I am totally exhausted. Whipped from traveling. Specifically from the recent Sydney HeadOn photo fest where (Based On A True Story) was featured at ACP, a Burn show was the most popular thing in town, and I did a workshop as well, with some brilliant essays the result. Yet too much. And wrong time zone. However, I do really get a lot out of these photo fests. I can scout out new talent, make real live contact with this audience, and see some terrific shows. Oh yes, for sure the dancing parties in Sydney in my house were almost non stop, so jet lag cannot be blamed for all. I am my own worst enemy.


Burn is just blowing up at these fests. The work from this audience is sought all over the place, all of the time. We cannot keep up unless we can hire a full time curator. You may remember we were featured in a big way at Visa Pour L’Image in Perpignan last fall. We will have upcoming a slide show in Arles, France, at Recontres d’Arles. NOW, next week the Burn EPF grant announcement kicks off the big Saturday event at Look3 in Charlottesville, Virginia. BurnBooks will have a book signing as well featuring “Burn 02”, Anton Kusters “Yakuza”, Michael Loyd Young’s new “Changes in Latitude” book, and I will be signing my new work from Rio “(Based On A True Story)”.

But right now, on this spectacular weather holiday weekend, I am at home. Luxuriating. Piddling in the garden, talking to my cats, riding my bike to the beach, reassuring my friends by email that I still love them, and preparing for Look3. For it is for sure Look3 that is my real HOME. Michael “Nick” Nichols and I go way back. Back to Magnum, back to NatGeo and well just close. A true friend. He and his wife Reba, sons Ian and Eli, are sort of part of my own family. We don’t see each other often, but we are close nevertheless. Nick’s original in his back yard showing of slides by the famous and the not so famous was like a family picnic with pictures, and has evolved into Look3.

Yup, Look3 is now a big event, but it is still totally “down home” and I have been looking forward to Look all year. I see my friends both local and international and well it is simply the place I really want to hang. If you want to come and show me work in the most relaxed atmosphere, come to Look3. Buy me a beer and I will do a portfolio review. Of course, I will end up buying YOU a beer and doing a review, but that’s just the way it goes. I do also have a two day official workshop on “How To Publish Your Book” before the festivities begin, so swing by there if you can. I might be able to help you. After that, my work is done, and I will just sit back and watch the shows, look at the exhibitions, and well just have a good time.

This year beloved maestro of ceremonies Vince Musi and Washington Post’s David Griffin are the curators of Look. Bruce Gilden, Alex and Rebecca Norris Webb, David Doubilet, Maggie Steber, Ernesto Bazan, Eugene Richards, Lynsey Addario, Donna Ferrato, Stanley Greene , Medford Taylor (“Bulldust” now on Burn) and a host of other friends are the super stars, but I will spend most of my time with this audience if you show up. I think everyone knows this already.

If you are an emerging photographer, there is just absolutely no better place to be. Editors from New York and Europe are on hand, and well if you have great work, this is the time to get “discovered”. Never that simple of course, but if I were trying to break into the biz, and I had work to show, this is where I would go above all other fests. When I was in my twenties, we never had anything like this. So Nick and crew, and me too, have tried to create something we never had. Like the way I feel about Burn.

Where was Look3 and Burn when I needed them? This is the point.

So come to Virginia. Southern hospitality. Advertised correctly as the fest of “peace, love, and photography”. Not to be too sentimental, but it really is Love3. Good vibes all around, and for sure a great way to get your summer started.

If I know you already, then great reunion to be. If I do not, then I am looking forward to meeting you.



Related links

LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph


70 thoughts on “at home….”

  1. AKAKY

    you are the ONE Burn regular i have not met..oh and Marcin as well…can’t we figure this out? you live so close to New York…surely there must be a way…you know well i am your biggest fan…you are a brilliant writer and humorist and why you are not writing for New Yorker i do not know..anyway, can we meet??

    cheers, david


    oh man, i REALLY wish you could make it….Virginia is our heart and soul….well come see me when you can…have a space for you here always….

    cheers, david

  3. If you had posted that a few weeks ago, I would have been seriously temped to go, but I’ve made other plans since. Still, the idea of these things brings up questions about the balance between work and networking. It’s easy for someone like me to latch on to the fact that since there was nothing like that when you were in your twenties, you spent your time working instead, which probably turned out to be a good thing. I have so much work to do. Yet I can see how being very social at these kinds of events is a positive for getting assignments and shows. Probably next year I’ll plan for it. Putting a reminder in my calendar right now.

    And speaking of good light as in the other threads, I was out this morning on my way to do some work on an assignment, and there was one of those moments that we all treasure when the light just became sublime. So I walked instead of getting on the train and took a few photos that were just about the light and nothing else. As much as I love storytelling, I think it’s that kind of simple thing that makes me love photography so much. The more complicated stuff is just gravy.

  4. Look3
    Look3Look3Look3…………for life…
    I’m bringing a big surprise with me this year..
    ladies and gents from straight from the mean streets of Greece please welcome VISSARIA!!!!!!!!!!
    See u all there!

  5. Damn, David – wish I could come. Impossible. Even if it were possible, I can’t take a dark night in June. Not everybody can understand this, but it’s true. A dark night in June is just an oppressive thing to me.

    I am glad you are back with the cats. I always enjoy returning to my cats two – but on my last trip, I left three living cats at home and returned to only two :-(

    Rest up, now.

  6. MW

    actually you make a good point…and i see too many people who think “networking” is the right thing to do…and then they ONLY network….networking should be the LEAST important thing…only when one has a solid body of work under their arm should they make contact with a curator…my post here was not so much centering around networking as much as just being on contact with and seeing up close and personal some great work and the people who do it…always inspirational for me anyway…i mean, i am a FAN mostly..sure i do my own thing, but most of the time i am in awe of someone else’ work…a catalyst for me..and why Magnum became important to me…not to sell pictures, but to rub elbows with those i respected most..not for any material gain, but just to get a bit of their sweat on my skin….sorry to miss you there…but there are always other things going on for sure…see you in NYC…your work coming here soonest…

    cheers, david

  7. Absolutely happy that BURN will feature something in Arles. That’s a nice way to start this summer!! C Burn crew there!!
    Will check the official web site for info and dates.

    @ MW

    Nice pictures with nice light! How do you put the direct link when I click in “few photos”? (Tech question)

    I think that networking is an important and absolutely obligatory thing to do in art, but this year I realised that the most important is to meet people, nevermind is there are on the move of photography or not… nearly everyone (curator, editors in chiefs, journalists) are “pissed off” of looking at e-mails with features attached or links… they want real ideas to pop up in a vernissage, in a summer night meeting, in a Festival, in a football match with some beer or wine or caipirhina… people will judge you by your way to talk, your mood, eye contact, behaviour, smile, laugh, intelectualism, your presence, etc, etc,… rather than reading a text in a screen monitor.

    So, maybe if I can be more “unplugged” from the computer, would be better…

    Have a nice week


  8. Funny enough, I happen to have my Look3 T-shirt on today :)
    It really was one of the all time best experiences.
    Tearing my heart out that I can’t make it either,
    a trade off for a Haiti trip.
    Next one.

  9. a civilian-mass audience

    I forgot the words…oime …BUT you my BURNIANS can help me because:      
    “A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.”

    Yeah, PANOS…I will be in LOOK3… I am a civilian after all…I am everywhere…check next to YOU:)))

    Love you ALL…and may the ouzo dance starts now…!


  10. David,
    Welcome home. Glad you made it back in good shape. I may see you soon.

    I feel your pain. Last January, I left home and my 6 felines for a day. When I returned the alpha male had been struck by a passing motorist that didn’t even bother to stop. It’s tough to loose a good friend.

  11. I will be at Look3 and I will be psyched to meet you David and take you up on that beer offer! I am really just a hobbyist photog and am not that interested in “breaking into the biz,” but it would be nice to get someone I respect give me some honest straight forward feedback so I can become better. If you are cool with that I will come prepared so I don’t waste any time, otherwise it would just be cool to see you and hopefully pick up that new book of yours.

  12. a civilian-mass audience

    FROSTY…the cat is going upstairs…to find the other friend R…

    PISTOL YERO WE LOVE YOU …oime,it hurts…
    BIg hugs…yeap,it hurts…

    Thank you ALL for reporting…keep the fire BURNING…!


    in Arles we have our annual Magnum meeting this year…the Burn show will be “off Broadway” so to speak at one of those corner slide night things…know what i mean? there is an official name, but i cannot remember..anyway, you can drink a beer and see pics and move around to the next show…

  14. Ah Look3 :)

    I hope Panos and all others report live like last year. Unfortunately, I cannot come – however, the reporting takes me there.
    Wish you DAH a good time to relax before LOOK3 and all, who are going there a very good time.

  15. David – Things were different when you were a young man, photography was just becoming accepted as art and color wasn’t the in thing yet. Today, Art crosses with journalism with activism readily. Color, Film, Plate, Digital, Black and White – it’s all acceptable. Now the task is to sift away the button pushers from the people with true visions and voices. You and “Nick” are at the cutting edge of this screening process. Bravo.

  16. David I am sure that the technology side of presentation at Look3 is will be a welcome relief from the chaos here in oz

  17. David,

    Sydney misses you.

    If it makes you feel any better we are all in recovery mode as well… I blame you! The festival is wrapping up but still buzzing from the BURN vibe. You and your team did an amazing job as always.

    See you soon


    hey i LOVE being a hobbyist photographer myself…it has always been literally a hobby that i take seriously…like any serious hobbyist…not making a living at photography is GENERALLY THE BEST anyway these days if you want for your work to be personally meaningful…i was lucky, got to do both…but this is a much larger mountain to climb than just going out and doing something significant without worrying about getting paid to do it…takes very little money to do a major piece of work…shooting at home works..only takes your heart and your eye..

    cheers, david


    i know what you mean…i saw Al Pacino in “Insomnia”..smiling…actually i have been up in your neck of the woods in summer and well yes perpetual day…you pay for that of course in January, but i am sure it would throw you off for it to get dark at 9pm…

  20. A “+1” has now been added to the Canadian faction. M’s email to my convoluted and long-winded invite was simply: “Book it”.

    The fact that she dropped the period tells me she exemplifies the spirit David writes so well of. No time to waste – we have elbows to rub!

    I’m looking forward to meeting everyone attending; sad to miss those absent.


    i want to thank you both again for spending time with my students….they really appreciated it, and me most of all…both of you dig deep, yet in very different ways..this is what i try to impart in general..an appreciation for any kind of work that works the edges….we all know it when we see it..again, missing you guys….all the foibles fade and only good memories stick….just nice hanging out with you…

    cheers, david

  22. David…

    Attending Look3 in 2008 was by far the best festival I have attended. It was well worth travelling all the way from China to be there! I wish I could be there again this year. China has its claws in me though and I struggle to leave. Plus, I just received word last week that I secured another grant from my friends at the Pulitzer Center, to work on a new enviro-project here in China. I’m very excited about it. I shall keep you posted. I’ll be looking out for when you hold the next book-making workshop. I think I am ready for it, for sure. Have a beer for me in Charlottesville.


  23. LOOKbetween was a tremendous experience and first of a kind for me. Have wanted to come to LOOK3 since then but so far I have not managed. And I will not manage this time either. But anybody who sees the slightest chance in going really try to make it possible.

    DAH, Riitta Supperi from our TPW Tuscany workshop in 2008 (?!) will be in Arles this time, too. She has a show coming up in a Museum in Finland. At least that is what I assume – I keep getting her informations in Finnish … but it is looking good. It is her series of 50+ portraits, some of which she has shown us in Tuscany back when we all met. She has invested a lot of time into this project and it seems to be getting good reviews.


    Congratulations on your continued support from the Pulitzer Center. They are clearly aware of your commitment to working in China and the important body of work you are producing.

    I remember well meeting you in Cadiz and discussing with you your intention to return to China to photograph. That was clearly the right decision. I look forward to seeing the new work that comes from this grant.


    Justin P

  25. DAVID

    You certainly make Look3 sound very tempting.

    I wish I could come this year with such a good group of shows / people there.

    But I’m excitedly and deeply into a number of new projects here in East Anglia – photographing the landscape and trying to get through a backlog of editing.

    Been following all the news of Rio book etc etc. All very interesting, exciting and inspiring.

    I know you will be enjoying it all too its fullest.


    Justin P

  26. Sidney Atkins


    Congratulations on the renewal of your Pulitizer grant! I’ve been meaning to write to let you know that your multimedia pieces on China’s environment on the Pulitzer website are all required viewing in the Asia-related courses in the Geography and Environmental Studies Dept. here at Western Washington University. Keep up the good work!

  27. Sean Gallagher,

    Congratulations! I look forward to the results.

    …just clicked onto CNN’s Rio page. It looked pretty impressive, but I did go beyond the opening screen. I want to wait until I get the book to see anymore.

  28. I can’t wait for Look3–going to swing through NY and hit Coney Island Sunday afternoon to shoot and then on to the Eugene Richards workshop–I wish there was some sort of notes exchange, so I could cover the waterfront, with all the great folks teaching.

  29. Sad to add to the list of “no show” for LOOK3.
    So many things coming my way (all good things) that I cannot add one more to that good stew…afraid it will ruin it.
    Next year might be a record year for burnians to show up…..that will be great.

    Hope to see you again here in Miami David!
    All the best!

  30. it’s my dream to make it to LOOK 3 next year…
    but it’s a mighty long way… the opposite end of the earth…
    the contact with fellow photographers and photo lovers, the festival vibe, it’s so addictive,
    and meeting burnians as i’ve just had the privilege of doing in Sydney was so special.
    i’m 100% grateful, really… but (like iggy) i need more!

    apparently, if i dig a hole in my garden i should come out near enough… better start digging

  31. I have no idea why it has taken me this long to write a comment here and move from being a silent observer… It may have something to do with timing, comfort level, whiskey, okay it’s the middle of a workday the so not whiskey this time. Burn is one of those communities that just seem to effortless, when really there is a lot of blood sweat, tears and effort behind all and I guess that is why I love it.

    burn came to my attention through following Sean Gallagher, thanks Sean and congrats on your new grant. In my eyes, not just as a scientist, you are doing extremely important work!

    LOOK3 came across my radar through burn. And therein, by coincidence, maybe, maybe not…, I discovered Patricia Lay-Dorsey’s images and work. I had started my own photostory project before then working with an MS patient I know at the center where I am a research scientist. I just wanted to say publicly a huge thanks to Patricia for all the advice and support she has given in the few brief interactions we have had via email so far.

    LOOK3 sounds amazing and I want to be there, but like mw above for me it is probably best for me at this point to just keep doing the work I need to do, work hard in the time I have and maybe, hopefully there is next year.

    Finally, David. Thanks for showing that you don’t *need* to be in NYC to work hard, it is a project of one’s own ethic and not the environment. You make Nags Head look so tempting, Nor’easter’s or not. And a huge thanks for igniting this community and spirit!

  32. a civilian-mass audience

    EVAAAA…and ALL the Italians in Northern Italy…PLEASE report ASAP…

    thank you…if you need help…let me know…civilian’s house is open…
    I am not far…


    Welcome home ED…!!!

  33. a civilian-mass audience

    SAMMY…your birthday is almost here…

    don’t forget me…I eat everything…cake,fruits,veggies but I prefer meat (I am a vegetarian after all)

  34. Ed, welcome. Jumping off on your point abut not needing to be in NYC, I was thinking the exact same thing after revisiting Justin Partyka’s East Anglia photos above. Love that work.

    Mike Avina, what’s up in Coney next weekend?

  35. Civi..

    I’m ok, Diego too, but he did get shakered quite a bit.. been bad for a lot of people though :(

    Hello Ed :)

  36. Hi all,

    I have an extra Look3 ticket at the early $115 price that I am trying to sell. I already spoke to the Look3 office and they said that all I need to do is tell them the person’s name. The total cost was $121 and it would work well to be paid through paypal. I can also provide the email receipt I received from Look3 when I purchased it.

    Many thanks!



  37. Ah, the energy is building….one more night here in Richmond, then home for a few days to regroup and then get to C’ville for LOOK3…going to drive, and take the long-ish way through some mountains, part of a path I traveled back in my youth…

    It is time…

    Perhaps a bottle of ouzo should sneak it’s way into my back-pack….

  38. Justin… Cadiz seems a long time ago now! Great times though with the Webbs. A memorable week.

    Sidney… Well, that is very flattering indeed. I’ve been lucky enough to visit a good number of universities now in the US to present my work with the Pulitzer Center. Being with these students and showing them the images and stories is one of the things I enjoy the most. It’s always inspiring and motivating to be around!

  39. a civilian-mass audience

    ANDREWB…I can smell ouzo from miles away…

    Ouzo time is on…:)))

    Tick tock…

  40. [Hook: Frank Ocean]
    Human beings in a mob
    What’s a mob to a king? What’s a king to a God?
    What’s a God to a non-believer who don’t believe in anything?
    Will he make it out alive? Alright, alright, no church in the wild

    [Verse 1: Jay-Z]
    Tears on the mausoleum floor
    Blood stains the Colosseum doors
    Lies on the lips of a priest
    Thanksgiving disguised as a feast
    Rolling in Rolls Royce Corniche
    Only the doctors got this, I’m hiding from police
    Cocaine seats, all white like I got the whole thing bleached
    Drug dealer chic, I’m wondering if a thug’s prayers reach
    Is Pious pious cause God loves pious?
    Socrates asked whose bias do y’all seek?
    All for Plato, screech
    I’m out here balling, I know y’all hear my sneaks
    Jesus was a carpenter, Yeezy he laid beats
    Hova flow the Holy Ghost, get the hell up out your seats, preach


    [Bridge: The-Dream]
    I live by you, desire
    I stand by you, walk through the fire
    Your love is my scripture
    Let me into your encryption

    [Verse 2: Kanye West]
    Coke on her black skin
    Make a stripe like a zebra, I call that jungle fever
    You will not control the threesome
    Just roll the weed up until I get me some
    We formed a new religion
    No sins as long as there’s permission
    And deception is the only felony
    So never fuck nobody without telling me
    Sunglasses and Advil, last night was mad real
    Sun coming up, 5 a.m., I wonder if they got cabs still?
    Thinking ’bout the girl in all leopard
    Who was rubbing the wood like Kiki Shepherd
    Two tattoos one read “No Apologies”
    The other said “Love is Cursed by Monogamy”
    It’s something that the pastor don’t preach
    It’s something that a teacher can’t teach
    When we die the money we can’t keep
    But we probably spend it all cause the pain ain’t cheap, preach


  41. a civilian-mass audience

    I am gonna sing…I can’t wait…

    Happy Birthday to YOU
    Happy Birthday to You!!!
    Happy Birthday Dear DAHHHHH

    Happy Birthday to You.
    From good friends and true,
    From old friends and new,
    May good luck go with you,
    And happiness too.
    May you BURN like YOU do!!!
    Happy Birthday to You, cha, cha, cha.
    Happy Birthday to You, cha, cha, cha…
    Happy Birthday Dear DAH
    Happy Birthday to You, cha, cha, cha.


    P.S I request the help of an ACADEMIAN…a photo philosopher can help me too:)))))))

  42. Civilian:

    You have connected me to purpose. A bottle (or two…or three) of Ouzo purchased at the border tariff-free will be used to celebrate Godfather’s birthday Wednesday night.

    (And the birthdays of all Burnians in attendance – in spirit or otherwise.)

  43. a civilian-mass audience

    JEFF…no,noooooo….don’t buy ouzo…border people don’t like ouzo…

    Buy olives instead…:)))))))))

    Viva BURNIANSSSSS…CARLO’S cool freaking fireworks!

    What not to LOVE…

    And where is the party? And my cake?…oime…

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