Month: August 2017

There Must Have Been a Storm


It looks like a whole lotta work. You’ve seen the place. Normally, I make a Zen-like picture with something like one leaf twirling around a sparkling bit of water. That’s not what we saw yesterday. The winds ripped the leaves from the trees. The rain pushed them into the little stream. The stream backed up. And, so it goes. That’s the nature of things. And, that’s it. A quiet day. I have to make up for the couple of days of lost production, which includes the mundane. You know. Like making groceries. Paying the bills. Scrubbing the kitchen floor. These things could have all been done while Harvey was passing through. But, well. You know. You know that you know. Advertisements

Then, This Happened


Then. As dusk fell last night, we saw this. A little peace on a mostly nasty day. The dogs, who see stuff, are serious water wimps.  I have to be careful when I write that. They love to swim in the pool. They have no problem jumping into a smelly swamp and coming out muddy. But, when water falls from the sky. Uh huh. No way. They aren’t going out in that stuff. So. They stayed inside until the rain finally stopped. They mostly slept which is how they keep from needing to relieve themselves. The minute the skies cleared, out they went with a little help from their friends. Me. I looked up. This was about the first thing that I saw. Snap, snap, click, click. A picture was born. I think the worst is past. Well past. New Orleans happens to be in a split in what is left of Harvey. It’s a little windy, but the sun is shining. Apparently, the storm is passing through both sides of the region while avoiding …

On August 29


August 29, 2005. That was a day most of us who live in New Orleans will never forget. Hurricane Katrina blew in, and made landfall at Buras, Louisiana. The levees broke and 80 percent of the city was under water. August 29, 2017. Hurricane Harvey, now Tropical Storm Harvey, finally makes a turn away from Houston, where most of the city was flooded. Harvey sat over the gulf and refueled, headed northeast and then northwest. Towards us. So far, in New Orleans, we’ve had 5.85 inches of rainfall. Our diminished pumping capacity is not really keeping up. Streets are flooding. All schools are closed. Many government offices are closed. Our smart phones have been going off all morning with flood advisories. I know. 5.85 inches of rain is nowhere near Houston’s 40 to 60 inches of rainfall. But, our ground is already saturated. Our pumping capacity is down. The mayor’s office said that the original pumping station, the one that was repaired just about a week ago after being broken down for the last flood, …

French Quarter Windows


I see things. Details. Windows. Nooks. Crannies. I’ve probably photographed this store widow five or six times. Usually at night. Evening light, plus the lights in the window, make these mannequin legs look sort of garish. In daylight they look just fine. Toning down the color a little and adding a little softness makes them look a little mysterious. And, it hides me. My reflection is behind the middle leg. Needless to say, I’m enjoying the new photo editing software. I learned something today that made me smile. For most work, I have to fine tune each image individually. With this app, I can stack similar images, create what amounts to a formula and process them all at once. Not only does that save time, but it allows me to make a collection of images that have the same basic look and feel, in one go. Weather report. If you’ve watched or read the national or world news you know that Houston, Texas, is underwater. The hurricane, which is now a tropical storm, is going …

Sunday Glow


A little different look. Not only did I make this picture during normal daylight hours, but I used completely different production software. Because. Two reasons. I do like to experiment and tinker. But, my usual software, On1, has some new downloaded upgrades. The company seems to be struggling when it comes to new products. Especially with new upgrades. In this case, not only did the updated software crash their own system, but it crashed my computer. Three times. I kept thinking that if I reboot everything, the new upgrades would settle down. No joy. I’ll contact them tomorrow. I know what they are going to say. It must be your computer. Funny, that. It’s powerful enough for their software, the hard drive is fairly clean and the other software works just fine. The fix will be to remove their software and reinstall it. I don’t think so. Not this week. Downloading their base software is very time-consuming. I have a few thousand other things to do. So. A while back, Google gave away the Nik …

Jackson Square


First and foremost. Our prayers and thoughts go out to the people who live along the Gulf Coast in Texas. Twelve years ago, they came for us. Now, it’s our turn. Whatever they need. Whenever they need it. You’d have to have been here and gone through a major storm to really feel it deep inside. We did. We know. Our hearts are in our throats. Thank you for reaching out. We are fine here in New Orleans. Right now, it looks like we will get about 6 inches of rain over a four-day time span. That’s about like a normal summer storm. Yes, some parts of the city have other worries. All the pumps are not yet functional. Some of the electric turbines are still not up to full speed, and, for certain, the drainage system needs about 20 years of work. But, everybody is well aware of the issues and what we need to do. So far, mixed sun and clouds. No rain. No wind. I mostly only pay attention to the NOAA …

Working


I was walking by. I asked. She nodded. It’s not what you think. She’s a small business owner. She’s the cleaning person. The bartender. The server. The manager. The book-keeper. From the looks of this, she works about 17 hours a day. Probably six days a week. Sounds fun. Or, not. I suppose anything worth doing takes a lot of time. And, effort. I know chefs who live to cook. And, work. Same with teachers. Same with artists of all kinds. Even me. The list goes on and on. Even when you supposedly work shifts. I know an emergency room doc. She works 12 hour shifts. Do you think that she leaves at the end of her shift if someone comes into her ER shot full of holes? Oh wait. That’s a New Orleans thing. In some place else it might be a bad car wreck. But, you get the idea. She doesn’t leave. Same with other shift-driven occupations. There’s the practice and constant learning. When I was young and a newspaper photographer, I used …

Okay, Okay…


Well. I guess you would rather see art, than documentation. Fine with me. I’d rather make art. I’ll save the documentation for my agents. Let’s see what I can do with some of the work I produced on Monday. I’ll start with this picture. I was on my way to The French Quarter, when the light changed for the better. The Superdome was lighted from sun rays bouncing off the clouds.  Of course, I was driving on the interstate at the time. So. I did what I haven’t done in a long, long time. A drive by shooting. With a camera. Not a weapon. As some of you know, who have been with me for a while, I just prop the camera on the dashboard of the car, set everything on auto and more-or-less point and shoot. Sometimes I get really lucky. Mostly, I don’t. I think I was fairly lucky with this picture. I like the framing. I like the light on the dome. I like the silhouetted sign. I wasn’t happy with the …

The French Quarter


I took a stroll in The French Quarter. I made a few “traditional” pictures. I’m pretty sure that will make my agencies smile. Doing the work and walking around the Quarter made me happy. Yes. It was hot. It was humid. And, the eclipse was all but invisible there. But, it wasn’t crowded. And, the people who “are from here” seemed happy. Free, two-hour parking was found just about everywhere. If I wanted to stay longer, all I need do was move the car. I haven’t been in the Quarter for a good long time. I’m well aware of the Bourbon Street rebuilding. New street. New pipes. And so on. The schedule is very late, way over budget and now, stopped at a certain point while the city pours money into repairing the flood control system. But, I was surprised by how much other construction is going on right now. Many side — lake to river — streets are being repaired. Many buildings are also being repaired, restored or just renovated. I suppose that makes …

Chasing the Sky


I tried. I really did. New Orleans was at about 75% of the solar eclipse, yesterday. Unfortunately, we also had clouds and some rain. When I say that, don’t mistake it for total overcast. Or, a massive storm. Around here, one street has rain and clouds and the next one does not. So. I went to the French Quarter. I thought it would be very cool to use the Quarter as a background for the eclipse. While I was waiting, I made a bunch of pictures. Mostly good daylight stock for one of my agencies. The time for the big event arrived. Seemingly nothing. Clouds were blocking most of the sun. I was listening to NPR’s radio broadcast. One of the moderators was talking about leaves functioning as a pinhole camera. Aha, I thought. I headed towards a leafy section of Jackson Square. No joy. There was just enough cloud cover for the light to look a little weird, but it wasn’t strong enough to create shadows through tree. A lot of people in other …