I Prefer To Make My Arguments in Pictures

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I’m a notoriously long-winded writer. Believe it or not, it’s true. And when I say notorious, I’m not kidding or exaggerating. I could bring 200 people who know me online here to attest that for most of the last 20 years, in our circle, I have been known as the KING of long-form internet diatribes.

I thought I’d be continuing that tradition here on my own damned blog, but curiously, that hasn’t been the case. And I have so much to say about photography. You have NO idea precisely how much I have to say about photography. But with every example I see of some other blogger pontificating about photography I’m driven deeper and deeper into a shell that, believe me, NOBODY knew I had. Except me.

I’m not minding it at all though. I’m having a ball. I feel freer than I have in many decades. I’m feeling that my street photography is in a pocket right now. I’ve never been more in control and capable of producing exactly what it is that I want to produce with my camera. Yes I want to do many other things this year with my camera and without it but right now I’m extremely content to communicate my vision through the street photography images that I’m making and showing here.

Thank you for visiting and I hope the trip here is more often than not worth your trouble.

db

23 comments

  1. Wow! The timing of your post couldn’t have been better coz lately I’ve been in two minds about letting words accompany my photographs.

    Raghu Rai, a Magnum photographer, recently said in a seminar that “Words don’t need to be the crutch of a photograph.” Something like that. I get his point but sometimes I feel that that is his opinion and if he doesn’t want to share his thoughts – on a stage he’s not paid to grace – then that’s his wish. Sure he’s a Magum photographer but. . .that doesn’t make him an arbiter!

    If you’ve seen my blog, you’ll know where I’m coming from. It’s new, only has half a dozen posts and majority of the photos are accompanied by words. That is something I’m still not clear on coz unlike you I can’t help scratching the itch to write. Sometimes I feel I should create a different blog meant only for writing. Sometimes I worry what other street photographers will think of me for sharing my views on my experience so far with street photography. But then I remember that I already have a place where I only share photos and no words. It’s called Flickr.

    I remember reading somewhere on your blog that you’re 53-years-old and have been photographing for decades. If you hadn’t mentioned this fact, I probably would’ve assumed you to be some twenty-something IT punk who only bought a Leica coz he had money to burn. No offence to you and other Leica users. But does it matter? Probably not but it’s always nice to know.

    I remember reading about that episode where your relatives had come to visit you and had a scary experience while driving through a seemingly rough hood. It was funny as well as insightful coz I had heard about racial tensions in USA and therefore, I also found it to be a good read.

    Compared to you I’m just a kid in photography, so, honestly, it would be really great to read about your experiences on the streets. I bet a lot of your followers won’t mind that at all. In case you start a new blog for your writing let us know. Don’t know about others but I’ll surely follow.

    Anyway, what you choose to do is your discretion. But it will be sad if you let your thoughts remain bottled up. Who knows how many young photographers could gain from your knowledge. . .

    Regards

    Timid

    1. Thank you so much for your comment and your support.

      one of the reasons why I don’t at this point write about photography per se is that I actually don’t even know where to start at this point. Where to begin? But you bring up a subject line that may be as good a place is any, and that Is the topic of equipment , why it matters, etc.

      One way to be successful with people, in general, is to tell them what they want to hear. I’m not accusing photo bloggers of being guilty of that, but there certainly has not been a shortage starting with, I think, famously, Ken Rockwell, of photographers out there Making the arguments that specific camera gear you choose, your equipment, your kit, your lenses, that none of it really matters in terms of the quality of the photography that you can produce.

      Is there some truth to that? Yes. Incredible talent And practiced skills are the best equipment that anybody could ever possess and it will shine through no matter what medium or mode of expression or, in this case, what type of camera or lens is being used.

      What’s kind of amazing and silly, however, is that because of this fact, and maybe, as I previously stated, maybe because of the need to blog something that doesn’t turn off 75% of those visiting your blog, the other part of this discussion. is Largely nonexistent.

      This while those same photographers pileup and review tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment, discerning for the world exactly what the differences are between five different 50 mm lenses., For instance.

      Very often in the medium of say, filmmaking, independent or creative filmmakers looking to impart part some different or unique look or feel to their end result will Discuss or even brag about how they sought out a certain type of film or cameras or lenses or other gear, choices they made, to give their film a different look. “I wanted to look this way, etc.” They will say.

      Choices they’re making are with equipment and materials. If everyone just use the same stuff, and processes, then the results most likely would have a very similar look and feel to it.

      Creative expression begins with the choices you make.

      Anyway, it’s a great place maybe to start delving into more conversation that focuses on photography here on this blog. And I thank you for maybe pushing the discussion into this area and giving me an idea of where to begin talking about Photography.

      Let’s just suffice to say right now though, however, for the moment, just to clear up any mystery, that it is my feeling and experience that the type of equipment you use matters a great deal Depending on what you are doing with your photography and how you want your photographic vision to be expressed. And I’ll make my points in a post that’s coming soon.

      I’m actually dictating this all into the notes app on my iPhone. So please forgive me if there is a errant sentence or two or you see something like “your mother wears army boots” As that was not my intention to write something like that.

      This is a great way to respond quickly and, without getting out of bed to boot.

      Thank you again!

      PS. Regarding the question of writing and photographs, I mean, seriously, I think that’s fantastic that you write and share your thoughts with your images, that’s really why I have a blog, it has been my intention to do the same. And I have in many posts.

      But I haven’t been consistent, and I certainly haven’t been sharing much of what I’m really thinking. Especially on the subject of photography. I think one of the reasons is I don’t want to be burdened with doing it regularly, or with the aftermath of dealing with the ‘splash’ Backlash, blowback, whatever you want to call it.

      I’m snapping pictures now, very happy, and in a great creative place, and I don’t want that to be taken over or even pushed aside slightly by a bunch of Internet Discourse that I am then forced to engage in.

      I read something or heard an interview with Maureen Dowd the great (or quite horrible) New York Times political writer who talked about when she first was offered the job of being one of esteemed twice weekly columnists at the Times.

      She said it was great but she was first terrified, and then, in the initial months or even year, burdened, overwhelmed, by the need to create these stand-alone opinion Pieces twice a week.

      If the venerable MoDo has or experienced those kinds of reservations and anxieties and feelings of being overwhelmed At the job of writing a twice a week column, then I’m wondering how these many photo bloggers, who I am not anxious to join on this particular path, can keep up the pace of extensively or largely written daily blog entries.

      Anyway. A WordPress blog is a great medium, a great conduit for just about anyone’s creativity to be delivered to the greater world. For a very long time on the Internet my game has been to write something provocative and then be alternatively horrified or eating up the wallowing in the aftermath, the splash, as I called it.

      I’m just very leery of doing that or allowing that to happen here on this blog where I’m just really enjoying Posting pictures.

      šŸ˜‰

  2. Don,

    Keep doing what you’ve been doing. I think there are enough opinionistas in the photo blog world to keep us all distracted already, and what you’re doing, and showing!, with your photography is a better way to say what you mean with/by/from your photography than any overload of verbiage.

    I love the way this series has been developing over the past year. Keep going!

    Godfrey

  3. Donald, I’m often thinking the same thing! I have so much to write about photography, street photography, gear, technique, travel, etc. that I could probably fill two or three books! That said, sometimes I simply want the photo to speak. Let it do all the talking!

    The statement “…every example I see of some other blogger pontificating about photography Iā€™m driven deeper and deeper into a shell…” was interesting as I feel this way too. I have several posts already written that delve into specific photographic areas but I refuse to post them as I often feel that everything regarding photography has already been said.

    The joy of street photography is a story is often told with very little additional text required. I find you blog has a nice balance of photography and text.

    Have a great Sunday.

  4. $3.85 is too much for gas. She’s trying to figure out how to tell him not to wear her 1993 jean shorts and her shoes anymore w/ out hurting his feelings. He burns easily.

  5. I think you do a fantastic job representing subjects in your pictures. I think I enjoy this site so much because the photos are thought-provoking, and cause ,me to have to figure out what’s actually going on in some of the scenes. For instance, the facial expressions of the folks in the pics. Are the people bored? Are they strangers sitting together? Are they mad at eat other? I like that. I am a true ‘follower’ in that when I choose to follow someone’s blog, I actually DO read a great part of what they write. That gets to be burdensome at times. This is a very welcome break in between readings.

    1. Thank you, Morguie. But you are like me in that you spend a great deal of time ‘reading’ people’s faces, their gestures, body language, relationships to each other and their surroundings. Images provide a lot of reading materials.

      Thank you for your kind words.

      db

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