Mostly red.

Bright red.

What a color in nature. It was calling out to me. It said roll in Dr. John’s birthday second line next year. A couple of you on various social media wanted to see more of this. What could I do? I aims to please.

From a technical standpoint, this picture is very good. There is almost no post production. Nature took care of that. When I saw those trunks reflecting glowing golden light, I knew what I had found.

You know me. I’m lazy. I thought about traveling to New Mexico or Vermont, or Virginia. Based on weather reports and the lack of fall pictures on various social media, I’m glad that I didn’t travel.

This was a five minute walk from the house. I didn’t need to go to the airport, find parking, pass through TSA, check luggage, board the plane and wish I was somewhere else. I’ll have to do that soon enough.

Anyway.

This is a short post. I’m beginning another trip around the sun today. Maybe there will be cake, party favors and presents.


Southern fall colors.

Well, finally.

Must I write more about “finally?”

They (the legendary and mythical they) say that if you have snow or rain followed by a cold snap you’ll likely see bright fall colors. That’s what happened. Apparently, they are right because I don’t recall ever seeing bright colors like these in Louisiana. Maybe I just wasn’t looking. Nah. Even somebody not paying attention would see these colors.

I made this picture while walking the all seeing dog. Dogs see in something like monochrome, so this didn’t catch her attention. That means that I made the picture using my smart phone which is all I carry on dog walks. To my eye it shows. I suppose I’m going to have retrace my steps and make another set of pictures using a real camera.

I hate to say this, but because of the very ephemeral nature of fall colors, I may have to make a trade. There is a Dr. John birthday second line tonight. Normally, this would be a no brainer. Photograph the event, come back for pictures like this the next day. But, these leaves are at just about peak color. Come back tomorrow and they could be brown. Or, they could be laying on the ground.

I could try to do both. We’ll see. Sometimes rushing from one location to another means that neither scene is done well. Besides, if I miss the start of the second line, I’m about done because I have’t seen a route map. Likely, there isn’t one.

Choices, choices, choices.

Oh. The humanity.

 


Into the clouds.

New Orleans has a new airport.

It hasn’t moved. A new terminal and runway system opened about two weeks ago right across a couple of runways from the old one.

There were all sorts of complaints when the airport first opened. Curbside parking was a mess. There were very long lines to catch a taxi, Uber or Lyft. Most of the outbound baggage belts didn’t work. When they did work it was likely that your luggage went to Kansas City while you went to Los Angeles. Inbound was no better. The list was long.

However, every place that sold food worked. At least travelers could eat real New Orleans food from real New Orleans places run by real New Orleans people.

Overall, that sounds terrible.

Nope. By last night most of those issues were resolved. The only people still complaining about them are the people who always complain about everything. The only real long term issue is the direct ramp from the interstate to the airport. That was a mistake in planning and follow up. It should be finished in two years. By then nobody will care.

This picture has nothing to do with the new airport.  Sure, that’s where the jet departed from, but it’s a couple of thousand feet in the air. Because I’m driven towards art these days, there is a lot of post production going on. I’m not sure this one makes it.

Oh well.


Driving in the rain, which really wasn’t a storm.

The rain.

Running errands is a good time for to make pictures in the rain. I just have to be a little careful, and be considerate of other drivers who are probably grumbling at the rain… and me.

I’m not sure how well you can see it, but there is a pickup truck in front of me. It looks like we are about to collide, but no worries. I’m stopped at a traffic light as the truck crosses in front of me. That’s why other drivers were grumbling at me. I was in the right hand turn lane and not making a move.

Oh well.

Grumble, grumble, toil and trouble.

There are a couple of different events that I want to photograph this week. There is second line in celebration of the late Dr. John’s birthday. We were born on the same day, 13 years apart. I’m going to pretend that the second line is for me. On the other hand, maybe I shouldn’t.

Then, on Saturday, the children’s parade is being held in Treme. That’s always fun, except when one of the kid’s mothers gets overly protective. They are tough. I don’t want one of them being angry with me. I wouldn’t stand a chance.

In between, I’m going to commute to Brooklyn. But, that’s a whole other story. Let’s just say that there is music to be made.

On Sunday, I may photograph the Men and Women’s Original Buckjumpers second line. I keep saying that I’m done with this project, but you know me. I can turn on a dime.  Besides, that’s a really fun and colorful group.

This should be a good week of photographs. I’m excited.

What are y’all photographing or writing about this week?


Light and magic.

Light, color and magic.

I made this picture a few days ago. I posted it on Instagram. That meant it popped up on Facebook and Twitter. But, you didn’t see it.

It’s a picture that surprised me when I assembled and layered it. So, you get to see it. My apologies to those of you who saw it on other social media. At least you get a chance to see it again.

That’s some ego, eh?

I generally call this picture a colorful mess. And, so it is. That’s what it makes it a lot of fun.

A local political note. Last night was a great one. Governor John Bel Edwards was re-elected by a very slim margin. This means three things.

He won in a very red state. For sure, New Orleans is blue. That’s about it.

The President of The United States came down here three times to campaign for the Republican candidate, Eddie Rispone. Many people thought that this election was a referendum on the president. Think about that.

The election was very close. About a percentage point. That’s why every vote matters. I don’t know, but it seems to me that my vote could have put him over the top. Or, my neighbor’s vote. Or, the family two blocks down. Don’t ever say that your one vote is meaningless. It means something.


Sometimes you just feel like it.

Because… why not?

I was working on the original version of this picture in color. A light bulb went off. Experiment in black and white, I thought. So, I did. I liked it. I smoothed it out a bit. I helped you to see some of the rain drops and that was it.

I’ve been reading about pictures. They seem to be flooding everywhere and everything. Apparently, about 30,000,000 pictures are uploaded to somewhere every single day. That’s amazing to me. I suppose, in one way, that’s a good thing. In theory we should all be speaking the same language. Unfortunately, we aren’t. Most of the pictures are made by people with phones who really don’t know the first thing about photography. That’s okay. They mostly take pictures of their friends and family. And food.

What it does mean is that pictures aren’t worth much these days. Maybe ten years ago, Bob Dylan said “music ain’t worth nothin’. ” I’m sure that except for the very elite most art isn’t worth much.

There’s just too much of it.

The best thing I can suggest is to find your niche and build your community. That’s a big reason I don’t shut down Storyteller. I’d love to move it to my more commercial site, but I lose all of you. There seems to be no way to convert you to Laskowitzpictures.com. I’d have to do it by hand. Email address by email address. Some of them are imbedded when you comment. Some are not.

It cuts both ways.

Some of you rarely comment and I can’t really see who stops by just to visit or hit the like button. But, I enjoy visiting your blog. I’d lose that. I don’t want to lose that.

One more thing. There seems to be a move towards making slim volume photo books on very short press runs. I feel about that just about the same way I do discussing the release a music album and spending a lot of time promoting and supporting it. It doesn’t work anymore. Marketing music is best done one song at a time on some streaming platform. That keeps your name out there, driving publicity. And, you are making new music every month.

Writing that just cleared my head. How would you feel about subscribing to something like one picture per month?

Instead of a book, you get a portfolio of 12 pictures over the course of a year.

There are some logistics to think through, like the size of the print, the selection of the image and the cost. I have some ideas, but I want to mull them over.

There other questions like matting, glazing and framing. But that could drive the cost through roof. Besides, odd as it sounds, that’s more personal than liking the art. Ten people can agree that they like a picture, but each of them will have their own ideas about hanging it.

Hmmmm.


A little painting. Or not.

Any major dude will tell you.

I wanted make a picture that was a little different. I set out to make a painting. Instead, I made something like an etching. It’s all one experiment.

Here’s what happened. We had a little rain to go along with our newly cold weather. And, that’s all I’m going to say about that. I had some errands to run. I did what I always do. I let the rain water accumulate on my car’s windshield. I photographed through that. No worries. As many of you know, I drive. I don’t really look at what’s on the monitor. Mostly, it’s just plain dumb luck if I’m successful.

I made a couple of nice rain shots that way. Was I satisfied? You already know the answer to that. If you’ve forgotten, NO!

I layered an older picture with the rain streaks. I made one image that is way too bright and colorful. It wasn’t that kind of day. So, I made this picture and intentionally toned it down. Now I had a picture that feels like yesterday.

That’s it.

Anyway. I’m a little amazed at the news from Washington D.C. . Well, not really the news, but some reactions to it. The guy who shall not be named ranted and rave on Twitter and in real life. His son said that it was boring. Most of the media, even the folks I like, picked up on that theme.

What the hell?

It’s Congressional testimony. It’s words. It’s dry. It’s content rich. The people in the room are not going to attack each other physically, like they do in Italy.

That got me thinking.

We live in an on demand world. There is a constant stream of news and commentary on Twitter, the worst place in the world. Most big box office earnings are cartoon-like movies. Movies about comic books that I read when I was child. Unless there is a lot of sizzle, there is no steak.

I hate to say it, but this is where the digital age has lead us. Make no mistake. I’m not against technology. How much of it do I use myself? I’m mostly worried about how most of the world’s population use it. I once read something about online flame wars. The line that caught my eye was this, we have the equivalent of a $25,000 computer in our hands. We use it to argue with people that we don’t know.

Think about that.


Flower explosion.

This idea came to me in a dream.

I’m not sure what it means. The dream, or the work. Rather than just stuff it all back inside me head I thought it would be a good idea to explore it.

I made layers. You’ve seen both pictures in the past. Bright yellow flower and red leaves. My exploration involves basic arithmetic. You know. 1 + 1 = 2. I’ve long believed that 1+1 can equal all sorts of numbers if they are the right 1+1. This is especially true in the art world.

By layering pictures, I think I made at least a three. Maybe more.

I’ve tagged this picture, “Boom.” It looks like a firework display to me. It may look like something else to you. Likely, a mess. Never-the-less, all opinions are valid.

Somebody once asked me when I have time to do all this, especially since experiments can end in failure. It’s more or less when I feel inspired. Or, when we are watching something very light on television. Often, I’ll just listen and work on pictures. I’m great with podcasts. And, the radio.

The picture. You can do this too, especially if you use “Snapseed,” which tends to make editing very easy. The key is to find two pictures that work together. I usually work on both independently. I try to build equal light and color values.

When I layer them, I experiment with different ways of layering. After I’ve completed the layers, I adjust them together. I also make sure to trim — not crop — the final picture. Unless you have two pictures with the same shape, there may be bits of one or the other picture hanging out. I crop mostly for shape. On WordPress-based blogs, deeper is better.

That’s it. My first lesson in a long, long time. Sorry about that.