personal

What Men Want

I remember something that was in circulation back around, I believe, the 1990s. Went like this:

Women just want to be listened to and men just want to be trusted.

Okay. At the risk of losing a great percentage of readers at this point, I have to admit that, yes, this actually resonated with me.

Because somehow I’ve always wanted more than anything else that every women I ever encountered, even if I’d just exchanged a glance with her, could trust me.

And when I leave this earth, I never wanted any woman or girl to be able to say, that guy was physically inappropriate with me. He was a creep. 

Sadly, many could (and doubtless will) say, that guy was physically inappropriate FOR me. But that’s another problem entirely. 😉

Il Fornaio

 


Beverly Hills can be one of the coziest places on earth. Sitting alone in Il Fornaio. Sipping a strong Italian coffee. Cocooned by beauty. Nibbling at a crunchy bran muffin. Outside a late afternoon chill coming off the Pacific that says November is very near.

I used to catch a bus right outside my house. It was almost dead silent whenever there was new snow. The bus would wind its way three miles through my hometown and finally take me into what was at one time the largest steel mill in the world. In the Seamless Tube Dept. a corrugated metal building probably ten football fields long in the middle of an eleven-mile sprawl along the Ohio River, I’d huddle around a coke jack for warmth, oblivious to the black soot I would later cough up or pull out of my nose, eat Chef Boyardee out of a vending machine, and wash it all down with the worst excuse for coffee I’d ever dare to swallow.

If my year-old blackened ear plugs were jammed far enough into my head and I had a warm place to sit for awhile, the steel mill could be cozy, too, I guess. Especially when I daydreamed of someplace far far away.

 

 

 

A Birthday Card to My Self

L1083853

I snapped this scene about 500 feet from my front door last year at this time. It captures the cool late-afternoon shade provided by the massive buildings in Century City and, here and there, an actual tree or two.

I’m 60 years old today. For a person from where I’m from — anyone, I would think, but certainly me — how far I have come to get where I am today is something that is never far from my mind. So, for me, this image is a representation and reminder of that as well.

Anyway, have a great day everyone and I will now continue trying to forget how old I am and go on with the happy illusion that I’m 30 years younger. 😉

Photograph

IMG_1713

Ev’ry time i see your face,
It reminds me of the places we used to go.
I want you here to have and hold,
As the years go by and we grow old

I’m so embarrassed… AGAIN! (another repost)

20121223-L1001437

For the longest time, I’ve wondered, ‘Why don’t any of the wonderful people who follow my blog and like my posts ever post anything to THEIR WordPress blogs so that I can like and support THEIR stuff?”

Yes I did. Wonder. Such a thing.

Probably not as many times as someone in the world wondered, “Why doesn’t this self-centered schmuck ever hit ‘like’ on any of MY WordPress posts?”

Wow.

I even said to some fine fellow who was incredibly supportive of this blog and after many messages had passed between us, something like, “Gee, I’d love to see some of YOUR stuff sometime. Do YOU have your own blog or website?”

That was actually the last I spoke to him. Nothing at all after that question. The line went dead.

So I’m on this thing called The Reader yesterday, I’m sure you’ve all heard of it, scrolling down and thinking, “Wow, WordPress does a really nice job of selecting material from its tens of thousands of blogs just for me. I really like all this stuff. Good job of curating, WP!”

Then I see MY latest blog post. And NOW I’m excited. I said to my more significant other, “Honey, look! WordPress is featuring my post in The Reader.”

I did say that. Yesterday.

She was like, really? What does that mean? And I said, “Well, it means that probably everyone interested in photography will see my post in their Reader, it’s like being featured on the front page. Or something.”

(I probably shouldn’t be posting any of this. Do my face palm in silence and move on.)

But then, sharp detective that I am, I sez to myself, “Myself, this is going to mean a significant increase in traffic. Gird your loins, brother. This is your moment.”

My ship had finally come in. I thought.

But then when I checked my stats… 😦

I won’t drag this out any longer. Yes, I am obviously a self-centered schmuck. And I had seriously conflated The Reader with, “Freshly Pressed”

Somehow.

I just want to say now to all of you SO familiar names who have hung in there, liking my posts, THANK YOU for your patience with me. Seriously, thank you. I would like to say that I’m just so busy, there certainly is something busy going on inside my head, but I don’t think that’s the issue. I’ve always been this way. Conflating. Confusing.

I’ll give you one very early example. First grade. Catholic school. 1963. Sometime after the Christmas break. I was sent to the principal’s office, I can’t remember what for. Sister Victor was the principal. Yep, that was her name and that’s who she was. I vainly tried to make an excuse … something about the 3 months we had ‘off’ for the Christmas vacation.

You see, loyal readers, I had conflated SUMMER with the 10 days of Christmas break.

Sister Victor was not generally known as a forgiving nun and she snarled at me that we didn’t get three months off for Christmas and then a few minutes later threw me down a flight of stairs.

True story.

Anyway. I am sorry, fellow, WordPress photo-bloggers. I can see now that most of you really are posting YOUR stuff to your WordPress blogs and I am blown away at the quality and breadth of the great photography and creativity you all are putting forth into the world… and… I’m LIKING it all as fast as I can. 😉

20 Years Ago Today

MTL_135sheriBW-Edit

On the evening of August 11th, 1995, I met my best friend, Sheri. Remembering her today as well as expressing my endless gratitude for all the amazing gifts she provided to me in my life. Bernadette and I will always miss you and love you, Sheri! 

This is Where I Live Today

1424569_1148291431864450_1541022826462144489_n

Our long national nightmare is over. Nixon has resigned. Wait a minute. No. We have moved after 25 years at our last residence.

It has been horrific. Like scraping moss off a rock. And we didn’t have a lot of time either. I won’t go into details. We could have ended up anywhere. I can’t tell you of the horrors we have seen for near $3000 a month. Rents in Los Angeles are outrageous. We had enjoyed 25 years of rent control. Our rent now will double.

As bad as that is, it wasn’t the worse thing by miles.

The worst thing, the thing that, quite honestly, at this stage of our lives, hit us like a terrible medical diagnosis, was that our happy lives might be over. I will tell you and you can believe me or not but the truth is our very happiness and futures were at stake. LA can now be just a brutally difficult place to live. So finding the right place, or not, was a process fraught with some of darkest concerns either of us have ever had.

11111629_1148291445197782_7080554878599701190_n

Well. Fuck it all, that’s not how it turned out. Now we can breathe. We’re going to be fine. Somehow we found a place that is perfect for us. It has an incredible history which I will share at some other time. Right now, I’m writing this last night. Or something like that. You can probably see that my brain is fried. We haven’t actually moved until tomorrow. Wow. That’s not actually English either. Anyway. By the time this is published, we will be there. Or here. Whatever.

11401044_1148291458531114_7859071170951372388_n 11430140_1150616918298568_6357560954452233291_n

Here’s a shot from the 1950s. That’s LA in the salad days of Hollywood’s Film Noir era. Or I’m thinking Val Lewton. Foggy night. Shadows and trees rustling. 😉

1950s

Happy Birthday WIFEY!!!

40 years of love and happiness! Love you and let’s keep that smile on your face for another 40 and then some!

I’ll Leave You With These Four…

L1064966-Edit-2 L1064962-Edit-2 L1064948-Edit L1064946-Edit
Hello, everyone. I’ve been posting an image or more on my blog here almost every day for the last couple of years. I have to say… it may not have always looked like it but it really was a lot of effort. And it has now become very hard because while I’m still shooting street photography and uploading images I don’t feel about them the same way I felt about much of the stuff I’ve posted over the last two years.

Giving myself a little credit, maybe it’s not just about feelings but about the kinds of critical judgments that everyone who shoots and chooses their better shots makes every day. When I look back at much of the work I’ve posted in the last few years I feel it’s been pretty good. I’m proud of it even now. So I’m going to just trust myself and wake up to the reality that I’m not producing what I want to at this time and I’m not going to force the issue by posting images I’m not completely behind.

I also want to free my mind up to pursue some other things that photography has pushed to the back burner and I’m anxious and excited to get to work on these other projects. And there are photo projects as well. Anyway, I know I’ve bent ears here before declaring that I was going to do this or do that. But I really am going to take a break from 50lux.com for a good solid amount of time.

Of course, if I get anything really wonderful it will certainly find its way here. And I have it in mind to collect on a special page or even maybe the front page here my favorite shots of the last few years.

I again want to thank every one of you who follow this blog, artists all of you, no doubt, for welcoming my photography into the WordPress world. Hope to be back one of these days with new photography that represents a change in direction for me as an image maker.

Thank you again and I look forward to having more time to visit all of your blogs and take in all of your great works here on WordPress.

Best of luck,

Donald

P.S. About these four images…

I went to the Getty Center yesterday morning to see the Minor White exhibition. I’d only seen a small bit of his work prior to finding the article I posted a few days ago announcing the show at the Getty. I actually have a book about his establishing the photography department at Cal Arts. But when I saw that his work was being featured at the Getty I Googled him and took a good look at what came up. I was stunned. I felt a connection to what I was seeing that I can’t really describe.

So we jumped over to the Getty at the first opportunity. I had a feeling the images would effect me and they did. Very much so. The Sound of One Hand sequence made me feel just odd in my stomach it was so representative of some kind of a note or tone that I felt deep in my creative self. Almost jealousy. lol. So I kind of had my world rocked there for a minute.

Then we went upstairs. O mio Dio! Directly upstairs from Minor White was a room full of some of the greatest artistic treasures on the face of the Earth. Degas. Manet. Monet. Cezanne. The one time most expensive painting ever sold at $52M. Van Gogh’s “Irisis”. I can’t describe the effect this all had on me today.

So we went outside and started roaming the exterior areas of the Getty Center. There’s a small brook running through the place over rocks and small waterfalls. I had Minor White’s images in my head and just started shooting, thinking about how I would turn these images into black & whites, like his. But I couldn’t do that. I like them the way they are. I hope you all do, too.

I’ll see you all back here periodically with more photography.

Till then much love and best wishes to everyone…

db

 

Inside My Mind Right Now

L1058746-Edit

Inside my mind right now it looks like this image. Except for National Geographic anything. They are not involved in any way. I have an incredible idea for a photographic project bordering on a life’s mission. It consumes every moment I’m online. I won’t talk about it publicly until I’m really well into actually shooting it but a huge part of it is research and planning.

As I’ve admitted in an earlier post, I have become ambivalent towards my LA street photography, a condition that comes at a very odd time considering one of my images will be featured in an exhibition at the Los Angeles Center of Photography. Printing, preparing, and presenting that image for exhibition was rewarding and a somewhat challenging experience that has led me to a different and much better place in terms of my own ability to get my images into a state where they can be viewed and sold.

I have now probably many dozens of images that I’ve been taking in the last month that I’m somehow unable to bring myself to share here. I don’t know why. The only thing I can offer is some vague feeling that they just aren’t good enough or don’t say any of the things I’ve typically wanted my images to say. I’ve had a feeling over the last year or so that I was in some kind of a sweet spot that might not last forever. I don’t know. Maybe I was right.

I really want to thank the many people, friends now, who have visiting and liked and commented on this blog over the last two years and ask for patience as I work through whatever it is I’m going through. You’re probably going to continue to see a lot of much older photography that I’ve done because while I’ve kind of grown kind of cold on the photography I’ve been doing lately, I’m simultaneously feeling a real appreciation and need to revisit and maybe even talk about all the stuff I used to do.

Anyway. The image above was taken yesterday, ironically and appropriately. Please know also that if you see current street photography here on this blog in the coming days and weeks, that I’m as dubious about its quality and worthiness as I possibly could be. To be perfectly honest.

Happy Birthday, Mrs. 50Lux!!!

DSC_7599

Happy Birthday, Sweetie!!!

To know you is to know someone special,
Someone with a warm and thoughtful way
Of making life especially nice for others
And adding so much sunshine to each day…

To know you is to want you to be happy
To have your every wish and dream come true
And so, not just at birthday time, but always,
You’re wished the best that life can bring to you!

Love you! Have a great day!

I Prefer To Make My Arguments in Pictures

20140119-L1042298-Edit

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