In the Dark of Night

A little different view of the French Quarter.
A little different view of the French Quarter.

This isn’t the tourists’ French Quarter. It’s where the residents live. It looks a little more beat up than it is. I’m willing  to bet that inside those ancient walls are some pretty nice digs, especially since this place is located in a more residential area of the Quarter. That’s one version of hiding in plain sight. That’s kind of what I do with cars. I never leave anything in them. My thinking is pretty simple. If you don’t see it,  you don’t want to steal it.

Instead of pictures, maybe that’s what I should talk about today.

Survival on the street.

First, let’s just say that I don’t photograph wars. But, by all accounting New Orleans is the 17th most dangerous city in the world. And, I go to some pretty sporty places.

I’m pretty sure that every photographer has his or her tricks when they are on the streets. Mine are pretty simple. Keep moving. Don’t draw attention to myself. And, don’t dress in photographer clothes. There’s also this thing about situation awareness. But, that can’t be taught. You either have it or you don’t.

I get asked sometimes if I use a tripod. I don’t. Usually. It’s not because I don’t think I could make super sharp pictures if I used one. I could. It would change my style, but that’s not it. It’s because I think that makes me too immobile and puts a target on my back. Same with flashes. I can under light just about everything and make it look natural. But, that draws attention to me. And, photo clothes. Hmmmm… I hate to say this, but I think they are just plain dorky and draw too much attention. Photo vests are the worst. And, no flashy stuff. Sheesh, I even change watches when I’m getting ready to work.

One more thing. I don’t carry much in my pockets. Just in case.

Any of that help?


  1. I can see what you mean about street smarts. When I travel, I use similar strategies, just try to blend in as much as I can. Stupid question, but what do you mean by underlighting a photo? I’m not really very tech savvy with my photography, I’m still learning that part (or would be learning, if I didn’t have to spend most of my days at work)


  2. Thank you. I think it’s a little different. Working in New Orleans can be “sporty” at best. For instance, there was triple shooting last night in neighborhood that I photograph a lot. Luckily, I wasn’t there at the time. 🙂

    Under lighting. It’s an old term. It’s a way of controlling your flashes to make the light that comes them from look very, very natural so that the picture doesn’t look like you’ve used artificial light. A good example of this is trying to photograph something like a campfire or a BBQ. The light from the fire isn’t strong enough to illuminate the background, so you set up a couple of small flashes in the background and trigger them remotely. The idea is to make the picture look like the fire lighted the entire scene without overexposing the flames.

    Hope that helps.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This is a hard country to stay alive in
      Blades are everywhere, and they’re breaking my skin
      I’m armed to the hilt and I’m struggling hard
      You won’t get out of here unscarred.
      It’s a long road, it’s a long and narrow way — Bob Dylan

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s interesting that you say that. I’m not all the well versed on Canadian cities, but my impression is that they are much safer than most US cities. New Orleans, OTH, is truly dangerous in most neighborhoods. In fact, this week we are making national news because of a murder about 6 blocks away from our neighborhood, which is supposed to be very safe.


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