The swamp and the tree.

There is one corner where the land looks like this. It looks and feels what it must have been like 25,000 years ago.

I don’t really know. I’m not that old. I swear.

All I know is that it’s green and can get kind of noisy when squirrels talk and birds chirp.

Sometimes wilder animals than those make their way through the foliage. I’ve seen raccoon and possums pass by. I rarely see snakes, but they are there too. Nothing poisonous, just the usual black snake or two.

Scrape away 160 years and this neighborhood is wild and swampy. Well, not that wet. This is ridge land. Kind of. It’s six feet above sea level when so much of the city land is below sea level.

But, that’s enough.

It survived the big hurricane in my memory — Katrina — without getting flooded. That’s one of the reasons we live where we live.

It’s not the oldest neighborhood in the city, with much of being built in the 1850s. It was annexed to be part of New Orleans a little before that. People built here for three reasons. The land was fairly inexpensive. The area was a little cooler which kept the viral outbreaks down. And, it isn’t near the French Quarter and “those people.”

That doesn’t mean what you think. It really means a wilder, rowdier bunch.

Even now, it’s removed enough that if I want to go to the Quarter, I can hop on the streetcar and be there is 10-15 minutes. And, that’s a two block walk from the house. I can watch the craziness and come home to quiet.

Sometimes living here is easy.

Jungle land. The hardest part of making this photograph is the light.

Most of it is dark. That’s easy to expose for. But, look at the highlights. They are way blown out.

The way to account for that is to expose for the shadows and add a little flash. Not much, just something we used to call a kick light.

I could have done that but didn’t. Remember, I make these pictures on dog walks or going from one place to another.

The result is slightly gray highlights caused by the processing that takes a RAW file to a JPEG. It crunches some of the highlights to make them fit within the JPEG gamut.

Never the less, I think this is a fairly striking representation of my neighborhood.


Lafayette Cemetery No. 2

Into the deserted city of the souls.

That’s where I went. Or, as we know it, Lafayette Cemetery No. 2 in Central City. Often as I drive around going from one place to another, I end up going to someplace that I know well. Someplace where I know there is an interesting picture waiting for me.

This is one of those places.

The picture has an interesting genesis. The cemetery was closed, so I thought that I would just stick the camera’s lens between the bars. That wasn’t doing it for me. I backed off and saw that tire laying by the curb. That was just the counterpoint that I needed. The city is old. The city is broken. The city is trashy.

Settle down. It’s my city. I can say that.

The original exposure was almost black and white. I added a lot to it in post production. I helped with the tone. And, the feel. It’s a little moody now. And, spooky too. Post production is an amazing thing. The picture was made at about 3pm. That’s a time when I don’t like to work. My editing apps helped a lot. As usual, I made the post much more complicated than need be. This is my fourth try. I finally had a good feel for the picture and it had a good feel for me.

Coming up. I’m trying to make some “Christmas in New Orleans” pictures. Our Christmas is unique. My agencies want the pictures. Of course, the skies are overcast tonight. The temperatures are cold. The minute the sky clears around dusk I’ll be out there.

One more thing. I’m a little worried about the all-seeing dog. She hasn’t wanted to go for her usual long walks. She’s eating well. Sleeping well. Playing a little inside. With a bazillion dogs, as you might imagine, we have a good relationship with their vet. I sent him an email. He asked a couple of questions, including her age. She is ten-and-a-half years old. No worries he said. She’s just starting to show her age. A little. Just like me. Her person.


Experimental.
Experimental.

“I’ll play whatever you want me to play – or I won’t play at all if you don’t want me to play. Whatever it is that would please you, I’ll do it.”

— George Harrison to Paul McCartney during the recording of The Beatles last studio album, “Let it Be.”


The Le Beau Mansion in Old Arabi
The Le Beau Mansion in Old Arabi

I’ve published pictures of this place in the past. They were made at different times of year. I took this one last week. I probably should have waited until Halloween to post it. But, I’m like a kid. Sometimes, I just can’t wait. Besides. It works in my latest series of torn, frayed and abused pictures. The history of the place is pretty well documented. The best place to learn more is at a website called “Old New Orleans” It is http-::old-new-orleans.com:NO_LeBeau.html . If you do go there. poke around a bit. There are lots of old pictures and stories that you might enjoy. The owner of the site works very hard at updating and keeping it current. If you like something, she asks that you use the link rather than just cut and paste.

The picture. Same thing. Find the picture and push the button. The rest happens in the studio. This picture was somewhat easier to produce that yesterday’s. I had no clear vision for “tamales,” but I did for this picture. The minute that I found the angle I knew what I wanted to do. It was screaming haunted. All I had to do was to deliver. Funny. Now that I’ve published this picture, I realized that I better go look for something for Halloween. Oh well.


Yes. It’s August in Southeaster Louisiana. That means lots of rain storms. Lots of heavy rain coming out of nowhere. And, once in a while, a tropical storm or  –worse — the threat of a hurricane. And, sometimes… oh, never mind. Katrina is history. That said, I have long believed that pictures are everywhere. You just have to let them come to you. In effort to provide full disclosure, that’s not an original thought and I just wrote those very same words in an email to a friend of mine. Okay?

So. I was stick in traffic. In a rain storm. Since traffic was stop and start and I always have a camera with me, I did the only thing I could do. I took a picture. Yeah, yeah. There’s a lot of post production going on here. It’s more complicated than normal since I even though I made the exposure on a regular camera, not my i-Phone, I imported it into my i-Pad and used Snapseed to do the improvements and modifications. Snapseed, by the way, is a Nik product. It is my go to software when I work using my i-Pad. I like working on my i-Pad because I can lay around, watch a bad movie on the tube and work at the same time. That’s on guilty pleasure. There’s more. There are lots of other photo enhancing plug-ins out there. I’ve tested a lot of them. But, this for my work, is the most elegant.


It must be my mood. I like this picture. A lot. I don’t know why. It was made in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is located at the most far western end of Central Avenue, which means it is also where the Albuquerque’s section of old Route 66 comes to an end. This was one of those combination gas station-restaurant-grocery stores. I have no idea whether it was abandoned first and then burned, or the other way around.  But, this is what it looked like when I got to it.

Yes. I’ve done some things to this picture to help you see what I felt. The workflow is a little complicated. I made the exposure with a Nikon, I uploaded it to my i-Pad and did the post production in Snapseed which is a Nik product. Then I sent it back to my main computer. As I wrote, I like the picture. I’d love to know what you think.

Where Route 66 and Central Avenue comes to an end in western Albuquerque, New Mexico.


I spent many years in Hong Kong. It may very well be like another home to me. Like anything, some days I miss it a lot. And, on other days, not so much. This is an image that was made looking toward Northpoint, an Eastern District area of Hong Kong which is, comparatively speaking, mostly a blue-collar manufacturing and mixed use area that for a time was known as “Little Shanghai” because the first wave of immigrants created Shanghai styled businesses. I made the picture looking toward it from Causeway Bay.


Even though it’s pretty early in the year, The Gulf is already warm and we’ve had a number of very violent storms. We are well above the normal amount of rainfall for this time of year. What does this mean for hurricane season which starts on 1 June? I have no idea. I haven’t even seen the “expert’s” predictions yet. But, I do know that if the Gulf is already warm, it will only get warmer as we head into the summer months. A hot Gulf feeds any storm that gets into it. That’s what happened in 2005 when Katrina tore the city apart. Even though I think about it, I don’t really worry about it. I can’t. Nobody can. It would paralyze us. On the other hand, stormy skies make for some really interesting pictures like this one I made in The French Quarter.