There’s a little magic in this photograph. I thought today would be a good day to publish it because we all could use a little magic. That’s what the late Jerry Garcia said. We need music and magic and art.
Who am I to disagree?
You know the kind of world we are living in these days. I don’t have to drone on and on about that.
I’ve come to believe that my job for right now. For today, is to make people smile. Not everyone. I don’t know everyone and I have what I consider to be a small following.
Just for today look a this little photograph that I call “Magical.”
Maybe it will help.
The only thing that I know for sure will help is the all seeing dog. Sophie Rose makes everyones day better.
If people see me without her they don’t recognize me. No dog. No fun.
In the wildflowers. I made yesterday’s atomic picture a few minutes before I made this one.
While that one was created in the studio, today’s picture was made in the field where I saw it.
The only post production was a little glow and contrast to help you feel what I did.
It shimmers and glows now, just like I saw it outdoors.
Stay safe. Stay mighty, Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Enjoy every sandwich.
I forgot to do this yesterday. The headline is borrowed from Norah Jones. Stay mighty comes from MCC.
Yesterday is gone. And, good riddance. It started bad and it ended worse. You didn’t see me here because my Cox modem/router failed. They wanted $75 because I didn’t have customer care. Okay, okay. I have a good idea of what this gear costs.
But, when I said yes to having a technician visit, he or she couldn’t be scheduled for almost two weeks.
Uh, wait a minute.
Off I went to the store. The first modem didn’t do what it was supposed to do, so I traded it for another one. I had the COX gear for so long that I forgot that it is a combination modem and router.
Back to the store I went.
New router in hand, I thought, “ah ha, I’me done.”
You know the saying, “If you want to make God laugh tell Him your plans?” It turns out that also includes making modern digital things work properly.
I called a Cox online tech who was helping me through the installation. It turns out two techs didn’t know what they were doing. Sure, my main machine — this one — was working. Somewhat. Safari couldn’t load a lot of websites, including WordPress. However, I had no signal to our televisions or our phones.
Luckily, there was a shouting mach on celestial television. When that was done I watched the end of a bad football game. And, finally Perry Mason and The Twilight Zone.
I went to sleep early. Midnight. Normally that would mean I’d wake up around 5am. For some reason I slept until 9am.
During that long sleep I had a dream. In it I figured out how to make every work. Maybe.
It came to me that it had to be the router since nothing but the main machine was getting signal. I Googled around for Linksys and found their website. It turns out that they have an app for my phone. I downloaded that, followed step by step instructions and, ALL JOY.
I do have to adjust each machine’s settings but I expected that.
You know how I say that we should let our pictures marinate? Maybe we should do that with all seemingly complicated issues.
Just a thought.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, er, in front of the porch, who’s the best photographer of them all?
Not me, that’s for sure.
I resurrected this picture from the scrapheap of time. I liked it t the time, but I didn’t share it.
Now I am.
I was walking around The Bywater, which is a realtor’s name. It’s really just a section of the 9th Ward.
I stumbled on this scene. I couldn’t believe my luck… until there was almost nothing to show in the mirror’s reflection.
I did what I could and called it good.
You would have seen another picture today, but it got lost in digital space. Likely, you’ll see it tomorrow.
Stay safe. Stay mighty. Wash your hands. Wear your mask. Keep your distance. Look after each other.
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.
I was walking the all seeing dog, when I saw this reflection is a water feature that can be found along one of her routes. For some reason it was clear and blue. It was also highly reflective. The bare trees of winter were looking back at me. I made a lot of pictures. I made some with the bank and made some that are much more colorful than this one.
This one reminds of a Van Gogh painting. Of course, his has little cherry flower blossoms in it that really bring it to life. As much as Van Gogh has always been one of my muses, I only recently learned of his fascination with all things Japanese. I have a show catalog that is based on it.
One more thing.
To me, this picture is a bit confusing. It looks upside down. It isn’t. That’s how the trees in the background were reflected. My instinct is to flip it over.
That’s what we do. That’s what photographers do. Maybe everybody does it. We chase light. Photographers need it to make pictures. Artists use the interplay between light and dark to work. All of us needs light to live.
Artificial light is fine, but sunlight is the real deal.
Of course, humans can alter that. We can create different environments. Some are good. Some aren’t. And, some are terrible. Just think about the environment we are creating for ourselves called climate change. Australians sure are thinking about that right now.
The light that I’m talking about is pretty. It’s created by late afternoon winter sun when the blue sky. That’s what this picture is about. The scene is common. Cars parked in a parking lot. But, the light. Oh my God, the light. I wish I were in a better place to work this light. But if I was, I might have lost it. Or, it might not have the reflective strength. So, I took what I had. I worked the technique to make it as good as I could.
After all, that’s all we can do with anything. We can do the best that we can. Do that and be a happy person.
The series of wouldn’t you like to be like us… in the cool months of the year. I found this little beauty in our street side garden. When I saw it, I couldn’t believe it. Then, I thought, wait a minute . October wasn’t normal. The weather was hot and dry. That’s our second growing season. Not this year. So, maybe our second growing season is now.
Anyway, there are flowers blooming everywhere. Even the Japonica tree, which normally blooms in very early spring, has new buds on it. The last that I heard is that we haven’t even reached winter yet.
The picture. I was surprised, the phone has a macro function. I used it. This is the result. I worked on the picture a little bit. I wanted it to be very graphic. I cropped it. I made sure that the shadow is dark and that the flower is very gently soft.
Walking the dogs in the heat requires at least two places to sit and recover slightly. Luckily, there are a couple of park benches on our usual route. We stop at each of them if nobody else is using them. We sit for a few minutes, regroup and keep going.
That’s how I found this picture. There was a leaf on the bench next to me. I looked down and thought, “Wow, look at that.” I leaned over and made this picture. I’ve long agreed with the philosophy of, “Don’t take the picture, let the picture take you.” That’s what happened.
No, I didn’t. No second line for me yesterday. At 5pm, the temperature had “dropped” to 98 degrees. With the heat index of about 9 degrees, the “feels like” temperature would have been 107 degrees. Too hot for this boy. From the lack of posts around social media, it doesn’t look like to many of my brother and sister photographers braved the wild streets. It takes us a while, but we do learn.
There is no relief in evening’s darkness. I went outside with the dogs for their late night business. We didn’t really walk. I mostly just stood there. When I returned, I changed my clothes for the sixth time that day. Oh, did I mention that when we went outside it was midnight? I have no idea how hot it was. I didn’t want to know.
I asked my friend from another blog what she learned from looking at http://www.laskowitzpictures.com. Her’s was a long reply. When I finish talking with you, I’m going to reply to her reply. Its’ all about photography. I invite to to read what we both wrote.
I’m not exactly sure what I did to myself, but this new format is fairly time-consuming to use. Hopefully, that I’ll change as I get used to working with it. Most of my fears were for nothing. A big one surfaced. It is very hard to stack multiple pictures. There’s a way around it. It took me a while to find it.
My restroom life refers to nothing except that I often make pictures in restrooms of hip cafes. Usually, in coffee houses.
So, that learning thing. I said it was mostly about myself and it is. Learning to use a more photo-centric template is going to teach me a lot. The big take away is learning about my limits of patience. My former “look” was easy to produce. I rarely even thought about it. This one? Wow.
And, speaking about patience, I watched a friend of mine melt down and self destruct in real time on Twitter. I feel terrible for him.
Here’s a short version of the story. He’s a chef. He cooked for a well-known uptown restaurant. He was fired on Sunday night for reasons that are fairly unclear. He proceed to tweet, and tweet, and tweet. 90 tweets in all. At one point, after talking about nobody caring if he was gone and thinking about leaving the planet, somebody called the NOPD out of deep concern for him. They visited him and left, but the tweets continued. He called out his former place of employment, the owner, the restaurant industry in New Orleans. He called out the friend who called the police out of concern for his welfare. It only got worse from there.
Apparently, at one point, his former employer may have threatened him with the classic, “you’ll never work in the town again,” line as he was leaving the restaurant.
This whole thing caught the attention of both local newspapers. Since the restaurant owner does no social media, she had no idea of what was being said. She is concerned for her reputation, which as I know it, is spotty at best. That’s another story for a time when it can be substantiated. After all, this isn’t a fake news site. It’s not really a news site at all. Storyteller is about art. Cooking at his level is an art.
My biggest fear is that with all his tweeting, he made her alleged threat true. He might not be able to work in New Orleans again.
One point that was unintentionally made in The Advocate’s story is that he’s been in town for six years. He’s had six jobs. If I’m hiring for any kind of business that’s a huge red flag. As a high-end human resources person once told me, it takes a year to get into a job and a year to get out. We want to have a lot of good years in between. Certainly, when you are very young and just trying to make your career there is a lot of job jumping as you rise, but my buddy is a veteran chef.
The pictures. I had to use the restroom in a coffee-house. You know. You stay there for a long while, sipping coffee. Some more coffee. Maybe some water. I walked into the restroom and thought “wow, there is a picture in here. I made a few. I added something to the post production and there you have it.
We don’t usually eat in the Quarter. Often many of the restaurants are geared to the tourist trade. But, some aren’t.
The cool thing about eating in a touristy place is that often a waiter will engage you. He or she will ask you where you are from. If you answer from here. They’ll ask you a couple of follow-up questions. Like where did you go to high school. Or, they’ll ask other more local flavored questions, just as part of a conversation. You might not know what they are doing. If they are satisfied, you’ll get the locals price. Usually 25% off your bill. You might even have your food cooked with a little more care.
I know, I know.
It doesn’t seem fair. But, that’s New Orleans. We look after each other. The waiters know the food prices are a little higher in the Quarter, so they take care of folks who live here. In appreciation many locals add a tip that is based on the full price. I do. As I said, we take care of each other.
The picture. It is influenced by “Nighthawks at the Diner.” I’m pretty sure you’ve seen it. As I recall, I might have been looking for something like the picture. I found it. I made the picture quickly because the subjects won’t wait. One of the magical things about digital photography is that the sensor loves darks and shadows. I probably couldn’t have made the picture on film without a lot of work in the field.