This ties New Orleans to Asia. At least it does in my mind. When I evacuated from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina I decided that a good place to re-locate temporarily might be Lake Charles, Louisiana.
I found a small apartment and started to settle in, when along came Hurricane Rita. Once again, I evactuated. This time, to Mountain Home, Arkansas. When I arrived there, I had an email from my editor at Lonely Planet Images, who asked me to go to Beijing, China to photograph a book. Even though I was more-or-less a refugee, I agreed. I left most of my stuff in a Best Western motel that the Red Cross was paying for, kenneled my dog and went to China which provided me with a break from all that storm stuff.
One of the subjects, LPI and just about everybody else seems to be interested in is street food. In Beijing, it has been regulated and cleaned up. It is located in one place which was not far from
my hotel. The various food stands offered some of the best, freshest and tastiest examples of what I call people’s food. Dumplings, fried vegetables, soup, different kinds of meats.
Oh yeah. Available light. F8 and be there.
Every place has it own form of local art. In New Mexico there are a number of artisan tile makers.
In this case, a little business just got much bigger as the guys who actually own the business and are doing the work, won a contract from the city to design, hand fire and install a mosaic that is located on a bi-level park wall. Once they light it, people should be able to see it from downtown at night. I’m not sure they’ll see much detail, but, they will see the brightly colored wall from that distance. At any rate, I’ll be following this guys off and on for a while.
There’s not much to this picture. F8 and be there. Or, I tried to capture the “decisive moment” as Cartier-Bresson used to say. Oh, and I shot from a slightly different angle. At the time, there wasn’t much of the art to see.
After finally uploading PAD 2008 as continuous, I can move on to work that I’ve been doing a little more recently. Assuming that a Chili is a vegetable, may headline is correct. In this case, it’s been drying for a while in New Mexico’s thin, dry air. And, unlike the most popular version, it’s red not green.
It’s a simply produced image. A little reflected strobe, a dark bowl that has reflecting, settings that make the strobe a very weak fill light and there you have it.
Simplicity is sometimes its own reward.
I thought that I would make a change in my blog today. Rather then post every image that I produced on PAD 2008, I thought I would just add a slide show since posting one picture every day would take as long to do as it took to photograph the project. But, that won’t happen today. It’s easy enough to upload a SMALL slide show. But, I’m talking about 365 pictures. Uploading that group of images has already taken 3 hours and I’m not sure how many images have really been uploaded.
So, for today, a picture from Hong Kong. It is one of my more painterly efforts. No, it is not the ubiquitous junk that you see in almost every Hong Kong image as an icon picture. This is a new junk. It is really a small, five star floating restaurant that leaves from Tsim Sha Tsui on the Kowloon side of the Victoria Harbor and drifts around the harbor while the diners eat very well prepared dinners and look at the city at night.
The predicted high today is 92 degrees. It’s only the first week of May. We haven’t had very much rain to speak of. In some areas, rain fall is under80% of normal rain fall. Granted, we live in the high desert. But, it’s a little too hot, a little too early. And, it’s way too dry… even for here. It guess that it’s time to shift from spring time pictures to something that reflects accurately the coming summer. Hot. Hotter. And, dry. These pictures really need to be about something that readers can relate to.
One of my goals when I make travel images is to try to instill a sense of “being there,” or “what is it like to…” I try to do that with my PAD images as well. When I was a young child, my parents took us on a lot of road and train trips. There is a certain feeling that I get as an adult when I travel on interstates or even some back roads, even if it’s only for a short trip. Call it wistfulness, call it nostalgia. But, I get it.
This picture was made at Route 66 Casino, about 15 miles west of Albuquerque, New Mexico on I 40. To my way of thinking, even though it is fairly new location with new signs and branding, at arrow pointing into the ground — implying “this is the place” — is a throwback to all of the old signs that you see along remnants of Route 66. A little low winter light helps too.
There is a lot to say about baseball. For one thing, plenty of my pictures a day come from local games. But more importantly, baseball in it’s purest form is can be a metaphor for life. Look at this picture. Isn’t this what baseball is supposed to be about? Isn’t the passing of something from father to son a huge part of life? Doesn’t it provide a foundation for when the wind of changes shift. Wait. Bob Dylan wrote the last line. Credit where credit is due and all of that.
Simply put, this is a picture of a mid-summer night’s perfection. At least, to me it is…
I was listening to a little bit of Jazzfest from New Orleans yesterday via the internet on NOLA.com. I used to live in New Orleans prior to the storm, which is what we call Hurricane Katrina. It made me a little nostalgic. I started thinking about what it was like to live there and how much I liked it and how much I miss it… sometimes. As time passes, I find myself missing it less and less. That’s the way of time, I think. The picture I decided to post today was my last serious picture from New Orleans. I made it in July 2005 at the jazz funeral and second line parade of Tootie Montana, the Chief of Chiefs of all the Mardi Gras Indians. This man is called a spyboy and is part of the Indian culture. He is singing a spiritual song called “Golden Crown.” What’s interesting about this picture is how I made it. I like to shoot “from the inside out,” meaning I like to get in the middle of the action rather then stand on the sidelines. Because this is a cultural event, the Indians would dance and sort of push me out of their circle. I would work myself back in. They’d push me out. Back I’d come. Everything was fine. They knew that I understood and I knew that they understood. Besides, Tootie’s nephew, Donald lived only a few doors down from me. Now, he’s the Chief of Chiefs.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase that getting to the heart of something is like peeling an onion. Sometimes, it’s just not that hard. I was unpacking some groceries when an onion fell out of the bag and bounced on the floor. Off came the outer skin. I picked it up and thought, ” ah ha, here’s a subject for my daily shot.” Oddly, it didn’t break, but came off the onion in one long piece. It reminded me that even though most things worth pursuing need a lot of work and practice and more practice and… some times, you just get lucky.