A Lesson I Really Learned From Minor White


Sometimes I wonder what on The Lords Green Earth am I thinking about. Maybe that’s a problem we all share.. yeah, damn right …you too. See, I kinda get on auto pilot and let my feelings and eyes do the work. Of course they are not independent of my whole, but I let them have guidance on the creative end. Also, nothing get’s the camera to work unless the mind is in it too. See, that’s the Eye, heart and mind I learned from Minor White.

From what I could take in, it was….don’t work looking for answers, but just be content with the questions your work presents to you. If you do this and don’t expect anything but more questions, you will live with your work as one and have peace thru it. If you force the issue of discovery and fight the battle for answers, you will live in turmoil and never be content with your work because you don’t know what it means to have peace.


Now I ain’t saying Minor was always right but I don’t think he was ever wrong. He further explained that there is contrast in everything we do. (later expressed as the inverse square law by me) He went on to explain that every single photo has the right to life. Every single photo is unique and it’s existence is justified by the fact that you created it. So, of course we all want and seek that special photo that we consider a Self Masterpiece. The point is, like children, not all are that special above the others. We strive for the special i,age but many are just a fragment of our life as it was when we made the photo.



I remember Seeing Paul Strand’s work countless time at the Museum. I think I mentioned this before, Ding showed me a box of Strand’s unseen works. Stuff he made but didn’t push or feel was worthy of exhibiting. Ding vowed to respect Strand’s request to never show the work to anyone. Luckily, I am no one so I saw the photos a few times. I realized back then that photography was not a labor of love as is taught. It is a way of life.




What echoed in my soul was that Paul made photos just like everyone and his well known masterpieces were what was always see. The fact that he made regular snaps, made me feel the connection to him stronger then I ever could have hoped for.

It’s like this, you go to a restaurant in Paris. Nice place, good wine excellent food. The you have to use the toilet, (I think that’s what it’s called, fee free to correct me)…you walk in and you see feet sticking out of a stall where someone is sitting doing his business.

You are taking a leak and you hear the familiar sound of gas escaping…(NE Philly it’s called a fart)… the stall door opens and out comes, in front of you a hero beyond all heroes the enigma that we call Henri’ Cartier Bresson.

You are in panic mode, I mean it’s true Bresson is a man, a man amongst shooters but a man. You think, wow, I can sit on the toilet like Bresson did…. your right.

Let me tell you something, all the world and all the planet recycles energy and love and hate. Don’t let anyone every tell you that you can’t do what Bresson did.

Do you see the hunger people have for heroes?  Vivian, Bresson, Strand, Winogrand. It’s up to you what you do with you work and your life. If in fact energy recycles over and over, maybe you are the next Hero. Maybe just maybe, you might know the next hero. Maybe just maybe you will buy a book by that hero or maybe name your camera after that hero…..

see you all tomorrow…….oh… if in fact some of youse become the next here, I want a discount on your stuff….

shooter out………end transmission……………………….


11 thoughts on “A Lesson I Really Learned From Minor White”

  1. You are the greatest. I learn something new and amazing with every thing you post.

    I hope you will consider offering a chance for novices to work with and learn from you.

    1. Derek,
      You flatter me dude. It’s ok, I probably need it. I’m in Phila and if your near by, we can meet up and if not,well we can work right here.

    1. Thanks Sharon. Ya know, this could all be your fault. If you make a comment, I feel the responsibility to post even if just for you….
      So let’s keep the energy going my friend,
      thanks Sharon….. much appreciated

  2. Some really good thoughts here Don. Another inspiring post. And…not only will you get a discount from me … for you it will be free! Thanks for your ongoing posts – helps to keep me motivated. I expect some good stuff from you during the upcoming Dem convention in Philly. Sorry to put the pressure on – lol. Take care out there.

    1. Thanks Dave. I was informed that both Trump and Clinton are trying to book me. I replied, to keep out of the arena, “I’m not a crook, I’m not a crook”, you want Nixon, not me.

    1. Yeah Keith, that’s one of my favorites also. Ya know, between you and me, there were 2 woman that interested Minor. I mean there were probably plenty but he mentioned 2 to me.
      Judy Dater and Eva Rubinstein.

    1. That’s a perfect comment Tina. Your right, perfection doesn’t exist. Chasing it causes pain and frustration and a loss of any satisfaction for what we are doing. I don’t know the answer but I’m totally with you having knowledge of the question.

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