Left overs.

We ate it. If truth be told since carnival season began on January 6, we ate three. Three king cakes.

During a normal Mardi Gras year we’d eat way more than that, but they’d be consumed at the brunch that we would have had yesterday.

The subject of this picture is what’s left after eating the cake. And, the baby. Tradition says that if you eat a slice of the cake with the baby hidden inside you are king for a day. But, you must buy the next king cake.

Those green and yellow things are granulated sugar. They fell off the cake. Did I mention that New Orleans is not the healthiest place during Mardi Gras, or ever?

Anyway.

Nature made her statement today. Texas is snowed and iced under. It’s very cold. Like 4 degrees. Many people have lost power. They are cold and miserable.

In New Orleans the weather isn’t quite so bad. When I left to run a few errands, my car’s thermometer registered at 29 degrees. It’s always 4 degrees high so the air temperature was really 25 degrees.

We’ve have spitting rain and ice on and off all day. But, we have power.

The dogs were not amused. They went out, did their “business,” and came right back into the house. They rolled around on the floor. I guess they were generating heat. Or, just having fun.

Nature. She made sure that if the pandemic didn’t keep people inside, the weather would. There were a lot of tourists who ignored our warnings. They came anyway. I’d feel sorry for them if I didn’t think they were so stupid. It’s one thing to not know and be ignorant. It’s another thing to be told and be arrogantly stupid.

Anyway.

This is still a holiday for us.

So, Happy Mardi Gras to all y’all.

Green, gold and purple. Mardi Gras colors. That’s how most king cakes look.

But, there are plenty of other versions including the true French brioch version which doesn’t have color at all and certainly no granulated sugar.

There is really no trick to this. I made the picture with my phone in the kitchen a few minutes ago.

I cleaned up the file. I made sure the white background was white. By doing that I toned down the baby who was too red. And, I added glow to the image to pull your eyes to the baby.

And, that’s it.

Stay safe. Stay Strong. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Look after each other. Stay dry. Stay warm.

And, always have a Happy Mardi Gras.


Mardi Gras 1 Krewe of Cleopatra

Light and color. Rather the lack of color. I always say that when you have to explain the picture that you didn’t do a good job.

I guess I didn’t.

It’s two members of the Krewe of Cleopatra dancing in the street. I guess what I really like is the movement passing through the very muted color.

That brings me to this little nugget.

We have reached a point where many artists of all stripes are not doing the work for the works sake. They are doing it to breakout, to make a lot of money, to attract a crowd.

I saw that during the half time show during the Super Bowl. The Weeknd might as well phoned it in from home. Oh, wait, what? He didn’t?

He’s a good musician. His music isn’t exactly my style, but it’s good. It does remind of the old days, when Smokey, The Temps, and the Supremes (Yes, I know. We lost one today.) ruled the air waves.

You wouldn’t have known that on Sunday night. It may have been technical issues, but that gets no pass from me. When touring musicians can get the sound right on the same day they go on stage, surely the Super Bowl techs can get it right in a week.

I heard a very weak and flat singer. For many younger musicians the Super Bowl halftime show is a chance to break out into audiences they might not normally access. He didn’t do that.

I was excited. For years the half time shows were performed by the ancients of the music industry. I suppose after Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction, they planners wanted to play it safe. After all, who wants to see a half naked Paul McCartney?

This all dovetails into my original premise. Doing it for the money doesn’t really get you there. Doing it for your art leads to edgy work, breakthroughs and — wait for it — big money.

That just wasn’t the intent. Expressing yourself honestly and authentically was. That’s one of the reasons that I intentionally stay away from gear reviews. There are websites that began as blogs that talk about gear. They have company sponsorships, they receive gear to review, they get paid for promotions.

I’d like all that stuff too. But, I’d rather stay close to my vision.

Besides, I’m not a gear head.

The right hand column. It’s the technical column. I suppose today’s will be fairly short.

There just isn’t much to what I did. Come to think of it, there rarely is much to my work.

I’m a fairly simple photographer. Even when I use assistants and lights and remotes, my pictures are simple.

So.

I found the picture in my archives. It was made in my usual style. It was bright. The motion was fairly defined.

When I removed the color the edges blurred to become unrecognizable.

When I finished the work I thought, wow, that really works.

On here, not so much.

There’s a technical reason for that. Just like Facebook, WordPress squeezes the hell out of the highlights and shadows. That’s what we are seeing here.

I usually do work arounds to account for that. I thought that I did. Apparently, it isn’t enough.

Oh well. It’s that perfection thing again.

Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Look after each other. Don’t squeeze your highlights.


Ghostly .

The time of year. Spooky. Ghostly. A good time of year when things aren’t what they seem.

This is another short post. We have power, but no internet. Our gear is new and works fine. It turns out that our internet provider took some heavy hits. They are working to repair the damage but who knows when.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Keep your distance. Wash your hands. Two days… vote.


A little Japanese.

Would you all please do something for me?

Look to the left. Look to the right. Look up. Look down. Look in whichever way you’d like. Give thanks for whatever you see.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.


Camping out.

More skeletons.

Seems like I could be on an archeological dig, the way dem bones keep turning up. Of course, I’m not, but they all have interesting shapes to me.

Even though I don’t always pay attention to the numbers, they seem to have tanked this week as I started publishing Halloween pictures. It seems to me that even though there are forms of the holiday elsewhere in the world, the pictures just aren’t striking you in the way that I attended. I have to figure out what to do about that.

In other matters, let’s talk browsers. I was using something call Brave. It protected me from ads, and supposedly from all sorts of bad actors. The new upgrade protected me for myself, as in my email turned funky. And, my calendar wouldn’t open. I realized that I could turn off various functions, which is how I reply to you. I turned off a couple of things and my email and calendar came back to life.

Goodbye Brave. It became pointless.

I started to download the latest version of Java Script, but Google doesn’t support it any longer. So, goodbye Google as a browser. Java runs all the moving parts on website that we turn to when we want something.

I’m a Mac guy so I turned to Safari. I left Safari because it was not as robust as Google. It’s been improved over the past couple of generations. Of course, since it’s an Apple to Apple usage it is fast as hell. I can still use my email and calendar which are Google-based. And, Apple has its own security which is about as tough as anybody else’s.

And, guess what?

Remember when WordPress dropped spell check a couple of months back? Safari provides its own version of spell check that works on any document anywhere.

All is good. No, make that all is better.


A peaceful thing.

On Thanksgiving Day.

I wish you peace. I wish you thankfulness. I wish you joy. I wish you happiness.

Most of all, I wish you art. Photographic art. Painted art. Sculpted art. Written art. Musical art. All art.

— Ray


On Halloween.

This a little late.

I know. I know.

I posted this on Instagram and Facebook. I realized that most of you hadn’t seen it.

That was too bad because I really like this picture, especially in black and white. To be honest, I overlooked it. In color it didn’t do much for me. Given that any of us who work with digital files start with color, that’s understandable. Unless you are completely black and white oriented, it’s often hard to look at a color file and see the beauty of a possible monochromatic image. I certainly didn’t at first.

Then, I did.

I posted it on Instagram because I try to post only in black and white there, and not duplicate what I do here on Storyteller. I share from there to Facebook and Twitter.

If you only follow me here. You didn’t see it.

Sorry about that.

Now you do.


Cadillac Ranch.

A rough year. No. Make that 18 months.

I’m not going to get into a political thing on a holiday. I’m going to appreciate what I have. Remember what the notion of the USA means. And, hope that we can fix the damage already done. You know what I say about hope. It’s like miracles. They take hard work.

For those of you in The United States, happy Fourth of July. For those of you everywhere else, happy Wednesday.

 


Flowers for the fallen.

Memorial Day.

Flowers for the fallen.

I participated in a couple of events today, so I’m a bit late posting. No matter. Those that I honored are late every day. Or early. Depending on how you look at it.

After a quick scan of Facebook, I saw about a million posts of flags. And, crosses. And, memes. So, as usual, I wanted to do something a little different. I offer these flowers to our fallen heroes.

Two things about service member heroes. Today’s honorees are the only ones who you can legitimately call heroes. It is for those who died in combat. I’m still amazed at the numbers of posts that want to thank a vet or a service member. There are days for that. Today is about those who never made it home. Full stop.

I wish them, as I wish you… Peace.