Category Archives: Dreamcatcher

January 9th, 2019 … Blinded With Clear Vision … or … Wake Up the Past to Find the Present


… you miss the point and you miss and abuse the flavor of life. I will not entertain you with an argument, let me just say, you will never connect your heart to your photos. You probably don’t connect anyone with your heart and for that I feel terrible for your friends and family but my friend…not for you. You have the gift of life and take it for granted.

Sorry friends. You caught me off guard as I was in a discussion about the heart of life and the heart of photography. See, there’s many ways to make photos and many uses and or purposes for those photos.

Flashback….we are at base camp near LZ Liz. I’m sitting around with a couple troops and we are talking about the value we feel for life. Some guys are saying, they would fight to the death and die for America. I feel that way also and continue field cleaning my 45ACP. Spud a soldier from Idaho and on his 5th tour says to me, Jingles, you would die for your friends here and die for your country. I bravely and boldly say, damn right


Spud knocks me on the head and looks in my eyes. The other troops are looking and trying to figure out what’s happening. Spud says so all the others can hear, Jingles, it’s easy to die here. It’s a worthy cause to die for your friends and your country. You need to find a reason to live for them and America and not die for them. You need to always fight for life, not death. If you survive, you must fight for life every day until you die. You must never surrender to death and when you die, make sure all the world knows it.


I thought about the dichotomy of life and death. Spuds words resonate in my heart and mind to this very second and I often wonder if he was recognized as a ZEN Master. I asked Spud why he was here so long and he said because here, I am able to feel my life and in the world, I feel I am not worthy and will abuse it.

The thing about photography is, that it is a representation of our life and existence. There is a path to self discovery and for me it has always been with a camera.


On this path to Self Discovery, we must realize that it is a lonely path and ends in our death.  This does not mean that we can’t share time with others but you’ll catch hell trying to get someone to die with you. That Landmark is strictly a lonely one. OK, so we can’t cheat death or life but what we can do and should do and simply put, must do is: Live our life in a manner that brings focus to our hearts and souls and honors those before us.  As photographers, we should make a worthy battle to maintain our integrity and honor our work as if it is our life’s worth..


We need to honor our history. It is said that we should see things as if seeing for the first time. Such a simple virgin excuse. By doing so, we erase our history and neglect any value that the work had or has for us. I rather acknowledge;edge my history and maybe make a new photo of the subject but keep the history alive. You simply can not erase the history of your work. So, then, love it and see things differently and make a new photo of whatever you are doing.

Proof that I am not too crazy. We all do exactly as I said every time we make photos of our friends and family etc. If you make photos of a loved one, do you erase the history or embrace it?

I will write more shortly…. go in peace alls………


January 1st, 2019 … Mummers Day … Ricoh GRII-21mm

Happy New Years to one and all and this mean YOU. The Girl Child Linda called and wanted to go to the Mummers Parade and said to meet at Suzanne’s home. Okie, so I get downtown and head to Suzanne’s home. Inside, there are about 7 people and all younger than me. Most have cameras and they are showing each other what they have.  Linda and Suzanne come to me and hug me and each kisses my cheek. I look at the Heaven’s above and my heart sings… I don’t know what I did to deserve this LORD but I if this is the end of the journey for me, I’m all good to go.

As it turns out, it wasn’t the end of my journey and I have my two young shooters to hang out with. We sit for a few and Linda brings me a cup of coffee. Low and behold, fresh roasted Kona, light cream and alls right in shooter world. So, then Suzanna says to Linda, hun, can you grab my Leica from the bedroom? Linda replies, sure babe. Neither of them ever called me hun or babe. I’m feeling some kinda way. So I ask is Polly going to join us? Suzanne replies, Polly is back in Japan and may not be coming back here. Awww, okie, she is a lovely person I said.

We finish our coffee and head out the door. Linda and Suzanne and myself. Linda asks what I’m working with and I reply, Mom, the Ricoh GRII with the 21mm adapter. I have Andre’ the Leica M240 but I’m not feeling him too much lately. Linda is using the unnamed Leica M10 and Suzanne is using the unnamed Fuji Xpro-2 and the unnamed Leica M10P. I think they were kinda put off cause I was using the GRII but I was embarrassed to be seen with all the unnamed cameras. I mean, after all, this IS 2019. Unnamed cameras, The Horror! We get to walking around and the ladies stay close to me. Cameras start clicking, and smiles get to happen. I make a few frames and quickly realize I don’t need the company even tho these ladies are like my daughters.

I walk to Suzanne and tell her I need to be alone and work. She smiles, gives me a major hug and kisses me softly. Don, I want to thank you for everything you do for me. I guess you know, Linda and I are a couple.  Well, (my chance to get in a shot) you mean a couple like um,,, kissing and holding. A couple like sexin and being in bed together. Her brow raises…(see, when a woman’s brow raises, it means, 1 wrong word and you’ll reap the wrath of a woman scorned, and HELL won’t go there) Okie Suz… as long as youin’s don’t be gettin nawty. I smile and hug her and tell her, I love you both and I am happy if I was instrumental in forming your bond. I tell Suz and Lin to be careful and we will meet in a short time.

Now I vanish in the crowd. I start to feel some energy and breathe in the scent of my photos. There’s a lot of people all around me. I have Mom the Ricoh GRII-21mm at the ready. people are everywhere and yet we are all nowhere. I feel the loneliness cast upon us and then, this woman appears and I see her and she turns to try to find herself…..CLICK!

I love how the Mummers get so engulfed n the energy of the parade. This energy is never-ending. I’m not usually seen on the streets. I kind vanish and appear when it’s time to release. Anyway, the mummers are in front of WAWA and the guy to my right, with his back turned, is stuffing a hoagie in his mouth. I kinda didn’t want to disrespect anyone so I waited….He slowly turns his back to me and then the other guy….CLICK!

There are no illusions in my head about seen/unseen as a photographer. See, there are a few ways to work. Here are my thoughts on 2 of them. We work as an observer and ideally, we are not seen or a part of the photo. The other way is to be a participant and your actions, regardless of how subtle, may influence the outcome of the photo. There exist no proper right way and also no proper wrong way. There just is. The important thing is to be aware of the differences. That is a quality of work that creates the bond between you and your photos. We are supposed to be aware of our environment when making photos. Perhaps this emotional and mental landscape is equal if not more important than actually working. It’s called intent and as fine as a word and meaning that it is, with the practice of the definition, well, no pretty photos will be born.

So much for being unseen….CLICK

There are people that are not in the Mummers Parade but yet Stars in the Parade of Life. This young woman is drawing attention from anyone around her. I’m smiling inside and just observing and then…. she takes her jacket off and is wearing a sports bra. Youse all know me, I have no interest in that sorta stuff. I guess I’m not the target of her attractions, Dude comes over and stands next to her. He’s checking ever art of her with intent. Oh yeah, people that are not shooters may have intent also. I’m watching him as her studies her. She’s comfy and she turns to me and makes a face like, what’s up with dude? Out of the corner of his eye, he’s perving her and then looks slightly away…. CLICK!

Suz called and invites me to have lunch with her, Linda and some friends. I pass and tell her I need to get home. Tanya is alone with Barsik and I want to be with them.

If you’re looking for the traditional Mummers Parade shots, you’re in the wrong place. Be blessed everyone…..

Happy New Years…………….. end transmission…..

December 17th, 2018 … One Shot Per Shoot …



Today is December 17th. The above photo is frame 17 for the month of December. Been sick and can’t get out. Luckily I need to go see my Primary at the VA Hospital. I figured that I might as well take a camera with as always. So, Mom the Ricoh GRII and I headed out to do the journey to the hospital. As we are on the train to center city, Mom is telling me that there is an updated version of her and I shouldn’t get any ideas about updating the new camera with a new name. Mom will suffice she said. I agreed. I argued enough with mom when she was alive and on the planet and I don’t want to argue with her now that she’s my camera. Ya know that Jewish Guilt Trip? Well, it’s real and always working. See, I think if I just agree with Mom the Ricoh GRII, then Mom in the grave won’t be inside my head so much. I tell youse about this cause I’m older than most but not all. That means you can feel comfy knowing others live inside your head. It’s best if it’s family and even your mom but might not be. Now ya can feel comfy knowing that your not the only one with issues. The old shooter, gotz goodies.

It felt good to be able to breathe the exhaust from the cars and trucks. I still coughed some but not terrible. The noise from the school kids yelling and horns honking. Beethoven doesn’t have anything on that. The hustle and bustle and the people bumping into me and not saying excuse me, wow, what a great feeling. The young guys busting bad with their eyes, right at me and of course, I stare them down. Mom the Ricoh GRII in my pocket keeping warm. She’s on the ready but not turned on. Lens extension procedures never in the pocket. The sky is bright gray-blue. You know that color of exhaust mixed with baby blue, well that’s it. Oh, don’t forget the clouds that look more like released tokes of pot, not medical, from the guys on the corner, only these dissipate slower. yeah man, life in Philly. How good does it get? So the A Train is rolling along the track and I look out the window to the junkies and prostitutes on the streets. It’s like 46F so the streets are loaded. Of course, people are shopping for their Xmas gifts and groceries. Kisa that are cutting school, riding their bikes and hopping around. Cigarettes are burning all over and the blunts are like a wildfire. Even on the train, I can smell the fresh scent of HIGH.

A Train is making the approach to 11th Street, my stop and I need to wiggle past to young girls to get by. I bumped into one’s little butt and said thanks luv. They both giggle……I smile back. Walk up the steps and hit the street.

Mom the Ricoh GRII  comes out of the pocket and mounts to my hand by the Sony Wrist Strap. I have many straps of very good quality. The best wrist strap is the Sony Wii. It’s on eBay all the time for about $1.00. You will be hard pressed to find a better strap. Anyway, we start walking and this older couple are in front of me. I know I need to make some photos and I watch them walk. Then we approach the Fashion signs and I see a photo. I move forward and watch the elegance of age creep along the street thru the crowd of people. Mom starts wiggling in my hand….My Shrink says this is an illusion but the camera is shaking I tell Ya…. they get to catching up to me and ……CLICK!


December 14th, 2018 … Still Crazy After All These Years

….. it’s the early 80’s and I’ bringing 40 framed prints to a gallery in Olde City for a  solo exhibition. It’s been 2 months in the works to get to this day, The Day of Hanging. I liked to hang shows and am actually very good and precise. I actually was a member of a gallery with the mixed artist. Most were faculty from universities and schools etc. So when I curated and hung the shows, i never had anyone complain. Mixing mixed media and having the show read well, is no easy task. Pat on my back and I needed it. This was different and it’s not my first solo show. It’s just the first for this gallery.

So I park in front of the gallery and P…says we are all ready. He has some young cute assistant and I hmmmmm, Okie. We get all the frames inside and drink coffee. The girl starts moving things around. She feels she has a talent for sequencing work. I’m quiet. P… says Andy is an expert at this. I’m thinking, she’s 21 and an expert….okie. She may very well be but I understand sequencing and she and P…haven’t a clue. i know by the way they placed the frames. So, I said to Andy,m ok… let me give it a shot. I start moving frames and after 15 minutes, I’m happy with the sequence. Andy moves in closer and then turns to me and ask….Do you make all these with a camera? Well, now I am 69 and if she asked me that question, I would poop my pants. oh yeah. This was a long time ago and I was younger and could hold, um… things better. To tell the truth, when Andy asked me that question, I almost did poop my pants. C’mon, what kinda question is that to ask?  Andy says you must be really crazy with all these dark pictures. P…says, yeah, Don makes lots of crazy pictures.

Well, I deal with criticism very well. If a viewer or many viewers have things to say, fine. I don’t take it to heart. Everyone has an opinion and everyone has a lower body part where they can shove their opinions. The thing is, the gallery owner and director make statements like that, I got pissed. We are supposed to be in a synergistic relationship that feeds each other. My prints sell in his gallery and he gets 40% of the sales. So we get it all set up and ready. The 3 of us are sitting around and Andy apologizes for saying my work and I are crazy. P… has to leave and will be back in an hour.

Andy asks me if I can explain some of my photos so she will have a better understanding. Sure I said. She starts questioning me and much to my surprise, the questions were very thoughtful. I’m about 32yo and going on 80. I start telling Andy that I make photos that are a part of my life. See Andy, I was a soldier in Vietnam and that affected me for life. I will never fully get out of Nam. The dark tones, the highlights and the way I present the subject matter, all the aftermath of Nam. I can’t make photos of pretty flowers, or nice buildings and not even make photos of pretty girls,. wait, wait, let’s not get carried away. I can make photos of pretty girls….I’m not stupid.

I explained to Andy that my work is my life and my life is my work. I can’t be what others want me to be. I can’t make photos for anyone except my own soul. I like when someone responds to my work and even like it more if they buy some, but it’s not the motive for my persistence on discovering the world that lives within me and without me.

Opening night P and Andy greet me. I have jeans on and Docksiders, a whiter Tee shirt and a herringbone jacket. People start coming in and I greet them and answer questions. Many are people I know and it’s very comfy. Andy is walking a small group around and explaining my photos. I was so interested in hearing the conversations. She was very heartwarming and captivating. P…comes to me and says, You see why I have Andy here. Andy comes to me and wraps my arm in hers.  < i have a strong heart and won’t let myself fall in love or like or anything. I have a smile on my face and we walk to some people and she introduces me.

There’s an older couple whom I have seen many times at First Friday’s. Andy says Dave and Maria would like to buy 7 photos. I have the list. Andy and I walk to P… and explain that 7 prints are sold. P…says he sold 4 already. I explain to P…. I wish Andy to get 20% from my cut. So, P…you get, 40%, I get 40% and Andy gets 20%. We all agree and Andy is like in heaven. The end of the night we sold 19 prints. The shows up for a month with openings every Friday night. Andy sold more prints and she became a great gallery director. Now she’s one of my finest collectors and takes good care of me. Andy became very wealthy and very informed. She’s well known and a sharp buyer.

I guess the moral of this story, the moral of this song is….. she judged me as crazy and my work. I judged her as a young girl like a butterfly. I learned that Andy had the flair to be a gallery director. She had an instinct for the viewers and how to motivate them to buy. She knew how to stir me and get me thinking and not be complacent with myself just cause I was working over and over in a similar vein.

What did I learn about me?  I’m Still Crazy After All These Years

….as shooters, usually first impressions don’t mean much, we need further investigation of our subject and ourselves to be worthy of Mother Light

December 11th, 2018 … The Intent of Memory

… so Charlie is always walking behind me. He’s just slower than me and that’s cool. It allows me to breathe easier and to make photos as we walk. I met Charlie years ago from a mutual friend, Tom Murtha. Tom was a Ranger and did 2 tours in Korea and 3 tours in Nam. Charlie and Tom did a tour together in Korea. One day on a mission with the Warriors Watch Riders, Tom asked me to look in on his friend Charlie. After the mission, I rode my Harley to the address Tom gave me for Charlie. I had a Canon G9 around my neck and when Charlie answered the door, he saw me and said, no pictures Whitey. Well, that was the way Tom talked and I guess it was better than sugar coating everything. Charlie just as Tom, didn’t use any sugar or have the slightest amount of tact.

Charlie told me that Tom was his only real friend. (imagine that) Charlie asked me if I liked Chinese food. Sure I said. So he went into the kitchen and returned with a plate of noodles and something resembling meat and sauce. Something told me that we should go to the Market and get fresh food. I asked Charlie and he was anxious and said let’s go Whitey. I turned to Charlie and said, are you ready colored boy? His face got like … you don’t need to know. I told Charlie, my name is Don or Shooter. He smiled and said I’m Charlie Don. Now get on and ket’s go eat. I asked Charlie, did you really expect me to eat that stuff at your house? He laffed with that rolling thunder laugh from his heart and belly.  I asked him what’s so funny? He smiled and said, I knew if I showed you that food, you’d take me to lunch.

So Charlie and I established our friendship and the right and responsibility I have to take and buy him lunch. I see him every once in a while and especially when he needs me. Charlie told me about an ambush in Korea. He said Tom was in front of me 10yds. Hell broke out and I fell and was not able to move, My leg was on fire and I was bleeding bad. Tom dropped back and lay next to me. He threw grenades and fired his rifle round after round. Never even breathed, just fought like the Devil was coming at us. He told me to hug him tight and then we rolled over and he continued to unleash death all around. I lay there knowing I would never survive and then there was almost silence. Screaming from both sides of the battle. I told Tom, you saved me, Tom. He said I do it for anyone Charlie. I said you did it for me. Tom said, fuggin right, you’re my friend. I never had a friend before and never in my life like Tom.

I asked Charlie if he had family and he said, you and Tom now. I got a daughter Nespa, someplace in North Carolina but ain’t seen her in over 40 years. She was borne when I was in Nam. Her mom Enesta ran off with that guy and took Nespa with. That was it.

So we are walking up the street to Sang Kee in the Reading Market. I am in front of Charlie, about 10′. He doesn’t like me too close so people don’t get the wrong idea. Makes me laff but I respect the old coot.  I am walking thru the shadows of memories and seeing them on the ground. Shadows holding me and releasing me. Memories being re-born and the birth of new.  It’s like a mystical experience. I guess my life is…. I turn around to see Charlie and ….Click

December 7th, 2018 … The Day Of Infamy … and the … I’m Sick and Can’t Get Out Post

… coughing … sneezing … I have been sick since before Thanksgiving. The worst part is not being able to hit the streets. My cameras are pissed and I dare not go near the cabinet. Nah, that’s not the worst part…. hold on a sec…. looks around, hmmm the coast is clear. The worst part is being under Tanya’s rule and medical supervision. Oh yeah, my Russian home remedies doctor. I will admit freely … as she stands over my back … that the remedies actually work. So, I make a tent with a towel and cover my head and on the table, she puts a bowl of cut onions. I get close and breathe in and out, the best way to breathe, and the vapor goes where it’s needed and it’s done for 10 minutes. That’s step 1, oh yeah more coming. So the towel tent also lets her put potatoes in a bowl. She takes 2 potatoes… 1 potato, 2 potato and boils then for 20 min. Then she cuts into pieces and puts them in a bowl and I breathe them in for the 10 minutes.

She’s in the kitchen so I can unveil another Russian Medical Secret. If the politicians find out about this, I’ll be charged with Russian Collusion for Potato and Onion conspiracy. Stinky stuff huh. Anyway … a well-guarded secret is the coveted, Black Radish and Honey procedure. She hand picks a Black Radish at the International grocery store. Not very scientific but I want her to feel special as a Russian Home Remedy Doctor. So I watch in awe like I’m captivated by her skills at the selection. Once we get home, she cuts the black radish into pieces. Like 6 parts. They go into a small bowl and then she pours some honey over the pieces. Then covers the bowl with Russian American approved cellophane. In a few hours, she will take a tsp and put the residue from the honey radish that collects at the bottom of the bowl.

I take the tsp of honey radish and swallow it. Ok, Black Radish and Honey concoction are ready for more processing by the American sick photographer, publisher husband. That brings us to the multi-international but mainly Russian American banana stops the coughing  and eases the mucus special medicine. This is a well guarded, highly sought after remedy. From what I could uncover, it’s cooked banana and some sugar. There’s something else in it and I believe it’s lemon. It is lemon I watched her make it secretly. Anyway, this cooks down and the banana you take 2 tablespoons and swallow. It’s warm but not hot.

This immediately soothes the throat but only the throat. See, as a professional Russian American Home Remedy Doctor, she targets specific sections of the sickness That’s why there are so many remedies. They all work and work well but for specific areas. So for about 2 weeks, I’m under Tanya’s care and it’s nice but as for photography, not so good. This gives me lots of thinking time. So me poor mind is working on some issues and a few I never wanted to address……..

I have been using Leica’s for over 45 years. Anyway, now I use the M240. Great camera and love what it does and more importantly, what it does to me and how it works with me. The problem is, it’s heavy. Oh yeah, I’m not in great shape anymore and I tried many straps and configurations. I have been using the ACAM 25 and it’s a quickly reconfigure strap. Great, actually the very best. Goes from neck to shoulder to cross chest in a second. Cross-chest is best for weight but now, at this point, even that doesn’t work. I get pains in my neck, shoulder, and upper back. So, I need to think about the Leica in a different light. Obviously, that means a wrist strap. Ok, so I have many and many nice ones. I put Andre’ the Leica M240 on a wrist strap… no what? Huh, open for ideas. A shoulder bag is off the list. I have too many and can’t use them anymore. So the obvious alternative is a waist pack. I have the Camslinger Streetomatic bag. It’s great, does more than I need.

So, I am undecided about Andre’ the Leica M240. My instincts tell me to sell him to someone that can use and enjoy him. Our daze together is coming to an end and we both know it. The thing about having more than one camera is, you feel compelled to use them, What the hell, ya got em, use em. My thing is I get into phases where I want to have maybe 2 cameras with me.m No, switching lenses is not the same. I can’t keep this going but I hate to sell off my friends. So I switch around and beings that any camera I have is a trusted friend and we work well together, of course except Andre’ the Leica M240…..bummer

I can’t get out to shoot so I re-photographed from my collection.  Anyways, the remedies really work, don’t lose them, trust me. I think all these are from the Ricoh Gr or GRII. To be honest, I can’t wait for the Ricoh GRIII. Have a blessed weekend my friends. Seeya as soon as I can escape my mad Russian American Home Remedy Doctor.

Please remember that today, December 7th is the Day Of Infamy. Pray for all of us that we never experience another one.

…………………………………..end transmission………………………………………


November 24th, 2018 … Sometimes I get it right

When looking for photographs, find them in your heart, then bring them to your camera. The rest is photography. 


Simple words but to live by them is a lifetime of work. I taught myself many years ago to trust my heart above my mind. I mean we need to trust our mind and I do but there is a stronger satisfaction from images from the heart than from the mind. See, I spend a lot of time working and always did. I can remember some photos that I thought about and made. I remember photos that I felt and made. I know many will say I am missing the boat cause ideally, the photos should come from the Mind and Heart. Well, for me there is a distinct difference between the two. I like the split because I analyze my work in a way the lets me separate and join together the mind and heart. I suppose it’s ideal to have both work together but I like to think that the difference between the two makes for a strong understanding of the images.

Way back in the early 1970s, I did an experiment. I spent time making photos of my wife and kids. I felt these photos very strong and I was very excited by the photos. Then I went to the streets and made photos that I thought about. What I mean is, I had ideas of photos and wanted to make them so I could see my ideas come to fruit. Many of the photos from both groups we very exciting and satisfied my curiosity.  But the experiment was more intense. I wanted, no needed to see which if any of the photos rang truer than others. The net result of this experiment was actually learning to accept the images and how they affect my work and how they affect my future work.

Editing and curating your own work is a lesson in ego washing. Ideally, you put a lot of images in the mix and then doing the job of editing to get the final residue and gist of your work. Sounds easy enough but we need to realize that what we are doing is bringing others to the life of our work. They become a part of our mix. I have edited many photos from many people for the Inspired Eye and other duties for the images. There is a manner of approach to viewing and even making photos. The “WHY” and the “HOW” are essential and understanding the difference is crucial to success. The key factor of the how and why is to get how the shooter thinks and or feels. Years ago going to exhibitions and gallery openings, I would look at the photos and try to feel them as if the shooter made them for me. I loved when I connected to an image. Made me feel like I knew something. Secretly inside and never brought to the surface, I asked how the shooter made the photos. I was interested in what camera, what lens, what film, how they processed, everything about the blood and veins of the photo. I was not an academic and had little or no training in photography. I felt often like an outsider but my lust for life with my camera superseded any feelings of self-worth.


I’m not being self-indulgent here. I had to figure this stuff out mainly by myself and then let it grow inside me so it was a part and is a part of my existence. If I was an academic then this stuff would be in me and be proper. So I try to explain how I think and feel about things best I can at the moment. I’m editing and curating an exhibition for a woman shooter. She is very talented and yet I feel something missing from the photos. Emotionally they are very strong but they lack interesting eye travel. Her heart is intact and she makes the subject appear with the viewer. The photos lack a sense of environmental presence. Even Avedon with his corner portraits has a very strong sense of environment. The lack of environmental info is also the presence of environmental info.

I am caught in a conundrum about her exhibition. If I say anything at this time about the photos having an emotional stance but lacking in the rest of the frame, she will be very upset and well she should be. If I just let this go and she does the exhibition, some viewers will feel the lack of supporting energy and she will be upset because I didn’t express my thoughts before she was hanging naked on the wall.

So it appears the life force of the Heart and Mind exist in a very strong manner, and we must deal with it even if we don’t’ understand or accept it.

September 14th, 2018 … Foundation … Pt 2 … Ongoing Lessons of the Girl Child Linda

….ringy, ringy, youse all know now that’s the phone. Hi Don, it’s me, Linda, I’m ready so let’s meet at the Magee bus stop. Okie Dokie I say. After a few minutes, we are both there. I have Garry the Olympus Pen-F and Linda has the still unnamed Leica M10+. We sit and all around us are school kids. They are standing, sitting, squatting, laying, climbing and things I dare not mention. If Arlo was here, there’d be a new song. Anyway, the bus gets to the terminal and we walk to the Elevated train and get seats in the back so we can talk. Many kids storm the train and there are no less than 14,000 standing right near us. Linda says it was 13,471 but I won’t argue with a lady. One thing they all have in common, the use of profanity.  Oh yeah, I hear many profanity type words and now I understand what they learn in school. I myself, hardly ever use profanity. I mean why the hell would I talk in such a shitty way?

The train continues on its journey and then, then we reach the land of Oz and almost all the kids, all 13,471 -14,000 do the deboarding procedures. Linda looks me dead in the eye and says, I’m proud of you for not giving the kids a hard time. We deboard the train at 15th Street and start walking to the diner on 18th. Linda has her M10+ in her hand and is taking snaps as we walk. She’s a taker at this point and not a maker yet.

She asked me to define my thoughts on the foundation of work. I told her I really did in the last post but she said she didn’t read that post but just lived it. Ok, so I explain that when we work, there are triggers that make us release the exposure. I’m not talking about the exposure equivalent, I mean the location of the eye, heart, and mind at the time of exposure. Let’s assume that we all have certain subject matters that we let into our heart and mind. When we go to work, our eyes seek to realize what the heart and mind have accepted as fit for photographic pursuit.  The foundation is essentially the roots of our body of work.

There are common denominators that define what we do with our work. For example, Icons, Street, Social Seen, Juxtaposition, The Light and The Dark. These are some of the stones of my foundation. When I work, maybe one or another pop-up and direct me so explore it. Without a recognition of your foundation, you will never feel satisfied and worse yet, kinda lost with your camera. Always looking for “What, Where”.

There are a few ways to live this journey. One is to wander around and hope that you find a photo that equals your intent, eye, heart, and mind. The other is to have a map to explore but always aware that you live this map. Of course, you can wander around all you like but with a map, you know when you are exploring either new territory or, the path that you know well.  The map is the foundation and the foundation is the very essence of your life.

September 12th, 2018 … Finding a Foundation for Working … Gift From The Girl Child Linda


… ringy … ringy…ok for the oldheads ….this is the sound of a real telephone calling. For youse youngin’s… even your digi-phones have a simulated old school ring. Anyway,  I recognize the ring as The Girl Child Lindas. So she tells me she is home after almost 2 months travel vacation. Linda tells me that my method of One Shot Per Shoot saved her. It kept her focused and gave inspiration.

Oh’ sorry about that. I need to clarify exactly what that means. No, not the part of being focused or inspiration, the one shot per shoot part. Alright, here comes the street shooters guide to the universe. Well, it’s the universe of our own and we live in it. What’s the name of this universe? Well first off, it’s a private unique universe lived in individually by each of us. What makes the private universe universal is the common universal denominator, “GRATIFICATION”. I know, who in the world cares about gratification? It must be some foreign thing that may be a small esoteric group of shooters are aware of and work towards. Imagine that!


Ok, let me get to the point. If we go out and shoot and say make 50 exposures, what we have is a visual salad of images. Emotionally we are in a conundrum because we have too many images from a shoot to really absorb and digest each one. Let me make this even more personal. I always go out with the 1 shot per shoot intent. That doesn’t mean only one shot per shoot to make, just one shot per shoot to show and love. See, there is the problem, I go out and make photos, I am not a heavy shooter, I’m about 184lbs. So, I tend to really want to make a photo that stays in my heart.. So here’s the issue, we have about 2 means of editing. The first is pre-exposure. Here’s where we need to be tuned into ourselves and be kinda selective. This is also where our NAMED camera is our partner. If you have an unnamed camera, may Mother Light shine on your soul and show you the light.  We have post exposure. Here’s the editing process again, usually a darkroom or pc whatever.


One of the largest differences and what also makes the POC, Point Of Confusion, is pre-exposure, you are dealing with source and scene definition. Post-exposure you are dealing with the two dimensional captured images. Linda is asking me a lot of questions. I can’t be a numbskull with her, so I need to give answers that are true as I know them. or at least as I can convince her they are true. Maybe some think I know a lot and maybe I do but I don’t believe it. I’m not even a good student in life. I’m told that with all I do that, in the end, I will die and can’t take a camera with me. What the hell kinda life is that I’d rather be dead.

Oh’ don’t worry, I’m gonna drag youse thru this stuff all winter. Anyway, Linda, youse know her as the Girl Child Linda, want’s me to explain what the foundation of work really is. Seems like she’s really charged on just doing her photography. So we be talkin’ ’bout cameras and she pulls out of her bag a Leica M10P I think it is. Anyway I make a fuss about it and she’s smiling and her pretty little self with her pretty new camera and if she reads this, I’m dead meat. Nice camera, the kind ya can build a foundation on. Not the only one but if ya have it, well, why not go for it.


Well, I start talking and ya know, when that happens and I even surprise myself sometimes, I get ta giving info that’s locked up in me poor brain. Linda, see…the foundation of your work is the same as a home. Sure, it seems like if you have a foundation and you work on that , then you may be kinda locked in or boxed in, at least feel that way. When we think about anything, it’s good to be on the outside looking in. With a new home, a builder makes a foundation. Then many times the house actually extends above and beyond the foundation. See, the foundation is a strong one and the builder knows how to work within and without. So he can do things that may surprise others and even himself because he understands the foundation he works on.


(Yo ya’ll….I am already working on the second part of this but Linda don’t know it. Please just don’t say anything and we will get thru this in a long jiffy.) I smile cause she’s looking at me with a face like, get to the damn point shooter, or else. See I know that face. It’s the face that a woman gives you and you know you better wash the dishes. Linda, here’s some info.

We all know that the Eye, Heart and Mind are the cornerstone of the foundation that we work from. It’s the cornerstone and perhaps the most important but works synergistic-ally with the rest of the foundation. We live and build our work from that solid concept that we have etched in your heart and mind. Wait, wait…. gotta run, I will put the next post, the follow up to this shortly, not my shortly but the shortly that most of us, except me take as a standard. I promise……



……….end transmission………………………


August 20th, 2018 … A Walk Thru The Shadows in the Valley of Death

…. I know, it’s bloody hot and I’m sweating my ba…back off. I look at Polly and she’s in shorts, a crop top, and Asian flats. Her long hair is bone dry. Meanwhile, I’m hot and sweating and wearing shorts and a Vet Tee Shirt, all cotton. We both have our Leica’s and I’m with Andre’ the M240. Polly has the unnamed M10, pity. We are walking to the Art Museum and we see a dead cat on the street. She looks like yuch. I start thinking, here’s a woman that can cut a person open and hold their heart and life in her hand and not even think yuch. A dead cat and she has tears. We sit on a bench cause we are tired and need a rest. we all know that I could go on for hours walking but Polly being younger needs a break. So not to make her feel some kinda way, I start breathing heavier and ask for a break…

I asked her why she was so upset about the cat and fully understood that I would get a proper answer. Polly tells me that, “every single cell of life ever born is a part of us. We are attached to all things living. When someone or something dies, we have a loss within us. We don’t always feel that loss because at the very instant death presents itself, life grants a new being to be borne. We don’t always pay attention to this phenomenon, but we live it nonetheless.” I put my arm around Polly’s shoulder and asked her…  Polly, do you really believe all that? She said no Don, not at all…….I live it. She asked me, you have a wealth of knowledge about photography, and life….do you believe it? I looked her straight in the eyes, no luv, I live it. She grabbed my hand and said, let’s go, old man, we still have a ways to go.


Polly told me her younger, 28,  brother was coming to the USA because he wants to be a TransGender. She told me that he wants to stay here and of course get the money from Polly for the transition. She wanted my opinion. Well, Polly, ya know each one of us gets one life. The choices we make in life set the course of our journey. It also sets in motion how we and our life affects the others we come in contact with. We are responsible for all that we touch in the world. I know that many TransGenders commit suicide. Many Vets do the same, like 22 a day, every day always. It is said that PTSD moves a soldier to that direction. The Soldier needs help to discover a single reason to stay alive. Not many reasons, but 1 single reason and with help, that may turn to 2 reasons. Believe me, 1 reason is a lot. 2, is a gift.


I wonder if a son says to his dad, I want to be a transgender. I imagine that the dad would be freaked out. His on with tits and a girls ass, etc. What would his family and friends think? Dad prolly thinks, what did I do wrong. So the son walks around feeling like something is missing in his heart. He joins the service cause that’s a manly thing to do. The son wants to be the man his dad will be proud of and becomes a grunt. Maybe he gets deployed to Afghanistan. Maybe after some time, he gets wounded, or his legs off or maybe he dies defending his teammates and his country. His dad gets a Flag and a letter explaining how proud the country is of his son’s service and how he’s a hero and dad should be proud of his son. After the funeral and dad is sitting in his favorite chair, where he used to hold his son and make him feel loved, and special, I wonder if being a TransGender would be so terrible. I wonder if there’s anything in existence that dad wouldn’t do to hold his son in his lap again.


To me, this seems like a waste of lives. The son dies for what he believes in but not everything he believes in or what believes in him. Dad gets to think and feel about the loss of his son for the rest of his life. Probably looks at me and squeezes my hand and says,” thanks”. I don’t want my brother to die but he will never see my family again. He will be forbidden. I look at her intently and ask, and you, how will you deal with him? She says she loves her brother and will do all to support him. She asks is that right Don? Polly, maybe he will need help with woman’s clothes. Polly pushed me and laffs out of control. That might be fun. My sisters and I always dressed him in our clothes and made him our living doll.


People have the right to be whom they feel they are and even to change. I’m a firm believer of that. I’m also a believer that if you’re a pedophile., murderer, rapist etc, maybe you have the right to be that but we as a society have the right to terminate your existence.

You may be any member of the LGBT community and the society that criticizes and condemns you also has the responsibility to respect you. What does this have to do with photography? Well, I’ll speak for me. Photography is about life and life is about photography. They call the mainstream photography “Street”. It is, no doubt but the true definition of street is “Life.” Acceptance of someone or something that is not agreeable to us is difficult and many can’t do it or fathom another that can. Polly’s brother will no doubt have a nice life here in the USA. His sister is the purest heart I have ever experienced in my life. She obviously will nurture him and make his life mean something. The sad part is, his brothers and sisters and parents and family and friends in Japan, will only ever see him thru Polly’s photos.


I went to the course of this blog because Polly is a dear friend. She needs me to help her find the peace that she wants and her brother also. A lot of youse will say, shooter, what’s up with all this gender stuff? I’ll tell ya what. Many of you are soldiers, photographers, teachers, friends whatever. If my heart ever decides it’s had enough, I want Polly to be the one that is at my rescue.