187 thoughts on “subhrajit basu – cloud hunter”

  1. Yes, indeed, a cloud-dream hunter! I love the texture of the reddened net, like an enormous jelly fish, a bow of dreams, a breath from the sea of god…and what deleriously lovely light!

    as with all your work, very beautiful!


  2. Congratulations Subhrajit; beautiful photograph. I would imagine DAH saying “Straight PJ but good straight PJ”. Immediately reminded me of the Steve McCury photograph from Sri Lanka of men fishing from stilts. As I’ve said before; I like you website.

    Best wishes,


  3. I hope he catches a few fishes, besides clouds! :-)

    Light is oozing out of this picture, as if from behind the sky and under the sea. A mesmerizing addition to a well-caught scene and a perennial theme.

  4. For me it is the “moment caught” that pulls me in. Yes, the color, exposure, sky, surf…all are superb. But it is the arms outstretched, the net flying through the air, that DECISIVE MOMENT of which HCB spoke and captured in his own work. It is the LIFE of this image that I will remember. Now I find myself wondering just how many frames it took to get this one perfect shot!


  5. yes, the net does look like a giant jelly fish. and the waves look like they are dancing… nice image.

  6. Subhrajit,

    I very much like this photo and the work on your website, both color and black and white.You combine an interest in and intimacy with people together with a good eye for the environment and also for dynamic light and atmosphere. In looking at your website, especially the color gallery, I felt strongly that the white borders around all the photos are too wide and detract considerably from their impact. I don’t know how easy or hard it would be to change that… but I would much prefer to see each photo in your gallery a bit larger, and the white border only half as wide or less… maybe you could evern do away with borders completely? (I use narrow white borders a lot when mounting prints, but one has to be careful not to make them too wide). See how much better this photo looks on ‘Burn’ than it does on your website? That is a minor criticism only meant to improve the presentation of your work, which I really like.


  7. I do agree with Sidney. Since the pictures are in rather small format (500X?), the B&W pictures don’t project as well as the ones in color (the woman eyeing you with sari over half her face, would love to see that one in color).

    For me, If you like, keep the borders, but go for at least 640X on the wide side. I’d say that to anyone. I understand about net theft, but don’t be skimpy regarding the screen size of your shots.

  8. dramatic photograph this is, as among the many i liked from your website.

    the technicalities of everyone’s work here in BURN i guess can be developed with experience and learned through time…

    … but such respect, you show for your subjects… in every single one…


  9. May I call you Bodo? I’ve just looked at every photo on your website and feel as though I’ve traveled to a land and seen people I’ve wanted to see all my life. Since I read a book about a woman in India when I was a young girl, I have wanted to go there. And even though I gather India is not very wheelchair-friendly, I’m not giving up on my dream. I still hope to go there one day. But before I do, seeing India through your eyes satisfies something deep in me. You have captured the soul of the place and people. Thank you for sharing your in-sight with us.


  10. kathleen fonseca


    This is a beautiful photograph. Perfect really. Everything about it is, well, perfect. Sky perfect, water perfect, color perfect, timing perfect, sharpness perfect, composition perfect, horizon almost perfectly straight, even the net is perfect; not a rip or tear..i don’t think i ever had pantyhose that perfect, even the wetness of his beautifully colored aqua tee short is perfect..not all wet, just half wet. Perfect.

    That said, i would not buy this photograph, or the book or magazine that contains it. Perfection bores the pants off me. i can see your professionalism. i can see your technical expertise. You have every reason to be proud of your accomplishment. But for me? I’ll take Classic Beef below this photo. I’ll take chaos Panos style. Or my latest love affair, Sabine. This photo is so polished i can practically feel the glossy paper passing slickly through my fingers as i turn the page. For what it is, it’s well done but i feel absolutely nothing when i look at it. Not excitement, not thrills or chills or that prickly sensation up my arms and zinging through my brain that i have just witnessed a photographic moment that will never come again.

    No offense..it’s just me. Congratulations on a job well done.



    Thanks for the inspiring words…

    I have been taking photos of sea-fishermen for quite some time now at different beaches in West Bengal and Orissa in India. I would like to put them in a collection in my website. But till now, I have not been able to do it.
    Regarding Holi, you can go to Mathura – Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh or to Rajasthan for Holi where you get the authentic version of it. You get great photo opportunities there. But, Holi is just past (11th Mar this year). Next year, it is on 28th Feb.

    MIKE (R), HERVE…
    Thanks a lot…

    It actually took many frames, mainly because I could not get close enough and I had to avoid sea water getting into my camera…I was standing about 100 mts. inside the sea and the waves were quite strong there, so after every click of the camera, I had to take the camera high above the head.

    Thanks for the encouraging words…

    … I need to run now. I shall reply to the rest when I return …

  12. Indeed a very strong picture though I would probably have to agree with a lot of what kathleen said above. One really important note here. Why do we not get some sort of caption/context/info, even a few words to tell us at least where the photograph was taken? This is a classic travel destination photo that I think really needs that location information.

    Besides that a very good pic and congratuations to the photographer.


  13. I agree that some text about the image would help to give us more background (of course). I agree that the photos on the website should be much larger and have less border, but that is not the image or issue at hand. I think that Kathleen brings a very interesting point to the table…one that I had not before considered. The image is pretty perfect…and I do not, in any regard, submit this comment as a degradation to the integrity of the photograph or the one who took it. I simply say that it is quite amazing…and something that must have required a lovely amount of patience…Cartier-Bresson was the master of the decisive moment…only he waited and watched and patiently sat and observed for long periods of time to attain and record this moment. This work echoes such an effort…Work like this makes me feel as if I’ve accomplished nothing…I feel as though that came off sounding (or reading) like I am something jealous and untalented…that is not what I meant…I simply meant that imagery like this makes me feel like I have work to do…and say it with my own voice…If I shot this same day with the same subject, my image would have a completely different feel because my image would reflect my own style, which is different from Subhrajit’s. Anyway, this is not about me
    (late nights + wine = rambling and stream-of-conscious writing on BuRN). In my own, apparantly very round-about way, I think that this image, as is the other work on Subhrajit’s site, is remarkable… and holds a quality of amazingness for which I will strive.

  14. Technicalities – I LOVE this whole image – the composition, the richness of color, the depth of field, the crisp sharpness – can we talk about this sometime? I know how to color correct, and in a sunlit setting such as this, it’s easy to figure out in a raw editor what colors are right, but in mixed lighting, evening shots, with warm lights and cool atmosphere – what is right? where is white? is there a white? It’s something I often wonder…

  15. JIM…
    I am a big fan of NatGeo and I really love their stuff. If there was one greatest motivational factor in my photography life, it is NatGeo photography and their photographs. And now, following the photographs in burn magazine is also helping me (silently) everyday.

    I quite understand your concerns and many thanks for pointing them out.

    As regards the white borders (SIDNEY), I think I can change them. That will not be much of a problem. Only thing that was bothering me was that without some sort borders, the photographs were looking very bland (in that size) against the black background. I any case, I shall do something in this regard shortly.

    As regards the size of the photos (HERVE), I am in a difficult situation. This one is a transitory website (it is free) that I have made to showcase some of my work till I am able to put up a permanent one. I have made this website actually inspired by those of various photographers here in burn. But, the problem is that the pages in this website do not permit bigger photos to be displayed in the slideshow. May be removing the borders altogether is an option because that will make the photos bigger in display. In any case, I shall keep your advice in mind.

    Thanks a lot…

    It was taken at Digha beach near the West Bengal – Orissa border in India.

    Thanks for your encouraging words…

    You can always call me Bodo! I think that presupposes that we have become friends…right?
    And thanks a lot amiga for all that you have said. I have no words to describe my feelings. You are most welcome to visit my country and please remember that whenever you decide to visit us, this friend of yours will be there to assist you in whatever way he is permitted.

    Thanks a lot…

    :-) Well, I quite appreciate what you say. Many thanks for bringing up this important topic of discussion. In fact, after reading your comment, I am almost ashamed of this so-called “perfection” of this photo :-) To tell you the truth, I never tried (and try) to achieve any perfect result. Honestly, all I wanted to achieve for this photo was it’s ‘timing’, in other words, I tried to click at what I thought to be ‘the right moment’. If I have been able to do that, then I am happy. Other ‘perfections’ that you mention are may be because I had my luck with me that day since I had no real control over those ‘perfections’. I quite realize that photographs of fishermen throwing their nets have been tried by millions of photographers many times over in their lives. Let us say, this is just my version of it.

    I have slightly different take on this topic. To me perfection is subjective and varies from one person to another. I really do like the photos that you mention as intensely as I would like any good so-called ‘perfect’ photo. However, personally, I shall not reject any photograph in my mind just because the poor photographer was unlucky enough and happened to get it ‘perfect’.

    And, many thanks Kathleen for your encouraging words.

  16. NICK…
    I am really sorry that I forgot to put the location information. It was taken at Digha beach near the West Bengal – Orissa border in India. If you need any other information on this photo, please let me know.
    As regards my take on the very important point raised by Kathleen, please refer to my reply to her comment above.

    CARRIE …
    Thanks for the encouraging words…

    Thanks a lot. Waiting for more on the point you raise.


    “To me perfection is subjective and varies from one person to another…. However, personally, I shall not reject any photograph in my mind just because the poor photographer was unlucky enough and happened to get it ‘perfect’.”–

    more ‘perfect’ words couldn’t have been said! :)))))


  18. subhrajit, my reference to NatGeo was a compliment (I want to be sure you took it that way). You have a great eye and, obviously, the skill to pull off “perfect” photos. There are people who think it isn’t photography unless it’s shot on a dark street punctuated with street lights highlighting the shape of a single mangy dog and taken with a Leica and a Noctilux. Nonsense. This photo is quality stuff.

  19. Hey Powers! You don’t have to like my photograph, but don’t call my dog Mangy!

    Laughing, Jim, Laughing; I don’t have a dog, although I am the servant to two cats.

    I agree, this photo is quality stuff.


  20. yes its a really well taken picture. Almost nothing in it technically that could be called out. Strictly didactic in nature, everything here tells us what it is about. Doesnt appeal to me as anything more than an illustration for a story, but it does that well.

  21. kathleen fonseca


    Yes, perfection is subjective, and i was very clear that my reaction is purely my own. I looked at your website and there are many such perfect shots. You have dedicated yourself to your craft and expressing your vision. In fact, your photos are quite poetic. You create tremendous beauty. “So what more does she want” you ask? Well, the work i cherish is not just eye candy. Some of your photos border on interesting, the guy running over the backs of the cattle in the water is just great! But the rest are eye candy. Trophy photos. The kind i will never be able to take and will not dedicate myself to learning how to take. I look for ambiguous, complex meanings. i look for irony, pathos, context, drama, life that exists beyond the frame, yes, lots of that. (your photos contain some of these elements some of the time). i look for the stimulus to look tomorrow and the next day and the day after and ten years after. i have a shelf of Nat Geo magazines that go way back. i take them down to relax and coat my eyeballs with lush, well, perfection. Like watching TV. I don’t have to work to enjoy them and they do educate, inform and entertain. But the books i take to bed with me, the ones that make me want to pick up my own camera and walk my legs off searching for that elusive moment, well, they aren’t Nat Geo.

    Again, i congratulate you for the excellence you have attained and i wish you much success. Your work surely deserve to be on many, many coffee tables.


    “There are people who think it isn’t photography unless it’s shot on a dark street punctuated with street lights highlighting the shape of a single mangy dog and taken with a Leica and a Noctilux. Nonsense. This photo is quality stuff.”

    Yeah, like when the exposure settings for Ilford 3200 film is a Hail Mary? Like that kind of photo? Well, when you’re right, you’re right. Except that’s perfection of a different type. And if it doesn’t have something else then i’d relegate that to eye candy as well. Just a different flavor. It’s not that easy, Jim, and you know it. A meaningless photograph is a meaningless photograph regardless of the camera, the location or the mangy mammal.


  22. kathleen fonseca

    “your photos are quite poetic” mm…thought about this and i would say polished is the better word.


  23. kathleen–

    you nailed it.
    give me messy, disheveled, imperfect any day.
    this is the kind of photo, i think, that appeals to the masses.
    good luck with your work, Subhrajit.


  24. Katia says: his is the kind of photo, i think, that appeals to the masses.

    As opposed to only other photographers? What’s wrong with appealing to the masses?

  25. I find myself shaking my head in wonder at Kat’s comments about not only this photo but all the work on Subhrajit’s website. Eye candy? Just goes to show how subjective photography is, not only for the photographer but for the viewers as well. And I guess I wonder how/when NatGeo became a dirty word among serious photographers? Does no one remember that our very own DAH made his living for many years as a NatGeo photographer, in fact had 40 photo essays published in that magazine? Not that David is the be-all-end-all of photographers but I think most here would agree that he does pretty fine work.

    I understand Kat’s hunger for more edgy work. I too love photos that push the boundaries and move into uncharted territory. Bob Black annd Kyunghee Lee come immediately to mind. At the same time I do not turn my nose up at photos that show a perfection of balance and beauty, both artistically and technically. It may not be the direction I want to go with my own work but that doesn’t mean I can’t see its value and applaud the photographer who goes there.

    Regarding Subhrajit’s body of work as seen on his website, I find a depth of soul expressed there. Yes, the photos are beautifully captured and composed but, to my eye, there is so much more than that. I feel the life of the people and this ancient culture pulsing through each image. Such a different reaction from Kat’s. But I’d guess that our life experiences are different too and it is through the eyes of our own lives that each of us views art of any kind.


  26. different strokes for different folks..

    certainly – their are a whole bunch of photographs circulating which are similar.. similar in intention and in authorship.. style and content..
    .. and i’m taking about the wider industry rather than the photo above, although sure – i have seen a bunch of photos of this profession.. maybe even this moment.
    does that spoil the enjoyment of another one?
    not when it is executed as well as this..
    just love that boiling sea.. imagining the photographer jumping the wave or getting a soaking..
    doesn’t mean i love it more than other photos or that only this kind of phto strikes me..

    different strokes for different folks and all that.. i think this phtoo represents a kind of photography which has scarcely been featured on burn, so i’m glad to see it here.


  27. Subhrajit,

    I see you can handle yourself quite skillfully in responding to criticism!

    By now I’m sure you’ve discovered that no photograph will please everybody, especially here on ‘Burn’. There’s a wide range of aesthetic taste, to say the least. In fact, I’d say the ‘center of gravity’ of aesthetic taste here on ‘Burn’… as reflected in both DAH’s choices for posting, and in the comments… clusters significantly far away from my own much of the time. There are times when I think, why am I wasting my time reading all these comments by people I know I will never agree with, and trying to appreciate pictures that I don’t really appreciate all that much? But then up comes a photo or essay that I can in fact respond to positively, and there are always at least a few commentators who seem to be talking sense to me. So often I think there’s something to be learned here. I’m not about to give up my own aesthetic sense… but I don’t mind if it is s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d a bit… and it’s good to know what others are thinking, even if we often don’t agree.

    The questions that occur to me in looking at this photo, and at the other pictures on your website, are not ‘criticisms’, since I see what you are apparently trying to do and I’m basically in sympathy with your aesthetic. I’m not thinking, “this is perfect… this is polished… this is eye candy… this is travel poster stuff…”, but rather, how could this be even better, within the spectrum of your own aesthetic? You’re not going to start taking different kinds of pictures… but are there things that would make this picture even better, and maybe win over a few more viewers? (Although you seem to have plenty of admirers already!) If I had taken this picture… and it’s the kind of picture I might well try to take (and I’m not saying I would be as successful as you have been)… and then looked at it on the wall for a while… I would still like it, and be happy to show it to others, but I would start asking myself, “could I somehow get (for example) more of the fisherman’s face and expression into the picture? And still have that gorgeous dynamic sea and sky color balance, that moment when the net is fully extended?” Rather than making the picture less ‘perfect’ or less ‘polished’, how about ramping up the intensity with even more perfection? I’m not saying that I myself could bring this off… but maybe it is something to try for?

    About the website… I understand the limitations you are working with… if possible, I would make the photos a little larger and shrink the white borders to about 5 or 6 pixels wide.

    So glad you are part of the ‘Burn’ community!

  28. Nobody needs my opinion on this one….:)
    Or better , everyone knows what i’m going to say..
    I wish i was a little kid… and i wish it was my birthday….
    and i wish my mommy would buy me a book….
    with that “fishnet” photo on the cover….
    that would make my day…

    …. Stock photography…. Travel photography…. post card…
    ( yep , this photo is Jim Powers style…. this photo is a moneymaker…
    and what is wrong of making money Jim would ask? Nothing at all Jim….nothing at all!!!
    ohhh wait a minute … there could be something wrong with “moneymakers”….
    Its “selling” their souls to the corporate devil” …Thats the ONLY problem with this photo )

    It’s like a stripper ( friend of mine )… Beautiful, but NO SOUL…. SOLD…
    ( this photo will sell better than both Bob Black & K.Lee combined together…)

    morning y’all

    As I said earlier, I did appreciate what you said in your first comment and I honestly have no issues with others’ points of view. In fact, the time I spend here in burn everyday would be a wastage in the long run if I don’t try to learn about other styles of photography and other views and I think that is why this place is such a good place to be for any aspiring photographer like me. But as an aspiring photographer, the only thing that worries me slightly is that people were going to throw away/reject my work or won’t buy them just because they think it to be ‘perfect’.

    You said “That said, i would not buy this photograph, or the book or magazine that contains it.” Here I was worried. I don’t want any magazine/newspaper to lose their business just because of one of my ‘perfect’ photographs. As I gather, magazine owners/editors do not have very friendly terms with guys who make them lose business.

  30. … but, to play the advocate… this photo would do as an EXCELLENT FILLER in a NatGeo essay….
    and again, JIM, nothing wrong with NatGeo as long as it stays at my dentists office…..

  31. I agree entirely wit Patricia. It’s been a mystery and a major frustration to me here at Burn (and elswhere) that a magazine dedicated to photography, read by photographers/editors/writers, is so often pigeon-holed in the discussions. As Patricia mentioned (thanks for the lovely plug Patricia), my work couldnt be mroe different than Subrahjit’s (or most of the stuff here at Burn) and yet, I respond to the photograph, as both a photographer and as a person that loves photography. I have LOTS of problems with NG, but I respect the magazine, grew up on it and, most importantly, respect the photographers and writers who have worked for and continue to work for the magazine. As photographers, surely we can not only enjoy but plant ourselves into work that is different from our own aesthetic or philosophic meanderings.

    I haven’t been touched by all the work at Burn, but by nearly all of it, in one way or another, all of it feeds me as a photographer (ideas, orientations, techniques), as an artist (new approach, new perspective) and as a person who loves to look at pictures. It is a technically accomplished picture AND it contains a world of narrative, more over, i cannot look at this picture without imagining the story or the rest of the narrative. Maybe that’s the problem, some look at the Pics of the Day as stand-alone pics, rather than parts of a great photographic narrative. It’s always been a problem for me: the creation of ‘singles’ and i tend to see all work within a framework of other narrative forces.

    I also am not interested in perfect at all, but i dont think this is a ‘perfect’ photograph: to the contrary i find it a photograph that is about the story of this man, his livelihood, his country, the burden of hauling up against those waves with only a net, etc….

    It is true that we all have our own clicks and clacks, and assessing the worth of a photograph is entirely an individual thing, but ghettozing ourselves to react to only a specific type of photography, seems a very unhealthy and ultimately not terribly valuable orientation.

    give me nat geo pics, give me Private pics, give me Vu and Magnum, and by all means give me Christian Boltanski

    it’s all the same story….


  32. Subhrajit,
    come on now… is that all you care about? Selling it?
    What Kathleen said is that She or Katia and definitely me wouldnt buy it…
    But Jim POWERS that has the POWER of a newspaper , would!
    So there you have it… You can sell and you can sell good my friend…
    Dont panic…

  33. Katia!!!

    How do I wish the “masses”(yes, I think there is a condescendence in speaking of masses, as some conglomerate, which is the only reason the term is used in discourse)) would actually REALLY pay attention, possibly like, a photo like this (Natl GEo readership may be plenty, but hardly… arghh, the masses) . It would be a better world…

    messy shots vs straight. Here (sigh) we go again…. You know, Picasso used to make his own versions of classical masterpieces, you can guess the end result. Yet, everytime he went back to the original painter, with (one of) his “covers”, he’d look and look and say “yep! it’s the same”. There may be messy, loose photographers, but messy, loose shots, I do not believe in that. After all is said, loose or straight, it’s the same, it’s a photograph. IMO

  34. more than the problem with either this photo or a print by bob is photo fascism..

    come on all.. another rant about ‘art’ vrs ‘nat geo’ is as old as any snaps style..


  35. KATIA…
    You have taken me into deep waters with your valuable comment. In this learning process, I am also desperately trying to learn and understand the stuff that would make the CLASSES (not the MASSES) love my work. May be, by ‘masses’, you include my grandmother or the friends of my kid sister who will say “WOW! WHAT A PHOTOGRAPH!”. But I am not satisfied with that. I am here to seek the CLASSES to be with me, because they are the guys who matter in this field for an aspiring photographer. So, please don’t leave me hanging in mid air. Please also tell me something about how can I have the CLASSES with me. I shall wait for your views on that.

  36. panos skoulidas

    “…..i find it a photograph that is about the story of this man, his livelihood, his country, the burden of hauling up against those waves with only a net, etc….”

    Bob, :)
    i disagree here…this photo is sooo “pleasing” to the eye that makes me wanna quit my bar-tending job
    and go be a fisherman in India…
    Too pictorialistic/fake for me…I see NO struggle…
    its like a CORONA beer commercial… And i love CORONA… And i love commercials…
    Commercials pay bills…

  37. panos skoulidas

    :…Here I was worried. I don’t want any magazine/newspaper to lose their business just because of one of my ‘perfect’ photographs. As I gather, magazine owners/editors do not have very friendly terms with guys who make them lose business….”

    My oh my oh my oh my Subhrajit…!!!!
    Is that all you care about? Please the “owners” and the “editors”?????
    You will never find your own voice this way my dear one, sorry!

  38. Panos, Nowhere did Subhajit say he wanted to make money (frankly, wnat docu photo sells a bundle these days,You tell me. S. would do better as a Bollywood paparazzi). Everyone of us (yes, even me!!!), has sold photos. That’s the business. Magnum, David, Avedon, shcmuck, they sell their photos.

    Maybe he’d love to work with a publisher, a magazine. arghhh, be succesful at it. Where is the sin? Who wouldn’t? Another thing, back to what Bob wrote about being a bit western centric. Here, Europe/USA we just love the concept of the artists living for his art.

    No doubt, India does have also irreductible starving artists (and others!), but we are still talking about a place where people might not approach artistic pursuits as ME vs the world (world being corporrate, family duites, social ladder), and on the contrary, bring strong pragmatism in the pursuit of it.

    As an example, I tell you, you do what you and I have done in the past 2 years (ie. incredible freedom with little money) , not in California, but in India, and we’d be dead of hunger within 6 months, froget starving. You get pragmatic very quickly in a place like India…. :-)))

    Well, where you read greed, I see good pragmatism, and maybe where you great romance, in being a continuosulystruggling photographer, S or some camera holder in India might just think: nonsense!

  39. Panos,

    I think you have to re-install your sarcasm filter.

    I get the feeling that Subhrajit is craftily responding in the same veiled, condescending manner
    as were some of the replies directed his way.

  40. I rate this photograph by Subhrajit: to say that it’s too perfect or too easy is incorrect. Take away the colour and you still have a great photograph. He had to work for this image and he nailed it. Remember that it is only a single photograph: if it were shown as part of an essay it would be ranked as one of everyone’s favorites.


  41. PANOS…
    :-) In the process, you have made me more panicky!!! No my friend, I don’t really care about selling it or any other photos of mine (till date) because when I took up the camera some long time back, I took it up just out of respect to this great art form and I never ever dreamt of being making it to any magazine, let alone a magazine like this. And this is my first publication ever in any magazine or newspaper, honestly. I love NatGeo photography is just another fact like thousand other facts…I have one brother and one sister is another fact like that. I respect each and every opinion here and that is why I worry because even before I start my life as a photographer, I do not want to get typecast.

  42. living for his art…. Oops, talk about being centric. yet, we often see the starving artist mostly as a man, understandble given the long history of male domination, and given the choice life prerogatives (romance of starving artist being one)…

    (I think I just saved myself with the female readership by the breadth of an hair…. Sweating! :-)))))

  43. panos skoulidas

    March 16, 2009 at 11:57 am
    :-) In the process, you have made me more panicky!!!

    Subhrajit,:)… no i dont want you to panic… not at all…!
    Im happy that at least , YOU, realized that i wasn’t sarcastic either!
    i do believe that this photo ( and your style ) can, TOTALLY sell..
    And Herve is right…In California i can be the “starving artist” as much as i want…
    but not in India…

  44. panos skoulidas

    yes, yes…send me the new filter “plug-in”..please..
    can’t afford it!

  45. PANOS…
    Please don’t read too much into my words and don’t take me amiss. Tell me one thing my friend. Would you like the fact that people are rejecting a book or magazine just because it contains one of your photographs? How would you feel about it? Personally, I would probably sell potato in our local market and make good money and shall live happily ever after. But, there may be thousand other good photographs in that book or magazine which may satisfy and particular taste and justify buying it. The “buy” thing that you are worried about, I had to deal with because the particular portion of the comment mentioned ‘buying’. Nothing else.

  46. yes, yes…send me the new filter “plug-in”..please..
    can’t afford it!

    K… The plug-in is free but only works with Adobe CS4 (so you have to pay for an upgrade)
    CS4 is optimized for working with the latest Apple OSX (so you have to pay for the upgrade)
    The latest OSX is optimized for the latest Apple Intel machine (so you have to pay for the upgrade)

    but….. the plug-in is free :>)))))

  47. Panos, this dark, grainy, fuzzy photography that seems to be the thing has become the cliche. I’m ready for more sharp, well composed and executed photos like this one.

  48. panos skoulidas


    “…Tell me one thing my friend. Would you like the fact that people are rejecting a book or magazine just because it contains one of your photographs? How would you feel about it?…”

    …. i would feel GREAT…more “power” to me…. Why you think i dont get any calls from natgeo?
    but anyway… to be “serious” again, i dont think this question makes sense… i dont think there is ever been a case that people rejected a book or a mag over one “loose” picture…
    ( unless is a nude photo into a christian magazine… although i think that would actually double the sales..:)
    speaking of “Power”… where the hell is Jim?

  49. May I just say that our friend Subhrajit is one of the most mature voices I’ve yet heard (read) on Burn. He keeps his cool even when our dear Panos is sticking it to him, nor does he show a shred of defensiveness when his work is called “eye candy.”

    What a joy it is to read your comments, Boho. I call you that because I would be honored to have a friend like you. I have much to learn from you, not just photographically but as an indivdual who has a tendency to lose my cool, especially here!


  50. Panos and Kat, no offense meant to either of you. I know you’re both just expressing your opinions. And that’s what Burn is all about. I’ve jsut beenimpressed with Subhrajit’s responses.


  51. panos skoulidas

    Oh lovely Patricia….
    Everybody here knows already that my MAJOR-est INFLUENCE is ( no, no, no its not SOBOL …:)
    its… SIMON C. from the American Idol..

    ME? sticking it? to anyone ?
    love you Paula ;-)

  52. panos skoulidas

    …. and Pat,
    i do believe that if me & you were acting in detective style tv show…
    you would be the “good” cop and i would be the “bad” one…
    but still cops… Same Coin, different Sides…
    love u Pat

  53. panos skoulidas

    Jim Powers
    March 16, 2009 at 1:06 pm
    Panos, this dark, grainy, fuzzy photography that seems to be the thing has become the cliche.

    hold on Jim…
    what dark, grainy , fuzzy thing…
    who r u referring too?
    ( bob black ? if so, since when bob b is a “cliche”????? )

  54. ALL…

    sorry, i just do not have time right now to be here….just skimmed the comments and they are going just about how i figured….

    back with a new and very different post in the morning..isn’t that what you already know??.please do not kill each other in the meantime…

    cheers, david

  55. BROTHER PANOS ;))))))))))…..i love fish and oceans, but im a horrendous fisherman (ask my brother who is actually, for real, a commerical fisherman), so that’s the amazing story i get here :))))….and it doesnt remind me too much of corona, cause the size of those waves and the effort to throw the net mean: dark & stormy (gossling rum & jamaican beer)…I actually like this photograph MORE than some of David’s Storm pics from OBX….and you know I LOVE harvey! :)))…hugs, b

    SUBHRAJIT :)))…panos is the only bad cop i could ever drink with ;)))…y;ou’ve handled your self brilliantly….and the more Panos teases you, the greater his affection for you and the work…believe me, :))))…and do not worry about the fear of ‘perfection’ there is no such thing (contrary to what the idiotic camera and lens manufacturers try to convince the buying public), your work is strong would be pleasing to many….those who like ‘clean’ work and those who like ‘messy’ work….

    there is only this: interesting stories, interesting photography….from where those stories originate and what those stories ‘look’ like are infinitely less important than the heart of the matter:

    does the image or story move/compell/speak/open up….. it’s a wonderful photograph….be proud :)))

    and that comes from a sloppy film guy :))

  56. subhrajit

    keep doing what you do my friend.. look closely at your own life and your own interests – and follow them with your camera.. might be fishing.. might be music.. might be stamp collecting – you know.
    you have a good sense for photography from your site (which is down right now?!) and living where you do.. where the beautiful and the utterly demoralizing co-exist.. it will be a fantastic world to look through your eyes at.
    choose something that really interests you and photograph it for a month.. year.. as long as it takes until that is represented and then move on.

    the photo-extremism on here can be just-for-the-sake-of-it :o)

  57. Sounds like the entries by the Encyclopedists in Asimov’s “Foundation.” Now, if we could just find a psyco-historian to predict the future of photography.

  58. Mark:

    “( bob black ? if so, since when bob b is a “cliche”????? )” Thursday. Around 4:15

    dont you mean 4:20….

    isnt that international Bong time? :)))))….

    that’s what i thought ;))))


  59. Beautiful image. There is such power in the sky and sea. It’s a great shot that you should be proud of, despite what the critics have to say.

  60. panos skoulidas

    bob… out of the hospital today…
    i wish i were more compassionate…
    i hate being a nurse…
    but better here than in that f*****g hospital..
    i had enough..:)

    Roberta, exactly
    im with you, f**k what the critics has to say..
    in fact , f**k all critics…
    praise the lord, roberta & viva la revolution..

  61. panos skoulidas

    … and roberta may peace prevail,
    one day very soon when jesus comes back to earth ( second coming ),
    and the lions will be harmless pets playing with the faithful christians…

    but… till that day… WELCOME TO “BURN”…
    a place far far away from your heavens….and wishes…
    welcome to “BURN”…
    ( and remember , always have some Neosporin at your pocket, when walking around here…)
    laughing in a devilish manner…
    big hug

  62. ALL..

    ok, just a quickie…

    and i knew this would be a main topic of discussion for this photo..this is surely a Natgeo “style” photo…or at least one type of Natgeo style photo..

    poor Natgeo…can we really blame Natgeo for everything??

    first, the editors of Natgeo openly say always that they are NOT A PHOTOGRAPHY MAGAZINE…they are clearly a magazine for the masses…no intention for otherwise…

    second, there should be a distinction between the motives of the photographers and the magazine…if i were to publish the most “leading edge” photographs from some of the Natgeo photographers , you would see some very fine imagery…some of these do end up in serious anthologies of photography…the photographers i know who shoot there look to the magazine as a RESOURCE for the making of work, not as a final resting place …their personal books are where the story really lies i.e. Allard, Abell, Bendikson, Anderson,Cobb etc….

    in the same breath i must also say that any magazine is potentially dangerous to a photographer’s creative health…there is always the danger of being co-opted and led down a path of getting just a little too comfy for the edge one needs to do really special work…nothing beats working on your own if you possibly can…assignments can lead you to places you might never have gone, often lead to high adventure, a good world view, and if one strings them together on a subject dear to ones heart, better than most grants….but, the assignment photographer must always take care…separate what the editors need from what the photographer really cares about…in other words, the photographer must be creatively selfish in the best sense of the word….

    no fine photographer should ever shoot for someone else’ vision….when i was a teenager i read this same “philosophy” from Irving Penn who said ( i paraphrase) ” all you have to do is know difference between what is commercially viable and your personal work..as long as you know the difference there is no problem..work hard for your commercial work, yet harder for yourself “…most great photographers past and present have/had a commercial side as do almost all great artists in any medium…and also please remember that “art” photography (whatever that is) is VERY commercial….and some magazine photography of course becomes commercial in the art galleries…sorry , writing poorly..rushing..going ..bye…

    damn, there went my siesta time!!! running…..

    cheers, david

  63. Without any hesitation I would put this photo right up on my livingroom wall and enjoy looking at it every single day and night until I turn to dust.
    My call is: Give this man an assignment to photograph the coast of West Bengalen!
    I happily volunteer to carry Subhrajits camera gear. No joke!
    Subhrajit, to try and please other people with your photography is good and well, but personally I feel that first of all you have to be satisfied with your own work. When you think it is a good image, then the main goal is achieved. If you can please editors or other viewer with it – even better. But that is the extra. If you ask me, photography to me is something very selfish, because I like to look at the world through a lens and see how the world looks like on a piece of film or on millions of light meters. And I like to go where I am not supposed to go. And if you have your own vision, oh boy, I guess that will be rock‘n roll ;-)
    One of my students recently showed me a picture and told me she din’t like it. But when I said I liked it, she said, okay, then I will like it as well. Ahrg §$%@# dssss#@=&&! No, no, no, you can‘t say this. You have to believe in your work first of all. I admit that at the start, this can be a bit confusing, because you see so many differnt approaches to photography and you have to find your own vision! There will always be people who will like your work and others who won‘t. Trust your own instinct and belief, you will be on the right track. Subhrajit, you are already on a good track my friend! As Panos said: Don‘t panic! Keep moving!
    Another pause.
    An editor recently told me: „Reimar, we don‘t want to see photographs that show the problems of the world, we want photographs that give answers, pictures, that offer new ideas.“
    This left me thinking and contemplating. Does such a thing exist? Can a photographic essay fullfill this expectaion?
    Haven‘t we got the responsibility to provide these answers, which are needed more than ever? Esspecially in a place like India, where I have never been, but I assume there are many serious issues that have to be looked at.
    Subhrajit, how do you think about photographs that make the viewer uncomfortable, that provoke and which are not so nice to look at, like the picture you have taken of a family that lives in a car?
    Looking forward to hear your thoughts.

  64. panos skoulidas

    … sorry David ,
    ( laughing ),
    but i can be a little more eloquent and “shorter” than you…

    All i was saying to Subrhajit ( and Rafal, the other day ):
    The sooner we ( we- me included ) stop imitating, the sooner we will discover our own
    real voices…
    Thats all ( and thats a great responsibility , btw )
    big hug

  65. panos skoulidas

    and as roberta said:
    f**k what editors and all magazines has to say…
    ( and till the day that bobb will become a “cliche”….till that day…
    VIVA BOBB , thats all i have to say… i was trying to rhyme unsuccessfully here… sorry :(…)

  66. He was there. He made the picture. Kudos. I think it’s a delightful photograph. I wish I’d made the picture. Felt the surf around my ankles. Smelled the sea. Heard the sea. It’s immersive.

  67. “… When I stopped believing in God,
    I started believing in Love…”
    Protagoras, 2009

  68. If I may, reading David. I never saw the debate as doing commercial photography, or even that one side of one’s output is for commerce and another personal. But that it takes precedence over one’s personal voice, and make it less central to one’s life (or as a hobby) Though of course, there is no problem with doing commercial work if one does not feel it so important to have one’s personal vision to be so recognized, publicly. Or in any hurry that it does.

    PS: OK, Natl GEO is for “the masses” (english speaking ones. Where translated, like in France, it is definitely not mass-read). No Problem, I am taking one zero off what I call mass consumption! :-)

    Actually, I once asked on RT if the Natl GEO was not making its most (massive?) revenue from its cable avatar (no one answered). Traveling, It’s just about on every TV dial in India, Thailand, Cambodia, you name it, where you can guess the “masses” can’t afford the translated magazine.
    Unfortunately, It’s unwatchable, as half of the broadcast is mostlly ads and previews.

  69. kathleen fonseca

    Sidney Atkins, Subhrajit and ALL:

    Well, Sidney, your comment is way the hell up there and i´m at work and haven´t time to quote you directly but you gave me the reason and the fuel to add a post-script to my earlier comments. I said the photograph was perfect but i wouldn´t buy it or any magazine-book where it was printed. i also said that pretty much went for the rest of Subhrajit´s work. First though, a correction. I didn´t have a chance to look at the B&W work and still don´t have that luxury of time so i was/am referring to the color work. Second, my post-script:

    Sidney, if i remember correctly what you said was the only imperfection in this photograph is that we really don´t see the man´s face. That in the future Subhrajit could aspire to even greater perfection by allowing us to get to know his subjects a little better. Well, you nailed the real problem i have with this and the rest of S´s work. I know nothing about the people other than what they´re doing. The people are really just adornments in his photos, picturesque if you will. It´s not ABOUT them. It´s about, as Patricia said, the flavor of the place. Well, sugar and spice is nice, but i would like to see what makes these people tick. i want to know about THEM, how they feel or think or sweat or frown or smile or interact or whatever. There were any number of photos i felt that he had arranged and even may have had repeated over and over till he got the thing right. I´m not saying he did this, mind you, but they´re always so perfectly composed that they´re beyond belief. i shoot the street in a foreign country and i´ll tell you, i only WISH spontaneous events would arrange themselves as beautifully in my camera as they do in Subhrajit´s.

    So really, my problem has nothing to do with an art vs. commercial debate or NatGeo or anything else. It´s about what i respond to and i am not very much a fan of photographers shooting lovely scenes at a respectful distance that include people as if they are things. Because for me, and i´m talking ME, guys..it´s ALL about the people, the individual..that´s pretty much all i care about. The human drama. Subhrajit, what i´m saying is get closer, get wet, get dirty, interact with these people, unless there´s some sort of personal or cultural reason that you do not do this and if so then i guess we´re dealing with a whole ´nother kettle of fish. Because pretty pictures of India or anywhere else have been done to death. But YOUR unique view of the individual in addition to the flavor would result in some pretty unbelievable work.


  70. kathleen fonseca

    ¨But YOUR unique view of the individual in addition to the flavor would result in some pretty unbelievable work.¨ and when i say that Subhrajit, i´m talking Salgado…if you can do what Sidney recommended, then you blast yourself right out of the realm of travel brochures into a whole ´nother place. And then, THEN i´d buy your book. And you can do this. i know it.


  71. “…separate what the editors need from what the photographer really cares about…”


    use commissions to pay for what you want to do.. shoot 1/4 for the editors and 3/4 for yourself..
    photograph 100% as yourself and all will be well..

    DAH.. hope to talk soon.. lots to talk about and have a laptop with webcam to show off bouncing top cat on my lap.

  72. “Visit India… Where fishermen are happy and the Fish are happily jumb into your net…
    Indian department of Tourism and Fish affairs.

  73. SUBHRAJIT – i would buy this print and anything it was published in. for one thing – i like the image very much. secondly, i am a big believer in supporting photographers – i love buying prints, books, etc – even when they are not always ‘my style’… for variety, growth, and the love of photography. Good work!!

  74. Kathleen, is there any way, thru your own photos, we can see what you mean by

    “Because for me, and i´m talking ME, guys..it´s ALL about the people, the individual..that´s pretty much all i care about”.

    I googled your name, found 13 pictures at usefilm.com, but they are actually not of people (OK, one sleeping, shot from above, far) and the rest, depending strongly on composition, not chance or chaos, quite as a painter would arrange colors and volumes on a canvas.

    When feeling strongly about someone’s output, adding how you see, feel, prefer, etc… it is fair of us to ask you to illustrate your point with your own work, no?

  75. Subhrajit,

    David B says “keep doing what you do my friend” – good advice – make it personal.

    Love your work, be yourself,


  76. panos skoulidas

    “…make it personal…”.
    yes Mike… thats my point …
    you are even “shorter” than me!
    oh, oh 4.20 in LA

  77. WEll, ok if she is not, Panos and maybe what she does, doesn’t easily show it’s “about the people”, though She is all about people herself, and I do believe her (1). Therefore, it doesn’t have to show in Subhajit’s pictures, or any of us, that it’s all about the people for him too.

    (1)Here on Burn, I hardly see that for anyone, it is not about the people, photographer or not, all the time.

    Maybe she could illustrate then with an another photographer, within the same range of work (travel, ethnic, life is hard but beautiful, Nature meets man, that type of images).

  78. panos skoulidas

    … now , check this out Subhrajit…
    if you would yell, or shout to that fisherman and create some kind of emotion…
    i would then say that you “made it personal”… then i would love it… not just a postcard!
    You know what i mean? you got already down all the techniques , exposures, everything…
    “emotion” and “connection” is thats its missing? Now its closed, i feel im watching through
    a tube or a tv or from faraway…:(
    Its the unexpected, the unfinished thats missing… IT IS YOU….

  79. kathleen fonseca


    i should not even dignify your post with a response since if i was a painter, sculptor, collector, editor auto mechanic or housewife i would still have the same right you do to my own opinion.

    However, since for some reason you seem to think i must defend my right to think about or feel the power of a photograph here´s a link. i have no idea if it will work because i have never provided it before, nor have i tried it. But if it doesn´t work, go to altphotos.com do a search for ´dyathink´


    One more thing, since i have only been shooting for ten years and the, what, five photos you unearthed at Usefilm were shot in 2004, they would seem to be a not altogether reliable source of data for your study of my critical capacities.

    My opinion and respect for you just went way down. Too bad too.

    best anyway

  80. kathleen fonseca


    Please forgive my snarkey response. The link i provided works. I just tried it. I really think your post was uncalled for and it makes me feel really, really bad if you want to know the truth. i really shouldn´t have to defend my written critique of this photo with show-and-tell examples from my own work. Furthermore, i gave Salgado as an example of the kind of work in this same genre that i admire. Maybe you were too busy googling my name to read my post all the way through. But that´s ok..maybe once you go to altphotos you´ll see i do put my money where my mouth is.


  81. panos skoulidas

    I envy you!
    You r doing your dental work in Thailand???
    how much is it for a “grille” 50cent style ?
    in Thailand?

  82. kathleen fonseca


    and one more thing..haha..man, you wound me up now..i first saw this guy´s work at Altphotos and was blown away. He, singlehandedly, changed my way of thinking about photography. Well, not exactly changed it but galvanized it. The way i reacted to his photos (most particularly his photography in India) was so powerful because i had been for years looking and looking at people and suddenly i knew why. His name is Stefan Rohner and he is a Magnum photographer, or used to be anyway. He was my very first hero and he encouraged me and for that i am forever grateful.


    so there´s another example for you. i do not come to this passion for people and street lightly, Herve. When i say it´s everything to me, take that to the bank. i may shoot nature once in awhile because it balances the stress of the things i see and deal with in Central America but at the end of the day, it´s people that rock my rickshaw.

    have i adequately replied to your inquiry? man i hope so.


  83. what is it with you guys, you’re scaring the wannabes. so if i dont like a picture if it gives me bad vibes coz im an idjit in photography, i have to prove it?

    luvs all around please. this is about talking about one thing we all love: LOVE PEACE PHOTOGRAPHY…

    that means three things… sorry. gotta get some grub.

    (pssst… bodo… i think your pictures just again has oodles and oodles of RESPECT towards the people you photograph. seeping through the pixels, showing through the pores. natgeo style or otherwise, these pictures are totally yours because you made them… nobody else in this site can claim they did. more power.)

  84. kathleen fonseca


    and one more thing..haha..man, you wound me up now..i first saw this guy´s work at Altphotos and was blown away. He, singlehandedly, changed my way of thinking about photography. Well, not exactly changed it but galvanized it. The way i reacted to his photos (most particularly his photography in India) was so powerful because i had been for years looking and looking at people and suddenly i knew why. His name is Stefan Rohner and he is a Magnum photographer, or used to be anyway. He was my very first hero and he encouraged me and for that i am forever grateful.


    so there´s another example for you. i do not come to this passion for people and street lightly, Herve. When i say it´s everything to me, take that to the bank. i may shoot nature once in awhile because it balances the stress of the things i see and deal with in Central America but at the end of the day, it´s people.

    have i adequately replied to your inquiry? man i hope so.


  85. panos skoulidas

    Stefan Rohner is ( or used to ) a regular
    blogger here… and sorry.,never been a magnum photographer…
    just for the history…

  86. http://altphotos.com/Gallery.aspx?&a=MemberGallery&memberid=1319

    Now was that so difficult?

    To be honest,I had a similar thought as Herve. Not that I wanted to see ‘proof’ of your
    legitimacy to put forward your opinions but rather to see ‘where’ those opinions are coming from.

    You have, seemingly, a very defined opinion as to what constitutes a good photograph and are quite
    eloquent at presenting said opinion.
    I think it’s only natural that some, who don’t know you, might be curious.

  87. kathleen fonseca


    Really? Stefan never was a Magnum photog? wow..now this is going back years since i first saw his work at altphotos so i don’t know where i got my info but it was pretty widely assumed that he was with Magnum and if he wasn’t well then, hmm..i have no idea how the legend began. Thanks for setting me straight on that score though it doesn’t change how i feel/felt about his work in India nor about the encouragement he gave me in the tiniest ways at a time when it made all the difference to me. Oh yeah, and about the other thing, thanks, guy..


    your a sweetie, did i ever tell you that?

  88. Panos wrote,
    ” you would yell, or shout to that fisherman and create some kind of emotion…
    i would then say that you “made it personal”… then i would love it… not just a postcard!”

    Right…. and that emotion would be completely artificial and disruptive to the subject.
    Do all the Magnum photogs run around shouting at their subjects to provoke a respones?

    Subhrajit has already personalized the image in the style of his photography.

    I think the problem some people have is that he has not personalized it in THEIR styles

  89. kathleen fonseca

    Panos, some people shoot life like they’re looking through a microscope at it, like it’s this peculiar state of being that’s done by everyone else, that when the camera is in front of their face they are not also participating, they’re separate with their machine recording everything. Like looking through a peep-hole in a fence. You are very much a force and a presence both in and out of your frames so it makes sense that you would engage the fisherman. I would not shout at him, but i would be watching his facial expressions to hopefully catch the right moment with enough of the net in the frame to let the viewer know what he’s doing but the photo wouldn’t be about the net or the ocean or the sky. It would ideally contain his look of determination, hope, boredom, frustration, distraction, happiness, whatever. Something else to tell me more about him. Right now he’s an anonymous person tossing a net. AND THAT’S OK! BUT IT’S NOT ENOUGH TO MAKE ME BUY A BOOK OR A MAGAZINE. Phew..like Patrica says, thank heavens we can all look at a photograph and have our own opinions and reactions…it’s all good!


  90. Mark,
    what Panos is saying that photo has no emotional connection with the subject. I ll say that this exact photo could have been shot with a 600mm without even getting wet.
    It’s a very eye pleasing photo but it stops right there.
    As part of a story, or a diptich. With other photo(s) having the “contact” – maybe.

    Cheers all – 3 hours since 4:20 have passed.

  91. kat,

    you be calling me no names now…. i know a bit more kung fu than photography… ayyyyayyyahh!


    you haven’t said, did you get frieda some 2/$5 ice cream?

  92. hahaha.

    im glad she’s better. even though you’re crazy (by whoever’s definition, yours, or mine since this website is about defining definitions) i now think you’re way cool.

    nut scared bout you no more. spring is here. i put my steel raincoat away. wink.

    takin up your offer. we shall meet one day.

  93. Listen, Kathleen, I read what you wrote, that excerpt that I reproduced in my post. To me, it seemed you talked about your own photography, that’s all.

    As for opinion of me, give me a break. you don’t know me and know little about me. Now, and before. All cordially said.

  94. Subhrajit,
    i am really enjoying your photograph, i find it to be a picture i want to look at, thats also the kind of wonderful light that I like to shoot in, beautiful color. the net looks organic.
    nice work, tried to follow the link but no joy?


  95. … where the hell is Jim?…

    Standing in an emergency room watching my best friend (next to my wife) die. Suddenly and without warning. A special person. Sorry folks, just needed to mark the occasion in some way. Too many funerals, too many sad rhymes.

    No need to respond it this. There is nothing left to say.

  96. Why didn’t you make available your work available, Kathleen (tru the name/link)? Is there something wrong or sneaky, googling a name? I don’t get it….. Bah, never mind.

    Salgado’s work took place in very specific locales, for very photo-journalistic intentions. That could be a next step for Subhajit. You see, we should be here to encourage people, not dsmiss their work as “sorry, perfect but not for me”. Subhajit got the chops to do very good work, and he does have a humanistic approach. Like probably all of us, he is in his learning curve, a work in progress. Just because he shoots pretty shots, IYO, doesn’t mean he will do only that all his life. Thru BURN, and others, he will get exposed to different trends,, see other possibilities for his [photography, question himself, etc…

    That is what we are supposed to do with each other, not pass final judgement.

    Rohner..Magnum?…. you got me here! :-))))


  97. ALL…
    It is just morning here in India and I just finished going through the comments. I shall reply to each and every one of them, but I need some time and right now I have to run…to work, to earn money so that I can continue my photography. But I want to thank you ALL, my friends, for your valuable inputs. Probably this thread has taught me more about ‘real’ photography more than anything else since the day I took up the camera because it directly relates and refers to my work.

    My site is reportedly undergoing some unscheduled maintenance. This is the message from the site:

    Notification Alerts From Weebly
    Weebly is currently undergoing some unscheduled maintenance. Your published website will temporarily be unavailable while we work as fast as possible to resolve this problem. If you are editing your site, you’ll also notice that your pictures are temporarily unavailable. We greatly apologize for the inconvenience this downtime causes you.

  98. kathleen fonseca


    I am so sorry to hear this terrible news about your friend. So terribly sorry. My condolences to you and his family. May he rest in peace.

    my very best:


  99. kathleen fonseca


    “When feeling strongly about someone’s output, adding how you see, feel, prefer, etc… it is fair of us to ask you to illustrate your point with your own work, no?”

    Actually, no, i don’t think that’s fair. My work has no bearing on my right to an educated opinion. And further, you didn’t ask me. If you had, i would have provided a link to a recent and relevant body of work. But instead, you googled me and found 13 really old photos and assumed they constituted the net sum of my photographic knowledge, experience and talent and posted your findings here so that i looked like a total dumbass. This is what disappointed me about you, Herve. It wasn’t very big of you.

    “Like probably all of us, he is in his learning curve, a work in progress.”

    Right, so Subhrajit is on a learning curve and i had better be REALLY nice to him (which i was) while you on the other hand are deciding that 13 photos taken in 2004 mean i couldn’t possibly know what i’m talking about in 2009? What happened to benefit of the doubt Herve? What happened to my learning curve? I don’t get one?

    I am noticing though, now that you’ve seen my work, that you no longer seem to have a problem with my right to have an opinion on spontaneous human interest photography only that i failed to adequately encourage Mr/Ms Subhrajit. Note to self, include encouragement qualifier with all opinions of a controversial nature.


  100. Children, children! Seriously, this is beyond tedious.

    Loved the photo though. Obviously Subhrajit is deeply committed and a class act to boot. I look forward to seeing more of his work in the future, and maybe the results of his riskier, looser work as well.

  101. JIM
    my thoughts are with you…
    I wish your friend well on his journey…
    peace to you..
    all of you..

  102. kathleen fonseca


    Sorry everyone and my apologies DAH for my part of this..can’t believe i got pulled into such a petty dialogue. dumb-me.

    Keep shooting, keep discussing..keep enjoying BURN..

    I am totally embarrassed..


  103. Ah, the wake is over….. (smirk)

    I did not say anything disparaging about your 13 photos, and I never assumed that was the sum of your work, just what I had about you for now (I checked lightstalkers too, no photos there it seemed). It’s rather plain to understand.

    I don’t buy about the Sneakiness of using google. If I had to look for hours, obsessively, yes, but it took a minute. I did not even open your thumbnails, and I did not unearth, or mention anything personal about you. Where do you see I made some final judgement about your work? Or even have any interest to do so now? Let’s see if David brings it up as an entry, then I will discuss, along with others, on it….

    And I said that I believe you are about people. I believe we all are, here. read, it’s there.

  104. kathleen fonseca

    Mark Tomalty

    just saw your earlier post..yes actually, it WAS difficult. You have no idea. i am more comfortable in public with words. My pictures are way more private for some inexplicable reason. Herve blindsided me and i lost my head. i really do apologize to everyone, especially Subhrajit and Herve of course. i feel like such a jerk. Next up will be a Lightstalkers Gallery. Promise. :)

    g’night all..hey, GRACIE!—zzzzzzzzz—



    i would like to meet you…if we cannot do this in person, i would like for you to be one of the five photographers i will be working with behind the scenes in the coming weeks …right now i am working with David B., Lassal and Jonanthan H….i will be very busy between now and the announcement of the EPF grantee, but if we start an e-exchange (and can Skype?) i think that even online we can create a personal essay for you of which all here will be proud….let’s work together to take you to your next level…please let me know if you are interested…

    DAVID B…

    i will try to Skype you in the next two days for our first clear edit….i did hear a rumor that maybe you could come to Spain now..????

    cheers, david

  106. Subhrajit, E-mentoring by DAH! Congratulations. If everyone here thinks Nat Geo already; just imagine what “next level” is going to look like. And all from publishing one photograph: go for it my friend!

    Panos “You are even “shorter” than me!” you can be sure of that Mr P. I once had to describe myself to someone who I was going to meet at a motorway service station in order to sell him a camera. It went thus: “Shortish, fatish, baldish; and devastatingly attractive to women”. It worked, he recognized me straight away!

    Jim P, I’m sorry.

    Best to all,


  107. JIM

    that is terrible news..thoughts go out to you and yours and them and theirs..
    chin up friend – we have all leaned on this forum in one way or another over time..

    david AH

    it looked possible, although we are now looking at taking a month in the balkens.. i have 3 days work there and figured if i could turn it into a month and bring top cat and beate i could do more work towards and for the young people getting over war with music project..
    and swim.
    and sun.


  108. Jim:

    I am sorry to hear about your friend. All we can do, ever, is the recognize they are, were, will always be part of us….and for that, i wish you strenth


  109. regarding the photo here – it’s been interesting seeing different perceptions of it..

    i see the photo as a landscape.. or seascape with sky.. more than a portrait of a fisherman.. it’s the blending of the net, sky and boiling sea which i saw first in the photo much more than the guy fishing.. which is why i think it is a success.. if i were to look at it as a portrait of a fisherman it would be less successful for sure..

  110. ALL…
    Can you guys call me ‘Bodo’? This is what I am known to my friends…and here we are friends now…Patricia has already accepted me as one now!

    After reading and re-reading your message several times (just to be 100% sure of what I was reading) and asking myself thousand times not to show my actual emotions while writing this reply, I have come out with a simple answer: Yes! I am interested…very much! And I want to thank you for the offer. I shall wait for further communications on this.

  111. kathleen fonseca

    Bodo, this is wonderful news for you! Congratulations!!! i look forward to what i know will be spectacular work from you..this is very exciting!


  112. “such respect seeps through the pixels and through the pores”

    respect begets more. congratulations.

    (psst, gmornin kat)

  113. ALL…

    Since so many responses have been made, I think that if I go to answer each and every one of them separately, it would be repetitive and wastage of time for everybody. In stead, I would try to give my reply to the salient points raised in the responses.

    1. When I see a photo, I do not try to categorize a photo like ‘polished’ type or ‘travel’ type or ‘NatGeo’ type etc.. A photo either appeals to me or not. I try to enjoy a photograph without any preconceived notion of mine about photographer’s style/categorization etc.. Many times I do not understand a photograph at all. Then I try to come back to the photo some other day to see if I am able to understand it better. Many times it works.

    2. The same thing applies while I am taking a photograph. Assignments may be a different ballgame altogether, but when I am shooting for myself (which I am doing), I don’t pre-categorize something I am interested in photographing, like… “Oh! This is going to be a very good travel photo, I must take it.” – I am more interested in depicting as successfully as my photographic ability permits ‘the thing’ or ‘the event’ that made me interested in taking the photograph in the first place. Sometimes, I am successful, many times I am not. I am not perfect, and that’s why I am here. Had I been perfect, I would be GOD, and who cares about photography when I AM GOD!!!

    3. I do not want to be categorized as a certain “type” as a photographer. I am still new in photography and I am trying to learn and I want to remain so always. So today my photos may appear to some as ‘eye candy’ type, tomorrow my photographs may become what somebody calls as “messy, disheveled, imperfect” type. Or may be, with time, I will become more ‘eye candy’ type. I don’t know. Who knows! But please don’t drop the hint that my photographs are staged, it really hurt me.

    4. I don’t take photographs thinking about ‘what sells’ and ‘what does not sell’. No…please! And on the other hand, I will not be ashamed if somebody buys one of my photos. Why should I be? Yes, I am interested if my love becomes a self-sustaining profession and I shall try honestly to fulfill my dream – as far as possible on my own terms, whenever I can. I also want to say like Mr Harvey said the other day that he never goes ‘to work’ (or something like that), meaning thereby that his love is also his profession and he never needs ‘to go to work’. I thought it was cool. I remembered it. I also want to be one of those few rare guys who never need ‘to go to work’.

    Lastly, many thanks to you for your feedback. It was a great experience to be here. I am so happy about Mr Harvey’s offer. I shall try my best to live up to your confidence in me.

    With Warmest Regards to ALL


  114. Bodo,

    ‘Nuff said. Your simple yet profound eloquence cuts through the Gordion knot of comments. I look forward with great anticipation to your future work, your collaboration with David, and your contributions, both photographic and verbal, here on Burn. This place can get fairly claustrophobic at times, and you are a breath of fresh air.


  115. bodogi

    brilliant.. i think jonathan, lassal and i are already hookup up together.. drop me an email and perhaps skype – which i’ll leave on all day tomorrow – and we can talk.. all help each other along with work.

    only skim read your comment just now and of course you are right.. shoot without selfconsiousness and continually practise.. forget whatever people say and do your thing..

    sometimes i think that for new photographers this place must be daunting.. probably true to say that some voices on here are not he best to wade through as a new photographer, but you have let it run off you like water off a ducks back..

    skype name – bophoto

    you are 7 hours ahead of me, lassal and david h – 8 ahead of jon i believe..
    so.. i’ll be online working by 5pm your time (10am mine) tomorrow..


  116. Bodo, speaking as one who has been forunate enough to be mentored this past year by David Alan Harvey, I celebrate your new status as “mentoree”! You will work your ass off, be supported in ways you can’t even imagine, find your eye–both inner & outer–and shutter finger becoming ever more atuned, hear critiques that will push you forward not set you back, and have a faithful teacher at your side every step of the way. Trust me, you will go places you never thought you could go. I can’t wait to see where this chapter of your journey will take you! Judging from where you are starting, it will be a marvelous adventure for all of us to watch and learn from. Bravo to you, my friend.


  117. panos skoulidas

    David B.:

    “…sometimes i think that for new photographers this place must be daunting.. probably true to say that some voices on here are not the best to wade through as a new photographer..”

    its ok to use my name instead of “some voices”… i really dont mind…:))))))))))
    sorry i dont applaud everything i see…

  118. hey panos – if i mean’t only you i would say only you..

    your nemesis jim and many more voices on here can easily cause a stir and intimidate when thats not directly the intention..

    i bloody hate photos.

  119. in all seriousness, it’s great to have such a varied readership now.. some blunt, some less so..
    one aspect in which burn is training people unwittingly, (or perhaps knowingly?!), it is the thickening of the skin..

    as bodogi has found.. slipping through that produces results.


  120. bodo–

    congratulations on your new mentorship endeavor with DAH! :))
    i look forward to seeing how your work progresses from here.
    i hope you didn’t take my “good for the masses” comment in a bad way.
    i only meant that your image was easily digestible.
    it is what it is.
    there’s no emotional investment at all. for me anyway.
    i would very much like to see you get in Closer.
    this photo (again, FOR ME) would’ve been much more interesting
    had you stood 10 ft in FRONT of the man and snapped as he hurled
    his net toward YOU, capturing that OOMPH moment of arms flinging out.
    that would’ve made me feeel something, y’know?
    FEEL his exertion.
    anyway, i wish all great and good things for you and your work.
    can’t wait to follow your ‘work-in-progress’.

    good luck!


  121. kathleen

    from my experiance the criticals here are infact a great deal tougher than any i have heard from editors.. even those working on national and international publications..
    if they don’t like something i have done it’s very rare that things get personal.. at worst they are dismissive..

    perhaps that is a good thing.. that the training is much harsher – which results in people breathing a sigh of relief when they approach the real world.. just so long as the crits here do not prohibit people from sending their stuff out.

    so long as it just thickens skin all is well..

  122. kathleen fonseca

    David B..

    haha, that kind of reminds me of school when the nuns would hiss at us, “You think I’M tough on you, wait till you get to high school!”…ohmygod, i’d be standing there trembling in my patent leather t-straps. Then i got to HS and the nuns growled viciously, “WAIT TILL YOU GET TO COLLEGE”!!!..and i stood there trembling in my loafers. Well, i almost didn’t go to college because i thought Lord, how could it get worse than Sister Petula’s Latin class? So then college, and what? WHAT? Comparatively, a piece of cake. So to Bobo, i shake my gnarled and crook’d index finger in his face, bring my crone’s nose right to the level of his chin and snarl, “JUST WAIT TILL YOU GET TO NATGEO!!!”



  123. David B, I very much appreciate your observation about the harshness of the critiques here on Burn. It’s getting so I would be reluctant to encourage any of my less-toughened photographic colleagues to submit work here, and that is sad. Critiques are good and necessary but when they get personal they can become more harmful than helpful. An honest assessment of someone’s work can be articulated in such a way that it is not seen as an attack. I often wonder if we were doing in-person instead of online critiques, if folks would be more respectful of one another.

    By the way, back in the 1980s I used to write art reviews for local and regional publications. Looking back I cringe at some of the things I said. I was way too impressed with my “power & position” and my unnecessarily harsh judgements showed it. Perhaps that’s why I’m more inclined to speak positively of what I like about someone’s work here on Burn rather than harping on what I don’t like. There are two sides to the critiquing coin.


  124. kathleen fonseca


    Just so you know, i sent that e-mail to your other address and same thing, your IP´s filters, or whatever, kicked it back. By then the subject matter of the e-mail was long past it´s ¨best used by date¨and i just figured, aw forget it..didn´t want you to think i´d just dropped it. Sorry about that..next time i need to send you something privately i´ll go to your website..

    And about the critiques, i learn as much or more from the negative crits´ as from the positive. I apply these comments to my own work and think, ok, how would i respond? Is the criticism justified? Is it coming from out left field or is it seconded by others? Is the criticism well considered, does it have a grain or more of truth? Is the critic just plain negative or are they also pointing out the positives? Would i be able to justify my work/concept/technical quality in light of that same criticism? And if not, why not? Does it matter? How can i make my work better in light of these criticisms? A good example was a few things that Panos said to someone at one point that i thought a lot about and next time i went out shooting i kept his words well in mind.

    I am not much one for left-handed PC compliments that are so deftly crafted that they deliver a sugar-coated punch to the solar plexus along with a thick blanket to dodge the blow. I belonged to enough photo sites to both have received and made that type of comment and they invariably finished with ¨hugs to my good friend surfgrrl¨ or whoever submitted the photo. I can think of one partiuclar woman who was an expert at this kind of comment. She could rave about the photo and then in her very last sentence take you to hell with a comment like, ¨Just one thing, and this is really just me but what I MIGHT do if this photo was mine is crop out the subject altogether and leave the background which is absolutely gorgeous¨. Don´t laugh, she told me that once.

    So, thank goodness there´s lots of different submissions here from all sorts of photographers and there´s lots of different readers with all kinds of different tastes and expectations and some will challenge, some will grate and some will sugar-coat. Different strokes, eh? Vive la everything. And hugz to my good friend, Patricia :))


  125. hi patricia,

    i emailed you a question, so far i havent gotten anything back… no timelines required anyway…

    with regards to what you said above, the critiques here are truly difficult and inflammatory at least some of them that mostly if i were the photographer it would be hard for me not to get personal too. however, such readership i think is much appreciated and it takes great skill as what bodo (solon for PRESIDENT) has shown to thwart them with such grace as in kung fu movies.

    not everyone though are as articulate in expressing their critiques and i much prefer panos to say what he says (less of the fs and sh’s of course) than someone who would not be direct with what i would need to change.

    you do have a great point. i would NOT submit anything to BURN the way my pictures are now. and anyway, i know so that DAH will not publish as i do not have any skill at all. but overall, it is a learning experience. i skip through the profanities quickly and some readers i value. but most of all, i value the readership and the regulars here as much as DAHs fortitude to get this going inspite of what else he has to do.

    so, necessary evil i should say. but no eberhardt 4Hs available here. not that many trees left in the redwoods. BURNing people would have to stand by what they write and say, hopefully taking into consideration the photos they are considering, positive or negative comments included.

    (i wish there was a place where people discussed technique – dont know if this is the crux of what other sites do.. do you know of any?)

  126. gracie – there are plenty of places online for getting heads round technical things – is there something specific you need to know? i would think anyone here would help out through personal emails if there was a specific piece of work you were curious of.

    patricia said
    “David B, I very much appreciate your observation about the harshness of the critiques here on Burn. It’s getting so I would be reluctant to encourage any of my less-toughened photographic colleagues to submit work here, and that is sad.”

    i tend to agree with that.. the fact of the matter is that some of the critiques on here are great – there is some really constructive stuff going on..

    people who shout the loudest / act the bluntest do not always have the most to say and so
    there is a certain amount of bollocks as well..
    to me that is much more about the writer than the work.. although that can be difficult to see and as a new or young photographer some may be put off and not interact or contribute..

    for every 10 good points raised there is a certain amount of bollocks.. yeps.. posturing.. self assuring.. ego.. for sure.. boiling down the bollocks and reducing it to a simple point there is often, but not always, a good point to be made.

    i hope people do see through the smokescreen and realize that it is better to contribute than not.. that’s my hope at least.

    we are here to learn from each other, for sure, although bear in mind the voice we were united here to learn from – DAH.. he is direct and honest but when has he been utterly dismissive? obnoxious?

    maybe there is a lesson in that.

    seeing bodo on burn after looking at his website a while ago was a real pleasure.. he’s new to photography and potentially has a real future..
    his sharp mindedness with comments has not gone unnoticed.. and i’m happy about that. perhaps the harsh crits worked out for him?


  127. thanks david b. i am very very new to photography with all its nuances, gidgets and processing software. i dont even have processing software because one, i dont have the time (i work a lot) and two, i dont have the money to indulge myself.

    i would like to learn to photograph bodies and output in black and white. i have a project that has been singing to me for the past two months and i cannot sleep. i have to keep it secret to make it a surprise.

    i dont think burn critics have burned me. i just know i dont have anything to show. but until then, i will not submit. i think i dont mind if i am called KMA with DAH. already, he has shown exemplary mentorship in such encouraging words and so eloquent as to turn down some bullocks(?) as you say it with such lyrical niceties often times i have to look up.

    i do read all the comments and as above, i skip-to-da-loo through the profanities. i dont think anyone has any right no matter who they are in what capacity to bring anyone down. but opinions are only opinions.

    might need to take this elsewhere… on another thread. dont want to hijack Bodo’s thread already as it has been for a while…

  128. gracie

    that sounds like a simple enough process.. photography is simple really and the very best way to learn is to take photos.. today with digital it is easier than ever..
    david@bophoto.co.uk feel free to email if you want to talk more about what you are trying to achieve.. photography is more difficult in peoples minds than it is in reality – thats what i think anyway.

    regarding tough crits on here – what i mean to say is that it has worked out for bodo.. and maybe more on here..
    the students at collage i teach had some homework the other week – to submit to burn for a single image – for the simple reason that the crits are tough..
    one way or another everyone who sticks their head above the parapet and shows work will be shot at, so better to get used to it right from the off .. learn how to take it..

    none of my students have made it to the front page as yet.. hopefully one will :o)

  129. ALL…

    tough critique will take you much further than a token pat on the back…if you have any desire whatsoever to actually do a book, work for a magazine or have a show, then you need to have the ability to withstand an honest appraisal….it is your belief in what you have to say visually that will carry you through come hell or high water…HOWEVER, of course, you must have something to say!!!

    there is a difference between an obviously insecure and jealous attack than a true critique…it is not hard to tell the difference between educated and helpful critique and a cowardly blast…always consider the source….

    yet, i actually think there is very little here on BURN that is not honest critique or a true opinion…blunt is way different than an attack…you must be able to handle blunt…it is a form of honesty minus diplomacy…..

    cheers, david

  130. Very well put David, honest appraisal can be challenging to deal with, at the end of the day your belief in your work will be stronger and you might even take on board some suggestions and improve your work. “No Man is an Island……”

    I passed your info to Chase Jarvis, turns out you have already met up, he was very complimentary.



  131. david b,
    i shall take you up on your offer. i have so very much to learn. i won’t be any less difficult than any of your students but at least i know where i am in the continuum of this hobby i have put on hold for too long.


    it is all a learning curve. the great photographers have great pictures but i am sure there were picture thousands more in one day that sucked. i just dont get to see them.

    i shall KMA. this is what brings me back to burn. your wisdom, your honest appraisals, your encouragement, zest, fortitude… that if i will put my heart, time and all into a project, i know you will not be disappointed.

  132. A beautiful picture Subhrajit and I enjoyed it. The discussions/critique on your photo was equally hard and blunt and I look forward seeing more work from you. I would see every photo here and every comment on them as those helps me to learn (I am pretty new to photography). I really really hope one day one of mine would make it here.

  133. GRACIE…

    the learning curve is never over….your place on that curve does not matter, for it is your own place…

    you are quite correct…even the best photographers have mostly pictures that do not work…percentages however do not matter….all that matters is sometimes it all works….some people do seem to have more “sometimes” than others….

    i will be pleased to view whatever project you decide to do…


  134. FRIENDS…

    i am grateful to you guys for coming out open with your views and really valuable insights on many aspects. i never hoped that so many interesting discussions would come up and you may not realize how valuable it is for a guy who is genuinely interested in learning the craft. it has really opened my eyes in many respect: i had many misconceptions which are cleared now and some of my beliefs have been reaffirmed. it was really helpful and since this was my photo, i could personally relate to each and every comment as it affected me directly.

    as far as facing criticisms are concerned, for my part, i can say that knowing or unknowingly, i have had a very tough training in my life in this regard, although it was not related to photography.

    some of the comments like those of sidney and others related to the advice how could i try to make the photograph more effective, more interesting by changing my position, by showing more of the face of the fisherman etc. i have kept a mental note of those advices. good…never to get satisfied with my work…i believe very positive thought indeed as far as photography is concerned, it shall help me keep myself on the edge always.

    some of the comments related to my ‘style’ which appears to some to be too digestible and thus not so interesting. in this respect, i can only say i don’t have much choice in this regard. some may like it, some may not, what am i supposed to do about it other than hoping for the best in future?

    i am not a very ‘style’-concious viewer of photographs myself, and i sincerely don’t believe that i am supposed to hate a ‘style’ to love another. all sorts of photographs attract me, whether of old or modern ‘style’ – i simply don’t care and i don’t let such a thought influence my enjoyment of a photograph. if it has greatly appealed to me and given me happiness, i am all for it. i have met some guys who are fashionably anti-natgeo. i refuse to be one of them. nor i think that natgeo is the last word in photography. is photography so frivolous? i refuse to believe so.

    may be i am talking too much. but you must admit, the provocation was too good to refuse. :)

    best regards


  135. bodo,

    will you ever consider running for president? again very well spoken. you represent what i think as well, fired up but controlled. i am glad you did get published in BURN. very very nice pictures… like i said, so, so much RESPECT. oodles. that is your style and hopefully that is who you are. kudos again (i am jealous).


    thank YOU. it will be a long while until i am ready. i am fired up but controlled ;) the day job needs much attention now. photography is my tumbleweed. but i cannot chase me tumbleweeds with my d.parton shoes… not just yet. haha

  136. i am not smart enough to take smart photos
    that knock anyone’s socks off
    like you have.
    so i cannot think of a slogan.
    i can sing tho…… tralalala

    me a-walkin in miss parton’s dotted shoes
    i swing my awesome bodacious curls
    this tune i hope can help you choose
    from BODO-licious presidente! i get me pearls!

  137. hmmm….
    it might be you SOLON i might love next.
    everyone has left me…
    maybe space cowboy, civilian, kat should not ever come back….
    (so i could love more and more)

    maybe i can love you ALL

    (pssst… your pictures are really great… hmmm..if you needed any mentorship… then i (poor me) should probably go back to planting potatoes… or rice… sighhh)

  138. unfortunately no. i am so very, very very much so new to photography. i traded years of bday gifts, etc etc for my little gidget camera that i so love now and sleep with.

    this line david@bophoto.co.uk is now tattooed to my heart close to my bodacious. i will drop you a line and my kerchief.

    david b, should i love you now too?

  139. david b,

    my bodacious marigold curls are springy
    also BODO’s greenish living petrified socks
    and maybe civilian’s octopus hurls
    and kitty-kat’s stealthy words
    and homer black’s nike max
    young tom’s runaway tumbleweed

    will you please be our watchmaker?

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