Out on the Westbank.

Super Sunday on the Westbank.

No. Not the West Bank in the Middle East. The one in New Orleans. I mention that because I’ve had the question asked of me. You just never know.

I made the base picture — a Mardi Gras Indian Wildman — a few years ago, when I had the energy to photograph two second lines and a piece of the Westbank Super Sunday, all in the space of about four hours. Luck was with me. I made no wrong turns. I found a good parking space three times. Normally, I’d make ten wrong turns and have to walk about a mile because parking was tough.

The rest of this image was layered from more contemporary work. Once again, I started on my smart phone and finished on my main machine.

You’ve all been very kind. You seem to like this new approach. I’m not as confident as you are.

I am starting to miss actually documenting things in the manner of a photojournalist. Life on the streets is rough and getting rougher. There were three shootings yesterday resulting in two deaths. This seems like a broken record with me, but it’s scary.

They are happening in places that I wouldn’t expect. In fact, in a space of 24 hours last Sunday there were 8 shootings resulting in two or three deaths. That included a shooting on I-10 near Treme. Some of the comments on NOLA.com were hysterical, like this one. “You don’t even have to be in New Orleans to get shot, you could just be passing through.” Or, “New Orleans, so many options to get shot.”


If I disappear for a couple of days, no worries. With luck I won’t. It just means I’m without power. I could cheat and use my phone to post. But, I try to conserve battery power in after storm days.

A fairly strong tropical storm called Cindy is about to make landfall. Luckily that will happen further up the Gulf near the Texas – Louisiana border. We should be on the outer bands of the storm. Strong wind and some heavy rain. Maybe around 4 to 6 inches.

By the way. The last storm named Cindy was twelve years ago. It was the first of three storms that year, the most famous of which is Katrina. Cindy was originally classed as a tropical storm, but was reclassified as a hurricane, mostly for insurance purposes.

Just sayin’.


7 Replies to “Dance, Not Dance”

  1. I do love the layered photography. The photos fascinate me in their complexity and although photojournalism is important in documenting life in your very special city, I think there’s value in creative liberties. 🙂 And No matter how experienced you are in preparing and withstanding these storms, it must be unnerving waiting for arrival and simply wondering how it will pass through. I live in Los Angeles County so violent headlines aren’t unknown to me, but it always makes me very sad to read of it anywhere. Heartbreaking!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Since I never listen to local media because they tend to gin up the expectations of a storm, I mostly just read NOAA, which is accurate and restrained. That means I have a good idea of what will happen. For Katrina, their final report said, “disaster, death and misery to follow the storm.” I knew it would be bad. I grew up in LA. The difference between NOLA and there is we are a compact city. Our murder rate per 100,000 is the highest in the country and 17th highest in the world. LA at its worst was never that bad that I remember.


  2. Ray, this image has so many textures and layers of life in many ways. I really like your approach of different layers, I see so many faces (besides the obvious one in the middle) on those very interesting textures you have applied. There is death, desperation and hope in it, and wishes for a better future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I appreciate your time. I suppose what you said represents the entire Mardi Gras Culture’s way of dealing with death, which is to mourn for a period of time and then to celebrate. A typical jazz funeral starts with a dirge and ends with dancing.

      Liked by 1 person

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