here haven’t been very many new pictures made this week. I haven’t been inspired or pushed out the door, which is the usual fix.
I was working in my so-called digital studio when I saw the afternoon light playing on the walls. I just photographed what I saw. You are seeing some of it now.
An espresso cup, mini blind, Alexa and a test print, and the light underneath two photographs that first caught my eye.
All things around me.
Don’t ask about the mini blinds. They came with the house. I was going to change them out, but they are great for shutting out light so they live on to blind me to the light on another day.
Alexa needs cleaning. The print above it is a test print. There are two tests going on. The first is that it’s an early smartphone picture enlarged to 13×13 inches. It held up just fine.The second is a longevity test. It’s been hanging for six years. No fading yet.
The brick wall is where I first noticed the light and the lightbulb went off. Pictures. Pictures. Pictures.
And the espresso cup. What can I say? What is there to say?
Let this whole exercise be a lesson to me. There are always pictures floating around. They just have to find you.
y question was how far to take these images in post production.
The answer was not very far.
All I really did was clean things up.
That was enough.
I also tested a different kind of picture grouping template. I don’t see that it’s anything different than I could have done by hand.
I suppose that normally I’d have a big picture followed by three smaller ones.
But, that’s about it.
I am very, very slowly starting to use this block (head) system. I’m just not sure that it’s worth the time.
Although there are other pictures waiting to be shared, you are seeing an image that I made last night as dusk was waiting. The light was incredible. I found a couple of places to make use of it. For now, this is the best of those.
The light is almost winter-like. Low. Golden. Pretty.
It makes this, and almost any picture, look great.
It certainly made me smile. Especially after a long and stupid day.
Let’s just say that the staff of a hospital has no idea what they are doing. A 30 minute trip took over three hours. Most of that was spent waiting for the folks who clear insurance, even though it had been pre-cleared by my doctor. It wasn’t exactly their fault.The senior hospital management thought it would be a good idea to lump all predicting procedures together.
I sat waiting for a x-ray with the folks waiting for blood tests, or MRIs or…. oh you get it.
Keep in mind my set of x-rays was driven by me. I haven’t had a x-ray of my hip or back in almost two years. I want to know what’s going on back there since osteoarthritis is progressive. My doctor agreed.
So, off to the hospital I went. The stuff that I described above took so long that the out-patient x-ray technicians’ shifts were over and there was nobody to replace them. I went to inpatient services where there were people in the middle of surgeries — er, procedures — and had to “play through.” Even so, that staff was professional and very efficient.
I was in and out in less than 15 minutes. They don’t stop with the series ordered by my doctor. They check their work and keep going until the make the right film. Sort of like me with a camera. Of course there is a little radioactivity to this. If I look at you for a long time, you glow. Heh, heh.
I bet most of you have stories like this. At least, those of you who live in the United States. For a major first world country, our healthcare is primitive at best. Usually, the word sucks covers it. I have to wonder what happens if you really need the emergency room. Do the guys who make sure you have insurance talk to you while the doctor is using heart paddles to try to save your life? If it doesn’t clear, do the tell the doctors to turn off the juice?
Anyway. We are having a coolish, bright and colorful spring day. I’d better not waste it with trips through bureaucracy.
Seventeen years ago everything changed. Terrorists destroyed the Twin Towers in New York City. They attacked the Pentagon in Washington D.C. They tried to fly another plane into Washington, but that plane was taken down by the passengers of that plane.
Today is a solemn day in The United States. In many places in the world it is a solemn day. We remember. We take pause. We offer little prayers.
These pictures are my prayer.
I offer this humble little portfolio to you. With pictures made over the years since that horrible day. To the people who have served so admirably. To those who have died. In the towers. In Washington D.C. In battlefields a world away. To the first responders. To those whose lives that are so changed. To the entire world.
Peace. New Orleans 2018.
Defending our freedom.
Summers end, maybe.
Hanging American flag.
Uptown American flag.
In the French Quarter.
Pictures of everything.
American flag used as a hat on a Mardi Gras Indian.
At least, that’s what Twitter told me. If you don’t get hung up in opinions, sometimes Twitter can be very informative. Or, at least, it can lead you to someplace that is informative. Sorta.
I thought that I would select some of my best pictures for the first half of 2018. Actually, I cheated just a little. I included images for seven-and-a-half months. I selected images of people and events. I did not add any of my semi-nature, and what the dog saw, work. I could probably do any entire post about that. But, this is where my heart is. For today.
You are looking at pictures from second lines (not many because I didn’t go to that many), Mardi Gras, St, Joseph’s Night, Downtown Super Sunday, a Mardi Gras Indian Funeral, and the Stachmo Summer Festival.
Drop down to just above the sunset picture for more. Please.
In the middle of things.
A little noontime sip.
Big Chief John
In black and white.
It’s not always sadness.
Dancing days are here again.
Smiling Baby Doll.
Starting them young.
To me, this little portfolio is pretty amazing. I really didn’t work the streets like I normally do. Most of you know why. This will change with the start of second line season in a couple of weeks. I can’t give up what brings me joy and just wither, dry up and get old. Besides, I have a new doctor with a different spinal pain management theory. So far so good. The only problem so far is that the new meds seem to lower my blood sugar. That’s okay as long as I keep something like yogurt or fruit around.
That said, what amazes me is the number of pictures that I produced in what is really a very short time. I like them You may not. That’s the cool thing about art in any form. Nobody has to agree.
I try to keep my promises. Life is too short for unkept promises. Sheesh. Maybe life is to short for promises at all. You asked for more Mardi Gras pictures, so I said that I would do sort of a wrap up of Mardi Gras 2014. I decided to give myself a month to do the curating, post production and fine tuning. After all, I do have other work to do. So do you. I also set a deadline. Since Fat Tuesday occurred on March 4, 2014, I thought publishing these pictures on April 4, 2014 was appropriate.
Exactly one month.
I also decided not to use the gallery function that is offered by WordPress because the way that it sizes pictures and sets them up in a grid makes it very hard for other social sites to “see” them. Additionally, it appears that Google has a pretty hard time finding them if all those little pictures aren’t key worded in a way that optimizes each one of them for their search algorithms. So, I went back to full-sized pictures that you can open up to even bigger pictures if one strikes your fancy. And, all the other sites can find them.
One more thing. These few paragraphs are all that I am publishing. This is about pictures and carnival. I’ve written enough — way too much really — so that you have a pretty good idea of what you are seeing.
The pictures. I think you know that I like to work around the edges. I think that most Mardi Gras parades are probably among the most photographed subjects in the world. EVERYBODY has some kind of camera and they use them. Being a person who’s lived photography for almost 40 years I have to wonder why all these people want to live and see their lives through a view finder or little screen. If I didn’t do what I do, I’d just watch the parades and enjoy Mardi Gras without the encumbrance of a camera of any kind. That’s just me. I don’t know what all those people are going to do with all these millions of digital files. Oh sure, they share them on various social media sites. But, those go by in the blink of an eye. Then what? More pictures? More sharing? Blips of data. Too much data. Unless you have a good library system, likely you’ll never find the pictures you took last week. For me, the ultimate use of a picture is on paper. Yes. Paper. Whether the picture is published in a magazine, brochure or whatever matters to me. Hanging a well-printed photograph on the wall matters to me. But, all these bits of data on some hard drive? Eh. That’s just a starting point. Like an old school negative.
The pictures you are about to see are organized in no particular order. They are little moments of time that I captured by intent, by luck or by some other thing. You know. Pictures like these used to be called the decisive moment. I don’t know how decisive these pictures are, but they are unique. Even the one float picture in this little portfolio is about the man and his son or grandson more than the float, itself. I don’t know how good or bad these pictures are. That’s your call. But, I know that nobody else made pictures like these. For me, that is the point.
That’s it for Mardi Gras 2014. I hope you enjoy my work.
Since I’m a little out-of-pocket today, I thought I’d reintroduce a little of my signature work. Maybe just three pictures a day. And, I’ll tell you the stories behind the images. Three pictures from Asia today. Shanghai Dancers, Central Wet Market and Hong Kong From Above.
Shanghai Dancers was made on early morning in — you guessed it — Shanghai, China. I knew that Tai Chi was practiced on The Bund, but I wasn’t sure at what time. So, I got up extra early and waited. Pretty soon people started showing up in all sorts of clothes. Chinese people exercise in whatever clothes they happen to be wearing. They started exercising and my wait paid off. The sun started rising with the new Pudong District — all those really other worldly modern buildings across The Pearl River — in front of it and behind my foreground scene. My patience was rewarded. Patience, patience, patience.
Central Wet Market. There is an escalator in Hong Kong that is called the world’s longest escalator. It’s not really that. It’s a system of escalators, human conveyor belts and flyovers that creates what is today called, The Travelator. When you are on it, you are generally traveling above the streets, little neighborhoods and businesses. You are elevated. You walk. You ride. But, you are not too high to see what’s going on. I used to pass by this scene every day and night for a long, long time. One day, I set up a tripod (yeah, me the anti-tripod guy) and made this picture. In many ways, it’s nothing special. It happens every night. On the other hand, I’ve never seen this picture anywhere except in my files, published with my name under it or via my representation. Sometimes the best pictures are right in front of us. We just need to open our eyes.
Hong Kong From Above. A walk to the roof of my flat got me to a position where I could make this picture. It speaks to me about the density and energy of the city. Of course, I made it sound easier to get to the roof top than it really was. First, I had to contact building management, who had to contact corporate management who had to speak to their legal counsel. When they realized that the roof has rails and places to stand, they didn’t have a problem with me being there. But, I had to go with a building security man, take an elevator to the top floor, climb up two flights of stairs, let him climb up a metal ladder to unlock the hatch and then I could go up. Sometime the hardest part of making a picture is just getting there.