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.






Remorseless refractions reframed

Marshal McLuhan tells the story of  two women approaching on a side walk, one pushing a baby carriage.  They meet, stop, the single women says “What a beautiful baby!” The mother replies, “Oh, you should see the photographs.”


Professionally I was a graphic designer working both periods of pre computer and computer creating  logos,  corporate communications , B2B packaging and consumer packaging. Photographs were about visual representations of reality.  Sometimes I made them myself, pre-computer I would sketch out the images, get client approval and then hire a professional and post computer royalty free images became the dominant source, 



Even way back when, before I became a designer,  circa1970, I wondered why  was  I here and  not there, even though I did not know where there was, much less understood where was here.


I had not learned the word when or why yet, so I enjoyed meeting people I did not no . . .


and seeing friends through my lens lightly


Everyday I walk on the Alameda Creek trail, I enter at the Beard Rd staging area, mostly I go east but sometimes I go west, and I walk four miles at a fast pace . . .


but at 74 years the pace gets slower and slower.  Its different every day,


But my memory gets sharper even while the reality becomes increasingly  blurry.


Its fun when I am in a store and someone approaches me to say “You are that persoa who I see walking on the trail every day.”


I saw these Rune-like  markings in San Francisco at what looked like a sleeping place for homeless people,


Perhaps a forgotten  Rothko moment in San Francisco, South Beach area, and over the top of the wall  which you cannot not see  in the photograph, you can see the Sales Force building.


I read in a book that the reason  I look at my feet is  because  it just makes me feel good inside to look down on other people or myself  . . .


An at least its an acceptable  reason for not doing the work on time


But some would say we live in a different time from when I grew up, a time calling for new answers to the same old problems . . .


Or old answers to knew  problems or maybe  just stop seeing problems.

















Ill lose shun or just another rejected remedy

Its a photograph!!,


an image created by passing light through a lens.  Its process like silk screen or etching.


A moment in time, a visual record that I can see over and over again


I was told this  young man died in a car accident in NYC  shortly after this photo was taken in Western Massachusetts  about 1972.



Almost everyday I walk along Alameda Creek trail, twelve years ago when I started I used to do four miles in about 50 minutes, now its about 70 minutes


Its still as real as it was then, but its a photograph . . .


of something, a photograph of a house is also a photograph of the sky, of trees, but people will generally, when they say its a photograph of _______ they say  its a photograph of the most complete, comprehensive  thing in the image,


Perhaps they say it that way because  people commonly assume a photograph is an image of something , its really a thing.


What is a thing?? We all know what a thing is, daily we use the word  even when we do not know what it means, or even when we do not share a common meaning..


Think of all the nouns we have in our language, and that languages all over the world have nouns.


Sky, clouds, and feet




People, usually  hired by the government,  put paint  on the streets and as time goes by it wears expressing something different than its original purpose


There can be all kinds of things make up one  thing — pottery


Loneliness is a thing,


A chance interaction?; a professional relationship?;  neighbors meeting in the park?


There should have been  moments when I took my self  seriously when  I could not connect future and present and was hiding from past.


The camera is a window to see into yourself or  its just a joke or a sutra or Gutei’s finger.


It was said of Gutei:

Gutei cheapens the teaching of Tenryū,
Emancipating the boy with a knife.
Compared to the Chinese god who pushed aside a mountain with one hand
Old Gutei is a poor imitator.


Saturday mismusings on Photography,

Thoughts on photography used in design

What is a photograph? There is not a definitive answer, you have to make up your own definition, and hopefully it is always maturing. Here are some  examples where a visual element is used in  advertisement design and this post will consider the options using a photograph or an illustration. If you think about whether a photograph or an illustraton  does the job better you will understand photographs a little more how photographs work to communicate with people.


Disclaimer: This example is not my work, I am  using it  as an  example for discussing the subject matter.

1.  The viewer understands by feeling that this a photograph, that it is not a recording of reality, the animals are not real animals, but they are real plastic rubber things,, their relative size  and color is not real, a shelf would not be angled like that, and still,  as a photograph its sense of “real” communicates  the feeling of unlevel, it creates an unreal image and you understand this is  really  a wall and a shelf, and its not real.The 90° vertical lines of the wall paper,  the angle of the shelf work and the  animals creates a visual tension which strongly attracts visual interest and the bottom elements unify the design.

The viewer experiences this at once. The photograph works to facilitate this visual knowing where as an illustration might be too fake—its not real, its fun, I get it, I enjoyed it ,it does not have to be real and still its a real shelf with real toy animals on an angle and I by feeling I get it, its fun and I am drawn into reading the ad.  

The photograph works to set the feeling, the design works to unify the content or the message the ad. Some, such as David Olgiphy (RIP) might think the compelling visual  attraction of the logo gets in the way of the product message of the ad

Ask yourself would a drawing have been as effective?



2. An advertisement I designed. Previously  the company had marketed itself selling machines and their ads featured images of machines (like at the bottom).

The new marketing objective was to sell solutions, in this case being drug discovery. This ad shows a visual of the final consumer product , the drug. produced not by the company but by the customers of the company, i.e. customer solutions,  emerging from a pipette, a tool used in the drug discovery process visually  known to all in the business. Of course the idea that a final drug emerges  from a pipette is ridiculous, but it feels like “solution” and its fun.

I made the illustration. it could have been made as a photograph with a lot of work and might have been a  stronger initial impact, but I do not think anyone  who sees this  cares whither its a photograph not and illustration was much less cos.  Its just a stupid fun imaginary visual,  a joke or cartoon but it does, at the feeling level,  position my client as providing solutions for the  customers of their customers and not machines.



3. Two final ads my  client liked,  low hanging fruit metaphor, how easy for a child to get it. The illustration includes the image (the visual representation of the product) computers and  again budget considerations, both of these images were RF (royalty free) stock although I had to modify the design of the  illustration. The photo option was finally rejected as the client did not want the customer—an adult scientist— to misread the image and think they were calling the customer a child.

A NOTE: My professional  philosophy concerning marketing communications design (I was a marcom designer, not a marketing agency which develops marketing strategy) was that the client determines marketing objective and marketing strategy and the job of designer is to visually implement the marketing strategy to realize the marketing objective.

Along Alameda Creek

I try to fast walk—at 74 I cannot jog anymore and when I moved my office home  in 2007 I used to fast walk four miles in 50 minutes, now  its about 60 minutes—everyday  along the Alameda Creek which is at the end of the street. I take my little camera  with me, as well as the Archers podcast for the day.  Here some of the spring scenes this year.