The television talking heads seem disappointed. As of 9am, NOAA still hasn’t declared Isaac to be a hurricane. It can’t seem to get organized and there is a real problem even identifying the eye. At this point, maximum wind gusts are 70 mph. 74 mph makes it a weak category One hurricane. However, there is dry air in front of the storm which seems to be causing further disorganization. The storm is very slow-moving, at about 7 mph and it is still headed toward New Orleans. Sort of. We expect about 30 hours of wind and heavy rain. Note that word. Expect. No weather person has been right yet. We will have some flooding. But, nothing like the floods that occurred during Hurricane Katrina. And, certainly not the devastation. Likely we will lose power. For how long? Depends on the damage and where it occurred. Often, if the power loss is wide-spread we also lose water. So, we fill our bath tubs to help with other issues. 🙂
This picture. Boy, I wish tropical storms and hurricanes were this pretty. But, they aren’t. This image was made in Reno, Nevada. In the early winter, just a few weeks before snow season.
By the way, for storm updates from further upriver, please have a look at my fellow blogger’s work who is known as Cookiemomma. She can be found at christiepepper.com. She’s sort of the real deal. She’s a Cajun and proudly claims her heritage.
I’ve written a lot about second line parades. I’ve shared pictures that were mostly little snatches, snapshots and scenes of Uncle Lionel’s various second line parades. But, what does it look like when you stand back? Well. It looks like this…
They say if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans. Or, something like that. Between the horror in Colorado earlier today and the weather, I think everybody’s plans changed for Uncle Lionel’s jazz funeral. Sheesh. I’m not even sure what to write because my feelings are so mixed. A jazz funeral is supposed to be a glorious celebration of a person’s life . But, the rains came. And, the streets of Treme flooded with at least a foot of water. That turned out to be a little thing. We, in New Orleans, are used to stuff like that happening. We deal with it. But, I awoke to the terrible news coming from Aurora, Colorado. That dampened my day before I even got wet in the never-ending rain. I did the only thing that I could do. I made pictures. I did the best I could. Why? Those who know me best, know that I say, “the work is the prayer.” Have a look at the pictures.
This is it for Uncle Lionel’s second line parade. The material is getting to be a week old.
Hopefully, I’ll make a few good pictures at his jazz funeral and last parade, tomorrow. And, if all goes well, I’ll be efficient in post production. If all that works, I’ll post something on the same day that I actually made the picture. But, it’ll be a long walk and I’m a little bit tired. A lot of little pieces and parts have to come together. We’ll see.
Here’s a lesson for anyone who wants to make a portrait of somebody whom you don’t know. But, first a little about how I like to work. I don’t hide. I don’t make sneaky photographs. If I can, I ask if I can make a picture rather than just take it. That doesn’t always happen in crowd situations like Mardi Gras, or Jazz Fest or even on a crowded street. But, even in crowds sometimes I get lucky enough to actually engage my subject even if it is just for a few seconds.
This picture is an example of that.
As the second line parade for Uncle Lionel began there was a scrum around his brother, Norman. Photographers were trying to get a clean angle on him. His family was trying to protect him. And, his neighbors and very local parade goers just tried to clear a path. I made a few pictures that were more-or-less scene setters, but I wanted to make a portrait in more of my style with a wide angle lens. So, I just sort of walked along with the parade until Mr. Norman and I were sort of side by side. Then I looked at him and smiled and asked , if I could take the picture. He glanced up and nodded. Asking works. Especially when nobody else did that.
Everybody around me — myself included — was grumpy. So, we went to the French Quarter. I don’t know why. We just did. We ate at Maspero’s. The real one. The one that is supposed to be a tourist trap. Not the one on Decatur which is supposed to be good. Surprise. The food was good. The waiter was a good guy. And… they gave us 15% off for a locals discount. I’ve never gotten that in any French Quarter restaurant. But, this post isn’t about the food. It’s about the quarter. It was roaring on a hot early summer’s night. I mean 92 degrees at 9pm is hot, isn’t it? Every place was busy. We started down Bourbon Street, got bored, made a right turn on Orleans toward Royal and I stumbled into this picture. I wasn’t heavily armed, but I was carrying my semi-new Sony NEX5, which I think is a great little camera. A few minutes of post production later and here it is. Oh yeah. This is the back of the St Louis Cathedral. Looks a like like Paris to me. Someone told me the reason for the crowds is that there is a giant Baptist Convention in town. Yeah. Like the Baptists are going drinking on Bourbon Street. Good one.
Testing. Testing. Testing. A new camera. A very little new camera. A camera without a mirror.
When a camera doesn’t use a mirror it doesn’t need a pentaprism, which allows it to be about the size of a deck of playing cards. But, it has the sensor of a DSLR, which means I can use it about like I would a bigger camera. This camera doesn’t appear to have a real downside except that if I were shooting sports or very hard news, it is a little slow. What is this thing? It’s a Sony NEX5N. In case you are wondering Sony makes the sensors for Nikon and Canon and a few other camera manufacturers, which means it is pretty much the industry standard.
Now. The picture? Just a little street musicianship, photographed at night, spun and post-produced my way. In many ways, the whole thingswas an experiment.
They rainy season is approaching fast in the gulf coast. But, that never stops the folks who go to Bourbon Street in New Orleans’ French Quarter. For the folks in the photograph, it looks to me that sometimes having fun is just hard work.