Another fall afternoon.

W

hat a nice warm fall day we had. I’m ready for the heat of summer to go away, but I’m not ready for the cold of winter to arrive.

The light has been especially pretty. I did miss the sunset of sunsets on Saturday evening, but this is the time of year when one sunset leads to another. It’s the time of year that photographers in the deep south cherish.

Maybe I’ll be lucky and make some memorable pictures. As you know, I think it’s less a function of luck than it is being there.

You know. Go outside, walk around at a certain time of day and you’ll get “lucky.” It’s harder now because the other dogs like to walk during the day. The all seeing dog liked to walk around dusk. I miss that dog.

That’s where I have to stop.

T

his won’t take long. Not, that I don’t want to talk with you about pictures. But, there is a reason I ended as abruptly as I did on the left side.

This picture is a result of looking at the wonderful light and thinking, “Oh my gosh.”

You push the button a few times and that’s it. The picture is done.

There is absolutely no post production except for a bit of sharpening.


Light through the window.

M

ore changes. I knew that I wanted to design some kind of gallery. I’ve done it in the past. Good luck with that. Now the gallery template is divided by columns so the images are divided into long thin columns. A casual viewer wouldn’t know what they were seeing unless they they opened each picture.

I suppose that’s one way to get you to spend more time on the page, but it seems kind of funky to me. And, not in a good way.

Anyway.

You can’t keep a good man down, they say. I suppose who they is talking about. Good man, indeed.

Being stuck inside the house has pushed me to look at things a little differently.

T

his is about light. The key component of any photograph.

This just may be a little more focused on light than normal since it is light that makes thee three pictures.

I saw the pictures. Or, they saw me. I pressed the button and that was it.

Editing was simple. Darken the images and make them a little contrasty.

Window blinds at night.

The first thing I noticed was how the blinds carried the outdoor color. I decided that I’d better photograph it. So, I did.

The next thing you know, I was playing with the files and this image is what came of it. I think it’s sort of pretty. It inspired me to make pictures of other things that I might not normally think about photographing. The two pictures, one above and one below came from looking out the window, as the sun was dropping on the horizon line.

I like them. I hope you do too. Who knows what I’ll see next.

No widows, no waiting.

In case you missed a few…

Have You Seen Me Lately?


T his picture was made of a little of this and a little of that. I mean it. There are three pictures in there lurking somewhere. None of them were made at the same time. One was made in New Mexico. One was made in New Orleans. And, one was made in Shrewsbury. The last […]

Darkness After Day


A s long as there’s a sky turning in the darkness after day… everything worth knowing is in the sound of your old D-35. I borrowed these words from a song. A D-35 is a particular make of a Martin guitar. It’s fairly rare. Now you know. I actually didn’t choose these words. They chose […]

It Ain’t Over Yet


L earning. Always learning. Practicing. Always practicing. Mostly trying to have fun with the pictures I make. It wasn’t always that way. Pictures were how I made my living. I don’t do that so much now. For sure, I still accept assignment but I don’t go courting them. That is too much work. As you […]


Lots of tubas.

It started during the pandemic and was enhanced by Delta-x and Hurricane Ida.

Memories. They’ve been floating around for days. It was bad enough when time was flexible. Now? Whew.

And. Then.

The anniversary of Warren Zevon’s passing arrived. You know. The guy who sang “Werewolves of London.”

He was so much more than that.

But, for me, his very last song is THE song. It’s called, “Think of me for a little while.”

The song without the video is hard enough to listen to without balling. With the video? There wasn’t a dry eye in this broken down house.

And, speaking of broken down, I am grateful for what little damage this house had. When I think of the upriver communities of Houma and Laplace who were destroyed beyond recognition, I am humbled by our luck.

We are on our way out of here, either for a few months or forever. I’ve been though two 100 storms in 16 years. That’s enough.

Where? A couple of places. I’ll let you know. Until then, enjoy every sandwich.

I thought that as I moved on that I would show you some of the images that approximate my memories.

Unfortunately, pictures can’t come close to what’s in my head. I think that’s the way it alway is. That’s as it should be.

In case you are wondering, I made these pictures all over the place. It’s all part of my life.

I have no idea what’s next and that feels freeing.


Sandias in autumn.

The changes started with the album, “Dirt and the Stars.” The entire thing hung me up, but the closing song of the same title got me digging around in my past, coming to a kind of reckoning.

That’s not done yet.

Then, we watched “Solos” on Amazon Prime. As I wrote to a friend of mine, “If you do nothing else, watch this.” I say that to you as well.

It’s a short series of solo actors, although there may be a little helper to guide them through their thoughts. The actors are some of the best working today.

The first episode is a little weird, but catchy.

The second episode took me apart piece by piece. Finally, now comes Morgan Freeman. Not only was I taken apart, but the parts were left in puddles.

That’s all I’m saying. I hope you watch it. If you do, I don’t want to spoil any part of it for you.

I know I said I was done with posting older pictures, but this one surfaced at about the same time as all this reckoning is going on.

This is the very first picture that I ever took with a cellphone. It was an Apple iPhone 5. It must have been because the pixel count is so low.

Even though I claim to always carry a camera, there are times when I’m charging batteries and I just need to run a couple of errands.

Then this happens. The Sandias blew up in color as dusk fell on the high desert.

The rest is on the other side.

There is really no technical achievement here even though it is my first smart phone photograph.

I did beef everything up because the little file is pretty wimpy.

I know what you are thinking. You are incorrect. This intense color was what inspired me to think, “Oh yeah, I have a smart phone in my pocket.”

Truth be told about the location… I’m in a Whole Foods parking lot in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

There are pictures everywhere, we just have to open our eyes and not make them so precious.


All the color you can see.

My kind of photograph. Lots of big, bold, bright color. I didn’t actually see quite as much color when I stopped to press the button, but I did see the tree reflection. That’s what caught my attention.

You know me. I’m of the opinion that anything can be a picture. Not in all light. Or, at all times of day. You have to be patient. Or, have an all seeing dog. She knows all. Even though she see monochromatically, she can see how the light and shadows fall.

In fact, she stood right in front of this car. Well, SUV. She moved when she saw what I was doing.

I should be somewhere in the picture, but I can’t find myself. Maybe you can.

The big news of the day is that I get my CoVid-19 vaccination today. The hospital scheduled me for my second injection as well.

I don’t think much is going to change for me in how I address the virus. I’ll still social distance. I’ll still mask. I’ll still growl at the person who stands too close to me in the grocery. Or, has his mask way down over his nose.

If I don’t speak for me, who will?

Stay safe. Stay mighty. You know exactly what to do. Enjoying all the seeing.

Seeing and looking are two different items in sort of a continuum. You can look and see nothing. I know a lot of people like that, including me sometimes.

Or, you can look and see. That’s a very different thing. It’s what enables me to see this car and the tree reflections. It enables me to feel the picture.

I think making a photograph is mostly by feel, rather than intellectual or mechanical.

For sure, you have to understand your gear and you have to understand who and what you are as a photographer. But, that’s not directly involved when you actually make the picture. It hovers in the background.

Of course, you have to have another kind of vision when you are developing and editing the picture.

If you do, you might make something with which you are happy.


Seeing above.

Seeing. Sometimes you just have to be patient until the subject evolves and matches your intent. That could take a lot of time or just a few minutes.

Patience matters. I have a friend who says that her superpower is patience. She also said that it took her a long time to get there.

For me, a good picture is either the result of photographers luck, an all seeing dog or sitting and waiting.

This picture was born out of sitting and waiting. I sat by the pool looking at the tree thinking if only I had a better background. I could see clouds moving at a fairly brisk pace so I waited.

It wasn’t long before the clouds appeared in the frame, so I made a few pictures.

Then I continued to sit there free from the daily noise. I was hiding in plain site. I hid for a good long while. There are days when that kind of self care is important.

Unfortunately, like many other words and phrases, self care has become a buzzword. It’s become almost meaningless, because there really are no defined words.

Other words go through the same sort of dilution. Many of them are supposed to be business terms.

Did you ever notice that?

Stay safe. You know what to do. Sit under all the trees.

Looking up. First, no the photograph is not upside down. I was sitting under the tree. I was looking up.

Second, aside from a little sharpening and adding a border, the original image is as you see it.

Some people make a big deal out of not using filters. I don’t know why. Use whatever it takes to make the picture as you saw it.

Even Saint Ansel Adams did that in the darkroom. He created an entire system to make prints the way he saw them. He called it the Zone System.

There are plenty of books on this subject. While it looks complicated at first, it is really very simple.

Expose the negative. Develop the negative to enhance the exposure. Print the negative, manipulating it as needed.

The takeaway is that the picture rarely comes out of the camera the way you want it to look.

That’s the story.


A wintery dusk.

Golden light. I love it. For sure, I enhanced it. How could I not? I want you to see what I felt, or to feel what I saw.

Works either way, doesn’t it?

I’m going to try to stay on track and discuss art stuff. That’s ambiguous enough. Art stuff.

First, the music. I felt like going back to Los Lobos first album, “How will the Wolf Survive?” Something has to wake me up.

I was up way too late last night and this morning. I’m having a new symptom of my back issues. My right leg becomes very tight, almost stiff. There is no stopping it until it wants to stop. It hurts like…

For the past few nights I haven’t been able to sleep until after 4am. I keep adding meds until it isn’t safe. Finally, sleep. Of course, I wake up in some kind of drug hangover. Usually, it’s about three hours later. My leg stops hurting by then. So, I take the courageous way out and go back to sleep.

What the hell does this have to do with art, you may be wondering .

Easy.

Lack of sleep drives me. Sometimes creatively. Mostly not. There are some artists who try to stay awake in that netherland between sleep and no sleep. They think that when they are in that state that they are at their most creative.

That’s just silly. They are punch drunk. Nothing flows.

Me? I think that I’m mostly just a conduit. The good stuff comes when I’m in a sort of zone. That usually means that I’m relaxed and fully present.

So. I’m a wimp. I need my sleep. Seven continuous hours is fine. I can function with less if need be. Just don’t ask my pipes to open up into creativity.

Dusk light. My favorite. I suppose it could also be dawn light, especially at the rate I’m going.

Actually dawn and dusk light are different. The light at dawn hasn’t gathered air born particulates. So, it’s purer light. Yellow light stays yellow as opposed to dusk light which turns orange.

The trick is to be outside in a place where you want to work. I usually can get myself outside. But, I’m never in a cool place.

I suppose that if I thought about it even an hour earlier I could be someplace where I could make better pictures.

Maybe I should try that.

This photograph was enhanced because the golden tones weren’t golden enough. Once I got there I started messing around with currently hip colors.

Note the use of the word currently. Maybe one day I’ll rework this one into next year’s hip color palette. Or not.

Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Look after each other. Try to get up at dawn. Or, dusk.


A kindred spirit with a stranger’s face. That’s how it starts. A friendship. An album. A project. A life. This photograph.

I keep stealing words from a friend. She’s gonna want a word with me. Eventually. But, not right now. For me, the words are just a good place to begin. That means something to me too. But…

I found these flowers planted near a little pocket park. They don’t belong here. They aren’t native to the area. They are like me.

I got into one of those conversations.

The ones that make me crazy. The ones where somebody who was born and bred in New Orleans says that I’m not from here so I don’t know about things.

Normally I would explain that I’ve lived here for twenty years. Not this time. Since I’ve emerged from whatever funk I was in I’ve been feeling my oats.

This time I looked that person straight in the eye and said, “Thank God for that.”

Try as he might he couldn’t get me to move off of my position. He gave up when I said, “Why would I want to have your inbred southern ways?

The end.

No, not the end. I don’t really feel that way. But, don’t push me. I’m glad that I’ve lived all over the place. I’ve been lucky to absorb bits from many cultures, from many races. I feel at home in many places. I’m from many places. I’ve gotten to know many different kinds of people.

You know. The words that I began with. A kindred spirit with a stranger’s face.

Lucky me.

I mean that.

Yellow flowers in New Orleans. Maybe. But not this shade. Not this bright.

These flowers are especially bright because they are backlighted. That’s what caught me eye.

That’s also what caused such extreme contrast. Little phone sensors just can’t deal with it.

There is an HDR setting. I used it. This is the result.

Oh well. You know what I always say. Perfection is for angels.

Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Look after each other. Notice all the light.


Deep and dark.

Night. Moody, deep and dark. Sometimes scary. Always interesting. That’s one of my favorite times of day to work aside from the ends of the day.

Working at night means that you can hide some imperfections. You can build in the shadows. Pools of light become subjects in themselves. Trees often become silvery in the winter.

On the other hand, daytime photography assures you of a good exposure, especially if the light falls on the front of the subject. But, to my way of thinking, high noon daylight images are boring.

There I said it. Boring.

I started thinking about this when a friend said, in the comments, that my pictures are different. My writing above sort of explains why.

For many photographers my ways of working are just suggestions. For me, they are rules. I try to live by them religiously. That’s why some of you like what you see.

Sometimes this is an issue. I miss dinners, at least at traditional times. I get up too early, which means that I need a nap. Sometimes, I stay up too late chasing the night.

That’s all in a day’s work. I suppose. Everyone here is used to it, so it’s not a big deal. I’ll hear about it in no uncertain terms if it is.

I’ll explain how I made this image in the other column, where that stuff belongs.

Heh!

Stay safe. Stay Strong. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Get your vaccine. Look after each other. Look up from the dirt to the stars.

Mystical trees. Or, something like that. The bigger this picture gets, the worse the trees look.

Oh well.

Perfection is for angels.

This is a layered picture. But all three scenes were made at the same time of day.

Trust me. I tried to cheat. It wouldn’t work.

So.

There is a base picture that doesn’t show up to your eye. It gives the sky depth. There is the sky and there are the trees. I think I reduced the mid-tones a little too much. If you are wondering, the mid-tones are in the trees.

Once the layers were assembled, I set to work tinkering. In this case tinkering means to balance out the layers so they don’t look like layers.

I added a touch of color, but that was it. Too much color and the picture turned atomic. Not enough and the picture became monochromatic.

Anyway.

That’s what I did.