Watching the Mardi Gras world go by.

On the way to someplace else.

That’s how I made this picture. I parked my car and started walking to the parade route. I saw this. Even without the woman sitting there, the house would have made a good picture. The woman just made the picture wonderful.

As usual, I asked if she minded being photographed. She was fine with it, so I made a few pictures. I thanked her and went on my way.

On the way back, between the second and third parades. I passed by again. She was still there, but she was sitting with a youngish man. The krewe and bands getting ready for their parade stopped and played and danced for them.

I asked one of the people from the neighborhood about them. It turns out they are just as I hoped. They are kind and friendly people. They decorate their house to this extreme for every big season. They just want to bring joy to their neighborhood.

Ain’t that something?

The picture. Arrgh. The sunlight was bouncing off all that green. Normally, I like the color added by reflection. Not this time. I couldn’t even make a pure, clean white. So, I worked on her face. I was trying to make that color as true as possible. I think I got it. Of course, the rest has sort of a green cast about it. That’s one of those compromises that I was talking about.

Since the color really doesn’t add that much to the picture, this might be a time to convert it to black and white. I’ll test it. I’ll post it if it works at all.

One more thing. Last night was a washout. At least from where I normally work. Lots of rain. Hard rain at times. Since I’m given to falling down these days, I don’t want to slip and fall. That really hurts. So I bagged it. So did one parade. The other two rolled late. Apparently, later, as the Krewe of Muses made its way downtown, the rain stopped, just leaving wet streets. I’m disappointed because my god-daughter’s mom is a Muse. That’s who was rolling last night. They are known for throwing shoes. Highly decorated shoes.

Tonight is a time when I traditionally sit it out. I catch my breath for the next four big days. I’m light on pictures, so out I’ll go. Three parades. All of them start rolling within minutes of each other near my favorite starting point. Yipee.

Unless we have more rain.


Special security in Mid City.

I saw this little guy while I was meeting friends for lunch.

This little carving may be the best possible security in New Orleans.  Better than the NOPD. Better than the guys in jeeps and drink coffee in my neighborhood. Would you try to break into this house with this guy sitting there? Lord knows what’s waiting for you once you get in.

Now that I’m back, I’ve been reading blogs.

I get so confused.

There seems to be a trend in picking a word for the year. I guess this is supposed to replace resolutions. If a word is going to be your mantra, why don’t you just read some Buddhism? You don’t have to change your religion to do it. You’ll learn a lot. About the world. About yourself. You might even understand your dog a little better.

Then, there’s some kind of concert going on at one blogger’s site. I’ve never understood the rules, of which there are too many. The last time that I tried to play, I apparently didn’t know the correct title to a song. The person who wrote it was sitting next to me at the time. Her comment was something along the lines of that’s how I introduce it on stage. Now, people are picking their favorite Beatles songs. Yes, “Day in the Life” is one song written separately by two musicians. They combined the lyrics during rehearsals. Anybody who claims them as their favorite band knows that.

Sheesh folks.

We all want 2019 to be much better, much more positive than 2018. Lighten up. Have some fun. Grow beyond one word. Stop making rules up for something that should fun. If you like something, go do it. If you want to grow, go do that. Otherwise, 2019 is going to be a giant let down. It’s gonna be rough in the political world. Imagine, calling out a brand new Congresswoman over dancing that she did in college. Her reply was wonderful. She walked out of her new office and danced.

Go dance.

Waiting to start.

We all wait.

For something. A grocery line. A toll bridge line. A venue line. On Sunday — any Sunday — we wait for the second line to begin. Everybody waits while the hosting club gets ready to make their very grand entrance. It’s a tradition. For everybody. It’s a time to hang out and talk to people you know. And, meet some folks who you didn’t know.

I saw this young woman leaning against a supporting pole and thought that she might make a nice picture. I waited until the background was fairly clean. That took some patience because the door to the house in which everybody was getting ready is right behind her.

I made about five or six quick exposures and I was done. I showed her the pictures on my camera and gave her my business card. She smiled and told me that she knew I was taking her picture. She thought that I wanted her just as she was, so she waited. Talk about communicating with a subject without saying a word.

Tomorrow. Second line pictures. The actual event. I promise. But, I have been liking the work on the edges so much that I thought I would share it with you first.

The picture. A little post production to help you see what I felt. She’s young and at the age of little skin blemishes. I fixed those. I made her glow just slightly. When she emails and asks for a couple of pictures, I’d like her to be proud of them.

Spring steps.
Spring steps.

They were glowing. The trees. The bushes. Even the steps. Were glowing

So what could I do? I made the picture. They were just steps. But, the golden light. The pre-dusk feeling. The glowing greens. I had no choice. I had to photograph this simple little scene. On any other day I might have passed it by. I might have driven past it. But, I was walking. I was a little early. So, I actually saw the wonderful light as it illuminated the house.

The picture. I didn’t have to do much. When the moment and the light is right what else is there to do? Just push the button and make the picture.

Summers end, maybe.
Summer’s end, maybe.

The rain fell. A cold front moved into the region.

The low temperature fell into the 60s on our side of the lake. Or, the mid 50s on the Northshore, on the other side of Lake Ponchartrain. Do you have any idea of how long it’s been since I’ve been in cool weather? With lower humidity?

I’ll tell you.

Sometime in late April or early May.

I’m sure the temperature will rise some and a little humidity will return. It’s not October yet. But, the high temperature on Sunday, when I will photograph the season’s second parade of the year, may not reach 80 degrees while I’m out.  Or, a bit more. Two weeks ago, when I photographed the first second line of the year, the temperature was about 96 degrees. Hot. Very hot. Especially when you are walking on pavement in direct sunlight.

Sheesh. I’ll feel like a new man. Around 80 degrees, no rain and very little humidity. Whew. What could be better?

The picture. I completely forgot about it. It’s one of the out takes from the Katrina project. For some reason I didn’t copy it to my Storyteller file. I was curating (I really dislike that word for what I do when I review pictures — I’m not a museum curator. I’m a picture editor.) for another project, and I stumbled upon it. It was right where I left it.

The place is interesting for “oldish” New Orleans. Most apartments located in what was once called “backatown” are converted houses, or were built as doubles — normally called a duplex in many places. Sure. In Uptown and, especially The French Quarter, there are plenty of buildings that were designed to be apartments. In fact, the oldest continually rented apartment complex in the country — The Upper and Lower Pontabla Apartment Buildings — is located on both sides of Jackson Square. One of the views from inside is of the St. Louis Cathedral. They are expensive and there is a huge waiting list.

But, out in the “swamps,” not so much.

This place is a real live apartment building. Looks like about 12 – 15 units. Looks like it was built in the 1920s or 1930s. From the outside, it looks a little run down. From the common areas, too. It’s neat and clean. It could use a little work. Some paint. But, by looking at the various porches, it seems like the tenants have lived there for a while. It’s not transient looking. It’s home. The porches are screened. We have a lot of flying critters all year around. We are, after all, mostly built on a swamp. There is some off street parking. That’s a big deal in New Orleans. And, it’s right across the street from City Park.

The technical work. I saw it. I photographed it. I actually did more post production than I needed to, but I was tinkering around, and around, and around. Don’t be like me. Simpler would have been better.


So. I was looking for a higher angle to photograph the beginning of Uncle Lionel’s second line parade. The best I could do was stand on the stoop — or porch, to some of you — of an old abandoned house. Yes. There are plenty of them in New Orleans. Some 62,000 by last count. While I was there, this young guy asked if he could share. Of course he could. He also agreed to add something special to my crowd picture. Here he is now. 

Time to move. At least on this blog. Today’s picture is from The Bywater area of New Orleans. The Bywater is an old blue collar area of the city. It once was home to a  lot of coffee importers and roasting plants. There were also a lot a fruit importers located there, too. But, that’s all gone now. The big buildings are being repurposed into lofts, condo, art galleries or have just been abandoned and torn down. The neighborhood has changed as well. It’s being repopulated by hipsters. They are artists, musicians and other kinds of creatives. Oh, and by the way, my use of the word hipster is not a bad thing. They are rebuilding flood ravaged areas that were horribly run down before the storm. In other words, they are investing the city. My city.

Oh yeah. I like their hats.

This picture. Funny thing. I made this picture a few years ago. It’s kind of a signature picture for me. A few months ago I was driving down the street where this bike lives. And, there it was. In the same place. Still chained to a porch railing, a little more faded and worn but still working and functioning. Sounds like a metaphor for life. Or, for me.