August 6th, 2016 … Fuji X100T … READ THIS … INTENT


The streets are different now and I don’t really have an answer why. It’s almost like everyone is walking around and feeling the difference between Dems & Reps. It’s like I get looked at and maybe the person thinks I’m a member of that other party, you know the one that is backing that person for the election. The there’s the smug person on the corner waiting for the traffic light and we all know that person is an Indy. They couldn’t care about the him or her running cause they got their own Hymn to deal with.

What does this have to do with photography? Well, life shapes the street. We want to capture the essence of the street as we see it. So when things are in an unstable way, so is our images.


I had a chat with a few shooters, of different ages and skill levels. They wanted to direct the conversation to Bresson, Winogrand, Kertesz and all the famous shooters from back in the day. Well, that raises a flag for me about the size of Philly. I was asked who my Favorite shooters were. I replied, anyone contemporary turns me on. Then I said, let me explain.

I feel it’s best to divorce from the past and use your own work as a guide to what you should be doing. Going after Kertesz for example, and expecting to get it as your own, is insanity. Lithium will not help. If you need a reference point, maybe pick someone you like alive and working in a similar genre’ as you are.  You will be cleaner, more relaxed and certainly much more inspired.

One of the dangerous things is, when someone or you, comment on someone’s photos and say something like, reminds me of Bresson, very dangerous. What will happen is that the shooter at first is delighted to hear that. Now they are stimulated cause you say they made a photo that was like Bresson’s and everyone read the comment and that shooter gets a shot in the ego.

The, the shooter realizes that they aren’t like Bresson and there is a Gold Ring they have been chasing and it’s all stored away and done with mirrors. They simply can’t continue to keep up with the illusion and or pressure that they have had planted on them.


If that shooter gets comments like, really like this dude or dudess….I check your stuff a lot and I relate to it.

Let me tellya, that will do more for both, than any Kertesz or Bresson or any, dare I say…yes yes…. I dare any master before us. The reason is, we are programmable. We can’t stop that procedure. All we can do is to Give Peace a Chance….opppps sorry John…..

We need to filter as much garbage entering our minds and brains as possible. Then we need to determine what garbage we allow to influence us while we are here on the planet.

If you wanna make photos and rest assured that what you are doing, regardless of what the asses of the masses are doing, heed my warning and advice, if you wanna run around with a camera and pretend to be some Master, then be alone at the end because you lived as someone else and not true to you…..well, that’s cool but…well you’ll find out…

next post Monday…. well, hopefully……



13 thoughts on “August 6th, 2016 … Fuji X100T … READ THIS … INTENT”

  1. I have now read this post about three times and I must admit I never heard of Kertesz, I have now looked him up. Bresson, yes, but have not spent much time looking at his work. I don’t see a point in comparing myself to them or to anyone for that matter. I do admire other photographers and their work. Some, like yourself, write good words to go along with their work that I like to read. Thanks for another great read.

    1. Thanks Sharon. Bresson of course was and is an important figure in the history of photography. His work was admired by one and all and highly accepted and appreciated.

      Kertesz of course was making outstanding photos without the wide acceptance that Bresson had. The main difference and I am not downplaying anyone… is that Bresson worked and was regarded an important master. Kertesz worked from the heart and soul and didn’t have the luxury of being considered a very important photographer. Of course he was thought to be and praised by Bresson.

      end transmission……

  2. I heard “reminds me of…..” many times on my photos. Some time ago, I though, people exaggerate, but it was pleased. Now, if someone tells me, I would not really take it seriously…but…

    what I see as even more dangerous is….what I have in my mind…you know…someone tellthat me that some of my stuff looks like Koudelka, I would say he is crazy, but… I say, I don’t shoot like this or that….but don’t I lie to myself? don’t i just do that?

    1. Pavel,
      Maybe it’s impossible to be 100% clean about anything really. The important thing to grasp and maintain a strong hold on is…. not to trick yourself into believing your own bullshit. I mean, it’s ok to have masters in your head and heart but the important thing, that isn’t negotiable is… at the moment of exposure and at the moment of realization of the image, you recognize whether it’s by you of you or by you with a strong flavor of anybody else.

  3. Great post in many ways. I think history is important. I believe every shooter should know photo history, world history, etc., as well as they know their family history. Unless they’re adopted. Then that is another story, another history. I am always surprised by shooters who don’t know history. We don’t live in a vacuum. What gets my goat hairs raised are young shooters who go out and think they are doing stuff, doing their thing for the very first time, without knowing what came before. Thinking they are creating some holy shit like it’s no one else’s business. Like one of the candidates in this election, I think that is a dangerous place to be. I believe we all should know where we came from. It helps set a direction on self-discovery to where we individually need to be. Set it, forget it, move forward and find our own voice.

    The streets are different. No matter how much we might want to hold onto memories, life inches forward. Be yourself. Now that hasn’t been done before.

    1. Well, Keith, it’s nice to know you get this. I must say, I get a lot of resistance to this type of thread but later, I get a not that the person agrees about history. Ya just have to keep things in order and in their place.

  4. Sometimes I think getting recognition or appreciation from people is both a blessing and a curse because, as you said, you feel this pressure to keep producing the same kind of work. It may or may not necessarily be comparable or better but it was what people liked, so you stress out about your work when it should be from your heart.

    1. Tina, that’s exactly in in a Tina-nut-shell. One of the biggest issues is, knowing your audience. If your shooting for your audience, ya damn sure better know that audience. If your shooting for yourself, you have to learn to love what you do.

  5. So true. How many critiques I have sat through in my classes at ICP when the teacher glances at student image and then starts a 30 minute riff on the greatness of Klein, or whoever.

    1. Well, remember, “We are what we been taught, and so shall we teach”. Many, many people have only the past to cling to. The thought of speaking about someone untried and untrue is a nightmare for most. certainly for the established generation of educators. It’s easy for them to talk of Klein etc because he is tried and true. No one need be nervous or have insight or BALLS to go that route.
      On the other hand, for them to promote what is considered and “Unknown”, is far harder and more guts then even the most talented educators or curators.

      So, it’s not their fault to ride the proven trail on a proven wagon, it’s par for the course. The vision and heart of a person that can see the present and the future and detach from it, the past, those people are the wave of the future and the trend setters. It is our responsibility to provide them with the meal they can digest and then promote and advance photography and it’s vision into the future.

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