Testing …

Big Chief another way.
Big Chief another way.

An experiment. A test. A little tinkering.

I usually leave this kind of post production for pictures of places or things that are “appropriate” for heavy manipulation. Some people do this all the time. They modify their original picture into something different. There was their intent from the minute they found the subject and pushed the button. They make their kind of art. Some work is pretty amazing. Some, not so much. But, all is fine. It’s their work. I generally see my pictures as photographs. So, I may work on them some but I leave the framework intact.

After I did the post production on the two pictures that you saw yesterday, a thought struck me. I don’t know why it didn’t in the past, except to say that cement sets very hard. I wanted to see what would happen if I used similar techniques on people. On flowers. On subjects that would normally be very pretty in color.

Like everything else, there is a little outside drive to tinker with this stuff. I was asked to participate in a showcase called “The Louisiana Photography Biennial.” I have a pretty good idea of how the curator sees my New Orleans work. But, since I have a little time before deadline, I thought I would play around a little.

This image is the result of my midnight work. It’s not quite as grungy or messed up as the battlefield pictures, but it is quite a change from the original. I’m of two minds. Mardi Gras Indians are bright and colorful by nature. Their suits are bright orange, red, green or yellow. Maybe that’s what the pictures should reflect? Or, maybe they should be slightly more personal like the picture above. I’m not sure.

What do y’all think?


  1. Ray, as much as it is “fun” to play around, you are known for your colorful images of New Orleans and particularly Mardi Gras Indians. Is changing an image to meet a curator’s interest in your best interest? Only you can decide. But Ansel Adams had a style he was best known for and from what I’ve read, he stuck with it because it was successful. Maybe a conversation with the curator is in order since you were invited to participate in this exhibition.


    1. Tim, I’m just playing around. The curator didn’t ask for anything other than that I participate. He also curates the Jazz and Heritage Festival. He generally is my patron and pays for my most brightest and colorful work.

      If you knew me a little better, you’d know that when it comes to art I never listen to anybody. I always follow my own instincts.

      Working for a client, especially in the two fields in which I only work, corporate and advertising, is an entirely different matter. Then, I play the corporate ball game.


    1. I agree with Anne Marie. The loss of color puts the emphasis on the shapes and textures, and I really like the feathers –or whatever they are– behind him — in that luminous lack of color, which somehow idealizes the moment, especially in concert with the feathers (is that what they are??) in the background.


      1. That’s usually what a lot of photographers who work in black and white say… that it emphasizes the shapes and textures. Also, that black & white is somehow more pure. I’m going to keep experimenting because I do like this picture in monochrome. The picture originally is mostly dominated by the color orange.

        As you probably know from seeing all my early black and white work, that’s how I started. I shifted because the technology (better film and film speed) emerged. I also pretty much just thought that the world is a colorful place and that’s what I should be shooting. Color. Fast forward to today and that’s sort of flipped itself around. Since, everybody can take pictures, and they do, black and white imagery seems to have a little more gravitas. That’s not why I’m experimenting. I just want to see what some of my color work looks like in black and white and little more artistically processed.

        Yes. Feathers. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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