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.


When it rains around here, we often get some very pretty light as the clouds break and the sun peaks through the remaining clouds. Yes. The light is pretty. But, not as pretty as it is in — oh, say — New Mexico. But, that’s a whole other story. A better story is this one. Although I very rarely get lost, I completely misplaced my favorite street in New Orleans. Yeah. I know. Probably early onset something or other. But, this is amazing. Even to me. There is an old section of New Orleans that was once a heavy warehouse district. But, not THE warehouse district. For the most part, it stands alone and forgotten. One of the streets is still paved in cobblestones. The buildings on either side of it are made of brick. For the longest time, I was convinced that the cobblestones had been torn out and replaced by concrete. Well. That didn’t happen. The street moved. Well. That didn’t happen either. I just completely missed my mark. The cobblestone street is still there. The only thing that has changed is that someone either lives or works in a building I thought was abandoned and the brick building on the other side of the street is being restored. Slowly.

Anyway. Here’s the picture. It’s pretty much f8 and be there. Very little post production. I didn’t need to do that. Nature did that.


I usually think of places like this as being sort of country. Not this time.  It’s Urban. Very urban. This store is located in the heart of Central City. It’s stands completely alone on sort of a five-pointed  corner. You cannot miss it. I guess they must sell food other than chicken since a close look at the picture reveals a sign that says they sell spare ribs. And, ice cream cones and Catfish.

Technically speaking, I see a lot of my Central City pictures as being down and dirty, very gritty and a little grungy. So, I use Snapseed to help me get them looking that way. Sometimes, I think, it’s a little overkill. But, it helps drive the point home. 


When I work in Central City, I shoot I lot of close up images. Even my portraits seem to get right to the heart of the matter. But, on the evening that I made yesterday’s picture, I took a step back. I wanted to see what the view from Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard looked like to somebody who was just walking down the street. This picture pretty much captures it. Of course, I gilded the lily somewhat. I took the picture during the so-called golden time which pretty much guaranteed that there would be a reddish-yellow glow. Then, off to post production I went. I used a setting in Snapseed that gives the image an old film look. I never stop with the software-driven setting. I always tinker. I added contrast, a little sharpening and I changed the color. I wanted the picture to look more like an evening in the other LA. Los Angeles. I guess that it worked. You tell me. 


The  television talking heads seem disappointed. As of 9am, NOAA still hasn’t declared Isaac to be a hurricane. It can’t seem to get organized and there is a real problem even identifying the eye. At this point, maximum wind gusts are 70 mph. 74 mph makes it a weak category One hurricane. However, there is dry air in front of the storm which seems to be causing further disorganization. The storm is very slow-moving, at about 7 mph and it is still headed toward New Orleans. Sort of. We expect about 30 hours of wind and heavy rain. Note that word. Expect. No weather person has been right yet. We will have some flooding. But, nothing like the floods that occurred during Hurricane Katrina. And, certainly not the devastation. Likely we will lose power. For how long? Depends on the damage and where it occurred. Often, if the power loss is wide-spread we also lose water. So, we fill our bath tubs to help with other issues. 🙂

This picture. Boy, I wish tropical storms and hurricanes were this pretty. But, they aren’t. This image was made in Reno, Nevada. In the early winter, just a few weeks before snow season.

By the way, for storm updates from further upriver, please have a look at my fellow blogger’s work who is known as Cookiemomma. She can be found at christiepepper.com. She’s sort of the real deal. She’s a Cajun and proudly claims her heritage.


 

“A wise man was telling stories to me. About the places he had been to. And the things that he had seen. A quiet voice is singing something to me. An age-old song about the home of the brave. In this land here of the free. One time one night in America.” — David Hildago & Louie Perez/Los Lobos

The lyrics have nothing to do with this picture. But, something was triggered in me last night. It brought me back to something that happened exactly 16 years ago. One that day, my mom passed. She would have liked this song. It is about America today.

Hmmm…. Doesn’t make much sense. Does it?

This picture was made near New Orleans. I was pushing my little Sony cameras about as far as they could go. After all. Hand holding a camera to expose by the light of the moon isn’t easy.

By the way. One Night, One Time is the very first song on the very first Los Lobos album. Good start.

 


My interest in Central City is partially driven by what happened on Ferret Street, which is now called “The New Ferret Street.” When I attended Loyola University, which is next door to Tulane, Ferret Street was sort of a no go zone. It was run down, crime ridden and pretty much abandoned. It was that way for many years. Then, somebody got the idea to gentrify it. I don’t know who. But, in the past few years the street has taken on a life of its own. It is home to a restaurant and cafe district with food ranging from upscale hot dogs, sushi, hamburgers, po’boys to fine Italian cooking and even donuts. There are new businesses scattered along that corridor. I wouldn’t say that it’s a destination stop quite yet. But, it could be.

The same thinking is driving the development in Central City. There are many differences, not the least being that Central City is a huge piece of land that is actually divided into very different neighborhoods. Oh yeah. Nobody seems to agree on what the actual boundaries are. The city says one thing. Traditional map makers say another. Residents say a third. That said, the likely area for a Ferret Street-like development would be Oretha Castle Halley Boulevard — also know as Dryades to the older generation. Money seems to be pouring into the location.

That’s a little history, My picture was made on Ferret Street, just after dinner. Yeah. I’m one of those. Cameras are with me always. People get used to it. I did.


This is a picture that is sort of in between projects. I made it in The French Quarter a few weeks ago when I first purchased a Sony NEX camera. I took a quick little walk through a couple of streets in The Quarter, shooting I was went. I wanted to see what the camera would do in low light, since that’s where I do a lot of my work. Well, it worked just fine. Perhaps, the thing that amazed me the most was it range of ISO. I accidentally set my ISO to auto, which is normally the kiss of death since the camera tries to do things that are beyond its limits. It seems to have worked just fine. The really cool thing about this camera, aside from being mirrorless which makes it small and easy to carry, is that it uses the same sensor, or very nearly the same sensor, as a comparable model in the Nikon brand. This is possible because Sony manufactures most Nikon sensors.

So? The picture. Made on Royal Street in The French Quarter at just around dusk which is when I like to shoot a lot of my pictures. Oh yeah. I’m channeling my inner Ernst Haas.


I’m not really a big fireworks kind of guy. So, while I was thinking about what to post today, I came up with the idea of a collection of Americana pictures. So here we go.