Once You’ve Heard…

Tuba, a tool of the trade.
Tuba, a tool of the trade.

… the truth, everything else is just cheap whiskey.

There you have it. Cheap whiskey. Nothing more. Nothing less. I think I’ll forget about any rumors about anything until I know it to be true. For me. At any level. Anywhere.

That said, tools of the trade. That’s what these pictures are about.  Sparkling. Glowing. Well used. Beaten up. Doesn’t matter. They serve a purpose. A great purpose. Just like cameras are for me. I once had someone tell me that they were mostly using their smart phone, even the they had a closet full of beautiful Nikon cameras.


I may buy new camera bodies. Experiment with new lenses. They are well maintained. But, they are my tools. Of my trade. They aren’t beautiful to me. They are technological marvels. Think about the digital processing ability in those little, tiny bodies. Whew. Amazing. But, Beautiful? Not to me. I buy them, trade them and sell them when I need something that helps me do my job a little better.

I recently bought a new lens. An 18-105 mm G Series Sony. After all the trials and travails of the last second line, I made a couple of really good pictures. Whether we all agree on the causes, we all agree that the second pretty much was chaotic. And, not in a good way.

This lens. Is magic. I made more keepers than I do on a good day. As I said to a friend, my pictures at this second line are a result of technology and luck. Not talent.

I want to amend that slightly. No photographic talent. When you push me, I push back. Not physically. Although it almost came to that with the undertaker. Nah. I just grind away harder. Some people flow like water. I really admire that. Boy, do I admire that. Me? I have a sort of grinding ethos. Like a marginal New York Yankees baseball team.

The pictures. Pre-parade. While I trying to sort out the mood of the parade.  The tools of the trade. If you look closely at the top picture, those guys have all the tools of their trade. A tuba, ragged jeans. And, a beer.

Sparkling brass.
Sparkling brass.


  1. True on the tools. I never thought of my camera as beautiful. Its a tool. As with any tool you need to keep learning how to use it.
    As to the pictures of the tools to make sound. Great images. My son the trombone player would have been scolded himself severely if he’d left his tool on the ground. Then it was new and shinny and he wanted it to stay that way. By the way he was an excellent composer and performer. He’s now out of practice because of working with other tools to run his computer oriented business Infra Red5.


    1. Thank you. This guys don’t casually dump their gear. They are trying to conserve a little strength I think. Most Second Line parades are about 3 to 5 miles long. The takes a lot of energy and a lot of these guys aren’t all that young. Aside from a very poorly planed parade, it was great. The weather was wonderful. On a hot NOLA summer day, these guys finish looking like death.

      As I replied to another comment, some like a a early Leica is industrial art. But, what’s out there today, not so much.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ray, I hope you and your family are safe. I thought about you this morning when I watched TV about tornado.

    These are stunning photographs! I enjoyed so much looking at them.


  3. I suspect you might know I find beauty in design, some cameras included. 🙂

    Also, I see another little lesson in picture taking. Certainly, I like these.


      1. the partial people in the background. I struggle a lot regarding what is enough to represent a person. Yes to old Leicas. BTW, that lens or the 18-200 is in my future, hopefully.


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