Bleak Mid-Winter

On a very cold day.

Sometimes you look and see. Sometimes you only look. Despite my talking about not being able to produce good pictures or think creatively, I keep making photographs. I must be seeing.

I think I want to move forward into another kind of photography. I’m tired of making faux nature pictures.

A couple of you suggested workshops or listening to other photographers who share inspirational videos. I did that. I Googled to find Sean Tucker.

He is a British photographer who works in all genres of photography. He seems to like nature work the best. His video was interesting because he says what I’ve said for ages. Quiet time. Turn your brain off. Sit. Meditate. If any idea comes to you write it down so it clears your head for other ideas. Zen. Zen. Zen.

My problem isn’t that I don’t have creative ideas. My problem is moving well beyond where I am today. In my dog walking faux nature work I find myself making pictures with an idea of how I can edit them into something else.

I’ll tell you more about that on the right hand side of the page.

That’s fine as far as it goes. But, that’s not what I want to do. Remember my project? Jefferson Highway? I don’t want to produce a story. I want to produce 12 to 20 pictures that I can collect in a portfolio. I want that to be a gallery hanging. And, a very slim volume that people can collect as I move forward.

That sounds fairly straight forward. It isn’t. There are lot of questions to be answered. Color? Black and White? Day? Night? Dusk? And, so on.

I think before I settle into that project, I’m going to have to make a detour. There are a lot of houses being decorated as floats since there are no parades for Mardi Gras. Some are quite elaborate. I’d better photograph them before I don’t.

At least, I’m a lot less frantic than I was earlier when I was discussing this. Thank you to those who reached out.

Into something else. The picture is a great example of what I did to make it something else.

I made the picture about 10am. The sky was blue. The sun was peaking through the bare winter branches.

It was a boring picture.

I thought about what it could be. I exposed for the sun which darkened everything else a little.

I worked on it a lot in post-production. I let the sky go dark. I helped the sun to pop. I enhanced the sky’s color.

The process took a little while. For me, it is process over product. Enjoy the process and the product will always be right.

And, experiment within your process. I cannot tell you how many times that I went too far with this photograph. If you don’t go too far how will you know when you’ve reached the right place?

Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Look after each other. Enjoy the process.

Published by Ray Laskowitz

I am a visual storyteller. I've been making pictures for some 40 years. I travel the world in search of the right image. in the right light at the right time. You can reach me by phone at 505.280.4686, or by email at or For a quick look at my work please go to

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