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The Great Pretenders Part I: Hollywood’s Carbon Tax is Exposed

(The following is the first piece from my new Substack newsletter #MeToo CONFIDENTIAL which I’m posting here on 50lux because I’m currently in the mood for some system redundancy. Hope you all enjoy and please forgive me if this isn’t your cup of tea or, if it is, bring your self over to metoo.substack.com and enjoy your tea there with me!)

As the long overdue Summer of 2021 Time’s Up reckoning continues with CEO Tina Tchen deservedly following the embattled organization’s board chair Roberta Kaplan down Resignation Lane, I’d like to start off my very first #MeToo CONFIDENTIAL Substack newsletter with something I wrote over two and a half years ago.

“The Great Pretenders

The entertainment industry’s awards season has arrived in earnest and the January 6th Golden Globes brought up some concerns I’ve had since last year’s telecast. 

The first is that Hollywood hates #MeToo and the pretty pony it rode in on. The second is that Time’s Up was and is Hollywood’s attempt to create its own social justice hashtag phenomenon, once again coming from its own ranks, but this time a viral movement the industry can both take credit for and, more importantly, control entirely by limiting its focus. 

Yes it must be said. Time’s Up accomplishes great things connecting victims of workplace sexual misconduct with legal representation around the country. But that’s really the point of Time’s Up. The “around the country” part. Meaning far from Hollywood, where Time’s Up was founded with entertainment industry money by entertainment industry lawyers. 

Think of Time’s Up as Hollywood’s carbon tax. Do undeniably good works in Kentucky and Louisiana to garner good will from women’s groups and the public in order to deflect scrutiny from its own industry where historically rampant workplace sexual misconduct ignited the #MeToo revolution in 2017. 

It’s my opinion that Time’s Up represents a small optically correct self-serving pseudo-step in the right direction that puts many sincere and committed women in a position of being used by the prevailing powers of their various industries to appropriate the energy and hunger for change that gave birth to and drives the #MeToo movement.  

How else do you explain the Golden Globes telecast? How do you explain an industry that has, over and over again down through the decades, memorialized most every conscience-wrenching moment in the history of our nation’s onward march towards a more civil and just society, choosing to forego any mention at all of #MeToo, what the Los Angeles Times called the ‘most significant’ social justice movement in modern history? 

How do you explain a global phenomenon exploding off the Twitter account of one of Hollywood’s own, actress Alyssa Milano, taking the world into what has been referred to as the #MeToo era, and then juxtapose that with the person who triggered it all sitting quietly in the ballroom of the Beverly Hilton, given not a moment nor a mention on stage, her contribution to the forward progress of the entire species, as well as her presence in the industry she has worked in her entire life, all, completely and abjectly, ignored?

Alyssa Milano has advocated for the Equal Rights Amendment in the halls of congress and made her activist presence known by placing herself before cameras on a host of bedrock liberal issues from animal rights to gun control reform to more humane treatment of migrants at the border as well as being a leading voice in the push back against any perceived encroachment on the public’s right to vote. 

She speaks out daily from her Twitter account and in public appearances and has been recognized for her efforts by being honored by organizations such as the ACLU and GLAAD. A brief bio accompanying her recent op-ed in the Washington Post states that Ms. Milano is “the founder of #NoRA, focused on counteracting the influence of the gun lobby in the American political system.”

But it was #MeToo that placed the former child star in the pages of TIME Magazine along with the other famous faces who came forward before, during, and after the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke in October of 2017.

And it was Ms. Milano’s tweeting of the idea that brought her, along with victims’ advocate Tarana Burke, to their present status as social justice icons at the forefront of a movement the impact of which will continue to grip the public conversation around sexual misconduct for years to come. 

If Hollywood truly embraced #MeToo and what it represents in terms of progress for victims of sexual misconduct in workplaces everywhere and the effort to curtail a future wherein countless more victims will face the same abhorrent behaviors in pursuit of careers in its own industry, then one year out that industry would have certainly, at the very least, found time in a three-hour telecast to mention the person whose tweet and celebrity activism set off #MeToo. 

At best we might have seen an appropriately emotional and uplifting video montage highlighting the social justice sea-change the #MeToo hashtag movement had brought worldwide and the role the now unstoppable member of its own acting/activist community played in using the celebrity Hollywood afforded her to help make it all happen. 

But underestimating the willingness and the power of Hollywood to influence and control the #MeToo narrative and thus defend itself against the corrective efforts of something born from a desire to curtail sexual abuse in its own workplace is to overlook the greatest threat to #MeToo that it will likely ever face: The massive entertainment and media empire the hashtag phenomenon helped bring to a reckoning can easily absorb the principle voices of the movement and by doing so control both its focus and its targets. 

So instead of any mention of #MeToo at the Golden Globes, what we saw were Time’s Up pins. And Alyssa Milano would be afforded only one brief instant on television as the camera cut to her sitting docile and unbothered in the audience, seemingly happy just to have been invited. 

From the moment I first heard the words ‘Times Up’ on the stage at last year’s Golden Globes ceremony, I found the timing dubious and the wording and focus of the movement to be suspect. That something might be offered up as an alternative to #MeToo, however, and so quickly after the hashtag phenomenon’s explosion into a global conversation around sexual misconduct in Hollywood, was not a surprise to me at all. 

Hollywood had no control over #MeToo and #MeToo was wreaking havoc on Hollywood. What the industry needed above all at that precise moment was a catchy hashtag movement of its own but one that was subject to its own influence. Hollywood has always been in the business of cultural appropriation. From political movements to the most important American roots music to teen trends in everything from dancing and new waves in street style, Hollywood’s creativity in turning such culturally important moments into massive profits is unprecedented in the annals of American business.” 

(Yes, there was more to this piece and yes, you would want to see it. But no, I don’t want that kind of heat yet so I’ll stop right there.)

After #MeToo exploded in October of 2017, the rapidly approaching awards show season, beginning with the Golden Globes on January 6th, was Hollywood’s best chance to quickly rehabilitate its reputation with the public. They took the opportunity that very early January telecast afforded them and made damage control gold from it. It was a brilliant scheme, the imagery was perfect, and no entity in recorded human history is better at creating an image and selling it to the public than Hollywood. 

I know now that I wasn’t alone in cringing every time I heard “Time’s Up” during that telecast. Maybe it was because I’d been anticipating that Hollywood would try to somehow offset #MeToo by finding a way to appropriate the public call for change the hashtag phenom had triggered. But I couldn’t have dreamed up anything as diabolically brilliant as Time’s Up. In one fell swoop Hollywood created a viral hashtag movement of its own, but one with which it could obscure its true motives beneath the subterfuge of also having established an organization of women lawyers who truly did good works on behalf of powerless sexual misconduct victims badly in need of legal representation. 

Of course, we now know that that’s not all Time’s Up was doing. But, as it turns out, you really can only fool some of the people, some of the time. And you can only undermine the efforts of women to seek redress against sexual misconduct in their workplaces for so long before the patterns become clear and those very women would begin to expose the darker purposes of Time’s Up. 

So Hollywood won great favor with women’s and victim advocacy groups for Time’s Up helping those in places far from Hollywood or anywhere else the most powerful abusers in America lurk. On that end they certainly kept up the payments on their carbon tax. But what would they be getting away with in return? What toxic behaviors by powerful men would be covered up and permitted to go on damaging the lives of women? What did Time’s Up not want anyone to see?

How would the dirty end of the carbon tax deal play out in the real lives of women who’d experienced sexual misconduct in entertainment industry workplaces or in the vast political ecosystems that we now know would be near and dear to the hearts of those behind Time’s Up, and the organization of entertainment industry lawyers and Democratic Party operatives who were making the decisions at Time’s Up Now and the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund?

Well, we’re hearing what that all looked like in the stories coming now from many sources, most famously Enough is Enough: An Open Letter from Survivors to TIME’S UP + National Women’s Law Center | by Alison Turkos | Aug, 2021 | Medium calling out Time’s Up for its many failings. The letter was co-signed by nearly 150 survivors including 17 obviously exasperated current and former Time’s Up clients and staffers.

The letter opens with the charge that Time’s Up has abandoned those it was supposed to be helping, saying the organization instead has been “working with our abusers in the shadows.” Of course it has.

“There is a consistent pattern of behavior where the decision-makers at TIME’S UP continue to align themselves with abusers at the expense of survivors. TIME’S UP should be ashamed.”

Later, the otherwise brilliant and brave letter makes this assertion. 

“TIME’S UP and the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund were founded and funded to be visionary organizations meant to provide three-dimensional support to victims and survivors as we navigate the legal system and the public eye. TIME’S UP and TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund were built to advocate for those who make the bold decision to hold our abusers accountable.”

I’m sorry, Ms. Turkos, but that’s just not true. It’s my most firm belief that Time’s Up was founded for the reasons laid out in this piece by me here in 2021 and, as I’ve shown, my suspicions about the organization go back as far as the moment I first heard those two words on the 2018 Golden Globes stage. 

I’m certainly not the only one who believes these things about the nefarious intent that inspired the creation of Time’s Up. You can be sure of that. And I don’t believe Time’s Up has lost its way. What I do believe is that thanks to you and the many women who are bravely standing up now telling of their experiences trying to find support and justice through Time’s Up, the duplicitous scam this organization always was is finally being exposed for what it is.

The first direct and damaging hit landed by the press on Time’s Up came back in April in The Daily Beast’s Insiders Say #MeToo Group Time’s Up Has Lost Its Way (thedailybeast.com) by Emily Shugerman. Ms. Shugerman’s article opened the Pandora’s box of what was actually going on at Time’s Up. (Now former) Time’s Up CEO Tina Tchen is quoted above the body of the article by a source as admitting in a staff meeting, “We have always been an organization of wealthy and powerful people,” Tchen said, according to the source. “That is what Time’s Up is.” 

Well what does THAT look like, Tina? We might all have been wondering before we even began reading the piece. Shugerman does not waste our time, describing Tchen herself as having conducted a “whisper campaign” against the documentary film On The Record that detailed sexual assaults perpetrated by hip hop and fashion mogul Russell Simmons. Tchen is said to have told staffers that the producers of the film were “not good people.”

But Tchen might have hastened her own departure from the Time’s Up stage when she shared that sentiment with one of the absolutely last individuals on earth she should have, Drew Dixon, the music producer whose experiences with Simmons function as the documentary’s main story line.  

“Tina Tchen said to me on the phone the night Oprah backed out of the film, ‘The filmmakers are bad people’ and when I disagreed with her she said, ‘You have to trust me on this,’” the survivor said. “She implied that Time’s Up would support me as a survivor, but only if I backed away from the film.”

The article adds the following note about the survivor quoted here, who has given permission for me to identify her as Ms. Dixon.

“The survivor spoke to The Daily Beast on the record, but later asked for her name to be withheld after a founding member of Time’s Up sent an email lashing out at her for participating in this story.”

(So let me add a note of my own here. Unless I’m given express permission to use a name I’m going to treat any survivor I allude to here on #MeToo CONFIDENTIAL as if they too might be a potential target of emails lashing out at them for having their names appear on my newsletter. And so for that reason I won’t be, by and large, using survivor’s names here. There will certainly be exceptions as I feel they are warranted such as in the case of very public persons or those who I have decided must be called out for any of the many problems associated with the current state of #MeToo. But if anyone recognizes themselves by way of their story being told here and wishes that their actual names should appear then please drop me a line and I’ll rewrite those sections to positively ID you.) 

Caught Up

Last Saturday night, on Twitter, peddling her latest piece on the troubles at Time’s Up, New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor, who won a Pulitzer exposing Harvey Weinstein, the rapist whose decades long reign of terror in Hollywood was ended by the women he’d assaulted speaking out to Kantor and her partner Meghan Twohey, as well as The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow, got her own reputation entangled in Time’s Up’s problems, partly for when she used a superlative to describe a statement by Time’s Up co-founder Shonda Rhimes regarding her organization’s current troubles. Kantor called Rhimes’s comment one of the most forceful quotes she’s ever published in her career as a journalist. 

That tweet, and the glossing over tone of the article itself, angered many on Twitter.

So I’d like to end my first piece here on #MeToo CONFIDENTIAL with a superlative statement of my own for Ms. Kantor. Here it is.  

From the moment it was conceived of in some industry law firm or top agency’s executive suite, to its disingenuous launching at the 2018 awards shows, right up until this very moment, there has NEVER been a more deliberate betrayal of a social justice movement than what Time’s Up perpetrated against the women in Hollywood, in politics, and doubtless elsewhere who tried to fight back against their powerful abusers by daring to come forward and simply say, #MeToo.

Postscript:

Make no mistake, the forced resignations of CEO Tina Tchen and board chair Roberta Kaplan from their leadership positions at Time’s Up is a great victory for women everywhere and survivors of sexual misconduct in particular. That it was a collective unified expression by survivors saying Enough is Enough that ultimately drove both Tchen and Kaplan out is a graphic demonstration of the true power that exists when large numbers of women, or anyone else, speaking as one, demand better from an organization that is supposed to be operating on their behalf.

This victory belongs to those women who rose up and demanded accountability and that there should be serious consequences for those responsible for their betrayal at Time’s Up.

But if anyone believes that the intrinsic nature of what Time’s Up is and the fundamental reasons it was founded are things that have or can be changed by simply replacing its current leadership, I would caution that such an outcome is extremely unlikely.

What is much more likely, in my opinion, is that those who continue to place their faith in Time’s Up will inevitably find themselves right back where they were just a few days ago with this organization, facing the same crushing disappointments as it continues to undermine survivors seeking support and justice by way of its promised assistance.

Because I don’t believe that Time’s Up was created for the purpose of doing what it purports itself to have been created to do. In fact, I believe the opposite. I believe that Time’s Up was created as a diversion from the infinitely more potent #MeToo movement. That its true purpose was to dazzle and distract the public and women’s rights advocates’ attentions alike away from #MeToo by accomplishing truly good works, far from its bases of power, for women who badly needed the legal help Time’s Up could provide them. But all while acting, as one survivor put it, as a spider’s web to attract and capture and ultimately frustrate others who turned to the organization seeking support and justice after facing abuse at the hands of the powerful and well connected.

These are the things I believe. But they only scratch at the surface of what I’m going to be writing about here on my new Substack newsletter.

Please subscribe if you don’t want to miss any future pieces by me and rest assured they will be arriving here and in your inboxes very soon.

Coming next week: The Great Pretenders Part II: Nexus of Evil

Doesn’t that sound like fun? You don’t want to miss it!

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What We’re Talking About When We Talk About Light

Apologies to Raymond Carver. Reposted from the early days of 50lux.com I think of the best stuff when I’m half asleep. It’s called hypnagogia and …

What We’re Talking About When We Talk About Light

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If you’re reading this then you too are participating in an experiment to see whether I can find happiness in this new completely changed version of WordPress. Let’s see how this works.

Memorial Day… Again?

This is a repost of the very first real blog entry (after Hello World!) on this website back in 2012. I was in a very bad place at that time. My best friend was dying. I was not good with that. I was in one of those places where a person has no patience for the simpering superficial bullshit people tell each other mostly to make themselves feel better about themselves.

And although I feel strongly (always) about the message of this post, I didn’t repost it the last few Memorial Days. I was probably in a better mood. This year though, with Memorial Day coming so closely on the heels of more gut wrenching domestic tragedies, and given everything else I see on the streets and read in the newspaper, I’m once again in a dark and unforgiving mood about my country. So fuck it.

Robert Frank’s ‘The Americans’ exposed much of the truth about America. We might have looked at that work and been properly shamed and sought to make a course correction. But we didn’t do that. Anyway. Enjoy this holiday. Don’t thank our troops. Remember instead the dead ones, and their wives, and their children, and their mothers, and their fathers. And forgive me for encroaching into sanctimonious behavior with a self-righteous attitude. I have no room to talk. It’s taken me over half a century to finally wake up.

Memorial Day

Cookouts. Barbecue. Hot dogs and hamburgers. Beer. Friends and family. Unofficial start of summer. Hell yeah! That’s what Memorial Day is all about. Right? Oh, and, of course, the Memorial Day mattress sale at Macy’s.

Then there’s those people who try to remind you of the more sober aspects of the holiday. Sanctimoniously thanking ‘our’ soldiers. Does that really stick with you or are they just as annoying as the people at Christmas telling us all to remember the spirit of Christmas and that Christ ‘our’ savior was born on Christmas Day?

So they had this event down at a new memorial in Irvine for service men and women who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. I saw it on the 11 o’clock news. The Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial looks really nice and is said to be the first of its kind in the country honoring those who have fallen in the wars on terrorism we’ve been fighting for the last eleven or so years.

But they’ve got this open mic thing going. And the wives and mothers of those who were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan come up to the mic and, if you didn’t see it, I’m telling you these women are just fucking raw. All are emotional but more than a few can barely get their words out; they’re just dying up there.

Blubbering women. Most of them young enough to be my daughter, if I’d had one. Talking about what they feel on Memorial Day.

While these women are stepping up to the mic, one at a time, to tell you the names of their husbands and sons and what happened to them – as best as they can between the sniveling and gasping and choked-off words – all over this country, millions of Americans are getting drunk, washing down burgers with Bud Lite, laughing the day away talking easily about everything that careless partying Americans talk about on a summer holiday together. Most Americans are having a good time, a welcome day off from work, celebrating the start of summer and vacation time – which is and always has been the real point of Memorial Day in our culture.

A really young woman steps up to the mic in Irvine. Her two hands are in a wrestling match with each other as she speaks.

“My name is Brooke Singer and my husband was killed in January.”

Brooke looks to be about 22. She’s wearing a pretty black dress with nickle-sized white polka dots and spaghetti straps that cut into the soft skin of her shoulders. She seems to have more to say but after that one solitary sentence she puts the back of her right hand to her face and unsuccessfully tries to stifle a sob. That hand has a mind of its own and, almost to conceal the degree to which it is shaking, Brooke drops it momentarily but then quickly raises it back again to cover her mouth, which is contorted in a way she’d obviously rather the entire world doesn’t see.

A girl who looks like she could be Brooke’s younger sister stands helplessly to her left. A woman who must be her mother puts her arm on Brooke’s back and whispers something into her ear.

If you need to be told at this point that Memorial Day isn’t about cookouts and really good shopping then I don’t know what to say to you except that you’re not alone. Not in my America.

But if you still think it’s about thanking ‘our’ soldiers and telling them how much we love them and appreciate what they’re doing for us then you really need to either wake up or grow up or maybe just look up the word ‘memorial’ in a dictionary.

If this country can ever find its soul again it will be on some hopefully not-too-distant Memorial Day. One day when enough Americans are finally able to look squarely and, maybe more than anything else, responsibly, at young women who can barely breathe as they muster the courage to stand in front of a microphone in a public square and somehow manage to choke out the names of their dead husbands.

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Film images made with a Leica M7 and 50mm 2.0 Leica Summicron lens.

City of Night

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I grew up in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. Aliquippa was the home of a giant steel mill; at one time it was the largest in the world. The entire monstrosity was near 11 miles long and employed close to 15k workers.

The town was like something out of a rust-belt boom-town dream. Or was it a nightmare? Aliquippa was in the Guiness Book of World Records for having the most bars per square mile. A recent article in our local newspaper put it this way. “Aliquippa was a dirty little town of 30,000 with more bars, bordellos and gambling rooms than most would care to admit. In 1918, a state Supreme Court justice offered the following assessment of Aliquippa:

It is said that the region is largely peopled by uneducated foreigners, who invariably carry concealed deadly weapons; that murders are common; and that when a quarrel ensues, the question as to who shall be the murdered…

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Faces of Ancient Street Shots of Los Angeles

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More from the Nikon Coolpix 950. Probably from around 2000 to 2004. I’m like Vivian Maier Lite. Less calories. Less filling. Etc. Please enjoy responsibly.

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Son of Even More Ancient Street Shots of Los Angeles

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Yes it just keeps on going. I THINK all or most of these were taken, as were the rest in this week’s blast from the past, with the Nikon Coolpix 950. Trusty little devil. Between 2000 and 2004. Which is mighty trusty indeed for a first generation digital camera. Solid.

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More, Even Better, Ancient Street Shots of Los Angeles

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Again, these images were taken with one of the first great digital cameras, the Nikon Coolpix 950. Probably from around 2000 to 2004. I had so much fun with this camera that twisted the part with the viewfinder from the side with the lens. Twisty little sucker. Like having a viewfinder camera and I don’t know why I remember it being ‘live view.’ Maybe I’m misremembering. Anyway. Yet even more images to come tomorrow.

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My Ancient Street Shots of Los Angeles

Very busy time for me. Please accept and enjoy these collections from last summer while I re-situate. 😉

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All of these images predate even my first DSLR, the Nikon D70. These were, believe it or not, taken with one of the first great digital cameras, the Nikon Coolpix 950. Probably from around 2000 to 2004. Yes, I’ve been doing this a long time. More to come.

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Nikon D70: My First DSLR – Reposted

Copy - DSC_0021I’m going through some archive realignment ordeals lately but the upside is I am relocating older images as I go. These were all taken the few months with what was then a really hot number, Nikon’s big splash in the consumer enthusiast DSLR market, a camera that was a true game changer, the D70. Anyone remember custom tone curves?

Here are some of the shots I’ve always remembered for various reasons.

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Reposted: My Sunday Morning in Vivian Maier’s Chicago

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My first outing with the Leica M9 back in 2011 was a weekend trip to Chicago. I only could afford the wonderful Leica 35mm Summarit after shelling out the money for what was my dream camera at that moment. I’d never heard of Vivian Maier at that point, as most people hadn’t. But, save for the color, this first shot I think captures a bit of the spirit of shooting on a Chicago sidewalk as she so often did. Anyway. Here’s some more. I think in some of them there is wonderful color. In others, uh… a hint of the incredible struggles to come I would experience trying to produce passable color with my M9.

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Help The Los Angeles Center of Photography Improve Kids’ Lives! 

Photo by Julia Dean

The Los Angeles Center of Photography has applied for a $100,000 grant to help teach LA’s Boys & Girls Clubs photography. To win the grant requires votes from friends of both photography and kids!

More from the LACP:

There are 51 proposals in our category and right now, we’re in 20th place. We must be in the top 10 for a chance to win. (The committee selects the winner from the top 10.) Our proposal outlines a yearlong photography program in LA’s Boys & Girls Clubs. The grant is meant for non-profits with projects that will help create a better LA, now and in the future. VOTING ends on November 3.

PLEASE VOTE!!! It will take only five minutes. Here is how to do it:

1. Go to: http://www.LA2050.org

2. Hit the hot pink tab that reads VOTE IN THE MYLA2050 GRANTS CHALLENGE

3. Choose a Submission Category (Our proposal is under CREATE)

4. Now you have to sign up. Signing up is easy. See the top right corner of the LA2050 home page, where it reads, “Join.”

5. Then find our project (you will see a picture of me in a classroom with the Boys & Girls Club kids) and VOTE for LACP’s proposal!

6. You will then get an email confirming your vote. (This may take up to an hour to get this, so don’t fret.) You have to click on the link in this email to confirm your vote.

More on the proposal from Julia Dean:

About our proposal: I set up the curriculum and began our one-year program at the Variety Boys & Girls Club in Boyle Heights on Jan. 14, 2015. I teach every Wednesday afternoon. We have completed the basic, portraiture and street shooting class so far. The documentary class began last week. The plan is for each boys & girls club to document their own community and exhibit the work at LACP. Our first exhibit — from the Variety Boys & Girls Club — will take place in February 2016. There are 26 clubs in LA County. We hope to implement our program in all of them, once we raise enough money.

Source: Help Us Improve Kids’ Lives. Please Vote for LACP!

Inglorious Color

One of the moments with my new M-E when I realized that I had something. This day completely turned around my street photography and set the stage for all the images I would post on 50lux.com thereafter. Seriously. I can’t believe I’ve never reblogged or reposted this. Here it is….

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Here is a link to the great website American Suburb X and a group of street photos by newly discovered street photography master Helen Levitt. The difference between these pictures and the vast majority of her other previously shown work is that these images are in amazing color.

Seeing those images this morning inspired me to share some of my recent shots. You know, I’ve always thought of myself as a black and white street photographer. But I rarely shoot black and white street photography. I really have done very little in B&W over the last ten years. I think I have to come to terms with the fact that I’m  a street photographer who works primarily in color.

Color is the only way to capture the parts of Los Angeles I continue to want to shoot most. Hope these images from my Leica M-E capture both the timeless grit…

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Happy Birthday, Sister Linda!!!

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Happy Birthday and much love to my big sister, Linda. So amazing to have her as a friend at this age. We are really the only two left in our family and I think we both feel really so fortunate to have each other and that we’re both healthy and sane and sober (for the moment 😉

Love you, Linda, and thank you for your friendship and you guys have a great day I’m sure watching the Steelers. Talk to you later today!!!

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On the Sunset Strip

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Peace, please…

Another day like this one…

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Sometimes the message gets lost in the flow and crush of humanity. Click on the image for a larger version.

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Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, November 2014

I have no thoughts to add to the wonderful quote by the Archbishop of Canterbury. 😉 Enjoy this post please from last year.

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Viewers of Landscape

Each landscape is formed by the point of view of the spectator; it is a spiritual experience, the reflections of a culture. In a sense, therefore, the photographer first has to make a portrait of the people who muse over the landscape they behold. In thus placing himself behind them, he expresses both complicity with the natives and irony towards the invaders.

– Robert Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1988

Magnum Landscapes
PHAIDON – 1996

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More Long Forgotten But Not Gone Pictures

Colorado Rocky Mountain High

DSC05611-Edit-2In Colorado. Get it? This is NOT L.A.! Okay. Just wanted to make sure. 😉

This is, I believe, Pikes Peak, the back view. It was, I can confirm, taken midmorning from a very high elevation in the beautiful Rocky Mountains overlooking the most gorgeous mountain lake. So the mountains you see don’t seem quite as high as the 14k foot range they are. What a trip! Many more pictures to follow in the coming days.

REBLOG: A New Leica M-E is Coming! Happy Dance (and a bit of a confession from me…)

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Some of the images in this post were made with a Leica M7 and Fujifilm 400 and some were made with a Leica M-E. This isn’t a test or a game. They’re just so wonderfully close and that result is so typical of the M-E that I thought I’d sweeten this news with a graphic demonstration of why I’m so happy with the Leica M-E and the news that follows.

Incredibly excited beyond any words today to hear this. Please click on the link at the bottom to the great Leica News & Rumors blog for more info.

But I have to say, one reason I’m so happy to hear this is that I can now really open up about how happy I am with the Leica M-E. And the selfish reason I didn’t do that to the extent that I wanted to is because my understanding is that Leica was discontinuing…

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My Image Entitled “Gestalt Moment”…

A reblog from last summer. Hoping for similar news to report in a few weeks as the second LACP juried member’s exhibition images are selected.

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Very excited to learn that the above image, Gestalt Moment, won a spot in the Los Angeles Center for Photography’s first Juried Member’s Exhibition that will run from July 11 – August 12. Over 800 images were submitted and 50 were selected.

I set out to do a number of things in terms of street photography when I embark into the city to make my images. I don’t go out with a single project in mind but after so many years of shooting in Los Angeles I know there are a number of things on the spectrum of possibilities that I can hope to find and document.

This image actually represents a number of those things. First and foremost I think what my photography is about is that it’s psychological. That’s certainly a matter of perception and right or wrong, true or false, I attempt to make images of that…

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Art, Documentary, or News: Photography and Racial Politics

Somewhat unimpressed with my current photography, here’s a little something from last year. 😉

50'Lux

L1050830-Edit-2That title suggests a lot, I know. These are amazing times online. There are at any point, almost surely simultaneous, multiple battles occurring in larger cultural wars over things like racial and sexual politics. The recent Stephen Colbert – Suey Park skirmish was fascinating, the back and forth analysis provided me, at least, with an education in the current taxonomy of racial and gender politics at least framed by a small subset of the larger culture.

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Anyway, so it now falls on photography to fire our interest and further the fine-tuning of all of our racial and political sensibilities. Here specifically, in the article I’m linking to, the analysis turns towards two different presentations of the same photographs taken (obviously) by the same photographer and how those presentations differ and cross many lines. Some that are probably okay to cross and some that are, increasingly, not.

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None of us really want…

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