Pho to know

Know time fore lorne

In the morning, when the sky is clear, the sun shines from the east reflecting off the TransAm building north-eastward only to to be reflected the windows of the Maritime Building. Maybe that image embeded in the light, searching fora medium, will miss being reflected again, going right out of our atmosphere to journey through space and time to the edge of the Universe.

TransAmerica Building reflection at One Maritime Plaza

I used to like to stop in Truckee on the way to Reno, but the last time I pulled off 80 there were parking meters everywhere. Often there was a different painting on this wall. I first came to California in 1979, I had finished art school, spent a year working at a quality printer—computers for graphic design, i.e. the Mac, had still not appeared,

Brick wall in Truckee

My mother’s name was Rosamonde, but she went by Lynn. Lynn is a city up the coast from Boston.

Union Square, Somerville, 1970

Looking towards Berkeley down California Street,

Waiting at a stop light on the way home from early morning lab tests, I imagined my age, 77, living on the street, everything I owned in a shopping cart . . . I wonder what she thinks about as she walks around Fremont, perhaps taking care of her possessions requires her to focus and gets her mind off her problems.

in Japan pottery is an Art form. Department stores will feature exhibitions of artists or a family kiln, or maybe styles, such as Oribe, Shino or Bizen, or forms such as guinomi ( sake one gulp cup), tokkuri (sake container for drinking) and chawan ( tea ceremony cup).

Ki-seto tokkuri and Kuro-oribe guinomi

A Japanese dinner plate, so simply pleasing.

Alameda Creek

One “natural condition ” of life is the ability to differentiate one “thing” from another “thing, ” for example things you can and cannot eat. An additional “natural condition ” of human life is once you have differentiated a “thing” is to define it, i.e. give it a name, an identity, a sound and a mark to represent it. Unconsciously this process takes nanotimecat, weeds, ground, concrete and fence.

When people look at a photograph they visually differentiate one “thing” from another until they come to a place where mind unconsciously feels the things and how they fit together fit together into a meta level One thing—completing the picture, so to speak. Unconsciously this takes nanotimecat, weeds, ground, concrete and fence I got it!

A unique quality of a photograph as it has developed is that it the image is expected to resemble what humans see, to be a recognizable object. The process is look at a photograph, identify the parts, relate them to each other . . .

Once that is accomplished, the person “understands” the photograph. Usually that means finding a word for it, such as accident, politician, war, Grand Opening, wedding, selfie, etc.

In my photographs you can feel the different things, and how they come together, but ignoring the usual “capturing a moment in time” record-keeping function which is not relevant and unconsciously the viewer works that out . . .

to discover that while the image feel like a photograph, it emphasize the visual aspects of the lines, shapes, colors, gestures, etc. and less about being a recognizable record of a moment.

The photograph, as a graphic medium, has its own qualities. Traditionally “graphic” refers to the process of reproducing the same image multiple times, such as offset, screen, wood block or etching.

Each of the graphic reproduction techniques has its own unique visual feel to it, people unconsciously put together the things in the image by understanding the feel—if it feels like a photograph then the viewer will assume its a photograph and ascribe certain qualities to it.

In my case those qualities are not there but still the image feels like a photograph.


How can you know your self through your photographs?

Images are like throwing I Ching! There is a message in they’re sumwhare.

There are a great many ways of seeing myself, or for you to see yourself, for me to see you, or you to see me.

And there are just as many ways we can avoid seeing each other as there are to avoid seeing ourselves.

Gate gate paragate, parasangate Bodhi svaha

See! King refuge

Fort Hill, Roxbury MA, 1971

When I lived in Somerville, later JP and then while attending art school, in Cambridge—Central Square off River Street near the river—I used to visit Fort Hill. On a sunny afternoon to the northeast you can over look Boston, Back Bay, Beacon Hill—I left in 1979, plenty of changes since then— the patterns of the in-between roofs and the silently moving city traffic. Four young men, none of us really knew each other well enough for an early morning shared moment like this, but I made this image anyway. On Fort Hill rent was very cheap, the Lyman family found a home and I found my own personal refuge. Now as I understand, the whole area has been gentrified and the park is probably full of playing kids everyday.

Fremont, ball games on Sunday afternoon, pizza and TV for the players and parents. In the 1960s when I lived in Boston we would eat at Durgin-Park with long tables, where you just came in and took an available seat, huge helpings, Indian pudding, and gigantic strawberry shortcake. The Fremont Pieology is a little different, everything is self throw away except the pizza.

A house over a garage in Tokyo, no sidewalk. In Tokyo land is very valuable, some who work in the city but cannot afford to live there may travel three hours a day to commute—13 million and change daily use the Tokyo public transportation system

Alameda Creek

There are many different kinds of photographs, people usually don’t spend time sitting around thinking about how many different kinds of photographs are there and listing them all, but when we see an image its usually very easy to feel the correct category of “kind of photograph.”

We can “feel” these categories and if we are lucky the different relationships of the things is fun. A photograph also has visual artistic qualities such as texture, color, line, shape, gesture, . . .

A photograph has a “certain and unique feel” to it. Technically it makes an image from reflected light, just like the human eye. Its what we see, and what else would it be?

There are many different kinds of photographs; Fine Art, advertising, portraits, snap shots, selfies, catalog, passport, scientific, NationalGeographic, and more— we can feel these different kinds and when there is not a fit.

Sometimes the wrong place is the right place, such as in comedy, satire or irony.

The photograph appears to u be very similar to that which we see with our eyes— more similar to what we see with our eyes than any other kind of graphic process—we feel a “woodblock” or an “etching.” we may like it, but it is not a detailed visual record like a photograph.

The photographic reproduction process produces an image, whether on a medium such as paper or an electronic screen, has specific common qualities which are unique and our biological and psychological nature gives us the ability to separate those “technical qualities” from the content of the photographic image, define that visual experience as a photograph and store it, to use as a tool later to measure , by feeling, i.e.knowing, things we see.

This is a “tool” we use unconsciously, if every time we saw a thing we had to start the process of differentiation and definition of every “thing” it would take too long. Feeling does it instantly.

Our “sensations data bank”, functions like a server. A person visually experiences, a behavior which they doing all the time. They have a feeling which says “This is a photograph” without ever thinking about it, enabling the viewer to smoothly move on. The feeling sets the stage for the meaning of the visual experience.

No matter what kind of photograph, when the human sees it, without thinking, the feeling classifies it as a photograph. When the content or meaning of the image is not compatible with the appropriate content/meaning of a photograph.the unconscious feeling gives a warning —“Something is not right here! Find out why.” A visual question is unanswered and visual tension is created. If there is no resolution in the visual image itself the contradiction of the image is unresolved, the viewer is left wondering why, misses the meaning experience of the image and is left not with an unanswered question resulting in no satisfaction from the experience.

Sometimes we are wrong, not usually, but sometimes, and without thinking, we find consciously, without thinking, that the question appears in our mind — is it really a photograph? We feel uncomfortable and seek an answer to that discomfort—What is going on!

We search for the answer— its a joke; its been photoshopped; whatever, we ask without thinking. Its that quality which a good photograph will find some way to use to increase communication of the content or meaning of the image.

Photographers can use that “knowing of the viewer” to put questions in the image, i.e. create a visual tension while the photograph as a whole resolves it.

Instantly defining it as a photograph, and what kind of photograph at the feeling level enables the viewer to quickly define the image and measure the value of the visual experience.

For many the photograph answers a question —What is it? Oh I know its a cloud in the sky. For me, it answers the question, What is it? Oh I know, its a cloud in the sky.


In Buddhist tradition the first chief disciple, Śāriputra, sat to the right side of Buddha and the second chief disciple, Maudgalyāyana, sat to the left. Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin, China; Kannon, Japan) spoke The Heart Sutra to Śāriputra. When I included stuff about Buddhism, or Krishna, or any religion

The Heart Sutra in Chinese, calligraphy by Janney.

A reproduction of The Heart Sutra scribed in Siddham (Sanskrit script) from Sacred Calligraphy of the East by John Stevens. This is a very interesting book for artists, as well as anyone interested in in the relationship between scribe and printing as graphic processes of reproduction.

If that relationship interests you , THE VISIBLE TEXT, Textual Production and Reproduction from Beowulf to Maus by Thomas Bredehoft, explores the visual relationship between scribe and printing press in the west. He argues that scribed books of the same title were often seen as different original productions in and of themselves. Writing and printing have enabled humans to communicate with other humans, even long after they have past away.

Disclaimer: On this blog over the years I have published religious related images and words because I find them interesting. There is no intention for this to be a religious forum or to promote one religion over another, or perhaps even the idea of prompting religion itself. If a religion is mentioned it is not because I support it, if it is not mentioned it is not because I am against it.

Master Hua has been around northern California for a long time, I have met people who “follow him” and I have found his self published books in second hand book stores. On this cover is an illustration of Guanyin who as Avalokiteshvara (Sanskrit) will appear as a man and as Guanyin (China) or Kannon (Japan) will appear as a woman. (See The Lotus Sutra, Chapter 25.)

Seens of four got; ten memories


Fremont has changed since I moved to California in 1979, actually everywhere has changed Even before, while living in San Jose I had heard talk about Fremont, nothing of any real interest—perhaps an apt description.

My wife and I go out for pizza on Sunday. Before covid we used to go to Whole Foods for a `slice of margherita pizza, then after the change in the crust and no more margherita pizzas, we moved to soups and then down the glass counter to chicken burritto. Later came covid.

Lately we go to Pieology which has a big eating room and on-the-wall TV sets and split one pie.

Have only seen it full once. Not so many people at any one time but people keep coming and going. .It has no silverware, dishes, glasses or anything that needs to washed for customer use. Just throw it away..

This past month , at a very slow pace I have been trying to put a couple of coats of paint on the trim ,which I can reach using the 8 foot ladder —clean off the surface , primer and exterior coats.

Maybe its just the colors, the lines, and the gesture.

Alameda Creek

I wouldn’t make any claim that the whole world passes by me as I walk along Alameda Creek. But it seems to me that one piece of human nature is the human natural ability/inclination to differentiate our sensually experiences into things, then define them —give them an identity.— seemingly a somewhat reductionary process. We get words like tree and mountain, we can see them, they are clearly different from each other . . .

because there is “nothing” between them. Air , the one thing that for most of human existence was a “no thing” used to differentiate things we discovered/created. The air which we had for thens of thousands of years believed to be nothing was really a bunch of little things so small or so transparent we cannot see them . . .

What is a “no-thing?” For so many years air was a nothing that was between “things” and then came science to show us it was bunch of small things —oxygen and nitrogen and tiny bits of other molecules.

When people acquire a bunch of things, i.e. define the things in their environment—which they have to do to survive— then they can isolate things and discover the relationships between the things, and create combinations making new things.

Language is a tool that enables people to understand that ideas, concepts and theories are things, imaginary as they may be. Language enables us to separate things by giving each a a different name so they can be identified, counted and used to communicate with other people;

Define a bunch of things, give them names, relate them to each other. and on and on, constantly increasing e a mind- database. of knowledg.e

There are different ways that humans “know things.” Science has a specific method to this on going human madness of differentiation and definition...

The scientific method includes the basic guideline, what you know and how you know it are equal parts of “knowledge”. A professional scientific methodology of an experiment includes an accurate professional record of what was done in the experiment, a record which is understandable to any professional scientist such that he or she can redo the experiment..Anyone who is willing to duplicate it may do so, perhaps there should be more of this funded.

Data collection is based on the human senses and statements and summaries are written according to commonly accepted rules of grammar and logic. This makes Science a method of knowing based on common human capabilities.

Human knowledge is the ongoing process of differentiating things, giving them a name and identifying relationships between them. A constantly changing and never ending, dance of life.


My mother suffered a stroke and memory loss. It came unexpected, there was no preparation and she lived about 3 hour drive. Because there were beneficiaries involved as POA I took care of her things, to pack them, up and place them in indefinite storage.

She lived near me, first in memory care residence, eight weeks in a nursing home rehab and the second half in a different memory care residence,

After 3 1/2 years she passed away, I brought her things in storage to my house, and over the years have moved them a few times, thrown stuff out, gave stuff away, some got broken and some still sits in my garage..

A few times a year I look at some of her personal stuff—Its an interesting connection. collection Its not stuff siblings would fight over, most of it is no $ value, just for the emotional value, some letters,, high school autograph books, records of accomplishments, a few letters never sent, memories of relatives who died before I was born. I reflect on how little I knew about my parents, or more, about how little I knew, and know, about people.

At the rehab residence, a faster paced place, laundry could have a life of its own.— pick up, at your door, wash, dry, sort and return delivery, right to your door —Operations were done in bulk and sometimes patients stuff was liable to be sorted with someone else’s, and the reverse was also true—you might find a little surprise you don’t recognize..

In previous years I made family shirts with the new year art on it . What a surprise to walk in the residence and see a stranger walking around in our family T-shirt.

Gaste gate paragate parsamgate Bohdi Svaha

A snow ball in hell

Weather two sentence with less prejudice

The facade of a building a couple blocks down Market from UN Plaza. The first time I came across it, it was new and there was some kind of small ceremony going on , I met and conversed with the father of the artist-daughter.

Where people come to eat pizza served in a cardboard box, get their own drink, napkins and plastic ware, sit at conference tables, eat and watch TV. bare walls, drab colors and high ceiling with exposed ventilation. If my memory served me right, it was a lot more fun at Durgin-Park in the 1960s.

Such a big space at the Sales Force Transit Center, above and below will be swarms of people. Most people take the elevators, still the long the long escalators are more fun

My images jump from one thing to another, the missing connection maywant to be meaningful or meaningless, but there is no more than what you see.

A little tension in the door way can go a long way each day

Alameda Creek

The evolutionary jump from primates which could communicate sounds associated with known events to a language is an interesting step.

Each little step: In this continuum of human life, some where, we try to identify the place of origin of human beings. Animals can associate sounds and things, birds warn each other of danger but only humans developed the ability to make unlimited associations of sound and “things” in time and place, and as a concept — a language.

As some “ sounds” associated some “things” became a common vocabulary among the people in the society, language begins to develop. (maybe not exactly that way, way but it probably developed slowly and incrementally as people developed ways of social interaction—rules.

On the Earth societies grew bigger and bigger in size, —imagine this evolution metaphor—families became extended families, which became intermixed groups, growing to villages towns, cities, kingdoms, to etc and then to “ sovereign geo-political nation states.

For homo sapiens to become who we are its been a long, hard road, over 300,000 years of inhuman violence and cruelty as well as times of compassion and kindness.

Culture, a field structure of human behavior is like a snowball rolling down a never ending hill, where the behaviors, especially the repeating behaviors of people attach together like an infinitely enlarging, snowball. Never stopping, always growing bigger. Peoples behaviors in the past make up this big snowball of culture.

Imagine people pop up from the surface of the rolling ball to do behaviors influencing the structure of behavior, i.e. how people behave— the snowball of culture gets larger and larger. Its an unseen force field generating a structure for human behavior, being originated by human behavior. When the behaviors we do are successful we do them again and in a society others also learn to do them. Its the natural human way of doing things.

A structure of behavior is not a material thing, you cannot see, its just the results i of various intertwined degrees of common behaviors of people as if in a gravitational field where suns and planets in outer space move around the Universe in an orderly predictable by the theory of gravity, only its the behavior of people and what happens in the relationships between people that make the structure of behavior.

As people grew in numbers, their societies became larger, geographically closer, and social human interaction increased. For most of the history of human beings migration was a common choice to deal with local problems—no passports needed. Various types of societies came and went, with cooperative and violent interaction between people, and larger and larger political units.

We now have the whole Earth divided into “nation states,” each claiming “their own history,” “national identity,“ geographical boundaries and sovereign rights. Oh, and taxpayer funded armies and a flag. to die fore.. There will be need to be some global common basis of order for societies to function together such as standard business law and standard property law.

Global economy has already teased its promise of lower prices and higher quality for more people but the structure of nation states, with ideologies of national sovereignty and political demagogues results in worldwide confrontational interactions, some military, and lots of rhetorical extremist demagoguery , people die and property is destroyed.

Earth has been divided up by people using both humane and inhumane behaviors. Its our human history, our human culture, but the benefits of this history are available to just a few. Many millions have unnecessarily died to make a better world possible for just a few. Every one born on earth should have a right to a place on Earth. Life, being alive, means you have to do behavior, do something, to survive on Earth. Of course I have no idea how to make it happen.


I do not see myself as a photographer, nor as an artist—rather a designer.

This image was photographed like you see— shadows inside of shadows— using tri-x film, the negative scanned in and the image treated as overlapped separated multi-tones in photoshop—almost 16 years ago.

Often my images are me trying to understand not my psychological self, but why I do not look like I feel.

Some people I have known decided they did not want to be around me and I never saw them again. Others just went on with their lives and I never saw them again.

I wake in the mornin’,
Hear the ding dong ring
Go marchin’ to the table
Its same dang thing.

Leadbelly, The Midnight Special

Sometimes I don’t quite know what to do with some photographs, it feels like ramming my head into a brick wall, finding no refuge in the end.

I am not a religious person, I have had some interest in the subject, mostly because of its connection to philosophy, and, well, I like the zen stories and pictures. Buddhism is said to be humanistic, there is no God, just ending the suffering of rebirth, basically the suffering of being born back in to the world. Christianity is about getting back into (reborn) heaven by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. In Buddhism I guess each reincarnation you get another shot at it, but in Christianity this life is your only chance to get to Heaven, or to, Hell—either is eternal but at least it ends rebirth.

Avalokiteśvara is the bodhisattva of compassion who hears the cries of sentient beings, and who works tirelessly to help those who call upon his name. An image of Amitabha Buddha sits on his head.

Avalokiteśvara spoke Heart Sutra to Shariputra,

Gate gate paragate parasamgate Bodhi Svhaha

Homeless hearts hear

I turned back to see
But the man I passed was veiled
In mist already

Shiki Japanese Haiku translation by Kenneth Yasuda

In Tokyo the shapes often take on its own sense of rhythm

Positioning in public reflects a rhythm , we are all people on Earth, made of the same stuff, but each one different . . .

and we live in societies, call them cultures, or countries, or civilizations, each with a structure of human behavior patterns, A one time these societies were smaller and less interconnected

Media emerged generating tools and techniques to communicate without face to face situations. Mass media, print and later electronic devices have enabled information to be instantly and ubiquitously available anywhere on Earth.

Home sapiens are been on Earth for over 300,000 years, developing many different types of societies —remember all of societies or civilizations we see were successful—they are here. The unsuccessful ones we do no know.

Most of the 300,000 years was spent in homo sapien individuals finding successful solutions to survival, Those solutions created societies with structures of human behavior—patterns, norms cultures—which have brought us some “humane” and some less than “human” solutions and behaviors to survival as “normal behaviors”—

Everyone has a birth right to be on this Earth, but it is a right not recognized or respected by history, laws, nation states, or business. Without justice for the inhumanties of our human past .Although most of these inhumanties were done in the name of God or social order, the real result is severe economic inequality creating economic and social disorder. Justice to enable a sense of Peace on Earth must address —this.Earth or any part of it is not anyone’s private property.

Alameda Creek

Science keeps pushing on to know the Universe , recently visual news from the James Webb Space Telescope were in popular news.

Science seems to push on, there always seem to be more things.

Whether you study larger or smaller, there is always some “thing” more larger or more smaller.

The larger limit is finite, its the size of the Universe—by definition the universe is one, there is nothing else that we “know,” People talk about multiple universes but by definition there can only be one. This is a concern with word usage, not observation. But what how small can you go until there is emptiness.

When we think we have reached the end —The End! that would be having identified and counted all of the things in the Universe.

Stephen Hawking said science will one day know every “thing” in the universe — the whole universe, The Universal Catalog and probably more “things” than any single human individual could memorize in a lifetime.

Still not mate what, its a “no.” Because “things” are a human concept.

It appears to me that the Universe keeps creating new things, or maybe its the people doing the “knowing” who are creating new things.

If science were discovering things which were all created at one time then that would be the same finite number then and now . . . are we creating or finding “things.”

Regarding the number of things in the Universe, it appears, we have not reached the end of the Large or Small continuum, humans just keep finding more and there is not way to determine whether they were here before or we created them.

Or, maybe, while we are busy “knowing it”— the Universe is busy “creating it.” The chicken or the egg ?? Does a “thing” exist whether or not we have a name for it: or we can see, or touch, or smell, or hear, or taste it?

The Universe is a bunch of small particles and using our senses we experience the Universe as “things,” give these things a name and call it “knowing.”

But to the Universe—as far as I know—there are just these particles, it does not experience things separated from itself, it is people that do it.


My photographs are like little insta-poems . . . a moment of something interesting to me and I make an image.

Two of my gutter hangers disconnected and I had to get up on the ladder to see what was wrong.

City governments paint the word “STOP” on the street, probably gadzillions of times and the letters slowly develop their own appearance.
The top of the “T” in the word STOP.

A program like Photoshop enables one to see the image differently. I don’t feel any constraints to an “artistic purity” “or a “photographic purity,” perhaps the main reason is when I used film I had a couple of Nikon Fs, a a 135mm, a 24mm and a infrequently used 50m lens.

The top of the “O” in the word STOP.

Even then, 1960s, I remember an exhibition taken down by the f64 “wing ” on the board because it violated their sense of “photographic purity.”

Mostly I jam just very whimsical, or maybe I cannot afford all the top level digital camera equipment. My first NikonF, secondhand, was $50.

With the radish he
Pulls out, a radish-worker
Shows the road to me.

Issa Japanese Haiku translation by Kenneth Yasuda

Gate gate paragate parasamgate Bodhi svaha