One night, long ago.

M

y thoughts brought me to a couple of places. As events start to close down I’ve been thinking about anniversaries.

This picture of a flambeaux during Mardi Gras is a great example of that.

It’s just a picture, right?

Maybe.

To me it means a lot. I was suffering during Mardi Gras 2020. I was at the peak of my back pain which was transmitting even more pain to my right knee. I walked up Jefferson Street to my usual pre-parade stop, CC’s.

The flambeaux were lining up. I stuck my camera through the line and made this picture.

I gave up. Thee pain was too much. I limped back to my car with a couple of stops along the way.

This picture is important. It was my last serious photograph before the pandemic forced the lockdown.

For sure, I’ve been making little pictures on dog walks and my own walks. But, I haven’t made a serious picture since February, 2020.

My doctor thought I was depressed. Well, gee…

I

have a theory. When something goes south, just about everything else goes to hell.

I knew it a long time ago. I know it now.

This week is four days old.

We lost Jazzfest. We lost the red dress run. We lost Action Jackson. We lost Rosy Guste.

All of that happened during our fourth CoVid-19 surge. The national infections are now just about 130,000 infections a day. Our hospitals are jammed. The two big hospitals in Baton Rouge are filled. They literally cannot take more patients.

Louisiana and the rest of the country are headed south. All manner of smaller bad things are starting to happen. What’s next?

Y

ou just never know. That’s what Action Jackson said to me when we first met.

He was right. Maybe more than he knew.

When you photograph second lines every Sunday to get to know many people.

Photographers cluster together and chat. We get to know each other. We are happy to see each other.

One photographer was Roy Guste. I knew him as a photographer. Once, when his car was broken down I gave him a ride.

There was more to him.

He studied cooking at Cordon Bleu. He was the proprietor of one of our famous old restaurants as his dad was before him. He wrote ten books about our food, traditions and cooking.

He was very well known to the food culture of New Orleans.

I never knew. I wonder how many of the photographers on the line knew.

Roy Guste died yesterday after a long battle with cancer. He was 69.

RIP.


I sort of got tired of paradise one day when I was in Hawaii and started wandering around Honolulu looking for some more urban stuff, which is what I like to photograph. I found this little Buddhist /Taoist temple so I went inside and made a few pictures. I believe that my best work gets to the heart of things. And, that it should be kept very simple. If you read Storyteller with any frequency, you know that I don’t always follow that since I try to photograph what is in front of me. But, in this case I did. This picture comes down to two things. Burning incense — joss sticks — as an offering. And, light. It can’t get more simple and direct than that. 


Continuing my thoughts from yesterday’s post about light… I found two images that are really just pure light with just a bit of content thrown in to ground the pictures. What I find very interesting is that both images were made in a holy building; either a church or a Buddhist temple called a wat in Thailand. Both are made at an places were offerings are made. One, from the church, is about candles. The second, made at a wat, is about a candle and oil. For the record, the church is located in Corrales, New Mexico. The temple, or wat, is located in Bangkok, Thailand. I’m told there is a new Thai-styled wat around here on the Westbank. I’ll have to go check it out.