Never more.

R

escued from my archives.

I found this picture while I was looking for something else. That’s sort of the way I make pictures, on the way to some place else.

The funny thing about the picture is that the subject doesn’t exist. Not anymore. It was a designer’s idea as part of the landscaping of a new venue.

The venue is all angles and made of metal. I suppose bamboo made a nice counterpoint, but the it was planted on the hottest side of the building in really dry soil.

I photographed it the day it was planted. Two weeks later the bamboo was dry and starting to die. Two weeks later there were broken stalks and little more.

Eventually the landscapers got around to clearing it and planting something else. Some of it succeeded. Most did not because they planted it too close to the artist driveway. Big touring trucks rolled over it again, again.

Oh well.

S

o, while I was working on this post I was listening to a new record by Los Lobos called, “Native Sons.”

It’s all covers.

That doesn’t sound great does it?

But, in their hands the songs are better than the originals. Better yet, I can sing along to most of it.

I can’t sing the two Spanish songs which is my fault for listening to my teachers in high school. They said take Latin. It’ll be fun and prepare you for college.

I never once used Latin in college, but I could have spoken Spanish in a lot of places.

Oh well.


Looking for something.

N

ew work. It’s been a little while. I took myself for a walk. I went to a little park that has benches, sat down and took some time for myself.

The bench that I sat was our favorite bench. It belonged to the all seeing dog, Sophie Rose. I don’t know what it did for my recovery process, but I started seeing the little things.

So, I made these pictures and a few more. Then, I went to the doctor. No worries, it was just a wellness check. I passed with semi-flying colors.

When I returned, I made more pictures. Just because. Because I believe in a little routine and doing something photographic every single day. That’s how you get better. That’s how you get good.

I haven’t been doing that lately. It shows.

I’ve been reading about photography as a healing an recovery tool. If for no other reason those of you who are photographers should make pictures, or do something photographic every day.

Do you?

T

here is really nothing to these pictures. They are simple. They are about trees. They are about nature. They are about rebirth.

Rebirth is important to me right now.

There is a little post production going on in both pictures that are very different processes.

The top image is light, sunny and playful. The bottom image is darker, more moody.

Of course nature helped a lot. Light comes and goes and comes back again especially in the summer.

Nature helped my creative process.

One day.


On a summer day.

T

echnology is never my friend. We’ve long had an Audible account. I thought I might like to listen to a book while I work.

After all, podcasts and a book being read is about the same thing. Along comes Apple. Between their normally high rate of paranoia and the slowness of their server I’m almost done working on the computer.

Gee, thanks a lot Apple.

I suppose for me, technology is disappointing. It’s always oversold. It doesn’t deliver what the provider said that it would.

WordPress is a case in point. I write something complaining about it and I receive replies either in the comments or in email about how much the block system sucks. I’ve managed to make it work for me, but this blog is simply designed.

Every time they make a change I start looking at alternatives.

Back to Apple. Okay, now Audible is downloaded and ready to go, except…

Apple wants me to subscribe. I already subscribe. There is absolutely no place to enter my credentials without paying for a new subscription. Here’s another app that is going bye-bye.

Oh, the picture. I’ll discuss it on the other side since their is almost no technical issues.

A

s I wrote on the other side, there is no technology to discuss.

I will say that for the first time ever, my photograph didn’t need any kind of help in post production.

Now, here’s the interesting thing. Amazon found it along with a small section from the take in which I made the image.

For the life of me, I cannot remember where or when I made the picture.

It must be age.

I always remember my pictures, and probably yours. I have a very good visual memory.

Oh. I still wanted to listen to a book. So, I clicked on the app on my phone. I’m listening to a Stephen King book.


New birth.
Even the little bits.

I believe that by being pain free for the past week or so is resulting in much better seeing. I think my consumption of necessary pain meds created a sort of brain fog.

That’s not to say I was walking around loaded out of my mind. I wasn’t. I didn’t. And, I don’t.

But, there was a sort of fog covering the inputs to my seeing.

It reminded me of my drinking days, almost 29 years ago. I thought that I was making good pictures when mostly I was making rubbish.

It took a few months, but once I gave up demon rum I started making better pictures.

Same thing now.

The difference is that pain meds got me through the day. Drinking didn’t. It hurt my day and me.

Anyway.

I saw these pictures walking the all seeing dog. All of them. Today, in lieu of walking far, she started exploring. Everything. Everyplace. Even though she’d smelled these places a million times in the past.

It worked out for both of us. She had a nice morning. I had made these pictures. All of them. Today.

Then, I went to my appointment with my pain management doctor. We are both happy that the procedure of two weeks ago worked so well.

Between the time of the procedure and now, I did a lot of research about healing. The body always heals itself. It just may take a lot of time.

My doc’s and my hope is that the epidurals will bring down the inflammation allowing the two points in the spinal nerve to heal. If that’s the case, I may not need further treatment for my particular issues.

I’m hopeful because the best way for me to make pictures is to walk. I haven’t been able to really do that for a long time.

Now I can.

Writing the other column was hell.

No matter what I did, boxes kept popping up. When I tried to edit one word I would lose and entire paragraph.

For a while I thought I understood this system. Unfortunately, WordPress wouldn’t leave it alone.

I noticed it when the three templates I use were saved. That was good. Why did I need to search for “Image, column and paragraph” every time I logged on?

I never had to deal with these boxes in the past. Now I do. Not only is this destroying my writing, but it’s wasting a huge amount of time.

The block system is supposed to save time. It sort of did. Once again, WordPress had to do something because it’s likely their coders don’t have enough to do. I wish that they’d stop.

Sorry that the technical side became sort of rant. No matter, these are straight photographs. No real manipulation. Just pure documentation.

Done.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. You know the rest. Enjoy all the rebirth.


General spring growth in southeastern louisiana
Life, and life itself

Yesterday was a day.

Did you ever have a day when technology was not your friend? When saved passwords were not saved? When nothing loaded? When the internet was so slow that you had to perform a hard reset?

That was yesterday.

Let’s hope things go a little better today. Let’s hope people settle down. Actually, all of the silliness of yesterday stopped in mid-stride when the parish leaders extended the lockdown period by another 15 days. Orleans Parish had it right. The adjoining parishes signed a letter of agreement and I suppose the people drinking outside were sent home. I just hope none of them end up in the ER in a few days.

Other than that, I have no idea what the news of the day was. That feels pretty good.

I was so busy fixing all things digital that I didn’t even think about who was lying about what to whom.

It got so bad that at one point my credit card was declined.

WTH?

It has a really high limit because it’s a business card and zero balance. I asked the clerk if he could call the manager over. I showed her my bank’s actual website on my phone. I asked her to match credit card and account numbers. She saw what I knew. No late fees. No balance. No problems. It’s true I haven’t used it in the last seven weeks because I had no work that would need me to float a loan for a client. I’m not alone. Neither has anybody else.

Luckily, the manager is proactive. She got on the phone and asked my bank what was wrong. What do you think it was?

Digital glitches.

Just one more during my day of failed technology. The bank had to approve my purchase the old school way, but there was no problem. They were apologetic. I was understanding. All the wheels fell off.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. When every system starts to crash, all the wheels fall off of all the cars. Luckily, it wasn’t something important like me buying you lunch. That would be really bad. Heh!

So, the picture.

I saw this little scene and I just had to get down on my knees and photograph it. It looks like life to me. New grass, new wildflowers, and little three leaf clovers are growing over the dead leaves of last fall. That’s not only hopeful. It’s happening right now. In real time.

Stay safe. Enjoy every sandwich.


On Palm Sunday

On Palm Sunday.

The world is upside down. Time has no meaning. People are living in fear. Stupidity is the order of the day.

Still.

There is hope. Even though the current state of change is very negative, there are those of us who think that if we make it to the other side there is reason something positive can come of this. I happen to be one of those people who might not make it. I’m in a very vulnerable age group. I have one underlying condition.

Maybe.

If I follow the directions I can make it. I think I can. But, the government advice keeps changing. Last week we were told to buy enough food for seven days. Now were are being told that “this is not the time to go shopping. This is not the time to go to the pharmacy.” Great. Just great. We have enough food to make it through a week. Luckily. I do have to go to the pharmacy. Eventually.

We are told to wear masks in public. The president says that’s just advice and he won’t be wearing one. What kind of leadership is that? I could go on and on about this, but I won’t. What’s the point?

The picture. It’s layered to make a point about spring. Now that the unseasonable heat has passed and we are living in typical spring weather, beauty abounds. I enhanced it. Two Irises in one. Since Catholics cannot hold services in the real world, this is for them.

Stay safe. Care for each other. Keep your distance. Mask up. Enjoy every plate of pasta.


My version of winter.

I’m listening to an interesting YouTube video as I write.

It’s about “work that matters.” ┬áThe visual podcast is called The Art of Photography.

As the speaker talks, he reminds me of me. He says that a picture should strive for something, that it ought to push the boundaries, that it shows artist growth, and it goes beyond gear.

You know me.

I rarely if ever talk about gear. I always talk about subject matter, content and why the picture matters to me. I suppose if I did talk about gear I could monetize Storyteller with corporate sponsorships. But, that isn’t me. Of course I would like some help paying for this blog. But, I want it on my terms.

That’s important.

It’s also why I don’t take numbers very seriously. Sure, the more people who see my work, the more people who could possible know me and become some kind of client. But, as I’ve said to some of you by sharing a Neil Young quote, “Numbers add up to nothing.” Getting a lot of likes on Instagram or Facebook really just means that your picture happens to fit into the flavor of the hour. That is transitory at best.

I want my work to be long lasting and possible have some influence on a few people’s work. I do that now. Sometimes people talk to me about it. Often they don’t. I look at their work and I see my own work in their pictures.

Case in point. Since I’ve been making pictures of winters bare trees around sunset, I’m seeing all sorts of similar — but not the same — pictures that show up on Facebook friend’s feeds.

That’s all good.

It’s good because it means that I matter to somebody. I don’t need the validation because I believe in my own path. I like to know that somebody is watching… and reading.

The picture. I made a really heavily blurred image of some wild flowers a few days ago. By itself it was unrecognizable no matter what I did to it. It was mostly a yellow, green and black blob. I saved it and added some recognizable yellow flowers to it. That’s what you are looking at now.

Happy day.

 


This is what you get.

I am NOT laughing at you who live in places where it so terribly cold.

Instead, I’m showing you what we get for putting up with New Orleans things. We have a high murder rate (two weekends in a row). We have an ancient water system that breaks every week. We have a terrible street infrastructure filled with car killing pot holes. We have a city government that wraps everything up in a marketing tagline, “The City of Yes.” Yes, most of us would like them to actually do something rather than all their posturing. And, they raised the value of our homes so that they could claim that they didn’t raise property taxes. The list continues. And, continues.

We also have mild weather. Of course, that contrasts with the extreme heat of summer. But, our mildness allows me to publish a picture like this one, twelve days from the winter solstice and the actual start of winter.

Older people who live in the north move to Florida for mild weather during the winter. They don’t have dodge bullets and potholes. And, the don’t have to live in our summer heat if they live somewhere near Florida’s long coast.

Anyway.

The picture. I saw it, I photographed it. It didn’t need any help in post production.


In the shade.

“Give me the greens of summer.”

So, said Paul Simon. I wonder what he would think about the greens of fall. Because we live in a swamp and have two growing seasons, we do get new foliage growing at what is an odd time of year for the rest of the country.

This is an example.

The rocks are in a pile as a flood deterrent. They’ve been stacked for a long time. Nature had her way with them. Stuff is growing over them, around them and they are collecting moss. This moss won’t help you find your way, unless you are digging into the earth to… China.

Green is the color of rebirth. It’s peaceful. Quiet. That makes green pictures a great Sunday offering.

Sunday.

The day of second lines. Yes. I’m going. this one is The Prince of Wales. It rolls on a wide street. It rolls for a long way. Lots of pictures lurking there. It’s one of my favorites to photograph because there is room to move, room to work. The day is cool. The parade starts at 1pm, which for today is the hottest time of day. About 82 degrees.

That’s nothing.

It’ll be a lot of fun. You should be here.