Another way.


he caption says it all. Another way. I keep reading what a great camera the iPhone 12 is supposed to be. I had better be because it’s a terrible phone.

I decided to test it.

I made this photograph towards the end of dusk. That means I made a time exposure. I wasn’t sure about the first couple of exposures. A little yellow wheel caught my attention. It turns out that it shows just where in the exposure time the camera is working.

I tested that theory.

If you want a sharp exposure let the wheel finish turning. If you want motion, move the camera slightly during the exposure, say about in the middle of the wheel’s turning.

Oh man.

Maybe this phone will be more than I thought it was, which is to say no fun at all.

I’m not a video maker, but I did test the phone during Hurricane Ida. For the fist 30 seconds or so I didn’t know how to turn on the microphone. For the next 30 seconds you can hear what it sounds like. It’s very scary.

Try it sometime.


he real experiment was in the camera rather than in post production.

The camera over exposed the scene. It’ll do that when it’s trying to capture detail in the deep shadows.

That’s any easy fix.

It happens with DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. Digital cameras of all types want to open up the shadows.

That’s great if you are making a RAW file. You have control of everything. Not so much using a smart phone.

In all cases you should darken the file in development. Once I did that all those reds and oranges popped out.

There wasn’t much to do after that.

You are looking at the results of what turns out to be a really important experiment.

I was very lucky.

Moonrise over New Orleans. I wasn’t going to publish this picture yet, but a friend of mine posted a moonrise over the Long Island Sound, so I thought I’d better do this today.

Moons seem to have a lot to do with 2021. If you believe in such things, we are entering the Age of Aquarius. You remember the last time we did that. Flower children. Hippies. Peace. Great music. Love-ins. Be-ins. Woodstock.

Oh yeah. And, the war in Vietnam. Let’s be careful out there. We’ve been fighting unending wars in too many places.

I think good things will happen this time around. There were too many creative approaches to just about everything when our hands were tied by lockdowns and quarantines.

Let me loose now and there’s no telling what I’ll make better. Or, worse if you are on the other side.


Hope and faith in 2021.

I usually pick a word to use as sort of a koan for the year. This year and since I’m trying to be farther along and further in, I selected the word “truth.” Not as in me telling the truth. But, digging into myself and some outside influences to find the truth.

And, you?

The photograph. I made the picture on a dog walk. My hurting little cocker spaniel started feeling better so she lead me on a fairly long walk.

The moon popped up on the way back.

I was kind of blown away by the brightness of the moon and the sky. It’s not often the clouds appear so clearly at night.

I made the picture. I thought that I had it. Oh no. I had it alright, among tons of noise. It took some serious post production to clean it up.

But, here it is. Just as I’d hoped for.

You know what I said about hope and faith in the left hand column? Sometimes, it takes a lot of work to achieve them.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Keep your distance. Wash your hands. Enjoy all the pizza pie since sometimes it looks like the moon in the sky.

That’s amore.

Around dusk.


Purple skies for which to be grateful. The picture doesn’t exactly look like clouds, but trust me, they are. I was out walking, I wasn’t doing too much talking, when I looked up and saw this. Whew. Nature outdid herself, I thought.

I went on a fool’s mission of trying not to be out done by nature. I headed right into a ditch. The ditch of post production. When I got to a place where I thought that I had gone far enough, I kept going. This image is the result.


It happened. 2020 Jazzfest was cancelled today. The Jazz and Heritage Foundation is working on the normal timing of April – May 2021. Good luck with that. It’s pretty much  agreed upon by the big promoters, little promoters and artist management, that the music touring season won’t start until October 2021.

Of course, I went to Facebook read the fine local folks’ comments about the music festival. Even though the J&HF posted a letter that discussed refunds, the first question was, “Where can I get a refund?”

Then came the people blaming the mayor even though all she did was recommend closing big venues until next year. Some guy wrote, “Well, she can’t cancel the Saints playing in the Superdome.” No, she can’t. But, the governor can.  They seem to working hand in glove. And, the mayor of Los Angeles says that he is going to close mass events until 2021, potentially meaning that three NFL teams have no home fields.

Get over it people. 2020 is pretty much a wash. I hate to retreat so early in the year. But, I want a fighting chance next year. I’ll be happy if some of the non-essential workers can get back to it. I’d be happy to actually sit down and eat insde of a restaurant. Or, go shopping without gearing up. Or, not yelling at my neighbor in order to talk to him.

Oh yeah. It’s a general election year. What about that?

Stay safe. Care for others. Help the elderly. When you go grocery shopping ask your neighbors if they need anything. Keep your distance. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Enjoy all the popcorn when you watch Netflix.



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.

Looking into the sky.

Southern Nights.

That’s a song written by the late, great Allen Toussaint. In the live version of the song, he talks through a very long opening about what nights like the one in this picture meant to him. After a week like we just had, looking up and seeing this meant the world. To me.

No. All is not right in the world. Climate change is here and real. Our government is a mess. My country is as divided as it has ever been. We are becoming isolated and at the same time involved in international wars.

I looked up. I saw this sky. This tree. Everything felt better. I know that this really doesn’t change anything. Change takes work. Nature plays no favorites. But, seeing this took the weight off. For just a few minutes. But, that’s enough. For now.

The picture. Oh, I really have to laugh. A friend of mine stumbled onto some of my nature pictures. Make no mistake. I am not a nature photographer. At least not in the sense the great ones are. But, he was impressed enough to ask how I make these pictures. He almost fell on the ground, rolling around laughing when I told him. I said, “First, I walk into the my yard…”

My “nature” work is very easy to make. I don’t travel a million miles into the hinterlands. I don’t climb the highest mountain. I don’t swim the deepest sea.

I just go outside and look around.

A little southern fall weather.
A little southern fall weather.

Yes. I’m still doing the Halloween thing. I’ll work a good part of the evening tonight and again tomorrow night on all things seasonal. But, I was sort of boring myself with spooky stuff. I can just imagine how you feel. So, I thought how about a seasonal picture of a different sort? I saw this scene glowing in low sunset light and decided this would do it. It’s our kind of fall. Fall without much of a chill in the air. Fall that is still humid. Fall the can be downright hot. But, it’s our fall.

Did I mention that for the last two days, we’ve set high temperature records? That’s saying something. Even here.

This picture. I saw the scene pretty much they way I’m showing it to you. This is phrased carefully. Very carefully. Did I actually see the physical scene this way? Or did I see this version in my head? You decide.

In fact, I’m being very conservative in post production these days. Seems like everybody upgraded almost all the software that I use. There are videos to watch and little arrows to click on. These things are supposed to teach me, and keep me from sending a million emails. There is one question that nobody can answer. Why, oh why, do all the names for the various tools have to be changed when they were just fine in earlier versions of the software? And, why does everything have to be reorganized when most of us have finally just memorized the locations of the tools that we us? Wait. That’s two questions. Sorry about that.

I have the answer to those two questions. The software companies won’t admit it, but their engineers need something to do. How else can they justify the high prices that they charge us?

Driver's eye view on the Crescent City Connection.
Driver’s eye view on the Crescent City Connection.

After working for a couple of hours on Algiers Point it was time to go home. I felt photographically fulfilled. That’s pretty much the whole point, isn’t it?

Since the golden light seemed to just crash into the ground, we left the Westbank before darkness actually arrived. As usual, I propped the camera on the dashboard and pushed the button. No, no, no. I don’t raise the camera to my eye. I just set everything on auto-something and let the camera do its thing.

In order to help orient you, the Central Business District and the French Quarter is on the right. We are heading to the left side of the picture toward Uptown once we get off the bridge. In case you are wondering, this is the Crescent City Connection on Sunday evening. Normally, it’s a parking lot around the time we passed over it. That probably would have been better… if you are trying to make pictures. Most people are just trying to go somewhere.


A change is gonna come.

Before we hit the road again, I did a lot of work in The Lower 9th Ward and in a bit of the 7th Ward. One of my favorite abandoned houses in the 7th Ward is starting to be demolished from neglect. The second story fell off. Into the street. The entire second story was laying in the street when I passed by. Of course I stopped and took a few pictures. Well, more than a few pictures. I guess part of a building laying in the street will get the fine folks in city government to actually do something. Or not. What am I thinking? The is New Orleans. Not.

Bonfires along the Mississippi River... in Lutcher, Louisiana.
Bonfires along the Mississippi River… in Lutcher, Louisiana.

Lots and lots of firecrackers are added to the wood.
Lots and lots of firecrackers are added to the wood.

Crowds watch as the bonfire burns in an effort to guide Papa Noel down rive to New Orleans.
Crowds watch as the bonfire burns in an effort to guide Papa Noel down river to New Orleans.

I did the very thing I hoped not to do. But between last night’s trip upriver and today’s Christmas events, I have a suffered a relapse. A bad one. But, since I’m a generous guy, I shared. Now pretty much everybody has it in varying degrees. Luckily, one of our newest visitors is a retired nurse. That’s the good news. The bad news is her former speciality. She’s a surgical and scrub nurse. I’m counting on one thing.That she knows which end the thermometer goes in into me.

I’m showing you these pictures because I’m proud of last night’s work. The environment was a little hard to work around. Aside from the overall coldness, we had a lot of rain this week. That meant that the levee edges were soft, spongy and slippery.

The picture. I think my brain was functioning much better than it is tonight, but between being ill and working in pretty bad conditions, I’m amazed that I and such a good yield. I’ll tell you more about how I did it. But, right now I’m just hoping that I don’t plant my face on the keyboard.

Breaking news. I just pushed the spell check button. Either it isn’t working or I should work more often when I’m not sure where I am. No errors were found.

The St. Louis Cathedral has become a magical place for me, especially when I am chasing light and weather.
The St. Louis Cathedral has become a magical place for me, especially when I am chasing light and weather.

I’ve always considered The St. Louis Cathedral to be dead center in New Orleans. I don’t mean that geographically. Nor, do I mean it historically. There are probably places that are really the center of both of those attributes. It is just the heart of things. It’s the biggest tourist attraction in The French Quarter. And, the French Quarter is the biggest tourist attraction in New Orleans. While it is true that I send visitors to just about every place but The French Quarter because I don’t like to see people limit themselves to just this one place, I have to admit visiting The Quarter is really why they came. For me, when I am out and about in The Quarter, I generally take the time to see how the light is playing off of the cathedral.

And, a little later today I’ll be there again. This time, to pay my respects to Lindy Boggs, who passed last weekend at 97. For those of you who don’t know her or her name, just go to Wiki and take a look. You will be very impressed. Although, I’m very sorry at her passing, I’m not deeply saddened because I only met her once. But, I have friends who deeply mourn her passing. Being there for them is the least I can do. I’m still trying to decide if I will attend the mass, but you can be sure that I will photograph the second line parade because… you know why. 🙂 The work is the prayer. 

This picture? Ah gee. I turned it inside out in post production to make it say what I wanted it to say. The light was right. The clouds were right. I just wanted to make the place look to you as I saw it. Magical.