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The Longest Day


Forest during solstice.

The longest day. Summer solstice.

Hot. Humid. Wet. Green.

Summer in the swamp. It’s finally arrived even though it’s been hot since very early May, as it always is. It’s just official now. Oddly, from now on the days get shorter. And, hotter and wetter. Rain falls more often. Maybe there will be a big tropical storm or two. Maybe even a hurricane. We are due. Hurricanes danced all around us last year, but our last one hit in 2011. Seven years is a long time in the Gulf Coast states.

No worries. We aren’t worried. Prepared? Yes. Worried? Not so much.

The kids. The ones in cages.

Don’t blink twice.

The orange skinned liar in the White house signed a piece of paper. Essentially it says INS can imprison whole families now. And, they can be tried by U.S. Military J.A.G. lawyers which is illegal since immigrants — here legally or illegally — are not members of the U.S. military.

More importantly, is what it doesn’t say. For instance how are all of the 2000 plus children going to be reunited with their families? How about the ones that were flown from a border state to someplace further north? And, where are the infants, toddlers and girls?

And, while this bit of sleight of hand was happening what about Paul Ryan? The sleezebag speaker of the house. He wants to balance the budget — which he helped blow up — by reducing Social Security and Medicare. Of course, he forgets that’s my money, not the government’s money. I’ve paid for years into the system that he wants to break.

I’ve never ever wanted to turn Storyteller into a political blog. This is a place for art. And, my silly ramblings. But, I’ve had enough. I cannot stand by and watch my country, and some of yours’ too, get torn to pieces.

 

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Don’t Stop


Within and without.

Two things today.

The first is about this picture.

It’s brand new. Like, really brand new. Like, hours old. But, here’s thing. I didn’t do much post production to it at all. The cedar leaf looks like it is layered into the bigger leaf. It isn’t. In the old days, we’d call it shutter drag. If we used a flash to help it, we’d use rear curtain synch. With an iPhone? I have no idea. I’m going to figure out how I fooled the camera’s processor so that I can do this again. Doing it again is a useful technique. Doing it once is just an accident.

The second.

It’s about the kids in cages. I’m sure you all know their story. It’s indefensible. Something happened yesterday that scared me. I received an email from a friend of mine. It was a group email so it wasn’t written just to me. He was mostly talking about the passing of his tribe… the people with whom he grew up. He mentioned that one of his grade school friends names popped into his head. He Googled her and found that she died in 2016. Where did the time go? This happens to all of us at a certain age. After all, our time on earth isn’t unlimited. That doesn’t meaning our leaving isn’t sad for those who remain.

But.

What he wrote at the end terrified me. He acknowledged that Trump and his administration had truly crossed any line of human decency by putting children in cages. Then he said it… He didn’t write more because he was tired. He was beaten down by the daily onslaught of Trump and his minions. He has about given up.

No. No. No.

That’s why we are a team. We all get tired. We all hand off to the next person while we rest. And, so and so on and so on.

Talk to me if you are tired. There might not be much that I can do. But, I can listen. Where I come from we say to “tell another human being.” It makes our burdens easier to know that we are not alone.

We cannot lose this one.

One Of Those Posts


Into the darkness.

This is one of those posts. One of those posts when the picture has very little to do with the writing. When the picture is more-or-less there to catch your eye. It’s a summertime picture, made after a rain storm so the greens are sparkling. I helped it by darkening the shadows and adding a vignette.

That’s about all.

Today, I want to talk about children. Children kept in cages. Screaming children, Crying children. Terrified children. Children who are apparently being used as bargaining chips by the subhuman who runs my country. The subhuman whose defenders tell lies, lies and more lies. The subhuman whose actions with the children have been condemned by the four living first ladies. By just about every church body including the subhuman’s normal supporters. By those on the left. By those on the right. Even by Ted Cruz, for whom I have no use.

Still they persist. They blame everybody but themselves for putting children in cages. For separating children from their mamas. And, from their papas. They don’t even have a system for reuniting children with their families.

Yet, they persist. The subhuman screams on twitter. His minions can’t get the story straight. What have we done?

To my friends from other places, please let me say that this is not my country. This is not my America. These are not my leaders. My country is open. We are tough, but we are fair. We are not cruel. We try to do the right thing. We are kind.

To those who say that the children’s parents are breaking a law, just shut up. You have no idea what these people have gone through. They are coming to The United States not just for a better life, but for a safe life. One in which they can survive. Until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes, I’ll say it again, shut up. Oh, and you can stop following Storyteller.

One more thing. Children are sacred to me. Protect them. Care for them. Hold them. Love them. The minute you cross the line to abuse, you are dead to me. The subhuman and his administration crossed the line.

Do I sound angry? Very angry?

Good.

Blue, Blue, White…


Tiny white flowers on a blue car.

Summer.

Aside from the heat and humidity, for us it’s also the start of the rainy season.  That’s what you get when you live in a semi-tropical place. That, and hurricane season. It’s normal this time of year. We start heating up around early May and stay hot until the end of October. Sometimes even longer. As the day heats up the humidity builds. It returns to the earth in the form of daily rainfall.

For me, it means a couple of things. The most obvious is that I try to find inside work so I can take advantage of air conditioning. It also means a couple of showers a day whether it rains or not. And, running through a lot of t-shirts.

Photographically it means that I make some weird pictures. Like this one. Tiny white flowers are blossoming on a couple of trees. The rain knocks them down. They land everywhere. Sometimes the land on wet cars and stick there. I see them and make pictures like this one. Yes. Of course I messed with it in post production. I didn’t have a vision that I was trying to fulfill. I just wanted to see what was possible.

Think about this one on your wall. Print it at about six feet deep and four feet wide. Hang it in your living room. It would make quite a statement. A graphic statement.

 

 

Gentle Growing


New birth.

Like a watercolor painting.

A time in nature, when greens are still green and summer hasn’t officially arrived.

The time in between.

I am fascinated with Asian art forms. Something Chinese. Or, something Japanese. This picture sort of crosses the border. Between.

Make no mistake. It was a photograph first. I started tinkering with it. I tinkered with it some more. Eventually I went backwards. I made it lighter. Gentler. Almost wispy. I came to this place. I took it a step further. It was gone. So, I back tracked. Here I am. I added a frame because it was drifting all over the screen. I changed my watermark from white because… well, you know.

Happy Sunday. Happy Father’s Day.

Blue Art


Espresso capsule.

New work.

Imagine that. Just when I said. Oh, never mind what I said. I never really know what I’m talking about.

Coffee comes from Amazon. In pods. For a Nespresso machine. However, none of our coffee comes from Nespresso. It is very expensive and I don’t like the parent company’s — Nestle — stand on water and plastic. After a lot of experimenting, finally comes a coffee that tastes better than the “real thing.” And, it’s about half the price. That matters a lot because a lot of espresso is consumed in this house. It’s also packed in aluminum pods. Recyclable and not more plastic.

I was working on the archives. The never-ending project. I dumped a handful of the pods into a small bowl for easy access. I looked down. There it was. A picture. So I pressed the button a couple of times. Off to post production it went. By the time i was done, the pods turned into planets and I made a sci-fi book cover. Or, something like that

 

Another Picture From The Archives


Breakfast at the Clover Grill.

Sunday morning. In the French Quarter.

The tourists haven’t awakened yet. The only folks out are locals. Either they are getting ready for church. Or, they are getting ready to work. Or, they are just coming come from a long overnight shift somewhere in the Quarter.

Before they go where ever they are going, they stop for breakfast. At the Clover Grill. They can eat heartily. They can eat 24 hours a day. And, they can eat in a place that has been around for a long, long time. It’s one of those places where everybody knows your name. And, you’ll never know what will happen. I’ll leave it at that. If you ever go there I want you to be surprised.

Oh. You want to know where it is? Lower Bourbon Street. At Dumaine. On the corner. You can’t miss it.

The picture. One from the archives. When I first returned to New Orleans I used to go walking in the French Quarter on Sunday morning. The light was wonderful. There weren’t many people on the street. It wasn’t too hot, but I did have to deal with the early morning goopiness. Eventually, I stopped doing that in favor of photographing second lines. Because of the decline of the number of second lines, I may resume walking the Quarter on Sunday morning. We’ll see.

 


Summer rain storm.

New Orleans. The rainy season comes in the summer. Sometimes, we get a little rain every day. Rain might not fall for long. But, it will fall. And, usually, it starts out falling pretty hard.

That’s okay.

I think what most people dislike is not the rainfall, but the inevitable soupy humidity that follows. As we know, what falls down must rise back up. As steam.

Of course, this creates a natural greenhouse, or hothouse, effect. Everything grows. I do mean everything.

I made this picture during a rain storm. I’m not exactly sure what the umbrella did for the man crossing the street. The rain was falling sideways. Yes. This is sort of a drive by shooting. With a camera. The street in front of me is Canal Street. I was coming out of the French Quarter. In front of me is the CBD. I’m sorry to say that the picture is three years old.

Streetcar During the Blue Hour


A little impressionistic.

Streetcars.

Streetcars are considered to be a huge tourist attraction. With the proper pass you can ride all over the city. You can catch a ride somewhere near The French Quarter and head Uptown on the green cars. They are not air-conditioned. Or, you can can catch the red cars, which are newer and air-conditioned. You can ride to Mid-City, City Park and now downtown.

At any rate, as a tourist, you are not trapped in The French Quarter, nor do you need to rent a car.

That said.

Locals use them too. Some people commute to work on them. Some people use them to do what you would do with a car. Garden District people who don’t want to deal with parking near the Quarter ride the green cars from somewhere along St. Charles Avenue to the point at Canal Street where they make their turn around. Walk across the street and you are in the Quarter.

The picture. Archive editing continues slowly. The last couple of posts have been pictures that are headed to the New Orleans collection. Looking at the copyright and the bare trees in this picture, you can probably surmise that it was made in very early 2016. Usually our coldest months.

 

June Light


Summer light in the residential side of The French Quarter.

Even though this is an archive image, I’m pretty sure that I could go to the Quarter this evening, or any other evening prior to the heavy rainy season, and make just about the same picture.

That’s part of my inability to want to work in the swamp. I’ve photographed so much that it seems like I’m retracing my steps. I try to move forward. Not back. I didn’t even go to Tee-Eva’s second line. There were a couple of reasons for that. Chiefly, what I think was the 24 hour flu, since I wasn’t the only one who had it. But, after looking at the few pictures on various social media sites, it was not a big or long second line. The usual suspects where there. To my eye, the pictures looked like every other second line.

Anyway.

I’ll get over this eventually.

Yeah. I say that now.