ADD, Photography, Let’s Eat! Where the Hell Are My Keys?

My grades in school were always D’s and F’s.  Mostly because I didn’t go to classes that bored me.  I would go to the library and read instead. I was a voracious reader, and I credit that with my survival into adulthood.

OK, Buckle Up Cowboys. My grades in school were always D’s and F’s.  Mostly because I didn’t go to classes that bored me.  I would go to the library and read instead. I was a voracious reader, and I credit that with my survival into adulthood.

I did manage an A+ in my art survey class during my senior year. It was the only one I ever received. I loved history, science, and art.  I liked English even though I did terribly in it (except for writing essays and such). Every other class, I would bring a book to read or try as hard as I could not to fall asleep. 

My teachers would say, “Gerard is a bright boy, if he would only apply himself.” I didn’t know how to apply myself. 

The first time I got suspended was in 2nd grade for 2 days! I was overheard using some swear words that I learned,  listening to my mother while she was driving. They must have been pretty bad. This while I was attending the Waldorf School* which if you know anything about it is pretty special. I remember asking “How can a word be bad?” 

And not getting an answer.  George Carlin picked up the ball from there.

During my senior year in high school,  I was suspended for the 11th and 12th time.

Suspension number 11 was when the vice-principal saw me driving my car to school without a permit. He saw me dropping my friend off in the front of the building, pointed his finger at me, and said, “My office.” I tried to explain that I had gotten a job 20 miles away that I had to be at 30 minutes after I got out of school and I had to drive. His position was that I should have gotten the permit before so doing, and he suspended me for 2 days.

I took suspension number 11 with aplomb because this year was different. I didn’t argue with the VP about it and just took my lumps.

The things that I got suspended for were cutting class and civil disobedience. It was the late sixties early seventies, and there were a lot of things to be pissed off about, like being drafted into the army but being too young to buy a drink.

Discussions about things like that in the class were frowned upon, as was a protest of any kind. I never got suspended for beating someone up or stealing or anything like that. I did tell the typing teacher that he was a “real shit.” (Suspension number 7), but that was about the extent of it.

Suspension number 12  was my last. It was 2 weeks after suspension number 11. On this occasion, I had entered the boy’s room 10 seconds before (hillbilly chemistry teacher) Rex Morrison did. Sexy Rexy, as he was called, was short, rotund, and spoke with the evilest southern drawl. There were maybe 12 guys standing around smoking cigarettes in the bathroom, just like any other high school boys’ room ever. The smoke was thick, and I coughed as I approached the urinal.

When students started noticing a teacher was standing in the doorway, the room became silent. Peering through the haze, Sexy called out 3 names plus mine. “Here we go,” I said. As we walked to the principal’s office, I explained that I was taking a leak and holding something other than a cigarette. I didn’t even smoke.

“Smell me,” I begged, but he wasn’t having any of it. “I’m sure you’re able to lie to your Momma and get away with it.” Sexy Rexy said. “But I’m too smart to be fooled by you.” What a twat. Sexy Rexy is dead now. Good.

Mr. Vice Principal (VP of discipline) didn’t listen either. When he stepped out of his office and saw us standing there with Old’ Rex, he had all the info he thought he would need. Pointing to us, “You, you and, you. You three have detention for the next two weeks. Be gone with you.”

Turning to me, he paused for the drama and said, “Two days Mr. Exupery.” Adding, “You know the drill; you can’t come back unless your mother or guardian comes with you.”

“Do I get a chance to explain what happened?” I asked. He said, “No, I’m not interested.” while simultaneously turning his back, taking 2 steps into his office, and closing the door. He’s dead now too. Good.

One thing that made me absolutely bat shit crazy was being accused of doing something I hadn’t. Not being allowed to defend myself was an insult.

I felt my ears stinging from the increased blood flow. I knew my face was crimson red. I had a lump in my throat that actually hurt, and my mouth was so dry I couldn’t form a sentence.

I looked around, and the office ladies wouldn’t look at me. I was so angry and frustrated that I picked up the first thing that had a little heft. A chair, a school chair, one of those snot color plastic mid-century jobs that looked like Judy Jetson parked her intergluteal cleft on it.

So I picked it up and hurled it, being careful not to hit the office ladies. They were always kind to me.

The chair hit the Vice Principal’s door cracking the sliver of a reinforced window in it. One of the chair’s steel legs remained attached to the hole it had made. When what’s his face tried to open the door, he could only open it so far before having to fight with the chair.

Before he could get his door open, I had left the office and was heading for the front door of the building. As the door was closing behind me, I could hear, “That’s 2 weeks Mr. Exupery! Two weeks!”

“Fuck you,” I yelled at no one in particular. I was never going back.

But I did, and I even graduated.

Hey, I’m getting there…

All my life until that point, I was told that I was lazy, that I would be a failure in my life that I had better buckle down and fly right and keep my nose clean. I was a troublemaker, a bad kid. I even believed it.

I knew there was something wrong with me. No matter how much I would try to “do it” like the other kids, pay attention, take legible notes, and get my homework turned in on time, I was an utter failure at it.

Except for photography. That and reading kept me alive.

How was it that I was the only person who knew there was something wrong with me?

It wasn’t until I was 38 years old and watching the local news that I saw a news piece about a new study. It showed that children don’t outgrow their ADHD/ADD. The symptoms continue into adulthood and often the root cause of alcoholism and drug abuse and depression.

Hey, I had depression in droves from the time I was a teen. I was the champion of anxiety and depression. I never thought I had ADD as a kid or an adult until that news story. Every symptom the story listed, that was me. I was overtaken with emotion. When she heard me crying, my wife came into the room to find out who had died.

Several weeks later, after screening with a psychologist, I was interviewed by a psychiatrist specializing in ADD. Halfway through answering his questions, he put his clipboard down and stopped the interview.

“You,” he said, “have all of the symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder. How is it no one at school or your parents not realize that there was something wrong?” I had no answer for the former and didn’t want to answer the latter.

He wanted to know how it was that the psychiatrist I had seen for years as a young adult hadn’t picked up on it?
Finally, there was an explanation for the negative image of myself I grew up with. It was why I never thought my photography was any good. It was why I anticipated failure first. It was why I was called lazy and stupid and why I did so poorly in school. See, I love learning, and I always did. I just couldn’t stay focused.

What the hell does this have to do with making photographs?

Genomic analysis of the natural history of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder using Neanderthal and ancient Homo sapiens samples [ Link ]

After years of trying, researchers say they have now succeeded in discovering specific areas of the human genome that contain variations in the DNA sequence that are robustly associated with risk for ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder).

ADHD and Hunter-Gatherers [Link]

A study conducted at Northwestern University in 2008 examined two communities in Kenya. One of the communities was still nomadic, while the other had settled into villages. The researchers were able to identify members of the communities who displayed ADHD traits.

Research showed that members of the nomadic community with ADHD — those who still had to hunt for their food — were better nourished than those without ADHD. Those with the same genetic variant in the village community had more difficulty in the classroom, a major indicator of ADHD in areas with more physical and technical amenities and structured guidelines. The researchers also noted that unpredictable behavior — recognized as a key characteristic of ADHD — might have been helpful in protecting our ancestors against livestock raids, robberies, and more. In essence, the traits associated with ADHD likely help more with enhancing hunter-gatherer skills than those of a settler.

The Point, and What Really Pissed Off My Evil Girlfriend

My evil girlfriend hated what she called my ability to take the shittiest situation and make something positive of it. That’s what I’m going to do here right before your eyes.

All those years and indeed from the time I was 9 years old I wanted to take pictures. Photography was the only consistent thing I’ve ever had in my life except for, you know, body parts. Now there are 2 consistent things.

Photography and ADHD, apparently.

You might know my story, but for those who don’t, the short version is that I took pictures and thought about photography every single day of my life. I just didn’t show them to anybody for 40 years.

I would look at the work of others and just know my stuff was no great shakes. I wanted to be a street photographer, and I was. 

At some point, I decided that I’m going to “do something” with my images but probably not until my mid-50’s. That’s pretty much what happened.

It wasn’t until Flickr that I found out my pictures were not bad at all. It was the first place that I had shown them. I started writing because followers on Flickr wanted to know more.

So here we are

I’ve realized that my “eye,” my vision as it were, has been a unique gift bestowed on me by a very funny God or evolution, whichever way you swing. 

I’ve talked a lot about “the flow” of doing street photography. There is a rhythm to seeing the world around you and picking up on the indicators of something about to happen. When I started doing street, I knew where to look and when to push the little button. My friend Mark, a brilliant photographer, said to me: “I was right there with you, and I didn’t see that. How did you see it?” I dunno Mark, I just do.

I now think that having ADD is the gift that allowed me to do street photography. It’s what made me curious and motivated me into sometimes humorous, sometimes dangerous situations which I write about.

You know, growing up the way I did with ADD was fucking awful. But look what it gave me.

You have to suffer if you want to sing the blues.

Gerard Exupery

Gerard Exupery has been a lifelong resident of New York City. Since 1975 he has used photography to document the subways, streets and people of New York. He studied at The School of Visual Arts and with Lisette Model at the New School. Though Mr. Exupery has been a photographer for more than 40 years, he only began to show his work in 2017. In his past lives, Mr. Exupery has been a: Custom Printer, Video Producer, NYC Taxi Cab Driver, and Mr. Mom.

More Stories

Underwater by Mike Potts

Underwater by Mike Potts

I see the water as a metaphor for a dream medium and I try to meet my subjects on that boundary and hope that we are able to take the viewer from tranquil peace to a burst of creation and back again. Underwater project was selected and published in our print edition 22.
A Space Odyssey-style evolution by Sonia Payes

A Space Odyssey-style evolution by Sonia Payes

A Space Odyssey-style evolution, is Alchemy (2021), a collection of 14 vibrant chromogenic prints. Each one reiterates the same basic composition and design, with Ilana’s avatar recurring indomitably across two orderly rows. 
Turin; You Do Not See by Riccardo Surace

Turin; You Do Not See by Riccardo Surace

The project titled What You Do Not See, Unordinary tells the story of the City of Turin, my city, seen through the eyes of passersby. All photographs have been captured with a long exposure technique; in other words, I mixed then history of the city with my own history, my life experience. In fact, after five years spent fighting a disease, my artistic purpose is primarily that of representing the all too familiar feeling when, as a young man wandering through the city, one feels invisible, and yet still he is thoroughly involved in its daily frenzy.

Nude Photography Awards

We invite you to participate in the first edition
of the Nude Photography Awards. We are looking
for the best nude picture for this year, 2022.

Our call is open to any artistic interpretation of nude photography.

DEADLINE | SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2022

PHOTO BY © OLIVIER VALSECCHI
Fragments by Anne-Marie Giroux.

Fragments by Anne-Marie Giroux.

Fragments is a project within a project. Since 2020, I have been working on an installation project entitled Drifts Drifting Phase II which will be presented at Espace Produit Rien in Montréal in April 2023. The installation proposes a questioning of human and artistic drift, theme that I have been exploring since 2014. Adopting a critical and mocking approach on the relevance of the very essence of the art object, I also question the relevance of being an artist, and particularly, the relevance of being a woman artist.
Exclusive interview with Henriëtte HJIMvanGasteren

Exclusive interview with Henriëtte HJIMvanGasteren

I have had the privilege to interview Henriëtte HJIMvanGasteren, formerly known as Lilith, for Dodho Magazine. In this honest and sincere conversation, she shows us why she is so interesting as a creator, and also as an artist persona.
Til All Is Correct by Louise Fago-Ruskin

Til All Is Correct by Louise Fago-Ruskin

I like to think of my Great Uncle Moszek hovering  somewhere between floors 8 and 12 of Nalewki Street  9 in the Warsaw ghetto. It is a safe place, this imagined placement of his body. Down below the streets of the ghetto are not safe. A German soldier has been killed and revenge is about to be sought. Boots are  heard on the ground, moving ever closer to number 9.

Featured Stories

Deborah Roffel ; The beauty of the tension between the static and the dynamic.

Deborah Roffel ; The beauty of the tension between the static and the dynamic.

Since 2007 I work together with Evgeniy Levchenko to independent photo shoots. It started when I met him as a footballer at FC Groningen football club (for which I photographed), he was a professional midfielder.
Swee Oh ; Street Photography

Swee Oh ; Street Photography

Swee Oh is an internationally acclaimed fine art photographer, based in San Francisco, California.She is originally from Malaysia.Her work is focused in her two favorite genres of photography.
Kabuki players by Hiroshi Watanabe

Kabuki players by Hiroshi Watanabe

Those Kabuki players seen in the photographs are not with the mainstream Kabuki companies in Tokyo. They are with localized small groups located in various parts of Japan.
Africa by Laurent Baheux

Africa by Laurent Baheux

Laurent Baheux (born 1970) is a French photographer known for high contrast black and white photographs of nature and wildlife. Baheux's work about Africa and wildlife is featured in art photography
Himalaya; Sound of silence by Jagdev Singh

Himalaya; Sound of silence by Jagdev Singh

The land of high passes in Ladakh, India in the shadow of the Himalayas impregnates nature in its most immaculate form. The boundless beauty of the mystic peaks, fathomless vastness, cloud shadows playing hide n seek on mountains all during the day
Uummannaq by Camille Michel

Uummannaq by Camille Michel

Uummannaq is an island in the North West of Greenland, located 590km from the Arctic Circle. ‘Uummannaq’ means “Heart-shaped” in Greenlandic language., so- named due to apparence of the island’s mountain.
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/nude-banner.jpg

We invite you to participate in the first edition of the Nude Photography Awards. Our call is open to any artistic interpretation of nude photography.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/BAnImage.jpg

ImageRights provides intelligent image search and copyright enforcement services to photo agencies and professional photographers worldwide.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/mono2022.jpg

The best 100 images along with the winning images published in the yearly book “Monochromatic – Best Photographers of 2022”

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/banner23.jpg

Call For Entries #23 | After 22 editions and more than 100 published photographers, our print edition has proven to be a simply effective promotional channel.

A Story of Faith by Siddhartha Banerjee

A Story of Faith by Siddhartha Banerjee

Faith makes a man move mountains. It is seldom reasons and mostly faith that makes a man cross barriers , struggle hard, sacrifice his well-being. The world has had a lot of stories of faith , stories where men did what reason would never allow them to do.
Patterns, lines, textures; Urban Moods by Alex Axon

Patterns, lines, textures; Urban Moods by Alex Axon

Urban Moods is a photo project that tells the story of the city dynamism through bicycles and umbrellas captured in constant movement and surrounded by patterns, lines, textures.
Wiebke Haas ; Fine art equine

Wiebke Haas ; Fine art equine

Wiebke Haas is a dedicated award-winning equine and animal photographer from Germany. Ever since she was a little girl she dreamt of hoof-beats and flying through the fields on a back of a horse.
The ordinary by Lotta Lemetti

The ordinary by Lotta Lemetti

For me creating still life compositions is a form of self-exploration. The creating process is an intriguing and almost devotional journey through my mind. Through predilections in aesthetic decisions such as subject matter, color and composition the work reflects who I am, where I come from and what I have experienced.
Intimate diary; Jazz Notes by Giuseppe Cardoni

Intimate diary; Jazz Notes by Giuseppe Cardoni

It is a declaration of love by Giuseppe Cardoni, but also by an Italian region, Umbria, which has always hosted the most important jazz festivals and where the author took most of his photographs.
Diego Bardone : Unpredictable coincidences

Diego Bardone : Unpredictable coincidences

In his eyes there's the lesson of humanist postwar French photographers: Doisneau, Boubat, Izis those he likes more but even Bresson and Erwitt are a big source of inspiration

Trending Stories

Nepal: Faces of Kathmandu by Roman Wolczak

Nepal: Faces of Kathmandu by Roman Wolczak

In 1992 Roman left Australia travelling to Nepal and beyond. This was the first time he had ever travelled outside Australia.
Creative photography : John Wilhelm

Creative photography : John Wilhelm

John's profession is IT, his passion is photography. Photography was always important in John's life. His father was an experienced hobby-photographer and founded at least two local photography-associations.
Pictorial Nudes by Jorge Pedra

Pictorial Nudes by Jorge Pedra

I believe that, although photography is somehow based on reality, every photograph is only partly objective, and is always an interpretation of that reality. I love photographing the nude. In this case, I might say I’m not interested in glamour photography.
Robert Rutöd: Fair(y) Tales

Robert Rutöd: Fair(y) Tales

An expedition through the grotesque realm of must-haves and mega-trends. It seems as if there is a constant factor amidst the diversity of our dreams: The longing for a heavenly life, the hope for permanent feeling of happiness.
Maslenitsa by Svetlana Makoveeva

Maslenitsa by Svetlana Makoveeva

Maslenitsa is one of the oldest Slavic holidays, which has its origins in pagan traditions. In the folk calendar of the Eastern Slavs, the celebration marks the border of winter and spring. It is the analogy of the carnival in European countries.
Ramnami Community by Sanghamitra Sarkar

Ramnami Community by Sanghamitra Sarkar

Low-caste Hindus in the eastern state of Chhattisgarh first began tattooing their bodies and faces more than 100 years ago as an act of devotion and defiance after being denied entry to temples and forced to use separate wells.
Street photography; Stolen Portraits by Michele Punturieri

Street photography; Stolen Portraits by Michele Punturieri

Fleeting moments in life captured in the most classic street-photography style over a decade ranging from 2008 to 2018. All around Europe. From Lisbon to Edinburgh, passing through Dublin, Vienna, Amsterdam, Madrid and the London Soho.
Alexei Krasnikov – The beauty of things

Alexei Krasnikov – The beauty of things

When I took a photo camera in my hands for the first time I felt that it can help do much more than just document facts.
Fast cars and loose women of Greg Manis

Fast cars and loose women of Greg Manis

Raised on loud bikes, fast cars and loose women, Greg Manis' photos tell the tale of his North Georgia upbringing in a raw, yet romantic fashion.

Other Stories

stay in touch
Join our mailing list and we'll keep you up to date with all the latest stories, opportunities, calls and more.
We use Sendinblue as our marketing platform. By Clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Sendinblue for processing in accordance with their terms of use
We’d love to
Thank you for subscribing!
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted.
- Between 10/30 images of your best images, in case your project contains a greater number of images which are part of the same indivisible body of work will also be accepted. You must send the images in jpg format to 1200px and 72dpi and quality 9. (No borders or watermarks)
- A short biography along with your photograph. (It must be written in the third person)
- Title and full text of the project with a minimum length of 300 words. (Texts with lesser number of words will not be accepted)
This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Contact
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted. This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation.
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Get in Touch
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact hello@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.