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.
I made the picture on Sunday. You’ll see it on Monday. Either way. It’s the beginning of the week. For some of you.
I’d tell you more. But, what’s to tell?
Enjoy it for what it is.
For technically inclined.
I’ll tell you a bit about the post production. If you’re old, like me, you’ll know. Back in the good old film days, we used Polaroid film much like we use an LCD today. We took a picture with a Polaroid camera to check the framing and lighting. It was hard to check the exposure. Then, we used a film camera to make the real photograph based on what we saw.
We usually threw the Polaroids in the trash.
Some smart art photographer realized that by pressing the wet Polaroid film onto a piece of art paper you could transfer the image to the paper and make — you guessed it — art. It was tricky. The pressure had to be correct. Timing was essential. Usually you managed to make one out five transfers close to the way that you’d hoped.
A winter sky. A little branch of something not dormant. A little bit of peacefulness. That’s what I saw. That’s why I made the picture.
It seems that it’s time for a little shift. At least here. On Storyteller. I’m in an odd place.
Tonight, I’m going to photograph one of the first parades of the Mardi Gras parade season. Chewbacchus. With that name you can imagine what it will be like. It’s a walking parade. A downtown parade. A hipster parade.
Let’s hope that I’m motivated enough to actually go. I could tell you about the difficulties of working in The Bywater. Parking. Broken streets. That stuff. As a wise friend once said, “sometimes, the hardest part of taking a picture is getting there.”
That should cover my whining excuses.
You don’t need a lesson in making this picture. It’s a simple picture. A graphic picture. See it. Frame it. Push the button. It’s a test. I’ll tell you more about that later.
From the fine world of housekeeping.
I finally found a way to sell pictures without creating what amounts to another website. And, with the ability to price my work at the right rates. It’s called The Darkroom. After reading and testing, I think it’s going to be very cool. I’ll add the link somewhere on this page. After that, it’s just a matter of clicks for you. You can look at the work and have it delivered to you anywhere in the world. Even Texas. That’s a joke.
Your photographic art will arrive in a matter of days. Hopefully, you’ll like it. Hopefully you’ll like the pictures with which I start building my collection.
A little bit of peacefulness. Flowers drifting in water. An interplay of light and shadows. Slightly wind-blown grasses.
All this and more.
In my imagination. A dream sequence that helps me relax in a time of tension and international stupidity.
I work in the real world.
Discovering a picture that looks like something in a dream is a combination of luck and paying attention… to the dog who sees things. She led me to this picture. She almost climbed up, over, and into the water. Apparently, she liked what she saw.
The picture. See it. Photograph it. It was as simple as that. The real work came in post production. Since the scene is in shadow, the camera’s light meter wanted to overexpose a little. I wanted to underexpose and make the picture be deep, dark and moody. That was what I did in post production. The shadows helped to keep the light even. Most of my corrections were simple.
I saw this. Floating high above me. The sun was so bright that all I could do was point the lens in the general direction. And hope. Trying to frame or focus only blinded me.
Nature at her finest. She seeks balance and stasis. Don’t mess with her when those two conditions are her goal. Think about that for a minute. Think about the wild fires and now floods near Santa Barbara, California. Both are terrible events. I have friends who live there. Or, maybe “used” to live there. To my twisted thinking, that’s a perfect example of Mother Nature at work. Too many people. She sent a fire. Those people returned. She sent them mud and water.
I’m not being mean. Maybe it’s time for us to listen. To observe. Rather than to believe we can master all things. Because. We can’t.
Thank you. There were a number of people on various social media and on that ancien thing — email — who expressed their sympathies for my musical losses. Thank you again. Apparently, my writing leaves much to be desired. I’ve always know that. Now, you do too.
I wasn’t writing to express sadness. I was writing to tell you about the one thing we forget after a period of sadness passes.
Time is short. Don’t waste it. Do whatever it is that you are passionate about. Make no excuses. Do not be denied.
Yes. We all gotta eat. Don’t be quitting your day job. Don’t stop caring for your family. But, use your free time wisely. Very wisely. And, expect the thing that drives you needs nurturing. In photography, for instance, a wise man once said ” Often getting there is the hardest part of taking a picture.” Got that?
The picture. Very cold here again. Often that shows up in bright skies as a kind of clarity. Of course, the sun seems brighter too. It was. I couldn’t even see to focus or frame. I just pointed the camera and hoped. I made five frames. It was all luck.
If you happen to see the Netflix David Letterman shows, these week featuring the former president, pay attention to the closing minutes. Letterman says everything that he ever did that was good came from luck.
I made this picture on New Mexico Route 43. I stopped because the abandoned buildings caught my eye. There was barbed wire fence and a lot of no trespassing signs. Normally, I don’t pay much attention. If somebody stops me I just speak in another language even if I don’t speak much of it. I look confused and that’s the end of it. This is one of those tips that I suggest you never try. Me? I’m fearless with a camera.
For some reason I decided to heed the warning sign. I can’t remember why. Probably, I caught a little motion out of the corner of my eye. And, my warning bells went off.
This is a newer, more gentle way of processing. I’m told it’s more contemporary. When was the last time I ever did something because it was new and contemporary? I don’t care about those things. I’m just experimenting.
I’ve been having a lot of very colorful dreams lately. Things are whirling around, spinning and popping. So, I decided to try to make a picture that looked something like I saw in my slumbers.
This image is not exactly like what my mind saw. To be sure, it isn’t even close. It’s getting there. Sorta. Kinda.
It’s not from lack of trying. No machine can equal a human brain. Artificial intelligence, indeed.
The picture is a combination of a number of images. Five to be exact. The main picture is black and white. You saw it a few days ago. The secondary picture in which you see power poles is older and the flowers and floating bits are detail images that have sort have become my own kind of stock collection.
There. I said it. Stock.
I’ll post about that sometime later. THAT’S a really long story. I’ll just say this about that. Most stock libraries and companies are denigrated because of the, well, vanilla imagery that they produce and license for a dollar. Or a penny. They are a large part of why the professional photo industry is in tatters. Not all of us are in tatters. I’m not. Many of my friends are.
There you have it.
By the way, this is the second attempt at this picture. My first go was very dark and gloomy. It didn’t suit the energy of the colors.
Seems like forever since Mardi Gras. It was only six days ago. That’s okay. I kind of needed a week to drift. Now, it’s time to pull up my pants and get to work.
First stop. A big box store. That’s a whole other story. Then, a few pictures. That too, is another story. I’ll just leave at that. I’ll just call this my Facebook post. You know the ones. Somebody posts something. They don’t say much about it. You start to wonder. Or, worry. They never reply. Even when 20 people ask, “Are you okay?” That, in part, is why I’m barely on Facebook anymore. There’s other parts.
This picture. I suppose it could fit in the occasional series, “What the Dog Saw,” except it was a little out of her line of sight. It’s a little man-made stream. The water was running fairly fast. I had thoughts of turning it into one of those misty water pictures, but those are so last decade. So, I kept everything as sharp as possible. To the point that you might not understand that the rust and blue colors are even water.