A little while back, I took a ride into the country outside of New Orleans. Depending on which way you drive, you can be in swamplands, gulf coast scenery or even what I tend to think of as just “The South.” “The South” is where I went. I traveled downriver towards Delacroix. Even though it’s less than 30 minutes from New Orleans, scenes like the one in my picture are what you find. Yeah. I gilded the lily a little bit by going on a day when the sky had some character.
Yesterday, I wrote a little about Freret Street and its relationship to Central City. I thought I’d give you all a quick look at the street and some of the things that you can see there. It’s an overview and I’m sure I’ve missed something that somebody might think is important, but these kinds of shoots are always a work in progress.
The Holy Cross area in New Orleans is actually a sub-district of The 9th Ward. Sub district is one of those words that I stumbled upon while researching what I photographed. So, this is St. Maurice Church. It’s been decommissioned by the Catholic Church in New Orleans and is now for sale. The church was built in 1857. It really doesn’t look it, but that’s what the sign on the wall said. That’s also what any history I found said. It must be correct. Maybe not. I’m skeptical that way. Numbers add up to nothin’, you know?
First, St. Maurice. He was the leader of the Roman Theban Legion. They were famous. In the Third Century. He was ordered by Maximian to kill a large group of Christians. He refused and Maximian ordered his own troops be decimated. That means killing one of every ten soldiers. When that didn’t work, he killed them all. The Christians. The soldiers. And, St. Maurice. He did that in what is now Switzerland. And, you wonder why they stay neutral.
Second. Holy Cross. It is the final eastward development of New Orleans. It was established in 1849 by a group by brothers, sisters and priests of — you guessed it — The Order of The Holy Cross. They built an orphanage which became what was Holy Cross School in 1895. The school moved to Gentilly — another area in New Orleans — after the entire Holy Cross area was flooded by Hurricane Katrina.
I didn’t know any of this until I took the picture and decided to do a little poking around. Well, that’s not entirely true. I know what decimated means. I studied Latin in high school. Anyway, it just shows you what a little research can do. That, and boredom.
The picture. More i-Phone work. I tuned it up a bit. Well, a lot. I used by Snapseed and OnOne to do the work. The picture was silhouetted, but didn’t have much else. I thought the church was a little spooky so I created a picture to reflect what I saw.
I don’t normally ask for things like this. But, please vote for this picture. Here. http://www.bucketlistpublications.com/portfolio-view/travel-photo-contest-19/ I’ve entered it in a fellow blogger’s travel photo contest.
It was made a few years ago in Albuquerque, New Mexico on the opening day of The International Balloon Fiesta. It was mostly a combination of luck and, well, luck. I was heading towards the balloon field for the first morning’s mass ascension when I ran into a massive traffic jam on the interstate. Yes. I left for the even in plenty of time. By the time I worked my way through all the traffic many of the balloons were already in the air. So I drove around to the backside of the balloon field and happened to find the this picture.
I’m not even sure what to call this picture. I suppose it’s mostly about color. I made it as part of my four-year old picture a day project. But, I made it as I was going from place to another. From my car windshield. Just as my traffic light turned green. Oh. Not to worry. There was nobody waiting behind me. I’d like to think that I’m not one of those. Maybe I am when it comes to pictures.
I seem to be on a roll with Ry Cooder songs. Most of these songs are from an album called I, Flathead. Strange desert, country music with a Ry Cooder twist. Makes me think of some of the stranger places that I’ve photographed along Route 66 for that project. So. These pictures were made in a couple of locations. Some were made in Gallup. Others were made in a place called Budville. And, some were made near Continental Divide just over the border in New Mexico when you are traveling east from Arizona. The thing about these places is that you can see most of them from Interstate 40. But, they get much more interesting when you get off I-40 and drive the bits and pieces of what’s left of Old Route 66. Technically, there really isn’t much more to making these pictures that “see the picture, take the picture.”
Most people know about the summer weather in New Orleans. The temperatures turn very hot. The humidity rises to sauna level. There is a lot of rain… but only for short periods of time. The clouds become very dramatic. This summer season is no different from most, except that the weather got hotter sooner than normal. That warms up the gulf which raises the possibility of bad tropical storms or hurricanes if one gets into the gulf. That said, I really don’t worry about it all that much. I worry more about the pictures that I have the potential of making. If you can stand the heat and humidity there are some upsides to living or being in New Orleans during July and August. Very few people come here as tourists. That means prices for just about everything in places like The French Quarter are discounted. It also means that it is very easy to get around since there aren’t so many people on the streets.
This image is of a classic New Orleans summer sky. I made the picture on the ferry ride from New Orleans to Algiers. In the background, you can see the Crescent City Connection crossing the Mississippi River.
This picture is called High Desert Drifter. Drifting is what I’ve been trying to do since the passing of Debbie. But, my neighbors won’t let me. For instance, I haven’t cooked a meal since Monday. That’s not because I’ve lost the will or am not hungry. It’s because they keep feeding me. Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. They have my back. They aren’t just saying that. They mean it. I’ve never felt anything like this. I’d like to say that I am healing pretty well. But, I don’t know that. Every day could be a different emotional roller coaster ride. I do know that I have to walk the walk and take one day at a time. And, if need be; one hour at a time, one minute at a time or one second at a time. That’s the only way to do it. That, and tell people. Be honest.
This picture is in a lot of ways about endings. When I left New Mexico to return home to New Orleans, I started missing it before I left. Even though I was anxious to make the move, New Mexico had become sort of a home to me. I took a drive to one of my “go to” places to make pictures. I had a helluva a shoot. I probably made five or six images that I really like. This one is literally the last picture that I made. Nothing special about my technique. See the scene. See the light. Take the picture. No Photoshop magic.
More from my summer roads series. There is one problem with this picture. I’d forgotten that it’s been around a bit. When I Googled Tres Piedras his picture comes up as number one on Google images and number 9 in general Google search results. That’s okay. It’s part of my editing project so those of you who have never seen it, will finally see it. Those of you who may have seen it can have sort of an encore.
Here are some things I should have known, but I just learned. It’s located at the crossroads of Highways 64 and 285. I think that’s how I first stumbled upon it. It’s located just past the Earthship Landing Zone in Taos County, New Mexico. Figures. Well, earthships are off the grid, self-sufficient homes that are pretty much organically constructed. Sometimes they are made of trash. Actor Dennis Weaver owned one build of old tires. They seem to work well and have become very expensive to buy.
The picture obviously got a little help in post production. Lot’s of painting going on here. But, if you ask me what exactly I did, I probably can’t tell you. Sorry, but I was just experimenting at the time. No matter what I did to this picture, one thing remains. It’s old. I think I’d better go make some new summer pictures.