Photograph becoming print?

Prints are graphic arts which means that there is a technique/process which enables printing the same image multiple times. Generally prints are categorized by the type of the technique/ process,  such as silk screen, wood cut, linoleum block, etching or photograph.

But there is something else about a photograph which makes it unique, there is an underlying common assumption that there is something REAL in a photographic image, and we even have  a contemporary term when that REAL THING has been altered—“Its been photoshopped!

Upon seeing this image, most people would understand it as a photograph, perhaps call it  a snapshot or a visual record of a personal event which was Real. Its really me, my wife, my parents and Rev. Murakami who is a Real Buddhist pries in front of  a Real Buddhist alter and its a Real me, my wife, and parents. If this were a silkscreen would you agree it Really Happened?


Here too, most people would call it photograph, probably not a snapshot but a Real visual record of a moment of a public  event.


Another image, obviously it is a photograph, but at the feeling level, something does not quite jibe.  For a few weeks my father and mother  were “gaijin” (foreigners) on a  Japanese TV show. This is a still from a professional photographer on the set, and I made a high resolution scan from a professional 5″ x 7″  print.  There is a feeling about the “quality” of the image which suggests skilled  control.

What is real? Its actors playing a scene. still this is a REAL record of that moment even if the moment is not real.

You can immediately feel this is a professional image and as quickly, that there is something not “Real” about this photograph, yet its a real image of the moment, these are real people really sitting around the table, etc.

What is not real? You know these people are not in a Real situation  because of the feeling you have about what it would look like if people were there in the same situation—  it doesn’t feel natural.

Its not “Real” that these people would look like this in real life, except of course they are getting paid for it, —the reason  why does not matter. This image can generate some slight confusion, i.e. a mental question about what is Real, and when you unconsciously  look to answer your question, you find an answer—all happens very quickly, generally unconsciously or intuitively, at the feeling level, Its knowing by feeling.

Some photographers will use that as a design element  to generate interest in the image, but not all do, certainly in your wedding photographs you want something basic and beautiful, able to bring warm memories for the life of your marriage.


Suddenly  this feels like I am intruding on someone’s privacy and yet if you look,  you have learned nothing private about this person, still you get a feeling about who she is, though it is probably more related to who you are than whose is. . But it feels a little weird, there is less detail, edges are smoothed out, something’s not Real, its been photoshopped! 


Back to business of being a photograph . . .


and back to the business of being a print.


In the former you are more aware of the woman as an individual, in the latter you are more aware of the people as parts  in a design, the image is not about the people yet it tells you something about the people.


Actually I do not want to know anymore about these people than I know from the image, they were outside City Lights one afternoon. What they are doing is much more important than who they are—I find myself saying what an incredible world we live in .


You may have thought you were the only one . . .


End summary:  a  photograph has a “certain visual  feel,”  when people see a visual image and it feels like a photograph.  they know that feeling and trust it. Second, a photograph has a “ social mentality,” once people define it as  a photograph then they want to know what it “Really” is.


Having  a  piece of visual art hanging on your wall is different from seeing it everyday on the internet.























Feathers in cream

Would I want a wish to win
A way to where  some withered will
Waits behind my wanting.

What my dear Watson
Walks between where 
 and wear
Whistling that melody  wayful and worn
Whimsically  wheezing why know when..

William left me waiting
With words  wicking wound
That winking and blinking and nodding
Won waste of an afternoon.


Sometime when I see things I  feel like there is too much nonessential visual information, I like to simplify it  by reducing the range of information biased towards line, shape, color, texture,  and minimizing the common sense.


My feet were pretty simple, and they had no other place to go, and for sure Iamgladthat I can look down and see them.


Any  journey began with that singular step  forward or backward . . .


What is that stops me from taking the leap?


Am I too confused or insecure to seek a new direction


or was I too ready to just settle for any kind TRUTH?


Takoyaki,  a great street food one night I got off the metro  a few stops west of Shibuya and while wandering around I discovered a bar with an outside window selling takoyaki, I bought and ate 12,  did I really want twelve or was just a case of a pretty face.


At home I like shiokara with sake, here served on  an e-karatsu plate by Murata Munehiko.



My personal thought,   the highest Art of pottery are functional pieces which are used everyday, lower art  of pottery sits in a museum or on display.

Pottery (and textiles) were  creations  necessary  for human survival, people used and to this day use, pottery for basic human functions.  Some potters, while understanding that the   function of pottery was necessary for human survival chose to make using pottery a celebration of the everyday experience of being human.

Non functional pottery seeks to deny  the celebration of being human and make the experience, not one  to be found be in the simple everyday act of using pottery,  but a “thinking experience” defined by memorizing words,  terminologies and only available  is to be denied to those who have “learned” the expertise, and to  be denied to those who “simply find every day meaning  in using it.



I like sake, I like setoguro,  I like  bizen.


I designed  a couple of book covers  by the author-artist-humantarian-philospher Frederick Frank. I had discovered his book  The Zen of Seeing/ Drawing as Meditation  about 1970.  About 1998 I had the honor of designing the covers below for Beacon Point Press working with Tom Magnum.  Most of his book covers used a drawing by Frank (quite rightly so), but the second one was an autobiography, it seemed a photo of him might be appropriate as he had affected many lives and it would be nice if people could see his face and hands. He had a long and productive life which positively contributed  to the human experience.

anglvera2           FrdFrnk

As for my celph maybe there is too much to run from, too much to hide to, crazies to the left of me, crazies to the right of me, and know place in the middle.





Left unlong rightwo shortodie

I wonder  if this is a lost in  translation or an Ozu humor?ozufilm2










I use the “free” wordpress  platform  which is very limited in  available design functions , and  having not kept up with html , I cannot figure out how to delete a category, so sometimes when I create a new one I  misspell  it and I cannot remove it. 

The Old West End, Toledo, where is a better place for noledge?


I saw Buce Murdoch at New Port, I had the album “Singer-Songwriter released about 1965‚ featuring Bruce, Pat Sky,  David Cohen (later David Blue) and Richard Farina, who wrote on the back liner notes (my paraphrase ) : “. . . The poets of today will be writing songs and playing guitars. . .” I read later that Bruce returned home to Canada to have a career as a teacher and principal of a school. I remembered these lines for decades.


Days when the light just came from everywhere 


I still jog walk  everyday, four miles, more or less, now over an hour, or more,  listen to podcast of The Archers; Tom and John on Bloomberg Surveillance; MelvinBragg,  In Our Time; TIP, The Investors Podcast;  reruns of Click & Clack; Wait Wait;  and This American  Life.

But there’re also things to on the path  beside the levee along the path next to Alameda Creek, Oh No, Stupid Me !!! That is outside the window in the room my son used.


A fleeting movement or perhaps its all just happening at once


Or once a year?


At one  point I was informed it was in copyright rights, or trademark rights,  or some legalize, for me  to show these images with the name of the building, so . . .


Escaping himself, time was  more or less spent than yesterday. Pick any one, its how I look to others and  you are lucky, usually I do not give them a choice. 


The wait of the bus? Too much “Street Photography” Where is the ART?? 


Government workers or contractors paint the streets, Here is an “S“ in the word STOP. Duration and change. ART!!!


Hui’ko was the Second Patriarch of Chan, the unfortunate  homeless man to whom Daruma passed the robe and bowl. 


But you need not, musicians are musicians whether weekend or touring stars, who is to say this is not . .  . Sometimes we would share a table with Ed, —Angie used to come beautifully dressed and made up just for Ed—and one of those times  a very attractive young women in a slinky cocktail dress came in  the dining area , Ed saw,  and responded “What a beautiful women, and with hardly a hesitation, he added “Not as beautiful as Angie.” This day these  musicians made music for some thing special in the life of Ed and Angie.


Does it matter whether you understand the words??? Joyce did not think so and M. Jagger once said (something like} the words don’t matter, its the music.  I do not remember the actual quote, but if I did and put them here I might get sued,   but  I am safe attacking a dead  man.




Feets don’phail me

I am glad that my feet are at the bottom of my body instead of the top.


My life is bounced around enough it is.


Its easy to separate my feet from my feats.


sometimes they go somewhere good,


sometimes some where bad


sometimes  know wear


When my father was my age  he enjoyed eating ice cream at night before bed, I may never fit into his shoes.


I like to look down on my feet and see people below merit makes me feel important


I wonder what happens if I leave them outside for the night?


When I  take a walk in the fall, my feet walking  with me . . .


Or studying price and volume charts


Even when I leave the shoes behind.







Good news! The cherry, it’s coming

What is a photograph? You know when you see it! I do not no.

Sun light takes  8+  minutes to arrive on Earth  from the sun, and when it meets  resistance, such as an object, it  reflects based on qualitites of the object and if  there is a camera pointed  towards the object the reflection enters the camera and makes an image. Maybe too simple but

On film it is a  latent image be exposed later using chemicals and  specific procedures, but digital cameras record the light as digital information which means it can be read  and processed by a computer. Digital information  means that there is a standard space which is defined by a program (An OS is a program,).

Boston, downtown between Washington and Tremont, summer 1971, if you look closely  in the top left window you can see the reflection of trees from The Common. This performer would sing old Appalachian gospel songs, he was missing a few fingers and playing  an old Martin D-28.

street singer in Boston 1971

The pixels in a digital image maybe so small that the brain does not understand  the information from the eye  as different from continuous tone. The  human eye which also sends information  which is interpreted by the “body in general‚”  i.e,  knows by feeling. 

My shadow was waiting for an opportunity, to do what I was not sure or perhaps what I was not sure of doing, but I did that yesterday and probably will do it again tomorrow.


Why do people believe the things they believe?

What does it mean for  a person to believe something?

What is the “something  someone believes in?

How do we measure whether a person believes in something.


I like to  jog fast-walk in Alameda Creek, I try to do four miles everyday, I take my small camera  and wonder  is this the way it really looks ?, really feels?,


“Only the dead have seen the end of war.” I do not know who said it, should it be copyrighted?  Mathew Brady and Winslow Homer brought visual images of the Civil War to a mass consumer market.

Gary Holt and wife , long time Berkeley potter, now retired


The body can understand and make decisions on information  received through  the senses. as can the brain.  The body acts on a natural operating system, but the brain differentiates and defines and compares; it  basically thinks based on acquired  knowledge which is in words, or concepts, etc.

For a few years I was involved with the care of my mother, she had a stroke, memory loss and developed expressive aphasia. Me or my wife saw here everyday and I usually had a small camera with me.


What if the light was reflecting off of something we could not see, could we see the reflection? Yes! We make photographic image that the human eye can see  from  other kinds of waves, such as radio waves and images from space.

Hopes crushed by memories, at least its not a pay phone like I get in my dreams.


A friend sent me a link to a web site  with one of  my photos, for sale,  it seems the “subject matter is “Alley Compassion.”  Its the second row, column four, just below the “alley delight.”  If I am in SF chinatown and if I walk by this alley I take tis  photo, its different every time.  It seems they are selling a low res of the  web image,



And another page with four of my  shado images, actually when you scroll down  the page has more, it the point is made. Ha, ha, ha  ha    ha.


Is this a moment of the past brought to this present, without life??  A piece of Art is supposed to have some feeling in it?  A common feeling, A human feeling? A common feeling happens to many people when they view the art?

Westley in his tractor, Salem,  Maine 1970



Feeling,  a way of knowing involving  a general comprehensive response to information that you get through your senses. Often it may seem  immediate.

Many people smoked, by the time  I was this age, I had quit.


David  in the comfort of a cheap apartment contemplating the meaning of The Autobiography of Malcom X, circa 1968


I do not know what happened to this edge, it was film I probably  developed in my bathroom,  years later scanned it and made this image. This would be after I met my wife and before I knew her.


I may offer this class again, but it always seems as if the students know more than me and then I want to give them their money back but I have already spent it and I live on a fixed income which in the end means I have to offer a new class to get the money to pay back the people from the previous class and its a never ending cycle.