Category Archives: Inspired Eye

Walker Evans In The Garden

If you know me at all, you know that I name my cameras. My White GRD4 is named Walker. It doesn’t matter if you know who Walker is, but nice if ya do.

Tanya, my wife..not a camera and I work hard in the garden. We plant bulbs and watch as the squirrels dig them up and eat them. We plant grass seed so that we get a nice thick furry covering of Kentucky Blue Grass just so I can hack it down with the mower and weed whacker. This also feed the birds.

I always make a rock garden so that I can pick up a rock and find a squiggly worm to hold in my hand and watch Tanya freak out. I get to order pizza for a few days after that episode. Tanya calls lettuce salad. I think the rabbits agree with her….I don’t really know because after 7 years, I’ve yet to taste the lettuce from the garden. The rabbits always smile at me whenever I walk by them.

There’s something about Russian Woman and Cucumbers. When I talk to Tanya’s sisters or mother, they always ask about cucumbers. Money in the bank means nothing if you don’t have cucumbers. That’s a good thing that we get lots and lots of cucumbers.

We adopted a cat so that the squirrels would be afraid to come to the yard. I look at Barsik as the Killer Cat that hates anything moving. The squirrels see Barsik as a friend and a guard for them as they eat the garden. I think the squirrels see the garden as a grocery store. It must be a co-op because they don’t pay or work for anything. Tanya said we are the welfare dept for the local animals.

I like the garden because I get to nurture the flowers with ever so gentle a hand. I water and put miracle grow so that the flowers grow tall with wonderful colors.

I do this so that I can cut them down, put them in a vase, bring them to the dining room table and as I watch them die, I get to use Walker to make photos of them.

04-13-0801

4/18’s pick

……….. thank’s doc….seeya in a month. Dr G…. is a good shrink. I guess I like him because he’s not threatening. Then again at the VA Hospital, one shouldn’t be. I finished Blood Draw, went to Primary…Dr J….then off to Pharmacy for Dr L then to Mental Health. That’s a funny thing to me. Mental Health?

Stopped to talk to a few Vets from my AO (Agent Orange) group…..then to see a troop from the sandbox that had  both legs blown off. He’s from someplace out mid west. It took me a month to get his wife to come to see him. It’s not an easy task and older vets like me try to lend support to our brothers. Jeff is feeling somewhat better, his wife will continue to stay married to him and try to work it out.

I leave the hospital and as I’m walking to the trolley, my head is still filled with all this reality and life. I need a draining, I need a fix.

I pull the GRD4 out of the pocket….jeans pocket that are tight on me but the camera fits…. hmmmm imagine that. I’m on the trolley and my brain is saturated with thoughts of all kinds of things. I need to escape this for a little bit.

The trolley is clacking along, (I love the sound of the train wheels on the tracks…ya know when the wheel hits the rail joint) ….that sound is sooo comforting to me. The Ricoh is at the ready, waiting patiently, never letting the screen go to sleep or drain battery power.  The trolley pulls into my stop and I walk down the crowded isle looking and feeling for a photo. I cup the camera in my hand because some of these people want to bang against it and maybe hurt the lens. Walker is protected. Come on now…..you do name your cameras don’t you…..

I’m on Auto ISO, Snap Focus at 1 meter and f/5.6. Other details in the exif file. As I’m walking into the dimly lit tunnel, I see the walls and ceiling separating into different quadrants…… even the light is changing but not the same on each side…..I felt like I was seeing inside my mind and was at the hospital and then this beautiful woman walked in front om me….CLICK!

 

04-13-0731

it ain’t the Camera…it’s the Eye, Heart and Mind.

04-13-0543

 

I was on Market Street again….Yeah, after 45 years I ain’t tired of  it either. Anyway….the light is that early Spring light with a harshness yet a warmth in the shadows. It’s like walking around with Kodachrome in your eyes. I was using my favorite camera, the Ricoh GRD4. I’m on Snap mode at f/5.6….. 1/2 meter to Karen in Scotland is in focus. I made several photos in 45 minutes and that surprised me a lot. I felt energized. I felt at one with the world, well not all of it but the part I could hear and see and that’s enough for any shooter. I can’t hear Tanya yelling so I know I’m at the right distance from home…….

I see this woman standing against a wall. I immediately think about a few things. I think that Pete would like this scene cause she’s a smoker…hey…hey….smoking a ciggie….ok.  I recognized in my brain, not the mind that this had a familiar feel to it. I’m still in this Dream mode and life with or without the camera is wobbling in and out of my mind.

I remember just a day or two ago that I made a very similar shot. Now I’m getting excited. The finger is starting to dance on the release. Ricoh knows that the finger is the important part of photography and cameras. That’s why they make it so big and so sexi.

My feet start to move towards the image. My eye is now totally focused on the woman and framing the image before my feet get me there. I see it forming, I smell the smoke of the Marlboro. I quit 1 1/2 years ago and still love the smell of a good hot smoke…..

As I move in closer my body goes into shooting mode. That means that my body language is totally non aggressive in appearance.

She doesn’t see me. I start to get closer and frame for the shot…..as I approach, she looks at me and I slow my pace so that she just thinks I’m nothing in her reality…….then her head lifts ever so slightly…..Her legs move into a secure position and her head again lowers…..I see the light starting to grow on the upper right and the shapes remind me of smoke…..

Then I get to where my Eye….Heart and Mind say…….CLICK

 

04-13-0428

 

This is the photo that was made just a short time before the above.

For Wouter Brandsma & Jorge Ledesma also for the Ricoh GRD5

So I’m in the middle of the interviews for Issue 2 of   The Inspired Eye  Magazine. I’m gonna have to drop a few names here because they get me to thinking about stuff. Nah, it’s not like I need inspiration or ideas or even trouble. I certainly dang sure don’t need any GAS.

Anyway, Wouter and I are going back & forth with interview emails about photography, not photography etc. Whoa…..hold yer horses now. I got Pete Tachauer, Christophe Debon and Paul McGuirk all working on the interviews. The reason I mention the 2 culprits above is that….

I’m working the street…hey…hey…making photos ok. Sheeeesh…. I get an email and I figure I could use a break. I sit down on a bench in front of the Liberty Bell. I pull the ole’ antique iPhone 4 out and open the mail program.

Now let’s get something straight right off the bat. I love the EP-3 and the lenses I have for them. Yup, I gotz 2 Pens. So I got the Silver Pen….Walker with me and he’s sportin’ the 17mm 1.8. Now I ain’t one to question things when they start to working just righty fine. There’s enough to do when the stuff hits the fan…….. The email shooter, what’s in the email? ok…ok…sorry..brain fart.

So there on my phone screen is this post from that Jorge Ledesma fella. Now I like Jorge and his blog. I read it because he bust his hump making it entertaining for his readers. Today he made the ultimate post for dreams of the new future. See, he posted a video about the new GRD5. Well, I damn near had a hissey fit when I watched the video. Nah, the first 5 times I just watched but that 6th time…that was it. I was figuring it’s a fake, again. So I forward the email to Wouter and he confirmed that it was a real camera and that the video was in fact true.  Now until we get the camera in our hands…it’s a dream but this dream, if it comes true…dang, I’ll sell my M43 stuff again.

The reason being is that the GRD4 is about as good a camera as any camera could hope to be…..the GRD5 will move to a whole new level.

04-13-0515

I ran home to my garden and made this real quick with the GRD4 but…this is exactly what I envisioned the image to be.

 

Thanks Jorge…..Thanks Wouter, see ya on the emails shortly….Thanks Ricoh….Sorry Olympus….

shooter out…………………………………………………………………..

Saturday Morning Dreams

04-13-0407

 

The question has been put forth to me many times as to why I make photos like this. My answer is because I can. If anyone, yeah even you looked thru my archive, you’d see that this is not a new venture for me. I used Infrared film in my M’s for years. I got these really cool tones and contrast things happening. I did everything photographically for about 3 years with this film. Then one day I said to myself….Self, we have to wait for LightRoom to be invented so we can make what we see and feel. That was 37 years ago but worth the wait.

 

04-13-0428The Grim Reaper…..?

The cool thing about photography is that each shooter has the capability to realize his/her own vision. Sometimes it takes guts to stand on your own feet and pursue your inner vision. Just do it!

 

04-13-0443

 

I gotta tell ya….when I look at my images, sometimes I get totally blown away. I mean, it’s a humbling experience. I see these photos and think, these images give birth to me over and over. They recognize me and they form my identity and give reason for the day.

I’m not the guy that stands and says, I made these photos, look at them, look at me.

Nah, I am aware that they made and continue to make me. Without them, I cease to exist.

 

04-13-0457

 

04-13-0464

 

I know I probably sounds a little crazy but I just hope that you get the same satisfaction from your work as I do. If you are near the threshold of your creativity and you have a camera in your hand…maybe we’ll meet on the other side.

 

Hold on now…….I mean about shooting….not about dying,,,,that we all do by ourselves……

Have a productive weekend even if ya do nuttin…….

don04-13-0463

The Dreamcatcher Strikes Again

Ya know. I really like what I go after and find on the street. Hey, don’t get me wrong…I love the street but it’s not the only place I work.

The images that bring the most satisfaction and always did are the Dream images. There’s something mysterious and ethereal amongst other things that excite me visually about them. The thing is that I can SEE the potential for the image before I release the shutter. Well ok Don, that’s the idea of  Pre-Visualisation.  I know that but there’s another element to take into consideration. That element is the print.

I use the term “Print” to mean the image you see on your computer screen after all the stuff is done to it. I love the idea of the transformation from reality to the print reality. The beautiful part of the experience is that I can see it when I am at the ready for exposure.

I’m not trying to sell you anything just expressing how much I love my images, the process of capture and the finished print produced thru my presets. This ain’t no sales pitch, just a note to let you know that I really do use the presets.

04-13-0326

If your not making photos because you love it………

……… go paint the bathroom!

There are times when all is right with the world. The world being photography, right. We must learn to capture that feeling so that we recognize it when it returns and also leaves us. Without recognizing this state of being, maybe it’s a state of  Zen, we are destined to be in a constant state of GAS. The reason is that without getting the images we search and work for, we have to have something to blame our disappointments on.

That camera just doesn’t focus fast enough and that lens…don’t get me started. If I had that MAGIC camera bag then all would be fine in the world. You can live this way if you want but I choose a different path. My path is to recognize when the MAGIC of photography is present in my Here and Now.

04-13-0373

 

I’m not saying this is a great photograph. I am saying that it fulfills my act of photography for that moment. I enjoy making photographs because I enjoy making photographs. Forget about that magic camera and lens in that world renowned camera bag.

Forget about the decisive moment. That is great but it’s only a moment, not the rest of the hour. If you learn to capture the feeling of being awake and ready in the here and now, then when it comes a knockin’ at your lens…you’ll be ready to embrace it.

 

04-13-0366

 

Relax, reduce instant gratification pressure and make photos. The more you work in a focused mode, the more times the Inspired Moment will come to you.

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

Truth, Lies and Antiquities.

A truth is that I only do B&W……… That’s a lie…… A lie is that I don’t like color …….That’s a truth.

My new EP3′ are antiquated………that’s a truth and a lie.

So I’m walking around in the very warm Spring weather looking at what every elder red blooded Earthling man is looking at and…….I walk past this truck. The truck is double parked on 18th Street so I know it’s moving in a few minutes. It has a great wrap on it and I just looked at it but didn’t see a photo. Well, my left eye saw a redhead walking but my right eye sees the truck. The truck is multi-colored, no reds…..

I walk past but my right eye says…Yo stupid…….we are out here to find photos not trouble. Then this man walks over to the truck’s rear gate and pulls it down. I do something I very rarely do….. I said, Yo’…how ’bout we do a photo”? (Philly lingo)

He smiles and agrees………so I look at the picture on the truck and I asked if it was him……he said sure nuff…..CLICK!04-13-0243

A Day Off Is Still Work

04-13-0233

 

Well, I decided to take a day off and just relax. Of course Tanya also decided that I wasn’t off, I was just reallocated to work in garden procedures. It’s like 54f as I write this. I’m actually looking forward to getting the garden going. I am moving my memorial site because strawberries have to be placed in the current area.

I told Tanya that I wanted to make a memorial area for every living thing that ever died or will die. She had that kinda Russian blind look in her face and gently kissed my forehead and told me to go take my meds before I start this project.

Ok, 30 minutes has passed, and she’s correct. what was I thinking….geeze…what an idiot. The meds are working fine and I do realize that I could never make a section of the memorial for all the living beings that will die in the future. I couldn’t possibly know all of them as they didn’t die yet.

That’s a good reason to keep her around……. So I had to do the uh…uh…water exiting body procedure. I went upstairs and had the GRD4 in my pocket…imagine that…..there coming out of the other side….well other side of the bathroom…is Barsik ….CLICK.

On The Future Of Inspired Eye Magazine

First off, thanks to everyone for the emails, pm’s, phone calls etc. From Flickr alone I have over 147 mails telling me how nice the mag is and how much it’s needed. You see, I believe that photographers want and need something like this magazine. It, not really about cameras, about Aperture and Lightroom. It’s not about forums, websites camera bags, tripods etc.

I know this will sound crazy but it’s about YOU. Sure it’s about us but us is also YOU. This magazine is about photography. It’s about images. It’s about your fellow photographers and then that makes it about you. Some of  YOU will be in the next issue. Maybe an interview, maybe a photoessay or something else, who knows. Who knows, is the problem.

When we first got the idea to do this, we posted a thread in the now dead Street Photography Forum. The question was this.

Would you like to see the magazine supported by paid subscriptions and minimal advertising or by advertising alone or by a mix of both? Out of 240 people polled, the majority of votes went to paid subscription.

Now most of youse know me and also know that I’m a stand up guy and I help when I can. So here’s the thing that YOU must decide. We have well over 800 copies in circulation and I’m pushing for 2000 by next weeks end. Now that’s a great figure but the paid subscriptions are way, way under what I thought they would be.

I’m not forcing anyone to do anything but this much I will say. In order to be in the magazine in any fashion, YOU must be a paid subscriber. It’s only fair to those that paid a subscription fee because they will be in the list for an interview etc. If $20.00 for the year is a burden for you, please let me know and I’ll donate the subscription in your name.

Thanks for all your support and please try to find the way to support us because supporting us is also supporting YOU.

Go in peace but go with a camera in your hand…..don