It’s All Light


The color of the season.

Fall. This is supposed to what it looks like. Bright orange, yellow and red. Leaves on the ground. That’s autumn. That’s fall. A change of seasons between summer and winter. The air cools. It dries out. I’m not dripping wet from humidity. I feel like being out a lot more.

That’s what this picture is about. The wonder of fall.

The wonder of change. The hope of the new year with the changing of the guard. With the first administration of drugs that may keep us from getting sick. Maybe the slowing down the the pandemic which seems to be racing faster.

Maybe the end of a man’s reign of terror that he is trying every way to subvert. I humbly suggest that what he really needs is a granny with a broom. Not only will he get swept out of office, but he’ll get his butt kicked. Thoroughly. That loser.

Not to end on a bad note, so let’s talk about the wonderful colors of this picture. What I mentioned at the top of this little missive. Bold color. Bright color. Happy color.

The picture. I saw it on the ground. So down I went to get close enough to the leaf and far enough away to show some of the background. Click, click, click…

Post production was a little fun. Especially when I applied a border. For some reason, the border function added another slightly askew layer. The picture became even more interesting with that so I didn’t fight it.

On the other hand, the column function is a mess. I like it well enough, but this not what the page is supposed to look like.

One day in the far distant future maybe WordPress will stop screwing around with stuff and leave us the hell alone. No problem for me. I disconnected the payment function. Now they are asking me for money.

Good luck with that.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Keep your distance. Wash your hands. Look after each other. Enjoy every sandwich.

The Leaf


After the storm.

A little rain fell. The water cleared and cooled the air. It also left little droplets on the leaves that weren’t calling it quits for autumn. I generally have problems with rain drops. I cannot keep them sharp. I got lucky. That, or I picked the proper focal length for this kind of work.

It’s a good picture with which to start the work week. It’s simple and clean. We need that for the next eight days.

Before we worry about that, another hurricane is making its way into the gulf. It’s a little too far out to really tell, but the cone and spaghetti models have it passing right through New Orleans by Wednesday. We’ve been lucky this hurricane season. Hopefully, we’ll keep it that way but when does our luck run out?

Even though the election is just eight days away, there is lots to worry about. Unless there is a landslide, the election will likely be contested. Even if a landslide happens, the next two and a half months will be the most dangerous in our country’s history.

Now do you see why starting out with something peaceful is a good idea?

The picture. This should be an easy image to make. See it, focus on it, push the button. Of course, it isn’t that simple for me. I’m lucky if I can keep the water drops in focus. Assuming I can do at least that, the rest is easy.

After the last few radioactive pictures, I’ve decided to move closer to center. They were getting a little crazy. They weren’t looking like a photograph nor were they looking like art. We’ll just see how long that lasts.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. VOTE.

Outside Looking In


Down, down, down.

We all watched something two nights ago that we shouldn’t have. They called it a debate. I’ve heard also sorts of negative descriptions. They all fit. I can think of some worse ones, but they aren’t fit to print. I read that the folks who host the debates are going to change them. I read that they may put a mute button on the microphones of each speaker. Something better happen. I won’t watch another debate if one guy won’t even come close to playing by the rules.

I suppose the world saw in 90 minutes what we’ve lived with for the past 47 months. We are tired. We are scared. We are angry. Now the rest of the world pities us. I cannot remember a time in my life when one man has ruined just about every one of my days. If it isn’t him, it’s this damn pandemic which could have been in control except for that very same man. The liar in chief. The denier in chief. The loser in chief.

There. I’ve said it. I’ve had my rant.

I hate to leave like this so…

I think my photo world is starting to turn a little. I’ve licensed a lot of work out of my archives. I asked one art director how he found me and why he wasn’t looking at the inexpensive photo portals. He found me by Googling for NOLA photographers. He didn’t want to use portals because the pictures were either not so great or that they were derivative. Ha! What did I say a few says ago?

Derivative. Derivative. Derivative.

This has gotten me thinking. Maybe it’s time to build my archives in a very public place. Make them very searchable and let people license them for normal uses without me even knowing. And, for more special projects they could talk to me directly.

Maybe there is a way for photography to become real again. Don’t get me wrong. I like my other career. But, this is what I was built to do.

Pictures at an exhibition. The all seeing dog and I were out walking. We arrived at our bench and I noticed that leaves started falling and sticking to odd places like our park bench. So, I made this picture. It’s about as raw as it could be. I wanted to test a picture loading system forgetting that I hadn’t done any finishing work on the image.

Oops.

That’ll happen in this fast paced world.

Stay safe. Stay might. Wear your mask.

The Sky About To Rain


See the sky about to rain, broken clouds and rain.

Locomotive, pull the train, whistle blowing through my brain. Signals curling on an open plain, rolling down the track again.

See the sky about to rain. Some are bound for happiness, some are bound to glory. Some are bound to live with less, who can tell your story?

See the sky about to rain, broken clouds and rain. Locomotive, pull the train, whistle blowin through my brain. Signals curlin’ on an open plain, rollin’ down the track again.

See the sky about to rain.I was down in Dixie Land, played a silver fiddle. Played it loud and then the man broke it down the middle.

See the sky about to rain. — Neil Young — 1974

Rest in Peace — Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Something peaceful.

The picture. I made the image yesterday. The day was overcast with really flat light. The kind that I don’t like. I wanted to find a picture. I wanted one to find me. And, so it did.

I had something different planned for today. But, the news came out of the blue. The thing so many of us dreaded. Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed.

I knew I had this picture. It’s a little special. I helped it along its path.

It’s peaceful. It’s quiet. I can’t speak for y’all but I need it just about now. 2020 has been a horrible year. It continues to get worse.

My quiet time is center myself. I have one more fight left in me. I have to get ready. It’s the battle for the soul of my country. Voting is one thing. We have to make sure that we get out the vote. In every state. You know what they say. “Faith without work is dead.” Let’s not die.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Enjoy all the pierogi.

Sometime Just A Leaf


Not quite yet.

Something like fall.

Or, as we like to say down here, ha, ha, ha. The thermometer says that it’s 94 degrees. The humidity is in the 90% range and some of the leaves are changing colors. It is true that we are getting a cold front later today. The temperature won’t drop much, but the humidity will fall.

This is just setting us up for two strong weather fronts making their way from Africa. This translates to tropical storms, or worse hurricanes. Even if they materialize and don’t hit us, they’ll hit somewhere.

That’s the state of the weather today. For other news tune in tomorrow. I do want to talk about something else.

WordPress.

In their ever helpful way, they’ve added yet another column to their terrible block system. They moved all the types of blocks to one column where you have to search for the ones you use often. Once, they were at your fingertips now they are not. WordPress says they make your work faster. As we say down here, ha, ha, ha.

The only thing that I can think offer doing this is that they are struggling to keep people employed during this pandemic time. Why else would they keep “improving” things beyond recognition?

For those of you who haven’t started using it, you may find it easier because you’ll learn all of this in one go, as opposed to thinking you’ve learned something only to be confused again. Since I live my life in a perpetual staff of covid confusion this just adds to it.

So.

I think I’ll test something. If it works, great. If not, great.

It didn’t work. If I understand what I’m trying to do, I must first go to the source, download the video and add the URL link, rather than simply go to the source, which would make sense. I’m probably wrong because there are no instructions that I can find.

Great.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Enjoy every BLT.

Sometimes Just The Sky


Seeing reflections.

My eyes.

I see things that others might not. I think this is the part of photography that can’t be taught. This is where talent comes into play. It’s not artistic talent. It’s not like being able to paint. Or, play music. That’s talent.

Seeing is something else entirely. It’s something given to those of us who have it. I could look at something and see maybe five pictures. Someone else might just pass it by.

I suppose it’s like singing. Some people were born with a thick set of vocal cords, which are really flaps. They can sing from the moment they open their mouth. Other singers are trained. They do good work with what they have.

I see photography and music in the same way. Both industries have been blown apart, and I’m not talking about the results of the pandemic. Even before that, it was getting harder and harder to earn a living.

The onrush of the digital world hurt us both. Photography has gotten to the point that anyone can take a picture. With a little more effort, almost anyone can record a song and upload it to any number of streaming platforms.

Are the pictures good? Is the song good? That’s a matter of taste.

But, the marginal songs and pictures get in the way of the good work. It becomes mostly noise and very little signal. You have to fight your way through all of the pictures and songs to find the good stuff. The one big difference between the two art forms is that a musician with a record deal has his or her record label to do the heavy lifting of promoting, distributing and marketing the song.

That’s partially why photographers blog, and post to all manner of social media platforms. We hope someone will see us. Again, there are so many pictures floating around that it’s very hard to find us.

I believe that the one way to find us is with proper meta tagging or key wording. Folks searching for a particular image might find it by just typing a few words. The process of tagging takes time and effort. It’s probably the most time consuming phase of posting to Storyteller. You can’t see them, but every picture I post here has 15 tags embedded in the file. That’s done at the final stage of post production.

How are you enabling people to find your work when they’d start with a Google search?

The Picture

I was walking by a car when I saw a leaf perched on the metal of the window frame. I worked the image until I was mostly not in the photograph. I’m still there. Find the photographer.

The picture is a great example of seeing. My seeing. This picture is not obvious. I think most people would walk by and not see it. Others might see it and not react.

No post production was needed other than to crop and make it a little darker. It was easy work.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Wear your damn masks — don’t make me come in there. Enjoy every leaf.

The Greens of Summer


Summertime and the living is easy.

Summertime.

I know summer started a few weeks ago, but I wanted to show you a few pictures from my past. So, the real colors of summer start on July 1, in the age of the pandemic.

The picture is pretty. It looks and feels like a rich, verdant summer lawn. With a golden leaf on it. I reckon that’s a good way to start.

The real topic today is government advisories.

I don’t understand the public’s resistance to everything. Wear your mask. It saves lives. Maybe it will save the life of your beloved granny. There is so many arguments about that. It’s really not want I want to talk about.

Instead, I want to talk about hot weather.

It’s really hot in Southeastern Louisiana. The heat and humidity “feels like” temperature was over 105 degrees yesterday. The governor posted a set of charts and maps, with a few words saying stay hydrated, stay rested and if you can, stay inside, on all social media. This is normal procedure in the summer around here.

I could not believe the blowback he got over that. “You can’t tell me what to do.” “You can’t tell me to stay inside.” “You can’t tell me to stay hydrated.”

What the hell?

I realize that people have already been trapped inside with various degrees of lockdowns. I realize that the country is smashed into little tiny bits. That division is at an all time high. I even know who to blame.

But, really?

People are attacking a heat notice?

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Stay inside. Enjoy every grilled cheese sandwich. (You can grill them on the hood (bonnet) of your car.

To Live


The gift of life.

Life.

In its purest form. Water droplets on a green leaf. A symbol. An icon. A touchstone. Water and wonderful deep green.

Technically, it’s spring for another five days. It feels like summer in Southeastern Louisiana. The green of this leaf tells us that. It is not light, nor is it shading towards lime green. It’s rich and dark. A summer leaf.

Interesting time.

Five days brings us to the summer solstice. The longest day of the year. People celebrate. Summer begins in nature, not on the calendar. The planet turns. Days grow shorter. Fall arrives. Winter next. Spring again.

The life cycle.

Stay safe. Enjoy every donut.

The Big Unknown


It began this way.

It began with a sunny, pleasant day. The kind we, in the swamp, have in mid-April. We are a little lucky. Normally by this time summer appears, which means six months of heat, humidity and rain.

The all seeing dog seems to be feeling better. We took two longish walks and a shorter one. She tried to take a fourth walk at around midnight, but I gently nudged her back home. Apparently, all that exercise after a week of almost none has made it okay for her to sleep until noon. That’s okay. We all need our sleep.

It was because of her that I found this pretty Japanese Maple. It seems to be confused. Normally, these colors come out in fall. Unless I slept through summer, it’s still spring. Nature is still in a rebellous mood.

Another way of looking at it.

On the CoVid19 front things seem to be stabilizing. However, we in Louisiana are not in a hurry. In fact, the governor just extended the stay at home rules until May 15. He said that he wasn’t going to be driven by emotion. He is being driven by science and data. While some parishes like mine are seeing the virus slow down, other more northern parishes are just now seeing a surge.

In any case, we should not view this as a time to let our guard down. It is the other way around. After six weeks you cab get kind of lazy. Don’t be. We must be religious in keeping discipled about social distancing, wearing masks and gloves in public spaces.

Even when non-essential business do start reopening, there will be three phases that are governed by strict guidelines.

I’ve been reading about other southern governors who seem to be placing earning over living. Georgia is one of those states. They opened everything up including very face to face intensive businesses. Hair salons, barber shops, tatoo parlors were opened first. Huh?

Luckly, most businesspeople in the state are watching the numbers, studying the data and listening to the scientists. Despite their governor’s recommendation, they are not risking their lives and the lives of their customers.

I’d write finally, but it’s never finally, is it?

I don’t know about this particular drop cap. It looks like some strange futurist writing from another planet. It is supposed to be, “I’d.”

I’m starting to think that I’ll build here. I’m looking itno companies that make templates that fit over the ones Wordpree Provides. Many of them require no coding skills, which I don’t have. And, at this late date, likely will never have. That could be a game changer.

Not writing code is one of those things that I wish I could have taken care of many years ago. But, I didn’t. I could have made it hobby like I did learning Photoshop. I decided that acquiring Abode skills was a better use of my time than playing various games. Photoshop has a very steep learning curve. I’m not sure that I could have learned some kind of basic coding at the same time. And, run a photography business.

Stay safe. Enjoy every sandwich.