Night Work
Going for a ride. Mule drawn carriage at night. The French Quarter, New Orleans.

Even with all that colorful light that I talked about in my last post, I still had to do what I do… which is photograph things a little differently. So, I found a mule-pulled carriage that was making a turn. I let the camera do its thing. All I did was pan a little to follow the motion. You know. Slow shutter speed, relatively narrow depth of the field. I suppose that powerful dusk light helped this picture as well. I’m not sure. The bright color in this picture could just be the last remaining ambient light. In any case, this is absolutely the last picture I made that night. Even someone who should know better, like me, did the thing I should never do. I ran out of battery power. Yeah. I’m a big time photographer. Right. Hahahahahahaha!

Mid Summer Night
Mid Summer Night
FQ Night 2
On Bourbon Street

This was really one of those nights. We went to The French Quarter for dinner and to walk around a little. There is nothing like walking around in 90 degree heat combined with 75 or 8o percent humidity. Who needs to pay to use a sauna? The next thing we knew the sky went crazy. Yes. Crazy. Inside out. Backwards and forwards. So. I did the only think that I could do. I worked like a maniac. I made 538 pictures in probably 15 or 20 minutes. The amazing light was everywhere. You know, when you have a killer sunset you always have to turn around because that wonderful light has to fall on something and reflect amazing color back at you.

These are just two views. One is what normally would appear to be north. But the sun doesn’t set in the north. The other  — the picture that was made on Bourbon Street — is looking downriver, which should mean south or east. But, because New Orleans is New Orleans things are not always appear as they should. Well. Really, it just has to do with the curves in The Mississippi River. It’s the crescent in Crescent City.

The picture? Well, I didn’t do much post production. Mostly I just sharpened them and darkened them a bit. What I didn’t do was add a ton of color. No need to.

Lights, lights, lights… and more light lights.

Normally, I experiment on Sunday. Close enough. I made the picture on Sunday. It is sort of experimental. I actually made the picture as we were getting ready to leave after making a bazillion sunset pictures and no super moon picture. I always get sort of turned around when I am looking for the Algiers on ramp to the Crescent City Connection. This night was no exception. I got a little turned around. But, no worries. I saw this scene. And, I made a bunch of bokeh. I suppose bokeh is the subject… not that it should be. More photographer’s luck. Or something.

CCC Dusk
Lavender Sky

Before I get really going on this post, I thought I share something with you. My friends at the Albuquerque Photographers Gallery were talking about lavender skies in Albuquerque via a post on Facebook. I had to chuckle because they think New Mexico is the only place that has lavender skies. But, my picture sort of proves that theory sort of… well. I dunno. We have lavender skies here. In New Orleans. And, we have water. We have rain. They have neither of those things. They really need them. Especially this year. By the way, the link doesn’t take you to their comment. It takes you to their website. Have a look. Many, many good pictures there.

Anyway. This is another of the pictures I made while I was waiting for the never coming Super Moon on Sunday night. It’s really a good thing that I am an impatient sort. Heh. This picture gives you better sense of the length of the bridge. It also shows you the old power plant that is upriver of the bridge on the eastbank. That is where I made the picture of all the gears and pipes. It’s been abandoned for many years. It is rumored to have been a cannon ball factory during the Civil War. Supposedly, the factory made cannon balls for the Confederate forces and then after New Orleans was captured they made cannon balls for the Federal forces. They knew where their bread was buttered.

The picture. Itself. I did very little to it. Nature took care of it. Once again, Mother Nature proved that she doesn’t need my help. One day, maybe I’ll learn.



NOLA Skyline
No Super Moon, But…

Yes. I went back. I really like looking at New Orleans from the Westbank of The Mississippi River. There is a lot to recommend it, especially in the summer. For one thing, I get to look at sunsets like this almost every time I go there. Admittedly, I don’t go there much. But, I will. It’s not that far away. It looks like it is. But, it’s a ten minute drive. Then there is the summer heat. When you are standing on top of the levee, there is a wonderful breeze that blows across the water and cools things down. A lot. Of course, there are the people that you meet. New Orleanians are friendly people. But, they are especially friendly when they are relaxing and looking at a scene like this one. They offer you stuff. A can of beer. A hotdog.

About this picture. I talk a lot about luck. Photographer’s luck. This picture comes from a combination of luck and my own impatience. I really went here to make a picture of the Super Moon. I sort of made one the night before, but it isn’t great. So, I thought I would work from the Westbank. Think about it. The moon and the skyline. Two things happened that made the picture impossible. The first was the moon’s location. It would have emerged from the clouds way to the west of  this scene. Notice that I used the words “would” and “clouds.” It did not emerge from the cloud cover. Please don’t think that I don’t know where the moon and sun rise and set. I do. But, with the curve of the river sometimes you have to actually be there to understand where these events will occur.

Anyway. Here’s where my impatience comes into play. I just can’t stand around waiting for something to happen. So, I photographed while I was waiting for the moon. I made a lot of pictures from a lot of angles and locations. This is just one of them. You’ll see more as I work through them during the rest of the week.

Technical stuff. No. I didn’t increase the color. I actually did something counter intuitive. I darkened everything which brought out the color of the sunset and an enhanced the silhouette of the city’s skyline.

Algiers Ferry
Ferry At Dusk

So. This is about the last of the work from that wonderful night. This is the ferry at Algiers Point. This one doesn’t go to New Orleans. Instead, this one goes to Chalmette. Actually, it really docks just down river at the battlefield and military cemetery. You know. That battlefield. The one where the Battle of New Orleans was fought. After The War of 1812 was over. Mail was much slower then. And, there was no email, Tweeting or Instagramming. Anyway, the picture was made just before I made the sunset over the trees picture.  However, in this case, I sucked the color out of the picture. Why? Because. That’s probably the best answer for just about everything. Especially in the art world.

So, I’m pretty much out of pictures. But, not to worry. I went back again. I went back on Sunday to chase the Super Moon.Unfortunately, we had clouds. Lots of them. I thought that they might break. But, they didn’t. Fortunately, I’m the impatient type. While I was waiting for the moon not to appear, I photographed the bridge from a lot of different angles. I walked up on another section of the levee and I photographed the New Orleans skyline. Before I forget to tell you, the sunset was just amazing. You’ll see… in a few days.



On Frenchman Street

This is how I see things. Sometimes. I was driving on Frenchman Street, which is the best place to hear music on almost any night, and decided to do a little driving and shooting. No. Not that kind of shooting. There’s enough of that in New Orleans. I mean the kind of shooting that I do. With a camera. Making pictures. Taking little chances. Having my kind of fun. I used to make pictures like this a lot. But, that was in the film days. Slow ISO and even slower shutters speeds. These days, you can crank up the ISO and make everything in the picture sharp as a tack. Sometimes I do that. But, I like pictures that are about motion to actually show motion. Lots of motion. This is one of those pictures. The cool thing about a picture like this one is that there is very little post production to make this picture look as it does. A tiny bit of brightening, a little color enhancement and a little bit of burning the edge down to bring your eye towards the center. That’s it.

Satchmo Enhanced

As anyone who reads Storyteller knows, I usually like to experiment on Sunday. Mess around is probably a better description of what I really do. The word experiment usually means something a little more controlled than what I do, which could be better defined as uncontrolled chaos. This picture was made while I was waiting for last week’s amazing sunset to happen. It’s a perfectly fine picture. Nice deep blue sky, little sliver of a moon, nicely exposed statue of Louis Armstrong. But that wasn’t enough for me, so I saved it for Sunday. In order to make this picture look like it does I used a lot of grunge settings. Grunge is used to make pictures look, well, er, grungy… like some of musician Neil Young’s music.