Category Archives: Dreamcatcher

Covid 19 … The Beauty of … Shiyoko the Therapist

…. Andre’ look, cameras are like people. Between you and I, our cameras are People Cameras, you know that better than all.  How ya think Penelope the Ricoh GRD4 feels when you ignore her? I now all you guys are black and she’s white and BCM … Black Cameras Matter and so do WCM … White Cameras Matter. You know Andre’ I don’t have any Camera Racial prejudices. So, when I write about things with the camera family, you need to make sure all the family understand it’s a blog post. Might be how I feel but it’s an expression of life as we live it.

Ok ya’ll, my cameras are kinda in a frenzy because some thing are changing in me and my needs are changing also. My physical therapist at the VA, Shiyoko, is also a spiritualist. My Parkinson’s tremors are worsening and not easy to do things like I used to.  Doc told me to come to Shiyoko again for sessions. Geeze Doc, do I have to, c’mon. he said your going and that’s that Alrighty  Doc, how many times should I go? He said as many as it takes to feel better. I asked like 400xs a week is that cool? Doc smiles.

So, back to the sauna with hot water, jets and Shiyoko. She ask me where the worst part of the tremors effect me and I said my hands and fingers. I explained that if I pickup a cup of coffee, it shakes and spills all over. She starts massaging my hands and fingers. ( at 71 years old, sometimes this is best as it gets )… So she is asking me about my cameras and how I do with them. I mentioned that some are a problem and I leave them on the shelf. Andre’ the Leica M9 is a great camera and trusted friend but he’s heavy and I can’t steady him so well anymore. ahhh she says, tell me more. If you keep massaging I will tell you all things of my life. She laff’d, continue sir.

I told her the tale of the Fuji X100 series. I had every version of this camera and then the X100V came and I loved it. I noticed camera shake and put it back on the shelf. I can’t use the camera again. I mentioned the Ricoh GRIII and how it has stabilization, small and very nice to handle. Yes, yes sir but what is the factor that allows you to use this camera so enjoyably. I replied, basically it’s the stabilization. Do you have other cameras with this stabilization thing? Yes I said, my Sony A7C is amazing. She moves to my other side and takes my arm and starts massaging it. Then I said, I really miss my Fuji X100V and can’t really use it. Too make body tremors.

Shiyoko asked if I trust her. I said I was Airborne Infantry and would jump from the plane without a chute if she said she would catch me. She laff’d a lot. Then she said, I would like you to use that camera only for a while. No other camera and the reason is, you shall never surrender to this illness. You told me that your cameras are a integral part of your work. That you have a synergism with them and that’s what you believe you do.

Yes Shiyoko, that’s what I live with my photography. She said no. You fail your art and your self. If you really have a synergism with your photography and cameras, then the meeting of the mind allows each part to anticipate and draw from the heart. She takes both my hands in hers and looks in my eyes. That camera will give you things you think you don’t want but the beauty of the shared moment will eventually take hold. You may not surrender. You must gaze upon your life and make your photos with the openness of new vision. Regardless of what they look like, they will feel as yours.

When can you come back for another session? We need to test your body tremors next. I am not busy because of Covid Restrictions so anytime at all, leave me a message and we continue. Only that camera for a while, promise me. Yes I agreed.

Dang, I guess I have to go back…. she is a great therapist and a a good massage as well. I am invigorated to try the X100V again. It is what it is…..

seeyas soon, be blessed

 

 

Covid 19 … History Of The World … Pt2

screech….boom ….clang….

Hey all, that’s shooters magic time machine and I just returned from the history inside my tired mind. Man Caves are very supportive of photography. See, when we delve into the creative side of ourselves, we need a place to breathe and let us get inspired.  See, it is said that negative only supports negative energy. Positive energy supports everything and has the power to fuel negative energy to either neutralize it or guide it to the positive side.

So, in todays times and real estate market, it’s dang near impossible to secure a man cave. Oh, they are around but they have wifi, massaging chairs and Fancy Dancy beds that vibrate when ya get on it. Alright, I’m 71 but dang it, if yo need an auto vibrate when your on the bed with your lady or anyone, it’s a problem. I’ll be just fine making my own natural vibrations, with some one or alone, I’m a natural vibrator…hmmmm.

So this is all really about the source and feeding of inspiration.  What we need to pay attention to it the Inverse Square Law. I’ll give a few examples to illustrate the idea.  This is about being married. So, the more things you do for your wife, the less things she tells you to do. The less things you do for her, the more she has for you to do.

If a man cave has all the fine things for comfort, chances are you will be comfy but not very productive.  Your mind is occupied with the pleasures in front of you. So, lets move our man cave away and get it inside our mind. We will leave the window open for the heart to be in touch. nothing exist in the man cave but feelings and thoughts and that will inspire you. The less clutter in our mind, the more freedom to manufacture the creative juices.

The key issue has become, how to get re-inspired and creative and productive. There are three things we have the option of doing. Maintaining apathy, surrendering or struggle to survive.  We are accountable for our choice and we can’t blame it on anyone but ourselves. My choice is the struggle to survive and continue. For me that means, eliminate the opposition to my creativity. It’s like having a filtration system that is adjustable for input. I am not a sports fan and I don’t drink alcohol. All that means is, easy to sit back, drink and become apathetic. Not everyone tho, I’m talking me.

We need input like the news but a filtered amount. That does inspire us some as it’s life the way they want us to see and live it.  One way to get inspiration is to buy new cameras. It cost money and the magic can wear off quickly. So I came up with this crazy solution. I mean it’s so crazy it just might work. You’ ins may think I’m crazy but I choose to use my cameras. The hard part is to find photos in a semi controlled environment with a lack of strong inspiration. I suppose it’s time for me to post my formula for inspiration and love of making photos.

Remember we talked about the Inverse Square Law? Well, here is a practical  application. This is about discipline. let’s work the discipline/freedom method. This is a 5-7 day experiment, not an exercise. This is not a take photo project, it is a make photo project.

Day 1. Make 5 photos. Not 4 and not 6. No sequences either.  Each photo should be worthy of your love of what you do with a camera.

Day 2. Make 4 photos, not 3 and not 5. Once again, work to make each a photo worthy or you.

Day 3.  Make 3 photos as the daze B4.

Day 4 make 2 photos and be decisive. Pay attention the the energy that is being created.

Day 5. Make 1 photo. The hardest day of your life.. On this magical day, the photo you make shall be a representation of all that you are and hope to become.

Day 6 & 7 are the same energy as Day 5.

Each day process the photos to your liking. I mean to the point that you sit back and are amazed that you even made the photo.  Make all the variations you please but only 1 final photo.

If you make a variation on this experiment, it will  fail. I was roped into teaching workshops years ago. It was film daze and interesting. We as a group would meet and discuss things. The shared thoughts and energy was remarkable. Today with the net, we have the opportunity to share with others worlds away.

Any questions, answers or ideas, I’m open. If ya need help with the experiment, feel free to let me know and we can skype or something. Mayme it seems like a mundane or superficial experiment but it’s certainly is not. Igf ya ask where and how I come off with this, well it’s a gift. For me life is a gift and I never question it. So the answer is, we are all accountable for each other. Pass it along and I’ss be back in a few daze.

Covid 19 … History Of The World … Pt1

There’s a stillness in the air. I am told if and when that happens, to be grateful that little or nothing is going on. Just relax and let the still waters take you. Y’all know me. I ain’t no huckleberry. I don’t usually take the path of least resistance. Not that I do battle with life every day but I don’t surrender to it either. I know there are many Zen followers out there and many tell me to just go with the flow. I always ask, go where, tell me huh?

Besides all that… when someone asks me my advice about this I always say… pick up your damn camera and get to work. I get kinda freaked out if I go too long without making photos. I think it’s a matter of surrendering. Harry Callahan told me as we were talking and making a portrait of him…when you feel it all slipping away and you feel like all is being lost, that’s when you stand tall and fight with life.

I am very unstable about stability. What I think I mean is … we need to have a stable stance thru life. Maybe we sway in the winds of life but like a strong old oak tree, we go with it and after the storm, we are still standing.  So, the reason the tree still stands is because it has the balls to carry on and the roots as a base for stability.

How does that apply to us? Well from my perspective and it’s usually 35mm, it gives us a path to find our balls and roots, I can only honestly talk about my life so I will. Odds are some parts of what I express, you may feel also. There is a law in physics that states,” For every action, there is a reaction”.  There is no reaction without an action. Remember that a reaction may in itself become an action.

Example: I order a camera from Amazon, an action. They deliver next day and Tanya gets the package at the door because I am not capable of cleaning the covid19 enemies from the package. She opens the package, looks and sees a new camera. What is this? Reaction procedure starts.  Let’s jump back in time and see where this all comes from.

See, the very first married couple on the planet were actually a wee bit different than how history describes.  Adan and Eve they got right. It’s all wrong from there. Eve was cooking soup for lunch and Adam went for a walk amongst the animals. Remember, there’s no other humans invented yet. So Adam went into the local cave hangout and turned on the TV to watch the animal kingdom. He popped open a cold beer and sat back and then…. a lion came in and said, Adam, Eve is coming this way.  Adam started to leave the Man Cave but a woman elephant named Esmeralda blocked the entrance. Adam was caught with his pants down and he didn’t even have pants cause Eve didn’t sew them yet. Well, Esmeralda the elephant moved away and the light of day spilled into the Man Cave and Eve was in the light. She had something in her hand and approached Adam.

Ya know how they told us that the cave men used to have a big club and they hit a women on the head and take her home and have their way with her.  What a load of crap that is. See, Eve came to Adam in the Man Cave and then whacked him on the head with a big club that they tell us men have. As Adam lay o the floor n dream land, Eve straightened up the Man Cave and told the men animals, I’m taking him home and he’s gonna do the dishes if I can figure out what that means. She made a look on her face that made the men animals cower and become kind of submissive and quiet.  As Eve was leaving the Man Cave pulling Adam by the hair .. the man lion said. Ma’am, can we keep this between us, my wife is Queen of the jungle and we don’t even have a jungle yet. I don’t like upsetting her cause she roars and everyone knows I’m in trouble. it don’t look good to the guys if i get roared at. Eve smirked, yeah sure.

Why am I writing this? because I am tired of the lies from the media. Here, is the truth of the matter as I believe it.   I will post again within 2 days.

 

 

 

COVID-19 … Acquired vs Intuitive Knowledge

… I know, it’s kinda a sick thing to say that there’s anything good about the virus. But there is I tellya…it might not be a pretty picture, but it’s still a picture. As photographers, we know about photographs but pictures,  ah,  a different thing altogether.  

Time is the measure of life. It’s also the measure of relaxation, not that I understand that. To be honest, I don’t care a bit about COVID for me but I am protective of others, so I wear a mask. Besides, Tanya will beat my ass if I don’t wear one.  So I have never been known to be a patient man. Like, when I get a camera, I charge the battery and hit the street. I figure things out as I go.

For me, there are 2 ways to Grok something. The first is acquired. Like you read a manual or follow a recipe, maybe watch a video to learn, go to a class, there are many ways to acquire knowledge.

The other is intuitive assimilation.  This means that you use a little known part of the body ion conjunction with another. The mind and the heart work together to get an understanding of the situation. If you get a camera and just take it out and start using and learning it, that’s intuitive assimilation.

The key to this is, application and that’s the main issue at hand.  I find I can read a manual many times and never really get in my brain what I am reading and supposedly learning. The application doesn’t work for me so well. I read and read and go over it many times and then take the camera out and low and behold, I need to check the manual in my phone. This works for many many ppl, unfortunately, not my cup of tea.

The intuitive acquired knowledge procedures. I remember many lifetimes ago when I was 12yo. I went to work with my Grandfather installing a hardwood floor. He was using a Cavanough nailing machine. He told me to go easy and any nails that we did not set, to use a punch and hammer to set them. He told me over and over to pay attention and be careful. Well, at 12, I didn’t understand what the meant but I soon learned. I was setting nails and for a fraction of a second, on the downswing of the hammer stroke, I turned my head. I let out a scream that woke the dead. My thumb was pulsing in pain like I never experienced. Pop came to me and hugged me and took me to the car and did first aid in a manly way. I didn’t cry but I used a word Pop used when he was mad. I yelled out F*CK very loud. He laffed. He put Peroxide on my thumb and wrapped a few band-aids on it.

I learned a few lessons that day. He told me the hammer was named Jack, after his brother. He told me that Jack was obedient and if you want him to smash your thumb, he will without feeling on his part. Pop told me that no matter how many times he told me to be careful, I didn’t learn. Just one smash of the thumb and for the rest of your life, you will pay attention to Jack the hammer.

So this is a prime example of Intuitive Acquired Knowledge. When I get a camera, I take it out right away after charging the battery. I set the date and time and Raw & jpeg and other things that are common denominators between cameras.  The thing is, what I learn with this camera, even at my age, I never forget regardless of what another camera I may be using. Pick one up and in seconds, all is clear. It amazes me cause I can’t remember the password for my websites, can’t remember things that happened a few hours ago. I pick up a camera I haven’t used in months and in a few seconds, ready to roll.

They say the mind is a terrible thing to waste. I ain’t wasting mine just watching parts of it slip away…….

 

Covid-19 … Embracing The Unacceptable

8-20--120… water is boiling and I am ready to brew my coffee. I used to use an electric percolator. I did for years. I still do but I have been switching between methods so I have excitement. Gotta tellya, the Melita drip gets work. My favorite method is a Bodum French Press. The problem is that for many years, no many decades I love a French Press but I break the glass every time. So, COVID keeps me in the house. Actually My Russian Czar wife Tanya keeps me in the house and COVID supports her efforts. So, Amazon is my best friend. I started my brain working and it told me to get a French Press. I’m not one to fight with my brain so I figured…it will add excitement. Go for it! I did!

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So, on the Amazon site and I am a regular there, I searched for a French Press. Ya know, all the same, but minor differences. Then, staring at me and all shiny… EUREKA! I see a French Press but it’s made of Stainless Steel. Instantly I order it at 1000pm and Amazon says the will deliver the next day.

Why did I write this? Well, excitement and fresh air and inspiration are few and far between. I’m 70 and it takes away from my enjoyment of life to just watch TV. What does this have to do with photography? Ok, my thoughts. Think of your body as a storage and processing facility. Lots of things enter and things exit. What is the hard part, is filtering input.

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Now what happens is this. We sit around waiting for the magical moment when THE MAN tells us we are safe to go out and start enjoying life again. Not so fast buster. Ideally, we are in tune with our Eye, Heart, and Mind. We absolutely need clarity in order to work but we get bombarded with negative energy, negative thoughts and it sleeps inside us. It’s damn near impossible to work in a respectful manner that represents ourselves.

You really can’t do battle with yourself in a way that is not harmful to your essence. I know because I have internal wars that my shrink says will never end. Making photos for the soul is a spiritual experience. Maybe not for everyone but for me, it certainly is and I am very tuned to every part of the experience. That kinda enforces a clarity of eye, heart, and mind.

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I find that having clarity or a clear clean vision does not mean negative or postive energy is not present. It means that those energitic forces are present but in a benign mode. Many shooters have a bias to thier work and must have it. It’s a method of seperation for the other point of view they try to lesses.

Back to the streets. This bias to the work and vision is may be called a point of view.  Methinks that there are many points of view working but ya know, as far as the eye can see, there’s not much difference in point of view between most street shooters. This is a beautiful thing. Each of us has a different point of view of the street and of life. Hold on, hold on. The street is more than a place to work and more than a place to find our photos. It’s the recognition of our life and life’s work.

So this energy thing going on has a pronounced effect on our creativity. Look at the places you post your work. Check the photos by others. See if you can determine their creativity and emotional state. Many shooters have lowered their output expectations due to the virus and ther things. There’s nothing wrong with doing this. In fact it’s brilliant and it’s better to work than not. Expectations should be a personal process. It should only be adjusted by the shooter on demand and not by any other person or sourse. It’s an act of survival.

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Many years ago I had a woman that I helped with her photography. She was very much in love with all aspects of it. She worked in my darkroom and had a wonderful free vision. One day she called me and told me she was assaulted in South Philly and the guy took everything and her camera. Then she said, “Don, I must go back to Isreal and try to find a life, I lost my camera and will never be a photographer”. She left a book of negatives here and never called me again or asked for her work. I have no idea what happened to her but I know one thing…..

….negative energy will and does kill our creativity and life. Instead of believing she would eventually find a camera and continue, she surrendered and abandoned her work. COVID-19 is very much the same. It draws energy, promotes negativity and drains our creativity. We must not surrender. We must re-evaluate our expectations and make and adjustment for the current period of instability.

We absolutely must continue and make photos. Rememher, our photos are our remnants of our life.  Live it best you can and make your camera a friend and take it with you even if it means another room  where you live.

Bethany & Paul, at Peace

8/4/77 M4 35mm Cron

 

 

 

 

 

Covid-19 … The Never-Ending Story

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Atreyu, Atreyu….. the COVID nothing is almost upon us. We must find the childlike empress of light. Ringy, ring, ring…hello, who is it? Shooter, it’s Atreyu. I’m not allowed out cause the Covid-19 monster will find me. Everyone is hiding from it wearing a mask but I can’t. I am trapped between the pages of the book and the movie.

I feel like Atreyu in a way because time is slipping away and COVID isn’t. I hear tell that there are a few being affected by Mr. COVID. It’s not easy to accept but I stand on the position that we have to believe. Believe in what, I don’t know anymore. I don’t think I want to know anyway. Maybe I never kneww anyway.

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The assault on my creative energy is beyond anything I could ever perceive. I know that’s the case with many but I just want to focus on the facts that engulf me. Most, not all artists are able to work in a studio or something more protected. Street shooters don’t really have that luxury. We are destined to be active in the world. When the world is in such disorder, our drive and energy start to dissipate. It diminishes our ability to rise above the madness and the visual lockdown.

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I suppose the main issue is that we are supposed to be in lockdown and if we venture out of the safety of our confines, to do so with caution. Sure, yeah ok, I get it. What about making photos? What about the interaction with people on the street?  There aren’t many out there anyway but soon enough many will be out. Most but not all will wear a mask and try to keep a social distance. There are those amongst us that don’t care.

Photography requires the joining of the eye, heart, and mind. There is no other way. Once you have those 3 elements in focus, then it’s time to find the subject that you react to in many ways. The inhibition of the COVID Virus has placed a damper on life and on the creative process and energy. Wearing the mask and you absolutely should is a constant reminder that things, as you knew them, are being altered.

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The hard part for me is not being able to work the way I did and want to. I’m 70 and now I find I am not trying to change the world but defend myself from a world-changing me. My friend from my past, Paul, said a long time ago….”People like to look at the world thru rose-colored glasses, I look at a rose thru world colored glasses.”

As the years passed, and my life experiences came and stored in my memory banks, I realize that what Paul said was a very profound set of words. The meaning is still  resonating between my eye, heart and mind. I have talked with many that trust me and depend on me for answers they can absorb and live with.

The idea of Zen in photography is offset and over ridden by the Zen of Life. So, craetively, we must find the solution of our life in photography. Maybe, just maybe, for now, the best solution is to take the pressure of of being with the camera and just breathing your work from the archive. I find that doing this gets me working again and maybe just easees my weary soul.

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I have some things to pose soon but for now, enjoy what you’re doing lest you don’t.

 

Covid-19 … Home is Where the Heart is … and So Are Your Images

Every time I walk past this mirror, there’s that guy again.

My shrink tells me that it’s me in the mirror but I don’t believe it. If I talk to that guy, I see his lips moving but I can’t hear what he’s saying. Ya know, I learned a few things in 70 years. First off is to never be complacent with yourself. Never ever take yourself for granted. Accept your failures and successes with equal intent and passion. If you’re not getting failures, you are not working hard enough. Not everything in life is a success and even if it was, complacency sets in rapidly, and that leads to laziness. The failures are where you learn from because you question why.

I love making photos around the house. Often there are hidden gems that get discovered but then time moves in and I give up the image quest at home for the streets. This time, homework is the work.  Not so easy to navigate around and keep the interest alive.

The Bloodstream of My Work

My photographic history has always fascinated me. It allowed me to see where I have been and what I was doing there. Many of my photos are marks in time where life has allowed me to be in sync with all that I was at that moment. I have been going thru many photos because I have the time, thanks to Covid-19. I started to breathe m,y work. I started to see history as the bloodstream of my work. I then started to see the DNA of my photography. I started to dissect the intent of many photos.  There’s a difference between doing something and being aware of doing something.

I sat back and started looking at my favorite photos from my digital revolution. I went back to around the turn of the century. Then as if life presented itself to me thru the camera, I saw the DNA  of my photographic essence appear in the newer work. The bloodstream has flowed thru my eye, mind, and heart. I started to see that the bloodstream has carried me thru decades and continues to flow feeding my creative soul.

The enemy of life is time. The gift to photography is time. I think that our minds are implanted into an elastic box. We can stretch all around and eventually bounce back to the center. That center is the core of our essence. That core of existence is the signature of our breaths. We can explore and work in many genre’s and yet our efforts and work will read of our existence. That becomes the signature of our life’s work.

Things happen in life that may shine or tarnish the very core of our work. What’s essential is to stand strong against the winds of time and the words of criticism. Now in this time of need and mask, I try to find photos that make me feel alive and around the home. I always loved the option of Homework and it was an option. I could work at home because I chose to and if I got something alive with my essence, I was elated. Then briefly back to the streets where my bloodstream pulls me to the rhythm and cadence of life.

Now, it is clear to me that Homework is essential for my sanity and ability to want to breathe. Homework is now and always was a strong beat to my heart. The difference is that in the bloodstream of my history, there was a choice and now, there exists not that I can apply, any choice.

….shooter out….namaste’

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 Harmony Of The Image … Love Your History


To live or love, that’s maybe a question. Forget about like. What’s the difference, you may ask? Well, I see it kinda like this. To like something means it’s like ya can do this whatever it is  and maybe not miss it if ya don’t do it. To love something implies that perhaps you could not love it for any reason and then maybe fall out of love and go back again. Lots of variables. At any rate, to love something is a constant with a few variables and outcomes.

To LIVE something. Well it means to me that if you live it, it’s a life force and you breathe it because it’s feeding you life. If something happens and you don’t live it, then death is the alternative. Much different than love.

So if we apply this theory to photography, what do we get? I have always lived my work. That means I am accountable for every aspect and image of it.  If that’s the case and it most certainly is, it also means that being aware that forces around can provide either negative or positive energy or worse, no energy. My Grandfather said, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

Why am I writing all this stuff and what does it have to do with making photos? Well, it’s great to have conversations after the fact of the photo. It’s exciting to digest everything about it and what others feel and think also.. It’s comforting to feel success, no matter what way it arrives. ….but what about pre-exposure? I don’t mean the technical aspects, but the emotional and ideas and concept of the image.

Perhaps that’s the very essence of the moment. The moment is widely described as being in a single breath with all that you are and feel with the camera. This is a beautiful expression of life with a camera. I guess it’s possible to love this moment without a camera but not if you live it. Without the camera, we are dead.

What is the taste of this moment? For me, it’s the harmony of it all. The moment brings us to a place that we know, live and feel a photo is waiting to share it’s life with us. When all things come together, it’s the moment for sure but it’s the awareness of, everything is illuminated. It’s Harmony.  This Harmony is the flavor of photography and the essence of LIFE.

This is all effected by our history. That history is the past we have stored unfiltered and we call upon it for direction or disregard it to find a new path. It’s all good but we can’t erase our history, even if we knock down statues, ease from our books and try to eliminate from our minds. Some call this history baggage but that’s in correct.

Baggage is what people put in your eye, heart and mind so that it affects what you do or think about doing. Baggage is other people’s bull crap that will pollute your life. History, ahhh the beautiful history, that’s your doing and we need to love that history if we ever want to move forward.

When your out with your camera, maybe when you see a photo coming and the moment developing, maybe just maybe, your history is with you and that baggage….leave it at the counter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 26th, 2019 … The Tones da Thang

I started playing guitar at 13. Seems my dad played and he also was an amateur photographer. He died when I was 6 so, not many memories but enough for me to find him at the end of my tour. Anyway, I am aware that I followed in his footsteps without really seeing those footsteps. After a short time, I fell in love with the guitar and played all my life. When I got home from Nam, I started to get serious with it because I could hide inside it and keep my thoughts and emotions hidden from my family. I started to get pretty good at blues and loved playing but unfortunately, I didn’t have a voice for singing. That took a toll on me that to this day has affected me. As time passed, I was in many bands and really loved the interaction. We recorded and did gigs and concerts and it was a dream come true. Inside there was a block of ice in me that I couldn’t chip away. On the outside, I appeared happy and content and loved what was happening. Inside, another story had developed.

Tone Is Da Thang

See, your tone is your signature. It’s what makes your soul sing and dance. No 2 people have the same tone. I could hear anyone that had their tone so clearly and loved listening to them. The issue was I never found my tone. Oh, I could hear it inside but whenever I tried to get it out, failure. I bought more effects than I would ever need. I had the sounds that many liked but I did not love it because I knew I didn’t have the tone. I had no signature tone. There was an emptiness in my soul that never was satisfied. Decades passed and still, I was just like everyone else without tone. Empty with all the gear to make it happen but no stamina to pursue it.

My body started developing  Essential tremors and that put an end to my guitar playing. Of course, I’d have a heck of a vibrato but I can’t grip the neck without some pains. My fav guitars hang on the wall and I look at them all the time. That part of my life has passed and it saddens me but I continue to have great memories.

So, what’s this to do with photography? Maybe there’s something like the tone in photos. I don’t mean color tone, but TONE. It’s borrowed from guitar playing. This is not a new question for me but one that seeks an answer for decades. Ding told me long, long ago that he felt I had much raw potential. He was upset to learn that I could not afford to go to any college. So Ding rethought his approach to me and told me, “The most important things you need to learn are, to recognize your successes and recognize your failures”. This, of course, means to, define success and define failure and have a concrete understanding of both.

So the way I define these two polar opposites is by the tone of the photo.  This became a very difficult way to work because I have stripped away the innocence of photography. I had assigned a meaning to the photos that maybe I didn’t fully understand. I felt that when a collector or gallery whatever, bought some photos, they were a success. I guess there were but I quickly realized, I didn’t give a hoot for the financial profits.

Eureka, Ding was right. I have finally started on the path of self-discovery thru my photography.  The tone of the photos was clear as the light on the moon. The key issue with that is, I maybe never made a bad photo and maybe made many good photos but the ones that sing for me are the ones that have the tone I can’t ever hear or find on my guitars. I just see it. So, it becomes more a question of what brings joy to one’s life. Sure, it’s great to make those photos that are just outstanding to one’s self. Perhaps what needs to be learned and practiced is to love what you are doing and not to make things simple or decrease the value of intent but to find the joy with a camera and if you get that great shot, fine if not, at least love what you are doing.

It’s important to strive for personal satisfaction but to only reach for that means if a photo doesn’t make the cut, then you start to live with resentment. You have no right to make photography a passion of resentment. It’s totally unacceptable and can’t be allowed to control any part of you. If resentment and failure plague you and your work, it’s you, not photography that has the issues.

Maybe I’m getting too personal here but truthfully, I don’t know how to be any other way.

Have a blessed day and good light to one and all….♥♥