Category Archives: Philosophy of Street

Covid 19 … The Beauty of … Shiyoko the Therapist

…. Andre’ look, cameras are like people. Between you and I, our cameras are People Cameras, you know that better than all.  How ya think Penelope the Ricoh GRD4 feels when you ignore her? I now all you guys are black and she’s white and BCM … Black Cameras Matter and so do WCM … White Cameras Matter. You know Andre’ I don’t have any Camera Racial prejudices. So, when I write about things with the camera family, you need to make sure all the family understand it’s a blog post. Might be how I feel but it’s an expression of life as we live it.

Ok ya’ll, my cameras are kinda in a frenzy because some thing are changing in me and my needs are changing also. My physical therapist at the VA, Shiyoko, is also a spiritualist. My Parkinson’s tremors are worsening and not easy to do things like I used to.  Doc told me to come to Shiyoko again for sessions. Geeze Doc, do I have to, c’mon. he said your going and that’s that Alrighty  Doc, how many times should I go? He said as many as it takes to feel better. I asked like 400xs a week is that cool? Doc smiles.

So, back to the sauna with hot water, jets and Shiyoko. She ask me where the worst part of the tremors effect me and I said my hands and fingers. I explained that if I pickup a cup of coffee, it shakes and spills all over. She starts massaging my hands and fingers. ( at 71 years old, sometimes this is best as it gets )… So she is asking me about my cameras and how I do with them. I mentioned that some are a problem and I leave them on the shelf. Andre’ the Leica M9 is a great camera and trusted friend but he’s heavy and I can’t steady him so well anymore. ahhh she says, tell me more. If you keep massaging I will tell you all things of my life. She laff’d, continue sir.

I told her the tale of the Fuji X100 series. I had every version of this camera and then the X100V came and I loved it. I noticed camera shake and put it back on the shelf. I can’t use the camera again. I mentioned the Ricoh GRIII and how it has stabilization, small and very nice to handle. Yes, yes sir but what is the factor that allows you to use this camera so enjoyably. I replied, basically it’s the stabilization. Do you have other cameras with this stabilization thing? Yes I said, my Sony A7C is amazing. She moves to my other side and takes my arm and starts massaging it. Then I said, I really miss my Fuji X100V and can’t really use it. Too make body tremors.

Shiyoko asked if I trust her. I said I was Airborne Infantry and would jump from the plane without a chute if she said she would catch me. She laff’d a lot. Then she said, I would like you to use that camera only for a while. No other camera and the reason is, you shall never surrender to this illness. You told me that your cameras are a integral part of your work. That you have a synergism with them and that’s what you believe you do.

Yes Shiyoko, that’s what I live with my photography. She said no. You fail your art and your self. If you really have a synergism with your photography and cameras, then the meeting of the mind allows each part to anticipate and draw from the heart. She takes both my hands in hers and looks in my eyes. That camera will give you things you think you don’t want but the beauty of the shared moment will eventually take hold. You may not surrender. You must gaze upon your life and make your photos with the openness of new vision. Regardless of what they look like, they will feel as yours.

When can you come back for another session? We need to test your body tremors next. I am not busy because of Covid Restrictions so anytime at all, leave me a message and we continue. Only that camera for a while, promise me. Yes I agreed.

Dang, I guess I have to go back…. she is a great therapist and a a good massage as well. I am invigorated to try the X100V again. It is what it is…..

seeyas soon, be blessed

 

 

Covid 19 … Embracing Our History … and It’s Variations Thru Time

My idea when I go out to work is to think about the present and generate new ideas. Of course life enters rather quickly and all goes to pot. I suppose we have memories and we store them someplace but they are always active and effect the present. I think it was Dorothea Kehaya that said, “See things as if your seeing them for the first time”. I’m not saying she coined the phrase but I heard it from her ages ago. I find that an impossible task. I mean memories and info are pollutants. No matter what I do I can’t get them out of my head and heart. This unfortunately goes for my exes too. laffs. So many say to see things as if for the first time. I firmly believe this is  destructive to think and feel. that way.  I try to see the world in a frame, I mean I see the image frame and then get placement of the subject matter to where it feels right. I know that many times over 50 years, I have seen something many different ways but the memory of the last image of it pollutes the present moment.


The interesting thing is …. since the dawn of all time, the very first cave man photographer, no 1 second ever is repeated in the same way. Maybe,  just maybe, this means that time is a measuring device that reminds us of the all important Being In the Moment. Only shooters can ever be aware of the moment.

So instead of doing battle with our past images, perhaps we should embrace those moments and if they seem to present themselves in the here and now of the moment, they aren’t really. Maybe they are guides that we have established and set for our work.

The connection as I see it is the eye, mind and heart. Ideally, all three elements come together at the precise moment of exposure. This is a known fact among shooters…but, what about the start of seeing the image. How does that actually work? I call it a trigger mechanism. I get walking and my camera is in my hand and I’m kinda tuned in a place where I am letting the world seep in my mind. Then, all the sudden something or someone strikes a chord. My juices get flowing and my sensitivities and sensibilities are activated. I start to breathe and feel a new photo coming. The trigger is what stimulates the creative process. The camera gets ready and i start framing,,,, there are thoughts and opinions on framing.

It becomes a travesty to ignore or attempt to erase history. In photography, history lends direction either from the past or implied to the future. Looking for the next photo may or may not be an easy task but it certainly should be attainable by all in pursuit of it.  Our internal vision and our external vision needs to be awake and excited and connected whenever we work. What happens when a dry spell knocks on the door? Well, that’s an issue most of us have to deal with. Having a defined history of our work, allows us to research it and bring the gist of it to our present and help shape our future.

I know this seems like non photography but it’s all about your photography. Your living this regardless of your awareness of it or not. Making photos is personal only if we adopt and apply a perspective that is our own. Mind you, it’s impossible but we strive to work that way. There are 3 aspects of time that we need observe. The past, or history, the present that is history in the making  and the future that is to become history.

When we look at our archive of photos, we are seeing our history. These footprints pave the way for the future and we should not discount the life of these photos. Maybe many will say, seeing your history will make you repeat it over and over. That is pure rubbish. There are few places on the planet that are vacant of history. In photography, like it or not, we are treading on someone’s history all the time. Nothing wrong with that at all.

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So, how to relate this too our photography and make sense of it. For a long time I was working in series or groups of photos. I mean relative consciousness of the images. I would strive to make photos that fit together with others to be something more that the single frame. Long ago before my mind was even alive, I read a book on Gestalt Psychology.  It taught me that all the parts are greater then the whole. This idea has perplexed me for decades.

I always liked to take things apart and analyze them and see what and why things tick. Well I got to thinking in later years and understood the the parts of the sum have an intrinsic value on each part that the whole may encompass but shadow over due to the mass collection of the parts.

In photography, we can not escape history. More importantly, we can never nor should we try to erase the history of others. The path we travel with our camera can be guided if not directed by what has been done before. If we embrace the history of ours and others, we give birth to the present and the future. Now with lockdowns and eases of them, we can not be lost. The struggle to create and FEEL again is reborn. We can unleash an energy inside us craving to make photos.

We are at a point of rebirth and it’s gonna be special but only because we love the history of Mother Light and all she grants us and has granted our fellow shooters across time.

 

 

 

 

Covid-19 … Exploring The Control In Our Photography

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

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

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


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

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

 

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

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

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

I’ll be back shortly and continue …

Covid 19 … History Of The World … Pt2

screech….boom ….clang….

Hey all, that’s shooters magic time machine and I just returned from the history inside my tired mind. Man Caves are very supportive of photography. See, when we delve into the creative side of ourselves, we need a place to breathe and let us get inspired.  See, it is said that negative only supports negative energy. Positive energy supports everything and has the power to fuel negative energy to either neutralize it or guide it to the positive side.

So, in todays times and real estate market, it’s dang near impossible to secure a man cave. Oh, they are around but they have wifi, massaging chairs and Fancy Dancy beds that vibrate when ya get on it. Alright, I’m 71 but dang it, if yo need an auto vibrate when your on the bed with your lady or anyone, it’s a problem. I’ll be just fine making my own natural vibrations, with some one or alone, I’m a natural vibrator…hmmmm.

So this is all really about the source and feeding of inspiration.  What we need to pay attention to it the Inverse Square Law. I’ll give a few examples to illustrate the idea.  This is about being married. So, the more things you do for your wife, the less things she tells you to do. The less things you do for her, the more she has for you to do.

If a man cave has all the fine things for comfort, chances are you will be comfy but not very productive.  Your mind is occupied with the pleasures in front of you. So, lets move our man cave away and get it inside our mind. We will leave the window open for the heart to be in touch. nothing exist in the man cave but feelings and thoughts and that will inspire you. The less clutter in our mind, the more freedom to manufacture the creative juices.

The key issue has become, how to get re-inspired and creative and productive. There are three things we have the option of doing. Maintaining apathy, surrendering or struggle to survive.  We are accountable for our choice and we can’t blame it on anyone but ourselves. My choice is the struggle to survive and continue. For me that means, eliminate the opposition to my creativity. It’s like having a filtration system that is adjustable for input. I am not a sports fan and I don’t drink alcohol. All that means is, easy to sit back, drink and become apathetic. Not everyone tho, I’m talking me.

We need input like the news but a filtered amount. That does inspire us some as it’s life the way they want us to see and live it.  One way to get inspiration is to buy new cameras. It cost money and the magic can wear off quickly. So I came up with this crazy solution. I mean it’s so crazy it just might work. You’ ins may think I’m crazy but I choose to use my cameras. The hard part is to find photos in a semi controlled environment with a lack of strong inspiration. I suppose it’s time for me to post my formula for inspiration and love of making photos.

Remember we talked about the Inverse Square Law? Well, here is a practical  application. This is about discipline. let’s work the discipline/freedom method. This is a 5-7 day experiment, not an exercise. This is not a take photo project, it is a make photo project.

Day 1. Make 5 photos. Not 4 and not 6. No sequences either.  Each photo should be worthy of your love of what you do with a camera.

Day 2. Make 4 photos, not 3 and not 5. Once again, work to make each a photo worthy or you.

Day 3.  Make 3 photos as the daze B4.

Day 4 make 2 photos and be decisive. Pay attention the the energy that is being created.

Day 5. Make 1 photo. The hardest day of your life.. On this magical day, the photo you make shall be a representation of all that you are and hope to become.

Day 6 & 7 are the same energy as Day 5.

Each day process the photos to your liking. I mean to the point that you sit back and are amazed that you even made the photo.  Make all the variations you please but only 1 final photo.

If you make a variation on this experiment, it will  fail. I was roped into teaching workshops years ago. It was film daze and interesting. We as a group would meet and discuss things. The shared thoughts and energy was remarkable. Today with the net, we have the opportunity to share with others worlds away.

Any questions, answers or ideas, I’m open. If ya need help with the experiment, feel free to let me know and we can skype or something. Mayme it seems like a mundane or superficial experiment but it’s certainly is not. Igf ya ask where and how I come off with this, well it’s a gift. For me life is a gift and I never question it. So the answer is, we are all accountable for each other. Pass it along and I’ss be back in a few daze.

Covid 19 … History Of The World … Pt1

There’s a stillness in the air. I am told if and when that happens, to be grateful that little or nothing is going on. Just relax and let the still waters take you. Y’all know me. I ain’t no huckleberry. I don’t usually take the path of least resistance. Not that I do battle with life every day but I don’t surrender to it either. I know there are many Zen followers out there and many tell me to just go with the flow. I always ask, go where, tell me huh?

Besides all that… when someone asks me my advice about this I always say… pick up your damn camera and get to work. I get kinda freaked out if I go too long without making photos. I think it’s a matter of surrendering. Harry Callahan told me as we were talking and making a portrait of him…when you feel it all slipping away and you feel like all is being lost, that’s when you stand tall and fight with life.

I am very unstable about stability. What I think I mean is … we need to have a stable stance thru life. Maybe we sway in the winds of life but like a strong old oak tree, we go with it and after the storm, we are still standing.  So, the reason the tree still stands is because it has the balls to carry on and the roots as a base for stability.

How does that apply to us? Well from my perspective and it’s usually 35mm, it gives us a path to find our balls and roots, I can only honestly talk about my life so I will. Odds are some parts of what I express, you may feel also. There is a law in physics that states,” For every action, there is a reaction”.  There is no reaction without an action. Remember that a reaction may in itself become an action.

Example: I order a camera from Amazon, an action. They deliver next day and Tanya gets the package at the door because I am not capable of cleaning the covid19 enemies from the package. She opens the package, looks and sees a new camera. What is this? Reaction procedure starts.  Let’s jump back in time and see where this all comes from.

See, the very first married couple on the planet were actually a wee bit different than how history describes.  Adan and Eve they got right. It’s all wrong from there. Eve was cooking soup for lunch and Adam went for a walk amongst the animals. Remember, there’s no other humans invented yet. So Adam went into the local cave hangout and turned on the TV to watch the animal kingdom. He popped open a cold beer and sat back and then…. a lion came in and said, Adam, Eve is coming this way.  Adam started to leave the Man Cave but a woman elephant named Esmeralda blocked the entrance. Adam was caught with his pants down and he didn’t even have pants cause Eve didn’t sew them yet. Well, Esmeralda the elephant moved away and the light of day spilled into the Man Cave and Eve was in the light. She had something in her hand and approached Adam.

Ya know how they told us that the cave men used to have a big club and they hit a women on the head and take her home and have their way with her.  What a load of crap that is. See, Eve came to Adam in the Man Cave and then whacked him on the head with a big club that they tell us men have. As Adam lay o the floor n dream land, Eve straightened up the Man Cave and told the men animals, I’m taking him home and he’s gonna do the dishes if I can figure out what that means. She made a look on her face that made the men animals cower and become kind of submissive and quiet.  As Eve was leaving the Man Cave pulling Adam by the hair .. the man lion said. Ma’am, can we keep this between us, my wife is Queen of the jungle and we don’t even have a jungle yet. I don’t like upsetting her cause she roars and everyone knows I’m in trouble. it don’t look good to the guys if i get roared at. Eve smirked, yeah sure.

Why am I writing this? because I am tired of the lies from the media. Here, is the truth of the matter as I believe it.   I will post again within 2 days.

 

 

 

Covid-19 … The Never-Ending Story

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Atreyu, Atreyu….. the COVID nothing is almost upon us. We must find the childlike empress of light. Ringy, ring, ring…hello, who is it? Shooter, it’s Atreyu. I’m not allowed out cause the Covid-19 monster will find me. Everyone is hiding from it wearing a mask but I can’t. I am trapped between the pages of the book and the movie.

I feel like Atreyu in a way because time is slipping away and COVID isn’t. I hear tell that there are a few being affected by Mr. COVID. It’s not easy to accept but I stand on the position that we have to believe. Believe in what, I don’t know anymore. I don’t think I want to know anyway. Maybe I never kneww anyway.

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The assault on my creative energy is beyond anything I could ever perceive. I know that’s the case with many but I just want to focus on the facts that engulf me. Most, not all artists are able to work in a studio or something more protected. Street shooters don’t really have that luxury. We are destined to be active in the world. When the world is in such disorder, our drive and energy start to dissipate. It diminishes our ability to rise above the madness and the visual lockdown.

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I suppose the main issue is that we are supposed to be in lockdown and if we venture out of the safety of our confines, to do so with caution. Sure, yeah ok, I get it. What about making photos? What about the interaction with people on the street?  There aren’t many out there anyway but soon enough many will be out. Most but not all will wear a mask and try to keep a social distance. There are those amongst us that don’t care.

Photography requires the joining of the eye, heart, and mind. There is no other way. Once you have those 3 elements in focus, then it’s time to find the subject that you react to in many ways. The inhibition of the COVID Virus has placed a damper on life and on the creative process and energy. Wearing the mask and you absolutely should is a constant reminder that things, as you knew them, are being altered.

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The hard part for me is not being able to work the way I did and want to. I’m 70 and now I find I am not trying to change the world but defend myself from a world-changing me. My friend from my past, Paul, said a long time ago….”People like to look at the world thru rose-colored glasses, I look at a rose thru world colored glasses.”

As the years passed, and my life experiences came and stored in my memory banks, I realize that what Paul said was a very profound set of words. The meaning is still  resonating between my eye, heart and mind. I have talked with many that trust me and depend on me for answers they can absorb and live with.

The idea of Zen in photography is offset and over ridden by the Zen of Life. So, craetively, we must find the solution of our life in photography. Maybe, just maybe, for now, the best solution is to take the pressure of of being with the camera and just breathing your work from the archive. I find that doing this gets me working again and maybe just easees my weary soul.

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I have some things to pose soon but for now, enjoy what you’re doing lest you don’t.

 

June 27th, 2019 … Stop Running Away … From Being You

I remember back in 1975 I wanted a blad like crazy. Once I had the camera I was all proud and happy. I’d go to openings with my un-named blad on my shoulder, knowing I was someone. One day my friend Paul told me I wear the Blad like jewelry and don’t make photos with it. The truth was he was right. I had it at last but really didn’t use it. I was a street shooter and not a Blad dude. I felt that the camera would give me a signature or tone and it didn’t. I was really heartbroken.

Ya know, we can run like crazy from our gear, our PC’s, our thoughts and ideas but the important part is, you can’t run from yourself. It’s easy to think we can, just by ignoring the signals that come to us and yes, from us but the truth is, ya ain’t going nowhere. I remember the night I got my stage name. I was playing a gig at Cliff’s and we were heating it up. The audience was 90% black, don’t matter to me but I was the only white guy on stage. We cutting blues and everyone is really digging us. A woman halfway back in the seats stands up and says… that’s the Snowman, I know him he’s the Snowman. Gotta tell ya, I was on cloud 9. I mean people dancing and having a good time and I was driving them with my ax. I was the Snowman and would be forevermore. But, I was feeling things I wanted to say with my Strat that I didn’t know how to do it. Even tho the crowd was excited and loved us playing, I thought, there are 550 people out there loving all this, why can’t I love myself?

I had an opening at a MainStream Gallery in New Jersey. I had 50 prints of various sizes on the wall. As the evening progressed, may people cam to see the show. I was flattered that prints sold and was happy. It wasn’t about acceptance cause in photography, I am. We have like 60 people and the gallery director announces that I will be having a chat and question and answer in 10 min. Thanks for telling me. Her name is Diana and she’s an elderly lady with the elegance of a queen. Stunning and I am a working guy with a camera. She pulled me aside and in very clear words… Don, I adore you and I breathe your photos as well as but them. You must do this chat and do it well. I looked her in the eyes and I said, Diana, I got this, relax. I really was not uptight at all. I have my TONE intact and I can do this because I was placed on the earth to be a photographer. (if ya don’t pump yourself up, who will?)  There were many questions and even some discussions about gear. The press core was there and they threw a  question or 2 at me. I could look past the people and I saw Diana standing by herself in the white silk blouse. She had her hands clenched against her breast and I just looked at her and realized, she sees me clearer than I see myself. I answered many questions and explained many things the way I saw and felt them. I was not nervous not even 1 iota. For the first time in my life, I felt at one with myself. Ding had introduced me to Diana years before and now that his time had passed, I realized that Diana was my unspoken mentor and supporter.

Even today, when I visit Diana, she will take my face in her hands and kiss my eyes and tell me, the gift of humanity dwells inside you. Maybe she’s right, I mean I can’t understand all that I am or could be, no one can, right. It takes a gentle soul and a kindred spirit to recognize one another.

The key issue is to attempt at all cost to recognize oneself. It’s nice and even stimulating to be accepted into a community or group of other photographers. It’s flattering to know you are respected. There are keys to unlock those doors of acceptance. Such as Leica, many will acknowledge you because you have a Leica. Maybe it’s a Fuji or Nikon or Ricoh group. Maybe you are accepted because you shoot film and work in an analog manner. The list goes on and on. Let me tell you something. You can run away from many things in life, even death but you can never ever run away from yourself.

Time to man/woman up and face the facts, you are who you are and need to accept and love that person. If not, one day you’ll be playing a strat on stage and feel empty even as the crowd stands and calls your name.

 

June 26th, 2019 … The Tones da Thang

I started playing guitar at 13. Seems my dad played and he also was an amateur photographer. He died when I was 6 so, not many memories but enough for me to find him at the end of my tour. Anyway, I am aware that I followed in his footsteps without really seeing those footsteps. After a short time, I fell in love with the guitar and played all my life. When I got home from Nam, I started to get serious with it because I could hide inside it and keep my thoughts and emotions hidden from my family. I started to get pretty good at blues and loved playing but unfortunately, I didn’t have a voice for singing. That took a toll on me that to this day has affected me. As time passed, I was in many bands and really loved the interaction. We recorded and did gigs and concerts and it was a dream come true. Inside there was a block of ice in me that I couldn’t chip away. On the outside, I appeared happy and content and loved what was happening. Inside, another story had developed.

Tone Is Da Thang

See, your tone is your signature. It’s what makes your soul sing and dance. No 2 people have the same tone. I could hear anyone that had their tone so clearly and loved listening to them. The issue was I never found my tone. Oh, I could hear it inside but whenever I tried to get it out, failure. I bought more effects than I would ever need. I had the sounds that many liked but I did not love it because I knew I didn’t have the tone. I had no signature tone. There was an emptiness in my soul that never was satisfied. Decades passed and still, I was just like everyone else without tone. Empty with all the gear to make it happen but no stamina to pursue it.

My body started developing  Essential tremors and that put an end to my guitar playing. Of course, I’d have a heck of a vibrato but I can’t grip the neck without some pains. My fav guitars hang on the wall and I look at them all the time. That part of my life has passed and it saddens me but I continue to have great memories.

So, what’s this to do with photography? Maybe there’s something like the tone in photos. I don’t mean color tone, but TONE. It’s borrowed from guitar playing. This is not a new question for me but one that seeks an answer for decades. Ding told me long, long ago that he felt I had much raw potential. He was upset to learn that I could not afford to go to any college. So Ding rethought his approach to me and told me, “The most important things you need to learn are, to recognize your successes and recognize your failures”. This, of course, means to, define success and define failure and have a concrete understanding of both.

So the way I define these two polar opposites is by the tone of the photo.  This became a very difficult way to work because I have stripped away the innocence of photography. I had assigned a meaning to the photos that maybe I didn’t fully understand. I felt that when a collector or gallery whatever, bought some photos, they were a success. I guess there were but I quickly realized, I didn’t give a hoot for the financial profits.

Eureka, Ding was right. I have finally started on the path of self-discovery thru my photography.  The tone of the photos was clear as the light on the moon. The key issue with that is, I maybe never made a bad photo and maybe made many good photos but the ones that sing for me are the ones that have the tone I can’t ever hear or find on my guitars. I just see it. So, it becomes more a question of what brings joy to one’s life. Sure, it’s great to make those photos that are just outstanding to one’s self. Perhaps what needs to be learned and practiced is to love what you are doing and not to make things simple or decrease the value of intent but to find the joy with a camera and if you get that great shot, fine if not, at least love what you are doing.

It’s important to strive for personal satisfaction but to only reach for that means if a photo doesn’t make the cut, then you start to live with resentment. You have no right to make photography a passion of resentment. It’s totally unacceptable and can’t be allowed to control any part of you. If resentment and failure plague you and your work, it’s you, not photography that has the issues.

Maybe I’m getting too personal here but truthfully, I don’t know how to be any other way.

Have a blessed day and good light to one and all….♥♥

April 12th, 2019 … Some Thoughts and Findings … Andre’ The Ricoh GR III

First off I need to answer a few questions about the Ricoh GR III. I got 2 batteries from eBay and they are as fine as the OEM. I paid $9.00 for both with free shipping. I have a Tamrac 5217 case that holds the camera, lens pen, and 2 batteries. It sells for around $10.00 or so on the bay. I have 2 and I bought them years ago. I have a wrist strap that is from the bay also. It’s a Sony Wii strap and sells for $1,00. I have 20. I have an ACMAXX screen protector on and I highly recommend these. I don’t use the touch screen but the protector works.

Andre’ the Ricoh GR III is loaded with MOJO. That is not available from dealers or stores. You have to find your own with the camera and make it your own. There are some negative remarks about the GR III. I prolly never pay attention to them unless it’s an obvious crucial issue. The AF seems to bug some people. I think it’s acceptable in normal lighting but as others mentioned, low light is not as good as anticipated. Usually outdoors or in normal light, I am at 5.6 or 8,0.

Most of the time I’m in snap focus mode anyway. More than enough FOF at 5.6 or 8.0 and I can get close enough to hold focus. so the left button on the wheel is set to Snap/AF. I think everyone familiar with Ricoh cameras does that. If not, how come? The right button on the wheel is set to Snap Focus Distance. This differs from the GR II. The same function, different location. I mention this because if you’re coming from the GR II, some things are different. I call it anti-intuitive. See, we all know how the GR and GR II were so easy to get to an intuitive state.  So here ya are out on the street with the GR III and you kinda feel at home but it’s not the time for that yet. There are enough things that are similar between both cameras but the little things will bite ya in the…. well, you’ll see.

The key features for the street are, Auto ISO, AF, and Snap, Aperture, and FStop. The GR III sets up quickly and those elements become intuitive very naturally. I couldn’t think of a good utility for the Fn button.  So after some consideration, I set it for Picture Effects. The jpeg’s from the GR III are spectacular, pity I never use them, but I sure like them.  The Bleached Bypass is not as nice as the GR or GR II.

Alrighty, all youse EV Haters, have I got something for you.  Ricoh has given birth to a group of wandering thumb shooters. Ricoh knows that we all hate the up/down button on the GR II. Oh yeah, they know. See, with the GR II your thumb gets tired of just holding the camera and then starts the wandering thumb procedure. Oh yeah, What happens, is that the thumb hits the up/down button and without telling you, changes EV setting. The issue besides exposure is, the wandering thumb will become intuitive. For real, it’s thought to be an accidental process but it in time becomes natural. Dangerous and more frustrating than I can say. Don’t believe me, ask Giovanni. He is living testament of the Wandering thumb Procedure.

So, Ricoh cares about their customers and they didn’t let us down.  Ok, I’m 69yo and sometimes a cocky bloke. I had and have excellent cameras. I have many Ricoh’s in the cabinet. When I got the GR III, I felt a loss of the wandering thumb procedure. I looked and low and behold, no rocker switch. I smiled inside because I finally knew that the rocker will no longer mess with me. Yay, I thought, FREEDOM, FREEDOM.

Ricoh makes great cameras. We all know that. Little did we all know, the Ricoh engineers have a sense of humor. Yeah, not kiddin’. I figure that they all sat back and drank Budweiser and ate string cheese when they invented the wandering thumb. Ok, in the USA in many states, hooch is legal. The engineers must be celebrating their humor and the movement of the wandering thumb and smoking lots of hooch.

Now I ain’t one to spread rumors and I’ll deny that youse got this from me…..The thumb now finds the rear wheel and at times, it will change EV and or the movement of the AF Focus Point. I have not found a stable lock. You can change EV by moving the wheel. You also can move the AF Focus Point by moving the wheel. It is said in the annals of Ricoh Engineering that if you hold the OK button in, then the point will center.

If there was a lock you wouldn’t need to do that anyway. I guess it’s an anal thing and I don’t understand.

March 30th, 2019 … From The Streets of Philadelphia … Ricoh GR III

There are times in our life that we must surrender to the forces of perfection. This is one of those times.

Andre’ the Ricoh GR III has been on the scene for about a week. I do mean my scene as your scenes may vary timewise. I struggled at first with finding the intuitive way to be together.  I suppose that any means to get intuitive would require an acquired approach. In my mind, I kept comparing the GR III with GR II. Maybe that mindset was holding me back some and I finally surrendered to the GR II and it’s differences to the GR II. So I set sail with the Ricoh GR III and we decided to form a bond and to get acquired information to become intuitive. It’s a fine replacement to the GR II. I can not overemphasize how perfect the SR = Shake Reduction actually is.  I don’t know for sure how Ricoh thinks about the camera but the camera itself is proof that thought went into it. The missing Flash is for sure a conversation many will linger on. I see it this way. If I can hand hold the camera and get a very usable photo at 1/5 sec, why need a flash. See, the majority of street shooters kind wanna be discreet. Not all but the majority. If your out shooting with a flash, your not discreet at all. So I figure Ricoh thought that way also and made the camera very capable of low light shooting. It is!

 

The way I like to use the GR series is like this. I set the exposure for 1/125 f5.6 This a good shade setting and if you like low ISO. I do sometimes especially on bonding with a camera. I set snap focus distance to 2.5m.  My fav is 1/250 f8. Anyway, I work like this until I want to switch to AF. Switching to AF I still work the same exposure because I use Auto ISO. What ya don’t want to do but certainly can change the f-stop. If you decide to go back to snap focus, you are already at the right f-stop for the set Snap Distance. The AF on the GR III is very snappy except if you’re in l o w  l i g h t and then it hunts for good contrast. I don’t use the touch screen and haven’t in any other camera either. My cameras are my family and not tools so no need to be critical or anal about that stuff.

 

So Suzanne asked me why I am posting these 3 photos. Good question. I feel that Andre’ the Ricoh GR III is now a part of my camera family. We have bonded and continue to do so in a rapid and efficient way. The first 3 days together and I was ready to send him packing. Then one night as I lay in bed relaxing, I got a telepathic message from Andre’. He said, ” look, shooter, I will do all that you ask of me within my abilities. In return you need to accept me as a partner and not a slave to your whims. I will adapt to you without fail but you, in turn, must adapt to me. Together we will achieve the ZEN we both seek”.

I thought that Andre’ was being damn ballsy and insistent about a 2-way relationship. I drifted off to sleep and visions of Andre floated around my tired brain.  I ran down to the kitchen and made a fresh cup of Kona. Back up to the office and I looked at Andre’ the Ricoh GR III. Ok, maybe I am exaggerating some but he had a smile on his uuum….lens face. The I knew at once it was time for us to leave the Grasshopper Office. Andre’ was right. I accepted his strengths and weaknesses as my own and we instantly had an intuitive relationship. All the I thought was wrong, (actually 1 single flaw) was in clarity and I am now at one again.

Andre’ told me that we are both responsible for this synergism we have created but…. if the photos suck, it’s my fault, not his….ever.