G

oing where the sun keeps shining through the pouring rain. That’s what the song says. That’s what it felt like on many days out there in the high desert.

This is the other end of Central Avenue, Route 66. In Albuquerque. It is a business district. When I lived there two old school camera shops were within short walking distance. One kept shrinking but still exists. The other went out of business a few years after I left. I had nothing to do with that. I swear.

The light of New Mexico draws many artists to the state. Like this. Light that I had to tune down in order for it to make sense.

I may have made a mistake in doing that because it’s been a long time since I saw that light. My mind is playing tricks on me.

Hey! What was I doing again?

This is actually a picture a day image. I used to pick good times of day to look around. That increased the chance of what I call photographer’s luck.

That’s really luck that you make yourself, usually by walking outside of your door and taking a look around. Or, by using bad weather to make better pictures. And, by standing in front of better stuff.

That’s all I know. And, that’s really all you need to know about the philosophy of making photographs.

T

his is a drive through kind of picture. You can tell because a normally straightly aligned street is tilting to the left.

That’s because I put my camera on the dashboard and let it do it’s thing.

It did its thing, alright. I’m lucky this picture exists. It set the F stop at 1.8.

Huh?

Something like this should be at least f 11. Maybe even a smaller aperture.

With such a gross over exposure I’m lucky that I could fix in post production.

There shouldn’t have been enough data in the file to produce any kind of image.

Let this be a lesson to you. Check everything. Control your camera. Don’t let your camera control you.


O

ne of the benefits of having software finding old files is that they are almost new to me, and certainly to you.

I made this picture on Memorial Day 2011 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

No worries. To me this is just about the picture, nothing more.But I do want to tell you about what I think is a very cool tradition.

Yes. Memorial Day still means what it should mean to the rest of the country. We honor our war dead. The troops that gave their all. The ones who never came home.

But, New Mexicans do something different.

They bring a blanket and a picnic and they sit near the grave of their loved on and enjoy a meal with them. There are toasts and offerings and prayers.

There is one thing which makes New Mexicans like New Orleanians. As I walked around photographing — and you know me, I want people in my pictures — they would ask me to eat with them.

I think refusing a small bite would dishonor both the living and the dead. So, I ate with whoever I photographed. Besides, we got to know each other. And, they were able to enjoy a few pictures that I sent to them.

T

his photograph was made with a Canon G 11. It was my picture a day camera. It was a great little camera. I wore it out. It did everything that I wanted it to do.

Many pixel peepers (folks that go too far in their technical evaluations) say that cameras like this one are not good for much more than just snapshots.

Does this picture look like a snapshot?

Besides, these days most clients want images for online projects. The few who want images for paper uses aren’t using them much bigger than a magazine cover. A camera with a good sensor and processor, no matter it’s classification, is just fine.

That’s the real world.


T

he road. It may come soon enough. Oh, I’m not thinking about traveling for work. There is no work. I just need to be away from this place for a while. Or, forever.

I’m going talk about Portia, my friend who was murdered a couple of days ago. But, first, a little bit about this picture.

It’s pure art. Art that was made in the camera. Art, that for me, symbolizes travel. A storm is brewing. Cars and trucks are racing through the low light. The land seems to be glowing.

That’s the picture.

This is about a murder.

Portia was stabbed to death a few days ago. The story remains at the top of our local media, both print and broadcast.

Because.

Portia was a physical therapist who worked with the elderly all over the state. She went wherever she was needed.

Portia was also a drummer. She could be found in drum circles playing at Congo Square. She could be found playing drums on second lines.

The police chief said it hurts so badly because she could have been his mother. He also said that we are in the longest sustained period of violent crime since the weeks following Hurricane Katrina.

Those of you who have been thinking of coming to New Orleans, don’t. It’s hot and humid as hell already. Violent crime is through the roof. And, we are still opening up. Oh yeah, hurricane season just started. A season in which all reliable sources will be busy and violent.

Stay safe.

P

ictures like this one are mostly about seeing and adjusting your camera so you can make the picture you had in mind.

In this case, because being out on the road is about pure motion, I wanted the picture to reflect that.

I’m guessing, but it’s a very educated guess, that I made this picture at f 5.6 @ 1/2 second, with a 20 mm lens.

I hand held the camera because I wanted my natural body motion to help the picture. And, because I’m lazy.

Tripod? We don’t need no stinkin’ tripod.

And, no. This wasn’t a drive by or drive through shot. The picture was made on the side of a service road.

The color was not enhanced. Sometimes this is what you get with a relatively slow motion exposure at certain times of day.


W

hen we were getting ready to leave New Mexico we did a thing that some New Mexican like to do best. We went cruising. We weren’t showing off our cars. We were looking for our last pictures.

And, we ate dinner at all of our favorite places. We went to places like Garcias, The Frontier and Sadies. If you know Albuquerque, you know these places. If you watched Breaking Bad, you know some of them.

This picture was made on Central Avenue as it heads out of town toward the West. You might know it as Route 66. We, however, were headed east so I could catch the blue hour with some traffic on the street. This is about the location from which the late, great, photographer Ernst Haas made one of his very famous photographs.

You know what this driving around really was, don’t you? We were fixing things in our minds knowing we wouldn’t be back for a long time. We were making nostalgia.

I’m glad we did it. After a year like the last one when we didn’t move around at all, those memories helped our travel jones.

I’m sure you do things like that too.

What are they? When do you do them?

N

o joy yet. These templates are as twitchy as ever.

But, that’s not what I want to talk about, so goodbye bad code.

Instead, let’s discuss the picture.

It’s a drive by, or drive through. It helps to have a co-pilot who knows my moves. I just talk about the objective and the lane and the only thing I worry about from that point is making pictures.

I typically like to meter from a middle highlight like the back of that silver Jaguar. Get that close and everything falls into place.

Of course, there is work to do in post production because fine tuning is needed in a lot of little points of the picture.

That kind of good work is worth it in the end.


Blue. My picture. Joni Mitchell’s song. My eyes. The sky on a sunny day. A clear lake. The ocean away from land.

I made this picture in New Mexico. Older pictures keep resurfacing on Amazon Pictures. They are pictures that I’ve forgotten about. Pictures that have never been seen by anybody. Pictures that were “lost.”

So.

Lucky you. You get to see them before anybody else.

I’m not sure what these desert flowers are called. They come out in late spring and stay for the summer.

Once, when I could actually crawl around on the ground and get back up without aid, I used to make pictures like this with a DSLR camera. Those days are gone.

There is a song in which one line says that we don’t know how much we would lose. Even though I think this picture is happy, the day is sad.

Yesterday, I read a quick two inch story about somebody getting killed in New Orleans. I didn’t think much about it because rarely does a day go by that somebody doesn’t die by violent means.

We were watching the 10 PM News. The murder was across the street from my old house. Uh oh. A woman was killed. My oldest friend in New Orleans. She was stabbed to death as she was walking to her car to go to work, by a guy who was stealing it.

Rest in Peace, Portia.

June is starting out like a hellhound on my trail. A dog, and a person died. Makes me wonder what’s next.

This column is going to be more of a rant.

Sorry.

WordPress is running terribly. Yesterday, I blamed it on the huge internet outage.

Today, it’s on WordPress.

There is still no caption line. Worse, making this two column alignment took an act of God.

I’m not sure what it was doing, but the software was stacking column on top of column. The paragraph template didn’t know where to go.

It turned out that pressing the column template once dropped six templates on top of each other.

Leave well enough alone. The block system is bad enough without WordPress making it “better” every time the programers think about it.


Apparently, that huge internet outage affected WordPress since I can’t seem to organize anything this morning after not be able to even logon to the site.

So.

I’m late. Late to posting. Late to the party. Late for the sky.

Anyway.

I was going to say that there will be some changes made. That’s song lyrics, but for the life of me I can’t remember which one.

Timing is everything. A website in a box company sent me an email yesterday. They’ve imrpoved everything. Even their best plan is half of what WordPress charges me. If I wave one of my degrees around I can get a 50% discount off of that.

Since I’m semi-business driven this all sounds good. Still one problem remains. I cannot take all of you with me simply by transferring my reader list. The only way to do it is to transfer you by hand. I think we’ve discussed this in the past.

The good news is that even though I have a large group of followers, the real readers list is about three percent of that. I can hand entire that by email.

It’s a lot of work but I was just reading a nice article about making passive income. Once you get the basic work done you might earn some money. But, the basic work is really work and time consuming. You just have to decide if it’s worth it.

It’s worth it.

The picture. It’s just another of those that I made when I could start seeing again. Not much to it, just a lot of detail. Enjoy.


The pain remains. But, the shock is passing. I took out the trash and actually saw pictures. That’s a great change from not being able to see anything at all for the past few days.

I even had the idea to experiment with the pictures instead of staring dead eyed at the television watching who knows what or where.

That’s a step.

Right?

I think whatever I photograph and work with must be bright and colorful.

I like muted color, but now is not that time.

I’ll tell you why.

The rainbow bridge is why.

A number of my real world friends who communicate with me via Facebook were talking about that.

I offhandedly and kindling remarked that in order for Sophie Rose to meet me there assumes that I would be headed to heaven which I didn’t think was happening.

Then, I thought that I do want to see her again and her predecessor, the late Debbie.

So, clean up time.

I still don’t exactly know what that means. I’ll figure it out.

Notice? No caption? The fine folks at WordPress changed something again.

I wish that they would work on something else.

Oh, they are. They are teaching classes on how to make WordPress blogs earn money for the blogger.

Of course, first they are earning money for themselves.

The courses are $25, which is half off. $50? Really? There are plenty of free YouTube offerings that are probably a lot better structured.

Anyway.

This image is made of three different but similar images. They are layered and adjusted. I did most of the heavy lifting in Snapseed and finished it in OnOne.


John Lennon once called times like these clean up times. And, so they shall be. But, first I want to thank every one of you who reached out to me about the passing of Sophie Rose. It means more to me than I can say. I appreciate each and every one of you.

I will miss her more than you can know. Even just writing these few words brings that sting to my eyes.

As someone very dear to me said, “You can have until the start of the week to languish, then it’s time to pull on your pants and get to work.” The last time I heard that was after Hurricane Katrina struck and the late great chef, Leah Chase said the same thing about rebuilding the city.

They are both right.

So, was Lennon.

I don’t know what that means for Storyteller. I don’t even know what it means for my photography. I do know that it will be very hard looking for the “little pictures’ I used to make with Sophie Rose. I also know that second line and Black Masking Indian photography is a thing of the past. My illnesses won’t let me work in the middle of large disorganized crowds. That probably means Mardi Gras photography is done as well.

Worse.

Music hurts me now. I’ve always found solace in music. Now even the screaming guitar of Jimi Hendrix brings tears to my eyes. I don’t know why.

So.

I carry on. I’ll make needed and necessary changes to this blog. To my work. To my life. And, how I look at things.

And, one day.


Is this the dream?

The dream returned. This picture could have been part of it, but I can’t remember.

What I do remember was walking towards Long Beach but ending up in a broken down place like New Orleans.

I bought a house. It was huge house. It was ancient. I mostly lived in the back of it where the kitchen, a couple of bedrooms and a sitting room was located. In many ways that’s how I lived in my first New Orleans house which was built in 1834. It was too big for me, but it was a great deal.

This dream house wasn’t like that real one. This was huge. A lot of it was falling down. It was also much older. It had broken down fireplaces throughout the house. I dug down into one of them which was about three times the size of a normal fireplace and found a tunnel that lead underground to the back of the house. It was some kind of commercial production building that was mostly hidden.

Some friends were helping me work on it. All of us kept finding weird things throughout the house. As we were coming out of the industrial fireplace a couple of people were walking by.

We asked them what they knew about the history of my house. Neither of them wanted to talk about it, but they suggested that I talk to the owner of the “food store” that was across the street.

All the owner would say that was my house had “bad juju” and that I should abandon it and find something else.

What the hell kind of dreams am I having? Everything I pass through or live in is broken down, spent and abandoned.

What is my brain telling me?

I’m not sure that I want to know.

I’m not sure if this picture was part of my always weird dreams, but it fits in very nicely.

It’s really just a simple picture of a tree in a forest. It’s not layered although I tried. Layering just never worked.

Instead, I used different filters in On One.

I played with them until I made a picture that I liked. That took endless moves because every time I got close, I went too far or didn’t like the result.

Finally, I stumbled on this version which was nothing like I intended but caught my eye.

I finished it and you lucky folks are seeing it.