Whether you call it camera fetishism or camera fondling…it is all the same disease.


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 Article Dedication

In honor of

Robert “Radio Bikini” Stone & Donna Ferrato


Over at the Rangefinder Forum they were discussing camera fetishism. Whether you call it camera fetishism or camera fondling…it is all the same.

Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 13

Is the Leica obsession a fetish?

HNY everyone

Over the course of 2015 I acquired a couple of Leica lenses and an M3, all of which I use and enjoy. Yet since obtaining these tools, I’ve also developed a strange obsession with other lenses, bodies, etc. The 28mm summicron ASPH, the noctilux, the M-240, etc. Although an objectively low-earning type, I could probably afford buy an M6 and a 35mm lens, or whatever, which I would also use and enjoy. But my real question is whether or not the fixation on Leica merch and glass, tools if you will, is a fetish.

Does anybody else spend large amounts of time looking at pictures of cameras and lenses that they’ll probably never buy, even if they could? Is it a fetish? When I was a mechanic, I remember snap-on tools had a huge pull, but for whatever reason, maybe the marketing/ad dept, they never captivated my desire and imagination to such a profound level.

While I must say these tools have fostered a newfound interest (and ability to pursue) in composition, the darkroom, B+W photography, and I have educated myself the best I know how, something about the desire for more gear and the fascination with expensive glass feels oddly perverse. Sometimes you’re up at four AM and reading Overgaard or looking at the classifieds here and it just feels a little off.

The Rangefinder Forum gave me a lifetime ban a few years ago, but I still like to check in to see what the camera fondlers are up to even if I can’t post. Really, it is the best of both worlds for me. I can read the forum and comment exactly like I want to without censorship here. And I don’t have to listen to the head camera fondler that runs that forum.

Camera Fondler copyright 2015 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

Well, I may have been the first to coin the term ‘camera fondler,’ but it is NO joke. I find the vast majority of the photogs on the photo forums are not serious photogs and fall into the camera fondler category. They spend more time fingering their cams and getting hard-ons than pressing the button.

We can see this in poor mgrinnan’s post. He wants to be a great photog, but the best he can do is read the want ads and fantasize about what to buy next. In short, instead of looking for opportunity to press the button more, he is looking at camera porn and drooling to acquire more equipment.

A common trait with the fondlers is this…they feel they can never produce anything worthwhile with what they got. They always blame their equipment and never themselves for their shortcomings. They believe if they only had ‘this cam or that lens’ – then they could produce!

Here is the deal…

If you don’t produce anything worthwhile photographically, then just admit to yourself your a collector / fondler. There is nothing wrong with being a fondler. The damage comes when the fondlers make themselves out to be experts at photography and dispenses the wrong information to the young guns coming up. That is the issue I have with the fondlers.

Here is an example…

One fondler on the photo forums said “why doesn’t Leica get rid of the rangefinder and shutter speed dial and put auto focus and a program dial on the M.”

Fondlers…do you ever wonder why your photos look like they do? Believe me fondlers, auto focus and a program dial has nothing to do with how my photos come out.

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


I was first exposed to the fondling notion after I inherited a few thousand dollars of silver when my mom died. I joined a precious metals forum and asked about disposing of it. After reading the posts there I discovered the precious metals devotees like to take their gold and silver and fondle it.

I was looking for a good tactical flashlight and joined a flashlight forum…same thing. Many members amass flashlights not to use them, but to fondle them.

You would never think so, but flashlight fondlers can spend tens of thousands of $ on their lights.

The SureFire HF4B Hellfire (circled in red) cost $4989.99 just for it!

Some flashlights that didn’t cost very much when issued now go for thousands of $… like this Surefire U2 Porcupine

Custom made flashlights can cost $1500 to $3000+ each…

Guns…same thing… lots of gun fondlers….they love to play with their guns, but never get round to shooting them all.

Flashlight and gun photos are from the internet.

Well, I must confess that every year or so,  I pull out my Hassy SWC to look it over and ‘dry fire’ it a few times. I give it a few minutes of fondling and reminiscing. I think back to the old days when the SWC was my mainstay.

Crazy Copyright 1975 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr 'Sunlit Slipper' Copyright 1973 Daniel D. Teoli Jr V16. 56 img525-Print V8 MR 50 img028-view V19 Print Final MR 36 img183-V8 MR 24 'Gypsy Woman' Copyright 1973 MR

But, I can’t develop too much of a hard-on for fondling the Hassy. I got 3 years of photos I have not even looked through yet. That is the curse of digital…makes it easy to produce prolifically.  So, I have to decide whether to be a serious photog or be a serious camera fondler.

…No, I don’t believe in marinating photos a la’ Eric Kim style. I’m just too overloaded with photo projects to have the time.


Well, there are worse things in life than being a camera fondler. There is nothing embarrassing about coming clean.

I mean…you could be into collecting soiled women’s panties for a hobby.

Araki – Tokyo Lucky Hole


Backup link:


Here is the confession of another camera fondler…from the Rangefinder Forum

Fuji fan
lxmike's Avatar
lxmike is offline
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Co Durham NE England
Posts: 1,854

What is your most tactile camera

Rather embarrassingly l have owned far too many cameras and have chopped and changed far to many times however part of the fun is that l have come across a few great beasts that have been great to just sit with and hold. Another member on a different thread highlighted that sometimes a camera just by being there creates a need to fondle it, to hold it…l get this l really do, sometimes l use the excuse that l am just exercising the shutter speeds but deep down l know that l really just need to hold a certain camera, why because certain cameras just need to be held…and so what camera do you just hold, or what cameras have you used that were so special just holding them made you feel good…….just realised that maybe on rereading this thread l need to get out more or get therapy for me to hold a Barnack is a joy, holding and playing with my IIIf gives me great pleasure

Fuji X Pro 1, XE-1, X100, 35/1.4, 18/2
Leitz IIIf BD, Elmar 3.5/3.5, Summar 5/2
Zorki 6, J12 35/2.8
Kodak Retina 1a


He really developed a hard-on for his Leica…didn’t he. Well, at least this guy is honest. That is more than can be said for most of the fondlers out there. If the fondlers could realize one message from this post it is this. There is tremendous enjoyment when you can become settled and satisfied with your gear and are free to just produce iconic work.

A mistake I see many of the young gun, camera fondling photogs make is using big, bulky straps and half cases for their cams. They like to pimp their cams with loads of unneeded crap that weighs them down and makes their cam harder to use.

This camera fondler from the Fuji Forum (they banned me) spends more time changing shutter buttons than actually pressing them….


Cartier-Bresson on what is needed for doc work…


The camera fondlers are on an endless search for the perfect cam that somehow is just beyond their reach and is the ONLY reason why they can’t produce anything worthwhile.

All the while the fondlers load their cameras up with fancy push buttons, thumbs up, custom skins, hand made straps, leather half cases, fat grips, screen protectors and ever other goddamn thing they can think of to put on a cam to bloat their ego and make their cam more useless.

I see some camera shoulder bags selling for $750. An expensive bag will boost the fondlers ego when their photos won’t do the job. I don’t give a shit what cams I use or the bag I carry them in…as long as they do the best job they can for me freezing time.


Of course, when I bring this subject up on the photo forums…they ban me. I’ve been thrown out of a number of forums just for using the words camera fondler. People do not like their bubble burst.


Gamblers Anonymous on the subject of what may drive the fondlers compulsion…


“A lot of time is spent creating images of the great and wonderful things they are going to do as soon as they make the big win. They often see themselves as quite philanthropic and charming people. They may dream of providing families and friends with new cars, mink coats, and other luxuries. Compulsive gamblers picture themselves leading a pleasant gracious life, made possible by the huge sums of money they will accrue from their ‘system’. Servants, penthouses, nice clothes, charming friends, yachts, and world tours are a few of the wonderful things that are just around the corner after a big win is finally made.

Pathetically, however, there never seems to be a big enough winning to make even the smallest dream come true. When compulsive gamblers succeed, they gamble to dream still greater dreams. When failing, they gamble in reckless desperation and the depths of their misery are fathomless as their dream world comes crashing down. Sadly, they will struggle back, dream more dreams, and of course suffer more misery. No one can convince them that their great schemes will not someday come true. They believe they will, for without this dream world, life for them would not be tolerable.”


Jenny copyright 1972 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

OK, the camera fondler may not be a compulsive gambler, but they surely fit into the compulsive spending category. Many addictions share this same dream world addiction. They need their drug of choice to use as an escape from the reality of life.

If you read the camera fondler’s threads on the photo forums they are always about ‘What did you buy?’ and ‘What are you planning to buy?‘ Why don’t they write about, ‘What did you shoot?’ and  ‘What are you planning to shoot?’

The only good thing about the fondlers is they keep the cam companies in biz with their continual spending. More than a few guys on the Leica forum wanted to spend $20,000 for a Leica with no screen when it was first introduced. They felt the screen was the root of their problems. The ‘screen’ was the only reason why they took shitty pix….SAD.


Camera Fondler 2 copyright 2015 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

Well enough ‘Sontag theory’, lets get back to earth with practical application…

Personally, I use a shoulder strap less than 5% of the time. The only reason I would use a shoulder strap is when I need to carry and use 2 cams.

This is how I roll most of the time…


The camera fondlers want the most ego boosting strap they can get. They gravitate towards expensive, bulky, wide, handmade, custom leather and sometimes very bright straps.

I prefer minimal bulk with my wrist straps. The camera fondler would never go for one of the little straps I use. No ego boost nor would they trust their cam with it…the strap could break!

I put the little straps I use to the test. They have a 30 pound bursting strength and will hold 25 pounds with no problem.


Joel Meyerowitz recounts a story of Cartier-Bresson throwing his Leica in the face of a drunk to stun him while retrieving the cam with the shoulder strap. I can’t say the little wrist strap will take that abuse and not break. But barring that use, they have never let me down and I have owned many dozen of them.

Listen up camera fondlers, anal pixel peepers and fanboys…

All things being equal, it is the photog and not the cam that brings in the iconic shot. If you wish to improve your photos do more button pushing and less gear fondling.

BMG 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

When it comes to having soemthing to fondle…get a boyfriend or girlfriend to fondle and use your gear for what it was intended for…freezing time.

Further reading:





Photographs used herewith are taken from the following limited edition artists’ books by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.


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

Peephole: Peering into the World of 1970’s Hollywood and L.A.

Portfolio: Peering into the World of 1970’s Hollywood and L.A.

Bikers’ Mardi Gras

180: The circular fisheye at large!

Gender Benders from the 1970’s


Selection from The Americans…60 years after Frank

a limited edition artist’s book by

Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

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



De Wallen Graffiti 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.



Using YouTube to showcase your photos


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Article Dedication

in Honor of

Paul Senn & Hans Staub


Beside blogs, photo hosting sites, forums, shows, lectures, books and guerrilla (warfare) post cards…YouTube can be a good venue for you to get your art / photos out there.

I didn’t make this music video, Polichinela Azul made it with no direction from me with some of my CC licensed photos.

Crazy music by Suckdog! Well, the video creator did a great job, as my pix fit the music to the proverbial T.

Backup-up link to archived video:


(Video on Internet Archive plays best by download.)

When you put your work out there under Creative Commons, sometimes things work out and other times they don’t. It is just like our own work, we don’t always produce winners. In this case, I was really impressed and pleased by Polichinela Azul’s work.



Little Dicky

Selection from The Americans…60 years after Frank artist’s book

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.

Anytime someone tells you NOT to shoot something cause they don’t like it and it is legal to shoot…that smacks of pretention on their part.


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Article Dedication

in Honor of

Henri Cartier-Bresson & Susan Meiselas


From the Rangefinder Forum…


Jake writes:

Currently looking at morality in regards to identity within photography for my final project at college and have come across this article regarding a photojournalists coverage of a stoning and whether he should have taken the image from a moral standpoint. If you could give the article a read and write down your opinions for me to use in my research that would be great:




My Reply:


Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection

Morals, values and laws vary all over the world. In Muslim countries an adult male can marry a child – in the US they would go to jail. In Amsterdam you can have sex with teens – in the US you will go to jail. In America the women can dress pretty much as they like – if they do it in some locals it can get them disfigured and maybe killed.

When push comes to shove, generally speaking the only thing that counts is the law. Whether the consensus is ‘like or dislike’ it does not matter to me and it should not matter to the dedicated artist either.

Anytime someone tells you NOT to shoot something cause they don’t like it and it is legal to shoot…that smacks of pretention on their part.

To base my photo on what others like would mean I do my photography for others and not myself. Since I pay my own way, I shoot for myself and not for others. The job of the photog is to document and freeze time. Therefore do your job and leave pet personal prejudices at home if you want to be the best photojournalist you can be.


Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection

Here is the Hierarchy of Documentary Photography which I developed.

1. Candid events unfolding as they happen.

2. If it cannot be perfected or obtained as a candid, then the photo must be posed.

3. If it cannot be perfected or obtained as a posed photo, then it must be staged with the proviso it is a recreation of past events, preferably with the actual persons reenacting the events.

4. Figments of the imagination. Varies in documentary value.  Can be based on pure speculation or a recount of events.


Someone mentioned ‘ethics’ in the mix over at Rangefinder Forum. Like it is OK if you have good ethical reasons to shoot certain offensive subjects and it is not OK to shoot if you don’t have good ethics. Ethics, exploitation or any other excuse you can come up with does not matter in the least when it comes to documentary photography.

The photograph does not require a pure heart for the button to be pushed. All it requires is for the button to be pushed to freeze time and be a witness to history.

These were taken by NAZI’s. How important are they as a witness to history? The camera did not require an investigation into ethics or motive of the photographer for them to be priceless.


The last Jew in Vinnitsa


German soldier shooting a woman with a child in her arms, Ivanograd, 1942

Many times the artist, using their art, tries to make sense of the world with their medium. That is another area that should not be begrudged to the artist.  Again it is all based on the law, not on other people’s prejudices.


In summation…If it is legal, shoot what you like. Forget the critics that will try to tear you down…march to your OWN beat or you will have to shoot what the CRITICS browbeat you to shoot.




Daniel D. Teoli Jr.Archival Collection

Selection from Iconoclastic Reporter artist’s book by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.


De Wallen Graffiti 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.


No wonder the film photogs seldom produce anything good nowadays.


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What the poor film photographers have to go through…just for a good ego massage.

Why not put getting the shot first? No wonder the film photogs seldom produce anything good nowadays.

From the Rangefinder Forum…

Registered User
iridium7777 is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Location: ct
Posts: 193

how can you afford film anymore?

so i left my film rangefinder about 4 years ago, being 100% film shooter prior to that.

it’s crazy that Leica film RF prices stayed the same and I was looking at second hand M6s and MPs out of curiosity… and then I started looking at film developing and scanning prices

Seems like most Walgreens where i used to do quick develop/scan only for about $4.99 no longer even have film machines.

I’ve found a few specific Film developing places but their prices now range from 10$/roll to develop/scan for lowest resolution to 20$/roll develop and scan for resolution for 8×10.

And then I’ve looked at prices of film… my beloved Fuji either does not exist anymore or the prices are about 10$ roll of slide and at minimum $5 per roll for color film.

at these costs it’ll run me about 15$-20$ per roll to shoot film. I looked through my old photo journal and i did about 50 rolls per year, so that’s $1000 per year and probably things are going to keep getting more difficult and pricier.

is film becoming more of a nostalgic side hobby that’s only sustainable on the side, or those that do majority of film now develop and scan their own to keep the costs down? seems like mainstream options are dwindling…

Announcing placement of the Encyclopedia of Ink Jet Printing with the Amon Carter Museum of American Art


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A 12 volume set of the Encyclopedia of Photographic and Fine Art Ink Jet Printing Media has been placed with Amon Carter Museum of American Art – Department of Conservation.

Previous sets of the Encyclopedia have been placed at The Center for Creative Photography Research Library, The Rijksmuseum Research Library in the Netherlands and the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library Ohio State University.

Encyclopedia of Ink Jet Printing Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr 1 Encyclopedia of Ink Jet Printing Daniel D. Teoli Jr.  mr 2


The 12 volume Encyclopedia is currently the world largest set of hand-printed contemporary artists’ books ever made. More importantly, it is a very important and unique reference collection for archival research and those interested in ink jet printing.


De Wallen Graffiti copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

On image appropriation – The backstory on ‘The Birth of Nobuyoshi Araki’ – The driving force behind the bohemian artist.


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Article Dedication

in honor of

Walter Theodore ‘Sonny’ Rollins & Charlie ‘Yardbird’ Parker


Here is an interesting article called ‘Doing a double take on image appropriation’ that discusses artists using found images to make art from.


Back up link:


Also see:


With my own work I seldom use other photogs photos to make my photos with. Being highly skilled at what I do, I got tons of museum quality photos I have taken.

39 De Wallen Copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

Selection from De Wallen: Amsterdam’s Red Light District artist’s book (Candid)

Generally I do straight photography, I  am not into ‘mental masturbation’ photography, so I generally don’t need to look outside my body of work unless it is for generic photos to illustrate a blog post. (a)

Although in the rare case I do I use other photogs photos, it comes under the auspices of ‘fair use’ and I don’t make any $ from their use.


Here is a recent example…

The Birth of Araki concept and post processing from found photographs by Daniel D. Teoli Jr. m

The The Birth of Nobuyoshi Araki

Concept and post processing of found photographs by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

I had written to Araki to make me a low res version of a concept I had of Araki popping out of a vagina, but I got no reply. (Maybe Araki is a part time museum curator?) So in 2016 I made The Birth of Nobuyoshi Araki from found photos, for my own use.

I had tried to pay a professional Photoshopper to make The Birth of Nobuyoshi Araki for me. (I am an old film photog and have limited computer skills. I don’t know how to use Photoshop, I just use Lightroom.) The Photoshopper never came through, so I was inspired by the photo below, with the use of cutouts, to make The Birth of Nobuyoshi Araki.

Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection

Here is an example of ‘mixed media’ so to speak. I shot the guy in Vegas handing out escort girl cards and made a border with the cards around the main photo.

Order Women Like Pizza Daniel D. Teoli Jr. v29 mrOrder Women Like Pizza Copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Order Women Like Pizza is the world record for how close you can get and shoot a candid circular fisheye photograph. (I have them going down to a few inches from the subject…all candid.)


There is an area of other people’s photos or image appropriation that I do work in a lot and that is as Curator for the Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection.

The copyright law makes certain allowances for use of other’s photos for editorial and educational use. To me, when you start selling other’s art as your own, that goes beyond fair use. But that seems to be how it is done in 2017.

In the cases of this vintage found photography, the photographer is most likely dead, the photos are generally not copyrighted. And in any case I have the proprietary right to take photos of my property…to wit, a photo of the actual photo I have bought or acquired.

Another area of image appropriation is when the photog includes preexisting art or photos into their photo and it makes up the bulk of their photo. For example here are a few photos from De Wallen and The Americans…60 years after Frank artist’s book projects…


Now, getting on to the driving force behind the bohemian artist….

Being a born bohemian, I have always concentrated on doing my art rather than trying to make a living. Consequently I’ve never earned / had much $ to blow on projects.

My Keyboard

If I can get by with some food, a roof, some SD cards and batteries I’m good. But that is how it usually is with most artists. Money is one of those irritating needs that can sidetrack an artist from concentrating on doing their art.

noun: Bohemian; plural noun: Bohemians; noun: bohemian; plural noun: bohemians
1. a native or inhabitant of Bohemia.
2.a person who has informal and unconventional social habits, especially an artist or writer.
“the young bohemians with their art galleries and sushi bars”  (Well, you probably wont be eating at sushi bars if your a broke bohemian.)

Throughout history artists’ have always been on a different wavelength than the rest.


In the opening article on image appropriation, Prince was right when he talked about being freer with your art when you have no $ and assets to go after. I was talking with a young gal in her mid 20’s. She was a physicians assistant and making over $100K a year. She also liked modeling and showing off her beauty. I suggested some photo ideas to her and she said “I can’t do that, I’m a professional.” So, there you have it. Being proper and being bohemian don’t mix well.

I’ve always dedicated myself to photography irrespective of if the project was going to be profitable or even saleable at all. That type of thinking never enters the picture. If a project interests me in exploring with my camera, that is all the motivation I need. If an artist has their basic living expenses more or less met, they don’t give money much thought. Their mind is concentrated on their art.

“Poverty denotes the lack of necessities, whereas simplicity denotes the lack of needs.’ ~ Dervla Murphy  

Most artists don’t do art to make lots of money, they just care about producing their art. Consequently, I’ve never had or owned much. I own no real estate, drive old cars or lease the cheapest car I can find. I use old cameras, computers and printers. I have no big job, social security can’t be attached, so not much to go after. So $ and lawsuit threats have nothing to do with producing our art. Actually, risk of going to jail or even death threats don’t stop the bohemian artist.

“Sure. I’d like to live regular. Go home to a good looking wife, a hot dinner, and a husky kid. But I guess I got film in my blood.” ~ Weegee

Now, no one is saying it would not be nice to make some money from art. But for me it would have to come as a ‘no effort’ offshoot from my own work and not as the prime goal. The only time money comes into the discussion with me is when I ask the question…do I have enough money to do a project?

W. Eugene Smith is a textbook example of the dedicated bohemian sacrificing life and family in order to do their art…

W. Eugene Smith mr (2)

This was Smith’s famed ‘jazz loft.’ I think the rent was $40 a month.

W. Eugene Smith pawn ticket

When Smith needed some cash he would pawn cameras and lenses. I had read when Smith died he had $18 in the bank.

W. Eugene Smith mr (3)

Smith made use of a broken window as matte box.

W. Eugene Smith mr (1)

W. Eugene Smith’s photo through the broken window pane.

When I first started in the late 60’s I got by on very little. I just needed a 100 feet of expired film from Freestyle, a few 10 cent film cassettes and a gallon of D-76, Dektol and fixer.

A roll of 100 feet in-date Tri-X from Pan Pacific Camera on La Brea was about $7. If you were broke, Freestyle used to sell repackaged movie film for about $2.75 to $3.50 per 100 foot roll. For the real cheapskate, Freestyle had 100 foot rolls of oddball film for about $1.50. Your BW chemicals were about a buck a gallon for Microdol-X, D-76 and fixer.


Popular photography July 1962 Freestyle Sales Co. advertisement

Those were the days…everything was a lot cheaper back then, so panhandling a quarter or a buck went along way.  You could even get a meal for a buck or under in the 1970’s. Nowadays photography is a real money sucking activity.

72 img206-Print V5 +5 - 5 0 MR

Los Angeles Diner 1971

In an intro to his review on Amazon of  Among the Bohemians: Experiments in Living 1900-1939 by Virginia Nicholson, Lleu Christopher distills what fuels the bohemian life.

“Nicholson has a genuine appreciation for the bohemian spirit, and acknowledges the sacrifices made by many obscure artists, poets and others existing (often marginally) at society’s fringes. For some, the idealistic decision to forsake conventional society for a life dedicated to art, romance, poetry or perhaps a vaguer idea such as beauty or authenticity was never rewarded with any kind of material success. Was there any compensation for those living such marginal lives? Nicholson makes the case that for many, a life dedicated to art, romance and freedom is its own reward. For those who embody the bohemian spirit, material comforts and security are not worth the price of suppressing one’s creativity and individuality.”


Free Poetry  Busker Subway NYC (Candid)

Here is how Cartier-Bresson described it…

“I prowled the streets all day, feeling very sprung-up and ready to pounce, determined to ‘trap’ life – to preserve life in the act of living.”

The gift that photography provides me is a way to make sense of my world. I don’t do photography to make money or to try and ‘change the world’ for the better. I am not a god, I don’t claim to know what is better. But, I can freeze time to get a better look of it at home.

You see, if freezing time is in your blood, being a do-gooder or making $ does not matter.  If your dedicated to your art, you must produce and keep producing, whether you have an outlet or not to make $…or even have any practical use for your output.

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, a choreographer creates a dance. We each express what is in us and make sense of our world through our art.

Georges Simenon summed up how it is for the writer and this can go for any of the arts as well.

“Writing is considered a profession, and I don’t think it is a profession. I think that everyone who does not need to be a writer, who thinks he can do something else, ought to do something else. Writing is not a profession but a vocation of unhappiness. I don’t think an artist can ever be happy.”

Irrespective of recognition, fame and riches, dedicated photogs all have one thing in common…we know photography is our life blood and as long as we can keep pressing the button and freeze time, we fell the better for it.


(a)  OK, every once in a while I will do a little mental masturbation…

Selection from The Broken Leg Variations artist’s book by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

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



Anal photo collectors value the signature more than the photo.


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Article Dedication

in honor of

Jack Delano & Alvin Langdon Coburn


Years ago I had written to a photo collector that impressed me with an article they had written. I offered them a present of a couple of 11 x 14 prints of any of my photos. They wrote back saying they didn’t want anything since they never heard of me.

If they said they didn’t like my photos, that is fine. But to only go by a name told me the anal photo collector is more interested in collecting names and signatures than in the love of photography and the actual image itself.

Unsigned photos are not worth much. An ‘unsigned’ vintage contact print by Lewis Hine sold for $110.16 in January 2017.


I’ve seen some very shitty work out there priced in the thousands of dollars just because of a name and signature. If your idolized by the art world, even your shit is golden.

Here is one of Winogrand’s beauties with a price tag of $3500.00 in 2017. The signature is worth more than the photo, if it was an unsigned Winogrand it may sell for $25 to $35. If it wasn’t by Winogrand, it would not even be worth $5.


winogrand-women-are-beautful winogrand-signature

Towards the end of Winogrand’s life he had a driver cart him around L.A.’s Miracle Mile while he shot thousands of random photos out of the car window of anyone on the street.

Winogrand didn’t care what he signed his name to, virtually any photo would do. All he cared about was printing $. Once Winogrand learned he could print $ he went on a shooting spree taking over a million photos…of garbage.

Here is one from Robert Frank with an asking price of $9000 in 2017.

signed-robert-frank-photo robert-frank-signature

If the print was not by Frank and signed…it would not even be worth $5.

Here are 2 unsigned vintage 1967 Vietnam era photos by Eddie Adams. They are printed on 1 sheet and sold for $32 (including shipping) in 2017.

Below is a signed, dye transfer print of The Who by Jim Marshall. It is priced at $7000 in 2017.

If it was unsigned it may bring a few hundred dollars. If it was not by Jim Marshall, then probably less.


Wow, we sure were limited with the IQ in the film days. Goddamn that stuff was fuzzy…wasn’t it.



Well, nowadays we got it much easier with digital…


Little Dicky selction from The Americans …60 years after Frank by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

If Marshall had shot Little Dicky it would sell for thousands. Same exact photo but without the Marshall signature and name…it is worthless according to the anal photo collector that collects names over photos.

Now, speaking of dye transfer prints, let me tell you a little about them…generic dye transfer prints are not worth much. You can pick up vintage dye transfer prints like this one below for $5 to $10 each or less. I had bought a group of 25 vintage 1950’s dye transfer prints for my archival collection for $65.


From Dye Transfer Printing from the 1950’s – Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection

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

From Dye Stability Testing of Color Imaging Media: Edition II by Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection

If you do collect dye transfer prints, don’t display them. The above 1950’s samples were exposed to 6 months of sunlight. The dye transfer prints started to fade noticeably in 3 months of sun exposure.

But dye transfer prints do have good dark storage fade resistance. So don’t hang your $7,000 Jim Marshall dye transfer print on the wall or it will fade on you. Always hang a facsimile copy of your photo to display. Dye transfer prints are some of the worse color imaging media for dye stability there is.

Well, lets get back to black and white…

Below is an unsigned 8 x 10 inch inkjet print of Weegee’s Lovers at Palace Theater. It was printed around 2015 and authorized by ICP and Museum Editions. It sold for $26.50 on Amazon including shipping in 2016.

If it was vintage, silver gel and had Weegee’s signature, it would be worth tens of thousands of dollars. Weegee’s signed, vintage work sells for $15,000 to $45,000 per photo on average.

Below is an unsigned photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt of starving cattle in Jaipur, India. It sold in 2017 for $50 including shipping.

Alfred Eisenstaedt - Starving Cattle Jaipur India

Below is an unsigned photo by Tina Modotti entitled Woman of Tehuantepec. The original was shoot in 1929, this print was made in 1996. It sold for $99.75 including shipping.

Tina Modotti - Woman of Tehuantepec $99.75

Below is a photo by Berenice Abbott entitled ‘Tempo of New York.’ Print is of vintage era and unsigned. It sold for $120 including shipping.

Berenece Abbott Changing New York $120

Below is a 1968 photo by Diane Arbus of Cathy Aison. It is vintage and unsigned, but it has been authenticated by the Estate of Diane Arbus. It was sold with related ephemera for $3765.75 including shipping.

If it was unsigned and not authenticated or have supporting ephemera, then it may only be worth a few hundred or so. If it was not by Arbus, it may sell for $10-$15…just for the topless / pregnant interest.

Cathy Aison by Diane Arbus 1968

Here is the sales description for the Arbus photo…

Diane Arbus VTG c.1968 Estate STAMPED Pregnant Nude RARE 11×14 Photo w/Magazine

Photographer: Diane Arbus
Title: “Cathy Aison Waiting for Ezra Pound”
Size/Media: Approx. 14″ x 11″ Glossy double weight fiber silver gelatin
Dates: (Shot c.1968, Printed c.1968) w/ Estate stamps and notations/signature by Arbus’ daughter Doon, as well as light pencil. Notations in an unknown hand on verso.

Vintage portrait of graphic designer and animator Cathy Aison, nude & pregnant c.1968 by Diane Arbus. This image was published in the literary magazine Unmuzzled Ox in 1986 (a copy of the magazine is included in this auction) and was described as “Cathy Aison waiting for Ezra Pound”.

This is a vintage print which was gifted to Aison c.1968, and was authenticated by Arbus’ Estate in 2005.

Cathy Aison by Diane Arbus 1968 2

Cathy Aison by Diane Arbus 1968 3

Diane Arbus ephemera 2

Diane Arbus ephemera

Below is a signed 1967 photo of Diane Arbus taken by Fred McDarrah.  As of yet it did not sell and has an asking price of $2300.00


Jesus, those female photogs went out of their way to carry round monster street setups…didn’t they.

Well, it wasn’t only Arbus…

Mary Ellen Mark with street camera setup

Mary Ellen Mark  (Internet Photo)

Cristina García Rodero

Cristina García Rodero (Internet Photo)

Usually women don’t make good street photogs. It is not because women don’t have the talent, it is because:

  1. Most women usually don’t make good assholes.
  2. Women’s ball size.

Women’s niche is in street portraits and embedding themselves into people’s lives to document them with permission and in detail. That was a specialty of Mary Ellen Mark. Well, we can’t knock Cristina when it comes to street work. Her street work is spectacular! She has balls bigger than 98% of the men.

Below, verso of photo of Diane Arbus by Fred McDarrah


If collectors have a hard-on for you they will even buy your magazine articles. Below is one by Diane Arbus for a fashion mag. It has not sold as yet, but is priced at $33 including shipping for 2 pages from the magazine.

Diane Arbus magazine article 2 pages $33

Estate stamping is a big money maker for some archives. While it does not bring the potential in price up to signed prints, a rubber stamp will still do wonders for a photo that should sell for next to nothing.

Magnum sells contemporary, unsigned, estate stamped photos for a few thousand dollars each.

Here is one example out of many prints they have on sale:

A Llama in Times Square NY 1957 - Igne Morath
A Llama in Times Square NYC 1957 by Igne Morath
An open edition, estate stamped, unsigned 11 x 14 contemporary silver print for $2000.00 each.
The NY Times is also selling the same print in the larger 16 x 20 size for $2500.00


With my work as the curator for The Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection, most of the photos I acquire are unsigned and the photog is unknown. I don’t care who shot the photo – all I care about is the image…


Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection

The Flappers artists' book 2016 by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection


Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection


Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection


Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection

Girl Peeing in Pisspots Collage 1910 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection

Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection


Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection

If the diver was shot by Winogrand and signed it would be worth many thousand $. But in 2016, being unknown and unsigned, it was $1 at a swapmeet .

The Flappers -Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection (9)m

Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection


Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection

1960 RNC Temple of Dreams - Daniel D. Teoli Jr Archival Collection (125)m

Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection

Girls of the Beat Generation Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection

Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection

The Flappers -Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection (4)m

Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection

1948 DNC Temple of Dreams Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection (60) m

Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection

If the political convention was shot by Robert Frank, was signed and was part of his Americans project it would be worth hundreds of thousands of $. One of Frank’s vintage photos from the Americans sold for near 3/4 of a million $. And that was a while back, prices have gone up since then. Same photo, being what it is, without the Frank signature and pedigree, sells for $3 in 2017.


Backup link:



Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection


Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection

While it is nice, there is no need to know the author of a photo unless your an anal photo collector…iconic images always stand on their own.

The other benefit to building a collection of unknown, found photography is that it can be done on a very meager budget. Many of the photos I acquire cost just a few dollars each or less.



From Girls of the Beat Generation

A forthcoming 6 volume artist’s book series by social documentary photographer Daniel D. Teoli Jr.


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


De Wallen Graffiti 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Engaging the Enemy Frigate…preview


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Article Dedication

In honor of

Fred  ‘Cinerama’ Waller & Paul Mantz



Engaging the Enemy Frigate, is a hand-printed artist’s book of vintage homosexual erotica from the Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection in a limited edition of 50 signed and numbered books and 2 artist’s proof books.

The book is 124 pages in length with 62 photographs. It is finished with frosted clear plastic covers with hand rounded corners, marbled end sheets and spiral bound.

Book size: 5-½” x 6-½”

Maquette is shown for illustration – all specifications are pro forma.

ISBN: 978-0-9967108-4-8




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Staten Island Ferry NYC (Candid)

From The Americans…60 years after Frank

a limited edition artist’s book by

Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

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



De Wallen Graffiti 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Robert Frank’s elevator girl…Isn’t it wonderful that we have proof sheets to study?


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Article Dedication

in honor of

Underwood & Underwood



Isn’t it wonderful that we have proof sheets to study?

With the digital age, proof sheets are not used much nowadays. For me, I usually trash everything that is not a keeper. Although I do have a master record on the original SD cards which I use as film.

I used to think Frank’s elevator girl was a candid until I saw the proof sheet. Same thing with Elliot Erwitt’s bulldog…


Digital photogs can still make proof sheets. Here is a ‘how to’ on it.


Backup link to article:




Sex Machine with Vacuum Nipple Stimulator ~ circa 1930’s / 40’s

Selection from Iconoclastic Reporter artist’s book

Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection

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



De Wallen Graffiti 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Streaming radio…Megaton Café…a blast from the past!


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When I’m printing artist’s books I get kinda bored. I like to listen to radio as I’m printing. Sadly FM radio is pretty much crap nowadays. I tried watching TV, but I make too many mistakes trying to keep 3 inkjet printers running. While I can print a book with 1 printer, it is too time intensive for printing books in bulk.

Eventually I gave up on FM radio and switched to internet streaming radio. I like streaming radio much better, there is a huge diversity available and very little commercials and BS.

Megaton Café is one of my fav streaming radio stations. They cover 1920’s to 1950’s…swing, jazz, big band and oldies. They are ‘nuclear bomb age’ themed…crazy!



The commercials are wild, they are all vintage.  The ‘duck and cover’ commercials bring me back to when I was a kid growing up in L.A. in the 1960’s. Every month they would test the bomb raid siren on the last Friday of the month.


Duck and Cover 1951 Bronx, NY

When we heard the siren we would get under our desks and put our hands and arms around our head as we crouched into a little ball. We never gave it any thought, just something we would do. Thought it was as natural as apple pie. Well it was a different world back then…


We would go in the record store and sample the 45’s on a row of turntables.


Blister gunner M.E. Padilla 1953 – 98th Bombwing, Korea

The US had finished up WWII and was still battling communism in Korea in the 1950’s. My dad used to take me to the Army Surplus store on the weekends.


UFO’s and flying saucers were the pre-sputnik craze. This was shot July 16, 1952 in Salem, MA by S.R. Alpert of the U.S. Coastguard.


Schoolboys 1951 NY.

The world didn’t have 2 billion cell phone cams at large back then. Even so, photography was still a popular pastime for many.

…well enuf reminiscing…back to printing!

De Wallen Graffiti 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.