Crying Communist by Bevis Fusha


It has been some time now that numerous believers of Communism, from the former dictatorial regime, practice an annual ritual. Every October 16th, they gather and pay respects to the grave of former Albanian dictator, Enver Hoxha. The grave itself is located in the city’s cemetery, together with common people’s graves. It has suffered vandalism continuously and now has been reconstructed with a cement block on top to protect it. The majority of the people who come to pay respects are members of the Communist party, former officers and officials, retired individuals. All of these individuals have a longing for the Communism era. The majority of these people show some psychological imbalance, which is seen in their humanizing of this historical figure that Enver Hoxha left behind. They speak openly and with passion about their belief that those times under his leadership were golden times and the best period for socialist Albania. None of them like the fierce capitalism that has prospered in Albania the last 15 years.


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Bevis Fusha


84 thoughts on “bevis fusha – crying communist”

  1. Average photo. But I see the editor is getting into this artsy trend, what with posting the two single photos together. Perhaps the second photo is a comment on the idea.

  2. How good you feel is based not on how well you are actually doing but how well you are doing relative to the people around you. I’m sure many of these people have missed any post communist benefits and rightly look back on it as better time.

    Jim what do you think people should be doing with photography?

  3. To Bevis
    when i looked at the picture without reading the text, i thought of a woman crying over her beloved during the funeral ceremony. the text reveals the context of the picture in a different light. the drama on the picture over the past communism for someone who lives in a western society is something unimaginable yet it’s a reality for many living in Eastern European countries. it’s a cry for lost youth, security, lost purpose in life and inevitable loneliness for many individuals and is still an open wound.
    I looked at your website to see more and thought that there were many images that are as powerful and as beautiful as this one. i would prefer however to see this specific image in the context of an essay, so that it enables the viewers to understand the meaning that you put into this picture without the words. I particularly like your black and white images and enjoyed many of your stories. Thank you for sharing.

  4. To Jim Powers:
    I think your comment is rude to the photographer, to the editor and to the people who work to put this magazine together. The magazine which you have such a “pain” to enjoy. Your comments on this magazine overall seem to me immature, attention seeking and frankly boring. they strike me with their inattention to details in your “critique” and laziness to look at other people’s work.

    Despite your “cries” for sympathy for the “victims’ of photography, as photographers seek their path to their own “glory”, as you mentioned a number of times, your treatment of people here, even though it is covered with so called civility, lacks elemental sympathy and respect.

  5. panos skoulidas

    I hear u Marina..
    Insult after insult…
    But, what’s new …:(

  6. i agree this picture would mean more to me if this was a part of an essay
    i thought it was another meaningless death
    and it will be interesting to see where these people come from
    and why the mention of psychological imbalance on the descript

  7. To Marina.
    Thank you Marina I appreciate your correct note.
    The story… its a long time project… but I work only few hours per day, each 16 October, every year. I have collected an amazing gallery of portraits as characters. his is one is extracted from 2008 birthday…
    In essence photojournalism is a combination of verbal text and visual imagery.
    At this context we should understand that many of our photos are a compromise in between…and should be “judged” from this perspective.
    Thank you again :)

  8. Marina,

    I really appreciate your perspective here. The image is quite moving and like you I initially thought, lost loved one. The text was a bit of a shock, but then again, not too much. “Security” comes in all shapes and sizes and political systems.


    Thanks for submitting this. Looking forward to exploring more of your work.


  9. Marina, it’s an average photo oddly paired with a ridiculous photo. An editor did this. I called it like I saw it.

  10. Bevis, I have to echo what Michael wrote. For me, the text is interesting but I didn’t need it to appreciate the beauty of this photo. To my eye it is just plain stunning. You captured this moment so perfectly: her tears and sadness, the setting and people around her, the strong light, the desaturated color giving it a bleak feeling. It all works!


  11. Bevis,

    I went to the grave of Nicolae Ceausescu on what would have been his 91st birthday this winter on 26 January in Bucharest and who did I find?! A young couple attaching a new name plate to Elena’s grave! I spoke to them and they told me that capitalism is evil and how Romania was much better during Ceausescu. When the young people actually believe this, I am sorry to say that a nation just cannot be helped. It’s one thing for the pensioners to be nostalgic because they have been lost in the transformation of the past 19 years. But the youth?! Come one! Romania is the oddest place I’ve ever been to. Just really bizarre at times.

  12. I think it’s beautiful. I agree that it’s her proximity to the camera that makes it jump out but also the light is wonderful.

  13. Bevis

    This is a marvelous photograph.

    I’m very impressed with the projects on your site as well. I love your use of graphics.

    In this photo and the photos on your site, I do not sense your presence, you appear to have learned how to make yourself invisible. I feel like I am there. I can almost hear her weeping and feel the cool air.

    This photo is one of the most impressive I’ve seen on Burn.

  14. i love this photograph because of the true emotion on her face that has been captured so brilliantly by the photographer!

    i don’t think there is any need to go into the age-old rhetorics about communism vs. capitalism…i believe none of these are ‘evil’ per se; as everything else, each of them have their fair share of pros and cons, good and bad! it’s just that some evil-minded people have abused them and twisted them throughout history (and still do) for their own gains, which is what i find evil. i wish i were born on a planet where there is no politics, no religions, no diplomats, no boundaries, no race, no caste…! well, it seems to me i must stop my utopian rhetorics now…

    Great Job Bevis!!!

  15. David, you pulled the words right out of my mouth: Jim, yes, what’s your point, unrelative to this picture, but to hammer yet and again dismissive one-liners as your main contributions on BURN?

    This notwithstanding, I was really happy to see your name reappear again (guess i am a lover, not a fighter). you are part of the family here anytime, but surely, you can do better than being the bitter ranting uncle in the corner of the room we hear but never listen to….

  16. Ciara,

    I am well aware that the picture is from Albania. Bevis and I are in the same agency. . . There is a link between all of the former Eastern Bloc countries of course because of Communism the cult of the dictator and I was sharing my own experience from Romania. . .

  17. Bodo,

    Ok. But Romania is an extreme case and for young people to believe that life was better under Nicolae Ceausescu versus now when Romania is an EU member is simply absurd. In the 1980s people in Bucharest were practically starving and the country was a police state along the line of North Korea. Just sharing another anecdote from the grave a former Eastern European dictator.

  18. The emotion of the old-aged woman is captured perfectly. The tonality of the photograph supports the environment in a perfect manner. sometimes people are encircled themselves in their glorious past and cannot adopt in the changing scenario of the world.
    Great shot.

  19. Love the photograph Bevis: raw human emotion. I would love to see you expand the concept to include more of the daily life of these people who prefer Communism, to Democracy. Is it because they were in positions of privilege? What’s their individual stories?

    Best wishes and thanks for sharing,



    “Average photo”

    for fuck’s sake man Wake Up, i don’t mind at all your polarity to the images; i think your opinions are not just valuable, it think sometimes they are imperative, but have you not learned any better vocabulary to articulate your reasoning through the overwhelming years of experience you always remind us that you have?

    Don’t stop having your opinions, but please stop being so embarrassing lazy about delivering them. It’s really cringe worthy sometimes.

  21. David, I have commented positively on a number of photos and essays. I guess attaboys from me just get lost in the sea of attaboys that wash constantly on the shores of Burn magazine.

  22. Joe, sometimes there’s just not anything to say about a photo but that it sucks. How much in depth analysis can you give, for example, to low res, distorted photos made with a plastic camera module attached to a PDA?

    With a bully pulpit like Burn, why not showcase the best of the best, rather than trying to be hip and edgy?

  23. Jim i see what you are saying, and sure, it’s always easier to say why you like an image verses why an image is weak. But i think finding way to let people know why a photo is weak is a pretty mutually beneficial exercise.

    i can’t always figure out why an image is weak, i find this image a bit weak in that i don’t feel the composition is supporting well the key subject and i don’t think there is enough information necessary to create context, but i really don’t know, I can’t put my figure on it specifically, so i tend to show my lack of appeal with silence. Actually, I’m no better than you, we just go about how we feel about an image in different ways.

  24. Jim, “sometimes there’s just not anything to say about a photo but that it sucks” …. how about WHY it sucks and how about showing a little respect to the photographer by saying that your opinion is just that, your opinion; not holy writ.

    Either you are lacking the literary skills to comment with any degree of depth or you just like pushing people’s buttons.


  25. I’m a little annoyed how my first reaction, after reading this thread, is to say something to or about Jim…and that’s not why I’m supposed to be commenting here. I want my first reaction to be about the work, not a response to how agitating and disrespectful (continually) I feel that Jim’s responses are. I agree with Marina, Joe, and Mike R. And I’ll just leave it at that. (sigh)

    Anyway, Bevis, I like the photo. It’s hard to grab a moment like this…no one wants to be photographed while they are crying, so great eye in catching this moment. I also enjoy the flatness of color and limited range of color; that, in addition to the employment of shallow depth of field, really make her face pop to attention. I also like that her face is the largest object in the image, which commands our attention as well. Direct and to the point. With the text, an interesting twist, but one that allows us to witness the people’s reaction to history. Good work.


    “‘This is how things come to pass in the world,’ one of the princes is supposed to have said. ‘Blood flows one way in life and another way in song, and one never knows which flow is the right one.'”–Isamail Kadare

    This is a subtle, graceful and powerful portrait. But like the work of the extraordinary Albanian novelist Kadare, it is filled with contradiction and surprises. As a portrait it works powerful. The ‘grandeur’ of her emotions and experiences writ more powerfully as an image with Bevis’ use of depth of field and moment that he has chosen to photograph her. When Bevis first sent us this photograph, I immediately thought of the powerful Georgian film “Repentance”: the outsized power of her face, the nearly ‘heroic’ angle of her 3/4 position and the dream-like quality of the light and tonality. Immediately we empathize with her grief and the simplicity of the photograph, it’s elegance, binds us to her. We think: a widow in grief.

    And then we learn that this is quite as easily understood as we’d first imagined. Her grief is tied to a more historical and more far-reaching grief, some might even feel more hysterical grief, that the private loss that we first experience as a viewer. This woman is mourning not the lost of a close, loved one, but a beloved historical figure, a larger-than-life patron, and in a sense, she is mourning the loss of her life that she’d known. For westerners, who’ve seen the ‘victory’ of the West political ideals take shape, might find it extraordinarily odd that an old grandfather would mourn with such grief the anniversary of the death of an autocrat and by extension a form of government that has been ridiculed, fallen (communism). When we learn that this woman is mourning the death of a communist leader, many of us are started. But as Marina has pointed out, it is th loss of more, in fact, for many, this is still a powerful and open wound, a complete uprooting of the life they were born into, grew up and trust. The ground beneath her feet as fallen away and has not been re-soiled….

    The power of a photographer is not a singularly defined thing. For some photographs, they are visually self-contained. Much of Bevis extraordinary work (and i recommend, recommend you look at his work both at his site and at the agency by whom he is represented METRO COLLECTIVE and especially his magical and magisterial black & white stories, evoke the power and mystery and strange beauty of the history of Albanian through it’s iconography alone. Some pictures evoke power without the necessity of context or words. Some photographs, equally as important, evoke by their relationship to context, to descriptive information that points or counter points the visual message. I think, this photograph works best in relationship to the story, the written story. This does NOT mean that as a photograph it is ‘plain’ or ordinary. In fact, it’s simplicity is deceptive, it’s power lay in the expectations it creates. In journalism, in narrative photography, in reporting, what constitutes the strength of story is that the reader is given something that allows for their learning, their surprise, for a moment that brings them closer to the story through a variety of devices. Here the circumventing of our initial expectation lends it power, because we, as readers, want to know even more: why would an woman weep so strongly, so openly, so powerfully on the anniversary of the death of a communist autocrat?….Marquez had much to say about this in his novel “Autumn of the Patriarch” as as Kadare in his remarkable books…

    I want to thank Bevis for sharing his work with us. It is a sublime, graceful portrait of not only a woman’s grief but of, in many respects, a particular generation that has still not come to terms, and by extension a nation, with the upheaval of history and the falling away of things…

    thank you Bevis….


  27. Davin

    I understand what you want to say and I also know who Ceausescu was and what he did to Romania. I personally have bitter experience of communism as our State (West Bengal, India) is run by a communist government for the last 32 years! So although I do not believe in it personally and I am against it politically as I see in my State, but the fact that there are certain good things in it which I think is undeniable. But it is indeed absurd for the young to still romanticize about the life under Ceausescu regime. The only explanation could be that it has something to do with some sort of weird ‘style statement’.

  28. Mike, do you go on at great link critiquing every photo you don’t like, or do you mostly just say, “I don’t like that.” I don’t know that there is much value to a photographer to go into great link explaining in great depth an extremely subjective reaction to his photo. Clearly, he liked the photo or he wouldn’t have shot it (well, hopefully).

  29. Jim, welcome back. You are a photo editor. There are over half a million viewers here at Burn. You should be able to say why you don’t like a photograph. This is a place for emerging photographers (primarily) and therefore a place of learning. Even if there was just you and the photographer, you should be more specific; it’s just good manners.

    If I don’t like a photograph I will say so and attempt to explain why. Sometimes I feel that a photograph shown here cannot bear the weight of the caption: this has happened more than once in my opinion. But I always state that it is just my opinion – just one of many.

    I love photography and I love this place. Sometimes some photographs shown here just roll over me and I don’t “get it” but I’m happy to see any and all work. I’ve been a photographer for over thirty years and I would recommend this place to any new photographer. I’m sure that many will see some photographs here and say “Wow! Can you do that? With photography?”. In addition to the photographs displayed, many who post here have links to their work and to websites of interest. Burn is an educational tool: photographs and posts.

    Saying “Average photo” is lazy and rude.

    Best wishes,


  30. Beautiful photo and an interesting place for some reason I’ve always wanted to visit (like North Korea for the longest time it was the final frontier, the last hold out so to speak).

    Jim, for fucks sake man give it a rest. When I get to the studio I’m going to track down the email Panos sent to me that has the URL to your boring ass photos of street fairs and post that link every time you make some rude and unfounded remark such as this. Talk about fucking banal.

    Honestly, if you don’t have anything good (or at least constructive) to say then keep your mouth shut. All of us should have learned this lesson a long time ago. A while back I was in my local coffee house – I am friends with the owner. He mounted some really awful paintings on the wall. I was about to make some snarky remark but then I thought better of it – hey he put these up here for a reason, maybe he actually likes them. That’s the moment he introduced me to the man standing next to him, who turned out to be the painter. By keeping my mouth shut I saved a lot of embarrassment and possibly a good friendship (and a great place to get my coffee, hang with my kid etc). I still don’t like the paintings, but hey, who really gives a shit? Just don’t look at them.

    Go away Jim. Please.

  31. BEVIS – this is a very nice moment you captured. obviously we have seen similar images – but it does not take away from what you have done. nice moment, light and subject. i am quite familiar with your collective and have seen your site before too – very nice work.

    JIM POWERS – i can understand when you do not like a photo here and there – that is fine. but i am confused on why you criticize the editor for posting certain images or projects. just because YOU do not like it – does not mean that others will not or that it does not deserve to be “out there”. photography is so subjective. i like that david shares such different work on BURN – if not, it would get boring and repetitive. BURN has introduced many photographers i have not heard of or seen their recent work.

  32. I think this is a great picture . It is really hard to get that close to an Albanian especially if you’re holding a camera in their face while their crying.

    Keep up the good work

  33. Charles, I shoot boring, banal stuff. Absolutely. Guilty as charged.

    Mike R, I think it started out as a place for emerging photographers. Which was a good thing. But I think that’s changed and the choices are being driven by a desire to be cool, different, edgy. I’d rather see the 1200 entries DAH got for the EPF just presented as is then the editing decisions going on now.

  34. Powerful emotion, but i feel i’m missing some context here. The combination of this emotion with more of the environment would, I feel, communicate much more to the viewer and therefor make for a far stronger image.

  35. Pete Marovich

    This is a nice photo. Not a great photo. Not an exceptional photo. But a good photo.

    I think Jim is being a bit harsh, but I think I also see his point about how “attaboys … just get lost in the sea of attaboys that wash constantly on the shores of Burn magazine.”

    I tend to agree that sometimes the gushing praise seems to go over the top.

    I looked at Bevis’ site and he has some very very nice work there. Many images that I consider exceptional. Again, I don’t feel this is one of them. That certainly doesn’t mean I hate it or it sucks.

  36. I would have liked to write what I think this people feel but I also would like to hear it from the photographer.I am Albanian and I do know whats going on in the photograph but I’d really like to see things from a prospective that is not mine

  37. Charles – well said.

    Jim – Do you make a point of calling up every photographer whose work you don’t like and leaving them a voicemail saying, “Average photos?”

    Because that’s all you’re doing here.

    For every person who implored you to come back to burn to bring this wisdom, I’m here to agree with Charles, just go away — or, bring more to the table — either way…

  38. Bodo: Well, yes, I do understand that the security experienced under Communism with everyone having a job and there being no competition among people like there is in a capitalistic society is what makes some people long for it.

    Bevis: I think this pictures is quite interesting as it actually reminds of certain vintage Communist photos I have seen in Romania (the colors and light look sort of stale–in a good way).

  39. Pete,

    When the photo of my newborn and wife were published here on Burn, a few people challenged the validity of personal family photographs. They didn’t say my photo “sucked” or was “average” but challenged as to why it should be included on Burn. I welcomed that discussion and I think we got a lot out of it.

    But to make the very first post under a photographer’s work a rude slap is just too much for me. And then of course once again the better part of the discussion is taken up as a tit for tat with Jim instead of discussing the work at hand. Just leave it be if you don’t like it. There’s been plenty of work on here I really don’t like and I just keep my mouth shut and let that photographer have his or her moment. If I can truly help them maybe find a better way and they are open to to that then I will give my ten cents in an honest and hopefully helpful and polite way.

    Yes, I think sometimes there is too much gushing over work that is mediocre, but that is the nature of this place. But look how far negativity gets one – just check in with the last eight years of government in the US. If you don’t like something, then vote with your silence (and submit something better) so we can please keep this place humane.




    The question of context is a good and important issue. I tried to write about that briefly in Editor’s Note #1. The context, too, is part of the text: an important part, given that it is only a single photograph and the iconography of the photograph ‘appears’ very different than the context/moment (an old woman grieving vs. an old woman grieving a political figure): that tension i thought was an extra dimension. However, Bevis’ entire body of work is fleshed out in his magnificent essays (please look at the websites, both his own and the Metro Collective site).

    Please stand my, later on, we will publish an essay by Bevis which will better contextualize this image…and also, show the readership the power and beauty of his work.

    For those who are not satisfied with the choice of a single image, removed from a series of images describing/showing this story, I accept full responsibility. I asked for a single image and decided to show David the single image. I believe the power of this photograph as a single, even as it raises questions (we need more info)…All good points raised. Again, if there is a failure, it is mine, not Bevis or David’s.

    I hope your continue this important conversation.

    all the best

    The failure of the choice of a single image, this single image,

  41. Jarid, so those who think the photos are average or worse should simply stay silent and only praise should be heaped on every photographer whose work is featured here?

    There are people making subjective choices about what we see and do not see here. Do you think they are infallible?

  42. Pete Marovich

    I do believe that if someone is going to say something negative about someone’s work, they should explain why they feel that way. I am sure we are all in agreement that with the caliber of editors that are picking the images and essays, that nothing here “sucks.” It may not be a person’s cup of tea and that is expected. I would hope that however much a photo or essay does not work for a person, they can still learn something from the work.

    There is always something to learn.

    And Jim, I think everyone would feel better about your opinion, if you would just elaborate. They still may not agree, and that should be fine, but saying more than “average photo” should be compulsory.

  43. Lacking special distinction, rank, or status; commonly encountered.
    Lacking exceptional quality or ability.

    Average. Just another stick a camera in someone’s face photo. I think most people understand what average means. Why spend 300 words making cool references to art history, camera technique or photoshop techniques when one word will do.

    And why waste all these words and take the thread off topic just to castigate someone for only posting two words? Just ignore people who blow off photos with two words! Who cares what they think? Illiterate buffoons that they are.

  44. Jim,
    question: would you ever talk like this about a photographer’s work ( or to the photographer )if you met the person for real ?
    Would you really say : your work is ….”Lacking special distinction, rank, or status…..
    Lacking exceptional quality or ability” ???
    Bevis mentioned that his work is part of a project…. why , for example , don’t you go just to his website . You may realize that your comments appear to be a bit inappropriate !

  45. katharina

    i have known photo editors to be far more brash than jims disparaging remarks :ø)

    on first looking at the photo, the burn´t out background diminished it for me.. well executed fill in flash.. desaturated perhaps.. damn that digital latitude :ø)
    i think as a single image it is interesting but has not grabbed me.. there IS good narrative work going on and i look forward to bevis having more room on burn to present a story.

    on reading your words bob, and marina in fact, i can see the power which you see – so thanks for that.

    it is an interesting project, a strangely quirky event which feels timely for me – as some u.s. news networks would have us believe the death of extreme capitalism is occurring as socialism edges it´s dirty feet into the room.
    which makes me think – perhaps in a decade it will be the grave of extreme capitalism which gathers the ´psychologically imbalanced´visitors tears.
    roll on.

  46. Jim, unfortunately you can’t just be ignored, because your assessments sometimes have a degree of legitimacy and thus make them considerable, but sense they are peppered more as flippant votes verses meaningful participation, it‘s alike to a neighbour with a habit of constantly spitting on the floor while he’s chatting to you, again, it’s cringe worthy.

    i only revisit this because i hope it’s possible that it’s simply a misunderstanding. i think your elaboration of ‘Average’ shows this best, simply defining average was absurd. The legitimate search started when you said ‘just another stick a camera in someone’s face photo’. This latter comment for me from you is loads more revealing, and loads more healthy for you and everyone else.

    From here we can start to think you have feelings about ‘these kinds of photos‘, maybe i do to, i’d love to get an honest opinion from you on what you think of Bruce Gilden’s work; again, i’ve got opinions on Gilden’s approach too, maybe this image would be the best catalyst to explore fully, both the merit and obnoxious side of this approach to collecting images, collecting images for a purpose, not just using an ‘approach’ for interest factor.

    basically a whole in-your-face discussion could be opened with even a trinket of effort like this, and in similar fashion a whole discussion can be derailed by people attempting in every way possible again and again to persuade you to have better manners, but you again and again feeling it‘s just fine to say, ‘well just ignore me‘.

    i’m not going to beg you again Jim, what you‘re doing is selfish and juvenile and lazy and the degree of self-appointment to do so also makes you a bit self-important, after this plea i’m giving up on you Jim, your value just doesn’t justify the disruption you cause.

  47. Bevis this is a fantastic shot, because of the tension created from the proximity to the subject. It feels slightly unhinged, something surreal about the quality that the depth of field creates.

    This shot is one of the most expressive of the words that go with it.

    I love this and I certainly am not into average photography.

    I have to laugh at the Jim Powers character though… He is either a clever marketing ploy to get people to defend their positions about the photograph on show or as an editor he is so cliche that only a marketing department could invent him.

    One does have to ask oneself if this is actually ‘the right room for an argument’


    Your knowledge in all things literate astounds me, how did you find an Albanian writer to quote the exact right thing?

  48. I would love to see a photographer deliver a seering assessment like the way Miranda did when she lectures Andy about the Cerulean blue color of her sweater in the Devil Wears Prada.

    Now that’s a photographer i would love to hang out with! I bet you there are photo editors out there that could actually do that as well!!

  49. Very thoughtful post Joe. It would indeed be interesting to read Jim’s appraisal of in-your-face photography, or any other genre.

    Thanks Joe.


  50. JIM,
    Frankly, I don’t see the point for you to even visit this website. We have clearly understood that you don’t like the work published here and your participation is far from anything constructive. I don’t spend my time at flickr commenting oversaturated landscape and sunset photos because I’m not interested in it. No, I don’t like all of the work published here, but I think most of the photographers here are on the same page with what they want to with photography, allthough we do different kinds of work. I think you’re wasting both your own and our time.


  51. Dear All,

    I do also think Jim has just reverted to jabbing the stick into the hornets nest for fun and as disruptive as Jim can be, this is not a which hunt and now and again he does make some valid points. This has been brought up before “is he just DAH being devil’s advocate?”

    I was flicking through a brilliant earlier essay on burn, On The Streets, I was amazed to see some quite eloquent critiques by Jim, he has not always be so concise, brusque and dismissive. Something has changed. Maybe a previous roundup on him has changed his attitude – who knows?

    Joe I too have been through the frustration of responding to Jim’s posts and now just take it with a pinch of salt.

    Sorry to hijack the thread.

    By the way back to the point, Just looking at the pic, this is a great portrait and i happen to love the burnt out sky.

    Happy days



  52. “By the way back to the point, Just looking at the pic, this is a great portrait and i happen to love the burnt out sky.”

    Why do you happen to love the burnt out sky? How does it add or detract from the photo? What influences do burnt our skies reflect? Is is a symbol?

    Or, perhaps, it’s just a burnt out sky. Kind of like an “average photo.”

    Look, I posted that the photo was an average photo. Whatever dialogue that resulted after that was initiated by others here. My intent was to say what I thought of the photo, not to engage in a debate of my critiquing style. My original post was a couple of lines made 60 posts ago. Enough. Talk about the photo.

  53. Hi Jim
    No symbolism, just a personal view. I like the burnt out sky. Simple. Some commentators on the picture earlier suggested that the burnt out sky, didn’t help. I like it. Simple. Not quite such a broad brush as “average photo”

    Or is this Jim just sticking the Stick in the hornets nest again:-)

    Have a nice day now

  54. ian – are you here for the full half hour argument, or just the 5 mins? :ø)

    thanks bob.
    an interesting read.. he gives his point of view eloquently enough.
    OWRA film.. fantastic, cheap stuff.. food for young snappers..

  55. HI, David B,

    Would love the full half hour,but got to run, wife having to work on this bank holiday,I have responsibility of retaining peace amoungst the kids. Maybe next time.


  56. JIM…

    editing decisions just “to be cool”??? c’mon Jim , i am no “cooler” than you and never will be…however, i do have wide tastes in photography and in life…and, if you have not figured it out already i tend to be playful sometimes as well..anything wrong with playful??? anything wrong with venturing into some unknown territory?? anything wrong with experimentation??? hey amigo, we get each other going..that is a good thing in and of itself…

    enjoy your day …

    cheers, david

  57. Barrie Watts

    In my opinion Jim’s views are as important any anybody else’s on BURN. He balances the gushing over the top comments. What would be educational for me would be for him to take it a bit further by saying why he thought the photo was average. Then I may learn something from his words. Hey, he’s been in the business for quite a while, hasn’t he ?

    It appears the people that are getting upset from his comments are rarely the photographers themselves but other people. It would be interesting to hear from Jim whether his tastes and views have widened since he’s been visiting BURN. C’mon Jim what sort of work floats your boat?

    As for the photo, I think it’s a strong image, but I think the bright sky takes the eye away from the person. What it did do is make me look at Bevis’s other work and this was real interesting….

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  59. Just throwing in my two rather devalued zlotys at this late point in the dialogue… for me personally, the burnt out sky does not detract in the least from the power or meaning of the photograph. What unchallengeable heavenly authority has decreed that no photograph may have burnt out highlights? There is a long tradition in photography (of which I am well aware) that a balanced range of tones up to but not exceeding complete ‘256’ white produces the most aesthetically pleasing and texturally rich images… but like the so-called ‘rule of thirds’ or any other ‘rules’ that we have all consciously or unconsciously absorbed in learning to both make and read images, it may have its uses as a guideline… like ‘correct’ spelling and grammar in English or any other language… but there comes a point where it may hobble expression or enjoyment needlessly if one is too fussy about it. Now, personally (these comments are all nothing more than ‘personal’, right?) I generally try to adhere to what I perceive to be ‘correct’ spelling and grammar when writing, because to deviate from that creates ‘noise’ or unwanted distractions from the message I think I am trying to convey. And I guess one could (and does!) apply this principle to photography… I have seen burnt-out images where the burn-out DOES detract from the power and meaning of the image, of course, but it certainly does not do so in this one (for me personally, needless to say!) Some non-native English speakers (and even some native English speakers!) sometimes have trouble with spelling and grammar in their comments here on Burn… does this make their comments less effective? In some cases yes, in some cases no. I would never tamper one iota with the spelling and grammar in Marcin Luczkowski’s posts (for example), because he expresses himself so well that spelling and grammar are not really relevant. Okay, reasoning by linguistic analogy can only go so far… All I am trying to say is, the burnt-out sky in this particular photo is only a problem if in your mind burnt-out skies are ALWAYS and forever problems.

  60. “All I am trying to say is, the burnt-out sky in this particular photo is only a problem if in your mind burnt-out skies are ALWAYS and forever problems.”

    Sidney, that’s a sweeping statement isn’t it ? So you absolutely know that the folks who think the bright sky in Bevis’s shot is somewhat distracting have got a permanent problem with them ?

    Man, now I know why I have trouble sleeping at night…

  61. hey sidney.

    i can see your point – i was only refering to this photo.. it just drags my eye away from the subject too much.. and as a crying woman i thought it could be more powerful.
    within the story i like the photo.. no beef.

  62. I like the washed out sky as well, and I’m usually one who likes dramatic dodging and burning. The sky is like the lightness behind the darkness – it is very spiritual in a way. I’d hate to see it grayed down, esp if there’s nothing in it. Sometimes it’s good to break the “rules.”

  63. Cheers to throwing the rules on the fire … burn them … they are too often cubicle constructs, soulless perfections, the suburbia of the unconscious. The “rules,” the guidelines really, are a good place to start, and even use, but who wants to spend their whole life in the box? We are beyond rules here, if it works. Why am I stating the obvious again?

  64. what rules?
    i’m not preaching the grey scale – just that a little underexposure, rather than epic dodge n burn, in the background would have been more my taste.. and i think helped the balance of the phot..
    it’s strongly backlit and a couple of stops under – who knows.. perhaps we’d be saying how fantastic a choice it was.. the menecing mountain and blahblahblah :ø)

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