On early morning walks.

It’s only love
It’s only love
You know how it feels
Feeling is easy
I know
When I was young
When I was young
You know
It was real
My heart was open
But now
I know
I know
I know
I know better
I’ve been shown
The other side
And now I see the way
Things are
It’s only love
It’s only love
You know how it feels
Feeling is easy
I know
Feeling is easy
I know
Feeling is easy
I know

— Melody by Anoushka Shankar, Karsh Kale, and Guarav Raina. Lyrics by Norah Jones

Easy lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Walt Disney Music Company, Universal Music Publishing Group, A Side Music LLC D/B/A Modern Works Music Publishing

Man. All those publishing credits. And, you think I’m crazy?

Sunday. Either a day of rest. Or, a day of fun work. I think the later. Especially after yesterday.

When we were are out roaming around running errands, I always carry a real camera. Jokingly, I say I do that in case a second line pops up.

Well.

One did.

A four lane blocking, jazz funeral with a brass band and the old fashioned carriage drawn by a mule. There was no way around it, so I parked and made pictures.

The photo gods were talking to me. They were saying get off your butt and get back to work. They asked what would Chef Chase say? Oh, I know, I know. Hand raised in the air trying to catch someone’s attention.

“Pull up your pants and get to work.”

Uh huh.

Unless the world falls in, I’m back on the street today and tomorrow and whenever. Once thing did float through my mind. While we are all about mourning our local heroes, we are forgetting that life and death goes on. The second line was for a Zulu. An honored member of our community. On any other Saturday, there might be ten of fifteen photographers making pictures. There was only me. By accident.

Think on that for a while.

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Pretty, pretty.

The middle day.

The so-called hump day of the business week. That is if you work five days a week in something like a 9 to 5 job.

I don’t  know anybody like that. I was working into the late night after taking a mid-day break. A short one. Same kind of day, today. It doesn’t stop. Sure. There are times when I don’t work as much. You know. Ebb and flow. The calendar might set my schedule, but the clock doesn’t.

How about you? How do you work? When? For how long?

Anyway.

This picture is yours. It’s a simple picture. I turned it into a watercolor painting. Almost. It’s peaceful. Quiet. A positive image.

That was my intent.


Almost inside

Often, I like to look at art that isn’t a photograph for inspiration. You know, like a painting. Or, drawing, or, even something more three-dimensional like sculpture. Make no mistake. I can’t do any of those arts. But, they give me new and fresh ideas. They influence my work. Often, it shows up immediately. Mostly, it just gets mixed in with everything else. It pops out when I least expect it.

When I photographed this rose I had a pretty good idea of what the end result could be. What it should be. If I worked it well. I’ve made macro pictures of all sorts of flowers in the past. It was different this time. I saw it as a finished piece. A piece drawn with charcoals or pastels. Maybe pencils.

From the moment I started framing the scene, I followed my emerging vision. The cool thing was that I made three pictures. That’s it. I was done when I was done. Quickly. The rest was done in post production. I sort of worked in a straight line. Not so much tinkering and fiddling this time.

No photographer’s luck this time.

This time. This one time. For the rest of May it will be. Luck.


Destrehan Plantation
Destrehan Plantation

I was looking for nature when we took our River Road drive.

I found as much as I could photograph in a pretty short time.

This stand of trees is not unspoiled nature. It is part of the land belonging to the Destrehan Plantation… one of the oldest homes in Louisiana.

A little history.

The plantation was the largest producer of sugar in St. Charles Parish. The third owner freed the slaves in 1838, well before the Civil war. It became a colony for Freedmen after the Civil War and it outlived the American Oil Company who tore down many of the out buildings and built a refinery on the grounds. It was heavily vandalized by people who believed pirate Jean Lafitte buried treasure within the main plantation house.

Today, it is fully restored and is open seven days a week. The River Road Historical Society focuses on showing visitors plantation life. It was one of the main back drops for Twelve Years a Slave.

Yes. I photographed the main house and the few restored out buildings. But, as I said, I wanted to photograph nature. Maybe a little of man’s influence. So. I did. Despite being only a few yards from River Road, this is a very quiet and peaceful place. Lots of Spanish Moss. That’s tomorrow’s picture.

The picture. The scene is mostly as you see it here. Late spring in Southeast Louisiana is very bright. Very green. Very pretty.


Here it is. A flower photographed from a flower’s level. A Spring picture. A yellow picture. As the Counting Crows’ Adam Durwitz sings in Jumpin’ Jesus, “why have so much yellow for?” I dunno. I just do.


I couldn’t think of a title, so I Googled songs about spring and flowers. That sort of worked. There are some pretty bleak songs about a season which is all about rebirth, beauty and light. Even Frank Sinatra wrote that he has no ambition or desire to do anything because nobody loves him. Whoa. Sinatra?

These pictures were made in New Mexico. The spring — and fall — light is much better there. That brings me to this. I like being in New Orleans. It feels something like home. But, there are days when I really miss New Mexico. Especially in the spring and fall. But, there are days when I really miss cities in Asia. Hong Kong. Singapore. Shanghai. Bangkok. I spent a lot of time in those places. I’m never sure whether to take a step back and return to the scenes of those crimes. Or, to just keep moving forward.

So, guess who I’m listening to? Yep. Frank Sinatra. Jazz standards.

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In Southeast Louisiana, as it is in all semi-tropical places, the spring and summer months are traditionally the rainy season. Even though a bit of April seemed dry, the region already has surpassed its normal rainfall for this time of year. Rain fell yesterday and even though the sun is shining — weakly — this morning, rain is supposed to fall through tonight. And then… come June first, we enter hurricane season. This will be my first in the state since that fateful year of 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hurt New Orleans so badly. I really don’t worry much about these things. We do what we have to. But, it is a bit worrisome since we didn’t really have much of a winter and the gulf waters are already hot. But, predicting doom and gloom isn’t really my style.

So.

This is one of the pictures that will probably cause me trouble some day. Another drive by shooting. It’s just a good thing for me that if you want them to be, cameras can do just about auto-everything.


An easy picture today. Something to make you smile. The picture? Pretty simple. I just stuck my camera into a bunch of flowers and pushed the button. These days, with articulated LCDs, it is very easy to do. You just sort of have to find the right subject.