New Orleans is full of churches. All kinds of churches. But, mainly Catholic churches. Many of them have been closed, or are for sale. As the population of the city declined there is no need for so many churches. Then, along came Katrina and the population dropped substantially. So, even more churches were closed. They are all maintained and look pretty good. As you know, I like to poke around old and abandoned things. I was wandering around and I found this one. It is St. Mary’s Assumption Church. It was built in 1860, for a growing German population in the Lower Garden District of  New Orleans, across the street from St. Alphonsus Church which was built the same time for a swelling Irish Population. Sheesh. These people never get together. St. Mary’s Assumption was damaged by Hurricane Betsy and almost torn down and more heavily damaged by Katrina. Yet, it still stands. As an aside, writer Anne Rice renewed her wedding vows there. And, after I “discovered” this place, I was talking with a friend’s father who told me that this was his family’s church and that he attended school there.

A note about my discoveries. I find places that have been around for decades or centuries. I think I’ve actually found some unknown thing. Silly me.

So. The picture. It was a pretty simple exposure on which I used a lot of post production tools. Which ones. I forget. Hard to keep these things straight.

Well. The subject is the same as the last few days posts. Another picture of a county fair. Yes. Again. But, the post production is very different. I can’t even remember what I did to this picture. But, you have to admit that it’s not my usual style or color palette.

Okay. Now I’m back from my departure into the real world. Back to the world of experimentation and some kind of an attempt at art. So. This is Victoria Harbor which is a major shipping lane and separates Hong Kong Island and Kowloon and the rest of the New Territories. As you get closer to the heart of the Harbor, it is not so wide anymore as more and more land is reclaimed. I made this picture some time back when I was onboard the ferry to Lantau Island. In those days, the ferry was the only way to get to an island whose land mass is larger than Hong Kong Island. Today, the international airport is located there. So, you can drive or you can take an express MTR train to get there. It’s become all too civilized.

This picture. I’ve been building portfolios which will mostly live on my i-Pad. I’ve been going deep into my files to find hidden gems. Or, lumps of coal. This image was actually made on the old school media called film. It scanned it, uploaded it to my i-Pad and started playing with it. Most of the work was done using Snapseed. 

I was experimenting a little the other night. I wanted to see what my little Sony NEX could do at night. I should have known being that the sensor is the same as a Nikon D7000. But, even so, the processor is different. It is supposed to be better because it is newer. So. This is ISO 3200 in very, very dim light. There wasn’t even a lot of ambient street light to make this work. Yes. I did some post production tricks.

Where? Well. An odd little area in Jefferson Parish where Kenner stretches to the Mississippi River. Apparently, this is a very old area. So, the city leaders thought this would be a good place to create a historical district. For the most part, it never worked. There used to be a train museum, which might still be there for all I know. There used to be a Saints (the football team) historical museum here. Why here? I have no idea. But, it was moved to The Superdome. Where it should have been in the first place.

I seem to be on a roll with Ry Cooder songs. Most of  these songs are from an album called I, Flathead. Strange desert, country music with a Ry Cooder twist. Makes me think of some of the stranger places that I’ve photographed along Route 66 for that project. So. These pictures were made in a couple of locations. Some were made in Gallup. Others were made in a place called Budville. And, some were made near Continental Divide just over the border in New Mexico when you are traveling east from Arizona. The thing about these places is that you can see most of them from Interstate 40. But, they get much more interesting when you get off I-40 and drive the bits and pieces of what’s left of Old Route 66. Technically, there really isn’t much more to making these pictures that “see the picture, take the picture.”

This is one of my favorite “little” pictures. I made this picture from the terminal of the Star Ferry in Hong Kong. I photographed it a couple of ways. I focused on the window frame, leaving the background soft. And, I kept the background sharp and left the foreground soft. I like it better with the skyline out of focus. yes. It’s an older picture. The skyline has changed quite a bit since I made this picture. Yes. It was originally made on film. No. I don’t do a lot of post production.

Testing. Testing. Testing. A new camera. A very little new camera. A camera without a mirror.

When a camera doesn’t use a mirror it doesn’t need a pentaprism, which allows it to be about the size of a deck of playing cards. But, it has the sensor of a DSLR, which means I can use it about like I would a bigger camera. This camera doesn’t appear to have a real downside except that if I were shooting sports or very hard news, it is a little slow. What is this thing? It’s a Sony NEX5N. In case you are wondering Sony makes the sensors for Nikon and Canon and a few other camera manufacturers, which means it is pretty much the industry standard.

Now. The picture? Just a little street musicianship, photographed at night, spun and post-produced my way. In many ways, the whole thingswas an experiment.

I never thought that I would say this, but for the month of April I made too many pictures. As I was starting to “curate” — old guys like me call it edit — my April picture a day project, I realized that I made way more images than I needed for the 30 day month. Of course, this came from assignments, commissions and a very few stock productions as well as a few days when I actually made an image specifically for the PAD project.

For those of you who are new to following Storyteller. I started shooting a picture a day four years ago. Every time that I reach a year anniversary I think to myself, “that’s it, I’m done.” A week or so passes and I start getting a bit nervous. Then I start looking for something like a birthday, or beginning of a new month, or anything that I think would be a good starting time and off I go again. I took about a

five-week break between last years PAD project, which ended on my birthday. and this years project which began on New Year Day.

And, so it goes.

I used to call Sunday, “Experimental Sunday.” Why? I really don’t play computer games. Even when I do, I get bored pretty easily. The only game I really liked was Diablo. It’s taken the maker 14 years to release the new version so I gave up. Long ago I decided that rather than play a game, I would “mess around” with Photoshop and various plug-ins. How did that work out? Sometimes, I made a creation that I liked. Sometimes, I didn’t. Since failure is a great teaching tool, I learned a lot. How’s that for being tongue-in-cheek?

So, this picture was made in Hong Kong, in Causeway Bay looking toward Jardine’s Crescent. It was made from one the restaurant levels in Times Square. Yes, yes, yes… I was using a plug-in called Topaz when I “messed” with this picture. At the time, I was trying to replicate some early without actually going through the work of making multiple exposures, merging them and going from there in post production. It works to a certain extent. It made a very poster-like image. But, it’s not really me. I use a modified version of HDR to enhance a picture, but that’s where I stop using that technique. Besides, despite claims to the contrary, the human eye does not see like HDR. It sees shadows and highlights. It doesn’t open up shadows. It doesn’t flatten highlights. That’s why people wear sunglasses. That’s why people use a flashlight.

But, That’s a story for another day.