All on a wall.

The caption says it best.

All on a wall.

I was headed to my car after having coffee with Kim of Glover Gardens. She happened to be passing through on her way from Bay St. Louis to Houston. After she went her way and I went mine I saw this art-driven store. I looked in the window, but what I really liked was this wall. I think the door is their delivery door.

But, that wall.

I have no idea where these creatures came from. Or, from whose twisted imagination they sprang. It didn’t matter. I liked them. So, I photographed the wall. It’s been a long time since I did anything like that. I used my baby Leica. The whole thing made me smile.

Leica glass. Not only is the lens very sharp, but the resolution is amazing. There is another quality that I’ll call richness and depth. This is a flat wall with paintings on it. Look how the creatures just seem to be popping off the wall.

It reminds of the days when I exposed a lot of film. I shot slides in those days. I could tell the difference between slides made with Canon or Nikon cameras and those that were made with Leicas. There was just this sort of special quality about them. Apparently, Leica has been able to translate that in the digital world.

Magical.

 


Trains in the fog with help.

Foggy days. Foggy nights.

I took a little walk to a nearby train yard. I’ve been meaning to do that for a while. We’ve had a lot of fog so I wanted to photograph the fog at night. I found two engines with their motors warming up. I was astounded to see a caboose sitting between them. Of course, there is a fence between me and them. I heard them before I could see them.

I did the best that I could.

I made this picture and added some roundish highlights to the image. I really didn’t have to, but you know me. I also had help from some business behind this little group. They had their big lights turned on, which helped me to make perfect silhouettes up against a glowing foggy sky.

The caboose is another story all together. My amazement arose because no railroads use cabooses today. Congress changed a law that required them to be attached to freight trains. Once the law changed most cabooses were headed to the scrapyard or to your favorite park. This is a working caboose. It is not used for its intended purpose, but rather as a place for the train crew to rest on long haul rides.

One more thing about the picture. Notice the quality? It’s much better than many images that I post here. I used my baby Leica. It’s a great camera for pictures like this and for many of the subjects that I photograph. It’s not so good for second lines or Mardi Gras Indians. When I say baby I mean it. It has a fixed zoom lens. It’s range is from 24mm to 75mm. It’s also fast. very fast, since it has a large f stop at f1.7.

About walking. I didn’t take a dog. This was a little photo walk.I learned that if I walk at my normal pace, rather than stopping, and letting the dogs explore, my legs don’t hurt anywhere near as much as they normally do.

And, so it goes.


Chance.

Art.

All art is autobiographical. But, the reader makes his or her own meaning.

Sometimes, it seems that art being autobiographical is a stretch. How is making pictures of Mardi Gras Indians about me or my life? Or, second lines? Or, about broken and abandoned buildings? I’m drawn to those things, especially living in New Orleans, but what do they say about me?

Or, are those subjects art at all? Am I stepping back into my old roll as photojournalist? Even my faux nature pictures like this one is stretching the boundaries of my life. I make these pictures because I live in a swamp. They are local and easy to make. They may be more about my skills than they are about me. They are more about my seeing and organizing than they are about who I am.

This picture, for instance , is a combination of two other pictures.The base are pavers and fresh growth near me. The flower-shaped objects are just that. Flowers. I worked very hard to make the new image in the studio. On the computer. What does this image say about me other than I see tiny details, have a few computer skills and I have an imagination? Yet, it’s art. My kind of art. Or, not.

 

 

 

 


Silhouette in the winter sky.

Number two.

I said that I made a lot of pictures of one of the most amazing sunsets that I’ve seen in many moons. This is the second one. I hate to say this, but I was only about ten steps from yesterday’s picture. I just saw it, walked a bit, and pressed the button again.

I’m a fairly economical and efficient photographer. So, when I say I made a lot of pictures I don’t mean that I held the button and machine gunned the exposures. That’s kiddie stuff. Two or three exposures at each scene is enough for me. Sheesh. The trees aren’t moving.

Anyway.

I had one of those mornings.

Mostly, I can laugh at it. I had ton of client email to attend to. These folks don’t want to wait a few days. They want answers, plans and schemes today. Right now.

Then, the dog who sees stuff has developed an aversion to fog. I know she won’t go out in the rain, but this is something new. She goes outside, does her business (she was trading food to a cat), and heads back home. I have no idea what’s gotten into her Cocker Spaniel head.

When you send a business email you get replies. Back to the computer I went.

Finally, the weirdest thing happened to my main machine. Once upon a time I used Google Chrome. It’s too bloated and because I use a Mac, Safari works much better. It also has its own protection software.

I opened it. At the same time Chrome opened. I used “force quit” and shut it down. It opened again. I shut it down again. Up popped some kind of app I’ve never seen. It wanted me to share everything with it including your WordPress addresses. I said no. It tried three more times. It also said its app was installed. Huh?

Apparently, it rode in with Chrome. I went into my apps file and trashed Chrome. I could not find any kind of rogue app anywhere. I looked in the usual hiding places. And, some more unusual places. There was nothing that I didn’t recognize. Hopefully, it attached itself to Chrome and now it’s been shredded.

Be careful out there.

I didn’t do anything wrong. All I did was open my computer.


After the storm.

Get Lucky.

That’s what happened to me. I got lucky. After the nothing burger storm blew through I decided to walk with the dog who’d been inside all day. From the minute I stepped outside I saw orange cotton candy skies. I went a little crazy. I made a lot of pictures from a lot of different locations. I rarely do that, but how could I not and call myself a photographer?

So, I did.

This picture is about the fifth or sixth that I saw.

Sometimes, that’s how things go. I think this picture is the result of photographers luck. Sure we can discuss all the things that make a photographer a photographer. But, it mostly comes down to luck. And, listening. And, watching. And, timing.

Timing is everything. At least it is for photographers who work like me. Studio guys don’t think about luck so much because they create the scene.

That’s just about it.

I seem to have awoken from my black mood. It all comes down to pain. I accidentally fixed my knee. My mood accidentally lifted. Today, it’s king cake shopping time. Nothing better during carnival days. This is the time of year when most of New Orleans is walking around in a sugar induced fog. I’d better join them.

Happy Sunday.


The eye.

I thought I would do something different today.

We, in New Orleans, have started our celebrations for Carnival.  So, that’s in my head. It’s also a way to get out of a dark place. The one that is influenced by the real world as opposed to the fantasyland that we live in on a daily basis.

I also realized that because of the way I publish multiple pictures some of you might not have seen them. There are also a lot of you who are new to Storyteller. You’ve never seen them. You should see them.

The pictures on this page were made during Mardi Gras 2019. That was the year I mostly spent my time at a Mardi Indian wedding on Mardi Gras Day. Enjoy.


Magic sky.

Still waiting.

Seems like that’s what we do. Even though we said that 2020 would be good. That the year would be positive. The first ten days have been anything but that. I’m sensing a very palpable uneasiness. It’s not just me. A lot of people feel it too.

It’s not politics. It’s not just the impeachment, or the failure of government to do their constitutional duties. It’s something else. It’s bigger than that. Something’s coming. And, as I used to say many years ago, “I got a bad feeling about this.” The last time I said that was after looking at the hurricane maps for Katrina.

I have a nightmare feeling about Mardi Gras. I’m not going to tell you. But, I don’t think the Iranians are done yet.

Just sayin.’

That feeling is reflected in my work. The pictures are getting darker. If I photograph something bright and shining I leave it in my archives. I look for scenes that reflect my thinking. After all, they say that artists make images that are autobiographical. The rest of you make your own meaning. Success means that you see and feel things the way that I see them.

Some 2020, eh? Still I’ll hold onto my word for the year.

Anyway.

This picture was bleak. Too bleak. So I added a little color and some strange shapes to it in post production. The picture has a little smile to it now. I think.

The only thing I know to do these days is just to keep going. Art harder as a friend who lives in Memphis says. Play harder. Work harder. Whatever you do, keep doing it. Harder.

There. Is that positive enough?


Today.

We have agreement.

There is a big, huge storm headed this way and to the rest of the Southeast coming tomorrow. Supposedly, there will be punishing rains, high winds and the possibility of tornadoes.

Some say.

The storm will be warm. Others say the storm will be cool and will usher in another cold front. People are also talking about the storm eventually reaching the Northeast where for sure there will be snow.

I just have to laugh.

Our local weather folks have been wrong the last three storms that headed this way. They predicted that two of them were going to be a big deal. They weren’t. They said the last storm would amount to nothing. They were wrong. It was something.

We’ll just see about this one.

I still say that I want a job in which I can be wrong 100% of the time and not get fired.

The picture. It is a fresh as possible. I made it this morning. It’s the beginning of something, or nothing.


Sparkling in the sunlight.

They seem early. Spring buds.

In fact, the first Japonica buds were early. They arrived in early December. A couple bloomed, another cold spell arrived, and they died. The buds in this picture are right on time. They’ll grow, bloom and fully open towards the middle of carnival.

I know this because I’m a creature of habit. When I photograph the parades at the start of Mardi Gras I park in the same approximate place. There is a pretty white center hall house located on the street where I park. The owners have two Japonica trees in their front yard. They are in full bloom around the first parade. By the end, the petals are on the ground.

I was sitting outside while waiting for the dog in question. I looked up and there were little bitty buds, back and side lighted by the early morning sun. I made a compression picture and stacked an early version on top of a final version to give the image a little movement. You are looking at the result.

I’m really having an internal debate concerning Mardi Gras. Part of me thinks that I’ve photographed it enough. The other part of me thinks that’s nonsense and that’s why I’m here. We’ll see.

My apologies for being late. The all seeing dog went to the vet today. She had her annual physical. She’s fine. I found a little lump when I was petting her. It felt to me just like one that the late Debbie had. I was right. A fatty Lympoma, not to be confused with Lymphoma which is cancerous. I have long thought that medicine in any form is a combination of science, art and experience. Two out of three for me ain’t bad. And, I rarely make diagnoses because I don’t even play a doctor on television.