Archive for the ‘Art photography’ Category

The photographer looking at the world using a camera such as a DSLR is seeing in two dimensions. The depth proved by humans’ stereo vision, binocular sight, is not present when looking through a single lens. Monocular viewing also restricts the “field of view”. Using a camera entails capturing a slice of time with a fixed focal length; a purposeful selection of peripheral vision. A friend asked me why no one had invented a device that would allow you to see the world with a the field of view from 10mm – 500mm in a compact device.  The glib and accurate answer is, “you have two already”.  Seeing and thinking in “restricted periphery” is a skill which requires the exercise of concentrating on your sense of sight and using your knowledge of optics and photography — allowing you to visualize the world in every focal length — the ultimate in vision.

Peripherally, a colleague of mine early in my career, coincidentally named “Wink”, had an eyepiece diopter made to match his vision correction (ie his glasses) and used it on his Nikon F. When he needed clarity — precision — he would look thought the camera, his eyeglasses to the world. Wink lived life on the manic edge, so for him clarity was paramount. Most of us use our visual imaginations to sense and focus on the world photographically, avoiding the distractions and distortions created by the visual chum.


Flight of Fancy

Posted: July 30, 2017 in Art photography, UK

Does a paradox stimulate creativity?  I was thinking this morning of the teacher who said, in seeking enlightenment, you cannot fail.  Unless you think you cannot fail…    but the enlightenment is already within you, so…


Abstract Four

Posted: August 29, 2016 in Art photography, UK

Some towns in England boast Banksy murals,  but Dover has outclassed them with these four Mark Rothko abstracts…

Show’s Up

Posted: August 16, 2016 in Art photography, Events, Photography, UK

Opening night
The event in Dover this summer.  Don’t miss the premier of this exciting show. See some of the featured images @


UK flags - Photo by Paul Dagys

“Brexit, or NO Brexit; that WAS the big question,

Whether ‘tis be nobler to leave this ‘Club of Europe’ or remain & suffer.

These bureaucratic & doctrinall of outrageous EU budgetary fortune,

Or take arms to a sea of immigrants,

And by rejecting end it, to fiscally wither, to weep;

No more Johnny Foreigner; that I say is the End!”

~Ray Russell
“More the Tragedy of Cameron, the Prince of a muddled Parliament”

One hand
New York, New York.  No matter how often I visit the city I am always dumbstruck and overwhelmed by the visual cacophony. Paul too embraces (and is similarly overwhelmed) NYC and approaches it from a slightly different style. When he saw this picture his reaction was, “someday we will do a show on the sound of one hand.” Perhaps that is the way to experience New York — with a Zen frame of mind. This sliver of light was captured at Columbus Park at Bayard and Mulberry streets. This part of New York was once known as “five points” and the park is now a gathering place for game players, a quiet respite from bustling Chinatown.

I was at Tate Modern last week,  as you can see, the art scene in London is a real pisser.
They had a sculpture by Duchamp, and three more in another room.

Cherry tree

Kearsney Abbey in Dover

Here is  a little creative poetry editing,  when A E Housman wrote this he was about 20, since I’m a bit older…

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now, of my fourscore years and ten,
Sixty will not come again,
And take from ninety springs three score,
It only leaves me thirty more.
And since to look at things in bloom
Thirty springs are little room,
About the woodland I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

Gateway Arch
Had a lot of fun recently with a group of aspiring photo enthusiasts as we photo-walked the grounds of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial – aka Gateway Arch. An eclectic group of snappers, we took to the streets, engaging visitors and capturing a sense of the city.  Part of our assignment was to approach and photograph a stranger — my métier. These tourists from Colorado were as friendly as only Westerners can be. I also chatted up a NYC couple who were equally jovial. But more interesting for me was meeting strange new photographers.

Journalism school pressed Paul and me into the maw of about 20 of the most aggressive and motivated would-be photojournalists (I guess I am not exaggerating) in the world. We would constantly critique each other’s work — and what the professors said about our pictures/stories — ouch — I still have scars.  Later when I taught photojournalism, I was brutally honest with my students, occasionally at the cost of tears and always with a reward of better future pictures. I like to think I have mellowed over the years and more importantly, I have slowly come to realize that photojournalism-style photography is not all there is. Shocking. The photo-walk provided me an opportunity to share my expertise and learn from others. Advantage for me, interacting with new photogs requires the same skills as street photography, an honest approach and openness to rejection (ha ha). Just like the wonder of connecting with folks you have never seen before and making their picture, chatting with photographers who have a different visual Weltanschauung can be daunting. If you are going to walk the photo walk, prepare to talk the photo talk.  For snap samples search Instagram using #isrphotoswalk

1 Dogs of th week w Micaela _0762-1400
Not sure the feline pattern is exactly right for the canines or for the Fräulein…

Blue Collar Sage

Posted: March 23, 2016 in Art photography, Poetry

some who appear brilliant make foolish moves

( Alexander McQueen, 40 years old forever )

my hero L.T. *   once said of sages,

“they run beyond convention…

They listen to the soundless

And look at the formless,

They are not constrained by society

And not bound by its customs.”

Not every beatnik is a sage,

but there are sages among them,

someday you may be there too.


* Lao-Tzu

Window light
Is that software or hardware between the ears? No mystery here; just noticing and appreciating the low winter sun leaving its mark on the wall.

A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever1 a cover SOUND OF SILENCE
The irony of this time of year is that it is supposed to be a time of joy and peace, and spiritual awareness. but it’s very easy to get stressed out by the annual orgy of materialism we call the holiday season.

You can feel better if you take a few minutes to meditate on this, perhaps some thoughts will arise about how to scale back the consumerist aspects of Christmas. Remember, hugs are good. also chocolate. But let’s try not to spend money we don’t have to buy things we don’t need to impress people we don’t like.

About meditation. What is the result of a good meditation session? It is a way to find your way back to that emotional space you have felt before, after a very good day. A place of awareness, acceptance, appreciation.   meditation helps make every day a good day.

I  humbly suggest this book as a gift for yourself, a visual venture into moments of inner peace, awareness of everyday miracles in spite of headaches and heartaches, remember your essence is as sacred as anyone’s; you are capable of love.

Eventually, your body will fail, you will return to the void from whence you came, but today, give thanks for small blessings, for bread, and butter, and beer and beauty.

It is good to give and to receive.


No Buy is a Good Buy

Posted: December 7, 2015 in Art photography, Photography, UK

Canterbury empty store
When I go to the shops, I try to buy nothing.  Nothing is perfect.  Nothing lasts forever.


Rebar Indictment

Posted: November 25, 2015 in Art photography, Events

The Ai Weiwei exhibition at London’s Royal Academy fills eight large galleries with artworks.  The largest work is “Straight”,  90 tons of steel reinforcing rods which Weiwei and his assistants secretly collected from the rubble of buildings which collapsed in the Sichuan earthquake in May 2008. A large percentage of the collapsed buildings were schools, many of which failed while nearby buildings survived. On the walls of the gallery are written 5250 names of children who died during the earthquake as a result of substandard buildings.  The work is a silent indictment of China’s construction industry and the government’s failure to enforce standards.  On exhibit through December 13.