Turn and frayed.

T

he original image is ancient. I was playing around during a snowstorm in New Mexico. It was one of my picture a day images.

It’s shredded newspaper.

Everything came together at once. I need to make a picture and I had a new shredder that I wanted to test.

So, I shredded up a lot of newspaper and made a few pictures.

This was the result. Something huge for your wall. Maybe even wallpaper. Of course, your house would have to be able to pull it off. I’m not sure what kind of house that might be.

I’m thinking something very modern, all in white except for one wall. This wall. The one with shredded newspaper as wallpaper.

I make no claims about being an interior designer. My idea of covering walls is to fill them with framed art until there isn’t any more room and then rotate pictures in and out. The goal is to keep much of my work off the walls as possible.

After all, I know what my work looks like. I want to know what your work looks like.

I used to do some trading here. I thought we were doing a simple transaction. Mine for yours. Yours for mine. I didn’t work out that way. I’d send mine. I never received yours.

So, I stopped dong that. The experiment failed as most do here. I’m not sure why that happens. I have my theories, but I’ll leave that alone unless you really want to know and ask.

A

s I look at this picture a lot of memories come flooding back.

I’m one of those unfortunates who remembers everything.

Sometimes those ghosts are friendly. Often they are not.

Today is one of those days when they aren’t friendly. The biggest memory is why I moved to New Mexico in the first place.

We are a little over a month from the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina changing life as we knew it in New Orleans.

I’d wanted to retire in New Mexico. That would have been a good thing. It wasn’t good because of the way I went there.

I wasn’t done with New Orleans. I missed everything about it.

I remember my first Mardi Gras there. A parade was held in Old Town at the plaza. I got all excited.

What a come down it was. There was one cart that was supposed to be a float and a few people walking with it.

Luckily, it was held on the Saturday before Mardi Gras Day. I hopped on an airplane and got back to New Orleans in time for Mardi Gras Day.

It was glorious. Most of us hadn’t returned to the city yet. The city was in shambles. The parades were small. The Zulus had been scattered to the four corners of the country. Somebody paid for The Shaka Zulus to come from South Africa to replace them.

But, man did we celebrate. We were alive. As Mardi Gras Indians say, “Won’t bow down. Don’t know how.”

That’s what’s in my head today. I don’t know why. I suppose that it’s a kind of PTSD that comes and goes whenever it feels like it.

It’s one of those things that inspires me to say, “Control is overrated.”

It is.

You must be wondering about technique by now. There really isn’t any. Shred all the newspapers you have in the house and take picture of the remains.

That’s it.

A perfect picture of the newspaper industry as it stands today.


Discussions.

Between friends. Friends who are photographers. We talked about this and that. Then, we started talking about how we move from the photographers that we are to the photographers that we want to be.

We are all photo veterans. We probably have about 175 years of experience between us. We all seem to want to make pictures that are art, but our individual art. We are still figuring that out.

Then, I read a long Instagram post by a photographer who is a mentor. He was reviewing a book. Every picture was soft. The pictures were a little sharper than mine, but they gave the subject matter a very artistic feel. He loved it. I loved it.

The one thing that I’m sure of is that try as I might, I can’t make you see what I saw and feel what I felt. Your view is your view. You gain that by your years of experience. I can influence it a little, but that’s about it.

The search within continues on. I believe my word for the year is learn. That sort of slipped by the wayside in 2020. I know you know why.

The picture

I worked with my baby Leica throughout the summer. Since I wasn’t photographing enough with it I just saved the summer on one card. I finally processed it this morning.

These pictures were made earlier in the summer.

First, I did what I always do and made normal work. I started thinking about how I could change things up. I used manual focus. I intentionally let these three picture go out of focus. Of all the images that I made at the dusk turning to dark night I like these best.

They are an impression of an impression.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Enjoy the whole pizza.


St. Mary's Assumption Church
St. Mary’s Assumption Church

Well it could be some spiritual event. But, not this time. This time it was a combination of me finding the right light as it streamed in St. Mary’s Assumption Church and using the proper f-stop to create a glowing starburst.

Since we talked about the churches as I’ve photographed them so far, I thought I’d talk about making this picture. While there is the reaching hand from the statue, the real eye catcher is the starburst. You have a number of options when you want to turn some kind of streaming light into a starburst. You can do it in Photoshop or some other editing software. You can buy filters that will do the trick as you rotate them. This can actually give various multi-point starburst. But, I prefer to do it in camera. Here’s the trick. The further you stop down the sharper and smaller the starburst will be. So, at something like f 2.8, you’ll have no starburst. At something like f 16, you’ll have a very sharp starburst and maybe a lot of points of light. But, this is a heavenly starburst sent down to illuminate someone or something. So, this starburst was made at f 5.6. It’s soft and glowing. I could have taken it really far in post production, but I didn’t. Instead, I just darkened some over exposed areas that needed a little help. The rest is pretty much as I saw it.

Talking about “heavenly” did bring something to mind. Even if you know you are going to do a lot of manipulations in post production, it really does have a vision in mind when you make the original, base exposure. trying to figure out something after the fact is usually a time waster, at best. At worst, you run the risk of making some “mushy” with no real point of view.