Category Archives: Philosophy of Street

Streetshooter’s camera and lenses had a union meeting…….

Nex 6 ColorIt’s a great thing to think of a camera as a tool. Man o’ man, I wish I could do that. Such a shame that I can’t……so the GXR has been pardoned and saved by Nex6. Oh yeah, I think they planned it all along.

GXR 3See, I put the GXR M on eBay the other day because I wasn’t using it as much as I should because the GR was hoggin’ the limelight and the Nex6 was afraid to speak up. Well, low and behold it didn’t sell. The Nex6 told me to think about what I was doing…..hmmmm methinks I should listen to my cameras.

GXR 2So I set up a meeting with the camera crew and of course the lenses wanted to have their say also. Well of course GR got nervous because she’s a one eyed camera. Look, she tried to convince all of us that she can see like 35mm and even 21mm if I wanted to. GXR M told her that GRD4 had that covered and was even better with grit than her…….I know she was pissed but she maintained her cool….

GXR_Well, here’s what they wanted me to think about and plan on doing. It was agreed by GXR M, Nex6 and GRD4 that GR was a bitch and had a bad attitude. GRD4 said that he needed a long earned break but not retirement, just some time off with pay. We all agreed and then GR told GRD4 that he was being replaced by a classier her….hmmmmmm I wonder about that…….

Nex 6 B&W 2

Nex 6

Well, Nex6 got pissed off at me and said that it wasn’t fair that he had to do all the lens crap I like to do. He said he wanted to choose which lens and when it would be used by him. Then Nex6 stated that GXR M could cover like he could but without a finder, could make me work differently. I thought about it for a spell and agreed to spend time this weekend to try this 2 camera thing out. Ya know, it’s so crazy…it just might work.

I asked the cameras which lens they wanted to use and they agreed that Nex6 would mount the 35mm 1.4 Nokton and GXR M would mount the 21mm Skopar. GR would just sleep in the bag and come to work only in an emergency. Of course Nex6 and GXR M and myself set out to prove that we could do it all and not need the GR bitch for the weekend. She smirked and took a nap in the camera bag. That’s another story and I’ll get into it tomorrow after I get back from the days shoot.

I told the cameras and lenses and bag that I was the president of the union, the treasurer and the shop steward so I decide what, when and who do what.

They all told me to F+++++ off and that they would get both computers, the iPhone 5 and LR5 on board with them if I didn’t watch myself.

So I don’t call my gear tools, first off I’m not allowed. That’s in clause 119 section 21 of the contract we all signed. I found out why the GXR M didn’t sell…… HP Envy sabotaged the listing so that it wouldn’t. This was Nex6’s idea and it worked.

Nex 6 B&W 4

Maybe you think I’m crazy and that’s a strong possibility but I love my cameras and gear and they love me back.

I’ll do another post here tomorrow and put some shots from the day…..

Thanks all…

Nex 6 B&W 1

Just a few from the Ricoh GR and me……

08-13-0568Allrighty…it’s the duty of every street shooter to look at the boundaries set and then find a way to uh,,,ya know move them a little. Well, far be it form me to want to do anything different…..

So I got the GR in my hand,,,,rephrase needed…I got Tanya in my hand. She’s back to being called Tanya because I am keeping her and not getting a digital divorce. For youse that think I’m crazy….I name ll my cameras and the GR is Tanya.

Any wayz….I’m walking and I see this guy talking to himself, leaning against a wall. My Doctor tells me that 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 in the conversation….see my Doctor right away….they have a special place for you and it’s very comfortable…..

So I can tell this guy sees the same Doc as me cause he’s having a nice conversation and I understand hime so that means he’s got a few marbles rolling around….don’t we all…..?

Tanya sends me a message to the palm of my hand…time to make a photo….so I get positioned when I need to be and I bend down. I act as if I’m tying my shoe and then CLICK!

The guy sayz to me….”What are you doing”? I replied, I’m tying my shoe….he smiles and says…but you don’t have any shoe laces on…..

I stood up and as I walked away I said…that’s a problem ain’t it……Not for me he said…….

08-13-0581The Transportation Terminal is a special place. There, people are in a state of transition in more ways than one. I shot around 15 frames in a 4 hour period. I felt satisfied that 1 would make the day. As I walked to my bus, I came out of the building and saw this chap just in a deep state of depression. I stood there for a few minutes, camera in hand. People looked at me as if I were nutz…just standing there with a camera in my hand. I felt at home as I love being on the street and love people. Then this guy walked around me on the left….Click………!

Ricoh GR … Life on Philadelphia Streets Part 2

 

08-13-0547There comes periods of time for me when I just feel and enjoy what I’m doing photographically. I don’t care about the camera, the processing, the … well anything but the act of making photos. I am in one of those times right now. I don’t know how long it will last but I’ll work it until it’s done.

08-13-0541Funny thing is…. I notice thru the years that these periods come around the time I’m getting ready to teach a workshop. Hmmmm?

Well Olivier, you know that Duong chap from Florida…..he informs me that we are getting ready to go to New York and do some workshop things.  Maybe that sparks some kind of energy in my brain. Maybe it gets my juices flowing…..nah! I’m ready to work anytime, never needed any inspiration or kick in the butt.

08-13-0543

08-13-0556

08-13-0557

It’s times like this I don’t have to answer to anybody. I am free to just breathe my images.

One of them young bands that has all my respect sayz…….:

It’s Times Like This You Learn To Love Again……. I’m on the streets tomorrow morning and will report back with some new images…..

08-13-0550

Ricoh GR … Life on Philadelphia Streets

08-13-0504Sometimes a man just has to man up and know when to surrender. I did. I guess it’s just the passion and commitment to my work that won’t allow me to just read what everyone thinks about a camera and so, It’s taking me more to embrace the GR than any camera before it.

08-13-0496

08-13-0518

08-13-0498

There’s a vibe on the street. It’s has a changing frequency just like life. It has a sense of humor, just like life. It has a sense of immediacy and with all this going on, the dedicated human with a camera breathes his images. Images come and go just like a breath of air…just like life.

08-13-0516

The street is life. If you look close and pay attention you will notice that every little movement that appear insignificant to the untrained eye…is the very movement that causes the finger to hit the shutter. If your not seeing life that way, it’s time to slow down and start because you’ll miss much more than you see and that means many, many photos will never be borne…..

The Camera’s Intent “Memory” for the Eye, Heart & Mind … Part 2

Bethany copyHere’s what’s going on with INTENT. There is the INTENT of MEMORY and the MEMORY of INTENT.

The intent of memory is like when you make a family snapshot. The photo above is of my daughter when she was around 7 years old, I no longer have the exact time in my memory and am thankful that this photo was made to remind me of her at such a young age. She will turn 40 on Sat 8/17/13. So this clearly shows the intent of memory. It means I wanted to make a photo of a certain person in a certain place in time. I wanted to make a record. In this case of someone that was/is a major part of my memory in this life experience.

So with this in mind, I made the photo fully aware that it shall outlive me and probably her. Our families of the future will see the photo and hold it special because it’s a record of existence for both of us. This is the INTENT of MEMORY. My INTENT was to make a lasting memory  as a record for future family members.

2013-04-03 18.01.54Tanya made this with a cellphone. I don’t remember which one, her’s or mine nor do I care. The cat’s name is Barsik. It’s Barsik because Barsik is a good cat name for cats in Russia. The guy under the cat is me but I don’t remember my name nor do I care.

Her intent is very obvious. She wanted to make a photo of her family here in the house. Her INTENT was to make a lasting MEMORY. Thus, the intent of memory. She is not a shooter, she is a person that wanted to make a memory. In that respect, she has made a great photo. Think about this………. a little more………….ok, get it. Her intent was met and succeeded without all the hoopla that we shooters apply to our art.

The art of living should be met with as much respect by shooters as the art of knowledgeable image making. The two are inseparable to those that follow the path of the EYE, HEART and MIND.

Next…side two, the reverse but yet the same.

The Camera’s Intent “Memory” for the Eye, Heart & Mind

08-13-0308

All photographs since the very first to the last one that will ever be made, by Master and Student alike share one thing in common….”MEMORY”.

The intent of the camera is memory. This is the foundation of photography that all images are made. No matter what your subject matter is or where it is you, when you press the shutter, capture a memory. This happens every time. Quite an amazing experience.

The camera records your choice of subject matter and displays it’s place in the here and now at that moment of time. The genius of photography is that it does this process more than other genre’s of a clearer rendition of what represents the truth, as we perceive it.

Therein lies the problem. I’ll assume that all readers here know about Susan Sontag’s “On Photography.” Of course the mandatory reading for any Human Being using a camera is “Camera Lucida” by Roland Barthes. If not, please read them now and we’ll wait it out until you get caught up…….

So now we can move past this and get into making photos. 08-13-0362

Here’s how I live it:

The elements of photography are as follows….

1. Eye

2. Heart

3. Mind

All 3 elements are tied into memory.

Eye:

When we work, the eye seems to be the first in order to get the info to make an image.Well, not really…not all the time. The shooter that’s aware of all 3 elements knows that paying attention to all three, will lead to a better understanding of what we are looking for out there. When I say out there…anytime you have a camera and are ready to use it…that’s out there.

The eye usually responds to trigger mechanisms faster and first. It sends the signal that something is about to happen or that we can make something happen. If you raise the camera and it does anything at all besides show you the subject matter, it’s intruding on your vision and or process. The camera can suggest settings, framing, FOV etc but not when it’s raised to the work position. All those things should be addressed before the camera is at the eye.

I like a screen on the rear of the camera because it shows me what’s out there and in two dimensions. The screen floats easy in our three dimension reality. It moves in and out, up and down, side to side etc. All the time it’s sending the image on itself, framing until the eye says yes. CLICK.

Bear with me here…… We are in a 3 dimensional reality. Photographs are a 2 dimensional reality. So, using the screen is the best representation we can get while working with the camera. We can frame with 2 eyes if we are so blessed. We see the photograph on the screen as it will appear in 2 dimensions. This is a very magical experience and at age hitting 64, still excites me as if I’m just seeing it for the first time.

The eye works very fast with the finger to seek and record the image. The finger is a very important part of the process and must be addressed in a very serious manner. We’ll get into that later.

The thing about artist and if your reading this….you are an artist …. is that most assemble their images in many different ways. Like so:

The Family Album. The humble snapshot takes on many meanings for the family as the shooter records those moments that should not ever be forgotten. You may shoot the streets for as long as you like, publish your work, maybe sell it and create a name that follows you all over the world. You did it…your a pillar of the photographic community.

You make family snaps and unfortunately someone has passed. You reach for the photos you made of that person and what value can now be placed upon the snapshots of them? The lowly snapshot now takes on an entirely different roll. It becomes the lasting memory of that persons existence and the memories you shared with them.

The point it, always treat every image with the respect above what you think it deserves. There is a teaching method as old as the hills….it states that a shooter should see things as if seeing them for the first time.

I believe that a shooter should see things as if seeing them for the last time……

More later or tomorrow……don

Tis a Sad Day Due to Technology & Word Press!

When I was younger I felt that the most important thing I could do was to make photos. I cherished the moments I was with a camera in hand or by my side. Even when I was on the streets with my M4’s I felt connected to the Street and Myself and ultimately, the images we made together.

I had a few light meters but it was a rare occasion that I would actually use one. I actually had a Gossen Luna Pro in the bag for a few years and when I opened it to change the battery, it was corroded. Geeze, I felt panic because my trusted meter was dead and not I couldn’t use it if I wanted to. I felt betrayed by technology.

This was a funny way for me to think because once I went to the darkroom, I was a very perfect technical worker. Of course I didn’t abandon my natural abilities for the technical ones but I managed to merge the two.

Years passed and I gave up more natural freedom and let the new technology take hold of my passions. When the Digital Revolution hit home, meaning photography, I dove in with abandon to all that I was as a natural photographer. I saw the cameras as a convenient way to make photos and then the Alpha on LR and I was good to go.

The circuit breaker panel is in the darkroom and sometimes we blow one. So I get to go into the sad darkroom that misses me and the work we did together. The smell of those lovely chemicals has long since faded.

Lets get to the present. I am well into Digigraphy. I love the process of making images. I love the cameras, the software etc. I even started to like my blog on Word Press. Well, for some time and in the present also, I can’t log into my WP account if I want to post on a friends blog.

Today is the last straw. I will no longer maintain my blog at WP and ptobably not use this one either. I’ll be on Flickr but otherwise, I’ll be out working.

Ya know…..when I go out now, I have to check my batteries, the iPhone 5 charge level, all this technology. It’s made me sick for the last time.

If I can’t feel like things are working with me, then they won’t…anymore….

Peace….don

The Ricoh GR … Defining Your Vision Part 2

08-13-0274

Don’t get me wrong on this stuff, ok…. I just want to show how I open my Eye, Heart and Mind. The constant in your work will be the eye, heart and mind. It’s what makes you unique in the world. So, if in fact…that’s true and it is….all of us who are street warriors should strive to keep those 3 elements as healthy as possible. We should also keep those elements working together in the here and now, especially while making photos.

Enter the camera. Enter the Ricoh GR. The GR operates at a very heightened state of awareness. It is most intuitive and extremely easy to float in the here and now. When it’s in your hand on a wrist strap, your eye, heart and mind are free to gaze upon the scene and move in and out without fear of the camera causing an intrusion. You concentrate on the subject matter in a way that most other camera strive to reach but mostly fail. When your trigger mechanism is activated, the GR immediately captures what you saw, the way you saw it. Your not struggling for focusing rings, settings etc because the camera is now a part of the process of Making the image, not outside of the process.

08-13-0288

My definition of a Street Warrior is something like this. Most shooters, (I want to keep this related to photography)… will look at the world as a place to make photos. They count on the next photo to be better than the last. They move forward in time chasing the elusive butterfly, know as the great photos.

The Street Warrior moves forward thru time but sees the world as a passing journey. The street warrior is in tune with himself and seeks the next image not because it’s the elusive butterfly but because he counts back in time. Knowing that each and every image recorded may be the last or even close to the last, he is prepared to make the NEXT IMAGE the one that marks his place in time.

Keeping focused on the here and now with the eye, heart and mind does not allow a camera that will cause intrusion on the moment. I know this is crazy stuff because not many will read this and that’s a shame. If I wrote about GAS or a camera review, well……I won’t.

08-13-0289

I hope youse understand what I just wrote. If you do, you’ll never have a camera issue again. If not, DPR has good reviews……

Gd’ nite……