There is an old motel on Central Avenue — also known as Route 66 — in the more run down and picturesque area of Albuquerque, New Mexico that has become sort of a cheap long stay residence. There is all sorts of folk art on the exterior walls. If you take a few minutes to wander the grounds — that’s all it takes since it is an old fashioned motor court — there is no telling what you’ll stumble upon. One day, I was walking through the lot and happened upon a discarded pair of cowboy boots. I thought one or both of the boots might make a nice still life so I photographed them as I found them.
Since, the 2008 PAD is running smoothly, I’m digressing a little bit. This picture is from mid-2005. It was taken a musician Jonno Frishburg’s house. Jonno has been a mainstay in a number of regional Cajun bands. including the almost psychedelic Mamou and Charivari. He currently fronts his own band. Prior to the storm, he and his wife Maria used to host Sunday fiddle sessions at their home near City Park in New Orleans. It was just a friendly gathering of local musicians who enjoyed playing together.
In this picture, you can see Jonno in the background playing bass while some of his guests pick up their fiddles. As so often, this is just another available light photograph that is slightly blown out because it is so heavily back lighted.
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…