Thoughts on a rainy day…

Lot’s of rain falling here in the northeast limiting my photo activities outside. But I can still shoot from a train window (see above). Ernesto Bazan e-mailed me a link to a story on the closing of a well known photo bookstore in Maine, Timothy Whelan Fine Photographic Books and Prints. After reading the story I e-mailed some of my photo colleagues. I thought I would share the e-mail with all of you:

As photographers we all enjoy and are inspired by photo books. We all have our favorites. I remember the “A Photographer’s Place” bookstore in the village and how disheartened I was when it closed. Well another great photography bookstore is closing. Tim Whelan and his bookstore in Maine is well known among photographers and photo book collectors. He is free with his knowledge and very friendly. I once inquired about selling my copy of Irving Penn’s “Flowers” to him.  I prefaced the conversation by saying that I saw a copy of the book at “A Photographer’s Place” for $600.00. Without a moment’s pause he said, “and I have a copy for $125.00 on my shelf that has been there for several years”. You can put whatever price you want on a book, it doesn’t mean it would sell at that price”. This was years before the photobook collecting craze. But sure enough on the day “A Photgrapher’s Place” bookstore closed they still had that Irving Penn book behind the counter with the $600.00 price tag. By the way, I still have that Irving Penn book on my bookshelf.

I have also been thinking aboutt he ethicacy of photographing people without their permission or even being aware that I am photographing them. I always felt uncomfortable doing it but I thought that it was just my shyness. But lately I am not so sure. In my recent street shooting I have made it a point to speak to the person I want to photograph and not just snap a picture and walk away. Today photography is so ubiquitous. Images are everywhere and everybody carries a camera and everyone is a little bit more sophisitcated about the uses of images for both good and bad. Because of this I think that out of respect for a person you should at least tell the person why you are taking a picture of them or at least ask permission. At the very least I make it blatantly obvious that I am taking a picture. I find that most of the time they say yes ( or just ignore you) and everyone once in a while you get a negative answer.

I must admit thought that lately I have been attracted to creating more contemplative, unpopulated images.

Hey, I am free to create whatevere images I feel like creating. That’s the great thing about being an artist.

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