I don’t normally ask for things like this. But, please vote for this picture. Here. http://www.bucketlistpublications.com/portfolio-view/travel-photo-contest-19/ I’ve entered it in a fellow blogger’s travel photo contest.

The picture?

It was made a few years ago in Albuquerque, New Mexico on the opening day of The International Balloon Fiesta. It was mostly a combination of luck and, well, luck. I was heading towards the balloon field for the first morning’s mass ascension when I ran into a massive traffic jam on the interstate. Yes. I left for the even in plenty of time. By the time I worked my way through all the traffic many of the balloons were already in the air. So I  drove around to the backside of the balloon field and happened to find the this picture. 

Yes. It’s August in Southeaster Louisiana. That means lots of rain storms. Lots of heavy rain coming out of nowhere. And, once in a while, a tropical storm or  –worse — the threat of a hurricane. And, sometimes… oh, never mind. Katrina is history. That said, I have long believed that pictures are everywhere. You just have to let them come to you. In effort to provide full disclosure, that’s not an original thought and I just wrote those very same words in an email to a friend of mine. Okay?

So. I was stick in traffic. In a rain storm. Since traffic was stop and start and I always have a camera with me, I did the only thing I could do. I took a picture. Yeah, yeah. There’s a lot of post production going on here. It’s more complicated than normal since I even though I made the exposure on a regular camera, not my i-Phone, I imported it into my i-Pad and used Snapseed to do the improvements and modifications. Snapseed, by the way, is a Nik product. It is my go to software when I work using my i-Pad. I like working on my i-Pad because I can lay around, watch a bad movie on the tube and work at the same time. That’s on guilty pleasure. There’s more. There are lots of other photo enhancing plug-ins out there. I’ve tested a lot of them. But, this for my work, is the most elegant.

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 a very simple picture. I need to publish in order to gain some kind of balance for my loss two days ago. It hasn’t even been 48 hours yet and I have to go start a long local assignment. I suppose that is okay since I truly believe that the work is the prayer. Even if I didn’t believe that, I know that it is much better to get out of my head and into real life. A little side note. I’m writing these last words to those of you who follow me on Facebook. Your kind words meant everything to me. Thank you so very much.

This picture. It was made on the Windward Side of Oahu, Hawaii. There is truly nothing to this picture. But, it’s peaceful. It brings me peace. I hope it brings you peace.

More from my summer roads series. There is one problem with this picture. I’d forgotten that it’s been around a bit. When I Googled Tres Piedras his picture comes up as number one on Google images and number 9 in general Google search results. That’s okay. It’s part of my editing project so those of you who have never seen it, will finally see it. Those of you who may have seen it can have sort of an encore.

Here are some things I should have known, but I just learned. It’s located at the crossroads of Highways 64 and 285. I think that’s how I first stumbled upon it. It’s located just past the Earthship Landing Zone in Taos County, New Mexico. Figures. Well, earthships are off the grid, self-sufficient homes that are pretty much organically constructed. Sometimes they are made of trash. Actor Dennis Weaver owned one build of old tires. They seem to work well and have become very expensive to buy.

The picture obviously got a little help in post production. Lot’s of painting going on here. But, if you ask me what exactly I did, I probably can’t tell you. Sorry, but I was just experimenting at the time. No matter what I did to this picture, one thing remains. It’s old. I think I’d better go make some new summer pictures.

Summertime means traveling. It means tourist season. And, road trips. While I’m perfectly at home in some five star hotel where my every wish is their command, I really like dumps.You know. Old motor courts. Motels. No tell motels. The places where they haven’t seen a credit card in five years. The ones that are designed in the shape of a cowboy hat, or a tee-pee. It’s sort of that “get your kicks on Route 66” sort of thing. The places where your wish is nobody’s command. And, they’ll tell you that. It’s a kind of special living Americana.

This place isn’t a place any more. It’s part of the group of old neon signs that you find near Fremont Street in Las Vegas, Nevada. Most it is sort of on loan from the Neon Museum, which is closed for renovation every time I’m in Las Vegas. If went there frequently, I’d be suspicious. But, since I don’t, I guess that maybe the timing is just off. Or not. Maybe I should be suspicious. Even though this sign is a kind of tourist attraction, check out the light bulbs. Some haven’t been changed in a long while. Perfect.

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.

This looks like a simple image of a tree in a little early morning fog. It means a lot more than that to me. Trees are a symbol of rebirth across many cultures. They are symbols of life, itself. And, they sometimes relate to immortality and fertility. This particular tree represents a huge change that I made many years ago. Funny. I’m known for making a lot of typos. I turned the word “years” into the word “tears.” That seems appropriate too.

Yes. This is one of those older images that I happened to discover again.

One of the last images that I made in New Mexico. With the dry air and the very long views, you can see storms without actually being in one and getting wet. Of course, the skies and clouds are among the most amazing that you will ever see — anywhere.