Into the light.

They say.

Never photograph directly into the light. I say backlight is good. I say direct light into the lens never ever hurt a digital sensor unless you leave the shutter open for a very long time.

They say.

A cool front is moving in on Sunday. And, another one will follow on Monday. This will lower the high temperatures down to the low 80s and the low temperatures down into the high 60s. I say prove it. It’s 96 degrees out there.

There’s nothing I can do about the weather other than to whine about it. There is plenty I can do about not shooting into direct light, like show you this picture.

The sky is white. There’s a reason for it. I was trying to expose for the shadows as the light was streaming into the front of the camera. I even had to use a light pinstripe border to keep the image from bleeding into the page.

But, yes it can be easily done. Out there on Highway 61. Wait a minute. Another song lyric is bleeding into a blog about pictures. I’ll give you a dime if you can tell me which song and who wrote it.

Anyway.

I claim that this is a fall picture. See all those little red leaves? That means it’s a fall picture. Trust me. It is.


Lost in the leaves.

Another day. Another walk.

Truth be told, these pictures are a couple of weeks old. I processed them. I tinkered with them. And, immediately forgot about them.

I don’t know why.

Sometimes, I get lucky. I make three or four pictures on one walk. I choose the one or two that I liked best at the time and move on. The key phrase is “at the time.” Often, after a suitable period of marination, I wonder what I was thinking during my culling and editing process.

I found these shoes where the trees meet the road. They aren’t Crocs. They are fairly inexpensive chef’s clogs. There is something curious about them. There is a pretty good reason why they were tossed out into the street.

Yes. They are worn. But, that’s not it.

Can you see it?

I’ll tell you what I see below the bottom picture.

The mate to the other one.

I have no idea why. I didn’t move them. I never flip pictures. These two pictures are as I found the shoes.  One in the street. One near the street. Two shoes. Two different shoes.

But…

They are both right foot shoes. Wearing a shoe on the wrong foot had to have been very uncomfortable. Especially if the person wearing them was standing on his or her feet all day.

Your guess is as good as mine.


Fall leaves on the fence.

Evolution.

That’s what this latest style of digital painting is about. Unguarded and undirected evolution. I’ve had some very positive comments about some of these pictures, which has encouraged me to go forward. Even though Storyteller is mostly about experimentation and I know that often experimentation leads to “what the hell was he thinking,” I enjoy a pat on the head as much as my dogs do.

Speaking of dogs, I made this picture on a dog walk. That happens often. But I almost missed this one. The leaves are growing on a little chain link fence that encloses a tiny pocket park near to where we live. I imagine if we get some colder weather, I will be able to see through the fence before spring rolls around.

The process. It’s convoluted. I am clarifying it a bit. Once it gets clear, I’ll change it up, but still keeping it within the broad framework of this emerging style. I’m enjoying the process which is mostly about learning. Like most us, I enjoy that.

I’ve intentionally stayed away from the horrifying news out of Texas. Too many people are dying from the barrel of a gun. I just want to add one statistic and I’ll let it go. The gunman shot up a church. The number of innocent people that he killed is 7% of the entire town. Seven percent. Of one town. Let that sink in.

Prayers are requested by the usual politicians. Just what the hell do they think the people in the church were doing?


The glow in the forest.

Fall. And, Halloween. All in one.

I took a late dusk walk with one of the dogs. I didn’t think I could even take this picture. But, I tried. You are looking at the finished result after a little fine tuning and a little tinkering to make the picture glow. There is a lesson to be learned here. No matter what you think, just shoot the picture. Cull later. Not while you are out.

Yesterday.

Storyteller drew all sorts of comments. On Facebook and Twitter, too. I guess that image protection and online theft are a big deal. For me and some of my colleagues it has been a big deal for a long, long time. It’s like fighting a war. Strategies, tactics and technology changes quickly. Very quickly.

In order to make my point again. Copyright attaches to any kind of created work the minute the piece is finished. In photography that means when you push the shutter release button the picture is copyrighted. There does not have to be a copyright symbol or words like “without express written permission” anywhere near the image. That’s the law. In The United States. Most countries honor it. France takes that a step further. I think you can be guillotined. Kidding. I think. To collect big money damages you must file with the copyright office. This is no big deal. You can file online. You can file collections of similar things. For $47.

To be sure, some countries only pay lip service to the copyright laws. China is one. Thailand is another. It’s not as long a list as you might think.

That’s it.

Happy Sunday. Or, Monday. Wherever you are.


Even in Central City there is evidence of fall weather.
Even in Central City there is evidence of fall weather.

It’s a little different in the cement filled neighborhoods in which I often work. Even though it’s the more seedy side of life upon which I tend to focus in these particular neighborhoods, there are little bits of color here and there… especially in the fall, which arrives a lot later in the year down here in Southeast Louisiana. That’s wonderful. I live in a place where “everything grows,” as my old Creole neighbor told me when I asked what vegetables to plant. And, we have two growing seasons. One in spring, like normal. And, one in October when the temperatures drop a little.

Anyway. These leaves were likely green a week or two ago. Now, they are turning colors. A little. We’d have better fall color if we had colder weather earlier in the year. But, we don’t. We couldn’t have two growing seasons if we had cold weather.

I made this picture in Hollygrove or Leonidas, or wherever I really was at the time. I get confused at some of our neighborhood boundaries. It’s not all on me. New Orleans’ neighborhood boundaries are pretty organic and some names change with the passing of generations.

So. For those of you who are new to Storyteller as of last night, welcome. Thank you, Lesley Carter. Don’t worry if these pictures aren’t quite your cup of tea. My more long-term readers know that I’m in the middle of a very long form project about the rebirth of certain New Orleans neighborhoods following the storm. That’s what local folk call Hurricane Katrina. The neighborhood is mostly Central City, which is one of the poorest areas in New Orleans. It is one neighborhood that you did not see on CNN as you watched an American city flood and be turned into something you never thought could happen in The United States. The good news is that we are coming back. Maybe better than ever. But, there is still a lot to do.

I will eventually get back to my more normal bright and energetic color. If you’d like to see more of my more “usual” work please poke around in my archives. Hopefully, you’ll see pictures that you like.