Try as I may, I am unable to get thru the street shootin’ bluez. If I was jammin’ my Strat, I’d be happier than a pig in, um…dewdoo. But the truth of the matter is, I’m on my cameras and not my guitars and the music I’m seein’ ain’t too sweet.
Many years ago, I was with my friend Paul in NYC. We were out shooting and Paul said to me that the streets were like Jazz. Many teach and believe that but I don’t. The streets to me are more like Rock, may Classical at times but I never felt Coletrane out there. Paul thought that was an interesting observation and we continued on our journey to find some photos. Myself, I’m a bluezman and rock is maybe secondary. When I was young my younger brother Jerry, got me into Pink Floyd. Next to bluez, Pink Floyd reached deep inside of me and grabbed a hold of my soul.
Why do I mention all this? Well, in my interviews, I ask about music and if the participant listens to it while working. Here’s some of what I’m trying to express. If I watch CNN or BBC etc and then go out to work, can I really assume any of that info willl not have an effect on my responses and choices in my work? How about if I listen to Sibilius or Vaughn Williams or Copeland or Respighi, will that classical music not have any effect? How about Pink Floyd or The Stones, or U2 or anyone, will that not have an effect?
I think what I am dealing with is, Information Implanting.
Here’s how I see it and maybe some others will agree, probably high end advertising execs. Info etc gets planted in our brains. It activates when there is a trigger that forces a reaction. It’s the old action/reaction that is at work. You have info in your brain and the when your working, something triggers that receptor and it seeks to equal or at least tickle the info inside. So I often wonder which is the stronger influence, the trigger or the effected.
The issue here is not just the music or the visual elements or anything that is inside us. In fact, emotional impact is maybe the strongest and that we can’t define very well. If this is influencing the selection and aqusition of our images, well then what of the streets? This phenomenon is not limited to the streets. The ony genre’ of photography that it does not effect is Porn. With porn, the subject matter reacts to the camera and the camera get’s it’s drive from the lower head of a man. With a woman, the jury is still out and I spent over 60 years trying to figure that out.
So it seems to me that if things off photography like music and movies etc, have a draw oti fluence on the triggers that give us the drive to make photos, so does the scenes, people, light, sounds, smills etc on the street of life. For me, I am in center city Phila more then anyplace else. What happens and OI became aware of this maybe 35-40 years ago, is that I am oversaturated with the commonality of my environment. I remember the mens clothing store at 11th & Market. I remember the beautiful lady that decorated the window displays. I remember making a photo of her doing that and giving her a print.
Now when I get to 11th & Market, it’s totally different but my triggers are working and longing for that blonde and the clothing store. It seems that everything moves on and we are plagued as photograohers to seek new vision, nnew triggers and new thoughts and ideas for the present.
Maybe the point is, that all these things are special and all these things both past and present live inside us. Not only do they live inside us but they make us and they make our journey thru life with a camera, most notable and most worthwhile.
We as photographer’s have the ability to show what the world looked like while we were here and the ability to show it thru our own unique vision.
Let not others, regardless of their intentions, and ability to steer you from your vision, have that much effect on you. It’s the world as you see it and when your gone, your photos will effexct those that follow you and your photos will be implanted in their mind and vision and so on and so on and so on…..