Tag Archives: Voigtlander

February 22nd, 2014 ….. Fuji XP1 & 18mm …..The Trick and Other Ramblings From The Street.

02-14-0598XP1  18mm  1/250  f/5.6  ISO 6400  DR100

So I was returning a ZIPCAR to it’s home in Center City and decided to drive down Kensington Avenue. I had the XP1 and the 18mm on because it’s the most natural FOV I have. I never have to guesstimate a frame, I just raise the camera and it’s usually 90% on target. So I was cruising and I felt like a John looking for a Trick. Then as I approached the Lehigh Avenue Bridge, I see this girl walking underneath. It’s a famous spot for picking up girls that need money for whatever. I know about this because I am a man of culture, well…street culture. I was working on a series out there at night time photographing the dealers, hookers, thieves even many cops that I know. Anyway, I realized that i finally found my trick and she made a nice shot for me. Hey…hey…photo only, ok!

02-14-0608Fuji XP1 18mm  1/250  f/8  ISO 320  DR100

I got a thing for Icons, most will trigger me. You can read what you want in this shot as it’s open to viewer interpretation. For me, it’s just a continuing “Sign Of The Times”. The thing about the 18mm is that it lets me get close and I love that. Most times when I use a different focal length, I feel restricted. So much so that the restriction starts on loading the lens on the camera. Last night I put the 35mm 1.4 on and was excited about using it this morning. So, I came into the back room that’s not my photography office but just a converted room for whatever Tanya wants to do with it. As I entered my office, I could see Andre’, my XP1, starting to get excited about going on a walkabout. My friends in OZ tell me that, that’s what I do, I go on walkabouts. As I drew closer to Andre’, he looked somewhat put off. He winked at me thru the OVF, cameras can’t wink from the EVF, must be an OVF. I got the message. See, he’s a real gentleman and he didn’t want to upset the other lenses on the shelf but he wasn’t going anywhere without the trusty 18mm. So I pulled the 35mm 1.4 off and placed it on the shelf. Then as the 18mm was being loaded on Andre’, I could feel that he was right and things were better this way.

02-14-0609XP1  18mm  1/250  f/8  ISO 400  DR100

I always ask the homeless when I can if they go to a shelter. Many do but many also say, it’s not safe and they will take their chances on the street.

remember many years ago that I was shooting as a freelancer for the Bulletin Newspaper here in Philly. I guess it was around 1974. I was home from Nam already and the Editor Jack, felt safe that I could handle myself out there. So I spent a month on the street. I just had my M4, 35mm Cron and bunches of Tri-X. There was a section around 8th & Vine that was called The Bowery or Skid Row. I got into a few scraps but nothing serious. I slept where the bums, (The city leaders called these homeless people BUMS). Ok, I’m a bum now too I thought. I met a white guy that appeared to be about 45 or so. One of the guys told me to talk to him cause he’s real interesting. Turns out he was a Doctor. He did all the medical things he could for the guys and gals and I asked him one day what the heck he was doing there.

He said he was from Bryn Mawr and he caught his wife cheating on him. They had 3 kids. I said, so get a damn divorce. He replied, never, it would cost me more that it cost now. I live on the street because I want to, I want her to suffer as much as I am and when the money runs out, I won’t care. I asked about his kids and he said they will never want for anything. I found many interesting stories out there and many. many powerful photos.

When I see a person like this, above….my heart and mind go right back to 1974.

02-14-0611XP1  18mm 1/250 f/8  ISO 640  DR100

Dreams come in many shapes and thoughts and ideas. I saw this woman with her 2 kids and I thought, what would of happened if I didn’t get a divorce from my kids mother?  Simple answer is probably I wouldn’t be shooting my XP1 or playing my Strat’s and Tele’s. The kids are fine so……end of that…!

02-14-0612                                XP1  18mm  1/250  f/8  ISO 320  DR100

I was looking thru the glass that was sweating and I saw this woman looking back at me. I was flattered of course, I ain’t stupid but not flattered enough to miss the shot. She walked to me and asked if she could see what I took. I told her, I didn’t too anything, I made a very nice photo of you. When she asked if I could send her a copy, of course I was flattered again. Funny what young woman can do to the process……

02-14-0616XP1  18mm 1/250  f/8  ISO 4000  DR100

So I’m walking to 2nd Street to get on the Elevated to go home. I walked up on these 3 gals and of course I asked if I could make a photo. I very rarely do that. But I had to this time.

They were flattered and I asked them to move to this window about 5′ away. I made the photo, 1 shot and they asked what I would do with it. I said, I’ll submit it to the Most Beautiful Gal on Market Street Contest. The one in the center blushed and asked me if I knew what was up with them. Of course I said, but your right….Tranny’s aren’t allowed to enter the contest…YET! They all smiled and called me cute…..well, it’s all in a daze on the street.

Have a good weekend…..


February 20th, 2014 ….. Fuji XP1 Street Shots with the 15mm Heliar

02-14-0563So I’m standing on John F Kennedy Blvd around 15th Street and I’m minding my own business talking to Olivier on the iPhoney 5. Well, Andre’, Andre’ is my Fuji XP1 and youse all know that ’cause you read my blog on a regular basis, anyway he’s starting to shake and vibrate in my hand. I have to talk with Olivier I said to him but he insisted that I pay attention to him. So my thumb got to the soft release and I started to look…..Andre’s told me that he would handle the framing and exposure, all I had to do was press the shutter when he said to. After a few seconds this guy comes into the scene and I can see my reflection but more that that, I can see the photo as I am bout to make. then all the sudden….CLICK!

02-14-0560I’m prepping for a workshop soon and  one of the things I push and push hard is JUXTAPOSITION. It’s a multi-faceted concept but one I feel is most important to learn. The above is an example I know will bring up ideas and conversation.

02-14-0568Whats very cool about the XP1 with the 15mm Heliar is how close you can get to things and even crazy people. I’m right under this guy and I used the OVF. I can see the 4 corner brackets to frame and my experience is they are accurate but with the 15mm, it’s off on the right side. I’m not anal about this sort of thing and if you are, flip the lever and use the EVF.  So I saw this guy doing his thing and all the people except me were moving away from him. I mean they were really getting space and that was good for me as I could move in close like I try to do in this situation. Well,as I was walking I set the aperture to f/5.6 and bent down right in front of him….I’m quick and I try not to rush at all….so I was taking my time and this guy never knew I was close enough to him to smell the Coors Light coming from his breath.

02-14-0580Color doesn’t really excite me but I am open minded to what it brings to the image. Eh…sometimes ya have to surrender to the voice of the photo no? Well, ifI have to do color, at least it’s my favorite dominate. I’m telling ya, I was so close to this guy that I didn’t realize it until I looked off camera. I used the EVF here so I can’t see anything but thee screen. So I backed up again and moved to where the color worked and the sign related to the man and then I waited for him to see me and as he looked …..CLICK. In a second he asked, “how do ya like the XP1? I was in shock…I mean how could he have known about Andre’? Si I handed him the camera and he smiled and I mean really smiled. He asked how much and I explained the about price and directed him to a store to get it. I gave him a list of mush have lenses and he was happy and so was I.

02-14-0593My Dreamcatcher series is developing very nice and I have a very good response and print sales. So whenever I get the chance, I ….CLICK.

Tomorrow is another day and the weather promises rain and warm temps………..

February 19th, 2014 ….. Fuji XP1 Takes A Day Off … Fuji XE1 Call To Duty

So I was laying in bed waiting for Tanya to call me down for my morning cup of Kona Coffee. I’m not getting into this but KONA is the FUJI of coffee…nuff said! I could hear a whining sound….like…WHAAAAA! Well, it wasn’t Tanya, nah she would just downright get in my face….nope not her. I figured it wasn’t Barsik the Russian American cat and I figured it was coming from the back bedroom that now is converted to my photography work area because I’m not allowed by the Russian Czar wife to call it an office because I don’t work anymore cause the Gov’t says I can’t.

The sound was definitely coming from the back office area. (Tanya is downstairs so between you and I, it’s the office, shhhhhh). It was not a high shriek but more of a soft moan. Ya know that sound ya heard when ya was making that first real kiss and that’s the one that gets you thinking like an adult from then on out….yup…that’s kinda like the sound. Ok, youse all know I name my cameras. My XP1 is named after Andre’ Kertesz and my XE1 is named after Ding McNulty, curator of Prints and Pictures at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Well, as I entered the back room that’s an office but I ain’t allowed to call it that because the well…da wifey don’t like it….I could hear this moan coming from one of my camera bags. Yeah, no kidding…..I thought to my self….self, what the heck is going on here? Well, Andre’ said to me in a very soft accent, I’m tired and I want the day off. Ding and I had a talk and you have been ignoring him and we are not amused…at all. So Andre’ continued and said, you will take Ding today and he wants the Fuji 27mm that’s confused because it’s a 27mm but acts like a 40.5mm lens. Furthermore, I will get a much needed day off and sleep inside the Billingham clasped shut so I won’t be disturbed.

02-14-0499So Ding and I set sail to Center City. The XE1 is like a really compact camera especially mated with the 27mm. From my memory banks, I compare it to the Pen 3 and 20mm over there at MU-34.com It slips in and out of my pocket very easy and the thing is…..I love the EVF finder in it. I know, I know….but I can’t resist, I just surrender to the cameras elegance.

02-14-0518What happens is that I have the camera on a nice leather neck strap that is very soft and supple. I wrap it around my wrist and just walk around. Then, I raise the camera to my eye and frame and shoot. It amazes me that as a screen shooter, I love the finder on the XE1. The XP1 is a different story and is on vacation. The XE1 with the 27mm will allow the shooter to work in the open without being intruding and or nervous. The cool thing that most shooters hate is: the aperture ring is lost and not on the lens. I think Fuji forgot to install it and then an engineer figured, lets just let the shooters change f/stops with the rear buttons. Now, I gotta say, that is a great asset to the outfit.

The Fuji guys are really smart. Dig this….if your using the 27mm it thinks and acts as a 40.5mm which is an ideal street lens. Well they knew that your on the street and they made the lens small and put real fast and accurate AF in it. They also knew that at the 40.5mm FOV, you most likely won’t be using Hyper Focal distance or any real zone focus stuff.

So, when you use this lens, you are really set free to just work on the street and other places and not be too concerned about looking like a PRO or something. I like looking like an amateur out there and working above a PRO level which is what I do.


02-14-0533See that boid up there far right corner. The XE1 saw it and nailed it….I love this shot, it’s about Fuji and it’s about the street.

02-14-0492Ya know, I made this shot because I enjoyed doing it. It’s really low light and the finder worked better than anyone elses. I hear all kinds of negative things about refresh rate etc….gimme a break..go refresh your …uh….well….just do it. The XE1 just is a pleasure to carry around and beings a screen shooter, the finder is wonderful.

02-14-0556I think I need to take Ding out again tomorrow. Andre’ needs the break and I just want to see 40mm for a spell.

Till then…..go in Peace but go with a Fuji X in your hand……………………………………………

February 18th, 2014 ….. Fuji XP1 & 15mm Heliar Misadventures on the Street

02-14-0437I’m guilty and I admit it. First let me explain.Please, let’s just keep this between you and me. See, it’s a law that shooters use their cameras to make WORK, right? Of course. I’m one of the biggest supporters of the “We are not playing with our gear and we are making work with our photography so don’t say it’s playing movement.” Well, I’m coming out of the closet….NO, not that one..the closet where having fun with your XP1 is. See, here in Philly, it’s against the law to have fun with your camera. Nah…you can have fun with all the other cameras in the world from this planet or any other…well except…Venus. I hear from a distant cousin that Fuji doesn’t have a dealer on Venus yet. So with any camera out there, you can have fun and PLAY with it. The FUJI XP1 is a real camera for real men and real woman. We doin’ need no playin’ ’round with out XP1’s We are too busy making great photos with it.

02-14-0441Well, what happened is that I got caught by the international do not have fun with your XP1 club and just told them I can’t abide by their rules no more. You know Roger? Yeah, yeah…the gut from the post right before this one. Well, Roger would send me anything I need or want, no questions asked. Of course, what Roger giveth, Roger will taketh away. So the point is that I have or could have access to any camera out there. I’ve used many Leica’s and the M4 is by far the best camera for me. See, there’s no stupid light meter to contradict what I say the light reading is. It ain’t got no Auto ISO or anything. Great camera, wonderful friend. So what I’m saying is that no camera YET has given me the experience to the Leica M4….and then…..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

02-14-0446The experience of using my M4’s has been updated to the XP1. Yeah, I know…this is a stretch. It’s not really because….my mind has certain wants and needs from the camera. The XP1 gives my mind the juices similar but not exactly like the Leica. I don’t expect anyone to understand this but I tell ya, it’s a darn pretty picture. If you think of your camera as a tool, you will never understand this and really, the XP1. It is most definitely not a tool. It is a camera that given the chance will become your friend.

Check out Thomas Menk because he’s a real FUJI guy, I’m just a user. He has all kinds of stuff on his site. I don’t know exactly what he named his camera but looking at his work, it’s obvious he has a good friend and not s tool.

02-14-0429So, this is the first camera in probably 25 years that hets my juices flowing so easy and so solid. I’ve had many other cameras but they just didn’t float my boat.

I got more stuff tomorrow as I’m on the streets dodging slippery ice patches and kids throwing snowballs at me, all kinds of mean nasty ugly stuff to turn into with my XP1.

seeya then……………………………………

February 17th, 2014 ….. Fuji XP1 & 15mm Heliar ….. Ideal Street Combo!

02-14-044702-14-0418Look, we all know how good and adaptable the XP1 is. That’s info known since it’s birth. Fuji make an adapter for M Mount lenses that’s better and smarter than anything else available. It’s got good communication skills with the camera. It’s not the smartest thing to have around because even if you tell it that you have a 15mm lens on, it still can’t figure out what f/stop the lens is at. That’s ok anyway because I always know where my exposure is set, except most times I let the camera choose ISO.

The 15mm Heliar is a lens that helps define me. I used a 21mm on my Leica M’s for a spell but didn’t really crave it. With the XP1 there’s a definite affinity that gets me going on that FOV. Sometimes I need to be set free. Well, free within the guidelines established for my work. I guess it’s called pushing the envelope. Yeah, yeah, that’s what I’m doing…pushing the envelope. Funny thing is, that when I use the 15mm, (22.5mm FOV)….I feel perfectly natural in that space. See, it’s about space and how you deal with the boundaries  that the lens imposes on your frame. The 15mm gently forces me to get closer to everything. I guess in a week or so I’ll be in peoples faces more than I am now.

02-14-0452One of the key things to the Heliar is the Focus/DOF Scales. I am so used to working that way that this is a welcome unlocking of the firmware in my AF mind. I remember when Nikon came out with their AF lenses way back before…uh…..oh yeah, back then. So I went to a demonstration  of the new technology and everyone was excited because the cameras could now focus for you. Well, I had a few nasty looks and a few gasp because my M4 was around my neck. This is a Nikon event, we doin’ need no Leica’s ’round here!

So they set the camera up on a tripod so they could control what the lens was seeing. We weren’t to know that was important. Anyway, The guy set’t the camera up, hits the shutter and the camera starts to AF…it’s making sounds and looking like something from outer space, 60’s style. So we all went to lunch, had a beer and in about 45 minutes, we all went back to look at the camera. WOW! It’s almost done focusing. Yep…..that’s about it for that. I’ve never complained about AF in any camera because I know what slow really is.

02-14-0454Ya know, the XP1 is a very adaptable camera. Well, maybe it’s the way it allows me to adapt to what is going on in my head. Other cameras may do this also but look, really…who cares?

Try this on for size. My very dear friend Roger spent the last week here in Philly after selling his Ranch in Adelaide Australia. So I was helping him process…uuh…hold on, that’s not correct. Roger was giving me files to process and he was helping me by telling me what to do. Big help Roger. Well, after I showed him how to use some of my Primo Presets, he asked if I could clean some sensors for him. The way he cleans his sensor is to send the cameras back to Leica, Fuji, Canon etc. I laughed. Of course, lets start with the XP1.

02-14-0455Well, I setup the desk for Sensor Cleaning Procedures. Set the airbrush up, all the Eclipse etc. His XP1 sensor was soooo dirty that if MOSES saw it, there’d be another Commandment! I got it right and then moved on to the Leica’s. The M9 and Mono were not bad but the 240 was like a table after a picnic. It took 7 passes to get it pristine. Then, out of nowhere, all by itself, looking at me like the camera from hell….The X100s said…..CLEAN ME!. Hmmm, I thought….Roger…this is one of the cameras you should send in. Why he asked. See, if’n the lens comes off…it’s a real camera and ya can clean it…if’n the lens ain’t a comin’ off….well…..

I think something clicked in his head ….at last. I have explained to him over and over to stay away from non removable lens cameras. Now at last, he gets it.

Now between you and me…..he can well afford to do anything he wants with his cameras. I seriously doubt he will dump any….so…..Roger left for Paris Sunday and then to Hong Kong and then back to Adelaide and then back home to Philly. Then of course I’ll have to clean the sensors again….so what….

This is just ramblings because it’s crappy weather here and cold and I can’t stay out long because I have a Russian wife that wants reports from me on conditions outside and when are you getting home for Green tea?. ….

Let me just tell you some truths…as I and you probably see it, them…whatever. As a street shooter. I have very little tolerance for intruding gear.  So, working with the XP1 and the 15mm Heliar, I can set the focus scale to the DOF I want and all I have to do sometimes, is check it’s position. No biggie. Then I guess I have a real camera that just works with me to get what I see out there and in my head. It’s a very fast way to work and ya have to be fast because your inside the zone with this lens. I mean your inside the subjects comfort zone and that means you need to get in and out quickly due to respect issues.

02-14-0459I hope to get out tomorrow but rain is in the forecast. It looks like Wednesday will be better……

End Transmission………………………………………………………………….

February 13th, 2014 ….. Fuji XP1 Explores The 18mm

02-14-032618mm  1/60  f/2  ISO 200

We all know the Fuji XP1 is an amazing camera. Ahhh, it’s a gimme. Ya know…I get hit with emails, pm’s on forums, text messages etc about how I’m not getting the most from my camera because I’m using the weakest link in the Fuji lens lineup, the 18mm.

Weeeelllll! EXCUSE ME! Sorry about being born, I mean if I knew what I do bothers you, I’d take it into consideration and do what you want….YEAH RIGHT! Hold your breath, count to 14000 and I’ll use the 18  to make a photo of you being planted next to the tomatoes.

Oh, am I being sarcastic? nah….  See Barsik up there…..yeah, the cat photo. Well, that’s made really close up. Seriously, it’s not Macro but it’s about 5-6″ from his eye. That really opens up another view of your world. It doesn’t open up my world cause I know about how good the 18mm is but it does to you cause your reading this in secrecy and want to find out but not let anyone know that you have hidden feelings for the lowly 18mm. That’s ok, I will never check you on it and never mention that you absolutely adore this lens, especially on a forum. Your safe with me.

There’s good resolution, nice Mr Bokeh and the tones are really nice. I probably could have sharpened it more but that’s my buddy and the photo is warm like him.

02-14-034818mm 1/60  f/2  ISO 800

This is at 800 and f/2 really close. It’s not bad for a lens that can’t deliver. Yeah, the 35mm is much better. I have it and like it….it’s in my camera bag some place and maybe before the Spring starts, I’ll try to find it….yeah, sure is a great lens.

02-14-034518mm  1/60  f/2.8  ISO 800.

This photo is made for my Mother In Law in Tula Russia. She sent this to me so that my wife Tanya and I could have memories of her and Tanya’s home while we eat.

When I process images, I take personal liberty to make the resultant equivalent image feel the way I feel when I look at it. Sorry, but I don’t try to stay in the conventions that inhibit most photographers. Tanya, my wife said that MOMMA will cry when she sees this photo. I won’t know for a spell because I had the photo matted and we sent it by mail this morning. Momma doesn’t have any computer, digital anything. It’s ok, even tho’ it felt strange to feel a print again. Maybe it’s time to turn the darkroom on again……hmmmmmmmm nah, nope!

02-14-033718mm   1/125  f/2.8  ISO 800

What the 18mm has that is most attractive and useful is it’s DOF. It allows you to work very wide in aperture and still get a image that represents the scene very well. It doesn’t blow out the background unless you want it to. The XP1 is extremely fast to work with. I hear tell about people cursing the camera cause it’s not fast enough to AF. TSK…TSK…Gimme a break will ya. I will share one of the ways I use the 18mm and post the table at the end of this post.

02-14-032918mm  1/125  f/4  ISO 800

Did ya see all that flare from the 18mm….terrible ain’t it! What the heck are you smoking? There ain’t no dang flare on the 18mm here in Philly. If you have it where you are, move just a slight bit to the left or right…see…..bye flare….sheeesh. The XP1 is very nice to work with the 18mm. It’s a good lens on the XE1 and XE2 also but it doesn’t work on the X20.  Once I used my Hammer and Chisel on the X20 and got that stupid lens off….well, the 18mm wouldn’t mount…..neither would the X20 lens.hmmmmm must be a better way to mount/unmount a lens.

02-14-032818mm  1/125  f/4  ISO 800

I have billions more photos from this combination but I just wanted to take a non serious serious look at the things the 18mm can do that other’s say it can’t. If you really love photography and use Fuji cameras like everyone that loves photography, I urge you to try the 18mm.

Never let anyone put stuff in your mind that you can’t sort out and dismiss. It’s nice to read things on blogs and forums but you have to learn to make your decisions from the info you trust. That info is what you sort out in your brain and can apply to the situation at hand. The 18mm gets a bad rap because of this vicious cycle. Guys post on a forum that it’s not as good as any other lens and then you put that crap in your head. The brain processes that info and form that point on…you have to struggle to make a change in your thinking.

Your photography belongs to you. If you decide to share it, fine but it’s not necessary. What is of the utmost importance is that YOU STAY TRUE TO YOUR VISION.

You do that by being in touch with your Eye, Heart and Mind. If I think about all the photos that would never have been borne because I listened and didn’t use the 18mm….it breaks my heart.

02-14-0343                                18mm  1/60  f/2  ISO 800


Here’s the method I promised.

Lens focused at 10′          Use Manual Focus.         Watch the focus ring, it has a sense of humor.

4.0     5.72 – 39′

5.6     4.8 – Inf

8.0   4.9 – Inf

11     3.2 – Inf

16     2.5 – Inf


Lens focused at 7′

4      4.6 – 14.7′

5.6   4.0 – 26.8′

8     3.4 – Inf

11    2.8 – Inf

16  2.2 – Inf

I didn’t do this in meters because I use the foot thing. It comes directly from the DOF Master tables. I keep this in my iPhone 5 on a note. Then I can check things out on the go and I go a lot.

Thanks for stopping by…………shooter out……………………..

February 1st, 2014 ….. Defining The Self Thru Your Photos ….. Part 1

02-14-0043I’ve been asked recently by a few shooters why I make the photos I make. They are talking about the Dreamcatcher series. I can explain my almost rationale behind this.

Basically we all live in a shared reality. Well some of us don’t get to share in reality to well and then some of us have altered reality. That’s all cool as no one person should have power over another’s perception. Who’s in a different reality now Shooter? Ok, I don’t want to go off on this too much and I also have been prompted to explain what and why I do with photography. So the month of February will be dedicated to my thoughts and actions. If you find this interesting, great if not…well…there’s plenty of gear related forums and blogs around. I will talk about gear but basically, it’s photography as my life’s work.

I see photographs and making them as a means of personal expression. I see viewing other shooters photos as their personal expression. Viewing photos on Flickr for me is the same as finding my own out there…..> When I post a comment on someones photo, I do so fully aware that it will have value to the maker. It has value because the comment is a mark of approval, acceptance, understanding etc from maker to viewer. There are times when I get Flickr burnout and I delete 100’s of emails with my friends photos in them. I do so because I maybe am burned out. The same thing happens on the street. At times I just don’t want to see out there. So the visual pert of seeing others and making my own shares certain aspects with each other.

02-14-0047One of the long term series I work on is called the Dreamcatcher. I call it that because it sounds like I feel the photos. The idea is that, if we all work in a shared reality, then how does one find one’s own photos out there?

I’m asking you……! Ok, I’ll give it a shot. If your out there working and so is many other shooters, what makes you different from them? NO! It’s not camera and lenses. It’s probably not location either. What it is, is the fact that the shooter could find a way to relate to him/herself and dig deep into the core of their being and try to get some of the crux out and make photos of/with it.

My father was killed in an auto accident when I was 6 years old. I remember like yesterday the State Troopers coming to the house and standing there telling my pregnant mother that her husband was dead. The in an hour, my Grandparents arrived. They are my Dads parents. My Grandmother put me on her knee and told me that my dad was on his way to heaven and it was a one way journey. She pointed up to the ceiling but she meant the sky. She was a strong woman and her concern at the time was for me to understand and not for her to mourn her lost son.

The reason I mention this is because at a very young age, I was introduced to the other side, or at least the dream of the other side.

Go to the light! Go to the light!  The light will show you the way…. Follow the light….. that concept has lived and grown inside me for over 50 years.

02-14-0025So I am forever on the search of the LIGHT. The transition of dark and light and the haze, glow all intoxicates me. It enters my mind and when it does, I’m always at the ready for another Dreamcatcher image. I have developed presets for Light Room that are imbedded in my brains firmware. I get periodical firmware updates as I develop more presets.

So, as a street shooter, I have to deal with many attractions/detractions when I’m working. Here’s something…… If photography has the captivating magic of showing one person what another person saw and made a photo of, are we in fact limited to the shared reality we all take for granted?  No, of course not.  I don’t chase the Dreamcatcher because I want to be different, I do it because I want to THINK and SEE things differently for myself.

In 50 years, I dare say I have never been bored and I tried never to be complacent about my photographic journey. I have always felt like a child that has lost his dad and wondered where he may be. I have always cherished the journey and always, always try to find another path to travel with my camera. What this means to anyone reading this, is to seek your own vision and find your own path for your journey.

There’s an old saying”It’s all been done before”…HORSE TURDS! What you are doing and going to do has never been done before. It’s an adventure that you and you alone take by yourself and the result is unknown. If it were any other way, life would be way too predicable and boring. So why would you settle for less in your images.


So lets look at it in a more realistic approach. (This term is used loosely as I may not be the best at reality) When you go out to shoot, what your looking for is images. Your looking for photos that in the end, partly define you. These photos are a part of the definition of what others and even yourself see to define YOU. So, if your out there trying to find Bresson, Krause, Kertesz, Winogrand, Friedlander photos, you have my sympathy. Sure they are all masters but I promise, they were not out looking for YOUR photos, why the hell would you seek theirs? If that’s what your INTENT is, it’s better served in a library or collection some place. There you don’t have to work and you can try to grasp what they were feeling and thinking at release. Good luck!

02-14-0023You do not have to be a Bresson to make photos. (I heard that there were around 15 shooters worldwide that never even heard of him.)  It could be more but I can’t know about that stuff. So, what we try to do out there is find parts of us that help define what we are and how we do things. In the course of our photography, we have to come to terms of what OUR PHOTOS look like. This is entirely up to you and if your happy to have things look like everyone else, that’s great as it’s much less work.

02-14-0029I’m not saying that you have to intentional find a way to LOOK different but I am suggesting you take the time to try to discover some things that start to define you. It’s a journey we as shooters take and hopefully share on the way to the self. The interesting thing about photography is that we get to share our vision with others but I think it’s all important to make sure that vision is starting to define the shooter. Then, the next time you share work, people look forward to seeing what you see……


I’m keeping this series going until my brain goes on vacation. Any questions, comments…please speak up….till part 2….

shooter out………………..

January 28th, 2014 ….. The Ricoh GRD4 … Perfect Off Street Camera

01-14-0525I know, I started a good thing yesterday about Street Shooting. Ya see, at my age which is now, they tell me 64…that’s the temperature in Fahrenheit that I like to be in. Well, someone thought to play a trick and try to tell me that I’m now 12 Years Old because it’s 12F outside.

See, a smart street shooter knows how to adapt to adversity and overcome and conquer. Beings that I’m kinda Smaart (Fredo from the Godfather)…..I found a way to control the environment. There’s this little box on the wall and it has a wheel thingy on it. If I get cold, I turn this wheel and whalla…I getz warm again.

Well, I turned the wheel and it got to 20F real fast and that’s nice. Why can’t they figure out how to install a wheel on the streets? So, vision is a product of seeing and adapting to your environment. The well tuned shooter can find photos under any circumstance and that should most definitely include Off Street.

01-14-0529I find the Ricoh GRD4 the perfect camera for anything but especially for off street, in da house stuff. It’s a very disarming camera. I need that with Mrs Shooter. See, there are Rules Of Engagement for the Shooter household.

1. Thou shalt not make photos of me in any circumstance unless so prompted by me and the results are subject to inspection and approval by me and me alone. (Obviously this is Mrs Shooters Rules)

2. You will adhere to the above stated rule to maintain harmony and peace in the Shooter household. You will not explain your findings on that 1st Amendment thing about Free Press , Free Speech etc etc as I am Russian and that does not apply to me.

Well, I’m a rebel and so as not to antagonize the powers that be, I us my special skills I learned in the army. I conquer and overcome but in a manner of little risk and chance of getting caught. I leave no trace materials of films, papers etc. I leave no trace of links to postings, Flickr etc.

This may seem very trite to you but I assure you, it’s all about being a healthy, informed Street Shooter. If in fact I am posting tomorrow, I didn’t get busted with this post on the blog etc. If I don’t someone else needs to carry on for the sanity of all street shooters that came before or that are here now or will ever come after.

End transmission……………….shooter out………………………………..

January 27th, 2014 ….. Street Shooting with The Eye, Heart and Mind.

01-14-0498Regardless of how we think or even with what we try, we are polluted with the history of our very being. Don’t get me wrong….yeah you in the green jacket….be cool dude….the idea of personal history is a very cool concept if you know what it is and how to deal with it. When it comes to ex-wives, nah I can’t deal with it. When it comes to missing a camera I used many  years ago, I can kinda deal with it.

These are not the history we need to discover and work with on the streets. Say we are walking down Market Street….go on say it…..ok…..

Maybe I’ll just explain how I do things and then if you want to figure out your own stuff, ya might get an idea from this post. Ya might not but then it’s your issue, not mine.

I’m walking down Market Street and it’s kinda funky light. In one area about 20′ in front of me it’s shade….then 20′ more and we have that harsh winter sun, ya know the kind that doesn’t even add warmth. So the issue of light has to be resolved. Of course light is what makes the exposure reading from the meter in the camera tell us what to adjust to get the photo recorded in proper exposure. Well, technically that’s kinda what happens but not for real street shooters.

See, street shooters are very fast in seeing because every one that has ever been borne or that will be borne is working at a super higher rate of consciousness then the people walking the streets without a camera. See, it’s because they, the camera toting people known as street shooters are in touch with their Eye, Heart & Mind.

A couple of pointers here. I use Auto ISO because I shoot in Manual Mode. This means I set the shutter speed and the aperture that I want and I trust my camera to set the proper ISO. Why do I trust the camera to do this and to do it well. Because I test my camera and the way it thinks. You can change the way a camera works but you can’t change the way it thinks. 01-14-0509So what I am getting at is simply difficult. When we SEE something we want to make a photo of, at that point, there can be absolutely no intrusion from the camera. So we would get the camera at the ready and the exposure WE want is already set and the CAMERA will make the exposure work. If the photo works, it’s because we were in the EHM zone of photo awareness. If the photo doesn’t work, it’s because we were distracted by something and hopefully it’s not the camera.

01-14-0510Maybe for the casual shooter this stuff sounds boring and or to deep for what it is. For the serious shooter, especially on the streets….it’s just the beginning of understanding the journey and finding one’s way on the street.

I’ll do more tomorrow….. Make sure to grab a copy of the Inspired Eye Magazine….it’s a great issue.


January 21st, 2014 ….. Fuji Weatherproof X Camera in a Snow Storm

01-14-0437C’mom, you know the XT something isn’t released yet but the XP55 is a true weatherproof, waterproof drop proof camera that makes the drudgery of walking in the snow fun. I gotta tell ya, the snow was falling hard on the good city and people of Philly, on me too. The wind was a blowing and a howling and just making things less than enjoyable. I pulled out the trusty Fuji and started making photos. In no time flat, I was having a good time clicking away. I would have loved to stay and really do a shoot but Tanya is worried I’ll fall and won’t be found till I’m frozen solid.

01-14-0429At this point in the day we had around 5″s on the ground and it was just getting started. The buildings protect the pedestrians and the homeless from the wrath of the storm. You can see that the snow is very light on the ground here near the Reading Market. Of course I had to go to the Market to eat before I go to the hospital. I just needed prescription refills and anger management session.

By the time I got out…the snow in West Philly was hitting around 8″s and climbing. The buses. I didn’t make any photos on the trolley, train or bus. See, we all know that Philadelphia is the City of Brotherly Love. Everyone in the world knows that. What they don’t know is that in times of stress, duress,storms,rain, lack of toilet paper, cold weather, warm weather, hot weather, I’m fighting with my husband…if you breathe near me I will cook your heart for dinner…

01-14-0428See, in Philly if any of the above situations or any other situation…..the law of the City of Brotherly Love is null and void. That means that as I’m on the bus, trolley or elevated train, if I bring out a camera….well, it won’t be a pretty picture. So beings that I’m smaaart, I chose to just look at everyone and spare all of us the agony of seeing my camera.

01-14-0432On the street, people just think I’m an idiot. I like that cause I’m an idiot with a camera. They don’t know that I’m a very serious Pho….idiot! So this storm will pass and the VA Hospital will treat more Vets and I’ll continue working on the next Issue of the Inspired Eye Magazine.

01-14-0435So be smart, safe and find the courage to continue your work….without using GAS for a reason to do so.

On the sidebar you’ll see some blogs that I like and visit. Check it out and if you have a blog etc, I’ll be glad to set a link for ya…..

Till later…..