Category Archives: Color

May 18th, 2018 Rain Dancing With Walker the Fuji X-Pro2 … The 2 Button Rule For Street

There is a camera strap called the ARTISAN AND ARTIST ACAM-E25R. I use it with some cameras and especially Walker the Fuji X-Pro2. Great strap and great camera. The thing is, the 2 together have a sense of humor. Oh yeah, they do. See, I have Walker on the strap around my neck. It’s raining out and Walker is a trooper for the bad weather. So we be waking and a shooting and then all the sudden, I look at the screen and it’s in multiple shot mode. This is a post coffee incident. So the freak out point is reached quickly. I’m panting and losing my cool, don’t have much to start with but what I have is boiling over. I like my screen to be b&W. I’ll explain some reasons later but Walker and the un named camera strap have had another laff because i see the screen is in color and also I’m shooting in jpeg because the camera is now in multiple-exposure mode.

Now we all know that a camera strap can’t really talk to us but surely can communicate. You ever have a neck ache or shoulder ache from a camera on a strap? Well, that ache and pressure is from the strap, not the camera. If you communicate with things other than living matter, you know that the strap is saying…. damn dude, this camera is heavy and I’m not digging to have to have it on me. So, because you think less of me because I’m a strap, I’m gonna pass along some pain to you. See that guy down there at the end of your arm?   He’s the hand guy and he can hold your camera named or unnamed with or without a strap. Do it and I’ll stop hurting your dumb ass.

Anyway, back to the issue at hand ummm, errrr  issue hanging around. See, the buttons on the back of Walker the Fuji X-Pro2  will change as you walk or whatever. It doesn’t take much of a press to get a nice intrusion in the groove of working.  TWO THINGS THAT ARE A MUST DO WITH THE FUJI CAMERAS.

First, set the camera up the way you want to work. Then set the AF box where you want it. Ok, good….now carefully and paying full attention to the screen….press the joystick in straight and then you will see it is locked in position. The AF box will not move against your side or chest whatever. Press again and it releases the lock.

Second, press and hold the OK button until you see the LOCK on the screen.  Now most buttons with a sense of humor are locked.  The ones that are nice don’t need the lock so you can still access them. You can work without much aggrevation. Press and hold the OK button again and the UNLOCK is shown.

This info is available all over by many photographers. I post this because most here are shooters and have no time to get technical with cameras. They just want to work. (pre button lock experience) Walker decided to change my vision from B&W to Color. I did not ask him to do this. I think he felt I needed to analyze my intent. Oh, before I go any further, I have been known as a Camera Whisperer for some time. How else do ya’s think I can name my cameras and talk with them? Walker is not only one of my partners in photography, he’s also one of my patients and I his.

I’m standing on 10th Street and Market and just breathing. See, Walker decided I need to do color and he changed himself to make me do and see color. I see the screen in color and, well decided, maybe he’s right. Besides, I just wanted to work and knew I could have a chat with him when we got home.

station break but not commercial……. Walker and many cameras can make me think about what I’m doing, how I’m doing it and why I’m doing it. That’s exciting, or is it? Andre’ the Leica M240 is the opposite. I can take him out day after day and never ever see any changes on the camera. If i make a change, ok but Andre’ never ever does, or does he? Perhaps Andre the Leica M240 makes the changes in the most important manner. They seemingly go unnoticed.

See, the Inverse square law, (invented by my great great grandfather, cobble street shooter) says that more is less and less is more. So, he noticed that the digital cameras of the time, I think 1492 cause he documented the arrival of Columbus, had so many features that he needed to think less cause the camera did more. He met a young lad named Oscak Barnack and asked him, Oscar, can you make a camera with less functions that need to be changed and just let the camera work with the HEART of the shooter and not just the mind.

So, Oscar thought what a novel idea and set forth to make a camera to Cobble Street Shooters ideas. Oscar made the camera. No, not just a camera. He made a camera that for all time would place the heart of the shooter in the foreground and always make sure that the process of vision and feeling would override every other intrusion.


The reason that this story is not widely known is because even tho my Great Great Grandfather had great cameras, there was no film invented yet or sd cards. Unfortunately, we dont’t have any records of his work but he sure enough inspired Leica.

Little know tale….. I need to write more about the idea and application of Color vs B&W and i will start that post now and send it before the weekend is over.

October 20th, 2017 … The Workflow Mistake and the Seeing Color Again Post

Ok, so I been on Lightroom since the beta. I been on DNG since Creative Cloud was released and I was there in NYC when they announced it. Yes I am pointing out that  I have experience in the processing and workflow.

Well I was on a walk-a-bout with Andre the Leica M. I’m seeing the fall light and that activates the color sensor in my brain. I decide to go with it and just breathe in the cool fall air and spend some time with Andre. Ya know how most cameras make a great JPEG file and it’s always nicer thank the Raw file? Well the Leica’s don’t do that. Oh’ they make nice JPEGs but the DNG files are just totally intoxicating. Why do I mention this…………………………………………………………..>

<…………………………………………………………….. We headed home and I got LightRoom loaded and ready. I take the card out of Andre and slip it in the card reader in the PC. LR does it’s thing and the files are imported to the catalog. So now it’s like film processing and seeing the negs, for me that’s what it’s like. I see the photo above, the 1st one here, and I start to run presets because I want to make sure if I use the Leica DNG’s, I am ready to go. The files are so workable that I start to mess around with the image and get excited how things are working.

Then I decide to do that side by side comparison thing. (I never do Raw + JPEG, just Raw only but this time I wanted to do color comparisons so I have JPEGS.)

I load the JPEG on the left and the Raw on the right. Well, I see that the DNG does not need much work if anything but I like to experiment. Well, I pull the card from the pc and put it back in Andre and format the card. One step done. then I decide to shut down and I click the left photo which is the JPEG and delete….LR ask if I want to remove or delete…. kill that sucker, delete it.

At 68 yo I still have a sense of humor with the world. When I do something wrong and or  stupid, in a few minutes or so I realize I messed up. I click that photo and hit delete but LR deletes the DNG file. It’s one of those highlight issues. You can’t always see it. So I realize the DNG is gone. I close LR but quick exit so I can do other things. Eureka! I open LR again and then I get this kinds burping on the brain and I need a toilet quickly. Why you asked? Because the last import is POOF’D. I didn’t back it up.

Sandisk Disk Rescue didn’t work. It’s a Sandisk card and the new 300mp/s dude. So I give up and surrender  but fo 68 seconds. I search the web and find many programs that claim to recover things. I try some and this sickening feeling is growing.There are cost involved. I see from $69.95 – over $99.00 USD.

I see this site that has a card recovery program and I try the demo. Man, all the photos are there. I am amazed. I decide if it’s under a Hundred bucks, I’ll get it. I do this stupid stuff not often but this is a security blanket. The Card Recovery program says I can buy it to get the files. Well. I clock buy and it’s $39.99 USD. So I sit back like a kid and the click save and sure enough the program puts all the photos in a folder.

I am wiggling and squirming and almost giggling with joy. I open LR and import the photos and it was all there. I sat back and thought that this little program saved me a lot of grief. I didn’t tell Andre’ the Leica M about this but I think he will be ok with it.

I guess the point is, one is never too old to learn or mess up. There is always a solution. The real point for me that I feel is the take away is….I wanted to experiment. I did and actually, this entire episode has been an experiment.

I have taught countless people things about photography. I know some will be reading this and I will no doubt get messages…..

“shooter, how many times I tell you don’t format the card till your all done”?

Have a good weekend alls………………





March 31st, 2017 Raw? … Color? … The Fuji X100F Made Me Do It! … Part 3

Many times I have learned a few things. One of those things is, not to fix something that’s not broken. See, to me that also implies that maybe something actually is broke or maybe it’s not broke and maybe doesn’t need fixing. It means to me that I can explore things and try to find resolution for myself. Another thing I found and realized is not to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. So my short term quest of exploring color or raw vs jpeg and  then the Fuji X100F and how it does all this is at a point that I have no real resulting thoughts or info to alter what I know or do already.

The Fuji X100F has a great jpeg processing engine. The color simulations are superb as well as the b&w. I used the Classic Chrome because it’s a familiar palette for me. That in itself is a very important statement. I used a lot of the Chromes back in the day. I loved the tones, shadows, highs, and the colors. The Fuji X100F has that nailed perfectly. I didn’t love pushing the ASA or as youse call it, ISO. It didn’t do that well.  (technology coming up) …  B&W films did respond better but once again, there was a limit you could reach and it wasn’t the sky.

The Fuji X100F lets you do Chromes up to 6400 that are amazing. I did it, shocked. You can go much higher but me poor brain can’t count past 6400. The camera can. So, digital has the advantage of speed and even grain or noise. Analog is beautiful but the limits are reached and passed quickly by any one doing semi to high level photography. It matters to the pros, I’m not a pro, I’m a lifer. Matters to me.

So, what I see is that the Camera makes great jpegs and also Raw. In processing, the jpegs can take some heave adjustments in parameters. There is a noticeable compression of tones in the jpegs. This is to be expected. Lets say I shot Chrome and decided to convert to B&W. Well, the compression now comes into play. It’s all good but there is a noticeable issue in the blacks and lower mid tones.

The Ansel Adams Method

Ansel took each value of tones and gave it a number. I’m not getting into the method. It’s The Zone System and I used it for decades mostly with my 8 x 10 Deardorff. Youse should all have a basic understanding of this. Here’s how it applies to us digital shooters. I will just figure we are using Zones 1 – 10. Zone 1 is the darkest dark, like where the IRS agent lives and Zone 10 is the lightest area where your winning lottery ticket is. If in fact the blackest black area we hold detail in is Zone 2, then what does that mean to Zone 3? Well, it means a stop of exposure.

In the paper print, we can see Zone 2 and Zone 3. What is in between those zones. On paper, not much is discernible. You might see 1/2 zone but that’s about it. Enter the digital DNG or Raw file. Well, looking at the same zones we can also if we wanted to, see maybe 10 steps between the zones. So like Zone 3.4. That’s Zone 3 and 4/10. You can see this separation and it’s important. What the jpegs from the camera and I mean every camera does is produce a very wide latitude of tones. The jpeg compresses these tones because it’s a processed image. It’s nice, maybr lovely but still a compressed image.

George Krause’s Wisdom

I’m sipping some spring water, the screen shows me a great Classic Chrome photo. I love it but ,,,,hmmmm B&W would make it. I mean I want to really process this till I feel good about it. I start to convert and low and behold, my color jpeg becomes a b&w jpeg but there’s kinda a loss of separation in the shadows, and hold on… damn… the highs are kinda not brilliant. The mids appear to be ok but… well, now what. Many years ago I went to George Krause’s studio here in Philly. In the hallway leading to the main area he had photos on the walls. I was like in awe of his vision but ya know…George is one of the finest printers ever. after a short while, I noticed that he didn’t really have a standard print size. I was curious. I asked him about that. He said, “I look at each image and make it the size it tells me to, every image needs to be it’s own entity”. Talk about being hit in the head. I mean it was a revelation.

What it means in modern times is the same as he says back then. There is another reason for thinking this. If you have an image that’s really compressed, then make it smaller. The tones will block on their own and it will be natural. If the tones are really open up, try making a larger image. On your screen in LR whatever, start with a smaller image and magnify to make it larger. Watch the tones compress or open. This is the most important thing to grasp in the battle for raw vs jpeg.

So to cut to the chase, I love the way the Fuji X100F does it’s jpegs. For most time it’s fine. I will go back to just Raw as I get a file that I can work anyway I desire. I know I can use Raw + F and have a sweet jpeg and for comparing on screen. Actually, I want to have a basic clean entrance to the image. I like to talk with it and find out how together we can make our photo mean something to us. Raw gives the most info to work with. I also notice that the presets for the camera that are in LR are ok but nothing to write home about. I have my own presets and I am working on a set for Andre’ the Fuji X100F because he deserves the best I can do because he is the best out there.

The Fuji X100F is the finest digital camera I ever used or owned. It’s a pure exciting sensation and the experience of being a shooter is so vivid that it’s like a dream that does not come true, but allows you to share that dream with the camera.

Be blessed everyone…………….end transmission………………

March 28th, 2017 Raw? … Color? … The Fuji X100F Made Me Do It! … Part 2

JPEG treated as a DNG and pushed the parameters.

Let me start off by saying that I have a few shooters that wrote me and were not thrilled about me writing this stuff. I am being accused of not being a PRO. It’s true, bows my head in shame, I’m not a pro, I’m not a pro. I am a LIFER. I do photography because I will cease to exist without it. I don’t do it for money. No one pays me to do a job or gig. I do what I do because I HAVE TO. I am a photographer because it’s my life’s work and I want to share as much as I can. I do and I do all that without being a PRO. I am a LIFER and maybe coulda shoulda been called an amateur. What an honor that is. You don’t get the, go paint your bathroom. I’ve been called a tourist like it’s an insult. Ya know something, we are all tourist thru life. No one gets a permanent visa, even the pros.

So let it be known that I have a few people in my head. I chat with them about things because I don’t trust anyone else. There’s a discussion going on about film vs digital. This is all tied in and it became obvious to me that I couldn’t do it in 2 parts. So I will do this until I have my day and others also. The reason the film vs digital thing is relevant is because, the negative and print vs the digital image. There are some very important things in this discussion that hardly ever gets mentioned. Perhaps, these few things I bring up are some of the most important to recognize.

sooc Cc ISO 6400

I have a air conditioned, filtered air, water darkroom. It’s as dust proof as I could get it. I haven’t used it in many years and still, not any dust on anything. I loved printing and did many different things. Traditional silver, platinum/palladium, gum, color, just about anything I wanted to do, I could. Many friends and others have used my darkroom and everyone loved the experience and results. So I am kinda anal about things like quality. Then back in the early 90’s it seems that my prints were selling well and many exhibitions all over the world. Well, the point to this part is, does anyone know where the gremlins are in wet printing?  I do, it’s in the DUST SPOTS. There was/is no way to eliminate dust spots. So that would mean, make a run of prints and then start going over them very carefully and spotting them. I did a run or 100 35mm negs and 5 prints of each in 1995. It was for my archive. Now it’s 22 years later and I have to spot the prints. Unreal.  Paper prints spotting is a chore. I have/had an assistant and she could spot prints all day and never miss a single spot. Now she’s a famous photographer and I can’t afford to have her do it.

Another thing that is way different between digital and analog printing is….repeat ability. With digital, you press a button and make as many copies as you want. Not so with analog. What does this have to do with color and raw and jpeg? ok…it means that the camera has presets in it. I am using the Classic Chrome for the time being. For the life of me I can’t get a matching image from raw vs jpeg. If I shoot in Raw & Fine, I get both

The raw will show the preset quickly and then just be the usual flat raw image. The jpeg will come in as a finished image that you can tweak almost as much as raw.

So back in the cave shooter daze of early raw stufts, it was said that you can’t do things with a jpeg that you can with raw. Back then it was true. Now we are in the enlightened ages and well, it’s maybe not the exact same  but then again, raw, can’t do what a jpeg can. It’s not really 6 of one, half dozen of another either.

So the argument that stands about digital vs analog brings forth another issue. That issue is ISO.  The shot above in the Tropicana was at 6400. We all know what that means and it’s not only acceptable but assumed that it is a dependable speed. I know that Ektacrome had goos latitude but no wheres near 6400. The scary thing is, that it could go higher. So where is the advantage of analog when it comes to ISO?

The thing with the Fuji X100f and it’s jpegs is, they perform so well that I am not missing raw. I am not afraid of doing color again and in time, finding my palate.

The first frame is a jpeg out of camera. It’s Chrome. The I decided to work it a little and I did and it was easy and acceptable. The second has some work done and it’s easy to see. The third is a B&W conversion from the OOC jpeg. I’m not going to stand and say that it’s better or worse than anything. I’m just saying that the reason for using raw is dwindling. It’s not just me, but many are finding this to be true. It’s also really about digital vs analog and that issues has many nutshells to turn over but really….the main issue is the camera. Using a Leica M series that’s analog or film has a magical experience that everyone should know and feel. As far as quality, ability of the files or film to do other things, not as big as an issue as it was.

I spent about 40 years or so using an M camera. I used an M4 in Viet Nam and on the streets ever since, awesome camera, named Andre’ back then also. The Fuji X100F gives a similar experience, so similar that many die hard M shooters both film and digital, have an X100 something. So the point is I suppose, that we all need to find our way with things. We need to be able to rely on others and their experiences to help shed light on things.

I probably won’t be making the argument about film vs digital, or b&w vs color or a host of other things that may help others and may feed others but for me, I have clarity and I see the light. Andre’ the Fuji X100f has showed me the way of the new photography.

be blessed my friends. Once again….I am not a PRO, I am a lifer. The photos above and in the other post and most on Flickr are made for technical aspects that I am looking at. I tried to keep the esthetics out till I am at one again with mother light.





March 25th, 2017 Raw? … Color? … The Fuji X100F Made Me Do It! … Part 1

Part 1 … The hand that rocked the cradle.

It was a normal Pre-Spring day. You know the kind of day. The sun is shining, temp about 58F, mild wind. 2 cups of Kona and I know I can run the 6 miles to down town faster then the Train can get me there. Ya know, I figured, I should take the train so they keep their jobs. I don’t want to put any one out of work. Andre the Fuji X100F thought that it was a good idea also. I was excited to be out and about again with Andre’. I wanted to do a visual experiment on some photos that I would make and see the Raw file and a JPEG ooc. I felt that I should do the JPEG in color because regardless of what any camera gives me in B&W, I’m gonna cook it my way anyway. With color, I am less likely to change the recipe the camera gives me.  So off I went to the unknown horizon where color is dominant. I turned around and saw the B&W energy fade away to the deep dark tone of Zone 1.

I said to myself, self, it’s a good day to be alive and a better on to have Andre’ the Fuji X100F in me hand. Me, myself and I all agreed.

I have been a raw shooter ever since it was born. I have been a DNG converter since DNG was born and in fact was at the launch in NYC for Creative Cloud. So, I love processing my RAW files and sometimes going to the extremes to get what I feel and need to see. I am very familiar with JPEG’s because exporting a photo usually makes it a JPEG. So I felt I had enough technical and esthetic and emotional knowledge to do this experiment.

Well, I made some exposures with the awake intent that these photos would  be the anchor for this experiment. I didn’t expect any ground breaking results and wasn’t planning on making any either. This will be just a simple experiment that will show me what I am not using or what I am using and compare them against each other. I expected to get some results that would satisfy my curiosity.

There are times in our life that a revelation comes along and not only challenges our preconceptions but changes them to a more acceptable approach to what we do by habit. This is one of those times. I set Andre up to RAW & JPEG F. I changed my LR import button to place the files next to each other on import. I imported about 20 images, now 40 files. They looked really good and of course me being the old shooter, I immediately forgot that I was doing an experiment. My eyes gazed upon the images on the screen. I have my LR viewer to not show any details. All I see are photos, two of the same with differences in the pop for lack of a better word. I am looking and starting to decide when image I care for and would want to process to my emotional state of it.

I chose one and clicked to to Develop Module and was gonna work and then I saw that it was a JPEG. I said to myself, Dude, you made a mistake dude. Let’s do this over. So I went back to the catalog module. I turned on the info for the photos and GASP! THE HORROR!, every photo I liked the look of was a JPEG. Ok, I got a few or more exes that send me gremlins  some times. Like, I’m sitting on the toilet and, low and behold, no paper. I’m in the shower and all soaped up and ready to rinse and low and behold, the water is cold like from the Arctic. Gremlins I tell ya.

So I know the gremlins are here in my LR and playing tricks cause there’s no way on the earth that a JPEG could look this good and I don’t want it too. I want to be like my old self and just have RAW files. I even eat my clams RAW. So I look around the room carefully to make sure that no one is here but me  I’m alone and even the gremlins left. I can’t believe me eyes I tellya. The photo on the left is like just capturing me and the one on the right is like, so be it.

Funny paradox. Every photo that I am turned on by is a JPEG. How can this be and why is it at all? I don’t want to change anything at all. I am a creature of habit and I think I like that and I am too damn old to have Andre’ the Fuji X100F make changes in my emotional state and my thinking. I said to Andre’ … you are a very bad camera Andre’, very bad and I shook my finger at him. So I felt I needed to explore the dark side of JPEG vs RAW. I did many side by side comparisons.

I felt like decades ago when I wanted to try color. I did countless hours of processing and film samples. After all was said and done, I liked Ektachrome for late afternoon and evenings and Kodachrome for early morning and early afternoons. See, the Ektachromes did very well with the blues and Kodachrome did well with the reds. After spending a small fortune getting the gear to run my color film I settled on the chromes because the lab does the processing cheaper than I can.

So after testing Andre the Fuji X100F with his film simulations, it was an executive decision to use Cc which is Fujifilm’s simulation of the chromes. Truthfully, it’s Ektachrome.  Not only is it Ektachrome but it’s much better for a number of reasons.

Back to the RAW vs JPEG dilemma. It is said and widely accepted that  a raw file will open itself and give us the most flexibility for processing. It is also said that a jpeg constrains the parameters of the image and realistically, can’t give an image equal to the same as from a raw file.

Well the proof is in the pudding. I have’nt a clue what that means but it means something. I started processing a jpeg. Remember I have VA shrink and itsbok if I go off the wall cause he’ll attempt to get me back to a shared reality. I load the image in Develop module fully expecting and perhaps wanting it to fail and fall apart. I lower the exposure 1 stop… me poor eyes opened… no breakup, no noise to worry about… shadows holding… minds and highs not getting that gray tone….

I take a deep breath and slowly start to dive to 2 stops. OMG! It can’t be I tell ya….she can’t take two. Hold on tight Hooper, Chief grab the he wheel take her upmfaster… just spacing out… it’s a Jaws thang.

Continue reading March 25th, 2017 Raw? … Color? … The Fuji X100F Made Me Do It! … Part 1

December 31st, 2016 … Last Post for 2016 … New Years Eve …


There comes a time in life when one has to reckon with oneself.  In fact if we are attentive to life itself, this time of reckoning comes more then once. We may not always be ready for it or want it but it arrives, like it or not. In the life of a photographer, when it arrives, one must be prepared to deal with it regardless of what it brings with it. I wrote in my last post about organizing work to get a clarity for the present and future. That’s all well and good and should help prepare for the demons of uncertainty and the land of complacency. We as warriors in life need to be prepared for the battle to produce and stand by our work, the very essence of who and what we are. Life will continually throw shots at us and try to defeat our efforts and the love we have for our life’s work.

Having clarity on our past efforts and successes allows us to stand tall with confidence as we move forward on solid ground. It’s way to easy to get hammered and be effected by others. Even the fact of going out to work requires a solid background of what we did and how it effects us now. It’s called clarity. Shooters love clarity, sharp lenses, good MP sensors, good Depth of Field etc.

I hope all of you find heart and mind with an openness of clarity so that you continue to work in peace and be productive more each and every day.

Happy New Years to All and to All a Good Night…(borrowed from Santa)

August 18th, 2016 … Dealing With Rejection & Acceptance … Fuji X100T


To start, I am not a know – it-all. If anything, I am a know – it- partly – all. One of the things I know is how to accept myself even at times of punishing adversity. It’s very easy to cave in and do all that others expect of you or worse, what you think others expect of you. That is being punished and also, punishing yourself. It’s like you show some photos to some people and they look and comment like, “Your a master, the maestro, lovely, beautiful, so talented” and you eat that shit up until you get home and sit and think. Geeze, it’s nice people like my work, I just wish that I liked that selection better then my favorites. You think, people like my stuff and that’s great. Unfortunately, maybe they are greasing you up, or patronizing you or maybe they really like the work.


So to me, it looks like that way of thinking is the way to punishment from others and yourself. The question on hand is, who do you trust and who do you allow to guide you.? See, it’s easy to have others call the shots for you and we all do that at times. If there are issues, the hell with it, blame the people that guided you. Certainly easier then to accept the blame for yourself. Let them be the scapegoat for the failure of love you need and want for your work.


The recognition that we seek, doesn’t come from others, it’s born inside us.  I’m not saying it’s not nice or important to have recognition. I’m saying that if you allow that to guide you and not your heart, your doomed to failure and you let failure be the benchmark for your photos of the future. This happens to many and they can’t see that they have a problem because the ones they seek help from are the ones that they allow to perpetuate the problem. This may not be an intentional act but the effect is the same.


I remember years ago, around 1979, that I hadn’t shown any work to anyone in a bout a year. I was nervous because I was busting my butt to get a body of work together. I was already Streetshooter at this time. My friend Paul was coming down and I was excited cause he was also a photographer. He was and is an excellent shooter but he has a gift for seeing other shooters photos and getting it right away. When he arrived, we sat back and I showed him a box of prints. I had maybe 80 6×9 photos on 8×10 paper. Well, I knew the ones that reall meant something to me. Paul looked at the photos and he would say… Don, this is great. I felt relieved especially if it was one of my chosen.


Then, then when everything was going well… Paul would say, tilting his head back slight;y….”Ya know….” I knew that was the kiss of death. I mean, I’m selling my figgin cameras…..well, I didn’t and really, this is what I needed at the time. After we did the “Edit”, I would have a box of prints that was the selection we did together.



After a period of time, Paul would head home and I would lay out the photos as I saw groups, or things like that. I can not tell you the value of this experience. We did the countless times thru the years, editing each others work. It gave me confidence and a sense of visual direction. In time I learned how to relate to my work and how to defend myself against negative energy.

See, negative energy isn’t about acceptance of the work, it’s about a bad critique, or getting hammered by someone, or feeling bad because you think your work isn’t up to par. This is all common and we all suffer from it but there is a way to deal with this and my next post will be about that.


Be blessed my friends and remember, … sorry I forgot what I was supposed to remember……….

Ricoh GRII



One of the beautiful things with digital photography is that you have a choice of Color or B&W. Back in the day, I always carried 2 M bodies so I could have both films to work with. Now of course, most time you need 1 body. My friend Roger is an avid Leica collector for 50 years, with more cameras that any store. He sent me the M Mono when it came out and he was so excited. Eveyone was, a B&W camera, sooooo cool and soooo great…until you need a color image. Now ya get back to me with my 2 M6’s.

Anyway, the difference between the 2 is more in the mind then the film or camera. I figure it like this. Bear with me as I use terms maybe the wrong way but the way I need to use them. Photographs are on a 2 dimensional surface. The are born from an idea and maybe a scene or something in the 3 dimensional reality most of us share. There happens to be an abstraction from 3 dimensions to 2 dimensions. One of the mosr important things lost in this abstraction is, space or depth. So the photo is as some think, an illusion of the reality it was captured from. It is no longer the reality in 3 dimensions. It now takes on a new reality in 2 dimensions. It’s alive! It has it’s own life and energy.

Here’s some magic. I know youse all  know this stuff but I need to write it down so it looks good, ok. If we now take our photograph, which is a new life and see it in color cause we made it a color photo, we have something to deal with on a conscious level. That is, the viewer most likely will use the color photo to transfer the reality in the mind of the image back to the sourse. For exaample….wow, yeah, I know where that is…..or…you nailed that green perfectly. I know that door.

Now, there’s never any one way to do anything in this world. But we are shooters and we are reading shooter’s stuff cause it’s better than washing the dishes. Color has a way of softening the abstraction to the 2 dimensional reality, better known as the photo. Color eases the translation of the visual syntax of photography. It helps to define the meaning and process.

If we were to abstract even more than 3 dimensions to 2 dimensions, and strip the color away, we would have a b&w image. What does that do? Well, it now makes our abstracted image even more distant from the sourse of reality that it was born from.


Ya know what I love about photography? Well, no answers so I’ll tell ya. Photographs give the illusion of being something they are not. A photo is an entity upon itself. It is not what it appears to be. It is it’s own seperate reality. Unfortunately, photos suffer from many things in the reality that they live in. Things like memory, sentiment etc. These things plague the life of our work. People look at the photos and recall a memory of something that the photo sparks. There’s nothing wrong with that and it’s a very powerful, iimportant thing to deal with.

Well, color supports all that and more. B&W on the other hand has the power to stand on it’s own but we as shooters and viewers, won’t allow that to happen. Ideally, looking at a photograph, we only see the world that lives as the image. Even in b&w, we force the memory and sensory input to make the photo relate to some other reality. That reality is different from the photo. There really is a contradiction of terms but we probably don’t want to deal with it.

When I do a workshop, the single most important thing people want to understand, is:…the abstraction to a print. Making the world in a frame and flattening it out. Framing becomes something new because you become aware of the way things get flat. The illusion of space or depth is a stronger illusion in color. The eye travel not only seeks to learn about the subject matter, but also to understand the relationships of the color.


Our lady above is being seduced by a few things. The obvious thing to us is the color. After I made the photo, she asked my why I made it. I told her that I found it very interesting that she was wearing the T Mobile color. She said, “get out… I didn’t know that. I stopped here cause I was comfortable here.”

I have to get to rest….. I need my 3 hours sleep………. seeya’s later, be blessed alls……

……to be cont’d……….


Ricoh GRII


C’mon, why do people ditch the Ricoh GRII?  I haven’t a clue. I love all my cameras and even the ones I don’t have yet or the ones I had but don’t anymore. Camera discussion is over. If my photos don’t do what I intend, damn sure ain’t the camera’s fault.

….anyway, I kinda fell into a groove with things and am watching where it takes me. I mean there’s some kind of adjustment happening in my head without my shrink fiddling around up there…..ok, ok… true confession….I never really responded to color.I mean of course I can see it, Thank THE LORD but I never responded to it….

….many years ago a guy landed on earth, (No, not David Bowie)….and his name was Michael, for us Earthlings. now see, when I was younger, we all smoked some stuff that um… maybe back then wasn’t medical stuff….we would smoke some and talk and eat, and play instruments and eat and the get a shower, and eat and drive down the shore and eat…

well, this kat named Michael came from MARS, he had a word that summed up gaining and understanding knowledge…. that word was “GROK”.


So, if you read a camera manual and understood it, you GROK that. Even if you don’t smoke medical or non medical… it’ still GROK. Well, for some reason now, I GROK what I’m doing or want to do and I double GROK GROK color. (the double GROK is not a Martian term, it’s adapted from Martian to NE Philly, here on planet Earth.)

The thing is to stir your stuff up and shake it around and let it settle. Then look at the residue…(Paul McGuirk term) and see what’s left for you to work with. I guess one of the hardest things to do is to dislodge negative reinforcement, because many times it’s positive and not negative.

What I’m getting at it this….: if you post photos someplace and get nice responses in any form, then that’s positive reinforcement, or is it. Alright, keep an open mind for a spell. If you get positive reinforcement and you feel good about what your doing, you probably are in a safe zone and won’t do many things to change because… why fix something that’s not broken?


You have forged a safe zone that even you are apt not to tamper with. That creates an invisible zone of complacency. If you do that and trust me at my age, I’ve done that for decades….what will happen is you won’t grow.     You will stifle it Edith. 

You will think you are content and that you have found your place but for real, your on a dead end street.

I will continue this tomorrow but remember, before you can GROK anything you do, you have to GROK youself first.

Like the Ricoh GRII… GROK it and it’s a fine camera……

Hey, hey… I did this post with my brain on vacation dudes and dudesses


Streets of Philadelphia … A Visual Diary … Page 53 … On the Street …OMG … I’m SeEiNg cOloRs … Olympus Pen F


I arrived in town and was on Market Street when, well…I had a moment. I fell to my knees and thanked Momma Nature for making it 70F. Of course I couldn’t get up to easy but it was worth it. I mean, who wouldn’t want to kneel on the hard concrete sidewalk? I had to pay homage to Mother Nature for making it warm so me poor bones could defrost.

It’s starting to come around for me and Serendipity the Oly Pen F. I think she has me slowing down and finding photos I don’t normally seek. I mean, I am enjoying just the moments without any restrictions or guidelines. Of course, this won’t last but I let her have her way.

There’s a sense of freedom that I am really excited about. I mean, sure, other cameras may have that also but the Pen F kinda reinforces the joy of working. Imagine that. I have some amazing cameras and for sure very desirable. The thing is, I do believe the Pen F will be an amazing camera. How can it not be with a name like Serendipity.


I been using it with the mode dial in the center. I call this Flat. Meaning I want a color image I can mess with in LR. The jpegs out of the camera are excellent but I still need to see my presets and thoughts take shape. So far so good. I haven’t had the need to crop anything and that’s a testament to the finder. It’s of course accurate but it has a nice brightness and contrast to it. I programmed the red record button to SOVF. It’s kinda like an OVF but different. If you let yourself immerse in the camera, then it and other things are magic.


My kit at the moment is the 17mm 1.8, 25mm 1.8 and the 45mm 1.8.  This gives me the Leica Trinity… 35, 50 & 90. I gotta tell ya, it’s nice weather and I’m gonna be working my tail  till it’s tired and then again. Polly and Suzanne got the Pen F and I will go out with them on Friday. That’s always a fun time. They both have become very acclimated to the streets. It makes me happy that they have found their way.







The color from the Pen F is thebest I have seen. The Leica M has wonderful color but for some reason, I prefer this. Maybe it’s not so clinical. I mean, the color seems natural and vibrant before you work on the files. Reminds me of Alex Webb. His color knocks me out. So then maybe, the Pen F is as good as the Leica. Shhhh, did I say that?

………………………… blessed my friends, seeya tomorrow……………………….