Time fades away.

W

hat remains.

This is one of our storm ravaged trees. Branches are broken, but new leaves are sprouting up like today was spring and not fall.

I’m not sure in what form the recovery will take, but at least nature is doing her work. All nature really wants is stasis. One way or another, this tree will be dealt with.

Okay. Enough of that.

Let’s talk about technological dependence. Let’s talk about Monday. Let’s talk about Facebook and all it’s secondary companies. They crashed. There was a DNS problem.

We think.

Facebook executives lie about everything. Here’s one now. They claimed service was down for five hours. Oh really?

I was looking for a post so I went directly to Facebook at 7:30am. It was down, at least for any new posting. You could still read whatever was posted before the system came down. You couldn’t reply.

I didn’t have service until around 5pm. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s 9 1/2 hours. Of course, that’s in New Orleans where time moves at a different pace. They say that we are 50 years behind. So, there’s that.

Anyway.

The New York Times published a story about what this really means. Facebook claims a membership of 2.6 billion users. Most just use it like many of us do. Mostly we talk amongst ourselves.

However, about half of that total use it to conduct business, to communicate within companies, to sell stuff, to publish newspapers and — in some countries — it is the prime method of communication.

That’s all great. But, in another story, the Times says that Facebook is weaker than we think and that it is already showing cracks.

There are those who talk about regulatory measures. That’s good. It’s a good idea. Let’s take it a few steps further.

What if Facebook is turned into a utility like electric companies and phone companies? What if the entire internet is declared a utility?

I know, I know. That could take the freedom of the internet away.

That’s been done about a decade ago.

There are only three — or four — big players; Amazon, Facebook, Google and some people say Apple.

There’s no privacy. I could post something on Instagram and see ads for something related on Google. That implies there is no freedom.

It seems simple enough to me. It could be done. It won’t be.

T

his picture needed something a little different. At least, I think it did.

I made it monochrome. It seemed a little bleaker that way.

It still wasn’t done. I tinkered. I added extra bokeh using OnOne.

I messed around with the basic color because I thought I made it too bleak.

So, this is the finished picture.

Let’s jump back to the other side for a minute. I realized I wasn’t done with it yet.

I concluded that any kind of regulation or reclassification of the internet and its most dominant sites wouldn’t happen.

It’s not because of a lack of political will. There may be. Or, not. I don’t know.

The real issue is that the people conducting hearings — mostly the Senate — have no clue what to ask or how to follow up because they don’t understand the digital world at all.

You’d think that after the last two decades of digital growth they’d take some time to get familiar with these things.

But, noooo.

They are busy doing something else; obstructing everything, trying to tear down the good things about government and taking money from certain rich players. You know, bribes. There I said it.

The very least they could do is ask their younger staffers to explain the questions they are about to ask on the floor or in committee so they wouldn’t look like idiots.

But — once again — noooo.


The greenies.

T

here’s a lot of reckoning and taking journeys through the past going on this house.

We did a lot during the first lockdown. We stared to raise our heads and — BLAMMO — Delta-x and my own issues locked us down again.

This time, it’s deep diving into past. I’ll think about my oldest archives and just laugh. Twenty-five years of shooting black and white film isn’t the easiest thing to organize.

The rest is easier because the slides were edited by Hurricane Katrina. I recently found a slide page that I thought I could save. I removed a slide and the smell came wafting out even though it’s been 16 years. It’s a smell that you’ll never forget.

Luckily, my best work was scanned and traveled with us when we evacuated. These days, my best work is in a cloud. Know the password and it’s with you wherever you are.

The rest of my archive are digital files. They are already organized by date, subject and location. The reason to work through is to find the lost gems and to compress the archive by removing all of the out takes.

Some photographers use the Monica Lewinski – Bill Clinton event as a reason to keep everything you shoot because you never know. One photographer found one negative after hours of looking. That hasn’t been repeated that I know of, except by me, when a video producer need pictures of a murder in the New River Valley of Virginia.

There are two other paths we are taking. I’ll tell you about them tomorrow if I remember. Trust me. I might not remember.

Who I am I, again?

T

echnique? Ha!

See it. Push the button a couple of times. Develop it. Edit it.

Done.

I suppose you can see that the picture is about new leaves growing in a place where they normally wouldn’t except you never know.

Those little green leaves could turn into branches.

If.

The birds and squirrels leave them alone.

But, this reshuffling of old pictures is getting — shall we say — old.

I might actually go outside and wander around. It’s time.

Time to pull up my pants and get to work.


Asit shall be.

T

here is a lot of talk about water, especially in the West. Climate change is creating havoc, not only with heat, but with fire and the use of water.

In New Mexico the famous acequia system that provides water to farms has all but dried up.

In California farmers are deciding which crops to grow and what livestock to raise because they have no water.

In Nevada, the water that is backed up into Lake Mead at the Hoover Dam is as low as its been since it was originally filled. In the 1930s.

Meanwhile, the fire in Oregon has turned the skies of New York City gray. The pictures look great with a big bright orange sun up against a deep grey sky. But, pictures can be deceiving. How is that hurting the people of the city?

There are wildfires all over the west.

if we want, we can return to the heat. This’ll make you hot.

The West Coast was broiling a couple of weeks ago. In Death Valley, the highest temperature ever — 135*/F — was recorded one day. In Las Vegas, which is hot enough on a summer day, temperatures of 116* were recorded at 10 am.

If you can’t tell, this stuff is scaring me.

In Louisiana things seem to be normal. If anything, we are having a coolish summer with lots of rain. Of course, the minute I write that, the temperature will rise by ten degrees and the humidity will climb to numbers unknown.

If we don’t want to put our children in hell, we’ve got to get on this.

Now.

Droplets.

T

echniques and stuff. See it, photograph it, develop it, publish it.

There. Now wasn’t that helpful?

Truthfully, I made this in New Mexico, during a spring thaw.

I photographed it with a huge aperture, probably F 2 or so. That’s why there is such a tiny depth of field.

That’s all you need to know.

The rest of this side is about me. It’s about nostalgia. The pictures I’ve been publishing are of my past.

I’m not motivated to make much new work. You know why.

But, I am very nostalgic. I think I’m seeing the past fairly clearly.

This may be time to add to my pile of work.

Over the past few years some people are saying… Wait a minute. That sounds strangely like the words of the president who shall not be named.

Some of my friends have suggested that I write a book. My response has been fairly standard. “I have nothing to say.”

I’m thinking as this stuff rolls around in my head that maybe I could do it. Maybe it’s about me and what I’ve learned along the way. Maybe, you read about me. But you expand it to you, or something more general.

After all, that how most movies are made. Focus on a particular subject as a symbol for something greater.

O

h yeah. The picture to the right. More water. It was made in southeastern Louisiana. I added it because it was there.


Looking for something.

N

ew work. It’s been a little while. I took myself for a walk. I went to a little park that has benches, sat down and took some time for myself.

The bench that I sat was our favorite bench. It belonged to the all seeing dog, Sophie Rose. I don’t know what it did for my recovery process, but I started seeing the little things.

So, I made these pictures and a few more. Then, I went to the doctor. No worries, it was just a wellness check. I passed with semi-flying colors.

When I returned, I made more pictures. Just because. Because I believe in a little routine and doing something photographic every single day. That’s how you get better. That’s how you get good.

I haven’t been doing that lately. It shows.

I’ve been reading about photography as a healing an recovery tool. If for no other reason those of you who are photographers should make pictures, or do something photographic every day.

Do you?

T

here is really nothing to these pictures. They are simple. They are about trees. They are about nature. They are about rebirth.

Rebirth is important to me right now.

There is a little post production going on in both pictures that are very different processes.

The top image is light, sunny and playful. The bottom image is darker, more moody.

Of course nature helped a lot. Light comes and goes and comes back again especially in the summer.

Nature helped my creative process.

One day.


On a summer day.

T

echnology is never my friend. We’ve long had an Audible account. I thought I might like to listen to a book while I work.

After all, podcasts and a book being read is about the same thing. Along comes Apple. Between their normally high rate of paranoia and the slowness of their server I’m almost done working on the computer.

Gee, thanks a lot Apple.

I suppose for me, technology is disappointing. It’s always oversold. It doesn’t deliver what the provider said that it would.

WordPress is a case in point. I write something complaining about it and I receive replies either in the comments or in email about how much the block system sucks. I’ve managed to make it work for me, but this blog is simply designed.

Every time they make a change I start looking at alternatives.

Back to Apple. Okay, now Audible is downloaded and ready to go, except…

Apple wants me to subscribe. I already subscribe. There is absolutely no place to enter my credentials without paying for a new subscription. Here’s another app that is going bye-bye.

Oh, the picture. I’ll discuss it on the other side since their is almost no technical issues.

A

s I wrote on the other side, there is no technology to discuss.

I will say that for the first time ever, my photograph didn’t need any kind of help in post production.

Now, here’s the interesting thing. Amazon found it along with a small section from the take in which I made the image.

For the life of me, I cannot remember where or when I made the picture.

It must be age.

I always remember my pictures, and probably yours. I have a very good visual memory.

Oh. I still wanted to listen to a book. So, I clicked on the app on my phone. I’m listening to a Stephen King book.


Sugar magnolia blossoms blooming.

Magnolias. I love them. They are big, bold, white and fragile. I suppose a lot of spring flowers are fragile. All of the pinks, magentas and purples are done for now.

Aside from their obvious beauty, I suppose I like flowers because like life itself, flowers are passing, somewhat fragile and shine for a while.

You think I’m going to write about life don’t you?

I’m not. I have nothing to say about life. In fact, I’ve come to one of those times when I’ll have to let my photographs do the talking because I have nothing to say.

I guess yesterday’s battles wore me out. Musical Miss and I went around and around about the inner workings of the music business as it relates to touring and playing live. A project may have been compromised. And, after thinking about it, I’m not sure that I can complete three books on deadline. On any deadline.

Those books, there’s at least a year’s worth of work on each of them.

Between both careers, I could be booked for the next five or six years. A few year ago that would have been great, but that will just about account for the rest of my working life. I’m not Joe Biden. I don’t want to work in one of the world’s hardest jobs until I’m in my mid-eighties.

I guess I had something to say.

Sometimes I wish that I was a more complicated photographer. I’d have something to write about on this side of the page.

But, alas, I’m a simple photographer. Even when I did something like I did yesterday, it’s nothing compare to what really good Photoshop drivers can do.

I do what I do because I don’t have the patience to do the little fiddly things that you must do in a studio, either in the real world or on the computer.

I liken myself to a Zen photographer. I like to clear my head of distracting noise and just react to whatever is around me.

That’s how this photograph was made. I saw it. I pointed. I pressed the button. I was done. Even post production was a matter of doing a couple small things.

That’s me. That’s how I am.


Almost like summer.

The long way home, that’s what we took. Really, really, the long way home. I’m not sure we found what we were looking for, but we found other things. We found the peace that comes with sitting under big trees. We found quiet. We found comforting greens.

After the long year that we all had, I’m happier finding these things than I am for finding a favorite restaurant is open or knowing that live music is coming back.

Those things matter, but in order to enjoy them you’d better be fairly whole emotionally and physically. Luckily, throughout the lockdown we did walk the dogs. Granted, they were exactly speed walking but we were walking.

We also ate fairly well. There wasn’t much eating of junk, nor did we eat easily accessible fast food. We actually cooked at home. We do normally, but we made a point of it.

That point was driven home today, when I saw a photographer whom I don’t know all that well walking ahead of us. From behind, it looked like there were two and a half of him. I’m not being mean. It’s just what I saw.

So, now that hope is back and some people think we are turning the corner we probably should take care of what we didn’t do while we were sitting around.

More importantly, we shouldn’t be stupid. Now that the CDC finally said that six feet really wasn’t enough and that the virus lingers in the air inside or out, we probably should take a few precautions.

Yes. I know that most of us who have been vaccinated probably stand a very good chance of not catching the virus. And, if we do it will likely be a mild case. But, what about those who for some reason or another — about 70% of the population currently — come in contact with us? Was if we pass it to them and make them deathly ill?

How would you feel knowing you accidentally did that?

Give me the greens of summer sang Paul Simon. It’s still spring, but close enough.

I like the way greens look in spring or in early summer. Down in Southeastern Louisiana, by mid-August the greens look washed out. By September they are limp. That lasts until fall which starts late.

So, pictures like this delight me. They are magic, not taking away from someone in this house who thinks music is magic.

Making this picture was easy but…

You really need back lighting to make it work. See all those light green leaves in the background? Without them this picture would be dark and foreboding.

I’ll leave that for Halloween.

After making the picture, a little work was needed in post production and viola, I was done.

Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Get your jabs. Use your brain. Look after each other. Enjoy all the peaceful greens.


All the spring colors.

What a storm. First the phones went off. Tornado warnings. Get under the sink or something like that. First, came the lightning. Big bolts. They lit up the entire sky. For that milli-second, you could see everything. Then the thunder started. The loudest, longest rolls of thunder I think I’ve ever heard.

Then, the rain fell.

Fall doesn’t begin to describe it. Water fell in sheets. The wind caught up and blew the sheets sideways. The yard and streets flooded in minutes. It didn’t matter wether the sewer pumps were working or not. Nothing could keep up with this.

I would have made pictures. Lord knows I like violent weather. But, I was a little busy securing things.

All of this started at about 3:50am. It lasted until well after 4:30am. When the rain started to fall lightly, we all fell back asleep.

At about 8:30 it was dog walking time.

Wow! The air was clean and clear. It was warmish, but there is no humidity to speak of. With all of that magic how could I not make pictures?

So. I did.

This is the one. The promise of a great of a great day. The magic of a huge, violent storm. The wonder of the new day.

That’s how it was.

The best pictures are about feeling, not just subject matter.

My post production was intended to do just that. Bring out what I felt.

This picture isn’t reality. It’s what I saw and felt. It’s how I’d like you to feel. Smiling. Happy. Hopeful.

My feelings are about the wonderful day ahead. The pure light. The clean air. A kind of glow in the light.

With my studio post work, I hope that you came to the same place that I did.

If you did then I succeeded.

Two more things and then I’ll move on to figuring out my printer issues.

It’s been a long time since I felt this way. At least 13 months. I have to tell you, it feels very, very good.

I found a Springtime play list on Spotify. It’s a lot of fun until…

“Hurt” by Johnny Cash started to play. I couldn’t move fast enough to scroll down.

I love Johnny Cash’s music. But, “Hurt” is performed in a way that will make you cry.

It’s about a man at the end of his life who has lost everything, even his cherished wife who died earlier that year. It’s hard to listen to even when you are in the mood for something like that.

How is that a springtime song?


I keep saying that I really should work with a real camera rather than a cellphone camera. This picture is a great example of why.

This picture needs about no depth of field to help those tall wildflowers to stand out. There’s a way to do it in the phone, but it takes along time to figure it out. Even when you do, you really can’t see what you are doing on the LCD in almost any kind of bright light.

I’m not sure why I haven’t, except to say that I seem to moving in some sort of sludge. Simple things take me days to complete. Complex things, well let’s just say I have a couple of framed prints that have been sitting on the floor for at least a year.

I read in The New York Times that this is not unusual. Many people, meaning a majority of people, are going through something similar after a year of lockdown and working from home.

I must admit to some confusion because I always work from home, or in a hotel room or something like that. I suppose for me it really means the freedom to move around the city easily. And, the freedom to travel.

I don’t know.

Here’s an example.

It took me until just before noon to have a coffee, do my stretches, lift light weights, and walk the dogs. This would normally be a two hour routine starting at about 8 am. For some reason, I’ve been sleeping an hour later, but still that shouldn’t slow the whole routine.

I don’t think it’s a result of the time change. For me, that lasts about four or five days. We are well beyond that.

Afternoons, when I really should be working a full speed, usually turns into the malaise of completing anything. If the truth be told, my afternoon’s work should take a few hours. I’ll be lucky to complete one task completely.

This has to stop.

This is not a great picture by any means. It is a teaching picture.

I wrote on the left hand side that the picture needs almost no depth of field, something like f 2 or f 2.8. That would have cause those tall wild flowers to pop out of the frame.

The color is also weird. I couldn’t get it back to where it should be. I reworked a brand new frame. Same thing. Wash, rinse and repeat.

I’m pretty sure the color fidelity would have been much better using a mirrorless or DSLR camera.

A friend of mine got into a discussion about resolution. She thinks her Nikon Z6 produces more resolution than a phone. That’s the only thing that’s not wrong with this picture.

The very fact that you can even see those tall wildflowers tells me that.

What you can do with a DSLR is focus more carefully even if you are using autofocus. And, you can see what you are doing in any kind of light.

That’s important.