Something like art.

This little cloud drifted by. It was front lit by the sun. No matter what I did, I couldn’t quite help the image to be what I saw, so I did what you are seeing.

I tried a lot of attempts. Nothing looked right. I’ll, show you a couple in a few more lines. Sometimes, photograph goes this way. Sometimes, it’s even worse.

Anyway.

So, what did I do to these pictures? In a word, everything.

I tried all the tricks in my bag. Nothing looked very good to me.

Then, I tried pulling everything back.

See what I mean? The middle top picture of this group is about how the cloud and sky looked to my eye when I saw it. It felt weak to me.

Try as I might without going into a lot of layering, I could not bring out the colors in any way that I really liked.

So I just made it different.

To tell you the truth, the picture I like best is the really dark one on top. The big picture. It is so different that it became its own form of art.

I’m also interested inn the bottom left image. It almost looks 3-D.

What do you all think?

I made the very dark picture and thought that it had nothing to do with reality but it did look like a nice piece of art. So, I stopped before I turned the orange dark and the image would have been just a dark blob.

As I’ve written in the past sometimes I just go back and forth with certain sliders until I’ve gotten to the picture.

Obviously, I did that six times. More than six times, but these are the images that I’m showing.

Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Get your jabs. Don’t be stupid. Be patient. Look after each other. Look at all the clouds in the sky.


Into the deep blue.

The deep blue.

So.

I talked to the fine folks at WordPress. I asked them how I could do some of the simple things that I used to do in the days before blocks. They told me that I couldn’t. I asked them why they keep claiming that blocks are more flexible. They told me they aren’t. Instead, they are faster. That they are easier to use when you are posting from your phone or mobile device. I asked them about quality. That doesn’t matter as long as you can just throw something up.

I have an all purpose two word reply to that. But, this is a family Storyteller.

And, there you have it.

We live in the age of junk. I know that most everything is disposable. Your television monitor breaks. Buy a new one. Send your old one to India where the poor will make a living breaking it down for scraps. Same thing with your two year old smartphone. Or, just about anything digital. I have a seven year old main computer. It’s starting to show a little age. I could clean out the extra data and beef it up a little. Or, I could just scrap it and buy a new one. Off to India it will go.

But, my work. Come on. Give me a break. That’s worth something, at least to me.

On the other hand, it’s ethereal. It’s digital. I’m not even sure it’s in the air. Maybe that makes it worthless. Maybe that makes all digital art worthless. Maybe that’s why the musicians who are playing music from home don’t really like it. At least when they put it into the air at a live concert they know that their music makes people smile.

In my case, I’ve long said that a picture wasn’t a photograph until it is printed on paper. I still believe that.

That makes me smile. That brings me hope. It means that most of the crap found on Instagram is just that. Crap. It’ll never be printed on paper. It’ll never be a photograph. It’s meaningless. Just like most of the pictures on all of our smartphones. Think about that.

The picture

I let the phone sensor do its thing. I let it expose for the highlights. That’s how I made this picture without doing much more. No tricks here. Just an old photographer at work.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Don’t make me tell you to put your mask on. Enjoy every donut.


In the morning, when you rise.

Early in the morning, when the sun comes up.

Yes. 7:04 am. That’s when the all seeing dog just had to go for a walk. I think she knew something that I didn’t. She used her ESP to know that the sky with this wonderfully backlighted cloud would be one of the first things that we would see.

In the “industry,” this cloud would almost be called a “god ray.” But, not quite. A true god ray would have streaks of light reaching to the heavens.

It’s nature in all her glowing wonder.

Speaking of nature.

She’s on her 2020 roll.

We have not one, but two, major storms heading towards us. If the predictions are correct, they will make landfall as Category 1 hurricanes. At this point, NOAA predicts that one will graze Florida and make landfall in Alabama. The second will head for Texas and eventually hit Houston.

It’s early.

Both storms could change course. They could head for us. They could roll around each other and become one big storm. Or, they could change direction entirely.

The mayor says that if we are given an evacuation order we have to go. Go to where? CoVide19 has already got us pinned down. I say, screw that, and we are staying. We are prepared. We have generators, a BBQ for cooking, bottled water, storm lights and storm shutters.

Or, we might just get outer band winds and some rain.

Or, nothing.

I probably shouldn’t get political but I will. No matter who gets hit this will just be another thing that the soon-to-be ousted president will fail at fixing. There. I said it.

The Picture

You know how I made this picture. I got up at a little before 7am. What? There’s a seven in the morning now? When did they start that?

Sophie got me out early this morning too. There was another cloud drifting by. It was almost like this one, but not as powerful. The light was sparkly and pretty. It’s also fairly cool for August. I suppose that I should go to bed earlier, or just stay up, and get outside before 6am. The light is wonderful.

All I need is a double shot of caffeine, a camera and a dog.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Look after each other. Enjoy every dressed roast beef po’boy.


Orange Glow.

Drifting.

I made this picture on the edge of dusk. The dark edge.

There was almost no luck involved.¬† But, there was a little skill. I know how and where to brace myself when I try to make a picture like this one. I probably should use a tripod more because that’s the way to take a picture in available darkness. But, I wasn’t ready. So, I did what I could.

Sometimes, that’s all you can do. And, that just has to be enough.

For me, the problem with making a picture like this, is that I’m successful holding the camera steady more than I’m not. That’s really not helpful in the long term because I’ve developed the habit of not doing what I should.

One day I’ll learn.

 


Drifting in the darkness.

A single cloud.

With the face of a dog. Drifting in the early evening.

As a prelude.

To the storm to come. There are two. The big one, that I mentioned yesterday.

And, the little one, which arrived in the early morning. Within three hours it managed to dump nine inches of rain in our neighborhood. The entire city, and outlying regions, is flooded with about two or three feet of water. Even our street, which never floods, is overwhelmed. Water is up to our porch and well into our driveway. The pool is overflowing.

We had a tornado warning, a flash flood warning, a high wind advisory and a lakefront overflow warning all at once. We are a very special place.

If this keeps up, and with the big storm arriving Friday, it is very likely that the levees holding back The Mississippi River will overtop. That’ll be something. Low lying streets along the river will be flooded with I don’t know how many feet of water.

The big storm is going to make landfall as Hurricane Barry, a Category 1 storm somewhere near Lake Charles Saturday morning in the daylight hours. It will dump anywhere from 6 to 12 inches of rain inland. I have a very soft spot for Lake Charles. That’s where we finally made our temporary shelter after we evacuated following Hurricane Katrina. The folks there took good care of us. I wish them well. And, prayers.

That’s our story.

Have a good thought for us.


About understanding.

Deep Blue.

When I made the picture I had the title in mind. I forgot what I already knew. Deep Blue is the title of a song by George Harrison. He wrote it upon the death of his mother and while he was trying to keep his father and brothers together.

Unless you are like me, you might have never heard it because it was the B-side of Bangladesh of which the proceeds were given away for charity. You know, to help the people of Bangladesh.

Of course, if you have an A and a B side of a record that means you are listening to a 45. I’m old enough to still have a small collection of them, although many of my records were washed away in the flooding that followed Hurricane Katrina. That’s why, for me, Spotify is the greatest invention since records. I get to listen to just about everything I want just by hitting search. You can do that on YouTube as well, but the sound quality just isn’t the same.

During this bit of seasonal existential¬†search I’ve been having dreams. Oh my! What dreams. Given how I see the world, my dreams don’t surprise me. They are bright, energetic and very colorful. But, the best thing. All sorts of people are popping up from my past. I awoke thinking how good it was to see all of them. These are people who I lost mostly because I was moving around a lot in the early days of my career. People who, intelligently, did not join Facebook so they don’t pop up as “people you might know.”

About that.

A publicist with whom I work says that everybody has to be on Facebook, because it has become the telephone book of the digital age. I don’t know if I agree with her or not. If you want to find me, Google me. I show up about a bazillion times. Just like my pictures do. People find my work on Google even more than they do at my agencies. And, they try to steal it more from Google. I’m fixing that. I have a better way than seeking direct copyright damages.

Anyway.

The picture. You know me. I’m a fairly simple photographer these days. See it. Photograph it. Hope for the best in this kind of light. Of course, the best version of this picture would be made with a tripod. But, I wasn’t planning to actually make this picture. It was just sitting there, waiting for me to find it.


FQApril29-1
Driving into New Orleans on I-10.

I think it was last Monday. I had to run some errands and then I knew I needed to make some pictures, so I took the easiest way in to the French Quarter from where I was, which involved me getting on the interstate and doing sort of a flyover thing. It also allowed me to do my drive by-shooting-thing. Or, rather, drive-into-shooting-thing. Traffic was great. The light was golden and behind me. From this point on I-10 you can see the Central Business District, The Mercedes Superdome and some of the new medical development in part of Mid-City.

I suppose that I should explain this “needed to” make pictures comment. I’m made to take pictures. When I don’t, I feel the need. The act of finding and making pictures makes me happy. Makes me whole. Enriches me. Takes me out of the mood of the hour. Or day. I could have stopped with this picture. I knew I had it without chimping. But, I kept going. I made more and better pictures on that night. I’ve posted some of them already. I guess when I do this, I’m following a classic musician’s trick. If a musician is recording and hits the song on the first try, he or she plays it again… always trying to top the first take. I guess that’s what I do. Sometimes I do it. Mostly I don’t. On this particular night I did. Luck. Photographer’s luck.