A little springtime drive. A lot of bright new things to see. Some are huge. Some are tiny. You really have to look for them. Take your time. Stop immediately when you see a thing. Take the picture immediately.
You know what happens. You don’t go back. You follow another route. You lose the frame of reference. You can’t find the location. The light changes. It starts to rain.
All of those things. And more. Much more.
That’s what we did. We stopped wherever I saw a hint of the picture. Sometimes it took a little work. Sometimes the subject changed upon closer inspection. Sometime it got better. Sometime it wasn’t what I thought.
I didn’t matter. That’s the ebb and flow of looking for pictures.
This picture. I made it on my hands and knees. I made sure the background was sharp enough to be recognizable. It’s a kind of bokeh. The Japanese word for a sort of out focus place. It’s a trendy word. It shouldn’t be.
A very short depth of field adds to the pattern and shape of the picture.
I promise new work tomorrow. We took a drive upriver and found some pretty cool things. Good thing too. Seems like it was just in a nick of time. Cabin fever could have set in even though the temperatures are around 80 degrees.The first couple of pictures will be about nature. It’s spring. Nature is on my mind.
I’ve been spending a lot of time at home lately. That’s all good. It’s given me time to review and rework older material. Like this out take from an old trip to Virginia City. I used to travel there a lot. But, not so much since my parents passed. No. They aren’t buried here. They are buried in the military cemetery at Fernley, Nevada. It used to be a one horse little town. Amazon built a huge distribution center there. Now it’s a 20,895 horse town.
The picture. Obviously a lot of post production is going on here. Usually, the post matches my mood while I’m working. Not this time. I’m all sweetness and light. But, the picture taught me how to finish it. So, there you go. The mood of the picture is in serious conflict with my mood. I don’t care.
I decided to take a step back. Lots of stuff going on around here. All good.
I took a walk through my image files. I ended up in New Mexico.
I’ve always liked New Mexico. After the storm, we took refuge there for a few years. It was a great place to heal. But, after a few years the call of the swamp was too strong.
So. We went home.
But, I made a lot of pictures there. After all, New Mexico is the home of all kinds of artists and photographers.
I made this picture in Ranch de Taos. You’ve seen many pictures of this place, I’m sure. It is the St. Francisco de Asis Mission Church. Everybody paints it. Photographs it. Sketches it. Famous artists like Ansel Adams. Georgia O’Keeffe. Paul Strand. Ned Scott. Your neighbor. The guy down the street. Some guy from Queens, New York. Me.
I happened to be coming into town from the north when the sky lighted up like only it can in New Mexico. I tried to make the picture as minimalist as I could so that I could focus on the setting sunlight. What you see is what you get. F8 and be there. That sort of thing. Post production is also minimalist.
It’s not that bad. “Nothing from Nowhere” is a bit of a Jimmy Buffett song.
I just don’t like any of my photo options for today. Normally, when I post a picture, I have some feeling for it. I have no feeling for these three images.
So. You tell me. What do you like or don’t like. Please.
Back stories might help. The pipes are just a detail that I saw while I was working in Central City. The buildings are located on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard in Central City. I photograph them a lot, in all kinds of weather and light. The man — the image is called Mister — was watching his daughter play the flute in The French Quarter. We started talking. I need some water, I bought him a beer. He was very surprised since he didn’t ask. Pleasantly so.
That’s the back story. Please tell me about the pictures.
We all forget. New Orleans, and most of the land along the Mississippi River was once devoted to some kind of industry. Some still is. It was a very productive place. Now, not so much. Plenty of industry is still here. But, today the biggest industry is tourism.
There is still lot of shipping going on. Some is by boat. Lots by trucks. Some by train. If you look at a map of the Greater New Orleans area you’ll see that we are really one giant railroad yard. Freight trains come from north, south, east and west. Passenger trains too. Not as many. And, not from as many directions.
This is Old Arabi. I used to go there to photograph the old Le Beau mansion. But, it burned down. While I was traveling there, I’d look for other subjects if the light was right. Especially if the light was right. Sometimes, only if the light was right. It was right when I made this picture.
This is the Domino Sugar Factory. It is one of the largest sugar processing plants in the country. It was first built in the 19th Century. Some buildings look old and weather-beaten. Some are newer.
When I made this picture, the weather was very stormy. I decided to use that and enhance it to make a point. An almost evil point. Maybe the place is haunted. Maybe not. You decide.
I like my own form of urbex. Urban exploration. It’s gotten very popular around the world. Explorers clump around in hiking books and take pictures of whatever they’ve found. They sneak onto private property. They cross over no trespassing signs. The jump over fences. Go around gates. There are even protocols for doing this. The buddy system. Wear heavy shoes. Bring water. Bring lights. Wear long-sleeved shirts. Wear long pants. And, so on.
I live in New Orleans. The city that care forgot. For as many of these mouldering old hulks that have been demolished and had their lots cleaned up, there are just as many still standing. They are right on the street. I don’t have to sneak, cross, jump or go around anything. Of course, even if I had to, I would never do any of those things. Oh no. Not me.
It dovetails nicely with my work in Central City. I can photograph residents. Then, I can photograph a second line. And, Mardi Gras Indians. On my way to someplace else, I can stumble onto or into something like this place. It all blends together nicely.
Lucky me. I live in an interesting place. You know what the Chinese say about interesting.