Nature sparkles.

Magic.

Just call me Mister Lizard. Oops. I meant wizard. The work really isn’t so wizardly. It’s just a matter of seeing in the field, knowing what you want to do in post production and executing.

I wish it was just that easy building websites, or adding on to a WordPress blog site. Unfortunately, it isn’t.

I spent a good part of yesterday fiddling around. First, I tried an outside template company. All was fine except that they wanted too many changes. Some changes that I’m unwilling to do.

Okay.

Start again.

I thought that I could just do the same thing using WordPress. After a couple of hours I learned why normal coders pull their hair out when they try to use WordPress. It is so hard that very few people understand it. Those that do, specialize in just a few templates and know the inner workings inside and out.

I’m not one of them. I don’t code at all.

It came to me. I have a website that I’ve sort of just let languish. The templates there are very easy to use. No coding needed. I decided to refresh and rebuild. It even has a blog component. You can see it as it stands today at http://www.laskowitzpictures.com. For sure, it’s changing.

I just can’t import all of you. I’m not sure that’s necessary. I have around 15,000 followers. About 90% of those are ghost followers. Maybe more. I have no idea why they followed me. Many of them don’t exist except in my numbers.

For those of you who really do follow me and comment, I can easily send you all an email telling you how to follow me again. You’ll get emails just like you did in the past. And, Storyteller on WordPress? I have a business account that I pay for. I’ll downgrade to a free account and post from time to time.

How’s that sound?

The picture. No real wizardry. Just some layering and tinkering. And, adding a little color and brightness. Not wizardry, but a little white magic.

Oh, one more thing.

I want the renewed website to be simple. I don’t want to post everything I’ve ever photographed. If you were me, and having seen my work for a bit, what direction would you go? There are no wrong answers.


Just playing around.

Finally. I seem to be feeling better.

That’s good. I’m running out of fresh work. I made this picture a few weeks ago. But, I didn’t tinker with it. Until today. I wanted a certain color, shade and hue. I thought that I was onto something new and different. The joke is on me. I’ve been working in this basic color palette for at least two years. At least that’s how far back I went in my archives until I couldn’t take it anymore.

Because.

I alway think as an artist — any kind of artist — that you should pretty much always move forward. In photography, for example, you start by being really happy that there is an image on your film or file. Later, you want the image to say something about the subject, or you. Still later, you might want to move into a kind of art. Sometimes you make a little portfolio of images that have the same look and feel. Then, you move on.

Near as I can tell, I just moved backwards. Oops. That’ll happen. I like the picture well enough. I wouldn’t show it to you if I didn’t. But, it looks like two-year old work. To me. As far as the subject matter goes, my friend in Louisianahhh, thinks power lines are her bane. 🙂 I think power lines are great leading lines. I just wish there was a real subject at the end of them.

I can wish all that I want. It takes work to make wishes come true. Now that my head is clear after what seems like six weeks of fluishness, I better get back to it. Whaddya think?

The picture. All kinds of tinkering after the fact. I wish that I could tell you every step. But, this was one of those times when I knew what worked when I got there. If it didn’t work, I went back to the next saved step.

I suppose that’s the lesson. Save every step in your post production workflow. I know that most of what we do in post can be non-destructive. But, we don’t want to recreate everything when we take a fork in the road.


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Rain on my windshield as I passed by the levee.
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Unpaved streets lead to nothing.
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More bleakness and reminders of broken lives.

These three pictures are the last of my Lower Ninth Ward visit. I have a few more images from that day, but it’s getting to be time to move on. Not to worry. I’ll go back again. And again. And… again. I’m not sure what more I can add to this post. I think, once our traveling settles down, in about three weeks, I’ll start working harder in Central City and out here. In the Lower Ninth Ward. These are stories that need to be told. Need to be documented. Need to be photographed. There. For those of you who keep saying a book, a book, a book… maybe there is one.

The pictures are pretty documentary. Find the subject. Make the exposure. Make the picture. In post production, I try to find the color palette and other modifications to bring the proper feel to the pictures. That’s about it.


New Orleans is full of churches. All kinds of churches. But, mainly Catholic churches. Many of them have been closed, or are for sale. As the population of the city declined there is no need for so many churches. Then, along came Katrina and the population dropped substantially. So, even more churches were closed. They are all maintained and look pretty good. As you know, I like to poke around old and abandoned things. I was wandering around and I found this one. It is St. Mary’s Assumption Church. It was built in 1860, for a growing German population in the Lower Garden District of  New Orleans, across the street from St. Alphonsus Church which was built the same time for a swelling Irish Population. Sheesh. These people never get together. St. Mary’s Assumption was damaged by Hurricane Betsy and almost torn down and more heavily damaged by Katrina. Yet, it still stands. As an aside, writer Anne Rice renewed her wedding vows there. And, after I “discovered” this place, I was talking with a friend’s father who told me that this was his family’s church and that he attended school there.

A note about my discoveries. I find places that have been around for decades or centuries. I think I’ve actually found some unknown thing. Silly me.

So. The picture. It was a pretty simple exposure on which I used a lot of post production tools. Which ones. I forget. Hard to keep these things straight.


Well. The subject is the same as the last few days posts. Another picture of a county fair. Yes. Again. But, the post production is very different. I can’t even remember what I did to this picture. But, you have to admit that it’s not my usual style or color palette.


Okay. Now I’m back from my departure into the real world. Back to the world of experimentation and some kind of an attempt at art. So. This is Victoria Harbor which is a major shipping lane and separates Hong Kong Island and Kowloon and the rest of the New Territories. As you get closer to the heart of the Harbor, it is not so wide anymore as more and more land is reclaimed. I made this picture some time back when I was onboard the ferry to Lantau Island. In those days, the ferry was the only way to get to an island whose land mass is larger than Hong Kong Island. Today, the international airport is located there. So, you can drive or you can take an express MTR train to get there. It’s become all too civilized.

This picture. I’ve been building portfolios which will mostly live on my i-Pad. I’ve been going deep into my files to find hidden gems. Or, lumps of coal. This image was actually made on the old school media called film. It scanned it, uploaded it to my i-Pad and started playing with it. Most of the work was done using Snapseed. 


Once upon a time I used to shoot a lot of sports. I did it first as a photojournalist and later in more commercial markets. Thinking back, the last bit of sports that I photographed was participatory — exercise that everyone can do — in a gym in New Orleans. Then, the storm came and I left the area. I haven’t made a sports picture of any kind in at least six years. And yet, here I go again. The owner of the gym that I use is an old friend. The last sports I photographed was for his website. Or rather, Premier Health Club’s website. Well, he asked me to do something again. This time, we are talking about focusing on details or people exercising. Or not. We are in the very earliest stages of discussions. It will be website work again. Makes it easy. Lot’s of small files.

Anyway…

Here are few images from an even earlier campaign. In those days, the images were very bright and full of contrast. I’ve toned them down a bit to match today’s color pallets. Yes. These images were made using film and scanned on an old, but very good Kodak commercial scanner to digitize them. These pictures always had to work together to create sort of a portrait of the athlete. Alone, the never quite tell the story. Story matters.