It is said Edward Hopper kept a quote from Goethe in his wallet: "The beginning and end of all literary activity is the reproduction of the world that surrounds me by means of the world that is in me, all things being grasped, related, recreated, molded and reconstructed in a personal form and an original manner."

That's a mouthful. Then there's this one from Carl Jung:

"We should not pretend to understand the world only by the intellect; we apprehend it just as much by feeling. Therefore, the judgment of the intellect is, at best, only the half of truth, and must, if it be honest, also come to an understanding of its inadequacy."

So I think the trick it to not only see the image but feel it. The rise of AI gives me the willies.


When I was a teenager I'd take photos just because I could, without any exterior motive. As in I wasn't getting paid, likes didn't exist and I just did it to try to express something. I didn't have a lot of money so I'd have to think of how to best use each of those 24 or 36 exposures. I rather quaintly would try to address some big themes, God, death, resurrection, I'd walk around cemeteries a lot trying to envision who these people were based on the headstone. I cringe looking at some of those efforts today, but they were honest.

Modern cameras are a marvel, but for me the danger is getting bogged down in the tech of it all. For example some folks today whine if a camera can't track focus on the eye of a bird in flight. Sheesh.

Joseph Heller wrote “I know at last what i want to be when i grow up. when i grow up i want to be a little boy.” I don't particularly want to be a little boy but I appreciate the idea - to return to the days of wonder and creating things for the pure fun of it. Before I picked up a camera I did some oil painting and watercolors, I think I might give that a go again ...

v. 3

I started as a kid with a Kodak Instamatic and those little flash cubes that twirled. The tools are much different now, but it's still the same action, look through the viewfinder and click. For almost fifty years now, wow. It's still fun.

v. 2

I hadn't read version one shown below in quite a while. It's appropriately pretentious drivel. I've read a lot of statements - I usually go to the about pages to see if the images match the person. If there's a photo, sometimes they don't match at all, but mostly they do somehow. I look tired in my photo.

Everybody is a photographer now thanks to the smart phone. Billions of photos every day, it's kind of overwhelming. Now there's tons of people that want to teach me how to shoot a photo, light a photo, sell a photo. There's services where you pay them to put your photos on free stock sites, promising a paid gig once in a while. Right. There's photographers on craigslist that will shoot weddings, portraits, you name it, for free. All the online photo sites. People like taking photos.

As we move into the Age of the Machines it's very easy to shoot a nice photo, technically speaking. Making a meaningful image is still a challenge given the visual noise out there. But hey, it's fun to try.

v. 1

They say smell is the most powerful trigger for memories. I grew up in Burbank, California and the smell of cut grass in the breeze on a summer day will instantly teleport me to the early 1970s. The tar smell of a German train station, or a fresh pretzel from a bakery. Wet creosote. A churrascaria in Brazil. I don't know how to capture a smell so here we are.

I don't why I picked up a camera at about age 10 and thought I like this. I used a Kodak Instamatic with flashcubes and the film in a cartridge, 126 I think. My grandfather gave me a Voigtlander rangefinder when I was 12. I shot Agfachrome, pretty grainy stuff. Lots of cameras after that, film to digital, back to film. The smell of fixer will go with me to the next world.

I took lots of selfies before there were selfies. I think of them as self-portraits, just another snapshot in time.

I read somewhere once that photographers take the same photo over and over, just the details are different. It's not the same in a literal sense of course, but the same attitude, along with light, color and form.