All the water in the sky.

Here I go again. Driving and making pictures. You know how I do it so I won’t go there. I will head over to intensity.

I talk about not taking the picture, instead letting the picture take you. I discuss the zen of photography. I talk about practicing until you don’t think about what you are doing.

That’s all true.

Yet, there is another quality that is every bit as important.

Intensity.

When I work I’m intense. When I work it’s about the picture. Nothing else. I’m laser focused. I see everywhere and nowhere. At the same time.

This picture is an example. I knew that there were no cars around me. I knew what was happening in front of me. I knew that water was starting to accumulate on the windshield. I knew how fast I was traveling. And, in what lane I was in.

All that data was rolling around the best computer of all time. The human brain.

This picture is simple to make. The intensity doesn’t last for more than a few seconds. But, let me work for more than a few hours and I’m toast. I’m exhausted. Generally, when I get home I need a nap.

This all sounds terrible doesn’t it? It’s not. It’s refreshing. It’s knowing that I left it all on the field.

That’s satisfying.

This place is strange. The main road dips under a railroad bridge and a cloverleaf.

It is so strange that it has a water measurement gauge. Yes. This place floods.

If the weather changes quickly and a big storm blows through it’s best not to drive on this road.

The picture was made in the usual way. A drive by shooting.

The overall weather made the picture. The light was right. The clouds were bluish – gray. The rust on the railroad bridge popped right out. The cement sort of glowed.

There was very little post production. Mostly, I darkened and added contrast to the image.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. You all know the rest. Enjoy every flood.


A little heavy.

The minute I said that I was a little blocked a picture came running up to me. That’s how it goes sometimes. Say it and claim it. The problem evaporates.

I suppose that we are all in a state of suspended animation waiting for the results of the presidential election. Some media like Fox — Trump’s favorite loudspeaker — called Arizona for Biden. So did the AP.

Trump blew up at both of them. I generally read The New York Times or Washington Post. I trust them. Trust the AP too. I do not trust Fox, but because they are such a conservative loudspeaker I suppose that I do in this case.

None of that matters.

Trump is going to sue everybody that he can. Unnamed sources say that he is in a horrible mood and seems resigned to losing.

We’ll see.

Most of my friends are just plain upset. We all fear for our country. What does it mean that 60% of all white men voted for Trump? What does it mean when he gained Hispanic and Black votes?

What does that say about The United States?

A friend of mine says that he wants to move to a foreign country. Maybe California. God, I grew up there. Why did I ever leave?

And, so it goes.

Railroads. I love them. When I was growing up, my parents thought it was good idea to pack up for part of the summer, take the train, and go to Brooklyn.

Brooklyn rivals New Orleans for heat and humidity during the summer.

Of course we had a few ways of cooling down. Most of them were illegal. Getting a big wrench from the basement and opening up the fire plugs was just one of them.

But, this is about the picture. It came running at me so I stood my ground and pushed the button.

Simple as that.

Then I went crazy in post production and made sure that you knew it was dusk when the engines found me.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Keep your distance. Wash your hands. Be patient.


New Orleans

This is a test. I’m trying to learn how to do combined multiple picture designs.

Combined, because I’ve crashed two templates. I’ve also used some older pictures that those of you who are new to Storyteller may never have seen. They highlight a couple of tourist areas. Places that some of you might go if you came to my fair town.

While I was writing, I learned something very new. It appears that the block in which I am working expands to contain the new text. That’s great, but I have to watch the depth if I want some air between the text and the images.

The Pictures

I suppose that you’d like to know a little bit about them because this is, after all, a photography blog.

The top image is Canal Street at dusk.

The bridge is the Crescent City Connection, which crosses The Mississippi River to the Westbank.

Next to it is Bayou St. John.

Below that is a French Quarter scene,

Far left is Magazine Street.

Canal Street. Streetcar.

I hope you’ve me followed this deep. I’d love some feedback. Positive — of course. Negative — because it’s needed.

All About learning

Learn from me if you’d like. You are going to be right behind me. I like challenges, but many of you won’t. There is an old school template that I believe predates me. That means it’s at least ten years ten years old. That’s the option if you hate the block system.

One design note. I’ve thrown just about every design tool that I’ve used to date into this page. Drop caps. Headings. Multiple pictures. Offset text. I could do other things that I’m not so sure about when it comes to contemporary design. I could change the color of the pages. I could do that in one go, or block by block. I could change the color of the type, again in one go or block by clock. I’m more minimal than all of that.

Stay Safe. Enjoy every sandwich.


 

Through the looking glass.

Such a weird little picture.

It looks fairly normal. Just wait until I tell you about it. You’ll understand.

I was walking by a fence. There was a hole in it. I looked through it. And, what did I see? The very scene before you. I thought it would make a cool picture. What to do? What to do? The hole is about the size of tennis ball, or a little smaller. I knew that if I didn’t try, I wouldn’t have a picture.

So.

I stuck the lens up to the hole and looked through the LCD to make sure I didn’t include the ragged edge of the hole. I continued to look at the LCD and waited for some kind of truck, which I knew would eventually come. I made four exposures, managed to get my hand in the fifth, and called it a picture.

I’ve made pictures in just about every way a person could. This was a new one for me. For my next trick I’ll take a picture behind my back while still looking forward. You never know… some days feel like that.


It’s the clouds.

The third time is a charm. They say.

Maybe.

It does help to return to the scene of the crime, er, picture. Eventually, I’ll get it right. This may be the best of the skytrain pictures, mostly because of the clouds, the light and the golden color. Also, because I finally found the right angle to capture what a train and the bridge looks like.

If you see a little bow in the middle of the bridge, that’s real. It’s not a lens flaw. The bridge, both the ones for trains and cars has dips and rises in it. It feels a little sporty when you cross the bridge for cars. It was built in the 1930s when cars weren’t so big. It was renovated and widened a few years ago. There’s only so much you can do with a fairly fixed space without messing with the integrity of the original structure.

Anyway.

The only better view would be from the left, but much further down the tracks where the trains make a turn towards New Orleans.  Even then, line of sight is limited. The only way to really show the view would be from the air, which means using a drone. However, most railroad property falls under Federal jurisdiction which means you’d need permission from the rail company who owns the track. That either means Canadian National or New Orleans Beltline. I’d prefer that latter. I own a tiny piece of it, as we all do. And, their offices are local. I could actually talk to somebody there.

So.

There’s some history and a little bit about railroad companies. I didn’t intend to go that far and yet, here we are.

The picture was easy to make, as most of mine are. See it. Photograph it. Clean up a bit in post production and viola, done. It’s a good example of why you always keep some kind of camera with you. You just never know what you are going to see.

While you are running errands.

 

 


A little rain won’t stop us.

Another storm picture. Rain never stops us. I think a lot of us were fooled because we weren’t ready for the intensity of the rainfall. Never trust the weather people on your local news. They mean well, but if I got about 90% of what I said wrong, I’d fire myself.

I’ll talk about this picture. That’s it for today.

I made it with my new magic smart phone. This is the one that makes a 12 megapixel file. Usually, I process in the phone with Snapseed. I started thinking that I didn’t really like the final product, so I started experimenting by downloading the file to my main machine and using onOne to develop it and do the finishing post production.

What a difference.

The newest version, OnOne Photo RAW 2019, even has a template for making words. At this point, I cull in Photo Mechanic and Edit in OnOne and that’s it.

Goodbye Adobe. Again.

Finally. I don’t have to pay $9.99 a month forever.

Keeping today photographic, more about this picture. The first thing to know is that I made it through the windshield in between wiper swipes. This was another time that my phone thought I had a dirty sensor.

I made a lot of pictures this way.

All I knew was that my umbrella changed hands and I wasn’t going out in the pouring rain. I sat on the car and made pictures. Either I’m smart or just lazy. A betting person would take the latter.

That explains the softness in my subject’s face. We know that she likes bottled Coca-Cola, which is sort of ironic because the bottling plant for Louisiana is less than a half mile away.

That’s the story.

 


Freight train high above me.

On some days it looks like trains are flying.

They’re not.

They are crossing The Mississippi River over the railroad bridge that ties into the Huey P. Long bridge originally built in the 1930s. It was renovated and widened a few years ago. For trains it is the gateway to all points west. Or, to every traveler’s dreams.

Once a train crosses the river it passes through a little town called Westwego. Legend has it that the town was named by train conductors calling out, “West we go.” I suppose it could be true.

The picture. New smart phone. New techniques. The color rendition is nothing like my mirrorless cameras or my old iPhone. It’s taking some getting used to.

I made the picture after looking at this bridge for years. You may know it from a news story a couple of years ago. A strong storm blew in from seemingly nowhere and knocked about ten freight cars off the bridge. They crashed down to the ground below, making a giant racket. Luckily, nobody was hurt. A chain link fence was destroyed.

A few changes around this place.

Aside from haringing you to vote, I’m going to stay away from politics as much as humanly possible. I don’t just mean here, but on social network sites and even on traditional news sites like The New York Times. It’s all day, every day. And, that’s too much. The country isn’t just polarized. It’s pushed, pulled and torn in every direction. It’s as if instead of messing with our elections, the Russians dumped something in our water and made us all crazy.

That’s enough.

Vote.

 


Summer sky.

It was the cloud that I wanted.

The cloud that was reflecting the setting sun. The silhouetted bridge and power pole are just added bonuses. You know. Luck. Photographer’s luck.

Keep moving. Go outside your door. Luck just sort of happens.

Unfortunately, I miss a lot of pictures like this. I’m not often any place with a really great subject when this sort of light happens, as it did last night. Sort of another kind of luck. The luck of the draw.

Maybe.

Eventually, I’ll get back to chasing pictures for their own sake. I am on Monday. Not just for their own sake, but that’s another story. But, guess what? Weather predictions for Monday are for heavy overcast. The “Big American Solar Eclipse” may be blocked from our view. I’m not worried. The weather changes so much around here that five-day forecasts are meaningless.

On the other hand…

You know all those giant supermoons? I haven’t made a picture. We’ve had heavy clouds for every one of them.

The picture. Sort of F8 and be there. Add some glow in post to help you see what I feel. How much F8 and be there? It was like this. I was driving to someplace else. “Oh, gosh. Look at that cloud in the sun. I”d better find a place to take a picture.” I pull over. I look up and thought, “Would you look at that? A bridge,”

That’s how it went.


Airborne train.
Airborne train.

I’m still staying with the train theme.

But, not the railroad song theme. I looked. Nothing really fits freight cars parked on a sky-high bridge.  The Huey P. Long. The same bridge I drove over a few posts back. I think that you’ve seen the location in the past. But, not this picture. I’m about done with trains for a while. Eventually I’ll come back to them. Maybe I’ll follow these tracks. They end up in Los Angeles. California. They pretty much follow I-10 for a good part of the trip. That would be a good road trip. Through the desert. Unfortunately, I don’t have time.

This is one of my drive by pictures. You know. Stick the camera on the car’s dashboard and let it do its thing.