Summer leaf.

The end of summer.

Little details. Seeing. Looking. Feeling.

That’s all this picture really is about. I saw the leaf on an outdoor table. I framed it in a way that you could see the leaf and see the table. Then I went to work on it. That’s it.

Old business.

You’re gonna laugh. Remember Tropical Storm Gordon? The storm that did nothing? It broke apart over Northern Mississippi and Arkansas. The last of the winds pushed it back this way and we got soaked yesterday. As they say, “If the lightning don’t get you, the thunder will.”

The rain is pouring down as I write. This rain has nothing to do with Gordon. It’s just that time of year. There are three storms forming in the Atlantic. I’ll worry about them later.

Google issues. A lot of people are complaining about it. I didn’t know that until I Googled it. How’s that for irony? There is no real work around yet unless I want to go back to a very early desktop from about 2012. That really won’t work.

So, I did a better thing. I saved the WordPress dashboard page as a bookmarked website and placed it on my bookmarks bar. One click and I’m here. This is better than it was on the Google desktop.

See?

I can be creative when I’m forced into it.


Experiment, a grand one.

The rain on Saturday. We mostly stayed inside. We watched Netflix. And, Amazon Prime. Eventually, I got a little bored.

So.

I started playing around. Tinkering. Experimenting.

I may have gone a little too far. There are 29 layers in this picture. It started with a human face. You might see the eyes near the top. I wanted to add flowers to the face. That didn’t quite work, so I kept going and going and going…

You know how storm days are. Time has no meaning. Light has no meaning. Meaning has no meaning. The only thing I  had to even think about was the weather wimps, or as you know them, the dogs. They refuse to go out in the rain until they absolutely have to. If we get into about 18 or 19 hours of rain, I force them out. It’s not healthy for them. They go out. They race back inside where warm towels are waiting for them. They like that.

Anyway.

That’s how I made this picture. A big storm. A dark day. And, boredom. I’m sorry. If you ask me what I did, I can’t tell you. It’s not that I won’t tell you. I just kept tinkering until I found the picture. The one that I like. The one that you see.


One very underserved and unexplored area of the city is Hollygrove.
One very underserved and unexplored area of the city is Hollygrove.

I lasted about ten days. My creative nature took over. Since I really never stop making pictures, they were starting to pile up. A lot. Yes. Many go to my various agencies. These days pictures are like music. Almost worthless. Even with heavy marketing there a very short shelf life. The digerati talk a lot about long tail theories, which really mean that you keep building and building a collection and eventually the first components of the collection start earning their keep. Then you earn your keep. That may have been true a few years ago, but not so much these days. Either art makes a big splash or it doesn’t. Why do you think Miley Cyrus twerks? Her songs are fine. Sort of. But, what do people talk about. That said, I really have no better ideas about marketing my collections of images. I’ve been testing direct posting to social sites like Facebook, Google + and Twitter. Facebook and Google + seem to get me a lot of love. Someday that may translate in some sort of cash flow. I’ll keep doing that. Seems like the people who “like” my pictures like brightly colored ones. I should have known. And, Twitter? Nothing. Maybe a retweet or comment here and there, but I’m really not so sure that’s a place for pictures.

So, Storyteller. Radical redesign. My goal has always been to display pictures as large as reasonably possible. This format seems to do that. More importantly, the minute I saw how the black background made my pictures “pop” I knew I was on the right track. For me. Philosophically, I’m going to try to work in themes. I think publishing whatever comes to mind confuses you. Yes. Something very different, everyday could be a delightful surprise. But, who am I as a photographer? You need to be clear about that. For that matter, so do I. For the rest of November, I’m going to publish pictures like this one. Torn and frayed. Funky. Beaten down. Even though people much smarter than me say that all art is autobiographical, I’m not beaten down. I may be a little torn and frayed. But, that just sort of comes. As musician Neil Young says, “The longer I keep going, the longer I have to fight this corrosion.” Like me, this is his birthday month. He’s 68 and busier than ever. If he can keep going so can I.

I’ve been having a few strange traffic issues these past few days. It seems like the traffic has been keeping me late to wherever I’m going.That, and avoiding massive potholes. I blew up a tire today. This is New Orleans. That happens. Even when you are driving 12 miles an hour.  So, I’m missing this. I’m missing that. I missed a second line parade today. I missed a festival in The Bywater yesterday. That wasn’t all traffic’s fault. Big crowds make me a little nervous these days. And, this was a big crowd of hipsters. What could go wrong with a crowd of hipsters?  All of that forced me to be flexible. That’s how this picture happened. I couldn’t photograph that I came to photograph, so I turned left. I made it in Hollygrove which is an odd little neighborhood that sort of abuts Jefferson Parish. It was heavily flooded by the storm and is not very close to coming back. It is also seriously crime ridden. I suppose I don’t explore there much because it scares me a little. It is interesting to me. I have to be careful about that. The more I see abandoned, broken and overgrown buildings the more they start looking the same. I have to figure out different ways to photograph the city without getting myself killed. Night and tripod work would be cool. I think I keep myself fairly safe because I keep moving. Bad guys don’t have to to set their sights on me.

A little mission statement. The purpose of these next 21 days is simple. Y’all keep saying there is a book in my pictures. Let’s see if there really is a book lurking around.

One more thing. This new format is a work in progress. Already, I’m not that sure about the size of the type. Or, its brightness. Please feel free to make suggestions. Please know that if I don’t implement them, it may only be that I’m limited by WordPress.

And, another thing. For those of you who are enjoying my individual posts to various social sites, not to worry. I’m having fun doing that. They’ll continue.


A House in The Bywater
A House in The Bywater

I was driving  through The Bywater when I saw this house. How could I not see it? It was freshly painted and glowing like a beacon. I think I saw from two blocks away. It drew me like a moth to a flame. These aren’t exactly, New Orleans colors. And, it isn’t exactly painted with a craftsman’s care. But, it is sure colorful and eye catching. Would I paint my house in those colors? Nah. I like some of the colors, but together they are a bit too jarring for me. Certainly, they are a little too jarring to live with for any length of time. I do, however, have a room painted in something like that maroon color.  But, that’s just me. It’s fine for the people who live in this house. And, it may be fine for you. No matter. I also had a fleeting thought… suppose the owner invites someone over? Someone who has never been there. That person says to the owner, “how will I know your house?” The owner replies, “Oh, you’ll know it.” Heh.


NOLA 7 May-2
Little Levee

This is another of my lines images. It’s sort of a levee. But, it faces Lake Ponchartrain at UNO. The grass is part of the levee, but the small cement wall is intended to prevent overtopping. I’m not sure how it worked during Hurricane Katrina. I know UNO (The University of New Orleans) was flooded, but water broke through from every direction. This little cement wall probably meant nothing. The water probably rose well over the top of it.

As far the picture goes, I think that I wrote a few days ago that as we were wandering around, I started seeing everything in lines. So, I tried to make the cleanest picture that I could. For me, it helps when there is something to breaks the lines up, just slightly. Those two palm trees did the trick. No. I haven’t been influenced by the picture that sold for the largest amount of money. Ever.


A rather colorful flower photographed with a macro lens.
A rather colorful flower photographed with a macro lens.

If you’ve read Storyteller for very long, you know that I rarely photograph flowers. When I do, I try to get as close as possible using a macro lens to turn the flower into something hyper-graphic. That’s what I did in this case. I pretty much put the camera in the middle of a very small flower. I sort of have a vision with pictures like this. I’d love to see them enlarged about the size of an entire wall. One client did that last year. She selected a picture of white puffy clouds on a very blue sky with a red, weathered cafe sign in the foreground. She asked me to have it printed so that it fit one entire wall of her kitchen. I think it cost her more to print the picture than it did for her to license it. However, I’ve never seen it in final form. Sometimes, that’s just the way it goes.

This picture. Find the flower and put the lens as close to the subject as possible. Even using a macro lens, a lot of the image will be soft. That’s good. It adds to the moodiness and mystery of the picture. I did very little in post production. Mostly what I did was darken the image to enhance its moodiness.


16JANLR-2
Red and Blue

While I was photographing subjects that I was to shoot, I still kept making images of subjects that caught my eye. Sometimes content was what did it. Sometimes it was light. Or shadows. Or motion and movement. This time it was color. Raw color. I’m sure you can see this combination in just about any city. But, I saw it on the backside of a building located on Magazine Street in the Lower Garden District.

The picture. Mostly what I wanted to do was keep the lines straight. I think skewed or bowed lines could really hard this picture.


I’m not sure what this picture says. If it says anything at all. It’s one of my drive by pictures. In fact, it’s a drive up to picture. I guess I like the composition and the color. It did take a bit of work in post production to get it anywhere near close to what I saw in my mind’s eye.