We honor our workers, no matter what their work may be. However, I fear that like our military, we could be described describe as “suckers” and “losers.” After all, why work for a living when you can scam for a living?
But, that’s not what I want to talk about today.
I’d rather talk about the change of seasons that Labor Day represents. For many people when the calendar turns from Monday to Tuesday, summer is over. For them. According to the calendar, summer ends on Tuesday, September 22. For nature.
We know that during the pandemic time numbers mean nothing. Nature does.
Down here in the Deep South — there, I said it — even though the sunlight is getting lower and more golden, the temperatures really won’t start cooling down until mid-October. I suppose that means our summer lasts a month longer than many of the rest of you.
That sounds great, right?
Trust me, as the calendar gets closer to the end of this month a kind anticipation sets in. Typically, I go outside and start looking for cooler, dryer weather. After a few days of hot, humid weather, I start to grumble. After a few more days, my grumbles turn nasty. No worries. I’m a great mutterer. Nobody hears my words but me.
Ahhhhhh. Cooler air.
Our walks become dances because guess who likes cooler air too. The all-seeing cocker spaniel. We’ve been averaging about a mile a day. As it turns cooler we’ll work up to over three miles a day. She would probably try to walk three miles a day in the heat because she thinks that she’s pleasing me. I won’t let her. She’s 12 years old. You know the rest.
It’s Sunday. We all need something pretty. Making and processing the picture was straight forward. I have been using a little trick in post production to make the image tack sharp and richer in color.
However, something is going on. My smart phone is back focusing. The back detail is sharper than the front detail. It should be the other way around. If I was using a camera I would know what to do. I suppose somewhere deep down in the online instructions there may be something to help me make an adjustment.
Stay safe. Stay mighty. Enjoy your all of your barbecue.
Yesterday’s sunset was stellar. The sun was hidden by drifting clouds. And, then it wasn’t.
Right then, the Japonica (Japanese Magnolia) trees were lighted by wonderful late afternoon golden light. I was lucky. Ten minutes either way and I wouldn’t have seen this little bit of prettiness. I wouldn’t have been able to make this picture.
You make your own luck. That’s really what photographer’s luck is about. I see that as getting out of your chair and going outside. Not this time. I was outside. I saw the Japonica trees. They were in total shade. I turned around to keep walking and the light broke through. I wasn’t ready and it didn’t last. Then, the light broke through again. I was ready.
Writing this reminded me of something one of my mentors used to say about travel photography. Rather than chasing around trying to find stuff to shoot, and going to tourist sites, he’d find an interesting coffee house or a bar with a view outside. He’d sit there and wait until something interesting passed by. Then, he’d make pictures.
Sounds strange, yes?
I think he’d have some idea of what he was doing, being both a Magnum and a National Geographic photographer.
Try it. You might make the pictures of your dreams.
Bright yellow and deep greens along with some unknown flower.
Debra, a blogging buddy, asked if i could post a picture when the little yellow pods turned into something. They only took a few days, but here they are. Pretty little wildflowers.
I thought that they were growing out of some Elephant Ears. They aren’t. They are growing very near to them. I learned that by finding some of them growing in the grass by themselves. They weren’t all that colorful and healthy. I think that is because the ones in the picture grew recently turned soil that was mixed with fertilizer.
Partial mystery solved. It’s partial because I still have no idea what they are called. I’ve also stopped called wildflowers by their negative name. Weeds. These are not weeds. They are wildflowers.
The so-called hump day of the business week. That is if you work five days a week in something like a 9 to 5 job.
I don’t know anybody like that. I was working into the late night after taking a mid-day break. A short one. Same kind of day, today. It doesn’t stop. Sure. There are times when I don’t work as much. You know. Ebb and flow. The calendar might set my schedule, but the clock doesn’t.
How about you? How do you work? When? For how long?
This picture is yours. It’s a simple picture. I turned it into a watercolor painting. Almost. It’s peaceful. Quiet. A positive image.
Before the big giant red wolf moon. And whatever else.
This picture is representative of what our skies looked like down here in the swamp. Something, huh? I made it during a break in the big football game. That’s all I’m saying about it, except to say that Stephen Colbert lead with it on his show. He continued to use the video of the illegal hit whenever he talked about incompetence. And, he doesn’t really follow sports.
That said, I saw a lot of red moon pictures on various social media. Aside from taking a picture of the red moon, the picture that I liked the best was a picture of a piece of pepperoni stuck on a window. It was funny. It made a point.
Taking pictures of any moon may satisfy your need to document it, but there is no context. It’s just a red thing in the sky, no matter how sharp you make it.
Contest is important. Seriously, the best pictures of the moon to my way of thinking, is one that has something that you can relate to. For instance, I saw a picture made from a cliff. The city lights were below and a person was in the foreground. That said a lot to me. I saw a couple of others that were that were about the same. I knew that in New Orleans I didn’t have a great view from wherever I worked, so I made the best picture I could much earlier in the moon rise.
That’s kind of the big take away. Make the best picture you can within what natural limitations occur. In my case, I really have to figure out how far to walk without feeling too much pain. When I do, I stop and take a break. Maybe, it’s for coffee. Maybe, I just sort of hang out and wait for a picture to appear in front of me. Usually, after a few minutes of sitting I’m good to go for a good while. Then I stop again if I need to. That’s for me. Most of you don’t have my photographer’s condition. I’m pretty sure my work in the old days, when we always carried too much stuff, is a big cause for what I feel today. I often quote Neil Young who said, “The things that make you are will kill you in the end.” He’s right. At least for me.
Speaking of Neil Young, a friend of mine mentioned in an email that I didn’t mention the passing of his ex-wife, Pegi, on Storyteller. My feelings are a little private, as are most of the people in this house. Let’s just say this. Pegi was like an aunt or other mom to many people who worked with her. Not only was she a good musician working in her husband’s shadow for 37 years, but she founded the Bridge School for severely learning impaired children. She and Neil founded the Bridge School Benefit concerts that ran for around 30 years. Neil has a big Rolodex from which he invited musicians who he wanted to hear play. It was considered a huge honor to be on that stage. Musicians, played acoustically and they turned around from the audience from time to time to play to the school’s children who sat just backstage facing the crowd. Some of those shows were hair-raising. David Bowie turned around to the kids and played, “Heroes.” Buffalo Springfield reunited there. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young reunited there at a time much like today, when everybody thought that they’d never play together. Neil chased Norah Jones around the stage trying to get her to play guitar around his guitar.
I told you. We have a second growing season down here in the swamp.
I found this scene on a walk. A long walk since we weren’t dodging raindrops.
I’d say this is a good exercise in seeing, but how could I miss? The flowers were calling to me from thirty yards away. The only thing that I had to do was frame them in a way that made sense to me, and hopefully, to you. I wanted them reaching for the light and the sky.
I think the picture works.
The picture makes me smile, or laugh. Speaking of laughter… oh, never mind. I just hope the world was laughing at him, not the country. We still matter.
I found a flower. A tiny translucent thing. I’ve seen them before. When they are a little older. They are pale yellow. This one is young. You can see through its petals. It is such a gentle thing that I was afraid to get too near.
Enjoy it as it is. I’m certain that if someone doesn’t pick it, it won’t look quite like it did when I made the picture. And, that’s one of the best things about photography. We stop time. As it was. For a millisecond.
I’ve been thinking about two other things.
I think that I’ve been going too far in post production. Unless I am truly making a piece of art that is beyond the real world as I saw it, I’m stretching things out too much. I’m a photographer. Not a painter.
Tom Wolfe. Where are the words from all the writers who read Storyteller? I’m guessing that many of you are youngish, you’ve never read him. You should. Most of you fancy yourselves to be rule breakers. He broke them all. His writing style was hmm, sort of flamboyant, But, his words brought you there. He immersed himself in his subject, not by doing some googling research, but by being there. Oh wait. That’s a title by Jerzy Kosinski. Have you read that?
I was taught that in order to write, you have to read. And, read widely. Not just from your favorite genre. I was also taught that in order for your work to be read it had to be original. It had to break new ground in both plot and writing.
I know these things to be true. And, I’m a lowly photographer. The guy who works in an art that anybody can do. Writing is different. It’s hard. You must live it. Really live it.
It goes like this, “When you walk down the street, keep a big smile on your face and you’ll be amazed at how many people will ask you what the hell is so funny.”
Humor. It’s a great thing.
I’d go there today. But, I need a little quiet time.
Besides, I have to respond to an old friend, who wants to turn Vampy into a woman and make her part of the secret service, move her to Washington D.C.. He wants her to bite the Klown who is Korrupting the Kountry. Sheesh. Crowd sourcing. By the way, did you see what I did there? Heh.
The picture was simply made. Stick the lens almost into the hanging flowers. Fuchsias. And fire away.