November16th, 2017 … A Casual Walk With My Intent … or Gone Fishing

Like any serious photographer, I have my moments of discontent. What I mean is that the photos I’m making are ok for me to continue but not the celebrated ones we hope will shine. I wrote about this a few post back. Flashback to around 1973.

I’m sitting on the bank of a creek and fishing with Bill, my father in law and Bob his brother and my 2 brother in laws Dan & Billy. I have all the good stuff. Fenwick ultra lite rod, Penn reel and all the lures and things to make Opening Day of Trout Fishing a great experience. I had my Leica M4 and 35mm Cron in my vest pocket. I will not talk about the financial investment in this undertaking. We are fishing our own styles and I caught a few small ones and put them back in the water.  I said to Bob, what the hecks going on? All these people fishing and not many fish being caught. Bob was laid back against a tree stump like it was an expensive leather chair.

Donald, he said, 90% of the fish are caught by 10% of the fisherman. 10% of the fish are caught by 90% of the fisherman. I almost stopped breathing. I had an epihany, and it proved Bob right. Oh my I thought. Why am I doing this? Bob said, Donald….I come out here to relax. I love the fresh air, the water all the nuts like you trying to catch fish.  I said your fishing. He reeled his line in and there was just a sinker, no hook, no bait. He’s calling me nuts right.

Bob said. look, it’s very relaxing right now. No kids, no wife, no work just you bugging me, he smiled. I asked him, why no hook or anything? Donald, if I have a hook, then I need bait. Then the hook gets snagged on something so I need to start over. What happens if I catch a fish? I gotta deal with that and …it’s good fishing but it damn sure ain’t relaxing.

Making photos for me is like fishing. I love to catch the big fish but I won’t rule out the ones that are not keepers. I LIVE photography. I love every single aspect of it. If I was to just go for those great shots, what about the energy that goes into that. I mean if you picked up your camera and every time made your masterpiece, well, they wouldn’t be. The inverse square law dictates that in order to survive as a photographer, you need to take the good with the bad and love all equallly.

The ones you feel are not keepers, if you don’t love them you will not learn from them and probably not find the great shots you are capable of. Not every shot is a benchmarm, nor do they need to be. I go out on the streets and I am relaxed. I’m breathing, listening, seeing and processing in my heart abd mind photos I seek to find. You can do things the way you want but trust me, if you slack off because your not getting the work you rhink you want or need, you better open your eye, heart and mind cause your making a mistake.

I’m not saying to get complacent, just saying there’s a lot of fish in the waters. For me, I;m very relaxed and content just being alive with my camera.

….shooter out………………..

10 thoughts on “November16th, 2017 … A Casual Walk With My Intent … or Gone Fishing”

  1. Hi Don,
    And the sharing of the dialogue continues, within a content and comforting zone – which is infectiously reassuring only to yourself but to others, I’m sure.

    It’s like being in that space where ‘heaven and earth meet’ that is as personal and individual to each and everyone of us. Some of us are fortunate enough to be able visually identify and craft a meaningful image so that others can see and feel a little closer to what the author of the image experiences.


    1. Very eloquent Sean. I don’t know that I am worthy of such grace but apparently you do and for that I thank you my friend.

  2. This reminds me of a quote of one of my favorite movies Big Fish; ‘There are some fish that cannot be caught. It’s not that they are faster or stronger than the other fish, they’re just touched by something extra’. But you are one of the fortunate few that managed to caught that something extra. And you keep on doing that. Every time you inspire me, us, with your photos and sincere words. Happy fishing, my friend. Love, love the trousers btw.

    1. Kate, I must say, Big Fish is one of my favorite movies. Every time I watch it, I’m a little boy in front of the TV. Thanks for your kind words and i will let it go to my heart.
      Be blessed

  3. A point I need to remember when I am out shooting. And so well illustrated with your story about fishing. Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend!

  4. Hi Don,

    Great article, and timely. Loving photography but only able to shoot as an amateur is frustrating at times. Some of us can’t fine tune our form enough to get really good so we get demoralized and say “why am I here?” But we keep doing it, I guess because every once in a while we do catch that special trout and it gives us another boost till the next time.


    1. Thanks Russell. Ya know as an amateur your in good company. Thete is a most important photographer from history that insisted on being an amateur. Maybe he could be a good sourse of information and inspiration.

      Good luck and don’t ever release what lives in your heart….

      oooops forgot, that photographer was Alfred Stieglitz.

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