Category Archives: Leica

Covid-19 … Vintage Work 2

Gamb’e Game June 2005                                                             M4 35mm Cron

What I was saying before about organizing my work, this is a prime example. I would have made this anyway but I knew instantly how it would fit with the rest of the Gamb’e Game photos. Some friends criticized me for not maintaining freedom in my work. I felt and still do that I have a responsibility to my work and myself before any freedom is granted.  At any rate, I was out making photos and the sun was doing its magic but the shadows are what always interested me.

The sun as nice as it is was playing hide and seek.  I would see a shot and then right away, the sun would hide and shadows would hide also. Then, then Mother Light saw my efforts and said quietly to me… shooter, get ready. So Andre’ heard Mother Light and all of a sudden she shined the light right in front of me and I was like so, where’s the magic…. an old man is right there and his shadow….Click!

New York Public Library 1972                                                  M4 35mm Cron

There were times when I was hungry for NYC. I would save up and take a train round trip and spend the day. I had friends there but wanted to be alone and make photos. I would just take Andre’ the Leica M4 and a 35mm Cron and a few rolls of film. I knew if things got busy, I can always buy more film. I usually took a subway ride to Wall Street. The walk to Columbus Circle. So I was about dead in my tracks and made it to the Library. I sat on the step to relax and rest. It had just finished raining and I was still wet. I looked at a puddle. It captured my interest. Then I stood and moved a bit and I saw an arrow and another and another. I readied Andre’ and framed and made the shot. I went back to sit and some kids, College Kids were where I was sitting. I sat anyway and then a girl asked me if I was using a Leica. That started the conversation and most of them were asking me questions and it was a nice talk. I hailed a cab and went to the train station and headed back to Philly.

2nd & South, Philly   1987                                                               M6 35mm Lux

I used to love to go to work at night and early morning. This was about 0200am. The thing is, usually, the sun is sleeping this early in the morning. So any light that finds you will most likely be artificial light. There’s a quality in artificial light that is very seductive and captivating. I was walking around and kinda the only one around except for the ladies of the night. I could breathe in the perfume and my senses would get dizzy as I walked past them. I love them tho because there is no pretense about them and usually they have a sense of humor and a sweet smile. I’m standing talking to 2 hookers and I gotta well, relieve my liquids. I asked them where I could go and one pointed to an alley about 50yds away. So I ventured down the street and sure enough, I saw the alley she mentioned. Not a soul around. So I prepared for a liquid relieving procedure and looked at the light and the shadow. I was draining and raised Andre’ and Click!

The shadow you see is me in the relieving position. It’s possible for a man to do 2 things at once.

I remember my daughter came home for a visit from the Air Force. I can’t tell you the joy of having her close to me again. Anyway, the time came for her to go back to her base and I was upset but of course, being a Nam Vet so can’t let emotions slip out. After 2 days of her absence, I couldn’t take it anymore and packed a bag with my M4 and 35mm Cron and some rolls of Tri-X. I even had some clothes and stuff. I called the airlines and got a price and not really bad at all. I was ready to order the tickets when Andre’ the Leica M4 said, Listen, son, we fly all the time. We see nothing but pretty clouds. How about we take a train or bus and go? I didn’t want to give Andre’ the props but really, who better to advise about photos? I started thinking about how much I have missed by flying. I mean, ya fly across the country in 5 hours. A bus would be like 4 or more days. That means ya get to see many things ya never ever see from a plane.

The bus was a real trip. Many on the bus were migrant farmworkers. There were some cowboy and cowgirl people also. We stopped every so often so people could use the restrooms or eat or just walk around and make photos like yours truly. One night we stopped at a rest stop and it was late and dark. There were some truckers parked and it was very quiet. There was no one around and that’s cool but also scary. I mean, my Leica was the guest of many checking it out. I wasn’t worried cause Andre3′ wasn’t the only thing I had with me to shoot. I had Jock the 45AQCP in my bag with Andre’. I had a Nam Vet Tee Shirt and hat on so I felt that was a deterrent.

So I walked and saw this lone truck and waited. A young girl and i mean young and pretty walked to it and climbed in. Well, Andre’ told me the bus was leaving so I snapped the shot and got on the bus to continue.


August 3rd, 2019 …Circumnavigating Photos and Then Some

Ya know one of the best things about getting old, ya can say crazy things and most will accept it from you. If you try it when you’re younger, well they have places for you where others say things like that and ya fit in. so Suzanne and I went to get sushi and talk photography. You know me, I’ mall in for being seen in public with her. Got Ding the Leica M9 on my neck and Suzanne on my arm. Dat’s right G, I be da man. So we walk and finally get to the sushi shop on Walnut near 7th. We go in and like 5 people come to her and say high in Japanese. Then they say hi to me in Philly English. I didn’t expect a group and she never mentioned this to me. So they all sit and I seat Suzanna and slide her and her chair to the table. A few of the ladies there looked with a kind longing approval. I mean obviously I’m the only gentleman in the group and unfortunately, probably all around. They all start talking Japanese and Suzanne puts her hands to her ears and says, Don. Now the language switches to English and I kind have that down some. maybe not perfect but good enough. I didn’t know why I was here and would have appreciated Suzanne letting me in on things  but I just went with the flow.

So Suzannz tells everyone to start asking questions. If it was anyone else, I would have been offended but Suzanne, I’d fight my way back from hell for her. So a guy ask me, “How do you maintain the visual quality and continuity in your photos thru all the years? The great thing about questions and answers especially is, not to have canned answers. I like to open me poor brain and my warriors heart sand construct an answer that fits me.

It’s not the easiest thing to do. You need to have the knowledge and the means of presentation to make it work. I like to get an answer started with a thought train and then quickly open the valve from the heart and then answer. In the old daze, we called it winging it but now I am much more sophisticated and more a proper adult so I like things to work for the questionnaire. So I started talking and first things first, I said. Plan your work and work your plan and don’t be afraid to improvise along the way. There are different starting points to a photo but mostly, all will go thru this cycle.

Example: An idea for a photo forms in your brain and or mind. You can kinda visualize it but no clarity. Then go out to make photos and breathe in the light and the scenes and people. Take them to your heart and mind. Keep reflecting on the image planted in your idea. Don’t be afraid to let someone or something distract you. Go for it but try to come back to your initial idea. Of course your camera is your partner and friend and you have no issues because you are on the same train together. In time hopefully you will see something that stirs up the thoughts, ideas, emotions of the idea and now you just frame and wait for the trigger. Then, CLICK.

Keep working but you will feel a kinda excitement because you know your satisfying the inner thoughts and idea of your photography. At this point it’s time to see what you captured. When you get into Lightroom, the image should spark excitement, questions and answers and generally you want to work on it. Start processing the photo and keep an open mind but recall the initial idea and emotions. You do not have to stick with that but you absolutely need to know where you started so you can venture into the unknown. Now you hopefully can look at the photo and have a mental map of where you started and now where you are.

This is circumnavigating a photo. We go around the world of the photo and then of course photography and always remember and apply, the heart as the compass. So the guy asked me, “do you do this all the time?” I answered, how else would I do this, I don’t know another way I can live with and there ain’t a better way to die.

They all but one had Leica’s. The one not Leica was a Fuji XT-30. So the questions turned to gear and settings and all the stuff that feeds the emptiness of creativity. We are drinking Saki @ 105f and sushi and maki, just a great meal. S Suzanne ask me, when do my private workshops start again? Yes, when they said. Hmmm me thinks, that M10p is looking real nice… nah not me at all. Anyway, they as a group want to do sessions. I really ain’t feeling it and the Suzanne says, “I will let you know when Don will start”. Wwe all get up and Suzanne and I leave and start walking uptown to Center City. The as she has our arms linked, says… I forgot here.. she hands me a white envelope and I look in it and there’s $500.00 cash. What’s this and she says, the first session. I told her I didn’t want the money and she said they would all be deeply offended and feel they are not worthy. They may all commit hari kari.  Ya know, I adore this woman but sometimes she’s full of craap and this is one of those times.

So I will start a series of sessions and Suzanne will be my trusty assistant. The sushi and saki were great, The company of her 5 friends was enlightening. Suzanne has my heart and is my angel of love and mercy and acceptance of an old warrior.

ya know, the $500.00 was a welcome gift I never thought about. Be blessed all and remember this….. wait.. dang it… I forgot

May 18th, 2018 Rain Dancing With Walker the Fuji X-Pro2 … The 2 Button Rule For Street

There is a camera strap called the ARTISAN AND ARTIST ACAM-E25R. I use it with some cameras and especially Walker the Fuji X-Pro2. Great strap and great camera. The thing is, the 2 together have a sense of humor. Oh yeah, they do. See, I have Walker on the strap around my neck. It’s raining out and Walker is a trooper for the bad weather. So we be waking and a shooting and then all the sudden, I look at the screen and it’s in multiple shot mode. This is a post coffee incident. So the freak out point is reached quickly. I’m panting and losing my cool, don’t have much to start with but what I have is boiling over. I like my screen to be b&W. I’ll explain some reasons later but Walker and the un named camera strap have had another laff because i see the screen is in color and also I’m shooting in jpeg because the camera is now in multiple-exposure mode.

Now we all know that a camera strap can’t really talk to us but surely can communicate. You ever have a neck ache or shoulder ache from a camera on a strap? Well, that ache and pressure is from the strap, not the camera. If you communicate with things other than living matter, you know that the strap is saying…. damn dude, this camera is heavy and I’m not digging to have to have it on me. So, because you think less of me because I’m a strap, I’m gonna pass along some pain to you. See that guy down there at the end of your arm?   He’s the hand guy and he can hold your camera named or unnamed with or without a strap. Do it and I’ll stop hurting your dumb ass.

Anyway, back to the issue at hand ummm, errrr  issue hanging around. See, the buttons on the back of Walker the Fuji X-Pro2  will change as you walk or whatever. It doesn’t take much of a press to get a nice intrusion in the groove of working.  TWO THINGS THAT ARE A MUST DO WITH THE FUJI CAMERAS.

First, set the camera up the way you want to work. Then set the AF box where you want it. Ok, good….now carefully and paying full attention to the screen….press the joystick in straight and then you will see it is locked in position. The AF box will not move against your side or chest whatever. Press again and it releases the lock.

Second, press and hold the OK button until you see the LOCK on the screen.  Now most buttons with a sense of humor are locked.  The ones that are nice don’t need the lock so you can still access them. You can work without much aggrevation. Press and hold the OK button again and the UNLOCK is shown.

This info is available all over by many photographers. I post this because most here are shooters and have no time to get technical with cameras. They just want to work. (pre button lock experience) Walker decided to change my vision from B&W to Color. I did not ask him to do this. I think he felt I needed to analyze my intent. Oh, before I go any further, I have been known as a Camera Whisperer for some time. How else do ya’s think I can name my cameras and talk with them? Walker is not only one of my partners in photography, he’s also one of my patients and I his.

I’m standing on 10th Street and Market and just breathing. See, Walker decided I need to do color and he changed himself to make me do and see color. I see the screen in color and, well decided, maybe he’s right. Besides, I just wanted to work and knew I could have a chat with him when we got home.

station break but not commercial……. Walker and many cameras can make me think about what I’m doing, how I’m doing it and why I’m doing it. That’s exciting, or is it? Andre’ the Leica M240 is the opposite. I can take him out day after day and never ever see any changes on the camera. If i make a change, ok but Andre’ never ever does, or does he? Perhaps Andre the Leica M240 makes the changes in the most important manner. They seemingly go unnoticed.

See, the Inverse square law, (invented by my great great grandfather, cobble street shooter) says that more is less and less is more. So, he noticed that the digital cameras of the time, I think 1492 cause he documented the arrival of Columbus, had so many features that he needed to think less cause the camera did more. He met a young lad named Oscak Barnack and asked him, Oscar, can you make a camera with less functions that need to be changed and just let the camera work with the HEART of the shooter and not just the mind.

So, Oscar thought what a novel idea and set forth to make a camera to Cobble Street Shooters ideas. Oscar made the camera. No, not just a camera. He made a camera that for all time would place the heart of the shooter in the foreground and always make sure that the process of vision and feeling would override every other intrusion.


The reason that this story is not widely known is because even tho my Great Great Grandfather had great cameras, there was no film invented yet or sd cards. Unfortunately, we dont’t have any records of his work but he sure enough inspired Leica.

Little know tale….. I need to write more about the idea and application of Color vs B&W and i will start that post now and send it before the weekend is over.

April11th, 2018 Ownership


Do we really ever own anything? I don’t think so. We don’t even get to own our mindset. My mind tells me that I may leash a pet. It might obey me and like me and want to serve me. I am the owner and as such I decide what the pet will do to serve me. I will not set it free because I own it. I have ownership rights.

Many years ago when I was young my grandfather gave me an Estwing 16oz nail hammer. The metal was tarnished and the head was shiney from all the nails Pop banged down. I could feel and smell pop’s sweat on the leather. Years passed by and a Pop died but I still had his hammer. I loved this hammer and became very attached to it. I owned my grandfathers hammer. When I retired I put my tools in the garage and the hammer, I threw it into a drawer where it rest after a long life of hard work. That tool and others served me faithfully for most of my adult life. Yup,that tool was great.


I often wondered why with all the meaning and use that hammer and I worked, why is it in a drawer in the garage. Well, it’s a tool. Maybe it has a name it’d it’s functional but it’s a tool. It’s a tool because I own it and say it’s a tool.

Ok, so what’s with this ownership thing shooter. Aight, here’s my thoughts and they are my thoughts and I own them. There’s a musician that’s kinda well known. He sang a song and part of it is kinda like this….”If you love someone, set them free”. I think his name is Sting, maybe.

I think on the path to becoming a human we need to set our heart and mind and eye free. Sure we can attempt to control it all but that would mean the brain is running the show. The brain is  the translator and distributor of everything that comes into the body. We could say that the brain has the rights of control of everything in our body. If the eye, heart and mind are not free than all we see from our work will be the results of brain ownership.

I need to continue this in the next day or two. I just got a message from shooter central processing that my brain is taking the rest of the day off.

Ill be back fast with the work vs work thoughts, have a blessed day everyone ………..

……….end transmission……….


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.


March 27th, 2018 … The Streets … Casual Encounters

Try as I may, I can never figure out how the visual weather effects my work. I get all excited and have a plan and location to work and the minute I get on the bus, I can’t remember my name. Another good reason to name your camera and keep it as a friend. Here’s something that happened a few weeks ago.

I had 9 people in a Saturday morning lecture. Suzanne and Polly and 7 others. They start passing prints around so we all can see what’s going on. Then Brant and that’s his name, starts sitting back in the chair, taking deep breaths and says the remark that puts rocket fuel up my butt. “I’ve seen that a 1000 times.” He looks at some more prints and makes remarks like the previous and like, “you have a good eye, you just can’t see with it.” Then Suzanne hands him some prints and he glances to me as he starts looking at her prints.

So Brant starts making commments and again states, “I’ve seen this 1000 times.” Suzanna kicks my leg under the table to come to her defense but I was anyway without the reminder. So I ask the group to turn the prints upside down and to eliminatte distractions so we can chat. So I ask a question to Brant.

Brant, do you have any books around. Have you ever seen books in a store, a shelf, a library or anyplace? He looks at me in his A-Typical smug fashion. Of course Don, I’m not stupid, so what? Books vary in in size, thickness, color, covers, paper, pages and may other things. All these things add in to make a book exciting and beautiful and interesting but…..

The essence, the heart and soul of a book is the words. The words are the lifeblood of books. It’s what makes the same catalyst become singularly unique.

So maybe you have 1000’s of books, byt each is unique because of content. Photos work the same way and so does many things in life. People are the exact same. Photos generally are on paper of a size and stock from a box from a mill that makes it. What makes a photo unique is the single simple fact that the photographer made it. Looking at photos or words is the exact same thing. The difference is in the syntax of the language.

Photography, especially street is about chance encounters. We travel around, and seem to click from time to time and find a photo or the photo finds us. The encounter is what makes our single breath at the moment of realization and exposure totally unique. Brant, if you placed your camera on a tripod and made 1000 photos without changing position, no two would ever be the same. It’s just like books, all have similar appearance and construction but no 2 are ever the same. This in fact is true with an edition. If you look closely, there are things that make them different. This is not about the details but the obvious.


So the conversation goes around for a bit and Brant says to me. Don. that’s all just obvious and no need to lecture about that.

I take a breath and said…. Brant, you know why you don’t have a boyfriend, because you see everyone as if you’ve seen them 1000s times and you never see the heart that makes anyone unique.

Be blessed everyone …. shooter out……

November 17th, 207 … The Memory of Being

Leica M240 35mm Zeiss

………what about being in the moment? Is it really a moment? Is it just ONE moment and then it’s over? Maybe it’s a series of moments and then it’s not a moment at all. Perhaps as photographers, we really should not live in the moment but just have the memory of it. Maybe what’s really important is not the moment at all but the memory of it. Surely the memory will outlive the event of the moment. No matter if it’s The Decisive Moment or just a regular non specific moment.

The important thing is not the moment but being in the moment. Maybe that’s not right either and I personally believe that the memory of being is all that matters in any situation. The memory of being is all that remains after a breath passes.

Photographers are possessed with being in the moment and capturing an image that reflects the memory of the experience of that moment. I am not convinced that I succeed in that mission. I fail because I make photos that are more of a personal outlook to me then the actual living breathing moment.

Years ago I embarked on a body of work about American Artist. I used an 8×10 Deardorff named Margaret after my exes mother’s name. I made countless photos of many famous people. It was a humbling experience to say the least. As I moved along the journey, I started to realize that death was my partner on this project. Most of the artist were much older than me.  As I released the shutter, I felt that being there was a special emotional moment that I wanted to cherish forever. That set the framework for all the photos. I wanted a descriptive living document of all the ones I photographed.

I wanted the families and friends and collectors of these people to have THE image of that particular artist. I’m not saying I ever succeeded in anything but creating a false representation of a reality, that suggest to me or the viewer that I was there and this is what I saw.

So the memory of being introduces an element at the moment of release that I can’t get past. That element is, being aware of being in the moment, or being aware of making the memory of the moment. Perhaps the 2 live side by side and only some people even care about it.

I write these things as observations that have captured me along the way. You may or may not find worth in it but I will continue just as I will continue making photos.

Be blessed all………end transmission…………..

October 20th, 2017 … The Workflow Mistake and the Seeing Color Again Post

Ok, so I been on Lightroom since the beta. I been on DNG since Creative Cloud was released and I was there in NYC when they announced it. Yes I am pointing out that  I have experience in the processing and workflow.

Well I was on a walk-a-bout with Andre the Leica M. I’m seeing the fall light and that activates the color sensor in my brain. I decide to go with it and just breathe in the cool fall air and spend some time with Andre. Ya know how most cameras make a great JPEG file and it’s always nicer thank the Raw file? Well the Leica’s don’t do that. Oh’ they make nice JPEGs but the DNG files are just totally intoxicating. Why do I mention this…………………………………………………………..>

<…………………………………………………………….. We headed home and I got LightRoom loaded and ready. I take the card out of Andre and slip it in the card reader in the PC. LR does it’s thing and the files are imported to the catalog. So now it’s like film processing and seeing the negs, for me that’s what it’s like. I see the photo above, the 1st one here, and I start to run presets because I want to make sure if I use the Leica DNG’s, I am ready to go. The files are so workable that I start to mess around with the image and get excited how things are working.

Then I decide to do that side by side comparison thing. (I never do Raw + JPEG, just Raw only but this time I wanted to do color comparisons so I have JPEGS.)

I load the JPEG on the left and the Raw on the right. Well, I see that the DNG does not need much work if anything but I like to experiment. Well, I pull the card from the pc and put it back in Andre and format the card. One step done. then I decide to shut down and I click the left photo which is the JPEG and delete….LR ask if I want to remove or delete…. kill that sucker, delete it.

At 68 yo I still have a sense of humor with the world. When I do something wrong and or  stupid, in a few minutes or so I realize I messed up. I click that photo and hit delete but LR deletes the DNG file. It’s one of those highlight issues. You can’t always see it. So I realize the DNG is gone. I close LR but quick exit so I can do other things. Eureka! I open LR again and then I get this kinds burping on the brain and I need a toilet quickly. Why you asked? Because the last import is POOF’D. I didn’t back it up.

Sandisk Disk Rescue didn’t work. It’s a Sandisk card and the new 300mp/s dude. So I give up and surrender  but fo 68 seconds. I search the web and find many programs that claim to recover things. I try some and this sickening feeling is growing.There are cost involved. I see from $69.95 – over $99.00 USD.

I see this site that has a card recovery program and I try the demo. Man, all the photos are there. I am amazed. I decide if it’s under a Hundred bucks, I’ll get it. I do this stupid stuff not often but this is a security blanket. The Card Recovery program says I can buy it to get the files. Well. I clock buy and it’s $39.99 USD. So I sit back like a kid and the click save and sure enough the program puts all the photos in a folder.

I am wiggling and squirming and almost giggling with joy. I open LR and import the photos and it was all there. I sat back and thought that this little program saved me a lot of grief. I didn’t tell Andre’ the Leica M about this but I think he will be ok with it.

I guess the point is, one is never too old to learn or mess up. There is always a solution. The real point for me that I feel is the take away is….I wanted to experiment. I did and actually, this entire episode has been an experiment.

I have taught countless people things about photography. I know some will be reading this and I will no doubt get messages…..

“shooter, how many times I tell you don’t format the card till your all done”?

Have a good weekend alls………………





October 17h, 2017 … Flashback … Hue Vietnam … Losing My Religion

….. “Jingles, get your ass out of there and fall in.” See, I been here long enough to know I ain’t got much humanity left in me but dang it, I’m a photographer. We are humping thru what’s supposed to be friendly area and not have to sweat too much about ambush or fire fight or mortars. So they say. We get near these statues of Buddha and other spiritual beings. I am like in awe of this. My eyes wander all over and I pull the Leica and start making photos. Yes, your right. I was making photos back then and not taking them.  I could feel the energy from Buddha and it’s like he was crying. I lowered my head and my heart took over. Not supposed to do that, supposed to be a grunt. Well, I found that Grunts have more heart than any living being. I looked up at Buddha and I felt a weight being lifted. No, it was Hentz taking 60 rounds from my sack. Well, that’s a poor excuse but at this precise moment in life and my time, I felt a kind of spiritual awakening.

I was born Jewish and did the Bar Mitzva and went to Hebrew school. I wanted to be a good guy with a strong religious belief.

Anyway, back to Hue. As I stood in front of Buddha I knew that I had lost my religion. I felt like in order for me to regain my humanity, I would need to abandon many things I learned. I would need to stand in front of THE LORD and and be accountable for my life and actions. (what’s this got to do with photography Shooter?…relax)

I could feel the cold steel of my M-16 on my shoulder. Then all the sudden, these rays of light passed by Buddha and fell upon me. I looked at my Leica and felt my rifle and as the light shinned upon me, I felt like I wasn’t lost anymore. I wasn’t just lost in Nam, I was lost in life. The light that shinned on me was from Mother Light. I could feel the warmth of my Leica. I felt like I was being born again and that a religion was being born from within me and I understood. I knew standing in front of Buddha that he had blessed me with the love that photography would provide all my life. I had abandoned what I thought was Holy and let myself be born to a belief that was in me since I was born.

I wish I could say that I made all this stuff up and that I was a good writer. Bill tells me I am but the thing is, I write what’s coming from my heart. It is something I can never get used to. I turned 21 in Nam and turned 68 on the 8th of Oct. All this time these things have lived inside me. They never went to sleep permanently. Some say that life is but a dream. For me and countless other vets, Nam is life and we live it every moment of our existence. Reality that I am a part of  in the here and now, that’s not life to me. That’s the Dream.

Photography still allows me to make photos of the Dream I am in. My camera’s name is Andre’, together we are the Dream Catcher.

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”…..