January 23rd, 2018 … Finding the Un-lost … or … (put your title here)

….. don’t start that crap. It’s real easy to go out there and look for new places to work. It’s stimulating and exciting for sure. It’s like everything is seducing your senses and all you can do is see the magic in front of you. We are like virgins in front of Mother Light. Standing proud and tuned into the oneness of it all. The photos come to us as we become more and more aware of the newness of seeing and feeling. The camera, (you do name your camera, don’t you) ready to make the exposures just as perfect and articulate as can be.

Your a street shooter, there ain’t nothing better in the world. After a walk around, you breathe deep knowing that there, there on the card in the camera, lives the images you saw. made and are excited about to bring to life. Maybe Frankenstein felt this way making his creation come to life. You did it, be proud of yourself, you made photos of the easy side of the street.

What shooter? You best explain yerself old man. What’s this easy side of the street? Well, we all have mental blocks to deal with. Everyone. Maybe you don’t like to address it, or allow others to know you have a block, or maybe be in denial, but we all fall to the cutting edge of the executioner of our creative self.

I remember being 13yo and working with my Grandfather doing hardwood floors. We would come home for lunch and pop would sit in his big chair with 2 arms so he could rest. I’d sit across from him on the sofa and pop would say as he watched television, look at this Donald, it’s like being in Hawaii and in 10 min we will be in Japan, and never have too leave the chair.  Now I’m 68 and I often wonder what I would have done in Hawaii, which I have been too, and Japan and a number of other places that I visit thru other shooters and television etc. I often wondered if I would have made a great body of work and been happy enough to die for.

Then, my mind wakes up and my feelings stir and that itch in my eye gets going and my finger longs for Andre’ or on other other family members…… to be close by. My feet kinda vibrate, it’s not the tremors but the energy that is building. I sit resisting the call and trying to stop myself from succumbing to the call of the streets. My heart rate raises some and my breathing is getting rapid. My thoughts of Hawaii and Japan leave my mind. I start to get peace and tranquility in the knowledge that soon, in just a little while, the exhaust of the traffic, the junkies and the working people, the young men walking around talking together, the woman, seemingly frustrated and inside abused somehow, still radiate the beauty Mother Nature has instilled in them. The homeless that most know me by now as I share what funds I have so we all can eat a little. They trust me because I respect them and don’t care if they respect me.

I am home on the streets. I am home in Philly. I am a tourist thru life, we all are tourist thru life. No one gets a permanent visa. I make photos because otherwise I’d be watching the world go by and not even know I was a part of it.

I admire tourist. They come to Philly and most follow the beaten path set before them for many decades. They find the photos that keeps the memory alive for them when they leave and move on.

I wonder how many photos have been made of the Liberty Bell. I wonder how many variations on a theme there is. I wonder how it’s possible to think that anyplace but home could be better to live and work. Even if you move, in time the new place becomes home.

I guess in my own silly way, I wear ruby slippers. When I go to work, I just have to tap them 3xs and say,

There’s no place like home, There’s no place like home, There’s no place like home, ……….. it’s not about saying it, it’s about living it with a camera in my hand.





























15 thoughts on “January 23rd, 2018 … Finding the Un-lost … or … (put your title here)”

  1. What a beautiful post (as yours always are). This is a tremendous gift of wisdom and insight which you give to us.

    Thank you very, very much!

    1. Derek, thanks much. It’s nice to see sometimes I reach someone. Makes it all worth while.
      Be blessed my friend…..

  2. Hi Don,

    This is, as I see it, the nut of what you have astutely illuminated in the above, and I quote: “… I am home on the streets … I am a tourist thru life,… I make photos because otherwise I’d be watching the world go by and not even know I was a part of it…”

    Street photography has legitimacy. This legitimacy, by way of other examples, can be also illuminated by the work of other eminent photographers such as Kertesz, Cartier-Bresson, etc – who lived their life with a camera in their hand and photograph life – because they were there, in that place, as you describe as “… no place like home…”


    1. Sean, it makes me feel confident that you get my post. I feel like maybe I got it right.
      Thanks my friend, I’m home now, how about you?

      1. Hi Don,

        I’m still an my route that’s slowly and unpredictably taking me in a direction that could possibly be covered by a song, that you’d quite clearly have no trouble hearing in your head, titled “Homeward Bound” …


  3. Such a powerful post Don; I often travel 40-50min to a bigger city to shoot but am always drawn back to my own much smaller town home even though I’m not very successful here !

    1. Dean, thanks for the comment, as always. When we go someplace other than home, it’s like vacation and we enjoy most things. Very stimulating.
      Staying on home grounds, that’s work. There’s a reason it’s called work. That reason gives us stimulation and drive of another kind. For me, more fruitful.

  4. Thanks Don for the thoughts. Applies to all of us shooters where ever we find our home base to be. I just wish mine was a little warmer from Nov till March … Lol. Looks like your home football team will be on my home turf for the Superbowl. Good luck!

    1. Thanks Dave, As far as weather goes, let’s hope the day never arrives that you miss the cold. Things are warming up rather quickly and well, it won’t be pretty/ I hope all is well with you and yours.

      Everyone here is excited about the playoff games, Time will tell..

    1. Gio, yes it’s a happy place. The parade is on Thursday and I will go and make photos for sure. There has been fireworks and screams continually since the win. Beer and alcohol sales at a new alltime high. The cith smells of ot and not medical either.
      So, all in all, it’s good vibes.
      Thanks my friend

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