T

here haven’t been very many new pictures made this week. I haven’t been inspired or pushed out the door, which is the usual fix.

I was working in my so-called digital studio when I saw the afternoon light playing on the walls. I just photographed what I saw. You are seeing some of it now.

An espresso cup, mini blind, Alexa and a test print, and the light underneath two photographs that first caught my eye.

All things around me.

Don’t ask about the mini blinds. They came with the house. I was going to change them out, but they are great for shutting out light so they live on to blind me to the light on another day.

Alexa needs cleaning. The print above it is a test print. There are two tests going on. The first is that it’s an early smartphone picture enlarged to 13×13 inches. It held up just fine.The second is a longevity test. It’s been hanging for six years. No fading yet.

The brick wall is where I first noticed the light and the lightbulb went off. Pictures. Pictures. Pictures.

And the espresso cup. What can I say? What is there to say?

Let this whole exercise be a lesson to me. There are always pictures floating around. They just have to find you.

M

y question was how far to take these images in post production.

The answer was not very far.

All I really did was clean things up.

That was enough.

I also tested a different kind of picture grouping template. I don’t see that it’s anything different than I could have done by hand.

I suppose that normally I’d have a big picture followed by three smaller ones.

But, that’s about it.

I am very, very slowly starting to use this block (head) system. I’m just not sure that it’s worth the time.


New Mexico Light and Scenes

L

ittle pictures. Details. Something to show the texture of a place. You’d think they would be the easiest to find and see.

They aren’t.

Usually, you see them on the way back from whatever caught your eye in the first place. In a design piece they are often called point pictures which is the opposite of a hero picture. Alone, these pictures can’t carry the page. But, together they have some power.

Sounds like human beings doesn’t it. It takes a village. There is no I in team. Stuff like that. That’s why The U.S Army’s old advertising campaign of a team of one, never worked. There are no teams of one. And, before I forget, Happy 246th Birthday U.S. Army.

I’ve given some thought to another approach to using little pictures. What if I compiled a collection of these and printed them huge and turned them into a kind of art statement?

I’m starting to do the ground work to some new projects. Maybe this could be a component in one of them.

T

here really is no secret technique to making these photographs.

The key is to not edit yourself in the field. See it, shoot it. Don’t think about it.

Try your best to keep pictures like these clean.

This is no time for fancy post production and modifications.

You might want to work on these at their biggest magnification. There is no telling what’s hiding in the background.

El Sancturio de Chimayo, the Lourdes of The United States. The church is called that because of its healing properties.


Dancing in the dark.

There’s an elegance to this flower that I like a lot. It made me think of a reversed bell. That’s not why I photographed it. I did that because it was wet, although you can barely see the water drops.

Never the less, that’s what caught my eye especially since there isn’t a lot of contrast or sunlight. In all, I think this is a fairly delicate image.

It’s also a Sunday kind of image so I’ll leave it there for now.

No tricks here. Just some good seeing. There are 12 water droplets hiding on the whiteness of the flower.

That’s what I saw. That’s what I want you to see.

I will say this, there is quite a difference between an Apple sensor and a Samsung sensor.


Prayers for you.

The weather turned a little cold and very bright. So, I started chasing my project. I found an old house with a statue in front. The Virgin Mary protects the house. The house protects the occupants.

I don’t know much about this place. There were no cars in the street or in the short driveway so I couldn’t stop and ask. So, I just stopped and photographed. Maybe, I’ll go back.

The way I work on projects is to photograph everything that interests me. I don’t pre-edit. I really don’t edit any of my takes except to cherry pick for Storyteller.

I have no idea if the pictures I make will hang together as a story or if they are more of an art statement. Only marination and time will tell.

And, sometimes I’m not even sure if I made a good picture. When I’m really right in the field I don’t even remember what I did until I look at it on the monitor.

There are other ways of working. Studio photographers don’t waste as much gas as I do. Wedding photographers make more pictures of people than I do. Nature photographers, well I can’t imagine walking around in mud boots way too early in the morning.

What about you?

For those of you who are photographers, how do you like to work?

Working on this project is a cross between photojournalism and documentary photography.

That means I don’t experiment much. I make pictures of what I see. I may lighten, brighten or slightly enhance the color. That’s about it.

You sort of have to pick your place. A friend of mine does all this weird stuff to second liners and Indians. Another friend and I keep telling him to stop doing it. He doesn’t listen. Yet, when a picture of his shows up on a second line or Indian page it’s cleared up.

What do I know?

I have my beliefs. They’ve sharpened over forty plus years. They may not suit you.


Magical

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.

So.

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.

Sheesh.

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.


Along the way.

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.


Summer’s end.

Labor Day.

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.

Finally.

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.

The picture.

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.


 

Looking like a Japanese print.

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.

But.

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.

What do you think?

 


Chasing light.

Light. The thing itself.

We chase it.

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.

Happy New Year.