In Protest by Yalda Pashai-F


I am a 20 year old photography student currently studying at Ryerson University in Toronto  where I learn to express my opinions and inner feelings through image-making. Born in Iran, I always believed in freedom and equality. In this spirit, I participated with the protest to close down the School of the Americas funded by the U.S. Army, located in Fort Benning, Georgia. The protesters are composed of various peacemakers and are here dressed as the dead. This particular image is from a series based on this protest.

(editors note:  Yalda is a  student assistant for the Magnum workshops going on now  during the Contact Photography Festival in Toronto….i may also publish some of the best from all 6 workshops running  now.     -david alan harvey)


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Yalda Pashai


149 thoughts on “yalda pashai-f – in protest”

  1. Johan Jaansen

    Compelling photograph, I am in awe…

    The girls stare draws me into the monitor and the painted white face with the splash of red is disturbing in a surreal way. This by far is my favorite single photograph I have seen for a while on Burn. In another sense it feels like either a still from a horror movie or a frame from an experienced photo-journalist. Bravo!



    i just left a note for both of you under Dima post…i think young Yalda is a classic example of the generation who rely on the net for their information….Jim, i think you would be quite impressed with the commitment of this generation towards the very ideals you so often express….

    cheers, david

  3. Yalda,
    We have so many, but yet we need so many more, like you, down here, at the bottom of the world. You have a good heart…. Change does not come easy. Keep working…

  4. (reminder: if you can’t see the picture, access thru May archives, as I just did)

    Funny how we all respond differently to a picture as far as its intrinsec quality. I will take the DAH amendment on this one (the DAHmendment): Judge pictures against the best in the genre. It’s an apt image, but somehow does not strike me as “hauntingly beautiful”. Not sure where it’s missing something for me, but I will try. Maybe her face should had been the only flesh in the composition, maybe the large foreground figure swears/eats against the superb curtain formed in the background. Maybe she is, it seems to me, a daughter of one of the women, and her gaze comes out derivatively, more than from concentration to the cause they all gathered for.

    I am also perplexed, for no reason probably, why they dressed in a way that we do not think about death, but iranian women answering an Imam’s call.

  5. David, I agree. I hope the web provides them an outlet for their work, as well. With print newspapers and magazines dying by the day, it is the outlet of the future. Hopefully, efforts like Burn will give not only photographers like Yalda a venue for their work, but a place for non-photographers to see it.

  6. I responded in a way similar to Herve, and was confused by the connection of the image to the text. I looked up the school and this is from the School of the Americas Watch site (http://www.soaw.org/)

    “The US Army School of Americas (SOA), based in Fort Benning, Georgia, trains Latin American security personnel in combat, counter-insurgency, and counter-narcotics. SOA graduates are responsible for some of the worst human rights abuses in Latin America. In 1996 the Pentagon was forced to release training manuals used at the school that advocated torture, extortion and execution. Among the SOA’s nearly 60,000 graduates are notorious dictators”

    I understand better the need for a protest, but for me the depiction of a child who might not fully grasp why she is participating is possibly not the strongest depiction of the cause..as a stand alone image though, without need or interest of conveying this message of protest, I find its strength in its ambiguity and open-endedness.

  7. Good work, Yalda. I’ve not participated in the School of the Americas protests but over the past 20 years have been part of more peace demonstrations than I could count. And I’ve documented most of them with my camera so I know firsthand the challenges in trying to come up with an image that is both artistic and accurate. You, my friend, have succeeded where I so often failed. I congratulate you both on your photographic skills and your active commitment to peace.


  8. Kathleen Fonseca

    A beautiful photograph. Such powerful use of color and composition to bring the focus to the face of this young girl. i particularly like that we see only her face in full, and parts of others. I also like so much the pale red of her eyes and the blistering red of the flower and the drops sprayed all over the black. These protesters certainly had an eye for theater. Very, very nice!

    I have no problem using a child to symbolically represent the scores of innocent lives lost to torture, secret police death squads, executions, disappearances and massacres in Latin America not to mention newborn babies kidnapped from political prisoners (who were executed right after childbirth) and given to military personnel in Argentina. Children are always the most shocking victims of conflict as illustrated in the Uganda essay. Why should a child not participate in a protest against the training center for the dictators and military leaders guilty of destroying so many of their lives?

    Thank you, Yalda for your interest and participation in this protest and for documenting it with such a poetically strong image. This photo represents the concept and visual metaphor of the protest. It is an ‘auto’ document of the day. It’s not a journalistic photo that says, “these people did this today”. It’s clearly shot by someone whose heart is with these protestors, who is trying to say, “we did this today”.

    Oh, and my maiden name is Ryerson, so i have always been especially interested in Ryerson University. i recall once many years ago googling my surname and being overwhelmed by page after page……after page…..of URL addresses from R.U. You must certainly have a huge and dynamic IT department :))

    DAH, please see my post to you in the “On a Roll” dialogue. Maybe it will mean something to you. It did to me.

    best to all:

  9. KAT

    I also don’t see a problem in general for the use of a child as a symbol of the above mentioned, but in this example the usage doesn’t hit home for me, something in her expression seems like she is more taken with the photographer than the cause.

  10. It’s a lovely photo, but it seems weird that it’s from a staged protest and not from the Arab world. So once we read the caption, the power of the image is immediately voided. Also, as Erica notes, the School of the Americas is usually associated with Latin American shenanigans, and the image here tries to evoke the Middle East. These various incongruities overwhelm the picture, in my humble opinion.

  11. Pete Marovich

    People keep referring to the subject as a child. Do we know her age? Maybe she is just very young looking. She could be in her early 20’s.

  12. I’d like to disclose that I have no background in photography, yet I am a Political Science graduate, and I am Iranian/Canadian. As far as I understand, The School of Americas, now known as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, is a training facility designed to produce intelligence, and military graduates with specialization in the affairs specific to the Americas, not the Middle East. The above image clearly displays the suffering of Middle Eastern women. I can see why the protesters would use this demonstration as a platform to exemplify the pervasive affects of US foreign policy.

    When first seeing this image, I experienced a natural inclination towards it. This primarily had to do with the fact that it evoked feelings and memories that tie back to my childhood. On second glance, I was drawn to the dark imagery of the image. I find no deception in this image, and take it for what it is, which is a group of disgruntled protesters trying to educe fervor through theatrics. I commend their effort for attempting to do this, and they are fortunate that a talented photographer was present to capture it and display it for the world to see. I believe the context of this image gives it its ultimate meaning. Although esthetically pleasing, I am reminded of the rampant suffering of people at the hands of foreign influence when viewing this image. So if that was the intended message, well done!

    P.S I doubt that’s a child in the image.

  13. Loading the image into photoshop, and undoing the extreme darkening of the original image done there, the figures in the middle appear to be kneeling. So it’s likely, I would say, that it’s a young women. Too much PS manipulation of images going on.

  14. Pete Marovich

    “Maybe her face should had been the only flesh in the composition, maybe the large foreground figure swears/eats against the superb curtain formed in the background.”

    Maybe the photographer should have stopped everyone from what they are doing and done some stage management. JEEZ! It is what it is. And for me it looks great! I am a bit too irritated to find the right words now, but DAH has expressed the fact that there is almost always something that could have been better when shooting a live event. Maybe he can chime in and explain what I am thinking.

    “extreme darkening of the original image done there”

    OH FOR FUCK SAKE! Unless you have access to the “original” file or film, do not accuse this photographer for “Too much PS manipulation” It may very well have been burned down a bit, but it certainly does not look over worked to me.

    And looking at the image after opening up the shadows still does not tell me she is not kneeling. Damn Jim you have a lot of time on your hands!

  15. I just checked with the bugs, they tell me that she’s actually standing, it’s an optical illusion produced by the kneeling women around her, she‘s 7-9 yrs old, 4’6’’, fair skin and likes ice-cream.

    the praying mantis has also told me that Jim is being presumptions with the digital manipulation, the mantis mentioned that exposing the image with ‘average exposure’ would have blown entirely in highlights the reflective value of the face; this image had to be exposed for the face and thus shoved the cloaks into shadows.

    that being said the beetle says, “hey you never really no for sure, it could be the product of a new hi-dynamic range camera we’ve never heard of yet.

    Sorry Yalda, by the way, I’m not keen on your decision to push up this image, I think 5202 was much more telling and less familiar to what we would expect.

    Best wishes.

  16. Pete Marovich

    “and her gaze comes out derivatively, more than from concentration to the cause they all gathered for.”

    Again, I think there is WAY too much analysis.

    I gather that someone has thrown or spattered whatever that red stuff is on the protesters. How do we know that it did not just happen and come from the direction of the photographer? How do we know that the girl is not just reacting to that moment. Maybe she is looking a the photographer thinking “can you believe someone just did that?”

    Or maybe she is thinking “damn, I can’t believe that now there will be a bunch of people seeing this on the internet and spending their day trying to figure out why I am here, how old I am, why I am looking at the camera……. and on and on and on….

  17. Peter, take a chill pill, at least it’s all been exploratory, sure, clumsy, cringe-worthy, and border-line absurd, but it could be worse, we could be telling her that photographing this protest is killing some dophins somewhere!

  18. Pete Marovich

    Tormented? Not at all.

    But when I read shit like I have been reading I do my ferret with Tourette’s impersonation.

    As I explain to my wife… If I don’t let this shit out… I could very well spontaneously combust. And then there would be shit everywhere! (grin)

    Hey it’s almost O-beer-thirty! Happy Friday!

  19. Pete Marovich

    Oh and… “at least it’s all been exploratory”

    I could really say something funny there…

  20. Great reading, the reponses are so telling of the complexity of reading an image(always good if for a good cause, but here on BURN, we are definitely interested in the power of images and photography per se, it’s our passion for being here and should stay our main concern) complexity which is dealt simply by some (wonderful cause, great shot) taking the image for granted.

    While others question it and its uncertain message, even propagandizing (though I am quite certain Yalda’s goal was not propaganda, it’s just that photos can often leave their maker’s intention, For ex. i could imagine such photo used in Iran as imagery against american satanism).

    Just the fact that we may argue if she is a child or not tell us about that complexity of reading, and how we respond to it.

    The next argument, about having a child in a demonstration, no problem in itself, saves also babay-sitting money. Here, yes, she might be even a young woman, that is not IMO the problem. the weakness here is that her face is turning nicely for a timely fine classic “face in a crowd” photography, but is not conveying any gravity or momentousness, relating to the dramatic outplay going on.


  21. Damned, I forgot to rewrite “,possibly propagandizing…” before my first parenthesed sentenced (always godd…). I need to let you know so it makes sense.

  22. Again, I think there is WAY too much analysis.

    Not at all Peter. The image did not make a strong effect on me, though it obviously had all the ingredients for a superlative composition, and not writing to my Mom, but on BURN, I thought it dutiful to try to write why it was so, especially since I constantly criticize lauding or dismissive one-liner.

    Moreover, I speak really about stuff that is concretely in the frame, not philosophying outside of it, free for others to see me misinterpretating what I see. That’s the whole fun of the exercice.

  23. i think this is a wonderful image… and the website is very very nice too… i think as a image it works very well for me… its powerful… clean and very well shot… the whole essay of this (visit site) is amazing… very powerful and meaningful! i like were the photographer has taken me with these set of images…. if you have time… please check out the site along with the essay… its amazing… very very nice work! beautiful and sad…

  24. I gather that someone has thrown or spattered whatever that red stuff is on the protesters. How do we know that it did not just happen and come from the direction of the photographer? How do we know that the girl is not just reacting to that moment. Maybe she is looking a the photographer thinking “can you believe someone just did that?”

    See, Peter, you yourself see much that might seem over-interpretating to others. Case made!

    To me, the red, symbol of victims of tyranny, was poured on as an integral part of the demonstration going on (as it’s an ubiquitous symbol in many human rights marches)… totally under-analysing here! :-))))

  25. Pete Marovich

    I am not over interpreting. Obviously someone has splattered the protesters with something red.

    THEN I just asked some questions.

  26. Well, then let’s just ask Yalda what the blood is doing there.

    THEN I just asked some questions.

    Yes, me too: that’s what “maybe” means in a sentence.

  27. I don’t represent other people’s work as my own.

    You download images all the time and don’t even think about it. What do you think your browser is caching to make pages load faster?

  28. You need to tell that to the browser makers, then.

    And your link only applies to the EU.

  29. Yalda Pashai

    It’s amazing how people over analyze everything and don’t even realize it. I think we need to pause and appreciate what the photograph is trying to represent.

    I took this picture when I was 18 year-old and was focused on how to illustrate the mood of the environment in a single shot. This has absolutely nothing to do with Iran, Islam, or women and hijab, but I am aware that it might resemble these topics. Because I mentioned I’m Iranian, could this have something to do with your assumption of the picture being taken in Iran or representing the hijab?

    The people in this image are painted in white and dressed in black with fake blood splattered all over them ONLY to represent the dead people who have been brutally massacred by the students trained in SOA. These people are protesting in front of the gates of school.
    To answer some of the above questions/curiosities: The kid is an 8/9 year-old girl; I have only changed a bit of the contrast of this image, everything else is original (no cropping, etc); everyone around the circle are standing up except the few people sitting in the middle while the little girl is kneeling.

    I am overwhelmed and appreciate all your responses regarding this photograph.


  30. Yalda Pashai

    Ps. Please check back my website in couple weeks as i will be updating it :)


  31. Johan Jaansen

    A certain someone has backpedalled from an initial positive review of the photograph: ‘the photo is fine technically’, to a little later in the same thread: ‘extreme darkening of the original image done there…too much PS manipulation of images going on’. On my monitor there is substantial detail in their black cloaks and also detail in the girls white face.

    Such an ‘about turn’ on the same photograph tells me that you like to provoke a negative reaction, well just because you can. mudslinging. If the topic of the discussion is not centered on you as opposed to the photographer, then you drop your milk like a spoilt child. Sure everyones opinions change over time, but yours seem to change in such an unusually short space of time. Hence, it doesn’t stand to reason. I’m not going to mention names, because then we would be back at square one.

    “I don’t see how anybody can criticize pictures – I really don’t. If an art critic is a good writer, then a review is worth reading, but I don’t think it has much to do with the pictures” Harry Callahan

    Also, thanks David for the reply, I got that note. In my case, I try to procure as much information about photography and from as many eclectic sources as possible. I am from the ‘newer’ generation, but that doesn’t mean I prefer looking at photograph’s digitally on the net. Actually, it is quite the opposite. It is just the cost of photography books that are quite prohibitive to building a nice collection. Hence, all of the photography books that I have purchased were secondhand from markets and secondhand bookshops.

    In a way, I also prefer second hand photo books/literature, because they seem to have a soul compared to newer books. I remember once reading in the ‘English Patient’ that you never know a books ultimate destination. I have collected six in the Aperture Masters of Photography series (Kertesz, Strand, Hosoe, Smith, Callahan, Bravo). I love this particular series, not only because they are affordable, but because the essays are thought provoking.

    “I have stopped trying to say anything about anything – there is no statement or message other than the presence of the flowers or light – that is enough”. Morris Graves

    When I leaf through an old photography book, I sometimes wonder what the former owner/s impressions were of the photos, because some pages are handled more heavily than others. Sometimes that is a small clue as to their favourite photographs. Also, libraries seem to have an excellent choice of photo books. I remember reading a book called ‘The Lives of Lee Miller’ in my ‘local’. I am fascinated with photography from that generation and hers was an amazing life story as well – it also didn’t hurt that she was smokingly beautiful.

    So, what I am trying to say, is that this younger generation isn’t always solely reliant on the net for information. I surf the net everyday looking at more contemporary photogapher’s work, as well as borrowing, buying and ‘stealing’ older master photographers books. So, in my instance, I take it where I can get it.

    Coming back to Yalda’s haunting photograph, I want to leave a quote that I thought was applicable from Harry Callahan’s: Aperture Masters of Photography.

    “Could a greater thing take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?”
    Henry David Thoreau

  32. Johann, I still think it’s a good photo technically. Haven’t changed my mind. Which is why I made a point initially to specifically use the word “technically.” I assumed, though, that it was an attempt at journalism, and I hate the overuse of PS in journalistic photos. I now realize from the photographers recent post that her intent wasn’t journalism. It was composition. As art I think the image works fine. She has a good eye.

  33. This is such a stunning image. It should be judged on the merit of its inherent beauty, and the art involved in its creation. Everything else is brought to the table by the viewer. The visceral and instinctual reaction that one has are a mirror of one’s own perception.

  34. “I have stopped trying to say anything about anything – there is no statement or message other than the presence of the flowers or light – that is enough”. Morris Graves”

    Then David needs to close the forums and let the photos stand alone.

  35. JOHAN…

    what a pleasure to read about your love for the tactile nature of photographic books…when i mentioned the younger generation being so drawn to the net, i never for a minute wanted to suggest that many in this “newer generation” did not also respect and treasure the finest work in print…

    a slipped cased version of Callahan color has a special spot in my home…he would have liked Yalda’s photograph…..by the way, she has done a masterful job in literally running all of the logistics of my class….talented AND a really hard worker….i suspect we may hear of her again someday…

    cheers, david

  36. Johan Jaansen

    With digital photography, the word technhique – from a lexicographical stand point, encompasses not only the original composition/exposure, but also post-production, as this is an important element of color digital photography. However, some could say that it is unfortunate that ones technique is also measured by this very ability to control photoshop histograms in the post-production process.

    Jim, that quote by Morris Graves was a play on words. Instead of leaving the image stand alone with a positive message as you initially had done, you decided to backpeddle and play the absurd role of a ‘digital sherlock investigator’. Hence, your natural inclination to give negative feedback got the better of you. It is a shame that you couldn’t let this image stand alongside the presence of flowers and light as it rightly deserved…

  37. Johan Jaansen

    David, yes that’s true – I have many amateur photographer friends who not only take refuge in the net, but also have a passion for books, magazines and printed materials in general. They are probably what you would describe as from the newer generation and there interests also draw them away from the monitor.

    In addition to books, I also enjoy collecting brochures from exhibitions and shows at galleries and museums. These brochures tend to show just as much about the curators intent/creativity on them, as the photographer/artist in question. At retrospectives, I invariably find a pleasure in a private review in the curator’s selected ‘best of’ as opposed to those photographs in that I would have selected.

    As you already mentioned, it would be fair to predict that Yalda has a bright future in photography. We will no doubt see her name a lot over the years to come. I look forward to seeing her new work/projects.


  38. Johan, is it your intent with the ad hominem attacks to get me to stop posting? You seem to have an agenda here. Why should your opinion of the photo have any more weight than mine?

    Either my opinions have some merit or they don’t. You didn’t take me to task when I praised “Safekeeping.” You appear only to think my opinions are rubbish when they do not agree with yours.

  39. Johan Jaansen

    I have no agenda Jim, except to try and enjoy both the photographs/essays and then hopefully make a valid contribution/response. Both positive and negative feedback are important in the early development of a forum such as this.

    However, to raise doubt about a photographer by ‘pulling’ their photo into photoshop to prove a point about the author’s ‘photoshop integrity’, certainly makes me wonder. Given that you’ve been a photographer a lifetime longer than I have, certainly from a pragmatic perspective gives weight to your opinions. I would like to respect that. But I’m afraid in this case, experience and integrity don’t necessarily facilitate one another.

    Incidentally, seeing as you brought up the word agenda, one may wonder where you stand with that word in the context of this forum as a whole.

    “It is what we do every day in the simplest way that counts”. Frederick Sommer


  40. ‘photoshop integrity’,is a pretty big issue in journalism and there are a lot that have been caught out of late. One is free to bring this issue to light as they please and they feel that it is warranted.To me this image is about a kid who was dragged off to a protest and it really isn’t their preferred activity.

    Personally I don’t give a damn as I am happy to prostitute myself to any technique or technology at my disposal to get my ideas, what I have or don’t have to say across to an audience.

  41. Thanks for the update, Yalda.

    I am a bit miffed at this “over-analyzing” bit, though. If caring about somebody’s work enough to try to take it a step further in questionning aspects of it and our own perception of it also, is over-analyzing, I am left wondering if you’ve ever read any literature, or even simple critiques, commenting on photos and photography.

  42. Kathleen Fonseca

    for chrissake..is she kneeling or standing, are the shadows burned in, would she rather be playing playstation, was the paint just sprayed on them, is she 9, 10, young, teen-aged, woudl she rather be somewhere else, sniping, back-peddling, histogram snooping, propogandizing, misleading middle east allusions, and Herve, your catty condescension (that i have also been on the receiving end of)..crap, to so many of you..reading a lot of these comments makes me bloody sick..i really wonder who´s photographs would please you? whose? nobody´s, that´s who!!!!!! There is nothing wrong with this photograph! Not a goddamned bloody thing! It is well done, it evokes the spirit and the theater of the protest which she says quite clearly the protesters were dressing and made up like they were dead. Since when is a shroud purely a Middle East form of dressing? Talk about narrow-minded, petty, shrewish, catty, comments. I hope to GOD i am never published here. I couldn´t bear a lot of what i´ve read here. And you wonder, Herve, why Yalda snapped a neuron or two? I think she behaved quite well to tell you the truth.

    To quote Frank Michal´s comment which seriously bears serious re-reading:

    ¨It should be judged on the merit of its inherent beauty, and the art involved in its creation. Everything else is brought to the table by the viewer. The visceral and instinctual reaction that one has are a mirror of one’s own perception.¨

    *sick at heart*

  43. Yalda,
    This certainly is an arresting image and it immediately intrigued me. To me it has reference to the Arab world (burqa) and my initial reaction was that it was a protest by women in a Muslim country, strong, radical and brave stuff.My imagination was going into overdrive. I felt a little let down to find it was a performance piece in the US. This is not to say that the protest it is part of is not valid.

    This reinforces for me the strenghth of photography and instant reaction it can bring. Saatchi’s in the UK ran a brilliant ad campaign for the Met Police during the 90’s trading on this initial perception of circumstances, prejudices and ambiguity. I can’t find a link to it.

    As mentioned above “Everything else is brought to the table by the viewer. The visceral and instinctual reaction that one has are a mirror of one’s own perception.”

    It is a strong image, and well seen and presented.

  44. Hi Kat,
    There is a strong negative influence on this forum that always seems to send threads into a negative spiral. I,to my shame, sometimes get dragged into it too.

  45. Kathleen Fonseca


    I am just unspeakably sad about what´s happened here, that´s all..


    forgive me for erupting..*thoughtful*..i still feel the same but i should have kept it to myself. You´re all grownup people. You all are smart and most are far more epxerienced photographers than i will ever be. I´m not your boss or your mom or your censor. I don´t have to tell you the right thing to do or say. You all know what you´re about..but..but..i think some of what went on here speaks so poorly on our behalf.

    that´s all…sorry..


  46. I can’t see what is negative about a saying that the kid looks like they don’t want to be there, to me that’s what makes the image work.

  47. Kat,

    I agree with you, that is why I feel shame, in stooping and reacting with knee jerk responses.

    Imants, you are not the negative influenc.

    Cheers and hugs all.

  48. Kathleen Fonseca


    Not to worry, i´ve done it myself in the past and no doubt will do the same thing again. I think you are incredibly honest to say what you´ve said and i thank you..


    Ian´s right..it´s not about you..but sad to say, this forum is a sum of its parts.

  49. kathleen, if it is not to analyze the photos, to think and talk about them, why are we here? Perhaps we need a macro, a boilerplate where we can click a key and have pasted on every photo or essay here, “My God, that the greatest photo I’ve ever seen, it has changed my life and my soul and I will never be the same.”

    We all have completely different reactions to photos, some artistic, some technical, some ethical, some religious. I’ve asked before about the purpose of the magazine and never really received a concrete answer. Is it to praise the work of all photographers and photographs and the decisions of the editors? If so, then just put a big quote at the top of the home page, “The Greatest Photos In The World.” There is nothing else to say.

  50. KAT,

    the thing about inherent beauty and art is that their recognition, acknowledgment and resonance are still in the eye/heart/mind of the beholder.


    the value of keeping the featured photography here open to comments has been one of our most long term discussions…i would say that 80% of the time it all works just fine…most comments are constructive in nature whether pro or con with regard to the success of the photo or essay…

    the photographers featured here always have the option of closed to comments…

    so far, they have all chosen to have open commenting…i have not read one single author here who reacted negatively to the comments given about their work…all have remained totally diplomatic in reacting to even the most blunt reviews….the clashes always arise among others….if one reads carefully, collisions tend to come from semantic misunderstandings rather than true conflict of values….i think most of us have quite similar values of photographic representation in terms of integrity…..aesthetic tastes have no boundaries and it would be foolish to impose some sort of visual barometer on any given set of work….all of our reference points are so totally different, and i find it fascinating rather than frustrating to read various viewpoints when respectfully presented…

    the purpose of BURN, which has been stated so many times, is simply to provide a venue/forum for emerging photographers at a time when the nature of photographic communication is in a clear state of revolution and discovery…

    all this week i have been surrounded by young photographers from around the globe who are telling me to my face how much this means to them….after a week like this, i feel even more committed to making BURN not only an online exposure outlet, but hopefully to soonest provide funding for original work to be produced specifically for BURN from both the legendary and the emerging….i should know in the next several weeks if this is a possibility….

    simply having BURN as a channel off of the Magnum site in the coming month will give the photographers and writers published here unprecedented exposure…keep an eye out for MAGNET…

    the published photographers here almost always write and tell me of some positive gain they have had from being published on BURN through either print sales or other commissions….my goal is not only international exposure, but in real time, real career gain….

    i appreciate both of you….you both add something…..even when in verbal combat, you add….and i doubt if we were all in the same room that there would be the rancor that often appears here in print…in my class right now there are students who if they were writing to each other might appear totally in conflict…the demographic of any class of 10, is pretty much the demographic of our online family..

    there are really only two degrees of separation…in the context of eye contact and body language, conflicts are often viewed as something either humorous or just accepted with a wry smile.. everyone is able to totally enjoy the moments reflecting on a craft that has been so much a part of all of our lives…

    please view each other in that light….i will do all i can to get us all in the same room at the same time….trust me, there will be smiles…

    peace, cheers, david

  52. Pete Marovich


    No need to apologize. I think you nailed it.


    Well said. and I do think discussion and analyzing can be good and should be encouraged. I just feel that many times it goes a bit over the top here. Kathleen expressed it best.


    “Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh,” he whispered.
    “Yes, Piglet?”
    “Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw, “I just wanted to be sure of you.””

    First, let me say congratulations Yalda for the fine and potent photograph. So, David and I (cover your eyes if you don’t want to be embarrassed) spoke about you on Thursday evening and David spoke of you and your commitment to work in the highest words one can imagine: “Bob, Yalda is the real deal. Incredibly hard working, self-less and commitment not to accolades but to making something from this picture life.”…It is a value that, in an age all too swamped by compmetition and back-biting and embittered, lime-light blindness, seems often all-too rare. I’d just like to remind, that there are still folks whose ethic is just that: to work hard and to carve out seeing from the world around. A terrific photograph.

    As to the commentary on the thread, well, David’s said it more eloquently and succinctly. I wish to just remind people that it is possible to, when in an attempt to dig, we dig hard and scarring into each other instead… and that is a shame. The words here are, in the end, much less important than the relationship, the bonds, the connection, the human connection, that lay at the heart of our waking. It is such a shame that that simple truth gets lost over and over again. Including, by me….

    take care of one another

    see you all tonight….


    “If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.”–winnie-the-pooh

  54. Katleen, No one is snapping a neuron or 2 here other than your intolerant (of others opinions) self. Your, once again, going personal and insulting towards me, is totally uncalled for (we are talking about a picture and the impressions it left or not on us, for god sake!), and for that reason, convinces me it has little to do with me.

    I hope to GOD i am never published here.
    for condescending towards the whole BURN readership, you do take the gold, or better: ivory (tower)! :-)

  55. On the topic of a picture being wrong. No one said so.

    For example, many photographers have made available their contact proofs, explaining why they chose one picture over the others, from the same subject. One can often see that the discarded photos are fine photos with nothing wrong with them, and fine for publication (as is Yalda’s). yet their exacting professionalism and well-honed sense of esthetics (which Yalda is gearing forward, apparently, only promises in seeing such picture from an 18 yo) does take them one step further. In that realm of the “best” that David himself, I repeat, told us to judge our own work against.

  56. Last:

    1) black shrouded women (alive, today, not the virgin Mary!). why couldn’t we think of muslim women, or muslim something? I challenge anyone to tell me of women dressed likewise other than under a muslim code of dressing in any street around the world? That it is a theatrical display, upon reading the note, does changes everything, but as photography critiques go, it is quite OK to deal and speak of perception, conscious and unconscious.

    Think the picture of Nachtwey in El Salvador. A wounded soldier is taken away by his peers , his arms stretched as if on a symbolical crucifix/cross. Should we be assailed verbally for “perceiving” a symbol of christian origin, with “a guy stretches his arm and you think Christianity”…..

  57. My last Jim comment. DAH says

    “The purpose of BURN, which has been stated so many times, is simply to provide a venue/forum for emerging photographers at a time when the nature of photographic communication is in a clear state of revolution and discovery…”.


  58. Kathleen Fonseca

    gosh that was weird, my keyboard just started posting by itself..ok..well, anyway

    DAH and JIM

    DAH i am sorry for creating conflict..i have been trying to avoid that lately. Maybe what i should do is take a little trip to see some friends in Beaumont this summer and dash up to Tyler County with you and Jim and have a Long Neck (on Jim of course) hehe…just long enough to get a whiff of that summer honeysuckle, meet you both and and kiss and make up with Jim. Let me know. Could be good. Jim, do you know Frank Gerriets by any chance? He´s a pretty renowned water color painter in the region. He lives in Port Arthur and is a very very old and dear friend of mine. He´d die of bliss if i said i was going to visit.


    i stay out of discussions involving you, and they all involve you. i am not sure why that is. i have some theories but that´s all they are. What is depressing to me is that these discussions COULD be so much better, so much more productive than they are because as i have said to you before, whether you like it or not, you are a leader. You have the tools at your disposal to be so positive, to generate so much discussion in an upward spiral as opposed to the downward one that Ian referred to. For reasons i just do not understand you just don´t step up to the plate. There are amazing people writing here, so talented in many ways and your posts act like a spark on the gasoline of their minds and there it goes, WOOF, forum fire spreading like crazy. Damn, Jim, can´t you be more creative than you´re being? Can´t you use the time at your disposal to raise issues that you are well aware of that will LEAD the discussion in a postive manner? You are diabolically manipulative and i am not saying that to insult you. It´s a powerful tool. Can´t you see how much you could contribute here? I mean, sometimes i read your one-liners and i cringe. i can see what´s gonna happen and it does. And it´s not just me who´s upset about this..there are many who write here expressing their frustration with the situation. I´m just asking you to think hard about this. You have the time, the energy, the mind and the wherewithal to make a really big difference in these forums. Why not give it a try? Just put aside your personal prejudice against a photo and dig into it a little, think about how to phrase it from a positive perspective..like the way copywriters do..i know you know what i´m talking about. Just be a little more ingenious and consider how it will make you feel to have a different kind of discussion. Please? I know DAH isn´t crazy about every photo he posts here but his mind is very open and very big and he can see 360 degrees around images. You could do a LOT better than you´re doing and i am far from the first person who has said this. So how about it?

    my best to both

  59. Kathleen Fonseca


    can we consider our discussion on this subject closed? We both made our respective points and i´m not about tit-for-tat.

    take care and have a really nice evening wherever you are, Herve


  60. Johan Jaansen

    I love winnie-the-pooh quotes, thanks for posting those Bob Black. Your choice of words always gives a perfect take on photos and comments on Burn.

    Well after indulging in some strong coffee, I thought that I would share one of my favorite quotes from that lovable bear – I thought that it could be applied to my recent addiction to the Burn website!

    “There are two kinds of people who go to the zoo – some people run around making sure they see every animal. But I go straight to my favorite animal and stay there”

    Have a great weekend everyone, I’m off now with friend and camera in tow to take some portraiture.


  61. Kathleen Fonseca


    or would that be off with camera and friend in tow? *wink* :))


  62. Johan Jaansen

    Kat, that made me laugh, thanks for that^^

    I now have this dizzying surreal thought of trailing my little digi camera on a dog leash behind me, while holding hands and hopelessly attempting to lick the top of a Baskin Robbins mint chocolate chip (best flavor by the way), meanwhile the ice-cream is dropping all over the camera lens and I’m left with some very graphic green and black shots that has me reviewed in the New York times as the Jason Pollack version of modern photography. Well, one can only dream.

    Gotta go and start this project before I get what my favorite flavor was to begin with!


  63. Kathleen Fonseca


    sorry i didn´t see this before the mint chocolate chip melted so i could tell everybody that i was the stimulus package that incited the Johan Pollack riot. Well, as they say, I dream, you dream, we all dream for ice cream.

    Have a great session..don´t drip all over your great photo books unless of course you feel that would add to the patina of age!


  64. Kathleen, I’m no leader. No interest in being a leader. I am an advocate for photography and its future. And I, and a lot of other folks, are concerned about its future. So I say what I think. If that generates discussion, fine, buy I’m not playing devil’s advocate. I’m saying what I think.

    Burn exists in a strange time for photography in general. Pulitzer prize winning photographers are having trouble getting enough work to pay the bills. Photojournalists are having to shoot weddings on the weekends to make ends meet (NPPA (National Press Photographers Association) is planning sessions on wedding and portrait photography at their next convention because of this.)

    Good photography is common, excellent photography is everywhere. Merely good or merely excellent isn’t good enough. And I cringe when I see post after post of “haunting,” or “life changing,” or “the best I’ve ever seen.” There have been a number of singles and essays here that I have liked and have posted so. But there are many that don’t strike me as good enough or excellent enough. Or maybe I didn’t think the photographer thought through the implications of their photo, regardless of whether it was “good.” So I say so.

    I hope Burn opens a door for some of these photographers. But their success on the other side of that door is going to depend on their work being better than excellent and a lot of things that have little to do with photography. In my opinion, endless cheerleading is not in their best interests. Others here disagree. If that results in discussions, good.

  65. ALL…

    there is no pretense here that BURN is an anthology of photography….books and sites exist which show the “best of the best” of all time….what we are doing is showing the work of photographers/readers who have submitted it to BURN now…today….and as i prepare now a BURN movie for Look3, i can see that if we show our own “best of the best” from the last few months, we will look very strong indeed…

    producing from daily submissions is indeed tricky…i am totally dependent on what comes in to me from you….my behind the scenes mentoring/editing with several of you should manifest itself soonest with some fine essays….but, these things take time….the very nature of five updates weekly means that i do not think there is any way to make all days equal…some days will just be better than others…however, if you peruse the archives and compare what we have published so far from our readership and compare with any publication “best of the best” over the same time period, you will quickly see where BURN stands…

    “good photography is common…and excellent photography is EVERYWHERE” …yes, it is…that is the problem…it is everywhere…not gathered….not edited…just everywhere….

    ok,i have more thoughts…but must pack my bags quickly..running late for airport…running a bit tired from week of seeing some terrific work by young photographers…i will be showing some of it to you all of you soonest…no cheerleading….i will just put it out there for your discussion…

    cheers, david

    p.s. new post coming tonight…..


    as far as i can read and remember , you have never created conflict….quite the contrary…and your points above so so well taken…there is a way to disagree and have lively and thoughtful discussion without insulting someone…seems so so simple to me….nobody here is looking for a pat on the back…but a knife in the back is not really wanted either….middle ground??

    cheers, david

  67. 20 years old – fantastic..
    of course great photography is enough.. however, seeing great photography from a 20 year old is such a treat.. to think there is the potential for 50 years ahead of great photography.
    i think that is why magazines love to catch people so young.. invest in talent that has the longest time to evolve.

    it´s not an agest thing – i´m certain in myself – just a congratulatory expression to you yalda, that you have found your calling early enough, and have the confidence the ´wear the coat you want to wear tomorrow, today´.. i´m sure it will take you far and if you get out there and meet magazines and editors your phone may start ringing.



    safe travels..


    i think burn is already opening doors – mishas ´in your face´ piece being picked up by PDN, who asked him for an interview is the only example which i think to have been reported back.
    i think the mix of photographers to non-photographers could account for the wildly varying responses.. what a views and fan of photography wants to say is sometimes vastly different to what a photographer wants to say..

    no doubt that, as you know, hard work and excellent photography is only just enough to pay the bills.

  68. DAVID B…

    looking forward to skype editing with you this week…


    i owe you forty bucks…don’t worry , i will not forget..sorry….

    cab waiting..bye and thanks….


    you are the best…many many thanks for all of your hard work and great rapport with the class…i have your book which i will send on monday…viva geminis!!!

    cheers, david

  69. Jim
    “Photojournalists are having to shoot weddings on the weekends to make ends meet (NPPA (National Press Photographers Association) is planning sessions on wedding and portrait photography at their next convention because of this.) ”

    Umm, exciting news to all the portrait wedding shooters out here who are struggling to make a buck too.
    They can join the legions of weekend warriers and shuttermoms already flooding the scene. Digital technology has made everyone a photographer these days.

    And there are some amazing amateurs out there. This is a good thing. The bar continually gets raised.

    I think its a good thing for the pj and art crowd too. They will find out quickly that it is not as easy as it seems, and may even discover how satisfying it can be. Think of it this way: You are creating an essay documenting the most significant ritual our society observes. You do it with major time constraints, with nervous sometimes uptight people, and if you miss something, you can’t re-shoot. As an added bonus you must produce a series of portraits, which are the best ones they have ever had done, in about 1 hour. A walk in the park.

  70. Always good to look at the bright side! I guess there could be something “special” about having a Pulitzer Prize winning PJ shoot your wedding. Extra cost if he shoots it with only a Leica M, 35mm lens and Tri-X.

  71. ahahahaha
    jim, ive got a QnoA for you on ‘on a roll’..
    (making small talk waiting for new pixels)

  72. Kathleen Fonseca


    Thanks for your long and gracious reply. I am beginning to understand what your thoughts are and that much of what you say here is driven by a passion and drive for excellence. Your vision is clear and straight as an arrow. My thoughts reading your reply is that your vision is perhaps too straight and too narrow and fails to adequately consider the relative experience of a photographer. Adults are not popped out of the womb straight-away and excellent photographers are not popped out of photography 101. It stands that our photographs should be judged relative to our place and progress on a continuum that reflects our experience, talent and knowledge.

    It seems to me that you come to Burn hoping, praying and expecting to see Pulitzer quality excellence from a relative unknown. It makes you high to think that with a click you could be gobsmacked into a state of optimistic bliss for the future of photojournalism. When work falls short you are duty bound to say that. Your comment among all the others of soothing ecstatic approval will provide the one source of honest judgement according to sound photojournalistic criteria and principles. It´s a tough job but somebody has to do it. i know, i know. You are Burn´s Simon Cowell. And this courage that you have, this vision is what makes you a leader. But alas, not a teacher. Not a cheerleader. Not a mentor. Not a facilitator and not a friend. Your job is far more imperative, more serious than all that. You are more like St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. But Burn is not YOUR tool for keeping photojournalism safe for future generations. It´s David´s vehicle to develop and introduce new talent with an eye TOWARD excellence; reflecting and balancing current market trends, conditions, tastes, expectations and realistic demands on a photographer´s abilities now and into the foreseeable future.

    If David´s goal was to publish Pulitzer quality work then why would Burn need to exist? We could just go out and buy Time Magazine and even then there are precious few photos that meet that quality standard. I am thinking that you set yourself up for a pretty frustrating level of disappointment as your standards of excellence and your vision for Burn´s raison d’être fail to be realized. And because we really are a social unit we absorb, respond and reflect your disillusionment. That´s when i think the problems start. If you could accept that Burn is developing talent instead of being merely a glitzy showcase for the end product then i think you could wrap your arms around David´s vision and help him and us to achive nirvana. But as long as you soldier forward alone like Don Quixote then there will always be this disgruntled atmosphere where most comments start with the word Jim as someone mentioned above.

    I ask you again, Jim, from the bottom of my heart, please accept and judge work here relative to a photographer´s experience level and personal vision. It doesn´t mean that you have to be all kissy-kissy. Just that you consider the fact that the photograph or essay is a snapshot in time of the photographer´s experience and that your comments be constructive and hopefully foster the potential for personal understanding and growth. You cannot stop the march of time and change. But you can be a part of bringing more Pulitzer prize photographers into the spotlight where they belong. Or you can dash any hopes they have at a vulnerable and perhaps pivotal moment when they are published here. Your choice. You have that kind of power.


  73. Kathleen, work is presented here from photographers from a wide range of skill levels, and from young photographers with little experience to published photographers with a lot of experience. Perhaps David should point out the experience level with each photo or essay. Otherwise I don’t know how to comply with your wishes.

    The problem is that, as David as said, he considers all photographers as “emerging.” Without a declaimer, what you ask would require lavishing praise on everyone and assuming they are all on the same level.

    If he is not showcasing the best work around in the hope of opening doors for them, then what is he doing? I understand he is developing talent, but that seems to be a back end task. If critique is unwelcome, good or bad, then why allow posts in response to the photo?

  74. Kathleen, I just say what I think. If you want to project some kind Don Quixote persona on me, then you are welcome to do so, understanding, of course, that Don Quixote was quite insane.

  75. Kathleen Fonseca


    Yes, i know and i wrote about how to spot the level of experience in my comment and deleted it as being too vague. I agree it is a problem to know when to say, ¨NEXT???¨ and when to be a bit more gentle and encouraging while also maintaining honest critical standards. I regret commenting on a self-portrait once here, ¨Sorry, I hate it¨. eeks..i found out the guy was just shy of a novice without really great equipment and wow, did i feel like a schmuck. John Gladdy who is usually so blunt was far more perceptive than i was. He kept asking the guy to talk about his technique. He reserved judgement as he probed for answers to his questions. I just judged and wham, ended up feeling like the ignoramus. I guess without the benefit of introductory text by DAH or Bob we have to kind of feel our way around. But don´t you think you can usually tell when someone´s been around the block a little or a lot or not at all by their website, technical expertise, text, responses to questions? Just asking because that´s the way i generally get a feel for where someone´s at and how much and how strong i can be with them. And i don´t have anywhere near your experience. It should be second nature to you after all these years.

    Also, i don´t think the choices are only harsh judgement or sticky sweet praise. A black and white photo has a million shades of gray. As a matter of fact, in your absence that was what i missed so much. The comments pretty much all made me go into sugar overload. We NEED you here!!! But a little middle ground would be a nice improvement. Ask questions for one thing. Get answers, invesitgate. Look at the website (yeah, Herve, i know, but i learned!), look for clues, balance your gut reaction with a deeper analysis based on discovery. Critique is what being published here is all about. That´s why DAH asks the photographer for permission to allow comments and they all say yes. Because to a one they all want to learn and improve. And we learn from each other´s comments. And sometimes the only thing we can say i ¨I love it¨, ¨I hate it¨ but the one line assasinations, man, they cut to the quick.


  76. Kathleen Fonseca


    mmmm….i never read Don Quxote, i am sorry to say. So i am going on my perception of his mssion. Strike that from the record if you must but please don´t disregard what my point was in the first place.


  77. Yelda you are a great work in progress. Your eyes are open. Follow what interests you and you will find your voice. It’s clear that you reacted to what you saw. How cool. Passion, good training and a willingness to let others comment is how it grows into that voice.


  78. JIM…

    laughing…every day you ask me what i am doing and every day i tell you and every day i show you….hmmmmmm…not sure what it would take to make things any more clear….pretty funny really….and i am sure you are laughing too …..

    ok, deep breath..and one more time (just in case you are not laughing)…..

    these are emerging photographers published here…as opposed to the so called legends…some emerging photographers are more emerging than other emerging photographers as are some legends more legendary than other legendary photographers… emerging photographers may one day be legendary photographers….and the best legendary photographers are always emerging….emerging photographers work should be critiqued on the same level as legendary photographers work, but emerging photographers work from a picture taken two weeks ago might not be comparable to a legendary photographers work from 25 yrs ago which has been deemed now “famous” nor can a legendary photographer who shot a picture two weeks ago necessarily have a picture any better than the emerging photographer’s either best or worst…..call it as you see it of course Jim…

    now, just because someone is emerging does not mean that their photographs should be handled with kid gloves……since these emerging talents are seeking to be legendary talents, they need to know the truth..and speaking the truth and your own mind is the language you say you speak….so, in the spirit of truth and your own mind, will you please go to any magazine/newspaper stand and peruse all of the top print magazines you can possibly find and their weekly output..i mean TODAY literally..just as i did today while traveling…i looked at everything today at JFK airport magazine store…from Rolling Stone, to New Yorker, to Time/Newsweek, to NYT, , to Harpers etc etc….out of all the print magazines i saw today (and maybe it was a bad day, but go see for yourself) i could only find two pictures which would pass muster on BURN from my point of view and none that i feel would pass muster from your point of view…..just go look NOW…today…imagine whatever you see right now at these magazines above and pretend it would be up here on BURN right now…..after you do that, and please do that, look at our three front page pictures right now..In Protest by Yalda, Safekeeping by Lori, and Uganda’s Forgotten War by Dima and tell me honestly if you can find any three better pictures in any of the media listed above…in other words Jim i am asking you to compare our week in pictures here with the week in pictures from the weekly media listed above…

    you will never get it through your head no matter how many times i say it that being published here is not “pretend”….this IS being published…these pictures are not being seen in a hypothetical way, they are being seen in a real way by real people …it is just a new way from your point of view…i think you see it as an exercise towards a viewing experience, when it is in fact the exact same experience from the viewer standpoint as a picture appearing in your newspaper or in Life Magazine and with more viewers than both….provable numbers Jim, provable numbers….

    now, will it make it more real to you if original photography came in here from an assignment??? i do not have that YET for Burn, but that is exactly what i am working on….for both emerging and legendary photographers….this cannot be a promise, for promises MUST be kept….but, this is a sincere effort on my part…as is the effort to get BURN to print for a once a year special edition….photographs and words edited carefully….so please Jim , cut me some slack for at least TRYING and a bit more slack for needing the time to do it…you got no patience dude!!!

    yes, yes of course Jim, i will leave your words of wisdom totally intact in print as i do here…been censored by me Jim ?? i didn’t think so…and there is nothing ,absolutely nothing , i would like more than to present Jim Powers as an emerging photographer….er, yes, i mean, a legendary emerging photographer…..

    cheers, david

  79. Hi,

    This is the terrific image, it tell me so… some years ago, I read “Iranienne et libre” of Shirin Ebadi, I also had the luck to be present at one interview, I became aware of the condition of the women in Iran… this image translates me all this… thank you for your engagement…

    all the best, audrey

  80. Yalda Pashai-F.

    DAVID- it was a pleasure working with you. I have learned a lot from you in the past week. I admire you and your work. Hope to see you soon in NYC…… GEMINIS RULE!

    As an ’emerging’ photographer, I do need professional feed backs to help me grow in my field; so Thank you everyone for your honest opinion on my photo.


  81. Alberto Pitozzi

    As an ‘emerging’ photographer, I can tell you my “emerging opinion”…
    Very strong and great photo. I like the spiral that leads the eye to the girl.


  82. “i think you see it as an exercise towards a viewing experience, when it is in fact the exact same experience from the viewer standpoint as a picture appearing in your newspaper or in Life Magazine and with more viewers than both….provable numbers Jim, provable numbers….”

    It resembles nothing of the viewing experience as a photo appearing in a newspaper or magazine. It floats isolated in a dark background on David Alan Harvey’s Burn website, the importance of the image given greater credibility because DAH chose it to be there. Don’t get me wrong. Having you on their side is a huge asset to these photographers. But to suggest the viewing experience on this website has a real world analog in newspapers and magazines is not, in my opinion, accurate. Perhaps the analog is closer to having a photo exhibited at a major gallery with Harvey there with his arm around the photographer.

    Having said that, there is a lot of mediocre photography out there in newspapers and magazines. When you have to produce dozens of photos day in and day out and produce them when you sometimes have no interest in the event you are covering is a challenge for everyone. But, this site is not a daily newspaper. The work shown here represents “greatest hits,” as of course it would be in this venue.

  83. I’ve never looked at any photograph here and thought “DAH likes this”. Never entered my head.

    I’ve never considered anyone who contributes in any way here as somehow “A friend of DAH”. Never entered my head.

    If DAH left Burn, and Burn continued; I’d still look every day.


  84. Jim,

    I really think that if, for example the Eddie Adams vietnam photo of the general shooting the vietcong was shown on Burn you would say the same thing you do about almost everything here. There is no pleasing you, is there?

  85. Mike, if this weren’t DAH’s website, you would have never given it a second (or, likely, first look). Probably would have never heard of it. It’s not a bad thing that a famous photographer is using his name recognition to draw attention to these photographers. My only point to David was that this is not just another newspaper or just another magazine, nor are photographs here viewed as though they were.

    Rafal, even Adams was troubled that the photo misrepresented the general. Actions pictured in photos are not always what they seem.

  86. Yes he was but thats not really the point. The Adams shot was just an example and in any case he was displeased with it for a very different reason Jim is displeased with most photos here. You could use almost any shot really and Jim would sing the same tune. Which to me is very strange coming from a newspaper editor. I still dont understand where Jim is really coming from.

  87. JIM….ALL…

    just to be clear, print in hand is way way different than anything online…i was referring above only to the numbers of people viewing, potential impact, and the realities of publishing today…yes, the QUALITY of print is a totally different thing and much better….again, this is the primary reason i would like to see a collector’s edition print version of BURN….

    this site is not a daily newspaper for sure…but it is an almost daily update from a finite pool of presented work…i will stand by BURN week by week with matched imagery from the best on press..and while the press budgets are falling, we are at zero, so they have no excuse!! the “best of BURN” in printed version, and in the movie upcoming, will be exactly as the name implies…

    Jim, did you actually do what i asked you to do??? hmmm, didn’t think so….

    cheers, david

  88. Pete Marovich

    DAH – Again, very well expressed. But you have had much practice repeating it to Jim…. Who I fear will just never get it. I can’t help but think there is something deeper troubling him.

  89. Rafal, again, I have praised a number of photos and essays that have appeared here. Did you miss them?

    David, I look at images in newspapers and magazines every day. I really do care about photography, David. It’s what I do every day. While I’ve never aspired to be a famous photographer, photography has been my life for 40 years. I don’t have an agenda. I just care deeply about photography and its future. We just see things differently.

  90. Editor-at-Large to Publisher & Editor-in-Chief:

    :))))))…let’s get this ball rolling…and get these boys something new….they seem to be wallowing in boredom ;))))….it’s become even more tedious than one of my editorials….

    let them Go Tell it to the Mountaintop ;))

    even i cant believe a far aside this conversation has wing’d….


  91. JIM…

    yes Jim, i know you care….i never thought you didn’t, never said you didn’t, and i am very aware of the work here that you do like…we do share many of the same concerns for the future as well….i think what we are attempting to do here is to take action and try try to do something about it…THAT is my only AGENDA…..we see some things differently and some things exactly the same…hence a healthy discussion…however, it seems we spend more time discussing the medium than we do the message….in any case, perhaps Pete is right…he is a hard working daily print newspaperman too and an online publisher…you two are in exactly the same world….

    i care deeply about photography and its future just as much as do you, and i never aspired to be a “famous photographer” either…my only aspiration past and future is to do good work…period…so, we have clear common ground….imo what we are doing now IS the future….so please lend a hand…find a young photographer you admire and bring this person to us…tell me of a thread or discussion you would like to explore….roll up your sleeves and give us some real editorial input that can be put into practice NOW…..thanks….

    cheers, david

  92. BOB…

    good idea…thanks for the wake up call!!! …..let me get another cup of coffee, get a fire built (cool today) and i am on the case….

    gracias for your hospitality in Toronto..good times…

    cheers, david


    what are brothers/friends/comrades-in-arms for ;))))….

    my pleasure amigo, my pleasure…it was a delight…even an intense one, when i looked in my pockets and found 30 photog cards…egads, did i sign up for that? ;)))))….will write an Editorial this week on the Magnum Lectures & STudent presentations :))))….have it too you soonest….need some time to digest…

    next time: it’ll be on the beach….we’re medicine wont be clouded by needs to talk to so many folk :)))

    love,hugs young man.

  94. Jim

    We Poles have a sentence or a proverb:

    If one preson tell you “you are horse”, tel him “you are idiot”
    when second person tell you “you are horse”, hit him it the face.
    When third person tell you “you are horse”, buy yourself a saddle.

    I know you are right in many cases.
    But sometimes maybe there is a reason why so many comments is against yours.
    Especially about BURN.
    I think BURN shouln’t be explained.
    BURN is BURN.

  95. Kathleen Fonseca


    ¨find a young photographer you admire and bring this person to us…¨

    young? they have to be young? *gulp*


    ¨Mike, if this weren’t DAH’s website, you would have never given it a second (or, likely, first look). Probably would have never heard of it¨

    Maybe Mike wouldn´t have popped over here and stuck around but i didn´t know the name David Allan Harvey for shit. But i did know photo websites and blogs, from PSIG forward (anybody here at PSIG back in the day?) which were always all about the owner of the site and if you didn´t see eye-to-eye with him/them, your comment was summarily deleted..and for the most part they´re boring as hell, light´s on but nobody´s home kind of feeling..BURN hit me right away as active, dynamic, ON, forward thinking, sharp comments from people who say things other than ¨Nice tones¨, out of the blue surprises from Akaky, passionate discussion (ok, sometimes a little hotter than passionate), fabulous work that i don´t always like, sometimes cannot understand the decision to publish, but are 99% provocative and thought provoking. But mainly, i got the feeling that Burn is not just a place for hobbyists content to have a few strangers ooh-and-aahh their vacation snaps of doors and fresh fruit stands in exotic places. It´s a place where hardworking real photographers come to check out what´s new and to just hang, feeling not so all alone wherever they happen to be. And finally, i stayed because of DAH himself who´s wisdom and vision moves my heart.

    PETE and DAH

    I agree with you, Pete, and the word ¨chip´comes to mind. I think also that this discussion is going back to the same old thing and that´s Jim/DAH´s basic disagreement of what Burn is/should be. The fact is that DAH is an optomist working for change and Jim is a negative curmudgeon beating a dead horse. Far from being a healthy dynamic, it is a burden to the rest of us because as intelligent, thinking individuals, we jump into the fray and get dragged down the spiral of Jim´s negativity which i think suits Jim just fine because it keeps all the attention on him. And when it shifts away from him he tosses in a comment almost completely opposite his earlier comments (witness this very photograph) and we all follow like lemmings into the sea. I am upset by this negative trend and others are as well. Yet when i address that DAH comes in and posts almost beseechingly to Jim—-again. WTF?




    good point….i agree…i guess i just keep thinking that there is always a way to get through to someone…..that is the “never say die” persistent mentality i get into when i am mentoring someone…

    however, sometimes you just must realize that there is nothing you can do….like the doctor who finally realizes only by looking up at the flat line on the heart monitor that the patient has really really died!!!

    ok, skip the word “young” as in the context of chronological age….sorry….actually , most of the books i have mentored into final publication in the last few years have been from “youngins” over 40….but, if you want me to work with you , you just gotta spell my name correctly (my mom insists)….even if “you do not know me for shit”..

    peace, david

  97. Kathleen Fonseca


    Listen to what people are and have been saying. Please listen! This is not about you and Jim or me and Jim..i like Jim! Others do too!! We´re upset by the negatvitiy. It´s not about treating the work here with kid gloves, it´s about not trashing it into five easy pieces just because it doesn´t meet your photojournalistic expectations. ONE photo/essay published at Burn cannot possibly contain all of Jim´s hope for the future of Pj´s around the world. Maybe a ¨Best of Burn¨ could and i look forward to holding such a book in my hands. But one photo, one essay appearing on these ´pages´ cannot possibly sustain the burden of Jim´s wholly unrealistic and highly frustrated expectations. And it is unfair that his venom for what´s going on in the industry is taken out on Burn´s published work. It´s also unfair to the rest of us who come into a photo or essay viewing the unique expression of a photographer who is begging to be taken seriously. This photographer deserves to be received by open and very sharp minds. Their work does not deserve to be loved and adored just because DAH decided to publish it. And we equally do a huge disservice to the photographer by catering to their egos with sticky-sweet words. But it also needn´t be summarily trashed like a dirty diaper.

    That´s all i have to say on this subject (cross my fingers)


  98. Kathleen Fonseca


    i was writing my comment when you posted yours..i haven´t even read yours yet but wanted to quickly tell you that mine is not a response to your latest..


  99. Kathleen Fonseca

    David ALAN Harvey

    please, forgive me..tell your Ma i´m sorry..meant no disrespect :))

    As to the other, i know, i know, it´s all a part of the very good person that you are and i have seen this from my first days here..i also know what Jim could contribute if he´s just shake off the gloom..and it is true that he likes some work published here a lot..and when he does, none of the rest of us knows quite what to do because the discussion dies right there. heh. That´s why i say Jim has so much power and could do so much here..could be so helpful and useful to Burn. JIM…please hear this! I don´t know if it´s a flat line or if there´s a little upward bleep now and then. i prefer to think it´s a bleep and not a zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

    ok..gotta go..


  100. some years ago….. I became aware of the condition of the women in Iran… this image translates me all this… thank you for your engagement…

    Oh my God, Audrey…. Courrageous, candid Audrey!!!! :-))))

    or :-(((((( ?:

    Don’t you know Katleen has forbidden us to think of Iran, or muslim religion seeing this image? ;-)

    Bahhh, I am sure she’d say it’s a fine perception as long it’s another young talented woman photographer writing it… Ok, that’s what I want to be too then, an old talented woman photographer. All gain, no pain (post-menopause here!)


  101. KATHLEEN…

    not flat lined….wouldn’t be here if that was the case….teasing about the name…i am a teaser if you have not figured that out already…

    hugs, david

  102. terrific image. reminds me a biblical story of some kind, very painterly. love this splashes of red on the “canvas”. it does remind me of the middle eastern women (may be it’s your ingrained personal mythology, Yalda :) however it’s a very powerful image. im happy you take the world peace issues to your heart. your braveness would help you to grow as a photographer. best of luck :)

  103. Kathleen Fonseca


    Now what i think would be cool is you in a burka with nothing on underneath but a speedo. Even if you are post-menopause, it´s still a provocative visual ;)

    my love to Hervette..


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