Smokers.

I know where I am.

When I smell the food smoking away. Street food. BBQ working away. Grilling big sausages. Often with the cooks hidden in a cloud of pungent smoke.

You know how I feel about street food. I love it. In any place. In any city. On any continent. I know that it’s freshly cooked. I know that it’s safe since it prepared over an open and hot flame. And, it’s inexpensive. A good sausage with all the fixings costs $5.00. No. There aren’t any sides. This is street food. Handed to you by a guy who is wearing black rubber gloves. Mechanic’s gloves.

If you want a drink of anything, you’ll have to go find another vendor. If it’s the hard stuff your after, it’s $5.00. That’s for two unmeasured shots over ice, or not, in a plastic cup. There are free mixers. They are very plain. Coca Cola. Royal Crown Cola. Orange Juice. Ginger Ale.

There ain’t no craft cocktails here. No Cosmopolitans.

I drink water. That’s a dollar a bottle.

The picture. I’ve been waiting for this picture a long time. It’s hard to find. The scene was damn near perfect. A lot of light gray smoke. It was backlighted to illuminate the smoke. The light also gave the leaves in the background a sparkling quality. The cook was built well and made a good silhouette.

And, I was talking to a videographer friend of mine who shoots tape for a radio station. Yeah. I know. This is New Orleans that we are talking about. He helped me by blocking passersby from getting in between me and the scene. He really didn’t have to do much. He mostly just stood there.

All I did was pick my moment and press the button. The exposure, which I pre-set, was dead on. I only had to clean up a little bit in post production. This is what I did instead of watching “The Lame Bowl.” Then we paraded all around the city. We had a lot more fun than the fine folks of Atlanta. The general consensus around the country was that New Orleans did much better than the two teams who played. I forget who they are. Maybe you can help? Our music was certainly better than the half time entertainment.

For the coincidence seekers among you, here’s one. The New Orleans Saints record during the 2018 season was 13 – 3. That’s 13 wins and two loses. The game score was 13 – 3. The winning team scored thirteen points, whoever they were. The losers scored three. That made it the lowest scoring lame bowl in history. It was beyond boring, so they say. Even the announcers couldn’t resist tearing the game down.

That’s how bad it was.

Advertisements


BBQing the ribs.
BBQing the ribs.
FTF01242013011
Another happy cook
FTF01242013001
Happy cooks at The Fat Falafel

So. I promised you that my first post of the day was just a test. It was. What is really cool about that post is that I did everything, except make the picture, on my i-Pad. This is very important since I’m trying to travel even more lighter these days. I reckon if I don’t need a laptop, the will cut my carry on luggage down to very little. I’ll test it next week from the road. Hopefully, it will work as well as I’d like. What would be extra cool is if I could just think pictures and not need a camera. Kidding.

Tonight. There is a big movement in New Orleans to legalize food trucks. Actually, it’s not to make them legal. They are. But, they are restricted. So it’s really an attempt to make the current rules a little less strict so that they can park in certain locations in the city for more than a few minutes. Some of the city council people are actually championing this. That’s all good. If you’ve read Storyteller for any length of time, you know that I really like street food in all forms. In all countries. So, of course, I really like the idea. In order to drum up public support, someone came up with the idea of holding monthly food struck festivals. Many of them are organized in Central City on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard. That fits in very nicely with my long form project. I can photograph and I can eat. Pretty good, huh? There were ten food truck tonight. Ribs. Very high-end grilled cheese sandwiches. Burgers. Hot dogs from Dat Dog. Great coffee. Soul food. Falafels. Mexican food. And, so on. Get in line. Order. About ten minutes later you are eating. There’s pretty good music, too. And, plenty of tables on which to enjoy your dinner.

The pictures. Technically, I did pretty much what I always do. Content was important last night. A close friend of mine  suggested that I’ve been framing too tightly and that I wasn’t leaving enough background information in the picture. So, I loosened up. That’s a big switch for me. I like to frame tightly and graphically. The other change was working more with the people whom I photographed. You see the results in each frame. Even though the top image of the man grilling ribs is graphic, we talked enough for him to ask me when he could shut the lid. I worked quickly because I think that he’s trying to feed people and I’m just making pictures. Oddly, chatting with people is easier for me than framing more loosely. For many photographers that’s reversed.