holiday lights….

i am always telling my students and those i mentor that the most obvious and best projects are just at your front door….so it is a concept i endorse and have indeed lived…yet, i need to re-learn it all the time and the subtleties therein…so sure, it was clear and obvious that i would two years ago launch on a drive across country and do medium format work on American Family…keyed off all the work i had done on my own family…good idea, and i moved on it…what never occurred to me until a combo of  the family exhibit in Madrid last spring (which i viewed as a work in progress at the time) and something my son Bryan said to me yesterday, is  that i was indeed “done” with this project after taking the very first picture….after all, isn’t a family album complete even if there is only one picture in it ? how many pictures does a family album make? everyone always asks me regarding projects  “how do you know when you are finished?”….my usual answer is that you just “know”…you  simply feel it is done…

the incredible revelation for me on this one was that i was finished as soon as i started….so, i am done….

in other words it is a movable feast…always a work in progress and always ready to be shown at any time…..for this one there could never be an end and at any point it is finished…i can do a 15 print show as i did in Madrid , or a 100 print show , or a 1,000 print show using the contact sheets alone , or a combo and with hard copy albums and big prints and videos, well, the whole bit……a two book boxed set…one of my own family who i have documented since 13 til yesterday….and the other the med format work of families from all over my country….this of course could have no end internationally once i complete the U.S. work.

my love of family and extended family runs deep…my relationships at Burn, Magnum, NatGeo, are akin to familial bonds (often with all the drama to go with it!!)…that will lead to yet another book (trilogy?) no joke just called “Photographers (i have known)” for i have religiously documented them (i have everybody)  as well and all of my students  and Burn audience etc etc etc…for those of you who have met me, i most likely have taken your picture, right?… this work is family as well…

Sally Mann      Charlottesville, Virginia 2008

so, forget all of my pictures of the world ….what will be important is all the work i did “on the side”…the family snaps…yup, those will be IT i am sure….knowing that now makes me wish i had tried harder…but, i guess that is the whole point…i didn’t TRY…it simply happened….

this simple revelation is of course totally a game in my head…nothing physical has changed…nothing has happened…EXCEPT the way i am thinking about something….a something that was right in front of me…yet this,  as we all know IS everything…for those of you who have studied with me, this is a real work in progress right before your eyes….just as Road Trips and Burn have been as well…i am sure you can all see it…and feel it…there is no way to beat that which is organic…authenticity is the benchmark…

as we swing into the holiday season and the end of 2010, reflection is always our mantra….throwing out that which does not work and moving towards things which do….i doubt any of us get it exactly right, but willingness to change and push new initiatives forward is after all our being….

are you finishing something up or starting something new? or both?

yes, my holiday lights are up all year…they  get blown around in the wind, fall down, get skewed, a real work in progress….just like me..


2105 Responses to “holiday lights….”

  • Nice one. It’s always good to think about things, and re-examine your relationship to the world and the work you do. I guess it’s the philosopher in me that will always champion that.
    I’ve been feeling a similar thing with a project I’ve been working on. I’ve set myself the goal of making a series with a set number of images, but I’m not sure it really needs so many shots. I’m young with photography tho, so the project of sustaining work within these limits over a longer period of time than I’m used to is good for my growth and self-awareness (or photographic-awareness maybe), even if I end up seeing the work as needing less images to stand in and of itself. There’s the process and the, uh, ‘product’ (not sure I’m fully happy with that term) and they can be two very different things. I’m inclined to think it’s healthy to keep the boundaries between the two a bit fluid and ill-defined. At least sometimes.

    I’m finding this site a refreshing and good place to check out. I like that it’s organic and “in-development” continually. Provided you’re clear about that, there’s no problem operating that way. And the world needs more people to just get on with trying stuff out than so much time wasted in planning that never leads to action. Props for pulling this together and creating a community here.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    “By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by REFLECTION, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the most bitter.”

    Hey,nice to see you MIMI(Framers)!

    Tick-tock…time to celebrate…where did I put the lights…:)))

  • great food for thought! i hope to submit my first work in progress to burn in 2011!

  • Mimi? Hey matey, how’s things? I’ve been meaning to call you but I’ve lost my voice – all I have is a hoarse whisper left. That Confucius quote is very cool – I like a strong mix of reflection and experience, and less of the imitation. But, right now, I like my duvet even more *reaches for yet more Eucalyptus Oil* Sneezing’s Greetings! Uh, I mean Merry Christmas… ;-)

  • a civilian-mass audience

    I hear you …FRAMERS…sneezing no more…
    Where did I put my lights…oime…?

    Welcome NANCYS!

    MERRY CHRISTMAS…tick-tock…we are almost there…once again…

  • Fantastic insight as always. Thanks David!

  • by the way, i shot the picture of Sally Mann at her cocktail reception at Look3 after her most amazing presentation….she now has a full blown retro at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond , Virginia if you are anywhere near Virginia, a detour to the VMFA would be worth it….

  • Good thoughts on family and projects. Speaking of family photos or videos in this telling: I got a call from a cousin of mine asking for my address. It seems he had unearth some family videos of our family and put them on a DVD for us as a Christmas present. These are home movies I have never seen of my grandfather who has been dead since I was six, me and my siblings and parents in the early 50’s and my cousin and his family. Can’t wait to see it when it arrives.

    Photos of my family are a strong component of my work. I have a very big collection and usually put each gathering or group of shots in a Mac Book for family viewing. I love my family. I love my Burn family. I love my teacher (you DAH). I love the moon; she is so close here I feel like she is part of my family and I have been taking photos of her too.

    Families are our compass; they keep us on course. Without mine I would be lost.

  • Lee, send me the moon next year….

  • Panos, will do. The lunar eclipse will be fully visible here too and I think Maui time will be 8:33 for full lunar on Monday. Making it around 12:33 Texas time. We only saw a partial of it two years ago in February so very excited. Have her route all mapped out and hope the clouds don’t move in.

  • Think my time math is wrong as usual…

  • ohmygosh. did not even recognize sally mann! it’s so rare to see her with
    foofoo hair and lipstick. she is my all-time natural beauty and certainly
    one of my favorite photographers.
    what happened to the photo? why is it all yellow and blotchy?

    “are you finishing something up or starting something new? or both?”

    i’m in my 5th year of a ten year project following 200 homeless street youth who are
    very much a part of my family now and the reason for much of my joy.
    btw, if anyone would like to buy an xmas gift for a street youth
    please contact me at:

    DAH–HAPPY HOLIDAYS!! you’re amazing and inspiring. thanks you for all you do.
    and Merry Christmas to all! with Love..


  • I should have the latest Sally Mann book “The Flesh and The Spirit” just in time for Christmas Eve!
    I would love to see the retro at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. I lived in Richmond from the age of 8 until I was just about 12…never been back since. 1980-1984 long time ago.

  • Paul:

    I do have the book, but I know that if I wouldn’t have seen the prints and seen the movie I wouldn’t appreciate ot as I do now.. her exhibition in Lausanne last year was stunning, went there twice…

    DAH, love that pic of the green man from Mars up here :)

  • Eva,
    I´ve got the movie it really blew me away!! Amazing the way she really digs deep into herself to find the inspiration for her work. Viva the Quotidian in life!
    Dream one and two…workshop with DAH and Sally Mann.

  • “after all, isn’t a family album complete even if there is only one picture in it ?”

    Is a fence painted if you’ve only painted one post? Maybe in the Zen universe, but in the familial universe, a album that doesnt include Uncle Harry is not complete, much as you might want it to be.

    ” how many pictures does a family album make?”

    A family album is made when you have front and side views of all the relatives who owe you money, plus their current addresses and the address of that little place in Florida they intend to skip out to once they’ve taken you for every cent they think they can get.

    “how do you know when you are finished?”….

    When I know I can hand the thing in without a nun hitting me for not doing the work.

    “my usual answer is that you just “know”…you simply feel it is done…”

    I used to use this excuse too, but my father explained to me that things were done when HE felt they were done, not when I did, and so I had to go back outside and finish shoveling the show out of the driveway. He did sympathize about the frostbite, though.

    “for those of you who have met me, i most likely have taken your picture, right?”

    Probably, from what I hear.

    “are you finishing something up or starting something new? or both?”

    Neither. The pointless documentation of our happy little burg continues apace, largely because a body in motion tends to stay in motion and a body at rest tends to stay at rest. So this is all Sir Isaac Newton’s fault, as well it should be. A man who enjoyed drawing and quartering counterfeiters cannot have enough opprobrium heaped upon his head.

  • David, inspiring thoughts as ever of course. I am both finishing something up and starting something new…..both big… the world in the intersection twixt old and new….as you know….

    You’ve always encourage a pinch of the esoteric here and there and so “Intersection” just might be my next work….it is on my door step, at the end of my nose, in my head, dreams and everywhere in between.

    I am thinking on that great premise -that any concept/movie/book can be explained in one sentence. I saw this referred to again the other day. For example: Curmudgeonly weatherman keeps waking up on the same day = Groundhog Day.

    So I resolve to have “Intersection” and my deal explained in one sentence by January 1 2011.

    On that note, looking forward to crossing paths through 2011. Merry Christmas to one and all….and keep those lights Burning all through the year for sure.


  • Any major change is always exciting; and scary. I’ve been practising what Imants has talked about recently, binning stuff that hasn’t worked and starting afresh. It is hard starting your entire previous shooting over from scratch and more than a bit scary.

    But the stuff that hasn’t worked is only showing itself because I’ve been fortunate to have started a period of change in my new work. My “Kids” project is about to go through a major pruning, and I am re-thinking its future shooting.

    My decision to give up mag work (to shoot personal work) seems to be working, although it too is a scary process. The entire thought process of wanting to do better work, and then wondering whether you actually have the ability to produce better work is a bit nerve-wracking. However I’ve found that uncertainty to actually benefit the creative process.

    As for family; the other day I was sitting in Burger King having diet coke a (trying to lose weight too!), while waiting for a family member to undergo some medical tests. That morning we’d driven for 5-hours to the hospital and were driving back again that afternoon.

    I was feeling a bit down, hoping that the tests were going to come back ok. Sitting next to me were a bunch of school kids (on study leave for exams) laughing, flirting and joking. The big screen above them showing the music channel.

    Suddenly one of the girls started singing along to Train’s “Drops of Jupiter”. Coincidentally; a song written by the lead singer about the death of his mother…

    It sounded out softly above the general hubbub and all of a sudden I felt very old. It was lovely while it lasted and made me think “That’s the love of life I want to capture for my kids project” But most of all it made me feel bloody good! And the test results came back clear (a week later). :-)

  • Ross just keeping you on the dusty road of glory……… those pothole of bulldust are the best part

  • KATIA…

    the picture of Sally is yellow because it was yellow in that room…and the blotchy part is because it was shot into an antique mirror …

  • Ross it is a dangerous ground practising the death knell game of “bin diving” (skip diving is about recycling). I guess there are not too many that would be willing to play the game of photo roulette.
    With the last book I kept the initial push of 30 odd images just out of curiosity and found that the BIN IT policy is pretty justified not one image remains in my current book I am working on, a month and a couple of hundred later images later I have about a dozen images. I have no aversion to spending a day or two on a image and then just deleting it…….. like walking into the sun and yearning for it to take me away.
    The best part about the process is that I don’t waste time taking photos of things that could be, may be and never will be….
    ………….. early xmas card

  • LEE…

    one of these days i will pull out some of the pictures i have of you…..when the time is right of course


    one of these days i will pull out some of the pictures i have of you….when the time is all wrong of course

  • “will pull out some of the pictures i have of you….when the time is all wrong of course”

    Too late for his 21st birthday party I think! ;-)


    i know i owe all three of you an edit…there is just no way i can even take a look again until january 2..patience please….you may be thinking to yourself “but it would not take that long”…you are correct…it would not take me too long to edit any of the three of you…but what it does take is exactly the right mood..right frame of mind….the right half hour and i could do it…but getting that right half hour is harder than you may imagine and getting three right half hours will take me til January 2……anyway, you all know it will be done…

    cheers, david

  • ha ha…nah u dont owe anybody anything…we do!…take your time…

  • David

    “so, forget all of my pictures of the world ….what will be important is all the work i did “on the side”…the family snaps…yup, those will be IT i am sure….knowing that now makes me wish i had tried harder…but, i guess that is the whole point…i didn’t TRY…it simply happened….”

    You have a way with words. You know I share these sentiments. Partly, I think it is because of the age we find ourselves. Our perspective changes when we realize we can look backwards a great deal farther than we can look forward. The meaning and purpose of our lives is still hard to grasp, but family and close friends mean the most.

    Yes, I do wish I had tried harder when I look at some of the family snaps I have done over the years. Group photos at Christmas, pictures of long deceased grandparents, could’a should’a would’a. However, part of the power and value of these snaps is their innocence and un-sophistication. They were done usually without artistic intentions, or for commercial purposes, or for the approval of our photo-peers, but just because.

    I love your photo of Sally Mann. She has to be one of the most exquisitly beautiful women, judging by her photograph, and her photographs. Her family photographs are in another realm. Only last month I recieved a copy of Immediate family and was entranced by the beauty, sensuality, and familiarity depicted. Amazing stuff, amazing life.

    Enjoy your family time over the next week or two. I’d love to see a new dialogue in the new year where burnians share their holiday snaps. Let us celebrate our lives.


  • Took a great family snap today of my 92 year grandfather kissing his 2 year old great-grandson on the forehead. Means more to me than pictures of dead rock stars. How it should be….

  • BTW, speaking of binning it, I had a situation this last week where I had to delete some images (some good images, maybe the best of the evening). Interesting ethical dilemma and decided to take the high road. I was partaking in a Lakota Sioux Yuwipi healing ceremony and was given the ok to photograph the altar (rare).

    Except that I wasn’t told until after the fact that I wasn’t supposed to photo a certain part of the altar, of which I had shot the setting up of (essentially an eagle head on a stick). I showed the medicine man’s assistant the pics and even he agreed they were very good… but still a big no no. So I deleted all that included the eagle. Don’t mess with those spirits. Would it be worth it for a photograph (and one you couldn’t even show for fear of repercussion by those in the know – esp the subjects themselves)? I definitely thought not. But it ached every part of me as an artist to destroy what I had just made. What would you have done?

  • DAH, as long as it isn’t one where I am throwing a fit or crying or some other weird thing. like the night I showed up for the first meeting of the loft workshop in that skanky dress to show off the tiger tattoo. That was quite a ride to Washington Heights that night on the subway! I have never really liked photos of myself but because of my constant taking photos of others I never object. One of my favorite ones I took of you was in Cowboy’s Bar in Santa Fe the night I finally got the opening photo of my essay. But it is all red because I forgot to change the white balance from day shooting in the bar to interior lighting when the group came in later that evening! But then there is the one of you on the wall at the bullfighting arena, and the one of you sitting in your chair in your loft. When the time is right I will show them…

  • please watch my New movie..its only 46 seconds and its good advice for better, productive holidays,
    thank you

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Laughter is contagious…

    ROSSY …you will be the first to give us the signal !
    The party is almost here!
    I don’t wanna miss it…hmmm…if this terminal opens up…

    Any BURNIANS in Netherlands area? I might need a big,comfy couch:))) and wine and some delisH:)

    Tick-tock…I can’t hold it no more…I am waiting for the signal!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    The photo of SALLY MANN …she looks like our MICHELLE SMITH…
    Chicken broke my reading glasses…

    Tick-tock…I love you All!

  • David…

    You do what? Owe me? Ok, let me google that, don’t know the meaning of the word.. sheesh..

    ‘sides.. you already have given me a rough edit, I can work from there, I might be wrong, but I think I’m smart and mostly stubborn enough to get THERE.. once I can go back shooting the thing, which won’t be before some months.. so please, when you get time and mood, do the boys first :)

    Still, need to skype for other reasons sometimes soon.. in the meantime, enjoy the family time, big hug to your mom!

  • Charles, you’ve done the right thing!


    yes, i do know what you mean….i am sure age has something to do with how i am thinking right now…but, the reason i photographed my family and extended family at all ages of my life is perhaps more interesting and less predictable…remember , i was really shooting my family as a young teenager..sort of at the rebellion stage and yet photographing just the same..when i went through my negatives from Off For A Family Drive just before putting them in a bank vault, i realized that what i printed was a small percentage of what i had shot…even i have not seen most of what i have done for i printed from the contact sheets on this early work until i had it done in new york a couple of years ago..i did skip shooting my family a couple of years in high school while being a fake motorcycle gangster (too bad those would have been great)..and my photography in college was more about me being a serious photographer…my art etc….and then on to newspapers, NatGeo, Magnum etc…

    all during that time, at all ages and stages of my life i continued to shoot family/extended family…i never declared it or did it “officially” as did Sally Mann or Nan Goldin but i was in fact shooting the world around me and taking my family with me on major magazine assignments around the world , a concept frowned upon by editors and unique to this day in our business i think….at no time did i put any value whatsoever on this family work…that is why most of it is totally disorganized…the only parts i took “seriously” were my brothers wedding in 1970 which i photographed voraciously in b&w and same for my son in 2002 , both of which resulted in one of a kind hand made books….

    so, my age now i think does not have much to do with my values or how i view family, but more of a very practical time to get it done NOW sort of thing…and i think i may have told you it was Martin Parr two years ago who saw this family work and told me i had something unique to our craft and that i had better get on it….

    the timing is also right for another obvious reason…those long long magazine assignments that would take up most of a year and my life at NatGeo just do not exist anymore….those excessive budgets are gone….while i am still doing two modest NatGeo projects right now, i would have very little desire to be gone for six months working in Libya as i might have done just a few years ago…so how lucky could i get…the collapse of the magazine photography industry matched my personal creative needs anyway albeit a financial killer…ahh the struggle…always good, always good…

    of course realizing this is no doubt why i started Burn…to try at least to give some sort of outlet to today’s young photographers because i could see they were not going to have magazine careers as did i…my whole balancing act right now is to figure out how to maintain Burn and do the aforementioned work that is before me…..but alas , something to think about after the holidays and not now…anyway Gordon, here we are….all good….and wishing you and your family the most special of holiday seasons…

    cheers, david


    interesting dilemma…but , you did the right thing…i had faced a very similar situation with the Navaho tribe several years ago and got myself in a similar situation of being the only white man in a particular ceremony..same thing…they actually convinced me that pictures did not matter…and i believed them…i have no pictures….do not feel bad about it at you, and caught up in the moment …do not want to mess with those primal spirits….there are other pictures to be taken…we can leave those alone….theirs is an oral history…it works

    cheers, david

  • LEE…

    that bar in Santo Fe shoot was so long ago i thought you shooting tiger tattoo i remember, but bullfighting arena??

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Whatever happens in the bullfighting arena…stays in the arena…!
    It’s an oral history…it works…:)))))))


    i know you tried to reach me on skype ..can we chat after the 25th by skype please?? i always like to kick back and relax with a coffee and talk to you, but i will have more time once i get to my mother’s house in colorado…time change is two hours earlier than here, so you may want to factor that in…looking forward to the conversation as usual…

    cheers, david

  • KATIA…

    we should do something else here with your kids…not sure exactly what we do , but let’s do something…maybe just as simple as running your new work…anyway, let’s talk…

    cheers, david


    Deadline December, 31st..

  • David all sounds fine with me……………… here is an older slide show family Easter breakfast one from 2007. Sadly a couple of members are no longer with us alas this Xmas will be another new page in the book.

  • I think it is my first slide show so all this photo stuff is still pretty new to me unlike my other activities. It has all been pretty fun stuff……

  • DAH, no film was digital. It was so long ago, 2006 I think, the beginning of a whole new way of life for me. The bullfighting arena was in Mexico and Raul was your assistant. It wasn’t a real bullfight, it was an arena that they used to train the bullfighters.


    great stuff…you know what is funny is that when looking at family/friends pictures, even when you have no clue who they are, they strike a familiar chord…family albums always fun to see…if your own family, then for the memories etc and if not just for the “recognition”….

    cheers, david

  • Imants,
    just finished enjoying your slideshow, brilliant!

  • Thanks
    Paul that’s what it was like on Easter Sunday breakfast we all had to be there, it is an unwritten law ………….. roll some eggs, eat confirmation fish, devour some piragi, generally just be there if possible
    2007 was my last Easter with the family as I usually am away, then another year someone else can’t make it so the saga goes on…………. maybe next year

  • I´ve just had phone call from the school where I teach Landscape work…
    My 21 pupils went to the school direction asking if I could keep on teaching them… My workshop was only meant to last till the end of Dec started at the begining of Nov, it seems they´ve enjoyed the classes so much they want to continue a couple of more lessons!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    “A good teacher is like a candle – it consumes itself to LIGHT the way for others.”
    Happy Holiday Lights PAUL.P!

    Are we there yet? How long do I have to wait?
    The wifi light will be out …pretty soon…
    And the tick-tock sound …starts to get on my nerves…:)

  • Family pictures, .. hm. I have only a few, because when I started photographing more seriously,
    I had no longer a family (only two, quite photo-shy sons). Now I have burn :)

    However, I remember as a child we quite often took the box with the familiy pictures and browsed through them, with my mother telling stories. It was always a nice and warm event.

    I think, I finally found the title for the Business Traveler essay:

    – “Five to nine: The Longer Days”

    Thanks to eva, she was so kind and came up with the idea of 5-9.

  • While I would never try to put myself in the same category as you, I am amazed at how much you and I think alike.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    PANOS…safe travels to you too

    …may the travel spirits be with me and with all my BURNIANS…
    I love airplanes,terminals…I love to travel…here in Europe nothing is moving
    White and black, black and white…But I am an optimist!
    I left behind my chickens and my books…my pictures books…
    To Finish old business…to start something new…
    I am Evolving…

    Can I start singing now?

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Five to nine…the journey never ends!

    Viva THOMAS…
    Bravo EVA…5-9…you are a K-9:))))))

  • a civilian-mass audience

    ROSSY…where are you Aussies?

    Are we there yet?:)

  • Mimi, if the planes are still not flying, you could always document the wait or an alternative quest to reach your destination… ;-) I actually secretly wish I’d been planning this last week – airport departure lounges are great liminal spaces and an extended stay there could have made an interesting complement to my bus series. (Yeah, I never fully switch off!). Hope you get to travel, mate.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    It’s getting dark …Dark and White!
    FRAMERS…For you
         “I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but almost always end up where I need to be.”
    And mate…check this one…I know, you know…
         “In order to fly, all one must do is simply miss the ground.”
    Douglas Adams

    I want to start the party…shall I wait for the signal?

  • Imants, cool slideshow thanks for sharing that. Reminded me how I first got started with photography – shooting my family with a basic compact back when I was a teen. My Pops was ill with emphysema and couldn’t travel, and all my dad’s side of the fam lived miles away down south. I’d gone to visit them and promised my Pops I’d take some photographs for him as he barely got to see them in those days. I knew the usual family group photos wouldn’t cut it, I wanted to give him a feel for their personalities and make it real for him. Anyway, some of the shots from that are here – mostly my sister’s kids in that set, and one of my uncles. Funnily, that uncle shot film on an Olympus and a Nikon, and I remember looking at his lenses and other gear laid out and thinking it was one big visual alchemist’s kit and I couldn’t wait to master it. Film has had to wait, but from that moment I was hooked on photography, and shooting film is one of the “must do’s” for 2011. Finding a way to continue the family shots is another. Nice one for reminding me of all that.

  • PAUL…

    good research…i had not forgotten the Raul mauling, but i had forgotten Lee was there for that as well…hard to forget Lee anywhere, but it all becomes a big blur after awhile…smiling

  • I don’t think I was there for that one; it was the year before. Anyway I don’t remember a full on bullfight and Raul getting mauled. Glad I’m unforgettable. It will make it easier for people to remember my name when I am famous!

    My family arrives today! So excited.

  • BTW Thomas, enjoying your link to the travel piece. Very familiar.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    LEE…i wish you …all the wishes!
    Enjoy every minute…

    i just check your family…you have a backyard…but where are the chickens?:)
    I guess you had a big feast..:)))

    can I start now?

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Is it 21st …or am I lost …between terminals?

  • a civilian-mass audience

    I need the green light…

    I am ready …I am waiting for the green light…

  • Great to hear about your “new” project about photographers.. I suppose I am part of it :)

    DAH: “Are you finishing something up or starting something new? or both?”

    I am working on a few project…
    1) BLACK SEA
    I am waiting for a summer again :)))
    I am waiting to drive my car back from Romania to Poland… i think it’s most important project for me until now… my personal experiences are strongly bound with my photographs
    3) WALKING AWAY about disappearing peasant culture in Romania
    4) panoramic photographs from Silesia…
    I like xpan, I will continue shooting with it but I am a bit confused… I feel that those photographs looks a bit old style… I think I will continue just for myself to have some record of the place where I am from.. maybe to exhibit it in Silesia, Poland…
    for sure the most personal and most desire to finish is LOST HIGHWAY for me

  • Regarding projects. If you have the time available; how many work on a number of projects at once? I was thinking of a couple of major projects and 2 or 3 on the backburner for when you happen to be in the right place at the right time.

    Cheers :-)

  • AGA…

    thanks for the memory…and yes indeed you are part of the project….i left a new comment under the picture of you and Lance on Road Trips just now…i did not realize that could even still happen…hmmmm…anyway, you look very very busy..good for you…let me see the first project you get finished…and so very nice to see you here..

    hugs, david

  • a civilian-mass audience

    my apologies But i cant wait…

    tick-tock…no more


  • a civilian-mass audience

    its 21st …my time zone

    and HAIK and all the BURNIANS ..


    P.S gotta go…Enjoy the ouzo,wine,milk,tea…
    i will be back…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    oh, before I go…here is my project…its work on progress…:)))))
    KATIEEEEEE…where are youuuuu???????

    i will be away from my desk…for few hours,days,months…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    My thanks to all of you. You that you gave us “voice”, you who dedicate youself to “us”.
    “LOVE, PEACE & PHOTOGRAPHY” will prevail…

    To all of you : photographers, civilians… we are all citizens of the world.


    AGA AS Tamara De Lempicka
    ANNA MARIAB. J AS Mary Cassat
    ANNA.B AS Timarete
    ANNE H. AS Rosa Bonheur
    ANDREA G AS Maria Sibylla Merian
    AUDREY BARDOU AS Berthe Morisot
    ARAGO MARIE AS Theresa Bernstein
    CATHY SCHOLL AS Lucy Bacon
    CARRIE ROSEMAN AS Agnes Martin
    CRISTINA.F AS Artemisia Gentileshi
    ERICA MACDONALD AS Heller Frankenthaler
    EVA AS Sofonisba Anguissola
    FRAMERS.I AS Elizabeth Siddal
    GINA MARTIN AS Harriet Hosmer
    HILLARY AS Kay Sage
    JENNY L.WALKER AS Gillian Ayres
    KATHARINA AS Catarina Van Hemessen
    KATIA ROBERTS AS Lydia Emmet
    KERRY PAYNE AS Violet Oakley
    KYUNGHEE LEE AS MargaretWhiteread
    LASSAL AS Auguste Rodin
    LAURA EL-TANTAWY AS Injy Aflatoun
    LAURAM. AS Giovanna Garzoni
    LEE AS Sarah Miriam Peale
    LISA LOGHEN AS Grace Cossington Smith
    LISA WILTSE AS Joan Mitchell
    MARINA BLACK AS Zinaida Serebriakova
    MY GRACIE AS Lila Cabot Perry
    NANCY.P AS Cecilia Beaux
    ROSA V AS Clara Peeters
    SALLY MANN AS Sally Mann
    SOFIA QUINTAS As Josefa De Ayala
    VALERY RIZZO AS Catharine Critcher
    VICKY AS Isabel Bishop
    WENDY AS Marion Wachtel

    MR.HARVEY’S MOTHER AS Maryanna Harvey
    ANTON,THE ANTON AS Georges Braque
    ABELE GUARENGA AS Umberto Boccioni
    ANDREW B AS Henri Matisse
    ANTONY.RZ.AS Paolo Uccello
    ANDREW SULLIVAN AS George Bellows
    ANDRIEW W. AS Matthias Grunewald
    AKAKY AS Roy Lichtenstein
    ASHER AS Pisanello
    JAMES NACHTWEY AS Francisco De Goya
    JOHN VINK AS Salvador Dali
    BILL ALLARD AS William Turner
    BOB BLACK AS Kandinsky Wassily
    BRUCE DAVDSON AS Giotto Di Bondone
    BRUCE GILDEN AS Rembrandt Van Rijn
    BRIAN FRANK AS Grant Wood
    BJARTE AS Edvard Munch
    BRENT.F AS Thomas Eakins
    CARSTEN AS Leonetto Cappiello
    CHARLIE MAHONEY AS Albrecht Durer
    CHRIS HINKLE AS Oscar Kokoschka
    DAVID BOWEN AS Joan Miro
    DAVID MCGOWAN AS Benjamin West
    DELLICSON AS Marx Ernst
    DIEGO ORLANDO AS Modigliani Amedeo
    DOUGMCLELLAN AS Adam Elsheimer
    DOMINIK AS Man Ray
    ERIC ESPINOSA AS Gustav Klimt
    FRANSESCO AS Giorgio Morandi
    FROSTFROG AS Paul Klee
    GAETANO AS Fra Angelico
    GORDON LAFLEUR AS James McNeill Whistler
    GREG GORMAN AS Botticelli
    HAIK AS Arshile Gorky
    HARRY AS Edouard Manet
    HERVE AS Caravaggio
    IAN AITKEN AS Francis Bacon
    IMANTS AS Mark Rothko
    JAMES CHANCE AS Rene Magritte
    JARED IORIO AS Marc Chagall
    JEFF. H AS Lauren Harris
    JIM POWERS AS Jasper Jones
    JOHN CLADDY AS George Frederick Watts
    JONI KARANKA AS Valentin Serov
    JOHN LANGMORE AS Maurice de Vlaminck
    JASON HOUGE AS Georges de La Iour
    JUSTIN PARTYKA AS Malevich Kazimir
    JUSTIN SMITH AS El Lissitzky
    KIRIL SUROV AS Victor Vasarely
    MARCIN AS Jan Matejko
    MARK TOMALTY AS Nicolas Poussin
    MARK DAVIDSON AS Marcel Duchamp
    MARTIN BRINK AS Caspar David Friedrich
    MATTHEW NEWTON AS Brett Whiteley
    MATT AS Worthington Whittredge
    MEDFORD TAYLOR AS Andre Derain
    MICHAEL C. BROWN AS Claude Monet
    MICHAEL KIRCHER AS Thomas Hart Benton
    MICHAEL LOYD YOUNG As Paul Gauguin
    MICHAEL WEBSTER AS Marsden Hartley
    MIKE HALMINSKI AS Jacques Louis David
    MIKE BERUBE AS Jean Paul Riopelle
    MIKE PETERS AS Francisco De Zurbaran
    MIKE R AS William Orpen
    MIMI AS Nicholas Hilliard
    PANOS SKOULIDAS AS Gustave Courbet
    PARR MARTIN AS Warhol Andy
    PATRICIO.M. As Carlos Morel
    PAUL TREACY AS Thomas Gainsborough
    PAUL PARKER AS George Caleb Bingham
    PETE MAROVICH AS Norman Rockwell
    PETER GRANT AS Homer Watson
    POMARA(PAUL) AS George Seurat
    PRESTON MERCHANT AS Honore Daumier
    RAMON MAS AS Diego Velasquez
    REIMAR OTT AS Pierre August Renoir
    ROSSY AS Charles F.Goldie
    SAM HARRIS AS Tom Roberts
    SIDNEY ATKINS AS William Blake
    STEFAN ROHNER AS William Hogarth
    STEVE MCCURRY AS Michelangelo
    THODORIS AS Edward Hopper
    THOMAS BREGULA As Max Beckmann
    TIM RIPLEY AS Paul Delvaux
    TOM YOUNG AS Winslow Homer
    VASILIOS AS Frederick Leighton
    VIVEK AS Jamini Roy
    VELIBOR AS Primoz Trubar
    WEBB ALEX As Paul Jackson Pollock
    WROBERTANGEL AS Henri Robert
    SPACE COWBOY AS Paul Cezanne

    In memory of Andrew Wyeth And Masaaki Okada and to all our friends up Here and Up There…!

    your Civilian-mass audience!!!

    P.S if your name is not up there…My sincere apologies…but one of my chickens
    broke my reading glasses…oups, I am out of time…
    Happy Holidays to All

  • a civilian-mass audience

    oups,HAPPY BIRTHDAY again
    i hope… this works

    P.S Bravo Thodori

  • IMANTS AS Mark Rothko………. nah no way see my blog civi

  • Civi! A Tour de Force!

    And you found my Irish ancestry.

  • A year has passed already? Wow!

  • Civi; tht list is a stunner! I wish my pics were worth as much as a Goldie though!

  • Civi…

    Thanks mate…

    Also, even though I’m not all that familiar with Hopper’s work, I do love this one:
    which happens to be on the cover of the Greek translation of Kerouac’s “Lonesome Traveler”…

    happy travels and new beginnings…

  • Happy Birthday Burn
    Very cool civi!! Had to google mine!!
    But what about you?
    Viva Burn

  • Civi: I REALLY don’t like Salvador Dali.

  • At the risk of sounding like Henny Penny… I was really surprised to see a photographer of Larry Towell’s standing needing to seek public funding for a project.

  • Civi

    Love you dearly.

    Here are a couple just for you.

    Martha herding ducks this afternoon. You may not remmember the duckling pictures I posted for you earlier this year, but here they are all grown up, and having escaped from the duck yard.

    Another Christmas card for you. (gag me with a Hallmark Card alert) French Creek harbour a five minute walk from my house, and where the Lasquei Island foot passenger ferry docks.

    Civi, thankyou for your always gentle, loving, and positive energy. I hope you are getting to enjoy family this season.

  • Ross – I am ALWAYs working on multiple projects – probably a dozen at a time… It takes me a long time to get some things done, some things I get done right away.

    Civi – you are probably the most thoughtful guy in the entire world… I would give you a good cat, if I could…

  • CIVI ;))))


    (how do you think we ended up together) ;))))…

    and, ok, i’ll take Kandinsky…have always been a drunk abstract russian at heart ;))))


    and our HOMER! :)))))


    p.s. DAVID: I will try to write something proper for your Holiday Lights post…i think i can sing up something ;))…before i leave… i type this, Marina and dima are over the Atlantic on their way east…..

  • CIVI:

    if you want a plug into the Black Family, life, i’m sending you a vid….marina and dima are over the atlantic….i’m feverishly scanning negs (late) to send to Oli pin-at…rather, i gotta send one and i can’t make up my mind….so, i’m screaming at the scanner to process my damn muddy negs faster….Wolf Blass at my side….

    but, this is very much the spirit of our family…you’ll see when you arrive…

    ok, gotta run….


  • Civi:Wow…!

    JV:you will have to like him from now on..
    I guess Civi is running low on inventory…;)

  • Had never heard of Sarah Miriam Peale. Had to google her. Portrait painter. Funny. Over past three days have been asked to do portraits for a Christmas Card and a brochure for my daughter and a friend. I am a terrible portrait taker. And it is because I don’t use flash and can’t seem to get in sync with strobe…

  • ROSS..

    you should not be surprised…most Magnum photographers need funding…they have standing because they work on projects they believe in and because they are talented photographers,not necessarily working on projects that someone might finance…Larry almost never does a project that anyone would pay him to do…Magnum as an agency garners often large funding for us to all work together on projects like the AIDS work from last year or the Korea work from the year before, but these are few are far between…we all apply for grants …we all struggle…Kickstarter seems ready made for us quite frankly….what better way to get funding than from those who want to support your project?? Magnum photographers probably do way less commercial work than any equivalent number of photographers…so, support Larry in Afghanistan if you can…he deserves it…and he needs it…

    cheers, david


    Civi is not a guy…most of the time


    yea, dude…let it go…rip it up

  • David; I had already pledged, and posted the request to Facebook just in case any of my friends wanted to

    Cheers :-)

  • ROSS…

    oh great Ross…it will all come back to you tenfold….one way or another….many thanks….

  • LEE,

    What does using flash have to do with taking portraits? If not comfortable with flash then just find some existing light, good or bad, and take some portraits. Don’t sweat what you are not comfortable with and do that which you are.



  • CIVI,

    Wow, fantastic list. And funny thing is I’ve always had a thing for Degas since I was little (go figure).

    You are truly a force….


  • Charles, you are right. I have taken good ones in existing light but really needed more with these two. I will get there. “..and do that which you are.”

    Totally socked in with rain and heavy cloud cover so no lunar eclipse. Way disappointed. But family arrived and they are snug in their beds and I’m about to be too.

    Good night to one half and good morning to the other half.

  • Civi:

    Sophonisba once said:“Life is full of surprises, I try to capture these precious moments with wide eyes.”

    Indeed indeed.. one of yesterday’s precious moments, if only for me:

    Thank you, Civi :)

  • Lee..

    Any chance you can sign up at one of DAH’s lighting workshops? As I get not just flash.. wish this was done closer to home..

  • CIVI!! :)

    and yes, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to BURN!
    Thanks to David, Anton, Haik, and all others in the background enabling this,
    and thanks to all who actively participate and make this to one of the coolest communities.
    If not even THE coolest community.

    what not to love!

  • December 21, 2008

    this is my last post on this platform…..please go now to:  
    our “road trips” blog is now simply called  “Dialogue” on the new Burn homepage…all of your comments should be saved, in order as here, and we can continue as per normal….plus we will have many new features…not all of them up yet, but we are working on it….weird, but i feel a little sad to say goodbye here….but, ready to say hello there….

    peace et al, david

    Two years since the above comment! WOW!! 

    I rememeber, as it was posted yesterday in 
    Two years ago, I used to checked once a week Road Trips, was the page that I found something new with NatGeo (photo of the day). 

    Today I can not stand to not see burnmagazine two to three times per day. (Luckily I have not and I’m not insane with the iPhone, if not…) I think is the case, here of the majority in “Dialogue”
    A year later, a grant to an emerging photographer was released, Alejandro was the winner, with a gorgeous project (Felicitaciones!!!), shortly after a magazine… (I never saw anything called “Magazine” with more than 300 pages, think that “burn-brick-magazine 01” would be the correct name…), a Lucie Award, Interviews in Lens Blog, parties at the loft (hope visit it soon), etc…

    Thanks to all the photographers across the earth, but especially to David and Anton, who made this possible and without asking any money (nor at the beginning, not now).

    I’m self taught, I did not attempt photo-schools, only once at PhotoEspagna (learned a lot), hope will be in a DAH workshop here in Europe, but my school are mainly books, libraries, shoot, shoot, and still shoot, nevermind the camera or the film, but shooting with the deep of the soul is the point.
    Bur since this community appeared…Burn is like going back to the school every day, and being in the classroom, sitting in front of the teacher, hear, see, think, “cogitate” to make the best to move and go forward. 
    One of the best schools in these times, with the big classroom in the world!!

    Thus, a happy birthday and many thanks to David, Anton and everyone else who made it possible.


  • Reading comments backwards and mixed up.. hi Thomas, hehe, cool title ;).. Ross, thanks for that link, Larry Towell has been, some years back, a revelation and an eye and mind opener.. Imants, thanks for the slideshow, cool music also, funny..

  • Hello again!! @All (About “VIVA FREEDOM”)

    I post my comment a bit late … but just now, I have time to write a bit … the cold outside makes me to stay more in front of the computer …

    I think, it would be great to create different rooms. Leaving in the main page of burn the “main essay” comments, and the “work in progress”.

    Below or in the right side, It would be interesting to  have other forums or discussions:
    with titles, i.e.
    – Technical stuff:  lenses, film, body, medium format, panoramic format, etc…
    – Computer stuff:  PhotoShop, Lightroom, Bridge, etc … 
    – Grants, exhibitions, job opportunities and that all this sorted respectively.
    – Multimedia: Videos and web sites

    Like the lightalkers web site (more or less).
    So, if I don’t know which is the best way to push my film, I can simply write my question and started a discussion.
    In this way, it would be less “melange”, not only one Dialogue for everything.

    What do you think?

    Something I do not like … is the small amount of time that remains each story in “Dialogue”, when a conversation begans and get interesting, it’s time to change… I remember Fast Food was quite good… but It only lasted a few days … I think it should be open. The same to “Ability to tell” should be nearly infinite. 
    Always open to discuss questions or ideas.

    Well, again Happy Birthday and Merry X-Mas.
    Hug to all, Happy 2o11!!!

    Sorry for my english…

  • Hi PaTrIcIo…
    You seem to be enjoying and learning just as much as I am!!
    I shudder at the thought of finding…
    -Technical stuff: lenses, film, body, medium format, panoramic format, etc…
    -Computer stuff: PhotoShop, Lightroom, Bridge
    On Burn.
    My very modest opinion is their are enough blogs and websites about these things…
    OK I´m a bit radical on the technical side I hate all the technical side of photography, learnt all I needed at college and don´t really want to think about it anymore!
    Nothing wrong in something coming up about a slight technical question but that´s it.
    I like this idea…
    Grants, exhibitions…
    I don´t know, Burn is special and I wonder how much of this magic is because of the free creative spirit through out this online mag.
    Anyway Happy Xmas PaTrIcIo!!

  • Lee,
    I thought this may inspire your available light portraits.
    Now the following is interviews and more information just in case you actually like what I´ve linked and you´re short of time for exploring the web!



    This is if you persist with flash which is a good thing…
    I hope the clouds blow away and you´re just too busy watching the eclipse to see this link. Good luck!!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    BURNIANS…I love you ALLLLL

    I am stuck in a white terminal…people are upset,sleeping on the floor,
    Empty eyes…You can see the picture…
    It’s our BIRTHDAY…BURN once,BURN twice…you know the story…

    Come on…WAKE UP…it’s our birthday and we are partying…
    It’s our Birthday
    It’s our birthday…

    I hope I am I. The right aisle…but I don’t care…cause today it’s our birthday…

    P.S …regarding the list…you can always exchange…euro,dollars,drachmas,liras…
    Oime…out of free wif

  • Civi, thanks. Bit of a coincidence that I just mentioned the innovative things the Brooklyn museum is doing on their 5th floor. One of my favorite paintings there is a Marsden Hartley.

  • Civi…
    Burn Birthday!!
    This seems so far and so close…

  • Eva beat me to it…

    Congrats to Patricia for 3rd prize with Falling Into Place and Anton for Top Finalist with 893-Yakuza..and to all the other winners and finalists…

    More Snow and Ice here….still like living in narnia before the death of the Ice Queen. Ice on the tree limbs doesn’t even melt during the day….

    Good light, all, and may your holiday time be filled with fun and joy and not frustration….

    and to all
    Now to read what this thread is all about……

  • CIVI…thank you for the mention in the list – will now look more at many of those artists for influence….safe and hopefully un-delayed and un-eventful travels to you….

    About seeing technical topics on BURN, I am on the side of the fence with Paul …. I would not like that, I think…there are many, many sites with such excellent technical discussions that I believe to bring them here would dilute that which makes BURN special to me….the artistic kibbutz feel, the influence not so much as to *how* to do something technically “right” (is there such a thing?) but *why* to do it, *what* to do….to push each other and discuss those inner parts…

    And while learning lighting from a master such as DAH would undoubtedly be a most valuable experience, I think that I personally would take away good technique but more than that, good artistic “intention” from it…

    That said, those who know me know that I can drift into techie-talk much too easily :)

    such an excellent example of another part of the value here….a member says “I have concerns/trouble/self-doubt/no idea of XYZ”….and other members chime in with “Hey, check out this and this and this to get some ideas on XYZ…”. Well played.

    On the birthday of BURN…a quote about the definition of Road Trips….posted before but for those who may not have seen it…

    “I don’t know if you meant what you said quite the way you wrote it but you have hit the nail right on the head, this place is AN OPEN ROOM, A party in an open room comings and goings occasional bottlenecks in the doorway, a couple quietly ageing on the couch nodding sagely, someone holding court enthralling all around, then someone vomiting in the pot plant.

    There’s a chandelier in this room and some appreciate its beauty and form, some think it’s just a bloody light, some know how many facets are cut in the crystal centrepiece and which Bavarian craftsman built it, and then some just swing from it.

    There’s a bookcase as well, where arguments, knowledge and opinions fly off the shelves, some are hit, never to be seen again, some come back stronger, ready for more, some look for a long forgotten stash behind the classics.

    Some enter in a frenzy, engaging all and sundry in a mad circumnavigation, naming countries, tearing down cities, building empires –Then, Poof! They’re gone! Some are in the corner staring at the lava lamp.

    Some enter quietly, circling conversations, earwigging, finally finding a group that fits, and joining in! It’s self validation – shit, I don’t suck that much after all! Some are taking a Leatherman tool to the drinks cabinet.

    Some come in desperate that the special someone who will make dreams come true and happy ever after will be a reality if they can just bend the ear of the host, take him by the sleeve and take him off to the bathroom for a special one on one, Some are in the street staring up through the window ,dodging the occasional TV or other white good that is thrown ( photography is solo rock and Roll), not coming up, not knocking on the door walking away, collars turned up, hat pulled down. Some are drinking out of jam jars because someone just broke a tray of glasses.

    Someone’s creating a scene, diverting attention away from the matter at hand, Drama! This room is filling quickly, time to spill out onto the street, who’s turn is it to go down the off-licence? We’re running low.

    There’s someone smoking on the balcony.

    If there’s anything extracurricular that grows out of this, it’s working title has to be “The Open Room “.

    Posted by: Glenn | August 24, 2008 at 01:59 AM

    good holiday light and cheer, all

  • A very good showing by many photoraphers featured in burn.
    well done all.
    The winning work is well deserving but the overall standard was very high indeed.

    Patricia Lay Dorsey. Congratulations patricia, a fantastic result for you. I told you at the time ,and I still say, that your opening portrait is a fantastic piece of work, full of feeling and life.


  • Ehm.. a little less cryptic, what I mean is that this burn. thing is an organic thing..

  • DAH… Yes, I am back time to time… but it’s sooo hard to read all comments.. it’s soooo much!

  • Speaking of tech talk….would someone who knows how and can explain point me somewhere to figure out how to set up my iphone and gmail account to use a reader to follow burn comments? I’ve never used a reader, so much of that tech-speak is new to me…tried to make it work once and never saw anything, so I obviously didn’t do it right.

  • Eva, not sure how my travels are going to fall out this year. Hoped to go to Maine in January (don’t know what I’m thinking with winter in the east). Haven’t figured it all out yet.

  • Paul thanks for the links. If the light is available I can do a good portrait. It is when I have to supply the light or the light needs to be equaled out that I am working on. Will read your posts soonest. No moon only cloud cover and much needed rain. sigh.


    WEB –
    in google, open
    log in with you credentials.

    To add a subscription, in the Google-Reader use the button “Add subscription”
    the RSS Address for burn, top-level is:

    For the comments, use the “Feed for this entry” link (you find it for each essay or dialogue, below the “xxx Responses”, copy it and paste it after clicking “Add subscription”.
    Repeat this for every essay or dialogue, you want to follow.

    Now you have the RSS Feeds via the Web.

    Setup for the iPhone.
    Use a RSS App, like Feeddler. (The free one does it usually, the paid ones give you some more options)
    In the RSS App, sign in with your gmail credentials, it should synchronize immediately which your reader in google.

  • below the xxx responses, copy the link, not the text. (Just to be clear :)


    The comment feed is

    The post feed is and it is the default. your reader should find that one automatically.

    There are also link Entries Feed and Comments Feed at the bottom of the page – a tiny ones. Use those if you need them in the future.


  • Haik,

    Thanks for the Feedburner link for comments. I didn’t realize it had a separate feed!


  • …and, I just realized that I can star those comments that are gems in Google Reader, so that I can refer to them later. Sweet!

  • Well getting back to holiday lights…
    My very most urgent and worrying photographic goal for 2011 is to find an idea for an essay. At the moment I am totally stuck. I´m using Eva´s 3 short questions she offered and thinking of the many ideas DAH has posted over the last couple of years… but for the moment no such luck. The one and only hint my subconcious has suggested is it isn´t going to be about landscape photography.
    So right now looking within myself and what is sitting on my doorstep.
    Any insight, advice and experience from any of you and DAH will be most appreciated!

    For those of you who have problems in getting down to a daily creative routine may I offer some inspiration:

  • By the way Civi…
    thanks for the lovely teacher quote yesterday

  • Paul, what about putting those questions and suggestions aside and .. well, you have kids, right? Family.. a dog.. cat? It’s the easiest thing (with easy I don’t mean it’s easy to make good pictures, but it’s easy because it’s there, all the time).. holidays are coming up, don’t know if you do the Christmas thing, trees and all that, with the kids..

    Or, no camera. At all.

  • Ok, but that’s just me, I’d have a look here and see what I could find:

  • Eva. You can almost hear all the HCSP boys and girls sharpening their mamiyas in anticipation. Wouldnt surprise me to find a few of them making the final cut. A dedicated mob for sure…but then so are trainspotters.

  • Isn’t it great to see all those Burn names at the FotoVisura awards? :-)

    Paul; Re: the essay; What are you interested in? What is right before you? Under you nose, so to speak. Who has an interesting job, story, lifestyle? Don’t over-think it, just start shooting and have some fun! :-)

    I still think Audrey’s essay about her parents and David McGowan’s Garage Sale were great essays. A bit like the current “Mute” essay, storys that are right under everyone’s collective noses! :-)

  • Eva!
    You´ve just given me a very good idea…blessing the animals festivity!! 16 Jan that´s round the corner, now this will be good warm-up short term project.
    Well I´ve been shooting the last two months the kids quite intensely on 35mm Tri-X, just wanted something a little more physical than digital. The first time I ever saw my eldest son when my wife gave birth was through my M6 viewfinder and of course I´ve got the image!
    Eva have you ever been to Mallorca?

    John what are the HCSP boys?

  • Paul parker. Its a very large flickr group dedicated to street photography.just google HCSP and it will take you there.

  • HAIK,

    using the comments feed you mentioned means all comments are in the same feed independent from the origin (essay, dialogue). Is there an issue using the feed link in the dialogue session per essay, except one needs to setup per essay?

    (I’m using it this way to have the comments grouped in the respective dialogue, which I find well-arranged, especially with the different threads going on)

  • John, what’s a trainspotter?

    Paul, kids on tri-x sounds good to me :)
    You have quite a few things going on one after the other in your place.. now of course all has already been done, but have YOU done it (if that is what interests you that is)? Could be interesting to tie together all the festivities during the year.. to tell it your way.. I mean it’s there, as Ross says, under your nose.. see, it’s all I do, taking pics of family, friends, neighbours, customs, and perhaps one day I’ll can put it all together.. in the meantime I follow the different threads..
    Been to Majorca, I was eleven, and completely in love with the young steward at the hotel.. that was about, ehm, at least a hundred years ago..

  • EVA…
    As someone who is also looking for an essay, I missed your three questions…..what were they?

    No issues in using per-post comments. I just think it is inconvenient since you have to subscribe to all new feeds as they are posted. Unless you have an automatic way of detecting the new posts and “hooking” them.
    In general the action is around one dialogue post anyways :)


    As i told him privately earlier this year and then here at Burn when he was awarded one of this year’s EPF finalists, When The Spirit Moves was my favorite essay of the finalists and winners this year. It is such a gorgeous, rich, heart-pulpy soulful song of life (and I know Chester, first hand), but most important it embodies what (for me) is so important and wise about documentary work: to carriage one’s belief with the belief in the lives around….and it aint just because we share a similar aesthetic, but because Justin’s work is not only beautiful and thoughtful but is born of a place with great heart…and he, as a person, has a big gulping heart as well…so happy this morning..

    and big big hugs and CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR PATRICIA….so so happy for her and Falling into Place, as I told her privately, i hope that this fixes more attention on that book of hers and also encourages here to continue…in front of the nose, upon the doorstep….so so excited and happy for her! :))))

    and of course all the finalists :)))

    big hugs around


  • and oh (kick my ass), i forget to Mention CONGRATS ANTON FOR AN AWARD FOR 893…that magazine is on the top of my bedroom bookcase :)))))….sorry, i’m working on 2 hrs of sleep….and 2 photogs coming over for a review/edit in 1 hr and so much to do….

    david :))) I’LL WRITE SOMETHING i promise…not tonight, but shooting for tomorrow night…will try to make it wine-fueled, love=ticked :)))))….and friday, i take to the air….

    ok, running literally


  • HAIK,

    I see. Thanks for the clarification. Yes, my way takes a little more effort. :)

  • andrew b..

    The questions were not as much about finding an essay idea itself, as a response to Paul’s question about how to go on with photography, he coming from landscape photography and thinking about giving it up..

    Here’s the link to the questions, the whole thing goes back up through the page before that though:

  • i miss Hydra today

    Leonard on Marianne (the story)

  • ALL

    i will be occupied with family activities for the next few days…might get in here for a short comment or two between now and Christmas, but maybe not…wishing all of you the very best holidays…and please know how much i appreciate your participation here…yea, you all make me crazy sometimes…which only proves one thing…we are family to the core

    cheers, hugs, david

  • I realize that in the worlds of serious photojournalism and serious art photography, this holds little meaning, but it feels kind of nice, just the same: My blog has just won the Bloggers Choice award for Best Photography Blog of 2010.


    just ready to sign off and saw this…THIS is EVERYTHING…congratulations and a great way to end up the year …good on you Bill….

    cheers, david

  • Congratulations Bill, as one who checks in every day I can say that the accolade is well-deserved!


  • Yea Bill. Wow. I like your blog a lot too. Thanks for being so faithful with it and congratulations!

  • David,

    I hope to swing through town this evening, perhaps we can catch up at Carver’s. Thursday afternoon is free and clear…perhaps we can catch up then if not tonight. Looking forward to it. Best, Jeremy

  • “Tonight is the longest night of the year,” said the Green Woman, “and it is on this night that we must awaken our spiritual energy and send it forth and bring back the light of the sun to the Earth, because the Earth is in great need…” And so it went, just before the winter solstice yesterday, as a man made a fire with a bow and a stick, and a woman dressed like an extra in a road company production of The Lord of the Rings intoned the sort of New Age drivel one comes to expect on such an occasion. There were the usual jeremiads against technology and corporate greed; you cannot, apparently, worship Gaia without bashing the shareholders on occasion, and our Green Woman made much of this week’s lunar eclipse and its spiritual connection to yesterday’s festivities.

    Please color me unimpressed. That yesterday was the longest night of the year was the one fact in this woman’s ongoing spiel, and this fact is only true if you live in the Northern Hemisphere; if you live in Australia, it was the longest day of the year and probably a great day to go to the beach and enjoy yourself. In fact, with Christmas falling on a Saturday this year, your average Australian will probably spend many a long hour at the beach with the family, swimming and eating fried chicken and working on the tan while laughing at the poor Pommy bastards up to their backsides in snow in dear old Blighty, content in the knowledge that the horse great—great—great—great—granddad tried to snaffle in London way back in the day was the best thing that ever happened to the family; without Granddad to the fifth power getting caught and sentenced to transportation to the Antipodes, you’d be freezing your backside off now too.

    I suppose this baying at the moon was the sort of thing that impressed the hell out of your average noble savage back in the days when being a noble savage was all the rage, but let me point something out here: my spiritual energy—always a low flame, I will admit—and the spiritual energy of everyone gathered together in that small park isn’t enough to light up a cigarette, assuming you could smoke one during the festivities, much less bring back the power of the sun to the Earth. The reason for this is simple: the Sun hasn’t gone anywhere. What occurred yesterday is that the Earth moved on its axis and from here on out the top part of the planet will be getting more sunlight than the bottom part of the planet. Please pardon me for pointing out that our collective spiritual energy didn’t have a damn thing to do with it; if none of us were in that park intoning New Age drivel, if ancient tribes of Hollywood extras did not sacrifice virginal platinum blondes to the all-knowing moon when the director barked, “Action,” if hordes of refugees from adult responsibility did not strip naked, smoke weed, and howl at the moon tonight, something I hear goes on a fairly regular basis in California’s state legislature, the Earth’s movement on its axis would still have happened. In short, Gaia doesn’t need our spiritual energy to do anything. I repeat, for those of you who are hard of reading, the winter solstice was going to happen anyway. Sir Isaac Newton, a strange little man with an odd predilection for drawing and quartering counterfeiters; a revolting hobby, to be sure, but we all need something to take our minds off our troubles, I suppose; explained how all of this worked in Principia Mathematica some three hundred years ago. He also explained how lunar eclipses happen too, and I hate to rain on anyone’s parade here, but the spiritual link between the winter solstice and the lunar eclipse isn’t a link at all; it’s just something that happens every so often. The last time it happened was 1638 and the next time it will happen is 2094, at which point the kids at yesterday’s get-together will be ancients and can bore their grandchildren to tears with stories of how dumb people were back in 2010. So all of that good spiritual energy you felt while chanting and moving around the big fire in a circle was probably the sugar rush you get when your body metabolizes the jelly doughnut you had for lunch instead of a ham sandwich. Doughnuts are a good thing, spiritually and gastronomically.

    As for the standard denunciation of technology, let me point something out here. Christmas began life as a Roman holiday, the feast of Sol Invictus, the Invincible Sun, which came back to life every 25th day of the tenth month of the Roman year. Once Constantine Christianized the Roman Empire, he saw that he had a perfectly good holiday with nothing to holiday about anymore. Being a clever man, Constantine did what millions of other people have done in the years since then: he regifted. He put the celebration of Christ’s birth on the vacated holiday, despite the biblical evidence that Jesus was born in either the spring or summer; as I’ve mentioned in another context, in Judea shepherds do not tend their flocks by night in the middle of winter on the off-chance that a wandering heavenly host with nothing better to do with their time will come drifting by blasting out Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus in high definition stereo sound. But why was the 25th day of the tenth month the date of the holiday? Because when your most technologically advanced timekeeping device is a sundial, the 25th day of the tenth month is the day that clearly shows the days getting longer. Our Green Woman who despises technology so much only knows that the 21st day of the twelfth month of the Gregorian calendar is the longest day of the year because improved chronological technology can now tell her to the nanosecond when the big moment is going to happen. Without said technology, the Green Woman would be spewing her spiritual energy on the wrong day. On the other hand, I have to admit that watching the guy start a fire with a bow and a stick was pretty cool, but then I am easily entertained. Starting fires this way is a useful skill if you’re a Boy Scout or a Green Beret, but I think I will stick with the microwave oven, if it’s all the same to Gaia.

  • BILL..

  • & also congratulations to

  • Akaky, true. Christmas isn’t my favorite holiday. I like my family being here and I enjoy the fun but the conflict of balancing kid’s proper understanding of consumer goods and expecting gifts under the tree tears me a bit each year. Each year I say I’m not going to do it. Every year I do. I have Christmas gift guilt if I don’t. This year it was about clothes and art supplies but technology is a big part too. One is a camera I’m passing along to my oldest daughter. I have no problem with technology–I would not want to be without what technology does for my life.

    Off to the pool on Dec 22! The beach later in the week when the sand settles back down from the big storm and the sharks won’t eat us, mistaking us for turtles.

  • Magenta Foundation: Flash Forward 2011 Competition

    Deadline 31 Dec. 2010

  • 34 years old and under? How odd.

  • Watched an amazing documentary last night, “Smash the Camera,” about the godfather of the paparazzi, Ron Galella. No matter what you think of this guy and his ways, there’s no denying he’s left an unparalleled historical legacy of celebrity in the 60’s and 70’s. His archive is vast, and it’s mind blowing what a tireless worker he was. See this film NOW is all I can say…. (it’s out on DVD).

  • MichaelK! coolest self portrait, or what;)

  • Bill

    Let me add my voice to the congratulations. I LOVE your blog. Someday I might become inspired enough to start my own, but I’m afraid it will take over my life.


    Yah, you don’t get no respect from your own family. Much more co-operation when shooting strangers who are paying you to be there.

  • David

    Love my flannel shirts too, though have never cleaned a lens with one. For my birthday this year Martha gave me fuzzy flannel pants with a draw-string, now when I come home from a hard day, I change the engergy and put on my flannel shirt and fuzzy pants.

  • Panos…

    Yes… I love dressing up as Sgt. Pepper for Xmas! ;^}

  • Vivek…

    Thanks… made me smile.


  • David – Thanks! Glad I caught you before you left.

    Mike – Lee – Panos – Panos – Gordon, thanks, also. And Gordon, that is a reasonable fear to have.

    Vivek – Being one of the cat people, thank you!

  • congratulations mr. frog!

    i too have liked your blog.. but these past few have been filled with sad sad notes.
    i thought soul friends made good memories. would you write about them some more?


    LOVE THE BLOG….not only cause it’s so thoughtful but swelled with love, of the people around you and the stories you sharing…though i dont read it everyday, no time, but i always love the stories and the pics…and again, that far-from-frosty heart that engines it :)))


  • FrostFrog Bill!

    Very cool news indeed, congratulations!

    I admire those who can blog consistently, admire even more those who are able to do that and actually have people interested enough in them to read and follow along…

    Social-change-instigating photojournalism? No…but most certainly not insignificant.

  • go billy go…

  • Harry…

    Many thanks for making me squander an otherwise perfectly nice day!


    do not have your Durango number….i think you leave tomorrow, but not sure what time…i am going to the local Open Shutter gallery tomorrow morn…if you still in town that would be a good time and place to meet…

  • Mw…
    When are you going to post a link to your screensavers? :)

  • Eva…
    I´m starting to become a big fan of your work… I was thinking about you last night, whilst reading your comment on form versus content in the “advance warning” dialogue. I´d forgotten you are Italian, just shows how fluent your English is.

  • Panos, I’ll bring it over here to get away from references to any particular individual. I’ve looked seen a lot of your photos from Greece and quite a few from Venice. I suspect a lot of what I like about you is your unpredictability. So perhaps it’s fair to answer your question with a question… Why no picture of the Acropolis?

    For Bob I’ll reference Bolaño’s 2666, a work that is widely regarded as a historically great artistic achievement. Much of it is set in Sonora. I think I’ve mentioned that I lived there for eight years? During that time I covered a lot of ground and read constantly about its past and present. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t fancy myself as some kind of magic gringo, but it is true that I have some broad and often esoteric knowledge about the place. Bolaño’s work is also about the mass murder of young women that took (is still taking?) place around Juarez, another subject I’ve read a lot about. Yet there is nothing, not a single thing, in that work that I’ve found predictable. My experience tells me that Bolaño’s writing is true, but it’s not telling me much of anything I already know. Page after page comes as a surprise. It’s deepening my knowledge and challenging my stereotypes, not reinforcing them. And that’s a lot of what I look for in great art. Not everything, but a good part… I want to be changed by it. Maybe it’s something like the old Groucho Marx joke about not wanting to belong to a club that would accept me; maybe I just don’t think art can be great if it validates what I already think.

    Same is true for your work David. I’ve looked back through all your NatGeo stuff and am constantly surprised by the stuff you see that I never thought about. I doubt we’d be having these conversations otherwise.

    But again, what I really want to say at this point is: peace, happy holidays, good wishes, whatever gets you through the night, and a happy and productive new year to all… and to all a good night.

  • Ok, one more thing, since I was asked a direct question:

    Q: When are you going to post a link to your screensavers? :)

    A: I think it was December 12. ;|


    You and I, friends and still-too-young-boys, have been through a swell of madness and shit, love and connection, frustration and need, fight and rib and embrace and warmth, family-to-family, over the last two years and yet look at what has been sustained and has stained into a flowering and imagining of curl’d lip’d waves, protruberant……..we have sustained and we sustain, remain, gather and connect, occassionally separate and bare yet the trust once again. So, in honor of that, I am writing this for you…friend to friend, colleague to colleague, talker-to-talker, son to son, dad to dad….this is for you amigo as you gather in your mom and son’s and get your ass kicked by them in the wide-sky of Colorado and the thinning squelch of Twitter ;))….believe me, i know the feeling…;)_

    for u amigo, man to man….



    The whiskey on your breath
    Could make a small boy dizzy;
    But I hung on like death:
    Such waltzing was not easy.

    We romped until the pans
    Slid from the kitchen shelf;
    My mother’s countenance
    Could not unfrown itself.

    The hand that held my wrist
    Was battered on one knuckle;
    At every step you missed
    My right ear scraped a buckle.

    You beat time on my head
    With a palm caked hard by dirt,
    Then waltzed me off to bed
    Still clinging to your shirt.

    –Theodore Roethke

    “On the rough wet grass of the back yard my father and mother have spread quilts. We all lie there, my mother, my father, my uncle, my aunt, and I too am lying there. First we were sitting up, then one of us lay down, and then we all lay down, on our stomachs, or on our sides, or on our backs and they have kept on talking. They are not talking much and the talk is quiet, of nothing in partiuclar, of nothing at all in particular, of nothing at all. The stars are wide and alive, they seem each like a smile of great sweetness and they seem very near. All my people are larger bodies than mine, quiet, with voices gentle and meaningless like the voices of sleeping birds. One is an artist, he is living at home. One is a musician, she is living at home. One is my mother who is good to me. One is my father who is good to me. By some chance, here they are all on this earth; who shall ever tell the sorrow of being on this earth, lying, on quilts, on the grass, on a summer evening, among the sounds of night. May god bless my people, my uncle, my aunt, my mother, my good father, oh, remember them kindly in their time of trouble and in the hour of their taking away.

    After a little I am taken in and put to bed. Sleep, soft smiling, draws me unto her: and those receive me, who quietly treat me, as one familiar and well-beloved in that home: but will not, oh, will not, not now, not ever; but will not ever tell me who I am.”

    –James Agee, A Death in the Family

    Six weeks ago, in the middle of the night a call that every parent fears, the night shangled and shingled by the obtrusive voice of someone you don’t know the scent of you telling you that your family, your life is interrupted by the vagaries of life, the swill of a late-night saturday moon scattering calm in bed for the blood and fear of a child toss’d propinquitously by branches of chance….

    “‘is this Dima’s father?”…

    “don’t worry, he is ok, but…”

    how does one begin to explain the rush of heat and dendrite fear that surges forth from that distant voice that beings, benignly, to tell you that your child is in trouble, is bruised and wounded and unsteady, but is ‘ok’….

    is this not the same elemental, primordial, need to race into the night to set the world, wobbly, astraight, is this not the same need to coutenance all that careens past your eyes and ears and limbs, do we not wish to frame all that around us as a measure to protect, as a measure to strike out against all that so quickly disappears, is shaken and taken from us, is this not the same key-stroke that defines our swill and swap….in that moment of fear, a stiffening came, that I would be calm, that I would shuttle out to him, to build, stone by stone, something that would shield him from fear, wall up the collapse of my wife, 20 minutes later,of my wife’s fear…..

    my son was in the hospital after being beaten into unconsciousness, and all I had to further forward was the fact that I had to be calm and to brace that which would always be unpredictable, would always be in front of me, would always remind me of why, reason and rite and ritual and relief aside, i am planted here:

    to be here for him and for her, because i have nothing else to guage the disappeance and standard by….

    later, in front of him, head cut up and bleeding, a ghastly sight removed only by the simple, honest fact that he was, for want of something more deeply discriptive, ‘ok’…bandaged, bruised, bled, he’d awakened, sutured and, like the brave and disbelieving teen he was, unconcerned in front for what had transpired….

    in a moment, i thought, no camera….a stupid, ridiculous graving to photograph him, both the character of the smile of his face, the rivald ferocity of his laughter beneath his blood stained jacket and white-bandaged skull, and in that moment, i felt ashamed. why was it that i wished to photograph him, why was it that I wish to express, to share, what i struggled with….that, i thought for a moment, if only i could render that moment abstract, that I could remedy what had happened to him, what i saw in all that beautiful and pointless contradiction: his wound, his fear, our fear and unnerving, bestilled by his shaking body and attempts to joke, as a remedy for the shock, of what had happened….

    later, walking home, the 3 of us, i kept telling him stories, of my father, of my own silliness, of how ‘ok’ moments pass unknowable…make it rhyme, make it simply beside the fact of what took place….to be, not the nervous, protective father, but instead, the partner, the person who understood that what he was experiencing was, in a sense, a preparation, a letter stitched on his jacket that he too would one day share with his kid…..

    you see, for me, there is nothing so important in photography but the connection with the world surrounding, but with the attempt, even if in failure, to countenace the passing of things, to countenance the disappearance, the joy and sorrow, to photograph as a way of simply articulating that we are small and unknowing, that we a hiding, often, behind our cameras, not from cowardness, but because we have but only a few small, thought vital, ways of singing out against the darkeness and of singing upon the swelling of that which enters our life…

    everything meaningful story that I have tried, failingingly, to tell with a box and swatch of emulsion, was about my family….i don’t, honestly, no any other real way to make photographs…thought I am obsessed by others and lives I am cut off from an intimacy, i want, need to figure out through, not the examination, but the expression of what stood before, what contacted, what made sense or senseless from my own life….

    if i photograph my family (and I do), if I photograph those close to me (and i do), if i photograph the land and place into which i have invested and divested my life, it is from nother greater aspiration that as an attuned attention to speak….to share with what made my life, what still propells me to awaken, to seek nourishment and nuture…..

    it has always been a moment when someone i loved, when some place that i cared about or confounded me, that inspired the need to pick up that motherfucking empty box to click….not as grave reporting, not as artistic licence, not as aspirant need for recognition but for something much simpler….

    this life swells and hurts and confuses and hypnotizes and bruises and breaks my motherfucking heart… father sitting on a bead in tears, was the genesis of Bones…my son sitting in a tree, my mother’s voice talking to a buddhist monk in taipei, the curve of the jaw when my wife smiles, and in a moment, sees something alight, memory, shadow, vowel….

    i shall never be more than a photographer of his family…..

    everthing began and will end by my connection to those who gave me tis small predilection….that I love and cherish this life, that i feel sad and yet grateful for the people who have swelled my life into a shape of meaning….

    I am uninterested in whether or not making pictures make a difference…..they do not, but they can tell stories, wide or narcissistic….but, i want to give to myself, i want to give to those who have given so much to me, i want to give my son some small thing:

    that the world in which he inhabits, bruised or battered or beautiful, has given me meaning beyond the stupid vowels and consonants and pictures i’ve chosen….

    but i now no other way….i’m stuck….

    i take pictures of the people around me….because i am nothing without them, m friends, my parents, the land and sky, the scent and sound….my wife and son….

    they are my home, and the pictures are simply postal codes of that….

    that is the meaning, abeit small, of why i take pictures…

    not the doorstep, but the rooms inside of my life….

    the space into which i breath, inhalation, and from which i have gathered their exhalations to feed me meaning…

    without one another, we are dross….

    and that is why i frantically spent time scanning before i depart far across the eastern horizon…

    my son and my wife await…

    the camera is in the bag…but my heart and life are opened to them…

    ambling off…


  • :)Mw…
    I sense a misunderstanding between you and I. If you found my comment a little blunt I´m sorry I was rushing at break-time between lessons. My interest in your landscape screen savers was Genuine, and I was hoping to have a look on the way back home on the bus.
    Or is it maybe you didn´t like my answer to your comment/question on Sunday?
    Mw I´ve come here to Burn to learn, of those of us round here who actually comment on Burn I´m probably the one whose photography is weakest… it doesn´t matter one bit I will surely try my best to improve. However this weakness may also show up in one´s comments as it surely does with mine. So if you were waiting for a great essay on nature photography you must look elsewhere… I admit I was surprised you didn´t answer my comment on Sunday, hey it could of been fun talking a bit about landscape work but I did realise you were in the middle of a holy war in Detroit.
    So there you go…Knowing that comments sometimes may seem cold and there can be misunderstandings I´m smiling throughout this and I´m as usual in a very good mood even though I´m going to have to wade through all of the 12 Dec to find your link…LOL OK.
    Mw, wishing you a very happy Christmas!

  • Dear all,

    checking back after a much too long absence due to work.

    Before I try to get through the last posts and the amazing work that is up – hopefully in the next days – I want to wish everyone around this crazy, mad, beautiful, menacing, amazing world, enough hope, love and strenght to make it a bit better.

    I wish everyone a merry christmas!


  • Bob: from running to ambling… I like that…

  • Paul, sorry, no offense intended. As I think I said before, I’ve enjoyed your emergence as a commenter on burn. Screensaver is here. Not sure how interesting a conversation partner I can be about landscape, or as I refer to it a bit more broadly, nature photography. My ideas are ill-formed. It’s something along the lines of a love/hate relationship for me. As both an artist and someone who appreciates fine art, I’m more drawn to images or objects with deeper meanings. Yet as a person, I spend a lot of time in nature and am more than content just to experience it without a thought in my head. But then I have a camera with me, so I take photographs, which is something else entirely. Then I look at the pictures, often making these little slideshows, which is something else again, something farther removed from the original sensations.

    I cannot speak much about or reference nature photographers. I’ve seen a lot of Jack Dykinga’s, but don’t really like that style of nature photography, or at least have no interest in making a slideshow out of it. That kind of spectacular nature is the kind of thing I prefer to see for myself. It’s just not the same without the air. But at least it’s honest nature photography. The light in his photographs is real. It’s the fake stuff I actively dislike. Especially the HDR. The fact is, pretty much all my inspiration in this area that doesn’t come from nature itself, comes from painters. And painters who don’t typically paint the most spectacular landscapes. I think it’s a greater skill to see and communicate the beauty in the common scenes. And I get more enjoyment from looking at those kind of pictures. So in that sense, I’m glad you don’t live by a national park.

  • ALL…

    Anton and i had a long long conversation this morning…looking through submissions, thinking about what to publish next etc etc…our usual conversation…but what we both want to do in Europe and in the U.S. and wherever we can do it is to have some sort of Burn meeting point with as many of you as we can gather, just to show work in person and with live exchange…we do our best here, but as i read some the comments above i think we can all see that an honest to goodness person to persona exchange and critique LIVE would be really interesting and well just better….

    our internet gathering is always imperfect…it is the best we can do from afar, but as most of you know i prefer up close and personal….so we will make that happen one way or another…

    so, stay tuned…stay warm….stay happy…love thy neighbor …and a good old fashioned Merry Christmas to all in the true spirit of embracing all philosophies and religions…a day of celebration of the goodness of mankind minus dogma and minus commercialization…just a big high five to all of you from uncle David…hope that makes sense….

    cheers, hugs, love, david

  • Dear David, Dear All

    Wish you a Merry Christmas!
    Love, Health, new ideas and best time with family and friends for all.

    ho ho ho i takie tam…

  • Mw…
    Good to hear from you!! Of course we can have a conversation about nature I´m sure we both will learn a lot as usual in Burn spirit.
    I´m a bit tied down right now to talk about your images… I did finally find the link but thanks for sending a direct link later anyway.
    Have a look at this
    By the way I´ve been looking at your slideshow for the last 20 minutes and it´s interesting…

  • JOHN VINK :))

    It’s about growing up, at last! :))





  • a civilian-mass audience


    The journey never ends
    when your spirit BURNS
    Let’s eat and drink and fart…
    Cause life is a wheel
    We are going up and down
    we are going all…around
    That’s why we call it
    The circle of life…
    The journey never ends…
    I know you are my friends…
    Keep searching for your vision
    …it’s all inside your heads
    My BURNING Circle of friends
    I wish you Happy wholedays
    To find your inner soul
    cause the journey never ends…

    I love you All…I celebrate everyday…Hmmmmm…
    Where is the wine?

    don’t drink and drive…I repeat …
    Don’t drink and drive…leave that to the professionals!

  • :)A very Merry Christmas to all you Burnians!!

  • Paul, don’t know how I screwed up the slideshow link. Sorry.

  • Mw…
    No worries, I´ve spent most of the year living on Burn!

  • CIVI …

    Rodin?! Wow … WOW!
    You just totally made my next year!
    If anyone comes near me with something sharp now, I will expliode like an inflated baloon. :)

    Musée Rodin is THE one single place I have to go everytime I am in Paris. Everything else comes second. Even Paris Photo … :)

  • Gracie – Thank you – and you are right about the sad notes. When I made the announcement of her death, I stated that I would not let the blog dwell there, but the sadness has so overwhelmed me that I have. But I plan to stop doing so now, to the extent that I am capable. If you saw the post I put up yesterday, the one with the scorpion, then I think said something happy there. Basically, though, I think I am going to quit saying anything at all until after I can go through and absorb all my photographs and get back to India. Then I will do my best to put her life back together in the feeble yet powerful way that I think a photographer can do. There will be many good memories, but it will be sad, too. I just do not know how it cannot be sad. But it’s going to be happy, too, and it’s going to make people smile and laugh as well as cry.

    Vivek – that states it all.

    bob – Thank you. That time thing is what is frustrating. Now that everybody can publish, everybody is, and there is so much to sort through and even the rare gems number too many to visit everyday – such as this forum. I always want to keep up with it in its entirety, but I never can.

    But I did just read your writings here. Of the quotes of other’s words, I was most struck by Agee, as it evoked images from my long ago childhood, the literal nature of which my children will never have. In this part of the world, one never sees the stars on nights that warm enough to lounge about on blankets. If you can see the stars, then it is cold. If it is warm and you can lounge and visit through the night, then the night is light and there is no darkness. This too, has its own magic.

    Concerning the quote of yourself, this too struck home and made me wonder what it is in me that caused me to stand even at my father’s bedside, clicking away, as body yielded the fight. He died with his jaw hanging open and I kept wishing that someone would close it, but no one did, and I did not either, because a photographer does not manipulate such a scene. A photographer photographs it as it is. If someone else had closed it, then it would have been true. But those others who could have closed it and didn’t, were they not his grandchildren and children – even as I was?

    What then would have made it a manipulation had I closed his jaw but an honest statement had one of them, which they did not?

    As you might suspect, I have showed those pictures to no one – not even those in the room with me at the time. I don’t want anyone to see them. But I can’t destroy them, either… gracie, as you can see, I am just in a state of being where the sad notes sing… we all find ourselves in this place from time to time.

    But yes, there is still much to smile and laugh about and trust me, I continue to smile. I continue to laugh.

    Harry – I don’t have a few hours, but I will try to remember for when I do.

    andrew b. – Thanks! Maybe once in a little while, I will succeed at throwing in some social-change-instigating photojournalism. While I never thought of it in quite those terms, that was more or less my goal when I started the blog, but just trying to stay somewhat up with the flow of everyday life has overwhelmed that objective.

    Wendy – You, too. Go! Wendy, Go! We here will all go!

    Paul Parker – How do I find your photography?

    Lassal – Glad to see you back. I look forward to trying out some of the recipes that you have come up with.

    Civi – thanks for the comment that you left on my blog. It was just the comment I needed.

    Everybody – Merry Christmas or happy holiday or if it is not a holiday to you, then may it be a worthwhile day whatever it is. “…and a good old fashioned Merry Christmas to all in the true spirit of embracing all philosophies and religions…”

    Well said, David. I hope I can find a way to make it to such a gathering. It will be an interesting experience to meet so many strangers who are already friends. And if it is in Europe, I can give Civi the cat I promised him.

    Not only that, but it will just be a blast – to photograph all those European cats.

    When you get down to it, those are the photos that matter most – the photographs of cats. Photographing cats is the closest that we come to photographing God.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    LASSAL…you had to be RODIN…
    You breath RODIN…

    You Are Rodin…!

    Hiii…where did you find the list…?:)

  • Civi …
    The list is on the 2nd comment page on this post :)
    Thanks by the way … I will never breathe the same again.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    You promised…and I will give you a chicken…
    A photogenic one…:))))))))you might change your mind

    Your blog rocks…cause it’s authentic…
    Its you and it feels real…
    Like here…
    When you are ok with you,then WTF…the whole world will be ok too..
    ROCK ON!!!!

    P.S bring it on MR.HARVEY…what goes around comes around
    VIVA the holy spirits!!!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    I love your logistics…

    It’s Night in Europe…
    I am not there…I traveled around,around…
    Good morning My friends
    Goodnight my other friends and my beloved chickens…!

    Enjoy,enjoy…be with family,friends…forget the gifts and the perfect table manners…
    Nobody will remember your Martha Stewart table….but everyone will remember your smile!

    LOVE YOU ALLLLLLLLLL…free wifi…unlimited…I love America too!!!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Safe travels to all…BOBBYB easy with the ambling off…or whatever that means…
    Hmmm…MR.VINK knows… :)))

    It took me 3 days to cross the waters…are you there ERIC?

    What not o LOve..!!!

  • Hey Bill,

    congrats on your blog award!
    You well deserve it …

    And yes, the recipes are still coming in. As always, things take more time. Now it is the snow and weather in general that is a bit in the way. But on the other hand side I need exactly this weather for my set of images. So that is just how it is. Got one recipe from Morocco yesterday! Looks beautiful in its handwriting, but I have no idea what it says because it came without a translation. :) I have to hunt that translation down now.
    There are still about 10 recipes I am waiting for. I will put them all together at the end and you will get a copy. It might be end of spring though, before I get this done. Just to warn you.

    Thanks for participating … it was during a difficult time in your own life, as I found out later. I hope your found your peace … as I have found mine.

    A big hug – hope to meet you one day.

  • Well; it’s 9am Xmas morning here in NZ. I’d like to wish everyone on Burn a happy and safe Xmas. So take care everyone, ok?

    Cheers :-)


    nobody is able to write about the raw feelings substantiated with life as photography and photography as life as well as you…thank you..Merry Christmas to Dima, Marina, and you….

    abrazos, david

  • ok , let me tell you what i think about holidays, resolutions, dreams etc..
    when i was young i used to think that the majority of people are NOT strong enough to follow their “dreams”…
    Lately i discovered that its not about strength to begin with..
    Its about “having a legit dream” even..
    In other words a small fraction of people DO actually have dreams and only a minority , a fraction of that fraction, are really trying to realize them, to make them true, honor them, follow them…
    So first , find a dream , and when u honestly find it , then make it happen..
    ok, then, merry XMAS once again..:)

  • Frostfrog…
    I’m in the middle of Christmas Eve party with a load of kids running round me….I was going to send you my congrats but first I wanted to explore your blog a liitle… The only way to show a little respect without sounding false or patronising.
    My little blog is A years worth of crutches and and burning desire to express myself.
    Merry Christmas and see you next week on your blog!

  • I like your views on dreams Panos… So very true. Take care Panos and keep on! Merry Xmas!

  • Panos.. are you sure it’s not about strenght? It does take strenght to have dreams, not only to follow them, but also to have them in the frist place.. much easier letting decide others for you.. anyway, working on mine..

    Paul, get in touch with you tormorrow.. have fun chasing the kids!

    .. now.. did I read something about a burn meeting point.. a real thing..

  • About dreams and possession,’Voodoo’, Gaël Turine’s latest book, is out and available on Amazon.
    Here is the link to his website:

  • wow! John v…
    thanks for the link!
    fellow BuRNIAN, jared, is in haiti now….
    photographing voodoo….

  • a civilian-mass audience

    yeap…i found my ouzo…

    sweet dreams


    one of the things i find when faced with a workshop of say ten students is how few of them have dreams….yes, they have all come to me with serious portfolios and perhaps outsized ambition..but ambition has nothing to do with dreams…many have ambition but no dreams..this always surprises me but after some time now i realize this is actually the norm…i always had assumed everyone had dreams…i think dreams get buried quickly in most people just by growing up in society where dreams are quickly sublimated by authority…my job as a mentor is to try to get photographers to dig dig dig and try to remember their dreams…i must find this key or help them to find it…i am not sure about strength or fortitude or anything else…i imagine those traits as helpful, but not the main nut… but i am sure one must start with a dream, live with a dream, and end with a dream…

    cheers, david

  • Panos, Eva, DAH….

    So very true. dreams…and strength not to just have them, but pursue them…

    One of my very favorite quotes, speaks to this, at least for me….

    “If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise.” – Robert Fritz

    And DAH…PLEASE give as much notice as possible for a meet….I would like very much and will do all I can to be there.

    Started snowing at about 8 pm here. Looks like we’ll have a White Christmas.

    ALL, no matter your location and beliefs may this season and year bring you joy and happiness, and lots of good light….



    kooool 1

    ……just a dummy or a work in progress book ??

  • Reading DAH’s “i always had assumed everyone had dreams…”

    Me too, quite franckly up to the moment I’ve read the comment above I thought this was the norm. How could one live without dreams?

    Perhaps Panos is right then, it’s not about strenght to have them.. but perhaps about recognition in the first place, and only then about strenght, patience, will, work and faith to follow through? Ahh.. dunno.. and yes, for sure, ambition is a very different beast..

    On a different note, I wish people would stop to post links to books.. sigh.. am kidding of course.. thanks (I think) :)

  • The beauty of having a dream to follow is that you dont ever really have to reach it. Just believe in it.

  • Happy Christmas Audrey Bardou…
    Thank you for the lovely music!

  • All I know about dreams is to be able to reach an ambition/goal/dream in life you´ve also got to set little smaller dreams or you will never reach the big “one”.

    Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
    Martin Luther King, Jr.

    If a man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.
    Martin Luther King, Jr.

    A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.
    John Barrymore

    Dreams are necessary to life.
    Anais Nin

    Dreams have only one owner at a time. That’s why dreamers are lonely.
    Erma Bombeck

    No one should negotiate their dreams. Dreams must be free to fly high. No government, no legislature, has a right to limit your dreams. You should never agree to surrender your dreams.
    Jesse Jackson

  • Imants…
    As usual I´d love to understand your work!! But at least it always stops me in my tracks and I enjoy every second of it.
    Happy Xmas!!

  • merry xmas y’all…

    santa brought me sebastiao salgado’s “africa”… relishing it now with a nice cup of coffee. all I can say is “wow”.

  • Alexis Zorba: Why do the young die? Why does anybody die?
    Basil: I don’t know.
    Alexis Zorba: What’s the use of all your damn books if they can’t answer that?
    Basil: They tell me about the agony of men who can’t answer questions like yours.
    Alexis Zorba: I spit on this agony!

  • Alexis Zorba: If a woman sleeps alone, it puts a shame on all men.

    (new years resolution/revelation)

  • Alexis Zorba:
    Life is trouble. Only death is not. To be alive is to undo your belt and *look* for trouble.

  • Alexis Zorba:
    What kind of man are you, don’t you even like dolphins?

  • Alexis Zorba:
    Damn it boss, I like you too much not to say it. You’ve got everthing except one thing: madness! A man needs a little madness, or else…
    Or else?
    Alexis Zorba:
    …he never dares cut the rope and be free.

  • Alexis Zorba:
    God has a very big heart but there is one sin he will not forgive
    [slaps table]
    Alexis Zorba:
    if a woman calls a man to her bed and he will not go. I know because a very wise old Turk told me.

  • (about marriage as a new years resolution;)

    Alexis Zorba:
    Am I not a man? And is a man not stupid? I’m a man, so I married. Wife, children, house, everything. The full catastrophe.

    (please share this quote with your friends;)

  • Carsten…
    Merry Xmas!Got the same book! By the way you asked DAH a very good about how he viewed images…begining of Dec did you get an answer?…just interested I thought it was a very question and never saw any answer.

  • (about intellectuals)

    Alexis Zorba:
    You think too much.That is your trouble.Clever people and grocers, they weigh everything.

  • i meant to say ”a very question”

  • (common greek fears )

    Alexis Zorba:
    The lamb! the lamb…, it will burn!

  • i meant to say ”a very good question” sorry carsten!

  • “We educated people are just empty headed birds of the air.”

  • “As a child, then, I had almost fallen into the well. When grown up, I nearly fell into the word “eternity,” and its quite number of other words too—“love” “hope” “country” “God.” As each word was conquered and left behind, I had the feeling that I had escaped a danger and made some progress. But no, I was only changing words and calling it deliverance. And there I had been, for the last two years, hanging over the edge of the word “Buddha.


  • “In religions which have lost their creative spark, the gods eventually become no more than poetic motifs or ornaments for decorating human solitude and walls.”


  • yes i’m exploiting my family also…3 rolls tri-x already, soon have to bring out digital running out of film. Bigest problem they all try to pose for the camera. I’m off, they all dancing the conga… good images there for sure!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    I dance with Zorba…Viva PANOS…
    And I love the “I”ll die for you”…
    “Alexis Zorba:
    Life is trouble. Only death is not. To be alive is to undo your belt and *look* for trouble.”

    Wake up BURNIANS…and Goodnight …
    You have been BURNED …can’t wait to meet you All…but I am a handful…
    Hiii…you have been warned..:)))))))))

  • Merry XMAS everyone…i hope u didnt forget to decorate your tree , i hope you bought new ornaments for your wall…and yes i still love xmas trees and golden ornaments..such a nice custom from a religion that lost its creative spark almost 2000 years ago…

  • “Panos: Alexis Zorba: If a woman sleeps alone, it puts a shame on all men.

    (new years resolution/revelation)”

    So, how are you going to resolve this one Panos?

  • about love books , or about photography books:

    “I still said nothing. I knew Zorba was right, I knew it, but I did not dare. My life had got on the wrong track, and my contract with men had become now a mere soliloquy. I had fallen so low that, if I had had to choose between falling in love with a woman and reading a book about love, I should have chosen the book.”

  • Lee, read above quote… read less about love and do more love instead;)


    Application Deadline: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at 11pm (GMT)

    On top you find the winners of 2010, scroll down a little to find the specifics for entering the 2011 competition..

  • a civilian-mass audience

    LEE…some things …better to be left …unresolved…:))))

    I see a message from DAHY under LAURA’S essay…”I’ll die for you”…
    Let’s kickstart our Christmas with a donation…
    Cause we can do amazing stuff…we are all one big BURNING ball…
    Only together …we can do it

  • “I’m white on top already, boss, and my teeth are getting loose. I’ve no time to lose. You’re young, you can still afford to be patient. I can’t. But I do declare, the older I get the wilder I become! Don’t let anyone tell me old age steadies a man! Nor that when he sees death coming he stretches out his neck and says: Cut off my head, please, so that I can go to heaven! The longer I live, the more I rebel. I’m not going to give in; I want t o conquer the world.”


  • That’s good Panos. Love is always good now matter the form it takes. Love yourself so others can is also so true.

    Civi, Merry Christmas wherever you are in snowy Europe.

  • (whispering at jesus’ ear

    “What were we saying the day before yesterday, boss? You were saying you wanted to open the people’s eyes. All right, you just go and open old uncle Anagnosti’s eyes for him! You saw his wife had to behave before him, waiting for his orders, like a dog begging. Just go now and teach them that women have equal rights with men, and that it’s cruel to eat a piece of the pig while the pig’s still raw and groaning in front of you, and that it’s simply lunacy to give thanks to God because he’s got everything while you’re starving to death! What good’ll that poor devil Anagnosti get out of all your explanatory humbug? You’d only cause him a lot of bother. And what’d old mother Anagnosti get out of it? The fat would be in the fire: family rows would start, the hen would want to be cock, the couple would just have a good set-to and make their feathers fly…! Let people be, boss; don’t open their eyes. And supposing you did, what’d they see?
    Their misery!
    Leave their eyes closed, boss, and let them go on dreaming!”


  • love…hmmm

    “This is true happiness: to have no ambition and to work like a horse as if you had every ambition. To live far from men, not to need them and yet to love them.”

    Alexis Z.

  • about greece and cretan coast (aegean pelagos)

    “I was happy, I knew that . While experiencing happiness, we have difficulty in being conscious of it. Only when the happiness is past and we look back on it do we suddenly realize—sometimes with astonishment—how happy we had been. But on this Cretan coast I was experiencing happiness and knew I was happy.”

    Alexis Z.

  • (thank you eva)

    Fifth Place: Anna Maria Barry-Jester

    Location: India

    Other top finishers:

    Oliver Michael Edwards (sensory impairment), Laura El-Tantawy (suicide among male Indian farmers), Andrew Cullen (winter disaster in Mongolia), David Belluz (self immolation in Afghanistan), and Ryan Gauvin (depleted uranium/Balkan states).

    Anna, laura,Ryan congrats…

  • And Laura’s essay is in front page as of now!

  • Here on Burn that is.. want an edit button, ack!

  • I’m a materialist. Not a materialist in the sense that I want to acquire a lot of possessions, but in the philosophical sense that there is no such thing as magic, that nothing exists but matter and its movements and modifications. Yet I often find it interesting to imagine otherwise. This use of imagination I call art.

    As you probably know, I like walking and I like nature so of course I like walking around in nature, yet I live in an ugly neighborhood in inner city Brooklyn, a place where not a lot of natural nature is available. One of the places I walk most is Greenwood Cemetery. Greenwood was founded in 1838 and contains over 600,000 graves spread out over 470 hilly acres. It’s the quietest place I’ve found in the city and one of the most beautiful. Without graves, it would be one of the best arboretums in the world. A fantastic variety of trees have been growing well-tended for close to two centuries. Several idyllic lakes attract an interesting variety of wildlife. Occasionally I come across a snapping turtle. The cemetery is full of streets and footpaths, few of which go straight for more than 50 meters at best. Several times early on I was unable to find my way out for hours. Those were some beautiful hours.

    Anyway, at some point I started getting a strange feeling that there was something I was supposed to find there. Of course, materialist that I am, I realized that was nonsense. There is no such thing as “something we are supposed to find.” Yet, sometimes I am capable of going with the flow whether I believe in something or not, so I played along over the years, always on the lookout to solve the mystery, to find the thing that wanted to be found. After several years, I don’t know how, but I also came to believe that whatever I was supposed to find was under or very near a beech tree. Although that may sound like a pretty good clue, there must be at least a hundred beech trees in Greenwood. And of course I realized that the beech tree thing was awfully convenient since it’s probably my favorite tree, at least in temperate zones. I always enjoy the radical change in the color of their leaves and the infinite variety in the patterns on the bark. I can always use another excuse to while away the time under a beech tree. So I began concentrating on them. I usually forgot about my ridiculous little search and spent many hours just enjoying the shade, not looking for anything. I was doing that one day, somewhere between meditating and daydreaming, when I laid back, for whatever reason craned my neck and looked at a tombstone behind me upside down. It had my name on it. Of course there are a lot of Websters there, but that was the first Michael and it had some important autobiographical information. I was born in the village of Knarlesboro in Yorkshire England in the year 1838. I gave this information to my father who has been working on our family tree off and on for many years. He thinks it may be an important clue, that that Michael Webster may actually be a distant ancestor. But I don’t need no stinkin proof. Since that day I’ve never had that feeling that there was something I was supposed to find again. In this superstitious, or I should say artistic way of looking at the world, it sure appears I found it.

    My approach to photography is much the same. I asked Paul if he thought that there was any way for a nature photograph to communicate something beyond what one can plainly see. For example, would a picture of a tree in which someone was hanged somehow communicate that tragedy on some subconscious level? Or can a photographer’s intent be communicated without even the hint of a visual clue? Just like with the cemetery anecdote, I don’t believe it for a second. A picture of a tree is just a picture of a tree. I know that in my head, but I act as though a photograph can communicate on these deeper psychological levels, whether through the intent of the photographer or something inherent in the subject. I don’t believe it but I act as though I do. As if the best photographs communicate so much more than materialistically possible.

  • Mw…
    Shoudn’t you do some nature shots in this cementary? No doubt a lot of things in life we can’t explain…yours is one of them.
    Since my injury last year my life has changed 95%…before the injury i used to have a job which had nothing to do with photography. All my free time was spent with camera or family and teaching…always dreaming of being able to dedicate more time to photography since i finished photography at college… then one day everything changed… the injury was meant to last 6 weeks now nearly 14 months still injury and 3 times been through with surgery. I’m taking it as a chance of changing my life and i’m giving everything i’ve got.

  • 14 months still injury and 3 times been through with surgery
    Paul, ouch…you are a strong man no doubt…

  • MW,
    do you know Sally Mann’s body of work called “Last Measure”?
    I think it is at least partially included into the “Deep South” book. Not sure if it has been published otherwise too.
    I have no link here now (I am on the road), but you might want to google it, because it is specifically about the question if death can alter the perception we have of a place. I have not followed the discussion that followed the publication of this series of images, but I imagine that there was one. I think the work was received with mixed feelings. As always :)

  • David:
    i think dreams get buried quickly in most people just by growing up in society where dreams are quickly sublimated by authority…

    Then, there are no truer dreamer than I! It’s going to take a lot of work for “authority” to catch up with me, and by then, I will be even further….

    MERRY XMAS, Burn and Burnians!

  • ohhhh, I just saw by chance that we can actually SUBSCRIBE to BURN?!
    That is awesome!

    Guess I am outing myself right now … yes, I have been away for long… Not unfaithful, but not able to follow closely none the less.

    But I will subscribe right now!
    Probably being the latest of the group … sorry!

    Hmmm … by the way, anybody knows how I can change the 10$ amount without having to subscribe multiple times?

  • As to dreams. I think most people have dreams. Just not their own ones. And very few notice their mistake.

  • It’s going to take a lot of work for “authority” to catch up with me
    atta boy

  • Am I not a man? And is a man not stupid? I’m a man, so I married. Wife, children, house, everything. The full catastrophe.

    Man, that quote was like a cold slap against the head. My family’s Christmas had just ended when I read it. We start on Christmas Eve with a lazy afternoon of drinks and appetizers. Then we have a nice dinner with a good bottle of wine followed by a Christmas movie, usually It’s a Wonderful Life, but this year Miracle on 34th Street. Then the kids open a present. We open all the presents Christmas morning, then have a nice family breakfast, then it’s pretty much over and I go for a walk, or like today write some kind of nonsense and then go for a walk. Although my extended family is messed up in no doubt similar ways to everyone else’s, my little nuclear family is the best thing by far in my life. I know these things are fragile, but up till now, I married well and the kids have turned out great. A. Zorba’s take couldn’t be farther than my experience.

    Nevertheless, I know it’s not that way for everyone and I am sorry. I know there are plenty of other ways we can find to live a happy, meaningful life. And I’ve lived close enough to the edge to understand that some of us can enjoy our downfall and demise. Unfortunately, all too many people can’t enjoy it either way. I don’t get the sense that a lot of those types hang around here. But nevertheless, it’s a good day to wish everyone well. There are plenty of paths to happiness and every huckster and his brother has a map to sell, but the only real option is to find our own way. I hope you all find yours.

    I feel for you Panos, particularly. I know from experience that southern California can be one of the freakiest places to be on Christmas and can easily imagine that it’s magnified 100 fold in Venice. So I’ll wish you an appropriately twisted Christmas and a ridiculously strange and enlightening New Year. And as I see you progress through your reading list, I look forward to the days when you get to Jose Saramago. I’m guessing The Gospels According to Jesus Christ will be one of your favorite books of all time. Kind of hard to quote though, but here is a good one. It describes when Jesus first meets God, near the end of his time with Satan in the wilderness. Saramago’s sentences run on, to put it mildly, but I think you’ll like it.

  • Hi all,

    I wanted to let people know that I am renting out my Imacon 646 from my apartment in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, a short walk from Smith Street. It scans up to 4×5 inches and really any format. I am offering use of it at $25/hr. People just need to bring their own portable external hard drive. I am running a Mac system.

    I will also scan work for people at $7/scan.

    I can be reached at 646-248-9958 or at



  • Michael…ha ha..wait, there is more…especially for the YOUNG like you!

    “You’re young,” he said smiling at me; “don’t listen to the old. If the world did heed them, it would rush headlong to its destruction. If a widow crosses your path, get hold of her! Get married, have children, don’t hesitate! Troubles were made for young men!”

  • appropriately twisted Christmas and a ridiculously strange and enlightening New Year
    thank wish ever…
    so how about all of u burnians gonna spend(or spent) this holy xmas day? how u gonna celebrate the jesus’s birthday?
    me first? ok, i have plans! tons of champagne and a hot date with a prostitute;)

  • Thanks Paul! The book is amazing don’t you think?

    As far as my question for David, no I don’t think there was an answer but I tend not to re-post stuff. I figure he’s got enough on his plate and I don’t want to be a pain… maybe I’ll ask the question again at some point in the future as I’m still interested in his answer, but for now I just hope he’s enjoying some quality time with family :)

  • Carsten, yep, great book indeed..


    Merry Christmas and welcome to the neighborhood..


    i answer all questions that i see..please re-post if not recall a question from you


    probably someone mentioned it to you already, most likely Lassal, but John Gossage “The Pond” a must for you

  • Merry Christmas, all. A white Christmas here in Lexington-land…only the 13th white Christmas since 1872.

    I am snug and warm – Santa left a black Burn hoodie for me under the tree :)

  • Hi DAH,

    I got thrown out of Romania in October and have had to find a new base of operations. I am currently waiting to be allowed back into Romania in February. I tried to get a visa and it was going to cost thousands of dollars, so in the future I will just be allowed to stay there for 90 days in a 180 day period. I had never realized that as an American you cannot just go live in Europe as long as you want as romantic the idea might be. Marriage to a European seems to be the only solution.

  • Davin.. unless Romania or the EU doesn’t handle it like the US, where marriage is no reason for unlimited stay in the country per se..

  • David,

    Thanks! My question was under the “Letter to Friends” dialogue about two weeks ago, re-posting here:

    I am curious what goes through your mind when you look at any given photograph. is there any type of “structured” thought process (e.g. a “check list”, certain criteria etc)? how do you evaluate a photograph?

    Appreciate your insights as always :)

  • Carsten…
    The book is amazing. I love the way you actually see how he evolves as a photographer… how he matures creatively. I think I would of enjoyed the landscape images a lot more if he had shot them with his trusty 35mm or perhaps they shoudn´t be in the same book…anyway it´s just me being fussy!!
    :) :) It´s all Mw´s fault he made me search for a link to his screensavers, I went to the wrong page and found your question. Somehow I had been meaning to ask you about it last week, I think some of us could learn quite a lot from David´s answer.

  • panos: damn…i didnt know that romania IS europe!!!??? actually i wasnt even aware its a country…all those years i thought it was just a neighborhood that Dracula lives and thrives…
    panos IRL: cmon u have to prove once again how uneducated u are? Davin either way welcome home!

    Davin..marrying a european is the best thing ever..
    although, unfortunately your real motives are shady (not love related)and saddens me…;)

  • although i have to accept/admire your boldness of admitting that “love” is less important for you than “access/work”…;)

  • no, i will marry for love and also get european living rights

  • Panos…
    Nothing strong about me really :)
    Just an insane obsession with being creative since I was really small. Went through a little depression a the begining… but soon cured that by pressing by “mistake” the wrong button everyday in the hospital lift and going to see the little kids with cancer on the lower floor. It suddenly makes you realise all aches and pains are a load of bullshit compared to living on borrowed time when you´re only probably six years old.
    As you know there are many ways to begin living again and enjoying every precious second of the day or at least that´s what your photography shouts out to me.

  • ok then, problem solved! one bullet , two birds:)

  • Paul, yes yes…
    im in and out hospitals for two months now..following health developments from a very bizarre friend of mine!
    Im learning a lot!

  • Panos…
    I know, I know…. I can tell you are enjoying every book, sunset, sunrise, smile and click your Leica whispers.
    Life is so much simpler once you´ve seen the end in the distance!
    As I wrote to you awhile ago…
    Die to live.
    Some of us have an advantage over other people… we´ve seen the edge. Oh, and by the way my edge had nothing to do with my injury… I saw my edge as a kid!

  • “How do you make a picture of that and not overdramatize it?”

    A question I ask myself often, but not nearly often enough. I’ll definitely check it out. Thanks.

    On the topic of love and marriage, my wife and I’s 20th anniversary is in a few days. I’m happier in that relationship than I could ever have hoped, but I still can’t imagine why anyone would get married without some kind of legal advantage. Well, family pressure I guess, but I can’t imagine any really good reason beyond legalities. Certainly in our case, love had nothing whatsoever to do with it. In an ideal world, people’s romantic relationships wouldn’t be the state’s business.


    ok, have your question..and a good topic and long discussion could come out of it…but now, family dinner…back later tonight or first thing tomorrow to answer…

  • Mw…
    you must see this:
    “What Remains: The Life and Work of Sally Mann” DVD, you may find some answers there.

  • “overdramatize it”
    listen to your heart and as long as you are happy and fulfilled, everything is fine. This kind of work is for self-consumption to begin with.

  • merry Christmas everyone…

    Santa left a new camera in my stocking…

    but i thought he would leave another box i’d wished for under my tree…

    it should have this label on it ” T I M E “, did you see it?

  • fuck Santa..he only left a camera brochure/manual in my stocking…oh wait..there is a hole in my stocking..tiny tiny hole but enough for a leica to slip away:(

  • FUCK SANTA…he is a pervert..him and michael jackson..the only celebs i know that let little kids sitting on their lap!yikes

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Oime…PANOS…the language,watch your language.
    …you see,since English is not your first language…
    Some words don’t have the same impact into your subconscious …
    Hiii…you can use the word ckuf …instead:)
    But what do I know…:)

    LEE…I am away from my Greek desk…I am traveling again…
    I am following the moon…

    Have you ever photograph people suffering from indigestion. Hmmm

  • Yeah ok ,Fcuk that SANTA pervert..!
    U happy now? I’m appaled by FAT old white men with white beards and red uniforms ..
    And no , I was not molested as a child …
    And I also hate clowns.. almost as much as Santa ..
    And one last thing about that Redneck..
    It’s time to buy a helicopter and stop abusing animals…
    Christians are very weird people indeed:(

  • you missed the whole point of my post panos… read again.

    and quit being mean at least for a few hours… tomorrow you can do whatever you want.

  • Santa (the idea) is good at spending other peoples’ money even for those that cannot afford to do so.

  • Christmas day walk in the rainforest.

    Christmas can be stressful. The walk was very calming and beautiful. It has been raining heavily for days and we wanted to view Englishman River falls with high water. Merry Christmas all.

  • Gracie.. over time I’ve learnt something about TIME.. that’s something you TAKE, not something you GET.. the most difficult thing about it is ‘DO NOT FEEL GUILTY’ taking it for yourself :)

  • make time to roll the mouse over the linked image …………..

  • Mw…
    This is a link Eva offered me for the Sally Mann film

  • GRACIE..

    Merry Christmas….and i hope we see some pictures from your new camera….Eva is exactly right…TIME is something only you can create for yourself…all of us have to battle this one every day to distribute time properly…i usually do it all wrong…but being aware of the preciousness of time does at least make me use it better than i would if i were not paying attention…easy to let it slide..wishing you a Happy 2011…and with time on your side…


    this is your question addressed to me from two weeks ago:

    “I am curious what goes through your mind when you look at any given photograph. is there any type of “structured” thought process (e.g. a “check list”, certain criteria etc)? how do you evaluate a photograph?”

    this is my answer (sorry for the delay):

    this is of course the essence of photography itself…all other elements, choice of subject, the concept, the light, the business, the presentation, all fall by the wayside in importance to the choosing of elements in the photograph either when taking it or when viewing it…the evaluation of the image is IT IT IT…i am assuming here with your question that you are referring to the selection/jurying of a photograph or photographs rather than the actual making of the image, but the answer is essentially the same for both…making photographs requires a certain energy and acuity as does the viewing of photography or at least the judging thereof…

    one must be in good psychological shape so to speak and on the edge and full of a certain kind of energy for both…all systems must be in the “go” position…i find both experiences when in their heightened maximized mode to be akin to magic, sensual passion,and spiritualism…no science or structure to it…no checklist…the idea of a checklist makes me nauseous….basic instinct is it…as in all things…learn some stuff, but your gut feeling is your only real measure of net worth… some might say that viewing is passive and shooting is active, but not for me in the totality of the visual experience …

    of course most of the time i am totally disappointed with both, but the quest for those moments when it all “happens” is worth the wait and the reason i am always excited to get up every morning…

    the microseconds of movement of the eye around the viewfinder and the decisions and timing that result cannot be quantified…this is the photographer’s talent/vision/style at work..whatever acuity one has is manifested in this moment and again is all there is. …and when this all goes right and one is “in the zone”, then i swear it is magic and close to sexual …an experience no way to really describe except as the meeting of the body and mind ….and one that does leave you in its best moments after shooting with an all body apres orgasmic feeling…no kidding….smiling…no wonder i love this art!!

    viewing may not be quite that dramatic, but many have seen me when a great picture pops up on the screen from a students previous days shoot, and there is no way i can stay in my seat…i jump literally out of my seat…i have a physical reaction when i see an image that resonates…

    there is no way to teach one how to be better at this particular aspect of photography….this mini moment of deciding which elements to put where is the IT of photography, music, painting, writing, etc…one can fine tune the end results to fit a particular modality, but one cannot change the actual ability to capture this moment…some golfers have a better instinctive swing than others…they ALL have to practice, yet some will hit the ball farther than others no matter what..this is the same in photography AND in the viewing of photography as well..

    some people just have the ability to take pictures and some just have the ability to choose pictures…everyone can learn certain parts of the process, but as in all arts and sciences as well, not all can be learned in terms of process….all can be improved, but the essence of it , the nut of it, is either there or not there….

    in my experience of watching almost all of the photography masters of our era as well as those who choose pictures and with dozens and dozens of eager students, one can never underestimate innate ability nor realize there is a key to creativity for many who are blocked…still, and this hurts so many wanna be photographers, there are some who literally cannot see pictures…i talk about this with my fellow teachers , editors, photographers all the time…some just do not understand spacial relationships or elements in a visual way…they see the elements, but they do not see the relationship of elements…and i am talking about landscape photographers as well as street photographers, art photographers, whatever…the type of photography makes no difference to any of the above…

    i think i have perhaps over answered your question and digressed a bit…but as i said at the beginning , this is really all there is…to get a hold of this concept, with is not complicated at all, is to understand photography or any of the arts…yes, anybody can take a picture with all the new cameras which do so much tech thinking for you…just as all of us have about 300 words totally under grammatical control if we have gone past the seventh grade….so we all have the tools to write and to take pictures…we all have the same thing…yet, human nature being what it is and the very nature of our being always up front, some will do more with those very same tools than others…it is our nature after all…

    one must be honest with oneself…one must ask seriously “do i have a point of view and do i have a vision” IF one is trying to make a mark…OR, hell just have fun and do not think about any of it…i play tennis to have fun, not to be a champion…most will view photography the same….

    one thing all can do is to literally improve the quality of their lives by embracing all that photography can no no , not as “religion”….just as vision, as experience…a way to see what goes on around you all the time and turn the ordinary into a specialness that rocks your boat, and maybe somebody else’ too!!

    cheers, david

  • David,
    what fascinates me image-wise is how some pictures work and others don’t. All it takes is a very subtle movement on our behalf or on the subjects part and a boring image turns into a thing of beauty… Two images with perhaps 20 seconds difference in time and one is a thing of beauty and the other is just banal picture…and there is no way you can harness that magic!!

  • PAUL..

    i think it is more like .02 seconds of difference in time!!

  • “I am curious what goes through your mind when you look at any given photograph. is there any type of “structured” thought process (e.g. a “check list”, certain criteria etc)? how do you evaluate a photograph?”………………….best part about a question of this nature is not having to answer it in words

  • Yes you´re right!! I´m sure that´s why I miss so many!!!!!!
    then your state of mind is another influence or your if you dislike or madly in love with your subject it all comes into play.

  • Hey David, thanks for the thoughtful answer. Looking at your work, it’s abundantly clear that you are a master of understanding spacial relationships among elements in a visual way. Guess I have two followup questions.

    One, there are various theories of composition such as rule of thirds, golden ratios and the like. I’m sure many of your great photos could be used to illustrate one visual theory or another. Do you think that kind of education can help those with weaker visual instincts?

    Two, I’ve read interviews in which you said something to the effect that when working on a story you always wanted to be the most knowledgeable person in the room on the subject and, perhaps not in the same interview, but I think you’ve also said that when that knowledge finds it’s way into a photo, it makes for a better photo. I don’t know if it was you or someone else who used your photo of the oldest church in Trinidad as an example of combining excellent visual composition with complex storytelling in a beautifully simple masterpiece, but the spacial relationships among the elements of that photo go beyond the visual. Even without knowing the layers of history beneath the imagery, it seems we can feel a presence. Anyway, I don’t know if there’s actually a question in there, or if I’ve managed to communicate the idea I’m after, but perhaps you have a comment on the relationship, if any, between deeper narratives and visual composition?

  • Thinking a bit more, I don’t recall much, if any, discussion of color relationships, yet it’s clear from so many of your photos, again the Trinidad church is exemplary, that you have a deep understanding of color theory. Any thoughts on that? Is that something emerging photographers should study?

    Sorry, hate to burden you with questions, obviously no obligation for any kind of detailed reply.

  • Just yesterday I was confronted with Henri Cartier Bresson trying to give an answer to a similar question as David above.

    While in Paris for ParisPhoto in November, we went to see an exhibition at the Fondation Henri Cartier Bresson. They also showed a film with interviews, but it played so soflty and the room was so loud and busy, that I went to the reception area and bought the DVDs to watch them at home at leisure.

    I was surprised to find a booklet and two DVDs inside, one with a couple of films made by HCB (1937-1971) and the other one with the interview, that I was after, AND some other chapters, including one that showed various contact sheets by HCB! I have to admit that that was IT! Totally amazing! You would go through the images – and you could follow the thought: not yet, not yet, almost, getting there, almost, almost, YESSS! BANG!

    I think, going through these contact sheets – or others maybe from Robert Frank, or William Klein – they all have books out with some of their contact sheets printed – really gives you the answer to what makes a great photograph.

    I am not sure if there is an English version, abeit there is a language menu on the disc, only the French version is activated.


    actually i do agree with you…and i am rarely in the mood or able to answer this type of question…and i rarely do…somehow, maybe because of my relaxing time with family and the nature of the holidays, i was able to be alone this morning, drink my coffee and give it a go…and given the nature of my role here on Burn and in my role as mentor , i think i must do my best …which is of course totally inadequate…maybe just maybe however trying to answer the impossible will give some young photographer at least something to think least this is the hope and the intent…

  • Besides HCB’s ‘Scrapbook’ already indicated by Lassal, there’s also ‘The Contact Sheet’, worth to take a closer look:

    (.. and I think that as long as I can fall in love with pictures there’s still hope, for me :) )

  • Thanks for the great answer David. A few thoughts:
    “i am assuming here with your question that you are referring to the selection/jurying of a photograph or photographs rather than the actual making of the image,”

    yes, my curiosity was mostly in regards to viewing/selection/jurying of a photograph, but it’s of course great to read your thoughts on the making of a photograh as well… actually I was mostly curious in regards to your own, very personal “process” of looking at a photograph… I think some people take a sort of “intellectual”, “rational” approach and evaluate a picture that way (check lists and all), dissecting the photograph’s elements one by one, almost clinically, sober… while other people’s response to a picture is more “emotional”, a raw gut reaction, the image absorbed as a whole rather than dissected into its elements… I think you make it very clear which approach applies to you (“i find both experiences when in their heightened maximized mode to be akin to magic, sensual passion,and spiritualism…no science or structure to it…no checklist…the idea of a checklist makes me nauseous”) .

    good food for thought, and I appreciate you taking the time to answer something that may seem trivial to many. appreciate it!

    hmmm more thoughts later, there’s some cake that needs to be eaten with family right now :)

  • Eva,
    guess what I just ordered … :)
    Thanks for pointing this book out to us.


    yes, contact sheets show process and often more imo….at Magnum right now we are coming out with a book of our contact sheets…should be out in the spring i think…mine will be from 20 minutes of my life on one night in Bahia….one of my best presentations to my class these days (did not do it in yours) is to show my whole contact sheet or my raw flash cards on a variety of subjects, one flash card in particular from Living Proof…i have no problem in showing all the mistakes, bad pictures, etc…students seem to find this very helpful…for my upcoming family exhibition i will have contact sheets not only to show process but to be actually the final product so to speak…the IT…sometimes the process is the message….sometimes the sequence of seeing something for the first time is in fact the whole revelation…now i shoot medium format film for the express purpose of this process…i love the contacts sheets more than any individual picture…i have loved the nature of contact sheets always always…

    cheers, david

    i’ve been saying that for years.
    you totally got that right, david.
    i fel swoony and twitterpated just thinking about it..


  • Looking forward to the Contact sheet book, David: like you, I love contact sheets, one can follow the thought process of the photographer.

  • DAH …
    great news, the book of contact sheets by Magnum photographers!
    I will be awaiting impatiently :)

    I wished you had shown us your contact sheets in Tuscany though. But our group was so eclectic and huge … Guess there was just not enough time.

    I do not know about others, but for me a contact sheet tells more than 1000 explanatory words by the same photographer. If it is a good photographer, then all I want to know will probably be in there. All the answers I seek. As I am not so really interested in equipment etc.

    The best use for my camera bag so far was that I could carry my dog in it to the vet.

  • also..

    would love to see one or two of those photos that made you leap out of your chair.
    it’s so rare, for me, when that happens.
    and so glorious.

  • Lassal, I think you’ll apreciate it.. and absolutely yes to “a contact sheet tells more than 1000 explanatory words by the same photographer”.. one just has to keep the mind open and let it sink in!

  • MW…

    breakfast…then answer your question


    oh yes rare for me too…all that i describe above is rare…..rare air the sweetest….yes??


    Tuscany would have been perfect…that was a normal class…i just did not think of it at the time….

  • Carsten…
    “something that may seem trivial to many”
    No nothing trivial about it in my view…So thanks Carsten and thank you David!

  • No hurry, got a blizzard to attend to, then I’ll catch up here.

    I put a hold on the Sally Mann DVD at the local library. Thanks in advance Eva and Paul for what will no doubt prove fascinating. Always appreciate HCB, but not sure what he has to say about color photography? I know he did some, but I’ve never seen anything that made me jump out of my chair, so to speak. Not like the black and white.

  • Mw…
    Try and get hold of Sally Mann´s Deep South landscape book from your library.

  • This is a specific case of boldness…I’ll claim for your patience.
    The humbleness commanding the duet: motivation of one wish versus right ways to proceed, denounces the wise artifice:
    – Mrs, just start with “Sorry…”!
    I agree that to offer apologies since initial lines would be the wisest, the easiest, the coherent conductor. A way out avoiding judgments, misunderstandings along lines fitting much better my Portuguese divagations than the struggle bumping into some unintelligible jumbled English sentences I ensure you’ll be victim of. Stopping myself as soon as I face the assumption , to retreat into the cave, maybe it’d have you grateful. I’d dare the acceptance and the rational control of good sense. It’s tempting…I could. I won’t. Not what I meant for today. Not even my nature. I’m not a convenient girl… a battle between suffering and enlightening. The bright side diverging reluctance is the minute you decide to go though fears and limitations, to defy hesitation, stand up for your nature and most important; to find the right focus. I have mine; to forward those verses bellow to David as an impulsive, honest way to return the inspired gifts he’s keep delivering in this brazilian land. To share them with you Burnians , who are being a constant pleasing part of my day, my personal improvement , professional evaluation, targets worthy of admiration, the reminder of what matters prevail…In that way, time to replace “Sorry” for “Thanks “

    -Harvey Has a Gift to You –

    He‘s the character from stories inside his own
    The experiences carrying the shield against weakness
    The end road misleading the providences of disillusions
    The challenge inviting his steps to convenient endeavor of receding
    The harsh missions affected by the deviancies of straight lines of conformism
    If optimism was given the option left as heal for the fierce times
    When times people fall on commitment of the grace of being
    The doubtful human being nature susceptible in one flaw race of simple individuals
    He opts for the realism of what have left to do ,
    The “at least” reticence still shut up to be the alibi for general happiness
    From doing, from experimenting till junkie stage for changes
    Eyes defy insensitive hearts revealing, proposing the inducted self identification
    Hands serving as remote tools for greatness of all the covered masterpiece
    The most complex theme; the permanent artistic altercation: Simplicity …
    The extraordinary pace of the daily views , the outsiders
    If far so close for contrast
    For feeding the anguish of knowing the secret ,
    The common corners ,the tiredness of routine
    The magic on crossroads, extremes molding the extravagance along details
    The curious cultural kicks for attention
    Clock is running, the mirror of the live exposition of the ingenious advice ruling the most special organism: life itself ,
    He’s the boy from stories outside his own
    Possession of the ultimate power …reputation
    Chase the own gifts of his existence
    Opening the box..
    From each morning waking up into days where calendar works in contradiction system Do not warn, do not expect immunization against sadness or some protector to deviate to deal with suffering
    He looks for recognizable gifts
    Transposition of visual approach to reach the emotional alarm where heart can be voiced, tactile, questioned, has to be possible
    Configuring lines from neglecting the restraints of self strength
    Self evaluation and love for questions
    Underlying messages rising in a purpose
    I gotta it. I capture it
    Self knowledge to be in the center
    While new worlds rotating in constant reflex of fears , surpassing the edges
    He’s carrying the gifts and one is for you
    For the boy doomed to polio , that bed and fences for isolation
    Looking the fragility from the small role of impotence
    Scenarios where impossibilities were printed
    Hands suppose to touch him were building his ground to sustain the place he was promised for ,
    The chord to push him to what he was destined for
    He didn’t know yet. They were absolutely sure. He could never fail…
    From the inner alert of survival of counting on his own resilience call
    Options limits the other way, the alternative answer, the easy path on “everything will be ok”
    From listening the decisive “no” and confront the denial
    Waiting his name, as codes of perseverance,
    Opening the road , spotlights on the journey
    Conflicted ,but when “you are young and strong” , it’s all that takes,
    Must serve as compensation for some
    For the boy, that was the time for Harvey ’s revolution
    The gifts coming along his signature
    What can be told in the new way to manifest the world,
    the unique way found to report them
    He’s giving the packages
    For who he’s chosen, for those who have chosen him
    When all that needs is to wrap down and feel yourself fortunate
    He will be there offering, exchanging and fighting for the delivery
    In the name of the son, dad, friend, man and prestigious photographer he met in the streets of his story

  • David one of the processes to answer the question is ………….
    Look at the camera, hold it out if front sideways etc but don’t play with it ie. don’t change apertures, look through the viewfinder, search the menu etc.just take a good look at the camera as an object.
    Now you are ready to go out and photograph, holding the camera body in your hand, not by a strap but grasp the lens or body. Do not raise the camera to your eye at any stage and start taking photos with your mind, compose, play with colour, alter subject emphasis, your own concepts etc. Return home and do something else repeat the process over 3-4 occassions but do not take any photos in between sessions.
    What happens? Why bother? Well a couple of reason.
    One you start to teach yourself how to take photos and are no longer telling yourself.
    The other, you learn to discipline yourself when to press the shutter as the photo you want to take is no longer static the image is alive and transitory in your mind.
    Why grasp the camera and not just leave it at home or on a strap ……… this forces you to stay in contact with the camera both physically and in mind.

  • ps For those that wonder why I use text in conjunction with my photos, one of the reasons is because I want to diminish the audiences response to the image or in some cases force the viewer to place photo into a secondary almost neutral position.

  • ” What is the purpose of photography today? Far from the days of traditional film, young people of the 21st Century are armed with digital cameras, laptops and scant technical knowledge. No wet cold darkrooms or rolls of film for them, rather they are tucked up in bed with a card full of perfectly exposed shots and a 15” Macbook to keep them warm. Is it too easy for the young photographer today? Is it valid? And more importantly does it have a purpose?

    The images showcased in this exhibition are all produced by young people aged 16 to 19 years old, and they say as much about the photographers as the people within them. The digital camera has become the new guitar and young people are picking them up, learning a few chords and shaking the house down. The tunes may be simple and the playing less than refined, But the lyrics… oh the lyrics

    There are 6 million tales in the teenage city. Choose one. “

  • ….notes from a recent exhibition of teenage photographers.


    just received Deep South for xmas…
    how would one go about learning if Sally needs an assistant? :))

    happy holidays,

  • david–

    “..rare air the sweetest….yes??”

    yes, indeed, my dear.
    yes, indeed.


  • “My dear boy, why don’t you try acting.”

  • One of my favorite quips of all time, michael k. Not sure apropos of what in this thread, but always nice to come across it again.

  • EPF GRANT worth $ 15’000

    Right here on Burn.

    Easiest grant posting ever, no needs to control links, no way to mess them up.. ;)


    speaking of words but no pictures….where is a link to this exhibit? sounds interesting…as we have been trying to figure out the content for Circus, you may remember my idea for an under 18 magazine, i just cannot find the “music” so described in this text…show me show me


    good idea….i always like to find out how other teachers get photographers to get them sparked…you are much more of a real teacher than am i…you teach professionally young children i believe….matter of fact i do not think i am a teacher at all…mentor maybe , or influence, or something positive i hope…i am willing to share my feelings and experiences, but a professional teacher? no…anyway, thanks for this…


    yes, great line…but, what the context? i missed something…


    i had to read this a few times…in any case, you have done your homework on me more than have i….one never puts themselves together quite the way another astute person might…that took a lot of thought and English is not your first language…sometimes those with a language as their secondary language can say things in a way so so unique…many thanks…and i hope we do meet when i come to Brazil in February….but after all that , i am sure to be a disappointment to you…i am just a regular guy trying to figure things out like everyone else and with more weaknesses than most…anyway, i will try to behave somewhat according to your manuscript…

  • DAH…

    Was feeling a bit playful last night. ;^}

    I’m one of those who think a little Laurence Olivier should be injected into any discussion of art or approach to craft. Not to be dismissive, of course, but offering something a little more straight forward.

  • DAH,

    Merry Christmas and thank you for that jewel of a description of
    THE PROCESS. It IS hard to put to words. Just don’t forget
    where you posted it.(Laughing).


    Paul O

  • MW.


    “One, there are various theories of composition such as rule of thirds, golden ratios and the like. I’m sure many of your great photos could be used to illustrate one visual theory or another. Do you think that kind of education can help those with weaker visual instincts?

    Two, I’ve read interviews in which you said something to the effect that when working on a story you always wanted to be the most knowledgeable person in the room on the subject and, perhaps not in the same interview, but I think you’ve also said that when that knowledge finds it’s way into a photo, it makes for a better photo. I don’t know if it was you or someone else who used your photo of the oldest church in Trinidad as an example of combining excellent visual composition with complex storytelling in a beautifully simple masterpiece, but the spacial relationships among the elements of that photo go beyond the visual. Even without knowing the layers of history beneath the imagery, it seems we can feel a presence. Anyway, I don’t know if there’s actually a question in there, or if I’ve managed to communicate the idea I’m after, but perhaps you have a comment on the relationship, if any, between deeper narratives and visual composition?


    in response to the first part of your question, i have no rules of composition in my head when either shooting or viewing…i am sure i have taken a photograph or two where someone with a more academic mind could illustrate just about anything, even applying some of these “rules”…but they would in fact be unintentional on my part…when i was learning photography i did two things…i looked at the work of masters, both painters and photographers, and simultaneously was shooting all the time…so surely some of the so called rules that may have been employed by the masters might have rubbed off on me…but when looking through a viewfinder both then and now , i am just going on what feels like instinct to me….again, elements of style (both generic and the great book by E.B.White) must simply flow…in my case, photography just came to me at a time when i really needed it…a time of my childhood where i was searching for something to hang on to…

    the timing of seeing the visual work of others and having a camera in my hand melded in the most natural way and i knew instantly i had been “saved” so to speak…i also know that not everyone comes into photography in quite this way, and yet their own way just needs a bit of a nudge to bring out the same raw feelings that somehow just came to me…i am not sure anyone really has “weaker visual instincts” exactly but perhaps have just never looked at life in a certain way…and i said life, not “photography”…so in the most basic sense i do feel the best education for everyone, regardless of background, is simply to look at books of great photography and painting, traditional masters and radicals earliest influences were of course Goya and Caravaggio , the French Impressionists, Frank, HCB,Winogrand, etc..light and mood from the painters and a celebration of the ordinary from the photographers mentioned…as you may see i of course did a blend in the long run …using color to celebrate the ordinary that Frank, HCB, Winogrand etc did not do…pretty easy to see how that would happen given those influences, my time in America, my background etc…all came together…so that was my key..but what i try to find for others is their key…

    the second part of your question about being “the most knowledgeable person in the room” is of course in reference ONLY to magazine editorial photography and the role the photographer can ideally play in the editorial process…the above esoteric approach to my work must be modified slightly to fit into the so called “real world” of publishing…sensitive artists can be thrown out of the editorial planning meetings in a heartbeat where editors have a totally different agenda than publishing YOUR PERSONAL WORK…yet, i have had much of my personal work published by these very same editors…to do it, i learned what it was that they needed for their readers…without succumbing at all to the pure needs of subscribers, i took my personal approach and TRANSLATED it to editors and by becoming the most educated in the room on say Cuba i could serve my own aesthetic efforts and theirs at the same time without sacrificing anything at all to either them or me…

    so i can look at the photograph in one way, and explain it to editors in a way meaningful to them..i.e the Trinidad photo you used an an example….this is not difficult for me…and i have always seen editors as friends and not enemies…i AM very much interested in the history of the Spanish conquest, and politics, and the whole myriad of the very same things that editors appreciated and ultimately what readers either want or need to know…so to explain that picture has having the well juxtaposed black kids representing the slaves who were brought to the Americas by the Conquistadores, the well lit church as representing the justification for the conquest, the horse as representing the army or the method of conquest , is all quite easy, historically accurate etc etc..i DO NOT try to explain this picture , or any picture, to editors from the other angle as being influenced by HCB, Caravaggio etc etc…this is in my head or just in the work and does not need to be explained to editors…they are smart …they can see the picture…the worst thing a photographer can do is to tell an editor “hey look, this is a good picture”…

    i hope this has helped Michael…if i were writing a thesis or teaching this in class i am sure i could make it more clear…for sure , this is the essence of how i have been able to be published with my personal work…not all of it…and maybe not even the best of it..but way closer to what i would “do on my own” had i not had this approach…i think i come about as close to personal as one can get in a mass media presentation and yet still satisfy the publishers…it is always a long and difficult process that i must start over each time…none of the above is a given…different editors, different circumstances….but i will always push my work forward in this way…and i might add that always always there is also a receptive nature from editors who feel you are seeing their perspectives and needs and at the same time doing your thing…no editor wants the norm…they all want to push their own edges as far as possible…those of us who shoot for magazines want to help them do this…in the most symbiotic way….

    cheers, david


    i often tell students that good people photographers employ exactly the same techniques as fine method actors like Olivier….what do method actors do? they use their voice and their body to interpret character…they study carefully the movements and personality of a character….they BECOME the character…as a people photographer i often to the same..i.e. i might study a fisherman pulling in the nets off a fishing boat…a big boat , lots of fishermen…one of the eleven fishermen is going to be a better character than the others….i analyze quickly….i stick with the one ..learn to anticipate every single movement..eyes, hands, method of pulling in net…where he looks after the fish hit the deck he will react and where he will look after certain movements his character all around…capture “his moment” in the same way a method actor would…think about it..

  • DAVID.
    link to article
    link to the gallery

    I was genuinely impressed with the work. I have two hanging on my walls as a result.


  • DAH…

    I will indeed think about it. Thanks.

    But to be clear, Olivier was pretty dismissive of Method actors of the Lee Strasburg type. He was more of a “just do it” man. The above quote comes from his time on the set of Marathon Man with Dustin Hoffman. Hoffman was going on about his “method” and the ways he embodies the character, the fact that he hadn’t slept for three days or something and it was then that Olivier offered his advice.

    For the record, I, like many in here, hang on your every word about approach and/or philosophy. Take it all to heart. Like Paul O I wish I could remember where all these gems are. But sometimes as the discussions get rolling and the different ideas and processes are offered, the desire to say something like “Have you tried going out and taking some pictures?” is strong. ;^} Again, no disrespect intended.

  • DAH…

    I think this quote from you fits nicely with what Olivier might have felt…

    “the idea of a checklist makes me nauseous….basic instinct is it…as in all things…learn some stuff, but your gut feeling is your only real measure of net worth”


    many thanks…love this…can you make a match here? put us in touch with them? c’mon get up off your arse and give us a hand here…. :)


    Marathon Man was a great popular film with both actors absolutely on the mark…who cares which actor believed what?? for those of us just watching the movie, both Olivier’s stated lack of Strasbourg method and Hoffman’s over analysis of “method” just worked…for sure, i am sure both would say they studied character…how they did it or how they psyched themselves up for it, is fun to know about behind the scenes, but makes no difference for the final result…many thanks for the reference..

    cheers, david

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Hmmm…that’s the quote of the year!

    Viva ROBERTA…don’t worry…when you meet DAH…you won’t be disappointed …
    Just try to stay away from the dance floor…:)))
    But what do I know:)))))))))))))))))))))

    Goodnight to Teena Marie and Bud Greenspan!

    BURNIANS…we are on fireeeeeeeeee

  • Hey David, thanks for your thoughtful response, I feel a bit bad, like I gave you an assignment. Sorry about that.

    Interesting how different people think and work. I was introduced to “rules” of composition in some early college drawing class and they stuck with me over the years. I’ve mostly internalized them when shooting but they can be a conscious consideration when editing. And of course to the extent that they are rules, they are made to be broken. Roll out the old trope about modern painters and representative art, knowing the rules in order to break them etc.

    Something in your answer to Carsten made me think of that long ago class and wonder if some photographers would benefit from a bit of that art school kind of visual education. When I studied photography we spent most of the classes looking at slides, both from masters like HCB an Gene Smith and students as well. Although we discussed composition at length, it was detached from any system. More the “decisive moment” school of composition. Never learned a thing about color theory through any photo related channel either, yet so much great color photography is built on that kind of scientific foundation. J-school photojournalism was very effective in it’s way, but it might have helped to spend a bit of time on the art school approach. And, as you note, studying painters.

    I guess that came to mind because of your observation that some people have it and some people don’t. I’m sure that’s true, but I also think there’s a lot of room in between where those who lack the instincts for composition and color can learn the behavior. Perhaps they can never reach the same pinnacles as those who are born with it, but they can definitely improve.

    Anyhow, if you’re not in New York, you’ve missed a great blizzard. And sage advice for anyone who’s never seen Marathon Man — don’t try it with hallucinogens! You might never see a dentist again.

  • MW, you might find interesting what Sally Mann says about herself not being a good photographer but tenacious, in the interview linked up by Milli (thank you, Milli!):

    I think it takes both, the ‘IT’ and working hard…

  • Panos wrote,

    “fuck Santa..he only left a camera brochure/manual in my stocking…oh wait..there is a hole in my stocking..tiny tiny hole but enough for a leica to slip away:(”

    Unfortunately,that’s the problem you get when using the fishnet stocking the prostitute left behind!

  • michael kircher…
    I am slowly making a kind of DAH´s Greatest Hits and other Burnians… don´t know if any of it will be of any use to you of course taste tends vary with each person.

  • In my extremely humble experience in photography I´m supposed to teach landscape/nature work, but every year I end up teaching my nature classes and hell of a lot more. These kids when they begin my 2 month workshop are half way through their second year studying photography… Most of them have reached this point where they suddenly realize photography isn´t all fun and party. They don´t like their photos and their personal inner critic has kicked in… this happens to me every year! I usually have a few little tricks I´ve learnt from a couple of old friends and my own experience.
    This is an easy one, I use it personally when I´m a bit stuck and it´s as old as the hills…
    I´ve got 21 kids this year…I ask each one to choose any verb they like and write it on a scrap of paper, we chuck all the 21 verbs into a bag and each kid is assigned a different verb for a week. Their homework for the week is to take 25 shots of that one verb…I´d love to give them more shots/week but I know they probably won´t do it. Next week they exchange their verb´s with another pupil until they´ve all tried all the verbs or it´s the final workshop week. Then we put all the verbs on a table and we ALL learn something new! Suddenly some of them realize they are taking images everyday like keep asking them.
    Imants your idea is quite something and I´m going to give it a try with the kids now that my workshop has been extended…Thanks!

  • MW..

    sure Michael, of course some photographers would benefit from art school education…that is why i mentioned studying painters etc…and yes yes many who are not going for the pinnacles can certainly improve…i did not mean to suggest otherwise…as a matter of fact , Burn and my classes are totally intended exactly for this purpose….if i were teaching/mentoring only for the once every ten years super student, then that would be a futile exercise…the joy is from watching someone go to their personal next watch them discover…i am much more excited by this than by anything i see in photography…

    cheers, david

  • Mr. David… I don’t know if you remember me from some of my comments on Burn and our short exchange of thoughts… but I am in New York now… my dream has become true:))… I would very much like to see you in person and have a cup of coffee with you… I am also thinking about going to Brazil in February… I just don’t know how to reach you, and if you are in New York… by email?, phone? or it’s impossible at this time at all? Cheers

  • Yes, it’s amazing what you are able to accomplish with your students. I say that from a bit of firsthand knowledge but also from many anecdotal reports from former students. You are the rare person who can both do and teach at the highest levels. Guess I was off on a bit of a tangent from the original comment, which is not unusual,eh. And of course your students are typically pretty good to start with. Somewhere between Carsten’s question and your answers to mine, I had started thinking about people who were either new to photography or not very good at it and how I might go about trying to teach them. Could certainly use a lot of your work. The aforementioned photo, but so many others as well. I particularly like the work you did in Kenya. I think maybe that’s where I was first struck by your technical skill with the strobe. Composition, story, color, technical skill… there’s so much that can be learned from just one photo. Unfortunately though, I’m much more familiar with your natgeo stuff than your personal since it’s available electronically. I need to get the two books I don’t have, or at least look at them again.

    Caravaggio? I woulda thought more someone like Gaugin. Well, for the color anyway. Maybe I see your point.

  • DAH–

    yes, and the foreplay can last for hours and hours..



  • David as you know the older the students get the more staid they get. Sure life experiences have increased so they have a greater knowledge/experience base to draw from but they lose their ability to be flexible learners. It becomes a matter of I want to learn this as opposed to I want to learn. Yes I do prefer to teach and mentor the 9 to 17 year old they are not as gear addicted happy with a camera takes a photographs and sorta looks good. It is great to walk into a place where photographers are not looking at each others gear.

    The biggest problem for some here is to figure out what sort of photography are they wanting to be involved in. One cannot apply the same processes to images destined for an essay as they do for a series of singles just as there is a great divide between images destined for print and those destined for the wwwdotworld.
    Basically if you want to create essays that are destined to places like burn etc it is time to stop thinking as a a photographer and realign your image making. This means intentionally creating weak images who’s roles are merely to tie an essay together as a single unit of work. The trouble is that though the general public doesn’t mind and are more likely to see all the photos within the essay as part of the whole, the so traditionally schooled photographer as audience sees it as a weakness and nit picks at technique.

  • “”Basically if you want to create essays that are destined to places like burn etc it is time to stop thinking as a a photographer and realign your image making. This means intentionally creating weak images who’s roles are merely to tie an essay together as a single unit of work””….One of the funniest pieces of nonsense ive read on the web in ages.

  • and quit being mean at least for a few hours…
    ah Gracie thank you but im afraid you missed my whole point…

  • being always “nice” is the ultimate way to be mean inmho…

  • No it’s not nonsense it is just that you are a closed mind and lack understanding how singles work, considering that you do film work and within that structure create quiet periods of non activity I am surprised with your childish remark

  • ………….. remember your piano piece there was a lot of weak non that kept that together

  • think of jesus for example…(according to u) He was very violent and absolutely mean when he destroyed those merchants kiosks in the temple…according to me he had every right to be pissed off and angry and violent and breaking things in a rock star way…and god was extremely angry turning people into Salt just because they were partying in that Sodoma & Gomora (Las Vegas) strip club …sorry Gracie but christianity is a very violent religion and i have every right to assume that Santa is a lame pervert..
    (cmon smile)..there is a little secret, they call it “sense of humor” and its not cheap…nor Santa carries it either ..:(

  • IMANTS. You should never be suprised at my childishness.
    I have no idea what ‘quiet periods of non activity’ means. I just make pictures, I dont dress them up with fancy statements. For better or worse.
    The piano piece is a different animal altogether. Three seperate mediums cobbled together in the service of a pay check :) …and yes ‘a lot of weak non’ as you say.

  • Yea I guess you being a gung ho got me hand on it all the time type of guy you probably don’t have an idea

  • “Word salad”, I think it’s called, John.

  • Michael is still playing with his grudge……….just can’t let go the poor lad

  • Grudge… you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.


    unfortunately i am not in new york at the moment…will not be there until mid january most likely , although there could be the surprise trip…how long do you stay? in any case, should our time coincide, i would be pleased to meet you…best way to find me off of Burn is i do hope this works out…

    cheers, david


    are you assuming that “older” photographers (17-35) are going to automatically get wrapped up as gear heads?…maybe some do…but, that has never been anything i have ever had to deal with at all…i espouse minimalism as you know in any case..besides your 17 yr old students become 21 yr old photogs almost overnight anyway and i think the gear obsession is one thing and the limits on creativity quite another…so while most put a premium on youth and i surely love the creativity inherent in the very young, i hardly think we should automatically give up on creativity after one reaches drinking/voting age…and where would you like photographers essays to end up exactly?? or should our readers here give up and just stop shooting? or what? i am just not hearing an alternate objective …or did i miss your point?? i do not think you have ever heard me say nor suggest that Burn was the ultimate outlet for photography….we are only a meeting ground…the place for photography is still most likely books, exhibitions etc and surely you see me pushing everyone here in that direction…some of the mobile devices could change that of course, and i think anything that anyone is thinking about the final resting place for their work or type of work intended , is certainly potentially welcomed or endorsed here…i see no limits for work presented here, including anything new and innovative you have to lay on the table at any time…looking for the edge amigo, looking for the edge…

    cheers, david

  • No I am not assuming and do know most are not……. I am just stating that the younger brigade hit the camera and there is a greater degree of innocence and learning without boundaries.


    Submission deadline: EXTENSION TO JANUARY 10, 2011

  • And there was me thinking that the boundaries of learning were set more by the limits of the teacher than the age of the pupil……just as well that i have no idea or who knows where things could end up.

    Still thats what you get for being gung-ho I guess, although I had no idea that I was chinese.

    Rest assured though that as soon as I know what IT is I will take my hand off of it immediately.

    EVA. Sorry to sandwich you between christmas pleasantries, that looks like a wortwhile event.


  • Hey John, did you ever get those rolls I sent over?


    well yes….and this of course is why i was thinking about Circus …and why i asked John to put me on to that group in London he discovered for us…and why i would encourage you to put forth any promising students you may have…we are open open open for the very young right here on Burn…we do have to be careful with anything to do with minors on any level of course, but i think with the proper acknowledgment from either schools, parent teacher associations, or the parents approval then we are fine…anyway whenever i go to an elementary school and see the art work on the walls i am amazed by what kids do just naturally….at the same time it seems to be that another very creative stage is early twenties…i get some of my very best essays in my classes particularly from women in their late teens , early twenties…HOWEVER, many of these same students lose this bit of magic soon thereafter..i do not know why…most likely other interests take over..but the most significant totally brilliant work can come at any time…yes, usually with the young, but not always…many of the young super talents and enthusiasts lose every damn thing when they hit 30 more or less…jobs, family, earning a living etc…IF one can get past that 30 mark and still be creative, then the juices can really flow…and some who are 50+ and have the time and energy to really work on something do the very very best…wisdom plus energy does indeed count for something…i believe my man that you are good example….

    cheers, david

  • I’ve seen a lot of photos taken by teens over the past few years between my daughter and her friends taking photography classes at an art oriented high school and kids I know at an inner city school clicking away with their cell phones and cheap digital cameras. I’m not surprised that you have trouble finding interesting content for Circus. After the issue on how kids like to pose, the content will become increasingly hard to find.

    Of course by the thousand monkeys typing principle, anyone can get lucky on a shot here or there. But from what I’ve seen, great education, or at least an attitude of striving for a great education, is a pre-req for great photography and I don’t see a lot of that in teens. Some from the art school crowd, maybe. But young adults in their early twenties, sure. Those are typically the years when Art matters most. That, and showing the old fools how lame they’ve become. Still, it typically takes years to see enough to be able to recognize that your brilliant idea has been thought and executed in a similar manner a thousand times before.


    good on you for working with young photographers….to be commended for sure…but frankly i am not so impressed by “exercises” for young students…there is a whole long list of things teachers in photo classes always have students do…and yes it is fun for a day or whatever, but i really really think the young are capable of something much much more than playing games….why not have your students actually do something significant?…if your goal for example is to have them document life around them, why not have them just do it ? why perhaps waste energy on photo pushups, when they might just be ready to run? kinda like giving a kid a guitar and say “hey, pick your favorite song and just play it” rather than have the same kid learn notes or play chopsticks on the piano..for heavens sake , they are totally capable of going out and taking real pictures with real results!! best way for you to think about this is to study the original Shooting Back by Jim Hubbard in Washington D.C. for inner city youth, or our very own Emily Schiffer (see her Burn essay) and her work with Native American children…she shoots them, they shoot their culture….sure these young students should be having fun..but i honestly think they can and will have even more “fun” when they realize what photography can do in their lives, not just as an exercise or game…just a thought…we should discuss more on skype or by private email if you are interested…

    cheers, david

  • David…
    Every single word you’ve said is absolutely true! But you must understand these kids begin my workshop usually “slightly burnt out” , to put it politely. They only pick their camera for homework, they´ve never associated the camera as being their life…like you do, I and I believe all the other die Hard Burnians round here. But they all love photography… some have amazing ambitions in this world but don´t know how to go about it. I´ve got 3 girls in the class who admitted the only reason they haven´t given up school this year is because of my lessons and enthusiasm.
    So I´ve always got to fix this problem in eight weeks… These little exercises are an easy way to “warm up”, get them used to going out and shooting images. A little idea which just isn´t too big to block them, every single day, full of fun and no dreading how difficult the homework is…Usually they end up having a camera always with them and it turns into their little diary.
    So my latest “crazy idea” which I suggested two weeks ago to both classes is to meet once a week on my own with one student, at a local bar one to one and work on their photography, their weaknesses, dreams and of course find them a project. I´m doing all this, out of the kindness of my heart, totally independent from school, absolutely bloody free. All great fun and as usual a very rewarding experience with the added plus of making a friend for life!! OK I can´t help it, I just can´t sit there teaching them without caring for them. I´ve been a very lucky student, throughout my life I´ve had amazing teachers at school, college and in photography and I include YOU DAVID also. So I will always give back 110%. I wouldn´t feel right if I didn´t Burn out for them!
    One point I want to make sure is understood, this school I teach at is brilliant. I´m always referring to that something little else…between trying to be average/good and at least trying 110% Pupil and Teacher.
    David it would be a great pleasure talking on Skype or E-mail privately, always eager to learn more!

  • PAUL…

    yes, i now see what you are up against…sure, let’s talk over these details one on one…there is never only one way to do anything…and let me emphasize i am a workshop teacher…a working photographer who tries to impart something helpful ….this is a very different experience than classroom teaching …..all of my students come to me very interested already…eager, ready to roll….not sure how i would handle a lack of enthusiasm…probably not very well i must say……anyway let’s talk, after january 1 ok??

    cheers, david

  • David, I will be in New York till mid February… hope everything works out well… Cheers

  • David…
    January fine by me!!

  • David & all…

    I wanted to express my gratitude for meeting with me David. It was a pleasure to sit back over coffee and discuss life & photography- thanks for making the time.

    I had an idea, I forgot to bring it up.

    So often it is mentioned at Burn that occasionally the “gems”of dialogue are hidden, archived, or otherwise lost in conversation. I recently purchased and am reading a book by the late Galen Rowell- The Inner Game of Outdoor Photography. Not my specific forte of photography…but the message is universal. Clear insight into the mental process of image making, some technique but strong focus on style and theory – excellent stuff.

    With that said, could the very best of dialogues and insight from/with DAH be compiled from Road trips and Burn in a loose topic and answer format for print? Pulling from the years of dialogue to print/publish the straight forward advice, and personal experience from David (an perhaps others) that we all hold on to. A soft cover companion filled with insight, humor, some photos and perhaps printed off the same press as Burn itself…!

    I realize this is a large undertaking, and a complex one as well. I know that it has been discussed in one way or another here on Burn…but imagine a book in your hands, to read, reread and share with others.

    Any thoughts?

    Best, Jeremy

  • EVA. no, film never seemed to arrive.


    it was great to see you again the other day and see your new printed works….and thanks for helping me carry those big prints to the gallery!! your idea is not only a good one, but i have considered this as well..some of the things can get written here in comments are so spontaneous and raw that some of it would never be said if one was to sit down an “try to write a book”….i do have now someone who is going to transcribe comments…yes, a big job, but one worth doing…we will see if it fits into my book… PHOTOGRAPHERS (i have known)…. or in some other tome that could be useful…i want to do a book that will be educational , but still be a good book…and i love diaries (obviously why i started Road Trips)…so yes, thank for confirming what i thought might be not worry, i will give you credit for the idea!!


    any contact with that group of London photogs? by the way one of my best pictures i have for PHOTOPGRAPHERS, is one taken of you during our breakfast in new york..assume i have your permission to use it…although you have been so grumpy lately , i am not sure…. ;)


    terrific!! see you mid january

    cheers, david

  • Jeremy, good idea imofwiw. Lots of research and reading, and choices of course, but pretty straightforward. Could be fun to pair text with photos on facing pages. Lots of white space, could go real edgy, not your father’s how-to book but something just a bit different. Surely the Burn archive must be reaching new levels of critical mass by now.

  • Ah, posting at the same time as David …


    what a pleasure to see you here!! Happy New Year amigo…you are ground level on this one…will have you come stay my place and help get this together….yes??

    cheers, david

  • >David, you know I never pass up an opportunity to visit OBX and if I had a place there, it would be very much like yours. You totally scored on that one.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Can I sing now?:)

  • Civi, David…

    “Who can take a sunrise…”

  • OK… that was mean. I admit it. ;^}

  • michael kircher
    Grudge… you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.


    Did you just paraphrase Princess Bride? :)

  • I still that the best way to become more creative in any artistic endeavour; no matter the age; is to immerse yourself in as much art as possible. Be it music, films, books, whatever. And of course, an old fart like me who has come to photography much later in life has to try ten times harder to build up that knowledge; and then attempt to produce something worthwhile and tangible!

  • Brian…

    My favorite movie! (one of them, anyway.) Yep… sometimes it’s just necessary. ;^}

    Inigo Montoya rules!

  • Also; I was thinking yesterday how much the mass media (newspapers, magazines etc) downplay the general public’s visual awareness, and dumb down their images etc. What brought that thought on was listening to my mother say how much she enjoyed looking at Martin Parr’s “Think of England”. I certainly don’t think it is the easiest book to come grips with, yet she really enjoyed it.

  • “This means intentionally creating weak images who’s roles are merely to tie an essay together as a single unit of work”


    John, that is not as ridiculous as it sounds. Simply picking the best images from a set does not always make for the best story. When composing the story in your head while shooting, you have to think about establishing shots, etc. I don’t know if intentionally creating weak images is correct, but understanding that what you are shooting is important but not great are needed to progress the narrative.

  • David I agree with your assessment about the complexities of individual creative periods and the stop start nature of it.
    My role in the year coming a bit different, it is all bout integrating new technologies in the visual arts at a high school level. This means looking at facebook, cell phones, low end movie and animation applications, zines, the wwwdot world etc and how they can be integrated within the traditional art forms without shelling out lots of finances

  • DAVID. Yes I have access to those photographers. what do you need? The photraphers? Brett? The gallery people?
    Of course if you have a picture of me that you wish to use you can.
    Grumpy? maybe :)

  • Brian… I realize you were addressing J Gladdy, but…

    “I don’t know if intentionally creating weak images is correct,”

    It’s definitely not, in my opinion.

    “but understanding that what you are shooting is important but not great are needed to progress the narrative.”

    And this has been true for as long as people have been shooting essays. Nothing new here, as was suggested. Again, in my opinion.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    my sincere apologies MR.HARVEY…I can’t hold it…
    since I dont have a boat to sail


  • Such a sad song Civi. You’re usually so much more upbeat in your musical tastes.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    where have you been BRIANF???

    I don’t have a boat to sail…i can’t keep my eyes focused…

    P.S i am not in the music department…ROSSY,PANOS…and many others are doing
    a fine job…i am in the liquid deptm…:))))))

  • Civi –

    An obscenely large amount of work (not shooting, day job kinda work). Spent a week with my sister’s family right before Christmas, and it made me look forward to getting back to work. Just busy things like that have forced me away from Burn. I’ve also started looking towards getting some work in gallery shows, possibly Minneapolis. So if anyone has any thoughts along those lines, feel free to add them.

    Thinking about taking a break from the fight images. Need to spend some time away shooting something else. Everything is starting to feel a bit stale. Hope some time off, focusing on something else will help refresh me a bit. Recent essays here have made take another look around for a “right under your nose” essay idea.

    Sometimes you can’t see the forest from the trees.

  • All this palaver about the holidays and boats coming in and the rest of it is all very interesting if you are interested in this sort of thing, but here in our happy little burg, where all the men are not terribly handsome and all the children are below average in a vaguely submoronic manner, sidewalk clearance is a concept that clearly has not caught on with merchants, homeowners, or the highway department, leaving those of us of a pedestrian persuasion to navigate between clearings like so many Lewis and Clarks trying to find our way to the Pacific. When you add into this snowy brew the fact that my ability to leap gracefully from snowbank to snowbank like whatever animal leaps gracefully from snowbank to snowbank has diminished with age, one finds our happy little burg a thoroughly annoying place, populated largely by dolts, dopes, and dimwits, when they are not busy being just plain stupid. Not that I’m bitter, mind you.

  • Why should establishing shots, narrative progressing shots, etc., be weak? Although I can imagine reasonable people disagreeing about the nature of “weak,” I can’t imagine why anyone would want a weak photo in an essay, along the old saw of chains being only as strong as…

  • Sorry for the little break, but I found a nice documentary about the photographer W. Eugene Smith.
    Worth looking as I find:

  • I enjoyed the interest shown in the contact-sheet idea above; would love to see the Magnum book as proposed, and look forward to David’s memory card lecture. I’ve never seen Cartier-Bresson’s contact sheets, but know that Agnes Sire called his Scrapbook his “Indecisive Moments”, and that photographers were often much more interested in viewing HCB’s process thru the book, than the final outcome.

    In 1969, Picasso began to date his paintings with the day, month and year of completion – sometimes with the commencement date as well – thinking that in the future, scientists, psychologists or philosophers would be able to unravel his creative process. Something he didn’t understand. There really is an interest among fellow crafters in the process of others; a friend got his PJ career going by showing his photo editor not his ‘best of’ work, but contact sheets. The editor knew…

    It would be interesting to see some emerging photographers put forward contact sheets here. No message, poetry, or cultural anthropology – just imagery to show us their process, thinking, and perhaps, their voice. Just to look at their work as photography; 24 consecutive images, with Exif or negative information embedded in the scan.

  • Imants; If I remember right Michael Yon was one of the first to try this model of funding. He started shooting/reporting independently from Iraq and was solely supported by the “donate” button on his website. He banked on people being prepared to pay to see that he kept reporting from there. And this was before Facebook and Twitter etc really took off.

  • Using contact prints in part……… a very interesting format in this great book
    The Photographer: Into war-torn Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders by Didier Lefévre

  • MW…

    exactly…not only do i not get that thinking, i totally do not believe it…

  • JEFF…

    i will do it..i will post the cf card from Living Proof that i used in my class…let me figure out how to do it…good idea…

  • My first essay on burn consists of three very ordinary weak images that I selected out of the bin ready to delete …………………..


    your way of connecting pictures with graphic design and music is clearly multi media and quite different from what Brian Frank is saying he is trying to do with the so called weaker connections….i understand what you are doing and why, yet i do not understand what he is doing and why…he is involved with literal storytelling at his local newspaper…you are working on conceptual ideas….so you are both making sort of the same statement here in comments , but for totally different reasons imo….Brian is in fact trying to make an editorial checklist of “must haves” , like an establishing shot for example, and i do not think you are thinking that way at all…of course in any essay, as in any song, the beat cannot always be “up” and equality of imagery could get either boring or repetitious, but one way or another there will be a strength to the totality…maybe it is the term “weak pictures” that is confusing the semantics…maybe “low key” or “less dramatic” or something like that would be better than “weak”…anyway none of this matters really…we can all see it how we want…again, my only disagreement is with the “must have this, must have that” in order to “tell the story ” without any regard for visual literacy or aesthetics…photo-j 101 from a long time ago basically…and a big yawn for me personally….yet, i do realize this is the mantra for many newspaper photographers and i do like much of Brian’s work….so much so that i would love to see him shake it up a bit and stop trying to tell me a story in the most literal way…..he loves fellow Iowan Danny Wilcox Frazier…perfect…take a page out his book then….or Matt Eich…or Danny Ghitis….. i just wonder where in the world he can go with this literal storytelling past the local paper…i might add, this is totally an American phenomenon ….never heard of any European or Eastern photographers taking on this “checklist”….don’t know about the Aussies… :)

    cheers, david

  • There seems to be an assumption by some that weak means bad……….there is such things as not having the same authority or intensity

  • John, sent them off on October, 5th… slow boat to China it seems :((

  • There is also the assumption that a story needs to be ‘told’.
    That an explanation, or a narrative map needs to be in place for people to ‘get’ what is being shown. That some unwritten, but deemed necessary, spoonfeeding of detail, or conformity to mode is required for the viewer to be able to ‘get it’.

    But what if we remove context?
    Take away the roadmap and the old journalistic conventions?
    Present nothing but imagery?
    With nothing between it and each individual viewer?
    Free the images to be seen purely as that….images?

    Or is it just me that does this?
    I buy salgado to view the immensity of the pictures, one by one. To contemplate them as truly great works….I do not read anything about the what/where/when/how of them and have no interest in that side of them. they could be actors on a set or martians for all I know, or care. the images are able to speak for themselves and i am more interested in my relationship to the image than to the images relationship to an actual event. All of my viewing is done in this way.
    Now I am sure that Mr Salgado has a very deep empathy with the subjects he depicts, and works in a way that is respectful to them and hopefully to their ultimate benefit. probably a deeply compassionate person and a great campaigner for change…..but I truly believe that the work itself, while encompassing that, also transcends it and can shrug off its contextual confines and still soar.
    Certainly does for this viewer anyways.


  • What I was more thinking when I wrote reasonable people can disagree on the definition of “weak” is that many might consider something undramatic to be necessarily weak. In this context, I don’t believe dramatic and strong are always synonymous. Gossage had a quote to that effect regarding his work on “The Pond.” Referring to a knife sticking into a tree, he asked “How do you make a picture of that and not over-dramatize it?”

  • John, I can see things as you do, and would even agree that images that achieve that kind of out-of-context greatness are the best, but I can appreciate other constructions as well — Salgado’s dead child with coins in its eyes, David’s visual ruminations on the Spanish diaspora, or Nachtwey’s reportage on tuberculosis — just as through writing I can enjoy a poem, a novel, or an excellent non-fiction piece. But I’m glad you periodically bring us back to the image in and of itself. I agree that too often gets lost in these discussions.

  • I think the “intentionally creating” is a sticking point for me. It’s one thing to find an image you weren’t terribly excited about but works as part of the story, and another thing to purposefully go out and make a “weak” (sorry.. less intense!) image for that purpose. But hey… whatever works for everybody. ;^}

  • john gladdy
    I agree with you absolutely… I find enough pleasure in just viewing the images and as you´ve already mentioned Salgado is one of my favourites…
    However, how do I enjoy Sally Mann´s latest work “Proud Flesh”.. are you familiar with it at all? I personally find her latest work to deep for me to appreciate by just gazing at the images.
    BTW showed your web page to my pupils the other day… absolute success!!
    Happy New Year!!

  • MW. Im pretty sure from your comments that you dont. Natchweys work has many great images in it for me, but I do not share his compassion for the subjects within. How can I, I have never met them? I have seen representations in silver. DAH’s early work also. Masterful use of color, some absolute sublime gems of imagery in there…but I couldnt care less where they were shot or of whom. But I can and do appreciate them for what they are as images. Ceci n’est pas une pipe. yes?

    I have a treasured first edition of immediate family, sublime work. I am not familiar with the one you mention but I will try to find it.
    You showed your students my work? jeeez.
    What did you learn about them(the pupils) from it?


  • john gladdy…
    A couple of kids loved your project “Musings”, of course “face” was another hit. We didn´t look at performance and backstage… I always enjoy showing fresh work at the end of the class, something utterly new to them… trying to always end class on a high note.
    What did I learn? Well they´re aren´t into themes too much yet, they tend to look at individual images and then jump somewhere else. Every kid found at least one image they liked throughout your site. Overall “Musings” was outright winner.
    Well you won´t find much of immediate family in proud flesh…!! I´ve got a private class this evening,only one student and I´ve decided I´m going with Proud Flesh, Salgado and Alex Webb… what a cocktail!! But it´s time to start looking at themes with these kids… and listen to her dreams and where I can drop some Burn enthusiasm!
    Here´s a link to Proud Flesh


    yes i agree and understand totally…


    i did not want to write to you under the current Ghitis piece, so as not to interrupt a good discussion, when you said you did not understand his approach at all…that the pictures did not have strength without context or words…i am paraphrasing you but i think i have it right…besides you are saying it again above…..ironically the essay we have of yours to publish at some point seems to me to be using exactly the same approach as Ghitis…your essay on Speakers Corner is totally dependent on context and words… you not see the contradiction between what you are saying and what you are showing or are about to show our readers here?

    also, time does move on…the classicism of the Salgado approach or even my earliest work( which you mentioned) does fall into a certain time frame in the recent history of photography…i would not want to even attempt to do my “early work” again, and i think the PEER GROUP respect for Salgado is from 25 years ago…i think Salgado is now a prisoner of SALGADO……this happens all the time in art….sure the pictures live on forever…great…but as i said time does move forward and those kinds of pictures , those kinds of subjects, are being told differently today…art lasts of course , but the attempts change with time…this is 100% necessary…..i would never be caught dead trying to do what i did 25 years ago…i will of course take full advantage of the galleries which are only interested in 25-50 years ago…fantastic ..i love it…but when i go out the door right now to shoot, and i will, i will be looking through the same eyes but with an ever so slightly different spin….otherwise i would be stagnant…and i doubt you will like my next book…the style will be different from the “early work”….too bad…oh well, you will like the picture i took of you at breakfast!!

    abrazos, david

  • DAVID ALAN HARVEY. Of course art changes. It must. But taste in art is always individual.As is its practice. And I was certainly not putting down yours , or anyones, modern work by pointing to its descendants iconic nature.
    that is just my taste.
    Also it is in your opinion that the speakers corner essay needs words and context not mine…I have been fighting against that very thing no? So no I see no contradiction at all.
    Run it totally silent and let the viewer decide, or include words and context that were never meant to be a part of it, or run it not at all if we cannot agree. Always your call in the end David. As long as we still remain friends what matters it?

    Looking forward to seeing the breakfast shot.


  • MW. Im pretty sure from your comments that you dont.

    Yes, I can see from my comments how you’d get that, but it’s really not the case. We just don’t talk that much about singles round here. When I think of my favorite work, it’s never in the terms of essays, always single, standalone photos. And it may seem contradictory, I really don’t have much to say about my favorite photos beyond “wow.” Essays, however, I can analyze with the verbal part of my brain all too readily.

  • David…
    Strange question here…I sort of know what you are searching for essay wise… However what catches your eye for a single image. I´m curious because I´ve read quite a few people round here like me, haven´t had their single image published either… So in a way I suspect we are probably missing the target. What´s necessary image wise to make something striking for Burn in the single context.
    No hurry answering please!! Family first at Christmas.


    of course we are friends John…for heavens sake…as i am with Sebastiao…and i say all things straight to your face and to his…we are tied by the common bond of photography, but disagreeing about aesthetics etc is a friendship luxury and not any kind of early critiques were at the Univ of Missouri where we blasted the hell out of friends pictures and then went and partied all night long…good friends..same at NatGeo and most particularly at Magnum….”i hate your picture” does NOT mean “i hate you”..and the reverse of course..”i love your pictures” does NOT mean “i love you”…i will run Speakers Corner and always disagree with you about context…i scratch my bald head not understanding why you think those are pictures in and of themselves and not illustrations of context and of place and history …i mean if you did not know what was going on, how would anyone be able to imagine what the pictures are ABOUT?? i know you are adamant about no captions me this would have been the perfect time to have live voice over, but i am going with your decision here..Burn is not about me and my work, Burn is about you and your work…your man in the wheelchair..ahh now THAT is a picture that needs no caption or context…could have either , but needs neither….

    cheers, david


    HCB did not shoot essays…nor Koudelka (except one that was all singles-Gypsies)…nor Adams….nor Anders Peterson….all singles….start there and you will see where i am coming from….Gene Smith a storyteller….actually i do not shoot essays either…i like stand alone images most of all…if they are strung together from a particular place i have been shooting, then they may forge an essay..but mostly i like singles….you never hear me talk about storytelling per se….Cormack McCarthy tells stories…i take pictures….

    cheers, david

    Thank you.

    BTW The brazil film has been ressurected again…..seems everyone came out smelling of roses after all so they have put the plug back in. Editing starts january. Trying to wrangle some re-shoots in rio :) not sure if they will buy it but worth a go.

    Also those young photographers and their teacher are around whenever you wish to contact them.
    Just let me know what you need.


  • David, I understand about shooting singles :) I am interested though in the assignment work done for THE magazine. There often seems to be a standard approach, in a broad context at least, to the editing and sequencing of photos (broad aerial opener, env. portrait, etc.) While this certainly is not a specific “snot list,” I wonder if this influences your thinking while on assignment? Do editors come back and say, we need more x,y and z?

  • Oh brother, please read that as “shot list.” Getting used to this tiny keyboard on new phone.


    I think You are too harsh for mr. Salgado. Do you know a very top photographer (I mean top art from history book) who changed his style after years or invite something as good as previous work?

    In art is all about 15 minutes of fame. It can give you immortality if you are able to use all given circumstances. after the 15 minutes you are able to invite great art for next couple years, but not forever. at last it is not for everyone and it is not a great value.
    Many time I prefer wen artist I like bit change. Mostly it going worst.
    well, nobody is perfect…

    Well, i think it is quite good being a prisoner of being Salgado. The price is being a little more bored.

  • typo
    “Many time I prefer wen artist I like bit change”

    many times I prefer when artists I like not change at all.

  • I just watched this documentary about Sally Mann:
    In it, she talks about how seemingly easy her first series of pictures were. Every consecutive attempt becomes harder for a photographer, she says because you are essentially competing with the pictures you have already made. She also talks about getting bored with her children as the subject of her work, while her interest in landscapes grew. She said the children gradually appeared smaller and smaller in the frame and the landscapes took over. Change is good. It may not work, but it’s still a good thing. If you’re just doing the same thing year after year, it can go from work to shtick.

  • David…
    Once again thank you!! I will certainly start there right away!!
    Leonardo Da Vinci would of appreciated Burn
    “Where there is heat there is life”

  • David, John G, very interesting posts by both of you. David, r.e. Salgado being a prisoner of SALGADO, does he (from your experience) feel that he is a prisoner or is he; as per your Twitter post, sailing his own boat? If he is, it is a paradox that he is being true to his personal vision whilst seemingly saddled with past success. I’m not defending him from an attack that you are not making – just curious. I really like his early work (what’s not to love – where have I heard that before?) but have seen almost nothing from him for years. I’m sure that he is still working but he is not on the media radar.

    John G, hope you make it back to Rio.

    With reference to “weaker pictures”, it is standard photojournalist practice to take an “overall” a photograph that encompasses the scene. What many aim for is photographic storytelling that allows for each photograph in any story to be able to stand alone as a good (great!) individual image and, hopefully, each photograph to be good enough to stand alone without needing the structure of an essay to justify it. Some, rare, photographs transcend their original purpose and reality to become icons i.e. Che?

  • The “Essays” with captions on burn I have never been a big fan of and I don’t to read them. The photographers artist spiel I read sometimes before, sometimes after but it usually has little bearing on what I see.
    With a great essay the audience will always go part of the way in understanding the gist, mood concept etc put forth by the photographer because it communicates well visually. Many will be happy with their personal response and there will be no need for the captions unless a further understanding is needed/wanted. Unresolved essays will always fall short in all departments except for the odd image that can stand on it’s own and usually then within another context.
    John’s Speakers Corner is probably a series of photographs and there is no need to be classified as an essay. IMO there have been few true essays here, Danny Wilcox Frazier’s and Jukka Onnela’s ( first piece) pieces as the the stand outs as they are narratives.

  • Mike an photographic essay is a single body of work and consists of a series of images that creates the whole and are dependant upon one another . If every image is made as a stand alone there is not an essay it is a series of photographs ……… a “slide show ” of events

  • Mike it is like asking a poet, a novelist, essayist etc to create every line/word as a stand alone line/word?

  • My introduction to Salgado was through his new project, Genesis. If that’s a prison, what is freedom?

  • But as much I compare photo essays to narrative, when it comes to individual photographs, paintings or other individual works of art are far more relevant for comparison.

  • Imants, I always read the artist’s spiel first – I just want to understand the photographers viewpoint. My comments earlier illustrate an ideal world, that cannot exist in reality. Very few photographs become icons, and why such status is achieved is the subject of another thing when we are all sober – or is that sherbet. Thank God fror spell chick that’s all I can say.

  • so much depends

    a red wheel

    glazed with rain

    beside the white

    — William Carlos Williams

    Now that’s a poem like a photograph, eh? Don’t make me type out Rimbaud’s A Season in Hell to demonstrate what a photo book could be.

    Aside from that, this conversation has got me wondering if Picasso’s Guernica would be better as an essay? I’m thinking, not.


    i was very clear when i identified who might not think Salgado had grown..only his PEER GROUP..i did not say he should or would lose ANY of his following…like you….i was simply talking “backstage” talk…you should continue to love him for his work that has stimulated you…for as long as you like…

    i would love to feel as you…but when i see new work by Salgado, it does not seem for me to be on the edge or growth…..this absolutely does not take him out of his very special place in history….a position to be savored and admired for sure and i am a huge fan of The Other Americas…however, i am sure you have seen many artists who achieved such a revered status among the masses, as has Salgado , and then stopped producing the very work that made them popular…they can get to a point where they are afraid to take chances…afraid to fail….afraid to take peer group critique…only savoring admiration…i just think Sebastiao was too young to stop..that’s all…

    now Marcin, you may use whatever parameters you want for judging, and i assume you allow me mine…you may say art is about “15 minutes of fame”…i do not happen to agree as is my prerogative and i hope you allow my own parameters as i do for you..

    respectfully always…

    cheers, david

  • a civilian-mass audience

    “There is only one art, whose sole criterion is the power, the authenticity, the revelatory insight, the courage and suggestiveness with which it seeks its truth…”
     Vaclav Havel


    “Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.” …every picture you take,every essay you edit…
    Be you …sherbet,Sorbets,ouzos,teas,pasta primavera,arrabiata…
    My BURNIANS…you are all artists …in way or another…Viva!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    May the spirits of travel be with all of you out there…
    LAURA…go my lady…
    What not to kickstart !

    P.S …if someone knows where is KATIE FONSECA…give me a ring…
    Thank you in advance

  • SAIL YOUR OWN BOAT.. do not focus on others…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Priceless…hmmm…if you have a boat…:)

  • You know, my take on it, after being an uneducated hick knocked over by Genesis, which I think is a fair description, and then accepting the assignment to see Salgado’s main body of work, was that after documenting all that misery, and documenting it so breathtakingly well, that he deserved to spend a few years searching out and photographing unadulterated beauty. I honestly felt for him on a personal level. Especially after the Sahel. I can see your point about artistic growth, it’s just that I hope that his new work represents a different type of growth, perhaps not so cutting edge artistic, but artistic nevertheless.

    But as you all know, I’m capable of getting off on silly tangents. I’m still imagining Guernica as an essay instead of a single painting. It would be surrounded by intentionally weak establishing paintings and more obvious references to other current events. Many would no doubt think it was the greatest thing since Manet’s Olympia (which would have benefited by more backstory as well), but I’d complain it was too derivative of bullfighting imagery and cite Hemingway both to prove the point and argue for a more concise and straightforward narrative.

  • David;

    Regarding Salgado; his early work (Workers etc) blew my socks off. Genesis? Not really. But then again; I feel the same way about Nachtwey. I’m not sure whether it may be that “my” view has changed/grown? I’m not being disparaging to Nachtwey or denigrating his work, but I sort of see the same thing/style repeatedly. Beautifully constructed images, but all similar to what I have seen before.

    On the other hand; when I saw the sneak preview of Towell’s new Afghanistan work, it too blew my socks off. But that may just be because I always “feel” more intimacy in Towell’s work, which for some reason always affects me more.

    But then again; when I look at a lot of the VII work I “feel” the same; ie; that I’ve seen it all before, compared to the (in my opinion) more innovative Magnum and NOOR work . But after saying all of the above; I also feel a bit churlish criticising the work of photographers who have more talent in their collective little fingers than I will ever have in my entire body!

  • About stagnation as an artist….

    I think there are, as always, two sides to the coin…for every person who thinks an artist is not growing, has gone “stale” (for lack of a better term), there are just as likely to be ones who do not like the new work, who long for more of what they like/admire/enjoy about the artist they know…

    Me, I’m on the side of growth.

    I think That’s Life. An audience falls out of sync. The author goes to improbable places that later become certainties.

    good light, all….

  • I can’t believe people here “still” like Salgado ..
    But its ok…
    The real shocking thing is that people still like McCurry..
    Now that’s … That is so unexplainable …

  • There is a song called: “I wanna be adored” and that explains everything!…

  • Another analogy… “fasten your seat belts”…

  • Panos; it all just comes back to personal taste doesn’t it?

  • And I love Allard but but but that applies for him too…
    Hmmm… My shovel working today

  • ROSS…

    i think you have it about right…i think Towell keeps growing…trying to discover..not caught up in his own publicity….now please know that i am a big fan of Salgado early work..earlier than Workers…i liked Other Americas best…and what a wonderful man with big ideas and a big heart…and the most amazing wife of all wives..Lelia is the one who makes the Salgado machine run…and in Brazil, she gets the credit as well…Brazilians KNOW she is it…i just wish Salgado was, well, just out there in the street banging around and screwing up etc……not quite so exalted ….again, he became for the masses…Genises is b&w natural history NatGeo not a particularly good version of it, isn’t it? Towell is for us…hey , i cannot remember how we got into this Salgado thing anyway..what was it?? anyway, let’s move on

  • David; Yeah; time to move on. I’ve been overthinking things a bit and need to get out shooting. Have had an unwell mother, so I’ve been chief cook and bottle washer over the last month or so (so of course the camera has been put away). So in lieu of shooting have been mulling over where I want my work to go etc in preparedness for a (hopefully) big year’s shooting!

  • DAVID,

    “i do not happen to agree as is my prerogative and i hope you allow my own parameters as i do for you..”

    I’ll be the last one who will told YOU or ANYONE how to think, or what opinions should have.

    My opinions are liquid from other perspective. There is a very small step between top photographers and a very few who become important for history. It is like famous moon step. Just a little bit, but huge different. It could be a photographer who doing small polaroids or large format photography but it will be one or two from a hundreds of thousands gerat photographers. Well, I am even quite surprised that Salgado have a place what he have. But he got it. Just small step.
    You give Larry Towell example. But he is one of the hundreds of thousands great photographers on the world. And he should be mine example how unique Salgado’s work is.
    Besides, I see the same repeatability when I see magnum photographer’s current works. There are many who just stop doing great work. But like I said, Salgado did what many do. And probably because he is The Salgado many are too harsh jugging him.

    But of course it looks that way from my perspective only.

  • Now this has been a fascinating read.

    Ross, I know exactly how you feel.

    I too love Salgado’s photography. I’m fascinated by each image’s individual power but also that so many individual images of such intensity so easily work in series to form an expanded narrative. He is a master of the wall and the page.

    It just so happens that my favorite street photographer is not a man I like very much. But I so admire what he has achieved career wise and photographically.

    I enjoy Winogrand’s work but I’m quite sure he wasn’t a very nice fellow, though I may be wrong.

    There are musicians whose work delights and fascinates me but who are known to be quite unpleasant people.

    However, there is an increased likelihood, is there not, that if we like someone personally, we’ll likely likely like their work too? Hmmm. Perhaps I should re-visit in my mind those classroom discussions at ICP and whether or not friendships were affected by harsh critique. Personally, if someone had a go at my work and didn’t like it or thought it weak, then I would be spurred on to improve and would be grateful for the honesty (but ever so slightly miffed at their audacity).

    I’ve had a good read at Burn here this morning. I awoke very early in a heightened state of alertness as if emerging from some kind of hibernation. I feel I’ve been plodding along for years, day to day, bringing the kids to school, fetching them home, cooking, keeping the peace, shooting a little here and there and occasionally making some interesting work and less occasionally getting paid for it. But I was in a kind of rut. Quite happily so for long periods. But a rut none the less. My confidence beyond the home took a bit of a hammering I think and all because I let my passions fade some.

    This morning I’ve decided to commit absolutely to a new camera system to shake off the cobwebs and to make exciting new work. No more excuses. No more hurdles. Lots more passion. I’ve decided that I can trust my wife and kids to tell me to calm it down when necessary and I will. But I am going to make lots and lots of street photography this year. I’m going to expand my jazz collection. I’m going to become a better baker and I might even try to find time to learn 12 bar blues on the piano.

    Much of this discussing here has been about single images versus the essay format. Well, I think that the very best essays are made up of powerful stand alone images. Photographs can have many dynamics within the essay. They can inform the images around them but also stand alone. When a photograph can do both then it’s a real gem.

    But today, with all that is available to us, audio and motion capture are crucial too. I no longer think in a narrative story telling way while shooting. I simply seek out strong stills, strong video and intriguing audio with a view to playing with the various elements when it comes time to compose the whole and hope that something cohesive and tangible emerges. It’s the mish mash of if all that is so exciting and intoxicating.

    Thinking in terms of whether a photography works on it’s own or as part of a series in essay form is important but now we need to think of photos working with sound and video too.

    Stills for me will always be king. The audio aspect provides dimensionality and video is merely b roll.

    How is it for you all? Are you playing with video and audio too? How do these aspects affect how you think of the still image?

  • I thought this may be of interest; the trailer to Stanley Greene’s “Black Passport” book

  • Ross Nolly…
    impressive vid… wasn´t expecting the sudden change in rhythm!

  • Stills for me will always be king. The audio aspect provides dimensionality and video is merely b roll.

    Pretty much sums up my thinking on the subject. Unfortunately, I seem to have lost all interest in shooting video and recent poor results reflect that attitude. Maybe rediscovering my old love of producing video should be my new year’s resolution. But then maybe when b-roll is all I’m after, it’s a bit more difficult to get excited about it.

  • Never had any interest whatsoever in video.

  • Books.. of others.. and prints, mine and of others..


    like you, stand alone still images will always be king for me…however, our Magnum in Motion section seems to be the area where the most funding will be possible …i have only done one of those, but set to do more…and i like good multi media and see it as very utilitarian on a day to day communication basis, like the daily news or tv broadcasts….but so far there has been no multi media that i would put above the best pure film documentaries or the best photo essays in books…the combo is useful yes…but i am talking highest levels now…in other words when i start watching film , i want to see film and when i am looking at stills i want to see stills….mostly the combo is annoying…yet, i am sure someone will come along and change my mind….when i think of future projects for myself, they are all books..with a video element for the exhibition (as i did for Living Proof)but not as the main nut…but then again, my two sons are working the video/film bit , so if i wanted to do that i would most likely work with them the way, have you seen the Rio film we did? it is out there on the NatGeo channel…combines my stills , with Bryan video….

    cheers, david


    i think we are as usual just a little bit lost in translation…smiling…you are saying i am “harsh” towards Salgado…i honestly do not feel i am harsh to him or to anyone…”harsh” is a very strong word in English….i will say again…i admire Salgado, he is a friend, i like his Other Americas mostly, and i only wish he did not stop growing at such a young age, yet i can see why it happened…….that is all…i do not think this is harsh…”harsh” is just too harsh a word to describe my feelings towards Salgado and his work…

    i do not know where you are seeing “hundreds of thousands” of great photographers!! show me, show me…smiling…but yes i do agree that the “place in history” is quite ephemeral …. as you say, a small step that is a big step….even getting anything at all is like climbing Mt. Everest as you know….this is of course the only concern with Magnum photographers whom you claim are only repeating…i think we must not be seeing the same books or work……in any case, some will occupy a larger space in history than others but everyone in Magnum at least has a small space……if you are talking about Larry Towell at all, or know who he is, he has a place believe me…but this value absolutely cannot be determined now…or even close…so many are either currently working or have recently died….too early to even think about it…..

    cheers, david

  • David…
    I saw the light last night with your answer to my singles question. Been struggling for months trying for an essay idea… Come to the conclusion it’s OK to work with singles in my mind…then perhaps look and see if there link throughout the singles… Anders Petersen forgotten his work long ago powerful inspiring!


    yes, i just love Anders…oh yes, think singles singles singles….they add up to essays, bodies of work, collections, series, picture stories, whatever you want to call them…i have been racking my brain trying to think of a better term than “essay” anyway….we use “essay” here, but it is indeed inadequate to describe the myriad of collections of singles…some with a narrative , some not….who cares? i can enjoy a solid narrative OR a collection …both work for me personally….i like “body of work”…

    cheers, david

  • The term here is used to describe the art work submitted by our final year visual arts students ….. A body of work can comprise one or more individual pieces

  • Just searched for “essay” on the thesaurius not much help there!!
    Main Entry: essay
    Part of Speech: noun
    Definition: written discourse
    Synonyms: article, composition, discussion, disquisition, dissertation, explication, exposition, manuscript, paper, piece, study, theme, thesis, tract, treatise

  • David, I’m very curious about your comment regarding Salgado that you see why it happened. As I think you know, after seeing a few prints from Genesis, I spent a few weeks at the New York Public library going over his work. Beyond the raw accomplishment, I was struck by a couple parallels with my own life, having personally witnessed scenes similar to some of his work in Otras Americas and Sahel: The End of the Road. My youthful experiences with native American cultures in and from the Andes made me want to see and understand so much more of the world, particularly its misery. But after a short trip through the Sahel, I realized I’d seen enough misery. It wasn’t exactly the end of the road for me, but it was the end of a road. So back at the NYPL, my pet theory became that after seeing so much misery, Salgado had probably seen enough misery and was ready to chase after beauty instead, hence Genesis. I’m guessing from your comments that that is probably a romantic take not consistent with reality. Probably best you don’t respond to that publicly, but maybe someday you can provide a clue. Or maybe not. Maybe better to just live with one’s illusions, at least in this case.

    Paul Parker, you asked about the cemetery. It’s not something I would do a project on. I’ve never seen cemetery photographs that I like and have for the most part been unable to make them. The kind I dislike most are black and whites that make it look spooky or otherworldly. So in my walking around the cemetery photography, I limit myself to trying to capture photographs that are reasonably representative of what I actually see, which sounds easy but I find incredibly difficult. Got a few that came pretty close to that the other day though. There was very little color in the scene anyway, so this isn’t a bad representation of what parts of it look like during a snowstorm.

  • Imants, what passes for lucidity has returned to me and I can now see the keyboard again. Your point “If every image is made as a stand alone there is not an essay it is a series of photographs ……… a “slide show ” of events” is very true. The point I was trying to make has been covered since by DAH and others. My personal way of working is to take singles and then compile the singles into a coherent – for want of a better word – essay. I want the whole to be greater than the photographs if they are shown in isolation from one another but I want each photograph to be good in its own right.
    I remember a quote from, I think, Bill Allard that the words dreaded from a Nat Geo picture editor were “That’s a good point picture” i.e. not visually strong but useful for telling the story. Every photographer wants a great photograph that is also useful in telling the story. Seeking perfection.
    Bill also said “Never show a picture editor a weak photograph, he may use it.



  • Mw…
    I like your way of framing… I can just imagine this same image done in wet collidion proccess like Sally Mann but it would be derivative.
    :)Nobody said this was going to be easy!!
    I would keep on playing about there. Have you seen Kenro Izu´s work Sacred Places or Paul Camponigro´s?
    Two interesting interviews I suddenly thought would perhaps be of interest to you whilst I was sweating away on crutches in the local woods this morning!
    BTW haven´t forgotten your screensaver work still thinking on it.

  • Thanks Paul. This place is kind of turning into an adjunct of the Sally Mann fan club. My local library still hasn’t got the DVD, must be slow delivery due to the snow.

    Regarding Sahel, I just took a closer look and see that I was confused by the pub date and that the photos were actually shot before Otras Americas. Another beautiful theory by the wayside…

  • David, I enjoyed your Living Proof piece for In Motion but it was quite hard work at 10 + minutes. I pull all the In Motion pieces into my iTunes and watch them there.

    There is some stunning multimedia work going on. Much of which I think is on an entirely different plan of existence to documentary films. One that comes to mind right away is Airsick at Mediastorm which is rather excellent.

    I could prepare a list of other more experimental interactive multimedia pieces which can only be appreciated on computer and would be utterly lost on tv as they demand selection input by the viewer. But some that I have seen boggle the mind. Stunning graphics, stills, audio and what I can only describe as high art cinematography.

    I’ll dig up some links for later.

    Another project I’m working on is gathering some interesting street photographers together into a small collective. A gathering of minds, passions and talents for group mentoring, sharing of ideas, editing, exhibiting and to make lots of noise together to better represent our work in the marketplace. First up will be a screening at my house along with a good meal and plenty of half decent wine to get the ball rolling. I’ll reveal names and links in a month or so.

    As I got more involved in a new filmmaking collective I realised that I was heading in the wrong direction. I’m a stills shooter through and through and so this idea for a grouping of street shooters came out of that. When I started to investigate I realised that one of the other photographers was making similar noises and looking to congregate. A new alliance is emerging as a result. Therefore I am hugely keen to get on with 2011.

    If any Burnians here want to set up a similar collective of street photographers on their patch we could have a 6 month shoot out, then get a curator to judge the results. The winning team would have bragging rights. We could set up teams all over the place.

    I’m getting carried away.

    Right now I’m going to get a hair cut and then hit the streets for a few hours with my diminutive Olympus Pen.

    Bye bye.

  • Mw…
    take the link Eva posted I think it´s the whole Sally Mann film

  • MW: regarding Salgado and your “pet theory … that after seeing so much misery, Salgado had probably seen enough misery and was ready to chase after beauty instead, hence Genesis” —

    He has said as much in an interview (video, print? I can’t remember). The question was, essentially, how do you go from African refugees and Mexican illegals to penguins and icebergs, and he responded with language similar to yours. Will post link if I can find it.

  • MW…

    i exchanged emails with Sally last week after i ran the small picture of her from 2008…she has a big show now at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts…anyway, i will try to do a nice Burn interview with her soonest…maybe around Look3 time when i will be in Virginia anyway…now SHE is the antithesis of Salgado..always growing…never let her celebrity get in the way of new and different work..not afraid to fail…i met Sally at about the same time i met Sebastiao as a matter of fact…wait til you see my early SX70 Polaroids of both from, well, a long time ago…

    by the way, Sahel (from Salgado) was financed by the incredible amount of money he and Magnum made after shooting the Reagan assassination attempt in Washington..before that, Sabastiao was just another photographer shooting the White House and other routine assignments…this ought to give you something to chew on and research for awhile…smiling.

    cheers, david


    i exchanged emails with Sally last week after i ran the small picture of her from 2008…she has a big show now at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts…anyway, i will try to do a nice Burn interview with her soonest…maybe around Look3 time when i will be in Virginia anyway…now SHE is the antithesis of Salgado..always growing…never let her celebrity get in the way of new and different work..not afraid to fail…i met Sally at about the same time i met Sebastiao as a matter of fact…wait til you see my early SX70 Polaroids of both from, well, a long time ago…

    by the way, Sahel (from Salgado) was financed by the incredible amount of money he and Magnum made after Salgado photographed at close range the Reagan assassination attempt in Washington….ironically, his big break…yes, a spot news sequence did it…before that, Sabastiao was just another photographer shooting the White House and other routine assignments…he did have most of the Other Americas work done prior however…but as small prints he carried around in his camera bag…this ought to give you something to chew on and research for awhile…smiling.

    cheers, david

  • Sally Mann Burn interview amazing… I was about to submit a comment suggesting if anything like this could be arranged!


    we drifted away from interviews on Burn with iconic photographers simply because we got so busy with other things…but before your time here, we did it fairly routinely….i want to start that up again in a big way for 2011…along with interviews of the editors and art directors and gallerists who may use your work…Sally is an old friend, yet i cannot promise right this second, but i think she would love to do something with us…she wrote to me that she was fascinated with Burn, so i guess that is a good start…

  • Oh I´ve read them all David!! As I´ve written a couple of times I´ve been quietly roaming round here for the last three years… slowly soaking up all the information… but since my injury last year I´ve taken an intensive course and I now suffer from First Degree Burn. :))))

  • a civilian-mass audience


    No problem…Wait till …the fourth degree…
    Prognosis…lifetime scarring…
    The damage is permanent…:)))))))))

    Viva BURNIANS…be ready …


    i must have missed your injury mention..just read you on crutches..correct?? hmmm…not much fun..spent 6 months on sticks myself once…in snow and ice too…gives new appreciation to the small take it for granted things in life ..right??

  • My resolution: Love fully so what needs to fall in line can. Harder or easier than giving up all stimulants? Of course, love is the strongest stimulant.

    Family time here has been amazing and still the most amazing thing to me is the lack of a camera in my hand during most of it. No pictures of opening presents under the tree; playing on the beach. I did get a cute video of my two granddaughters playing with their Barbies and abusing Ken badly.

    Looking forward to changes in Burn. Happy New Year everyone.

  • DAVID,

    I didn’t know harsh is so strong word, I use translator when I look for a word and always check, but this time I have to make a big mistake.
    when I was write last comment I was thinking hard how to write it. How to rise up Salgado work and simultanously not diminish the rest photographers. Both sides deserve it. Salgado have higest place than others documentary photographers or photojournalist. What is quite unique.
    that’s all

    ok, lets move on. :)

  • David…
    it’s changed my life 100%. Used to run 45km per week + 3 daily dog walks each 1 hour, and 8 hour job. Still pretty fit resting heart rate 36/min!
    Been on crutches since Nov2009 3 times in for surgery …still on crutches. Never be the same. Sometimes bad things bring good things always wanted to dedicate 100% photography and I’m giving 110% effort to find my dream, sail my own boat. I wouldn’t change a single thing throughout this year. In pain, smiling and enjoying life 100%

  • MARCIN..

    Happy New Year….you never make a big mistake!!


    hmmm…and i was feeling sorry for myself after six months..shame on me…well, amazing, you have the perfect attitude…and the beauty of photography is that you can make your mark just as anyone else…we will do all we can here to make sure you have an outlet for your work …your dreams are totally can do…

    Happy New Year…

    cheers, david

  • Thank you

  • My problem with multimedia is that unless you have separate photographers and videographers working on a piece then you will probably never be able to do your best at both. When I think how hard it is to shoot worthwhile pics, and all the effort that goes into doing so; I feel that the same effort, time and experience must be needed for the video section. I wonder how many people have the skills to pull that off at the highest level?

    I’m not speaking from experience, because I have never shot video in my life. For me; I like either the still, or the moving; anything else often ends up being a dog’s breakfast, and both mediums undermine, and take away from each other.

    However; I am thinking about video and sound for a project I’m mulling over; but it would just be for background sound and maybe one looping scene on a screen if it ever became a gallery exhibition. But I’m really just thinking out loud about that!

    I don’t like the thought of becoming a “bangwagon jumper” and getting into multi-media just because it is new/trendy. Maybe it is the way of the future; but hell; I’m having enough trouble with stills! :-)

  • I just did a little bit of catching up here and once again, I find myself feeling so jealous. It would be so fun to jump in and join all these conversations, but, where does one find the time? How do you all find the time?

    Paul – sorry and I hope you recover well. I can somewhat relate in that in June of ’08 I stood upon a wheeled chair to try to find a more interesting angle on a photo that was never going to be all that exciting and wound up shattering and losing my shoulder, which is now titanium. And something good did come of it. I could only take pictures with one and so I got into pocket camera photography, which I love.

    Anyway, keep moving forward!

    I was interested in the Salgado discussion and thought I might add a comment or two, but I see things are moving on from there and I have things I must do, so I guess will move on and just remain jealous. Of course, I see the old discussion on whether photographs are best if they are stand alone or in need of other photos or… words… to carry their message, but I have already expressed my thoughts on this and so I will leave it at that.

    As they say in the UK:


  • ”Please be horrible! Tear down your photography into pieces. Don’t bother about glamour, destroy the surface, take care of innocence, your fantasy is more important than reality”
    ”Remember, your pictures are jumping like rabbits into your camera when you understand photography is not about photography”
    Anders Petersen

  • FrostFrog!
    Lets hear your point on Salgado everyones insight is worth gold here. Started checking out you blog this morning…a real work of love

  • “First degree Burn” That’s very good, Paul Parker.

    As regards Ms Mann, would love to read such an interview. I really enjoy her earlier work. Not too crazy about this new material. But I’ll try again. And again.


    i guess that is the nature of this thread…many of us like a photographer’s early work, but then do not like the newer editions….actually this is quite likely if you think about it..happens with actors, musicians as well..we like an artist for what we see, and then they turn around and change on us…well, the artist actually cannot worry about what we think..they must grow…however, the ones who stay the exact same have more of a problem than the ones who lose their original admirers because they tried something different…many fell in love with Sally’s often disturbing but often romantic family pictures and cannot make the jump from her kids in the backyard to dead bodies rolled out of bags…we will ask her how SHE made the jump….

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Did you say love…what not to love…
    Love is quite unique…
    Different meaning…
    L as liquor
    O as olives
    V as veal
    E as eggs

    It’s time to transform…but if you are still in incubation mode…
    Don’t worry my BURNIANS…you will be transformed…eventually…
    I wish you all
    Happy beginnings and happier endings.

    See ya around

  • paultreacy,watch the Sally Mann video, am on the road and don’t have the link here, it really is an eye opener.. fascinating.. also to see her in the darkroom, or making those long exposures of the faces.. comparing the scenes at the forsenic place and then see the actual print.. go and see the exhibition those who can, it really is worth it!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    And from our SIDNEY…

    Best Wishes,

    Sidney Atkins


    The Classics:
    The Journey Upcountry (Anabasis, aka. The Persian Expedition) by Xenophon
    The Odyssey by Homer
    The Nature of Things by Lucretius
    Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu
    Journey To The West (Monkey) translated by Arthur Waley
    The Travels of Marco Polo
    Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest by Will Shakespeare
    The Muqaddimah by Ibn Khaldun
    Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
    Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
    War and Peace and (not or!) Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
    Red and Black (Rouge et Noir) by Stendhal
    The Heart of Midlothian by Sir Walter Scott
    Moby Dick and Typee by Herman Melville
    The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
    Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
    Wind In The Willows by Kenneth Graham
    Treasure Island by R.L. Stevenson
    Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn by Sam Clemens (Mark Twain)
    Two Years Before The Mast by Richard Henry Dana
    Kim by Rudyard Kipling
    The Star Rover and Call of the Wild by Jack London
    Lord Jim, Youth, and Victory by Joseph Conrad
    Lost Illusions and A Harlot High and Low by Honore de Balzac
    The Crock of Gold by James Stephens
    The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel by Nikos Kazantzakis
    Strange News From Another Star by Hermann Hesse

    Montcalm and Wolfe and the Conspiracy of Pontiac by Francis Parkman
    Akenfield by Ronald Blythe
    Kon Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl
    Korea and Her Neighbours by Isabella Bird Bishop
    The Land of Little Rain by Mary Austin
    Testimony of the Spade by Geoffrey Bibbey
    Memories of Silk and Straw by Dr. Junichi Saga
    The Grass Roof by Younghill Kang
    Slow Boats to China and Slow Boats Home by Gavin Young
    Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence
    Across the Wide Missouri by Bernard De Voto
    Heart of the Hunter and Yet Being Someone Other by Laurens van der Post
    Two Kinds of Time by Graham Peck
    The White Nile and The Blue Nile by Alan Moorehead
    White Waters and Black by Gordon MacCreagh
    The Great Columbia Plain by Donald Meinig
    Third Class Ticket by Heather Wood
    A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
    Memoirs of William L. Shirer
    Shadows on the Silk Road by Colin Thubron
    News From Tartary by Peter Fleming
    And the Rain My Drink… by Han Suyin
    Heaven’s Command, Pax Britannica, and Farewell The Trumpets by James (Jan) Morris
    Bonaparte in Egypt by Christopher Herold
    China Road by Rob Gifford
    The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin
    In Search Of History by Theodore White
    A New Age Now Begins by Page Smith
    Coming Into the Country by John MacPhee
    West With the Night by Beryl Markham
    Happy Isles of Oceania by Paul Theroux
    Nihon no Kawa o Tabi Suru (Travelling Japan’s Rivers) by Noda Tomosuke

    Man’s Fate (La Condition Humaine) by Andre Malraux
    Hawaii by James Michener
    The Quiet American by Graham Greene
    Alexandria Quartet by Laurence Durrell
    The General In His Labyrinth by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    V by Thomas Pynchon
    Gaijin by James Clavell
    That Night In Lisbon and All Quiet On The Western Front by Eric Maria Remarque
    A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway
    The Guide and The Vendor Of Sweets by R. K. Narayan
    The Horseman On The Roof by Jean Giono
    Letters From Thailand by Botan
    O Zone and Picture Palace by Paul Theroux
    Malayan Trilogy, Nothing Like The Sun, and Napoleon Symphony by Anthony Burgess
    The Children of Sanchez by Oscar Lewis
    The Asiatics by Frederic Prokosch
    Wind, Sand, and Stars and Night Flight by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
    Pictures of Fidelmann by Bernard Malamud
    Spangle by Gary Jennings
    The Big Sky by A. B. Guthrie
    Raintree County by Ross Lockridge
    A Leaf In The Storm by Lin Yutang
    Rickshaw Boy by Lao She
    The Sword in the Stone by T. H. White
    The Makioka Sisters (Sasameyuki) by Junichiro Tanizaki
    The Enchanters by Romain Gary
    The Last Time I Saw Paris and Paris in the Springtime by Elliot Paul
    Sometimes A Great Notion and Last Go Round by Ken Kesey
    At Play In The Fields Of The Lord by Peter Mathiessen

    Enjoy…thank you SIDNEY…

  • “How do you all find the time?”

    Bill; I give myself about half an hour a day for Burn, but am not a real net surfer so don’t look at too much else. As I mentioned above; I’m helping the folks out at the moment so have a bit more time on my hands than usual! Also; I forgot to congratulate you on your blog! Cheers :-)

  • Civi;

    I have 3 paperbacks that are permanently in my travel pack/overnight bag; Don McCullin’s “Unreasonable Behaviour”, Keouac’s “On the Road” and Thoreau’s “Walden”. Occasionally I’ll sneak in Annie Dillard’s “Teaching a Stone to Talk” and James K Baxter’s “Collected Poems” if I’m travelling by car so space isn’t a problem!

    I’m also on the lookout for any of Harry Crew’s books (discovered him from the movie “Searching for the Wrong-eyed Jesus), they’re like hen’s teeth here, so might have to visit Amazon!

  • Ross Nolly…
    I love Annie Dillard´s “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek” and “The Writing Life” great for any creative soul… And surprise, surprise… Sally Mann and Annie Dillard went to school together!

  • Paul; Pilgrim at Tinker Creek was the first Dillard book I read!

  • I took my time to read that book…! heavy duty enlightenment.

  • Eva, thank you. I grabbed my laptop and set about watching it while my wife beside me read the paper. 13 minutes in she said to me, “when’s this woman going to shut up yapping about herself?” “It’s a documentary all about her”, I said. But I was tiring of it and so shut it down. May try it again later.

    Time to snuggle up to her good self and watch the late news on BBC1. Good night.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    One burrito,two burritos…one vodka, two vodkas…
    One ouzaki,two ouzakia…I keep my eyes on the prize…
    Are we there yet?

  • bye, I’m outta here now that should put a smile on a dial or two ………………..


    Happy New Year…..sorry to see you go….you gave always a good perspective on things and had interesting work to share always…..most of all, thanks for saving my big oak tree!! traveling today but should be able to skype tomorrow or next if you want…

    cheers, david

    Happy New Year take care and keep on being YOU!!
    No smile on my face… I have always appreciated your work (Don´t understand it!) and most of all, your approach to art. No chance of you changing mind?

  • Yea I am sorry to get out of 2010 a bitter sweet year……… they reckon that 2011 number should no longer be engaged in a couple of hours it is about 10pm here……………… with a grin

  • Imants…
    12:08 am here, everyone running round getting ready for tonight. Strange year for me also…actually wouldn´t change a single second.

  • 11.23 am here in Londinium.
    Rock and roll party tonight. De-frosting fast films from the freezer now. Lots of Notting Hill glitterati for me to upset. Prowling the backstage at 3200asa.
    Hope everyone has a fun and safe time wherever they are.


  • a civilian-mass audience

    Nobody leaves the house…I don’t care if your name is IMANTS,GIANTS or ANTIOZONANTS…
    I will keep hunting everyone down…and I will drag you all back here …in the BURNING area…

    Ok, now you are all free to go…:)))))))

    Viva 2011…it’s just a number…therefore take it easy…no big deal…
    Some of you …you have already crossed over…no problem…we are following too…

    Nobody leaves the area…unless he/she receives a clearance paper from civi…

    I will be back …

  • Okay, sports fans, time to wish all and sundry a very happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.

    AKAKY IRL: It’s just an arbitrary point in the space-time continuum, you know. Pope Gregory the whatever numeral he was could have made himself a helluva lot more popular by putting New Year’s Day on June 30. That way we would have gotten the New Year running right into the Fourth of July.

    AKAKY: Not everybody celebrates the Fourth, dude.

    AKAKY IRL: The personal quirks of foreigners and Communists do not interest me.

    AKAKY: I’m just saying–

    AKAKY IRL: Yes you are and I dont give a rat’s ass.

    AKAKY: Okay, and on that happy not, I will see you all again next year.

    AKAKY IRL: See all who?

    AKAKY: Never mind.

  • a civilian-mass audience


    Don’t make me reconsider…my above statement…:))))))))))))

    I’ll be back

  • Goodbye to the old, welcome to the new year.. I wish you all a new dream :)

  • Happy New Year to all of you!!


    Happy New Year!!

    mojito for all tonight! :)))))

  • DAH,

    Funny, I’ve got a similar New year’s resolution. I’m giving up the smoke – both kinds – though not prepared to do the booze (I did stop drinking for a year and a half a few years back though). But New Year’s ain’t until tomorrow so the lungs will get a last work out today/tonight!


  • And Happy New Year’s to ALL BURNIANS!!!

  • Charles if you have not read this give it a go.

    From 60 a day to nothing without taking an axe to the family, that was 13 years ago, all thanks to Allen Carr Next year I’m trying to lose the 4 stone I’ve put on in those years.

    A happy new year to all.

  • Happy New Year to ALL Burnians and Visitors :)

  • yesyes – happy new year..
    offline for a couple more weeks.
    focus elsewhere :ø)

  • Happy new Year everyone!

    DAH, with regard to larry Towell’s Kickstarter endeavour for his work in Afghanistan, do you know if he is embedded with the U.S. forces? Just curious.


  • Happy New Year… DAH, Anton, Haik, Vivek… and all the rest of you Hot Burnians!



  • charles–

    good on you for giving up smoking!

    here’s something that i posted in a buddhist community six years ago about my own experience quitting.
    you don’t need to buy books or patches or nicotine gum or otherwise feed any of those types of money-grabbing industries.
    a simple shift of perception will do nicely:

    HAPPY NEW YEAR, DAH & burnians!

    may we all find a way to be of benefit to others and this world.


  • Woke up in 2011 already.

    Happy NYear to all.

    Even without Kodachrome…

  • Katia, thanks for that timely post. My daughter’s are both resolving to quit smoking.

    Imants, as in you’re leaving Burn forever? I hope not. You are one of my favorite posters. I gain a lot of insight from your posts re: many elements of photography. I have been busy so haven’t kept up with comments and when I went back a page saw nothing to explain the leaving comment…


  • Katia…
    Inspiring words, thank you.
    BTW love your blog
    Happy New Year

  • Thank you Katia and Harry,

    Fortunately my addictions are pretty low key and easy to turn on and off. I smoke one or two (or sometimes 7 or 8:)) a day, and then long periods with none. Organic rollies… But not at all is better.

    Anyway, here’s to an end of suffering in the new year, big or small…


  • You might say I’m one of those Obama smokers…..:):)

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Fire alert…fire alert…Smoke,fire…destruction:)?!:)

    My chickens are living in 2011…I am still in 2010…
    What have I done ?:))))

    Since I don’t see MR.HARVEY around…I am gonna start singing…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    You will do it…whenever you are ready…it will hit you…

    We are stronger than we think!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Happy new year…trallaalo
    Happy BURN year…trallala
    Happy healthy year…ola,la

    We all have addictions,trallalo
    We all have secrets…opopo,
    We are just humans…oioio

    We just admit it and move on
    Happy new beginnings
    I love you all…

    Ok,I will stop transmitting …I see pans coming my way…

  • Happy New Year everybody!!!
    Hope to see some of you in 2011 – Perpignan? Arles? ParisPhoto??


  • Woke up in a parking lot of a smallish town in Southern Italy, about two people living here, and with seven hundred churches, all built around the parking lot and banging their bells at seven o’clock in the morning… someone can explain what people would do at that hour of the day on January 1st in church??

    Sunny, warmish, going for a walk at the empty seaside… heaven… hello 2011..

  • HAPPY NEW YEAR to all…

    still not home, and still not able to get back to work here…but moving (slowly) in that direction… story later today….

    i love everybody (almost everybody)

  • Early yesterday evening as I was taking my son to a friend’s for a New Year’s Eve sleepover, I noticed an open used bookstore, which was a bit of a surprise. On my way back to the subway, I stopped in and browsed the photo books and ended up buying Arms Against Fury: Magnum Photographers in Afghanistan for a pretty good price. I started reading it on the subway and, without getting very deep into it at all, was struck by two things. Second, that the writing was very well-done. It concisely explains the history and current issues in Afghanistan and the incredible photography provides a much deeper understanding than any writing possibly can. It would make a fantastic high school textbook. And high school textbooks of that quality would make a better world.

    First though, and what I though would be of interest to you folk, particularly in the context of these ongoing conversations, was the general description of the Magnum photographers represented in the book:

    “While they cannot create authentic representations of the Afghani’s experience, they work on the raw materials of news reporting quite differently than newspapers and the electronic media. Some are forensic specialists who select their images in direct relation to a particular event. Others practice their craft by associating images in direct relation to a particular event. Others practice their craft by associating images with wider networks of meaning–for instance, a social or geographical space. Still others have become master griots, spinning narratives in the complexity of one or more frames. Finally, there are the technical experts whose narrative license derives from mastering the image as the underlying symbol of its particular elements. Here, faces, objects and ensembles assert their autonomy as signifiers and can transform a single photograph into an icon or statement. Nothing of this sort is possible in the hypnotic staccato of televised images.” — Robert Dannin

    Just thought that was a nice description of different approaches.

    Then coming in around 2 a.m., I flipped the channels and came across this interview with Charles Bowden. I share the link since Juarez and related issues so often come up here. I know I catch some shit for my attitude that we can’t begin to understand Juarez without reading Bowden, but the more not-Bowden I read or see on the subject the more it solidifies that opinion. Chuck basically owns that story. He was there many years before any other foreign reporter. He broke the story of the mass murders of young women. He’s gone deeper into the drug world by far than anyone who’s lived to tell about it. And his reporting on the murders is unparalleled, at least in non-fiction. The linked interview, I think, gives a sense of all that.

    Finally, regarding New Year’s resolutions, I’ve resolved to smoke and drink a lot more this year. So you quitters, you don’t have to trash your stash, pour the content of your wine cellar or liquor closet down the drain, or flush the good stuff in the medicine cabinet. You can send it to me! God will reward you for it! For sure.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    MW…do you share…if you want I can come over…
    I have one way ticket to BURN……..!!!!!!!!

  • Mike R, you were asking about Larry Towell’s Afghanistan project, here’s a link to an update… and there’ also a link to ‘comments’, perhaps you can ask Mr. Towell directly, no need to be a supporter, and he’s answering questions I’ve seen:

  • С Новым годом от очень снежной Москвы, все!!! :))

    will try to write comments/catch up on the comments when i return to N.America… to a dacha burried by snow :)))

    Laura, so so happy you made the funding…very proud…will write when i return to toronto…

    all of 1 minutes to sign in …now off into the snowy nigh

    С Новым годом (that means HPPY NW YEAR!)\

  • THAT is if i make it bACK…BURRIED beneath snow, cognac, russian language and gorgeous dreams……

  • DAH, I posted this earlier but it probably got buried – with regard to Larry Towell’s Kickstarter endeavour for his work in Afghanistan, do you know if he is embedded with the U.S. forces? Just curious.


  • Happy New Year, Burnians !!!

  • Happy New Year Haik!!!

  • Happy new year everyone! Hope everyone had as fun of a NYE as I did. Wish you all success and beautiful photos in the coming year.

  • MW,

    You should try to find Chris Steele-perkins’ book “Afghanistan”. One of the first photo book I ever bought. Stunning images and solid writing as well.

  • Hey, the day is almost over and for those east from the US east coast on it is over – even so, the year is still new, so…

    Happy New Year!

  • And Bob…

    I’m a bit jealous about all those gorgeous dreams that you are buried in…

    not fair…

    maybe you don’t want to make it back…

  • and Charles…

    Good for you…

    and Katia – good advice, although I find I struggle a bit with the concept…

    MW – I spent two days in prison in Juarez when I was 19. Not jail, but prison, though a very odd prison. Could have been a lot longer than two days, were it not for a cantankerous consulate from Texas.

    Civi – always good to see you, no matter what.

    DAH – look forward to your story.

    Beyond this, I am too tired to say more. I don’t know how anyone can be this tired and still function.


    i was trying to find your email….drop me an e letter when you get a chance please

    cheers, david

  • john gladdy, Mw, David, all…
    Thinking about Salgado and how he hasn´t really progressed over the years… I pulled out my Robert Frank´s Americans once again last night… always an immense struggle for me personally, finding it always so disturbingly negative and how detached he was from his subjects makes me uncomfortable. Do you think he never made any further work worthy of consideration or perhaps “The Americans” became a handicap for him artistically. Wasn´t it heavily criticized when it first came out… I don´t know much about Robert Frank´s other work… so waiting to see if any of you can shed any light on my disturbing feelings towards this photographer.

  • Paul Parker. Cocksucker blues. Thats where he went. Worthy of consideration?? Absolutely!

  • john gladdy…
    that´s Rolling Stones Documentary… must look it up never seen it.
    Did you capture anyone famous round Notting Hill?

  • A rolling stone documentary directed by robert frank.

    A better question would be ..did I make any decent frames? Maybe a couple. Interesting tonally for sure.
    two hour soak in rodinal will do that to a neg I guess.

    So far these are the only two im interested in.

  • 2 hour soak!
    That Rodinal must be way diluted… That reminds me we once did something similar in college with Rodinal… Could see the tungsten filament in turned on light bulb in the final print.
    Can’t see your images right now, on mobile phone watching kids

  • :)))No that Rodinal wasn´t way diluted was it!! Love the look.

  • Rodinal@ 100:1. The partial inversion is done in potatoshop

  • That sounds very similar to the dilution I did at college.
    I gather from your comments throughout the year you aren´t into digital capture very much…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    I dreamed of whales…I was Paul Watson for few minutes…
    Encounters and disencounters…in and out…
    I dreamed …a life of piracy…
    I was a captain…I had a boat…but I was not alone…
    Hmmm…indigestion …it was the food or a message…?

    P.S …“What you want to do, and what you can do, is limited only by what you can dream.”
    I dream big…
    Viva ya all…Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me

  • Civi – I apologize that your comment(s) was slow to post on my blog. I have to monitor comments or I can just get flooded with spam. I was just slow to get around to them today.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    No problem FROSTY… I got it…:)))
    you see I am into my piracy mode…
    I switch modes in a heartbeat…:)

    where is everybody? I hear no heartbeats…

    But we have LASSAL…and she better stays away from my night(shifts)…:))))

    come on BURNIANS…

  • Happy belated New Year’s wishes everyone! Sorry for the belated greeting, but sprained a knee on New Years Eve so have had my leg up for a day or two! Funny; how often I’ve said “It’d be nice to have a couple of days off to watch dvds and read books”, and when I get the chance I’m bored out of my brain!

    I’ve only made one resolution this year; and that is to try and be a nicer person. So I suppose that is pretty much all encompassing! Take care everyone!

    Cheers :-)

  • a civilian-mass audience

    “I don’t believe in accidents. There are only encounters in history. There are no accidents.”
    Pablo Picasso

    easy with the leg…ROSSY…:)))

    hmmm…I traveled all the way across the Universe…just to encounter …darkness…
    yoho,yoho…the pirate’s life for me

  • john gladdy…
    I could of sworn I read an introduction to an essay by you called Dogmata!!! Didn´t get a chance to view the images because it dissapeared….Must be going crazy

  • They were printed with invisible ink…sorry.

  • Well I better hop over to the kitchen and chuck the laptop in the oven!!


    yes, i am sure you are going crazy, but not because of the Gladdy essay…we had a tech problem…could not get it to go full frame…we also had some sequence issues…this should all be fixed soon and you will see Gladdy at his finest….

  • Happy New Year Burnians. I’ve been away for a week on Lasqueti Is., no internet, no power, no noise, no light polution, it was heaven. I slept, read, visited, party-ed, and took a lot of photos.

    I thought the film shooters here would appreciate this from Luminous Landscape.

    “The last roll of Kodachrome film is scheduled to be processed today by Dwayne’s Photo in Kansas. Dwayne’s Photo was the last remaining lab that could develop the film. The roll was shot by the owner, Dwayne Steinle.

    Although Kodak discontinued the film in 2009, a number of people purchased many rolls, which they shot and were able to get processed.

    So, the end of the decade also signifies the end of an era. No more Kodachrome.

    Kodachrome was immortalized in the famous song by Paul Simon, but more importantly in some of the best and most iconic color photographs of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st.

    While many will miss the unique color palette and the image characteristics of this film, the world has moved on to digital. Luckily, the archival characteristics of this film appear to have been the best of any transparency film, so hopefully the originals will last for a very long time.

    31 December, 2010”


    “mama don’t take my Kodachrome away”…good thoughts Paul Simon….too bad….nothing , i mean nothing looks like a Kodachrome projected through a Leitz projector….we have just gotten used to poor digi projections etc….in print i think we will be just fine….it is really only the projected image that suffers on this one….besides Kodachrome in the end was not what it was in the beginning anyway…i had honestly switched to Velvia 50 by the time i got to Cuba for example…

  • David…
    I know you shot velvia because of the deep blacks but didn’t you find the saturation just a little exagerated?

  • DAH…

    I recently was thinking (crazy, I know!) that it’d be cool to have a Burn group Velvia 50 project. Everyone shoots 1 roll within a certain time frame, picks their best from that roll and get featured somewhere in these pages? Some light-hearted non-digital fun? May be a bit of a hassle to put together, but who knows.

  • You know… saying it out loud like that makes it sound really quite cheesy doesn’t it? Hahaha… oh well. We all have a little cheese in us, I guess!

  • I’m really hoping this exciting new camera from FujiFilm, the X100 will have a Velvia like capability. Velvia through the fixed lens Hexar was stunning. I’ve been trying to find something similar for years. Might this new camera be it?

    I hear the M9 with the 35 Summicron is somewhat Kodachrome like. Is it?

  • a civilian-mass audience

    MICHAELK…good guess…i am feta cheese…:)

    you give us those nice bright colors
    you give us the greens of summers
    Makes us think all the world’s a sunny day, Oh yeah
    you got cameras
    you love to take photographs
    So mama don’t take my BURNIANS away…

    i paraphrase the Kodachrome song…:)
    the times they are changing…
    we got to move on…!!!

  • paultreacy…
    Have you tried Alien Skin exposure3 plugin?
    Of course no plugin is perfect but I´m quite pleased with it.

  • m pretty sure there will be an IPHONE / IPAD …..APP………called ICHROME …. replicating those colors …… soon …….

  • Mr. Parker, I’m wary of such things. But perhaps I should give it a shot. Thanks.

  • David

    You got that right. A whole new generation of photographers will never experience the amazing quality of a projected slide, or a multi-projector show synched to a sound track. Hopefully, digital projection will continue to improve.
    And yes, the later Kodachromes were not what they were. I am not old enough to have expereinced the original (ISO 10??), but the old ISO 25 Kodachrome 11 was spectacular. When the “new” Kodachromes came out in the early seventies I remmember doing a 10 day shoot for Travel Alberta and being very dissapointed by both the colour and excessive contrast.

  • I´m extremely wary of such things also, I´ve tried most… but if know or remember the nature/characteristics of film in general compared to digital it won´t be very difficult to imitate certain films after going through alien skin…. for example by making a curve adjustment and right in the middle pulling it down to around anything between 105 and some people say 60 but I think 80 is starting to over do it.
    Did you see the comment I posted to you last week?

  • You know, I realize that I am here to serve the public, that they are the ones who pay my salary, and that they are the heart and soul of the great experiment that is American democracy, but there are times, and today is one of them, that I wish that I could serve some other public, any other public, than the people wandering into this dump today. If these clowns are the heart and soul, the foundation, the absolute basis of American constitutional republicanism, then we are screwed big time, boys and girls, no two ways about it.

  • AKAKY: The previous post was just AKAKY IRL spouting off, folks; don’t pay any attention to him. The people here are some of the nicest people in the world and this our Great Republic will stand for much longer than the doomsayers like IRL say it will.

    AKAKY IRL: Goddam pollyanna…

  • Paul Treacy

    From the X100 website…

    Will the X100 offer film simulation modes?
    Yes: PROVIA, Velvia, ASTIA and mono chrome pictures will be able to be achieved with filter effects.

  • …….or just shoot film perhaps?

  • Yes John, just shoot film; although I have to say that my Tri-x film scans don’t look a bit like Tri-x until I’ve run them through the “Tri-x” option in Silver Effex Pro. This is my attempt at irony.

    I know, John, you meant darkroom prints. I wish I had a darkroom again.

  • I’m following burn since a long time. As a pure amateur I’m learning a lot from what I see and what I read. I desire to thank DAH and all other people involved in this community and wish you all a 2011 full of joy, health and positive emotions. Grazie

  • So here’s the thing: Auckland, New Zealand is, as far as I know, the first large city to celebrate the New Year, and Honolulu, Hawaii is the last. The two cities lie some 4,392 miles apart [that’s 7,072 kilometers for those of you of the metric persuasion] and in between them lies the International Date Line, a distance easily traversed today in the era of jet travel. Suppose you decide that you want to double your New Year’s pleasure and celebrate amongst the Kiwis first and then zoom off for Oahu to catch the tag end of the New Year’s celebrations. At some point you will cross the International Date Line and go from the new year to the old year. At that point, what do you say? “Happy Old Year?” Would you have to forswear the singing of Auld Lang Syne, since, with your crossing of the date line, the present would be the old days the song goes on about? Could you make an old year’s resolution, content in the knowledge that whatever you resolved to do would be null and void only a few hours after you arrived in Hawaii, and what would be the point if you did make such a resolution? Enquiring minds want to know!

  • DAH,

    Just saw your Twitter post – hope you are doing well. Wishing you the best!



    thanks…yes, i was keeping that from everyone here, because the symptoms i had were potentially very serious …lymph node swelling, lumps, etc. can connote some really bad stuff…and i had fevers , pain and swelling since my class in Oaxaca two months ago…visits to five different doctors gave me of course five different opinions…finally i did go with the surgery route (my least favorite choice) simply because the lump would not go away….in any case, turns out to be bad walled off infection (insect bite, staph infection) whatever…my whole arm was affected…anyway feeling a little bit too good because of the super pain killer i am taking….but since i did escape the worst possibilities here, it does make me want to go clean…or at least cleaner…no smoking of any kind being the main thing…medical marijuana in tea or cookies should be ok i think..yes?? smiling

    cheers, david

  • DAH, Wishing you the best and get well soon. I am sure that thousands of past and future students are sending you good vibes.

  • DAH…
    Wishing you a speedy recovery…

  • Geeez DAH …
    fingers crossed that you get well soon!
    And be prudent with those pain killers …
    Big hug,

  • David

    Congratulations on your surgery outcome. Reminders of our fragility and mortality can be a good thing. New year, new beginning, refreshed perspective. Welcome back from the edge.

    Mike R

    Yes, gotta say I love prints made from negatives in a traditional darkroom, and don’t see the point in shooting film and then scanning it.
    On the other hand, I saw a whole lot of very large black and white prints of early logging scenes here in BC last month and was bowled over by the quality of the prints. Up close I could see that they were ink-jet prints from what would have been old large format negs. Clearly they were made with a better scanner than the flat-bed Epson I have.

  • DAH,

    wishing you a good recovery! And all the best.

  • David…
    As usual thinking lots about you, good vibes…
    So take care, rest a lot and get well very soon.
    Recharge those batteries 100% for Brazil.

  • DAVID. Its a proven medical fact that the very best recuperative for a lymph node scare is a big bottle of cognac and a big bottle of champagne.

  • “medical marijuana in tea or cookies should be ok i think..yes?? smiling”…

    agreed :-)

  • robert blu…
    Happy New Year!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    “I have met a lot of hardboiled eggs in my time, but you’re twenty minutes.”
    Oscar Wilde
    (to be perceived as a joke)

    well,whatever you need MR.HARVEY, we are ALL just a few miles away…
    (not to be perceived as a joke)

    may the spirits of health and speed recovery be with you…and with all my BURNIANS…

  • CIVI
    love that quote … :)

  • a civilian-mass audience

    I love your disencounters…
    Europe is sleeping…what are you doing …my hardboiled egg???
    cause you are one of them…:))))))

  • a civilian-mass audience

    and a big welcome to ROBERTBLU…silent no more…:)))

  • oh Civi,
    I am at least a twenty five … :(

  • David;

    I’m glad to hear you got things sorted. The most important thing is that you actually went to the doctor; something most men are notoriously bad at doing! About 10 years ago I worried and fretted over a lump, but never went to get it sorted for about 18 months. Turned out after all that it was nothing to worry about; but it was 18 months of needless worry!

  • Sam; Didn’t know there were floods in WA too. The tv here has only been reporting the Queensland floods.

  • Ross

    so kiwi tv doesn’t rate us sand gropers!

    Gascoyne Junction & Carnarvon…

    meanwhile down here in the south west we have a major drought situation! dry as.
    forest fires are a real scare… we had major smoke blow through two nights ago, all of a sudden.
    gave us all a fright. came from a fire 100kms away, very windy…

    some folks have had to buy in water, by the tanker. fortunately we have just about enough water in the two dams on this property, but they are low, very low. we have started collecting shower water for the garden… and if it doesn’t rain next winter we will be f*^ked.

    where abouts in NZ are you?

  • I live in the North Island (Taranaki), but spent a year in Kalamunda, Perth back in ’92.

  • “your comment waiting for moderation”

    Wow, it’s something new.
    I hope I still can say “I dont like this or that essay”
    but this is good


    i have no idea why you got that notice…that is normally only for first time registration…just some kind of tech glitch i guess….yes, you can say whatever you want!!

  • David,

    I wish I have a moderator in my head :)

  • dah
    heres to a healthy start of a NEW year…

  • DAH,

    Best of luck with your recovery. Glad it wasn’t anything too severe. You may wan to see a good naturopath as well. Crazy thing is infections can take roost and affect you for years (forever). My naturopath feels an old case of pneumonia from my twenties and this crazy all over body staph thing I had in Morocco might still be casuing me problems and she’s working it out with homeopathics. Some ugly stuff coming up and out in the mornings. :)

    Re medicinal marijuana: since I’m also giving up smoking of any kind (which will be tough when doing aya ceremonies as it is common habit among practitioners) a friend is going to bring me by a batch of cannabis butter. He swears by it – a swipe on some toast and all the nice buzzy anti-depressant qualities without the body/brain slam. I’m also looking into tonics.

    Gotta get you out sometime for a ceremony. I think you’d dig it and it’s good for hidden health problems.

    Here’s to a great year.

    PS: really dug the Rio trailer by your son… man it makes me want to go…


  • ALL

    now THIS is Burn at her best…three or four different threads running and all civil and yet all provocative…nice way to start off 2011….many thanks for thinking and many thanks for putting “pen to paper”

    cheers, david


    YOU ROCK!….that film kicks major ass! (and what beautiful brazilian asses they are!) :)))))…wish i could see the whole film (the black family alas only has 2 tv channels, since we dont really watch tv)….

    DAVID :))

    that movie of bryans really BURNS! :))))))…but i gotta tell you young man, you legs need some major tanning! :))))))))))…..

    sent u a letter, hoping all is ok…i panic’d when i read the twitter post this evening, but u sound like all is ok…i’m off to bed, drop me a line so you’re ok

    off to bed :))…2 people are already alseep and i got catching up to do…


  • Bryan,

    That was wonderful. Top notch.

    And, DAH and Charles, speaking of being provocative…. Can’t help myself here:


  • It’s a great clip Dave, Bryan has a shit hot eye ,but did I see you with a large zoom there in the final seconds?

  • OMG – something being ” shit hot” is an extremley high form of praise where I come from ,

  • “something being ” shit hot” is an extremley high form of praise where I come from”

    Here too Glenn! :-)

  • Nice clip Bryan, looking forward to seeing the whole film.

    Carnival looks great too!

    David, I was looking for some flash tips for the Leica M but didn’t see any – hopefully in the film – it will save me a workshop (laughing).

    Good fortune on you return to Rio,


  • GLENN…

    for Rio i shot with a Leica M9, GF1, and D700…at one point, and during Carnaval, i was trying the 28-70 zoom on the 700…it is definitely useful and utilitarian, but would never become a favorite for me on the street because of its bulk…but for shooting around on the beach or Carnaval in Rio, there is no such thing as being “obtrusive” anyway…i am also shooting film with the Mamiya VII…ironically, i have found that by placing the Mamiya on a tripod and being very very obvious, there is a certain type of candid photography i can do because i am being obvious…people can easily see your field of view more less and can move out of the way if they do not want to be photographed…but for example i have been in pubs in Oz with the Mamiya on a tripod and shot the pool table scene, bar scene, dancing scene all with big camera on tripod and nobody cared…declared intent works as well or better as being ‘invisible” i think….and for sure in the favelas in Rio, declared intent is essential for survival….any suspicion that one is “sneaking pictures” with an iPhone or any small camera could prove quite literally fatal as has happened to some trying to be the “fly on the wall”..

    cheers, david

  • Funny , I carry the Mamiya around every where on every assignment and off when I whip it out suddenly everybody realises I’m serious, the act of changing films becomes a performance of some lost , arcane art and everybody relaxes even more …maybe they are so used to being photographed …phones, point and shoots etc that any obvious intent to go further is either met with outright rejection (what sort of trick camera is this?, I can’t see the picture on the back ) scenario, or a real sense of inclusion and interest in the process.
    somehow I think that the people I have been photographing over the last few years have become so image literate to the point that they realise the power of photography and the intent of photographers, to the point that without willing participation the ” fly on the wall approach” is a losing proposition without any form of trust and collaboration.
    I have been in situations where I’m plainly not invited and unwelcome and come back with something useful but I think that those days are over…far for useful to be a clear communicator and colaborator.

  • “…the point that without willing participation the ” fly on the wall approach” is a losing proposition without any form of trust and collaboration.”

    “…but I think that those days are over…far for useful to be a clear communicator and colaborator.”

    Interesting. I wonder if you’ve found that also means the days of really capturing people in an unguarded, honest moment are gone as well? I think about this often. Family events, out at a pub, roaming the streets or parks… everyone expects a camera.

  • Wow!! what a great Rio NatGeo film teaser…its really amazing.

  • GLENN..

    frankly i always felt like i should make contact one way or another…often after shooting almost unobserved or at least implicitly “accepted”…i could have just walked away many times, but i something in me tells me to go “ask” after the fact…just seems polite to me….in a large event or ceremony of some kind or on a croweded street, this is of course often impractical…generally, i think your observations are quite correct…clear intent and trust are not only useful for you to do your work, but just being the right thing to do .

    cheers, david

  • Dave – I’ve never been comfortable with the ” Take ” a picture scenario, and have for the most part considered the act of photographing an acknowledgement of a shared experience, now made more interesting by peoples increased visual literacy, I have walked away from a many situations where you can just tell when it’s not on , but hey it might be tomorrow.
    Contact isn’t a signed release form, it’s as simple as a nod and a wink and you can walk away on that high you get when you and a stranger mesh…for seconds…then drift apart.


    i knew someone would ask this question….and it is a good one…pardon if i jump in….i cannot speak for Glenn whom you asked, but from my experience and perspective there is no need to sacrifice a subject being “natural” just because you have gained trust or gotten permission to shoot…once you are “in” most people tend to forget about you way more than they would if they “suspected” you were taking pictures from across the street….and remember our beloved HCB has no “fly on the wall” pictures from inside homes, bars, or intimate ceremonies nor Brazilian favelas!!….one can indeed “disappear” into the woodwork easier after becoming a piece of the woodwork so to speak…or example, i have many candid pictures taken in between the posed pictures from my boyz n the hood in the South Bronx shot for Living Proof…fly on the wall ain’t possible there anyway or in many places where i seem to work …..i took hundreds of posed pictures…the ones they wanted and posed for (at one point thought THIS the book)…BUT because they like me and because i was part of the family so to speak, i shot many unguarded moments that would have been impossible otherwise…by the way, they LOVED the unguarded and very honest moments and ended up trusting me so much that they just went about their business unaware of me much of the time after i had proven myself trustworthy…now i do shoot on the street unobserved whenever possible…i still love this approach of course…it is just not the ONLY way to make natural and candid photographs imo

    cheers, david

  • I spoke to workshop students of both Alec Soth and Constantin Manos at last year’s Contact fest in Toronto. Manos would never ask permission on the street, and refuses images where the subject makes eye-contact with the camera. On the other hand, Soth insisted his students develop an engagement with the subject prior to the taking. Two opposite approaches – then there is the extreme Gilden approach of close-up with flash. What’s a street photographer to do? I suppose they should try all approaches, preferably master them, and then season their method to taste. The style is the man. Armed with different ways of street shooting, they could then use whatever would work for the moment – both for the subject and the photographer.

    One thing to keep in mind is that for the most part, people do like having their photograph taken, even by strangers. I find this to be quite true, at least in Toronto. Maybe it has something to do with the stereotypical Canadian politeness, but the number of times I’ve had issues I can count on one hand. On the other hand, New Yorkers don’t seem to have the same attitude:

    David – I love the idea of setting up a tripod on the street as a way to become invisible. My lesson for the day – thanks. Much appreciate the video teaser, too.

  • JEFF…

    yes, interesting all the different philosophies on this…no right or wrong to it as usual…for what Costa does , his way works etc etc…however, i would not take either Costa or Gilden into the favelas with me, smiling, but i totally understand why they do what they do…and you are absolutely right…yes most people love having their picture taken even in the so called prohibitive cultures…but as with sex, most tend to prefer consensual…

    cheers, david

  • So when is this Rio thing going to be on? I dont get NatGeo, but my brother does, and I can catch it down there if it’s not on too late.

  • father
    what a wonderful collaboration!!!!!
    Love the spice….

  • I first became aware of DAH and his work in “American Photo March April 2005″ he was field testing the Epson R-D1…
    ” A big part for Harvey is to get to know his subjects until they ^^forget^^ about him.”
    ” I´m a participant, I get inside. I´m usually sitting at the same table with the people I´m photographing, so they sort of forget that I´m there to take pictures. It´s a different way of getting a natural photograph.”
    “I saw a couple of guys with acordions playing from house to house. I followed them around and took pictures of them and we became friends. Soon I was hanging out and drinking beer with them”.

  • Dear David,

    You had a surgery? neck? or arm? … just read twitter…
    Please take a rest and Please take care…

    p,s, Very enjoyed NatGeo film… Thank you very much,Bryan. :))

  • a civilian-mass audience

    “Right now a moment is fleeting by! Capture its reality in paint! To do that we must put all else out of our minds. We must become that moment, make ourselves a sensitive recording plate. give the image of what we actually see, forgetting everything that has been seen before our time.”
    Paul Cezanne

    BRYAN…you have capture something …there…
    thank you mate!

    oime…definitely BURN is rocking…!!!

    P.S speechless…

  • I remember seeing (or reading) a Eugene Richards interview where he stated that he stays with people for so long they just forget about him to the point of starting to get undressed for bed!

  • Regarding the Cezanne quote, there’s an interesting short article in this month’s Harper’s about the current Monet exhibit at the Grand Palais in Paris, talks about his obsession with the changing light of day, how he painted some scenes multiple, I think up to 30, times trying to capture the nuance of a moment’s light. Very photographer-like aesthetic.

    And David, forgot to mention it before — best wishes and get well soon…

  • Thanks David…Very helpful. Thanks also to everyone who chimed in with street-shooting thoughts. Must put it to practice now! (try, at least) ;^}

  • DAH, saw the Rio film and also saw Spin. Loved the connection between the Dervishes and amusement ride. Please pass on to Bryan how much I enjoyed it.

    Glad you are ok.

    Family leaves tonight. Will miss them so much. Lots to catch up on after they leave.

  • michael kircher…
    I think you would of enjoyed being in Spain last night… 3 Kings festivity.
    Everybody goes out on the street to watch the “3 kings” parade. Every city in Spain celebrates this, sort of like carnival only aimed for kids. Everyone was out with a camera shooting images, nobody suspicious everything relaxed and fun. I was seeing images everywhere… but with two little kids running everywhere catching all the sweets being thrown by the parade and me on crutches I just decided to enjoy the moment.

  • Paul…

    Thanks. Sounds great. I do love street festivals and marches and parades. Shot this one last June.

  • Oh yes, then I´m sure you would of had some fun last night. I think this is the little extra pie that little girl on your blog wanted…
    Somewhere in Spain, just an example…

  • michael kircher…
    I tend to wonder round everybody’s website/blogs… I saw a couple of weeks ago that letter you wrote to Nikon! I generally hate cameras, I love photography and don´t bother with equipment too much. I´m allergic to certain gear-heads sites… But wouldn´t you like an Fm3a turned into perhaps Fm3d :))
    I´ve got an fm3a hanging round my neck from 5:30 am until I´m off to bed, never had a Nikon before and we seem to be making friends.

  • Paul…

    Yes! Like I said, I’d buy 2 without question! Someday, maybe.

    They don’t mess around with that parade do they? You could put an eye out with all that candy flying! Hahaha…

  • My wife is currently surepticiously hiding all the captured candy from last night… they were thrwoing fistfulls of candy and all the kids diving round picking it all up.
    Don´t wait standing up for that camera!!! Here is an explanation on the Fm3a just shows how mad the world of photography can be….
    “The meter with needle indicator is an ultra-compact ammeter similar to those used in level meters for audio equipment. However, there was no Japanese manufacturer in those days that could fabricate an ammeter that was small enough to install in the camera and satisfy the specified precision. The request for fabrication was rejected because, “We are not competent to fabricate such a small and high-precision product.” After a long search, a manufacturer specializing in the production of ammeters was discovered in a foreign country. However, satisfactory accuracy was not achieved, then, after repeated consultations with the on-site engineers, and with patience, finally a satisfactory level of product accuracy was attained.
    A used FE2 was procured from a second-hand camera shop and it was dismantled and the ammeter was removed. It was found that the compact-sized and high-precision ammeter that Nikon was seeking to design was built largely based on hand work. The real ammeter removed from FE2 was shown to the engineers in the subcontractor and specific instructions were repeatedly provided.”
    :)))))Can you imagine it, Nikon didn´t have one single Nikon FE2 in their factories and Nikon went off to a second hand shop to find out what THEY had built or at least installed in their camera! :)))))

  • David; As an aside; how do you feel your time shooting medium format went? Was it as (or not as) successful as you thought it would be?

    It’s funny how Soth was mentioned earlier, because I’ve become really interested in his work (maybe even a bit obsessive at the moment). I’ve often thought how travelling with a view camera would be an interesting, and probably frustrating exercise!

    As for making contact (or not) with subjects; I’d feel that I was being “sneaky” without acknowledging them either before or after. For me; meeting the different people is half the charm of photography! And knowing you’ve become trusted by the person is pretty damn cool too! Anyway; it’s pretty difficult for me to go unnoticed!


  • Ross Nolly…
    Travelling with a view camera is fun!! Everyone turns round and stares, all fascinated with the camera. You make friends quite easily with an 8×10, always someone will come over and chat with you. My wife is extremely shy and self conscious so she had a hard when I first started using it on our travels. At least that´s my experience.

  • Paul

    You should of seen the looks of amazement when I took the back off my Holga to re-load at the skate park a while ago. Most thought I had busted my camera!

    A firend of mine offered me a mint Toyo 45G 4×5 view camera with Rodenstock 300mm F9 APO-Ronar MC and -Rodenstock 150mm F5.6 Sironar-N MC lenses, Air release, Standard bellows,Wide angle bellows,Adjustable lens hood,,Polaroid back and Film backs for NZ$1150 (about US$900a couple of days ago.

    I’ve got to admit I was really tempted, but have never used large format before! And it would be lot of money to spend on a whim…

  • Ross Nolly…
    I´ve never tried a Toyo… I used to have an Ebony 4×5 and a couple of lenses. I moved up to 8×10 because in my very humble opinion the effort required to use a 4×5 wasn´t worth the effort when I sat down and looked at my 6×7 negs against the 4×5… but I´m also not the best printer either. However an 8×10 contact print is something special.
    You must be honest with yourself a view camera is whole different story from other cameras. I slipped last May on crutches with my 2 kids and the 8×10 in the middle of some woods… still had stitches in my foot from my second operation, landed on the bad foot and ripped open the whole scar…blood everywhere, tripod, camera, pitbull and 2 little kids with a walk home on crutches which took me at least 35 minutes of utter agony have convinced me for the moment my other cameras work very well :))))

  • Ross Nolly…
    :)))Perhaps you better paste your question to David again before it gets hidden under all my dribble!

  • THIS IS A RE-POST FROM JOHN GLADDY… was under Aaron essay, and i thought it best over here in Dialogue…anyway whatever happens happens…

    ALL “.i agree with what you SAY John , but please link your Speakers Corner here and see if anyone would see those pictures as stand alone photographs and not needing some written context” (dah quote)


    why not.

    or if you are a masochist.

    pretty much all non imagery apparently :))
    I will try harder next time. honest.

    ……Dont suppose I could interest anyone in the 365×2 picture essay of my toilet bowl before and after use that I am calling the price of life- a study of the side effects of anti viral medication.
    No? …just as well..if I ever do a set of pictures like that you may stone me to death.

    keep smiling and debating and have a great day.


  • ……Dont suppose I could interest anyone in the 365×2 picture essay of my toilet bowl before and after use that I am calling the price of life- a study of the side effects of anti viral medication.

    You might find a place for it at the FIAC, or perhaps the Tate Modern. Float a little statue of Jesus or Mary in it and you’re all set.

  • David,

    Happy New Year! Was troubled to hear something required surgery but glad to hear it went well (at least that’s what I gleaned from Twitter). And you’re giving up all your good/bad vices in 2011??? Well then, I guess change is the only constant. As you know, I gave up drinking some 25 years ago and even if I’m not better off for it, I know everyone around me is. I hope the changes for the New Year bring you the desired outcomes.

    I loved Brian’s Rio film. Beautifully photographed and it was great as always to see you at work. Along those same lines, some of the friends on burn might enjoy –

    In response to your posed question, my resolution in 2011 is to bring two photo projects to a close. As you said, there is a time when you simply know they are done and that’s the way I feel. Now the long slog of trying to put them out into the world. Not nearly as fun as shooting but a necessary part of the process. The upside is that it will pave the way to move on to other projects. I wonder where you’re headed on photo projects????

    In any case, I look forward to a good year for you, burn, all the folks that gather here and a lot more inspiration springing from these pages.


  • much better is Be in a war with reality than when reality is in a war with you.

    or something like that…

  • Speakers Corner…
    Well that is an easy one for me…
    Used to play truant at my boarding school on Sundays and some Saturdays and OK some weekdays also… used to catch the first train up to London. School friends and I sometimes used to stop out of curiosity not only to listen but to see the characters hanging round there. Brings back lots of good memories!!
    Very nice essay John Gladdy.
    Personally this essay doesn´t need any written context because I know the place pretty well. Now some other Burnian who hasn´t ever stepped foot in Britain may or may not understand it or appreciate it.

  • “link your Speakers Corner here and see if anyone would see those pictures as pictures not needing written context”

    Me. Not needing written context that is.

    Can be that ‘Speakers Corner’ is enough to me, since I know what it is about. So perhaps my vote doesn’t count.

  • A while back there’s been a question about limited edition prints (and signing them if I recall well), here’s an article about the subject matter, perhaps someone might find it useful:

  • Eva…you are the main info source in burn..
    million thanks

  • watching RESTREPO for the 7th time….

  • AMAZING…suggestion to ALL..: Fall in love…….with Pepperoni Pizza.

  • @ marcin luczkowski and DAH
    Reality? Pah. I want pictures or it didn’t happen. ;-)

  • Panos, yw.. still at your friend’s? Hope he’s doing well..

  • :)mw…Have you finally managed to see the Sally Mann film? Interesting to hear your opinion…

  • ALL..

    going fishing…or should i say going to photograph fishermen…dories to the sea, and nets up on the beach…dog sharks, rock fish…..always fun….and later this afternoon and into the night, Old Christmas…yes, a tradition down here…the REAL CHRISTMAS…booze, dancing, shotguns, and oysters….probably a fistfight or two…when the tourists not here, the real island comes out…let’s see if i can make a picture out of this…back soonest….


    well amigo, i got this infection when we were all in Oaxaca…bug bite, cut, or something that got staph infected went to lymph nodes in the left arm that had the bite or cut…i didn’t notice it much at the time, but there was a lot going on!! anyway, all ok now…pleased to hear you are wrapping up your current projects…yes, there is a time when we are not finished, but we are done…i am a bit overwhelmed with unfinished projects…Rio to do, Outer Banks to do (working on both now actually), American Family to finish, dark room print project to do, woman portrait book to do, and i think i forgot one , and oh yes, Burn does take up some time!! other than those aforementioned , i am idle…come and see me …but if you do, i will put you to work…

    cheers, david

  • You forgot to put on your list one more specific task, Ed/Publisher: update Burn with new DAH post/photo as the holidays of “holiday lights” have long since passed. Ancient history everywhere but OBX… Not that the images at the top of this page aren’t as engaging as ever, but we are an insatiable beast, waiting, looking, devouring. Buy yourself some time, put up a Valentines photo which will be good for at least 6 weeks until its sell-by date is really stale.

    No, but seriously: kidding. Kind of. (wink)


    but Holiday Lights is nowhere near the top of the page…and since i am still two days away from having the time to write another post,even if i take it down, dialogue is going to happen here…the insatiable beast must always be in second place to my photography and i am in the middle of a long weekend shoot…should not even have taken the time to write this!! :) ..anyway i am sure you can appreciate this priority as well..sorry, smiling…will do my best just as soon as i can…Valentine photo? nice assignment , good idea…thanks..

    cheers, david

  • DAH, while you have so much time on your hands (laughing) do you speak Portuguese? Just wondered considering Rio.


  • DAH to Gladdy: “link your Speakers Corner here and see if anyone would see those pictures as pictures not needing written context”.

    I watched both links to “Speakers Corner” that John posted and I’m seriously confused, DAH, as to why you think these photos need written context?
    I can’t say I know for a certainty what it’s about – from the photos it seems like Speakers Corner is a meeting place for proselytizers – but even if that is not the WHOLE picture, what does it matter? The images speak for themselves and, in my opinion, do not need a single accompanying word.

    And wasn’t this work supposed to be published here on burn?
    What happened?

    John– some good images. if they were numbered, i’d elaborate.

  • “the insatiable beast must always be in second place to my photography and i am in the middle of a long weekend shoot…should not even have taken the time to write this!! :) ..anyway i am sure you can appreciate this priority as well.”

    of course Mr Harvey. And we out here can NOT wait to see these stories, about which we’ve been teased for so long, finally appear in print. how much fun is THAT going to be? you’ll be far far past the work but to use in burndom, it’ll be fresh fodder for our eyes.

    thank you!

  • I find that as I get older that there are a great number of things that I don’t understand, which I understand is a consequence of getting older in the first place, and that no one will explain these things I don’t understand to me, which I understand is just plain rude. There are, for example, any number of good reasons why a burglar might choose to bring a tenor saxophone with him as he sets off into the night to go a-burgling, but I must confess that I can’t really say what those reasons might be, not ever having been a burglar or a tenor saxophonist myself. It might be that our musical miscreant feels a greater need to express himself than a lifetime of breaking and entering can afford, a reason many of us can identify with, I’m sure. Who among us has not wished at times that our lives had taken a different route, that instead of succumbing to the siren call of a steady paycheck and benefits we had gone off and joined the French Foreign Legion or written the Great American Novel or shipped out to the South Seas in order to paint Tahitian girls with little or no clothing on? There’s many a time that I wished I’d listened to my dear sweet mother and not gone into the civil service; she warned me against the idea on more than one occasion, something she is all too willing to remind me and anyone else she can get to listen; but I felt that loan-sharking was just not for me, however much my mother said that the job suited me like none other she could think of. But we live in this our Great Republic, yes we do, and this our Great Republic is the land of endless opportunities, a place where a man can reinvent himself if he so chooses, and so here in America a burglar can choose to play the tenor saxophone if that is what will make him happy, although playing the tenor saxophone while he is burgling appears to me to be a very quick way to end a promising career in crime. But what do I know?

    Perhaps music, which, as the poet tells us, hath charms to soothe the savage beast, works equally well on policemen, a theory not tested, as far as I know, in the physical or the metaphysical realm since Orpheus got past Cerberus and into Hades to find his beloved Eurydice, and our would-be sax man may hope that his best rendition of Body and Soul in the style of Lester Young or that playing Ben Webster’s best bits from Take the A Train will slow the cops down sufficiently for our burglar and his accomplices to get on the A train and make good their escape. The method is clearly not foolproof; it did not work for Orpheus, but that mishap was the fault of doubt playing on his mind, not the fault of his musicianship, and the pursuing policemen may be fans of Dexter Gordon or Coleman Hawkins, or worse, may prefer Dizzy Gillespie or Miles Davis to anyone who plays the tenor saxophone. Such are the uncertainties of a tenor sax-playing burglar’s life.

    Or perhaps our burglar has larger game on his mind. If the Pied Piper of Hamelin could empty of a town of its rats and then of its children, then presumably a tenor saxophone-playing burglar could empty a zoo of its hippopotamuses, although why he should want to do this is yet another mystery to me. Turning a large and extremely irascible riverine mammal with a propensity for spraying its dung about promiscuously loose on the unsuspecting population of a large American urban center is not a good thing, either for the population, who will be understandably upset at the prospect of having a hippo spray dung all over their clean shoes, or for the burglar, who can hardly hide the fact that he is leading a parade of hippos out of the city to the tune of When the Saints go marching in from the police, a professionally cynical group of people not apt to believe that the trailing line of aquatic beasts are jazz lovers or the Second Line of dancers at a New Orleans-style funeral; real life does not resemble Disney’s Fantasia in any way that I am aware of. Hippopotamus rustling may not be a crime where you live, but I am certain that it is a crime somewhere, and I feel fairly sure that it is a crime in this particular large American urban center, simply because most large American urban centers have many silly laws about many silly things, but, unfortunately, saying large American urban center instead of big city is not one of them, despite the best efforts of Messrs. Strunk and White to omit needless words from American prose style.

    Here in our happy little burg, for example, which is not at all a big city and has no laws against rustling hippopotamuses, the solons who rule over us, a group of pols as honest as the day is long in December, decree with great solemnity that no one may keep pigs anywhere within the city limits, and so no one does, but there is no law forbidding the keeping of crazy people, and so we are awash in crazy people, who wander the streets day and night looking for money to buy coffee and bring said coffee into the egregious mold pit wherein I labor for my living, even though there are signs everywhere saying that they cannot do this, and they proceed to spill this contraband coffee onto our recently cleaned carpet, which is why we have signs saying no open beverages here in the first place. I do not know why the municipal government finds pigs so offensive and crazy people not so offensive, or why stealing a car is a crime here but rustling a hippopotamus is not, but the one thing I am reasonably certain of is that absolutely no one will explain the rationale to me, something I’ve noticed over the years and that I still think is just plain rude.

  • KATIA. thank you.

    David myself and his editorial team came to the mutual(and very amicable) agreement that this work,as it currently stands, was probably not suitable for this particular avenue of presentation at this time.
    One of the issues was ‘accompanying contextual information vs seemingly random set of pictures’
    The Burn team felt this was needed and I that it was not, hence DAH’s ‘post a link and see what people think’ comment.
    One thing you can always count on with David is that he will always tell you it straight up, as he sees it, with no bullshit. I try to do the same as much as I can, and our positions were just different.

    You have been gone fishing for the day and I have been fishing all day. Hope you caught more pictures than I caught fish is all I can say.



  • Katia. They are all numbered or named you just have to click the ‘show info’ tab at top right of screen

  • JOHN, it makes perfect sense to me.

  • AKAKY. One would hope so.
    ..although I have no idea what two or more would do.

  • Two or more would probably be excessive, especially now that climate change is causing processed deli meat to fall on my car.

  • yes, my climate changed into a gerbil, which is very probably also deli meat in some parts of the world.

  • and you really should drive more carefully if you are going to leave food on the bonnet.

  • -Governor of Maryland, and state secretary of transportation targets of package bombs two days ago. (No one hurt)

    -Secretary of Dept. of Homeland Security targeted with similar package bomb yesterday.(postal worker burned)

    -Arizona Congresswoman and six others shot dead today in shopping center public forum.

    -What. The. Fuck.

  • Jesus! Now they’re saying the congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords of AZ, is actually still alive and in surgery. How can you not get that straight?!!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Fight for what you believe…
    BE YOU and be flexible…
    find your balance…whatever might be…
    yoho,yoho…the pirate’s life ain’t for me…

    BURNIANS…the journey…don’t give up…
    ups and downs
    it’s all about the journey…

    LOVE to ALL…

  • ‘Sup Civi :-)
    You’re not planning to stay a pirate? But what about all the rum? You can’t leave the rum behind!

  • Burnians…

    I just posted up a portrait I made of David last week…here’s the link.

    I put some pen to paper on this one, hope it’s enjoyable!

    Cheers, Jeremy

  • Killer shot of the maestro, Jer!

  • Paul, yes I was able to watch the Sally Mann video. Interesting on many levels, but in light of our conversation about landscapes and if they can somehow convey history, and your comments on my cemetery photo, I think I understand why you recommended it. Seems we had similar thoughts and questions regarding landscape photography. And remotely similar thoughts on technique, at least to the extent of putting unevenly coated glass between the lens and the negative/sensor. Big difference, of course between a large format film camera and my inexpensive tiny and odd sensored digital.

    I liked the entire DVD. So many of her photos are great and the many insights into her artistic process are fascinating. And the high end gallery scene. I was shocked she couldn’t get a New York gallery show for the Death project. Shocked that everyone felt those photos wouldn’t sell. Of course you can fill a very large room with all that I don’t know about hi-end photo sales. So I shouldn’t be so shocked.

    My only negative critique is that it appeared she gave the project a happy ending out of fear of negative public reaction rather than artistic conviction. And from the glance provided by the DVD, I feared the pics of the living negated quite a bit of the power of the other photos. Then they canceled her show anyway.

    Watching that DVD reinforced my belief that purposely limiting my influences for so many years was a good thing. I know most of you here can’t see enough photography by other people, and I respect that attitude, but I don’t think it works for me. You, Paul, mentioned the possibility that my cemetery shots would be derivative if I were to use a chemical process closer to Sally Mann’s. That’s the problem. If I had seen that DVD before I worked out my own answers to those similar questions, I probably would never have done the work. Were I aware of her stuff, what I was doing would have been derivative, and for that reason I wouldn’t have pursued it. But through ignorance of an important figure in contemporary photography, I was able to thoroughly enjoy a year’s effort learning how to make a particular camera do what I want. How to make it see what I see.

    Unfortunately though, I seem to have trouble getting it to show other people what I see. That was evident in the fact that you, Paul, recommended links about photos of sacred sites after seeing the cemetery pic. To my eye, there is nothing sacred about any of the photos from that day. Sometimes I find the names or other information on the tombstones interesting. Like Colonel Blood who died on a humanitarian mission to Africa. Or Thomas Negus, the sea captain. But for the most part, I don’t care that dead people are buried there. Those are landscape photos, not death photos. I just like the wind in the trees. And the unpeopled spaces, so rare in New York. Cemetery photos are so cliché. And there’s so much religious symbolism around that it’s difficult not appearing to at least throw a nod to some kind of sacred. Then if you shoot black and white, it’s going to come off as spooky or melodramatic, which is not good. I figured the only kind of day when black and white could work honestly would be a snow day. All the trees are dead and there’s no color to speak of. A bit of a green hue escaping from a few snow covered evergreens is about all. Otherwise just black and white and a few shades of grey.

  • Michael K. My feelings exactly. The guy who shot the Congresswoman was 21 years old and named Gerald. I keep seeing signs calling for revolution. I’m stunned by this behavior. I’m glad that young man is not my son. What heartache he has caused to so many people. I hadn’t heard of the others. Cancelled my news sources weeks ago.

    Another note, James Nachtwey’s Time Magazine essay on the medi-vac unit in Afghanistan was filled with a sense of compassion I need to see in photos of war zones. Stunningly touching and uplifting. And fitting into the conversations of late regarding necessity of audio and/or captions along with photos: his interview with the showing of the photos enhanced them mightily.

    MW, I’m also one of those learn as you go. But I also love looking at other people’s work. Many times the work I am looking at will enhance or verify the work I’m doing.

    Good night all.

  • Stumbled over this piece of advice by photographer Andrea Pistolesi:

    “But to take real advantage of this global historical situation the new coming photographers must be wise. The advantage of the fast-growing cultures is to learn from the history and the mistakes done in the past by others: Africans will not wait for a telephone wire to call, they’ll have cellphones instead!
    So, to finalize my idea, a suggestion: look at the images done in the past 40 years in the West, at the magazines that made photography great, at the work of great photographers. Understand, absorb and digest this mass of cultural history. Then just forget it. This is the past. Will be part of you visual DNA, but nothing more. You task is to start now, from here, to develop your visual language, your expression, the future of photography. Your photography.

    Found it interesting in comparison to what MW has written up here: “..purposely limiting my influences for so many years was a good thing..”

    I think key in what Pistolesi’s saying is: “Then just forget it”. Makes sense to me. It’s like learning how a camera works, absorb the mechanics to the point of forgetting about them. From there on it starts.

  • EVA…

    please consider the source of that “forget it” comment….having a sense of your heritage is nothing like learning how to use a camera and then “forget it” and go take pictures…one should never be bogged down by history/heritage of course…but to have no sense of it is to put oneself at an extreme disadvantage when dealing with curators, gallerists, publishers and the like who do have a sense of art/photography history…

    even to reject an idea , you must know what the idea is that you are rejecting…

    but i do agree with Pistolesi in when he implores all to develop their personal visual language…of course…we say that every day here…but MOST need referencing…there is the occasional once in a century genius who just pops out of the crib and creates masterpieces, but i think a couple of centuries have passed without this person, so we may want to go to plan B…smiling..

    cheers, david

  • DAVID..

    Ah, I think the ‘forget it’ isn’t meant like ‘cancel it’, but more like ‘put it in a corner of your brain’.. perhaps I should have posted the whole quote, which you can find here:

    What made me stop in reading it was MW’s posting above, the complete contrary of absorbing by limiting the influences as in not looking at others works.. wouldn’t work for me, and I’d kick myself in the butt really hard, for all the good photography I’d have missed, all the emotions not felt by looking at it..

    Btw, got that picture yesterday??


    you know these comments get strung out all over the place and it is easy to get let’s just back up a wee bit for clarification…with me so far?? :)

    for my personal photography presentation to a sophisticated photography educated crowd (my audience for my books for example) , i prefer no captions and minimal written “set up”…please look at my books and note there are either place only labels or no captions at all…SO I PERSONALLY PREFER NO CAPTIONS when presenting photographs AS PHOTOGRAPHS clear on that one, right?

    pictures or depictions or descriptive visuals are one thing, photographs as photographs another…still with me?

    HOWEVER, for the presentation of some work in some venues i often think context (either text or captions or both) have some value…you may notice that some stories on Burn have captions and some do not..the more journalistic presentations tend to have more value for most readers IF the reader has some idea that the picture was shot in South America or South Africa…no, DOES NOT CHANGE THE PICTURE, but it simply could be of use to some people…

    i would guess that a majority of the time most people are curious about the location and circumstances of pictures presented in magazines…some photo essays are just so “visual only” sequences of images that perhaps just a provocative title is enough…it just depends on the essay and of course it depends on the editor and mostly the audience….all is subjective from the get go!!

    in the case of Speakers Corner, i felt that John’s photographs needed at least some support…many know the history and location of Speakers Corner in Hyde Park in London, but i cannot assume everyone does..does everyone? can i assume that all readers of Burn even know it is in London? giving people a little information on THIS TYPE of story certainly cannot hurt and might be helpful…now the key here is when i say THIS TYPE…yes, if you see one of John’s pictures i am sure it is obvious what is going on..somebody is saying something..ranting…arguing…disagreeing..agreeing…sure we can see that i think…but isn’t it even more interesting when find out Karl Marx stood in the same spot and ranted as well? or if not, does it hurt to have this info?? frankly i thought this would be perfect multi media piece…with a sound track ..what these folks have to say , not John but THEM, could be pretty interesting imo….since these to me are clearly photojournalistic pictures and not pictures to be presented as wall art , that maybe just maybe context could be important or as least have value…i was never saying any more or less than this …

    there is another reality here…none of us behind the scenes here at Burn could really fall in love with these pictures…just as pictures/photographs….not compared to the essays we had on deck…..

    part of the problem (and i love you John) was that the pictures John linked here to this audience were not exactly the same pictures he presented to us…his VERY BEST PICTURE imo was shown here to you , but not to us at Burn…i was frankly a bit shocked by this and wrote John immediately…John will not deny this….one picture can change the way you see an entire essay…so you may see the back and forth of getting an essay up and ready is often way more complicated than anyone thinks..i mean you have to be a private detective and go back and ask many photographers “do you have more that you did not show us?” ..this is exhausting and time consuming…AND just part of the complaints… :)

    photographers, trust me, are their own worst enemies..but i love em…why?? cause i am one of you!! smiling…i make editors crazy all the time….and of course the other key reality here is that the choosing of work for any venue cannot be democratic…democracy works well (sort of) for government, but not for art….sometimes folks in various venues decide they want a “peoples choice” award…never works really….not for the movies , not for music, not for photography…i could give example after example…the juried show will always carry the most WEIGHT….

    ok, so when the dust finally settles on this one, i am sure we will have a fine presentation where John will be proud and we will too……John is a fine man and a good friend and he has been a guest in my home…some great days and great conversation….good company all around….i have published his strong portraits on Burn..not because he is a fine man and a good friend, but because those portraits really resonated visually..for him, for me, for this audience….

    this behind the scenes discussion is i hope a good one for everyone here…John is a stand up guy and there is nothing i appreciate more….Katia, we have not met, but share some of those good vibes where there is no doubt in my mind that when we do meet , the sparkle in the eyes will say it all…and i do hope that this is all taken in the spirit of good discussion and in the right place….like Speakers Corner!!

    hey, we are lucky…this is fun isn’t it?? good discussion, a creative process, building stuff…all good…none of us perfect, and all of us wanting to do something special….i think we are on to it….

    high fives, big hugs


  • EVA…

    oh ok..again, context can be important!! a piece of a statement can always be misleading..sound bites work sometimes but not all the time…

    while i am often “selecting/rejecting” the work of other photographers all the time here on Burn, there is no photographer in the planet whom i reject more than myself….i will go through everything today that i have been shooting the last few days, but i have a feeling i did not quite get it…i was in two fantastic all Americana situations, but i do not know if i really nailed it to the wall…i tried…really…but well we will see….for one thing i had to avoid a couple of fights…

    nobody ever tries to pick a fight with me in a Brazil favella or in the South Bronx hood…but put me with my own tribe of rednecks drunk and well a different story..makes sense i guy who was not even in my field of view somehow thought i took his picture and was ready to smash my camera ( it is always somebody you did NOT photograph who somehow takes offense-alcohol being the ultimate factor of course)…fortunately i was “saved” by three little old ladies from the church who had prepared the food…..the meanest drunkest redneck is definitely not going to defy his grandmother…

    cheers, david

  • Eva, sorry if I gave the wrong impression. I studied photojournalism in a well-regarded university program and was raised to idolize Cartier-Bresson, Gene Smith, and the WPA and Life photographers. Now I am comfortable enough in my own skin to study whatever work of others as well. But there was a time when I found it beneficial to develop my own identity. If I would have ended up with a body of work that looked just like millions of others on FLICKR, then I would have just hung it up and maybe joined a camera club. Instead, I reached a point where I had developed an aesthetic but had stopped growing. That’s when I turned up here and began studying other work. But I love the act of doing photography, of solving aesthetic problems and then looking at the results, whether it produces interesting photos or not. Of course I’d prefer to be good, but if that doesn’t prove to be the case, at least I’ll be bad in a unique way. An educated way as well.

    BTW, I really appreciate those links you’ve been providing. Thank you so much.

  • DAVID..

    “…fortunately i was “saved” by three little old ladies from the church who had prepared the food….”

    now THAT is a pic somebody should have taken.. :))

    Hoping your feeling of not having it nailed to the wall prooves wrong.. nail it to the wall.. must remember that, not an expression used over here..

  • mw..

    ok, a bit confused now, reading this written by you: “Watching that DVD reinforced my belief that purposely limiting my influences for so many years was a good thing. I know most of you here can’t see enough photography by other people, and I respect that attitude, but I don’t think it works for me.” I got the impression that.. ehm.. so many years meant something like just.. ehm.. so many years.. which seemed a long time of fasting to me.

    Have to say that I have no idea what’s taught in PJ schools/programs, but I don’t think that looking at others work will make of you (intended as general you) a mediocre photographer, or a simple copy machine, I’m convinced that if you’ve got IT, it will come through either way.. but then, that’s just me..

  • Eva, note that I phrased that sentence in the past tense. “So many years,” realistically about three, was a time that came to an en about a year and a half ago and soon thereafter I showed up here and laid myself open to influence. I’d think you were aware that I currently look at a lot of other photographers’ work and put a lot of thought into it as well. But people have different approaches. That’s okay. I’m not criticizing anyone.

    The art world is full of examples of different approaches working. Off the top of my head, I can cite Guaugin, who isolated himself in Tahiti and came up with a unique style largely free from contemporary influence. I also note that many of those historical figures, including Gauguin, and his buddy Van Gogh for that matter, who developed their own visual styles were not popular at the time while many of those who appeared regularly in the best salons of their time are forgotten, or recognized as derivative now if they are referenced at all. So there’s often a difference between being historically good and contemporary good, but I think a general lesson is that those who don’t develop their own unique visual style are unlikely to become historically good. Not that unique visual style guarantees anything. Still, I’d rather be Ed Wood bad than camera club good.

  • Mw…
    :)))I still believe there is a project within this graveyard waiting for you…At least the way you write about it shows a fascination or curiosity worth searching…
    Had an art teacher who used to scolds us at school when we called ourselves artists…his reasoning was art was a journey, an experience, life… well that´s what you´ve got to try, get out there in that cemetery and shoot the hell out of your camera…

    “i had a treasure map i got out of a cereal box when i was a kid….i never found the treasure….but i sure loved the map” DAH

    That´s the photography life, journey. Don´t think so much about it and just do it.
    Mw, who doesn´t have difficulties attempting to show what we experience and convey it onto film or sensor! So get out there forget Salgado, Burn and etc sing your own song make 150 errors/bad images and maybe one interesting image may appear.
    From what I´ve read throughout Burn, literature seems to be an important part in your life, well take it from there…
    Colonel Blood and Thomas Negus, the sea captain… don´t those marvelous names convey a kind of magic? Maybe it shouldn´t be a photo project and instead make it short story, novel or a kids book… look at what amazing things this man gets up to with kids stories….
    Or how would Borges deal with this cemetery if he came upon it and felt equally inspired?
    Strange idea about not looking at contemporary photographers!! I´m totally the other way round I soak everything I can find even if I dont like it!! Remember, Robert Frank really studied in depth Walker Evan´s work before beginning his famous road-trip. Every single theme has been done before so don´t think you will find an incredible original essay by keeping blind toward everything photographic round you! Past influences are good for your vision it´s like learning to read and write…
    Oh, and I´m sure Sally Mann would kick ass with a little digital camera… so forget it´s limitations or buy something better!
    Here is a book which you might like it isn´t about photography but it deals with the same problems we all fight in our creative life….
    You can take the sky as the limit or like my son Ethan…
    “Daddy, I know why they made the sky so high… so they could stand those very big lamp posts upright”. Turn it upside down sometimes the view comes clearer.

  • “Photography is the easiest thing in the world if one is willing to accept pictures that are flaccid, limp, bland, banal, indiscriminately informative, and pointless. But if one insists in a photograph that is both complex and vigorous it is almost impossible.” – John Szarkowski curator emeritus Museum of Modern Art NYC

  • EVA…

    sorry wrong expression…”nail it to the wall” here refers to nailing a picture up on the wall a la museum exhibition other words, locking something down for sure…or perhaps nailing up a poster or a target or something that is to be really really in place…perhaps poor choice of words for you….so sorry


    well said..


  • MW, sorry, might have missed some of what you wrote, for what I knew it could have been 20 years.. and sure, Gaugin might have closed himself to contemporary influences, if you intend them as European influences, but sure has opened himself to other influences, it’s sufficent to look at Tahitian artwork to see this..

    To appear or not to appear, I think that has a lot to do on how one sells oneself, it’s not only the work, it’s also marketing.. and was already back at his time and earlier. To know the right people.. but that might be important to some, and to some others not.. when the work and passion is what counts, not the recognition.. but that’s a whole other subject matter altogether..

  • David, regarding the Szarkowski quote, exactly.

    Paul, guess we were cross posting and you missed my explanation to Eva that my time off the reservation was temporary. But I’m not sure why you think I don’t go out and photograph a lot. Although I don’t link to my serious work, I often put up links of my walking around photos, the cemetery stuff being the most recent example. Although I think about these things a lot, I don’t fall into the category of those who spend too much time thinking and not enough doing. Quality, of course, is a different question. Currently, my color photos do not contribute anything innovative to the art, but I think there’s a chance some of my narrative strategies are unique in a good way and interesting. We’ll see. Room for improvement is not necessarily an altogether bad thing.

    And since you bring it up,note that Frank was vilified for his divergence from contemporary standards when Americans was first published.

  • DAVID.. nothing to be sorry about!! I did get the meaning, it quite nails it ;)

    Half of the fun hanging out here is learning new words.. expanding my brain..

  • Mw…
    Yes there was some cross posting…
    nothing in my mind made me believe you dont shoot lots images i was taking it from the feeling of doubt i sort find when you write about this cemetary…only trying to push you on and make something special.All in good spirit!!!
    Also mainly because i´ve given up on landscape images, if i can help encourage with anything i will 110%
    because i´m sure its a very good idea.
    I also know that Frank was vilified for his divergence from contemporary standards when Americans was first published.

    Mw perhaps you and david can help me out with this comment i put out a week ago….
    john gladdy, Mw, David, all…
    Thinking about Salgado and how he hasn´t really progressed over the years… I pulled out my Robert Frank´s Americans once again last night… always an immense struggle for me personally, finding it always so disturbingly negative and how detached he was from his subjects makes me uncomfortable. Do you think he never made any further work worthy of consideration or perhaps “The Americans” became a handicap for him artistically. Wasn´t it heavily criticized when it first came out… I don´t know much about Robert Frank´s other work… so waiting to see if any of you can shed any light on my disturbing feelings towards this photographer.

  • David,

    I forgot to ask you…with the Lumix GF1 do you use an viewfinder attachment? I’ve seen this camera present some problems in bright daylight b/c of the screen. Otherwise is is an awesome combo with the 20mm!

    Brazil video “teaser” looks great…makes me wish the snow was gone!

    Best, Jeremy

  • PANOS (ALL),

    Saw Restrepo for the first time last night. Blew… me… the fuck… away. Quite possibly the best (most affecting) war documentary ever made. Tim Hetherington’s solid as a rock camerawork in the face of that shit is mind blowing. Everyone see this film asap. I couldn’t sleep afterwards. You are forewarned. I’m sure I will see it again and again.


  • a civilian-mass audience

    oime…What not to RESTREPO!!!
    PANOS,CHARLES…again and again…

    yeap,pirate life goes…rumi stays…:)))

    I love the hats…I see hats everywhere…
    I am gonna buy one…then you can have my picture…:)))

    I love you all
    I just nailed you all …in my wall

  • @Jeremy TECH TALK ALERT!!!!

    i think david said at one point that he uses a voigtlander optical finder, not positive. i tried one of those on mine and just couldn’t get used to the parallax correction (none) and the loose approximation of framing. but i’ve certaily shot way less on my camera than he has on his…i’ve since bought and used the panasonic live finder which shows a kind of grainy image, but it’s precise in the framing as it shows the same output that goes to the screen on the back. in bright light outside you just can’t go on the back alone, you need some kind of finder. they just introduced a 14mm lens (28mm equiv) which i own and like very much.


    ps amazon was selling the GF-1 recently for $300 new, w/o lens, via Samy’s in LA. a bargain!

  • Civi, you can borrow mine –

    As long as the rum gets drunk, it’s all good! :-P

  • Friendster…

    Thanks for the info…I’ll check it out.

    Cheers, Jeremy

  • Jeremy Wade Shockley…
    david alan harvey
    August 16, 2010 at 11:58 am

    i have no aversion to tech talk and answer all questions that i see….sometimes i miss if i am not around for a couple of days……i do always answer your questions i think, but never know whether you actually read them or not..regarding tech, it is just that i have so few things i know anything about and so little equipment that i use, that i can contribute little to most conversations…however, the GF1 is a favorite…i use the Voightlander 40mm optical (as per recommended by C. Peterson and others)and i only bought the 1.7 20mm….so really simple and really easy to think about and use…i did originally buy the electronic viewfinder and used it once…no good….

    we have made 30 x40 inch prints from this camera even shooting at iso 1600…however, i would not recommend going past iso 400 unless you must…on auto iso i think it won’t take you past 800 , which is a pretty good indicator of where the camera designers want you to be anyway (it goes to 3200)…..not as good in the low light as the larger cameras…at 1600 the reds break up badly on 30 x40′s on close inspection although at normal viewing distance , we have some nice prints at that iso..

    i guess the workhorse cameras are still the D700 and 5D…but i just cannot work with those “horses” most of the time…so damned large and obtrusive imo…..last night i was shooting at an outdoor ice cream bar with families, lovers, all kinds of tourists where there was no way i could explain to everyone who i was and what i was doing….just too many folks and i needed to be in their face so to speak…because of the GF1 i could “dance” in among everyone…move shoot, move shoot, sip my choc shake in my left hand, and move shoot with my right…it was dark, so i was working off the back screen…could not have done what i was doing, work the way i was working, with my D700…too noisy, big, awkward, aggressive…….the GF1 seems playful, innocent… to shoot with this camera…not for everything, but surely for a lot of the type of work i do and absolutely the best ice cream bar camera around

    cheers, david

    M9 is terrific too….but isn’t ten times better than the GF1 at ten times the price…only a little bit better…the thing about the GF1 is that you could lose it…i mean as in have it stolen on the streets of Rio for example…when you are out there with the M9 you just have to hope like hell that nobody realizes what it is….

    cheers, david

    wish i could help here, but i have no experience with the GF1 with any other lens than the 1.7 20mm….it does seem to me however that using any lens too physically large might just ruin the reason the GF is so attractive in the first place..i would not try to make it replace one of those workhorse cameras per se….i mean i do see it as a point and shoot camera with the 1.7 being so totally ergonomic…i am not sure exactly what you are trying to shoot, but the 700 and 5D cannot be replaced by the GF1 in general…it is a supplementary camera for most..

  • a civilian-mass audience


    You nailed it:)

    I miss my chickens…
    I will be back next week…I can’t wait to “hug” them
    Yours… looks too good…I hope it tastes good too:)))

    GF1,M9…no problem…I love them All…!!!

    Keep rolling BURNIANS …rumi is on me!
    Moderation is the key…

  • David; If you have the time, I was wondering if you were able to pass on how you felt your experience with medium format has gone? Did it work how you expected etc?

    Cheers and thanks! :-)

  • CIVI.. they’re not mine.. and they’re no good, but their eggs are I bet:

    Love the one with the sweater.. safe travels..

  • DAVID..

    Regarding the last twitter feed.. 6 months, 25 pictures.. and now, what happens? Do you bring them only the 25? Or the 25 plus the decent ones? Do you have a minimum number you must present? If I remember well the project should cover the whole year, that means another 6 months..? And, most important, are you happy so far?

  • EVA…

    i usually show editors around 25-30 pictures no matter how long the story took to shoot…and that is all they see..the “they” being the Editor of the magazine and assembled editors for maps, captions, research, text, layout etc…the illustrations editor that i have worked with throughout the entire process has seen every single frame and we have mutually come up with the magic 25 to show the Editor…there is no required number of pictures to show, but i think most photographers most of the time realize that somewhere between 20 and 30 images is all that is necessary….for a book you may show more of course, but to get an editor interested, the magic handful is what you need…….

    this is an intense selection process…and the most wonderful process i must say….the truly fun part…no better feeling than getting down to the essence…as you know, this Outer Banks story is a bit different in that it is intermittent….pictures from home..very different scheduling than say Rio where i go for a set period of time…everyone knows also that it is often difficult to shoot professionally your immediate surroundings…easy to get distracted with personal stuff unrelated to the story at hand…but i will take that so called disadvantage….and look to photographers like Bruce Davidson who have only shot their immediate surroundings..unfamiliar is hard, familiar is is all “hard” and all the only way i can imagine living….i still have to pinch myself to believe i have earned my way by making photographs…

    am i happy so far? well, self satisfaction does not happen on a certain level…it is forbidden in my mind to become self satisfied …always feeling a bit short…now this pain is part of the pleasure….and adding one or two as i did this weekend is for sure one of the great joys of doing this type of work…i have built a nice little music track slide show of OBX, three and half minutes, to present on the big screen to my colleagues at NatGeo this week…we now have our annual seminar..a gathering of the tribe , where “show and tell” is part of the game…yes yes the most fun….there are only about 50-100 people in the auditorium…colleagues, editors…there are literally 40 million people out there who will see these pictures when published..but of course i only care what this small group thinks!!

    cheers, david

  • Paul, thanks, I appreciate where you’re coming from. Regarding the possibility of doing a professionally intentioned project on the cemetery, it’s a question of choice rather than doubt. And the slideshow I linked to above pretty much does constitute a project. I’d planned for some time to take the black and white camera over there to get those kinds of photos if the opportunity ever presented itself during a fresh snow. It’s just that I see that kind of thing as more of an exercise than as serious work (though I do like the idea of projects that require specific atmospheric conditions and have to be done when everything is just right).

    It’s occurred to me that if I were to teach a beginning or perhaps intermediate photo class, the cemetery would be a great place for a field trip. For beginners, it’s the perfect place for a DOF exercise with all those grey objects with words carved on them going off into infinity. And if one were doing a Decisive Moment component, it’s a good place to play with lining things up in interesting geometric patterns. I see taking photos of tombstones (and this is part of the reason I’m not interested in this for a project) as akin to target practice, like shooting cans off a fence post compared to real decisive moment photography which is much more like bird hunting. So much easier to hit a stationary target, you know. Hardly sporting.

    Regarding Frank, I’ve only seen a few pictures from “The Lines on my Hand.” I like them, but haven’t seen enough to make a go at an intelligent comment. After seeing Gladdy’s reply, I tried to download Cocksucker Blues, but ended up getting “Pull My Daisy.” Haven’t watched it yet.

  • ROSS…

    i love the medium format film work i am doing…or,should i say i love the process…it is an unusual development for me to be one day working with the GF1 in a very playful manner and the next shooting more pulled back and deliberate with the Mamiya VII…well, why not? one seems to feed the other…i do some “deliberate” work with the GF1 when looking off the back screen as if it were a large format view camera, and i do some spontaneous work with the Mamyiya VII…so there is some crossover style…my first experience at seeing what medium format could do was with my small exhibition last spring in Madrid..seeing those 40 x 60 inch prints from the med format film was just powerful i must say…now whether the viewers of those prints really could tell the difference between those and what i might have done with digital i do not know for sure..but the size and quality did seem to have some kind of effect on them…they seemed to be particularly reverential looking at the prints…now photography of course is NOT about the prints..but the overall sense of craft when working with the medium format does have a psychological effect and i believe this shows up in the work itself…

    as i have mentioned before, with medium format i tend to back off where with a small camera i would go forward…so my med format pictures are way more “landscape” pictures than are my more intimate small camera pictures…not landscapes with trees and mountains…i mean people landscapes…..environment becomes more important to me with the medium format….my shot in the show with the father and son playing pool would have been a close up shot with a small camera and it became a whole room shot with the larger one and from a tripod no less…as i said there is some crossover…i can shoot up close and personal with the Mamiya…but it is less likely….anyway, the big piece of film is hard to resist..and i cannot wait to print some of the b&w myself…i could actually see medium format b&w becoming my ONLY thing…at least for awhile..remember i do still see myself as a b&w photographer who is temporarily experimenting with color….careful observers will see that my color work is totally referential to b&w…however, two big color projects loom…Rio and OBX…so we will just wait and see what evolves…for me , everything is an evolution and not a plan…

    cheers, david

  • David…

    I have started a new project using my Mamiya 7II and am loving it (the process the prints) as well and I was wondering where you have posted (looked on your site…are they on Magnum?) some of your work done with the Mamiya 7? particularly the one you mentioned above with the father and son playing pool.

    Thanks, valery

  • DAVID…

    Thanks for your answer! Since it’s not likely any of us will brcome flies on the wall in the next few days, would it be possible you’d screen your slideshow here, of course only after the OBX work will have been published and given you’re allowed to do so? I for one would greatly appreciate… also seeing the pics that were in the run but didn’ make the cut..

  • Paul Parker,

    Thanks for digging in the archive for those comments…very helpful. I had an idea that the GF1 had been discussed, but I missed the conversation. Thanks again.

    Cheers, Jeremy

  • Hi David, regarding your comment on using medium format, I had the luck of attending your exhibit here in Madrid, and I must say the medium format quality was stunning on every one of your photographs. My favorite was the old couple raising the flag. It was so American, so full of proud and regret. Really like it.
    I my self started a decade ago shooting with medium format. But at the end I became sick of carrying around the tripod, so I switched to 35mm and later to digital. But after looking your exhibit, I suddenly missed film and medium format, so I went to a local store to see what could I get in medium format with limited budget. I got my self a brand new Bronica rangefinder camera, even smaller than the Mamiya VII. I’m again having fun with film, medium format quality, and no tripod!. But of course it’s not as loose as a Leica or smaller camera, and the way I approach with the camera is more contemplative. And I like it.

    Just wanted to share my experience. I’m really long time reader of burn, but almost never comment, partly because I don’t feel enough confident with my English.



    that link is not exactly correct for what you are trying to see..i have never seen that batch of pictures assembled…the top few pics are with the Mamiya VII, but most of those are 35mm digi ..shot for a No Agenda project that someone keyed in the words American Family, but that has nothing to do with my American family project…i do not think Magnum has those pictures yet…anyway, i will see what i can get posted for you soonest…

    cheers, david

  • Any of you living in (or regularly visiting) central London, please make a stop at Bookmarks bookshop and check out my book… holding the actual book in your hands is a quite different experience from viewing the pictures online… cheers

  • DAH–

    yes, good vibes all around, yes, of course.
    your place, your party.

    but re: speakers corner, i don’t think knowing the place (hyde pk/london)
    or that karl marx stood there is necessary info to have. i really don’t care.
    i only care about the images.
    now, you mention you had an issue with the images.
    were you then trying to bolster them up with some text?
    would you have published sans text if you had seen the stronger photos?
    that is a different ballgame altogether.

    yes, in the spirit if good discussion!
    this isn’t to pin you against the wall.
    i adore you. you know that. ;)


  • jeremy wade shockley…
    My pleasure! This was written in “Ability to tell” dialogue, i’m not sure but i think this was posted round page 30. Nothing before page 20.

  • got a mamiya xd11 today..back to film for a while…lets see what happens

  • sorry , i meant “minolta”

  • DAH–

    you know what? disregard my questions above.
    went back and read all of what you and john have written on the matter.
    it’s all pretty clear as it stands.

  • mw…
    Yes set up a workshop, it is one of the most satisfying experiences i’ve ever had. Funny enough you will find the pupils learn and so do you.
    I cannot find it right now…writing on mobile i suddenly remembered R.Frank made a documentary based on his brother… if i remember correctly his brother is mentally handicapped…i bet it probably shows another perspective on Robert Franks as a person.

  • Was researching something else, but came across this, which may be of interest to some…

    “Life magazine dedicates 32 pages of this issue to the young photographers contest. Prize winning photographers were Dennis Stock for ‘New Home for the Homeless’, Eliiott Erwitt, drated into the US Army, who documents the ‘bed and boredom’ routine of his fellow GI’s, and Robert Frank, described by a judge as a “poet with a camera”.”

    Regarding the “wanting to see more” issue on the other thread, David, I generally agree with your point about respecting a photographer’s focus and certainly don’t want to argue it in the context of that particular essay, but I think it would be a good topic for a more abstract discussion. For example, would W. Eugene Smith’s photos of Minamata work as well if we didn’t know, and he didn’t show, something of the cause of those horrors?

    Regarding Katia’s point over there, it’s altogether possible that there are no photogenic happy moments in those kids’ lives. Some of those drugs are known for burning out pleasure receptors in the brain.

  • Great David, I would love to see them.

  • David; Thank you for the detailed response, it was appreciated. I had already decided to shoot a bit more film this year; both medium format and 35mm B&W precisely for the reasons you mentioned. For the 35mm BW I’m just going to shoot and not process anything for about 6-months. It was very interesting to hear how medium format has worked for you. Thanks! :-)

  • mw
    Cheers for posting that, I found it very interesting. Both for the fact that all three featured ‘togs are key ‘togs in the history of things, but also because the winner was Dennis Stock who (in my experience) isn’t held in anything like the same high artistic regard as either Frank or Erwitt. Very interesting reading.

    (I also note that the prizes haven’t increased all that drastically over the last 60 years….)

  • Geez Panos; do people still belive in the New World Order? :-) Scary!

  • PANOS,

    XD11??!! Whoa, that was my camera in high school. Awesome little camera if I recall, until I dropped it in a river and then i was really sad (and in deep shit). Have fun! Gotta get back to film myself one of these days….


  • MW:

    the Frank film is call Me and My Brother…..

    last year, I watched all the Frank films available in DVD (all of them are available except cocksucker blues, which you can find on the internet)….sTeidl released them, 2 volumes…….and i rented them and watched them back-to=back-to-=back over 2 days……..and then after 2 days of Frank films, wrote a long drunken post about them here at BURN….it’s somewhere in the archives…no idea where…essential viewing….

    Frank was as an important filmmaker as photographer….in fact, i don’t separate….his return to Still work is still like films…..

    as much as i cherish Americans, it is his filmwork and his books after the films that I find the most significant…and yet, undervalued…..

  • ROSS,

    I used medium format in a situation where one would automatically reach for 35 (film or digital) which was my breakdancing book. I found it very special and liberating. I shot just like I would 35 but of course stopped to unload every 10-12 frames (I used Mamiya 6 and 7II and a SWC with a Vivitar 285 or Quantum flash). My hit rate was a lot less than if I was shooting 35 but when I did hit it was unbelievably gorgeous and different from what anybody else was doing on the subject (if I should say so myself). It also made me feel as if I was working as hard as my subject. Anyway, I highly recommend it. DAH says he steps back when shooting it, but you might also see what happens if you step forward…:)


  • Thanks for that Charles. I’m spending the last bit of this week working out what projects I can shoot this year. I’m still holed up with a buggered knee, so it’s a good time for planning! :-)

    I’ve got a good supply of reasonably priced 120 film so am planning to shoot with the Holgas and am sorting out what other MF film camera I’ll be shooting with (maybe a Fuji “Trxas Leica, cos it’s in my proce range!). I’ll also be shooting BW with a Zorki and my old FM2.

    I’m really trying to mix it up this year. I think I may have freed up quite a bit of time for project shooting so need to make the most of the next 12-months. An exciting, but a bit scary time…

  • Oh yes, forgot to mention; I’ve also got a Nikonos coming for REALLY shitty weather/harsh conditions! :-)

  • Hi everybody,

    I just arrived to NYC to take a short course at ICP and I’m new in town. Any locals that give me a few tips on a good lab to process 4×5 film……as well as cool place to grab a beer :) ?


  • BOB!!

    i get your point and i get gladdy’s point.

    i write when im upset. i write when i cant speak. i write when i cant think.
    im upset when i cant write.

    if you want to write, rant and rave and rant and sleep walk you can email your thoughts to me offsite.

    after i saw those pictures, i almost threw up. i cant say beautiful light, sense of community, powerful.
    is that a trait then for a ‘good photographer’ to view anothers and to know distance?

    sometimes i dont understand it. just dont.

  • Ross…

    the good old Rolleiflex TLR has been a personal favorite of mine for many years. Great for traveling too as they are pretty light weight and not too expensive (especially the model T as it’s plastic inside).

    Something about those old manual cameras i love and miss greatly (even though they are in the cupboard only a few feet away, haven’t shot any film for a good few years now…) i’ve used them on all sorts of jobs too (always had at least one with as back-up). On jobs i usually used to hire in gear as clients used to pay (now i wish i used that money to buy the Hasselblad / lenses that were my first choice – hindsight can be a mother f-er sometimes!).

    I know the Rollei has a fixed ‘standard’ lens and not all that fast, but i still love em (400asa +1)… Also I love 6×6… Funny enough my hit rate was always way better using the Rollei than with 35mm…

    a demon i still struggle with…

    I’ve often considered going back to 6×6 and the rollei, but i love digital too… give me a Rollei with a digital back – or a decent expenses account : )))

    Happy shooting


    I don’t ‘like’ Michal’s story…and some major part of me HATES AND LOATHES stories like that and photographic behavior like that….spend 2 weeks with kids on the street and then DOESN’T TELL US that the kids have already died….i saw Michal’s comment after Gladdy wrote that piss-off poem shit…had i michal posted the before me (we were posting simultaneously), i would have written something entirely different about Michal’s motives…

    my point is this….there are stories, regardless of the photographer or regardless of the viewer that should be shouted…from there it is OUR responsibility to understand we cause this….that as a photographer, the responsibility begins and ends with taking the pictures in the most true and honest way, period…michal did this, he did this with intimacy and intensity, meaning he did not shy away from the truth of that life….and that is only 1 part….but the essay does contain moments of childhood playfulness (the backspring in front of mcd’s) and tedium (tram) and giving (the last portrait)….i was IN NO WAY talking that story up about artistic this and poetic that….for me, it is a simple thing: harrowing pictures of horrendous brutality of children done by society/life that doesn’t generally give a fuck about them…

    and that is horrid…and i can only say i know some of these children personally…not THOSE kids…but some of these kids….in russia and la…and well…i dont want to personalize this, and so my comment was that as far as i am concerned all i can do is say: did the photographer, as a photographer, do what they should do…

    as a person, that is a different story….

    i felt betrayed that i didn’t know those kids had died…

    i feel angry that we’re given a story 4 41/2 years after the fact without follow up (especially when the kids have died)…

    i feel angry that my support of the telling of the subject with strong photography gets dismissed as some superficial, poetic gobbly gop….

    screw that…

    i’m here to pass judgment on photographs….to support photographers/photographic work….

    the work is strong, the essay is important…

    it leaves me hollow and the kind of picture taking that involves spending 2 weeks with street kids and not telling the audience they’re dead makes me furious….

    but the story needed to be told, needs to be told regardless….

    getting us sick or angered…

    photographs do not solve anything…never….surely not this essay…

    people like Katia do infinitely more important acts….


    maybe this will inspire/anger/break one person to get involve and help…and that might just be it….

    i know first hand…


  • Regarding the current essay about street kids in Odessa, I’m fine with David’s thinking on the photographer’s tight story focus and the repetitive nature of the edit. I admire the work that Michal has done and the similar work of Robert Gamble and Aleksandra Zhavoronkova that Eva linked to in the other thread. And I certainly admire their motives. Perhaps it’s unfortunate, but I am not shocked or emotionally outraged (intellectually, yes) by these photos, by the fact that children suffer in the world. These are things I know intellectually and have witnessed in real life. I am not the least bit surprised. I admire Bob and Katia and others for their ability to feel more when confronted with these kinds of images.

    I recognize that I am not the intended audience for this type of journalism. I agree that people who are not familiar with these horrors, which are in their essence so common in the world, deserve to be shouted at and seriously need to be shocked. So I’m not necessarily suggesting that any particular photographer do anything differently. The work is very valuable as it stands.

    But for me, personally, beyond a curiosity in the cold, hard details of the aesthetic approach, both of capturing the photos and telling the story, I have no interest whatsoever in seeing graphic documentation of children suffering. What does interest me is the question of why children are suffering. So I imagine the ideal photo essay as one that demonstrates the fact that children are suffering and then addresses the question of why? I understand that this may be difficult or impossible to do through photographs, but it is certainly doable in conjunction with text and/or audio. Of course it’s a lot to ask of a photographer to be good at all those things and that’s what’s so unfortunate about the demise of paid work. A situation like the one in Odessa needs some combination of an accomplished writer, editor, audio engineer and producer to do justice to the story.

  • gracie–

    i understand.. i almost threw up when someone called those dead kids “art”.
    what the hell have we become?



    i did not see where anyone referred to these dead children as “art”…obviously you saw it somewhere, but i would hope this was some kind of quote out of context from their actual feelings from the tragic lives of these children….i cannot imagine anyone here feeling anything other than despair when seeing this work…but the “what have we become?” line i certainly use everyday when i see this and other evolutions from a so called advanced society…i have so so many questions…primarily, how could kids end up like this? what in the world are the circumstances? i am sure if anyone knows it is you..i am ready here on Burn for you to publish again your work and whatever text you want to write…you have a blank page here Katia…please tell us what we need to know and what we do not understand…

    many thanks in advance…

    peace, david

  • I haven’t been able to view the current essay yet…
    But have been able to read all comments…
    And its the PASSION that I adore here on Burn….
    the power of photography…..

  • Katia, I have often thought I should be doing something to help your work but, like most of us I suppose, life moves on and I have not. I am also not sure what I could do since, like most of us I suppose, the economic downturn has not left me unaffected. I am sure with state assistance fading, and with the even more draconian budget cuts looming in WA state, this is having a great impact on even the most basic assistance available for marginalized communities when assistance is needed the most. While I cannot help street kids in Odessa, I can certainly do something for my neighbors. Please, if there is anything I can help you with, directly, indirectly, with photos, scanning, whatever, would you please drop me a note? There was a time when I did casework on behalf of many people, and got a few people off the streets. It’s time I gave a little back again. Would you please drop me a note at Us left coast burnians gotta stick together. :))

  • Speaking of “caring” people; I see that there are 34,035 people on Facebook who “like” Larry Towell’s “Crisis in Afghanistan” Kickstarter campaign. Pity there are only 113 backers who have got him 75% towards his goal of $12,000.

    Just imagine if only 10% of those people donated $10; that would amount to $34,035 and (nearly) 3 trips if needed. Then factor in that 6 of those donors have pledged $1,000 or more towards it (half the required amount), it shows that most people don’t really give a shit. But it’s soooooo much easier to click a “like” button….

    Or am I being unnecessarily harsh?

  • Ross:

    While I wish Larry Towell best of luck, I think there are more immediate needs in Afghanistan that people will actually donate money for. Who knows how many of those 34,035 that didn’t donate to Larry Towell, actually did donate funds for food, medicine, etc? I think your criticism is somewhat unfair.

    Can’t eat those photo books.

  • I have thought long and hard about stories of war, street kids, drugs etc and have begun to think that unless it is a long term project that follows their lives that (for me) it’s not really worth doing them.

    Unless it is a (short term shoot) news story that would garner a lot of publicity for the problem, then it only exploits the people affected. Worse still if it’s a “I want to get my name out there, so I will shoot a drug, war etc story” type of project.

    If it is a story that is hidden under the radar, then yes probably worth doing for the photographer with the right intentions.

    I fell into a similar trap when I went to Timor; I had planned to go back at least once a year to follow up the story. But I couldn’t financially pull it off. I did spend a lot of time and money afterwards doing follow up talks and slide shows etc to publicize the situation there. But I still feel like shit for not being able to follow through on my original intention.

    I do feel that shooting/writing about the volunteers/projects etc that are helping out is probably a better way of “making a difference”, because it just may mean those helping may get more donations and make an actual contribution.

    I’m really only thinking out loud here, not making accusations, assumptions or rubbishing anyone. Just mulling over a minefield of ideas….

    Below is a related link to someone who put her money where her mouth is (so to speak) and is probably making more of an actual difference than any photo essay ever could…

  • Carsten; Then why do they bother clicking “like”?

  • Ross: why not? do you think it would be better if only those that offered financial support “liked” his project? I don’t get that logic… Don’t you think Larry Towell is happier knowing 34,035 people like his project, even if only 113 have donated money? Should he be happier if only those 113 who donated money liked his project?

    Yes, in an ideal world more people would have donated money… but we don’t live in an ideal world, and I would bet that Mr. Towell won’t complain about the number of “likers”.


    you cannot eat those photo books, but $10. doesn’t buy much aid either..what, two meals for one person tops? probably $10 to an aid organization only allows $2. or less to actually get to an individual with food for example with all of the admin cost…$10. to get Larry going could help influence a congressman/woman to vote one way or the other on an aid package…yes, idealism, but i think that idealism is where Larry and others like him live…Larry will of course make his goal anyway…easy…..he is almost there as of this moment….but yes of course those 34,000 could in fact be wielding some other influence over Afghanistan, but well do we really believe that? …at the same time , as Ross said, 1 dollar from each of them would have more than done it…50 cents from each of them would have more than done it…..costs anyone 50 cents to turn on their computer and click “like”….

    cheers, david

  • Aid is a funny beast. I’ve had a fair bit to do with aid here in the Pacific (esp Vanuatu), and the resounding thing that always echoed through was, that because it was the Pacific and not Africa/Asia it was much harder to receive funding.

    Because “everyone” knows that life in the Pacific is a doddle. Spend all day in a hammock; catch a fish, dig up some taro, and return to sleep….

    Time and time again I was told of instances where if the cause was African (rather than the Pacific) then the cheque books would have been whipped open quicker than Homer Simpson on a doughnut. Unless of course it was a cause célèbre like global warming; where countries like Tuvalu fit the niche nicely.

    Often it was the private aid groups and individuals doing the most worthwhile work. Often the UN staff would start projects with the sole intent of “ladder climbing”; and when they received the promotion (due to the project), it failed because it was never set up to survive. It had served its purpose; a promotion for the initiator.

    Again; in Timor I watched the complete balls-up the UN were making of repatriation of IDPs; when even their own team leaders told me that they were ashamed to be part of the UN.

  • Tough times in Queensland, parts of the central business are in Brisbane are going under water…………. Lockyer valley that is a heartache. Fires in Western Australia … more floods down the east coast……. our holiday season changes course but we have been through this many a time

  • Imants, Ross, other Aussies…

    This is just crazy to see. Hope all is well.

  • Ahem… sorry, I realize all is NOT well… just wishing everyone safe days ahead.

  • Yeah; it’s shocking Imants. Half of the news each night is coverage from Queensland. Pretty sad stuff…

  • david…

    no argument about the possible value of Larry’s project, I am sure it can raise some very important awareness. I genuinely hope he makes his goal. my point was that I think it’s unfair to criticize people that like his project but haven’t given to this particular project, without knowing if maybe they’ve contributed to some other good cause (see Ross’s post above – quote “it shows that most people don’t really give a shit”. I happen to disagree with that assessment). for most people, the amount of disposable income that they can contribute to good causes in finite, limited. if they decide to give that finite amount of $ to some other charity, does that mean they can’t “like” Larry’s project anymore just because they didn’t donate to it? does it make their appreciation of what Larry is doing any less genuine?

    hope that clarifies my objection :)

    cheers, carsten

  • I’m ok Michael, I live in New Zealand! It’s our Aussie brothers who are getting hammered. :-(

  • ……….. mate rang up and said the weather is fine and sunny but the flood has hit the second story of his house with a few meters to go the 4am tommorrow should see the peak and water in his attic.

  • a civilian-mass audience


    I am traveling…I will be hitting Grecoland by Thursday…there is available room in your
    Greek home…if you are homeless due to flooding…the key is under the third pot,next to the dead azalea…
    (I guess by now…)

    stay strong…talk soon…

    i definitely love you All …

  • imants im trying to skype u… venice10001

  • greatest night… talked live with 3 of my heroes:
    and way earlier with EVA..
    6am here , time to go to bed…
    and see y’all soon in Burn cafe (smoking section), although i got my patches and my antidepressants prescription meds once again…so we’ll be cool!

  • Today I’m dirty
    I want to be pretty
    Tomorrow I know, I’m just dirt
    Today I’m dirty
    I want to be pretty
    Tomorrow I know, I’m just dirt

    We are the nobodies
    Wanna be somebodies
    We’re dead, they’ll know just who we are
    We are the nobodies
    Wanna be somebodies
    We’re dead, they’ll know just who we are

    Yesterday I was dirty
    Wanted to be pretty
    I know now that I’m forever dirt
    Yesterday I was dirty
    Wanted to be pretty
    I know now that I’m forever dirt

    We are the nobodies
    Wanna be somebodies
    We’re dead, they’ll know just who we are
    We are the nobodies
    Wanna be somebodies
    We’re dead, they’ll know just who we are

    Some children died the other day
    We feed machines and then we pray
    puked up and down in morbid faith
    You should have seen the ratings that day
    Some children died the other day
    We fed machines and then we prayed
    puked up and down in morbid faith
    You should have seen the ratings that day

    We are the nobodies
    Wanna be somebodies
    We’re dead, they’ll know just who we are
    We are the nobodies
    Wanna be somebodies
    We’re dead, they’ll know just who we are
    We are the nobodies
    Wanna be somebodies
    we’re dead, they’ll know just who we are
    We are the nobodies
    Wanna be somebodies
    We’re dead, they’ll know just who we are

  • Apologies Ross… I probably knew you were in NZ at some point. ;^}

  • Michael most of the worst is over flood levels are close to peaking in most areas …………….once the floods recede it is those long years of rebuilding,there is also that loss of life and the unknown. The cyclone season is coming if there are heavy rains again the water has nowhere to go as the soilis saturated.

  • Yea the holiday lights have sure faded in Oz

  • IMANTS..

    just get your essay done today for us before the flood takes you away…agreed?


    of course…agreed…i was just making a point about how little we can all give from time to time to make a big difference on certain projects…value is always going to be in our own minds with very little ever “provable”….i just am fascinated by what the net can do in this regard…if 10,000 of us gave every once in awhile one dollar for a worthy project, then as a group we would really be doing something..i am talking about our pocket change talking….i think we are going to do something here…i mentioned the Bonfire idea for us..we cannot try to finance everyone all the time, but perhaps four projects a year…well laid out and discussed in new section…anyway food for thought…and just trying to maximize untapped resources…i am sure you would agree that we should all try to do our bit…and also be on the receiving end when appropriate as well..thanks for thinking as always

    cheers, david

  • I am 800 miles away on one of the seven hills the stuff was already sent……..

  • Panos ;))

    You went to bed early.. in the morning!

    Got my prints from the exchange with Mike R. today.. nice BURNing day :)

  • “Quality doesn’t mean deep blacks and whatever tonal range. That’s not quality, that’s a kind of quality. The pictures of Robert Frank might strike someone as being sloppy – the tone range isn’t right and things like that – but they’re far superior to the pictures of Ansel Adams with regard to quality, because the quality of Ansel Adams, if I may say so, is essentially the quality of a postcard. But the quality of Robert Frank is a quality that has something to do with what he’s doing, what his mind is. It’s not balancing out the sky to the sand and so forth. It’s got to do with intention.”
    (Elliott Erwitt)

  • DAVID,
    I’m mad busy until at least April and likely June (working on the Look11 photo festival and organising exhibs there for Civi and others), but I’m interested in this fundraising idea you have, and I do have some experience from my days in politics. I don’t know how much I can help in the planning/promo of it, but feel free to buzz me on it in the spring and I’ll do what I can.

    And to back up Carsten’s point, I “liked” the Afghanistan project knowing it would bring it to the attention of my friends, some of whom are in a position to act in a fairly big way if inclined. That’s how FB and Twitter work – mass dissemination of projects and ideas. Alas, it tends to be the total chaff that gets the widest audience, but as long as the good stuff gets to the right people, I guess that’s enough. But yeah, the long tail is an interesting concept.

    I’ll water the azalea for you. ;-)

  • Thought some might find this clip interesting; never know when or where we might turn up after we are gone…

  • oh..i forgot to mention my MARCIN skype section….4pm here….fresh coffee….good morning all

  • Lee Guthrie…
    Amazing story… maybe Vivian Maier will finally go down as one of the great street photographers… who knows only time will tell, a little too early yet. Her fine, touching, puzzling images and also because she apparently shot entirely for herself, without concern to anyone’s tastes but her own and her own tastes were seemingly spot on. That’s quite an artist.

  • Eva yes…
    i just had an amazing skype session with Thomas in Germany and made my morning/afternoon…!
    gotta go do couple errands and if anyone wants to chat photography hit me up later at skype address
    or find me by email
    need to go for breakfast asap (although its dinner time)

  • David,

    Please contact me re. Fenland photographs. The book will be out very soon and a six week show of the work went up today.

    French gig is next priority, off to festival press conference in Paris next Tuesday.

    Interesting to read the discussion about the support and lack of for Larry Towell’s project. I think these on-line based funding sources have to be seen as part of the answer but not the full answer in getting support for projects. You are right about the $10 thing – would not go far via an aid agency I’m sure.

    It’s been discussed on Burn before, but for many people with a bit of disposable income, just going without their coffee and muffin for a day and giving that money to Larry instead (or another photographer’s project) could really be helpful. But it is getting people into that mindset, that seems to be the hardest thing. There is “buy nothing day.” Perhaps there needs to be a “give up coffee and a muffin, and support a photographer day.”

    I’m sure there is a psychological term for it, but it is so easy to talk about these things and many people do, but getting them to act and really do it is so so difficult. I admit to being one of them. Ironic thing is that just talking / writing about it takes up more energy than giving that $10. It’s absurd!

    To change the subject completely, two recent books that I think are really worth looking at are:

    Fred Herzog, “Photographs”, published by Hatje Cantz: colour photographs from 1950s to 1970s from the streets of Vancouver mainly.

    John Cohen, “Past Present Peru,” published by Steidl. This is not just a book, it’s two books, 3 CDs, and 5 DVDs which bring together Cohen’s fifty year long interest in the people, cultures and landscape of rural Peru.