Taking them home.

G

reen Streetcars. They travel from Canal Street, along St. Charles Avenue, making a turn on Carrolton where they come to their terminus after about a mile or so.

Many local people use them to commute to work, to shop, to visit friends, and to go to appointments.

It’s real live public transportation just like a bus, except that it’s much more fun to use.

I always tell tourists to get out of The French Quarter and go see the rest of New Orleans. The easiest way is to catch the street car on Canal Street and go for a ride.

If you do ride to the end, you can catch the red streetcar and travel down Canal Street where it makes a turn and ends near the French Market.

If you take it in the other direction you can ride to City Park near the art museum.

That’s my tourist advice for today.

T

oday seems to be experimentation day. I tried to enlarge the picture. Oh, I can, but it skews the page to the point that it is unreadable. Even small increases in size do that.

Then, I’m experimenting with different columns widths just to learn what happens. This one is a simple swapping of columns.

No worries.

I think it’s a little hard to read the main story. I’ll switch it back or do something that’s a little easier to read.

T

he picture.

That’s what you came for, isn’t it?

This is obviously a blurred motion picture. Everything moves and vibrates. That wasn’t my intent. On this night working in The Garden District I felt safe enough to use a tripod.

But, not on this picture.

I hadn’t planned on a streetcar passing by as it did. I swung around with the tripod pretty much hanging in the air. That’s not how you use a tripod but it was a “Hail Mary” sort of thing.

When I started to cull the images I realized that photographer’s luck came into play and I made this picture.

There’s not much you can do with it in post production. The biggest task is to make it light enough to view, but not lose contrast in the dark areas.

If you come to town, ride the streetcar. Make a better picture than this one.


Is this the dream?

The dream returned. This picture could have been part of it, but I can’t remember.

What I do remember was walking towards Long Beach but ending up in a broken down place like New Orleans.

I bought a house. It was huge house. It was ancient. I mostly lived in the back of it where the kitchen, a couple of bedrooms and a sitting room was located. In many ways that’s how I lived in my first New Orleans house which was built in 1834. It was too big for me, but it was a great deal.

This dream house wasn’t like that real one. This was huge. A lot of it was falling down. It was also much older. It had broken down fireplaces throughout the house. I dug down into one of them which was about three times the size of a normal fireplace and found a tunnel that lead underground to the back of the house. It was some kind of commercial production building that was mostly hidden.

Some friends were helping me work on it. All of us kept finding weird things throughout the house. As we were coming out of the industrial fireplace a couple of people were walking by.

We asked them what they knew about the history of my house. Neither of them wanted to talk about it, but they suggested that I talk to the owner of the “food store” that was across the street.

All the owner would say that was my house had “bad juju” and that I should abandon it and find something else.

What the hell kind of dreams am I having? Everything I pass through or live in is broken down, spent and abandoned.

What is my brain telling me?

I’m not sure that I want to know.

I’m not sure if this picture was part of my always weird dreams, but it fits in very nicely.

It’s really just a simple picture of a tree in a forest. It’s not layered although I tried. Layering just never worked.

Instead, I used different filters in On One.

I played with them until I made a picture that I liked. That took endless moves because every time I got close, I went too far or didn’t like the result.

Finally, I stumbled on this version which was nothing like I intended but caught my eye.

I finished it and you lucky folks are seeing it.


Only in New Orleans.

What a day. The fire did not only jump out of the frying pan, but it burned the house down.

No. Not literally.

A photographer who is known to many of us and who has helped us in career advancement just resigned from Magnum in lieu of being voted out of the cooperative.

Let me take a step back.

For those who aren’t aware, Magnum is the premiere photo agency in the world. At one time they were purely editorial photographers. As time passed they grew into something else out of financial necessity. They are a co-op which means they can’t just fire anybody.

The photographer, David Alan Harvey, was accused of sexual harassment of 11 young women. A reporter from the Columbia Journalism Review investigated, talked to the 11 women and found their charges to be true. The women showed incredible courage in talking on the record.

This exploded via Twitter and if you Google his name, you’ll find it all over the internet.

Many of the tweeters are women. They are not yet satisfied. They feel like Magnum and Harvey are getting off way too easily. They feel like photographic gatekeepers are essentially a good old boys club.

A reckoning is coming.

I’m sad and a little bit hurt, not because of the oncoming discussions. We all need them. I’m sad because I know this kind of thing has been going on for years. I don’t know it directly, but there were whispers in the wind. It wasn’t just with Harvey, but with all manner of photo influencers.

In Harvey’s case, he was always sort of a cowboy. I had no idea he had gone as far as he did. This hurts. His advice mattered.

I suppose it’s true. You must separate the art from the artist.

I only have one question aside from what was he thinking? What is a 76 year old man doing chasing 25 year old women?

Oh, I know why.

And, that just sucks.

I don’t usually cross post. This picture first appeared on Instagram which is distributed to Facebook because they are one company.

It’s slightly elderly from Super Sunday 2019, the last one we’ve had because of the pandemic. I doubt we’ll have it this year because it is just too soon.

Those folks who have already looked at it bear with me. You are going to look at it again. Sorry.

This may be one of my best Black Masking Indian (Mardi Gras Indians) pictures. It’s good because I managed to be inside the picture.

No matter how you try, it is very hard to do. My advice is to take a couple of years and get to know the players. Then, they MIGHT part for you to work your way inside. They might not.

There is very little post production used in the picture. There didn’t need to be. Those Indian suits are as you see them.

I’m sorry to say that it was guys like Harvey who taught me to see and work this way. That was all good back then. Today? Not so much.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Get your jabs. Be good to each other.


Inversion.

Reflections.

An image found within a photograph. That’s what you are looking at. An accidental picture. I didn’t see it. The dog didn’t see it. I made another reflection picture. I stooped down to do that. When I stood up I saw this one. Really, part of this one. I had to reposition myself so that you wouldn’t see me.

That’s about it.

While I was ranting yesterday, I said something that needs more explanation. I first read about it in late March or April. It’s called the BS Theory. Just about everything we do is governed by some kind of procedure or company imposed rule that makes no sense.

Here’s an example.

I take Tramadol for my hip and back pain issues. It is essential in managing my body’s ills. About a year ago, it wound up on a restricted list. It was the federal government’s way of helping to solve the opiod crisis. It’s heavy handed. None of the medical professionals who treat me like it. The doctor didn’t like it. The insurance company didn’t like it. Nor, did the pharmacy. It was just more red tape.

Part of the process is a urine test, than a doctor’s visit, followed by my signing a form proclaiming that I would use it correctly and that I wouldn’t sell the pills.

This whole thing actually took bits of three days.

Along comes the coronavirus and that goes out the window. I still took the urine test, but everything else was done by teleconference. Even the prescription that I was supposed to pick up in person was faxed to the pharmacy.

See what I mean?

BS procedures.

Admittedly, I’m pure as the driven snow. That may count for something. If it does, why go through all the rest of it?

Think about procedures that you have to follow. They don’t make sense. Even the telephone agent who you may have to talk to doesn’t understand them, but insists that you follow them.

And, so it goes.

Stay safe. Keep might. Enjoy every sandwich.


Sunset at the crossroads.
While I was stopped in traffic.

Storm season.

The soggy time of year. If we don’t get wet from above, we get wet from very moist air. You know, humidity. The number that drives the heat index into numbers unknown. The air temperature might be around 90 degrees, but with the humidity the heat index (feels like) temperature is about 102 degrees.

Too hot to do anything. Even the all seeing dog only wants to go out to do what she needs to do. There are errands to run. We keep those short and compact because we have a masking mandate. We have been to stay home. Again.

I made this picture on one of those errand runs.

After months of figuring out the right time to buy groceries, we stumbled upon it.

First, we did the senior citizen thing. Getting up before 7am to be at a grocery store was a little much. It felt like we were surrendering to the virus. The world was too upside down

An executive decision was made. We’d shop whenever we wanted. Still, we experimented. We wanted to know the least crowded time of day. We wanted to know if that was consistent. We found it by accident.

By accident. That seems to be our way.

We kept put off shopping on a day when there was almost nothing in the refrigerator. We had to go.

So, we went in the evening. I don’t think that I’ve ever done that.

7pm. That’s the time. Most people are home from work, if they still have work. They are likely finishing dinner. There were less than a dozen people in the store. They all wore masks. That happened three weeks in a row.

The Picture

That’s how this picture happened. By accident. I made it after a shopping trip. I’m not normally out at this time. We stopped for a traffic light. The sky was wonderful. I had the time. I made a lot of these pictures. I helped it a bit, but not much.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. You know what to do. Enjoy every sunset.


Shimmering in dark red.

Well.

I won’t be doing that again, anytime soon. Depending on which version arrived in your mailbox, you were either mystified or confused. Follerer and online friend, Frank wrote a long comment. Every word he wrote is correct. Luckily, I’m sure these block templates are not locked in, unlike whatever we chose when we started. They are available to give you a semblance of creativity.

I suppose once I learn this way of not coding coding, this might give me more freedom. The problem is that the previews don’t show everything. Most of the framework is not available visually. I’ll get used to that, just as long as I can see what’s new on the daily template.

Since I’ve been asked, The all seeing dog is feeling a little better. The pain meds seem to be working. We have to wait for her dental appointment for her to complete her healing. She can hardly wait. I can hardly wait. The other dogs can hardly wait. Everyone else can hardly wait.

On another note.

The picture. My neighbors seem to think that more color is more color. You know me. Normally I would agree. Not this time. We have plenty of indigenous growth in the swamp. Some is quite pretty. The flowers, or wildflowers, that I mostly post are all native to Southeastern Louisiana. These red flowers are not. They came from a nursery.

No matter. They still look good when they are photographed. Of course, I couldn’t leave well enough alone. I tinkered around until made the flowers a lot richer and darker than they ctually are. That’s it.

One of the tenants of good page design comes under the heading of conventions. You create your own. One of my evolving conventions for Storyteller using the block system is that every new subject on the page begins with drop cap.

These drop caps are ridiculous. The minute I can figure out how to modify them I will. I may have to do that in the text setting by making the text bigger so the drop cap works with it. We’ll see.

Stay safe. Enjoy every sandwich.


It began this way.

It began with a sunny, pleasant day. The kind we, in the swamp, have in mid-April. We are a little lucky. Normally by this time summer appears, which means six months of heat, humidity and rain.

The all seeing dog seems to be feeling better. We took two longish walks and a shorter one. She tried to take a fourth walk at around midnight, but I gently nudged her back home. Apparently, all that exercise after a week of almost none has made it okay for her to sleep until noon. That’s okay. We all need our sleep.

It was because of her that I found this pretty Japanese Maple. It seems to be confused. Normally, these colors come out in fall. Unless I slept through summer, it’s still spring. Nature is still in a rebellous mood.

Another way of looking at it.

On the CoVid19 front things seem to be stabilizing. However, we in Louisiana are not in a hurry. In fact, the governor just extended the stay at home rules until May 15. He said that he wasn’t going to be driven by emotion. He is being driven by science and data. While some parishes like mine are seeing the virus slow down, other more northern parishes are just now seeing a surge.

In any case, we should not view this as a time to let our guard down. It is the other way around. After six weeks you cab get kind of lazy. Don’t be. We must be religious in keeping discipled about social distancing, wearing masks and gloves in public spaces.

Even when non-essential business do start reopening, there will be three phases that are governed by strict guidelines.

I’ve been reading about other southern governors who seem to be placing earning over living. Georgia is one of those states. They opened everything up including very face to face intensive businesses. Hair salons, barber shops, tatoo parlors were opened first. Huh?

Luckly, most businesspeople in the state are watching the numbers, studying the data and listening to the scientists. Despite their governor’s recommendation, they are not risking their lives and the lives of their customers.

I’d write finally, but it’s never finally, is it?

I don’t know about this particular drop cap. It looks like some strange futurist writing from another planet. It is supposed to be, “I’d.”

I’m starting to think that I’ll build here. I’m looking itno companies that make templates that fit over the ones Wordpree Provides. Many of them require no coding skills, which I don’t have. And, at this late date, likely will never have. That could be a game changer.

Not writing code is one of those things that I wish I could have taken care of many years ago. But, I didn’t. I could have made it hobby like I did learning Photoshop. I decided that acquiring Abode skills was a better use of my time than playing various games. Photoshop has a very steep learning curve. I’m not sure that I could have learned some kind of basic coding at the same time. And, run a photography business.

Stay safe. Enjoy every sandwich.


Night Work
Going for a ride. Mule drawn carriage at night. The French Quarter, New Orleans.

Even with all that colorful light that I talked about in my last post, I still had to do what I do… which is photograph things a little differently. So, I found a mule-pulled carriage that was making a turn. I let the camera do its thing. All I did was pan a little to follow the motion. You know. Slow shutter speed, relatively narrow depth of the field. I suppose that powerful dusk light helped this picture as well. I’m not sure. The bright color in this picture could just be the last remaining ambient light. In any case, this is absolutely the last picture I made that night. Even someone who should know better, like me, did the thing I should never do. I ran out of battery power. Yeah. I’m a big time photographer. Right. Hahahahahahaha!