Category Archives: Inspired Eye

Surviving The Carnage To Creativity, Pt 1

It’s been some time since I wrote anything anywhere. It’s not that I don’t have the thoughts, energy, or ideas. It’s that I am tired of the battles. I am not tired of fighting the battles, just the battles. I am a warrior and will never surrender.  So, I had a conversation with my selves. We decided the best way to survive is to get cameras.

See, the attack upon my humanity I can get past someway. The attack on my creative essence is not so easy. After you survive, the residue is carnage. The carnage is what you have to work with to try and get whole again. It demands attention and perseverance to make it.

I address these issues with my cameras.  Even my camera cabinet has the presence of carnage. I sold many cameras in the last 2 years. They were Covid sell-offs. I acquired what I really felt a kinship with but alas, our relationship was not strong enough to last. I am kinda the same with wives, that’s why I have 3 exes.  It’s not easy to acquire cameras and even more difficult to unload them.

Anyway, I know I’m rambling but I need to clean out the dust in my poor brain. As photographers, we are editors and curators of our lives. With our photos, we shoot and then edit the ones we care about and then curate them to a place of recognition. Maybe not for others but for ourselves and that’s what matters.

So for me, editing is an ongoing process that works in most areas of life. Cameras for example. Have you ever shopped for a camera? Well, editing them lets you decide what you want to keep and what not to keep.  Curating is kinda like keeping them on a shelf or working with them.

Editing photos is an entirely different process. It has the way and means to cripple your creative energy and more. There should be ONE pure intent to process editing your work. That is, to satisfy the love and energy of your work for you. No other agenda need to apply.  That of course is an impossible task. There are so many internal as well as external pollutants that penetrate our eye, heart, and mind.

I will do my best to reborn the blog. Some have asked for a while and some don’t give a hoot. So I do it for the ones that asked and the ones that never knew about this and for me.

Be Blessed and don’t take any wooden nickles. No, I have no clue what that means but I’m sure it means something.

Covid 19 … Philly Tales … Where The Streets Have No Name

It was a brite lit morning, and i was on a street making photos. Andre’ the Leica M4 and I were minding our business and then a guy, looks kinda young and frazzled comes up yo us. Andre said t me, no way we are making any photos of this dude. Ok I said. Dude walks closer and me thinks, dude ain’t from around here. I said hi, he said hi. He says, shooter, I’m hungry and wanna get some grub. Andre’ the Leica M4 is freaking out cause howz dude know my name? Dude says, where can I get some breakfast? I said I can’t explain it cause the streets have no name. Dude has this weird look on his face. I can see musical notes coming out his…ummm ears, i won’t say ass cause I gotz too much class. He’s in this trance and saying, Where The Streets Have No Name. Then he walks near the curb and I firmly say dude, careful your near the Edge. He looks at me and eyes spinning around in his poor head. Dude says, shooter, I gotta go and write a song. He’s all excited, I’m thinking…kids’ today. Dude starts walking away and says, shooter take care brother. I said U2. He stops in his tracks and has this look on his face. He seemed like a nice guy, not too smart but good personality. As Andre’ and I walk away, I said to him. can you imagine that guy writing a song. Andre’ said ya know shooter, nice guy and even if he had a band, they’d never make it.

 

Andre wanted to get a cup of coffee. So we went to his favorite greasy spoon. It’s a German place and he’s got  crush on Hilda the German waitress. I sip coffee and Hilda takes Andre’ and holds him and makes him feel special. Hilda says, Mr Shooter, I am from Wetzlar. Andre’ the Leica M4 is my kin. Meanwhile, Andre; is all up in her hands and breast and his knobs are turning and lens focusing in and out, my my. I’m not really kinky but this is an entirely new dimension to Camera Porn. I wink to Andre’ and he knows time to go. He tells Hilda the German waitress, alas my love, I have to leave you. Hilda looks at me and says, I am stuck with a Yashica till you return, Hilda says, Mr. Shooter, did you happen to see a strange guy looking for breakfast? He was here but said he couldn’t find me cause the streets have no name.  Andre’ and I walked out I said to Hilda, take care Hilda the waitress and turned… then, then she said.. U2. As I was kinda stunned and Andre’ said, lets get the heck out of this movie. I said yeah, it’s Twilight Zone

I had a small group of my WS members for lunch the other day. All 7 of us went to Pearl’s in the Market and had seafood. Was nice because we haven’t met in person for over a year. I have had chats with most over skype but it’s not the same but not toooo different. As we were eating and enjoying, Sari said, Don, your love and dedication for what you do drives me. It keeps me from unraveling. Others also joined in and I said, it’s ok, I’ll pay for lunch anyway. Truthfully, she reaffirmed my intention of inspiring and keeping the creative flame alive in others. That in fact feeds and nourishes me also.

So, do I do things literal like, set your aperture on your lens to 5.6. Set your shutter speed to 1/250. Take your brand camera in your clean hand and walk on your fancy dancy shoes and look for something to take a picture of. OMG! The horror!  There are many out there that work this way and are fine. I’m not one. I believe in the romance of life. I believe in the romance of photography and my cameras and process.

So, I am more like….. Andre’ the Leica M9, how about you and I go for a walk a bout? I tell all his sister and brother cameras on the shelf,, we will return and Andre’ will tell you all the tales of the day. As we go to the streets, I look to the sky and smile to Mother Light. Then the rays of light descend upon me and emanate to and from me. I know Mother Light is with us and approves. As we walk, Andre’s starts to shake some in my hand and I very quickly look abd set the exposure. Andre’ likes this part cause no matter what aperture or shutter speed I set, he get’s to choose ISO. So, we are interactive…..

There is a romance to life and there is a romance to photography and the creative process. There is the literal also. The choice is yours how you live. No wrong and no right, just breathing. The romance of breathing is perhaps the most over looked in all the world.

We take that for granted till the end. Then we struggle and do all we can so that the last breath is not the end. We are presented with a choice of living with romance or literal. The choice is yours because I don’t have a choice, I am a romantic and besides, Andre’ the Leica M9 is calling me…..

Have a peaceful Memorial Weekend and please remember all those that defend us without a second thought and all those that made the ultimate sacrifice and even those that will and don’t know it.

Be Blessed Everyone

Covid-19 … Exploring The Control In Our Photography

Well, COVID is a spirit and creative killer. When this started, I was told maybe 2 months back to normal. That came and went. No-fault of anyone and this is not a political post by any means. Maybe it’s about control. Not political, racial or anything else. It’s about the control of the mind and the heart. Why is this important?  Well, ya asked so I will tell my feelings about this.

Seems like long ago I breathed a freedom that engulfed my essence. It was a fine breathing I tellya. Pure creative energy entered me and filled me and gave me life.  Oh, don’t get it wrong. I still breathe but thru an N95.

There are so many elements that want to control us. What really matters is how we respond and hold stance during all this. Then, then enters Mother Light. She provides inspiration for photography more than anyone or anything else in life. One of the interrupters of inspiration is control. We as shooters are accountable for the control or lack of it in our work. I’m not talking about our lives because our lives is our work. It’s one and the same.


If you know anything about the 60’s, you might remember a Doctor. His name was Dr. Timothy Leary. Anyway, he invented a medicine that made ya feel like there was no control, no control in the universe. There was a feeling of separation of reality and your essence. Well, I don’t really have any experience with that sorta stuff. I wouldn’t know how all that effected photography, after all I am a kinda sorta maybe stand up guy.  I am and I dang sure don’t need anyone to cover me or help.

Back to mission control. I found thru life that if we stop trying to get control, we actually get control. Well, for example. I can’t really go to a camera store, not in the physical sense, and not find a camera that I absolutely must have.

 

Sometimes I might be a little crazy. it’s true. My shrink at the VA will confirm. My doc always ask questions and expects me to answer. So he asked me if I ever talk to myself.  I said, Doc, it’s ok to talk with yourself. It’s even ok to answer yourself as long as you know it’s you doing the talking and answering. If you think it’s someone else talking and answering, then ya have a problem and you get a new patient.

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So I started to groove on the control thing. I wanted to explore this but only thru photography. We have cameras, lenses, processing things all sorts of things to aid my struggle for control. I started to realize that photos are the prime example of control. In a photo wee can see the elements and graphics and even emotions and the struggle for that control. Framing, tones, color, shapes. tonal values. subject matter etc all in focus and a direct result of control.

I stated at the onset of this, when we stop trying to get control, we actually get control. If our photos are a direct visual reflection of control… what happens if we stop trying to control our photography?

I’ll be back shortly and continue …

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 … Discover and Re – Discovering My Vision

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

It’s true I tellya. Many years ago, I was hanging out with Jeff K. He was a good influence on me. A very focused guy and ties to the Phila Museum of Art. He knew Michael Hoffman and Paul Strand. Jeff had photos of both of them and many of Strand that he made. I just loved looking at them. He never once bragged about anything but just told stories about the photos. I can’t repeat them because I feel they were very personal and Jeff shared them with me that way. But I can say that Michael was like a son to Paul Strand.

I mentioned this for a reason. I had been a serious photographer for about 20 years prior to meeting Jeff. I was no novice and very dedicated to my life’s work. He asked me to bring photos for him to look at. He felt if we are to be friends, he wants to know about what I do and feel with my work. This is what many call an analog experience.  So, we met again about a week later and I brought a box of prints to show him. I just piled many in a box and handed it to him.

We sat on a sofa and he started to drop prints on the floor in front of us. He was grouping the photos and I got kinda squeamish. See, years before my 2 friends named Paul, yes both, got on me about being loose and not so organized. I did that for a number of years. I suppose it did offer some kind of freedom and perhaps I needed that. This was different and I felt the change on the horizon.

I trusted Jeff because we were rapidly becoming friends and he had the knowledge I never had. I felt that we filled a void in each other. He with his education and knowledge and my working from the heart. S, these groups started to grow and the box was getting emptier and emptier. Jeff laid out about 30 prints on the floor that were mostly legs and or shadows. It was easy for me to see but I was blind to the idea that there were different series of photos even tho there was a connection.

He coined the term “Gambe’ Game”. I liked the word Gambe’ after he told me what it meant. The game was kinda repulsive to me. I told him, I don’t play games. Jeff said, when you are working a series, it’s like a game, like scrabble. you’re looking for missing parts. I started to awaken to the ideas he was presenting to me. Then he asked me to group the rest of the photos. I was very eager to do that.

I felt for over 20 years that I was not doing things the right way. Both Paul’s put me on a course and it’s good but like a sailor on the sea of life, without the stars above, you’re lost. Your lost even tho you are going someplace. It’s how I felt until this moment. I felt then that the stars were guiding me. They were my stars and like beacons that shined bright to my heart. By becoming fully aware of the variables that were my images, I was liberated and had a sense of well being. I met with Jeff a number of times and then time passed and so did our friendship. The lessons learned are the lessons one needs to pass on.

I’m publishing this short of finished because I need to see WP is being nice. If it is, in a few days I will continue rambling.

For everyone’s info and safety, this post was written wearing an N95 mask.

Covid-19 … Vintage Work

M4 35mm Cron                                                                                            Phila  1975

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

M4 35mmCron                                                                                         Phila 1976

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

Khalid NYC  M6 35mm Cron                                                                        1986?

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

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

M6  35mm  Cron                                                              17th & Chestnut  1987

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

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

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

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

M4 35mm Cron                                                                                                        1988

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Viewers vary with knowledge.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Grass Is Always Greener … Covid-19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.