It’s All Light


The color of the season.

Fall. This is supposed to what it looks like. Bright orange, yellow and red. Leaves on the ground. That’s autumn. That’s fall. A change of seasons between summer and winter. The air cools. It dries out. I’m not dripping wet from humidity. I feel like being out a lot more.

That’s what this picture is about. The wonder of fall.

The wonder of change. The hope of the new year with the changing of the guard. With the first administration of drugs that may keep us from getting sick. Maybe the slowing down the the pandemic which seems to be racing faster.

Maybe the end of a man’s reign of terror that he is trying every way to subvert. I humbly suggest that what he really needs is a granny with a broom. Not only will he get swept out of office, but he’ll get his butt kicked. Thoroughly. That loser.

Not to end on a bad note, so let’s talk about the wonderful colors of this picture. What I mentioned at the top of this little missive. Bold color. Bright color. Happy color.

The picture. I saw it on the ground. So down I went to get close enough to the leaf and far enough away to show some of the background. Click, click, click…

Post production was a little fun. Especially when I applied a border. For some reason, the border function added another slightly askew layer. The picture became even more interesting with that so I didn’t fight it.

On the other hand, the column function is a mess. I like it well enough, but this not what the page is supposed to look like.

One day in the far distant future maybe WordPress will stop screwing around with stuff and leave us the hell alone. No problem for me. I disconnected the payment function. Now they are asking me for money.

Good luck with that.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Keep your distance. Wash your hands. Look after each other. Enjoy every sandwich.

He Thinks So


Some assembly required. That’s what was needed on this artistic experiment. In an effort to tie some life lesson to this picture, I think that most of our lives require some assembly.

I’m not just ruminating about the times when the cracks appear, but when the light shines in as well.

In fact, if you alternate light and shadow making their way through our cracks you could say that we are always in some stage of assembly.

That’s a good thing.

Without that constant work, I for one, would be bored.

Often, I marvel at folks with whom that I attended high school. They graduated from high school, they attended a local college, they married their high school sweetheart, worked for 40 years and are now retired.

I really have no idea what challenges they were presented in what amounts to 50 years, but they really seem settled. Or, did they settle?

I, on the other hand, never stayed in one place with the exception of now. I couldn’t stay with one women. I had a lot of adventures.

Which is the better life? For me it depends on which day you ask that question.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Keep your distance. Wash your hands. Enjoy every sandwich.

Experiments. A friend of mine seems to think that I have a collection of these. If I do it wasn’t intentional. I do them so infrequently that I’d have to search to really know.

They are time consuming to make and their really is no pattern.

This is a combination of two pictures. One, is obviously a stand of trees that has shed its leaves for winter.

The other is undetermined in this picture. It’s really a Camellia that I photographed very tightly. You may see that picture this week.

I layered and adjusted them. You see the result.

I’d ask you like it and if you like to see more, but I never do it until the pictures are ready.

Roses On Your Grave


As the world turns.

There are days. And, there are days.

Yesterday was one of those days. Quiet. Peaceful. Productive. Then, I learned the truth. The truth about someone I trusted. I was getting submarined by a friend. It took me awhile to figure out why I was walking uphill through thick mud while I was trying to complete a project.

Now I know.

I’m not angry, although I should be. I’m disappointed. My feelings are hurt because there was no reason for this. Now that I know I’ll patch the hole, get rid of my partner and finish the job properly. If need be, I have a good lawyer.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s important. It’s something that I didn’t need, especially now when the world is spinning off of its axis and numbers add up to nothing. Eventually, all of this bad stuff has to turn, right?

I think back to the early days of pan corona. I thought that we’d get hurt some, but that we could rebuild better than ever. Remember all of that? I still think that we might be able to, but I’m pretty toasty right now, so I’m not sure. After all, more and more bad stuff keeps piling up.

I probably could use a vacation to somewhere far away. But, I’m not getting on an aluminum flying can of death. I’m not afraid to fly. I fly all over the place. I’m afraid that the airlines won’t clean anything. Even if I do it, I won’t have time to get it done properly.

I’d drive, but I have the same feeling about staying in motels and hotels. I can stay with friends. But, I have to there and what are we going to do? Wear masks in their houses? That doesn’t sound fun at all.

I’d take Amtrak somewhere. I could quarantine myself in a compartment. I could ask the car attendant to bring me food. I could go somewhere that I enjoy. But, then what? The destination would have the same problems.

It’s funny. We travel a lot during a normal year. It’s kind of nice being home. It would be nicer if I wasn’t feeling trapped. I feel like I’m in some sci-fi movie. Sure, I can leave but the rest of the world is a nuclear wasteland.

Anyway.

The picture.

It’s less than 24 hours old. Yes, indeed. Another dog walk.

I didn’t think that flowers were blooming. At least, not these. But, they were and I did. You know all of the rest. Every bit.

Stay safe. Stay might. Enjoy all the Chinese dumplings.

Sometimes Just The Sky


Seeing reflections.

My eyes.

I see things that others might not. I think this is the part of photography that can’t be taught. This is where talent comes into play. It’s not artistic talent. It’s not like being able to paint. Or, play music. That’s talent.

Seeing is something else entirely. It’s something given to those of us who have it. I could look at something and see maybe five pictures. Someone else might just pass it by.

I suppose it’s like singing. Some people were born with a thick set of vocal cords, which are really flaps. They can sing from the moment they open their mouth. Other singers are trained. They do good work with what they have.

I see photography and music in the same way. Both industries have been blown apart, and I’m not talking about the results of the pandemic. Even before that, it was getting harder and harder to earn a living.

The onrush of the digital world hurt us both. Photography has gotten to the point that anyone can take a picture. With a little more effort, almost anyone can record a song and upload it to any number of streaming platforms.

Are the pictures good? Is the song good? That’s a matter of taste.

But, the marginal songs and pictures get in the way of the good work. It becomes mostly noise and very little signal. You have to fight your way through all of the pictures and songs to find the good stuff. The one big difference between the two art forms is that a musician with a record deal has his or her record label to do the heavy lifting of promoting, distributing and marketing the song.

That’s partially why photographers blog, and post to all manner of social media platforms. We hope someone will see us. Again, there are so many pictures floating around that it’s very hard to find us.

I believe that the one way to find us is with proper meta tagging or key wording. Folks searching for a particular image might find it by just typing a few words. The process of tagging takes time and effort. It’s probably the most time consuming phase of posting to Storyteller. You can’t see them, but every picture I post here has 15 tags embedded in the file. That’s done at the final stage of post production.

How are you enabling people to find your work when they’d start with a Google search?

The Picture

I was walking by a car when I saw a leaf perched on the metal of the window frame. I worked the image until I was mostly not in the photograph. I’m still there. Find the photographer.

The picture is a great example of seeing. My seeing. This picture is not obvious. I think most people would walk by and not see it. Others might see it and not react.

No post production was needed other than to crop and make it a little darker. It was easy work.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Wear your damn masks — don’t make me come in there. Enjoy every leaf.

Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues


Maybe yes, maybe no.

As colorful as possible.

A Facebook and Instagram friend is going to be sure that I’m trolling her with this picture. I’m not. But, she doesn’t know me that well. She lives in California in the hills way up above Malibu. She’s a pretty good photographer so I followed her on Instagram. She followed back. After a bit, she friended me on Facebook. Of course, I friended her back.

She’ll think that I’m trolling her because two days ago she posted a heavily post produced hydrangea on Instagram. And, here I am.

She doesn’t know that after all these years on WordPress, I’ve learned to plan my weeks according to new the pictures I have on hand. The only time I stray is when I have a picture that is calling out to be published, like today’s moon. Or, if the well is dry and I have to go out looking.

My hydrangea image was reworked in a very different way than hers was. I have no idea what she did. I think it’s one app. I started in Snapseed on the phone and finished with big boy/girl software called OnOne.

For those of you who have been around for awhile, you know that I gave up on Adobe products like Photoshop and Lightroom a couple of years ago. I wasn’t a hard decision. I got tired of paying $9.99 a month forever.

OnOne does a lot of production things faster and more efficiently than Adobe ever could do. Besides, Photoshop really should be used by designers and repro houses, which is where I first started using it back in 1992. It wasn’t called Adobe back then.

Anyway.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Mask up. Keep your distance. Enjoy every bagel and lox sandwich.

Day Breaks


Summer light in the residential side of The French Quarter.

Quiet times.

Normally The French Quarter is noisy. People are walking around in all states of decay. Some are tired. Some are lost. Many are drunk.

Every now and then, you can find a beautiful stillness on the old cobbled streets. Both times of day have golden light and long shadows.

The most predictable time is early morning. The partiers are finally home. The tourists aren’t out and about. Only service people are working. And, me.

Or, during golden hour around dusk.

Pick your location. If you are in the residential end of the Quarter, you might see this scene. If you are on Bourbon Street you might as well join in with the revelers. Or, photograph them.

Since light is key, so are times of day. Time of day may change forever in Louisiana since we are one of 19 states that are asking Congress to let us drop Standard Time. Arrrggg.

Stay safe. Enjoy every fried egg.

Time and Time Again


Breaking the bonds of earth.

Have you seen me lately?

The light at the end of the tunnel is about to come. Not for the United States, which is shredded beyond recognition. Today that isn’t at top of mind.

The all seeing dog, Sophie Rose, is in my head. She had her dental appointment today. Oh boy. The right side of her jaw has a very bad infection. She had four teeth pulled, kinda. When the vet started to pull them, they just sort of popped out. The bone was infected and some was a little crumbly.

Sounds terrible, yes?

It isn’t. The holes where the teeth were are already healing, because the teeth were so loose. She’s going to be in a lot of pain for the next couple of days. She is getting a high end narcotic, that I apply with a syringe, without a needle. She’s getting an injection and more antibiotics. She’ll be hurting for a day or two. She should be looking pretty good in about ten days when she returns to her vet.

There’s one more thing. Jaw infections can be indicative of something worse. Cancer. Her vet says he 80% sure that it isn’t going to be cancer. .

I just hate this. Not that Sophie is sick. That happens to all of us. But, the pain. I can’t stand it. You know the pain that I had been suffering through. Forget that. If I could carry her pain I would. She’s such a sweet, loyal and happy dog, that she doesn’t deserve this.

You know my next request.

Have a good thought for her. Pray to whoever your higher power happens to be. Oh, yeah. You might think about us too.

In case you are wondering, she comes home tonight.

The picture.

Storyteller is supposed to be about photography. About art. Throw in a little design, and you’ve got it.

So.

The picture. It was a normal end of the day thing. It wasn’t very special. I started playing with it. First, I made the perfect picture. Meh. It met all the so called technical standards. Meh. I tweaked it a lot. Meh.

Then.

I was using one group of settings. I accidently pulled the slider too far. Ah Ha! Something interesting. I worked on it from there. This is what I made. Something a little different. Some dark and brooding. Something that is almost evil.

It’s not.

It may be about my day. It’ll get better. I am sure of that.

Stay safe. Enjoy every sandwich.

You Got Gold


Late afternoon glow.

Light.

There would be no photography without it. After all, we know that photography means painting or writing with light. In many ways, this picture is the essence of it. The bushes are wet, the sunlight found the water droplets and this is what we have. I’m sorry to say that even though I compressed the image my own way, WordPress did a number on it.

That’s just part and parcel of the way WordPress treats photographers and our work. If you are a writer WordPress suggests free sources of pictures. They have also created their own library. It’s free too. Why can’t they suggest as a way of community building that writers develop friendships with photographers and do special projects together?

Oh. I know that’ll take time. It’s easy to go to some free stock collection and find a picture that is good enough. It also inhibits learning the necessary skills to collaborate on high end projects. Sure, it’ll work in today’s bottom end print and digital projects. But, who wants pictures or words that are just good enough?

I may be an old dinosaur, but just good enough isn’t good enough. These days everything seems transient. Art, writing, muic, video projects. One day that will change. Mark my words. Covid 19 is the driver.

Eventually, even though new ways of working at everything will open up more time, many people will think, “I just don’t have the time to waste on this junk.” If I’m going to invest two hours or so on a film it had better be worth that. Same with music.

Same with photo books. Very few publishers are printing photo books these days. So, photographers are publishing books that are the visual equivalent of naval gazing. There is a guy online who’s got a little power. I followed him among about 30,000 other photographers.

I finally gave up.

The work he champions are out takes for guys like me. I finally washed my hands of it all when he saw pictures from an old friend of mine. He said somewhat incredulously that “this guy can really shoot.” Gee. Ya think? He’s only been doing it for 50 years. He’s been National Geographic’s golden boy for 25 years.

Even one of my mentors has gotten in the act. He did a short video on Instagram. He discussed another photographer’s book. He asked us to buy it. He suggests we should all buy each others’ books. Huh? Talk about navel gazing.

When I went to the other photographer’s website, the books were for sale. $400. Right. Let’s see. Say there were ten of us. I’m going to invest $3,600 to make $3,600? Now, you understand why so many photographers are broke.

Anyway.

This is not a rant. This is my way of heading back to photo discussions.

I want us all to think about quality and what it means to us. I want us all to understand that unless we have some other source of income, photography was a business.

Was?

Yes, was. I’m not sure how most photographers can sustain themselves during the pandemic era. OTH, you might as well keep going. 40,000,000 people are without jobs. Many of those jose aren’t coming back. Quite a problem, eh?

I can’t stay angry at everything, so…

Stay safe. Enjoy every sandwich.

A Very Long Curve… Trying Something New


I promised myself that during the lockdown I would learn something new.

WordPress made that easy. Or, hard depending on your view. Like all major digital, internet based companies, they tell you what to do. Whatever happened to “the customer is always right?”

I believe on June 1, they ‘re taking away all of the older page templates except for one that is older then Storyteller.

This going to be a long, hard learning curve. WordPress says it’s easier. Ha!

Please feel free to make comments, especially those of you who hate this page. You won’t hurt my feelings. I’m not sure how I feel about.it anyway. It is different. But difference for its own sake is a big mistake.

Anyway.

No Rona news again. I reckon that you most of you are deluged with it.

Well. This is different. I suppose I could figure out how to drop the text, but it’s getting late.

So.

Sophie Rose is feeling much better. The Tramadol seems to be doing its job. She even asked me to go out. I haven’t seen that in a log while. We went for a short work. Progress.

Stay safe. Enjoy every sandwich.

  1. Sophie Rose is a rescue. Maybe I wrote that. We brought her home as a foster when she was 8.…

  2. I liked at it today. If you go to the pulldown from which you can determine the blocks. There is…

  3. I appreciate that, Ray! Strangely, late in the evening it changed back to both options, but it will no doubt…

  4. Yes, but I’m happy to see the BW return. “Everything looks better in black and white.”

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