Into the mystic.

Clouds.

I don’t usually photograph them, but I happened to look up and saw the most wonderful shapes. So, I did what I usually do and made a few pictures. I liked how fast they were moving across the sky. That’s hard to show using a still camera, so I just mostly concentrated  on what I originally attracted me to them and to their layers.

The way that I’m working these days is almost a picture a day. I make the picture one day and publish it the next. That was never my intent. It just seems to be working out that way.

That brings me to this.

Housekeeping.

I’m about to turn Storyteller into a full blown website with my blog incorporated into that. I’m going to use an outside template designed to replace WordPress template, which should give me more ability to do what I’d like. I found one company that I like a lot. I have a number of questions for them. If they are answered to my satisfaction, I’ll start on the project. There are two big questions.  One is about coding. The other is about building the site and how I lay it over Storyteller. It’s possible I could be out of service for a couple of days. I’ll let you know.

And, speaking of being out of service, I’m thinking of working on a picture per week schedule. In reviewing my work, I am repeating myself. And, I’m not making very substantial work. That isn’t to say I’ll only post once a week because I can share my out takes as well as the very best picture. I have to think that through. I’ll let you know about that too.

If all goes as planned, there will be a direct purchasing tab, leading the buyer to a place where images can be bought or licensed by size, with options for paper type, canvases and framing.

All of this will take some work, but I am free for awhile.

 

 


The fence. As the sun goes down.
The fence. As the sun goes down.

I wasn’t going to publish a new “What the Dog Saw” image for a few more days. But, we went on a road trip. To a park. Down the street. I like new experiences. So do the dogs. So off we went.

This is really a picture of almost nothing. A chain link fence with summer growth starting to cover it. That’s it. Of course, there is some amazing glowing light, but…

I’m not exactly sure what the cocker saw because nobody was playing on the court that would attract her attention. But, she was looking at this glowing fence. I thought if she likes it, I’d better photograph it. And, that’s it. The whole story.


A sunset bike ride along the levee at Algiers Point.
A sunset bike ride along the levee at Algiers Point.

This is a good Friday picture.

Check it out. A lone bike rider silhouetted against a wonderful sunset while he’s cruising along the levee with the Crescent City Connection spanning the Mississippi River in the background.

Do me a personal favor, please. Open this picture up. By doing that, you’ll be doing yourself a bigger favor. It’ll make your day.

This is one of my favorite ways to compose a picture. There are a lot of names for this style. For me it’s just contrasting the smallness of a human being against the larger background of nature. Yes. The bridge is man-made, but it’s simply a part of the overall scene. And, the human is tiny. There is a lot of truth to be found in images like this one.

The picture. This one took a little patience. I had to wait for somebody to walk, run or ride through the scene. Unfortunately, I sort of got in my own way. It took a while. I got a little bored. My mind started wandering. All of a sudden the bike rider was there. Wham. Bam. I came dangerously close to missing the point of the entire picture. Sheesh.


Glowing  Buildings.
Glowing Buildings.

On the way to some place else.

Again.

I was pretty much racing around last weekend. So much to photograph. So much to do.

Oddly, a lot of it didn’t get done. It wasn’t my fault. It’s a New Orleans thing. People didn’t show up. Events get canceled. Plans fall through. That’s all a part of life. But, here in NOLA it’s magnified. It think it started on weighing on me in not such good ways. The last line of this post is very telling.

As I was passing through the CBD — Central Business District — the sun lighted a building that was directly ahead of me. It was glowing at me. What else could I do? I did my “shoot through the windshield” thing. Funny thing, I like big city urban pictures. I just don’t make them enough. Oh. That’s a whole other thought.

The other subjects that I photographed? You’ll see a couple. I couldn’t get my head in the game last weekend. Most of the pictures are pretty marginal to me. Oh well. That happens.


Rebirth...
Rebirth…

It’s Spring.

I thought we could use something bright, pretty and happy on Sunday. I actually made this picture in The Bywater on St. Joseph’s Day.

It sure is wonderful that after a pretty cold winter — for us — and a very cold trip to “The Frozen North,” that just as spring rolled around, the weather turned wonderful. Low to mid-seventies during the day. And, low fifties at night. Better yet, no humidity to speak of. It may rain on Sunday. Super Sunday. No. Not Superbowl Sunday. This is a day when all of the Mardi Gras Indians get together and show their new costumes at a mass gathering and a sort of second line parade. I say “sort of” because it’s massive. If there is rain that could cause confusion because the Mardi Gras Indians’ year long hard work could be spoiled. But, around here that could mean 15 minutes of hard rain or nothing at all.

This picture is just what it is supposed to be. Bright and spring-like. I added some glow in post production because I’m just that way. But, nature took care of everything else. Thankfully. I know my place.

So. A little housekeeping. I promised you a wrap up of Mardi Gras pictures. I haven’t forgotten. I’ve been editing thousands of frames for you and for other projects. I think the appropriate day for publishing that would April 4. One month, exactly, from Fat Tuesday. Between now and then there will be more images from the “Frozen North” and, of course, Super Sunday as well as some of the usual “around New Orleans” pictures. That’s the story.

 

 


Temps in the high 70s and lots of white puffy clouds.
Temps in the high 70s and lots of white puffy clouds.

I was telling a friend of mine that the temperature around here was in the high 70s yesterday. I wore shorts… during winter. How cool was that? Well, it wasn’t cool. It was warm. Heh, heh.

So. Because I was pretty useless today after shooting night and day and doing the curating and post production for both events, I mostly did nothing. That wasn’t the plan but I kept falling asleep. When I was awake, I decided to give the day a pass and go make happy, sunny pictures.

So, that’s what I did.

I haven’t been to Lake Ponchartrain in many months, so that where I went. I made three pictures that I like a lot. That’s what you’ll see in the next couple of days. You’ll think I’m a nature photographer, which I’m not. Some days, I just play one in real life. Besides, we — you, dear reader and me — need a break from what will become almost three weeks straight of all things Mardi Gras. There is only so much masking, so much green, gold and purple, so many dancing people, so many big huge parades that any of us can take.

For now. Peace. Quiet. Peace and quiet. That’s what the picture is about.

The picture. Well, it found me. I had an idea of what I hoped to photograph but, well, you know… that doesn’t always happen. This time it did. It found me. I added a little spice to it in post production which made it look like my version of heaven. My blue heaven.


Magazine Street at sunset.
Magazine Street at sunset.

Magazine Street. We live within walking distance. Like ten minutes time. We are lucky. Very lucky. I know that. When we want a coffee or a meal, we just go for a walk. When the dogs go walking, they pick up bones from the staff at famous restaurants. I have no idea if they know they are lucky. But, they sure are happy dogs. Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not bragging about any of this. I know I’m lucky. I’ve lived in a lot of places. I haven’t like all of them. But, I like it here.

That’s about all I can tell you. I have to dig much deeper in order to write much more.

That said, I wanted to write about the history of Magazine Street. After all, it stretches from Leake Avenue near the Mississippi River, past Audubon Park and all the way to Canal Street, where it turns into Decatur Street as it passes through The French Quarter. There are three miles of shopping, eating, looking and browsing. The restaurants range from little hole in the wall dives — my favorites — to world-class fine dining establishments. The street ranges from down in the mouth as it heads downtown to very upscale as it heads upriver.

You can read all of that on any tourist website or by reading a guidebook.

I’d hoped to write a bit of history of the street. The best I could find is that it was either named after an ammunition magazine or a warehouse established by the former governor of Kentucky in a deal with the Spanish government who ruled Louisiana at the time. Hence, Magazine was named after the warehouse which, in Spanish, is magazin or almazon. But, that’s it.

So, let me tell you bit of the history of Uptown and The Garden District. Originally, a good part of Uptown was a separate municipality called Lafayette. It was laid out by Barthelemy Lafon, the surveyor of Lafayette under the guidance of Pierre-Benjamin Buisson as a semi-urban system of parks, fountains and canals.  Buisson had once served under Napoleon and so many of the streets were named after important Napoleonic battles. Jena, Milan, Marengo and Berlin among them. When town of Lafayette was annexed by New Orleans in 1852, it was still governed as a separate city. The Garden District was developed between 1832 and 1900. It was originally laid out as a neighborhood for wealthy newcomers who did not want to live with the Creoles in The French Quarter. Originally, it was part of the City of Lafayette, but was annexed by New Orleans in 1852 at the same time Lafayette was annexed, two years before our house was built. What I didn’t know is that our house lies directly on the border between the Garden District and Lower Garden District.

That’s all I know. For now.

The picture. I made it on the day of the crazy winter light. As much as it might look like it, this picture was not enhanced in Photoshop, Lightroom or anything else. Yes. I cleaned it up a bit. I sharpened it a bit. I added a little softness but I did not tune up the color. There was no need to. The crazy winter light did it for me. It also explains why I was driving at the time the picture was made. I chased light all over Central City, The CBD and finally ended up back in my neighborhood.

 


Christmas in The Quarter.
Christmas in The Quarter.

So. The next 7 days will be about Christmas. Hopefully, you’ll like that. Most of what I do for Christmas pictures is work in various neighborhoods and make pictures of what I see. This one was made through a window looking into a hotel. Not a lobby. Just a window with an open room. See the scene. Read the light. Point and shoot. Not much to it.