Out of the black and into the blue.


om Petty said that they waiting is the hardest part. And, so it is. Most of the preparations have been done. I was about to take the trash out when I remembered not to do it. During a hurricane the trash cans get blown around and the trash gets plastered to your house. Or, your neighbors house.

Besides, a trash can launched in a 75 mph wind and becomes an unguided rocket. What goes up always comes down. Maybe through somebody’s roof. It could rip through the roof, blow through the second floor and land on granny sitting in her chair on the first floor.

That would not be good.

In case you are wondering, my humor gets blacker as the big event gets closer. Besides, it’s not yet time to get into my zone. The cold, very clear eyed one that allows me to respond calmly and not in a panicked way. If I started that process now by the time the hurricane arrived I’d fly into the air and try to stop it by myself. It’s a well known fact that I’m not Superman.

Seriously, here’s what I know.

Unless there is a radical change, Hurricane Ida should make landfall upriver from New Orleans, near Baton Rouge, 75 miles away sometime tonight. That may seem like it’s far enough away to not hurt us. That would be wrong. Hurt us it will because we lie within the cone of uncertainty. Landfall can shift anywhere along that cone. Or, the entire cone can move.

Even if it doesn’t, we will get very strong winds, rain and a big storm surge.

Here are the numbers.

Wind gusts. 50-75 mph over the windspeed.

Storm surge. 12 – 15 feet above normal.

Rain. 12 – 15 inches above normal.

The house is armored for storms. That’s how it was built in 1854 when whole parts of town used to get blown away. Once we close the storm shutters we are safe. The biggest fear is loss of power and cellphone service, which also means loss of the internet.

We can deal with loss of power, partially with the hardwired generator and battery system. It only powers the kitchen and not all of that. We also have one of those little in room air conditioners. It’s useless in a big room, but works fine in the kitchen.

That’s all well and good if we have a few power lines down, but Hurricane Katrina knocked down whole power grids. It look weeks for power to be restored. It’ll get awfully old living like a refugee. No disrespect to our Afghan friends.

We cannot do anything about the loss of cellphone and internet service. I recall that after Katrina, we were able to get service after the telco rerouted us through some unaffected region. I don’t know if that’s possible today.

So, this might be it from me for a while.

Have good thought for all of us in Southeastern Louisiana.

The end came quickly.

The end.

The end came quickly. I made this picture yesterday evening. By this morning the leaves fell to the ground or they faded dramatically.

There’s a good lesson in nature’s teachings.

When you see a chance you take it. When a door opens walk through it. When I window opens dive out of it. The old saying of “he who hesitates is lost,” certainly applies. This a lesson that everybody should listen to, and pay attention. I’m as guilty as the next guy of not doing things when they are presented to me.

How do I overcome that? Maybe you too.

When an opportunity appears, don’t think about it. Don’t weigh the pros and cons. Just do it. If the opportunity stops glowing as you work through the process you can always back out. Just don’t sign any contracts until pretty much everything is in place and you like it. If you must walk away, no harm no foul.  Don’t make a habit of it because the most precious commodity you have is time. You know the rest.

The picture. It really is the last fall picture. My comments above stand. The fall colors are muted. Yes, that’s how quickly that can happen. That’s why it’s hard for me to travel to photograph fall in another location. Arrive too early and you sit waiting for peak color. Get there late, and you’d better find something else to photograph.

Looking forward.

I know what I said. I meant it.

But, it seems that I kind of like posting here. After six years of doing it daily, its workflow fits nicely into my daily workflow.  That said, I’m still moving into my planned direction. It does not appear that I can link Storyteller directly to LaaskowitzPictures. But, I can still send you emails and links to my social media.

All good.

Also http://www.laskowitzpictures.com is up and running. But, before you go there, let me just say that it’s rough. Many pictures need to be resized. My contact page is still lacking my client and gallery list. I am still reviewing my files because I know some signature pictures are missing. And, my lead picture is cropped at the head. More adjusting. Always adjusting.

Oh. And projects. That’s a placeholder picture. It’s not mine. I have no idea what kind of project that I want to do for 2018. I’m all ears.

One of the best things about the basic look is that it’s designed to be scrolled, which is how a large group of users will see them… on their portable devices.

I still have some business decisions to make. I can upgrade a little more and add direct sales, another email and all kinds of professional accounting tools. That would mean a lot of extra work on my end. I’d have to build full stock libraries and all the background work that it implies. That would mean converting most of my business to here from my various agencies.

It will also give me a new email address using Google. Oddly, since I already use it, I cannot transfer it to the new website. I can have a new address. But, what would be the point of that? Ray@Laskowitzpictures.com has been around for 20 years.

Ah. Decisions. Choices.

The picture. In our ten minutes of semi-sun I saw it. A compression shot. A picture where the branches are so stacked up that they look like a very dense forest. Trust me. A picture can lie. It’s not so dense. And, it’s not really a forest. It’s just two rows of trees on the curb.


Even in Central City there is evidence of fall weather.
Even in Central City there is evidence of fall weather.

It’s a little different in the cement filled neighborhoods in which I often work. Even though it’s the more seedy side of life upon which I tend to focus in these particular neighborhoods, there are little bits of color here and there… especially in the fall, which arrives a lot later in the year down here in Southeast Louisiana. That’s wonderful. I live in a place where “everything grows,” as my old Creole neighbor told me when I asked what vegetables to plant. And, we have two growing seasons. One in spring, like normal. And, one in October when the temperatures drop a little.

Anyway. These leaves were likely green a week or two ago. Now, they are turning colors. A little. We’d have better fall color if we had colder weather earlier in the year. But, we don’t. We couldn’t have two growing seasons if we had cold weather.

I made this picture in Hollygrove or Leonidas, or wherever I really was at the time. I get confused at some of our neighborhood boundaries. It’s not all on me. New Orleans’ neighborhood boundaries are pretty organic and some names change with the passing of generations.

So. For those of you who are new to Storyteller as of last night, welcome. Thank you, Lesley Carter. Don’t worry if these pictures aren’t quite your cup of tea. My more long-term readers know that I’m in the middle of a very long form project about the rebirth of certain New Orleans neighborhoods following the storm. That’s what local folk call Hurricane Katrina. The neighborhood is mostly Central City, which is one of the poorest areas in New Orleans. It is one neighborhood that you did not see on CNN as you watched an American city flood and be turned into something you never thought could happen in The United States. The good news is that we are coming back. Maybe better than ever. But, there is still a lot to do.

I will eventually get back to my more normal bright and energetic color. If you’d like to see more of my more “usual” work please poke around in my archives. Hopefully, you’ll see pictures that you like.