Looking at the sky.

Look up.

Sometimes, that’s where the picture lies. I did that the other night at around dusk. I was housebound and I need to get outside for a few minutes. I made the picture about ten steps from the door.

Is there a lesson in there someplace? Nah. I’ve preached enough about going outside when you are in a photographer’s block. You don’t need to read it again. Oh wait. You already did just read it. No matter. If  you’re like me, a little brain pounding is needed. If not, sorry.

I’m going to post another reworked picture tomorrow. It’s about something that is seen yearly in the French Quarter. I was going to write something about not having to work the scene again because it’s always the same. While I was thinking that, an idea came to me. It’s an early evening shot, so I’ll go very soon to see if it works. At least, my brain is starting to work.

It hasn’t been working for most of the week. But, that’s another story, for another time. I’ll eventually discuss it, but not now.

The picture. It’s a kind of F8 and be there thing. But first, you have to find the framing.The picture is cropped into a square because I didn’t exactly find the right frame. I cropped it into the right frame. And, that little dot way up there? That’s the moon.

Enjoy.


I found some colorful leaves.

Just when I thought I was out, I was pulled back in.

Actually, I went looking for these leaves. They are still hanging around on trees called Japanese Maples. They turn fall colors later in the season. And, the color lasts longer once the leaves do start to change.

I knew where I thought I saw them. I just haven’t walked in that direction in the past month or so, I headed there hoping against hope that I hadn’t missed them. I was lucky — that old photographers luck thing again  — and they were as I expected them to be. Whew.

I made all kinds of pictures of them. I processed a lot of them which is unusual for me. I couldn’t find quite what I wanted until I saw this image. It looks like an explosion of color so I made it look even more explosive. That’s what you are seeing here.

I’d like to say that there is a lesson here. Maybe one of persistence. But, I wasn’t very persistent. Instead, it’s more-or-less how my mind works. Some vision clicks in and I try to find it in real life.

Maybe the best lesson for me is not to self edit in the field. I said about a week ago that one of my pictures was the last of the fall color. If I stuck with that I wouldn’t have walked in a different direction. I wouldn’t have found the wonderful late fall colored  Japanese Maples.


Layering helps.

They say that fall is colorful.

I agree. So, here they all are. Every color.

It must have been my feverish brain that made this thing. This mess. This monstrosity. None of this means that I don’t like what I’m showing you. I do. A lot.

Which brings me to showing our work.

I read a blog recently. The author said that it wasn’t his/her best work, adding that he/she wasn’t sure that they liked it. WHT? If you don’t like it, what makes you think that I’ll like it? That anyone will like it?

The only thing that I can think of that would allow anyone to share something they didn’t like would be a self-promise to publish on certain days. Or, a firm deadline such as you used to find in the old days of newspapering. And, that was usually about hard news. We don’t publish hard news on our blogs.

So, here’s my thing.

Always try to put your best foot forward. Make no excuses. Don’t apologize for your work, especially by saying it’s not good. Let your readers decide if your work isn’t good. This time.

For sure, there are times when I look back and say to myself, “What the hell was I thinking?” That’ll happen. It’s happening now.

Now? No. Not with this post.

It’s happening with a post that I’m thinking about publishing towards the end of the year. I got the idea from a lot of sports sites that I read. It’s an end of a decade thing. My ten best pictures of the decade. Aside from seeing pictures that I like, especially with my current thinking, there are pictures that I think, “why did I make that picture and what was wrong with me?”

Anyway.

Do you know how hard it is picking a decades ten best pictures?

Sheesh.


The last red tree. I promise.

I know what I said.

I was wrong. I found this tree a day or two after I said that all the leaves were down. However, I walked by it this morning thinking I’d add to the red collection. Now, I can safely say that all the leaves are down. The street was covered in the red leaves you see in this picture. I took a picture to prove it. I might post it next week. Or, tomorrow.

I guess this picture proves what I’ve long believed. Don’t mess with mother nature. Or, her trees.

Today is Black Friday in The United States. It’s a silly day created to drum up business. Prices are supposedly deep discounted. People used to line up at malls and big box stores at something like two o’clock. In the morning.  Some stores are open on Thanksgiving Day.

According to some news reports that I read, it’s becoming a thing of the past. And, hopefully buyers are realizing that the deepest discounts are made on old stock, specially wholesaled stock, and stuff nobody needs. The good stuff may or may not be discounted. And, there may not be much of it. A lot of people have also discovered the joys of shopping online.

We don’t go to stores to celebrate overbuying. And overspending, which stretches out your Christmas giving for the rest of the new year.

Even when we do look at Black Friday prices, we actually don’t buy any goods. We might buy services. For instance, last year we subscribed to Hulu for 99 cents a month. This year, I’ll likely buy some photo software at a discount with a bunch of other goodies included. I may also subscribe to The Athletic, a very well reported and written sports website. It’s worth the normal price, but today it’s half price for a year.

What do you, in The United States, do on the busiest shopping day of the year?

Hopefully, like us, you mostly ignore it. Even the two items that I might download and subscribe to for the next year, came to me because I already use those services. I wouldn’t know about them if I didn’t. And, I wouldn’t care.


Like winter.

Didn’t I say it?

Didn’t I say that in just one day the brightly colored autumn trees turned bare? That the still living leaves fell to the ground in faded piles?

Well, here it is. The proof.

When I photographed this tree, we were out just around dusk. That didn’t matter since the sky was grey. There was no blue in it at all. As I worked the picture in processing, what little color left in the tree and  leaves disappeared.  So, I let it go all the way to black and white on its own. I like it this way. It’s stark and wintery.

I started thinking about the trees and their loss of color and leaves. It’s a natural thing. We see it in seasons as they pass by. But, it exists in living breathing mammals. My hair is graying. That’s not so bad. But, my beard is silver except near my neck where it is white. That wouldn’t matter so much if it wasn’t so soft. It takes some hard work to shave there.

Then, there is the dog who sees stuff. She’s 11 years old. She’s a buff cocker spaniel. Her face is turning white. And, so is her back. It’s not white yet, but buff has turned to light sand color. You can see the original coat color down by her rear legs.

That doesn’t seem to matter to her. She loves long walks. When she’s home with the other dogs she aggravates them just like she’s always done. It’s funny to watch. She still loves to play soccer with her humans. She uses her front paw to kick a tennis ball around the house. We block it and kick it back. She catches it and returns it. The dogs also play a kind of rugby. The dog who has the ball is attacked by all the rest.

So, everything seems fine. I treasure that. For her. For the rest of the doggo family. For all of the humans. And, for me.

Maybe it’s the time of year.

 


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.


As the leaves come tumbling down.

Things change.

Life changes. Seasons change, but they are cyclical. For sure, there are four seasons. Our winter usually isn’t very cold. Our summers are unbearably hot. The transition seasons, spring and fall, do what they are supposed to do. They just come earlier and later than most places.

Once you understand that, things get easier. I suppose that’s about like other of life’s changes. Trying to act and do things you did them when you were young often doesn’t work out so well. You adjust. You carry on. Supposedly, as you get older wisdom overtakes knowledge. I haven’t seen that yet. With me.

Of course, we live in dangerous times. What was wise once doesn’t hold now. Maybe things will revert closer to normal, but we all know that even if a sense of calm returns, it will be different than it was in the past. That’s okay. We made a lot of mistakes getting here. If we learn from those mistakes we’ll come out a little ahead.

The picture. The coolest thing about the digital world of photography are the LCDs. You can rotate them. You can turn them. You can use them to see what you couldn’t see in the past when you just pushed the shutter release button hoping for a good outcome.

That’s how I made this picture. The camera was almost on the ground. But, I could see what I was doing.

The post production was interesting. I worked the picture for longer than normal. It got brighter and the color was turning electric. That wasn’t what I wanted. I used another approach and almost flipped the color over making the picture look like a negative.  I brought back some of the color and made sure that everything was in sharp focus.

Viola!

No, no, no. Not walla.