Author: Ray Laskowitz

Once in a While


Every now and then I get really, really lucky. Yesterday morning was one of those times. The light. The color. The subject came together. In front of my face. Yes. The dog was with me. It was her walk. But, I’m not sure she saw this. It’s well above her normal point of view. It’s likely that she did. She sees everything. But, this isn’t one of “What the Dog Saw” series. This is what Ray saw. In the morning. Anyway. This picture is simple. See it. Shoot it. Process it. Bring the color up just a bit to keep the picture within the range of how I saw it. And, done. Happy week.

Sunday Black & White


Another Sunday experiment.  Once again, aside from making the original image in my normal way, all the rest of the work was done on my iPhone.  I used an app called Snapseed. Once it was completely stand alone and developed by a small company. It cost money. A few dollars, I think. Google bought them. Now the software is free. It’s a great photo manipulation tool. I don’t know if there will be future development or even support. But, for now it works great. Anyway. I converted the color capture to a black & white photograph. I added a little further manipulation to it and there you have it. I uploaded the picture from my phone to Storyteller. It’s as you see it. I was pleasantly surprised the first time that I did it. This time I wasn’t so surprised. I just did it. The process was as smooth as it could be. But. I’m not quiet ready to get rid of my cameras and computers just yet. The process, as easy to use as …

What The Dog Saw. Three.


Number three in an occasional series. What the dog saw. The dog and I have decided that walks are much better after a hard rain. The smells are better for her because the air is fresh. The colors are better for me because they are brighter and cleaner. She instinctively seems to know this. I had to figure it out. Luckily, this is the rainy season for all of us in South Louisiana. Sometimes it can be too much. Way too much. We saw that last week, upriver. Sometimes it can be just about right. Luckily, in New Orleans, it has been pretty good this summer.  We had some very hot days right at the start. I whined about them.  Since then, either the temperatures have cooled off a bit, or maybe I’ve just gotten used to them after five years of being back. I think it’s the latter because the average high temperatures have been the upper 80s to the lower 90s. When I’m out, I get sweaty because the humidity is so high, but I don’t …

Soul Survivor


So. One of you said yesterday’s picture was scary enough. Ha! This feels a little more scary to me. And, it’s within about five minutes walking distance from the house. The sign on the gate says plainly, “no dogs.” The dogs go there. No. They don’t do what you are thinking. I make sure of that. They just like to play hide and seek among the tombs. Sometimes, it seems as if they know who is buried in certain tombs. They also seem to have their favorites. Before you think we are the only rule breakers, they also have their favorite dog friends who they meet there. This is New Orleans. Dogs go to coffee shops. And, sit outside with their people. The picture. More experiments. I’m getting quicker at doing them. I think, the speed mostly because my ability to predict what an image will look and my muscle memory is improving. In case you are wondering why I’m going on about dogs, it’s National Dog Day.  There’s one now. She’s learning about old-fashioned …

Any Other Day


It still looks this way. Nothing has been done to this building since Hurricane Katrina flooded the neighborhood. Eleven years ago. That’s not to say the building was in good shape then. In fact, the entire corner had fallen on hard times well before the flood. Luckily for Bohn Motors, a well-known local car dealer, they’ve been on the Westbank for years. This building has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 2011. It was built in 1926. Rhodes Funeral Home bought it in 2005 for future development. Two weeks later the storm flooded the city. Redevelopment was scheduled to start in summer 2012. So far, nothing has happened.  Four years later. This is the place the Rhodes family said is the crossroads of New Orleans. So much for the crossroads, I guess. Despite many signs to the contrary, maybe New Orleans hasn’t really recovered yet. After the storm damage was assessed, the Urban League said it would take about eight years for the city to recover. I’ve learned a little bit about project …

The End of Time


Out there where the swamps meet the lakes it looks like this. Not exactly this way. I made this picture look this way. But, the trees are broken. Many are gone. The swamps are dead. The land is desolate. The way you might think that the end of time looks. Some of this is storm damage. Hurricane Katrina made landfall just a few miles from here. But, it’s been 11 years ago. Nature has a way of healing things. Especially nature’s own things. This is something different. Much worse. This is the result of land subsidence. This is the loss of our outlying land. And swamps. And, the merging of salt water with lake water. That brackish water is killing the plant life that isn’t used to it. That’s my simplistic and layman’s take on it. There are plenty of places to read more about it. One of the best is http://www.jrconline.org. It’s a science site. Not a political one. It doesn’t grind axes. That said, this place does make for some striking pictures. I’ve photographed the area mostly …

Deserted Cities


“Upon this street where time has died. The golden treat you never tried. In times of old, in days gone by. If I could catch your dancing eye. It was on the way, On the road to dreams, yeah. Now my heart’s drowned in no love streams, yeah. The street is cold, its trees are gone. The story’s told the dark has won. Once we set sail to catch a star. We had to fail, it was too far. “ — Deserted Cities of the Heart,  Jack Bruce & Pete Brown/Cream 1968 I have no idea how this song got into my head. But, it seemed to fit the picture. Sorta. or, the picture fit the song. One or the other. I’m getting into my storm mental zone. I didn’t mean to, but things have a way of happening. A lot of what I post this week will refer to Hurricane Katrina. In some way. All of the work will be heavily post produced. Because. When I started to work through my photo archives after I returned to New Orleans most of the slide film …