Gleaming behind the sun.

Morning. Low Sun.

This. You get this. If you look at the light as it falls behind new blooms and old leaves. This is what you get.

I’d like to say this was an accident. It wasn’t. Even though I let the all-seeing dog lead me, I gently directed her to where I hoped to find light like this.

The first place in which I looked, I found that the sun was too low in the sky. But, the next place bore fruit. Or, flowers. I carefully exposed the picture as best I could. And snapped away. Post production work was mostly about darkening the image and making sure the background was obscured.

That’s it. I cropped it as usual, to give it shape.

A word about the weather. When I awoke the temperature dropped from a high of 79 degrees yesterday to just about 40 degrees. That’s nothing. On Wednesday, we are predicted to have low temperatures in the mid 20s.

Whaaaat…?

It’ll be windy on both days so the “feels like” temperature will be 8 to 10 degrees less than the predicted temperatures.

First, it’s too hot. Now, it’s too cold. When is this porridge going to be just right?

Er, something like that.

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A lot of color.

The picture had a hole in it.

I fixed it.

The hole was just a big portion of the picture that was right in the middle. There was also this great stuff going on around the edges. The center had no subject, just an open space. Like a donut.

It reminded me of so many pictures posted on social media with great leading lines… to nowhere. I had options. I think the leading line pictures that I’ve seen could have presented the photographers who made them with options. But, noooooo.

I chose an easy option. I layered another image right into the middle of the original picture. I adjusted it as needed and it was ready for you.

I made the picture about two days ago. I made the layer about four days ago.

The interesting thing about our autumn season is that it is also a second growing season. The weather normally turns cool, not cold. You can start planting veggies for spring. The weather is turning colder and colder so I’m not sure about that for this year. But, native outdoor plants have already started blooming. That’s why I could make this picture.

Isn’t that great?

Unfortunately, we pay for this with brutally hot and humid summers. They last for at lest six months. I read something about this in a climate change story I found. Apparently, as the weather turns weirder and weirder, we won’t have an extreme change to our already hot weather, but New Jersey and that region will.

New Jersey?

Yep. The weather up there will become more like our summers. Lucky New Jersey.

On the other hand, as that happens we will continue to subside and the water will rise. That means as we sink, we will sink into higher water. At first, New Orleans will be an island. Then, we will be underwater.

I likely won’t be here by then, unless I survive to be about 115 years old. But, the Mardi Gras Indians will have to learn to swim.

Don’t you think we out to really start doing something about this?


More like fall.

It’s about time.

The rain poured out of the sky. The cold weather arrived. The leaves turned yellow. They began to fall. We finally had golden leaves in the swamp.

I made this picture yesterday afternoon at about 4pm.

There were a lot of leaves already on the ground. Looking up however, was a little marvel. The leaves of fall.

And, I didn’t have to travel to Vermont to find them. I didn’t have to go to New Mexico, either. Nor, did I travel to Virginia. Or, to the Upee — the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It’s not that I don’t want to travel. But, I travel enough.

There are a few more little trips coming and then it’s 2020. The whole thing starts again. Another trip around the globe.

Anyway.

This is a great Sunday picture. I couldn’t leave well enough alone. I tinkered and made it more like an etching than a photograph. That’s not to say that the very purest picture, almost right out of the camera wasn’t pretty good. After all, how hard can it be to make a picture when nature does all the work?


Cold weather days.

Finally.

Autumn looks like it is suppose to look. Leaves falling. Bushes turning. Flowers dying.

After months of complaining about the heat, cool and cold weather finally arrived. How cool? How cold? The last cold front brought us into the 40s and highs in the 50s. We will warm up a little into the high 60s over the weekend. Cold front number two blows in. This time the lows are predicted tp be in the 30s and the highs in the mid-40s.

For some of you that’s nothing. But, I can’t remember weather this cold in November since I’ve lived in this state. I don’t know what that means for the real winter months, but there’s an old southern saying that is along the lines of “when it’s cold in November, winter remembers in December.” I heard that for the first time today.

That’s a chilling thought.


Deep in the garden.

Very Green.

When everything is in the last phases of autumn where you live, you can count on me to make it better. I can show you how we in the subtropical south see things. Trust me. I’m not laughing at anybody. I’d rather have some real cold weather. I know. Be careful what you wish for. You might just get it.

A young artist friend of mine travelled to Michigan with her long time boyfriend. They are staying with his family. She saw snow for the first time. Ever. She’s a Louisiana lady. She was so delighted. She made me smile.

Oh. I’m back at the ageist wars. There is some guy who calls himself Father Monk. He wrote this long screed (Do we still use that word?) condemning Boomers on Facebook. He exempted some of us. If we protested during the Vietnam War we were good. If we lived our lives in certain ways of which he approved, we were exempted.

How funny.

Like we need his approval. I couldn’t help myself. I replied, closing with my new hashtag, #OKKid. He didn’t like that.

Oh well.

After I did that, I blocked him and everybody who came after him to attack me. These folks forget that we are old, we likely hurt in some way which makes us grouchy, and we have a lot of experience.We learned something in “our” war. Guerrilla tactics work.

Seriously. This is just fun for me. I’m not sure about them

Doesn’t matter.


So much color.

All the color.

Normally, I do my best to isolate the subject in my work. When, I saw this scene I was wowed. After fiddling around, I knew the best way to capture what I saw was to stand back and take in as much as I could. There was only so far back I could stand before I might fall in some water, so I was a little limited. I also went as wide as I could in my lens selection. I think it worked.

I think it could also work as some very busy wallpaper, probably in your house. Heh!

On another matter near and dear to me, I went to the doctor today for my pain management session. This is mandated by the federal government so that I don’t become addicted to Tramadol which greatly reduces my pain. It is really intended for much stronger drugs, but this is a mild opiate so testing and tracking in this way doesn’t really make sense.

There is no medical personnel from my doctor, to my pharmacist and, the lab technician who tests me, that thinks this is worth doing. They agree that it is well intentioned, but that this approach fails on all counts.

Anyway.

This is the long way of saying that after complaining a little about my knee hurting, I was x-rayed. Yep. Osteoarthritis in my right knee. Sheesh. I once heard a joke about getting old. It is your body’s way of saying, “If you thought that was bad, just wait until…”

I can see my future.

Eighty year old Ray using a powered scooter. Except mine will have a 496 big block engine in it that will propel me along any highway faster than the cars I’m passing.

Take that.

Seriously, it’s not something that is always painful. It just hurts on my bad days. It is something to understand. We are going to try a more holistic approach for this. Imagine that. A medical doctor who thinks outside of the box.

Stay tuned.

 


Glowing red leaves.

Seeing red.

Usually that means being very angry. Not this time. I just happened to see a lot of red on a morning walk. The light was lower in the sky so it illuminated things that might not be so easily seen. It was a kind of photographer’s luck. I made other pictures on the walk. You’ll see them later. But, these three just sort of came together naturally. I try not to fight that.

Backlighted red leaves in the morning.

Meanwhile, the dog who sees things wanted to go out three times. We walked close to five miles. Of course, yesterday was a bad day for pain. I took the limits of my pain medication and that barely took the edge off. But, she doesn’t understand that so we walked.

This morning, I felt just fine. There is no explanation for this. But, I don’t question great days. This time, we walked about 150-200 yards and she headed for home.

Both of us have to get our timing down.

Fallen leaves in dust bin.

That’s the story for today. I usually try to publish by noon my time. I’ve been late the last few days. Really, there is no reason except a lack of motivation. I sit down to work on Storyteller and just sit there. It’s taking me two or three tries to actually want to work. Maybe it’s the season. Maybe I need a new toy. Who knows?

 


Clean these drains out or your house will get flooded.

I’m not kidding.

If you don’t keep the drains cleaned near your house, your street will flood. If your street floods, your house will flood. And, so will your car.

You won’t be happy. Neither will your insurance agent. And, your insurance company will probably drop you for making a claim, leaving you to ask “what’s insurance for if I can’t use it?”

That’s a story that never ends.

Here’s my last insurance company story.

About nine years ago my car was parked in a shopping center lot.¬† I was still inside. The ignition was turned off. I was unstrapping my seat harness when some guy backed into my car. We did all the right stuff. We exchanged licenses and insurance information. His car was fine. Mine was dented. I filed a claim with my insurance company who collected from his insurance company. Everybody agreed that it was the other guy’s fault. Including him. He tried to get out of it, but his wife gave him “the look.”

What do you think happened?

If you guess that my insurance company raised my rates because of a no fault accident, you would be right. WTH?

I want a business like insurance companies have. If you drive a car, most or all states, require you carry insurance. You are smart if you carry far more than the minimum. You pay monthly, or as frequently as you can over a years time to keep the rate down. You pay for years. In my case, I hadn’t been involved in anything for at least a decade. Until that little fender bender.

Okay.

Let’s keep the numbers simple. Let’s say I pay $100 per month. Over a years time that is $1,200. Over ten years time that is $12,000. I have a minor fender bender that cost the insurance company maybe $1,500. I’d say that their ROI was pretty good.

The insurance company will either raise my rate or drop me.

The insurance company’s gross return is at least $10,500 over ten years time. I’m sure their are some administrative costs incurred by them. Those are offset by investment packages that my money finances. At worst, it’s a push. At best, they are making money on administrative costs.

I want that kind of return on my investments. On my business.

No. I didn’t get in an accident. I was looking at the last quarter of the year. Grumble, grumble, grumble.


The pool umbrella returns.

Changes.

First, the pool umbrella. Back from its watery grave. No worse for wear. These kinds of pictures are easy to make. Easy to take. We’ll get back to that in a minute.

But, first.

My new watermark. I don’t think watermarks have to be flashy or over designed. It’s the content that matters. I was reading a new book — new to me — about more contemporary photographers. One of them used a copyright/credit line that had his last name and his location. I thought that was pretty cool, so I just stole it lock, stock and barrel.

From that same book, I was reading about Todd Hido. I’ve liked his work from the first time I saw it. This guy produces single themed books and exhibitions. He takes his time finding and photographing¬† his subjects. One of the questions he was asked is concerned with knowing when a project is done. When do you stop making pictures and started culling and organizing?

Hido said that he knows that he’s done when it is not worth the trouble to stop, get out of his car and set up. He also cautions that you shouldn’t pull the trigger too early especially in today’s sped up culture. A project could last for many years. He weaves projects around each other, pretty much like I do.

“Not worth the trouble…”

That phrase says a lot. It explains why I am having such a hard time photographing second lines and Mardi Gras Indian events. I’ve been doing that for seven years. It’s not just that I’m in pain, or that I’m afraid of falling down in the street. It’s that I’ve finished my project and it’s time to move on. I know this to be true because if I really want to do something I’ll deal with the pain. That won’t stop me.

So. I’m free. Time to move on. Time to finish other projects.

It’s also time to look at the work of photographers who are younger than me. Hido is 12 years younger. His work is great. His thinking got me going enough to gain some clarity. As much as I always return to the work of Jay Maisel, Ernst Haas and Robert Frank, two of them are gone and one is 88 years old.

The world turns. It changes. Change or die… they keep telling me.