Just one more from the second line parade in Central City. A trumpet player at work. Focused on his song. And, yes. As always, I like to work closely. Not much more to say, except to be there and focus on what you are doing. Hardly any post production needed. 

Well. It may be a tuba. But, that’s not the point. The point for me, at least , is the reflection in the brass of the tuba. I saw this at a second line parade in Central City. I’d like to say that I was lucky to see this, but I was very much in the moment on that day. I try for that on many occasions. But, it rarely happens. In fact, I’ve long come to realize that you cannot try. You  can only be. What is it that Yoda said? “You cannot try, or not try.” ” You can only do.” So, Yoda was a Zen believer. I guess. Anyway, I saw everything on that day. Time did not standstill. But, it did slow down. A lot. The pictures were very simple to make at that point.

Post Production. I guess you can figure out that I didn’t have to do very much. I did tone down the background because I wanted to emphasize the reflection. But, I didn’t want it to disappear because that set the place.

I don’t have a picture that is really appropriate for today — 911. I do want to reflect on the day and what it means, But, I do have this. I photographed a second line parade in Central City, New Orleans. When the parade passed by Lafayette Cemetery No. 2, they broke into an old spiritual called “I’ll Fly Away.” Hearing it played by a marching band is something very special.

This is it. Peace y’all.

“Some glad morning when this life is o’er, I’ll fly away;

To a home on God’s celestial shore,

I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away).

I’ll fly away, Oh Glory

I’ll fly away; (in the morning)

When I die, Hallelujah, by and by,

I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away).

When the shadows of this life have gone,

I’ll fly away;

Like a bird from prison bars has flown,

I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away)

Just a few more weary days and then,

I’ll fly away;

To a land where joy shall never end,

I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away)”


Well. The winds blew and the rains fell and blew and fell and blew and fell. For 60 hours. Then the power went out. For six days. But, I’m lucky. I’m told. Some people in New Orleans won’t get their power restored for another week. No power equalled no blogging. As Neil Young once wrote , “Keep on blogging ’till the power goes out.” Well…

Anyway. It got hot. Real hot. Mind bending hot. A friend of mine came to the rescue. I stayed at her parents house. They had power. They live two and a half miles from me. I dunno. On the last day I stayed with them, their neighbors had a surprise mariachi birthday party for a birthday girl. They invited me. I took full advantage of that. I was tired of photographing storm-related stuff. So, I photographed this little neighborhood party. I must had a lot of pent-up something. I photographed as well as I ever have. I shot a 8 gig card. About 480 pictures. My first selection was 134 pictures. Normally for something like that, it’s around 20 or 30 pictures. This time, I have at least 10 portfolio candidates. I’m still amazed. I am never THAT productive. Or even close.

So. Here’s the picture. It’s the birthday girl and her dad. She’s wiping away tears of joy after she saw her big surprise. The mariachi band. 


They say if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans. Or, something like that. Between the horror in Colorado earlier today and the weather, I think everybody’s plans changed for Uncle Lionel’s jazz funeral. Sheesh. I’m not even sure what to write because my feelings are so mixed. A jazz funeral is supposed to be a glorious celebration of a person’s life . But, the rains came. And, the streets of  Treme flooded with at least a foot of water. That turned out to be a little thing. We, in New Orleans, are used to stuff like that happening. We deal with it. But, I awoke to the terrible news coming from Aurora, Colorado. That dampened my day before I even got wet in the never-ending rain. I did the only thing that I could do. I made pictures. I did the best I could. Why? Those who know me best, know that I say, “the work is the prayer.” Have a look at the pictures.

This is it for Uncle Lionel’s second line parade. The material is getting to be a week old.

Hopefully, I’ll make a few good pictures at his jazz funeral and last parade, tomorrow.  And, if all goes well,  I’ll be efficient in post production. If all that works, I’ll post something on the same day that I actually made the picture. But, it’ll be a long walk and I’m a little bit tired. A lot of little pieces and parts have to come together. We’ll see.

There were all sorts of  local semi-famous faces in the second line parade for Uncle Lionel. For those of you who follow New Orleans music and  know the name Neville Brothers, but don’t live in the city, you may be surprised to find out that they have a musical sister. Charmaine. She’s a blues and jazz singer who sings all over the city. Here she is as she walks with the parade. There were lot’s of other “names” that I’, sure that I missed.

A massive second line parade for Uncle Lionel Batiste rambled through Treme yesterday evening.  As with all things New Orleans, the parade was supposed to start at 5p, but it started a little late. When it finally began to roll a pack of photographers descended on Norman Batiste, Lionel’s brother. Obviously, if you look at the picture you can see that I was among them. Oh well. I do what I do. History in the making and all of that. The family asked everyone to dress in white — at least those who were going to Sweet Lorraine’s for music. As you can see, most of the photographers went their own way when it came to dress. I listened to the family. The funny thing about that was I grabbed an un-ironed white cotton shirt. I looked like a raisin. But, between the humidity, the heat and the rain, it looked as if it had been freshly ironed. Of course, wearing that into any kind of air-conditioned place was no joy.