A little confusion.

No matter what you think.

The picture isn’t it. Unless you look at the curve at the top, which is really the bottom.

Yeah. Sure. This is one of those scenes that I return to when I can’t find a subject to suit a great sky. But, it’s different. It’s a reflection made by pointing the lens into a car’s hood. A black car. A black, dirty car.

I’ll tell you why dirty matters in a minute.

I made the picture on another walk. I was trying to figure out how I could do something a little differently because the clouds were so intense. They needed to be photographed. I happened to look towards my right. There it was. An almost perfect reflection of the scene above. I didn’t even bother with the real sky. I found what I liked.

Ten exposures later and I was done. I did not over shoot. I worked the angles and the length of the lens a little.

Dirty? Oh, that matters because the little star field you think you see in the bottom of the picture is really just little bitty bits of dirt.

I suppose if I flipped this picture around so the up is down, you might think I made the picture at night and somehow managed to get the stars in the picture even though we live in a place where there is nothing but light pollution. You could never really photograph star in New Orleans.

Aren’t I clever? or not.


Something in the air.

It’s in the air. Tonight. Today.

I’m not the only one.

Yesterday, I wrote about murky dreams. Dreams of the past. Dreams of people long forgotten. Of a time in the dim recesses of my mind.

Between online conversations and some in real life, I’ve learned that I’m not the only one. People of a certain age are going through this strange little time too. Before, we get all spooky and weird, it probably means nothing.

On the other hand.

What if?

What if we are marshalling our past resources for something to come? I’m not one who believes in all seeing third eyes, or understands why the hell WordPress doesn’t like marshalling in this usage, but something is brewing.

Since the usage of marshalling in this case, means ordering things in preparation for battle, what battle am I, are we, getting ready for?¬† As much as I dislike the current United States President — and, all that he stands for — and want him imprisoned, it’s not something as mundane as that. I think it’s bigger. I don’t know what it is. But, it’s coming.

As I used to say in the bad old helicopter days, “I got a bad feeling about this.” The last time I thought and felt that, a storm called Hurricane Katrina just about wiped New Orleans off the face of the earth. It’s a powerful feeling.

We’ll see.

The picture. My apologies. I went a little too far in post production. I should have reworked this picture. But, today is very, very busy. So, I moved it from my phone to OnOne and tried to make a few little repairs there. The mistakes were too imbedded for that.


I saw these blossoms and did the only thing that I could do. I photographed them. Then, I messed with them. I made the picture a little spooky. Then, as I wrote, I went too far. I tend to do that. I should have taken things a step or two backward. I’ll get back to it. I’ll fix it. I promise. I might even show you the revised picture.

One more thing about this bad feeling. (See how haunted I am by it?) There’s an old infantry saying, “If you can see the enemy, the enemy can see you.” The reverse is also true. I can’t see the enemy. But, I know…

In space.

A little bit out there.

I keep trying to reach some kind of experimental art. Work that has nothing to do with my photographic roots.

It doesn’t come easy.

I can’t just say something like, “I think I’ll go make art today.” It doesn’t work that way. I have to find it. Or, it has to find me. It can’t be planned. It can’t be orchestrated. It just happens.

Like life.

I have friends that try to plan every detail of what they are doing. Like traveling. Every detail from air travel to car rentals, to hotels and then a daily itinerary. That’s great. The plane arrives late. They miss their connecting flight. That blows their other reservations. When they arrive at their destination they are scrambling to keep up their daily schedule. They think their trip is terrible.

Not for this boy.

Sure. Plan the travel arrangements. Without reservations you could be sleeping on a park bench. Plan an outline of what you’d like to do. Let the day intervene. If you really like something why leave it to keep a schedule? If you dislike something, why stay? Besides, a lot of what I do is determined by light. Sometimes, by nature. My trips just sort of flow. They are never terrible.

That’s for me and mine. Your mileage may vary.

Business trips are entirely different animal. But, usually everybody understands travel delays.

The picture. I walked by it a couple of times. I was carrying stuff. Suitcases. Anvil cases. Gear bags. Finally, I stopped. I saw the picture for what it could be. It took the picture as it was. I went to work in the studio. It took some time. I knew what I wanted. I understood my intent. And, my vision. I just had a hard time getting there. It wasn’t until I tried something radical that I finally came close. This is what I came up with.

Into the night.

The space in between.

That’s where the good stuff happens. That’s where we fill in the blanks. That’s where we make our own little mysteries.

I made this picture the other night. I did developing and post production last night.

We were watching a video about a deep dive to find a sunken Roman ship. Apparently, the man who lost the ship was collecting art from all over his world. And, from as many eras as he had available to him. The ship sunk as it was returning back to Italy. It was brought down by either a huge storm or a giant monster. You can pick. I like the later.

The show was really inspiring to me.

I worked on this picture for much longer than normal. I’m like that. Something inspires me and drives me to better art.

I suppose that I should watch as many videos as I can while I’m working. No. I’m not talking about movies like, “National Treasure,” although we’ve watched it, I don’t know how many times. It’s fun. It’s imaginative. But, it’s sort of a cartoon.

I can read about this subject matter, but I need to see the visuals.

With all these projects coming up, I first do the research about what I know, but that need confirmation. Then, I look for the places that I’m going to on Google Planet. I rarely look at images. I don’t want to find myself looking for “tripod holes.” You know what I mean. I don’t want to make the same picture as the next guy. I want to try — at least — to make my own picture.

There’s a lot of misinformation about learning photography all over the internet. One is a variation of “fake it until you make it.” The original author suggested that a brand new photographer find pictures that he or she likes in print or online and copy them in the field.


Why ever would anybody do that? Sure, find the location. Even take the exact picture because you have to get it out of your system. Then, make your own picture.

Notice the choice of words? Take v make. That’s intentional.

That applies to those of you who really don’t think of yourselves as photographers but enjoy taking pictures when you are out and about, or on vacation. Make a picture because you like what you saw, not because you think you should.

That could bring to the next internet fallacy. “If you don’t have a picture, you weren’t really there.” Huh? Huh? And, double huh?

My best memories are in my mind. My heart. My soul.

Besides if you extend this bit of nonsense out, you could say that since I rarely take a picture in a grocery store, I was never there. Yet, my full cart of groceries says otherwise. So does my AMEX card bill.

This picture. Yep. It’s the real deal. I made it at night at the end of a dog walk. My hip was hurting so I sat on a bench. The dog who sees things sat down beside me.

I looked up and saw the scene you are looking at. Of course that new smart phone is too smart and opened up the exposure way too much even though I was using the “Pro” screen which allows me to adjust shutter speed and aperture¬†settings.

Yes, there is a bit of post production, mostly just to bring the picture back to how I saw it.

That’s my story today. You know the rest.

Into the sun.

Yes. Yes. Yes.

I remember what I wrote yesterday. But, my muse had other ideas. So, I made a couple of black and white cloud studies.

From my ongoing art studies, I know that this falls into very a classic style of photography. That, and self portraits… which have morphed into selfies. I’m not big on that for a lot of reasons. I suppose that after the 14,987th selfie that you instagrammed I have a pretty good idea of what you look like. At least, as you want me to see you. I want to see where you where. What you did.

And, there’s also airplane pictures. You know the ones. They have a wing tip in the picture and something in the background. Sometimes they are interesting because of the light and background. But, mostly they are copies of copies of copies. When I first started in photo agency work, we rejected them out of hand because we had thousands of them in the files already. In 1989. All I can advise is to photograph something beside the wing. Or, if your airline is buzzing something unusual like the US Capitol or the Eiffel Tower. By all means keep that wingtip in the picture. It might be useful for identification purposes after your plane is shot out of the sky. Heh!

Seriously. A little black and work for a little while. I’ll go back to color in a bit. That where I work. Where I like to work. But, sometimes my muse calls, says hey you, and clubs me over the head.

Over the top.

Lost in space.

This is about as far as I can go in this series. Pure color. In space.

The pictures are really made up of flowers, grass and trees. I layered them. I did a lot of post production prior to, and after, the layering. I found that it’s pretty important to do certain bits of post after the layers have been assembled. It seems to smooth things out a little bit. It helps the picture look like it’s one image rather than bits and pieces of separate images.

If you were to ask me which one is my favorite I would say all of them because each of them is very different in final output. If you were to ask me which one I’d print, it would be the top one. I’d make it huge. The size of the wall. I might even turn it on its side, which is really how it started. The flowers and the leaves have become just blobs of color. But, wait a minute! Did I just make wall paper? Hmmmm…

The other two are somewhat recognizable for what they are. I think. Well, at least to me.

The pictures. This is a great example of always carrying some kind of camera. And, to shoot whatever you see without editing on the scene. Too many people delete images after they check their camera’s little bitty lcd. What can you really see on those? Wait until you get home. Or, wherever you have a bigger monitor. Not only can you see the picture, but some of what you see might inspire you. I had no idea that the pictures I just took could be used in this way, until I saw them on a larger monitor and started playing.

Listening to a lot of Grateful Dead helped.

Behind the trees.
In the light.