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A Little Bling

Bling on the scene.

Bling on the scene.

Second lines and drums.

The tuba may start it, but the drums fill it. And, help to set the pace. Speaking of pace, I’m a little late today. I got really jammed up. Between some major dental work, finishing the technical issues of this computer that concluded with a power loss in the city so I had to redo everything, and taking pictures, time slipped away.


I got it done. All of it.

Of course that means, you’ll see two posts within about 18 hours of each other. Hopefully, you’ll like that.

This is another view from the Undefeated Divas second line. Check out all the sticks. This guy is prepared. Break one or drop one and he can just keep going. Sort of like me. I hope to never drop one, but cameras do break. I usually work with two. Same bodies. But, very different lenses. One is wide. The other is longer, for tighter work. If something should happen to one camera, I still can work with the other. That’s very old school thinking. Only a few people work with more than one camera these days.

The picture. Wide lens. Probably f 5.6 at about 500th of a second. It’s the backlighting that caught my eye. It created a very nice rim light around just about all of the subject. If I had used a longer lens, the picture would have been a little more graphic.



More Winter

From behind.

From behind.

A little more winter. Bare trees. Foggy days. Warm air.


Warm air. We’ve gone from very cold days — for us — to spring-like weather with temperatures just under 80 degrees. So, I thought I’d show you a few more pictures from around the house. And, once I get processing again, I’ll show you a butterfly. Not just any butterfly, but the most amazing butterfly ever. It’s lavender and purple and magenta. It’s about the size of my fist and it is growing on a bush that has those color flowers.

The streets?

Oh, more pictures are coming. I’ve just had a month’s worth the technological problems in three days. I haven’t been able to process or edit very many pictures. As usual, various companies’ software doesn’t play well with one another after various upgrades. In this case PhaseOne, my basic editing software does not like the new Mac operating system. It shows its dislike by grabbing onto all apps and even my internet browser and not letting go even when I force it to quit. This stuff happens around the change of the year when everybody releases new upgrades.

For the record, Apple and Adobe (Photoshop) never, since the beginning of digital time, have ever played well together upon new releases.

So. Yes. These pictures came from my iPhone and were processed in Snapseed. I finished them in On1, which has its on set of issues.

No matter. I am never denied.

That’s your lesson for the day. Don’t be denied. Now, let’s just see if I can get Alexa working again. She gave up yesterday because of my other digital issues. I need her to do stuff for me. Like play music, alarm the house, wake up various people, set the thermostat, buy stuff from Amazon. Yes, especially that. Buy stuff.

Winter softness.

Winter softness.

In the Middle of Things

The stare.

The stare.

The thing about second lines is that everyone is a participant .

Even photographers. Even the beverage vendors. And, the food vendors. None of us have permits. Nor, do we have any special right to be there. The only folks that do have a parade permit and a police permit are the social clubs who host the second line. Even for them, parades are fairly chaotic. The do get to control about a 20 yard piece of street in front of the mainline and that’s about it.

That’s the blessing. And, the curse.

Y’all can imagine why. For me, regardless of the pictures, it’s just great exercise. It’s like being in the middle of a sporting event. Something like rugby comes to mind. That’s how I think you have to look at it. You’re going to get bounced around. You’re going to have people jump in and out of your “perfect” picture. Oh well. So what. Whatever.


Then, there are guys like the one on the cowboy hat. He’s at every parade. He rarely talks to the photographers on the scene. And, look at him. Not only is he blocking my picture, but he’s blocking the little boy and the woman in the tiara who is trying to take a picture of the little boy. He thinks nothing of it. I left him in the picture because he’s part of the scene and therefore, the picture.

The karma gods did intervene. He turned to stay ahead of the second line and ran… into me. I wasn’t moving. I was busy. Taking pictures. I’m a good-sized guy. He more or less bounced off of me and spent the rest of the parade trying to catch up to it.

Oh well. Stuff happens.

The benefit of being nice and playing by street rules shows up in the third picture. She saw me, dancing and smiled for me and… well, there you have it.

The top picture is sort of fun. The cat in the hat (See what I did there, Doctor Seuss fans?) backed up to pose for me and ran into the big guy in the very cool green suit. He wasn’t amused.

Oh well. Stuff happens.

The pictures. Those nice open overcast skies are the best thing for making pictures like these. No deep shadows and the light looks like it was made using a giant soft box. Nature’s soft box. So. ISO 100. F5.6 at about a shutter speed of 500th to 1,000th. These pictures can be enlarged to fit a huge wall with no technical gyrations.

In the way.

In the way.



As They Say…

Be a New Orleanian.

Be a New Orleanian.

… the Tuba starts the second line.

And, so.

It should start my second line parade photo coverage. Especially when a tuba is plastered with a New Orleans sticker.

This is the Undefeated Divas second line parade. Another Sunday affair. Warmer than last weekend with a little overcast which helped control the shadows. Especially on faces. And, on shiny things.

That’s all I have for today. A lot of things aren’t working. Mostly in the technology world. I have to fix them. Again. Every Monday.

A pause.

A pause.

Sunday Quietness

Peaceful in the South.

Peaceful in the South.

I saw this picture and just had to take it.

Winter. Solitude. Quiet. Calming.

A perfect Sunday picture.

I’ll leave you with that. And, that I’ll be back on the street today for tomorrow and the rest of the week. Making New Orleans pictures. Second line pictures. Mardi Gras pictures.

Enjoy the day.

It Ain’t Easy

Haircuts and other things.

Haircuts and other things.

This picture says it all.

About getting your hair cut. About getting photographed. About being forced to do anything.

I’m not exactly sure about the interaction between the barber and his customer, but the man with the shears has a pretty good grip on the kid’s head. While the barber was cool with my work, his customer might not have been. Hard to know. Or… easy. Heh!

The picture. I try to use events as a platform to photograph other community pictures. While I was photographing the second line and the people getting ready to walk, I also made pictures of anything else that caught my attention. Even though the Hot Spot was functioning as the club’s dressing room, the show still had to go on. So, while some folks were putting on the final touches to their suits, others were just going about their Saturday business. Getting their hair cut. For instance.

Technical stuff. I don’t really know. I could check the meta data, but I won’t. Knowing me, it’s f5.6 or greater since there’s pretty good front to back sharpness in fairly low light. Shutter speed? Nothing is blurred, so at least 1/60th of a second.

Bead Tree

Mardi Gras beads and a tree.

Mardi Gras beads and a tree.

This is where Mardi Gras beads come from.

They grow on trees. All over the city. You pick them when they are ripe.

But, seriously…

They mostly come from China. The same place just about every inexpensively manufactured product comes from. Some glass beads still come from the Czech Republic. But, they are pricey and few. In the six years since we returned, I can count on one hand how many glass beads we have. We keep those. On the other hand, if we hadn’t given most of them away, I could have weighed the plastic ones by the pound.


Once, many years ago, I remember seeing one bead tree located in one neighborhood along St. Charles Avenue. It was created by accident. The krewes riding the parade floats threw beads out far, wide and high so the people standing the back rows of the crowds could catch some too. This one particular tree was located in a place where beads just seem to collect. They also collect on power lines. Phone lines. Streetcar power lines. Shop signs. And, so on.

Just like anything that is even marginally successful in New Orleans, this accidental occurrence was copied again and again and again. Now there trees are all over the city. And, they are no accident. For instance, this tree is located on the downriver side of Jackson Square. No parade has ever passed this way. At least, in the last couple of centuries. Somebody just thought it was a good idea. At the time. After a few “adult beverages.” I’m just guessing here. But, this is The French Quarter. In New Orleans.

It probably was good drunken idea. (See what I did there?) But, most Mardi Gras beads are cheap. The color doesn’t last. Especially in our extreme weather. Eventually, these glistening beads will turn flat black, gray or even a dirty white. The tree won’t look so pretty then. Nobody will climb up and take them down. When the string that holds the beads finally rots, down will come the beads. One string at a time. Round objects that are rolling around 18th Century pavement are no fun.

The picture. Probably f5.6 at 1/4 of a second with a twist.

A twist you ask?

Cameras today have all kinds of anti-motion software. In the old days 1/4 of a second generally meant you added motion to the picture whether you wanted to or not if you weren’t using a tripod.

Today, you can make a sharp picture whether you want to or not. So, as I pressed the shutter release button I sort of twisted the hand that’s holding the camera. My left hand. I made forced movement. There’s a clue you can use.