Looking Backward


Masked in red beans.

Looking backward to move forward.

As you know, I’ve struggling with ways forward. It’s not that I’ve lost my motivation. It’s more along the lines of how do I progress? I’ve been poking around in my archives for about a month. I’ve pretty much photographed everything that interests me in New Orleans about four or five times.

It’s why I didn’t work very hard last Mardi Gras. It’s why I barely went second lining during the 2018 – 2019 season. It’s why I haven’t been roaming around photographing the Quarter. It’s why I haven’t been chasing the things that a great sunset lights up. Then, there’s the traveling for my other side.

Oh sure.

I can also say that it’s the middle of a Southeastern Louisiana summer, which lasts from early May until mid-October. It’s hot. I don’t like being in the heat. I can also say that I don’t trust my hip and back.

Truth be told, I’ve acclimated to the heat. Walking dogs will do that. My physical issues have somewhat settled down. I still have no idea why on one day I feel pretty good. And, the next day I feel like I’m 125 years old. But, I know how to manage it. I’m notย  fast anymore, but I’m a long time veteran of photography. You know what they say. “Young fox, old fox. Old fox always wins.”

Before you tell me that photography isn’t a competition, it is. With myself. I don’t care what the other guy does, but I have to make a picture that progresses beyond the last one, even if it’s only by a teeny tiny bit.

That’s what I ruminating about.

That, and what do I really photograph as the 2019 – 2020 second line starts in a couple of weeks? What do I photograph as Carnival Season starts? Do I just say that I’m done with that stuff. Or, do I figure out some other approach? What would that be?

I’m all ears.

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10 Comments

      1. It’s understandable. I alway have coffee on my mind, Just so you know, red beans, rice and some kind of meat is made on Monday because that used to be wash day. beans cook for about 5 or 6 hours. By the time they were ready, the laundry was done. Traditions…

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  1. Before you tell me that photography isnโ€™t a competition, it is. With myself. I donโ€™t care what the other guy does, but I have to make a picture that progresses beyond the last one, even if itโ€™s only by a teeny tiny bit.

    …I know what you mean, I have the same competition. I’ve also had this same existential crisis before, and I’m pretty sure I’m having it now as well. There’s only so many ways you can shoot a flower before you just want to set them on fire, and then even that gets less challenging after a while.

    I returned to my hometown roughly twelve-years ago — it’s a tiny village between Ottawa and Montreal. We have lots of festivals and Events that bring in tens of thousands of tourists. But after shooting them six or eight times, it starts to get… difficult trying to find new and interesting ways of giving them the effort they deserve.

    There’s only so many ways of shooting beach volleyball, or cows and the midway at an Agricultural Fair, or the crowd at a Food Festival until you realize you’ve been doing it the same way for a few years. When I was living in Ottawa then Toronto, I eventually began to feel the same way about cityscapes and street photography.

    I don’t know how to get out of the funk… unless it’s taking on an entirely new subject. Even for just a little while.

    Actually, have you decided if the funk you’re in is the photography itself, or the blogging of the photography? Because I’ve been in both situations at various times in my photography career and my blogging life.

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    1. It’s not really a funk. I’ve been doing this for a long time, over 45 years. I even have my tricks to get out of a stall… a self assignment called “what is it like to… ” I have three ideas for that. But, I really not willing to work in this heat. Although I will work — heat or not — in two weeks for the first second line of the season. I have an idea but it will take either a cloudy day or an ND filter. We’ll see. As far as blogging goes, I’ve managed to streamline my process so it doesn’t bother me, but I may change the way I publish. Thanks for all of this… BTW, what town in Canada has all these festivals?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Vankleek Hill. It’s a village of about 2,000 people. We have an Oktoberfest that brings in 20,000 over two days, and an Agricultural Fair that brings in a little more than that over three days. There are a bunch of smaller festivals as well, including a one-day food festival that brings about 4,000 people if the weather’s good. All together they probably bring in another 8,000. Even if they get a little stale after a decade or two, they make for a lot of excellent photo opportunities.

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  2. Oh. Looks fun. Maybe someday Iโ€™ll do a festival tour. I think our very smallest festival, which is this weekend or next, fried chicken fest brings about 20k hungry people. Our three biggest festivals, JazzFest, French Quarter Fest and Mardi Gras, bring in about 4 million people over about 25 days. There are neighborhood second lines over 47 Sundays. And, so on for most of the cooler months of the year. I never look at anything as a photo op. Itโ€™s life. I photograph life.

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