April11th, 2018 Ownership


Do we really ever own anything? I don’t think so. We don’t even get to own our mindset. My mind tells me that I may leash a pet. It might obey me and like me and want to serve me. I am the owner and as such I decide what the pet will do to serve me. I will not set it free because I own it. I have ownership rights.

Many years ago when I was young my grandfather gave me an Estwing 16oz nail hammer. The metal was tarnished and the head was shiney from all the nails Pop banged down. I could feel and smell pop’s sweat on the leather. Years passed by and a Pop died but I still had his hammer. I loved this hammer and became very attached to it. I owned my grandfathers hammer. When I retired I put my tools in the garage and the hammer, I threw it into a drawer where it rest after a long life of hard work. That tool and others served me faithfully for most of my adult life. Yup,that tool was great.


I often wondered why with all the meaning and use that hammer and I worked, why is it in a drawer in the garage. Well, it’s a tool. Maybe it has a name it’d it’s functional but it’s a tool. It’s a tool because I own it and say it’s a tool.

Ok, so what’s with this ownership thing shooter. Aight, here’s my thoughts and they are my thoughts and I own them. There’s a musician that’s kinda well known. He sang a song and part of it is kinda like this….”If you love someone, set them free”. I think his name is Sting, maybe.

I think on the path to becoming a human we need to set our heart and mind and eye free. Sure we can attempt to control it all but that would mean the brain is running the show. The brain is  the translator and distributor of everything that comes into the body. We could say that the brain has the rights of control of everything in our body. If the eye, heart and mind are not free than all we see from our work will be the results of brain ownership.

I need to continue this in the next day or two. I just got a message from shooter central processing that my brain is taking the rest of the day off.

Ill be back fast with the work vs work thoughts, have a blessed day everyone ………..

……….end transmission……….


12 thoughts on “April11th, 2018 Ownership”

  1. Hi Don,

    It’s this point you make, and I quote “… If the eye, heart and mind are not free than all we see from our work will be the results of brain ownership…” that resonates. The brain works on inputs to be able to provide outputs, and so, if the inputs are of a certain type and quality, then the outputs, for example, intellectualisation versus savouring, are potential mindsets reflecting translations of stimuli – both new and experienced.

    To me, this point, by extension, is a light illuminating a contest between the trap of over intellectualising one’s photographic technique and the savouring of ones photographic craft – an experience that’s unique to your time, circumstances and experiences. I maybe wrong, but this springs to mind, based upon your words quoted above.

    One can overtly, or subtly, become hobbled by paralysis through analysis (the strangle of intellectualisation experienced at any point in your photographic experience), whilst the alternative (the freeing experience of savouring the journey) can drive and secure one’s growth and development simply through: first, trusting your instincts; next believing in yourself; and then being comfortable in the knowledge your photography will look after itself – to me these are the bits we may come own, because they are unique to us, no one else. These bits can’t be surrendered, donated, abdicated or contracted to any other person regardless of what they think, feel and desire from the experience of seeing our photographic output consequent to our unique experiences, capacities and abilities as aphotographer.


    1. Sean, thanks again. Another enlightening comment. Between you and I, I try to focus on photography as that’s what I live and do. The ideas of ownership and all that they encompass actually applies to everything. I’m not free of ownership by any means. It’s far easier to write about it than to live it. An old saying that I stand for is….”I am the origin of this work”.
      Perhaps everything can get convoluted and used to fortify one’s belief systems. All I know is, we never own anything but that doesn’t mean that you use it either.
      Life is on loan to the living.

      1. Thanks Don,
        The above comment of mine was a point for discussion because I don’t have the answer.
        I suppose, another way to appreciate this is if and when that bee stings, it can be salved through our own self-discovery and self-expression … regardless of whether it can be owned or not …

        1. Sean, perhaps the answer is in living. I think those of us that see life as a journey, try to learn along the way. The ones that just stumble thru life, they become politicians mostly.

          1. That’s it, that makes sense, it’s the “… in living …” bit: Where the process of our living facilitates our becoming – as our our heart, mind, and eye are continually influenced, updated and evolved with information, as we try to figure it out in our conscious thinking mind, through awareness “… in living …”

          2. …… “in living”….. maybe that implies the acceptance of the here and now and the act of being in it. In photography, there simply is nothing more important than the “Here and Now”….well except for having a camera with you….

    1. Keith, thanks. That’s a good way to look at it. I kinda try not to hold onto anything but of course, it’s a task never fulfilled. more on the way

  2. You don’t own anything that you can’t take with you. Which is basically nil. The pharoahs tried with all the stuff they had crammed into their tombs, now someone else has their skin and bones as well as the things they owned and the lands they rules over and charges for entry to look at them. It’s the same with ideas and images. You only have ownership for a limited period of time to “expoit rights” over it. Everything is just fleeting moments in time that may or may not be recorded or saved.

    Like I was saying we’re just caretakers of everything. If we can instil some spirit into the things we are making and taking care of, like our cameras and the photographs they make and we do this to the best our our abilities and learn from what we’re doing, then we leave something of value behind for future generations to enjoy or ponder over. But we have to do that ourselves, because really nobody else is going to do it for us – sadly, unless somebody sees there’s some money to be made out of what we’ve left behind… then nothing is sacrosanct.

    1. “sadly, unless somebody sees there’s some money to be made out of what we’ve left behind… then nothing is sacrosanct.” I remember asking Garry, “What’s it like to be Rich and Famous?” he replied. “I’m too busy making photos to be Rich and Famous.” We are all collectors of whatever we place value on as a collectable that interest us. As you state, we don’t get to hold on to anything forever. Maybe we just need to cherish whatever it is while we are here. It’s not up to us what happens when we are below ground but if we make enough of a photo DNA, who knows.
      Thanks my friend, great comment and inspiring.

  3. Hey Don: Interesting how I found your site like breathing. I’m a lifelong photog from age 7 and just getting regeared at age 72. I shoot on the street both outside and inside. I’m asking about color. I’ve started digi photos with a Sony NEX and hate the color to the point of leaving an otherwise excellent camera at home. I just bought a Canon M-50 after using an S90 as my street camera for quite a while. I just like Canon color. That said your Fuji color shots look good-like they have their own vocabulary-definitely not Sony color (or Canon for that matter) Can you talk a bit about color? Thanks

    1. Laurence, don’t ever accept any color from any camera as anything but a first off test. I don’t know what you process in. I use Lightroom, with some plugins.
      Let’s establish your workflow first and then tweak it.

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