Category Archives: Inspired Eye

June 2nd, 2018 … Legend of the Girl Child Linda … Cont’d

…. I’m tired and burnt out. Lack of sleep again and the nightmares that have haunted my time to rest for decades, taking it’s toll. It’s Memorial Day and I need to get down to the Korean War Memorial and the Vietnam War Memorial.  Hey, don’t even think about me being a one day a year advocate or supporter. I live this every single moment of my life. The POW/MIA issue is first and foremost on my agenda of living. So, don’t even think I’m a one day a memory guy.

…chuga chuga chuga, the RT67 is pulling up and exactly on time.  I get on the bus and swipe my Drivers License and the fair is paid. Bus is not full cause people are celebrating the  holiday.  I get ready to sit and I hear a voice call to me…”Don, back here”…..I turn to look and low and behold, it’s the Girl Child Linda. She’s sitting in the very back of the bus. So, I smile and slowly walk to her with the Frank Sinatra strut. Nah, kidding, more John Wayne… giggles.

I sit next to her and we greet each other and immediately, any ice is melted.  Linda sees my camera around my neck and ask me what it is. I reply, it’s the Olympus Pen-F with the 12mm sees 24mm. She looks at it and I hand Garry the Oly Pen-F to her. First thing she says is, oh my, it’s so small and light. She ask me if it’s named after Garry Winogrand. I smile and say, no way, it’s naed after Garry the fish guy at the fish store. He can can gut and clean a weakie in 11 seconds. I figure any man that can do that deserves to have my camera named after him.  11 seconds, he’s won every fish gutting competition world wide for at least 6 weeks. I’m smiling, see I love when someone just takes the bait and goes for it.

 

Linda shoves her shoulder against my side. I said, Winogrand for sure. So, I show her some things about the camera and her eyes are glistening. She loves the EVF and the tilt screen. The art filter knob kinda went over the top. So she starts looking thru the finder and ust grabs her vith the FOV and DOF. I put the 25mm 1.8 on and she sees that and now it’s all over. She ask me if it’s a good camera. I replied, ya know how ya buy a camera and fall in love and then sell it cause another camera gets your heart? She smiles, yes. Well, this is my 3rd copy of this camera. So, her iPhone goes to work and she gets to B&H and orders the camera, and some lenses and a battery. 2 minutes and she says, I’ll have it all on Wednesday.  Will you help me get it set up and running? Sure.

Linda ask me where I’m heading and I tell her the Memorials. She smiles and ask if she can accompany me. Sure. She says she’s going to see her Grandfather’s name on the wall. I know too many people on the wall but I go because it’s hallowed ground for me. There will be many there and all kinds of ceremonies. She ask if I take pictures there and I reply, not really. I bring my camera here in case of some fight or vandalism etc. Then I make photos. She looks at me as if she understands and respect my feelings.

We now are exiting the bus and boarding the train. We grab a seat and I tell her to sit by the window.   I hand her Garry the Olympus Pen-F and she starts looking thru him and I can sense excitement. She starts flippin’ thru the menu and tells me that this camera has so many options. Options, is that what you call it? I call it, Points of Confusion but your right, it has many options.

Linda ask me a question, why do you always call your photography, work? I tell her, it’s my life’s work and always was and will be. It’s not your life’s joy? If it’s always work, what do you do for the joy of it all? I can’t answer this so quickly because I need to reflect on it all. I need to formulate an answer that will be truth and at the moment and many moments in the past, maybe i don’t see or even know the truth anymore. Perhaps she has triggered a key element in my stance and essence of it all.

Finally we get to the Memorail and we walk to the names on the wall. I know many but interested in seeing the one that means the most to her. She walks to the name of her Grandfather and puts her hand on it and moves closer and kisses it. Many cameras are clicking away. Mine is still and just holding everything in reverance.  ….a tap on my shoulder, a voice speaks, Don, good too see you brother. It’s an old friend, Rob. You gonna introduce me to your daughter? Immediately Linda, with some tears in her eyes says, oh, we are just close friends. Rob smiles and then hugs me and then Linda and salutes and say’s he’ll call me later.

Linda takes my hand and then I say, let’s go. She ask why I didn’t make any photos and I told her I don’t need to. This place for me is a Center Point of Sorrow and Loss. Not from the people that visit and not for the people whose names are on the wall. It’s a constant reminder that the Gov’t and people of the country not only have forgotten the soldiers, lost and POW/MIA and those on the walls all over the country, not forgotten but disregarded.

So she’s smart enough to switch the subject and she ask me, again about my difference between work and joy.

The answer to her question is in my next post and hopefully no later than Monday, perhaps sooner.

Be blessed all and I have started the next post… have a blessed weekend …………. shooter out…..

 

April 8th, 2018 … The Myth of Cameras and Other Things

Many say that any good shooter can get a great photo with any came

ra. That is the absolute truth. It’s also not the only truth. There are other truths to uncover and reasons for those truths.

As photographers, we need to have an underestanding of what our camera is. I name my cameras because I can and because I see a shrink on a regular basis. The idea for me is that the name of my camera is a metaphor for my entire process of photography. But what role does the camera really play?

The camera is a translator of light. I will not get into the controls as we all know and use them. The camera has another purpose and that is to inspire. As a translator, the camera brings to the sensor, the light from the scene. But is that all? What about emotional impact, how about the esthetic or even the graphical content? Can and does the camera capture those elements and more? How exactly does that even happen? I gotta tellyaalls, all my life I have sought and found questions. I love questions but I don’t really seek answers. Let’s assume that life is a journey of self discovery. So, while you will find many questions and should take them on one at a time. That allows us to find and process more than one answer to any given question.

I actually don’t want a real answer to anything, except what time dinner is. The question is important and the journey to find an answer is life and the answer, while it may annswer the question, it can’t ever be complete.

So, hopefully you follow me here and see what it means to photography and to your time above ground. I take Mom the Ricoh GRII out and I am intoxicated. I am in a zone that happens on first touch with the camera and actually last for a looooong time.  It makes myhand float like some kinda vessel and I just watch the screen as we make the frame. Snap focus and that’s it. It’s all about seeing and feeling.

The Fuji X-Pro2 is named Walker after Walker Evans.  The camera has a very professional feel to it. Really, it’s an amazing camera cause even in the rain or snow, it does what ya want a camera to do in adverse conditions as well as good conditions.  It’s nice to have interchangeable lenses. I use the EVF mostly.  Just let me get the meat going….. just a min, trust me, I’m not lost.

The Leica M240. Gotta tell ya, I have used Leica’s  the better part of 48 years. That doesn’t make it right, it just means a long time running. I’m not even gonna push the Leica or any other camera. You have your own and good.

Ok, we have the pc and the software that takes care of the processing. It’s basically a constant.  We have the scenes out there that we work and it’s a inconsistant constant.  I was told by some mentors and Isee now that many people teach, see something as if it was the first time your seeing it. Well, it doesn’t mean work a street corner and next time jump from a roof so you can see it for the first time the next time. I have tried this many times and failed. My uncle Birney told me many years ago, that it means you have a poisened mind. So, I call that exercise bullcrap. It’s impossible or is it? Well, not totally either way.

So, there always is a common denominator in life but that’s not always what we need. Sometimes we need to cut the edge with a new way of thinking. So, if we have the pc and processing running and we have our streets (anything you call subject)….working, how do we change our way of thinking and seeing?

Enter the camera. If you let your camera be your friend instead of a tool, you will find that your synergysm with your camera, will start to awaken the interior thoughts and feelings that you can find out there and get into your photos. some of the shooters I mentor insist that the camera is a tool and that they command it’s use.  It makes me sad when I come across someone that thinks this way. I mean, it’s like there’s no attachment and kinda feeling like the master of their universe. So sad. I often wonder how they are with people and family.

Then there are those that come and start off feeling like the master of their world and after some time and some chatting, things start to change. Usually a slow process but what’s interesting….we share photos on Saturday Breakfast, and I can see the progression in the work as they become more human with a camera. There is a definite visual progression that becomes obvious to all. On the other hand, my friends that insist on having a tool as a camera, usually but not always, the work is at a stagnant point. That’s why we meet anyway so it’s ok.

I think for most humans, not politicians or lawyers etc, the compass should be our guide. So, as you walk the streets with your camera, and seek your photos, your camera is the conector between you and your lifes work and your images. It’s this way for everyone, like it or believe it or not. If this is truth and it is Gospel as photopgraphers should believe, how is it possible to disrespect photography and Mother Light by having your camera be a tool? Oh my, how can one disrespect themselves that way? Look, I’m old enough to realize that there are many ways to approach things. That’s not the issue. The issue is, that I express myself and hang my um…. on the wall. You may or may not agree but you know where I stand. When I was younger and totally engrossed with photography, I loved it all, every single part.’ I don’t love it anymore, I LIVE it.

I go out to shoot almost daily. I walk my miles and make photos, not many but enoough to keep me above ground. I am connected and my camera helps me feel at one. I get home and shelf the camera and I start to feel lost. I start almost immediately missing my work and my life.

Be Blessed everyone and I hope you find the light to make you excited and maybe name your camera.

Namaste

November16th, 2017 … A Casual Walk With My Intent … or Gone Fishing

Like any serious photographer, I have my moments of discontent. What I mean is that the photos I’m making are ok for me to continue but not the celebrated ones we hope will shine. I wrote about this a few post back. Flashback to around 1973.

I’m sitting on the bank of a creek and fishing with Bill, my father in law and Bob his brother and my 2 brother in laws Dan & Billy. I have all the good stuff. Fenwick ultra lite rod, Penn reel and all the lures and things to make Opening Day of Trout Fishing a great experience. I had my Leica M4 and 35mm Cron in my vest pocket. I will not talk about the financial investment in this undertaking. We are fishing our own styles and I caught a few small ones and put them back in the water.  I said to Bob, what the hecks going on? All these people fishing and not many fish being caught. Bob was laid back against a tree stump like it was an expensive leather chair.

Donald, he said, 90% of the fish are caught by 10% of the fisherman. 10% of the fish are caught by 90% of the fisherman. I almost stopped breathing. I had an epihany, and it proved Bob right. Oh my I thought. Why am I doing this? Bob said, Donald….I come out here to relax. I love the fresh air, the water all the nuts like you trying to catch fish.  I said your fishing. He reeled his line in and there was just a sinker, no hook, no bait. He’s calling me nuts right.

Bob said. look, it’s very relaxing right now. No kids, no wife, no work just you bugging me, he smiled. I asked him, why no hook or anything? Donald, if I have a hook, then I need bait. Then the hook gets snagged on something so I need to start over. What happens if I catch a fish? I gotta deal with that and …it’s good fishing but it damn sure ain’t relaxing.

Making photos for me is like fishing. I love to catch the big fish but I won’t rule out the ones that are not keepers. I LIVE photography. I love every single aspect of it. If I was to just go for those great shots, what about the energy that goes into that. I mean if you picked up your camera and every time made your masterpiece, well, they wouldn’t be. The inverse square law dictates that in order to survive as a photographer, you need to take the good with the bad and love all equallly.

The ones you feel are not keepers, if you don’t love them you will not learn from them and probably not find the great shots you are capable of. Not every shot is a benchmarm, nor do they need to be. I go out on the streets and I am relaxed. I’m breathing, listening, seeing and processing in my heart abd mind photos I seek to find. You can do things the way you want but trust me, if you slack off because your not getting the work you rhink you want or need, you better open your eye, heart and mind cause your making a mistake.

I’m not saying to get complacent, just saying there’s a lot of fish in the waters. For me, I;m very relaxed and content just being alive with my camera.

….shooter out………………..

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.

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

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