Rusted railroads.

Rust never sleeps.

That’s what Neil Young said. He’s right.

Even though I use the word “abandoned” in my tags, these old trains really aren’t. The are owned by the Louisiana railroad historical society, or whatever they are called. They are a small group. The don’t return phone calls or emails. They work on their collection on Saturday.

That’s too bad.

They will never restore most of their old property. There is just too much of it. It mostly sits rusting and moldering away. I’m glad the own this stuff. If they didn’t, it would likely be scrapped. I like to see examples of the way we used to live which is part of my obsession with abandoned old buildings, trains and cars.  I like to photograph all of that, which is what lead me to so many book contracts.


This picture wasn’t made in a bubble. Even though I was mostly just returning from an appointment, I was accidently working on a book. That’s cool, right?

No long tales of the past today. That doesn’t mean my journey through the past is over. It just means I’m showing you what I’m up to right now. Quite the contrary, I think my trip is just starting for real.

The picture. See it. Photograph it. That simple. Very little post production. If anything, I tuned down the color. That Leica glass is just a little too good. That’s saying something, yes?

Golden light in the old train yard.
Golden light in the old train yard.

Yes. When I’m not chasing second lines and Mardi Gras Indians, I’m supposed to be photographing two books. “Ten Years Later.” And, “The Chitlin Circuit.”

I’m doing that as much as I can. It’s a passion so it’s easy to do. I don’t have to make myself work. And, when I’m home it’s easy to do because the topics overlap. So much music came from the city. Jazz. Rhythm and Blues. Rock n’ Roll. Funk. The list goes on. Maybe just as importantly, the music came from the neighborhoods in which I’m working. So. There. I am working on these project. I have proof. Photographic proof.

I’ll eventually start showing you more of both projects, but let’s just say that for now it’s a big ball of tightly wrapped twine that is a work in progress. Lots of research before I can even know where to work.

That said, I carry a camera everywhere. Not just a smart phone. A real DSLR. A little one. I happened to be on the way to one place when I took the long way to get there. I happened upon the old restoration train yard in Shrewsbury, Louisiana. I took this picture. Yes. Many of you have seen a version of it in the past. At dusk. Just as the sky was turning purple. Experience taught me that this sunset wasn’t going to be that kind of light, so I did the next best thing. Some would say a better thing. I photographed it in golden light. So I made a different picture. From the same scene.

Another photography lesson. Always be patient. Always come back. You just never know.