Month: April 2017

Take Two. Too.


I couldn’t help myself. As pretty as yesterday’s version of this picture was, I had to take it to the limit. One more time. This image is the result. I replied to one of you yesterday that I made a new version of the picture. I also said this location is not far from the old nuclear bomb testing sites. Maybe that thought inspired me. I don’t know. I’m going to change things up a bit for May. I really haven’t been producing enough new work. So, I’m off to do that. Not actually making new pictures eventually drives me crazy. I’m not sure how I’ll present them. I’m not sure if there will be heavy post production or not. I’ll let the picture tell me that. Maybe, you’ll see a couple of versions of the same image. Process. From start to finish. Who knows? This picture. Most of you saw yesterday’s picture. It was kind of pretty. I worked on it again and made it kind of evil. Foreboding. Scary. I dunno. Which do …

It Comes Back to the Journey


A little different color palate. But, the same vision. Under my theory of letting the picture take me, I decided not to turn this into some kind of apocalyptic nightmare. Instead, I thought about how this time and place felt. I built on that. A lot. The road is Highway 95 somewhere near Tonopah, Nevada. If you recall, even though I might stay in Reno while I’m in the northern part of the state, my real goal is Fernley. You turn left at Fallon and head directly to Fernley.  Then, west to Reno on I-80. This drive is mostly boring. Except when weather plays a part. Depending on your attitude, it is either treacherous or magical. Me? I like weird weather. That’s where the best pictures live. Unless conditions turn really icy, when you have no steering control, I usually keep going. Same thing with rain. I like working in it. Especially in a New Orleans summer. Your clothes are already moist from the blanket of humidity, so what’s a little rain wetness? Besides, if you have some soap, you …

Last Gas


I seem to be stuck in a western mode. That could be telling me something. Maybe a long road trip is due. But, it would be really long. I’m not going to take this trip many more times. So, I probably should make the best of it. And, just go. Of course, there are complications. I have to fit it into an already busy schedule. And, then there is Storyteller. I don’t have the need to take a break like I did last summer. I fixed that overworked problem. Now, I look forward to working here. Like many things, it was mostly an attitude adjustment. I suppose  that I could do what I really never do, and post from the road. The easiest way to do that is to photograph some scenes twice. Once with cameras and once with my smart phone. I’m also trying to decide about the timing. If I traveled during summer, which is fast approaching, the weather would be hot and the pictures would have sort of a nostalgic feeling. It would …

You Ain’t Going Anywhere


You just never know. You’re driving along and you see something that interests you. You stop. You starting making pictures. You start talking. Your newly found subjects know that they are somewhat interesting in this day and age, so they agree to let you keep working. It’s a kind of luck. Photographer’s luck. When people get stuck, I usually tell them to go outside and take a look around. That usually will open your eyes. Don’t worry about it. Just go do something. The more that you worry, the harder it becomes to break free. That’s what I know. The picture. More experiments. In terror. Actually, I wanted this picture to have an old-fashioned feel even though it was taken in modern times. So, I tinkered with it. This is the result.

The Wayback Machine


Once upon a time. I used to travel between Northern California and the Reno area pretty frequently. It began even years before that when I lived in Southern California. It was about a nine-hour trip for Long Beach. Or, about a five-hour trip from the Bay Area. I had family there. Old family friends that I looked at as an Uncle and an Aunt. Eventually, my parents moved there. To retire. In those days I liked to explore wherever I went.  So I got to know the region fairly well. Because I’m also a creature of habit, I used to visit the same places. Mostly to see what’s changed. I watched Virginia City grow from an almost ghost town to a place where people lived and worked. I still like to explore wherever I go. That hasn’t changed. Much. I haven’t been there for many years. It’s coming up to a decade. I broke a promise by not returning sooner. A promise to myself. I told myself I’d come back at least every five years. But, …

Lost in Texas


Texas. Even the name conjures up all sorts of meaning. Cowboys. The West. Freedom. Big food. Big hair. Big hats. I’m pretty sure that most people think don’t about space aliens when they think about Texas. I found this interestingly shaped house when I was traveling around Texas back country. I didn’t stop. I didn’t ask. In retrospect, I should have. Knowing my ability to work with all sorts of people, I might have even been invited inside for a quick look around. But, really? This scene was enough for me. How often do you see something like this? I once showed this picture to a friend of mine. A Texan. I said something like, “this explains everything.” She replied, “what the hell do you mean by that?” Texans take their state and their mythology seriously. Sort of like New Orleanians do. Many of them are in a serious uproar about the removal of the first of the Confederate statues. Me? I think all things must pass. Especially things memorializing a very dark chapter in my …

A Cold Front


So. A cold front passed through Southeast Louisiana. The temperatures dropped into the upper 50s. That might be on the warm side for some of you right about now. Obviously, I didn’t make this picture yesterday. But, the notion of a cold front started my brain spinning around. Especially this late in the year. We are a week away from Jazzfest. Usually during the second week of the festival, the weather turns hot and very humid. And, wet. Lots of rain. Summer starts even though the calendar says it’s still May. Early May. Anyway. I rooted around in those long missing archives and came up with this picture. A cold front. Of a different sort. Snow. Ice. Really cold weather. I made it in New York City many years ago. How long ago? Well, that’s an interesting question. There are no notes to go along with the picture. I’m willing to bet I made it between 1992 and 1999. Probably closer to 1992 when I spent a huge amount of time in the city. The …

Oldest School


One thing leads to another. While I was poking around my newly resurrected archives looking for the Earth day picture, I found this one. I made it in Shanghai, China in 1989. In those days Shanghai was still a dark city. No lighting. Electricity was marginal. You bought your groceries in little shops or on the street. When the food ran out, you had to wait. Until the next day. The joke was that you could send and receive a piece of mail quicker than you could make a telephone connection. And, there was very little automobile traffic. But, huge bike traffic. Everybody rode bikes. Bike crashes were the leading cause of injury and death. You had a little bell on your bike. You were supposed to ring it whenever you passed somebody or crossed an intersection. You can imagine how that went with a city of about 12 million biker riders. Bells ringing from every direction. You just rode on and hoped for the best. Things change. They always do. Today, of course, everybody …

On Earth Day


Earth Day. Forty years or so. I know, I know. What does this picture have to do with Earth Day? Not much. Except I made it on either the first or second Earth Day at a festival. For the life of me, I cannot remember what this tube was supposed to teach. I do remember that the children loved running through it. If you think about it, this child is probably now in his or her late forties or early fifties today. That’s a point reference for just how long this day has been going on. Along the way, there have been some real world gains and losses. The two most current are; yesterday England powered the country without coal for the first time since the 1800s. That’s something. On the other hand, the current United States leadership wants to bring the country back to the 1800s. The president is trying to revive the coal industry. Even when the industry itself doesn’t really want that. You know me. I don’t get very political on the pages of Storyteller. But, I …