Tag Archives: Philadelphia

1st of May Walkabout Philly Photo Shoot Day….

…….hold on a minute dude…….. I’ll bring my friends up to par. See, I have a one on one this morning with Randy. Ok….

Randy…..your camera has to be at the ready…… I take Randy’s camera and look at the setup……we are on the magic escalator at the FTC…..the light there waits Click! for no one…..



….Randy ask me how I saw and made that photo in just a second or two. Randy, that’s why we are here together so you can forget everything and start using what you learned.

I have to admit, the X20 was ready because I know where I’m at and what I can find there. He thought that the X20 was really a cool fast camera. It is and so is the GRD4, the Pen3, the 5D11 and the Canon G9. It’s about setup Randy….all the people reading this know that and never have an issue getting that decisive second.




So Randy has a real nice Nex 6. Nice camera. I tell him to learn to use the screen…..I mean he’s looking at the finder all the time. USE THE SCREEN Randy! See that guy right above these words….yeah, that’s him….I saw at the moment before exposure,a photo. Now I won’t use it for myself but workshop time is here and I will use it for that.

Randy saw the import into Lightroom and the magic of the preset…..one click and that’s what is up above. So I answered all the questions Randy thru at me and I helped with the setup and he is happy. I asked about breakfast and he said it was on him…..05-13-0018

We ate at my unfavorite grease pit and all was fine for a 1st of May Day Walkabout Philly Photo Shoot.

Ya know, sometimes I make regular street photos also….like the guy above…..no…he doesn’t make photos…he makes a photo….See the arm action and the posture…tell tale sign of a photo.

More sane craziness later………

Rainy Day Bluez…….and the Fuji X20 is My Friend……….

No! I’m not starting to do color for myself. I am in the process of making Color Presets that make an image feel the way I want it to make me feel. That’s not an easy task because I’m really not a color shooter.



The content and intent must be supportive to color and visa verse. So I just shoot what I always shoot and let the color pixels fall where they may. I don’t think I’d want to be a generic anything at anytime. So I make things the way I live them.


Take the photo right above…..yeah, that one. See, I was just doing my thing looking for whatever I look for. Then without thinking too much, I raise the camera and breathe and then Click! I was thinking that I liked what was going on. The girl seemed so caught up in her femininity and that of the heads.  I didn’t think about color or black & white until I got the images into Light Room.

Then of course I realized that I am in the process of designing color presets. So, heck….let’s try it. By Jove, I think he’s got it!


It should be noted that the camera in my hand was the Fuji X20.  At no time did it speak to me or cause any intrusion. I don’t treat my camera as a tool. I treat is as my companion on my photographic journey.

More tomorrow…..Good Nite Wouter…..Good Nite Jorge……….

………of course the camera has a lot to do with it………

Many of my friends are writing on their blogs and in forums etc that it’s the shooter and not the camera. Well, not to be argumentative but I probably am as my wife definitely thinks so….. all the time. See the camera is much more important then most realize.


Barsik (the best muse I ever met)

It’s true that ones vision is the main ingredient in photography that needs the most attention. You can read fancy books, go to school, take workshops, classes whatever you like and it’s mainly about your vision. It should be….until you go to WORK!

Here’s what I teach. There is a process to anything, even drinking a beer. One should be totally into the here and now during the process in order to get the most out of it.



So lets move along and go to work. We will analyize the process of making photos. Now please don’t think there is only one way or even my way. My way works for me and I really don’t want you to do it that way….I’d rather you find your own method of working.

(the camera Don, get to the camera part…..) allright, allright.

Your on the street. Your eyes are like that of a hawk. Your walking and your in step with the life that surrounds you. You can smell the perfume from that young lady……over there,…to the right….you smell the exhaust fumes from the buses and the cars etc.

Your camera (I hope you named your camera by now)… is in your hand just waiting to respond to your every whim. Sorry, the guy over there has his camera on a neck strap….that’s fine…… ok….



You can feel something on the horizon but it’s not yet….just a little bit further down the street….

Then, out of nowhere this lady walks out towards you and the light behind her is perfect…click!

You didn’t get that, geeze, why are you fiddling with the controls to set exposure? You, over there…see…you raised the camera to your eye and she saw you and well….. there’s a million things to come between you and your photos. The one thing that can’t be tolerated is your camera. So if the camera is just a tool, then go hammer a nail with it.




Your camera must be an extension of your process. You must have a friend that your working with and not an intruder that just causes lost images. You should be able to make an adjustment in just a few seconds. If the camera is not an important part of your work, then your probably just looking for a scapegoat for you shooting failures. Yeah, this is heavy do do. It’s easy to say, my camera is a pain to work with.

The point is, you have to take responsibility for your choices in camera acquiring procedures. I have a Pen3 with the 25 lux and the 14 2.5. The Pen3 is a very good camera to work with….for me…. I can go back to around 1967 and I didn’t like SLR’s. I just didn’t like the form. I still don’t. I loved Leica M’s because they worked so well.

Flash to 2013 and I still feel the same way…almost. I had the Fuji X10 and really loved the camera. It reconfigured in a flash. Well, I never got a single RAW file to be processed the right way. I have all the goos processors..I make presets, right. I make photos right!

Now the Fuji X20 is at home and it does RAW like I love clams. The point is that this these cameras are mine and I use them. The offer no intrusion to my process, especially on the street.

I beg to differ with my friends. I state here and now that the camera may be a tool to them but to me and my readers….bunk. It’s an extension to our vision because we chose the right one……

No go and sit with you cameras and come up with names….cameras like names…..well…I do take meds for this sort of thing but my wife states that they ain’t working……


I saw this dude on my ride home.     Dude didn’t see me on the ride home.



More Preset Madness

Yeah…yeah! I’m stuck on the computer doing presets. Well, I’m really stuck on 2 computers that refuse to co-operate with me or each other. Me poor brain is starting to think in terms of color. My brain, not my mind. But I must admit that working in color is teaching me lot’s of things.

Oh yeah…. I’m learning what I already know. I don’t like color but I do like making the presets.


So because I don’t really care for color, I have to find a way to trick the ole’ brain into thinking it likes it. I have sent some of these presets out to shooters and have all good responses from them. I guess that means I might have my brain fooled.



What I am doing is this. When I work, streets usually, I see the world in color. It’s not my idea but they put color in everything. So, in my brain, I reprocess the image in front of me to be in shades of grey. This of course is happening in the mind….now enter my cameras. I have them all to have a B&W screen. If they can’t do that….they belong elsewhere.

So, if I take the color out of the scene and then make a B&W photo the way I want, then add color to it with a palate I can live with….I get what I have up top there….. see those up there……




I do this for those that like the color presets….for the rest of us……. up there is where it’s at….


Tis a Color world we Make our Black and Whites from

I’m a wee bit out of place here so bear with me. I’m very aware of the difference of working in color vrs b&w. I’m not teaching a course here, just merely explaining how I work within each method. Your findings may be different but this is how I see it.

I’ve been doing b&w street for almost half a century. During this time I have only on rare occasions used or even seen color. Part of this is that I really don’t think in color. Of course I see it but I discount it’s intensity and meaning when I’m shooting. I remember more then a few decades ago, my friend Paul McGuirk (actually my brother for all intents and purposes) started shooting color slides and then color negs. I felt betrayed by his images. I felt that I would not let this color disease enter my world. Then one weekend in Washington DC, he showed me his photos. We did this often, share thoughts and discuss our work together.

Things changed for me as far as vision goes. We were looking at some photos and one just sang out to me….”I’m a color shot, don’t you see that”? Well, it’s a photo of the Lincoln Memorial. That photo in itself changes the way I thought. It didn’t change the way I worked but it had a very profound effect on me. Issue two of The Inspired Eye will have an interview and photos by Paul in it. The vision changing thought provoking photo is in the issue.


Move ahead many years and here I am. A great thing for me is to have my screen on the camera see in b&w. Then when I go to LR, I see a color raw file. At this point a decision can be made as to the life of the photo. I still don’t see color out there but when I re-photograph in LR, that’s where color has a chance. I started making presets in color because if I am going to work that way, I want it to be my way.




I think these 2 images express how I relate to color. You may or may not agree but it’s how I respond to it. Long gone are the days of having to make a decision before exposure with films……


For Wouter Brandsma & Jorge Ledesma also for the Ricoh GRD5

So I’m in the middle of the interviews for Issue 2 of   The Inspired Eye  Magazine. I’m gonna have to drop a few names here because they get me to thinking about stuff. Nah, it’s not like I need inspiration or ideas or even trouble. I certainly dang sure don’t need any GAS.

Anyway, Wouter and I are going back & forth with interview emails about photography, not photography etc. Whoa…..hold yer horses now. I got Pete Tachauer, Christophe Debon and Paul McGuirk all working on the interviews. The reason I mention the 2 culprits above is that….

I’m working the street…hey…hey…making photos ok. Sheeeesh…. I get an email and I figure I could use a break. I sit down on a bench in front of the Liberty Bell. I pull the ole’ antique iPhone 4 out and open the mail program.

Now let’s get something straight right off the bat. I love the EP-3 and the lenses I have for them. Yup, I gotz 2 Pens. So I got the Silver Pen….Walker with me and he’s sportin’ the 17mm 1.8. Now I ain’t one to question things when they start to working just righty fine. There’s enough to do when the stuff hits the fan…….. The email shooter, what’s in the email? ok…ok…sorry..brain fart.

So there on my phone screen is this post from that Jorge Ledesma fella. Now I like Jorge and his blog. I read it because he bust his hump making it entertaining for his readers. Today he made the ultimate post for dreams of the new future. See, he posted a video about the new GRD5. Well, I damn near had a hissey fit when I watched the video. Nah, the first 5 times I just watched but that 6th time…that was it. I was figuring it’s a fake, again. So I forward the email to Wouter and he confirmed that it was a real camera and that the video was in fact true.  Now until we get the camera in our hands…it’s a dream but this dream, if it comes true…dang, I’ll sell my M43 stuff again.

The reason being is that the GRD4 is about as good a camera as any camera could hope to be…..the GRD5 will move to a whole new level.


I ran home to my garden and made this real quick with the GRD4 but…this is exactly what I envisioned the image to be.


Thanks Jorge…..Thanks Wouter, see ya on the emails shortly….Thanks Ricoh….Sorry Olympus….

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

The Dreamcatcher Strikes Again

Ya know. I really like what I go after and find on the street. Hey, don’t get me wrong…I love the street but it’s not the only place I work.

The images that bring the most satisfaction and always did are the Dream images. There’s something mysterious and ethereal amongst other things that excite me visually about them. The thing is that I can SEE the potential for the image before I release the shutter. Well ok Don, that’s the idea of  Pre-Visualisation.  I know that but there’s another element to take into consideration. That element is the print.

I use the term “Print” to mean the image you see on your computer screen after all the stuff is done to it. I love the idea of the transformation from reality to the print reality. The beautiful part of the experience is that I can see it when I am at the ready for exposure.

I’m not trying to sell you anything just expressing how much I love my images, the process of capture and the finished print produced thru my presets. This ain’t no sales pitch, just a note to let you know that I really do use the presets.


Personal Work For Many Is Still Personal.



Personal work for me is just that, NOT! Really, on Flickr the last few days a few of my photos went to Explore and kinda viral. The one above and the one below. I love the photos, that’s why I made them. That’s why I will continue making them. What I didn’t know it that YOU like them too.



This comes at a very special time for me. We are a few days away from launching the Inspired Eye Magazine and Website that includes a FORUM. The energy it took and will continue to take is a heavy load. Just as I was almost depleted, remember I’m chasing 64 in a few months, has been replenished above and beyond thanks to my friends and Flickr.




It’s nice to know that my energy has been feeding youse because youse have been feeding me too.

I’ll post links to the Magazine, Forum, Presets shortly. Till then, go in peace but go with a camera in your hand.


Sometimes I ain’t working the street….I’m just having fun….but I’m supposed to be working.



So I’m preparing for a few workshops this Spring. I really didn’t want to do any more classes but to be honest, I can’t refuse the money. Now that’s not my only motivation and never was but times being what they are, these pro people can afford the cost and insist on some street classes.



I have to be comfortable with my cameras, my work and myself to be able to get into the ZONE  with this group. I am comfortable, in all respects. What I do is work and get some photos that explain different aspects of being a street shooter. This group of photos explains it very well.






I have one young woman that takes classes and has off and on for 4 years. She’s a Doctor at Graduate here in Philly. She has a great eye but is somewhat intimidated on the street because she’s very attractive and stands out in a crowd. Of course we all know that’s a bad thing on the street. Anyway, she has a hunger for walking on Market Street and making photos. She was using an M9 but I ended that about a year ago. Now I’m not sure what she’s using but she has the gift of being able to get what she wants.

Her photos are excellent.


03-13-0439Self Portrait




It’s nice to have a purpose when your working but really, working for yourself is more important then what you can do for anyone else. This is truth but the best truth is when you work for yourself and others benefit from your efforts. Working from the hearty and having others take your work into their heart…..it probably won’t get much better then that……







Till we meet again………

When I Was Young………

When I Was Young………

I could eat 3 hot dogs and some baked beans for dinner…….now I get indigestion…..

I could drink a six pack of Bud and drive my car……..now I get drunk and fall asleep…..

I could eat 2 boxes of Mike and Ikes…..now I get the shakes and want to puke…….



When I Was Young………

I used to hate color photos….now I still hate color photos but don’t care if someone else makes them….

I always wanted the most details in a photo I could get. I use Leica M’s and even the R’s for a spell. I used View Cameras and always processed my own film to get DETAILS.


Now I don’t give a shit……I just want to feel the content……



When I Was Young……… I used to dream about photos like this….now I think my photos are dreaming me…….

When I Was Young………I would be worried about this stuff….now I don’t give a shit because my Flickr friends like the photos……