August 13th, 2017 … Memory or The Decisive Moment … Cont’d

Ya know, I gotta tellya’s…. it’s summer time here in Philly and my brain is on vacation. So maybe I am writing about memory for a reason. The thing that I get from photography is the realization that I love the process and I need the catalyst that photos present. Pete and Andrey wrote some very profound comments on my last post and I urge toy to read them. You don’t have to comment but you should read them. I am basically a streetshooter. I used to do other things but for the last 30+ years, mostly street. For me, street = life. So as a life shooter, what is it I am after? I kinda think that it filters down to a residue of intent.

When I’m out shooting, I am not thinking about memories,. Sometimes but not a priority. So, I make photos with the purpose of getting them into Light Room and then making the photo represent my vision. Of course I rely on memory but truthfully, I am totally aware that there is a new reality being borne. This is my intent, well part of it. So I make photos to serve something different than memories. Any memory cast forward from the photo is really from the photo and not so much the scene or subject where I was when I released the shutter. This is very important to grasp.

The memory of the photo or making the photo is secondary to the actual photo. The experience is not as important as the end result. Don’t get me wrong. I adore, no…I breathe photography. It’s not something I do as a pastime or hobby or as an art form. I do it because I have no choice. A heroine junkie has an easier time detoxing from junk then I ever could from making photos. I don’t define photography, it defines me.  Ok, enuff of that.

The Clarity of Intent

Shhhhh, don’t spread this around. I hear tell and I know for a fact that some people are very serious about this photography thing. Seems crazy right? Well, let’s explore this serious side of this photo making thing. There comes a point in time that is marked as a moment of recognition of the self. This moment for the photographer is an awareness of intent. This is the continuing culmination of the gathering of info, thoughts and feelings. This is our supply feed for our work.

Lets assume that we are out working and something kinda captures out attention. At that moment, our supply feed and the exterior catylist join together and present us with the birth or death of the photo.

We are then faced with the option to make the photo or not.  Many things will happen quickly to come to the conclusion of the unborn photo. This is not yet intent but rather the decision to develop intent or not. Things happen and you may or may not make a photo.

You need to be alert and sensitive to this moment. All that you are is present and needs to be at the ready. What if you decide to make the photo? Well, try this for size. If you are aware that all of you is in the moment and you have accepted the responsibility to yourself and the unborn photo, then the intent of all is showing the way.

The moment and the decisive moment are working together but not the same. Being in the moment or the here and now leads to the release of the shutter. The release of the shutter is the decisive moment.

At that exact moment in your life is the realization that you either satisfied your intent or not. If you feel that you got it, then the rest is a very tuned, aware process of giving birth to the photo. If not, then the decision to move on is necessary. Just remember that not every photo is whats considered a keeper. The thing is, even if the photo is not a keeper, does not mean it fails at intent. Lets say that you were doing a street scene. Here’s the thing about The Moment and Memory. In the moment making a street photo, that satisfies your intent, provides a photo that is more about the making and satisfying yourself. This is the dividing factor of the Moment and INTENT.


I need another post to get the point across.

I will post in a day or so………… blessed my friends……………………………………shooter out…………………………………..

4 thoughts on “August 13th, 2017 … Memory or The Decisive Moment … Cont’d”

  1. I am 80 yrs old, and over that span I’ve been a photographer on and off, film to digital, darkroom to LightRoom. Until recently, I’d not heard of you or paid much attention to street photography. Then I found (happenstance, serendipity) The Inspired Eye e-zine and I took the course. I have a better understanding of light, eye travel, leading lines, composition, relationships, and of your equation: eye+heart+mind=intent. Weather in Chicago right now is perfect for shooting on the street. I’m hooked. All I can say is thank you.


    1. Jim, welcome and thanks for letting me know how the course affected you. Stay in touch, stay inspired send me a link so I can check out your work.

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