Walker Evans and Nikon Coolpix A = Happy Tourist

03-15-0064-EditUnderstanding the basic premise of photography is essential to understanding what you are doing as a photographer. That is that we see a three dimensional reality and abstract it to make a new two dimensional reality called the photograph. Now lots happens from point A to point B and that’s where each of us lives and works. That’s where we introduce our own set of variables to achieve the desired result, the photo.

So that should imply the necessity to understand what our variables are and how to play with them. How to seek and find the discovery of the photo and the self. Well, much of this is being in tune with your Eye, Heart and Mind. Together these elements will or will not realize your Intent.

Tourist have a much better awareness of this than die hard shooters. Tourist have a camera that pleases them and many different cameras in the tourist group. But, each has the camera that allows the least amount of intrusion when they make photos. Tourist are the most aware of the Here and Now. They are totally aware that this photo they are going to make is probably the last time they will see the subject in the flesh. They frame carefully trying to be in the Here and Now and make the best long lasting record of the moment of exposure and thus have the contentment that they succeeded in making the photo that lives in the album of their trip.

03-15-0051-EditOk, give me the shit. Tourist, c’mon shooter, your barking up the wrong tree. Am I?

I think not. We are all tourist thru life. No none gets a permanent Visa. You bet your butt your a tourist and ya better start thinking that way cause tourist are the most noble shooters out there. They don’t need to study the mechanics of photography, They just have to locate their subject matter, frame and make the photo. Catalog the photos into some kind of grouping and then decide where they want to travel to and make more photos.

Sound familiar? See, you are a tourist. Told ya. I love being a tourist especially in my home town. It allows me to feel free and open with the environment and ppls. This is not an illusion but facts and a way to work.

03-15-0057-EditI’m at Love Park watching the tourist watch me and I feel happy. Being around tourist gets me to think and feel as they do. That’s a wonderful gift and I cherish it completely. I look to the fountain and I see this guy walking and screaming profanities that I never heard before. As I watched him I started to feel like I was seeing Moses and the lost Tribe. Something like that. He’s looking right at me and I raise Walker the Nikon Coolpix A and he lowers his head in a very humble position. CLICK!

I became anxious to see this photo when I get home.

03-15-0058-EditPhotos are not only a reflection of ourselves, they may also reflect others and in many ways. This is an anti-tourist photo. I guess that’s not entirely true cause if in fact I am a tourist, then this is a tourist photo. See what can happen if we dissect the natural process of what we are doing? Well, we must do that to understand what and why we are doing it and also to get a pathway to subject matter that we should be on.

I’m heading out to work and seeing where I can find some photos. I’ll be back later and write more. Post your thoughts plz as I need to know if this is interesting to you as it is for me.

………………………………………………………………….. To Be Continued………………………………………………………………












18 thoughts on “Walker Evans and Nikon Coolpix A = Happy Tourist”

    1. Thanks Dan. I think it’s a miracle and I believe in miracles. at any rate, camera in hand and the heat off at home….. seeya out there.

    1. I think we all need to find a way to deal with the street. I just offer some things I found and that I live by. Perhaps we are all actors. At any rate, there is no stage and no script. There is only life. The steet is life nothing more and nothing less.

  1. Beautiful. I used to head out to Pier 39 on lunch breaks for the same buzz, reminder. I like the reframe, thank you. And your fotos are off the chain gorgeous. Big ups.

  2. “Photos are not only a reflection of ourselves, they may also reflect others…” I quite agree with this. I also feel that so many things get distilled through us, and somehow reflect, influence our work. History is a big part. Whether personal or global. We don’t work in a vacuum. Even if we’re alone. Everything we eat, feel, see, touch, read, somehow ends up in our images…

  3. The first photo, and Moses-really good, Don. And you know I am a sucker for shadow selfies, intentional or not. We are all just passing thru, God damned absolutely right. Love your writing.

  4. Great post, Streetshooter.

    I have only one thing to add – which is a quote from Susan Sontag, who expresses something related to what you are saying, but does it far better than I could – she says:

    “The camera makes everyone a tourist in other people’s reality, and eventually in one’s own.”

  5. I thoroughly agree with your dialogue above, Don. I experienced this exactly whilst in France last year. What you have said carries a lot of weight and is a very valid point of view.

    1. Sean, let’s not tell anybody but it appears we are on the same wavelength. It’s ok for me brother but I’m not the guy ya wanna be associated with. Bullshit! I stand for what I believe in and apparently you do to. Proud to make your acquaintance my friend.

  6. might be the way you captured him, but that tourist guy looked like he is one serious shooter himself. That shot made me stop & think, what is he seeing? What’s rolling through his mind? It makes me want to ask him “Let’s discuss this over a beer”…nice!

  7. That’s a good point about tourists. I used to see them all the time in my neighborhood taking pictures of random things like empty parking lots or walls that had bricks missing and always wondered what was so fascinating. Then I started seeing certain pictures in that style and found them really interesting. The photographer probably finds it interesting because it’s in a place where he’s never been. Even if he or she sees that where they live, it’s special because it’s in an unfamiliar place.

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