April 17th, 2015 … Streetshooter Thoughts … aka The Red Shoes Syndrome

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe tourist season here in Philly is just starting. It’s my favorite time of the year and I love all the travelers from all over the world coming here to find the roots of American History. Because of the clash of cultures, it provides shooters with a potpourri of things to work with. I hear tell that other places in the world have a tourist season also but I never saw it so I don’t believe it.

So when I’m on a walk-a-bout looking for the photos that want to find me, I keep me poor brain awake by thinking about things that I wanna or shoulda be thinking about. I been a thinking about the here and now. It’s a place here in Philly that I visit from time to time. There’s prolly a here and now where you are cause it’s just like Starbucks, all over the place.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnywayz, here’s something I been pondering about and thinking about too. If we work in there Here and Now, does that rule out the past? I mean if we are using the thoughts and facts from out past, are we not in the here and now? Well, we all do that. It’s called yeah, I remember that, or maybe I thought about this before. So if we bring this to the here and now as we work, what does it mean and how does it effect us? Well we can’t get rid of the past experiences or knowledge but we have to be selective as to what we allow to penetrate our present here and now. This could be things like exposure memories, cameras, lenses etc. That’s all fine and dandy and productive but>>>>>!

What else we bring is the memories of past experience and images. We walk around looking for photos that we made or almost made and that influences what seek now and actually kinda pollutes the present. This could be a factor in cognitive repetition. I mean that we will repeat the same successes and failures until we recognize that and make a change. One way is to put your brain on vacation like I do when my wife Tanya ask me to do something I don’t want to do. She looks at me and ask, what are you looking at, I need the dishes washed.  I reply, who are you and who are you talking to. She will turn away and say, Brain on VACATION.  Very effective but we don’t want this for our photography.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo I think we need to find a way to compartmentalize things in our brain so the mind can be set free to wander the streets and make photos. We are never going to release the past and we are destined to live it over and over. We will make photos that are similar to what we did before because we uh…uh.. well, we are stupid that way. Yo! I ain’t the only stupid one ok, I just ain’t afraid to admit it. I wonder if this is what some call habits? hmmmm maybe.

OMG, I just realized that I been walking the streets of center city Philly and Market Street in particular for well over 40 years. Is that a habit? It might just well be but it’s a lifelong project that has no value other then to me and those that know my photography.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYa know, If I can walk the same streets for 40 years and always find photos to make that I like and some that are even really good, why do I need to go anywhere? Why should I need some exotic place to make photos like Jersey? I don’t need to go anywhere.

Take your camera in your hand, stand tall and closes your eyes. Click your feet together 3 xs and say with each click, There’s no place like home”.  Open your eyes and make photos.


Enjoy my friends and remember, I don’t trust a damn thing I write… you shouldn’t either………………………………………

12 thoughts on “April 17th, 2015 … Streetshooter Thoughts … aka The Red Shoes Syndrome”

  1. … maybe It’s like looking at just one particular part of a familiar rug [the ‘now’], that cannot exist without its preceding part [the ‘past’] which together lay the foundation for the next part [the ‘future’]. In sum the ‘now’ is a small part of the overall ‘weave’ of the rug; based on the experience and knowledge, capacities and abilities of the ‘weaver’ of the rug … .. “I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.” [Abraham Lincoln]…

    1. Thanks Sean, when you have your next Mentoring session, I’d love for you to give me advice, Perfect statement….

    1. Keith, I get it. I’m in Jersey a lot but they have the worst drivers in the country. Sometimes some of them cross over into Philly and create havoc. We just curse at them and sometimes smile.

  2. I’m pretty much self taught. Books & video have been a tremendous help in my learning curve. So I say ‘What we learn in our past we apply today’ Speaking of Market St. The Spring Furniture Market started today in neighboring High Point. Buyers pour in from all over the world & I’ll be on it like a kid in a candy store.

    1. Yup, it’s good weather for finding what’s missing. Good luck in your hunt and stay focused, pun intended.

    1. Tina, thanks. I learned that from my grandmother Dorothy Shooter. She lost her Leica and found out the which took it. So she set sail with here doggy Toto and found out she wasn’t in Philly anymore. So my family passed down the lesson that there’s no place like home. We also learned that there was no magic in those red shoes, The magic came from the heart and we all have that if we trust ourselves and use what we have inside.

  3. Don, love the last shot with just the guy’s head showing. Has a dark-sinister aspect to it what with the shadows and light interacting. I sometimes wish I was in a bigger city (New York, San Francisco, London…) for doing street shooting. But I guess it means I just have to work harder at finding magical shots here in Minneapolis. The more I do this the more aware I am of great opportunities all around me. Take care and thanks for another great post!

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