Art is where you find it. Sometimes what you find may not look like art until you open your mind and let your imagination out.

Seeing and using your talents and mind isn’t always that easy. Sometimes you have to throw a little science in there too. And, luck. Luck always plays a big part if you work like I do.

That brings me to, er, luck. They say that you make your own luck. I believe that to be true. Chance favors a prepared mine, or something like that.

Here’s how luck works.

You learn. You study. You always read. You practice. You make pictures, both good and bad. After about 10,000 pictures you are almost ready.

In order to be ready you must walk outside whether you want to or not and look around.

You’ll make photographs. Probably some pretty good ones. All that you did to prepare will bring you to this place. You’ll see. Really see. You’ll see pictures in the most banal of scenes. You’ll understand how to make them into something else. Your imagination will grow into your vision.

You’ll see.

Parking lots. You wouldn’t think there would be pictures on concrete or asphalt.

There are.

You just have to let your imagination loose and be prepared.

Being prepared brings you luck. That’s how I found the scene.

I framed it snd pressed the button.

I worked on it in development and editing. Once again, this is more about what I took out than what I added. If you remove some of the haze, the colors pop.

That’s what I did.

Stay safe. Be strong. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Look after each other. Use your imagination.


After the storm. If you’re lucky you get a rainbow.

Sometimes,

You get lucky. You get to see the rainbow after the storm.You get to see nature being friendly rather than allowing us to get sick and die. That’s what this picture is about. Hope. You know me. You can’t eat hope. If you have hope right now, you’d better go to work.

Hope, unfortunately, is withering on the vine. I read a story in The New York Times about our new future. It’s grim. The virus is forever. There will be ebbs and flows depending on what we open and what we don’t. I fear sort the sports and entertainment industries. Fans going to a venue wil be in a petri dish. Maybe some get sick. Maybe some won’t.

We are in the digital age, so maybe some of these events can be done online. While some people might recoup some funds, that’s not what live events are about. It doesn’t account for what they really about. Excitment. Energy. Fan interaction. Instead there will 300 or 400 people in a stadium designed for 50,000 people.

Okay. That stuff isn’t important.

Non-essential businesses are important. How are they going to be staffed? How are they going to be regulated from a health standpoint? How do staffers interact with the public? These questions, and more, are yet to be answered.

You can’t rush this stuff. You can’t set a deadline. You can’t rush nature. Nature moves in her own good time. This new normal is forever. Oh sure, it will be modified as we learn. I’m sure that there will be V. 1.0, V1.5, V. 2.0, and so on. Maybe in 70 years things will settle down. After all, that’s how long it to the Spanish Flu to eventually morph in H1N1, the seasonal flu that rolls around in the fall.

Stay safe. Enjoy every sandwich.


Child 1
A child’s view.

Sometimes a walk is just the thing that you need.

Children need more than that. They need to be outdoors. They need fresh air. They need to play. They need to learn.

We are locked down. Most people thought they would live, work and play in the digital world. Sure, that’s occured. The use of Zoom shows us that potential. But, people have returned to old school pleasures. People are playing board games. They are actually talking to each other rather than looking at an itty bitty screen.

And, Children. When they are outside and keeping their distance, they are playing games with which I grew up. A big one is hopscotch. I’ve seen pictures of this around my social media feeds. I hadn’t come across one in real life. Until I did.

If this is part of the future — the better future — I’m good with it. No. Make that, I’m very happy with it.

The picture. See it. Photograph it. Develop it. Share it. The blue color comes from the deep shade in which I walked through. It looks blue on film or with a digital capture. Some hate it and do everything they can to make a “clean” image. I figure why fight it and do what I can to enhance it.

Stay safe. Care for others. Care for yourself. Keep your distance. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Play, play, play. Enjoy every bit of Chinese food.

Child 2
I’ll paint rainbows all over your blues.


At day’s end.

After a long hard week, this is what I saw as daylight came to an end on Friday. I don’t think it could get any better for me unless I was in the French Quarter. The picture contains two things that are close to my heart. Rainbows and trains. On some days, it doesn’t get any better.

I did help this picture some.

The light meter looked at that dark cloud and made its version of the image way too light. I darkened it, helped the colors a little bit and added a little twist that would bring the picture more in line with the work that I’ve been doing lately. But, not much. You don’t need to tinker with Mother Nature when she lays a rainbow on you.

That’s it for today.


Falling down in Holy Cross.
Falling down in Holy Cross.

Long term readers of ┬áStoryteller know this place. It’s on the far downriver side of Holy Cross. You’ve been inside. This was the place with green wooden walls and the old American flag on the wall. Remember? I’m a creature of habit so I decided to cruise by and see if anything changed. It did. The flag was torn off the wall and tossed in a pile on the floor. You can’t do that to an American Flag, So I, er, liberated it. You didn’t read that here.

So.

For those of you who are new to this blog, here’s a quick bit of background. We had a big hurricane. Katrina. You know that. But, sometimes people who aren’t from New Orleans sort of forget. That’s natural. Bad things happen on a daily basis sometimes. Many of you watched in amazement as the city flooded. CNN was good for covering that. It’s likely that you saw the Lower Ninth Ward pretty much be wiped off the map. You probably didn’t see the neighborhood closer to the Mississippi River in any of that coverage. It flooded. But the water didn’t rush in as it did next to the Industrial Canal. Homes were destroyed. Lives were changed. But the area was recoverable. That area is on the river side of St. Claude Avenue. It is called Holy Cross. It is named after a Catholic church and school. It’s a very different kind of New Orleans. As you get closer to the river and the levee, the neighborhood almost has a country feel. And, a lot of it has been restored. New people have repopulated the area. There is a pretty nice vibe in the neighborhood. But, as you travel more downriver, things aren’t so good. There are still a lot of abandoned and boarded up buildings and houses.

This is one of them. A few months ago I stopped here and went inside. That’s what I’m referring to when I talk about the American flag. At the time, it was hung on the wall. This time, the low winter light got the better of me. I worked from the outside, in. This is the result. Oh, the rainbow? Photographer’s trick. If you stop down your f-stop as small as you can and shoot directly into bright light, like the sun, this is what you get.

Those brick buildings that look so nice? Jackson Barracks. It as a Louisiana National Guard installation that sits squarely on the border of Orleans and St. Bernard Parishes. It took on a lot of water during the storm. I think around fifteen feet. But, it is a necessary base, so a lot of money was poured into it after the water was drained out of it. I’m not sure why. It’s active. But, not very busy. But, the old military collections have been restored as of a few months ago. That’s fun to look at. You can see a tank. A cannon. A Huey helicopter. And other stuff.