Ray Laskowitz

AΒ little bit about me. I’ve been photographing, editing, designing and even teaching a little bit over the past 44 years. My career has taken me to some interesting places, I’ve photographed some interesting faces and I’ve gotten into some fun spaces. Alright, alright. I’m not much of a poet. But, you get the point. Most of my work is known for its strong use of color and graphics. I believe that those who came before me — Ansel Adams and Gene Smith, in particular — would have used every post production tool available to them to make pictures that spoke using their vision. I do too. But, as the late great father of color photography Ernst Haas once said about the technology of his time, “that’s just stuff.” No matter what you do to the picture, no matter how you capture the picture, no matter what camera you use to do that; what really matters is the picture.

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114 Comments

  1. I’ve enjoyed some of your recent pictures about musicians. I myself am a Musician singer/songwriter and have enjoyed them. God bless, Domestic Monk.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello again! Thanks for following Onelifethislife. I really enjoy your photos. They are filled with color, emotion, inspiration and are composed very well. Thank for sharing the stories behind them as they bring the final touches to each photo. Wonderful, Wonderful Artistry!!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Let me know if you have any questions πŸ™‚

        and, again, no obligations – if you don’t feel like writing up a whole post with nominations and the like, you don’t have to!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You managed to do this a lot more simply than some. I think that I’ve got it. It’s a funny thing about no obligations. If you’re like me — and I suspect that you might be — you’re obligated because it’s the right thing. πŸ™‚

        Like

      3. Thanks; I try to intertwine accepting the award and still maintain the theme of my blog if I can!

        If you go to the blog on the cat, that I mentioned in my post (Hands on Bowie), he has a tab dedicated to the awards he receives. It could be a good option for you as your blog is so artistic?

        But, please don’t feel obligated – I know, easier said than done, but still…..:)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Ray,

    Totally agree with your views on creating a photo.

    Initially I had an impression that, there should be minimal post processing.

    But, Now I feel that, creating a picture shouldn’t end with only a click, right?

    Have a nice day.
    Sreejith.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sreejith,once upon a time I worked as a photojournalist. I would never do the things then, that I do to images now. OTH, probably the most famous photographer in the world was Ansel Adams. He created an entire system for making his final image look like the scene that he originally saw, which is something neither a camera, film or digital capture can do.

      Be well, Ray

      Like

      1. Hi Ray, Thanks for your time.

        I just googled “Ansel Adams”, and browsed through some of his works.

        I could feel the depth in his photos, so realistic.

        I totally agree with you, with all these digital technology we won’t be able to do this.

        Need a lot of things to learn to at least come up with some decent work.

        Thanks again.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi Sreejith, sorry for the lateness of my reply. Most of us think that Ansel Adams would probably be using all the digital tools available to him if he were alive today since he used all the wet darkroom tools available to him during his time.

        My best advice is two things. One, always practice. Try to take pictures every day. And, study the old masters. If you’d like some suggestion about who to look at please ask.

        All best, Ray

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hello Ray,

        Thanks a lot for taking your time and replying.

        I know I am just a beginner in this craft and certainly I would like to improve my skills in photography.

        Any advice from experienced hands like you, I will really welcome wholeheartedly, and try my best to practice it.

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    1. Thank you, Harold. I’m not sure how I came to you, but I really liked what I saw. I’ve been on my journey for a long time and I’m still traveling on. Thanks for stopping by and thanks for following Storyteller. Be well. Ray

      Like

  4. Really nice photography :))

    I am not a photographer neither know much about it but there are 2 kinds of photographers- one who takes good photos and one who makes good photos.
    You take as well as make lovely photos :))

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love the series on the dereliction of New Orleans. Reminds me a lot of Marchand and Meffre’s work in Detroit. Never ceases to amaze me how the US can let entire cities just die.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. It isn’t really all that intentional. I just photograph what is in front of me.

      Actually, now that we are 9 years on and Katrina is well behind us is we are in a bit of a boom. Even the oldest, most broken down neighborhoods are getting rehabbed.

      Like

    1. Thank you. I like nominations. And, this site isn’t THAT professional. I used participate. And, I’ll try again. But, when I switched to a self-hosted blog site something prevented me from actually doing it. Airdrops might have repaired that problem.

      BTW, if you’d like to see the more commercial site go to http://www.laskowitzpictures.com

      That’s the one that gets me work. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome. I’d love to see your professional site! Thanks for directing me to it. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your posts on this blog and look forward to seeing more. πŸ™‚

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      2. You’ve taken some phenomenal shots–very talented! I especially like the New Orleans photographs; you truly capture its essence. I’ve saved your commercial site so I can visit again! πŸ™‚

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  6. Thank you so much. Very kind and very, very humbling. πŸ™‚ As far as New Orleans pictures go, I’m more-or-less a location photographer. The more you stay in a place, the better you get to know it and its ebbs and flows. Its essence, as you call it. Pictures find you a little easier.

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    1. Jacob, thank you. But, I rarely do pro quid pro. When somebody asks me to do it, I never do it. I like work because I like the work, not because I need to do a favor for somebody. That sort of messes up the intent. Sorry.

      Like

  7. Hello Ray!
    My friend Christy told me all about you and I am already in love with your art. I hope you don’t mind if I stalk your pages a bit. I’m a person who is still trying to decide if I’m a writer who takes pictures or a photographer who writes. I’m always looking to learn from the best and it appears that Christy has steered me in the correct direction. I look forward to seeing, reading, and learning more.
    I was actually looking at your sites yesterday and your people photos are striking. I have never visited New Orleans, but probably won’t need to if I have your lovely photos to view.
    Thanks for listening to my rambling – you’ll see more of me πŸ˜‰
    Michelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Michelle. Yes, Christy mentioned you might reach out. πŸ™‚ If I can help you, please just ask. The question of writer or photographer is a pretty good one. I’d say that whatever makes you happiest is your direction. That doesn’t mean you can’t do both. I write in order to communicate. I photograph because I have to… Thanks for the kind words and you still need to come to New Orleans. You can’t taste, smell, hear or feel what it’s like to be in New Orleans. In fact, we came back after the storm because those were the things we missed. πŸ™‚ I’ll follow you on Twitter altho I rarely tweet anything different. Everything starts here. Or, on my website. Ray

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, Ray! New Orleans is definitely on my bucket list and has been for years. You make it look even more inviting.
        Thank you for being so kind and helpful. I have “puppy dog” tendencies when I find a kindred spirit, so I’ll try not to wear out my welcome.
        Have a great rest of the week!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I know what you mean. I’ve learned to respect the ‘no trespassing signs’ but will push the limits on railroad tracks and abandoned buildings. My husband has just learned to go along with it. When he sees what he calls my ‘picture taking face’ he knows to pull to the side of the road and that the pain will be over soon πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

  8. No trespassing signs are easy. No. Not them. If you read back far enough in Storyteller, you’ll see the day I wrote about the Desire neighborhood and where I was standing… on an un-remediated EPA Superfund Cleanup Site. No human should ever be there again. I should have known better. Most of it was fenced off with heavy gauge concertina wire like the kind you find on the edge of military bases or Federal prisons. When we have a lot of rain that cause the ground to flood, black toxic goop bubbles up in that place.

    The same thing with most of the Lower 9th Ward. Likely you saw that on CNN ten years ago. Some has been rebuilt, but 90% of it hasn’t. Much has returned to nature. That’s probably as it should be. It’s swamp bottom land. Some of the remaining streets are always wet. They are leaking from below. That also means that I run across all sorts of wild life. Snakes. Small alligators. Rodents.

    I doubt many visitors will ever see these places. There used to be a tour bus that took you through the Lower 9th, but I think that stopped.

    You have to understand, I come from a photojournalism background. I don’t think of myself as an artist. Most of what I photograph that matters to me has a story behind it. I rarely bring anyone with me. It’s hard enough watching my own back. BTW, walking is better than driving. You see much more. Photo tip 7,981,465. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi! I just nominated you for the Creative blogger award. I really like your blog and I think your blog is the most creative of them all πŸ™‚ Love all your photos and that you write about them! Hope you will take your time to answer the award, that would mean a lot! Wish you a good night πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hey Rey. I thank you for liking my blog. the content, photographs and artworks. But I wonder when you liked my Poems (balak- a Cebuano poetry), they were written in my dialect. I was confused if you understood the words? πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahh. HAhaha. Another piece of gratitude for the effort. πŸ™‚
        And I like all of your photographs, BTW. I even wanted to own a high definition camera so that I can own a Photography blog.

        P.S. (Mind me asking your nationality) ^^

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I try using Google translate and I laugh so hard. Reading the new text is so funny, it destroys my piece but as well as transform it into a funny translation.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. It works well enough to understand the meaning. For now, it’s the best I can do when people right in languages that I can’t read. Thanks, but it’s not the camera. It never is. I live in New Orleans. Most of the time.

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    1. Yeah, I really appreciate your interest in reading other’s piece with their language.
      And yeah, it’s not the camera, but I seldom to believe it will also enhance the photograph’s quality. πŸ™‚
      Thank you!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi Ray. Can I ask for help from you. I am still struggling hot to place a how do you call that picture or icon at the tab header. Like symbolizes your blog?

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m sorry. I don’t think I help further without knowing what your theme is. What you can see depends on your theme and how the administration page is organized. For me, its right where I said it is. You click on the word and it opens a pop up.

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  13. Hi Ray, thanks for wondering through my dusty of posts of long ago. I’m happy you took the time to do that, and also cringe a little bit at the thought. Sometimes I find it difficult to go back and look myself for some reason. Also, I’m enjoying your blog, photography…your art, very much. I like to observe and learn. Your philosophy on photography makes my heart soar. Thank you.
    Elisa

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi Ray,
    Like a magnet I was attracted to your post on Bley and Postmodern Jukebox. I was hooked. Had to have more. So Follow.
    Thank you for following my photography blog: http://throughharoldslens.com. I hope you enjoy your journey.
    To launch your travels, find a Country or find a Genre, β€œclick” and jump aboard. Or, here’s a few β€œQuick Links” to some of my favorites, from over 400 photographic posts, on Through Harold’s Lens:
    β€œShaken! Not Stirred”(Sweden)
    http://throughharoldslens.com/2013/09/13/shaken-not-stirred-european-tour/
    β€œMaiden Mild” (Poland)
 http://throughharoldslens.com/2013/06/12/maiden-mild-european-tour/
    β€œWhere Spirits Soar” (Chile)
    http://throughharoldslens.com/2014/01/25/where-spirits-flow-musicians-of-our-world/
    On behalf of the entire Creative Team at Through Harold’s Lens, my trusty sidekicks, Mr. Mirrorless Sony, Mr. SLR Nikon, his brother Mr. Pen Pal and myself, we wish you fun and safe travels.

    Best,
    Harold
    https://www.facebook.com/haroldmetcalfgreensr

    Liked by 1 person

  15. A really inspiring blog. It’s so rare nowadays to discover people who, apart from presenting their art, have something clever and interesting to say. You are definitely one of them, a true storyteller. Great respect for that. Thank you for reading my interviews, too πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  16. You have been a great help to me in terms of my writing and presentation. So, here I am writing to you, to seek your opinion, recently I decided to do a segregation of my work in the genres I like.
    1.) Travel & Photography (https://sphericalinsight.wordpress.com/)
    2.) Life & People (https://forlivinglive.wordpress.com/)
    3.) My Mystery & Suspense Books (https://suspenseofmystery.wordpress.com/).

    Could you please provide me your opinion and insights.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. It probably means that I’m just a little OCD. πŸ™‚ Seriously, most blogs only last a few months. Most don’t make it to the two year mark. It’s mostly about expectations. Some bloggers want big followings. Some want to market or sell something. Some are project-specific. Most people just give up.

    Storyteller has always been about the pictures and experimenting with them. Sometimes, I even teach a little. I have no big expectations.

    Like

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