Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Originally uploaded by lorenzodom


Please Expose Me, June 16, 2008, New York City:

Well, as my ex might say “Lorenzo, you’ve got to be in it to win it.” And despite all them differences we had, I’d have to say she be right.

Thus, I’ve thrown in my own bid for the Exposure Photography Competition, which one might say is the American Idol contest for photography.

Well, maybe not, but let’s just pretend for a moment that it is, because I would love-love-love (and duly appreciate) it if you, my friends and fellow artists and photographers, took a moment right now to vote for me by clicking on the following link and encouraging all your family and friends to vote for me as well.


Please Note: Voting is based on the highest number of stars, 5 stars is best. Voting closes soon.

Once the people have cast their votes, a select group will move on and the top photographer will ultimately be selected by the competition’s judges including: New York Times Photo Editor Patrick Witty, Supermodel and Fashion Icon Tiiu Kuik, and NYC Gallery Owner David Kesting. The winner's work will be presented in a massive scale photo show on buildings in the top New York City Art Districts: Chelsea, Dumbo and Williamsburg.

The images I have submitted merely represent my work. We were limited to a mere 4 photos, so needless to say I had a hell of a time choosing. In the end, I chose for photos that I feel roughly sum up my focus on New York Street Photography and Portraiture of Individuals.

The photos I submitted include:

Waking in the Obliquity of the Ecliptic

Nicky, The Brave

Sometimes, It Depends on Your Point of View...

School Girl, Alone

Thank you for voting!

(Heart)Breaking News! Flickr Founders, Stewart Butterfield & Caterina Fake, Resign From Flickr (Yahoo!)

(Heart)Breaking News! Flickr Founders, Stewart Butterfield & Caterina Fake, Resign From Flickr (Yahoo!)
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom


Goodbye Mr. Butterfield & Mrs. Fake
July 18, 2008, New York City:

As per the article above, I’ve just read that the founders of flickr have just resigned from their positions at Yahoo!

Thus, I wish to bid the dynamic duo, husband and wife—Mr. Stewart Butterfield and Ms. Caterina Fake—a truly heartfelt adieu and many thanks for the memories.

I had the pleasure of meeting both and having a conversation with Stewart the night I ruined my camera (the first time) by drowning it in a pool of pilfered vodka, right after the Blink of An Eye event that flickr hosted on August 2, 2006. I acknowledged to Stewart then, and will reiterate now, that flickr is a marvelous invention that has changed many lives for the better.

Because the absolute truth is, without you two, none of us would be here.

In fact, without you two many great and wonderful things may not have happened in my life, as surely they have happened for others. Here I list a few of mine, and I encourage readers to list their own below in homage to Stewart and Caterina:

— Without you two, I wouldn’t have met so many fricken fantastic people. I personally know of a number of people who have fallen in love via flickr.

— Without you two, I wouldn’t have realized my childhood dream to become an artist.

— Without you two, I wouldn’t have written and published my first book, 25 Lessons: The Art of Living.

— Without you two, I wouldn’t been selected to be HP’s inaugural 2008 Featured Be Brilliant Artist.

— Without you two, millions around the world may not have been inspired to take more pictures and to pay attention to art, if not the beauty of their own daily lives, more often.

— Without you two, many-many people may not have been inspired to become professional photographers, artists and designers

— And without you two, many of us may not have realized that the visual medium of photography is a great way for many people from around the world to communicate with each other and create meaningful, lasting friendships.

In sum, flickr has been a grand experience for many of us, and as I recently stated, has had a great impact on the lives of many worldwide, opening the eyes to many, and inspiring millions to see the world as a better and beautiful place to be in.

So, adieu Stewart and Caterina. Thank you for everything. Surely, your creative genius and technical ingenuity will be put to good use elsewhere and we will see you two soon enough again.

Much Love,


Click here to read: "Stewart Butterfield's bizarre resignation letter to Yahoo" as reported by Valleywag

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Peering Into The Soul

A Peering Into The Soul
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

It’s Been A While
June 16, 2008, New York City:

It’s been a while.

Almost feel like I’ve been cheatin’ on you;
even if I’ve been as true as the Mississippi
river running its ol’ black water, and that full moon,
shining down on me—indeed, I almost feel
like I’ve been cheatin’ on you.

It’s been a long time you see.
Rose, Olive & Me.
Olive on Olive
Rose en Rose
Just Me.

It’s been a long time you see.
And I’m hankering
for that sort of sordid, fey, wayward
diurnal and often, diagonal inspiration
once again.

Once again,
It’s been a long time you see,
I’ve been doin’ shit and stuff,
keeping busy, biding time
vying to make life seem meaningful.

But then, whenever I come back to you
I get this pleasantly wretched feeling
that I’ve been wasting my time regardless—
nonetheless and allthemore;
‘cause I see Olive on the kitchen floor,
skim through stories of strangers and feel the muddy feet,
find open mouths running, and cleavage clinging to the light;
the cumulous looming of surly monsoons
warming me, teaching me all that is wrong with being right;
and once again, I am inspired
to go beyond on the tired and common and all that what is required of me
to venture into the dark green and challenging,
prodding, piquing, poking, bleeding broods of imagination.

Yes, it’s been a while.
Almost feel like I’ve been cheatin’ on you—
looks like I left you at a poem called Yellow,
playing with, heat; thus, again, we meet—in this heady wherefore of reality.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Magic Behind Explore: The Evil Monkey Makes His Daily Picks

The Magic Behind Explore: The Evil Monkey Makes His Daily Picks
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

"There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about." Oscar Wilde

What makes a picture popular on flickr?

Some, perhaps a lot, of people believe that a picture is popular, because it is posted to the enigmatic magical bingo-drum of flickr's Explore.

These people would certainly be right. Many people unquestionably immediately assume the merit of a photo simply because it is listed in the top photos for the day on Explore.

Alas, I would argue that this alone does not make a photo, and more importantly, the photographer who took the photo, worthy of recognition. For there are countless measures that can determine the worthiness of a photo and the photographer.

"There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it's right." Martin Luther King Jr.

Moreover, no one knows how these photos are chosen on Explore. Most people simply blindly accept that it is some magical algorithm, much like the one used for Apple’s iTunes. I surmise that the Explore formula is primary based on universal appeal, the lowest common denominator in many cases—that is, what can people from a variety of cultures, ages and perspectives, relate to most?

For on any given day you’ll find that the slew of photos showcased on Explore are rather limited and include pictures of clouds and flowers, sunrises and sunsets, cats and dogs, babies and children, pretty women and bohemian or funny-looking men, nighttime cityscapes and rural landscapes, boats and beaches, birds and insects, horses and a variety of other animals.

Ultimately, that leaves out a significant lot of what constitutes good, or more importantly, great photography, historical speaking. For conspicuously absent from Explore are many of the great shots taken by social documentary or street photographers, conflict photographers (i.e. pictures taken in areas of war, famine and civil strife), erotic photographers, and/or photographers and artists that present controversial, disturbing, thought-provoking or politically incorrect images. Just do a search on any of these subjects and you will find thousands of photos, many which readily deserve recognition, but which likely have never made Explore.

Since flickr does not share what determines how photos are chosen (for all we know it may be an evil monkey selecting these images) I would almost immediately wholly discount the number of photos in the flickr Explore application count when assessing the merit of a photographer and her work, because there is no open or logical reason for the basis of assessment and measurement. Thus, it is not scientific by any means—as the formula cannot be tested, nor can the results ever experimentally be repeated.

"Thus we should beware of clinging to vulgar opinions, and judge things by reason's way, not by popular say." Michel Montaigne (1533 - 1592)

That said, I would argue that any legitimate assessment of a photographer’s work should include a number of factors, most of which can be gleaned from the person’s stats page on flickr. These include, but are not limited to:

1.The total number of views of the member’s work.
2.The number of photos that have been deemed favorites by fellow photographers.
3.The overall count of favorites (i.e. adding up the total number of times that the photographer’s photos have been deemed a favorite or simply adding the total number of favorites within the top 200.)
4.Adding the total number of views for the top 200 viewed photographs.
5.The number of contacts the person has.
6.The number of testimonials the person has.
7.The total number of comments a person has from the top 200 commented photos.
8.The number of times the photographer’s work has been published, blogged or cited outside of flickr.
9.Are they getting paid for their work? What is the market value of their work?
10.Has their work been exhibited in a gallery or is it part of a permanent collection in a museum?
11.Has the photographer published any books or articles about photography?
12.Does the photographer have a specialty subject?
13.Does the photographer create work unlike others?
14.Does the photographer take risks where others will not?

Point is, one cannot judge the quality, merit or popularity of a photographer on flickr or any other photosharing site by flickr's Explore alone. That would be a disservice to both established professional and aspiring amateur photographers and could easily discredit the judge.

Just a few words to think about for the weekend. Thanks for reading.


“Seek not the favor of the multitude; it is seldom got by honest and lawful means. But seek the testimony of few; and number not voices, but weigh them.” Immanuel Kant

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My First Podcast Interview!

My First Podcast Interview!
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

O-oh, now I'm in trouble...

Recently I was interviewed about my work and my book, 25 Lessons: The Art of Living, by a popular photography e-zine,, which just posted the podcast on their site.

Please take a moment to listen by clicking on the following link: Interview with Lorenzo!

Some of the many subjects we discuss include:

What I Love About New York City and Why it is My Studio

The Art of Marketing Art

The Wonderful Thing About Flickr...

The Story of How I Became A NYC Street Photographer

How My Greatest Passions Enable Me to Appreciate and Love Life to its Fullest

How I Came to Write The Best Selling Book, 25 Lessons: The Art of Living

Giving It Up: Why, sometimes, you've to give it all away for free...

The interview begins at 12:00 minutes....and lasts about 17 minutes long.

Many thanks to Bill and Sandra for taking it easy on me and ultimately producing a great interview. I don't think I incriminated my self too much...

Please also check out my latest book: StreetWise:How to be a Great Photographer, Lessons Learned on the Streets of New York City

Thank you for reading and listening!

Much Sunshine, Love, Peace and Happiness,

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Always Look on The Bright Side of Life

Lorenzo Gets "The Gas Face"
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

original photo

Usually, I try my best to avoid reading the local papers or listening to 10-10 Wins, supposedly “the most listened to radio station in the nation.” Because, apart from the occasional political scandal, the news is almost always about accidental deaths and egregious murders: old lady gets moved over by commuter van at Brooklyn intersection, child falls out of apartment window in the Bronx, crane falls and kills construction workers in Manhattan, jealous paramour stalks and kills former lover in Long Island.

Hence, I do my best not to listen. Alas, I am only human and the prurient side of me still spurs me to listen on occasion, regardless of the predictability of what I am bound to hear or read.

Thus, lately, I’ve noticed that there is now another reason not to listen... all the bad news associated with rising fuel costs.

The combination of bad financial management (i.e. subprime mortgage crisis), the downturn in the economy (i.e. monkey making decisions in the White House), and the rise in gas prices has recently led to a spat of news about how we are all being adversely affected. I’ve collected just a few of the headlines from the last three days alone and I am presenting them here with excerpts of each story to make my point:

Transit can’t keep up: Agencies struggle to accommodate ridership hike due to gas prices. “It’s standing room only on many commuter buses from Washington’s suburbs. Rail systems from Boston to Los Angeles are begging passengers to shift their travel to non-peak hours. And some seats have been removed from San Francisco’s subway (BART) cars to allow more people to cram in. In the first three months of 2008, 2.6 billion trips were taken on public transportation in the U.S., a 3 percent increase over the first quarter of 2007, according to the American Public Transportation Association.”

GM closing 4 truck, SUV plants: General Motors is closing four truck and SUV plants in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, affecting 10,000 workers, as surging fuel prices hasten a dramatic shift to smaller vehicles.

Airlines get desperate: With fuel costs almost tripling since 2000, now accounting for as much as 40 percent of operating expense at some carriers, according to the ATA, airlines are cutting costs and raising revenue in one-unthinkable ways. US Airways has eliminated snacks. Delta is charging $25 for phone reservations. American Airlines las month began charging $15 for one checked bag.

Cabbies push city for gas surcharge: The New York Taxi Workers Alliance proposed a fuel surcharge of $1 per trip when gas costs between $3 - $4 a gallon, $1.50 when gas is between $4 - $5, and $2 if gas ever climbs above $5. “Four years ago I put in $25 a day for gas. Now it’s like $60. If you turn the air conditioner on, forget it.” John Trapp, NYC cab driver

Latest AAA numbers—Even more motorists running out of gas: With gas prices hovering at $4 a gallon, AAA says motorists are gambling by putting less fuel in their tanks. All across the nation from Philadelphia to Dallas to Tennessee and Oregon, officials are reporting increasing numbers of stranded motorists in need of gas, in some cases distress calls have doubled between May 2007 and May 2008. AAA Mid-Atlantic alone, with nearly 4 million members in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia, reported a 15 percent year-over-year increase in calls from members with empty tanks. "When the pump hits a certain dollar amount now, you're seeing more customers stop," said Lenard, with the National Association of Convenience Stores. "They're purchasing fewer gallons.” And that means playing Russian roulette with the gas gauge.

So, that’s essentially the bad news. Higher gas prices means higher costs all around, leading to longer unemployment lines, shorter vacations, a lot of belt-tightening, and more short-cutting, more frustration, more cheating and more crime.


The good news is that attitude is everything.

"...the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not our circumstances."
—Martha Washington—

Which means, although none of us may have a seat on the board of OPEC, we can determine how we are affected by this situation by changing our attitudes and perspectives on the matter.

Recently, I reloaded Enzo’s iPod with a new repertoire of songs and I included the finale from the from Monty Python’s movie The Life of Brian, where a horde of criminals are being crucified and begin whistling cheerfully and signing “Always Look on The Bright Side of Life.

Thus, taking a little inspiration from the song, following is a list of positive things one might garner despite the downturn in the economy, the rise in gas prices and our universal dire straits:

You woke up this morning. Likely most of this did so groggily and bleary –eyed, but hey! at least you’re heathy and alive, and have a job to go to as well. Unfortunately, not everyone has jobs these days and there is much greater suffering throughout the world. So be grateful for what you’ve got.

Higher gas prices discourage consumption and tend to reduce the production of oil, also reducing the threat of global warming. Everyone’s going green these days, so this can only help the cause.

In the long run, gas consumption may fall as consumers search for and demand substitutes (e.g. grain, solar, hydro, electric).

Although hyper-efficient compacts and innovative gas-electric hybrid cars have been around for years, a decrease in demand for less petroleum-guzzling vehicles will increase the demand for alternative fuel-based automobiles, which will spur the greening of the auto industry. Toyota, Ford, Lexus, Saab, and Saturn all showcased hybrid vehicles at the 2008 NY AutoShow in March.

“From the broad national standpoint, we should welcome high gasoline prices because it is in the national interest to reduce our consumption of gasoline, and high prices will do that, dramatically so in the long run when more substitution is possible. The burning of gasoline in vehicles creates pollution and emits carbon dioxide that contributes significantly to global warming; and curtailing driving in order to reduce the consumption of gasoline would alleviate traffic congestion. Furthermore, a large part of the world's oil supply comes from nations such as Venezuela, Nigeria, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Russia that are actually or potentially unstable, hostile to the United States, or both, and it would be prudent to reduce our dependence on such suppliers.” (Richard Posner, The Gasoline Price Spike: Another Nonissue)

“…$4-a-gallon gasoline is really starting to impact driving behavior and buying behavior in way that $3-a-gallon gas did not. The first time we got such a strong price signal, after the 1973 oil shock, we responded as a country by demanding and producing more fuel-efficient cars. But as soon as oil prices started falling in the late 1980s and early 1990s, we let Detroit get us readdicted to gas guzzlers, and the price steadily crept back up to where it is today.” (Thomas L. Friedman, Truth or Consequences, NY Times ) Thus, higher gas prices, means less consumption, a decrease in the value of materialism, and hopefully a significant increase in the value of the immaterial—spending time with others (i.e. more conversations, less watching TV), greater intellectual pursuits (more studying and self-improvement), and more creativity (creative activity).


In sum, I believe that although a lot of us are feeling the pains of the gas-hike crunch, ultimately we are all better off for it because it will lead to a greater awareness about many of the things we overlook when we become too comfortable and bide time entertaining ourselves through frivolous consumption.

I’ll end this musing with the lyrics that inspired my personal media-vuelta, my turnabout, my motivation to look on the brighter side of life.


Cheer up, Brian
You know what they say

Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse
When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best, hey

Always look on the bright side of life
Always look on the light side of life

If life seems jolly rotten
There's something you've forgotten
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing
When you're feeling in the dumps
Don't be silly chumps
Just purse you're lips and whistle, that's the thing

And, always look on the bright side of life
Always look on the right side of life

For life is quite absurd
And death's the final word
You must always face the curtain with a bow
Forget about your sin
Give the audience a grin
Enjoy it, it's your last chance of the hour

So, always look on the bright side of death
Just before you draw your terminal breath

Life's a piece o' shit
When you look at it
Life's a laugh and death's a joke it's true
You'll see it's all a show
Keep 'em laughing as you go
Remember that the last laugh is on you

And, always look on the bright side of life
Always look on the right side of life
Come on, Brian cheer up

Always look on the bright side of life
Always look on the right side of life

Worse things happen at sea, you know
Always look on the bright side of life
I mean, what do you have to lose
You come from nothing
You go back to nothing
What have you lost, nothing
Always look on the bright side of life

The Bright Side of Life, Monty Python

Check out the Best Seller 25 Lessons: The Art of Living

2008 HP Be Brilliant Featured Artist