Streets of Philadelphia … A Visual Diary … Page 58 … Olympus Pen F… Life Lessons


With all the shot going on around the world, there is a growing distance between countries and it’s peoples. The thing is, I don’t give a shit about the politicians. They have been robbing and fucking over the people for far too long. My concerns lay with people. You know the human being type. The citizens of the EARTH. Fuck no, I’m not naive at all. I’m just awake and aware of life going on around me. There is a growing distance between people and it’s not racial, religious, political or any of the obvious things. The distance seems to be the essence of the heart. Looks like people, including me, as hard as that is to believe, are losing touch with their heart.

So, if in fact, that is true and it is and you will believe it, then how is someone to relate to anyone else if they can’t relate to themselves?  Shooters try to find photos and things of interest that translate well to the medium of photography.

One of the things I get ticked about is the reality of the subject vrs the reality of the print. This brings into play, the concept of Intent. If we address the idea of being a photographer, an observer and recorder of life, then we have to accept the resonsibility of what our photos are and what they do or at least what we would like them to do. Maybe this means that our photos have an inherit intent that maybe we implant in them.


I think and this is subject to change at a moments notice, that it’s about the Purpose of Reality and the Reality of Purpose. That interprets to the idea of Intent. I know, I’m fixated on intent and rightly so. I have lived my life the best I could being aware that I am alive in a certain place in a certain time, called the Here and Now. The beautiful part of this has been that I usually have a camera with me. Many times when this awareness overcomes me, I make a photo. When I see the image in LR, I start to anyalize it and try to define what the moment was and is for me. I make the visual adjustments to get what I feel or felt or both into the image so that othrs can see what and how I was feeling.

This brings into play the idea of straight photography and that’s a bunch of pure shit. If people can’t see the photograph as it’s own reality, move on and away from me.

Faces & Spaces


I’m exhausted and will continue this shortly. These are just things I learned as a human being with a camera. Mayne you are interested and maybe not. That’s your decision. I will lay it on the line here and youse decide to take it of leave it. I tell you this, I will continue and hopefully you will too.

I am open for comments and suggestions and even conversations if ya have the mind to get into this.

Have a blessed journey and may all good things come your way. May you never have to sneak a camera in the house again.

12 thoughts on “Streets of Philadelphia … A Visual Diary … Page 58 … Olympus Pen F… Life Lessons”

    1. It’s only a strange feeling if you don’t accept it. If you do, it’s maybe a wake-up call that you send yourself anyway. Perhaps, this post was just a trigger.

  1. Or maybe it is just my feeling.

    Did you see my photos I have been posting during last months? What do you think?

    I think I am going strongly after the intent (concept) I had drawn in my mind. I am making photos that I am happy with. It is on the way. It is not street shooting,

    When I was doing “bw street” I felt as I was stylizing myself into it. You know, making it look like something…

    1. Pavel, of course, I follow your work. I see you becoming more about you than the preconceptions others place upon you. Now the hard part. Standing by your work and continuing with the drive from within is not easy. Very difficult to stand and not sway with the wind from others. Just follow your heart and find the path it leads you and don’t question it, just make photos. If others relate or not, that’s them and their intent, not yours.

    1. Thanks Kim, much appreciated. It speaks to me too but I go to see my shrink when it starts to yell…..

  2. The “Transportation Center” makes me think what it might be like at the light at the end of tunnel. I hope there is a restroom and people will be kind. I know the distance traveled will vary from one person to another. I know my heart will be rested. I just want my mind to be satisfied that I’m there.

    Great post. Strong imagery. Thank you Don.

    1. Thanks Keith.
      The Frankford Transportation Center is and has always been one of my favorite places to work. There is a restroom for men and one for women. What I find interesting is the mechanical structure and the people getting lost and found in there. The light sometimes during the day is amazing. Anyway, I pass thru there almost every day and I’m never bored.
      Thanks again Keith, seeya on your blog…..

  3. Don, you are so right. Thank you for sharing your work with everyone as well as your heart. I look at the world today as a 73 year old man and I am very troubled. I photograph everyday and hopefully my images strike a cord in the same way your images do. I too am tired and if it is true that history repeats itself and we don’t head the warning signs then we are all in trouble.

    1. Elliot, thanks.
      I have to say that at 73, you know more than you practice. What I mean is, I’m 67, well in October. I do what I can to help others with their work and emotional connection to themselves and their work.
      When it comes to me and my work, it’s mainly for me and if others get something out of it, fine but it’s my heart and soul and that means, I work for me and let the work do what it does.

      I remember many decades ago at the Museum. I was with Ding and he asked me what I wanted to look at and discuss. I said, I want to see the work that others haven’t. The work stuff that the photographer didn’t show in books or exhibitions etc. Ding smiled and brought out a box of Strand’s work. There was a smaller slipcase in the box of prints and these were the photos that went unpublished and unseen. I was so excited to see what Strand thought unworthy of the public’s eye.

      Anyway, Ding asked me what I thought and I replied, I think these photos Strand liked, but others told him that they weren’t his best work.
      I think I really liked the way Strand thought but not how curators and the public controlled what everyone sees. I leearned much from Ding but I learn from others that maybe everyone doesn’t say is a great photographer but nontheless, I learn. I bet many learn from a 73yo photographer even if he’s not aware his life lesssons have any value.

  4. Hi Don- We’ve not yet met, but I’ve listened to your commentary w Olivier on the last few issues of a inspired Eye Magazine. I was reading your posts about your dear Seridipity and wondered how you two are getting along these days? Immediately after receiving my PEN-F I took it with me on a humanitarian documentary assignment in Zanzibar, and it just felt right.
    I appreciate the your approach to making images, and about the importance and impact of intent. Peace

    1. Robert, thanks much. It’s a hard camera not to fall in love with. It’s very responsive and really adds to the experience. Hang around, like to see ya here.

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