Summer rain leaves droplets on the leaves.

S

ummer is our rainy season. We had an amazing amount of rain this month. They said we had five times the normal amount of rain for a July. That’s something for us because July is very wet.

The constant rain gets a little bit tiresome, but it does yield scenes like this one. It’s a combination of nature and magic.

Look at those reds. Those blues. Those purples. Those colors are something aren’t they? They look like fall colors except that it’s July.

It’s all about the water.

I’ve written a lot about the lack of water in most of America. We don’t have that problem. We have another problem. We have too much water. We don’t take drought seriously. When we talk about it, it’s after ten days of no rain.

It’s a matter of perceptions.

Those of us in the Gulf Coast States don’t think about the lack of water when we should be thinking about how to distribute our water to people living in the west.

It’s a funny thing. I was thinking about all of the infrastructure proposals and I haven’t seen anything about water issues. Nothing. Zero. Zip.

Well, I have a proposal. Let’s move some of our unneeded water west. A series of giant pipes might be cost prohibitive, but maybe not. Not if we want fresh fruits and vegetables.

Or, maybe there’s another way. I’m not the smartest person in the room but others are. It’s time we start thinking about this. It’s time for those smart folks to get going.

After all, we all get thirsty.

T

his picture didn’t take much post production. I made the picture as I saw it and added a bit of color that the sensor couldn’t seem to see.

But, I only added enough color to make the photograph look like the scene that caught my attention so that you can see it too.

I had to be careful because these rich blues, reds and purples are some of my favorite colors. My natural inclination is to take them too far.

That’s the trick sometimes, knowing when to stop. Maybe that’s the trick with everything in life. Knowing when to stop.

I dunno. I’m just thinking out loud.

Maybe I should stop.

O

ne more thing. You knew it. I couldn’t stop.

Seriously, after a lot of thought, I’m staying here on WordPress.

The basic community building theory is what’s most important. I know a lot of you here. I can’t build that again, because it’s only taken me eleven years.

There’s more too. It’ll take a lot of time to build anything. Time is short these days. Time is expensive. No matter how you use it.


Free falling.

T

oday got rolling just about the time I got up. I told you that I was going to get busy. I didn’t think that I meant right this second.

I thought I could cruise into the work a little bit at a time. Silly me.

I made my first mistake when I started listening to music. I started with something soft, slow and nostalgic. I almost couldn’t get started. I switched things up. I started Playing a playlist called “Ray’s Mix.”

Yeah. That’s me. I made it when I thought making play lists on Spotify was important. It’s loud. It’s s noisy. And, I know all the words.

Anyway.

This one will keep me working for hours.

I’ll keep this short. Work awaits.

Darn.

D

o you want technique? This one should fill you up. To the top.

The picture really is about nothing. Since all art is autobiographical what does that say about me?

That aside, this was a picture made from desperation. Or, it was an attempt to come back from wandering in the wilderness.

I made the picture, developed it and thought, “Now what?”

I removed a lot of color and muted it. Then, I tinkered around with different modification filters until I came to this place.

The picture highlights something I’ve been saying, and saying, and saying…

Go outside and take a picture. You’ll find one, or it will find you.


Looking for something.

N

ew work. It’s been a little while. I took myself for a walk. I went to a little park that has benches, sat down and took some time for myself.

The bench that I sat was our favorite bench. It belonged to the all seeing dog, Sophie Rose. I don’t know what it did for my recovery process, but I started seeing the little things.

So, I made these pictures and a few more. Then, I went to the doctor. No worries, it was just a wellness check. I passed with semi-flying colors.

When I returned, I made more pictures. Just because. Because I believe in a little routine and doing something photographic every single day. That’s how you get better. That’s how you get good.

I haven’t been doing that lately. It shows.

I’ve been reading about photography as a healing an recovery tool. If for no other reason those of you who are photographers should make pictures, or do something photographic every day.

Do you?

T

here is really nothing to these pictures. They are simple. They are about trees. They are about nature. They are about rebirth.

Rebirth is important to me right now.

There is a little post production going on in both pictures that are very different processes.

The top image is light, sunny and playful. The bottom image is darker, more moody.

Of course nature helped a lot. Light comes and goes and comes back again especially in the summer.

Nature helped my creative process.

One day.


Life in fantasia.

Y

es. I know what I said. No brand new pictures until I recovered. I still stand by that although this one is a day old.

It doesn’t mean that I’ve recovered. That’s going to take a long time. But, this picture was calling to me. “Ray, Ray, Raaayyy, come here. Take my picture.”

So, I did.

I’m glad that I did because it makes me smile. You know that I like bright color. I made it brighter. And, more colorful. I reckon it’s a good Sunday picture.

It is Sunday, isn’t it?

Somehow I managed to slip into that place of elastic time that was so common during the lockdown. That is probably related to my weird sleeping habits. You know. If you take a long nap when you wake up you are a little disorientated.

Anyway.

Enjoy your Sunday.

O

h boy. Did I do a lot to this picture.

The image probably could have stood on its own because it is backlighted and I pointed the phone almost straight into the sun.

You know me.

That wasn’t enough. First, I corrected the color then I made it “better” by adding color and contrast and glow.

The picture was fine, but it was horizontal which yields a small picture on Storyteller.

So, I cropped into the heart of it, turning it into a vertical image.

And, there you have it.


Apparently, that huge internet outage affected WordPress since I can’t seem to organize anything this morning after not be able to even logon to the site.

So.

I’m late. Late to posting. Late to the party. Late for the sky.

Anyway.

I was going to say that there will be some changes made. That’s song lyrics, but for the life of me I can’t remember which one.

Timing is everything. A website in a box company sent me an email yesterday. They’ve imrpoved everything. Even their best plan is half of what WordPress charges me. If I wave one of my degrees around I can get a 50% discount off of that.

Since I’m semi-business driven this all sounds good. Still one problem remains. I cannot take all of you with me simply by transferring my reader list. The only way to do it is to transfer you by hand. I think we’ve discussed this in the past.

The good news is that even though I have a large group of followers, the real readers list is about three percent of that. I can hand entire that by email.

It’s a lot of work but I was just reading a nice article about making passive income. Once you get the basic work done you might earn some money. But, the basic work is really work and time consuming. You just have to decide if it’s worth it.

It’s worth it.

The picture. It’s just another of those that I made when I could start seeing again. Not much to it, just a lot of detail. Enjoy.


The pain remains. But, the shock is passing. I took out the trash and actually saw pictures. That’s a great change from not being able to see anything at all for the past few days.

I even had the idea to experiment with the pictures instead of staring dead eyed at the television watching who knows what or where.

That’s a step.

Right?

I think whatever I photograph and work with must be bright and colorful.

I like muted color, but now is not that time.

I’ll tell you why.

The rainbow bridge is why.

A number of my real world friends who communicate with me via Facebook were talking about that.

I offhandedly and kindling remarked that in order for Sophie Rose to meet me there assumes that I would be headed to heaven which I didn’t think was happening.

Then, I thought that I do want to see her again and her predecessor, the late Debbie.

So, clean up time.

I still don’t exactly know what that means. I’ll figure it out.

Notice? No caption? The fine folks at WordPress changed something again.

I wish that they would work on something else.

Oh, they are. They are teaching classes on how to make WordPress blogs earn money for the blogger.

Of course, first they are earning money for themselves.

The courses are $25, which is half off. $50? Really? There are plenty of free YouTube offerings that are probably a lot better structured.

Anyway.

This image is made of three different but similar images. They are layered and adjusted. I did most of the heavy lifting in Snapseed and finished it in OnOne.


John Lennon once called times like these clean up times. And, so they shall be. But, first I want to thank every one of you who reached out to me about the passing of Sophie Rose. It means more to me than I can say. I appreciate each and every one of you.

I will miss her more than you can know. Even just writing these few words brings that sting to my eyes.

As someone very dear to me said, “You can have until the start of the week to languish, then it’s time to pull on your pants and get to work.” The last time I heard that was after Hurricane Katrina struck and the late great chef, Leah Chase said the same thing about rebuilding the city.

They are both right.

So, was Lennon.

I don’t know what that means for Storyteller. I don’t even know what it means for my photography. I do know that it will be very hard looking for the “little pictures’ I used to make with Sophie Rose. I also know that second line and Black Masking Indian photography is a thing of the past. My illnesses won’t let me work in the middle of large disorganized crowds. That probably means Mardi Gras photography is done as well.

Worse.

Music hurts me now. I’ve always found solace in music. Now even the screaming guitar of Jimi Hendrix brings tears to my eyes. I don’t know why.

So.

I carry on. I’ll make needed and necessary changes to this blog. To my work. To my life. And, how I look at things.

And, one day.


All about rain. No. This isn’t Hurricane Sally. These pictures were made during a typical gulf coast summer storm. Usually, the humidity collects and sometime in the afternoon all that water needs a place to go.

It’s interesting to see. These pictures were made in a grocery store parking. It was raining pretty hard where i was parked.

At the other side of the lot, nothing. The pavement wasn’t dry because there had been rain earlier. But, nothing was falling while we were getting soaked.

Waiting game.

Anyway. Hurricane Sally may not be much in New Orleans. She’s slowed way down, picking up more water from the gulf. She’s also turned further east. We are not even in the cone any longer.

We’ll probably get a little wind and some rain, but nothing like we were expecting earlier this week.

Droplets on the windshield.

The pictures. I decided to wait out the hardest rain. I get bored easily so I decided to make a few pictures. These are mostly just point and shoot. I see this kind of work as being close to photojournalism so I don’t tinker with them.

The real trick is to get as much information as you can into the frame. That means a wide angle lens. Smartphones usually have the equivalent of a 28mm which is intended to keep every part of the subject sharp.

Some smart phones have an adjustable lens. Mine does. The lens “sees” anywhere from 28mm to 600mm. This gives me some great reach, but good luck keeping it steady. Generally speaking one out of about every six images is sharp, and that’s with good bracing technique.

I could use a little tripod, but who does that while you are carrying your phone everywhere?

Looking back.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Enjoy every burrito.


Maybe. Just maybe, I can make this block system work for me. I am enjoying other kinds of design formats. This reminds of my last days in the newspaper world when I started hanging pictures in different places on a designers grid.

For now, everything is experimental. If I like what I’m doing and you like it too, then I’ll keep going. I’ve hear from a lot of writers. Most of them hate it. I expect that they will not like it. They don’t think spatially. They use other intelligences to do what they do.

I only started thinking about embracing this after I re-read Garner’s theory of 11 intelligences, which reminded me that I see and think differently. So, why not use what I’ve been given? I can talk more about this if you’d like.

I think, like anything, you have to work through the “five stages of grief.” Not that WordPress is causing me emotional grief. I’m at the acceptance phase right now so this has become easier for me.

So too, with the pandemic. I’ve accepted the fact that it will be around for a while. Dr. Fauci said not to expect any sense of normalcy until mid-2021.

I wear masks without thinking about it. I keep my distance without thinking about it. And, at the grocery store yesterday I realized how nice we were being to each other.

That’s all good stuff.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Keep your distance. Look after others. Enjoy every drop of rain.

The picture. I made this picture by looking on the ground. The subject is a Live Oak seed pod. The background is really just concrete. There are a couple of pocket parks along one dog walking route. Sometimes we stop and sit.

I didn’t even think about what I was doing. I just made the picture. That’s how ingrained the action is to me.

Obviously, it wasn’t much. I forgot about it until I didn’t. I started tinkering with it. One thing lead to another and pretty soon I arrived at this image.

Once again, WordPress stepped all over the color and contrast even though I tried to account for it in post production. They are getting as bad as facebook.