polaroids / panoramics ~ I just wanna have fun

manipulated Polaroids / magazine assignments ~ (embiggenable)

Death In the ER ~ A Day in the Life of an Urban Hospital book (embiggenable) • Widelux 1500 (medium format)

THROUGHOUT MY PICTURE MAKING LIFE I have been somewhat of a contrarian. That is, the statement, "You can't do that.", has always been perceived, by me, as a challenge.

That attitude began-some might say, at birth-when, picture making wise, I first began my picture making journey in Japan, 1966. Looking back, I realize what good fortune it was to have spent my early picture making years being exposed (pun?) to a very "foreign" photo culture. Specifically, the Japanese had embraced the 35mm camera format long before the rest of the world, as I found out upon my return, 2 years later, to the good ol' USofA.

My don't-tell-me-I-can't-do-that attitude exhibited itself throughout my professional picture making life .... making manipulated Polaroid pictures for magazine restaurant reviews (monthly, for 5 years), making pictures for a record album cover with a Pentax 110 SLR, making pictures for a coffee table book-A Day in the Life of an Urban Hospital-with a rotating lens panoramic camera, making a 5-picture series for an exhibit in the showcase KODAK Gallery (Rockefeller Center in NYC) with 35mm color negative film-pictures which were printed at 4x6 feet, and, when I first moved to digital in my pro life, I was an very early user of the µ4/3 mirrorless format .... to name just a few "contrarian" picture making endeavors.

With that history, I would suggest that my embrace of iPhone picture making should come as no surprise.

However, truth be told, while the word contrarian could be used to describe many of my picture making activities, the primary motive driving that picture making would be described, more accurately, by the word fun. As in, I just wanted to have fun making pictures. And, I did and I still do.

To wit, where's the fun to be had by playing it safe, following convention, never taking a chance / going out on a limb, or, always playing by the rules?

To paraphrase a lyric from Ricky Nelson's song Garden Party-written after he was booed when, at a concert in Madison Square Garden, he went off script-aka: playing his oldies-and performed a Rolling Stone song....

Nelson - If you gotta play at garden parties, I wish you a lotta luck
But if memories were all I sang, I rather drive a truck.

Me - If you gotta play at making pictures, I wish you a lotta luck
But if "safe" pictures were all I made, I rather drive a truck.