Tag Archives: Personal Work

The Harmony Of The Image … Love Your History


To live or love, that’s maybe a question. Forget about like. What’s the difference, you may ask? Well, I see it kinda like this. To like something means it’s like ya can do this whatever it is  and maybe not miss it if ya don’t do it. To love something implies that perhaps you could not love it for any reason and then maybe fall out of love and go back again. Lots of variables. At any rate, to love something is a constant with a few variables and outcomes.

To LIVE something. Well it means to me that if you live it, it’s a life force and you breathe it because it’s feeding you life. If something happens and you don’t live it, then death is the alternative. Much different than love.

So if we apply this theory to photography, what do we get? I have always lived my work. That means I am accountable for every aspect and image of it.  If that’s the case and it most certainly is, it also means that being aware that forces around can provide either negative or positive energy or worse, no energy. My Grandfather said, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

Why am I writing all this stuff and what does it have to do with making photos? Well, it’s great to have conversations after the fact of the photo. It’s exciting to digest everything about it and what others feel and think also.. It’s comforting to feel success, no matter what way it arrives. ….but what about pre-exposure? I don’t mean the technical aspects, but the emotional and ideas and concept of the image.

Perhaps that’s the very essence of the moment. The moment is widely described as being in a single breath with all that you are and feel with the camera. This is a beautiful expression of life with a camera. I guess it’s possible to love this moment without a camera but not if you live it. Without the camera, we are dead.

What is the taste of this moment? For me, it’s the harmony of it all. The moment brings us to a place that we know, live and feel a photo is waiting to share it’s life with us. When all things come together, it’s the moment for sure but it’s the awareness of, everything is illuminated. It’s Harmony.  This Harmony is the flavor of photography and the essence of LIFE.

This is all effected by our history. That history is the past we have stored unfiltered and we call upon it for direction or disregard it to find a new path. It’s all good but we can’t erase our history, even if we knock down statues, ease from our books and try to eliminate from our minds. Some call this history baggage but that’s in correct.

Baggage is what people put in your eye, heart and mind so that it affects what you do or think about doing. Baggage is other people’s bull crap that will pollute your life. History, ahhh the beautiful history, that’s your doing and we need to love that history if we ever want to move forward.

When your out with your camera, maybe when you see a photo coming and the moment developing, maybe just maybe, your history is with you and that baggage….leave it at the counter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life Lesson, Edmund Bacon

 

This series of post is about rethinking, re-feeling past experiences. We all have past experiences and many are notable. Just like photos, they are memories of past experiences. It seems to me that experiences of both photos and thoughts are similar but very different. Not easy to conjure up past experiences and yet a photo easily exposes the detail of the moment.

Anyway. I met Edmund Bacon from the AIA.  American Institute of Architecture. I was working on a series of portraits of American Artist. After a short time, it became evident that we connected in a most beautiful manner.

We would walk around and he would tell me so many things I really didn’t know. One day on our walk a bout, Ed stopped at a Liberty Tower and leaned against it, putting his ear to a wall. For the life of me, I hadn’t a clue what he was doing. Then he called me over and said, do as I am doing. I looked around and saw people watching us and I felt awkward. I’m used to being the observer not the observed.

Ed saw I was kinda self conscious and started to talk with me. Don, there’s an interaction in every breath in life and with what you do with that breath.  Your photography is excellent and your dedicated to the art. I am a lover of space and buildings. Many here know me and they communicate with me. When you had your ear to the wall, what did you hear? I had a dazzled look on my face and he pulled me to the wall again.. Put your ear to the wall and cover the other ear. Now put a hand on the wall near your ear. Ed did the same thing with opposite ears and hand and looked right in my heart.

Ed said, do you hear those sounds? Can you hear the difference? What do you feel?  He said there’s a steady heartbeat and that’s the pendulum. That sound is the buildings heart. Do you hear a creaking sound? That the materials holding it all together. Can you feel a vibration and have it inside you? He pulled me away and we walked more and I made photos as he directed.

Ed said, that building is the equivalent of your photos.  The bid difference Don is, with City Planning, I am at one with the world. My wife Ruth understood and supported me best she could. out photography is your life’s effort and needs to be as strong as any building. Your photos are the summation of man and the environment. They are separate and yet many times, they become one. Ed and I made a dummy book and I still have it. I suppose no one will ever publish it because he wasn’t a cowboy with a white hat. He was an opinionated strong man. He stood for his believes at all cost. Some of you reading this understand.

My Edmund Bacon take a way is … It is all the oneness, what makes the difference is not in what you see or frame but how and why you do it.

 

 

Streetshooter Resurrected

Did ya ever get a mosquito bite on the one place on your body that ya can’t get to and scratch? Well, I’m sitting on the couch and watching Fox and CNN, yes at the same time. Well, I’m there, I’m soooo into this political mess that i’m lost. I am I tellya, lost in me own domain. Tanya moves in quietly and puts a cup of tea on the table. She places it down so gently, a fly landing on me poor head is louder. I feel like the guy in the photo up top, taeh yeah, that one. See them arrows pointing to him? Well, I gotta political arrows coming at me.

I been in this place and state for a long time.  If Tanya feeds me I eat, if not I share with Barsik the cat.  I haven’t answered the phone in months and my kids think I’m in jail. They are right ya know, I’m in the media jail and need to find an escape like Clint did.

I don’t drink or do drugs anymore, for a long time actually. But i look around and Tanya is going to the grocery store. Oh my… is it possible? I hear the back door close and immediately, run upstairs to my sanctuary. I grab my bottle of Blackberry Brandy and take 2 good shots. Ah, heck with it,,, I take another really good shot.  Quickly I run downstairs and start watching the political massacre of the American People. Then ummmm, as I watch the TV, Ding the Leica M9 is floating across the room and he’s talking to me. Where’s my shrink….Help? Ding says, I am here as the senior representative of the shooter convention of cameras and photographic stuff. I never knew my cameras formed a union.

Ding said, the tv goes. The political garbage is for others, not you or us. Do you know how upset Andre’ the Ricoh GRIII is? Well, let me tell you Andre’ said, we are all bored and need to get out on the street, quickly.

So I took Ding’s word and charged batteries, cleaned the bodies, lenses, checked the cards and was feeling kinda sexi. Yeah, 70yo and I’m feeling my oats. Maybe just go make photos.

So my cameras, my beloved friends and my mentors, have resurrected me and the energy that was sleeping. I’m excited about making photos and very excited about getting the blog going again.  Hope all is well and doing much better than me. Be Blessed my friends

….shooter out but not gone…..

January 9th, 2020 …Maintaining a Persistence of Vision … Insanity … The Exception To The Rule

It is widely known and accepted to think…. doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is insanity. For me, doing the same thing over and over and accepting the same or similar results, that’s insanity. Actually it’s complacent insanity. I think some of the beauty in art and photography is the uncertain outcome. I mean, we take our camera out and search for our photos. When a trigger happens, we release the shutter and from that point on, we have an uncertain outcome.

If we worked and had a clear concept of the final image maybe that would be death to the explored creativity. Look, if you actually could see in the future, why waste that on making photos, see the lottery numbers for the next day. Trust me, that would be exciting and beneficial to all aspects of your being. So the idea of Ansel’s pre-visualization only goes so far.

Making photos is about selective input, processed and then output. During the course of each photo comes a certain methodology that each of us applies to our image creativity.  It usually is not in question because most people don’t care about how you did something but rather why you did it, at least that’s how it should be. Why is the key to interpretation and the subject of conversation. Unfortunately the root of the photo mostly lives within us and once presented to observers, the only control we have is the photo itself. Even that relinquishes our control to the observer. They decide what and why you made the photo.

So why is this important? Well, I was hoping youse could tell me why. Many times I might hear or see a comment that states, you’re doing the same thing over and over. This is probably true and the reason or partly the reason for this post. I assume accountability for my work and methods and intent. What about the viewer. What is the accountability of the viewer? Perhaps they are equally at fault for seeing and thinking the work is similar. They have conditioned themselves to see and judge in a certain way.

Decades ago, Ding and I would talk about this very subject. I told him I felt that the viewer is fixed in a state of comfort and it’s very difficult to move outside of the comfort zone. So, then when the viewer says that the work is all similar, it also means they see with the similar standards they establish for themselves. I did an experiment  a while ago. Not your concern how long ago, it’s relevant and always will be. I had a friend over and we would check out each others work. We did this a lot. it was entertaining but for me educational. I would show W some photos and without a doubt, he would say they are good. I know where this was oh and ye these are similar like in a series. I say nothing. I listened and I watched the process of how he addressed the photo.

So it was obvious to me that my work was being judged by someone that had tainted eyes. Not saying it was bad but he came loaded to the gills with pre-judgemental comments. Then, I asked him what he thought was similar or the common denominator of the photos. He stated the they were all with a Leica and the distance and angle of capture was similar. The subject matter was all related in a undefined manner. Actually he was very right on and it gave me a sense of accomplishment. I told W, “I’m not trying to set the world on fire but I damn sure wanna be there with my camera when it does. ”

I had made some very nice nudes of my wife. They were and still are very marketable. I traded 7 prints with Clarence John Laughlin. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarence_John_Laughlin

Anyway, I asked W to check these photos out. He had no idea of the success of the photos. He looked at them slowly and intently. Of course my wife was stunning and very sensual. That combined with my passion of photography was a combination that surpassed my expectations. Well, as I figured, W viewed the photos He spent a long time on each. I realized that the choice of subject matter that is different than my usual choice can have a profound effect on the viewer.

This exploration was in the late 70’s. I had an exhibition at a local gallery with a good following. Opening night there were many people and i sold 3 prints I seem to remember. This was a Friday evening. I was excited and was looking forward to the exposure. The director asked me to sit in and talk with people as they come in and out of the gallery.  I thought this was great. I sat in the gallery and for 4 days about 15 ppl came in. It was kinda disenhearting. I was feeling bad and almost depressed and then a woman entered the gallery. She stopped at the door and looked around. She was tall, around 5’11”. Dressed in clothes that only wealthy woman wear. I immediately stood and greeted her and welcomed her in. She walked around and studied the prints carefully. I watched as she kinda swayed standing in front of the photos. after about 20 minutes, she called for me to join her and asked if the photographer was available. I looked her right in the eyes and told her I was accountable for the work as I was the photographer. She smiled and told me she related to the heart of the images and now to me. I felt a stirring in my body, no guys not that stirring but the kind that emanates from the heart.

This feeling was equal or above what I felt from Ding. She told me Diana was her name. We exchanged graces and I was honored that she liked my work. She told me she was a prominent collector of fine art and was local and that a mutual friend suggested her to visit my exhibition. She didn’t tell me who the mutual friend was. She invited me to lunch and of course I accepted. We left the gallery and there was a cab waiting. We arrived at the Bellevue and was seated in a small corner. She asked if i had any questions and that opened the door. Diana, what is it in my photos that attracted you? She replied, above all, your heart shines thru most of the images.

She stated that there are many kinds of photographers. Many want to be rich and famous and some are. Many just want to make a living with a camera. Don, you make photos because you love photography and you love the photos you make. I was flattered and surprised that she understood me so well. Thanks Diana but it might be nice to make some money along with the photos. She actually laff’d.

I smiled and she said. Don, that’s why we are here right now. Diana said that she will be a collector of my work until the end. She will contact me from time to time and order prints. I think this was like 1981. Diana is older than me but still my number 1 collector. I’ll be 70 and she is 83. Sometimes we meet and have lunch or coffee and we talk about life. She is always probing my mind and then explaining why.

I remember that she used to like that I was consistent in my vision. We started talking about artist and their insanities.

I will fire the blog up now and hopefully I didn’t lose anyone along the wa….♥

August 3rd, 2019 …Circumnavigating Photos and Then Some

Ya know one of the best things about getting old, ya can say crazy things and most will accept it from you. If you try it when you’re younger, well they have places for you where others say things like that and ya fit in. so Suzanne and I went to get sushi and talk photography. You know me, I’ mall in for being seen in public with her. Got Ding the Leica M9 on my neck and Suzanne on my arm. Dat’s right G, I be da man. So we walk and finally get to the sushi shop on Walnut near 7th. We go in and like 5 people come to her and say high in Japanese. Then they say hi to me in Philly English. I didn’t expect a group and she never mentioned this to me. So they all sit and I seat Suzanna and slide her and her chair to the table. A few of the ladies there looked with a kind longing approval. I mean obviously I’m the only gentleman in the group and unfortunately, probably all around. They all start talking Japanese and Suzanne puts her hands to her ears and says, Don. Now the language switches to English and I kind have that down some. maybe not perfect but good enough. I didn’t know why I was here and would have appreciated Suzanne letting me in on things  but I just went with the flow.

So Suzannz tells everyone to start asking questions. If it was anyone else, I would have been offended but Suzanne, I’d fight my way back from hell for her. So a guy ask me, “How do you maintain the visual quality and continuity in your photos thru all the years? The great thing about questions and answers especially is, not to have canned answers. I like to open me poor brain and my warriors heart sand construct an answer that fits me.

It’s not the easiest thing to do. You need to have the knowledge and the means of presentation to make it work. I like to get an answer started with a thought train and then quickly open the valve from the heart and then answer. In the old daze, we called it winging it but now I am much more sophisticated and more a proper adult so I like things to work for the questionnaire. So I started talking and first things first, I said. Plan your work and work your plan and don’t be afraid to improvise along the way. There are different starting points to a photo but mostly, all will go thru this cycle.

Example: An idea for a photo forms in your brain and or mind. You can kinda visualize it but no clarity. Then go out to make photos and breathe in the light and the scenes and people. Take them to your heart and mind. Keep reflecting on the image planted in your idea. Don’t be afraid to let someone or something distract you. Go for it but try to come back to your initial idea. Of course your camera is your partner and friend and you have no issues because you are on the same train together. In time hopefully you will see something that stirs up the thoughts, ideas, emotions of the idea and now you just frame and wait for the trigger. Then, CLICK.

Keep working but you will feel a kinda excitement because you know your satisfying the inner thoughts and idea of your photography. At this point it’s time to see what you captured. When you get into Lightroom, the image should spark excitement, questions and answers and generally you want to work on it. Start processing the photo and keep an open mind but recall the initial idea and emotions. You do not have to stick with that but you absolutely need to know where you started so you can venture into the unknown. Now you hopefully can look at the photo and have a mental map of where you started and now where you are.

This is circumnavigating a photo. We go around the world of the photo and then of course photography and always remember and apply, the heart as the compass. So the guy asked me, “do you do this all the time?” I answered, how else would I do this, I don’t know another way I can live with and there ain’t a better way to die.

They all but one had Leica’s. The one not Leica was a Fuji XT-30. So the questions turned to gear and settings and all the stuff that feeds the emptiness of creativity. We are drinking Saki @ 105f and sushi and maki, just a great meal. S Suzanne ask me, when do my private workshops start again? Yes, when they said. Hmmm me thinks, that M10p is looking real nice… nah not me at all. Anyway, they as a group want to do sessions. I really ain’t feeling it and the Suzanne says, “I will let you know when Don will start”. Wwe all get up and Suzanne and I leave and start walking uptown to Center City. The as she has our arms linked, says… I forgot here.. she hands me a white envelope and I look in it and there’s $500.00 cash. What’s this and she says, the first session. I told her I didn’t want the money and she said they would all be deeply offended and feel they are not worthy. They may all commit hari kari.  Ya know, I adore this woman but sometimes she’s full of craap and this is one of those times.

So I will start a series of sessions and Suzanne will be my trusty assistant. The sushi and saki were great, The company of her 5 friends was enlightening. Suzanne has my heart and is my angel of love and mercy and acceptance of an old warrior.

ya know, the $500.00 was a welcome gift I never thought about. Be blessed all and remember this….. wait.. dang it… I forgot

June 27th, 2019 … Stop Running Away … From Being You

I remember back in 1975 I wanted a blad like crazy. Once I had the camera I was all proud and happy. I’d go to openings with my un-named blad on my shoulder, knowing I was someone. One day my friend Paul told me I wear the Blad like jewelry and don’t make photos with it. The truth was he was right. I had it at last but really didn’t use it. I was a street shooter and not a Blad dude. I felt that the camera would give me a signature or tone and it didn’t. I was really heartbroken.

Ya know, we can run like crazy from our gear, our PC’s, our thoughts and ideas but the important part is, you can’t run from yourself. It’s easy to think we can, just by ignoring the signals that come to us and yes, from us but the truth is, ya ain’t going nowhere. I remember the night I got my stage name. I was playing a gig at Cliff’s and we were heating it up. The audience was 90% black, don’t matter to me but I was the only white guy on stage. We cutting blues and everyone is really digging us. A woman halfway back in the seats stands up and says… that’s the Snowman, I know him he’s the Snowman. Gotta tell ya, I was on cloud 9. I mean people dancing and having a good time and I was driving them with my ax. I was the Snowman and would be forevermore. But, I was feeling things I wanted to say with my Strat that I didn’t know how to do it. Even tho the crowd was excited and loved us playing, I thought, there are 550 people out there loving all this, why can’t I love myself?

I had an opening at a MainStream Gallery in New Jersey. I had 50 prints of various sizes on the wall. As the evening progressed, may people cam to see the show. I was flattered that prints sold and was happy. It wasn’t about acceptance cause in photography, I am. We have like 60 people and the gallery director announces that I will be having a chat and question and answer in 10 min. Thanks for telling me. Her name is Diana and she’s an elderly lady with the elegance of a queen. Stunning and I am a working guy with a camera. She pulled me aside and in very clear words… Don, I adore you and I breathe your photos as well as but them. You must do this chat and do it well. I looked her in the eyes and I said, Diana, I got this, relax. I really was not uptight at all. I have my TONE intact and I can do this because I was placed on the earth to be a photographer. (if ya don’t pump yourself up, who will?)  There were many questions and even some discussions about gear. The press core was there and they threw a  question or 2 at me. I could look past the people and I saw Diana standing by herself in the white silk blouse. She had her hands clenched against her breast and I just looked at her and realized, she sees me clearer than I see myself. I answered many questions and explained many things the way I saw and felt them. I was not nervous not even 1 iota. For the first time in my life, I felt at one with myself. Ding had introduced me to Diana years before and now that his time had passed, I realized that Diana was my unspoken mentor and supporter.

Even today, when I visit Diana, she will take my face in her hands and kiss my eyes and tell me, the gift of humanity dwells inside you. Maybe she’s right, I mean I can’t understand all that I am or could be, no one can, right. It takes a gentle soul and a kindred spirit to recognize one another.

The key issue is to attempt at all cost to recognize oneself. It’s nice and even stimulating to be accepted into a community or group of other photographers. It’s flattering to know you are respected. There are keys to unlock those doors of acceptance. Such as Leica, many will acknowledge you because you have a Leica. Maybe it’s a Fuji or Nikon or Ricoh group. Maybe you are accepted because you shoot film and work in an analog manner. The list goes on and on. Let me tell you something. You can run away from many things in life, even death but you can never ever run away from yourself.

Time to man/woman up and face the facts, you are who you are and need to accept and love that person. If not, one day you’ll be playing a strat on stage and feel empty even as the crowd stands and calls your name.

 

June 24th, 2019 … Finding Your Way Thru The Mist of Your Creativity… Pt1

Did ya’s ever kinda sorta, maybe feel like your out of place? You don’t have to say anything. We can keep it a secret. Myself, I been feeling like that for as long as I can remember and I’m sure it goes back further than that. There’s not much ado to make yourself feel more at ease so, just accept it and get on with things. That’s what I try to do. Ya know, this will apply to your photos also. I know it seems hard to believe, but ye olde shooter knows something about this. What ya can’t do is surrender. There’s an energy that we can tap into that gives us stamina during the down times and we need to feed on that.

To be honest, I never ever felt lost, or even a lack of energy to work. That’s not the point. The point is I know many who have been in this situation or are even in it now. The best advice I could give is to, close the box with your photos or just don’t look at any photos you made. Just don’t keep any images available for viewing. Of course, if your really a shooter, those photos are in your head anyway. Just don’t think of them. It’s not like you can have a fresh start but you can have a start that’s not jaded with your photos.

We are creatures of habit. We get very comfy doing things that work over and over. I have talked about trigger mechanisms many times and If you think about this, your photos are trigger mechanisms. Yeah sure. See, you have these photos you really like and they become platforms for your creative mind. The photos of the past will drive the photos yet to be borne from you.

This is not like breaking a barrier. It’s more like being comfy on this side of the fence and wondering what’s on the other side. Don’t get me wrong. I am not an optimist. Many have told me thru the years that the grass is greener on the other side. Oh yeah, ya know why… cause there more BS there to fertilize. I’m talking about finding your way thru the mist of images you already have and trying to find the ones out there you haven’t discovered yet. Maybe this doesn’t seem important to you. Dunno but sure is to me and many I know.

I’ll do a series of articles and am open to offer my opinion on the comments page. Each post will address a certain are of creativity and the Dreaded BLOCK. Be blessed all and have a sweet photographic experience that lasts your lifetime.

April 14, 2019 … Ricoh GR III … Some Macro Mode Shots

 

So, it’s Sunday and I can’t get out too much because I have bites all over my right leg. Time for Neosporin. This also means that Tanmya is watching me like a hawk. I put Andre’ the Ricoh GR III in Macro mode. He focuses close in normal mode, that macro is out of focus because I am not close enough. Amazing. I don’t want to be that close but Andre’ insisted I either move him closer or back out and use regular focus mode. There is or should be an emotional impact on images. I mean that we sometimes use the magic of photography in a manner that gives more of a feel from the photo instead of the technical aspects. The flower above is straight from the DNG. The color trips me out. The softness, as if a woman, just is lovely. Nuff said.

 

The Ricoh GR III is made and designed to be an all-around companion. I am wearing a pocket tee shirt. Andre’ fits in the pocket safely. The GR II also fits in a tee shirt pocket but sticks out some and kinda nervous as it might fall out. The point is one could carry the GHR III in any pocket and it fits comfy. I know many of you don’t name your camera and I do feel bad for you. Photography for me is about love. I can’t seem to grasp making love with a woman and calling her it. Hmmm, I suppose not a good idea and certainly, disrespectful. Anyway, your choice but I will say the Ricoh cameras like to work with the shooter and having a name draws the entire process together. The shot above is DNG run thru Silver Efex. I use my presets there a lot.

 

All of these photos were shot in standard AF mode. I thought to try macro but can’t find anything that small that interest me enough to make a photo. I will venture into this deeper during the week. I love this camera as I love all my Ricoh’s. This one has mojo already for me and I don’t go too far without it with me. Tanya still will not have Andre’ the Ricoh GR III in bed with us.

Anyway, just a short post cause I love the garden photos I will make with Andre’.

Be Blessed on your Journey……..

 

April 12th, 2019 … Some Thoughts and Findings … Andre’ The Ricoh GR III

First off I need to answer a few questions about the Ricoh GR III. I got 2 batteries from eBay and they are as fine as the OEM. I paid $9.00 for both with free shipping. I have a Tamrac 5217 case that holds the camera, lens pen, and 2 batteries. It sells for around $10.00 or so on the bay. I have 2 and I bought them years ago. I have a wrist strap that is from the bay also. It’s a Sony Wii strap and sells for $1,00. I have 20. I have an ACMAXX screen protector on and I highly recommend these. I don’t use the touch screen but the protector works.

Andre’ the Ricoh GR III is loaded with MOJO. That is not available from dealers or stores. You have to find your own with the camera and make it your own. There are some negative remarks about the GR III. I prolly never pay attention to them unless it’s an obvious crucial issue. The AF seems to bug some people. I think it’s acceptable in normal lighting but as others mentioned, low light is not as good as anticipated. Usually outdoors or in normal light, I am at 5.6 or 8,0.

Most of the time I’m in snap focus mode anyway. More than enough FOF at 5.6 or 8.0 and I can get close enough to hold focus. so the left button on the wheel is set to Snap/AF. I think everyone familiar with Ricoh cameras does that. If not, how come? The right button on the wheel is set to Snap Focus Distance. This differs from the GR II. The same function, different location. I mention this because if you’re coming from the GR II, some things are different. I call it anti-intuitive. See, we all know how the GR and GR II were so easy to get to an intuitive state.  So here ya are out on the street with the GR III and you kinda feel at home but it’s not the time for that yet. There are enough things that are similar between both cameras but the little things will bite ya in the…. well, you’ll see.

The key features for the street are, Auto ISO, AF, and Snap, Aperture, and FStop. The GR III sets up quickly and those elements become intuitive very naturally. I couldn’t think of a good utility for the Fn button.  So after some consideration, I set it for Picture Effects. The jpeg’s from the GR III are spectacular, pity I never use them, but I sure like them.  The Bleached Bypass is not as nice as the GR or GR II.

Alrighty, all youse EV Haters, have I got something for you.  Ricoh has given birth to a group of wandering thumb shooters. Ricoh knows that we all hate the up/down button on the GR II. Oh yeah, they know. See, with the GR II your thumb gets tired of just holding the camera and then starts the wandering thumb procedure. Oh yeah, What happens, is that the thumb hits the up/down button and without telling you, changes EV setting. The issue besides exposure is, the wandering thumb will become intuitive. For real, it’s thought to be an accidental process but it in time becomes natural. Dangerous and more frustrating than I can say. Don’t believe me, ask Giovanni. He is living testament of the Wandering thumb Procedure.

So, Ricoh cares about their customers and they didn’t let us down.  Ok, I’m 69yo and sometimes a cocky bloke. I had and have excellent cameras. I have many Ricoh’s in the cabinet. When I got the GR III, I felt a loss of the wandering thumb procedure. I looked and low and behold, no rocker switch. I smiled inside because I finally knew that the rocker will no longer mess with me. Yay, I thought, FREEDOM, FREEDOM.

Ricoh makes great cameras. We all know that. Little did we all know, the Ricoh engineers have a sense of humor. Yeah, not kiddin’. I figure that they all sat back and drank Budweiser and ate string cheese when they invented the wandering thumb. Ok, in the USA in many states, hooch is legal. The engineers must be celebrating their humor and the movement of the wandering thumb and smoking lots of hooch.

Now I ain’t one to spread rumors and I’ll deny that youse got this from me…..The thumb now finds the rear wheel and at times, it will change EV and or the movement of the AF Focus Point. I have not found a stable lock. You can change EV by moving the wheel. You also can move the AF Focus Point by moving the wheel. It is said in the annals of Ricoh Engineering that if you hold the OK button in, then the point will center.

If there was a lock you wouldn’t need to do that anyway. I guess it’s an anal thing and I don’t understand.

March 30th, 2019 … From The Streets of Philadelphia … Ricoh GR III

There are times in our life that we must surrender to the forces of perfection. This is one of those times.

Andre’ the Ricoh GR III has been on the scene for about a week. I do mean my scene as your scenes may vary timewise. I struggled at first with finding the intuitive way to be together.  I suppose that any means to get intuitive would require an acquired approach. In my mind, I kept comparing the GR III with GR II. Maybe that mindset was holding me back some and I finally surrendered to the GR II and it’s differences to the GR II. So I set sail with the Ricoh GR III and we decided to form a bond and to get acquired information to become intuitive. It’s a fine replacement to the GR II. I can not overemphasize how perfect the SR = Shake Reduction actually is.  I don’t know for sure how Ricoh thinks about the camera but the camera itself is proof that thought went into it. The missing Flash is for sure a conversation many will linger on. I see it this way. If I can hand hold the camera and get a very usable photo at 1/5 sec, why need a flash. See, the majority of street shooters kind wanna be discreet. Not all but the majority. If your out shooting with a flash, your not discreet at all. So I figure Ricoh thought that way also and made the camera very capable of low light shooting. It is!

 

The way I like to use the GR series is like this. I set the exposure for 1/125 f5.6 This a good shade setting and if you like low ISO. I do sometimes especially on bonding with a camera. I set snap focus distance to 2.5m.  My fav is 1/250 f8. Anyway, I work like this until I want to switch to AF. Switching to AF I still work the same exposure because I use Auto ISO. What ya don’t want to do but certainly can change the f-stop. If you decide to go back to snap focus, you are already at the right f-stop for the set Snap Distance. The AF on the GR III is very snappy except if you’re in l o w  l i g h t and then it hunts for good contrast. I don’t use the touch screen and haven’t in any other camera either. My cameras are my family and not tools so no need to be critical or anal about that stuff.

 

So Suzanne asked me why I am posting these 3 photos. Good question. I feel that Andre’ the Ricoh GR III is now a part of my camera family. We have bonded and continue to do so in a rapid and efficient way. The first 3 days together and I was ready to send him packing. Then one night as I lay in bed relaxing, I got a telepathic message from Andre’. He said, ” look, shooter, I will do all that you ask of me within my abilities. In return you need to accept me as a partner and not a slave to your whims. I will adapt to you without fail but you, in turn, must adapt to me. Together we will achieve the ZEN we both seek”.

I thought that Andre’ was being damn ballsy and insistent about a 2-way relationship. I drifted off to sleep and visions of Andre floated around my tired brain.  I ran down to the kitchen and made a fresh cup of Kona. Back up to the office and I looked at Andre’ the Ricoh GR III. Ok, maybe I am exaggerating some but he had a smile on his uuum….lens face. The I knew at once it was time for us to leave the Grasshopper Office. Andre’ was right. I accepted his strengths and weaknesses as my own and we instantly had an intuitive relationship. All the I thought was wrong, (actually 1 single flaw) was in clarity and I am now at one again.

Andre’ told me that we are both responsible for this synergism we have created but…. if the photos suck, it’s my fault, not his….ever.