Tag Archives: Street Photography

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….♥

October 15th, 2017… A Photography Lesson From Vietnam …The Divide

….and the sweat running down me, all over me was like a river of tears. It’s 115F and not the heat of the day. LT Biggie says to me, Jingles, you gotta get outta here, your evidence that we all existed.” He meant that because I made photos of everything and everyone. I was kinda like in auto mode. Me, not the camera. I have bugs all over me, I think there’s a leach making love to my back, not sure. I guess it’s like anything else in life, if ya can’t see it, maybe it don’t exist. My M-16 is against me as I sit under a tree, trying desperately to cool off. The Leica M4 is in my hand and catching some rays to keep him dry. The sun dries out the moisture. I wanna close my eyes and sleep till I’m 60. Charlie has other plans cause he wants us all to sleep forever. Not an issue cause we all want that for him.

I smell the weed all over in the air. Some of the guys are as stoned as it gets. Many others are drinking whiskey, any kinda booze. No matter, it’s all the same. Try to escape the reality we are cast in and believe we will never escape. We are brothers of a different kind until the shit hits the fan, then we are all the same, all on the same side, all doing the same things, fighting for each other.

Jock comes over and sits next to me. He takes my camera and rewinds the film but not all the way. Takes the film out and hands it to me, says 11. Then he does his inspection to check things. Put it on 1/15 sec and listens to that lovely sound of the ball bearing. Closes his eyes and brings the camera to his nose and slowly breathes in the scent. Moves the camera a little around and looks in the cavity, blows gently. Then he takes a sewing needle from his bag and gets a small hair against the pressure plate. He ask for the film and says “number”….I said 11. He winds the film to frame 12 and hands me my camera.

 

I had never seen a man make love with a camera and I learned what it meant and I still do that periodically. I name my cameras. We sit back a little and he hands me a cig. I lite up and draw deep into my lungs. Maybe I would be lucky and my heart would explode but it doesn’t. I just cough like the idiot I am. Jock is making photos of the troops, many drinking and many smoking weed. I like watching him work cause I learn about being a human with a camera. I’m a grunt with a camera and not a human. That’s what Congress and the politicians tell us. Your grunts, do your job.

If I knew then what I know now. I’d like to have 2 players from every NFL team there with us. See, them guys are strong so they could help pull the bodies of my friends  to the chopper. And they got good eyes looking for the ball so they should be able to find the legs and arms that got blown off easier then us. Many of them like to sexually abuse woman. Wonder if they would find those woman that lost legs and arms and the desire to live sexy and nice. I do but I’m just a grunt, not a human.

Maybe I’m too hard on the guys. Perhaps they could just all get Harley’s and call the Warriors Watch Riders and learn to respect the troops and first responders. WWR members would teach the manners and respect.

…..brain is on vacation but my mind goes back to Nam and sitting there with the troops and Jock. Jock snaps the shutter and looks at me and says…The Divide. I look at him and say, WTF is The Divide. Jock says, for the rest of your time on the planet, you will live and make photos of the Divide. He explained that the drinkers and the potheads are on either side of the divide. Same for Charlie and for US, the divide. Everything and everyone is on the edge of the divide. Politicians, The Law everything. I sat back and took a sally joint from Bro Hentz. A few good hits and I understood.

As it turns out, Jock was and is correct. See, think about juxtaposition….. divide. Contrasting elements, divide. Maybe if we look at things as a division, we may see the right side of it, or the left side of it. Perhaps, maybe just maybe the interesting part is not whats seen on either side, but what lives in the middle of the divide.

Go get you camera and find out, I’ll do the same and meet you here in a few days.

July 1st, 2017 … An Old Friend Comes Home … Leica X-E

….. Roger and I are standing at the counter at B&H. I think it’s like 2012 of 2013. The salesman is working with another customer when he sees Roger and says I’ll be right there. Sure enough in 15 seconds, he’s shaking Roger’s hand.  He doesn’t acknowledge me and that’s fine.  Roger looks at me and does that silly thing with his eye. I’m supposed to know what it means but after decades, I still don’t. He tells the guy I’m his partner and all the sudden the salesman wants to  give me his firstborn son.

Roger gives the salesman an order number. The guy goes to the back of the store an in 5 minutes returns with a look of curiouosity on his face. He says, “there seems to be a mixup with the order, they didn’t specify which camera and lens you wanted”. Roger looks in the box,  picking up the Monochrome, the M24o. There around 7 lenses in the box. Roger says to the guy, yes a mistake has been made. Where is the Canon 5D and 24-70 and the 35 1.4? The salesman says, “can we get the Leica that you want first”? Roger immediately says, this box is part of my order.  It all goes with me.

I think the salesman is like 27 yo but he needs to wear a diaper. I think he dropped a load.

He says Yes sir, be right back. On his return Roger says he wants to see the Leica X-E. Well the salesman runs and comes back with a new X-E. he opens the box and loads a batter in it. He hands it to Roger who in turn hands it to me. I start checking it out. They finalize the bill and for some things ordered a few weeks ago. I figure it’s around $80,000.00. A man walks over to Roger and thanks him, shakes his hand and says’ “We want you to have the X-E as a gift to a loyal customer”. Of course Roger is very gracious and thanks all concerned.


We carry the two boxes out to Roger’s Jag and put them in and we head back to Philly. We get to the first rest stop and of course I need to go. So, we pull in and Roger waits in the car as I go in. After a few minutes I come back to the car and get in. Roger starts the car and hands me a box. He says, I want you to have the X-E. I tell him thanks but no thanks. That cmera goes against everything I have going on. I like to set my camera on M mode, auto iso and then choose f/stop and shutter speed. This way I can control my exposure and the camera works with me selecting the ISO.

The Leica X2 and X-E do not do this. They will not allow auto ISO in M mode. I tell him forget it. Then as we are driving along, he’s telling me that I am too comfy in the way I work and with the cameras I work with. He tells me that I don’t think anymore but just respond to the scene kinda like a very open minded auto mode. Inside, I am getting pissed. Not because of what he’s telling me but because it’s all true. He reminds me that in my film daze, I would have a fixed ISO, sorta of maybe but I ain’t sayin’ nuttin about that stuff. I smile and admit he’s right but I don’t want to fix something that’s not broken. He tells me keep the X-E and just enjoy it. I used his X2 many times before so I know the work involved in un-taking-for -granted and adapting-what-I-know-but-don’t-use -properly.

So I used the X-E for almost a year along side other cameras but it doesn’t like to share experiences and knowledge with any other camera. Leica’s are greedy with time and love. They do not like to be with a ny other camera out working. So after a while I stop using the X-E. All my other cameras are ok with each other. So, why rattle cages when it’s not necessary. Roger is in India and Pakistan working on a case and I take some things out to his home and put the X-E on the shelf. Life goes on. Time passes and here we are. Weekend before last Roger and Mary come to Philly from Hong Kong for a visit. He wants me to come out to his home on the main line and check things out. I do the inventory for his acquisitions. This at times is a task but I do it because he’s my friend. So we are in the vault and looking at some nice Leica’s. He picked up a 250FF I think it’s called. Nice stuff. Then I see on shelf where I placed it years ago, the Leica X-E. I smiled.

Roger said once again….”take the X-E and use it. Don’t return it, it belongs to you and it will help you discover your inner self again.I shrug my shoulders because I know the camera pretty well and I know it will do what it wants and not what I want. There is a compromise with it but I need to just let go and open my mind and heart. I tell Roger, ya know something, I will take it and use it. I need to be on a screen camera again. Even the GRII is very fast and intuitive but the X-E makes me slow down and live and feel the moment.

The Leica X-E will not give you Auto ISO  in M Mode. The screen is the pits. It takes a while to turn on and it goes to sleep in a minute. It focuses ok and manual focus is very good. The lens is a Leica Lens and any Leica shooter will be happy. It’s an outstanding lens. You can make an exposure and it’s slow to write to the card.

So why use this age old camera? Ok, first off, it is ELEGANT. Even tho it’s not fast it’s very Elegant. What it does it does well and what it doesn’t do, I don’t need with this camera. There is a cerebral connection that this camera offers and supports and all I need to do is stop having pre-conceptions about what I want it to do. So, I am back to the raw elegant basics and I have a companion with me that is an old friend. I will not take any other camera out with the  X-E. If I did it would be Mom the Ricoh GRII because she’s a screen camera also. You all have a fine weekend and HAPPY JULY 4th to one and all. I’ll be working with Dad the Leica X-E for a while.

May 21st, 2017 …The Hot Sauce of Photography

Hot sauce is a great metaphor for your individual photography. I mention this because it rekindles the emotional state that can over come us about intent and acceptance of our work. You can get all the cameras, lenses, pc’s, software etc but the final residue of emotional stance is in the photos.

Once you make the photos and then put them out there, well hot sauce starts to cook. Why Hot Sauce? Well, here’s my take on it. There are countless variations of Hot Sauce. Some are mild, some hot, some hotter and even some that require a stretch to the definition of the word HOT. Then we have many labels, sizes, colors scent etc. oh, don’t forget some are just hot and too hot to really taste and others have hot but a distinct flavor.

Then there are the users of the sauces and people vary in an undefinable number. So many variables. I suppose after spending time going thru what you like and don’t like, you choose what best suites you.  At that point it’s about taste and it becomes a personal taste and you have to support it regardless of what others feel about your sauces. Some will like your choice of sauces and others may not. You may even feel intimidated from some who claim to be very skilled and knowledgeable about sauces.

Believe me, there are those among us that are professional Hot Sauce appraisers. Some of these people can tell you the vintage of the Sauce. Some are gear oriented and can discuss the bottle, cap, label etc. The thing is that everyone has an opinion and many like to express it to others about others hot sauce. Of course usually they become defensive about their own sauce and maybe that’s why they go on the offensive, because it protects their sauce from open opinion and critique from others.

So, as I said in the start, Hot Sauce is a metaphor for photography. If you just think about the hot sauce metaphor and then apply it to your photography, maybe, just maybe, you can realize that your have your own bottle of sauce and like it or not, not all with like the look or flavor or aroma. You have to accept the fact that a photograph that you make and love is your hot sauce and has a right to be on it’s own.

Your life is a competition. Don’t believe it’s not. You are competing against yourself. No matter how you bet, it’s always against yourself. We will not survive the end of the competition. What does that mean? For me it means, I do my work because I have to. I would lose a reason to breathe without it. If I meet others that are as serious as me, don’t I have the responsibility to accept them and their work? No one should pass judgement upon another’s sauce.

What hurts me if I see someone with potential doing beautiful work, and that person gets criticism and then they sloe=w down or stop, that’s F***ed up stuff.

Do your thing and find your vision and don’t get sidetracked by the the so called negative energy users. You will never make too many photos and you’ll never have too much time to do it.

Enjoy your hot sauce my friends…….I’ll be around……peace

October 30th, 2016

 

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The beauty here in Philly with the change of seasons has many facets to it. Perhaps most notably is the light. I just love how the light sometimes blows out the mid-tones and leaves us with light and shadows, deep and long.  It’s also how people respond to the color temperature and the intensity of the light. I’ll be seeking those magical glows in the highs and when I find them, wait for the world to respond and then Click!  I was walking breathing in the cool stinky air. You know the kind. It has buses, cars, garbage  and garbage trucks, ladies perfume, mens cologne, other things we need not go into. I crossed Chestnut St going North on the West side of Broad Street and stopped for a break. My knee is acting up and I rest once in a while to get my mind to jump over the pain.  Then, all the sudden, I mean I had an awareness, then when all was right in the stellar universe, I saw shadows but not anything or anyone to make them and thought, It’s Doc time at the VA and then, now get this, I see a man enter from my right and CLICK!

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I was walking South on Broad Street and near the, um..near some bldgs. I stopped and leaned against the wall of one and tried to get my knee to behave but it said…FghweoruhtughK you shooter. A woman came down the street, stopped dead in front of me and looked out upon the streets. I knew if I gave her $10.00 she’d pose for me but I didn’t have $10.00 and didn’t need her to pose cause I hate that shit anyway. I have the camera at the ready and then she….CLICK!

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I wonder how is it possible to have so many homeless on the streets. It’s starting to get cold again and I don’t think the city, state or federal govt’s do anything to really make a difference. They say they do and drive around in their pretty cars and live in their nice homes with heat and things like that. I imagine it’s a fact that many homeless are junkies or other druggie or some kind of addicted person. But this is the life on the street. We as photographers do our work and sometimes make photos of the forgotten. It’s a responsibility of all humans to care for all humans. So, I guess nothing will change on the streets once we have a new President in the USA,

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The silence amongst us is deafening. We all take solace in the escape from the injustices placed upon us and all. It feels so much easier to be a part of the nothingness and let all go by us and not thru us. I think shooters are plagued by the realization that there is no nothingness because we are out there searching for the something, the something that matters and the something that makes us matter. And that something makes our photos matter regardless of what style or genre’ we work.

I talked about baggage before. It means your sensitivities and sensibilities are filled with all sorts of things and when you go out and seek photos, they pollute the clean vision we all hope for and work for. For me, maybe the weather is kicking in but I can’t deal with the fact that people, kids for shits sake are living day to day on the streets. Then these fuckers that call themselves candidates for the White House spend over $400 million to try to get elected. They send $1.7 Billion to a country that hates us passionately.

I need some sort of emotional ideas that make these things possible all the while, people are homeless with no bight shining light in the future.

 

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Sometimes I need to get this shit off my chest cause it weighs me down and never lets me breathe freely. I walk the streets of life and see the progress man has made and the injustices that are legal and accepted by one and all. I am not a champion of anything anymore. I still make my photos of street people and slip the a few bucks. That doesn’t relieve me of responsibility I feel for my fellow members of mankind regardless of any stature.

We are all trapped in the cloud that perceive as real and yet, we all know that the upcoming election, who the fuck cares who wins…. won’t make a fucking bit of a difference to anyone but the assholes that forget.

Those fuckers forget about the POW/MIA issues also. Makes me sick that I want to write about photography and this is what comes out.

Well, like it or not, this is about photography.

October 20th, 2016 … The Case For Auto ISO … Part 2

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The last post was about Auto ISO but more about not using it. This post, I will talk about using and hopefully debunking the ideas that using Auto in M Mode is not really Manual. I learned about debunking procedures from Trump and Clinton. I ain’t never heard of debunking, never used debunking and don’t believe that debunking is really anything. Bunk to all that.

The idea with cameras, especially the new generation that’s over 20 yo henceforth called digital cameras, is to allow the shooter to concentrate on the vision and not have to do much thinking or fiddling on the camera whilst trying to make photos. Now I know this seems like a far out concept and many of youse like to mess with your camera settings because you just do and you can we don’t give a damn. It’s yours so do what pleases you.

Ok, so now we have the ones that just like to fiddle and stuff satisfied and I will now show how Auto ISO in M Mode is more Manual then  using fixed ISO in M Mode.

As shooters and not just street shooters but all shooters ever born or ever will be are faced with 3 steps or points of exposure. Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO. We discount the EV Comp because I don’t believe in it and don’t need it and wish it was off my cameras or at least make the dial programmable.

Scenario 1

Your out working and you set your camera to 1/250 @ F8  iso 400. You should all have a feeling of what that light looks like. All the sudden, Trump is there and he’s pulling Clinton’d dress off, (Hillary not Bill) and exposes her anti Bill abuser outfit on. You need to know that you have to change exposures because it’s like 2 stops underexposed where you have the camera set. At this point, taking your eye off the scene, makes you miss the shot because things in never never land poof if you stop looking at them.  As you raise the camera, your finger slips on the Aperture because you know this is the Million Dollar Shot and now in yor mind, with 1/1000 of a second to make this photo, your cooked. You press the shutter cause your hard core and know you maybe kinda oughta be able to salvage the shot.

Scenario 2

You are set the same as you were in that bad dream except, you set the camera on Auto ISO. Now as Trump and Clinton sit and drink a beer, you just baad azz walk over, take aim… wait wait,….we don’t wanna say take aim cause then we seem to be a threat instead of the threatened. You point your camera and just fire away making all the photos you want because Auto ISO corrects the exposure in the camera according to the light.

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Another issue is Under and Over exposure. The other school says that it’s easy to get either under or over by changing one of the 3 points of exposure. This is perfectly correct. The problem is that usually, you look at the meter and decide where to make the change.

I have been told by good shooters with good knowledge that it’s easier to go under or over and maybe it is but I want to keep my eye on the subject as they say. I also hear the it’s not possible to get under or over with Auto ISO because the camera always corrects the exposure. Does it really. There is a setting in the camera to tell the camera when to change shutter speed either low or high AND also, most important to us renegades, to change in ISO. So, by pushing the exposure or puling the exposure, you can force the camera to change ISO to the limit you set and then it will over expose or under if ya want.

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I do this alot. I force the camera to over expose and that’s how I get those really blown out high values that I love.  I’m not claiming to have invented anything here, just to make the case of Auto ISO. You need to fill in the blanks and see how they work for you.

I will say this, … in 1971 I was walking on Market Street with my Black Lac M4 and 35 Cron. I loaded Tr-X and always shot at 640. The light was changing fast and I was younger then and tried to chase the sun but failed……..I stood looking at the scene, people walking, cabs, buses, trucks, pollution, ya know black smoke from the exhaust and I had a revelation…..

I looked at Blackie and said…. ya know Blackie, in the future when they make digital cameras, some one is gonna make Auto ISO a reality…. I hope I get to see it and use it and Blackie, at that time my friend, you get to sleep the sleep that all cameras do… dream, my friend, dream…. I will catch up to you ……. but not yet

October 18th, 2016 … The Case For Auto ISO … Part 1

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Ramblings are not always bad or good, I suppose. Look at Clinton and Trump. They are both rambling, spreading bullshit and not getting anything done. Maybe the plan is to divert the citizens from finding out there is no plan and that way nothing gets done so the citizens can’t complain. Ya don’t think this is true. Look at President  Obama, perfect example. Well, that’s my political views all tied up.

So, the streets are filled with many different energies. I posted last about change and it’s true. The political scene has brought out the best, well…the worst of people. This effects me as well because the energy out there is not pure. I mean it’s always filtered but now it’s polluted.

I was at the National Historic Park and as always looking for juxtapositions that I relate to. This guy is watching me like a hawk. He’s looking at Serendipity  with that look of building lust. I hold her tight but loose enough to do her job.  He’s still following me and then I turn and there, there in front of me is the guy follower and the ….CLICK!

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To the point. It is a disbelief to assume that manual mode is not manual mode using Auto ISO. I’m going to explain.  There are those amongst us that feel the ISO should be fixed in M Mode. I beg to differ. What happens is if you  use a fixed ISO, all 3 points of exposure are locked. if you read the scene and you see that you are 1 1/2 stop off, then you have to make a decision to sacrifice the exposure equivalent. I am not putting the Exp Comp in the equation. I never use it, don’t believe in it and think it doesn’t exist.

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The thing is this. When I am shooting out there and I believe at least a few agree with this….I want to work without restriction from the camera. If I was using the 3 points of exposure, I would constantly be checking the meter etc to male sure I wan’t under or over. Back in the days of film cameras, you set the ISO and then adjusted the aperture and/or shutter speed to get proper exposure. This system is what many call manual exposure. All 3 points are locked.

Well, I’m not about to be locked into anything except my cell when I act up and that’s rare. The idea with a camera is to make adjustments to secure the image. What happens if your out shooting at 1/500 F8 ISO 400? well, nice exposure and then you turn to the bldg and this amazing scene is there and you simply must make the photo. Well, ok so what? The issue is that the light is 3 stops less because f the dark doorway and shadows. Now, you can’t get the shot. Because you listened to the guys and gals that told you M Mode is all 3 points locked. Sure you can move the aperture and loose DOF or even change the shutter speed and run the risk of movement from the subject or worse, you and the camera. The Horror! Isn’t the point of any camera to make the mechanical aspect of photography easier so that you can concentrate on the aesthetics? Well?

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I will continue this discussion in the next day or two. I know many M Mode shooters will not like this but that’s to damn bad. Even the Mighty M is digital now.

Mind Clearing

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Unheard Voices … Pt 4

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….I gotta tellya’s….I thought I was the only one messed up and as it turns out, there could be maybe are others.I know it’s hard to believe and I don’t believe it myself but the writing is on the wall…..

Apparently there exist no real solution to this issue. Maybe we don’t need one anyway. What I propose is a work a round that is not to difficult to live with. I believe that being aware of a problem is more important than solving the problem.  Just think, if you aren’t aware of a problem, than you can’t fix what you don’t know. If you are aware of a problem and even aware of problems that may arise in the future, you at least have the vision to tackle them.

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So, we know we have all this baggage and stuff with us when we are working. We have to hold ourselves accountable and find a way to get the baggage away from the front of the lens.

I remember sitting with Minor White and talking. He said that the hardest thing to do is to see something for the first time. I really didn’t understand fully but I wanted to. This was maybe 1972. What he meant was that all that you are up to this point is in front of the lens at the precise moment that you make the photo. I started to think about that and ya know, 44 years later, I’m still thinking about this.

My answer is not the same as Minor’s. If you want his answer, read his photos and all will be illuminated. I see it this way.

1 Maybe we should see things as if seeing them for the first time.

2 Maybe we should see things as if we are seeing them for the last time.

3 I believe that neither is the proper stance. I feel that we should strive to be in the here and now. I talk about this a lot and this entire essay is about the here and now and how to recognize it and how to recognize when you have an intrusion or just fall out of it.

It all comes down to “The Stance”…..

c’mon, wait till tomorrow ok……….

 

Streets of Philadelphia … A Visual Diary … Page 48 … Investigating the Olympus Pen F … MOJO!

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The winds were howling all night due to the crazy weather patterns. I awoke a few times and then I stayed awake and went to the office to see my camera friends. They were on the shelves in the cabinet except for the new girl in town. She was sitting next to the PC named Sara. So, Serendipity told me she was anxious to see the city and make some photos. I agreed and we headed out. She said she wanted to be close to my heart so she wore a neck strap.

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OOC

I haven’t figured the camera out completely and prolly never will. I just need to have a synergism with it and be able to do my work without intrusions from it. One thing I don’t get is Metering. I like to set metering to a Fn button and be able to go from average to spot, like real fast. I don’t have that yet. I’m holding off about reading the manual. I have not done that yet. I want to see how I intuitively adapt to the camera. So far very good. I am not at the point where I can just let go and get absorbed in making photos butI feel that’s what I was striving for. Not sure about that. I like the way Serendipity and I are together.

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I’ve never had a camera where the OOC jpegs were just right. Now that I can’t use raw I’m getting into the processing engine in the camera. I will do raw but i’ll do it with the jpeg attached. The color shot up above, that’ OOC. The B&W above, OOC. I gotta tell ya, I love that front dial. I’ts nice to just change the screen real quick and see what ya wanna see. So I guess when Adobe finally releases the ACR for the Pen F, I’ll do raw and keep the jpegs as notes.

The hardest thing for me with this camera is breaking habits. I am focused on doing so tho’. First habit to break is the screen vs finder. I don’t like finders but I like them enough to torture myself. It’s very bright and clear but I still lost a few shots. Not because of the camera but because of my habit of using the screen. So I put the screeen away and have just the finder to use. I saw a shot and raised the camera and intuitively, looked at the screen, quickly, I used the finder. So, I have to break that and I will.

The other habit is the 35mm only habit. 35mm is my natural field of view.So it’s just a very comfy way for metowork. I started to challenge this 25 years ago and switched to a 50mm fov but always went back to 35mm.

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So I went out with Serendipity and she had the 25mm 1.8 and that’s 50mm for me. It’s a nice feeling cause it’s not foreign to me cause I been beating myself up for 25 years trying to change my fov.

The idea is not so much a change of fov but to force a new way of thinking and seeing. The Pen F for some reason has a way of just adding to the experience of making photos. Maybe it’s due in part because of the excitement of a new camera but I’m old enough to know that’s just a start. The Pen F has MOJO. I’ts got a vibe that in an elegant manner, makes you want to work. I will say this. more then most shooters, famous and not so, I challenge a camera and photography more because of where I usually work. I work center city Philly and have done so for decades. So, inspiration is hard to come by. The Pen F is inspiring. It has me examining things I have done so many, manytimes. I find a lasting memory and click.

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OOC

Ya know how ya get a groove on? I mean the streets are moving life around and you kinda slip into the clock of life. Then you are at one with everything and you have your camera with you. The feeling that photos are around and you just need to feel and find them.

The street is about life and life is about time. Time moves along and drags life along with it. We just need to bein tune with it all. There are many cameras that can be with you and many will create some kinda intrusion and break the flow of time. There are many cameras that can be with you and just be a part of your life on the street and just flow with you rhru time and space.

The Pen F is just that camera. I am just amazed at how the magic and mojo are in here.

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I’ll be out again tomorrow and make some photos and post. Don’t expect any bad press from me on this camera. Ihaven’t anything bad to say.

I’m not getting paid from Oly and don’t really care what they do or say. Serendipity is my girl and our love affair is growing stronger day by day.

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