All posts by streetshooter

Covid-19 … Vintage Work 2

Gamb’e Game June 2005                                                             M4 35mm Cron

What I was saying before about organizing my work, this is a prime example. I would have made this anyway but I knew instantly how it would fit with the rest of the Gamb’e Game photos. Some friends criticized me for not maintaining freedom in my work. I felt and still do that I have a responsibility to my work and myself before any freedom is granted.  At any rate, I was out making photos and the sun was doing its magic but the shadows are what always interested me.

The sun as nice as it is was playing hide and seek.  I would see a shot and then right away, the sun would hide and shadows would hide also. Then, then Mother Light saw my efforts and said quietly to me… shooter, get ready. So Andre’ heard Mother Light and all of a sudden she shined the light right in front of me and I was like so, where’s the magic…. an old man is right there and his shadow….Click!

New York Public Library 1972                                                  M4 35mm Cron

There were times when I was hungry for NYC. I would save up and take a train round trip and spend the day. I had friends there but wanted to be alone and make photos. I would just take Andre’ the Leica M4 and a 35mm Cron and a few rolls of film. I knew if things got busy, I can always buy more film. I usually took a subway ride to Wall Street. The walk to Columbus Circle. So I was about dead in my tracks and made it to the Library. I sat on the step to relax and rest. It had just finished raining and I was still wet. I looked at a puddle. It captured my interest. Then I stood and moved a bit and I saw an arrow and another and another. I readied Andre’ and framed and made the shot. I went back to sit and some kids, College Kids were where I was sitting. I sat anyway and then a girl asked me if I was using a Leica. That started the conversation and most of them were asking me questions and it was a nice talk. I hailed a cab and went to the train station and headed back to Philly.

2nd & South, Philly   1987                                                               M6 35mm Lux

I used to love to go to work at night and early morning. This was about 0200am. The thing is, usually, the sun is sleeping this early in the morning. So any light that finds you will most likely be artificial light. There’s a quality in artificial light that is very seductive and captivating. I was walking around and kinda the only one around except for the ladies of the night. I could breathe in the perfume and my senses would get dizzy as I walked past them. I love them tho because there is no pretense about them and usually they have a sense of humor and a sweet smile. I’m standing talking to 2 hookers and I gotta well, relieve my liquids. I asked them where I could go and one pointed to an alley about 50yds away. So I ventured down the street and sure enough, I saw the alley she mentioned. Not a soul around. So I prepared for a liquid relieving procedure and looked at the light and the shadow. I was draining and raised Andre’ and Click!

The shadow you see is me in the relieving position. It’s possible for a man to do 2 things at once.

I remember my daughter came home for a visit from the Air Force. I can’t tell you the joy of having her close to me again. Anyway, the time came for her to go back to her base and I was upset but of course, being a Nam Vet so can’t let emotions slip out. After 2 days of her absence, I couldn’t take it anymore and packed a bag with my M4 and 35mm Cron and some rolls of Tri-X. I even had some clothes and stuff. I called the airlines and got a price and not really bad at all. I was ready to order the tickets when Andre’ the Leica M4 said, Listen, son, we fly all the time. We see nothing but pretty clouds. How about we take a train or bus and go? I didn’t want to give Andre’ the props but really, who better to advise about photos? I started thinking about how much I have missed by flying. I mean, ya fly across the country in 5 hours. A bus would be like 4 or more days. That means ya get to see many things ya never ever see from a plane.

The bus was a real trip. Many on the bus were migrant farmworkers. There were some cowboy and cowgirl people also. We stopped every so often so people could use the restrooms or eat or just walk around and make photos like yours truly. One night we stopped at a rest stop and it was late and dark. There were some truckers parked and it was very quiet. There was no one around and that’s cool but also scary. I mean, my Leica was the guest of many checking it out. I wasn’t worried cause Andre3′ wasn’t the only thing I had with me to shoot. I had Jock the 45AQCP in my bag with Andre’. I had a Nam Vet Tee Shirt and hat on so I felt that was a deterrent.

So I walked and saw this lone truck and waited. A young girl and i mean young and pretty walked to it and climbed in. Well, Andre’ told me the bus was leaving so I snapped the shot and got on the bus to continue.

 

Covid-19 … Vintage Work

M4 35mm Cron                                                                                            Phila  1975

My wife was pregnant with our son Paul. I had a short time to hit the streets. This is at 18th & Walnut. I used Andre’ the Leica M4, I saw the light and that’s what I was attracted to. Then this guy comes and lays down right in front of me. Even then I didn’t like making photos of homeless people. I did tho because, in my mind and heart, I wasn’t exploiting anyone. Not much was happening and I waited to see if anything would develop. I was just about to leave when I saw a few well-dressed ladies walking towards me. Closer and closer and then very close. Two of the ladies walked faster than the lady in the rear. Mother Light was gracious and started shining brightly. I started to feel a photo and then the 3rd lady, walking past the man and me as if we didn’t even exist. I looked at the shadow of her high-class shoes….click.

M4 35mmCron                                                                                         Phila 1976

Kosmin called me and told me he had a special deal on film for me. So I went to the store and he told me he had a lot of 35mm Infra-Red film. The rolls were 20 & 36 exp. Well, he charged me $50..00 for 90 rolls of film, a changing bag, and sold me separately, 10 Leica film cassettes. He told me that if I spooled the Kodak Film into Leica cassettes, I wouldn’t need a changing bag and could load the film in the camera the same as always. No FOG! He said, just count 3 to start the roll. I went to the darkroom in the store and loaded a roll in the Leica cassette. Well, I thanked him as always and started home. I never used a light meter and still don’t like them. So I guessed exposure and made some snaps on the way home. I believe the shot above is the first with the Infra-Red film. When I processed the film, I was amazed. It’s like I see this in my mind for years and didn’t know how to make it. I spent about 3 years using this film and used it for everything. I was loving the way it made me see light.

Khalid NYC  M6 35mm Cron                                                                        1986?

I was walking all around time square and wasn’t feeling anything. I think I shot like 1/2 roll of film. I had the Black M6 and haven’t really used it that much. I had the M4 also as a backup.  I saw that Ralph Gibson was doing ads for  Leica and as much as I was into my M cameras, I was intrigued by the M6. For me, making the transition to the M6 was a major experience. The camera for me is my friend and we have a creative synergism. I feel the image and feel the light and set the exposure intuitively. I have been doing that since 1970 in Nam. Now the new kid in town had red lights inside. The connection for me has changed but I committed to adapt.

I’m walking on the side of Macy’s and it’s hot and humid and stinky. I see this man sitting against a wall and he seemed kinda mellow. I leaned against a wall and made a shot. I walked to him and he asked me to sit so I did. We talked for a while and for some unknown reason, I was at peace, within. I didn’t make any more photos of Khalid. I didn’t feel the need. When we parted company, I felt kinda like a small part of me was being left behind. It was an uneasy feeling, like when you leave home and keep thinking ya forgot something. I didn’t print this photo fro over a year. When I did, Diana bought it and sold some for me,.

M6  35mm  Cron                                                              17th & Chestnut  1987

I have been doing shadows and legs etc for a long time. I believe in method and intent. For years friends told me to just make photos and not categorize them. Just work. Well, I wasn’t and still not good about taking orders. Anyway, I found it very helpful to have a series of work or groups, etc. I have some like…. Gambe’ Game, shadows, reflections, icons, public transit. There’s more but this gives an idea of working.

The street is about trigger mechanisms and recognizing them. For me, it became a method by keeping order or my photos. I went against everyone but I have to do it my way. If there’s a solid path for your journey, it is easy to go off and wander around and find your way back. If there is no path, then you just wander around aimlessly and hope you find your way to what?

The other important thing about the organization is, if you ever get bored or lost, you have your history to look at and find the path again. History gives a clear view of where you once were and a guide to where you could go now.

It was really hot and the sun was at full blaze. I was on 17th street and there was scaffolding and I went under it to get out of the direct blast of the sun. I watched people walk past and the shadows and legs were exciting….. then a businessman was walking into view and all of a sudden, the light turned on high intensity and the shadows just captured me …..Click!

M4 35mm Cron                                                                                                        1988

Years before that, my friend Paul and I were looking at each other’s photos. He said to me, “nice juxtaposition Don”. I was badass man, I didn’t flinch.  I had no clue what juxtaposition meant. I went to the library the next day and asked the librarian about the meaning. She got a dictionary and explained it. Now I was a juxtpositioner and I knew how to be all that and more.

Covid-19 … Rework the Blog

Everyone on their own becomes a part of everything. Perhaps what should we discover is our part of the everything. I am anti-philosophical about my philosophical ways and views. We mostly work for ourselves and that established as a means to satisfy our own creativity, We eat drink and sleep photography in hopes of finding the elusive image. We make many many photos that lead us astray for the elusive image. Perhaps it’s not elusive at all but the idea of it is.

Then one day, we sit and ponder how we have made advancements in our work. We start to feel that we, at last, start to understand the way of it all. We work all this for the simple satisfaction of the self. This is not to suggest that it is an egotistical process. Far from it. It’s more like breathing and being in the here and now with each breath. Trust me, all those that do not believe in the Zen of life will crave the next breath and be aware of that breathing and how it keeps us alive.

There will be no argument about breathing upon the last breath we each have. Let’s not jump the gun tho. We should back up a million breaths before the last one. That means we have a life to live and many photos to make. We have many cameras to buy without our spouses knowing. Isn’t that half the fun? Be honest, of course, it is. This is all about us. During our life, we need to stand tall and be accountable for our stance in our lives. We can not falter or tilt to the thoughts and words of others. We must believe that what we are doing is worth living for.

This is all still about ourselves. It is the intent and the purpose and the method of living as a photographer. Shooters above all are people that need process and reason. We are also result fixated. It is important that we know our life means something to us and then……

here’s the other side of that coin. We do all this for ourselves. Years ago I was in a conversation with some shooter friends and I said… photographers work for other photographers. For the most part that is the truth but not true enough.

Viewers vary with knowledge.

There is an intent for the viewer also. It can be very inspiring or very deflating.  It’s very risky to have viewers checking out your work. We all do it and we all must do it for a number of reasons. Absolutely without a shadow of a doubt, we must maintain our stance. Everyone has the right to criticize and when you show your work, you open the door for critique. You can not escape this process if you decide to show your work. What you can do is maintain your stance.

Well, here are a few thoughts from me. We were at base camp in Chu Lai. Everyone was kinda feeling melancholy and drinking or smoking weed or both. I made countless photos as often as I could. This day Jock joined us and I always felt good when he was around. I’m clicking away and KJock stands behind me and says, One Breath One-Click…. be it.  Whenever he would say something like that, I could feel my insides awaken to the call. I would become more alert and more positioned with my life in the life I was living in the moment. I would be turned into exactly my role at this moment.

Jock wasn’t teaching me about Zen. He was turning me on to the accountability of me and the viewers of my work.  We all know about the here and now. I mean we are able to understand and accept the here and now and that’s what should be natural about it. Well, I kinda like to know what it is I am to be doing. So I have dissected my own personal here and now and discovered a few things. Your version of the here and now may vary from mine so don’t get upset about it.  Having a personal here and now is what makes us all special.

Not that we need to feel special but we are as humans with a camera anyway. So, let’s enjoy it.

A pity in life is that we never think about or really appreciate our breaths. Let me tell ya, in your life …there is nothing more important than your next breath. The last exhale is someplace in time. There is no countdown to this exhale, so we should really apply that absolute truth to everything we do.

Of course, like me, youse are all concerned about the truth of your photography. no 2 people breathe the same way. No 2 breaths are the same.  No 2 people are the same or have the same emotions and thoughts. Wait just a minute shooter. Does that mean we are alone in life? Does it imply that we work for ourselves and wait,,,, does it mean that our photos have an individual presence to each?  Is it possible that each breath equals a click or could be?

Can it be that each breath and each click could span a lifetime?

Thoughts … 1 breath and 1 click … a Question in Time

Everyone on their own becomes a part of everything. Perhaps what should we discover is our part of the everything. I am anti-philosophical about my philosophical ways and views. We mostly work for ourselves and that established as a means to satisfy our own creativity, We eat drink and sleep photography in hopes of finding the elusive image. We make many many photos that lead us astray for the elusive image. Perhaps it’s not elusive at all but the idea of it is.

Then one day, we sit and ponder how we have made advancements in our work. We start to feel that we, at last, start to understand the way of it all. We work all this for the simple satisfaction of the self. This is not to suggest that it is an egotistical process. Far from it. It’s more like breathing and being in the here and now with each breath. Trust me, all those that do not believe in the Zen of life will crave the next breath and be aware of that breathing and how it keeps us alive.

There will be no argument about breathing upon the last breath we each have. Let’s not jump the gun tho. We should back up a million breaths before the last one. That means we have a life to live and many photos to make. We have many cameras to buy without our spouses knowing. Isn’t that half the fun? Be honest, of course, it is. This is all about us. During our life, we need to stand tall and be accountable for our stance in our lives. We can not falter or tilt to the thoughts and words of others. We must believe that what we are doing is worth living for.

This is all still about ourselves. It is the intent and the purpose and the method of living as a photographer. Shooters above all are people that need process and reason. We are also result fixated. It is important that we know our life means something to us and then……

here’s the other side of that coin. We do all this for ourselves. Years ago I was in a conversation with some shooter friends and I said… photographers work for other photographers. For the most part that is the truth but not true enough.

Viewers vary with knowledge.

There is an intent for the viewer also. It can be very inspiring or very deflating.  It’s very risky to have viewers checking out your work. We all do it and we all must do it for a number of reasons. Absolutely without a shadow of a doubt, we must maintain our stance. Everyone has the right to criticize and when you show your work, you open the door for critique. You can not escape this process if you decide to show your work. What you can do is maintain your stance.

Well, here are a few thoughts from me. We were at base camp in Chu Lai. Everyone was kinda feeling melancholy and drinking or smoking weed or both. I made countless photos as often as I could. This day Jock joined us and I always felt good when he was around. I’m clicking away and KJock stands behind me and says, One Breath One-Click…. be it.  Whenever he would say something like that, I could feel my insides awaken to the call. I would become more alert and more positioned with my life in the life I was living in the moment. I would be turned into exactly my role at this moment.

Jock wasn’t teaching me about Zen. He was turning me on to the accountability of me and the viewers of my work.  We all know about the here and now. I mean we are able to understand and accept the here and now and that’s what should be natural about it. Well, I kinda like to know what it is I am to be doing. So I have dissected my own personal here and now and discovered a few things. Your version of the here and now may vary from mine so don’t get upset about it.  Having a personal here and now is what makes us all special.

Not that we need to feel special but we are as humans with a camera anyway. So, let’s enjoy it.

A pity in life is that we never think about or really appreciate our breaths. Let me tell ya, in your life …there is nothing more important than your next breath. The last exhale is someplace in time. There is no countdown to this exhale, so we should really apply that absolute truth to everything we do.

Of course, like me, youse are all concerned about the truth of your photography. no 2 people breathe the same way. No 2 breaths are the same.  No 2 people are the same or have the same emotions and thoughts. Wait just a minute shooter. Does that mean we are alone in life? Does it imply that we work for ourselves and wait,,,, does it mean that our photos have an individual presence to each?  Is it possible that each breath equals a click or could be?

Can it be that each breath and each click could span a lifetime?

Covid-19 … A Lesson From My Cameras … Fuji X100V

This is all slim pickins because my time on the street to work is extremely limited. So I get to analyze my motives, processes and intent because, what else I have to do anyway?

O_k, about the Fuji X100V.  I have it about 2 months and 2 things keep popping up that make me want to get rid of it.  The first is that it does not have IBIS. For me now that’s a critical feature. My essential tremors have progressed to Parkinson’s Disease. Most cameras I can’t handhold below 1/250 sec. Yeah I know, sucks. The Leica M9 is certainly a heavier camera and in a way, it steadies for me. At any rate, when the time comes that I can’t use the M9 on the street, it will be time to buy the farm.

The Fuji X-Pro2 is similar to the M9 because it’s also a heavier camera. I adore that camera  and still have to use it around 1/125 sec.

I had the Olympus Pen-F and sold it 3 times and still think about it. It has IBIS and probably the best of any camera until….The Ricoh GRIII. This camera is a life line for me because of the iBIS. It is sooo efficient and I can handhold @ 1/15th sec. Sharp images, handheld at 1/15 sec… awesome. It works beautifully and flawlessly.

This is the first issue I have with cameras. I won’t sell any because they make me aware of my  shortcomings and that I need to work on them. Now I’m gonna tellya alls about a time past that things were different. There were alchemist that worked in the dark. The dark workers produced photos on some kinda paper and when you touched those photos, it was a delightful magical experience.

The real beauty back then that has manifested to current times, is THE CAMERA.  There was no IBIS in the film cameras. I look back at some of my archive and many images have a slight blur. Mostly unnoticeable but it’s there. I I used 1/125sec @ f/11 as my base exposure with Tri-X.  I had no tremor issues the that I was aware of and yet if I study the negatives, the tremor is there. If I had a Ricoh GRIII back then, no problems.

Back to the present, Covid-19 day 5-14-20. Because of the issues with camera shake, I have used soft releases on most cameras. The idea is, your finger will softly press the release and stop shake at the moment of exposure. When the Fuji V100V arrived I did 2 things right away. First as always is to install a Screen Protector. The next thing is the soft release. I have many of these and most are the convex style. It lets my finger have a point of contact that is natural feeling.  Here’s why you need to name your cameras and have conversations with them.

I had an experience 3 years ago. I got a Fuji X-Pro2. I put on a soft release and went for a walk, It was raining and it was a nice feeling to feel safe in the rain and make photos with a camera. I arrived home in a few hours and noticed the soft release was gone. No sweat, I have many. I went again with a soft release on the X-Pro2 and sure enough, it was gone when I got home.

So I decided that Walker the Fuji X-Pro2 and I need a chat. I looked Walker in the 23mm eye and said, wassup wit da soft release thing?  Walker said, “I doin need no stupid soft release on my body”‘ I gotta tellya, I thought that was kinda a nervy thing to say to me.  He continued by saying …”Shooter, your a nice kid, but who likes kids” We are partners thru a life in photography and that means we need to work together to bring the images alive.

Ya know, Walker the Fuji X-100V had a good point. I never used a soft release on him again.

I was sitting at my desk working in Light Room and I can hear a mumbling. I look around and methinks, I hear a mumbling a callin’. I looked in the camera cabinet.  It seems that Walker the Fuji X-Pro2 was talking to Walt the Fuji X100V. They are having a deep chat and Walt was explaining that he will be sold off shortly. He wanted to stay with Walker and the other cameras.  Walt was nervous to talk with me directly. Well, Andre the Leica M9 stepped up and said him and i need to talk. So I said I will sip a scotch and listen. Well, 3 shots later and I was all good to go.

Andre’ said, shooter for almost 2 months, you been having problems with the new kid on the block,  Walt the Fuji X100V. I said, yes sir, I can’t get the release right. Almost ever time I press the release  it fires many shots like continuous mode. I’ve had enough and i decided to sell the camera.

Andre’ said.  shooter sometimes your a smart guy and your good looking and many woman like to look  at ya. Some men also, not that there’s anything wrong with that. The thing is and we in the camera cabinet all agree, sometimes your not the sharpest pencil in the box. This is one of those times.

TAKE THE DAMN SOFT RELEASE OFF WALT.

Covid-19 … Escape to Sanity … Bringing The Past to the Present

It was 1962 and I was 13 years old. I worked part time with my grandfather, He had a family business doing Hardwood Floors. We were heading to a job near center city Philadelphia. We rode along Market Street from 28th down to 2nd Street. I had never seen Center City before. I was captivated and just observed everything my vision  could digest. It was a visual wonderland for me and I was in love. I learned from a school mate how to get around on PTC the Public Transit Authority. I traveled all around and saw a lot of the city and surrounding regions. I was a real photographer, only thing was, I didn’t have a camera and I didn’t know what photography  was. I damn sure was a street shooter. Yeah baby!

Years would pass by before I knew what photography was but still couldn’t do it. All in due time. As I look back thru my life and the years that melted into the present, I realize that those times forged the path for me to walk now. I had a makeshift darkroom built on a meager budget but it was mine and I learned. I won’t go into many details about that but needless to say, it was a feeling of love I never experienced. I had a friend named David. He was a family friend and taught me and guided me thru this part of the journey. We worked in the darkroom and he would say,  how much time for exposure for the enlarger? I would say, 1:30 1 min 30 seconds. He would smile and then make the exposure as I suggested. We made many prints and I always felt the exposure and that’s what we used. After a brief time David told me I didn’t need him anymore. He said, Donald, there are many millions of people that do photography and they all love it. He continued, you are the only person I ever met that photography loves. Honestly, these words had no meaning for me then.

After Nam I was kinda secluded in my heart and mind. I stayed in my room for a while and didn’t want to leave the comfort and safety of my personal womb. Sometimes during the day in my room, I would have flashbacks. At night almost always nightmares. Inn time I realized these images needed to be dealt with as photos. I started thinking that I needed, wanted to see my beloved Market Street. I grabbed my camera and headed down town. That single event saved my life. I walked all around and compared the now to the past I remembered. I made photos of whatever I was attracted to. The city, buildings and mostly the people living in the poetry of life.

That was 1971 and I haven’t stopped walking Market Street or making photos. Ya gotta love what your doing or how can it love ya back.

Ya gotta watch your life cause no matter how close you are with someone, it’s your duty, just as it’s their duty top watch their own life. I have been told several times that I am too serious with photography. I’m guilty as charged. It’s my life’s work and I can’t feel that it’s a light duty experience. It’s not that I’m special about photography, it’s that photography is special to me.

That shoots me to the present. I think that the camera, any that I have and use, keeps me in the here and now. It becomes an anchor and friend I can work with. It becomes a connection of sorts. If I start to have my mind wander around and pick up thoughts, the camera keeps me on track. That’s why I name my cameras and call them my friends. Because they keep me alive. They are not just objects for me, they are a part of my essence. 

Why am I writing all this? I suppose in a way it’s a ventilation because i’m in lock down since March 11th. I went to the vA Hospital and for about 90 m in, I walked around Market street and made some photos. I can’t tell you the therapeutic value that had on me. My soul woke up and saw the light for a short time. 

Happy Mother’s Day to all. Be Blessed and thanks for reading my rambling thoughts. Shhhhh… I get to the VA again on Tuesday so shortly thereafter, I’ll make another pose.

Covid-19 … Week 9 of Lock Down … Fuji X100V

I ordered a Silver X100V and then I was told that it would be delivered late March and this was mid February.  Well, I was feeling like I don’t even want the darn thing anymore. Then the guy in the camera store tells me he has a black one in stock and I immediately asked to get it. He agreed and the next day it was delivered. The camera was delivered March 20th. I’m glad he shipped it because I could never get out of the house anyway. We started Lock down March 11th. Anyway, I haven’t really had the time with the camera on the street. Oh, before I forget. The Fuji X100V is named Walt after my life long friend that passed a few years ago.  For some reason I was compelled to christian the camera with his name. I been making some shots with Walt the Fuji X100V and just kinda feeling him out. I gotta tellya,, I was less than enthused with this camera.  I had every version of the X100 and my fav was the X100T.  The X100F never hooked me even tho I made many good photos with it. So maybe I came to Walt the Fuji X100V with a poisoned mind. It’s a covid moment to have time to do things, except’n gittin away from da wifey. I know O joke around a lot but gettin away from da wifey is no joke.

I looked at Walt the Fuji X100V and figured it was time to get into him.  Something clicked that was familiar. It was the bonding between the camera and I. I can never actually identify what clicks but i know something did. It felt like anything I wanted to with the camera I knew how to do. So I am starting to find my groove with Walt the Fuji X100V.

Fuji X100V  OOC

Ricoh GRIII  OOC

Let it be known that I am a true Ricoh Lover and have been since long before Digital. Let it also be known that I have used Fuji cameras for decades. So I am not really doing a comparision because there’s 2 shots. The thing is, that the Fuji enlightened me in ways I didn’t wanna be. I had every intention to use the Fuji X100V for a few months and then get back to the Leica and Ricoh.

All this is going on while I am in Lock Down from Covid-19.  It’s terrible to go thru the stripping of energy and right of passage. It cuts the line of inspiration to my eye, heart and mind completely from my soul.

I believe there is a source of images that we draw the energy from. If one is an awake shooter, that shooter is aware of the personal pool of image energy. Maybe this seems mystical or like magic and ya know…it is. I come from a long line of Don’s. Long ago, there lived a Don soaked in the magic of life. He rode a horse with a lance and attacked the Great Windmill Dragons. He is my Don Ancestor and guardian of the magic lance. Today know as the Magic Camera.

When I was a young man, a famous Don summoned me to his presence. I walked into his chamber,  cigar smoke abound. He sat on a throne kinda chair and 4 men sat on his perimeter. He said to me, “Don Shooter, you have a responsibility to the life you live”. He continued by saying, ” Don Shooter, During the course of human history, many Dons have graced the planet. You are a Don and must continue the path of wonder and magic that you travel and love. ” Well, I looked at the 4 men around him and they looked at me and all shrugged.

The man in the throne said…”you are the Don Shooter and you must continue working even thru the Covid-1`9 fiasco. ” The he told me to leave and I asked what this was all about. He said, I dunno, some guy gave me a script to follow but Brando got the role.

So I left Don Vito Knows Nothing and now I’m here with you all.

I’ll hopefully be here another day also….

Be blessed all, stay safe and sane and remember……..hmmm forgot

 

 

Covid-19 … Homework … The Vibe of Life … Truth of My Reality

I

I’m not paranoid in any way, well except for what my shrink tells me I am. I just don’t fathom what the leaders of the country are doing or thinking.  See, we been in lock down about 44 daze and it’s grueling at times.  I miss walking about with a camera. I miss the smell of the streets, the feel of others around me dodging others as they walk to their destination, the vibe of life. I guess that the VIBE of life is essential to making photos and it’s what I long for the most.

About 2 weeks in isolation, I started to go thru my Light Room catalogs. I felt then that it was a good time to re-discover some photos and I was pleasantly excited. I noticed that the photos I selected back then are the same ones I wold select now.  The thing is, as I toured my photos, I started to have a longing again. It became over whelming and made me very uneasy.

Roland Barthes  in his writing of Camera Lucida,  talks about the studium and the punctum. I believe i am allowed to have my own take-away.  Basically I agree with Barthes about this but i feel different and here’s how I think about it.

As a photographer, I am concerned with 2 essential elements in a photographic experience. I see the Studium as the scene in the image. I see the photographer and what he/she adds to the image as the Punctum. Of course, the strength of each set of elements makes or breaks the photo. Of course this is a very basic approach but I want to keep it light so it gets digested easier.

Well, back to the history of my efforts. As I’m looking at photos of sessions past, one thing keeps resonating in my mind. I see the scene as a place of visual energy. I see the punctum as the element in the photo that makes the magic of seeing work within the scene. . The scene is more of a constant in the process and the punctum is more of a pronounced variable. It’s the punchline to the shot.

I am going thru many photos. The ones that have a star don’t interest me too much as they were born already. I was looking for future stars.  In Light Room, I use a single star to mark a shot that is born. after a few days of this I was emotionally fatigued. I mean, I just was saddened by what I was seeing. No, not the actual images, I love all my work and it brings me great pleasure.

I missed not the punch to the photos but the scene. The scenes kept calling to me, were putting pressure on me to walk again, observe again, hold my camera in my hand again, find the next shot again. The photo that have stars don’t do that because they are not virgin images. I saw the places that I awakened to many times, I could smell life again. I longed for the experience of living again and again and again….

The only way to defeat the Covid-19 is to be in isolation. I agree and accept that as a viable solution. It causes much anguish in my life. I can’t go and shoot. I have poisoned my mind by looking at past experiences. They filter in my mind and heart and stir things that can’t happen just yet.

Tanya and I are doing our part in the world. We are together n this experience and it damn sure ain’t easy. I keep seeing and feeling the photos I want to make.

Then, then it seems many do not agree about isolation. They want to open cities and states. Why, MONEY, that’s why. They want the freedom to do as they please at the cost that is yet undefined. So I question their motives and never question the stance Tanya and I take.

What bugs me is, all this time in isolation, I think 44 days already and others are going around in public most without a mask. I feel kinda betrayed because I know that what they do is wrong.

In the Old Testament, Charlton Heston went to the mt to have a chat with GOD. While he was there, the Jews were making false GODS and worshiping them. When him and GOD finished the chat, GOD told Charlton to go to his people cause the need him.

When he got down the mt to his people, he saw them running around without mask, they were not doing social distancing. He was sooo angry, he threw the 10 COMMANDMENTS at all the TV’s and PC’s.

He stated to the crowd, what are you doing? We need to follow instructions. GOD says President Trump is right about social distancing and mask.

Well, that’s how I feel. I can’t go out at all and because I mat infect someone or they infect me. It’s a duty to mankind and I do it as prescribed. I can’t look at mt catalogs because I am at a loss for the reality of my life.

Hope ya ain’t pissed or bored……

Covid-19 … Homework … Efforts To Persevere

…..nay, I’m ok, it’s just a mental thing…you won’t understand. Seen my VA Shrink called to check up on me. I mean he’s a good Doctor and even better cause he kinda understands me. So, he asked me how I was getting along and I told him I’m fine, taking my meds, easy on coffee but my cameras need help. He asked me to explain soooo….see Doc, Covid-19 has me home bound. I’m on lock down. I get out to the backyard and that’s the end of the world for me. My cameras are feeling lock down also.

I have 5 cameras on duty. There are others that are sleeping in their boxes that basically are coffins because I forget about them and that makes them dead. Back to life and the living. The new kid on the block is Walt, the Fuji X100V. New camera and old important name for me. I treat all my cameras as equals because they all have different qualities that support the photography we do together.

Beings a new guy, Walt the Fuji X100V has  ways to attract me and keep me hypnotized to keep using him.. The other cameras tell him about the streets and how they get out   and work. Walt, the Fujix100V has never been off the homeland. Things are so dry here on the Homeland, I’m looking for Carrie.

Part truth is, a committed shooter should be able  to make photos at all times, regardless of a virus etc. I do believe this to be true. I also believe, that the landscape you are in influences the energy you can muster up.

Maybe the thing is, not to feel and live the restrictions we place on ourselves. I don’t know. All I can do is work at home and dream of the streets again. I have always said that street is another term for life. That should mean that you plug your eyes into anything and see photos. I think for the most part that is true. What gets be is the monotony of being in the same space day after day. Funny thing is, I can walk the same streets for years and never feel this way.  I notice many friends out on the street making photos. They post them all the time. I wonder if they feel better about the situation and i wonder if they consider the damage that could be done to others and themselves. I suppose it’s the “to each his/her own” thing. I think about this stuff because we are mostly living it. I get to work a little when I fee so inspired, not very often either.  I been told my many that I should see things as if seeing it for the first time. That’s sooo much bull-dinky, I discount it immediately. What I try to do is, fall in love with my life and all the things that share it with me.

I hope everyone finds the inspiration to carry on the good fight. It’s not about winning or losing but about the battle to survive. 
We should “endeavor to persevere” as Lone Watie taught  Josey Wales.

Stay in, stay safe and love everyone enough to wear a N95 or similar.

The Grass Is Always Greener … Covid-19

The Grass Is Always Greener on the other side, and it’s true. Now get this, ….I know why and I will tell you all right now. The grass nis greener over there because there’s more bullshit (pardon my profanity) over there to fertilize it.

Anyway I always thought that I’d love to have more time to work in Light Room. It’s been an unrealized dream.

I’m not a heavy shooter, just 186lbs…laffs. The thing is, I have time to process from a days shoot because ,I don’t burn a lot of pixels. The time I dreamt of was time to go thru decades of photos and re-shoot them and find the ones I let sleep in hopes of one day bringing them home. Well Mr Covid 19 has put the lid down on my thinking. Now I have the time  to do the editing and sorting I always wanted.

The time we desire is the time we waste and the time we live is the time worth dying for. Now I have time to edit and process and whatever. I even have time to discover the things in LR that Olivier shows me. What do I do, well the green green grass of home is with my cameras.  Lucky enough, We have a garden out back and big enough I can find things to make photos of.

So, having time to spare and waste, causes the brain to kinda turn to spaghetti. I said to my self,  don,, yes…. we need to do photography but spend time doing it. Hmmmm we both thinks me has a good idea. I will take the new Fuji X100V  out to the garden and make 1 frame Just 1. Ok, sooo where’s the magic? Well I go and make 1 frame and then come into the PC and do Light Room on that 1 frame.

The idea for me is, to use time productively and be aware of the process.  This method works. I have shot a fair amount of frames and processed a fair amount. This gives me the experiences that I no longer have till Mr Covid-19 let’s us breathe again.

This has been an ordeal for Tanya and me. I’ mean we all know I am easy to live with, get along with almost everyone, just a joy to be around. Well, sure we all know that, it’s a constant in the universe. The thing is, Tanya has her own ideas. Every time I go to the garden, she wants to know what I’m doing.

See, she knows when I have a camera in hand, I am in another plane of existence. I could walk on her seedlings or plants etc raspberry or strawberry plants and then not even know I destroyed things. But I get the photo I tellya, like she gives a hoot, no damn sure don’t  Even Barsik the cat is careful in the garden We have there bags and fill them with  good soil and she plants stuff in them. They are great because you can move them to where the sunlight is. Barsik thinks they are his litter bags.

Of course for me everything is camera food. I mean Mr Covid-19 has locked me in and as I write this, I am 33 dayz in.   I started to wonder what Tanya is doing in the yard. She’s smart and frugal as she’s digging a big rectangular hole. I guess she want’s fresh dirt cause it’s a deep hole.  She’s digging and the looks at me and has this kinda weird smile like a Hitchcock smile, Well, I won’t say anything we both need to have a way to spend our time.

Stay in, stay focused, stay safe and keep an eye out for others. We are all in this together so, be aware………….I’ll write again soon but Tanya just told me I don’t have to worry about that. She’s digging and a digging…..