ittle pictures. Details. Something to show the texture of a place. You’d think they would be the easiest to find and see.
Usually, you see them on the way back from whatever caught your eye in the first place. In a design piece they are often called point pictures which is the opposite of a hero picture. Alone, these pictures can’t carry the page. But, together they have some power.
Sounds like human beings doesn’t it. It takes a village. There is no I in team. Stuff like that. That’s why The U.S Army’s old advertising campaign of a team of one, never worked. There are no teams of one. And, before I forget, Happy 246th Birthday U.S. Army.
I’ve given some thought to another approach to using little pictures. What if I compiled a collection of these and printed them huge and turned them into a kind of art statement?
I’m starting to do the ground work to some new projects. Maybe this could be a component in one of them.
here really is no secret technique to making these photographs.
The key is to not edit yourself in the field. See it, shoot it. Don’t think about it.
Try your best to keep pictures like these clean.
This is no time for fancy post production and modifications.
You might want to work on these at their biggest magnification. There is no telling what’s hiding in the background.
When I lived near this neighborhood, I used to stop by “Liuzza’s By The Track” a lot. It’s classic New Orleans. A neighborhood dive-cafe-bar that serves great food quickly. You can have New Orleans-styled food or you can have a cheeseburger. You can ice tea or a beer. Or, something stronger. Or water.
It was heavily flooded during the storm and recovered very nicely, mostly because it is about three streets from the fairgrounds where Jazzfest is held. Tourists come from far and wide. Locals come from around the corner. I haven’t been there for a long time. I was hungry. It was lunchtime. And, I was in the neighborhood.
I call pictures like this one, “little pictures” because they are small snapshots in time. Usually, I keep the detail as the main subject with the action going on in the background. These pictures are hard to take. The minute somebody sees me focusing, they try to get out of my way. So, I have to be sneaky. Not because I don’t want them to know I’m taking a picture. I usually talk with them anyway. I just don’t want them to be nice and get out-of-the-way.
I’m moving a lot of my daily publishing to Instagram. The doesn’t mean I’m ending this. To the contrary, I’ll try to make Storyteller better. But, I reckon more people will see this blog if I tell them about it on more photo-oriented sites. Even though I have a lot of feedback on Facebook, it takes forever to grow anything from that platform. It’s the same for me with Twitter. It may turn out to be the same using Instagram, but unless I experiment I’ll never know.
… the Details. Yes, the devil really is in the details. If you don’t see the details, well… anything can happen. When you see a photograph with a very odd crop, it is often because the photographer didn’t see something in the scene that he should have worked around while he was taking the picture. So, he needed to get rid of that offending item. That said, I like photographing what could be called “little pictures.” They are often found in the more general scene that caught your eye in the first place. I look for them and make whatever I see into a separate picture. However, the way these “little pictures” seem to work best is in a little curated collection. As stand alone pictures, they either have to very strong and artistic, or they sort of lose context.
So. I’m publishing three pictures as sort of a little collection. I suppose that I don’t see any of them as being strong enough to stand on their own. If I look at them very hard, I suppose one of them might work on its own. But, that’s the thing about viewing pictures online. Nobody spends a huge amount of time looking at any one thing. Why do you think Twitter is so popular? True. The big celebrities have lost interest because it didn’t do what they were told it would do. It hasn’t grown their careers. But, for breaking news and communicating to small groups of people who make up your online community, it is great. Most of the people who I follow do the same thing that I do. They make a very short comment (they have no choice) and post a link to the real information.
So. The pictures. It takes a little while to photograph a group of detail-oriented picture. Usually, I do it while I’m photographing something else. Then, it takes some very focused curating to select the right picture and set it aside. Often, I do this without even thinking about a collection until I have a couple of pictures in hand. They sort of grow organically. The first picture of the pink and blue was made months ago in a place where Magazine Street turns from two-way traffic into one way traffic. This building is oddly shaped on all four sides so that it can fit into a piece of land that is left over from the streets splitting and curving. The stoop and doorway were made just a few weeks ago when I was looking for that little hidden alley. The colors caught my eye. The overall scene was pretty bleak. The stoop and its color make the picture. Finally, the doorway and knocker. I made that in The French Quarter. The rust and corrosion caught my eye. Yeah. There is some heavy post production going on in each picture. But, I didn’t do anything tricky. I just wanted to bring out the colors in each picture. That’s what really caught my eye.
When I work on one of my concurrent ongoing projects I tend to make pictures of everything. After all, it’s the little, tiny things and the slow moments in life that make up the whole bigger thing. Here are three pictures that I happened to see while I was really doing something else. I was mostly working on summer pictures and picture a day things. Wilted flowers at a cafe. The only way to get attention at another cafe. Cool water at a French restaurant. Before you get the idea that all I do is eat… sometimes I just stop in for a coffee. Coffee to keep me going and keep my mind sharp. But, other times. Well.