Streets of Philadelphia … A Visual Diary … Page 37 … Olympus Pen EP-5 … One ShoT pEr ShOOt


Did ya ever feel like your going against the flow that others do? How about feeling like you’re alone and there are many others around? How about you doubt yourself and what you’re doing? Not a pretty picture huh. Oh, oh. How about your making photos and you’re unsure if others like them.

Shooter, what the hell, you are in my head again. Well, I ain’t a meanin’ to be in yer head as I gotz nuff going on in my own. If you’re feeling any or some or even more of these things, you’re doing good. You just landed in the land of non-complacency. It’s a ruff terrain with little or no real support. No hiding from the real you. Your alone and ya start to wonder why everything is so damn hard and it feels like there’s no reward.

You see all those people marching to the beat of the same drummer? See how comfortable they are, no issues as they are one and all the same. Isn’t that a nice picture..BUT WAIT! Look, closer my friends, alas…there’s a face looking the other way. The HORROR! How out of place this person is. Why are they different? What made them that way? Is that a man, a woman or what?

I get asked a lot from friends etc about, how to stand on their own and see their photos as unique amongst the masses. The land of complacency and mass acceptance swallows up many individual people every second. That hunger that wants to devour us has an insatiable appetite and is coming for you any minute.

Look at the photo…. now imagine your face on that face… take your camera and get the hell out there… You are not alone, but there’s not around…get used to it…

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22 thoughts on “Streets of Philadelphia … A Visual Diary … Page 37 … Olympus Pen EP-5 … One ShoT pEr ShOOt”

  1. Of course you are right, shooter! I promise I will get my old ass out on the street tomorrow and shoot. Too much self pitying…

    That face is haunting, the picture is amazing – Thank you!

    1. Thanks Frank, it means a lot. What means more is the inspiration thing. Yup, that self-pity things is a killer….. good shoot and happy holidays.

  2. I first prepared long reply, but I realized that you already know what I wrote. Because you see me more clearly than I do myself. And than I read your post for two more times. And I deleted my long reply. So here is the short one. Now I see there is no reply needed. You know and I know. I should know, but it is not easy. It is not easy, but it is only way to do …only way that makes sense.

    If I lived in the world without Internet. To whom I would be showing my photos? It would be easier and more difficult at the same moment. I would have a big drawer with all my photos and I would look at those photos once an a time. I would be happy, because I had taken them for some reason and I understand them. But I would be also unhappy, because I would not know what others would think …

    Vivian Meier comes to my mind. Did you see the film about her? So she would be taking all those awesome photos, thousands and thousands. And she never saw most of her photos because, they stayed only developed. Did she care to show them to other people.

    Thanks for your thoughts…and have a nice Christmas!

    1. Pavel, interesting thoughts you present. Ya know, after all these years….I still have my darkroom set up. Oh yeah. It’s a great darkroom at that. Everything is top shelf, Leica enlarger., just all great stuff. I spen countless days in there working.I had friends do likewise as everyone loved this workspace.
      Then my wife at the time was very devoted to my work and we had many exhibitions. Many! Solo, shared, group. It was a lot of work. We sold prints to collectors, people that liked the stuff, museums, just a major amount.
      After a time, I stopped wanting to show work, I wanted to make it again. Then I went the digital route and something happened. Now I have a darkroom that’s lonely, not been used in more years then I care to mention. I have boxes and boxes of prints archivally processed and books and books of negatives. There is an analog me down there that I can’t think about. I’d venture to say there is about 40 years of hard work, many photos that have been finished, framed, exhibited and forgotten.

      I guess what I’m trying to say is…… I dont think it’s a good idea to look back that way. Maybe others need to go fishing and find our stuff when we are gone. Maybe they catch a good one and present it all to the world. Who knows what’s out there. I don’t. I don’t think Vivian did either. I think someone got lucky finding her and having her for dinner.

      Now with the digital process and presentation, there’s too many fish in the sea. Best off just keep working and enjoying the struggle to find ourselves in it. Let the fisher people worry about who they catch.

      1. I would love to see what is hidden in your archives.

        …and thank you for the idea about doing photos “for a photo drawer”. I am having this idea in my head for a couple of days now. This is a switch in thinking. My thinking so far: “show them best of best, show them how good photo you are able to make”. But the idea: “hey, this is my archive, have a look if you are interested, you like it?, cool, i like it too,…” is so simple and liberating! Now, I have a similar feelings as I first tried to shoot with M mode and auto ISO.

        1. Ya know Pavel, in this society in this world, no matter where or who you are, maintaining the self is a difficult task. Once you recognize yourself and accept that recognition, it’s a harder task to really live with yourself. So when it comes to your photos and efforts, it becomes a task that ceases to let you get comfy.
          Many look for comfort in the acceptance from others of our work. Others say they don’t care, but that’s unlikely to be a truth.

          I’m not a Guru or claiming infinite knowledge about anything. I’m a guy from Philly that’s been struggling with his life’s work for over 50 years. I know this myfriend,, I will continue the struggle because there are times when I look at a photo and I feel a warmth inside. I feel an acceptance of myself.

          It’s a nice feeling when others like what I’m doing and I pay respects and attention to their work in return. I’m not trying to offer any solutions about anything my friend. Im just letting people that read my stuff know that they and I are not alone.

          1. I appreciate your writing and sharing. So, please, keep on writing new posts….

            Thank you…!

          2. C’mon Pavel, we are in this together. You don’t get off the hook blaming me for everything. I write, you reply… well, that’s the deal my friend.

          3. ….I like your ideas and philosophy. They showed me the path…. and I thought your last comment was a final speech ….

            I know. I understand there are many people out there with similar struggle. I know you are not forcing us (me) to accept your ideas as the only truth.

            Taking photos and sharing them gives me a lot. It turned to be an important part of my life. I feel the need to take a photo. And to show the photo. And I love that feeling that you called “warmth” when you look at your photo and you are happy… And I am happy when my photo is liked. But there are people and people. And I am happier when my photo is liked by the person I care …

            Vivien probably had an obsession to take the photos. She obviously didn’t feel the need to show the photo. Perhaps, this helped here to by independent and do whatever she like to. She would not have to fight with opinion (that might not accept her work at her time period).

            And maybe her life story pushed her work where it is now. Story about almost forgotten genius.

            I have another example. Miroslav Tichy. At the old age, some man from gallery (fisherman) found this guy and called it art. He got very famous. But he didn’t want to here anything amount this fame. He was kind of crazy and lived as a hermit for many years…


          4. Pavel, I’m not presenting any truth at all. I don’t think there are any truths and if there are, they are old truths and maybe need firmware updates. All I can try to do is write what I think at the moment and what I feel at the moment that I sit to write.

            W all need to find the reason to do your work. We all need to find the reason to live and love in this life. Photography is a way of coming to terms with the inevitable truth that we will not survive our work. So if in fact that is a truth and it’s the biggest truth in existance we then need to make a way to go graciously. Makung photos and having others appreciate our efforts is the best way for me. Maybe for others, but I speak for myself.

            I won’t speak about Vivian because I have feelings that go against the grain. Nuff said.
            Have a blessed Holiday my friend. I’ll seeya out there and if not, I’ll see your photos.

  3. I always wonder how can you put in words all those hard feelings and doubts what I believe many of us go through?… Sometimes it seems I read my own thoughts. Thank you, Don, for sharing it with us.

    1. Roza, it’s a nice thing to read that you wrote. I do appreciate it very much. I wil try to catch thoughts and feelings from others and put them down here.
      Be blessed Roza.

    1. Lynn, thanks for the bit of confidence bestowed upon me. I hear all these voices in my head telling me all these things. That’s where it comes from. My shrink tells me it’s all ok as long as I keep coming to him.

      I thing doubt is prolly the main killer of creativity. I’ll write about this tomorrow as the voices are filling my head again. Have a blessed Holiday Lynn….peace

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