More and more and more.

L

et me tell you a story.

A little over six weeks ago Hurricane Ida blew through. While her rainfall didn’t do too much in my neighborhood, 155 mph winds did.

They blew down almost every kind of cable and power source. Our power company, Entergy, did the best the they could and had us repowered in about two weeks. Cox followed right behind. They all picked up their damaged goods and cleaned up their messes.

Along comes AT&T. They got their service repaired but picked up nothing. The foreman flat out lied and said they would pick it up the next day.

Nope.

Now comes my calls to their corporate office. Do you know how hard it is to reach an actual human being at AT&T? I lied my way through their switchboard when I finally reached a maintenance and repair division of business accounts.

I reckoned I was trying to get a business account — AT&T’s — looked after. Heh. They said the problem would be taken care of within a couple of days.

Nope.

Yesterday I called The District Attorney of Orleans Parish and filed a criminal complaint. At their suggestion I also filed a civil suit.

Since their corporate headquarters are located in Dallas, Texas, and my attorney’s office is also located there, I filed in Dallas County, Texas.

Nobody wants to go to court there.

I doubt that I’ll recover the ten million dollars in damages I am asking for, but I’ll finally get their attention.

Dumbasses.

All they had to do was finish their job.

L

et me tell you another story. A better one.

I took a stroll in a place that I rarely do.

Look what I found. I found autumn in the pine needles and mud.

That made me happy because we are drifting between the moment of early fall and real fall.

This is when I get really impatient. It’s not cool and there aren’t enough red leaves. t’ll get here soon enough, but until then…

Grumble, grumble, toil and trouble.

The picture is easy. Expose properly and there is no work in post production.to speak of.

There is an interesting thing happening with the block design. Every time I try to do some actual design, the system messes with me so I eventually give up and go back to this kind of page layout.

It’s boring, but at least I can do it.

It’s clean and minimalistic.

That’s good.

For now.


Maybe, an age of miracles.

H

ave you ever shared a dream? We did. This morning. I woke up thinking ,”Whew, what a dream.” I was thinking about what I saw and felt, when from the other side of the bed came, “Oh my God, what a dream.”

I started talking about my dream and pretty soon she was filling in the parts I was leaving out. Then, we got scared. How is this possible, we wondered? Was this a weird thing or was this the best thing?

Why worry about it? The person closest to me, the one who I adore is able to actually appear in my dream. Well, wait a minute. I was seeing things like I normally would. It was not dream-like. People weren’t just showing up. I was looking and seeing. It was the same thing for her. We were looking for something. We didn’t see each other in this strange land.

Where we looking for each other? Had we split up to save time and distance? I have no idea.

One thing that struck me was the color. It was my kind of color. Bright, bold, contrasty. The scenes were almost cartoon-like. I liked wherever it was that we’d found.

My hope is that one of these nights, well early morning, I return to this place. Maybe this time, we can travel together.

T

he water caught my eye. I just pointed and shot. I repeated that a couple of times, slightly changing the framing and the length of the lens.

The picture at which you are looking is the first one. Sometimes instinct is the driving force behind good art.

I’m not sure that this picture is even close to art, but it’s the thing that I saw first.

It needed a crop to get rid of some clutter. That’s why it’s square.

You know that I’m not a big fan of square crops. I think it displays a lack of confidence by the photographer or designer.

For sure, a group of nine pictures cropped square and laid out as a big square looks very cool, but don’t hurt the photographs.

Never hurt the photograph.


In the water.

I

appear to be stuck on reflections. That’s a pretty good thing, I think. It’s especially after a hurricane, another hurricane and seasonal sideways rainfall.

And, good news of all possible good news. The weather is turning cool. It’s been a long hot summer punctuated by Covid fears and untimely passings of people we cared about.

With the change of seasons I feel like we made it through something. We passed through some kind of portal.

What do you think? What do you think is ahead?

I’m going with good things.

.


The greenies.

T

here’s a lot of reckoning and taking journeys through the past going on this house.

We did a lot during the first lockdown. We stared to raise our heads and — BLAMMO — Delta-x and my own issues locked us down again.

This time, it’s deep diving into past. I’ll think about my oldest archives and just laugh. Twenty-five years of shooting black and white film isn’t the easiest thing to organize.

The rest is easier because the slides were edited by Hurricane Katrina. I recently found a slide page that I thought I could save. I removed a slide and the smell came wafting out even though it’s been 16 years. It’s a smell that you’ll never forget.

Luckily, my best work was scanned and traveled with us when we evacuated. These days, my best work is in a cloud. Know the password and it’s with you wherever you are.

The rest of my archive are digital files. They are already organized by date, subject and location. The reason to work through is to find the lost gems and to compress the archive by removing all of the out takes.

Some photographers use the Monica Lewinski – Bill Clinton event as a reason to keep everything you shoot because you never know. One photographer found one negative after hours of looking. That hasn’t been repeated that I know of, except by me, when a video producer need pictures of a murder in the New River Valley of Virginia.

There are two other paths we are taking. I’ll tell you about them tomorrow if I remember. Trust me. I might not remember.

Who I am I, again?

T

echnique? Ha!

See it. Push the button a couple of times. Develop it. Edit it.

Done.

I suppose you can see that the picture is about new leaves growing in a place where they normally wouldn’t except you never know.

Those little green leaves could turn into branches.

If.

The birds and squirrels leave them alone.

But, this reshuffling of old pictures is getting — shall we say — old.

I might actually go outside and wander around. It’s time.

Time to pull up my pants and get to work.


As a dog sees it.

T

his picture has taken me awhile to edit and share. I’m sure that you have a pretty good idea of why. This is a dog’s eye view.

There.

That should make it clear.

Anyway.

I made the picture on a day like this. No light. No color. The overcast wasn’t even good enough to make a black and white portrait. It’s late summer. It’s what we expect. It’s hurricane season too. So far so good. But, the season ends in November.

Oddly, New York, Long Island and New England are the target for what was something major. How weird is that?

We had two tropical storms in the gulf. One went to Mexico. The other caused yet more damage in the poor country of Haiti and dropped some water on Florida.

You’ll have to excuse me for talking about tropical storms and hurricanes, but we are nine days from the 16th anniversary of the arrival of Hurricane Katrina.

I’m pretty sure that anybody who has been through it and survived turns a little strange about now. Add that to the never ending pandemic and there plenty of folks who could probably use something very strong to calm them down.

I’m so worn down from the pandemic that hurricane season isn’t getting much of a rise out of me. I’m even thinking less about where would we go in the event of an evacuation. Last year, the pandemic left us with nowhere to run.

It’s a little different this year. If we can get out of the south we’d be fairly safe. Or, at least, safer than last year.

Who knows?

B

oy. Did I do a lot of work to this picture.

First, I made it look like it was lost in the fog.

I let it marinate for a few months.

When I looked at again, I thought this picture needs something. I was wrong. It needed a lot of somethings.

I went to work.

Tinkering. Experimenting. Playing. Changing.

Eventually, something seemed to work. Note, the use of the word “seemed.”

As I look at it on this page, I think “Ugg.” It looks like I filtered it with pea soup.

It’s very possible that instead of publishing it, I should bin it.

But, I’d have to do more work on a day when I shouldn’t be working at all.

After all the laying around for too long, I got going. Now, I really do need a couple hours break.

If it isn’t one thing it’s another.

I’m writing it off to this year. The one that was supposed to be better than 2020, the year of the “great” new decade.

How did that work out?


In a quiet place.

M

any years ago, I used to publish an experimental picture every Sunday. I haven’t done it for a long while. I’d like to say that I’m going to resume, but I’ll probably forget.

Throughout the news sites that I read there have been discussions about CoVid-19 (Over 106,000 daily new infections.), The Olympics, national and global fires, climate change and water.

Since I live in the land of too much water, I thought that I’d focus on that, not so much from a documentary standpoint, but from an artistic standpoint.

So.

This picture is about water. And, leaves. And, branches.

It took some doing to combine these natural elements because they are three separate pictures. We’ll get to that in a minute.

To my mind, all of the news with the exception of The Olympics are nature being nature. Even sports in Japan could fall into the nature category because anyone who competed outside felt the Japanese heat.

I’ve written this in the past, but to me it seems like nature, always seeking stasis, has finally had enough. Ma Nature has decided we — the human race — is the problem and she’s going to do something about us.

Or, we can mend our way. Right this minute. Now.

L

ayers. That’s my trick. As I wrote on the other side, there are three layers here.

Water, leaves and branches. Each of them was photographed at different times.

I started with the water and dropped the leaves into that. I held that back and worked on the branches, which ultimately becomes the base of the entire image.

There was the usual fine tuning and adding the faux bokeh.

I was finished.

I want to discuss one other topic. A friend of mine wrote blog about light. He said that the “overused painting with light” was really not in the discussion.

I wonder why he did that. Photography is literally the Greek words for “Painting with light.” Or, really, “Drawing with light.”

That’s the very first thing you learn in a photo class at any level.


Water, water everywhere.

N

ot talking. That’s what I’m not going to do. Before I do I need an apology. And, a promise from that guy to never darken my door again. Yes. That’s how I can be.

S

ee the scene. Push the button. Make sure the the colors are as I saw them. Publish it on Storyteller.


Summer rain leaves droplets on the leaves.

S

ummer is our rainy season. We had an amazing amount of rain this month. They said we had five times the normal amount of rain for a July. That’s something for us because July is very wet.

The constant rain gets a little bit tiresome, but it does yield scenes like this one. It’s a combination of nature and magic.

Look at those reds. Those blues. Those purples. Those colors are something aren’t they? They look like fall colors except that it’s July.

It’s all about the water.

I’ve written a lot about the lack of water in most of America. We don’t have that problem. We have another problem. We have too much water. We don’t take drought seriously. When we talk about it, it’s after ten days of no rain.

It’s a matter of perceptions.

Those of us in the Gulf Coast States don’t think about the lack of water when we should be thinking about how to distribute our water to people living in the west.

It’s a funny thing. I was thinking about all of the infrastructure proposals and I haven’t seen anything about water issues. Nothing. Zero. Zip.

Well, I have a proposal. Let’s move some of our unneeded water west. A series of giant pipes might be cost prohibitive, but maybe not. Not if we want fresh fruits and vegetables.

Or, maybe there’s another way. I’m not the smartest person in the room but others are. It’s time we start thinking about this. It’s time for those smart folks to get going.

After all, we all get thirsty.

T

his picture didn’t take much post production. I made the picture as I saw it and added a bit of color that the sensor couldn’t seem to see.

But, I only added enough color to make the photograph look like the scene that caught my attention so that you can see it too.

I had to be careful because these rich blues, reds and purples are some of my favorite colors. My natural inclination is to take them too far.

That’s the trick sometimes, knowing when to stop. Maybe that’s the trick with everything in life. Knowing when to stop.

I dunno. I’m just thinking out loud.

Maybe I should stop.

O

ne more thing. You knew it. I couldn’t stop.

Seriously, after a lot of thought, I’m staying here on WordPress.

The basic community building theory is what’s most important. I know a lot of you here. I can’t build that again, because it’s only taken me eleven years.

There’s more too. It’ll take a lot of time to build anything. Time is short these days. Time is expensive. No matter how you use it.


An autumn walk through a forest.

O

nce, awhile back, I used to walk through a forest like place. In truth it is a park but most of it was left as wild land.

It’s a great place to walk because there are measured distances. You chose the trail that you wanted and you could walk from one to three miles.

Along the way you could walk near railroad tracks, you could see a modern all metal sided performance venue. Or, if you walked further you could see the New Orleans Saints training field and their business offices. You could even see the so-called Shrine on Airline. That was a AAA baseball stadium.

Unfortunately, the team called The Babycakes — Yeah, I know what kind of name is that — moved on to greener pastures.

There was hope of getting a new team, but first MLB cut the number of minor league teams and then the pandemic arrived. We’ll see what happens next.

It is currently used as a rugby pitch and for local high school football games.

I like walking through the most natural areas which is how I found this scene. Obviously, it was autumn when I did that. And, yes, this is another “lost” photograph that Amazon Pictures found.

T

he biggest issue in making this picture is one of focus.What stay sharp?What goes soft?

In those days I used a Canon G9 as a walk around camera. It worked like any DSLR. I loved that little camera to the point that I used it up

Anyway.

I decided to keep the bark and moss as sharp as possible because it’s in the foreground and let rest go a little soft in order to make the details in the tree pop out.

That worked.

Post production work was fairly simple. I toned down the red leaves because they were too bright and too red. I sharpened the tree as much as possible without going too far.

I usually go too far.

E

ditor’s note.This is the closest that I’ve come to giving up and thinking the hell with it. For some reason unknot to me, the paragraphs became trapped in a little block. If you tried to edit the words, the entire paragraph was deleted. I have no idea what I did to restore it back to normal.

I also found out why I kept think the text seemed light. That because it was. Apparently, the default setting is a light gray. Black text on a white background is considered to be the easiest to read. Of course, Word %&@# press knows better. I’d better tell all the designers with whom I’ve ever worked.