A look inside.

Sometimes nature is amazing. The colors. The details. Rebirth. It all is wonderful. Even if you can almost set your calendar by it.

Down here, spring starts early. By the first or second week of February. I’m sorry about those of you who still have snow on the ground. Really, I am. We’ve already been through a couple of cycles of blooms. These are the latest. Even they are fading.

Spring is a good metaphor for life. It passes quickly. Don’t waste your time.

One more thing. The Formosan Termites are here. Keep your doors and windows closed around dusk. If you live in NOLA.

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Eyes of the world 

“Right outside this lazy summer home

You ain’t got time to call your soul a critic no

Right outside the lazy gate of winter’s summer home

Wondering where the nut-thatch winters

Wings a mile long just carried the bird away

Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world

The heart has it’s beaches, it’s homeland and thoughts of it’s own

Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings

But the heart has it’s seasons, it’s evenings and songs of it’s own

There comes a redeemer, and he slowly too fades away

And there follows his wagon behind him that’s loaded with clay

And the seeds that were silent all burst into bloom, and decay

And night comes so quiet, it’s close on the heels of the day

Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world

The heart has it’s beaches, it’s homeland and thoughts of it’s own

Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings

But the heart has it’s seasons, it’s evenings and songs of it’s own

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

And sometimes we visit your country and live in your home

Sometimes we ride on your horses, sometimes we walk alone

Sometimes the songs that we hear are just songs of our own

Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world

The heart has it’s beaches, it’s homeland and thoughts of it’s own

Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings

But the heart has it’s seasons, it’s evenings and songs of it’s own”

Lyrics by Robert Hunter, Melody by Jerry Garcia, Song by the Grateful Dead


A little bit of something.

A little more experimentation. A little more trickery in post production. And, a lot of red.

Once again, I combined something man-made with something found in nature. The component that was found in nature is easy to identify. It’s a tree. I’ll let you guess about the man-made object. It’s fairly common. But, I doubt many people think about it.

I’ve been wondering about something lately. I was talking to a new follower in comments. She said something about when she was “into photography.” I asked her why she stopped. She replied with the usual reasons which came down to “life got in the way.” This started me thinking about bloggers I haven’t read or seen in a long time. I went to my follower list and sure enough… about half the people that I follow haven’t posted anything in a six months to a year. That likely means, that they won’t blog again. I’m on the fence about removing them. One one hand, what does it matter if they are there? On the other hand, if they aren’t posting at all why not do a little spring cleaning?

What do you think? Obviously if you are still reading and still posting, you haven’t dropped out. Fair enough. But, why do you think others do? Or, don’t?

I get it.

This is kind of hard work. As much as I’ve streamlined the process, it’s still hard to post every day. This post is a little late today — my self-imposed deadline, not yours — not because I was busy with something else, but because I just didn’t feeling like doing the work today.

That’s happening more and more.


This and that.

I made this.

Well, I assembled it in post production from four individual pictures. One of the most dominating pictures is something that might not even occur to you. We use a Nespresso machine around this place. Some people think it’s a little pricey to use everyday. I don’t. We like good coffee. If we went out to drink it, we’d spend about $20.00 a day. And, there would be the sunk time. This costs about $1.80 a day because I don’t buy Nespresso-branded coffee. I buy better coffee for less money. I drink it at home and I keep working.

What does our coffee habit have to do with this picture?

Check out the picture carefully. You’ll see coffee pods throughout. When we get a new shipment of pods we just toss them into a bowl. I believe that no matter what the manufacturer says about the blend, they all taste about the same. But, they package them in different color pods.

I had no choice but to photograph them in the bowl.

That’s one. The other three pictures were made in nature. One is a magnolia bloom, another is a flower and deep inside you can find a leaf that looks like bamboo, but isn’t.

When I started stacking them, I started to see something emerge. Color. Pure color. Wonderful color. I thought, “why not?” I kept going.

That’s the take away. Experiment. Keep going until the natural forces bring you to something. That’s success. Or, it might just be a big mess. That’s failure. I reckon that I succeed less than 10% of the time.


Graphic shapes in nature.

Shapes.

In nature. I could try to make the same ones. I wouldn’t come close. It’s best that I just make photographs of what I see. And, show them to you.

This is a walking picture. With the dog who sees things. The light was wonderful. Strong and low, with deep shadows. I stopped and made the picture. What else could I do?

There isn’t much more to say. The picture says it all.

Except.

You knew I had a little more in me.

I haven’t made a picture like this in a long, long time. I haven’t really seen this way in many moons. Once upon a time, a young designer called me “The Dean of Clean.” That’s how I saw. How I made pictures. Even how I design. I see to have gotten away from it a little bit. Since I’m reworking my website yet again, it’s time to remember who I am. Clean design. Not too many pictures. Certainly not enough to overwhelm the viewer.

Minimal. On point. Clean. Clear.

 

 


A springtime wonder.

Rocks. Broken Wood. Sticks.

New growth in the middle of all of that. The dog found it with her inquisitive nose. All I did was make the picture. And, frame it on the scene. And, further reframe it in post production, where I also made the image sparkling and glowing.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that humans and canines are also a part of nature. Dogs are a  good force in nature. They are little zen masters. They act in the moment. They forgive easily. They are always friendly if a human lets them be.

Meanwhile, humans. Not so much. The more I see, travel and I read, the more I’m convinced that we are the most destructive force on earth. Yeah, yeah. Big hurricanes and earthquake do a lot of damage. But, that just nature’s way. It isn’t intentional. It isn’t mean-spirited. It isn’t for some profit motive. Nature seeks stasis. That’s all.

You can draw your own conclusions. Me? I think it’s time to act way more than we have. And, I think it’s time to think. How’s that for a bit of very weird writing? It’s clean up time. No matter what the current political climate is in Washington. No matter what big corporations think. Some of this starts with the very tools we use every day, like this computer. Digital trash is as bad a pollutant as there is. It needs to be recycled responsibly. And, the chain must be followed and monitored.

Here’s why.

I was talking to an online friend about this. Here in New Orleans — and in Albuquerque, New Mexico — where I lived after Hurricane Katrina, there are recycling programs of a sort. Here’s how it works. Me, feeling good about what I was doing sorted everything. Glass. Paper. Plastic. You know. How you do.

In NOLA we take it to a recycling center. In New Mexico it was picked up like curbside garbage. Here’s where both results are the same. My nicely sorted recyclables were dumped into one pile and were taken to a normal landfill where they were dumped along with the rest of the garbage, never to be sorted again.

WTH?

We, as human beings who only have one planet to live on, must manage this process. We can do better. We can force the people who claim to handle our recycling to actually do it. After all…

One more thing. This isn’t for me. Or, my generation. This is for the future. Our children. Our grandchildren. And, their children. It’s a long game. Even if we can’t see the results.


Spring grasses.

Something really new.

It’s not that I haven’t been trying. I’ve tried to make this picture for a couple of weeks. I’ve failed for a couple of weeks. When you use a smart phone at this level it’s sort of point and shoot. You get what you get.

Finally.

My spring picture. Grasses growing taller in a sort of forested area. This is one that says a lot to me. More than leaf pictures. More than tree pictures. More than spring bud pictures. This picture means summer is soon upon us. This means I’ll be searching for a new home. For the summer. The heat and the humidity have gotten the better of all of us.  By us, I mean most of the people who live in New Orleans.

Usually, weird stuff happens in the summer. More shootings. Fewer tourists. Closed restaurants. Possible hurricanes. Evacuations. I don’t want to deal with it. After all, we celebrated last Sunday with a running gun battle that left seven wounded, including a cop, one dead and cars crashed along the length of the city, from St. Roch to Uptown. At one point, the police report just said “wounded multiples.” Yep. That’s my city. My home.

I’m not sure where. Or, when. I’d like it to be in a place with cooler air. Little humidity. And, no news. Maybe way Eastern Canada. A young blogging buddy of mine is spending her summer on Prince Edward Island. It’s way out there. That sounds about right. I could spend my time ignoring clients. Killing my career. And, take pictures of the seacoast. And, lighthouses. Did I mention lighthouses?

Anyway.

The picture. It’s kinda point and shoot. I guess you just have to know what you are pointing out. I did some post production. But, not much. I cleaned things up a bit, typed in my watermark and added the frame.

Oh, and about that watermark. My signature looks too ratty. I’m staying fairly put. Maybe I’ll find some gentler type.


Seeing is believing.

I saw these little purple flowers while I was walking. I’m not sure that they are indigenous to Southeast Louisiana. The neighbors planted them near the street. But, they sure are pretty. And, they caught my eye.

I made the picture, came home and started my usual tinkering. This image is the result. I posted the black and white version on Instagram as kind of a teaser to Storyteller. We’ll see what happens.

Storyteller has grown holistically just fine. I’d like to see what happens if I apply a couple of marketing ideas to it. For me, this has always been an experimental place — mostly for pictures. Now I’m expanding ideas a little bit.

It’s all in good fun.


Glowing skies.

Happy Earth Day.

I had something else planned for today until I realized the date. Since so many of my later images are nature-based what else could I do? Luckily, I saved this picture. I made it earlier this week.

Because.

We are under a tornado warning with thunderstorms expected for the rest of Sunday. Worse, for me, I had a whole day of pictures planned. More tall ships. Westbank Super Sunday. A neighborhood second line. And, Bark at the Park. I couldn’t have gotten to all of them and done a good job. Still.

Now. Nothing. Nada. The tall ships likely won’t raise their sails. The Indians won’t risk damaging their suits. The second line might still roll. But, likely not. Bark at the Park — like The Krewe of Barkus, only brand new — cancelled their event yesterday because of weather predictions. They were right to do that.

Anyway.

I have plenty of stuff to do around home today. Spring cleaning needs to be done. I need to do a lot of paperwork including some billing… if the dogs want to eat. And, I’m experimenting with some things. Check out my signature. I’ve been thinking that my normal copyright watermark seems too formal and rigid. That’s fine for clients and business. But, not so fine for here. You can make water marks that don’t look quite so legal and still do the job.

I looked at some online. You sign something and the app makes a watermark. It costs money for this process. Yeah? Really? Why? All they did was borrow from Apple and Google who have their own picture storage and post production systems. You can easily make a signature watermark. It takes a long time. Maybe ten seconds. I did this one in Apple. My signature needs a little work. It’s missing the circle that I use to dot the “i” in Laskowitz, and a long slash in which I cross the “t” You know what they say. Dot your “i’s” and cross your “t’s.” I didn’t this time. I’ll modify it next time. I’d also like to scrawl a copyright symbol in front of the date.  And figure out how to change color.

Maybe next time. No. Wait. Next time is finished already. I replaced next time with today’s picture.

And, speaking of this picture. We’ve had some wonderful spring days. Cool in the morning. Warm in the afternoon. Great light. I’ve wasted many of them. I wasn’t going to waste today. Instead, it sort of wasted me. That’s the deal with nature. And, life. Use when you have it. You never know when you won’t.