Seeing it from a different perspective.

Broken… or well-worn?

That’s my biggest change. A change in my personal viewpoint. It took my Storyteller break to help me see the difference. It took those days to help me understand that I’d better stop reading so much bad news. More importantly, I stopped reading viewers comments at news websites. Both sides are nuts. I’m not on either side. Most people seem siloed. The more you try to change them, the deeper they dig. They angrier they get. I’m not angry.

Who needs that?

Even though I don’t make New Year resolutions, I did kind of did make one.  By all accounts 2018 was a disaster. It left everybody unhappy, depressed, out of sorts. Me too. A lot of that was well beyond my control. You know what I’m talking about. Some of it is within my grasp, yet I didn’t do much to fix it.

That can’t go on.

For me, personally, if I live my life feeling negatively I don’t get much done.

Let’s just use Storyteller as an example. I started worrying about my yearly numbers. Don’t do that. It starts a cycle of posting for one reason only. Reader views and likes. Those numbers add up to nothing. Instead of doing that, post your truth. Post your best picture whether or not you think it will be well received. Post your best story. Let it fly.

Stop overtly selling.

There are a couple of bloggers that I’ve just stopped reading. They wrote a book. In an effort to drive people to the book, they stopped telling their stories. Everything is sell, sell, sell. Lead me to your work. Don’t shove it down my throat. That’s sort of a rule among more sophisticated sales people.

Besides. Probably 20% of the emails I receive want to sell me something. Facebook, Twitter and now Instagram have become never-ending sales tools. Don’t drown me in it. My reaction is to never buy anything. We both lose. You don’t make a sale. And, I don’t know what I missed.

Enough.

I’m not leaving social media unless personal security becomes a bigger issue than it already has. I want everybody to see my work. But, I’m not going to convince you to buy it. I’m not going to share most news events and I’m not going to get in what used to be called a flame contest. There’s no need.

I’d rather post about art. In all of its forms. That’s what I understand best. That’s what I like.

That said, this picture. I made it at a second line. The tuba, or sousaphone if you want to split hairs, was resting. It was waiting to be played on a long walk through Central City.  I saw it. I photographed it.

You can look at the picture in one of two ways.

The instrument is busted up. The sidewalk behind it is busted it up. My city is busted up.

Or, it’s well-worn and repaired from playing a lot of music. The sidewalk is torn up because the city is 300 years old and that’s why a lot of us live here.

Yeah, sure. There is plenty to repair. The streets are potholed. The water pipes and pumping stations break down. Power fails.

Yet, one yearly statistic made me smile. The murder rate was lowest that it’s been in 50 years. That’s a start. A pretty big start. Hang on to that and build. Build a little more. And, keep building.

A little housekeeping. The new website/blog is about ready. I’m a little afraid to push the button. There are a couple of reasons for this. They all center around the unknown.

I have no idea what Facebook and Twitter will see through my distribution channels. I have no idea whether I can build portfolio pages from which pictures are sold or licensed. I have no idea about static background pages that are not the main page. And, I don’t know if I can post multiple pictures in one post. There is no going back once I push the button. I can’t know those things until I do that.

I suppose that I should jump and fix things on the fly.  Nobody will die if I get parts of it wrong.

Wish me luck. Or, at least, a soft landing spot.

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Tuba or something like that...
Tuba or something like that…

So. What would you like to know first?

The framing campaign slowed down quite a bit yesterday. That’s okay. I got a lot of likes and a couple of shares for my Indian portrait. I’m always appreciative for that. I always try t let you know that.

This is a sousaphone. Most people just call it a tuba. On the streets, most people know that the tuba starts a second line. It doesn’t matter what you hear first. Somebody yelling, “Let’s start.” Somebody blowing a whistle. Even that little whoop-whoop sound you hear from a police car that is trying to run you over. Oops. I meant pass around you.  None of that matters. The only thing that matters is the sound of a tuba starting the parade. When you hear that you know the parade is starting to roll.

The picture. A detail. I saw the shining brass and I focused on the tuba, er, sousaphone itself. If I would have had a little more time, I would have stopped down and tried to keep everything in sharp focus. As it happened, I’m happy enough to get the repeating circles in sharp focus.

Now please don’t forget. There are 28 days to go in my gallery printing, mounting, matting and glazing donation campaign. I still need your help. Lots of help. See Storyteller on November 4 for the details and for the list of gifts you’ll get when you donate a few dollars.

See directly below for the link to go fund me. Anything helps. It means a lot.

gofundme.com/gk8bajd8


A little Sousaphone music.
A little Sousaphone music.

The streets. The more you are out there, the more you get to know people. You might not know each other’s names. But, you recognize each other. You try to make things a little easier. Just like this sousaphone player did for me. He saw me out of the corner of his eye and turned away from the parade. Bam. Bam. Bam. I made the picture. This isn’t the first time with him.

Just so you know, I’m trying to work a little looser. So that you can see a little more of the scene at the time I made the image.

Oh yeah. This is the Family Ties second line parade. The Sunday parade. The one that just about killed me. By the way, spell check hates Sousaphone. It wants to fix it. To Vodaphone.


Yesterday's picture from another angle.
Yesterday’s picture from another angle.

Trumpet bells ringing
Bass drum is swinging
As the trombone groans
And the big horn moans
And there’s a saxophone

Down in the treme
Is me and my baby
We’re all going crazy
Buck jumpin’ and having fun

Hangin’ in the Treme
Watchin’ people sashay
Past my steps
By my porch
In front of my door

— @2008 John Boutte from the album Jambalaya