Tag Archives: Intent

August 6th, 2016 … Fuji X100T … READ THIS … INTENT


The streets are different now and I don’t really have an answer why. It’s almost like everyone is walking around and feeling the difference between Dems & Reps. It’s like I get looked at and maybe the person thinks I’m a member of that other party, you know the one that is backing that person for the election. The there’s the smug person on the corner waiting for the traffic light and we all know that person is an Indy. They couldn’t care about the him or her running cause they got their own Hymn to deal with.

What does this have to do with photography? Well, life shapes the street. We want to capture the essence of the street as we see it. So when things are in an unstable way, so is our images.


I had a chat with a few shooters, of different ages and skill levels. They wanted to direct the conversation to Bresson, Winogrand, Kertesz and all the famous shooters from back in the day. Well, that raises a flag for me about the size of Philly. I was asked who my Favorite shooters were. I replied, anyone contemporary turns me on. Then I said, let me explain.

I feel it’s best to divorce from the past and use your own work as a guide to what you should be doing. Going after Kertesz for example, and expecting to get it as your own, is insanity. Lithium will not help. If you need a reference point, maybe pick someone you like alive and working in a similar genre’ as you are.  You will be cleaner, more relaxed and certainly much more inspired.

One of the dangerous things is, when someone or you, comment on someone’s photos and say something like, reminds me of Bresson, very dangerous. What will happen is that the shooter at first is delighted to hear that. Now they are stimulated cause you say they made a photo that was like Bresson’s and everyone read the comment and that shooter gets a shot in the ego.

The, the shooter realizes that they aren’t like Bresson and there is a Gold Ring they have been chasing and it’s all stored away and done with mirrors. They simply can’t continue to keep up with the illusion and or pressure that they have had planted on them.


If that shooter gets comments like, really like this dude or dudess….I check your stuff a lot and I relate to it.

Let me tellya, that will do more for both, than any Kertesz or Bresson or any, dare I say…yes yes…. I dare any master before us. The reason is, we are programmable. We can’t stop that procedure. All we can do is to Give Peace a Chance….opppps sorry John…..

We need to filter as much garbage entering our minds and brains as possible. Then we need to determine what garbage we allow to influence us while we are here on the planet.

If you wanna make photos and rest assured that what you are doing, regardless of what the asses of the masses are doing, heed my warning and advice, if you wanna run around with a camera and pretend to be some Master, then be alone at the end because you lived as someone else and not true to you…..well, that’s cool but…well you’ll find out…

next post Monday…. well, hopefully……



Mind Clearing …Ricoh GRII


So, the thing about mind cleaning is that it’s never a finished job. Even when you think you really got it all nice and spiffy, well don’t bank on it. There’s residue that you really should investigate.

I have a guy I work with, kinda the way my shrink works with me. It’s just that I’m an old shooter and my shrink is an old shrink. Any way, he is always taking workshops and then contacts me to help him make sense of it all. He has to show 20 images and then the teacher goes at them in class. He said there was 8 people in the class and he felt uneasy because like other classes he attended, there was a definition placed upon him by the teacher that was to define the value of the work. This to me is a scary thought.

I mean, maybe we should make a photo that the teacher says is good and then give it to every shooter in the world so that allabody knows the idea of a good shot. What do we need individuality for? We should elect 1 single head of photographic curation for the entire world. This person will decide if a shot is good or not. If it’s good, walk tall amongst the few that have been graced by the premier curator of the world.   And if it’s not valued as good but frowned upon because you failed to duplicate the exact thoughts and feelings of the successful shooters, well then… off with your damn head cause you don’t need it anymore.


Look, I don’t think anyone has the right to judge another’s work. Doing so, devalues the persons soul that you are commenting on. I will stand tall and say this. I have the ability to look at a Paul Strand and next to it a snapshot from aunt Mary’s Birthday Party and see equal value in the images. Collectors and buyers can make all the value they want and claim this and that but in the end, it’s the love of people and photography that stands tall even when we are gone.

So really, what do you think is more important, no… what is more satisfying? Doing work that satisfies you on a level that you are willing to die for, and we all will, or doing it to meet the standards others place upon us?

I remember Ding showing me prints and of course I wanted to breathe the Strands and Walker Evans etc. I did too. Then we were talking and he wanted to show me some portraits. He opened a box and pulled out about 20 not very big prints.

I held them cautiously and gently along the edges, very carefully. Not everybody processed archival prints and the oil from your fingers will attack the paper even years later.Anyway, after looking at Strands, there’s not much to be said about anyone else’s work. That’s the truth and I may believe it but I never practiced it.

I held these portraits in my hand and Ding watched carefully, wondering what I would say and anticipating my thoughts. Them he broke the silence and asked what I thought. I replied, these  are really great snapshots at first look. Most people would not get past the snapshot. Ding agreed. Then i said, I feel the photographers presence and that response by the subject. It’s like he’s doing what many others do but he’s just insistent on doing it his way.

Mike Disfarmer died in 1958 and his work became collectible and regarded as fine art years after his death.

There’s a major point I made and if your getting it, great and if not… maybe we just don’t click and that’s also ok.


Mind Clearing


05-16-0245-EditI have said many times that my brain goes on vacation and it does. The thing is, my mind stays put in me poor head so I can work. I’m kinda bogged down with all kinds of things and thoughts. Maybe it’s a welcome break cause I miss just loving photography. There has been many reasons for me to make photos but the most important one, because I have to because I love to, is on the back rail. Well, not any more. I am out working with only one agenda. That is that I am making love with light and life again. I think what got me to this point of realization is, that the tourist are here, and I mean here like all over the place. That’s my time to get busy and work.


Tourist are the blood line of creativity.Well for me at least. I find it a stimulating time to be in and around the Historic Park. Love working there. I get this feeling of complete happiness with photography. The Monk did not actually pose for me. He asked me when I made the photo if I was a tourist. I said yes, a tourist for 66 years. You guys know this but he don’t. Well he does now but he didn’t when I said it to him. I said, we are all tourist of the earth, no one gets a permanent visa. He looked at me and said, enjoy your journey.


So I feel that I am coming to one with myself again and working because I have to, and because I love to. After the end of summer I will sort the cream out and submit to my buyers. I’m still doing that Faces and Spaces project but not permitted to show the work. It’s ok, I got some good  things already.

I will be out again tomorrow and Suzanna and Polly want to meet for Lunch. Nice, love them dearly and they are getting sooo fine tuned.

till we meet again…..remember, you live your life anyway you want…when yo exit, you exit alone. So, make tings count and cherish each breath as if it came from the Angel of Life….because it did. Mother Light will not forget you and you can make photos knowing you are at one with yourself.




Ricoh GRII



One of the beautiful things with digital photography is that you have a choice of Color or B&W. Back in the day, I always carried 2 M bodies so I could have both films to work with. Now of course, most time you need 1 body. My friend Roger is an avid Leica collector for 50 years, with more cameras that any store. He sent me the M Mono when it came out and he was so excited. Eveyone was, a B&W camera, sooooo cool and soooo great…until you need a color image. Now ya get back to me with my 2 M6’s.

Anyway, the difference between the 2 is more in the mind then the film or camera. I figure it like this. Bear with me as I use terms maybe the wrong way but the way I need to use them. Photographs are on a 2 dimensional surface. The are born from an idea and maybe a scene or something in the 3 dimensional reality most of us share. There happens to be an abstraction from 3 dimensions to 2 dimensions. One of the mosr important things lost in this abstraction is, space or depth. So the photo is as some think, an illusion of the reality it was captured from. It is no longer the reality in 3 dimensions. It now takes on a new reality in 2 dimensions. It’s alive! It has it’s own life and energy.

Here’s some magic. I know youse all  know this stuff but I need to write it down so it looks good, ok. If we now take our photograph, which is a new life and see it in color cause we made it a color photo, we have something to deal with on a conscious level. That is, the viewer most likely will use the color photo to transfer the reality in the mind of the image back to the sourse. For exaample….wow, yeah, I know where that is…..or…you nailed that green perfectly. I know that door.

Now, there’s never any one way to do anything in this world. But we are shooters and we are reading shooter’s stuff cause it’s better than washing the dishes. Color has a way of softening the abstraction to the 2 dimensional reality, better known as the photo. Color eases the translation of the visual syntax of photography. It helps to define the meaning and process.

If we were to abstract even more than 3 dimensions to 2 dimensions, and strip the color away, we would have a b&w image. What does that do? Well, it now makes our abstracted image even more distant from the sourse of reality that it was born from.


Ya know what I love about photography? Well, no answers so I’ll tell ya. Photographs give the illusion of being something they are not. A photo is an entity upon itself. It is not what it appears to be. It is it’s own seperate reality. Unfortunately, photos suffer from many things in the reality that they live in. Things like memory, sentiment etc. These things plague the life of our work. People look at the photos and recall a memory of something that the photo sparks. There’s nothing wrong with that and it’s a very powerful, iimportant thing to deal with.

Well, color supports all that and more. B&W on the other hand has the power to stand on it’s own but we as shooters and viewers, won’t allow that to happen. Ideally, looking at a photograph, we only see the world that lives as the image. Even in b&w, we force the memory and sensory input to make the photo relate to some other reality. That reality is different from the photo. There really is a contradiction of terms but we probably don’t want to deal with it.

When I do a workshop, the single most important thing people want to understand, is:…the abstraction to a print. Making the world in a frame and flattening it out. Framing becomes something new because you become aware of the way things get flat. The illusion of space or depth is a stronger illusion in color. The eye travel not only seeks to learn about the subject matter, but also to understand the relationships of the color.


Our lady above is being seduced by a few things. The obvious thing to us is the color. After I made the photo, she asked my why I made it. I told her that I found it very interesting that she was wearing the T Mobile color. She said, “get out… I didn’t know that. I stopped here cause I was comfortable here.”

I have to get to rest….. I need my 3 hours sleep………. seeya’s later, be blessed alls……

……to be cont’d……….


Fuji X100T


See, Andre’ the Fuji X100s was passed on to Olivier. Then I started missing him instantly. When we took Olivier and Andre’ the Fuji X100s to the airport, I had a sick feeling and a feeling of loneliness inside me. I felt empty.

Then as Olivier jumped out of the car, I felt a presence inside my soul. I knew who it was. Quickly I ordered a Fuji X100T and in a day, it was here. I loaded it with a fresh charged battery and turned it on…..

Then, then by the grace of Mother Light, I felt the presence do kinda like Astral Travel from my soul to the Fuji X100T and it gave life to the empty camera.

I watched as Andre’ did his magic to the camera. Now here’s the thing. Fuji cameras are wonderful and do a great job but they come alive when working with a shooter that gives them a name and creates a synergism with them. I did that, well Andre’ and I did that.


Part of the idea of naming a camera is to:Unite the eye, heart and mind with the process of photography. Sure, you can be a knucklehead and just meander thru life and just not be so attached to everything. That’s called, it’s your life so do as you please and just leave me alone. procedure.

I see it like this. Andre’ is not just a camera. He’s a metaphor for my existence as a photographer. So, when I say Andre’, it means every facet of my photographic life.  Why do I do that? Why shouldn’t I and why don’t you. When there is an attachment like this, for me, it’s let’s me become at one with what I’m doing. It is a conscious awareness of the eye, heart and mind in the here and now.

I have had many cameras in my life but never kept a single one that didn’t allow me to name it.


Besides, we all need a place to put the guilt or blame for things, right? When a shot don’t turn me on, it’s not my fault, it’s Andre’s or another camera I was out with. See, not so stupid, huh, huh?

I hope you all have a blessed weekend, and life but really just this weekend and it becomes very productive cause I only get so many blessings to give out and can’t keep them so I pass them on to all youse and yes I may be crazy butt it’s all about life and being awake while you live it cause when we are dead I don’t think there’s battery chargers up there or down there so let’s keep things together here……



Unheard Voices … Pt 2


Well, to continue on our journey of, um maybe photographic madness….I think we need to address the unheard voices a little bit more. Some heard voices told me that it was imperative to do so. Now I may not always pay attention to the unheard voices but I like to address the heard voices even if I don’t pay them any mind, or if I choose to do so, pay them mind.

I think many are caught in the wave of trying to find themselves thru the masters. For instance, maybe you or someone you know admires Vivian Maier. Then you go to work and her work is in your mind. Maybe you decide to emulate her style and you start to get good stuff. Even if it’s just you that thinks it’s good stuff.

A few things. First and foremost, is the danger known or unknown of really trying to do work in her style. Then maybe you get some good feedback and maybe you start to think, wow, I can do Maier better than she did. Maybe you can and maybe, just maybe it don’t mean anything anyway.

Photography is a way of lie. It’s a way of living and satisfying the inner self and going for it.So, Life and photography and maybe a few other things like a real good orange, is not about living or doing things thru the mind.

Those who live life thru the mind miss the most important thing in all existence. THE HEART!  Shooters get very wrapped up in the mind and how wonderful it is and how special MY MIND IS.

The shooter that is in touch with life or on the way to that plateau, is the one that lives by the heart.


So, doing your work and standing by the influences that you absorb, or adopt or just let in, will invariably cause much inner pain and dis-satisfaction. The hard part is to dissolve the barriers of what you perceive as success and allow yourself to become your own person and shooter.  It’s not an easy task. It’s a task that not many will take and will eventually let it fall into the shadows of dark thoughts without feelings.

The shooter that wants to set freedom into the work will rely on the heart to direct the path.

more tomorrow……………..





The Groove


There are times when things all fall together to make you feel right. I’m not saying it happens all the time but i feel it happens enough that I notice it. So I was out on a walk-a-bout in center city and I made some photos and it was cool. I like the camera and it does a fine job of supporting my efforts.

By the way, I had Serendipity the Olympus Pen F and her 25mm lens on. See, the lens is 25mm but Serendipity says it’s 50mm FOV so I go along with that cause ya shouldn’t argue with a lady. She’s right anyway. I’m noticing some people walking around and they looked like some kind of security. You know the type, the earphone with the coiled cord so no one can see them. The suits that look like the were punch pressed for a one style that works with all. Tomorrow is election day here and I guess there will be protest. Dunno, don’t care.

Anyway, I was walking for a while and I decided to head home. My legs ached and I felt that it wasn’t happening for me right now. Now, when that feeling sets in and it does always and for everyone…that’s the time to be ready for it. Oh yeah, it happens every time my friends, So much so that I look forward to the feeling that it ain’t happening because I know if I get that feeling, it’s gonna happen.

So I am following my decision to go home and I am also aware that ain’t nuttin going on so be ready for it. I come up to Starbucks Window and I see all these stars dancing… then, as if Mother Light Blessed me, and she did….a man sits down and puts his head in his hands. I looked at him and thought, Shooter, get ready ole’ man… this is it when it ain’t happening. Well, I’m not one to get in people’s face but here, at this moment in the here and now when ain’t nuttin’ happening and I’m ready to go home….I moved in close. He ain’t looking at me. I was perplexed.

The I figured it out. He was having an, it ain’t happening for me at this moment, moment,  and together, we shared the nothingness and the ain’t happening moment. So, the way I figured was, that one of us had to  break the nothingness and tension and see where it goes. It was a tense moment. I knew that it was gonna break the record for nothing and was gonna make or break each of us.

Then, then in the breath of the air fromStarbucks, he turned to me and I put the camera in his direction. I knew I had one chance at this moment and the slightest movement from either of us would send us both to nothing oblivion and that for all eternity, each of us would relive the moment that we ruined. But no, not this time… not this moment, dang it… he looked straight into Serendipity’s eye and I looked at his eyes and he turned to me and…..CLICK!

You are nor returned to your regularly scheduled programming……………shooter……..out…………………………..

Looking Back


I often wonder about what people are seeing when they look at me. I mean, photographers go around looking and seeing photos that they want to make. We ain’t go no damn photo takers around here. We are all photo makers, right? So I wonder about what others see that aren’t photographers. We ain’t the only ones with eyes. I bet there’s many out there with eyes and many that see too.

So I think a camera doesn’t make us special. It makes us photographers but we have to share the gift of light. We have to give respect to those that look at us. Then we need to really give respect to those that look at us while we make  photo with them in it.

I think this isn’t any kind of magic remedy for making photos on the street of strangers.


The issue as I see it is….many teach that you need to be assertive or confident on the street to make photos of people. I guess if you see people as objects or subject matter, that may hold true. I mean, damn, it’s just a guy there like the wall or anything else there. Ya know, I guess I’m a shitty teacher. I never want people i work with to see people as subject matter or objects to take pictures of.

For me, working the streets,hey…hey, I don’t work the streets like that, not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s more a a meditative state that I get into. See, I realize that anything I use to make photos is a part of life in one way or another and maybe even my life. I see photography as a collaboration. It is in many ways. I collaborate with my camera, of course there is a name, then the light, the reality that attracts me and that I desire to do magic with to make a 2 dimensional reality called a photograph.

Everything in life is a collaboration of some sort or another. Breathing is with the air, the lungs, heart unless your a politician, then the heart does not exist. Everything in life and especially photography for those of us that are blessed with sight and the will and drive and talent to pursue the art of seeing and capturing what we see.

The real beauty for photographers is that hopefully, we are aware of the gift and the gift of collaboration and we get to appreciate it all.

I often wonder about what people are seeing when they look at me.







So I been having Issues with Word Press. I won’t get into it cause my anger level is about 1400 pts above the safety valve. It ain’t a pretty picture when I get the anger going.

Anger management class, been going for a long time…. bullshit, outta my way dudes. Word Press started a war and I am in it for keeps.

I did get to the streets and make some photos. I went with Andre’ the Fuji X100T. Ya know he’s a great friend and does what ya want a camera to do. I mean as long as ya like the 35mm FOV.

So I met Polly again and she is still concerned in finding images that mean something to her. She’s been thru the wringer with cameras and usually goes for good quality in all respects and also ask me what I’m using a few days before we meet. Hmmmm, maybe that’s why she always has the same as me when we meet. It’s ok, her findings with the Leica M’s was similar to mine. I love the cameras, always did for almost 50 years. I just can’t focus the Range Finder anymore. Vision combined with tremors and the Fuji X100T is a life saver.

Polly is concerned with acceptance syndrome. It’s an affliction that most fall prey to from time to time. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I live in that illness. I’m so used to it that it doesn’t really bother me anymore but I am totally aware of it.

See, when the affliction is running rampage thru your mind and everything else, all you think about is having gratification from others to justify what your doing. Maybe we all need that. I mean, FaceBook, Flickr, 500px and all the other sites capitalize upon this illness. You shoot and process and then post to your places and hunger for the attention from others. It’s normal and there’s nothing wrong with it but…..you have to make sure that you are staying true to your vision and not shooting to satisfy others.


There’s a definite satisfaction getting props from others. There’s a mature satisfaction getting what you feel and see as yourself. It’s real nice to have others FAV or make a Comment on your work. Very nice. It’s better, for me, to see my work as what I feel represents me. I mean, making a photo with the camera and bringing it to light and loving it, is the most rewarding feeling there is. Well, unless you do all that and others love it too. Maybe that’s kinda cool, for sure but you can’t let that stop you or detour you from finding yourself.

I hope this finds you all in good health and surrounded by peace.

I’ll be back…………….



Streets Of Philadelphia … A Visual Diary … Page 66 … Reflecting Reflections … Fuji X100T



It was friggin cold again. I know I’m old and cold inside but I’m talking about the weather, COLD! Andre’ was cold too and he’s no help keeping my hand warm.  There be a cold metal feeling to him and it’s not pleasant all the time. Ya know… maybe it’s the cold metal of Andre’ the Fuji X100T that awakens something in me. Maybe it’s the cold feeling and the craving for warmth or even emotional warmth that I search for. I mean, Andre’ the Fuji X100T is a great friend but he don’t talk much……well, he does but not out loud. I mean him and I talk all the time. The photos we make together transcend spoken language and work in a visual way to get our point across.

We are a reflection of each other. We don’t work well without each other. It’s a synergism that I find I must have to survive. I think he feels the same but never tells me so.

To clarify, Andre’ is the name of my Fuji X100T. I name all my cameras and here’s why. I like to keep my experiences with photography as free from the world’s shit as possible. I don’t mean subject matter, I mean an adjustment on the psychology of working. I want there to be a difference between being a carpenter and a photographer. A carpenter works with his/her tools to get the job done properly and efficiently.

As a photographer I practice and it is my life’s work. I always knew it was and hope to continue on the journey. Doesn’t that mean more to me than being a carpenter? I use carpenter as an analogy for anything I would or have done in the past but not only the past but maybe the present and the future.

For me, thinking and feeling that my life has been about my photography and photography has been my life, it seems fitting to name things so that I may attach more closely to it.  My oldest daughter is named, Bethany Ansel. My Son’s name is Paul Weston. I didn’t call them child # 1 and child #2. I kinda love them and they were given names that were born out of love.

So, I could be like many shooters and just go thru life making photos and not really connecting but thinking I am. Instead, I’m the guy many think is nutz and crazy cause I name my cameras, because the camera is a metaphor for my entire photographic process. I stand guilty as charged.

So Andre’ and I were on a walkabout and we were at the Historic Park. This is where the Liberty Bell loves. It wasn’t always here but some smart ass politician decided years ago that more people could see it if it had it’s own house with easier access. Anyway, I am a fool and I believe in History and i believe that it means something. I also believe that feelings come to us from the past and if we are open for them, we get messages that may or may not have importance but we get them anyway.

So, I been reflecting on the reflections of the thoughts of my life. Maybe youse didn’t get it and that’s a shame cause I do and did and hopefully will again.

I will say this, if you name your camera then you get me. If you don’t but want to means you may get me. If you don’t give a shit about a name for your camera and process that you love and cherish cause it gives you reason to continue…well, your a politician anyway.