broken chair at dawn

broken chair

71 Responses to “broken chair at dawn”

  • Hey David, really nice moody catch. Love it. However it does look like it was shot with a mobile device, curious as to why you didn’t just grab a real camera for this beautiful scene. Maybe that is the point though with some of these Road Trips posts as many seem to be from mobile devices.

    On another note, and I hope you are willing to answer this for me, I have to say the presentation of your photographs at Art Basel was probably the best I’ve seen, especially at Art Basel this year (and I looked at a lot of photography down there). The prints were magnificent and the ABBA gallery did a fantastic job with lighting. My question is, who printed them and what medium were they on? It looked like they had an aluminum backing, but I am not 100% sure. I’d like to do the same for some personal family photos in my house (and if I ever get a solo gallery show I definitely want to emulate the printing and presentation style at ABBA).

    Thanks for your time.


    you are right…i should have had a real camera file….on the other hand i might not have seen this picture with a “real camera”…i actually see some things because i have my iPhone in hand…yup, seems strange but is true for me…i see different things with different cameras….like i would not have shot this picture with my Leica M9…could have sure…but would most likely not have….in this particular unusual case i might go out tomorrow morning with my Nikon D800 and reshoot this…i mean the chair has not moved and that is my bedroom light …constant….so let’s see what happens….should be the same only better…right? i have tried reshoots of really simple stuff before…usually does not ever end up better than the original…we will see…will let you know, or simply replace the file here..

    cheers, david

  • go on medidate

    longer version (from Magix ) here:

  • Hello everyone.
    Just wanted to say hi.
    Haven’t been here for awhile.
    Just wanted to say – hey whatchoodoin!

    No matter how far one strays we always go back to what we know and hold dear!
    Happy new year.


    Happy New Year, Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary and all the other “happys” we have missed with you!!

    Hope you are fine…join us when you can…

    cheers, david

  • As someone whose 640× work you once featured, you know I am no enemy of lowest (0.3MP) resolution.

    Still, these days, when I want to use a phone camera, I go for the very best: Nokia 808.

    41 stunning megapixels, packed into a huge sensor, backed up by a killer Zeiss lens.

    Dump that iPhone and grow up, like I did! :-)


    i will check out the Nokia… my rio book i have some iPhone pictures that cannot be differentiated from the Leica M9 pictures…BUT it depends on the light…in low light, as here, the iPhone falls apart…but in day, especially flat light, the iPhone is fine….anyway, thanks for the tip…..


    sorry i missed the second part of your comment earlier….

    Michael Courvoisier made those prints in Miami….he has been printing my exhibition and collector prints for several years….12 color pigment inkjet…..the man is a master…has also printed for McCurry, Nachtwey, etc etc…Mike also hung the show, and was responsible for lighting etc….

  • There was a photo from my phone in my essay. It was the one with my boots in the back of the pickup driving though the empty fields. I’m not sure if it would have came out different if I had shot it with one of my other cameras. My phone was the only camera I had though so that was the picture I got.

  • @David – Thank you very much. I really appreciate that you shared your printer information with me. Like I said earlier, I thought those prints were some of the best presented photography at Art Basel. Ok I am off to shoot inauguration weekend here in DC. Have a great weekend too.

  • I don’t know about anyone else, but I waste too much time on the web, so I am cutting back everywhere I go, including my blog, which I have already done and pretty soon I think I might cut it down to just two posts a week.

    From this point forward, perhaps with an exception now and then, I am going to come to Burn once a week. This will be very difficult for me, as I tend to check in every time I am working on something, get to feeling a little frustrated, need an escape and need to see some friendly faces, see good pictures and read words of wisdom… somtimes, anyway.

    My day for checking in on Burn will be Saturday, beginning today. I have already left comments on the most recent essays, so this is it for me until next Saturday, one week from today, when I will check in from Hawaii.

    That’s my New Year’s resolution. We will see how successful I am at implementing it.


    don’t stay gone too long…we need you here…key part of our community…just sayin

  • Maybe not much to do with photography but who knows…

    Martin Scorsese on Story vs. Plot

  • “Yeah, OK! I know, if you have kids, you can’t tell them “don’t look into the television”, sometimes you have to compromise, one hour and then do something different. But these guys do only that. I say: “take some pictures.” And they reply: “of what? why?” So I’m taking a picture of it and they like it and say: “No! but you’re a good photographer!”. My answer is: “No I’m not! I’m just taking pictures, while you don’t!” It’s always like that! They need to have a big story, they need to go to Iraq to take a pictures. C’mon take a picture here!”
    Alex Majoli

  • Paul, I think Majoli makes a great point there. When I used to do business travel (Thomas can probably relate, and vice versa) I often found myself in suburban office park parking lots, i.e., the boringest fucking places on the face or this, or an other, planet. So for awhile, I made a special effort to photograph those parking lots. The theory was that no place is boring, that boring is only a construct of boring people. Not that I got any great photos out of those parking lots, but I got some interesting ones and learned a lot about light and composition.

  • MW…

    You’re quite right and I love “boring is only the construct of boring people”. Brilliant!
    BTW I didn’t have a chance last week to mention how much I loved those images you posted which you mentioned you were just starting out. There’s a certain “innocence” if that’s the right word which screams out throughout the images, and a sense of you were really enjoying the act of taking photos and free of worries about “who will like this stuff?”.
    A bit like the zen quote…
    “First there is a mountain.
    Then there is no mountain.
    Then there is a mountain again”.

  • David…

    Can one try too hard when taking photos?
    When you are working on a project/essay do you push yourself to your limit or is that just you cruising along whilst for everybody else round you it’s a hell of an effort just to keep up with your cruising/ natural rhythm.
    I’m asking this because I’m beginning to believe I try too hard and that’s a bad approach creatively.

  • For anyone interested in Instagram and the new TOS, now active, but not understanding legalese (like me), just fyi, not making a case for or against (but I have to say if Burn’s TOS were like those, I’d not be happy):

  • PAUL

    i love the Majoli quote because i believe exactly what he says wholeheartedly….and exactly what Scorsese says as well…..both right on it.

    for sure on any photographic undertaking the first thing i must have is to be incredibly excited…THRILLED….if you are not simply thrilled by the IDEA at least , then there is not much chance of greatness….then i must RELAX….

    and honestly sometimes the “idea” for me comes from just playing i do on Instagram where i never shoot anything that is more than 20 feet from where i am anyway…i never “go anywhere” to shoot these snapshots….even when i am on NatGeo assignment or whatever commission, i do not move much…i take a plane to get to the subject, but then i don’t move…at least not compared to most pros….if you look at both of my last essays which appeared in NatGeo, Obx,Rio, you will see i did not move…..and these are both a combo of personal projects and pro commissions….yet i look at everything,including commissions, as personal…

    yes Paul, don’t “try” too hard…yet always be on it…this could be described as “work” but is not work if you are THRILLED….see that video that is here somewhere that i did recently in Chile….the whole video is a bit long, 10 mins, but just watch the first 2 or 3 minutes…sums it up for me.

    also Paul, i think you have done your homework… have studied the methods/words of many….now you are finished with your homework….no need for you to listen to the philosophy of others any more….you got it….done.

    look now at my two most recent postings here…both shot from five feet from where i was sitting…Lunch in Rodanthe fitting in with the same series as White Horse #2 (nude dude on my roof)…a sort of David Lynch influenced “what happens now?” mystery picture and Pilar being just a sketch…whimsey…

    turn around from where you are sitting right now and take a picture….that is all there is to it….

    and oh yes BurnDiary is coming soon….we just finished with a pretty cool new version of our ARCHIVE..see right hand column, and now we will work on BurnDiary which will be a nice online room where you may hang your singles

    cheers, david

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Hey, MY BURNIANS…2013 is here…i know i am late…

    I am reporting from Grecolandia. I am working hard( yeap) and I want to say a big THANK YOU
    to ALL of YOU for your support (Facebook,private emails)

    THANK YOU…and now it’s time for my 2013 resolutions

    – more ouzo
    – more hugging and kissing
    – more healthy food ( mousaka,pastitsio,baklavades)…
    – more eveything
    – more “and’s” and less “but’s”

    and a message to ALL of You

    ” be YOU,be Free, feel more…shoot more”
    Th Universe is with US !!!

    BURN and MR.HARVEY and ALL of you out there …VIVAAAA!!!

    P.S…ok,enough, I want some reports NOW…ASAP…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    and stay tuned…I have worked my ass…to bring some new lists…

    so be ready to be listed …hihihiii…am I naughty or what?

    P.S …no more chickens,I ate them all,oups:).Now, I am into olives and oils…to be continued

  • a civilian-mass audience

    oh,my apologies for my English…I am studying Spanish now…I am Greek I have to be flexible( once an immigrant, always an immigrant) !!!


  • Thank you for your advice David. I will take notice and take the next step. Can’t wait to see BurnDiary!

  • CIVI,

    καλή χρόνια!

  • Archive! Cool.

    Burn Diary coming, even cooler!

    Greetings, Civi. Kalispera.

    Just finished lovely chicken sandwich.

  • DAH

    “i will check out the Nokia”


    Here is my stuff from it, absolutely unedited, other than shrinking it from the HUGE files down to web size:

    I’m a tad behind cause I covered seven theatre shows in the last two days, so bear with me…



  • a civilian-mass audience


    now that I am into Spanish you are writing Greek…oime :))))))))

    oh,well…BURNIANS !

    Happy birthday THOMAS…I am waiting for the cake(and i don’t do cakes in a glass)…hihii

    and I know,I missed so many Birthdays…therefore:


  • a civilian-mass audience

    AKAKY and AKAKYIRL…are you alive? 50 will be mine…

    I am waiting for your reports,I know you can visit BURNLAND, just to say hi…
    You are ALL busy,I do understand…life is full of surprises and I will accept only “funny” excuses.
    ” I was busy shooting,no internet connection cause I am Greek…I had to pay the rent and I was not in the mood…”



  • “50 will be mine” Sorry Civi; I turn 50 in less than a month so 50 will be mine! ;-)

  • a civilian-mass audience


    50 is all yours…

    thanks for reporting…I am following you

    I am following ALL OF YOU cause I am a civilian of the Universe!!!

    AKAKIE, don’t you dare…:)))))))


    looks good although would love to see more in really low light..i did not see anything is as low a light as my chair here…i mean it was DARK…..

    you have many nice pictures on your site, as i would expect…you will be great i think for upcoming BurnDiary….we should be able to launch soonest….

    cheers, david

  • DAH

    Hello…just to regress back to the Abba gallery for a minute…the prints were spectacular as well as the whole show presentation. You and your crew created an amazing event. Any feedback on the show overall? Feedback of your collector print sales?


    as i said earlier, Mike Courvoisier made the prints…he has been my printer forever…..we had a very short show…..i think no more than 10 days was that show actually up for viewing…we sold one super sized collector print which pleased us considering we had no clue at all about how Art Basel worked….the whole thing was a learning experience for us….i don’t know if running a renegade gallery would be something i would want to do again….it would really depend on so many factors……

  • DAH,

    Here is a low light one:

    Lens (mm): 8
    ISO: 640
    Aperture: 2.4
    Shutter: 1/8



  • EVA, just sent file you requested by email.

  • DAVID, as much as I might try, I still cannot love noisy iphone pics …

  • Tom.. thanks.. got it, fixed!

  • Eva, that was damn fast!

    BTW, I do LOVE the new archive pages. Very nice, simple, and shows the amazing breadth of work that has appeared on BURN over the years. Impressive.

  • I’ve decided to mostly just shoot local “close” work and am really having a ball doing it. I only just (about 3-weeks ago) bought a little Nikon V1 and I’ve got to admit it has freed me up a lot as a photographer. Bought it on “the Bay” for about NZ$371 (new) and take it nearly everywhere.

    The quality is easily good enough for a 16×20 print; and quite frankly it has amazed me! As far as I am concerned, you have to think when is good enough actually good enough? The quality is good enough that I probably won’t be using the D300 much anymore.

    I feel it is really beginning to transform my shooting; not so much because of the cam itself; but I think it is because I do take it everywhere. Consequently I’m shooting a lot more and just having fun shooting…

  • Ross… (not that you were asking, but) #14 is great.

  • It’s one of those shots I could see here back when Burn was doing “Singles”.

  • Thanks Michael; I’m still trying to loosen my style. I find that overall this little cam just lets you get on with it…. :-)


    i dont love noisy iphone pics either…when i published this on instagram it looked great….and i have tried to reshoot this w the D800 and have the capture , just no time to put it here, but i will….

  • a civilian-mass audience

    47…anyone? :)))))))))))))

  • I feel kinda dirty after that. ;^}

  • Fifty is the new thirty Michael….

  • and let me add my voice to the choir…..the archive looks KILLER!!!

  • Fifty is the new thirty only in the minds of the innumerate and the chronologically desperate. I didn’t mind turning thirty; it was just a number, or so I thought at the time; but I still haven’t reconciled myself to the idea of being fifty, even if I’ve had four years to get used to the idea.

  • 49 again for the second time this year for me….

  • I fully agree with Akaky on this one…
    Physician agrees :(

  • a civilian-mass audience

    aouch…ROSSY,at least we tried…:)))

    49,23,68,86…they all numbers…aha…let’s play lotto or something…
    you never know…THE UNIVERSE is with US !!!

    MICHAELK…you are bad:)))

    Good morning from raining Grecolandia…where the olives are black,the skies are blue and our souls are
    combination of those two…boohoohoo

  • a civilian-mass audience

    they are all numbers …

    proofreading is not my strong point…:) boohoohooo

  • No new essay this week?
    Or are we expecting a surprise… Perhaps a surprise like “Burn Diary”?

  • Paul, I was wondering that myself, but then I came across this picture, which I think is the burn staff, that indicates they are hard at work preparing the next essay. Though I suppose it could indicate they’re out running around somewhere with their heads cut off. Depends on how you look at it, I guess.

  • MW…

    Fun photo and made me laugh :)! Seriously that photo is from that desert festival. What’s it called? Burning man or something like that.
    Hmm! infrared digital BW. I must admit I’m not a fan of infrared, this is just my view, but I prefer your colour work by far… it’s your signature style.

  • Perhaps DAH could post a slideshow of his workshop student’s work after each workshop. I would be more interested in seeing those photos than the work of some of the quasi-emerging photographers I see posted here. Seriously, show us essays from your workshops.

  • Funny, the last three essays were from workshop students.

    Paul, thanks. Wasn’t showing that as a good photo, just a little joke about your observation that the essay hasn’t changed for an unusually long time. Took that with an old 2MP camera. I think it works well in very bright sun when there are several other conditions, e.g. deciduous trees with leaves, in the picture. Would you really like it better if the sky were white?

  • As to other amenable conditions for my old 2MP camera, meant to say “no deciduous trees with leaves.”

  • MW…

    White skies are a pain in the butt.

  • hahahahahahahahahahahahahah (‘quasi-emerging photographers’)….hilarious…

    want that on my tombstone, sooner rather than later…

    as Michael (MW) said, i think Virgil and Nathan were DAH workshopstudents…but wouldnt call their work ‘student work’ at all….dont’ know about Arif…..but in truth, i dont give a damn, just want to see work…

    as for waiting…yea, agreed…disappointed it has been stalled, but that disappointed is probably nothing but selfishness and since it does feel like the days of Burn discussion are over, generally, the part i wait for is the pictures and maybe a discussion/argument about pictures, regardless, under whatever essay emerges…or ‘quasi-emerges’ (What does that mean)…

    but if you wait for others, you’ll wasted your life, what little time bequeated

    instead gallop out toward what you must do and to where you must seek….

    running o-u-t

  • As Juvenal or some other long dead Roman put it, the times do not admit of satire. I bring this up because of the sudden spread of Sudanese Disappearing Penis Syndrome, the name of said disease explaining its main symptom, and if I were a less forgiving sort I would comment sharply on the irony of this syndrome appearing in a country where the practice of female genital mutilation is common, but that would be wrong, I think. The syndrome is apparently spread to male Muslims by shaking hands with infidels or by the using the public rest room in the Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, an action filled epic starring Charlton Heston as a sexually repressed British imperialist fond of odd hats and Sir Laurence Olivier as the mad Mahdi; I am not sure what the Mahdi was mad at or if the Mahdi had a thing for hats as well, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he did. Very little surprises me anymore, unfortunately. In any case, the owner of Khartoum’s public rest room, Mr. Abdul ibn Abdullah, vociferously denied that his rest room had anything to do with the sudden rash of vanishing penises in the Sudan, claiming that this was deliberate misinformation spread by agents of Zionism and an Ethiopian Tourist Bored with trying to get low priced tickets to Miami during the winter months. Mr. ibn Abdullah said on Sudanese television, both of them, in fact, that his rest room was the most sanitary public relief station in all of Khartoum, especially now that he’d had the wall painted up to a height of 2.5 meters, well beyond the propulsive power of any normal man’s bladder, and that he now offered fresh unused hygienic rocks imported from America guaranteed to clean in one pass through the crack vile.

    It appears, however, that Sudanese authorities will soon ban the public rest room as well as shaking hands with infidels as an emergency measure needed to stop the epidemics of vanishing penises. Sudan’s minister of health suggested today that, instead of shaking hands with infidels, loyal and patriotic Sudanese should urinate on them instead as a way of guaranteeing that their penises hadn’t disappeared; Sudan’s minister of tourism added that all foreigners coming into the Sudan, a bare dry arid sere mostly desert country with lots of camels and marled burros, should bring a raincoat and galoshes with them until the epidemic had passed. For those of you going to the Sudan on your summer vacations, consider yourselves warned.

  • A note/feature request on the archive. On the front page I keep seeing images that make me want to see the essay, but when I click on it, it just takes me to the top of the archive. There needs to be some way to see the essay related to the image that is showing. Or at least include the name of the essay/photographer so you can go to the archive and look it up.

    Regarding the disappearing Penis epidemic, here in the U.S. it seems to happen to people who watch too much Fox News or listen to hate radio. Those affected who want their penis back would probably would do well to piss on Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and the like. Return the favor, such as it were.

  • MW

    yes, i agree…but i am not sure if we can do that or not…let me ask Haik….

  • Yes, I love that Majoli quote too! ‘The most important thing is: get off your ass! Take pictures!’ he says later in that interview, I think.

    Paul, David — Winogrand was on the same track. Work and play aren’t different when it comes to creativity, or anything really, it’s where learning is really, really activated.

    I really loved this exchange between him an a student, read somewhere on American Suburb X:

    GW: It’s not a question of solving. It’s a question of stating.
    GW: Yeah. You don’t solve anything ever, really. You simply state a problem which, when you’re lucky, gives you some idea of what possible problems you can—it indicates, you know, your future headaches.
    But that’s all related to the idea of the “game”—it’s being a “game”?
    GW: Whatever word you want to use—you want to use “work”? Use the word “work.”
    Work— play—
    GW: I use the word “play”; but you understand the word “play”—if you ever watch children play—what do you observe when you watch children play? You know, they’re dead serious. They’re not on vacation.

    Too important to take seriously. ;)

    Thanks for the Scorsese video! Brilliant!

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