Eye. Heart. Head.

Lately, I’m not quite sure just why I’ve been feeling a bit reflective and ruminative about my photography.
Or, more appropriately, my journey and place in photography’s history.

When you have been around photography, as long as I have, there seems to be an equal measure of highs and lows, both of which you must meet, enjoy, and stare down.

Melancholy is unavoidable, as is introspection too. Both come with the territory and turf of photography.

Partly, on the positive side of things, I have this overwhelming sense of gratitude for the poet-life that photography, as both a hobby, habit, and profession, has given me.

Every single day, I wake up, wondering, if I will wake from this photographic dream. I hope not. Ever. Dream on baby. Photography lives!

Of course, on the negative side of things, to be perfectly honest, I have some fear about where photography is heading.

I keep hearing babble and prattle about AI, Photoshop, replacement skies, facial reconstruction, image repurposing, and the list goes on.

All this stuff, like it or not, agree with it or not, resist it or not, is here to stay?

Good gadddhhh, where does this chatter end? What happened to old-fashion photography, where you got it right in the camera, and where you didn’t have to spend hours on fixing things you got wrong during capture.?

I’m an old-school photographer, with an old-school mindset and an old-school tool kit.

To this very day, even though I exclusively shoot with iPhone cameras, I pledge my allegiance to old-school foundations of light, color, and design and old-school fundamentals of exposure, focus, and whites-balance.

My iPhone is, more or less, a silent partner, in the creation process.

I still take the lead with all my creative intentions and deliberations.

Cameras don’t take pictures, photographers do.

Cameras, as smart as we think they are, don’t often know what our creative intentions are.

The weird thing about this past 10-year journey, in iPhone photography, is, if I were to die today, I can almost guarantee that Photography History would remember me, if at all, for these past 10 years, rather than the 30 years prior, in my analog and dedicated-camera space. Go figure.

Critics, curators, and consumers, like it or not, tend to dismissively and naively, remember photographers, not for the work they create but, often, for the camera device they shoot with. Go figure.

In the same way, I guess, I might forever equate, for example, Weegee (1899-968) with a 4X5 Speed Graphic, Henri Cartier Bresson (1908-2004) with a Leica, Diane Arbus(1923-1971) with a Twin-Lens Rolliflex, Steve McCurry (1950-present) with Nikon F3, Ansel Adams (1902-1984) with a variety of 4X5 and 8X10 Field cameras, Vivian Dorothy Maier (1926-2009) with a Rolleiflex, Annie Leibovitz (1949-present) with Mamiya RZ67, etc.

My point is, most are not discerning enough to be able to separate the photographer’s tools from the photographer’s talent.

Here’s my bigger point. I couldn’t say it any better than the great Henri Cartier Bresson

“It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart, and head.”

This realization is even more important for someone like me, who treats photography as autobiographical.

Back to my original contemplation. Every click I make, even the most common and pedestrian of them all, is a conflation and confluence of technology and talent, wrapped up in a triple-decker club sandwich of eye, heart, and head… seeing, feeling, thinking.

I’m in love with my craft

You might even say, I love myself because of my craft.