Flowers, water, and grass.

U

pside down. That’s what’s happening to my days. I go to bed early, as in early in the morning. I get up late, like around noon. I’m not sure why my body is doing this, but it’s fine with me.

The weather is very hot and humid. Summer in southeastern Louisiana.

Walking during the day is draining. Walking at 3 am isn’t so bad. Nobody is ever out in my neighborhood so I don’t worry about bad guys.

I just have to remember to do the things that are expected, like Storyteller, before I go to bed. That’s kind of the long way of telling you why I’m late.

I mentioned this to friend who suggested that I just go to bed earlier. It doesn’t work that way. All I do is toss and turn for an hour or two.

So, I might as well make the best of it.

Sometimes, I work a little bit rather than read or watch a movie. I have to be careful with that because it stimulates my brain which keeps me awake even longer.

That would be a problem.

A

little magic. That’s what it took to make this image.

There are two images that were layered in such a way that the bottom image almost doesn’t show up.

You’ll be amazed when I tell you what the bottom image is.

It’s pool water that I darkened to the point that it turned greenish black.

Then, I layered those little flowers on top. These flowers, by the way, are smaller than a dime in real life.

I also removed some darkness from the base layer once I had the flowers in place.

That’s all there was to it. Ha!


The long night.

A little more magic.

That’s what I saw when I was developing this picture. I didn’t quite know what I had when I pressed the button. But, after… wow!

In many ways, This image reverts back to a style I used in the late 1990’s. Tilted. Skewed. A little motion. And, very bold colors. I kept my sense of color and moved on from the other stuff as times changed.

But, every now and then…

So.

The corticosteroid injection that I had on Wednesday seems to be working. While I was walking the dog who sees stuff, I experienced something strange. Something I hadn’t felt in a while.

No pain.

Instead, there was an emptiness (if that’s the right word) where there was always something buzzing in the background. We walked, and stood and walked a little more. No pain. For the first time in months.

If my doctors are right, and if what I read about this is correct, I might actually be pain free from this particular issue for the next six months, when it might be time for another injection. I am not sure how this relates to my stenosis issues. It could be that relieving the inflammation in one area of the leg reduces the it down the line. I guess that I’ll find out.

I cannot tell you how grateful I am.


Across the high desert.

Memories.

The Sandias near Albuquerque, New Mexico.

This was one of the last pictures I made in the state before we returned to New Orleans. Originally, the picture was bright and bold. I thought that I would rework it into something a little different. I wanted to feel like I was gazing at a dream. These days, that’s what our time in the state feels like. A dream. All a dream.

As I’ve been working through my best of the decade work, I’ve been bringing up all sorts of memories. About people. About places. About events. It all feels a little hazy to me. Sometimes remembering something sends me to an entirely different mental image. You probably know how that goes.

Anyway.

I’ve edited a big archive down to the decade’s ten best pictures. I wish I had another reviewer to check my selections, but I don’t. I’ll publish them during the week between Christmas and New Year. That’s what a couple of you suggested. That sounds right to me.


Like magic.

The light.

Like magic. In nature. On this day.

Two more to go. Then home. Happy to be here. Happy to be there. Time to take a break. Time to rest. Time to work. Harder.

No. I’m not trying to be any kind of poet. Most of you know that I’m lucky to be able to write in the English language. Or, any language. I confuse people. Sometimes. Sorry. Then, typos. Typo king. That’s me. My mind goes in one direction. My fingers in another.

Oh well.

Perfection is for angels. They say. Do you know any? I ask.

I listen to music when I write these posts. Spotify has a playlist called, “Sunny Day.” It’s light and energetic. But. Too much musical miss. For me.

The picture.

Hmmm. Mostly point and shoot. Make sure there is a window. In the background. To reflect light directly into the lens. Refraction. Reflection. Strange circles of light everywhere. That’s it. Simple. You can’t do it. Because. I can’t duplicate it. Again.

Very cool song. By Sufjan Stevens. Called Chicago. He’s got a trumpet going on. Reminds me of Mexican trumpets. I’ve always like that.

 

 


Magical, mystical, light bringing skull.

It’s here.

One of the biggest days in New Orleans. Halloween. This light bringing skull leads the way. Or something like that. It moves. It shimmers. It’s just plain old weird.

I made most of it during post production. I was up to my old tricks. Tinkering. Playing. This image started to emerge. It beckoned to me. Called out to me. It told me to keep going. Until I couldn’t go anymore. And, then to go further,

This image is the result. It surprised me. Hopefully, it will surprise you.

Oh. The skulls thing. I looked back at my Halloween imagery. Most of it is about skulls. That doesn’t mean anything. It’s just what I saw. What caught my attention.

I think.

You never know what’s rattling around in your brain. Especially if you believe as I do. That all art is autobiographical. Think about skulls and THAT for a minute.

Oooooooooooh.

Happy Halloween for those who participate. And for the rest, happy day.


Baby, baby, baby.

Storm. No storm.

By 8 pm last night, the city curfew was ended.

Because?

Hurricane Nate turned slightly to the east. In New Orleans, we had about 35 mph gusts of wind and spitting rain. The storm did hit the Gulf Coast down around Biloxi, but even the damage there was slight. At least, relatively so.

Dodged a bullet? Got lucky? God’s will? A blessing? A quirk of nature?

Call it what you want. We are all very grateful.

By the time that I went to sleep, around 1:30am, I knew that we were safe. Amazingly, we still had power. The only thing left is to undo what we did in preparation. Open the storm shutters. Drain the bath tubs. Eat the Spam.

Seriously. No Spam here. That’s sort of a New Orleans inside joke. We only bought a couple of things in preparation for Hurricane Nate. Water. Soup. Crackers for the soup. Toilet paper.

The picture. While I was waiting and watching Treme on Amazon Prime, I decided to do my kind of prayer. The work. The original image is of an Irish baby, made in an Irish pub, in Ireland. It was made in black and white. On film. Not that long ago. I still shoot some film with a couple of bodies. Then I went to work. Tinkering. Playing. Adjusting. Fidgeting.

The process is better than playing with a fidget spinner. It’s productive. You have something to show for fidgeting. Best of all, I did it on a portable, meaning even if the power failed I wouldn’t lose my work.

Very happy Sunday to y’all.

 

 


Peering through the fog.

This feels magical.

The components came from all over the place. Believe it or not, there is even a sunset in there. Somewhere. Way in the background. The image grew from there. I added flowers — those tall things. I added two layers of flower petals. I used an enhancement setting the creates a kind of fracturing in the picture. It’s called “Grunge,” but it’s really not.

To me, the picture really doesn’t have any iconic symbolism. But, it looks like a Netflix video cover. You know the ones. The ones that mislead you since they really don’t seem to have anything to do with the movie you are watching. I could see some kind of explorer running through the light part of the picture being chased by some kind of zombie-dinosaur-ghost-vampire… oh never mind.

I’m thinking about bring this series to a close. I really do need to make some real photographs. I like this art and I’ll continue to do it. But, I’m sure many of you might be wondering what in the world does this have to do with New Orleans.

My response to that is… everything.


Another view of the magical church.
Another view of the magical church.

This is all mamamickterry’s fault. She was the only person who wanted to see the “other” version of the church reflections. She’s always been kind to me and her blog is an exercise in wonderful light-hearted writing. So, I thought, “Why not?”

Go to Lipstick and Laundry at http://www.mamamickterry.com and see for yourself. You probably want to start reading with “Misadventures in Tennessee,” which is a hoot. Especially to all of us who travel for a living. Or, part of a living.

One more thing before I get to the picture. She was one of a small group of people who tweeted about my 5,000th blog trying to get WordPress to notice and maybe give this blog a little love with Freshly Pressed. It didn’t work. But, the thought was there. I’m pretty convinced that WordPress is really for writers… and foodies. After all, everybody is a photographer. So, they say. And, everybody has to eat. That’s why an old friend of mine opened a restaurant. Who knows?

Anyway.

This picture. I generally explore whatever it is that I’m photographing. I don’t have any set routine while I’m actually taking the picture. I generally sort of finish when I’m done. I could make the picture in one frame. Or, ten. Or, twenty. From a lot of different angles. Or, from one if I see the picture clearly. That doesn’t really matter. How do I know when I’m done? I don’t really. I just sort of know. Like how your dog knows when you are on your way home way before you turn down your street. How does your dog know? I have no idea. But, she just knows. Or, he does. Or, they do.

By the way, this really doesn’t have a lot to do with my sort of three-hour limit before I run out of energy. A scene like this one just fits into that time. It certainly didn’t take me three hours to explore this church.

Okay.

How do I pick the “right” picture? First, I’m not in a great rush to curate or work on my pictures unless I have a client deadline. I like to let them marinate. For at least a day or two. Sometimes longer. That takes whatever emotion I felt while I was taking the picture out of the selection process. I learned that about a billion years ago. Then I work on post production. I let the picture guide me. Sometimes, I pretty much leave the picture as I took it. With just some slight improvements. Like a little sharpening. Or, brightening.  Sometimes, I push things in post production. Like I did with this picture. I made this picture all mysterious and moody. Lot’s of work on the computer.

Why is it the second selection?

Sometimes, the answer is very complicated. Not this time. I saw all that wonderful light and clouds reflecting in the window. For me, that’s the picture. This picture doesn’t have that. It’s not a bad picture. It’s just not what drew me to the scene.