Belonging. Home. Place.
I haven’t been on the street in a long time. Probably six months. The last time I was out, the weather was hot. Ground temperature was around 114 degrees.
I decided to do what I do best. Make pictures of our culture. In New Orleans. In any kind of weather. It was very cold yesterday. Below freezing. That didn’t seem to matter. To me. To the second liners. To the benevolent society — the Perfect Gentleman — hosting the second line. The parade had already been postponed once because of bad weather. Heavy rain. They wouldn’t be denied a second time. They traded their normal Sunday slot for Saturday in order to walk.
I know a lot of people on the street. We don’t always know each other’s name. We just nod and say hello. Other times we do. They call me Mr. Ray. Or, Mr. Photographer. I was reminded of their feelings for me. So many of them were worried about me. They asked where I had been They asked if I was okay. They were happy to see me. This place, for better or worse, is home.
I pretty much beat myself up yesterday. No matter what, I usually walk about three miles a day. Sometimes with the dog who sees things. Sometimes with the rest of the dog family. Or, my family. The humans. Yesterday, between the second line, and the first parade of the Carnival Season and the dog walks, I walked around nine miles. I was tired last night. I’m fine today. Ready to go. To the next second line. The Lady Jetsetters. In a couple of hours.
The picture. For those of you who have arrived at Storyteller in the past few months, this is really what I do. The tinkering is for fun. If it becomes a kind of art, that’s great. But, I started my career as a photojournalist. Even today, it’s where I find refuge with or without a paying client. I understand the streets and I understand the people.
There isn’t much to this picture. See it. Try to find a little different angle. Shoot it. Post production is minimal. I just made a few improvements. I didn’t really want or try to change it into something else.