Color in the rough.
Another of those seasonal pictures. Again.
They seem to follow me wherever I go. That’s okay.
Soon. There won’t be any leaves. Until winter passes. And, spring makes its way. And, summer too.
Just a cycle. Of life.
The picture. Look around. Up. Down. Photograph what you see. Help it, if you need to. That’s it.
A little bit of pretty on an almost winter’s day.
No snow around here. Just a warm southern storm.
When I stopped to make one picture, I prowled around a little and stumbled onto a little patch of wild flowers. What could I do? I did what I always do. I took the picture. I especially liked the golden tree in the background. It gives the picture a sense of season.
Faded fleur de lis.
Yes. Faded. Mardi Gras Beads. Rusted. Fleur de Lis.
These are great symbols. Icons. Of a city who calls itself, “The city that care forgot.” Well. Maybe once. New Orleans is in the middle of some pretty intense gentrification. A building boom. Never ending road construction. Since FEMA agreed that the state of our streets was the fault of the storm and the subsequent flood, they are footing the bill for a total street reconstruction.
That’s good. Right?
You’ve heard me complain about the potholes and the terrible condition of our streets for a long time. Consider this. The streets in our neighborhood have been under some kind of construction since we moved to this house. Three years ago. If anything changed, our streets — we live on a corner — have deteriorated further. All manner of vehicles pass through. Drivers are looking for a bypass around the major construction. When I say all manner, I mean that. Semi tractors and trailers. Dump trucks. Road graders. School buses. Tour buses. Our streets need fixing. So repairing them is good. Right?
It’s an 18 year plan that we are talking about. Our neighborhood is scheduled to have the work begin almost at the end of that. So, we are looking at 2034. That assumes that road construction goes as planned. You know that never happens. There are always delays. Overruns. Added costs. Besides, this is FEMA funded. Hahahahahahahaha. I reckon by that time, our street will be a dirt road. In an urban setting.
The picture. Simple. The faded Mardi Gras beads drew me to the scene. That’s what they look like after the sun and rain and humidity have stripped them of all their color. Black. White. Gray. Cheap plastic beads. Luckily they were hung on an iron fence that is topped with fleur di lis. Our symbol. The state’s. The city’s. The NFL football team’s.
I think the combination is symbolic. Iconic.
The rest is all manipulation in post production. For the cinematic effect.
That may be symbolic too.
A little cinematic.
This is Netflix’ fault. Or, Amazon Prime’s. I forget which one.
I started out with a nice simple graphic image of an abandoned pay phone. It was cleaned up nicely by whoever owns the boarded up building. There is no actual phone and all the wires are removed. It looked sort of cool as a graphic image so I took it. I did my usual post production and let it sit. You know, marinate.
Then I was watching some weird movie. On Netflix. Or Amazon Prime. I liked the cinematics, so I thought “why not?” Why not, indeed. That’s why it’s one of those streaming services fault. They got me thinking. That’s always dangerous.
I started tinkering around. This is where I came to. Because of the way the colors were laid down, there is sort of a heart shape surrounding the phone. This could be some kind of weird Goth Valentine’s Day card. Or not.
Or, is the picture better in its most minimalistic form? Blue and Gold? Contrasting colors?
By the way, in either case, the biggest eye-catcher for me is all those lines. Horizontal and vertical. And, you know me. There really is no better or best. There is only just different.
As I saw it.
Color and water.
A morning picture.
Low angle of light. Bright color. Water droplets from last night’s rain. No. The dog didn’t see this one. Well, she might have. But, I came back with a better camera. And, a different lens. It made a world of difference.
Despite what they tell you, better optics, better sensors, and better processors, do have a big impact. I could not have made this picture with a smart phone. The quality just wouldn’t be there. What I — and a lot of older photographers — call “creamy” wouldn’t exist using an itty bitty sensor. The extreme contrast would have blown out the highlights. The shadows would have been too deep.
Happy December. Pretty soon my Christmas pictures will start showing up. Maybe, I’ll even make some new ones. Or, something.
About these flowers. For some strange reason my neighbor planted them a couple of days ago. I realize our winter isn’t as cold some of your winters may be. Still, we do get cold around here. Below freezing. For a few days at a time. Even a few days will harm tender flowers.
The dog… again.
What the dog saw. Again.
For those of you who are new to Storyteller, I publish an occasional series called “What the dog saw.” It is based on our walks during the week. We actually are owned by six dogs. But, this dog, in particular, thinks that I belong to her. Even though all of the dogs go for walks, she goes on one extra walk a day with me. Just the two of us. That’s also how I discovered there is indeed a 6am and a 6pm.
I always say that walking is the best way to photograph the subjects you see on Storyteller. Walking with a dog who absolutely must check out everything we come across lets me see the details. Even better than a fast walk about the city. In that way these are her pictures too. Its likely she found them before I did.
In the morning.
It wasn’t always my favorite time of day. I used to quote Bart Simpson who was really quoting Ricky Ricardo, who said, “There’s a 5 o’clock in the morning? When did they start that?” For some reason, not the time change, I’m getting up earlier. Much earlier. I get to see skies like this. Especially when the dogs demand a walk.
Those dogs. Especially the one of who sees pictures for me, think they have to get up at the crack of dawn and walk. They like to go way down by the river and the railroad tracks. Meanwhile, I’m still half asleep. No coffee in me yet.
I believe my best pictures are made when I turn off my brain and don’t think. Early in the morning. No caffeine. Eyes half closed. Perfect for that. I don’t even have to do my routine. My ritual. I just get their leashes. Off we go. The dogs lead me. They know more than me. It seems. When I see something and start to point my camera at it, they stop. Camera down. They go. We’ve trained each other well.