Hidden Zulu

Yes. Zulus and mushrooms.

Wait! What?

Layering has its benefits. Mixing of very different subjects is one of them. Another is mixing content that was made at very different times. Sometimes from film and sometimes from digital imagery. In this case, I used a Krewe of Zulu Tramp who was walking on Mardi Gras Day and… some giant mushrooms that popped up after a lot of rain.

Here’s what I did. I photographed the mushrooms in many ways, but I focused (not a pun) on the circles and patterns. I knew that, on their own, they looked pretty good. I also realized that the circles would be a great addition to my collection of shapes for this new layered work I seem driven to do. These days. The Zulu was a little more photojournalistic. Normal street work.

That’s just kind of how I think.

This is what you get. A face peering through the shapes and darkness. I blend, I add, I subtract, I smooth a little. Sometimes, I go too far. I pull it back. But, I always save everything. It’s good for me to see my progressions and changes. As I wrote earlier this week, that sort of thing causes storage issues. It also causes personal growth. I suppose you have to balance the two. And… always move forward.


I have a question. On Sunday I’ll finally be home and in a position to photograph a second line. The Father’s Day second line. It’s what I do. It gives me joy. I get to see friends. A friend says that it’s like going to church. It may very well be.

I’ve talked about New Orleans being a violent place. You get used to it. To the point that when you hear a gun shot, you just think, “Oh, somebody is shooting.” This month has been particularly violent. Forty shootings and the month isn’t half over. Four just last night resulting in two KIA. KIA is a military acronym that means killed in action. That’s what it feels like in New Orleans. A battlefield. We average a shooting every seven hours. Whether we need one or not.


As much as I’m chomping at the bit, my age is kicking in and saying, “hey, wait a minute.” So, do I approach this as “I will not be denied” or do I retreat to work again when things get a little less violent. If… that ever happens.

What would you do?


18 Replies to “Mushrooms & Zulus”

    1. Mountains? 🙂 Either New Orleans or Brooklyn. Besides in a few weeks, I gotta go again… I just have to figure out if I want to go into the hood to make pictures on father’s day.


      1. Ah well… I’m afraid I’m not a hot weather fan so I reside in the mountains of North Carolina. If you are ever this way I’d be happy to show you around!


  1. I’m even struggling with this answer, but I’d say stay as safe as possible (which you do anyway), and keep doing what you love.
    It seems like a little of that joy and freedom slips away everyday and before you know it… just poof ☹️

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Honestly, I’d leave. That sounds like a toxic relationship that you’ve just become numb to, but which grinds you down nonetheless. Maybe the toxicity is something you need at this stage, I dunno. I doubt that situation can be healthy. You’ll need to discern on your own.

    NYC is nice, I hear…


  3. depends on the neighborhood somewhat, I think, and access, driving versus walking. You’be seen my self-imposed walking boundaries I think. I’be been a few places I won’t walk again.


      1. agreed, they are and if the parade isn’t in my preferred neighborhoods, I won’t walk into them. too many blocks, too far in to feel safe walking.


  4. I would stay, you enjoy being there, you have a community of good friends. That said, it does make sense to step up risk mitigation. For example, you don’t stay out past a certain time, or use the buddy system. Trust your instincts and be prepared to miss an opportunity if you don’t feel safe.


    1. Tha worked once. A few years ago. Once upon a time you could say, “stay out of this or that neighborhood after midnight and you’ll be fine.” Now, the violence has spread everywhere even to mine — which is supposed to be one of the best places in the country to live and with our own private security. The buddy system used to work, but now the bad guys just shoot more bullets.

      Liked by 1 person

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