Are there too many controls, buttons, dials and settings on digital cameras?

Article Dedication

In honor of

Ken Light & Jack Birns


From the Rangefinder Forum…

Registered User
Bill Pierce's Avatar
Bill Pierce is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 839


I wonder if there aren’t too many controls, buttons, dials and LCD settings, on many modern digital cameras, controls that make little difference in the final image or simply duplicate controls that can be exercised in post processing, but slow down the process of capturing a moment. Film photographers made up silly acronyms for what had to be set on their cameras like FAST – Focus, Aperture, Shutter, THINK!! They were simple minded, but they reflected the rather simple procedure that preceded settling down to take a picture. That’s sort of changed with modern digital cameras.

Should you use Auto ISO, shutter priority, aperture priority, program, manual, spot metering, averaging metering, zone metering; what focus mode and should it be single or continuous? And so on and so on…

From the early days of exposure automation and then autofocus in some film cameras, I’ve tried to come up with a single setting that could be applied to a variety of camera bodies and a variety of shooting situations so I don’t have to think about my cameras and can think about my subjects instead. I’m not totally successful. There are changes between doing head shots and football games, but for 90 per cent of my work it’s single shot, auto prefocus and lock focus, center weighted metering with shutter priority (or aperture priority when working wide open in dim light). And, as said, it’s something I’ve done for so long that I don’t think about it.

(1) What do you think about the many options offered, usually by menu choices that may take more time to set up than physical switches and dials? Are they of use to you?

(2) Have you worked out any system that simplifies and speeds the operation of many modern digital cameras that you could recommend to others?


Sure, the cameras are soooo compelx nowadays and with new touch screen designs the cameras get screwed up almost if you blow on them. If we are talking about cameras that are marketed to street / doc photogs, the poor designs must be developed by camera fondling engineers that don’t know any better. For if they were street photogs they would know the designs will fail.

My system for cameras I can’t figure out to adjust? (or take too long to adjust.)

I leave them on the dummy setting. If I start fiddling with them I can’t figure out how to get them back to a usable mode a lot of the time. For my other cams…I practice, practice and practice to be one with my cam.

Being one with your camera may sound kinda corny, but that is the best way to put it. When you shoot, you don’t want to have to think HOW, you just want to DO!

I’m an old film photog, back in the 1960’s / 70’s it was much easier to be one with your cam. We only had a few controls on the cam…shutter speed, aperture and focus. Some of the later cams had a built in exposure meter. If not, we used the rule of 16.

Or we would take a handheld light reading periodically. Don McCullin was known for constantly taking light readings.

Nowadays, with the modern cams, being one with your cam is not so easy. The cams are designed by camera fondling engineers. As such, nothing is easy to manually adjust.  It is especially tough if you own a few different brands of little cams. The controls are all different on them.

Camera Fondler 2 copyright 2015 Daniel D. Teoli

When cams were basic, it was no big deal going from a Pentax to Nikon to Canon to Minolta to Praktia to Leica. The Leica had a rangefinder, but other than that the basic controls were the same between all the cams… shutter speed, aperture and focus.

Personally I don’t bother trying to be one with my Sony P&S pocket cam or my M43 gear. I know enough to shoot them on the dummy setting but that is about it. I don’t understand how to adjust menu after menu, fast on the fly. Even if I did, I’d miss the shots by the time I reset everything. Still I produce some nice work with them on the dummy setting. What I do work on is being at one with my DSLR and Rangefinder gear.

Jimi Hendrix used to carry his guitar around the house all day long picking and playing it. What’s the old saying….practice makes perfect.

While you don’t have to do the same as Jimi with your cams, you can do an exercise that will help you improve a great deal. When you watch TV practice shooting the screen. It is a great exercise for timing, composition, fast shooting and learning the controls.

TV shot

A shot from my home TV

TV practice mr

A shot from an air flight…no excuse to not practice wherever there is a TV.

20 De Wallen Artists' Book Copyright Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr.

Even if you find yourself in a peep show booth, while making a book about Amsterdam…shoot it!

Some photogs produce museum pieces from their TV…

When I shot this project I had to do it 4 times.

I used the Sony pocket cam first. The pix looked good in-cam, but on the computer they were poor. I reshot it with my DSLR. Things went better, but there was a reflection on the TV screen due to a room light. Reshoot #3 and things improved without the light, but still not perfect. A 4th shoot got it done.

All during the 4 shoots I noticed how I would shoot at the exact or almost exact timing when going from one shoot to another. This strip will illustrate what I mean. I got basically the same facial expressions in all four reshoots. I wasn’t trying to do it this way. I just naturally focused on the peak expressions, best comps or an interesting scene..

Barbara LeMay Gone Up in Smoke 1975 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

If you not one with your cam…give this exercise a try. If you like to shoot street style, shoot TV shows where you don’t know what is happening next. If you want an exercise like I did with Gone…Up in Smoke, shoot DVD’s where you can repeatedly shoot the same scenes and compare the results.

This is also a good exercise for those bedridden and in recovery. If you can open your eyes, raise your cam and push a button…no excuse not to shoot and stay in practice!

De Wallen Graffiti copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.


The Most Photographed Generation Will Have No Pictures in 10 Years!

Article Dedication

In honor of

Robert Crumb & Justin ‘Binky Brown’ Green


From the Large Format forum…

 Bill1856 wrote:

The Most Photographed Generation Will Have No Pictures in 10 Years!


They’re everywhere. In your phone, on your tablet, you have your point-n-shoot, and maybe even a DSLR. A few might even own a film camera. You can’t escape the selfies, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. People are deluged with photographs. And today, people are taking more pictures than ever before. It’s been estimated that in the past 5 years, more photos have been taken than all the prior years combined.

The sad part is that few of these photographs will survive beyond a year. To many people, a “picture” is only good for the moment. Moms and Dads want to snap every little movement of that new baby. Grandma wants to see everyone one of those too. When you want to show off the new puppy, you pull out the phone. And in a week, none of them have any real meaning and might even get “deleted” just to make room for more pictures that have little meaning as well inside of a couple of weeks.

So what will become of all the pictures that are being taken today? Here is the reason that 99% of the photographs being taken today are soon going to be totally gone – digital images are no longer important enough to most people to actually keep them in printed form!

Yes, I started in a film only world. We bought a roll of film and took our vacation photographs. We had them developed and printed. They were put in photo albums or photo boxes. We looked at them and cherished those memories with great care. They were a slice of our life and for many, if disaster struck, those photographs were the one thing we would try to find first. Wedding albums and photographs represented our LIFE and we salvaged all we could.

It is estimated and less that 1 out of 100,000 photographs taken today actually ends up being a printed photograph. The digital world means you can look at those on some computer screen and without one, you have nothing. You probably have countless pictures that are just randomly stored and has no organization or way to locate them. Perhaps you have made some effort, but even that can seem overwhelming a task when you decide to tackle the task.

Add to this, over the years, the technology has changed so fast, that many photographs taken 6-7 years ago are stored on a type of media that is no longer supported. I have boxes of floppy discs and not even a computer that works to view them. In 5 years or less, your DVD is going to be obsolete as will your USB drives. File types are going to change as well. And the technology of tomorrow may not support these “older” file types.

Many today have older cell phones with countless pictures on them. Maybe you “shared” some on Facebook or Instagram or uploaded to your photo storage website. But none of these are “permanent” solutions to viewing your photos and sadly, many of your memories you captured today, aren’t going to be around tomorrow. So where is that old cellphone today? In a drawer someplace, your not sure where, but you know it’s around here somewhere!

There are also countless memory cards filled with photographs. Each of those represent a small slice of you or something that was a part of your life. Some are older and you have fewer options to view them as technology simply outpaces their usefulness. Does anyone remember the 256mb SD cards when today, a 4 gb is considered tiny?

Perhaps you go to a Professional Photographer and all you want is someone to “take some pictures and give us the disc”. After all, it IS a “digital world” and it shouldn’t cost you very much. You can “take them down to the 1 hr place” and get prints really cheap. No film. No prints from the lab needed to “see” them. So where are your discs today? Probably in that same drawer you haven’t found yet where that old cell phone is “lost” in. I doubt you have your DVD’s or old floppies on your wall! And when Mom asks if you have that adorable photo of your now 16 year old son or daughter- you know the one when they were 2- and you have to answer, I do, but I have to find it. “It’s on a diskŠsomeplaceŠI thinkŠ.maybe we still doŠhoney, where did we put that disk again?”.

In my home, you will find photographs. Real, honest to goodness prints. Nothing fancy in most cases and most are just plain snapshots of family at holidays, on vacation, or doing something silly or even important. These are the slices of our lives where we can open the old “self sticking” album and find out it no longer sticks. Where memories of our life unfolds before our eyes. We laugh. We cry. We tease each other. Our life is right there. It’s in that printed image that anyone can see. There is no wondering “if this file type is still supported” or does my “machine still have a DVD drive”. None of that is needed. Even the older, not quite as sharp as they used to be eyes can see them and feel the emotions of that instant in time as if it happened yesterday. These are the things we protect with everything we have should some disaster strike and the ones we start looking for first if it does. All of a sudden that $250 DeLonghi Coffee maker isn’t all that important. Nor is the fishing boat. Or the 72″ big screen TV with all the bells and whistles. It’s always the memories of our lives that become the thing we search for first.

So if you are part of this “digital revolution”, let me ask you- where are YOUR photographs? Stuck on some disc or stored out there is cyberspace someplace, hopefully, perhaps? Why didn’t you actually purchase that $500 canvas to display in your home that your Professional photographer worked so hard to produce for you? That was a “one of a kind” work of ART and an heirloom piece for your family to have and remember that little slice of their life. It is something that will be passed from generation to generation and the only visual way your heirs will see what you looked like and the love and emotions you expressed the instant that image was captured.

2025. You just found that DVD you had in that drawer you couldn’t remember which one it was. Along with 9 old cell phones that no longer will work with today’s new technology. Your 3 inch by 3 inch cube computer no longer has a DVD drive since in 2015 they were totally phased out. Your 3rd grandchild is sitting on your knee and asks to see pictures of their Mom- and all you have to show them is this piece of round plastic that is pretty much worthless. Not to mention dusty and scratched from all those old cellphones moving around every time you opened that drawer. And since Instagram had been merged with another company, and they started charging, you let that go 8 years ago.

I guess that makes you one of the “most photographed generation that doesn’t have a photograph in 10 years”. I guess it wasn’t that important then. Digital was cheap.
Cameras were everywhere. It just didn’t seem that important.

Lost memories are expensive.

Wilhelm (Sarasota)


Hollywood Blvd Selfie- infrared flash 2015 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Infrared flash photo – Pucker up! (Candid) Hollywood Blvd street selfie 2015

from Piercing Darkness artists’ book.*

*Piercing Darkness (infrared flash photography) along with my project The Americans…60 years after Frank are under joint consideration for a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship.

Well, Wilhelm makes a lot of valid points. Once a person loses their digital memories they may give their preservation more thought. I’ve lost over 2 decades of my photos and related artwork. But it was due to a flood and not digital impermanence.

What follows is taken in part from the chapter on Dye Stability Tests for Color Imaging Media from Volume 12 – Chapter 3 of the Encyclopedia of Photographic and Fine Art Ink Jet Printing Media by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Homage to Weegee copyright 1974 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

Homage to Weegee – Cigarette Caught in Mid Flight ~ Hollywood, CA 1974

The image pictured above is from a scan of an 8 x 10 work print made in 1974 that was supposed to be trashed. The work print escaped the trash can by mistake and somehow survived 38 years hidden from sight as a bookmark.

The original negative to the image as well as any final silver gelatin prints I had made were all lost in a flood. So the work print was all I had to work with to recover the image.

When I found the work print I was able to get a usable digital image from scanning it and some Lightroom adjustments. But the original work print was of poor quality and had mottled shadows and blacks….that was why is was headed for the trash can.

Many digital photographers I talk with tell me they seldom make prints. They just view their work on the monitor or on digital photo frames. This ‘no prints required’ method is one of the benefits digital photography can provide us.

But, this benefit would also work against the digital photographer if they would ever lose their digital masters. The lack of a physical negative / chrome is one of the shortcomings of digital imaging when it comes to preservation. But, we can come close to the benefit of film with a 4 x 6 (or optimally a letter size) master print.

With a high grade scan of our master print we can always recover 90% of the original image if we would ever lose our digital or film master. The master print for the digital photographer is what the physical negative is for the film photographer.

Here are a few of my photos that were lost in the flood. The only reason I can show you these is that I had some small 2 x 4 to 3.5 x 5 inch snapshot prints of them stored at my mom’s house. I was able to recover something with a scan of the prints.

Santa Monica Copyright 1984 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

House on Fire V12 Copyright 1972 Daniel D. Teoli Jr mr

Pigsheads Copyright 1983 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

Santa Anita Copyright 1983 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mrmr

When scans are done correctly, they can yield excellent results.

Dye Transfer print versus Inkjet Print scanned copy Daniel D. Teoli jr. mr

The above photos show a scan of an original Eastman Kodak dye transfer print. I then made a second generation inkjet print from the scan of the dye transfer print.

I married the original dye transfer print and the second generation inkjet print and scanned them to show comparison results. I didn’t use a high priced scanner or printer to do the tests. I used a consumer model Canon printer from Wal-Mart costing about $80 and a $200 Epson scanner.

Now, no scan is as good as the original. But, you can see for yourself, it is hard to tell which is the original dye transfer scan and which is the scan of inkjet copy print made from the dye transfer print.

Top Photograph – Dye Transfer original is on the bottom half.

Bottom Photograph – Dye Transfer original print is on the right side.

This test tells us 2 things:

1) Scans can recover about 90% of the image quality from an original.

2) Inkjet printers can equal or surpass Eastman Kodak’s dye transfer process when it comes to image quality. (In addition, dye stability tests I’ve run show pigmented inkjet prints will outlast an Eastman Kodak dye transfer print when it comes to dye stability by leaps and bounds.)

For the dye stability tests photos in this post,  I cut or masked the media in half. One half of the media was put in sunlight for 6 months. The other half was stored in total darkness. After 6 months of sun, the 2 halves were married and scanned. The half exposed to the sun was marked with an ‘S’. The half stored in the dark was marked with a ‘D’.

Dye Transfer print fade test after 6 months of sun Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr.

Test results show Eastman Kodak’s dye transfer prints to have very poor dye stability when exposed to light. But they do have good dark storage dye stability. The oldest know dye transfer I’ve come across is about 80 years old and still looked good. But when it comes to dye stability, the king is the pigmented ink jet and laser print, possibly surpassed only by the old Cibachrome prints.

Dye transfer prints shown are by: Dean Child, US Color Print Portland, OR

Below is a metal print on aluminum, something that is very popular nowadays.  The sky faded a good deal after 6 month of sun.

Bay Photo Aluminum Sheer Matte Fade Test 2015 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. m4

Pole Dancer Ros County 2012 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Below is an Epson inkjet print exposed to 1 year of sun with no noticeable fading. I use a lot of gloss optimizer in my printing and wondered about its archival characteristics. I decided on giving Epson’s gloss optimizer a 1 year stress test.

Here is a quick shot of the test results with my P&S Sony.

Epson Gloss Optimizer Test 1 Year Sun Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

After the 1 year test period was over I married the 2 halves for comparison. The black lines show the edges where the gloss optimizer extends. One year of sun produced no change to the gloss optimizer that could be seen with the eye. The results area also a testimony to Epson’s pigment based ink.

Here is the original digital file.

Freemont Street No. 2 copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

The point of fade testing is to show you that different media has different dye stability. So choose a media that is fade resistance for your master prints.

Additional testing:

De Wallen Graffiti copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Art envy and suicidal thoughts…dealing with jealousy as an artist.

Article Dedication

In honor of

Horst & Harold Edgerton


Imagine That! copyright 2012 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr


From an art forum………….

Bullet-Cat wrote:

I want to ask for the community about my inner problem: art envy.

Every time I see other’s art, a normal people can see “hmm, nice”, but when I see art, I feel panic – my heart accelerate, I feel weak and F*** depressed. I want to kill myself because of it, because ” I will never reach that skill” or “I’ll never get those pageviews” or “I will never get those art gifts from ‘divine’ artists like someone gets”. It’s making me to lose my health, and even taking pills and doing therapy, it doesn’t stop… it doesn’t stop…

I can’t even try tutorials or see other’s art for try to evolve without feeling a pain on my chest, or a depressive period that can extend for days…

Please, help ;(



“Somebody should tell you: your shots are very boring nothing is happening there just very normal snapshots and you are trying to make them look interesting by shooting with a wide angle and HDR…they are all trash.”

a comment from an anonymous online critic.

Lots of hatred spewed online nowadays from jealous people, but that is not anything new with humans. Envy and jealousy is as old as mankind. Shakespeare wrote about it as the green eyed monster in the 1600’s. Anyone experiencing so much pain that it causes them to contemplate killing themselves needs professional help…quick. Spells of depression are normal for many people, but it crosses the line when thoughts of killing oneself are entertained to fix the problem. Even if you are lucky enough to not suffer from jealousy, you may be the recipient of ill will from envious people.

Jealousy is especially prevalent in the art field. Artists are always looking…looking at life and looking at art. Art comes from within us. Art is an extension of ourselves and defines who we are.  We as artists may have to deal with other jealous artists that are trying to tear us down. We also may have our own jealously battle to deal with, when we envy other artists’ abilities and success.

The first step in the right direction is to admit you have a problem. Without admitting to yourself there is a problem you can’t define what needs to be done to fix or at least cut down on some of the pain the problem is causing.

We all have different abilities and are born with our own set of natural talents. The faster you accept that – the better it is for your mental health and inner peace.

Selection BMG 2013 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Some of us are born with genius in their field, others work for every inch and never get very far. Just how life is. The better we can gratefully accept what we have to work with – the better off our inner peace will be. Work hard, be the best you can and release the rest.  Or we can hate our life and be miserable up to the point of killing ourselves.  An artist is only as happy as their last masterpiece, so it is important for the artist to have a healthy base to support them for a lifetime of art production.

When I was first starting out in the early 70’s I wanted to be a fashion / studio photog. Eventually it sunk in I had no talent in that area – all my talent was in documentary / street photography. The day I accepted that concept I was able to release the old life and was able to make room for a new life…I never looked back.

I could have just as easily kept at the ‘studio’ direction if I forced self-will and ego over inner peace. Inner peace can tell us if we are right with life or not. But, you have to drop the ego, be open to change and listen to something other than blinding self-will.

On the other hand, sometimes it takes many years of work and sticktoitiveness to get ahead. For instance, I failed continually with my infrared flash photography for years until I developed a technique that worked for me. I could have just as easily failed at it after many years of work and thousands of $ invested – hard work means nothing in the art world.

We are the only ones that can decide how much of our inner peace we wish to destroy to pursue something. Don’t let others saddle you with expectations your peace quotient can’t afford to pay for…seek balance. A catchphrase from the O.J. Simpson trial helps me out with decisions“If it does not fit – you must acquit.” Putting peace first answers a lot of fit questions.

Transwoman & Friend 2015 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. hr

Art is a visual medium. It is common for artists to learn by comparing our art and abilities to other artists. As such, when we feel we don’t measure up we can suffer from jealousy of other artists with more skills and success than they have.

“Why didn’t I think of that?”……”Why can’t I do it that good?”……”Why is their art so popular…it is crap?”

When I see a great shot, sure, I sometimes think “That is nice, I wish I had shot it.” Other times I may see a special project a photog was lucky to pick up and think how I wish I could have shot it. I look at it, try to learn something from it to improve my own work and move on.

The artists with a serious case of art envy may not be able to release it and move on. They may hold onto it for days stewing in their own juices about their lack of skill or opportunities bestowed on them. Sticky mind syndrome is their problem. It is like the person that gets a tune in their head and it keeps repeating for hours or days.

32Whoop-Whoop 13 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

We should work to accept that there will always be people above and below us in any field. Even if we are lucky and skilled enough to be high up in our own field, many times a different art genre requires different skills and we may not produce much worthwhile in that field. Eventually, even as the top in our field, we get old, lose skills and someone replaces us.

This is just how life is…impermanent. It is good to practice mindfulness, be in the present and enjoy life this minute. Don’t fall in the trap of waiting to live life, projecting into the future and regretting the past – live life now as well as you can…this very moment. When you practice mindfulness, your mind is concentrated on the moment and not stuck in the past or future.

21Whoop-Whoop 21 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

Artists as well as musicians seem to have a higher suicide rate than other occupations. With all the competition out there, art is an especially hard field to advance to higher levels in. As such, we may put 110% of our effort in our art and can still go nowhere.

Some link ‘creativity’ to higher rates of suicide. I’m no expert, but I don’t think creativity has much to do with it. I think it is due to higher stress from the financial insecurity most artists experience in order to pursue their art…the starving artist syndrome. Suicide rates may be higher due to this art envy syndrome as well, I just don’t know. I can say the life of many artists is a tough one. Few ever make enough money from their art to live on even at poverty levels. Being poor, having one’s art ignored in a world polluted by images, it is easy for the artist to be depressed.

If you haven’t seen this series by Ken Burns, do so. You can get it from your library. Outstanding series showcasing the trials and tribulation artists go through to practice their art.

LAS Busker Daniel D. teoli Jr. thin border mr

We may see people of lesser skills move way ahead of us or become jealous of those with skills we envy…and it can eat us up. We are too invested in the outcome. In the art field it helps your inner peace quotient if you can work blind and produce art devoid of expectations. If we do art for love, without expectations of results, we can enjoy art more so than if we attach conditions and expectations to our art ~ expectations are pre-planned resentments.

I’ve had projects that I’ve worked on for a year, almost full time, paying $15,000 out of my pocket to fund the project. The project was a landmark one, with outstanding photography and I could not even place the finished project for free. That is how things can go for the artist, we just have to move on to the next project. If we don’t like it – we should not be an artist.

Art is the way many of us make sense of our world. A wordsmith sifts it all through their brain and writes a book or article, a musician composes a song, a poet pens a poem, an artist sketches a drawing or does a painting, a photog shoots a pix, a sculptor forms a statue. We each express what is in us through our art.

Hollywood Blvd Selfie- infrared flash 2015 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Art is therapy for many of us. Art relaxes the brain while it concentrates it. This phenomena is similar to certain outdoor sports like rock-climbing, skiing, skating, mountain biking, etc.. We can stay concentrated even while being in a relaxed meditative state…working meditation. Art therapy is not supposed to end up killing us…stay concentrated, but still be relaxed.

Fourth of July 2013 CV Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

If art envy is killing you, you may have to move away from it for a period or even for good. Art is not worth dying over. But from the description Bullet-Cat wrote, they may be the kind of personality that transfers ‘be the best or die’ to any work or field they get into. We can always do a quick ‘acid test’ to see what direction we should head in by testing both extremes. Either more of a thing will make us feel better or it will make us feel worse.

Selection BMG 3 copyright 2013 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

There is a reason the 7 deadly sins are labeled deadly.

1. Greed – Wanting too much of something.
2. Gluttony – Similar to greed, but gluttony is the action of taking too much of something in.
3. Lust – The need to fulfill unspiritual desires (not just sexual desires, but this is usually what lust is associated with.)
4. Envy – Jealousy; wanting to have what someone has.
5. Sloth – Being too slow or lazy at doing something.
6. Wrath – Vindictive anger; angry revenge.
7. Pride – Being too self-satisfied

In excess they all can kill. Even things that are good for us, like water and air, can kill us in excess. While a little envy and jealousy can sometimes be a motivator to get our ass in gear, it should best be avoided by those that do not have the ability to deal with it in a healthy way.

Anger is an emotion connected to envy and jealousy. We may get angry when we envy other’s success or we get angry when we have to deal with blowback from people envious of us. Artists also get angry when they feel they are snubbed in the art world. Anger is based in our lack of control. Again. working blind helps. With or without positive comments, with or without attention we keep producing our art. In short we produce our art for us and not for others.

Anger was instilled in us by nature as a survival mechanism to get us out of unhealthy circumstances. If we are a ‘complacent blissninny’ and ‘at peace with it all,’ being indifferent to danger and unhealthy surroundings may end up killing us. Be that as it may, even so-called ‘justified anger,’ that may be the foundation for healthy change for us, is still not a peace generating emotion…it is inner peace destroying.

Selection from 'Bikers' Mardi Gras' artists' book by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

There is no magic bullet to success. I don’t pretend to have the answers, these are all things that have to be dealt with from the inside out and not from the outside in.  Dealing with our emotions is an inside job. Most people nowadays are looking for inner fulfillment through outer circumstances. Since life is always in flux, basing our inner happiness on ephemeral things is not a secure long-term solution to happiness. Self-worth has to be built on something else that is intrinsic within us. Our self-worth remains with us even if we are stripped naked.

Living a happy life can be easier if we accept to live within our means, comfortably fit within our space and gratefully accept our current position and abilities in life. When we push too hard to get or be something we cannot comfortably  have, that is when trouble starts. If you want more out of life then work towards your goal of change, but still strive to be happy where your at.

Keep in mind that just as we all have different art capabilities, we all have different  breaking limits when it comes to dealing with an uncomfortable life we have created for ourselves. If working towards your goal is unattainable in a way that does not destroy your inner peace and make you so uncomfortable you wish you could die – you may want to rethink things.

One formula* for a happy life is to…

Have someone to love

Have someone to love us

Have something to do

Have something to look forward to

*(If your a politician or monarch, then you must add ‘having control over others’ to your happiness formula.)

While the happiness formula sounds simple enough, happiness seems so illusive nowadays in our complex world.

Multitasking seems to be the norm for most of us…

BMG Project Infrared Flash 2015 Daniel D. Teoli Jr mr - Copy

I suggest anyone having problems with depression get counseling and also do some writing on the subject. Writing uses a different part of the brain than talking. Writing can help get at the foundation of the problem.

If your a poor artist and have no med insurance check out:

A constantly busy mind cannot heal itself. Meditation can help relax the mind. Eat healthy, get plenty of sleep, stay off drugs, cut out alcohol, get some good sweaty exercise…every little bit of healthy living helps depression. One thing is for sure, you must restructure your life if you want a modicum of inner peace, if your current way of living is not cutting it.

“Never give up! Don’t listen to the haters. Don’t try to be an artist unless you can work and live in isolation, without any thanks….bleak, but needed until you get to the much lauded place.” ~ Scape Martinez

Further Reading:


De Wallen Graffiti 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Charles Waldrum aka ‘Moondog’ a long-time fixture of Wheeling, WV

Moondog Wheeling WV 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Charles Waldrum aka ‘Moondog’ a long-time fixture of Wheeling, WV – 2014

From The Americans…60 years after Frank artist’s book by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Photographed in front of the main Post Office on Chapline Street, Wheeling, WV.

I’m not a big fan of grunge HDR, I prefer less extreme hyper-real aka painterly HDR. I shot Moondog with the sun behind his head and didn’t have a working flash with me. Grunge was the only option to allow his face to have decent detail…so grunge it is!

An article about Moondog…

Raleigh County Blues – November 1, 2014

By Steve Novotney


It’s his favorite question, and he asks it with charmingly sincere curiosity.

That is why, if you see him and proclaim your love for him, he will ask you, “Why?”

At that exact moment, you possibly could develop countless reasons – he’s an icon, a mascot, a protector, the perpetual grand marshal, a survivor, a free spirit, a gentle soul, a bodyguard, a legend, and a tradition.

In fact, the Wheeling Nailers honored him in March 2008 with his own bobblehead night at Wesbanco Arena, and the game sold out.

Some, however, choose to believe his impact on the “Friendly City” is a negative one. These people say they see an unkempt man with an overgrown beard, longer-than-usual finger nails, a menacing flashlight, a beat-up bike, and a rough appearance. They also question others’ fascination with him. One person, several years ago, even took a shot at him in the Warwood section of Wheeling.

“That didn’t scare me. It wasn’t even close,” he said with a smile. “Won’t go back there, though.”

What IS Charles “MoonDog” Waldrum to this city of nearly 30,000 residents? His friends believe he is the last pure, innocent soul in Wheeling, W.Va.

“I have never seen him hesitate to give a kid his leftover change to buy a piece of candy or a bag of chips,” said Jessica Yost, the daughter of the owner of the 16th Street Convenient Store in East Wheeling. “He always lends a hand at my dad’s store and never asks for anything in return.”

Jessica’s husband, Jeff, is also a former employee of the store and is currently battling cancer. “Charles, as he so eloquently says it every time I see him, is like a brother to me. He asks me every time he sees me how I’m feeling through all of my treatments and stuff,” he said. “He’s a great man, and he takes pride in his city and the citizens of it.”

Now, who IS he? That is a completely different story.

Waldrum is not homeless. He was born in Wheeling – one of 11 children – and raised in East Wheeling. The 56-year-old shaves twice a year, but never down to his bare face. He did not graduate from high school and has never held down a regular job. He lives in East Wheeling and has a record as a juvenile fire-setter, but he has not been suspected in a single fire investigation over the last four decades.

He pays his rent with the monthly Social Security check he has received since his father died more than 30 years ago. He has suffered his own health issues, too, yet he donates to charitable causes in which he believes.

And he does not like his nickname.

“They started calling me, ‘Moondog’ a long time ago,” Waldrum said, “because I go out at night a lot.

“I go out at night because it’s cooler. That’s why,” he explained. “But I ain’t no dog. I look for stuff that ain’t right. I try to help because there are some bad people in this world.”

Former Wheeling fire chief Steve Johnston served as a firefighter for more than 30 years before his retirement in 2009, and he knows Waldrum better than most. “He looks homeless, but he’s not,” he explained. “People may think he’s a bad person, but he’s not a bad person. He looks the way he looks because that’s the way he wants to look, and he helps the (fire) department and the police when he sees something.

“His appearance allows people to think that he’s living on the streets or that he’s not mentally well. It’s hard to explain Charles – he’s not a genius who has decided to live this kind of life, but he’s also not helpless either. He does what he does because that’s what he wants to do, and you see what you see because that’s what he wants you to see. His bike tells a lot of his story.”

Although he assists others, there have been local citizens who have committed crimes against him. Most often, they involve that signature bicycle. “Someone stole my bike in July near Dairy Queen,” Waldrum said. “I reported it, but the police never find them when someone steals them.

“I think they throw them in the creek, and that’s stupid. That’s a waste,” he continued. “I don’t like those people, and I don’t like the people who call me names.”

Bum. Loser. Moron. Fool. Freak. Idiot. Scumbag. Weirdo. Retard. He says he’s been called that, “dirty n-word,” too.

“I don’t care what they call me. They don’t know me,” Waldrum said. “When they call me the ‘n-word,’ they’re being racist. Doesn’t matter who says it. They’re a racist.

“They hate … don’t know why,” Waldrum said. “They must hate themselves, too.”

Charles Waldrum roams many more neighborhoods than his native East Wheeling, and he also visits several cities, towns and villages during the course of each year. Last year alone he appeared in Christmas parades in Ohio, Marshall and Belmont counties, and he’s consistently met with smiles, waves and applause.

How does he get to each event?

“Ride my bike,” he explained. “Those places aren’t too far for me – even in the snow. The worst is going up and down that hill (along U.S. 40 near Blaine, Ohio). It’s hard going up it and it’s cold coming down.”

But does he own a clue as to how most folks feel about him in Wheeling? Or that several people have created fake Facebook pages and Twitter accounts using the nickname he loathes? Or that many have purchased his “Meet Me in the Alley” portrait from Wheeling photographer Bennett McKinley?

“There is a difference between the person and the (Moondog) character,” Johnston said. “But I don’t think he cares if people recognize him as any more than the guy on the bike with all the flags.”

So he doesn’t care the masses see him as iconic?

“Don’t even know what that means,” Waldrum admitted. “I’m me. Charles. That’s who I am.




Selection from ‘Girls of the Beat Generation’

A forthcoming 6 volume artists’ book series by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

A complete list of artist’s books by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.


De Wallen Graffiti 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.



Bikers’ Mardi Gras parties are in a class by themselves!

Article Dedication

in honor of

Alfred Eisenstaedt & Bill Brandt


BMG 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr 15 V48 5.75 x 7.35 3880 mr Piercing Darkness Infrared Flash 41 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr - C Piercing Darkness Infrared Flash Daniel D. Teoli Jr. 22 mr - C PD 2015 Daniel D. Teoli Jr mr - C PD Infrared Flash 56 2015 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr - C Piercing Darkness Infrared flash 7 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr - C Piercing Darkness Infrared Flash 44 Daniel D. Teoli Jr - mr C Piercing Darkness Infrared Flash 2 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr - C Piercing Darkness 88 Infrared Flash Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr - Copy Kissers Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Kissers Daniel D. Teoli Jr mr Piercing Darkness Infrared Flash 2015 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr - - C Kissers Daniel D. Teoli Jr (1) PD 2015 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr C BMG Project Infrared Flash 2015 Daniel D. Teoli Jr mr - Copy PD 2015 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr - C PD Daniel D. Teoli Jr mr- Co PD 2015 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr - C PD 2015 Daniel D. Teoli Jr mr - Copy Piercing Darkness 2015 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr - C v14 PD copyright Daniel D. Teoli Jr mr - c Homage to Mssrs Weegee & Yoshiyuki copyright 2015 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr - c Bikers' Mardi Gras copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. lr Bikers Mardi Gras no. 88 copyright 2014 Daniel d. Teoli Jr. mr Bikers Mardi Gras no.55 copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr French Riviera...Ohio Style! copyright 2012 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr BMG copyright 2012 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr Pole Dancer copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr 'Dirty Dancing' Copyright 2013 Daniel D. Teoli Jr V6

.Naughty Girl Copyright 2013 Daniel D. Teoli Jr Vivid FAB



Any modern day auto focus cam will beat a Leica rangefinder for speed of focus…

Article Dedication

In honor of

Lee Friedlander & Larry Fink


Any of the modern day auto focus cams will beat a Leica rangefinder for speed of focus. But, few of the modern day ‘auto’ cams will beat a Leica for on the fly, instantaneously, with no shutter lag shooting in bad light.

There was a camera fondler on the forums that wanted Leica to dump their perfected manual lens and rangefinder design and make the lenses auto focus and replace the ‘out of date’ rangefinder with an EVF.

GD…the 2 things that make the Leica stand above all others are what he wants to dump. I just don’t get it? If they want to improve the Leica they can make the buffer a lot faster, put better sensors in them and cut the price down by 75% by making them in Japan. But other than that Leica is a pretty perfect design as-is.

You can always tell who are the Leica snobs on the forums. The one’s that don’t know their ass from the proverbial donut hole…or is it their ass from the proverbial hole in the ground? It is not that I am stuck on manual focus lenses and rangefinder designs for snob appeal, but these 2 components are what is required to ‘get the shot’ in certain situations. Couple this with a compact footprint…and you have a Leica!


Staten Island Ferry  NYC

Selection from The Americans…60 years after Frank by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

The sensors Leica use are not worth the money. So something else has to make up for the vastly overpriced cost of a Leica if we only look at the IQ of the finished photo. The Leica excels at low-light, manual focus and / or zone focus work. The other benefit of the Leica is straightforward manual controls like shutter speeds and aperture. You can adjust the controls without even looking at the camera, you can just count the clicks. You can also zone focus a Leica by not looking at it. You feel the protrusion on the lens and adjust it to a predetermined spot correlating to the focus scale.

The Fuji-X does offers some of the same benefits as the Leica with limited manual controls. That was a big help when I shot this project.

If your not doing any of that type of work, you don’t need simplified manual  controls or are a camera fondler – then I’d tell you to buy something other than a Leica. There are much better deals out there that a Leica.

(If you doubt what I say about shooting ‘on the fly, instantaneously, with no shutter lag’ with Leica?  Swing your cam around wildly, in a dark room and see how long it takes to shoot in AF mode while you press the button while swinging it. See how off the mark the shutter is released from the time you pressed the button. )

Diglloyd thinks the Sony a7R II will kill the Leica M.

Well, he does make some good points in his report, but the bottom line is…the Sony is no Leica. Same thing was said about the Fuji-X a few years ago…a Leica killer. The Fuji ended up not being a Leica killer either.

Diglloyd does nice work, but he looks like he is a tripod photog for the most part. In his review he approaches the subject as a landscaper and not as a doc photog. So of course he thinks Leica is not that great of a choice. He is right, there are much better cams that will give him far more bang for his buck than a Leica with what he shoots. The Leica is a reporters cam, it is not a great landscaper’s cam.

Look at Diglloyds pix at his site, then look at mine.

You decide who knows more about street and documentary shooting. My review of the Leica is as a street / doc photog and not as a landscaper.


I’ve been a street / doc photog for 48 years. My photographs are in 125 museums and public collections around the world.

I’ve got nothing to sell you, no agenda to push, so I am not going to feed you a lot of bullshit. I’m not trying to get you to buy my book or come to my seminar. I don’t have a line of fat, useless camera straps I’m trying to push on you. I’m not pretending to be a ‘rumor mill’ that is secretly funded by the camera companies. You don’t have to PayPal me $5 to support my ever growing family.

I don’t approach any of my reviews as a fanboy or camera fondler. Cameras are just tools I use to get the photo…that is it. My goal is just to give you the balanced truth, as best I can discern it to be. My hope I that it will educate the young, up and coming photogs, as well as the camera fondling engineers that make all these problem ridden, crappy designs they try and pass off as street photogs cams.

If Sony made a knockoff digital rangefinder of the Leica for $2500 with a 42 MP FF sensor, then Leica might be worried. But there is no manual digital rangefinder substitute out there, so there is no real competition for a Leica. The Fuji-X is somewhat Leica-like, but it has many shortcomings compared to a Leica.

Since Diglloyd is not a street / doc photog, he is in no position to review it as a tool for that use. He does not understand the benefits of a manual rangefinder. He may say he knows the benefit of the Leica for doc use, but his review and portfolio betrays his words.

Leica IS the epitome of perfection of simplicity when it comes to manual controls.

Back in the day, the photogs for Life Magazine would routinely maintain a large number of Leica, Nikon or Canon rangefinders in their stable. They would carry 3 on their person, keep 3 at the hotel for back-ups and have 3 back home getting CLA’d.  Who can afford to do that nowadays with Leica?

OK, with zoom lenses we can get by with less cameras. But you still need a handful of cameras if your a pro. You can’t risk traveling on assignment with one cam. The problem with Leica nowadays is it is too expensive to be a reporters camera any longer, it is made mainly for camera fondlers.

The Leica is a very overpriced cam if you value it by what it produces. You would figure with all the $$ Leica charges they would use top end sensors. Sadly, Leica uses second rate sensors in their cams. (At least the color cams. The MM has a very sharp sensor, although it tends to burn out the highlights.)

With all the money they charge, Leica’s sensors should be the standard of the industry that the other camera producers are always trying to catch up to. Instead, Leica sensors are always a generation or two behind the other guys. My cheap $400 Fuji X will outshoot my $7000 Leica M240, especially in low light conditions.

Why do I shoot the $7000 Leica if my $400 Fuji produces more or less as good as my Leica?

I like the Leica controls, I like the rangefinder. I don’t like the controls on the Fuji. (I hate the Sony controls even more.) It is just sad that one has to pay such a premium for Leica’s manual simplicity, but that is how it is in the camera world. The camera fondling engineers have ruined the controls on the rest of the cams.

Now, if your into fondling your camera and like superb fit and finish, no one does it better than Leica or the old film Hasselblad’s.  Leica is the Rolex of cameras. But, not being a camera fondler myself, fit and finish is on the back burner for me. I am after the photograph and not the fondling.

What needs to be done in photo land is for the Japanese to make an affordable Leica knockoff rangefinder. There are many times I can’t risk using the Leica and have to settle for the Fuji. With certain projects I know reasonably well my camera will get destroyed and can’t afford losing one or two $7000 cams.

If Leica needs to be put to sleep, it should be done with a real Leica knockoff in the Japanese tradition. Not some phony wannabe with a program dial and loads of buttons, a touch screen and a zillion program menus to scroll through like a Sony or Olympus.

Bottom line…Will Leica survive or die?

I don’t pretend to know. I do know Leica is in a class by itself. Even if it has a sensor that is not top notch and is over-priced, there is nothing in the camera world that is like shooting a Leica.

Leica has perfected what is needed in a documentary camera eons ago. Impeccable manual controls and simplicity are what does it for me.  For others that have the $ and like fine things, nothing matches the fit and finish of a Leica.

Here are some recent shots with the Leica M240…(everything is handheld.)

De Wallen Artists' Book no. 15 Copyright Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mrmr L1002102-V28 7.6 x 7.6 mr+ higher res Freemont Street No. 2 copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Washington Momument copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr St. Martin 11 copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr Reinbeau copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr L1004397-V4 lr L1004327_V7 lr L1003231_-V15 7.5 x 7.5 L1003119 V19 mr 7 Dam Square no. 2 Copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr
Freemont Street 1 copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr
W L1000340 v9 MR
13Whoop-Whoop 73 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr 11Whoop-Whoop 33 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr
St. Martin 76 copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr
LAS copyright Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr
St. Martin 56 copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr
LAS Busker Daniel D. teoli Jr. thin border mr
48 L1002100 V12 8.1 x 8.1 ckd mr
Plane Worshipers copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.
33 De Wallen Artists' Book Copyright Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr.

Selection from 'Bikers' Mardi Gras' artists' book by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

** Just for comparison…the photo below of the girl and guy was shot with the $400 Fuji X-E1**

Jugglos Project Copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr
** Just for comparison…the photo below of ‘Pinky’ was shot with a Nikon D610. **
The Americans 60 years after Frank 2015 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr
Hen Party Amsterdam Copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Selection from 'Bikers' Mardi Gras' artists' book by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

De Wallen copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr (2) mr De Wallen copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr (1) mr

Bikers Mardi Gras no.55 copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

Crypt St. Michan's copyright 2015 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

Above is a sample of ISO 3200 with the M240

Further reading:


Photos used in this post are taken in part from the following limited edition artists’ books by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Encyclopedia of Photographic & Fine Art Ink Jet- Printing Media -12 Volume Set

Bikers’ Mardi Gras 

De Wallen: Amsterdam’s Red Light District

 180 – The Circular Fisheye at Large

The Americans…60 years after Frank *


Secrets of Candid Photography

*The Americans…60 years after Frank along with my project Piercing Darkness are under joint consideration for a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship.


De Wallen Graffiti copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.