First. In the interest of transparency, that title is an old song title, written by Hazel Dickens and popularized by the late Jerry Garcia. That’s a digression. I’m trying to think…
I’ve been working on a project in the Central City of New Orleans. It’s taking a lot of my free time. At one point I traveled many miles to get back for an event that is somewhat important to the collection of pictures. Every now and then I find a picture that sort of fits in the group of pictures, but can stand alone as a sort of kind of art. This is one of those pictures. The funny thing about this one is that I did a lot of post production using Snapseed. But, it came out looking about the same as it did when I started. I guess my first instinct was the best one. I should know that by now. That’s usually what happens.
So the title? And how does it tie to the picture? Central City is old and, sort of, in the way. It’s crime ridden. Only one in seven structures is habitable. Parts of it flooded during Hurricane Katrina and those areas still haven’t been rebuilt. But, after that storm many people learned two things. It is the only affordable land left in the city that is not below sea level. How affordable? You can probably buy a run down house for around US$20,000-40,000. By contrast, that same house in the Uptown area near the park would cost you about US$250,000. It would still cost about the same amount of money to restore it, but buying in is so much less expensive.
On the other hand, you can walk to The Superdome in about ten minutes. That puts you within minutes of the business district. So. The movers and shakers and the powers that be — you know, “them” — are making a big push to redevelop Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard. They think that if they put money into what was a business and one time shopping district in the area, the money will trickle down to the people who actually have lived there for most of their lives. But, we all know how that works, eh?
This is the last of my post-Hurricane Isaac pictures. It was made downriver in Holy Cross, which as a may have mentioned, is a sub-district of the 9th ward. Seen from this angle, the post-storm clouds don’t look quite so menacing. Again, all post production was done on my i-Pad using Snapseed. I think that phase is getting too easy. It confuses people.
While I was doing my post-storm drive by, I happened upon this cemetery in Uptown, New Orleans. I want to show the scene, but the clouds were the most important thing in my mind. So, this is what I did. I more-or-less placed the subject — the cemetery and the house behind it in the bottom third of the pictures, with the clouds being in the dominating two-thirds of the image. Ah. That wacky rule of thirds. Sometimes simple arithmetic is best. Oh yeah, post production was done on my i-Pad using Snapseed.
So. I ran out of batteries on my “real” cameras. Yeah, Yeah. My bad. But, I was having fun. So, I resorted to my backup’s backup and turned to my i-Phone. Even though I make pictures with it often, there is something about shooting with it that makes me feel like I’m not doing a very good job. I guess that comes from my feeling that i-Phones are something akin to a painter’s sketches in his notebook or journal. I know that isn’t true. There are also sorts of i-Phoneography galleries and books being made. Sheesh. I know that. But, for me, I guess I don’t take it all that seriously. I should. The latest i-Phones have an 8 mp sensor which is far larger than many DSLRS sported a few years ago. It uses a Zeiss lens. Can’t get much better than that unless you are talking Leitz. And, yet…
This picture is sort of digital ephemera. I made it with my i-Phone. It automatically appeared on my camera roll on both my i-Phone and i-Pad. I did my post production on my i-Pad (bigger picture) using Snapseed, which is NIK software in sheep’s clothing, and uploaded it to here. This picture exists in no other form. I hasn’t been printed. It hasn’t been stored anywhere. It just is.
I wasn’t going to post this picture based on some of the response to yesterday’s picture. But, I like this picture. A lot. It’s not exactly fashion. It’s not exactly a portrait. It’s just a picture that captures the movement. I like the energy. And, I like the spontaneity. The model is a young teenager of 14 called, Layla. She and her mom want to break her into modeling. It’s a simple picture that was made in a loft-like building with great light so almost no lighting help was needed. Post production was minimal. But, I did use on an OnOne plug-in that allowed me to help the picture glow a little.
I photographed a young model about a week ago. The semi-selects are good. And, what you’d expect. But, I always like pictures that get beyond the norm or at least give the viewer some idea of what happens backstage or off the set. This picture was made while the model was getting made up.
So what did I do? From the start, I intentionally used a slower shutter speed to give it a little movement which in my mind made it feel more real. The yellow light is from the location. With that in mind, I didn’t do much post production to correct image flaws. But, I did add a lot to enhance the image to bring it more in line with my vision. I added a slightly grungy feel and I added a Polaroid-like frame. This gave the picture sort of an old school effect.
Yes. It’s August in Southeaster Louisiana. That means lots of rain storms. Lots of heavy rain coming out of nowhere. And, once in a while, a tropical storm or –worse — the threat of a hurricane. And, sometimes… oh, never mind. Katrina is history. That said, I have long believed that pictures are everywhere. You just have to let them come to you. In effort to provide full disclosure, that’s not an original thought and I just wrote those very same words in an email to a friend of mine. Okay?
So. I was stick in traffic. In a rain storm. Since traffic was stop and start and I always have a camera with me, I did the only thing I could do. I took a picture. Yeah, yeah. There’s a lot of post production going on here. It’s more complicated than normal since I even though I made the exposure on a regular camera, not my i-Phone, I imported it into my i-Pad and used Snapseed to do the improvements and modifications. Snapseed, by the way, is a Nik product. It is my go to software when I work using my i-Pad. I like working on my i-Pad because I can lay around, watch a bad movie on the tube and work at the same time. That’s on guilty pleasure. There’s more. There are lots of other photo enhancing plug-ins out there. I’ve tested a lot of them. But, this for my work, is the most elegant.
It must be my mood. I like this picture. A lot. I don’t know why. It was made in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is located at the most far western end of Central Avenue, which means it is also where the Albuquerque’s section of old Route 66 comes to an end. This was one of those combination gas station-restaurant-grocery stores. I have no idea whether it was abandoned first and then burned, or the other way around. But, this is what it looked like when I got to it.
Yes. I’ve done some things to this picture to help you see what I felt. The workflow is a little complicated. I made the exposure with a Nikon, I uploaded it to my i-Pad and did the post production in Snapseed which is a Nik product. Then I sent it back to my main computer. As I wrote, I like the picture. I’d love to know what you think.
Testing. Testing. Testing. A new camera. A very little new camera. A camera without a mirror.
When a camera doesn’t use a mirror it doesn’t need a pentaprism, which allows it to be about the size of a deck of playing cards. But, it has the sensor of a DSLR, which means I can use it about like I would a bigger camera. This camera doesn’t appear to have a real downside except that if I were shooting sports or very hard news, it is a little slow. What is this thing? It’s a Sony NEX5N. In case you are wondering Sony makes the sensors for Nikon and Canon and a few other camera manufacturers, which means it is pretty much the industry standard.
Now. The picture? Just a little street musicianship, photographed at night, spun and post-produced my way. In many ways, the whole thingswas an experiment.