Tag Archives: Ricoh GRII

June 14th, 2019 … Finding The Soul in the Swamp of Nothing

Twas the night before… wait… the wrong story. Lemme see, hmmmm… Then night light was starting to give way to daylight. The change in colors and the tones that separate them becoming obvious. People starting to move around, the cars and trucks and buses taking over the streets. People now on the lookout for traffic. The train I was on pulled into 5th street and I deboarded. Yes, you can deboard a train or an airplane. As I walked up the steps to street level, I could see fog and kinda like vegetation starting to consume the light. Oh no, the light. I pulled Andre’ the Ricoh GRIII from his bed (Tamrac 5720)  on my side and checked his settings. Alls well but I have this feeling of impending doom like we are in the middle of the nothing. Andre’ the Ricoh GRIII was warm and I can tell nervous. Why nervous,. because we have walked this path more times than I remember. Now, the light of day was not so bright and there was nothing to see for making photos.

As we walked thru the darkness of nothing, I felt the leaves of the weeping image trees land on my face and chest. The winds of sorrow had released the leaves and sent them to me. I felt a longing for my past life and yet knew it was history and will not repeat. Andre’ cuddled in my hand as he is the new guy on the shelf. He is not used to the longing of something in the land of nothing. I looked at a leaf that fell to my face. I was amazed to dee on it a photo I had made in history past. Then another leaf landed on me and I gazed upon its beauty and grace. Alas, another photo on the leaf. I felt not lost but still unfound. Andre’ said… sheeter, listen… you understand AI right? Of course, I said, it’s that great movie about that AI kids life. Andre’ kinda moved hi IS and I felt it. He said, listen, you watch much too much TV and your a 60’s dude. So, how about wee try fo focus in the crap are in. Andre told me he has RI installed. RI = Ricoh Intelligence, nor Artifical.

As we walked along the path of surrender and to the land of nod, Andre’ tuned himself on. All the sudden I could see light and shape and a frame that I thought would be gone for eternity, Nah… wait, wait… just till this little journey is complete.

The sky started to shine thru the dark canopy of despair and I could see in the distance, well… not there yet but working to it. I glanced and saw a young girl and a guy and she was looking at me cause I’m just so damn sexy and good looking….smiles.  Andre’ quickly set himself ready for the shot. (He does this by himself. It’s a feature that Ricoh instilled in the GRIII. It’s called, the inspiration factor)   As fast as I looked….click!


I guess the darkness of despair was starting to lift. But would it hold steady and allow me to breathe again? Would it allow me to be again? We walked until we came out the canopy of leaves with photos on them. I collected many leaves and they conjured up memories of photos last. I thought to meself, self… if’n all those leaves are all the photos then why are we in this stupid mood and in the darkness?

Maybe it’s true that opposites attract and that less is more. Maybe, just maybe being in the darkness without inspiration, is in a way healthy.

See, we all have times of darkness and kinda feel like we don’t have it anymore. I guess we are in a place where it seems we can’t escape. The thing is, to strive to live. Just because you feel that you’re lost, maybe that’s the driving force to find yourself. We are all on the edge of the abyss of non-creativity. We may even fall in,  but must not allow ourselves to surrender to the nothing. Even when it appears that we are almost done, their lives a spark inside us that will become the guiding light.  It is this spark that may be dwindling inside our soul that we must allow and feed so that it becomes our shining beacon.


March 24th, 2019 … Ricoh GR III … Gaining an Understanding

ISO 250   1/125  f2.8

While I may not be the most scientific person around, what I am is a Lifer in Photography.  When  I get a new camera, before it is accepted into my workflow or camera family, I need to understand it. The GR III is of course grandfathered in because of its heritage with me.

There are a few things I’ll write about in this post. First off, the EV is adjusted by the rear 4-way wheel. I have tremors and even if I didn’t, the thumb will sometimes hit the wheel. When that happens, the EV changes. I don’t like or need or want EV on my cameras. The only person that needs EV adjustment is Ray Sachs. Ray showed me how he used it and I also did for a day. Then I wanted to be rid of it. The GR III seems to have some silly fixes that I can’t find. There must be a way to lock EV where you desire it to be locked. If this is on the camera, I can’s find it. If it’s not, a firmware is absolutely essential to address this issue.

The second thing and it’s directly related to the rear wheel is, the wheel controls the movement of the AF Target Box. If you are in the shooting window, If you press the OK button you are able to move the box. Press again and it locks the position. The issue is, that if you accidentally press the OK button, then the AF Target Box can move unexpectedly. So there must be a Lock like in other cameras, I will not name them but you all know about them.

These are not major issues and certainly no reason to not get the camera. My intention is to just show things that bug me and it’s only these 2, so… order it now. I gotta tell ya, the stabilization system is the finest I’ve ever used in any camera. When I was younger I used Leica’s and could hand hold at 1/15 sec and have a very useable image. I’m not that young anymore and I have essential tremors. That means even at 1/125 sec I could have camera movement. To the GR III. I have SR = Shake Reduction on always. I now can get photos at almost any speed and be satisfied.

1/10  f4.0 ISO 2000

Much to my delighted surprise, Andre’ the Ricoh GR III did an excellent job at a 1/10 and ISO 2000. I could feel the camera stabilizing in my hand. I couldn’s hear it but sure can feel it working.

1/4  f4.0 ISO 600

Here’s where GR III blew me away. I was holding him and can feel my tremor kinda stabilize and even when I pressed the shutter, there was minimal camera shake. This is handheld at a 1/4 sec. Unreal Ricoh, by Jove you’ve done it!  I can only write about what I believe is the truth as I live and believe it. So Andre the Ricoh GR III said, let’s get outside for a few shots. I may work differently than most others. I try to find photos out there and get my interpretation of them to where I can live them. Ok, here’s some more….

1/30  f5.0 ISO 6400

I don’t think I need to say too much here. I remember years ago, maybe many years ago a dream was to have ISO 1600. When I was a Super Moderator at the Ricoh forum, we had a vision of ISO 3200. We felt that in time that would get working. Well, it’s around on other cameras but ISO 6400, is more than we even thought about. Now Ricoh has surpassed themselves and made ISO 6400 not possible but standard for High ISO.  Photography is about a personal journey to find photos that are waiting for you. The camera and everything in your process become very personal. So, this shot for me exceeds anything I want from high ISO. Maybe for you, it doesn’t but you have to accept the fact that it’s pretty dang good.

1/30  f8.0 ISO 6400

This is probably a standard night setting for me. I will say that in B&W it’s outstanding. That’s where I’m at anyway. Plenty of details, no breakup or real pixelation, no falloff at the edges. Just a pleasure….. Oh wait, wait…..

1/30  f16  ISO 65535

Ok, well, I don’t even recognize the ISO number. I think it comes from Planet Ricoh and I am seeing it for the first time, but not the last. Notice the noise. Of course, ya have to have it but they seemed to get is very much acceptable. very small cute dots. Well, I’ll write more in a day or so but…. looks around… Doc says I am not allowed to get to ISO 512000 or something. She says for me, it would keep me in my shrink’s office a long time. My old brain can’t accept that. So I depend on you youngin’s to work the real high ISO but don’t tell me.

A few personal using thoughts. I need to get the EV and AF box set. I know it’s in the camera but I haven’t found it. The GR III is sweet, kinda smaller than the gR II but not enough to bother anyone. We waited a long time for this upgrade from Ricoh. It’s well worth the wait as there are many features that just get right to the heart of things. Tomorrow I’m on the streets and will post something.


Be blessed all,. oh and… if you get the camera, get an extra battery.

PS… Giovanni, these are right from the camera

January 1st, 2019 … Mummers Day … Ricoh GRII-21mm

Happy New Years to one and all and this mean YOU. The Girl Child Linda called and wanted to go to the Mummers Parade and said to meet at Suzanne’s home. Okie, so I get downtown and head to Suzanne’s home. Inside, there are about 7 people and all younger than me. Most have cameras and they are showing each other what they have.  Linda and Suzanne come to me and hug me and each kisses my cheek. I look at the Heaven’s above and my heart sings… I don’t know what I did to deserve this LORD but I if this is the end of the journey for me, I’m all good to go.

As it turns out, it wasn’t the end of my journey and I have my two young shooters to hang out with. We sit for a few and Linda brings me a cup of coffee. Low and behold, fresh roasted Kona, light cream and alls right in shooter world. So, then Suzanna says to Linda, hun, can you grab my Leica from the bedroom? Linda replies, sure babe. Neither of them ever called me hun or babe. I’m feeling some kinda way. So I ask is Polly going to join us? Suzanne replies, Polly is back in Japan and may not be coming back here. Awww, okie, she is a lovely person I said.

We finish our coffee and head out the door. Linda and Suzanne and myself. Linda asks what I’m working with and I reply, Mom, the Ricoh GRII with the 21mm adapter. I have Andre’ the Leica M240 but I’m not feeling him too much lately. Linda is using the unnamed Leica M10 and Suzanne is using the unnamed Fuji Xpro-2 and the unnamed Leica M10P. I think they were kinda put off cause I was using the GRII but I was embarrassed to be seen with all the unnamed cameras. I mean, after all, this IS 2019. Unnamed cameras, The Horror! We get to walking around and the ladies stay close to me. Cameras start clicking, and smiles get to happen. I make a few frames and quickly realize I don’t need the company even tho these ladies are like my daughters.

I walk to Suzanne and tell her I need to be alone and work. She smiles, gives me a major hug and kisses me softly. Don, I want to thank you for everything you do for me. I guess you know, Linda and I are a couple.  Well, (my chance to get in a shot) you mean a couple like um,,, kissing and holding. A couple like sexin and being in bed together. Her brow raises…(see, when a woman’s brow raises, it means, 1 wrong word and you’ll reap the wrath of a woman scorned, and HELL won’t go there) Okie Suz… as long as youin’s don’t be gettin nawty. I smile and hug her and tell her, I love you both and I am happy if I was instrumental in forming your bond. I tell Suz and Lin to be careful and we will meet in a short time.

Now I vanish in the crowd. I start to feel some energy and breathe in the scent of my photos. There’s a lot of people all around me. I have Mom the Ricoh GRII-21mm at the ready. people are everywhere and yet we are all nowhere. I feel the loneliness cast upon us and then, this woman appears and I see her and she turns to try to find herself…..CLICK!

I love how the Mummers get so engulfed n the energy of the parade. This energy is never-ending. I’m not usually seen on the streets. I kind vanish and appear when it’s time to release. Anyway, the mummers are in front of WAWA and the guy to my right, with his back turned, is stuffing a hoagie in his mouth. I kinda didn’t want to disrespect anyone so I waited….He slowly turns his back to me and then the other guy….CLICK!

There are no illusions in my head about seen/unseen as a photographer. See, there are a few ways to work. Here are my thoughts on 2 of them. We work as an observer and ideally, we are not seen or a part of the photo. The other way is to be a participant and your actions, regardless of how subtle, may influence the outcome of the photo. There exist no proper right way and also no proper wrong way. There just is. The important thing is to be aware of the differences. That is a quality of work that creates the bond between you and your photos. We are supposed to be aware of our environment when making photos. Perhaps this emotional and mental landscape is equal if not more important than actually working. It’s called intent and as fine as a word and meaning that it is, with the practice of the definition, well, no pretty photos will be born.

So much for being unseen….CLICK

There are people that are not in the Mummers Parade but yet Stars in the Parade of Life. This young woman is drawing attention from anyone around her. I’m smiling inside and just observing and then…. she takes her jacket off and is wearing a sports bra. Youse all know me, I have no interest in that sorta stuff. I guess I’m not the target of her attractions, Dude comes over and stands next to her. He’s checking ever art of her with intent. Oh yeah, people that are not shooters may have intent also. I’m watching him as her studies her. She’s comfy and she turns to me and makes a face like, what’s up with dude? Out of the corner of his eye, he’s perving her and then looks slightly away…. CLICK!

Suz called and invites me to have lunch with her, Linda and some friends. I pass and tell her I need to get home. Tanya is alone with Barsik and I want to be with them.

If you’re looking for the traditional Mummers Parade shots, you’re in the wrong place. Be blessed everyone…..

Happy New Years…………….. end transmission…..

December 17th, 2018 … One Shot Per Shoot …



Today is December 17th. The above photo is frame 17 for the month of December. Been sick and can’t get out. Luckily I need to go see my Primary at the VA Hospital. I figured that I might as well take a camera with as always. So, Mom the Ricoh GRII and I headed out to do the journey to the hospital. As we are on the train to center city, Mom is telling me that there is an updated version of her and I shouldn’t get any ideas about updating the new camera with a new name. Mom will suffice she said. I agreed. I argued enough with mom when she was alive and on the planet and I don’t want to argue with her now that she’s my camera. Ya know that Jewish Guilt Trip? Well, it’s real and always working. See, I think if I just agree with Mom the Ricoh GRII, then Mom in the grave won’t be inside my head so much. I tell youse about this cause I’m older than most but not all. That means you can feel comfy knowing others live inside your head. It’s best if it’s family and even your mom but might not be. Now ya can feel comfy knowing that your not the only one with issues. The old shooter, gotz goodies.

It felt good to be able to breathe the exhaust from the cars and trucks. I still coughed some but not terrible. The noise from the school kids yelling and horns honking. Beethoven doesn’t have anything on that. The hustle and bustle and the people bumping into me and not saying excuse me, wow, what a great feeling. The young guys busting bad with their eyes, right at me and of course, I stare them down. Mom the Ricoh GRII in my pocket keeping warm. She’s on the ready but not turned on. Lens extension procedures never in the pocket. The sky is bright gray-blue. You know that color of exhaust mixed with baby blue, well that’s it. Oh, don’t forget the clouds that look more like released tokes of pot, not medical, from the guys on the corner, only these dissipate slower. yeah man, life in Philly. How good does it get? So the A Train is rolling along the track and I look out the window to the junkies and prostitutes on the streets. It’s like 46F so the streets are loaded. Of course, people are shopping for their Xmas gifts and groceries. Kisa that are cutting school, riding their bikes and hopping around. Cigarettes are burning all over and the blunts are like a wildfire. Even on the train, I can smell the fresh scent of HIGH.

A Train is making the approach to 11th Street, my stop and I need to wiggle past to young girls to get by. I bumped into one’s little butt and said thanks luv. They both giggle……I smile back. Walk up the steps and hit the street.

Mom the Ricoh GRII  comes out of the pocket and mounts to my hand by the Sony Wrist Strap. I have many straps of very good quality. The best wrist strap is the Sony Wii. It’s on eBay all the time for about $1.00. You will be hard pressed to find a better strap. Anyway, we start walking and this older couple are in front of me. I know I need to make some photos and I watch them walk. Then we approach the Fashion signs and I see a photo. I move forward and watch the elegance of age creep along the street thru the crowd of people. Mom starts wiggling in my hand….My Shrink says this is an illusion but the camera is shaking I tell Ya…. they get to catching up to me and ……CLICK!


December 7th, 2018 … The Day Of Infamy … and the … I’m Sick and Can’t Get Out Post

… coughing … sneezing … I have been sick since before Thanksgiving. The worst part is not being able to hit the streets. My cameras are pissed and I dare not go near the cabinet. Nah, that’s not the worst part…. hold on a sec…. looks around, hmmm the coast is clear. The worst part is being under Tanya’s rule and medical supervision. Oh yeah, my Russian home remedies doctor. I will admit freely … as she stands over my back … that the remedies actually work. So, I make a tent with a towel and cover my head and on the table, she puts a bowl of cut onions. I get close and breathe in and out, the best way to breathe, and the vapor goes where it’s needed and it’s done for 10 minutes. That’s step 1, oh yeah more coming. So the towel tent also lets her put potatoes in a bowl. She takes 2 potatoes… 1 potato, 2 potato and boils then for 20 min. Then she cuts into pieces and puts them in a bowl and I breathe them in for the 10 minutes.

She’s in the kitchen so I can unveil another Russian Medical Secret. If the politicians find out about this, I’ll be charged with Russian Collusion for Potato and Onion conspiracy. Stinky stuff huh. Anyway … a well-guarded secret is the coveted, Black Radish and Honey procedure. She hand picks a Black Radish at the International grocery store. Not very scientific but I want her to feel special as a Russian Home Remedy Doctor. So I watch in awe like I’m captivated by her skills at the selection. Once we get home, she cuts the black radish into pieces. Like 6 parts. They go into a small bowl and then she pours some honey over the pieces. Then covers the bowl with Russian American approved cellophane. In a few hours, she will take a tsp and put the residue from the honey radish that collects at the bottom of the bowl.

I take the tsp of honey radish and swallow it. Ok, Black Radish and Honey concoction are ready for more processing by the American sick photographer, publisher husband. That brings us to the multi-international but mainly Russian American banana stops the coughing  and eases the mucus special medicine. This is a well guarded, highly sought after remedy. From what I could uncover, it’s cooked banana and some sugar. There’s something else in it and I believe it’s lemon. It is lemon I watched her make it secretly. Anyway, this cooks down and the banana you take 2 tablespoons and swallow. It’s warm but not hot.

This immediately soothes the throat but only the throat. See, as a professional Russian American Home Remedy Doctor, she targets specific sections of the sickness That’s why there are so many remedies. They all work and work well but for specific areas. So for about 2 weeks, I’m under Tanya’s care and it’s nice but as for photography, not so good. This gives me lots of thinking time. So me poor mind is working on some issues and a few I never wanted to address……..

I have been using Leica’s for over 45 years. Anyway, now I use the M240. Great camera and love what it does and more importantly, what it does to me and how it works with me. The problem is, it’s heavy. Oh yeah, I’m not in great shape anymore and I tried many straps and configurations. I have been using the ACAM 25 and it’s a quickly reconfigure strap. Great, actually the very best. Goes from neck to shoulder to cross chest in a second. Cross-chest is best for weight but now, at this point, even that doesn’t work. I get pains in my neck, shoulder, and upper back. So, I need to think about the Leica in a different light. Obviously, that means a wrist strap. Ok, so I have many and many nice ones. I put Andre’ the Leica M240 on a wrist strap… no what? Huh, open for ideas. A shoulder bag is off the list. I have too many and can’t use them anymore. So the obvious alternative is a waist pack. I have the Camslinger Streetomatic bag. It’s great, does more than I need.

So, I am undecided about Andre’ the Leica M240. My instincts tell me to sell him to someone that can use and enjoy him. Our daze together is coming to an end and we both know it. The thing about having more than one camera is, you feel compelled to use them, What the hell, ya got em, use em. My thing is I get into phases where I want to have maybe 2 cameras with me.m No, switching lenses is not the same. I can’t keep this going but I hate to sell off my friends. So I switch around and beings that any camera I have is a trusted friend and we work well together, of course except Andre’ the Leica M240…..bummer

I can’t get out to shoot so I re-photographed from my collection.  Anyways, the remedies really work, don’t lose them, trust me. I think all these are from the Ricoh Gr or GRII. To be honest, I can’t wait for the Ricoh GRIII. Have a blessed weekend my friends. Seeya as soon as I can escape my mad Russian American Home Remedy Doctor.

Please remember that today, December 7th is the Day Of Infamy. Pray for all of us that we never experience another one.

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


November16th, 2017 … A Casual Walk With My Intent … or Gone Fishing

Like any serious photographer, I have my moments of discontent. What I mean is that the photos I’m making are ok for me to continue but not the celebrated ones we hope will shine. I wrote about this a few post back. Flashback to around 1973.

I’m sitting on the bank of a creek and fishing with Bill, my father in law and Bob his brother and my 2 brother in laws Dan & Billy. I have all the good stuff. Fenwick ultra lite rod, Penn reel and all the lures and things to make Opening Day of Trout Fishing a great experience. I had my Leica M4 and 35mm Cron in my vest pocket. I will not talk about the financial investment in this undertaking. We are fishing our own styles and I caught a few small ones and put them back in the water.  I said to Bob, what the hecks going on? All these people fishing and not many fish being caught. Bob was laid back against a tree stump like it was an expensive leather chair.

Donald, he said, 90% of the fish are caught by 10% of the fisherman. 10% of the fish are caught by 90% of the fisherman. I almost stopped breathing. I had an epihany, and it proved Bob right. Oh my I thought. Why am I doing this? Bob said, Donald….I come out here to relax. I love the fresh air, the water all the nuts like you trying to catch fish.  I said your fishing. He reeled his line in and there was just a sinker, no hook, no bait. He’s calling me nuts right.

Bob said. look, it’s very relaxing right now. No kids, no wife, no work just you bugging me, he smiled. I asked him, why no hook or anything? Donald, if I have a hook, then I need bait. Then the hook gets snagged on something so I need to start over. What happens if I catch a fish? I gotta deal with that and …it’s good fishing but it damn sure ain’t relaxing.

Making photos for me is like fishing. I love to catch the big fish but I won’t rule out the ones that are not keepers. I LIVE photography. I love every single aspect of it. If I was to just go for those great shots, what about the energy that goes into that. I mean if you picked up your camera and every time made your masterpiece, well, they wouldn’t be. The inverse square law dictates that in order to survive as a photographer, you need to take the good with the bad and love all equallly.

The ones you feel are not keepers, if you don’t love them you will not learn from them and probably not find the great shots you are capable of. Not every shot is a benchmarm, nor do they need to be. I go out on the streets and I am relaxed. I’m breathing, listening, seeing and processing in my heart abd mind photos I seek to find. You can do things the way you want but trust me, if you slack off because your not getting the work you rhink you want or need, you better open your eye, heart and mind cause your making a mistake.

I’m not saying to get complacent, just saying there’s a lot of fish in the waters. For me, I;m very relaxed and content just being alive with my camera.

….shooter out………………..

November 14th, 2017 … … 40 Minutes in NYC … and In Nam … With Roger

First Meeting

It’s Sunday afternoon around around 3:00pm, or 1500 if you like. The phone rings and Roger says, I need … and he gives me a list of cameras to bring to him in NYC. OK, I forgot, youse don’t know Roger. I’m 13yo in Junior High School and as I walk past the store on Old York Rd, I see 2 kids tormenting a another kid. I don’t know the kids getting his butt kicked but I do know the 2 assailants. So I walk over and say to the 2 kids, what’s up? Mind your business Springer. Quickly I said, (now just cause ya know kids don’t mean they won’t jump ya and kick ass)….So I said, it is my business, he’s my cousin. They looked at me, ok….  They stop and tell the kid, your lucky. They leave and I’m now with this kid that’s a real nerd. He’s tall and over weight and just the kind of kid bullies like to mess with. The kid says, thanks Don. Hmmm, I don’t know him but he knows my name. So I ask him his name and he replies, Roger ….? He hugs me and thanks me.

We walk towards my house and it turns out he lives around the corner from me. We become friends. Y E A RS P A S S………. The war in Viet Nam is brewing and I don’t know what the hell it even is. I get my draft notice. Mom cries. Aunt Ann wants to send me to a safe house in Canada. I tell Roger I was /drafted. He says, yeah, I know.’m going with ya. I say WHAT! Roger says, where’s Vietnam? Who’s fighting there? I answer in my most intellectual manner, dunno?

So…I say, Roger, what did you do? I told dad I wanted to ge with you. I get this chill up and down my back. How did you do this and why? Roger says, dad made a few calls and we are going to be together the whole time. Why, I ask. Look stupid, you don’t know what Vietnam is. Ya don’t know about anything. I’m going to make sure your ok and come home. I felt some kinda way about this and remember, Roger got his ass kicked more than a few times. How’s this guy gonna protect me? See, I never knew Roger’s family was very very wealthy. That’s how his dad got this done. I learned that this was the reason Roger got in fights all the time.


Vietnam Payback

115F and must wear  the helmet. We are going thru Chu Lai Village and we never know if it’s hot or not. So we assume it’s hot. Coming out thru the North Side, all 15 of us are feeling kinda safe and most light up a sally. Sally is a Joint that you soak in Liquid Opium and then dry it and smoke it. It’s called a Sally Joint. Oh yeah, I smoked that baby but never inhaled. we get to a clearing and kinda going slow. No small arms fire but all the sudden, out of nowhere…. that whistle sound and then…the sounds of Hell coming up to catch you. The Mortars are coming down quickly. The thing about mortars is that they are mathematical in use. So the tube can be adjusted to get very accurate as to target acquisition. Scary shit man, no joke.

Anyway, we are running to tray to break the rhythm and pattern of the rounds raining on us…….Then….the earth shook, my ears went numb for don’t know how long but, I had this ringing sound in my ears and head and a very loud numbing sound of silence. I’m dizzy and can’t hear and my eyes ayr covered in dirt and I fall to the ground. I try to look around between the rounds falling and I see someones leg in front of me and I just knew this is where I shall be for eternity. I lay still and close my eyes and pray that The LORD ends this Hell fast.

Well, in less then a minute, I feel someone grabbing my legs and pulling me. I can’t move or see who and all[ the sudden, I thought I was captured. I pissed my pants at some point but don’t remember when. Then this person tries to roll me over and I can’t do nothing. I expected to see a VC with an AK47 pointing at me and then as I look up, Roger is pouring water on my face and rinsing my eyes and putting water in my ears and mouth. He bends down and checks my body for blood and holes. I’m still in some kind of shock. Roger is talking to me but I can’t understand a word. He picks me up and carries me to the chopper and puts me on and the n he gets on. We get extracted and there’s no fire after us. I now can start to hear the blades of the chopper. There’s a medic and he spends a minute checking me and looks at me and gives me a thumbs up. Roger is sitting next to the door gunner and in a way I didn’t understand, protecting me with his M16.


When the phone rang and I hears Roger’s voice, I knew he needed something. See, him and Mary are traveling all over the world. He’s a International Copyright Attorney.

So I get this list of things he needs as he’s in NYC for 3 days. I go to his home and go into the walk in safe and get the cameras. It’s about 2 hours from Philly to NYC and no traffic and I get there on time. Mary gives me a hug and the Rog says, thanks again, your my hero as always.

When we were 13yo, I stopped a few bullies and then, in Nam, this nerdy overweight kid I helped way back then…. comes to my rescue, carries me out of harms way, gets me to the chopper and saves my eyes, my hearing and my life, and I’m his hero!

What goes around, comes around….better believe that!

November 5th, 2017 … A junkies Lament

Years ago I would walk most of Kensington Ave but I can’t now so I drive to a spot and then walk some. I parked at Lehigh Ave and started walking up towards Somerset St. I get under the Rail Bridge and I see across the street a familiar face. Mom the Ricoh GRII was at the ready and we made a photo. I put her in my pocket. I walk over to the guy on the sidewalk and say, Hey Harry, what’s up? He looks up and has a slow nod on from the dope but responds, yo ma’ whatz up? I ask Harry how it’s been and he says, 17 already. What? 17 years out here, nothing any better.

See a few years ago I worked the avenue making photos of the junkies and  hookers etc. I spent maybe 2 years there and got to know a lot of people.

Harry told me his wife and daughter both od’d years ago. His daughter was 14 and she been tricking since she was 12.  Harry asked me how I was doing and how the PTSD was creeping up on me. I smiled. Harry was in the Marines and served a few tours in Afghanistan. He was a grunt and I suppose that’s how he ended up on the streets. He said he didn’t need the VA for help cause he gets all the help he needs from the next fix.

He told me he was hungry and could I spare some cash. I handed him $20.00 and he said no. That kind of money I shoot, just a few bucks for a coffee and a hot dog. I asked hi if here had any plans and he said, someday I’ll get a hot load and then I can sleep. I ain’t got no family anymore and friends just wanna rip me off.

Don, this is my home under the bridge. Your free to pass by or stop and chat anytime. So I sttod up and said my fafrewella. He looked at me and said…

“Semper Fi”. Ya know, that’s about the highest honor a Marine can bestow upon another Marine. For him to do that for me, Damn man… Fucking Hard Ass Soldier..


Lighter days a comin’….. be blessed

October 8th, 2017 … Measure Yourself Against The World … Thoughts On My 68th B’Day

There comes a time when we need to sit and look at our work and try to see where we were, were we are and where we think we are heading. I figured this time, at my 68th birthday was a good time for personal re-evaluation. See, we ALL need to do this because we need to check our stuff so the map of our life going forward has some light on it.

We spend time looking at other shooters photos. A good thing to a degree. We spend time reading books and even studying the masters and famous photographer’s. We watch movies about these people and movies about exhibitions. We go to galleries and museums and get close to original images we admire.

So this is an ongoing romance with everyone and everything but ourselves. We feel inspired by all the works we see and feel from everyone….. wait a second here, I ain’t no coward and I ain’t no dummy. What I mean is, after a time of indulgence in others and their work, is it possible that we do that so we avoid confronting our own work?

See, it’s easy to avoid the truth of one’s self. Oh, it’s easy to lie to yourself but to confront and accept the truth, no way. It’s ok as we all have these issues. Well, I see it this way. Ya know how when ya go and buy a new shirt, that you really like? Then ya wear it and don’t get many nice remarks and ya feel your feelings are hurt? (this does not apply to woman. See, if a woman gets a blouse and even if it’s the blouse from hell, when her man or her woman sees it, it’s gotta be the most beautiful blouse in recorded history. If not, Hell hath no fury…. ya know the rest)

Well, some of the photos you make and not all by any means, are your feelings and thoughts and vision. Others see them and decide for themselves the value of them and how they individually relate to your work and you. This is a very delicate situation. It’s a delicate way because, the viewer may or may not want to comment. If they do, will they post the true feelings and be honest ot just post what they think you want or need to hear.

So we need to be honest with ourselves. This is very hard to do and although it must be done on a regular basis, we probably will find it easier to avoid this. I do for sure. Man, I’ll go out with my camera and shoot and make photos and just be in a state that satisfies me on levels not much else comes close to. Then when I start to process some will come to life and I fall in deeper love. I realize that I am trying to use the photo as a catalyst for my thoughts and emotions.

The hardest part is to abandon the ego. To just accept yourself as a human with a camera and to love what that means. It ain’t about how others see and think of you. It ain’t about how anyone sees and thinks about your work. It’s about truth. The truth that you are your life and your work. To stand strong and be accountable for what and why you do photography.

This approach does not negate the responsibility that we all must assume and utilize for others. It’s just that being in the moment is one thing. I am certainly an advocate for the Eye, Heart and Mind.

When you see the above photos, your seeing me. I stand for them and they stand for me. I feel them and they give me reason to continue.  Some will think that there’s little value to these photos or in fact any I ever made or will make. That’ a fine response. We all hae opinions and I respect all.

At 68 today, these photos are me standing nude in front of you minus my pecker and that ain’t no big deal anymore….

Be blessed my friends…………………

September 22nd, 2017 … More About The Anatomy of the Creative Block

Add Comment Update Comment Approve and Reply

So we get the idea about how the brain makes preconceptions and I suppose forces us to live by them. Thin of it as like Presets for Light Room. Your working and then something tells you to click a preset. See, using presets is a safe way to achieve a desired starting point for the photo. The brain make presets too and when you work, the presets from the brain kinda guide your work. If after a period of time goes by and you are letting the brain use presets, what will happen is you will feel that you aren’t seeing anything interesting and if you do, it’s boring because for some reason, it just seems like canned laughter. This is a true situation that most of us will have to deal with. Ok, what we need to do is first recognize that we have a brain that’s working. Hey don’t laugh. I see countless people working and doing things and their brain is not working. Don’t believe me? Just look at Washington DC and Congress to start. ….and they get paid the big bucks and benefits.

Ya know how like a title detracts from the photo for the viewer. A descriptive title like, man on beach creates a preconception for the viewers brain and the first thing the viewer does, is looks for the man on the beach. There probably are other  elements in the photo and maybe the viewer will discover some but at this point, it’s a battle of eye travel. Well, that’s what the brain does.

So, we are out shooting and feeling a creative block. This is a scary time and there are a few ways to get past it. The problem is that there is no set time for a creative block to start and worse, stop. Seems to me thru the decades, I have been in a block many times. I talked with writers, painters, photographers and never really got the perfect solution to find my way out of the woods. There’s no set formula for dissolving the block. See, if your in a creative block, your going to have to fight the brain and it’s a hard fight.

The brain likes a creative block because it’s comfy and no challenges are happening. That there is our solution. What I find to work in a matter of fashion, is to challenge the brain. Make the preconceptions and presets get nervous and for the brain to work again. This may not be pretty but is necessary. Some say if you do street, then go do portraits as an example. There’s a problem with that. What needs to happen is to retrain the brain of what it already knows but teach it to think again. We need to teach the brain to think about what it knows but to seek a different result. If the brain keeps doing the same things over and over but thinks it’s gonna find a different result, I’m told by my shrink that is insanity. So, how to et the brain to rethink what it knows and allow something new to be borne?

There is another entity that we have and this entity has a symbiotic relationship with the brain.

I will tell about this next post over the weekend. For now, I am going on autopilot and letting my brain take a few vacation days.

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