Garden of Prayer.

N

ew Orleanians understand death. We mourn and we celebrate. We actually like our cemeteries. Personally, I like the older funky ones.

I like cemeteries like this one that is located in the middle of a working class neighborhood. It’s a Jewish cemetery called, Garden of Prayer. It’s fairly old.

I’ve roamed around the city enough to know most of the cemeteries. I like all of them for different reasons. One of my favorites is Holt, near Delgado Community College. It’s sort of a potters field.

Another aspect of our culture is how people are remembered. We mourn and then celebrate with our jazz funerals. Usually, the more well known in the community the deceased is the bigger the second line, which is really what a jazz funeral is.

I had to chuckle at one tourist’s online request. She wanted to know how she could plan to attend a jazz funerals since she was coming from out of town for a visit. The snarky answer was “die.”

Some people were more helpful than others, but unless you are plugged into the city culture bearers the only other way is to read the death notices in the newspaper.

If you’re lucky enough to attend one and you are on a trip for somewhere else, just follow the locals and what we do. These events can be chaotic so be prepared for that.

T

he top photograph had kind of a quirky approach to post production.

When I worked on it earlier, I made it very golden as if I made it during golden hour.

That fell under the heading of, “What was I thinking?” A lot of things that I do fall under that.

So, this time around I brought it back to its original coloring. That took more work that you would think.

The bottom picture ws simple. I just left alone, possibly enhancing the color a bit. I made it in 2019 so you can’t expect me to recall exactly what I did.

I believe that photographs like that are more long the line of photojournalism so I don’t like to tinker very much.

Second lining to honor Chef. Leah Chase.


On Holocaust Memorial Day.

I made these photographs last Monday.

To be honest, I hadn’t thought of photographing a cemetery on Holocaust Memorial Day. I was buying king cakes at the King Cake Hub that happens to be located in a building that houses the Haunted Mansion on Halloween.  Behind the mansion building, which looks like it once belonged to the cemetery, is The Gates of Prayer – Canal Street.

That name is important. When I tried researching the history of the cemetery, I found The Gates of Heaven. Every link took me a Reformed Jewish congregation and cemetery that is located Uptown. There is plenty of information about them. They have a pretty good website and they have a Facebook page, as does this Canal Street location.

Unfortunately, there is no information about this place.

Enough of my confusion.

My king cake expedition happened to take place on Holocaust Memorial Day, or Yom HaShoah. After “finding’ the cemetery I thought that I’d better make a few pictures. These are some of them.

This is a smallish cemetery tucked in between other cemeteries and buildings. The images reflect that.

I was really struck by the little grave markings that simply said, “Mama” or “Papa.” These were added to the foot of a plot in addition to the memorial markers. They were every place.

Follow the words to the bottom of the page. Please.

Papa.

Mama

Behind dormant trees.

The day was cloudy, weighty, and sort of a reminder of the sadness of the place. I let the pictures reflect that. I could have brightened them in camera, but I toned down my usual settings. I could have reworked them in post production, but I didn’t. If anything, I toned them back. These are somber pictures. They are meant to reflect the Holocaust in which 6,000,000 people were killed for no reason.

One more thing.

My interest in this subject is great. When I made catalogs and edited at The Image Bank/Kodak, one of the photographers that I edited had the numbers of a camp tattooed on his fore arm. We talking about it for a few minutes.

Once.

Along came Schindler’s List. At the end of the movie, former concentration camp prisoners walk down to a cemetery and place a remembrance on individual gravestones. Most of them were only pebbles which means, “Someone was here.” There on film was my photographer. He wasn’t just a camp survivor, he was one of Schindler’s Jews.

Mine blown.

It just goes to show that if you know, you know.


In the neighborhood.
In the neighborhood.

Wandering around. Again.

I made this picture on a day when a storm broke. When the heavy clouds were lifting and the scene was getting a little bright, sparkly and shiny. It’s a cemetery in Uptown. For those who are keeping score, it’s a Jewish cemetery.

But.

This post isn’t about the subject. I like working in cemeteries. Just about everywhere. You already know this.

No. This post is about the next step in mobile image processing. This is about processing RAW files on whatever your portable happens to be. Apple made a big deal of saying that their iPhone 7 or 7s — I forget which — would be able to shoot and process RAW files. But, you had to download software (an app). And, the software isn’t ready yet.

Oh.

I don’t care what Apple does. Eventually, they may change photography again. Just as the smart phone pretty much killed the mid-market point and shoot camera, this might kill the consumer market for dslr cameras. At least for most consumers and some prosumers. But, not for those of us who make our living from our work. I could not imagine showing up for a job and saying to the client, “this is what I shoot with,” and holding up a phone. I guess some younger guys do it. But, I’m not a younger guy.

Anyway.

That doesn’t mean I won’t use the portable tools that are found on an iPhone or iPad. For instance, Snapchat. With their latest upgrade, they added RAW processing. Now we’re talking. For now it’s complicated. For instance, I took this picture with a dslr. I uploaded it to Apple Photos, which for me is another form of cloud storage. It appears on all my computers. From there I processed it on Snapchat, using their RAW processing engine. They also added text in that upgrade. So, I added my copyright symbol and I was done. Since I really do like working on a big computer, I just picked up the finished picture from the Apple Cloud. And, here it is.

I suppose that once the software is available for the latest iPhone the process will get easier. Shoot the picture on the phone. Ignore Apple’s RAW processor and just work in Snapchat. Who knows? A technology win.


Late afternoon sun helped a little bit after the fact.
Late afternoon sun helped a little bit after the fact.

One of my fellow bloggers, Kaie W. Bird, posted a little video from Israel. Yesterday was the Israeli day to remember victims of The Holocaust. In the video, it looks like an ordinary day. People are driving on expressways. They are commuting. Apparently, they know what is coming. What sounds like an air raid siren goes off. Everybody stops their cars, trucks and buses. They get out of their cars and sort of stand at attention. I suppose that some are praying. Other’ maybe thinking. Hard to know. The siren stops and they get back in their cars and trucks and go on about their day. If think that I should just post the video. here it is.

http-::www.youtube.com:watch?feature=player_embedded&v=s24x68QNmxQ

What does that have to do with this picture? I wanted to make a picture to compliment it. I wanted to work in one of the three Jewish cemeteries in New Orleans. I chose the Uptown one. There are two others. One is near St. Roch and the other is near I-10. I know that the St. Roch Cemetery has at least on Holocaust survivor buried there. Uptown does not. At least, that I could find. So, I did what I could. Even though it was a beautiful spring day, I just wasn’t feeling the picture. So, I turned to cheap tricks. In post production. I think what I really wanted to do was just sit. Maybe visit with somebody.