Down the Alley

Back view of the St. Louis Cathedral located on Jackson Square, in The French Quarter, New Orleans.
Back view of the St. Louis Cathedral located on Jackson Square, in The French Quarter, New Orleans.

More night work.

Somebody once asked me why I do it.


Most day-lighted pictures of these places are pretty ordinary. Especially in the neighborhoods that are frequented by tourists. Everybody can take that picture. Everybody does. That’s cool. We live in a visual era. But, but, but… In order for me to believe the picture is somewhat special, it usually needs some special light.  Or, a lot less light. Usually less light. It makes the scene a little more mysterious. In New Orleans that’s a big deal.

This is Pirate Alley. It is a very old, very narrow roughly paved little alley that runs from Jackson Square to Royal Street. It’s so old that cobblestones were not used as pavement. Instead, it is made from what looks like slate. There is no evidence the pirates actually used it.

The area closest to Jackson Square looks as you see it. To the left is St. Louis Cathedral. Directly behind me on the right is a small cafe and a famous book store. On the left is the cathedral’s garden known as Place de Henriette Delille. I know that. I doubt that many New Orleanians do. It’s also the place where I made a picture showing the cathedral and the statue of Jesus being lighted from below and silhouetted, which I call “Touchdown Jesus.” Remember that?


I think I wrote myself into a new direction. Photographing New Orleans has been sort of hard for me right now. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Part of the problem is simply that I’ve done it for so long. I’ve been to almost every place about five times. Or, more. A lot more.

But… “Mysterious.” That one word makes me smile.

I also appreciate very much your thoughts on the matter.

A lot of you like the idea of a road trip. Just to make pictures. I like that too. But, I’m of two minds. Yes. Those of you who said it — seeing new places — are right. That helps a lot. If you are lucky. If the light is right. If the weather is right. If you stumble into a picture.


Working in places that you know increases the chance of photographic success. It allows images to drift in front of the camera. That’s when the real pictures happen. You just have to think differently. In a new way. And, be patient.

There is a middle way. But, I have to think about it for a little while. It involves something like an airplane or train, Air B n B and a rental car.

Or, a boat.


  1. Aren’t the most interesting trips the ones we take inside our own selves ? I am doing one of those now, called ‘old age’.


  2. The challenges of beginning to know a place, rediscovering it, a fresh view. I was going to ask where pirate alley was but now I know. ☺


    1. I might be ready now. Again. Pirate Alley may not exactly be what you’re thinking. But, there is a very cool bookstore there where the Faulkner Festival is held. After all, we wouldn’t be NOLA without a festival. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have noticed a certain propensity for festivals, yes. ☺ So far I have explored Canal, Iberville, Bienville and Toulouse (once) between St Claude/Rampart and the river, a few other streets to go.


      2. Yeah, a few more streets… sometimes these people around here are silly. A giant sinkhole opened up near Harrahs Casino. Tonight, being Cinco de Mayo, we are having a big Sinkhole de Mayo Festival. So big, that it was moved from the hole in the street to Waldenburg Park. Sheesh.

        Liked by 1 person

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