December 13th, 2016 … The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same


Well, the title for the post is true. I have all these I guess ya call them series going on for decades and as much as I like to add something, I can’t. So at the workshop over the weekend, I was asked by a woman about the way things work photographically. I explained that we are subject to the Inverse Square Law. Ears opened and I was again asked to explain the Inverse Square Law.

So, I went on to try to make sense of Mr Inverse’s Law.  Now it will be assumes that everyone reading this understands this law, even without meeting Mr Inverse personally.

It goes something like this. I will demonstrate some examples. With regards to negatives, (these are film things that shooters used to do back in the Pre-Digital age.) The darker something in the Neg is, the lighter in the print. Then, the lighter something is in the Neg, the darker in the print. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s tried and tested and found to be true. Ok ok…. with a lens, the larger the fstop, the less light it transmits and the smaller the fstop the more light it transmits. The shutter speed works in a similar manner. The larger the speed, the less movement and the smaller the speed, the more movement. The less expensive a camera is, the more it does and the more expensive a camera is the less you want it to do.

So, in the natural order of things photographically, if we are aware of the Inverse Square Law, the better of an understanding of being a shooter we have.


See, image wise, I notice that …

the more I pursue stuff for a series, the less I want to work on the series. Now check this out…… if I have a series or no series with low volume, the more I am excited to work on it. It’s stimulating to find new images that I can file away in my catalog  and say goodbye to them as time passes and they become a part of history. The more photos you have for a series, in time will be less stimulating and the less you have in a series, the more stimulating because your excited to fill in the blanks. Why am writing this? Well I get concerned when someone ask me to help define them and their work. I’m very good at it but of course the Inverse Square Law works here too.

The more I see someones work and help them, the less I can see my own work. The less I see of others work, the more I see my own. Here is where I detour from the norm. A looooong time ago back in the age of darkness in a little room, I discovered that I liked sharing what knowledge I had. Of course this is all based on my personal experiences and the data that was input into me. Many people, friends and of course, not wives, would talk with me and THEN, ask my opinions. That for me was so exciting. I felt that maybe my contribution would be worthwhile and needed. Where I felt inept was anytime I met an educator from a college, university etc.


See, the only education I had was what I learned on my own. Then, then one day, then one day when not expected, a friend told me…..”Don, colleges, universities, schools are there for one reason. To build an appreciable audience.”  I started to thinks that what a shame for the teachers and what bigger shame for the  students to be in that cycle but her was right and that’s the nature of Art, regardless of the medium you practice. I felt that I was set free to live my life and to no longer be overwhelmed by educated people that maybe will have the understanding of them selves, mother light and their work.

A lot of what I write changes along the way but for me, I guess I stay the same. As a person for sure but as an artist, I’m not. I don’t declare to be an artist. Unfortunately I’m nothing but a human being on a journey thru life and that has a camera with me. I make photos because they are about the only things from me that I produce that give meaning to my life.

….. end transmission …..



10 thoughts on “December 13th, 2016 … The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same”

  1. I believe it is essential that one has to be a human being first, before being a person with a camera. Being human, having empathy, and in touch with life will make one a better photographer.

    Glad you’re “here” Don.

  2. Don, some simple but very useful concepts as applied to photography. Thanks for bringing them to light. Interesting, but suddenly I am getting your blog in my email. For awhile there I could only get it thru FaceBook. Well, todays high here in Minneapolis will be 5 degrees F … tomorrow (Sunday) the high will be -8 degrees F. Your high tomorrow in Philly looks like 59 degrees F. NOT FAIR! Have a great weekend Don!

    1. Dave, don’t let the temp today here in Philly fool you. The Mayor paid for 1 day so many will go shopping. The cold weather returns cause they don’t pay the weather lady enough. It seems Olivier fixed my email stuff so many are back in the line of fire. Be well my friend, peace to you and yours.
      With respect, don

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