Like a spaniel laying on her belly.

This is one of those posts in which the photograph has nothing to do with the text. That happens sometimes.

A friend of mine who is much smarter than me reminded me of the day. I’d almost forgotten. I went to last year’s daybook and found that she was right.

One year ago today is the day that changed our lives.

March 7, 2020 was the first day of lockdowns in most places around the country. In New Orleans, the lockdown was extreme because we were blamed for hosting a super spreader called Mardi Gras.

That’s unfair.

We didn’t know then what we didn’t know then. The former president claims that he knew, but he wouldn’t tell us. Of course, he told us to drink bleach much to the horror of the Clorox company.

Everything in most people’s wolds has changed, maybe forever. There is a litany of bad things that I could write about, but I won’t. You already know most of them.

Instead, let me talk about a few of the good things. This is personal. Hopefully, you have other good things.

For the first time, I took an interest in podcasts. For me, they are like listening to single subject NPR radio broadcasts.

New music was made, recorded and distributed.

Many new pictures were made, and some shared, despite my claim of being in a massive block. And, the pictures got better.

I started organizing my early archives. This may never be completed, but at least I started it. And, Amazon Photos found a lot of “lost” images.

And, the biggest one. Two steroid injections and two epidurals later I am mostly pain free for the first time in many years. I cannot tell you how happy that makes me.

That’s the highlights. I didn’t make much money, but a lot of stuff got done.

How about you?

Stay safe. Stay mighty. You are experts in the rest, no matter what the Texas and Mississippi governors say. Enjoy all your thoughts about March 7, 2020.

There is not much to tell you about this picture.

I saw it. I photographed it. I came back to the studio. I developed it. I darkened it which brought out a little more color. And, I softened it.

By softening it, I made the big white cloud look like a cocker spaniel laying on her belly.

I have no idea what caused the white of the border to turn gray.

I have a bone to pick with WordPress about their block system.

I don’t know about you, but my writing is never clean. It needs a lot of copy editing.

Ever try to really do that?Removing and changing type is a nightmare.

If you click on the wrong place a box appears around your text. Click on the wrong place again and your text is gone. Poof. Removed.

You can retrieve most of it by going back to the lists of posts, but you have to redo everything in the far right “post” column.

Drop caps. Forget it. The minute you insert one, it takes over the paragraph. Copy edit within the paragraph and the text jumps all over the place.

There’s more. I’ll save it.

Happy Sunday.


Into the black and out of the green.

Graphic. Green. Growth. It seems we are heady this way. Even though the temperature has been fairly cold for us. Our low yesterday morning was 41 degrees. I have friends in Tampa, Idaho. Snow country. The low there yesterday morning was 42 degrees.

Inverted.

That’s the thing. We have such a long list of things that need fixing that it seems we are almost forgetting that the biggest problem of all is hanging out there lie a big old slow pitch.

Climate change.

I know that it’s on the new president’s mind. I know California car makers are going back to the Obama standards for mile per gallon. And, GMCs want to be all electric in the very near future. It’s a start, but it’s not even close to being enough.

I could list the rest of the things that are broken and need repair, but you already know them. You wish that you didn’t.

Even though I have no real say in this, how about… we knock down three drones with one stone? Pay the people who are out of work and whose jobs may never return to rebuild the infrastructure. Rebuild the infrastructure in the most climate friendly way possible.

Think about it.

Seeing is believing, or so they say. Okay. I’m good with that. I believe that I saw this wonderful fern in the morning light.

I believe. I saw. I believe.

Good enough for me.

This is what I call a small picture that came from really seeing.

I’m not dissing anybody, but how hard is to see a sunset? Or rolling hills in winter light? Or, something through a very wide angle lens?

It’s not hard. Unless the light is amazing these things are the building blocks on which the rest of a portfolio is built.

At least, that’s what I think. There are probably 100s of people who think differently.

Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Look after each other. Eat your greens.


 

 

Dusk in the fall.

Gently.

The night comes.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Art as an experiment.

Chaos.

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.

Chaos.


Summer leaf.

The end of summer.

Little details. Seeing. Looking. Feeling.

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.

Old business.

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.

See?

I can be creative when I’m forced into it.


One of those beautiful mornings.

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.

Yet.

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.

 


Too much moisture.

This is what happens when we get a lot of rain, combined with summer’s heat and normal humidity.

Weird mushrooms.

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.

Sheesh.

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.


A morning float.

I seem to be a little obsessed.

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.

Depends.


Door graffiti.
Door graffiti.

On the way to someplace else. That’s me.

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.