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It Looks Like It


Well, well, well.

It sort of looks like fall.

Oh no.

Nature forgot to push the fall button. It looks like the big Halloween parade, Krewe of Boo, will walk in warm weather on Saturday night. It may come to pass that trick or treaters will be collecting their spoils in shorts, t-shirts and flip flops. Oh, how fun.

Meanwhile…

I’m working through my archives and finding some long lost pictures. Katrina coverage, my first Mardi Gras Indian event and stuff like that. I’ll show you some of it. Just keep in mind you’ll be looking at older images.

The picture. The all seeing spaniel wanted to sit and enjoy the weather. I found a bench. I sat on that. She rolled around on the ground. Some days, no amount of brushing fixes that.

 

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Halloweenish…


Like Halloween.

Just like Halloween. Just two weeks early. As you know, pictures happen when they happen. This one happened at the end of our late dog walk. She was patient considering she was hungry and hadn’t had dinner yet.

I doubt that I could have made the picture with my old phone. This new one… whew. I’m anxious to make a good sized print. In theory there should be no problem going larger than 16×20 inches.

Because… I learned a new phrase.

Computational photography.

In short, although the sensor in a smartphone is tiny and therefore the image file size is tiny, the onboard computer compensates for that by interpolating it into something much larger. This does not bode well for the pocket and bridge camera market. I’ll tell you more as I learn more. This should be fun.

Deep and Dark


Dark and glowing dusk.

Mysterious blue hour.

It happens like this sometimes. You look up and think, “whoa, what just happened?”

So. You take the picture. With your brand new smart phone. Amazing. The sensor seems to dig out everything. Color. Shadows. And, it holds the highlights without much work

Thank you for all of your good thoughts. As they say, no news is good news.

Update. I’m sorry to report that my friend passed last night in her sleep at 11:07 pm.

Poetry


The poetry can’t end.

Normally, unless I must pre-schedule a post, I write in the morning.

Today’s post was written on Saturday night after I learned of some terrible news. An old friend of mine may leave the planet by morning, certainly within the next day or two.

She is an artist, a painter. She is one of the few who actually made a fairly good living from her work.

It seems that her liver failed midway between her old home in Santa Fe, New Mexico and her new home on Bainbridge Island, Washington. She became ill in Salt Lake City, Utah, while she was in transit. There are other details, but they don’t really matter. Nothing earth-shaking.

This whole thing terrifies me. Between work, pleasure and moving, I’ve managed to travel a lot. As I’ve aged the thought occurred to me, “what if, what if, what if?” I’ve gotten sick on the road. I’ve even taken a trip to the hospital in Thailand. But, it wasn’t serious. My hospital trip cost all of $12.63 and that included two additional visits for bandage changes. It was a blister on my foot that went south. I always tell people to test their equipment before they travel. That includes new shoes.

But.

What if?

I guess you can’t worry about that. Or, you can. As you get older, you should think of it. Maybe not dying, but getting sick while you are traveling. And, what you will do about it. That’s just good planning.

Green. The color of peacefulness and rebirth. It’s my little offering along with a picture that I’ve yet to make. Tomorrow at a second line. Because as you know, the work is the prayer. Actually, I have to make two. That’s another story.

Have a good thought for my friend. The outcome won’t change, but the passing might be a bit better.

Peace.

At Dusk


The blue hour of dusk.

The quiet time.

Dusk. Blue Hour. A great time to photograph. An even greater time to just be. I went outside not thinking that I’d even take a picture, but the light — oh, the light — was amazing. So, I made a few pictures of some favorite subjects of mine. Trees. Sky. A little golden light tucked in among the branches.

There’s a problem with this.

As I review my archives I come to realize that I have been repeating myself. Again, and again and again I tend to fall back on comfortable subjects. To the point of boredom. Of myself. And, very likely you.

That may be the issue. Even though a lot of bloggers say their numbers are down, it could be that my numbers are down because you know all of my tricks. If you have seen some version of my pictures than my words probably feel similar too.

I’m not sure how I can change this. But, I do know that I claim Storyteller to be a place of experimentation. I’m not doing much of that. Experimentation isn’t just about photo processes and techniques. It’s also about subject matter. Most of my work hasn’t been very fresh.

I’ll see what I can do about that.

 

Days End


Brilliant sky at day’s end.

A Friday picture.

It seemed like everybody is posting sunset pictures over on Facebook. I thought, “why shouldn’t I?”

The trick, I think, to making a good sunset picture is to keep something in the foreground. Without it, a sunset picture or a big moon picture, loses its sense of time and place. Lacking that, a picture becomes just one of many that look like each other. They could have been made at any time. I’m pretty sure that you’ll forget about them by years end unless you are a photo artist who uses pieces of different pictures to create something entirely new. There are not many of those, and fewer still who do them really good.

This picture was made while I was on the way to someplace else.

At first the sunset wasn’t all that remarkable and then it was, “Oh my God.” I did what I could to find something in the foreground to give the picture some kind of context and pressed the button. The camera was set on auto so it tried to expose for the shadow area which would have blown the highlights out to the point of recognizability. I changed the settings and this is the result. I made things a little darker in post.

Have a good Friday and weekend.

It Happens That Way


Fall…

It’s funny how it happens.

One day is stormy and humid. The next day the weather is cool and dry. Fall arrived. Finally.

The very weather pattern that pushed Hurricane Michael away from New Orleans brought cool air to the region. The windows in the house are open for the first time since late April. Natural cool air replaced refrigerated air. For sure, the temperatures will warm up a little next week, but the humidity will stay low. That’s a big deal around these parts.

So.

Happy Fall to us. Yippee.

The picture. There is a little bridge located on one of our walking routes. I saw the leaf on the hand rail and framed the picture as you see it. All those little glowing things are other leaves below laying on the ground. I actually tuned this picture down a little. Real world color looked enhanced.

I bought a new smart phone. It’s a Samsung Galaxy Note 9. It is the latest and greatest. It cost about half of Apple’s latest and greatest. I have a hard time paying about $1,200 for a phone, even though it is fairly powerful computer. That’s what an Apple phone would cost.

According to the tech guys I talked with, my new phone is the best in the world. They keep telling me that I can do a lot more with it than I could with my now retired i-Phone 6. I’m sure I can. I’m also pretty sure that it is too much for me. I’m fairly technology challenged.

But.

The camera. The two cameras. Wow! The front camera, the one I use most, is 12 mega pixels. When I first started working in the digital world, we had 3 or 4 megapixel dslrs. Six mega pixels was a big deal. That went on for few years. Today, I work with 24.6 mirrorless cameras. Obviously 12 mega pixels is half of that, but far more than cameras I once used professionally.

I’m excited to see the quality of the images I produce.

Gulf Coast


Very wet, pretty hot.

Sometimes it’s hard living in the Gulf Coast.

Hot weather, humidity, extreme storms and hurricanes plague us. When the cool air of autumn finally arrives tomorrow, we will feel like we have made it through the desert into the promised land.

A huge hurricane should be making landfall as you read this. We, in New Orleans, are clear but our friends in Alabama and the Florida Panhandle are going to get hit very hard. As the storm makes its way inland it will soak the Carolinas. That’s about the last thing those folks need right about now while they are still barely recovering from Hurricane Florence.

Please. Have a good thought for all of them.

This storm is really frightening because of the way it formed. As late as last Saturday it was an unformed tropical storm. By Monday it was a tropical storm and in the past two days it developed into a major hurricane. It will make landfall as a Category 4 hurricane. It is called Michael which happens to be my middle name after my grandfather who was Mikhail.

Here’s why this hurricane is so scary.

It formed quickly in The Gulf of Mexico. Normally, that’s where storms pick up heft and slow down after crossing the Atlantic Ocean forming somewhere off the coast of Africa. Normally, the pace speeds up over maybe a week or ten days. This one formed and grew locally in two days.

I think you know why. The next time your hear somebody say they don’t believe in climate change, just laugh.  They won’t be convinced until their property is underwater.

I made the picture during our last strong storm which occurred on Saturday or Sunday or Monday or yesterday. It doesn’t matter which day. Everyday is time for a big, hard-hitting storm. I changed the color palette because I want the sky to look mean and foreboding. The rest, well.

Into the Storm


Waiting it out.

When it rains…

I was running errands. I didn’t feel like getting wet. I sat in my car waiting for the pouring rain to slow down. I started getting bored. I started photographing the rain as it bounced off the car’s windshield. I framed the trees in the background. Some still had a few remainders of summer. Little pink flowers.

The white streaks are elongated rain drops.  The blurred effect is the rainwater on the windshield. I did everything I could to keep it real. As usual, I experimented. I made this picture almost electric in color. That didn’t feel right. I tried a few other post production techniques. None of them felt right. I kept coming back to this version which is just cleaned up so that the streaks were as clear as possible.

I know. Yesterday’s offering was a tack sharp, black and white portrait. Today’s picture is swirling, maybe unrecognizable and almost pure art. Musical Miss was once asked to choose between the jazz that she loves and the country flavored music that she often plays. She asked why she had to choose and why she couldn’t do both.

I’ll stick with that.