Out on the road.

L

ouisiana is leading the country in Covid-19 infections. We are nowhere near 70% vaccination rate. Orleans Parish beat the CDC in mandating masks indoors again.

Now I’m starting to hear whispers in the wind that musical venues will close again and that includes both Jazzfest and French Quarter Fest. The loss of both of them will cost the city a lot of money. It’ll hurt musicians once again.

The anti-vaxxers are causing this.

Not only are we leading the country in new infections, but we are among the bottom two or three states in vaccinations.

Many of my friends are angry. I’m angry. Until the virus is managed or defeated I can’t doo much of anything. And, the things that I do have to be thought of through the lens of risk v reward.

It also seems the regional and local leaders are handling this better than our national leaders, at least in blush states. In other states legislators are moving to restrict scientists and governors.

Then, there are people like Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida who restricts masking and vaccinations. He says that his state is doing just fine, if almost six thousand new infections per day is doing fine.

This isn’t a political issue. Or, it shouldn’t be. This is a life and death issue.

Anti-Vaxxers claim that their freedom is being restricted if they are forced to get jabbed.

Nonsense.

What about my freedom to not get sick and die? Let’s put it this way. If I get sick I have nothing to lose. I’m coming for you. My breath will be like dragon’s breath.

That’s just how angry I am.

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hen I was first diagnosed with CLL, once we got over the shock, we took a drive to Natchez, Mississippi.

That’s about a three or four hour trip. It took us ten hours.

We stopped to take pictures just about everywhere. Broken down buildings, Civil War battle fields, cemeteries, and old stately plantation houses and just about everything else in between.

We stayed in Natchez for three days and explored the area. Because I was here, there and everywhere, people got to know me.

You know that’s how I work. I talk to people. We’d be walking to a scene, and some guy would be biking in the other direction and would wave hi because he met us somewhere else.

Anyway.

This is a drive through shooting.

You can almost see where the camera is located at the top of the dashboard.

It was a little sporty, but I was careful. To me, it was one of those risk v reward things. It was different than being around people, but in many ways the same.


Dusk and a Speeding Streetcar on Canal Street
Dusk and a Speeding Streetcar on Canal Street

What do I promise? Well, I started thinking about it. I want to try to post Mardi Gras related pictures from now until Fat Tuesday. There are two points to that. I said “try.” I’m not sure that I can, but I’ll do my best which about all you can ask. On the other hand, there is Yoda. “There is no try or not try. There is only do.”

Anyway. I’ve talked a lot about the green streetcars. Here’s one of the red cars. They run along the Mississippi River from the down river end of The French Quarter, turn on Canal Street, run all the way to Carrollton, make a turn and go to City Park. Their design is much newer than the green cars. And, they are air-conditioned. Makes a huge difference in the summer.

The picture? Ah. First. Let me apologize. WordPress’ compression software compressed the contrast right out of the picture. Okay. That said, this is one of my hand-held slow exposures. I do that for self-defense. Sometimes planting a tripod down in the middle of a city street can get a little sporty. The results are pretty cool. To me. In many ways, this picture feels like a Parisian picture made in winter. To me. Anyway.

 

 


I-10 heading into New Orleans, Louisiana.
I-10 heading into New Orleans, Louisiana.

I’m doing a little experimenting. I’d really like for my picture to be on the top of my post rather than on the bottom. I’d also like the picture to have a caption. It doesn’t have to be too long. But, I’d like to identify what’s in the picture. I’d also like to post a picture, some text, and another picture. Let’s see what happens today.

Anyway.

This is just another of my drive and shoot pictures. Actually, if things go well there will be two of them in this post. I don’t remember where I was going on these two nights, but the light was right and there wasn’t too much traffic so I just put the camera on the dashboard and let it do its thing while I drove. This particular picture was made on the I-10 after the Slidell split. For folks who have never driven into New Orleans, things are a little confusing just about here. You can go west, which means you pass by the Mercedes Superdome on your left and cross the Mississippi River. You can go to the Dome, which really means that you are getting off the interstate and driving on Poydras Street. Or you can head towards Slidell which will get you to The French Quarter. If you chose that route, you pass by the Dome on your right. That all sounds pretty straightforward. Doesn’t it? The problem is that everything is sort of opposite to the direction in which you really want to go. Oh yeah. If you go west, but not too far west, you can get off on Magazine Street. That’s probably were you really want to go.

Entering I-10 from Carrollton  Avenue.
Entering I-10 from Carrollton Avenue.

Hey. Guess what? Everything worked. Imagine that. Maybe this stuff isn’t so hard… for you.

So. This is how you enter the interstate if you are coming from Uptown and you are close to the corner of Carrollton and St. Charles Avenues. That’s a corner where the streetcar makes it’s turn. It is covered in restaurants and cool little shops. There are other ways to go to the Superbowl or Central Business District that are well-known to locals. But, this likely is one of the fastest ways. But, it probably is somewhat further in terms of miles.

The picture was made just about the same way as the “heading to New Orleans” picture was made. Camera on the dashboard. Lens facing the windshield. And, fire away. In both cases, you can set the ISO up higher and hopefully the picture will be really sharp. But, where’s the fun in that? It’s just a cityscape. Shooting with a low ISO allows you to shoot with a slow shutter speed and guess what? Painterly blur. Try it some time. You’ll enjoy your own work.


Where to start?

Well. I did it. I made a major change to this blog site. It’s clean. It’s very easy to read. It’s contemporary. I hope y’all like it. If you don’t, let me know. It’s a work in progress. Like life. Itself.

The picture. It’s about traveling. Traveling On. That has many meanings. Physical. Emotional. Metaphorical. I’ll let you sort out which it means for you. Maybe some of you will even catch from where it came. Hint: A song.

For those who want to know about the technical stuff. Okay. It’s a drive by. Or, really… a drive through. Not to worry. I never take my hands off the steering wheel. One of the best things about new mirrorless dslr cameras is that you can set them for just pointing and shooting. I don’t normally do that. But, when I’m driving I really don’t want to be fiddling around. You know? So. I just pointed the camera. braced it on the dashboard and it did the rest. Did you catch the word mirrorless? It’s a few year old kind of camera. There is no mirror which means the camera is much smaller, much lighter and eliminates certain kinds of motion blur when you are shooting at slow shutter speeds. I do that a lot. This particular camera makes image files the size of my Nikons with much less fuss.