Tag Archives: OLY Pen EP-5

December 31st, 2016 … Last Post for 2016 … New Years Eve …


There comes a time in life when one has to reckon with oneself.  In fact if we are attentive to life itself, this time of reckoning comes more then once. We may not always be ready for it or want it but it arrives, like it or not. In the life of a photographer, when it arrives, one must be prepared to deal with it regardless of what it brings with it. I wrote in my last post about organizing work to get a clarity for the present and future. That’s all well and good and should help prepare for the demons of uncertainty and the land of complacency. We as warriors in life need to be prepared for the battle to produce and stand by our work, the very essence of who and what we are. Life will continually throw shots at us and try to defeat our efforts and the love we have for our life’s work.

Having clarity on our past efforts and successes allows us to stand tall with confidence as we move forward on solid ground. It’s way to easy to get hammered and be effected by others. Even the fact of going out to work requires a solid background of what we did and how it effects us now. It’s called clarity. Shooters love clarity, sharp lenses, good MP sensors, good Depth of Field etc.

I hope all of you find heart and mind with an openness of clarity so that you continue to work in peace and be productive more each and every day.

Happy New Years to All and to All a Good Night…(borrowed from Santa)

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…

………………………end transmission……………………………………………………………………………………………….

Streets of Philadelphia … A Visual Diary … Page 23 … Street … The Awakening

The weather is changing and so is the light. Here in Philly, it changes 4 times a year but I hear that this is not common for all the world. C’mon, youse weather changing peoples know I can’t travel all around to check to see if this is a fact. Not only does the light change but emotionally everything changes too. I get into this groove where I feel and see humanity being gobbled up by the environment. They seem kinda lost in time and space and not even being concerned about it. Maybe that’s what bothers me the most. The way we are indoctrinated into a society that is more about the political and corporate machine then about human beings.



There  aren’t many smiling faces anymore. People wear their disbelief and disgust right on their face. This rubs off to others and more and more. It’s a virus of discontent and complacency that threatens our very life force and survival.


All this brings a weight on the soul that has a cost we can not pay, we are helpless in the life that was appointed to us. What does this have to do with photography? Well, for me it’s what I see and feel and think about. I’m sure others do too and you can see it in their work. I know there are many that teach that photographs tell a story. I believe that and I think the story is not of the subject, nooo, the subject is telling the story about us. Our photos are our self portraits. Ok, to be fair, not one single photo could be a self portrait but…. looking at your work, that is the portrait of you.




I used to think I was lost in my work. I guess the reason was acceptance. Yeah, o shit. I wanted all my stuff to be accepted by others. Then I had a revelation that it don’t mean nothing really, what will matter and always will matter is my acceptance of myself and my work. Now, all these years later, I still feel the same but the difference is, I am almost at the point that I accept my work and see the beauty in the intent of it. I still don’t and never will accept myself and I feel bad about that but it’s not got a chance of changing.

Have a blessed journey my friends………..


Streets of Philadelphia … A Visual Diary … Page 22 … Street … Auto ISO … On Seeing


So I be explaining to Linda about the ZEN of Photography but really the Zen of Street. This does not apply to everyone and I am just explaining how I do things and how right it is. Photography is about light. This means that LIGHT is the main thing shooters need to be able to respond to and more importantly, understand. The way we feel and interpret light is what makes each of us different with the same tools and same things.

Back in the last Century I used mostly Leica M cameras and didn’t use a Light Meter too often. I just looked and felt the light and then set my exposure. I had many light meters but I prided myself on feeling my exposure. Some of my friends would test me when we were out shooting and ask me what the exposure was. I would quickly call back my interpretation of the exposure. 90% of the time i was within 1/2 stop.

This ability is ever so important now in the digital world. It’s very easy to get consumed by the ease and convenience of digi-cams. Even the lowest priced offers things that high end film cameras didn’t back then.  The point is that feeling the light and making the exposure the way you experience it is a birth right to all shooters. The Auto-ISO feature supports this in a way that is more then anyone could think back in the day.


I was asked by some friends here to explain more about M Mode and I will with the next post. But for now, back to Linda and her quest. It seems her brothers filled her head with as much shit as anyone could and she was almost consumed by it all. She insisted she wanted to make photos the way she wanted to and not by the guidelines her brothers instilled in her.

So I realized the her creativity and more were encapsulated in a shell that I would have to find a way to crack open so she could emerge into her own being.


It seems that we all at one time or another suffer the same symptoms as Linda. Just meandering thru the world in a way that we feel lost or disconnected from the well-being of ourselves. We lose our individuality, our self worth and even out independent personality. We become a number and are forced to accept that as it is placed upon us. For photographers this is especially life threatening. We have the ability to record what is in front of us and that should keep us awake. The luxury of vision is share with other photographers and we see their work and that adds to the comfort and discomfort of our world.

In time we come up with a starting point for the definition of ourselves and seek to find it thru our work. It keeps us humble, sometimes and rattles our cage when we get to cocky and think what we do is all important. We continue on a life long journey of finding the self and we record and make photos along the way.

For me this process is one I hold Holy because in the end, I want my photos to survive me and to give a glimpse of what the world looked like thru my mind, heart and eye while I was here.  Will those photos speak truth. No, it will be the truth as I have presented it to be from my reactions to and from my love of life and death. They will just be photos from another fucked up shooter that made his life’s work to entertain others. I think that’s a damn fine way to end it all.

I work as if the end is coming….but not yet my friends, not yet.

Streets of Philadelphia … A Visual Diary … Page 21 … Street …Finding Your Way … Change Your Way of Thinking


This excerpt is from the previous post so we can refresh our minds….

I asked if she could explain the rules of photography to me and she tried. “Street photography must be… it can not be, it has to have…. you can’t do this…..” So I told her that she has to free her mind and change her way of thinking.

She says that her teachers… told her that street is an attitude, or a way to think, etc. She asked me what I felt street was and I told her, street is a place to make photos. Attitude, come with me to Kensington Ave and make photos of the hookers, junkies and cops… now ya have attitude.

The beauty of art is, we are all in the same boat in the same place and yet those true to heart see things differently and attempt to make their art more of themselves then of and for anyone else. She had a glazed eye look about her and I recognized it because I adopt that look when I but a camera and Tanya finds out… I kinda just sit like a little boy with glazed eyes and act like I’m sorry for being bad.

Ok I will use the name Linda as she would rather not be identified by name. Ok, I get it… I told Linda not to worry cause everyone reading this knows me by streetshooter and no one knows it’s really Don Springer and I’ll keep her secret if she keeps mine.

I met Linda at 2nd & Market streets and we walked towards the Historic Park. Once we arrived, we sat on my favorite bench and she seemed kinda down in the dumps. We started talking and Linda said that much of her problems were due to her 2 brothers always telling her what to do. She bought and uses a Fuji X100s and they say it’s the wrong camera. Well, I told her that Andre’ the Fuji X100s would be beside himself. She smiled and asked me if I really named my cameras. I acted very surprised to learn she didn’t. So I told her first up is to name her camera. Quickly she named it Gina. She smiled and was glad at my approval.

So I asked her what mode she used on Gina and she said “A” 90% of the time. Then I started to explain the benefits of using “M” mode and we talked about it for a good while. So I explained that M mode keeps you in the scene and in the here and now. See, Manual mode requires you to have an understanding of light and exposure. You feel the light not just look at it and you feel the exposure not just make it.  The she asked THEE QUESTION…. what happens if the exposure is off? I said my cameras, all of them have Auto ISO or I don’t have them.


So I took her camera and set it up like mine and she had settings that were like from another planet. I then showed her how to use Auto ISO and explained that this is the most efficient way to keep some control over what’s happening. I explained that if I set the camera to f5.6 1/250, the ISO will adjust according to the light to maintain proper exposure. So I could shoot for a certain aperture or shutter speed and the camera makes the ISO  If I wanted to play more, I could set the exposure way off and the ISO would have to jump or lower to meet the exposure. So maybe in medium to low light I could push the ISO up by making the exposure force the ISO. Like I could set the camera to 1/250 F5.6 and the ISO would just to like 3200 or 64oo. This would give me qualities I might want in the photo. Like for example, grain and maybe irradiation in the high tones. Or maybe I would set the camera to like… 1/60 f/4 and then the ISO might drop to 400 or 250. This would give a cleaner image.

I figured that her and I need to get the mechanical issues under control before we get to the aesthetic ones. Of course, we need to get rid of the brothers issues before we do anything and that’s on Linda…….So I greed to meet her again tomorrow morning and work some more things out…..

Meds kicking in… gotta sleep…… ni ni alls…………………………………………………………….

Streets of Philadelphia … A Visual Diary … Page 20 … Street …Finding Your Way


So I hear squabbling on the camera shelf. Oh yeah I hear it I tell ya and my shrink at the VA says I hear it too soooo? Well, anyway as it turns out Andre’ the Fuji X100s and Garry the Nikon Coolpix A got into it. No fist were thrown, c’mon cameras might talk and curse but they ain’t got no hands to fight with. So that means in a camera battle, features are what wins the war. As it turns out Garry the Nikon Coolpix A decided he wanted to move and find a new partner. Andre’ and Walker the Oly Pen EP-5 were both happy. So I packed Garry up and got him ready for someone to love him. In actuality, I have only made 701 frames with him and that’s not using a camera at all and he’s right, he should be with someone that will appreciate him and use him.

Then Penelope the Ricoh GRD4 jumped to my shoulder and whispered in that sweet voice she has, listen babe, I got you covered and you know that. Never worry about the guys, it’s you and me on the long run.


So I realized she was right and started to feel calm again. I put the add up on eBay for Garry and he was acquired in a fast auction. He’s moving to Portland Oregon. So that allowed me to make a deal on a Mint Condition Pen EP-5. So now I have a pair and how sweet it is.

I remember being an Admin at MU-43.com with Amin. I was ecstatic when the Pen 1 came out. I fell in love immediately and then the Pen 2 and the Pen 3. The Pen EP-5 takes the line to an entire to range. I just love this camera.

Enuff camera chatter………… So I’m on 9th Street walking south and I hear a voice call my name. I stop, turn around and I see 3 ppl with cameras dangling around their necks. (All 3 are members of the Inspired Eye and Flickr stuff, so I won’t mention names)…. 2 guys and 1 girl. They are in their mid 30’s. S we do intro’s and such and they ask me to go grab a bite to eat and chat. I ask what they wanna eat and they respond with Ramen. They just made the right decision. So, I suggested we walk and work the streets as we do. the 2 guys want to walk on the other side of the street. The girl wants to walk with me and ask questions. Sure… we start walking…. westbound on Market and have to get to 18th Street.


So we get to 12th Street and I saw this. Quickly I frame and ….click!  So the girl says, can I see the photo? Sure but it’s not born yet till I butcher it up in LR. She looks at the screen on the camera and states, you did that so fast, how could you even see it? Here we go, I start to explain that we need to be tuned into the environment and be at the ready when something tickles our fancy.

The she says, the sin of all time to me…. “but you didn’t observe the rules of street shooting”.  I didn’t have any toilet paper so I couldn’t take a dump and I was totally beside myself. I looked her dead in the eyes and I said, what f***ing rules are they and who the F*****k made them and taught them to you? So her and I stopped at 13th street and sat on a bench. The guys kept walking. She apologized for saying I was breaking the rules. I told her I need a saw so I can cut her head open and reprocess the thing in there called a brain. She smiled.


So she started telling me about how she felt so inhibited and inept at making photos on the street. She said that every time she was out shooting, she was afraid to be doing something wrong. I felt really bad for her, I mean she is very nice, dedicated, sincere and her optimism was extinguishing. So she asked me if I did workshops and I stated that I don’t anymore but I have been working with 2 woman about her age from Japan. I said I would call the and if it was ok, she could join our sessions. She was excited and asked how long to find out, I said a few minutes. I called Polly and she agreed next session that she could go. I told her that her boyfriends were not invited. They aren’t my boyfriends, they are my brothers. ….cool.


So I set a morning session up for Monday and even the POPE might attend…..

I asked if she could explain the rules of photography to me and she tried. “Street photography must be… it can not be, it has to have…. you can’t do this…..” So I told her that she has to free her mind and change her way of thinking.

She says that her teachers… told her that street is an attitude, or a way to think, etc. She asked me what I felt street was and I told her, street is a place to make photos. Attitude, come with me to Kensington Ave and make photos of the hookers, junkies and cops… now ya have attitude.

The beauty of art is, we are all in the same boat in the same place and yet those true to heart see things differently and attempt to make their art more of themselves then of and for anyone else. She had a glazed eye look about her and I recognized it because I adopt that look when I but a camera and Tanya finds out… I kinda just sit like a little boy with glazed eyes and act like I’m sorry for being bad.

Dinner time so I’ll do more tomorrow….. I promise it will be interesting…..

…………………….shooter out………………………………………………………………………………

Streets of Philadelphia … A Visual Diary … Page 16


It’s September 1st here in Philadelphia. I hear tell it’s also September 1st in other places of the world but I don’t believe it. Humbug I tell ya. Actually it’s a Pen EP-5 day with the 25mm 1.8 lens that thinks it’s a 50mm. So I worked Independence Historic Park for a while and I gotta say, it’s empty. I mean the other day it’s packed and then someone turned the Visitor Flowing Device  down and today not even 50 people. I’m kinda sad to see the place like this. I guess it’s a sure shot of the forthcoming winter season.

I think most people kinda slow down and stay warm in the winter. Well, I like to step up the pace in the Fall and Winter. I mean I like to get out there and work. Of course it’s easy to say that as it’s in the low 90’s today and the rest of the week.

I am considering taking 2 cameras out to work but that means a camera bag of some sorts. Yuch, I hate being bogged down with bags.

Well, it’s almost tomorrow and I’m off to lala land. Have a blessed day and good light to all….


Streets of Philadelphia … A Visual Diary … Page 15 … The Jeff Story Continues


So Jeff and I are studying my photos. He starts grouping them in ways I never did. Then he makes a comment of an observation. He says, “Don, you have a thing for legs and a good eye for interesting ones”. So we looked at my photos and I had about 60 with me. As it turns out, there were arounf 20 leg shots. All sorts of leg shots but good photos. Jeff says, “You got a whole game going on here”. Your doing a Gambe’ Game. That defined a  body of work I had been doing for many years and still do to this day.

I was very excited because I felt a revelation had happened. It’s ok thatI was doing these images but it became very exciting for me to understand what I was doing and to see my intent with these images. Then we looked at other photos and I started to understand the way Jeff was grouping them. Now mind you, I had grouped my work on my own and I had good training with editing from Ding. This was different. Jeff was very precise in his grouping and in the way he explained the work to me. It was like watching a surgeon working on your body and you start to understand.



After a little bit of moving and working, it was obvious that there were triggers that got me to make photos. Besides the triggers it became evident that I worked in a methodical manner and was aware of working on series without really understanding the series. Many things were uncovered and I felt like for the 2nd time in my life, I had an understanding of what I was attempting to do with a camera.


Some of the things we discovered  were that I had groups as Jeff called them, not series. He felt that these ideas would eventually become series but for now, groups are a better idea.

Reflecting, Icons, Gambe’ Game, Street, Dreams (Dreamcatcher), Public Transportation, Human Condition, Light/Shadows/Contrast, Walk by shots, Drive by shots, Isolation, Juxtaposition.

So if for example these common denominators are prevelant in my work, it should become easier to find the next photo. Don’t friggin’ believe it. Maybe I became more familiar with the territory and the mechanics and even the trigger mechanisms but, esthetically, none of that meant anything. What I wanted was a definition for intent. I wanted to know why and what I was doing. Not really the mechanics of it all but the motivation that fuels me.



I wanted to seek and find resolution of all this minutiae. I still do because it’s part of the insanity of being human and even more so a shooter. I learned that no matter how hard I try to find the word to explain everything all that remains is the photos. I ask myself millions of questions annd mostly never find a solid answer. When I look at my photos, I start to see the light of what I’m doing. I understand my work and often wonder why many don’t. Maybe it’s not importany about resolution or answers. Maybe the beauty of art is not in the finding of answers but in the way your work presents more questions. Can it really be that simple? I don’t know but I am trying to just love the work and not trying to find answers or the acceptance of others. My photos guide me and now with an understanding of what it maybe means and maybe just a little means, I have some resolution.

You can’t control anything and once you accept that and stop trying to get control, then you actually get some control.

Ya know, maybe I seem kinda crazy at 65 figuring things out. Well, now I’m old enough to take the time to see what’s going on and take the time to try to understand what’s going on. It’s no excuse and there is no easy way out either.

shooter out………………………………………………………………………………………………..



Streets of Philadelphia … A Visual Diary … Page 14


Ok, laffing is not polite and supportive to anyone except the patients in the Loony Bin. Well let me start by saying I have more camera bags in every imaginable configuration as every invented. I’m serious. Ok which one of you admits to NOT having the Perfect camera bag for every occasion syndrome. Damn right no one. So I decide that I wanna have Andre’ the Fuji X100s and Walker the Olympus Pen 5 together and have them in a bag. Now of course this is an impossibility because one of the 2 will be working and either in my hand or around my neck. The other one will be resting and absorbing the input from the street ready to process it into me poor brain.

So, I ask you, does this mean I need a small bag for one camera because I would never have both in the bag at the same time UNLESS! AHAA! unless I carried a 3rd camera. See, it’s confusing and leads to camera bag acquisition syndrome. Luckily I have enough in the closet that I shop in there and usually find what I need. Ya know, I saw this sexi azz bag on eBay….nah… forget, da wifey is home.

Market  Street is a source of life for me. I used to be inspired just walking and looking around. Id make photos at anyplace I saw fit and usually be happy. I used to look at ppl sitting against a wall, standing on a corner, leaning against a fireplug, everything and was always nice to see them. For years I would see guys on the short wall at Burlington Coat Store.

Ya know I used to think, what are these people doing here all the time. Many familiar faces at the same places. I mean it was amazing, year after year I’d see these people. The other day I saw a few guys dealing their stuff and walked by and I recognized them. The been there for years.  One tall guy looked at me and said, “What’s up shooter, peace brother.”  Then I got to 12th street and a guy in a wheel chair said to me….”hey shooter, ya got that buck you said you’d have for me next time?” I walked over and handed him the buck.

I had a realization that hit hard to me. I realized that I am as much a part of the scene as they are. I mean they see me almost every day making photos and I’m just shooter making photos like they are Dennis dealing his stuff. Amazing realization to me.

It was maybe 30 years ago and I met a guy named Jeff. He was connected at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He talked about photographs like I hadn’t heard since Ding McNulty. He had photos of Paul Strand and of Michael Hoffman cleaning Strands feet. He had photos of many famous shooters and I new some but most were from the turn of the century. He asked to see my work and I was excited because he knew what was going on. I never went to school and anytime I got some help I felt that was my education.

….anyway, I brought down many prints and he told me he was surprised because I had a real presentation. So we chatted and he asked me if I trusted him. Dude, Paul Strand trusted you man, fucking A diddly I trust you. (Sorry Tina) So then he took my matted prints that were so perfectly presented and so precious and tore the prints from the matt. (breathing heavy, panting, holding myself back from a place I never want to be again)

Jeff says… Don, you need to focus on this… hands me a print and not this hands me a matt. I said immediately, why can’t I focus on both? Because no one can, it’s impossible. He told me to leave and if I wanted to come back for a session again to call him. I asked him when do we meet again? Tomorrow 6:00pm for dinner, your buying. Ok man, see ya then. he hands me the 30 matts and keeps the prints.



The thing about ART is… Art is the Human. The fact that you created ssomething like photos gives them value maybe just to you but that’s the value that’s most important. The heart and soul live in your work. If others adopt a love of your images, that doesn’t change the value of you and your work, it just adds to the intrinsic value associated to you and your work. The basic core of love and acceptance is and should always be yourself. If this sounds like egotistical so what, fuckit… it’s your stuff and you better love it.

I will tell ya about Jeff and the Gambe’ Game my next post.

Till then…. don’t forget an extra battery and to always format your card… of course get the photos off it first……

Be blessed my friends……………………………………………………………………..




Streets of Philadelphia … A Visual Diary … Page 13 “Hit The Road Jack… and “


OMG Shooter, get off it dude, ya been whining for long enough. Get yer ass back to work and stop this simple shit. Ok, ok, cut me  a break aight. That’s how Walker the Pen 5 treats me. No time to slow down and no pity. So, the shooter bluez are “Hit the road Jack and don’t ya come back no more, no more”.  Hey youse all know I name my cameras and have conversations with them so when I get the bluez, they are called Jack, what else?

So I am rediscovering the 50mm FOV. I had a desire to work with it as my primary lens at the turn of the century. Well, it only took 15 years and I am trying hard to adapt to the 50. Youse can think I’m crazy as a loon but I don’t really care. I know that adapting to another FOV can happen 2 ways. The first is to just use it and have fun, nah, not me, I ain’t looking for fun, I’m working, it’s my life’s work ya know. I like to have the FOV become my natural FOV. Right now and for decades it’s been 35mm.

Here’s what this means. You walking and see something that you want to make into a photo. You look and raise the camera and at this precise moment, you will make or break your image. If you raise the camera and see the frame is way off, if you think you can just zoom by feet you are wrong. Many teachers say to just move in or out but this is wrong. What attracted you to the frame is the subject and the perspective. If you move when you get to the frame, you change perspective. That is controlled by CAMERA POSITION. So ideally, when the camera is at the ready, your framing is very close to what you visualize in the image is what you get.



I was on  Market Street and I saw this family walking hand in hand. I thought it so beautiful to see this connection in the city where there is very little connection. Maybe I made the photo because I loved seeing hat connection and maybe it woke me up and I realize that it is my issues out there, I lost the connection. Simple huh, bullshit. I now know what I lost and now I seek to find it again even if it takes a new form.



So shooter is out there again and going strong.

Be blessed my friends…………………….end transmission……………………………………………