I Just Felt Like It


Something Pretty

Something Pretty

You’ve had days like this, yes? When you just feel like doing something.

The summer has turned into blah light. That’s a technical term. It means ugly. Very ugly.

So… I had to do something.

I, er, borrowed one of my neighbor’s flowers. No. These aren’t still blooming. They came from a shop. I trimmed it and put it in a little rice bowl that came from Japan. I lit it a little. This is the result.

Weird Windows


Store window in the French Quarter.

Store window in the French Quarter.

Oh, I dunno.

This is what happens when you walk. When you look in windows. At details.

I’ll let you guess which kind of spiritual belief this group of icons represents. It may not be what you are thinking.

For those of you who are wondering about avoiding reflection in glass, it’s pretty simple. If you don’t want reflections just take the lens hood off and press the lens against the window. No external side light. No reflections. It also works like sort of a tripod. At least, sort of a brace. You can work at lower shutter speeds. And, slightly higher f stops.

One more thing. Since I rarely chimp — that is, look at the LCD to see how the picture “came out” — I often shoot a little more than might be necessary. Then, I edit. Or, cull. Or, curate. Whatever you want to call it. Even if I took — oh, let’s say ten pictures to get this one — one is what I’ll show you. Less is more. I come from an era before digital. An era when paper cost money. Publishing space was prime real estate. You picked the best picture. The rest went into your files.

Oh yeah. Chimping? Why don’t I do it? It breaks my shooting flow. I’d rather explore and interact with the subject than look to see if somehow I managed to take the picture. That’s important. Especially if you are working with people.

That’s all for today.

Road Trips


Out on the Road

Out on the Road

Right about now, I’m wishing that I was somewhere other than here. Ugly light. Ugly milky clouds. Not all that hot. Very humid. I actually gave up a shoot yesterday. The light just wasn’t getting it. And, despite what Jay Maisel says about a photographer having to make a picture under any sort of condition, I’m not doing that. Yes. He’s one of my photo gurus. Yes, I like his work very much.

But… you knew this was coming.

There is no point in making a picture in horrible light and then trying to fix it up in post production. That violates the old computer rule. GIGO. Garbage in. Garbage out. Improvements in post production are just that. They aren’t repairs. Repairs mean that you blew something. Light. Exposure. ISO. You name it.

Besides, I live here. I’m working for myself. It would be one thing if I were out on this road and somebody was paying me. But, not today. Even when I’m out there, I build “weather days” into my schedule. Normally, “weather days” mean really bad weather when you can’t work. But, you know how I feel about that. That adds to the picture. It doesn’t take away from it.  When I’m working for somebody I’m willing to eat a little of my expense money if I can make a better picture by being a little patient. The client remembers that. That’s a good thing.

For those of you who follow Storyteller to learn a little bit about photography. Here’s your take away. Patience. Just because you want to take a picture doesn’t mean you have to take a picture.

Flags


Pictures of everything.

Pictures of everything.

A holiday. A national holiday. The 4th of July. Independence Day.

These pictures were made in a lot of places. Las Vegas, New Orleans, Virginia City. Somewhere that I can’t remember. I don’t think that matters. It’s just a collection of what I saw on my rambles.

For those of you in other countries, not to worry. I’ll be back with my usual work. On Sunday.

In the French Quarter.

In the French Quarter.

Uptown American flag.

Uptown American flag.

American flag and Katrina Cross.

American flag and Katrina Cross.

Hanging American flag.

Hanging American flag.

Road Rain


Coming and Going.

Coming and Going.

The rain falls. It stops. It starts. It stops. It starts. You know how it is.

Maybe not. For instance, if you live in California you declare a state holiday when two drops of rain fall. I’m not making light of that. It’s serious. Or, if you live in Western desert states. Here, summer is the rainy season. Like most subtropical places. You get used to it. You keep an umbrella in the car. You keep another one in the house. Maybe one in your office. Or, wherever you work. Like that.

For me, that also means I take a lot of rain-oriented pictures. Especially right about now. I change how I focus. I change the background scene. I find better stuff in which to stand in front. But, I do what I can to photograph rain. Sometimes, it’s about wet pavement. Or, reflections. Sometimes, it’s in the details. Like the devil.

This picture. You know me. From the front seat. Either from the driver’s side. Or, the passenger’s side. Some people say that I’m “driven to take pictures.” They don’t know how true that is… sometimes.

Faded Beads


Faded Mardi Gras Beads

Faded Mardi Gras Beads

This is another one of those pictures. A picture made on my way to some place else. There are three things to know about it.

Even when rain isn’t falling, dark storm clouds add a large amount of drama to the picture. The light is wonderful.

Mardi Gras beads always fade to silver. Around here, with our extreme weather, they fade very quickly. These could be from this year. In February. Or, they could also be a lot older. I doubt that.

This picture was made in Central City. Look at the colors of the buildings. Amazing. When I say that new Orleans is a third world Caribbean country. I mean it. For better or worse. These paint jobs are for better.

 

 

That’s All Folks


Little Princess

Little Princess

No.

Not me.

I’m not going anywhere. It’s just getting to be fun.

Second line season is over until around October when things cool down and rain stops falling every fifteen minutes. There will be a second line in August for Satchmo Fest. Louis Armstrong’s birthday. It’s in Treme. Just about everybody comes out. Multiple brass bands. The hosting social club. A few Mardi Gras Indians. Jazz fans from all over the world. The parade is fairly short. The weather is very, very hot.

This parade. Uptown Swingers. It rains every year somewhere along the parade route. Sometimes, the water pours down sideways. In buckets. It wasn’t quite that bad this year. But, still…

Anyway. I’m glad for the break. I’m not so sure about next season. We’ll see.

In case you are wondering. These pictures were made with one camera body and one lens. A 24mm. Pancake. A little tiny thing. On a bigger looking body. In order to fill the frame you have work very close. You have to become one with the parade. I guess you could say that I did that.

Playing in the band.

Playing in the band.

Way too hot.

Way too hot.

Portrait.

Portrait.

Watchful eyes.

Watchful eyes.

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