Tag Archives: Streetshooter

Covid 19 … History Of The World … Pt2

screech….boom ….clang….

Hey all, that’s shooters magic time machine and I just returned from the history inside my tired mind. Man Caves are very supportive of photography. See, when we delve into the creative side of ourselves, we need a place to breathe and let us get inspired.  See, it is said that negative only supports negative energy. Positive energy supports everything and has the power to fuel negative energy to either neutralize it or guide it to the positive side.

So, in todays times and real estate market, it’s dang near impossible to secure a man cave. Oh, they are around but they have wifi, massaging chairs and Fancy Dancy beds that vibrate when ya get on it. Alright, I’m 71 but dang it, if yo need an auto vibrate when your on the bed with your lady or anyone, it’s a problem. I’ll be just fine making my own natural vibrations, with some one or alone, I’m a natural vibrator…hmmmm.

So this is all really about the source and feeding of inspiration.  What we need to pay attention to it the Inverse Square Law. I’ll give a few examples to illustrate the idea.  This is about being married. So, the more things you do for your wife, the less things she tells you to do. The less things you do for her, the more she has for you to do.

If a man cave has all the fine things for comfort, chances are you will be comfy but not very productive.  Your mind is occupied with the pleasures in front of you. So, lets move our man cave away and get it inside our mind. We will leave the window open for the heart to be in touch. nothing exist in the man cave but feelings and thoughts and that will inspire you. The less clutter in our mind, the more freedom to manufacture the creative juices.

The key issue has become, how to get re-inspired and creative and productive. There are three things we have the option of doing. Maintaining apathy, surrendering or struggle to survive.  We are accountable for our choice and we can’t blame it on anyone but ourselves. My choice is the struggle to survive and continue. For me that means, eliminate the opposition to my creativity. It’s like having a filtration system that is adjustable for input. I am not a sports fan and I don’t drink alcohol. All that means is, easy to sit back, drink and become apathetic. Not everyone tho, I’m talking me.

We need input like the news but a filtered amount. That does inspire us some as it’s life the way they want us to see and live it.  One way to get inspiration is to buy new cameras. It cost money and the magic can wear off quickly. So I came up with this crazy solution. I mean it’s so crazy it just might work. You’ ins may think I’m crazy but I choose to use my cameras. The hard part is to find photos in a semi controlled environment with a lack of strong inspiration. I suppose it’s time for me to post my formula for inspiration and love of making photos.

Remember we talked about the Inverse Square Law? Well, here is a practical  application. This is about discipline. let’s work the discipline/freedom method. This is a 5-7 day experiment, not an exercise. This is not a take photo project, it is a make photo project.

Day 1. Make 5 photos. Not 4 and not 6. No sequences either.  Each photo should be worthy of your love of what you do with a camera.

Day 2. Make 4 photos, not 3 and not 5. Once again, work to make each a photo worthy or you.

Day 3.  Make 3 photos as the daze B4.

Day 4 make 2 photos and be decisive. Pay attention the the energy that is being created.

Day 5. Make 1 photo. The hardest day of your life.. On this magical day, the photo you make shall be a representation of all that you are and hope to become.

Day 6 & 7 are the same energy as Day 5.

Each day process the photos to your liking. I mean to the point that you sit back and are amazed that you even made the photo.  Make all the variations you please but only 1 final photo.

If you make a variation on this experiment, it will  fail. I was roped into teaching workshops years ago. It was film daze and interesting. We as a group would meet and discuss things. The shared thoughts and energy was remarkable. Today with the net, we have the opportunity to share with others worlds away.

Any questions, answers or ideas, I’m open. If ya need help with the experiment, feel free to let me know and we can skype or something. Mayme it seems like a mundane or superficial experiment but it’s certainly is not. Igf ya ask where and how I come off with this, well it’s a gift. For me life is a gift and I never question it. So the answer is, we are all accountable for each other. Pass it along and I’ss be back in a few daze.

Covid-19 … Homework … Efforts To Persevere

…..nay, I’m ok, it’s just a mental thing…you won’t understand. Seen my VA Shrink called to check up on me. I mean he’s a good Doctor and even better cause he kinda understands me. So, he asked me how I was getting along and I told him I’m fine, taking my meds, easy on coffee but my cameras need help. He asked me to explain soooo….see Doc, Covid-19 has me home bound. I’m on lock down. I get out to the backyard and that’s the end of the world for me. My cameras are feeling lock down also.

I have 5 cameras on duty. There are others that are sleeping in their boxes that basically are coffins because I forget about them and that makes them dead. Back to life and the living. The new kid on the block is Walt, the Fuji X100V. New camera and old important name for me. I treat all my cameras as equals because they all have different qualities that support the photography we do together.

Beings a new guy, Walt the Fuji X100V has  ways to attract me and keep me hypnotized to keep using him.. The other cameras tell him about the streets and how they get out   and work. Walt, the Fujix100V has never been off the homeland. Things are so dry here on the Homeland, I’m looking for Carrie.

Part truth is, a committed shooter should be able  to make photos at all times, regardless of a virus etc. I do believe this to be true. I also believe, that the landscape you are in influences the energy you can muster up.

Maybe the thing is, not to feel and live the restrictions we place on ourselves. I don’t know. All I can do is work at home and dream of the streets again. I have always said that street is another term for life. That should mean that you plug your eyes into anything and see photos. I think for the most part that is true. What gets be is the monotony of being in the same space day after day. Funny thing is, I can walk the same streets for years and never feel this way.  I notice many friends out on the street making photos. They post them all the time. I wonder if they feel better about the situation and i wonder if they consider the damage that could be done to others and themselves. I suppose it’s the “to each his/her own” thing. I think about this stuff because we are mostly living it. I get to work a little when I fee so inspired, not very often either.  I been told my many that I should see things as if seeing it for the first time. That’s sooo much bull-dinky, I discount it immediately. What I try to do is, fall in love with my life and all the things that share it with me.

I hope everyone finds the inspiration to carry on the good fight. It’s not about winning or losing but about the battle to survive. 
We should “endeavor to persevere” as Lone Watie taught  Josey Wales.

Stay in, stay safe and love everyone enough to wear a N95 or similar.

June 26th, 2019 … The Tones da Thang

I started playing guitar at 13. Seems my dad played and he also was an amateur photographer. He died when I was 6 so, not many memories but enough for me to find him at the end of my tour. Anyway, I am aware that I followed in his footsteps without really seeing those footsteps. After a short time, I fell in love with the guitar and played all my life. When I got home from Nam, I started to get serious with it because I could hide inside it and keep my thoughts and emotions hidden from my family. I started to get pretty good at blues and loved playing but unfortunately, I didn’t have a voice for singing. That took a toll on me that to this day has affected me. As time passed, I was in many bands and really loved the interaction. We recorded and did gigs and concerts and it was a dream come true. Inside there was a block of ice in me that I couldn’t chip away. On the outside, I appeared happy and content and loved what was happening. Inside, another story had developed.

Tone Is Da Thang

See, your tone is your signature. It’s what makes your soul sing and dance. No 2 people have the same tone. I could hear anyone that had their tone so clearly and loved listening to them. The issue was I never found my tone. Oh, I could hear it inside but whenever I tried to get it out, failure. I bought more effects than I would ever need. I had the sounds that many liked but I did not love it because I knew I didn’t have the tone. I had no signature tone. There was an emptiness in my soul that never was satisfied. Decades passed and still, I was just like everyone else without tone. Empty with all the gear to make it happen but no stamina to pursue it.

My body started developing  Essential tremors and that put an end to my guitar playing. Of course, I’d have a heck of a vibrato but I can’t grip the neck without some pains. My fav guitars hang on the wall and I look at them all the time. That part of my life has passed and it saddens me but I continue to have great memories.

So, what’s this to do with photography? Maybe there’s something like the tone in photos. I don’t mean color tone, but TONE. It’s borrowed from guitar playing. This is not a new question for me but one that seeks an answer for decades. Ding told me long, long ago that he felt I had much raw potential. He was upset to learn that I could not afford to go to any college. So Ding rethought his approach to me and told me, “The most important things you need to learn are, to recognize your successes and recognize your failures”. This, of course, means to, define success and define failure and have a concrete understanding of both.

So the way I define these two polar opposites is by the tone of the photo.  This became a very difficult way to work because I have stripped away the innocence of photography. I had assigned a meaning to the photos that maybe I didn’t fully understand. I felt that when a collector or gallery whatever, bought some photos, they were a success. I guess there were but I quickly realized, I didn’t give a hoot for the financial profits.

Eureka, Ding was right. I have finally started on the path of self-discovery thru my photography.  The tone of the photos was clear as the light on the moon. The key issue with that is, I maybe never made a bad photo and maybe made many good photos but the ones that sing for me are the ones that have the tone I can’t ever hear or find on my guitars. I just see it. So, it becomes more a question of what brings joy to one’s life. Sure, it’s great to make those photos that are just outstanding to one’s self. Perhaps what needs to be learned and practiced is to love what you are doing and not to make things simple or decrease the value of intent but to find the joy with a camera and if you get that great shot, fine if not, at least love what you are doing.

It’s important to strive for personal satisfaction but to only reach for that means if a photo doesn’t make the cut, then you start to live with resentment. You have no right to make photography a passion of resentment. It’s totally unacceptable and can’t be allowed to control any part of you. If resentment and failure plague you and your work, it’s you, not photography that has the issues.

Maybe I’m getting too personal here but truthfully, I don’t know how to be any other way.

Have a blessed day and good light to one and all….♥♥

January 30th, 2019 …. Re-Experiencing the Experience … Other Thoughts Too

There are times that I make a photo and it does more than the others. what I mean is, there’s certain energy the photos pass on and shares with me. Sometimes this energy is subdued and not calling out for attention. Other times, there’s a reverberation inside that conjures up memories and just keeps resurfacing over and over. We all do self-portraits in one manner or another. But there are some photos that conjure up messages that we may or may not want to deal with.

It was 1978 and I was in our bedroom and wanted to make a self-portrait. I was wearing boxer shorts and that’s it. I was using a 50mm Cron, early version. Anyway, I was framing the photo, similar to the one above. As I raised the camera to my eye, on the ready….my son2 years old popped his head up from behind the bed. I did not see him. I framed and made the exposure. 3-4 days later the roll was filled and time to make negatives. My fav part of the darkroom. I processed the film and decided to print a few negs. I put the self-portrait in the enlarger and looked at the image on the easel. I decided that an 8″ x 12″ was the right size. I slipped in a sheet of strips to get a basic exposure and then put in a sheet of Portriga Rapid. I made the exposure and developed it and when it was in the fix, I noticed my son Paul’s head on the corner of the bed, peering out to me. I thought the photo was funny and move to another negative. When I took the strip of negs out of the Leica Enlarger, it fell out of my hand onto the floor.

I couldn’t see it so moved around and got safe for white light. I looked down for the strip and low and behold, I had accidentally stood on it. I picked it up and it was destroyed beyond repair. I knew at that instant that this was the only print to ever be born from this negative.

I took Andre’ the Leica M240 and went into the bedroom. I saw the light come thru the curtains and the frame starts to form. I looked around and realized I made a similar photo 41 years ago. I had the feeling of energy reverberating and memories gallop thru my mind. I raised Andre and got ready and made the photo.

I miss my son Paul.

So I often wonder what the trigger is for the inspiration in making photos. I_ mean of course I know most of my triggers but the thing is, where do they come from and why? See, I believe making photos is more than pointing the camera and clicking. There’s an internal release and an external release. They each have a target of intent. Together, they make the moment of the experience happen. Apart and you’re just taking pictures. There are a time and place or making and talking and it’s only important if you understand the difference. If not, maybe you’re the lucky one, just go about freely and take as many pictures as you feel. Not a whole lot of accountability but some need to be that way. Looks around the room carefully and makes sure none of those people are here. Actually, anyone that does photography that way, won’t be here with us anyway.

Unfortunately, we are creatures of habit. It means that if you developed a trigger mechanism many years ago, it’s still inside you and in working order. It also means that if you made a photo that you really respond to and love, you’re probably gonna have that photo in your heart and mind and maybe subconsciously hunt for it again. There’s nothing wrong with this process as long as you are aware of what you are doing. So there are many things in the tangled web of thoughts and emotions that we need to try and sift thru to make the experience of the next photo and rewarding as any before it.

look, of course you can always go on and just find things and hope for the best. It’s natural and acceptable and a proven way to work.

Back in the 1970s, I read a series of books by Carlos Castaneda. Some say he made the entire series up and discounted the entire thing. The thing is, if you read or do anything to give you input, good, bad or indifferent, it affects the way and what you think. Castaneda said that death lives on your left shoulder. As you go thru life, you need to pay attention to your death. He also said that when you do something, do it as if it’s worth dying for. That’s all heavy stuff but the fact is, you can’t escape that. What does all this have to do with photography? Perhaps you figure that out. I may, in fact, have it all wrong. I just know that there isn’t too much in my life that comes close to my photography. Maybe that’s not so great, but I focused on everything and saw most.

So, I have a thing for backgrounds. Funny thing. See, those posters etc are made for you to absorb a product or some kinda info. Oh yeah, I know it’s a hard thing to grasp but they are really advertisements.  So, by making them a background, I am in fact maybe kinda responding to the ad. There is a communication going on and I find it very interesting. We are bombarded by images, media and info, and more every second. How we respond to it all is what I find interesting.

When I look at shooters photos, I like to find the trigger or stimulus for the photo. Not always easy and interesting to see what others see. Of course, it’s more enjoyable to wonder why they made the photo and not so much how they made the photo.  If you wonder how they made the photo, you might end up in a camera store. If you wonder why they made the photo, you’ll more than likely end up looking for your own photos.

Look Y’all, I believe if your not thinking about stuff like this, before, during and after making photos…. you ain’t thinking. Ya probably ain’t feeling either. Not a good thing I tell’ya. If we don’t challenge ourselves to try and find the light, then we just see the light others shine on us. One of the techniques I used to get info into my student’s heads was….. tell them to bring 5 questions about why the others made a photo. See, we look at photos from all members. Then I instruct each member to choose 3 photos. 1 was to be their own and the other 2 from someone else. Now they have till next session to come up with questions and reasons for those questions about the photos. You would be surprised how difficult this really is. The learning experience was to read the questions for others and then the question and answer for their own work.


I got a message from my Eye, Heart, and Mind. The message states that I am not done writing and expressing myself. It also states the I need to go to the toilet so I need to end this post now. Not my choice but bodily functions rule.

I will do more over the coming weekend. As always my friends, be Blessed on your journey.

…..end transmission…..shooter out…….

December 11th, 2018 … The Intent of Memory

… so Charlie is always walking behind me. He’s just slower than me and that’s cool. It allows me to breathe easier and to make photos as we walk. I met Charlie years ago from a mutual friend, Tom Murtha. Tom was a Ranger and did 2 tours in Korea and 3 tours in Nam. Charlie and Tom did a tour together in Korea. One day on a mission with the Warriors Watch Riders, Tom asked me to look in on his friend Charlie. After the mission, I rode my Harley to the address Tom gave me for Charlie. I had a Canon G9 around my neck and when Charlie answered the door, he saw me and said, no pictures Whitey. Well, that was the way Tom talked and I guess it was better than sugar coating everything. Charlie just as Tom, didn’t use any sugar or have the slightest amount of tact.

Charlie told me that Tom was his only real friend. (imagine that) Charlie asked me if I liked Chinese food. Sure I said. So he went into the kitchen and returned with a plate of noodles and something resembling meat and sauce. Something told me that we should go to the Market and get fresh food. I asked Charlie and he was anxious and said let’s go Whitey. I turned to Charlie and said, are you ready colored boy? His face got like … you don’t need to know. I told Charlie, my name is Don or Shooter. He smiled and said I’m Charlie Don. Now get on and ket’s go eat. I asked Charlie, did you really expect me to eat that stuff at your house? He laffed with that rolling thunder laugh from his heart and belly.  I asked him what’s so funny? He smiled and said, I knew if I showed you that food, you’d take me to lunch.

So Charlie and I established our friendship and the right and responsibility I have to take and buy him lunch. I see him every once in a while and especially when he needs me. Charlie told me about an ambush in Korea. He said Tom was in front of me 10yds. Hell broke out and I fell and was not able to move, My leg was on fire and I was bleeding bad. Tom dropped back and lay next to me. He threw grenades and fired his rifle round after round. Never even breathed, just fought like the Devil was coming at us. He told me to hug him tight and then we rolled over and he continued to unleash death all around. I lay there knowing I would never survive and then there was almost silence. Screaming from both sides of the battle. I told Tom, you saved me, Tom. He said I do it for anyone Charlie. I said you did it for me. Tom said, fuggin right, you’re my friend. I never had a friend before and never in my life like Tom.

I asked Charlie if he had family and he said, you and Tom now. I got a daughter Nespa, someplace in North Carolina but ain’t seen her in over 40 years. She was borne when I was in Nam. Her mom Enesta ran off with that guy and took Nespa with. That was it.

So we are walking up the street to Sang Kee in the Reading Market. I am in front of Charlie, about 10′. He doesn’t like me too close so people don’t get the wrong idea. Makes me laff but I respect the old coot.  I am walking thru the shadows of memories and seeing them on the ground. Shadows holding me and releasing me. Memories being re-born and the birth of new.  It’s like a mystical experience. I guess my life is…. I turn around to see Charlie and ….Click

November 12th, 2018 … Long Time Since I Been On This Street Before

….it’s 1976 summertime at night, about 7:30 pm. Bill and I are at the Polynesian bar on Walnut at 18th Streets.  We are each drinking a beer talking about photography. Bill says, Don, I can’t keep up with you in photography. You are too serious and you understand more than I dream of. I was flattered because, in a way, Bill saved my life and got me focused on the very thing he says he can’t keep up on. He mentored me on art, presentation, curating, editing, seeing and introduced me to Ding McNulty. I really felt good. Bill told me, Don, I went to RIT for 4 years and you know and understand more than my professors and never finished High School. Now I was uneasy. I mean I knew that this was meant with an intent but not know what that was.

….back to the bar. These 2 older guys are eyeing Bill and me up. They are very obviously a couple and appear very loving. The taller guy walks over to me and says, M3, nice. He says, 35mm Cron, great lens. What do you take pictures of? I replied, Life. Hmm, he says. Does Ya have anything against death? I said no, I spent a year in Nam and death.  He told us that he was a Grunt in Korea and made many photos for the Corp.

We start talking about the military and war and all the shit in between. I asked him if he still made photos and he said he has nothing to say anymore. I said I can’t imagine having that situation.

2 days later, Bill came to my house and shook my hand and said, Take Care.  I never saw or heard from Bill again. I believe he went to his sisters in California.

I can see myself sliding into the abyss of silence.  It’s not like tall man so many years ago, it’s more intense. I feel that I have something to say, no I need to say things but don’t have the energy and heart to do so.  Maybe it’s not even that. I hope that it’s external stimuli that affect me to the point of drowning in my own negativity. That I believe I can manage somehow and even muster up the gumption to fight the good fight. What if it’s not external at all? What if it’s internal, my eye, heart, and mind that are lacking the energy and more? What if I realize that I don’t have anything to say. What of the lost words that speak my thoughts and memories? What of those thoughts? Where will they live or will they as me die?


I think about this stuff because it matters. I’m told by others, that it matters to them also. Maybe that’s the most important issue at hand. See, if I am self-destructive, mainly it’s caused by me and to me. I don’t know, my shrink at the VA keeps things focused for me but it’s me that’s out of focus. Maybe I’m not out of focus. Even with the Leica, I have more photos zone focused than precisely focused. I think here, I’m in the zone of reasonable thought train even if not precisely focused. The point is like this. If you learn something from someone, there exists an inherent responsibility to share that knowledge.  The other responsibility is to take that knowledge further than when you found it. This is not a mandatory thing. Most won’t want to explore those thoughts and all the work that comes with them.

So I accept the burden of being my own source of energy and inspiration. Not that I don’t get these things from others, I certainly do but mine is embedded in my soul. That means I now assume what I always did, the accountability of my work. This applies to me and you. Oh yeah, you don’t get off the hook that easy. I’ll do the grunt work like posting photos which includes time out on the street making them etc. See, not easy. It also means I will post my thoughts in text.  I’m gonna make it easy for each and every one of you. If you like, just read and see the photos. I have to state, the photos mostly are not made to work with the word. The thing is that both photo and words are from me, so maybe that means something. Linda of the Legend of The Girl Child Linda tells me that my words are my work as well as my photos. It’s a novel idea and I will consider thinking about that. So, if’n you have the need to express yourself, please feel free to do so on the blog.

So, I will do my job but not only self-appointed for you but for me. I can’t stop making photos. It’s an addiction for many, many photographers. I don’t suffer from that addiction. For me it’s life.

Peace all…. seeya’s soon, I promise


August 20th, 2018 … A Walk Thru The Shadows in the Valley of Death

…. I know, it’s bloody hot and I’m sweating my ba…back off. I look at Polly and she’s in shorts, a crop top, and Asian flats. Her long hair is bone dry. Meanwhile, I’m hot and sweating and wearing shorts and a Vet Tee Shirt, all cotton. We both have our Leica’s and I’m with Andre’ the M240. Polly has the unnamed M10, pity. We are walking to the Art Museum and we see a dead cat on the street. She looks like yuch. I start thinking, here’s a woman that can cut a person open and hold their heart and life in her hand and not even think yuch. A dead cat and she has tears. We sit on a bench cause we are tired and need a rest. we all know that I could go on for hours walking but Polly being younger needs a break. So not to make her feel some kinda way, I start breathing heavier and ask for a break…

I asked her why she was so upset about the cat and fully understood that I would get a proper answer. Polly tells me that, “every single cell of life ever born is a part of us. We are attached to all things living. When someone or something dies, we have a loss within us. We don’t always feel that loss because at the very instant death presents itself, life grants a new being to be borne. We don’t always pay attention to this phenomenon, but we live it nonetheless.” I put my arm around Polly’s shoulder and asked her…  Polly, do you really believe all that? She said no Don, not at all…….I live it. She asked me, you have a wealth of knowledge about photography, and life….do you believe it? I looked her straight in the eyes, no luv, I live it. She grabbed my hand and said, let’s go, old man, we still have a ways to go.


Polly told me her younger, 28,  brother was coming to the USA because he wants to be a TransGender. She told me that he wants to stay here and of course get the money from Polly for the transition. She wanted my opinion. Well, Polly, ya know each one of us gets one life. The choices we make in life set the course of our journey. It also sets in motion how we and our life affects the others we come in contact with. We are responsible for all that we touch in the world. I know that many TransGenders commit suicide. Many Vets do the same, like 22 a day, every day always. It is said that PTSD moves a soldier to that direction. The Soldier needs help to discover a single reason to stay alive. Not many reasons, but 1 single reason and with help, that may turn to 2 reasons. Believe me, 1 reason is a lot. 2, is a gift.


I wonder if a son says to his dad, I want to be a transgender. I imagine that the dad would be freaked out. His on with tits and a girls ass, etc. What would his family and friends think? Dad prolly thinks, what did I do wrong. So the son walks around feeling like something is missing in his heart. He joins the service cause that’s a manly thing to do. The son wants to be the man his dad will be proud of and becomes a grunt. Maybe he gets deployed to Afghanistan. Maybe after some time, he gets wounded, or his legs off or maybe he dies defending his teammates and his country. His dad gets a Flag and a letter explaining how proud the country is of his son’s service and how he’s a hero and dad should be proud of his son. After the funeral and dad is sitting in his favorite chair, where he used to hold his son and make him feel loved, and special, I wonder if being a TransGender would be so terrible. I wonder if there’s anything in existence that dad wouldn’t do to hold his son in his lap again.


To me, this seems like a waste of lives. The son dies for what he believes in but not everything he believes in or what believes in him. Dad gets to think and feel about the loss of his son for the rest of his life. Probably looks at me and squeezes my hand and says,” thanks”. I don’t want my brother to die but he will never see my family again. He will be forbidden. I look at her intently and ask, and you, how will you deal with him? She says she loves her brother and will do all to support him. She asks is that right Don? Polly, maybe he will need help with woman’s clothes. Polly pushed me and laffs out of control. That might be fun. My sisters and I always dressed him in our clothes and made him our living doll.


People have the right to be whom they feel they are and even to change. I’m a firm believer of that. I’m also a believer that if you’re a pedophile., murderer, rapist etc, maybe you have the right to be that but we as a society have the right to terminate your existence.

You may be any member of the LGBT community and the society that criticizes and condemns you also has the responsibility to respect you. What does this have to do with photography? Well, I’ll speak for me. Photography is about life and life is about photography. They call the mainstream photography “Street”. It is, no doubt but the true definition of street is “Life.” Acceptance of someone or something that is not agreeable to us is difficult and many can’t do it or fathom another that can. Polly’s brother will no doubt have a nice life here in the USA. His sister is the purest heart I have ever experienced in my life. She obviously will nurture him and make his life mean something. The sad part is, his brothers and sisters and parents and family and friends in Japan, will only ever see him thru Polly’s photos.


I went to the course of this blog because Polly is a dear friend. She needs me to help her find the peace that she wants and her brother also. A lot of youse will say, shooter, what’s up with all this gender stuff? I’ll tell ya what. Many of you are soldiers, photographers, teachers, friends whatever. If my heart ever decides it’s had enough, I want Polly to be the one that is at my rescue.

April 6th, 2017 … Thoughts, Photos & Mojo … Fuji X100F

David inducted this to Flickr Explore…. Thank

Many cameras will do the job that is required of it. I don’t dispute that. Many cameras are excellent for reasons that are built into it. Andre’ the Fuji X100F does all that but also has MOJO in him. Let’s not tell Fujifilm or the X-Shooters about this cause then we will have to start paying for replicated MOJO. I did not have to send Andre’ to Louisiana and get MOJO installed. Ok, come close and listen up for a min. Closer, closer….we ain’t a wantin’ others to learn about this MOJO stuff. See, photographic MOJO is when you are aware that everything at the moment you are experiencing is at one with you and you with it. Some call this being in the moment but it’s really part of the MOJO. What makes it MOJO is that the camera adds to the extended experience of making photos. Mojo is Magic Of Just Observing = MOJO. Lot’s of thing may provide mojo but for me, the camera has to support this while we work.

I was on North Broad Street near the convention Center. I’m walking South and I saw these doors, no signs, nothing. I kept walking and then in my head, I saw the doors transform to b& w and have some kind of a sinister feel. Like there’s some powerful being like the wizard making things happen. Yeah, I’m telling ya true. I stopped, closed my eyes and then turned around and walked the 1/2 block back. I stood there and framed in my minds eye and thought, well, this is like The wall or Paul Strand and then I heard Pink Floyd in my head. I looked right and left, many people walking by but no connection. Then aall the sudden, this gut walks closer, closer, and then he kinda hunches down…….Click! I felt invisible and the man never saw me, just another brick in the wall………….

I like Andre’ on a neck  strap but I can’t because shortly my shoulder and back start to hurt. So he’s on a wrist strap. Not just any strap but a Luigi’s. There becomes different methods of working like this. I don’t do blind hip shots anymore but I do things with Andre, cause he’s in the hand. The way you work and respond is effected by how you carry the camera. A neck strap supports blind shooting and also shows you are not trying to sneak up on people etc. A wrist strap forces you to see and work differently as you are more stealth. I don’t care about stealth as I just am working and if two drug dealers are doing a deal, well, I’m not likely to both with them. Business is business and I have my own to attend to.

Back in the 70’s George Krause  https://georgekrause.com/and Ray Metzker http://www.laurencemillergallery.com/artists/ray-metzker worked the streets in a way not attempted before. The thing is that they both did images here in Philly and City Hall was a point of interest. I stay aware of this work as it has influenced me for decades.

Andre’ and I were walking thru the underpass in City Hall. I love the light in and around it and it captures my vision daily. I used to walk around City Hall with Edmund Bacon and that was a lesson in human architecture not learned in college.  Ed showed me many things that made up the bldg and where stone masons put signatures and things for the generations to come.

I was walking thru and saw this woman coming in from the light. She’s walking with a comfort in safety and looking as innocent as any woman can look. Then as she drew closer, this guy stands up from the dark shadows and I looked …..Click. What does this have to do with a wrist strap vs a neck strap? Draw your own conclusions.

I have a thing for juxtaposition. Finding and seeing and making the relationship between things and people always fascinated me. As I continued South on Broad Street I noticed a window and the reflections kinda grabbed me. I looked at it and felt a photo was there but needed someone or thing to make it right for me. No one is around but Andre; the Fuji X100F and me. his disciple. I was ready to walk away and Andre’ kinda made me breathe and wait. I knelt down to tie my shoe and as I got up, besides the back pain….Click. I mean that fast, she was there and I had a fraction of a second. Andre the Fuji X100F was at the ready and we made it. I don’t care who likes this or not, I do. Go mess with your work in your head and don’t bother me.

No comment deeded. I love this and stand by it. This is not a comment, if it had been a comment I would care what the comment was but it is in fact not a comment. It is not a post comment but a not a comment comment.

Enjoy friends. There are a few of you that have asked so I will answer. I do feel the Fuji X100F is in a class of it’s own. It’s got MOJO. I can’t really explain what that means but we all do understand it. The cameras that have it we keep and love and work with. The cameras without MOJO, well….small potatoes Michael…….

I’ll try to post again over the weekend……………………. be blessed y’all



November 19th, 2016 … the Mechanics of Aesthetics 



This will be a series of articles about what and how photography attempts to work. I say attempts because whether you are aware of this or not, it attempts to work. The title of this  part is a key to what I’m getting at.

                                                                                                                                                        The Big Idea

The big idea of photography is to capture the light of something in a 3 dimensional world and make a new object on a 2 dimensional world. The photo can co-exist in the 3 dimensional world but the 3 dimensional world can’t exist in the 2 dimensional world or photo. There is a translation of realities that happens that forces us and allows us to hold witness to the new reality. It’s not always a pretty picture.

We hold witness to the moment of time and the photo made for it. That moment of time forces us to be accountable for the truth of the photo that marks the lie of the moment. See, the photo captures a fleeting moment of our life. As soon as you release the shutter, the photo, yet finished is already dead. It does not move with or change with time. It is a stagnant representation of what we felt necessary at the moment of exposure. Meanwhile, the reality that inspired the release of the shutter has breathed countless breathes to the future leaving us behind to make the truth as the camera saw it. That truth of the photo is the lie of the reality that inspired its existence.

Something that I learned on my own decades ago but do not claim to be the origin of, just the self discoverer of an uneducated photographer is….Titles. This has been a long arduous journey with many opinions from many different people. I always stood for what i believed to be the truth as I knew it, whether others believed in this truth or not.

The Truth About Titles  

There are times to use a title and there are times not to use a title. A brief example: in police work as evidence, a photo usually needs a title or even more description. A Horticulturist may use a title in a photo of a flower to aid viewers in understanding the plant in the photo.  A tourist on a journey may use titles on the photos to show location and other info. There are countless examples of using a title on a photo.

There is a common usage and purpose to most photos being with a title. That purpose is to provide information to the viewer as the viewer enters the world of the photo. It is a semi-description to aid the journey of the photo. This of course also sets to play, the dreaded preconceptions.



Shooters and Titles.

I was asked to curate photos for a project. So, it’s been going on for  a  while. I have seen many hundreds of photos. Almost every single photo has some sort of title to it. The titles are mostly descriptive and certainly have poisoned my mind. Try as I may, it’s impossible to enter the photo with a clean slate. Example: standing on the corner. Well, maybe that is the message wanted to pass on to the viewers but for me, when I enter the photo, I absolutely look for: standing on the corner. The shooter has given me the photo and told me what to see. It’s almost impossible to discover the beauty of the image.  I am forced to seek the meaning of the title in the photo and not allowed to discover any hidden or not hidden meanings on my own.

Active vs Passive Title

We as photographers inherited the title crap from painters etc. Yeah, it’s true. So, here it is. An active title is like so: sunset at Mary’s, ferris wheel at 9:00 pm, John doing the jig and anything more descriptive then needed.

A passive title is like: Untitled, RT 61, Phila, New York, July 21st, 730 am Pittsburgh, Andrews Ave, Paris, The Outback, McDonalds…. a title like this presents a time and place but not descriptive to the point of interference of the investigation of the photo.

So, back to mt task of curating. After going thru hundreds of photos more then a few times, it seems to me the ones that are most interesting have a passive title. I didn’t go into this task seeking the title stuff, I went in to find my selection of photos. I saw photos that at first glance I liked, then saw a title and instantly felt locked in vision.



Portraits are also effected by titles. Of course it’s easier to get into a photo if it’s a portrait because of the nature of the image. A title usually doesn’t hinder the visual experience although it could. What does this all mean? Well, when you take your camera out and choose a lens, or get into LR and process, whatever, you give thought to what you are doing. If your serious, you tend to be aware of what you are doing. You also are very committed to your vision and making sure that photo you made represents you. We can get complacent with french fries and burgers and salad and tea and coffee but we dare not get complacent with our images.

Hold on now….hmmmm ya know, if we are that careful and loving about what we are doing, maybe, just maybe, I know it sounds crazy but…. maybe we should pay attention to titling our work and making sure the title supports OUR VISION and not detracts from it.

… go in peace my friends but go with a camera in hand …

October 12th, 2016 … The Energy of Seeing … vs … The Seeing of Energy


I’m wearing a jacket, at last, jacket weather. See, jackets are wearable camera bags without straps and my new trusty POW/MIA black hat. I love this time of the year, very special for me and I get in a frame of mind that interest me and directs me to a new shape of my photos. I guess I’m lucky to live in a place that has the change of seasons. Well, the point of the story is, energy changes also with the seasonal change. Maybe it’s the change of energy that is so appealing. Then again, we are programmed to fear change. Anyway. I get in front of the US Court House and I see the light dancing on the bldg and the people there. So, I decide to make a photo and …CLICK! Suddenly there is a woman looking at me like she isn’t happy at all. I smile and then see her arm and decide to get the hell out of there quickly. I know a few of the guards there and they were keeping distance from her also.



So maybe change makes us slow down or break the preconceived ideas we have and try to redo the thought process. Maybe it also tampers with the expectations. I mean if we can jar the thinking out of complacency or the comfort zone, it seems reasonable to assume that the gathered expectations will change also.

I remember talking with Winogrand as we walked around Times Square. He told me that he liked the idea of getting a groove going and working it without seeing what was on the film. I gathered from him that, the idea of seeing your results all the time will and does alter the groove you set out to do. If you don’t see the work, then not much gets in the way of the groove. I suppose we all have our madness and the way we think about the same things, changes from shooter to shooter.



Well, change is in order here in Philadelphia, because they give us a change of seasons 4 times a year. I hear other places get the similar season changes but I ain’t seen it and I don’t believe it either. Well, I tried this change thing idea with Tanya about cameras. I mean, maybe changing cameras and lenses is good for the art and for the heart and mind. So I said, Tanya, maybe I should get the Fuji XP-2 for a change of whatever. She changed from not caring what the heck I do and having zero knowledge about cameras to:

What lens you gonna get with the XP-2? Well, I want a 35mm FOV….and what sensor is in the XP-2? Well, it’s got an ASP-C sensor. She said so it’s essentially a bigger clunky X100T, right?

So I changed my diet to try to keep her and my Doc’s at the VA off my ass. Well, I am not getting the Fuji XP-2 but I am finding that the weather is changing and so is my approach to my life’s work. It’s been a few weeks since I did the blog and I didn’t like that change. I will get back on some kind of schedule and get the blog out more often.

To all those that sent messages about missing me, well, I’m back and it’s gonna be a pretty site out there on the streets.

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