If you are lucky, you’ll be outside to see it as it drops down over the earth like a dark curtain. For me, it just depends. If I’m done with inside work and a dog wants to go out, I get to see nature’s magic. Magic and renewal. A 24 hour cycle. A kind of rebirth.
Sometimes, I’m trapped inside. I see dusk and nightfall through my studio windows. Sure, I can see the light. I can see day turn to night. But, it’s just not the same.
We — the dog and I — were walking along a little fence. When we turned the corner this is what I saw. I almost got too excited. I calmed down within a few seconds. I steadied myself. I made five frames. I knew I made a picture of what I saw.
That’s how it’s been for the last few days. A lot of photographer’s luck, combined with timing and a little bit of knowledge. When the weather finally cools down, I’ll go looking for pictures in earnest. This is the time when we all got impatient because it seems like summer will never come to a close.
I saw a little meme of Facebook. Southerners say, “We made it through 20 weeks of summer. Only 32 weeks to go.” That feels about right. Right now.
I was reading an op-ed piece by The New York Times’ Frank Bruni. He said that he was completely worn out. He started by saying that he logged on to his computer and there it was. The never ending chaos and drama coming from one man.
It’s daily. It never ends.
Frank Bruni needed a break. We need a break.No human mind can process the daily stream of lies, disinformation, demands and threats. As my online pal Debra said on her blog, Breathelighter, we need time to do the little things that bring us so much pleasure. Bruni is right. Debra is right.
Me? I have to create before I can disengage.
So, I made this work of art. I call it, Chaos.
It’s how the world looks to me on this day. It’s how the daily barrage of beyond weird news looks to me.
The image was created from two layered photographs. I did some fiddling. I did some tinkering. Then I found a little clarity and headed straight to the gutter as Neil Young would say. I didn’t really head to the gutter, although things are much more interesting there. Instead, I found my direction. I knew I was creating my version of the world around us.
That’s all this picture really is about. I saw the leaf on an outdoor table. I framed it in a way that you could see the leaf and see the table. Then I went to work on it. That’s it.
You’re gonna laugh. Remember Tropical Storm Gordon? The storm that did nothing? It broke apart over Northern Mississippi and Arkansas. The last of the winds pushed it back this way and we got soaked yesterday. As they say, “If the lightning don’t get you, the thunder will.”
The rain is pouring down as I write. This rain has nothing to do with Gordon. It’s just that time of year. There are three storms forming in the Atlantic. I’ll worry about them later.
Google issues. A lot of people are complaining about it. I didn’t know that until I Googled it. How’s that for irony? There is no real work around yet unless I want to go back to a very early desktop from about 2012. That really won’t work.
So, I did a better thing. I saved the WordPress dashboard page as a bookmarked website and placed it on my bookmarks bar. One click and I’m here. This is better than it was on the Google desktop.
So many changes. In nature. These trees were still shaking of their winter’s bareness a weeks ago. Now they are full, light green, and glowing in the early morning sunlight.
As I look out of my study window, the branches are still bare with not a new leaf showing. I can’t imagine that those frozen days could kill these trees. They are pretty old. But, you never know. Nature works in funny ways.
Just like life.
The picture. I saw the golden light filtering through the trees. I was having trouble finding a foreground subject that would add a little depth to the picture. I took a couple of steps backward and saw the four trees. Exposing a little more for the light I kept the trees in almost a silhouette. That made the picture a little more powerful. Especially since everything behind is glowing and soft.
This is what happens when we get a lot of rain, combined with summer’s heat and normal humidity.
And, black and white art.
I made this picture in between storms. In some areas of the neighborhood, water was still standing. What am I saying? Was? We haven’t had heavy rainfall in a couple of days and water is still standing. We are saturated. Supersaturated. I suspect if we have another heavy rainfall next week, there will be more flooding. With or without the water pumps.
We aren’t even half way through hurricane season. Yet.
The picture. I made it in color. It looked fine. I tested it in black and white. It looked much better. Besides, the color of the mushroom is a light pale yellow on dark brown ground. It looked about the same in terms of color and hue. This one just feels more weighty.
With water. And, why not? If you read anything about climate change, you know just how important water is to all of us. To our lives. To our lifestyle. To our bodies. You know that 8 glasses of water per day thing? It’s real. That’s just a ballpark number. Some of us need a little less. Some of us, a little more. For sure we need more down here in the swamp. Especially in summer.
So, why shouldn’t I be obsessed with water? At least when I am out wandering around. With or without a dog. Or six.
I found this picture on a morning walk. Just about 90 minutes ago, at 10:30 am, my time. Okay, Central Daylight Time. Sometimes, I can work fast. When I feel like it. And, I know what I have.
The picture. See it, shoot it. Add a little post production to clean things up and brighten them a little. Done and done.
In case you are wondering. I’m recovering from all that traveling. Even so, my normal work day is something like this. Get up around 7am. Read, eat and home stuff until about 8 am. Work until the dogs nag me into walking which is usually around 10am. Go back to work when that’s done. Or, do home stuff. This lasts until… whenever. Sometimes until the dogs pre-dinner walk. Sometime, I work into the evening.
I actually made this picture while I was standing around. During Mardi Gras. I suppose it’s a Mardi Gras picture. Or not. Even though my job is to make pictures, I only do that about 20% of the time. I spend the other 80% doing stuff. Or, doing nothing. And, just waiting. That’s what I was doing when I saw all this graffiti. Nothing.
Or, everything. Seeing. Well, you know. That’s the most important thing. Right?
As I was reviewing my selects I got an idea. That’s always dangerous. I’m going to experiment with it a little before I show you. I’d like it to be somewhat fully formed before I turn it loose on the world. Even then, it will twist and turn as circumstances arise.
The picture. When I saw the scene I liked the volume of the tagging. There is so much of it in a small space. I also liked the light as it fell on the glass doors. There is a nice juxtaposition lurking there too. A rusty old padlock. Extreme protection, indeed. Making the picture was the easy part. Editing was a little time-consuming since I wanted the picture to look like what I attracted me to it in the first place.
You know me. I often make my best pictures along the way. One the way to some place else. I took this picture while we were walking. With my i-Phone.
Let’s discuss this for a minute. There is a group of photographers that say, i-Phone pictures really aren’t serious photography at all. That may be so. But, there are art galleries and some advertising agencies that champion loosely produced i-Phoneograhy. It has become a useful tool. And, for sure, it illustrates that old saying about the best camera.
Question: “What is the best camera?”
Answer: “The one that you have with you.”
That said, I mostly use it sort of as a sketch pad. I like bigger image files. I like the choice of lenses and stuff like that. And, I like working with RAW files. But, as in all technology, change happens quickly. New iPhones, which are often chasing other smartphones, will have RAW file capability, better lenses and larger image files. Am I suggesting that we all switch to higher power smartphones? Noooooo… All things in moderation. Even moderation.
Oh yeah. The picture. I’m not telling. You tell me. Please. Just know that I didn’t place the leaf in that position.
In my Mr. Spaceman moment, I forgot to title this post. It’s now called Blue and White.
This place is historic. It’s located on the Mississippi River. It was built in 1905. It was shut down in 1973. It was sold by Entergy (NOLA’s electric power provider) to Market Street Properties in 2007. They filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and for reorganization in 2012. It was auctioned last month… to one of the developers who bought it originally. He also foreclosed on it. He was the only bidder. How does that work?
Seems like a typical New Orleans business deal to me.
The most interesting information is this. Although this is part of a 47 acre redevelopment plan that stretches from the convention center to a little beyond the power station, there are no immediate plans for development. Nothing. Zero. Zip. Nada. I sense some kind of scam. That eventually I’m going to pay for, along with the rest of city taxpayers. I better move.
That’s a good thing for me. And, people like me. Not the scam. The lack of development plans.
Although it is almost — note that — closed up tight as a drum, there are plenty of pictures to still be made there. Like this one. I just liked the angles. The shapes. I really wasn’t trying to document anything. If you’d like, you can scroll around throughout the last few years of Storyteller. I’ve been there plenty of times. I’ll likely return again. And, again. And…
This little neighborhood is changing rapidly. When I first started working there, about four years ago, there were old buildings everywhere. If you recall, I liked to photograph the “brick street.” The streets were brick. The buildings were brick. The walls were brick. Today, there is one lone brick building standing on the street. The rest have been rehabbed beyond the point of recognition or they are gone. One of my favorites was torn down much earlier this year. As I passed by yesterday, I saw more heavy demolition going on. It appears that the cement slabs and anything built into the ground is being torn out. This is preparation for new piles to be driven into the soil to support a new structure. And, then… new condos that are designed to look old. And to be way over priced.
Oh well. Time marches on. We change. Jobs change. Some for the better. Some are just disrupted. Because.
The picture. I’m not talking. Just know that it is along the lines of F8 and be there. Just know that I’ll be back. Until they lock me out completely. Yes. There were two guys driving black pick ups, wearing lime green glow-in-the-dark vests poking around like they owned the place. They had hard hats too. They were wearing them. I don’t have a hard hat. Maybe I should.