Working in Pirate Alley

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 to go out “looking.” I used to make stand alone pictures that were evergreen and could be used when a newspaper page needed help. Not only did I generate pictures, but I saw things that might make a good picture story. Lessons learned young, are not forgotten. Today, that’s how a make a lot of pictures that you see. I call them “on the way to someplace else.”

Like this picture. I was just walking around waiting for the clouds to part so I could see nature’s handiwork. A partial solar eclipse. I was actually pretty productive. That’s one of the benefits of being able to return to a place again and again and again. I know where to look. I can put myself in places where pictures might be lurking.

This picture. One of my favorite subgenres of imagery. A kind of portrait. A person doing what they do. Or, in her case, just part of a very long day. It’s a simple picture. See it. Take it.  Chat for a minute. The only post production I did was mostly to balance the lights and darks. That was easy. Remember what I said about that day. Open cloud cover. Nature’s very own reflector.



  1. Love this image. One of my favorite things to do in NOLA was to get up early and walk around the area where I was staying (CBD first time and the Quarter the second) and see what was going on while the rest of the city slept.

    Thinking of you and yours, and all of my friends along the Gulf Coast, with Hurricane Harvey. Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sharon. I think we are pretty safe. For now. So far, we haven’t had a drop of rain. And, NOAA is showing around six inches of rain over four days. As selfish as this sounds, I’m chomping at the bit to photograph the first parade of second line season tomorrow and the 12th Anniversary of Katrina in the 9th Ward on Tuesday… If we have heavy rain, neither will happen.


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