Tag Archives: Fuji X-Pro2

June 11th, 2019 … Analyzing Intent … Soul Shooter … Pt 1

…. aight, so then what about intent? Who the heck invented that anyway … and then makes everyone, well many everyone’s but not all everyone’s but enough= everyone’s to question the intent of the intent makers intent. I ain’t one to rock the boat, too much. Been married way too long and too many divorces to do that. So, I know how to escape and get outside and go make photos by myself. Ahhh, so maybe, just maybe it’s crazy but maybe that there being by myself is the issue of intent.

One of the residents in my mind talks about the here and now. I tried to find him but he’s hiding and watching me make a fool of myself. I know this. If you’re being a fool and being that unknowingly, you’re a fool. If you’re being a fool and your fool intent is working, you may appear to be a fool but your not.

Here’s what it has to do with photography.

I say it applies to photography but actually, it’s a life lesson. Let’s just deal with the photography part and maybe address the other parts later.

We all know about the here and now. If you’re just joining us, go back and find the there and then. Study it and when you feel you are ready, join us in the here and now. What exactly is in the here and now? I know, I know we all been taught that if you’re there in the here and now, your in tune with life within and without you. (GH) But what exactly is this element that we become aware of? It’s not the camera unless you connect to it in a most elegant manner. Your clothes are present, the air you breathe, etc. the YOUR is part of the key.

We might say it;’s our persona or perhaps it’s like awareness of all and also forgetting that all. I’m sure all that counts in the total of our life’s existence. Go to a funeral or flashback to the one you went to and remember the words….” May his soul rest in peace, this could also be, May her soul rest in peace.” That’s it, not kidding… it’s that soul guy I’m chasing after. Soul woman whatever.


I think most get it wrong. We figure that a camera is a tool I never felt that way. I always felt my camera was a partner in my work and maybe a soul mate. I name my cameras. It keeps me in touch with what I am responsibly doing. The real tools are not the camera by any means, it’s the eye, heart, and mind. See those 3 tools are keeping you alive and able to continue. So then, if we all accept that and I’m sure you will, what becomes the driving factor of those tools. Two things. The medical profession sucking all your money to keep those tool working and the other is, your soul to use and love those tools.


So, my belief is kinda distorted because life always has it’s own opinions and sets them to my mind.  Perhaps, I’m talking about religion and spirituality.  Religion equates to the camera brand you use. It’s the part of you to operate within a guideline of life experience, past and yet to be realized. We may all differ on brands. Spirituality is the source of commonality between us all. It’s the SOUL of living and the SOUL of photography. This is an inescapable truth.

The essence of your images is a direct result of the experiences of living and making photos.


The reason I write this stuff is partly that I find that there needs to be a connect with the world. We are apart. like it or not and that very statement conjures up the notion that we are responsible and accountable for our photos. We are not politicians that get to keep the buck and not be accountable for any wrong doing. We are humans with a camera and that means we are accountable to our selves, our work, and our subject matter.

Getting tired again. I need to rest but will continue this tomorrow.

Be blessed, my friends






The Weeds and the Flowers


November 26th, 2018 … One Shot Per Shoot … Fuji X-Pro2

… yes, the project is open for members but you have to commit to doing it till after the New Year. Gimme a min folks so I can tell the readers what we are doing (Beings that youse are not here having coffee with us I will explain somewhat about the project.)  Ya know, how about I explain this to the readers and youse here with me now so I don’t need to do it twice. Ok alls everyone, and you reading this are included.

We all know the value of the One Shot Per Shoot system of working. See, what happens is that we go out and make photos, (never take Photos) … and we sometimes lose sight of what we feel or think about our images. So, when we go out next time, we aim for one photo that satisfies us on many levels. How many levels? I can’t tell you that but it’s many sometimes but not always. Of course, you make as many photos as you want but the idea is to edit down to just one. Then recall the experience and breathe that in for a while. I suggest that you make a collection of the photos you select. Then as time goes by, and it will, you just look at the collection and low and behold, you see that you’re more focused than you thought you were. All the sudden I don’t seem so distant and vague but more defined. What this does essentially is this:

You start to become more selective on the shutter release. You start to see that even tho many photos are captured by you and your camera, certain ones are more distinct about your vision. They seem to relate to you more and that relationship grows stronger as time passes. No restrictions or limitations needed.

After you get back to Lightroom, or whatever, you start to really spot the ones that speak for and about you. The editing becomes very exciting and then pop the photo in the collection and see the fruits of your efforts. What you are witnessing is the birth of you and your vision in a manner that you take credit for.  No one selected these photos. They are yours and they breathe because you grant them life and therefore, they grant you life.

This is not an easy project but believe me, nothing you do with your photography will ever give you the satisfaction and results that this does.

… it’s raining and I’m with a severe cold. I am working by myself. The Xmas bells are chiming, lights flashing, the tents of the Xmas village are starting to open. I’m not a holiday shooter, I always feel it’s too easy and maybe a cliche. Then I remember this project and what’s fit for the goose is fit for the gander. I’m in the thruway of City Hall, standing with Walker the Fuji X-Pro2. It’s slow going and people are walking past me but nothing ringing to my heart. Then, then in the near distance, a woman walks with her little girl…..I figure Nah, trite, maybe why to bother. As they get closer to me the move to the left a little so they don’t bump into me…..the light captures my heart and my veins start to jiggle, heart beat rising, eyes peeled on their hands…. I raise Walker, a tear swells in my eye and I miss my mother desperately…..CLICK

June 9th, 2018 … Work vs Work … Living With some of the Inverse Square Law

…. no, sorry I disagree and it’s my class. Listen, the more you do for your self, the less acceptable images you’ll really love. The more you do for work, or business whatever, the less rejections you accept and the less satisfaction you get. The reason is, the photos represent money and other things. So you become more attuned to the client and perhaps less attuned to your own feelings about what your doing.  This is natural and in no way lessens the intent of what you apply yourself to. The real question I have struggled with is, the difference between work and work. Meaning, work for myself for esthetic and joyful reasons and work for clients. I’m told by many pro shooters that they actually make no distinction between the 2. La dee da, good.  For me there is a marked difference. Olivier calls it mindset. Maybe he’s right and I mean sometimes he’s right about things we do for Inspired Eye. Let’s not give him too many props cause he’s young and it will go to his head and I will never hear the end of it.

I tend to think it’s INTENT. I know I know, I’m always talking about intent. Maybe my intent on this is to get clarity on the intent of work and work. shooter flashback…. a safe one and approved by the VA. Decades ago I was doing weddings and events. I made out ok because it wasn’t my principle source of income, altho, it was nice to have extra money and know that it was extra.  The thing is, that after about a year of doing this stuff, I started to feel a lack of love and JOY for photography. Really, I also felt a lack of joy for my life. Now that’s a common feeling for Vets and I damn sure don’t take it lightly and neither should the Gov’t. Luckilly I knew the difference between my dis satisfaction of life and from my photgraphy.  It was PTSD before they invented it.

Be forwarned and enlightened…..in the USA there are about 22 Veteran suicides daily. These are the ones that succeeded and not the ones that didn’t. So now the number climbs to a number our politicians should be ashamed of. The disgrace is that they don’t feel ashamed.

….back to the wedding stuff. I was shooting 2 Leica’s, one with color and one with B&W. The stress of working an event with film is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone, even a senator, well not all but some. I noticed rapidly over the course of time that I was WORKing and making money but my personal WORK was falling to the wayside. The crazy thing was, that I was doing basically the same things as my personal work. Darkroom work, the same cameras, my same eye and vision, so what was eating at me? I decided to simplify this in a way. I started to do B&W only and make the negatives in my darkroom and then contact sheets. I would give them all to the client. This was a relief because I wasn’t bogged down. I was getting around $1500.00 per event and that was in the early 80’s. Funny thing was that I was getting the same money and I started to just shoot the event and hand the client film. Wallah, done, finito.

I was anylizing the situation very closely. I mean the event stuff was financially satisfying. My personal work was satisfying to my heart and soul.  I started to want to stop the event work because money damn sure ain’t everything. There was a lack of feeling of life in me doing that stuff. Look, I speak for me knowing others are covered in this but I ain’t naming names. I haven’t felt connected to anyone since I came home from Nam. I am detached with my heart and soul. I like to believe myself that I love my kids and family and friends etc. I can say it but mostly, inside, I don’t understand the feelings. Maybe they are normal but to me, it’s all messed up cause I’m destroyed emotionally and mentally.

Knowing this back in the day forced me to stop event work and all money shoots. Quickly I started to do my personal work and I started to feel alive again. Alive means that I started to feel value as a human being. Maybe not to others but to me and I knew that I am alone even around others. I know I will exit stage left and be alone. It’s ok, not afraid to die for real, living scares the shit out of me. So what does this all have to do with WORK vs WORK? I kinda feel that if your reading this, I don’t need to explain.

The beauty of life is in the intent of living. The beauty of living is in the assisting and helping of others. If we can be a beacon of light for others and to guide where and when we can, perhaps this is the key to a healthy life and a healthy mind. What does this have to do with photography? Well, if you get this then you understand, bless you. If you don’t really understand, then I will try to explain if you reach out. Others will help if need be.

So, the moral of this story, the moral of this song, is that one should never be where one does not belong. (Dylan) So I think Linda is right. Maybe I have made my personal work into work work. Maybe others have also. Maybe that’s good and maybe not. All I know is that there is something missing from my photography. Linda thinks it’s the acceptance of JOY. Maybe she’s right. I mean I need to listen to youth because they haven’t been shattered as us oldens.

If you go out to do anything at all and you have a focused intent, doesn’t matter if you accomplish what you set out to do or not. What matters is the realization of the JOY of doing.

I know I went off here but maybe I had too.  Just remember my friends, go where you want and do what you want, just don’t forget to smell the flowers along the way and make sure you feel your heart beating.


December 15th, 2017 … The Street Shootin’ Bluez

Try as I may, I am unable to get thru the street shootin’ bluez. If I was jammin’ my Strat, I’d be happier than a pig in, um…dewdoo.  But the truth of the matter is, I’m on my cameras and not my guitars and the music I’m seein’ ain’t too sweet.

Many years ago, I was with my friend Paul in NYC. We were out shooting and Paul said to me that the streets were like Jazz. Many teach and believe that but I don’t. The streets to me are more like Rock, may Classical at times but I never felt Coletrane out there. Paul thought that was an interesting observation and we continued on our journey to find some photos. Myself, I’m a bluezman and rock is maybe secondary. When I was young my younger brother Jerry, got me into Pink Floyd. Next to bluez, Pink Floyd reached deep inside of me and grabbed a hold of my soul.

Why do I mention all this? Well, in my interviews, I ask about music and if the participant listens to it while working. Here’s some of what I’m trying to express. If I watch CNN or BBC etc and then go out to work, can I really assume any of that info willl not have an effect on my responses and choices in my work? How about if I listen to Sibilius or Vaughn Williams or Copeland or Respighi, will that classical music not have any effect? How about Pink Floyd or The Stones, or U2 or anyone, will that not have an effect?

I think what I am dealing with is, Information Implanting.

Here’s how I see it and maybe some others will agree, probably high end advertising execs. Info etc gets planted in our brains. It activates when there is a trigger that forces a reaction. It’s the old action/reaction that is at work. You have info in your brain and the when your working, something triggers that receptor and it seeks to equal or at least tickle the info inside.  So I often wonder which is the stronger influence, the trigger or the effected.

The issue here is not just the music or the visual elements or anything that is inside us. In fact, emotional impact is maybe the strongest and that we can’t define very well. If this is influencing the selection and aqusition of our images, well then what of the streets? This phenomenon is not limited to the streets. The ony genre’ of photography that it does not effect is Porn. With porn, the subject matter reacts to the camera and the camera get’s it’s drive from the lower head of a man. With a woman, the jury is still out and I spent over 60 years trying to figure that out.

So it seems to me that if things off photography like music and movies etc, have a draw oti fluence on the triggers that give us the drive to make photos, so does the scenes, people, light, sounds, smills etc on the street of life. For me, I am in center city Phila more then anyplace else. What happens and OI became aware of this maybe 35-40 years ago, is that I am oversaturated with the commonality of my environment. I remember the mens clothing store at 11th & Market. I remember the beautiful lady that decorated the window displays. I remember making a photo of her doing that and giving her a print.

Now when I get to 11th & Market, it’s totally different but my triggers are working and longing for that blonde and the clothing store. It seems that everything moves on and we are plagued as photograohers to seek new vision, nnew triggers and new thoughts and ideas for the present.

Maybe the point is, that all these things are special and all these things both past and present live inside us. Not only do they live inside us but they make us and they make our journey thru life with a camera, most notable and most worthwhile.

We as photographer’s have the ability to show what the world looked like while we were here and the ability to show it thru our own unique vision.

Let not others, regardless of their intentions, and ability to steer you from your vision, have that much effect on you. It’s the world as you see it and when your gone, your photos will effexct those that follow you and your photos will be implanted in their mind and vision and so on and so on and so on…..


October 18th, 2017 … Observing … Social Commentary Ain’t No Crime

…..ya got yer politicians doing nothing but shamming the people, ya gotz yer nfl players that don’t show respect to the flag and that means to all Americans, then ya ya got no good health care and no money to get it anyway……

I think there is a lot more that gets shoved in our faces and feces but I ain’t one to say to much.  See, we are all non-immune from the social injustices in life. The way it effects most but not all photographers, is like a spice or flavor added to our work.

Ok look, I ain’t supposed to know about this stuff and certainly not to express it here or anywhere else either.  I know you will find this hard to believe but, shhhh….looks around….hmmmm ok then…. it is said from photographers from centuries passed that walking around and making photos, well things could effect you. Crazy huh.?

We are not isolated from others and more importantly, we are not isolated from ourselves. If we walk down the street and see a homeless person on the side, laying there….even if we don’t make a photo… that sight effects us in ways we may not want to pay attention to. Maybe we are walking around and see store window that’s designed to attract middle class working people, that effects us also. We can not escape the elements of life and all that comes with it. We are attacked, assaulted by life all the time and then we are blessed with simply breathing in the sweet stench of the street that once inside us, has the ability to consume us and overtake the heart.

There needs to be a release because there is no escape from life. Death, that’s not a solution to life. Life is the cause and the solution for living. Photographers are blessed with the ability to digest and find a meaning for oneself.

We as photographers are the lucky ones. Of course all beings are invaded by life’s good and bad. Photographers process all that confronts us and we make photos of whatever we decide to make them of. Just because we choose not to let the virus of life infect our personal world, doesn’t mean it’s not in our DNA.

The blessing for we photographers is not in the making of the photos, but in the gift of having others see what we feel and think. We don’t need to have many comments or accolades. We just need a few from people that try to understand us, other photographers.

Therein lay the real Social Commentary.


August 18th, 2017 … Memory or The Decisive Moment … Finale … almost maybe…?

There are a few Decisive Moment scenarios. One is when your working and something starts to happen. There is no set rule on Inspiring the Decisive Moment. This can happen in many ways and that in itself will create some type of masked confusion or a cloudy Decisive Moment. The normal DM kinda happens a dn you make the exposure because you were so inspired by internal or external stimuli or a combination of each. This is mostly a conscious experience.

The hopefully there in an experience that seems like all the rest of the DM’s but……something happens at exposure or at processing that marks a real moment. There is a dormant awakening that comes to light usually at sight of the image in editing or processing. With this image, wakes the recollection of the the Decisive Moment but….there is an awareness of the experience as an observer and participant at the same time. It’s like your seeing yourself, watching yourself making the photo. Maybe this is like the deja  vu of photography. It doesn’t happen all the time and not everyone gets to experience this. Not because they are at a level that prohibits the awareness but because they are not tuned into the frequency that this experience lives.

“The best images are the ones we don’t remember making.” Perhaps there is some truth to this saying. At my age, 67, I have learned that there are not many truths in life. Even the ones we tend to hold dear sometimes end up with shades of gray to them. What’s clear to me is that clarity is the resting place for the eye, heart and mind. We don’t often achieve clarity so we make photos. When we make photos we have an intent. Our intent is controlled by our knowledge and passion and our gear. Yes, the camera is a crucial element to our work.

There in most definitely a difference between the Moment and The Decisive Moment.

When I was a grunt in Nam, I carried a Leica M4. I made b&w photos. I met a photographer from Australia named Jock. He was older then me and very wise but tuned into the moment. I didn’t know that that meant back then. I suppose he was a Mentor for me and I needed the mental and emotional reinforcement. We were all sitting around smoking weed and Jock was with us and making photos. He said to me, “JIngles, where’s your camera?” I looked at him and he nodded his head. I reached in my sack and got my M4. I had made many photos of the guys and missions, everything. But now, at this moment, I had a realization that was life effecting. I understood for the efirst time the difference between the MOMENT and the MEMORY.

I understood the INTENT of each. I understood the importance of each as an individual intent and combined. The moment or decisive moment will lead to photos that add to the creative juices. The moment will lead to photos that inspire you, or maybe fill a void in the self, or even satisfy the artistic energy or maybe do the same for a client. Just realize that your most important client is you.

The memory. Wow this is the hard one. It’s the hardest intent to actually realize and do. Back to the guys and Jock in Nam. I was making photos because the subject matter is amazing. Everything was working. I was hammering the decisive moment. Then a slight calm came over me. All the sudden, the decisive moment wasn’t so important. I looked at the guys and slowly made photos of most of them. Not one but many of each. I was totally aware that I wanted to, NO….Needed to make a lasting memory of my friends, my brothers in arms and the experience. I got close to a few and asked them to look into my lens. I made many exposures. I wanted to make a portrait or photo that would outlive them and me. This intent of so fragile of a moment was MEMORY.

So realizing the difference of the Decisive Moment and the Moment of Memory is the driving force and also the force that will make or break you and your work. All you have to do is know the difference and practice it.

Be blessed everyone………Doc is letting me out of my room for the weekend……..seeya

June 2nd, 2017 … a Matter of Perspective … True Confession … Fuji X-Pro2

Ok, first off I will explain that I do things in a semi deliberate manner. That also means that I do things in a semi un-deliberate manner.

Flashback to 1970. I have my M-4 with a 35mm Cron on it. My M-16 at the ready. WE are going thru a small village near Chu Lai and I’m snapping away making photos. There’s some press corp guys with us cause they wanna see where theB52’s dropped their load and how close it was to the village. Click, click….yup, I’m working. Jock is about 25′ away from me. Jock is a tall guy thin stature and from OZ. OZ = Australia. He works for the Press Corp for France and OZ. We became friends and I looked forward to him being around because it gave me the illusion that I might survive this shit hole.

Jock comes over to me and  says “Jingles, why don’t you use your 50mm more?” Eureka! I replied that I wasn’t comfortable with the compression and the crop of the frame. I wanted to portray the scene the best I could and a 35mm was perfect. … it dawned on me at that moment that I should try the 50mm and be serious with it. With all the film I shot over there, I don’t think I used 2 rolls with the 50mm. It just didn’t click with me.

Inside me, I had this nagging feeling that Jock was implanting in me to use the 50mm. Flash forward to the mid 70’s and I shooting the street with my 35mm Cron and of course my trusty 50mm Cron in the waste pack. it’s been years since Jock mentioned the 50mm to me. I still have that nagging feeling that I need to get the 50mm and use it.

Yeah sure, sometimes I’d use the 50mm just to do it and prove to myself I can. Then another year would pass and I’d have it with me but not use it. If I did use it, I didn’t have a sense of being with it.

So, the issue for me is to adapt my aspect and frame to the 50mm FOV. Let’s get something straight from the get go. PERSPECTIVE.  There are 2 perspectives that we deal with in photography. The first is, stance. Where you stand sets your perspective….but really the position of the camer is setting perspective. Set your camera on a tripod and then move all around but leave the camera where it is and the perspective changes for you but not the camera. When the camera moves, the perspective changes. If you hold your stance and then change the lens on the camera, the perspective stays the same but the Field of View changes. If you change aspect ratio, perspective stays the same.

So, the reason for me to wrestle with the 50mm is not perspective but the FOV crop. I guess most take it for granted that just changing lenses is an easy thing and requires not much thought or practice. Lucky for them, for me it’s like a new set of eyes and a new way to think. It challenges me to see the world thru different eyes and to think and work differently all the while protecting my 35mm FOV.

So I’ve had many cameras and many lenses that wore the 50mm crop. I was not comfy with any of them until the Fuji X-Pro2. When my lady friends gave me the camera and the 35mm = 50mm lens, they knew what they were doing. They knew I would love working with the camera and they also knew that at last, I’d be able to use the long lost love, 50mm FOV.

So, it seems that it took decades for me to find mt stance with this lens and I did. I have to telly youse that for me, the Fuji X-Pro2 is the finest camera I could ever with to work with.

Whenever I get a brain fart, I can always use the Fuji X100F.

seeyas after the weekend my friends…… peace

May 27th. 2017 … Working thru GAS … NOT the Tums Kind … Fuji X-Pro2

We all know what GAS is. Gear Acquisition Syndrome. Most address this a a detriment to your character and work and you are to feel inefficient if you have GAS. You are maybe hiding behind your gear because you don’t have it enough to make good photos. You are to feel that if you get THAT camera or THAT lens, all will be well in the world. Damn right your right. Go for it. I do and stand proud to say I am a Gas-aholic, well… tums usually cures my gas but I have no issues acquiring new gear if I feel it will open me up some.

I have posted countless times, well at least a few about standing on your own and making your photos the way you want them to be and don’t give a hoot who likes it or not.  Well, here’s something against the grain of most shooters and bloggers.  Gear does make a difference to your work. Like it or not, every single shooter and every single person on the planet, planted or walking around, needs INSPIRATION.

I will expose my GAS and you will see that I’m nuts and you are rather not as nuts or maybe more nuts than me but we doin’ care anyway.  Recently I acquired the Fuji X100F. Great camera and I had no choice, nor wanted one because I had every version of the X100 series and loved them all. The X100F is a very capable camera that can do most things. The camera is named Andre’ after Kertesz. all is well so far but then Serendipity the Olympus PenF wanted to go out and work.

I see things this way. I get an item or camera, lens etc to inspire not direct my energy. Scenario….: I’m laying in bed and relaxing and letting myself fall asleep. Well, a few hours of that and my mind starts to wander. I get maybe a vision or thought train about walking around with my Ricoh GRII. It’s an omen I tellya. In the morning I’ll take Mom the Ricoh GRII out to work. Like it or not, that’s inspiration and the moment is inspired. Usually when this happens, I’m on a very inspired session. Maybe I saw a vision of the PenF with the 12mm. Perhaps I just saw the Ricoh GRII and the Fuji X100F.

This is normal GAS and it is not dangerous at this point. I have gone thru this for decades. I’m a GAS survivor. See, getting gas is normal and how you approach it it the all important thing.

I had a session with some students/friends and we were at the diner and Suzanne and Polly handed me a box and insisted I open it immediately.  I opened the box and low and behold, there was a new Fuji X-Pro2. There also was a 35mm F2WR lens. I asked them why and Polly answered, you have the Fuji X100 so this gives you 35mm & 50mm, your favorite combination.

Ok, no GAS there but inspiration. Ever hear of buyers remorse? Yeah, yeah, we all get it at one point or another. Usually for me it comes when I am tired of a camera and it no longer inspires me. Then I get remorse like, WTF is this stupid camera here for anyway.

So if you don’t have a justification for something, then it’s not inspiring you. Little did the ladies know that the Fuji X-Pro2 would be the camera that lites a fire with me that hasn’t been a flame in a long time. Is this GAS I ask you?  I did not buy the camera. It inspires me more then I thought because it’s a gift from 2 student/friends. I can’t imagine falling out of love with this camera.

It’s impossible to not think about a camera you have or want to have. To be slammed into a corner because someone says you have GAS is self defeating. We all need inspiration and we all need to allow our creativity to flourish. Taking the heat from others and implanting it into ourselves is extremely self destructive and eventually we do as others say and do and not captain our own ride. THE HORROR! We talked about how this scenario is similar to your photos but we doin’ need no more talk about that. Youse are all Life Warriors with a Camera.

So, this is like Rolaids for GAS. If something calls out to you and you feel that it will inspire you, then go for it. ( note ) GAS is an issue that is widely discussed but, in no case should you allow GAS to take funds from your families needs etc. We must always follow a prioritized structure of acquiring things.

So, I hope you get the message that you need to satisfy your creativity without guilt or remorse. Remember that no matter what you feel or think about GAS, it’s true that it can control your expenditures and have a drive that seems to take over. It’s also true that GAS can provide inspiration that feeds your soul. The way you deal with this is like a stance that you take as if your making photos. You are you and how you do and present things is the beauty of you. If you need a camera to satisfy a need, by all means get it.

I need to write about GAS for camera bags and I will try to confess my illness.

next post…..Have a Blessed Memorial Day and even if your in another Country…….

May 5th, 2017 … Seeing Your Way Thru The Masses … Fuji X-Pro2


….so as a follow up, what does it mean this ….”Personal Work”…?  Ok ok, isn’t everything personal work. I mean I do things and take it personal, so what’s the difference, personally I’d like to know. Interesting and don’t take this too personal but maybe a little personal.

Bob Dylan wrote a song named, “Ya Gotta Serve Somebody”. What this means to photography is exactly what it sounds like. When a client calls you about a gig, ya get excited and know that your gonna make money and your cameras etc are now tools. Hate to tell ya this but you are now a tool also. Perhaps a past client or friend of a client etc recommended yo to the new client. Nice. Confidence is high. We got this and the Pro attitude kicks in. This is all good but you must remember the reason for you getting the job, the reals reason.

…..the reason is because you are the total package. You know your craft, have good communication abilities with people, turn out a good produce and know how to make all satisfied. There’s other things involved but this is the crux of it. So you are focused on your intent, presence and objective to make a great job and your client happy. Wait, wait, wait….something is too easy, something could be amiss. Well, your right, the inverse square law says less is more and more is less. There’s another law that gets to play and here in Philly it’s called Murphy’s Law. See this law states that if something could go wrong, it will.

C’mon, what can go wrong when your at the top of your game? Mother Light has never shed her Grace upon a shooter that never had problems at one time or another on a shoot. It’s true I tellya. There’s a bird flying around, we don’t always see it but it’s there. It’s called the Blue Bird of happiness. When this bird flies over you and ummm, well…drops a poop bomb on you, your supposed to be blessed and all things in your existence for 3.5 seconds are perfect.  Well, it’s true too but at second 4, things go back to normal and ya have bird poop on your head. Not so happy any more.

So there’s the basic idea of working for bucks. You will serve others then yourself. You get paid and that’s the reward. What about working for yourself and there may be some other reward? The heart and soul of your photographic existence relies on your INTENT. You work to satisfy the client inside you. Of course it’s nice to have people like your work but at this point, that can not be the motive for your work.  There is a life force that insist on living inside us. We dare not ignore this force. For most, we can’t anyway. This force is the very essence of our heart and soul. It is the only client wee serve for our work. “It is not the ego that drives us. The ego is a byproduct of the essence of the force of our creativity.” When we finally recognize this force, hopefully we can then see our work as the preservation of our existence.

So, it seems to me and I’m writing this, that there are to clients if you may, that we will serve. The business client that gives us the money to survive. The personal work client that gives us the will to breathe.

How do we keep the 2 in check? That’s the trick. I think that we need to observe and manage our intent. Kinda like multiple personalities. One is the money client and the other is the personal client. There are missions and ways to perform the missions that are similar. This is where we get lost. It’s extremely important to observe your stance on both clients. Know which is which and also know how to feed each. There are to driving forces and we must see that and accept it. The first is the money client and we focus on that and get work, make money, make clients happy and inside us hopefully there lives a little shooter that says, we made it, we can pay the bills, feed the kids etc.

Then there is the second client that is your personal work and it screams out in horror. What about me, don’t forget me. I’m dying. See, this is why you need a dual personality. You need not give up either, just embrace it with all in the moment and perform as focused as possible. Shed the guilt of being one or the other.

Wait a minute dude. What if I’m a carpenter or exec in a business. Hey, maybe I make burgers at McDonald’s. Yo, I am a CEO of a telemarketing firm …and I am a Medical Research Doctor. The point is that you can be anything you want or need to be. Ya know how ya get in the here and now and the the moment when you are shooting? Well, that focus must be in everything you do in life. You absolutely must not resent your work for money, just embrace the beauty of it as it provides the path that is clear for your personal work.

There was a really famous circus and the new owner was walking around meeting all the people that worked for him. He came across the elephant tent and there was a guy shoveling elephant shit and stacking it in a pile. The owner started talking to the man and they had a lengthy chat about politics, medicine, finances etc. Finally the owner asked….”You are so intelligent, why do you shovel elephant shit, you could work anyplace?” “The man stopped shoveling and looked the owner in the face and said….”What and give up show business?”

Life is full of many wondrous things, We all get to chose and observe some of them. The ones who have a focused intent breathe and are excited to do so because they are in the here and now even shoveling shit. The ones that aren’t in the here and now, well… they become lawyers and politicians.

We are gifted with the Grace of Mother Light. This blessing enriches our soul and we need to be aware that we are not alone but we serve ourselves but not only ourselves. We need to share our thoughts, our images and our lives.

If you don’t agree with me, kindly move on and if you do…pass the shovel.

May 4th, 2017 … The Struggle to Survive … Fuji X-Pro2

A few conversations have come up about being true to yourself vs being true to the $$$. This has been food for the devil forever. Back in the late 70’s, I was married, 2 kids, house and apple pie. I had a good photography gallery in old city. We did ok. I wasn’t cutting it financially. My friend asked me to do a studio with him. So we set out to make a killing in the photo market. Long story short, after about 14 months, I felt lost in America. I looked at my inventory of personal work and was horrified. I has less then 20 roll of film exposed. I couldn’t breathe. I felt my essence had died and I knew what had to happen.

I told my partner friend that I need to do something for money. We split and I called my grand father and uncle. See, we had a Hardwood Flooring Business since 1905. I dreaded going back into the business but hungry wives get pretty sore, and kids even more. I always carried my M4/35 crom.

I made photos all the time. One day my grandfather and I were driving to a job and he said…. I know how much photography means to you and I’m glad you are doing something with it.

Then he said, during the WW1, I wanted to be a lawyer. I studied and a firm said they would help me. I had 7 siblings and they had to eat. So I was enlisted to work and take care of my family. “I really wanted to be a lawyer Donald, you be what you want.” Well, I don’t cry much after Nam. But I sure as heck had tears inside hearing about pop like that.

Ok, here’s the point. I tried endlessly to find work as a paid shooter. I did some weddings, events, news paper stuff but never enough to really make it. I always looked at my work and I could see photos I liked. So I did hardwood floors. I worked very hard and was proud of the jobs my family turned out.

Photography was happening all the time but it was different then what I had my preconceptions focused on. One day Mrs ISL banged on my head and told me to focus on the here and now. See, Mrs Inverse Square Law knew what I was thinking and how I was wrong.

In that law which governs photography, it shows that less is more and more is less. So as I was working hard at the floor business, my shooting and processing time was limited. I had less time to do it. I had more productivity then I expected. See, the struggle to survive is what gives the flavor to life. That flavor is what we need to appreciate.

I know of many shooters that work as a paid shooter. They make their money and they are professional but, there is a lacking and longing for the personal work. Yeah, yeah, I know, some even say….”My work is my personal work.” BARF! There is a need for the SOUL to feel nourished. Most won’t feed their SOULS with money. The ones that try hard, don’t have a SOUL anyway.

So ya get a job as a paid shooter. Yippee! Ya work hard and make the ducketts and have nice cameras. Then the day is over and ya go home and do what? Many drink beer and watch sports. Nothing wrong with that and in fact, it’s some of the best anti-politician therapy made. But for a shooter doing personal work, ya got a problem.

So it seems even if your born to a family with all the advantages, emotionally and aesthetically, your on common ground with every single shooter ever born, ever will be born and even the ones that don’t know they are born. The idea of being a paid shooter and still doing your personal work without restrictions of any kind seems easy enough but yet, it’s the elusive butterfly. The idea of doing personal work and getting paid for it is also an elusive butterfly. Just remember, even butterflies may be caught with the right bait and net.

I won’t speak for anyone but myself and that’s not always the right thing. For me, I would rather do menial labor then lose the inspiration and desire to shoot for my self. Ya know how opposites attract, well this does too. When I was doing hardwood floors I was always dusty and dirty. Then I would get almost sterile and go to the darkroom. it’s polar opposites that were working.

There once was an amazing shooter and his name was Ralph Eugene Meatyard. He made the most bizarre photos but I loved his work. I was lucky to acquire a half dozen prints and I still love them. Anyway, he was an optometrist by trade and photographer by love. Closely related but in the heart and soul, I don’t think so. The dichotomy of a dual life is the driving force that could save one from thinking ….”oh, my job sucks and ruins my life”. There is always a saving Grace and we need to appreciate that and also to break the walls that bind us to our own preconceptions.

When I figure out how to do it, I’ll post it here…..

Go in Peace my friends, but go with a camera………….