Into the green, out of the black.

C

onversation.

It took me a while, but I finally figured something out. I say that photography and music are very similar in approach. And, they are.

But.

There is one huge difference. One that matters most.

Conversation.

When a musician plays with another musician they create a musical conversation. They talk to each other through their instruments. Think about the famous guitar duels between, well, any couple of guitar players and you’ll understand.

Stephen Stills (his birthday yesterday) and Neil Young come to mind. Their duels are stuff of legend.

But, they are not duels. They are a musical conversation that has lasted almost 60 years. It’s probably one reason that they remain friends despite all the ups and downs of their various bands. Today, even though neither of them play live much, they seem very happy to see each other when they share a stage.

That, and age.

The things that seemed so very important in their youth don’t seem to matter much now.

Funny how that happens.

Conversation is important. That’s a large part of what fulfills you. Visual artists of any genre don’t have this. We mostly work in solitude. Sometimes with assistants, but mostly alone. Our fulfillment comes from the inside.

Doing that is hard.


At the edge.

I

t’s funny. I meant what I said. I don’t seem to be able to make a picture, or at least a meaningful one. Even this one. It’s just a bunch of old pictures stuck on top of each other.

I have no idea why I can’t seem to work. I’m sure two years of a pandemic has something to do with it. I’m restricted in just about every way possible and yet I have to keep going. I’ve been in New York to promote Norah’s Christmas music. I didn’t want to be there. I’m not so sure that she did either. But, it’s what we do.

The strange thing is that everything makes me teary. I’m not that guy, but even happy music either makes me sad or brings back deep memories. The kind I can’t just get rid of without a lot of effort.

Am I a classic mess?

I don’t think so. I think I’m just really, really exhausted.

Let’s hope that 2022 is a better year. But, I don’t think it will be. The virus rolls on and on and on.

All that I know is we have to start looking after each other a little better. We have to start now.

Peace.


In the dark hour.

Y

esterday was almost useless. Since I believe there are no useless days, that’s saying something. I had one of those days where everything went wrong. Luckily, they were little things. The espresso machine started the day, by doing something funky. The mouse batteries died without warning. Two lightbulbs burned out. And, so it went right up until the time I went to sleep.

Today is a new day that started off much better. Thankfully.

I made this picture on a walk through the French Quarter. You’ve seen another version of it. This time I cropped the heart of it and started playing with it. This version isn’t quite what I intended. I wanted to make the picture darker, but when I did that I lost too much detail. I thought that detail was important in this particular image.

Sometimes photography is about compromise and choices.


A little spooky.

B

oo.

Magical, mystical, light bringing skull.
Bones in the window.

D

o I really need to say anymore?

T

his little collection is brought to you by The Spooky House of Storyteller. Happy Halloween y’all.


Weirdness.

M

y thinking changes a little bit every day depending what I read or see or do. I made this photograph a couple for days ago. I started playing with it last night. The picture lead me to the way it looks. Look at the next column for that.

I generally listen to music when I work, especially when I write. Today’s first selection is a new live album, from a very old band. Steely Dan. The album is called, “Northeast Corridor: Steely Dan Live”

For me, it is really about memories because most of the tunes are their signature songs.

In a way that’s too bad. I’m someone who really wants to hear new music. I don’t get fixated on the past music.

Today is a very good day, although it started late. For some reason even though we went to bed early, for us. I slept until 11:49 am. I had over ten hours of sleep. I rarely need that much. I guess I needed it.

Sleeping so long sure cleared my head of the accumulation of stress that had been building over the past month.

Maybe it’s going to be a much better ride over the next few months. I sure hope so because if it’s good for me, it might be better for a whole lot of people.

H

ere’s what happened.

A lot of trees have been left bare branched after the winds of Hurricane Ida blew through.

This is one of those trees.

Oddly, other trees that had their leaves blown off are starting to regrow them. They look like springtime.

How’s that? Spring and fall at the same time. In the same place.

Anyway.

I started tinkering with this picture and it lead me to this version. When I let the picture lead me I rarely go too far unlike the times I try to impose my will on it.

I wish I could tell you what I did, but I was on auto pilot. And, we were watching a movie. That may be the best way for me to work.


Dark skies.

W

e listen to a lot of podcasts around here. This morning I was listening to The New York Times’ The Daily. The reporter was talking to a viral scientist. It was a pretty good interview until the reporter asked the scientist when the pandemic would end.

She declined to predict that, but did say that because of all the issues we already know about including the politicizing of the virus, anti-vaxers, freedom complainers, and the general lack of concern about masking and potential super spreader events, the soonest the virus could be managed but not eradicated is late 2022 or early 2023.

Think about that. We have another potential 18 months of this stupidity before we even come close to managing this.

In my other world we started cancelling the first two legs of a four leg tour. It’s highly likely that the last two legs will be cancelled too.

The supernutjob fans on Facebook couldn’t understand why. They claimed everything but the truth, including that the star has breast cancer. A legal note will put an end to that.

When I asked who among them could meet entrance requirements of either proof of vaccination or proof of a negative test taken within 72 Hours.

I heard.

Crickets.

And, there you have it. They killed a concert tour and their fun.

Morons.


Bits and pieces.

W

hat remains, indeed.

Clean up continues while I wander around taking pictures. In this case, pictures of floating leaves in a pool that had already been cleared of a lot of storm junk, which brings me to the topic of junk.

When you are sitting around in a hot house at night with little to do because it’s dark and there’s no power, you think.

Most of those thoughts turn strange. Some make no sense in the light of day like ”if I ever get out of here I’m going to kill the first rock I see.”

Huh?

What did a nice rock ever do to me?

Some thoughts make sense. Here’s one now. When I first began my journey on Storyteller, I was advised by people who know more than me that consistency is important. So, I posted every day.

Why?

After taking a storm enforced break, I came to the conclusion that no longer makes me happy. So, I’ll post when I have something to say since it turns out that many of you come here for my words as much as my pictures.

That in itself strikes me as strange but what do I know?

Very little it seems.

Enjoy every sandwich.

.

,


The dark end of the street.

T

he age of experimentation continues. I found out yesterday that I had no idea how to change the color of the tag cloud or the calendar. I’m sure instructions are buried deep in the 900 pages of “how to” notes. Until I find it, you won’t be seeing those blocks again.

Today, I’m experimenting with making the blog page look more like a website page. The biggest issue is with the drop caps. If you notice there is a space between the first letter and the rest of the sentence. I don’t believe that I can correct it because that would eliminate the drop cap.

It’s something that I can live with.

The picture. Ah, the picture.

The photograph is of The French Quarter during the blue hour. It’s a residential street, rather than someplace like noisy Bourbon Street.

This angular shaped buildings are called dependencies. They served as a place where the servants lived and worked. I’d add slaves to that, but the Quarter in pure-Civil War days was mostly populated by Free People of Color. And, various other people. Like Italians and other Europeans, the French for example.

L

et’s start with why I am discussing page experiments.

We all complain about the block system. Unless we want to revert to the so-called classic system, which is one of the earliest versions, we have to keep moving to the future.

I reckon that I can be your canary in the coal mine.

One thing to note right off, is not to trust WordPress AI when it comes to spelling. You should see the things it comes up with.

For instance, coal mine is calming according to them.

For a while it fooled me. I’m a notoriously bad typist, but these errors weren’t even near my key stroke pattern.

Now I know and you do too.

The Opening


E vents and memories of them last a long time. Eventually, we process them the best that we can. Musicians write songs, writers discuss what happened with their words. Photographers and artists who work on paper make some kind of visual statement. That’s what I did. We hunkered down when Hurricane Ida struck on the […]

OMG, OMG, OMG


Y ou’ll understand in a minute. You know, the title. I’ve been making progress on the new and improved storyteller. It’s active now, but I haven’t published yet. I thought that when I activated it that this Storyteller might be inaccessible. I panicked for a minute until I thought about it. Ah ha! I knew […]

Winterlude


I ‘ve been struggling to find topics to write about. I’ve been trying to keep my posts lighthearted but we are living through some of the worst times that I’ve ever seen. The country is so polarized that I’m pretty sure that we can’t agree about the color of the sky. Now we’ve got the […]


Darkness at the edge of town.

O

bviously, I made this picture a while ago, like in winter. I tucked it away and you’ve never seen it. I’m starting to work through that collection now.

Unfortunately for me, these pictures are scattered throughout the last few months which means that I have to find them. Hard to do when you’ve forgotten about them. That’s how the infamous lost files are found.

This is a prime example of me seeing a scene for what it could be and making that happen in post production. It’s very likely the sky was pale winter blue and the foreground in good light.

That’s fine.

But, it doesn’t always fulfill my photographic needs. In fact, the deeper my journey becomes the more I want to make pictures that express my vision.

Usually, that doesn’t mean making a documentary style photograph. Nor, does it mean just throwing a couple of filters on a picture and calling it done.

The best of my work is brought about by thinking about, and then working, on the picture.

That doesn’t always happen.

I get rushed. I don’t think clearly. Even worse, I don’t feel clearly. I believe that you, the viewer or reader, can tell that. You see right through me.

At least that’s what I think.

N

ow, here are some technical issues to overcome.

First, as I wrote on the other side, the picture was made in color.

As I also wrote, the image was made in pale winter light. It was pretty enough, but it wasn’t what I wanted.

So, I thought about it and decided it might look like winter feels. Brooding. Moody. Even scary.

I took out as much color as I could. But, if you notice, not all.

Then I softened the sky and enhanced the silhouetted subjects.

I blurred everything to soften the feel.

That’s it. That’s enough.

How about those of you who are photographers? How do you achieve your vision?