2009: A year of burn magazine

Burn magazine. My favourite website for photography through 2009. "A drop in a vast ocean" someone said, but it's a big drop. I like the blend of styles, the people who write there and the energy of the place. A mind expansion available for you 24 hours a day. And it's alive all the time, people are writing in the dialogue section constantly.

My plan was to go through the whole essay archive one day this christmas, but it actually took me more than a day. Well, not a full day, as in 24 hours, but it took quite some hours in total.

One of the most important things I've learnt this year is that you should be able to explain in one simple sentence what your project is about, otherwise there might be something wrong or too complicated about your project. So I'm going to write one short sentence about what each essay are about.

The top 10.

1. Michael Christopher Brown - Sakhalin

This is about the communities around Sakhalin Island, Russia.

I'm a sucker for obscure places, a sucker for colors (especially strong blue) and a sucker for pictures with people who live in those obscure places. There is a lovely atmosphere in this essay. I like the fact that it isn't meant to provoke or present a "problem", and yet it isn't boring in any way.

2. Erica McDonald - The Dark Light of This Nothing

This is about the residents of Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York.

The day this essay got published I wrote to Erica that I just immediately want to pick up my camera. and I still think it's the only way to describe how I feel when looking through it.

3. Justin Partyka - The East Anglians

This is about the farmers in East Anglia, Great Britain.

Justin worked with this project for nine years and I like the link between that and the stubborn people who doesn't seem to get tired of their homeplace. So they stay. This is about patience and the love of a place.

4. Ara Oshagan - Father: Land

This project is about Karabagh and about "finding the father".

It shares the same qualities the top 3 has. It manages to tie some people to a place and share that genuine atmosphere. It makes me interested in these places. I don't want to travel to some exotic island now, I want to go to Sakhalin Island, Park Slope, East Anglia and Karabagh.

5. Paul Russell - Beside the Sea

This is about the English South Coast.

So full of air! This makes me want to take a deep breath and think things through. Preferably on a beach.

6. Audrey Bardou - Brigitte et Bernard

This is about Brigitte and Bernard, Audrey's parents.

Among all the millions of stories out there, this one too is important.

7. My Hellsten - Fjällkor

This is about the white mountain cows of Tännäs, Sweden.

The best essay about cows I've seen.

(...the only one)

8. Anton Kusters - Sugar

This is about Birgit, Anton's niece.

This one is from december 2008, but I'll make an exception in this case. It's a mystery to me how someone can handle those out-of-focus-areas so well. If I ever meet Anton I'm going to ask him if he can teach me.

9. Michal Daniel - In Your Face

This is about getting close.

Surreal and twisted.

10. Alejandro Chaskielberg - The High Tide

This is about the Paraná River Delta in full moon.

This is the guy who won the Emerging Photographer Grant 2009. I have no idea what he's trying to say about this river delta, maybe he isn't trying to say anything particular, but the colors are breathtaking. And that's enough to get on my top 10.


  1. I really enjoyed reading this list and your reactions. I love your attitude!

  2. Glad you enjoyed it Kathleen.

    I'm following both your blogs. I prefer Landshapes, so I hope you'll focus most on that project in the new year and get it published by someone when you feel it's good enough.

    Stay in touch!