March 27th, 2018 … The Streets … Casual Encounters

Try as I may, I can never figure out how the visual weather effects my work. I get all excited and have a plan and location to work and the minute I get on the bus, I can’t remember my name. Another good reason to name your camera and keep it as a friend. Here’s something that happened a few weeks ago.

I had 9 people in a Saturday morning lecture. Suzanne and Polly and 7 others. They start passing prints around so we all can see what’s going on. Then Brant and that’s his name, starts sitting back in the chair, taking deep breaths and says the remark that puts rocket fuel up my butt. “I’ve seen that a 1000 times.” He looks at some more prints and makes remarks like the previous and like, “you have a good eye, you just can’t see with it.” Then Suzanne hands him some prints and he glances to me as he starts looking at her prints.

So Brant starts making commments and again states, “I’ve seen this 1000 times.” Suzanna kicks my leg under the table to come to her defense but I was anyway without the reminder. So I ask the group to turn the prints upside down and to eliminatte distractions so we can chat. So I ask a question to Brant.

Brant, do you have any books around. Have you ever seen books in a store, a shelf, a library or anyplace? He looks at me in his A-Typical smug fashion. Of course Don, I’m not stupid, so what? Books vary in in size, thickness, color, covers, paper, pages and may other things. All these things add in to make a book exciting and beautiful and interesting but…..

The essence, the heart and soul of a book is the words. The words are the lifeblood of books. It’s what makes the same catalyst become singularly unique.

So maybe you have 1000’s of books, byt each is unique because of content. Photos work the same way and so does many things in life. People are the exact same. Photos generally are on paper of a size and stock from a box from a mill that makes it. What makes a photo unique is the single simple fact that the photographer made it. Looking at photos or words is the exact same thing. The difference is in the syntax of the language.

Photography, especially street is about chance encounters. We travel around, and seem to click from time to time and find a photo or the photo finds us. The encounter is what makes our single breath at the moment of realization and exposure totally unique. Brant, if you placed your camera on a tripod and made 1000 photos without changing position, no two would ever be the same. It’s just like books, all have similar appearance and construction but no 2 are ever the same. This in fact is true with an edition. If you look closely, there are things that make them different. This is not about the details but the obvious.


So the conversation goes around for a bit and Brant says to me. Don. that’s all just obvious and no need to lecture about that.

I take a breath and said…. Brant, you know why you don’t have a boyfriend, because you see everyone as if you’ve seen them 1000s times and you never see the heart that makes anyone unique.

Be blessed everyone …. shooter out……

8 thoughts on “March 27th, 2018 … The Streets … Casual Encounters”

  1. Truer words have never been spoken….

    At the beginning, I thought Brant was male. The attitude oozes masculinity. Quite surprised he was not. I judged by not seeing the reality, only an “assumed” visualization. More in your words to acknowledge.

    1. Keith, your instincts are right. Brant is a man and gay. So that’s why I mentioned the BF thing. I’m sure when he reads this, he will be happy that you thought him so masculine. As for me, I couldn’t care less about that stuff. Just show me your work…..
      btw, you have been nailing it for a while now….. great images.

  2. Wow…excellent words Don and totally loving the images accompanying, you gave me a thought of another analogy in fact through your words and your photo,
    Snow all looks the same yet it’s so different and unique in its own right..!

    Stay blessed Don and good to see you posting.

    1. Thanks, Zahyr I suppose it applies to many things. Namaste brother and I’ll try to get posting more soon.

  3. Your photos here are all ‘zingers’ but that first one is a ‘humdinger’ – which – for those not versed in this very scientific measuring scale – is a ‘zinger’ plus 10. Wise words and good council in the story too … Cheers!

    1. Michael,
      Thanks much for the support. I’m familiar with that measuring scale but not worthy to use it…. I’m glad you do…

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