Look up.

S

heesh. I started this post and forgot about it. Until now.

I try to post at noon my time. Obviously, I’m late. Very late. Sorry about that.

Let’s talk about stupidity and failure.

There is a guy who posts as NOLAphotoguild on Instagram. Today he wrote an eight page screed about freedom. I bet you know where this is going. He is calling for an end to all protections, all testing, all vaccinations for all things Covid. He wants FREEEEDUM.

A little research, starting on Facebook, revealed that he has started a number of photo-oriented ventures. Everyone of them failed. He started what amounts to a collective on Instagram. It earns no money but it has a lot of followers. He finally has one thing. A platform.

He’s bitter. He has a platform. His bitterness is going to kill someone like me.

What next?


Buddha redux.

Y

esterday sucked.

Let’s start with my doctor. I received a letter from him dated December 1, yesterday. He’s leaving his practice. He sent that before he ever knew that I was gunning for him. That damn nurse didn’t even have the courtesy to tell me that.

What a messed up medical practice. I’m sorry. I just can’t be kind anymore.

Then it got worse. My former doctoral professor sent a bunch of us an email. Bel Hooks died. She was a feminist author who meant a lot to us.

My secret is out. I’m really Doctor Laskowitz. I mostly don’t tell anybody because I don’t use my degree for anything. I’m qualified to teach wannabe professors how to profess.

Still.

It got worse. When I started managing musicians I had no idea what I was doing. I reached out to a couple of people I knew. One, was Neil Young’s late manager, Elliot Roberts. Elliot passed a few years ago. He left a giant hole in Neil’s heart and a smaller one in mine.

Yesterday, Ken Kragen passed. He had a good run. He was 85. He helped Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton break through.

I have no more gurus. No rabbis. They’re gone. Maybe it’s my turn. To teach. Not to die. Not yet.

I suppose that a couple of you are getting the idea that when I tell you I was backstage at the last Rolling Stone’s tour I might have a little juice.

I’m gonna take it a step further.

Musical Miss is Norah Jones. The other musician is Mary Chapin Carpenter. Now you know. Don’t mess with me when I’m in mourning.

I just might tell you things that you don’t want to know.

Or, maybe you do. And, now you are going to try to get backstage passes from me. It’s possible. Anything is.

I

was paging through Facebook and saw a picture I really like by a fine artist I really like.

A real fine artist. Not one of those people who takes a picture of an average sunset and calls it fine art.

She more or less created the picture out of whole clothe. I thought it was a good idea, so I did it too.

No original thinking was damaged in the making of this picture.

After living in Hong Kong for so long. I acquired a lot of Buddha faces. I rarely photograph them, but I thought yesterday was a good day to try.

The original picture was made in black and white, but along came OnOne.

You know me. I can never leave well enough alone, I started tinkering and messing around.

Eventually, I came to this place.

The Buddha of rust.

The rust god.


Into the purples.

Play time. That’s what I needed. Play time. So, I took some, both here and there.

The weather turned coolish after a massive storm. That made it wonderful to be outside. I think the entire south was hit from West Virginia to The Gulf States.

Anyway.

I made a few pictures of spring flowers and thought that would be a good way to end the business week.

And, speaking of business.

Yesterday’s troubles with the legendary David Alan Harvey have not simmered down. This time the fight comes from photographers who don’t know him but think what happened to him wasn’t fair.

They are posting under #justice for david alan harvey.

They seem to forget three things. There is no crime. He was part of a cooperative and as such they can do whatever they want. He resigned.

This is one of those times when those who don’t know should be quiet. When has that stopped anybody since the dawn of the internet?

The same thing is starting to happen in the defense of that moron who killed eight people in Georgia, of whom all but one were Asian.

I’m starting to read from the blame the victim crowd that they worked in massage parlors, that his religious beliefs drove him to do it, and last but not least, from a sheriffs deputy that, “He had a bad day.”

Murder is murder. End of story. That guy committed mass murder, killing eight innocent victims.

I don’t know about you, but I have bad days. I don’t go shooting up a city.

And, the world turns.

We found these little purple and magenta flowers. Instead of getting close I stood back.

They sort of exploded in development so I thought, hmmm.

Let’s see what happens if I layer them.

I did that.

They exploded some more and I stopped right there. I adjusted color and contrast and viola, there they are.

The thing that seems to be very important to the composition is that bare branch coming out of the white area and heading straight to the top. It gives the picture some needed weight.

I got in a little tussle at a store today. Some guy didn’t want to wear a mask. In the end, he stayed in the store… wearing a mask.

Because of that, you get punished.

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


The cat came back to find his hat.

Hmm, I thought. Maybe there are no green eggs and ham. I knew that wasn’t right so I thought a Dr. Suess-like photograph might help.

I’m sure that by now you are all aware of the controversy cause by Theodore Geisel’s estate removing six of his books from publication.

No. This is not part of the so-called cancel culture. So-called because it’s nonsense as far as I’m concerned. Closing out some books cannot be part of the cancel culture because the estate themselves did it. I don’t think you can cancel yourself, although on some days I’d like to try.

More to the point, who the hell set up a bunch of blathering idiots on social media as judge and juror? Most of the loudmouths on any social site are lucky they can walk and talk.

Of course, the six books should have been pulled from publication. They are racist on their very surface whether or not they were intended to be.

New York Times Columnist Charles Blow said this is a good first step since the estate did themselves, but he recalls growing up as a Black child that he was always made to feel inferior.

I think the world of Mr. Blow. He’s kind of the angry Black man among NYT columnists. That’s good. We need to hear his side.

Here’s the dirty little secret. Those six books were among the worst sellers in the entire franchise. If they were not Dr. Suess books they would have been remaindered and discontinued long ago. It’s really a matter of clearing out the fulfillment house.

That’s the story from the left hand column.

What a glorious mess.

I thought, after thinking about an illustration for this post, that I would make a Cat in the Hat tree.

I combined two images of winter trees. I layered them so that they almost appear to be one. I added a bit of color.

I smoothed the background, as I’ve been doing lately, and I sharpened the branches to the point where they glowed.

Then, I softened the whole thing slightly.

That’s it. Just a few 5,917 steps to get to this illustration.

It looks a little Suess-like I think.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Keep doing all the rest no matter what some state governments think because we are going to pay for that. Enjoy all the Dr. Suess books you can read.


The artful dodger.

And, so it shall be. No more political talk, except to say Twitter banned Trump – HA, HA. I’ve been looking for ways to express myself artistically until I start my project. You remember? The Jefferson Highway Project.

First, I have to motivate myself to actually drive around. It doesn’t help that our CoVid-19 numbers have shot through the roof because people need to travel, party and drink. They are not wearing masks, and not keeping to the 6 inch minimum distance rule. That’s right. Not Six feet. Six inches.

I can keep photographing this kind of material as long as the all seeing dog wants to go for walks. I just have to assemble a couple of pictures, which is much harder than it looks. I played with the base picture, the green picture, for hours. I added stuff. I sub-stracted stuff. Nothing was right.

Along came a magenta flower petal. I wasn’t sure at first, but when I saw them together, they popped and I knew. From there it was a short trip to the refining software and the result is in front of you.

Pictures like this one are far and few between. Often, there are weeks between the one you see and the next one. You can’t force them. They have to find you on their own. If you force them, they look forced, just like so many things in life.

Two of my favorite words are marinate and fishing. They are both about patience.

Marinate refers to the time between making the picture and editing the picture. Be patient. Unless you have a hard deadline, let them sit. Let them show you what they are.

Fishing refers to the way you work a scene. The picture won’t revel itself immediately. Be patient. Take your time. Explore the scene.

There is a third version combining both of the words. Sometimes, you might see me drive up to a location and bang, I make the picture. I leave and edit the picture almost immediately. I’m not violating either suggestion.

It’s likely that I’ve driven or walked by the scene in the wrong light, the wrong time of day or the wrong weather. I’ve had a long time to think about the scene and my expectations. I know the picture in my brain. When things come together I’m done in a matter of minutes.

There you have it. Back on the artistic track.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Stay strong. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. And, always look after each other. Enjoy all the art.


Like another world.

Finally. It hit me this morning. I am in mourning. Not for the life we all once had. Although, that’s part of it. I’m in mourning for the passing of time. Not, the time that I’ve been discussing. That time has no meaning, no concept these days.

Another kind of time passing. The kind that catches us all in the end. The time of aging. Not so much for me, although that matters. But, for my loved ones. Even the dogs. Especially one dog.

Sophie Rose, the all seeing cocker spaniel is aging right before my eyes. She came to us when she was eight, so she was already a senior dog. She fit right in. She became my walking companion since the other dogs were very happy with one walk a day, in a pack.

She wanted two or three walks a day, just me and her.

That was fine, if not painful. At least until a senior doctor diagnosed the real issue as bursitis.

Lately, instead of going for a morning walk, she goes outside and does what she needs to do and goes back to bed. Mostly, we go for a short walk once a day.

It crept up on me. I looked but I did not see. I got nervous today so I called her vet. For basic things that seems to be what all medical professionals prefer in the pandemic age.

We talked for a good while. He asked me the usual things. She eats her normal amount of food. She drinks her normal amount of water. She seems happy. She doesn’t express any pain. Her droppings are normal.

Everything is good.

He said very simply that she is getting old. If you use the correct way of measuring dog’s age. Twelve years for the first year. Nine for the second. And, seven for the rest. She is about 93.

I don’t imagine that I’ll even be on the planet at 93. So, at that age she is doing fine.

Never the less, I don’t like it. Cockers live from 11 to about 16 years. At 16 they don’t do much but sleep, eat, pee and poop. If she lasts that long of course I’ll love and take care of her. The other dogs will stay near her as a way to protect her.

Now, I’ve made myself sad. I don’t like getting older for me. I don’t like it for those I care for.

There is nothing to be done. It’s nature.

The picture. This should be short and sweet. That dog, the one I discussed in theft hand column, and I started on her walk. We got to my go to place and I looked up.

What a nice peaceful sky. A popsicle sky.

I did what I always do and we walked on.

I did a little post production and posted it here.

Happy popsicle sky to you all.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Keep your distance. Wash your hands. Don’t travel this week. Enjoy every sandwich.


Art in the morning.

This is on me. Not the dog. 

I was walking. I saw this beat up, rusted car. I walked by it. Wait a minute. I went back. I saw. Not the whole car. Details. Bits. Pieces.

This.

This happens when I’m in a zone. When I see. Really see. Likely as not I’m not in a zone. I don’t see. I miss things. Because I’m human. Like everybody else.