The Way

Walking with the Krewe of Zulu.
Walking with the Krewe of Zulu.

The way. Forward.

A friend of mine mentioned in an email that we are getting close to Mardi Gras.

Well. Yeah. Sort of.

Advent right now. Then, Christmas. Followed by the Twelfth Night. Carnival Season. Parade Season. And, Mardi Gras Day.

Then, Ash Wednesday. Lent. Easter. Jazzfest.

I suppose the cycle has started. Even though that seems to be a funny way of looking at it. That didn’t stop me. I thought I’d post a picture from the first parade on Mardi Gras Day. The Zulus. To be more specific, The Tramps. Even though that is a very specific group within a legendary krewe, as you can see, anybody can mask Zulu on Mardi Gras Day.

The picture. I’m usually out and about around 6am on Mardi Gras Day. The parade starts at 8am, but you know me. I like the edges. The fringes. The beginnings of things.  I mention the time because it’s cold when we come out. A couple of years ago, the temperature, without accounting for wind, was 29 degrees. But, on that day, the temperature never rose about 31 degrees. Ice and rain pelted us all day long. Yes. We do have winter in New Orleans. It doesn’t last long. And, it isn’t bitter. But, with our ambient humidity, 29 degrees seems like about 0 degrees in a drier climate. Oh, for those of you in places who aren’t used to these numbers, I’m talking in Fahrenheit.

Oh yeah. Normal exposure. Something like 500 or 1,000 at f5.6. Probably with an ISO of 500 or more. I’ll try to add technical data since a couple of you have asked about it.

I’m going about it in a different way, next Mardi Gras Day. More art. Less sharpness. Sure, I’ll make sharp pictures. But, those look the same from year to year. I’m going back to the future. A low ISO and something like 1/2 second at f 8 or f 11. I may even pop a flash in there, sometimes. For the most part, many images will be more painterly.


You know what’s amazing? That I figured this out so far in advance. Usually, that’s like a same day decision. Or, same hour. This came from reviewing almost a year’s worth of work. I haven’t been on the streets for a while. But, when I looked at those archives, pictures started looking the same. Especially, if you are just working through them quickly. You know. The way of the internet.

What to do? What to do?

I started thinking about film days. Slide film days. We couldn’t push the ISO to edges unknown. We couldn’t push it to about a Billion ISO. We could push it to one stop at best. Maybe less. That forced us to make low light pictures either by using extra light. Or, by letting the content fall where it may. Both approaches worked fine.

A little housekeeping.

I’m sorry about taking so long to reply to your emails and likes. It’s been a very, very busy time. It will finally slow down a bit on Tuesday. I reply as much as I can, but… well, you know.

I’m making some changes in how I approach social media. I’m told that I’ve been doing it wrong. By people who supposedly know. That doesn’t surprise me. Most of what I do is wrong when it comes to social media.

Nothing will change here. I encourage you to follow me on Instagram. I am You can see the Instagram image on the right side of Storyteller. But, I will post different work in different places. I will experiment with doing on that on Facebook and Twitter as well. Currently, I use a distributor to manage that. There are a lot of pros and cons to that. The biggest pro is that it’s easy. Push a button. The biggest con is the “ping-pong” effect. I post here. It’s distributed to Facebook and Twitter, who send the post to each other. Back and forth.  Twitter followers see the same image at least four times. I will also expand the number of social media platforms that I use. It’s about time, right? You know me. What I just discovered, most of you have known for about a decade.


I’ll started drifting into this around Christmas and finish it before the new year.

There are a lot of other changes coming. Most of them will be done in the background. Scanning. Better methods of DAM (Digital Asset Management). Better and more enforced copyright and image use management. After all, to paraphrase Taylor Swift, my images are worth something.


    1. Thank you. I think part of making pictures on the street in NOLA is that I know so many of the people I photograph.

      Ask away, since I never know where to start. I can say that my colors are pretty much just how I see. I want vibrance without blowing the color away.

      Clarity, especially in this case, is about the morning light and a higher ISO since I know that everybody is in motion. The thing about that is either the picture starts out sharp or it doesn’t. You really can’t fix that. You can hide it. But…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Depends on the picture. I take a musical approach. As Adam Durwitz (Counting Crows) once said, “after you play a song for a while, it will teach you how to play it.” Usually, I let the picture take me there after many false attempts.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m not great at social media either. Mainly because I don’t like it that much. I do enjoy Instagram – much less of a time suck and more visual than Facebook. I am so glad that you’re there – I usually try to scroll through at least once/day.


    1. My first problem was that I didn’t take it seriously. My second problem was that aside from Storyteller, I’ve not been consistent. I also didn’t know what I wanted it to do for me. It finally occurred to me after looking at my “media” on Twitter that I’d built a very nice little portfolio (A big one, really) that I want people to see. Hmmm…

      Liked by 1 person

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