Hone Your Myth

I have a friend who says, "hone your myth" all the time. Waking up to our preconceptions is not practiced nearly enough. My "myths" present themselves when I take pictures. I catch myself framing up stereotypes, perfect examples of romance, family, love, hearth, culture, sex, archetypes of all kinds. Here, we have "eastern(black leather jacket, shaved head) European, set against aging cobblestoned village". Of course, we have "moment"-- mid-stride sunlit center-of-frameness. Our myths are everything we have come to romanticize or demonize, or have subconsciously decided is a type or truth. We shape ourselves from these "decisions" that started with family observation, storybooks, school, tv

Josef Sudek

I took this in Prague and it reminds me of Josef Sudek who is a hero and whom I quote: "Everything around us, dead or alive, in the eyes of a crazy photographer mysteriously takes on many variations, so that a seemingly dead object comes to life through light or by its surrounding. And if the photographer has a bit of sense in his head maybe he is able to capture some of this-- and I suppose that's lyricism."

Affirm

It's the day after the end of the world and it's not bad. Mayan calendars not withstanding, taking a second to acknowledge NOW-- really ought to be daily, if not hourly. Turn off the noise for a moment. Put down the device. Offer a hand to the young or old, and engage the gratitude engine. I've heard gratitude is the most healthful state we can enter, producing endorphins and dopamine and encourages the same in others. Ok, so now photograph what you're grateful for.

Humility

I think nature is my church. Yes, I'm often moved by forest cathedrals and accidents of moment-- uncanny coincidences and the bizarre or unexpected. But what stirs the soul I believe, is the humility one feels near vast expanse. It is imposing on the edge of abyss. Yet somehow, insignificance and uniqueness coexist there. Yes, I feel teensy. And I matter. It's good to have this kind of humility pushed up next to the infinite. It tames the ego. And it also evokes possibility. Photographically, it is these ideas I try to elicit from images of landscape.

Trigger Happy

I wasn't even at this wedding. As we ascended the stairs in a hotel I glanced down and luckily had a camera at the ready. Telling moments like this require preparedness. In this instance I wasn't ready-- it wasn't an affair I had anything to do with...except a camera was in my hand. I never found out who they were so they never saw it. Oh well....

Life

Just a reminder of sweetness.

The Most Vulnerable

This is Timo. He now insists at 8, to be Hank. I love this picture. He's so vulnerable there, yet so relaxed, unaware of a lifetime ahead. The sun pours in, hopeful. What heartstring isn't tugged by such an image? Precious children. It seemed like a good day to praise them.

Stop Rage

I have been drawn to many things as reiterated here. I approach them in as varied points of view as possible. The form of this water tower has always attracted my eye and it's a challenging subject due to it's rooftop location and thus restricted access. So I encircle it and see what I can find. Joel Meyerowitz did this so beautifully in his book on the Saint Louis Arch. So I was squeezing the tower between these poles-- and I saw the "rage" part of the word "storage" on the building behind, juxtaposed with the stop sign and what the hell? Who doesn't want to stop rage? Anyway, accidents happen.

Homages

Among so many other things, the photographer looks at many photographs. A love affair often forms and this is true for me too. When I saw Cape Light by Joel Meyerowitz, in which he presents images from a summer on Cape Cod, I discovered the idea of photographing atmosphere. A place is nothing but atmosphere, really, but it is far more than objects and orientation. It is a moment. And under certain conditions, the moment is more visible. But it is especially difficult to record well. An 8x10 film negative does not hurt. I got to speak with Jock Sturges who works this way, and he raised the notion of "transparency of image". Verisimilitude, or nearness to reality, becomes a goal in approximati

Something From Something Else

When identification happens, how can I unidentify it? This is a question that works in my background. There are attributes that draw me in but when taken out of context, strain the eyes and the part of our brain that seeks understanding. I think images of this sort are more enduring. Every set of new eyes has the same problem and it becomes amusing to watch the attempts at ID-ing all over again. Sometimes it's easier than others....

Inside Looking Out

It's not polite to stare. I can't help it. A dog in a Bentley is worthy of attention. It was not amused.

Pause and Breathe

Old Glory spoke to me this December 7th morning. This pre-'48 flag was flying on my walk the other day and lit from behind caught my eye. It needed life and as I aimed up into it, there was so little air moving it...I began playing with shallow depth of field and this was the result. It took some time. Time is something often dodged by the photographer. See it, snap, move on. Just as with so many aspects of living, remembering to pause and breathe becomes lost. Pause and breathe, people.

Stories and Mysteries

I came across this "free pile" some years back and it was a head turner. What the...why in the..where did they...who is this?...lots of questions. The stacks of tv's in and of themselves weren't that interesting...but placed on the sidewalk outside the tin-foiled window house...that was interesting. Just another example of context. Inclusion is sometimes the most important thing when a story is to be told...an enigmatic story.

Experiment

The Eiffel Tower. I figured since they mess with the icon, what with the nutty lighting they put all over the thing, I could screw around with it too and try some light play. Whether this works for you or not, the idea is to not forget that there other possibilities-- all the time. I wanna shake the politicians all the time because, what we see at least, seems rigid and unimaginative. The idea of always always being open to other ways of approaching problems is applicable to everything-- from choosing a route to the store, to finding cures. Why not? In this case, the Eiffel Tower became a micro-organism or a new Hubble telescope observation.

Juxtaposition

How does this not turn your head? I love the sculptures in Seattle by Richard Serra that are massive and like wisps of seaweed but weigh 30 tons(or whatever). They lean out at you and give a sense of one's own minute scale. So then here's this dog napping at the foot of what looks like the prow of a cartoon steamship, and it made me laugh. Be prepared to laugh too, when with camera.

Time

The notion of a wind-up clock is about as analog as you can get. I resisted digital for many years and although I still have and use film, I have fully embraced my digital friends. The first thing I did when I got a Canon S100 was to photograph myself from every angle my arm would allow. I threw them onto a montage sheet of self-portraits. It was completely freeing no longer being constricted by a roll of 36 ($8.00), $17.00 processing, and a multi-day lag time. So, it was possible to shoot away at will. The immediacy of the technology gives instant feedback and discovery & mastery of the tool are greatly accelerated. These are tools for seeing and responding. I don't ascribe to the notion th

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