Latest Posts

Very Green, Very Simple


Rain drops on green leaves.

Life, and life itself.

Fresh growth. Water droplets. Leaf veins. Symbols for life.

I made this picture a few days ago, when we knew Hurricane Florence was about to hammer the Carolinas. And, that Super Typhoon Mangkhut was about to tear through the Philippines and parts of Southern China.

I started thinking about the simplicity of nature and how we — most of mankind — were doing our best to destroy it. We use every tool we have at our disposal to create severe weather change. To pollute. To destroy.

As Bob Dylan once wrote, “It doesn’t take a weatherman to tell which way the wind blows.” He was talking about political winds, but isn’t weather change a kind of politics?

Already every place in the world is hotter, wetter and more humid. Where it isn’t wet and humid, it’s dryer and more extreme. Storms are more powerful and the season is longer. Where it’s dry, wildfire season is longer and more dangerous. The changing weather, in part, helps drive refugee migration. The window for stopping irrevocable change is already beginning to close.

Some world governments are trying to work against this. All but two. Whether it is too little or too late remains to be seen. One of the two used to be a world leader.

Now?

Not so much. In fact, The United States is regressing in the name of corporate power and earnings because the current presidential administration doesn’t believe in science, thinks that weather change is a hoax, and thinks that what might have been good before we knew better — say 75 or 100 years ago — is good now. For instance, the president seems bent on reviving the coal industry, claiming that there is clean coal. There is no clean coal. Besides, why would you want to burn coal when there are plenty of renewable energy sources around such as sun and wind?

Oh wait. I know. I know.

Anyway.

Pictures like this one make statements more elegantly than all the words I just wrote. Keep it simple. Keep it on point. Make it powerful. A little tiny detail of something can make a grand statement of its own.

Advertisements

At Least


Taking our minds off of all the news.

Storms to the east. Fires to the west. A liar up north.

I don’t know about you, but I need a break. From the news. From thinking about prepping for the next three potential storms.

That’s what this picture is about.

Rain poured down at night. By morning, the sky was bright and clear with just a few white puffy clouds. The all-seeing dog and I went for a walk. She decided that sitting was in order. We found a bench. I sat on it. She sat on the grass. I looked up and saw this picture. I pushed the button. We sat a while longer. When we got home, I headed to the studio where I tinkered with it and helped it to glow.

That’s what I wanted. A bright, glowing picture that reminds me of  1930s Art Deco posters.

 

Big Storm Comin’


What it feels like.

Hurricane Florence.

I’m not sure what I can add to everything you’ve likely read or watched. Unless you are actually there, or  hunkered down waiting to help as first responders, there’s not much more you can do. You can have a good thought. You can pray, You can donate to one fund or another which might help the storm survivors repair billions of dollar worth of damage.

It doesn’t matter. Do whatever you can.

As a Hurricane Katrina survivor, I know how long it took for me, my friends and my region to get back on its feet. In some areas, normal life still isn’t back. And, it’s be thirteen years. Brad Pitt’s Make It Right houses are already starting to fall apart. I just read that each house was constructed for around $20,000. What can you build these days for that kind of money that will stand the test of time?

Anyway.

One thing to know is that stacked up behind Florence in the Atlantic Ocean are three more named hurricanes. Two of them look like they could get into the Caribbean Sea, which means there’s a good chance that can get into the Gulf. It could be that around this time next week, I’ll be asking you to have a good thought for me.

The picture. I made this picture during one of our heavy downpours this week. I tinkered with it a little bit and gave it that weird colored sky that you often get with hurricanes. I made it through the windshield. If you look toward the top you can see a leaf stuck to the glass. It’s sort of hiding there in the silhouette of the tree.

Good thoughts, prayers and actions, folks. My water brothers slightly to the north are going to need them.

Ice Cream and Lollipops


Frozen.

After yesterday’s day of reflection, I needed something different. I’m pretty sure you did too.

What to photograph? What to photograph?

The best pictures come to you. Right? This one came to me in the grocery store. Every freezer door was clear except for this one. For some reason the ice cream behind this door was hidden by a film of condensation.

Ah ha! The lightbulb in my head went off.

I made two pictures. This is one of them. Sure, there’s a lot of post production. I had to help you see what I saw. I like the pastel shade of the image. It’s not my normal approach.

That’s it for today. I’m a little tired. Still, I’m going to test something like WordPress called Gutenberg. It is supposed to turn the normal WordPress templates into a free-flowing, free form website. It’s the future. I’m testing it as a plug-in. I know it’s going to be a bit buggy. Even WordPress says that. Knowing that going in makes it no big deal.

Wish me luck.

A Moment in Time


Katrina return.

Today is September 11, 2018.

Seventeen years ago everything changed. Terrorists destroyed the Twin Towers in New York City. They attacked the Pentagon in Washington D.C. They tried to fly another plane into Washington, but that plane was taken down by the passengers of that plane.

Today is a solemn day in The United States. In many places in the world it is a solemn day. We remember. We take pause. We offer little prayers.

These pictures are my prayer.

I offer this humble little portfolio to you. With pictures made over the years since that horrible day. To the people who have served so admirably. To those who have died. In the towers. In Washington D.C. In battlefields a world away.  To the first responders. To those whose lives that are so changed. To the entire world.

Peace. New Orleans 2018.

Swamp Floor


Red, and fading.

Southeastern Louisiana is an outdoor hothouse.

Heat, humidity and rainfall make it so.  We have weird growth. Until I moved here I never saw a red mushroom. I see them towards the end of summer. There are also white ones. Brown ones. Huge misshapen ones. I’ve lived in a lot of places. Louisiana is the most primal place I’ve ever lived. If you removed all the man-made things, you might think you lived in the age of dinosaurs.

It makes you think.

It makes me think about going forward. Life for our children. And, their children. And, on and on. I’m trying to leave something behind. Or, at least not take anything away.

The picture. Another dog walk picture. Good thing that dog has me. I might never explore these kind of places. She sniffed this mushroom and immediately turned away. She knows. I know too. Anything red through purple is a no go. Eat it and die. Or, at least, get really sick.

It’s really just a simple see  it and push the button kind of picture. I worked hard in post production to not turn it into a flourescent nightmare.

Understanding


Looking Like fall light.

It’s still pretty hot and humid.

However, the light is changing. The sun is lower in the sky. Shadows and surfaces are being illuminated in really pretty ways.  This was the first scene I saw that told me even with our heat and humidity, autumn is here.

I should have known. Night is arriving earlier. If you hang out in tree shadows, there are small breezes wafting through and it is a little cooler. In the heat of summer it doesn’t matter where you sit. It’s hot. And, steamy.

Besides, June 20th is the summer equinox. The longest day of the year. The days get shorter immediately. It’s been almost three months.

What was I thinking?

That’s a great segue into this morning’s reading.

I started by not reading the news. Today, the only thing I care about comes from the sports world and the events surrounding Serena Williams. She’s one of my heroes. If you know tennis, you know what happened yesterday. It stretches well beyond sports. I support her fully. I support Naomi too.

Instead, I read blogs. I read two of my favorites and they both made me stop and think. Not, like “oh, that’s interesting,” but, really dig down and think. Both are produced by women. Both have made some really great breakthroughs in a fairly short time. I started thinking about my way forward. I realized that for some reason, I’ve left behind a working way that I love and made me the photographer that I am today.

It’s partially a digital thing. It’s a more industrial way of working when things likes sharpness and perfect focus matter more than art. Art matters more than technical things to me. That’s the long and the short of it.

Their blogs and my thoughts came just in time. I am photographing a second line today that starts at 3pm. It’s a short parade. The light should just be turning. And, I’m going to experiment with some techniques in what will likely be a failed attempt at making something old school.  We’ll see.

Besides, it’s about moving forward. Not staying stuck or living in the past. In order to do that you make mistakes, you fail. But you learn.

Remember, I’m a big baseball fan. The best hitters in baseball hit around. 300. That means they made an out two out of the three times they batted. That ratio is good enough for me.

 

Upon Reflection


Trees reflecting in a pool of storm water.

The day started out good.

Then, it got better.

I got to visit with a lot of neighbors on our dog walk. That’s always good. We returned home and I went to work on this post. I looked outside my window and other neighbors were passing by with their brand new infant. I hustled outside and got to meet a brand new person. If that doesn’t make your day or week, nothing will.

I returned to the studio. I just had to listen to some Joni Mitchell. Between this picture, which is also brand new, and meeting the baby, I had to hear “Clouds.” Now the house is steeped in Joni Mitchell. There could be worse things. We’ll forget about them for today and tomorrow, and maybe Monday.

This Picture. It is brand new. I made it on the way out of the house on our morning walk. It’s maybe three hours old. I’m happy when the picture appears in front of me and makes itself. Better yet, it didn’t require much work. I tried to work on it, but I just made it worse. I retreated. After all, who wants flourescent lime green leaves and almost bright red rocks?

Happy weekend, y’all.

Quiet


Summer leaf.

The end of summer.

Little details. Seeing. Looking. Feeling.

That’s all this picture really is about. I saw the leaf on an outdoor table. I framed it in a way that you could see the leaf and see the table. Then I went to work on it. That’s it.

Old business.

You’re gonna laugh. Remember Tropical Storm Gordon? The storm that did nothing? It broke apart over Northern Mississippi and Arkansas. The last of the winds pushed it back this way and we got soaked yesterday. As they say, “If the lightning don’t get you, the thunder will.”

The rain is pouring down as I write. This rain has nothing to do with Gordon. It’s just that time of year. There are three storms forming in the Atlantic. I’ll worry about them later.

Google issues. A lot of people are complaining about it. I didn’t know that until I Googled it. How’s that for irony? There is no real work around yet unless I want to go back to a very early desktop from about 2012. That really won’t work.

So, I did a better thing. I saved the WordPress dashboard page as a bookmarked website and placed it on my bookmarks bar. One click and I’m here. This is better than it was on the Google desktop.

See?

I can be creative when I’m forced into it.

Arrrrggggghhhh


The wide angle version of Magazine Street at dusk.

Yes. Arrrggggghhhh.

Google, apparently lacking enough to do, redesigned their desktop. The very desktop that I use 20 times a day. The one with my eight favorite sites like Storyteller. I would see the thumbnail, click on it and a way I went.

Oh no. Not anymore.

The new desktop only has six buttons. Sales buttons to websites like Amazon, Ebay and on and on. Yes. Twitter and Facebook are there too. If I want anything else I have to do a “smart search.” WTF? Storyteller is gone. My news sites are gone. MLB is gone. (Baseball) I’m gonna have to figure out a work around. It may just be that I can replace those buttons with my buttons. I’ll find out.

I don’t know about you, but I’m really tired of being manipulated, controlled and shepherded at every turn. Try to read almost anything and you have to negotiate about 28 pop ups — that’s an exaggeration — but you get it. Sheesh.

That’s my rant for today. Sorry.

The picture. It’s a wide angle version of the one a posted last week. I was stumbling around in my out takes and thought it would be go to explore a different direction. I like the deep blue sky about as much as I like the setting sun. I think it’s important to look at things from different perspectives. Not only photographically, but in life. I’m pretty sure that might close the gap in all of this polarization we see right now. But, what do I know?