Color painted over color.

Just color.

Back to my later origins. Back to seeing what most people can’t see. Back to leading people to their own questions. With luck, I’ll blend this with my true beginnings — photojournalism — and, I’ll make some real pictures along the line of my first summer picture. The boy on his bike with the train passing in the background and the school bus reflected in my car’s mirror.

Or not.

This is simple. It’s pavement. Once there was a handicapped sign painted there. Then, that was painted over with just yellow lines. Now, that’s fading away.  You know. Like time. Fading away.

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There it was.

There it was.

The sun was peaking through a slight gap in the branches of a tree. There were little pink blossoms everywhere. What a morning scene.

I did what I do.

I started to make pictures. Auto focus was having a very tough time with such strong backlighting and direct sunlight into the lens. I held my finger on the button. Sometimes  it works. Sometimes the autofocus function says “oh, no you don’t.” This time I did. And, it did.

A mistake.

That’s what I made.

A completely out of focus picture. It just happened to be the best of my quick little take out of about ten pictures.

I worked on it a bit in post production. Mostly, I brought what wasn’t understandable back to my eye. That was it.

Today is a really fine day. The weather is wonderful. The pictures are coming. And, in a spring of a lot of brand new music, Bruce Springsteen released a new album. “Western Stars.” I’m often a little cautious when it comes to any big musician’s new work. Often, it isn’t all that.

Not this time.

This one is so good. It reaches into my soul. I know words that I’ve never heard as he sings them. I know the melody. A lot of his songs are what some folks call “high lonely.” It’s hard to write one song that carries that feeling.  The whole album carries is that.

Whew.

The record will arrive in this house soon. I want to get as close to the original master as I can.

A good day.


Pretty, pretty.

The middle day.

The so-called hump day of the business week. That is if you work five days a week in something like a 9 to 5 job.

I don’t  know anybody like that. I was working into the late night after taking a mid-day break. A short one. Same kind of day, today. It doesn’t stop. Sure. There are times when I don’t work as much. You know. Ebb and flow. The calendar might set my schedule, but the clock doesn’t.

How about you? How do you work? When? For how long?

Anyway.

This picture is yours. It’s a simple picture. I turned it into a watercolor painting. Almost. It’s peaceful. Quiet. A positive image.

That was my intent.


A spring flower bundle.

Sunday.

Memorial Sunday. In New Orleans, today is the day we memorialize our war dead. The guys who gave their fullest. The guys who never made it home. This is their day.

We have a ceremony. Their graves are covered with little American flags. There are speeches. We ring the bell. We pay them the highest honors that we can.

These spring flowers are for them.

I may go. I may not.

It’s a little hard.

If I go, and I go to the Money Waster’s second line, I’ll be hopping and bopping. It’s hot out there. I’ll need lots of water to stay hydrated. I’ll need to eat something somewhere along the line. Some kind of New Orleans food.

But.

It’ll all be great fun.

Or, I could lounge by the pool. Take a dip. Work on my tan. Burn some meat on the grill. The American way.

Or.

I could photograph what needs photographing. And, do the lounging thing later in the day. That would work.

That’s what I’ll do.

I need some pictures. New ones.


Tiny, little flowers.

Tiny flowers.

Some would call them weeds. But, what’s a weed? Isn’t it just something that pops up in nature without being planted by man? I think that most weeds are pretty. Some people call them wild flowers. That seems about right.

When I say tiny, I mean that. This little cluster is smaller than a quarter. A U.S. 25 cent coin. I just got close and worked the camera lens. To be honest, I did crop the sides but there wasn’t any necessary information. Cropping this way doesn’t mislead you. It just brings the subject in sharper focus.

That’s an important issue in any post production. Are you being honest? Or, are you misleading the reader? Usually, the pictures that run into trouble in the big photo contests are ones that are misleading. Even in small ways.

If a picture speaks a thousand words, what words do you want them speaking?

As usual, this picture was made on a dog walk. She saw them and lead me right to them. What would I do without her? I probably wouldn’t photograph nature. Or, at least, my version of it.

Leica tales.

Oh, this baby Leica is a Leica. It’s heavy. It’s extremely well-built and for the most part, well thought out. It has a touch screen that makes life very easy. Or, you can set the camera using very old school dials.

Its lens is sharp as it can be. The color rendition is very Leica. Just like in the old slide days, when you could pick out Leica produced slides without much thought, these files are instantly recognizable.

The down side?

The shoulder strap. The lugs on the camera are very heavy. That’s good. There are these little spring like things on the strap, itself. They are very light and hard to pull apart. They don’t fit into the lugs very easily. Not so good.

It took well over an hour’s struggle and finally digging through my dad’s old watch-making kit to find a tool that would work. It kept the metal coil separated wide enough to work its way through the lugs.

It’s good now. But, oh, it’s a Leica. And, all that it implies. Before you ask, I’ll answer. I would have used one of my older straps. They’ve been around for forty years. They’ve been used on Nikons, Canons, Sonys and even the odd Pentax body. Most camera lugs are interchangeable. But, not Leica.

So.

Repeat after me. Even though it has a small body. Only one lens. And, costs less than top shelf Leicas. Oh, it’s a Leica.


My spring.

Spring.

I think it’s easy to take a picture of flowers or whatever says spring. It’s much harder to express what you feel. This image says spring to me. It’s poppy. It has energy. It is very colorful.

I got lucky. Sorta.

I made the magenta portion of the image about a week ago. I made the yellow flowers a day or so ago. Both pictures stand on their own. I started tinkering. I do that at night when I’m not thinking about the business side of my world. It’s pure creation.

The magenta flower was complete right after I photographed it. I finished working on the yellow flower, saved it and thought… hmm.

Often when you try layering, there are a few false starts. Not this time. The two pictures looked great together. It was a matter of adjusting the intensity of both pictures and fine tuning.

That’s it.

In case you are wondering, there isn’t a lot of hardware involved. the work was done on my smart phone. I could have created this post from there, but I like working on a big monitor for that. I usually can find and correct my mistakes easier on a large screen. Or not.

Even though you might not be interested in layering, there are a lot of little photographic tips throughout this post. They may help you. Or not.


They say it’s still winter.

A Sunday picture.

A bright spring like picture to help your day. Something colorful. Something almost playful. Something to make you smile. Or, groan. Spring on a winter’s day.

I have a blogging buddy. She doesn’t  post much anymore. She mostly posts on Facebook and on Instagram. She moved from Northwest Louisiana to Iowa. She has her reasons. Most of them are family driven.

No matter what the reasons, I think why would anybody do that?

She spent last night complaining about the snow. There has already been a lot of snow and cold. Another storm blew through. At around 11pm my time, six more inches of snow were dumped on them. Add to that, she has the flu and has to take her dog out.

I’m not being snarky. I’m not making fun. Come summer I’ll be complaining.

Maybe this picture will send some cheer to those of you who are reading in frozen places.

It is true. I like snow. I also like to leave when I’ve had enough. The last time I was in frozen place was five years ago.

Time flies.

Don’t waste it.

In case you are wondering, I did not go to the parades last night. No matter how I tried, I couldn’t make myself go. After seeing a few pictures pop up on various social media, I kind of wish that I was there. Then, I look at the crowd size and think, “nah.”

It’s a question. It’ll be a question for the rest of Mardi Gras. For sure, the hounds around here are going to the Krewe of Barkus. That’s always fun. They get to meet and greet other dogs. New dogs. I’m sure that a lot of barking and growling will ensue. But, not in anger.

The picture. Operator failure. I meant to get the Japonica buds in focus. When I reviewed the pictures, I sort of set them aside. When I looked at them again, I thought “very interesting, with a little bit of work…” Work I did. This is the result.

Have a good seasonal day, wherever you are.


On a cold winter’s day.

“When we act our age they tell you there’s no more snow crab.” – Frankie

Yes. One of our guilty pleasures is Netflix’ Frankie and Grace. It’s back for another season. I’m not going to tell you much about it except to say that it’s wonderful. It’s for everybody, but it speaks a certain generation. it addresses a lot of issues. Especially about seniors.

Anyway.

I liked that quote. It struck something in me. It also begs the question. Why – no matter what kind of shape we are in — do we walk slower as we get older. I know why I walk slower. Hip. Back. But, even many people without those issues, and are fairly healthy, walk slower.

I have a theory. As we get older we understand more. At least we think we do. It’s probably just cynicism. We have seen a lot. Things we wished we hadn’t. Therefore, the weight of the world is heaped upon our shoulders so we slow down because we are carrying it. That’s pretty cheeky. Still.

That’s not what this post is about.

It’s about pictures.

It’s about backup pictures. Like this one.

I’ve been really tied up writing all those book briefs. Because the publisher really likes my work, most of the books have turned into two books. I have to first write a brief so that we are all on the same page. The next step is my own research. For some of them, that’s not much. Either they are already photographed and the images are sitting in my archives. Or, they are on my home turf. No research required.

A couple of the projects do require a lot of research. In many cases, just to know where some stuff is located. Travel plans follow that. All is time-consuming. That’s the long way of explaining why this is a back up picture.

I made the picture a couple of days ago. I saw it first, so I photographed it first. On we went. I saw scenes that I liked better, so I made pictures of them. This picture lives in my current files.

The time arrived. A new post is due.

Uh oh. No matter. I have this picture hanging around. Now it’s yours.

Funny thing. Nature has her ways. I have time to take a real break and make some pictures today. Right. The sky is leaden. Rain is falling intermittently. You know me. I say when the weather turns bad, the pictures get good. Not in this kind of dull, flat light. Nothing looks good in it.

This rain storm is just the beginning. It leads a deep cold front. It’s part of what a lot of you are getting as a snow storm. We won’t get snow, but it’ll drop our temperatures down into the twenties. I’ve really been wanting to photograph a second line. Second lines in the cold aren’t quite the same as the ones in the drippy heat of summer.

Besides that, the streets will be jumping. The Saints play the LA Rams for the NFC championship. Around here, the Saints are everything. I’m not sure how any business got done yesterday, because there were rallies, and parties and little parades everywhere as a lead up to the game. The Saints better win. If not, the city will be in a deep depression. Either way, win or lose, there are street pictures everywhere. Do I have a favorite team tomorrow? Nope. I may live in New Orleans, but I was raised in Los Angeles. It was easier when the Rams were located in St. Louis. That’s changed.

Change. Just like life, itself.