Jordi Pizarro – Disappearing Lands: The “Human Face” of Climate Change in the Sundarbans, India

Jordi Pizarro

Disappearing Lands: The “Human Face” of Climate Change in the Sundarbans, India

[ EPF 2014 FINALIST ]

‘Disappearing Lands’ sets out to capture the ‘human face’ of climate change. The delicate balance that has for many centuries existed in the Sundarbans between land, air, and sea, is today under threat, and in certain areas, the effects have been disastrous.
‘Disappearing Lands’ is an attempt to explain how the Sundarbans is changing through the voices and images of the people who live there. It is also a call for urgent action to all, to address the very issue of survival of the landscape we call the Sundarbans, the animals and people who live within it, and the preservation of the worlds largest mangrove forest.

 

 

Within the space of the last 25 years, 6000 families have been rendered homeless with 4 Sundarban islands sinking into the sea.
As ominous predictions by climate change experts begin to unfold, the seas around the islands in the Bay of Bengal that support the world’s largest mangrove ecosystem are rising faster than anywhere else on Earth, placing the lives and livelihoods of those who live in the Sundarbans at risk.
Every year during the monsoon season, the waters of the rivers Ganges and Brahmaputra, which empty into the heavily populated and low lying delta region constituting the Bay of Bengal, inundate and erode the riverbanks and islands which millions of subsistent farmers call home.
Professors at Kolkata’s Jadavpur University estimate that as much as 15% of the UNESCO-protected Indian Sundarbans region will be submerged in the next six years. Sites of cultural heritage and farmlands relied on by peasant farmers, has been irrevocably lost in both India and Bangladesh.
Indeed, the riverbank erosion has caused more human and economic disasters in these areas than most wars. Sadly, only limited efforts have been made by the Bangladeshi and Indian governments for effective erosion control measures. There is limited political will to either help the displaced, or to prevent future climate-related disasters.

 

 

Bio

Barcelona, 1985.
I am a freelance documentary photographer currently based in India.  I’m covering breaking news and stories in  South East Asia, the emphasis of my work is largely focussed on current social and environmental concerns that affect different communities, most of them unadvertised by the big media. In addition to this, I have my long term project entitled “Believers” which looks at traditions, cultures and religions from a more anthropological perspective in many different regions globally.

My main goal is to aid and increase awareness of issues affecting people and their environments in the world we live in. I hope that with my photographs to contribute in some small way towards creating a critical reflexion of this world and also to try to understand us better as humans beings.

My work has been published in many international magazines around the world including Time, Sunday Times, Le Monde, Spiegel, Forbes, El Pais among others.

 

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Jordi Pizarro

 

62 Responses to “Jordi Pizarro – Disappearing Lands: The “Human Face” of Climate Change in the Sundarbans, India”


  • Not sure if the old model of photojournalism has the same impact on the on the visually sophisticated audience of today

  • Oh, I think you’re sure it doesn’t have the same impact, if any, Imants. Can’t say I don’t agree.

  • Yea it is easy for another photographer to get appreciate these photojournalist essays but the public have moved onto other hings.

    Instagram really has had a great impact as it has taken what was considered as the realm of the elite fine art photography and given it back to the public so they can create the new visual language.

  • Classic photojournalism to be sure – every image is beautifully composed, technically excellent, filled with human emotion and pathos and each image tells a story – a strong story, a story which stands to radically impact the very future of this earth and the civilizations upon it and every person who views this essay. It is a story that I personally find especially interesting as I have been inadvertently working on the same story but from the opposite spectrum. I find each image here to be exceptionally visually sophisticated.

    Yet, I can see where Imants is coming from but I think I might change the phrase “visually sophisticated audience of today” to “visually bombarded audience of today,” or “visually saturated” or perhaps even “visually stoned.” So many images, including images of every grief, joy, pain and thrill imaginable fly by today’s audience so fast and in multiple and shifting forms of media that many eyes now lack the patience to give proper attention to a set of even such important images as these, so, yeah, they don’t have the same impact as they would have had W. Eugene shot them for Life Magazine back in the ’40’s or 50’s.

    Speaking of Instagram, I kind of wish Burn still included free-for-all dialogue threads as I have something I would like to announce to the Burn family but to do so here feels like a crass act of disrespect, but there really is no other place to post it.

  • Don’t agree Frostfrog they are a smart bunch no matter how many images they see……… the public do have an uncanny ability to edit and know what is relevant to them not to others.

  • Imants, I certainly said nothing to the contrary about how smart the bunch is are or about their ability to choose what is relevant to them. I would liken it to the process we have gone through with interpersonal communications via the written word. During an earlier time in my life, I would write letters out in long hand and receive letters, usually written in long hand. The process was tedious and the number of letters sent and received relatively few, but every letter was a treasure and I would often read and reread each one many times. Then I got a typewriter and this all held true, except now I wrote and received a few more letters. The process was still tedious, though. I had to use white-out, that kind of thing. Then along came a computer with a word processor and now I wrote and received more letters than ever, printed dot matrix. Each letter remained a treasure, something for me to read again over the days until the next letter was written or received.

    And then, suddenly, there was email. And I loved it! I could write more and faster and receive more. I developed an email network that encompassed continents and we would send and receive not only emails, but emails with photos attached. It tended to be both personal and meaningful.

    Suddenly, there was Facebook. Now I could connect with all my email friends right there, plus other friends, many of whom I didn’t even really know at all, joined in. Some of us tried to keep the interpersonal emails going for a bit but eventually Facebook pretty much over-powered us all. The long, intimate, emails between just a few were replaced by short, brief, sentences and paragraphs to the many, which further gave way to the “like” button.

    More and more, communication came in short bursts – and this was spread not just on Facebook, but all across the internet in so many ways. I got so used to getting these short little bursts that often when faced with something of the length that had been commonplace before, I just skimmed over it, or didn’t read it all. One can only cram in so much in one day.

    And then Instagram entered the scene. Now, even my stunted Facebook communications took a hit, because to me it was more fun to send out Instagrams out than to deal with Facebook – though I still do of course. One still must deal with Facebook.

    Yes, I and all these others out there still have our native intelligence. We can still edit and know what is relevant to us, be it MSNBC or Fox News, commentators we can latch onto can assure us our political viewpoints are correct, and, if it makes feel better, that the issues presented in the essay posted here don’t even exist but are a conspiracy.

    So we gain, but we lose. Our communication spreads out ever further, ever thinner.

    We have even seen this happen on Burn, which popped up during the course of this process and brought many of us together who otherwise never would have known about each other – not only here online, but in the real world, too. Burn then turned many of its followers into Instgrammers. Instagram is where most of us tend to communicate now. And, save for a handful of diehards like you, me Akaky and MW, the lively burn discussions of old have all but disappeared. And there are days I think about bowing out of the discussions too. I feel a little self conscious and lonely, posting by myself or with only you and maybe one or two other people.

  • The kids that I teach are a lot more network savvy than I shall ever be most never wrote a letter texting is a lot more informative and not just a mono activity …………..burn just lost it’s relevance letters and books are full of lies

  • I like portraits in this series. subtle but profound.

  • For me, this essay is perfect. Classical for sure, but perfect none-the-less.

    Frostfrog, don’t stop posting! Over the years your words have been a constant place for thought.

    I agree, Imants, the public knows how to edit in their mind, the problem comes when there is a relentless supply of editing to do, and the next thing photograph that gets seen is just another touch screen flick away.

    I do have to wonder though over time will people fall back into liking essays? New creations like Storehouse, made by some people from Apple, who wanted long form to return. Or Medium, by the co-founders of Twitter suggest as much.

    Frostfrog, I feel what you’ve written about is more about how an individual chooses to communicate with their world, but what people choose to consume, I think is different, and more considered. Of course, I don’t have the numbers, so it is impossible justify.

    David, have you ever considered adding a forum of sometime for a more free-for-all dialogue? It will be relatively straight forward being on WordPress.

  • Imants. Thank you for helping me start my day with a big smile. I would love to meet the kids you teach. If I ever make it to Australia anywhere near you I will look you up for sure.

    Peter, yes, literally it is, but I was using it as analogy and I do believe it applies broadly, whether one grew up as I did or picked up a smart phone or table today for the first time.

  • Now that there are a few comments beneath what I believe to be Jordi Pizarro’s important and brilliant essay and as of yet no type of dialog thread has appear to replace the regular ones of old and I do want to let the Burn family know, I will go ahead and make my announcement:

    I have just published my first ebook on the iBooks store. It is all iPhone, all Instagram. It is a Christmas story, focused on a feral cat I met last December when my wife and I returned to her Arizona White Mountain Apache Reservation for a holiday visit. The cat falls into great danger. It is also about Indian Country in America, and family connections reaching across generational, cultural and language divides.

    I did something that would never, ever, work in print and I doubt it will work with everybody in ebook form, but feedback has been good so far and readers have figured it out. David will think I used way too many pictures, but that’s okay. My objectives here are different than his or most burnians. I write, too, and the pictures serve both as their own visual entity and a platform on which to carry the word story.

    The book is Carrizo and you can find it under that tile or my name on the iBooks Store. In Italy, Eva could not find it by title, but did find it under my name.

  • I pretty much agree with all of these comments…yet i cannot help but still love the old classic style at least occasionally and oftentimes it seems rather new and refreshing amidst the “new” look which sometimes seems like everyone has the same style…I am actually not so sure the “public has moved on”…I think the truth is somewhere in between….when i show classics to young photographers who are supposedly “more sophisticated” they actually seem surprised and love it when they see gene smith for example..most of them are in fact not educated in the classics…

    Imants you are educated, yet are your students really? i doubt it…on the other hand i would sure welcome any forward leading edge photographs and essays that your students are producing…in other words, show us!! you well know i will publish here any truly interesting body of work from any age group and my mind and aesthetic wide open for revelation at all times…matter of fact, i will say here right now that any essay that YOU think needs to be shown here will be shown…YOU choose…so do it and let’s have a look….

    Imants you say “.burn just lost it’s relevance letters and books are full of lies”…what letters and books are full of lies? please, c’mon dude…you are taking your cynicism to new levels…i welcome your voice of course, yet this is a 13k grant finalist who submitted along with over 1,000 others and chosen by an international jury…Burn is the host of this grant…none of us choose the finalists nor the grantees….we at Burn have no agenda other than to show what is going on “out there”with all kinds of photography including yours..again, show us!!!

    Frostfrog..you are probably correct.i probably would think you had used too many pictures…at the same time that is YOU….i have not seen the book , but anxiously await…what i DO LOVE is the essay you are shooting that i cannot talk about here….tease tease…but one thing at a time…..

    cheers, david

  • we for a long time had what we called Dialogue posts….and yet when we did people just posted all over the place anyway..it got very confusing…. i love the free form dialogue for sure….not sure the best way to set it up again, but yes let’s do it….

  • letters and books are full of lies”…. a response to Frostfrog’s MSNBC or Fox News authors like AJP Taylor sure had a skewered view of things yet was held in high esteem as a holder of truth and the good.

    Yep burn like other sites eventually suffer from fatigue………

  • David, the iBooks store allows me to give out promo books, but their system is a bit skewered and if I don’t figure out exactly how many I want and give away over a 45 day time period I stand to lose some of those books for ever or be caught short-handed for awhile, so I haven’t ordered any promos from them yet until I can decide close to exactly how many I can make good use of in 45 days. When I do figure it out, one will go to you. In the meantime, they are for sale to anyone and everyone for the modest price of $6.99.

  • Imants, I’m glad you clarified that. Anyway, your observation was exactly the point I was making, but enough of that…

  • I’m sorry to see the effective demise of the dialogues. They had such a profound effect on my education as a photographer. Reading so many informed opinions and having my own opinions intelligently challenged certainly helped me become a much better photographer than I would have become otherwise. The occasional practical tips that would come about through the dialogues were sometimes helpful as well.

    But at some point it did kind of devolve into pretty much the same people repeating pretty much the same opinions, which certainly compromised its value. I continue to wonder why after some point, no new regular commenters appeared? Is it because internet commenting has become ever more déclassé? Or in a related vein, does it have something to do with the conversations sometimes turning nasty? Or do people increasingly feel that they have fully flowered and that there is nothing more that they can be taught? I’m sure there are a variety of reasons. It’s unfortunate though. Way too many people are missing out on a great opportunity for a free, high level photography education.

    Regarding the talk about the public today and its awesome visual vocabulary, to believe that true one has to leave out a large swathe of the public. I say that as someone having lived and worked in both places where it is observably true and observably false. I publish a lot of photos and get a lot of public feedback and am the type to draw broad conclusions, so I’m developing some opinions on the matter, but they may end up being nothing much more than “people differ in their tastes.”

    What I find more interesting, however, revolves around the eternal question of what good can come of photography. Back when there were comments, an essay like this, or just about any of the EPF finalists, a few people would opine that making art out of suffering did little, if anything, to help those suffering. Some would go further and say that if a photographer really cared about helping those people, he or she would do much better by selling the camera gear and buying them some food, legal help, or whatever the subjects so direly needed. And then there was always the old “why fly halfway around the world to photograph exotic strangers when their are plenty of problems in your own back yard?”

    I’m sure that there’s some kind of sincerity scale for how much we are really trying to help the far flung downtrodden vs how much we just like to travel, meet interesting people and get the occasional adrenaline rush from being in dangerous situations. Personally, I was pretty far to the side of liking travel and danger for their own sake, but figuring if I could do a little good along the way, why not? But I know many are way over on the sincere side of the scale. Still, the question of how much good it actually does remains. More an more, I’m guessing not much and certainly not very often.

    The backyard, however, is a different story. Working as a local photographer, one gets constant feedback and can often see immediate results. To give a rather maudlin example, a woman asked me to take a picture of her son, who is a senior on the football team. He wasn’t very good, she told me, and in his four years on the team, had never played a meaningful down, but he tried hard and everyone in the family was very proud of him. So I took the picture and published it and it was a wonder to see how happy that made her. And I see photography doing that kind of good all the time.

    I know that’s a different, much smaller kind of helping people than saving them from global warming (my artsy pictures of terrible pollution have yet to close any polluters), and that in prestigious photo circles the resulting photo would probably come off as much less prestigious. Off the top of my head, I tend to agree, but the more I think about it the less sure of that I become. It’s something to explore.

    Anyway, congrats on the book, Bill. I look forward to owning it.

  • mw my take is that people’s response to these static essays has changed …..post >tweet >orate >repost resond >post >respond >just seems like a more direct learning /communication experience tumblr, facebook,twitter insta insta etc offer that

  • also on instagram change image type means a different audience, a lot more far reaching

  • MW

    we may bring back the Dialogue bit….i hope you are enjoying your newspaper days….you are quite right the immediate community reaction is a whole different thing….

    IMANTS

    i think maybe YOU might be fatigued…

    i do agree with you that Instagram has changed a lot of things…still i think that the audience has more “skipped over” rather than “moved on” in terms of basic photo history education…as i said earlier i find that students relish learning about what they do not know and most do not know the classics….still i am for leading edge every time and all the time…..and again i invite you to submit a leading edge student essay of your choice….no do not submit…just send it and we will publish it…always better to show us what you mean..

    by the way, we of course have embraced Instagram here on Burn..i think the upcoming BurnDiary03 in print will be a super cool book…matching cell phone photography and viewing with analogue……basically one year of the Burn readers best Instagrams…

    i am assuming Linda and you are moving soonest to your amazing studio on Tasmania…i have never been to Tasmania and if i am back in Oz sometime soon would love to see your place..i doubt you are ever going to make it all the way to the Outer Banks, but of course you welcomed (as are others here) to my front porch…where more things make more sense more of the time….

    cheers, david

    FROSTFROG

    very cool Bill…good on you….i am now shooting heavy on Jeju Island in Korea (the Haenyeo, old women free divers) …here for three more weeks…should be back by Thanksgiving…then we are going to layout Panos’ Death in Venice book among other things….i want at the same time to pay close attention to your projects…you too have an Alaska book to do….

    abrazos, david

  • Thanks for the offer David but unfortunately the type of work does not fit into the the burn’s wordpress site structure. I have been playing with a more direct image> dialogue reprocess format and creating essays involving a group of people creating an essay on a topical story without necessary having real contact with one another. Right now it is geared in a intranet format and well beyond the ideas stage…….. hopefully it can work in a open format. If so I will post a url unless it becomes a smartphone text based thing. I got the idea from a thing on google chrome maybe the whole thing will fall flat but it is worth a try
    So I am not really fatigued………..onward one goes

  • IMANTS..

    sounds pretty damned interesting to me, albeit if not in a form that we can see, then what exactly is your point re: Burn? does make me wonder why you are here to tell the honest truth…just to poke? that’s easy enough and that is of course fair enough…and works both ways…i mean your incredible hand made one of a kind books we cannot show here either..wish we could..yea, we can only do either printed books or online format…i.e. the world of photography that can be reproduced…lots of things cannot be done here…we cannot do feature films either nor publish sculpture….always open to new stuff tho and sounds like you may be on to it…yet, how does one see it? ready to do whatever it takes to do so…cool for sure to experiment..love alternatives..yet at some point i hope we can all see exactly what you are talking about one way or another…however now looking for realistic alternatives that can be DONE and SHOWN in this format since this is the format you are critiquing….do you have anything that can enlighten us HERE and NOW? if all the photographers shown here on Burn and the Burn crew are all in the dark ages, and we may well be, can’t we at least at some point SEE what it is that we are missing? intranet works…just tell us how…..many thnx Imants for keeping things lively…as usual

    cheers, david

  • It as about posting bin real time sen=ding images /text etc to one another=+ rephrasing the content but staying within the original concept> ……..I did it all about 15 years ago with postcards/photography?painting /drawing and pupils in various parts of the world all be it done by snail mail.

    The postcard thing was results orientated where here it is about process.

    The present crop of kids are very different communicators than those of the late 1990’s but we have a heap of new avenues available and some very interesting challenges.

  • I only have another 7 weeks then that phase is over as I move to Tasmania just before Xmas, selling a house completing a studio and house down there and finishing up my formal teaching career ………………… then it will be time to sit and assess what can be done in a so called real world situation (in between controlling an acre or two of blackberries)

  • Hello!
    I’m still round here, yes OK a bit quiet. I’m all over the place on Burn searching old essays and dialogues. You know it’s amazing the photographic education one kind find on this treasured site. But, please bring back the good old dialogue and a huge and inspiring opening post by DAH. It’s nice to see some of us are still hanging on.

  • Frostfrog…
    Just downloaded your brand new book!!

  • I think there’s an audience for all types of photography. The classics are relevant because they can provide the basics of visual literacy, something all newcomers to photography at some point or another will probably need. I’m very curious to see Imants new ideas.

  • BTW…
    Bloody good essay. Love it.

  • PAUL…

    ok we might bring back Dialogue…honestly it is really just a function of my time here and/or my time shooting….this last year i have been heavy heavy shooting….right now i am shooting intense in Korea….and then move right after Christmas to finish up Beach Games in Brazil…i also have Tell It Like It Is to publish yet that won’t take up too much time…plus i may launch into a big anthology…..no no not retro exactly but a significant “gathering” of work in one place…maybe….i think Dialogue only seems to work if i am around the hang out so to speak….fact is i can only even be here in this way now because i have big gaps in this current shoot schedule…Burn takes up a lot of my time even if i am not commenting at all…so it’s a matter of balance..as in all things….we also have BurnDiary to print as a book which is going to be super cool i think…..plus Panos’ Death in Venice….Peter Grant was suggesting a forum format which we have talked about all along…yet my team and i do not think a forum works at least not on the Burn platform….yet we will seriously try to figure out how to have more Dialogue posts….it is interesting that there seems to be no relationship between number of Burn readers and the number of comments…it seems like it would be the case, but it isn’t….i think the biggest affect on way less commenting now is simply the fact that the Burn audience is on Burn Facebook…few coming directly to this website….i end up answering questions on Instagram and FB in the way that i used to do here….the power of Instagram cannot be denied…it is now THE way most people look at pictures as a “mass audience”….hey, maybe THAT in itself should spark a new Dialogue post right there…nice to see you here Paul…as always…

    cheers, david

  • IMANTS

    you build stuff…love it…you are a stonemason…building things with your hands…and an architect..and gardener…so for sure your art is going to reflect who you are..hence constructed imagery…and the same for your teaching…i like it..i get it..carry on…..

    yet all of us have a different way of looking at image making…none better than the other…personally i like the image to come from the EYE/TIMING only…and do not see eye only photography as somehow less sophisticated than employing other mediums like photoshop or constructions of any kind…for sure the EYE/TIMING concept does indeed create a one of a kind, every time….yet i have no clue how to use photoshop for example..at the very same time i totally am into FICTION photowriting…i am classed as documentary for sure and yet you will see very soon some of my “fiction writing” which i do not think is in conflict with the documentary….simply needs to be classified differently as are books in the bookstore…

    what i think both of us will want to watch in the future is if single images become even more important as in Instagrams OR will essay platforms like Storehouse become the thing…both seen on smart phones…will people want to see essays on their smart phones? i have no idea…we will see what happens with Storehouse and others…for sure the language is changing or being used in many new and exciting ways….the only international language….if things did not change then things get pretty boring…and for sure i agree with you 100% that the internet and platforms as set up are limited in what they can do….

    so that’s when we both head for the garden…..

    cheers, david

  • The family portrait …..> instamatic/P&s > smartphone is what interests me even though I do not participate in the processes.

  • The crows are dropping golf balls in my backyard……… the golf link s are some miles away

  • I clicked on Burn Diary and it took me a moment to realize that all the comments were from last October as it was pretty much the same people saying pretty much the same things, though we have acquired at least a tiny bit more nuance in the intervening year. Among higher end photographers and aficionados, I still see Instagram as a commodification of photography for consumers and a marketing tool for producers, though I’ve come to understand it as a social interaction tool for many folk as well. I don’t find any of that to be “bad,” just relatively uninteresting. As a consumer, I’ve just never found the tiny format compelling as I more often am of the “bigger is better” audience for prints and projections (jesus, give me a 5K IMac for Xmas). As a producer, I am bored and shackled by the phone’s limitations. Even if I could get the phone to trigger an off-camera flash, the ergonomics would be clunky, if even possible. And as a socializer, from what I’ve witnessed, Instagram is like the Twitter of the photoverse and I am more of a long form writer. As for marketing, where I see its use, I’m just not much of a marketer so it does me no good. Of course all that is just cranky-old-me. I’ve no problem with other people liking/appreciating/enjoying it. I find Imants “meta” perspective compelling — seeing the interactivity as the art rather, or more so, than the actual content — but in this conversation, the part of me that is writing is the part that cares about content.
    Regarding the “classic” look and Imants contention that the public has moved on, yea, probably — at least I know I have. More often than not, anymore, it strikes me as a victim of M.F.A programs and their proclivity to workshop the soul out of anything they touch. That, plus, they’re just teaching people how to do what’s been done before. Not always, of course, but too often.
    I was reading something about writing and editing the other day that discussed how the workshopping mentality was to remove all errors and rough edges but that the great majority of the great works are rife with errors and rough edges. I think that’s true of photography as well. I don’t go as far as Imants in thinking that burn is tired and done, but it does seem to be drifting more and more towards perfection, particularly in the epf selections.

    But then as a publisher, I realize that it’s difficult enough getting good content and that great content most certainly does not fall like rain from the sky. There are worse problems for a magazine to have than that too much of their content is too perfect.

  • I dislike reading the mail. At work, I solve this problem by throwing all of it into the trash almost as soon as the clerks put the stuff on my desk, which is an excellent system and one that I commend to your attention but not one I can repeat at home, unfortunately. At home, I have to worry about throwing something important away; actually, I don’t worry about it at all, but people tell me I should and so for the sake of familial amity I let on that I am worried when in fact I don’t really give a rat’s patoot. So instead of throwing my mail away immediately, I avoid looking at it for as long as I can. I don’t know why I have an aversion to my mail; when I was a boy, getting a letter was a big deal, especially if the letter came sometime near my birthday; I knew that there’d be some money tucked in the card inside and then I’d get to spend more than my mother would allow me otherwise on candy. Nowadays, of course, the mail is full of people asking me for money that I don’t want to give them. I usually get a refund on my income taxes, which is nice, but let’s face it, the IRS is not giving me free money, they’re sending my money back to me. There is a difference, you know. There are exceptions to my mail aversion, of course: I will happily crack open the National Geographic as soon as I can lay my hands on it and I will open anything that says statement enclosed on the front almost as soon as it arrives. However much I dislike reading my mail, I dislike owing money even more, so I want to get rid of the bills as fast as possible. But the National Geographic came a couple of weeks ago and I’ve already paid the bills for this month, and therefore it was in a dispirited state of all right, let’s get this over with that I went through the mail this weekend and discovered something shocking.

    As a person with more chronic diseases than I know what to do with, I get a lot of mail from medical supply companies and health insurance plans and all the attendant remora of that insatiable beast, the American health care system. Usually, I just look at this stuff and throw it into the trash; analog spam deserves nothing less, I think; and it was with that intention firmly in mind that I opened a letter from the company that supplies me with insulin and other diabetic supplies. After the usual corporate pleasantries, the letter said that after October 30, 2014, this company would no longer supply me with the very necessary supplies I mentioned in the previous sentence. Well, I was stunned and shocked and amazed, with a large dollop of fear and consternation thrown into the pot for extra flavoring. I have dealt with this same company for ten years and I could not believe that they were tossing me out on my metaphorical ear after all we didn’t mean to each other. What had gone wrong with our relationship? What had I done to deserve this sort of treatment?

    I went into work the next day fully intending to get to the bottom of the matter. I knew that I hadn’t done anything that warranted my getting the boot, so I was going to need names and phone numbers and web sites and the Lord only knows what else to reinstate myself in good standing with this flighty pharmaceutical. I was already certain that some sort of bureaucratic snafu had occurred, that some computer somewhere had had a glitch or a virus or a nervous breakdown and had completely wiped my medical record off the face of the earth and now some low-bore clerk was trying to cover the mistake up by dropping my coverage and hoping I didn’t notice. Well, I was having none of that, no way no how. I was not going to take this lying down, standing up, or even sitting in a recliner drinking hot chocolate with the little marshmallows floating on top while watching Vanna light up the letters on Wheel of Fortune. No, I am an experienced bureaucratic warrior and these clowns would soon find out that they weren’t going to push me around and get away with it. They’d be sorry they ever tangled with me, yes they would, the scurvy louts.

    Having girded my loins for battle, I entered the fray with equal parts of high hope and stern determination, convinced as I was of the righteousness of my cause, only to be gobsmacked by the mother of all gobsmackery at my first contact with the trolls of the corporate bureaucracy. It seems that yes, the company is dropping my account, and the reason why they are dropping my account is that the company is going bankrupt. When I say they are going bankrupt, I do not mean that they are filing for Chapter 11 so that they can reorganize the company, restructure its debts, and then get back on its corporate feet leaner and meaner than before; I mean they are going into liquidation, as in they are soon to be one with the choir invisible, the silent majority, and the Norwegian blue parrot, a remarkable bird with lovely plumage that spends more time than it ought to pining for the fjords. In short, this company is flat on its ass.

    I was stunned, first by its immediate implications—where do I get my supplies now—and then by a growing disquiet. We live in an age in which the media and the government describe diabetes as an epidemic, a condition affecting more and more people than ever before. How then, in a market where the supply of customers is growing ever larger, both individually and in the aggregate (yes, this is a fat joke, just in case you were wondering), and where said customers need their insulin and lancets and alcohol swabs and glucose meters, etc. in the same way that junkies need their daily fix, does a company with a captive and ever-growing market have so little business sense that circumstances force it into bankruptcy? One need only look at the ever-expanding American waistline to know that there is gold in them there lardasses and only a fool could fail to profit from the potential wealth created by years of junk food and Coca-Cola. Apparently, this company found all the fools who could fail to profit from the potential wealth created by years of a steady diet of crap and gave them positions of great corporate responsibility, which has led to the unfortunate situation the company and all of its customers now find themselves. Well, character is destiny, the ancient Greeks believed, and I am sure that all of the aforementioned fools will find good government jobs where their foolishness will do as little harm as possible. They could, for example, go to work for the Vampire State’s health insurance plan, where those of us who need our diabetic supplies go to find out where we are going to get our supplies now that the old supplier has gone the way of all flesh, and where they could tell the people who run that plan that the company the plan’s voice-mail keeps referring people to has gone out of business. Finding oneself trapped on a Mobius loop is a disagreeable experience, to say the least, and I do wish that if the state has to do business with pharmaceuticals that they do business with a Mexican drug cartel, an organization that clearly knows how to make money selling drugs, unlike the clods they’re working with now. But that would make sense and we can’t have any of that, can we? As Governor Lepetomane quite rightly pointed out, we have to protect our phony baloney jobs, gentlemen!

  • Sorry about the lack of an introduction there, but we were getting all serious and stuff and so the moment cried out for me to start whining about my health again.

  • MW

    damn dude, you sure covered a whole lot of topics on one paragraph!!

    i do not disagree with any of it Michael, yet the perspectives of all of us are different…as they should be…

    personally i see all of the so called electronic media, Burn, Instagram, FB etc etc as simply a sketchpad…a place to do exactly what we are doing now…collecting material and discussing it..i do not see the iPhone 6 Plus as something we hang on the wall in a museum (although somebody will do that!!)..i do see it as the place where most people will look at pictures most of the time…and i do also see the phone camera as more of an extension of the eye and body than anything else we have, albeit it won’t do all the things “normal” cameras will do..and they won’t do what the iPhone does, so there you go as usual with compromises all around..

    the phone camera blows my mind actually..it is both the camera AND the medium…

    i do like Instagram….probably mostly because i tend to shoot all day every day..and this may sound funny, but it is true, it is my personal diary…if i want to look back and try to piece together where i have been and what happened when, i must go to my Instagram to “refresh” my feeble memory…so its’ flat out useful..ha ha

    for sure this discussion (where we totally hijacked Jordi’s essay) is a “carbon copy”of all the discussions we have after the EPF finalists are presented every single year…..the “elevation”of one photographer always rankles with others….human nature..and hence the same conversation year after year….Burn is in this case just the room where we are gathered…the photographers submit, and a jury chooses…surely the size of the room and the colour of the walls are not to be “blamed” for the conversations that take place in it…after all, we do at least have the room!!

    BurnDiary will not really be BurnDiary until BurnDiary is a hard copy book…our intent from day one in creating BurnDiary was to take Instagrams as a social media tool and turn it into hard copy…that in fact the clearly stated goal of Burn in general all along…to create hard copy!!

    remember please that Burn started out as my personal blog, i created a grant, and then published real time books!! ..two hard copies so far from readers work presented as Burn01 and Burn02, about 5 books published in between, and with BurnDiary03 upcoming…we are working at our leisure..unlike other publishers who are forced to produce one thing right after the other, we have the luxury to do what we want when we want to do it and yes can afford to do it….

    take a few minutes sometime over a cold beer and let your fingers do the walking through the Burn archive and/or BurnDiary….take the best of the best, and it is flat out something to see…at any given point in the creative process it always looks like chaos…unless one looks at end results one will always think things are awry….

    the beauty of the way we work at Burn is that we give ourselves the LUXURY of knowing we can quit at any moment..none of my team is tied to Burn, most including me….none of us have time for Burn…it is not our JOB….it is still just a working mans blog if you will…..

    the beauty also is that i have met almost every single commentator here including both Imants and you…we’ve hung out, had a few beers, and enjoyed each others company…some of the readers, commentators, here have actually come on paid projects with me, and there is nowhere i go in the world now where the photography community does not know Burn…is Burn my work? hell no…just my blog..my work is the prints, and the books, that i produce ..my work is also the prints and books and assignments that many Burn readers have produced with Burn as part of the process..so my mentoring one way or another is at least supplemental to my own photography…

    point is, i would suggest not trying to make anything what it is not…only what it IS….at the end of the day i am a results oriented person…i love to mix up ideas, sketch, play, discuss,and yet i judge anyone and everyone in this wonderful world of photography by what they finally lay down on the table….not by what they THINK, but what they DO…and nobody does anything that is unassailable…yet at least if their work is on the table so to speak, then another judgement or conversation takes place…

    you know me well enough to know that i am not tired nor fatigued….i just cannot be producing a book for example and then be here on comments at the same time….

    so i water the roses today, and then cut down an old pine tree tomorrow…

    right now i am in Korea shooting the Haenyeo, the lady free divers…after this i jump into republishing Tell It Like It Is, getting Panos’ Death in Venice up on the magnetic wall, and then off on my last shoot for Beach Games in Rio, and then three other books to publish of others not including BurnDiary…so it is a moveable feast…lots going on….plus i want as much front porch time as i can get….maintaining balance is clearly a full time job…yet all of it FUN…take out the fun, take out the joy, and none of it is worth it….one thing for sure that has worked for me, and i am now 70, is that i have no bosses!!! no money either, but the thing i try to impart to my students is to aspire to that freedom point if at all possible…

    trust me it is worth a lot of hard work to not have to go to work….

    lest i ever forget this all i have to do is get out on highway 95 outside of Washington and see all the commuters in their cars on their 4 hour daily commute to a cubicle..maybe now the commute is easier if they can at least look at a few pictures on their iPhone 6 Plus!!!

    sorry you are no longer in New York my friend..i well know you would have enjoyed what is going to be happening on my loft wall the first week in December….you are of course invited, as always, at any point….

    cheers, David

  • AKAKY

    well you are one of the few commentators here whom i have not met…you must admit i TRIED a few times, and then finally gave up…you always seemed to have a good excuse, and that is when i figured you were really a writer for the New Yorker, and just playing with me….

    who are you really? doesn’t matter i guess, but you sure are a talent whomever (whoever?) you are….

    now i realise that if i had gone after the big bucks, i should have made close personal friends with you long ago and signed you to a book contract…forget photo books…the collected works of Akaky would be just funny and poignant as hell….and it gets wasted in the comments of a hijacked EPF finalists essay!!!

    seriously, do you have copies of all that you have written on Burn, or am i going to have to pay somebody to go back and dig it all up??

    it is 5am here in Korea and i am drinking instant coffee, they love instant coffee here, and eating Korean cheese doodles…of course mostly i am on a great diet here of fresh veggies, rice, and fish, but at 5am most of the restaurants are closed….why can’t the Koreans be more like Americans with the open 24 hours a day concept??

    one thing for sure we have in common, besides over writing what should be short comments on Burn, is that I HATE OPENING MY MAIL….i have stacks of it….when i am at home and i make my morning coffee, and i look at the stack of unopened mail , i would rather go get a tooth drilled…..and my assistants will tell you that this has gone sooooo extreme , that THEY take pleasure in opening my mail for me and have actually found money for me!! has this made me want to open the mail after almost losing real cash? nope…

    i am not sure what this aversion to opening mail really is…combine that with too many camera bags, and i am sure a shrink would recommend that i be committed to Ward 5 soonest….

    in the meantime, i will go take some pictures…at least that preoccupation makes me look like i know how who to do something…but we both know the truth….

    cheers, david

  • I recently re-read this article that reminds me and seems relevant to some of the things been discussed above.

    Picking the best photojournalistic image of the year is doomed to fail. Mostly because, unlike the Olympics, images do not compete with each others.And why would they ? One can find one photograph great and a few second later see another one that is as great but if asked, would be hard pressed to tell you which one is better. It is not a function of photography to be better than another. Photojournalists do not go covering events thinking ” I have to beat that image Nachtwey took last week”. Photography, and photojournalism, is not a competition. So why would the resulting images be ?

    here’s the rest of the article:

    http://blog.melchersystem.com/2014/02/16/photojournalism-is-not-a-competition/

  • “…why can’t the Koreans be more like Americans with the open 24 hours a day concept??”

    They like their sleep? It’s as good a reason as any other, I suppose.

  • Do I have copies of all these screeds? Here and there, I think. I have a very advanced system of filing; at least I think it’s advanced, but friends have told me that putting stuff in a big pile and then ignoring said pile for several years at a time doesn’t really count as either filing or a system. I beg to differ, of course, but I am in a minority here,apparently.

  • And more to the point, I agree with Carlo. This is something that actors have had to deal with since the inception of the Oscars. How do you say the performance one is better than performance two unless the actors involved played the same role? And even then the answer would be a matter of taste; do you prefer Olivier’s Henry V or Branagh’s Henry V? Taste is subjective in a way that sports are not. Who was the best hitter in baseball history? Hands down, it’s Ty Cobb. A .366 batting average admits no argument. So why are there Oscars and all the rest of that sort of thing? People like to give out prizes and people like to get prizes, or as Napoleon put it, “A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon.” And no, I don’t know how to say that in French. If you want the exact quote, go ask Audrey.

  • I’ve been missing the lively discussions of the olden days on Burn. I’d welcome a return to Dialogue.

  • CARLO…AKAKY

    excuse me gentlemen but judgement calls are everywhere including athletics…figure skating? surfing contests? all the gymnastic events? book/writing awards? some paintings fetch higher prices than others? you are never going to get away from a jury deciding that one artist, athlete, singer, actor, movie is better than another…life just ain’t fair? well sometimes it isn’t…yet the great unwashed masses in general want to know what an esteemed jury thinks…i mean isn’t Meryl Streep a better actress than Cameron Diaz? (i do love Cameron though)…and in the case of the EPF a few MOST LIKELY deserving photographers get some funding to continue their photographic work…

    surely you are not suggesting that all are somehow equal?

    measuring the aesthetic is not the same as a horse race for sure…yet human nature i think dictates that some will rise above the mean level…and i do think that most of the time, yet not all of the time, the cream will rise to the top one way or another….the Guggenheim winners, Gene Smith Grant winners etc etc are by and large the best out there…and if you study the track record way beyond the EPF of those who have gotten this grant i believe you will find that those individuals continue to impress publishers, art directors etc long beyond this one “win”…..

    having said all of this, i did come in SECOND PLACE (which is like last place) in the College Photographer of the Year contest when i was in grad school and it just wasn’t fair!!!

    cheers, david

  • David,

    Me linking to that article is a response to comments about how one should have won instead of the other. I was not criticizing the jury and their decision. Part of the reason why I have not commented except on the thread about the winners.
    The article just makes sense to me and thought it appropriate to post here.

    I agree with you…more so after coming back from Visa Pour L’image. That was an eye opener for me. There you get to see where the bar has been raised…..way high indeed….no way to deny it and nowhere to run. The mirror is right in front of you if you dare to look at it.

    …..And I most definitely am not suggesting all are equal….oh no!

  • David – I have been greatly enjoying Pano’s Venice thread on Instagram. From that, I know its gonna be a good book.

    Thanks for the encouragement and yes, Alaska Book(s). Give me enough life and enough time and resource and I have a canon of them languishing in my files… with luck and persistence and better discipline to not spend too much time on Instagram and the net, maybe I can get two or three of them done.

  • GORDON

    times have changed..as they always do…the most significant factor is that the Burn audience is on BurnFacebook and Instagram….a very small percentage of the Burn audience actually comes to this website…they see the stories on Facebook first for sure, and with no real need to come directly here…however as you can see by this hijacked thread, some interesting discussions do happen still…i will do a test Dialogue post and see what happens…..

    the other factor of course is just my time….i have so much shooting going on and books to publish for others and for myself , that i need to put my time in where it counts most…simple priorities….i put more time into Burn now than ever, just not so much in the comments arena…

    anyway, i will give it a try, and for sure i have always enjoyed our conversations…..

    nice to see you again here Gordon….

    cheers, david

  • PETER DAVID GRANT

    i am not sure Storehouse can make it…Instagram is a constant daily stream of imagery…..if you post an essay on Storehouse i doubt you will post another for maybe months….so it is almost a one time deal for any one individual…very few photographers can post more than two essays per year…on Instagram you can see a daily diary of whomever you want to see….still it is great to see essays on Storehouse…..i just have no idea if people want to see long form essays on their smartphones…i guess we will find out…..

    a free for all forum concept has been rejected by my team over and over….Lightstalkers was that….and it got to be just a lot of bitter photographers talking to other bitter photographers…an unpleasant place in the end….curated stuff is just more pleasurable and usable in the long run…..

    remember you can pop a link to work in any comment here at any time….

    cheers, david

  • FROSTFROG

    i would not be too discouraged if i were you about Instagram….yes, it is where most of us communicate these days…and to tell the truth i like it…at least i know what you are DOING…i know way more about you because of Instagram than i did here in the comments section on Burn which if you remember was very controversial to have comments at all on Burn in the first place or not….

    Instagram is the great level setter..cuts out a lot of bullshit to tell the truth…you can see who sees and who does not….all of the social media again are not final resting places for work, they are just how audiences are gathered..and each of us these days MUST BUILD OUR OWN PERSONAL AUDIENCE…this is just a fact…and the Burn audience is now 5 times larger than it was when we had the comments at their highest peak….

    great photography is at the end of the day an individual singular pursuit….i never had any communication with anyone during my developing years…there is a certain beauty to working totally alone and with no noise of any kind…after you have your essay done, THEN is the time to use the social media…

    the raw communicating power of Instagram just cannot be denied….look how YOUR audience has grown…and i can walk out the door right now, and i will, and use my iPhone to communicate with around 15 million people…combo of Magnum and NatGeo and my own Instagram and FB etc…at the very same time i can go to my darkroom at savor making a nice one of a kind print….so we ALL have options….many options…one thing never changes though…no matter what, one needs to make compelling imagery one way or another….

    i will however do a test dialogue post..maybe on this very subject….

    cheers, david

  • This is the best essay of this bunch from my perspective. Incredible use of light. The dialogue about how people perceive & discuss photography is interesting. Professors often lament that students now have a short attention span. This isn’t necessarily the case. The social media world does however reward those who say more with less. My students respond more to single (iconic?) images than to essays.

    On an off note, how do user names get linked to websites here? I dropped a link on the profile page that doesn’t reflect here.

  • All, this is a great place to be. I do as well enjoy FB and IG….but for sure Burn is the place with the greatest density in quality. It’s much slower. More aligned with my personal tempo. But I enjoy it all.
    And I do enjoy the dialogues. Like the majority of readers I rarely participate but nearly always read every comment. So whether or not you create a dialogue section makes no difference to me. I’ll continue to read.
    I’m always curious why so few viewers chime in. For me it is a strange thing…this faceless platform where we type our thoughts into cyberspace. No body language. No eyes. No sounds or expressions. Fascinating to me….I have met David but very few others. Most here are so articulate, so eloquent that I try to imagine their faces. So just because the dialogues are down doesn’t mean we aren’t reading. Keep on.

  • David,

    Yes, seeing how Storehouse develops will be interesting. For sure though, it is always going to be more niche than instagram.

    I was never around for your Dialogue posts, but I do agree, free for all forums are not the way, some form of curated conversation is always going to be better. If it is a time issue on your behalf, perhaps readers could broach a subject to be posted (presumably appearing as a blog post).

    I will dig around and find some of the Dialogue posts of old, but I look forward to the future one.

    I will remember that, thank you David.

    Peter

  • It’s a shame Burn is all happening on Facebook. Never liked it and the reason I signed up was for a boarding school reunion I had to attend. On the other hand I really enjoy Instagram and yes there’s not much to bullshit there. You either make images or you don’t…

  • Judgement shudgement. By that standard, the Impressionists were ignorant daubers who didn’t know how to paint, JS Bach was hopelessly old fashioned (or at least his sons thought so), Scarlet Sister Mary by Julia Peterkin really did deserve the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1929, and How Green was my Valley really was the Best Picture of 1941. Maybe you can win a figure skating contest by hoping that the judges like your freestyle interpretation of Stravinsky’s Le sacre du printemps accompanied by an orchestra of kazoos, whoopee cushions, and the chorus of the Flat Earth Society of Edison, New Jersey, but you can’t win the Stanley Cup that way. The taste of an age is not the art of an age, Henry James (I think) said. Judgement changes all the time, but people still like to get prizes for doing stuff. I blame the education system for that; it always struck me as a way of bribing kids to do their homework. I took the ethical high road and always refused to do mine. They can’t bribe me, said Mr Joe Pettibone, and they couldn’t bribe me either.

  • David, I LOVE Instagram. Too much, I sometimes think. Its fun, but gets in the way of lots of things. And if I spend one hour a day flipping through the photos I follow or find – which I love to do, well there’s seven hours a week gone, not to mention the time I lose taking little snaps here and there, selecting, and posting with a little bit of text.

    And, as you know, if I am doing work that is significant, I do not put it on Instagram, or Facebook either. Except for my Carrizo and my other cats. Cats are always significant.

    Instagram comes with many conundrums for me – so good and so bad. You might recall that right after you got me going on Instagram, I covered a big social event along the Colville River in Northern Alaska. It moved in and out of the school where there was wi-fi, so I posted little bits on Instagram all the way through. I would shoot with my Canons and when I felt confident I had some decent stuff of a certain activity then I would whip out my phone and shoot a few for Instagram.

    As it happens, the 100 page publication I made for my very patient client on that event got postponed because of all I went through medically but I recently put it together. It looks good and while it has not reached readers yet, I know it will get a good reception. BUT there are some scenes I actually got a better image of on my phone and made into Instagrams then I did with my Canons. And I can’t use them. They would just look too incongruous and ratty in the publication. And I surely would have shot the same moments with my canons, had I not pulled out my phone.

    So, when I shoot something serious now, I just put my camera in my pocket and try to make myself keep it there.

    Then, on the really good side, my new eBook Carrizo would not exist were it not for Instagram. Many of the images I used never appeared on Instagram, but the base of it did and then put Instagram effects even on the images that had not. If I used the image full frame, I applied the effects in photoshop and that was fun.

    After my surgery – when my life was mostly limited to the reclining chair, Instagram proved to be my therapy. It gave me something to do that I could do.

    Concerning Burn on Facebook, I agree with Paul. And yet you are right. I have not been using Facebook well at all. Facebook has become a place I visit mainly because I have links to so many people and Facebook is where I learn who is in the hospital, who died, who got married, who had a baby – but I miss many of them, because there are just too many.

    I ramble too much. Waste too much time. But I didn’t get much sleep at all last night, am incapable of working at the moment, so I might as well ramble here, on this little revival of the old dialogue threads.

    My apologies to Jordi Pizarro.

  • Okay, one more time and then I’ve got to get back to work. I’m actually kind of glad to hear that no one comes here any more and that the real burn has moved to Facebook and instagram. For some time now, I’ve felt uncomfortable about giving the appearance of being publicly critical about the magazine and its direction as I most definitely would not want to do anything to harm the brand or the business. But, the part of me that enjoys discussing photography in particular and publishing in general misses the old days when there were a lot more people who said what they really thought.

    In the big picture, I am not at all negative. Burn is easily my second favorite magazine behind Harpers and third place is not even close. I love the way it was born and has grown from a blog to a significant publishing enterprise. I love all the opportunity it has given to photographers, both as a publishing outlet and as a learning opportunity. And the move into books is all that, plus.

    On a personal level, it’s been great becoming friends with you and so many others, something I never sought, much less expected. So with my criticism, probably better to say critiques, I always mean in the spirit of bullshitting over a beer than in any kind of negative way. As we all know, different people handle criticism differently. Personally, I am a type that loves having my work critiqued. I always appreciate people taking the time and putting in the mental energy to consider what I’m doing. Sometimes people like it, and that feels nice, but I much prefer the more negative critiques. I almost always learn something from them.

    I don’t mean that I always learn something in a workshop kind of way. Occasionally, that happens, but more often I learn something abut myself. The best example, some of you old timers may remember, was when David gave a withering public critique of my Coney Island Beach photos. I had high level photographic education and training in college, but had not done much for several years afterward. After several years of struggle to raise my game, that essay was an important milestone; the first really ambitious thing that I had done that I thought was any good on the higher end professional level. By the time David asked me what work of mine he should look at, I had quite a few more standardly good essays, and my brain told me to cite one of those, but “Coney Island Beach” somehow came out of my mouth. Then when I innocently went to burn one day and saw the withering critique, I was totally taken aback. Here was this world class photographer telling me that what I thought of as my best work sucked, and getting into explicit details about why it sucked.

    But hey, I certainly dished out that kind of thing and had more or less asked for it. And it turned out that I had answers for the most salient parts of the critique and felt the work stood up to it. I ultimately came out of that exchange with a lot more confidence than I had going in.

    Of course negative criticism doesn’t always end in validation, more often the opposite, but either way, when done right it is, I think, a positive thing one can always learn from in some way. Or, when sitting around with friends having a few beers, at the very least, talking about the merits, or not, of our work makes for interesting conversation.

    About the EPF, or any contest for that matter, one does always have to be on the lookout for that element of “sour grapes” and it’s a good idea to be secure enough that you are not suffering from them as to be able to take the accusation. My critique usually boils down to “It’s all good, but that’s not exactly the way that I would have done it,” which I trust is taken for what it’s worth.

    And of course Akaky nails another aspect of it two or three comments above. I always think of Van Gogh and Gauguin, neither of whom sold much in their time. And it’s not like they were unknown geniuses toiling in anonymity like Viviane Maier. They were known in Paris salons and people saw their work. And nowadays, many, if not most, of their infinitely more successful contemporaries are but footnotes. So it’s likely that kind of history will continue repeating itself.

    At the moment, I’m incapable of sour grapes as I have been out of ideas for some time now and have not been doing better work than what gets published in the top magazines. In my current job, I take and publish a lot of photos, but I also process a lot of other people’s photos, write three to five thousand words a week, edit that many more, and layout an 18 or so page publication. It’s like creating a little objet d’art every week and I love it, but it takes an incredible amount of time and energy and my photography has been suffering for it. This, I trust, will pass, and in the meantime I work on the craft of photography, but the results are just empty, by my standards at least.

    On that note, as I do a lot of sports photography, I am very interested in seeing your Rio beach games work. It’s a much different scene, but there are bound to be some commonalities.

    Anyway, sorry for being so long-winded. I’ve had a couple days off for the first time in months, so have had more time to write this kind of nonsense than has been usual of late. To circle back more towards the topic, as a publisher and student of how publishers can stay in business and people like us can possibly make a living being creative, I really admire how you’ve been able to succeed at it and you have certainly provided a blueprint that others can learn from. But what I think is really cool is how so much of it is organic to who you are. I trust, for example, that you really do love instagram and that its function as a marketing tool is just a happy coincidence. Facebook, on the other hand, really is an excremental platform for viewing photography and I eagerly await its inevitable demise. Still, if it helps you, and plenty of others, make a living doing things you love, it’s not all bad.

  • Is this just me being crazy, or have the comments on Burn picked up since the background has turned back to black :-)?

  • MW – It’s fun to learn about what you are doing with your community paper. It reminds me of where my career started out – a little community based paper for the White Mountain Apache Tribe that I, of course, turned into a photo publication.

    It was such struggle, but fun, too. Sometimes, given the new technology and how much easier and faster it would make the production end, I almost want to go back to the tribe and say, “let me do it again!” But everything has its day and that day for me is over. And sitting unlooked at in my files for three and a-half decades now are all the negatives I shot doing that job. Hence, another book waits to see if I will ever get to it before it is too late.

    Keep it up and have lots of fun.

  • Paul, I don’t think you are being crazy, but I think its a one-thread anomaly.

  • PAUL

    i think honestly it is a function of me being here or not….i would like to think not…yet, if i jump in then it always seems to pick up….i mean we do have a real community here …and i need to come in and at least chat a bit or the comments just drop….i do like the black though!!!

    cheers, david

  • MW

    great comment….and for sure the BEST way we could all chat would be if we were all in my loft or on my front porch hanging out with a few beers or whatever and just chat eye to eye…most of us here have had that one on one personal hangout with each other….and yes that is the BEST…this is second best…

    for sure i treasure very much the friendships we have made here….i know you you know that…i miss you stopping by my loft for example….and i am very interested in your newspaper experiences…i had that same experience right out of college and it has stuck with me all these years….

    anyway, nobody is disparaging anybody…..we all want to learn we all want to grow…it is growing that is important…and i do not see anyone here who wants to stop growing…..

    ok, now i gotta go shoot…on a really cool thing here in Korea…not my usual Latin beat, but heartwarming to say the least….

    http://proof.nationalgeographic.com/2014/11/06/instants-south-koreas-haenyeo-free-divers/

    NatGeo has nothing to do w this and they just picked it up from yes Instagram!! ha ha ha

    they did link Burn into the story so that’s cool….but i will do my own zine even beyond the b&w art commissioned book i am one from the Korean Arts Council….

    this is one of those really cool commissions we all want…total freedom ..a sweet deal…rare these days

    cheers, david

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