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June 18th, 2017 … Father’s Day … Some Observations … Pen-F


Happy Father’s Day.  I’m an observer. Not just a photography observer but a life observer. What I notice and find most interesting is the search for identity. It seems to that everyone struggles with identity. Brands are all over everyone and everyplace. Racial identity, gender, religious, education, city, state, country, camera, lens…. the list goes on and on. We form groups of like minded people so our search for identity is not a lonely one.


So as photographers, what are we really searching for and how do we know if we find it? Let me say this: I don’t have an identity issue. I know who I am and the others inside my head know me also. So there!

Lets cut the search to bare bones. We all have cameras, lenses, dark rooms, computers etc. We all fit in our gear and lives neatly and perfectly. We have our vision, our stance and everything we as individuals deem necessary to travel our quest. Nice feeling. Nice to be equipped with stuff and more importantly, emotionally stable.


So what in our inventory is missing or worse, there but quiet? What do we have to hold stock of our life and our struggle to find our selves?  What is it that we produce, protect, promote?  Perhaps, maybe just maybe our photographs. Is it even possible that an image we produce has the ability to justify all that we are or hope to be? Is it possible that our images are or could be the catylist for conversation, criticism or self exploration and even self discovery? Well, believe this, it’s totally true. Your identity is visible in your images.


Think about this. No 2 photos can ever be the same. Don’t get cute and think about copies. “No eyes ever will nor ever shall see what I see now”. MBW

So then if we are lost in a world that swallows up our identity, it is the simple fact that our photos are our identity. They are the artifacts and DNA of us as individuals. They are the evidence that we are alive and here and working. So, if it’s just this photograph that is a record of our individual existence, maybe we need to take it more serious than we do. Well, I don’t know about youse but for me, it’s over 50 years as a photographer and my awareness of myself, makes me happy. It’s time to stand tall if you can and be proud and happy with the life you live and the work you produce.


We need to understand that whatever our work does, it represents our existence. If it is a truth and it is that Margaret Bourke White, (I pretty sure this is hers….) “No eyes ever will nor ever shall see what I see now”, then that means that your work is unique and you should be proud of it. You also may feel the need at times to defend it but I wouldn’t. I don’t think anyone serious about photography would give bad words and thoughts to another’s work. The ones the do are obviously lost in the world of confused identity and that is the reason they do such horrible things. Those that love photography must and should bear in mind that when they see your work, they see you.

The only bad photos are the ones that don’t get made………

Peace and be blessed all…………………………………………..

March 31st, 2017 Raw? … Color? … The Fuji X100F Made Me Do It! … Part 3

Many times I have learned a few things. One of those things is, not to fix something that’s not broken. See, to me that also implies that maybe something actually is broke or maybe it’s not broke and maybe doesn’t need fixing. It means to me that I can explore things and try to find resolution for myself. Another thing I found and realized is not to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. So my short term quest of exploring color or raw vs jpeg and  then the Fuji X100F and how it does all this is at a point that I have no real resulting thoughts or info to alter what I know or do already.

The Fuji X100F has a great jpeg processing engine. The color simulations are superb as well as the b&w. I used the Classic Chrome because it’s a familiar palette for me. That in itself is a very important statement. I used a lot of the Chromes back in the day. I loved the tones, shadows, highs, and the colors. The Fuji X100F has that nailed perfectly. I didn’t love pushing the ASA or as youse call it, ISO. It didn’t do that well.  (technology coming up) …  B&W films did respond better but once again, there was a limit you could reach and it wasn’t the sky.

The Fuji X100F lets you do Chromes up to 6400 that are amazing. I did it, shocked. You can go much higher but me poor brain can’t count past 6400. The camera can. So, digital has the advantage of speed and even grain or noise. Analog is beautiful but the limits are reached and passed quickly by any one doing semi to high level photography. It matters to the pros, I’m not a pro, I’m a lifer. Matters to me.

So, what I see is that the Camera makes great jpegs and also Raw. In processing, the jpegs can take some heave adjustments in parameters. There is a noticeable compression of tones in the jpegs. This is to be expected. Lets say I shot Chrome and decided to convert to B&W. Well, the compression now comes into play. It’s all good but there is a noticeable issue in the blacks and lower mid tones.

The Ansel Adams Method

Ansel took each value of tones and gave it a number. I’m not getting into the method. It’s The Zone System and I used it for decades mostly with my 8 x 10 Deardorff. Youse should all have a basic understanding of this. Here’s how it applies to us digital shooters. I will just figure we are using Zones 1 – 10. Zone 1 is the darkest dark, like where the IRS agent lives and Zone 10 is the lightest area where your winning lottery ticket is. If in fact the blackest black area we hold detail in is Zone 2, then what does that mean to Zone 3? Well, it means a stop of exposure.

In the paper print, we can see Zone 2 and Zone 3. What is in between those zones. On paper, not much is discernible. You might see 1/2 zone but that’s about it. Enter the digital DNG or Raw file. Well, looking at the same zones we can also if we wanted to, see maybe 10 steps between the zones. So like Zone 3.4. That’s Zone 3 and 4/10. You can see this separation and it’s important. What the jpegs from the camera and I mean every camera does is produce a very wide latitude of tones. The jpeg compresses these tones because it’s a processed image. It’s nice, maybr lovely but still a compressed image.

George Krause’s Wisdom

I’m sipping some spring water, the screen shows me a great Classic Chrome photo. I love it but ,,,,hmmmm B&W would make it. I mean I want to really process this till I feel good about it. I start to convert and low and behold, my color jpeg becomes a b&w jpeg but there’s kinda a loss of separation in the shadows, and hold on… damn… the highs are kinda not brilliant. The mids appear to be ok but… well, now what. Many years ago I went to George Krause’s studio here in Philly. In the hallway leading to the main area he had photos on the walls. I was like in awe of his vision but ya know…George is one of the finest printers ever. after a short while, I noticed that he didn’t really have a standard print size. I was curious. I asked him about that. He said, “I look at each image and make it the size it tells me to, every image needs to be it’s own entity”. Talk about being hit in the head. I mean it was a revelation.

What it means in modern times is the same as he says back then. There is another reason for thinking this. If you have an image that’s really compressed, then make it smaller. The tones will block on their own and it will be natural. If the tones are really open up, try making a larger image. On your screen in LR whatever, start with a smaller image and magnify to make it larger. Watch the tones compress or open. This is the most important thing to grasp in the battle for raw vs jpeg.

So to cut to the chase, I love the way the Fuji X100F does it’s jpegs. For most time it’s fine. I will go back to just Raw as I get a file that I can work anyway I desire. I know I can use Raw + F and have a sweet jpeg and for comparing on screen. Actually, I want to have a basic clean entrance to the image. I like to talk with it and find out how together we can make our photo mean something to us. Raw gives the most info to work with. I also notice that the presets for the camera that are in LR are ok but nothing to write home about. I have my own presets and I am working on a set for Andre’ the Fuji X100F because he deserves the best I can do because he is the best out there.

The Fuji X100F is the finest digital camera I ever used or owned. It’s a pure exciting sensation and the experience of being a shooter is so vivid that it’s like a dream that does not come true, but allows you to share that dream with the camera.

Be blessed everyone…………….end transmission………………

March 28th, 2017 Raw? … Color? … The Fuji X100F Made Me Do It! … Part 2

JPEG treated as a DNG and pushed the parameters.

Let me start off by saying that I have a few shooters that wrote me and were not thrilled about me writing this stuff. I am being accused of not being a PRO. It’s true, bows my head in shame, I’m not a pro, I’m not a pro. I am a LIFER. I do photography because I will cease to exist without it. I don’t do it for money. No one pays me to do a job or gig. I do what I do because I HAVE TO. I am a photographer because it’s my life’s work and I want to share as much as I can. I do and I do all that without being a PRO. I am a LIFER and maybe coulda shoulda been called an amateur. What an honor that is. You don’t get the, go paint your bathroom. I’ve been called a tourist like it’s an insult. Ya know something, we are all tourist thru life. No one gets a permanent visa, even the pros.

So let it be known that I have a few people in my head. I chat with them about things because I don’t trust anyone else. There’s a discussion going on about film vs digital. This is all tied in and it became obvious to me that I couldn’t do it in 2 parts. So I will do this until I have my day and others also. The reason the film vs digital thing is relevant is because, the negative and print vs the digital image. There are some very important things in this discussion that hardly ever gets mentioned. Perhaps, these few things I bring up are some of the most important to recognize.

sooc Cc ISO 6400

I have a air conditioned, filtered air, water darkroom. It’s as dust proof as I could get it. I haven’t used it in many years and still, not any dust on anything. I loved printing and did many different things. Traditional silver, platinum/palladium, gum, color, just about anything I wanted to do, I could. Many friends and others have used my darkroom and everyone loved the experience and results. So I am kinda anal about things like quality. Then back in the early 90’s it seems that my prints were selling well and many exhibitions all over the world. Well, the point to this part is, does anyone know where the gremlins are in wet printing?  I do, it’s in the DUST SPOTS. There was/is no way to eliminate dust spots. So that would mean, make a run of prints and then start going over them very carefully and spotting them. I did a run or 100 35mm negs and 5 prints of each in 1995. It was for my archive. Now it’s 22 years later and I have to spot the prints. Unreal.  Paper prints spotting is a chore. I have/had an assistant and she could spot prints all day and never miss a single spot. Now she’s a famous photographer and I can’t afford to have her do it.

Another thing that is way different between digital and analog printing is….repeat ability. With digital, you press a button and make as many copies as you want. Not so with analog. What does this have to do with color and raw and jpeg? ok…it means that the camera has presets in it. I am using the Classic Chrome for the time being. For the life of me I can’t get a matching image from raw vs jpeg. If I shoot in Raw & Fine, I get both

The raw will show the preset quickly and then just be the usual flat raw image. The jpeg will come in as a finished image that you can tweak almost as much as raw.

So back in the cave shooter daze of early raw stufts, it was said that you can’t do things with a jpeg that you can with raw. Back then it was true. Now we are in the enlightened ages and well, it’s maybe not the exact same  but then again, raw, can’t do what a jpeg can. It’s not really 6 of one, half dozen of another either.

So the argument that stands about digital vs analog brings forth another issue. That issue is ISO.  The shot above in the Tropicana was at 6400. We all know what that means and it’s not only acceptable but assumed that it is a dependable speed. I know that Ektacrome had goos latitude but no wheres near 6400. The scary thing is, that it could go higher. So where is the advantage of analog when it comes to ISO?

The thing with the Fuji X100f and it’s jpegs is, they perform so well that I am not missing raw. I am not afraid of doing color again and in time, finding my palate.

The first frame is a jpeg out of camera. It’s Chrome. The I decided to work it a little and I did and it was easy and acceptable. The second has some work done and it’s easy to see. The third is a B&W conversion from the OOC jpeg. I’m not going to stand and say that it’s better or worse than anything. I’m just saying that the reason for using raw is dwindling. It’s not just me, but many are finding this to be true. It’s also really about digital vs analog and that issues has many nutshells to turn over but really….the main issue is the camera. Using a Leica M series that’s analog or film has a magical experience that everyone should know and feel. As far as quality, ability of the files or film to do other things, not as big as an issue as it was.

I spent about 40 years or so using an M camera. I used an M4 in Viet Nam and on the streets ever since, awesome camera, named Andre’ back then also. The Fuji X100F gives a similar experience, so similar that many die hard M shooters both film and digital, have an X100 something. So the point is I suppose, that we all need to find our way with things. We need to be able to rely on others and their experiences to help shed light on things.

I probably won’t be making the argument about film vs digital, or b&w vs color or a host of other things that may help others and may feed others but for me, I have clarity and I see the light. Andre’ the Fuji X100f has showed me the way of the new photography.

be blessed my friends. Once again….I am not a PRO, I am a lifer. The photos above and in the other post and most on Flickr are made for technical aspects that I am looking at. I tried to keep the esthetics out till I am at one again with mother light.





February 27th, 2017 … Mojo and Andre’ the Fujifilm X100F

Let me start off with saying this is not my best work. It’s not Andre’ the Fuji X100F’s fault. Most decide to blame the camera when they aren’t hitting well. I don’t I am accountable to myself first and foremost.

Restless sleep last night as always and with most Vets. But this was different. Instead of seeing bad dreams and visions, I was seeing Andre’ in my hand and around my neck and we were walking and just relaxing . We need to get to know each other. Now, I live in Philadelphia, USA, the home of Freedom and Liberty and even soft pretzels. So, walking down the streets talking to my camera may seem odd but it’s acceptable.

Anyone can buy and use a Fuji X100F or any of the Fuji cameras. It’s that simple…..but there exist a small esoteric group of believers in Magic, Love and MOJO. I am a proud member. I would rather be out looking for the photos that are looking for me. That means I need as little of intrusions as possible. Just like magic, intrusions will break the spell  of love.

Photography is about love. Love of being a human with a camera, seeing, the lovely sense of vision, the feeling of being an observer and trying to understand what lay in front of our lens. It’s about passion and the way that passion drives our heart to want to make photos. It’s about looking at our photos and just being so satisfied and not worrying about others think or feel.

Photography is about communication and the dialog we get with ourselves and with others. It’s about gear and if you don’t love your gear, it’s not right, get rid of it. If your not attached to your camera, poof! It’s about love, the love of seeing, the love of feeling, the love of living and the realization that we are merely visitors on the planet for an undefined  period of time. We as photographers have the gift and responsibility to show what life and the planet looked like while we lived.

I write about this because I have a passion for life and photography that never ceases to burn. So what does this have t do with the Fuji X100F? Ok, here’s the way it is for me. I am totally in love with photography. That means that I must be totally in love with my camera. It must love me in return. I know you’ll find this hard to believe, but trust me, at my age, I have seen a thing or two. Rumor has it that there are many shooters that think and feel of their camera as a tool. Shhhhhhh!

I can’t fathom that. I mean really. A camera is a tool. We all have our rights to think and do as we please. Even if that’s like some kind of detachment to things, it’s sad to me.

Andre’ the Fuji X100F is a fine camera and will be a close friend in a short period of time. For the time being, We need to shoot JPEGs because Adobe is taking their time. Affinity does the X100F raw files and works well. I hear Silkypix does also. The thing is, when I get into this situation and am forced to use JPEGs, I start to rethink things. Look at the photo above. This is bright sunlight. The dark tones in the windows holds detail easily.

The highs like the statue’s feet, there is detail. Maybe you can’t see it so well on the screen but I dang sure can on the original. This is SOOC. Amazing. I’m using Acros for these and will try Acros+r soon. Maybe I don’t need raw as much as I thought. I mean, this is better then fine. That’s really what I’m doing right now, testing the camera. I have to tell you, Andre’ is a champ.

It’s fitting Andre’ would make a photo like this. I uses M Focus mostly and at f11. I’m focused at 7.7′ and that gives me 3.8′ to infinity. Same as if I was using my M camera and a 35mm lens. The other thing is I use M Mode with auto ISO. The meter in the X100F is really tuned. It doesn’t get fooled but contrast range. Ya get 3 auto ids settings, plus L & H.

So, say you wanted to work in your own way. well normal people would kinda set the high limit to maybe 6400. Perhaps they would set the low limit to 200.

Well, what if you wanted to over expose you frame? I mean I do that all the time well not all the time but a lot of the time and it works. In Manual mode proper, you set 3 points of exposure. Aperture, shutter and ISO. Fuji put the Exp Comp on a dedicated dial and I never use it. I’d like that to be programmable. So, that’s like the purist way to use M Mode. Changing any one of the points will either make an under exposure or over exposure.

I like Auto ISO and the X100F does it very well. So, if I set the limits on Auto ISO in a way that would intentionally over or under expose, for me it’s more fulfilling. It allows me to think about exposure in a way that allows me to design the tonal range.

Above is also SOOC. Kinda scary to me because it’s all there. Her face is visible and that’s an achievement in itself. The shadow detail is utterly amazing. JPEG, out of camera, hmmmmm? Adobe better get their act together quickly. Look at the mid tones and even the highs. The detail is super. The X100F does exactly what I need a camera to do and then some.

I’m not selling these cameras, recommending this camera, just using it.

I am not a X Shooter or whatever they are labelled. I certainly have interviewed many X Shooters. It’s not about that, it’s about a camera for me that does what I need it to do, that creates a symbiotic love affair with me and that provides an internal satisfaction to live as a shooter.

There is a feeling of creative freedom that I must have or I don’t work. I watch CNN and get ranty. No good at all. I’m only a few days with Andre’ the Fuji X100F but I see the path ahead and it’s gonna be a pretty picture, I tellya. I did do some very low light stuff with AF and this camera is not the fastest and none are but it’s extremely accurate. Hey, look… if your in low light, what the heck is the big hurry?

I did some work on theis because I wanted to see if the tones would block up. Ya know how when ya lower the highs a lot they get that funky gray tones, This doesn’t. The shadows are all there and it seems that Fuji did a bang up jog on the X100F

What it comes down to is….. for me a camera is more then a tool. (The Horror!) My cameras are my friends, my companions, my collaborators in my creative life. I name my camera’s because they are a part of me and I am a part of them.

The Fujifilm X100F is a great friend. If you see it as a tool, be blessed and I hope someday you see fit to name your camera. If you don’t and it’s just a tool, good, it’s a great tool. For me, there are windmills out there and Andre’ the Fuji X100F and I are out to find them and conquer our fears of being a human Being.

I’ll do more in a day or so.


October 30th, 2016




The beauty here in Philly with the change of seasons has many facets to it. Perhaps most notably is the light. I just love how the light sometimes blows out the mid-tones and leaves us with light and shadows, deep and long.  It’s also how people respond to the color temperature and the intensity of the light. I’ll be seeking those magical glows in the highs and when I find them, wait for the world to respond and then Click!  I was walking breathing in the cool stinky air. You know the kind. It has buses, cars, garbage  and garbage trucks, ladies perfume, mens cologne, other things we need not go into. I crossed Chestnut St going North on the West side of Broad Street and stopped for a break. My knee is acting up and I rest once in a while to get my mind to jump over the pain.  Then, all the sudden, I mean I had an awareness, then when all was right in the stellar universe, I saw shadows but not anything or anyone to make them and thought, It’s Doc time at the VA and then, now get this, I see a man enter from my right and CLICK!


I was walking South on Broad Street and near the, um..near some bldgs. I stopped and leaned against the wall of one and tried to get my knee to behave but it said…FghweoruhtughK you shooter. A woman came down the street, stopped dead in front of me and looked out upon the streets. I knew if I gave her $10.00 she’d pose for me but I didn’t have $10.00 and didn’t need her to pose cause I hate that shit anyway. I have the camera at the ready and then she….CLICK!


I wonder how is it possible to have so many homeless on the streets. It’s starting to get cold again and I don’t think the city, state or federal govt’s do anything to really make a difference. They say they do and drive around in their pretty cars and live in their nice homes with heat and things like that. I imagine it’s a fact that many homeless are junkies or other druggie or some kind of addicted person. But this is the life on the street. We as photographers do our work and sometimes make photos of the forgotten. It’s a responsibility of all humans to care for all humans. So, I guess nothing will change on the streets once we have a new President in the USA,


The silence amongst us is deafening. We all take solace in the escape from the injustices placed upon us and all. It feels so much easier to be a part of the nothingness and let all go by us and not thru us. I think shooters are plagued by the realization that there is no nothingness because we are out there searching for the something, the something that matters and the something that makes us matter. And that something makes our photos matter regardless of what style or genre’ we work.

I talked about baggage before. It means your sensitivities and sensibilities are filled with all sorts of things and when you go out and seek photos, they pollute the clean vision we all hope for and work for. For me, maybe the weather is kicking in but I can’t deal with the fact that people, kids for shits sake are living day to day on the streets. Then these fuckers that call themselves candidates for the White House spend over $400 million to try to get elected. They send $1.7 Billion to a country that hates us passionately.

I need some sort of emotional ideas that make these things possible all the while, people are homeless with no bight shining light in the future.




Sometimes I need to get this shit off my chest cause it weighs me down and never lets me breathe freely. I walk the streets of life and see the progress man has made and the injustices that are legal and accepted by one and all. I am not a champion of anything anymore. I still make my photos of street people and slip the a few bucks. That doesn’t relieve me of responsibility I feel for my fellow members of mankind regardless of any stature.

We are all trapped in the cloud that perceive as real and yet, we all know that the upcoming election, who the fuck cares who wins…. won’t make a fucking bit of a difference to anyone but the assholes that forget.

Those fuckers forget about the POW/MIA issues also. Makes me sick that I want to write about photography and this is what comes out.

Well, like it or not, this is about photography.

October 12th, 2016 … The Energy of Seeing … vs … The Seeing of Energy


I’m wearing a jacket, at last, jacket weather. See, jackets are wearable camera bags without straps and my new trusty POW/MIA black hat. I love this time of the year, very special for me and I get in a frame of mind that interest me and directs me to a new shape of my photos. I guess I’m lucky to live in a place that has the change of seasons. Well, the point of the story is, energy changes also with the seasonal change. Maybe it’s the change of energy that is so appealing. Then again, we are programmed to fear change. Anyway. I get in front of the US Court House and I see the light dancing on the bldg and the people there. So, I decide to make a photo and …CLICK! Suddenly there is a woman looking at me like she isn’t happy at all. I smile and then see her arm and decide to get the hell out of there quickly. I know a few of the guards there and they were keeping distance from her also.



So maybe change makes us slow down or break the preconceived ideas we have and try to redo the thought process. Maybe it also tampers with the expectations. I mean if we can jar the thinking out of complacency or the comfort zone, it seems reasonable to assume that the gathered expectations will change also.

I remember talking with Winogrand as we walked around Times Square. He told me that he liked the idea of getting a groove going and working it without seeing what was on the film. I gathered from him that, the idea of seeing your results all the time will and does alter the groove you set out to do. If you don’t see the work, then not much gets in the way of the groove. I suppose we all have our madness and the way we think about the same things, changes from shooter to shooter.



Well, change is in order here in Philadelphia, because they give us a change of seasons 4 times a year. I hear other places get the similar season changes but I ain’t seen it and I don’t believe it either. Well, I tried this change thing idea with Tanya about cameras. I mean, maybe changing cameras and lenses is good for the art and for the heart and mind. So I said, Tanya, maybe I should get the Fuji XP-2 for a change of whatever. She changed from not caring what the heck I do and having zero knowledge about cameras to:

What lens you gonna get with the XP-2? Well, I want a 35mm FOV….and what sensor is in the XP-2? Well, it’s got an ASP-C sensor. She said so it’s essentially a bigger clunky X100T, right?

So I changed my diet to try to keep her and my Doc’s at the VA off my ass. Well, I am not getting the Fuji XP-2 but I am finding that the weather is changing and so is my approach to my life’s work. It’s been a few weeks since I did the blog and I didn’t like that change. I will get back on some kind of schedule and get the blog out more often.

To all those that sent messages about missing me, well, I’m back and it’s gonna be a pretty site out there on the streets.

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



September 22, 2016 … The Things in Me Head, I find on the Street … Ricoh GRII


….it’s true, it’s true I tellya. I have all these’s thoughts and feelin’s in me head and then I go out with my camera and the start to manifest out there on dem streets. That’s what I’m doing ya know, out there trying to find what’s locked up inside and find it outside. That’s my story and I’m sticking wit it, what’s yer excuse? See, it ain’t so crazy, this photo hunting process. I mean if your the kinda person that thinks, or maybe feels things, well maybe it’s a good thing to be a photographer. Ya don’t want to keep all that stuff inside ya and not share it right?

Here in Philly today, they made it the first day of fall. I much prefer to call it Autumn. The light just comes in at an angle that excites me. Of course that means the shadows do the same thing but opposite. I start to see all these things in the light and in the shadow and it’s not easy for me to just walk on by. I am compelled to find a photo. Well, maybe more then that, I am compelled to find my photo. I mean I need to be amazed or surprised by the new reality. The shot above does that for me. It shows me something different from the reality that gave it birth. Now it’s true that this happens with every single photo that was ever born once we realize the complexity of the very existence of photos. That in itself doesn’t bother me at all as I understand things photographically.


What gets me is that I see or feel these things in reality before I make the photo. So, what is going on out there, no, what is going on in me, no, what is going on in me that makes a photo from out there, that becomes the reality of what I felt or saw? I was walking on Market going East and as I approached the Marriott, I was just passing Star-bucks, well, I see this woman holding a coffe and I turn into the alcove to see what’t there. As I approach her, she doesn’t even look at me. First thought is, I’m nothing in all existence for her. Eh, dunno and don’t care. I see the light from the street and it has that over exposed glow I crave, Then she moves to the exact spot and …. CLICK!


There’s something about Public Transportation that I absolutely love. All forms and all places. People react in many different ways as they travel form point to point. I, as a shooter like to tune into these reactions and make and record my own. Usually we are in a confined space and that in itself sets up some conditions that effect everyone and me as the shooter. It’s like I’m at a stage show and all the people are actors doing their role in the play. There’s really no need for a director but as the cameraman, I get to choose lens and camera and how to work it all with the lighting. That guy a few years ago named Shakespeare, he invented the world as a stage and we are merely players. He kinda set the scene for all of us to see the world that way.

So I was looking out my window and my camera was in it’s belt case. It was Mom the Ricoh GRII. I saw a train approaching on the other track and had  feeling tho bring her our to do her thing. Now, my train is stopped and the other is actually going backwards of mine. I know, I know, I don’t get it either. So, I hold Mom and all the sudden, I see this woman and the light……CLICK!



The same thing happened here, same act, different player…….

Be blessed all… seey’s soon

August 18th, 2016 … Dealing With Rejection & Acceptance … Fuji X100T


To start, I am not a know – it-all. If anything, I am a know – it- partly – all. One of the things I know is how to accept myself even at times of punishing adversity. It’s very easy to cave in and do all that others expect of you or worse, what you think others expect of you. That is being punished and also, punishing yourself. It’s like you show some photos to some people and they look and comment like, “Your a master, the maestro, lovely, beautiful, so talented” and you eat that shit up until you get home and sit and think. Geeze, it’s nice people like my work, I just wish that I liked that selection better then my favorites. You think, people like my stuff and that’s great. Unfortunately, maybe they are greasing you up, or patronizing you or maybe they really like the work.


So to me, it looks like that way of thinking is the way to punishment from others and yourself. The question on hand is, who do you trust and who do you allow to guide you.? See, it’s easy to have others call the shots for you and we all do that at times. If there are issues, the hell with it, blame the people that guided you. Certainly easier then to accept the blame for yourself. Let them be the scapegoat for the failure of love you need and want for your work.


The recognition that we seek, doesn’t come from others, it’s born inside us.  I’m not saying it’s not nice or important to have recognition. I’m saying that if you allow that to guide you and not your heart, your doomed to failure and you let failure be the benchmark for your photos of the future. This happens to many and they can’t see that they have a problem because the ones they seek help from are the ones that they allow to perpetuate the problem. This may not be an intentional act but the effect is the same.


I remember years ago, around 1979, that I hadn’t shown any work to anyone in a bout a year. I was nervous because I was busting my butt to get a body of work together. I was already Streetshooter at this time. My friend Paul was coming down and I was excited cause he was also a photographer. He was and is an excellent shooter but he has a gift for seeing other shooters photos and getting it right away. When he arrived, we sat back and I showed him a box of prints. I had maybe 80 6×9 photos on 8×10 paper. Well, I knew the ones that reall meant something to me. Paul looked at the photos and he would say… Don, this is great. I felt relieved especially if it was one of my chosen.


Then, then when everything was going well… Paul would say, tilting his head back slight;y….”Ya know….” I knew that was the kiss of death. I mean, I’m selling my figgin cameras…..well, I didn’t and really, this is what I needed at the time. After we did the “Edit”, I would have a box of prints that was the selection we did together.



After a period of time, Paul would head home and I would lay out the photos as I saw groups, or things like that. I can not tell you the value of this experience. We did the countless times thru the years, editing each others work. It gave me confidence and a sense of visual direction. In time I learned how to relate to my work and how to defend myself against negative energy.

See, negative energy isn’t about acceptance of the work, it’s about a bad critique, or getting hammered by someone, or feeling bad because you think your work isn’t up to par. This is all common and we all suffer from it but there is a way to deal with this and my next post will be about that.


Be blessed my friends and remember, … sorry I forgot what I was supposed to remember……….

Streets Of Philadelphia … A Visual Diary … Page 64 … In Search Of…..?



Word on the street is, that I ain’t the only one in search of….something. Oh yeah, youse don’t get off that easy. I hear tell that each and every one of youse is searching for….something. Now this might just be a Philly phenomenon but I don’t think so and I don’t believe it no matter what anyone says or doesn’t say or implies or not. It’s human nature to be searching for something and we all as humans do that.

This does not apply to politicians as they lost the humanness when the were elected to office and forgot about being a compassionate human and just became a money hungry greedy piece of shit that robs from all Americans and doesn’t do anything but rob more and more. Enuff of politics. So the political types are searching for money and power but they don’t know that the DEVIL is searching for them to…well, it ain’t gonna be a pretty picture.

So, back to the brighter side of depression that we all have and don’t need to search for……. The point is, that all this stuff inside you gets activated when you work and make photos. No matter how good your Mind’s filing system is, it can’t help but let out some shit it has stored when you work. So, this stuff will and can influence what you see and do out there. It’s the basis of the struggle of ART. Yes, photography is an art form just like painting or anything else.



So, it works kinda like this. We have input and out put. The mind sorts thru the stuff it has filied and is adding to the junk bin and sends signals down to the heart and eye. The eye and heart try to decipher all the crap that the mind is sending and also, all thestuff that is being brought to the mix from what they see outside the mind. I call it “Instant Recognition” See, we get stuff in that interest us and we need to process the stuff in our mind and find a middle ground so that we are free to make photos.

The point is that we are saturated with input so then how to get clean output? That is a problem huh? Don’t look to me for the answers cause I’m as lost as you are. I know this, I work and make photos without too many preconceptions getting in the way. (or so I think)



The thing for me is to recognize trigger mechanisms. The things that make us see and shoot. Missing these and your out there in never never land and you might as well be a politician. Why, because without trigger mechanisms and the recognition of them FOR YOU, means you ain’t connected to your self. If that’s the case, decide if your a Democrat or Republician and want to be in office, cause you lost your humanity anywy.

Trigger mechanisme are the fruit of being on the street. Of course that means all of photography, not just street. I think it’s a beautiful thing to be out in LIFE and make photos. I love feeling awake and aware and when I release the camera, I feel connected to my work. It’s why I name my cameras. Today Andre’ the Fuji X100T and I will go out and see what we can find…..we will search together…….

What are youse searching for…..?


Streets Of Philadelphia … A Visual Diary … Page 63 … A Gift Of Life From The Garden


My wife and I do a nice garden every year. Well, Tanya makes the garden and I make the photos from it. It’s very inspiring to me and also rewarding in a way that’s hard to explain. It’s like New Life has come to visit me and maybe help me settle a little with the anguish living inside me. I won’t get too mushy here or explain too much detail but I will state that I feel every Vet from every war would benefit from doing a garden. Instead of seeing things dying all the time and that’s not just in Combat, it’s the aftermath that is the hard time to deal with and they call that PTSD. Vets see their relationships slipping away and dying and not know how to deal with it and even worse, not give a shit about it anyway.

The Garden brings new life without prejudice of what was before. So, I do as the flowers etc suggest…..just bring a camera and enjoy making photos….and I do.


The Tulips are just starting to come up and they call to me right away. Tanya does a lot of work like the Garden’s Mother taking care of her children. I go out and just find a few moments of peace and tranquility. I don’t expect or ask for more.

Every minute is “A Gift From A Flower To A Garden”.