All posts filed under: Photographer

Lost in Texas


Texas. Even the name conjures up all sorts of meaning. Cowboys. The West. Freedom. Big food. Big hair. Big hats. I’m pretty sure that most people think don’t about space aliens when they think about Texas. I found this interestingly shaped house when I was traveling around Texas back country. I didn’t stop. I didn’t ask. In retrospect, I should have. Knowing my ability to work with all sorts of people, I might have even been invited inside for a quick look around. But, really? This scene was enough for me. How often do you see something like this? I once showed this picture to a friend of mine. A Texan. I said something like, “this explains everything.” She replied, “what the hell do you mean by that?” Texans take their state and their mythology seriously. Sort of like New Orleanians do. Many of them are in a serious uproar about the removal of the first of the Confederate statues. Me? I think all things must pass. Especially things memorializing a very dark chapter in my …

A Cold Front


So. A cold front passed through Southeast Louisiana. The temperatures dropped into the upper 50s. That might be on the warm side for some of you right about now. Obviously, I didn’t make this picture yesterday. But, the notion of a cold front started my brain spinning around. Especially this late in the year. We are a week away from Jazzfest. Usually during the second week of the festival, the weather turns hot and very humid. And, wet. Lots of rain. Summer starts even though the calendar says it’s still May. Early May. Anyway. I rooted around in those long missing archives and came up with this picture. A cold front. Of a different sort. Snow. Ice. Really cold weather. I made it in New York City many years ago. How long ago? Well, that’s an interesting question. There are no notes to go along with the picture. I’m willing to bet I made it between 1992 and 1999. Probably closer to 1992 when I spent a huge amount of time in the city. The …

Road Trips and Other Matters


Once, as I was entering the small Route 66 town of Seligman, Arizona, I stumbled upon this old Air Stream trailer on the eastern edge of town. At first, I thought it was abandoned. But, as I started making pictures I realized two things. It wasn’t abandoned. And, it was functioning as an artist studio. Those square objects in the window are actually canvases in various states of completion. The artist wasn’t there or I would have asked to see his or her work. And, step inside. Seligman. And me. The little town is a touchstone to my own history. When we were young, our parents liked to go to the Southwest. Often, they didn’t have enough time for a really leisurely road trip, so we’d leave after normal work hours on a Friday, drive all night and stop in Seligman. That became a day long rest stop because you could explore from there. In those days, the little town wasn’t the tourist attraction it is today. Most buildings were abandoned and boarded up. There was a …

Season’s End


Holiday season. These are my last two pictures of the 2016 holiday season. I didn’t make a lot of “big” Christmas pictures this year. I didn’t feel like it. As we all know, the passing year was a rough one.  2016 was hard on everybody. I guess it shows. Especially, since I believe all art is autobiographical. Don’t get me wrong. I had a fine Christmas. It’s not about the holiday. It’s about all that preceded it. And, what many fear will come. Storyteller isn’t a political blog, but the world is changing and not in a good way. Two political events happened this year that nobody believed could happen. And, a never-ending war in the Middle East blossomed into one of the largest humanitarian crises the world has ever seen. Innocent people were killed. Ancient cities destroyed. Of course, there were the passings. People left the planet. Ancestors is what we call them in New Orleans. We mourn. Then we celebrate their lives. So many artists — in the form of musicians — died …

Time Fades Away


  Endings. In two states. For a time, in the South. The top picture is the very last picture that I made in Winston-Salem. North Carolina. The bottom picture is the very last picture that I made in the New River Valley. In Blacksburg, Virginia. While I was working there. The pictures. You know the drill by now. Nikon camera bodies. The top picture was made with an F3. The bottom picture was made with an FM. The lenses were at 24mm f 2.8 and, on the bottom, a 180mm f 2.8. The film was Kodak Tri-X black and white film. I’m not sure what more there is to say about these images. My style was obviously evolving. Even though these pictures were made roughly 35 years ago, the top picture is very close to how I work today. Except it’s black and white film. And, I probably would light it instead of pushing the film a couple of F stops. That’s why it is so contrasty and the shadows are so deep. A couple of you like my …

It Ain’t the Gear


Nope. It ain’t the gear. It also ain’t the training. When I went to college, most of us already knew how to take pictures. We needed to learn how to think about photography. How to think about photojournalism. How to tell visual stories. We had to learn about ethics. But, all of us understood the mechanics of taking a picture. Exposure. Light. Framing. We knew that stuff. We were expected to know it before we ever started making the kinds of pictures you’ve seen on Storyteller. Sports. I’ve never considered myself to be a great sports photographer. That’s a whole genre in itself. Sure. I have pretty good hand – eye coordination. I’m pretty good at capturing peak action. But, the real trick is to be able to do those two things and tell the story of the game, or set or match. Too bad for you.  I’m going to publish two days of sports pictures. My versions. That said, I’ve been pretty lucky. I was able to photograph some big events. And, a lot of little events. …

Shepherd in the Desert


A long time ago. In the Arizona desert. Here’s how it goes. After we left the South — the first time — we moved back to California. Eventually, I went back to school. I changed my career path. I went from taking pictures to editing. I managed other photographers. I worked with them to produce the best images that they could. I represented photography in the newsroom. I designed some news pages. I did the things you do at a newspaper. Then I stopped doing them. I left the newspaper world and moved on to the kind of work I do today. I worked at a couple of photo agencies. A little one and big one. The big one was one of four large agencies that were rolled up and became what you might know today as Getty Images. The one that I worked for — The Image Bank — was owned, at the time, by Eastman Kodak. I worked in the corporate office which was located in Dallas, Texas. The South part two. And, …

Words (Between the Line of Age)


Way out there. West of Seligman, Arizona. This is an image from a road trip that we took in 1981. From North Carolina to California.  You can see some of my current style just starting to emerge. Unfortunately, I haven’t traveled like this in a long, long time. These days, we always have to get somewhere on time. Make a deadline. Keep a commitment. Think about what to keep in. What to leave out. Wait a minute! That’s a whole other song. The title is from a Neil Young song. These past few words are from a Bob Seger song called “Against the Wind.” Maybe I need to settle down when I write this stuff. Heh! It’s getting about time to get on the road and wander around a little.  I’ve talked about this in the past. In the recent past. After thinking about it, I think I want to head west. I miss those open spaces. Those long vistas. Those big, huge skies. Maybe I’ll made some “desert in the hot summer” pictures. I’m a sucker for self-abuse. The …

The Real Thing


I used to call this picture, “The Real Marlboro Man.” Remember that dude? He used to advertise cigarettes? The models were chosen because the were manly men. The kind who roped and wrangled. The kind who smoked cigarettes. Perception is everything. I guess. I actually knew one of those models. He is a very nice guy. He didn’t ride horses. He didn’t drink. And, he thought tobacco was death. Anyway. I made this picture in North Carolina in 1981. I was driving around out in the country and saw a horse farm. I thought it might make a nice Sunday feature story so I sold the idea to my boss and the Sunday Editor. This guy was very appreciative of the fact that I even cared about what he did so he gave me free rein. So to speak. I spent a couple of days out at his farm. They are farms in the South. Ranches in the West. He was also impressed that I would take the time to do this kind of work. And, that I …