Drive By

A giant parking lot, storm water and a sunset.

A giant parking lot, storm water and a sunset.

Chasing light. Even though our prime motivator the other night was to go to the lake, my unspoken and constant motivator is always to chase light. Especially when the light is turning as crazy as it was. Before we ever got to the lake, I saw the sun popping through the clouds and raced to photograph it. With light like it this, it is here today and gone tomorrow… or really, here now, gone in a second. If you look, you’ll note that the sun is dropping through the clouds into a clear sky. That means, bye-bye magical light, at least until the clouds on the left blow over to the right. They did. This picture was made during the earliest part of the evening. But, you never know.

So. This is a drive by picture. I wanted to waste no time. My hand in the mirror is evidence of that. Luckily, and as usual, I was wrong. The light lasted and I made another version of this scene. I even had time to change lenses. And, get out of the car and work a little more properly. I’ll show you that picture tomorrow.

What are you looking at? Simply, a parking a lot. A big one. It serves a convention center that I didn’t know about until I got there. There are rain puddles in the foreground that make wonderful reflectors. Way in the background is yet another levee. Yep. Levees protect us on almost every side. This one is designed to keep storm surge from Lake Ponchartrain flooding Kenner.

The picture? F8 and be there. I mean, really. What else could I have done? The color is all nature’s handwork.

Maybe This One

Yes. There was rain. Although around here, some people use umbrellas to keep the sun off.

Yes. There was rain. Although around here, some people use umbrellas to keep the sun off.

More from Saturday evening. Even though you can’t see the drops. It’s raining. I’d say that’s what they guy holding the umbrella proves. But, around here there are days when people use umbrellas to keep the suns rays from beating down on them during summer.

Oh. One more thing. The color is nature’s best. It is not my doing.

Well, I Never…

Sunset, rain, mist and Lake Ponchartrain.

Sunset, rain, mist and Lake Ponchartrain.

The headline is not what you’re thinking…

I have never, ever been this far upriver along Lake Ponchartrain. Not in 15 years. For some reason unknown to us, we decided to explore a part of what is loosely called Greater New Orleans. This located at the edge of a city called Kenner. Anybody who has flown into New Orleans has been to the city. Even though the airport — Louis Armstrong International Airport, is located in Kenner, it is really built on a piece of land owned by The Parish of New Orleans. It is likely that you flew over this very place when you were taking off. If you look out beyond that farthest piece of land there is nothing out there — mostly swamp and more of Lake Ponchartrain. Interstate 10 runs very close to the lake when you get that far away from New Orleans. You can see it. But you can’t get to it unless you have a boat.

You first question may be, “This place looks pretty. Why haven’t you been out here?” My answer is simple. “I don’t know.”

There is a floating casino here, there are a couple of piers that were rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina and probably once before that when Hurricane Camille (1969) tore out most of the fishing camps. There are picnic areas. And, a lighthouse that has probably been rebuilt 10 or 15 times. It’s a nice place. It was a wonderful place to work at the time when we went.

There is the obvious. The wonderful gulf coast sunset. But, there was more. Hard late summer rain came and went a couple of times. When the rain left, the water had to go somewhere so it started evaporating creating a steam bath worth of humidity. Then the rain came back. You know. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Way off in the distance across the lake, which is about 22 miles away, we could see some lightning. And, us? We were soaked. Washed. Steamed. Cleaned.

The cameras were protected and have been through worse.

I’d say that, “It was all good.” But, that would be wrong. It was all great.


My Way. Or not.

The super moon. Or not.

The super moon. Or not.

The super moon. My version. Or, something like that.

If you recall, my picture-taking of the super moon pretty much failed. It wasn’t for lack of planning. Or, maybe it was. I didn’t realize that about an hour after it rose, it would look about like any other full moon. It would also be fairly small in the sky. I do now. Just wait until September. I’ll get it then. Yeah, yeah. Sure I will.

They say that you learn more from failure than you do from success. With this particular project, I sure am learning a lot. I think I need to run out and buy that $160,000, 1200mm Canon lens of which only 20 were manufactured. Yeah. Expensive gear. That always fixes the problem with the gray matter between the ears.

Anyway. Once I saw just how small the rising moon would be, I switched things around and went to shorter — not longer — glass. That helped capture the scene, but not necessarily the moon. In case you are confused and wondering something like, “just where is the moon anyway,” it’s the bright glowing thing that is immediately to the left of the cathedral. It looks like a giant light bulb. Heh, heh.

As I said to a friend mine just this week, I think pictures should be strong in content and not rely so much on post production techniques. Yes. I said that. I also said that you can really tell if it’s one of this times when I got nothing because I grunge up the picture and make it into “art.” Well, something like art, anyway.

Even though this is experimental Sunday and I usually tinker around with pictures, I’m willing to bet that you, kind reader, know exactly what kind of picture this is…

A Promise Kept

St. Louis Cathedral, from Royal Street with the shadow known as "Touchdown Jesus."

St. Louis Cathedral, from Royal Street with the shadow known as “Touchdown Jesus.”

Making a promise is easy. Keeping a promise is not.

Yesterday, I said that I would post a couple of pictures from my Super Moon chase. Here’s how the chase began. The time was about 7:40p, which is the time of the moonrise. That’s great, if you are looking at a scene that is very close to the horizon. That’s really the best place to photograph a full moon. But, as I’ve written, you need some earth-bound frame of reference. I thought that this scene — the garden at the rear of St. Louis Cathedral — which around here we call “Touchdown Jesus,” would be perfect. It wasn’t. By the time the moon rose high enough in the sky it looked tiny. Or, only as big as any other full moon. You’ll see what I did with that tomorrow.


At least we had a nice warm summer’s eve outside in the French Quarter. We drank a little… coffee. We had a little desert. And, I made a few pictures. All in all, a pretty nice way to spend some time.

The picture. Oops. Almost forgot. Something like F8 and be there. The shutter speed? Oh. Around 1/4 of a second. Hand held. No tripod. I wasn’t quite serious yet.

We Made It

Beads, Feather & Sequins

Beads, Feather & Sequins

Finally. A small victory in a week filled with stunned sadness and unanswered questions.

I’ve been going on about WordPress and its changes. I wasn’t alone. The user forums on WordPress were filled with complaints. Oddly, it seems as if the folks who claim to be working on this project listened a little. They made a few changes. They usually never do. They don’t have to. WordPress claims 90,000,000 users. Bloggers. 90,000,000 bloggers on one system alone is very scary. Surely, we must have something better to do. Anything. Everything.

If there were 10,000 complaints there were a lot. Do the math. The complainers are a drop in the bucket. Less than a drop in the bucket. Even so… today I found an easy way back to my “classic” screen. The new so-called improved screen was made much bigger. But, the five-year olds who are the programmers and engineers still can’t get way from the “boop – boop – beep” screen, which is juvenile at best.


I made this picture while I was waiting for the super moon to rise. It seems to be a great way to close this weird week out. Yeah, yeah. It’s got some movement in it. At first, I wasn’t sure. Then, I added more motion in post production. I wanted the mannequin to move. The rest is pretty straight forward.

Oh, about the super moon. I found a great location. After all, a moon by itself in the sky is like any other full moon during any other month. It doesn’t ammeter if it’s “super” or not. Stick a long lens on your camera and the moon looks big and full. There is no sense of scale. No way to set what you are seeing in context. It’s a big ping-pong ball in the sky. You need a location to set the moon in the sky. Something that gives the human eye a reference point. I found that. But — you knew this was coming — the moon reached the height very late in the night. Moon rise was at 7:40p. By the time it rose at my location it was about 8:40p. Too late for the biggest reflection. I did what I could. I’ll show the pictures to you tomorrow and the next day. They won’t be what you think.

Yes. A small victory.



Music. Horn. Fingers.

Music. Horn. Fingers.

Day two. I’m not the only one. A bunch of my fellow bloggers have been complaining about this nonsense update. I can’t even see how big the pictures will be when I publish the post unless I switch to preview. Then the site tells me that I’ve updated. What did I update? I just looked.

I’ve noticed that across the board unless you receive my post by email, you don’t know it’s out there. One of my colleagues lives in Australia. Usually, by the time I see her work it’s been about 9 hours. If I comment, I’m usually about 40th. Today, I was first. That’s not good.

I suppose you’ll get tired of my rants, so…

I made these picture the other night when I was waiting for the super moon to rise. Since I’m not big on moon pictures except as a source of illumination, I like these pictures much better. Of course, I like music a lot better.

If you want to see what this guy looks like, take a look at the second picture. I hope it is actually where I think it should be. I hope. 

The musician looks like this.

The musician looks like this.

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