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Photography is Poetry

Denis Villeneuve (Director of the new blade runner) said in an interview: “Cinema is poetry. And poetry is free.”

Perhaps we should apply this philosophy to photography as well. And you are the sole Director of your photography film life experience. Your photography is free, and photography is your ultimate creative canvas.

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The camera as an art creation machine

If photography is our art, then our camera is our arts creation machine. Isn’t the power of the camera magical? That this machine could create art objects out of nothing, perhaps all we need is embodied imagination, our legs and our hands, a little bit of creativity, and our own imagination.

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Even a hair casts it’s own shadow

This quote from the philosopher poet and aphorist Publilius Syrus puzzled me for a long period of time. But I think I understand it at least in the terms of photography.

The general gist is that even the smallest, most microscopic, macro mode, small detail or thing can become a beautiful and great subject photograph. Morale of the story: use Ricoh GR3 and macro mode to look for more small tiny details which we might often overlook in order to make beautifully elegant simple images.

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Open Source Money

Why Bitcoin and cryptocurrency is so interesting to me — open source money. A glorious future with nobody controlling the money, but humans and people and technology.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency as the future of money, commerce, and interpersonal relationships and connections.

Also my fascination with “micro payments”— a Bitcoin being able to be infinitely small micro portions (.00001 BTC Bitcoin for example)— future of payments for online creators?

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More Effective Ways to Share and Publish Your Work

Social media (Facebook, Instagram) is lame platforms to share your work. Why? The procrustean bed — just uploading one photo at a time (to maximize your likes). Sure you can do the ‘slideshow’ feature in Instagram and Facebook, but nobody really likes it. And thus the needless social media treadmill of just maximizing your follower and like numbers.

>> See SEN. E-ZINE

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The joy of visual things

Why do I love fashion, product design, automotive and car design, graffiti, architecture, photography, painting, films and sculpture? My extreme joy of visual things. Visual things also as personified through human beings and the built social environment.

moral of the story: spend more time investigating analyzing and creating visual things. Any visual thing which inspires or motivates you or brings you joy and delight is good.

Further investigations in 3-D art, virtual reality, augmented reality, comic book and graphic book compositions, abstract art, and of course your own photography.

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Photos and Pictures

What is the difference between photos and photographs and pictures? Well, back in the day they used to call paintings pictures. Now they call paintings paintings, and they call photographs pictures.

But what are we doing as photographers? We are creating and painting your own pictures via photos. Thus perhaps to go on photography is to continue shooting, creating, making and innovating in our photography, pictures or photographs, whatever you decide to call it.

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What do you do you do once the novelty wears off?

Almost everything in life has a certain degree of novelty. For example Lamborghinis and scissor doors, and to even an extent the Tesla model X and the falcon wing doors. We all are searching for novelty in our lives and our consumer goods, but once the novelty wears off, perhaps in a week or two, then what?

My answer: perhaps the insatiable desire and lust to continue creating new art and creating new things, whether in the analogue or digital is the goal.

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Children & Purpose

Thought —

Perhaps much of the existential dread, ennui, and maybe even depression is because many moderns aren’t having kids anymore.

For myself at least, I realized — when you’re raising a kid, you’re too busy to even have the free time and effort to ‘think’ about your purpose in life, or other existential things. Perhaps (childless) philosophers suffered from this — too much time on your hands without a simple purpose (raising a child, keeping it from starving to death, etc). Having a kid is the most straight-forward way to have a strong sense of purpose, meaning, and feedback in life.

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A realization:

For my whole life, I’ve always wanted to be *somewhere else*.

For example, even as a student at UCLA, I wanted to be in Paris, skipping around like Henri Cartier-Bresson and shooting street photography there– not noting for a second that LA was actually a superbly fantastic place to shoot street photography.

If pandemic has taught me anything, it is that perhaps… your home (control center, bunker) is perhaps the best place to be. For example, I’ve realized the best coffee shop is my kitchen. Why? I have all my tools, equipment, wifi, and great coffee at home — and the ability to use the restroom without worrying someone stealing my stuff. Also with pandemic times, going indoors to a coffee shop is quite a non-concept.

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How to Optimize Your Life for Photography


Dear friend,

A thought:

Perhaps the best end-goal in life is to just focus on your photography.

What I mean by that is this:

Whenever I meet uber-successful, rich or retired people, it seems their end-goal in life (after earning money, accolades, etc) is to just focus on their artistic photographic production.

This means using their money to travel to shoot photos, use their money on photo books and education-workshops, using their money on camera equipment, printing their work, building their website, building up their personal brand and portfolio, etc.

And the more I think about it … there is no joy in life greater than photography. Consider how photography combines all elements towards general wellness. Walking a lot, thinking a lot, practicing a lot, the joy of composition, the joy of traveling and novelty (travel and photography), and the joy of the adrenaline in the streets (street photography).

So as a simple thought — optimize your life for photography.

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Bitcoin as the Simplest Cryptocurrency

Why I prefer Bitcoin as the best cryptocurrency — it is the most simple, will probably not undergo many changes (no bitcoin ‘version 2’, like Ethereum 2.0 or Chainlink 2.0). This means less stuff to follow, read up on, and stay updated with. The benefit of buying Bitcoin:

Just ‘set it and forget it’ (or just ‘buy it and forget it’).

I have a very high certainty that 20 years from now, BTC and Bitcoin will be up. Frankly speaking I have no need for money or Bitcoin myself– I will just give it all to Seneca when he turns 21 (or perhaps, 33– the age where Cindy and I conceived him).

To think decades ahead is annoying, but perhaps the best solution.

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Caffeine & Zen

A thought:

Why is it that Zen Monks seem to love drinking tea (green tea, caffeinated beverages)?

Also– why is it that I love coffee so much? My thought — a connection between adrenaline and zen (an advancement of Mihalay C’s notion of ‘flow’ — the ‘optimal mode of existence and performance’ based on doing things which are slightly dangerous and doable-difficult, in order to become fully-one with the activity at hand). This is why I have the most zen when powerlifting, shooting street photography, or having ‘risky’ social interactions with strangers.

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Speculate in yourself

A thought: in life we often speculate in other things people stocks cryptocurrency‘s etc.

However why not spend that extra money time and energy to speculate in yourself? this means investing your money in cash into yourself, your own self development, books, education, workshops, tools, equipment, services, and other random things would strike your fancy.

Perhaps put in $10,000 into your own self development is a better investment than putting into random stocks cryptocurrency Etc

Rather than investing in other uncertain ventures, know that you are the ultimate certain venture.

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Lifestyle Integration

A big personal lesson I learned once having a kid is that you must radically adapt and adjust your life and lifestyle towards pursuing your passions while taking care of baby. This baby carrier has been a godsend, which still allows me to walk around, shoot street photography, think, and work mostly on my phone.

Furthermore now that I have a baby, I cannot really walk around with a laptop. As a consequence I’ve walked around and voice dictated mostly via Siri, which ironically has been far faster and more productive than typing on the laptop, with less carpal tunnel.

So perhaps irony is that having a baby has made me more productive.

Also now that I have to take care of the baby, I have to find new and creative innovative ways to integrate baby into my lifestyle, which means going to the park and doing chin-ups while he is still strapped into the baby carrier, and also doing dips with baby strapped in. Free weight vest. This is a lot of fun and interesting to me.

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Black and white simplifies everything.

In praise of black and white to simplify photography and perhaps simplify life. Even when it comes to cars clothes and devices and accessories, perhaps to embrace the black-and-white, and the yin and yang is key.

Even when looking at your images, think about the proportion of black versus white or white versus black in your imagery as a way to think about how dynamic your compositions are.

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