of posterity, but about now…which is simple:

    i let it all go and from that carve out a new frontier and new work and new vision….

    sometimes i think photographers cling to the wrong things, instead of freeing themselves and moving forward…..

    Imants (and i love him) sometimes on purpose seems to intolerantly castigate (unfortunate) but he means well, which is that: the best thing you can tell a person is to be free and to free yourself from your own imposed limitations…

    i dont want to cling to copyright any more, i want to make shit that stirs and to continue to make work…whether that is profitable or propriatry, frankly, means little to me…

    and my grandmother’s 10,000 slides…..she taught me a more substantial and simple lesson….

    for most photographers, in truth, your work (and my work) will mean shit to the future and to people who will profit from an archive, so instead focus on what is real now…

    and that’s simple: make work, hone work, think beyond the status quo…and help one another…

    ‘you all can have my rights, but you cant make work as i’, and that is how i see now….they can have it, but i will always make something new….and i will give to my son now…the future is his, and that aint about my archive…

    hope that makes sense ;))


  73. Pete read this again,I cannot see anything bitter here …………as copyright looses its grip, the freedom of knowledge, ideas and interaction come to the top … it has nothing to do with people not paying, it is about a more equitable system. Copyright law was/is created to benefit publishers not the providers of the content. I have a heap of books that I wrote/ put together etc and my royalties have been very handsome indeed and I reckon I did a heap better than anyone who provided some of the visuals. Was it legal..yes, was it fair no, and that is what the system perpetuates.
    …………….now the www dot world came in and started moving the goal posts, greed hits in for some, there are new winners, some losers etc. People become hyper protective over their yet still want to be involved in a open network to promote this work. Open and closed in the same breadth sort of doesn’t go too well together.

    . Pete we all don’t live in the UK so laws differ from country to country
    Most of us on here, including the owner of this site, have spent our lives dealing in change and you write us off just like that because we feel strongly about protecting our livelihoods, our art. Not really fair – ok?
    Yes I have /do benefit from our present system, if all that disappeared I doubt if I would be too sad I would keep on doing what I do, dust myself off just get on with something else to make ends meet, like most I would have no choice. Yes I would like to see a more equitable system if I lose out in the process so be it…………a relative was a wheelwright and that ceased as a viable profession long before he died.

    Well at least I know my staple gun is in good hands

  74. ALL,

    I see very interesting discussions here, but only a few people contributing to what DAH was asking.
    I also second Lassal in saying we are not consumers here to receive input from DAH and follow his lines.
    We are producers. And we are multipliers. Any idea presented here falls on fruitful ground.
    So additionally to going to BD’s website to see what else they do to create ideas, we should find more sponsors to put more life into the whole.
    Last year I tried to get sponsorship from the company I am working for and was close to it, when our COO announced to leave. Since he was my main person for sponsoring, I have to re-start to find the right person to talk to.
    I am convinced especially in these tough times, there are ways to sponsoring and create win-win situations.



    I’m no prude but sometimes you fellows seem to imagine you’re in some locker room shootin’ the shit with your buddies. The staple business was really inappropriate and a big turnoff to the women who also call Burn their home. It’s cool to disagree and post your arguments here but please lighten up on the boytalk, OK? Thanks.


  76. Ideas in context of BD’s work in the pharmaceutical areas.


    How do they work to find the medicine which finally heals deseases like TB?
    i.e. the early phase to find the desease to fight and why
    the research work to analyse current things and create the new. trials, errrors, failures.
    bringing transparency into the massive efforts the researchers take to fight TB, AIDS, and many more.

    Clinical studies.
    Each medicine has to go certain steps. At some point, trials with humans take place. So called double-blind studies, where neither the doctor nor the patient knows if this patient uses the medicine or some placebo.
    Following the patients how they live, why they include themselfs telling their story ..

    These are just ideas. May be BD will hesitate, because it could tell the competition how they work. Transparency is not always appreciated. Because also in research copyright has its role, meaning a lot of money.

    Another idea may focus the investors to BD.
    I do not believe the only motivation to invest is to earn money. There are investors who think beyond this. They want to support healing. Humanity. Telling their stories might be very interesting, too.

    DAH – are these ideas too abstract, to vague?

  77. he he…helloooo Burn…goodmorning Vietnam..
    1:19pm in grecolandia…a sunday before easter sunday for the local lambeaters…
    wondering of what Low definition movie should i make today..

  78. To ALL,

    Regarding copyright: the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) will be holding a Copyright Counts panel discussion in NYC on April 21 -Copyright and the New Economy, TimesCenter, 242 West 41st St,New York, NY 10018 https://asmp.org/education/event/register?venue_id=295 – Their Registration Counts program is traveling the US over the next few months. These programs are free. https://asmp.org/asmp-seminar-registration-workshop Look over the list and find a city close to you and sign up and GO!


    sponsorship is indeed tricky…and if you were to dig in deeply to all the companies who have graced the pages of the newspapers and magazines where our work has been supported, i am sure we could find some flies…i am sure even the finest museums in the world have received donations from benefactors who if we were to seriously look at their cv, we might find a knot or two…for sure we must scrutinize….and really really think about your point…we must always think about how our work could be misused misinterpreted etc when funded by a large corporation and perhaps used as corporate or government propaganda…this discussion is wide open…

    i.e….what would happen for example if Toyota were to sponsor Glenn on his work with the aborigines?? a logical sponsor since Toyotas are used extensively in the outback and the company has generally been regarded as a clean successful company…now scandal… poorly designed brake and accelerator systems….systems that have killed people….at the same time Toyotas and other 4 wheel drive vehicles have brought food and water and medical supplies to thousands of the world’s disadvantaged when cut off by either geography or natural disaster or war…does Glenn take Toyota money to further his investigation and help international understanding of the aborigines?

    cheers, david

  80. THOMAS…

    while this is not the place to discuss specific ideas and project proposals (i could miss it here), you are generally thinking in the right direction…but, you do need to think of how your story can be told in the strongest visual way..not every story is a picture story…i do think that BD, who manufacture medical supply equipment, have a strong corporate component where they do want to support contemporary documentary photography..they would like to be a part of discovering the next great documentary photographer…a young JN…in any case , we will set up a system here on Burn where you can submit your well thought out proposals…

  81. IMANTS…

    what exactly is your suggestion for copyright and intellectual property reform?

    i do not see how large mainstream publishers gain from strong individual copyright laws…they sure as hell try to get rid of them whenever possible…it is a constant battle….i have never heard of any publisher who was in favor of strong copyright laws intended to protect the photographer…they may back down under pressure, but most want to maximize content dispersal and re-sales for their own profit and cut off the revenue sharing by the content providers…

    if Burn Magazine was a well endowed profit making company and did not compensate photographers published here, then that to me would be a grievous infringement of artistic rights…some could “gift” their work if they so choose, but they should have the right to decide…i.e. you will soon be asked if your work can be published in the upcoming collector print edition of Burn…you may choose to be published or not..if you say “yes”, then you will be compensated since this print edition will be for on demand sale…the photographers will be compensated according to sales price of the print magazine…you own your work…you may waive this right, but you own it unless you waive it for whatever reasons…

    it seems to me that work which is copyrighted, and work that is not, both share the public domain stage..in other words i do not see viewers of work as losing anything because the work has legal ownership by the author(or not)…it is all out there anyway…and if an artist or photographer chooses to give up ownership for whatever philosophical reason, then it is only a signature away from reality…it is not a forced issue one way or the other…personal choice rules….

    cheers, david

  82. David AH,

    Very well said… as if I should expect anything else. I forget sometimes that it may not only be the new or emerging publication photographers who can benefit from an understanding of copyright. If a creative has a factual understanding then he/she can at least make an informed decision about the value of what they create when it comes time to cross that publication bridge. I have listened to far too many unproductive arguments that are based more on emotion than fact on this subject.

    Welcome back,


  83. you do need to think of how your story can be told in the strongest visual way..not every story is a picture story…

    It’s been talked about a bit here recently, but I find Bleasdale’s <a href="http://photographerfoundation.com/nepal2010/&quot;“Love in the Time of TB” an example of a story that couldn’t be told effectively with pictures only. And outside of the very best photojournalists working the most focused stories, it’s usually questionable. The current essay about coming home to Madagascar, and most essays on Burn, illustrate what I’m talking about. There’s no way I would know what the artist was trying to say without the text. So there’s got to be some leeway, no? It seems the more important issue, in most cases, is that the text doesn’t support what the photos are saying. Or vice versa.

  84. Hey David, think what you say is bang on regarding your influence earlier in essay creation. You were instrumental in so many of the essays (including mine) that we worked on in Austin last week – like a great conductor for the orchestra allowing each ‘musician’ to do their thing but elevating and stimulating the performance at the same time. The guidance away from factual, process ridden approaches toward the esoteric, interpretative and emotional was so valuable and this influence is valuable, perhaps critical, at concept stage. With the approach you are planning I m sure you will see a new wave of creativity. Cheers!

  85. I am beginning to understand what dah is talking about now. Sometimes it takes forever to get caught up with all the posts. Good morning all, from Maui. The moon was absolutely stunning last night.


    Good morning and apologies. Yes, lets not let this devolve into the form many other boy oriented forums become. I just don’t like being equated with FOX news commentators.


    Somebody above had a good point about choosing which battles to fight. If you can’t discern that then you can end up a quivering angry bitter mess (and I’ve seen it happen). I feel no need to go after fan websites that use my work (esp if they credit) or homemade youtube videos, etc. It does cross the line when a watch company starts using a copyrighted published image of mine for promotion without even asking: yes it’s a small company with no money (aren’t they all :)). It would have been simple to ask and we probably could have ended up with a good mutual working relationship, money or no. It’s not always about money – exposure etc can be just as important. Anyway, I could have thrown a lawyer and a year of my life at them and maybe come out ahead. Instead I just read them the riot act, politely, got a little out of it – and then discovered they were still using the image! I left them a really nasty nasty call and that was that. My point being that it wasn’t worth losing sleep and lawyer fees over but worth making them stop.

    So Imants (and Bob), if a buddy of yours was to call saying, hey, cool seeing your image on, say, so and so’s surfboard (for lack of a better example), without you knowing the first thing about it, would you go, “hey that’s fantastic! I hope they also make t-shirts and use it as a billboard. Would be nice if they got me a few $ and some samples but I won’t sweat it.” Somehow I doubt it. Now I know there’s not much money to be had there, but it’s more a matter of respect for another’s work than anything else. A token can go a long way. It’s also about the values you represent as a photographer/person. Maybe you wouldn’t want the work to represent so and so company, $ or no.

    I do agree that photographers (everybody for that matter) need to change and be flexible with the times. A lot of photographers thought they would retire on stock photography (you know model talking into cell phone) back in the early 2000’s when that was hot. But along came the crash and the advent of penny stock and for a lot that has dried up. Time to move on. But own your work. Yes, Bob, in the moment it’s best to just work and not worry so much about the future. But someday that future will come and you just might be “oh shit.” You never know. And everybody’s experience is different.

    Okay, back to the topic. What was it? :)

  87. Hey, obviously too much time on my hands this morning. So in homage to Panos’s little day-to-day projects (which I enjoy and wish more of you did stuff like that) and Brazil, particularly Bahia, and Sunday mornings in general–I made this. Warning, contains content, both explicit, implicit, and audible. May be nsfw, nsftfofh, nsftifs, nsfysig, and nsftwasoh.

  88. Thanks Michael. Early here and drinking coffee watching your little clip made me smile.

    Waiting for the water to boil to pour into the french press, I noticed the oven mitt on my hand and with the copyright discussions still in my mind I wondered who made the first oven hand mitt. Because now everyone and their dog (Martha Stewart for one with her many dogs) make and sell oven mitts. I can see the little housewife maybe back in the 50’s designing one for herself and giving them away as gifts, never even imagining where she could have taken it if she had gotten a copyright.

    Like I said, it is early!

  89. Lee.. but.. nobody has gone to the little housewife, taken her mitts, and said: these were mine, not yours..

  90. AUDREY…

    it was a pleasure to work with you on your parents project…a delightful collaboration to be sure…


    just to elaborate a bit (since my flight was canceled AGAIN)…and to add to what Charles wrote…please remember one can keep copyright on their work, but this has nothing to do with whether or not you exercise this right to monetize your work…equating copyright ownership to being “money hungry” is a total misrepresentation of why photographers should own their work…i give away my pictures all the time for the right reasons…benefit auctions, school use,student thesis use,portfolio books,internet use, pro bono exhibitions, gifts, etc etc…i am very surprised that either one of you would possibly have any argument against photographer rights…as i said, if you own it , you can always give it away…if you do not, it will be taken away…simple as that…

    i doubt either one of you has signed a piece of paper waiving your legal artistic ownership…so, you own your work outright….keep it, then do as you please..

    cheers, david

  91. Eva I don’t know; the era of the time certainly would have condoned it. I totally believe in rights to my art. I give it away a lot, mostly actually.

    I find that those restrictions I impose when I allow someone to use a photo are forgotten and there doesn’t seem to be any recourse except legal action which goes against the grain. Are the infractions harmful to me as an artist to have a friend use one of my photos as a profile photo on Facebook and her webpage? I could say yes, she continually forgets to give photo credit, which is my only restriction with one particular friend. Even when I worked for a filmmaker on a shoot for a non-profit it took months to get the paper signed and then he didn’t use the photographs out of some kind of spite. And this is a person who would never allow his films to be used without his authority and/or payment.

    However, those magazines that have published my photos have done it properly and the exposure I received for the brief time the mag was in circulation produced a couple of good leads.

    I like DAH’s advise, keep it, then do as you please. That suits me perfectly.

  92. David;

    Regarding people dropping out of projects; I think party of the problem is that they seem such a good idea at the time, but take so much energy, time and even dollars to sustain. For some maybe the thought is better than overcoming the hurdles when undertaking it?

    I’m now 12 months into the kids project and planning to shoot it for another 12 months (til the end of next March-our summer) and ramp up the shooting to a higher level during the year. The most difficult aspect for me has been trying to shoot it around paying work.

    However a close second would be that you seem to do a lot of shooting, but haven’t actually completed anything yet! I’ve often thought about shooting a quick 3-5 day essay so I can actually feel that I’ve started and finished a project. But I know that if I can spare that time away I’d end up shooting the kids project anyway!

    Plus; it’s also a bit scary knowing you have invested so much in a project that hinges on your own vision to make it come together. Often it seems like a game of shadow boxing; and of course you never catch up!

    It’s certainly a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, guessing and second guessing! But I do feel that it has pushed my work further along than I could have imagined! Too much invested to give it up now…. To obsessed to give it up now too…

    Anyone else have thoughts on their long term projects?


  93. a civilian-mass audience

    “He who wants a rose must respect the thorn.”

    Persian Proverb

    Can I dance now???

  94. hehehe, this one is brilliant:


    Lee, I think all is fine as long as it’s YOU deciding giving and not others taking away..

    Ross, have to say that I’m not a photographer, my paid work has absolutely nothing to do with photography, but it allows me to keep on going with my longterm projects.. one I hope to finish this summer, the next one not before late Fall 2012.. every now and then I’m tempted to just bin everything.. nobody would care, or even notice. So to have somebody to share with the pics, the ideas, kick your butt, can make a difference.. but I don’t know if it’s the same for professionals..

  95. ROSS

    I’ve just looked at your work on Photoshelter and am BLOWN AWAY!!! God, man, you are REALLY doin’ it. Especially the color shots in those nightspots. WOW!!!!!


  96. The copyright issue goes beyond a bunch of photographs, articles , logos, intellectual property,DNA, buildings etc all can come within the copyright banner. There is even a company that wants to copyright a very popular shade of red. For photographers eventually the content aware tool may become a must have too along with the shutter http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NH0aEp1oDOI&feature=player_embedded#
    Most of you are worried about yourselves and rights grabbing your images, but so called rights grabbing is extending to every aspect of our lives, wait till there is a earnest effort to grab rights to your image content whether it is accidental or not.
    How have most got away with stuff under the guise of post modernism
    The Postmodern is described as:
    A world that brings challenge/doubt/suspicion/scepticism to the assumptions

    Artworks as texts that achieve their power and meaning through intertextuality. Intertextuality refers to other texts rather than the individual, society or structure for meaning. Artworks may be thought of as configurations of previous texts that mimic, appropriate and reinterpret other ideas in art to reveal paradoxical and hidden assumptions about what art is.

    Artists as challengers of the prevailing views about what is of value in art, and who use parody, irony and satire to expose power assumptions.

    Eventually Campbell’s soup may decide that Andy’s pre postmodernist work http://images.google.com.au/images?num=100&hl=en&newwindow=1&resnum=0&q=campbell%27s%20soups%20Andy%20Warhol&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi does not fit under the “reinterpretation” banner and grab all rights to the work and demand that it is destroyed as it is detrimental to the companies image.
    Now with that shade of red……….

  97. DAVID/ALL :))

    let me try to elaborate/clarify a bit more. It was very late at night and i was doing a sequence edit for my essay and jumping around, so let’s see if this makes more sense.

    I am ABSOLUTELY behind and concerned about artist’s rights, particularly with regard to their rights. Im an original signer of the Oprhans Bill petition and i wrote to my former congressman and senators offering my opinion on that looming legislation. Also, I a writer. So, i’ve got double interest and concerns here. I’m a bit worried about, for example, Google’s digitalization of all books and trying to wrap my head around that and spend alot of time with a friend of mine who is a filmmaker (who hates copyrights for imagery) and novelists (where he has found himself in a conundrum). Like me, Mike Hoolboom writes and makes imagery and we’re often trying to figure this one out.

    Also, like Tolstoy, i dont believe in the idea of ownership of something for posterity’s sake. He gave away his copyright, at least he tried, of his work. Like music, i feel artistic work belongs to the world and should be shared. the problem, as Charles and others have raised, has to do with who benefits materially. I am not troubled that others benefit financially from my work. Shit, like i said, i publish photographs in magazines that dont ‘pay’ me, strictly speaking. but the personal, artistic and spiritual benefit I received from my relationship here at burn has been both invaluable and priceless. Same with my new essay to be published next week: the relationship that i’ve built with them and i am sure the benefit of what will happen once people see this work and read the text (yes both are long!) will benefit me tangibly. and as i said, above all my only material concerns are how i can earn to provide for Marina and Dima including whatever i have to give dima when i die, and most of what i will have materially will be my life’s work: photographs and books. I think it is a necessary right that all artists retain control of what they wish to do with their work….I’m not sure yet how much that has to do with copyright…because one can always transform, reconfigure.

    remember what Duschamp did to Leonarda?….remember cathy acker’s books…and remember what lots of young mash-up photographers/musicians/artists do with imagery now…they use, without permission, to make new things…

    so, my point is a simple one. Photographers must be ahead of the curve: think forwardly. How can photographers best benefit from the changing landscape of technology and law. To me, it begins with an old idea: art is about transformation, including transformation of the self. So, even if i keep my copyright (and i always do by the way :) ), there will be a time (now, for example) when the rights of that concept will disappear amid change. I mean, i already know blogs that have shown my work without contacting me, and i know someone (my son) who onced used one of my images without permission ;))..and i have photographed magazines and newspapers without asking…photographed movies for my own art (you’ll see next week) without asking the filmmakers permission to use their imagery…’cause i’m transforming and absorbing their work into my own to make it my own…and that will happen to our work too…and so be it…that’s life, that’s art….so, i gave up the fight, now instead i think elsewhere, how do i keep forward making things and creating relationships that will ensure that i have a livlihood….

    but the world of book making, at least book writing, is still uncertain…there will be books sold that the writers receive no money from (happens now, when i write something and the magazine receives benefits), so in one sense it’s a losing proposition, unless we ourselves transform….

    that being said, i think each photographer themselves must maintain the right to decide for themselves and to have control…even if that control is an illusion…I think and believe that David and Charles position is an understandable one…and I know that bill allard did not retain copyright for most of his life’s work, but i also thing that bills income and bill’s family future will still benefit from his life’s work, maybe just in ways that are not yet tangible….

    it’s just that technology and new generation has eclipsed older thinking…and even if you retain rights, i am not sure they’ll be enforcible….that right hold is partly an illusion…i say that as a father who has a 15 year old son….by the time Charles’ beautiful daughter grows up, who knows we’re will be…..

    ultimately: decide for yourself and support one another….in whatever way that works..

    anyway….gotta run…this is for a chat over drinks

  98. Charles :)))

    i know kids who sell t-shirts already by downloading images, silkscreening and away they go and dont contact the photographer…and think for a moment about Che….imagine Guerrillero Heroico….how much did he retain or ever get…i see art students making these shirts…it’s just part of the landscape…and for me, it’s about the bigger picture…actually, no i personally wouldn’t get upset if people were profiting from my pics or my words (they do already, trust me) without reimbursing me…not because i dont want to be honored and paid for my work (i do) but because it’s a losing battle (i can tell u horror stories about china for example, having friends in the art world/photo world in Hong Kong and Beijing)….as a teacher who sees lots of stuff from taiwan, hk, beijing, and photographers would have heartattacks…

    for me, it’s simpler: what is the way that i can retain artistic control over my work so that i can figure out how to use it to earn something…and to me, it’s a simpler equation: i cannot be worried about how others use the work, appropriate it, but how i can use it now and forward…

    make sense?

    ok, big hugs brother…about to watch into the wild again with Marina ))


  99. so called rights grabbing is extending to every aspect of our lives…

    Okay, but I think where people are confused is about where you stand. Is the fact that rights grabbing is extending into every aspect of our lives — in your opinion — a good thing, a bad thing, or simply so inevitable that you don’t think we should worry our little minds over it?

    Interesting point though about the soup can. There are no doubt some grey areas. Pictures of architecture are an example for me. So many are essentially detailed reproductions of someone else’s creative work. I’m not sure how much profit is made from those type of photos, and architecture tends to be in public view, but if I understand what you’re saying, you are probably right that there’s reason to fear (or rejoice, still not sure how you feel). If there’s profit to be had in doing away with the concept of public space, then I trust supreme courts the world over will soon be deciding in favor of corporations. The more interesting argument will be how they manage to decide that individuals can’t use any images while at the same time dictating that corporations can do whatever the hell they want.

  100. Michael I never stated not to worry about it you have said that not me, what I am saying it is a big issue and full of a whole lot of problems. eg When I put some textbooks together there were people who wanted anywhere between US$1 and US$10 per image per book…….. the text sold for $14.95. So lots of compromises with content and learning have to be made, on the flip side some people said just use it.

  101. People are forever using my photos for things without my permission – as the subjects for paintings, scrimshaws, their facebook pages and, yes, on occassion, t-shirts, too. Mostly, Alaska Native artists and I just say, ‘oh, well, I would never have been able to do this stuff without the help and good will of the Native people, but I do like it when they actually ask permission and at least ackowledge my photograph along with their own signature.

    I’m in Nantucket, where my Gift of the Whale show opened yesterday and I put on a slide show. It went well and was a great experience. Anyone who is curious can find it on my blog, shot, as usual, with my Canon Powershot s90 pocket camera.

    On Thursday, April 1, I will present the same basic slide show at the Alaska House in New York and it would really thrill me if at least one “Burnian” were to show up and introduce her/himself.

    The Nantucket show entry:


  102. i do understand the philosophy behind the orphan works bill, which is in line with imants views..
    it is not a fresh argument within late modernism…
    coleslaw being late modernism, though, it is good to know that carrots and cabbage and mayonaise have gone into it.. it’s the carrots moral right.

    it is correct that some kind of development is overdue to free up the attitude towards creating within a context of other artworks.. yet it is not just about money in terms of copyright, as i think others have coverd well.

    there has to be a protection for origional creators and an acknowldgement which does not actually only benefit them – acknowledgement also benefits those who desire to research and build .. move forward..
    i’d personaly rather know about the guy who took the WW1 photo you are using than guffaw over the intellectual cleverness you display in using it.

    a great deal of what i hear within late modernist music is derivative.. from the simple ‘funky drummer’ loop to the less known ‘amen break’ break (from which the entire drum and base scene grew).. the tracks which use the beats hold everything of the origional track.. same ol funky drummer vibe.. most of it is appropriated crap.. while some of it is enormously beneficial to developing music scenes.. as the amen break was to hip hop and drum n base.

    drum and base is a valid evolution of music.. a textbook exercise in late or post-moderism.. yet who really wants to see the creators of the amen break living without, while those who snatched the sample go on to live with? including those who repackage and sell the break in digital tool packages for producers?

    this is the amen break.. and an interesting talk by nate harrison..
    and you know – any lover of hip hop or drum and base is bound to want to know more about ‘the winstons’ who, arguably, invented drum and base on the b side of a record in the late 60’s.

    it’s really easy to pick things apart as is being done with copyright – yet without the input of some solution it does come across as just a thrashing effort toward ‘hip’ e-anarchy.. and discussion faulters..

    the art world is to complex to tie it up in copyright, yet it is also too fragile a life for artists that do not teach or write textbooks, to simply throw out all artist control.

    attempts to abuse copyright laws to protect a shade of red are unlikely to be successfull.. yet if it all goes the other way in some reactionary fit, isn’t there a danger of throwing out the baby with the bathwater with regards to our right to own our work?

  103. I have worked with the copyright issue with various groups for some time unfortunately all that can be practically done at the moment is to secure personal copyright and that is a pretty poor solution big picture wise. The main problem with artists, photographers, etc is that if it doesn’t effect personally it is put on the back burner and let to fester ……the result is much as it has happened in the UK a 11th hour reaction http://copyrightaction.com/category/articles/news
    With all the egos and the me me me situations it is no wonder artists, photographers are easy pickings for even a hack lawyer. Until that changes it is going to be a uphill battlee.

    ps I will let your derogative personal attack pass …………

  104. BOB,

    It’s son, not daughter! :)

    Anyway, the punk in me has no problem with kids silk screening t-shirts, bootlegging pics for 7″s etc etc but when it comes to a bona fide company using an image without permission to promote their product then it’s an entirely different ball game.

    I find that sometimes those who don’t make their sole living from photography are more free and easy about the concept of just giving it away. For example iStock was started by a graphic designer with all of these socialist ideals about access to photography for everyone. He went on to sell out to Getty for millions, leaving a lot of photographers in the dust. And how about that amateur recently who sold a Newsweek cover for $25 (via iStock of course)? Try and support your family on that.

    Anyway, DAH summed it up very succinctly and eloquently above (as usual) and Mr Bowen as well.

    I’m outta here and will be away from the web for awhile preparing for some more ayahuasca ceremonies next weekend. Gotta clear the head best as can. Best to everyone.


  105. AMEN and hallelujah. The Amen Clip was awesome. The Winston’s didn’t care about the copyright. Corporations were looking to cash in. Corporations seek to use copyright to generate maximum profit as is their legal obligation. When corporations take control of our culture what lies ahead….. As an individual artist we should be honored and privileged to know that something we created could have such an enormous and ultimately positive impact. Whether we personally profit from this seems beside the point, although we all do need to make a living. I think we need to really look at who is benefiting the most from issues of copyright and decide if that worldview matches the one that we want to perpetuate.

    Hip Hop for me has been an ongoing personal project so the AMEN break hits home. Without sampling and the creation of innovative forms of expression a whole often misunderstood marginalized sub-culture of America would not have been given voice, challenging the status quo, and demanding their rights; young black men in urban America. This voice and expression of an urban reality with all that comes with it provided a culture around which communities could gather to be themselves and to be recognized as members of their own society. Grandmaster Flash started his first jams in community center parks in the Bronx and attracted young and old and those of different ideologies into a melting-pot of ideas. Grandmaster Flash is considered the pioneer in the art of DJ’n and sampled heavily from James Brown. Hip-Hop has become a cultural and revolutionary movement in the black community, has empowered a disenfranchised generation, and has allowed some to reach out of the projects and create abundance. KRS-ONE a well recognized pioneer of Hip-Hop promoter of peaceful resolutions of inner-city conflict recently wrote a book “The Gospel of Hip Hop” published by Powerhouse which reaches back to the roots of Hip-Hop as a positive cultural phenomenom that as an end goal embodies self-respect for oneself and others and self-determination of a people. Hip-Hop as a cultural force now extends beyond the local communities were it started to an international movement across borders, nationalities and race. It isn’t a question of enjoying listening to Hip-Hop or if it is good/bad as a genre of music. It is not relevant to the broader implications of its existence which was given birth as a result of using unauthorized use of copyright and which encompasses a cultural experience beyond music.

  106. a civilian-mass audience

    Keep the Fire …keep the windows open…

    ROSSY…I danced …along “the kids are alright”…

    Opa,opa…do not copy my rights…copy only my lefts…


    P.S Fashion photographer Peter Gowland dies at 93…Spacecowboy change your outfit …:)))

  107. 12:59 pm in grecolalandia…
    on a lighter note i wanna suggest everyone to break FREE…
    Free of smoking…and other religions…
    i have the proof here..in a science fiction new movie..
    Without even having the new version of CS5 photoshop i created
    two fictional characters thet going through virtual hell in search of cigarettes..
    i copied their copyright and without asking them i exploited their personal moments
    to create a fake documentary…
    So i made a NEW MOVIE…
    The day by day struggle journal continues…
    The story is simple..
    the PHILOSOPHER DIMITRI and my alter ego are out of tobacco…out of marlboros..
    so plz enjoy their odyssey to the local tobacco store…
    (rated R)..
    now in a theater near you…
    Music by Diafana Krina and other sampled and photoshoped in a unique HIP HOP way..
    plz watch before YouTube finds out and blocks it..
    big hug


  108. PANOS! :)))))))

    ‘we fear no storm!’ ;))))))

    i LOVE these goddamned movies….this one was hilarious…and so true…i remember those days of thinking, ‘i just need a smoke and the world will be right and good’ :))))…fortunately, kicked that habit, but replaced by other addictions…what’s a philosopher/photographer/writer/husband/dad to do?…

    keep em coming…i love love these films….and by the way, from one philosopher to another (dmitri)., your boy got god damn beautiful eyes/face, i guess that’s what real philosophers are supposed to look like…

    hugs from marina


    P.S. CHARLES :))))…damn, am i getting old…sorry, your incredibly handsome son! :)))))…more later, maybe, about copyright…but just think of this: a big corporation might make 1,000,000’s, but let’s say 200,000,000 entreprenurial chinese teens, or indian teens, or indonesian, or brazilian or american/canadian , 20 and 30 years old each make 10,000/yr only from stolen copyrighted material, do the math…that’s what i mean, it’s a loosing battle and the demon aint the corporate monster, they’re slow and slow whitted and stupid…so, really,, this is a practical matter to me too, as a guy whose family DOES earn their money from art/writing…but, well…gotta run….shit to do before thursday….hugs

  109. frank – well said..
    and the point is that krs, goldie et al were able to create new forms with copyright just as it was..

    imants – i agree that the issue is hardly being discussed.. it wasn´t really being discussed even here at first as it is such a sensitive issue – which ever side of the fence you fall on.

    11th hour decisions are coming across in the uk and us very badly – seeming ´sneaky´ for want of a better phrase..

    and as charles says – those who´s sole income is from photography have much more to loose.. agreed that in time whatever will be will be, yet ego and bullishness on either side is not a constructive force..

    what is? i don´t know.. i just enjoy what i do..

  110. civi –

    thanks for letting us know of the passing of Peter Gowland. How did you hear about it? Six more years and he would have made 100..this was a man who loved photography and cameras even in his later years – up early every morning to answer emails, still working to do repairs on his incredible custom designed Gowland cameras (http://www.petergowland.com/camera/index.html) and a great sense of humor. I own the 4X5 GOWLANDFLEX, which I used for soem of the dark light portraits. Thank you Peter…

  111. this issue of Hip-Hop and sampling is a prime example, just as now music mashups, or before that russian avant-garde’s use of collage in the 20/30’s and an entire spectrum of cinematic tradition, not to mention the notion of story telling, involves the swallowing of others work, not as theft but as inspiration appropriate, the riff in a jazz movement, and hip-hop’s essential understanding that it’s all about story telling is critical to my personal understanding and development with regard to copyright…through in the fact that late tolstoy has been a critical point of thought for me (or at least some of his ideas, but surely not all, vis-a-vis his conservativism about what is art, for example which is frustrating) as well as an philosophical and spiritual understanding of what is the way to live properly and simply…

    it seems, to me, that we must be concerned, or rather, should be concerned with simple matter, when it comes to the material and practical way to live. Since we need to earn money to live, and since there yes are some of us whose income is derived from our work, it is a critical issue, but for me there are more elemental issues. We, again i emphasize this point, must think forward, rather than resist inevitabilities, we must look forward. as a photographer/writer, who once publically faught with private and foto8 (i mistake i believe now) for getting photographers paid, i realize that the issue is not as straightforward. The ability to use work, the freedom of both exchange of ideas/information/work is critical to a reasoned life, and to the integrity of the live lived making something. I agree that folks stealing othes work for profit is a terribly depressing and disconcerting thing, but it’s part of the world (history) and this has been to some degree accelerated with social networking/www etc. I do worry about the group think mentality and the social network/viral/mashup behavior of the world/web now…as a writer and photographer it frightens me occassionally…but, i am not that, philosophically speaking, concerned about the ownership of my own work in perpetuity…i want to make work now and want to be able to control/decide how i use that now, but this doesn’t prevent others, even companies, from using work…anyone watch the Apple presentation for tablet?…u think all those photographers got paid or signed released for that presentation and money making deal….hell no….

    clearly, for me, it’s important that each person think clearly about how it is they wish to deal with the shifting landscape of the web and content and collectivization…i mean didnt we all once make ‘best of’tapes…then burned cd’s, dvd’s, now make vids and presentations…i mean, shit, even here we’ve used music to accompany work shown here, at projections/festivals presentations…

    the truth is that many get scared when they worry about their work, their $$, but rarely think when it comes to the use of others…and i guess, ultimately, that’s where i sit…about awareness….that while im not all that interested in the big love-in of the web as some discuss, an extended digital haight-ashbury/woodstock of free love and free ideals, but i do embrace the power of dissemination..and with that comes sacrifices and realizations….

    so how to transcend all that….hip hop is absolutely one model (for me) of the key…it’s been corporatized for sure, and often exploited to an absurd degree, but within that there is still lots of space in which for rappers and producers and slams to not only work but to thrive…i do believe that photographers have this ability too….it’s why from the beginning i’ve been so postive and supportive and worked my ass off to help in my own small way David and Anton’s vision of Burn succeed….

    there are ways out of this dark forest, but the path must be seen by vision and determination, not by looking back….

    ok, gotta fly

  112. Marcin, thanks. Don’t see much connection at a glance, but your question merits much more than a glance. Don’t have time right now, but will try give it more thought tonight. I, too, am interested in what I think you are talking about. Putting our personal stories on other people’s tragedies. Parachute journalism. Western pov where it doesn’t apply, or at least go deep enough. I very much like the narrative idea of the rat story. It’s a bit more sophisticated in a literary kinda way than the typical photo multimedia piece. Or do I even know what a typical photo multimeia piece is? I’ve seen quite a few but have no idea to what degree they are representative. I’d think the rat story strategy could work for something like the Haiti photos, but of course it would depend entirely on the story. Sometimes our own cultural context is all we’ve got. Doesn’t mean it can’t be enlightening.

  113. P.S Fashion photographer Peter Gowland dies at 93…Spacecowboy change your outfit …:)))


    Gowland was an original. His glamour and nude work was classic un-pretentious cheescake, superbly executed.
    I met him about 1985 when he gave a seminar to members of our photographers assoc here. A delightful man. He was also a tinkerer, besides those wonderful Golwlandflexs, (there was even an 8×10 model I believe), he made a pocket 4×5 camera that weighed only a couple of pounds.


    I have to agree with you.

  114. ALL:

    On Saturday, May 15th, we will be teaming up with the New York Photo Festival for Slideluck Potshow XV. The projection will take place outdoors, in Dumbo, Brooklyn beneath the Manhattan Bridge Archway – an epic public space that just reopened after nearly 20 years. Naturally, the theme of the show will be Bridges. Keeping in the spirit of the Festival, we will be bringing in some of New York’s Finest to help curate the show: David Alan Harvey (National Geographic, Magnum, Burn,) Jae Choi (The Collective Shift,) and W.M. Hunt (Hasted Hunt Kraeutler, SVA.) Submissions will be accepted until April 15th, and information can be found here. And to truly localize the potluck dinner, we plan to incorporate members of Brooklyn’s lively culinary community and sustainable food movement.


    In greece every easter there is another custom…
    People paint everything (they can) white…
    white lines..white homes..white fences..white this..white that…
    Not only for cleansing (definitely not for beautification )..
    but also to exorcise Evil and welcome Good…waiting for the resurrection..
    in the MOVIE (link below), plz watch one more real story..
    my own very personal Exorcism..I wasnt feeling good this morning…
    Everything was spinning..and then the Priest found me..(didnt help either)..
    Discover below how i manage to exorcise the bad spirit that had me down..
    All captured in the movie below…My testimony..click:

  116. Bob, Erica, anyone … I’m interested if anyone out there has made any ripples with extremely large format photography, i.e. in the realm of feet, not inches. Boat builder friend and I have been discussing building or converting a travel trailer into a camera, and portable lab, with a lens from one of the huge cameras they once used to shoot newspaper layouts. He’s also an 8 x 10 photographer. I’ve heard of this done with pinhole but have not seen any of the work … so anyone doing “huge format photography”?

  117. Tom…

    Haven’t tried it myself, but other people have used roll paper for similar projects… you could experiment with litho/ortho film in roll form too I suppose… for my 8×10 pinholes I use medical x-ray orthochromatic film but haven’t tried any larger sizes yet…

  118. Tom…

    Since you’re not talking for pinhole though, a major obstacle will be to keep the photosensitive material—film or paper—flat… another way to go could be to use one of those liquid emulsions… they have very low sensitivity though, so in the XL format that would translate in extra long exposures…

  119. Tom there is a guy doing this with a truck, i came across his blog ages ago, think he was from san francisco….. If i remember rightly he was blogging about the build and process…



  120. Hey! Thank you everybody … looking at links. All very helpful. We have the lens, so we would build around that :))) Thinking about building this from the ground up (or trailer frame actually) and incorporating actual movements into the design. We’ll see … funny, we just met in a woodworking class on Vardo construction so maybe we’ll come up with a gypsy wagon camera :)) I think glass negatives are out … :)) Thank you all again, that was fast!

  121. Tom. Thodoris hit on agood point ie: how to keep the film flat. Im guessing that wet plate would be the way to go. Sounds like an absolute blast. Keep us posted.

  122. hip hop…………. dadaism ……….the avant-garde …….. open source programming…………….. the burn carpet( used to sweep we don’t want to know about it stuff under) ……… jazz……..open source programming……

  123. have people seen the burn (brief) mention on ny times


    It is an interesting article including perspectives on the fall of certain parts of the media industry which used to feed photographers and photographic agencies. They are in demise. Their model is a dying breed.

    The open source programming analogy Imants suggests is a good one which should be considered by all forms of media production.

    Open source happens simply because it can. Don’t try to understand it any more than that. At it’s core a capable computer programmer who writes 10 lines of code during a paid work with a proprietary software company is no better than a capable computer programmer who writes 10 lines of code simply because he/she can.

    The NY Times distinguishes between the amateur and the professional photographers simply as being the reassurance of being able to produce on demand. For the rest of the world’s emerging media requirements there is the choice of thousands (perhaps millions) of amateurs (read, untrained happy go lucky, point and click warriors, happy to get a buck from an image) – the only difference is no exclusivity of concept or creativity.

    I liked the reference in the NY Times to ‘Burn’ as being the upstart bucking the trend of media outlets going out of business. But there is a reason why Burn works at the moment and that is because the vast majority of it contributors are open source photographers contributing the 10 images they produce simply because they can. They are capable and wonderfully creative and captivating.

    DAH, I presume your endeavours in this regard (Burn) are a labour of love driven by a desire to give and bravo for being this great open source photography leader and guide (even if you’ve never thought yourself as such).

    Sticking with the open source analogy. There are many companies and outlets which make money from open source – BUT the important part is that the model is different than the traditional software and systems vendor and the expectation is different. That is where Burn imho has the possibility to attract the different model. In this new age, the purveyors of open source are highly unlikely to become the mega rich billy g or larry e. But for talent, concept and creativity, there is likely to be a desire for the most beautiful art of them all, that which is beautiful passionate and heart felt photography.

    In light of this, the issue of copyright is a technical conundrum/quandary/dilemma which needs to evolve into an artistic relationship with the art’s great creator without being a restraint on liberation of such artistic works. Every great artist deserves their fortune – just some make fortunes in different ways.

    Enjoying the discussion folks.



  124. Shorter Tommy: If you’re going to get raped anyway, might as well lie back and enjoy it.

    Not nearly as ugly and wrong as the original analogy, but ugly and wrong for the same basic reasons.

  125. The kids of today will just walk straight through the walls, mums and dads will thank the kids………….. those kids will probably build walls later in life just for the next lot to dance through their walls. No use telling them not to so or that it will haunt them in the future that’s like telling them that God will extract his revenge and damn them in hell or that the Russian mafia will destroy the net….. threats don’t work. We have to remember that it is the kids’ world just as it is ours and we all have to negotiate with one another……… not this unequal compromise the print barons seek

  126. Okay still here, in bed with a cold. Just read both links above and now really depressed. Problem is that jungle and drum and bass, as original and exciting as it was to begin with, soon began to sound all the same, much because of the amen breaks “open source.” When creative outlets decide paying $5 for a stock image is good enough (or cell phone pics for pj) then everything will begin to look the same.

    Yeah Burn is great, love vibes all around, blah, blah, but it’s not the end all be all. People still have to eat. Kids may knock down walls or they may just turn to heroin. Take your iPad with your flickr account or Burn essay and show it to the cashier at Whole Foods. They’re gonna say cool photos and still ask ya for your cash.

    I think in this discussion there does need to be some seperation of photogrphy issues from say hip hop and software. A blanket copyright law across all mediums might be the crux of the problem as content varies in its source and output.

  127. what the NYT article fails to address is that some photographers who speclize are commission not just for the photos – we have contacts, motivation to help and leads in order to do that which amateaurs simple do not have through experience.
    i´ve personally seen 8 magazine clients fail in the last 10 years – yet new ones have popped up.. page numbers have skewed in favor of advertising to sometimes 60%.. editorial page photos have gone in favour of an advertising page.. yet my longest standing client increased my fee´s by 50% while i still worked for them.
    there is a person behind the camera and in the field of documentary photography it is also the person and their specialization which wins commissions. if anyone can take a shot then anyone can supply it far as i am conserned – if few people can take the shot and put in the extra work around a commission they will always get the work..

    isn´t flickr and the like already supplying copyright free images which can be used by artists? for a few dollars there are 10´s of 1000´s of images out there to be chosen from to work with..
    royalty free.. could flickr and the 1 usd micro stock not already be deemed as ´open source´?
    i´m not sure legislation is needed to bring about that development – and i´ve never had a gripe with flickr..

    the ´open source´ idea will only really supply commercial applications i think – as flickr and micro stock already does.
    there is no use pretending that the majority of use will come from artists expanding the language and medium of photography.. commercial applications are metaphorically, sometimes literally, only a matter of hours behind what artists are doing these days – and much more prolific… grabbing ideas from degree shows and collages directly.
    in the post modern era a solid artist idea is ripped off and sold on before the artist can cough in surprise.

    as with the ´amen break´ – and as charles mentions – much of the applications of the 6 second break are commercial.. purely commercial.. rubbish, derivative and repetitive in style.. cash cows for the lazy or easy hooks for commercial creatives.

    after a year or two of it´s use it lost it´s edge.. as much of photo montage artwork and perhaps more broadly late modern artwork has.. it´s well and truly stitched up by the Ad World.. illustrators and graphic designers with ´artist´ in their job title are really the ones who would benefit from a blanket copyright change which puts the emphasis on the photographer to ´opt out´ rather than ¨opt in´, as many currently choose to do by not checking the ´copyright protected´ box on flickr.

    another point – and perhaps why the winstons did not mind use of the amen break – is that it is 6 seconds of a song.. now .. if someone grabbed a small portion of one of my photos and used it .. changed it significantly.. fair play..

    if someone took a snap of obama i had and did some simple rendering, (which i could have done myself), conspired to keep the copyright holder and photographers name quiet, called the red, white and blue results HOPE and flogged it for 10´s of 1000´s – that would not equate to snatching a 6 second drum break to ´explore the medium´.

    what i mostly sell are very specific and, in that sense, sought after photos.. a mag will pay me upwards of 600 GBP for a couple of photos of a small and undiscovered music festival.. which i worked as hard to cover as i did to learn my craft in the first place.. it´s not just about my photos – it is about my ability to research and judge the benefit and impact a music event deserves.. my ability to hook people up and move the scene forward.

    a couple of years ago i found that a festival, which i did not want to support for various reasons, had uploaded 67 of my photographs to flickr without copyright notice – free to download.. they had distributed my artist pictures to the artists as free to use press shots and distributed widely to magazines as well..

    i gave them a cease and desist notice in part as i wanted to sell the images myself and i could not ethically sell that which was being made available for free..
    they told me – astonishingly – that the images had passed into the public realm as they had been online for such a long time before i found out..
    in other words they tried to keep using the images, claiming they were in the public realm on the back on their own infringement..

    if an artist wanted to use a snap for manipulation or experimentation i have never had a problem with it – it is naive though to think that most copyright abuses come from artists developing the medium of photography.. most abuses in my experience come from business more than able to pay.. and i want to protect my right to be paid fairly in accordance with the amount of work i have put into building my archives.. learning my specialization.. and people will always pay..

    saying that everything will be free because everyone can do it and find it online is like saying commercial coffee shops will fail because everyone can make instant at home, or take a flask out with them.

    i agree that change is on the cards and it will be exciting change – yet i´m not sure it will be that radical nor as damaging to photographers who specialize as some believe..
    the more unique your subject / style / aesthetic /connections, the more likely you´ll be to survive through any change which is on it´s way.

    you know.. i´m not at all sorry that some hired eye and sub standard snappers are out of business.. or loosing out because they have been lazy or predictable.

  128. another thing the NYT neglects to mention is that burn is a source for fresh photography which is populated by a mixture of people who earn and do not earn from photography – probably skewed in favor of people who earn..

    it´s free content is due to the fact that people who earn from photography are already – and probably have always been – passionate enough about their craft to hold the value of the work being seen above the value of wanting recompense for it..

    i´d worked with photography for 10 years or more – completed my first long term project of 6 years, exhibited in london and achieved the broadening of knowledge of the subject i thought needed to be addressed – before i earn a bean from photography.. i sank every spare penny i had into my work without expecting money.

    in terms of copyright protection to earn a buck i think photographers and artists must be some of the least selfish people out there.. those who begin to gain an income from the work may become more rare – perhaps though they will become more deserving?

    our landlord is selling our flat right now – and the snapper who turned up to photograph it was bemoaning how the market for porn had declined to the point that he had to do this instead..
    poor boy.. poor boy..

  129. Bucking the economic demise of most magazines http://www.monocle.com/

    Check it out, increadible print design but also alot of thought has been put into how to make it work on the web. Hence the web experience is very different to the printed piece and not just a regurgitated cut and paste of the physical magazine. Investment in knowledgeable journalists, photographers and videographers makes the content engaging and truely insightful.

    As David B suggested above, once you have the talent, the insight and understanding of your chosen field that is what you are hired for. It also enables you as an artist to create pertinent work which you can choose to be recompensensed for if you so desire or if like Immants you prefer to give it away so be it.

    I urge you to check monacle out. Interestingly, they are proclaiming to have been able to open a Hong Kong office from the sale of their Tote bags – I believe it is this breaking down of borders/barriers and broad spectrum thinking that will win out. eg newspapers and not just newspapers now, photographers are not just photographers now etc etc…..


  130. or if like Immants you prefer to give it away so be it. cut the bullshit aitken, there is no need to be nasty or is that just your nature?

  131. Imants, there is no malice, it is a fact that if you own the work you can give it away, that is the principle of copyright. I have no insight into the copyright laws in Aus but I suspect as a photographer you own the rights to the image.

    I do plenty of photography where I refuse to accept payment, some times I might do some trading of skills or goods. I also give prints etc away.. After all, photography is my living I strive to make my livelyood from my craft. These are indeed interesting times and all models should be considered. I know one advertising photographer who researched, location found, suggested propsals to the ad agency all through searching through Flickr and downloading high res files, he even spoke to some of the flickr photographers to get exact locations and permissions, he got all this for free because of the ignorance of copyright ownership and the eagerness of amatuer photogs, they had no idea they could enforce ownership of their images or even charge for them. This kind of research would have cost thousands a few years ago having to use location finders etc. Do you find this fair? Enterprenerial yes, but fair? Lack of understanding of ownership….

    I know we have had spats in the past, let sleeping dogs lie.



  132. i had a NIGHTMARE…
    Reading the above it seems that im not the only one that slept
    on the wrong side of the bed…im not alone…im not the only
    paranoid over here…
    NEW MOVIE…only 3 minutes ..plz watch and buy…
    otherwise im gonna post it free on flickr and getty images
    will offer me a contract…u decide..
    All the answers here:
    enjoy (rated X)

  133. It is the context that you place it in plus what I started was not about giving stuff away it was about what where copyright was and where it needs to go with the advent of multimedia digital communication and how we all can benefit not every person for themselves mentality.

  134. Imants, I’m sorry if I’ve missed it, but I still am unclear on where you think copyright needs to go. I think people are arguing with what they think you’ve said, or at least implied, rather than anything you’ve actually said. Could be wrong about that, of course, but still… what are you saying? How should copyright work?

    Glad to see my hastily typed analogy to rape didn’t get the drubbing I expected after hitting submit. I guess it was obvious I didn’t mean it as any kind of personal attack. And I think it’s not altogether off the mark. In fact, I think I’ll go farther and posit that we, as a society, have developed something akin to Stockholm syndrome. Not only do we lay back and enjoy it when MegaloMart appropriates our labor; we are thankful for it. We fall in love with our violators. If they toss a nickel on the bed, we’re really happy.

    I realize I am open to accusations of hypocrisy here, since I regularly use copyrighted music for my little slideshows. Perhaps, perhaps — there are no doubt some grey areas, many grey areas, but when commercial enterprises steal artists’ work for profit, that is not a grey area. That is theft. Yea, it was a good thing when poor kids in the projects turned other peoples’ riffs into an art form that was uniquely able to express their realities. But Sony or CBS or multi-millionaires like Jay-Z or Diddly Squat use other peoples’ work they damn well ougtta pay for it.

  135. Michael… with you all the way..

    We are still struggling with this digital economy bill over here…. slowly slowly catchey monkey


  136. IMANTS…

    like Michael, i am confused on what you believe to be intellectual property rights and copyright..definition please….i agree with most of what you say, but then am lost when you then conclude (i think) that the current copyright laws which are designed to protect artists like you need reform….

  137. DAVID BOWEN..

    you too have it right…the only thing i want mention is that while Burn is currently an open source for photographers, and is primarily intended as a learning tool, most photographers who are published here report to me that they either have sold prints or gotten commissions or in some way have had a career boost after being published…all photographers here own their photographs and publish here gratis under the current economic clime with Burn as a non-revenue producing entity…however, as you well know, it has been my intention all along to create some sort of economic benefit to photographers whenever i can…the EPF grants can only benefit a few, but at least that is economic support that did not exist before….$35k worth….and if we are able to create more sponsorship, then a few more will gain some support for their projects or secure publishers for their books , which several have done or are about to do…the print edition of Burn will certainly pay photographers who are selected and who choose to be published…nobody is going to pay their rent with this payment , but it will be based on the on demand sales of the magazine…and a few did sell their prints in the two Burn gallery shows…we want to do more…

    as you know, but maybe not everyone does, Burn was created as an extension of what i always did anyway…starting with the simple personal diary blog Road Trips evolved into audience based publishing a la Burn….mentoring photographers and helping them see their individual visions realized in the way most suited to them personally has been something i have done always..long before Magnum or Natgeo or books or exhibitions were part of my life…

    i noticed early on that many photographers who seemed lost or wanted to move their work forward were simply not seeing things clearly, or were missing the obvious, or just needed a spark to get them moving in the most natural direction…none of my mentoring has anything to do with commercial success…nothing that i do for myself has anything to do with commercial success, including the editing of Burn….i have been able to earn a living with my work, but it is happy circumstance rather than any kind of business planning….everything i do with my own work or with Burn is instinctive, as i am sure you know by now having followed my comments and my actions for a couple of years…

    my only reservation now is in being able to fulfill all the requests i have before me…if i pay attention to one photographer, i am leaving out another….and maintaining the balance between mentoring and my own work is a full time job in and of itself…as i told my students in Texas,since i had just literally gotten off the plane from Rio, “i am exhausted and burned out and have only a fraction of my normal energy, which should make this the perfect class”…and it was…because i was “just off the plane” and fresh from dealing with my own street level structuring , agony, storylines, thinking about a book, dealing with editors, planning an exhibit etc etc. i was able to be most helpful i think to this young class in dealing with their own uncertainties etc…so i am not really a teacher…i am just a photographer, fresh from the “wars” who can tell a young photographer “hey, the enemy is over on THAT ridge”….

    i could care less if a photographer is a professional or not…i do not try to create professional photographers unless one comes to me with specifically that goal in mind….i am simply interested in good work from every arena…however, professional or otherwise, i do stand behind the rights of photographers to be protected from ravaging publishers or any kind of misuse of their work…laws are needed for rights protection..freedom to do as you please is a natural right…

    ok, fresh pot of coffee coming…back soonest…

    cheers, david

  138. how the wars can ravage us..
    today it´s a damn accountant that has not read an invoice and paid it into a defunk bank account.. defunk 6 years ago..

  139. it is a sign of how complex an issue is, since there are two discussions here at least – the right to view for free and the right to use for free..

    the crossed wires may be where friction occurs..

  140. DAVID B…

    serious? well, we all have some version of that story…and even at Magnum i think the unpaid debt by even some reputable publishers is on our books as a real number that simply stays a real number…a permanent business loss that would shock you if i gave the uncollected debt number…the problem with photography as a business, and it has always been thus so, is that we deliver our product to a client and then HOPE they will pay us…you do not drive a car off the lot without paying for it first nor get out of the restaurant without paying the bill…photographers generally deliver first, and cross our fingers to get paid later…usually much later!! i have seen many a magazine use my work, collect from their advertisers immediately , then take a year to pay….

    on the other point: yes, viewing for free and using for free are two different things….

  141. the restaurant analogy is a good one..
    eat now.. pay in 30 days.. or 18 months if you are sony / columbia.

    todays issue is that it is showing up as paid on their ledger and they can only pay once..
    think i have talked them around.. it´s a much needed royalty payment for the album cover i gave you in london.. tor capas nursery fees.

    never was any point in getting angry with accountants.. mistakes are simple things and i´ve made plenty..

    now.. hiding cheques in a draw and marking them paid on screen, as one US publisher i know regularly does, is not on.. makes their books look great – mine look rubbish.

  142. MARCIN

    Very interesting stuff. Gives a vivid picture of your work and working conditions, and rich in visual textures. Thanks for posting the link.


    you are right to be a bit depressed…since i hate to be depressed and do not allow myself to go down that road , i try to figure out ways to fix it…your ideas and your help most appreciated…

  144. David B

    I expect a new business model will eventually emerge for editorial shooters. More photographers chasing fewer assignments means something has to give.

    In the portrait business, those of us still actually making a living are still doing it the traditional way. Small session fee (or free through a promotion), and significant print prices. I do get payment up front by the way, when the order is taken. You just gotta smile, look ’em straight in the eye, and say “how would you like to pay for that”.

    The digital revolution has created lots of portrait photographer wanna-bes out there these days. We’ve always had the weekend warriers, but dslrs and that “P” for professional setting on the cameras do such a great job that many more folks are thinking, “hell, I can do this”. You can buy a website template pretty cheap these days, get a business card and bam, your’e in business.

    There is a new guy in my local area for example. He’s got a flashy website, blog, facebook, twitter, etc. On his blog he proudly displays $20,000 worth of new gear. His business model is that he’ll do a portrait session for you for $200, put them on a gallery, and let you and who-ever else wants to order them direct from a lab, at cost! Like two bucks for an 8×10. Lucky for him, he has a working wife, and a real job as a pilot.

    Copyright is another issue. Portrait photographers have always had people copying their work. Scanners now make that a simple matter. Unfortunately, many of the weekend warriers give their work away on a disc. We do sometimes get asked if we give a disc. I just smile and say no, I’m sorry we don’t. If they ask why, I smile some more and tell them that this is how I earn my living.

    DO You have some time soon to look at this edit? . Did it arrive??
    Sent links and stuff via burn email but got nothing back confirming(usually sends an automated reponse)
    Send again? Hold off for a while? inbox overload :) ?
    Dont want to eat into your rest time, just interested if you got the thing really.
    I have a skype thing now..I think I am ‘johngladdy’ maybe we could set a time and have a chat..always good to catch up anyways.
    Mad busy at the moment, not enough hours to go round….but ive found the off road vehicle I need and am looking forward to heading off into eastern nowheresville in a couple of months, just me and a whole bunch of film…maybe pick panos up on the way.
    You still coming to london in april??


  146. GORDON…

    i like your business model…certainly works since your customer is also the subject….

    in the editorial world, i cannot tell if there are really more photographers chasing fewer assignments…there are fewer assignments, yes, but seems to me there are fewer qualified photographers as well..since the decline of the editorial business, i see fewer photographers seriously pursuing it…sure there are plenty who either fantasize it or sorta want to do it maybe if it involves world travel to their favorite place kind of thing, but i mean serious photographers who can actually do it on demand..not so many really…


    of course i will skype with you and of course i will look at your work…tomorrow going to be best..

    cheers, david

  147. GORDON…

    i like your business model…certainly works since your customer is also the subject….

    in the editorial world, i cannot tell if there are really more photographers chasing fewer assignments…there are fewer assignments, yes, but seems to me there are fewer qualified photographers as well..since the decline of the editorial business, i see fewer photographers seriously pursuing it…sure there are plenty who either fantasize it or sorta want to do it maybe if it involves world travel to their favorite place kind of thing, but i mean serious photographers who can actually do it on demand..not so many really…if i look at the possibility of funding here on Burn, my list of photographers who could really pull off a commissioned piece is much shorter than you think..sure, sure, lotsa good pictures out there, but making those good pictures on demand and on a specific editorial story still seems to be in the hands of a few…


    of course i will skype with you and of course i will look at your work…tomorrow going to be best..

    cheers, david

  148. I do a little editorial work on occasion, mostly headshots or guy in corner office for trade mags. Those are shots that will never be found in Flickr, though I guess art directors could start asking their subjects for pictures their kids take of them with their Canon DS1 Mk XX’s, or whatever. To give an example of how it goes, art director that sometimes hires me asked if I’d be interested in dropping by and shooting his boss’s office baby shower, for free of course. I said sure. There were art directors there for 10 or 12 other publications, I made them all look good and I’ve already got another little job out of it.

    Of course that work is not all that challenging and pays little more than beer money, but point is, who you know is important. I’m confident I can pull off ambitious commissioned work, certainly wouldn’t take a job if I didn’t feel confident, but don’t know enough people in those circles. Gotta get that first break. Anybody out there… out there… out there…? Echoes continue into the vastness, grow softer… softer… softer…

  149. DAH,

    Thanks for that. Feeling a bit better this morning as cold seems to be on retreat.

    Funny thing is I had one of my best grossing years ever last year and I barely picked up a camera. All licensing and print sales. I was also very busy with new baby and house remodel. Now that that’s pretty much all done (well baby still keeps on keeping on!) I have that feeling of oh god what’s next? I miss shooting but being in this neck of the woods the assignment thing just isn’t happening (it was up until a year ago). So I need to start another project. The one I have in mind will be out of my comfort zone (though nothing dangerous, just cultural) so it’s a matter of making the contacts and just GOING there. I find self assigning the most difficult, esp when it involves walking down the street and not getting on a plane and being isolated from the everyday elements that can distract one. Anyway, that’s what I’m facing. Hopefully work some stuff out with ayahuasca this weekend.

    An idea for BURN: laying in bed last night thinking about this Portland print on demand publisher that wants to do a book with me (not sure what yet – won’t jinx it by saying anything till it starts to happen). Thinking maybe BURN should have a section devoted to books by people that have been published on BURN, or at least part of the BURN family. Rather than just dropping a link into Dialogues at some point and hoping people see it you could start a “library” and maybe even do thumbnails of the cover or something. Since the model will be turning more and more to print on demand might be a good resource for some of the photographers here to get their work out.

    Good luck with the garden!


    Cool stuff. Reminds me a bit of the work I did for Doc Marten’s.



  150. MICHAEL..

    be specific…what kind of work and for whom do you imagine? your dream assignment…your ideas for that dream assignment? your link to work which would prove to this “right person” that if she or he unleashes the funding for this work that you are THE right person to do it…the release of money by an editor immediately puts their job on the line…they must know for sure you can do it…you are very well connected…we can put you on to the “right people”…many of these “right people” already read Burn…so, put it out there…burden on you..ball in your court

  151. Michael,

    I actually turned down a local ad job last week (well, bidding on it). It would have been fun and decent (not big) money but was not at all the type of photography I do. Very prop and retouch heavy. Plus they needed five set ups and wanted to shoot in a week’s time. No way could I do that with my family arrangement. It’s good to know your limits. I once cancelled a $25K job for a cell phone company the day before we were set to shoot. The closer we got to the shoot the more I realized the agency was clueless and exploitive. Just wasn’t worth it to me. So it’s not all about money. Maintaining your dignity and integrity is utmost.

  152. CHARLES…

    yes yes, the on demand book idea is something we have discussed at great length and does not seem so difficult to do…we are going to start with the on demand issue of Burn just to see how it goes..from there i think we have endless possibilities…

  153. Hi DAH,
    What happened to the prints exhibited at the burn gallery show last year? sold, destroyed, in circulation somewhere or just laying around? Haven’t heard much about it. If I can recall there was talk about a permanent exhibition space, online sales etc..



    prints destroyed?? please !! the show is hanging in the Burn loft space…we only had two shows for collectors to make purchases..one in New York and one in Washington as reported here on Burn…..and i think we sold about 8 prints…we do have offers for more shows, but managing these shows is a full time job for a someone we do not have…however, we are working on it…i went off to Rio for weeks shooting, and Anton off to Japan for the same, so our time is limited…we will have another Burn loft show, invitation for collectors only, with some of the same prints and some others later this spring or early summer….

    Cheers, David

  155. Sorry about that — usual problem with typing faster than thinking.

    But since it’s out there, I have some experience with pitching written articles to newspaper and magazine editors but have yet to puzzle out the high-end photo side. For example, I would never expect a publication to provide up-front funding to an unproven writer, much less a photographer. After all, an editor can usually work with a writer and rescue a piece from poor writing, but that is mostly impossible with photographs. Someone in my position, someone who has a background and has done some professional work but is looking to move up in class, would pitch writing an article on spec. That way there is a loose understanding that the magazine will publish the piece if it’s good, but there is no hard/fast obligation. It’s a way of working in between just going out and writing it then trying to to sell it versus getting a commitment,cash advance or on-going expense reimbursement. Also in that case, there is an on-going dialogue between the editor and the writer. Comments on drafts, direction, that sort of thing. Of course the editor will want to see clips, but one shows the clips that are most appropriate for the publication. That’s more or less how I figured the photo side would work, but that doesn’t seem to be the case?

    David, yea, I guess I do know people these days, but the way I tend to compartmentalize things, you all are more like people I enjoy having a beer with now and again than people I think of as professional contacts. Yet more proof that networking has never been one of my strengths.

    Anyway, got to run… dribbling

  156. Charles, thanks. Not sure if you were referring to the baby shower thing, but I didn’t mean to imply there was anything wrong with that. It was asked as a favor and I was happy to help out. Point was that that was perhaps illustrative of how one gets work these days. Would say more or less random luck or personal connections, but more accurate to say luck and/or personal connections that became possible through hard work.

  157. So, are we finally experiencing the “end of print”? And with it the end of still photography? Is this the “closing time”? ahhh,stupid idea?

  158. MICHAEL,

    Oh no, the baby shower thing is brilliant. Nothing wrong with using our talents to put a smile on somebody’s face. Just referring to you not taking a job if you aren’t confident with it. Nothing wrong with that. Do what you can do (though do push yourself if you can).


  159. RODOLFO..

    i do not think it is end of print nor the end of the still photograph…changes in what these mediums become yes, but disappearance, no….i think fine work in print will be enhanced by the death of print as a mass media presentation…mostly there is junk out there in print if you take in everything that gets printed for mass communication…eliminate that, crank up the limited edition and on demand book market and you will have the finest books and best limited edition magazines ever…more expensive , yes, but finer…

  160. a civilian-mass audience


    This is part of my ESL practice…please …do not take it personally…Enjoy…


    KATHLLEEN FONSECA the Street Fighter,the Sword Tongue
    MY GRACIE the Burn Muse
    OUR PATRICIA the Courageous
    KERRY the Talented
    LASSAL the Smiling Power
    EMCD the Resourceful
    WENDY the Sunshine
    LEE the Artistic
    AUDREY the Good- natured
    EVA the Endurable
    KATHARINA the Rebellious
    VALERY the Dynamic
    VICKY the Honest
    KATIA the Warm-Hearted
    ANNIE the Fearless
    GINA the Crafty
    CARRIE the Creative
    SOFIA the Lively
    JENNY the Outgoing
    ANDREAC the Sociable
    LAURA the Elegant
    AKAKY the Unbiased
    ANTON the Visionary
    ANDREWB the Kind-hearted
    ANDREWSUL. the Approachable
    BRIANF. the Enthusiastic
    BOBB. the Brilliant
    CHRISB. the hard working
    CHARLESP. the stimulating
    SAMHARRIS the Adventurous
    DAVIDB. the Spontaneous
    DAVIN the Eccentric
    ERIC the Thoughtful
    FROGFROST the Honorable
    GORDON the Sentimental
    GLENN the Witty
    HAIK the Trustworthy
    HERVE the Debonair
    IMANTS the Radical
    IAN the Righteous
    JIM the Sincere
    JARED the Instinctive
    JUSTIN the Confident
    JOHNG the Persistent
    JAMES the Determined
    KURT the Logical
    LANCE the Brave
    MIKEB. the Diligent
    MARTINB. the Protective
    MICHAELW.the Charming
    MATHEWN. the Humble
    MICHAELK.the Cultured
    MARCIN the Passionate
    MARKT. the Organized
    MR.VINK the Tolerant
    POMARA the Boundless
    PANOS the Revolutionary
    PETEM. the Serious
    PETERG. the Sensitive
    PAULT. the Credible
    REIMAR the Optimistic
    ROSSY the Dedicated
    RAFAL the Introverted
    SIDNEY the Enlightened
    SAMH. the Reflective
    STELIOS the Sociable
    SEANG. the Ambitious
    SPACECOWBOY the Peace,Love and Photography
    THOMASB. the High-Spirited
    THODORIS the Articulate
    TOMHYDE the Fascinating
    VIVEK the Energetic

    MR.HARVEY the Do As Harvey

    from Civi…you know I love you ALLL…BUT …you are so many…you can exchange(if you want):)))

  161. DAVID,

    I do hope you are right….nothing like a print or a book…

    I just had a good week-end shooting…just going over what I did… think I am making progress on my new project…. had the most unbelievable sky on sunday to photograph…almost surreal… while I used to complain about the rain, I am starting to like these Belgium skies :):)… This skatepark I have found is quite special, just overlooking the city… while this is all a bit fresh still, there are few shots that I hope you will find interesting. In any case, I will share with you what I have mid-April even if this is the very beginning… I will need now to find other spots, other areas to photograph and dig more but I am having fun again so this is good… took me a while to get hooked…




    you just have to drop the “i am not a good networker” bit…this is on every editor/curator’s top ten photographer worst excuses list….we have actually had several incarnations of this discussion many times on Burn, but i always forget that new people come in and/or missed the discussion…suffice it to say for the moment is that if you use this for an excuse for why your career is not moving forward at the rate you might like, you are doomed from the outset…

    just do the work…i swear, if you do the work , you will get networked…i will personally pick up the phone and call any editor you want…many people here on Burn know well i will do exactly that..so, you ARE networked…

    so, what is going to make me pick up that phone? well, i will not do it because i like you or you are a friend…i will not do it just as a favor and you are a regular writer and contributor to Burn…i will not do it because your cousin is a bartender and slips me a drink under the radar…i will only do it IF you actually have the work…now, follow me as i think like an editor for a minute…

    let’s be specific…let’s take Coney Island….and let’s pretend that i have 50k to spend on a Coney Island story…a story about condos coming, Nat Park backout, in general a life gone by, the demise of the Coney Island we knew…by the way, and i do not mean to be condescending, but there always has to be a REASON for any magazine to do a story except perhaps photography magazines…so let’s pretend we have a reason to do Coney Island…and let’s also pretend that whoever gave me this 50k to be used for a magazine story really wants to think this money is being spent wisely and will hold me, as editor, totally responsible for how it all looks in final print form..

    so, i can choose between several known photographers of Coney Island.. Valery Rizzo and her look and old timey vision with the Holga..or, i can go the opposite and imagine an extension of the Robert Polidori 8×10 work…or, i can go satiric and satanic with Bruce Gilden and his look, remembering his take…or, go with Ben Crane and his more romantic sentimental photojournalistic color vision of CI…..as an editor i could decide to do a portfolio of all, but in any case i have 4 different visual approaches to Coney Island…

    i looked carefully at your Coney Island work….you had several very nice singles in there..i love the couple kissing in the wave….i do not know that i would call your b&w high contrast processing technique a style, but as an effect it worked ok…the problem i would have in giving you this assignment is that in the four above cases, the photographers have all given me a point of view…they are saying something about Coney Island..four different voices…not just four different essays or styles….what you need to do to get into that final casting so to speak is to have a voice…say something to me..tell me what you think about Coney Island besides “this is a crowded beach” and a few generally nice images…now, please please do not think i am being tough on you…or singling you out…you are a terrific guy and a great contributor here….but, you did bring up this issue, so i am simply trying to answer your question as best i can…

    summary point is: you knowing me, even though i am a good “in” for you all around, just will not do you any good whatsoever until you have that solid body of work…so please please concentrate on that part and make minimal the superfluous ….i will help…no excuses

    cheers, david

  163. Just getting back to Burn after working hard on a stock submission……..I like my appointed adjective Civillian..Dynamic..I’ll take it:-)

    And Really happy to have my work mentioned/noticed by you David, :-]


  164. ok, for a minute – forget everything that we know, understand, and accept as being the norm (albeit accepting that it may actually be the norm)

    2 imperfect emerging ideas based on the emerging power of the democratisation by the web;

    – first thought – publications as partners rather than employers. photographer remains in control. a model of financial imbursement based on circulation readership over multiple mediums – print, web, mobile, billboard, emagazine, pro-lab print,…. – the google model of x cents per view, the x variable changing depending on the medium and the quality => pro-lab print high cost, web view minuscule cost.

    – second thought (developing from first) count your page views on your web site, your blog, your facebook, your whatever. apply a formula based on what you would like to be paid / need to be paid to live, divided by the number of page views you have. How minuscule does the result become for you? There *HAS* to be an emerging model there.

    in both models above, the viewer may not necessarily pay. think.

    lots of problems. imperfect on so many levels, but maybe with a bit of development, perhaps a derivative… just maybe.

    Yes, back to reality. Things don’t work like that……. YET.

    The thing is everyone can experiment and explore these models and develop them in their commercial endeavours – you don’t have to switch lock stock and two smoking barrels into either model, but why not dip the toe in the water – it’s can’t be any more scary than moving from film to digital :)

    Worth thinking about folks.

  165. Thanks David. I agree on the print issue.
    About the still photograph… I’ll have to look into this.
    As I’ve decided to move back into photography…
    I would hate to have to become a VIDEOGRAPHER…


  166. for writers there is the term, ‘writers block’
    whats the equivalent for photographers called?
    I know you have to shoot thru it…..
    but damn…..
    it sucks sometimes….
    and I thought I had some good work for my latest project,
    but now
    I question it all….

  167. all: :))

    no time to write…T-minus 24 hrs for the Odyssey ;))))….long, awful week…but, im very happy…but exhausted…im sure my posts made no sense of late…working on writing/photo editing fatigue….will be back afterward…

    David Harvey will do more than pick up a phone for you, but i agree: MOST IMPORTANT think a photographer can do is 1) bust their ass on their work, 2) not give up, 3) follow their vision….i sometimes thing photographers want something first, make the pictures second…if you flip it around life might be lonely often but the rewards are unexpected :)))……Mike W…that’s good advice from young man harvey indeed!

    regardless of what each of us believes, one thing is the most important: that you believe: BELIEF, BURNING above all!…to believe in your work, in your life and to believe in each other, as friends, as professionals, as fellow time-travelers (where the fuck is space cowboy when we need him)….

    David (ah) will call u thursday night…

    and Civi:


    ok, running

  168. DAH:

    Is the loft open at all during the next two weeks? When will you be back in new york? I am in the US with Aga Luczakowska.



  169. Hey David, no worries, you can single me out anytime. The line about networking skills was a throwaway, though I can understand why you took it the way you did. My point about knowing the right people being important honestly had nothing to do with you or hi-end photography. In the world I inhabit much of the time, a world of art directors and low-end magazine editorial assignments — a world in which many, many photographers have more than enough skills to easily get the required pics — knowing art directors is important. They’ll tell you so themselves (though you still have to deliver). And it’s honestly not something I pursue, just thought the baby shower story was apropos to the conversation that was going on and kind of funny. I’m aware that in the hi-end world those things count for nothing and in no way meant to imply that they did. Cool?

    What the Coney Island thing was saying is this: The mayor wants to develop Coney Island. One of the stated reasons is that nobody goes there anymore. Those parts require text. Photo story: Introduction estables beach is crowded and diverse. First series of photos establish just how crowded and diverse it is, zooming from tens of thousands in the frame to aforementioned couple in the waves. Next series of photos examines the crowd, shows that they are not the type you see in Cannes or Malibu, i.e, not affluent or mostly white. Final series of photos shows said types leaving the beach, crowd dwindling, changing ethnically (technique, btw, suggests cleansing), to last photo with European model girl posing for a glamor shot in front of the rainbow with the angel shaped downpour behind it — or, to sum it up, what the city has in mind when they talk about “development”. When they say nobody goes there anymore, they mean wealthy, mostly white people don’t go there anymore. So it’s an interesting story, a bit more than “the beach is crowded,” though you’re right that that is the main point. As for the quality of the photos and of how well the intent came out in the production, well, I trust your take on those things and am doing as you suggest. Working to improve skills, attempting ambitious projects. Have been since before we met.

    Again, no worries. I like and very much appreciate professional criticism. Thanks.

  170. DAH

    “my list of photographers who could really pull off a commissioned piece is much shorter than you think..sure, sure, lotsa good pictures out there, but making those good pictures on demand and on a specific editorial story still seems to be in the hands of a few…”

    Yes, like I keep harping, if you wanna do this for a living, you have to take the business side seriously, being a pro means coming back with the goods, every time, all the time.

    I’ve got George Stienmetz’s book, “African Air” In it there is a wonderful story in the book about him meeting with Nat Geo art director Bob Gilka. When viewing his stuff, Gilka paused at a photo and said “doesn’t work”. Stienmetz writes “I tried to explain some of the difficulties of the situation, but he cut me off. “is that an excuse” he asked. “Uh, I guess so” I said.
    “Well, we publish photographs here, not excuses”.

  171. I guess since it’s gone this far I should post the link. I hadn’t looked at it for awhile and was kind of afraid to, but it’s pretty much like I remember it, save the little tangent about food. Can’t compare this piece to what others have done. I’ve seen the Holga look, the freakshow, the snide, the old-timey sentimental, the gorgeous, but I’ve never seen what I see. The real people at Coney Island Beach. And I don’t see that traditional literary structure in too many slideshows either, or maybe I just don’t recognize it? Photo narratives are funny that way. Anyway, you asked why an editor would choose me. That’s pretty much it. Original take. Well-structured narrative. Subtle socio-political references. Humor. Add great photography to that and I’ll be set, eh? And yes, I know you’ll pick up the phone for work you believe in, whether it’s mine or anyone else’s. I can’t adequately express how much I appreciate that.

    And again, since it’s gone this far, I’ll say this and never speak of it again. It’s a bit uncomfortable dealing with famous people, or those who for whatever reason have people constantly scheming to meet them and maybe get some kind of benefit. I don’t blame them for being wary and suspicious of others’ motives. Maybe I’m so afraid of being perceived that way that it causes it to happen. I don’t know. But know this; if I want something I’m upfront about it. Especially as a professional journalist. I’m not shy about contacting editors and publishers and pitching stories and I don’t take it a bit personally if they’re not interested. I know how it works as a writer, but as I mentioned, haven’t quite puzzled it out as a photographer (yes, I know a body of work is the prereq). So if you suspect I’m being anything but upfront, I hope you give me the benefit of the doubt. That goes for everybody. That’s all I can say. No response required.

    On an actually interesting note, I came across a little exchange between Ansel Adams and some documentary photographers in an obscure newsletter from 1940. I’ll type it up tomorrow or the next day and post a link. I think the print people here will find it especially fascinating.

  172. Do you ever feel like all you want to do is get out of the way of the story? Of course you want your photos to be the best you can make but that is not what you want viewers to notice — you just want them to get the story. Everything is about the story not about you as a photographer.

    What that means for me is that when I am editing the essay my choices are less about which photos are most remarkable and more about which ones move the story forward. Such a different way of editing. I’m having to put my ego aside and ask myself: How best can this story be told? Especially when working with audio and stills together, the photos and sequencing must be in harmony with the sound. In my case, the audio is a recorded dialogue between my principle subjects, Phil and Scott, and it is THEIR story we are telling. So my photos must serve their story not vice versa. This is all about them as a gay married couple, not about me as a photographer. I want to be invisible.

    Does this make sense to anyone?


  173. PAT
    makes total sense….
    its the story…
    that needs to be told….
    NOT the photographers story…
    thats a blurry line…..
    as its thru
    OUR eyes…..

  174. Patricia;

    Wendy’s right. No matter how dispassionate you try to be; you are always going to see the story through your own eyes, no one else’s… It is Phil and Scott’s story, but as seen by your eyes…

    A gay man/woman, younger woman/man (insert any demographic!) photographer would also shoot it as they see it, and try to record what is important to them.

    As long as you are being faithful to your own vision/views (and Scott and Phil’s story) it will all come together. Trust your instincts; remember? :-)

  175. Thanks, Wendy and Ross, for understanding what I was trying to say. And yes, you’re right — it IS their story through my eyes. I just hope my eyes (mind and heart) saw/thought/felt it in a way that will do justice to them and their love for one another. Such a sense of responsibility comes with this work of telling another’s story. Purity of intent becomes so important. Or at least as pure as we can manage.


  176. PAT
    I’ve always loved the Native American saying,
    ‘there are 3 sides to every story,
    his story,
    her story
    and the truth…’
    as photographers,
    we are always telling
    only one side of a story…
    which in part,
    is our story…..

  177. Patricia. Purity of intent is a great statement. But that ‘intent’ is different for everyone.
    and what happens when your intentions are to make something a certain way, for a certain reason, but then you get a glimpse of a different story? Do you look away?
    Sometimes I think the harder it is for someone to look at themselves in a picture, the better the picture is. Sometimes i just like how someone looks just as they are. And sometimes I see nothing there at all and no point in making a picture at all. Never can tell until the moment.

  178. Well said, John. One of the things I most admire about you is your honesty, especially your self-honesty. I see it in your portraits and hear it in your comments. That counts for a lot.


  179. Patricia,

    “Getting out of the way” ABSOLUTELY makes sense to me. I’ve never forgotten a comment by Mary Ellen Mark (which I can’t quote exactly) that goes something like “I want to tell THEIR story. It’s not about me.”

    This is where I get confused about “authorship” and perhaps why I have so much difficulty understanding some of the conceptual work presented here on burn. Quite a bit of what’s called “artistry” appears very self-indulgent to me….

    That’s why there’s documentary photography and then there’s fine art photography.
    Different strokes…different intentions.

  180. WENDY

    Beautiful saying. Thanks so much for sharing it. The “truth.” How in the world do we find THAT???


    Yes, sometimes there’s a fine line between “artistry” and self-indulgence. Again, it comes back to intention. Somehow I think the viewer feels the photographer’s intention on a subliminal level. If it’s all about the photographer instead of the subject(s), something about the essay doesn’t sit right with us.

    And now to bed. It’s almost 2 a.m. where I live. Night night…


  181. Michael, nice one, love the coney island pics, there are some crackers in there, favorite is the girl with curly dark hair running away from camera with the big wheel in the distance.



  182. Patricia,

    When I am working on commercial assignments I am given a purpose/intent by the commissioner but it still has to have my take/style for me to feel comfortable with the work and I hope that is why I have been commissioned. But from the outset there is an outline and objective to work with and also time constraints so you have to just get on with it. When working on personal projects I start with an skeleton of an idea and the story evolves from there (this can also happen on commercial work), as I get more into the story the more I find out, the characters evolve, there are different branches to follow. But you must retain that “Golden Thread” (a great artist friend introduced me to this idea.).

    Once all is shot, the difficult process of editing begins, it is not totally divorced from shooting as you are editing on the hoof when shooting. Editing is as you say is a huge responsibility, making your story comprehensible but also being true to yourself and the story. I find it immensly difficult to choose the keeoers that also tell the story. Sometimes you can have great shots that work as stand alones but don’t work as part of the story, othertimes you might have to put in not so great shots that help tell the story.

    I find it is at this stage that I have to be so clear in my story, to enable me to make a good edit, then again, when editing I find I might have left out a strand of the story which throws things off kilter again and me into mayhem, and I need to start again……tough times

    I suppose you can liken the whole process to Ansel Adams’ Previsualisation for a print, have an idea of what you want to achieve and go for it, the only differnce being there must be room for manouver.

    My 2ps worth as I struggle with a personal project at the mo.


  183. Here’s a link to an interesting exchange I came across from a 1940 newsletter put out by the Photo League, an organization that was dedicated to promoting documentary photography that thrived in New York in the mid-twentieth century until it was blacklisted by McCarthy.

    At this time, they were trying to get some of their photos into a show being put on by Ansel Adams. This was a little funny because they typically had very open contempt for landscape photography. While they were negotiating with Adams about the show, they published a review of a photography how-to book that featured an attack on Adams, pretty much saying he was the last person in the world who should write a chapter on how to make prints. I find Adams’ reply interesting on several levels.

    I’m not an Adams scholar, so I don’t know if any of this is new. But if it’s new to you, I trust you’ll find it interesting. It discusses his views on documentary photography and goes into some detail on what he thinks its relationship to prints should be. Even includes talk of chemicals (Erica, John G., et. al., this is for you).



  184. federico agostini


    Harry is one of the greatest visionary image makers i know… too bad he is kind of often overlooked…
    he is certainly on a par with Eggleston of whom i have seen recently an extensive show in Chicago.. those dye transfer prints… i would have “eaten” them…

    always enjoy your comments…


  185. David,

    I don’t want to bother you, but I realized my English was wrong..I meant to say, If you have a moment, could you please look at my new pictures? Thanks Erica !!!


  186. AKAKY: Did you know we’re unbaised?

    AKAKY IRL: Do tell. How did that happen?

    AKAKY: Civi says so.

    AKAKY IRL: So does this mean we are not violent right wing racist homophobic teabagging Republican Party gun nuts out to undermine the current Administration’s plans to transform America anymore?

    AKAKY: We don’t have a gun.

    AKAKY IRL: Don’t get technical.

    AKAKY: Well, I guess we still are, but Civi wants to think otherwise and everyone at Burn likes Civi, so I think we get a pass here.

    AKAKY IRL: You know what you just said is illogical. You know that, right?

    AKAKY: Yeah, but if you don’t listen to it too carefully it makes sense, sideways, sort of. And everyone likes Civi, that’s not illogical.

    AKAKY IRL: You worry me sometimes, bubba. One of these days you’re going to say something like that again and it’s going to make sense even after I’ve thought about it for a while.

    AKAKY: Don’t listen to me then; no one else does.

    AKAKY IRL: Now that does make sense.

  187. PATRICIA,

    Yes it’s a fine line between telling the story objectively yet keeping the viewer engaged with interesting photography. You have to try and do both. I know I’ve seen some essays on here, usually about some terrible tragedy or struggle somewhere, and the pics are just too damn clever for their own good without really moving the story or intent along. Other stories have complex or subtle story or theme but then the pictures are just dull and all we are really left is the photographer’s better written essay. Sometimes simple is better – and sometimes tricky is better.

    Not having seen any of this piece you are working on I would be pretty sure, considering it’s a fairly mundane (and I’m not saying unimportant or uninteresting) subject matter that some clever photography probably won’t hurt to keep the viewer engaged. But who knows, I couldn’t say without seeing your first round of picks.

    Best of luck,


  188. Patricia, I do understand getting out of the way. It is a very fine line. How do you as a photographer actually influence the subjects in their daily lives? The reality shows are really showing this to me. How in the beginning of a season the stars of the reality show are normal raggity people and before you know it they have been glammed. But, the true story is still there and becoming a regular part of their lives allows for more comfort which allows for more to show through.

    As an artist (thanks Civi) I see photos through my artistic (thanks again Civi) eye and so does every photographer in every book I own. That is what makes it great. Your work is amazing and has grown so much since I first met you. Awesome.

    Erica M, nice article and love your photographs. The series on the folks in that home were stunning.

    Civi – the lover is the best descriptive.

    Leaving in two weeks for a ten week road trip. Looking to shoot love, hope, and anything outside the world.

  189. A reminder to anyone who may be in New York Thursday evening with time to kill:

    I will be doing a slide show titled, “Gift of the Whale” at the Alaska House at 6:00 PM.

    109 Mercer Street
    New York, NY 10012

  190. Charles..I’ve been called wrica before, but when I was a kid – funny/fun..say it a few times, makes you smile. I’ve been shooting more for it again when I can – in some ways it’s more difficult now, but then again the pressure is off at the moment so i am being more playful / experimental.

    Oh i am so missing this convo that is going on here – i have no idea what you all are talking about, but i can’t catch up…

    Lee – merci – merci

    Frostfrog – I would love to say hi if I can arrange to be in the city, plans are still sketchy but looks like a possibility. Do you have plans for after the presentation? As much as I respect the way that the ‘gift’ is being taken and used, I’m not sure I can watch the presentation itself…in my former incarnation I was involved with marine mammals (behavior/biology/language research) and I’m just coming off watching The Cove. But maybe after?

  191. Know what you mean on missing out on so much of the conversation. Last I checked in copyright was the big subject. Six hours difference between here and NYC make a huge difference and then there is Europe time.

  192. Wendy, I just found your comment about his story, her story and the truth. As a photographer and human being I hope I don’t do this. I want to keep this saying in mind over the next few weeks. Thinking over the work I have done I can see this in some of the work (the bachelor series especially) but for instance in the work with the mennonite family not so much. Interesting thought.

  193. ERICA,

    Just a matter of the W being next to the E on the keyboard but I love the serendipity of it being a childhood name.

    I like the way you get in people’s faces – without getting in their faces, if you know what I mean. Yes, you photograph characters (some might say freaks – I don’t) who come across as not all “freakish.” And the urban landscapes are somehow like the icing on the cake. Really nice. I’ve only been to Park Slope once, briefly, but it makes me want to go and see more for myself.


  194. Charles – about getting into people’s faces or not…I never feel as if I am *energetically*, I hope they don’t either, but physically I guess I am as I have only ever owned a wide angle lens for the leica (a 28 until Jim lent me the 35) In the interim Andrew Sullivan lent me this really old 50mm, and I had the strangest feelings while looking thru the camera with it – as if i were free – I didn’t shoot much with it because the frame lines made me crazy and I didn’t want to screw up by forgetting what lens i had on the camera; after all it has been years and years of seeing with a 28. But I have this sense that if/when I buy a 50 for the leica and get used to it something magical might happen. I guess I felt invisible in a really good way.

  195. ERICA,

    Well it’s the energy that counts, and you obviously have the “good” type in spades. 28 and 50 both have their magic, but for me the 35 on Leica is the sweet spot.


  196. Erica; “old 50mm, and I had the strangest feelings while looking thru the camera with it – as if i were free”

    Strangely; I used to feel the same way when I put a 50mm on the FM2… I’m only holding off buying a 35mm (for the same focal length on DX) because I may be picking up a D700 and already have a 50 1.8

    Most people would look at me as though I was crazy when I said said I found a standard lens inspiring.. Gearheads, you know? :-)

  197. Erica – Congratulations, your work deserves it.

    Everyone – Did anyone see the article in the NYTimes Business section, front page, today on the decline of the professional photographer,not that it was a great article, it was actually a quite depressing article, but they mentioned BurnMagazone.org as one of the go to places for original photography.

    Best, Valery

  198. Just wanted to say I received a wonderful little package from London today … #968 of 2000 … Nick Turpin’s street photographers bi-annual “Publication” which is nicely packaged with a set of 22 wonderful prints on heavy card stock with photographer bios and thoughts on the back. A Parke and an Autio in the mix, and all photos of equal caliber. Just wonderful. I’m buying frames. This is very nicely done, and a good model. http://www.in-publication.com


    yes, Harry is a great image maker…terrific new Moscow book..but, i never thought of him as overlooked, but maybe he is just not so well known in the U.S…isn’t he quite well known in Europe? if not, he should be…certainly one of our most important colorists….by the way, for a small country Belgium has born more that its share of great photographers..besides Harry, there are Carl De Keyzer, John Vink and our own ANTON KUSTERS!!!


    thanks for the clarification….but, i did know what you meant ….and of course i will skype with you whenever you want and we can go over all the new work……day after tomorrow best if possible….call me about 9am my time if that is convenient for you…or, send me chat message as to best time convenient for you…

    cheers, david

  200. CATHY…

    this has been your mantra since we starting chatting online several years ago…so, that is simply your position….never could get you to see it another way…laughing…however, imo there is a big different between self indulgence and authorship…authorship is saying something..making you either learn or feel or engage….now that “message” could be esoteric in nature, but not necessarily self indulgent…or it could be journalistic and very self indulgent….however, projecting something personal does not mean self indulgence imo…merely reflective….do you think Patricia is being self indulgent because she has a whole book of self portraits? or was Vicky self indulgent because she likes to communicate using a pinhole camera?? do you honestly see Mary Ellen as pure documentary?? in any case, tell me who you think was being self indulgent?? you might be right…just curious….

    oh yes, most important…i am waiting for India…you might have sent the work already…i will spend the next two days going over submissions and links etc…anyway waiting…i know you will have some terrific new work..

    cheers, david

  201. ERICA…

    i think i mentioned this before, but just want to make sure…very nice piece on you in the British Journal of Photography…you are on a roll!!!

    cheers, david


    i will seriously work with you on Coney Island…you have all the right motives and , as i said, some very nice singles in the mix…with just a bit of taking it a step further, i think you will do a very nice piece..so, let’s either skype or meet when i am next in new york…i have some thoughts for you

  203. DAH.

    Gee, I thought I was just having a little private chat with Patricia…
    didn’t realize you were in the room :))

    Don’t give up on me. You have definitely gotten me to see things differently over the years. I’m working my way over to your side of the room. I just move slowly :))

    As far as my comment to Patricia. Glad you are questioning what I said because it gives me a chance to say it again more clearly. I was not saying authorship and self indulgence are one and the same. Not at all. I agree with what you said above as far as authorship is concerned. I can see how what I wrote was confusing because I lumped two thoughts together in one sentence.

    See if this makes more sense…First I responded to Patricia’s experience of wanting to get “out of the way” and said I get confused about the fine line between “being invisible” and authorship. How to be “in” while “staying out.”

    Then.. a second thought was about conceptual work and self indulgence… “perhaps why I have so much difficulty understanding some of the conceptual work presented here on burn. Quite a bit of what’s called “artistry” appears very self-indulgent to me….” That was meant only about conceptual work such as the Craig’s List piece (if I must give an example) where the process of the “artist” seems (IMHO) to be given more importance than the actual work.

    Does that make any more sense? I hope so.

    Regarding India…I’m glad to hear you KNOW I have terrific new work.
    Wish I had as much confidence as you do. :))

    I have not sent a link yet. It took me a long time to want to edit. I am just getting started. Editing is far from my favorite thing to do. In fact, I think I’d rather just shoot and not ever edit! But I will try to get something together for you asap. I could edit this work in so many ways…a DAH edit, an edit for this one, that one. My husband’s favorites…do I dare pick the images I like? It’s like pulling teeth for me. :((

  204. Federico, David,

    I also have impression, well rather I am sure Harry Gruyaert is overlooked. Apart from the fact he is part of the magnum group and everyone from magnum is somehow famous I think he is one of the most underestimated one.
    Not only he is unusual poet of reality but also most fabulous photo painter I know. And for sure Internet is not best way to show his works, and books are probably only a half way to exhibitions with prints. When I held his book “Edges” few days ago and looked at this pictures I thought this is some kind of treasure. From long time nothing made for me so huge impression. Visual delicious. In every bookstore firstly I took his book in my hand to watch it one more time.
    I am curious how “Moscow” looks in reality.

  205. I stumbled over Harry Gruyaert last year in Arles, his work (pretty big rpints) on display in a restaurant, hotel halls, don’t remember well, with the possibility to buy or order them right there.. don’t think his exhibition had to do anything with Rencontres d’Arles though..

    Michael (Webster), the glow your pictures always have, both bw and colour, is that due to postprocessing? Curious..

  206. Eva, no, I’m solidly in the “get it right in camera” camp. Regarding the glow, if it’s what I think you are talking about, I’ve put some effort into studying the nature of light and the ways it changes, and changes the subject, as it passes through different types of materials (primarily glass of course). I often find diffusion strategies helpful with direct light or for making the best of impossible highlights. My real vision isn’t that sharp these days so the effect is consistent with what I actually see. And I find the ways that the human brain adjusts the lighting of a scene in real time based on what it expects to see germane as well, but that’s a seriously long and involved conversation.

    David, thanks again. I’ll send an email later.

  207. I also have impression, well rather I am sure Harry Gruyaert is overlooked. Apart from the fact he is part of the magnum group and everyone from magnum is somehow famous I think he is one of the most underestimated one.

    Hmmm , then how about this Magnum guy:
    Donovan Wylie…isnt he overlooked?


  208. Panos. I have always loved Losing ground. i thought it was, and is still is, a fantastic document. Then all that maze stuff just left me cold. hard even to imagine its the same author. Of course there is the fact that at the time he made those traveller pictures I was quite heavily involved in that scene, which probably bias’s me towards it a bit. Tough stuff and as good a record that I have seen of how it actually felt to live that life.

  209. Panos,

    I am full of respect to Wylie’s works but also I am not surprised that he is not most famous Magnum’s photographer. He need a special audience and mass audience never is the special audience.

  210. Marcin: I LOVE Harry Gruyaert! :)))…In fact, i love photographers who are ‘unknown’ ;)))….the truth is that his work, especially his Television series was a gorgeous inspiration…in fact, in an upcoming essay of mine that will be published, i have some images that are partly an homage to Gruyaert and to Chris Marker….i’m anxious to see the Moscow book too…thanks for sharing :))

    DAVID: wont call tonight…Magazine hasnt published yet…im guessing now it’ll be after the weekend holidays…but when i goes live, will call u and leave a link here.


    just a brief word about “self-indulgent’…the truth is ALL PHOTOGRAPHY is self-indulgent…it doesn not matter if it’s ‘conceptual’ or ‘journalism/documentary’…we all, each one of us, seeks to tell stories in the way we see the world and each of us has a philosophy…journalist tell stories of people because they want to speak about the world or problem or witness…artists create something because it’s their take on the world…and i never understand this criticism…it is about how each of us tells stories, whether that’s with photographs or words or over a glass of wine or while getting our hair cut or riding a subway or alone in the dark…we negotiate and manage the world by perceiving it and rhyming it within our own ideas and limitations and the only way we can know the world is that way and then we share it….

    i always feel that the best way to deal with work that someone doesnt like or understand is not to criticize it, but to make your own work…make good strong powerful work and that is enough…that’s why im always so positive and supportive because i get inspired by others and i work my ass off to make the work i can…in it’s own limited way…i’ll have along essay published soon that will be perceived by many to be self-indulgent,…but, well, i hope it speaks to someone other than myself…it’s the only thing i know: to share with the world the mining of the dark and the mining of our lives, as a means to share with others…

    make work…that’s the most honest criticism possiblity and the most fruitful! :))

    ok, gotta split..


  211. I’ve never forgotten a comment by Mary Ellen Mark (which I can’t quote exactly) that goes something like “I want to tell THEIR story. It’s not about me.”
    yes sure…oh plz…baloney

    just a brief word about “self-indulgent’…the truth is ALL PHOTOGRAPHY is self-indulgent…it doesn not matter if it’s ‘conceptual’ or ‘journalism/documentary’…we all, each one of us, seeks to tell stories in the way we see the world and each of us has a philosophy…


  212. i’ll have along essay published soon that will be perceived by many to be self-indulgent,…

    go for it man…:)
    enough of all that (look at me, im jesus,im here to save the world from hepatitis and hiv…if one really wants to save the world then one should go invent a vaccine, then distributed for FREE…or become a volunteer for Doctors without borders or something like that and leave that camera alone…)

  213. (…another try…)
    Just read the following in the introduction of a book addressed to writers:

    Story is about principles not rules.
    A rule says “you MUST do it THIS way”.
    A principle says “this WORKS; and has through all remembered time”.
    Your work needn’t be modeled after the well made play; rather it must be well made within the principles that shape our art.
    Anxious, inexperienced writers obey rules; Rebellious, unschooled writers break rules.
    An artist MASTERS THE FORM.

    “Story” by Robert McKee…

  214. i think that if someone loves shooting wars (for example) is because this one is fascinated by wars…
    Same with the one that shoots drugs or prostitutes…
    Thats why i believe D’Agata is honest (brilliant also) of course..
    He is not trying to raise “awareness”!!?? about the effects of crack and heroin to the masses..
    He is not trying to solve or even educate…
    Self indulgent? hmmm, so now we opened that bible again…
    Self indulgence a sin…therefore objective….that means bad intentions …that means “art”…fake..
    not documentary…not steve mc curry real…
    Amazing way of thinking…

  215. Story is about principles not rules.
    A rule says “you MUST do it THIS way”.
    A principle says “this WORKS; and has through all remembered time”.
    Your work needn’t be modeled after the well made play; rather it must be well made within the principles that shape our art.
    Anxious, inexperienced writers obey rules; Rebellious, unschooled writers break rules.
    An artist MASTERS THE FORM.

    Thodoris, excellent..

  216. Glenn….:)))))))
    big hug
    happy easter

    (im happy that the real jesus is getting resurrected once again in a couple of nights…i hope he wont bring a leica with him…but i also hope that most righteous pj’s will stop acting jesus…we have one jesus already and thats more than enough…now let Him cure hiv and let us do the pictures…ok? ;)

  217. “Indulge” means to gratify, coddle, or stroke. Add “self” to “indulgent” and it’s a polite way of saying “wanker.” One can focus inward without being indulgent. Nothing wrong with that. And some few do manage to make self-indulgence an interesting art form. Nothing wrong with that, either, but it’s a risk. A risk that those taking it are too often completely unaware. Too busy coddling themselves, you know.

  218. Eva…
    So HIV is another scam…created from the pharmaceutical to push AZT…
    who would know????????
    I mean it was kinda obvious with their latest invention (see swine flu)…
    I mean common sense could easily see through that scam…but HIV???? who knew that most hiv patients die eventually from cirrhosis from the drug cocktails they are prescribed to take…
    i wish the video u posted above was translated in english too…
    HIV? the king of all scams?
    I would never guess!!!!

  219. Michael,

    I didn’t know “wanker” was part of american language, I’ve had to explain it a few times which makes for interesting times….. Glad to see it is full use over the pond, very expressive.



  220. Glenn, I really love those flood photos. Marcin, meant to compliment you on the bronze photos as well. Are you familiar with Lewis Hine? He had a credo for photographing industrial workers. Will try to reproduce it for you next time I come across it.

  221. Actually I’ve met a few photogs that thought they were gods gift…

    Glenn he he…no doubt…little jesus-es…
    u see..people tend to believe that if a photographer-pj is working on an hiv story in africa that…
    that along proves the good character,the good intentions, the higher consciousness of the photog…
    The mother theresa syndrom…You photograph the “good” therefore you Are a “good”soul..therefore a good photographer also…Because a good christian, a great human being HAS to be a good photographer also..

  222. I am close to burn all my paintings

    Great idea…I think DAH should have a “paintings” section/page here on burn..
    for paintings to be “burned”..i mean criticized and admired …just like singles and essays…
    We burn essays everyday…why not paintings? we got tons of matches here..no worries..

  223. Panos, there’s plenty of videos, books, articles outta there, not from people like you and me, but from Nobel winning scientists as well, which at least question the whole thing, or proof first day news wrong (there’s also a lot of bogus stuff to be found, one has to be careful and do some research).. fact is, the HIV virus has never been isolated, AIDS isn’t a disaese but the sum of 32 ilnesses etc… if you look at the testresults of so called HIV positive patients it depends on in which country you live in if you’re positive or not, it varies so much it’s crazy.

    Lots of people diagnosed with HIV or AIDS live for years.. I don’t say they’re not sick, they do have health problems, but get treated with the wrong meds.. huge and difficult, but very interesting topic.

  224. Eva….im still amazed…
    i will never forget back in 85 when hiv started its “career”nobody knew what it was (obviously still nobody does)…but i remember one day back then i was at the dentists ..in the waiting room..so i picked up a leaflet from the table to pass some time..it was from the greek orthodox church…educational..explanatory…about hiv..
    I will never forget that all it was saying , bottommline that it was a curse from god towards GAY people…
    It was a disease that meant to be from gays for gays…and then catholics (that refuse the use of condom) confirmed that abstinence is the real “cure”…
    family values…fear…return to church..prayer….acceptance of all drugs given by doctors…MASS CONTROL…
    behavioral control…HIV works perfect as a little nazi leader (no moustache necessary)…
    and the pharmaceutical companies profit…
    and speaking of the mighty orthodox church…that never been taxed in this country( greece )…now that the greek economy collapsed , now that they need to share their wealth..now that they need to help…they simply refuse…of course…
    Religion= big fat business…not taxed for thousands years…wealth..power….and what do they sell…
    First FEAR , then SALVATION…
    Church LTD ( sponsored by the pharmaceutical scam backs )

  225. BOB…ALL

    you are a wordsmith…so, come up with a better term than “self indulgent”…i totally know what you mean and i totally agree in principle…all photography, at least the best of it, is coming from inside the photographer…an expression of the self…it is just that “indulgent” sounds self centered rather than self motivated….there is a difference…i have never met any artist who did not have a healthy ego…even the outwardly humble have a very strong sense of who they “are” and what they want to say and how they want to say it…this is what makes someone NEED to create anything…and this is what makes the most creative simply take a stand on their work…

    the biggest weakness i see when viewing the work of an aspiring growing photographer is that they often have no point of view…nice pictures but without any sense of what they think or who they are…and who they “are” is what will make all the rest of us take notice…with billions on the planet it is hard to imagine billions of stories…there are only about 7 or 8 basic human “plots” or dramas…yet, even the simplest “story” told from a really strong revealing viewpoint will seem like a story we have never heard before…the beauty of it all is that there is no end…always always a new melody and a new lyrical combo that resonates…this can only come from “self”…do the math…the only logical possibility

    cheers, david

  226. GLENN…

    laughing…yes, the photographers who thought they were God’s gift would end up disappointed…YET, maybe they actually did do something because of that attitude…maybe not…for sure most artists end up disappointed….because you can never “arrive”….if you arrive then there is no more creative spirit…if you feel you have arrived at the station, it is time to get back on the train….

    cheers, david

  227. PANOS…

    i am for paintings, poems,drawings, short stories, collages…the whole bit…the only photographer here who wrote a short story with the work was….guess guess….yes…Akaky…yea, bring it all on….

  228. DAVID, amigo and ALL:

    hey guys, my use of the word ‘self-indulgent’ was taken from the previous discussion that someone suggested that some photography is ‘self-indulgent’ and others not…i HATE the world self-indulgent because it’s judgmental..and i’ve never called another photographer or work ‘self-indulgent’… i used it because that is the word cathy used in her discussion with Patricia….

    shit, i think use of the word is totally lazy…that’s what i said: better than criticize or label, folks should just work, make work! :)))…

    i was suggesting that any photographer who calls others work self-indulgent is hypocritical…im not saying cathy is, but that i HATE people talking aobut work…all work is about self and how that self expresses itself and views the world….

    so, the way i view photography:

    self-actualized….or self-directed…or better, just this:



    but PLEASE, in know way do i think photography is ‘self-indulgent’….thought that was clear…with my post…but that’s cool..

    gotta split
    hugs all
    happy easter etc…


  229. ps. what i meant by ‘all photography is self-indulgent’ (riffing on the judgment others made) was that ALL PHTOOGRAPHY begins with our self, our eyes, our philosophy, our stories, our viewing of the world, so that to call someone else’s work ‘self-indulgent’ (for example, conceptual work, in the case above) is just wrong…it’s like saying:

    ‘some people are people and others are more people-ish’ ;)))))


    anyway…hope that makes sense..

    but who supports a wider group of photograhers than mr. black ;)))))))))))))))))



  230. David.. instead.. have you considered to spay your kitten.. now I have no idea how the situation over there is, or better your personal, but kitten kids will eventually generate more of them.. exponential growth.. and don’t worry, I never despair, you’ve got so much stuff to catch up.. soon the EPF deadline with even more work.. YIKES! (bet you’re feeling better now ;) )

  231. federico agostini


    your input on Gruyaert/Moscou new book??

    hugs from a burn long time lurker and admirer of your imagery and comments…

  232. BOB…

    of course i knew you most likely would not use “self indulgent” and were only referring to a previous comment……i was just looking for a better word or phrase and figured you were the man to find it…..thanks


    yes, yes i know i should have taken my kitten to be spayed…since she was only less than a year old herself i just kept thinking of her as a baby and not as a mother..the four kittens will all have homes with people i know…my brother, both my sons, and i might keep one…i am sure to become attached…in any case i will have Simone spayed at the first opportunity…

    cheers, david

  233. federico agostini


    no secrets anymore… i always loved your pics/posts from very day one… truly!!

    are you still in the country of the gods??

    hugs, f

  234. Bob

    I don’t like say what people think or who they are, because I don’t know what in people’s mind is, but If I know artist (photogs or painters) they are mostly very self indulgent. But this self indulgent is not on basis of merit of their work, because many times they try say something universal in their meaning, but the base… I suppose the base is always self-indulgent.

  235. Ahhh Federico…u sound like good ol’Mozart music in my ears..
    he he..thanks…yes still in grecolandia…for couple more weeks..
    12 gods here…we can make a soccer team plus an extra one…
    I hope they’ll use those gods in the Mondiale in South Africa..
    otherwise we are lost….laughing

  236. a civilian-mass audience

    BURNIANS…you are amazing…

    Can I say …I am laughing so hard …silents …no more…

    P.S Thank you WENDY,OURPATRICIA,EMCD,AKAKY,BOBB,LEE,ALL…I am extremely busy…
    I prepare some …lambs…I will be back…with more adjectives…
    I have more names…more photophilosophers…

    BURN is the damnit PLACE TO BE…
    got to split the …you know what…I definitely love you ALLL

  237. a civilian-mass audience

    and to ALL the BURNIANS in the Grecoland…

    you are invited…Big party at the Civilian’s house

    SUNDAY after 10:00 a.m Ethniki odos 2xlm Athinon …
    e-mail: civilianma@yahoo.com

    Everything ON ME…VIVA

  238. federico agostini


    what a compliment.. wow, Mozart… i am actually a professional classical musician, violinist, and i use my profession as a pretext to photograph the countries and the people i happen to be in, unpretentiously… currently in Japan… drinking shochu this very minute… would certainly like to share it with you and a others burners, DAH included of course… too little left though…

    best, f

  239. DAVIN…

    totally missed your comment first time around…in theory the Burn Hotel is available at least during some of your stay…we are printing my American Family show there right now for Madrid, so you cannot throw any parties nor spill beer on my prints..smiling…please call me 202 413-1137 and i will try to coordinate keys etc…Pete McBride is coming at some point , so we will have to make sure there is no crossover…hotel management is not my strongest suit…

  240. DAVID/ALL: :))

    ok, ok ;)))…so for my beloved burnians, here is the word i decided upon to DESCRIBE ALL OF US…photographers, writers, burners, lovers, drinkers….fuck the ‘self-indulgent’ label, WE ARE NOT SELF-INDULGENT but this

    We are EPICUREAN! :)))))))

    amigo, hope i got the faith back ;))))

    MARCIN :)))…yea, that’s what i was trying to say: at the center of our lives and pulpy hearts lay the ‘me’ inside the world of the ‘i’…and we just do that we hope, in fact, I BELIEVE when someone tells their story, their peculiar and particular story than that story becomes the universal story :)))))…shit, who’d ever marry me anyway but another photographer :)))…hugs

    FREDERICO: :)))…will look for the books and make a pronouncement :)))…after this weekend…on pins/needles awaiting for new publication



  241. DAH, BOB, PANOS, PATRICIA, all…

    DAH did you see my post from last night that responded to you? I had hoped it would clarify my comment at least slightly.

    PATRICIA I hope you don’t mind me quoting you here but my (somehow offensive?) use of the word self-indulgent was part of a conversation with you.

    I’m always glad to start a good conversation here but I am surprised to see such a reaction to the use of one word. Self-indulgent seems to hit a lot of nerves around here. Is it one of the “dirty words” of photography? As you are all saying, ALL work is self indulgent to some degree so what’s wrong with using it? I think it’s a fine word. Bob hates the word because he thinks it’s judmental yet he has no problem with judging me for using it….saying it’s “totally lazy.” What’s up with that? :))

    Since Bob is re-explaining his choice of words, given all the reaction I may as well do the same…
    Let’s go back to the start of this conversation. Patricia’s remark about not wanting her work to be about HER but about the story:

    “Do you ever feel like all you want to do is get out of the way of the story? Of course you want your photos to be the best you can make but that is not what you want viewers to notice — you just want them to get the story. Everything is about the story not about you as a photographer…. Does this make sense to anyone?”

    She then went on to say…”Such a sense of responsibility comes with this work of telling another’s story. Purity of intent becomes so important. Or at least as pure as we can manage.”

    All I was doing was agreeing with her! Using self-indulgent to mean the opposite of purity of intent since it’s definition is EXCESSIVE indulgence of one’s own appetites and desires. The key word being EXCESSIVE.

    Maybe you will take less offense with Patricia’s response to me than if I say this myself. “Yes, sometimes there’s a fine line between “artistry” and self-indulgence. Again, it comes back to intention. Somehow I think the viewer feels the photographer’s intention on a subliminal level. If it’s all about the photographer instead of the subject(s), something about the essay doesn’t sit right with us.”

    DAH asked for an example of where I felt the process of the “artist” seemed to be given more importance than the actual work. From what I recall, the essay I used as an example both Bob and Panos agreed with me.

    So let’s discuss, have differences of opinion and enjoy…let’s not mince words.

  242. help please…

    Am submitting a last minute grant proposal, and I need ideas of how to get images onto outdoor wood panels, that won’t encourage vandalism or fade / go away (funders want something that will
    stay) Am thinking silkscreening on the back of plexi? and then screwing the plexi to the wood. Any sources? All b&w thank god! other ideas? I cant print/shrinkwrap the panels like they do buses, as there is existing signage here and there that can’t be removed.


  243. EMCD,
    if you have wooden panels they can be printed on flatbed inkjet printers using inks and a UV cure. Most sign printers will be able to do them. You can get the machines to laydown white ink in the print areas so that the image shows up on the surface. You could also do this on plexi if you want. Basically they can print onto any flat surface.

    I have been doing some tests with printing onto wood, haven’t found the perfect solution for fine art yet, but the signage route should be good for your route.


  244. to all the aspiring PJ’s out there that are ready to
    go cover the hiv “epidemic” please watch this
    before end up working (without even knowing ) for the propaganda side..
    its like working for the pharmaceutical companies
    without getting paid..please stop supporting them
    (once again , i wanna thank Eva for all this info…i had no idea about that Aids scam..how naive was i..)

    watch this , please:

  245. ian – looks great – any ideas of where i may be able to check print prices, someone who makes prints for hire? have been googling, but i keep coming up with the printers themselves…

  246. DAVIN…

    i think that works…


    i had not seen your comment…thanks for the clarification..all of us write too fast here…we spend more time undoing what we wrote than if we had just taken our time and written more succinctly in the first place…

  247. DAVID

    “Now i am viewing lots of young photographers work. What I often see missing is point of view.An approach.Even docu needs authorship, texture”

    Are you disappointed when you see so many photo essays submitted to burn by young photographers? disappointed by level of value of this works?

  248. DAH:

    you said “Now i am viewing lots of young photographers work. What I often see missing is point of view.An approach.Even docu needs authorship, texture””

    how does somebody’s point of view manifest itself in a series of images? how do you achieve authorship, texture? I am not asking rhetorically, I would really love to hear your thoughts because I don’t think I know what a point of view looks like, photographically speaking. Could you maybe point to an example where you see strong authorship, and why/how it shows itself?

  249. dearest CT,
    i am asking the same. and im glad you asked.
    i guess you and i would have to meet the man.

  250. MARCIN…

    no, i am not disappointed because i have learned what to expect from young photographers..or, should i say from photographers who have been shooting say three or four years…i do not really expect that more than a very small percentage of either photographers whose portfolios i review, who show up for my classes, or who submit to Burn will totally have it all together…most need a push in one direction or another..and to be very honest , there are some who i must suggest that photography be a serious hobby rather than a profession or to have any expectations beyond personal enjoyment..certain things can be learned, many things are instinctive…what i try to do as a mentor and as an editor is to pique that little something that is inside many photographers that just turns on the light for them…allows the photographer the freedom to see what is right before them..something that was there all along, but just needed to be revealed…it could come from something i show them or say to them…all of it following a long session of me simply listening to them…by listening i can find out what makes them tick..what they like, what they hate, what they fear, what they yearn for…in other words, who they are..and i try to match that with what they tell me they want to do…when i see this manifested in some new brilliant piece of work that came from someone who may have had a “disappointing” portfolio, then my job is done…and their photographic life takes a new turn…so, for me to be disappointed would only come if i felt someone had the passion and the talent, but chose to let it slide..


    your question involves all of our discussions on Burn for the last year and the two previous years with my Road Trips…it is the single most asked question and with a whole thesis as an answer..first of all, i do not know what you know..i.e. your photographic education..so i do not want to be either condescending nor obtuse…the older classics for essays where a photographer really had a point of view would of course be Robert Frank’s “Americans” and several of the essays of W. Eugene Smith like “Minamata” or “Country Doctor” or the powerful “Tulsa” by Larry Clark….the more contemporary Alessandra Sanguinetti with “On the Sixth Day”, Luc Delahaye with “Winterreise” or Nan Goldin with “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency” would be less structured versions of essays with authorship….i could go on and on , but as i said i do not know what you know…in each of the above essays it would be clear to i think anyone that the photographer had something on his/her mind..something gnawing..something that just had to come out…a missive…a statement..a feeling..an injustice…a “this is the way i see it” stance…no apologies..no explanations…just authorship…visual literacy…clear intent, clear result

    there is so much more to say on this subject…let me know if this helps or this is too obvious….i can take it either backwards or forwards depending on your wish…

    cheers, david

  251. David – I only arrived in New York in the late afternoon of March 31. I had planned to call you Friday to see if by chance you were in town, but this answers that question.

    I made two Gift of the Whale slide presentations here, one in the morning to students at Columbia and another in the evening at the Alaska House. Both went very well.

    My hope that at least one “Burnian” would show up did come true. That was Michael Webster.

    I did take a photo of him, too, and I would put it on my blog, but he was feeling a bit shy about that idea, so, sadly, I respect his wishes.

    But Mike – I am so glad you came. It was fun to meet you in the flesh.

  252. Erica, if I stay on my current schedule, then I am here in New York Friday and Saturday, back to Alaska Sunday. I know many, many, marine biologists who study the bowhead and have absolute respect for the Iñupiat whalers and their hunt. It is a very different thing than The Cove.

  253. Panos, no prob, you’re welcome. I just believe that knowledge is key, if we know we have free choice.

    David, good to hear your little folks is all be taken care of.. or been taken care of? English is a wondrous language at times..

  254. DAVID

    Thanks for the answer. Get your point.

    And about your answer to CT, don’t you think that photographers life have to be interesting in some way to made “personal essay” like Goldin’s or clark’s or even Sanguinetti and most of young photographers life is quite boring. And somehow looking for something “interesting” from one side can be named “exploring the world” from another can be named “spoof boring life for better pictures”.
    What you think, when something personal IS PERSONAL and when it is just bluff?

  255. I took classes in Russian literature, in Faulkner, whom I love. I took writing classes, I took the history of film, I took drawing to be able to see better, because many photographers cannot see anything.
    Nan Goldin

  256. Some of your pictures are blurred. You did it on purpose?

    Actually, I take blurred pictures, because I take pictures no matter what the light is. If I want to take a picture, I do not care if there is light or no light. If I want to take a picture, I take it no matter what. Sometimes I use very low shutter speed and they come out blurred, but it was never an intention like David Armstrong started to do what we call, he and I, “Fuzzy-wuzzy landscapes.” He looked at the back of my pictures and studied them. He started to take pictures like them without people in them. They are just out of focus landscapes. He actually did it, intentionally threw the camera out of focus. I have never done it in my life. I take pictures like in here when there is no sun or light that I think all my pictures are going to be out of focus. Even Valerie and Bruno and whatever I take, because there is not enough light, and so I use a very low shutter speed. It used to be because I was drunk, but now I am not. The drugs influenced all my life. Both good and bad. I heard about an artist in Poland, Witkacy, who wrote down on his paintings all the drugs he was on. Depending how many drugs he took, that is how much he charged for the portrait. I saw his portrait at the National Museum, a kind of German expressionism, and I loved it.

    Nan Goldin

  257. Your approach towards photography is very personal. Is not it a kind of therapy?

    Yes, photography saved my life. Every time I go through something scary, traumatic, I survive by taking pictures.
    Nan Goldin

  258. What about music?

    Yes, it is very important to me. Now, I am very influenced by Nick Cave. He saved my life, literally.

  259. MARCIN…

    this is an interesting question…i think the photographers who have something to say will say it regardless of subject matter….what may seem “boring” to some will be fodder for brilliance from others…do you think Sally Mann’s life was any more “interesting” than anyone else on her block in Lexington, Virginia? Sally did not run off to Nepal to become a photographer..she stayed home… do you think Tulsa was a city where most would go to take pictures or did Larry Clark make it seem interesting? “Tulsa” could have been anyplace…most photographers would take one look at Tulsa and keep on driving…or Alessandra’s farm animals? who would guess that farm animals on an obscure farm in Argentina would make a great book? or Nan Goldin’s friends? do you realize how many Nan Goldin type lifestyles there are in New York? there must be thousands of sets of friends like hers…nothing unusual at all….it is Nan who is special, not her circumstances…

    sure there are photographers who have taken an inherently dramatic subject and made it even more dramatic like those who photograph war or current events, but most of the long term highly respected essays are coming from photographers who see something special or have something special to say right out of so called everyday life…creating “something” from “nothing” comes from the internal spirit….

    i.e.everybody thinks India is a great place to take pictures…India IS inherently dramatic…yet, where are all the great essays from India? lots of great pictures of course….everybody has a great India picture or two…but i mean the real insight, the real human connection…i.e.ever see an essay from India as strong as Tulsa? i am sure you may point to something, but i think you get my point…from an inherent subject matter standpoint there should be dozens of brilliant essays from India, Nepal, Bali, etc etc…photographers by the thousands have trod those grounds..but where is the work? photographers by nature are curious ..they want to “go somewhere” to make photographs…most of them are standing square in the middle of it all along….looking inside is so much more difficult than looking outside..often painful, yet often uplifting…..but inside is where the master artists have always lived…you are a painter, you already know this…

    what i do believe is that someone with the true creative spirit just becomes “interesting”…no matter where they are or what they have as a background…they refuse to be “boring”….they create their own “drama”…they must.

    cheers, david

  260. There she goes, my beautiful world… That song has probably saved the lives of many artists.

    Bill’s presentation was great, btw. He’s done fantastic work with the Inupiat people. He showed portraits of native Alaskan elders and whaling captains; a 10-year-old boy’s first caribou hunt, and photos from several other hunts, including an incredible expedition for Bullhead whales. The boy’s caribou hunt was in color, the rest in black and white. It provided a window into a fantastical world of ice and cold and insight into how people are able to survive, even prosper, in one of the world’s harshest climates. The landscapes are even more incredible than the people. All together with the hunted animals, they make for some sublime images. Bill must be one of the world’s leading experts on photographing snow and ice. Nary a blown highlight in the bunch. And the people’s respect for the animals was palpable in the photographs. These were no corporate hunts nor hunts for sport. It is a way of life. A way of life, nnot in some romanticized sense but in the context of a very hard reality of humans doing what the must to put food in the stomach and live through a long cold winter where the sun don’t shine.

    Thanks Bill. Great work. Great presentation.

  261. MICHAEL…

    i rode out a beyond cold dark winter/”spring” myself once with the whale hunters out of Barrow, so i have incredible respect for what Bill (Frostfrog) has done over many years…i am so sorry to have missed the show…read John McPhee “Coming Into the Country” if you have not done so already…he was more in the “banana belt” of Alaska, but you will get the idea..

  262. DAVID,

    Of course I think the same, but also I think that if young photographer want to do quickly good stuff have to go to India or Africa. I think in “boring” places you need time to “glue” the story. Don’t forget how long time Goldin and the rest from disscusion need to finish they work.
    My life if boring, what is quite good, but also I live in quite freaky town, and for sure it is worth to tell a story about, but also for sure it will take me a long time. This is not a story for digital camera and a month or two work. I have tens of films in my fridge waiting for developing and many more for scanning and I have to say I have not even started. It’s mean I will finish after years.
    But I don’t do it for career. I do it, like named it Bob, for self-indulgent. And If I have advice for young photographers I would say; clock is ticking and don’t waste your time. Go to India get best series of photos tomorrow and and after tomorrow start photo career. You will have all your life for personal projects.

    but this is my point of view

  263. You gotta do what you can with what you have.. Marcin, there’s lots of photographers coming East, to the Balcans (forget where exactly you live) to do their essays, some great work, I bet someone who knows the place from inside out can do even greater work.. I don’t say it’s more easy, but you’re there, all the time.. lots of people talk and talk instead of working (I’m not saying you do that, speaking more general)..

  264. a civilian-mass audience

    hmmmm…in my heart…I think that if you have it…even if you are in a prison …
    you can “arrive” to a visionary oasis. If you lock one “artist” in a cell, he/she will find the way to “produce”, to “arrive”…he/she might commit suicide…But…he/she will “arrive”…hmmm
    but what do I know…hmmmm

    Anyways…COME ON BURNIANS… show us what you got…

    CHARLESP… we need update FELIX and mama
    DAVIDB…same for TORCAPA and BEATE
    DIMAS …Hello
    Good luck…EMCD
    GORDON…I will be there…and you will be in my home…we will exchange lambs…ipadded:)))
    CATHY …and to all the other philosophers…I am coming with more adjectives…!!!
    I see new BURNIANS …Welcome …I am looking for new Vision…BUT Oime …I MISS SO MANY

    HAPPY EASTER …be happy…whatever you believe in…the Universe …we are All ONE…
    after my ouzo…maybe double…

  265. a civilian-mass audience

    Ahhh…I got you KURT…if my weak memory can help me…then
    Happy late B-day, mate…

  266. Ah, Civi, you are so wise. I recently attended the opening of a group exhibit at a local art gallery. I was speaking to the curator about two exceptionally original pen and ink drawings — one of which was titled “Institutionalized” — and she told me the artist was in prison for life. His sister had entered his work and told the curator that her brother had found both religion and art in prison.

    Yes, the “where” is not important. Art comes from within. It frees us to soar even behind the bars of a “boring” life, a body that cannot walk, or the prison of our own or another’s making.

    Happy Easter, Passover, Spring, Equinox, Life or whatever you celebrate…


  267. a civilian-mass audience

    Thank you EVA…that’s a BURNING question??? Come on …papa Bill…show us your vision!!!

  268. a civilian-mass audience

    OUR PATRICIA…if you only knew …almost everyday …I talk to other people about you and …

    You Are An Inspiration…I wish I can express myself like KATIE, BOBB,AKAKY,SIDNEY,REIMAR …and so many
    others…BUT…yes, PATRICIA …you Rock …!!!

  269. DAH you wrote “sure there are photographers who have taken an inherently dramatic subject and made it even more dramatic like those who photograph war or current events, but most of the long term highly respected essays are coming from photographers who see something special or have something special to say right out of so called everyday life…creating “something” from “nothing” comes from the internal spirit….”


    with regard to India, Mary Ellen Mark’s very moving “Falkland Road” is one exception I can think of.

  270. CIVI, dear, it is YOU who inspires all of us. You are our MUSE.

    And now I must leave the computer and venture out into the WIDE WORLD. The sun is shining brightly and our temp isIt is going up to 78 F/25 C here in Detroit. Ah, Spring…


  271. a civilian-mass audience

    OUR PAT …we are All EPICUREANS …now…:)))

    off to my lambs…



  272. MARCIN…

    well, we have a different view on this…i would definitely tell a young photographer “do not go to India or Africa”…every curator and editor i know cringes if a photographer tells them they are going to India or Africa to make a mark…yes, it could happen that it really works ,but it is such a cliche and unless the photographer really has something on her/his mind, it will be a big waste of money…

    also, do not be confused by photography on demand and personal work…most photographers will never produce on demand…the very best personal work photographers have books and shows the same as the on demand photographers or maybe even more…like Koudelka, d’Agata, Pinkhassov

  273. GORDON…

    yes, of course, there are some good essays from India, Mary Ellen’s being one of them…but, most of Mary Ellen’s really very best work is from mainstream America

  274. MICHAEL…

    i take my camera everywhere including to the dentist and the grocery store..i rarely shoot in the dentists office, but i am ready!….so, sure travel with your camera….and enjoy….i just think too many photographers put too much of a premium on going “out there” when they should really be thinking “in there”….once you are “in” , then you can go “out”

    cheers, david

  275. DAVID,

    Here’s a question that may require a thesis to answer, but a few thoughts would be great to hear.

    You wrote, “….looking inside is so much more difficult than looking outside..often painful, yet often uplifting…..but inside is where the master artists have always lived…”

    How do you tap into this internal dialogue and then translate whatever ideas come up into an actual project? Is it self-discipline, commitment, confidence?

    I have a bunch of ideas right now but committing to one has become difficult. How does an author’s need “to say something” pair with the selection of a theme or subject matter?

  276. ANDREW…

    hold that thought…i will answer….i just cannot do it right now…as i said just a minute ago, i must just enjoy this spring day which means leaving the computer..but, your question is a very good one and something i think about all the time…back here early evening with a beginning at least of an answer to your question…

    cheers, david


    There is a very long, interesting, and important article from last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine by Alana Newhouse on recent discoveries and re-examination of the archive of Roman Vishniac… (forgive me if somebody already linked to this and I missed it):


    It speaks in a very intelligent and complex way to many of the issues that have come up in this thread about authorship, personal vision, seeking the other, sponsorship, etc. etc. I wish I had the time at the moment to ‘self-indulge’ in my reactions to both this article and to the current thread because I feel this is really interesting and important stuff (and because, as long-term Road Trip afficianados know, my take on all this is, with the greatest respect and humility, quite different than DAH’s), but I am under three (!) big day-job deadlines just now, so please check out the article and the accompanying slide show, and then THINK about what you are reading and seeing. Normally I try not to engage in either undue hyperbole or louche language, but for photographers, this is truly HEAVY SHIT, Boys and Girls!

    And I promise to be back as soon as I can with my own response in detail, with examples and illustrations. (Just for a teaser, after you read the article and look at the Roman Vishniac pics, conjure Edward S. Curtis in your mind and run a ‘compare and contrast’ riff with Vishniac).

    Cheers to all,

  278. DAVID,

    I was reading your sentence “most of the long term highly respected essays are coming from photographers who see something special or have something special to say right out of so called everyday life”… I sometimes wonder if these photographers are always very intentional about what they have to say and want to say or if somehow, they let themselves be driven by their sensibility, emotions and that by capturing what is catching their eye, selecting the photographs that are moving them, they end up creating a body of work that eventually says a lot about who they are… I feel at times that others outside the photographer himself can be better placed to “read” or interprate the message behind the work… Some photographers of course will be very lucid about themselves, what they want to communicate but not everyone has that ability to read his own motives, to look at the mirror… Do you feel it is a prerequisite to be a great photographer to be conscious of the message or “meaning” of one’s work?


  279. CIVI,

    Felix and Mama are great. Felix took his first few steps this week. Like a drunken sailor. Felix essay in the works. Stay tuned. Will submit very soon and then it’s up to the powers that be.


    I’m doing a rock photography camp this summer at the local rock museum (EMP). One thing I’m going to stress is that the best start to learning photography is to start small. I often have young kids that want to start their careers backstage with the Rolling Stones. Sorry, just ain’t gonna happen (doesn’t happen for me why should it for them??). And if it somehow miraculously did they wouldn’t have the licks to capture it. So start in your friend’s basement. Do the work because you like to do it, not for the glory, or money, or to impress art directors. Those will all come if you have the talent and drive. But you won’t know or develop that talent leaving rolls of film undeveloped in the fridge… nudge, nudge, wink, wink. :)

    But yes, it is fun to travel and take pictures – I’ve done a lot of it. I love and appreciate those photos and they made me a better photography. But beyond that I’m not sure what they do for anybody else other than a bit of stock here and there and a few print sales… though a major Brazilian newspaper is running an essay of my Vietnam work in their Sunday supplement, but that’s largely due to their young photo researcher being a music photographer. See how that works? Just merely the act of taking a two week or month long trip to an exotic location won’t make your mark unless as DAH says you have that certain something to make it more, to move beyond the veneer of exoticism. And to know how to edit what you’ve done, which when I work with students (and peers) is often the biggest stumbling block. I know it can be for me.

    Okay as Bob B says. gotta run!! Really!

  280. Hi David – It’s been a while since I’ve had a moment to sit and type on Burn! I make a point to log in once a week or so just to look at the new essays and projects.

    I just saw the comment about traveling with a camera – I always have mine with me too no matter what – and a friend of mine in the admissions office at my college often uses me as an example and he recently met with a potential student who was interested in photography, he mentioned he never sees me without my camera and that I take it everywhere, she was shocked to hear “everywhere!”

    There are places I take my camera too and I don’t ever really shoot – but you never know!

    On another note – about your student’s work – I wanted to tell you I had a gallery show here with my work from NY and now it’s being published in a college art journal. Thank you again!
    I’m working on a handful of projects now all at once. We still need to talk about you visiting here!

  281. Talking about editing (Charles above).. thanks a lot, DAVID AH, been sitting here quite a while now with your pick of my pics.. brain is BURNING ;)

  282. What I think about it generally:

    1. Talent is overrated (a lot).
    2. hard work is overrated.
    3. Fun is overrated.

    4. Development in work is underestimated.
    5. Time is underestimated.
    6. A lot of good luck is underestimated.
    7. Social skills is underestimated!!!!
    8. context is underestimated.

    We all do it for fun, is there a person who do it as a punishment? So fun is not an explanation. Masturbation is for fun, everybody do it, but nobody talks about it. But we always can hide behind fun.

    Larry Towells and his family works is not very good example in this topic, because he is famous because he is part of magnum and I am sure in the world are many many photographers who did the same fabulous family pictures and nobody care about it. Nobody knew their names.
    I didn’t know Sanguinetti’s works before she was invited to Magnum. And yes, I could be ignorant in that. But magnum’s nominee was fast catch.

  283. About the traveling comment, yea, sometimes I prefer a good line to ensuring clarity with sufficient detail. So don’t take that one literally. “Traveling without a camera” doesn’t need to mean traveling without a physical camera. I’m agreeing with the contention that acquiring deeper knowledge of a place is important, most often a prerequisite, for capturing a compelling reflection of it — in photography or any other medium.

  284. Marcin:

    “Larry Towells and his family works is not very good example in this topic, because he is famous because he is part of magnum and I am sure in the world are many many photographers who did the same fabulous family pictures and nobody care about it.”

    I am not sure, but I’d bet Larry Towell did take pictures of his family way before he joined Magnum or became famous.. and if the work wasn’t any good, it would be in the bin, not in a book.. no matter what his name is or to which association he belongs to.. it’s because he produces great work that he became famous/a member of Magnum, not the other way around..

  285. Eva,

    You miss my point, I didn’t say that Towell became a good photographer because he join to magnum, but I know his family work because he is famous as a magnum photographer.
    An Towell is not best known by his family work but from Salvador and Israel.

  286. 9. Unswerving commitment, or need, is underestimated. (i think this is different than simply hard work)
    10. Knowing, and belief, in yourself is underestimated. (healthy ego)
    11. Clarity of vision is greatly underestimated.

  287. Marcin, see, I know Towell because of ‘The Mennonoiets’ and his family work, learnt only afterwards he was a Magnum member and only then found the rest of the work.. perhaps there comes in the missunderstanding.. or simply the different POV.

  288. MARCIN;

    My life is pretty dull too, but there is a ton of local stuff going on to be interested in. The kid’s lives I’m photographing is WAY more exciting than mine, but it’s just everyday stuff to them.

    But even if thing’s seem boring, why not look for the beauty, strangeness of normality? As they say; truth is stranger than fiction! :-)

    I was at a mate’s place (his family’s marae) last weekend when all the kids decided to ask if they could ride the horse in the late evening. I managed to shoot some reasonable stuff, but it doesn’t get much more “normal” than that situation!

    A couple of weeks ago I spent the night shooting the youth (12-17yrs) mini-stock cars at our local track, I think that there’s a story there in itself. Again pretty normal stuff.

    I have a friend who tells me she can’t get enthused about photography unless she travels (she wanted to become a professional photographer), so hasn’t touched her camera since June! Yet she lives 2 blocks away from the main street in one Auckland most multi-cultural suburbs.

    When you mention Towell (one of my favourites) etc, they must all have shot work that got them noticed before they were offered Magnum nominee status?

    One thing that Burn has taught me is that if I want to look for ideas, then I should look close to home first; ala Patricia, Erica, David McGowan, Audrey…. I still think one of the beauties of a “close to home” subject is that the logistics of seeing it through to completion is so much easier.

    I’ve already got a head full of other ideas (all local) ready for when I complete the kids project. The other day one of my friends told me that she’s surprised I’ve kept on track shooting the kids project this past year. This is because she has told me on more than one occasion that my middle name should really be “sidetracked”!


    You say that shooting what’s around you is a good place to start. But is it just me, or do you get tired of seeing yet another drug, prostitute etc type essay too? It seems many naturally gravitate towards those subjects in an attempt to get “noticed” too?

    Also; one more question! You mentioned many times not to look too far ahead re; publishers when shooting a project. Yet you also said that Mike Young was an excellent businessman for having a publisher lined up for Blues, Booze and BBQ’s right from the get go. I probably misinterpreted the comments, but when do you feel is a good time to sneak out a few feelers (not a hard out push)? Or should you keep the work close to your chest until absolutely finished?

    Cheers! :-)

  289. Charles; “start in your friend’s basement”

    And that’s where you’ll get your strongest, most meaningful images…. :-) I’m trying to organise a shoot of a couple of youths who live ina real rough part of town who bought all their dj gear cheap from online auctions. Each weekend they are hard-out practicing in their garage. I know I will get better images there than from any “organised” hip hop gig!

    Cheers :-)

  290. MARCIN…

    laughing…i went down your list and i do not believe any of the things you believe, but of course totally respect your reasons for believing as you do……we both have our reasons for our beliefs….and i gotta love you anyway…by the way, exactly how do you think one becomes a Magnum photographer??

    cheers, david

  291. ROSS..

    to answer your first question, yes i do get a bit bored with the photojournalism cliches..and , yes, i do think many gravitate towards those subjects to get noticed..oddly, this usually guarantees they will not be noticed….

    to answer your second question, in general i think it is a good idea not to think about publication while shooting…when shooting , you should be immersed in shooting…however, on a very long project there are obviously breaks…a time to edit what has been done so far…if this work seems like it may have book publishing possibilities it might not be a bad idea to show the work to a prospective publisher or financier , as did Mike Young…since Mike’s subject was in a very tight shooting area geographically, it was pretty easy for him to make contact with the Blues Museum in Clarksdale, a small town where much of the shooting was taking place, and suggest perhaps that a blues book was forthcoming…they agreed to take on the book since they had so much blues tourist traffic and no book on the blues to sell…this is kind of an unusual situation actually, but it worked…i am still two years away from finishing my American Family work…yet, i have an exhibition in Madrid in a few weeks featuring this work…in my artists statement i declare it a work in progress…i did the same for Div Soul having several exhibitions before a book existed..as a matter of fact because of the exhibit in Perpignan, i was able to start negotiations with Phaidon to do a book…it still took 5 years to make that happen even after it was deemed publishable…

    so, at a certain point, sure put out some feelers..doing an exhibit for example will fix in your head exactly where you are..forces you to really deal with what you are doing…forces you to actually look at the work realistically…putting a print up on the wall of a gallery or museum is indeed a declaration of sorts…

    cheers, david

  292. MARCIN…

    if Larry saw you write that he is best known for his work in Israel, he would be quite upset…Larry is best known for his work with the Palestinians/Palestine and with no doubt of his sympathies…this is not my line in the sand, it is his…

  293. ERIC…

    good question…i think most of what is going on with the very best image makers is subconscious…when something “has” to come out , then i think we are dealing with the subconscious…that is certainly what i try to dig out of my students…their subconscious….you can be totally in touch with your inner most and often hidden feelings by simply “letting it all hang out”….

    things do come forth in the most magical way when you stop intellectualizing and just let it flow…so, when i say you should have something to “say” it could be journalist literal or esoteric or more likely a combo of the two…the very best photographers have ideas/concepts just racing through their heads 24/7..usually they cannot contain themselves…

    for sure, not everyone does have something to say….that is, from a creative standpoint…it is not necessary to be an upstanding citizen on this planet to be a creative person who just must “get it out”…nor is it a prerequisite to be a pro or financially successful…..but since this forum is dealing with mostly young photographers who seek to make a mark, i would not want to let one of them go by who did have the potential for greatness and just needed the window opened up a bit…..no point in me publishing at all if i just wanted to do “trade secrets” or
    “how to succeed in professional photography”…David Hobby does it well with The Strobist and there are many others who deal with the practicalities of the business…not me…i will help a photographer find his/her path as a pro if that is what they want, but not before they are totally developed as a real thinker….

    whether or not someone else can analyze the work better than the photographer himself is a possibility…this does not mean the photographer had no idea what he/she was doing, but he/she might be so deep inside that the surface realities and historic impact overall could perhaps be best seen or at least written about by someone else…

    cheers, david


    you used “self discipline, commitment, confidence” as possibilities for bringing a project from internalization to reality…these are the standard qualities that serve anyone well for anything…maybe better ascribed to a Marine Corps officer, but not throwaways in the creative world either…however, for the creatives you can add insecurity,fear, no confidence, just to really confuse the issue…

    you have earned your living as an on demand photographer…and you have done it well…the only problem with on demand photography is that it can keep you from knowing what you do think..almost every photographer’s problem..when backed to the wall, many often do not really know their own true feelings about many things..they are so so used to being told what they SHOULD think or are in community environments where group thinking is the norm…this allows survival in society of course….and is not a negative…but, it does take away creativity and independent thinking…most specifically on demand means that you have to take a picture of “that” and right “now”….the newspaper photographer trade…if a photographer cannot compartmentalize this work, then confusion of what is personal, what is good, what is work , and what is stylistically representative can collide..

    knowing the difference when you have a project that is “doable” and one that is “mandatory” is the key…choosing these is something like taking pictures in the first place…mostly instinctive choice with just a dash of practicality..knowing a good picture when you see it, albeit unplanned, is a bit like knowing which project will take your forward in the most natural way…trying to psyche it out the way you might as a “problem solver” will lead to frustration…

    so, in short….have confidence,be committed,crank up the self discipline, but mostly face your fear and realize your insecurity is your finest asset…

    there is more, but i must go to dinner….i know you are scratching your head…diabolical am i not??

    cheers, david

  295. so… BURNIANS……
    I’m going out to shoot…..
    thanks for the inspiration!!!!!
    I get so caught up in MOVIEmaking,
    that I forget the stills,
    and how to tell a story….
    my story…
    the way I see it….
    Although going to a cowboy bar solo,
    is a bit tricky,
    my CAMERA,
    gives me power…..

  296. SIDNEY…

    many thanks for the piece on Vishniac, a photographer of whom i know little…fascinating….but you lost me on how that ties in with this thread…anyway i await your explanation and additions …i may make a pot of coffee and stay up an extra hour just waiting for your reply..smiling….i think you and i are often comparing apples and oranges…not disagreement imo, but a problem in identifying exactly the noun of the sentence…we do also have a different sense of respect for certain styles of photography…however, i think we do share the same sense of integrity and responsibility on the part of journalistic photographers…so different styles, perhaps different motives..but, with all respect and humility returned to you amigo..

    cheers, david

  297. DAVID,

    “Hey Teach’, y’r smokin’!!!”
    Reading through the directness, depth, and pungency of your answers above to ROSS, ERIC, and ANDREW, I must doff my beret (not for the first and probably not the last time either) to DAH The MAN as mentor and guide for emerging photographers. Whatever you did today outdoors in the spring weather must have cleaned the pipes, because from here I can see that you are burning clean on all six cylinders. Vrrroooooommm!!!

  298. DAVID,

    Me again. We just cross-posted.
    Please don’t wait up tonite on my account… it’s gonna be several days at least before I can tie my various loose ends together into a coherent (?) statement. I agree that sometimes you and I are talking about apples and oranges, and it may appear even talking at cross-purposes, but I hope you don’t see that as me being hostile or playing the spoiler… or needlessly distracting from or diluting your main message, but rather, hopefully, offering some counterpoint and constructive dissent that may at times broaden the discussion and keep people THINKING BIG THOUGHTS about photography and visual (as well as written!) communication… I’m fairly confident that one thing we do agree on is that photography is wide, vast, and has unplumbed depths, and the more we look at it, practice it, and think about it in different ways, the more there is to discover.

  299. SIDNEY…

    hey wait, the coffee did not even finish brewing!!

    your reference to “six cylinders” reminds me of my in line 6 cylinder ’53 Chevy with spun aluminum moons on the rear wheels, half hidden by fender skirts. and ’55 Oldsmobile spinners on the front..3″ lowering blocks too….i “decked” the hood and put on a two barrel carb and shaved the head…split the exhaust manifold and double glasspacks gave me the sound i wanted…man was i cool in school!!(don’t worry, i didn’t know it)…Leica 111F in an army gas mask bag laying on the back seat added the final touch..point is, it has been all downhill since….

    cheers, david

  300. DAH.

    I guess I missed you “Live on burn” this evening. A good run.

    When you next have a chance please keep going with your thesis on authorship.
    Even if the original questioner doesn’t come back there are many passing thru here each day who will want to read more. I don’t think anyone can hear about it enough.

    A thought on the topic of “Don’t go to India or Africa if you want to avoid cliche”.
    How about instead…GO to India or Africa if you want to challenge yourself to go beyond the obvious.

  301. Just wondering if any body knows if there are phony SKYPE sites to be wary of… ?

    I’ve logged on an account with ( SKYPE ? ) but forgot my password… When I click on “forgot my password” my Safari warning system comes up..”can not verify “secure.skype.com” and says..’the certificate for this website was signed by an unknown certifying authority’ .. and warns against using it as it may not be secure..

    Can anyone suggest what this means, and should I make a “new account”. And if so, how can we tell a phony “skype site” from a authentic one?

    Any help, as usual, is greatly appreciated.
    thanks guys and hope to be back participating in dicussions soon. Missed them very much over past month or two, only getting the chance to pop in and check out the essays, which I have to find time even if jumping on a internet cafe.

    Cheers. Peter.

  302. CATHY..

    well,of course you know i believe that as well…and i didn’t mean to pick on India…i love India and would go back anytime to shoot…i was simply making a point and i think this you know…and i know you are very well aware of this challenge…we had even talked about this before…anyway, please show me the pics!!

    i think i must really actually be a lousy teacher…explaining authorship should be easier than i make it…funny, it seems so simple to me and i often get unnecessarily frustrated when someone does not understand what i am trying to say…maybe i should go back and edit down all that i have written about authorship and cast the damn thing…in any case, i will keep going at it…hey here is another way to look at it…you have created a personality here on Burn..with words…we all know a “Cathy comment” when we read it…it is actually your personality in real life…now, just do the same thing with pictures…the language of pictures is newer to you than is English, but just use the new language in the same way…show us “Cathy pictures”

    ok, that is it for the night…oh wait, fresh hot pot of coffee out there..Sidney’s fault…goodnight..i will nuke a cup in the morning..

    cheers, david

  303. DAH.

    “maybe i should go back and edit down all that i have written about authorship and cast the damn thing…”

    Just take it and put it in somewhere as a link on burn…and then publish it :))
    As I’ve mentioned before this would be a good book for you.

    You are far from lousy as a teacher.
    The advice you just gave me above was GREAT! Another way of saying what you always say. I know someone who asks “How many ways can you say the same thing?”

    Well, you just came up with another good one…late on a Friday night :)) Ok, goodnight.

  304. great discussion…

    I think a vital ingredient in the mix is a sense that you can see something that you feel is important, and even urgent , to convey to everybody else. This more so than technical skill i feel is uppermost as its this drives everything else.
    I also feel this is a vital ingredient to authenticity. I’d like to think a little more, and read more of all your thoughts as there is always many things I’ve not thought of but I feel strongly about that point of have a sense of ‘wanting to share’ what you see because you can feel its important, to varying degree’s, or beautiful, or Spiritual even. Whatever its is that makes you want , and feel the need, to share this thing your observing…

    as an analogy, could it be like music. You know when you feel overwhelmed in the beauty or the message of a piece of music and are compelled to share it whether it be an exotic piece to our ears, or more contemporary. And then, on top of that, you can’t resist going out and discovering more of that genre or artist. Is that an analogy you could use?

    cheers. Peter.

  305. David
    Thank you very much! I will have to find an image to show you! I had a pretty nice opening as well!
    As for the 53 Chevy – WOah! You never came across as a car guy! Thats very cool! I haven’t had anything that nice yet – but I used to drive around a moderately modified Eagle Talon – I did nearly everything I could to it without upgrading the Turbo on it. What fun that was…

    I’ve was tossing around the idea of photographing one of my old car clubs when I’m free from the school work – but I found that all of the clubs I was once a active in have dissolved…

    I’m working on a project photographing the town I live in – Would you be able to help me assemble it when I’m finished shooting sometime next spring?

  306. All,

    I develop my list;

    1. Why I think talent overrated.

    Because there is a huge % of people with talent who never will use this talent. Of course all famous photographers are full of talent, but many people full of talent will do nothing. I’ve seen that many times in art (I meet a few genius and they disappear) and I see the same in photography now.

    2. I meet all the time people who work non stop but they can’t catch “this thing” and probably never will but I will keep fingers cross for them.

    3. Fun…. well we do it all for fun. I do it for fun for sure, I spend a lot of money for photography, money I don’t have, so for sure I have a big pleasure when I push the button, otherwise I could be insane, And I think there is no one person in this audience who don’t have a fun taking pictures. James Nachtwey do it for fun. Tooo obvious to talk about it.

    4. Most fast and valuable development of talent is during the job. If you work you even not notice when you learn, how fast you learn, and how many ideas you are able to realize.

    6. Good luck is always underestimated. Well, good luck we need with all levels of development ours skills, when we start learn, when we work, when we want to show it anybody. And this point is for me unquestionable. I’ve seen a lot of great works, and there is a lot examples in past where a piece of luck allowed to occur a lot of art pieces (all kind of arts)

    7. social skills… This is needed in all kind of work, art, business, photography, literature, IT ect.

    8. Context. Well… we talk here about magnum’s photographers but there is a 60 persons there. And what about the rest of the world? How many photographers out there are very talented but we don’t know about it.


    I know why you don’t agree with me. Because you are at the end of this way. Of course all magnum photographers are full of talent, they worked hard, they produce great personal projects, and they have all the point above, but we see it as a result not as a beginning. Because as I said, and I am sure of that, there are full of talented people who will never are part of magnum and will never hang on new york’s gallery. Some point was missed and they not exist in photo world.

    And my personal request, I hope you don’t mind, If this year Rafal Milach, polish photographer you know probably will send a portfolio to magnum please look at it carefully because he is enough talented to be magnum nominee for sure.

  307. And about political sympathies:

    I am poles so it is obvious I sympathize with Palestine’s independence struggle the same as it it obvious I sympathize with Israel’s fight for surviving and existence.
    For me 1:1

  308. Marcin

    “Because there is a huge % of people with talent who never will use this talent”

    True, but this can be explained either because

    a. they are too lazy to use it
    b. they haven’t realised they have it

    If they are simply too lazy then you have to give some credit to those who are spending time on their talent and trying to push it forward.

    Those who are using their talent = those who work hard

    On the other hand; I believe there is not a person on this earth who has an unused/undiscovered talent as I write this. Maybe I would be really good at golfing or mountain climbing, but I have to admit, I simply couldn’t be bothered to find out.

    “I meet all the time people who work non stop but they can’t catch “this thing””

    You’re speaking in codes here now, what thing?

    “James Nachtwey do it for fun. Tooo obvious to talk about it.”

    What’s wrong with something that is obvious? I think people complicate things far too much and forget the obvious things that they really should have in mind. If someone asks me why I love photography so much, “fun” would indeed be the answer. Because there is no other answer for me.

  309. Fun? Yes, that too, but there’s much more, call it passion, call it need, urge, don’t know, it’s a bug in there.. only for fun, I don’t think–

  310. Well, I did put it too simple, but either way “fun” is always related to what drives the whole process.

    A passion is fun
    I need it mostly because it’s fun
    I have an urge for it because it’s fun

  311. GO to India or Africa if you want to challenge yourself to go beyond the obvious.

    Cathy ;)
    great advice for a young emerging photographer on a budget and couple mouths to feed…

  312. Just want to say how much I just enjoyed reading the comments here on burn about authorship and the difficulties to avoid cliché images in exotic countries.
    David, you say on twitter you didn’t do a thing yesterday. Well, whatever it was, I think it was just brilliant to do nothing and then write these posts. A great help to me! Explaining authorship is never easy, but I feel your response is one of the best answers I could ask for.
    In my thinking about my own photography which is right now mostly to create images on demand, I notice that my own voice is almost mute. My images that I take for work might wisper a little about me, maybe? So where is my own work, my own voice? Silence. Fear, insecurity, doubt – yes, certainly this makes me hestitate. To speak out loud is something that happens very rarely in my image talk. This I have noticed very much. But I like to talk and I like to share my thoughts and ideas and observations. If I can do this with images, that would be great.
    Yesterday I spent almost the entire evening watching the film about Sally Mann almost twice. Panos, thank you for this great link! The film shows the ups and downs of being an artist.
    So, what is the conclusion? I guess there is no other way than getting out and look for my own voice and start writing some lines. Sally Mann quotes Hemmingway: “A first sentence is always the beginning.”
    David, I hope we have a chance to talk on Skype perhaps in the coming week if your time allows it. I would be glad to meet you.

    About taking images in exotic countries.
    I have to admit that a new surrounding stimulates me more. At home I am in a familiar environment, in my den. Perhaps too lazy. When I am out in a new place like India, meeting new people I am more outgoing and open, more curious, more awake, closer to my senses. That doesn’t neccessarly make good images, but it provokes my mind way more and also my need to speak. Hard to explain. However the truth is also that I can take good images right in front of my doorstep.
    No doubt – my mind is thinking. I have to gnaw on this for a little while… I am on my way!

    Sun is out. Time to go out and get the Easter fire ready!
    Happy Easter!

  313. “GO to India or Africa if you want to challenge yourself to go beyond the obvious.”

    No need to travel for that, go beyound the obvious in your own backyard, not as easy as it seems.. and passion is yes, fun, but also a curse sometimes..

  314. It could be great if Magnum could have finally polish photographer
    Marcin…whats up with all this nationalism? Is magnum a soccer team? Dream team , maybe…!!

  315. Sun is out. Time to go out and get the Easter fire ready!
    Happy Easter!

    Sun is out? in Germany?…ha ha ..now that reason alone is enough to celebrate…;)
    1pm in grecolandia.. 11 hours left for Jesus’s newest version of resurrection..(version 11.0)
    new firmware also (v.3.1.4) with faster HD video…

  316. Panos,

    It have nothing common with nationalism I truly believe in Milach’s photography as a very unique and I am sure he will be very valuable in magnum, also I am sure that the nomination will give his photography wind for doing it even better.
    I could say I have a strong hunch about him,
    But damn! Who not?!

  317. Marcin…
    although i like Milach..i think he is too commercial…
    i’d rather see YOU in magnum
    ( and by the way that would also fulfill your request about polish photogs in magnum, right? )..
    big hug

  318. MARCIN…

    i do not disagree with you because i am “at the end of this way”…i promise you that if you read anything i wrote or said when i was in my early twenties, it would be exactly the same thing…my philosophy has been continuous, which may be exactly why i am “at the end of this way”…

    cheers, david

  319. DAH

    “knowing the difference when you have a project that is “doable” and one that is “mandatory” is the key…choosing these is something like taking pictures in the first place…mostly instinctive choice with just a dash of practicality..knowing a good picture when you see it, albeit unplanned, is a bit like knowing which project will take your forward in the most natural way…trying to psyche it out the way you might as a “problem solver” will lead to frustration…”

    that’s exactly where I’m currently stuck: intellectualizing a project about my own territory…damn I usually feel when I get a good picture but no way to find the “right” clue and get started… frustrating, yes.

    “an army gas mask bag”

    how cool is that? so the quest for the perfect bag started at that time ;)

  320. PANOS

    id get another one of those Leica Hermes cams… it matches my scarf.

    ps. how come most Easter eggs are sweet and none barbecued?

  321. DAH,

    how bout those: “I dont have time to complete a project… so i never start”

    mostly my reason. but i think i lack confidence. i think a picture is good but wont show it to anybody, afraid to be shot down. my frustration: i have some pictures in my head, but cant make it happen so too, i know i lack skill. so my project never happens because i never shoot, for reasons that i claim i dont know but actually deny.

  322. MARCIN..

    there are no doubt geniuses sitting on every bar stool from San Fransisco to Warsaw….and???

    not sure of your point…

    are you saying there are brilliant photographers out there who are unrecognized and if they only had luck and social skills they would be?? i know a lot of the photographers we mention here…most without many social skills…and luck? well, i think we all have some good luck and some bad…the lucky ones are the ones who seem to make their own luck more than others…focusing or obsessing on who has luck and who does not will guarantee that you have bad luck…better imo to take your “lucky day” and stretch it out as long as you can..and on your “bad luck” day, just ride it out…

    at Magnum we are constantly in search of new talent….i am personally always looking for talent…from any country….i do not recall Milach ever applying to Magnum…..Rafal would apply to our Paris office since he is in Europe and might not , for whatever reason, made it through the screening there, but i have never seen his portfolio brought to our annual meeting where we choose photographers…nor any Polish photographer…nor Portuguese photographer….nor Filipino photographer…etc etc…we do not choose photographers by nationality….there is no quota system in Magnum….or any agency that i know of…but for sure if a photographer does not submit a portfolio, then how could they get in? i do agree with Panos….Milach appears to be more commercial than otherwise…

    cheers, david

  323. GRACIE…

    nice to have you back here…i would certainly love to see what you do…i will not “shoot you down”…i will give an honest but i hope constructive critique…send me a link on skype ..the best way…that way we can chat about it etc….

    i think sometimes our discussion here is aimed at those whose aims are high…but there is plenty of room for photographers who simply want to move their work forward , but do not see themselves publishing the next great book etc etc…i do not excel at any of my hobbies..sailing, tennis,etc..well, i can flip the Frisbee with some of the best..but point is, i love many activities and would like to move forward on the skill levels attached to each, but with no intention of anything but pure enjoyment to come out of it…i think for most photography is like that…and why not?? so let me see what you do and tell me what you would like to do….we might just be able to find a path for you…

    cheers, david

  324. MARCIN…

    i have loved our discussions for the last three years..or four? it is not about your way or my way…i 100% respect your opinions on everything….this is just banter…healthy….the reason we are all here on Burn….you are more pessimistic than i would wish for you and i think pessimism eats eats eats away at the soul….i want to see your smiling face and we owe each other a skype call…i can do it now if you want….

    cheers, david

  325. dah,

    thanks. but i better cross the i’s and dot the t’s or something like that before i take up any of already your divided time. but will do…send link that is.

  326. Gracie.. :)
    “true story”…
    my mother yesterday got in the room (holding a red Easter painted Egg) really Amazed…”miracle, miracle…Jesus is here”..
    she was keep repeating..
    To make the long story short.. Every year(easter) she saves one (boiled/red painted) egg and places it next to a Jesus’s framed picture/painting in a special little candle box…well she opened that box , took the old egg out and she insists that the egg is still FRESH… no smell..no rot..no nothing..
    Hmmm..that gave me a good idea to prank my mother…
    So i took my laptop,hid it under her bed, ..and after she felt asleep… i put this video as loud as possible..Of course u know what happened next….he he


    (start at the 0.21 second )

  327. Beware of the Catholic Church..

    “..Anneliese Michel likely died of lack of basic medical care during an “exorcism” by two parish priests. Originally diagnosed with gran mal seizures she was treated with epilepsy medication. The medication had little effect and Anneliese claimed to be possessed by demons, 6 to be exact. After her death a courtroom drama ensued in which Annaliese’s parents and parish priest were charged with negligent manslaughter and sentenced them to six months in prison, suspended with three years’ probation…”
    Ernst Alt and Arnold Renz performed the rite 67 times over the first half of 1976. Some of the sessions took up to four hours. Forty-two sessions were recorded on tape.
    At some point she began talking increasingly about dying to atone for the wayward youth of the day and the apostate priests of the modern church, and refused to eat. Though she had received treatment for epilepsy, by this time, at her own request, doctors were no longer being consulted.
    She, her parents and the exorcists decided to rely completely on exorcism. By the time Michel died of starvation, she weighed only 68 pounds.


    (happy Easter y’all..;)

  328. PANOS…

    your poor poor mother!! i cannot imagine what you have done to her over the years…only to be matched by my poor mother…mothers do put up with a lot…saints all….Happy Easter…i am going to cook up some eggs for breakfast…


    ok…whenever you are ready

    cheers, david

  329. Oh mamma mia… just finished to tidy up my shelf.. long time overdue.. counted them, I have 167 photography books, or related to photography.. not counting the magazines though.. the smallest (in size) is ‘Flandrien’ by Stephan Vanfleteren, the biggest MAGNUMMAGNUM.. ok, make that 170, just remembered there are three out on loan. I think I need a life..

  330. Eva…
    start with a quick visit to the vatican…see the Pope…
    leave all those heretic books aside..
    start with the Holy Bible…

    (dont follow my path..church service in 5 hours from now…it starts at midnight here..and i already started drinking…;)

  331. ABELE…

    the military gas mask bag was the perfect camera bag as far as i was concerned…all of us used them…well, mostly because it was all i could afford…probably $5. or something like that…and unobtrusive too…the “rich” photographers all used those Brady trout fishing bags..the ones that evolved into Billinghams….

    i am going to be in Italy in july..any chance we meet?

    cheers, david

  332. the military gas mask bag was the perfect camera bag as far as i was concerned…

    hmmm..i wish i had one of those in the recent athens demo/riots…

  333. eva. MAGNUMMAGNUM is the perfect book. Right now mine has ten prints flattening inside it, and about ten more underneath it drying in blotters…perfect.:)

  334. I’m afraid I don’t get the difficulty people have understanding the concept of authorship. David explains it very well and succinctly. It’s true I went to a similar J-school and studied many of the same photographers — Gene Smith, Cartier-Bresson, Frank, the FSA crew — and I don’t doubt that classic J-school education is a good starting point, but the issue is the same in any art and I’d think it would be stultifying to limit oneself solely to the study of photographers. Read Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury; or if you want something easier, Hamsun’s Pan; or if you want something more current, Saramago’s Seeing (for you Panos, The Gospel According to Jesus Christ); or if you want something more Latin American, Vargas Llosa’s The Real Life of Alejandro Mayta; or if you want something current US American, try Auster’s New York Stories; or if you prefer something absolutely sublime, go for Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. Or pick your own poison. There are abundant lessons on authorship in any library or museum.

    I just can’t help noting that almost all great authors, no matter how much their visions or art forms vary, have one thing in common. They have mastered the tools of their trade. So even if we can think that deeply, we also need to be able to craft a sentence or light a photograph as well as the best of them. Understanding the concept of authorship is easy. But the ability to be an author doesn’t just fall off a tree and hit us on the head. We have to climb the tree.

  335. BBCWorldwide — October 02, 2008 — Was the red rain in India evidence of alien microbes from deep space? Does that explain how life started on Earth? Are we all aliens? Or was the red rain just unusual red algae from the Indian waters? You make your own decisions with this video from BBC Horizon show ‘We are the aliens’.

    one more video for Cathy!


    ..and one more question that only Cathy can answer:
    “Was the red rain in India evidence of alien microbes from deep space? “

  336. DAH

    “i am going to be in Italy in july..any chance we meet?”

    It would be great! I know you will be full-time busy with the TPW workshop: no way I can attend it (vacation periods are so few that they are sacred to the family ;), but are there any events/moments open to external people? I will happily drive all my way back and forth to Tuscany (no six cylinders yet)

  337. ABELE

    in fact there are slideshows in the evening which are open for the public, and it is actually a most wonderful time, when everybody comes together after a day out shooting, for talking and discussing while having a wine or two … When I was there it was even possible to join in for dinner.
    There were slideshows every night … the last night being reserved for the student works. It was fabulous! Simply perfect. Partially because there was no internet there and only if you dangerously leaned over the walls of the monastery, you could get a faint signal for your mobile. We often feared for DAH, as he was amidst buying his beach house … and constantly having to check for messages. Thank god he is such a long man, he just had to strech out a bit.

    Actually I am thinking of going there myself this July. Would be fun. Also because I have not had the chance to see much of the surroundings the last time. I did go by train, so I had little chance to explore the region. Also because we were pretty busy while doing the workshop. I did wish I could have stayed some more days there after it was over, but just as you said: free days are scarce.

    I hape it all works out and we manage to meet. Would be great!

  338. abele, Lassal, DAH, whoever coming to Tuscany, just let me know if you need a pick up, tour, drive or help..

  339. PANOS; “Ross…although a mustang lover…im in this point of my life that i think that the sexiest car of all times is the:“no car at all”..;)”

    Try that in NZ with its crap public transport system! :-) Anyway, someone tried to steal my car a while ago; so there is obviously someone less cool than me around. Didn’t think that was possible… :-)

  340. Ross…
    2 years ago i use to have a second car…a little 87 honda accord..gas saver
    comparing to the mustang..
    guess what…they tried to steal it 3 times…
    camrys are the no1 target for thieves in america…reason? parts..!

  341. PANOS; “camrys are the no1 target for thieves in america…reason? parts..!”

    Subaru Legacy’s here. All the boy-racers love them!! So a BIG market for them…

    Are you stil heading off to Beirut?

  342. Ross..im afraid that good times …family visit …is kinda over…
    i stretched it as much as i could…time to return to reality….
    california dreaming…

  343. all the leaves are brown
    and the sky is grey
    I’ve been for a walk
    on a winter’s day

    I’d be safe and warm
    if I was in L.A
    California Dreamin’
    on such a winter’s day

    stopped into a church
    I passed along the way
    well, I got down on my knees
    and I pretend to pray

    you know the preacher likes the cold
    he knows I’m gonna stay
    California Dreamin’
    on such a winter’s day

    all the leaves are brown
    and the sky is grey
    I’ve been for a walk
    on a winter’s day

    if I didn’t tell her
    I could leave today
    California Dreamin’
    on such a winter’s day x3

  344. MICHAEL W. and All

    You are absolutely right about there being great examples of authorship in all of the arts.

    My example is much more lowbrow than yours but I am working on my first “official” blog post for my new blog tentatively titled..

    “What I learn about photography by watching American Idol”
    Seriously :))
    There is no better way to see what it takes to be a great singer than by watching someone butcher a song.

  345. ROSS,

    Keep rockin’ that Camry! My brother has a ’94, and still drives the shit out of it! Great cars (plus we build them in Kentucky for the US market :-)

    My personal ride is a ’92 Volvo 240 with over 206K miles. I hope if I keep it long enough, it will be cool again (like plastic-rimmed glasses)… It still has the original struts, which doesn’t affect handling too bad, but causes my CD player to skip over bumps… I offered it to my 11 year-old when she starts driving, but she wants a Chevy HHR or a PT Cruiser.

  346. DAH,

    Thank you for the kind words for those of us that simply want to move forward, and realize that we will never be at a pinnacle of photography but still enjoy it as a personal pursuit… I’m 37, but don’t really feel that I have found my “voice”, but still enjoy making photos.

    As a personal analogy: I realized long ago that I enjoy banging around on my Fender Telecaster, but I won’t be going on tour and have yet to write any songs of my own. Yet, it’s something that I love doing on my own terms – and want to get better at…

  347. PANOS,

    Thanks for thinking of me with the videos :))

    I’m no expert on alien microbes but I was just at a religious ceremony in India that was a bit like the exorcism. Men started beating themselves with chains..I was right behind them and one guy hit me in the head with his chain. Does that mean my bad spirits were driven away too?

  348. JUSTIN: “CD player to skip over bumps” You’ve got a CD player in your car? A sure sign of wealth! A broken tape deck in mine :-)

    CATHY; Your song/music analogy applies to photography too. I certainly think photography and music are twins that somehow became separated at birth. The best, most influential musicians certainly have authorship. Sure they may have been inspired by what went before, but they twist it and meld it until it becomes their own.

    For example; the authorship factor is what I like about hip hop and rap here in NZ. Here, rap has a real Polynesian feel and component to it. This is because NZ has such a huge Pacific Island population (mostly from Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Niue etc). So instead of trying to be wannabe gangstas they have melded it into something unique.

    Sure they were influenced by US rap, and there is still a gangsta rap influence, but rap here has been melded into something new.

  349. As an aside; I’ve been getting into short films lately and am finding them so inspiring. I used to think “short films? Load of rubbish!” As you may have guessed I’ve done a 180 on that blinkered view.

    One channel here plays a (local NZ) short film every Thursday night and then talks to the producer about the film for ten minutes or so. I’m amazed how well a story can be told in such a short period of time; it certainly provides food for thought.

  350. ROSS: Yep, busted tape deck prompted my (self)installation of the least expensive decent CD player I could find… Gotta have tunes :-)

    I recently came across a post on the Rangefinder Forum regarding the French short film La Jetée (1963). I haven’t checked it out for myself yet, but I understand most of it was shot as stills on a Pentax Spotmatic. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Jet%C3%A9e

  351. Speaking of big time authorship and film, are you all familiar with Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli? We just finished watching Ponyo for the third time. Saw it twice on the big screen and now on cable. His movies bear repeated viewings. If you’re not familiar with Studio Ghibli, Spirited Away is a great place to start. Or Howl’s Moving Castle. Miyazaki has total creative control. Writes and draws them all. He’s crazy good. When it comes to authorship, I’d say few are in his league and nobody is out of it.

    Apropos of that, I guess, I just remembered I cut out a clip for someone a few years ago. This is from Porco Rosso, a much earlier film, but it gives a taste.

    Cathy, although I may discuss the larger issues that have been brought up in the context of your India work, I’ve never made any kind of comment about you or it. Not having seen it or heard you discuss it in depth, there’s really nothing I could say. I enjoy reading your comments though, and the way you discuss India, and hope to see the work some day.

  352. First – Michael: thanks for the good words.

    David – It would have been such a thrill for me if you could have been there, but one day I will meet you. I have applied for a certain grant and if by some small chance I get it, I will apply a good portion of it to going to one of your book-making workshops.

    Eva – not yet in any coherent since, but sooner or later…

    Now – As to this stuff about India, God, it’s a wonderfully visual place! When I was there I came up with this theory that a blind man could be a good photographer in India and so I closed my eyes and just pointed the camera here and there and shot pictures and, sure enough, came up with a few decent images.

    But, while in some ways it might be scarier, there is as much photographic potential in anyone’s home community, small or large, anywhere in the USA or elsewhere as there is in India, Africa or any exotic place.

    Because I now have Indian inlaws who have become very close to me, and other friends there, too, my blog also happens to have a number of regular India readers, several of whom have let me know that it has gave them a great longing for and desire to come to that wonderful, exotic, mysterious place known as Wasilla, Alaska, USA.

    And some want to come to the Arctic with me, too.

  353. I should add that two, in fact, did come to Wasilla and I did, in fact, take them to the Arctic as well – and they claimed that to be the thrill of their life and when I was last in India, I went into their house and there the photos of it, prominently displayed liked trophies upon their wall.

    They bring their friends in and tell them about it and they marvel.

  354. brrrr..
    a little further north in the land of melting snow..
    grandparents.. family.. friends.. cognac.. wine.. beer.. cognac and wine.
    looking inside and out..
    beate has a terrific hangover..
    home tomorrow

  355. Frostfrog…

    really sorry i missed you – i was headed out the door to the alaska house when something came up and am only checking back in now..i do hope you understand that i too have respect for the way / reasons of the hunt, I was only talking about my sensitivities, which are far different from my intellectual understandings. in any case, very glad michael made it and hopefully there will be more opportunities for us to meet.

  356. David,

    Diabolical you are. But thank you for making me think. It’s become clear over the past couple of years how relying on technique can only take a photographer so far until the limitations of thought kick in to reveal a lack of vision. Conceptual thought is the hard stuff.

    Your observations about the consequences of shooting on demand without compartmentalizing the work apart from personal vision are spot on. I haven’t separated the two enough, and I’m paying the price creatively for not allowing my feelings and thoughts to lead me.

    I’m heartened to read your words, “realize your insecurity is your finest asset.” With that in mind, I’m wealthy beyond my wildest imagination. Do you mean to use that insecurity as fuel for the drive to go deeper into a project and to stoke original thought and personal vision?

    Now if I don’t stop writing this note, Jen’s going for a bike ride without me.



    basically yes…your insecurities are valuable because they give you something to overcome..and man is best when faced with basic adversity…and if you do not get on that bike right now and ride with Jen, you will be faced with THE most basic adversity…

    going now to do the same…


  358. PANOS, EVA,

    My comment about going to India/Africa etc and KNOWING that it is tough to avoid cliche was not meant as a suggestion that EVERYONE go and challenge themselves this way.

    Believe me, I don’t want them there! At least not where I am :))

    Of course it is better for most to stay home and challenge themselves…especially if they have no money or time for travel.

    I’m just saying that if you MUST go to these places then go with the intention of rising above cliche.
    I gave up India for three years (for financial reasons) to shoot in my backyard but if I can afford it I’m going to be in India…photography or no photography.

    I’m not going there because of the photos I can take. I’m taking photos because I am there.

  359. DAH, EVA, LASSAL, FRANCESCO and whoever is around Italy

    let’s try to organize this BURN(IN)ITALY meeting in the coming weeks/months… maybe the most suitable date is the final weekend of the workshop, friday (July 23rd) or saturday (July 24th)… let’s keep in touch!

  360. That would be great, ABELE!
    I’ll definitely be around in july, you guys that you are/come to Italy can contact me anytime and we will organize that
    it would be cool to meet and party together!

  361. Michael Webster,

    “Laputa” too is a good movie by Miyazaki imo.. i have not seen “Spirited Away” yet, though

  362. Easter fire
    This evening my family gathered having a barbecue at our mill. Several beers and Bratwursts later we tried to get the Easter fire going but without much success. The wood was too wet. Can you imagine – I couldn’t even set a piece of paper on fire properly? Not one decent pyromanic in the family… We gave up and decided to give it another try tomorrow.
    While going home we saw many other Easter fires burning and then my mother got really stubborn. There was some fuel left in the shed, which is supposed to be used with the lawn mower… with a rather big quantaty of that liquid we set that baby on fire. Holy smokes! That was a fire! And a sight to see!
    Meanwhile it was dark and the flames set the entire place into a nice red glowing light. The reflections on the water of the pond were amazing. We watched in awe and thought – wow! Took lots of pictures… will post a link tomorrow. I never had such a beautiful Easter fire!

  363. CATHY…

    didn’t feel a thing here….well, California is going under water one of these days after a massive earthquake, and here on the Carolina shore we are going under water one of these days during a cat5 hurricane…not to mention that global warming water levels could get us first…yes, we are crazy to live here, but not as crazy as the folks who continue to expand their neighborhoods under Mt.Vesuvius (nice view)…..well, i suppose they think like i think…nah, not today…

    i thought you lived in Santa Fe..???

    just heard 7.5 in Baha..guess you weren’t kidding

  364. DAH:

    I just wanted to post a quick comment letting you know how much I appreciate your answer to my question regarding authorship/points of view in photography. I had the unfortunate timing to post my question to you last Thursday right before I went on a three day road trip without any internet access, so haven’t been able to respond yet :) just got back, unpacking now, and in desperate need of a shower. I need to digest your answer and other related comments that followed, but will post longer response tomorrow. Thanks again!

    Carsten (CT)

  365. Eva – Thank you for the link. I enjoyed it.

    Erica – Even though you did not make it, I am greatly pleased to learn that you headed out the door intending to come.

  366. DAH, “not as crazy as the folks who continue to expand their neighborhoods under Mt.Vesuvius” – yes, I’ve been there – not exactly everyone’s first choice of neighbourhood is it! I believe that there is an evacuation plan in case of eruption but, considering that the authorities can’t get people to wear seat belts in cars or ride scooters with less that three people on board, good luck with that one.
    I love Italy and the Italian mind-set. Whenever I return to England from there I’m always struck by how many rules are imposed on the English; everything from speed limits, parking restrictions, CCTV monitoring etc. The one that gets me is the “Look Right” painted on the edge of the road to remind us to look for traffic before crossing the road. The next one will be “Careful, it’s dangerous outside”.


  367. There’d be much to say about people keep on buidling near riverbeds, even if every other year mudslides will come down the hills.. Mike, the ‘look right’ is very helpful for us folks driving on the CORRECT side of the road ;))

    Cathy (hope everything is ok, just read about the quake), your explanation above makes much sense, thank you.. just one thing, it’s not always lack of time or money making one decide to shoot at home.. and Bill, Alaska IS exotic, as any other place is that is different from our everyday surrounding I guess.

    DAVID: Burnmeeting in Italy, it would be most helpful if you could tell us when it would be best for you, which day/part of the workshopweek is best suited? Trying to convince the family that they don’t need holidays in July.. they’re not really impressed by my argumentation so far..argh..

  368. DAH – not as crazy as the folks who continue to expand their neighborhoods under Mt.Vesuvius or as crazy as those folks who live here in Darwin – which has by my reckoning been wiped off the map 3 times in the last 1OO years – 2 cat 5 cyclones and a sustained Japanese bombing campaign during WW2.
    People do have short memories!

    Marcin_-Thanks for your kind words Re my last post – i’ve thrown up a few more from Timor Leste here


  369. REIMAR

    I love love LOVE your Easter Fire essay!!! You take me there, introduce me to your family, give me (a vegetarian) my first taste of bratwurst in decades, and satisfy my pyromaniac tendencies. The portrait of your mother as she looks at the fire is remarkable!

    Maybe these aren’t pics from your trip to India but I already see changes in your work. You are SO present in the moment. And that’s all it takes IMO. Bravo!