The sound time makes as it passes by.

I slept really late for me. After a pretty bad Saturday, I awoke at a little after 10 am. The house was already very busy. Dog food was making. Laundry was washing. Breakfast had been eaten.

After Friday nights horrible news I was convinced that I would be really out of sorts for a couple of days. I wasn’t. The sleep did me good.

I’m actually sort of peaceful.

Yes. I’m worried about how RGB’s seat will be filled. If the Republicans rush to fill this seat after blocking Obama’s choice they will be as fake as I’ve always thought them to be.

If Biden should happen to win, I would fully support the idea of packing the court. After all, fair is fair.

All I know right now, is that we have to work as hard as we can to prevent 45 from winning a general election that is about six weeks away.

I’m not talking about just the presidency. I’m talking about down ticket candidates, like the senator from Kentucky. He needs to go.

I’m also talking about state leaders right down to some city councils.

Enough is enough.

Nature’s way.

The picture. That’s what you came for. Right? This is a case of being outside at the right time. It’s also a case for running as fast as I can with my metal hip and impacted spine.

It’s also a case of photographer’s luck. Five minutes either way and I would have missed this.

I’ve seen post storm skies in the past. Often they are dramatic. Because of the way that I work at home, I often miss them. Sometimes, I just don’t have the right angle to see what the sky is doing. Sometimes, I just forget to look.

This time I had the angle and I remembered to look.

I didn’t have to do much in post production. I did darken the picture to bring out the colors. I did not have to bring the them up artificially. Nature really did her thing.

A small victory in a year of massive defeats.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Wear your damn mask. Enjoy every boiled crawfish.


Canadian National's track repair var, with it's orange working with the orange of goldeb hour post storm.
All golden.

And, the chaser…

I was concentrating on my work when I felt two paws on my leg. Time for a walk. Once again, she came through. I wouldn’t have seen the most beautiful golden light that we usually have after a storm. if we hadn’t gone out.

I did the best that I could, not planning for it, or having any real warning. Sophie Rose and I hustled to our usual go to place. I made a lot of potential photographs while she patiently waited for me to finish.

After I developed the image, I proceeded to post production, where I did very little.I brought up the color. But, not very much.

Speaking of color, there was a happy accident. That rail repair car is actually painted “safety yellow,” but with the golden light reflecting off of it, the car turned orange. It matched the clouds in the sky.

Stay safe. Enjoy every bowl of gumbo.


Dusk look.

Sunday.

I spent most of yesterday thinking it was Friday. It was not. Since I wrote the word, “Sunday ,” I’m hopeful that it will stick in my head.

Time is elastic.

For some reason I spent all of yesterday sleeping.

I managed to get Sophie Rose her meds, which was my crowning achievement. That is a big deal. She hates pills. She hates the pain med that she needs. At least the pain med is liquid. I pull down her lip and squirt a little bit along her gum. It works very quickly. In about ten minutes she is asleep. Makes sense because it is a kind of morphine.

We’ve got ten days of this. Wish me luck.

The other dogs are looking after her. There is always one somewhere near her. They seem to be taking shifts. I’d be amazed if I hadn’t spent some time observing them. They all have different personalities. They all like different treats. They like to eat at different times. Luckily, they all like the same food which we put down at the same time. And, they are sweet and agreeable.

For sure, they have disagreements but they are limited to growls and don’t last long. They don’t take them seriously. There’s a lesson in that.

Some news.

Actually, it’s really a thought and comment since I haven’t been awake long enough to read much news. That’s probably a good thing.

President tweety said that he would make this country great again. During his inauguration day speech, described “the carnage of America.”

He got one of those things right. Except he did it.

Since he dithered as the pandemic arrived to our shores, many more people died than need be. One way to control its growth was to close everything down except for essential businesses and those companies whose employees could work from home.

This, in turn, created problems for the locked down citizens. The work force is destroyed. Finances are in tatters. We are wearing masks and keeping our distance, excpt for those who don’t.

That would be 30%. The same percentage as tweety’s base.

His violent words created an environment in which Black people are dying at the hands of local police departments. Protests turned violent. Parts of cities are burning. The National Guard were called out in Minneapolis. They were overwhelmed.

So let’s recap. We are sick, many are dead. Most of us are out of work and broke, cities are burning and just about everybody is unhappy, angry or just sad.

Is this what you meant by MAGA, Mr. President?

Great for who?

It’s Sunday.

I should just be posting pretty pictures. I did sorta. I shared a nice cloud and tree picture. It was made at the right time of day. It shines, glimmers and gleems. Of course, I worked a little magic.

Stay safe. Enjoy every sandwich.


A summer look and feel.

Summer.

The calendar may say that we’ve got almost a month to summer, but the heat, humidity and rain have given us a summer-like feel for the past couple of days. I’m not really ready for it, especially since we planned on not being here for a couple of months, but a virus took that from us.

Speaking of that virus, I spent some time consoling a friend of mine who managed to keep busy for a good part of lockdown number one. Today is a quiet day for her. She realized what was lost and really started feeling blue.

I listened for a long time because I’ve learned a while back that when somebody reaches out and asks for help they really don’t want help. They want a friendly ear. They want something who will just listen.

That’s what I did.

When she was done, she asked what I thought. Her world is upended and may never come back. I said some of the things that I write here. That the “new normal” should not be a return to the old normal. Instead, we were all given a task. Make our lives better. Make our city better. Make our world better.

Those are quite some tasks.

It will take us a long time to even come close to getting the stuff done in those three simple sentences. Sometimes simpler is harder.

Photography, design and stuff

I’ve been talking way too much about the block system and design. I haven’t been talking about the theory of photography enough. Or, the concept of artistic thinking.

So.

I’ll let this new block stuff simmer on the backburner where I can play with it and not worry about what you actually see. I learned today that my picture captions may not be where they should be. I learned it depends on how you are looking at them and what OS and browser you use. I also learned that some things just don’t scale. Remember that music video? There is a place for it on my phone. No video.

I’ll work on that in the deep background. Instead, I’ll talk about the emotional and personally historical issues that come into play when you are trying to make and view art. What resonates? What doesn’t? What do you do or not do with either feeling?

You know. The important stuff.

I won’t take about cameras, lenses, or f stops or shutter speeds. You can find all of that on YouTube, which is why I laugh when somebody wants to sell me a workshop about that technical stuff. On the other hand, it’s also why I cry when I see good information on YouTube. Somebody just gave it away. That’s nice. It’s kind. But, we’ve learned in the past three months that we have to do something to earn a living.

You know the rest. I know that you know.

Stay safe. Enjoy every sandwich.


Toward the end of the year. Toward the end the day.

A little obsession goes a long way.

I’m not talking about the perfume. I’m ¬†talking about a mental and emotional obsession. I’m talking about the one that I have when it comes the closing of 2019. Normally, I don’t really care. It’s just the pages of the calendar turning. Not this time. I can hardly wait. Even though a lot of people have said the same things about other years in this decade, 2019 seems worse.

Many people who I know feel the same way. They are worn out. They are tired. They are depressed. They feel beaten down. A writer who I read religiously said, that in this year of truth being turned upside down, she’s gotten to the point where she’s not sure she can trust herself.

I fear that in 2020, in a general election year, it might only get worse. I really fear that the worse possible thing can happen. I am scared that a re-elected president who is unhinged and free to do whatever he wants will finally blow up the country. Not physically, but at least existentially.

Enough of that because there are ways to combat the fear and loathing that so many people are feeling right about now.

Go outside. Leave your house. Life will immediately become unpredictable. It will become, well, life. To be lived in. You can work. You can play. You can meet new people. It’ll will also take the daily pressures off of your soul.

If you are an artist or creator, art harder.

A friend of mine said that at the beginning of this year. It helped her. It helped me. Sink your teeth in to a couple of long term projects. You’ll think more about that and less about the state the world.

See the good in everything and everybody who you meet on your journeys outside. Smile at people. Greet them with a friendly face. Ask for help when you need it. Eat well. Sleep well. Play well. Take care of yourself. Whatever you do spiritually, do it more.

Pick a one word koan to keep in your heart and soul. Trust me, it helps. It becomes the guiding principle for your year. Because of all the bad things that might happen in 2020, I’ve chosen my word for the year. “Positive.”

Stay positive.

That drives everything else.

 


Mostly red.

Bright red.

What a color in nature. It was calling out to me. It said roll in Dr. John’s birthday second line next year. A couple of you on various social media wanted to see more of this. What could I do? I aims to please.

From a technical standpoint, this picture is very good. There is almost no post production. Nature took care of that. When I saw those trunks reflecting glowing golden light, I knew what I had found.

You know me. I’m lazy. I thought about traveling to New Mexico or Vermont, or Virginia. Based on weather reports and the lack of fall pictures on various social media, I’m glad that I didn’t travel.

This was a five minute walk from the house. I didn’t need to go to the airport, find parking, pass through TSA, check luggage, board the plane and wish I was somewhere else. I’ll have to do that soon enough.

Anyway.

This is a short post. I’m beginning another trip around the sun today. Maybe there will be cake, party favors and presents.


A summer’s day.

A summer’s afternoon. In the south.

It’s hot. It’s humid. It rains almost very afternoon.

It takes a while to get used to it. If you’ve moved from some other place, you’ll think that you died and went to hell. But, slowly if you stop staying indoors and spend some time in the heat, you’ll come to like it. Sure, you’ll gripe about it. You’ll pass the time talking to neighbors about it. You’ll try not to work in the noonday sun, because after all, only mad dogs and Englishman do that. But, you’ll get used to it.

And, those afternoon storms. They only last a while. The suck up the humidity. They cool things down for just a bit.

The picture. Honestly, I saw it. I made it. I positioned the lens so that the clouds are as important as the trees. I took some time getting the colors right. Some sensors have a little trouble being too red. Those trees could have looked like they were on fire if I let the image have its way.

 


Summer picture number four.

Painted sky.

A particular kind of summer sky. If you aren’t looking up, it’s likely that you’ll miss it. If you don’t see light, and color, it’s like that you won’t get it.

I was talking to a somebody that I know a little. I was describing what I saw. She looked at me with a quizzical look on her face. It came down to, “Oh yeah. you’re a photographer.” But, she didn’t see it. No dramatic light. No golden color.

I did.

That’s what separates us for so many others. Us? Visual artists. We see a little differently. We feel a little differently. We see and feel with more than our eyes. We see with our brains. We feel with our hearts. With our souls.

With any luck this picture is good enough to capture what I saw. What I felt.

I feel good about this picture. It’s simple. It might be good enough to be part of my summer series.¬† Then again…


So close, yet far away.

It’s a funny thing.

We all think of New Orleans as being a giant city. It’s not. It’s a city of about 375,000 people. We are losing about 1,000 people a year due to all sorts of reasons. Broken infrastructure. Institutional racism. Crime. Horrible schools. High Taxes. Very high rental prices. The list goes on.

That’s not what this post is about.

Instead, it’s about the region in which we live. Fifteen minutes outside of the city lies Southeast Louisiana. If it matters, leaving the city means traveling from a blue city to a red state. It doesn’t matter to me. Even though we might not agree politically, I find the people to be sweet, kind and caring.

So, we don’t talk politics. Or, religion.

Aren’t those topics what you are supposed to avoid during holiday dinners? With people who really look like you because they are you. Sort of.

I like crossing the big muddy and tooling along the roads on the Westbank. You never know what you’ll find. I find pictures like this one. I find good almost home cooked meals in gas stations. I find people who ask why you are taking a picture. When you tell them, they ask to be in a couple frames. They either tell, or guide you, towards locations that they think might make a good picture.

They are country folk.

To them, New Orleans is the “big city.” A place in which they aren’t comfortable and don’t feel safe. And, yet, the are only 10 or 15 miles away.

The picture. Wandering along River Road around sunset. I’m pretty sure that you can figure out the rest.