Over and over.

Art or not, I like this photograph. It was the last of the New Mexico pictures that I was showing you earlier. I decided to make it into something more after claiming that my PAD pictures were akin to photojournalism.

So, I held it back.

It’s been living on my desktop staring at me, reminding me, nagging me. The image won. They always do.

I’ll discuss how I made it on the other side, the right hand column.

Under the heading of all the news that fits, there are some things going in the city that are scary.

There has been a rise in violent crime of 50% year to year. Shootings are up by 23%. There have been 12 shootings on upper Bourbon Street near or on Canal Street in the last two weeks.

One shooting was big enough that I read about it in the London newspapers. It was national news. You probably didn’t read about it because it’s likely there was another mass shooting the next day.

Somewhere.

Talk about a short news cycle.

Granted, the French Quarter is a touristy place, but the 100 and 200 blocks of Bourbon Street are gangland. There are armed wannabe thugs hanging out there, especially at night and the early morning.

If you are visiting stay away from there. Besides, there isn’t much to see.

The city’s response is to add another 150 cops there. That’s understandable because tourism is the city’s lifeblood. But what about other neighborhoods, of which the Quarter is just one?

In my hood we pay for armed private police. Most of them are former military and some are former M.P.s. No, they weren’t working in English parliament, they were military police.

They are armed, but they can’t apprehend anyone. They can put the cuffs on someone, but they have to call the NOPD in order to make an arrest.

I feel relatively safe right now. Most strangers are transients. They are either tourists taking pictures or people just passing by.

Right now nobody is passing by. Our street is finally being repaired. The construction crew thought the best way to fix it was to tear it all up. The street is all dirt with holes everywhere as the city pipes are being repaired to replaced.

As messy as it is, that’s a good thing. And, they are ahead of schedule, The original plan was to begin work in 2032. There are a lot of political and business heavyweights who use and live on the street. The former mayor’s aunt lived there.

What do you think happened?

His aunt was 82. She passed before any of the work began.

I was afraid that with the original schedule, the same thing would happen to me. I suppose that it still could.

And, so it goes.

Balloons floating through the air in the quiet of early morning.

That wasn’t enough so I added a foreground.

That still wasn’t enough so I added what picture editing apps call bokeh. I think they are just round circles that have been softened so that the fit into the picture.

Besides, bokeh is something else entirely. It’s the quality of the out of focus area of the picture.

For a while it was a really big deal. Brand new photographers were trying to take bokeh pictures. Others were discussing how to add it when it didn’t exist in the picture.

The conversation turned silly, even though the very best out of focus areas are creamy, but in which you can still recognize the shapes.

I have friends in Japan. The word bokeh is Japanese, but they said nobody uses it there.

Oh well.

Another western appropriation shot to hell.

Anyway.

After I added all of that, I fine tuned and tinkered a bit. Finally, I was done. So was the picture.

The picture has a sort of explosive quality to it, don’t you think?

Stay safe. Stay Strong. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Get your jabs. Look after each other. Be patient. Float around in all the air.


Cowboy boots and dancing feet.

El Rancho de los Golondrinas harvest festival is one of the best in the nation. USA Today says the they are number two. I don’t know if that matters, but it sure is a lot of fun. You can eat, make food products like cider and watch the entertainment.

Going there made a good day trip from Albuquerque since it is located just a bit south of Santa Fe.

I made a lot of different kinds of pictures there, but this one was the most loved. It ran as an ad for the New Mexico tourism folks. It ran as an advertisement for the gallery of which I was a part. It also is a part of many people’s private collections.

Of course, I like it when a picture is licensed as part of an advertising campaign, but, it’s humbling when it hangs on somebody’s wall. They liked enough to want to live with it.

Whenever I made a day trip like this I included the work in my PAD project. It made that day’s looking a little easier. Over the course of a year sometimes easier was better.

It means you worried more about making the pictures rather than worry about the logistics of looking for the pictures.

Isn’t that what we want? Pictures.

I feel like I’m not helping you at all.

This is the classic F8 and be there picture.

I worked my way around to the back of the stage which wasn’t hard because backstage was just a dusty plot of land and nothing else.

I photographed until I was done. A couple of other photographers saw what I was doing and joined me. There was no competition at all.

Post production was minimal and the final picture was as you see it.

It’s getting boring around here, yes?

Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Get your jabs. Look after each other. Be patient.


Well, here we go. The weather has cooled off a bit in New Orleans. That means a couple of things. Tourists arrive in droves. And, the festival season starts. Oh yeah. Halloween gets thrown in there too. From about now until late November, there are more festivals on any given weekend than some places have over the course of a full year. Most festivals are small. Some are packed into a city block or even a small pocket park. One of my favorites — The Andouille Festival in La Place — has been cancelled this year because they are still recovering from the massive flooding caused by Hurricane Isaac. But, that’s another story.

The other big deal in New Orleans is Halloween. Since we like to mask at any given opportunity, it only figures that Halloween is a big deal. Complex decorations are already hanging all over the place. Especially in Uptown. There is also a good parade in The French Quarter that is held on October 31. It’s always good fun.

So. In that spirit, my post today is for Halloween. I made this picture on my friend’s porch. With an i-Phone. Yes, I helped it along with some post production using Snapseed.