Saturday, December 23, 2017

A Very Little Christmas Story

 As usual, I took a vacation week off of work during the holidays, this time, the week before Christmas. And, as usual, it became a working vacation. That is not  bad thing. It can be therapeutic working with your hands and getting long overdue chores "done and done".
 This year, we decided to finish a project of sprucing up the property that abuts the street. Robin had dug up much of the dirt one year previously, and I had finished a few weeks ago. Now, with a 4" depression between the sidewalk and the curb, it was time to line the "hole" with weed cloth and fill it with gravel.
 We ordered three yards of rock, it was delivered as scheduled and I started the task of filling the wheelbarrow and filling the hole. It took me most of the day. After leveling, cleaning and packing the gravel, I donned my knee-pads and trimmed the weed cloth. Now this doesn't sound like much, but it was for me. I'm not a youngster any more....I felt it, but it looks great! It was worth the effort.
 There was still one yard of gravel left over so I spent the next couple of days finishing up other half-finished areas that also needed the gravel. By the third day I was spent, but not done.
 There was an area I had installed pavers out front that had been undermined by gophers. The property connects with the neighbor's driveway entry at the street. When they were run over by the neighbor's car they "collapsed" an inch or two and looked terrible. The task was to pull them up, expose the sand and use the left-over gravel to fill the depression.
  I was tired, but determined. After a couple of hours into the work, my other neighbor was headed to his car with his granddaughter. We exchanged greetings and I continued working while he loaded his vehicle. Then I noticed his granddaughter walking on the gravel I had laid down a couple days prior. She looked down at her feet and seemed to measure her little steps one after the other as she walked.
 Now this little one is just about as sweet as any little one I have ever encountered. Robin and I have both listened her singing next door in her pure tones of sincerity. The innocence of her voice floats right into your ears, and into your heart. Children just have that gift I suppose.
 This moment wasn't any different. I was sitting on some of the finished pavers taking a breather when I looked up at the little girl. It was time for her to go and she was called to by her grandfather.   Before she left she made eye contact with me and exclaimed in her biggest voice "this is very good work"! (speaking of the laid down gravel) Her little voice with all its innocence and fervor washed over me like a baptism of pure energy. I said "thank you" and with that she left.
 I was still tired, but inspired. Her uninhibited gesture of kind words went a very long way for me that morning....and stays with me still. The tasks are done (for now) and the front of the property looks a whole bunch better. Even with that accomplishment, its those kind words that made all of that work even more worthwhile.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Nuthin' Worse

So many times, maybe every time now when we go out to dine, I see grown men with a lovely partner at his table with him..

...and he's glued to a phone.

Nuthin Worse

Slipped my mind.
What was it?
Going to say…
That guy’s name…

Dog this memory
Just sit down
Look straight ahead
Rectangles everywhere

Shiny shiny 
Beautiful woman
In my aura

Was her name?
She’s here
With me?
Dog this memory.

Rectangles everywhere
Shiny shiny rectangles
Lead the way.
Wrecked angles

Nuthin worse
Nuthin worse
Than being dead
Before we die

I know...this behavior is not peculiar to men.

Friday, December 8, 2017

"Equality" (Excerpt)

I am dirt
Lovely, dusty dirt
Organic matter
Of long ago leaves
Spent grass 
From summers past

Excerpt from a third person poem (unpublished)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Clouds of Amber

Descended sun
Behind the mount
Lit up the sky
From colors' fount

Blackbirds' call
Made full the air
Moment's rite
Our home declared

Friday, November 17, 2017

...Was A Time

We were all going different places
But we were all traveling together
Attrition is now desirable
Though before

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Lensbaby Experience

Traditional photography practices dictate so many things to the photographer. From how a final frame should look, to even the settings within the camera. I have noticed many seasoned photographers out there teaching "how-to" on many photography subjects. Few teach to photograph what you love, because you love or simply enjoy what you are experiencing.

Technical ability is good, but technique is only a means to an end. So yes, learn how your camera works, and learn "sound" editing techniques, these are essential to finding your voice. Once you have technique, then listen to your creative voice to master the message. It is the message you wish to convey through your image that far outweighs all else...including photography "teachers, purists, masters, success models, etc."

When a photographer decides to use a Lensbaby lens, all of that rhetoric goes away. The premise of these lenses is to control blur, bend light, tilt the plane and most importantly, isolate the message and create a dream world to highlight it. Many "important" photographers call these "toys" apparent slight against the image, and the photographer. Most detractors are old school folks, entrenched in some philosophies that have been long dead. Philosophies that with today's technologies struggle with the thought of being left behind if adhered to.

Don't get me wrong, the masters and old school philosophies were valuable in the world of photography evolution and need to be respected. If for some reason all electrical power were to fail, not understanding the mechanics would render many "photographers" of today "photographically illiterate". That is not a likely scenario. My point, is that much of the technical old school knowledge is still needed...just leave out anything that is dictatorial on the final output.

Embrace the new tech. Embrace the almost endless editing available to make your image. Does it matter if it fits within anyone's parameters? In the case of artistic messaging, NO. This is YOUR VOICE. In the end, if a Lensbaby is a "toy", and I am to be disrespected for using it, then so be it.

Peace to you, love what you're making, and make what you love.


Friday, October 6, 2017


At first light
Make the determination
Today will be good
I will be
A positive force

Thursday, October 5, 2017


Pelicans at Sunset Cliffs - San Diego CA

The days may seem dark
And storms lash and threaten
But if we travel unified
Love may reveal herself

"A cord of three strands 
Is not quickly broken"

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Parting Of The Pond

Evil wants to come into my home.
It wants my children.
It wants my grandchildren.
It wants my friends

It is fed by acts of violence
By lies and deceit

It gives names to murderers
Retells a thousand tales of terror
And we bow to the idol unwittingly
And WE are its life blood

Swept away like sheep
We ride the wave of rage
And tear each other apart

We have become
The bearers of infamie's children
And give to the idol
Our most precious treasure

(Commentary on the "news"media, and its symbiotic disfunction with its viewers)

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Rippled Sky

So it was
The sky folded
The stir
In the scheme 
Of all things

We were ok
And we made sure
Everyone close
Saw the bigger view
That was all 
We could heft
It was enough

Took our eyes
Off ourselves
Turned to the weak
And lifted them
And every one

Friday, September 22, 2017



Is born
The ending
A mourn
Of rendering

Strained bloom
Implied folly
Cold room'

Autumn is a favorite time of year for me. I'm not really sure why, but there is an almost tangible "longing" in the air.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Just Let Go

There is a point which nearly every photographer must make choices before making a photograph.
There is a point which nearly every photographer must make choices before editing.
Why am I making this? What message am I trying to convey?
These two fundamental choices will have a profound influence on what ends up on the frame. Many times, these are not conscious thoughts, but rather instincts. Nonetheless, they happen and photographers make framed pieces based on those (and other) driving forces.

Many times it is the respect of other photographers that drives the editing decisions of a photographer. Or in the case above, photo-manipulation. There are respect issues between photo-manipulations and most "conservative" photographic artists. The final output after all, is no longer a photograph, so (according to them) the piece can be relegated to the side of the road of the photographic arts community.

"Too much retouching"  "Too saturated" "It doesn't look real".

It's not real. It was never meant to depict realism. This result was never meant to be a photograph.
The decisions made for this piece certainly started with a photograph. The making of it included every technical skill anyone else needs to know to create it. If during the editing process, a photographer feels the piece is not done, should he/she stop to please a narrow field of audience, or should she/he allow the process to continue to its intended end (message)?

For me, the photograph was wonderful. But it was not done.
Now, it is.

An obscure artist once said, "Art is not an expectation, it is neither bound by expectations, or anybody's assumed order of things". Of course the artist meant "Art is not necessarily based on your  expectation, it is neither bound by your expectations, or anybody else's assumed order of things."

If the image in front of you moves you. It works and has accomplished its creative intent.
No expectations, no fuss.

...and yes,  I am the obscure artist.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Occasionally, We See

Occasionally, We See

Life in the forest
A solemn blanket

Covering us
From the outside world

Our happiness
Enveloped in the shade

Until one day
We look up

The blanket pulled away
Reveals potential
'Til this very moment

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

They Fly At Night

They Fly at Night

And no one sees
No one knows

No one cares, virtually 

We fly at night

Carefully navigating
Dimly lit forms

Finding our way

No one sees
No one knows

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The City

The City

Never stops breathing
Never stops moving

If you wake at 4:00 a.m.
And visit a location

It can be still
For a moment

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Crow's Delight

The assembly cries out
Where will we strike next?
Whose misfortune
Will become our bidding?

We are many
Impatient, biting, among the flock
Loud voices
Our song

Deceptive theater
For prey identified
Gathers acquiesced determination
Molding the whole

Monday, August 7, 2017

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Yell Fire!

When the forest catches fire
We scream and perspire
When the sky catches fire
It becomes our desire

Friday, July 28, 2017

Opinions Suck - So Here's Mine

Recently, I have read/seen several posts/videos from fellow photographers who have expressed their opinions concerning the practice of making photographs. Some of what is said seeks to truly strengthen the art form. Others...not so much.
Opinions are "funny" things. They either seek to support or criticize a specific view or practice. Typically they end up doing both. So when someone states "that's what photography is to me"...that sends up red flags for me.
When I hear/read something like that, my first thought is to break down what has been said, to see what is actually being said. In that one specific case, it was a film photographer stating what he feels "is photography" (paraphrase). The statement is a support of what he was doing and a slight against digital photography (and photographers) and its technological advances.
His case was presented with various over-saturated visual examples garnered from the web (I assume). Based on what I read, the assumptive conclusion is....that what he does is better, more artistic than those bastardized outcomes of the craft. Several other photographers chimed in in complete agreement for his excellent writing.
Let's set this straight. If you are a film photographer...for whatever reason, I respect you. Other photographers respect you. But, you are not better (than anyone else) for it. Neither do you set the standard by which other artistic photographers need to aspire to.
An artistic endeavor is an intimate journey  that each artist plots and struggles with at every turn. If an artist is lazy, and relies solely on post processing for the final result, who am I, and who are you to to disparage?
Film is a big part of a much bigger field of view, understanding that will take us much further than disrespecting the latest technology and those who employ it.
The final work will speak for itself, and will illicit favor, disdain or something in-between. THAT is predicated on the viewer. Not me, not you.
Live peaceably 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Four Years Back

Hey Hey!
So four years ago, I "deleted" this blog and decided to go in different directions as far as providers are concerned.
Since then, I have tried a few things and have come full circle and returned to this format.
It's simple.
It's free.
So, it fits.
Suffice it to say that I am also back on Smugmug in a more "fine art" approach for sales and single work features. Their format is great for that, but their blog procedures are "arduous" compared to the ease of this page.

So here we go again!

My next post has (again) more words concerning film photography, film photographers, and the apparent need to "define" what photography "is" and "is not".

Not controversial, more observational.