Winter Light

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his isn’t exactly what I meant. I’ve been trying to push back the distribution of Storyteller to about 5pm Central Time. I intended to do it by posting about an hour later every week until I reached 5pm. Oh no. I jumped to 3pm in about two days.

Oh Well.

A couple of folks asked about creating pictures like this one as opposed to more traditional photography.

Truthfully, I’d rather talk about traditional photography. I know what I’m doing. I have no idea what I’m doing when I create something like this one. It’s rare when I have a clear intent of what I want something like this to be.

Mostly, I just tinker until I find the magical combination. That’s fun, but very hard to teach. I guess I could just say one of the current buzz phrases. “You do you.”

That’s not very helpful, I know.


All a dream.

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ometimes you can’t sleep. But that was okay because I slept too much the night before.

While I was laying there my past came into view. Both good and bad memories. I intentionally forced the bad ones away. Who wants to try to fall asleep with bad things in mind?

There were a lot of memories that were driven by intuitive decisions. You could say that I got lucky. But, I think luck favors the prepared. It’s sort of what I call photographer’s luck. If you don’t leave the house you won’t get lucky.

For the most part I photograph what I see. I talk about making pictures as opposed to taking them. You could ask me that if I work by discovery how could I possibly make a picture. That’s simple enough. I’ve been doing this for a long, long time. Every picture that I made in the past prepares me for the picture I make today.

I don’t make pictures by machine gunning around. I shoot enough to capture the scene. Usually, that means compositional moves. It also means capturing action — when I shoot too much — or waiting for the decisive moment or expression. A lot of that is hand – eye coordination. The more you do it the better you get. It’s practice, practice, practice.

That’s what I think.


All a glow.

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Sunday photograph. Something bright and colorful for those of you who are still digging out of the wintery white stuff, which is a large part of the country. It’s already been some winter. And, there is a polar vortex coming.

It’ll probably start raining fish like it did in Texas a week or two ago. Everything happens in Texas. Cold snaps without fuel. Hurricanes. Ted Cruz.

After that?

I probably don’t want to know because so far 2022 hasn’t been a whole lot better than the last two years. If anything, it’s been weirder. And, the latest variant of Covid is surging beyond all surges.

Some say this version is milder. Some say it isn’t.

All I know is hospital staffs are fighting with their very tired backs against the wall. Up in Montana nurses are coming from all over the world, but mostly from Southeast Asia.

Imagine coming from a country like Thailand where it’s always hot and humid and green. Now you are in Montana. In the winter. It’s freezing cold. It’s snowing. You have no idea where you are.

Sounds fun.

Would you do it? In reverse.

That’s mostly how bad it is out there. And yet, I look at pictures from the first parade of Carnival season and maybe 25% of the people there were wearing masks. If you’ve never been to any parade in New Orleans let’s just say it’s fun but it’s chaos. People are in your face, pressed against you, breathing on you and — after a couple of drinks — spitting in your face.

None of this is malicious. In fact, it’s all friendly. But, these days friendly can be fatal.

And, that’s why I’m on the shelf for Mardi Gras.


What we see at night.

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had a lot to talk about. Apparently, it wasn’t that important because I can’t think of any of it.

Sleep on it, they say.

Seems to have worked.

At any rate, I’m back. But, I’m not sure for how long. I tried to switch my extension to the one I’ve had for 30 years. You know, .com. WordPress says GoDaddy has to do it. GoDaddy says WordPress has to do it. I say that I will not renew anything here until I get some help. Some real help. Not some kid who speaks in a language that is very foreign to me.

Failing that, I’m just going to walk away from WordPress. I made a promise to myself with the turning of the year. I’m not doing anything that doesn’t make me smile. Also, my year long koan is “Keep it simple.”

This is a powerful koan. Two of us selected it independently of each other.

Oh. Somethings around here.

I have a new doctor. My last doctor quit. I think. We made peace. I asked him where he was going. He said that he didn’t know. He didn’t have a contract for anywhere. Seems odd.

My new doctor. A funny thing happened on the way to the pharmacy. If you recall, I mentioned that I bombed myself. A couple of you reached out and told me to be careful.

Good advice.

My new doctor doubled the amount of narcotic I self prescribed.

Shows you what I know.

That’s the story on January 1 2020 too.


Clear and clean.

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his has been a nightmare to post. For some reason the computer crashed. I had to go into recovery mode which dropped all of my passwords. Of course, everything that I needed to load took forever.

WordPress, which is always a problem, got worse. Spell check stopped functioning and try as I might I can not load the proper version of this picture. I put a border around the picture because it was blending into the page. Do you see a border? I can see the picture with a border on my desktop, but WordPress can’t see it.

I’m planning that during the first week or two of 2022 to make a lot of changes here. My numbers have dropped through the basement floor. They are as low as the first day that I started. Obviously, I’ve either reached my threshold or my work just plain sucks.

I’m pretty sure that I’ll pick one of the three options, I’ll post every other day, twice a week or not at all. I don’t need the grief of fighting with technology that I never wanted to learn in the first place. I don’t need to watch most of my friends make good process while I spin my wheels.

I thought that I made and produced a nice picture. I don’t think that right this minute.


Like fire.

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t seems I went backwards today. My last two posts were artistic in nature. They were pictures that helped you to feel. I hope.

This picture is more traditional in the sense that it helps you to see the end of a day as I documented it. It may also help you to feel. But, everybody’s life experiences are different.

As many of you know, I’m not big on basic sunset images. It has to be wonderful to move me. It’s not that I don’t like sunsets. I do. It’s just that there are so many that are kind of meh. Enjoy the light. And, just look at them.

I also think that you need something in the sunset to give it some kind of context. That’s why there are silhouettes at the base.

I believe that you should turn around and see what that amazing like is illuminating. On this day the light was reflecting off and through the light cloud cover. It was too broad to light anything dramatically.

So, that’s what I think about sunsets.

And, you?


Louisiana rain over Jefferson Parish.

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ormally posts like this one are saved for the between week of Christmas and New Year, but it seems like just about everyone is jumping the gun, so I better do it too. I have a theory about why we are publishing best lists of 2021 so early. We want the second year from hell to conclude as quickly as possible.

We are tired. We are drained. We are frustrated. And, we certainly do not know how to take the long view. I’ve said from the moment we went into lockdown that we were running a marathon, not a sprint.

A few words about what you are looking at.

Somewhere during the year I started seeing other ways to make my photographs. I started working to make them smoother, darker, with less vibrant contrast. They say that all art is autobiographical. I’m not so sure about the subject matter, but I am about the tone and hue of these photographs.

This was a year of great loss for everybody. We lost an amazing amount of friends and colleagues. In the first six months of the year we lost one or two people a week. In July I suffered a terrible loss. The all seeing dog, the dog who picked me, the dog who would only go for walks with me, passed. She was thirteen years old. She is also the thirteenth picture is this little portfolio. Lagniappe as we call it in New Orleans.

Next year?

Next year is already busy this year. Lots of plans being hatched and schemed over. For both businesses. And, as you all know, we bought the farm. That doesn’t mean we are leaving New Orleans right away. The old farmhouse needs to be renovated and some new construction is needed. I reckon by this time in 2022, we’ll be living there.

2022. Wow. Hopefully, it will be a darn sight better than 2021.

Overgrown.
The dog who sees. RIP


A crack in the wall.

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his is a New Mexico picture. Sometimes I just see shapes and I want to see what they look when I photograph them. I’d forgotten this picture until Amazon found it some buried sub-archive. Boy, was I happily surprised.

I’d tell you that this is an adobe wall, but it is not. It is some kind of concrete that is made to look like adobe. It’s sort of a touristic thing to do when you want to attract people to your business as they are wandering around Santa Fe.

Some would say that this is not real adobe that the picture isn’t true.

Of course it’s true. It’s not a study of construction method, it’s a study of the shape created by that dark gap in the wall.

Some people, Sheesh.


From another perspective.

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o you remember what I said yesterday about November 21 being the start of my year? Well, I started that. After some thought I decided that I wanted to take a look back at my traveling life.

This does two things.

You get to see photographs that you might never have seen. You know. Exclusive to the readers of Storyteller. I have further plans for that.

This also forces me to work through my archive and do something about the 50 year old mess.

I also am playing with, tinkering with, and experimenting with different art forms.

Anyway.

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his is The Church of Saint Francis Assisi located in Taos, New Mexico. It’s actually in Rancho de Taos. The plaza that is built around the church is dusty and has seen better days.

Just about everybody and their brother has photographed it. And, their brother’s brother too. It’s a challenge to do something different. I think I did, but only because of luck and timing. Saying that is a gamble. Obviously, I haven’t seen every picture that was taken there.

Happy Tuesday.