This Moment a Year in Review: 2006

Click here for all past posting entitled Moment.

Favorite Book Moment: (drum roll please) The Practice of the Wild by Gary Snyder.
Coming in an ever so close in second place is, Zen of Creativity by John Daido Lorri. This book would have been number one any other year. Deep bows to both Gary Snyder and John Daido Lorri, you both made this year so much more expressive in my own personal compositional skill.

Favorite Music Moment: Bach cello suites (I can not get enough of this music)

Favorite Sounds Moment: baby cooing & a fireplace crackling

Favorite Sight Moment: See this: 6:30 am in Pitsburgh, who would of thought?

Favorite Mood Moment: Happy-feeling good; sing with me “Sometimes I feel like dancing, I got dance the night away”

Favorite Temperature Moment: All of them, just glad to be able to feel the air.

Favorite Thoughts Moment: A seed has all the knowledge it needs to become a tree: it only needs time to grow. I am no better than a tree, I am as great as a tree:

fd's Flickr toys

Art Criticism of the Viewer?

"It is not the object expressed, but the depth of the subject expressing it, that most defines art." (KW)

Agree or disagree with that statement, nevertheless do we not judge art by the artist? Miles Davis, Pablo Picasso, Bach, Alex Gray, your favorite writer, your favorite musician, possibly we will state that art is defined "in the eye of beholder", but then I ask, why do we care to know so much about the artist's life, thoughts & deeds? Recently I had a dialogue with a friend about an artist on a television show; the artist was portrayed as a drug-addicted, self-centered, womanizing character. The question he asked was; why can an artist not be normal for them to be interesting / talented?

My answer: The artists can express different worldviews within an integral perspective, and we as the viewer are addicted to their experience. The final product can sometimes be a let down but the process of the compositional development and the environment that it was conceived in is forever tantalizing.

"And that is why ultimately, profoundly, inescapably, it is the depth of the subject that provides the objects of art."(KW)

Photo of the Week



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Do Less Under a Roof

At some point in my reading today I came across two separate phrases that resonated quite well with me. Not certain of the how or whom or where these quotes originated, I do apologize to the writers for not representing the source of their writing. With that being affirmed, I felt that they were reflective of yesterday's post on Nature and Composition.

"Do less under a roof", "How to be more by being less"-- 'sensational'
I thought, while jotting the words down on the note pad next to my computer. "Do less under a roof". Nature calls me to write, photograph, and contemplate, thus I often sought to sit outside deep in the wilderness and write about what my senses are experiencing. Lacking self-confidence, with a scared ego of being caught or simply lacking the ability to write anything of meaning I never gave the opportunity to myself. "How to be more by being less". Composition, strip your practice down to the basic groundwork. At this moment of writing I stare across my desk and look at a book on Photography Basics. This is it, my goal is not total attainment, but less is more: striking the perfect relationship between the two.


Nature and Compositions

The span between nature and compositions is as close as the search for spirit and the discovery of your own feet: ever present if you only take the time to look. In nature we can see that we are only a speck in the splendid of what is, no more or no less important then the ground we stand upon or the air we breathe in. Composition is the relationship between two: mind & body, chords & hands, canvas & paint, pen & paper.

Nature is the path to color, sound, texture, balance. Composition is the correlation to the creative flow that has always been present in nature’s big-mind.



A feeling of utter hopelessness has embraced my thoughts; today I await a reprieve to the tech issues that’s has been haunting my dreams as of late. Yesterday, I was given a twinkle of hope while posting on a discussion board. A 1:30 meeting at the Mac store this afternoon I will find out my fate. (Insert bloodcurdling music here)

-Ok, life is not that theatrical but we all no how much tech issues can s-ck. Creativity is originated in the breath, tech problems are brought into being by weakness of the ego. Presently, I practice the gift of receptivity. (Insert heavenly music here)


Open Hand Philosophy

The question of what is “open hand philosophy” has been coming up as of late. “Open hand philosophy” is my business plan; it is why I embrace creative commons, releasing copyrights to my clients and why I try to stay away from conventional marketing and advertising.

Tradition business would tell us we are in business to simply and to only make money. The question that I ask is: with new technology should there not be new philosophy toward business? Can creativity and service be our product?

Insignificant perhaps, in view of the entire occurrence on the planet at this time, but the principal offering we as photographer/business owner can make is to grow a conscious capitalism business.


A Photograph Is Excellent When:

- A photograph ought to become part of the observer collective culture. In the same way that nature has fused with our own spirit. The photograph obligation belongs to the tribe and holds an iconic place in the viewer’s heart. The eros and pathos must embrace a connection to the viewer that should be able to prevail over the distraction and chaos of existence.


Unexplainable Algorithms

The technology issue is still pending, nevertheless we are getting closer to fixing it everyday. (By the way the “we” I have been talking about is "my wife and I") I love digital photography and all the limitedness option that it gives us (the “us” in the collective “we’ sort of way not the “us” as in the “we” as my wife and me that I was just talking about). From time to time I truthfully miss holding film an organic based product that I can touch. Oh-well at the moment simplicity is found in the deep unexplainable codes of algorithms.


Intentions Surpasses Technology

-Recently I have been having a hard time writing this blog, my mind has been center on a computer quandary that we have to work through. Consequently we have been going through the process of elimination to figure out what the definite problem is? Hopefully, with prayer in my heart the setback will be solved today, with reflection in my heart I reread this older post.

When technology surpasses intentions, which equal blessing or chaos, creation is at hand. When your intentions surpass technology you sit and wait for salvation to come. (a.k.a. the repair man)


Fiction Does Not Lie

You can quote Dante, Hamlet, Catcher in the Rye or even Lord of the Rings and no one questions your intentions for the reason that you're quoting someone's work. However, you can't quote Thoreau, Nietsche, Jesus or Buddha since you are then quoting the man, not the work. The truth of fiction lives on eternally and the quest for ideological philosophy is scrutinized and questioned by the universal man. Therefore, fiction does not lie.



Tonight I have the opportunity to photograph in a method that I love; nevertheless rarely have the time to do. City-nightlife-cinematic-documentation-style of photography. Ok it's a mouth full but it’s fun, artistic, dramatic, slightly journalistic, but not actually because I am not telling a story. I will be strolling around the late night streets of Pittsburgh, looking for the "yes of the blessing" moment. The anticipation is for the capturing of holiday spirit. Do not worry because after I capture the holiday spirit I promise to let it go for all of you to enjoy. With great expectation I should/will be posting a photo in next to no time.

Intuitive Mind

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Renaissance Man

Renaissance man, Polymaths, and a student of integral theory: Am I a dreamer, not dedicated to a single idea, non-conformist with a thirst for exploration? I pride myself in self-discipline, constant student, the belief that the composition process is always a work in process. Do I deserve the title of Renaissance man? Would a true Renaissance man even consider this notion?

My passions are my family, my faith, my camera, my guitar, my meditation/yoga practice, my local library, my walks through the forest, my dog, my diet, my writing this blog. For my expectations I would love to learn a foreign language, to learn the language so well that I would no longer call it foreign. To travel the globe with my wife, to trek to the seven summits of the planet, to enjoy the culture of the not so non-foreign language that I speak so well. Thus, the question I ask myself, am I a renaissance man, perhaps the last of a dying bread?


Onset of Flurries

Tom Waits on the radio and the first onset of flurries in the air with the forewarning of 1-2 inch of snow by nightfall. A hot drink warms me as I drive past a lake as I do every morning, but today as I look out over the lake to see the flurries flying around the baron trees and whisk off the lake top, I think to myself: how much joy is found in the birth of this dying season. Snow, frozen compressed air that can make driving treacherous and your inner child dance with excitement. Tom Waits sings "There is no Devil only God when he is drunk". Perfect, prophetic words from a nasally throat singing man, I turn the radio off and smile.



Current Reading: On Literature by Umberto Eco
Music: 91.3 WYEP – support independent radio
Mood: Energy level UP! Mental clarity UP! Sprits UP!
Sounds: Printers printing, heaters humming and fingers typing.
Smells: Tea – yep I put the coffee down
Sights: Sunrise over a blossoming mountain top (ok it just a screen saver but its great).
Temperature: 37 degree and clear skies
Thoughts: Meditation, yoga and getting out of the house in time is hard, but worth it.



I received an e-mail today about my writing on this blog and it simply stated that “I enjoy your perspective". Influence is not the goal of my writing, it is simply to get my mind to think (daily) and hopefully in turn, sometimes it can also get your mind to think. Too often I find that people want to influence or change your mind or persuade you to their way of thinking without ever taking the time to understand your way of thinking, your view on the subject. I benefit from understating why and how we think, how perspectives can change thought process. Perspective is the delivery of thought that can create compassion.
***updated 12/6/06****
see this post from Jack/Zen: Paying attention to our world differently (It gives a different perspective on what I am writing about )


The Practice of Seeing

Saturday morning a walk through the woods, Sunday morning a walk through the woods: It has been too long since I have been able to “be” in the woods, to enjoy the sight, sounds, and smells of the wilderness. One of the hardest things for me to do recently is just “be” without documenting my experiences. Hence, the camera left at home, my dog by my side and the break of day is right in front of me.

The practice of seeing is the most important tool a photographer has; composition is only the ending point to where your practice begins. The discipline of enjoying the experience was a splendid exercise in getting back to seeing without pre-concepts of what I want to achieve.


1 Year Ago

I received an e-mail last night from a cherished friend of mine letting me know that it has been 1 year to the date since I performed a concert as a professional musician. 1 year. Thankfulness and sadness fills my heart. Being a professional musician has been such an emotion of grand expectation, now with reflection it is an overwhelming memory of service and compassion.

Photography is equally a blessing of service and compassion, the awe-inspiring moments of life that I get to document and preserve are truly gifts to me. Music, the guitar, songwriting, and the audience's reaction, they are all intoxicating moments that can only be shared with my music partner. Music will always be a big part of my life and I anticipate that I will play professionally again before long, but for now the memories make me smile and I hope our cd's get played every once in a while and possibly make you smile.