Garden of Prayer.

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ew Orleanians understand death. We mourn and we celebrate. We actually like our cemeteries. Personally, I like the older funky ones.

I like cemeteries like this one that is located in the middle of a working class neighborhood. It’s a Jewish cemetery called, Garden of Prayer. It’s fairly old.

I’ve roamed around the city enough to know most of the cemeteries. I like all of them for different reasons. One of my favorites is Holt, near Delgado Community College. It’s sort of a potters field.

Another aspect of our culture is how people are remembered. We mourn and then celebrate with our jazz funerals. Usually, the more well known in the community the deceased is the bigger the second line, which is really what a jazz funeral is.

I had to chuckle at one tourist’s online request. She wanted to know how she could plan to attend a jazz funerals since she was coming from out of town for a visit. The snarky answer was “die.”

Some people were more helpful than others, but unless you are plugged into the city culture bearers the only other way is to read the death notices in the newspaper.

If you’re lucky enough to attend one and you are on a trip for somewhere else, just follow the locals and what we do. These events can be chaotic so be prepared for that.

T

he top photograph had kind of a quirky approach to post production.

When I worked on it earlier, I made it very golden as if I made it during golden hour.

That fell under the heading of, “What was I thinking?” A lot of things that I do fall under that.

So, this time around I brought it back to its original coloring. That took more work that you would think.

The bottom picture ws simple. I just left alone, possibly enhancing the color a bit. I made it in 2019 so you can’t expect me to recall exactly what I did.

I believe that photographs like that are more long the line of photojournalism so I don’t like to tinker very much.

Second lining to honor Chef. Leah Chase.


Trumpet player at rest.

T

his is another of those “found” pictures. I know where I made it. I have no idea why I did. Now that I see it, I like it.

Maybe , it’s incompetence.

Maybe I’m just as incompetent as the next guy. I’m starting to think that anything good that I’ve ever done was just luck.

Or, it come be two other issues. Maybe I just wasn’t meant for these times. Or, maybe people who make things just don’t think.

It started last night. I wan’t to “get” an app on my Apple smartphone. I found it. I was ready to download. But, first I had to hit this little bitty side tab twice. I tried every which way. I even just held my finger there and moved it up and down.

No joy.

I gave up. This stuff is supposed to make it easier, not harder.

Then, comes this computer that I’m working on as I write to you. First, it was mud slow. I rebooted it. That sped it up.

That was yesterday. Today, most of the apps wouldn’t open. Reboot again. Finally. Stuff works.

So. You get to look at a photograph.

T

here is a problem in this picture that I can’t seem to repair.

See that arm?

The color of the entire arm is the lightest brown, Look at the hand and the forearm. This guy must have been working on a car before he went to the second line.

I doubt that he was, but look at him.

I thought I had moved the color closer together in OnOne, But, when the picture arrived here, the darkened color returned.

My only theory is that whenWordpress did it’s final compression the mid tones were removed leaving only the dark tones.

This usually happens in light colors, but as I said on the other side, I wasn’t meant for these times.


On a summer day.

T

echnology is never my friend. We’ve long had an Audible account. I thought I might like to listen to a book while I work.

After all, podcasts and a book being read is about the same thing. Along comes Apple. Between their normally high rate of paranoia and the slowness of their server I’m almost done working on the computer.

Gee, thanks a lot Apple.

I suppose for me, technology is disappointing. It’s always oversold. It doesn’t deliver what the provider said that it would.

WordPress is a case in point. I write something complaining about it and I receive replies either in the comments or in email about how much the block system sucks. I’ve managed to make it work for me, but this blog is simply designed.

Every time they make a change I start looking at alternatives.

Back to Apple. Okay, now Audible is downloaded and ready to go, except…

Apple wants me to subscribe. I already subscribe. There is absolutely no place to enter my credentials without paying for a new subscription. Here’s another app that is going bye-bye.

Oh, the picture. I’ll discuss it on the other side since their is almost no technical issues.

A

s I wrote on the other side, there is no technology to discuss.

I will say that for the first time ever, my photograph didn’t need any kind of help in post production.

Now, here’s the interesting thing. Amazon found it along with a small section from the take in which I made the image.

For the life of me, I cannot remember where or when I made the picture.

It must be age.

I always remember my pictures, and probably yours. I have a very good visual memory.

Oh. I still wanted to listen to a book. So, I clicked on the app on my phone. I’m listening to a Stephen King book.


Not easy.

S

ometimes… you just never know. A terrible thing happened in Albuquerque, New Mexico yesterday morning. A balloon carrying five people hit a power line, started to dip, hit it again catching on fire and fell to earth killing all five people on board.

At the time that I wrote this, families had not been notified. The passengers and pilot were ages 40 to 60. The balloon crashed at the corner of Central (Route 66) and Unser (Those Unsers of automotive racing fame).

This saddens me because after all the sickness, pain and uncertainty of the past 18 months, I’m willing bet that these people were out just having fun.

Remember fun?

May they all rest in peace.


One night, lonely.

O

nce, when I used to live in Asia, I traveled around the world to Denmark. I left Singapore exhausted and beaten down by a very rough press check.

My press checks were never rough. I know enough color theory and the art of making compromises when I couldn’t manage everything on the page the way I wanted.

We printed either 8, 12, or 16 pages to view. Or, we printed a certain number of pages at the same time so that when they were folded and trimmed they formed a section of a book. The trick is to make sure the color was what you wanted on, let’s say page one and page eight.

This press check was grueling because it was a co-production with a small sports agency based in New York. They thought we could print one of those big pages, send it to New York where they could make changes, maybe even substituting pictures.

Nonsense.

We’d have been printing the book for a month. Normally, that’s about a three day job.

So.

I went forward without sending them anything. My press, my call. I said they should call me in a couple of days.

When are you going to send the first pages they asked? The book is done I replied. The yelling started. The screaming started. I just listened. Finally, they settled down. I asked if they were done. I also said that if they started in again, I’d dump the whole thing in The Sea of China.

They threatened to call my boss, not realizing that I didn’t have a direct boss. But, I did have a president. Did they actually think that I’d go off half cocked with out making sure my back was covered.

Boy. This is a long set up.

I left Singapore for Denmark. We flew to Switzerland and then to Denmark. When we landed in Switzerland the flight attendant apologized, saying that she tried to wake me, but I was in such a deep sleep that she decided to let me sleep. Good call. She found me something for me to eat while we were on the ground.

When I finally arrived at what would now be called an Air BnB, I was about dead. I turned on the television to keep me company. The only channel that I could understand was a music channel.

I saw and heard it at about the same time.

There was the lead singer wearing long dreads, and leather fringe jacket. He was jumping around and looking happy. It woke me up.

The singer was Adam Durwitz. The band was Counting Crows. The song was Mr. Jones. You’d have think back to the mid-1990s to remember it. It was a huge hit from their first album. I still listen it to this day.

Finally.

S

o, that was a long story wasn’t it?

Just as well.

This side, the technical side won’t be near as long.

I saw the light from my studio. I was a little late. So, I did what I could.

I went to my go to location and started making pictures.

When I started looking at them while I was editing I realized that I didn’t know what was doing.

Figures.

This morning I couldn’t make an espresso to save my life.

I dropped the capsule on the floor. I picked up and dropped it again.

The basket was full so I emptied it into small trash can where we put recyclables. They fell on the floor.

I washed the basket.

I added more water. While I was pouring it into the machine the hatch that covers the water fell back in place. The water flowed all over the counter.

In what world do I think that I can make pictures?

Anyway.

I did some post production magic and made something that is intriguing.

At least I managed to repair all of the noise that was in the sky.

Now, do you want me to tell you about making breakfast?

Sheesh.


Drawbridge.

A

ccording to The Washington Post, The President just said that Congress had reach a bi-partisan agreement on the infrastructure bill. All I can say is that is about damn time.

If ever there was a city in need of infrastructure repair it’s New Orleans.

You are looking at one of two drawbridges that cross the Intracoastal Waterway connecting the rest of the city to the Lower 9th Ward and locations further downriver.

Look at it. At the time when I made this picture it had been painted and it’s already rusty.

There are really three points made in this picture. Both drawbridges should be replaced with something modern. The Intracoastal Waterway — known locally as MR-GO — should be closed because it brought the water from everywhere that destroyed the Lower 9th Ward.

Finally, see that concrete structure on the right side of the picture? That’s the new levee built after the old one was broken in many places allowing the water from MR-GO to food and destroyed the Lower 9th Ward.

Now, about the potholes in my street.

O

nce again WordPress has made it way too hard to do anything with this block system. It will be the thing that finally drives me away.

I’m sure that I did it. At least what those fine morons at WordPress will claim.

Yes, WordPress if you are reading, I just called you morons. I’m sorry if I offend anybody with this next line, but leave the fucking thing alone.

They created some way of trapping copy with a blue box. You cannot edit anything in the box. If you hit the delete key, the paragraph is removed. The box continues to move upward deleting and deleting.

The only work around that I could figure out is to go back to a saved draft and use that.

Of course, this means all of the categories and tags are removed. If you schedule posts as I do, that is removed as well.

Moving is looking better and better.

Life is way too short.


Deep and dark.

N

ot every street in The French Quarter is brightly lighted with shops, stores, clubs and bars beckoning to passersby.

A large part of the Quarter is residential or old work spaces converted into some kind of loft or apartments.

Unless you are very lucky you usually can’t park your car near your destination so you find parking space and walk. Or, you can take the streetcar from our neighborhood, ride it to Canal Street and walk.

One way or another you are going to pass through darkened neighborhoods so you might as well do something productive as you look over your shoulder or scan the shadows.

That’s what I did.

I made this picture on the way to someplace else. I pressed the button and keep going. A friend of mine calls this, “Shoot and scoot.” I’d prefer not to use the word, “Shoot,” during these very violent days.

One statistic that concerns me is that over a two year period dating back to 2019 is we are up by 54% just in shootings. That’s a huge number.

Anyway.

This picture is on the very edge of impossible. I’ll tell you more about on the other side.

Even though it’s hidden in shadows, I could see the there are a number of repairs using different techniques from different eras. That suggests that this building was never abandoned.

It may even be an original French built structure, which makes it very old since most of The French Quarter is Spanish, who rebuilt the Quarter after a massive fire.

That’s the story so far.

W

hen I wrote that this picture is on the edge of impossible, I meant it.

The original exposure was underexposed as you might guess.

Strangely, the image is very sharp and in focus.

Luckily, I was able to open up the image even beyond this point. I had to be careful because if I opened up the shadows the night sky became striated and noisy.

I could have made a faux HDR and tried to create what looks like different exposures and blended them together, but I thought this picture was on that edge.

Impossible.

So, I worked very carefully and came to this place.

If you noticed, I’ve been working more and more to the dark side of subjects.

That doesn’t mean anything about me on a personal level. I’m not feeling dark. I’m just intrigued with this color and light palette.


New Mexico in a nutshell.

T

hey say that Mercury passed through its retrograde phase. Things should get and feel better. I’m don’t know what I think about astrology. There may be something to it. There might not.

But, I’ll tell you this. I feel better today than I have in a long time. I seem to have passed through a couple of stages of grief.

I’ll miss that dog for a long time, maybe forever, but it doesn’t feel like something is hammering in my head and making my eyes leak.

So.

This photograph. It was lost. I found it in the archives. It is New Mexico. It’s not what we think of when we think of the state.

F

irst, I want to talk about WordPress. I receive emails about their updates.

I begged them not to keep changing things. They didn’t listen.

This blog was just hell to assemble.

Columns duplicated themselves and were buried, making it impossible to create a paragraph.

Don’t get me started on predictive writing. Just don’t.

W

e tend to thing of New Mexico as being The Land of Enchantment because of the food, the festivals, the American Indians (Yes, that’s what they want to be called. At least in New Mexico.), the light, the high desert, the art, the artists, the indigenous jewelry and the list goes on.

We don’t think of the car culture which is mostly made up of lowriders, restored classic cars, and hot rods. I think they are wonderful, all of them.

It’s fun to photograph them because the owners are very proud of them. They’ll talk about their car for hours. They’ll pose and take direction.

A

nd, the balloons. You already know about the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta if you’ve been reading Storyteller for any length of time.

Some 900 balloons and crews come from all over the world to show and compete with their balloons. I attended almost every year that I lived in the state.

Oh yeah. Balloons make me smile.

T

here is a lot of work going on in both photographs. Both have different levels of a glow filter added to them.

The top picture is intentionally very contrasty. I did that to emphasize the graphic shapes around the truck.

The balloon picture has a couple of things going on. First, I reduced the structure filter by 100% which makes the sky soft and allows the balloon to pop out of it.

I made the balloon a graphic shape using a combination of softening and glow filters.

Then I published them on Storyteller after fighting with the %&$*& block system.


In City Park, New Orleans.

T

his is the backside of City Park in New Orleans. For the life of me I cannot remember why or when I made this picture.

It just turned up in my iPhotos files.

But, wow, do I like it.

The picture almost came out of the archives just about the way that you see it. Of course, I did a little work which I’ll discuss on the other side.

Apparently, the building was a maintenance shed. There were a few buildings a couple hundred yards away. I once used them as a location for a commissioned shoot. I’m glad that I did because the next time I went to the area they had been torn down.

That’s what’s happening in New Orleans these days. After Hurricane Katrina there were over 60,000 abandoned and destroyed buildings in the city. Between two mayors and their administrations about 30,000 buildings were torn down. There are a lot of buildings remaining.

The city government celebrates each building that is demolished, yet violent crime can’t be curbed. In fact, it’s getting worse to the point of breaking records. The potholes aren’t fixed. Parts of the city flood every time there is rain. The power goes out when two squirrels are on the line at the same time.

It seems to me that the priorities are skewed.

My friend was murdered. Other people’s friends and families have been murdered or mugged or had their cars hijacked.

Apparently, those crimes are trending upward throughout the country. There are all kind of theories about why this is happening. I’d love to tell you what I think but that’s well above my pay grade.

Let’s just say that we are all lockdown addled.

My fear is that we are turning into the wild west. It’s already happened in The French Quarter. A drunk guy broke into a front door, walked into the house where the owner shot and killed him. The owner was exonerated.

That’s no way to live.

In Texas you can walk around with a gun without weapons training. In Florida you can shoot somebody if they threaten you. That’s called, “The stand your ground law.” It was tested a few years ago. The shooter was cleared of any crime.

Flash forward to a few years in the future. You already know what I could write.

This won’t end well.

H

ere’s the story. The picture came out of the camera just about the way you see it.

The image didn’t take much post production. I’m not sure why.

My little knowledge of color theory tells me that the almost blue hour gray skies reflected blue light every where, especially in shadows.

Or, I could have accidentally reset the camera.

It’s likely that’s what happened.

None of that matters.

The resulting picture is what matters. And, how you and I feel about it.

I really like this picture. It may end up being a hero picture on my website.

I’ve located a number of dark and mysterious pictures in my archives. A post a lot of them on my Instagram feed.

I think that I’ve built enough of an archive that I can build a portfolio page with them.

And, speaking of websites… I’ve wavered again. I work with a number of public relations and marketing people.

When I told them how many followers I have on Storyteller, they told me that I was crazy to leave my community behind even if there are a lot of ghost followers because you never know.

“You never know” became a reality when a blogger who follows Storyteller, but one that I don’t know, reblogged about five posts. I’ll have to look at his readership, but anything is good.

Right?