I met this guy on the way to somewhere else. That’s when the best pictures happen.
I was walking to the second line in Central City. I parked a few blocks away. A little distance is important so I could make a quick getaway. That is, if I want to jump to another location. I’m not fast enough anymore to cut through the streets on foot and get ahead of it.
He was sitting on a little stoop in front of a battered old house. He saw the cameras on my shoulder. He called me over. He wanted me to take his picture. So I did. He wanted something in return. I know the drill. I gave him a couple of bucks (that pro tip thing). He stuck the dollar bills in his mouth. I don’t know why. I took another picture.
Which brings me to the picture.
I sort of overlooked it at first. I looked at it again. The color wasn’t working. I converted it to black and white. Then it worked. This might be my best picture of the year. Ten months into the year and I finally made a picture.
I have a couple of friends who call themselves street photographers. I like their work. But, I’m not sure I get it. The name, not their work. I get their work. I shoot portraits on the street a lot. Y’all know that. But, I just think of myself as either a photographer or a photojournalist. Sometimes, an artist. So. I dunno. On the other hand, a lot of guys who call themselves street photographers seem to shoot from about a million miles away, almost like they are afraid of their subject. Me? I like to engage my subjects. I talk to them. I hang with them. Sometimes I give them a couple bucks if they ask. Oh. Checkbook journalism. Hahahahahahahaha. How close do I like to work? Two of these pictures were made with a 16 mm lens. The horn player was made with a 55 mm. Like I said, I like to work close.
The pictures? F8 and be there, once again. Very little post production because pictures like these really don’t need it. Nor, should they have it.
There is an old Joni Mitchell song called “Real Good For Free.” The middle verse goes like this. “Now me I play for fortune, And those velvet curtain calls, I’ve got a black limousine, And two gentlemen, Escorting me to the halls, And I play if you have the money, Or if you’re a friend to me, But the one man band, By the quick lunch stand, He was playing real good, for free.”
We were walking through The French Quarter on our way to a good dinner. Probably an expensive one. We crossed Royal Street and saw this band playing for tips. They were beautiful musicians. They were playing for tips and with hope that somebody would buy one of their homemade CDS. In between songs they held out their merchandise — or merch as the bigger bands — say. We looked at each other and felt guilty. In some other post I’ll tell you more about it. But, Joni’s song about nails it. I don’t know her. But, I get her and that makes me feel like I do.
So. We did the only thing we really could do. We put a bunch of money in her tip basket. Thanked her and the band. And left. We don’t even know their names.
The picture. I did what I always do. Framed the scene, let whatever was going to happen, happen. And, I pushed the button.
I was looking at this picture that I made in Admiralty, Hong Kong and realized just how power the island had become. Most of the buildings that form the backdrop of this image are banks. major banks with their Asian home offices located in Hong Kong. The pinkish buildings in the foreground are housing estates, or apartment buildings for you in the west. yes, the image has been worked on in post production. The original image lacked something. Well,make that a lot of somethings. I’m not sure the image gained all that much, but at least it looks like a picture of a powerful and dynamic city. That’s Hong Kong.
I mentioned having dinner at The Clover Grill in yesterday’s post. Today, I thought I’d show you a picture. Just one. Sometimes, I feel protective of the places I like. At any rate, The Clover Grill is located on the down river end of Bourbon Street in The French Quarter just where things start to quiet down a little bit. In New Orleans, many people describe locations as being up river or down river because the city is shaped in a crescent along the flow of The Mississippi River and so you can’t really say east, west, north and south. After all, in certain places in the city it appears that the sun is rising in the South. And, we all know that doesn’t happen.
Back to this picture. You’ll have to eat at The Clover Grill to understand it when I say, any and all sorts of people are likely to show up. it’s a gathering place for what makes New Orleans special. Here’s just one picture. Enjoy it. It’s a portrait that borders on photojournalism.
Normally, I share my work here. Today as is no exception. But, I’d also like to share a couple of websites with you. I’ll get to my work in a minute. But, first a note about the websites.
Lost Brothers is a subject near and dear to my heart. During the Vietnam War there were a lot of photographers who went missing. They were either captured, KIA or were otherwise lost in the fog of war. This project is an attempt to tell their stories through the memories of the people who lived in the places where they vanished. Tim Page is heading this up. For those of you who don’t know about him, he worked for a number of magazines during the war. He eventually came home with a plate in his head. He continues to photograph, teach and keep the search for these missing photographers alive. It’s http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/111709504/lost-brothers. For those who don’t know, kickstarter is a way to utilize crowd source as funding method. If you think that this is a worthwhile project, even donating as little as a buck — O
ne US Dollar — will help.
Wise is just a fun site that I thought I’d share with you. Okay. It’s scientific. These are images of our universe that have been newly produced. I think they are quite stunning. Go to http://wise.ssl.berkeley.edu/gallery_images.html Enjoy!
My work. I was re-editing — okay curating, if I want to be contemporary — some of my Mardi Gras work and stumbled onto these images. All but one are motion studies. The image that isn’t a motion study is a parade picture that I really like.