The Anti-Workshop was a smashing success. No one got hurt and we saw art. Great art.

Let's get the important stuff out of the way first.  I shot with an Olympus EP2 camera and a 20mm Panasonic lens.  I thought it was perfect and tiny and light.  Nice to carry around all day, especially if you have a skull and crossbones wrist strap, carefully selected for you by a teenage boy...  I can't imagine any working photographer that doesn't have a collection of self portraits in bathroom mirrors from around the world.  This one is from a bathroom in the new section of the McNay Museum.

Speaking of Museums, the McNay utterly blows away the Blanton Museum in Austin for architecture, the breadth and depth of the collection, and just plain coolness.  Here's a newly acquired Picasso which joins the other two in one of the intimate galleries in the original part of the museum.  My shooting companions were as amazed as I at the stellar collection of twentieth century masters that  are hidden away in this treasure of a museum.  I guess I'm a sucker for sentiment because I really liked the Monet water lillies.   But the Renoir nudes are the raison d'etre of being an artist......

We spent a good amount of time rummaging thru the collection.

I found this sweet person at the market square sitting with a similarly dressed companion.  I asked them why they were dressed up.  They smiled and said, "We're celebrating the fact that we're still alive!"  Sounds good to me.
I guess I was channeling my "inner Stephen Shore" with this shot.  I love the many meaningless juxtapositions I find all over San Antonio.  That, and the famous Olympus Jpeg colors make every image a bit juicier.

But I guess I should report on the actual anti-workshop:

We met in front of the Alamo at 8:30 am.  Bernard brought ample copies of my maps of downtown which had areas of visual interest marked and noted.  We pulled together the group of 28 intrepid shooters and talked about the mechanics and ethics of street shooting.  I gave a vague itinerary which basically suggested that we meet up again in two hours, at Mi Tierra restaurant in Market Square for a brunch.  There was tons of activity around the Alamo and many stayed for a while to shoot.

I headed off to see the San Fernando cathedral and was charmed once again.  I'm also very happy with the new park in front.  It's very cool.  Then I made my way over to the Market Square.

Being Labor Day weekend things were hopping.  Food merchants had booths set up everywhere. The smells of cooking food were intoxicating.  Bands were playing on three stages and diverse groups of tourists ranged everywhere.  (Free range tourists?)  I put us on the waiting list for a big table and I could see our people having a blast, shooting everything that moved, just outside the windows of the restaurant.

If you're a Texas photographer and you haven't had a meal at Mi Tierra, shame on you.  It's not about the food (although it was very good, especially if you are a lard snob...) it's all about the giant mural, which now contains film maker, Robert Rodriguez's image as well as Eva Longoria's.  We're talking a painted mural at least 60 feet wide by 18 feet tall, painted with a wild impasto/realist style.   It's also all about the 50 foot long case of Mexican pastries and candies.  It's all about the carefully trained staff and the endless, over the top, decor.  We stayed for two hours and could have stayed one more if the street hadn't beckoned.  Amazingly, for such a large group, no one shirked their part of the check.  We actually had a surplus of cash.  First time I've ever seen that.  And I'm 54.

Off we go to shoot the swirl of activity in the market square.  Off to see the old buildings on Houston St.  Down the Riverwalk to see the Southwest Craft Center (beautiful!!!!!) and then back to the heart of downtown.

At 3:30pm some people peeled off and a core group of about 14 rendezvous'd at the fabulous McNay Museum.  I think I've described the experience pretty well, above.

When the guards and docents kicked us out a closing time we headed one block away to La Fonda restaurant on N. New Braunfels to get our second helping of great salsa and Tex Mex, layered in with a little alcohol.  Lively discussions ensured:  Who's the biggest online photo poseur?  (you had to be there) What does the future hold, technically? What the hell is diffraction and why is it intent on limiting things.  Which was the favorite painting at the museum?  Who got to photograph the teenagers learning to throw knives at the Alamo?  And so much more.

Best part?  I think everyone quickly learned that they didn't need a big name teacher or a fancy venue in order to practice their photography crafts at a high level and to really enjoy the day.  At least that's the vibe I felt.  If someone disagrees I'm sure we'll see it in the comments.  And if anyone had a bad time I'll be happy to refund their full tuition!!!!!! (What?  It was all free???????).


A pretty damn cool article. About one of us. A real photographer named Dave Jenkins.

Go here and look at this incredible article that will shortly be in your mailbox in the form of Rangefinder Magazine:  http://www.rangefindermag.com/storage/articles/RF0910_Jenkins_Jenkins.pdf

Dave does incredible architectural photography work, is a successful photographer,  and incidentally is a regular reader of this blog.

Getting a profile in Rangefinder Magazine is an achievement I've yet to figure out how to get.  I think you either have to be really good (like Dave) or be able to pay someone off.  And it's kind of a Catch-22 because if you're not good enough as a photographer to be able to make it into the magazine on the strength of your own work you're probably not good enough to make the kind of scratch it takes for a pay off.  At least I haven't been able to.......(I'm kidding about the second half.  I don't really think the magazine accepts payola.  Sorry but my lawyer makes me add these disclaimers for the humor impaired and the very linear thinkers.  Go HDR....).

But back to my point.  I'm reading the comments with a finer tooth comb these days and finding that we have an audience of very, very talented people.

Go to the link.  Read the article.  Look at the great work.  And then come back here and give some well deserved "Kudos" to Dave Jenkins.  Pretty damn cool!!!

Way to go, Dave.

"It reads better than it lives." -Ian Fleming

I think my friend, Alexis, looks like a glamorous spy from a movie.

There's a lovely line in one of my favorite Ian Fleming Novels, Diamonds Are Forever,  it's actually the last line of the book.  The character, James Bond, ruminating on the life of a spy, says, "It reads better than it lives..."

To a certain extent, that's the way I feel about photography.  I grew up reading about the swashbuckling adventures of Magnum photographers and Life Magazine photographers who were chartering planes to fly deep into the Congo or over the South Pole, drinking Rum punch in Paris right after the war with Ernest Hemmingway, and then dancing the night away at 21 in New York City.

The camera seemed to be a magic talisman of incredible power and the men and women who could wield them effectively were the surrogate eyes of the world.  The best of them were paid like princes (Avedon would amass a personal fortune of over $50 million !!!  Annie Leibovitz was able to loose nearly half of that without even trying.....) and even the most workman like of advertising photographers seemed to earn like plastic surgeons and orthodondists but with the added benefit of not having to play with blood or buy malpractice insurance.

Somewhere along the line, the wheels came of the profession and now even the top dogs struggle from time to time.  But I think we all persevere because we can't imagine having to do a real job.  Being leashed to a real schedule.  The world is changing.  It won't always be the way it was.  And not everyone is bringing wonderful new stuff to the table.   Another quote from the bond book,  "Tell them  in Chicago that their guys suffered from delusions of adequacy...."

There are still a handful of photographers making good livings shooting advertising.  Many fewer are making a living at all shooting photojournalism.  The ones that are hanging on are doing it by mixing in new visions and technologies.  Slide shows with captured sound.  Video clips, etc.  Maybe the wedding people are still ordering caviar and drinking martinis but my take is that it's rough all over.

I still think people look in from the outside with rose colored glasses on and think that photographers are living a dream.  They see the iceberg part of a photographer's life.  The scant time spent on the actual shoot.  They don't see the "Titanic sinking" business end of the iceberg which is all about waiting and negotiating and PhotoShopping and begging the clients to "please send the damn check so I can keep the lights on...." and then spending every free minute marketing and cold calling.

Maybe the opacity of the surface makes people too optimistic about the business.  Maybe a few more stories of talented shooters going down in flames and celebrated visual translators getting stiffed by multi-national corporations would open a few eyes.  Then they might understand that this has become a tough game.  I wouldn't give it up for a minute and yet, even with four good books out and twenty something years of experience, I still get nervous near the end of some months.  I still loose sleep wondering if the jobs and the checks will keep coming in.  In all I guess what I'm trying to say about photography is,  "It reads better than it lives...."  (apologies to I. Fleming)

The photo above, of Alexis, was shot this afternoon in the studio.  I used a Canon 5Dmk2 and an 85mm 1.8 lens.  I'll let you figure out the lighting yourselves......  Alex is one of the people I swim with almost every day at the pool.  One of the projects I've decided to do is to photograph everyone I swim with, one by one here at the studio. 

Note:  Get a good night's sleep.  Tomorrow is the anti-workshop.  Cruise around, break the rules and take all the photos your memory cards can handle.  I'll be playing "lifeguard" on the periphery.  Remember the Alamo.  8:30 AM



An interesting campaign for a Japanese Tech Company.

We talk a lot here about philosophical issues pertaining to photography.  I thought I'd take a break from that and just show a nice, cohesive campaign I did recently for a Japanese company.  The art director was very good with direction and I feel like the combined images worked well.  This campaign is all about branding and very little about actual product.

The shoot was really straight forward. We used a Nikon D2x and a small assortment of lenses.

The art director was Greg Barton, owner and creative director at Dandy Idea.

On another note:  We're doing out "anti-workshop" in San Antonio starting Saturday Morning.  8:30 at the Alamo.  Free.  Open to all.

Request:  If you enjoy the blog could you pass the URL along to someone else who might enjoy it?

Reminder:  I've written four books that have been well received and well reviewed.  Would you have a look at my Amazon author's page and see what you think?  If you've already read the books would you consider leaving a review?  Here's the address: Kirk's Authors Page.

Thanks, Kirk

RICHARD AVEDON: "Listening to Avedon" (1995)

RICHARD AVEDON: "Listening to Avedon" (1995)

Do you ever do photographs just for fun? Really silly fun?

This is a photo of my friend Lou.  Here she is normal, beautiful and happy.

Then we get the idea to wire her up to a special device that will be tripped with our Pocket Wizards in the hope that, with enough probing, we'd hit that part of the brain that controls automatic smile responses.  I'll be the first to admit, we got greedy.  We figured if every shot was a sure deal for smiles we'd save consumers a bundle on film, processing and prints.  And, of course we'd miniaturize the circuitry just as soon as we found the right nerve bundles and the right nodes........

But as you can see from her expression we were never able to quite hit the "smile center" even though we had an amateur neurobiologist along for the ride.  Word leaked out and we had to agree to pay some fines and sign a piece of paper stating we'd never play with a model's deepest emotions again.  But, the device is selling well in several other countries----but in entirely different markets.

(This is total fiction.  Don't wire your friends up at home.)

Has the entire paradigm changed or are we just experiencing extended suffering from "the downturn"?

I had an interesting portfolio show with a creative director at a smaller agency here in Austin.  He and I have worked on fun projects with the agency and he's always been a proponent of my work.  I showed him a bunch of new photos.  Things I'd done in the months between our meetings.  He looked thru my large prints (please, everyone, keep showing your work on iPads while I drag around a box of 16x20's.  I don't mind wiping the drool off the protective sheets.....) and he said very nice things about my work.

And then we put the images aside and he became philosophical in the way that creative directors can be, sometimes.  He wanted to discuss the future of the advertising industry.  And as we spoke it reminded me very much of the earlier decay of the market for commercial photography.  While we had bread and butter assignments to sustain us the ad agencies had the profit from large media buys to wallow around in.  Over time the consolidation of media and the demands of clients have eroded what was once the profit center for every major agency into.......nothing.  Agencies can still charge retainers or by the hour to figure out where to place the media but no longer get much or any cut of the media buy.  That leaves the agencies two or three profit centers:  Traditional creative concept and production,  marketing strategy and branding strategy, and social and viral marketing.  And most of these charges are based on hourly expenditures/charges at various rates.  Which flies in the face of what Andy Warhol always advised; "Charge for the art, not for the labor".   And it also negates the model of doctors and entrepreneurs which is all about, "Charge for what you know, not for what you do." After all isn't a great idea worth a lot? Even if you think it up in a heartbeat? You know the brain storming might last weeks until the epiphany hits.

As the profits decline the agencies also find themselves smack up against the same kinds of market killers photographers have encountered.  There are fewer big placement, national ad campaigns because the demographics have become so splintered.  If the total market buy is fractionalized by multiple demographic customizing then the percentage for each ad production budget drops enormously.  There may be more ads than ever before but they've been, by necessity, cheapened and loaded with homogenous and warmed over concepts and given budget resuscitation by the use of dirt cheap stock instead of (sometimes) more appropriate custom assigned images.  Then it becomes an ever cycling and self fulfilling race towards the bottom.   And, with a decline of people with wide ranging (liberal arts) educations there are fewer on the client side who can tell good from bad, funny from banal and so on.  I remember trying to tell a client about an ad concept based on "The Rites of Spring".....He'd never heard of it.  Didn't think anyone else would have either.....It was a sad testament to the decline of western civilization via business schools.

If the ads only have to be "good enough" and "cheap enough", and if everyone else is doing good enough and cheap enough then gradually the whole industry succumbs to wretched visual and verbal deterioration.  At some point the clients will decamp toward in house suppliers, stock design templates and home made solutions.  It's easier now to make a website than it is to change the oil in your car.  The great middle of the market is seeking independent web designers who reject the overhead of the big agencies.  And yet I can remember the days of the half million dollar websites.  With Canon 5Dmk2 cameras every photographer who stumbles thru a client's front door is ready to do a "TV Commercial" and at prices that make traditional television producers shudder.

What was my colleague's position? He firmly believes that traditional, big broadcast, mass market advertising is on the way to the graveyard.  He believes everyone will eventually spend their days glued to one screen.  This one screen will bring them all of their content, become their workspace and their entertainment.  It will also be the de facto communications center.  Everyone will rush to create "killer apps" in order to cement their brand in the minds of loyal customers and would be customers.

Imagine this bleak, 2016 (riffing off George Orwell's 1984, or Aldous Huxley's Brave New World)  future where it might actually be illegal to go around without your personal screen device. It might the nexus of all your commerce.  All meetings will take place as conference calls on your screens.  All news and even television programming will flow to your device.  The apps you use will be branded in a frenzied attempt to keep your loyalty in a sea of cascading images and offers.  From the moment you wake till the moment you turn out the lights----and beyond--- you'll be locked to the screen.  Earbuds jammed in hard.  Oblivious to everything but the content.

No more shared experiences.  No more face to face socializing.  Oh sure, you might virtual "face to face" with someone while you wolf down a dinner your GPS enabled screen  sourced from the crowd sourced food approval list.  But probably nothing beyond that.  And since no one will want to read anymore all the programming will be moving pictures, video.  And rock music and more video.  Books as we know them will be used as fuel for power plants desperately churning out juice for a zillion battery chargers.  By 2020 everyone will have reading glasses from the 18 hours a day of screen viewing.  Exterior decoration will be a thing of the past.  People will no longer care what they or their surrounding compatriots look like because no one will be inclined to look up from the screens.

Of course this is such a cynical point of view.  The other way to look at this is to understand that the ad agencies are trying to find their footing much the way photographers had to a few years ago.  I think that the economic slowdown is much to blame for a lot of what ails the advertising communities.  Surely it is always profoundly changing but the more it changes the more it stays the same.  The new concept and the new idea kicks out the old.  Only the delivery methods change.  Everything will recover in lock step with the money.  The basic currency will always be the value of the human connection and the power of the ideas.

Looked at from a third point of view the destruction of traditional paradigms of ad agency/client relationships means that the agencies are no longer such powerful gatekeepers for their clients.  Clients understand that creative ideas and productions can come from almost anywhere.  The barriers to direct client assigned work are being torn down, campaign by campaign.  If the photographers and video producers focus their pitches they can supplant much that agencies control now.

It's all mixed up and it might get worse before it gets better.  I think the conceptualization of the app as the next step is overstated and will, in fact, be no more than a small tool in a big tool kit.  I think HD TV and other re-creations of technology mean television is just coming into its golden age.  Enormous clients will still want enormous agencies to handle a cohesive look and feel  to brands.  And the photographers with vision and staying power will remain.

When the economy recovers the creative campaigns will return.  They'll be different.  The media may be different.  But we'll figure it out.  We always do.

Bottom line?  Follow the money.


Summer's over. Time to get back to work.

I'll admit it.  I get a little lazy during the Summer.  It's nice to spend time at the pool and the lake.  Nice to BBQ at will and mix blenders full of daiquiri's. Cold Sauvignon Blancs around the a table full of salads and finger food.  I just wanted to say, "Bye" to Summer with one of my favorite portrait/swimming cross over images.  Jen with goggles.

Done in the studio against a warm, gray backdrop.  One giant softbox to one side (you can see the reflections in her eyes.  And one small softbox gently grading the background.  The long lens on the MF camera does the trick for ultra smooth transistions and, of course, much interpretation in the printing phase.  But the most important piece of equipment in the whole studio was the spritzer bottle filled with warm, warm water.

We're booking up portraits like crazy this Fall and it seems that everyone is looking for beautiful monochromes with delicate tonalities and wonderful eyes.  Fortunately I have that kinda figured out.  I'm pushing hard to do more and more portraits.  Love em.   Daytime, evenings, weekends.  Can't get enough.  But in the studio, mostly.   Not a big fan of shooting in the bluebonnets or with urban alleys in the background.

Remember the motto, "Fun portraits are better portraits."


Roar with intensity. Be clear about your path.

I've done so many things over the years.  And shot so many different kinds of photographs.  I still like the challenge of bringing tiny microprocessor dies to life and making big, industrial machines look sexy and potent.  On a good day I can even find pleasure in photographing products on white backgrounds.  There's a meditative charm to doing good clipping paths, after the fact.  I love to shoot events.  The constant flux and mixed vibrance of people hellbent on sharing ideas is alluring.  And the exchange of knowledge can be intoxicating when something totally new is broached.

But those things are not really why I got into photography, either as a hobby or as a profession.  To be absolutely truthful there are only two types of photography I wake up thinking about.  One is shooting on the streets and the other is classical portraiture.

The shot above was done on film with a Contax G2 and a 28mm Biogon.  Ben was running towards me with a joyous bluster and his mom trailed behind him.  It was a Spring day and we were at Emma Long Park, which borders Lake Austin.  The park was nearly empty because we were there on a week day in the early afternoon.  There's nothing planned about the shot.  I just pulled the camera up to my eye, focused and shot.  But  I like so much about the shot.  I love Ben's little shadow.  I love his stride.  I love the diagonal pattern of the boards in the dock.

I never leave the house without a camera.  There's just no way of knowing what you might miss.  I see street photography and this sort of ongoing reportage as a way of writing a visual book.  It's all part of a larger narrative that I just haven't been able to tag with a beginning, a middle and an end.  But it's writing a visual novel all the same.  That's why I love this kind of imagery.  It unfolds chapter by chapter and you work in collaboration with chance, fate and destiny to distill the images from the swirl of life around you....

And then there's classical portraiture.  The image above, of my friend and former assistant, Anne is my favorite portrait ever.  I know I'm supposed to like portraits of my kid and my wife better but this is the portrait I'd be happy to have define my work for my entire career.  And in a way this image sums up everything that I think is wonderful about portraiture in the studio.

Every square inch is exactly as I wanted it.  The lighting is exactly what I previsualized and created.  Anne's expression is exactly what I wanted her to convey.  It's a wonderful record of a beautiful and deeply thoughtful person.

If I could customize my career I would spend the next twenty years doing portraits just like this.  All that's needed are a few lights, a few backgrounds and one camera and one lens.  That, and the time to sit quietly with each subject and get to know them as individuals.  As fellow human beings.   I would shoot sessions every day and spend the rest of the time massaging the tones and textures into prints.  Not screen fodder, but actual prints that people could hold in their hands and cherish.

In many ways these kinds of images are almost unattainable now.  People want to move too fast.  Get stuff done and get on to the next thing.  Do you remember the last time you had an hour long conversation with someone?  Did they glance at their phone every so often, reminding you of the split nature of their attention?  Were they booked so tightly that, from the minute they arrived  they were anticipating when they would have to go.  Between planning to arrive and planning to depart did they give a thought to how they would be "in the moment?".

As artists we have control.  We can set the parameters for a session.  We can ask that phones be extinguished and we can create a space and a mood that invites sitters to linger.  In exchange, we can try each time we shoot to give our sitters a very, very special image.  A portrait that defines this moment in time.  This moment in their lives.

How did this portrait come about?  I'd been experimenting with backgrounds.  I loved the look of folded drape going off into an increasingly blurry distance.  The drape on the left side of the prints is perhaps 12 feet back from Anne.  The drape on the right perhaps 20 feet back from Anne.  Each set of drapes was lit by it's own light in a small softbox.  In this way the amount of light on each drape, and even where it fell, could be individually controlled.

I put Anne in a favorite old, rickety chair and had her lean her arms against the back.  She's quiet by nature and doesn't fidget around much so she makes a wonderful model for a longer session.  I wanted a big, soft but directional light source for my main light.  Like the soft light from a cloudy day billowing through a window.  This was provided by a 50 by 72 inch softbox covered with layers and layers of white diffusion cloth, clothespinned to the front panel.

A white wall over to the shadow side of Anne's face created too much fill so I put a big, black card in between Anne and the wall.  The camera was a Hasselblad with a medium telephoto lens, used at f5.6 (almost wide open for medium format....).

We talked for a while before I started shooting film.  I wanted her to settle comfortably into the space.  When both of us stopped being diligent and trying too hard I started to shoot.  I shot three or four rolls of film and there were many frames I liked.  But as with most portraiture there is one frame that clearly stands above the rest.  In our minds, this one was that frame.

What a wonderful career it could be if I can make more and more of these.......

Edit:  I forgot to mention that sometime last week we hit a milestone of sorts:  500,000 page views. Probably more people have read or viewed my work in the last 16 months than.........  KT


Sometimes I post something because it reminds me of something else.

This photo reminds me of shooting images for plastic surgeons.  They always want "perfect skin" and big eyes and perfect lips.   You can do lots of things with PhotoShop.  But should you?

I like to  look at images that haven't been retouched. I think the reality is much more alluring than the fictive.

Reposting an older blog about: Anti-Workshop sentiment rising. A reminder to un-participate. ( a reprint of my first "Anti" workshop because I am planning another one. Also, thought there was some good stuff in here.)

Here's a novel idea:  Let's all leave our cellphones in our cars and pretend that being out shooting photographs in San Antonio is a lot more fun than checking all the text crap every few minutes.  We could spend a day off the grid!

So much for wishful thinking.  Well, we're counting down the days until we intersect in San Antonio for what I hope will be a day of wandering around shooting stuff that really resonates with me.  If you are coming I hope you'll find stuff that resonates with you.  And it doesn't have to be the same stuff.  We'll meet at the Alamo at 8:30 am.  I'll have some (printed) maps with some of my favorite routes on them.  If I get ambitious I'll even include visual landmarks.  We'll yakk for a few minutes and then everyone can start drifting through downtown, aiming, generally toward the Mercado.  There's a huge restaurant there called, Mi Tierra.  I'm aiming to have brunch there at 10:30 am.  I may call ahead and let them know that we might have a big table of people but I have no idea how many people are actually planning to attend. The food is classic Tex-Mex.  If you are an ardent Vegan you might want to bring something to gnaw on.  The coffee is totally vegan!!!  

Someone asked about lunch.  Get serious.  If we have a big Tex Mex El Brunch at 10:30 am you'd have to have the metabolism of a caffeinated hummingbird to be hungry a few hours later.  Coffee breaks? Yes.  Snacks? Sure.  Full out lunch?  If you feel you need one there's a ton of places to choose from and I'm sure you'll be able to find a fellow photographer to go with.  I'll be walking around shooting stuff.

At 3:30pm, or there abouts, I'll be hanging up the street photography thing and driving over to the McNay Museum. http://www.mcnayart.org/index.php  Please take a few minutes to go to their webpage (if you plan to attend) and look at the stuff they say about photography on their property.  You are basically agreeing to use images only for personal use.  That pretty much means you can't sell them as stock to anyone.  They are happy to have you take photos on their grounds and in the rooms but no flash and no tripods.  Read the stuff and you'll be happier.  The entry fee is $8 for adults.  If you wanna get your money's worth, go earlier and plan to spend a couple hours there.  There's a lot to see.

The museum closes at 5pm and it's just down the street from one of my other favorite restaurants, La Fonda.  It's on N. New Braunfels in the Sunset Ridge Shopping Center.  I'm heading there after they push me out of the door at the McNay.  I'll be talking photography and savoring the ambience until everyone gets bored and leaves.  Then it's back home to Austin.

Some thoughts about shooting:  The fewer cameras and lenses you take the more comfortable you'll be shooting all day long.  The fewer pieces of lighting gear you bring the less you'll have to carry around.
For example, right now I'm anticipating taking one DSLR camera, one normal lens, and two 8 gigabyte cards.  I'll be shooting raw.  And if I need more than 600 images I think I'll have shot too much, too quick.
I'm not bringing a camera bag or a flash or a tripod.  I'm not bringing a water bottle because I know how to get water when I need it.  I am bringing shirts that breathe,  comfortable shorts and good walking shoes.  I expect to cover four or five miles over the course of the day.....

I'll definitely bring a hat.  Love my hats.  Can't decide between a boring khaki baseball cap (made out of very light weight technical fabric, not as one northerner conjectured, wool) and my straw cowboy hat.  The cowboy hat does a good job covering my ears and the back on my neck but falls down on that whole "anonymous appearance" thing.  I'll be leaving my crappy little Nokia phone in the car.  I'll have a driver's license, a credit card and some cash in one pocket and my car keys and memory cards in another.  That's it.  No vest.  No wild strap construction.  No bags.  No walking stick.  No PDA.

Good Rules for street shooters:  Just like dating, "No" means no.  In this context it really means, "no, I don't want my picture taken and you're just being a pain in the ass if you keep begging me..."  We're not acting as photojournalists so we don't really have an ethical right to make someone miserable in order to get an image.  If you can't get complicity thur sweetness and charm-----let it go.

If you see a great photo in a restaurant or museum, by all means, "go for it."  But let's try to be discreet and not involve innocent bystanders in the whole thing.  You should have a shot mentally roughed in (composed) and you should have an idea of the exposure settings before the camera even comes to your eye.  A quick tweak and a quick press on the shutter and you're done.  If you circle someone for five minutes while taking variation after variation you will have stepped over the line....

If it's hot, take time to step into Churches (San Fernando Cathedral is one of the oldest and most charming in the country) Hotels (check out the lobbies at the Gunther and the big hotels on the Riverwalk) and shops in order to soak up a bit of air conditioning.  Sit for a few minutes.  Drink some water.....

If you see something be sure to shoot it now it probably won't be there (or won't be there the same) when you come back.

Getting the most out of Kirk......I'm hoping you know how to use your gear and that you've already bought and brought what you enjoy using.  I want to help you feel comfortable walking along the streets and taking photographs.  I've done this for decades and would love to share what's worked for me.  Whenever we meet up (Alamo, restaurants, rest breaks, etc.) feel free to come on over and ask me anything relevant to street photography.  I'll do my best to answer.  Be aware that there are no private Kirk sessions so don't save your questions and then think you'll have me to yourself for an hour or so.  Ask em proud!  Let everyone in earshot have a chance to debate it and share it.

The whole point of the Anti Workshop is that you guys are all pretty smart, creative and individualistic.  You don't need a lot of handholding.  Most of us just need an excuse to get out and shoot.  That's what this is all about.  The framework of the experience is to have something to blame when you need to tell your boss or spouse that you won't be able to handle the saturday shift or scoop poop in the backyard.  Come down to SA loose and ready to just soak up the ambiance of being in a place and letting the images come to you.

We're not providing models or food or drinks or tee shirts or pens with my business name on them.  We're just providing an excuse to stretch those art muscles so you don't cramp up over the course of the year.

I'd love to have a "top shot" post on the blog afterwards.  It would be great if everyone sent me their one favorite shot of their day with an watermark on the bottom and let me share it here on the blog.

That's all I know.  Thanks.  See you there.  Kirk