Time and Place

After a storm.

A friend of mine said that music exists in a time and place.

He wrote that as part of an acknowledgement to the death of Marty Balin. Who is he, you might ask? He was one of the founders of a seminal band in the middle 1960s. They were called in various incarnations, either Jefferson Airplane, or Jefferson Starship. They were way ahead of their time. Today, probably the only two well-known songs that you never hear on radio is “White Rabbit” or, “Somebody to Love.” You might know the Starship’s work a little more.

That got me thinking.

Pictures do the same thing. They exist in a particular time and place. If you went through almost 50 years worth of my work you’d see style changes. You see my move from black and white film to color film photography and finally, to digital color capture. You’d also see something more important. You’d see the change in my subject matter.  And, the pictures would reflect me. Me, at a certain time and place. Because, all art is autobiographical.

That’s the truth.

Now, in my time, I’ve legally retired from my business.  The Feds were informed. My health insurance changed. They are starting to give money back to me. Money that I’ve earned over the years.

That doesn’t mean I’m done.

The biggest news is that I’ve managed to secure a two book deal. With a real publisher. Without the angst that so many of my writing and blogging friends seem to feel. It was fairly easy for me because if you do this work long enough people seek you out. And, I have no expectations.

Some authors tell me that they’d rather self-publish so they control their work. Control is overrated. Distribution is king.

Without the help of a real publisher very few people see your work. Sure, you can build a community. That’s why so many writers blog. It’s also why WordPress is primarily a writers framework. That, for WordPress, is where the money is.  It’s also why any publishing success within that framework is limited. A few people break out, but note that word. A few. Near as I can tell, less than 1%

All of that written, I have plenty of work to do.

In a few days I’ll be invited to show my street work in a gallery show. I have three smallish stocking stuffer books to complete. Those need to be finished by the end of October, for potential Christmas sales.  And, there is the huge issue of my archives. I’m building a mechanism to easily locate my best work, my best seconds and thirds. That is my estate. You know why.

That’s my story.

I won’t stick to it. Things always change.

The picture. Oh, I made it after a bunch of storms passed on a day when we had to dodge rain drops in order for dogarito to get her walks in. If you look deeply, you can see the reflection of the sky, of trees, but not of me. The rest was easy. Mostly, I darkened the image to bring out the colors. That’s it.

I’m listening to Jefferson Airplane. Even though I’m writing, I have to pause as images of my youth come into my mind. Man! I miss those times and those people.

Unfortunately there is something to any old saying. You can never go home again.




Leave a Comment

  1. I remember being obsessed with the song, “Wooden Ships,” but I haven’t listened to it in years. I really loved Jefferson Airplane and never quite had the same feeling about Starship, although I always smiled when I heard Grace’s beautiful voice singing anything!

    I’m so happy to hear about your book deal, and it would be very interesting to see how your subject matter has changed over time. I would imagine your project will be very challenging as you narrow your focus for publication. This particular photo is stunning!

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Wooden Ships,” used to be stuck in my mind when I first started travelling to far away countries in Asia… “If you smile at me I will understand for that is something everybody does in the same language…” Come to think of it maybe we need more smiles and fewer grimaces now.

      My subject for both books is the same. Urbex and broken things in New Orleans. Luckily, I’ve been shooting that for the last seven years. 🙂


  2. Great news about your books deal, Ray, I look forward to hearing more about that.
    I’m working on a new picture book, but won’t try self-publishing this one as a first resort, as I did with the last one, but as a last resort and then only 500 copies. You are right about distribution!! But local sales fine, several repeat orders, etc etc and I really have enjoyed and learned a great deal from the process, which is on-going.
    Anyway, I am really happy for you, I should think the books will be fascinating, from looking at your work and reading what you have to say. Formidable – with a French accent!


    • Both books are about abandoned New Orleans. I’m about done with my edit. Then, it’s in the publisher’s hands.

      Distribution is king for almost everything we do as working artists. If you can’t get whatever we do in others hands we likely won’t be able to earn a living.

      Thanks for your kind words.


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