Category Archives: Inspired Eye

October 15th, 2017… A Photography Lesson From Vietnam …The Divide

….and the sweat running down me, all over me was like a river of tears. It’s 115F and not the heat of the day. LT Biggie says to me, Jingles, you gotta get outta here, your evidence that we all existed.” He meant that because I made photos of everything and everyone. I was kinda like in auto mode. Me, not the camera. I have bugs all over me, I think there’s a leach making love to my back, not sure. I guess it’s like anything else in life, if ya can’t see it, maybe it don’t exist. My M-16 is against me as I sit under a tree, trying desperately to cool off. The Leica M4 is in my hand and catching some rays to keep him dry. The sun dries out the moisture. I wanna close my eyes and sleep till I’m 60. Charlie has other plans cause he wants us all to sleep forever. Not an issue cause we all want that for him.

I smell the weed all over in the air. Some of the guys are as stoned as it gets. Many others are drinking whiskey, any kinda booze. No matter, it’s all the same. Try to escape the reality we are cast in and believe we will never escape. We are brothers of a different kind until the shit hits the fan, then we are all the same, all on the same side, all doing the same things, fighting for each other.

Jock comes over and sits next to me. He takes my camera and rewinds the film but not all the way. Takes the film out and hands it to me, says 11. Then he does his inspection to check things. Put it on 1/15 sec and listens to that lovely sound of the ball bearing. Closes his eyes and brings the camera to his nose and slowly breathes in the scent. Moves the camera a little around and looks in the cavity, blows gently. Then he takes a sewing needle from his bag and gets a small hair against the pressure plate. He ask for the film and says “number”….I said 11. He winds the film to frame 12 and hands me my camera.

 

I had never seen a man make love with a camera and I learned what it meant and I still do that periodically. I name my cameras. We sit back a little and he hands me a cig. I lite up and draw deep into my lungs. Maybe I would be lucky and my heart would explode but it doesn’t. I just cough like the idiot I am. Jock is making photos of the troops, many drinking and many smoking weed. I like watching him work cause I learn about being a human with a camera. I’m a grunt with a camera and not a human. That’s what Congress and the politicians tell us. Your grunts, do your job.

If I knew then what I know now. I’d like to have 2 players from every NFL team there with us. See, them guys are strong so they could help pull the bodies of my friends  to the chopper. And they got good eyes looking for the ball so they should be able to find the legs and arms that got blown off easier then us. Many of them like to sexually abuse woman. Wonder if they would find those woman that lost legs and arms and the desire to live sexy and nice. I do but I’m just a grunt, not a human.

Maybe I’m too hard on the guys. Perhaps they could just all get Harley’s and call the Warriors Watch Riders and learn to respect the troops and first responders. WWR members would teach the manners and respect.

…..brain is on vacation but my mind goes back to Nam and sitting there with the troops and Jock. Jock snaps the shutter and looks at me and says…The Divide. I look at him and say, WTF is The Divide. Jock says, for the rest of your time on the planet, you will live and make photos of the Divide. He explained that the drinkers and the potheads are on either side of the divide. Same for Charlie and for US, the divide. Everything and everyone is on the edge of the divide. Politicians, The Law everything. I sat back and took a sally joint from Bro Hentz. A few good hits and I understood.

As it turns out, Jock was and is correct. See, think about juxtaposition….. divide. Contrasting elements, divide. Maybe if we look at things as a division, we may see the right side of it, or the left side of it. Perhaps, maybe just maybe the interesting part is not whats seen on either side, but what lives in the middle of the divide.

Go get you camera and find out, I’ll do the same and meet you here in a few days.

September 22nd, 2017 … More About The Anatomy of the Creative Block

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So we get the idea about how the brain makes preconceptions and I suppose forces us to live by them. Thin of it as like Presets for Light Room. Your working and then something tells you to click a preset. See, using presets is a safe way to achieve a desired starting point for the photo. The brain make presets too and when you work, the presets from the brain kinda guide your work. If after a period of time goes by and you are letting the brain use presets, what will happen is you will feel that you aren’t seeing anything interesting and if you do, it’s boring because for some reason, it just seems like canned laughter. This is a true situation that most of us will have to deal with. Ok, what we need to do is first recognize that we have a brain that’s working. Hey don’t laugh. I see countless people working and doing things and their brain is not working. Don’t believe me? Just look at Washington DC and Congress to start. ….and they get paid the big bucks and benefits.

Ya know how like a title detracts from the photo for the viewer. A descriptive title like, man on beach creates a preconception for the viewers brain and the first thing the viewer does, is looks for the man on the beach. There probably are other  elements in the photo and maybe the viewer will discover some but at this point, it’s a battle of eye travel. Well, that’s what the brain does.

So, we are out shooting and feeling a creative block. This is a scary time and there are a few ways to get past it. The problem is that there is no set time for a creative block to start and worse, stop. Seems to me thru the decades, I have been in a block many times. I talked with writers, painters, photographers and never really got the perfect solution to find my way out of the woods. There’s no set formula for dissolving the block. See, if your in a creative block, your going to have to fight the brain and it’s a hard fight.

The brain likes a creative block because it’s comfy and no challenges are happening. That there is our solution. What I find to work in a matter of fashion, is to challenge the brain. Make the preconceptions and presets get nervous and for the brain to work again. This may not be pretty but is necessary. Some say if you do street, then go do portraits as an example. There’s a problem with that. What needs to happen is to retrain the brain of what it already knows but teach it to think again. We need to teach the brain to think about what it knows but to seek a different result. If the brain keeps doing the same things over and over but thinks it’s gonna find a different result, I’m told by my shrink that is insanity. So, how to et the brain to rethink what it knows and allow something new to be borne?

There is another entity that we have and this entity has a symbiotic relationship with the brain.

I will tell about this next post over the weekend. For now, I am going on autopilot and letting my brain take a few vacation days.

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September 16th, 2017 … The Anatomy of The Creative Block … The Struggle To Continue

Here’s something I deal with. It is said to look at something as if your seeing it for the first time. On the other hand, I always practiced….look at something as if your seeing it for the last time. Both ways are correct and wrong at the same time. Each of these trains of thought creates an approach to your work. In the land of preconceptions, these are two of the biggest demons to get past.

Preconceptions are tools for the brain. What happens if your working and after a while, you feel that you are bored, not satisfied etc. Well, what’s happening is…you brain is setting up judgements about what you do. Then it passes judgement and this directs your energy to continue. Good or bad.

Here’s where your creative block gets born. You go to work and make photos and you feel pleased because just the act of making photos is satisfying. Then you look at the collection of photos and this sick feeling gets in your gut like…. I lost it. I don’t see anything to make photos of. It’s not exactly true but it’s not exactly wrong either.

What is a creative block? It’s exactly what I said it is. It’s the battle of preconceptions in the Brain. It’s because the photos are judged by the preconceptions the brain has established as truths. Of course many photos pass the judging stage and is allowed to satisfy the operating systems. Those accepted photos are fuel for the continuing journey. We deal with them later. The sad photos pile up and create hurt feelings, doubt, anguish, anger etc. The brain looks at the failed photos and stifles growth, work, love etc.

We are creatures of habit. So if we continue to do something, right or wrong, in time it’s accepted because it becomes a habit. The brain forces us to work to it’s preconceived habits. So if we make photos that are technically good, framed good and everything looks right…..except…..

There is a spark of magic or life not present. We are kinda put off and think we lost the edge. I mean it’s all there, eye, heart and mind and intent but no life. The brain in all it’s habitual glory gets satisfied because most preconceptions are met to achieve satisfaction. Yet, there exist a yearning for more. Something that reaches into our depths and drags the eye, heart, mind and intent to try to be more alive.

I’m sure that all of us can look at our photos and ask ourselves, “what is missing”? On the other hand, we may ask…”why is this so wonderful”?  Now to the real issue. The what is missing and the what is wonderful is not easy to recognize. Perhaps we never get to see it at all. We just know when something is right or something is wrong. We understand this because our brain sends info to us and we are satisfied and trust our brain.

This is where our problems are born. We go to work and walk around looking for photos and feel kinda content but apprehensive because we are nervous that we lost the edge. You didn’t lose the edge. The brain is just keeping everything in check so that you don’t get too happy or too upset about what your doing. It’s called Brain Complacency Illness. Here’s where we need to step up the energy and move forward with our heart guiding us.

To be cont’d…………… don’t worry, I’ll be back before ya know it…………..

September 13th, 2017 … The Unseen Seen Scene or, The Struggle To Continue

One question that comes up a lot and I hate to answer it but I do anyway. How do I tackle complacency and the obvious overstated, overseen, overworked, over-walked? It’s a question I answer but it goes into my gut to get it. This is also something every shooter will experience. There are countless ways to get past it but we should each try to understand our own block. For me and I’m not sure it’s a block, it’s hitting the streets and being in the same general area for ummmm decades. I love walking and usually do about 5 or so miles an outing. Sometimes I change cameras or lenses or both. I find that just changing  a camera or lens will make me see the obvious in a different manner. I respond different. Maybe the subject matter is very similar but seeing and thinking about it will create a new outlook or experience.

The Changing Here and now

So, if it’s true that we live in the here and now and we do. Photographers are blessed with the ability to appreciate the here and now and to make a photo in and of it.  The problem is that the here and now seems to have a sense of humor sometimes. I mean we are in the here and now and there ain’t nothing happening. I mean sometimes I’m  groovin and walking and hearing the horns honk and the dudes on the corner cursing, buses moving, homeless people begging for a bite to eat, (most know me and know I’ll give them something cause I want to)… all kinds of life going on and man, I mean to tellya, I’m in the here and now and it’s happening. We are all just living and doing what we do. I have my camera in my hand or on a strap. ( I can’t emphasize how much the ACAM 25 has changed my life. Ray Sachs showed me a few years ago and it’s the best thing going. I can wear my M on the strap cross shoulder and go all day, no aches.)

Then, all the sudden a cold shiver comes across me. I realize that I’m on the corner of 13th & Market and I know how much spit is on the street. I know about everything there is for a shooter to know at 13th & market. I been here making photos since 1971. Not like a few times a year either. I mean I been here a gazillion times. Then I pool around at all the familiar sites, all the people I see walking around.

Then a feeling of warmth overcomes me. I feel like I am where I know and where I belong. I don’t really fall prey to the “I need a new place to work syndrome”. Here I am and been here for decades and I feel stimulated. I mean I am looking for photos. Photos are looking for me that want to get borne. I gotta tellya…of course I get tired of seeing the same things and places day after day. Then what happens is, Mother light sends a photo fairy to me and says…”Look stupid, great shot”. Of course I make the photo because a photo fairy can help you find a photo but they aren’t allowed to make it. Maybe I am a romantic. Maybe I believe in magic and the love of life and photography. What does this have to do with a dry spell or creative block….?

It has to do with INTENT. If you focus on your intent then no matter how much stuff clutters it or how mush negative energy surrounds you, you maintain CLARITY of INTENT. We always have the issue of getting lost in the here and now. We get sidetracked and kinda feel alone and useless. We lose interest because we can’t find stimulation and energy to uplift our souls and feed our intent.

We all go through this. Everyone suffers the cloudy love of intent. The masters you see in books and museums went thru this. The bloggers on the net go thru this. All the shooters all over the world have or will have the struggle to continue. It is not a disease, not an affliction that can’t be over come.

 

c’mon, ya ain’t getting everything in one post. Ya know what Arnold said….”I’ll be back”…..

September 4th, 2017 … One Shot per Shoot … Rekindled

Ya’all know I’m a normal guy. Seriously, my shrink tells me that, well not 3 or 4 times a week but maybe like once a month sometimes maybe. See, I got this issue with always taxing myself. Not like the IRS taxing but the kind that makes my brain hurted and then go on vacation …. but I’m used to this and it’s not normal or anything to think about. It’s just my way of keeping the inspiration going. Go on, laff… have a good chuckle. Yeah, yeah, old shooter is going off again. Youin’s be right. Ok, see we can all go out and shoot many photos in the course of an outing. I call these outings, shoots. Comes from my daze when I did some of this for money.

The thing is, without discipline, we don’t tax ourselves and maybe we even stifle ourselves. Not good and what’s worse, is that it happens and we don’t know it is or did happen. Here’s an observation. There’s a principle in photography called, The Inverse Square Law. This states that Less is More and More is Less. so if we apply this to making photos, we could see it as, making a lot of photos on a shoot,  probably gives less satisfaction or…. the shot that makes you breathe. Well, my brain couldn’t think this way, here’s why. If that’s the case that more is less, then less is more… wait, wait. So, I see it as, if I shoot less, maybe I get more satisfaction and possibly the shot that makes me breathe.

I started to think about this cause I wanted a conclusion I could not only live with, but to apply and  teach. Obviously going out and burning many exposures in hopes of a good frame is not a brilliant but very popular method of operation. Same token says, I could just shoot less and try for that shot that makes me breathe, ya know the shot that is more than anything you anticipated.

Hmmm I thought. If this Mr Inverse guy made this Square Law and we have to live by it, maybe there’s something I need to uncover. See, here it is. If your out there burning many exposures and hoping to catch the magic frame, there’s a good chance your INTENT is confused. On the other hand, if your out there looking for just one shot per shoot, well…seems to reason your INTENT is more focused. What happens with the later method is….you develop a sense of timing, framing, selection, and being in the here and now without confusing yourself. You get to feel, think, see, breathe your frame. I’m not saying to go out and just make one exposure. I have done that for years with my 8 X10 Deardorff. I am saying that by slowing down and being alert and tuned into everything, you get a ZEN sense of the moment. Instead of going out and machine gunning with you camera  hoping to catch something, you go and just try to catch just one. If you know you got it, go back and process it and start over next cycle. Do not succumb to the fascination of making many exposures.

Remember, all the gear and stuff you acquire and use is for one single purpose….to make a photo that when you view it….makes you feel that you made a part of the portrait of you and your life. So, maybe just focus on a single frame for each shoot. This will allow your eye, heart and mind to work together with your camera and help you on your journey.

Be blessed my friends and even in this time of mass fear thru the world, stay focused on yourself and your loved ones.

seeya soon………shooter out…………………………………………..

 

June 18th, 2017 … Father’s Day … Some Observations … Pen-F

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Happy Father’s Day.  I’m an observer. Not just a photography observer but a life observer. What I notice and find most interesting is the search for identity. It seems to that everyone struggles with identity. Brands are all over everyone and everyplace. Racial identity, gender, religious, education, city, state, country, camera, lens…. the list goes on and on. We form groups of like minded people so our search for identity is not a lonely one.

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So as photographers, what are we really searching for and how do we know if we find it? Let me say this: I don’t have an identity issue. I know who I am and the others inside my head know me also. So there!

Lets cut the search to bare bones. We all have cameras, lenses, dark rooms, computers etc. We all fit in our gear and lives neatly and perfectly. We have our vision, our stance and everything we as individuals deem necessary to travel our quest. Nice feeling. Nice to be equipped with stuff and more importantly, emotionally stable.

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So what in our inventory is missing or worse, there but quiet? What do we have to hold stock of our life and our struggle to find our selves?  What is it that we produce, protect, promote?  Perhaps, maybe just maybe our photographs. Is it even possible that an image we produce has the ability to justify all that we are or hope to be? Is it possible that our images are or could be the catylist for conversation, criticism or self exploration and even self discovery? Well, believe this, it’s totally true. Your identity is visible in your images.

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Think about this. No 2 photos can ever be the same. Don’t get cute and think about copies. “No eyes ever will nor ever shall see what I see now”. MBW

So then if we are lost in a world that swallows up our identity, it is the simple fact that our photos are our identity. They are the artifacts and DNA of us as individuals. They are the evidence that we are alive and here and working. So, if it’s just this photograph that is a record of our individual existence, maybe we need to take it more serious than we do. Well, I don’t know about youse but for me, it’s over 50 years as a photographer and my awareness of myself, makes me happy. It’s time to stand tall if you can and be proud and happy with the life you live and the work you produce.

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We need to understand that whatever our work does, it represents our existence. If it is a truth and it is that Margaret Bourke White, (I pretty sure this is hers….) “No eyes ever will nor ever shall see what I see now”, then that means that your work is unique and you should be proud of it. You also may feel the need at times to defend it but I wouldn’t. I don’t think anyone serious about photography would give bad words and thoughts to another’s work. The ones the do are obviously lost in the world of confused identity and that is the reason they do such horrible things. Those that love photography must and should bear in mind that when they see your work, they see you.

The only bad photos are the ones that don’t get made………

Peace and be blessed all…………………………………………..

June 2nd, 2017 … a Matter of Perspective … True Confession … Fuji X-Pro2

Ok, first off I will explain that I do things in a semi deliberate manner. That also means that I do things in a semi un-deliberate manner.

Flashback to 1970. I have my M-4 with a 35mm Cron on it. My M-16 at the ready. WE are going thru a small village near Chu Lai and I’m snapping away making photos. There’s some press corp guys with us cause they wanna see where theB52’s dropped their load and how close it was to the village. Click, click….yup, I’m working. Jock is about 25′ away from me. Jock is a tall guy thin stature and from OZ. OZ = Australia. He works for the Press Corp for France and OZ. We became friends and I looked forward to him being around because it gave me the illusion that I might survive this shit hole.

Jock comes over to me and  says “Jingles, why don’t you use your 50mm more?” Eureka! I replied that I wasn’t comfortable with the compression and the crop of the frame. I wanted to portray the scene the best I could and a 35mm was perfect. … it dawned on me at that moment that I should try the 50mm and be serious with it. With all the film I shot over there, I don’t think I used 2 rolls with the 50mm. It just didn’t click with me.

Inside me, I had this nagging feeling that Jock was implanting in me to use the 50mm. Flash forward to the mid 70’s and I shooting the street with my 35mm Cron and of course my trusty 50mm Cron in the waste pack. it’s been years since Jock mentioned the 50mm to me. I still have that nagging feeling that I need to get the 50mm and use it.

Yeah sure, sometimes I’d use the 50mm just to do it and prove to myself I can. Then another year would pass and I’d have it with me but not use it. If I did use it, I didn’t have a sense of being with it.

So, the issue for me is to adapt my aspect and frame to the 50mm FOV. Let’s get something straight from the get go. PERSPECTIVE.  There are 2 perspectives that we deal with in photography. The first is, stance. Where you stand sets your perspective….but really the position of the camer is setting perspective. Set your camera on a tripod and then move all around but leave the camera where it is and the perspective changes for you but not the camera. When the camera moves, the perspective changes. If you hold your stance and then change the lens on the camera, the perspective stays the same but the Field of View changes. If you change aspect ratio, perspective stays the same.

So, the reason for me to wrestle with the 50mm is not perspective but the FOV crop. I guess most take it for granted that just changing lenses is an easy thing and requires not much thought or practice. Lucky for them, for me it’s like a new set of eyes and a new way to think. It challenges me to see the world thru different eyes and to think and work differently all the while protecting my 35mm FOV.

So I’ve had many cameras and many lenses that wore the 50mm crop. I was not comfy with any of them until the Fuji X-Pro2. When my lady friends gave me the camera and the 35mm = 50mm lens, they knew what they were doing. They knew I would love working with the camera and they also knew that at last, I’d be able to use the long lost love, 50mm FOV.

So, it seems that it took decades for me to find mt stance with this lens and I did. I have to telly youse that for me, the Fuji X-Pro2 is the finest camera I could ever with to work with.

Whenever I get a brain fart, I can always use the Fuji X100F.

seeyas after the weekend my friends…… peace

May 21st, 2017 …The Hot Sauce of Photography

Hot sauce is a great metaphor for your individual photography. I mention this because it rekindles the emotional state that can over come us about intent and acceptance of our work. You can get all the cameras, lenses, pc’s, software etc but the final residue of emotional stance is in the photos.

Once you make the photos and then put them out there, well hot sauce starts to cook. Why Hot Sauce? Well, here’s my take on it. There are countless variations of Hot Sauce. Some are mild, some hot, some hotter and even some that require a stretch to the definition of the word HOT. Then we have many labels, sizes, colors scent etc. oh, don’t forget some are just hot and too hot to really taste and others have hot but a distinct flavor.

Then there are the users of the sauces and people vary in an undefinable number. So many variables. I suppose after spending time going thru what you like and don’t like, you choose what best suites you.  At that point it’s about taste and it becomes a personal taste and you have to support it regardless of what others feel about your sauces. Some will like your choice of sauces and others may not. You may even feel intimidated from some who claim to be very skilled and knowledgeable about sauces.

Believe me, there are those among us that are professional Hot Sauce appraisers. Some of these people can tell you the vintage of the Sauce. Some are gear oriented and can discuss the bottle, cap, label etc. The thing is that everyone has an opinion and many like to express it to others about others hot sauce. Of course usually they become defensive about their own sauce and maybe that’s why they go on the offensive, because it protects their sauce from open opinion and critique from others.

So, as I said in the start, Hot Sauce is a metaphor for photography. If you just think about the hot sauce metaphor and then apply it to your photography, maybe, just maybe, you can realize that your have your own bottle of sauce and like it or not, not all with like the look or flavor or aroma. You have to accept the fact that a photograph that you make and love is your hot sauce and has a right to be on it’s own.

Your life is a competition. Don’t believe it’s not. You are competing against yourself. No matter how you bet, it’s always against yourself. We will not survive the end of the competition. What does that mean? For me it means, I do my work because I have to. I would lose a reason to breathe without it. If I meet others that are as serious as me, don’t I have the responsibility to accept them and their work? No one should pass judgement upon another’s sauce.

What hurts me if I see someone with potential doing beautiful work, and that person gets criticism and then they sloe=w down or stop, that’s F***ed up stuff.

Do your thing and find your vision and don’t get sidetracked by the the so called negative energy users. You will never make too many photos and you’ll never have too much time to do it.

Enjoy your hot sauce my friends…….I’ll be around……peace

May 2nd, 2017 … On Vision … Seeing With the Fuji X-Pro2

There comes time that I have to take inventory of what and why I am doing what I am doing. It’s not about justifying gear or computers, software or any tangible items. It’s about Intent and the Fulfillment of Intent.  Believe me, it’s a heck of a lot easier to justify buying gear than it is to check your motivators and what drives them and the hunt for satisfaction. I mean, I could say, I need a new lens, save up the ducketts and get the lens. Case closed.  Yeah, I want the New Fujicanikonlei camera. Save up the money, (no ducketts for this camera)….get it and once again, case closed.

What comes to me in this thought train is….what is the common denominator? There is one and that’s what needs to be addressed. Perhaps Olivier was right when he wrote his piece on GAS, Gear Acquisition Syndrome. So, if gear is a deterrent for close evaluation of the work and the process, what is it hiding? What is the TRUTH that we all need but yet fear?  Why do we fear this TRUTH and why do we not address it?

When I was an ADMIN at Amin’s forum, M43.com, many many members would ask about gear in the open threads. It was and still is the most user friendly forum still in use. There would be many opinions raised and facts that sprang forth and all was settled because everyone had that in common, gear. Some knew that I had  a long history in photography and with galleries etc. So, sometimes I would get a message or email requesting a conversation about someones photos. I loved it and always responded quickly.

The point is, not that the questions were asked but…..the fact that they asked me in private and not in the open forum. I found that very interesting. It means that with gear etc, all can chime in and no feelings get hurt. Then when they wanted my opinions about their work, that became very personal and also very touchy. So we would do sessions in private.

I sought the common denominator above and truth of what that is. It’s vision and the judgement of such vision. Everything a photographer does or thinks about is about VISION and the PHOTOGRAPH. We can buy gear, read books, collect images, buy software and take workshops, go to universities and it all comes down to VISION and the IMAGE. Everything, every single thing you think about or manage to do can be used as a deterrent. It also can be used as a means to an end providing you stand in the face of your work, recognize that work, recognize that you are the maker and the one accountable for that work.

Keep in mind that there are many masters to compare to, many friends and many you don’t and never will know. There are photos plastered all over the world. Yours are just some in the mix. There are shooters that work and get paid high bucks, many that work hard and get little bucks. Many shooters are in it just to have something to do, many want the fame and sometimes fortune that may happen. There are those among us that want to use photography as a tool to meet people.

The motivators are to many to fathom. So, what we need to do i stop hiding from our work. Stop running from the fear of acceptance or rejection.

What matters not just in the end, that implies that the journey is over, but what matters is you standing with full accountability in front of the mirror of yourself and your work and say…..

I am the one who saw and made these photos. Good, bad or indifferent, I am proud to be accountable for this work and my life in photography. Regardless of what others think or say or feel, I will not be controlled or sidetracked by them.

I stand naked here with my photos and recognize the fact….hmmmm wait a sec. Don’t stand naked around and have your photos… I think I might understand but spouses and parents and siblings and mostly…. shrinks will never get it.

Be blessed my friends. Remember, what you do and think is in your photos. Find and make them interesting for YOU. The others may or may not get it but you need to.

 

 

April 19th 2017 … Thoughts and Findings … X100F & GRII

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Ya know that it’s not easy to work the same region all the time and find your photos in there and to do so consistently. This is something we all do everyday and not pay attention to it. What, you don’t think so, ok. Look we have the central processor in our head called the brain. That brain person stores the data from our past experiences and put’s it into some part called memories etc. The etc is called etc because the brain sorts things out and files things in different categories. When you pickup your camera, the signal goes to the brain and it starts to tell the heart and eyes to go to work. The heart pumps caffeine thru the system, it’s a network of many different parts of the body to complicated for mortal shooters to understand. So shooters don’t care how things work, just that they do.

I was about 10yo and my mom was in her bedroom. I went in to see her and she was kinda upset. See, she had great legs. No, not me that felt that but she told me that my dad loved great legs and he loved hers. He dies when i was about 6yo. Anyway mom showed me her veins on the back of her legs and she was upset. She had varicose veins and was really sad. Mom always told me things about my dad, I guess because I was the oldest and understood more.  Years later I was showing photos to Jeff K and he said I had a thing for legs, all legs. I never paid much attention to the road map of my work but he did and made me aware of it also. Jeff showed me some of his photos and I was really like in awe of some of them. He had one he made at the Museum of Michael Hoffman taking care of the elderly Paul Strand. It looked like Michael was caring for his father. I was touched and Jeff told me he felt the same way and then he spurted out …”Gambe’ Game”. He looked at me and smiled. He said, that’s the thing you do with legs. So the title of my leg photos was borne and I still use it today and will never change it. I have a trigger for legs, any ind shape, color whatever.

Thanks Jeff for recognizing my work and me. Mom, I miss you forever with a less then perfect heart that’s broken. Thank You.

Life passes us by quickly and we need to appreciate each and every breath. No, not ours but the ones we love and care for, we want and need them to continue breathing procedures.

Paul C was looking at my work back in the mid 70’s. We were very close then. Paul M was there also but he was not a close friend at all. He was my brother. Anyway, I had some prints of windows and mirrors etc and Paul C said, Don, you seek your self with your camera and these reflections are perfect. Hmm I thought, as Paul C looked at the photos I was too like I was looking at someone else’s work. I could detach back then but can’t now. I’m too old and too much in love both photography and life.

Paul M said , Don, your always reflecting yourself upon what your seeing. Hmm I thought. So a title for that part of my interest and work was born. “Reflecting Reflections.”

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I don’t know why I make photos like this. I think but not sure that it’s a reminder that not everyone comes from a golden castle or lives on Capital hill. There people in our lives that move us and then there are people in our lives that make us move.

….don’t take this personal Don but….WAIT A MINUTE! What does that mean? How do I take it if not personal? We are talking about my life and my work. (this is one of the few times I have placed life before my work). If I don’t work personally for me, then whom should I work for? Who are you working for and why? It’s not my business but if you look at my stuff, I’ll look at yours.

We all have taste buds that are sensitive to different things. The buds trigger what we like and respond to and what we don’t. What’s important is to recognize what your buds are tasting and to decide if you respond favorably or unfavorably. The important thing is to be faithful to your own buds and always let your internal systems, named…Eye, Heart and Mind do the work, then pick up your camera and work, or go process what you did. If you feel the photos is a reflection of you, good, if it feels that your reflecting you upon the photo, good just recognize the difference.

I have a set of taste buds that crave breakfast and my eye, heart and mind is projecting these thoughts and feelings upon my wife, Tanya to see what she conjures up.

Be blessed all and pray that we can find peace with each other……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..